The Last Mission
One-shot written a long time ago, changed slightly to conform to a theme for 100-series' VP challenge.
Theme 6 ----Restless Spirit of the Damned
Disclaimer: I do not Valkyrie Profile or any related characters.
"You will die."
Hrist Valkyrie smirked as she stood triumphantly over Brahms after years of battles. A smirk was all she could do. After all, she was Hrist Valkyrie. She had an image to uphold.
"The power of the gods alone cannot guarantee your victory," Brahms hissed.
Insolent to the last.
For years Hrist has dreamed of this moment. Countless days spent getting stronger, and yet it still seemed as if it weren't enough. To humans, it may have seemed as if Hrist were suffering, blaming herself for something that was beyond her control, punishing herself for a crime she didn't commit.
But the truth was, she did sin. She was the oldest. She had failed. Odin, Freya, Lenneth, Silmeria.
Hrist Valkyrie does not fail.
Failure would be un-forgiven. It's not as if Hrist desires forgiveness from others. No, it is because to admit failure would be to admit defeat, to admit she was weak.
Hrist Valkyrie is not weak.
Of the three Valkyries, Hrist was the eldest. She was strongest. While Lenneth and Silmeria branched out into different powers, Hrist (almost stubbornly) stayed where she was, refining her powers into strength and refining that strength into her heart.
Hrist Valkyrie has only strength.
Strength is Hrist. To deny it would be to deny her existence. Missions were met with a fanatic fervor, a desperate attempt to prove she was strong. To prove she had a heart.
Hrist Valkyrie has a heart.
So when her beloved sister falls, it is like a chip appeared on the flawless blade that was Hrist. When presented with the mission to detain Silmeria, Hrist pursues it with glee. It is not to save Midgard or Asgard; it is not to protect Odin and relinquish to his will. It is not even to save Silmeria. It is to save herself. To protect herself. To keep that chip an invisible blemish. For if she loved Silmeria more, that chip would grow into a crack and Hrist would shatter.
Hrist Valkyrie loves.
One day, Freya encases Silmeria in a prison of ice. Shortly after, Brahms, Lord of the Undead, abducts Silmeria. Odin raged his anger and it shook the heavens. Hrist once looked in the Water Mirror to see her beloved sister. When she looked upon Silmeria ensconced in that transparent, beautiful, flawless icy prison, an indescribable wave flooded over her. It was if it wasn't just Silmeria in there, but Hrist as well. Upon looking at Silmeria in her frozen beauty, Hrist felt that chip in her blade deepen.
Hrist Valkyrie loved.
When Hrist stops to think about things, she almost always thinks about when she wasn't a Valkyrie. She tries to recollect the memories of when she was human, tries to discern what things came over her. Feelings. Then she almost feels. A thing like remorse comes over her.
Remorse that she never stopped pushing Lenneth away, that she never wanted to hear or understand her sweet sister. Remorse that Lenneth learned all too well the bitterness Hrist always carried. Remorse for Silmeria, that she never fought with her. Remorse for not teaching her how to stand when she fell.
Remorse that she was never the sister she should have been.
Hrist Valkyrie hates.
Every time she faced Brahms, the chip on her blade careened off into new directions, gouging new notches in the iridescently beautiful blade. Every time Hrist fails to defeat Brahms, he flaunts Hrist with words that bounce off her dusk armor. Hrist learned long ago that words didn't matter.
Or maybe they did and she merely forgot the sensation.
All that mattered now was Silmeria.
Hrist Valkyrie cries.
Sometimes Hrist closes her eyes and realizes that she is tired. It is during these moments that the sword weeps. The light of those locked in Hrist's heart glistens off the blade. In these tears Hrist sees herself and her sisters the way they should have been—without pain, without sadness, without tears, without Odin.
Hrist Valkyrie has cried.
Hrist has always hidden her pain, her thoughts, her feelings. At this point they are nearly non-existent. There are things that she knows. She knows that she hates Odin. She hates him for what he has done, what he's doing, what he will do.
She hates Brahms for keeping her sister.
She loves Lenneth in her ethereal and secretly compassionate ways.
She loves Silmeria, the one dearest to her, loves her for her naïve, strong-willed convictions.
Most of all, Hrist hates herself.
Hrist Valkyrie failed.
For a long time Hrist has only done what she has been told. The way to prove herself is to succeed. So when she finally defeated Brahms, leveled her blade at his quivering throat, Hrist finally felt again. Her victory came not from the Einherjar, Brahms or even Hrist herself. By this time, Hrist's heart-blade had been corroded away, a decayed memory of the beautiful luster left behind and forgotten. No, Hrist finally defeated Brahms because of Silmeria.
Hrist Valkyrie exists.
Brahms sneered up at Hrist as the cold metal of her sword bore into his throat. "What will you do now? Return Silmeria to Odin so he can control her like he does you?"
Hrist's face contorted in a fit of rage and she pushed her blade deeper into Brahms' throat. "You dare to question me!?"
As the blood blossomed on her blade, Hrist thought about Brahms' words. What would Odin do? It wasn't unusual for Odin to harbor grudges for many years.
What would he do to Silmeria?
"He may kill her."
Hrist snarled. "If Lord Odin didn't care about Silmeria's life, why would he commission me to liberate her from your vile clutches?"
Brahms laughed—a hollow sound. "All he cares about is if I use her power against him. When was the last time he asked you about your little mission?"
A growl emanated from Hrist's throat. Not only was Brahms mocking her integrity and the honor of missions (a fatal offense in any case) but it made Hrist think. She really couldn't remember the last time Odin checked up on her. Freya often gave a few words of acknowledgement and even praise. As for Odin…
He was truly concerned about Silmeria's power.
It frightened Hrist how Brahms' words seemed to resonate with all her unspoken thoughts.
"I feel sorry for you. You're no different from me—a restless spirit of the damned," Brahms sputtered slightly as Hrist twisted her blade around in his neck.
Hrist raised an eyebrow as she felt what little was left of Lenneth weep. Frowning for a moment, Hrist was tempted to bring Lenneth back. But not now. Not even Lenneth could stand between Hrist and Brahms right now. Lenneth would understand. Hrist was saving Silmeria.
Brahms and Hrist both turned as a plethora of footsteps echoed across the halls resounding louder and louder in the chamber they were in. Lenneth's quaint ensemble had arrived.
Hrist glanced up at Silmeria. I cannot lose—not now, not when I will bring you back. Don't be afraid any longer, Silmeria.
Your sister will save you.