~ Chapter 75 ~

Loki walked through the magnificent hallway, following two guards as he was being shown to a smaller reception room where the royal family of Alfheim. If he hadn't already known that elves are the closest to immortals of all species in the world, then he wouldn't have known that some of the elves in the room were older than himself.

The glory and enchantment which radiated from these beings was almost ethereal. Even their silk clothes and jewels their natural beauty stood out. Fair skin almost translucent, blond hair that seemed as fine as spider web, long slender limbs and not a trace of time seem to have touched them. Like they were carved out of stone and preserved for thousands of years without a single blemish falling on them.

While the large room was lines with elven warriors, all wearing their long blond hair in a knot, shifting in design depending on what level of honor and strength they held. Crimson uniforms with a touch of the earthy brown to remind them they were a part of the world. A long sword strapped to their hip and no doubt a knife in their boot.

In the center of the room stood an elven man with long white hair in a light blue shirt and earthy trousers. Around his neck lay a diamond embedded in a gold necklace and his light blue eyes which held years of wisdom was clouded by sorrow. Loki knew right away this was the King.

Next to him stood an elven female, most likely his Queen, Loki concluded. Her equally white hair was worn lose with a scheme of thin braids and curls. Her gown white reached down to the floor and her shoulders bare, with decorative black thread sewn into it to give the illusion of greenery and flowers across her breast, down her left side and then spread down in an oval shape across her hip and thigh. She too held a face which didn't betray the pain she was experience although she couldn't hide how much the death of her child grieved her.

To the King's right stood a young man with short pale blond hair and sharp eyes which turned to Loki the moment the Jotun entered. The elf had a short blade at his hip and held the hand of a young female elf in a purple dress. It covered her breast and upper body in a tight fit before spreading out into a pattern of tilted diamonds with real tiny diamonds sewn onto the edges. Her hair was a more intense blond, like the buttery golden color you see in sunflowers. Her blue eyes shaded by her lashes, but Loki didn't miss the way she managed to keep him in her view.

Around them were some more elves of various level of status but none matched up to the four in the center. The guards stepped aside and a warrior between Loki and the royal family stepped forward. His blond hair pulled back in a thick braid of twined strands. The Captain most likely.

Loki's green eyes traveled from face to face before he gave a slight bow to the King and Queen.

"My thoughts are with you in this grieving time. It's sad to lose family." Loki's voice carried smoothly.

"What does a Jotun know about our grieving?" an elf in the further back asked in a hard voice. Loki looked at the youngster and knew this elf couldn't be more than a fraction compared to the King and Queen. A sibling to Alyan no doubt. Still so young and caught up by emotions.

"My race have long since suffered and as the first born I have watched many children, as well as siblings, fall prey to our harsh world. Please do not forget that my world was terrorized by monsters of unknown origin for millenniums." Loki's eyes narrowed down on the young elf who couldn't stare him in the eyes for long. The Jotun softened his eyes to look at the King neutrally. "My mate has been accused of a crime he did not commit and is being held in prison; I would like to know what will happen."

The leader of the group opened to his mouth to say something when the same youngster hissed under his breath. "Utinu en lokirim."

Without missing a beat the white haired man turned and growled. "Dina!" then turned an appologizing face to Loki. "I'm sorry for my son. I wish we could have met under other circumstances, but as the fates would have it..."

"No one can control the Norns." Loki reassured. "We can only live the best with what we are given."

"That still doesn't excuse bad manners," he raised his hand to his chest. "I am Idhrenion. King of Alfheim. This is my wife Mirima." he gestured toward the white haired woman, making Loki nod in silent greeting as no words was needed. "My eldest son Voronwë and his wife Merilwen." the other couple nodded their heads in acknowledgment. "And this respectful dwarf is Rilien. My youngest."

"It's an honor to met you, I am Loki Laufeyson of Jotunheim. As mate to Thor I want to know under what grounds you are holding him? If this is known to Asgard then there's no telling what will happen."

"I know, and it is not my intention of making Asgard or Jotunheim my enemy. I just seek to find the murderer of my child. The weapon which slayed him was dark elven and the Princess Elarinya has also been contained until something proves her innocence. However, at the moment only Odinson knows what happened; and truthfully, not even rank can save them if they are found guilty of my son's death."

"Whether or not Thor or Princess Elarinya had anything to do with it, which I know they didn't, it doesn't change that this is a serious situation. Birkshall is still only just reviving and this may cause it to shut down once more if the real killer is not found. Alyan's death is not only tragic for your family, but it could also spell everything that we've tried to achieve meaningless."

Idhrenion nodded his head. "That's why we need to find the truth. Whose really behind this and why."

Loki studied the elven King's face for a moment before nodding slowly. "I will need to study the weapon. The killer might have left behind a clue of some kind."

"Captain Ionwë will escort you wherever you need to go. Please be understanding that I can't have outsiders running around freely."

Nodding his head, Loki gave a respectful bow. "I am grateful to you." He turned to leave with the blond elven warrior close behind when he stopped. "I almost forgot." Loki looked at Rilien. "Tenna' ento lye omenta."

The elf's face grew ashen. "Ma istal quet' Eldarin?"

Loki didn't give him an answer, happy with letting the brat know that he understood the insult where he had thought Loki ignorant. He marched out from the chamber and waited for Ionwë to take the lead to where they were keeping the weapon.

He wasn't sure what to find and if it could help his beloved.

But unless he tried he would regret it for the rest of his life.

It was hard because he knew for sure that neither Thor nor Elarinya was the culprit behind this.

Thor was many things, but brilliant assassin was not one of them. And he knew his mate's head was full of other things than killing allies. As for Elarinya... she of all had least reason to kill Alyan.

But to say that to a grieving family was like pouring oil over fire. He would only make them doubt him and that would reduce his chances, and he couldn't allow that.

He wouldn't let Thor or Elarinya to die.