Malice stood at the picture window on the eighty ninth floor marveling at all the lights of downtown Tokyo.
Never in her immortal existence had she ever imagined so many beings living in one place. She now understood Mists fascination with these mortals. They are far more useful tools than I could have hoped for. There’s a gentle touch on right shoulder, then the scent of jasmine reached her nose. “’Magical is it not Mistress? “
The Valkyrie smiled at the other woman’s voice looking back and down. Sure enough there was Sai, the ever watchful.
She was a petite young woman scarcely came up to Malice’s shoulder blades. In the Valkyrie way of looking at things size didn’t matter, skill did. This woman was the deadliest human warrior she seen so far.
‘Yes it is, did I wake you?’ ‘No mistress I was never asleep. I was watching you to see how you would react to a human city.”’
Malice’s eyes changed from their normal gunmetal blue to a soft blue grey as she thought about what Sai had said. They were in the midst of the feeling out process.
She reached behind her to take Sai’s hand, leading her over to the large sofa in the room.
’How many mortals live here?” She asked.
“Over twenty million lady at last count.” Sai answered. The Valkyrie looked back out the window as she tried to wrap her mind around the sheer number of people who dwelled in the city.
“Predators and prey living together, unaware of each other.” She mused.
It was not unheard of in any city that the inhabitants were unaware of the dark forces that surrounded them on any world. Most humans thought that the Valkyrie where a myth along with Vampires, Demons and the like.
With Japan’s history that she knew she thought that these people would be more aware. Sai nodded, she had been excited to meet one of the women out of the Iga legends.
The young warrior had been unprepared for the reality. Malice was a more complicated than expected, there was a gentleness, mixed in with unspeakable cruelty. Her mother told her in her dreams that it would be so.
“It has always been so mistress I would know little of such things. Predators know other predators when they see one.”
Malice smiled at the girls statement, she was wise beyond her years.
“Pan fyddwch yn edrych i’r dibyn , yr affwys yn edrych i mewn i chi.” Malice quoted in the ancient language. Sai looked curiously at the Valkyrie.
“Welsh, the language Mist spoken when she first came to Midgard. When you look into the abyss, the abyss looks into you.
From what I’ve seen so far of the mortals world their standing at the edge of a precipice. One good shove will topple their whole rotten civilization into the void.”
“Is that what you were doing with that monster, giving the world a shove?”
She was talking about the Eno'tai host Marena. Most humans wouldn’t know what one was if they tripped over one. Malice wasn’t sure but it sounded like Sai disapproved. Oddly she felt slightly ashamed of herself. The onset of this feeling caused her to drop her head to side to analyze it.
“Is this what the mortals call a conscience?” She thought out loud. “What an odd feeling.”
“Forgive my presumption Lady.”
“There is nothing to forgive Sai. Never be afraid to speak your mind in private. You can also call me Mal.”
“As you wish Mal.” Sai said with a smile.
It was a small victory, she would take it. Malice kissed the tip of the young woman’s nose. Then something occurred to the Dark Valkyrie.
“When we first met you said your mother’s name. Your Tomoe of the Valkyries daughter?” Sai shook her head with a chuckle as she spoke.
“All the leaders of the Iga have her blood in our veins. Some of us have more of it than others. My foremother speaks to me in my dreams, she told me of you.”
Malice smiled as the young woman blushed. Tomoe and she had spent many nights keeping each other warm. Sai had many of Tomoe mannerisms.
“Tomoe and I were very intimate, we spent the long winter nights in that barn. Its one my favorite memories, we have worked together the goddess only knows how long.”
“I take it you know all about that blizzard, I love women. In all of their intimate varieties. How much did she tell you about me?”
I must be going completely insane, why does she care what happens to me? Malice thought. The answer came almost immediately
.Because she didn’t spend the last several centuries listening to a madman. She’s the first person who didn’t run in terror at the sight of me.
“She told me that you are blood kin to Mist. Tomoe insisted that we find you, that you were hurt, possibly in trouble. So I looked for mysterious deaths covered in the media when stumbled across a string of vigilante killings in Atlanta that’s how I found you.”
“It will please you to know that Rico and the rest of the gang surrendered in mass to the authorities yesterday. Their leader said something about not wanting to see “that lady again.”
Malice broke into real laughter, laughing in the way she hadn’t in a long time.
“You should have seen Rico’s face when I blinked to the top of his desk.”
