Color of The Heroic Side-kick
“Ha… That frightened me a bit. Hey, are you there Sei?”
On the second day since Witige had been revived like a miracle. Everything is as usual during the daytime but when the sun set and the golden moon rise —— there is a rare guest that came to ‘Valhalla Kitchen’.
“Loki? I’m here!”
I slowly crawled out from the kitchen to the canteen with a fatigued body since I just revived. After Loki looked at me in this appearance, he told me to stop and quickly came toward me. He lifted me up and put me on top of the table.
“Sei, listen to me. I just heard some amazing news.”
“I know, is it about the matter on the Einherjars?”
I sort of guessed what Loki tried to say, so I answered him immediately. Loki nodded as a response, it seem my guess is correct. The reason why I can predict it correctly is because…
Yesterday….. After Witige was revive, Lord Odin, who was there the whole time, gathered all the present Einherjars and gave an order:
“For those who want honor, use your own death as proof that you are immortal on the sunset tomorrow.”
Is Witige reviving a coincidence or something inevitable? Is there any Einherjars present dare to try it? Not only Lord Odin, I believe that anyone also wants to know about it.
There was a brave guy who volunteered to do it while everyone was uproar. That’s the same guy who started the fight with Witige. Argh……. I think his name is ‘Beerse’. Anyway, it seem like he is selected as the guinea pig for the experiment.
If everything went according to plan, he should have already died before the sunset today. Since I have the task which I needed to jump in Eldhrimnir, I didn’t have the opportunity to witness his death…..
“I have helped witness it for you. As planned he died, but I didn’t expect him to commit seppuku. After that, as expect, he was revive similar to Witige yesterday like nothing had happen. During the moment when the sun set, his new body appeared near the corpse.
After Witige, Beerse also can revive. The one common point between the two revived people is ——- they were both selected by the beautiful Valkyrie as pawns for the Gods, the members of Einherjars.
After this, Beerse who sacrificed himself in a meaningful way had proven that Einherjars had the same revival ability as me. In another word, they had gained immortality.
“Looks like my big brother was so happy he going to dance there. I think the Jotun won’t be such a difficult enemy since we have unexpectedly obtained a large army of immortals.”
“Unexpectedly….. Didn’t Lord Odin know that those Einherjars have this type of ability?”
“Of course, he doesn’t. It’s another story if they come with a manual….. Although the Einherjars train themselves every day, but the judgment day is still quite far so they don’t have much combat experience. Moreover, there aren’t any unfortunate cases that happened before, thus it’s the first time when someone died yesterday.”
As Loki said this, Chef Head handed us some drinks. Loki thanked him and took a glass, he continued to ask me while holding it:
“Sei, about their ability…… What do you think about it?”
“What do I think….. That’s right, did you inspect the activated rune?”
“Of course, Siegrune say: its the same as your rune.”
“So is the rune of ‘feoh’ and ‘dakaz’ then. It is more understandable if it used on a boar like me but doesn’t it seem a bit weird that the rune of livestock works against those Einherjars?”
“There is nothing weird about that. It’s a bit cruel but, those fellows are pawns used to defeat the Jotun. You do know that the Jotun are quite strong right? Actually the existence between the Gods and the Jotun are quite close to each other as both of them supposed to be non-existent beings. Then let me ask you this, if we plan to kill Thor, how many Einherjars is needed?”
I thought for a while before answering the sudden question:
“If it is Thor-sama… I’m afraid that even if all the Einherjars attack him at once, they won’t be able to do it?”
“That’s right. Well, there arent many Jotun that’s as powerful as Thor but it’s something like that. According to my calculation, it will be blood bath of around a thousand Einherjars to kill one Jotun. Don’t you think they are livestock in this way? Ah, the order given to them is quite similar to the order for a livestock. From tomorrow onward, they will start with real combat training, in other words, they’re going to train themselves by fighting each other to death to prove their ability. Isn’t it funny?”
The way he talked is as if he wanted to spit something out, then he finished the glass of drink in one go. I wonder what Loki angry is about? I don’t understand but …..
(Is life…. Something to look down on…..)
For some reason I’m also a bit furious. Ah, I understand it now, Loki feel the same way as I am now.
“Oh, looks like the Einherjars will come over soon. I will need to take this opportunity to slip away….. Oh yeah, Sei, after you finish your work tomorrow, can you go and have a look at the practice field. There is something amazing there.”
Loki left the place by leaving a meaningful smile and that speech. What does it mean? Even if I go to the practice field, it will mostly be filled with the Einherjars corpses right.
“Chef Head, do you know about this? The amazing thing that Loki mentioned just now.”
“Ya…. I think he’s talking about ‘That’ which hasn’t been used for sometime. Alright, I’ll go and have a look at it tomorrow. If you want to know…. No, forget about it. It’s more interesting if you see it yourself.”
The Chef Head is showing the same smile as Loki as he decided to hide ‘That’. Seriously, what is that? Oh, the desire to know and not to know……
Anyway I only know that it’ll be something surprising, but that’s still a mystery to me.
“Well, I don’t think it‘ll be something major. Since I had already gained some resistance toward mysterious things in the God community, so I won’t be surprised by it so easily.”
What the… I can’t believe that I am so naïve right now.
“This….. This…. This…. What is this?”
I welcome another night with some expectation and a little bit of uneasiness. Once I had known the true meaning behind the malicious smiles of the Chef Head and Loki yesterday, I collapsed on the ground as if receiving a huge impact that scared my soul away.
“Um… that….I’m sorry, this is something too surprising, or should I say the thing in front of me is too big. I still cannot understand what I am facing now.”
I asked the Chef Head who was staring at me with amusement. He used a very calm voice, which was the opposite of me, to answer:
“Hahaha, as expected that you were surprise. He is Hresvelgr, like what you seen….. no, without guessing, he is a very big eagle.”
“Eagle… how big is he?”
I asked, because I could only see a portion of the eagle in my perception zone.
“According to what I heard, he can cover the whole sky just by spreading his wing. Well, would you accept the fact that he could generate all the wind in the whole world just by flapping his wings?”
“Exactly…….Exactly what did he eat to become like this?”
“Oh….. Corpse…. From living being.”
The moment I heard his response, I hold my breath so that I can look at Hresvelgr in a more detailed way. Just now, he keeps concentrating on pecking on something…. I guess that are the Einherjars corpses which spread all over the practice field.
“Aiya, I thought it’ll make you feel gross out. But his existence and task are quite important.”
“By eating corpse?”
“That’s right, if we leave the corpse of a living being for a long time, it will rot right? Not only will the corpse will release a bad stench, it might possible that it will spread some dangerous germs. Sei-kun, before you came, this place used to have a lot of livestock, but there’s some that died before we had the opportunity to eat them due to several reasons. The one responsible for managing those corpses is him.”
I see….. No wonder Chef Head didn’t get surprised by him when we met, this is because his existence is important in the ‘Valhalla Kitchen’, which means they already knew each other from a long time.
Even though I’m just a trainee chef, but I’m still a worker in the ‘Valhalla Kitchen’. Although our working place is one at the kitchen and the other at the practice field, we are still colleague in the ‘Valhalla’. I should make a proper introduction with him.
“Hey, Hresvelgr! I am Sæhrímnir the boar! I am still a greenhorn but please take care of me!”
I try my best to shout as loud as possible so it can be heard because I don’t know where his ears are.
Seems that I managed to reach him, his huge body slowly turned toward me:
I didn’t understand what he was saying since he said slower than his turning.
“That…. Did you understand what he said?”
“No, I just remember that the last word is too.”
Is that correct?
“Then…. Ah, we should leave now! Goodbye!”
After we excused ourselves, he didn’t give any response. We waited for a while but there was still no response, so I waved my hand to Chef Head and left the place.
Ah, it seems he said something just now, but it’s too late, well, never mind……
After that, the Einherjars obediently committed to the new order by Lord Odin…… how do I say this, anyway every day is just a killing feast for them.
To be honest that is a very tragic thing, if it’s me, I’d quit. But in the practice field that is close to death, the Einherjars managed to increase their concentration to the limit which is the result they achieved from this cruelty. If this goes on, their battle with the Jotun might be a battle worth waiting. This is only my thought, since it’s not easy to predict what Lord Odin is planning…
When the others, except me, are getting used to their weird lifestyle as if being revived is like a meal to them——in other words, it’s already a common thing, ‘some phenomenons’ happened which start to scare people.
