Island Vinlandia

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Vinlandia - @Gambit

Very well. Prepare yourself. Thorkell the Tall!” Kallavan would shout as he'd bend his knees, preparing for a mighty dash.

And an incredible dash it was. Kallavan flung forward with new-found speed. While a moment ago the two fighters were more or less on equal footing, Thorkell would now find himself struggling to follow the Admiral's movements. Before the Viking knew it. The Admiral was already upon him, both his hands on top of another, with his claws primed for stabbing. “Jusshigan!” Kallavan shouted as he moved his arms forward in a powerful stabbing strike towards the Viking's upper body. Both hands imbued to the max with his armaments haki.

120: 7. Town Level +A(+3) + 3(hardening) = 13. Small Continent Level.

Should Thorkell go for a block and or parry against this strike. He'd realize that the transformation augmented the Admiral's strength. Now on par with that of the Viking, the two fighters would finally be in second gear. Their blood flowing, concentration to the absolute max as a weird sense of joy and excitement ruled the two warriors.

In another life, Kallavan would've fit right in with the Vikings. Drinking mead, fighting with Thorkell day and night. Raiding and plundering the villages and just living the life that was given to these warriors. But alas, the admiral had a mission. A mission that he most likely would not achieve in his life-time. But it'd not deter him from giving his absolute all. Even observing a glimpse of his results were enough to keep on going. And time and time again would show him that his convictions were not wrong.
 
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Thorkell the Tall heard it all from the man who just went to his hybrid form. An ancient beast he is. His bold statement would only make the Viking more agitated, excited, but more alert. What would happen next would push him to elevate his stance.

The admiral vanished from his sight. The moment it happened, he quickly played with his body, enhancing all his senses. Kallavan was already upon him, ready to ram both his claws upon him. Albeit unable to see his prior movement and how he get there so quickly, he could however react just in time, hardening his axes entirely with both Haki. Raising the two titanium-made weapons up to block the attack.

The axes and claws collide and the concussive blast that erupted from the collision would ramify from the center of the clash, unleashing a devastating gust of wind across the field. Dust and dirt obscure the area.
Bors' Grace: Thorkell can enhance his senses of sight, hearing, and smell, as well as touch and taste. Oppositely, he can also completely shut any of those senses down, if need be. Gives Mastery/20 boost in Reaction when activated. Has a 1-turn cooldown.

Titanium Weapon Durability: 120: 7. Mountain Level + COA: 2 = 9. Small Country Level
Kallavan's attack: 2 tiers up. Super Effective.

The Viking immediately felt the admiral's claws as the attack left not just visible cracks on its edge but a statement of the opponent's might when the remnants of the shockwave cross through the shaft of the axes down to his arms. His eyes widened in both shock and joy. All of those are but brief.

"Loki's Deceit!"
Kami Shibari (literally meaning "Hair Bind"): The user lengthens his hair and manipulates it to bind his opponents.
Requirements: 61 Mastery, 41 Strength

Loki's Deceit: DPR: 120: 7. Town Level + B: 2 = 9. Mountain Level
Thorkell's hair grew even longer. Harder than steels they are. Spreading throughout and around the body of the admiral hovering over him. In rapid motion, these chunks of hair would attempt to trap the enemy by his limbs and upper body, restraining his movements. If successful, Thorkell would eventually slam its body onto the ground before following up with a downward swing of his axes, albeit damaged, it would certainly go for a collective output.

"Thor's Pound!"
Haru Gin Jo (literally meaning "Spring Poem of Passion"): After catching his opponent in Kami Shibari, the user aims his staff at his opponent for a finishing blow. Axe is used in this case.
Requirements: 61 Mastery, 61 Strength
Destructive Potency Rank: A

DPR: 120: 7. Town Level + A: 3 + COA: 2 = 12. Large Country Level
 
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Vinlandia - @Gambit

Kallavan and Thorkells clash concluded into an incredible blast of smoke and debris. The Admirals might far beyond what the Viking had anticipated, for his attack continued onward, kinetic energy travelling into the man's arms. Even with all that, this Viking was one of the most durable fighters Kallavan had the opportunity to meet. For when the dust settled, he did not hesitate to initiate a swift attack of his own.

The Vikings hairs would increase its length drastically, allowing them to ensnare the Admiral's upper body. Arms, hands and chest area were quickly bounded, effectively trapping and nor nullifying any punching motion. Thorkell would lift Kallavan high up into the air, forcing the man to brace himself for impact. During the swing, Kallavan would channel hardening throughout his entire body, while also focusing a tremendous amount of power into his right leg. While his arms and upper body were sealed, Kallavan was capable of unleashing various kicks.
101-119: 6. City Level + 3 Haki = 9. Small Country Level
DPR 2 below dura = not very effective
Thorkell would slam down Kallavan with incredible force, which seemed to affect the man not as much as he anticipated. The follow-up attack, however, was something that'd damage the Admiral to some extent. But at the very same time, Kallavan would go for a powerful left kick towards Thorkells lower leg. The Admirals larger frame and taller disposition allowing him to strike at the very same time Thorkell attack. A cross counter of some sorts.
"Rokuougan!"
Kallavan shouted, timing his strike so that he'd attack the Viking at the very same time as he struck him.
101-119: 6. City Level + 3 Haki = 9. Small Country Level
DPR 1 higher than dura: quite effective


Rokuougan shoot :
A kicking version of a regular Rokuougan that is capable of sending the opponent flying while also damaging the opponent internally.
S-Rank(91 Mastery, 91 Strength, 81 Armament Haki )

DPR: 120: 7. Town Level + S(4) + 3(Haki) = 14. Large Continent Level

Should the two attacks collide against their respective targets, Kallavan would endure the attack. Its striking range, not far removed from his natural durability. Blood would be drawn, but the man would grit through the pain. Thorkell on the other hand would be met with a devastating kick towards his lower leg. The haki coating the attack so dense and hard that'd cause for a few fractures or perhaps breaking the Viking's leg almost completely. From the strike, a double attack would also invade its way into Thorkells entire body. An intense shockwave would follow. Attacking the man from within and perhaps bypassing many of his natural defences. It'd be a technique unknown to the Viking, or maybe they had something similar?

