Chapter 89:

Trickster vs Trickster

Elyon - Gods among us

—Are you okay, Ana?— Tania asked worriedly, seeing her friend covered in sores all over her body, but the Irish goddess was completely unconscious, though there was a certain touch of tranquility and peace in her gaze.

—Anpiel!— Tania cried out in desperation, —Ana urgently needs ambrosia, her heart isn't beating anymore!—

The angel ran towards the goddess and poured a lot of mead onto Ana's lips. After a moment of silence, the goddess began to cough, and her sores started to heal.

—Ana, are you okay?— the red-haired goddess asked, as she continued to revive Ana.

The Irish goddess slowly opened her eyes and looked weakly around, seeing Anpiel and Epona by her side as well.

—Everyone is okay... I'm glad— Ana said in a still weak voice.

—You're supposed to be the one we're worried about, not the other way around!— Epona retorted angrily, seeing the goddess barely able to move.

—Anpiel! Give her more ambrosia!— Tania yelled imperatively at the angel, while he again summoned a horn of mead.

—Don't worry, I just need to rest— Ana commented still with her faint voice, and immediately fell unconscious again.

Tania felt her heart and it was beating. She checked her body temperature and saw that it was normal.

—She must have consumed much more manna than her body could handle— said the Punic goddess, laying Ana's head on her lap.

—What happened, Tania? Did Ana save us from that man?— Anpiel asked in surprise.

—I don't know, but for some reason, the man left, and only Ana was badly injured on the ground— Tania commented.

—All I can remember is that he enveloped us in a dark cloud, and then this happened— commented the malak.

—It's possible that that man had an ability to stop time, and only Ana could witness it because of her affinity to dark energy— Menrva commented, approaching and carrying the unconscious Bellona.

—Hold on! The man came to kill Rodrigo, but I don't see him anywhere— Epona said worriedly.

—That's right, I haven't seen Rodrigo either!— Tania worriedly commented.

At that, Loki made a finger movement and made Rodrigo appear. The young tannin was completely wet and fell to the ground, still surprised.

—I had to swap his body immediately with Bellona's, and Bellona's with mine, otherwise he would have been killed by that guy— Loki commented.

Epona ran and hugged Rodrigo tightly.

—I'm so glad you're okay— the Celtic goddess said with tearful eyes.

—I don't know what happened— Rodrigo commented. —Suddenly I was in the water and drowning, but now I've appeared here—

—The important thing is that you're okay— Epona said, and in front of everyone, the goddess kissed Rodrigo.

—Ana saved you, Rodrigo. I hope you thank her when she wakes up— Tania said trying to interrupt the embarrassing scene.

—As if I didn't do anything— Loki cynically commented, seeing that no one was thanking him for saving Rodrigo.

—What happened to Ana?— Rodrigo asked worriedly, after finishing his kiss with Epona.

—That girl shouted that she loved you and that helped her increase her powers— Loki commented almost mockingly.

—But seeing you're kissing the blonde girl, I suppose her feelings won't be reciprocated. Poor thing— Loki added, pretending to cry.

—Shut up, snake!— Tania yelled furiously.

—I'm just saying what I heard— Loki continued. —She said she loved you, and with that, she awakened a secret power within her. With that, she was able to defeat the monster that came—

Rodrigo at that moment felt very uncomfortable and worried. Was what Loki said about Ana true? Did she really love him? He couldn't believe it.

Epona clearly felt Rodrigo unconsciously rejecting her.

—Was that what was holding your mind, Ana? I really think Loki is telling the truth— Tania thought.

—I've always known that, Ana, and for the first time, I don't feel good being with the person you love— Epona thought as she let go of the young tannin.

—Well, when you're done acting out your improvised comedy, we have pending issues to discuss— Menrva commented.

As everyone turned to look at the Etruscan goddess, she sat down on the unconscious Bellona's body.

—We need to split into two groups. From this moment on— Menrva continued explaining.

