Volume 4 – Firemane Clan
Chapter #125 – Firemane (3)
“To thank me for such a thing, the kid sure is merciless!” Grandpa was speaking while grinning.
Grandpa invited me and Nurina to the front table. They hammered us with questions about this and that while the food was being served. One thing I noticed, the Firemanes knew how to eat. Many types of meat and drinks were put in front of us.
“Arch-Wizard Nurina Aren, it’s an honor to receive you in our Clan.” Grandma Jenna has taken Nurina to the side and started getting close to her. To them, the woman who raised me was an already part of the family. Nurina, on the other hand, was on the verge of tears. It seems that grandma talked a lot and asked Nurina about everything there is to ask about me and Alina. Nurina, however, seemed to be very hungry to the point that she cast ‘Muffle’ on her stomach to not make it growl.
“Hilda!” I whispered to Hilda who was sitting right next to me.
“Someone is missing!” I gave her a hint.
She narrowed her eyes thinking of what I meant then looked around. In an instant, Hilda’s face turned stiff.
“Father! Where is Jonrad?” She asked in a loud enough voice for Grandpa to hear.
As expected from everyone around, they are all great fighters so they heard Hilda clearly. Their reaction, however, was a bit off. All of them froze and put down the food.
“…” Grandpa himself was no exception.
Nurina who was about to eat put down the food and gave me the ‘screw you’ look.
“He is in the ‘Fire Garden’!” Grandma said and looked away. It seems even the mother doesn’t want to make an eye contact with an Angry Hilda.
But what’s with that Fire Shrine?
Hilda eyes became even sharper and became very angry.
“Listen, Hilda! You know how he is. I tried to go after him but he was already deep in the garden.” Grandpa was talking softly to Hilda.
“He knew Jonhild is coming. He knew and he went into that place anyway!” Hilda was inwardly infuriated but she only spoke it in a low tone.
She seemed so frustrated over what happened. I guess my old man is doing things at his own pace too.
Hmmm! The uncles around also looked as frustrated as Hilda but I didn’t really think too much about it.
If he doesn’t want to see me then that’s his choice.
“Hilda, whatever it is, it’s okay!” I said.
Hilda looked at me but she was still frustrated…
“You know what? It’s okay as you said.” She said and took a mead tankard then drank it on one go. She seemed to be still angry but at least she calmed down.
The rest also calmed down and returned back to eating silently. Nurina took the chance and bit on her food.
It is a shame not to meet him. I thought he would be a cool person and we could get along if he is a great mage as rumored.
The nearest uncle to me was Tyr.
From what I know about Tyr, he is a former Blade which means he is good at spying. He is also very close to my father. I winked to him and he looked at me.
“What is the Fire Garden?” I moved my lips.
“… I’ll show you the place later.” He replied using the same method.
Hmmm! Seems like it was an invitation.
I didn’t think too much about it and started eating. The food was too damn delicious.
After the late meal, I got to talk to the rest of the Firemanes in the hall. My impression on them started getting better over the time.
The most impressive thing is how open they were to magic. There is a saying that ‘the hidden clans seem to have established their powers based on magic alongside might’.
“Cousin!” Someone slapped my back while greeting me.
I looked at who it is and it was someone very familiar that got very tall.
“Fancy seeing you! You became taller than what I expected you would be.”
“Same goes for you!”
“Hehe! It has been a year. Now, let’s find a place to set!” She said looked around.
“Wulfur and Alina are that way!” I activated my ‘Scan’ and found Wulfur for her.
“Alina! Right, I haven’t seen her in a long time!” Bjorna said and took the lead.
I wanted to laugh but I stayed silent and followed.
When we reached the table we found Alina, Wulfur, Jull, Nefertiti, and my two young cousins Signi and Eirik. There were also some more Firemane members that seemed to be my cousins from the same age.
“Ah! Here they come.” One of them stood up. “Come, sit! Try to recall our names again as you did back then.”
He seemed to like the trick. Fine!
“You are Hafthor, and they are Frejya, Veka, Vladimir, Ragnar, and Vilkar.” I said.
