Bloodlines of the Ancient Pantheons Chapter 165: CLXV. The Reward


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Then with his foot, he pushed the corpse away, causing him to fall into the sea. 

"It should be heavy enough not to let you back afloat" he said sadistically, spitting at the goat-man, who slowly vanished underwater, near a boat, as a bloodstain spread to the surface.

Dag and the others were paralyzed: they never thought they would see such a thing, Karl had shown a coldness and cruelty that did not belong to him.

When he came back close to his friends, he was totally covered in blood, both his and his enemy's.

"No one will ever find his body at the bottom of the sea. That's what he deserves, that shitbag. The fish and crabs will eat his carcass, leaving not a single piece of it" Karl said, approaching Agnes, who looked at him with her eyes shining, fearing for his death.

The two lovers hugged, despite Karl being all dirty, while Dag and Reidar looked at each other wondering what they had just seen.

"I know what you're wondering... it was a 'Superior Healing Potion'. That's how I called it. I'd tell you about it after I tried it, since it's my recipe. I wasn't sure it would work, the ampoule should have stayed closed for a few more days... but apparently, it went better than I expected" Karl smiled, explaining the incident to his teammates.

"A recipe of yours?" said Dag, as he resumed lucidity.

"Yes. Or rather, it's a recipe I read on Egill's almanac, but that I perfected with another ingredient, which slightly increases physical strength, only temporarily, giving the potion a real invigorating power" Karl continued, as Agnes embraced him tightly, staring still at him with admiration.

"Do you have any more?" asked Reidar, curious.

"No, at the time, that was the only one I had. It was just an experiment. However, it is not difficult to prepare and the ingredients are not particularly rare. The only annoying thing is that it has to rest for about a week to be ready... or at least 5-6 days, apparently" Karl replied, satisfied with his successful experiment.

"I've never seen you like this before, brother. But I'm proud of you, I knew you'd show character sooner or later!" exclaimed Dag, congratulating his friend.

"Imagine if anyone had treated Freydis like that. Wouldn't you have reduced him to a mush? When I saw those two bastards rest their lurid hands on my Agnes, I thought it was time to use the potion. I would have killed them at all costs" Karl continued, looking Agnes in the eye and stroking her hair.

"Yes, I would have done it too" sighed Dag, thinking intently at Freydis and looking at the sky, which was beginning to light up with the morning light.

"I'm afraid the boat to Innsjo has already left. We'll have to wait a little longer" Reidar said, in an annoyed tone, trying to figure out if the boat in question was still docked in the harbor.

"The boat will depart in the early afternoon. In the meantime, you'll have plenty of time to wash and regain your strength, eating a little something" said a female voice, from behind them.

It was Heidi, the owner of the Red Rose Tavern.

As soon as they saw her, Dag, Reidar, and Karl bowed their heads, mortified by the annoyances they had caused her.

"I will repay you any damage, Lady Heidi! I apologize on behalf of my group, even though it is all my fault, those men had come for me. If we hadn't lost the boat last night, maybe we'd be able to avoid this fight" Dag said, his head down.

"So there would be no one able to drive them out of here and they could have really hurt us. Your name is Dag, right?" asked Heidi.

"Yes, my Lady" Dag confirmed.

"My husband witnessed the whole scene, Dag. These men were very dangerous and their threat had to be eliminated. I don't know why they came looking for you, and I don't care. You don't look like a criminal to me, so you and your mates will always be welcome at the Red Rose" the woman continued, as the innkeeper stood beside her, smiling.

"My wife is right. Don't worry about the damage... it's just a little stuff. A broken window and door is not a drama. Everybody in, now! Stop whining! I'm going to make you a very good beef stew, the best..." 

"Yes, the best in the region, they already know, dear" Heidi replied, interrupting the innkeeper, who was inviting everyone into the tavern.

"Hahahaha" laughed the four friends, after that kind couple had brought back the good humor. 

They returned to the tavern and made their way to their rooms, rinsing their blood off and making sure they had taken all their stuff, before going downstairs.

Dag and Reidar left the room before Karl and Agnes, who had closed the entrance to their chamber simply by resting the destroyed door near the wall, with a piece of furniture behind it, covering the holes caused by Grog's horns.

"Hahaha! Here's his reward!" chuckled Dag and Reidar as they made their way downstairs, following a great stew's smell.

When they got downstairs, the smell became even stronger and they noticed that the innkeeper was spinning the soup inside a large pot, while many other people were sitting at the tables, waiting for food.

"Ah! Here they are, The new Heroes of Halm!" he said aloud, drawing the attention of every person in the room.

Dag merely smiled at the people watching them, while Reidar was decidedly more embarrassed and sat by the innkeeper, looking down at the counter.

After a few minutes, Heidi also arrived and Dag and Reidar started to talk, officially introducing themselves and telling them their story for the first time. 

Finally, Karl and Agnes also went downstairs to the inn, holding hands. 

"Here they come" said Dag, who had already finished his first portion of stew and was sipping a glass of mead.

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