Whatever it was, Kallavan would observe if the rokuougan was enough damage for him to losen his grip, allowing an opportunity to free himself.
 
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Kallavan and Thorkell's display of calculated violence persists. They are two predators fighting for the last prey on the earth. The former submitted himself forward, and above the latter, a massive strike rammed the Viking but his dual axes came to the rescue. Like a fang to another, they battled for supremacy.

A quick struggle later, Thorkell took the hit but all was brief for he managed to manipulate his hair to grapple the opponent, slamming him on the ground. The axes quickly followed downward as if hitting a lump of dead meat. However, the man before him was god in battle, shielding himself with an otherworldly talent to mitigate the impact while managing to unleash a counter-attack!

"?!!!"

Thorkell's eyes widened once again while his foe suddenly almost did an acrobatic move. Move that was gracefully executed and almost identical to the dexterity of the Norse myth - Fandral. But Thorkell, despite this disbelief pushed forward with his ax attack.

The two attacks were launched almost simultaneously in rapid motion. Thorkell managed to land his axes onto the Admiral but so was the raging king gun bursting from his left leg. And as the axes seemingly puncture the flesh of the marine, only the marine could embody the extent of the damage for himself but evidently, blood dripped from that maul, and pain is quite evident on his facial expression.

"Gwaa!", Thorkell grunted after one of the strongest disciplines of Kallavan's unit landed on his right lower leg. It was after the fact that Thorkell has actually managed to minimize the damage by coating his leg with what the marine called 'Haki' and Bors' Chainmail.

*Bone Cracked*

As this transpired, Thorkell quickly released the binding of his hair off Kallavan, pulled his axes, and stepped back. Sweating and grinning in pain, he kept his battle stance.

He would not make it obvious for the marine, but he would wait for him to attack first. The Tall waits for counter-strike opportunities at this point.

"Is that it?", calling a bluff
 
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Vinlandia - @Gambit

Kallavan would find himself freed from Thorkell's bindings. His kick, one that could shatter boulders, had done what it had set out to do. With a roll and a flip, the Admiral would find himself back on his feet. His chest was bleeding, his hand wasn't in the best shape and to be entirely frank. His exhaustion was starting to rise. The marine would stand up straight and observed his opponent. Thorkell who had a seemingly no limit to his durability and stamina was looking worse for wear by the moment. Kallavan would forcefully exhale from his nose, calming himself and his body down. He had to at least try it. The man before him was an incredible warrior, one that could easily clash with the greatest the blues could offer. If he or Kallavan himself would mortally wound one another, their war effort would be down the drain. They still had an entire campaign on their hands. This duel didn't mean anything besides showing the marine's value. He wasn't fighting for the sport or for honour like the Vikings would. Naturally the admiral wouldn't and word it as such.

"You have my respect, Thorkell the tall. But I wonder. Have I gained yours? This bout. This dance to draw bloodshed was so that the Vikings could gauge my value. I'll emphasize it once more. I stand amongst you and will make sure that these lands will be yours once more. " Kallavan would say, voicing his concerns. This time, he'd exhale deeply from his mouth as his form reverted to his original human one.
"I may not be a Viking, Thorkell. But I do know that we will need you in the upcoming fight. I do not wish for our battle to come in-between the mission any longer."

"You may decide what you value more, Thorkell. The fight right here and where either defeat or victory is not certain. Or absolute victory against the saxons with Thors, my crew and me. With all of us combined. Our military might know no equal. That I truly believe to be true. But." Kallavan said as he quickly shifted back into his hybrid form. His arms up in the air and ready to fight once more.
"If you truly believe our duel to be worth more, then I shall accept your answer and return the favour with all my might."

Kallavan said, respecting the man so much that he'd accept whatever he wished for. A fight today or a war tomorrow. Kallavan placed the choice in Thorkell's hands. The reason? This was neither Kallavan's lands nor his war. To decide for another person's beliefs whether he agreed with them or not would be out stepping his authority. Truly, this admiral was an anomaly within the marines. Kallavan vowed for a world with total peace more than anything. He hated war. He hated unnecessary bloodshed. But he valued the warrior before him too much. To chose in his stead would hold no value with the other Vikings.

Thorkell had to be the one. For the others would follow without question if he did.
 
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Thorkell slid backward after receiving a devastating kick from Kallavan. It broke his right leg but with his caliber, this is not going to be an issue. He still could fight. In fact, he was about to muster all his strength to deal a catastrophic blow at his opponent until the man before him tried to reason with him.

Ooooh? he thought.

The Viking Leader lent his ears, having been acknowledged as a strong force of nature. As the admiral speaks, Thorkell dropped his two axes on the cratered ground before scratching his head with his right hand, eyes closed. The admiral does talk a lot but he kept on listening. At the back of his mind, the marine gained his utmost respect. His undying stubbornness though would not let it manifest.

