Chapter 29:

Afterward the fight in Aarhus

Elyon - Gods among us

Ana, after drinking the last of her ambrosia, rushed to free Rodrigo and Epona from the web created by Loki to trap them. Then, with her sword, she cut it, releasing both of them from the technique.

—Start singing everything— Tania said as she continued to place her foot on Loki, who was crawling to try to escape.

—You don't fight for Lel, do you?— Athena asked him.

An uncomfortable silence hung in the air.

—Why would I fight for that bunch of murderers?— the Norse god replied, resigned, while still under Tania's foot.

—Didn't you say you would become the Anunnaki of Asgard?— the goddess of fire asked.

—That's what the woman who freed me from my prison told me, but I knew it was a lie. I was only hired to kill you all, and that's it. I knew that from the beginning— the dark god answered.

—And if you knew they would betray you, why did you agree?— Epona asked.

—It's simple. Lel claims to have killed Odin, but the truth is, he is still alive— Loki affirmed.

The goddesses looked at him with uncertainty.

—But then, where is he?— Athena asked.

—Hiding in what the Vikings call 'Vinland'— the Norse god responded.

—Vin, what?— Rodrigo asked.

—We, the gods, have seen a continent on the other side of the Earth, but we are forbidden to enter it because it belongs to a somewhat... peculiar jurisdiction— Ana explained.

Rodrigo was astonished.

—A new continent— he thought in amazement.

—I only tried to use this war and kill all of you to give energy to the father of the gods, that's all— the Norse god continued to explain.

—If our father Odin regains his strength, he can defeat those arrogant in Lel!— the dark god exclaimed with excitement.

—But weren't you at war with Asgard? You were imprisoned, after all— Athena asked.

—I may have my differences with the Æsir, but no inhabitant of Yggdrasil will ever betray their own. Do you understand? Never!— Loki responded, startled.

The goddesses fell silent for a moment. Then Tania removed her foot from him.

—Well, I believe you and we have the same objective— Athena said as she squatted in front of the Norse god.

—What do you say, Loki? We will help you, your Anunnaki, and all of Asgard to preserve their culture if you join us— the Greek goddess said as she extended her hand.

Loki remained silent for a moment.

—Me and Asgard don't have a good relationship, in fact, I'm sure they will come to put me back in prison— Loki said pessimistically.

—Let me take care of that— Athena replied.

Loki fell silent.

—If you don't agree, these beautiful women will skin you alive, so I think you have no choice— the Greek goddess said, pointing to Ana and Tania.

—Wait a moment— the goddess of fire said.

—I understand the reasons why you did what you did, but I'm not willing to condone the fact that this war allowed for the killing of hundreds of people. I especially do not approve of your giant massacring innocents when he attacked us. I want nothing to do with him until he apologizes, not just to us, but also pays his debts to the people he harmed. I don't need sociopaths near me— Tania said imperatively.

—Why would you care about those filthy humans?— Loki asked.

—Because I promised to protect them long ago. Even if most of you see them as inferior beings, I don't— Tania said angrily.

—Those inferior beings only know how to wage wars and kill each other, besiege cities, condemning people to starve— Loki grumbled.

—And how different do we behave?— Tania asked as she placed her foot on him again.

—Weren't you punished for killing an innocent god?— she asked.

Loki remained silent as he tried to look away with a disgruntled expression.

—So?— Tania asked.

—King Harald massacred people in Norway and killed those Danes who continued to worship us. I have no problem with whether they do it or not, but isn't it cruelty to kill someone who is merely following their cultural heritage?— Loki responded.

—But in this war, Harald will not be the only one to die, right?— Tania asked.

Loki remained grumpy, refusing to answer anything further.

—That's enough, Tania— Athena said.

Tania crossed her arms and removed her foot from the Norse god.

—Tell me, Loki. Where exactly is Odin?— Athena asked, intrigued.

—I only know he is in Vinland. I have no idea where exactly on that continent he is. Father Odin was always skilled at hiding his image and appearing as an ordinary traveler— the Norse god replied.

