Island Vinlandia

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Vinland

Kanda blitzed forward, channelling every bit and ounce of strength towards his leg. The sudden acceleration harsh enough to even prevent seeing decently. But the captain was a seasoned warrior and fully capable of not being blinded by his own movement. However, to an ordinary opponent the swiftness at which Kanda moved was commendable. Unfortunately his opponent, Thorkell, a man quite his senior. Had a lot more under his belt and as such did not find any issues with his opponent's speed.

The Viking would outstretch his right arm, equally charging all of his strength behind this singular swing. His might nearing to the unfathomable was enough to unleash a violent wind that expanded, eating anything in its path. But Kanda did not waver and simply pushed through it, like a bullet he went through the storm and passed Thorkell. The two warriors clashing in a moment that was even faster than blinking.


"Hel's Reaper Dance!"
"Ichidai Sanzen Daisen Sekai!!!!"
7. Mountain Level VS 11. Small Continent Level

Remaining DPR: 4. City Block Level

Kanda would find himself on the opposite end, behind Thorkell who stood firm and with Viking pride. Tension took the area and onlookers but long they would not have to wait. For it only took a few moments for cracks to appear on Kanda's left and right sword. And then it happened. The metal could not contain its shape any longer, the amount of punishment it received was far too great.

Kanda's weapons shattered as blood poured from the wounds on his body only to fall down like crimson rain. The captain would grunt in pain while he immediately dropped the swords in his hands. Gravity already started to pull on his weakened body, trying to drag him to the ground. The young man's mouth was open, blood trailing from the corner of his mouth as spirit started to fade in his eyes. And for a moment it appeared as if the match was over. "NO!" Kanda shouted through his throat, coughing up blood in the process. He'd take another step, preventing himself from keeling over and turned around, glaring at Thorkell with the same eyes Kallavan had.

The young man would turn, body hunched over and the tip of his weapon nearly touching the ground. He was holding himself together with every last straw that he had. But from his stance even a soft breeze could topple the young man. His right arm, carrying his last remaining weapon would move, pointing it at Thorkell. A sinister and dark aura would ooze out of Kanda, sweeping the battlefield and turning everyone on edge. For a second Thorkell could swear he saw Kanda with several arms and 3 heads, a trick of the light? But with a second blink it vanished.

" I...will....protect.....those I hate. Even if the.... one I hate most....." Kanda said, struggling to speak his words under this excruciating pain. His last remaining weapon, dropping from his hand, the metal clashing against the ground.



"....is myself...."

Kanda said, revealing his own specialized third Ideal. And the thing that carried him forward. Kanda felt that he and Thorkell were kindred spirits even to this final clash. He had hoped the Viking would find inspiration in it. Perhaps it could change his mind.

And then the young commander fell to his knees, unable to keep his mind awake.

His fate left to Thorkell to decide.

-----------------------------------

Kallavan

The Admiral's burning rankyaku flew to scorch the earth and Askelladd. But the man's reflexes and skill over mantra gave him a natural edge over Kallavan's wide and destructive attacks. The man would click his tongue in annoyance, eyes trailing the Viking's movements. There was no escaping his sight. Thorkell's attack came with increased acceleration through Haki, a red gleam within his eyes painting a red streak while he moved. "Kami-e" Kallavan uttered as he leaned his body to the right in an extreme fashion, nearly reaching 90°. His reflexes through this rokushiki art were at its limit, allowing him to respond and attack at the very same time. The blade would, under normal circumstances woosh by him, slicing off perhaps a strain of hair.

While he leaned to the right and turned Kami-e off, for it had done its purpose, Kallavan would turn his upper body to the left while placing his right index finger at his thumb. "Tobu Shigan: Hibachi !" Kallavan shouted as he flicked off a projectile based shigan towards Askelladd, burning him on impact and perhaps pushing him back for a few meters.
120: 5. Town Level +3(A) +2 (Haki) = 10. Large Country Level
PS

This variation isn't graded within the masterthread or any place that I could find. But since the regular Tobu shigan is B-rank. I figured the fire would elevate it to A. If you deem it still B, let me know, and I'll edit the value. Took some liberties on that part.
Askelladd should the future warn him of Kallavan's decision would find that the man had already taken precautions. Invisible haki would flow through his body, creating a shell of armour. Tekkai would take over with an instant switch should Kallavan find his Viking opponent altering the trajectory of his weapon. Kami-e would provide him a bonus in reaction, allowing for the switch between it and Tekkai at a moment's notice. The damage with this would be mitigated enough to allow Kallavan to proceed with his own attack.
120: 7. Mountain Level +2(Haki) = 9. Small Country Level
DPR equal to dura: normal damage
The more this battle progressed the more it'd seem like a battle of attrition. With each prediction Kallavan would trade his own flesh to allow himself to attack the blond Viking. But how long would his vast zoan vitality bring him in that regard?

Besides this wasn't the end. He couldn't let it end here!

He won't.


Never
 
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Resolve
Edges against edges finally reached the peak of the mountain. The proud fox and his 3 blades would unleash a vision of 9 limbs wielding a sword apiece. A marvelous display of weapon mastery without a doubt. On the other end of the stage, a monstrous lord of all Eastern Vikings, mustering a tremendous strength that manifested an omnidirectional cyclone that is designed to engulf its prey.

They took the center stage as both of them catapulted. 9 blades. 2 edges. The other Vikings in attendance would hardly see any movements at this point. It was beyond their league. In fact, nobody had ever reached the ground. Another moment had passed, and the two comets collided.

A loud explosion further damaged whatever ceiling and enclosures are left in the room. The bottles and ornaments within turned into dust. The very ground the two were standing at erupted and craters formed in the epicenter of the clash. The air space between them has been ruptured by multiple series of shockwaves. The crackling of lightning beautified the scene. Not only that, it's as if the wind surrounding them operated in reverse. A titanic clash of the wraths!

"Raaaaaaaaaaah!!!", The lord roared as their hearts met in battle.

And it subsided.

"Huff. Huff. Huff."

Thorkell looked at his blade. Blood on its edges. His face beamed against the light and eventually reflected on it. His wrath dissolved along with the tail of the collision. He then turned to Kanda who was apparently a few meters behind his back.

"Why wouldn't you just go along with my pride? We could have been a dangerous duo."

He began to walk towards the staggering opponent. His shadow would cover the entirety of him as he progressed. "But you chose to oppose me."

At this point, Kanda was not yet uttering a single word. He would continue. "My only mission is to make this land a better place for my fellow Vikings."

"And as much as I hated myself for doing this, Thors is the only answer to that. He is family. But his head is the price for the Celestials to stop wreaking havoc in this land."


"Somebody has to be sacrificed. My pride included."

After he said that, he would find refugee at what he was about to hear next.

"I...will....protect.....those I hate. Even if the.... one I hate most..... is myself...."
Thorkell's pupil shanked in motion as it almost separated from the white of his eyes. In horror or in shock? None of those. What he heard and what he felt at this point in time was a reflection. And it eventually made him realize his resolution. What is his resolve?

He then looked back again at the time he first met Thors. A very outstanding fighter and that's what brought him in bringing him into his Jomsviking. He knew he was going to be a fine successor much more, an infinite rival. Did Thorkell really hate him? Or was it love that he felt that translated into anger the moment he abandoned the land?

But the most important thing about this climax was that the demon is what Thorkell hated the most. And he was it. It was Thors and the land of Vinlandia. Thorkell tightened the grip on his axes, staring wildly at Kanda. He could kill him right here and now. He chose to turn his back.

