The Beginning Of End
After my visit at the Devils office, I had spent most of my time out of the spotlight as much as I could. That actually felt quite unnatural considering I was the type to always be in it. I spent most of my days in the casino, never leaving the castle walls in fear Id meet Loki again. Maybe eventually he would give it up and Id never have to come across him ever again.
I was sitting at one empty poker table in the corner and was drinking whiskey from the glass. I had my head leaned onto my hand and was staring into the distance. Human alcohol was really good at going into the depths of your mind and wallowing in your despair. I was so lost in thought that I didn even notice when someone sat at the chair near to me until they spoke,
e really going to have to talk to me. ”
I got startled as I heard a sudden voice and then looked over to the source. It was Beelzebub. I sighed in relief as it wasn someone with whom I had to pretend too much with.
”Whats up? ” I almost slurred as it was almost the 15th shot of whiskey at this point.
”What do you mean whats up ?
” There was a bit of annoyance in his voice. Oh great, I was going to get a talking to.
”Youve been sinking more and more into depression! If thats even possible considering you
e… well, you. ”
I slowly averted my gaze from nothing in particular to Beelzebub. ”I can assure you, Im not depressed. ” I could feel the temperature in the air rising which meant that he was getting more annoyed. If it weren for all the other demons around, he would have grabbed me and smacked me across the face. And, honestly, maybe I deserved it.
”Youve been drinking daily! Which isn the problem, usually… But you reek of depression. ” He grabbed the glass from my hand and put it far away from me on the table. I remained silent as I didn know what to tell him. There were many things happening yet it physically hurt me to open up. ”Talk to me, please! ” Beelzebub almost yelled out with a hint of an actual concern in his voice.
I exhaled sharply before I stood up, ”Alright, come with me. ” Maybe sharing my troubles wouldn be so bad. At least Beelzebub was the only demon who still had my back no matter what.
We both headed towards my office in the back rooms and I made sure to lock the door once we were both inside. The face that was usually quite stoic appeared to show some level of worry.
Beelzebub took a seat in one of the armchairs in the center of the room. I opened a liquor cabinet and offered him a drink and he readily agreed to it. I was guessing he expected this to be quite a serious talk – not that I wasn showing hints of it.
I poured him a bourbon in the glass and gave it to him. There was another armchair across him with the table sitting between them. I took a seat and tried to find a way to begin. They said when you don know where to begin from, it is always best to start from the beginning. But where was the beginning? So I started from the end.
I began explaining all about how Loki somehow barged through the veil in Hell and his surprise visit in my room. And then I mentioned our unexpected meetup in the fields in the human world and then I finally came to the part that had kicked me lower in the gutter.During my ramblings, Beelzebub tried to keep a straight face but it seemed hard for him to contain the anger. And it was mostly because I didn tell him sooner about it. Despite that, he didn interrupt me at any point, he kept listening and pouring his glass with more brown liquid.This whole situation had me feeling the same so I understood him fully.
”..and I can really grasp what these feelings are. I just feel utterly confused. ” I said as I finished the talk about the Devil situation. No one spoke for a bit after my last sentence and Beelzebub kept gulping down his drink.
”Wow… damn. ” The anger on his face faded and now it seemed like he actually understood my perspective. ”Thats… a lot. And you managed to keep this all to yourself the entire time? ” He sounded almost fascinated by that notion.
”Who could I even talk to about this? I didn even know how to begin to explain… ”
”Well, Im glad you told me in the end,
” he chuckled lightly but I still couldn go back to my cheerful self. I was staring at the bottom of the glass in my hand, still thinking about everything that had happened to me in the past few weeks.
”There must be a way to prevent this though. I mean, its good you
e staying away from Loki, but for how long will you be able to? Its not like youll be able to stay in Hell forever. Youd get another unpleasant meeting with the big bad boss. ”
Only when Beelzebub said it out loud did it become more clear. I really wouldn be able to stay here the entire time yet I really didn want to face Loki again. Id actually be forced to stomp him to the ground. I placed the glass on the table between us and leaned on my legs with my fingers pressed against my lips.
