The Eye of the Gods

The God of Mischief has been at it again, and the eye of the Gods have gone missing.
Braj, the 14 year old son of a viking chief, happens to stumble upon the Eye of the Gods when gathering wood for his figure carvings, and ends up getting pulled into something much bigger than what he could ever imagine.
Suddenly he stands face to face with the warriors of Valhalla, and soon the Gods and Goddesses themselves.
If he knew that he would get so many responsibilities by picking up a round stone, he would have left it alone without a second thought, and never whined or complained about his own future-chief responsibilities.

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2. Don't Talk to Strangers

 

The flames of the bonfire was gleaming in the reflection of the big marble ball that was gently held in Braj's hands. It was nice in the small cave. No wind, and no snow. Not to mention that he had this place entirely to himself. 
The warmth of the fire could be felt over the boys face, like a small invisible warm hug, and the crackling it made was soothing and almost magical. The way the flames were dancing around, catching shadows on the walls and lighting up the area around it. It was almost the same color as his hair. That was why he used to get called "fire boy." Well, that or the fact that he accidentally started a fire in a barn once. At least his mother had been there back then, to calm his father down. He'd probably have ripped off his head if it wasn't because she had been there.
It was an accident though, but that hadn't stopped him from getting an earful, and only a little piece of bread for dinner. Though, Vilja had sneaked some meat and potatoes in for him some time after he got sent to his room. She was such a sweetheart. 

Tapping a finger on the glass ball, he looked at how it glowed where his fingers and the ball made contact. This thing could be sorcery. Probably the dangerous kind too, but who didn't love a little danger? If you didn't, you were probably a King. Never had he met or heard of a brave King. They all seemed to  carry the words whiny and coward on their backs. Especially compared to the Norse, but comparing the Norse people with anyone else was a little unfair. They clearly ruled the entire world. At least they did if you asked them.

Before the boy got to explore the weird item he had found even further than what he already had, a girl with long double braided blonde hair, and a bunch of worn leather armor, stuck her head in at the opening of the cave, a huge grin on her face. 

Braj was quick to stuff the thing under his shirt out of pure panic. It wasn't until he realized who it was, that he calmed down a little. It was Vilja. Her bright smile lighting up, almost like the fire.

"Braj! Can you guess who beat a boar to the- What is that?" She asked, raising one of her perfect-looking brows. "Are you hiding something, or are you just pregnant ?" 

That made Braj snort. No way did he ever plan to hide something like this from her. She was like his soulmate, but in a friends-y way, of course. The kind of friend that lasts forever. Or until one of them gets mauled by a bear, but that was minor details. 

"Not pregnant, I can assure you." He told her, laughing a little. 

Pulling his shirt up, he let the odd ball roll into his lap. "I found it outside."

The thing was resting right there, glowing just the slightest.

"What's that? It looks like a giant pearl or something." Vilja mumbled, staring at it through her big, blue, curious eyes.

The girl took a seat besides Braj, placing herself on the cold ground in front of the bonfire. She surely was a pretty girl. She looked mature, but in reality she wasn't much more than a year older than Braj. 
Interested in the thing, she made sure Braj was okay with her touching it, before she gently touched it.

It didn't glow like it did when he had touched it.

"Huh. Odd." He mumbled, Vilja humming out a "Hmm?"

Braj picked up the thing, and it lit up again, it's blue lights shining on his hands and sleeves. It was a beautiful thing, and his friend was clearly thinking the exact same thing. Her big, soft eyes were glued to it in awe. She had never seen anything as beautiful as this was. Other than her reflection that is. 

"How do you do that? Are you some sort of sorcerer now?" She asked, as she gave the thing a poke. Chuckling, Braj shook his head, his hair bouncing along. 

"Definitely not. At least, I don't think so. I can't recall ever doing sorcery. Maybe I do it in my slumber." The young boy joked, elbowing his best friends shoulder. 

"Oh, sarcastic now, are we? I thought that was my thing." She snorted as she shifted position, crossing her legs and resting her hands on the ground. 

