Trewsday night, 00:35. A star-filled sky hangs above the far realm. The two moons are vibrant thanks in part to the sparse cloud coverage. Low winds keep it chilly and remind all winter is upon them. Temps: -3C/25F lows and 1C/33F highs.
resource block credit goes to miss texas. credit for mini profile goes to bee.
The Valkyrie Queen leads the way out onto the stone-cobbled roads of the citadel. Her hands are clasped behind her back as she walks. Once Nicolas has caught up, she continues their conversation from the military quarters.
"Why are you here?" Dyna asks without looking at him. She nods her head at a pair of Valkyrie and their Champions as they greet her in passing. "Ende can be difficult to refuse, but I have been told that you chose this voluntarily."
Dyna wonders what she fill find in this man's heart... Does it beat for Theone's the way that hers does for him? Will he grow to love her if he doesn't yet? And even if romantic love doesn't blossom between the pair, will he be able to stoke the flames within himself when the time comes for them to ride to battle?
Nic feels a little bit like he's racing to catch up with the Queen, both physically and mentally. He's never been the smartest of guys, but he has pride in the intellect that he does have. So far though, he's pretty sure that Dyna thinks little more of him than as a blithering idiot.
As soon as he is walking beside her again, she quickly resumes the conversation. Now it's clear that she's expecting answers. The smoothly worn stones pass under his feet as they make their way through the city. This is obviously the main road. They pass warriors and Valkyries alike on their way to... wherever they're going.
Nic contemplates his answer carefully before responding to Dyna. The Queen seems ancient in a way, almost arcane. "I don't know what was going on in my head at the time. I still don't know what's going on. But yeah... I did choose this." He doesn't explain that he's desperately trying to reassert control over his life, or his mind, or his heart. That he can barely sort out memories, thoughts, and emotions when it comes to his two lives and the Goddess between the two of them. That in a way, the novelty of Valhalla, of being out of his own world, his own element, is a welcome escape from his head. And now... now she's asking for introspection and he's scared that if he looks too deeply inward he'll be split apart between the Brennan he was and the Nicolas he used to be.
Dyna continues to lead the way through the citadel streets towards their next destination. She allows the silence to grow and fill the space around them while she contemplates this man's current circumstances. Most do not know of the Valkyries and their eternal charge to prepare for the final battle, so Nicolas is not unlike other Champions in that regard. Comfort is a result of exposure.
"Choice is an important tool. Even stripped of all else, we still possess choice," she intones as they turn down a smaller alley, cutting through some of the buildings at a seemingly arbitrary route. Arbitrary only to someone unfamiliar with both the citadel and their intended destination.
Nicolas nods his head in agreement when the Queen states that things are overwhelming. For a moment, just a moment, Nic puts himself in the position of someone with absolutely no knowledge of the magical world. This... afterlife, for want of a better word, would probably be just as overwhelming to them as well. It's an oddly comforting thought, though his apprehension quickly obliterates that notion.
The Queen travels along, with something like laziness in her gait, as they move along roads and alleyways. It's almost as if she's giving a silent tour of the city, seeing as she only speaks intermittently. In fact Nic is about to break the lingering silence when she speaks up again, this time about choice. It's a concept that he's struggled with, been involved with, and pretty opinionated on. "After the last few days, I'm not sure if I believe there's a choice in all things. Or that it's easy enough to chose between one thing or another." He thinks back to the night on the beach, "It's true that there were choices, paths... cross-roads, that were presented to me. I could have chose to go on with a blind eye turned to the magical world. I could have chose to run away from Lydia, er Theone, when she awakened my past life inside of me. But I don't think Brennan could have. He pauses for a moment, slowing as he immerses himself in thought, "And the moment that piece of my soul was forced back upon me, it became like my decisions only count half for everything I do." Perhaps he's said too much, shown too much doubt, but his issues are begging to pour out.
They continue their trek through the citadel, the silence subsumes them again. And once again The Queen is the one to break it. Judging by their surroundings, Nic has to wonder if she's taking him away from the citadel. The buildings seem smaller, more humble. What could she possibly be up to? Yet her narrative directs him back towards thoughts of love. Thoughts that he'd rather not think, because... they're kinda confusing. "Love?" he questions her, fading back into silence. A minute passes by, then two. It's almost as if he's going to refuse to speak on the subject. Suddenly, a scrap of doggerel is spoken aloud as he gazes off at one of the little building they are passing by. "Love is patient, love is kind, love means slowly losing your mind."
Nicolas isn't even really aware that he's said it aloud. Once again he's caught up in the things going on in his head. At this point he's got a lot of thoughts on love, but not all of them are kind.
"No, one's choices are not always easily made," Dyna agrees. She reflects upon some of her own choices. There had been some rancor when Theone first came to join their ranks. However, the familiarity of the goddess' continued presence eventually quelled those concerns and she has now been embraced as one of their own. She suspects that Theone's foray among the mortals and Nicolas' training as a Champion has reawakened some of those feelings, but time will tell if her own choices and role in these events will pan out in the end.
It becomes readily apparent that Dyna's question of love has drawn Nicolas off course as he murmurs some nonsense line and doesn't really answer her. Even if he doesn't realize it, there is a lot of power in love. His own admission about Brennan's influence on him is proof of that.
"I believe that love is worth fighting for." (Dying for.) Not that the Queen was asked her opinion on the topic, but they are drawing close to their destination. "That is why I encourage all Valkyries to foster a bond with a Champion. Someone to fight by their side as an equal. Someone to fight for. I hope that you are that Champion for Theone."
The pair approach a simple hut, squat and low to the ground. The roof is thatched and the walls are crudely placed stones. Without slowing her stride, Dyna leads the way into Brynhilda's hut.