I know that Rome collasped several hundred years before the Viking era, but in the original httyd books, the Romans were still around. Like the author said, it's "fiction pretending to be history".
This story takes place after the second movie.
WARNING: Torture in this chapter
NOTE: There will probably be grammar mistakes which I will fix later.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do, or else you're a savage. If you're not a Roman, then you're a lesser person. Or so I've been told my entire life.
My name is Alba. My father, Avitus, is a well-known and respected politician, which pretty much implies that my entire family is well-off and more privileged than most citizens. My relation to him is what everyone knows me for, and...well, that's about it. There's nothing special about me. Sounds like I have low self-esteem but it's true. The only thing I'm good at it is being pretty, but that's all a man really wants from a woman, right? A pretty face and healthy body for bearing sons. Oh, and a lot of money is the cherry on top.
But soon I won't be a young bachelorette anymore. My dad has arranged a marriage between me and this centurion who's a couple of years older than me. Well, ten years older than me. His dad and my dad know each other well, and who better suited to marry his handsome, strapping son than his best friend's younger beautiful daughter? And the best part? I will have to move all the way to Britannia to be with my husband.
Yep. That's my life. Sounds perfect, don't it?
I envy the lesser people.
Somewhere a rooster crowed as the sun rose over the magnificent city of Rome. The morning light shined through the window of a young woman's room and on her face. The nineteen-year-old girl with long, wavy strawberry blonde hair fluttered her hazel eyes open and slowly rose from her bed with a stretch and a yawn.
She stood up and looked out her window with a sad heart. It was very beautiful day in Rome. The rich blue skies had not a single cloud and the sea was glittering under the sun. But it was also her very last day in Rome and all of Italy.
As usual, the house servants were there to get her ready for the day. They brushed her hair and fixed it into the usual braided short ponytail style, as well as helped her put on her jewelry, pink tunic and blue palla with golden embroidery. Once they were done, headed to the dining hall where her parents waited for her. They were at the table being served their usual breakfast: eggs, grapes, and bread that had been dipped in honey.
Her mother, Livia, who also had long strawberry blonde hair, greeted her with a pearly white as she walked in. "Good morning, darling. Did you sleep well?"
"Like a baby," Alba mumbled as she approached the table. A servant pulled a chair out for her while another poured some milk into her cup.
"Well, I hope that you did," Avitus said, "because you'll need it for the long trip."
"Right," Alba sighed heavily as she picked up a grape, fiddling with it in between her thumb and index finger.
Livia looked at her sympathetically as she reached over to touch her hand. "I know this is hard for you, my dear. When I left my family back in Sicily, I became extremely homesick for a while. But I slowly adapted to my new life here in Rome and started a new family with your father, and I could truthfully say that I couldn't be happier."
"And I guarantee that you'll be happy with Cassius," Avitus chimed in. "He is a good and honorable man. After a few years, you won't even think of going back to Rome."
Alba knew better than to argue with her father and mother. They were totally convinced that this marriage was the best thing for her, and nothing could convince them otherwise. And the truth was Cassius wasn't the perfect guy they perceived him to be. She had met him only twice in the last few months, but she immediately knew from the moment they met that she would be absolutely miserable with him.
But she only smiled and nodded, because that was all she could do.
After she finished breakfast and excused herself from the table, she walked down the hall leading to her room when she accidentally knocked a vase off its stand. At the sound of it breaking on the floor, a servant dashed out of a room with a broom in her hands.
"Please stand back, Miss," she wasted no time in sweeping the broken porcelain pieces away from Alba's feet. "We wouldn't want you to cut yourself."
Alba didn't thank her (why should she thank a slave for doing her job?) and simply continued on her way.
"At least I'll still have you, Brutus," Alba smiled down warmly at their family dog, a large Neapolitan Mastiff, who gave her leg a big, sloppy kiss. "You're the only one who really gets me. And I'll need you to protect me in case Cassius dares to raise a hand against me, which I'm sure he will."
Brutus barked and growled in response. Such a smart dog.
She smiled and looked back to the view of the sea from her window, watching the birds fly out of the trees and toward the horizon. She sometimes wished that she could sprout wings and follow them to freedom, but if the story of Icarus taught her anything, it was that men weren't meant to fly.