”I might have an idea… ” I said and carefully looked up at Beelzebub.
”That never ends well but shoot. ”
”It would require sneaking into the Norse world… and finding Odin. ”
As soon as I said that, his eyes widened and he scoffed before letting out a laugh as he gazed at me in shock.
e serious? ”
I didn change my expression and stared at him with the dead expression as earlier.
”Why would you even want to find him? ”
”He might have some insight… After all, I can trust Loki fully. He is a trickster. ”
Beelzbeub laughed out loud in an almost mocking way and it felt like a stab to the heart. ”You really don know much about Norse mythology, do you? Odin is… extremely cryptic and literally decided to adopt Loki as his child. I don think hed be very cooperative. He never was. ”
I leaned back into the chair and just huffed in annoyance. I felt like a hamster on a spinning wheel. I didn see a way out of this at all. But, my gut feeling was saying there could be a way to probe this matter further. But it ultimately felt non-preventable.
”I mean you can go but youd be wasting your time. At least Loki had enough decency to tell you about it. ”
”Fair. ” I nodded. ”Or… I could use you as a bodyguard when I need to get out of Hell for a bit? ”
”Didn deem you as someone whod need a bodyguard. ”
”Its mostly to prevent Loki from approaching me, I think if he does I won hold back. ” The other demon started laughing at that but we both knew I wasn joking.
”In that case, Ill try. If I don have anything going on at that time, Ill go with you. ” He nodded lightly and finished his drink. ”You may want to get back into the game soon though. ” He stood up and then proceeded, ”also, good luck with stopping the apocalypse. ”
e not going to help? ”
”I would want to if it was possible to stop it. But Id rather go back to finishing my muffins because thats something I can control. ” Beelzebub was a demon of gluttony and he spent a lot of time in the kitchen, just popping out new food. Not that it was ever a problem because all his food always had an amplified taste and you could feel the taste in all your pores on the body. It was easily comparable to mouth orgasm. Nonetheless, his decision pained me a little bit because that meant Id have to pull out some tricks I didn even know of yet. Although it was also slowly creeping on me that I was only able to delay the event.
I stood up from my chair as well and unlocked the door to let him out. As soon as I did, all eyes were on us for a few moments before everyone just went back to their activities. Once outside the casino, Beelzebub and I parted ways and I started heading towards one place I hadn visited in millenia – a library. Considering that hells library contained every knowledge you were seeking, I decided it was a good place to start with researching Loki; and the apocalypse of course.
The library was probably one of the biggest places in hell. The moment I stepped in, it felt like I was staring at a huge labyrinth made of bookshelves. I even almost started sweating at the sole thought of going through all of this and finding everything I needed. There were a few big sofas and armchairs before the line of books. It looked like a small lounge room and the only person I saw there was Mammon. He looked up from his book and threw a glare at me. He was a demon of greed and I liked to say he was also a demon of snobbery. He had medium-length black hair, sharp features and thin lips. And, he always wore suits. His expression was either neutral or annoyed. At this moment, he seemed annoyed that someone interrupted his peace. It was easy to notice that he wasn the most sociable one.
Mammon was in a sense a warlord in hell, in case of large wars he would be the one to be right below Devil in command. He was also the right person to ask about law matters. If he wasn giving the sense that he absolutely did not want to be disturbed, Id probably ask him about the apocalypse and what he knew about it. So, I just strolled right past him and went straight towards the many bookshelves. Taking a deep breath, I started looking around the library in case there were some pointers about locations of each section. After some time, I found the panel on the east wall and it was quite a large panel. There were sections about each important demon, their abilities, appearance and powers. Then, there was a section about a whole history of hell and its beginning. Even human history was there and phenomena of demons mingling with humans at different points in time. I was actually taken aback by all this information even though I knew that it was a big one. Not that I never was here, just when I was here very long ago, the amount of information was so much smaller. I guess that concludes for how long I didn visit this area.
I drew my attention back to what I was looking for – other mythology – Norse mythology section 1677B. Well, that was going to be a long walk.