“Woah! Another earthquake! …. It ended.”
I slowly crawled out from the table which I’d hurriedly hidden under. When it first started, my whole body was covered by dust. Now, there isn’t a speck of dust that can be found on my body. This shows that the earthquakes happen too frequently.
“I wonder what happened? There’s too many earthquakes recently.”
Just recently around this hour every day, there would be two or three strong yet short earthquake. Normally, earthquakes don’t happen in this world. I wonder if the frequent earthquakes are a premonition for something……At the same time, Lord Odin and the others had treated it as an omen and had begun their investigation on this matter.
Once the Aesir Gods become serious, then this matter will be solved easily. Just when I come out with that conclusion—– Someone knocked on my door softly while calling out to me with a beautiful voice.
“Good morning, Sei-kun. Um… that, are you awake already?”
“I already woke up! Please wait for a minute!”
I quickly unfasten the rope for the door lock and open the door. Brynhildr-sama who is breathing heavily and a bit reddish faced appear in front of me. Oh, what an affectionate look!
“Good morning Brynhildr-sama! Um… about the matter with Hilde-sama.”
“Ah, I would also like to have a proper talk with Sei-kun about that matter….. But forgive me, even though there is a lot of thing I want to talk with you, but the reason I come here is because there’s an order for an emergency meeting which required your presence. Could we put the matter aside first and follow me?”
“Eh? Emergency……. Where do we need to go?”
I asked it in this way. Since I sort of guess the person who wanted me to attend—- I knew about it when I think back the first time Brynhildr-sama came to Idavoll forest.
She nodded her head and replied dignifiedly:
“The third hall of ’Gladsheim’, ‘Valaskjálf’,”
The pure silver palace ‘Valaskjálf’, as its name implies, the whole building is made up of pure silver and it’s the third hall of ‘Gladsheim’. Furthermore, that’s the place where Lord Odin lived.
“Oh! It seems you had finally arrived, Sei. Thanks for the hard work, Brynhildr.”
At the place which Lord Odin specified, in the room of the high seat, other than Lord Odin, there were Loki, Thor-sama, Frey-sama, Baldr-sama and other gods also showed up. Freya-sama and the nine Valkyries sister were also present. Normally, this isn’t a place where a small fry like me would be attending…. Without a doubt, this is the doing of Loki.
“Um…. That…. Ahem, Pardon me but I’m not sure about the current situation. May I ask why a boar like me was requested to attend such an important meeting of ‘Asgard’?”
I used a polite and respectful way to say that and also lifted my head to look at my surrounding. Out of my expectation, the one who answered was seating on the high seat, Lord Odin.
“Upon Loki’s recommendation, I hope that you could provide us with your wisdom. This is because, Loki, Mimir and I were unsure of the cause of the earthquake… maybe you are the only one who can help us to identify the cause.”
“This, this is impossible! Loki, I’m not that powerful!”
“Well, I’m actually quite impressed with your cleverness and the power of imagination for a while. Even though you were born in the countryside but you might have a different perspective from us right?”
“Don’t treat me like a fool….”
I quickly closed my eyes after saying something disrespect unintentionally while awaiting the punishment that will be given. Don’t tell me that I would be fired….. That won’t happen right?
“Haiz…. Guess we have to figure it out ourselves…..So, did anyone present here have conducted any investigation?”
“I had used the High Seat, Hlidskjalf to look at the whole realm. The result is that there is no abnormalities in any of the nine realms.”
This is impossible…. Doesn’t that mean it’s pointless to pursue this matter further?
“Doesn’t that mean that the earthquakes only happen in ‘Asgard’?”
“No, that is not the case. All the realms also experience it.”
“All the realms….?”
That means there’s abnormalities in some common part of the nine realms? Is it water, how about the air….. Argh, no, there is no way that these thing is the cause of the world-scale earthquake. It should be something bigger…. That is overlooking the nine realms or it can be seen…..
That’s it! Isn’t there that thing. The thing that connect all the realms!
“It’s the world tree! There might be something happen in the world tree!”
“Ho…. I see, we have discussed about that before but it’s impossible.”
“Why? Haha, I didn’t think you would ask this. Didn’t you know about that tree, little boar. That is a mighty tree that existed before the birth of the realm. It’s a sturdy tree that can maintain the whole nine realms forever. Furthermore, there is also the ‘Well of Urðr’ which the three goddess always sprinkle cleansing water to the root. As cautious, I also used Hlidskjalf to observe it, other than some fallen leaves, there’s no problem. Do you understand it now, boar? The tree isn’t the root of the problem, it the same for ‘Ragnarok’.”
My opinion was being laugh by Lord Odin. To be frank, I was quite disappointed, even though they were anticipating on the perspective of a boar, but I did not managed to provide any help. Well…. Since my standard is at that low level after all.
“No, wait… there is a blind spot. That’s right! What a good perspective, Sei! Big brother, there is something I like you to see, can you lend me Hlidskjalf for a while.”
Loki, who was in high spirit, held me and sat on Lord Odin’s high seat. Then, what appeared in front of us suddenly was the sight that I had seen before.
“This is…. Isn’t this Witige workshop? Seriously Loki, do you still plan to find those nude paintings at this moment?”
“Fool, that’s not the case! Did you forget what I said just now? That…. Ah, got it.”
Well due to the small earthquake that day, we quickly rushed out of Witige house to find shelter.
Before that, Loki arranged two painting next to each other on top of the table. The painting was a very detailed scenery of the world tree, Læraðr.
“As expected…. Now I finally know the reason why I felt so restless that time when I saw them.”
“What happened, Loki? Is there anything weird in the painting?”
Lord Odin inquired more about the situation with an anxious look. The anxiety started to spread and everyone focused on Loki. He gave a full explanation on the restless part that he felt:
“It’s the angle, this can only be seen due to the detail drawing. If you take a closer look, the right is an old painting while the left is a newer painting. Both of them are the same tree but the left one is a slightly tilted when compared to the right. In other words—-”
— The world tree is slowly collapsing—
At this moment, everyone presented has the same thought in their brain—An abnormally strong quake happened again.
“Not good!! This quake, don’t tell me Læraðr is ……!”
A roar could be heard together the continuous quake. After the magnitude of the quake is a bit stronger, the building is starting to tilt. No, it not the building that is tilting, it’s the world itself!
“This is bad! If Læraðr, the pillar supporting the realms, were to collapse, all of the realm will be destroyed. Argh…. Don’t tell me that this….. This is ‘Ragnarok”! Oi, Thor! I want you to take command of all the male Gods present to support the branch of Læraðr! Hurry up!”
“Damn, what a ridiculous thing…! I understand, but I don’t know how long can we hold it, I hope that you can think of something as soon as possible.”
Thor-sama who is taking the lead, bring all the male gods present and rushed out. At the same moment when we were sending them off, Lord Odin quickly gave an order to Hilde-sama:
“Gerhilde, since speed is your specialty, I want you to inform and gather all the male gods that was absent to support the Læraðr!”
“I will see it be done!”
After she said that, she immediately activated her Rustang Wind and flew out of the room. Under the pure white feather snow-like situation, Lord Odin who was siting on his high seat gave a big sigh.
“………Well. It’s better now, the quake and the tilting has stopped. Looks like Thor and the others did a good job. Furthermore, the whole Aesir tribe is in a mess. Haha, even the Jotun is lending their help, they are desperately holding the root that leads to the ‘Well of Mimir’ which is going to fall down.”
Lord Odin is using Hlidskjalf to peep at the conditions of all the realms. In ‘Vanaheim’ which is on top of ‘Asgard’, all of the member is having a tug of war with the tree branch of Læraðr. But in the ‘well of Mimir’ which is situated inside ‘Jötunheimr’, the giants are beginning to support the last root.
“….What an irony, the enemies from the past which is still the current enemies is helping to save this realm with all they got. Only under this type of situation, do all the whole realms work together as one.”
It doesn’t matter even if it’s temporary. Lord Odin whispered this while staring at a far far place.
“But, this can’t continue forever. If the cause of the earthquake is due to the tilting of Læraðr, then we must find out the reason why Læraðr is tilting. For those who have any suggestions, you may speak it out.”
Seems the gaze of Lord Odin is back and he looks at his surrounding for suggestion. The one who lift his hand first is the Trickster Loki.
