I've realised my issue. I'm not sick of writing, I'm sick of writing for RWBY. I need something new, something interesting, with fresh blood to spill. My knowledge of this anime is what I'm getting from the Fandom wiki so I don't exactly have stellar knowledge of this shit, but since when has that stopped me? For now, let's end some lives and sing our praises to the All-Father.
Zulkir swung his dane axe, taking the orochi's head clean off his shoulders. He watched as the corpse stumbled past him, a grin hidden behind his skull mask, before turning his attention back to the battle at hand. A group of samurai had thought his Hallowed Bastion easy pickings, and boy were they wrong. He watched from his perch in the ballista nest as the enemy foot soldiers tried to push their ram to the gates of his fortress, but were repeatedly pushed back by his own pikemen and archers, the latter of which were protected by his shield-sister, a vicious berserker named Bramblepelt.
He watched from a distance as she took on a shugoki by herself, dodging and weaving her way between his attacks like the wind, slashing at his exposed flanks with her twin hand axes before finally knocking him on his ass and taking his head off with a swift strike. She looked at him from across the field and let loose a battle cry he couldn't hear while raising her weapons to the sky, but he let out one of his own in response.
He climbed down the ladder to the trenches before charging out to the ram, being pushed forward by the enemy at a snail's pace. He entered the front line of the fight as the samurai were making a strong push to drive back the vikings.
"For Odin!" He roared as he raised his axe to the sky, invigorating the pikemen before they charged forward and started killing. While the rest of his men focused on the enemy fodder, breaking their shields and skewering them on their spears, he focused on the leader of their push, a high ranking kensei if his intricate armor was anything to go by. While the kensei was busy taking the head off a nearby pikeman, he charged in from the side, the captain not noticing until it was too late. He grabbed and ran forward with him over his shoulder before throwing him to the snow covered dirt just below the archer point. He backed up long enough to give the man a moment to stand before they began their duel, far enough away from the main battle to ensure no interruptions.
"C'mon then, give me a tale to tell in the great mead hall." Zulkir said as he passed his ax between his hands menacingly. They circled each other for a moment, the snow falling around them, before the kensei struck quickly, his nodachi coming down on him. He deflected it back with the shaft of his axe before attempting a quick attack himself, the kensei deflecting it in turn. Zulkir charged in, feinting a downward swing, but at the last second he moved the blow out of the way and instead headbutt his opponent in the face, hard enough to stun him. He stood there for a moment, holding his head, and Zulkir took that opportunity to hit him hard with a horizontal swing. It didn't go all the way through his wooden armor, but it did do some damage if the large bloody gash was any indication.
Realising he couldn't quite take him on one-on-one, the kensei subtly motioned for something out of his line of sight, but Zulkir caught it. He smirked behind his helmet and positioned himself in just the right way as he heard the ballista being repositioned. He listened very carefully for the war machine, which he hadn't reloaded after the last time he'd fired it, and once he heard the signature thunk of the projectile loading, he rolled to the side. Right then, a ballista bolt went flying past him and hitting the Kensei, striking him in the chest and pinning him to the wall. He struggled for a moment, his eyes wide with shock, before succumbing to his wounds and going limp, dropping his nodachi into the Valkenheim snow.
He spun around and looked over to the ballista, seeing a Shinobi at the helm. He couldn't see her expression, but it was probably one of shock. But now he was stuck. She had already begun reloading the damned thing, and he wouldn't have enough time to take cover anywhere or sprint to the small tower the ballista was perched on before she was ready to fire. Right when he was about to accept his fate and go to Asgard, he saw a blade sprout from the samurai's chest. She looked down at it before it was ripped from her and she was kicked from behind, stumbling over the railing and falling into the trenches below. In her place was his Jarl, the mighty warlord Hrym.
He raised his sword in triumph and roared loud enough to hear over the cacophony of war, motivating the troops. The samurai, after seeing their captain killed, quickly began to turn tail and run, losing hope in the battle. Bramblepelt sprinted out of the archer point before setting the ram alight with a well placed fire flask, burning the wooden siege structure along with any men still inside. Zulkir let loose a victory cry and raised his axe to the sky, singing his praises to the Gods. After a moment of seeing the enemy retreat, he felt a hand hit his shoulder. He turned around and saw it was the crazed berserker, a wild grin on her face. She grabbed the back of his head and slammed their heads together in celebration, their helmets clanging together, laughing all the while.
"Good fucking fight! It's been too long since I've spilled blood." Bramblepelt said with enthusiasm as she twirled one of her axes.
