A Lesson On Pride

Part 1

In the golden throne room of Asgard the new King of the Nine Realms, Thor, had recently angered the Alfars of Alfheim and is close to come to war with them. If that is to happen, the Alfars will gain an alliance with the Jotuns and the Dvergars. Asgard will have to ally itself with the Vanirs, but will be outnumbered and will be expected to lose if that does happen. Thor, however, does not see this as a problem, all who have rose against Asgard has always fell and he feels confident enough that they can win the war even without the help of the Vanir.

While deep in thought of how he should win the war, a guard enters and announces that his brother present and steps aside to let the God of Mischief enter the throne room. Clad in his usual outfit of green and black leather with gold adornments, he bows slightly to Thor and pleasantly says, "Good day, my king" but behind it, Thor can hear force behind it.

As the elder son, he is automatically King when their father, Odin Allfather, goes into his Odinsleep. His brother holds some resentment, but that was to be expected. There is always some form of rivalry when it comes to being king.

"Loki, what brings you here? Should you not be with your dusty tomes and learning new forms of mischief to bring misfortune to the poor people of Asgard?" Thor let out a booming laugh, but it had no effect on his brother. Loki kept a straight face, but by the slight twitch at the corner of his mouth could one tell Thor's comment annoyed him.

Loki gazed at his brother, sitting high above him in the throne where their father once sat and began to plead with him. "I know not of what is in your head brother, but I shall get to the point: do not go to war."

Thor raised an eyebrow at his brother's request and asked "Why not Loki? As king I must protect the Nine Realms. With father gone to sleep, I must be the protector and ensure that there be no danger to befall Yggdrasill."

"Thor, will you listen to reason? As king of Asgard, yes you have the duty to protect Yggdrasill, but going into a war because a few drunk Alfars wounded your pride, does not mean you have to drag Asgard and the other realms into war." Loki spat while staring at his brother with intense green eyes.

Thor hated when Loki did this to him. Loki's stares always made him feel like his brother right through him into his soul and soaked up all the secrets hidden inside. The only being that is not affected at all by Loki's stare in the Nine Realms is their mother, Frigga. Loki is much closer to Frigga and that thought made Thor slightly irritated, but then again, Odin favors Thor over Loki so that brought some comfort.

"Loki, the Alfars insulted me and threatened to disrupt the peace, I must take the actions and prepare for war." Thor peered at his brother, wondering why he does not support his decisions now like he used to before he became king… unless….

The realization hit Thor as he began to understand what could have brought Loki here, Loki wants to show Thor as a weak king and plans to have the Aesirs favor him instead. Thor gritted his teeth and closed his eyes, trying to keep his anger down. The sound of thunder can be heard through the thick walls of their home. Loki looked unnerved, but feared for the worse.

Seconds later, the rumble of thunder died and Thor calmly opened his eyes. Loki was slightly baffled at the fact that Thor did not smite him to Helheim, but kept his face the same as he continued to watch Thor as he began to predict possible outcomes and how he is to deal with them.

"As king of Asgard my word is law. If I, the king, decree we go to war, then we shall go." Thor slammed his fist on the throne and glared at Loki. "Loki, as a citizen of Asgard you must obey your king or suffer punishments under my wrath."

Loki then showed a display of displeasure upon his face which pleased Thor and turned his gaze from Thor to the ground.

"I mean not to offend you, my king. Only to inform you, that your actions have the high possibility of not protecting Asgard and Yggdrasill, but to destroy and the peace our father has worked so hard to create" Loki sighed, fully knowing that his brother will not change his mind and as king, he can do whatever he pleases with that power.

Loki gave a gracious bow and politely said, "I bid you farewell, my king."

His voice held no resentment, but then again he is also known as the Liesmith.

Loki turned and without glancing at Thor, gracefully left the room without another word. Thor sat on the throne, deep in thought of how he should prepare Asgard for war and then send envoys to Vanaheim in case the probability of Asgard goes to the brink of falling by Alfheim and whomever the Alfs are able to gain an alliance with.

At the back of Thor's mind, the thoughts of Loki's meeting with him lingered. He knows Loki will not let anything go if he sets his twisted mind to it. However, Thor forgot about Loki and continued to plan for the upcoming war until he could think no more in the dead of night.

The next day, Thor took his place on the throne and ordered the guard to bring the Warriors Three and Lady Sif to him. The guard bows and exits the room quickly. Moments later the guard returns to announce that the Warriors Three and Lady Sif had arrived and moved away so they may enter. The air of power and strength followed them in as they marched up to the throne and bowed to Thor who watched their every move. He noticed that they seemed uncomfortable to be there in his presence. Thor pushes the thought out of his mind and quickly forgets about it.

"My friends, it is good to see that you have come quickly as I called for you." Thor beamed at them proudly, "I have important matters to discuss with you. I must create battle plans to invade Alfheim and then prepare envoys to send to Vanaheim. I wish for you, my friends, to help me in those tasks and once completed, we ride out into battle for honor and justice!"

None of them react as he expected, instead they shifted from foot to foot and glanced at each other. Thor waited for them to respond and to see if they are up to the task. