A Tail’s Misfortune — V4 – Chapter Thirty-Six: I Am A Stone


1.Eyia (our Goddess Valkyrie; Odin’s daughter)


Kari had her fight, but an unexpected twist occurred—her opponent wanted to see what Kari’s most precious place was, and it turned out to be in the higher-dimension of her mother’s sanctuary, when she was a little girl.  This caused a big relapse for our Wolf Girl, and an inspiring moment for her opponent … So, they sat and talked, and in the end, the Vulpes surrendered, ready to move on in life after nearly two thousand years of ceaseless struggle.

Alright … Oof, well, heh, how will our pure-hearted Valkyrie handle her match…

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Eyia’s icy eyes wandered the white room she’d been transported to, feeling the robust Vulpes Founder magic pass through every fiber of her being before settling on the curious black-furred fox to her side.

“So, should we begin?”  the woman asked, flicking her nine black tails to the side.

She ignored the playful question in favor of far more important thoughts and emotions rolling through her Core.  Breathing in a long breath and letting it out in a frigid stream, Eyia reflected on the somewhat double-life she led.  It’s always the same.

Her irises illuminated a frosted blue; the Vulpes didn’t even have time to notice the event as radiant fissures split the air around the woman with golden strings coiling around her limbs, tails, and neck—within a minute fraction of a second, she’d subdued her opponent.

Holding her hand behind her back, Eyia experienced the powerful shielding magic that surrounded them with a relieved puff of air.  Even in the Vulpes Realm, forces were observing her that she didn’t wish to reveal herself to.

Her only regret was the mask she had to put on to her Bond Sister—concealing her true power as she was taught became bothersome at times.  Allowing Sora access to a fragment of her dream not too long ago was a small gesture to give her sister hope, yet learning that she’d come into contact with her aunt was a duality of emotion—joy and apprehension.

Luckily, it appeared to be within their favor since she wasn’t strong enough to understand the strings of fate when specific figures started to gather around them.

There was one moment where she slipped, allowing a fragment of her strength to be revealed during the fight against the Dragoons—if not, she saw a chance of the red armored woman changing targets and harming her sister.  In return, she’d taken her comrade’s spirit to draw her ire.

Shifting her hips and feet to the right to stare at the frightened Vulpes, she hummed, forcing her mind into a peaceful sleep; Eyia had no patience for these weak creatures that professed to hold power and their lives of hardship if she could even deign to call it that—all of this was to humor her sister and attempt to show Sora how unreliable and savage the Fenris Wolves were.

Lips pulling in, Eyia moved her hand up to her elbow, eyeing the golden string restraining the Vulpes—unnecessary, without a doubt, yet exercising a part of her powers every so often helped to keep her sharp.  Gleipnir … Not even you could restrain the beast forever.

Even if this wasn’t the legendary restraint that held the Terror of the Nine Pillars, Devourer of the Great Effulgence, Slayer of the King God; she was Kispnir, his sister, crafted with the remains of Gleipnir’s materials.  She shone with the same radiance of pure and holy light that constituted her elder brother yet was always looked down upon by the other Primordial Gods.

Eyia’s vision lingered on the bound fox, wishing it was Kari—to have even a chance to change a part of her destiny and rid herself of the devious Fenris Wolf’s existence.  No power could be exercised when entangled by the mythical twine—access to one’s Spirit, Intelligence, and body—everything that comprised a creature was utterly sealed away and used to combat the foe’s own strength.

The more one struggled, the more impossible it would be for them to be undone, which was why the Founders themselves couldn’t help Fenrir—they fought the colossal wolf’s own power at its peak and gathered over eons.

Her jaw tightened upon seeing the rope; shame and abandonment twisted her nose, knowing it had to be for Asgard’s rise from the ashes.  The knowledge didn’t make it painless.

A cursed child, am I?  Foretold to die … No glory.  No struggle.  I am to suffer a fool’s death that ushers in the start of greatness … A greatness I can never be a part of.  To leave as a ghost to my sisters and never be known.  I only wish to protect that which I’ve found.