"You're good. It has been a while since the last time I fought who can deal me a bruise."

The admiral then reverted to his human form. He would briefly stare at him, wondering what sort of sorcery the man had just pulled but all of this is nothing but brief for he heard something interesting from the young muscle.

"Saxons, you said?", he asked before turning to Thors.

Thors not so far away, deeply exhaled. They both exchanged a glance in which the nephew nodded in response.

"Thors seemed to have briefed you before coming here. That's good. And you're strong enough. You can help."

Thors started to approach the two, walking fiercely as he goes. Still not putting up a smile on his face.

But before Thors even arrived, he asked the man one last time. "We will do this again, aren't we?"

"And one thing before you answered, that ability of yours. It's strange. Are you perhaps one of Loki's descendants? But whatever, I am hungry! Are you hungry, too? Huh? Is that Callahan? Vice-Admiral Callahan?"
, he asked the man while teasing him well. Thorkell's right arm wrapped around the man's shoulder. The Viking found a friend at that moment.

He then recalled something his father told him when he was young, "My son, someday, you will find people who you will respect the most no matter what. Even if that kills your gut, you will. Ally or enemy, that's how it goes."

As he dragged Kallavan to the long table the Viking Soldiers prepared, he uttered, "Father, it appears you're right after all. Muahahaha!"

Next in Vinlandia...

"Vice-Admiral Kallavan, you are an experienced combatant and war tactician, how do you propose we infiltrate the enemies?", Thors asked as he laid out the map of Vinlandia.

Man, having been acknowledged by Thorkell. You may decide whether you want to take full control of him or allow me to do so.
 
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Vinland @Gambit

To the marine's surprise, his reasoning had apparently worked in his favour. Thorkell would acknowledge Kallavan's proposal. Whether it be for the man's own personal reasons or the ones Kallavan had given him remained to be seen. Kallavan would sigh with relief, while he enjoyed a good sparring session occasionally, now really wasn't the time. "Of course. It's been a while since I worked up such a sweat. And yes we could use a bite to eat, especially after such a brawl" Kallavan would reply, accepting Thorkell's request.

In the meantime, Thors and Kallavan's own crew would move up towards the two warriors. Allowing the group to rejoin as they'd eventually make their way towards the dining hall. "It's no magic, but a devil fruit. I'm honestly surprised no one here has heard of them. Even the land of wano is aware of them, albeit under a different name." Kallavan would add in regard to the questions of his ability. Thorkell would wrap an arm around Kallavan's shoulder as the man really shifted gears and became a bit overly familiar. Kallavan would give a quick glance at the arm, easily displaying that he wasn't really fond of the act. But his own personality refrained him from ever voicing it.

At the dinner table, Kallavan saw himself eating some bread as he looked over a map of Vinlandia. Thors required his miliary expertise on the matter. Kanda and Trevor in the meantime were enjoying their heart's content at the display of food in these halls. While Kanda tried his best to remain sophisticated, Trevor really felt at home. Eating just like the Vikings would, chicken would be stripped of their bones with no regard to food etiquette.

The scenery eventually would shift to a pondering Kallavan who looked at the map in front of him. He'd quickly glance over at the man who had lived her his entire life. " Give me a lay of the land if you'd Thors-san. Points of interest like, rivers, hills and other possibly fortified places. Do they have more than one outpost, for instance? A quick geographical tour of Vinlandia would do best for me to propose something." Kallavan would ask as he had just arrived here and was working with the very minimal knowledge the government could spare him.
 
Vinlandia Leaders
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The Vinladian Terrains

Walking alongside Kallavan with his right arm wrapped around the former's shoulder, Thorkell responded, "I'll make sure you'd lose again when the time comes. Muahahahaha!"

Thorkell knew he would've lost that one if it continued, so what he said could either be a bluff or to tease the admiral. He continued laughing until he heard the man say the term Devil Fruit. "Oh! I am sure that term somewhat reached here. However, we never really saw proof of that. But lemme tell you this."

Thors butted in, "Long time ago, about a millennium had passed a very powerful individual once ruled the skies. He was very powerful that our ancestors even considered him a God. He was the one responsible for the storms, thunder, and lightning. He controlled the weather with his abilities."

"Thank you, Thors! And your name was actually named after him, right?"


Thors gave him both a nod as they exchange glances. The powerful individuals in Thorkell, Kallavan, and Thors all headed to the dinner table. The feast is ready! Soon, the other marines followed suit. They all sat there as the women served them dishes and drinks.

"Lord of Thunderbolt!"

"Imagine being called a god because of one's ability to control the weather."

"If that's a devil fruit that you spoke of, I would want to have that."

Thorkell, teased Kallavan using his right elbow pointed at his left ribs, "Don't worry my soldier friend, I will share some with you when we saw that. You're fine with that? Huh?"

Thors went to business, "Uncle, Kallavan, let's discuss."

He laid the map down on the table after clearing the plates and mugs for a while. "This is the map of Vinlandia."

"This land has a varied geography with strong contrasts. In the Eastern regions which are occupied by the Saxons led by King Sweyn and his brother Harald, flat coastal plains give way to valleys, then to ranges of hills and mountains in mid and north sections. It gives them an advantage against and to launch ambushes. They can register different planks to corner their enemies. And they have more soldiers than us."

"This region, the west is more rugged in terms of coastlines so it gives us an advantage against portal or coastal attacks. We can deploy archers and dissect their warships even before reaching the shore. We have some mountainous regions in the borders but that is of equal advantage as the Saxons."


