Three years have passed. Uhtred has an estate in Wessex with Gisela and their two children. He receives a visit from Aethelwold, who tells him that a medium, Eilaf, has prophesied that he will replace Alfred as king of Wessex and Uhtred will become king of Mercia. Knowing that Alfred despises his brother's weakness Uhtred does not tell the king the whole story but also learns that Alfred means to marry his daughter Aethelflaed to young lord Aethelred of Mercia to provide an alliance. Another alliance is proposed when Erik returns, seeking Uhtred's cooperation in an attack on London. Instead Uhtred visits Eilaf, who tells him that one day he will be the ruler of all the kingdoms in England.
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