"Aye, it's good to finally kill something." He said in response. He watched the tower as Hrym barked some orders to a few archers, likely telling them to follow the enemy forces as they retreated. If they could figure out where their outpost was, they could launch a counter-offensive and destroy them, especially with them weakened by the failed attack. He continued conversing with the adrenaline high berserker as they made their way up the ramp with his arm over her shoulders to the inner courtyard that made up the Hallowed Bastion. But as they did so, laughing and swapping stories of the fight, he noticed something in the Valkheim tundra some ways away, something Bramblepelt didn't as she continued on about her various battles.
He couldn't quite tell what it was, but it almost looked like a person, standing straight up and holding something. He squinted his eyes to get a better look and they widened when it was indeed a person, a long bow drawn, arrow nocked and aimed directly at Bramblepelt. Interrupting her story, he pushed her out of the way right as the assassin let loose the arrow, it sailing towards him too fast for him to dodge. It flew through the air with deadly accuracy before he felt the sharp metal tip bite into his neck like a wolf's bite, piercing his throat in a spurt of blood. He heard Bramblepelt yell something in a panicked tone as he stumbled for a moment, trying to breathe through the intruding object. He quickly began to succumb to the fatal wound when he fell to his knees, his hands around his throat as he choked on his own blood. He rolled onto his back, his eyes looking up into the sky as the light faded. The last thing he saw was Bramblepelt, panic on her face, gripping and ripping out the arrow, pretty much killing him right then and there.
But as he looked into the sky past her, his vision rapidly leaving him, he could've sworn he saw two ravens flying above him, watching the pair intently.
The Raider's eyes shot open, him immediately slamming the pommel of his axe into the ground and using the support to push himself up. He looked around frantically, the vague pain in his throat rapidly fading. He looked like he was in a forest, but it was the type you'd find in Ashfeld. This definitely wasn't Valkenheim.
"What seidr is this?" He growled, his body still pumped full of adrenaline. His axe was still wet with blood, indicating he'd either killed someone and didn't remember, or he had been moved recently. He felt his neck for the arrow wound that ended his life, but found none. There was a new scar alongside the one he'd gotten from a lucky peacekeeper, but aside from that it was fully healed. He growled again to himself, but found no other option but to pick a random direction and walk, hoping he wouldn't run into any wandering knights. He wasn't sure he'd be able to take a skilled one on by himself.
He adjusted the leather strap keeping the fur pelt on his shoulder in place as he walked, the sounds of nature around him. It would have been peaceful and calming if the circumstances of his arrival here weren't a total mystery and ignoring the fact he should be sharing a horn of mead with his shield-siblings in Valhalla. He continued thinking back to that moment when the arrow struck him, along with the twin ravens flying overhead. He felt like it should've meant something, but he didn't care to think about it. For now, he needed to find a way back to the tundra that was his home.
He wandered for many hours, to the point that the sun had begun to set beyond the horizon. But right as he was about to stop and make camp for the night, he exited the treeline to find himself on the edge of a very tall cliff, a city the likes of which he'd never seen before stretched out before him. It was truly massive, putting anything he could ever imagine to shame. Hundreds upon hundreds of houses the likes of which he didn't recognize sprawled out for miles and miles, taking over the entirety of the area, hundreds of people seen walking the streets below. He dropped the front of his axe in shock, causing it to embed in the dirt slightly, and looked out in wonder at the marvel of architecture. And in the center of it all was a massive walled castle, though it was very far away and he couldn't make out much of it.
"Tívar." He cursed breathlessly. "This isn't Heathmoor."
As night fell, the lights from the city never wavered, illuminating the surrounding area fairly well. But Zulkir could not sleep as he sat by the crackling fire, for he didn't feel tired. Hel, he didn't even feel hungry or thirsty. He was confused by this, but he didn't think about it as he was distracted by the giant monument before him.
This was absolutely not anywhere on Heathmoor, it would've been noticed by someone. Was he on a new continent, one undiscovered by the other factions? It had to be, but then how did he get here? The only explanation he could think of was that the Aesir had saved him from death and sent him here for an unknown purpose. If so, then were the birds he saw watching him the All-Father's ravens, Huginn and Muninn? They had to be. If they were regular ravens, then why were they circling over him when Bramblepelt was right next to him and there were plenty of other fresh corpses for them to feast on? It wouldn't make sense for them to be normal birds.
But then why was he brought here? He had seen nothing indicating the vikings had ever set foot here, so perhaps they wanted him to be the first. Until things were made more clear to him, he'd continue to forge onward toward his fate.
He was brought out of his thoughts by a crack from behind him. He shot up and spun around, grabbing his axe and facing the dark treeline. He hadn't taken off his helmet, so the firelight flickering over the skull faceplate made him very intimidating as the black sockets of his helmet scanned the area. But the threat decided to make itself known then.
