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Posted:Feb 9, 2022 4:11 pm
Last Updated:Feb 9, 2022 7:45 pm

Irina and Malinka where attached to me but the townsfolk where all smiling, and waving. It was a smaller community at the northern end of the island. I stopped and spoke with the girls. I had been lax about being here because I needed to be in places at once but I wanted Irina and Malinka to feel at home here and I wanted the people to accept them because of how challenging it was of Elisabeth and the Elves. I shifted into the dragon, which made everyone scream in laughter as I flew over the town and landed. Elisabeth and Sara told them they could have rides as they, and Irina and Malinka, helped people climb on for a quick flight. Taiiko flew with them because there was no harness. I wanted Irina and Malinka to get use to interacting even though it would take some time to learn the language, hopefully Gaia's to me with languages would rub off. I also wanted the town to identify them with me, the fact they were pregnant helped in that regard. All of the opted for a ride and more adults than I thought did as well.

I shifted back and parents were saying thank you because it made the put down their phones. Elisabeth, with Karin's help, because she was much older even though you never know it, were engaging much more with the people than Lisbet had been in the beginning. They were all coming to understand that they needed each other and Elisabeth was being embraced as an important member of their community for the fish, and protection, she could provide, but also a symbol and a part of them. Karin was Karin and was just happy she had found a partner. God help anyone who tried to hurt Lisbet because the one thing you don't want to deal with is an angry Elf, especially one in love.

I had been there a couple of hours, which I had planned, when we went to have some warm milk, tea, and sweets, and talk. I wanted to go to Denver but was going to Norway after this because I wanted to check in there as well. I hated being apart, we all did, and I wanted it to be as un-jarring as possible. Irina and Malinka sat on either side of me, holding my hands but unsure what to do, or even if they should be there so I started with them.

"I'd like both of you to start to learn the language here, Sara, Elisabeth, and Karin will help you. Learning Swedish will make it easier to understand Finnish, Norwegian, and Icelandic. Our other home is not far from these places and you are already learning English with your family so you have a ability for languages." They smiled, proudly, and nodded. "I'd also like both of you to think about why this Count would want to take your land by force..."

They both said, "Our land."


"You said 'your' land. It's our land, Danael." I smiled and nodded.

"Why there would be interest in it that would cause someone to use force to take our land. You both have live there longer, and know it better than I do, so I wanted to have you think about it, especially to the east and then south toward town. It's not urgent but think about it and discuss it because it will help our family to understand his motives. If you need anything ask Sara, or Taiiko. I'm sure you'll be bored just sitting around but I have no doubt that there are many places around here that would love to have help, and you are both excellent workers. Once you feel comfortable leaving then you can go to Norway for a time to meet our family and friends there, and then Iceland. These places are all very similar to home, just more modern." They smiled, and nodded as they hugged and kissed me. I could feel them relaxing, which was one reason I wanted to be here. Transitions are always hard, especially the one we were asking Irina and Malinka to make....or I was. "Go with Lisbet and Karin and explore the town, and meet the people, and then they will show you your rooms.

"We won't be together?" They were instantly worried.

"Of course you will be together, loves, but this is different than our home... places are larger. You'll see, and be amazed, but I won't spoil it for you. You will be together, loves, so don't worry." They exhaled, and nodded, as Lisbet and Karin took their hands and started to walk around town. "I kissed them both and said I would be here often and would take care of our home, and the animals." They plowed into me, bit my shoulders, kissed me and walked away." I really was a lucky man.

"Are you sure you know what you're doing, mister?" I looked at both her and Taiiko and said of course, after a brief silence we all laughed because I had no frickin' clue, but it felt like the right decision, especially after losing Sofi.

"Do either of you know why Chloe bolted earlier?" They shook their heads and asked what happened. "I told her that Sofi had been there and that it helped Irina and Malinka, and me..."

"Sofi was there?" I nodded. "How many times, Daniel?"

"Several and then when she talked with Irina and Malinka. I went to get water to give them privacy as sisters." Sara was doing the same thing Chloe had done, gasped, and ran as she disappeared while Taiiko and I looked at each other.

"What's going on Daniel?" I shrugged and said I didn't have a clue and that I was usually last in the loop. We walked toward the strait hugging each other.

"Are you OK being here? There are a lot of things that need to be done in a lot of places." She kissed me and said yes.

"There are still weeks of winter, which limits what we all can do here. You are going to be the busy one for the next month. We have a strong family, Daniel, and very good friends. Yes there is a lot going on but we have people to help." I nodded as I hugged her and exhaled as she squeezed me into her. "We'll be fine love and I think you are making the right decision after everything that has happened. We are in a chess match with forces we don't fully understand yet, but it's obvious that they don't want us around, or in our roles. It's easier to keep Irina and Malinka safe, healthy, and teach them here. It's a sound decision." I nodded.

"When Sara comes back please find out what the heck is going on." She nodded. "Also, there are multiple chests of who knows what that Karin, and the other sirens, brought me to say thank you for releasing them. There might be a lot more, and others off Iceland, and then there is the fact that we need to meet Aerin's father. I don't even want to think about that." She chuckled. "Don't you even go there, Missy! Please talk with Karin and Sara about getting whatever is down there out so you can look through them. I'd like bars of gold and silver to come to me, and also to you and Annie, if she needs it, so we can melt them down. I don't want the heirloom coins, and other things touched.... those go to the cave. Ama can access it, or I can. Have Annie speak with Bethany, and Henry, and Tina to see if they need resources. I know I will need it because of what I have planned in the past." She stared me. "Karin, and the Elves, were giving me these things, and Ama already verified that. I also have everything in Dreka's cave, and everything we got from last fall. It's a lot, but there is a lot to be done, and a lot of uncertainty." She nodded.

"What are you going to do, Daniel?" I looked at her, and smiled. "Probably something I shouldn't but I need to get better at reading Japanese. Can you ask Yoshi if I can read through your families archives? I am happy to go there to do it because I miss everyone but I'll have time on my hands during the evening for a while." She stared at me, sadly, and nodded.

"What are you up to mister? You've got that innocent-devilish glint in your eyes which makes all of us uneasy." I smiled.

"I'm thinking about so many things that I can't explain because they keep changing, because the world keeps changing, and because I've just touched the surface of what I know. Right now, I need to figure out why a Count wants my family's land and then lay the groundwork for our futures, along with all of the other things we need to deal with across our families." She smiled and kissed me.

"I'll speak with Yoshi but aren't you concerned about ripping the fabric of time and space with these things." I chuckled as I opened the mist and hugged her.

"We are hell and gone from that love, and I'm a dragon, afterall. What could possibly go wrong?" I smiled as Taiiko chuckled. "Take care of Irina and Malinka and if you feel they should go to Osaka then I trust your judgment, sweets.I think it would be good for them, especially in winter while it's familiar." She nodded. I waved as I walked through the mist and rolled into the barn in Norway as Drakon, the dogs, Jacob, and the girls, all stared down at me. The dogs sniffed me, barked like crazy dogs, and pounced on me, nibbling. "I'm sure this is a hoot to watch, but would mind." They said not at all, and walked away laughing, even Drakon walked with them until he got to barn door, turned, and barked as all the dogs followed him outside. "THANKS, assholes."
take me part 620...edited, again
Posted:Feb 8, 2022 12:20 am
Last Updated:Feb 9, 2022 10:09 am

We closed the door and I turned, as we all did, but I walked outside...followed by everyone else... as Chloe, Emily, and Jake walked out of the mist. I shook my head because I was the that rolled, or worse. Emily had a foot in each place and leapt toward me, bit my shoulder, and ran to Irina and Malinka as Jake and Chloe walked and hugged me. Jake went to see everyone as Chloe kissed me.

"How are you?" I nodded and said things were mostly OK. The girls walked to say hi and breakfast became a menagerie. Sara hugged me as we watched them all being a family of oddities, and loving it, and they weren't even the half of the folks.

"When was she able to do that, and am I the who falls out the mist?" Sara looked at me, smiled, and kissed me.

"She's always been able to that, and yes, you're the who falls out of the mist." She tried to keep herself from laughing.

"Ever?" Sara chuckled and said yes. I said Hmmmmphh.

"Look on the bright side, at least you aren't breaking trees any longer." She burst out laughing, kissed me, and went inside as I shook my head, so much for the goodbyes being over quickly. I walked in and checked to see if there was any breakfast left. There was some ham, a few eggs, and rye bread. I took the largest pan off of the grate and set it on a stone used for hot pots and put the ham in, along with the bread. The ham was in small pieces and cooked fast. I made scrambled eggs with the last of them, put it all on a plate, turned, and Malinka, Jake, and Emily were staring at me, smiling. I gave them the plate, and fork, wondering why people ever had as I sliced more bread and took the rest of the porridge. I put the pan back on the stove while I waited for my water to boil. I made some tea and had a bowl of porridge with rye bread while I watched my family being a happy family. Chloe walked and leaned into me.

"I miss you." I nodded as I swallowed.

"I know, love."

"They seem better than I thought." I swallowed again.

"They talked with Sofi." Chloe stared at me in disbelief.

"Sofi's been here?" I nodded as I chewed. "Stop eating, Daniel, this is important."

"Yeah, enough times to hit me at least twice, or times, and then today to see Irina and Malinka before they left because they didn't want to leave her." She was pushing, and thinking as her eyes grew wide and she bolted for the door, opened the mist, and ran through it. I shook my head and thought how much witches were a pain in the ass. I cleaned the dishes and the pans and let the rest of them be because it wasn't going to be unpleasant until they needed to say goodbye to me, meaning Irina and Malinka, which was why most everyone was here trying to make it easier.

"Are you packed?" They all nodded as Jake and Emily stared at me while hugging Irina and Malinka. Ama and Joseph watched from the corner. "Go get your things because there's work that needs to be done, both here and there, Loves." They nodded and walked to the beds as Karin and Elisabeth walked with tears in their eyes.

"Open the mist for us, dragon. We'll go ahead and create a welcome they won't believe." I nodded as they kissed me, and opened the mist inside of a room. They walked through as Sara stared at me in disbelief. I stared back.

