After Ragnarok

Chapter 04: The War to End All Wars

The hall was almost melodious with the conversations of its inhabitants. Yari didn't laugh with his compatriots, beer dripping down their faces. Odin's hall held thousands of tables. His eyes focused on one person. He was beautiful. Sipping a glass quietly the thin boyish looking Vanir spoke quietly with his own group. As he looked up, and their eyes met, Yari got up and walked out of the hall. His sense told him something in the back of his mind. More than the usual pre-battle tension. Adjusting his furs he lay against the stone wrought walls outside the great hall. The moon sat high, as a small wolfish form lay close behind it. "The day the sun and moon are eaten, the end has come to the world of Asgard."

Yari didn't flinch as the Vanir crouched down next to him. "I've been training for tomorrow for...5310 years...I never thought I'd actually see it. I've never met a Jotun." He blushed and turned his head down and away from his new confidant. He wasn't quite sure what made him feel it was necessary to tell this man his fears and worries. He shifted into a cross-legged position and stared at the gap between his crossed legs.

The lucid skinned beauty leaned close bringing Yari's attention back to his long features. "I'm Xulin. Vanir of Skadi's house." He leaned closer. At a distance hinting at close examination, Xulin stood up in a fluid motion and walked inside again.

Yari had another pang at the back of his mind. "Skadi..." He was sure Xulin had brought that up for a reason. He tried running through his 5338 years of knowledge. He had never met Xulin before. Or been to Skadi's realm so close to the Jotun border. He finally brushed it aside as reassurance that some had battle the ice giants before. "Xulin..." He readjusted his furs again. He didn't care to go back inside. He had his fill of feasting. Contemplation before the day of reckoning. He stared out along the plains of Asgard. Bifrost's colorful structure set a beautiful marker for the battlefield. He could always retreat down the bridge to Midgard. "Coward..." He believed he was going to die.

"Yari? Hmm...It's a little early to be waiting for the dawn isn't it?" A smirk peaked into his view. A smirk lost in a mess of beard. A giant of a man chuckled as he moved to block his view of the sky. "You've lived for. Five. Thousand. Years. Most people don't get a hundred. Consider yourself lucky." His hands cupped Yari's shoulders like he was a toy. Stumbling off in his drunkenness, Ryle left Yari again alone to his thoughts.

"Xulin..." Yari closed his eyes, as Mimir's visions overtook him, and a restless sleep followed.