Valkyrie III: Song of Darkness, The Novel Edition

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Chapter Sixty-Five

“I see you have returned!” He called out to her as she entered the hall, “I thought perhaps you’d abandoned us!”
“Yee of little faith!” She sighed, passing the Goblin soldiers who stood at the ready.
There were so many of them, all of them in armor and carrying weapons of all kinds. She’d only been gone a day and yet standing before her with their arms crossed over their chests, were the commanders for what, a dozen Goblin troops. She recognized a few, including one she knew for a fact had been stationed back home, on Enote. That was a whole Verse away, so what was so damn important that he’d had to cross the rift to be here?
“You could have at least saved the party until I returned!” She eyed Pathen, lounging in his make shift throne.
“You were partaking in a party of your own. One I should like very much to hear about, later!” He stopped short. “Right now, it seems we have a bigger problem, my pet.”
“And?”
“It seems your Valkyrie has upset a lot of our friends here!” Pathen shook his head with a sigh.
“She cannot be blamed without proof!” Marena turned to the Goblin horde.
“Your proof. Right there.” The ugliest of them let out, pointing to the spike that stood to the side of the throne. “She killed him. We want, vengeance! Is our right.”
It wasn’t the spike that angered them, but Zander’s head sitting atop of it. They were pissed, because Malice had followed orders?
“She kill. No reason. Zander loyal to outer clans. We want, vengeance.”
“Whoa, wait...” Marena started, but Pathen cut in.
“She will have to be punished, of course, but let us leave that matter for after she...”
“No. We come here, now. We hunt, now.”
Marena was severely confused, a furrowed brow as she tried to sort out the utter bullshittery. What did they mean, she killed for no reason. Malice had a reason, Pathen had ordered her to bring him the bastard’s head. This made no sense. Why would they think...
Someone, was lying. If there was anything To’llan hated, it was liars, especially those of an inferior nature. Goblins were nasty, putrid little creatures and To’llan could never figure out why Pathen’s Host, Borawain, kept them around. Perhaps it was his Hosted’s choice?
“You, will do no such thing!” She let her voices out and made for the throne. “You think they will fight for us if we let these fools attack them?”
To’llan meant business, her presence sending the Goblin horde a few steps back. No matter what Malice had done, or who she had or rather, hadn’t done it for; she still carried a Host. She was still carrying Marwolaeth.
“Think of our love and how they will suffer.” Her voices echoed throughout the hall. “If we mistreat them now, Misthaven will never be ours!”
“She is traitor.” The Goblins grumbled, but stayed back.
“They, are Eno’tai!” To’llan’s voices grew louder still. “And you will not raise a hand to them!”
“The Host has spoken, my friends. We live to serve the Masters, and you have heard this one forbids it.” Pathen chuckled, but To’llan was beyond disgusted.
Whatever plans he had set forth, she would now have to undo if she could. “Leave us. Return to your armies and prepare to receive prisoners. They will need places to store their captives and our cells are far too full!” She eyed them all and one by one they bowed their heads.
“Your words give them hope!” Pathen smiled at her.
“Our words mean nothing when you play your games, Borawain.” To’llan sighed, relinquishing control to Marena once more. “She is right, you know?” She mumbled, climbing into the male’s lap. “We need Malice, if only to gain control of Misthaven.”
“Who plays the games now?” He shuddered as she dipped her fingers into her blouse.
“You sent her to kill Zander, then lied to the others!” She pointed out, her fingers still down her blouse. “You impede our plans, my love!” She grinned, pulling a small trinket from between her breasts. “I have worked so hard to procure things to see us to victory...” She hissed, her lips against his as she slipped the treasure into his hands.
“What, is, this?” He mumbled through her kiss.
“A token of my affection.” She purred in his lap. “They tried to make a copy of her amulet.” Marena grinned as he examined what she’d given him. “They tried to deceive you, my lord.”
“When was this? Where?”
“I have a confession, my lord.”
“Oh?”
“I have sinned in the most horrible of ways, but I could not allow her to meet with them alone.” She hung her head, watching close as he tucked the amulet into his pocket. “I sensed his presence and followed them to…” She paused, looking up into his eyes, “… Babylon.”
“What?”
“I followed them, and I took the charm he gave her. They look so alike, but I could feel your power coursing through the right one, the one you gave her, my lord.”
“And this?”
“This is the falsehood they tried to impose on her. He said it would help free her.” She watched him rise from his throne. “I could not leave it with her…”
“And why, after all this time, would you betray her? Your beloved Malice, my my, Marena, have you lost all love for her?”
“On the contrary, if she were to wear that thing around her neck, I would surely lose her. I am of the dark, if she were to return to the light…”
“I see.” He chuckled, drawing the necklace from his pocket. “Then let us be rid of this, trinket, and ensure that Malice will forever be one of us.”
The Goblins grumbled, but having trouble evaded in such a manner, they did not protest too much. Their fear was ripe and they knew not to cross the Hosts within. They stood their ground as Pathen held the trinket up and nodded as he spoke out loud.
“Let whatever magic within be broken.” He growled, and threw the amulet to the stone steps below his throne.
Marena gasped as the violet light escaped the gemstone and took a step back in relief as it dissipated into the air around them. It was done, and no one would be the wiser. Pathen’s control over Malice and Marwolaeth had ended and the pendant the male had given her would now work as she had promised.
“Come, my pet. I feel a need to celebrate.” Pathen grinned, holding out his hand, which Marena gladly accepted.