“There is one person who is able to help us here. Hey, little one, are you here?”
“Yes! I am right here!”
A mysterious voice suddenly responded to Loki summon. The voice is like that of a kid before hitting puberty, which gave an impression that it was being laugh at by other. But there is no doubt that the speedy response is similar to a professional. I looked up at the ceiling where the voice came from, from there a furry thing which is as big as my palm fell down. This brown colour object…… it is a squirrel!
“You little boar, don’t keep staring at me. It makes me feel shy.”
“I’m not little anymore…… you are more little than me!”
“Don’t judge a book by its cover, I’m actually an adult, you know? Everyone always said that I’m cute.”
This squirrel who said it is an adult kept blinking its big round eyes. Damn it, I can’t accept this, but it’s so cute.
So the mascot for ‘Valhalla’ is not just me and Hayes. No, how can a boar and a goat win against a squirrel…. It is our total defeat.
“Sei, I guess this is the first time you see him. This is Ratatoskr. He also has a special ability like you, he mainly engages in spying. Isn’t that correct?”
“Oh, it’s like you said. I’m a squirrel that can only live in Læraðr, to make matter worse, both my parent went missing in the tree leaves when I was a kid. I who was in search of warmness, keep travelling and …. Finally came to the rainbow void and obtained my peace.”
“Oh…. Thanks for your hard work.”
“It was really difficult that time. But I don’t know when, me who was living there suddenly have a change in my body. Then, my body had become a rainbow void. Do you understand what it means? Never mind! Let me explain about it. In other word, I can teleport myself to any part of ‘Asgard’. Not only that, I can also teleport to the area full of the pulse of the rainbow in the branches of Læraðr. Because of this, all the whole nine realms is like my backyard, so there is no one who understands the matter regarding Læraðr better than me.
He said that proudly when standing with his two feet. Now that I think of it, I remember that Loki and Hilde-sama mentioned that a squirrel had infiltrate ‘Vingólf’. I guess that squirrel was him.
“Yo, Ratatoskr, there’s something I want ask of professor of Læraðr which is you. Do you know the reason why Læraðr is falling down?”
“As expected, then what is the reason?”
“That’s because of Nidhogg biting, well the root of Læraðr at ‘the spring of Hvergelmir’ is completely gone!”
Root, the root is gone! He even dares show a happy face while saying that!
“Why didn’t you say so earlier!”
“It’s better if I informed you sooner?”
Ratatoskr was surprised at this, I guess that he had no evil intention at all. Like this Loki couldn’t refrain himself by staying silent, seems like he doesn’t have the mood to blame him anymore.
“But…… Nidhogg. I didn’t expect that I will hear his name at this time.”
Lord Odin said this while frowning after he heard Ratatoskr’s report.
“Who is Nidhogg?”
I asked my surrounding about this. What made me happy was that Brynhildr-sama walked toward me, bent down and explained to me softly:
“Nidhogg is a black snake that had lived in ‘Asgard’ in the past. But because of his relationship with Hresvelgr, which is a big eagle who is clearing up the Einherjars corpse, is quite bad, they always fought with each other. After Lord Odin stayed in charge of the land, he left the heaven realm, ‘Asgard’, angrily and head to the underworld, ‘Helheim’.”
“Whoa, such an extreme snake.”
“He is like that. But, I’m afraid he has some plans of his own. Both Nidhogg and Hresvelgr like to eat corpses, he went to ‘Helheim’ with the thought the he can simply eat the corpses there…. But in fact that isn’t easy. It seems that Nidhogg who was helpless because after moving to ‘Helheim’ and failed to eat the corpse as plan, he went and feast on the root of Læraðr instead. But there is a miscalculation here, when he keeps eating the root of Læraðr, he is absorbing the rich life energy of it and it changed his appearance instead. Now he has transform into an unexpected creature which is the highest rank of a Mythical Type —– a dragon.”
Dra…Dragon! That fellow keeps feasting on the roof of Læraðr until now!
“Why did the Gods ignore him?”
“So..Sorry. There are two reasons why we ignore it. The first is that we don’t want to waste our fighting force before ‘Ragnarok’. Moreover, a dragon is a powerful creature that is the same as a God, we cannot guarantee that we won’t suffer any loss if we have a battle with him.”
I didn’t know about that….. a dragon is a dangerous creature.
I don’t think it’s possible for the Einherjars to win against it when even the Aesir Gods will have trouble fighting it.
“Then, for the second reason, it’s about the cleansing water that Lord Odin mentioned. We have conducted a test, as long as the world tree can absorb the cleansing water, it should not fall down, and so we can ignore Nidhogg. But, looks like….. It was proven that the test result is inaccurate based on the current situation. This is our fault due to miscalculation.”
Brynhildr-sama gently stroked my back like she was trying to calm me the angry me down. Could you please stroke the spot below… Wait! This is not the time, actually I’m not angry at Brynhildr-sama. In fact, I’m not angry at all, basically I am just depressed. I can’t believe we didn’t notice during our time at ‘Midgard’ that the lush greenery world tree we saw is actually crying for help in our blind spot.
“Argh……The quake is happening again!”
Once again, the whole realm is shaking, it seems like the world tree is tilting sometimes and some other times it stagnates. Looks like the Thor-sama and his team, which is supporting Læraðr, are at their limit already.
Lord Odin stood up from his high seat quietly, took off his black robe with a golden embroidery. Even though he’s already at an old age, his muscular body still giving off a declaration that it would support the realm.
“…… So we cannot hold back anymore. Loki, I want you to go to ‘Helheim’ and repair the roots.”
“Do you really want me to go?”
“Other than you, there is no one else can do it. This is because I’m quite impress with you and other than the rune magic that was formed when we become sworn brothers— there is no other ways to save Læraðr anymore. Loki…… I will leave the rest to you.”
This isn’t an order by the High God, but a request by an older brother. Loki is not the person who would rush into a troublesome situation that easily…… but he is also not the type of person who would reject it. Isn’t that right, Loki?
“…. Damn, guess I have no choice. Then I will go, even though it’s quite troublesome and there’s no other ways. But I also want to make a request, I want to bring two bodyguards with me. I believe that there will be a fight with Nidhogg if the negotiation went bad and even if he is willing to listen to me, he might change his mind and attack the defenseless me when I’m doing the repairing.”
“Seem I have no other choice already, there won’t be any problem except male Gods.”
“I appreciate that. Then the first one is …… Brynhildr, I will depend on you.”
“Wait for a moment, Loki! Why must you choose Brynhildr-sama?”
After I heard Loki selection, I protested against him. You do know the opponent is a dragon right? From what I heard, it’s a strong foe that will give trouble to the Gods, I don’t want to let my Brynhildr-sama to face such a strong opponent!
“Didn’t you hear what I said just now? I’m not asking Brynhildr-sama to kill Nidhogg. That fellow is known as the king of the thousand snakes, and he’s always surrounded by a thousand snakes. Isn’t that right, Ratatoskr?”
“Ah, Master Loki, about that matter! The number actually increased again in this short duration! There is no limit for that fellow.”
“What? Damn it, how could this happen……. then, how many is it now?”
“One thousand and ten. This is out of my expectation.”
“…Ha? Do you mean…..one thousand become one thousand and ten?”
“That right! I am very confident on it since I counted it thrice.”
“…. You counted it thrice?”
“It’s very hard, you know?”
“Ah…. That, Ratatoskr, I don’t know what should I say about that…..”
“I hope you can praise me!”
“…. After this, can someone praise him?”
Loki gave out weak sigh. Well, is this the secret to Ratatoskr’s popularity? I better remember this technique properly as it can make a person change their minds.
“Ah, that means, if we were to fight with that fellow, we need to get rid of the one thousand and ten snakes first. That’s why we need the only Valkyrie that has the ‘Area Annihilation type’ God technique which is Brynhildr. Can you accept this, Sei?”
Well, so she only needs to kill all the snakes surrounding him….. Right?
“Oh, I understand now, if that’s the case then I have no objection. Then, who is the second bodyguard?”
“Ah, that is you. You will be the one who’s in charge of dealing with Nidhogg. I will depend on you, partner.”
“Ok, leave it to me! Eh? EEEEEE!”
When I was giving my salutation unconsciously, I suspected whether my ears had problems after hearing what Loki said. I didn’t mishear it right? …Right? Liar, everyone is trying to lie to me. Eh, is this for real……
“Wait for a moment, Loki, isn’t that a bit odd? Nidhogg is a dragon you know?”