"They went to Gotland, right?" She smiled, and nodded as I exhaled and everyone started coming to the kitchen. "Can you do the mist?" She nodded and opened the mist as everyone walked through after kissing me, except for Irina and Malinka. Sara closed the mist and waited, as did Ama and Joseph.

"Don't! Life isn't easy, but it could be harder. Pain lasts as long as you let it before you move on. We are doing this for our family and they are waiting to greet you. I will be fine. Go be with our family, and your new friends." They walked to me in silence, hugged and kissed me, took their important things, and waited as Sara opened the mist. They walked through without looking back. Ama and Joseph walked .

"You do know how to pick good women, Dragon." They smiled and walked through the wall as I screamed that I would like someone to show me how to do that. I looked around and the emptiness was overwhelming. I spread the coals out and put the screens as I walked outside. It was maybe am as I pushed outward, and to town. Nothing. I wrapped myself in my cloak and walked to were I saw Sofi. I knew it would be a while before I saw her, and wasn't there for her, I was there for me. I wept into the snow until I turned into the bear and walked east, and north, to find out why this land was so important to this count, and the people he represented.

Wolf howled as the wolves went back to watching the house and barn, and being a pack because he was no longer worried about me. I lumbered for hours, smelling everything and then I smelled the peat and looked around and wished I had studied history more. The count wasn't looking for peat, but it would help my family until I figured out how to get them away from there. I would have to deal with the count but I hoped it wouldn't be...an issue. The Duke would be easier, yet harder. He was closer to power, and I could help him attain that as a dragon, but I felt that is what Dreka wanted, and there was still another dragon out there and i wasn't sure if they had been working together.

I knew what I wanted but no was going to like it, but I was thinking steps ahead. The people on this land would be long dead before I was able to complete my thoughts, but I was going to give them the best lives they could have, and try and secure lands I wanted while I could. I walked, and smelled, but things I could smell were vague, except the peat. I knew that smell but didn't know why. I looked for gold, because I knew what it looked like. I saw rocks that looked like diamonds but didn't know if they were. If I had this land for a decade, maybe longer if things worked well, I still wasn't how to make it valuable, so why they risk what they were trying to seize it. Then then what was coming for all of eastern Europe and would it be terrible, even if if it was a long time coming. I had some time, and was close to the Germanic country's but was also reasonably close to France and also the Mediterranean if I used the mist, or we wanted to risk long trips with the wagons we were going to make. There were things I/we could do if I had the will to do them and a lot of wealth, and opportunity. I felt totally in over my head so I decide to let it go.

I knew if there was peat here then there was likely oil as well, but the count wouldn't know about it. I was going to to try and secure as much of the valley as I could, even I couldn't hold on to it. I would at least try because maybe I could trade it for I wanted. Life was going to be bumpy, but I still didn't know what this count wanted. I thought about it and maybe it had nothing to do with minerals, maybe it had to do with the land after all, but not to farm. I hated this part of life because men were already trying to carve land that should never have been owned, but it was, which meant I needed to secure what I could for my family's given what I knew. Jesus Christ, I was going to be busy, and I had babies coming. Crap!

I shifted, opened the mist, and fell onto Gotland. "Every frickin' time." I stood and... "shit." Elisabeth tackled me, picked me , and threw me into the strait as her and Karin dove in after me while Irina, Malinka, and the rest of the town waited, smiling. I was annoyed, shifted into the dragon, and threw Karin out first. She rolled, and laughed, along with everyone else. It was a fucking a party. Lisbet took a while because she was fast but I grabbed her tail as she was trying to leave the strait, and flung her back onto the land. She rolled multiple times, but not enough to make for the times she had plowed into me, but she was laughing, and was happy. I shifted and climbed of the strait as a wet man, and got hugged by Irina and Malinka. Sara and Taiiko looked at me, wondering what I was doing there

"I love you too, but you are nasty." Karin and Elisabeth smiled. "Do you still have the chests you, and your friends, found for me?" Karin smiled and was about to dive in when I stopped her. "Not yet, love, because we all need to talk before then." Irina and Malinka were plastered to me. I looked at Sara and Taiiko... "We need to talk," and we all walked to town as the people smiled because their dragons were back and they got a show.
619... edited
Posted:Feb 7, 2022 7:59 pm
Last Updated:Feb 7, 2022 9:06 pm

Aisha and I walked inside and sombre wouldn't come close to describing it. I knew this was coming because there was no way this was going to be easy for any of us, especially not Irina and Malinka because they felt they were betraying Sofi, and the baby, as well as me and it was even harder for them because they wanted to go with Karin and Lisbet, and see Gotland and her people, and then meet their people, their family. Life has been varying degrees of hard since the beginning, and it hadn't stopped being such in the sixteenth century, nor had it in the twenty-first. We just had better infrastructure and toys. We walked into the kitchen and Irina and Malinka ran to me, crying, as I hugged them. Everyone else went about making breakfast, and packing.

"Get your capes and walk with me." I grabbed the buckets and the ladle as we walked outside. They each took a bucket and put their other arm through mine on either side as we walked to the spring. I wanted them to understand even as I felt their heart's ache and that was when Sofi walked out of the trees, smiling. I knew the burden this place bore on a dragon, I couldn't imagine the strength it took for her to come back here one last time for her sisters. I pointed as they screamed and ran to her. I was as surprised as they were. I walked to the spring, filled the buckets, and waited as I blessed Sofi for what she was doing for Irina and Malinka, the sisters she loved. They both walked smiling and crying as they fell into me and we held each other. Irina said,

"Sofi is not dead, Danael, yet she is not living with us. We are both happy, but how is such a thing possible, even for witches?" I held them and explained as best I could as we stood to walk. I wanted to share with them my thoughts before they left because if I was able, this place would be very different when they came back, as would they. I understood why anyone would want the land that we had claimed just for the land, and what it could provide, but the count didn't care about the land. He cared for what it might hold within it. I told them about growing hay in this field, and on the land that Hammish bought, that Juuka and Eluta were on, and grains on the bulk of the pasture on the other of our current house and barn. I told them about building smaller stone houses around our new house, at least the hole in the ground that become our home, for us and everyone else because it wasn't like they wouldn't be here all the time, or Irina and Malinka being in in the future. Malinka stared at me.

"You are creating a village close enough to town so we can shop, but far enough away that we can live in peace and so people, families, can have a house and a small plot." Irina looked at me.

"Is this true, Danael?" I nodded and told them it would take a lot of work, and a lot of men to accomplish it quickly, in both fields, while helping Hamish and Juuka and their projects.

"How many homes?" I told them I wasn't sure because I needed to speak with Gaia, they both smiled. "And there will be animals around the houses for the people....goats, chickens, maybe pigs?" I nodded "And they could have a place for a garden, and herbs, and fruit trees?" I nodded and said that was I wasn't sure how many people because we needed land for hay, and grains, and orchards., and livestock. "What else is in your mind?"

"I want to build a sawmill to the west, there in the corner, because that is where the most trees are and we will need lumber. I also want to raise sheep and goats so we can spin and weave.... there is a lot I want to do, a lot I want all of us to do, but after Sofi, I want you with the girls because it's better for you, and the babies....safer." They nodded as we started walking back to the house. "You are both very smart and can learn a lot while you are there that you can bring back to help people here. Sara and Ama can help you with magic much better than the coven, and Kana and the wolves can teach you in Norway as these wolves would have taught you and Sofi here, Malinka.. I know you want to stay and help me but it will be easier for me if you were with the girls because I won't have to worry, and be distracted, so I can focus on getting as much as done as possible." They were both quiet, but nodded. "I can visit, and will...often, and you have family, and new friends and you'll make even more friends. You will like it there even though it's strange compared to here."

They nodded as we walked onto the porch and Irina opened the door. Everyone stared at us and sighed as we walked in smiling. We poured the water into the barrel as Irina and Malinka told them about talking with Sofi, and the plans we discussed for this land, and how they needed to learn things in the new home they were going to so they could come back and teach people here. The girls were enthralled as they ate breakfast and talked, laughing and smiling. I walked outside and around the house to look at the woods. Sofi was standing at the edge of the trees, wearing a white cloak. She smiled, waved, and disappeared into the trees as the wolves howled. I smiled, turned and walked back to the front to find Ama and Joseph waiting for me.

"I was wondering if I would ever see you again, Joseph. I never thought I would grow to miss you scaring the crap out of me like you did at Henry's." They laughed. "I'm guessing this isn't a social call."

"How secure is Dreka's cave? He is angry, and...." I interrupted because I wanted to spend time with my family before they left.

"Is he still behind ice?" The both smiled, and nodded." Joseph said that was one reason he's so angry. "Is he bound in that place like Marnine is bound in hers?" They nodded but Ama looked at me.

"Dreka isn't Marnine and he wants access to his caves, and to the eggs. He is jealous of anyone who has them, and they aren't safe in one place, not with Dreka because his lust for power is too great.

"Who controls his caves, and the eggs?" Silence. They both said that I did. "Why haven't the eggs hatched before now?"

"The eggs don't hatch until it's rider is found, and there haven't been riders for a long time. If riders come back then there will be more eggs because there will need to be more dragons. It's what Dreka wanted, and everyone else feared..."

"And....Ama?" Silence.

"And now you banished Dreka and joined magic with Aerin, of the Elves, instead of Gaia. We are a concerned, dragon." I nodded.

"Come have breakfast with us and bid my family farewell and we can talk of these things later but we needn't worry. I'm not Dreka." I turned and walked to the door as they followed me. I could feel their hesitation as we went inside to joy.
618...edited (?)
Posted:Feb 7, 2022 2:37 pm
Last Updated:Feb 8, 2022 3:42 pm

"Hello, Dreka," I said as I looked around trying to figure out where I was, and how to get back. "Apparently you are like Marnine and don't die easily. Is this going to be an ongoing occurrence? I have a lot of work to do." He laughed, which I figured was good, but I was still in a place I didn't know speaking with a dragon I thought we had killed.

"I wanted you to know, brother, that I have forgiven you." He smiled as I stared at him. I just need access to my caves."

"Forgive me for what, Dreka?"

"For that princess and her monk, of course." I felt like I was losing my mind, again. "That hurt me deeply because I trusted you, but I have decided to forgive you Druk."

