Black Valkyrie #3: The Reaper & the Valkyrie

Black Valkyrie Title Card 3

Previously on Black Valkyrie…

When an individual dies anywhere in the multiverse, their souls are claimed by the Disir. The pure will be retrieved by the Valkyries and ferried to the paradise of Valhalla. The impure will be dragged to the hellish domain of Aaru by the Reapers. Metatron, Prince of the Reapers, is the only half-breed of Valkyrie & Reaper descent in history. When he’s not reaping souls, he hunts down Angels who escaped from the Rift…

Throughout all of his expansive life, there have been several constants for Metatron. Angels escaping the Rift, his father’s disappointment, and the monotony of having free will. Were he a normal Reaper, he’d want nothing more than to drag souls from the mortal realm to Aaru or to see them tortured endlessly. Not to say boredom wasn’t a normal part of a Reapers life. Unlike the Valkyries, they weren’t exactly given free roam to do as they pleased. That is except for the half-breed Metatron who was free to go where he pleased. But there were no new Angels that needed to be hunted nor damned souls he was necessary for. This meant he could visit one of the Worlds and do as he pleased.

There were countless Worlds he could visit but there was one he found recently that caught his eye. He enters one of the many gateways located throughout Aaru and arrives at the World of Pax Romana. A World where the Roman Empire had successfully expanded throughout Earth. Thanks in no small part to their pantheon of gods & goddesses that watched over the planet. Under their emperors, discrimination was eliminated and war became far and few between. There was the occasional coup but those who caught the ire of the divine pantheon were struck down without hesitation. To Metatron, having seen much of the multiverse, these false gods and goddesses looming overhead wasn’t a surprising occurrence. The gateway Metatron took delivered him into the sky above the city of Vulcanus. A city named after and dedicated to the God of the Forge, Vulcan, it sat cradled in a valley lined with a metallic plating. There the brightest minds would build towards a bright future while at the same time, containing Vulcans sometimes unruly flames. Despite having lasted up to the 21st century, their clothing and architectural design were still reminiscent of the 1st century. Robes, light cloth, sandals, and the occasional ornate armor was still present. An act that was likely done to appease their gods. Metatron disappears from the sky and walks out of a shadow hidden in the back corner of a restaurant. His shroud transforming to emulate loose-fitting toga robes so revealed his chest prominently so he could blend in. I weary god would be able to sense his presence, but at least now he wouldn’t have to deal with the humans who worshipped them.

“This smell…” Metatron thought as he scanned his environment. It was a sweet scent that permeated the air. Upon closer inspection, he could see the restaurant filled with smiling couples was eating a peculiar food. Some were circular with elegant flowers on four corners. Others adorned with words in vibrant colors and sporadic colorful fragments. “Excuse me.” Metatron walks up to what appeared to be a counter where you purchased food. “What is that?” he asks pointing at a nearby group of 4 sitting in a booth. A pair of men and women with each set wearing a ring on the third finger of their left hand that matched the person sitting next to them. They at a rectangular shaped dish with white frosting covering what looked like a soft yellow inside with a captivating smell.

“Oh, it’s a Golden Vanilla cake?” The waitress responds with a smile.

“Golden Vanilla Cake…I should get one.”

“Allow me.” A woman with azure haired braided into a ponytail that rests over her left shoulder say to the waiter as she stops next to him. She wore a baggy but modest white full-length robe that mirrored the loose fitting and revealing black robes he wore.

“Hmph.” Metatron squints slightly at the woman. Even though she was disguised as he was, he could easily recognize Evangeline.

“Okay, let me seat you and we’ll get right on it.” The waiter leads them to the outside portion of the restaurant to sit down at an open-air table.

Metatron watches the waiter closely until she returns inside. “Since when do Valkyries stalk someone? I didn’t know you had it in you.” his eyes shift back to Evangeline. His head tilted upward slightly with both hands resting on the back of his head.

“My name is Evangeline.” she exhales annoyed.

“I know your name, I just don’t care.” Metatron replies with a bored expression. “Why are you here?”

“I needed to speak with you.”

“Oh?” Metatron leans forward slightly with a hunch. His curiosity peaked.

“Thank you.”

“Huh?”

“Were it not for you purifying those souls I’ve no idea what fate Valhalla would’ve endured. For that, you’ve my sincerest thanks.”

“Oh…that…” Metatron scoffs and leans to the left side of his chair once more bored. “I was just doing my job. Don’t make a big deal out of it.”

“That was another thing I wanted to inquire about. What is it you do exactly? What does it mean to be a Black Valkyrie?”

“Meh, I don’t feel like explaining.” Metatron replies flatly.

“What? I demand to know why.”

“Why are you always so uppity? You need to loosen up Valkyrie.”

“My name-”

“Here’s your order. A lovely cake for the lovely couple.” The waiter returns with near perfect timing to defuse the situation that began to draw the attention of nearby patrons. “Enjoy.” she smiles and leaves once more.

“Scandalous, trying to court me with…cake was it? What would your Queen think?” he prepares to grab a piece of cake with his bare hand only for it to get slapped by Evangeline. “You dare…” his shroud flickers slightly in annoyance.

“Have you no manners or etiquette?” Evangeline chastises him. “Use the utensils like so.” she shows Metatron how to use a fork and cuts a piece of cake for herself before eating it.

Metatron growls lowly before emulating what he saw. The taste of the cake was heavenly to him. It made it hard for him to maintain his scowl that easily crumbled. “You’re annoying you know that?”

“For a prince, you lack princely traits.” she snickers.

“Yeah, well I was raised in hell so my bar isn’t as high as yours.”

Evangeline pauses to continue to have cake while Metatron does the same in an awkward silence. “Do you truly intend not to answer my questions?”