***

Carnage lay all around, but this was nothing new to the female who’d once been a slave. That one, horrid year had taught her to value life. The years that followed had shaped her into who she was now. She didn’t regret any of it. In fact, she honored the memories, just as she’d honored the ones she made tonight. A person’s past was their story, forgetting even a chapter was unacceptable.
“Thirty-five. thirty-six. Thirty- Hi- seven.” His voice wandered past, his body soon to follow.
“Loki?” She stopped and called back, and heard a hiss as he missed his target.
“Bloody hell!” He sighed and turned towards her. “That would have been thirty-eight!” He shook his head and took aim once more. “One. Two...”
“What are you doing?” Khia was so confused.
“Trying, to beat, the bitch!” He growled. “Five. Six.” He stopped and scanned the section of wall. “Fuck.”
“What is the issue?”
“It’s clear!” He grumbled. “I’ve had to start over, twice now, while Miss Floats-Across-Rooftops is up in the three-hundreds!”
“Miss Floats-Across-Rooftops?”
Regardless of nicknames, there were only two people she knew of with a kill count that high in one spree. One of them, was sitting pretty at the head of a Goblin army, the other...
“Three hundred and...” She heard her, but the words fell silent a moment later.
Khia felt the uneasy presence and smelled the rotten stench as the fool came around the corner.
“...fifty-two!”
That filth covered mongrel with the floppy ears hadn’t known what hit him and before she knew it, the female was climbing down off the roof.
“Fucking show-off!” Loki shook his head and brought his palm to his face.
“Belvaya!” Khia smiled. “It is nice to see you unharmed!”
“Likewise!” Belvaya grinned and pushed a lock of blue hair from her face. “What’s your count?” She turned to Loki.
The male just turned away and took off, powering through the next horde he came across.
“Did I say something....” She stopped again and lifted her bow. “Shit!” She gasped. “I’m out of arrows.”
The bastard was coming up quick and Belvaya was out of pretty much everything; except of course the shard of metal she wore around her neck. Taken from her leg in a previous fight, she’d kept it as a souvenir, and ripping it from her neck...”
“Fifteen!” Came the voice as the Goblin reject fell to his knees with an arrow protruding from his mouth.
With that, Loki took off again and Belvaya stood in awe.
“I’ve seen that look before!” Khia grinned as Belvaya shook her head.
“I fucking had him!” But she was right, there was something about Loki that made Belvaya.... ugh, she didn’t know.

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