Aura surveyed the battlefield. There didn’t seem to be any deaths. Yet. She wanted to make sure Loki was okay. Not that he had any reason not to be…. She just had to be sure. The vision of what could be frightened her more than anything.
Jormungandr felt her growing worry. It didn’t take him long to spot his previous prisoner. “He’s over there.”
The maiden smiled up at her new friend. “Thank you. Please disarm the soldiers without killing them.”
With a nod, he picked up the nearest of Asgard’s troops. Held the terrified man before his gaze. He desired nothing more than to eat the fleshling. He was starved, and before him spread more than enough food. His mouth watered. Maybe he should torture them first. Venom added a certain acidic flavor.
The soldier screamed and flailed, calling for someone to help him. This only promoted the Tormentor’s idea to devour him. Sink fangs into flesh. Watch the light fade from his eyes and swallow him whole. He opened his jaws.
A sudden wave of compassion drowned him. He shook his head. What would cause such a feeling? His eyes locked onto the curious creature, who healed a magician with a side wound. Turning to the soldier, he snarled. He couldn’t eat him. Not with her kindness pouring into him. He didn’t think this was how the relationship would go. What would he eat? He submitted to plucking away weapons and armor. Scowl remaining.
Aura finished healing the magician. “Are you alright?”
The student pushed herself up. “Thanks to you. Tell me what I can do to help.”
“Well, I need to get to Loki.”
“No problem.” With a wink, she used a torrent of wind to knock down a line of soldiers. A line leading straight to the god of mischief.
“Thank you.” Aura proceeded forward.
But Odin had spied Loki first. He made his way through the fight, knocking aside both soldiers and magic users with his staff. Not caring who was injured or sent flying backwards. Only one thing stopped him, and that was reaching his true enemy. He grabbed Loki by the throat and teleported them away.
She sprinted. “No!” They were gone. Her hands balled. That was the second time Loki had been taken away from her. Odin would kill him. If only she had gotten to him sooner. She held her head in her hands. Not from shame but anger. The flame appeared in the void of her mind.
Crying out, she reached for that flame and underwent transformation.
Jormungandr suddenly grinned, revealing pointed teeth. His master had changed. Was filled with rage and the desire for destruction. Now he could change, as well. He shifted into his gargantuan snake form. His tongue flickered with contempt at all the screams. As much as he missed his human form, this would never get old.
Tuy Oxido strolled up with hands behind his back. “So the great Tormentor isn’t a myth after all.”
The snake smiled. “You’ve heard of me.”
“Of course. Not only am I a master of fire, I’m a study of all magical creatures. And should myths be believed, you have quite the record.”
“Would you like to put it to the test?”
It was Tuy’s turn to grin. Both hands produced fire. “It would be my honor.”
Odin and Loki appeared in a desolate part of Asgard. No other life present. No witnesses.
The mischief god smirked. “I’m surprised you don’t want anyone to see what you’re going to do to me.”
The Allfather had both hands around his staff, attack stance ready. “I don’t want my palace contaminated by your remains.”
“If you call this nonsense off, no one has to die.”
Odin circled. “Why do you insist on lying? I shall rid the Realms of your unholy tongue.” He sent a blast of magic, disintegrating his foe.
Loki’s voice echoed. “You think it will be that easy?” Though he also understood taking down Odin wouldn’t be so easy. And if the king was beyond reasoning, then he would have to break him.
“Illusions? Face me. Face me, you coward!”
“He is not the coward. You are.” The voice came from Borr, who appeared on Odin’s right. Then left. In front, behind, all around until over a hundred of him surrounded the current king.
Odin whirled to face each one. Head turning as they all began to speak.
“You’re not a true king.” “You have failed me.” “You have failed your wife, your kingdom.” “You have failed your son.” “You’ve lied to Thor, and you know it.” “You’ve manipulated Asgard far more than Loki has.” “You’re the real snake.” “You are a disgrace unto my name.” “I no longer call you my son.”
“Silence!” The Allfather shot blasts at all the illusions of his father. “This is trickery. Nothing more than evil magic. Be gone!”
Loki gritted his teeth from his hiding spot, even though he was cloaked in invisibility. Aligned his magic with the staff’s. His illusions needed to remain. If anyone could break Odin, it would be Borr. A drop of sweat trickled down his temple. Keeping up with the staff’s magic took more out of him than he expected. Then again, he wasn’t fully healed from the Tormentor’s venom.