With a smile, she spoke up. "It sounds like that thing your mother always spoke about. The one where the normal person that's minding their own business ends up getting pulled into one big adventure, and how it happens in a lot of stories."

"Braj and Vilja on the road to dangerous adventures. I'm quite sure your grandfather would fall over if that were to happen." Braj teased, as his eyes scanned the ball, his smile fading. "Do you think this is actually some kind of sorcery stone?" 

"Probably. I mean, it has happened before, so why would it not happen again?" The blonde asked. She was quite clever, and really loved the entire concept about magic and mythological creatures. Everyone in their village liked her. Even the visiting travelers. 

With a nod, Braj placed the thing on the rocky ground, making it clang a little. The blue glow immediately toned down to almost nothing. It was weird.

"You do have a point. Try touching it again." He mumbled, and watched as Vilja reached a hand to it, placing her palm on the ball. 

Again, nothing happened. Not even the slightest change in it's glow. Braj furrowed his brows a little, and Vilja seemed kind of bothered. Was she not cool enough? That couldn't be it, she was obviously a lot cooler than Braj. 

"Maybe the stupid thing only reacts to males." She suggested, to which Braj nodded and murmured a "Maybe."

A powerful wind rushed outside the cave, making whistle noises whilst carrying leafs and small sticks along the ride. First sign of it becoming evening. The pair looked at each other, in a silent agreement that they should probably head home before it got too late. They wouldn't want to get caught up in a winter storm.

"Either that," Vilja said, before getting up, offering help for Braj by reaching a hand out. "Or you're special."

Stuffing the ball into his bag, he grabbed the girls hand, allowing her to pull him onto his feet. He couldn't help but smile at what she said. He had always been special, but never in a good way. It was either a bad way, or because he was to become chief. That wasn't what he wanted to be known for. The soon-to-be chief of the Danish viking village. None of that mattered. Not if he wasn't going to enjoy it, or be good at it, and he probably wasn't. Leadership was not his strong side, nor anything that he enjoyed. He was more of a team player than anything. 

"More special than Vilja? You charm me." He said with a chuckle. "We should get going. I think we missed dinner. Again.." He sighed.

"I didn't. We got salmon soup and bread. So it wasn't like you missed out on much. I did however sneak out an entire cake from the kitchen. You're welcome." She hummed, sounding proud. She should be. Helga, the kitchen lady was everywhere all at once, so managing to steal something from her was a big deal.  She was an intimidating lady, but kind as long as you kept your hands off of her food.

Throwing a bucket of water on the fire, it went out with a small black smoke rising from it. Sure it was placed in a cave, and it was probably safe, he didn't want to risk starting a forest fire. No more fires for Braj. 

"Berry cake?" The boy asked, Vilja nodding at it, as she made her way out, her feet and ground making small 'thump' noises with each step. "Of course it's berry cake." She said. 

Following the girl, Braj chuckled a little. "My hero. You didn't get caught did you?"  

"CaughtMe? Ha! Never! I'm the sneakiest of them all! Except for you. You're like a feather with legs. Not sure how you manage to stay hidden with a mane like that. It should be a dead giveaway. Plus, I wouldn't have the cake if I did." She jokingly said. 

"That's true. My mane goes into a big bun when I sneak. It makes it a little easier. Until the leather strip breaks, and my hair goes everywhere. That's how your parents caught me sneaking up to your room in the middle of the night, forcing me to explain that I was only there to tell you about the frog I saved." He explained, as the two friends walked along a snowed over cobblestone road. They only knew where it was placed because they had wandered on this path ever since they had learned how to walk. 

"Oh! How's it going with her? Is she dead, or did you manage to keep her alive?" She asked, speaking of the frog. 

"She's fine! Missing a front leg, but happy as ever, considering that she's going to be in a small wooden box for the rest of her life. I can't let her into the wild. She would be a wandering snack for bigger predators." He shrugged. 

