The Demon Wolf (Book 1 of The Devil and the Huntsman)

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Chapter 23: A Compassionate Cousin

Lagertha was not wrong about Brant having to take over for his father, and she knew that he would stop at nothing until he achieves his goals in life. Brant stands next to her and looks at all the hills and the mountains as she stared at the sky and moon. They were both feeling much better than the time spent at the great hall with the people feasting and drinking. It felt superb for Lagertha and Brant to stand with each other and have an infinitesimal moment of peace and tranquility. Although Brant has had these kinds of moments, Lagertha felt a great sense of greatness come inside of her soul.

“So, Brant, do you enjoy being here all by yourself?” Lagertha asked.

“Surely, I don’t know what you mean. But I try to keep it together when I’m alone,” Brant said.

“You’re used to being alone, aren’t you? I can tell it must be a real pain to endure when you have nobody by your side,” she said.

“Well, it’s not painfully boring in here. I have a bunch of poems, books, and paintings that are often in my father’s library. Sometimes, I sneak in just to see what’s down there. But now, I’m too old and too big to be wandering around in the library.”

Although she would not admit it, Lagertha saw inside of Brant that there was something troubling him, but he could not let it out. Then, Lagertha pulls out the sketchbook she has been keeping under her shirt, and she turns to one page and closes it with her index finger still inside. She then walked towards Brant and watched as he was thinking about another moment that could go on.

“Hey, Brant. Look here,” Lagertha said.

“Oh, what’s that?” Brant asked.

“It’s a sketchbook. Go on, have a look,” she said. Then, she opens the book and goes to the page her index finger was resting on and allows him to look at the drawing.

The drawing was her sword she imagined for a few days, and she believed that it was her favorite sketch out of all the drawings she has done. Brant was astonished at the way it appeared before his eyes; it was unlike any sword known to man. He only knew the swords that were known in song and legend, and he also knew of the swords used to kill demons and unholy creatures.

“This looks amazing. It’s the most stunning of all the swords I’ve ever known,” Brant said.

“It’s a sword I have drawn. I’m the one who came up with what it should look like. It took about an entire day or two to complete the sketch,” Lagertha said.

“It could cost quite a fortune to build such a formidable weapon. This kind of sword could be used in a fairytale,” he said.

“I imagine it to be more on the darker side of those kinds of tales. But, it’s my type of sword and I know I can make more adjustments to it.”

“Have you named the sword yet? I’m sure it’s got a lovely name to match that design.”

“I call it the Bloodbringer. It’s a dark blade used to take the souls of those who are pierced by it. And with every soul that it takes, the blade’s power grows stronger.”

Lagertha allows Brant to continue looking at the powerful blade for a few more seconds, and she closes the sketchbook and puts it underneath the back of her shirt. She then stares at the same things that Brant was looking at; the hills and all that lie behind it. Brant notices that it was getting later in the night and he needed to be down there with his father. He realizes that during this time, his father gives out another speech and allows the musicians to play their lute. Then, he looks down at himself for a few seconds before he can do anything else with Lagertha.

“Lagertha. I think we need to be down there again,” Brant said.

“What makes you think that?” Lagertha asked.

“I have a feeling that my father might have some more things to say as a good chunk of the people are leaving,” he answered.

“Very well. Let’s get down there.”

And so, Brant leads the way back to the great hall as he hears more noises from the people. They clearly had such a fun time being at a banquet of dedication. Then, Lagertha hears some instruments playing; it was the sound of the musicians practicing with their instruments. She then catches up with Brant and they both start walking very quickly back to their parents. Then, they crouched down and fast walk as they do not want to cause a distraction to the citizens.

Lagertha and Brant make it back to their family as their family was waiting for them. Julius was having the time of his life when he spoke with his brother and his brother’s wife. Lucy and Erica both had a distant relationship with each other, but they were both gentle and kind towards each other. Both Lagertha and Brant were satisfied to hear that none of their parents asked them where they have been. Then, Lagertha sits back down with her father as Brant continues to be standing with his father.

“Ah. I’ve been waiting for you, Lagertha,” Julius said.

“Did I miss anything? I’ve been walking around for quite a while,” Lagertha said.

“Oh, not at all. However, I do hope that it was worth it because we’re about to begin something else,” he said.

“And what will that be? Will it be something worth waiting for?”

“I’m sure it will. We’ll just have to wait and see what the earl will say to everyone. Also, quite several people have already left and gone back to their houses. So yeah, I’m sure it’ll be quite the spectacle.”

Then, she sat there and looked at the exit where a few more people left after eating for an hour. Of course, the way the food was served, and the speech Harald gave before the banquet was all worth it. Then Harald ambled towards his throne and looked at everyone who was staying. These kinds of people were ready to hear whatever their earl will say to them. Then, he sits down on his throne and watches as the musicians are being prepared to play an orchestra.

Normally after a large feast, there is usually an orchestra being played for all the citizens to hear for their enjoyment. Depending on what kind of music, some men and women would come together and hold hands while moving around with the sound of the music. It was a special treatment for the people who will stay and hear more words that the earl will give them. And so, everyone remained silent and said nothing more than they gazed upon Harald to allow him to give another speech. Then, he looks at the ceiling for a moment and stares at the people and thinks of something else to say.

Then Harald spoke to them, saying, “This banquet you’ve all been given is no ordinary banquet. This is a dedicated feast to not only my father, but to all of those who willingly gave their lives to fight the demons. The ones who never came home, they are the genuine heroes of this kingdom. Now that you’ve all been given a taste of what this feast is about, now you all can enjoy yourselves and listen to the music. Everyone can dance along with the music and have a partner next to them. Enjoy this time to the fullest.

“Hear and listen to the sound of music exactly as it’s intended. Be proud amongst yourselves and be glad you live to see another day. Use this time to remember the first time you’ve experienced peace come into your hearts. Our musicians will play their orchestra, and those who are willing can dance along with the music. They are people exactly like you... those who love each other and care for one another. And now, let the symphony begin!”

Then, the musicians were getting ready to play of the more well-known types of music. The type of music that most people dance to when they are at a banquet, and they watch as some people are getting ready to hear it. Then, Julius walks up to Lucy and holds out his hand to her; he wants to know if she would like to dance with him or just listen to the music play out.

“Hey, Lucy. Wanna dance with me?” Julius asked. Lucy did not give him an answer, but she did agree to dance with him and be with him.

Then, Lucy holds onto Julius’s hand and they both go somewhere to dance along with the symphony.

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