King Dietmar was home in Bern, and his son Dietrich with him, who was still suffering from his wounds. And these four heroes were with the king: Hildebrand, Witig, jarl Hornboge, and Heime.
When Dietrich had healed he rode away from Bern alone, and nobody knew of it except for Witig. Because he had lost his fight, Dietrich did not want to return to Bern before he had performed a heroic deed that would increase his fame.
He rode for seven days until he came to the forest called Osning, and he found lodging. There he heard of a castle on the other side of the forest called Drekanfils, and once this castle had been owned by king Drusian, who had died, and the queen had married
Dietrich wasn't sure how to get through the forest without meeting Ecke. He didn't feel like fighting Ecke, since the wounds that Witig had given him still pained him, and he preferred to first fight a lesser man first.
Now Dietrich rode off at midnight, when it was darkest, and hoped to make it through the forest without Ecke noticing him. But Ecke saw him and asked who rode there. Dietrich said: I am Heime Studa's son, riding to Bertangaland for my father, but I have nothing to do with you, and am not searching you out.
Ecke said that his voice sounded like Dietrich von Bern, and if he was as brave a man as was said he shouldn't use a false name. Dietrich acknowledged his name, but said he wanted to continue on his way. But Ecke had heard that he had lost his fight with Witig, and assumed he came here to find new honour. Also Dietrich had lost good weapons in the fight, and here he could win others.
Dietrich said he was not ready for a duel, and besides, how could they fight if they couldn't see one another? If it were day it would be another matter.
Then Ecke said that nine royal daughters and their mother, his fiancée, had armed him for this battle, and he came here for their sake, and he went on to describe his armour in great detail, as well as his sword Eckisax, which was wrought by the same Alberich that made Dietrich's sword Nagelring, deep under the earth, and when he was done he searched for the water to harden it in nine kingdoms, and found it in the stream called Treya. Blade and hilt are both made of red gold, and the sword was fitted with gemstones. And one had to search far and wide before one found a sword similar to it, but Alberich the dwarf, the great thief
Then Dietrich wondered aloud why he would flee for a sword he couldn't see, and from a man he knew nothing about except for his boasting. He had lost his way and his companions, and if Ecke wanted to keep his life he should not challenge him to a duel again.
Ecke went on to describe his girdle and pouch with twelve pounds of red gold in great detail. Then Dietrich said he would fight, not for the gold or the weapons, but for the honour of nine queens.
Dietrich jumped from his stallion and said it was so dark he couldn't see anything. He drew his sword Nagelring and struck a stone so that sparks flew from it. In this light he saw an olive tree
Now that Dietrich wanted to fight Ecke became happy and joyous, and he, too, struck a rock with his sword so that the heroes could see one another by the sparks.
Now they fought, and sparks flew from their weapons as though it was lightning, and the sound of their blows sounded like thunder, and they cleaved each other's shields so that they became useless, and still they fought on. Then Ecke gave Dietrich a terrible blow and he dropped down, and Ecke dropped on top of him and grabbed both of his arms, and said that in order to save his life Dietrich should surrender himself, his weapons, and his horse, and come to the castle to be shown bound to the queens.
Dietrich said he preferred to lose his life hear than endure the taunts of the nine ladies and their mother. He managed to free his hands and take Ecke by the throat, and they fought with all their power.
When Falke, Dietrich's stallion, became aware that his master needed help, he tore his rein with his teeth, ran to the two, lifted his forelegs and struck Ecke as hard as he could in the back. Dietrich struggeled back to his feet and cut of Ecke's head.
Then Dietrich took Ecke's weapons and armour and armed himself.
Dietrich mounted Falke and rode out of the forest, and it was already first light. Dietrich decided to ride to the castle of Drekanfils because he thought that, once the people of the castle knew he had overcome Ecke, he would get the same marriage
Now the queen had gone to a tower and she saw this man ride to the castle, and she was glad and went in and told her daughters that lord Ecke, who had left last night, returned on a good horse, and therefore he has defeated some good knight. And all of them took their jewels, dressed well, and went out to the rider. But when Dietrich came near they saw that it was not Ecke who rode there, but another man. And when the old queen saw this, she understood what must have happened: she recognised the weapons and armour, but not the man, and Ecke would never have given them away. She fell unconscious. Then they went back in and told everything to the men of the castle, and dressed in their mourning garb and threw their jewels from them.
When the men heard Ecke had been killed they took their weapons and wanted to avenge him. When Dietrich saw this overwhelming force he turned his horse and rode back into the forest as quickly as he could. He did not know where to go in this strange land, and since he had killed the lord of the land he knew that people would be unfriendly towards him. The men of the castle returned and were angry about Ecke's death.
Now Dietrich rode out of the forest and saw a man riding towards him. This was Fasold, Ecke's brother. Fasold thought he was seeing his brother because he recognised his armour, and called: Is that you, brother Ecke? Dietrich replied it was not.
Then Fasold called: You murderer, you killed my brother Ecke while he was asleep, because if he'd been awake he would have defeated you. Dietrich said that was a lie; Ecke challenged me to a duel, and when I refused he called upon his riches and the queen and her nine daughters and thus forced me to fight. And if I had known how great and strong he was, I wouldn't have fought, but I took these weapons and armour when he was dead, and you don't have to doubt that.
Fasold and Ecke were so alike that they were hard to tell apart. Fasold's colour was gold, and he had a red lion in his coat of arms, but this lion strode along the shield and did not have a crown. Ecke had the same coat of arms, and the lion signified they would never flee, as I have said before
One day king Dietrich set out northward over the mountains, and Fasold and Detlef the Dane went with him and sixty knights, and he went to the castle Drekanfils. In this castle ruled the nine daughters of king Drusian, whose mother had died from grief about Ecke's death
Dietrich asked the oldest daughter, Gotelinde, to marry him, and the hand of the other sister for Fasold, and the hand of the third for Detlef. Drusian's daughters agreed to that.
And now a great and wonderful wedding was celebrated, and king Dietrich and Fasold and Detlef the Dane married, and Detlef broke his engagement with Sigurd's daughter
And then Fasold and Detlef took the realm into their possession that Drusian's daughters had held, and king Dietrich gladly made them both dukes. But he himself rode home to Bern with his other men and his wife Gotelinde. And when he came home he sat in his realm for a long time.
Status: summary of 9 chapters complete.