~ Raided: A Mericcup Story: Chapter 10 : Back to Berk
Hiccup and Astrid glided into Berk. Hiccup was amazed as it looked like the whole village turned out as they came in. Everyone was shouting questions, and crowding around him. Astrid was glaring at everyone as they dismounted. Hiccup was looking for his father, but so many women were so close to him, touching him. Astrid and Ruffnut elbowed their way right next to him as Stoic came barreling through the crowd.
“Hiccup, son!” called Stoic as he caught his son up in a hug. “You’re alright. What happened? When you didn’t come back in time we sent out search parties.”
“Oh, ah, good. Did anyone find the message I left at Nest 5?”
“Yes, but saying you went looking for it didn’t exactly help. I found him in Scotland.” grumbled Astrid.
“Scotland?” Whispers wandered through the crowd.
“I found the dragons feeding off Scotland and I helped them deal with the dragons.” said Hiccup.
“You didn’t teach them to train dragons, did you?” rumbled Stoic.
“No, not really. They had worked out how to fight dragons pretty well, though I gave them a few pointers.”
“Pointers?” Stoic asked.
“Could we talk privately, Dad?” asked Hiccup, looking at the crowd.
“Okay, everyone. I’m going to debrief my son. I want you to prepare a feast for his return, I’m sure he’ll have quite the story for us then.” Called Stoic. A few people grumbled but most of the women looked excited, as they ran off to prepare their best dishes for Hiccup. Astrid was frowning hard at the retreating backs of the women.
Hiccup grabbed Astrid’s hand and dragged her to his house. “Hiccup, what are you doing?” she asked.
“You were there for some of it and you should hear this.”
Once they were in the house, and got out of their heavy winter flying gear, Hiccup said, “Astrid, they are going to ask you all kinds of questions. Tell them about how you flew around trying to find me and that you found me with some friendly Scots and escorted me home.”
“But that Death....” Astrid started.
“Death? What Death?” Stoic asked loudly.
Hiccup held up his hands. “Please, listen. Short version, I was searching for where Nest 5 went missing to, we found a dragon that the Scots had killed, then during another dragon raid I found that the Green Death was controlling them directly. We found the nest and flew into a blizzard to hide in. We made it run into the ground and it exploded.”
Astrid broke in, “I followed the column of smoke the burning carcass made. I saw you flying and followed you to that castle.”
“Castle?” Asked Stoic patiently, getting a story out of somebody generally took a while as they sorted it all out.
“Castle MacGuffin. They were under attack by the dragons. I had to help them defend themselves,” explained Hiccup.
Stoic nodded, dragons had been a scourge on Berk for a long time. He knew Hiccup wouldn’t be able to not help.
“You said they shot you down, how did they do that?” asked Astrid pointedly.
“I couldn’t see any light because everyone was inside and the windows covered because of the cold. I thought the castle was deserted, but they were just hunkered down because of the cold. It was nighttime and we flew over it to see if how long it had been abandoned, but it wasn’t. They shot in the dark and got lucky.” He pulled off his shirt and showed the long slice up his upper arm. There was a fist-sized bruise from where Astrid had punched him.
“Sorry, about that.” said Astrid reaching out, but Hiccup just covered himself again.
“So Astrid, please don’t tell anyone about the Green Death yet. I want to talk to Dad about it in detail first. I’ll tell them later.”
“Not tell them...Are you sure? The last time we kept a secret...” Astrid glanced at Stoic.
“I’m telling my Dad first, it’s a big enough story that I want him to hear it all first and I am not sure how long it will take.” Hiccup explained.
“Okay.” Astrid looked a little doubtful.
“It’ll be okay.” Hiccup assured her.
“I know it will, you’ll make it work out.” She said and she hugged him for a while before leaving. She needed to do something, in the weeks after Hiccup had left for her survey mission there was massive buzz of gossip among the women about her and Hiccup’s relationship. Having him take her to his home was good, it reinforced her claim, but there was the feast yet. She knew almost all the women were better cooks then she was, though her mother had been helping her, she couldn’t compete. As good as she was with her ax, she couldn’t challenge everyone and she still wasn’t big enough for a sustained fight, she could only win if she won quickly.
She had to win his heart but even doing tricks with Stormfly she could never outdo Hiccup, though she wasn’t sure she needed to.
