-Why didn´t you told me sooner?-Diane angrily asked Locke, she was growing tired of him manipulating both Loki at her.
-Same reason as before, you would only get in my way. They are already there and there´s nothing you can do about it –Locke pouted at her
-You … -Diane felt enraged –How can you do that? He is your father, how could you sent him there knowing what Thanos made to him- tears of frustration rolled down her cheeks.
-Get over it mother. You are stuck here and father chose to go –Locke told her
-Why did you even bother to tell me then?-Diane asked
-Because your constant nagging was irritating- Locke answered her then added –Face it, the only beings that can get out of here besides me are the Valkyrior.-
-“The Valkyrior” –Diane thought a desperate plan forming on her head.
-Then I won´t irritate you any longer –she spat at him as she walked away –“I have to find Krista”-she thought to herself.
Locke watched her leave an amused look on his face, his plan was working as usual.
As Diane found Krista the Valkyrie that had brought her to Valhalla she asked her –Krista, how did you became a Valkyrior?-
Krista was intrigued by her question but answered Diane anyway –It is a process that involves many tests but to round it up I would say that you have to be a worthy warrior to become one, not only skilled but with a pure heart.-
-Could I become one? – Diane asked her again.
-I´m not sure, why would you want that?-Krista asked her in return.
-I need to help Loki Krista, he is in great peril. I can´t just sit here and do nothing. – Diane answered her.
-Maybe with time, but that is one thing I´m sure you don´t have –Krista told her.
-No Krista, there has to be a way. It just has to be.-Diane pleaded.
-It might be a way, but it is too dangerous. You should forget about it.-Krista replied.
-Krista, tell me please.-Diane demanded
-You would have to defy a Valkyrie in combat and defeat her.-
-Is that all? – Diane asked almost relieved
-Is not that easy, valkyrior are very skilled fighters, they won´t let you win no matter what and should you get killed …-
-Killed? Am I not dead already? – Diane puzzlingly inquired
-If you die again in Valhalla your soul will cease to exist, you would fall into oblivion.-Krista confessed
-That´s a risk I´m willing to take –Diane told her without even thinking twice about it.
-You shouldn´t decide about this so lightly- Krista scolded her
-Am I such a terrible fighter Krista? – Diane worryingly asked her
-It took over six angels to defeat you, I hardly think your fighting abilities to be the problem. My main concern is your heart.-Krista answered her.
-My heart? – Diane asked
-You let your heart to get in the way, your love for Loki is your weakness, that´s why the valkyrior are maidens.-Krista stated
-My weakness?-Diane incredulously repeated –No, Krista he´s not my weakness. I´ll prove it to you. Love doesn´t make you weak it makes you stronger.-
-I see I can´t convince you against this –Krista stated
-No you can´t. Krista, please; tell me how do I defy a valkyrior to fight me?- Diane pleaded
-Come with me, I´ll take you to Brunhilde. You can state your challenge to her.-Krista answered
Krista guided Diane through Valhalla to the Valkyrior’s Hall, once they arrived Krista told her to wait while she talked to Brunhilde about her intentions.
After a while Krista returned and told Diane –Brunhilde refuses to accept your challenge-
-Why?-Diane desperately asked
-She doesn´t think you are worthy-Krista plainly answered
-Then why not accept my challenge? If she thinks I will be defeated why is she afraid to fight me?-Diane angrily asked
-My sister is not afraid of a human.-Valtrauta, Brunhilde´s sister replied as she suddenly appeared.
-Then give me a chance. Fight me!-Diane demanded
-If my sister allows it I will fight you. You need a lesson in humility –Valtrauta snarled at her
Brunhilde reluctantly accepted Valtrauta´ s request to fight Diane, the fight would take place in the training arena just outside the Hall.
As Krista helped Diane to prepare she told her –I still think you are a fool for doing this, but I do admire your courage.-
-Thank you Krista. I won´t lose, just wait and see.-
As Diane walked into the arena she saw Locke in the bleachers –What are you doing here?- she asked him
-I want to see if I can convince you against this. There´s no way you can win.-Locke answered her
-I will win-Diane angrily replied –Besides why do you care?-
_ I would hate to see father disappointed when he tries to resurrect you only to realize he can´t.-Locke wryly told her
-That if he survives the quest you sent him to.-Diane told him defiantly –I won´t stay here doping nothing while both him and your brother´s are at risk. I will win and join them.-
-Well, you can´t blame me for trying-Locke said as he shrugged his shoulders
-Are you ready human, or are you getting cold feet? – Valtrauta shouted
-I´m ready-Diane shouted back as she pulled the headpiece of her helmet down.
