Valkyrie III: Song of Darkness, The Novel Edition

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Chapter Seventy-One

Standing on the wall overlooking the bloody behemoth of a tank, she wondered just how long this stand-off would last. Would Mist give in and give her the bastard? He totally deserved it, with all his naughty suggestions and the way he undressed the females with his eyes. Absolute pervert.
She was about to mention this to Loki, when she felt the sudden wrench in her gut. Like a million fists had punched her, the fear that followed sent her to her knees.
“Hey, what’s going on?” Loki was right by her side.
It was strange, seeing as how they’d been at odds since they’d woken in bed together, but his arm around her shoulders and his voice as he helped her to her feet... That was so, not, Loki. Well, it was, but just, not the Loki she’d come to know. The cocky bastard with a chip on his shoulder had finally shown an ounce of compassion. Wonders never ceased.
“You good?” He asked again.
“I don’t know.” She replied, shaking the fog from her mind. “Something’s wrong!” She added, looking back at the main keep. “Something’s happened, to Mist!” She growled and made for the war room with Loki in tow.

***

So, the outside of the club looked like every other run of the mill, knock off joe-job. Red brick and poster panels lit up, displaying the band schedule for the week. Newspaper stands and garbage cans on the street corner, litter blowing across street and sidewalk alike, and the neon signs that hung above and made his head hurt.
Inside though, there were more neon signs, but it wasn’t at all what he’d expected. Sure, the place was packed, but no one was dancing. In fact, despite the brightly lit, checker style flooring, and the band that sounded amazing, no one was dancing. Instead, they were all standing around a makeshift bar in the center, where two people sat across from one another and a barrage of shot glasses lay between them.
A tall table, maybe thirty- forty shot glasses, some filled and some empty, and one of the meanest looking sons of bitches, dressed all in leather, eyeing down his opponent. Ahlex couldn’t see him, hidden by the crowd, but the shouts and cheers as the big, leather bound oaf let his head hit the table, told him they’d just won.
Or rather, she’d won. He, was a she. She, had out drank the male-ape gone wrong thing?
“Ezri?” He heard Ambrosia call out and watched as the crowd parted and the winner turned around.
If he’d thought Ambrosia was gorgeous...
There were no word to describe her, though his mind tried. Long, dark-chocolate brown hair that fell about her shoulders in luscious waves. Eyes that sparkled and lips that begged to be kissed. That was as far as he’d gotten, now lost in the sway of her hips, when the female walked right past him and into Ambrosia’s arms.
If he hadn’t been near the bar when the kiss started, they would have been peeling him off the floor. By the Gods, he’d never seen such a beautiful sight. Not one, but two females, locked in a lover’s embrace so sinful, the whole damn club was standing in need of a cold shower.
Nothing could have moved him more, save for the sudden fear building within him, and then the waves of loss. Amid all this pleasure, he felt the deafening silence of pain and sorrow. Gripping the bar even tighter, he shook his head and tried to clear his mind, but he knew something was wrong. There was only one reason an Einherjar would feel as such.... something was wrong with his Valkyrie.
“You okay?” Ambrosia asked, helping him into a chair as the crowd dispersed.
“I need a drink!” He replied, trying to call out to his maker.