"My worry is our numbers, right now, we only have 1000 elite soldiers who can fight against them. But I am sure as Bors that they are more than capable of defending our land. They drink blood. They feast on enemies fleshes. WE ARE VIKINGS!!! This is all we do."

"And Askelladd, he is one mysterious bastard. But he is crazy strong, too."

List of Kings for your reference
1. Saxon King Harald, Northeast Vinlandia (2500 Soldiers)
2. Saxon King Sweyn, Southeast Vinlandia (older of the two) (2500 Soldiers)
3. Viking Leader Thorkell the Tall, Southwest Vinlandia (500 Soldiers)
4. Viking Leader Askeladd, Northwest Vinlandia (500 Soldiers)

"What do you say, Kallavan?", added Thors.

@QuickZilver708
 
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Vinland @Gambit

" I see, interesting" Kallavan would say towards Thors and Thorkell. It'd appear devil fruit were in fact a thing here, but they were so rare to the point that they were uplifted to a divine power. Or it seemed that way at least since the power this individual possessed were on the higher side than ordinary devil fruit abilities. Lightning, thunder and storms. A logia perhaps? Kallavan thought to himself before returning to the matters at hand.

Drinks and food were brought to their table, to which Kallavan thanked the women for their service. Thorkell however would continue to jest toward the Admiral to the latter's growing frustration, sadly. "Let's get to the matter at hand, we can frolic all we want later after this is all over." Thors himself was of the same mind as he drew both the men their attention to the laid down map. Kallavan would stand up for a better view from the map, holding his tankard in his right hand. Taking an occasional sip as he watched and listened intensely. Within his mind, the Admiral would proceed with a tactical analysis onto how they should proceed with their mission. "Hmm. A lot of natural defences, fighting through mountainous terrain, always carry a great deal of risk if you move an army through. The stronghold of King Sweyn and Harald. Are they also fortified by the mountainous region?" Kallavan would say, giving his quick overview of the land, he took a drink and placed down his tankard as he crossed his arms.

"How feasible do you two think a diversion plan would work? Attacking a strategic point in the east to draw a bulk of their forces away. While an elite fighting squad moves through behind enemy lines and goes straight for the head? The terrain, while an advantage for the saxons could easily obscure our route if we move in a small squad. The major disadvantage is if we get caught, we'll most likely be outnumbered with a significant margin. My men and I are a foreign unit, so we can use that to our advantage, our strength is an unknown to them. Only if they haven't spotted us yet, of course. We're 200 strong with 2 officers." Kallavan would say, suggesting a formation of some kind of plan. But there was something that bothered him as well. The unknown Askelladd Thorkell spoke off.

"This Askelladd, who is he, and where does he stand within Vinlandia? A neutral party? Last thing we need is to look at our backs if we continue with this operation." Kallavan said, voicing his concerns.
 
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Southwest Vinlandia, Thorkell Dwellings

The Dusk finally broke out in the land of the warriors. The talk about the mystery behind devil fruit would be concluded for the time being. But one thing is for sure, the future would most likely lead them to fully understand its mechanism. And regarding the notion about the Storm God, only time will tell if that certain someone would make significance for them. A change that might change their future relationship with the Admiral.

Still discussing the terrains of the island and their importance to their planning, Thors, Thorkell, and the rest of the Vikings listened to Kallavan's response. All eyes were on him. Thorkell would address his first inquiry.

"Yes, their kingdoms lie on the top of the mountain ranges. Making it even harder to infiltrate them. However."

Thors would speak what exactly Thorkell had in his mind. He would probably be forcing the Admiral to withdraw his attempted statement after he heard what the former Captain would say. An intuition? Mutual excellence in war tactics? Or a foresight? In fact, it could be all. "We can avoid going to the top if we channel the war to the frontlines. They already did this by attacking the mid-section of Vikings' lands. Why? Because they couldn't risk traversing across the sea and get to our coastlines. They prefer ambushes. And what they did was dishonorable. They attack them on one bloody Saturday, a custom known to all. 2000 Saxon soldiers marched to the settlement in a stream of water and started to ambush the naked Vikings, who were unprepared and quickly overwhelmed."

Thors briefly paused and clasped his fists while his elbows lay on the table before continuing, "It's impossible for us to attack them from behind. Their locations are steep. We are talking about a mountain wall about miles in height. There is no shore. The only passage is the range of forests. It's between attacking them from the front, while half of your people trails half of the Vikings to move forward within those woods."

Thorkell interrupted this time., "Or fight with no honor by attacking at night."

Thors and Thorkell exchanged a glance; they only thought of one person to do the deed.

Both of them spoke in sync, "Askeladd..."

Northwest Vinlandia, Askelladd's Dwellings

Beneath the forest and underneath the dusk, the light of the massive full moon would shine down to a dark Nordic dwelling. It sprang forth it and cast its shadows across the soil. Crows would resurface and hover over the entire structure as if they were guarding someone against within.

The surrounding trees were standing still but not a single life surrounded them. Even the howling of the wolves wouldn't dare to intercept the torrent of terror echoing in this place. A tremble of all the undead wouldn't emerge for they knew that they wouldn't wish to wake a fine warrior from his wake.

That man is an average-sized Viking warrior, standing at 170cm and weighing in at 65kg. He is muscular but lean. His eyes are light blue and his hair is light blond. He wears it short and slicked back. His eyebrows are thick and flicker upwards at the outer edges, and he styles his facial hair in a small, neatly groomed goatee. He is Askeladd.

