One day, when Dietrich sat on his throne, and his heroes were with him, a man came there, large and strong, but without good clothes or weapons, and he wore a deep hat so that no one could see his face
He replied: I am Wildeber, my family is in Amelungland, and I came here to offer uou my services and become your man. Dietrich said that, although he was an unknown man, he still would take his service, and my good heroes here around me will admit you to their companionship.
And Witig said: No one will gainsay you, my lord, if you want to take him into your service, since it is better to take up a good knight than to refuse him.
And the king gave him a seat at his table, but before Wildeber sat down he want to the washbasin, and when he rolled up his sleeves Witig saw that he had a gold ring around his arm, and knew he had to be from a noble family, even though he looked poor.
Now Dietrich gave him good clothes, a good horse and weapons, and he liked Wildeber. And Witig and Wildeber became good friends.
King Attila and king Dietrich now rode home to Soest, which was king Attila's capital, and stayed there for the night. The next morning, however, king Dietrich wanted to go home to Bern. He had lost 60 men, and Witig too.
Then Wildeber came to king Dietrich, and requested permission to stay behind and find out if Witig was dead or alive. King Dietrich allowed this, and thus Wildeber stayed with king Attila.
A few days later king Attila rode to the Lurwald for a hunt, and Wildeber went with him, and many others. And when the day was done Attila went homeward.
But Wildeber staid behind with two large hunting dogs, and he found a forest bear and killed it. Then he peeld off its skin and rode home. He took the bear skin and hid it in a place only he knew about.
One day Isung, the chief minstrel, came to king Attila from king Dietrich in Bern. Dietrich had sent him out to find out if Witig was still alive, because minstrels can always go from prince to prince in peace, while other men may be distrusted. And king Attila received him well and entertained him
Wildeber told Isung he wanted to get Witig back, and wondered if Isung could make sure he could go into Osantrix' court undetected. Isung replied he was willing to do so.
The next morning Wildeber went to king Attila and told him he wanted to visit his relatives for a short while. King Attila offered him some knights to accompany him, but Wildeber said he'd travel with Isung, and they'd travel through peaceful lands. Then Attila allowed him to go
They now left the city of Soest, and when they were alone Wildeber showed the bear skin and asked Isung whether they could do anything with it. Isung inspected it and said that it might come in useful. He told Wildeber to wear the skin over his armor, and took needle and thread and sowed the skin as tightly as he could around Wildeber's back and feet, and so skilled was he that it would seem to everyone Wildeber was a bear. Now Isung put a collar around his neck and lead him, and so they traveled day after day until they reached Wilkinenland.
Close to king Osantrix' castle they encountered a man, who told them king Osantrix was in his castle but had few men with him, because he had recently conducted an expedition, as you may have heard, and most of his knights have returned to their houses, if they have one, because it is costly to live in a merchant city
Isung asked how the king felt about the victory
Then Isung asked if Hertnit was still with Osantrix, and which hero they had captured and if he was still alive. The man replied Hernit was not there, and that the hero was Witig, and was currently in a dark prison in heavy chains, and the man believed Witig was suffering much and waiting for his final day.
The next morning the king and all his men went out of the castle to a field, and with them as well Widolf with the Pole and Aventrod, and Widolf was in strong chains, since he should never be released except in battle. And they and all of the other king's men were without weapons. Many other people, young and old, men and women and children, came to see what would happen.
And now Witig in his prison heard that Isung, his friend
The people outside let loose sixty large dogs who all attacked the bear at the same time, but the bear took the largest of them with his front paws and with it killed twelve of the best dogs. King Osantrix became angry, walked to the bear, drew his sword, and slashed him at the top of his back, and although the sword went through the skin the armor.
Now Wildeber snatched his sword from the hands of Isung, went after the king and cut off his head
Then all of the king's men, who were unarmed, ran away, and all thought the devil himself had entered the bear, and most of them didn't know what to do.
Wildeber now went to the castle and asked where his good friend Witig was. Witig had already broken out of prison
Now Wildeber took off the bear skin, and all saw he was a man and not a monster
The king received them well, and acted as if Witig had been brought back from Hell. He also asked how king Osantrix was. And Witig told him everything about their journey and Osantrix' death.