“Only if it’s dumb or I don’t feel like answering.”

“What was it like being raised a Reaper? If you truly are half Valkyrie then why did you choose not to come to our side?”

“Just because I helped you once doesn’t mean we’re friends.” Metatron leers fiercely at Evangeline grabbing the cake. “Thanks for the cake, but I’m out.” he takes an angry bite of cake and fades into the shadows. Reappearing at the base of a massive mountain that pierced into the clouds high above. “Annoying Valkyrie…” Metatron takes another bite of cake and pauses to look at it. “Can’t even enjoy this.” he tosses it aside and stands. Sighing as he does so. After about 30 seconds, Evangeline appears in a flash of light and feathers before him. “Normally I like a girl who’s persistent but you’re starting to piss me off.”

“I’d feel bad was that not your default state.” Evangeline fires back.

Metatron grins sinisterly at the Valkyrie. “Please go on. I want an excuse to send your corpse back to Valhalla.”

“Were you truly intent on that I’d have fallen back at the restaurant.” she replies fearlessly.

Before the pair can continue their childish quarreling, the sky darkens and begins to storm. Lightning rains across the heavens wildly as a single bolt strikes the ground before them in a glorious explosion of light and electricity. When the pair can see, standing where the lightning struck was a much older man with a muscular body to surpass Metatron’s. He was clad in golden armored armbands that matched the armored sandals that extended to his knees. Both adorned with the images of eagles. A matching golden skirt was worn around his waist with the emblem of a planet in the center. His grey beard matched the grey flowing hair held by a golden laurel crown. In his left hand, he held a mighty staff. The God of Olympus had come.

“Looks like you have your uses after all Valkyrie.” Metatron smirks and turns to the deity. “Jupiter I presume.”

“Trespassers, you dare enter my domain uninvited?” his eyes crackle with electricity as does the skies in a show of force.

“Cute that you think I’m invading your domain.” Metatron chuckles to himself.

“Insolent boy.” With a thought, Jupiter tears open the sky and calls down a mighty thunderbolt to smite Metatron.

“Metatron!” Evangeline calls out in shock and fear.

“Hold your tongue wench lest you draw my ire as well.” Jupiter turns his attention to Evangeline.

“Insolent?” A voice echoes and reverberates from the smoke. When it clears Metatron is covered entirely in a black void with no features present.

“You live?!” For the first time since creation, Jupiter has met a being he didn’t smite in his first attempt and it infuriated him to no ends. His pride would not let this stand. “Begone beast.” he raises his staff and calls down more lightning upon Metatron.

“It’s time you learned your place.” Metatron says as he appears behind Jupiter and summons his scythe. But before he can use it, Jupiter surges with electricity forcing Metatron to his knees.

“You think you can lay a hand on a god?” he glances over his shoulder at Metatron.

“There are only three gods and you aren’t one of em.” Metatron says while slowly standing. His shadow transforming as he rises. “You’re no Angel. You’re no Æsir. You aren’t even a Reaper. You’re just a false god in just one of countless Worlds.” As he stands up straight, his black void takes form. His shadow becoming skeletal armor. His shroud billowing and ominous as it blew in the wind Jupiter created. “I am Metatron, Prince of the Reapers, and your better.” With a single hand, Metatron swings his scythe at Jupiter who turns to block it with his staff. The impact of the attack shaking the Earth beneath them and causing the storm to rage uncontrollably.

“I care not who or what you are, boy.” Jupiter swings his staff to the side and launches Metatron towards Mount Olympus’ peak. Following him in a bolt of lightning, swinging his staff fiercely to knock him higher towards the sky as each strike is blocked. Only stopping when he performs a downward swing to send Metatron into the ground once more. “I will not be insulted!” Jupiter unleashes all his wrath in a singular massive bolt of lightning large enough to consume all of Mount Olympus before Metatron can stand. The attack blinding everyone within miles who witnessed it.

“Fine, I won’t insult you then.” Metatron echoes as he begins to stand. In his fury, Jupiter didn’t consider that Metatron would summon his Valkyrion Javelin to act as a lightning rod and absorb his attack. “I’ll treat you exactly how you deserve to be treated.” he raises the javelin and throws it at Jupiter, piercing through his chest and knocking him out of the sky. Crashing to the ground like a meteor and exploding in hellish dust and lightning. Before Jupiter can recover, Metatron is there once more standing above him. His left foot on his chest and scythe at his throat. “You survived a smiting…I guess I’ll have to fix that now won’t I?”

“Stay your blade Metatron.” Evangeline orders with her own javelin at Metatron’s neck. “I know not what you intend to do but this madness has gone far enough.”

“Hmph, you’re no fun at all.” Metatron returns his shroud to normal and banishes his scythe and floats away as if nothing happened.

“What was the meaning of that?” Evangeline asks flying to stop Metatron who just floats around her.

“If you don’t teach these Faux Gods their place they’ll just end up falling prey to the Angels. Then things get worse for everyone.”

“Wait, so this was a test?”

“Yeah, one you ruined I might add. But whatever, I guess things worked out. Jupiter knows he’s not the top dog so he’ll work himself and the Pantheon harder to be better.”

“If you wanted to help why not be more direct?” Evangeline asks confused. His methods seemed needlessly problematic and combative when words would suffice.

“He was ready to smite us just for being in front of his house. Do you really think someone like that would listen to reason?”

“It seems I’ve much to learn still.”

“You’re going to keep following me aren’t you, Evangeline?” Metatron glances at her.

“I believe I will.”

“Great…” he replies sarcastically.

Next Issue

Black Valkyrie Chapter 4- Princess of Lokheim

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