The massive beast slunk out of the treeline, growling at him as it did so. It resembled a huge lion, sporting a coat of yellow fur with a thick mane around its neck, and its head resembled that of a lion for the most part, but that was where the similarities ended. It had three red orbs for eyes, the third one being in the center of its forehead, and a pair of long and sharp horns that curved forward. It bared its teeth threateningly and growled again, making its hostility known.
"Alright beastie, let's see how tough that hide is." He growled in return before letting loose a battle cry and charging the creature. It went to pounce on him with its sharp claws but he rolled under it. Once he was behind it, he hit its hind leg hard with his axe, making it cry out in pain. He ripped it out before it kicked the wounded leg back, launching him back and making him hit a tree fairly hard, but he barely felt it due to the adrenaline. They charged towards each other again, but as it pounced he instead dodged to the side and dug his axe into its side, the momentum of its jump making the ax drag along the entire side,blood spilling everywhere. But while it cried out greatly in pain, it still didn't go down.
"How much punishment can you take?!" He yelled in frustration. The two circled each other, the beast now far more wary of its prey. After a moment of nothing, the creature readied another pounce, Zulkir rolling to the side in response. But it had waited for him to do so, pouncing on him before he could dodge again. He raised the handle of his axe and the beast latched its maw around it, trying to bite through it and get to him. As big a guy Zulkir was, even he struggled to keep the monster back, it biting down on his only defense viciously. After a brief moment, the raider got an idea.
He quickly took one hand off the axe handle and reached into his pouch, grabbing something he hadn't had the chance to use during the defense of the Hallowed Bastion. He quickly pulled out the fire flask and shoved it into the beast's mouth right as it tossed his axe to the side. He raised his left forearm and it bit down, shredding the flesh and whipping its head about in an attempt to tear his limb off. But after a brief thrashing, its eyes widened and it got off him, crying out in pain as the flask detonated. It stumbled around in pain as flames spewed from its mouth before it collapsed, cooked from the inside with blood dribbling from its mouth.
He stood up, cradling his badly wounded arm while breathing heavily. Strangely enough though, the vicious wound didn't hurt, or at least not nearly as much as it should have. He looked down at it and could see his bone in certain areas where the fangs had bitten particularly deep. But what shocked him the most was when he went to move his hand despite many of the tendons being shredded.
And it moved just fine, even though he could see some of the ruined tendons moving around in his arm.
He heard rustling behind him and ignored the strange event, instead picking up his blood soaked weapon off the ground and anticipating a second monster to appear. Instead, a woman walked out of the forest, but he was blinded by adrenaline, seeing everything as hostile. He got in a combat stance and growled, warning her to stay back. She looked at his heavily damaged forearm in confusion as he used it just fine, but she shook it off.
"Damn, didn't think you'd be able to kill a class 2 Danger Beast." She said with a chuckle, but he didn't relax, only continuing to eye her.
"Who are you, and what the Hel are you wearing?" She had short blonde hair with two long tufts that framed the sides of her face, alongside her golden eyes. Her clothing was extremely revealing as well, more revealing than most raiders in fact, which was saying a lot.
"What, you like what you see?" She said, teasing him while pushing up her breasts with a grin.
"Answer the question, meyla." He insulted her, but she didn't know what he meant so she just brushed it off.
"Alright, relax." She said with a dismissive wave. "Look, I've been following you for a good bit. Found you passed out in the forest and was about to go see if you were dead when you shot up like a bullet. Then I followed you through the forest here to see what you were up to until I saw you kill that Jackaleo. That was awesome by the way. I don't know what you shoved in its mouth, but it really fucked it up." She said with a smirk as she glanced over at the now smoking carcass. He lowered his stance slowly as he deemed her to not be a threat, at least not quite yet. He made his way back to his campfire and sat down, staring into it.
"Hey, is your arm alright? It looks pretty bad." She said, not really able to get a good look at it.
"I don't even feel it." He said while moving his arm and looking at it. She walked up to him, and her eyes widened slightly at the gruesome wound, along with the fact that it didn't seem to be affecting him.
"Oh shit, you need to get that looked at. I can take you back to my group's hideout and get you patched up, then you can join up with us if you'd like. We're called Night Raid, and we fight the Empire's corruption." She said with pride, holding her head high. When she looked back down at her, she found him staring up at her, his skull mask betraying no emotion. And as she looked closer at what she thought was fake bone, her smile wavered as she began to doubt her assumptions of it not being a real skull. He shook his head while muttering something before standing up beside her.
"Lead the way then." He said, and she smiled.
