Okay, here is my promised epilogue. Please enjoy it and thank you so much for your continued support!
Chapter 16 Full Circle
I don't think I could ever put into words how incredibly good it felt when my feet touched ground back on our island. It was like taking a breath of cool refreshing air after being stuck in the smoke of a camp fire.
I resisted the urge to fall down on my face and just breathe, that seemed a bit too dramatic, but it was a close thing. Behind me I heard Toothless vocalizing his own sounds of contentment. There really wasn't anything, short of flying, that could compete with the feeling of coming back home. A place that was safe filled with people that didn't want to kill me, my family, and me best friends.
My feelings of joy were slightly diminished though, by the somber atmosphere. It was too bad that the Gather hadn't been what it should have been. A time of joy and a time for families to meet. Once only seven years, it was depressing to think that some people's last Gather was one of such discord. But on a happier note, people were slowly adjusting to the idea of dragons, and it wasn't such a leap of intelligence to know that travel would be much easier, maybe families could start seeing each other more often than just every seven years. There was another reason for said somber mood, Grimi the Grim had died from his wounds sustained from Toothless.
I felt remorse over the man's death. He had never seemed so bad, a little too much drinking and fighting, but over all not a terrible guy. My heart went out to Gromr. I couldn't even imagine what I would feel and how I would react if my father acted as his father had and than had been killed before my eyes. My father would never had done such a thing, but then again, maybe Gromr had thought the same thing.
I felt Toothless nudging my side, eager to see me up and moving closer to our home. I sighed and stood up trying to shake the gloom off, there was more happy news to note. Several children from the Gather had decided to travel back with the villagers of Berk.
Several parents had been reluctant, but eventually gave in because there were rumors flying about, no idea who started it, that the children who came to Berk from other tribes might receive a dragon. And if they didn't receive a dragon, then they were at least in "line" to receive an egg.
I already had an idea of who I thought would be able to handle a dragonet the thought of Gallin, while young, nurturing an egg was a warming thought. The boy was lost right now. His mother seemed to have a complete about face when it came to how she treated her son. In her husband's, er absence, she had taken over the affairs of her tribe, effectively taking the name Mjoll the Keeper. She had made it quite clear that no more harm would come to her son, that children like him would be kept safe from harm and that things were going to change around the tribe. He had lost his father, though he seemed to care less about the loss of Gaggar as a father than Gaggar as the leader. He didn't know where he stood and I felt that the time he spent here would only help him. He needed time to get his thoughts together, time to heal and forgive his mother, though I could see he still loved her despite her lack of care. I could also see her relief that her son was willing to give their relationship another chance.
It was funny that the other Vikings from other tribes thought that it would be a simple thing to train and raise a dragon. That they were just going to pick one up in the middle of the woods or from here and be on their way with them.
The problem was that no one knew exactly how to care and train their dragon. I smiled at the thought, they had looked to me and to my tribe for teaching, sending a few children from each tribe to learn and bring the knowledge back, hopefully on the back of a dragon of some sort.
I talked it over with the tribe heads, explaining that it would take at least a month for those sent to our tribe to learn even the basics, but Fishlegs had been working hard on abunch of manuals he could send back. He asked me what I thought the title should be, also for excerpts to put in the book, I told him that Vikings liked simple titles so he should probably name it something straight to the point. How to Train Your Dragon seemed about as plain and straight to the point as it could get.
I looked forward to training the kids, mating season was coming up and I knew that the dragons would be just as encouraging in their own offspring to learn how to get along with us Vikings. I was suspcious, Gods how could I not after all of the infighting from the past few days? But I was also cautiously hopeful that the other tribes would someday come to few dragons as friends than as creatures that suddenly had more use then target practice.
Ragna and Swanwhite were chattering happily behind me, eager to start their training, eager to get back up in the air. I was please with Swanwhite's new attitude, she seemed like a whole different girl. Gudrek, however, seemed rather pale at the thought of being so far off the ground. He also had changed, if only in the way that he didn't sneer at me when I passed by, but it was a start and that was worth something.
Yeah, basically all of the Ehrehad ended up coming back with us. The villagers seemed to agree, as well as the leaders still alive, that if anyone should learn how to work with dragons, how to care and raise them, it should be those that were potentially going to someday lead the tribe.
Eyvi couldn't attend with us, as a new leader he couldn't spare the month that it would take for him to learn about dragons, but I spoke with him and offered to meet him in the future months to train him out where his tribe lived, so that he could experience the wonder that was dragons.
I looked forward to the excitement the upcoming days would bring. I already knew that I would divide the kids up, because even a few kids from each of the tribes meant that there were quite a few. Astrid would lead a group, she had such natural skills when it came to leading and keeping such short attention spans on track. Snotlout too, was showing great promise in his ability to take the reigns. I would arrange for Fishlegs to have a class to discuss growth and proper care of their potential dragon. The twins were incharge of aerial tricks and formation training. I only hope that it would be actual learnign and not just tumbling about in the air for kicks.
And the first grumble I heard about "learning and studying" I was going to introduce them to Toothless. Or maybe my father's Nightmare.
I took a deep breath and gently smoothed my hand over Toothless head. "Well Buddy, ready to teach these kids what it means to a villager of Berk?"
A breath of fire was my answer.
"Thanks pal," I coughed, but there wasn't any heat to my reply and I couldn't stop the infectious grin that spread across my lips.
I am Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third and training humans and dragons alike was my job.
I chose the name Mjoll because it was a common name for women and I chose "the keeper" part of her name because I feel that she would try to be a woman that would keep the children of her tribe more safe, this is her personal pledge. I apologise in advance if there are anybody else with a name similar, it wasn't intended.
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