Nodding, Vilja giggled. "That wouldn't be great, no. How did you save her?"

"Father has a weak spot for small animals. He managed to stitch it up. It's a miracle that she survived, and it's all thanks to him and his big heart." He chuckled.

"Like father, like son. At some moments, at least." The girl said, before stopping up, holding a hand on Braj's chest to make him stop walking too, which he did. 

"Bear?" He whispered, looking around, on high alert.

Not a bear. It was a tall and slender, raven haired man, cursing and grunting. He was scavenging the snow and frozen leafs before he noticed the strangers staring at him. He stood up straight, brushing off his clothes before folding his hands in front of him, in an elegant manner.

"Children." He said, furrowing his brows a little, in an attempt to look distressed. "I have lost something that is very dear to me. A round blue stone-looking thing. It belonged to my grandmother, and I would hate to see it lost." He pleaded.

Vilja and Braj looked at each other for a moment, before she choose to speak up, not giving Braj a chance to even think of an answer.

"I'm sorry to hear that. I haven't seen anything like it. Have you, Braj?" She asked, keeping her eyes on the man. He was suspicious looking. And if he was a sorcerer, which would explain the ball, he could be a danger to them and their village.  

Braj turned his gaze at Vilja, then back at the man. "Me? Uhm- I mean- Maybe- There's a lot of stones, and-" He rambled, before getting a mild slap on his arm by the girl besides him. 

"No. Sorry." He muttered, rubbing the spot that she had smacked him. The man didn't quite seem to buy it though, and spoke up once more.

"Are you sure? It has been said to bear a gruesome curse with it." He explained, but Vilja shook her head. "I would not want such a thing to hit a couple of innocent children. So I must find it, and lock it away."

A small silent pause came, the only sounds being the wind and the distant sound of running water. Everyone's hair was getting carried by the wind, waving around in soothing motions. It was clear that all of them were thinking of what to say and do.

"Maybe you could ask around at the nearby villages. A traveler or hunter could have picked it up. If not, it could have been taken by an animal. Those beavers collect weird things." Vilja said, as Braj kept his bag swung behind him the best he could. It wasn't exactly easy to hide a big round object in a small bag, without making it painfully obvious that they had in fact seen it. 

The man was clearly not dumb, and had spotted the bag a long time ago. He just couldn't see much more than the strap of it, that was swung over Braj's shoulder, but it definitely looked like he was trying to hide it.

"Yes. I should do that. Are you on your way home? If it is in a village, would you mind leading me to it?" He asked, trying to be polite.

Vilja thought for a second, before speaking up. "We can help you along. What's your name?"

"Loki." He said, with a small forced smile. Was he trying to scare them? "I was named after the Norse God." 

Braj, clearly not liking that, looked at Vilja. Probably in some form of reassurance that he heard right, and by the look of her face, he did. 

"You were named after the God of Mischief, that is known by his lies and betrayals?" She asked, looking suspicious. "Do you mind if I ask why you were named that?"

"I was born on the day of Loki, under a full moon. I believe my mom thought it suited me quite well. Is my name a problem?" He asked, being a little less polite than before.

Vilja, being as sassy as she is, nodded. "I mean, it's a little worrying isn't it? Loki isn't a guy to be trusted, and I have never heard of anyone called by his name, nor have I heard of anyone wishing to name their child after him. If you wish to be lead to the village, you'll have to walk at least two meters in front of us."

"You were taught well. Either that, or you are a little too paranoid." Loki mumbled, not too satisfied with the entire thing, but hurting a child was something he would never do, despite what people thought of him. He had children of his own, you see. 

Braj kept silent, as Vilja spoke once more. "We've had intruders come to our place. I believe I have a right to be a little paranoid." She said, as she motioned for him to start moving, which he did. 

As soon as Loki turned around, his smile faded. He was angered, and he didn't plan on leaving just like that. It would be easier to just force them into handing the bag over, but he had been told to be as calm as possible, and not cause any more trouble. 