Sai broke into giggles as Malice made a look of astonishment look hysterical.
“Then I told the small fry to shoo! You ought to have seen them run.”
As both women quieted down Malice got to think about what just occurred.
“Shame then humor, what a strange feeling.”
Sai looked curious for a moment then replied.“
You’ve never experienced these emotions before Mal?” Sai looked concerned as she snuggled up to Malices side. The poor woman had never laughed before. If you had been slave as Malice had been any emotion would be looked at as a weakness.
“You need to learn to laugh mistress, even it it’s only at yourself.” Sai suggested gently not wanting to arouse Malice’s temper. It was there all the time like some great predator looking for her prey lurking just under the surface of her personality.
It was so intense that Sai could close her eyes and point to precisely Malice where she was. The Valkyrie was changing her mother had said Lady Mist was like her when Sif found her. For Malice’s part she was clearly having to struggle with this whole concept of being free.
“I guess I’m just going to have to learn by doing Sai.” Malice’s young protégé smiled remembering her own struggles.
She had lived in sheltered isolation being the daughter of the Obayun of the Iga. Her first day of college had proved to be a chore.
She had no experience dealing with people from the outside world. Fortunately for Sai she had Reni to teach her how to be sociable, Reni was another creature of legend, she was a Kitsune she could hardly wait to have them both meet. There was a knock at the door.
“Enter!” Sai called out. “Lady Reni is here to meet Mistress Malice.”
“Your hearing are as sharp as usual Reni.” Sai said as a short woman with red golden hair.
Dressed in a black kimono the short athletically built, busty woman looked to be around thirty.
She’s far older than that. Malice thought as the young woman bowed. Reni smiled as she read the Valkyries thought.
“Pleased to meet you awake. I healed you, what in the infinite did you get into a fight with a blender?” The Dark Valkyrie mused over Reni’s words as she answered.
“My sister Mist teaching me humility. She could have killed me but she didn’t. I just have to learn to live with the defeat.”
“So I can feel magic around you. What kind of being are you?”
Looking Malice over she looked every in as deadly as she was told. She’s someone you definitely don’t want to pick a fight with.
“I’m Valkyrie, I don’t know about any Japanese stories of us. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tomoe had dozens of stories to tell.”
For all the years that she had known her she had never spoken of her life before Tomoe became an Einherjar.
“I’m a Kitsune, the resident shapechangers of Japan. I but I can shift into the fox form .Is it true that you can shape change into anything?”
“She’s curious one,” Sai explained, “Reni’s the Iga resident historian and one the chief healers. She worked on you Malice for a couple of day’s.”
“Days, how long was I out Sai?”
“Four days’ after she healed you.” Malice’s shifted to a dark blue as she searched her memories.
“The last thing I remember is that Belvaya were fighting suddenly there was a blast of heat and light then I was in the center of the city that Sai found me in.”
The Kitsune’ left eyebrow raised when Malice spoke of the battle.
“With severe head injury there is always some memory loss. Your lucky to be alive. It took me a day to heal you well enough to stabilize you. Once that was done to my amazement your body healed itself before our astonished eyes.”
“You’re a Valkyrie? An artificial life form according to our legends. We’ve not seen one of the riders in a hundred years. Not since Tomoe left."
“Thank you for my life Reni. If you need anything come see me. I owe you a blood debt.”
Reni bowed before she answered. ′ I will remember that when I need a throat cut.”
The healer said as she crossed the room and sat down on the right side of Malice. The three of them held hands it just seemed the right thing to do.
“Goddess, I have never even dreamed that I could meet you. There are so many stories of you and your sisters adventures. I’ve read all of them a dozen times or so. You can say that I’m one of your biggest fan.” Malice looked bewildered as Reni finished.
She had never had any friends before let alone a fan whatever that meant. Malice put her head in her hands to cover her eyes as tears began to fall. Alarmed at the tears both women embraced her.
“Shh, it’s alright sweetheart.” Sai whispered in Malice’s ear. Both women stroked her long white hair. After five minutes the Valkyrie found her voice.
’I’ve never have a friend before or a fan whatever that is.”
“It’s all right Great Lady.” Sai soothed as she kissed Malice’s temple Reni did the same on the other side.
“I’m honored to be your friend, both of you. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m never like this.”
“What are you normally like?” Reni asked ignoring Sais warning look.