As he sat on his throne inside a dark hall, footsteps began to pace on the brick-made floor of the castle ground. It ventured to the stairways up to the second floor. And then, the sound started to disseminate even louder, even faster. Crossing corridors and lobbies, it grew even wilder! And as seconds went by, the entire area would shelter the pounding echoes of it until finally, it reached the third floor where the Viking stays.

Floki, the man he sent to fetch Thors entered. "My Lord!"

Askeladd only gave him a nod, signifying that his servant has delivered good news, bringing in Thors. Floki immediately exited the hall.

The cunning and mysterious Viking leader just stare at the exiting servant before he crossed his legs and rest his right elbow on the armrest of his chair. Smirking, he uttered, "It's time..."

Middle East Vinlandia

Meanwhile, a group of Vikings is presently marching with their horses across the woods that separate the Northwest and Southwest Vinlandia.
Hordes of 200 horses were mounted by the Vikings Soldiers, hailing from the Northwest. Galloping across the undead forest and towards the meadow of a dream. Each and every leap of their feet were hitting the ground at a very fast pace, leaving enormous clouds of dust on their wakes. Hoof beating in a widespread chorus that registered to echo “clip-clop, clip-clop” across the forests. Deers and other animals were chased away by the motion and even foxes left off their ravenous instinct on their necks. "Haa!!!", a compound command by the soldiers to their horses. Birds came rushing into the heavens, not knowing what would've befallen had they stayed on their nests with their eggs.

They wore the same typical Vikings vanguard regardless of their ranks, wielding swords and arrows on their holsters. Each of them had their helms on, ready to combat whatever happened.

At the end of the hordes was Estrid, Lieutenant of the Northwest Region troops. A 16-year old maiden with the strength of 100 men!
Like a mist blown away by a storm, she catapulted to the front. "Asger! Man the trail. I will lead."

Still wielding her barbed whip, she would catapult towards the Southwest as they approach the night.

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Vinland @Gambit

Kallavan still continued to look over the map, listened to the members of the war room speak. The Admiral's suggestion equally looked as implausible. There weren't many options their armies could take. Only a perilous journey through the woods and upwards a steep incline. The forest, a natural playground for ambushes, would make this journey more or less a suicide mission. It was a matter of pride for these man or so Kallavan deduced for he also figured to just attack at night. Any strategic point they could utilize should be used if it meant winning in the end. But these were warriors with a sense of honour and pride Kallavan could never hope to reach, he was the type of mine who'd go through hell and back if it meant victory. He found it foolish and childish, but it was this country's custom, and he would not belittle their choices. But oh boy did they make it unnecessarily harder upon themselves. Eventually, the name Askellad would come up again. Kallavan would sit down and took a swing from his tankard once again.

"You've spoken of this, Askellad? But just who is he?"

The marine asked, as he genuinely wished to know. Unbeknown that, he'd perhaps have a meeting with the man sooner than he anticipated
.
 
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Southwest Vinlandia, Thorkell Dwellings

The discussion about the Viking's infiltration against the Saxon army continues. Thors and Thorkell laid out the ins and outs of the enemy's fortress; its advantages and disadvantages. The Admiral and his subordinates kept lending their ears. And just as significant as the conversation has been, it seems that Kallavan is more interested in getting to know who Askelladd is.

Thors and Thorkell shared a glance, one of them is about to speak until. "Well, Askelladd is-"

"Lord Thorkell! Lord Thorkell!"
, a Viking messenger screamed from afar, mounted on his horse. Sprinting the valley, he kept on calling his master's name in hurry.

Thorkell slammed the table and rose to his full length. "Just what in the world is happe-"

"They are here."
, Thors said.

"Eh?"

"They are here!"

"Eh?"

"Who?! Who?!"
, Thorkell asked.

"Askelladd's prime. In less than 30 minutes, they arrive.", said the messenger.

"I wonder why he sent her.", Thorkell turned to his men. "Everyone! Take your once-a-week bath! I don't want her to smell your filthy asses."

Then he turned to Kallavan and his men, too. "You, too, my friend. S- She- She's."

"Please uncle, we just arrive and we don't smell like you and your men are."

"Kallavan just engaged in a fight with me, and I'm sure he needs to clean himself up, too. Let's get going. We only have 28 minutes!"


Thorkell would expect the marines to follow him at the back of the dwellings where they could clean. After this, they must return wearing nice clothing so that they would all be presentable the moment Estrid arrives.

"Prepare the baths!"

Northwest Vinlandia, Askelladd's Dwellings

Askelladd approached a dark room where a man dwells for a very long period of time. He did not need to knock, he just entered without any permission. The room is also ornamented with precious stones and metals, including artifacts or preserved bones of oxen and the likes. "My Lord... I came to tell you that it has begun."

Suddenly, a man behind the silhouette emerged. In the shadows, he spoke, "This time. No mistakes. And of Thors."

"Yes, my Lord, I know what to do."


Askelladd turned his back after the brief conversation. He flapped his dashing coat as he did, grinning as he goes.

Middle East Vinlandia

"Ha!!!", Estrid kept on beating the horse. They sprint to the valley and jungle. They arrive in just a while.

One of the soldiers that accompany her commented, panting as if he was the one being ridden on, "Ha. Ha. We can't keep up."