"Two meters in front of you, as you please." He muttered, keeping his distance.

 

The entire walk to the town had been almost entirely quiet, except for the whistling of the winds, and the sound of snow crushing underneath their feet. 
The only times they had spoken up, was when they told the stranger which direction he should turn to, but when they finally arrived, Braj was the one to speak.

"I hope we were at least a little bit helpful, and that you find our village a good place." He politely said. He would have smiled, but he had a bad feeling about the man. What if what the actual Loki? Honestly, no one would name their child Loki, unless they hated it. That guy was the most hated God to exist. It was so suspicious.

"Thank you." Loki answered, with a small bow of his head. "I will look around and ask if anyone has seen it." He said, and made his way through the gates of the village as soon as the two had told him goodbye, and good luck. 

"Creep.." Vilja mumbled as soon as the man was out of sight, Braj nodding in agreement. "Don't call me stupid, but that looked like the actual Loki. At least the way he's described in the stories." 

"I know." Braj said, rubbing his arm a little. "He even had his signature long raven colored hair. It must have been a look alike. There would be no reason for a God to wander around here." He reminded her.

"Well he was looking for that thing. I'm not saying it was him, but just in case, you should hide your mystery ball somewhere." She told him. "I'll head off, and we can meet at the big birch tree by tomorrow." 

Braj looked at the tall stone and wood fence that was surrounding the village as a big shield. He nodded once again. "What time?" He asked.

"When Jacobson starts feeding his sheep." She told, with a smile. He fed his sheep around 10 AM every day.

"Alright. See you there. Can't wait to speak about the mystery ball, and how we just met a God." He joked, grinning a little. 

"Don't get cocky." Vilja joked, pushing her braids behind her shoulders. "I'll bring the cake. You bring the thing. Sleep well, and good luck with your father." She snickered, before hurrying off. 

 

Opening the door to his house, Braj was met by a big angry looking person. He looked tiny compared to him. Of course the man was no other than his father. His arms were crossed over his broad chest, and his face was filled up with anger, but with a hint of relief. Normally he would look soft and nice, like an old man. Probably because of his half orange, half grey hair and beard, and beard. But not today.

"Where have you been?" The man asked, his voice powerful and intimidating. It was clear that he was the boss here.

"I'm sorry father, Vilja and I were-" Braj started out, but got interrupted by a loud groan. "You have no idea how worried I have been, you told me you would be home by dinner, and it is well past that time by now!" His father complained.

Nodding, Braj looked guilty. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to worry you, the time just flew. And then we met this weird man that we had to help." He told, as he stroked a strand of hair behind his ear where it belonged. 

"You will stay home all day tomorrow. You are not allowed to leave your chamber, unless it is to eat, pee, or because there is a bear in there. Go to bed." He angrily murmured.

"Wait, but father, Vilja and I have to-" Braj tried out, but got interrupted once more. 

"I will not hear it. You have to do nothing more than to stay in your chamber. I am tired of you running off, and coming home at a time like this! If your mother had been here, she would have been worried sick. This is very irresponsible of you, boy. Now go to sleep. We will talk tomorrow." He finished off.

With a small frustrated sigh, Braj hurried up the wooden stairs, and to his chamber. It wasn't anything big, just a small place in the attic. It was good enough though. His sister didn't have a room for herself. It wasn't because they were too poor for more rooms, it was just a typical viking thing to share chambers.
He took off his bag, and opened it. Carefully, he pulled out his newly found treasure, he looked at it for a second, then placed it on his bed. This thing had caused him trouble already.
Kneeling down, the boy grabbed onto a loose wooden plank, and pulled it out of the floor, revealing a small hole. This was as good a hiding place as any he had ever had. It was genius. 
Looking around is room, he saw one of his old shirts, and grabbed it so he could wrap it around the ball. When he was sure it was wrapped securely around it, he very gently placed it in the floor, and closed the hole with the plank again. It was only just small enough to be in there.
When he had made sure that the plank wouldn't move around and give away his hiding spot, he undressed, and crawled into bed. 
He would probably have to sneak out tomorrow, to meet Vilja, if she didn't show up at his place, that was. His dad would not like that.
Closing his eyes, he drifted off into a deep slumber, dreaming through the entire thing.