The door creaked open and she turned to see her mother walking in. Livia gave her a sad smile and folded her hands in front of her. "They've finished loading the carriage," she said softly. "We mustn't keep them waiting."
Alba nodded somberly, but she wouldn't move from her spot. "Mom, do I really have to go through with this? I mean, I know that he's a famous centurion and all, but I don't even like the guy. We don't have anything in common, except that our dads are best friends."
Livia sighed softly as she walked over to her. "I know. But the truth is, dear, there's no one I trust more with your well-being than Cassius. He's a soldier, for one, and his family has connections to ours. If you'd just give him a chance, I'm sure you'll grow to like him, maybe even love him." She placed her hands on her daughter's shoulders. "Please at least try to be happy? I want you to be well-off, but I don't want you to be miserable."
Alba looked at her mother, then nodded slowly. "Okay, Mom. I promise I'll try." She headed for the door but Livia stopped her.
"Wait. There's something I need to give you." Livia removed her necklace and placed it on Alba. Hanging down from its chain was a silver pendant which had the image of the Trinarcia engraved on it. "My grandmother passed it on to my mother, and she passed it on to me. And now it's yours to give to your children. I may be a Roman citizen now, but I keep it as a reminder of where I come from. Where we come from."
Alba smiled sadly as she clutched the pendant. "Thanks, Mom. I'll cherish it always."
Livia reached to gently touch Alba's cheek, her hazel eyes glistening with unshed tears. "My sweet Alby...I blinked and you grew up. I will miss you terribly."
Alba wrapped her arms around her in a hug. "I'll miss you, too." Then she felt her mother jump all of a sudden, and they both looked down to see Brutus licking Livia's ankles.
The older woman chuckled and scratched the dog on his head. "I'll miss you as well, Brutus. Watch after Alba, will you?"
The dog wagged his tail and kissed her on the foot, learning a laugh from both women.
Outside their house, Alba hugged her parents goodbye one last time before stepping into the carriage with Brutus jumping in after her. As the horses pulled the vehicle away, she waved at them and nearly broke down when she saw Livia cover her face and lean against Avitus, her shoulders moving up and down. The very last image that she would have of her mother was her crying, and she had to live with that for the rest of her life.
By land and sea, it had taken over a month to get from Italy all the to the Britains, which was the longest trip she ever had to take, and once she finally arrived at the town of Moridunum, she swore that she could kiss the ground. She was so sick of carriages and boats. Brutus, on the other, absolutely loved going at sea, and Alba practically had to drag him off the ship when they reached the shore.
The first person to greet her at her new timber house was Magnus Cassius, who, of course, was still wearing his armor and accompanied by a few of his men. He helped her off the wagon and clasped his hands around hers in a romantic gesture. "My dear Alba," he smiled at her, "I'm so happy to have you here with me at last. You're as beautiful as I last saw you."
Oh, please, she rolled her eyes then said out loud, "We saw each other last month, Cassius."
Cassius chuckled. "Well, it felt like an eternity to me." His smile dropped when he spotted Brutus in the wagon. "Oh, I see you brought him with you."
"Well, of course, I did," Alba smirked smugly at him. "Every family needs at least one pet, right?"
"Right," he said through gritted teeth, glaring at the dog, who snarled and growled at him. He cleared his throat and put his smile back on for her. "Anyway, there will be a feast tonight to celebrate your arrival."
"I can barely contain my joy," Alba mumbled sarcastically as she walked past him and headed straight for the front door of their house. That was another thing she was sick of: parties.
Back in Rome, her father, being the important political figure that he was, held a party at their house at least once every week. Sometimes the guests would drink too much wine and throw up all over their floor. One unpleasant memory included a merchant's wife who got so drunk that she passed out and fell face-first into her own vomit. And the conversations they'd have with each other...oh, gods, they were so boring.
It was going to be a long night.
"Alba, wait," Cassius called after her.
She stopped at the door and turned to face him.
"Don't I get a kiss at least?" He grinned as he tapped his cheek.
She gave him a bored look. "Save it for the honeymoon," she snarked as she opened the door and stepped inside with Brutus scurrying after her.
Their first lunch together in their new house was...awkward. They sat directly across from each other at their table, eating in silence and glancing up at each other every now and then. Brutus lay at Alba's feet, patiently waiting for his share of leftovers or falling crumbs.