Eyia was well-versed in Founder Magic after observing her new sister’s growth—she never thought a Founder would offer such treatment to her, yet it was the very fact she wasn’t engrained in the history of her ancestry that she’d fashioned this link between them.

Sora’s connection to Kari was an unusual one.  Although misguided and foolish in many ways, the fact that the Vulpes Founder wore her heart on her sleeve was what drew Eyia in.  Sora was innocent and naive to the point of even befriending a Fenris Wolf.

Sending the rudimentary request for the training space to change, Eyia twisted to glare at the Yellow District forming around them, and she took flight, carrying the spiritually paralyzed woman with her.

Her nose creased, unamused by the showing it had presented.  “How could anyone believe such a pitiful system could ever produce a powerful creature?  Not one Vulpes here could have lasted twenty minutes on the island I was exiled to, and even then, Loral’s hubris would have been her downfall.”

It annoyed her to no end; these things other creatures expressed as challenging or laborious to cope with made Eyia sick to her stomach.  Torture was a mercy to those unfortunate enough to be sent to that island, and anything less than razors and chains against one’s spirit was a paradise.

Jin’s journey with her through various Realms that eventually ended in Miami had been a culture shock for Eyia.  Jin knew her true identity, one that she was sure Sora would accept in a heartbeat, yet it was not her secret to tell.  The dragon only discovered her heritage through observing her conquest of the island.

Eyia’s long, personal journey reflected in her mind while scanning the city below; it was a comical display of harvesting pain and negative emotion.  The denizens of Múspell would have found utterly asinine.

All Eyia knew was the island, an enclosed dimension filled with all manner of hellish dwellers from the Nine-Realms—only one could escape the island’s curse, which was destined to be her, and she accomplished it without once doubting her mission.

Jin hadn’t partaken in the island’s bane, having stumbled upon it was beyond reason in the first place—Eyia had her own suspicions about her friend, of which the Dragon was her first.

The saffron-eyed creature had continued to be a point of curiosity to Eyia through her Island trials and helped to expand her views.  As competition went, Jin offered it in spades when she was not pretending to be weak to amuse herself.

It confused and amused Eyia, seeing the contradictory nature to Jin; she would match those she fought, even going so far as to make herself vulnerable.  One of Eyia’s most significant challenges was confronting Jin as her Dragon Rage state took hold; the thrill as her powers climbed higher and higher, and yet Eyia had to match it while subduing the girl’s expanding strength to not harm her or Sora.

Disgusted by the Vulpes’s crucible attempt, Eyia wiped away the scene, changing their location to the island she’d known the majority of her life.

A small smile lifted her lips upon feeling the unique energies the complex spell Sora’s grandmother had managed to recreate, breathing in the uncontaminated atmosphere of her home Existence.

The true Asgard itself had long since faded from her mind, and no matter where she looked, it was lost in her Intelligence or perhaps blocked.  Most of the Primordials had been placed in an endless cycle of shadowed repetition, or so she was told by her father.

Eyia had been the last birth before the call of Ragnarök … The Primordial Existence was wiped out by the totality of their war that spilled into this Existence.

She figured Sora thought of her as the legends spoken of in their culture, which Jin had hinted at, yet it was far from the case—Eyia was a Primordial, young and underdeveloped, considering the bastion of strength her lineage offered, given the differences between Existences.

Eyia had been taught in many of the ways of their birth Existence before the Great War collapsed their home.  The torrent of that final battlefield, spanning the length of their Existence, had swept them into the Founders’ home and sparked another conflict.

She was a Primordial; a true dweller of Asgard, and unmatched across their former Existence.  All of them came from the same source, from the Elves to the Vanir, and the final conflict ended with their various tribes.