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Vinland @Gambit

Kallavan would finish his meal, wondering when they'd finally give him an explanation as to how dangerous this Askellad fellow was. Or just in general who he was, they had referred to him plenty of times. But hadn't given the marine a single piece of information. However, an explanation wouldn't be needed, for Kallavan was about to meet a member of this mercs very own band. It sparked a sense of worry and haste in Thorkell that Kallavan wasn't used to, nor had he seen before. The men had to take their weekly bath upon this warrior's arrival. At first the marine would frown at the idea but when Thorkell gave the argument that they had been in a fight before the young marine didn't object. He was right after all, he still had to patch himself up after that spar.

Both Kanda and Trevor would move on ahead with Thors while Kallavan and the band of Vikings took the moment to clean themselves. Should the men take a peek on the marine's body, they'd see a well crafted body. The marine was ripped and had seen his far share of battles, permanent scars, bruises and patch up jobs were on his body. This wasn't a snot nosed youngster, that's for sure.

Freshened up, equipped with a set of clean clothes Kallavan had rejoined his officers and Thors. Whether he was the first out of the bath or not remained to be seen. But the man didn't loiter within the bath and did it thoroughly and quickly. With his arms in front of his chest, the man would wait on the meeting spot or where Thors would direct him.

"Can't say that wasn't necessary. Still a strange custom, showering outdoors." Kallavan would say commenting on their different takes on things yet again. The Vikings most likely would find it a strange comment. How did these blue sea folk shower or bathe, then, if it wasn't outdoors?

The arrival of Askellad's prime would surely be an interesting encounter, and Kallavan was ready for whatever would come next.
 
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Southwest Vinlandia, Thorkell Dwellings

The Vikings and the Marines would clean themselves up after receiving the news of Askelladds messenger, Estrid. They didn't wait long till everyone's done the deed. 10 minutes! That's what it took for them to wrap it up. The Vikings would soon reveal their freshen-up bodies one after another but they would all see that Kallavan was the first to come out. The Vikings, emerged with their hairs flattened down like cat's fur licked by another. They all lined up.

"Lady Estrid of the Northwest Vinlandia!", exclaimed one of their own, mounted on a horse. "Give way!"

Thorkell made his way at the front after hearing one of Estrid's men yell her arrival.

"Everybody! Calm yourselves! She's here.", Thorkell said before standing manly to welcome the arriving troops.

"Hoaaaaah!", said Estrid as her horse would stop on her command.

"Lady Estrid, it is an honor to see you again."

"WELCOME TO THE SOUTHWEST, LADY ESTRID!", The rest of the Vikings gave their respects to her.

"No, Lord Thorkell. The honor is mine.", said Estrid as she dismounted from her horse before placing her right palm across Thorkell. The latter would do the same and would briefly shake their hands.

Thors would then come closer to the two in which Thorkell would introduce. "This is Thors."

"I heard of him. And it's an honor to finally meet the hero of Jomsvikings."

"And this is Kallavan. Vice-Admiral of the Marines. He is here to help."

"................."


Estrid would only give the marines a stare but with her horn helmet on, it would be hard for them to notice that. However, as a sign of respect, she would finally remove it in front of anyone. Perhaps, the main reason why all these Vikings tidied themselves up in order to be presentable in front of the woman. After all, Estrid is.


"Allow me to introduce myself to the marines. My name is Estrid, daughter of Askelladd. Princess of the Northwest. We are at war against the Saxons. And it is our duty to protect our land. And as the princess of the other half of Vinlandia, it is my mission to lead us to victory. And I will do everything necessary to accomplish that feat. Even if it means, allowing strangers to aid our cause."

She said in front of the Vikings in which the latter part of her declaration was directed at Kallavan himself.

If the marines are brave enough, he won't allow the next sunrise to signal our conquest. We attack tonight.

The princess would finish her speech as she gave orders to her men to ready themselves. If anyone would object, there would be consequences. Thors and Thorkell would only stare at each other, respecting the princess's decision. What would Kallavan say in this situation in order to be trusted by the new arrival?

"Whenever you're ready."
 
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Vinland

Everyone was finally ready to welcome Lady Estrid's arrival. Kallavan along with the others stood at the front to be the welcoming committee. Pleasantries were exchanged and Kallavan took a good look at the woman/princess? He knew she was someone of rank, but wasn't completely sure Vikings had such a thing as a princess. Not that it really mattered in the grand scheme of things. The woman would dismount and was introduced to the various members of the South West war council. Thors, Thorkell and finally Kallavan, a stranger, but a welcome help in these dire times.

As a sign of respect, she'd undo her helmet and formally introduced herself. Kallavan saw a woman of pride and strength, Kanda another obstacle they had to convince to allow them to do what they had to do in these places. The man wasn't a fan of bureaucracy, even in these lands where there was none. A person had to go through the proper channels, Kanda a man who came from a delinquent background. Simply wanted to finally get going. And finally Trevor whistled in his mind, the woman was, by even his standards, absolutely fine. But he'd never dare utter it, he felt that she'd slice and dice him right then and there. A sign of this was that even the Vikings got in their absolute best shape. To send a sense of responsibility to these savages had to mean something.

"My name, as mentioned before, is Kallavan. Through our accord with Thors, the marines will help where able. And if we're lucky, the enemy hasn't got a notion of our arrival." Kallavan would say with a short introduction to the lady known as Estrid.

Time would pass with various folks looking at one another in confusion with only Kallavan breaking the mold.

"Lead the way, I bet they won't be expecting an attack at this time of day." Kallavan said, implying he didn't mind attacking at night and in the dark. But never outright saying it, as it was pretty much blasphemy in these parts. A strange sense of honour, more so than in Wano.

