Bloodlines of the Ancient Pantheons Chapter 146: CXLVI. The Split Mountain
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Reidar did not answer, he merely looked ahead and assimilated what Dag had just told him.
"I want to tell you why we are here. I'm sure Egill didn't tell you about it. but I trust both of you, you are like brothers to me. You have proven me to care about me and my cause" Dag continued, drawing the attention of both of his teammates.
He told them Brann's from the beginning, focusing on the part that concerned the Red Executioner and the death of Eirik, his brother.
"I am very sorry that you discovered all this by yourself. It would have been easier if you had someone next to you, ready to console you" said Karl, who was unaware of the actual version of Brann's story.
"I have heard of him before. I think my father knew him. He has always been described as a just man as well as a formidable warrior. I'm sorry to hear all this" Reidar said, looking at Dag.
"It doesn't matter, now this is a story that belongs to the past. All I can do is try to carry on what he started clumsily, gathering the Clans to fight those who really is the enemy of the people" Dag continued.
"We are with you, brother. We choose with you to make sense out of our lives, our names will be listed in the historical texts of the libraries of Jernhest!" replied Karl, enthusiastically.
"Where is Vegard? Do you already know the way?" asked Reidar, who after hearing Brann's story was even more determined to complete the mission.
Dag looked at both of his companions, proud of them. He had made the right choice, telling them the truth about Brann, they would never betray him, they would have no reason to do it.
"Yes, I think so. My mother told me that west of Tyven, there are several mountains. One of these is split in half and the two parts form two separate headlands: between these halves, should be the path to Vegard's cave" Dag said.
After motivating his companions, all three accelerated the pace, urging the horses to go faster, curious to meet this legendary figure that Dag had talked about.
They continued west, riding with Tyven to their right.
The plain stopped abruptly, leaving room for dozens of mountains with pointed peaks, which seemed to have sprung up out of nowhere.
Going into among them, the three adventurers found themselves immersed in dense vegetation, completely different from that of the rest of the region: the low fruit trees, which characterized the cultivated fields of Kvete, were replaced by high conifers, which grew even on the steepest slopes.
The atmosphere was definitely darker and the Sun could not penetrate the branches of the trees, making the path dimly lit.
About a kilometer away, Dag and his companions finally saw the mountain Asa had talked about: it was more than 50 meters high and the rock that made it up was smooth and black, very similar to the obsidian.
"The geology of this place is ambiguous. These minerals have nothing to do with what we have encountered so far, during our journey. Obsidian is a volcanic glass, and yet I don't see volcanoes nearby, does the map say anything?" asked Dag to Reidar, coming down from his horse and touching the rock face of the mountain split in half.
"Absolutely not. It doesn't even report this specific headland, I think it's out-of-date" Reidar said, trying to pinpoint that mountain on the map, which, given its characteristic shape, could have been a great place to navigate.
"It's so weird. It looks like it rained from the sky" added Dag, who, as he rested his hand on the rock, looked up, trying to see the sky among the leaves of the trees.
"The nearest volcano is a long way from here. Towards the southern border of the nation... I don't know much about volcanoes and this 'geology' that you talk about all the time, but I think this mountain has nothing to do with that volcano" Reidar continued, putting away the map, which showed no indication of the place so as to become useless.
"Let's move on. This path should lead us directly to Vegard" replied Dag, who immediately climbed on the back of Aslan and walked along the accidental path that was barely visible.
The three companions followed the road for about 2 hours, going deeper and deeper into the mountains, which became similar to the ones they had already seen.
The sea and villages on the coast were soon no longer visible.
At one point, the trail broke down at a steep rock face.
Dag got off the horse again and his companions did the same.
"I believe the cave is up here. The ancient path must have been covered by plants, which now make it inaccessible. Look" he said, pointing to his friends the bushes growing uphill, hampering the passage.
"So? How do we do that?" asked Karl, who couldn't figure out how to get to the top of the mountain.
"You will stay here with the horses. From here on out, I can continue alone. I'm going to climb on this wall and get to the cave" Dag said, handing Aslan's reins to Reidar.
"Not a chance, Dag! We're coming with you! I didn't travel all this way to lose you in the mountains" Karl continued, approaching his Captain.
"But... what about horses?" asked Dag.
"We'll tie them up here. The dense vegetation lets me guess that this area is not very busy, no one has been here for years, look! There are no other footprints on the ground besides ours. Our steeds will be safe" Reidar said, trying to reason with Dag.
"And then... I'm curious to find out if Vegard is just a legend or is real. Let us come with you, Captain" he continued, looking him in the eye.
"If that's what you want, I won't stop you from following me. It's going to be dangerous, I have that feeling" Dag said, grabbing the reins of his horse from Reidar's hands.
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