"Have you gone insane?" He bellowed in laughter saying of course not. "That was at least hundred years ago and the princess' name was Chesa...the monk was Dache...and I died trying to keep her safe from your men." He was quiet saying that it was an epic battle with both Mongols and Norsemen. I shook my head.

"You always cared for them more than I did, and you haven't changed. It's why I had to stay as Dragon and keep the eggs safe. Marnine plays at being a dragon but you were suppose to succeed me, and then you met that monk, and her."

"Is there a point to this, Dreka? We were friends, and brothers, but then you came after the people I love, just like Marnine and while I'm not exactly sure were we are, I'm guessing you are bound here like she is in Gaia." He growled.

"Druk, you have been upsetting the balance of power with these women, and then the wolves, and then those elves, next you'll make an alliance with the Dwarves." I was silent. I let you kill me because it was time for you to take over and lead our kind back to prominence, but then, after I let you kill me, you immediately join with the elves to seal MY caves, and my eggs....that is the point, Druk.

"First of all, there is such thing as Dwarves, and second, those aren't your eggs and the caves are now mine, along with what's in them." I knew there were Dwarves, even though I wasn't sure how, but I wanted to throw him off kilter, he focused on me saying they were now MY caves. He raged but I didn't move as he blew fire at me. I put up both hands, instinctively, and the flames, and heat, went around me. He couldn't believe it as he blew ice. I did the same but made a foot thick wall of solid ice between us as he expended himself.

"I know Dwarves are real, Dreka, and if it takes an alliance with them as well to prevent you from accessing those eggs then so be it. I'm not sure why you are working with the humans but I'll find out. You shouldn't have let me kill you, brother, because I will never join with you." He screeched and tried to melt the ice but he was old. I shifted into the dragon and added fifteen more feet of solid ice wall between us as I turned and shifted home. I flew over Irina's and headed to town to check. It seemed fine but I needed to a visit with this count and then the Duke. I landed at the barn as Aisha looked at me worried.

"Are you OK?" I nodded. She took my hands but I told her it was nothing and would heal quickly. I was wrong.

"No seems to die." She smiled because Aisha had lived longer than I remember, but I couldn't remember a lot, and there was no telling how old Ama was. It's it was getting easier letting Sofi and the baby go. "Do I/we know the Dwarves?" She was speechless.

"Why, and why he did take wherever he did?

"Because Dreka wants me to share power with him, but more tellingly he wants to get into his caves and get the eggs....I'm guessing his treasure too. It never frickin' stops."

"And the Dwarves?"

"He hates them more than the Elves, or humans, which is odd because he was human. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, but they might be friends of mine in any event." Aisha smiled and said I shouldn't count on that right off the bat, but we did know them," and she said nothing else.

"That's it?"

"Let's just say the last time we had interactions with them, it didn't go well." Fucking great, and I had absolutely no recollection of any of it. Hell, I was surprised I knew Elves, or dragons and now I needed to speak with angry Dwarves.

"Let's go eat and say goodbye. I need to speak Hammish and Ilsa, and Juuka and Eluta, and I have a hole to dig, and I need to lay out a plans for houses that face south, in both fields, and how to transport water from the spring, to the pens, barns, and then the main barn, before connecting into the stream.... and I need to talk with this count." She stared at me.

"That's for today?"

"I was giving myself a week." Aisha laughed as she hugged me and we went to the house for breakfast.
1 comment
617....edited, again
Posted:Feb 6, 2022 6:46 pm
Last Updated:Feb 7, 2022 3:52 pm

I woke while it was still dark and the girls were softly snoring, and sleeping peacefully. I put wood on both fires, dumped the water in the barrel, and put salt in the buckets to clean them in the snow. The amount of salt left wouldn't hurt anyone, and the who would be here would be me anyway. I cleaned the buckets and walked to the spring. I looked in the root cellar of the new house as I walked by. I needed to build a fire on the ground to thaw it so I could dig it deeper. I also needed more stones. I was filling the buckets when Wolf walked and sat, staring at me. "You worry us, brother because we don't how to help you, and you are still grieving. Wolves don't do that for more days because the pack needs them, us." I nodded and told him I was fine. He nipped me and said he didn't believe me. I stopped and sat on the capstone.

"There is nothing I can do for Sofi, or our , except to let them move on. I'm tired of Sofi hitting me in the jaw, and she's right. It's not fair to any of them. It's better for the girls to be where I come from because there is better medical care for humans, and animals.... magic and herbs can't fix everything my friend." He bowed his head. "There is a lot that Hammish and I need to do before next winter.. and now Jukka as well. A lot."

"And this new man you chased away? He is the one who sent all of those men to harm us, and that dragon?" I nodded. He stared at me trying to understand about conscience and instinct.... I was trying to understand the same thing and it was a fucking annoyance. "Humans are strange to us, but interesting. When there is a rogue wolf in our midst that doesn't follow the laws then it is in the pack's best interest to kill that wolf and make an example of him, because it's rarely a female. It seems to me, brother, that this man is a rogue human and should be dealt with the same if you want to protect this valley." I was silent, but he was right. "Drakon, and his mates, are terrible hunters. We want them to stay with us so we can teach them, we will teach the big man's as well when they return. We will bring you the game we kill so you can take the pelts, we'll take the meat afterwards." I nodded. "We liked that fish."

"Thank you, and I'll speak with Hammish and Jukka to see if they know any fishermen, or I'll bring Elisabeth back here because she fishes very well." He nodded.

"She is a dragon too?" I nodded and told him that she is a swimming dragon. He was astounded. "You always change my view of things, Danael. Walk slowly and focus, water is heavy." He yipped and ran off as the very first light of dawn was creeping through the trees. I did what he said, even though it made my shoulders and neck hurt. I set the buckets on the porch as I opened the door to find Sara and Aisha staring at me. I picked buckets and walked in as they closed the door.

"Please don't hit me, I don't want to walk back to the spring again." I poured them into the barrel and set them off to the side of the fire so they would dry slowly and started scrubbing the cooking pots with some salt and birch twigs.

"Why are you awake, mister?" I told them about my dreams and they both stared at me, and then each other.

"Dreka let me kill him. I thought he was tired of being here and all of us depleted him, but now, I'm not so sure, and there is still another dragon here." They stared at me.

"Can they can get access to his caves?" I told them I didn't think so because I pulled on Aerin, the Elf princess, and she helped me. "Why not Gaia?" I stared at them as I made us tea. "Daniel?"

"I trust the Elves, and all you, at the moment." Their faces went ashen. 'I have no idea what's true, except that I can trust my family's, and the Elves....for the time being." I drank my tea and hugged them. Please make breakfast while I deal with the animals, and don't dawdle in leaving, which they will want to do, which I wish you would do, but this Count won't wait long, and Juuka, Eluta, and the are vulnerable. It's better that it's quick for all of us, especially Irina and Malinka. I'll visit soon." I kissed them both and walked to the barn with tears leaking down my face. I lit the candle lanterns and the animals made their sounds acknowledging me. I walked into Drakon's stall and broke off a fish and set it down, along with some venison, as they stirred. I let the animals into the yard so they could walk, and be animals, as I got water from the stream. I was cleaning the stalls when Aisha walked in.

"You're worried, Dragon." I looked at her and smiled.

"Cautious, love, because he remembers what he's done, and his abilities, while I fly into trees." She laughed.

"You haven't done that for a while, Danael, and you are older than Dreka, by a lot. There is so much that you don't know, and so much that I can't share because they are your memories, but it was smart to trust the Elves, just like it was smart to trust the wolves." She started fluffing hay and putting some grain in their buckets as I moved to the next stall. "I think I should stay and help with this duke and count."

"No, Aisha, you and Airi need to go with Aya. Aya is the I trust in those families, and I need you there to help guide and protect them. The of you can pull me there in an instant." She nodded.

She hugged, and kissed, me. "I don't like seeing my Dragon sad." I smiled as I flung poop, and we both laughed.

"I won't be sad for long, love. There is too much to do." We finished with the stalls and put some hay in bunches around the yard as we let the chickens out to forage, and collected their eggs. I needed to have Emily find me drawings of chicken tractors on skids because maybe we could build those as well as wagons. There was no reason for me to build caskets here because they did the smart thing and wrapped their dead in linen and then either bury them, or burn them, but I sure missed the people in Denver. It would be a wonder if we were all able to get things done this year with everything going on and that was when I was staring at Dreka, in some in between place, as he smiled at me.
take me part 616...edited, hopefully.
Posted:Feb 4, 2022 11:15 pm
Last Updated:Feb 6, 2022 5:36 pm

We ate and listened to music, and danced, and drank mead and ale. I drank less than I wanted to but I wanted to be able to push and be prepared if need be. I could have had more mead but it a good night even though I would be alone tomorrow. I glad I had work to plan, and carry out. I knew Hammish planning on taking Alfher over the mountains to meet with Ilsa's family, and I had this Count, this annoying, arrogant Count who knew Juuka. I didn't need more balls in the air but I had them. The girls drank more than they should have but most water wasn't healthy, so they did, even pregnant. They hurt as bad, worse, than me. I shook my head as Hammish and Ilsa took Alfher home, along with Jukka and Eluta and the sleeping . It was a good night, but a sad night....for all of us because we said farewell to Sofi and the baby. The girls peed in the buckets because it was all they could manage and fell asleep in a mess as I smiled and covered them with blankets. I took the buckets outside and dumped them in the snow where the flowers would be and wiped them out with snow. I put them by the beds as I was listening to their deep breathing and closed the blankets separating the beds from the rest of the house.

Taiiko was asleep but Sara and Aisha were trying to stay awake for me. I led them to the bed with Taiiko. "Go to sleep, loves." They smiled and curled around Taiiko and started to snore as I covered them in wool and went to clean up. I scraped everything left into the pig's bucket for the next day, or this day, and cleaned the dishes. I put more wood on the fire and turned the pots toward the fire and left them because I was tired. I put snow of the fire outside, peed, and put wood on the fire by the couch. I had used all of the blankets, because it was cold, so I wrapped myself in my cloak and lied down. It didn't take long for me to fall asleep, nor did it take long for the dreams to start again.

