359 CCCLIX. Love Affairs
"Hahaha, yes! Thank you, Dag! We knew that once again your knowledge and intelligence would pull us out of some bad situation!" Sander exclaimed, rejoicing in the news and touching Dag's shoulder in gratitude.
In general enthusiasm, Freydis focused on Dag and noticed his despondent expression, decidedly unsuitable for joy.
"Are you sad for that girl, Dag?" she asked, approaching him without being noticed.
"I don't understand how they can have been already forgotten about her... as far as we know, she could be dead or kidnapped... or who knows what else! And they're just glad that there's a cave on the other side of the tunnel and maybe we can all get to the surface..." he answered, in a heartbroken tone and slightly annoyed by the attitude of his companions.
"I understand what you mean and I agree with you. Only so many times we have made the same mistake. Have you ever had more men and women dying before your eyes and you forgot about them a few hours later?" Freydis continued, trying to reason with Dag and at the same time inquiring suspiciously about the true reason for his distress.
"Yes, of course, it happened to me. For example during the battle to rescue you on Vaeren Island. Many of our men died, but I continued untill the end, only thinking about you and your salvation, which was my ultimate goal".
"That's it, you know why? Because I have different importance to you than other people have, as you for me. If there was a girl you didn't know instead of me, I'm sure you wouldn't have insisted so much on her release, wouldn't you?"
"What do you mean by that?" he asked, in a suspicious tone.
"I mean maybe you and that girl didn't meet yesterday for the first time, but much earlier" she continued, surprising Dag, who didn't imagine getting caught so easily.
He swallowed empty and for a few seconds, in his mind, he found himself faced with a choice: whether to lie and continue for who knows what reason not to talk about the true origin of the friendship between him and Claire, or to tell the truth and take this enormous weight out of consciousness.
"Well, you got it... yes. Claire and I knew each other before. We met months ago when I was kidnapped by the Renegades and imprisoned in Mork Castle on Mount Torden. There, she was one of the personal slaves of King Hjalmar, the 'ruler' of that well-known group of bandits. In a nutshell, her help was crucial to my escape, and I returned the favor by saving her and other women enslaved giving them the opportunity to settle at Magni's farm, my late Master. Oh, do you see him? I left him there with them, defending the farm!" Dag confessed, pointing to Thalos, who followed him step by step never straying too far from his master.
"Ah, that's why he kept sniffing her legs and licking her hands! Hahaha!" Freydis laughed.
Dag was astonished by her unexpected reaction and continued: "That's not all... so, first of all, just know that I have always been faithful to you, Freydis. I never cheated on you, not even with my mind... and I assure you that there have been quite a few particularly difficult situations! Having said that, know that Claire, the girl who disappeared a short time ago, escaped from the farm and followed me, first to Hevnen, then to Skjegg, because she is obsessed with me. Some time ago she confessed her love and when I told her that my heart already belonged to someone else, she seemed to react with philosophy... I didn't know she was following me to the edge of the world!"
"Hahahaha! What an incredible story! Hahaha!" Freydis continued to laugh, who once again left Dag stunned, who was convinced that his woman was even minimally jealous.
"You're not angry... or jealous?" he asked, shrugging his shoulders.
She slowly stopped laughing and recompose, replying: "You just told me you never cheated on me, why should I be? If you really want to know, I too have had many opportunities, so many men who would have wanted to be with me... but I never betrayed you, I always fulfilled the promise we made to Jernhest. I'm sorry about your friend, you'll see, we'll find her!"
Dag sighed and smiled at Freydis, looking her intently in the eye and loving her every second more.
He never expected such a calm and intelligent reaction in the sentimental field, but once again, the young red-haired Shieldmaiden had managed to amaze him, showing a maturity out of the ordinary and this only increased the esteem and affection that Dag felt for her.
"Hey, now why are you smiling like an idiot? Hahaha" she began to chuckle, mocking his expression, while he was immersed in his thoughts.
"Nothing, forget bout it. I'm glad you're here with me, that's all" he said, as Egill's hand touched his shoulder.
"I wouldn't interrupt your conversation, but... I think we're ready to go. Two other soldiers climbed the tunnel and were able to enter the cave, which apparently has a way to the surface" the Master Of Healing said, urging the two lovebirds to approach the others and line up.
Dag and Freydis obeyed and joined the others, waiting their turn to climb.
"As for the Iron Emerald... maybe it's better if some of us stay in the area, such as near the cave where we're going to come out. If anything happens to our ship, we'd be in serious trouble and we couldn't come back" he said, addressing Kjell, who seemed the one most attentive to these details.
"Yes, we will do as we had already established. We just have to check if this tunnel can be driven downhill, otherwise, it would change everything and we could no longer reach this cave from the surface, once we climbed" he said, looking at the soldiers, who two at a time, after they get harnessed, got into the hole.