—I will head to the Haida territories, and I'm sure Ana will want to accompany Rodrigo to Tula. So, which group will each of you choose?— she asked.

—Obviously, I'll go to Haida Gwaii to find that idiot Thor and explain to him about Father Odin's whereabouts— Loki commented disinterestedly.

However, everyone else remained silent, turning to look at Rodrigo as if they were expecting him to say something.

—Alright, I understand. I guess I'll be going alone with Loki to Haida Gwaii then... I guess this is where we part ways— Menrva said with a sad and melancholic look.

—Sorry, Menrva, but... we want to help Rodrigo first— Tania commented a bit embarrassed.

Rodrigo felt nervous and didn't know what to say. He felt sorry that no one wanted to go with Menrva to such a dangerous territory, but at the same time, he didn't want to say that he would accompany the Etruscan goddess. Although, the mere idea of running into that self-proclaimed king of Tula again made him nervous.

At that moment, Epona pulled away from Rodrigo almost reflexively.

—I'll go with you, Menrva— Epona said.

—Epona, why?— Tania asked surprised.

—Are you joking again, Epona?— Anpiel also asked.

—Because I have no right to interfere with Ana's love for Rodrigo— Epona thought to herself, but she didn't dare to say such a thing.

—Because I'm sure Tania, Ana, and Susanoo will be able to take very good care of Rodrigo. Also, I owe Menrva and Athena an apology for doubting them— Epona responded, looking guilty.

Epona quickly turned to look at Rodrigo, feeling guilty.

—Are you disappointed with my decision, Rodrigo?— she asked.

The young tannin felt that Epona reacted to Loki's words, and partially understood the message. He felt that he should give Epona some space to think.

—Don't worry, Epona, I'll be fine with Tania and Ana— Rodrigo said conciliatorily to the goddess, giving her a smile.

Epona smiled back at him.

—Then, I guess I'll also accompany Epona— Anpiel commented. However, as he continued speaking, Ana interrupted the angel.

—I'll go with you, Menrva— Ana commented, still with a very faint voice. The Irish goddess had just woken up a little while ago and had partially heard the conversation.

—Are you sure, Ana?— Tania asked the dark-haired goddess in surprise.

Struggling, Ana rose from Tania's lap and sat on the ground.

—I feel the duty... to go with you, Menrva, because, even though I don't really care about Asgard, I do have to fulfill my promise to my teacher to find Odin— Ana said, trying to cheer herself up.

—Ana, you were the only one who defeated that monster that attacked us. If you go with us, you'll leave Rodrigo at his mercy— Menrva said nervously.

—Don't worry, Rui, I'll teach you how to avoid that monster's technique. Using your sacred power, it will surely be very easy for you— the Irish goddess responded with a smile.

—Yes, Ana. Thank you— Rodrigo responded, still stunned.

—Alright, Ana. Thank you for agreeing to travel with me— Menrva said in a happier tone.

—Take good care of my Rui, Tania— the Irish goddess turned to the Punic goddess and smiled at her.

—I understand, Ana— Tania returned the smile.

—I'm sure she just wants some time to think about what she feels for Rodrigo if what Loki said is true— thought the fire-haired goddess.

All of these scenes were going through Ana's mind as she, along with Epona and Menrva, watched the now five Norse gods on the great golden ship that Freyr had summoned when he challenged the king of Haida.

—Rui, wherever you are, I hope you're okay. I'll fulfill my mission quickly— Ana thought to herself.

—So you escaped from Adlivun?— Tyr asked Loki, who immediately turned to look at him with a sarcastic smile.

—You know, Tyr, there is no prison that can hold me for very long— the dark Norse god responded to the war god.

—I suppose purr tricked those guys with your lies saying purr knew where Father Odin was, and that's why they let purr escape— Freyja retorted angrily at the dark Norse god.

