Hastein then had Uhtred sit with him, and Hastein said that he had heard that Uhtred had failed to claim Bebbanburg and was running with his tail between his legs; Uhtred replied by saying that he had heard that the Danes were going to war, while Hastein was playing nursemaid. He also said that the idea of a single kingdom of England would have to start in Wessex, as it was the last kingdom which still held out against the Vikings. Uhtred formed a rivalry with Ragnar's arrogant cousin Cnut, who called him a "Dane-slayer" and was rude to him. With Kjartan and Sven dead (killed by Thyra's hounds), Uhtred left Ragnar in control of Dunholm, as it was on their father's old lands; Ragnar and Brida stayed at the fortress, and Uhtred, a traumatized Thyra (who was being consoled by Beocca), and the rest of the entourage returned to Wessex to tell Alfred of their success. Uhtred and his men then landed in the Danelaw at Grimsby, and he and his men went to search the whorehouse for the two monks as Beocca stayed with a defiant Young Uhtred. Uhtred rescued the commander of the Viking garrison, Hastein, who was being tied up and forced to fight the townspeople. Uhtred was forced to renew his service to Wessex, and Ragnar criticized Uhtred for remaining a slave (this time to Alfred) and for seeking to once again ally with Guthred and use his troops (when Ragnar already had troops). That night, Uhtred had his men prepare a shield wall in front of the door, and he then had Osferth open the door. Booking price. Alfred grw suspicious when Odda informed him that Uhtred and Aethelwold had left for Mercia, so Alfred had Steapa keep watch over Gisela. Beocca later spoke with Uhtred as he was preparing for battle, asking him about his intentions. save. Shortly after, Sigefrid and his army returned from the Tweed River, blocking the road to the city; Uhtred, Guthred, and Halig spotted the small force, a third of Guthred's army. The ealdorman Wulfhere brought Alfred's troublesome nephew Aethelwold Aetheling into the courtyard, and Wulfhere informed Uhtred that he would have to grovel in front of Alfred and be humiliated alongside Aethelwold. Uhtred, Halig, Hild, the priests, and a cart of lepers they used as protection walked through the woods and towards thhe camp of the slaver Gelgill, who held Guthred in captivity. The meeting was interrupted by a messenger who warned Uhtred that his horse had taken ill, so Uhtred hurried over to the stables. Odda, lamenting his lack of a son, asked Uhtred to promise that he would continue serving Alfred, but Uhtred was angered that the king never trusted him, and said that he was beginning to despise Alfred. He later had another illusion of Leofric, who was angry that he had made his nephew Osferth a traitor as well. Alfred decided to attack Sigurd's army before winter, and he sent Beocca to rally Wessex's allies and meet Bloodhair at Aescengum. Hastein slit the throat of a two-time thief over the grave, and an old man rose from the grave, terrifying Uhtred's men. During his ride, a delirious Uhtred hallucinated about Leofric chastising him for his betrayal. When Ragnar asked Uhtred what he planned, he said that the army could never hold, as the army was made up of enemies bound by greed. In response, Uhtred and two of his lieutenants set out for the countryside and raised a fyrd from the peasantry to march on Aylesbury and make a show of support for Aethelflaed. Beocca and Aethelwold then entered the house and spoke with Uhtred, demanding 100 pieces of silver and Uhtred's oath in exchange for the absence of a trial and for forgiveness. Uhtred was introduced to King Callyn, who lived in an unimpressive home, and Callyn initially refused to speak to the pagan Uhtred, instead relying on Asser to communicate; Uhtred bluntly asked Callyn to speak. Beocca asked Uhtred to stay and wait for Edward to become King, as Edward could help him. Uhtred, enraged, killed several of the Danes before Finan ordered a retreat. Meanwhile, Bloodhair's men attacked Alton, burning the town to the ground and slaughtering its inhabitants. Uhtred later met Alfred and discovered that Hastein had guaranteed that Bloodhair would leave, and Alfred then sent his sympathies for Gisela's death. Despite this, Uhtred agreed that Kjartan would fall by Ragnar's sword, and Uhtred promised to meet Ragnar's army at Leeds. Sable told