”Do you need help? ” I suddenly heard a voice and jumped a little before turning around to see Mammon staring down at me like I was a peasant. His voice was quite gentle and deep which was quite contradicting to his facial expression. We barely ever spoke and him offering help was quite a surprise. ”Saw you gaping at this panel like a fish which started to irritate me so I decided to offer you some help. ” There it was. The snobbery.
”You can shove it up your ass with that attitude. ” I retorted at which he just rolled his eyes.
”Well, I was just asking. ” There was quite a bit of cockiness in his voice.
”And I was just leaving. ” The irritation in me was rising now so I walked right past him, shoving him to the side lightly in the process.
”I know about Loki. ” I froze in my steps instantly and then realized I was just confirming his suspicion. I turned back around, crossed my arms and cocked an eyebrow.
”Excuse me? Loki? ”
”You can fool the big bad Devil but you can fool me, Asmodeus. ” My heart dropped upon hearing his voice changing into a much more serious tone. I also changed my expression into a neutral one, still trying to get myself out of this situation by pretending I had no idea what he was talking about.
”I still don know what you
e going on about. ” There was an amusement on his face as I said that and then he smirked a little bit.
e quite interesting indeed. Going to such big lengths to defend your friend. ” I was getting more pissed which is when I stopped being anxious. A calmness came over me the more rage was burning and the more I tried to repress it.
”Listen, I have no idea what you
e talking about. Obviously you have no better things to do than to make up stories. I mean, isn it what you do all day? Read books? Must be really easy to make one up then! ” He roared in laughter and that was the first time I saw him having any different emotion other than neutrality and irritability. I stared at him in pure confusion while he was trying to pull himself together.
”Oh man, you
e funny. ” Mammon said after the laughter ceased. Then, he quickly went back to his serious self like the laughing never happened. ”You must think Im stupid. ” He started approaching me until he was about one foot away from me. ”Im the one who gave instructions on how to build these walls if you remember correctly. ” His serious and stern tone had become more intense the more he was talking and I had to force myself to remain calm and not show any suspicious emotions. ”I was on the monitoring duty that day, as Im most of the time anyway. I saw everything. The way he came in, thinking he was so slick that no one saw him, disguised as a raven. And then when I took a good look at him, I could locate him in my mind instantly. And, then, I saw him with you. I couldn hear what you two talked about but what was so amusing is how you never said anything about it afterwards. ”
I was absolutely bewildered and was left speechless by what I heard. I didn know what the outcome would be of this, but considering he still didn tell anybody about it, I concluded he was still keeping it a secret. I cleared my throat, still remaining visibly calm. There was no way I could let him think he had some sort of leverage on me.
e so sure about it, then why didn you tell somebody? You had all the freedom to do it. ” I scowled, my heart starting to pick up the pace. Mainly from the rage, it was hard for me to get really anxious. I just pictured smashing his face into the pavement. ”This just tells me you
e bluffing. ”
”Bluffing? ” he scoffed, ”Im not bluffing. You may think of me as a snob but even snobs have their own agendas. ” Was there something Mammon did not know? I couldn believe I overlooked him all these years. He couldve been a good acquaintance but now it was too late. I had him as a possible enemy. Although it was true that he had never really liked me so trying to befriend him would probably be fruitless nonetheless.
”Then, whats the reason? Is it actually possible you want to help me? ”
”In a sense… ” He mused as he stroked his chin. ”See, I thought about it for quite a while now and Ive come to a realization that the reason why you have not done something about Loki is that you have something to gain from it. So, I thought I could too if I found out more about it. ”
I almost laughed in disbelief. Truly, every being, entity or deity, whatever you wanted to call it, were all the same. They all thought about serving themselves no matter what principles would be lost on the way. I couldn say I wasn doing the same things but I was honest about it.
”What could you possibly gain from it? ”
”Oh, so you
e admitting to it? ”
”Im not, I just don know what you want from me. ”
”There is always something. If Loki himself found you and offered you something, it had to be something you didn see every day. ”
I was getting more annoyed and impatient by each word he uttered,
”Apocalypse. He offered me the apocalypse.