Cassius finally broke the silence by clearing his throat. "So...do you like it here so far?"
Alba shrugged. "I just got here," she said quietly before taking a bite out of her bread.
He tightened his lips and nodded. "I look forward to our wedding day. You will be the most beautiful bride in all of Brittania."
"Yeah, and the most miserable," she muttered under her breath.
"I said, 'Yeah I agree,'" she said louder with a forced smile. She tore off a piece of the cooked pheasant and handed it to Brutus, who eagerly gobbled it down.
Cassius watched her feed the dog in disgust. "You're not bringing him to the banquet tonight."
Alba looked at him offended. "Why not? He's a part of the family, too."
"He is a pet. He shouldn't even be at the table."
She scoffed and simply handed Brutus another piece of meat. "Whatever. He doesn't like parties, anyway."
And he's not the only one, but at least he doesn't have to attend this party tonight. Lucky dog.
Cassius kept to his word and later that night a banquet was held in their own backyard. Most of the invited guests were politicians, patricians, and merchants, who would, as usual, drink excessive amounts of wine and ramble drunkenly about politics and Roman conquest. Alba was the only sober, unhappy person at the party, staring blankly at the sea while everyone else around was having the time of their lives, oblivious to her misery.
A politician's wife who was about Alba's age stumbled over to her table, nearly spilling her drink and giggling madly. "Well, hello, Alba!" she slurred, almost dropping to the floor. "Are you excited?"
Alba glanced at her briefly before looking back at the horizon. "About what?" she mumbled depressingly.
"The wedding, silly! I'm sooooo jealous! See, I'm stuck with that hairy old pig over there, while you get to marry a total hunk!" She pointed to her husband who sat at the table across from Alba's. He looked to be over fifty and was bald but had so much hair on his arms that it was sickening. He was very unattractive, as well, with a big red nose, bags under his eyes, and a pair of fish lips.
Alba almost lost her lunch at the sight of him. Suddenly her marriage to Cassius didn't seem that bad.
Speaking of, the centurion was too busy chatting with some of the younger and rich bachelors to sit at the table with his wife-to-be. He was retelling his most recent raids on other smaller countries without sparing them even the goriest of details. "And after I ripped it right out of his chest, I said, 'Well, I guess you do have a heart after all!'" They all laughed at his cruel joke and guzzled down more wine.
"You know, I've been meaning to ask you, Cassius," a young man with curly blonde hair wiped his wet chin with a napkin, "What are you going to do about those Vikings up North?"
"Vikings?" Cassius threw his head back and laughed heartily. "Those horned, hairy heathens? They pose no threat to me. They'd rather drink and breed than to start a war."
"Well, there's a rumor going around that some clans are riding dragons like horses," a short fat man said nervously.
Cassius raised an eyebrow and snorted. "Dragons? Right, and I'm turning my enemies into stone with the head of Medusa."
The others chuckled at his joke, except for the fat man. "I'm not joking, fellas. You ever heard of a man named Drago Bludvist? They say he burned down villages and took out fleets with an army of dragons."
"Even if dragons did exist," Cassius became more stern, "they can be killed like any other beast. Nothing can overpower an entire Roman legion, especially one that's under my leadership. I don't fear this Drago or his so-called dragons, so let him challenge me if he dares. Or if he even exists."
"Ha!" The blonde man playfully slapped him on his back. "Brave and bold as always! Alba sure is lucky to have a husband like you! Hey...where is Alba?"
Alarmed, Cassius whipped his head in the direction of Alba's table and was shocked to see her seat empty. Shocked and infuriated.
"Gods, I hate parties," Alba sighed as she plopped down on her bed. Brutus heard her enter the house and ran into her bedroom, ecstatic to see his owner and friend. He jumped onto the bed and proceeded to lick her face, earning a groan of disgust from her. "Ew! Brutus, okay!" She tried to push her huge dog off, but he was just too heavy. "Get off!"
She felt her mother's necklace being pulled and looked down to see Brutus gnawing at the pendant. "Brutus, NO! Bad dog!" She quickly snatched it out of his jaws and wiped all the slobber off. As her thumb brushed over the engravings, she thought of her mother back in Rome and wondered how she and Avitus were doing back in Rome.
