Black Valkyrie #4: Princess of Lokheim

Black Valkyrie Emblem

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. In the past when he wasn’t reaping souls, he’d hunt down Angels who escaped from the Rift. But now that he has been joined by the curious Valkyrie, Evangeline, he’s begun teaching her the inner workings of the multiverse…

Metatron

Black Valkyrie Prince of Aaru

Evangeline
New Valkyrie

“Dare I ask what brings us here?” Evangeline asks Metatron. The World of Rivers was a simple and fairly peaceful World. One where mankind lived on a single supercontinent littered with the aforementioned rivers. One could easily mistake it for a truly massive archipelago. It seemed to be an unusual World for the pair to visit out of all the options in reality.

“Nothing.” Metatron replies as he descends to one of the near countless rivers below. It’s shores inhabited by a massive herd of hippos. The Disir’s arrival did nothing to change their daily routine of relaxation.

“Nothing?” Evangeline was confused by the simple response. Metatron was a mystery to her so she was certain there was a secret reason they came here. “Surely you jest.”

“Nope, sometimes I just like to visit a lesser World. See what a World could be without the Deities influence or any Angels.”

“Hmm…I suppose it’d give valuable perspective.” she thought aloud.

“Not everything needs a deeper meaning Valkyrie.” Metatron sighs. “Just enjoy not having to work for a while.”

“I still don’t see how you can forsake your duty so easily.”

“Because there’s more than enough Disir to go around. Besides…” Metatron becomes silent.

“Yes?”

Without warning, Metatron spins around and summons his scythe. Pointing it at the jungle behind them. His stare intense and ready for a fight. “You gonna keep hiding or do I have to level the jungle to make you come out?” The air begins to ripple like waves before the pair. Revealing a woman with stringy jet black hair down to her shoulders. She wore an elegant jet black corset with golden trim and the image of a female deer adorning the breasts and stomach. Matching black pants, thigh high boots, and black gloves with golden trim gave her the distinct image of a pirate queen. Yet her deep green eyes gave the impression she was truly a witch.

“Greetings husband.” the woman says in a sultry voice. Her eyes gazing lustfully upon Metatron moments before looking at Evangeline disdainfully. “I leave you not for a day and you’re already slinking around with a wench?”

“Watch your tongue witch.” Evangeline summons her short sword and aims it at the woman alongside Metatron. “Lest you wish to taste my blade.”

“Is that so?” the woman smirks and in an instant appears mere inches from Evangeline’s face. Her left hand holding Evangeline’s arm and her right gripped tightly around her neck. Her strength more than enough to lift the Valkyrie into the air with ease. “I’ve never tested my mettle against a Valkyrie before.”

“That’s enough Hel.” Metatron’s tone drops as he grips her left arm enough to draw blood. Forcing Hel to release Evangeline from her mighty grip.

“You always did like to play rough.” Hel smiles at Metatron who releases her. His stare as intense as ever.

“What do you want Hel?”

“Well if you must know dear husband…” she waves her right arm over the injury on her left. Her hand glowing with green magic that heals the injury in an instant.

“Not your husband.”

“Of course you are, you just don’t know it yet.” Hel walks away from the pair and sits down on an overturned tree. “I had news you might be interested in hearing dearest Tron.” her pet name causing Metatron to wince in disgust. “But I think I’d much rather barter for it.”

“And who are you to barter with us?” Evangeline asks insulted by Hel’s demeanor.

Hel crosses her legs, puts her right hand under her hair, and flips it to the side. The wind blowing it majestically. Her magic keeping her hair blowing in the wind and made her eyes shine like emeralds. She looked down upon Evangeline and spoke. “I am Hel, Goddess of Death, daughter of the God of Mischief Loki, princess of Lokheim, and future wife to Metatron.” the atmosphere she emitted demanded respect.

“Æsir? I thought them legends.” Evangeline notes confused about Hel’s declaration.

“Not surprising, dear uncle made sure most of us were but a distant memory. Were it not for me and my father, we’d be all but forgotten…” Hel laments before standing. The wind finally stopping with her point made. “Now, shall we begin the negotiations?”

“I don’t care about your little games Hel.”

“Then I suppose you don’t care about the Disir being murdered under your noses?”

“What?” Metatron finally gives Hel proper attention.

“Willing to barter now are you?”

“You’d try to use this information for your own ends? What type of leader do you hope to be?” Evangeline scowls at Hel who just smiles.

“Dear Valkyrie, I don’t care about leadership.” she says bluntly. Resting her head on her right hand. “I always get what I want. Tis merely a matter of when or how. Cooperating is in your best interest…But if you want me to make things difficult…I’ll gladly oblige.”

“Whatever, what do you want?” Metatron asks crossing his arms.

“Do you really have to ask dear Tron? I want your hand in marriage and our Realms allied together. Of course, giving me an heir is also a requirement.”

“I’ve heard enough of this.” Evangeline says finally reaching her limit. Summoning her Short Sword & Shield once more, readying herself for battle. “You said Disir are being murdered and you’re just treating their lives as pawns? Your title means nothing to me. You will tell me what you know or I will cut it from you.”

“Hmph, you Valkyrie are such an arrogant lot. Do you not know how little a threat you are to me? Did you forget how easily I could’ve crushed you before?” Hel scoffs at Evangeline’s challenge.

“I know full well your fabled power and I’ve not forgotten. But I’ll not let you belittle their deaths for your own gain!” In a single step, Evangeline lunges blade first towards Hel. But before the blade can pierce her collarbone, Hel shatters like glass. Sending Evangeline into a strange realm of dark green fog. “Come out Hel!” she demands. Her feet slowly gliding over the floor as she searches for her enemy. What sounded like stones sliding across other stones enter her ears with each move she makes. Evangeline’s eyes focus on the ground for a second. But a second was enough to realize she wasn’t pushing aside stones but an endless expanse of bones.

