Descent-(The Path)

Epilogue

In the fullness of time, Loki led his brother to believe he had forgiven him, even going so far as to seek out his company when he actually bothered with anyone at all. His mind, however, was only content on one thing, revenge.

When Helgi brought her little niece to live with her, a year after Eidra's passing, the child seemed taken with Loki. She would toddle after him whenever she would see him. At first he would not trouble himself with her but Helgi would bring the child when she would clean his chambers and eventually Helgi would find him sitting on the floor playing with her, letting her climb on him, tug on his hair, his grief momentarily assuaged. On one such visit, Loki handed the child a stuffed leather ball that he had made for her.

Then one day as she sat on his lap, her chubby hand found the Uruz hanging about his neck. She stared at it intently as if she could see something he could not. He had gently put her down from his lap and walked away. Thereafter, he would be absent whenever Helgi came to clean his chambers.

He became brooding, sullen, his heart darker than it had been before. He preferred the solitude of his chambers, he would no longer ride. He ceased answering correspondence as he would often do on the nights he would sit by the fire with Eidra. He had his own chair removed from his chambers, preferring to sit only in Eidra's chair. He stopped attending the festivals, rarely was he seen at the feasts. He became thinner than before, pacing the corridors late at night. Soon he would only speak with Helgi, and, on occasion, Thor. He had made certain Silas was given a position training in the Royal Guards but rarely saw him.

When Odin began to fail, Loki sensed change was coming. Odin would fall asleep during High Council meetings, forget where he was going or what he was doing as he roamed the palace halls. He would stumble over speeches he'd made countless times before. There were rumors that he was ready to step down, that he was ready to proclaim a new king.

Summer had returned, the sweet wind ruffling Loki's hair like an indulgent father as he held the Uruz in his fingers while he lay on his bed one evening, twirling the stone around, looking through the portal.

“Vanaheim,” The image shimmered again, “Alfheim” his voice hoarse as the most difficult scene to bear shimmered to life before him. He lay there, looking at Freyr's castle, the road to the glen beyond it, his grief rising anew as it so often did, then as his mind turned again, he twirled the Uruz in his fingers and whispered, “Jotunheim.”


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