—Dear beautiful Freyja, is it really time to discuss how I escaped, while we watch that guy up there looking at us like that?— Loki asked the goddess who continued to look at him with disdain.

—Loki is right, Freyja— Thor chimed in. —We need to defeat that crow up there first—

Y'aahl watched as his gods had been defeated and as the humans had fled from what they believed was an imminent defeat to the crow god. The deity, feeling abandoned, ground his teeth in rage.

—This civilization— he said, —was created by me. How dare they make them doubt me?— Y'aahl screamed furiously.

The crow god summoned a large shell beneath his feet. With his bird-like feet, he lifted it, and beneath it appeared a dozen Haida soldiers, from whom dark energy emanated and whose eyes were red.

—Go ahead, kill those invaders!— the crow god shouted as he flew above the soldiers.

All the warriors looked exactly like the human soldiers that were in Haida Gwaii, with the exception that these looked demonic.

—Don't you think that bird god is underestimating us?— Tyr asked as he watched the soldiers jump from the altar and land on the ship that Freyr had created with his powers.

—No— Loki said, smiling. —They are shadow soldiers, so our physical attacks won't work against them—

The soldiers surrounded the gods, at the same moment Y'aahl flew over the members of Orniskem who were in the stands.

—Are all the women on the other side of the ocean as beautiful as you or the blonde over there?— the crow god asked, still flying in circles above the three goddesses.

—We, Haida, are the most powerful beings in the universe. Surrender, and I will only make you my sex slaves— he threatened.

—That's the worst offer I've ever heard in my life— Menrva replied, summoning her electric lance.

—Besides, what makes you think you'll win?— asked Ana, summoning her sword Gram.

—You talk too much for just being a crow— said Epona, getting into a fighting stance.

—In these moments, you will witness the destruction of those gods for the audacity of invading my lands— Y'aahl commented, just as he landed on the highest part of the esplanade. The sun was shining majestically behind him.

The Norse gods started using their techniques against the shadow soldiers, but they simply didn't work. The thunder and light rays that Thor and Freyr used passed right through them without even affecting them. The soldiers began to attack the gods, and even though the gods tried to defend themselves, their attacks went through them, ignoring their armors.

—I can't hurt them!— Thor shouted angrily as he tried to rain down lightning without success.

—Neither can I, Little Thor ♬— Freyr commented, his light having no effect on the enemies.

—We should find a quick solution to face them— Freyja said.

—I have an idea!— Tyr exclaimed. —Freyr, make the ship disappear, and we'll all jump!—

—Are you trying to drown them? It won't work— Loki shouted.

—Why should we believe you?— Tyr retorted, furious.

—Because I'm the only one with mental powers in the group, muscle brain!— Loki shouted angrily. —Not Thor, not you, not the erotic silbings; only me—

—Alpurright, genius. Tell us, how can we defeat them?— Freyja asked impatiently.

—The only way is to defeat that man, so you'll need to endure this fight a few more minutes. Can you do that?— Loki asked confidently.

—What makes you think you can defeat him?— Thor asked.

—Because he's a trickster just like me. Our fights are based on tricks, not combat skills— Loki commented.

—That's right, black-suited fellow, I'm a trickster— Y'aahl said, —but I think you underestimate me if you think I only have deceit and illusions—

Then, Y'aahl raised both hands to the sky, and the images of the sun and the moon appeared in his hands.

—A moment ago, I saw the boar-dressed guy create a counterbalance with light and shadow, and I must admit it's an excessively advanced technique, but I can do something similar with ice and fire— the god said, lowering his arms, and he brought down both celestial bodies created with his hands to where the Norse gods' ship was.

—Watch out, an attack is coming!— Thor shouted as he continued fighting the shadows, just like his companions.

—The huge difference is my time enduring this anti-divinity barrier. The difference in our powers is... this!— the crow god shouted as he clapped his hands together.