“That’s the reason why I choose you. It’s not convenient to say it here but didn’t you have that killing technique? That’s why you are the most suitable for this task.”
“That is correct…. But I’m just a boar that has not combat experience? If you want a combat expert….. That’s right I know someone who’s on par with the dragon killer! He is known as Witige.”
“Do you think it’s possible for an old man who twisted his back just a short while ago?”
Sob…. I have no way to reject that statement which was shot back at me…..
“….Then, how about using a weapon! Why don’t you ask Frey-sama to lend you a sword! That’s the sword which can overcome ‘Ragnarok’ right? I think if Loki asks…..”
“What a coincidence, that thing has a will of its own so it chooses the owner itself. It’s the same case for Big Brother’s Gungnir and the old man’s Mimung.”
“Then why don’t you just ask Frey-sama to accompany you, I believe it’ll be an easy victory in that case.”
“Hey, Sei. Did you forget the condition that my Big Brother said just now? Did you hear the loud sound coming from the ground? The group that is supporting the branch is already at its limit, Læraðr will fall down the moment a person is lacking. Moreover, you do know that I cannot swap with Frey right? The only one who can repair the root is only me.”
“How about….. Loki defeat Nidhogg by himself first, then only repair the root?”
“That would be nice if I can. But I’m only skillful at deceiving, I’m not good at being in the front line, I’m also no good at using the destructive magic from the rune of ‘hagalaz’ or a large scale magic from the rune of ‘ansuz’. That’s why unfortunately, it’s impossible for me to defeat a dragon.”
How is this possible….. If it’s impossible for Loki, why don’t they just rely on someone else….. For example the Valkyrie but it’ll be hard for them too….
“Then… How….. About….”
“…Oh, Sei, are you scared of Nidhogg? Are you scared to battle?”
Depression and some…. disappointments. This is the feeling that Loki felt he when looked at my eyes. Did he feel sad for the person he regarded as a …… friend. If thats the case, I too—-
“I’m sorry, Loki. But I am just a boar. I am just a boar, a brown boar called Sæhrímnir. To me, I am not suitable for this situation…. that’s similar to Armageddon. This situation… is more suitable for the hero who can save it.”
This is my answer. It’s not because I’m afraid of battle, and it’s also not because I’m afraid I will fail. Of course I’m very scared but that’s not the case…… I still have my own major task.
The major task of being dinner for ‘Valhalla’.
Loki closed his eye as if the accepted my answer. But the moment he opened it, he look direct at my eye filled with expectation and hope.
“I’m glad to hear this response. Sei, it seems you had a misunderstanding about this. Do listen properly? There’s no hero who is suitable to save the world but the one who saved the world deserved to be
known as a hero. Sei, go be a hero. I can guarantee that if it’s you, there‘ll be no problem. I can also guarantee that, this is something that only you can do. Furthermore…. Look at this.”
Loki shifted his sight, currently the one he is look at is —– the blue Valkyrie who’s majestically standing there with a resolved determination. In fact, it’s obvious to me that —- in order to not let loose to the tense and insecure feeling, Brynhildr-sama is biting her lip tightly.
My most important person who is more important than anything…… more important than my own live is going to gamble her life in the battle that will determine the fate of the worlds. Furthermore, the bastard known as Sei is just going to stay in this safety zone. Now that I think of it, what am I really worried about.
Other than me, who can protect Brynhildr-sama? If I’m not doing it to protect the world but instead I’m doing it so that I can protect my loved one….. With this I believe I can create one or two miracle out of this!
“Loki…. I will go! Not because Loki managed to convince me, but it’s something that I had decided on my own! My decision is much more reliable than Loki’s guarantee!”
“Ho, this is the determination I was looking for! Then it is decided! Odin, can you lend me your Sleipnir! Just wait for a while, I will make sure the world is saved!”
“Oh, then I’ll leave it to you, Loki! Okay, let’s do what we can now. I want the other Valkyrie to provide assistance to the team supporting Læraðr! I want you to prepare water and food for a long term battle, I will allow those who want to help wipe their sweat and also those want to cheer for them! Freya-chan, can you help out?”
“Of course, uncle. Team Valkyrie, I want you to stay focus and move out!”
“Yes!” All the Valkyries said at the same time.
Everyone start to move on their own in order to fulfill their own tasks. The moment when everyone dispersed to their respective destinations, Loki call upon the world fastest horse, Sleipnir, and took both Brynhildr-sama and me and headed toward ‘Helheim’! ….. Which is what I thought……
“I’m sorry, you two. But I need to take a detour before we head to ‘Helheim’.”
“We don’t have that kind of leisure time, shouldn’t we hurry up since they are at their limit?”
“That right, but the mission will fail if we rush in without any preparation. I just thought of a nice plan so I need to make the preparation for it first.”
“Loki-sama, don’t tell me that you have some kind of secret plan?”
“Something like that, first we need to visit the Sun Goddess, Sola. After that, we need to go find the watchman of Bifröst, Heimdall. This thing is….. the most important part of this secret plan is, Sei, your determination. You’d better prepare it now.”
“Sola-sama, Heimdall-sama and my determination? What kind of strategy is this?”
“All I can say is that it’s a strategy in my own way. Well, if I had to say it, I will show a miracle as the greatest trickster in the God community, so there will be some hidden tricks. Kekeke!”
Loki is showing off a sinister smile while controlling Sleipnir. Actually I’m more concerned on what he means by ‘prepare it now’……Sob, I really cannot understand what this person is thinking.
After we were done with our preparations for the plan, we arrived at ‘Helheim’ during dusk. Right now, we are directly standing in front of the entrance, in the doorstep of ‘Gnipahellir’.
According to what Brynhildr-sama heard from the pass-byer, the ‘Helheim’ which is an Artic land that is situated underground in the northern part of ‘Midgard’ once known as ‘Niflheim’. The realm of the death which is always covered by a blue and white tundra is being managed alone by Queen ‘Hel’. Even though, the environment is very harsh but its function in the country is still retained.
“Both of you listen carefully, after we enter ‘Gnipahellir’, there are two things that you need to be wary of. The first one is ‘Time limited’. Now I will use the rune of ‘sowulo’ to help maintain your body temperature.”
“Maintain the body temperature? Ah, once we enter, we will be in an Artic land, since we don’t have any cold resistant clothings, we need to rely on the rune to protect us.”
Well, I still have my own mane I can be proud of. Both of them can also hug me to obtain warmth. In the case of which Brynhildr-sama hugs me, my body temperature will rise rapidly and it will be much warmer!
“Yo Sei, you just thought that ‘Helheim’ is just a slightly cold place right? ‘Helheim’ is the realm of the death, normally the living are not allowed to enter. The reason why ‘Helheim’ become an Artic land is not because of the frozen atmosphere, but it’s because the land will absorb heat from the surrounding.”
“Absorb heat…. That means it’s pointless no matter how many clothes we wear?”
“Yup, that is the case. It won’t be a problem from those who have already died but once the heat from a living is completely gone, they will become a god. There is an exception like Sleipnir and Ratatoskr who don’t have body warmth to begin with, but once the effect of the rune of ‘sowulo’ wears off, we won’t be much difference from the dead. The effect only lasts for a total of three hour—– better remember this properly.”
I’m not sure whether the time limit of three hour is short or long. But I will keep Loki’s kind advice deep in my heart, I answered Loki after swallowing my saliva.
“The second thing is quite simple, once I open this door, never walk in front of me before I give my consent especially Brynhildr. Do you understand?”
“What….. What do you mean by that…..”
“You will understand immediately, then I will open it now.”
Loki softly climbed down from Sleipnir, and immediately casted the rune of ‘sowulo’. After that he walked toward ‘Gnipahellir’ normally, and took a deep breath. Then… he slowly opened the door.
The two dark Iron Gates slowly opened while giving off an ominous sound like it was from the dead itself. The chilly wind blew out from the gap of the door sent a chill to my body, at the same time, there was one doubt that I couldn’t stop thinking about it:
Why isn’t there any lock for the front door of a country?
My question was explained immediately. At the same time the door opened, a huge black shadow rushed out from the inside. Once I identified that the huge shadow was a huge dog monster, fresh blood was flowing out from Loki’s shoulder.
“Loki-sama! I’ll help you now!”
