We hid in the dark, while an army went past us to kill those we should have been protecting. Loki was not with us. He pointed out that he stood out too much.
I rather thought he just had a nostalgia for when he and Surtur had been friends and wanted no involvement in this.
I wondered if there had ever been a point when he had thought the match was a good thing.
Probably he had until he found out what Surtur planned. Or most likely, until he found out I wanted nothing to do with it.
He respected me. And I was no older than those dwarven kids, but it was good to be treated like an adult. Then again, I was insisting on it.
I was taking responsibility and leading and I didn’t like it, but it seemed as if I fell further down that rabbit hole with every decision I made.
With every decision I made I sealed my own fate. I was sure of that now. The sad part was that I was not sure what my fate was.
I put a hand on the fyrhund’s ruff. Another person who had insisted on coming against, perhaps, my better judgment.
Then again, in some ways, he’d been with me through it all in a way even Kanesha hadn’t.
He needed a name.
I could not name him until after the fight.
Unless it was already too late. I felt my fire, pulling within me. My heritage.
But only part of my heritage. Fire and ice and the strength that kept them both together. When had I chosen the fire?
I was not sure, even with memory. I was not sure, but I knew I had at some point.
And in my heart I knew it did not matter. And then what happened to Kanesha.
I trusted Thruor. If something happened to me, I trusted her and I knew Kanesha did too. If I died. If I died for good, she would still be protected.
The fire within me, and I knew when the last of them had passed, although I said nothing, waiting until the twins thought it was clear.
Better to be safe than dead, I thought. Better to be safe and on our way, although I knew I would never be safe again.
Whatever happened, I was not meant for safety, and we moved through the tunnels.
“They left their gate open,” Jorun said.
“No doubt,” Thruor supplied, “So they can easily bring more troops through.”
It went without saying that we should open our own, and we did, moving down a side tunnel and then stepping out onto a hillside in Muspelheim.
Below us, an army mustered.