Unfortunately, none of this gave me a solution.
Bjorn hesitated then, “Let me show you some more stuff.” He offered me his hand.
I took it, even though I wasn’t sure he wasn’t flirting again. We moved further away from the dead forest, and I saw that at the edge of it was a town. A dying town. No doubt, whatever their purpose had been had to do with the trees and everyone had moved out.
There was a mine, too, I noticed. “What did they mine here?”
“Gems. We used to trade them to the dwarves, but you can’t eat gems.”
“The dwarves probably can.”
He laughed. “Probably, but we aren’t dwarves.”
I liked dwarves, of course. But they were so tied to the rock I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t draw at least some sustenance from it. Some energy, at least.
Maybe fire giants drew sustenance from fire and that was why they’d moved out. “You were born here.”
“One of the last to be. We had to leave. And it’s spreading.”
“I know.” I let out a breath. “The energy was used up in the fighting.”
“So much fighting. I mean, it’s in our nature to fight each other, but I’m told it wasn’t as bad.”
“You need a safe channel for it. Mortals have…outlets. You need something similar.”
“Surtur thinks the only good outlet…”
“Surtur is a king. He is not as wise as he thinks.” I let out a breath.
“And you’re a kid, same as me.”
“I’m Loki’s daughter. I think that counts for something.”
“It does to Surtur.”
“I think he thinks that I count as at least a bit of extra fire.”
“But you do! Your fire isn’t drained, isn’t depleted.”
“It’s not depleted. It’s locked up.”
But in what? I closed my eyes as if to enhance other senses, and I felt a flow of energy away from here. “That way. What’s that way?” I pointed.
“The capital. If we’re avoiding Surtur, we don’t want to go there.”
“Something there is stealing your fire. Some kind of weapon or weapons.”
“They forge a lot of weapons.”
My own sword was dwarven. “The one thing the dwarves won’t sell you.”
He looked startled. “Yes.”
“Maybe one day that will change.”