The Tree at World's End

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Twenty Two

Fjiorn began to realise several things as he walked around the white fortress. The first was that he could not remember the last time he had slept, and yet he was not in the least tired. The second was that he was not hungry or thirsty, even though as far as he knew no food or water had passed his lips since meeting the goat-god. These things should clearly have immobilised him some time ago, and yet here he was.

He knew, of course, that he had not been in the normal world since Thor had struck him with his lightning. He had been permitted to function in his world just long enough to get him back home, for his body to be safe, before being reclaimed by the goat-god.

He remembered seeing his beloved Åsa as though through a hole in the ice, and since that time he had been … elsewhere.

“I am not in my body, am I?”

Silence.

For a moment he thought the goat-god must have done another of his vanishing acts, but he turned to see that the god continued to follow, staring expectantly back at Fjiorn.

In that moment he realised that if he was not in his body then there was nothing to stop him from…

And instantly he found himself at the top of the battlements, looking down at the goat-god who was now looking up at him, his mouth stretched in a wild grin.

“There now,” said a voice in his ear. “That wasn’t all that hard, was it?”

The god below was, of course, now standing beside him.

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