—I see. Well, I have decided to help find him— the Greek goddess said as she stood up again.

—This will be our next mission— she said.

—Excuse me, miss Athena, but we want to search for Anpiel first. We are certain he is alive— Epona said sadly.

—Yes, teacher. We must find Anpiel. We owe him this victory— Ana replied.

Tania nodded.

—Agreed— Athena replied.

Then she turned to look at the Norse god.

—Listen, Loki. I will assign a group of my people to accompany you in the mission to find Odin, alright?— the Greek goddess said as she offered her hand.

Loki shook her hand, and the Greek goddess pulled him up from the ground.

—Well, it seems that what they said in Lel was true. That bastard would betray us— a voice said.

—And not only that, Epona and the other goddesses are still alive. We'll have more work ahead— a second voice was heard.

At that moment, everyone felt the spiritual presence of two gods. They were standing on top of a mound of stones.

—Brother Belenus, Brother Toutatis!— Epona shouted.

Suddenly, one of the men shot a beam of energy from his finger, piercing Epona's mouth and causing her to fall unconscious onto the ground.

—I always despised that little whore— the man who launched the attack said.

Rodrigo was furious and leaped forward to confront them, but he was stopped by Ana, who had a nervous expression on her face.

—That man who attacked Epona is a Katteres; you won't be able to... we won't be able to...— Ana said.

—I didn't expect you to arrive so soon— Tania confessed.

—On the orders of our father Esus and the absolute rule of Elyon in Lel, we have come to kill all of you— the man who shot Epona declared.

The man appearance was that of a blond man with a short beard, amber eyes, a diadem, a white toga, and a red cape. His hair was tousled, giving him the appearance of a sun.

—I am Belenus, the Celtic Katteres of the light, and I will be your executioner," he said.

—And I am Toutatis, the Grigori of Gaul. I have only come to report this to Lel and validate their execution— the other man said.

This deity had reddish hair, green eyes, and wore a golden helmet with two goat-like horns. He was dressed in a multicolored checkered garment and a red cape.

—Well, at least we now have an answer as to why Toutatis wasn't protecting the Frankish territories— Athena said.

Rodrigo was furious and struggled to free himself from Ana's grasp.

—What do you mean we can't win?— he asked.

—That man, Belenus, is on the same level as Ana, Tania, and even Loki, but there is a fundamental difference— Athena said. —He can fully harness the power of his totema—

—What does that mean?— Rodrigo asked.

—Totemas are like vessels of faith that we gods use. But that faith that humans have bestowed upon us goes directly to the worlds where our realms exist. Ana, Tania, and Loki are outlaws, and their totemas have stopped receiving that accumulated faith long ago. In contrast, these men are still members of the Celtic pantheon realm; they can still receive all the faith that is accumulated in their worlds— the Greek goddess explained.

—That's right, lad— Belenus said. —That's the difference between a Katteres and a Grigori— he added.

—Even though we may not have a chance, I will fight against both of you anyway— Tania said as she unsheathed her fiery claws.

—And so will I— Ana said, conjuring her legendary sword, Dyrnwyn.

—I strongly advise against it; we no longer have ambrosia— Athena said with a serious expression.

—We need to flee right now— she continued.

—Flee? No!— Tania responded.

—Epona is dying!— Athena shouted imperatively. —We have to leave immediately—

—Do you think we'll let you escape?— Belenus said with a smile.

The Celtic god of light then raised his hand and began creating a white sphere. The sphere was formed from the energy of the grass and trees in the surrounding area. As the energy emanated from them, they withered and wilted.

Belenus took that sphere and threw it towards Tania, who took the full impact and felt her body being destroyed from within. With a deafening scream, the goddess felt to the ground, defeated.

—Tania!— Ana shouted.

Athena then summoned a double-edged axe and thrust it into the ground.

—This is a labrys, and it is the key to entering my realm, but I need time for the invocation. I need you to hold those two off for five minutes— the Greek goddess said.