"Chin up, Narfi," Loki said as he raised his son's chin up with two fingers and propered his posture.
"Not too high up, Hel." He remarked softly to his daughter who is quite giving only a portion of what she can do but keeping her head up high just for some good measurements and pretends that she is in fact, trying her best.
So Narfi projected his usual stance and leveled his chin, while Hel sighed and lowered her head a bit and adjusted her arms.
The cool breeze of the mild afternoon flowing through Hel's black and white hair making her shake her head in annoyance. Narfi's braids are being brought by the wind too but the young lad couldn't care less.
And as they were standing there and practicing, they hear a light galloping sound forming behind them, followed by a shout in Old Norse, "O ðinn á yðr alla!!! Haha!!"
As they were expecting, it was Vali, riding on the back of Sleipnir, the eight legged horse, and behind them were Jormungandr the World Serpent and Fenrir.
"Odin owns ye all!!!" Vali repeated as Sleipnir ran down to Hel and Narfi's direction.
Vali swiped the sword that he was grasping at Hel behind her back making the young goddess turn around to face him and strikes him down with the black shadow whisp forming on her hands.
"skíta!!" Hel shouted as the tip of the sword's blade slashed and ruined the hem of her robe, almost making a cut on her shin, "Vali, you uncultured swine!"
Vali came tumbling down the ground after flying off of Sleipnir's back. The sword flew off his hand and fell on the dirt with a loud, sharp, clang. The young, foolish man immediately stood up and dusted himself.
On the other hand, Hel was bolting her way down to Vali. And Narfi, not wanting to see what will happen next, tried to stop their murderous sister, "Hel please." He pleaded, placing a hand on Hel's shoulder.
Loki was already standing there in front of his children. A look of disappointment crawled his face, "Hel. I am very shocked and astounded at such foul and disgusting language you uttered. I expect a better vocabulary from you next time on."
Hel clenched her fist and looked down the ground in annoyance. Her black hair sliding down her face, and the ruined part of her garment loosely hanging like a piece of rag. She took the piece, and mended it with her magic, for it was her favorite robe. One that was given to her by Frigga.
"And you, Vali," Loki sighed as he turned his gaze on his youngest son, "That was very unwise of an act. Don't make it again. Now go inside the palace and clean yourself ready for supper. As for you, Sleipnir, no one is to ride on your back ever again, until you have learnt a lesson." Vali, along with Sleipnir, Fenrir, and Jormungandr, headed toward the palace grounds greeted by the guards.
"Narfi, knife summoning is but the easiest weaponry you can do in magic. I am feeling down to see that you haven't yet perfected it. Practice more, if you will, young man." Loki patted Narfi's head, and the young red-head walked back to the shady tree with Hel, to practice some more.
"And, Hel," Loki added but the goddess didn't dare turn to face him, "I told you, green, sparkly, whisps. Not black, and demonic shadows!" He then walked back to where he was standing, far from his children, with his wife Sigyn, the goddess of fidelity.
"They're still learning. Kids are very foolish these days." Sigyn pulled out a sweet smile as Loki wrapped an arm around her.
"They must learn early, my darling. Or else it would be too late. Vali has caused one too many physically damages and Hel is still the sarcastic trouble-maker that she is." Loki let out another deep sigh, and relaxed at the sight of Hel and Narfi practicing.
But not after long, the couple decided to head inside the palace as well and waved to their children goodbye.
"That was very foolish of you, Hel. But I would be lying if I said I wasn't expecting it." Narfi giggled, still trying to summon a knife with his bare hands.
Hel rolled her eyes and huffed, but didn't waste an energ in answering his brother. She noticed that he still haven't made any difference on letting out a weapon from his palm, so she walked over to him.
"Wrong stance. Wrong focus." She said in her usual deep, and calm voice, "You're not going to summon any flower with that formation, let alone a piece of weapon."
"If you're such an expert, why don't YOU do it, ey?" Narfi crossed his arms and watched Hel with curiosity.
So the young goddess stood her proper stance, and looked straight at Narfi with her beady eyes.
She easily pulled out her arm, and in one swipe, a silver dagger appeared in her grips, "I told you. Proper stance. And Focus. You're required to move your arm sharply, other wise only a blob of jelly will appear on your palm."
Narfi sighed at what Hel showed him. He was tired after all these training, so he decided to rest and lean on the tree they were settled at.
The tree was beautiful. Blossoming good apple fruit and green healthy leaves. It was the tree that Loki and Sigyn had planted when they were but a young couple. Deciding that an apple tree should be planted, as it symbolizes youth and immortality, like the ones in Idun's garden. Youth and immortality as a representation of Loki and Sigyn's love to each other: never getting old and never dying.