"I shall take it from here.", are the last words he would tell Kanda as he walked towards the nearing chapter of this event - The Castle of Saxon King Sweyn, Southeast Vinlandia.

"I am coming for you."

Disposition

Kallavan unleashed a would-be killer shot but the mighty Celestial would evade this one with ease. From there, he pushed the ground with his feet, channeling his speed to appear on the left side of the marine. He swung his blade at the admiral's assumed weaker spot but much to his presumption, the marine had it all prepared for. A sneaky bastard.

As expected., he murmured as the other also evaded his wide arc slash, snapping away just a few strands of hair. He now activated his future sight, and he saw a future where he would be dealt with a projectile of combined fire and wind, compressed into a bullet. It would hit his chest, impale through it as he crawled backward midair before finally slamming onto the ground. His eyes took the form of crimson blood as he used his foresight. And as soon as he did, he would recall the blade that he swung, placing it against his chest, blocking the entirety of Kallavan's attack.

In contact, he would find himself slightly pushed as smoke covered the space between them. And that's the signal. The smoke that Kallavan's attack generated against his sword would conceal him briefly, albeit the marine's enemies already knew his exact location. From there, a platoon of sea stone arrows would plunge into him, coming from all directions. He tanked the previous wave of arrows and Askelladd, the tactician would assume the same.

"Die."
 
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Vinland

Kallavan

The Tobu Shigan flew towards Askeladd who defended in time, his ability to peer into the future, shielding him once more from harm. Pushed back and obscured by dust Kallavan sought to keep up the pressure. But his own mantra had warned him of an incoming threat, everywhere at once arrows would rain down on the Admiral. Tipped with sea stone they'd most likely wound the man to a certain degree. These arrows, fired by normal archers, did not impede the workings of his own mantra. It allowed him the necessary boost in reaction that he needed to evade. Oblivious to the seastone, Kallavan sought to push forward now that Askeladd was at the mercy of his own reflexes. The marine had moved through instinct but the longer this fight went to sooner he'd come to the realization of his opponent's technique. "Kamisori!" Kallavan shouted as he vanished from his position, blitzing through and around the arrows.

Reappearing behind Askeladd a solid 4 to 5 meters between them, Kallavan would kick with his right leg. At the same time, arrows would most likely hit his previous location all at once.
120: 5. Town Level +3(A) +2(haki) = 10. Large Country Level

From the Admiral's right leg a large blue pristine projectile would be launched. Only for it to burst and release hundreds if not thousands of smaller air blades towards Askeladd. Their combined might capable of unseen destruction, they flew in a direct line towards him and if he observed it was like a rain of arrows heading his way. The area it covered could be equal to that of a platoon of archers if not more. Kallavan had flipped their situations.

"Rankyaku: Samidare!"


He shouted while lowering his leg afterwards. Sweat had started to stream down his face as breathing became a white fog in front of his mouth. This man was really keeping up the pressure and Kallavan began to worry how this would end. These Vikings are no joke.
Rankyaku: Samidare (Tempest kick: Summer rain)
The user kicks the air at high speed, unleashing a regular rankyaku at first glance. However, as it travels, the air blades explode into an array of numerous smaller air blades. Showering an opponent with a rapid fire like attack.
A-Rank 81 Mastery, 71 Strength, 71 Movement Speed.
 
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Askelladd vs Kallavan
The Vikings unloosed a parade of arrows toward the admiral but he managed to evade this just in time using a combination of Soru and Geppo. The same technique would be used to launch himself a few meters behind the Viking Leader. Askelladd was able to see through his movement regardless of the absence of foresight in that sequence. With a swift look back, he saw Kallavan raising his right leg and he just knew what was coming next.

The marine would cast a bluish projectile only to burst out in a wide perimeter, sending out a storm of small air blades. They would be large enough to cover even the size of the dinosaur Kallavan earlier morphed into. In the same position, Askelladd saw all these transpired. He would be mauled like a deer to a pride of lions as those blades would have dug into his flesh. Henceforth, before the air blades would even reach his location, he kicked the ground so efficiently that he rose a couple of meters above the height of the projectiles. And as soon as he reached that location, he raised his two arms, holding the sword. And over his head, he would swing the blade with all his might bestowed by Odin The Allfather, only to send out a massive air slash below and to the opponent.

But this would not stop this, as the admiral is cornered by the Viking archers, the same amount of sea stone-made arrows would be gifted to his body if they hit him. These arrows were fired from a circular formation of the soldiers, making no path for him to flee. He should not worry about the arrows, they were just made of sea prism stones. The threat is what's screaming from up above.

"Allfather's Horse Demon!!!"

After raising his sword above his head, the user delivers a powerful vertical slice to his opponent. This attack can easily slice through solid stone. (61 Mastery, 81 Strength, and 41 Movement Speed) Destructive Potency Rank: A

DPR: 8. Island Level

The air blade about 3 meters long and a quarter of a meter wide would cut the very element it was made of. Screeching as it plummets back to the earth. Crackling wildly as Haki spiraled to the attack. It was so strong that even though it never touched the ground yet, rubbles already erupted from the ground. Specks of dust join the wind that blows skyward and sidewards.

Catching up to his momentum, Askelladd dove to the target as soon as the air slash was brought upon him. Wrath trailing. Using gravity, he would dive fast and swiftly set his arms over his head once more. This is done almost virtually simultaneously. But executed with care as to avoid the raining of arrows.

From his head, an arc would be formed with his sword held outstretched in two arms. Reaching close to Kallavan, he would bring the blade down. Willpower surrounding the weapon. And with that powerful swing, a defeating whistle followed through. If successful, the blade would rupture the face of the opponent down to his torso.

"Great Dragon Shock!!!"

Great Dragon Shock consists of the user running or diving toward his opponent with their sword held outstretched in one/two arms. He then executes a two-handed overhead swing used to split his opponent into two from the top down. (61 Mastery, 61 Strength, and 61 Movement Speed) Destructive Potency Rank: A

DPR: 8. Island Level
@QuickZilver708
 
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Vinland
Like an eel Askeladd had dodged yet another one of Kallavan's move. It aggravated the marine to no end how he could swiftly run and twist between his attacks. The winds favoured this man and allowed him to move through instinct and perhaps divine will. Although that was something only he himself believed. Kallavan only saw it as superior mastery over mantra, a level he himself lacked.

Now up in the air Askeladd had drawn his blade, wielding it above his head, held firmly with both of his hands and swung down with unbelievable force. A massive slash followed, its power and force akin to the ones Kallavan had launched a few moments prior. But that was not all, archers had moved up all around him. Surrounding him and supporting their lord with arrow fire. Kallavan had thought nothing of these arrows and was prepared to tank them, muscles flexing preemptively. But that was before he realized what they carried. Moments before being left as a pincushion he realized, no, he felt it.

Seastone.

All these arrows carried the energy of the sea at their tips, capable of weakening Kallavan and ending this battle. A powerful air blade above and arrows all around him. The curtain started to settle upon the proud Admiral. Darkness started to grasp him around his neck and for the first time in a very, very long time he felt it. Doom and his own death. This sudden jolt of despair would be immediately countered by fury and the raging tempest that was within him. His soul flared out, uprooting this sensation of fear from the pits of his very being.

"ENOUGH!" Kallavan roared.