The sun and moon created by the god collided right where the gods were fighting. Then, Y'aahl shouted: —Kúng isgyáan Juuyáay sqet gauldañ

The two elements, upon colliding, created an enormous white and red explosion, like a formidable iceberg enveloped in flames. The blast created a massive vertical beam of light that violently shook the ship, causing Thor and his companions to fall into the water. The ship, under that attack, presented significant cracks in the bow.

The lifeless bodies of Thor, Freyja, Freyr, Tyr, and Loki began to float in the water; all of them were violently mutilated and almost unrecognizable. Heads, torsos, arms, all had been violently torn apart by the powerful attack of the crow god, who began to laugh confidently.

—This can't be, he killed them!— Menrva shouted in frustration as the other goddesses looked disheartened as well.

—Why do I feel worried about Loki?— Ana asked herself.

—Have you seen my immense power? It's unparalleled anywhere in the world— Y'aahl continued boasting to the three goddesses standing below him.

—Now, join my harem of sex slaves, and your lives will be spared— he continued, looking at the three goddesses with a proud gaze.

But at that moment, a staff pierced the crow's heart. Right behind him, Loki appeared completely unharmed.

—Impossible, your corpse is in the sea!— the crow god shouted, trying to see Loki's face.

—Ah, really? Take a look again— Loki said, and Y'aahl turned to look again in better detail.

They weren't the bodies of Thor and company; they were the shadows he had summoned. They had ended up mutilated by the god's attack, and now their remains floated on the sea.

—You damn bastard, I thought you were dead!— Ana shouted at Loki.

—Not yet, my dear, not until I fulfill my promise to your ebony beauty friend— the dark Norse god replied.

Y'aahl then transformed into a snake and coiled around Loki's body, threatening to attack him with his venomous bite, but Loki disappeared immediately.

—Ssssssss, you can't escape my eyes, wretched god ssss— Y'aahl hissed as he looked for Loki when suddenly dozens of mongoose appeared in front of the crow god turned snake.

The mongooses stood up and threw themselves at the raven god and began to bite him.

—In the animal kingdom, there is no more effective animal to kill snakes than mongooses— yelled Loki, who had become one of the mongooses, but using his illusion tricks, the raven god couldn't detect him, or so he thought.

At that moment, Y'aalh turned into a gigantic bear, taking the real mongoose with one of his claws, and quickly, hitting it with the other.

Loki was thrown to the other end of the makeshift coliseum and crashed into the wall, destroying it and causing that part of the stage to collapse.

—What... are they supposed to be doing?— Menrva asked in confusion.

Y'aahl, still in bear form, ran towards the Loki mongoose who was trying to get up. But just when the god tried to crush him with his paw, Loki turned into a fly and escaped the attack, landing on the back of the bear's neck and stinging him. Y'aahl roared in pain from the attack.

—It's as if they went to a zoo and are attacking each other in that way— Ana commented, puzzled.

Just when Loki intended to escape from the bear's skin, he realized that his movements were disabled. When he looked closer, he saw that he was in a spider web, and Y'aalh had turned into a huge venomous spider.

Thor and his companions, who had come out of the water, were confused watching a fight between two beings with abilities to turn into anything their imagination thought of.

—So that's what he meant by a trickster and trickster encounter?— asked the thunder god, puzzled.

Loki couldn't move, while Y'aahl, in spider form, began to wrap Loki in his web and was preparing to bite him. However, Loki, using his small jaws, bit him first between the eyes, causing the spider to retreat.

The dark god began to bite the web until he could break it, just when Y'aahl was trying to attack him again. But at the moment Y'aahl bit Loki, he had turned into a pig in mid-air.

—It's a pity that pigs are immune to your venom— said the dark god, at the same time he fell to the ground with Y'aahl turned into a spider and crashed onto him.

But just when Loki intended to oppress Y'aahl more with his body, he lifted him with one of his antlers, as he turned into an elk and tried to crash him into one of the walls of the enclosure.