She wanted Hiccup so much, and the feeling that all the women of the tribe and now the women of Scotland were paying attention to him, was driving her insane.
# # #
“We dove for the ground as it was the only option left. The Green Death followed us down. It split itself on a mountain and we were able to duck behind a ridge to escape the explosion. We holed up under Toothless until the blizzard stopped and then flew back to the castle. We explained what happened to the Scots then Astrid showed up and we flew back here. On the way we passed over the nest but it was empty. They are back at Nest 5.” Hiccup finished explaining.
Stoic sat back and thought for a moment. “So any idea where the Green Death came from?” Hiccup had explained that he was calling it the Green Death because it had green scales when the Death from Dragon Island should be called the Red Death because of the red scales.
“No, and it’s pretty scary to think there are more of them out there. If the only way to find them is when they attack people, it may be a problem.”
Stoic sighed and thought, “I don’t think there is an easy way to find them so we are just going to have to be on the lookout.”
“Yeah.” his son said sounding defeated.
“Anything else?” asked Stoic.
“Yeah, the princess...”
“I think she liked me, a little bit.” Hiccup said quietly.
Stoic smiled tolerantly. “Do you like her back?”
Hiccup looked down and said, “I don’t know. She was nice to be around.”
Stoic put his arm around his son and said, “It’s okay. You’re young yet and there is still time.”
“Thanks Dad. Dad, I don’t want to tell anyone about the Green Death just yet. It makes me feel funny. I need to think on it for a while. We need a plan if there is a next time.”
“As you wish, but we should alert people so they can be on the lookout.”
“Yeah, I know. I just need a little time.”
“Okay, but let’s not keep secrets, that got us into a lot of trouble last time.”
“Yeah.” said Hiccup, but he had to try working a few things out first. Things were getting complicated, Astrid and Merida confused him and he didn’t like that. He needed to figure that out somehow.
“Dad, do you know which tribe this is?” asked Hiccup, holding out a button with a triangle and knife on it.
Stoic took it and examined it for a moment. “No, I don’t, but new tribes come into being often enough that a new one isn’t a surprise.”
“Okay, so how do you found a new tribe?” asked Hiccup taking the button back, curious he didn’t have any idea how to create a new tribe. Wondering if that might help fix things with Scotland.
“You need to show the lawspeaker at the Althing that you have at least 50 men and women, where at least half of them are having babies, and have held your land for at least a year and a day.”
“Oh, is that why we stayed here after the dragons started raiding us?”
“Yes, if we lost the island, we would have to start over as a tribe.”
“So where did you get that and how do you know its Viking?” asked Stoic.
“I got it from King Fergus in Scotland. It is evidence from a series of Viking raids they had last summer.” said Hiccup.
“Ah.” said Stoic, uncomfortably.
“Why do Viking raid?”
Stoic shrugged, “It’s a way to gain status, and go out fighting to get into Valhalla. The main reason is to get things that a tribe needs they can’t get another way, like slaves.”
“We don’t have slaves.”
“No, anyone taken as a slave is generally too weak to survive a dragon raid and we can’t spare the people from protecting the children and the sheep.”
Hiccup nodded after thinking about that. “Dad, why don’t we raid?”
Stoic let out a weak sort of laugh. “We haven’t had time with all the dragons we’ve had to deal with, and really we haven’t needed to. For all the trouble the dragons have caused we were doing quite well here. The land is rich and fertile, the trees produce plenty of wood, and we have iron and coal in abundance. Even with the dragon raids, Berk is a good place. We’d be ridiculously wealthy now without the dragon raids and even so we aren’t doing too bad.”
“Dad, we almost ran out of food over the winter, the dragons kept us alive.” pointed out Hiccup.
Stoic shrugged, “I know, but this was a lot worse winter then normal. In any case, we would have only lost some people, enough would have survived to keep the tribe going.”
Hiccup shivered as the implications of what his father had just said hit him.
# # #
Astrid ran through the deep snow ruts to home, ignoring the questions the men throwing at her. She found her mom in the kitchen.
“Mom, I found Hiccup and we’re back!” She ran over and gave her a hug.
“Yes, I know dear. I started whipping up something for you to give him.”
“Thanks mom. What is it?”
“A good, hearty fish stew, something to warm him up after flying all day in this cold.”
“Smells delicious. How do you do it so easily? Everything I try making tastes awful.”