@Gambit
 
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Lady Estrid's troops arrived at Thorkell's Dwelling. There, they would meet the entire platoon along with the rumored legendary Thors who sailed with a plank of Marines. Their leader would introduce himself which the princess would quickly acknowledge. Stiff and brief, she would respond.

"It is my pleasure to hear your name. Welcome to Vinlandia."

Estrid would gaze at Thor and then at Thorkell. "Your reinforcement has an admirable wit."

Thorkell would scratch the back of his head on her acceptance of Kallavan, smiling.

"You're right Kallavan. There is no reason why they would hear of any of you. The Saxons are proud and complacent. Having conquered most of the lands, they grew boastful and ignorant of our plans. However, they shall not be underestimated, for they recently launched a surprise attack on the middle sector of the land. They have no honor. And if that's the war they wish to wage on. So be it. We give them what they sought for."

He turned again to Thorkell. "Lord Thorkell."

"Yes, Lady Estrid?"

"Ready your men. Take horses. My troops have already scouted the plains and woods. You lead the front."

"Captain Thors."

Thors would nod, acknowledging what the princess was about to say.

"You're coming with my troops. Asgar will show the way. But I believe, there's no need for that."

"And Kallavan, let us capitalize on your advantage. They don't know you and they won't expect strangers of the land to come and take the hardest route which is the woods. I will lead the way."

Estrid mounted her horse and would address the line.

"It is now dusk. And soon darkness will be. Under the moon and with the grace of the Allfather, we will advance to the center. Even someone with expert ears wouldn't hear the cavalry until a mile away from their unit. Which means."

"As soon as we get to the heart of Vinlandia, we will travel by foot.", Thorkell completed.

"Excellent."

"Kallavan, please jump in. Hold on tight."
, the princess ordered the Admiral to ride with her on the same horse. She would wait until he mounted and would quickly lash her whip onto the mare.

And with that, the compound strength of the Vikings and the Marines would journey to two different paths. One takes the center, the other takes the dark.
 
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Vinland

"A solid plan, Lady Estrid. " Kallavan would say, agreeing to the young princess' refreshing no nonsense attitude.

The Admiral would quickly turn around and addressed his men but Kanda and Trevor in particular they were about to split up after all.

" Kanda. Trevor. Divide the men amongst yourself and ally yourself with Thors and Thorkell. I'll lead the Vanguard with Lady Estrid you two assist the Vikings to the best of your abilities. Remember your training and everything will be fine. You're part of Foxhound. One of the strongest fighting force within the marines. Do not forget that."

"Yes Sir!"
"Yes Sir!"

Both Kanda and Trevor shouted in a rare display of obedience, at least on Trevor's part. The man was lazy and perhaps easy going, but he knew when the time to fall in line was there. Eventually, Kallavan would follow Lady Estrid's request to join her and mounted her horse, sitting right behind her.

Meanwhile, Kanda and Trevor would move away and ready themselves as well as the other soldiers for an incoming fight. However, Trevor was dilly dallying a bit, as he had a serious grin on his face. "Hehe. I think the princess likes our commander. " He'd say almost a whisper, he wouldn't want any of the Vikings overhearing him. "How is it that you always spot the most insignificant details in our missions?" Kanda would reply with a sigh, but this conversation was a nice change of pace from the adrenaline that started to flow within his body. "Such a thing cannot escape these eyes of mine. Like your mantra, I'm attuned to this sort of thing." Trevor would say, as a painful silence followed. "Oh brother. Please, someone relief me of this fate."

"It's alright Kanda-kun. I'm not going to betray our commander. He's been all business for years now. Let him have his fun."
"Trevor, give me that fur coat of yours. I'm going to the ball tonight. I have a date." Trevor said while imitating his commander while also barely able to contain his laughter.
"Stop this theatre of yours and get going!" Kanda said, embarrassed by his peer. Trevor would wave it away and continued to laugh as he too moved towards the horses of the other Vikings.

Lady Estrid would whip her mare symbolically, starting the raid on the Saxons.



"For Vinlandia!" Kallavan shouted as they moved on ahead.

@Gambit
 
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And so the quest towards the Saxons has begun. Thorkell and his troops are leading the front, mounted on horses, a strong cavalry catapulting like a storm of bullets. Asgar and Thors on the other hand took the rear. And lastly, Estrid and Kallavan would join forces to journey the woods which the Saxons wouldn't expect.

For 12 hours, Thorkell and his men were able to travel 25 miles in a combination of trail and steady walk. Thors and Asgar did the same. Meanwhile, Estrid and Kallavan, having taken the hardest route would only journey at most 19 miles. A distant behind.

He spoke to Kallavan as they tried to rest their mares, "Why are you here?"

"And don't try to fool me. I may be young but my intuition is far beyond what you can expect."

"Ho!"
, ordered her horse to stop. "Take your horses to the riverbanks."

Kallavan, if he has a good sense of smell, might have already started to smell how crazily redolent Estrid's snowy hair is, and how sweet-smelling her breath is. Many fools would easily worship the lady by the mere sight of her but the Admiral, he's the only one in recent years to have actually gotten this close to the village princess.

Estrid dismounted her horse by simply putting her right hand on the Admiral's right leg as the saddle is being occupied by him. She then, swung her left leg completely over the horse's head before she slid to the ground. There, she headed to the edge of the river as well. It's up to the Admiral if he would follow suit. She would briefly wash her face. Drink on her own water gallon.