And king Attila marveled at how wonderful of a leader king Dietrich was, that he had so many good heroes willing to give their lives for one another. And he mused that Osantrix would have done better to make peace and accept reconciliation.
Then Witig, Wildeber and Isung went south to Bern. King Dietrich was very happy about their return, and they told him everything that had happened. King Dietrich was pleased and thanked Wildeber for his expedition, and it became famous for its victory.
Now Witig was back home but miserable, and when king Dietrich asked why he said it was because he did not know where his good sword Mimung was. And, said he, if he found the man bearing Mimung, they would have things to say to one another, and he wanted to retrieve Mimung or lose his life.
King Dietrich said that he did not have to wonder any longer: Heime our companion carries Mimung, he took it as soon as you fell.
A few days passed
All these sat on one bench
And everyone said that they had never seen such noble and brave men, so perfect in all virtues in one hall together.
Wildeber the Bold was a good counselor, daring and bold when ruling over other men, but artful and courteous when he served others. On his coat of arms he had a boar and a bear in dark red, but the colour of his coat was gold, with a dark red stripe, and his armour has the same colour.
This coat of arm signifies Villigöltr, which in German is Wildeber
Now they came to a large forest their road went through. Herbrand held his horse and told king Dietrich they had reached the Bertangaland forest, and in the forest lives a giant called Etger, a son of king Nordian and a brother of the giants Wildeber killed
Witig replied: If all that is the case, Herbrand, you and king Dietrich and all the others should wait outside, but I will ride into the forest and talk to the giant, and it could be I get him to allow us to pass through, since we are relatives. And if he refuses, my stallion will not carry me slower back to you than forward to the giant. The king and all companions agreed to this.
One day king Isung and his eleven sons were in their castle, and Sigfrid came to them and said to them: My lord, I saw a tent on the field before your castle, of a different type than I saw before. In the middle of this tent is a pole, and on it a knot of gold. And there is a second, red tent before it, and a third, green tent behind it, and on the right a golden tent, and on the left a white tent.
And before the tents there are thirteen shields, and on the outer shield there is a horse, and that is Heime's, and on the next a golden hawk with two birds, and that is my relative
And from that, Sigfrid continued, it seems to me that foreign warriors have come to our land, and I am prepared, if you wish, to ride to them and find out who they are
King Isung said: I'll send one of my men to them to tell them that if they want to keep their lives they should pay me tribute, as our laws require, and my emissary will ask them who they are, where they come from, where they were born, and where they're going, and if they have any other goal here than to pay me tribute.
And Sigfrid said: the man you're going to send should be none other than me.
Now Wildeber took the field, and against him the third prince. They fought long and hard, and this was one of the toughest fights, and the prince received five wounds, all serious, but Wildeber had received seven, all even more serious, and began to become tired because of the blood he lost, and fell, surrendered his weapons, and was bound.
And the prince went back to his men, and he had done well.
Then Dietrich said to master Hildebrand: We should send a messenger to king Attila, if we can find someone who is courageous enough to do so. And Hildebrand said: No one is better suited than Wildeber the hero. And Dietrich asked Wildeber to take on this mission.
But Wildeber replied: I am seriously wounded, so I cannot ride through such a great army, although I will still fight for you. But ask your relative Wolfhart, he would be suitable.
So Dietrich asked Wolfhart, who replied that Wildeber would be better suited, since he himself was younger and less experienced. But Dietrich told him Wildeber was too wounded to travel. And Wolfhart agreed to the mission, but asked Dietrich for his sword Eckisax and his helmet Hildegrim and his horse Falke, and Dietrich granted him that.
King Dietrich tore down his camp and led his army further into Reussland. He laid siege to a town called Smaland, and fought with the townsmen. And when he had been there for six days king Waldemar came there with a great army, forty thousand men. King Dietrich had his horns blown and ordered Amelungen and Hunnen to arm themselves, and they rode against king Waldemar. And they said that this day king Waldemar would die or flee, or king Dietrich would die.
Now Dietrich rode at the head of his army, and with him Hildebrand and Wolfhart his relative, and their friend Wildeber, and battle broke loose. King Dietrich rode into the middle of the Reussen army, and killed men and horse on both sides, and his heroes followed him. And Dietrich fought like a lion in a flock of cattle, and all feared his weapons, and he and his horse were covered with blood.
