Chapter 50: Commoners and Treachery
A few hours later, Lagertha was in her bedroom and heard her mother walk inside to see if Julius needed anything. It seemed as if she could listen to most of the things her mother and father are doing twenty feet ahead of her. She was lying down on her bed and looked up at the ceiling, and she thought about pretty much everything that has happened for the last couple of nights. It has been quite a week for her and her family; so many unforgettable things have occurred between Julius and Harald.
She thought about things that may or may not happen as she stayed in her room to forget all the bad parts of her week. Then, she gets up and wishes to look out of her window and look at the forest with trees about thirty feet tall. Lagertha did not care what might happen to her house. She just wanted to make it out there on her own. It would be very challenging for her to accept a terrible fate that Brynjar shared with her yesterday. It was nearly impossible to make such things get out of her head and leave her alone.
“What’s going on with me? I can’t get these images out of my mind,” Lagertha said. She had her right hand on the top of her head and needed a long time to control her emotions during the afternoon.
“Brynjar... is that his name? Was that the name he said to my mother?” She asked. She knew her mother told her to stay in her bedroom, but she could hear almost everything from her door.
Lagertha was concerned for herself, for Brant, and her parents as the world around her changed. Changing one’s fate could always lead to a more significant danger and a greater threat to one’s family.
“Father... ever since you came home, you’ve been acting differently. You are not the same person as you were for the last couple of weeks. What are you becoming?” Lagertha asked. She continued looking up at her ceiling and needed something to know and anything to make her feel comfortable.
Lagertha hops back onto her bed and lay down to stop her boredom from overtaking her. She would have more things to worry about once the afternoon is over. Meanwhile, Brant was walking around the palace to exercise himself and not forcing himself to partake in eating with the other men. He already had lunch, but all he could hear from the palace rooms were people murmuring amongst themselves and commoners talking about Julius.
“Is it true what they say about the knight leader? That he betrayed the order of the earl? That’s Impossible to believe,” one commoner said.
“Many people have gathered around and agreed on such a matter. There’s no way that man who was once trusted by the people can walk away from that easily. When he comes here, he will be brought to his knees and beg for forgiveness,” another commoner said.
“All I hear from the earl’s servants are complaints or contrivances. They say the knight leader has the power to dominate the demons and make them all his servants. Are we supposed to feel good about that?”
“Of course not. What he has done is treason! The earl will do what is necessary to make that man come to his senses and realize the error of his ways. For many centuries, that has always been the way and the rules for dealing with criminals. The difference is it has not been known if he is a criminal or not. The earl still seems to put his trust in him.”
“We should mind what we say in this place. The earl could hear us at any minute. We should be cautious around others as well. They may still be friends with Julius and very close to Earl Harald. I’m guessing we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. After all, this place is composed of those whose purpose is to serve the ruler of Loftain.”
Brant listened to those two commoners speak amongst themselves as he walked in the great hall. Harald was nowhere to be seen in the throne room as he was alone, and his people were together as one. The time is soon coming when Brant would need to speak with his father about what has been happening around the city. All he could hear was so much moaning about Julius being a dominator of souls and a handler of a potential threat. What he is doing will either make him trust his people or go against them as his time is coming.
Meanwhile, Lagertha leaves her room and goes to her living room to get a drink, and she saw her father sitting down by himself. It appeared as if he had been calling for her to come over and speak with him as the day ended. The morning and afternoon went by pretty quickly for Julius, and he did not realize the day could go quick. He knew the earl’s men would come for him soon; being able to dominate demons caused quite a stir to the citizens of Loftain. Before she could do anything else, Lagertha walks over to his father to see what he wants.
“Father, did you want to see me?” She asked.
“I did. I was wondering if you will hear me out on a few matters concerning you and your mother. I made sure your mother didn’t come here to listen to us,” Julius answered.
“What do you want me to know?” Lagertha asked.
“Find a place to sit and find out. I promise it won’t be a long time for me to let it out.”
Then, Lagertha sits in front of her father and waits for him to speak his mind as her mother is by herself. Julius was always a person who did not want anyone else to know what he tells other people.
“I have something to tell you, Lagertha. I already told your mother about it, and I want you to know as well. It concerns this entire family, and it’s for the sake of surviving these nights,” he said.
“I’m ready to hear it,” she said.
“Good. While I’ve been on my usual haunts and raids with the knights, I’ve received word from the demons they have found enough courage to attack Loftain. A dire threat is emerging from the world’s outer reaches,” Julius said.
“What do you want me to do about it? If what you say is true, then we can’t just sit back and do nothing.”
“I know. And as my only child, I’m asking you to be a brave girl and protect your mother. She’s not a fighter nor an athlete like you. I’m counting on you to defend this house and your mother.”
She only found out now that the night creatures have taken the city and claim it for their own. Julius had a feeling thanks to Mephiles that the demonic beasts will be prepared to do what they can to drive the people away. Julius understood so much about what has been happening from the demons, and it must have all been because of what he did. Having the power of the Demon Wolf gave plenty of reasons for the night creatures to take a stab at the one who wields it. But it might either be a success or a significant failure for the earl of Loftain; he no longer knew who he can trust during these times.
“So where will you go? What are you going to do?” Lagertha asked.
“I have to be at Loftain to aid my people and defeat any creature who stands in my way. It will not be easy to hold them back,” Julius said. He may have been right for his much younger self because he may not have been able to survive the last battle without Mephiles inside of him.
“Are you sure you will hold them back? I know you may have done that before, but how will you know how many creatures will be there?” Lagertha asked.
Then Julius answered and said to her, “I have protected the last remaining city of Midland for decades. I’m telling you this now because you will probably never hear from me for a long time. If I don’t return in a month, take everything you hold dear and have your mother along with you. Venture into the mountains, but do not come to Loftain looking for me. If anyone comes through our door, do not answer it. It will be too dangerous to let strangers in here during a time like this. I’m leaving tonight.”
He spoke to her in a way that showed all kinds of concern for his family, and he trusted his daughter to take care of the house and his wife.