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Her Viking Wolves(11)

By:Theodora Taylor



Only does his brother, with his fine steel sword, The Death Maker, taken from a Gotar Viking king, manage to fight well their enemy. Jumping upon a blue creature’s back and swinging around its neck to plunge his king’s sword into the monster’s throat. And even then, he is very nearly crushed when the terrible monster falls, crashing down upon their meadow with a ground-shaking thud.

This is how they come to find that as with the North Wolves, these terrible creatures become human when fatally wounded. The serpent skin shrinks away to reveal a large, naked man bleeding from his throat.

However, this is but one serpent, and his brother but one male. The only male in the village with so fine a sword. So the Vikings have little time to ponder this finding.

With most of their force wielding inferior weapons, the first tide of the battle is little more than a slaughter. Olafr alone survives the front line. After marking his brother’s great feat, he dodges flame and launches himself at the scaly throat of the nearest monster. Not letting go until he has torn out everything that lies underneath this one vulnerable soft spot of skin. In this way is another of the serpent monsters made man, thrashing about at the end of Olafr’s jaw.

The monster’s blood tastes of the bitterest herbs and burns his mouth. After his first kill, Olafr becomes more cautious and avoids swallowing the blood for fear of poisoning himself and dying alongside his victims.

However, as he fights a second dragon, he can hear his brother, ever the clever fenrir to be, yelling out orders to the remaining wolves. Soon after comes the sharp sound of rent fabric and the clanging of fallen weapons upon the ground.

And then is Olafr joined on the meadow turned battlefield by several of his fellow fighters, now in wolf form.

For a brief time, it appears they might successfully defend the village, but then…

Something strikes Olafr, piercing him through his back, near the shoulder. There is a hot searing pain like nothing he has ever known before. A pain that makes him convulse with the need to tear out whatever is lodged in his back and vomit at the same time.

It must be an arrow. Silver-tipped.

Olafr topples to the ground, unable to think for the pain. And his body…it feels so strange. Weak. But long, too long…

He drags a foreleg towards his muzzle and is horrified to see a human hand instead. For the first time in his adult life, he is in his human form. And he hears his Aunt Bera’s words, as if she whispers them now, directly into his ear: An enemy who will kill so many of our wolves and fell Olafr’s human..

“Brother!” A pair of strong hands grab him, turning him to his side.

He feels a tug on the arrow.

“No…” he croaks. The voice he hasn’t used in years bursts painfully from his throat, sounding like the hoarse squawk of a raven.

But his warning comes too late. The pungent smell of burning flesh is rapidly followed by the sound of his brother cursing in their father’s tongue. Not only is the arrow silver-tipped, but the shaft contains silver as well.

FJ crouches down in front of him, rubbing his now injured palm. His face is smeared with blood and dirt. And he looks deeply troubled.

“Brother,” he says again, this time in their mother’s tongue. “The battle is nearly won by these strangers and your human has come to great harm. Recall the remainder of the prophecy.”#p#分页标题#e#

In his mind’s eye, Olafr hears their aunt’s sibilant whisper.

“Only a fated mate can save our Fenris, his queen, and our people. Otherwise will they perish at the hand of this brimstone enemy, if you and your brother cannot this challenge meet.”

Their aunt also bade them memorize two spells. One was the same spell she gave their father long ago, knowing he would have need of it. It is a spell that allows the speaker to sail through space and time to find the wolf one is fated by the gods to mate.

Olafr shakes his head. Even if he could trust his human mouth to speak, he cannot say these words. He cannot leave his brother here to battle alone.

“I must give the command to retreat and I must find our sister…” FJ grimaces as if he has swallowed spoiled meat. “Only then will I also say the words. I must ‘buy time’ as our father did when he traveled to meet our mother. But I cannot do this if I am not certain of your safety, Brother.”

His eyes bore into Olafr’s. Olafr, who has sacrificed his human so this moment might never happen, so Aunt Bera’s prediction might not come to pass. But it has come to pass. Despite all, a silver-tipped arrow caught his wolf and now is he vulnerable to death.

“You will die if you do not say the words,” his brother says now inside his head, his man’s head. “I will find a way to bring us together again. I swear this to you, Brother. But first these words you must say.”

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