Thankfully Marta got her wish and it was very sunny as she trained with the other kids of her village.
She was sitting to the side of the arena as she and the other students watched as several others did a mock combat.
Those on the side were to take notes as the training went on.
But Marta was distracted. She couldn’t stop thinking about the mother she had just buried and the egg that was getting warm inside the bag beside her.
She was also trying to think up a name for the little dragon once it hatched. But the problem was that she didn’t know if this hatching was going to be a boy or girl.
And then there was the problem of what she would have to do to keep the baby dragon hidden from not only her parents, but the rest of the village as well.
How was she ever going to hide a baby Nightfury?!
“So where did you go yesterday Marta?” Ian asked as he sat next to her, looking bored.
“Out to the forest again.” She replied as she sighed softly. “Parents were arguing again.”
“I heard.” The boy sighed. “Sounded pretty serious.”
“It was.” Marta sat up and stretched then. “It was over me fighting dragons and whether or not I should.”
“Why not?” Ian shrugged. “I mean they’re nothing but mindless beasts that don’t know any better anyway.”
Not that mindless. she thought as she recalled the emotion she saw in the mother dragon’s eyes. That Nightfury had so much emotion in her eyes before she passed away.
“Alright class! That’s enough!” their teacher, Locknut, said then, pulling her out of her thoughts.
Marta looked up and saw the students that were practicing wander back over to the rest of the class.
“Now students, what have we learned today?” Locknut asked as he looked at the children before him. he then looked right at Marta. “Marta?”
“Um…..” Marta then quickly looked through her notes, ignoring the scribbles she had made of various names to the baby dragon. “Oh! Uh that the best way to avoid having your head sliced off by a sword is to block it with your shield or just simply duck.”
“Good.” The teacher nodded. “You can also avoid attack by dodging.”
Marta nodded and wrote that down, soon closing her book.
“That’s the end of today’s lesson class.” Locknut soon announced. “Tomorrow, we’ll start training on dragon slaying.”
As the class cheered in excitement, Marta froze for a moment.
Honestly, she didn’t want to know how to kill a dragon. Let alone the hatchling in her bag.
As the class left the arena, talking about what dragons they wanted to kill and what kinda of injuries they wanted to get on their body.
Marta just sighed as she went into her own thoughts. As she did so, she slipped a hand into her bag and felt the shell of the egg.
She then smiled softly as she felt the warm shell, rubbing her thumb against the smooth surface.
Guess staying in my bag while in the sun worked. She thought as she removed her hand and headed for home.
“Why are you carrying your book when you can just put it in your bag?”
Marta yelped and turned around to see Ian looking at her curiously.
“I uh…..just feeling like holding my notebook.” She said as she held her book close to her.
Ian frowned and then looked down at her bag. “What the heck do you have in there? A cannon ball?”
“NO!” Marta said as she started backing away from him. “It….it’s just a spare vest. In case it rains again.”
Ian just blinked. “You came back when it was raining?”
“Uh huh.” She nodded. “and nothing happened.”
Ian looked at her seriously and Marta started getting nervous.
“Uh well.” She muttered as she started backing away again. “Got go! Bye Ian!” She then turned and ran off, heading for home.
Ian just stood there on the hill bewildered as he watched her run away.
Marta was more careful for the next week with the egg.
In the morning when her parents weren’t looking, she would sneak the egg into the fire pit, burying it into the ashes on the side so the baby inside wouldn’t be cooked by the hot flames.
She would leave it there all day while at her lessons or out with her mother.
And after her parents went to bed, she’d go down and dig the egg back out, clean the ashes off and then have it close to her in bed as she slept.
By the second week, things started to go downhill.
It was morning and Marta was digging a pit for the egg in the ashes when her mother just happened to turn around.
“Marta? What are you doing?” she asked as she came up to her daughter.
Gasping, Marta quickly hid the egg in the small hole and buried it. “Nothing!”
“Marta. You were digging in the ashes.” Her mother frowned at her. “That’s not nothing.”
Marta just stared at her mother scared as she sat there on the floor.
Her mother just looked at her more seriously. “Marta!”
The girl jumped at her mother’s barking tone. She then whimpered a bit and reached out to the egg. “Just…..just promise you won’t hurt it.”
Her mother was still frowning as Marta moved some of the ashes off to reveal the smooth shell of the egg deep in the warm pit.
As she moved more off the egg, her mother’s expression changed into one of shock.
“is…..is that…..” her mother muttered as she stared at the ash coated egg.
“That Nightfury I told you about?” Marta said as she picked the egg up out of the dirt. “it…..it was a mother…..and she gave me this egg to protect.” She explained as she looked up at her mother.
The woman was just staring at the large egg on her daughter’s lap.
It took a moment but she soon came out of her shock. “And you brought it here to the village?! Where it’ll probably kill us all?!”
“It won’t do that mom!” Marta said as she held the egg close to her. “I’ll raise it right! I’ll…..i’ll train it not to be destructive!”
“Train what to not be destructive?” Her father said as he come into the house and over to his girls. He then stopped before the fire and stared at his daughter and the object is her lap. “oh my….is….is that a….?”
“you aren’t keeping that egg Marta!” Her mother yelled angrily. “It’s a dragon! They are nothing but trouble! You can’t keep a wild baby dragon here in the village!” She then came up to her daughter. “What were you thinking Marta?! Were you even thinking at all when that beast gave you the egg? You should have destroyed it! Or at least alerted the soldiers!”
