Book 8 - Conquest for the Truth - The World is Calling You, Part 3 - Chapter 3

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httyyd
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Joined: 10/12/2013

It has been a little tough for me lately to write this.  I don't have a lack of ideas or have writer's block, it is more or less the time needed to write.

 

It might also be because I am writing a 3 part intro to the book and I just want to write the Book.  I think I may be getting ahead of myself in my ideas, I just need to calm down and just write.

 

But alas, the chapter is finally done.

 

I hope you all enjoy!

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Book 10 - The Shattered Axe

Chapter 17 - Back on Track

 

The Jarl Mollerson Mystery Series

All Chapter Links
 

 

Destiny in the Dark

Chapter 3 - Friends and Enemies

 

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Here are links to the chapters of my fan-fic series.  The books go in chronological order.

 

The Clue of the Missing Socks.

Chapters 1 and 2                         Chapter 3                                       Chapter 4

Chapter 5                                      Chapter 6                                        Chapter 7

Chapters 8 and 9                        Chapter 10                                     Chapter 11

Chapters 12 and 13                     Chapters 14, 15, and 16             Chapter 17

Chapter 18                                    Chapter 19                                      Chapter 20

Chapter 21 and 22                      Chapter 23                                     Chapter 24 and 25

Chapter 26 - There is a hidden surprise.  Can you find it?

Chapter 27                                   Chapter 28, Part 1                         Chapter 28, Part 2

Chapter 29                                   Chapter 30                                       Chapter 31

Chapter 32                                   Chapter 33                                       Chapter 34

Chapter 35                                   Chapter 36                                       Chapter 37

Chapter 38                                   Chapter 39                                       Chapter 40

Chapter 41                                   Chapter 42                                       Chapter 43

Chapter 44                                   Chapter 45, Parts 1 and 2

 

The Mysterious Frozen Fire

Chapter 1         Chapter 2         Chapter 3         Chapter 4         Chapter 5         Chapter 6

Chapter 7         Chapter 8         Chapter 9         Chapter 10       Chapter 11       Chapter 12

Chapter 13       Chapter 14       Chapter 15        Chapter 16       Chapter 17       Chapter 18  

Chapter 19       Chapter 20      Chapter 21        Chapter 22, Part 1       Chapter 22, Part 2 

Chapter 22, Part 3

Epilogue/Preview for my Third Story!

 

Thoughts of Guilt

Chapters 1 and 2          Chapters 3 and 4          Chapter 5          Chapter 6          Chapter 7

Chapter 8          Chapter 9          Chapter 10          Chapter 11          Chapter 12, Part 1

Chapter 12, Part 2          Chapter 13         Chapter 14         Chapter 15         Chapter 16

Chapter 17 and 18         Chapter 19         Chapter 20         Chapter 21         Chapter 22

Chapter 23         Chapter 24         Chapter 25         Chapter 26         Chapter 27

Chapter 28         Chapter 29         Chapter 30         Chapter 31         Chapter 32

Chapter 33         Chapter 34         Chapter 35         Chapter 36 and 37

Chapter 38, Part 1         Chapter 39, Part 2         Chapter 40, Part 3         Chapter 41

Chapter 42, Parts 1 and 2         Chapter 43         Chapter 44

Chapter 45, Part 1         Chapter 45, Part 2

 

On the Edge of Mystery

Chapter 1          Chapter 2         Chapter 3        Chapters 4 & 5    Chapter 6, Parts 1 and 2   

Chapter 7          Chapter 8         Chapter 9            Chapter 10       Chapter 11        Chapter 12

Chapter 13        Chapter 14       Chapter 15          Chapter 16        Chapter 17       Chapter 18

Chapter 19        Chapter 20       Chapter 21          Chapter 22       Chapter 23      Chapter 24

Chapter 25        Chapter 26       Chapter 27         Chapter 28        Chapter 29 Parts 1 and 2 

Chapter 30       Chapter 31       Chapter 32 and 33                         Chapter 34 Parts 1 and 2 

Chapter 35 Part 1         Chapter 35 Part 2        Chapter 35 Part 3        Chapter 36

 

The Secret Symbol

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5

Chapter 6    Chapter 7     Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapter 10

Chapter 11    Chapter 12    Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15

Chapter 16    Chapter 17    Chapter 18    Chapter 19    Chapter 20

Chapter 21   Chapter 22   Chapter 23   Chapter 24 and 25

Chapter 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29 and 30

Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34    Chapter 35

Chapter 36    Chapter 37    Chapter 38    Chapter 39

Chapter 40 and 41    Chapter 42    Chapter 43, 44, 45, and 46

 