Haki flared around the Admiral, transmuting into an outburst of nigh invisible energy. Dark electricity sparked around the man while wisps of black accompanied this energy. It flew and expanded outwards, engulfing almost everyone in the area. The arrows would be blown backwards, victims to the incredible gale this energy had summoned. The archers would undoubtedly fall to the ground, having being subdued by Kallavan. The Vice-Admiral stood up from his previous crouched position and did a backhand swing with his left hand, haki coating it as from it a singular blue wave was launched. It was perhaps half the size of Askeladd's, but the two would clash in the middle.
120: 5. Town Level +2(B) +2(haki) = 9. Small Country Level

If there was anyone left to witness this they'd be left stunned and perhaps awed. Kallavan's swing done without any care as if it were a mere afterthought. Produced a slice that pierced through Askeladd's roaring slash. The marine's pushed through only to wither and faded as it continued its pursuit upon nothing. The burst of king's haki and the swipe of his hand done almost simultaneously. Up next came the last attack, the great dragon shock.

Kallavan's left hand hadn't even completed its backhand motion or Askeladd was already upon the marine. He dove straight towards the marine, keeping up the pressure with everything that was around. The Viking perhaps carried everything in that swing and was mere moments away from bisecting Kallavan from top to bottom. But the admiral replied, rushing forward a quick and swift right jab. It was quick enough to intercept the blade allowing him to clash with his opponent.

"Jugon!" Kallavan roared yet again.
120: 5. Town Level +2(B) +2(haki) = 9. Small Country Level

Once again their attacks clashed only for the marine's combat power to be slightly stronger than the Viking. The blade would fell silent upon Kallavan's fist and Askeladd would feel the force reverberate through his arms. The Viking had swung with all his might having rushed from the heavens now stood most likely without footing which Kallavan used immediately. His left hand swung forward and diagonally, unleashing yet another claw rankyaku. This time aimed at the Viking's exposed abdomen below his extended arms, rushing upwards at the end. Even with his prediction ability his options to evade or parry this strike were limited. And should he attempt Kallavan was more than able to follow the man and adjust accordingly.

Mouth open, Kallavan started to draw in more air as exhaustion started to settle in within his body.
Claw Rankyaku :
Self explanatory, by using the claws in hybrid form Kallavan launches a hand based rankyaku without the need to kick his leg - B Rank(41 DF, 41 mastery, 41 strength, 41 movement speed )

Jugon:
Shigan punch.
 
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Askelladd's two attacks were executed almost simultaneously and launched at max speed (Askeladd's 120 - Kallavan's 100 COO = 20 + 100 MA = 120 Attack Speed. Your reaction speed is at 100 as you didn't use Kami-E in this round unlike a couple of posts ago. So, given the difference between the two attacks, the time difference between Askeladd's combo and the descending motion of the caster, regardless of how fast Kallavan did the rankyaku and jugon combo, Askeladd's second attack would have landed first as they are 2 tiers above.

But I will RP in response to Kallavan's King's Haki and make it the turning point of Askeladd's sudden delay of attack. It's got the status effect of fear anyway.

Askeladd evaded the rain of air blades when the admiral appeared a few meters behind him. Kicking off the ground, he leaped a few meters above the marine. Mid-air, he cast his sword from his back with his outstretched arms before swinging it across the air. A whooshing sound of air slash descended toward the admiral, hoping that it would bury him with the army of arrows fired from all directions. He was wrong.

The marine Vice-Admiral, founding captain of the Fox Hounds summoned what would be paramount of all strength. A power that the Vikings believed to be the power only attained by the Gods themselves. A power only bestowed by the Gods to the heroes of the world - demigods, warlords, kings, and conquerors!

Kallavan, from his crouching position, burst out his temper. Erupting simultaneously from his body and the very ground he was on. A circular yet invisible wave would transcend from the heart of the Admiral, only to stretch out a hundred of meters of radius.

He would have been cornered by the plummeting compressed blade of wind and the arrows forged in sea prism stones - a material capable of weakening the devil fruit wielder for it has the current and the waves of the sea itself. Kryptonite to all ability users. Poisons to those who relentlessly believe that their power is everything. But he has the willpower of a Godlike creature. And the wave of his willpower would torment those who surrounded him. Hundreds of the Viking armies fell onto the ground, knocked out like a child as they are now cradled by the grass.



They call it.

Odin's Might!!!, Askeladd spoke inside his head in the process of diving at Kallavan for a full-powered and two-handed swing. A devastating yet dangerous technique. A technique that has to be executed well for it entailed a drawback - like a blade its caster wielded.

The Lord Viking's eyes widened in shock. The spirit wave channeled by the admiral shrieked into his head, crawling down to his nerves. An image of the Allfather appeared in his head, cold sweat falling down his cheeks. Was it intimidation? Divination? Or merely fear of being conquered. This ability after all and outside this land is called.

Conqueror's Haki!!!



Askellad's close-range slash was parried by his opponent almost equally. No struggle at all. But the force that his foe has launched that reverberated his blade wouldn't be felt for what he just experienced is out of this world. Without realizing it, another attack followed through. The admiral is an experienced fighter, he would capitalize on the situation. In Askellad's current state of mind and his almost off-footed position, another tempest claw would erupt from God, punishing the Celestial Dragon's blood.

The Lord's exterior platinum armor was rammed open and the residue of the mauling air blades would progress into his steel chainmail inside. But despite the layers of protection he had, his skin would be ruptured like a bear's claw to a fell deer. Blood squirted from his mouth as crimson liquid started to leak on his suit. Alas, Estrid's father would be sent meters away mid-air only to get back to his senses midway. He would poke the tip of his sword on his flight against the soil of the forest, plowing them until the velocity finally died.

He would rise to his full height once more, nigh staggering. But he is a warrior. This is just a couple of inches wound, almost a meter away from his neck. This was nothing. That is how a lord should enact such.

"Tch!", as he spat the thick blood collected by his mouth before wiping it off with his left armband. Enter the classic smirk after he briefly spoke, almost insulting the admiral.



"You dare lay your filthy hand on a celestial?"

"Hmm?"

"You're just a dog. This has consequences."

Back to where Thorkell and Kanda battled, the rubbles and debris remained but Thorkell already left somewhere. However, a wounded Kanda would be seen inside a Steel Cage. Bloodied. He almost lost his charming physique. His clothes ripped as if he was ganged by a pride of lions. His hair laid in front, signifying defeat. But it was also a call for retribution.

"You battled Thorkell, correct?"

"You should be familiar with how strong he is, yes?"

These couple of questions would be followed by another smirk. Kallavan should know what the meaning of this is.
 
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Vinland

Kallavan's parry and counter worked with success. Finally. The Admiral thought in his head. Blood was drawn from Askeladd, a claw blade finally managed to pierce through all of his options. Using his weapon to drag him to a halt the Viking would rise to a stand with slight difficulty. It perhaps could be a significant wound to the man in years or perhaps decades. The Admiral couldn't help but sport a grin upon witnessing this. But this grin would fade when the man began to speak once again.

Consequences.

It was a reality Kallavan had forced himself to ignore. But there was still truth in this man's words. He had struck and wounded a celestial in any other situation this would've court-martialed him if not worse. But there was one thing Kallavan would cling to, a light in the darkness of this grim choice of his.

"Your family abandoned Mary Geoise. I don't think anyone alive today knows your family is here. If they did, they'd have halted this mission of mine. Kong-san and Sengoku-san knew where I was headed. You may hail from divinity, but there isn't a soul that could confirm that." Kallavan said with a bluff or perhaps what he thought and felt was a bluff. Did the higher ups really not know what Kallavan would find here? Surely if they knew they'd have stopped him. Halted this miss before it could even unfold.