 

 

The flames of the bonfire was gleaming in the reflection of the big marble ball that was gently held in Braj's hands. It was nice in the small cave. No wind, and no snow. Not to mention that he had this place entirely to himself. 
The warmth of the fire could be felt over the boys face, like a small invisible warm hug, and the crackling it made was soothing and almost magical. The way the flames were dancing around, catching shadows on the walls and lighting up the area around it. It was almost the same color as his hair. That was why he used to get called "fire boy." Well, that or the fact that he accidentally started a fire in a barn once. At least his mother had been there back then, to calm his father down. He'd probably have ripped off his head if it wasn't because she had been there.
It was an accident though, but that hadn't stopped him from getting an earful, and only a little piece of bread for dinner. Though, Vilja had sneaked some meat and potatoes in for him some time after he got sent to his room. She was such a sweetheart. 

Tapping a finger on the glass ball, he looked at how it glowed where his fingers and the ball made contact. This thing could be sorcery. Probably the dangerous kind too, but who didn't love a little danger? If you didn't, you were probably a King. Never had he met or heard of a brave King. They all seemed to  carry the words whiny and coward on their backs. Especially compared to the Norse, but comparing the Norse people with anyone else was a little unfair. They clearly ruled the entire world. At least they did if you asked them.

Before the boy got to explore the weird item he had found even further than what he already had, a girl with long double braided blonde hair, and a bunch of worn leather armor, stuck her head in at the opening of the cave, a huge grin on her face. 

Braj was quick to stuff the thing under his shirt out of pure panic. It wasn't until he realized who it was, that he calmed down a little. It was Vilja. Her bright smile lighting up, almost like the fire.

"Braj! Can you guess who beat a boar to the- What is that?" She asked, raising one of her perfect-looking brows. "Are you hiding something, or are you just pregnant ?" 

That made Braj snort. No way did he ever plan to hide something like this from her. She was like his soulmate, but in a friends-y way, of course. The kind of friend that lasts forever. Or until one of them gets mauled by a bear, but that was minor details. 

"Not pregnant, I can assure you." He told her, laughing a little. 

Pulling his shirt up, he let the odd ball roll into his lap. "I found it outside."

The thing was resting right there, glowing just the slightest.

"What's that? It looks like a giant pearl or something." Vilja mumbled, staring at it through her big, blue, curious eyes.

The girl took a seat besides Braj, placing herself on the cold ground in front of the bonfire. She surely was a pretty girl. She looked mature, but in reality she wasn't much more than a year older than Braj. 
Interested in the thing, she made sure Braj was okay with her touching it, before she gently touched it.

It didn't glow like it did when he had touched it.

"Huh. Odd." He mumbled, Vilja humming out a "Hmm?"

Braj picked up the thing, and it lit up again, it's blue lights shining on his hands and sleeves. It was a beautiful thing, and his friend was clearly thinking the exact same thing. Her big, soft eyes were glued to it in awe. She had never seen anything as beautiful as this was. Other than her reflection that is. 

"How do you do that? Are you some sort of sorcerer now?" She asked, as she gave the thing a poke. Chuckling, Braj shook his head, his hair bouncing along. 

"Definitely not. At least, I don't think so. I can't recall ever doing sorcery. Maybe I do it in my slumber." The young boy joked, elbowing his best friends shoulder. 

"Oh, sarcastic now, are we? I thought that was my thing." She snorted as she shifted position, crossing her legs and resting her hands on the ground. 

With a smile, she spoke up. "It sounds like that thing your mother always spoke about. The one where the normal person that's minding their own business ends up getting pulled into one big adventure, and how it happens in a lot of stories."