“Stand down! I’m okay!”
The fang of the huge black dog sank deeply into Loki left shoulder, the blood that flowed out was instantly frozen. But surprisingly Loki still remained very calm.
“It’s okay…. Good boy, do you recognize who I am?”
The dog monster gave off a humiliating barking sound as if it reacted to the smell and taste of Loki’s blood and slowly moved backward while wagging it’s tail. After that, he stood in a posture as if obeying Loki…..What the heck happen?
“This guy is called Gamr, as you see just now, he is a very talented hell watchdog, the downside is that he is too serious in his job. Since he didn’t recognize me at sight, so I allow him to bite me once to get it.”
“But that one bite….. It seems that he had dealt a life threatening wound…..”
“What you said is correct but I am not going to die from something like this. Well, I will leave it to you guys to protect me now.”
Even though his wound had stopped bleeding since it was frozen, but it seem that Loki’s face show that he is in pain.
(Looks like……. I’m still too naive)
Although we are in a really desperate life-threatening situation where everyone is running out of options already…… I thought that if we have Loki, we can overcome any obstacle. But…..
“Sei, there is no need to show such a worry face.”
After Loki saw through my thoughts, he patted my head and said,
“Although I received a wound that was out of my expectation, but it’s not like I can’t do anything. If we really end up needing to fight with that fellow, then I can at least use some runic magic to provide support. Since I need to preserve my magic to repair Læraðr, I can only activate a large scale magic once. I will only use it once I think the situation is suitable.”
Is that so….. I’m not going to fight alone. It’s not like a battle will occur. As long as there is no situation that will lead to a battle then there is nothing to worry about.
But… is it really possible to avoid it?
“It’ll be fine, Sei-kun.”
This time, it’s Brynhildr-sama turn to pat me on my head as if she is trying to help get rid of my doubt.
“Ah? Don’t tell me that Sei-kun does not trust me? Please don’t simply judge me, since I’m still the eldest of the Valkyrie, I’m trying my best to achieve everyone expectation. My ranking among the Gods is quite high, and I don’t think I will lose to Loki-sama in term of martial art.”
“Kukuku! Maybe that is true, what a shocking fact.”
“That’s why there is nothing for you to worry about. Loki-sama please be at ease too. Please leave the rest to me! The location of Nidhogg is located at the deepest part of ‘Helheim’ which is ‘the spring of Helheim’…. There is not much time already, let’s hurry up!”
Brynhildr-sama is now taking the lead instead of the wounded Loki who is riding on Sleipnir. What a brave person! At the same time I felt that she is quite magnificent, it makes me feel once again that I am useless.
Where has my decision that I want to protect Brynhildr-sama gone? Don’t tell me that it was frozen by the chilly wind of ‘Helheim’…..
We didn’t face many problems after passing through the strongest security on the door that doesn’t need any lock. Of course, there are mountains and valleys, but other than that there aren’t many obstacles.
In the misty condition where the only light source is from a distance mansion, we have reached the foothill of a steep rocky hill. After walking inside the tunnel from the big cave, we reached a place that was unimaginable bright in the cave.
This place is a dreamlike big ice cave which was formed from the continuously refraction of the light – ‘the spring of Helheim’.
“What are you doing here…. Small one.”
During the time when I was too absorbed by the beautiful scenery, a whisper as if it came from the hill appeared. I couldn’t pinpoint the location of voice due to the echoes.
When I started to be on alert of my surroundings, a huge monster came from the dark spot in front of me.
“This…. The growth is really out of my expectation, Nidhogg.”
“Huh? Who are you?”
The dark dragon whispered while giving a troubled look, lowering his head and stared at us as if he wanted to crush us.
This four legged appearance is a bit difference from my dragon transformation. But his height is similar to my dragon form. If I were to use my killer technique…. Can I really win against him?
“Eh? Hoho….. and I thought who came, aren’t you the trickster Loki! That woman beside you…. I see, you are the elder sister of the Valkyrie. I’m sorry for my manners just now, so are you looking for this awesome me?”
“We are going to help you go on a diet. Even though, it is almost zero, but there is still some of the roots left right? Can you not use the leftover for your tea time?”
“Ho, so that is the reason why you came. Hm…. Then, what do I get in return if I listen to you?”
After we heard Nidhogg said that, Loki frowned immediately. It’s normal even if Loki were to get angry, this is because the world tree doesn’t belong to Nidhogg. Furthermore, he even dares to demand benefit from us.
“Sorry but I cannot decide this alone, that’s right…. How about human corpse, you do like them right? At the moment there is a lot of the corpse in the god community, the number is around twenty thousand—– so, is this a deal?”
“Hm… seem like a good deal. Okay, I will accept that.”
After accepting Loki deal, Nidhogg gave off a satisfying breath. Eh. Is the deal a success? That’s great! It seem like a battle is not necessary to settle this matter, hip hip hooray!
“Ah….. Hold on, something doesn’t seem right.”
The moment I try to relax my tense body, he suddenly open his mouth. This type of vague attitude gave us an ominous premonition.
“About the twenty thousand corpses…. Of course, you will deliver it to me every day right? Is that correct, Loki-sama?”
“Ah? Everyday….. Hey, don’t joke around with me, you bastard, do you know how much magic power is need to use the rune of ‘transfer’ to transfer that much of corpses to you! I will only deliver it to you for only one time, if you don’t want to accept this, then come and get it yourself!”
“Huh? Hey… hey! Is this really the tone of a mighty Aesir god when they’re requesting! It seem like your arrogant attitude didn’t change at all after the awesome me left the God community!”
“Huh…Seriously, you’re right, it’s like that.”
Loki shrugged his shoulder to Nidhogg and walked toward the root of Læraðr. There is a fade green glow from both of his hand which makes the withered part of the root grow back.
“Hey, what the heck are you doing? Isn’t it obvious that those tributes are necessary if you want to satisfy this awesome me! If it couldn’t be done, then go and ask Hel to deliver me all the deceased here to me!”
“That’s impossible. Life is precious, death is solemn, and they only know the meaning of this because they were alive. This is the realm of the dead, the deceased are the residents of this country. As long as the deceased want to live here, they will have to have dignity. Well, moreover….. The God here isn’t that kind to accept the request of a person who only cares about themselves.”
Loki tilted his mouth and said those heartless words. Ah…. Both sides are getting agitated, I don’t even know when it’ll become a quarrel. And I thought the negotiation was success, if this goes on…..
“Is that so….. Seems like there is no point in talking anymore. Then let this awesome me grant you your final request —– Go Die. “
Nidhogg angrily waved his front foot with leisure. In that moment, a large number of black snakes rushed in from everywhere. It, it’s coming! The rumor one thousand and ten black snakes are coming!
“I won’t let you pass!”
To protect Loki who was busy repairing the roots of Læraðr, Brynhildr-sama got in her battle position immediately. She took out her sword without any fear while facing the snakes that are coming toward her.
“‘The Holy Shieldmaiden’ Brynhildr, will repel the attack with all I got!”
“‘Black Snake Dragon’ Nidhogg. My followers, go bite that women to death.”
After them both announced their names, the battle started. Normally, we should have try to avoid this situation from happening but looks like both side have no intention to back off which led to this battle happened.
“Shine! ‘Liebe·Strafe’ !”
The moment the battle started, Brynhildr-sama shouted the name of her sword and pointed it toward the sky. The cool and lovely shout can cause a misunderstanding that it’s a voice which belongs to the spirit of spring. The blue armor also makes a transformation following with her voice, the exposed part of the armor gave off a golden shine. The light which had lost its purpose flowed toward the sword like it was seeking redemption and wrapped around it, made up a huge light sword which could light up the whole cave.
“Annihilate my foes! God technique– ‘panzer·Strahl’ !!”
With a lot of momentum, she used her upper body to swing the sword and gave off a sword flash to smite evil. This can no longer be explained through any sword technique. The flash swallows the dark beings on the ground while damaging the ground at the same time, Nidhogg’s snakes was exterminated in just one second.
The transformed Brynhildr-sama’s armor released some smoke and it started to cool down, looks like it will return to its normal state soon. While slowly getting into position —- She slices the smoke and points the sword toward Nidhogg.
“Let decide a winner now. It’s okay even if you want to surrender. Or are you telling me that you’re willing to suffer the same fate as them, King of thousand snakes?”
