Spanish King Alfred fanfic

I had to brush off my Spanish, but with a little help from my friends, I managed to understand this fanfiction about El rey Alfred by Venezuelan Tumblr user marithesoprano. With her permission, here I post her original with an English translation (as literal as possible). Many thanks to Inti & Rosasharn. 馃檪

El rey Alfred se encontraba extra帽o aquella noche, notaron sus sirvientes. Se remov铆a con nerviosismo, miraba de un lado a otro como si estuviese esperando a que alguien apareciera por cualquier lugar, y no hab铆a probado bocado en toda la cena. Esto, por supuesto, alarm贸 en un primer momento a sus sirvientes, pues no era una actitud muy com煤n del soberano, pero pronto descartaron cualquier idea extra帽a puesto que un importante invitado de lejos, la reina Lagertha, se encontraba de camino para realizarle una visita y, por supuesto, una petici贸n al rey. As铆 que con la mente un poco m谩s tranquila, los sirvientes lo llevaron hasta sus aposentos, le vistieron con las ropas de dormir, y lo acostaron en la cama, aun en ese estado que rayaba en la paranoia. R谩pidamente, el rey cerr贸 los ojos y se sumi贸 en un profundo sue帽o, en el cual hab铆a tenido la visi贸n m谩s espantosa de todas.

Estaba solo en un paraje inh贸spito, en donde no cantaban los p谩jaros, no hab铆a nubes y el cielo lamentaba la ausencia del sol, vi茅ndose plano y gris, taciturno. El hombre observaba a su alrededor c贸mo se mov铆a el alto pasto a sus pies: sin ganas, sin viento. Extra帽ado, se dio una vuelta completa sobre su eje, top谩ndose con la intensa mirada de una joven doncella de verdes ropajes adornados con lentejuelas, la piel p谩lida, un tanto amarillenta y 谩spera como un pergamino, ojos de un penetrante verde bosque y, adorn谩ndole las casta帽as ondas de su cabello, se encontraba una corona un tanto peculiar. No parec铆a ser de la realeza, ni por como vest铆a ni por la diadema que tra铆a puesta. La doncella, de ojos duros y vac铆os pero de expresi贸n dulce se le acerc贸 r谩pidamente al rey y le dej贸 como recuerdo un beso en la mejilla. El hombre quiso detenerla, por lo que intent贸 separarla lo m谩s posible de 茅l, pero ella le sostuvo fuertemente las manos de manera que no la pudiese mover de su sitio. Una vez plantado el beso en su mejilla, la doncella desapareci贸 tan pronto como el rey parpade贸, at贸nito.

Lo despertaron unos gritos provenientes del lado externo del sue帽o y termin贸 por darse cuenta que eran los suyos propios. Una de sus sirvientas lo miraba con expresi贸n de preocupaci贸n mientras le cambiaba el trapo h煤medo que le hab铆a colocado en la frente con otro m谩s fr铆o. Sent铆a que ard铆a y que el pecho se le hund铆a, dificult谩ndole la respiraci贸n. El rey tom贸 de la mano a su doncella y le pregunt贸 qu茅 hab铆a sucedido, qu茅 le ocurr铆a. Pero la pobre chica no le pod铆a contestar, pues ella tampoco sab铆a la respuesta y los galenos de la corte hab铆an perecido. Todo esto le pareci贸 muy extra帽o al rey, quien termin贸 desmayado a causa del dolor que le causaba respirar. La doncella que se encontraba atendi茅ndolo, al ver esto, llam贸 a las dem谩s y les rog贸 que llamaran a todos los soldados, que deb铆an buscar al monje Athelstan, la 煤ltima opci贸n.

Los sirvientes no sab铆an cu谩nto tiempo le quedaba a su soberano y se mord铆an las u帽as con nerviosismo mientras pensaban en c贸mo mejorar la salud del rey antes de tener que hacer un comunicado frente a los dem谩s s煤bditos de que su Majestad se encontraba enfermo. Mientras tanto, todos los soldados y mensajeros disponibles dentro de las murallas de la ciudad se encontraban buscando al monje Athelstan, varios kil贸metros alejados de casa. Terminaron por encontrar una peque帽a caba帽a ni muy lejos ni muy cerca del reino, pero bastante cerca de un poblado vikingo. Con suma cautela, los mensajeros del rey entraron en el inmobiliario, consiguiendo de rodillas al personaje que buscaban. Le comentaron que el rey necesitaba de sus rezos urgentemente, pues ellos consideraban que 茅l era el 煤nico que pod铆a salvarle de aquella situaci贸n tan desesperante. Athelstan acept贸 vacilante y se march贸 con los soldados, entrando al palacio pocos d铆as despu茅s. Le examin贸 a fondo: not贸 su entrecortada y pesada respiraci贸n, sus labios resecos y partidos, su piel de un color blanco enfermo y la expresi贸n de dolor en su rostro. No estaba muy seguro de qu茅 era lo que hab铆a pasado, pero igual decidi贸 pregunt谩rselo al rey, quien se tom贸 un d铆a entero en contarle la historia de su extra帽a visi贸n. Ya conociendo su historia, Athelstan se arrodill贸 frente a la cama del soberano, coloc贸 sus manos unidas, tomando las del rey Alfred entre las suyas, y le rez贸 a cuanto santo estuviese escuchando su plegaria. Rog贸 por la salud del soberano durante todo un d铆a y toda una noche sin descanso ni para comer, ni para beber.

La reina Lagertha hab铆a llegado un poco antes de que el monje Athelstan se tomase un descanso de los rezos y se enter贸 de toda la historia por la boca de los sirvientes del rey Alfred, y al notar que nada de lo que hac铆a el monje serv铆a de algo, decidi贸 tomar ella misma las riendas de la sanaci贸n y envi贸 a las criadas a buscarle velas, polvo de carb贸n y margaritas blancas reci茅n cortadas. Todo deb铆a de venir en cantidades de siete, ni una m谩s ni una menos. Mientras, se quit贸 su vestido tradicional de soberana y se coloc贸 un simple atuendo blanco de estilo vikingo para hacer su ritual.

  • Monje, 鈥攕e dirigi贸 al religioso, 鈥 驴qu茅 sucede que tus rezos no funcionan?
  • He perdido la fe, su Majestad. 鈥擱espondi贸 茅l con la cabeza gacha.
  • 驴En tu Dios o en los m铆os?
  • En el m铆o.
  • Pues necesito que me ayudes con este ritual. Voy a necesitar tus rezos, p铆dele a los dioses que salven al rey. 鈥擫e dijo mientras hund铆a dos dedos en el primer saquito de carb贸n.

Se hizo dise帽os vikingos y se dibuj贸 runas en ambos brazos y en la cara. Luego, esparci贸 las siete bolsas de carb贸n de manera que hubiese relieve y realiz贸 un c铆rculo de protecci贸n alrededor de la cama del soberano. Coloc贸 despu茅s las velas en sitios estrat茅gicos de la habitaci贸n y comenz贸 a danzar cerca del rey mientras pronunciaba c谩nticos antiguos y el monje rezaba.

Entonces, el rey tuvo una extra帽a visi贸n, similar a la primera que tuvo antes de caer enfermo, pero con m谩s color. En el cielo estaban las nubes y el sol, el viento volv铆a a soplar, y frente a 茅l se encontraba un viejo sauco que le inform贸 sobre los intentos de dos personas cercanas a 茅l ayudarle a superar esta peculiar enfermedad.

  • No es tu tiempo todav铆a, rey Alfred. Tienes unas cosas m谩s para hacer antes de irte. 鈥擫e dijo el sauco.

Sinti贸 detr谩s de 茅l una brisa corta y concentrada en su nuca, as铆 que se volte贸. De pie detr谩s de 茅l se encontraba una hermosa joven de dorados cabellos y ojos cristalinos como el cielo sobre ellos, de piel de porcelana y de vestiduras blancas, como una vikinga. La doncella le sonri贸 y se le acerc贸, dej谩ndole un beso en el mismo sitio donde la misteriosa joven anterior le hab铆a dejado uno. El rey, al notar que se iba alejando, le pregunt贸 su nombre, pues no pod铆a vivir tranquilo sin saber el apodo de aquella belleza que le hab铆a salvado la vida.

  • Stephanie, 鈥攍e contest贸, 鈥攍a reina Lagertha y el monje Athelstan me han invocado para curarte, rey Alfred. Si quieres honrarme, agrad茅celes a ellos esta segunda oportunidad.

Y desapareci贸.

Alfred abri贸 los ojos y se consigui贸 con los rostros cansados de las personas que hab铆an sido mencionadas por la joven que le apareci贸 en la visi贸n y les sonri贸, agradeci茅ndoles de todo coraz贸n el haberle salvado.

  • Lo que me gustar铆a saber, 鈥攄ijo la reina, 鈥攅s porqu茅 lo necesitaste. Si te lleg贸 la enfermedad en una visi贸n fue porque te la enviaron mediante magia negra. Entonces, sabemos que esto ocurri贸, pero鈥
  • 驴Qui茅n fue? 鈥擲entenci贸 el rey.
Alfred as portrayed in The Last Kingdom (left) and Lagertha from Vikings.

King Alfred was feeling strange that night, his servants noticed. He stirred nervously, looked around as if he were waiting for someone to show up, anywhere, and had not eaten a bite all through dinner. This, of course, alarmed his servants at first, for it was not a very common attitude of the sovereign, but they soon dismissed any strange ideas since an important guest from afar, Queen Lagertha, was on her way to pay him a visit and, of course, to make a request to the king. So with a little calmer mind, the servants took him to his rooms, dressed him in his sleeping gown, and put him to bed, even in that state which bordered on paranoia. Quickly the king closed his eyes and fell into a deep sleep, in which he had the most frightful vision of all.