"Great!" She then turned on her heel and walked into the forest, Zulkir following behind. She asked for his name, Zulkir, and she gave hers, Leone. She tried to make small talk, but it was strange to say the least.
"So, where are you from and why were you in the middle of the woods like that?" He looked like nothing she'd ever seen before, strange runes and patterns tattooed on different parts of his body, but they didn't look like the typical tough guy tattoos. They almost looked ritualistic.
"I saved my shield-sister from an arrow, the huglausi archer striking me instead. I felt my life leave me, but then I woke up in the middle of this damned forest." He responded, and she turned to walk backwards and continue talking to him, holding her arms behind her head in a relaxed fashion.
"Huglausi? That a rival tribe of yours or something?" He gave her a look before sighing.
"Never mind." They remained silent for the rest of the trip, though she did hear Zulkir whisper something she barely picked up.
"Mímir vísa." He said, but she didn't recognize the language at all. After some time, they arrived. It was a large reinforced building built into the side of a mountain, her going up to the gate and knocking hard. It was massive, and was the most obvious "hideout" he'd ever seen.
"Hey, we've got a guy out here who's pretty badly wounded! Could ya open the door?!" She shouted. After a moment, a man with the most ridiculous hair Zulkir had ever seen opened the way, looking at them both, though his eyes widened slightly upon seeing him. He assumed it had to do with his heavily wounded arm.
"Alright, bring him in." He said, beckoning them inside.
"Thanks Bulat." She said with a smile as she led him in. Bulat continued looking at Zulkir for a moment, the viking looking down on him as he was a few inches taller, before Bulat noticed the trail of blood he was leaving behind. He sighed as he figured he'd have to clean it.
Zulkir sat in the hospital bed in the medical wing of the hideout, his arm wrapped in an ungodly amount of gauze. The doctor had suspected he'd need a splint for a broken arm, but was surprised to find the bone completely undamaged, despite it being very visible in some areas. So he simply wrapped up the arm and left to get something.
Tired of staying still, he stood up and grabbed his axe off the table next to him and left the ward, intent on exploring this new place. If he intended to join this "Night Raid", he might as well get a feel for the place.
He exited out into a dark and empty hallway. Made sense since the moon was high in the sky and most of the people here should've been asleep. He walked down the hall with his axe propped on his shoulder, giving his wounded arm a rest. He looked down at the bandages that were already starting to become blood soaked, but ignored it.
He eventually found his way to the kitchen, filled with equipment the likes of which he'd never seen before. He chuckled as he remembered a highlander, Milesian, who had an affinity for cooking amazing food worthy of being served in Valhalla's feasts. He'd have loved this place, once he figured out how the machines worked anyway.
He opened one of the large coolers in search of ale, but it took until the third one for him to find some. It was in a glass bottle with a name he didn't quite recognize, but he knew ale when he saw it. He took the bottle and exited the kitchen, wandering around a bit more in search of a worthy place for him to sit and give his praises to the Gods. After wandering through the quiet halls, he entered a spacious courtyard before finding a stone bench and sitting upon it, looking up at the moon.
He removed his helmet and set it on the grass beside him, revealing his scarred face, his left eye blinded. Looking at the bottle, he pulled the cork out and watched for a moment as the faint mist flowed out of the ice cold drink. Then he reached behind him and unhooked his drinking horn from his belt. He then poured the golden liquid into the horn before tossing the bottle aside and standing up, raising his horn to the night sky.
"To Thor, Slayer of Jötnar, Guardian of Asgard!" He cried out before taking a swig of the ale, feeling it burn sweetly down his throat. "For guiding my blade through my battles and aiding my shield-brothers in the defense of our home! To Odin, All-Father, Lord of the Aesir!" He took another swig in honor of the king of the Gods. "For wrenching me from the clutches of Helheim and choosing me to fight in this new land!" He sat back down, his horn still raised. "And to my fallen shield-siblings, to those who shall feast in Hall of the Dead till the day of Ragnarӧk dawns!" He put his lips to the horn one final time, chugging the remaining drink left until his horn was left empty.
"Skål!" He cried out, praising the Aesir and celebrating the day's victories, both in Valkenheim and this new land. All the while, a young man peeked through the doorway, watching him with no small amount of curiosity.
I actually had fun writing this, which is something that hasn't happened in a good while, especially with Overboss. I think I'll stick to writing this for a good bit, maybe continue Demonic Influence at the same time if I feel like it. Also, I apologize if I made any of the characters OOC, as I haven't seen the anime and my knowledge is all from the wiki, which is still very descriptive and helpful. The only thing I wish they had was more images of the insides of places like the hideout, at least then I'd have a good idea of what the environments are like. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the violence.