I was lent the horse again…Kanesha doubled behind me as we rode back. She had refused to be left somewhere safe.
Either Surtur would lose and we would be safe, or he would win and be honorable and we would run, or…or we would have to finish the job.
That was how it felt. As if this might be the end of it. I could hope, anyway.
Helgr became queen, returned things the way they were, I went back to Midgard with Kanesha and pretended to be normal until I couldn’t any more.
The horse’s hooves under me, the sense of his strength and magic. I wanted this, too.
You will never be one of my sisters.
Thruor’s judgment. No, prophecy. But we rode.
We rode until we met the guards, but the flag Helgr had given to Thruor was apparently a symbol of passage.
He knew. He knew why we were here, and he knew what we meant to do. I wondered if he was confident.
A small part of me wondered if he cared any more. If he might not just let her win.
There was something in the air, though. It felt like fire. It felt like magic. It felt like the fire was about to go out of control, all of it.
As if some grip was being lost that went beyond politics. I shivered, even though it was too hot.
Kanesha’s voice from behind me. “I don’t like this. Something’s happening.”
It might be the start. It might be that…hell, it might be that I’d started it by working with Helgr. If that was what the prophecy said, then it was possible everything I did to try and prevent Ragnarok would end up being part of what caused it.
But if the prophecy simply said that I could do either, then…then I was free.
I wanted to feel free. I wanted to be free, free to ride a good horse with the wind in my hair. Free to love. Free to live.
No man made my fate.
No god made my fate. I would make my own, and in that moment, it all seemed to snap together.
What happened would be my choice, and if it went wrong it would be because I was no Norn to see the future, nor ever would be.
Nor would I be a Valkyrie.
Not everything. Enough.