Elyon - Gods among us
Rodrigo and company, being escorted by Nanook, were heading towards the exit of Adlivun to no longer stay in the kingdom, when suddenly, two guards approached the polar god and indicated that Sedna wished to see them urgently.
Nanook nodded and indicated to the group that they should go back to see Sedna. Everyone was puzzled, as they believed they wouldn't see the queen of Adlivun again after releasing Loki, but they agreed.
Once again, back in Sedna's throne room, the goddess had a pale complexion and a worried look, as she walked around her throne.
—I have brought the members of Orniskem as instructed, along with the prisoner who was agreed to be released— Nanook commented to goddess Sedna, who only glanced at them and continued to walk around her throne.
The goddess then suddenly sat on her royal throne and crossed her legs.
—I have bad news for everyone— she said.
—Is it about the prisoner's release?— asked Menrva.
—No, he's here... Tezcatlipoca— said the polar goddess.
Nanook gave a scared look, but all other members of Orniskem seemed completely indifferent not knowing whom she was talking about.
—We're not familiar with that name— commented Tania.
—Of course, I forget you're not native to this region— said the goddess.
—He's the king-god of Tula, the kingdom that made deals with Lel— explained Nanook.
—Have they come for us?— Anpiel asked, worried.
—Yes and no— Sedna replied.
—According to my men in Nitassinan, the king-god knows that you have to step into my territory to enter this continent, but he doesn't know you've already arrived. He believes you'll arrive in about ten days or so, approximately— she said.
—So... we won't be able to escape— replied Ana, worried.
—I'll go interview him soon, and surely, he'll also want to see prisoner Loki— the goddess commented with the same worried expression.
—Are you saying I have to go back to prison?— Loki asked, worried.
—No— Sedna replied hastily.
—We can't risk you leaking information to Tezcatlipoca. I need you to leave here immediately— she ordered.
—Is there another exit from this world?— Ana asked.
—Yes, but it's very dangerous. You'll have to use the dungeons to get to Denendeh— commented the polar goddess.
—That's madness, Queen Sedna!— Nanook protested.
—Even for the strongest and most experienced gods, surviving that icy cavern is a matter of life and death— he said.
—There's no other option, if Tezcatlipoca sees you, you won't be a match for him— commented the goddess.
—One moment— Epona interrupted. —Queen Sedna, Rodrigo cannot cross icy areas— she explained.
—If you untie me, I can help him— Loki replied to the problem.
—Do you think we're stupid enough to do something like that?— Tania shouted.
—I'm actually a frost giant. My ice skills not only serve to attack, but to defend— the Norse god commented.
—Well, you solve that issue, I can't keep the god of Tula waiting any longer— Sedna said, getting up.
Immediately, the queen ordered Nanook to take them all to the lower dungeons of Adlivun.
Nanook nodded, and the others thanked the queen for her hospitality.
Then Sedna underwent a transformation. Her legs joined and took the form of a white fishtail. The goddess opened a portal in the ceiling, jumped into it, and then disappeared from everyone's sight.
—Well, let's not waste any more time. Let's go to the dungeons of Adlivun— Nanook commanded assertively.
Everyone returned again to the portal where the dungeons were. Rodrigo then began to shiver from the cold.
—I don't know if I'm going to be able to withstand this journey— the young Tannin said worried.
—If you can't enter these dungeons, it will be even harder for you to enter the Dream Cave, the grotto where you'll need to go— Nanook commented disappointedly.
—My offer still stands— Loki commented.
—Well, what are we waiting for? Let's set him free— Menrva said, but was interrupted by Tania.
—That guy can teleport and disappear. It'll be very easy for him to escape— the fire-haired goddess commented.
—And what choice do we have? Are we going to let Rodrigo die, or leave him here at the mercy of Lel's men?— Menrva angrily replied.
—I'll go, I'll resist as much as I can— Rodrigo said with a sad look.
—I'll be here with you— Epona said, taking off her coat and putting it on the young Tannin. She then hugged him. This upset Ana, who only felt her face twist in disgust.
The Irish goddess also took off her coat and put it on Rodrigo.
—You better wear three coats, Rui— the goddess said, and then held onto his right arm. Epona stared defiantly at the dark-haired goddess.
—I didn't know you were so popular with the girls, Rodrigo-san— Susanoo joked.
—It's because... he's my disciple and I can't let anything bad happen to him— Ana replied shyly, as the others started laughing.
—Alright, if you're ready, let's go— Nanook said, opening the dungeon door again. Everyone agreed and went in.
Just as they entered, Rodrigo felt his blood rapidly cooling, but decided not to complain and continue.
Nanook led them to the end of the massive frozen labyrinth. There, there was a door under a giant structure of what looked like a giant, made from several stones. On the door, there was a kind of star drawn, made with a circle and four groups of lines, some vertical and others horizontal.
—This is the Cave of Dreams— Nanook explained. —Although currently it's the Cave of Nightmares—
—Nightmares? Are there monsters in there?— Ana asked.
—Yes, this grotto used to store the dreams of our shamans in Nitassinan, but since we had to lock a powerful demon here, it has become filled with corruption and dark forces—v Nanook commented.
The polar god then began to explain about the creatures inside, called shadow men or Taqriaqsuit. These individuals live in the darkness of the dungeon, although light weaken them. However, they don't usually attack physically, but enter the mind and try to destroy it from the inside.