The Legend of Shadow Mountain

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5

Chapter 6    Chapter 7    Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapter 10

Chapter 11    Chapter 12    Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15

Chapter 16   Chapter 17    Chapter 18    Chapter 19    Chapter 20

Chapter 21    Chapter 22    Chapter 23    Chapter 24    Chapter 25

Chapter 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29    Chapter 30

Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34    Chapter 35

Chapter 36    Chapter 37    Chapter 38    Chapter 39    Chapter 40

Chapter 41    Chapter 42    Chapter 43    Chapter 44    Chapter 45 & 46

Chapter 47    Chapter 48    Chapter 49    Chapter 50    Chapter 51

 

Teaser "Trailer" for Book 8 - Conquest of the Truth

 

The Crimson Storm

Chapters 1 and 2     Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5    Chapter 6

Chapter 7    Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapters 10 and 11    Chapter 12

Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15    Chapter 16    Chapter 17    Chapter 18

Chapter 19    Chapter 20    Chapter 21    Chapter 22    Chapter 23

Chapter 24    Chapter 25 and 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29

Chapter 30    Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34

Chapter 35 and Epilogue

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httyyd
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Drums R Round. Pi R Squared.

Conquest for the Truth

 

Chapter 3

The World is Calling You, Part 3

 

Jarl’s Point of View

 

         After meeting up with Annabeth at Edge of Mystery, we then travel all day to catch up with the rest of the fleet that have chosen to come with us.  Turns out that they made much better and had caught the wind from the south.  This same wind also helped us make good time as we cruised to the north by northwest.  By the time we meet up with them later that night, they are only two days travel from coming up to the shores of Izar, by Garth’s calculations.

         When the next day comes, we spend most of the day taking he time to visit all of our allies we are bringing with us as well as discussing the plan of action we are going to take.  As several hours pass us by, Lilah will be meeting with us at sunset to discuss our infiltration plans.  From Aiyana’s reports from scouting over the last year for Lilah, the Einar’s holdouts are stationed in forts scattered across Izar.  The number of forts and the vikings in them are unknown, but the element of surprise is definitely on our side.  They have no idea we are coming.

         In the meantime, all we can do is wait.

         The crew is excited, nervous, quiet, and ready to take on the challenges ahead.

         On Dagur’s flag ship, my friends and I are stationed there with our dragons.  Dagur has given the captain’s quarters to Annabeth and me.  She and I had concluded our visit throughout the fleet about an hour ago.  The only talking we had done all day was to our friends, and even then, it was not much.  Everyone is on edge, but in a good way.  They are just ready for anything.

         We then took to the captain’s quarters to rest until the meeting.  Lying down together, all we do is stare at the ceiling and think.

         My thoughts jump from one thing to the next.  Then my thoughts drift as I close my eyes.  Going back to the night of my wedding…

 

         Hattori is speaking, “…telling you, ‘You need to get your own dragon.’  You kept saying, Jarl, that you were just waiting for the right one to come along.  Little did you know what was about to come into your life.  I can also say the same for the adventure that started your trek on be coming a Mystery Conqueror.”  Hattori chuckles, “But in all seriousness, I have been there since the beginning.  We’ve been friends for a long time and you have grown in everything and matured to the man you are today.  You are a great friend and I wish you all the happiness in the world.”

         Applause from the crowd rings in as the next one comes up to say some words to Annabeth and myself.

         Meen comes up, “I’m not much for words of encouragement, so I will just share one of my favorite moments on your adventures.  It was towards the end of your first mystery, when you thought GR had caught you red handed.  If there was any other way that I could do it, Explod and I will now act it out for you.”  Meen pauses, drags Explod up with her.

         Explod then stands up straight with a prideful air about him, with his head slightly in the air and his arms.

         He then mimics GR’s accent and says, addressing me, “I see that you all have already come to this island.  Well, no matter, of whomever this person you are looking for, they are of no importance now… Because you will all be coming with me,” Explod exaggerates and starts laughing.

         Playing along, I remember the moment and reply, “Do you know the answer I’m about to give?”

         Then becoming serious, he stands to attention yet starts to shake his head, “Tssk, tssk.  Yes, I do, unfortunately.  Take these kids to the main hall on this island.  We have a little…”

         Meen then sneaks up from the side, behind Explod, and then “hits” him on back of the head with one of her pans.

         In typical Meen fashion and exactly how I remember it, “This person ‘whom’ you speak of just wanted you to greet a very good friend of mine.  Mah pan says, ‘Hello.’”

         Meen and Explod bow.

         As I stand up clap, “Bravo, bravo.”

         The crowd claps and those who were there understand and laugh.