The sound of the front door being slammed open made her jump. "Alba?" Cassius called out to her. She could hear the anger in his voice and prepared herself for a confrontation.
He stomped into the room, his face red with anger. "We need to talk," he growled. "Now."
Brutus stood in front of Alba protectively and growled at him, but the centurion painfully grabbed him by the neck and pulled him off the bed.
"W-What are you doing?! Stop! You're hurting him!" Alba protested as he dragged the whimpering dog toward the door.
As soon as he threw Brutus out of the room and shut the door behind him, he turned his attention back to Alba and stood at the foot of the bed, glaring at her. Alba became fearful of him and scooted away until her back hit the wall.
"You embarassed me tonight," he hissed as he crossed his arms. "In front of the most important people in this town. What do you have to say for yourself?"
Alba took in a deep breath and tried to act brave. "Look, if we're going to make this marriage work, you need to understand that I hate going to parties. They make me, you know, uncomfortable."
"Oh, they make you uncomfortable?" Cassius sneered at her. "Well, you know what makes me uncomfortable? Everyone staring at me after my woman acts so shamefully." He crawled toward her on the bed and grabbed her wrists, pinning her to the wall. Alba wrinkled her nose at the strong smell of wine in his breath. "I have enough on my plate right now, and as my wife, you are obliged to support me no matter what. My reputation is more important than your feelings." He leaned in closer until their noses touched. "Understand?"
Alba trembled in his grasp and gulped. "Y-Yeah," she said barely below a whisper.
"Good." He pulled away and let go of her, and as soon as he opened the door, Brutus sprinted past him and jumped onto the bed to check on Alba, who was still shaking. Once he was out of sight, she hugged Brutus close to her, sobbing quietly into his wrinkled fur.
She promised her mother that she would try to be happy, but now it was a certainty that she could never be happy with Cassius.
"Oh, Brutus, what am I gonna do?"
She looked at her wrists, which now had bruises from Cassius's strong grip. They almost looked like manacles, which was fitting as to how trapped she felt in this marriage. She then slowly turned her head to the view of the sea through her window, longing for freedom.
She couldn't stay.
She knocked on the door to his office, hoping that he wasn't too busy or too mad from last night. "Come in," she heard him say. She creaked the door open and poked her head in. "Cassius?" she said softly. "We need to talk."
The centurion was studying a map at his desk and didn't look up at her, but motioned for her to come with a wave of his hand. "Make it quick," he gruffed. "I have much to do today."
"I..." Alba bit her lower lip and wringed her hands before continuing. "I need a boat."
"A boat?" Cassius finally lifted his eyes from the map and at his fiancé, who nodded. "What for? I thought you were tied of the sea?"
"I need some alone time," she said quietly, casting her eyes downward. "I have a lot on my mind right now and...and well, I..."
He looked at her confused, then his face softened with understanding. "Alba, does this have anything to do with what happened last night?"
She didn't answer and continued to look down.
Cassius sighed softly as he stood up from his desk and walked to her. "I understand," he lifted her chin and cupped her cheek. "You are young and not ready for the humbled life of a married woman. It's okay to be scared and confused, and I'll try my best to be more patient with you. I'll allow this little boat trip, but don't go too far."
She smiled a little and nodded, pulling away from his touch. "Thank you." She turned to the door and reached for the knob.
"Oh, and I'll send two of my men to accompany you," he added as he sat back down at his desk.
She froze and closed her eyes as she sighed exasperatedly. So much for "alone time".
Alba sulked and rested her chin in her hands as the boat gently bobbed up and down. Two legionaries who were appointed by Cassius kept watch, tasked with the protection of his future bride. Brutus peered into the water and watched the fish swim by, his long tail wagging.
The plan was for her to get into a boat (with Brutus aboard, of course) and sneak away to Hibernia. It would be a suicidal and desperate attempt to get away from the life her parents forced her into, but she had to be free, even if it killed her.
She dozed off a few times throughout the whole trip, listening to the relaxing sounds of the sea. But at one point during the late afternoon, she thought she felt something hit the bottom of the boat. At first she brushed it off, but then Brutus began to growl deep in his throat. Something was definitely wrong.
