The Valhalla Crystal

Final Blow

In the waters just in front of Berk, the battle between the Hooligans and the Berserkers was coming to a conclusion.

The Hooligan ships along with Skidbladnir all surrounded the ice terrain and watched the exchange between Dagur and Loki, and Hicca and Skadi. The blows were coming thick and fast now, and neither half-god planned on slowing down.

Every time Loki swung his sword, he used all of Dagur’s strength, and pushed the young chief’s body to its absolute limits. Loki didn’t care though, all that mattered at this moment in time, was defeating Skadi. He infused each strike with his magic, and sent a shock through his blade every time it clashed with Skadi’s.

Skadi felt the pulses of power through her blade every time Loki attacked, like tiny barbs of electricity, jabbing and biting at hers and Hicca’s skin. It was painful, but she wasn’t stopping. She returned his blows by taking advantage of the icy terrain, she had the advantage on ice and easily kept her footing, while Loki would slip ever now and again.

But despite his wavering balance, and her aching muscles, the two still refused to bend to the other.

With each of Skadi’s strikes, the ice platform grew thicker, and a cold wind grew and spread over the two as they fought. But Loki’s powers also flickered each time he lunged at her, dark clouds started to form and swirl above them, green lightning flashing above them.

From afar, all the others could see were flashes of colour and light flare every time there was an exchange of blows. Crystal blue, pure white, and shiny silver would blaze whenever Skadi and Hicca advanced. While radiant emerald, deep green, and glowing gold crashed every time Loki attacked. It was like watching two mighty monsters fight.

But time was running out.

The crystal Skadi had given Hicca was not the same as the real Valhalla Crystal, it was only temporary. Hicca and Skadi could feel the other slipping further away, and with it, they could feel their strength also growing weaker. This became even more obvious when Loki shoved Skadi back and slashed her skin just below the collar bone, Skadi winced and jumped back.

“You’re starting to slip,” he said with a smirk. “Are you getting tired, Skadi?”

Skadi grit her teeth and glared at him, this needed to end soon, before she slipped away from Hicca completely. But in her moment of hesitation, Loki struck again. He summoned lightning from the dark clouds above and directed them to Skadi, causing a flash of bright green to rip through the sky, gauging a huge crack in the ice.

Thankfully Skadi was able to dive out of the way just in time and threw up an ice shield, she still felt the heat on her back and grit her teeth in pain, but she still didn’t let it stop her. Diving out from behind the shield, she lashed out her hand towards Loki and shot a collection of ice spikes towards him. He only just managed to dodge and slipped a little on the ice, but quickly regained his balance, just in time to block another attack from Skadi’s sword.

Inside her shared mind with Skadi, Hicca was experiencing every bow, but she could also feel their dropping power level.

‘We can’t keep this up much longer,’ she thought worriedly.

‘I know, that’s why I’m trying to end this as soon as possible,’ Skadi though with gritted teeth, trying to predict Loki’s next move. ‘Hicca, if I can’t finish this, you need to keep fighting for us.’

‘I... I can’t do that,’ Hicca stuttered.

‘Yes you can, Hicca you’re so much stronger than you think you are, you can win this,’ Skadi thought confidently.

‘You don’t understand,’ Hicca thought franticly. ‘I don’t want to kill Dagur!’

‘What!?’ Skadi almost lost her footing on the ice. Thankfully she jumped back again just in time.

Hicca took a breath to calm herself, ‘I know I should want revenge for everything Dagur’s done... but I can’t kill anyone, I just can’t... no one deserves to die.’

Skadi paused for a while and sighed inwardly, ‘You really are too kind for this world, Hicca. The problem is that there may not be another way to end this fight.’

‘No... I’m not going to let the Berserker tribe lose their chief,’ Hicca thought firmly. ‘It’s true, Dagur is a mad man, he hurts people and causes a lot of damage. But he is also a chief, he protects his people, and does everything in his power to make his tribe the strongest in the archipelago. His tribe will be lost without him, and they don’t disserve to have their live thrown into chaos.’

Skadi was only just able to block Loki’s attacks as she listened to her, there was a long pause as Hicca’s words sunk in.

Hicca took a breath and spoke again, ‘Skadi... there has to be a way to stop this without someone dying.’