Both women were dressed in an armour, swords and shields in her hands.
Valtrauta stroked first hitting Diane shield hard.
-“Damn!”-Diane thought- “She´s strong”- As she stepped back before trying to hit Valtrauta with her sword.
They furiously charged at each other, trying to inflict as much damage as possible, for a moment it seemed they were equally skilled.
-You fight well human –Valtrauta told Diane –But not well enough- she stated as she manage to hit Diane´s unprotected flank with her shield.
Diane growled in pain as she felt down after the blow that had sent her flying a few meters away. As she caught her breath back she removed her helmet as she spat some blood she yelled to Valtrauta –You think that´s enough to beat me? Think again – She ran towards her and placed a few strong blows against her shield before being hammered back by Valtrauta´s response.
-“If she keeps this up, she will break my arm”-Diane thought to herself as the pain of Valtrauta´s last stroke travelled through her arm as she raised her shield to protect herself –“I have to attack”-
Then she shifted her position as Valtrauta leaned to hit her again making the Valkyrie to lose her balance, she seized the opportunity to knock her over using all of her weight in one swift move.
Valtrauta was surprised by her movements and hit the floor, then she rolled out to get away from Diane´s reach. When she stood up she was laughing –I think I misjudge you, I think I will enjoy our combat.-
-Don´t enjoy yourself too much, I intent of finishing it soon.-Diane smiles her back as she closed on her.
-I still owe you that lesson in humility –Valtrauta responded, then attacked Diane back with renewed ferocity.
Diane managed to stay some of her blows unfortunately most of then landed in their target, she was breathing laboriously within a few minutes, blood dripping from her wounds, her right arm, left flank and tight had been reached by Valtrauta´s sword.
-Do you surrender?-Valtrauta suddenly asked her
-No, I won´t surrender. I can´t –Diane answered back as she strived not to fall to her knees while she caught her breath back.
-Because of Loki? That´s why you can´t beat me. Love makes you weak. Valkyrior serve a higher purpose than that.-
-Higher? – Diane asked intrigued by her remark
-Yes- Valtrauta answered –We and the ones under our care will become the last line of defense when the Ragnarok comes, the safety of the universe will depend on us. Thousands of lives and souls are our responsibility not just one. You think of yourself as a pure hearted warrior but you are selfish, you only think of him, that´s why you can´t beat me.-
-“Selfish”- Diane thought to herself. It was true her main concern was Loki, but that wasn´t the only reason she wanted to help him, Locke had made it clear aqll of her loves ones would suffer in the long run if Thanos went on undefeated. Her family, her friends, all the people on Earth, on Asgard, on all the other Realms, on all the other planets she hadn´t even heard about. She wasn´t fighting for him alone but for everyone else too.
-I too have a higher purpose –Diane states as she force herself to stand up –And that is why I won´t surrender.-
Her heart was ablaze with love not only for Loki and her family, but for every single being in the universe, she cared for all of them, she had to help keep them safe.
-Very well-Valtrauta snarled –Then I will finish this-
Both warrior charged again at each other renewed strength through their veins, the battle went on for a few minutes; none of them would yield suddenly Valtrauta landed a blow that sent Diane flying against a wall.
Diane landed on the floor apparently unconscious, as Valtrauta turned around to leave she heard Diane´s voice –This isn’t over yet-
Valtrauta turned in surprise, Diane was still on her knees trying to get up, using her sword as a cane to support her weight, blood flowing from the corners of her mouth, dirt and debris covering her armour.
-Why do you insist?-Valtrauta asked, she was amazed by Diane´s insistence –You have fought well, there is no shame in surrender-
-I already told you I can´t. I will win, too much depends on me succeeding.-Diane told her as she finally got up and held an offensive posture.
-If you insist-Valtrauta answered as she also took an attack position.
Diane was the first to move, total confidence in her heart, not a shrewd of doubt in her eyes, as she landed her blow on Valtrauta´s armour a blinding bright light covered them.