She escorted them to the front of the hall and went to one knee in front of the dais while bowing her head, "These are the ones you commanded me to watch for Lady."
The woman seated on the throne was even more awe inspiring up close. It would be easy to believe her a goddess even without any other evidence. Without being told the young men all went to one knee as well. She smiled at them all and gestured for them to rise.
"Welcome to the avatar of Order and his companions to my hall Folkvangr! I am Freya and I am glad you chose the box that contained my blessing. Odin has recently taken a renewed interest in the place you call Earth and I would to have agents there as well." She smiled, "Perhaps it is not entirely accident that you come here now but I could not be certain, only work to make it likely."
She rang a small gong by her throne, "Sit ye and take refreshment whilst I tell thee what I would have of thee," Freya gestured as a table was set up in front of the dais and sat herself at the head of it. The young men shrugged and seated themselves on the long benches to either side along with Myste as women who were beautiful if not quite up to Freya's standards came in and served them. A platter with steaks and baked potatoes along with a pitcher of mead were placed on table then each of them received a golden goblet and tableware. After the ladies filled their goblets with golden mead they left.
Freya lifted her goblet, "To you mortals!"
Gervais smiled, "A toast I can appreciate." He lifted his goblet along with the others, "To us!" They all drank, the mead was sweet and heady. He hadn't tried mead previously but he doubted it would have come close to the taste of this, "It tastes like sunlight and summertime!" The others nodded awed.
Freya smiled, "Well if you agree to my proposal then I will have some delivered to your halls upon Midgard for valiant warriors in my employ should be able to taste what awaits them in my halls when they finally lay down their burdens."
"So this is the afterlife but we are not yet dead?" Ben asked. As at the same time as Tommy said, "So you need us to do some fighting for you?"
"Yes and yes," Freya answered with a smile. "I know you, Gervais are to be the new avatar of Order and I would fain like to assist you and your friends but in return I would ask of you certain small favors from time to time." She looked serious again, "I can promise you it will not require you to break any oaths you have already sworn nor should interfere with your duties to the order. It will merely be an occasional additional errand for which you will be well compensated."
"By what exactly, aside from this admittedly excellent drink?" Colin inquired.
"Well I will give you each a gift to take back with you to Midgard," she said and smiled at them waiting for the obvious question.
Gervais asked the question he knew she was expecting, "What manner of gifts?"
"The gifts will be amulets made by Alfar smiths. They will help you with that which all new heroes need most, experience. Each amulet will provide you with a link to a Valkyrie with centuries of experience. You world has undoubtedly changed since they were last abroad in it but I am sure you will find their advice helpful. The amulets will also convey my voice to you on those occasions I need a favor from you. If you agree then I would extend to your companions the boon you received from Myste," Freya replied.
"We can hardly complain about that but please do not think me overly cynical if I wonder as to your reasons," Gervais replied. He looked at Myste, "I had thought that night your own idea. Was it then merely a chore, a duty you felt compelled to fulfill?"
Myste shook her head, "I volunteered for the mission my lord. I was well pleased that night and while I may have been false about some things the pleasure I gave and the pleasure I received were both true." She smiled at him, "Yeah verily, the pleasure was necessary to form a bond but it was still sweet for all that was it not?" She turned her attention to her food then, letting her words sink in while she ate.
G.W.E.N. nodded to her, "That is true but I'd still like to know the reason behind it." He looked up at Freya, he couldn't bring himself to be upset with her but curious he could manage. "Goddess? Is the loving necessary to forge the connections to the amulets? And can you tell us the sorts of favors you might require?"
While she sat considering Tommy muttered, "If the food is as good as the mead I'll not pass it up." He forked one steak and one potato onto his plate and was soon eating with gusto and a huge smile on his face. The others took this as a cue and enjoyed the meal why they waited for Freya to speak.
Freya did not join them but Myste ate with as much enjoyment as any of them. When they were finished Freya nodded, "It is meet that I answer your question but know that I cannot explain completely. There are aspects that only another being such as I could understand, and some that should not be spoken lest your very knowledge of them prevent them from occuring. However I can give you the basics and you certainly deserve at least that."
She sipped from her goblet, then spoke, "It is not currently possible to directly place one of my Disir on your world. Once it was different but, conditions let us say, have changed so that my sending Myste to you was the work of years and far from direct. However if my ladies should have a ... bond with someone from your world then connections becomes much easier. I still won't be able to send them to your world to do my bidding directky but they will be able to talk to you and hear you without any further preparations... once you've bonded with them. There are many ways to create this bond but the best for me, for reasons that would be too hard to explain, are sex and battle. Since I was hoping for your active cooperation I thought it best if the gentler form was used." She grinned at them and there was a momentary red glint in her eyes, "Still if any of you prefer combat though, that could certainly be accomodated as well."
Then the glint was gone and smile became softer, more human, "Once we have that bond I will have a presence on your world. It won't be the same as what once was but it will suffice for my purposes if you accomodate me while not actively engaged doing things for the Order. In exchange you get mead from my halls and the amulets that should aid you in your endeavours. Especially at the start when you are necessarily lacking in experience."
She lowered her goblet and looked them each in the eye, "How say you? Aye or Nay?"
Looking into her eyes each of them felt there was but one answer to give and they gave it in unison, "Aye!"
“Well said,” Freya smiled. “Now while I chat with milord Baron and Myste the ladies will escort you to the valkyries to whom you are to be bonded.” She gestured and three of the serving girls came out and each took one of the men by the hand and lead them from the room.
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