And regardless of the marine would try to speak or not, Estrid would order the men after 10 minutes to check the supplies on the wagons, mount their horses, and check their weapons. For after that, they would resume their journey. This time, it would be non-stop as the next couple of miles would be vast greenery between two rocky mountains. And beyond the third mountain that lies ahead would be the center of Vinlandia.

"Ready."

Estrid would mount her horse and would wait again for the admiral. It's still cold at dawn. But the sun will soon rise over that mountain they headed to.

"Ha!"
 
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Vinland

The journey towards the Saxons had been a long and tiresome one. Estrid and Kallavan were lagging behind their main invasion force quite a bit. Their path was a more treacherous one compared to the one Thorkel and Thors had to make. They were the vanguard and the rear of this army. Kallavan and Estrid were a hidden weapon, aiming to strike where the Saxons least expected it. After a good chunk of their journey was behind them, they finally decided to take a small stop. "Like I told Thors a few days ago. I'm here to prevent this war from escalating beyond Vinlandia. The World Government has identified Vinlandia as neutral territory for centuries. But these Saxons are a threat that'd tip this balance. Who's to say their king would not spread his influence further?"

Kallavan would say as he too dismounted the horse. He did in fact register Estrid's perfume, but he would not comment on it, nor would it influence his instincts in any way. He was not a Viking that moved on basic impulses, but a high ranked officer of the navy. Trevor often commented on Kallavan being a stone wall, one had to climb a mountain to receive anything else than straight business from this marine.

Kallavan would follow Estrid to the river, filling a flask of his own with water before gazing up at the sky. "How do you see Vinlandia without the Saxons influence?" Kallavan asked the princess a question he didn't even ask Thors. For he somewhat knew the man's answer. But he'd like to see the opinion and view of this princess who, allegedly, would one day inherit a piece of this land.

Without the Saxons, how would Vinlandia rebuilt in this power vacuum? Would it be back to war amongst brothers and sisters? Or would they try and coexist in a newly formed world?

Regardless of her answer, Kallavan would join her once again on the back of her horse. His opinion on the matter formed in his head after he had heard her response.

The battle would soon be upon them.

@Gambit
 
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8 hours later
The journey to the east continued as Thorkell manned the front, only trailed by Thors and Asgar. "Ho!", Thorkell commanded his horse. "We are finally 4 miles away from the center, the mountain that divides the Saxons and the Vikings. And that is exactly an hour on horseback. But as Lady Estrid suggested, we shall walk on feet within a mile to remain unseen."

He turned to one of his men, "Cnut! Send a message to Thors to rest his men. It's around 2:00 in the afternoon. We have about 7 hours to rest before the battle. Another hour to head to the center. At midnight, we launch an attack."

"Aye!"


Cnut headed to Thors who is behind them by horse. It would not take long before he reached them. As soon as he saw the trailing troops, he delivered the message Thorkell sent for him.

"Understood.", said Thors before telling his men to get some rest before the war commences. "Get some sleep. For tonight, we infiltrate those who lie in their sleep."

Meanwhile, Estrid and Kallavan's party continued to race into the woods after they got past the vast valley. The Admiral asked her a question after addressing her initial query.

"Like I told Thors a few days ago. I'm here to prevent this war from escalating beyond Vinlandia. The World Government has identified Vinlandia as neutral territory for centuries. But these Saxons are a threat that'd tip this balance. Who's to say their king would not spread his influence further?"
"It's amusing that you have an intelligence of Vinlandia and ignored the fact that Camelot was once ruled by them for centuries. And now, King Arthur and his Knights of Justice ruled the land in such fashion of violence. Why did the World Government not interfere with such generosity toward them? Don't tell me that you consider yourself the deliverer? A warring prophet perhaps?"

The lady continued to press the admiral. "Listen, the Saxons are everywhere. The Olympians also have their own discord. The Vikings are also trying to conquer lands. We all have differences but two things are common amongst us. We will never submit to the World Government. We have been independent for centuries and war has been part of our customs, our culture. This is who we are Vice-Admiral. And the second thing is, conquerors like us shall continue to do so until someone, something stronger has totally eradicated us. That's the end of the line."

Kallavan has heard of Estrid's ideology and vision in life. She's not only into bloodshed. She's into something nobler. She has only been trapped within the nation's customs and beliefs that could have been corrected a long time ago if corruption has not been present in this world.

"How do you see Vinlandia without the Saxons influence?"
Estrid whipped her horse badly that it launched itself across the woods so badly until finally, she reached the cliff. The river below would approximately be hundreds of kilometers from the top. "Look at this land Kallavan. It is so vast. I wonder what lies beyond our country. People like us have been trying to reach the west and expand our nation. In my heart, I hope that someday, peace will be something that is common in all nations, and that includes the Saxons. A place where two nations can actually become one. It's a long shot but I believe that if Gods co-exist with us humans, why can't we?"

"Everyone!", he turned to his people after addressing the admiral.

"You have 8 hours to prepare yourselves. Get some rest and think again if this destiny is part of you. If you do, then tonight, we shall go down this mountain through this trail. By that time, Thorkell's forces have already infiltrated the front lines that have around a thousand soldiers. If they managed to take them out by surprise at midnight, they should be able to advance to the Southeast where King Sweyn's army awaits and where the forces are doubled. If the king's army would be alerted and decided to face them head-on, that's when Thors would come in. As for us, we shall do the same against King Harald's army."
 
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