The trek began in earnest as Reina flew through the frigid air high above the ground north, her speed slowed as she was carrying Grolaf who definitely was not expecting this. "Shite Reina! I didn't think you could fly!"
"Of course I could, I'm a dragon remember?"
"Yeah a dragon, who has legs and arms...and a human head. Odd huh?"
"I'm still growing!"
"Yeah that ego is getting sizeable."
Reina scoffed at his remark but kept flying ahead without another word. Which suited Grolaf just fine as he began to hum a tune as his gaze passed over all under them. Soon the day turned to evening as Reina looked for a place to land, finding one by a creek near a grove of trees. Grolaf was dropped unceremoniously as Reina herself landed with ease, a yawn announcing her tired state.
"So, what do we have for dinner?"
The new thane cleaned himself off as he got up, stretching from his inactivity. "Dried meats and nuts with some water for you. I'm going to enjoy some mead and fish." He began to unpack and set up camp as Reina was deep in contemplation. "No that won't due, hmmm." She would had begun to walk off into the woods as Grolaf watched on. He sighed, understanding that she would be back. He just wished she'd tell him whenever she decided to wander.
The fire was soon alit as Grolaf munched on his prized salmon with mead in hand, watching Reina carve and prepare the boar she had 'hunted' prior(Grolaf had to admit jumping and socking them in the head was very unorthodox). The dragon slayer was making use of crude metal constructs to fry the meat over the fire, using salt and pepper to add flavor with a squeeze of lemon. "You know you usually want to marinate the meat before frying it up." Reina glanced up briefly before stirring the meat in the crude construction that if you squinted, could be called a frying pan.
"Eh, why let meat sit and spoil?"
"Fair enough." Grolaf shook his head before continuing. "Do dragons hunt with such blunt force trauma though?"
"Sort of? A dragon landing on their prey usually does as much as a talon going through them. Though I prefer a single impact. It's painless that way."
"You know when I think of a lindworm, painless is not what comes to mind."
"I suppose it's another name for dragon's in our tongue. Kinda like how Dreka is."
"Hm, what does a lindworm look like then?"
"Well you know, like the Midgard serpent?"
"That's a snake though. Big god snake maybe but no dragon."
"And your so sure?"
Reina lifted the slab of boar and examined it thoroughly, deciding it was finished, she slid it off to another metal plate before adding the next slab on.
"Well it's what it looks like. Besides you can't be both a dragon and a god. I mean, it sounds stupid doesn't it?"
"Well the gods are beyond our understanding most of the time being eternal. So it's not unreasonable."
"Dragon are eternal. If no one talks about a dragon for a few centuries they still exist. Unlike gods who don't get worshipped and all of a sudden their name has no power."
"Hey Reina I have a honest question, you don't got to answer it if you don't wanna but, your really obsessed with dragons. I'd argue like a shaman with our gods or a priest, why is that?"
The dragon slayer didn't respond right away as she finished the second slab and moved onto the third last piece. She slid the plate over to Grolaf as she focused on the last. Surprised, he began tearing into the very zesty boar. He was surprised that it was medium rare, figuring the redhead wouldn't know too much about cooking.
After some time the last slab was done, noticeably well done, even a little burnt as it was crispy on the edges. Reina bit into it and, with a content sigh, ate a bit more before she began speaking.
"Well why wouldn't I want to be a dragon? Even ignoring the awe and respect you command as one, the fact you don't have to worry about anything is enough to pursue it."
"What about other dragons or creatures that'd like to fight a dragon. Hell what about dragon slayers like yourself?"
"Well I doubt theirs any creature on earthland that could compete with a dragon. Even if it somehow could deal with a dragon's strength, endurance, raw magic potential, the fact is a respectable dragon would be able to figure out a plan to deal with it. And again that's if the threat could actually be a threat! My own father knew of no other way to fight a dragon save for being one yourself or a dragon slayer. As for another dragon or slayer..." She chewed off a particular big chunk of the boar and began searching around for her flask. Grolaf offered his, and after confirming it was water, she accepted and thanked him.
"...Well really I don't think a fight would go that far to where they'd want to kill each other. I imagine it's like a taboo ya know? So few of us around why drop the number further!"
"Reina, I'm not going to pretend I know about how dragons work, but surely they aren't so different from us that they're capable of hate. And if they hate, they would kill."
"Nonsense! Something like that is so human, most dragons would already know how silly that would be. Maybe a really young dragon would be so brash, but they would learn in time." She gave a sigh as she finished the last of the slab, she looked over at the leftover carcass of the boar and decided she could dispose of it in a few minutes.
Grolaf thoughtfully chewed on the last of the first steak, despite his appetite he really couldn't wolf down all the meat. He would begin to prepare the leftovers for a heavy protein breakfast. "Well they have to worry about death sometime. By hel even the gods are fated to one day die."
"That's because theirs enough people who think they'll die and actually believe it."
"Oh? Then how do dragons avoid the inevitable ragnarok?"
"Oh, cause we choose not to."
Grolaf couldn't help himself with a smirk and began trying to hold back laughter. Reina pierced daggers at the thane as he composed himself.
"Reina, no one escapes from death no matter how hard we try. Even the gods in their might are one day fated for their deaths. How can a dragon defy something which the gods cannot?"
"Because we just do! Their is no thinking or trying to talk about this. A dragon's true might is in our ability to see what we want done and do it without hesitation! No need to worry or stress." She got up and with a huff headed over to the remains further away from the outskirts of the fire. "And i'm going to get rid of this boar."
Grolaf shook his head as she stormed off. He already knew Reina to have a short temper, but to be so naïve? He'd worry more if it wasn't for the fact that she certainly had the power to back up her arguments. Still, he did worry about her constant blasphemy of the Aesir. Even if she didn't try to actively go against them, it was only a matter of time before she irked the wrong people and brought their wrath on her head.
His thoughts were interrupted by a sound of roaring, at first what sounded like a bear, then followed by something far more guttural. He noticed Reina's magic signature had flared up. "Reina?! Reina are you ok?!!" He got up with mace in hand as he rushed over to the source of the scuffle as it got later. Despite the oncoming night they were still enough light to see the shape of a large bear struggling with something. Watching it circle around he noticed it's head in a head lock with a familiar redhead.
He had forgotten that for a mage, Reina was very physical, even rivaling some of the berserkers he knew. With that in mind he merely watched the struggle unfound before him. Despite Reina's best efforts, a lack of technique and size made handling the bear a problem, but the bear was having a worse time of it as it tried to claw and bite at the slayer's metal body, the sound of bone scrapping metal plain to be heard.
After a few minutes Reina seemed to tire of the bear and with a heave, threw the bear into the tree line. The bear flew through the air before snapping through a smaller tree as a dust cloud kicked up from it's landing. Grolaf thought the event was over until he heard the sound of scraping on dirt. Even though he had fought much larger and dangerous, a charging pissed off bear was nothing to scoff at. Reina was prepared for it as it charged forward, only stopping a few feet away from Reina as it roared it's displeasure.
To Grolaf's surprise, she responded in kind. Not with any yell of defiance or anger, but something far deeper and primal. He placed it as the roar he heard earlier, though this time it was loud enough to cause his ears to ring. Thouroughly out matched, the bear turned and ran away from the two as Reina seemed to run after it for a few feet before stopping. When she turned back he was surprised to see a pair of reptile, no, dragon eyes staring back at him.
"I'm going to bed, if he comes back let me know." Grolaf gave a quiet "sure" as she walked by him back to the camp. He now began to seriously consider if Reina wasn't as naive as he thought she was.