Black Valkyrie #5: Schism

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. During his latest lesson with the new Valkyrie, Evangeline, the pair encounter Hel. Despite their distrust for the princess of Lokheim, she informs the pair of Disir’s being seemingly murdered. Placing the blame squarely on the Star Forgers…

Metatron

Black Valkyrie Prince of Aaru

Hel

Princess of Lokheim & Æsir of Death

Evangeline
New Valkyrie

“I knew you were dumb but this is a new level.” Metatron mocks Hel. It wasn’t impossible for a Radiant to slay a Disir nor for one to be insane enough to actively hunt them. But for the Disir to go to war with the Star Forgers? The universe would be lesser for it no matter who won. All that would be gained was an easy opening for Angels to bring irreparable ruin to reality.

“Surely she jests. The Star Forgers are our allies.” Evangeline couldn’t comprehend a scenario where she’d have to face the Star Forgers in battle.

“I suppose as a whole they’re allies to the Disir.” Hel runs her hand through her hair. “But can you guarantee that all the Radiant’s hearts beat as one? Not even my father knows how the Star Core decide on their host. Perhaps it simply chose a psychopath.”

“Or perhaps the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, daughter of the trickster god.” Evangeline squints cautiously at Hel.

Metatron takes a deep breath. “She’s right.” Metatron begrudgingly agrees with Hel’s speculation. Much to Evangeline’s visible annoyance. She could barely stand to look at him. “I don’t like agreeing with her but she has a point.”

“So you’d have us go to war with our own friends?” Evangeline asks firmly.

“They aren’t my friends!” Metatron snaps back with eyes aglow. Startling Evangeline enough for her to take a step back.

“Oh my, she doesn’t know does she?” Hel jumps to her feet excitedly. “Oh, this will be fun.” With a wave of her hands, her dark green smoke surrounds the group. Transporting them to a misty forest. There two silhouetted figures made of smoke converse. The first seemed to be an older man dressed in robes while the other a younger man. He appeared to be around Metatron’s age and wore a travelers tunic with an armored right arm. “A long time ago before any of us were even alive, there was a young man from the World of Hope. So youthful and vibrant. So full of life and joy. Fitting he was amongst the first Radiants ever chosen and the one who shone the brightest. ” she says as the young man begins to lift off the ground and float off. Her smoke dissipates and begins to reform. This time as the man approaches Queen Angela who smiles. “He hoped for a universe free of Angels. To do it, he sought aid from the Valkyrie…” the smoke reforms as he approaches Grigori who shows little interest but nods nonetheless. “…the Reapers…” the smoke reforms once more, returning to the older man in robes. But the older man scowls and the young man storms off. “…and his fellow Radiants…the ones who’d join him at the least.”

Hel takes a brief pause. The smoke reforms yet again and it expands to the size of a football field. Depicting a massive war between the Star Forgers, Valkyrie, Reapers, and Angels. The Disir and their Radiant allies fight the Angels in a field of darkness. The two armies battle with all their might. But it soon became clear what the outcome would be. Despite their numbers and their power, they were ultimately no match for the Angels. One by one they were slaughtered without mercy by their unholy enemies. Radiant and Disir alike were torn apart without remorse

“Thousands of Disir, 103 Radiants, and only two survivors…” Hel says as the smoke disappears. Returning them to the World of Rivers. “The foolish Radiant who thought to war with the Angels and a lone Reaper. After the spectacular failure, the Reapers refused to ever do battle with the Angels again in such a foolhardy venture.” Metatron barely contains his fury as Hel continues. His clenched fists shaking as she continued to speak. “The Radiants were all but destroyed and faded into obscurity until recently. But the Valkyrie, despite all their losses, turned a blind eye to it all.” she glances at Evangeline. Her stunned and crestfallen expression bringing a hint of joy to Hel. “But given your ignorance, I imagine you’ve no inkling how devastating those losses truly were. Tell me Valkyrie, do you know what happens when you’re felled by an Angel?”

“They destroy not just the body but the soul.” Evangeline replies with heart heavy.

“Good job Valkyrie.” Hel remained condescending. “Once an Angel destroys your soul there is no Valhalla or Aaru. You simply cease to exist in every sense. But for the Disir and even us Æsir, should we fall to an Angel it will create a void that can never be filled. So many destroyed forever in such a pointless and foolish battle…”

“They couldn’t have predicted such an outcome!” Evangeline defends the failed assault on the Rift. “Is it truly living knowing we’re simply stalling their ever growing might? Was it foolish to hope with all your might and fight alongside your brothers in arms for the sake of all? Though they failed…Do not belittle their deaths! They fell fighting for what they believed in so that we may keep living!”

“Quite the passionate one aren’t we?” Hel smirks ever so slightly in amusement. “That’s easy to say as a simple Valkyrie…but for us royalty this matter is not so simple. We can’t toss our lives or our peoples lives away so easily. Hope and determination is not something we can bet our species on. So given that our people are being massacred by the ones who brought us to ruin once already. Do you expect us to reply with flowery words? Talk of compassion and working for the greater good? Surely dearest Tron agrees with me.” Hel turns to face the stoic Metatron.

“Do not fall for her silver tongue.” Evangeline maintains her defiant stance.

“Shall we blot out some stars, oh, Black Valkyrie?” Hel asks.

“We mustn’t act rashly. The past is the past. Surely there’s an explanation for this.”

“What explanation is there for murder?” Hel inquires.

“We don’t know if it was murder. We should learn more before we listen to your warmongering.”

“Would you prefer an assassination then?”