Marta shock in fear. “You can’t kill my egg! I promised the dragon mother that I’d keep it safe!”
“You are not keeping a dragon Marta and that’s final!” Her mother yelled angrily. She then turned and headed for the kitchen. “I’ll let you have today but tomorrow I calling the soldiers to take care of that egg.”
The little girl knew what her mother meant. The soldiers would come and take the egg from her. They would then either kill the poor little one or raise it for the dragon trainers to fight with.
Maybe even kill it!
Marta stared at her mother in horror before looking at her silent father.
At seeing that the man wasn’t going to say anything, Marta took the egg and dashed upstairs.
She then just dropped to the floor and cradled the egg close to her.
“I’m not letting mom take you away from me.” she cried softly as she held the egg. “I’m gonna run away. I’ll take you far away to a safe place where no one will harm you. I promised your mother. I’m going to keep you if it’s the last thing I do.”
But what she didn’t notice was that her father was eavesdropping on his daughter.
At hearing her vow, he smiled a bit as he got an idea of how his daughter and the egg can live safely together.
It was late at night and Marta was packing as much as she could into her bag to run away from her home and the village.
The egg was currently wrapped up in a blanket to keep warm as she packed things she believe she would need for the trip.
It was as she was packing a bag of spark rocks that she stilled suddenly at hear someone come up the stairs.
Quickly grabbing the egg, she held it close to her as she looked over at the stairs in fear.
“Marta?” Came her father’s soft voice as he appeared in the doorway.
“You can’t have the egg daddy.” She said as she clutched the egg. “I promised the mother! I promised!”
“Shhh! I know dearest. I know. Calm down.” Her father said as he came up to her. “And that’s why you must leave.”
“Wait what?” Marta stared at her father in shock. “you….you want me to leave?”
“yes Marta.” Her father nodded. “Far away. Not even on this land should you stay here. It’s not safe.”
“But….but where will I go?” She asked as she relaxed her grip on the egg. “Where could I go where the egg and I can be safe.”
Her father sighed heavily as he sat down on the bed. “I have…..a brother that no one knows about. Mainly because he left us a long time ago before I even met your mother. He was disowned for his choice to join a band of Vikings.”
“You have a brother daddy?” She asked as she looked at him confused.
“Yes.” He nodded again. “And recently, he’s been sending me letters again. He’s alive and his tribe just made peace with the dragons that once raided their village. They aren’t at war anymore. I’m not sure if he speaks the truth or not but…….i feel I must trust him now.” He then looked at his daughter and smiled softly. “I have to trust him to keep you safe.”
Marta just blinked as she stared at her father confused.
“The egg isn’t safe her Marta.” He said as he reached out and gently place a hand on the warm egg. “The soldiers will kill this little one on the spot or use it for dragon training. And I don’t want you to live through that and kill something you care so much about.”
Marta started to relax as her father spoke. “I don’t want to kill it daddy. I promised the mother at her grave that I would keep the baby safe and protected.”
“I know sweetheart.” Her father nodded. “You have such a big and caring heart. I just know it will destroy you completely if you had to train to kill this type of dragon. And that’s why I am sending you to my brother on the Isle of Berk. I know he’ll take care of you like his own. He and the rest of the village will help you in caring for this little one.”
Marta nodded as she cuddled the egg close to her. “But…..but how will I get to my uncle?”
“Trader Johann.” He simply stated. “He docks there from time to time and has allowed us communication between me and my brother. He’ll take you to Berk and get you there safely.”
Marta nodded and finally smiled at her father.
Setting the egg down on the bed, she then hugged her father. “Thank you daddy! I can’t tell you how much this means to me. I wanna take care of this baby dragon like I promised. I don’t want any harm to come to it.”
Her father nodded and hugged her back. “I know Marta. That’s why I think you should go to my brother and to Berk. They don’t harm dragons there anymore so the egg will be very safe.” He said as he pulled away from her. “Now pack up the rest of your things. I managed to stop Trader Johann from leaving the docks earlier after your mother yelled at you. He’s waiting for you now to take you to Berk.”
Marta nodded and packed up the remaining things she needed. She then slung the bag over her shoulder and picked up the egg, wrapping it in a wool blanket.
Her father then handed her a letter.
“Take this to my brother. His name is Spitelout Jorgenson.” He told her as she tucked the letter in with the egg. “It will explain everything to him. Hopefully he’ll take you in and help you care for the egg.”
Marta nodded. “Spitelout Jorgenson. I’ll remember that daddy.”
Her father smiled and then kissed her forehead. “Go now Marta. Johann is waiting for you. Stay hidden until you reach the docks. Tell Johann who you are and he’ll help get you to the island.”
“Okay daddy.” Marta nodded as she then went over to the stairs. She then stopped and looked back at her father. “I’m gonna miss you daddy.”
“I’ll miss you took pumpkin.” He father said as he stood from her bed. “But this is for the better. You must leave to keep the egg safe. This is the only chance you’ll have to get out of here safely. Go now before you miss it.”
Marta nodded and then crept down the stairs.
She then quietly opened the front door and crept outside into the dark night.
Her father smiled softly before closing his eyes and leaning his head back.
Oh please great Allfather, Odin. Let the weather permit my only daughter a safe voyage to Berk. And let no harm come to her egg.