Finally he saw king Waldemar's banner before him, and rode to it, and hit the knight who bore the banner on his right hand so that it was hacked off, and thus the banner fell to the ground. And then he gave king Waldemar the death blow. A great cry went up from Amelungen and Hunnen, and the Reussen fled, but many were killed. The Amelungen and Hunnen fought all day, and all night, and the next day, and killed every man they saw, and only a small number escaped.
Now Soest was filled with sounds of weapons, and shouts, and neighing of horses. The entire town was so full of men that no one could pass through, and no one could hear anyone unless they were close to them.
Now king Attila went up into a tower and called loudly: Hear me, men, and be quiet, and hear my commands. And the town fell silent.
Then the king said: Now a great army has gathered here, and now you must go as I will tell you. King Dietrich will travel alone with his army, and my man margrave Rodinger will go with another part of the knights that I have given to king Dietrich, and all the other men will follow my sons and young Diether. And all did as king Attile had commanded.
Now margrave Rodinger rode forth from Soest with his army. And Erp and Ortwin mounted, and in their following were duke Nudung of Walkaburg, who bore Dietrich's banner
And when the latter mounted queen Erka said: Good friend Helfrich, guard my sons well, and let them ride beside you when the armies meet. And Helfrich said: I swear by God, I won't come home from this war if I lose your sons. And queen Erka thanked him.
Now duke Nudung rode from Soest, and next Diether, and then Erp and Ortwin and the good knight Helfrich, then Wolfhart, and then all their warriors. Now king Dietrich mounted his horse Falke, and master Hildebrand bore his banner and went before king Dietrich, and then Wildeber and the warriors who followed Dietrich's banner
Now the six army groups met. Dietrich rode in front on his good stallion Falke with his sword Eckisax, and killed men and horses on both sides, and before him rode master Hildebrand carrying his banner and slaying men with his free hand, and their companion Wildeber followed them, and many Amelungen from Sibich's army fell.
Then king Dietrich called loudly: You have fought against the Reussen and Wilkinenmen, and we were usually victorious, but in this battle we fight for our lands and realm, so let's win great fame by reconquering it.
Now king Dietrich rode in the middle of Sibich's army and slew man and horse, and when he had come in the middle he went back by another way, and he was much feared. And by another route Wildeber rode through the Amelungen army, and no man held against him.
Walther of Waskastein saw how much damage Wildeber was doing to the Amelungen, and how they fled for him, and rode against him and hit him with his spear in the breast so that it exited between the shoulder blades. And Wildeber struck off the spear's shaft and struck Walther's thigh in the saddle, and pierced the armour and his sword got stuck in the saddle, and both fell dead from their horses
When Sibich saw that his banner had fallen, and the strong Walther with it, he turned his horse and fled, and his men with him. But king Dietrich and his men pursued the fugitives for a long time and killed them all day long, and it took quite a while before he returned.
When king Dietrich came to Soest he went into a cooking house
But margrave Rodinger went into Attila's hall and greeted him. And Attila asked for news, and whether they had won, and if king Dietrich had survived.
And margrave Rodinger replied: King Dietrich is alive and the Huns have won, but still it was an evil dau, since we lost your sons Erp and Ortwin. Then queen Erka cried, and almost all who were in that hall. And king Attila asked: Who else of the Huns fell along with my sons?
And Rodinger replied: Many good warriors, young Diether von Bern, and your good fried Helfrich, and duke Nudung, and Wildeber, and many other good men and chiefs, but the Amelungen lost half as many men, and those who live had to flee.
Then king Attila said, and he was courageous under these tidings: Now it happened as before, those who are fated will fall, and good weapons and strength do not help when you have to die. And we have seen that in this expedition, because Erp and Ortwin and Diether all had the best weapons, but still they all lie dead. And then he asked: But where is my good friend king Dietrich?
Someone replied: In a cooking house sit king Dietrich and master Hildebrand, and they put down their weapons and do not want to come under your eyes, my lord, so bad they feel about losing the princes.
Then king Attila said: Two of my knights, go there and ask my friend king Dietrich to come inside. He should still be close to me, despite all that has happened.
The two knights went to where king Dietrich sat, and gave him the message. But king Dietrich replied that his mood was so heavy and sad that he did not want to meet other people. And the knights went back to king Attila and told him what had happened.
Status: summary of 18 chapters complete.