But, at that moment, Loki turned into a hippopotamus and made Y'aahl break one of his antlers with the impact. Loki then bit Y'aahl's head very hard, causing him a lot of damage.

When Loki sang victory, Y'aahl appeared as a huge and gigantic black raven, with a beak painted red and excessively long. His wings were dark as night, and a cluster of fire and ice energy could be felt emanating from his body.

—Alright, stranger, enough games— commented the giant raven, which was the size of Loki, despite him being a large hippopotamus.

Loki then took the form of a grayish horse with eight legs and red eyes like the sunset. The god horse began to move his legs and snort with rage and dedication.

—Look, Epona, you have a little brother here— Ana mockingly said when she saw Loki's transformation; while Menrva couldn't help it, and began to laugh. The equine goddess just pouted in a bad mood.

—Before we continue, I would like to know your name, wizard— asked Y'aahl to the Nordic god.

—My name is Loki, the most powerful god of Asgard— replied the dark Nordic god, to which only protests were heard from Thor and his company.

—And they call me Y'aahl, which simply means: 'raven'— replied the main Haida god. —I'm sorry to tell you that in this form, I can see all your illusions and tricks you intend to do. You won't fool me again by turning into a woman—

—Do you really need a transformation for that? You turned out to be weaker than I thought— said Loki laughing, but his laughter sounded like neighing.

—Well, let's see how you escape now from my most powerful technique— said Y'aahl as he raised his wings and made a sun and a moon appear behind him again. The stars rushed at the dark Nordic god at full speed.

—Damn, that idiot won't be able to withstand that attack— said Menrva nervously, watching the magnitude of energy that such power had.

—However— added Ana, —Loki seems very relaxed—

Epona turned to look at the Nordic gods and they also appeared to be very calm.

—Maybe that horse has a secret— the goddess thought.

—Don't you plan to move?— Y'aahl continued. —If you teleport, I will know exactly where you will appear and I will destroy you— the raven god continued explaining.

But Loki didn't answer, he just kept neighing.

—Goodbye, Loki!— yelled Y'aahl as he invoked his technique: —Kúng isgyáan Juuyáay sqet gauldañ

The sun and the moon were placed next to Loki and they collided with each other, causing a gigantic explosion that pushed all the members of Orniskem towards their backs from the impact, and the water in the lake was agitated turbulently.

—You didn't teleport or use an illusion to escape, I must congratulate you for your audacity. Although I can feel that your energy has disappeared, what a pity!— Y'aahl yelled celebrating his victory, just as the smoke from the fire and ice explosion was dissipating, and there was only a grotesque crater in the ground left.

At that moment, the raven god felt a neighing next to him, and when he turned his gaze, he saw that Loki, still in his horse form, was right behind him, poking his head over his shoulder.

—That technique of yours is really powerful— he said.

Y'aahl, as if by reflex, escaped flying from there and in the air looked at Loki squarely in the eyes.

—How did you escape?— he asked frustrated.

—This horse is called Sleipnir and is the fastest being in all of Asgard, and it is also Father Odin's mount— replied Loki.

Immediately, the god disappeared from Y'aahl's eyes and reappeared behind him; and with his four front legs, he hit the raven and knocked him out of the sky.

—It's incredible, he's not teleporting— said Ana, surprised, who remembered her fight against Loki previously.

—As he said, he is the fastest being in Asgard right now— said Thor, who, together with the other Norse gods, were meeting with the members of Orniskem. Freyr, for his part, made his golden ship disappear.

—In fact, right now, his speed in this area far exceeds teleportation— added Tyr, and then made a disgusted face.

—That bastard always showing tricks up his sleeve— he commented annoyed.

Loki fell like a meteor from the sky, still in horse form, crashing his front hooves onto Y'aahl's body, and began to crush him by hitting him with these, while he yelled: —Hestaspor Sleipnis

Y'aahl, then, teleported as best he could from the attack, but, Loki, who greatly exceeded him with his immense speed, was able to determine where he would appear and moved there.