***

One moment she was standing with her mates, the next she was standing in front of the woman who had taken part in Malice’s abduction. Was this even real?
She stood in the shadows, ten feet away, as Mist armored baring her wings and claws.
“What the fuck do you want? Isn’t it enough that you have wrought untold destruction on the verse?”
Marena looked at the Valkyrie, the resemblance between the twins was striking, save for the difference in the color of their hair. She took her time pouring two mugs of mead, wondering what it would have been like to have a twin to grow up with...
“Where’s Pathen? You have ten seconds to answer my questions before I rip your fucking head off!” Mist snarled.
“You should really calm yourself down!” Marena replied and handed her a drink.
Dressed in barely nothing and sitting on a throne made of stone, she waited for Mist to relax before she continued. There was no point in continuing if she was going to yell. It was hard enough controlling time, but pulling someone from across the Verse on top of that, Marena wasn’t sure how long she could hold it together for.
“Your words will not work on me like they do my sister!” Mist snapped back, drawing her sword.
“That will not be needed here!” Marena sighed and waved her hand, sending the sword to the floor and it slid away from the Valkyrie. “Clearly...” She started again as Mist stood with brow cocked. “... if I wanted you dead, it would have happened by now.”
“So you can turn me? Fuck up my life like you did hers?”
“Contrary to popular belief, I love your sister.”
“You just love the darkness more!” Mist growled, reaching for the blade she kept at her back.
“If you must draw blood to see that I will not harm you, then do so. But time is ticking, Mist of the Valkyrie. We are at war!” Marena warned her, rising from the throne.
“Malice will never take Misthaven!” Mist laughed.
“No, but Malice is not all that makes to destroy you!”
Marena watched as Mist crossed her arms over her chest. She was thinking, and she better think fast.
“Look, Pathen is not an idiot. He plans things, things that he keeps from me; but he forgets that I can see all.”
“What do you mean?” Mist raised a brow again.
“With this, I can show you your sister, and the army he has sent to finish the job if she cannot!” Marena held the locket out, waiting for Mist to come closer. “If you do not hurry with your plans, we will all be too late.”
“What plans?” Mist eyed the female.
“You mean to capture Malice and remove Marwolaeth from within her. Do not try to hide it, this locket is but one mirror in a network of many. I have seen the necklace, myself. I know you mean to free her...”
“You know nothing!” Mist spat out at her but To’llan took control before she could say another word.
“We know that you plan to kill our love, and yet, we would offer another solution!” The voices circled the Valkyrie, growing louder and louder.
Thousands of them, all of them wanting the same thing.
“Why?”
“You mean to kill her, we cannot allow that, but the dark Valkyrie must be freed from Pathen’s grasp if she is ever to kill him.” To’llan spoke. “We cannot kill our own kind, but she can, and she will, we have seen it!”
“What? Where? When? Will she survive?” Mist was full of questions, but To’llan could only answer one.
“In a time when the world needs a hero more than ever, she will rise up and destroy him!” To’llan replied, “But, she needs to be free of us, to do so!” It was Marena who spoke now and the sadness in her voice left a lump in Mist’s throat. “You must go through with your plans. Take your sister and make sure she lives to become that hero!”
“Why would you do this? Why go against your Masters?”
“Not that you will remember, but there is a time of change coming, and I do what my Masters wish!” Marena whispered, feeling the strain as time began to slip back into place.
“What?” Mist shook her head.
“Because I love her. Because she deserves better than this. She deserves to be free.” Marena bowed her head and held out the locket once more. “Take it. Find Malice and keep her safe.”
“I still don’t know why you’re doing this?”
“Because she has a destiny. If you search hard enough, you will see it too. She cannot fulfil that destiny if she remains trapped.” Marena shook her head. “It’s almost time...”
“Time for what?” Mist asked, taking the locket from her hand and hanging it around her neck.
“For you to go!” Marena smiled at her. “The others are waking and you need to bring these, to Malice!” She added, handing Mist a pouch of scrolls bound in leather.
“What are these?”
“Her future!” Marena smiled again and raised her hand. “That locket will ensure she believes you, so do not lose it!”
“And what about you? You would go this far for her freedom, but what of your own?”
“She will find me again. She always finds that, which she has lost!” Marena told her. “Now look at the locket and think of your sister, it will show you to her!” She finished and watched as Mist did as she was told, and vanished from the throne room.
It would help her find Malice, and guarantee Malice’s trust; but that would not be the last task entrusted to its charms. There could be no return for Malice. No need to draw her back. Malice had to forget, about everything. All she had to do was whisper Marena’s name before the locket and the rest would be... nothing.
She hoped and prayed to every God that was, that Mist would succeed in her plans, but just in case, Marena had a plan of her own and before time had fully returned to normal, she too, vanished from the throne room.

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