“Okay. I have no clue how we do this,” I admitted. “We have to make it look good, but not actually do anything.”
Thruor nodded. “Well, we can’t do it. Only somebody bound to Muspelheim can actually do it.”
And the fyrhund was not here. Good. He might qualify. “Which none of us are. But does Surtur know that?”
“Yes, but he does not know you didn’t bring some random fire giant here.”
I grinned. “Good point. Although I wouldn’t.”
“Even if they wanted to do it?”
I knew what would happen, in my heart. “Maybe.”
If Surtur did it…well, it would be his free choice. Asking anyone, even saying it was something we needed or wanted?
That would make me responsible. But it should be him anyway. The king is the sacrifice.
“So…it’s a shame my dad isn’t here.” The only illusions I ever did were glamors to cover myself. Faking a spectacular ritual? I hadn’t tried that.
I glanced at the dwarves. “Got any ideas?” I’d come all this way thinking I would somehow know what to do when I got here.
The stars seemed much closer. No. I didn’t want to actually call one. I wanted to get rid of Surtur and then get the dwarves to destroy the forges.
I would regret this. Maybe…but if I ended up permanently dead would I have regrets?
Or would I be yelled at by my sister. She would not, I thought, be happy with me.
I shook my head. “Give me a few here.” I thought I was right, but I needed to calm my thoughts in order to know what to do.
I stepped away, towards the tree, and I was back in that vision again.
A sun god. Who had done that to me because he genuinely believed I was going to end the world. And maybe I had. Maybe none of this would have happened if I had not existed to be a target for Surtur’s desires.
Maybe sometimes there really was nothing you could do to change fate.
I would regret doing this. But I sensed for a moment that I was at a cusp of times and choices. I could say I couldn’t do it, go back down the mountain. Fight for the dwarves.
Probably die. And with the barriers down, I wasn’t sure it wouldn’t be permanent anyway.
I could run.
I could go back to Earth, I could cast my lot with those protecting it.
And I realized that every choice I would make, that wasn’t hiding in a quiet corner, led to my death.
I realized there was no escape. The knowledge was not depressing. Quite the opposite.
Because there was no escape I was free to do whatever I needed, and Loki had Kanesha in a safe quiet corner.
By, of course, trickery.