Episode 29/Chapter 1: Idun’s commander (1)
The King of Gods, Odin, spent long hours each day sitting beside Mimir’s lake.
Because of this, several important matters regarding Asgard and Valhalla were organized on location, although, Odin wasn’t one to demand the opinions of others.
He fell deep into thought while sitting there, curled up in between the roots.
Mimir, who’d grown hollow and devoid of emotion after death, had become his only advisor. The three sisters sometimes conversed with Odin, but they didn’t exchange opinions. Their conversations only served to pass to Odin the thread of fate they had made.
After the Great War, Asgard underwent many changes.
Odin’s disposition also underwent a similar metamorphosis.
He hadn’t always been someone who decided upon everything by himself. His verdict had always been final, but he once asked for the opinions of others and consulted with his many advisors on a regular basis.
The Great War had changed him.
Odin now held many more secrets than before.
Excluding Thor and a few other exceptions, the Gods couldn’t meet with Odin at all.
Instead, the Gods and Valkyries communicated with him through the crows Hugin and Munin.
Perhaps the changes to Odin’s character were calculable.
The Great War had taken many things from Odin.
Odin’s wife and most reliable ally, Frigg, had her life stolen amid the conflict..
Once Odin’s advisor and friend, Loki betrayed Asgard and chose to stand alongside the giants.
Frigg wasn’t the only God who’d lost their life. Several of Odin’s loved and treasured had disappeared from this world.
The sun was setting on Asgard.
Odin admired the beautiful sunset as he rose to leave. After he left Mimir’s lake, he traveled to Heimdal’s fortress, the bridge between Midgard and Asgard and the origin of the Bifrost.
Heimdal, the chief gatekeeper of Asgard who’d used Gjallarhorn to alert everyone of the Great War, hadn’t left his fortress even for a single day.
Its defense was his sacred role and task.
Even Odin, the King of Gods, had to personally visit the fortress to converse with him.
“For Asgard and the Nine Realms.”
“For Asgard and the Nine Realms.”
Heimdal welcomed Odin in the deepest and most secretive room within his fortress. He, whose body seemed as solid and stiff as rock and steel, had the appearance of a living, iron tower.
Odin hit his chest twice in reply to Heimdal’s courtesy and then curled up by the corner. Heimdal didn’t jest. He just stood at the wall across the room him and waited for the next visitors to arrive.
Thor was next to appear. He hit his chest twice with Heimdal and then sat alongside Odin.
Odin lightly patted on Thor’s shoulders twice without speaking and expressed his emotions as a father. Thor answered him with a smile.
The last one to arrive was Freya. She, the Goddess of Beauty and Magic, had obscured her head with a large hood.
She expressed etiquette towards Heimdal as soon as she entered the room but frowned upon seeing Odin curled up in a corner of the room.
“You are a king, so do you really have to sit like that? It’s the same for you, Thor. You should have stopped him, and you Heimdal, you should have prepared some seats.”
“I prepared one for you.”
A smile appeared on the brusque face of Heimdal. There was a comfy, elegant chair prepared in the direction his finger pointed.
Freya put on a hesitant face but then let out a sigh and spoke honestly.
“Thank you, but you do know that I wasn’t telling you to give me a chair, right?”
Heimdal also found it uncomfortable that the King of Gods chose to remain curled up in a corner of the room.
Freya read the sympathy in Heimdal’s voice and wore a like-minded face as if she too were suffering before taking a seat in her chair. Thor, who watched them from his spot, put on a ‘nice to see you’ smile.
“You are still cute.”
“Thor, you shouldn’t smile like that. Even with that handsome face, you still appear foolish. How nice it would be if you were to show a cool and dignified face like Heimdal.”
Thor laughed once again as Freya grumbled with a sweet voice.
“Thanks for calling me ‘handsome’, and Heimdal, I can tell you’re smirking. Even the great Heimdal is moved by a compliment from Freya, is that it?”
“I won’t deny it.”
Heimdal said shortly and Thor laughed even louder.
Freya shook her head a few times as if they were both lost causes and then took off her hood. Her bright, blue hair that wasn’t unlike the hue of the sky flowed down naturally like a waterfall.
Her pale-white face could only be described as matchlessly beautiful. To speak any words of flattery would not be an overstatement.
The Goddess of Magic and Beauty, Freya.