         Meen says a few more things, “While I had started out as part of the crew, I had gone away but then came back recently to rejoin your crew.  But that is the thing once one gets to know Annabeth or Jarl.  Once they know you, you are part of their crew for life.”

         Explod corrects, “Well, maybe not a part of the mystery-solving-crew or the epic-theme-music-crew or even the butt-kicking crew.  Let’s say that you will be an honorary crew member.  If you can either withstand a week of Jarl’s puns, then you have a crew member that will do everything in the power to be as annoying good as possible.  We both hope the two of you find success in life.”

         Meen and Explod go back to where they were as the next ones come up; Hannah and Abbie.

         Hannah did the talking for the both of them, “We thought it best that we should come up too, even though we complain quite a bit and fight between us while on Jarl’s crew.  The two of us started out complaining on our first trip with Jarl.  We were asking for some action and wondered what Jarl, Annabeth, and Cazi do.  Well, we found out.  I must say, it was not what I was expecting, but I wouldn’t change anything.”

         Abbie though adds, “Take out the life-threatening parts, then it will be much better.”

         Hannah looks at her sister, “That’s like taking nearly all the adventure that Jarl and the crew have.  Anyway, through any adversity, Jarl will protect his crew at any cost, not thinking of himself.  Sometimes he may put himself in harms way just to help us, or even get captured himself only to say that was part of the plan too.  We may question his methods sometimes, but his intentions are plain.  He loves his friends and will do all he can to protect them.  Annabeth, you have found an awesome partner that will give all that he can for you.  If he can put up with us, then there isn’t anything that could come between you two.”

         The two Olson sisters walk off to applause.  Annabeth and I chuckle.  These two are the closest thing we have to the Twins, yet the gap between the two is still very great.  The Twins are just on a whole other level than anyone else, but Hannah and Abbie try their best to be the troublemakers for the crew.  Yet, I would trust them practically anything.

         Both Hannah and Abbie would say, “No one can pick on them but us.”

         Next, Sapphire comes up.

         “Most vikings may think that I am very unusual for a viking for being so quiet,” Sapphire begins.  “But through being quiet, I have quietly observed how far Jarl has come.  He has grown from a friend who saw his village in trouble with stolen goods and wanted to be the viking that would solve their problems.  Now, he is a viking that is stepping up to answer the call to a village of vikings he has never seen before.  All he sees is wrong being done and the want to right it.  May all who you meet see your example and follow.”

         Coming up is Ashley.

         “If we want to get down to the details of who did what,” Ashley states.  “Then I could take credit for getting these two together.  Had I not organized the snowball fight to be on that side of Berk, Annabeth and jarl may not have met in the form that they did.”

         I chuckle and shake my head.

         Ashley continues, “But, I know this union had destiny written all over it.  Regardless of what had happened when, I Annabeth and Jarl finding each other was only a matter of time.  Though if you ask me, destiny also took its time.”  Ashley pauses, “But in all importance, Annabeth and Jarl have been an inspiration to all of us, especially at the campus for School of Dragons.  I have now taught there for many years and have used the things you have learned in your adventures to teach my own students.  Both of you are a blessing to us all.  I wish you and Jarl all the success in life.”

         Repteil and faith are next.

         Repteil starts, “We both wanted to come up and say something because we met you at the same time.  What we both thought just playing with a new dragon we found on Berk.”

         Faith comes in, “But it turned out to be a key in Jarl’s first mystery.  We haven’t been as involved in Jarl’s mysteries since then, but the way Jarl has inspired us we have gone after our own dreams and are now accomplishing what we set out to do.”

         Repteil concludes, “Faith has become a scribe for Berk and I a painter.  We wish both of you all the success and safety that life can bring.”

         Faith adds with a chuckle, “Though as vikings, that last part can be eh,” she tilts her right hand back and forth a few times.  “Iffy some times.  But with you two as a duo, there is not anything that can stop the both of you.”

         Navaro steps forward, “You sir, Jarl Mollerson, are one of the most competitive dragon racers I have ever competed against.  While you may be fierce on the track, you are always a friend off.  Not saying that you are not nice on the track, you just beat everybody in a nice way.  You have shown great kindness to me over the years and in races.  I am honor to call you my friend.  Annabeth, you are a very blessed woman to have found such a fine man.  Now, that you two are married, maybe I can win some races now.”  Navaro winks as she leaves.

