Chapter 77:

The prisioner of Adlivun

Elyon - Gods among us

A large mobilization began to occur within Adlivun to repair the damage caused by Sosondowah's attacks.

—Thank goodness nothing happened to you, Queen Sedna— Nanook commented just as the polar goddess returned to her throne room.

—Sawiskera wanted me to kill or capture his messenger to justify a war against us— the goddess mentioned.

—Who were they?— Tania asked.

—They were from the Iroquois kingdom, a kingdom we've had conflicts with for a long time— Sedna responded.

—They are much further south, near a group of gigantic lakes— Nanook added.

—Yes, I remember them being mentioned on the map— Anpiel replied. —Those who are led by a god named Sawiskera—

The other members of Orniskem looked at the Malak in surprise, seeing how well he remembered the information.

—I want you to know that you are in danger by staying in this kingdom— the polar goddess rushed to say.

—It seems that your enemies still don't know you're here, but they must suspect you'll arrive soon— she added.

—Thanks to the shortcut in Greenland, we must have arrived earlier than the time Lel expected us to set foot— Menrva commented, intrigued.

—That's right, but that doesn't change the fact that Sawiskera's men will likely return, and this time they will come for you— Sedna said.

—But then, what were they looking for this time?— Anpiel asked, intrigued.

Sedna and Nanook fell silent for a moment.

—I'm sorry, we can't tell you that— Adlivun's queen responded.

—Why not?!— Menrva asked angrily.

—It's a matter for Adlivun, and only Adlivun has to solve it— Nanook also raised his voice.

Again, an uncomfortable silence filled the atmosphere.

—Let me see if I understood— Tania commented.

—The guy who came is an ally of Lel, and they'll look for us to kill us; but someone else inside this planet is of interest to them... to Lel, right?— she concluded.

—Are you hiding Bellona here?— Epona asked, annoyed.

The members of Orniskem, except for Rodrigo and Susanoo, quickly rose from their table. They looked confused and annoyed.

—Friends, please, let's try to be diplomatic with this problem— Anpiel suggested, trying to calm everyone down.

—Shut up, Anpiel! These people are surely setting a trap for us— Epona yelled at the Malak in annoyance.

—We don't want conflicts, Sedna— Menrva said, getting up and walking slowly towards the polar goddess and her warrior.

—Is Bellona the one who is here?— she asked.

—If you take one more step towards my lady, you'll regret it— Nanook threatened.

—I repeat again, tell us what you know— Menrva continued, walking threateningly towards Sedna.

But at that moment, Nanook made a harpoon appear from his hand and threw it at the Etruscan goddess, who quickly grabbed it with her bare hand. Even though her hand was injured and bloody due to the sharp edges of the weapon.

—We don't owe you any explanation— the polar goddess retorted. —If you leave, we won't take reprisals against you—

Menrva began to generate electricity with her hand and destroyed Nanook's harpoon. Immediately, lightning began to emanate from her body, causing her bear coat to disappear. The goddess appeared elegantly wielding her totema with her golden spear, generating a wave of static electricity around her body.

Nanook then roared, and his body began to increase in size and transform into a gigantic polar bear, still with his armor. He removed a shield he carried on his back, placing it in his left hand while making a massive harpoon appear in his right hand. His eyes were red and he looked angry.

—Please, we don't need to fight— Anpiel implored again.

—Menrva, Anpiel is right, you won't gain anything by fighting among allies— Ana yelled out, frightened.

Rodrigo and Susanoo, who hadn't participated in the verbal encounter, also stood up and assumed a defensive position just as several soldiers, all dressed in armor and armed with harpoons, arrived to protect their queen.

—I implore you, Queen Sedna, we can't escalate this conflict among allies— Anpiel shouted, but the polar queen simply ignored him.

—No, Anpiel, they're hiding something. How do we know if Lel didn't also buy them out and they're going to betray us?— Tania countered.

Nanook, transformed into a bear, challenged Menrva.

—My divine power has increased more than a hundred times with this transformation. I suggest you retreat before you get hurt— he said furiously.

