After Ragnarok

Chapter 06: Heaven and Hel

The Palace was as black as obsidian. Yet, Yari felt nothing from it. No evil, no good. He stepped quickly across the bone yard beyond Nidhogg's feeding pit.

In places, opaque glowing ghosts went about their afterlives. Some gave in to their fate and made the best of it, building homes out of the materials at hand. The Macabre look of one bone-house made his companion shudder. Other souls wallowed in their misery. Slouched over weeping real rivers of tears.

The last group was the one that worried Yari. Wars long past were still being fought in Hel. The souls of warriors, not taken by Valkyrie, pillaged and fought, oblivious to their own deaths, and futile efforts.

"Nifelheim." Xulin sighed happily, he had once again stepped into his realm of expertise. "Mistress Hel will be within...If we're lucky." Making the final strides to the palace steps, Yari had the unwavering feel of falling. His eyes refused to show him depth within the palace.

"You...wow. This is annoying...you really think Fenrir would eat his own sister?" Xulin stepped in behind him cupping Yari's shoulder to lead him along.

"Why not? He ate his own fathe-"

"Speak not the name of the Wolf within this house." A woman stepped out halfway from behind a column some distance ahead. She wore black silk wrapped around her many times. A hood fell over her face. But the sheen of her right cheek glowed beautifully from what little light was eked within the fortress. "What can I do...for.... the living?" Her hood fell silently off and she stepped into full view. The left side of the goddess Hel's face lay gaping, burned and scarred, a mockery of the beauty of her right. The left half of her body was wrapped in white silk though bloodstains showed through the fabric.