The Masquerader

Based loosely after Ragnorak (The end of the world in Norse Mythology) we follow the story of a misplaced trickster in training, Astrid CrystalArmorer. Left on Ascent, the NEW city above the clouds after Asgard fell, Astrid finds herself the scapegoat for all of the woes of the city so cruel that they burn liars alive. In six days, Astrid must turn this world upon its head to save those who need her most, or burn alive trying.

All at the age of ten.

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11. Liar

Astrid frowned, her blue eyes narrowing in mischief as she smoothly leaned forward to Fead's defeated features with a wolfish grin. “What, so this means I don't have a mother?” Astrid joked with a crooked smile, her aqua gaze flicking towards Fead's shielded ones quickly- Desperate for a good natured grin to replace that damnable scowl of his.

 

“You have a mother.” Fead assured, lowering his hands with a calm, reserved and unusually decisive movement.

 

She must have a mother- biologically speaking. One person just acted as both.

 

It wasn't a lie- It just wasn't the entire truth.

 

“Yeah?” Astrid huffed in mock frustration, looking towards Fead sideways with cunningly hidden suspicion, “Then what's wrong with this sad little piece of wood? It doesn't think I have one.” She attempted to pull a grin to his features once more by placing a jokingly sour one on her own.

 

Fead was acting.. Odd.

 

“We must be doing something wrong, then.” Fead shrugged easily.

 

We're out past curfew- Outside the borders of Ascent. It's against the rules. Adults would say that we are doing something 'wrong'.

 

It wasn't a lie- It just depended on how it was said.

 

“Huh.” Astrid considered for long moment before deciding with a fair nod of her head this way and that, that she did in fact, believe his words. Theatrically, she sighed deeply, leaning against the tree with an exhausted breath. “Suppose that didn't work then.” Astrid muttered, tossing the sheet of wood aside with a bored hand. “You know-” Astrid yawned widely, “From the way you reacted, for a minute I thought that the wood not working meant that something was horribly wrong!”

 

Fead swallowed dryly.

 

“No, it doesn't mean anything at all. Just a piece of wood.” Fead lied simply with an easy shrug.

 

Liar.

 

Filthy liar.

 

“You know,” Fead considered with a childishly pleased grin as he theatrically hopped to his hooves with a playful bounce, “It's a good night to have a dance.” Fead decided as he held out his hand to Astrid's surprised features.

 

Before I tell you about your true heritage tomorrow- And it changes EVERYTHING.

 

Astrid blinked slowly. “You sure are acting odd.” She informed bluntly before tossing a scolding look over her features and began berating him with a well placed, “You know that dancing is against the rules-” Before a wide, wolfish grin fell over her features and spoiled the whole game.

 

“Sounds like,” Her eyes gleamed at the final word, “fun.”

 

Fead wondered briefly how in the world he'd missed Astrid's true heritage until the proof was quite literally held to his daft features for about half an hour before he finally, FINALLY got the message. In retrospect, it was all very obvious.

 

Yep,” Fead informed brightly, snatching Astrid's hand and hauling her to her feet easily, “Loads and loads,” He spun her around easily before dipping her towards the ground with one hand on the small of her back in an easily rehearsed movement. “Of fun!”

 

Astrid laughed breathlessly, “You're good at this!”

 

If there was a Goat God of Women, Dancing and Wine, that'd be me.” Fead puffed out his chest confidently, “I have officially called dibs.”

 

“Wine?” Astrid raised an eyebrow, peering upwards at the satyr with an interested, indulgent look.

 

“Don't knock it till you try it!” Fead scolded before pulling Astrid upwards and spinning her around him smoothly with a natural, practiced hand.

 

Astrid burst out in wild laughter.

 

OoOoOoOoOoOoOo

 

Astrid slept like a viking- At least that was Fead's general opinion after getting sucker punched in the stomach for the fifth time that night by a small girl who somehow managed to take up at least ten feet of space around her with sprawled, stretched limbs.

 

Gasping loudly, Fead lurched forward from the cold ground beneath the willow tree in surprised pain, reflexively untangling his arm from behind Astrid's heavy head with the grace that only comes with having a limb fall asleep for five hours trapped between prickly grass below and a weighted skull above. Meaning, of course, that he forgot Astrid's head was perched on the limb- And he threw her forward with an astonishing force as he rose.

 

Which, of course, pissed her off.

 

“Burlufotr brusi oskilgetinn.” Astrid snarled furiously as she fell forward with flailing limbs.

 

“I.. Don't think I want to know what you just called me.” Fead puzzled, his brow steadily furrowing at the foreign language.

 

“What time is it..?” Astrid grumbled, clumsily covering her wincing gaze with uncoordinated hands in a sleepy attempt to block out the morning's sun.

 

“Uh..” Fead considered, looking upwards thoughtfully as he rubbed at his own blue eyes. “It's about an hour until noon.”

 

“THIS IS AN UNGODLY HOUR TO BE AWAKENED.” Astrid snarled gutturally before flopping forward into the dirt in a tangle of limbs in a position that was in no way comfortable, but the girl appeared far too lazy to move.

 

“Plenty of people wake up before this time-” Fead informed, slowly poking Astrid in the back with a cautious hand, “You know.. You should probably get up too.. Got a big day ahead of ya, and all that..”

 

An inhuman growl began to emanate from the small girl.

 

Fead blinked slowly, and promptly scooted a safe distance back.

 

“Or not.” Fead indulged brightly.

 

The growling immediately stopped.

 

“You know,” Fead mumbled to Astrid's already snoring form. “Someday, you're going to change the way everyone treats you. The way everyone in Ascent SEES you.” Fead promised, lying forward and resting his chin on Astrid's unmoving back. “But you're going to have to WAKE UP FOR THAT!” He bellowed into Astrid's unguarded ear loudly.

 

Astrid didn't even twitch.

 

“You sleep like a viking.” Fead informed bluntly in frustration.

 

OoOoOoOoOoOoOo

 

Ivor's face was throbbing, swollen and remarkably Frost Giant like in appearance. One side of his face had settled into a troubling blue shade, tinged at the ridges of Astrid's fist with a horrific purple and black coloring. His left eye was filled with pooled, stagnant blood, giving it the appearance of being red and without a pupil. It had been about five hours since he could last see out of it.

 

His face hurt, to say the least.

 

And the Healers refused to fix it.

 

Grinding his remaining teeth together in rage, Ivor slunk further behind the underbrush surrounding the creek some distance from the willow tree The Satyr and The Bitch rested beneath. The healers had refused to fix his face, to heal his hurt features simply because of the manner in which Astrid had struck him.

 

Because he looked remarkably like a Frost Giant to them.

 

But he'd show them- Nothing evil ever turned in a liar.

 

And, from his distant vantage point by the creek overlooking the willow tree, where he could overhear every word spoken between the two.. Ivor had found one.

 

A/N Definitions!

 

Astrid called Fead a 'clumsy footed he-goat bastard.'

 

Yeah, she's grumpy in the mornings.

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