“Practice, lots and lots of practice. If you put as much effort into learning cooking as you do your ax, you’ll be a great cook.”
“I doubt that. I try so hard.” Astrid snorted.
“Yes, but you also try to make complicated meals. You have to start small, like the first ax we gave you.”
Astrid gave a small smile as she looked at the small ax on the mantle, it was all wood and it was tiny now, but she had played with it her whole life.
“We’ll work on it some more tomorrow. You should also do something for Toothless, being nice to his dragon is as good as being nice to him, get from fish from out back and warm them in the big cauldron.”
“Great idea mom.” Astrid rushed outside and dug some frozen fish out of the snow. It was cold enough on the shady side of the house to keep the fish frozen that the dragons brought back. It took nearly half a day to fly to open water for fishing. They had an abundance of food with the help of the dragons and after thawing, the fish still tasted great.
This was the first time ever they had such fish, they usually had smoked or salted fish they had saved from before the ice set in around the island.
The ice was usually quite noisy, but this winter had become so cold everything had gone quiet. No pounding of the surf like in the summer nor the grinding sound of the ice in the winter. They had been completely locked in. The silence was eerie and made it hard to sleep, one of the reasons she had done looking for Hiccup as soon as he was overdue.
Giving Toothless thawed fish would be good. Astrid thought Toothless was looking a little tired. Thawing them first would make it easier for him too.
Astrid dumped the fish into the cauldron with a clatter and added water.
“Ah, ah, don’t stock the fire, you’ll make it too hot and it will scorch. You have to be patient, even when you don’t want to be dear.”
“Yes, mom.” Astrid put down the poker and tried to just watch the food cook.
After a while, “Mom, what am I going to do about Hiccup and everyone?”
“What do you mean?”
“Most of the tribe came out when we came in and so many women were crowding him, touching him, trying to take him away from me. Ruffnut and I had to push them back.”
“Well, he has all that status, it isn’t a surprise.”
“But he didn’t notice.”
“He is rather clueless that way.”
“He just sees me as a friend.”
“He needs friends, we weren’t kind to him, and we have to live with the consequences of that.”
“Be his friend first, he’ll notice you soon.”
“Scotland has a princess, I’m sure that she is interested in him too.” Astrid picked up the poker again, evaluating it as a weapon.
Astrid’s mother sighed as sat next to her daughter, “Astrid, you can’t fight your way through every problem. Some problems need different solutions. Cooking need patience and a watchful eye. You can’t make a dragon like you but you can entice them to you.”
“You have a strong claim on him by befriending him and his dragon before everyone else, and you have more status then all the women. It’ll be a great advantage to our family if you marry him. Your father is talking to Stoic about the possibility. It’s a problem that Stoic doesn’t have a wife, I have no way to influence him. You have to do what you can to influence Hiccup to like you. You have plenty of advantages over the older women. You are the same age, you are young enough to produce many good sons and you are a high status Viking. You just have to figure out what he needs in a wife and give it to him.”
“Thanks, mom.” said Astrid as she slid the fish into a basket and then trotted over to Toothless’ nest.
# # #
“Gobber, do you remember your mother?” Hiccup asked. They were in the smithy, the forge banked and the stall closed; putting the tools away. He remember her a little, she had been killed by a dragon a few years ago, long after Valhallarama was killed.
“Aye.” said Gobber, slowly as he hung up a sword in the rack. “Why?”
“She was from Scotland, wasn’t she?”
“Did she miss it?”
“Yes she did, I could tell. She would do things on certain days, Celtic holy days, I’ve since learned. She did it in secret, Father would punish her if he found out, I never told.”
“Did she ever mention her family?”
Gobber shook his head. “Only in her sleep. Words. Names, I think.”
“I’ve noticed that the families of the slaves are smaller, just one son. Not like almost everyone else with brothers and sisters. Why?”
“I have no idea.”
“Slavery doesn’t really work does it?”
Gobber sighed. “No, not really.”
“Why hasn’t anyone else figured that out?”
“Stubbornness issues.” Gobber said with a crooked smile. “Besides it’s supposed to be fun, from what my father said. To challenge yourself against the other, to prevail, to see your enemies driven before you, to hear the lamentation of their women, to take their treasures and women.”
“Gobber, we were on the losing side of that for three hundred years with the dragons. Was it all that great?”
“No, not really, but better then dying in bed and going to Hel. Eh?”
