Before the nations of the North united, Brynhildr was not a servant of Valhalla. At the time, she followed her father to Aesir’s territory. Her father, with other leaders, discussed various matters related to the alliance. Brynhildr sneaked out while the adults were arguing with each other. She went to the side of a forest and saw a girl jumping from tree to tree. She threw down pieces of fruit while another girl under the tree caught them with a basket. There was also a maiden taking care of swans by the lake farther away. She noticed Brynhildr’s line of sight and returned a smile. Brynhildr asked the girl with the basket:
Brynhildr: Why did she climb onto the tree instead of waiting for the fruit to drop?
Verthandi: Because picked fruit is more delicious!
: Because she is naughty.
Brynhildr: Do you need help?
: Thank You, but —
Verthandi: There is an empty basket over there!
: Relax. Enjoy the game.
Brynhildr: ‘How curious...the fruit seems to be attracted by something.’
Brynhildr: ’They land at specific positions.’
Brynhild: ‘They have power that I don’t know.’
Even after Mimir had exhausted his power and passed away, the North had yet to reach a consensus about the alliance. Brynhildr and her father commuted between their kingdom and the land of Aesir. He did not want his daughter to move around, but she had decided to follow him.
Later, they even began living there temporarily and mail served as their only communications with their home kingdom. At first, Brynhildr simply missed her friends in her homeland, neighboring where she lived now. However, she gradually realized the seriousness of the situation. As the alliance was formalized, rumors of war breaking out there arose...
Brynhildr: Father. Wh, what did you say —
King Budli: Sorry, Brynhildr. But Odin and the others are right.
King Budli: As your mother used to say, we should first develop our own virtue,
King Budli: instead of criticizing the ambition of others...
Brynhildr: But that is our kingdom, our home!
King Budli: And our future battlefield...
King Budli: If no one takes the first step, the alliance can never be built.
King Budli: That would mean thousands of deaths from the war.
Brynhildr: But...why us!
King Budli: Because it has to be us.
For the sake of the North, the kingdom near warzone accepted the alliance’s request. King Budli renounced his ownership of the kingdom, opening it as a guerrilla base of operations for warriors of the North. As Budli’s kingdom was the closest to the battlefield in the North, the king knew that they could not withstand the Demons’ invasion. Hence, he decided to cooperate with the Northern clans. This had caused the kingdom’s descent into an extended battlefield, but it could serve as a buffer that secures the Northern clans’ formations. His subjects gained respect from the clans; his martyred soldiers would become heroic spirits under savant Mimir’s guidance. The kingdom led the construction of Valhalla and blew the horn of war. Light of peace will shine on the realm once again...
Urd handed Brynhildr a red cloth. Standing next to them, Verthandi and Skuld’s weapons seemed to be shining with red light. Brynhildr silently looked at the ragged cloth, her skin seemed to throb.
Urd: This is the last of Mimir’s godly powers.
: I shall, on my father’s will, pass on his power to the soul taker.
Urd: This power is not meant as compensation for your father’s sacrifice.
: Mimir bestowed this power upon you solely because of you.
: Thank You...
Verthandi: Little princess, you can call me “sister” if you want!
: It, It’s okay...
Skuld: It will not grant you any power.
Skuld: It is simply the base for godly power,
Skuld: which allows you to accept more power in the future.
Brynhildr held tight on the cloth. The vague sting became clearer.
: Let’s begin.
: Pardon me, then.
Verthandi stuck her long needle into Brynhildr’s arm. The red fluid flowed down her arm onto the red cloth —
: You have to touch the power of Gods on this cloth in a specific way...
: Complete the trial with the help of my summoned elves!
Since her father sacrificed their land, Brynhildr lived in Valhalla. Before becoming a “valkyrie”, she was merely a servant at the hall. Odin taught her fighting skills, beseeching her to banish invading demonic creatures. When war broke out, Brynhildr shouldered the responsibility for guiding souls of the deceased. The soldiers only recognized her title “valkyrie” but not her status as a princess...
“Valkyrie’s” spear was merciless; the power of Gods consumed her sentiments. Brynhildr grew accustomed to the role of the soul taker. Even she no longer saw herself as a princess and started to use the name “Valkyrie”. That is, until she was saved from a fire by a young warrior: the two fell in love with each other. She once again uttered her own name, avoiding to be consumed by her power...