But the soldiers who were guarding her didn't seem to notice as they continued to casually chat with each other. "Um, excuse me?" Alba said, catching their attention. "I wish to go home now."
"Very well, miss." They picked up their oars and started to turn the boat around...
...when their boat was sudden spit in half by a huge scaly tail that came from out of the water. Alba gasped as her end of the boat began to sink, clutching Brutus close to her.
"What just happened?!" one of the soldiers yelled. "Are we-?!" He was cut off as he was pulled under by an unseen force. Alba screamed in horror while the other soldier instinctively unsheathed his sword, preparing to fight off whatever was hunting them in the waters.
Suddenly they heard a distant yet terrifying roar. It couldn't have belonged to a lion or a bear. Brutus lifted his head to the skies and began to bark at something. Alba followed his gaze and her eyes nearly popped out of their sockets when she saw what appeared to be a flock of dragons circling above their heads like vultures.
A man's gruff voice could be heard giving a command, and immediately all of the dragons dived in after the two. Alba screamed as she tried to swim away with Brutus under her arm, but large crawled feet grabbed by the shoulders and pulled her out of the water, while another dragon grabbed the legionary.
Down below, Brutus barked and paddled after them. Alba began to sob and reached out to her beloved dog as he got tinier and tinier until he finally disappeared under the clouds.
She got a good look at the dragons as they flew past the one that had a hold on her. They had long, serpentine bodies, three sets of horns on their heads, and iridescent purple scales. And what's more they had...
...Vikings riding on their backs?
So the rumors were true: Vikings really were riding dragons and using them to raid and burn other villages. These riders were heavily tattooed, wore traditional Viking helmets, and had long braided hair, longer than hers. One of them turned his head and looked directly at her, giving her a sadistic smile.
Her heart immediately dropped to her stomach. This was really it. She was never going to see Brutus or her parents ever again. She only hoped that they would grant her a quick and painless death.
They flew a great distance and the evening soon became dark. After what felt like for hours, the dragons took another dive through the clouds. Below them was a fleet of Viking ships that were adorned with burning torches along the sides. An iron dragon's head protruded from the stern, the inside of its mouth lit with another torch to give it a firebreathing effect.
The dragon that carried Alba lowered itself to the deck of the leading ship and dropped her, while the other dragon that had the Roman soldier dropped him next to her. The Vikings that were onboard slowly gathered around the two, trapping them in a circle with their swords drawn out. But they parted as their leader stepped forward.
He was a large, burly man, but unlike the other Vikings, he had no beard nor wore a horned helmet. Instead, a tattoo of fangs ran down from his lower lip to the bottom of his chin. The areas around his eyes were painted with black and the bridge of nose was painted with red. Long, white spikes protruded from his shoulder armor, he wore jewelry made of bones and sharp, pointy teeth, and a grey wolfhide cape hung down his shoulders.
He stomped over to where Alba knelt and painfully grabbed her chin. The Roman guard stood up to rush to her defense, but two Vikings quickly grabbed him. Alba trembled as his icy blue eyes looked straight into hers. The corners of his mouth slowly lifted into a sinister.
"Welcome to my ship, wife of Magnus Cassius," he said in a calm yet eerie voice that made Alba's blood chill. "I am Olin, chief of the Greyfur Tribe."
Oh, great. If someone like him knew her fiancé, it couldn't have been because they were friends. "Y...You know Cassius?" she whimpered.
He nodded slowly. "Of course. We meet five years ago...as he and his army burned down my village and slaughtered my family right in front of me."
"My wife and sons are dead because of him," Olin continued, his eyes blazing with rage. "In fact, we all have our own reasons to hold a grudge against him. And nothing would satisfy us more than to make him suffer by destroying everything and everyone he holds dear." He leaned in closer to her face. "And that includes you, girl."
Alba chuckled nervously. "Yeah, well, if it makes any difference, I'm not his wife yet."
Olin paused before he nodded. "Perhaps not. But you're obviously precious to him, and why does he get to be happy while I have to lose everything?"
"Think before you act, Viking!" the captured legionary yelled boldly. "An enemy of Magnus Cassius is an enemy of the great Caesar, himself! Your acts of vengeance may very well be your undoing!"