Whatever the truth was would be left to reveal, but it wouldn't change his situation.

"Even the Donquixote family was denied back. They, too, chose another land besides the holy land. What makes you think you'll be treated any different? "

Kallavan said, closing the argument on that part of the conversation. But then it got dark perhaps even grim. Askeladd would narrow his eyes and spoke, referring to his battle with Thorkell. This immediately made Kallavan's blood boil, his face became bright red. With his eyes snapping wide open, veins visible from the strain.

"You fiend. What did you do." Kallavan demanded to know.

 
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Kallavan vs Askeladd
The battle between the celestial and the admiral weighted, reaching a new height. The Viking and Marine cast their own fighting specialty from two different levels. Two combinations with great wit and tactics. The latter carrying all his wrath toward the King; the former exporting all his mockery against the other. Two faces of demons. One with absolute justice. One with absolute retribution. Who shall prevail?

Askeladd, having sent flying meters away from the root of the clash would find himself staggering to rise up. But he still did. And when he did, he again sported his wit. A true champion of deception and distraction. How would the champion of the light and the navy respond to this situation?

The Admiral said:
"Your family abandoned Mary Geoise. I don't think anyone alive today knows your family is here. If they did, they'd have halted this mission of mine. Kong-san and Sengoku-san knew where I was headed. You may hail from divinity, but there isn't a soul that could confirm that."
"I don't think you understood what I said, child.", insulting the other.

"We did not abandon anything. We were sent here. Harold and Sweyn, specifically. But it's much deeper than that."

The earth revolved back 40 plus years ago and we see a young man carrying a blond woman on his back, her mother, Lydia. Askeladd took care of his mother from a very young age, living in squalor and working very hard with no complaint. Witnessing how his mother and her people (the Welsh) were mistreated by the Norse and the Anglo-Saxons led him to despise his own heritage and embrace the reality echoing in this world. He grew up with his mother telling him of their ancestor Artorius and how the great hero would someday come back to save their people from their plight, a belief he wistfully holds on to in adulthood. Artorius, the man who lived 800 years ago in the land of Camelot - direct ancestor of King Arthur. A true Celestial. At least his amongst the man who helped establish the unification of the world.



Lydia told Askeladd about their ancestor King Artorius every day and every night. Treating him as if he was a god who shall return in order to free the world again. A prophecy that would be humiliated by someone of his blood, his father. Saxon King Harald of the Northeast Vinlandia.

When Askeladd was eleven years old, Lydia finally lost her mind carried a sheet over her head, and walked through the village. When Lydia came across Harald, she confused him for the savior Artorius and clung to him in joy. As Harald is about to kill Lydia, Askeladd realized that the hero Artorius will never return and that only a normal person could save his mother. With no other option, Askeladd grabs a sword and fights his father. Despite never swinging a sword before, Askeladd displayed natural talent but was still defeated. By the end, the king realized that Askeladd is one of his children and decides to take him out of slavery, having taken interest in the son he never knew until now. For two years, Askeladd feigned warming up to his father while hiding his murderous intent, such as showing Harald proper respect.

In time, he later forms his own band of mercenaries, concealing himself as a Viking warrior. With his natural talent in almost everything, including but not limited to his sly, manipulative, cunning, and charismatic demeanor, he would achieve the top only to be named, Viking Leader Askeladd, Northwest Vinlandia.

Whether Thorkell nor Thors knew of this revelation is anyone's guess. But it's not the substance that would change the course of this battle.
The Admiral said:
"Even the Donquixote family was denied back. They, too, chose another land besides the holy land. What makes you think you'll be treated any different? "
The wind blew past Kallavan before it gusted toward his front. The remaining leaves of the forest would try their hardest to dance with the wind. There was a moment of silence before the Viking would speak again. He stared at the Admiral.

"You really think that's it about returning to the holy land, yes?"

"It's about freedom. The dream all of the nation dreamed of. I have been telling you the back of it, but you're persistent. And if you remain to be a linchpin, then I will do just that."

The Admiral said:
"You fiend. What did you do."
He smirked once again after Kallavan questioned him about Thorkell's location. You're brilliant. You knew that we did something. As the Viking Lord continue to speak, he started to approach the admiral.

"All our lives, we always hated the outside world. Norse hated the world and stayed here. Saxons hated the world nobles for being thrown here. I hated everyone who punishes people for the sake of amusement. Do you see the whole picture now?"

"You're right!"

"He would be lucky to still breathe the same air we breathe. And if he does, how soon do you think the Saxons would keep him alive? Knowing that you all work under the wings of the World Government that everyone in this god-forsaken land loathes the most?"

"Hahahahahaha! Not everyone in your organization knows the truth. Why do you think pirates sail the seas to find that One Piece? Why has the government been hindering a revolution that would unravel the mystery of the void? If they knew all the truth, you would have not come over here for nothing."

These words might or might not wound the admiral physically. But every word he roared in this forest would traverse the grass and strike through the heart of the ever-willed marine. No matter how strong he is, there should always be a soft spot to shake his form. Needless to say, failure to keep his comrade safe in the middle of a war. Knowing that his code of justice has been tainted by the secrets of the past.

Askeladd got closer and closer back to face the enemy but as everything transpired before Kallavan's very eye, another threat has been fashioning from beyond the arc. Enter Bjorn, the finest spear thrower in all Vinlandia. A rampaging, darkened spear blitzed at Kallavan's location. It was aimed at his heel. And just like the prior rain of arrows, its tip is adorned with sea stone. This was in the middle of Kallavan's most likely shock at Askeladd's words.



The spear cut threw the air with such force and speed that if it hit, it wouldn't only take away the power of the proud admiral but it would most likely dig deep into his flesh. But regardless of whether this is going to be a success or not, Askeladd wouldn't strike him.

Mountain Level with an attack speed of 100 following +2 tier-turn-based sub-stat boost

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Silence grew on the battlefield. With the majority of the surrounding army down on the ground it only left Kallavan, Askeladd and a handful of fighters. The fighting had paused which allowed the Viking and the marine to exchange words. Whether that would change the outcome of this battle remained to be seen. At first Askeladd insulted the marine, referring to him as a child. But from appearance alone, Kallavan deduced that this man couldn't be much older than him. Perhaps looks had deceived him on that part.

Apparently they had been sent to this place. This revelation shook Kallavan. If that was the truth. Then why was he sent here? What was the reason? Surely Sengoku and Kong knew about the divinity that housed these lands, right?

Winds blew past Kallavan, cooling his body ever so slightly. The man was steaming, energy was being burnt at a rapid pace. His panting grew less and less as the conversation grew longer. But that wouldn't help the numerous wounds on his body already. Kallavan took a glance at his body. He was battered, bruised and cut up on numerous parts.

When was the last time he had been wounded so severely? He couldn't really come up with an answer, it was that long ago.

Life before death

Freedom. That was what Askeladd sought and fought for so ferociously. Like a dog that wouldn't shake a bone, the Viking clung unto that with every fibre of his being. Returning to the holy land? Kallavan was a fool for thinking this man's motives were that shallow. The Admiral could not help but be left in silence, there were no words for him. Only a quiet anger. How were Trevor and Kanda? Did they survive? The anxiety that his brothers had fallen nearly swallowed him whole. His blood boiled and the Admiral's stoic expression began to crack piece by piece. Like a damn that couldn't contain the rage for much longer.

"My men are not that weak." Kallavan finally spoke with a groan.

Strength before weakness

The marine was left in solemn contemplation. He thought about what had happened so far. His men perhaps defeated or severely wounded. But they were not dead yet. He could feel it in his core or wanted to believe with all his being. And he'd keep that belief for as long as he could.