” I stared at him blankly and at the same time studied his reaction. And indeed, his smug face changed into one of slight confusion and a bit of fear. So, I continued,
”There, you wanted to know. There isn any grand scheme, some pact, its just the fact that we
e all going to die. Prophecy delivered by Odin himself. ”
”What does that even have to do with you? ”
”Well, Im involved and so is Loki. And we
e going to start it eventually. Don know, don know why, I just know. ”
Mammon returned to his serious self and it looked like he was trying to process what I was saying. It was unbelievable though. I kept this a secret for so long and now in less than a day, I already told two demons about it. It really is impossible to keep something a secret forever. Even lesser chances of that if you were me.
”And you didn think of telling THAT to anyone?! ” He exclaimed in a lecturing tone.
”I did, I just didn want to. I guess it felt like if I said that to anyone itd make it more real. For now Im focused on delaying it… somehow. ”
”Which is why you
e here? Trying to learn more about your archenemy? ”
”Yeah, basically. ” I nodded and shrugged. He fell silent for a bit, musing on the notion.
”Well, Ill keep your secret for now because Im curious how you
e going to embarrass yourself in the future. ” He said, oddly cheerfully. He was way more chaotic than I initially imagined. All demons had a chaotic side to them more or less, Mammon was just the only one whose chaotic traits seemed almost eerie.
”Hilarious. ” I said sarcastically before I just turned away from him once more and started heading towards the section.
”Good luck! ” He yelled out and I knew he didn mean it, not one bit.
After the long walk across the vast library which seemed like a whole eternity, I had finally come across a small bookshelf. On top of it, there stood a board made of wood which said Norse Mythology . I was searching through the books, pulling out a few of them before I had finally found what I was looking for. A whole book just on Loki. Truth to be told, the book itself wasn large so at least I didn have to spend days on research. Thankfully there was a small table near the window next to the bookshelf accompanied by two armchairs on each side. I quickly took a seat and opened the book with the first image being that of Loki – in all his glory. For some reason it made me shiver, probably in disgust. Then, I flipped the page and started reading trying not to let any word or syllable pass my attention.
An hour had passed and I was starting to get impatient as it felt like this research was going nowhere. It was mostly talking about his impact on Norse worlds and his relations with other gods there. There was even a full family tree of all his children which had genuinely surprised me. You don come across someone going down on a horse every day. That had also made me shiver in disgust. I was also shocked that there were so many things I didn know about him. Beforehand, all I knew was his name and that he was the trickster and that was it. So, I hoped all this information would come in handy someday. At once, my heart started pounding in my chest and my eyes gleamed in excitement as I came across one very interesting paragraph. Considering that Loki was always more of a nuisance than help to other gods, it had been written that he was bound in a cave to three rocks with iron chains. I couldn help but start to smile as I realized that there could be a way to prevent this.
As soon as I finished reading the paragraph, I stood up and rushed through the library whose vastness did not bother me anymore. When I reached the front of the library, Mammon was still there in the same position that I had first seen him in. He lifted his gaze from the book when he saw me, this time the gaze not showing any annoyance.
”You seem rather cheerful. Found anything useful? ” I stopped in my tracks as I was about to open the door. Then I just turned my head towards him and retorted,
”Wouldn you like to know? ” I saw him sneer for a moment before I just opened the door and left. What I almost found amusing about him was the fact that he seemed almost unfazed by the whole possibility of him dying. I wondered if it was way more interesting to him to watch me fail than to actually try to survive. As I was going through the halls, I hoped nobody would stop me again and say something ominous as it was apparently the theme of the day. All I needed was to get to Beelzebub and tell him the news without somebody having an interest in conversation with me.
I assumed Beelzebub was in the kitchen making his muffins as he had said earlier. I got down to the first floor of the building and made my way through the dining room. The dining room was mostly empty as demons didn have a need to eat. The few possible reasons why one would find a demon eating were either because they liked the taste of food or they needed something from the food. The food itself sometimes was used for giving you temporary abilities that you didn have before. There could be plenty of reasons why one would want to boost themselves like that however a lot of them used it as an aphrodisiac. We were demons after all.
