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The Brothers Lionheart

he was longing for the morning more than anyone else.

This was how it was to go, as far as I could make out from their talk. the guards at the main gateway and the river gateway were to be struck down first, so that the gates could be opened for Sofia and Hubert, who would then ride in with their forces, Sofia through the main gateway, Hubert through the river gateway.

“And then we must be victorious together, or die,” said Orvar.

It must go quickly, he said. The valley must be freed of all Tengilmen and the gateways close again before Tengil had time to bring Katla, for there were no weapons against Katla. She could not be defeated in any other way except starvation, Orvar said.

“Neither spears nor arrows nor swords affect her,” he said. “And one tiny lick of her fire is enough to paralyze or kill anyone.”

“But if Tengil has Katla over there in his mountains, what’s the use of liberating Wild Rose Valley?” I said. “With her, he can suppress you again, just as he did the first time.”

“He has given us a wall to protect us, don’t forget that,” said Orvar. “And the gateways that can be shut against monsters. Kind man that he is.”

I need no longer worry about Tengil, Orvar said, for in the evening he and Jonathan, Sofia and some others were to penetrate into Tengil’s castle, overwhelm his guard and finish him off there, before he was even aware of the rebellion in the valley. Then Katla would be chained up in her cave until she grew so weak and starved that they could kill her.

“There’s no other way of getting rid of such a monster,” said Orvar.

Then he again spoke of how swiftly they must rid the valley of all Tengilmen, and Jonathan said:

“Rid? You mean kill?”

“Yes, what else would I mean?” said Orvar.

“But I can’t kill anyone,” said Jonathan. “You know that, Orvar.”

“Not even if it’s a question of your own life?” said Orvar.

“No, not even then,” said Jonathan.

Orvar couldn’t understand that, and neither could Mathias.

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