I was with Dreka when we were fighting, conquering lands and pushing toward the Romans, and what would be Europe. We were warriors, savages in many ways, but also dragons. We conquered many lands and shared ourselves with many women but we couldn't hold the land. Conquering was the easy part, maintaining it was the hard part and not even the Romans could do that forever. That didn't last, even for us because we weren't the only dragons. I was growing weary of fighting, but not Dreka. We took over the land that would be India and Tibet, and part of China. We captured their people, and plundered their riches, as we did and Dreka took a fancy to a princess, while I took a fancy to the mountains. He wanted to go further east but I said I wouldn't. I was no longer his property so he tasked me with bringing his spoils back to our home. I didn't think much about it except I had met a princess, and a monk, both of whom would alter my destiny.

"I had grown weary of killing, and violence. Dreka craved violence, and fighting. I took the slaves and the animals, and the treasure home. It would take days and I observed that the monk and the princess were intimate. I treated everyone we captured with respect, unlike anyone else, but these people were under my care and I hurt more than a few of my own men making sure they weren't harmed. It came down to my group, and the rest of them. We were eating dinner three days into our journey when i asked the monk about his land. He stared at me, thought, smiled, and said that I should visit. He gave a special mala, prayer beads that only the monks used.

"Can you read?" I shook my head no. He pointed to the highest mountain. Go toward that and follow the river, when it disappears into rock then when walk north, and west. It'll take at least two days. If you survive my brothers will find you, and teach you." I looked at the mountain and the land around it, and around here, so I would find this place. I looked at both them as we ate together and communicated as best we could. Dreka and I had been raiding for a long time and encountered many languages which I was good at understanding, mostly.

"I am curious how it is that a Princess and monk are lovers?" They stared at me with fear in their eyes. "Don't be afraid, I'm simply curious. Eat, please." They looked at each other. 'I mean you no harm, truly. I am tired of war but that mountain of yours calls to me monk but I am still curious though. I won't share your secret. They told me about falling in love and about her being a Princess but they didn't tell me about the fact that he was royalty in his own right, in a different realm.

"You won't tell your leader?" I shook my head.

"Tell me about this Tibet, Dache, and your Monasteries. We spent the rest of the night talking, laughing, drinking...and laughing more as dawn approached. "I am sorry, Princess. We will stay here one more day so you can rest, even though I enjoyed our talks." They nodded. Dache looked at me, intently.

"Do you have something I can mark on so you can follow it?" I nodded and reached into my bag and pulled a yak skin. He smiled and asked for my knife as he drew me a map to his monastery. The first way I showed you would have killed you. Follow this map, between this and the Mala, they will know I sent you. We stayed another day, and talked, and laughed, before we went back to our camp. I made sure that Dache was recognized as the Princess's servant. Dreka brought many women back so it would take him time to even think of her, when he returned. I kept loking west, and north. Dreka took a long time to take a fancy Chesa, because he looked down on her because she was from his own lands, but she was beautiful. Dreka was focused on power, period. He didn't care about anything else and the Dragon knew that which was why were here, now. Dreka chose power, and I chose wisdom.

He never forgave me for taking Chesa to the west even though I just carried on Dache's aim. He wanted to get the woman he loved, and their , away from Dreka and he made sure I had a map. Dreka had no reign over me, and couldn't stop me from leaving even though he had no idea what would come., or that I would betray him in taking the Princess. He gave me riches, and horses, and furs, and food. He sent me off as a brother. I didn't know things would end as they would. I put most of the treasure in a cave and sealed with fire, and gave the rest away. I would have to see if I could find what I buried. I followed the map that Dache left and found his monks. They eventually let me join and that was when I trained was. It's also when Dache and Chesa ran from Dreka and the fact that I was involved in helping them when they showed up, twisted him which is what the Dragon wanted. He trained Dreka while the monks taught me They kept the princess and monk hidden until I was sent back to keep her safe, and died in the process. It was the start of the women I loved.

Dreka wanted to turn me as he had been turned, as he turned the monks at the place I learned, as he turned my friends, in order to kill my family. I woke in the middle of the night as I fought Dreka's men and saved Chesa. I reached for my axes but they weren't there, and the house was quiet because. I pushed outward and there was nothing except it was cold. I moved the pots into the kitchen, and put more wood on, and did the same by me and opened the the blankets so the warm air would travel. I wrapped myself in my cloak and went back to sleep as one last song came on, Leonard Cohen's..."You want it darker." I slept fitfully until just before dawn.
take me part 615... edited
Posted:Feb 4, 2022 12:18 am
Last Updated:Feb 5, 2022 4:53 pm

I walked inside and Green River by CCR playing, and the girls were dancing, but this a best of track and Credence had good a lot of good songs so I went and watched the food as the girls danced. It wasn't fancy food, but the food wasn't the purpose, as was evident watching them dance to music I loved, and remembered from Denver, and that was when "Have you ever seen the rain," came on and it just went downhill from there. It ripped my heart out, and it wouldn't stop with CCR, and I knew it couldn't because I deserved it, and would moving forward but I'd have to deal with it. Sofi was at the door, motioning for me to come outside. I made sure the food was warming and walked outside as Hammish called to me and I walked around the house to Sofi staring at me.

I walked up to her as she smiled, and then clocked me which sent me to a knee. "You need to stop because you are feeding Malinka's pain and she has new friends now, and the chance for a new life." She helped me up and hugged me. "You need to stop for me because when you do it pulls me back to you, and this place, and this isn't my place any longer, love. I don't like it either but it is what it is. Malinka takes her cues from you. You did well with Karin and Lisbet, don't ruin it, Danael. You need to check on the food because they are lost in the music, as they should be. I love you, we love you and we will meet again... be patient, love.... and she gone for good. I knew it. She gave me time in a place she didn't to be, and I didn't to know how hard it for her. I picked up snow and wiped the tears, and snot, from my face as I went around front and walked back inside. The girls were still dancing but that when Josh Ritter's song, 'Old Black Magic' came on and I thrown into a tizzy all over again. I moved to the pots and put the rye bread on and listened as I breathed and Irina walked up and hugged me even though she had no idea what racing though my mind. I didn't know what racing through it.

"Get the bowls ready on the counter and check on the fish." I stared at her as I listened to the song. She punched me in the chest to get my attention. "Go check on the fish. It should be close to being ready. We need to enjoy each other tonight because we'll....." She turned away as I touched her back and walked outside with the song echoing in my brain. I wanted to end this Count but I breathed, and walked to the fire trying to be normal. We brought the fish inside as I pushed, nothing, but.... We walked inside as they played #39;Old Black Magic.' again. It started as I walked inside and I looked at Sara. She staring at me, sadly. Everyone else loved the beat, and tempo of the song as I helped bring in the fish, and made a faux tarter sauce with the left over buttermilk and some capers Sara brought, and dill. I kept stopping to listen to the song but I also listened to Sofi, and did my best to be with my family, and that when Sean Rowe came on covering, Luckenback, Texas.

Jesus Christ! Sara smiled and walked to the kitchen. Fuck!!!! I didn't expect it to stop, but I had things to deal with, especially Josh Ritter's song after Dreka. Crap. I walked in and helped with the food because I knew that I screwed when Josh Ritter came on again. It took four chords before I walked outside and 'Henrietta,' came on and I stared outside but I knew this wouldn't end until I dealt with it, or it drove me insane. Dreka still a part of me, and more powerful than he in the last part of his life, and I didn't need that. No one followed me outside. I felt the song end, and they didn't know any of what I feeling. I walked back in as Jokerman by Bob Dylan played.

Jesus Fucking Christ! I turned around and walked back outside. I wanted to run as the bear but I sat at the fire as Aisha walked out and sat next to me. "You're the one?" She bumped me. "I've known you the longest even if you don't remember it yet." I looked at her lost. "You are trying to bring thousands' of years of memories into your brain, in a short period of time, and you have other things going on at the same time. You're doing fine, but Dreka doesn't seem to be finished with you. This is the time you need to be your strongest, dragon. He will try and corrupt you." I stared at her, and exhaled as we walked back inside. I chose to stop listening to the songs and helped with food.
1 comment
take me part 614....edited
Posted:Feb 3, 2022 8:29 pm
Last Updated:Feb 3, 2022 9:34 pm

The hatred in the Count's eyes wasn't surprising, and I was beyond caring about these kind of men, but they could still cause great damage. Everyone walked to the house as I stared down the drive and walked to the road, followed by Drakon. I turned and watched them walk toward town, cursing. I was tempted to have the wolves take them into the woods but I didn't. Drakon was concerned and rested his leg against mine and whined as I petted him saying it was OK, when it wasn't, and Malinka walked next me. "What, Danael?" I looked at her as we turned and walked back up the drive.

"I'm going to be pushed to do something I don't to do.

"Can't the wolves deal with those nasty men?" I looked at her.

"The wolves help us when we need help, love. They don't do our bidding, nor should they." Malinka quiet as we walked.

"Should Irina and I stay? We are good fighters." I smiled and hugged her.

"You are, but no because it's important that you go where you are going. You can both learn a lot and as much as I love being with both of you, I have a lot to do here. I am hoping battle isn't one of them but that man is very arrogant." She nodded, even though she wasn't sure exactly what arrogant meant, she knew enough. We walked to the fire and Juuka and Alfher had gutted four large cod and they were on fir stakes and beginning to roast.

"Call the wolves, Danael." I looked at her, smiled, and said no. She stared at me.

"You call the wolves, love." She pushed to Wolf as they started coming to the fire. Everyone walked out and watched.

"Irina and I have to leave for a time but Danael will be here. Please look after him because he's not always graceful. I'm going to ask what I don't have a right to ask, which is please watch over him, and the others. I know I don't have that right but I'm asking anyway. When we return we will bring you more fish like these, but until then please take the ones remaining for your pac" The wolves were silent even though they understood her. I sad she wasn't going to train with them, but Taiiko could help her. Wolf looked at me, unsure what to do because we shared power and that was when his mate walked up and placed her head against Malinka's belly as she scratched her ears. The wolf picked up a fish and trotted off as other females did the same until the fish, and wolves, were gone. Wolf howled and the rest vanished back into the forest. Malinka smiled at me. "Friends are more important than silver." I smiled and nodded as she walked inside to help and spend the last night here with her sisters. I looked north, past the house and saw Sofi watching and smiling. I walked toward her as she disappeared into the twilight.