However, the most dangerous was a huge beast called Mahaha. It was a creature with blue skin, a manic smile, long hair, and long nails. Even Sedna hadn't been able to defeat it, so they could only imprison it in that dungeon.
At the end of the tunnel, which they had to travel several kilometers, was the access to the dungeons of Denendeh, where the god Yamozha, an ally of Sedna, ruled.
—If even Sedna couldn't defeat it, do we have a chance?— Anpiel asked worriedly.
—If you can't defeat it, try to use water attacks against it, as it's its weakness— Nanook commented.
—Also, I can see that your divine power is equal to or even higher than that of my queen— he added.
—We can't be afraid, Anpiel— Tania commented.
—Well, I wish you luck. I hope we meet again— the polar god commented, opening the closed door.
A freezing air blew from inside the cave, causing Rodrigo to shiver.
—Alright, everyone put on your totemas— Menrva yelled and everyone nodded.
The members of Orniskem once again wore their sacred armors, including Rodrigo, who felt his resistance to the cold increase quite a bit, thanks to the totema he wore. Yet, he was still cold.
—Good luck, Nanook— Tania said, showing him her fist, which bumped with the polar god's.
They said goodbye, and everyone entered the cave.
Back in Nitassinan, Sedna, again in the form of an old woman, emerged from the waters surrounding the beach where her village was located. There, in the middle of the fire pit, with the Innu men armed with their bows and arrows, was Tezcatlipoca with his arms crossed and a look of annoyance.
—You made me wait thirty minutes, Sedna. Do you think that's right?— the Toltec god complained in a very bad mood.
—My apologies, but I had matters to attend to— the goddess replied.
Tezcatlipoca approached the elderly goddess and bowed to her. Then he sat on the ground next to the fire, which Sedna did as well. Immediately, women started coming out of the tents, made of animal skin, bringing fish and throwing them on the fire to roast.
—I suppose you must know why I came to these lands from so far away— the king-god of Tula commented.
—My men indicated that you were looking for someone or something like that— Sedna commented while, with a stick, she skewered a fish from the fire and gave it to the deity.
—Yes, my allies on the other side of this continent informed me about some fugitives who might enter right through this region, an area known to be used as access by hordes of men from the north— Tezcatlipoca commented, as he took the stick with the fish and took a bite, not caring about the animal's spines.
—Vikings, most likely— Sedna commented.
—Some came not long ago, although they were not very friendly to my people, so we kicked them out— she boasted.
—No, I don't think they're vikings, but they'll surely come in similar ships— the king-god of Tula commented.
—Alright, as soon as they get here, we can assure you that we'll imprison them— Sedna commented.
—Yes, well— Tezcatlipoca commented, —to be safer, I'd like to stay until that happens—
Sedna felt a distress in her heart but continued with the farce.
—We will have you as a great guest in our lands, although you will see that we do not have as many luxuries as in your magnificent cities— replied the polar goddess.
—Oh, don't worry! My men and I are used to war. It will be nothing— Tezcatlipoca commented.
—In fact, my men stayed on the ship that brought me to this nearly frozen sea and have not complained at all— he continued explaining.
—It's good that your soldiers have excellent discipline— Sedna commented.
—There's another thing that bothers me— the king-god of Tula commented.
—What could it be?— the polar goddess asked.
—On my way here, Lel's allies in the Great Lakes area informed me that in your world, Adlivun, you had a prisoner from the realm of Asgard, and I would like to see him— Tezcatlipoca commented as he went back to eating fish.
—About that matter is what I wanted to inform you— Sedna nervously commented.
—That man has just escaped from our dungeons, and I have half of my soldiers looking for him in Adlivun. He can't be far, but I suppose it will take us some time to find him— she concluded.
Tezcatlipoca put his hand on his face in sheer indignation.
—I hope this has nothing to do with your supposed alliance with Asgard— he said.
—Precisely, men from Asgard came according to our agreements, but it was they who left him here— Sedna commented.
—The individual seemed like a professional prison escapee, it seems that he also escaped from Asgard, and their security system is stronger than ours— she concluded.
—What a bunch of useless people— Tezcatlipoca commented and stood up.
—Well, it seems that I'll help you look for that rat— he said.
—It's not necessary, it's a matter of Adlivun and we want it to stay with us— Sedna commented.
—In the meantime, you dedicate yourself to waiting for those fugitives, who, if they arrive and you are not here, they could kill my men and keep going— she ordered.
—You know how to play your cards well, don't you Sedna?— the king-god of Tula commented. —If I didn't want to think ill, I'd say you're trying to hide something from me—
—Excuse me, lord of Tula, but I did not know the importance that man had for you— the polar goddess responded.
—Certainly, a man from Iroquois recently came to attack us, possibly also looking for that man, but since we are enemies, we did not negotiate with him at all— she concluded.
Then, the Innu women brought dishes with a dry soup called Suaasat, which was made with seal and whale fat, as well as fresh water in small clay jars. Both Tezcatlipoca and Sedna took these foods and began to eat them eagerly.
—Well, Sedna, I'll give you ten days to find that guy— the king-god of Tula commented while drinking the soup as if it were a jug of water.
—Or until Lel's enemies arrive. Either of the two options— he added.
—Ten days, that will be enough for those boys to escape from here, but I fear what will happen when he realizes that the members of Orniskem don't arrive— the queen of Adlivun said to herself.
—Of course, as soon as we have news of that bastard, we'll let you know— the goddess commented.
Both gods continued eating in front of the fire, while finally, the sun began to set.