But before he could do anything, Menrva jumped towards Nanook's face, and with a powerful flying kick charged with electricity, she hit the gigantic bear, sending him crashing into the walls of Sedna's hall.

—Should I start worrying then?— the Etruscan goddess retorted as she landed elegantly on the ground after her kick.

Sedna prepared to fight, but was stopped by Nanook.

—Don't underestimate me, my queen, I'll take care of this little girl— he said.

—I don't want to fight, Nanook. Just tell us who is incarcerated here— Menrva continued.

—If we have someone imprisoned, it's because we follow orders— Nanook said as he attempted to charge at the Etruscan goddess, but she stopped him with her bare hand.

Menrva, then spinning, positioned herself in front of the polar god's belly and, with a blow, destroyed his armor and made him vomit blood. Immediately, the god fell backwards to the ground.

—Stop, Nanook! You are no match for her— commented Sedna, but the polar god struggled to his feet.

—I am going to protect this place, do you hear me, girl?— Nanook said, breathing heavily and spitting blood from his mouth.

At that moment, Menrva made her totema disappear, returning to wear her large coat she had on, and she sat on the ground.

—It's not worth fighting if you're not even seriously trying to fight with me— said the Etruscan goddess.

Nanook returned to normal and fell back to the ground again. Sedna, at the same time, approached the Etruscan goddess, while making a motion with her hand to indicate to her soldiers to withdraw. They obeyed quickly.

—Asgard told us to imprison that man in our dungeons— she finally said, when she saw they were alone again.

—What man?— asked the Etruscan goddess.—Loki— answered Sedna.

—Is Bellona not locked up here then?— Tania asked, intrigued.

—We already told you, we don't know anyone who arrived here with that name— the goddess continued.

—Wait, if Loki was the one imprisoned, why did you try to hide it from us before?— Ana asked.

—That man is the one who knows how Asgard's father arrived in Vinland, but at the same time, Asgard doesn't trust him. That's why they left him here, imprisoned. And that's why Lel wants to take possession of him— answered the polar goddess.

—If Lel knows that you had contact with Loki, they will surely torture you to get all the information they can. That's why we didn't want you to have contact with him— added Nanook.

—Anyway, Lel wants us dead. That won't change much— replied Ana while the others nodded.

—We would like to see him then— Menrva said to the polar goddess.

—Honestly, I don't really like the idea of seeing that bastard— said Tania, in a bad mood.

—Do you know him?— Menrva asked, intrigued.

Ana and Tania explained to Menrva and Sedna everything they had gone through fighting against Loki in Jutland.

—Oh, wow, I didn't know he was such a dangerous person— Sedna replied to the story. —I think it's best that he rots in our dungeons—

—I'm sorry to be a party pooper, but I would still like to talk to him— Menrva interrupted.

—Be aware that the moment you meet him in these lands, we will no longer be able to protect you from Lel— the polar goddess said ominously.

—We accept the risk— Menrva commented.

—Agreed— replied Sedna.

—Nanook, take them to the dungeons— she ordered.

The members of Orniskem followed the polar god to the dungeons of Adlivun, which were located on the lower floor, behind a large ice gate with bars, and guarded by two guards dressed in coats. The men opened the door at Nanook's order.

The dungeon was even darker and colder than the rest of the interior of Adlivun, only a few small torches allowed light in the dungeons. The cells were protected with metal bars, which could not be touched, as they had blades that ripped your hands off. Inside, you could see mummies of people or gods who had perished there in freezing.

—It's true, the temperature in this area is very low, even for us gods— Nanook commented.

Everyone quickly turned to look at Rodrigo who, indeed, was curled up and shivering from the cold; with a bluish complexion on his face and frost on his face.

—I'm sorry guys, but it seems that I can't continue with you, I ask you to go ahead— the young Tannin commented, shivering with cold.

—Rodrigo, please!— Epona protested, but was quickly interrupted by Ana.

—It's because of your Tannin blood, right?— the Irish goddess asked.