"They're fine, love and it speaks to the depth of her love for you and Irina, and Malinka, that she has stayed so long. It's not pleasant to stay here once you die but you all gave her happiness, and joy, and love...and that is what she will take with her on her next journey." I looked at her because I knew this, but I missed Sof "We all miss Sofi, love, who wouldn't, but she's gone from this life and you aren't, nor are they." Sara pointed to the house. "You are here, with them, in this time, for a reason. Figure that out. We'll bring you what you need." I looked at her as we walked back out front.

"Malinka is coming into her own." Sara smiled, and nodded as she went inside and I walked back to the fire as dusk settling upon us and smiled as Juuka and Alfher were dealing with the fish, and laughing along with Eluta and the . Juuka looked at me as we walked away.

"He won't stop, Danael." I nodded. "He thinks there is gold up there," he pointed east, and north, to the hills as I nodded. I so in over my head in trying to deal with things here, with everything else going on in my life, and I didn't even to think about all of them leaving tomorrow. Someone tapped on my shoulder but when I looked around there no one there. I turned back and Ama smiling at me.


"I thought so. Let's wal They'll be fine. Are you going to be able to bear this?" I stared at her. "You carry the bulk of the burden Daniel....and then there Sof I to be sure because this year won't be easy, for any of you.... especially you." I quiet, and my thought all I wanted to be back to Denver and see Bob, but life is what it is.

"I have no idea Ama. I know my heart hurts, again, but it's going to being hurting for a while because of Sof I can put things in boxes as I need to, and I can visit where I need to. It's not ideal but it's a year and people had to deal with a lot worse than we will. Can you bring me maps of Russia, and Scandinavia?" She nodded but asked why. "I'm not sure yet but I dont think we are suppose to be here. Obviously people will be here but it doesn't feel right to me for some reason. I don't think it's because I know something about history, but maybe that's it. This won't be a good place in a few hundred years." Ama smiled.

Don't focus solely on the future, Dragon. The future doesn't happen in leaps.... it happens day by day, a step at a time. Focus on where you are, and do what you must, as you need, but enjoy your family tonight." I smiled, nodded, and she gone. I walked inside to music and laughter.
take me part 613.... edited and expanded...maybe?
Posted:Feb 2, 2022 8:22 pm
Last Updated:Feb 3, 2022 6:42 pm

We went on down the road to our homes. I followed Hammish, Juuka, Ilsa, and Eluta as Alfher stayed with Aisha and helped them unload at Irina's. It made more sense to have the wood and metal at Hammish's shop and barn because all of the places needed it. Ilsa and Eluta unloaded their supplies as we did the same and then went to Juuka and Eluta's place and they unloaded so much that would make their lives easier, at least as they figured things out. Hammish and Ilsa went with Juuka and I walked home.

"You can take a , brother." I shook my head as I walked away.

"They should stay together since they are leaving here. It'll bring them comfort. I expect to see all of you tonight to say goodbye to the girls." I waved over my head as I and walked to Irina's as Ilsa looked a Hammish.

"Is he OK, Hammish?"

"Yes, and no. We have things to do and you need to make something wonderful for tonight. I'll go help Juuka and Eluta unpack their things." They watched me as I walked down the road to my home. Wolf and his mate walked out of the woods and butted me.

"Your women are back from the ocean and what they brought we have never seen before but they smell wonderful. Are they for us? We have had small fish from the streams but these fish are not small, and they make our mouths water, even Drakon's." I smiled and asked if there was enough for all of the pack to have a fish. He nodded as I told him they were for them.

"Call the wolves watching Juuka and Hammish to Irina's." He howled and I could feel them running to Irina's because Wolf summoned them. It wasn't a bad way of being if you had good leaders. "Everyone will have their own, fish, yes?" I nodded as we walked up the drive and Malinka, Elisabeth, and Karin ran to me.

"Come see, love. Elisabeth was amazing." I hugged all of them as I walked to the porch and got wood for the pit, as they helped. We lit the fire and I hugged all of them as the wolves walked up and sat. The girls looked at me, confused, especially Malinka.

"Most of this is for the wolves to thank...." Malinka stormed off as Karin and Lisbet stared at me. "It's OK, but most of the fish is to thank the wolves with a treat because of the help they have given us. Karin and Elisabeth understood, and smiled as I called to Wolf and the wolves that were the furthest away came up first and took a fish and it went like that until Wolf and his mate walked up, last, as we watched them. She picked up female fish because of the eggs and because she was pregnant and the nutrition. They started to walk away when we all said no. They turned to us.

"There are two of you." She dropped her fish in front of Wolf and walked back as I picked out the healthiest female fish I could see and laid it on the snow for her. She smelled it, looked at us, yipped and picked it up as they trotted off. We still had close to a dozen fish we needed to deal with, but I needed to find Malinka. I knew where she was, and I knew this was going to be hard for her, for all of us, but it was necessary. I walked to the forest, to the path her and Sofi used to go hunting on.... the place Malinka taught Sofi about the forest. She was sitting against a tree, waiting for me.

"The wolves are grateful, sweets." She smiled.

"We could have sold those fish for a lot of silver, Danael."

"And if the wolves weren't our friends when those men attacked us, both times? What then?" She was quiet. "Love, we don't need silver. We need friends, and the wolves are our friends." She was quiet and started to cry as I scooted next to her and she fell against me, sobbing. There was nothing I could do except hold her.

"We're leaving you and Sofi tomorrow." I stroked her hair as I squeezed her into me.

"You're being a silly a goose because Sofi will always be with you wherever you go...you're sisters. Who do you think helped me think about bringing Karin and Lisbet here.... me?" She laughed and shook her head. "Hell, no, I'm not that smart." She laughed "And as far as I'm concerned, there is a lot I need to do here for when you and Irina come back. It's better that you stay there until after the babies are born." She nodded. "I will come visit and I can bring you back here, but I think you will like it there because both of you are smart." She stared at me.

"You won't forget about Sofi and our baby, right?" Tears welled up in my eyes as she hugged me.

"Our lives don't work like that Malinka. We never forget the ones we lost and there is no way I will ever forget about Sofi, or my ." She nodded as we stood and walked back to the house. "You missed some pretty happy wolves, young lady." She laughed.

"Elisabeth caught some really nice fish, Danael, way easier than we could. It was impressive." I told her about Lisbet's role on Gotland and why she was so important, and about Karin and the other Elves and how they all fit into our lives. We walked, and talked as the sun was leaning toward the west and we waked back home. Irina walked up and looked at us as Malinka smiled and hugged her.

"I could use some help." Malinka nodded and kissed me as they walked inside and I went to the barn. Thank God I was raised like this so it was second nature. I looked in Drakon's stall as his mates were finishing the insides of three fish as Drakon watched over them, and looked at me. It was smart for the pregnant wolves to take the pregnant fish because of the nutrition. I was also impressed by Drakon to know that, and wait. He ate the tails and looked at me as I nodded. I walked in and petted the girls as I spread a little hay on the ground. not too much, and then put frozen snow down and then the fish down and more snow, and the more hay as they watched and yipped and I went to deal with the rest of the barn. They were my family too.

My family was splintering and there was nothing I could do to stop it for happening. I was glad that the girls were going to be together because they were safer like like for the time being but there was still a threat that I couldn't name, but I needed to build this place for my family even though I didn't know why. I finished with the barn as Hammish, Ilsa, Juuka, Eluta and their pulled up. The she-wolves were sleeping because of all of the fat and protein they ate but Drakon came out to check on who was coming onto his land. He saw Hammish and jumped before running at him and nuzzling his legs. Hammish gave Drakon to Malinka and Sofi, as a pup. Drakon sniffed everyone and played a bit with the before walking back to me. He looked at me and walked back into the barn to be with his mates as they slept. They took the wagon to the house so they could unload food for the party and help with the rest of the meal and that was when I felt them, as did Drakon, and his mates, who stood next to me, and Hammish and Aisha who where walking toward us.

I pushed to all of the girls to keep Juuka and his family inside, and to the wolves to watch the perimeter, but I couldn't feel anyone except the people walking from the road. I met them by the stream because that was where the woods ended, and they were surrounded by wolves. It was obvious who this person was because his arrogance was astounding, as were the people he thought were soldiers, all eight of them.

"May I help you?"

"I'm looking for the owner of this land." I was getting ready to speak as Irina and Malinka walked up.

"We are the owner's of this land. Why are you disturbing us?" He scoffed as I growled and the horses reared, knocking two of them on the ground.

"Why are you here, I asked?"

"Do you know who I am?" I shook my head no even though I did, because I knew it would bother him. "I am your ruler here and we are taking this land for the Duke." I laughed.

"You are taking this land, land which we rightfully claimed? You? Do the men on the ground count?" The girls laughed. He was furious. "Does the Duke know that you are trying to land from His people?" Silence. "You'll need more than six men on horses, and two on their asses... and you... to take this land from us, any of us around here." He stomped his up to me in order to intimidate me. I looked into the horses' eyes as the bear and it reared, as did the the rest, and they ran back toward town. They got up and stared at us as we smiled. I wondered if Richard had left early because this was a surprise to me

"You'll find them heading back to town, because that is what they know. I know who you are, and I don't care. Don't come back on this land without an invitation. You have, maybe two hours of light left. Your horses are probably no more than a mile down the road. You should get back to town before dark because there are wolves in these woods", and that was when they howled from beyond where we were. "See?" The men were terrified but this count was to arrogant to be scared. He glared at me as they walked down the drive to the road. Hammish looked me.

"Is there anywhere you go that trouble doesn't follow?" Irina punched me, and said no, but it wouldn't disturb the celebration.
1 comment
take me part 612..tried to fix BBWMatchMate three times and they still removed words.
Posted:Feb 2, 2022 4:30 pm
Last Updated:Feb 3, 2022 1:45 pm

I smiled because I could feel everyone having a wonderful outing, and not paying attention as Irina and Hammish walked up. "You need attention because more people are moving into town. I stopped someone stole a man's silver pouch. Irina smiled as he opened her cloak and showed me the knife.