Olin turned to him and grinned. "Caesar, eh? I have nothing to fear from a grape-eating, silk-ass wuss." The other Vikings broke into laughter, and he stomped over to the soldier and grabbed him by the neck, almost choking him. "You are the one who should be fearing for your life right now."
He then turned to his men and pumped his fist in the air while shouting, "BLOOD EAGLE!" The crowd went into an uproar and the two Vikings that held the soldier pinned him to the deck on his stomach. Another man stripped him of his armor, leaving only his undershirt on.
Olin walked over to Alba, grabbed her arm and pulled her close to him. "Now watch, girl," he grabbed her chin again with his other hand and forced her to look at the soldier. "This is what happens to those who dare to provoke the wrath of Greyfurs."
A Viking with an axe knelt down over the soldier and slowly dragged his weapon down the latter's back. The legionary screamed in pain and agony, and although Alba couldn't turn away from the gruesome sight, she quickly closed her eyes. Unfortunately, she could not block out the sickening sounds of flesh being cut through and bones cracking. This went on for nearly twenty minutes, but she dared not open her eyes and see what they were doing to him. His screams slowly reduced to groans and gurgled choking, until he finally became silent.
A faint booming sound in the distance caused Olin to become tense and he raised his hand. The Vikings saw his signal and immediately stopped the torture. The chief dragged Alba with him to the stern and looked up into the black, starless sky, searching for something.
For a moment, there was complete silence and everyone was still. Then a ball of green fire came hurling down and missed the boat by a few inches, causing it to rock violently. A few Vikings were thrown off into the waters, while the others prepared for battle and unsheathed their swords.
Olin smirked devilishly and whispered, "So she has come for me at last." He tossed Alba, completely disregarding her, and raised his own sword. "Come at me, beast!" he bellowed. "I'm ready for you!"
A shadowy figure swooped down at them and the ship's torches briefly revealed woody brown scales before they were blown out by the gust of wind.
The Vikings' dragons all appeared and breathed fire, aiming at the intruder. But it was much too quick for them and avoided the flames, the lights of which revealed its long, slender frame and massive wings. The dragon dove past them and straight toward the ship, opening its jaws and spewing green fire. The boat was now in flames and the Vikings all jumped into the safety of the waters, except for the chief, himself, who remained where he stood, his sword still in his hand.
Alba was about to make a jump for it when she saw the dragon latch itself onto the stern with the hooks on its wings and slowly slither toward Olin, the pupils in its lime green eyes turning into slits. It let out a terrifying hiss and pulled its neck back, preparing to strike at its prey, when all of a sudden the smaller enemy dragons came down and ambushed it. The brown dragon roared angrily and struggled to wiggle them off as they bit down on its neck and back.
"That's it," Olin chuckled darkly as he slowly approached the trapped dragon with his sword raised. "I've got you now."
Although she had the chance to escape and save her own skin, somehow Alba just couldn't let him kill that dragon. Before she even realized what she was doing, she charged at Olin and shoved him as hard as she could, causing him to stumble and fall off the ship.
The brown dragon had finally shaken off the last of the smaller dragons and took off into the black sky, but not before Alba grabbed a hold of its long tail. She held on for dear life as they got higher and higher, and she prayed to the gods that she would survive the flight.
By morning, the air had become much colder, and Alba's entire body shook like a leaf and her teeth chattered as the freezing wind blew against her with full force. As the hours passed, her arms became weaker and it was getting harder for her to stay awake. Finally, the fatigue combined with the freezing temperature was too much and she passed out.
When the dragon felt her let go of its tail and saw her falling, it wasted no time in diving after her.
"Come on, Hooky," Snotlout Jorgenson yawned and stretched himself as he stepped outside, his Monstrous Nightmare growling at him to hurry up. "It's way too early to go flying. Go back to bed and wake me up another five hours."
Hookfang would hear none of it and he clamped his jaws down on Snotlout's body, but not hard enough to kill him. It did cause him major discomfort, though.
Snotlout groaned inside the dragon's mouth and his shoulders slumped in defeat. "Fine. You win...as usual."
Grinning triumphantly, Hookfang tossed Snotlout into the air and the Viking grunted as he landed roughly on the dragon's head. They took off into the pink and blue sky, and Snotlout leaned against Hookfang's right horn as they flew away from the village. He wasn't used to getting up this early and he dozed off for a moment, but then his dragon startled him awake with a roar.