Skadi was pulled from her conversation with Hicca when Loki attacked again, he threw her to the ground and raised his sword over her head. She quickly rolled out of the way, but the sword came down with a jolt of lightning and opened another wound in her side. But this time Skadi returned in kind, jumping to her feet and swinging her sword in a wide downward arc, slashing his arm and causing blood to drip onto the icy ground.

‘There might be another way to end this,’ She though.

That grabbed Hicca’s attention, ‘R-Really? How?’

‘We need to get the crystal away from him, then Loki and Dagur will be forced to separate and I can drag him back to Asgard.’

‘Okay, but just how are we going to do that?’

‘I need to get into Dagur’s body, I can find the Valhalla Crystal and pulled Loki away from him.’

‘Just how are you going to get into his body?’

‘It’ll be tough, but I need you to fight for a little while. I can transfer the remainder of my power into the sword, then... I know it’s going to be difficult... but I need you to strike him, then I can enter through the open wound,’ Skadi thought as she blocked another attack. She kicked out and caused the ice to rupture below Loki’s feet, but he dodged again. It was almost as if his movements were speeding up, but in actuality, Skadi was slowing down.

‘You... You want me to fight Loki?’ Hicca stuttered again. Did Skadi really expect her to stand against a god? It was impossible, she was just one human, there was no way...

For a moment, everything paused, and Hicca felt gentle hands on her shoulders. In the floating space of their shared minds, Hicca and Skadi faced one another. ‘Hicca, you can do this, in fact... you might just be the only person who can do this.’ There was no hesitation in her voice, Skadi believed every word she was saying.

She really believed in Hicca.

Hicca took a deep breath, then she turned back to Skadi

‘Okay, I’ll do it. But, if it’s possible... I need you to do one more thing.’

///////////LINE BREAK/////////////

On the battlefield, Skadi’s movements had slowed almost completely, and Loki was getting suspicions.

“Hey, Skadi, you still alive in there? Just what are you planning?” He stepped forward and swung his sword towards her head, seizing the opportunity while she was paused. But his sword was blocked once more.

When the woman in front of him glared back at him, he saw her two emerald eyes instead of one green and one blue, and those eyes... they were alight with fire.

“I’m your opponent now, Loki!”

Once again Loki was taken completely off guard, he wasn’t fighting a god anymore, but an intelligent and brave human, who was fighting for her people.

Hicca swung her sword with full force, advancing forward and striking again and again, her movements quick and sharp. All the while Skadi was slipping from Hicca, and into the ice sword she held tightly in her hands.

When Skadi was almost entirely fused with the sword, she let out one last blast of icy air, shocking Loki and forcing him back further. It also gave Hicca the opening she needed.

“Now!!”

Skadi’s power receded entirely, and Hicca returned to her original form. Hicca pulled together all of her strength, grit her teeth, and swung the blade.

Cutting deep into Loki’s side, Skadi entered his body.

The strongest shockwave imaginable exploded outwards, sending out a blinding light and a biting cold wind. All of the Hooligans, Berserkers and dragons felt it, but the teens felt something else along with the cold. They felt their bodies return to normal, and their gods leave them, the power of the crystals finally running out and sending the gods and goddesses back to Asgard.

Meanwhile, Skadi swept into Dagur and located the crystal, and in the floating galaxy of the crystal, she found Loki. She shot towards him and grabbed him forcefully by the neck, it was worth it just to see the startled look on his face.

“Skadi!? What are you-?”

“I’m dragging you back to Asgard, I’ll bind you back to the rocks myself and make you pay for everything you’ve done.” Skadi almost resembled a giant frost monster, her shocking white hair was flared behind her like white fire, and her eyes were glowing like exploding stars.

Needless to say Loki was somewhat terrified, “Can’t we talk about this?” He said in a small voice. Skadi just smirked down at him.

Outside of Dagur body, the crystal was ripped out of him, and landed on the ground in front of them. As Hicca felt all of the power separate from her, she also felt all of Dagur’s power fade along with Loki. It was the one thing Hicca had asked Skadi to do, along with taking Loki away from Dagur, she also wanted Skadi to take Dagur’s strength as well. Once the crystal left his body, Dagur fell to his knees, he was shaking and it was obvious he could no longer fight.