—It's true, Rui must be more vulnerable to cold than all of us— Ana added, now understanding why Rodrigo always complained about the cold.

—Go ahead, Rodrigo, stay outside. We'll keep you posted— Menrva said.

—Th-thank you— Rodrigo replied as he stayed behind and ran out of the dungeon. All the others continued to delve into the enormous gloomy labyrinth beneath Adlivun.

—It's that cell— Nanook indicated, pointing to one of the dungeons further down.

Menrva approached and saw Loki tied up by his hands, half-naked and sitting on the ground, which had already frozen part of his legs. The Norse god was looking downcast.

—What brings such an Etruscan beauty to my cell?— Loki asked as he raised his gaze to see Menrva in the faint light.

—You are Loki, right?— the Etruscan goddess asked.

—You can call me darling, beautiful," the god answered with a charming glance.

At that moment, Tania kicked the cell, shaking the dungeon.

—Save your antics for another time, idiot— she shouted furiously, as Epona, Tania and Anpiel approached the cell. Susanoo stayed on the sidelines, behind them.

—Oh, they're the three beautiful goddesses I've faced before— Loki continued in a cocky manner.

—I hope you can forgive the filthy pigsty in which I find myself, but I would love to host you in a better place with mead and wine, although I suppose you had plenty of that in Asgard— he added.

—Enough nonsense, Loki! Don't think that I'm going to forgive you for what you did on earth, with your stupid war and the innocent victims of your giant— Tania continued, kicking the cell.

—Oh, is that how you thank the man who saved you from the Celtic gods when they were going to kill you? My heart is broken— Loki replied, pretending to cry and be depressed in a sarcastic manner.

—Enough, Tania, we didn't come for that— said Ana to the fire-haired goddess while putting her hand on her shoulder.

—Alright, I'll calm down— Tania replied and turned around.

—No, sweetie, don't leave me alone!— Loki shouted mockingly.

—Listen, bastard, you better start behaving, or I'll come in and tear your tongue out— Menrva retorted angrily.

—Oh, come on, can't you stand a little joke? I'm the one here rotting in this cell, not you— the Norse god commented humorously.

—Was it all planned by you? The Asgardians and Athena's men coming to Vinland to die?— Ana asked, peering into the cell.

—Oh! The beautiful Morrigan, when you drove your sword into my body, it was actually my heart that was pierced by your beauty and charm— Loki said with a soft, sweet voice, making the Irish goddess blush.

—Answer the question, pervert!— Menrva ordered Loki.

—I told you before, beautiful Morrigan, and I'll tell you again: 'I will not betray my brothers of Yggdrasil with a foreign power'— the god answered, ignoring Menrva, while smiling at the Irish goddess.

—Answer then, Loki— Menrva continued to interrogate. —How do you know that Odin is in Vinland?—

—Sedna mentioned that no one, apart from Viking explorers, have entered these lands— Ana added.

—Did you see the ability of that Sedna to hide her divine presence? Right? Father Odin was even better at hiding his divine essence. Anyone could mistake him for a weak human, or whatever he wanted to be; even cross the stupid divine barrier of this continent if he so wished. That was his supreme skill— Loki replied.

—Did he come to this land as an explorer? Are you saying that?— Ana asked, surprised.

—All I know is that Father Odin managed to hide his presence when he was almost killed by those brutes of Lel, and they thought they had found his corpse. My daughter Hella, who keeps records of the dead in Yggdrasil, tricked them by giving them a fake corpse. Only she knew about that attack, and she told me. Father Odin knew what Lel was planning, and that's why he did it; and only my daughter knew about it— Loki explained.

—Is that true, then? Odin could even still be hiding here among the inhabitants of Markland— Anpiel excitedly replied.—There are many ways to enter Vinland, but if you want to know exactly where he can be found, I suggest you release me— the Norse god answered.

—Why should we do that?— Tania shouted angrily.

—I am a burden to this small kingdom and they know it— Loki replied.

—What can they do against an attack from Lel? Just imagine the catastrophe that would occur if warships were to come from Europe here, just because of my whereabouts— Loki continued with a malicious smile on his face.