The battle of words drew Askeladd in close as he had approached the Admiral the moment he started talking. Left within his own head, thinking, Kallavan could not prevent a sneak attack from harming him. His senses screamed an attack, but his reaction came a moment too late. The spear would hit and dug deep into his heel. Instilling weakness into the marine, and sealing his famed strength and durability.

Kallavan groaned as he folded and dropped to his knees. The effects of seastone lingered in his body like a toxin. It wasn't enough to keep him from talking or perhaps that was just the will of the marine edging out the effects. Allowing him only that much who could say at this point in time. Askeladd had to listen to the marine talk while he approached him.

"It is irrelevant why pirates or the Saxons do what they do. It is irrelevant what you do. All of it, in the end it simply does not matter. "
"Fortune has not smiled upon you. If it were any other Admiral that stood here you'd have won your battle. But I will not yield. Be it Gods, Pirates, Norse, Saxons, marines, revolutionaries. Everyone who stands in my way to make this world right will be fought and defeated. "
Kallavan spoke his own direction of Absolute Justice.

" The Celestials should not strive for freedom."

Journey before destination


Kallavan said as he straightened himself, blood trailing down his ankle. Askeladd shook or not would start to sense a strange something from the marine that stood before him. Something he hadn't experienced before. Only Divinity on the blues might have. The reason why he irrationally could not stand this marine before him. It was a revelation even Kallavan himself was not aware of and something that'd be revealed in fully at a much later date. But Askeladd would deduce it. Through everything this man had said and done and why he wouldn't yield before his very gods.

This man had The Will.
He was his natural enemy.

I will take responsibility for what I have done, if I must fall, I will rise each time a better man.




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The silence. It was both ominous and dramatic. It gave the two warriors of the highest calibers a time to drift away from battles. But the emotions and willpower couldn't be concealed by this silence. For Kallavan questioned Askeladd's departure from the holy land.

The Viking would shortly reminisce about his past and how everything that happened to him since when he was young molded and mortified what he was now. Askeladd's eyes set ablaze with arrogance and forlorn. A tragic past. A lineage of the most divine, at least in the eyes of the World Government affiliates.

A couple more revelations. The Royal Viking didn't intend to return there. He wanted differently. Freedom. Revenge. All against his own blood. Have all been his ruthlessness a facade? Perhaps. But he needed to be a force of evil to undo evil.

Here comes another threat. For when Kallavan tried to digest the connivance of all this information: imminent danger of his men, the dirt of his organization, and the celestials, he was at his weakest form. Rocketing from a distance, a spear clad with Haki punched the air. It muscled its way through the silence and revelation. And it did its purpose. Nullify the admiral.

The tip of the spear dove into the left heel of Kallavan. Tip made of sea prism stone.
"It is irrelevant why pirates or the Saxons do what they do. It is irrelevant what you do. All of it, in the end it simply does not matter. "
"Fortune has not smiled upon you. If it were any other Admiral that stood here you'd have won your battle. But I will not yield. Be it Gods, Pirates, Norse, Saxons, marines, revolutionaries. Everyone who stands in my way to make this world right will be fought and defeated. "
Kallavan spoke his own direction of Absolute Justice.

" The Celestials should not strive for freedom."
When the spear succeed in its mission, Askelladd was already there in front of the marine. He is ready to respond.

"Your passages. It reminded me of Thors. You have the conviction of a true leader. Champion of the light. But you missed the part that I must do the same. In order to achieve freedom. I must undo the evil. If it means, I have to be evil itself!"

If the marine would allow it, Askeladd would reach the man's collar before he tried to pull the man against him. As the man took a knee, they are most likely about the same height by now. And he would continue, "I am Lucius Artorius Castus. These men you brought down are my people. My family."

"We all shared the same blood. And that blood is the same blood that drips from the wounds you took. Each wound represents courage and defenselessness. And that's what it takes to be a true hero. Something my mother always wanted me to be."


"If I am destined to be a hero, I am also fated to be one's enemy. Us Vikings, even the Saxons had decided a very long time ago that it was the World Government we should end. The only thing we share is the same."

"Know your place Vice-Admiral. A dark revelation is already on its way. Soon. The record shall be unleashed to the world. And that's only the start of the end. When the revolutionaries finally made it to the hearts of the public, their hatred against you will only magnify. When the pirates already conquered half of the world, this is going to be the new triangle of the seas."


The spear was still inside Kallavan's flesh at this point. Askeladd did not make a move. Just words of hatred against the outside world. This made the man in front of him vulnerable like never before. And he would use that present weakness and vulnerability to up it a touch. He pointed his weapon. He would not push it though.

"Now!", The remaining men rushed the Vice-Admiral, and dozens of chains emerged out of nowhere. Aiming to wrap Kallavan's body. These chains have rocks draping at the end of each chain to ensure it falls immediately. If this is successful, the admiral would be chained like a prisoner or a slave.

A new threat is coming. Here comes Thors! Angry knuckles boiling.

"Father!", Estrid yelled at this father. Her eyes widened in shock.

"What?!", Askeladd knew.
 
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Forced to his knees by seastone, Kallavan could do naught else but listen to Askeladd's rambling. He went on how he and his people were heroes striving for the best of his people. A logical argument. One Kallavan might say the same about his people, the marines. But then he shifted towards something, a record even the Admiral was oblivious about. Chapter Black, only a select few people know about. Only those who went on the mission with Leo knew it and those of celestial blood one might assume. But Kallavan none the wiser about the Welsh man was talking about replied with the same stone cold look he had ever since he was forced on his knees.

" It seems that my words do not reach that hollow skull of yours. " Kallavan said with insult, his patience grew thin.
" I do not care that the people carry hatred towards us. It is part of the journey that I travel. Once the blight of pirates and people like you raze their lands they will change their mind. Even the corruption of the marines I will change and root out. It is the path I need to walk to see my dream realized."

The Admiral concluded as he stared at the weapon in front of him. But he did not move an inch and even if he could, he'd continue his glare at Askeladd. He never shot a glance elsewhere, even when his body was tied with chains and rock the proud Admiral continued to look at the Welshman. A flash would appear through his mind, a vision through haki or perhaps a constructed feeling. But for a split second he'd see Kallavan fighting Kaido through equal combat. He'd not see a victor, but he'd see him not getting beaten to a pulp. Before him was an individual who could reach the level of the Yonko.

A terrifying thought.

Estrid would call out to her father in terror. Askeladd could only reply with equal fear. Kallavan on the other end could not help but raise a smirk.



"You called me a champion of light. But I'd have to disagree, the Navy's conduct prevents me from being selfless."
"But him? He has no bindings. I'd say he's the definition of a champion of light. A true leader."
 
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Presumably pinning the proud admiral into submission, Lord Askeladd pointed his seasoned blade. Words of unknown sources and terrible darkness would be spat one after the other out of his mouth. Revelations. Testaments that even Kallavan's ranks would agree to be true. Entrap with all these ramblings, the admiral was put into chains of weaknesses. Ball and chain he's become. A hindrance, albeit at this moment. He would proudly express his thoughts before Thors arrived.

"You're the one who couldn't comprehend the message I convey."

"This is our war. Our conflict. You're just a stranger, tingling and itching for battle. A mindless reptile at best."

"You, Vice-Admiral Kallavan do not possess the will to turn the world upside down!"

The Viking Lord would return this favor until---

Estrid: "Father!"
Askeladd: "What?!"