Uhtred that Aethelred was after the heart of Saint Oswald (which was in Northumbria), and, that once he reunited Oswald's body, Mercia would be returned to greatness. Uhtred and his men ambushed and killed 13 of Hastein's men inside the abbey, forcing Hastein and Dagfinn to leave and wait outside. The four of them then dressed up as captors and hostages, and, before they reached the city walls, Uhtred again saw Brida. Uhtred became a drunkard to forget about Iseult's death, leading to Hild criticizing him, and Halig suggesting that they return to Winchester. He told Stiorra that they would returm to Cookham once the peace was secure, and she complained about being forced to live with the children. Ragnar then confirmed his suspicions of Uhtred's innocence and embraced his brother, and they discussed the need to kill Kjartan and avenge their father. Hild entered the house to ask Uhtred to speak with Beocca, and Uhtred agreed. The next morning, Uhtred told Brida that he would not continue his own life until he got Ragnar out of Niflheim, and they rode towards Leagaceaster to meet with Storri, who might be able to help. Mildrith told Uhtred to never speak to her again, and to find peace. Uhtred and Sihtric's negotiations were interrupted when the Saxons launched a renewed assault and breached the walls amid a smoke attack on the defending Danes. After bidding his wife farewell, Uhtred and his men then departed Coccham on horseback, and he was guided to Alton by a refugee, planning to meet with Skade. He threatened Erkenwald with death if he did not remove a large wooden cross from Uhtred's old hall, and Skade ultimately cut down the cross. Uhtred went on to accompany his adoptive father on his campaigns against the remaining Saxon kingdoms, and he volunteered to spy on the Saxons during the Siege of Nottingham in 868. Guthred then said that he officially saw Uhtred as a rival, which Uhtred interpreted as a joke. Uhtred looked at his home and noticed that his son had been buried, and he realized that Iseult's spell had taken his son's life in exchange for healing Alfred's son Edward. Before the other Vikings could harm Uhtred, the rest of the West Saxon army appeared and won the day. She then said that Uhtred would have to take Alfred's place and rule over both the Danes and the Saxons. Young Uhtred then asked Uhtred if he was being used as bait, but Uhtred assured his son that he would merely accompany the two monks they were to intercept, accompany them into Bebbanburg, and open the sea gates. As Young Odda was insulting Alfred, Odda the Elder noticed that Alfred was in the audience, and he stabbed his son dead in front of the crowd, disgusted by his treason. Uhtred did not wish to rule in Mercia, but Edward said that Uhtred was rarely able to make his own choices, and that, if Uhtred refused, a great slaughter would ensue as Mercia fought against Wessex. His army then arrayed themselves on a hill near Ethandun, where he gave a rousing speech and ordered that no mercy was to be given. He then assassinated the guard Sinfiotli Otkelsson, took his torch, and lit several pouches of flammable materials on fire before hurling them onto the Danish ships. Brida saved Uhtred from a Dane who tried to kill him, as she also sought vengeance for Ragnar. Alfred then told Uhtred that he was free to go, but reminded him that he was his "oath man". Uhtred then convinced his son to join him, telling him that he knew the pain of being ripped from one life and made to live another; Young Uhtred said that joining his father felt like penance and a test of faith, but he decided to go along with him on his fishing boat. Uhtred then decided to go drinking and whoring, leaving Mildrith behind. At the last minute, Beocca joined Uhtred, saying that he was fleeing the wrath of Ealhswith, but also that he wanted to ensure that Uhtred was being a good father to his son. He also discovered Steapa's death in the battle. Uhtred then visited Alfred's sickbed and promised to remain in Winchester until Edward was crowned king, swearing to him. After the end of the campaign in East Anglia, the family returned north to quell a Saxon revolt in Northumbria, and, when the group came to Lindisfarne to search for rebellious monks, Uhtred found that the monks had been giving sanctuary to Weland.
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