I knew Odin couldn’t intervene. If he did, then that too would start the war.
I knew he was watching. I straightened my shoulders. “No.” It wasn’t even a not negotiate with terrorists thing.
And the temperature in the room dropped about twenty degrees.
“No?” came an acid voice from behind me.
I stepped to one side, knowing exactly who was behind me.
Allies in Jotunheim.
“Me.” Angrboda said. “Now, stop this foolishness, because I am not going to let you start the war.”
“Let me? I have my guard with me.”
She laughed. “Yes. Outside. And you are in here with me and Loki’s daughter. Fool.”
As she moved past me, she handed me my sword. She must have broken into my place to get it.
Or maybe the sword had broken out. It wasn’t like it wasn’t alive, after all.
Surtur narrowed his eyes. “I had wards, and she was unarmed. I am not that much of a fool.”
Wards that might have stopped Angrboda if she hadn’t had a bit of help.
And giants fought all of the time. The blade in my hand, I approached Surtur. “Release the girl and leave or we’ll give you…”
“…a good spanking,” Angrboda finished, unslinging her axe with a grin.
He couldn’t die here, neither could we. Not permanently. But apparently he didn’t want to take on both of us. In the illusion or far seer or whatever, the giant released the girl.
I wondered if that thing went both ways. I moved forward, but Surtur vanished in a puff of flame.
Of course, that left the giants outside free to act. They didn’t. Maybe without him to give orders, they realized killing hostages was dishonorable.
“He just crossed a line. You might not have to worry about him any more,” Angrboda said softly.
“Would be nice. But I don’t think it’s going to be that simple. Thanks for showing up.”
“Hard to ignore those pesky ravens when they start nagging.”
I laughed. “Odin couldn’t do anything himself or even send Thor or something without risking starting Ragnarok, but nobody cares if you get into it with Surtur.”
“Exactly. Now, tell me you’re done with exams.”
“Done, yes. In a hurry to get drunk on your beer again…”
She clapped me on the shoulder hard enough to make me stagger. “Then let’s celebrate here. Find that lover of yours.”
I grinned. “Works for me.”