“… Ahaha! How can you do that?” He laughed.
“I didn’t ask to be born this awesome but it happens this way.”
“He always says this kind of stuff!” Alina said.
“Haha, come sit here, this will be fun!” Hafthor pushed Vladimir to make a place for me beside him.
I laughed and sat around with them on this table.
After the first round of mead, I started to get to know them better.
They are all turning sixteen this year so we all will be at the Ceremony together.
The first and the most talkative one is Hafthor, he is also the most friendly and the largest one among us. Next is Frejya, Njord’s daughter and a quiet cool beauty. Veka and Vladimir are twins, girl and boy, they have negative personalities as Veka likes to fool around while Vladimir is quiet and seems to be a strong mage. Ragnar has a thin presence and sharp eyes, he seemed to be very similar to uncle Forseti so I realized he is his son. And finally, Vilkar who was a full time foolhardy.
A funny bunch that is very strange to find in one place unless they are a family like that.
After laughing around about this and that, Hafthor started talking business!
“So we were saying, a week from now, we will go together on a ship! One of the Elders shall accompany us so we won’t spend it all on merry time, that is for you, Vikar. Anyway, there is an island up in the north that has a lot of Ice Wraiths. We go there, we hunt ten of them, and we return. If the wind was on our favor, then we will do it in five days, else it will take a week!”
We all nodded.
“What is the upper time limit?” I asked.
“Two weeks! Are you good on a ship?”
“I own some back at Winterhold, sailed many times so I will be of help.” I said.
“Own some? Cousin, you are making me jealous! Haha.”
Oh! Sorry about that!
“Anyway, as you can see. We are five boys and five girls, you boys know what does this mean, right?”
Everyone looked at him waiting for an answer.
“This a competition! We can’t let the girls do better than us this time.” Hafthor announced with a laugh.
Vladimir had a tired face and the rest went pale. Frejya, Veka, Bjorna, and even Alina snorted in disdain.
“You still want to settle the score! Let me tell you, not even Senior Jon can help you this time!” Alina seemed to have a score against Hafthor.
“Don’t think that you will have your way again. The numbers are equal this time.”
“Yes, let them think like that, Alina! I am curious what kind of excuse will Hafthor use this time when he eats dirt. Again!” Bjorna who was normally quiet got excited too.
“What is this all about?” I asked.
“Senior, don’t let him fool you. Every time he picks a fight he loses and he comes with an excuse! He is a sore loser.”
Fufu! Seems interesting.
“How is the score so far?” I asked a simple question.
The girls laughed in a savage way and the boys got smaller.
“The boys never won! It has been a long time and we already stopped counting.” Frejya said.
Sigh! It seems like I can’t look down at even the girls. This is seriously scary.
“Still, I am more interested in the Guardian Beast Ceremony.” I said to divert the subject.
“Oh! That…” They all looked serious.
“What is with it?” I asked.
“Nah! Nothing. It is just a little scary when you hear about that ‘Soul Realm’.” Vladimir said.
“Does any accident happen?” I asked.
“No, it is the safest part! But my older brother said it gets scary when you see what is inside your mind from a different view.” Frejya said.
“Yeah! Kera told me that she had to fight an image of her self then fall from the sky to catch a Hawk.” Hafthor himself looked terrified.
Oh! Is it some sort of FDVR? I have a bad experience with this stuff.
The six Firemanes on the table with me started telling tales of the horrors one sees in his mind. It made me think twice before getting excited for such a thing.
Seems like it’s not all rainbows and unicorns around her.
“You know what time is it, kids? Everyone has gone to sleep already?” A voice interrupted the conversation and it seemed like that was Uncle Tyr.
Everyone looked at him and started to complain but he was the party crusher this time.
After we all started going up he came close to me and said he wants to show me something.
I excused myself and followed him to the outside of the fort.
“You remember Glemet and Old Jon?” He asked.
“Good! I am taking you to the Fire Garden! Hurry before anyone sees us!” He said.
The Fire Garden? Isn’t that where my father went?
“Why are we going there?” I asked.
“Simple! Old Jon wants to see you there!”