Askeladd was suddenly stormed by these thoughts. Clouded. So Bors has failed his conquest. That fool. What should I do? If Thors found out my inklings even at the slightest with Bors, then I could be fighting two monsters with only Estrid at my disposal.

Suddenly, a light at the end of his tunnel vision sparked like a renaissance. A brilliant idea.

Ah. Yes! Floki and the others are presumed headed back to Icelandia. I can use that. I can still turn this misery back at my hand. And let's who draws the final river and take all the chips.

Askeladd turned to Thors all so suddenly. Swift and snappy. "Thors! Is that-"

"Gwah!"
, he held onto his belly wound, cramping in pain. Raised it against his face so that Thors could see the blood. Even if it's not too deep, a wound is a wound. It should be clear that his Co-General of the Viking Nation was harmed by what would have been his ally.

"We... We... Tried to... Stop him...", he walked staggeringly closer to the approaching Thors. The latter would see was tired and worn Askeladd is because of the battle with the strong admiral. "But... He would resist... Estrid said he'd be an ally. But look at my people. Fallen!"

"Why?!! Why did you bring him here? You're a traitor, Thors!"

Thors couldn't believe what he saw. His eyes widened in shock. He turned to Kallavan, trapped in a chain. Bloodied. He then turned to Askeladd. A rival in the past, suffering the same. What will he do? What's happening here? Were they fighting? Why? - those were his thoughts, trying to grasp the whole situation.

"You were supposed to be advancing to the Northwestern.", he turned back at Kallavan. "Kallavan."

Askeladd began to skid back little by little. Tension is growing. Once allies sailing to Vinlandia. Now potentially enemies but with the same ideologies.

Thors awaits an answer. For Kallavan is now the dealer of cards.
 
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Kallavan, chained and bound was enslaved to the powers of the sea. He could only stand proud and listen to Askeladd's rambling. The Admiral would look up and saw as the Viking continued to ramble. But this time the marine would offer him no reply. He had grown tired of this endless back and forth. There was no place in this universe where the two of them would see eye to eye. Kallavan had made up his mind on that fact and that one alone. Now that Thors had arrived the Welshman started his final ploy, a trick that even made the marine sick to his stomach. How could a man lower himself below dirt, he questioned in his mind.

And so began the play to drag Thors to Askeladd's side. The Admiral could not help but sigh, genuinely tired of this charade.

"That was indeed the plan. But I was dragged here as a means to divide us. A battle was forced between me and Askeladd, for I did not wish to leave as he wanted me to. I gave you my word did I not?" Kallavan said, giving his version of events. It was the truth but whether Thors wanted to accept them was a different matter.

"I am bound by that which seals my abilities. The one I've shown you in confidence a few days ago. And yet this man, a supposed ally of yours, knows it by name, type and its one grand weakness. Despite us never have met before. Countless times the Vikings have shown me to not know what devil fruits are but Askeladd does. It is because he comes from my world. The blues. And because of that he is my responsibility." Kallavan said giving a sharp exhale and looked to the sky, preparing his final words.

"I have no physical proof of what I say. But if my subjects have not convinced you of the type of character I am then I do not know what else I must do to require your faith Thors-san. I can only but hope and trust that you believe the words I am saying. For I cannot do much else."

Kallavan said and finished before returning his gaze forward, staring down to the beyond. He kept an unsurprising amount of cool and unwavering attitude during all of this. He had said his piece and hoped that whatever Trevor had done during their travels would be enough fate to trust the marine on mere words.
 
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Askeladd, trapped by his own trap would try to leverage perhaps his strongest weapon - wit. For in one of the moments in decades, he is facing not only an honorable opponent. A righteous one. Not a single foe. Two mighty heroes of their own rights. A trickster commenced the evil deed. Thors heard it. Questions are thrown at the proud Admiral. And he would respond just like a guilty man in the face of a judge.

Askeladd, a scum in nature would interrupt before Kallavan could even wash his own dirt. All of these wolf-like actions are performed in conjunction with his ability to see the future. A true dark wizard, if not a Coven Leader. When Kallavan said -

"That was indeed the plan.
He cut him off. "You see?!", he yelled at the top of his lungs. Playing the victim as he points his left index finger at the kneeling Kallavan but without looking away from Thors. Rambling like a market vendor. "He admits it!"

But the fool would continue to his second rebuttal, rightly defending his case. A defense panel of his own vigilance towards the wolf hiding underneath a sheep's skin.
"I am bound by that which seals my abilities. The one I've shown you in confidence a few days ago. And yet this man, a supposed ally of yours, knows it by name, type and its one grand weakness. Despite us never have met before. Countless times the Vikings have shown me to not know what devil fruits are but Askeladd does. It is because he comes from my world. The blues. And because of that he is my responsibility." Kallavan said giving a sharp exhale and looked to the sky, preparing his final words.
"W-w-wh-what devil fruit?!", he denied.

"So that's what you call that sorcery! The same spell you cast on my stomach and my men. You even tried to hurt my child.", he pounded words before turning to Estrid - dumbfounded and struck by his father's actions. But she would comply, looking down. "Tha- Th- That's."

"What's wrong, dottir? This man can no longer harm you for our hero has arrived."


And Estrid could only weep. For what it's worth, a short bond has been formed between the admiral and the princess. HEARTS NEVER LIE.

Thors heard it all. Testing the depths of the waters. Felt the breeze of the forest as they all conspired to make them as cold as Kallavan's gaze and glaring eyes. A man of vision. A vision bound by code. A code mounted to his justice. And above all, a justice of absolute execution. Just like the Fox aiming to decimate the rise of Hell Hounds. But at the same time, a Hound keeps the predators like Foxes ruling the valleys.

Everything changes the moment a tear rolls down Estrid's cheek. Falling down like dew in the mountain herb leaf. Pure and innocent. He glared as well. Just one more trial before the final judgment.

"Kallavan...", he stared at the marine soul. Askeladd on the other bowed down, trying to conceal his face but he was smirking, totally veiled from Thors.

"Just now... You were over-defensive..."

Strike him, Thors... - Askeladd thought as Thors started walking towards them, unsheathing the blade he used to end Bors' life.

"You're a terrible accused."

"But you know what-"

"So was I..."
 
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Cut off from trying to defend himself Kallavan could only look at how deceit had been planted in every corner. Even when he went to clarify on how he was sealed Askeladd came with yet another argument, completely denying his involvement in this current situation. He even placed Kallavan's faults on having harmed Estrid. The child, controlled by her father, could do nothing else but look down and gave a heartful tear towards this situation. Kallavan witnessed this event, focusing on this minute detail while Askeladd's talking faded to the background. A series of mumbling to the now shocked Admiral. Something had cracked within him at that moment. Something he didn't expect. At this point Thors moved up to him. Was he really following the Viking's lies? The Admiral thought both he and the ex-Viking had a rapport, an understanding. But it seemed false on that front.

Was this really the end? Had he been betrayed by both friend and foe? And what happened to his comrades? He couldn't sense neither Trevor nor Kanda. Thors would look into Kallavan's ice cold eyes and for perhaps the first time in decades. Kallavan could only reply with a sorrow filled look in his eyes. One that might implicate him of a crime never committed.

Darkness loomed around Kallavan as the light around him grew dimmer and dimmer, like a stage play that was nearing its end.

This...is it?
Isn't it. Did I really amount to only this much?
Thorkell said:
Muahahaha!
Askeladd said:
Hahahahahaha!
Kaido said:
Wororororororo
Strength before weakness, my child of honour.