Brynhildr-sama declared it in a cool manner. Of course I know that she was faking. Because she didn’t hold back on the attack just now, it’s normal that she cannot execute a powerful attack continuously. If we can manage to let the opponent surrender now, it’ll be our victory. But, if that were not the case…….
“….What a surprise, I didn’t think a Valkyrie is that capable after reaching the highest level.”
“Do you want to surrender?”
“Ku ku, what do you mean? Unfortunately, that’s something impossible. You did mention that the awesome me is the King of thousand snake right. That correct, the awesome me is the King of thousand snakes. The King of thousand snakes with a thousand snake followers and now a naked king, it’s not possible, it’s something impossible. That’s why….”
While he still looks leisurely, he waved his front leg again. How is this possible…… this is the action he did just now, don’t tell me!
“How can this be, the snakes…..”
It seems my ominous premonition is true. Something was gathering at the shaded area of the cave, and what appear in front of us again is the thousands black snake.
“King of thousands snakes will always have thousands snakes following him, no matter what. Regardless of how many had been kill, the awesome me can summon another thousand easily. Well…. That skill just now, I wonder how many times can you use it?”
Nidhogg showed a disgusting smile. With one flick of his index finger, the huge army of the black snake rushed over toward Brynhildr-sama to assault her.
“Ku……. I won’t be frightened by this type of pawn!”
Brynhildr-sama tried to overcome the despair she felt when she saw the snakes with her fighting spirit, and rushed toward the thousands snake. She looked like she was dancing while continuously performing sharp thrusts. The sword dance of the Valkyrie whose movement was like a flowing water slowly decrease the number of snake without losing its power.
“Hoho, seems you’re quite tenacious. Is it okay to not use the God technique?”
“Ah, it’s not worth letting these kind of pawn witness my God technique twice.”
Brynhildr-sama said with a fearless smile. But…. her words just now seem to be a bit forced as she kept sweating in a cold environment like this. If Brynhildr-sama activated her God technique for the second time, I afraid that she will run out of both her magic power and stamina, which will leave her vulnerable.
I believed that Nidhogg summon his pawn through the usage of the rune of ‘feoh’, which will only consume a small amount of his magic power. It wouldn’t be good for both sides in a long term battle, moreover we can have a temporary retreat once we repair the world tree. After that, we can regroup and think of a plan to defeat him, which is why we need to stall time.
But right in this moment —— Loki who kept watching at the battle suddenly gave a warning:
“! Hey! Brynhildr, look up!!”
Brynhildr-sama gave a response immediately, but it was too late. A large amount of snake dropped down from the ice pillar at the roof of the cave, Brynhildr-sama gave off a moan while being strangled!
The beloved blue armor of Brynhildr-sama only provide protection on the forehead, chest, part of the hand, leg part and some critical part, while the ‘Rustung Wind’ is only effective against attack from bow or throwing stone. Thus, there is no protection against the slimy snake which was directly biting her on the exposed part of her skin!
“Ah! Oo, no…..Ahh! This….!”
What…. What is this situation? The beautiful Brynhildr-sama….. Was getting ravaged by those snakes. And I am forced to see this suffering act, it seems like Nidhogg….. Was playing with her.
I try to say the plead that I only thought of now, but it wouldn’t come out at all. Why…. Why can’t I say it out! It’s obvious that I need to stop this hellish scene immediately!
“Keke, what a nice moan, such a pleasure. Well, Loki-sama, aren’t you going to help her? Ah, it’s not like you can help, because you are too focused on repairing the world tree. Then let me enjoy it some more.”
“…. You bastard!”
Like what Nidhogg had said just now, Loki couldn’t provide any assistance at all. The only one who can help her is only me. But… why…why! My body cannot stop shaking! Why!
“It’s… okay… Sei-kun.”
“It’s….okay, Sei-kun…don’t…. worry… about ….me…. I … will… think of something, that’s why….”
–Why….. did you say something like that.
She shouldn’t have time to worry about other while she is suffering and enduring the hardship alone. But she is actually…. Worry about me who cannot do anything…?
I am unable to protect her, unable to stop it. No, it’s not that I didn’t want to do something, it’s just that I couldn’t. Up until now, I was afraid that’s why I couldn’t even mutter anything to avoid being noticed and I tried to conceal my breathing…… while hiding behind Sleipnir.
“You’d better stop it now, you’d better ask your snake to retreat.”
“Huh? And I thought who is it, it’s just a boar. Where did you come from, boar? Did the awesome me just mishear something…… it seem like I heard a pathetic line coming from your mouth?”
After Nidhogg glanced at me, he continued looking at Brynhildr-sama while showing a disgusting smile. You bastard, even though you heard me….. Yet you choose to ignore me.
“You bastard. Do you not understand? I am… giving you an order.”
“Hey, damn pig! What did you say just now! Do you want me to flatten you?”
“I dare you.”
I’m no longer scared, whats left is the hatred and anger that even I couldn’t control it myself and also —- the words that Witige told me before.
—- The greedy dwarf who had fallen to the evil side—
Other than me, there is only one person in history who successfully transformed in a dragon. If his technique is the same as me, then the dragon that he transformed to should be the same as mine. Now let me give it a name, the Greed, my name is—-
“’The Fallen Dragon’ —- ‘Fafnir’. Nidhogg, I will….. defeat you!!”
I carved the rune of ‘mannaz’ in the void and transformed into the fallen magical dragon.
At the same time I announced my name, I sent Nidhogg flying as a greeting. The Nidhogg that was sent flying still able to maintain his posture but it was clear he had shaken a lot.
“No, impossible! You are actually a dragon like me! Aren’t you just a small and dirty pig…?”
“I’m not a pig, I am a boar! Do you have problem with your eyes, you jerk!”
I used my right hand and gave him a punch in the face with all I got, and followed by my left hand to hit him from the other side so the pain could make him remember it well. While being in pain, he back down and put some distance between us.
“Oh, you’d better stop it now! If you continue, I cannot guarantee the life of your precious Valkyrie?”
“Hee, I already expected that you would do something like this.”
I breathed in a large volume of the freezing air, and spit it toward Brynhildr-sama. What I released just now is the fusion from the magic power within my body, ‘Poison spit’, which I can only do it when I’m in this form.
“Hey, what are you doing toward your own allies? Are you planning to kill her yourself?”
“How is that possible? That thing I spit just now is a poison for the nervous system, after you breath into it, you won’t be able to control your body freely, and it not life threatening. Since Brynhildr-sama could no longer move and looks like your snake is also in the same state. Furthermore, since they aren’t dead, you can no longer summon new ones right?”
“Hm… Let me praise you for this amazing feat!”
Even if there are still around ten snakes left, his trick doesn’t allow him to summon another thousand snakes as it is impossible to have around two thousand follower of snake. He grinded his teeth unhappily as I managed to see through his trick.
“Then let me slaughter you directly! You better be careful, as I will fulfill the promise of flattening you like I said just now!”
The furious Nidhogg used his front left to carve a word on the ground…. This is the rune of ‘isa’!
At the same time Nidhogg carve the ice rune, his huge black body was covered up in a silvery white armor. His appearance now with the thick barbed ice armor proved that the black snake dragon was being serious.
It’s a pity….. Even if he covered himself with the ice armor, or let say that his trump card is a defensive skill, the battle had already been determined.
My suicide attack cannot be blocked easily by a punch or a claw since I’m already used to dying. I will definitely not lose to this bastard who chose to be defensive.
When I attacked the ice armor the third time, he launched a counter strike. But I would not evade it, even if got hit, I would execute my fourth attack.
My left eye were swollen due to the first counter, and the second counter damaged my right wing. For the next counterattack he bit my tail and I couldn’t move, so I decided to cut it.
Of course, while I was in this sorry state, I also give him quite a few punches. The solid armor looked like it was in a bad state. Even after I received a fatal wound, Nidhogg couldn’t even launch a single counterattack anymore due to my continuous assault toward him.
(Shattered, Shattered, Shattered, And Shattered!)
My conscious was starting to fade and my vision was getting blurry. It seems my life now was like a candle in a wind. Both my hands already hit their limits due to the constant movement…. I need to, I need to hurry up and end this battle…..
While I was trying to remain calm from my impatient thought, I moved my arms as if trying to repeat a same task. At this moment, the voice of hope flow into my ear who is on the boundary of life and death.
