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Backstory

        With Freyja’s help, Vali sailed through the hailing area to the place where Freyr fought his last battle decades ago — the entrance of a mysterious ice cave. Vali stepped off the boat cautiously. The subtle sunlight guided him deep into the cave. Soon, he saw the exit drowned in brilliance.

        Upon stepping out of the tunnel, Vali was shocked by the terrifying scene — countless frozen corpses lay on an open icefield. He crouched before one of them near the cave exit to take a closer look.

        “Judging from its clothes and appearance, it’s a demon...So they were all killed by Freyr?” His armband began to flash as if it was trying to tell him to hurry up. He stood up to look around and found a crater in the middle of the cave.

        “Was this...an ice lake?” Vali concluded that the crater was once a lake. At that moment, he caught a glimpse of a bluish light flashing in the middle of the crater. He felt his soul attracted by the light and walked up to it. There lay the weapon he had been searching for all this time — Lævateinn. Lævateinn was half as tall as an adult and was now stuck in the center of the dried lake. The lustrous blade had been frozen in the ice. Time did not seem to have taken its toll on Lævateinn. It stood in the fateful place where its master had fought to the death.

        Emotions overwhelmed Vali. He kneeled before Lævateinn as tears poured down his face. At that moment, Freyja’s memories flashed into his mind — Freyja stole Lævateinn, hoping that Freyr would give up on the competition between the Vanir and the Aesir; Despair overwhelmed Freyja after she realized Freyr would never return...As Vali indulged in the memories, a man’s voice sounded, ‘Dang demon, are you here to harm the people of Vanir again?’

        The man appeared. That was Freyr, the master of Lævateinn. In a bluish armor, he looked transparent. His eyes were fraught with fury and hatred. His yelling resounded through the ice cave, ‘I’ll not let any filthy demons step onto our land! Meet your fate!’

        As Freyr stretched out his hands, water elemental power surrounded him and formed countless water blades that launched at Vali! Vali leaped away from Lævateinn and swung his metal whip to destroy the water blades. Freyr took the opportunity to pull Lævateinn out of the ice. Upon clutching the god sword, Freyr felt his power amplified. Water element poured over Freyr and wrapped him up. Vali frowned.

        “I'll lose if I fight him head-to-head.. I’ve got to come up with something to trap him...But how…’ At that moment, his armband flashed again, hinting Vali to look up. He did and saw two giant ice pillars hanging down from the ceiling. He immediately understood what the armband was implying.

        “Even death won’t get in my way! I’ll fight until my soul fades away! Gaaar!” Freyr screamed frantically as he charged at Vali. Vali flogged the ice pillars with his metal whip as Freyr ran towards him. The impact caused the ice pillars to descend upon Freyr, sending up pieces of shattered ice, and Vali fell from the impact.

        When Vali thought he was finally safe, a shadow hobbled up to Freyr, who was vanishing as he babbled to himself, “I-I must win! The winner never loses...I must...keep fighting…” “Brother, enough. You’ve fought enough.”

        Earth element drifted out of Vali’s armband and formed an illusion of a beautiful woman — Freyja, Freyr’s sister. She hugged Freyr tight with watering eyes. Freyr stared at Freyja and slowly reclaimed his sanity. He asked in shock, ‘Are you...Freyja?” “It’s me, Brother.” “Don’t worry. I’ll wipe out all of the demons and protect the North…” “No, the North doesn’t need our protection anymore.”

        Freyja laid Freyr’s head on her shoulder and said gently, “Our descendants will carry forward the Vanir’s legacy.”

        Freyja looked at Vali. Freyr recalled his fight with him moments earlier and smiled with relief. “I see. I can rest in peace at last.”

        Suddenly, the ice cave began to shake so intensely that Vali could barely stand. Freyr handed Lævateinn to Vali and said, ‘This cave is about to collapse. Take this with you!” ‘What about you and Freyja?’

        Freyr and Freyja said nothing and smiled. Then they pushed Vali away. Countless ice fragments fell and filled the crater where Freyr and Freyja were standing.

        “Thank you. I’ve finally reunited with Brother,” Freyja’s voice resounded through Vali’s head. “This is my last request. Please take the Northern relics to Heimdallr. Thank you.”

        ‘I swear to the Vanir ancestors that I’ll bring this relic to Heimdallr!’ replied Vali with a clear voice. Then he wrapped Lævateinn in his arms and sprinted towards the exit of the ice cave. Before the ice cave collapsed, Vali jumped into the boat.

        At last, Vali found Heimdallr and handed all three of the relics to him. Later, Vali was granted permission to stay in Asgard to excavate archaeological sites related to the Vanir and Aesir. He hoped that he would be able to witness the day the Vanir and the Aesir unite once again...

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