That all changed when they arrived here—they weren’t in their Existence any longer, and the risk of extinction soon became very real.  The Founders were powerful, yet even they had their own weaknesses that could be exploited once the in-fighting was quelled.  Overall, the Founders came out on top, but not without great loss, and to save this Existence from meeting the same fate as their own, a ceasefire was constituted.

Eyia spun around to look at the ocean she looked across for so long, feeling the harsh environment pressing in on her spirit again.  Home…

As a Primordial, her development was severely reduced due to escaping the Founder-Primordial War within the stasis her father placed her in.  The hubris of her seniors in denying Odin’s warning—her father’s recommendations were clear to see once exiting the island; her journey with Sora helped her understand that a little better.

The calamity that shook the very foundation of their own Existence was nothing compared to the one that awaited them here; they destroyed their own Existence and moved to conquer this one to build again.  Their results were plain to see.

How could the Old Ones have been so blind to the Founder’s power—father’s foresight?  If more Founders existed when we arrived, we would have suffered annihilation.  Although I was not allowed in those discussions, given my age.  Perhaps there were circumstances I am unaware of.  Father, I just wanted to walk alongside everyone.  I want to carry on this flame.

Her mind wandered, trying to come to terms with the emotions swirling through her breast.  The snowy mountain peaks, dense fog, and unforgiving, ever-changing landmass made her nostalgic.  Eyia took the unconscious Vulpes on a slow trek as she experienced the place she called home for so long; she could never return, yet here, in a space as powerful as this, she could live it once more.

No one would be able to peer inside, given this magic was strong enough to replicate the Primordial Existence’s energy the island itself was constructed of.

Removing the clothes Sora had fashioned for her, Eyia sent the Vulpes and garments to the cave she’d fashioned herself when only six years old—she arrived at the human equivalent age of four, having been almost killed several times by that point in Asgard.

Her eyes closed, looking up at the weeping sky as a wave of hail suddenly swept across the landmass.  I am a stone, unaffected.  Rain hell down onto me.  Flesh and bone, unaffected.

Vision opening, Eyia lowered her head, listening to the patterning of deadly spiked ice.  The mist was rolling in, making the falling heavens invisible—she felt reborn, standing in a fountain of familiarity—pain dotting every inch of her bare skin.

Father, I want to contribute … You know I desire nothing more than to stand and fight.  You trained me to be a warrior, so why bring me to this point?  Give me so much, for it to be wasted?  I have faith in your foresight.  I must.  And yet … why can’t I shake this shame?

Tears fell down her cheeks, freezing in the chilling atmosphere that bit her nerves and burned her soul; the tide rolled in as the land sank, current pulling her into the surf.

The waters rose above her eyes, and she let it carry her off; she repeated the mantra that sustained her through fire and ice.  I am a stone, unaffected.  Rain hell down onto me.  Flesh and bone, unaffected.

One thing ripped at her very Core that she sought answers to, and it wasn’t the first time she’d been left to discover the truth of fate on her own, yet no other trial hit her like this.  Father, provide me with guidance.  It’s in my blood … My lungs.  It won’t die…

Bubbles hissed through her clenched teeth while colliding against the crushing force of the glaciers and rocks spinning around the changing landmass.  Why must I suffer the companionship of a wolf?!  It hurts … The pain is more than I imagined, Father … And these scars won’t write a song for me to follow.

She couldn’t escape the uncertainty in her heart—doubt—not in her father but in her ability to follow the course; there were questions in her mind, but never had she doubted her father.

The darkness engulfed Eyia as the ocean’s flow carried her to the underside of the island; she tried to believe in her daunting journey—her father was the greatest seer, and this was the one future he saw that would light a path for all Primordials to rise, and here she was, crawling on all fours, begging for answers from a ghost.

By the time a glowing red light illuminated the water she had passed through, no answers had come—she was ejected—thrown against the burning stones of the first pit.  Cuts and gashes lined her burning frame as the molten stones beneath her roasted her back.