Hel looked up to it and closed her eyes to prayer. Thanking Loki for all the knowledge and wisdom she has inherited from him; and thanking Sigyn, for being the person closest to a mother that she has.
"So, you have already finished summoning knives, what are you up to now, dear sister?" Narfi asked, looking up at Hel as he was sitting down the tree, "and why does father require you to perform GREEN SHINY WHISPS and not BLACK DEMONIC SHADOWS?" He tried to let out a green whisp turning into a black one, but rather summoned a green one turning into a small explosion on his hand.
Hel chuckled at what she witnessed Narfi did and she brushed her fingers through his hair as to mess with it even more, "Dead bodies summoning."
Narfi yawned and almost chocked on the wind because of what Hel said, "What??! Father is letting y-"
"He does NOT know and he does not need to..." Hel sighed and tucked her hands in her pockets, "Green, shiny whisps. He expects me to learn how to HEAL. My healing abilities are very low compared to his and Amora's."
"And, from where did the dead bodies summoning come?" Narfi asked
"An ACCIDENT you deaf troll."
"I took a chance to heal or resurrect a once dead man. Fresh from the dead, still has blood-"
"And where is he from?"
"NOT THE POINT, NARFI, JUST LISTEN. So anywho, I attempted to revive him and...VOILÀ, I somehow managed to send him to Hel and summon him back...his blood almost working as virgin blood sacrifice...but that is still revival heh.." Hel scratched her nape like she was shameful and humiliated.
"...that does not make any sense, Hel. You can't-"
"I...CAN'T?" Hel raised an eyebrow at Narfi
"I'm not trying to challenge you, dear sister, it is just...NOT POSSIBLE to revive a dead person like that. You are a goddess of DEATH not of BIRTH and LIFE."
"You're saying, it is not possible for ME to do something such as reviving a dead from Hel?" She placed a hand on her hip and gave Narfi a curious stare.
"Forget it, Hel. I, for one, just know that you're not that much of a powerful sorcerer. And you even lied to father! How naughty of you!" Narfi frowned and placed his chin on his palms, still resting under the shady tree
"Narfi, dear little brother, I don't suppose you're... jealous?" Hel teased. She knew what attitude her brother was showing. Hel knew that Narfi always wanted to be equal with her, but it's no one's fault that Hel has excelled so much in magic than Narfi because she is much older and much more experienced. And this attitude that Narfi was showing towards her is not at all a surprise.
"I...what?! You are so boastful Hel! What makes you think that I would be jealous of..of YOU! All you ever did was lie to father and do your own tricks and...and turn the dead into living which is physically impossible!!" Narfi growled. His face turned a bright red, almost as hot as his hair, "I am far better than that..."
"You can't even project a butter knife, Narfi." Hel continued to tease.
This girl, literally like unto his father. Manipulative and tricky. Cunning and full of deceit. Tongue as silver as a newly forged blade and words like bullets, piercing through the hearts of many. What this young goddess doing right now is pushing her brother to his limits. She knows Narfi's temper, and when he loses it, everything just explodes, specially when it comes to his magic.
"What, Narfi? A simple color changing cloud turns into a teeny explosive. Instead of casting weapons you are casting slugs. And you think you have the right to be vain and covetous? You think you can equal unto me?" Hel tilted her head sincerely, not wanting to show trouble in her words.
"Would you stop it!?" Narfi threw a stone at Hel's direction and crossed his arm.
But Hel easily caught it and continued to talk, "Narfi, darling, you do realize that you know better than being bossed around by Loki. Making you do what he tells you. You are capable of SO MUCH MORE than this, brother! Full power! More chaos and destruction!"
"You sound so much like father now, Hel. And please, stop referring to him as 'Loki' that is so disrespectful."
"So much more..." Hel snickered, ignoring what Narfi said and still wanting to make a point.
"The only reason why I don't do bigger or bolder magic is because I DON'T WANT TO END UP LIKE YOU. Bringing zombies back to life, causing trouble here and there. Oh, what do you even know about life, Hel?! Nothing!"
"No dear. It is merely because...YOU CAN'T." Hel shook her head in the last two words and smirking mischievously at Narfi.
"I can't? No, Hel! I am so much more better than you!" Narfi then bolted right up and stormed right towards Hel, pulling her by the collar and pointing one hand on her neck
Hel seemed it foolish. But to her surprise, a cold dagger tip was touching her chin. And she knew, Narfi has managed to finally summon a knife with bare hands.
"Yes, brother. That is the spirit!" Hel spitted a hearty laugh and she, too, had already pointed a pre-summoned sword at Narfi's head.
"Forget it, Hel! I know where you're going with." Narfi threw the knife away, and pushed Hel aside, letting her go, "I lose my temper, you get a fight. You get a fight, you get what you want. You get stronger. You are just like all the war gods out there pfft."