“Yeah, I guess so.”
# # #
Hiccup was walking back from the smithy, he was headed for the Great Hall for a bit of food, when he saw Gothi and Ingrid the midwife stop in front of his house and after a moment of talking with his father went inside. Hiccup could tell there was something up. So he snuck in the backdoor, and hid behind the bean barrel, to find out what it was. He had overheard lots of interesting stuff that way.
It was finally Spring and the day was warm. The snow was finally melting and the ground was defrosting. Hiccup and Gobber were making plows and shovels, but now it was time for a break as the pieces tempered. Gobber was chatting with some customers and had sent Hiccup to eat, he’d be along later.
“...I know we have a problem. There are lots of problems this tribe is facing. What problem have I not been giving enough attention to now?” Hiccup heard his father say.
Hiccup heard a scratching sound, probably Gothi writing something.
“Women? What about the women? Aren’t you taking care of the women?” Stoic asked.
“Yes, I am but there aren’t enough of us.” Hiccup heard Ingrid say.
“Not enough of you? Isn’t the Viking Widows League big enough for you?”
Hiccup heard a couple of sighs. The VWL was quite the group of women, all the women who survived the assault on the nest but lost their husbands. He saw them often enough coming up from their daily bath in the harbor, now that the ice had thawed. They used to have snowball fights, a few men had wanted to join in but the women fought very dirty, stuffing snow down each other’s dresses.
“I don’t want anyone/ in the VWL!” Ingrid said with a certain amount of heat. “We lost a lot of people at the nest.”
Hiccup shivered. They had lost so many people, the tribe had been decimated. If only he had been faster.
“We need to have everyone married again and making babies so we can rebuild the tribe, but we don’t have enough women.”
“What? Why? We are only short a hand full of women. The tribe can handle that.”
“No, Stoic. Too many of the women are getting too old to have any more babies for certain. There are only two young women, Astrid and Ruffnut, that are becoming ready to have children, then there are the handful of toddlers we have, they won’t be ready for a decade. Who are Hiccup, Snotlout, Tuffnut, and Fishlegs going to marry? ...Who are you/ going to marry?”
There was a creak of a chair and soft footsteps. “Stoic, we need you. You gave us Hiccup. We could use some more like him.”
Hiccup couldn’t believe his ears, someone thought him as valuable?
“You don’t have to make a decision yet. Our time of mourning won’t be over for a little bit longer, but we’ll need to make a plan soon.” Ingrid said solemnly.
“How can I marry someone else?” he heard his father whisper.
“Because you must, for the good of the tribe.”
“You are never going to forget her and marrying another won’t dishonor her memory. You two had one of the great love stories of our tribe, but she’s dead and the tribe needs babies. Good strong babies.” Ingrid said gently.
“I’ll ...think about it.”
“Good, that is all we ask for now.”
“And where are we supposed to get these extra women for baby making?” asked Stoic.
Hiccup heard scribbling and the flap of paper.
Stoic’s chair creaked as he stood.
“Are you sure about this, Gothi?” Stoic asked, slowly.
Gothi banged her staff against the floor boards.
“We haven’t done a raid in a long time. We could lose more people that way.”
“Yes, the dragons would make it easier, but still...it isn’t something we’ve done in a long time or ever with dragons.”
“That’s why we brought this up now, the spring planting is going well with the help of the dragons, soon we’ll have to do something but not yet. Think on it and make a plan. You are good at that. We’ll talk again in a few weeks.”
Hiccup, quietly snuck out the back but didn’t go to the Great Hall.
# # #
“Dad, we need to talk.” Hiccup said as he came up next to his Dad, who was tending the fire.
Stoic sighed. “Sure, son. What about?” He spent his whole day mediating problems between the members of the tribe. It was beginning to be Spring and squabbles were coming up over lands and duties. He was proud that his son took such good care of himself without his help, but he was tired of all the conflicts sometimes.
Hiccup wanted to say never mind now, he could see his Dad was tired, but this was important.
“You remember me telling you about my time in Scotland.”
“There are a few little things I want to bring up.”
Stoic sighed, “What did we agree on, about keeping secrets?” So much death and destruction came from secrets. Stoic was trying to learn to listen to his son, because he knew he was half of the problem.
“I know. I know. I just needed to spend some time figuring it out, but I haven’t been able to come up with an answer that works.” Hiccup admitted.