She passively looked up at the burning skies; clouds of flames roared across the landscape in beautiful arcs of heatwaves.  I am a stone, unaffected … rain hell down onto me.  Flesh and bone, unaffected…

Jets of steam erupted from the ground, sending shards of burning stone to pelt her ripped figure; not long after, a pillar of rising vapor sent her into the heavens to bathe in the crimson pulses of flames.  I am a stone, unaffected … rain hell down onto me … Flesh and bone, unaffected…

The updraft pulled her in as she weathered the flow to only be struck by a passing column of stone in the rocky river above the atmosphere.  I feel the same … Immune to all this pain … I am a stone, unaffected.  Rain hell down onto me … Flesh and bone, unaffected…

The bruises, burns, and gashes were hollow in her heart; she could last for days, allowing this hellish landscape to carry her along its path—it was how she escaped, in the end.  Only that which could willingly survive the island’s torment could avoid destruction.

Flesh and bone … unaffected.  And when you think this is the end … You will find me there, where I’ve always been.  I am a stone, unaffected … Your fool, I will not be.

Within the hyper condensed timeline, separate from anything within this Existence, Eyia allowed herself to be carried through the crucible; unrelenting mental, physical, and spiritual torture—of course, her father expected her to go through this a second time—her entire being was annihilated and reforged through the island’s methods—brought to life by the First Generation Founder of the Vulpes’s magic.

Her broken and shattered frame twitched, swollen left eye cracking open to see the Island-induced vision of Kari’s smug, back-stabbing face that lingered over her before transforming into the visage of what a true devil looked like … a massive black wolf that lit a passion in Eyia’s chest.

“Give … me strength, Father…”

A lump formed in her throat as in the next instant, the Fenris girl’s expression twisted with concern, and she brushed back her black locks, leaning forward to offer her a hand, urging her to take it.  No!  How you rest your faith in these platitudes … For a lifetime…

It burned in her heart and lungs; she bit her cracked tongue before croaking, “I just … feel the same … Immune to … all this pain … I am a stone …unaffected … Your fool, I will not be!”

Relief filled her breast as strength flooded her soul; renewed, she leaped forward, spear appearing in her hands to strike down the Fenris Wolf—the vision died as the white room appeared around her.  Falling out of the air, Eyia smoothly flipped around to land on her feet.

Eyia screamed with rage, throwing Gungnir at the wall; it hit, penetrating half a foot.  “Why?!  Every time, I cannot finish the vision!  It’s the same!”

Bare chest heaving, Eyia fell to her knees, feeling the exhaustion of enduring the island’s torments again.  “What am I missing?”

She sat on the ground, working through the explosion of emotion eating at her Core.  “The waters rise above my eyes … I will breathe it in and go out with the tide … And when you think this is the end … You will find me there where I have always been.  What do you mean, Father?!”

Cursing her lack of understanding, Eyia composed herself, feeling the area’s magic dissipating—it seemed not even the lingering spell of the Vulpes First Generation Founder could sustain the non-native Existence for long.

She withdrew Gungnir and Kispnir from around the unconscious Vulpes’s body, leaving her to rest on the ground beside her clothes; she felt the shifting future of someone coming and moved to dress—the High One’s pendant returned to her neck, reminding her of her destiny which filled her lungs with fire again.

Eyia managed to suppress the heat by the time Sora arrived with Mofupsi; as was expected, she’d won, yet she did not expect this new transformation from her sister.  She didn’t have the chance to inquire further.

The white flaming figure of Sora hissed, rubbing the back of her neck.  “Hey, Eyia!  We were just chilling, and then the Training Room just went crazy … I think something’s happened to the City Crystal … It’s breaking down!”

A new sense of guilt moved Eyia within Eyia’s Core.  I should have expected it … Another mistake due to my doubt.

Vision setting, Eyia nodded.  “What must we do, Sister?  I will offer whatever aid I am able!”

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A Tail’s Misfortune — V4 – Chapter Thirty-Five: Where Home Is, The Heart Rests
A Tail’s Misfortune — V4 – Chapter Thirty-Seven: The First Domino Falls