         Tory steps forward, “Seems like the more vikings that come up, the more someone uses what the next was going to say.  I was going to comment on your competitive spirit, but it seems like someone has beaten me to it.”  She laughs, “Now we are in competition against each other to talk about your competitiveness.  Yet, there is a lot to repeat about a viking that has done a lot of good.  Whether or not some of us have been with your crew a lot or just been friends, you have made an impact on all of us.  Then getting to know Annabeth, you obviously made an impact on her.  Annabeth has found a great guy in you, Jarl.  And you have found a great woman in Annabeth.  You two both deserve all the happiness that life can allow.  I wish you two all the best.”

         Next in line is Angie, “The moment I met you, you treated me as if we had been friends for years.  You treat everyone with the upmost respect.  By doing so, I wanted to earn your trust.  I recently chose recommit to your crew and do more for the rest of the crew.  And what do I get?  I scar, and brother is it a beauty.  Now you might wonder why I bring it up.  From day one, he showed me what a friend truly does for each other and even strangers.  You inspired me to be a better friend.  If someone is on Jarl’s crew for any length of time, there may be some bumps and bruises along the way.  Regardless of what happens, Jarl and Annabeth face it head on.  Then we all do.  Whatever we might face, these two will have each other’s back as well as the rest of the crew.  There is not two other vikings I would trust more with my life.  What you two mean to the crew merits all the appreciation we can give for the two of you.  May nothing separate either of you and may you find unity in your… Well… Your union.”

         Samantha strides forward, “Talk about a way to be in the right place at the right time, I saved your butts when I first met you two.  Though, we will down play the part where we all got captured.  But even then, Jarl showed me that if you put him against a wall, he doesn’t run from it, he uses it to his advantage.  Even when the odds are stacked against you, Jarl will use that to his advantage.  No matter what has happened, he will always trust his friends over anything else.  He will do all he can to help them.  May life watch out as you two go through it.  I wish you success in your journey.”

          Those who came next are Cullan, Pat, Thoreous, and Jack, Cullan states, “The four of us may not be much for words, so we will keep it short.  Jarl has been a great friend to us in many and different ways for each of us.  For me, he has taught me how to better judge when it is best to run into a problem or find away from behind.”

         Pat says, “Jarl has helped me become a better viking and while he has been a better friend.  A viking could not ask for more.”

         Thoreous adds, “Regardless what your role might be, if you are on Jarl’s side, he will use you to the best of your ability.  Jarl has shown what good I can do on my own.”

         Jack declares, “Jarl has meant a lot to me, probably more than most realize.  I won’t bore you with the details.  While Jarl has these grand adventures that everyone sees, he will still take time to drop what he is doing and come help a friend.  He has shown me what value I can be, something I used to wonder if I had.  Jarl cares more for other vikings than he does himself.  That kind of attitude makes me as his friend want to return the favor.”

         Cullan then finishes, “What we all agree on is that Jarl will never give up on his friends, no matter the circumstances.  And to encourage you Annabeth, that if Jarl can deal and put up with the four of us, then there truly is not anything that can come between you two.”

         Ali Clar wants to come up next, so Valkarik helps get her started and accompanies her to the front.  Garth has made Ali sort of a walking cane where she can use to test what is in front of her so as to not bump into anything.  At both ends of the staff, though, are Ali’s two trusty daggers.

         Someone would be hard pressed to realize Ali is blind, because they would not notice.  As long as someone is around to tell about any immediate problems, Ali can do pretty much everything else on her own.

         Ali’s spatial awareness is impressive too.  Valkarik did not even tell her where I am, but she turned to me to talk to me.  No doubt she uses the sounds she has heard until now to get a bearing on where she is.

         Ali stands, holding her cane below her with both hands, parallel to the ground, “I had lived alone for so long and was just moving from place to place.  I was only passing through Berk until I literally ran into the mystery you and the crew were trying to solve.  Then per usual of what happens, something runs into me without apologizing.  I fight back and get in trouble.  But much later on when the accident happened which made me lose my sight, I had to come to the realization about something about myself.  Something that you had shown to me the first time we met and ever since then.  No one is useless.  Regardless of how much skill they have… -Or what might be viewed as a handicap- …How much knowledge they have, or simply being a role player on a team, you care about all of your friends.  You will call on them to help in whatever they can.  You always know where to put the correct viking in the best situation possible to have them flourish in the task you have set forth.  I didn’t see this before and with some help from another friend,” Ali points to her right to call attention to Valkarik.  “I clearly see it no,” Ali chuckles.  “No matter the circumstance, you will do all that you can for your friends and you will put them in places where they can feel like they have purpose, and not just be a broken viking.  If a viking can still stand, then they can still fight.”

         Valkarik comments, “Hey, that was pretty good.”