"I always bring this, and , in their right mind, would mess with Hammish?" I smiled, and nodded. "We need the silver because are seeds I want, and dried herbs, and other things. Hammish showed me the building and the empty lot. We need more seeds for , and manure. We need stop at the stables before we leave to secure the poop." I smiled, nodded and handed them the pouch so no one could see.

" are things we need for the wagons but also metal scrap, and other things. I made a deal for wood because is work at all our houses, and also the building here. I'm going talk with the stone masons over a pint so we can secure them for your house, and barn, and Juuka's, and some of the other building's you want, but they want security. Are you OK with that?"

"Do you trust them, Hammish?"

"I think they are being smart and I don't think they'll cheat us, especially after last fall." I nodded and told them to get what they thought we needed, but to include bacon. They both laughed as Irina kissed me and they walked away. I kept pushing outward but felt no threat. I could feel the sheriff watching but he was unsure of me, and gave me a wide berth as the girls started bringing out bags and boxes, and jars, and jugs, and bolts of fabrics, chunks of dried meat, and fish. was a lot, but were also three families shopping after a hard winter and they wanted replenish the root cellars, and pantry's until we were able harvest and shop, and trade, again in the summer.

"Wait until you see the amazing things we found, Danael." Elisabeth nodded but Malinka was as happy as I had seen her. They hugged me as Sara walked up, smiling. "We are all going for a special meal before we leave, come with us."

"He can't, loves, because we need watch these wagons and all the things we bought for our family." They were sad, but nodded. "I'll go with you and bring us back lunch as we watch the wagons and we can make something special for dinner." Both Malinka and Elisabeth clapped and ran the Inn join everyone else as I hugged Sara.

"As an unconscious competent move, I think bringing Karin and Elisabeth here was probably the best thing I done, except having pancakes with you, love." She nodded and said she'd be back with food. I could feel people looking at the things in the wagons, which I was covering, and tying down as Hammish walked up with someone and handed me a pint of ale.

"This is Dmitri. His family are the best stone mason's around these parts and he has an interesting proposition." I motioned for them to sit. "He wants to know if we work for his family for the year because they would rather not travel since they will be having multiple babies in their family this year, as well." I smiled and told him congratulations. He nodded as I asked if he had access to good stones for building. Hammish smiled. "He has enough stone for a year's work, two, before 's depleted but they know of another site not too far away, but it's more than they can afford alone." Hammish looked at me as I looked at Dmitri.

I knew the answer because I was getting better at reading people but I asked anyway because I was curious about his response. "Are you an honorable man, Dimitri?" I could feel him bristle, but I would too. He looked at me, and then at Hammish, as Sara walked up, watching us. Dimitri spat in his hand and extended it as I did the , as well as Hammish and we shook. "I'll leave you negotiate the . Come Hammish's tomorrow around midday and we can discuss projects. I also want to bring on apprentices." They smiled and nodded.

"Go something eat with you ale, both of you. I want lunch, alone, with my husband." They laughed, nodded, and walked the Inn as Sara looked at me shaking her head. "That was disgusting! I assume 's part of the plan for you and Hammish dominate the world." I smiled and nodded. "Don't hurt yourselves." She sat on the back of the wagon and handed me a plate. "The food here is quite good but the fish around was salted, or dried." I nodded as we ate. Can you and Taiiko take Karin and Lisbet the ocean so they can get fresh fish for us, and the wolves...more is better. Get what you need make easier take the house. I need stay with the wagons." She kept eating but looked around.

"Are you going Wolf?" I nodded as I ate. "Good, because they aren't nice men, and we don't like men that aren't nice, and this town doesn't need them." I nodded. "We'll bring fish, love. Karin and Elisabeth will love but I'm going take Malinka." I nodded as she kissed me on the cheek. "Isn't this wonderful?" We finished eating as Sara burped, and laughed as she took the plates and cups back to the Inn while everyone else was starting to head toward the wagons. I looked around as Hammish walked up, nervous as well.

"We can look at the building another time," he nodded.

"Are you concerned, too." I nodded

"I called Wolf and they will meet us outside of town. They won't do anything for a few miles. Hammish helped me finish as Sara spoke with Karin, Elisabeth, Irina, and Malinka. They all nodded as Irina walked to me and the rest picked up tarps and walked behind the buildings and disappeared to the coast so that Lisbet could do what she was good at.....feeding her people. The rest of us walked along side the wagons to give the mules a break as we headed home. This was not an easy place to live, and it was becoming less so as civilization encroached, but was no stopping . The thing we could do was use the fact that we knew what was come try and position our growing family, and friends, in the best places possible and we weren't in the best place for the future. It didn't hurt that I was a dragon. It was probably less than three miles before I could feel them coming as Hammish and I stopped and told the rest of them to keep going. The wagons were gone by the time they rounded the bend in the road.

Hammish and I stood in the road, our hands on our weapons. They stopped their horses, which were rightfully skittish because of the wolves in the trees, and looked around. "Are you insane?" Hammish and I looked each and smiled. "You be insane if you think you will stop us from finding those wagon, and those women." Hammish and I didn't hesitate and threw our axes at the leader, the man was speaking, and the one with the bow. The wolves knocked the other two off by scaring the horses, which ran toward the wagon. The wolves finished them and waited for me and Hammish. I was beyond the superstition of wearing something of the dead. We took their boots and clothes because they died quickly and didn't soil them, and went through their pockets. "Shit." Hammish looked at me.

"We need to talk with Juuka because they were connected with him." The wolves dragged the bodies deep into the woods, two on either side of the road and left them as they shadowed us back to Irina's. They were picking up our habit helping others in case we needed help in the future. We walked to Irina's for about a mile when I stopped and pushed to Wolf to stay as I told him the horses were around the next bend. He smiled and nodded.

"You are becoming more animal than man, Danael." I chuckled and nodded as I pushed to town. "No one else is coming so take your pack home to Irina's but will be treats when Sara and Taiiko get back." They yipped as Hammish and I walked slowly around the bend in the road. The horses snorted but kept eating grass as I went two and Hammish did the . They were use men, and were comforted by us. I still had some sweet grain in my pocket, left from the mules, and I gave them some which made them love us. We road and caught up the wagons as everyone sighed. Hammish and I didn't mind walking so we gave the horses the women took turns racing, which I hated but I could remember the Mongols chasing me in the beginning and some of their women were pregnant, as well as the Vikings. I tried to pretend not to notice but they were having a good time.

"You family over the mountains, do they good mules?" Hammish smiled and nodded.

"They're gypsies and they know good horses, mules, and wagons," Ilsa said magic and herbs as well. "We are getting good horses, and tack, and now clothes that they will trade for. Silver is nice but we all needs." I nodded. "Are you staying here for awhile, brother?" I told Hammish and Ilsa about the girls and our plans. They were quiet, and sad.

"Why are you sad?" Ilsa spoke.

"You lost Sofi, and your , and you will be in that house, alone...that's sad." I thought about , because she was right but I couldn't change what happened, all I could do was endure until was easier.

"Irina and Malinka new friends and that will take them where I want them be, Ilsa. I'll deal with whatever I too but I'm not going to much time for feeling bad for myself... is too much that needs to be done, at three places and that doesn't take into account whatever work Hammish has lined up. He and Alfher need to take the horses and bring back mules, wagons, and whatnot. 's a lot do this year." Ilsa was quiet and nodded.

"How will you and the men eat?" I smiled.

"I'm a decent cook, Ilsa. I could use someone help with the animals and the gardens, and the gardens in town. Speaking of that, Hammish, we need Dimiti's men to make a large root cellar in the building in town so we can store things. We also need to come together as a town so we help each other." They nodded. When are planning on leaving." Ilsa and Hammish looked at each other.

"Soon but I'd rather deal with muddy ground coming back down the mountain." I nodded. We bought supplies for the journey and we'll be leaving within a week depending on weather." I nodded and told them that change is the that is constant. They both understood that, and nodded as I rode to Aisha.

"Did the wolves eat well?"

"No, but the other animals will. They wolves will eat well when Sara and Taiiko get back with the girls." I told her about my idea.

"You do take good care of pack Dragon, that is a fact.." I smiled.

"Can y'all leave tomorrow with Malinka and Irina...all at once?" She nodded.

"Pull the band-aid off quickly?" I nodded.

"Something like that."

"It's the for us, love, and will be worse for Malinka and Irina. We'll deal with things on our end, but it's the right decision." I nodded as we rode on in silence. Things never seemed get easier.
take me part 611... edited, again
Posted:Feb 1, 2022 8:34 pm
Last Updated:Feb 2, 2022 11:34 am

The girls were almost giddy, which made sense for the ones from here, and Karin and Elisabeth, but the others could pretty much whatever they wanted, but they were giddy too, and Jukka's were almost beside themselves. The town wasn't that far as the crow flies but crows didn't take wagons over these roads. I was glad I was walking and by the time we saw the town most of them were walking too, at least the buckboard had springs of a sort. I asked Hammish if the wagons and mules would be safe and he stared at me. So I told I him I would stay with them.

"Do you weapons, brother?' I nodded, even though I didn't need them. I'll watch over the rest them and then we can at the building before we leave. I'll spread the word that we'll need workers again this year as well." I nodded as I looked around because people were staring at me, like they always had since I was a and could see . My Ma' said was because I was a traveler and didn't fit anywhere in their minds. It had always been like that and I figured it always would be. "Do you want anything?" I nodded. I had never really needed much be content, books, and art, and music. I liked tools and things like that but was practical, and for work, or for food, or hunting.... for me, not so much.

"See if they fresh fish and also get what you think we need. Irina gave me some of your coins if you need them. I want get something different for the wolves thank them for helping us." He smiled and nodded as he walked off. I wished I could shake the feeling that something bad was going happen. I gave the mules a handful of sweet grain as Sara walked up and hugged me.

"You are odd, even Ama and Gaia, but you are not odd me, love, because you watch everything, all the time, like now. Are you worried?" I kissed her and touched her belly as I looked at her. We were moving past needing words but neither of us wanted to abandon them.

"No, not worried, but cautious. Something isn't right."