I slammed the door open and Beelzebub jumped and turned around pulling out a blade at me.He was wearing a cooking apron near an oven so holding a blade at the same time was kind of comical I instantly stopped myself and put up my hands in a defensive stance.
”Whoa there! ” Beelzebub put down the blade and put it inside the pocket on the front of the apron once he saw it was just me.
”Sorry, I never know what to expect from demons here. ” He said absently.
”Yeah, fair. ” I nodded and exhaled in relief that I wasn stabbed just now. I put down my hands and then rushed over towards him. The look of excitement returned on my face as I was standing a few feet in front of him.
”I have come bearing some interesting news, ” I said, grinning. Beelzebub stared at me with a clear puzzlement on his face.
”Its only been a few hours, what could have possibly happened? ” ”
”Well… quite a bit actually. There is good and bad news. ” I didn give him a choice to pick one as I just continued, ”The bad news is Mammon knows about Loki and me. ” As soon as I said that, there was a look of shock on his face then I quickly proceeded, ”No, I did not tell him… He knew from day 1 when Loki came into my room, trying to kill me and all. ”
”I mean, its good, right? At least he didn tell anyone… yet. ”
”For now yeah… He is more curious about watching me fail to take Loki down. ”
”What a pompous bastard. ” Beelzebub noted with a tone of disbelief in his voice.
e telling me. ” I rolled my eyes. ”But then there is good news! I have found a way to put a stop to the apocalypse! At least for quite a while. ”
”Already?! ” Beelzebub exclaimed in a surprise. And then his expression quickly changed into a scowl, ”Don tell me you have decided to do something incredibly stupid. ”
”Well… Apparently, there is a way to trap Loki. In that way, he won be running about and I won be forced to kill him. In fact, I think the gods will be welcoming us to trap him as they are not his biggest fans. ”
Beelzebub let out a deep sigh and rubbed his temples. Without a word, he took off his apron and placed it on the counter behind him.
”You know… being your friend is sometimes really hard because there are so many times I want to hit you in the face. ” He said almost inaudibly but I knew that it meant he was just trying to contain his actual anger.
”Whats wrong with the plan? ”
”I mean… for example, we could die. ”
”We can always teleport ourselves out of any difficult situation. ”
”Yeah, maybe, if you
e lucky enough. ”
I exhaled sharply and kept my gaze fixed on Beelzebub waiting for him to agree to help me on this. Indeed, he was staring back at me with the same intensity. I could see that he was trying to weigh pros and cons in his head and that cons have been greater than the pros. He leaned on the counter behind him and looked down at the floor.
”Fine… Ill help you. ” I started grinning mischievously almost immediately upon his words. ”Im going to trust you, as much as it pains me to do so, that you do have a plan. ”
”Of course! ”
A while later, Beelzebub and I were hiding behind many trees of the forest in the clearing where Loki and I had our unfortunate interaction. And the clearing that I used to call my haven. Beelzebub had mentioned a few times that the trickster god was never going to show. I kept reassuring him that he indeed would. We just had to be patient.
I was holding large, heavy and long chains as I had taken the inspiration from the Norse gods in the book I had read. I had to agree, it was a great way to deal with something without usurping too much. However, I had hoped that his ”companions ” wouldn miss him too much. The sun had started going down already, painting the sky with wonderful colors that you could only see on a painting. I was so fixated on the beauty of the sky that I almost didn see the expected visitor on the clearing a few feet away. His red hair looked like it was shining and gleaming due to the setting sun and in a way, resembled the current sky. Loki had his hands in the pocket and was staring into the opposite side of the forest, his back turned to us.
I shook my head rapidly trying to chase away the virtually blasphemous thoughts. Beelzebub nudged me to start moving already. Suddenly there was a sense of pity taking over me, and I couldn move to do what I had planned. After reading so much on his history, I almost started feeling sorry for him. In my eyes, he was just someone who was ultimately misunderstood.