"Braj and Vilja on the road to dangerous adventures. I'm quite sure your grandfather would fall over if that were to happen." Braj teased, as his eyes scanned the ball, his smile fading. "Do you think this is actually some kind of sorcery stone?" 

"Probably. I mean, it has happened before, so why would it not happen again?" The blonde asked. She was quite clever, and really loved the entire concept about magic and mythological creatures. Everyone in their village liked her. Even the visiting travelers. 

With a nod, Braj placed the thing on the rocky ground, making it clang a little. The blue glow immediately toned down to almost nothing. It was weird.

"You do have a point. Try touching it again." He mumbled, and watched as Vilja reached a hand to it, placing her palm on the ball. 

Again, nothing happened. Not even the slightest change in it's glow. Braj furrowed his brows a little, and Vilja seemed kind of bothered. Was she not cool enough? That couldn't be it, she was obviously a lot cooler than Braj. 

"Maybe the stupid thing only reacts to males." She suggested, to which Braj nodded and murmured a "Maybe."

A powerful wind rushed outside the cave, making whistle noises whilst carrying leafs and small sticks along the ride. First sign of it becoming evening. The pair looked at each other, in a silent agreement that they should probably head home before it got too late. They wouldn't want to get caught up in a winter storm.

"Either that," Vilja said, before getting up, offering help for Braj by reaching a hand out. "Or you're special."

Stuffing the ball into his bag, he grabbed the girls hand, allowing her to pull him onto his feet. He couldn't help but smile at what she said. He had always been special, but never in a good way. It was either a bad way, or because he was to become chief. That wasn't what he wanted to be known for. The soon-to-be chief of the Danish viking village. None of that mattered. Not if he wasn't going to enjoy it, or be good at it, and he probably wasn't. Leadership was not his strong side, nor anything that he enjoyed. He was more of a team player than anything. 

"More special than Vilja? You charm me." He said with a chuckle. "We should get going. I think we missed dinner. Again.." He sighed.

"I didn't. We got salmon soup and bread. So it wasn't like you missed out on much. I did however sneak out an entire cake from the kitchen. You're welcome." She hummed, sounding proud. She should be. Helga, the kitchen lady was everywhere all at once, so managing to steal something from her was a big deal.  She was an intimidating lady, but kind as long as you kept your hands off of her food.

Throwing a bucket of water on the fire, it went out with a small black smoke rising from it. Sure it was placed in a cave, and it was probably safe, he didn't want to risk starting a forest fire. No more fires for Braj. 

"Berry cake?" The boy asked, Vilja nodding at it, as she made her way out, her feet and ground making small 'thump' noises with each step. "Of course it's berry cake." She said. 

Following the girl, Braj chuckled a little. "My hero. You didn't get caught did you?"  

"CaughtMe? Ha! Never! I'm the sneakiest of them all! Except for you. You're like a feather with legs. Not sure how you manage to stay hidden with a mane like that. It should be a dead giveaway. Plus, I wouldn't have the cake if I did." She jokingly said. 

"That's true. My mane goes into a big bun when I sneak. It makes it a little easier. Until the leather strip breaks, and my hair goes everywhere. That's how your parents caught me sneaking up to your room in the middle of the night, forcing me to explain that I was only there to tell you about the frog I saved." He explained, as the two friends walked along a snowed over cobblestone road. They only knew where it was placed because they had wandered on this path ever since they had learned how to walk. 

"Oh! How's it going with her? Is she dead, or did you manage to keep her alive?" She asked, speaking of the frog. 

"She's fine! Missing a front leg, but happy as ever, considering that she's going to be in a small wooden box for the rest of her life. I can't let her into the wild. She would be a wandering snack for bigger predators." He shrugged. 

Nodding, Vilja giggled. "That wouldn't be great, no. How did you save her?"

"Father has a weak spot for small animals. He managed to stitch it up. It's a miracle that she survived, and it's all thanks to him and his big heart." He chuckled.