         “I know,” Ali adds.  “I just thought of it right now.  We should put that on a shield or something and sell it.”  Everyone laughs.  Ali wraps up, “You and Annabeth are perfect for each other and I can -see- you two having a life long bond that can never be broken.”  Ali pauses, “See what I did there?”

         I reply, “I did.  And I guess I should probably say something instead of nodding.  I approve of this pun.”  I look at Annabeth and she folds her arms but smiles.  I then say, “And that is probably as far as I should go with commenting on the pun or eyes will roll.”

         Silence.

         “Heads will roll… Eyes will… Oh, whatever,” I state.

         Ali stays with Valkarik as she then speaks, “Talk about a dead ringer… Get it… You’re wearing a ring and Annabeth is going to make you wish you’d stop with the puns on her wedding day.”  Annabeth then slowly turns her head back and forth, rolling her eyes.  “No?” Valkarik remarks.

         “Okay, moving on.”  Valkarik clears her throat, “All that has been said so far, I agree with.  All I can add is jarl tries to do the best he can.  While some have mentioned the first time, they met Jarl, mine was at the apex of one of his mysteries.  Thinking I was captured without a way of escape, he thought that I would need rescuing.  Which I didn’t, but in reflecting on that moment in my life, it is nice to know that Jarl was right there waiting to help, even if we had never met.  But I guess if I have to say something that inspired me or something, it would have to be that Jarl reminded me of what it was like to have friends.  I grew up alone, blah, blah, blah, and then Jarl and his friend crossed paths with me.  Some of you may know what happened the second time I met up with Jarl’s crew, but I will never forget what kindness he showed me after all that I tried to do to him and his friends.  But having a friend like Jarl and Annabeth, means that you will have two friends that will help you for the rest of your life.”

         As those two went back to their seats, Fira came up next, “I thought that I would forever live by myself with the beliefs that I hold.  But Jarl was determined to change my mind.  At first, I thought it was because he thought his way was better and must convert me.  Yet, I find out by the actions he displayed to help his friends.  Jarl was trying to change my mind because he was thinking of all his friends, but himself.  He will do all that he can for others and in the process find out the truth.  Annabeth will also find the truth first and take its side.  Regardless of who is standing on a side, Annabeth and Jarl will side with the truth and the facts of the matter.  To be able to move past what they believe is true and to get at what is actually true, is something we should all apply to our lives.  Even if both sides still have their core beliefs that they will not be shaken off, finding and agreeing on common ground which is truly true and factual will be the reason to allow for both sides to understand each other better.  Then as I got to know Jarl better, I got to know the rest of his friends better too.  All of his friends are like this too, maybe just in their own way or think about it slightly different.  But Jarl has shown me that is more than one way to do something and that looking at more options can find one that has opportunities which you didn’t expect.  Jarl and Annabeth deserve all the joy in the world.  I hope I can stand by and watch these two vikings grow.”

         Dawn walks up to go next, “Pretty much everyone on this island and in this whole knows about me.  I am not one for words, I am one for doing.”  Dawn goes on, “Jarl and Annabeth, to give you both an analogy that you will understand, I walked into your life like a turkey walking straight into a gathering hall during a meal for the fall harvest.”  We all laugh and chuckle, Dawn continues, “I did not care who was there or who did what, I just walked in.  I still say someone else broke that vase or whatever that was.  See, I don’t even remember what it was that broke.  Now, how do you know it was me…”

         I interject with a smile, “Besides watching you do it?”

         “Yes, besides that,” Dawn quickly retorts and continues.  “Then that day turned out to be the greatest surprise for both you guys and myself when come to find out that one Annabeth Everdeen is apart of the crew.  Long story short,” Dawn trails off, sighing a bit that even now she has gone longer than she wanted to.  “You may have inspired me too… Seems like there is a lot of that going around.  Is there an antidote?”  Dawn clears her throat, yet I see her slightly smile, “Though you don’t get all the credit.  Annabeth reminded me of what it was like to have a family, but you, Jarl and Annabeth reminded me of what it is like to be surrounded by friends.  I always kept people at arm’s length because I didn’t want to disappoint them in what they would find in me.  Most people I met didn’t like what they saw in me, but you guys looked past all of that and reminded me that having friends is more than just having people like you… It is about loyalty, friendships, and the bonds that bind us together… That sounds like something you’d say Jarl… Maybe it is catchy… Anyway… Of me just being me, you all put up with it and you still consider me a friend as well as a sister to Annabeth and even Cazi.  And if any of you can put up with me as a friend, then I guess there is still hope in the world.”

         Annabeth ducked under the table to give her a hug.  Dawn is not expecting that, but she welcomed it, and hugged Annabeth.