Hicca was glad that the fight was finally over, but as she felt Skadi slip away, it saddened her.

Then Hicca spotted the crystal at her feet. Because of that crystal, her friends and family had all suffered. She glared at the shiny rock, and despite her aching muscles, she raised her sword and slammed it into the gem, the stone and the sword both breaking on impact.

The light from the fragmented crystal slowly faded like a dying flame, and is power leaked into the open air, it made the atmosphere around Hicca feel warm and comforting.

Then she heard Skadi’s voice one last time, “Consider this a thank you gift.”

Skadi couldn’t erase memories, none of the gods could, but she at least could heal the outer marks. Areas of Hiccas body started to glow and feel warm, once the glowing stopped, Hicca quickly checked herself over. Running her fingers over her cheek and shoulder slowly, her eyes widened. She couldn’t believe it.

The marks were gone.

All of the burns, scars and the bite mark that had littered her body, they were gone. She then noticed a weight she’d almost forgotten about, and quickly ran her hands through her hair, pulling it forward so that she could see with her own eyes. The length of her hair had also been returned to normal, once again reaching her waist, the only difference being the long streak of white that remained from Skadi. Hicca was almost overwhelmed, Skadi had given Hicca her body back, she just couldn’t believe it.

“Thank you,” Hicca said quietly and looked up to the sky, a part of her wondered if the goddess could actually hear her anymore. But it was alright, even if Skadi could hear her words, Hicca never be able to express how thankful she was to the god.

In a ghostly form in the sky, Skadi gave Hicca one last look, and smiled down at the young heiress. After everything they’d been through, she knew that saying goodbye would be too saddening. So, Skadi turned back to the sky and rocketed back up to Asgard, dragging Loki along with her, leaving the human world behind them.

///////////LINE BREAK/////////////

Back on the Hooligan ship, Stoick had covered his eyes to shield them from the bright light and icy wing coming from the battlefield. Toothless had raised his wings to shield the chief, and when he moved his wings away, Stoick was finally able to see the battle field again. He searched the icy surface and finally found his daughter and her opponent, but what he saw made him both relieved and confused.

From the looks of it, Hicca had won.

Dagur was on his hands and knees in front of her, and Stoick could see him shaking even at such a distance. But Hicca also looked different, Stoick could see her standing tall and strong, with her once again long hair flowing behind her, he wasn’t sure how that happened, but it didn’t matter right now.

The teens flew over Stoicks head on their dragons, flying towards the battlefield, Stoick knew they would make sure Hicca was alright. In the mean time, he had to make sure the ships were ready.

He turned to his men, “Get down there and break up the ice, we need to get closer.”

Using ropes to pull the ships as close as possible, a handful of Vikings jumped down and started chipping away at the ice, breaking away the sharp spikes and allowing the Hooligan ships to move closer bit by bit. It would take a while, but Stoick planned on getting his ship as close as he could to his daughter, then he could take her home as soon as possible.

///////////LINE BREAK/////////////

The dragons arrived on icy surface, slipping a little at first, but managing to regain their balance enough for their riders to dismount.

“Hicca, are you okay?” Astrid called as she rushed over.

“Yeah, a little worn out, but I’m fine,” she said with a tired sigh.

Astrid started checking Hicca over for injuries, but she noticed not only the lack of injuries, but also the lack of older scars, and the added length of hair. “Wait a second, what happened to you hair?”

The others also noticed, and Tuffnut was the first to comment, “Yeah, wasn’t it short before? Actually, it was long before, but then... you know... Dagur cut it and all...”

Hicca got the impression that Tuffnut was close to confusing himself, so she decided to answer his queries, “Skadi wanted to do something for me, she’s not able to erase my memories of what’s happened, but she was able to return my hair to its original length, she also got rid of my scars.”

“Where is she? What happened to her and Loki?” Fishlegs asked.

“They’re gone, Skadi was able to get rid of him, and the crystal is destroyed now, so-”

Hicca’s was cut off when she heard Dagur snarl behind her. “Is that it!?”