All of the Borrs spoke as one. “You are the one who must go. You are nothing but a failure. A poor excuse for a king. You don’t deserve the title of Allfather.”
Odin roared at the still-standing illusions. “I said be gone!” He slammed the staff on the ground. A shockwave of strong magic leveled everything within several miles. The staff cracked almost all the way down the middle. It glowed with power about to be unleashed.
The rock Loki hid behind shattered. But not before driving a piece through his thigh. He didn’t think Odin would use that much power with his weapon damaged. However, he only gave his injury a grimace, whirling around to face Odin. His invisibility was gone.
Asgard’s falling king strode towards him. “I will destroy you if it’s the last thing I do.”
Loki kept an eye on the staff. “It will be the last thing any of us do if you use that again. Have you not noticed it splitting?”
“Lies! Everything you say is lies.”
“If you use it again, it could destroy Asgard.”
“I control my staff. It doesn’t do anything I don’t want it to do.”
Loki moved, rushing Odin and teleporting them back to the battle. Perhaps if he saw his troops, he would reconsider his course of action.
But the Allfather deemed this as yet another illusion. Of course the Trickster wished to deceive him further. His voice boomed. “If anything, it will come back on you. How many times have I framed you? I even charged you with Frigga’s murder, though I’m the one who ordered it to be done. Watched her die at the hands of your dagger.”
His emerald gaze surveyed those in battle. The majority had ceased fighting. He straightened as much as his damaged leg allowed.
Odin continued. “If I want to destroy Asgard, I can do so with but a few words. I’ve manipulated the Realm so excellently, the people have no idea. They kill each other when I want them to. My soldiers go to war simply because I say fight. Once I’m through here, they’ll go to Midgard and destroy it because I wish it. I despise Thor and his attachments to that Realm. All because of his mother, Gaia. Even after I killed her when he was a newborn, his love for Midgard remains.”
Mjolnir thunked to the ground as the thunder god heard these words.
The soldiers looked at one another. Threw down their weapons. The magic users stopped their spells. The only ones moving were Profician and fire demon Aura.
Loki held up his hands. “Think about what you’re doing.”
“I know exactly what I’m doing.” Odin raised the staff, which radiated power. “I’m getting rid of you. You will never be a thorn in my side again.” The staff’s glow increased with charging magic.
The god of mischief made a decision. Pulling out his orb, he held it out in a clenched fist with his other hand open. Aura was on this battlefield. As was Thor and innocent lives. He wasn’t putting Odin’s life above a multitude of others. A thick force field formed around the king.
This, Odin didn’t notice, blinded by his rage. Before he could send a stream of magic, the weapon splintered past its point. His hand was instantly seared. Fused with the staff’s metal. And before he could scream, the contained power went supernova.
An initial surge exploded. Sucked back into the staff. Regurgitated at maximum, filling the domed area with blindingly white light. Gathering even Profician and Aura’s attention.
Loki’s eyes closed as he secured his stance. The orb burned in his fist. More than just a drop of sweat fell from his face. This amount of magic he expected. However, it took every bit of his magical prowess to keep the blast contained.
The power swirled. Raged against the force field. It took several moments, but it slowly subsided. Dissolved into nothing. All that remained was a charred crater. Odin had been reduced to particles.
He staggered. Eyes rolling back, he slumped to the ground.
Thor sunk to his knees. The realization of what took place hitting him.
Profician rushed over to his former student. Quickly analyzed him. “That rock shard doesn’t look good. Healer. We need a healer. Aura—” His head snapped up. “Right.”
Aura’s whole being was on fire. Her red skin burned. Charcoal hair ethereal. Her tail whisked back and forth. All-black eyes reflecting her fire. She continued going after Odin’s men. Set them ablaze. Water-based and healing magicians followed in her wake.
It didn’t take long for her to notice those who trailed her. She began attacking the magic users. Producing streams of blue flames. Even when she was doused with water, her magic didn’t cease. If anything, her fire grew hotter. She had lost control, and she wanted everyone to feel her wrath.
Noenflamme jogged up to Profician, her small dragon companion following her. “I’ve tried reasoning with her. She’s too far gone.” She looked at Loki. “Is he dead?”
The old master ruffled himself up. “No, he’s not dead. He does need healing, but I think he’ll last long enough until we get Aura calmed down. I don’t want him waking up to,” his head sunk between his shoulders as screams echoed, “this.”
One soldier had enough of seeing his comrades burn. Even if they were healed. He snatched a sword. “If that creature is too far gone, I’ll destroy her like the monster she is!”