         Dawn whispered to Annabeth, though I overheard, “Don’t start now, or I am going to cry.”

         Annabeth comes back under the table and sits down.

         Ohmarr slowly comes up, “I am honored to have been invited to your wedding, let alone be considered to be one of Jarl’s groomsmen.  Other’s have said many things about you tonight, but the one I resonate with the most is your desire for the truth.  When we first crossed paths, I was young, stupid, and misguided.  Then when all was said and done and the truth did come out, you put all history aside to start over.  You showed me the importance of revering the truth, being able to put differences aside, and start fresh.  You are a wonder to behold, and Annabeth, you found yourself a guy that will always be by your side no matter what.  And it has become my aim to live up to your example, Jarl.  I thank you for turning my life around.”

         Aiyana walks over to the front, “Ohmarr and I are much in the same position, but it was I that tried to kill Jarl and then nearly did it again without meaning to.  Not to say that the first time I was going to go through with it.  But with everything on the line as it was, the more I have thought about it the more I am convinced that I would have never gone through with it.  Jarl asked me a question that will stick with me forever, ‘How far are you willing to go?’  He meant about my dragon, but I knew he also was referring to his friends.  This struck me to my core.  But while I was still struggling with what to do, Jarl took it on himself to display just how far one should be willing to go for another.  After so many times having an opportunity to blame me or give up on me, you didn’t.  Then when our one plan went awry and you went down, Annabeth had every reason to blame me and retaliate against me.  She started to, but then she had better things to take care of.  I did run from the problem, but only to go back to another.  I gave up on myself several times.  But when the opportunity presented itself for me to prove myself to both of you, to finally answer Jarl’s question and what Annabeth thought of me, I took it with both hands and never looked back.  Both Jarl and Annabeth represent what it is to be a true viking.  May we all be so fortunate to live up to half of what they stand for.”

         Aiyana turns to both of us and nods.  We nod to her.

         Hyrith stands up from sitting next to us, “Annabeth and Jarl have been great viking examples and even better friends.  I consider it an honor to be a friend of theirs.  I wish them all the success and happiness that life can give them.  If life doesn’t want that, then they will probably make it happen anyway.”

         Hyrith is a viking of few words, though he did do the toast.

         Garth now stands up, “Everyone has said many things about Annabeth and Jarl, many things that I agree and they deserve to be repeated.  But I would simply like say… Thank you.  I hope that you will have all the blessings in the world come your way in your lives.”

         While Garth is also a viking of few words, Garth is more of a viking of subtle action.  One does not notice him, but one can surely appreciate what he does.

         Asvord and Elsa come up now, Asvord starts, “I guess we will come up and say a few words…”

         Asvord stands back and lets Elsa speak, “A few words.”

         They both go to sit back down, I ask them, “Where do you think you two are going?”

         Asvord quips, “We said a few words… What more do you want?  Plus, we’re family and were going to see you later.  You know what we think and everyone has said everything else, so what else there is to say but you’re the best brother two sisters could ever want.”

         Asvord smiles as she walks away.  I shake my head.  She knew I was going to ask her why she would just walk away.  That is where she was going to say what she wanted to say.  I walked right into it.

 

         That night of the wedding, a few more hours went by and several more vikings came up to say some words of encouragement as well as appreciation.  Friends, family, acquaintances, and those I barely know.

         After all those who wanted to say something had come up, Annabeth then stood up to address the crowd but mainly talk to me, “All of your words are so very kind and I am grateful for everyone who said something.  Berk became the home I needed.  Jarl was first and foremost in doing so, but not because he was the first to be at my side.  Jarl was simply doing what each and every one of you would have done.  You all keep saying that you want to live up to what Jarl and I stand for and set as the example, what we are doing is a testament to what you all have done for both of us.  I have been wanting to live up to the example that all you have set for us, I am sure Jarl feels the same way.  We have not done anything more special than what anyone else would have done.  We are just two vikings that went on a journey to find who we were.”  Annabeth looks at me, “And we did find who we are.  This day of our wedding, I see myself in you Jarl because I gave all that I am to you.  I am sure you have done the same.”  I nod.  “Neither of us would be here way we are at this moment without all of you.  I again thank you all for all of your kind words.  May Valhalla look down kindly on all of you and give you all the blessings to be hold.”

         To wrap up the night, I now stand, “Thank you all so very much for coming and spending this wonderful day with Annabeth and me.  Annabeth is correct, we both are very thankful for all of your wonderful comments, thoughts of wisdom, and nuggets of encouragement.  We both reciprocate all of what you have said to us back to you.  And thank you for helping me create the special moment for Annabeth.  It was perfect.  What did you think, Annabeth?”

