Verthandi showed the fruit in her hand to her sisters under the tree; she was startled with the view.
: Um. This really is a bit high...
She climbed down carefully, but her trembling made it difficult to proceed.
: Move! You useless piece of crap!
She punched hard on her leg so as to calm herself down with the pain. Verthandi glanced around and stopped her eyes on a tree by her side. She took off her shirt and wrapped it around the basket of fruit, tying it off, before throwing it down from the tree.
Urd: Don’t move! I’ll get father!
Baby: Pa, come!
: Don’t bother!
Her sister’s words pushed her to decide. She leapt and threw herself into the tree crown. Leaves and branches scratched Verthandi, but she managed to hold onto a thick branch despite the pain. She was hanging on the tree and it seemed that she could fall at anytime.
: I’m okay!
Her sister ran under the tree in worry. Verthandi tried to climb near the trunk, but her left hand lost grip and she could not keep her balance; she fell down the tree.
Urd: Ver — Ouch!
The little Skuld was playing with the basket as Verthandi fell onto Urd. Verthandi was lying on top of her sister and cracked up in a dreamy giggle. Urd held her and checked if she was hurt. Knowing that Verthandi was well, Urd playfully gave her a painful tweak on the ear.
: Haha, ouch! Haha —
Urd: Stop laughing! Don’t run around from now on!
Their little sister approached and handed them a fruit. The plump fruit was clearly bitten by Skuld; Verthandi took the fruit and contently munched on it.
: Sit properly! Always playing, huh?
: Have you forgotten the skills of threading?
: I haven’t!
: Then show me!
: Don’t underestimate me!
: It’s just to channel the runestones’ power; direct the thread; weave a web. And, and...
Wetting the thread, she passed it through the eye of the needle and pulled. Then, the needle in her hand swiftly and fiercely pierced the fabric to and fro, tying the fast knot. Every time she saw this scene in her dreams, Verthandi would be contented with the neat movement of the thread and needle, hence anticipating the pattern to be sewn.
Mimir: Fabric is actually a tightly sewn web of thread.
Mimir: The web of changes shall be weaved with the threads of fate.
Mimir: Various threads sewn on the fabric, embroidering each individual’s —
: Father, then am I the thread or the needle?
Mimir could not help but be shocked. Before he had finished speaking, Verthandi had already understood implied the meaning within.
Mimir: You are both the thread and the needle.
: Yay! I can finally quit threading!
Since she was young, Verthandi had been learning how to thread, stitch and embroider under her sister’s instructions; she did not hate the work, but she liked the forest more. Therefore, she performed better and faster than the others. Though with reluctance, Urd let her play as a reward for her work. However, when their father later required Verthandi to train with other people, she began to miss the days of sewing...
Mimir: Verthandi, do you hear my thoughts?
: No. I just know what you mean before you finish talking.
Verthandi’s father entered the house with a ragged long spear. However, the stain on the weapon could not cloud its effulgence. A golden light escaped from the dirt and brightened Verthandi’s eyes...
Mimir: This day came earlier than I thought...
Mimir: Tame the soul in the blade and it would be your needle from then on.
Verthandi stood under a tree. She reached out her hand; a piece of fruit fell into the hand as if summoned. She bit into it. The fruit on the tree was still sweet and juicy. She raised her blade. The sharp blade was previously the head of her father’s spear; it was then modified into a dagger-like sword: another piece of fruit fell, right onto the blade. Verthandi swung the sword and tossed the fruit into a hole she just dug out.
Verthandi loved the forest. However, the clans will take every tall tree to prepare for the war. To prevent the woods from disappearing, she needed to plant the seeds in advance, preparing for the future.
Skuld: Verthandi, what are you doing?
Verthandi: Playing with the trees.
Skuld: If you are to plant trees, I think this is not the way to do it...
Verthandi: Who knows what lies in the future? I think I can grow something this way —
Skuld: My sister, you know why I am here.
Verthandi: You’re not cute anymore...
Verthandi left with her sister. She conjured her power and created an elemental swallow to play with. A year after her father’s demise, Verthandi could finally grasp her power. The three sisters gradually grew and they began to differ from Humans. Strength of a well-built man resided within their slender body; and they master elements much better than Human priests. Verthandi gradually realized her responsibilities and even started to understand how father had thought...
Verthandi: Skuld, do you still work on your sewing?
Skuld: I do not have the time.
Verthandi: Be lazy. Don’t shoulder everything. If you’re too busy, look for us to help.
Skuld: What big talk...
When they arrived at the city, soldiers had already lined up on the square. Her eldest sister, with elders of other clans, sat on the dais. She said with a seemingly angry smile to Verthandi:
Urd: Come. Bless the brave warriors of the North in the name of our father!
Verthandi held Skuld’s hand and went up the dais. She looked at the crowd. Words rose from her heart to her throat — ‘You will die a peaceful death.’
Verthandi: Right. I am familiar with thread and needle. But I know few patterns.
Verthandi: Do you know, Odin? When the thread pass through the hold on the needle,
Verthandi: I already know what the pattern would be like.
Verthandi: I know why you are here.
Odin: Then will you promise me?
Verthandi: What do you think?
Odin sat under the tree planted by Verthandi; but Verthandi helped him up and put him into the swing she used to play on when she was small. Only through fluctuation and turbulence could she peek into the fate of a person.
Verthandi: You know what? They have been linked to you since a long time ago.
Verthandi: Your actions do not just weave your own fate, but also that of the Gods.
Verthandi was always playful and hence people deemed her flippant. Only Odin could tell; that was a characteristic molded by her recognition of fate. In contrast, Odin seemed overcautious. He could not grasp the overall picture like the valkyries; he could only focus on the fate in his hand and dash to his destination.
Upon hearing Verthandi’s words, Odin shivered despite his wisdom and might.
Verthandi: Worry not, Odin.
Verthandi: You are merely carrying them with you, going berserk together.
Odin: Verthandi, I am just a mortal!
Verthandi: But you pretend to be a God.
Odin: Fighting Demons is everybody’s responsibility.
Verthandi shrugged her shoulders.
Verthandi: Let’s begin.
Verthandi: ‘Extract Odin’s power, and direct it into Gods’ fate...’
Verthandi: ‘A thread requires a needle to fit into a web, so as to weaver a pattern.’
Blood spilled, adding colors to the tree behind Odin. The swing was spinning like a spindle and the fates of Gods were decided at the moment. ‘Father, am I the thread or the needle?’ She remembered asking her wise father this question.
Verthandi: Odin, do not blame me. I am the thread, and the needle.