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. ūüôā

El rey Alfred se encontraba extra√Īo aquella noche, notaron sus sirvientes. Se remov√≠a con nerviosismo, miraba de un lado a otro como si estuviese esperando a que alguien apareciera por cualquier lugar, y no hab√≠a probado bocado en toda la cena. Esto, por supuesto, alarm√≥ en un primer momento a sus sirvientes, pues no era una actitud muy com√ļn del soberano, pero pronto descartaron cualquier idea extra√Īa puesto que un importante invitado de lejos, la reina Lagertha, se encontraba de camino para realizarle una visita y, por supuesto, una petici√≥n al rey. As√≠ que con la mente un poco m√°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√°pidamente, el rey cerr√≥ los ojos y se sumi√≥ en un profundo sue√Īo, en el cual hab√≠a tenido la visi√≥n m√°s espantosa de todas.

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

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

Los sirvientes no sab√≠an cu√°nto tiempo le quedaba a su soberano y se mord√≠an las u√Īas con nerviosismo mientras pensaban en c√≥mo mejorar la salud del rey antes de tener que hacer un comunicado frente a los dem√°s s√ļbditos 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√≥metros alejados de casa. Terminaron por encontrar una peque√Īa caba√Īa 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 √©l era el √ļnico que pod√≠a salvarle de aquella situaci√≥n tan desesperante. Athelstan acept√≥ vacilante y se march√≥ con los soldados, entrando al palacio pocos d√≠as despu√©s. Le examin√≥ a fondo: not√≥ su entrecortada y pesada respiraci√≥n, sus labios resecos y partidos, su piel de un color blanco enfermo y la expresi√≥n de dolor en su rostro. No estaba muy seguro de qu√© era lo que hab√≠a pasado, pero igual decidi√≥ pregunt√°rselo al rey, quien se tom√≥ un d√≠a entero en contarle la historia de su extra√Īa visi√≥n. Ya conociendo su historia, Athelstan se arrodill√≥ frente a la cama del soberano, coloc√≥ sus manos unidas, tomando las del rey Alfred entre las suyas, y le rez√≥ a cuanto santo estuviese escuchando su plegaria. Rog√≥ por la salud del soberano durante todo un d√≠a y toda una noche sin descanso ni para comer, ni para beber.

La reina Lagertha había llegado un poco antes de que el monje Athelstan se tomase un descanso de los rezos y se enteró de toda la historia por la boca de los sirvientes del rey Alfred, y al notar que nada de lo que hacía el monje servía de algo, decidió tomar ella misma las riendas de la sanación y envió a las criadas a buscarle velas, polvo de carbón y margaritas blancas recién cortadas. Todo debía de venir en cantidades de siete, ni una más ni una menos. Mientras, se quitó su vestido tradicional de soberana y se colocó un simple atuendo blanco de estilo vikingo para hacer su ritual.

  • Monje, ‚ÄĒse dirigi√≥ al religioso, ‚ÄĒ ¬Ņqu√© sucede que tus rezos no funcionan?
  • He perdido la fe, su Majestad. ‚ÄĒRespondi√≥ √©l con la cabeza gacha.
  • ¬ŅEn tu Dios o en los m√≠os?
  • En el m√≠o.
  • Pues necesito que me ayudes con este ritual. Voy a necesitar tus rezos, p√≠dele a los dioses que salven al rey. ‚ÄĒLe dijo mientras hund√≠a dos dedos en el primer saquito de carb√≥n.

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

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

  • No es tu tiempo todav√≠a, rey Alfred. Tienes unas cosas m√°s para hacer antes de irte. ‚ÄĒLe dijo el sauco.

Sintió detrás de él una brisa corta y concentrada en su nuca, así que se volteó. De pie detrás de él 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 sonrió y se le acercó, dejándole un beso en el mismo sitio donde la misteriosa joven anterior le había dejado uno. El rey, al notar que se iba alejando, le preguntó su nombre, pues no podía vivir tranquilo sin saber el apodo de aquella belleza que le había salvado la vida.

  • Stephanie, ‚ÄĒle contest√≥, ‚ÄĒla reina Lagertha y el monje Athelstan me han invocado para curarte, rey Alfred. Si quieres honrarme, agrad√©celes a ellos esta segunda oportunidad.

Y desapareció.

Alfred abrió los ojos y se consiguió con los rostros cansados de las personas que habían sido mencionadas por la joven que le apareció en la visión y les sonrió, agradeciéndoles de todo corazón el haberle salvado.

  • Lo que me gustar√≠a saber, ‚ÄĒdijo la reina, ‚ÄĒes porqu√© lo necesitaste. Si te lleg√≥ la enfermedad en una visi√≥n fue porque te la enviaron mediante magia negra. Entonces, sabemos que esto ocurri√≥, pero‚Ķ
  • ¬ŅQui√©n fue? ‚ÄĒSentenci√≥ 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…
– ‘‚Ķwho was it?’, the King ended her sentence.

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Martine Mussies

My name is Martine and I am writing my PhD about the Cyborg Mermaid. On this website, you’ll find blogs about autism, cyborgs, fan fiction, King Alfred of Wessex, mermaids, music & musicology, martial arts, (neuro)psychology, video games, and random nerdiness.

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