         “Don’t get me thinking about that or I will start crying again,” Annabeth smiles.

         I chuckle and continue, “Well, hopefully this doesn’t make you cry.  I thought I knew what I wanted to do with my life, what I was, what I wanted to become.  Then when I saw you for the first time, it all changed.  I may have not known it at first, but something was telling me that I was going to do everything in my power to help you have a wonderful life.  You are true in saying I was the first to you side and began to help you, but you are also correct in saying that any one of us would have done the same thing.  But there is something you showed me, Annabeth.  You showed me.  My life would not be complete without you.  Something felt right early on, but I did not want to go to soon or hinder anything.  You pushed me to be the best that I could be, you made me go the extra mile, you comforted me when I was at my most vulnerable time -twice-, you strengthened me when I needed it… Even if you had to coax me to do it.  You made me who I am.  I cannot see a world where I would not be by your side every step of the way.  You have my heart.  And if I am to live, I shall be by you side for eternity.”

         Annabeth stands up and says, “Yeah, that made me cry.”

         We take the other into our arms and embrace the other.

         From the crowd somewhere, I hear Hiccup shout, “Let’s hear for Annabeth and Jarl!”

         The crowd explodes in cheers and applause!

 

         The sounds of clapping morph into a clap with a beat of two followed by a pause.  It comes again.

         Then for a third time, I realize, “Those are knocks.”

         I also realize I did fall asleep and now just heard my father’s voice outside the captain’s quarters, “Jarl, Annabeth.  It’s time.”

         “Alright dad,” I finally answer.  “We’ll be up shortly.”

         I roll to my right to see that Annabeth is also asleep.

         Gently putting my left hand on her shoulder, I whisper, “Annabeth, Annabeth.  It’s time.”

         She starts to stir.  Once I give her a few soft shakes with my hand, she turns into me and asks, “Is it time?”

         “Yes,” I answer.

         She tells me, “Five more minutes.”

         “That’s what I would say,” I chuckle as I sit up and watch her turn onto her back.  “We’re you having that good of sleep?”

         Annabeth suggests, with her eyes still closed, “You go ahead.  I will be with you in a little bit.”

         I do get up out of the bed to find my helmet and my fur cape tunic.  Yes, that fur cape.  By the time I do these things, Annabeth sits up, and slowly gets out of bed.  She stretches and stands up.

         “I know you see yourself in me, but maybe you should stop at the can’t get out of bed because I am tired and want sleep part,” I comment.

         She ignores me and grabs her furs off the table.  I help her put them on.  Her furs are much like her cape, but since her cape was her train, she does not want to wear it.  Not to mention the train was super long, her furs she has now is the same concept just much shorter to about the same length as mine.  While my cape is one hide, her cape is several hides put together to make the same number of layers as mine.  Hers is stylish, mine is just functional.

         The reason I did not leave as Annabeth suggested is because I wanted to walk her out.  I open the door for her, offer my right arm, she grabs it, and we walk out.

         The quarters are on the top deck and in the center I see all of my friends encircling a large table that all of the leaders of the crew coming with us to the Isle of Izar:  My father and mother, commanders of all the ships in our fleet with some vikings that wanted to join from Berk, Dagur and Heather and a large portion of the Berserker Armada which makes up the bulk of our crew’s fleet, Mala with an entire battalion from the Defenders of the Wing’s best fighters and sailors, and Atali with several of the Wingmaidens from Wingmaiden island.  Mala has said that she put Throk in charge of the Defenders of the Wing to test his mettle as a leader.  Atali also said the same for Minden who was left in charge of the Wingmaidens.  Then there are also various allies who Garth and Lilah know.

         Walking up to the table, I pat Annabeth’s hands a few times, she lets me go, and I lean on the table to address the leaders.

         I greet everyone, “Thank you all for joining me and my crew to join Garth and Lilah in the fight for their home.”

         Lilah insists, “No, thank you.  I am very grateful that Garth was able to recruit all of you to our cause.  Now I just hope that we will succeed.”

         “We will,” I confidently say.