"Wrong," Hel shot the sword and it peirced through a nearby tree's body, but Hel did not seem to care since it was but a small scratch for the tree, "I want you to lose your temper-"
"So you can manipulate me-"
"So I, and YOU TOO, can see what you're really capable of. Dark magic, big explosions, mind controls. I know you can do it. I believe in you. After all, I am your big sister. Your only help and companion in this war called life."
"You want to turn me into like you! A....a MONSTER!!!" Narfi turned to Hel again and this time, his expression says it all. He was dead serious and mad. His hands glowing a bright green and his face red as a tomato almost.
"No, I-" Before Hel even uttered anymore words, her attention was caught at the happening behind Narfi.
Her mouth opened in awe and excitement, "Narfi you-"
"What is going on in here you tw-" Loki, at hearing the screamings, went outside only to see what was happening.
Only then did Narfi turn around to gaze at what the two were so shocked at.
Loki's and Sigyn's tree was burning.
No one knew how.
But Hel seemed pretty proud at her brother.
Narfi raised his hands a examined them. He sees them glowing a bright lime green and he immediately shook it off. He shook the thought that he destroyed something off.
"Hel!" Loki exclaimed
"Not me!" Hel chuckled
And there, Loki arched his eyebrows at Narfi.
"No! Go inside!"
"I can expla-"
"I said INSIDE. NOW, NARFI. Let me and Hel fix this." Loki shook his head in disapproval as his son ran down to the palace with light tears crawling down his rosy cheeks.
Loki and Hel finished the fire before even the guards arrived.
Loki walked over to the tree. Kneeling in front of it, he picked up a handful of ash.
The once beautiful tree. Now turned into an ashen mess.
Memories made are now history.
Stories told now remain only a legend.
But they know, love planted, is still love sowed
"You know how Narfi's temper works, Loki." Hel remarked, walking beside her father with a stern face, as if she has nothing to do with this
"You pushed him. You always do that to people, Hel. Manipulate and black mail them. I should know....because I am your father." Loki cleared his throat and he stood up, looking down at his daughter that never truly loved him for all he knows, "even if you never considered me as one."
"Hm. I just wanted to see his might-"
"You wanted to show him that you are better than him."
"It is because I am! And I only wanted the best to escape from him. Narfi is capable of so much more, Loki, and if you keep making him practice with a butter knife he wouldn't survive half the journey to Niflheim."
"He's only a child-"
"I did better when I was that age." Hel snickered sarcastically
"You are experienced-"
"No! Because I am self-taught! Because no one was there to guide me and lead me at that age. Because the father, that was supposed to be teaching me, was busy causing trouble and being locked up in chains," Hel sighed and straightened her back, standing formally, "Narfi is a powerful lad. He destroyed a tree that is covered with an enchantment!"
"The tree does NOT have any enchantment, Hel." Loki gazed at his daughter as if she were making things up.
"Oh, it does."
"No...what? How?" Loki asked, dazed obviously.
"I settled a protection spell on it before I broiled Narfi's blood. A nearby utility would be smashed into bits if a mad sorcerer unleashes their power. I knew Narfi had something inside of him, so I made sure the tree was protected..." Hel sighed as she turned to the Tree's remains, "And he overthrew the spell."
Before even Loki divulged anything to her, Hel immediately turned arouns and walked back to the palace.
Narfi was walking down the palace corridors absentmindedly. He kept his hands tucked in his pockets, and his head down like he had just lost an important match.
The palace was as lonely as an uninhabited island. Everyone was outside, aiding at the incident.
"Narfi! My child. Oh goodness, what has happened!" Sigyn saw his freckled-face son and she immediately ran to him. She knelt down to examine Narfi's every physique if he was hurt, "I heard your screams. Are you good, my dear? You got me so worried!" Sigyn pulled him in a tight embrace
The sight of his mother lightened the burden. So Narfi hugged him mother back, but can't help to worry about what her reaction would be if she founds out about what HE did.
"Sigyn, my darling." Loki, with Hel, appeared behind them, and Sigyn rose up to meet her husband with a kiss on the cheek, "How's everyone? How are you? I-is everything-"
"All is under control, dear Sigyn." Loki assured her
Hel, with a blank expression, walked over to Narfi and pulls him into a hug and kisses the top of his head.
Narfi was surprised at Hel's deeds. She has never shown this much attention to him or anyone.
"I am proud of you." Hel simply remarked, "Chaos...chaos is not always bad, brother. It is progress."
Sigyn and Loki walked over to the two, "Narfi.."
"I'm...I'm sorry mother." Narfi uttered in his usual soft and calm voice after Hel lets go of him, "I...I destr-"
"No." Sigyn interrupt him and pulls him into a hug once more, "It's fine, my dear," While embracing his son, she reached for Hel's hand,
"As long as you two are safe, all is well."