—Why should we trust you?— Menrva asked.

—Don't you think you could simply rip off your hands and escape from this prison with your skills?— she continued inquiring.

—Oh, but you're so hard on me, beautiful— Loki responded. —Can't you see I'm behind an anti-divinity barrier and would simply bleed to death?—

—He's right, to prevent prisoners from escaping, we put them in an anti-divinity barrier where their divine abilities are reduced. You experienced that in Nitassinan— Nanook explained.

—In addition, we drain most of their ichor so that they do not attempt to rip off their arms or legs and regenerate them— he added.

—But then, if he knows all of that, why did Asgard leave him locked up here?— Ana asked, intrigued.

—That I will answer for you, swetie— Loki replied to the Irish goddess's question.

—Don't call me swetie— Ana snorted, blushing.

—Of course, swetie— Loki continued.

—Even though Thor trusted me, the other three, Tyr, Freyr and Freyja did not; so by vote, they left me here abandoned. They said it would be more exciting to go to each place and face strong rivals until finding Father Odin's whereabouts— he commented.

—What a bunch of idiots— Tania muttered to herself.

—You'll understand that for Thor and the other three idiots, everything is a game and a challenge. So the whereabouts of Father Odin are not important to them. But without him, how long will it take Lel to attack Asgard again?— Loki commented, faking a tearful look.

—I see— Menrva replied and immediately moved away from the cell, asking the others in the group to gather around her.

Everyone complied.

—Wait! Don't leave me here in the cell!— Loki shouted, but everyone ignored him.

—We're going to have to release that idiot— Menrva commented.

—What? No!— Tania shouted furiously.

—I also refuse— said Ana, and Epona nodded.

—Girls, I think we have to look at this diplomatically— Anpiel commented in a calming manner.

—Did you forget what I said a while ago, Anpiel? The bastard is a genocidal maniac who starts wars with no human interest— Tania replied irritably.

—If he offers to help all the people he hurt and damaged, then I'll accept him— she added.

—Is that your condition, Tania?— Menrva asked, and the fire-haired goddess nodded.

—What about you two?— the Etruscan goddess asked Ana and Epona.

—I want him to offer an apology to Rui for what that huge serpent, commanded by him, did to him— Ana replied.

—Alright, what about you, Epona?— Menrva asked.

—I don't know why, but I don't trust her at all. Why the insistence that we release someone as dangerous as Loki? I suppose that even if I oppose, she will release him anyway— Epona thought as she looked at the Etruscan goddess with a look of annoyance.

—Epona? What conditions do you propose?— Menrva asked again.

—That he will be always chained and under our supervision— Epona replied.

—Good, that's what I was going to do— Menrva replied.

The Etruscan goddess turned to look at Anpiel and Susanoo.

—Do you have any suggestions, complaints? Are you going to say something for a change, Susanoo?— Menrva asked.

—If it's for the common good, I agree that he should be chained— Anpiel commented.

—I don't care. If that man decides to attack us, we'll defeat him— Susanoo said indifferently.

—I'd like to hear Rodrigo's opinion, but he's not here— Menrva commented.

—I want you to know one thing— Nanook interrupted.

—If you take him out of his cell, you will have to leave this kingdom immediately. I don't know where you will go or what your destination is, but you can't be in Nitassinan, understood?— he warned.

—Yes, we will do it immediately— Menrva replied. —We appreciate your brief hospitality—

—We'll have to go for your cabin, Ana— Anpiel commented.

—Don't worry, when we were leaving, I summoned it back to my own dimension— the goddess replied.

—Good, then we will leave right now with that guy. Without ichor and chained up will be enough— Menrva said.

The gods returned to the cell, and Nanook opened the door.

—Well, Loki, you're going with these people— said the polar god, when suddenly, without any warning, Tania kicked Loki so hard that he slammed against the wall, cracking it. The Norse god spit out a tooth and vomited blood.

—Stop, Tania! He doesn't have ichor, and something like that can kill him— Menrva replied, but Tania ignored her. Then, the goddess lifted him by the hair and looked him in the face.

