Of course, when I was trying to avoid fire giants, they seemed to be on every street corner.
When I was trying to find one? Not a one to be seen. Fortunately, I had an advantage.
A canine advantage.
Of course, he couldn’t find a specific fire giant. But between his nose and my senses I was able to locate all eight of them in town.
Hopefully one of them would be sympathetic to my ideas rather than loyal to Surtur. And the one I did find?
I’d met him before. He wasn’t any older than I was. “Hey.”
“You’re looking for me?” His tone was suspicious as he glanced at the fyrhund.
“You or somebody like you. I need to check something out and I need some help. And I need it under Surtur’s radar.”
He shuddered. “He’s losing it.”
“Figured you’d say that.”
“But it’s hard to get to Muspelheim under his radar.”
I could imagine that. “Do you know a back door?”
“I do, but it’s not a fun route. Of course, you’re as immune to fire as I am, but you’d better not…”
“I don’t plan on bringing anyone else.” I smiled at him. “I want to look at what’s going on without being shown a nice, pleasant guided tour.”
He laughed. “I get that. And I think I know where to take you. But what’s in it for me?”
“I’m trying to keep Surtur from starting Ragnarok. And I’m trying to solve your problems. I have some insight, but I need to see what’s going on.” And feel it. And know it.
It scared me. I was afraid it meant something.
I was rather afraid…
“Why do you care?”
A pause. “Well, first of all, I have mortals I care about that I don’t want to see burned to a crisp or frozen into icicles in a war. Second of all, I guess I’m a soft touch for people in trouble. If it was just Surtur he could go hang, but…”
“Nobody cares about fire giants.”
“I do.” Of course, I rather suspected I’d have to be careful admitting that. “But I do have some of our blood.”
“And something else.” He grinned. “I think I know what Surtur sees in you.”
“Flirting won’t get you anywhere. But I think I can find some sort of reward for being a guide.” If nothing else, there was always tasty food he couldn’t get in Muspelheim.
It worked on gods.