"Good, then we are of the mind and I can go be with girls." She smiled, kissed me, and skipped away, looking over her shoulder as I laughed. I wasn't sure what I had done deserve all of this but I was glad I had done , at least so far. Ilsa walked up and handed me a large glass of kvass, a fermented drink made from rye, and a couple of jugs along with jugs of mead and ale.

"I don't want you tipsy, dragon, but you should something refreshing since you are alone, with mules." I smiled.

"I like mules." She laughed and kissed me as she walked back shop. This village would soon need be called a town because people were moving in. I hadn't been here long enough to recognize most people from the town, as compared to the strangers, but they all stared at me the way. were definitely unpleasant people here because the townsfolk trusted each other. Shit, one of those unpleasant ones just'picked a pocket' and was walking toward me as the man yelled that he'd been robbed. The man did ran past me and I grabbed him by the collar and knocked him off his feet, least I didn't get off of the wagon... well, mostly. I did put one foot on his chest as he growled. I smiled because he didn't know what a growl was.

"That man robbed me." I sipped my kvaas and nodded.

"I know, sir, I saw him which is why he is on the ground." He reached into his cloak as the sheriff was approaching, demanding to know what was going so I told him. He looked at me. I never cared for arrogant people.

"And are you, sir, and why are you sitting on the back of a wagon, drinking before noon?"

"A concerned citizen, and none of your business," which he didn't like.

"Stop being a prat, constable, this man stopped him and saved my pouch for me, my is sown into ." I smiled and took a sip as the sheriff took the thief away. He didn't like me and I surely didn't like him. "May I join you, sir?" I could feel Sara watching, wondering what I was about to get my self into. I said please and moved over as I finished the cup, wiped on the inside of my cloak and poured more kvaas from the jug Ilsa left at the wagon.... that would probably turn out be a mistake. I handed him the cup and extended my hand.

" Daniel and you are a long way from home. You shouldn't keep your silver inside of your cloak. 's too easy for thieves to grab. Where in England are you from?" He stared me, shocked?"

"Wales? How did you know?"

"The accent." We both smiled. "You also called him a 'prat,' and 'constable.' You are a long way from home and in an odd location." I wasn't going to ask him why, because wasn't my business but I was curious and people usually told you anything you wanted to know if you were patient.

"True, a far bit from home. I am working here for a Count. I'm a geologist."

"Really, and what minerals are seeking, or should I say, what do you think this land has other than gravel?'

"He laughed."

"I tried convey the sense but people think gold, or diamonds, exist everywhere as long as you dig deep enough. I was stunned because of the abundance of forests here, and fish when I was closer the sea, but gold does something strange people, wouldn't you agree? You seem like a learned man." I smiled.

"I would agree....?"

"Forgive my terrible manners, sir. My is Richard. I am from Cardiff, in Wales."

" seems me that a very wealthy man, or an insane man, would be looking for gold around here, or perhaps both."

"I would agree sir but they my way, and , which allows me learn more and explore, but I been here for almost a week and had no contact so I will be leaving and exploring further afield tomorrow. Do you any suggestions?"

"Sadly Richard, I don't give travel advice around here because no where is safe for travelers, as you experienced, but then again staying home can be equally fraught." He nodded "If I was inclined venture new lands lands I think I would go the Mediterranean. I'm not sure about the need for a geologist but I suspect you would better luck finding something of interest, even if 's just the food, and wine, and the art." He laughed and handed me back my cup and reached into his pouch as I stopped him.

"Thank you, Richard, but save your silver and enjoy a nice bottle of wine for both of us and perhaps by some drawings for your grandchildren." He looked at me oddly. "Tie your pouch to the waistband of your trousers and let hang inside. may not be the most comfortable place, but 's the safest. I wish you well sir, and Godspeed on your journey." Richard smiled and nodded as he walked back the inn eat and pack. Someone was watching over us because he would leave before an emissary from the Count came into town looking for him. Sara walked up, smiling, and sat next to me.

"Whatcha' doin'?" I smiled and kissed her.

I was having a nice conversation with a man from Wales...a geologist sent here to look for gold."


"Yep, go figure."

"And is gold here?" I smiled.

" are trees here, and fish in the Baltic.... and ice, and snow, and hearty people, but no gold, at least in the ground or streams. I suggested going south Italy and hoping he leaves before I need deal with this Count because people do stupid things and other people get pulled into that stupidity. How is everyone enjoying town?" She smiled.

"They are loving it, and knew were so many wonderful things here. Eluta hasn't stopped smiling and we think she will decide to stay. Do you want to around for anything, sweets?" I shook my head no.

"I asked Hammish see if he could find fresh fish, which was a long shot." She looked at me strangely. "I wanted give the wolves a treat for all of their help, here and in Norway." She smiled, and nodded. "If he can't then I'm going get Karin and Lisbet help me because the Baltic is pure now compared our time, at least Gotland is farther south." Sara kissed me again.

"You are an unusual man, Daniel, and I am glad we met." I nodded as she hopped off and went find our family as I watched everyone else.
take me part 610... edited. Jesus, this site is a pain, every time.
Posted:Feb 1, 2022 4:50 pm
Last Updated:Feb 2, 2022 4:31 pm

I snorted as Drakon yipped, unsure what do as Malinka and Elisabeth me with fir branches and laughed. "Be quiet Drakon, we aren't hurting him and he needs get up, lazy bear." I stood, turned, growled and started to walk toward them as they screamed and laughed and ran back to the house with me lumbering after them. All the girls heard the screams and walked onto the porch and laughed as Malinka and Lisbet ran behind them while I walked up, snorting. Irina and Sara laughed and told me to go away because I smelled. I shifted back to myself and roared, which took them all by surprise so they screamed and ran inside trying not trip over each other. They threw clean clothes on the porch and slammed the door as they all laughed. I smiled as I walked back into the barn. Drakon was looking at me, sheepishly. "Thanks for the help." He yipped, nudged me and the three of them trotted off looking for rabbits. I was never sure if they ever actually caught any because they were always hungry at night, but I was sure they had a good time trying. I had quite the menagerie. I cleaned the stalls and was almost finished feeding when Irina and Karin walked in wrapped in wool because it was a cold morning.

"Did the girls hurt the big bear?" They hugged each other and laughed as I told them not to start or I'd throw poop on them, which made them laugh even more. "Are you coming into town with us, Danael?" I said yes because all three of us want to keep you lot in line. They rolled their eyes.

"Hammish wants to show me the building we bought to help us make wagons, and other things, and so we can at the empty land by . People almost ran out of food this past winter so we need be better prepared. We also need put the word out for workers because is a LOT do before next winter." They were quiet and looked at each other. "What, loves? Speak plainly, Irina."

"Malinka and I want spend time on this Gotland with Karin and Elisabeth and meet these people. Except for Ilsa and Hammish we rarely meet with people, sometimes with the coven but they don't like us, and they never liked Sofi." That angered me a great deal because they didn't like gypsies. "Can we go and spend time? We all like each other and none us real friends our own ages."

"I walked up and hugged them and said no as they stared at me, shocked...unsure how respond but I could feel the anger building when I laughed. " I'm kidding. You don't need my permission but 's smart discuss, talk with Sara and....." and they both pounced on me, knocking me the ground and biting me repeatedly. They got up, huffed, and walked back the house as I chuckled. "What are you looking at Bob?" I took the mule and hitched her to the wagon and put rocks in the front wheels. I walked to the stream as Wolf walked up. "We're all going into town to get supplies, do you need anything?" He looked at me and laughed. "I'm going to try and find something special for your pack because of your help. No one should be going to any of the houses so if someone does, they probably shouldn't be ." He nodded, howled, and trotted into the woods. I washed myself with moist sand, rinse, and got dressed. I walked inside the house to everyone laughing.

Irina, Karin, Malinka, and Elisabeth were in the kitchen, laughing, and they all waved at me , as I walked to the fire to warm up. The rest of girls smiled and hugged me because we were all happy by these friendships. It didn't take away the pain of losing Sofi, and the , but gave Irina and Malinka something focus on that was unrelated. "Did they tell you about wanting spend time with them on Gotland?" They all nodded and said they thought it was a good idea because it's isolated and the people on the north island had dealt with oddities.

"It seems like the Elves are going stay at Ama's because they like everyone, and the ocean is close, and they can go into town so Karin and Elisabeth would be lonely on Gotland. Taiiko and I are going to stay with them because it works well for everyone, except you." I looked at them.

"Why except me?"

"Because you'll be here alone. They all stared at me as I smiled.

"I'll be fine, but thanks. 's a LOT that we need do and while I can slow time down, I can't slow down those babies." They all nodded. "I can visit and I'll feel better that they access the best health care, and will be nice for both of them take a break and not struggle just live. If they want come back here after the girls are born I'd rather that happens after we get the bulk of the things done. I also things I need deal with here, so it's a good thing they made friends with Karin and Lisbet." They nodded as we were called for eggs, fried potato's and warmed up biscuits and honey.

"Enjoy. We almost made the last of the bacon but we decided to save it since we celebrated last night." We ate a wonderful breakfast and I did the dishes since I was already dressed. The girls went to change, and pack. I walked to get water and was joined by Hammish, and Juuka.

"How was your first night, Juuka?" He smiled and said comforting and they felt safe.

"The LOVE it here because is so much room for them explore and just be . Were we lived had advantages, especially with education because we were able hire a tutor for them, but also had disadvantages. They love the wolves." Hammish and I looked at him and Hammish spoke before I could.

"These wolves are friends, be sure, and we watch over each other, but you and Eluta need make sure they don't think ALL wolves are like this, because they aren't. The wolves in Finland are different, most wolves are different, because most packs aren't large, and many, and all of them are different. Wolves will defend their territory from anyone, even other wolves." Juuka nodded.

"How is Eluta with being here?"

"Still unsure but I see her looking around and thinking about the possibilities. She grew up farming so it's in her blood. I'm giving her space because we all agree. Being with family isn't going be easy because we haven't been for a long time, and are always strings with family, even if they love you." We nodded. Juuka was quiet as I moved the capstone and started to fill the buckets.