A booming voice suddenly called, snapping Kallavan back into reality with only a single image burned into his eyes. The tears of an innocent child, one too bearing a dream. One not unlike the one the Admiral carried.

And then that single crack multiplied, forcing down a bolt of black haki from the sky. From that sudden bolt the Admiral's body seemingly became charged with it. Sparks of black lightning discharged from his body, his set of black blond hair also shot up. And it was at this point in time that Askeladd would be observing something he hadn't experienced ever before in his life.

He could not predict this man any longer. At least not now. When he peered into the future from what he would do the only thing he'd see was a version where the Admiral remained on the ground. And if he looked again he'd see the man stabbing Askeladd. Another try resulted in yet another future outcome. It was like a wild fire of possible outcomes. Impossible to verify which one would be actually true for the amount of them was unfathomable. And by the time Askeladd realized this Kallavan was already pulling himself to his feet. While he rose he took hold of the spear in question that was sealing him and pulled it out without flinching before tossing it to the side, away from anybody else.

Once Kallavan was free the sparks would die down and his hair would also return to its calm demeanour. Askeladd also could read the man through haki yet again. Whatever that previous form was...was dangerous. If he could harness that power, how high would the man reach?

"Thors, I'd like to call you my friend. A comrade in these strange situations. I trust that you believe me on my character. I vow this to the Almighty and above. I fought for our mission and not for nefarious intentions."

The Admiral vowed to Thors that his act was true and just. But before he could hear Thors' answer or another reply the Admiral would turn his body and faced Estrid with tears flowing down her face at this point in time. The tension in the air would lift, like a balloon that was popped, as a warm afternoon breeze moved behind the people standing. Perhaps uplifting those who still stood.


"Thank you."
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Three Kings. Vikings.

Thors progressed as he held the sword that sent hundreds of Vikings to Valhalla. He was gripping it so tightly as if his life depends on it. A scenic stroll towards the Admiral and the Celestial Hybrid, brushing off the green grass by his feet. It emanates a refreshing scent of summer under the light of the moon and the stars above. He wore that fierce look on his face, signifying courage and determination. Askeladd watched closely. Cursing to finish off the admiral.

The wind once again occupied the entire battlefield after the moonlit that just got concealed by the passing clouds, turning the arena into darkness. The breeze - that's the only thing resonating for now. Even a minuscule fall of a leaf from the tree could be heard. A step on a fig would most likely alert everyone in attendance. But above all, the panting of the admiral would sing in chorus with what's happening.

Kallavan, kneeling in front of the Viking Lord stared at the man ambling at his rest would open up his heart again. This time, the deciding fate of either victor or stagger. The silence broke out when suddenly, this man bound by chains and spear of the sea current called forth a bolt of ominous lightning. Striking fast from the sky, it took the form of regal willpower as it shifted to black sparks! Everybody present would react just the same, "?!!"

Askeladd shambled backward, fearing the incoming whilst he peeked into the future. Eyes protruding from sockets, he knew it was death. His head was filled with both fear and renaissance.

"Th... Th... That's... I can't be wrong... Just like the King mother told me..."

The present rolled back in time once again, this time Askeladd is seen with his mother as the young boy listened to the tales of the old. "Someday, my dear son, you will find a king that will deliver peace and harmony to your heart. You don't have any enemy."

As he remembered this, the sinister look on his face suddenly vanquished as the moon once again unveiled itself from the clouds - beaming his face with the light from the darkness. The end of the tunnel. Symbolically, as the passing cloud cast its shadow, a new light has been formed. Askeladd could only feel how less significant he is now.

Another flashback occurred when he was asked by Bjorn, "Commander, what's your purpose in life?"

Askeladd: "That has been the only thing I have been working on since. A land where everyone won't worry about their lives."

Bjorn: "Do you yourself as the King of that land?"

Askeladd: "Hmm. I have always been the type to serve the rightful one. For I choose ---

Back to the present, he uttered in silence, "my own king."

Kallavan dragged the spear out of his flesh. A courageous effort indeed. He defied the effects of the current of the seas but he was still bound by the chains, yet he rose up to his feet. He said, "Thors, I'd like to call you my friend. A comrade in these strange situations. I trust that you believe me on my character. I vow this to the Almighty and above. I fought for our mission and not for nefarious intentions."

"You talk too much...", A cold Thors said as he raised his blade above his head. Askeladd saw this and he was about to raise his blade, too. Corrupted whether he would strike Thors or Kallavan. The majority of the thoughts in his head, he would block the shot.

Thors continued as the blade he just raised is swung downward towards Kallavan, breaking him free from the chains as he cut all of them., "Kallavan, my friend..."

The admiral rose up. Askeladd gave way. Thors smiled in the background as the foremost turned to the Viking princess in such fashion that her heart pounded so loudly, echoing inside her chest, yet she couldn't hear anything. Just the sight of the man who turned to her and smiled.

"Thank you."
The breeze that has been blowing from the east suddenly halted only to resume breezing from the west so that it faces Estrid who was standing on the other side. As the wind blew past her, the tears that has been rolling down her cheeks sparkled in the air - reflections of the moonlit in it. Her hair fluttered ever so melodic. Her eyes - blended with a settlement.



The romantic scene would be cut off short by Thors as he began to ask Askeladd what his next move would be. "Askeladd, we fought before. And I need to know what your next action would be."

"It seems to me that you finally found what you're looking for."


"Don't get too excited, Thors. We were still enemies."


"Well, I didn't intend to become your comrade. It's for this land after all."

"Well then, if this means sending you back to Icelandia as early as possible, I don't mind allying with you. Even if my hands itch striking you every time I saw that emotionless face of yours."

"Kallavan, let's fetch Thorkell."


Meanwhile, in Southeast Vinlandia, the land of King Sweyn, we saw thousands of soldiers forming at the main gate of the castle. The scene would capture first the frontline and rapidly shift to showcase the entirety of their army before we finally saw Sweyn at the end of the line, marching with his dark horse.

Facing them. Thorkell. Alone.

After that, another platoon of the royal army would seem to form from behind Thorkell. They all came from the Northeast, the land of King Harald. A combined force of 10,000 Saxon soldiers was ready to annihilate the lone wolf that entered their cage.

"For Vinlandia..."

"I...will....protect.....those I hate. Even if the.... one I hate most..... is myself."

"That's a good one Kanda."
 
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The Admiral had managed to stand up through trial and tribulation. The will of a king manifesting around him to a new level but whether he could master this form on this adventure remained to be seen. It did appear to strike a chord with many of the people who surrounded him, Askeladd in particular. Going from a man who wanted to end Kallavan's life a few moments ago to one who'd perhaps follow him to the end of the world. The marine couldn't help but look confused when both Vikings engaged in conversation about Kallavan's awakening. But it seemed the man was oblivious to the changes that happened within himself. Eventually Thors rose his blade and freed the mighty Admiral from his shackles. Rubbing his wrists for comfort, the man also returned to his regular human form. Shrinking down to his 'normal' 3 meter height.

The marine exhaled allowing the stress to be relieved from his muscles.

Equally unknown to the marine a chord had been struck within Estrid but more on the romantic side of things. Kallavan, oblivious to this, would turn his head back to facing Thors and the others. Leaving Estrid to savour the moment. A verbal treaty had been created between the 3 kings but Kallavan could only rub his temple wondering what the cause of this sudden shift was. He'd decided to leave it as it without commenting on it for he wouldn't risk escalating it back to his original standings.
"Kallavan, let's fetch Thorkell."
"Agreed, he should be marching to the castle right about now. Also, that reminds me, what happened to Trevor and the others?"