         Garth points out the islands on the map that is a detail lay of the land of Izar, “There are seven main islands.  Six islands encircling the island of Izar.  Izar is the largest island.  It holds a massive dragon sanctuary and gives its name to the entire archipelago.  It was the home to one million vikings.  Ishtar is a wild forest land on the north with a remote hunting village as its only settlement.  Dragons roam free in its forests and there is a cave.  It was home to one hundred vikings.  Niori is a mining island to the northeast, filled with precious minerals and Whispering Death tunnels.  It was home twenty thousand vikings.  Mjolnir is a dormant volcano to the southeast which blacksmiths use the lava flow that still remains to forge their wares.  It was home to one hundred thousand vikings.  Iyer is to the south that houses shipbuilding facilities and docks as well as a large number of fish.  A lot of Tidal Class dragons live in Iyer.  It has a lot of Tidal Class in the surrounding waters.  Iskyn is the island to the southwest made entirely of Quartz Crystal.  It is where our science and innovation schools and libraries are located.  While it has many things that we have discovered, there are even secrets that we don’t even know about or understand.  It was home to five hundred thousand vikings.  Aurum is to the northwest that specializes in agriculture and provides food to the whole archipelago as well as lumber.  Our contact, Sif, has her base of operations there.  This is where we will want to go, eventually.  But first order of business is to capture all the bases of the holdouts of Einar’s forces.  Once that is done, then we can retake our land and prepare for a defense.  Aiyana knows the locations of the forts.”

         Aiyana explains, “There is a base on each island and a main fortress on Izar.  Each have their own ways of infiltration, points of entry, and vikings guarding it.  There will be patrols out and about, but going in under the darkness of night will help us fly in and take out these bases.  Once these are taken care of, we can quickly round up any of the other Dragon Conquerors that are out and about.  The last thing they are expecting is dragons.  For all they know, they are just waiting for the return for Einar.  All they know is that he is coming, but that is all.  They have no clue about the crew and our forces coming as well.”

         To finish explaining the plan, I conclude, “We will go in teams of four, two vikings to infiltrate and take out the forts and two vikings to back them up.  It does go without saying, but this must be done as quietly as possible until they are all captured and Einar and his forces -who are en route- thinks nothing is changed.”

         Lilah inputs, “Speaking of Einar’s forces, some of my contacts in other areas report to have seen a viking matching the description of Skygge.  While it has yet to be confirmed, he could still show up.”

         Annabeth comments, “That could complicate things if he shows up during this first phase.”

         “Yes,” I agree.  “But we continue on with our plans.  Aiyana, were you able to get it?”

         Only a few know of this request.

         Without saying a word, Aiyana pulls out of a nearby satchel to set on the desk… A Dragon Eye!

         Several people gasp in awe and most everyone is probably thinking the same thing, “Didn’t Hiccup destroy both the original Dragon Eye and the Dragon Eye II?”

         “It was actually fairly easy to get,” Aiyana informs.  “Although it was on one of the main ships in their fleet in the captain’s quarters, but this is one of a few that are still intact.  Technically the ship is part of the Izarian fleet, but the Conquerors have been using it.  Lilah gave me the details as to where this Dragon Eye was located.  This was the lone Dragon Eye that the Conquerors had yet to find, because this was one of the original ones made and still has more functions that even Hiccup’s Dragon Eye that he found couldn’t do.”

         “That is why I asked Hiccup,” Annabeth states as she hands me the gems she collected from Hiccup.  “For the gems he used for their Dragon Eye.  The concept is still the same, it is just that these Dragon Eyes that come from Izar have more detail about Izarian science, research, and discoveries.”

         I take the Dragon Eye then out of a pocket, I pull out a Dragon Eye lens.

         “While reviewing things about this mystery and the clues that we have,” I talk as I insert the gems and then the lens.  “It came to my attention that we had one Dragon Eye lens found on a previous adventure that we had never looked at it.  What better time to look at it?  It could be a complete waste of time, but I have a sinking suspicion that isn’t.  Good a time as any to see what is on it.”

         After setting it all up to shine against the front wall of the captain’s deck, I ask Annabeth to bring Anora over.

         “Anora,” Annabeth request of her dragon.  “Low flame.”

         Anora stands behind the Dragon Eye and ignites a flame in her mouth to light The Eye.  What is projected onto the wall takes us all by surprise.

         Turns out that it is a full layout of the Isle of Izar in the same style as what I saw in Shadow Mountain!

         Everyone is astonished and left speechless.

         I declare, “I believe this has to be the world calling us.  Why else would it work out that we would forget about this lens only to remember it now out of all the times to do it.  Then it would have this type of information on it.”

         Annabeth finally says, “It is like it was meant to happen this way, as if it were destiny at work.”

         Garth had walked up to the projection and had started to study it all, before she finally exclaimed slowly, “Guys…”

         “What is it?” several of us ask.

         Garth looks at me with fear in his eyes, “There are several things on here that are listed as instructions such as instructions on what to do to unlock the Shadow Mountain.… But what is starting to make me worry is the line right under Izar in the middle of the other islands.”

         “A storm is here.”