“Welcome to my domain Valkyrie.” Hel echoes as she materializes over a dozen feet away upon a throne of bones. “Prepare to learn your place beneath my heel.” As Goddess of Death, she possessed many abilities of her own. Her already powerful magic expanded by her lineage. With a snap of her fingers, the fog begins to enter the floor. Filling the bones within it and giving them life anew. Their bones surging with magic and smoke as their flesh returns. Nordic armor and weapons being summoned once more to their bodies. Hollow cavernous eyes glowing green as they stand ready to defend their queen. “Go my Draugr! Tear her limb from limb!”

In the halls of Valhalla, there were whispered tales of the Draugr. Undead Revenants who didn’t desire flesh and weren’t bound to a single World. The result of unholy necromancy the likes only possible by two individuals in all reality. No matter how powerful the weapon or spell, the Draugr would not fall. Purification only slowing them. No, they needed to be felled by a person of true virtue and courage. Even then, decapitation followed by the swift burning of their remains to ashes and the discarding of those ashes into the sea was required to slay them. Truly, they were abominations to rival the Angels.

Though Evangeline had little actual combat experience until recently, she felt no fear. Easily beheading the first with a single swipe of her blade. But even with its head gone, it still fought. Immediately swinging at Evangeline. Forcing her to jump back and put distance between the pair…which put her within range of the ever-increasing number of Draugr. Each swing she took met undead flesh and armor. Her divine Sword & Shield meeting their ancient weapons yet they withstood each clash. Forcing her to shift from fighting gracefully to relying on simple brute force. This wasn’t a duel between warriors but a brawl for survival. For each Draugr she felled a dozen would take its place. No matter how hard she fought, it’d only be a matter of time before she died and joined their ranks. Hel watched with an arrogant smirk as Evangeline was slowly swarmed by her army of Draugr. Once in their grasp, any hope of her escaping was lost.

“All-Father, hear my prayer. Grant me the strength to fell these beasts.” Evangeline prays as she struggles to futilely escape the Draugrs grasp. “Give me the strength to honor the noble Disir who’ve fallen.”

“All-Father…as if he’d listen to the prayer of another. Let alone his own Valkyrie.” Hel laughs mockingly. Yet her laughter ends when a light pierces her realm of darkness. Creating a protective ring around Evangeline, freeing her from the Draugr.

“Praying to Odin huh?” An all too familiar voice says from the light. When the light begins to dull, Metatron stands by Evangeline’s side in his Valkyrion Armor. His javelin of light held tightly in his right hand. “Better off praying to Iblis, Valkyrie. Gramps doesn’t give a shit about us. Me? I don’t mind getting off my ass when I have to.” Metatron raises his javelin of light, pulls his arm back, and throws it at Hel. It’s light piercing through her dark realm and creating a path straight to her through the Draugr. Only stopping when they make contact with a magical green barrier that surrounds her. Using the opening, Evangeline races through the path of light to Hel. Her blade stopping when it meets the barrier next to Metatron’s javelin of light.

“So damned persistent! Just give up!” Hel strains to maintain her barrier against both Disir’s attack.

“A Disir never surrenders no matter the trial before them.” Evangeline banishes her shield and summons her javelin in its place. Pulling back her short sword so she can stab the barrier with her javelin instead. Piercing the barrier and stabbing Hel in the collarbone while Metatron’s javelin pierces her shoulder. “No matter who or what we must battle!” Evangeline drives her javelin through Hel’s collarbone and into a tree. “Even if they be a goddess.” she exhales and readies her Short Sword.

“I’m impressed.” Hel’s voice echoes as her body fades away. A second Hel appearing with her arms crossed behind Evangeline. “I think I’ll let you live for the time being.” she walks over to Metatron, looks him in the eyes, and scowls. “You won’t show me your Valkyrie form yet you so easily show it to her? Shameless, what would your father think of such a scandal?”

“That some things never change.” Metatron scoffs and transforms his Valkyrion Armor into his full Shroud. “You’ve had your fun and wasted enough of my time. Tell me what you know or I won’t be as forgiving next time.

“Hmph, very well then.” Hel walks away from Metatron and summons an elaborate golden chair from thin air. Sitting on it and crossing her legs sensually. “As Goddess of Death, there are few deaths that escape my notice. Though I’m no Avatar my senses are still far higher than yours. At first, I thought it a coincidence that a number of Disir simply perished. But then they kept on dying which warranted my attention even if dear Angela & Grigori saw fit to ignore it.”

“Get to the point Hel.” Metatron surges with energy in annoyance.

“Dearest Tron, if you keep interrupting me I might not finish my story.”

“You…” Metatron prepares to unleash an attack but is stopped by Evangeline putting her hand on his shoulder.

“Should her words be true we best play along with her game. Lest she summons more of those Draugr.” Evangeline whispers to Metatron who sighs. He hated playing along, but it was the only way to get her to cooperate.

“Continue Hel.” Metatron returns to normal once more.

“Thank you dearest husband.” Hel winks. “Now as I was saying, upon further inspection, I’ve noticed something. Where each Disir fell there was the stink of Cosmic Aether. You know what that means yes? Whoever was responsible was a Radiant.” she stands and gives a surprisingly serious expression. “Are you ready for war with the Star Forgers?”

Next Issue

Black Valkyrie Chapter 5- Schism

Previous Issue

Black Valkyrie Chapter 3- The Reaper & the Valkyrie

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