"AHHH! Hookfang! You almost gave me a heart attack!" he scolded.
Hookfang roared again and tilted his head toward one of the sea stacks.
Snotlout looked at him confused, not getting it. "What's wrong with you? You got that tic again?"
Snorting in annoyance and rolling his eyes, Hookfang dashed toward one of the rock columns, and his rider squinted as he spotted something lying on its flat surface. His blues widened when he realized that it was a person. A woman to be exact.
They landed on the rock and Snotlout hopped off his dragon to check her over. He placed his right ear on her chest, listening for a heartbeat. It was very faint, but it was there. He pulled away and studied her face. She was stunning beautiful and looked to be around his age. But judging from her clothes, she wasn't from around here. She wasn't even a Viking.
He noticed the engraved pendant around her neck and carefully picked it up between his finger and thumb, studying its features. It looked really weird, like a woman's head with three legs growing out of it.
Where in the name of Thor did this lady come from?
Just then Alba's eyes fluttered open and she groaned as she regain consciousness. The first thing she saw was a blurry figure with horns, and when her vision cleared, she was horrified to see another Viking kneeling over her. She noticed that he was holding her pendant and scooted away from him.
"Here!" She ripped off her necklace and threw it at him. "Take it! Just don't hurt me!"
He looked at her and then at the necklace in his hand before shrugging. "Okay. Thanks, I guess."
She blinked a couple of times before she realized what she was doing. Did she seriously just give up her family heirloom? "Wait! Give that back!" She snatched it out of his hand and held it close to her chest protectively.
"Okay, okay," Snotlout held his hands up. "Sheesh. Make up your mind, will ya?"
Alba gasped when she saw the Monstrous Nightmare that was standing behind the young Viking. She had never seen anything more terrifying in her life. "Oh, my gods! Get away from me!" She stood up and ran away in blind fear, not realizing that she was heading straight toward the ledge.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, WHOA!" Snotlout immediately darted after her. "Lady, STOP!" Right as she was about to fall off, he grabbed her by the arm and pulled her away in time. They both fell backwards onto the ground with her sitting in his lap. Despite the situation, Snotlout couldn't help but grin lustfully. He was definitely turned on by this.
Alba, on the other hand, was quick to get out of his lap and stepped away from him, a blush on her cheeks. "S-Sorry," she said as she rubbed her arm awkwardly.
"Don't be," he said, the grin still on his face. "I know I'm not."
She frowned at him and took another step back. Was this guy a pervert? "Yeah, uh, okay. Um, could you tell me where I am?"
"You're not too far from Berk, sweetheart," he said as he stood back up and brushed the dust off his pants.
She tilted her head a bit. "Berk? Is that a country?"
"Nope. It's an island. You're not from around here, are you?"
"Well, no actually. I live in Britannia, but I was kidnapped by these Vikings and their crazy chief...what's his name...oh, yeah, Olin."
Snotlout raised an eyebrow at her. "Olin? Never heard of him."
She looked at him surprised. "Really? Well, listen, I need a place to stay for a while and-"
"Oh, sure! You can stay with me at my house," he winked at her.
Alba looked at him unamused. Okay, this guy was really starting to get on her nerves. "No thanks. I meant like at an inn or something."
"Okay, then." He walked over to Hookfang and hopped back on his neck, gesturing for her to come with a wave of his hand. "Let's get going."
She looked at Hookfang nervously and wringed her hands. "Uh...I'm not sure."
Snotlout understood why she was nervous and patted Hookfang on the head. "Don't worry, he doesn't bite. Well, actually he does, but most of the time it's only me."
Slowly and hesitantly, she approached the dragon and climbed onto his neck behind Snotlout. The Viking glanced over his shoulder at her with a sly grin. "Put your arms around me. You know, for your own safety."
She rolled her eyes and held onto his black fur vest instead. "I'll take my chances," she mumbled.
What was with this guy?
If you guessed that the dragons that kidnapped Alba were Grim Gnashers, you were right! Can you guess the species of the dragon that saved her?
As to why that dragon attacked Olin, that will be revealed in later chapters.
And what is a Blood Eagle you ask? That's somehing you'll have to look up yourself. It's pretty gory.