“I’d prefer we not jump to conclusions.”

“As fun as this is, are you two done?” Metatron yawns. His fury seemingly gone and replaced with boredom.

“Are we boring you?” Hel asks annoyed.

“Yes, quite frankly. I thought it’d be amusing to humor both of you but it’s more exhausting than anything.” he rubs the back of his head with eyes barely open.

“How can you be so callous to the plight of your people?” Evangeline knew Metatron could be brash but this disgusted her.

“Because it doesn’t matter. Even if a Radiant could destroy our bodies it’d leave our essence intact. For the Valkyries that just means Angela gets to resurrect them or turn them into a mortal. For us? It’s a break from our unending hell. Dying is a good thing for us.”

From disgust to pity, Evangeline can only ask. “How can you think such a thing? All lives are sacred even yours.”

“We’re just weapons Valkyrie. When we die we get a brief peace before going back to our servitude. If anything, we should be thanking this Radiant.” Metatron begins to fade into his shroud. “If you want to go to war? Then talk to Grigori. But he’ll respond just like I did.” he fades into his shroud and leaves the pair to their devices.

Caring little for where he exited, Metatron drifts within his shroud. Letting it take him to whatever exit lay before him. But as he exited his shroud he felt a strange sensation accompanied by a brief flash of light. When he exits his shroud he finds himself in an ancient and desolate temple of Nordic origin. A single throne sat between statues of Loki and Odin who lay on the left and right respectively. Throughout the halls lay statues dedicated to the numerous other Æsir as well as other divine beings Metatron had no knowledge of. An eerie fog filled the structure and dark light shone from above.

“It’s rude to leave without a proper farewell.” Hel’s voice echoes as she appears in her throne with legs crossed.

“What did you do Hel? Where am I?” Metatron leers at the goddess of death.

“Welcome to my crypt, dearest Tron. You are one of the few who has ever been granted entry.”

“So do you want to court me or drag me into a petty war?” he summons his scythe and rests it over his shoulder. “Are you that desperate for more Draugr? You know when a Radiant dies you don’t get to keep the Star Core.”

“I must admit, the idea of Radiant Draugr titillates me. But that’s not why I brought you here, dearest Tron. I’ve known you long enough to know how this song and dance will play. You’ll be defiant and then act in your own self-interest. Not letting others see your true intentions. Doing whatever you want whenever you want…While I do love how rash and wild you are…I believe you need a lesson in humility.” she glows with magic as her undead army begins to rise from the tombs scattered throughout her crypt beneath the fog.

“Is that so?” Metatron grins sinisterly. Swinging his scythe as if it was weightless. Carving through the Draugr that begin to rise around him. First dozens then hundreds fell with ease. Though it didn’t take them long to rise once more. “Is this how you plan on humbling me? I’m not even breaking a sweat!” Metatron taunts as he swings his scythe once more. But this time, his blade clashes with the Draugr’s shield but does not break it. “What?!” he’s startled as the Draugr parries him. His counter swing being blocked by the Draugr’s broadsword with relative ease.

“Hehehe, what’s wrong Metatron? Feeling not quite yourself?” Hel chuckles.

“The Niflheim did you do to me Hel?!” Metatron struggles to fight against the Draugr. His once mighty scythe now a hindrance without enough space or force needed to swing it properly.

“You forget who I am, Black Valkyrie.” she said in a booming voice that reverberated throughout the temple. She stood from her throne and looked down on Metatron. “I am the Goddess of Death, Princess of Lokheim, and Daughter of mighty sorcerer Loki. You may shun your role and your heritage but I embrace it.” Hel begins to slowly step down from her throne. Magic flowing from her body like an unending torrent of power. “I will do what I must to stave off the twilight.” she reaches the bottom of the steps. Her magic filled the entire temple. “Even if it means I must bring you to heel myself.”

The Draugr acted as an extension of Hel’s will. They didn’t need a verbal, physical, or even a mystical command. Simply knowing what they needed to do. A horde of undead warriors that quickly began to overwhelm the Black Valkyrie. The speed Metatron once used to fight now being used as an impenetrable shield. But the Draugr were not only warriors. Hel kept a number of Draugr capable of performing spellcasting. Their mystical volley was added to the assault against Metatron. Forcing him to maintain his stalwart defense or risk an untimely demise.

“Stave off the twilight? What is she on about?” Metatron thought amidst the chaos. While under the effect of Hel’s spell, he had no choice but to remain on his defense. He had plenty of time to contemplate a course of action. “Whatever, I’ll have to deal with these damned Draugr before I can get to her.” Raising scythe skyward, Metatron spins it like a tornado. A swirl of darkness turning into light. His scythe and shroud transforming into his Valkyrion javelin and armor. “Now then, are you ready for…” Metatron’s consciousness begins to drift. His knees collapsing under the weight of his own body. Forcing him to use his javelin to keep standing.

“Poor little Metatron…So used to fighting Angels you forgot what it was like to face a proper opponent. What it’s like to face someone who isn’t a mindless beast.” she said condescendingly. Like a parent talking to a child. “The moment I brought you here my fog has been draining your power and adding it to my own. Had you realized it sooner you might’ve been able to escape. But now, you’ve no power to fight and none to flee. It’ll only be a matter of time before I make you mine.” Hel was proud of her spell and how everything was placed in her favor. At long last, she would have what she desired of Metatron. But most importantly, she’d prove to him she wasn’t to be so easily insulted and taunted. Vengeance would be sweet…

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Black Valkyrie Chapter 4- Princess of Lokheim

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