Stoic cocked his head. He knew his son was really smart, solving intractable problems easily, often on the fly. “Well, if you can’t solve it then it must be a serious problem. I don’t know if I can help, but I’ll try. What is it?”
Hiccup threw a grateful look at his father. “They told me that they are often raided by Vikings, that they...we come and pillage coastal villages and take slaves. They showed me a dress that they keep as a reminder. A girl, no bigger then Astrid, had had her clothes cut off and was taken as a slave. I think about how I would feel if people came and took Astrid or Ruffnut and I don’t want the Scots to feel that anymore. They asked me to help them find a way to stop the raids and bring the women home.”
Stoic looked at his son for a moment and asked, “And how would you feel if Astrid was taken?”
“I would be angry. I would do everything in my power to get her back and wreak vengeance on those who took her. I would make it so the perpetrators would never be able to do it again.”
Stoic gazed at his son, weighing his words. Stoic knew that if Snotlout, the son of his right-hand-man, Spitelout, had said those words, Snotlout would would be raging, pacing and gesturing wildly. You knew he cared because of that. Hiccup had said the words so calmly and matter-of-factly, that you wouldn’t think he cared at all. Yet here in the quiet by the fire, looking into his sons eyes, he knew his son meant it, and would see it through.
“King Fergus asked if his daughter and I married, if that would make a difference. I told him I didn’t know and I still don’t. It might for our tribe but we haven’t raided in a long time and we are not exactly influential with the other tribes. All the solutions I’ve tried to come up with would lead to death, destruction and pain and I don’t want that for either side.” said Hiccup, sounded defeated. He was hoping that his father would bring up the raid that he had overheard so he wouldn’t have to admit to learning about it.
“That’s very good of you to consider.” If there was something that astounded Stoic about his son was that great compassion he had. He should consider it a weakness but it had allowed his son to make peace with the dragons. But people weren’t dragons. “So what have you considered?”
“In general terms: Dragon patrols around Scotland. The destruction of Viking ships and villages. That will bring war. I wish I was influential like you, Dad.” Hiccup said.
“What makes you think you aren’t influential?” asked Stoic.
“Come on, Dad. Nobody listens to all this.” Hiccup gestured to himself.
“You haven’t noticed yet, have you?” asked Stoic his eyes narrowing. His son was usually quite observant.
“You remember that little talk I gave you about women after you got back from Scotland.”
“Yeah,” Hiccup blushed, hard. That had been the most uncomfortable talk he’s ever had with anyone.
“You have/ noticed Astrid and Ruffnut hang out with you a lot.”
“Well yeah, the gang tends to hang out together.”
“Yeah, but Astrid and Ruffnut are always close to you, usually sitting right next to you.”
“Practically sitting on you when you are in your chair in the Great Hall.”
“Ah, yeah.” Hiccup blushed about that, it made him react to them in ways he was uncomfortable with, but Dad’s explanation told him why.
“You haven’t noticed the other women, have you?”
“W-what other women?” Hiccup asked, sounding panicked.
Stoic sighed. “Hiccup, a lot of women are interested in you as a mate. I haven’t had to cook for months now.” He gestured to the piles of food on the table.
“They aren’t bringing it for me but for you. They are making the best food they can to gain your attention and hopefully your affection. Most of the widows, most of the women in general want to marry you.”
“You really don’t know? You killed the Death. You befriended a Night Fury. You ended the war with the dragons. You are the most powerful Viking ever. They want to have your babies to make the tribe stronger.”
“Oh m-man.” Hiccup was quite pale.
“Don’t worry. I’ve told them that you are not going to make a decision right away. However, the memorial Thing is coming up soon. The widows and widowers are going to end their mourning and I will have to encourage them to start marrying. I expect many of the widows will ask you. You are free to marry who you will, you can even put it off for a while if you must, but not too long. You might want to act quickly though, some widowers might try to choose Astrid. You should talk to her.”
“T-talk. Astrid.” Hiccup nodded, jerkily.
Stoic smiled gently at his freaked out son. He sat beside him and put his arm around him.
“Come on. This is a good thing. You are the mightiest Viking on life. It’s great having the women fawn over you. You have spent too much time alone. You need to get to know them, and try to find one that fills in your heart with good feelings. Did I ever tell you about how your Mom and I fell in love?”
Hiccup shook his head a bit more then the rest of his body.