(“She’s that dangerous?“) the Kitsune sent to Sai.
-“You’ve read all the stories. She’s a sorceress weapon of unlimited power, don’t provoke her.“-
Malice smiled as the two women spoke mind to mind.
(“You can hear that even when you’re not directly involved in the conversation?“)
Reni said to the Valkyrie who nodded in agreement.
(” To answer your question according to Gil Swanson I’m a cold conniving murderous evil bitch. I’m a criminal”)
(“So coming here is your punishment, oh bother what’s that human word, atonement for past sins?“)
(” Yes, during my enslavement I turned on my sisters. I got off easy, I committed treason for which the punishment is death.“)
(“Grandmother said that you were enslaved by Pathen for centuries. I believe I would have been driven quite insane by the experience”)
“Sai, Valkyrie rule 1 Yes we are more than a bit crazy. Pathen and I stared at each for what must been ten years time here before we even spoke to one another. Then it grew into friendship of sorts.”
“What did do to get sent down here for. A full Valkyrie, I haven’t seen one of you in ages. Marlowaeth asked as me walking around looking me over.
“I was worshiping you, apparently when I got to the point of sacrificing the baby Mist found out about it, there was flash then oblivion When I woke up I was naked in a alley and had no idea about how I got there.”
Malice’s face fell as she thought about it,
” The whole thing was so unfair!”
“Let’s see if we can help each other get out of this dirty hole.
As for Mist let’s say I have an axe to grind with the so called Eldest of the Valkyries. She tricked me, then banished me here. Neither act I swear by the infinite I will have my vengeance.” Malice opened her eyes when she stopped speaking.
The first thing she saw was Reni and Said where holding on to each other wide eyed trembling in terror. The Valkyrie looked at the two sending soothing healing wave throughout the her little part of this city.
When it hit Sai and Reni the wave felled them likes marionettes who’s strings have been cut. Sai and Reni looked at her more side eyed than ever. They looked at each other turn then at Malice.
“Well ladies did I heal everything?” Malice said with at an amused grin.”
-“Malice that was incredible, what did you do?“-
Reni asked as she checked herself to make sure all of her parts were attached to where they belonged.-
“A Lifewave. It was a burst healing spell your perfectly healed even old injuries and you’ve lost five years In age. Your not bonded to me or anything. ”
Both women just grabbed Malice and flopped on the bed with her giggling.
“There’s a strange side effect. You become aroused to the limits of your endurance. I’ve never healed this many before. The effect up close is overwhelming.”
Malice un-armored. The plates on her armored form melted into her skin before she put herself between the younger women. The two younger woman ran there hands down the Dark Valkyries body assuring themselves that she was real.
-“So soft. She’s a work of art. Like a living Michelangelo statue!“- Reni exclaimed as she proceeded to inspect Malice. For her part Malice amused by the awe in the Kitsune’s voice.
“Is there anything you can’t do?”
“Not that I’ve found so far, but no matter because no matter how big and bad you think you are there’s always someone bigger and badder than you are!”
That two women looked at each other then back at Malice.
(” If you run into someone that you can’t handle I want to go the other side of the planet.“) Reni said with more than a little fear in her voice.Malice then turned to regard Sai. She was sharpening her nails like Malice.
“Sai? Same question.”“My sword is yours to command Great Lady. Perhaps between the two of us we can take down demons whatever’s is out there.” Sai replied as she finished her nails. Both women looked at Malice swallowing hard.
“The Eno’tai are nothing to scoff at.”
“Lady we are honored to serve you. We wanted to ask, would you accept our oath of allegiance?”
Malice was touched by the gesture she rose and kissed both women. As soon as she did there was an energy exchange. Their eyes went wide as they felt each other’s emotions. Thirty seconds later both started chattering at once.
“Girls, girl’s one at time!” The Dark Valkyrie said as she grabbed Reni and kissed her again. Before things got interesting there was another knock on the door. A petite dark haired girl entered she delivered her message.
“Forgive the interruption Mistress. Zeke is requesting an audience. He has a man that you wanted to meet with him Eduardo Ruiz.”
“Tell them I will be there shortly.” Malice said as she thought about this event.
When Zeke first told her about Eddie she was more than interested in what he had to say.
Resurrection was a rare power. It seemed that there was one drawback you could only bring people who were related to you.
As she waited to meet the men her mind drifted back as her memory recalled the past.
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