"Would we be able to that homestead from you? We a nice a house and will fetch a good so we will be able you when 's sold. I'm not sure what Eluta wants do but I think 's wise be here because is greater opportunity since the village is growing." We both nodded.

"The answer is yes, Juuka, if your family wants stay here you can that land. We need people we can trust, good, hard working, people because this land has a lot of potential, and Hammish and I a lot of ideas so we'll need smart people that want create a good future. We can leave and hope Eluta sees that potential for herself." He nodded as we took buckets of water and walked back to the house. Alfher was running, mostly toward us but also chasing Drakon and the wolves. looked like a game of tag. He walked up, out of breath, but smiling.

"Did you win?" He laughed and said no.

"I am starting understand the wolves though, uncle." I smiled and said good. "Will they still teach me about the forest, and hunting, and being like them?" I told him yes, but I wasn't sure how that would work with Malinka but I figured it was best to let sleeping dogs lie. We walked to the house and all of the girls were staring us....ALL of them.


"We're late, mister, put the water in the house and make sure the fire is safe and then let's go." We nodded. It wasn't even nine but they were all like they were so excited. The girls took the reigns and the rest climbed onto the wagons as Hammish, Jukka, and I walked behind. Drakon followed us for a ways until I told him to guard the barn. He barked and ran home as we all walked to town. I hoped it wasn't a mistake bringing Jukka.
1 comment
take me part 609... edited
Posted:Jan 31, 2022 10:58 pm
Last Updated:Feb 1, 2022 10:44 am

We stood in the doorway as Karin and Elisabeth clenched me. "It's OK, loves, we brought them things they weren't expecting. It's fine, I promise and that was when Irina and Malinka walked up because it was their home and they were guests, the rest of us watched in awe as Malinka reached a hand to Elisabeth, and Irina did the same to Karin. They stared at them, smiled, and took their hands. Irina asked if Karin was hungry and she nodded, as Malinka asked Elisabeth if she liked chocolate, and she nodded. They went to different parts of the kitchen as we all watched, even Ama.

"We need to talk...." I bumped her and nodded as I pointed. Malinka gave Elisabeth a piece of the chocolate that Sara and Kana brought back and broke another piece for Karin, which wasn't all that odd because they were guests, and they were important here because there were few. Malinka gave Karin a piece and Elisabeth smiled, and nodded. Karin put it in her mouth and smiled.

"Isn't it wonderful?" They both nodded even though they had eaten chocolate before. "Sara and Kana brought us that box of treasures, and then you and Danael bring us all of those things we can't even understand but know are important." Taiiko looked at me.

"Malinka, lets remember our manners, shall we?" She nodded. "Are you hungry?" Karin and and Elisabeth looked at one another, and then me, and nodded. "Are you the ones who brought Daniel our shells?" They were quiet and Karin said yes, and that looked for the best they could find. "Well you did it, and our dear Sofi would love hers so thank you." They were quiet as they nodded. "Since you are from the sea, will you eat things that aren't from the ocean?" They both smiled, and nodded. "Good, because we are a long way from the ocean but we have stew, and bread, and fried vegetables.... and pie," which made both of them smile. "Please sit and tell us everything about where you are from. Get them some milk, Malinka."

They spent the rest of the evening talking, and laughing. Elisabeth and Karin stayed over and shared the bed with Karin and Malinka, not for sex, but for comfort because all of them where looking for the same thing and, unbeknownst to me, I walked them in to have dinner. We all sat and watched as the four of them spent the evening totally engrossed in one another. I looked at everyone as they smiled. Ama took my hand and led me outside.

"Do you have any idea what you have done?" I looked at her because I truly had no idea."

"Bring things back to Iceland that belong there, and maybe a tree protector. He was kinda scary." She stared at me, chuckled, and shook her head.

"We all want to throttle you, but we can't because you have absolutely no guile. Yes, Iceland is a good place for the statues, and carvings. It might bring more tourists there, from Scandinavia. They think we are Viking-lite...." I growled. "We know. Our heritage museum is almost finished and that will be the first exhibit, which will get press coverage from around the world. You, and Karin, and Elisabeth just shone a light on the Norse, and the Pagan's during a time when there is a resurgence of both."

"Thank Karin because she found the caves but I wasn't ready to do anything when she first told me. Did Haag get the broadaxe and shields?" She was quiet.

"He did. They are walking as Haag is telling Sassa why he is both happy, and sad." I nodded.

"The past never stays buried, does it, Ama?" She looked me and said no, it doesn't.

"What else was in the caves?" I told her that Karin said it was 'shiny things' but that I hadn't looked and would go back now that I knew where it was, and would take things to the caves.

"These are are your, Danael. Karin is giving them to you, as the other Elves are giving you gifts. They are yours." I stared at her.

"I'm not Dreka, and these are treasures from the past. They have little to do with me." Ama was silent as we walked. "Wealth is a tool, Ama but I can't take these things from the past...OUR past. From a historical perspective, these things are priceless. Isn't that why they are in the caves, so they aren't pilfered, and sold to the highest bidder. I would like to have museums, and maybe you created the first in the center of the Viking realm, so we can show some of these things to people so that perhaps they will embrace history again. I would use some of the gold to build those. I'd like one built in Nova Scotia, for my mother, and one in Scotland, for my Da. The range of the Vikings was vast.'." She looked at me as we walked.

"Bring the rest of what is in the caves to the island with Malinka. It's time she starts to understand that she is more than just a witch." I stared at her because I felt something. Ama stopped and bore into me. "There is so much you are learning, yet SO much you can't fathom. Remember that, Dragon. You bringing Elisabeth and Karin here was unconscious genius, and I suspect your Sofi had a part to play in it. Bring us what you can so we can safeguard them." I nodded as Ama disappeared.

"Why won't they show me how to that the easy way....crap." I walked back in and nothing had changed. Irina, Malinka, Karin, and Lisbet were sitting at the table, totally engrossed in each other as the girls were watching and chatting. I sat next to Taiiko and Annie. "I created monsters." Everyone looked at me and told me to shusshhh!.

"Have you looked at any of this?" These are things from around this time period. There are also some from before, and some after, Ama said that what you sent there was very early, almost from the time of the Romans." I looked at them.

"I just wanted it out of the ocean. Karin said that I have multiple chests waiting for me at Gotland, because when the elves go swimming, they find something else for me. I don't know what to do with that. I just did what needed to be done, and I could do it, and no one could stop me. No one should be bound for that long," and that was when I thought about the dragon eggs, and looked at Sara. She looked at me sadly, and I knew neither of us were going to have easy lives after this brief time. I smiled and watched Irina and Malinka.

There weren't enough beds for everyone, but I wasn't tired and I wanted to explore. Every place that was somewhat comfortable had bodies getting ready to sleep. I put wood on the fires and screened them and covered the women I loved with all the blankets I could find. I walked outside and got ready to fly as Aisha walked out wrapped in double wool cloaks.

"I'm flying with my dragon until we meet again." I nodded, shifted and lowered myself as she climbed on my back. I waited out of respect. "Fly where you will, Dragon." I flew and looked at the land, and terrain, around Irina's, and Hammish's, and the village that was trying to turn into a town. I flew in all directions and observed. Aisha figured out quickly what I was doing as I flew back over our home, here, and over the woods behind the house. I flew over it multiple times and then flew to Hammish and then Juuka and flew outward from there.

"What is wrong, rider?"

"There are more trees to the west, and to the north for Juuka, than there are at the back of Irina's there nothing past them but rock and streams. There's enough wood for us, but not to build ships." I flew back around, and toward town because Hammish and I had bought a large building there, and a lot, so I wanted to know why they was interested in this place, and I focused on the river that ran through town, that ran next to the building we bought. We both said SHIT! at the same time as I flew east on the property we fenced, and then north. Less trees, more stone and streams, and they all moved into the river that went through town. I needed to talk with Hammish.

"The Count doesn't care about the trees. The Duke wants the ships. This Count thinks there is gold around you, and that makes him dangerous." I nodded. "Do you think there's gold?"

"I don't know but he's willing to to destroy the people I love, and the town by polluting the water, and ruining the land, to find out. The sad part is that there are enough trees here to make all of them exceedingly wealthy, even with good management, which they probably wouldn't follow." I was quiet as I flew.

"What about east and south, dragon?" I spit fire as we flew there, as I flew into my past. Aisha patted me and said she understood. We flew for a long way east, and then headed north as I looked.

"This is good land, hard land, but good land. All of this will be taken from these people over time, most of it might be taken everywhere, unless you have a clear title, and a reason to keep people away from it. I wonder if I did in the past what I am considering now, and into the foreseeable future so that I could create a place for my family. This Count is merely a bother. I am thinking of getting Juuka instilled as Count, and given all of this, I might be able to. I am also curious why Arad would be flying with the Count. There is a lot I don't know."

Aisha was silent.


"You are the last two dragons. Do you think he will be your friend. He tried to kill you. You should have let him die on that rock as he deserved. He did help you with Dreka, I'll given him that, but he only scratched his face." I was silent.

"You haven't been a dragon for a long time, and those times were different. You didn't have to worry about monks betraying their oaths, for power, or greed, like now. I roared and flew north and then west to the sea. "What are you thinking, dragon." I was silent as she kicked me while we flew.

"I am wondering if this Duke is as enamored with gold, as the Count, because I have a lot of lot gold that belongs to me, according to Ama." Aisha was silent.

"I knew I had wily, dragon. You're going to pit the count against the duke?" I flew, looking at the land and wondering how much of it belonged to the Duke. It didn't matter, because it was keeping it that was the important thing. I'd deal with that later.

"The count is becoming irrelevant, and since I am now the dragon, he's done because of what he tried to do, and what he wants to do, to us, to the land, and to the town. It'll be poetic justice that I use his gold and silver to get the land I want for my family going forward."

"What about Arad?"

"He didn't kill Dreka; I did. I hope he isn't stupid." We landed back at Irina's and I shifted.

"I'll sleep in the barn as the bear. Check the fires, love." She nodded and kissed me as I walked to the barn and shifted into the bear. The animals knew my scent so they were only mildly perturbed when I walked in and walked past Drakon, and both she-wolves. I curled up facing the wall and fell asleep until someone was hitting me with something, and laughing.

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