Darkness was spreading out, the night was catching the day. A small
barge appeared in the fogs on the river, drifting to the banks, where
Ylva was sitting in a cave; her cave.
Fifteen years old she's never been outside the village one mile down the water, as most of the inhabitants there. Only some traders brought news to the few cottages sometimes, and occasionally knights were seen riding along the opposite banks of the river. Ylva's parents were poor crofters, and she had to work in the house of the weaver at a loom the whole day long, to earn some coins additionally.
In the evening she prefered to explore the environment before walking home, to escape from the constant quarrels between the parents and her two brothers. Three years ago she found the small cave, and it became her favourite place dreaming of some events she heard from conversations between the weaver and the traders. Sometimes, when it was warm, she stayed the whole night there sleeping on a wooden table she created.
Now she looked fascinated to the barge coming directly to her, as if there would be a magical magnetism. The full moon was shining, reflecting in glittering water, the winds were building a fog-creation like a white castle, and the earth seemed to vibrate in an inconceivable rhythm. Some fires and a torch were still burning as the boat stranded in front of Ylva. Nearly will-less she entered it and looked at the mortal remains of a burnt human body.
White flower-garlands had survived the fire in some wet edges, and a golden knob was shining in the ashes under the head. She seized it, and pulling at it - she finally held a big sword in her hands, as long as she was from bottom to the shoulder. The fire had left not any mark at the silver and golden metal; there was no crystal in it, but many signs or runes, she didn't know never have learned reading. She knew, what a sword was, from the stories, but she never imagined it could be such a beautiful and wonderful thing; her heart was in the highest fields she could reach.
As she tugged at the sword, the burnt body dropped to the side loosing an amulet at a chain and a face-circlet, falling directly to her feets; the ornament was unseen before. Holding the sword in her right hand Ylva blew away the rests of ashes from the amulet and hanged the chain round her neck with her left hand; its length was leading to the middle of her heart. Then she took the face-circlet and put it on her head like a diadem. She didn't feel any guilt doing these actions, it was like a holy ritual to her, an initiation from her soul.
In the moment the circlet touched her head a powerful energy-stream was flowing through it, also from the sword to her arms and belly, and from the amulet to her heart. It was so mighty that she fell into a swoon.
Next morning she awoke still laying in the barge. Rushing she hid her treasures in her cave, pushed the boat back into the river and then hurried to her daily work; but she felt that something has been changed in her.