Forbidden Love :
A Story Of The Goddess Lofn
" For The Greater Good ! "
" They are beginning to retreat to the northeast father ! And as the Swedes flee they are being outflanked and pushed further north by a division of the Herjardalr army led by Heinrekr ! " he shouted over the din of battle which still raged in the distance.
King Vifinnr narrowed his eyes as he looked over at his son. The expression etched upon Almsteinn's face told his son that all was not well despite the advantageous flow of the battle in their favor.
" We may have won the battle, but I wonder if we have truly won the war ? " he asked in return.
Almsteinn did not understand his father's melancholy attitude at such a glorious moment. Confused, he sought to find the meaning to his father's concerns.
" What has happened, father ?! " he asked.
King Vifinnr looked at the ground and shook his head in disgust.
" King Harjulf has taken Myrgjol. Therefore, I have very little choice in the matter. I must go and see what terms the King of Herjardalr wants for her release. " he replied sadly.
Almsteinn could not hide his shock.
" Then I will go with you father ! " he shot back dutifully.
Vifinnr looked off into the distance and saw that the battle was still raging along parts of their line, where a Swedish rear guard was fighting a delaying action, and quickly decided against this.
" No ! You will remain here and guide our forces. The Swede army is still a very large and dangerous threat that could at any moment surge forward an attack once again. I will go see King Harjulf with only my personal guard. " he told his son before riding off to the south, followed by his warriors.
King Harjulf dismounted and was trying to remove his blood soaked coat of mail when the King of Jamtaland rode up with twenty warriors in tow. The Herjardalr king's guards immediately rode forward to block the Jamtalanders, but were quickly shouted off by King Harjulf. As Vifinnr dismounted the King of Herjardalr was beginning to remove the blood and guts from the many Swedes he had killed with a towel.
" Why have you taken my daughter,...., and what is it that you want for her return ! ? " The King of Jamtaland demanded to know.
Harjulf laughed and pointed to several riders who were coming towards them from the north.
" I will tell you my terms once they have arrived. " he replied as he continued to wipe the filth from his body.
King Vifinnr watched as six horsemen, who seemed to have surrounded a single rider, slowly came closer and closer. At first the King of Jamtaland assumed that the rider in the middle was one of the Swedish king's sons, but when they were within hailing distance he heard the rider shout something quite odd.
" Father ! I had the Swedes on the run ! Why was I replaced by a subordinate ? ! " he demanded to know.
As they reined up next to him King Harjulf laughed as he threw the blood soaked towel on the ground.
" I could not risk having my only bargaining chip killed in battle ! " he shouted up at his son.
King Vifinnr and Heinrekr let out a very loud and confused, " What ! " , at the same time. Vifinnr then pointed to Heinrekr before addressing Harjulf.
" What has your son to do with the release of my daughter ?! " he asked in a bewildered tone.
Heinrekr's face could not hide his own shock.
" You kidnapped Myrgjol ?! " he asked his father anxiously.
King Harjulf looked over at his son and gave him an angry stare.
" Be quiet boy ! " he shouted at his son.
Vifinnr had by now grown impatient and wanted answers.
" Once again I will ask you for your terms for the return of my daughter ! " he demanded bitterly.
King Harjulf grinned as wide as the Jotun Loki. And he waited a long time before replying.
" First you will enter into an alliance with the Kingdom of Herjardalr, in which each of us will, from this moment forward, come to the aid of the other when either of us are threatened with war by our neighbors. And second we will seal this alliance in blood. " he explained to the King of Jamtaland.
King Vifinnr's eyes almost popped out of his head with rage when he heard Harjulf's terms.
" You are going to kill my daughter and your son to, " seal the alliance ! " he shouted angrily.
This time it was King Harjulf who could not hide his expression of total disbelief.
" Are you mad ?! For the greater good of our people I am proposing that our alliance be sealed by the marriage of my son to your daughter ! " he explained with a little grin.
King Vifinnr tried not to look stupid, but the sudden turn of events made his reaction look almost comical.
" Well,....., yes,....., that might be a way to assure that our,...., alliance endures. Yes, that might just work. " he managed as he stuttered like an idiot.
This awkward moment was broken when three riders approached from the south. Despite the distance Vifinnr could easily make out the silhouette of his daughter as she rode between two Herjardalr warriors. His smile grew as she pulled up her horse next to him and dismounted. To greet his daughter, Vifinnr held his arms out to embrace her. To his surprise and dismay, however, Myrgjol ran past him and into Heinrekr's arms.
King Harjulf laughed as he walked over to the disappointed King of Jamtaland. To console his counterpart he placed his arm on his old adversary's shoulder.
" It looks as if this alliance will cost us both dearly ! " he told Vifinnr with a wink.
As King Vifinnr watched Heinrekr and Myrgjol kiss he placed his hand on Harjulf's shoulder.
" It is a price I am willing to pay ! " he replied.
KIng Harjulf and King Vifinnr laughed heartily for a moment before becoming more serious. Vifinnr then turned to his new ally and made a suggestion.
" Why don't we leave them alone and speak of how we are going to drive these Swede bastards out of my lands ! " he said with a little grin.
- End Chapter 17
- Next : Epilogue
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2019.