(! This is awesome…… the armor……. Is shattered!)
There is no longer anything to protect him now since the ice armor had been shattered. If it’s now, the thing I want to do…. I better take this opportunity!
(The last strike–!)
While ignoring the bone shattering sound from my finger, I tried to relax my knuckle. My claws were giving off a bright shine as if being happy after they were released. My sharp claws gave off a dark afterglow and I swiped his head.
In the next moment, the sound that came from the side of the spring is not a cry from Nidhogg who was facing death nor the sound of his head hitting the ground. The sound that came within the chilly silence is sound of an explosive and my dumbfounded voice.
(How is this possible, my magic power….. ran out?)
My front leg try to move in the void as the dragon form was deactivated due to my magic power running out, like this I fallen on the ground. Damnit, why… I just need to deal my last hit! It’s true that the dragon form consumes a large amount of magic power, normally I cannot maintain it for a long time. But…. I was so close to deal the last hit!
While I was lying on the ground, other than despair, there was nothing else that came into my vision. From the time the black snake dragon stare at me furiously, I already knew that this battle had already lost.
“Die, you damn pig.”
After he declared the short announcement in a pleased manner, he used his tail to smash me.
The last thing that I saw is —— with determination, Loki took out a big horn from his waist and place it near his mouth.
Like this—I had revived as usual. To me which death is part of my daily routine, and being alive is like a give and take situation. That’s why I am better than anybody else to judge the current situation calmly.
“You bastard…… how did…….!”
Nidhogg couldn’t conceal his shock when he saw the revived me appeared near his tail after using it to smash me without any hesitation. Well this is obvious, but the most important thing is the action that Loki did just now.
He blew the horn which can be heard from the whole worlds once blown, ‘Giallar’. Surprisingly this should belong to the watchman of Bifröst, Heimdall-sama when he detects any danger situation approaching ‘Asgard’. That’s right….. That horn should only be blown to announce the beginning of ‘Ragnarok’.
The horn that Loki borrowed was necessary for one of the steps in his secret plan. The moment when Loki blew it, it meant that……. Loki had decided to use his ‘trump card’.
“Wait…… isn’t that horn ‘Giallar’? Are you out of your minds! What do intend to do when you blow that! Don’t tell me that….. This is the beginning of ‘Ragnarok’?”
“Kekeke! Who knows? There is no one who knows the meaning of it anyway. But, the thing that is going to begin now is without a doubt…. Your ‘End’!”
After he said those sharp words imposingly, Loki put back the ‘Giallar’ to his waist and temporary stopped his work on repairing the world tree. After closing his eyes to confirm his conditions, he told me while giving a nod:
“Sei! We have no other choice already due to the current situation, let’s stick to the plan we discuss before! Had you make up your mind?”
I couldn’t answer immediately when he asked. But it was just for a short moment only, since it was only me, who had encountered unlimited times of life and death, could answer it in a short time. I replied to Loki in a relax manner like I was going to have some fun:
“Don’t you know about this, Loki? Determination and giving up are my specialty!”
“Hee, then please forgive me. So, let the dragon have some fun too!”
After Loki accepted my strong-willed determination, he took out a bundle of Mistletoes tree branch from his bag. After untying the bundle that consisted of a few tens of the tree branches, he began to chant the runic magic.
[[To worship the respected skull of Ymir; I kiss its body. I hereby expose the unchangeable obligation of the Omniscience God.]]
While chanting the spell in solemn, the density of the area became more visible. The green color air exuded caused the frozen darkness to shake up, and slowly the surrounding was filled with its color.
[[When both the surface become one, in this world where singing is endless, extinct, rebirth, expression change and defense with the manifestation of the present maternal, growth, birth and luck! The thirteen and eighteen rune of Futhark, eihaz, berkanan!]]
There was two runes that appeared in the small branch which signified the end of this large scale magic. Loki threw the Mistletoes that was blinking non-stop up into the air.
“Bloom in pride! The one and only group of swords ‘Mistilteinn’!!”
Just at that moment, there was a large number of light bullet fell down to the surroundings. Even though Nidhogg use his tail and wings to deflect the light bullets in order to protect himself, but he couldn’t fully deflect them and was wounded by some of which. But looks like Loki was conserving some of his magic power for healing purpose so the light bullets were not that powerful, since the power wasn’t that high, it could not finish off an injured dragon.
But this is more than enough. My determination told me that this would be a waste if he was beaten by something like this. Then…. When the moment arrived, I will let the king of thousand snakes witness this. This unreasonable and cruel —- amount of violence is something that me and Loki created.
I activated the rune of human and transformed to my human form, I could still use this type of magic even though the revival consumed a large amount of my magic power.
“It’s your turn now Sei, I have already made it rain properly! Next is for you to blow this black cloud away! Let us see —– your performance on stage!”
I tried to use my determination to blow away all the fatigue caused from the over consuming of magic power and dashed forward in one breath while my right hand was holding a sword. Where did the sword come from? Of course it’s ‘everywhere’, the light bullets that fell down —- are actually swords. This is a technique that only Loki can perform among all the other talented gods, ‘Mistilteinn’.
This technique makes the Mistletoes tree branch change into a weapon with seven different blades sticking out of the main one, this is something like a transforming magic, it supposed to be some sort of secret weapon. Since he transformed a large amount of the tree branch at the same time, it caused the surrounding to be filled with weapons.
That’s right….. That rain of swords was not only for offensive, it also had the function to cause the surrounding to be filled with weapons. It was a technique that helped me grab a weapon from anywhere!
I raised my sword and rushed straight to thrust it at Nidhogg. With this momentum, I just needed to make sure the sword hit at the target then…..
….Eh, well, I already expected this. The opponent was not a fool anyway, he would definitely perform a counter when I rushed toward him. I already knew the possibility that I would be killed before I got close.
But the step now is the most important. Normally death signified the end of everything, but in this battle, death is just the beginning.
Normally, I will revive near my corpse, but the thing that mattered most before my revival: That is the safety after revival. That is why, in this situation, my corpse will appear in the safest place. In other words, it will surely appear in the blind spot of Nidhogg which is the cause of my death!
I grabbed the sword near me and pierced Nidhogg’s hind leg. After issuing a roar, blood came flowing out of the magic sword. Woah, what is this feeling. I could penetrate the solid skin known as the dragon scale that easily.
“Argh!! What is happening?”
Due to the pain, Nidhogg turned his head in shock. That was normal, because I, whom was supposed to have died, appear in front of him twice. Moreover, it was abnormal to not be shocked as I still continued to attack him after I was revived.
*Kabaam* He swinged his tail and I faced death for the third time. My next revival location is —– Nidhogg’s back.
“What a nice timing!”
I used all my strength to push the ‘Mistilteinn’ which was stabbed at his back from the first fall. The blade easily penetrated the dragon scale, it was a pity the hilt did not manage to enter.
“Arghh! You little bastard!”
Nidhogg swayed his huge body to shake me off and with a punch he squashed me, who had fallen off, on the wall.
This sure is hard. Let’s see…. Ah, now I’m below his stomach. Since his body is so huge, there is a lot of blind spot available.
As usual, I picked up a nearby sword and stabbed it toward his toe accurately. A few of his scales came out, it seems I managed to cut to the bone based on what I felt from my hand. This is good, this is without a doubt an effective attack!
“~~!! Wait, you, you bastard, how can you be alive each time! What trick are you using, you livestock!”
“My name is Sæhrímnir, I’m just a boar that can revive once per day only.”
“Don’t lie to me, you have already revived more than one time! You won’t stop appearing no matter how many times I kill you!”
“Ah, it’s one time because there is only one sunset for one day, and I can only revive the moment the sun set. But what if…. There is multiple sunsets in a single day?”
“…. Don’t tell me…… impossible, that kind of thing….” He probably thought that I was saying something nonsense.
That’s right, it is something impossible. Which is what most people will say. But Loki can change the impossible to possible with just a little flash.
This miracle happened because of two factors—- the Giallar which can be heard from all the world once blown and the Goddess of the Sun, Sola-sama who transports the sun.
The moment when we arrived at this spring, Sola-sama who was moving to the horizon, after hearing the signal from Giallar, is now moving back and forth at the horizon. This is the preparation that Loki planned earlier.
“This is how the impossible things happen. Keke, too bad we‘re underground, because I really want to see the scenery of the mysterious continuous sunset!”