: Valkyrie the soul taker, your power is what we dream of!
: Forget it!
: Who gets in my way, dies!
: Darn! They just keep coming...
: I have to hurry back!
Brynhildr rushed into Odin’s camp, her armor still stained by Demons’ blood. At the moment, Odin was taking off his armor as he just returned from a rebellion suppression fight. Brynhildr yelled in anger:
: Why did you do that!
: They undermined our plan. I have told them to retreat.
: Just because they did not wish to abandon their home,
: you killed their hero —
: I did not kill him.
Odin said seriously while waving his startled men to stand down.
: Right! You just broke his sword and let him fight with that!
: Besides pieces of his sword, I could find nothing. Not even his body!
Brynhildr thrust her spear upwards. However, when Odin showed no sign of dodging, she flicked it to the side. The spear swept across Odin’s shoulder, creating a long and wide wound. Odin winced from the pain, pressing on the wound with a piece of cloth.
: You...You think I didn’t notice?
: Who can break the transcendent sword with just a single throw of the gungnir?
: It is you! The honorable Odin!
: You killed their hero to take over his army,
: leading his clan to fight under your glorified banner —
: They had to retreat!
: The land was easy to attack but hard to defend. If Demons raid the place —
: Then they will not hold back and fight till death!
: You can forget the kings who forfeit their land...
: but I always remember my father’s fall after he sacrificed his country.
: His heart corroded and his soul scattered!
: Yes, your father died of desperation. We witnessed and mourned it together.
: But do you want to know more?
: Do you know Demons can suck a person’s mind out of their skull
: and savor them with the victim’s hope as seasoning —
: You are always correct, wise Odin! But this is not a valid reason for your sins!
: Sins? Are you saying I am a sinner?
: Yes, Venerable Odin!
: Could there be a sinless blade?
Brynhildr turned and left; Odin saw her out with his one eye. Exhausted, he fell into a chair. In the lone camp, Odin murmured:
: Yes, there is. Valkyrie, my valkyries...I hope you are the sinless blades.
In the depths of Valhalla, a broken sword was embedded into a stele. The sword respected by spirits was dull; its fractured blade was stone-grey on the crystal-like stele. Brynhildr carefully swabbed the stele everyday. In the cold halls of Valhalla where spirits and Gods passed by, only the broken sword gave her a warm feeling. It was as if the breath of her past still lingered on the sword, inside the hall of the dead.
: Valkyrie —
: Valkyrie —
: I know. Someone encroached on the hall’s grounds.
Valkyrie suddenly stuck her spear onto the stele. Dark elements sparkled like fire. The flame ripped the sword off the stele as the scythe of elements enveloped it.
: I am driving them away.
: You just never learn? It happened that I could take a break.
: Are you tired?
: Right, because I cannot die.
: Come, I will lull you into the eternal sleep.
It was only until understanding death did Brynhildr truly become “Valkyrie”.
In the past, Valkyrie, the Taker of Souls, traveled and reaped. Her love towards her deceased husband once stirred up her indignation.
Even as the soul taker, Valkyrie could not retain the soul of her lover. At the time, she felt her life being dug with numerous hollows. Brynhildr then decided to forgo herself and turn into “Valkyrie”. The soul taker focused only to her work and paid no regard to the past. When Odin assigned her the important task of suppressing his berserk behavior, she could not help but smile. Brynhildr thought her smile was merely a reflection of her passion for combat, unaware that its roots reside within her hatred for Odin and everlasting lament of her husband.
: Just because you emerged triumphant against Odin,
: doesn’t mean I have given you my approval!
Brynhildr’s hatred continued, until she ran into a warrior who resembled her husband in Enochian Tower. He fought against Brynhildr with flame so as to buy a chance for his comrades to enter the Tower. It had reminded her of her husband; something that rarely happened. His flame always blazed for the others...Brynhildr finally remembered: her husband invariably sacrificed himself for the world. Maybe she should not pity her husband’s departure for the sake of his aspiration; in the repeating cycle of history, countless had acted no different from her husband.
Since then, Brynhildr lived in Valhalla with heroic spirits. The spirits shared their feelings with her, preventing her from being consumed by the power of Gods; Brynhildr, staying with her past husband’s sword, led every blade that had yet to fulfill their aspiration.