—Listen, you miserable asshole. We have conditions for your release and we expect you to fulfill them, or I will personally rip out your entrails and make you swallow them, understood?— Tania shouted furiously at Loki.

—Of course, ebony beauty— Loki answered, but Tania, furious, hit him with a headbutt.

—Tania, don't overdo it, you'll kill him— Anpiel tried to calm her down.

—I told you not to call me beauty, but Tania! Did you understand, stupid?— Tania continued shouting, ignoring the angel completely.

—Yes... I understand... Tania— Loki replied with a further bruised face and one eye closed.

—The first condition is that, when you finish your work with us in Vinland, you will return to Jutland, and you will help all the people you harmed in your stupid war; in addition to going to the king and humiliating yourself to apologize publicly to all the inhabitants of that country, understood?— Tania mentioned, raising her voice.

—Wait, darling, why should I...— Loki started, but was immediately interrupted with a headbutt from the fire-haired goddess.

—Tania, I told you to stop hurting him!— Anpiel tried to calm her down.

—I told you not to call me darling, but Tania! Are we clear now, dumbass?" Tania continued shouting, ignoring Anpiel again.

—Y-Yes... Tania— Loki replied.

—Of all of us— the fire-haired goddess continued, —it's Rodrigo who you hurt the most, almost killing him and only saving himself by being a tannin. When you see him, I want you to bow to him and apologize, got it?".

—Yes...I'll do it— Loki responded with his voice almost extinguished.

—Good— said Tania and threw Loki. She did it with such force, that the legs that were beginning to freeze and adhere to the ground, burst and the god fell to the ground with his limbs partially destroyed. Loki screamed in agony and pain because of it.

—Give him a drop of ambrosia so he doesn't die, Anpiel— Tania commented as she turned away from the Norse god and walked away.

—Yes, of course— Anpiel replied and made a bottle of mead with ambrosia appear, and put it in the agonizing god's lips.

Loki immediately started to breathe normally; and his legs, which had been destroyed by Tania's attack, were restored and adhered to the god.

Ana approached Loki and pulled the chain where his hands were tied.

—You'll be under my supervision, Loki. Don't try anything stupid, or Tania will kill you slowly, okay?— she commented.

—I guess I have no choice— Loki replied as he got up.

—Although I'll be fine being with four women as beautiful as you— he said.

Rodrigo, who had stayed outside, still recovering from the cold, saw the door open and his friends come out with Loki chained behind Ana.

—Is that guy coming with us?— Rodrigo asked.

—It's not like we have many options— Tania replied in a bad mood.

Ana then kicked Loki in his buttocks, causing him to kneel before Rodrigo.

—Loki has something to say to you, Rui— Ana said to Rodrigo, while still holding the chain that had Loki subdued.

—I'm sorry for what I did to you and your friends in Jutland— Loki said, with his head on the ground.

—No problem, Loki— Rodrigo replied.

—I'm sure that if you cooperate with us, we can form a good friendship, don't you think?— he said.

—Rui, why are you always so soft?— Ana interrupted, annoyed, while Tania and Epona put on a look of disgust.

Tania tried to say something, but was interrupted by Anpiel.

—I think you're the least qualified person to reprimand Rodrigo, Tania— the angel said, and Tania better kept quiet.

—Can I get up now?— Loki asked.

—Yes, now, get up— Tania replied with a sigh.

Loki quickly got up and smiled at Rodrigo.

—My friend Rodrigo, I would shake your hand if I weren't tied up, but I already feel a great brotherhood flowing between you and me— the god commented, only to receive a slap on the back of the head from Epona.

—Don't get smart with Rodrigo's innocent heart— the horse goddess commented while standing next to the young tannin.

Meanwhile, in the human world, Sedna's Innu servants saw a ship approaching from the coast. The ship was rowed by several men, and in the center of the ship, there was a kind of gestatorial chair with a roof lined with feathers and jaguar skins. In that throne, Tezcatlipoca was sitting. The toltec god had arrived at Nitassinan.