She, who was hailed as the most divinely beautiful woman in Asgard, was a Goddess of the Vanir race that had had disputed with the Aesir over the right to rule Asgard.
She had come to Asgard as a hostage after having been defeated, but that was now all in the past.
She was an important existence that couldn’t be replaced in Asgard and was the commander of the Valkyries that ruled over Valhalla with Odin.
As Freya’s beauty revealed itself, Thor’s mouth hung slightly open unconsciously. Heimdal’s face didn’t change, but his face and eyes became softly tensed.
“You have that look again. I am going to tell Sif-unnie about this.”
Freya spoke sharply, but everyone could tell she’d been joking.
However to Thor, it seemed like a rather serious threat. He hurriedly averted his eyes and Heimdal let out a short chuckle and spoke.
“You say that, but it seems like you’re enjoying it.”
“Well, there isn’t a women alive that dislikes being told that they are pretty.”
Freya shrugged her shoulders and spoke matter-of-factly, and Thor’s mouth dropped open again, although he seemed to have better control than before.
This meeting was a gathering between the strongest Gods of Asgard, but the atmosphere wasn’t heavy at all.
Actually, Freya didn’t mention that she had purposely brightened the mood. Ever since the Great War’s conclusion, she’d worked hard to enliven and revitalize the atmosphere even if she had to act cute.
“Then, let us begin.”
Odin said in a low voice and the atmosphere in the room grew neutral.
The first one to speak was Thor.
“The fragments of Garmr’s soul aren’t being discovered at all. We’ve finished searching through all of Asgard and Svartalfheim but haven’t found anything.”
Thor also reported about the movements of the giants that were at the front lines. The giants that were there showed their existences clearly with small and big provocations.
After Thor’s brief had concluded, Freya frowned slightly before speaking up.
“There are also no notices from Vanaheim and Alfheim. There’s Nidavellir and Niflheim remaining but…..As the places are such, searching is difficult and the probability of discovery is low.”
Nidavellir was underground and Niflheim was the land of death. The difficulty of searching couldn’t be compared to other realms.
In addition, there were comparatively low traces of the Great War compared to the other places. As Garmr’s soul fragment was normally found near the old remnants of the Great War, there was less of a chance to uncover any soul fragments in Nidavellir and Niflheim.
As Freya concluded, the next one to speak was Heimdal.
“It’s not certain, but we’ve discovered traces of a soul fragment having already been retrieved. If the fomoires or the giants really did find it, then the fourth soul fragment has been claimed in Midgard.”
The number Asgard retrieved and destroyed was five, and in addition, three more had been discovered in Midgard.
Just like Heimdal had said, if the fourth fragment really appeared in Midgard, then there was a high probability for the fifth and sixth ones to also be discovered there.
“It’s a bit weird that they are so concentrated in Midgard, but….. as the Great Barrier was set up after the Great War, it’s not that it’s impossible.”
In addition, Odin and Freya hadn’t been in their right minds when they’d created the Great Barrier.
Odin’s thoughts had weighed heavily on the death of Frigg, Loki’s betrayal, and the deaths of countless other Gods. Freya had also faced hard times because her brother, Freyr, had died.
They had proceeded hurriedly to block the second attack of the giants, so Odin and Freya were absent regarding things that happened after the Great War and right before they set up the barrier.
The battle between the warriors of Valhalla and Bress was an example of their non-intervention.
“I suppose it’s obvious to say that we will have to concentrate more on Midgard.”
Thor turned to look at Odin and said these words.
After the Great Barrier was set, Midgard had held a superficial peace for around a hundred years.
By now, the truth of its hidden turmoil had already been revealed.
For the giants to search in Midgard was a difficult task because of the Great Barrier, but even so, it wasn’t wise for the Gods to take their time completing the task.
“Um, but Thor.”
As they discussed their forces having to concentrate on Midgard, Freya looked at Thor and carefully called out to him.
As Thor turned around with an inquisitive expression, Freya smacked her lips a few times and then inspected Thor’s face after throwing out a question.
Thor and Loki had faced each other during their latest battle.
No, to say ‘faced’ was an understatement. They’d attacked one another.
Freya knew about the relationship between Odin, Thor, and Loki really well.
After all, she also had some friendship with him.
Because of that, there could only be several emotions fixed in her voice.