"Like father, like son. At some moments, at least." The girl said, before stopping up, holding a hand on Braj's chest to make him stop walking too, which he did. 

"Bear?" He whispered, looking around, on high alert.

Not a bear. It was a tall and slender, raven haired man, cursing and grunting. He was scavenging the snow and frozen leafs before he noticed the strangers staring at him. He stood up straight, brushing off his clothes before folding his hands in front of him, in an elegant manner.

"Children." He said, furrowing his brows a little, in an attempt to look distressed. "I have lost something that is very dear to me. A round blue stone-looking thing. It belonged to my grandmother, and I would hate to see it lost." He pleaded.

Vilja and Braj looked at each other for a moment, before she choose to speak up, not giving Braj a chance to even think of an answer.

"I'm sorry to hear that. I haven't seen anything like it. Have you, Braj?" She asked, keeping her eyes on the man. He was suspicious looking. And if he was a sorcerer, which would explain the ball, he could be a danger to them and their village.  

Braj turned his gaze at Vilja, then back at the man. "Me? Uhm- I mean- Maybe- There's a lot of stones, and-" He rambled, before getting a mild slap on his arm by the girl besides him. 

"No. Sorry." He muttered, rubbing the spot that she had smacked him. The man didn't quite seem to buy it though, and spoke up once more.

"Are you sure? It has been said to bear a gruesome curse with it." He explained, but Vilja shook her head. "I would not want such a thing to hit a couple of innocent children. So I must find it, and lock it away."

A small silent pause came, the only sounds being the wind and the distant sound of running water. Everyone's hair was getting carried by the wind, waving around in soothing motions. It was clear that all of them were thinking of what to say and do.

"Maybe you could ask around at the nearby villages. A traveler or hunter could have picked it up. If not, it could have been taken by an animal. Those beavers collect weird things." Vilja said, as Braj kept his bag swung behind him the best he could. It wasn't exactly easy to hide a big round object in a small bag, without making it painfully obvious that they had in fact seen it. 

The man was clearly not dumb, and had spotted the bag a long time ago. He just couldn't see much more than the strap of it, that was swung over Braj's shoulder, but it definitely looked like he was trying to hide it.

"Yes. I should do that. Are you on your way home? If it is in a village, would you mind leading me to it?" He asked, trying to be polite.

Vilja thought for a second, before speaking up. "We can help you along. What's your name?"

"Loki." He said, with a small forced smile. Was he trying to scare them? "I was named after the Norse God." 

Braj, clearly not liking that, looked at Vilja. Probably in some form of reassurance that he heard right, and by the look of her face, he did. 

"You were named after the God of Mischief, that is known by his lies and betrayals?" She asked, looking suspicious. "Do you mind if I ask why you were named that?"

"I was born on the day of Loki, under a full moon. I believe my mom thought it suited me quite well. Is my name a problem?" He asked, being a little less polite than before.

Vilja, being as sassy as she is, nodded. "I mean, it's a little worrying isn't it? Loki isn't a guy to be trusted, and I have never heard of anyone called by his name, nor have I heard of anyone wishing to name their child after him. If you wish to be lead to the village, you'll have to walk at least two meters in front of us."

"You were taught well. Either that, or you are a little too paranoid." Loki mumbled, not too satisfied with the entire thing, but hurting a child was something he would never do, despite what people thought of him. He had children of his own, you see. 

Braj kept silent, as Vilja spoke once more. "We've had intruders come to our place. I believe I have a right to be a little paranoid." She said, as she motioned for him to start moving, which he did. 

As soon as Loki turned around, his smile faded. He was angered, and he didn't plan on leaving just like that. It would be easier to just force them into handing the bag over, but he had been told to be as calm as possible, and not cause any more trouble. 

"Two meters in front of you, as you please." He muttered, keeping his distance.

 

The entire walk to the town had been almost entirely quiet, except for the whistling of the winds, and the sound of snow crushing underneath their feet. 
The only times they had spoken up, was when they told the stranger which direction he should turn to, but when they finally arrived, Braj was the one to speak.