Hicca and the other teens turned to him, and saw Dagur standing shakily like a new born deer, so much of his strength had been taken from him, he could barely hold himself up. Yet for some reason, he was laughing darkly, “I knew you couldn’t do it, you don’t have the guts to kill me, even after everything I’ve done to you.” He was almost laughing at her by this point, “My strength will return eventually, but your wounds will never heal.”

Astrid and the others all scowled at Dagur, all of them knowing that deep down, he was right. But Hicca’s next words surprised all of them.

“I think you’ve misunderstood, Dagur” she said it so calmly, almost unnaturally, everyone turned to her. “Taking away your strength was payback for attacking my tribe. If you every raise a hand to any of my people ever again, your legs will collapse under you and you won’t even be able to lift a finger, much less your sword.”

Dagur snarled at her, but then he gave another dark chuckle, “You never change. You always fight for the people, never raising a finger to protect yourself, you can’t even take revenge for what I did to you personally.”

Hicca frowned and started walking towards Dagur slowly, “Like I said, What I did to you just now, was for attacking my tribe. This on the other hand...”

Hicca was standing just in front of Dagur now, but she suddenly rushed forward. She had a look of pure venom in her eyes, as she swung her back leg forward with all of her strength, and connected with Dagur.

Right between his legs.

Everything froze, and for a long while, no one on the ice or the ships moved or even breathed. Then time seemed to start again. All the males in the immediate area collectively gasped and winced, while the females were either too shocked to speak, or in Ruffnut’s case, cheered quietly.

When Hicca finally pulled her foot away, Dagur gave a short, high pitched whine before collapsing to his knees once more, his body curling up into a small ball on the icy ground.

Hicca gave a sigh and glared down at him, “That, was for everything else.” With that, she turned away and headed back to the others. When she reached the group, she turned to Ruffnut and Tuffnut, “Ruff, Tuff, could you two take him back to is ship, please?”

The twins saluted at Hicca, “Sure thing.”

Hicca watched as the twins ran back to their dragon, once they were in the air, Barf and Belch picked up Dagur roughly. They flew him back towards one of the Berserkers ships and ‘gently’ dropped him onto the deck.

The Berserkers were obviously startled by their chief landing heavily on the deck, some ran over to help, while others turned to the sky to see where he’d come from.

They quickly spotted the twins cheering and high-fiving above, “That’ll teach you to mess with our island!” Ruffnut yelled.

“Yeah, and our friend!” Tuffnut added

The twins laughed again, before they turned and flew back to the others. From afar, the Hooligan Vikings watched the Berserker ships sail away, and hopefully, they wouldn’t be back anytime soon.

///////////LINE BREAK/////////////

When the teens finally got back to the Hooligan ship, Hicca was instantly bombarded by her farther and her dragon.

While Toothless tackled her and smothering her with licks, Stoick threw his arms around her and held her tightly, “Hicca! Thank the Gods your alright.”

Hicca gently pushed on Toothless’s snout and tried to breathe again, “Yeah dad, I’m fine. You don’t have to worry anymore.”

Her father finally pulled back, looking Hicca over, “So, what happened to Skadi?”

A slightly sad look crossed Hicca’s features, “She’s gone, and so is Loki, Dagur has been taken back to Berserk, and the crystal is destroyed. It’s over now.”

Stoick breathed a sigh of relief. This really was over, “Alright then.” Stoick stood and turned to his fleet, “Turn the ships back to the docks, tonight we celebrate a victory!!”

He roared to the other ships, and the Hooligan tribe cheered in return.

Hicca smiled as she looked over the crowd, everyone was safe, she couldn’t ask for anything more

///////////LINE BREAK/////////////

In the end, the great battle over the Valhalla Crystal, was concluded with the end of the Berserker chief.

Since Dagur no longer had the strength he needed to be a chief, he was demoted. His uncle took over as temporary chief of the Berserker tribe, and Dagur became an heir once more. Hicca had utterly humiliated him, and he wouldn’t rest until he had his revenge.

But in the meantime, Hicca enjoyed her return to normality. Aside from the long streak of white in her hair, and the memories they all shared, it was almost as if the battle had never happened. Everyone was able to carry on with their lives, safe in the knowledge that the power of the gods would never be used against them again.

The End.
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