”What are you waiting for?! ” Beelzebub hissed silently and nudged me once again. My thoughts were instantly interrupted and I felt like I was brought back to reality. I swallowed a lump in my throat and looked intently at the trickster on the field. I murmured ”sorry ” to Beelzebub and he looked at me in confusion. In truth, I was also confused, having no idea what had just come over me.
Finally, I closed my eyes and started conjuring the ability that would make my presence almost unnoticeable. I crept slowly through the woods and the bushes before me, praying that Loki wouldn suddenly turn around and see me. Although I did not know who I was praying to. The Devil certainly was not listening, the god even less. I sneaked behind him and just when I was about to be right behind him, I stepped on some sort of branch and it cracked. I froze in place and carefully looked at Loki whom I saw turning himself to look behind him. However, before he could see behind him, I instantly pulled the chains up and wrapped them around his body. He yelped in place as I tightened the chain and put the lock on it. Both the chain and the lock were made so that only I could take them off or destroy them. If anything, hell had good torture equipment.
”Was wondering when youd show up. ” Loki grunted, I even heard a silent laugh coming from him. I was actually surprised at the lack of resistance from his end. I didn dare question it however so I just yanked the part of the chain that was dangling and started pulling him which made Loki fall flat on his back. ”You really think that trapping me will somehow make the apocalypse go away?! ” He snarled at me, now his anger becoming more visible. Still, I didn respond to him, I simply continued pulling him across the ground, hearing occasional yelps and grunts erupting from him.
Once I was close to where Beelzebub was standing, he took the chain from my hands. Due to Beelzebub bearing much more strength than me, with one swift motion he pulled Loki up together with the chain against the upper part of a tree next to us. In the meantime, Loki once again mumbled something about me having some interesting company. I grabbed the other end of the chain that was dangling then I helped my friend wrap it around both the Norse trickster and the tree. Once Loki was nice and propped up against the tree without a space to budge, Beelzebub and I stood in front of him and gazed at our entrapment masterpiece.
The red-haired god was looking down at us with contempt. He tried to shapeshift himself into a raven but it had only led to the chain heating and sizzling against him, wrapping itself tighter around him. He clenched his teeth and then threw us a glare.
”Youve been reading up on me, haven you? ” He hissed.
”You could say so…
” I shrugged and then turned my attention towards Beelzebub.
e free to go if you wish to. I will handle him from this point on. ” I watched the demon of gluttony study Loki carefully like he was about to have him for a meal next.
”Got to say Im surprised that this actually has worked out so far. ” He smiled, averting his gaze from Loki to look at me.
”Lets not be hasty, theres still time for me to ** up. ”
Beelzebub laughed because he knew that it was oh so true. I did hope I wouldn mess this up though. It was my one chance at peace. Then, he bid his farewell, opened a portal and stepped out, leaving only Loki and me in the woods.
”I was genuinely hoping youd come to your senses but alas… ” Loki commented. There was a hint of sincerity in his tone.
”What are you talking about? ” I asked, frowning.
”That all of this is pointless. You
e just wasting your time tying me here in the middle of nowhere. ”
”Maybe to you it is pointless. I, for one, want to be around for a while longer. And I can leave hell knowing youll just pop out of nowhere and ruin my day. ”
Loki tilted his head to the side.
e really going to stay here and watch me struggle? ” he asked.
I nodded. ”I am, ”
Loki sighed. ”Suit yourself, ” he said. He then proceeded to try and summon his magic again, but it was just out of reach. I could see him getting angrier and clenching his jaw. No one was going to find him out here either considering the chains had been warded specifically against Norse gods. Loki was shooting daggers with his glare at me while I simply sent him a smile, turned around and started walking away. At once, I heard behind me a flinging noise of a relatively large object. I quickly turned around, seeing a large hammer flying towards me, making me instantly put up my hand and return it to its sender. Across the woods in the distance I saw a large man with long, blonde wavy hair and a long beard. He was wearing a metal plated tunic with layers of quilted wool and a long cape made of some animal hide. He was large and muscular in every sense of the word, it looked like he could poke me once with his finger and send me flying across the field. I widened my eyes as I realized who had come to visit… It was Thor.
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