"I hope we were at least a little bit helpful, and that you find our village a good place." He politely said. He would have smiled, but he had a bad feeling about the man. What if what the actual Loki? Honestly, no one would name their child Loki, unless they hated it. That guy was the most hated God to exist. It was so suspicious.

"Thank you." Loki answered, with a small bow of his head. "I will look around and ask if anyone has seen it." He said, and made his way through the gates of the village as soon as the two had told him goodbye, and good luck. 

"Creep.." Vilja mumbled as soon as the man was out of sight, Braj nodding in agreement. "Don't call me stupid, but that looked like the actual Loki. At least the way he's described in the stories." 

"I know." Braj said, rubbing his arm a little. "He even had his signature long raven colored hair. It must have been a look alike. There would be no reason for a God to wander around here." He reminded her.

"Well he was looking for that thing. I'm not saying it was him, but just in case, you should hide your mystery ball somewhere." She told him. "I'll head off, and we can meet at the big birch tree by tomorrow." 

Braj looked at the tall stone and wood fence that was surrounding the village as a big shield. He nodded once again. "What time?" He asked.

"When Jacobson starts feeding his sheep." She told, with a smile. He fed his sheep around 10 AM every day.

"Alright. See you there. Can't wait to speak about the mystery ball, and how we just met a God." He joked, grinning a little. 

"Don't get cocky." Vilja joked, pushing her braids behind her shoulders. "I'll bring the cake. You bring the thing. Sleep well, and good luck with your father." She snickered, before hurrying off. 

 

Opening the door to his house, Braj was met by a big angry looking person. He looked tiny compared to him. Of course the man was no other than his father. His arms were crossed over his broad chest, and his face was filled up with anger, but with a hint of relief. Normally he would look soft and nice, like an old man. Probably because of his half orange, half grey hair and beard, and beard. But not today.

"Where have you been?" The man asked, his voice powerful and intimidating. It was clear that he was the boss here.

"I'm sorry father, Vilja and I were-" Braj started out, but got interrupted by a loud groan. "You have no idea how worried I have been, you told me you would be home by dinner, and it is well past that time by now!" His father complained.

Nodding, Braj looked guilty. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to worry you, the time just flew. And then we met this weird man that we had to help." He told, as he stroked a strand of hair behind his ear where it belonged. 

"You will stay home all day tomorrow. You are not allowed to leave your chamber, unless it is to eat, pee, or because there is a bear in there. Go to bed." He angrily murmured.

"Wait, but father, Vilja and I have to-" Braj tried out, but got interrupted once more. 

"I will not hear it. You have to do nothing more than to stay in your chamber. I am tired of you running off, and coming home at a time like this! If your mother had been here, she would have been worried sick. This is very irresponsible of you, boy. Now go to sleep. We will talk tomorrow." He finished off.

With a small frustrated sigh, Braj hurried up the wooden stairs, and to his chamber. It wasn't anything big, just a small place in the attic. It was good enough though. His sister didn't have a room for herself. It wasn't because they were too poor for more rooms, it was just a typical viking thing to share chambers.
He took off his bag, and opened it. Carefully, he pulled out his newly found treasure, he looked at it for a second, then placed it on his bed. This thing had caused him trouble already.
Kneeling down, the boy grabbed onto a loose wooden plank, and pulled it out of the floor, revealing a small hole. This was as good a hiding place as any he had ever had. It was genius. 
Looking around is room, he saw one of his old shirts, and grabbed it so he could wrap it around the ball. When he was sure it was wrapped securely around it, he very gently placed it in the floor, and closed the hole with the plank again. It was only just small enough to be in there.
When he had made sure that the plank wouldn't move around and give away his hiding spot, he undressed, and crawled into bed. 
He would probably have to sneak out tomorrow, to meet Vilja, if she didn't show up at his place, that was. His dad would not like that.
Closing his eyes, he drifted off into a deep slumber, dreaming through the entire thing.

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