Nidhogg huge body started to tremble after looking at the laughing Loki. I wonder what feeling does that tremble take after? It was such a pity that I couldn’t understand. But there is one thing that I’m very sure: The current me is immortal.
“This unseen before unlimited revival tactic is a trump card prepared for me who has the determination to die continuously. If possible, I also want to avoid using it but I had already made up my mind. That’s why…. Now it’s your turn to make up yours! Nidhogg!”
“Don’t…Don’t…. Don’t come near me!!”
Once again I picked up a sword and rushed toward him. At the same moment, the black snake dragon who is suffering spit out some icy breath to end my life, a new me was born and appeared in his blind spot. I was killed right away after I stabbed him, once again, there was a lot of repetitions of death and revival. In this battle which blood had been shed by both side— I, who had ignored the fear and suffering of death, kept my concentration while wielding the sword.
Finally we had reached this point, the blind spot which would be his defeat. I – am now revived on top of Nidhogg head.
“This will end it!!”
I picked up the ‘Mistilteinn’ that was hanging on his horn with my backhand. For this moment, I have sacrificed a few dozen of me.
(Thank you, I will repay the debt)
I, who was very grateful, aimed between his eyebrows to deliver the final blow!
There was a sudden shout which make me stop my action. The sound came from underneath my feet.
“Wait, wait for a moment, I beg you! The awesome me, no, I admit defeat! It’s my total loss! That’s why…. Please spare this small life of mine….”
I tried looking at the ground and saw Loki stunned similar to the dumbfounded me. I didn’t think that Nidhogg will plead for his life….
“Black snake dragon-san, don’t you have any pride?”
“Of course I have! But that’s something useful when you have life….. It’s useless once you die, how I possible could believe that I will be kill just because I bite the root of Læraðr….”
“We only came here because that action is causing the world to collapse! Let me say this first, if the tree had fallen, this place will also be destroyed!”
“That, how could I have possible known that! It’s not like I bite it because I like it….. The truth is I actually wanted to eat corpse. But Hel-sama only allowes me to suck some blood at ‘Nastrond’ …. Right at the time, I heard about this. When the awesome me was still a snake, I was always looked down by that damn eagle, Hresvelgr, which I heard that he was eating a big pile of corpses recently. Due to the awesome me being unsatisfied…. the number of times that the awesome me bites Læraðr slowly increased unconsciously. Do you guys understand this? The gluttony started because of the awesome me had low self-esteem.”
Woah—- the cause of Armageddon is from low self-esteem? What does this mean…..
“Who did you hear about the matter regarding Hresvelgr?”
“It’s from Ratatoskr.”
“Eh? Don’t you guys know him? That fellow is a squirrel. Maybe he treats the awesome me as a talking partner, that fellow come here around two times each three days to report the situation above the ground. Well, he will also inform the situation happening here, which make him a good messenger …. Oh, Loki-sama? What happened, what with the sudden tremble?”
“No, it’s nothing. Keke, in a way, I could said that I am very happy? I see, that fellow is the cause of all this mess….. I wonder what excuses he will give.”
Woah, Loki is so scary! I am getting goose bump now! I see, so this is the feeling when they said even a few lives will not enough….
“That, that ……. Nidhogg, can you promise not to do anything bad from now onward?”
“Yes, I’ll do what you say! I swear to the Gods, Jotun and Boar-sama! Then can you please spare my little life……?”
“Oh~ Loki, what do you think?”
I inquired Loki on his opinion and he said this while looking at somewhere:
“I leave it to your feelings. Let’s see if you can forgive him or not on that.”
Loki was talking about Brynhildr-sama, who recovered at some point of time, which was looking toward here. Even though she was still surrounded by the snakes, but it seems like those snakes had no intention to cause any harm to her.
“Are you alright, Brynhildr-sama?”
I jumped down from the top of Nidhogg who was kneeling down, and ran quickly toward Brynhildr-sama. Brynhildr-sama whose armored and cloth reveal some of the delicate places quickly turned around and answered:
“Yes, yes, I’m fine….”
“No, you don’t look fine to me. Let me check if there any serious wounds! Please let me check it carefully!”
“Ah! Please, Please wait for a moment, Sei-kun, I don’t have any serious wound! Snake-kun, please help me!”
That good, since she was that energetic, it meant that she will alright.
Well, I would have some marks of snake bites on my butt…….
“Brynhildr-sama, what should we do with Nidhogg…… can we forgive him?”
I took off my blouse and put in on top of Brynhildr-sama, while asking. I will leave it to her to decide the punishment for Nidhogg.
She put her index finger below her jaw, what a wonderful thinking posture. But in the deep of her eyes gave off some dark light….. Which is from my perspective.
“Actually I, from the start I wanted a bag made out of drake leather. Nidhogg, do you under what I mean?”
“Yes, Yes……Ah? Drake leather……? Well, that, that means….”
“Can you create the bag for all my sister and myself?”
“Please, Please…….forgive me——-!”
Nidhogg is now kneeling down with his head on the ground. I also did this before…. When I think about it, it made my nose, no, my chest pain.
“Of course that is a joke!”
“Well…. By the way, Sei-kun? Let’s not talk about Nidhogg first, I feel surprise that you’re feeling the same way as him! Do you really think that I am that kind of person who would do something like this? Am I that scary?”
“Hiiiiii, please forgive me——!”
There are two people here, whose faces are on the freezing ground. Oh, now I think I really understand what Nidhogg is feeling right now.
“Woah, Sei-kun, why don’t you hesitate a bit, that was also a joke!”
“Ah, is that so? I’m sorry, even though I know that Brynhildr-sama is a kind and caring person, but my body is used to these kind of thing.”
“Can, you not make that a habit? But what should I say…… the full force kneeling posture, and the changing into dragon part….. It seems that Sei-kun and Nidhogg have some unexpected common point.”
“Ah~ I cannot refute that statement since you put it that way.”
“Then can you please forgive him.”
“I will forgive Nidhogg. Well since he is quite similar to Sei-kun in a way, I will forgive him to this extent. If Sei-kun did any bad thing, I will probably forgive him too….”
Brynhildr-sama blushed and said that softly while facing another side. Eh? Does that mean….. She wanted me to cause some mischief! No, wait, how can there be such a simple explanation! I think what she meant was she trusts Nidhogg like how she trust me.
That right—– in reality gaining trust is the hardest thing—– which is also the most important.
“If Brynhildr-sama forgives you ….. Then I have no further opinion.”
— In this world…. There is a lot of mistake and failure. Which is why everyone will regret and be depressed. But the important thing is to recognize those mistake and failure and the most important is to forgive the mistake of others.
Of course, it’s not like we can forgive any mistake. But what I think is, similar to this, if it could be forgiven then just forgive it.
Well, the world is fine, Loki is fine, Brynhildr-sama is fine and even I am fine. That’s why in the end, nothing had happened at all. I think that this result is produced from all of our efforts.
“I want to thank you for sparing this little life of mine. This little me promise that I will help you on a later day!”
“Is it real? That is awesome, I can’t believe that am friend with a Mythical Type. As proof of our friendship, you can eat all my corpses here.”
Nidhogg gave a cry of joy, as if all the violence side of him had gone. The cause of this entire problem is from the jealousy and the feeling of inferior…. Okay, in order to not become the second Nidhogg, I will try my best to ignore Gullinbursti from now onward.
Right at this moment, Loki had done repairing the world tree with his magic. Even though it’s not completely repaired, but it seems the root of Læraðr is back to its normal state. Well since this tree is something like the catalyst of life, it will be able to recover itself back. It seems our work will end here.
“…… Okay! Let’s….”
Loki lifted up his head and show a refreshing smile after the work done. Brynhildr-sama and I, as if we are infected by Loki, also lifted our head and looked at the unseen sky.
This really took quite some efforts. In our heart, there are millions thoughts appeared…. But I guess all of us here have one similar though. As proof, Loki raised his right hand and shouted:
“Let go back and kick Ratatoskr ass!”
Let me confirm again, in this world there is thing that is forgivable and some unforgivable. Then…. The sin of that squirrel which made matters worse, to which does it belong?
After hearing the suggestion of Loki that fulfilled my desire, I showed my brightest smile and nodded my head.
Translator’s Notes and References
1.Love and punishment in German
2.Amour of light in German
3.In Japan Kendo, after completing a strike, the concentration and the body posture will be in lax state