“I’m sorry. I am trying to be a better father to you. I’m not doing a great job of it. Running the tribe takes up a lot of time, but that is no excuse, not any more.”
Hiccup looked up.
“So. Your mother and I, we knew each other from the time we were kids like everyone here. Dragon training time came around and I was in the lead as usual. We were facing a Nadder in the maze, one of the typical training scenarios.”
Hiccup nodded remembering that one.
“Well, I was trying to corner it and it cornered me instead. I was about to charge it down when Val came barreling in out of nowhere and knocked it over into one of the walls. It thrashed around and ended up dumping a few walls on top of itself, trapping it and us. We crawled to an opening and when we saw that the Nadder was trapped too. Val leapt into the air, her hands upraised and yelled “we did it!” Then she planted a big kiss on my cheek. Ah, nothing like sharing a dragon. I liked her before then, but right then I knew, really knew, that she was the one for me.” Stoic said with a happy sigh.
Hiccup smiled a little, then he remembered something.
“Dad. Where did Grandma come from?”
Stoic sighed sadly, he should have known this question was coming. “She came from Scotland. She was one of several slaves Dad--Grandpa--bought when he went to an Althing and we were facing the same problem we are now.” Stoic left that hanging.
“Not enough women to make babies.” Said Hiccup quietly.
“Yes, you are paying attention then. Good.” Stoic said proudly.
“No, I just overheard ...people.”
“That works too.”
“Dad... Did Grandma miss Scotland?” asked Hiccup. He vaguely remembered the metal collar she wore all the time. He remembered playing with it, but she didn’t, couldn’t take it off.
“I-I don’t know. She never talked about it.” Said Stoic after a moments thought.
“Not that I ever heard, at least.” Stoic was looking thoughtful.
“But somewhere she had parents and maybe other family, missing her, in Scotland.”
“Aye, they would.” Stoic was sounding sober.
“It’s wrong to do that to people Dad. War with the dragons was not the answer. Raids are not the answer. There has to be a different answer to this problem.” Hiccup was speaking with great conviction and Stoic knew that his son was right.
“Yes, there should be. About all I can think of is to go to the Althing, we’ll have to leave right after the Thing marking the end of mourning.”
“Althing?” asked Hiccup.
“It’s the big Thing where the tribes can settle disputations between themselves without having to have a blood feud. It’s somewhat more peaceful that way.” Stoic laughed a little, “I haven’t gone in ages because the dragons kept us so busy. We should also go to introduce you to the other chieftains and the lawspeaker. We could also get some trading done. Yes, going to the Althing would be a very good idea and we may find a solution to the raiding problem. The lawspeaker should be able to tell us how to deal with what you want to do.” Stoic said brightening. It felt right to go to the Althing. He was getting ideas of things to take for trade and to show off his son that he was so proud of.
“Run along, son. I need talk to Spitelout and organize a few things. Yes, this is a great idea.” said Stoic as he stood and left Hiccup at home.
# # #
Hiccup had Toothless fly to the top of a tall mountain. Hiccup needed some quiet to think. It was windy and the air a little thin and cold but they were alone. He never seemed to be able to be alone with his thoughts anymore.
The smithy was always busy now, even with now that they finished the shovels and plows. Everyone was coming in to some little thing or other repaired, and they would gladly wait until he was done fixing it. Others would be at his house talking to his father about some little dispute they were having, and the Great Hall always ended up packed for dinner, Astrid would often have to fight her way over to her seat next to him.
The spring planting had been done in record time once the dragons understood what they were trying to do.
There was the adventure with Gobber and the Boneknapper. That had been nice, it felt like friendship. The meeting he had over heard between his father and Gothi bothered him. The Boneknappers were happy to be a family and they showed it between themselves rather often. They were rather noisy when they did it.
What his dad was thinking he didn’t know, but he had to do something. What he had learned about the results of the slave raids were bothering him. He knew how he would feel with Astrid and Ruffnut were taken. It was wrong to raid someone but what could he do about it?
He was son of the chief, but he was nobody.
Right now he just wanted some thinking time, maybe another survey mission, that would clear his mind. That dragon nest that had attacked Scotland was back in its old nest, but now what. They really did need more people to train dragons, but the Vikings weren’t such good people to manage them alone. They were so aggressive, and they might attack everyone just because they were more powerful with the dragons.
No, he needed to talk to someone, someone special.