When the raven god appeared, he kicked him with his four hind legs, throwing the raven into the now rubble of the Haida coliseum.

The entire coliseum was completely silent again. Y'aahl came out from among the rubble again, but in human form, while he took deep breaths. Loki, seeing this, canceled his horse transformation and returned to his normal form.

—I surrender, my legs are broken and I can't get up— commented the raven god while trying to get up, removing the rubble that covered him.

—Oh no! That's terrible!— Loki yelled, and ran to see the raven god's wounds. However, just when Loki approached the raven god, he stabbed him with his hand covered in energy.

—Amazing that you fell for such a pathetic trick— he said.

—What the hell did that Loki think he was doing?— Epona asked frustrated.

But, at that moment, Loki's image vanished. It was nothing more than an illusion, so the raven god then felt the mistletoe staff pierce his heart again, while Loki appeared standing on him.

—Did you really expect to fool a god of lies with such an obvious lie as that?— Loki asked the dying god.

Then, Loki began to press his staff more and more rigidly to cause Y'aalh immense pain, at which point Ana appeared behind the god and stopped his staff.

—Enough, Loki. He's defeated— she said while looking at him with challenging eyes.

—Ah, but when you riddled me with your swords, was that correct?— Loki asked defiantly, to which Ana gestured no.

—No, it wasn't, and I apologize for that— the goddess replied.

—Raven man— Ana said to Y'aahl, —we don't intend to take your life, but we've come to rescue our friends, and we don't expect a refusal from you or yours—

Y'aahl began to laugh quietly; and with his voice, still muted, said: —I'm sorry, but you can't leave here—

—It seems you don't understand your position, raven— Loki said mockingly. —Right now, only the beauty of this girl prevented me from killing you—

At that moment, Thor, Tyr, Freyr, and Freyja also arrived where Loki was with Ana, and they all saw the defeated raven god. After boasting as the most powerful god, he was there, completely defeated.

—Tell us, Y'aahl— Thor said, —we won the festival, right?—

Y'aalh finally managed to sit on the ground, after being impaled by Loki. His wounds were not healing and he was in very bad shape. His breath was slow and very deep.

—You are the winners of the Potlatch, and for that you cannot leave until we celebrate your victory— the Haida god commented, and at that moment, he removed the raven mask and showed it to Thor.

—Just like you, we are warriors and accept our defeat with honor. Now, you are the new masters and lords of Haida Gwaii, and we will be your slaves— Having said this, the raven god prostrated himself before those present.

—Is this another deception?— Ana asked, still with a look of uncertainty.

Thor then took the raven mask and put it on his head, after removing his own helmet.

—Look, I'm one of my father's ravens!— he yelled, filled with excitement, while everyone else, especially Freyja, watched him with pity.

Without his helmet, Y'aahl looked like an old man, with his long, grayish hair, and his face full of wrinkles. He could easily be over 10,000 years old. The members of Orniskem realized how long-lived the kings in Vinland could be, and that possibly, for that reason, they might not be as powerful as they were when they were younger.

—Without a doubt, if that raven were younger, he would have defeated me without remedy— Loki thought nervously.

—I'm glad you're having fun, great king of Haida— said Y'ahhal still prostrated. But at that moment, Thor took off the helmet and gave it to him.

—I'm sorry old man, but I'm not interested in your kingdom; as I told your companion, we just wanted to get stronger and thanks to you we achieved it— said the thunder god.

—But as a warrior people, being forgiven is a great affront!— Y'aahl yelled furiously.

—How about this?— Freyja said. —We want a real festival in purr honor, with plenty of food and drink, and a luxury stay in purr town, and we will take it as a tribute to meow—

—I haven't eaten a good piece of meat in months— Tyr said licking his lips.

—That's a great idea, little sister ♬— Freyr added.

—O... okay, I'll see what we can do for, our winners— replied Y'aahl.