Kallavan responded while also inquiring about one of his officers, unaware of the fate of his other officer. While he awaited an answer he tore the sleeves off his marine coat and started to bandage his wounds.

Meanwhile, in the southeast Thorkell stood alone against an entire army. Ten thousand men against a lone wolf whose blood was still boiling, the foxhound Vice-Captain having struck a particular cord within this Viking. How would Thorkell the tall engage such an overwhelming amount of warriors? It remained to be seen. But help was on its way. One could only hope they'd get there in time.

On the outskirts of the battlefield still held up in a cage, Kanda was finally awake and on his back. His entire body ached from his last fight. Body bruised and battered there was no way he could break out or even lift a limb. Staring at the wooden ceiling the man could not help but stare idly and speak softly.

"Stubborn old goat. But then again, I'm not any better."
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The night in the forest was suddenly filled with peace and harmony. If it would last or be curtailed was anyone's guess. But for now, a more pressing matter had to be resolved─the infiltration of a single warrior into the enemies' nest. As they idle on the cliff of the mountain that is 3 hours away from Saxon's territory, bloodshed was already materializing somewhere. The three kings would stroll down the mountain trails. When they reach the valley, they would need 2 hours to reach the Saxons. 1 hour if they all leave their horses and just do what Thorkell did─sprint!

"Agreed, he should be marching to the castle right about now. Also, that reminds me, what happened to Trevor and the others?"
Thors would respond to his comrade's inquiry, "Bors told us that Floki and his troops are headed back to Icelandia. I was supposed to go but he volunteered."

"It's true.", Askeladd refuted. This would alert the other two as he said this. Thors quickly turned to him, his eyes questioning the other.

"But Floki does not have any intentions of going back to your island just to annihilate them. The plan was to divide the Viking forces. They might have already your Marine comrade at the shore."

"Are you the one who sent Bors?", Thors asked again. His eyes were on fire.

"I did not order anything to him nor to a single Saxon. I just know everything. The original plan was to kill you in battle while sending away your allies, including Thorkell. Estrid does not know any of this."

"But the fact that you knew everything from the start and that it would harm the alliance remains. You still instructed your dottir to─"

"As far as I'm concerned Thors, whatever it might be, the most logical way to reach the Saxons are by way of division and night infiltration. Don't twist the fact just because you were almost cornered. It's your head that I only want. Not them!"


Thors and Askeladd both activated their Observation Haki, extending their visions into the future. Both of them saw a glimpse of each of them dealing deadly blows against each other if not dodging each of them only to counter with their own blades. An endless and tireless peek.

Askeladd smirked. Thors with his emotionless facade. "I was speaking to my ignorant father, Harald."

"?!!"
, Thors in shock. His eyes narrowed in wonder and deceit. He thought─What is the meaning of this? His father is Harald?!

Askeladd chuckled when he saw Thors' face, full of questions. "Don't worry Thors. I was going to kill him, too. I just couldn't."

"All this time, my hatred didn't vanquish. The most effective way of killing someone is by way of betrayal. He invested too much in me, making me the new Lord of the Vikings. But what he did to my mother remained a fact. And for that reason, hell would be unleashed upon him."


"At this point, Harald might have already rallied along with his troops but all of them. All 5000 of them are under my command. Long ago when I infiltrated their ranks and bought the trust of his men."

"If Thorkell is already there, then he only needs to worry about Sweyn's army. But those fools are ruthless. Even if Thorkell challenges the two kings in a duel, they won't abide. They will kill. We can all assume that Tall is already dead at this point."


"Then we need to hurry!", Thors butted in.

"With Kallavan's injury? I don't think so."

Thors and Askeladd turned to Kallavan, looking at his wounds. It all depends on the mighty admiral now. Thorkell's life depended on him after all. Will the bond they all formed in the feast flourish his will to expedite their arrival? Or will the admiral choose in minding his minor wounds and let a comrade die in vain?
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Vinland

Moving with hate the 3 kings made their way towards Thorkell's supposed location. During this stroll the 3 would converse with one another. But it was mostly Thors and Askeladd. Kallavan retreated to the background for a large portion of it. But it seemed that Trevor was fine, for now at least. Now only Kanda remained as a question mark. Was he up there with Thorkell? Or did that Viking truly fight alone?

The conversation between the two Vikings quickly became heated before it died down again as they switched to Harald as a subject.

"Harald and Sweyn both are Tenryūbito, correct?"
Kallavan interjected, wanting to know for sure those two were celestials as well.

Should Askeladd read the Admiral's face he'd know that a follow-up question would be if their reason for being here was the same as Askeladd's. Trying to conquer these lands and become a true king. Why any of the divine would want that was beyond Kallavan's reasoning, but the fact remained that they wanted to be. Something that clashed with the marine's ideology.

Whatever Askeladd's explanation or reaction to the marine's question the men would eventually have to pick up the pace. But that made them worry about Kallavan's injuries that were impeding him. It was true, the wounds he had sustained were in several vital spots. He had bandaged them up, but he was no doctor to suture them or clean them effectively. Neither did he have pain inhibiting potions nor salves. It was time to do it the old fashioned way.

By biting his upper lip.

The marine would switch back into his hybrid form, granting him better recovery and stamina from his animal side. It didn't negate that he was still critically wounded. But in this form he could manage it a lot better than in human form, that much was certain. He'd exhale through his nose and picked up the pace.

"Let's pick up the pace, shall we?"

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The Admiral and the two Vikings strode the mountain trails and down to the valley. They moved quickly, but not quickly enough for a few injured men to follow.This made Estrid worry about their situation, too. A decision would be made later, but Askeladd has been thrown into an inquiry. And he would answer with just that, "Indeed. You have a sharp memory. "

"You might be thinking, why did they stay here? They wanted things done. But the Vikings have always been blessed with a hero who would oppose their every action. I wanted to believe that Harald used my mother for that very reason. "

"Whatever you say, glory is still the only thing that matters to most kings. Glory over Freedom. That's why I never got along with them."

Thors, after hearing these words from his then enemy, couldn't help but put a little smile on his face. For the lack of better of words, Askeladd remains a true Viking after all. However, he couldn't resist thinking when and how he would strike both Thorkell and himself back. But for now, a union has been formed, and he couldn't let that go to waste.

He turned back to Kallavan, Thors, and he saw the undying determination in him after putting his injury on a subject. With a swift gesture in his lips, he would morph once more into his reptile form. A sight to behold from the other Vikings trailing them. A must-see for Estrid, who kept on watching his broad shoulders from behind.

"Let's pick up the pace, shall we?"
"Finally." Askeladd remarked. Now down in the valley, they have not got enough horses to keep up with him. Askeladd took 4. None for Thors. What was he thinking? Simple. He would make a horde of 4 horses with a carriage enough for a single person─him.

"Estrid. Take the men to the nearest dwellings down the valley. Tell them, I sent you there. "

"But father, I wa─"

"No dottir. Leave these things to the men for now. Your moment will soon come. "

"Yes, father."
, she complied before turning her gaze at Kallavan before she set off. "Be careful."

Thors smiled again, knowing what had been brewing since they left Thorkell's dwellings.

"Thors, you take the road all by yourself. This carriage is only meant for one. Don't be a ball and chain. "

Followed by a sigh, Thors complied, "Let's hit it. "

With that, the three kings would launch down the road with their combined willpower and determination to restore freedom to this land. What Thorkell's situation might be is anyone's guess for now. But soon they would.
 
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