Thor closed his eyes tightly and then spoke with a heavy tone.
“That guy- No, that bastard is our enemy.”
It was impossible to convince him through a conversation. It was also impossible to return to the past when everything had been better.
Thor stayed silent for a moment and then opened his eyes and continued speaking.
“It’s all my fault that our strategy fell apart.”
If he had just expected that Loki would appear.
If he had just pushed him back more fiercely.
Freya hurriedly raised her voice at Thor’s self blame.
“It’s not your fault but Loki’s, and if you are going to speak like that, then it’s fair to say I was also caught unprepared for his intervention. It’s not only your fault, so don’t be that dispirited, yes?”
Freya ended up requesting it to him without being aware of it.
As Thor loosened his expression forcefully, Freya spoke again with a rather bright voice.
“I’m planning to reward all the Valkyries and warriors of Valhalla that had contributed this time. Our budget will suffer greatly, so be ready to work hard Thor, okay?”
“Good. That’s a good determination. From what I’ve heard, Idun’s warrior’s performance was peerless this time around, right?”
Freya changed the subject and looked at Heimdal.
Heimdal nodded and agreed.
“It was an eye-catching performance to say the least. If he wasn’t there, our warriors’ sacrifices would have been much more numerous.”
No. Perhaps they wouldn’t have been able to defeat him at all. Bress’ power had increased from when he’d attacked Erin. If he had had more time, then he would have completely removed from the seal of the Valkyries.
As Heimdal spoke in an excited voice that didn’t suit him, Freya’s eyes shone with interest.
“Hee. I want to meet him once. The Valkyrie of our legion also said that she wanted him as he was an outstanding guy. Will that ‘kid’ hate it if I go to meet him?”
Thor clicked his tongue as Freya referenced Idun instead of her warrior.
“After such a long time, she’s finally got a warrior again, but you are planning to take him? How well disposed of you…..”
“Who said I would be taking him from her? I just said that I was going to meet him.”
But of course, she wasn’t planning on stopping him if Idun’s warrior fell for her and said that he would move over to her legion himself.
As Freya snorted, Heimdal cut in with a low voice.
“It won’t matter as he won’t get taken even if you go to him with such intentions.”
“What are you speaking about?”
Freya became slightly annoyed by his words.
However, Heimdal didn’t elaborate. He didn’t mention the highlights of the most recent nomination.
“Well, I can somewhat guess.”
Thor smirked, and Freya frowned as she felt left out of some exclusive secret.
As the heavy atmosphere recovered to some degree, Odin, who’d been watching silently, spoke again.
“Having dispatched Bress the Tyrant is certainly no minor deed. We will need to provide a suitable reward for Idun’s warrior. Regardless of that….Heimdal, how are the battles against the remaining fomoires going?”
“Although the fomoires are without guidance after losing their king, they are showing up one by one. We are grasping their locations slowly, so we aim to hopefully have them taken care of after the nomination for Idun’s commander ends.”
“Valkyrie Rasgrid will assist on the nomination.”
Freya added hurriedly.
Originally, the Valkyries would command the strategy, but they now had a superior-ranked warrior and a commander in charge of a legion.
It wasn’t only Rasgrid, but all the Valkyries that had traveled to Midgard should obviously assist with the nomination.
“Ragnar didn’t look at him that way for nothing. It seems like it won’t be long until the day arrives when we stand together on the battlefield.”
As Thor spoke in a nice mood, Heimdal also nodded.
At the reaction of those two Gods, Freya, who’d never met or seen Idun’s warrior, Tae Ho, pouted as if feeling anxious.
“If you keep speaking like that, I really have to go to meet him. Do I have to dispatch a Valkyrie from my legion?”
Even if that wasn’t the case, it seemed like Valkyrie Hildegarde wanted to go to meet him.
As light chatter came and went among the Gods, Odin grasped his connection to Hugin a great distance away.
He had sent Hugin next to Rasgrid this morning, so although there was a time difference due to the barrier, he would be able to watch both Idun’s warrior and the others that were in Midgard.
The crow Hugin transmitted its memories to Odin.
Odin then unveiled a bitter smile.
“Idun! Heda! Idun! Heda!”
“What are you doing?”
“I’m protecting my family’s……no, the peace in my residence.”
< Episode 29 – Idun’s commander (1) > End
TL note: Thanks for reading~