Episode Thirty-Five: Stalemate: Scene 17

He did not. What came instead was a small party of elite forces, making their way up the trail. “What now?” I asked Thruor.

 

“We kill them. There’s only seven of them and we’re in a good position.”

 

I nodded, although I waited on drawing my sword until I was ready to pounce. It had a tendency to glow.

 

And make interesting singing noises. The dwarves had not given me a weapon meant for subtlety.

 

Of course, that was fine. Despite my parentage, I wasn’t meant for subtlety either. I launched at the giant with a battle cry.

 

He turned, but not fast enough to keep my blade from slicing through his shield…and his shield hand. Battle was joined, and I followed up with a kick to throw him back, away from me.

 

He scrabbled, but with only one hand he wasn’t able to stay on the trail, and he went rolling down the mountainside.

 

I didn’t think he was dead, but he was out of the picture for a while and I whirled to deal with another, entirely aware of how small a space we had to work with here.

 

I heard various other cries around me, a feminine yelp indicating one of the dwarves had been hit. Their voices were not like giant voices, a quite different timbre.

 

I’d have to worry about that later, right now it was taking all I had to stay alive and hold my own, with two very well-trained and experienced fire giants on me. Not much I could do about it.

 

We had to kill or capture them so Surtur would wonder where they were and maybe come himself next time.

 

And these were no conscripts. I felt no guilt. “Present for you, sister,” I couldn’t help but call as I slashed my blade through the throat of one of them.

 

He went down, but his companion only seemed to be emboldened. “You.”

 

“If you kill me, Surtur won’t be happy.”

 

“I don’t care. You caused all the trouble.”

 

Whatever else he was going to say was silenced by the throwing axe that hit him in the back. I dodged the fallen body. “Thanks for the assist!”

 

I didn’t bother retrieving the axe. There were still three of them standing and I moved in on the nearest, only to have Mike deal with him.

 

Yeah. Thruor had been right about us being able to take these guys, although only when the last one went down did I notice at all that I was bleeding.

 

Adrenalin and battle fever, I supposed. The injured dwarf was Ebba, who had a nasty cut in her side. Not deep enough to hit anything vital.

 

Jorun tended to her and I let Mike bandage my arm. Probably all it needed. “That was almost too easy.”

 

“He sent good. He did not send his best.”

 

“He must know it’s us.”

 

“Maybe he thought you would hesitate,” the valkyrie said, softly.

 

“No. I won’t.”

 

I might regret, but I would not hesitate.

 

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