He was alone in an inhospitable place, where no birds sang, without clouds, where the sky lamented the absence of the sun, looking flat and gray, taciturn. The man watched around him as the tall grass moved at his feet: without desire, without wind. Amazed, he turned completely about his axis, encountering the intense gaze of a young maiden in green robes adorned with sequins, her skin pale, somewhat yellowish and rough like parchment, her eyes of a penetrating forest green, and adorning the chestnut waves of her hair was a somewhat peculiar crown. She did not appear to be royalty, neither by the way she was dressed nor by the diadem she wore. The maiden, with her hard, empty eyes but with a sweet expression, quickly approached the king and left him a kiss on the cheek for his remembrance. The man wanted to stop her, so he tried to separate her as much as possible from him, but she held his hands tightly so that he could not move them from their place. Once the kiss had been planted on his cheek, the maiden disappeared in a blink of the stunned king’s eye. 

He was awakened by screams from the outer side of the dream and finally realized that they were his own. One of his maid servants looked at him with a worried expression as she changed the wet rag she had placed on his forehead with a colder one. He felt that he was burning and that his chest was sinking, making it difficult for him to breathe. The king took his maiden by the hand and asked her what had happened, what was wrong with him. But the poor girl could not answer him, for she did not know the answer either and the court physicians had perished. All this seemed very strange to the king, who ended up fainting because of the pain breathing caused him. The maid who was attending to him, seeing this, called the others and begged them to call all the soldiers, who should look for the monk Athelstan, the last option.

The servants did not know how much time their sovereign had left, and they bit their nails nervously as they thought about how to improve the king’s health before having to make a statement in front of the other subjects that His Majesty was ill. Meanwhile, all available soldiers and messengers within the city walls were looking for the monk Athelstan, several miles away from home. They ended up finding a small hut neither far from the kingdom nor near, but quite close to a Viking village. With extreme caution, the king’s messengers entered the property, where they got hold of the person they were looking for, on his knees. They told him that the king needed his prayers urgently, as as they considered him to be the only one who could save him from such a desperate situation. Athelstan hesitantly accepted and left with the soldiers, entering the palace a few days later. He examined him thoroughly: he noticed his heavy, choppy breathing, his dry, parched lips, his sickly white skin, and the expression of pain on his face. He was not quite sure what had happened, but he decided to ask the king anyway, who took a whole day to tell him the story of his strange vision. Once he knew his story, Athelstan knelt in front of the king’s bed, placed his hands together, taking King Alfred’s hands between his own, and prayed to whatever saint was listening to his prayer. He prayed for the health of the sovereign for a whole day and a whole night without rest, neither to eat nor to drink.

Queen Lagertha had arrived a little before the monk Athelstan took a break from praying and she heard the whole story by mouth of King Alfred’s servants, and when she noticed that nothing the monk did was of any use, she decided to take the reins of healing him in her own hands and sent the maids to fetch candles, coal dust, and freshly cut white daisies. Everything must have come in quantities of seven, not one more, not one less. Meanwhile, she took off her traditional sovereign dress and put on a simple white Viking style attire to perform her ritual.

  • Monk,” she said to the religious man, – what’s wrong with your prayers, why don’t they work?
  • I have lost my faith, Your Majesty. -He answered with his head down.
  • In your God or in those of mine?
  • In mine.
  • Well, I do need your help with this ritual. I’ll need your prayers, ask the gods to save the king. -she said as he dipped two fingers into the first sack of coal.

She drew runes and other Viking patterns on both her arms and face. Then she scattered the seven bags of coal so that there would be a high and made a protective circle around the bed of the ruler. She then placed the candles in strategic places in the room and began to dance near the king while she chanted ancient songs and the monk prayed.

Then the king had a strange vision, similar to the first one he had before he fell ill, but with more color. In the sky were the clouds and the sun, the wind was blowing again, and in front of him was an old willow, who informed him of the attempts of two people close to him to help him overcome this peculiar illness.

  • It is not your time yet, King Alfred. You have a few more things to do before you go. -said the willow.

He felt a short and concentrated breeze on the back, so he turned around. Standing behind him was a beautiful young woman with golden hair and eyes as clear as the sky above them, of porcelain skin and white garments, like a Viking. The maiden smiled at him and came over to him, leaving him a kiss in the same place where the mysterious young woman before had left him one before. The king, noticing that she was leaving, asked her name, for he could not live peacefully without knowing the name of that beauty who had saved his life.

– Stephanie,” she answered, “Queen Lagertha and Monk Athelstan have summoned me to cure you, King Alfred. If you want to honor me, thank them for this second chance.

And she disappeared.

Alfred opened his eyes and got up to the tired faces of the people, who were mentioned by the young woman who appeared to him in the vision, and he smiled at them, thanking them wholeheartedly for saving him.

– What I would like to know,” said the queen, “is why you needed it. If the disease came to you in a vision it was because it was sent to you by black magic. So, we know this happened, but…
– ‘鈥ho was it?’, the King ended her sentence.

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