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        Overwhelmed with exuberance, Thrud moved barrel after barrel from the wine cellar to the grand hall. She carefully checked the markings scribbled on the barrels to confirm that these were indeed the wine brewed in preparation for this. Then, she counted the number of barrels to ensure there was no mistake. It was not until then did she smile and relax herself, hands on her hips. Hiding in a corner of the hall, she awaited her father’s return to surprise him.

        After a while, the entrance doors finally opened. She heard the heavy footsteps of soldiers wearing bulky armor. And the sound immediately told Thrud that the one she had been waiting the whole night for had returned. Just as Thor stepped into the hall, those barrels came into his view. He could not help but smile knowingly, for the wine his daugher brewed herself had always been one of the motivations pushing him to fight bravely. Thrud sneaked her way out of the corner, and flung herself at Thor from behind. Yet, Thor, a sensitive man, had already swiftly turned around and picked her up.

        “Father! Congratulations on your triumphant return!”

        “Thrud, it’s already very late. Why haven’t you gone to bed yet?”

        “I want to celebrate it with you, father. Can’t I?”

        Thrud could hardly stop smiling as she spoke, while holding Thor’s hand, leading him to the fine wine which she had brewed especially for him. After she had filled a glass with wine, she passed it to Thor, and said delightfully, “Father, come and have a taste of this wine. I started brewing it on the day you left for the war.”

        His face radiated with joy, Thor took the glass in silence. He gulped down the wine in one breath; a look of content spread over his face.

        “Excellent!” With that, he raised his glass high to his subordinates, announced, “My fellows! To celebrate our victory over the Demons, let tonight be a night of drinking. No one here shall leave sober!”

        The banquet started as Thor finished his words. His subordinates began to drink to their heart’s content. Thor also swigged glass after glass, as if it had satisfied a long-felt need; more than enough was never too much. Thrud was watching him from the side, immersing herself in joy and felicity. The laughter and liveliness from the banquet infected her, filling her with excitement.

        The war between the Northern Alliance and Demons had been ceaseless since it started. Thor, who spent most of his years on expedition, was seldom home. He would not return unless he had just emerged victorious after a battle. Yet, he would stay for only a few days each time, and then he would set off again. Thrud would always start brewing wine when he left home to shared it him when he returned. Every time she saw her father’s face radiate with joy, her heart too would fill with warmth... Eventually, her eagerness with these events grew increasingly, for not only did they soothe her solitude and boredom, but they also brought her happiness.

        Later, she heard from one of Thor’s subordinates that Odin was recruiting valkyries, and She was instantly determined to join their ranks. She made this decision for merely one reason, that she would be able to fight by her father’s side all the time, and to celebrate every victory they would claim in battle.

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