“Father, they are a militia comprised of mere untrained civilians. Can they really hold off the Demons?” Swegde asked the king in worry. As the king had been occupied by military arrangements, he did not even have time to observe the recruits’ training.
“They might be mere militia, but unlike seeking the legendary Asgard, they can solve our immediate problem at hand.” The king did not even look up at Swegde as he responded to the question; instead, he hurriedly picked up a few documents and proceeded towards the training ground.
Way back in history, during the Age of Heroic Spirits, members of the Vanir tribe in the North underwent a self-imposed exile to avoid wars. Some of those descendants prospered, forming the Kingdom of Folkvangr, and had stayed as the royal family ever since. To prevent their offsprings from forgetting their true homeland, there was a story told in the royal family through generations — one about their Asgardian ancestors living in the North. Swegde had been entranced by the stories since her youth, and had read scrolls that were claimed to be passed down by her ancestors; the thought of seeking Asgard, her ancestral home, lingered in her mind. This desire was enhanced in a time when Demons plagued the Kingdom.
Legends stated that Asgard possessed Relics of Gods. Swegde believed that they could grant her godly power to repel the invading Demons. However, legends are mere legends; actual Demons were nearing. Conscription was the only hope against the Demons, because constant wars had consumed every available resource of the kingdom, leaving none usable to verify the legends. This was also why Swegde could only devote herself to the study of legends, hoping she could discover a path to Asgard, while the king was occupied with the handling of military affairs.
‘...Asgard lies at where the colors fall...’ Myriad Vanir texts describing the legends lay scattered on Swegde’s desk, ‘...The land’s anger triggers the ocean’s arrogance. Hued clouds emerge...the multicolored bridge leads where the light falls...’
“‘Multicolored’ would naturally be a rainbow. Is it a bridge made of Rainbow Opals? But what are hued clouds...” Swegde dug through a plethora of books and records, hoping to locate the “rainbow bridge” which leads to Asgard.
Just as Swegde had a minor breakthrough, terrible news arrived: the attack was a complete disaster, and many of the casualties killed were the under-trained militiamen. Conscription had not only failed in its original purpose, but also brought countless meaningless deaths. Swegde decided to try convincing the king once again —
“Father, please allow me to seek Asgard. If we get the Relics, we will be able to defeat the Demons!”
“My daughter, you are fully aware that our resources are strained by the Demons’ invasion. I cannot assign anyone to escort —”
“I can do it on my own! Father, I have a hypothesis about the Bifrost Rainbow Bridge. All I lack now is a field expedition to confirm it!” Seeing the king’s hesitation, Swegde tried harder: “Without sufficient soldiers to fight the Demons, the kingdom’s fall would be a matter of when, not if. Instead of awaiting the Demons eventual capture of our kingdom, why not let me take a chance and try to seek the legendary Relics?”
Seeing his daughter’s resolution, he could not help but sigh: “Take two generals with you.”
“Will do.” Swegde turned to leave in excitement, but soon looked back as if she had forgotten something: “Thank you, father. I will not disappoint you. The Relics will be found!”
Watching her departure, the king could only give her his best wishes: “Be safe. And return soon.”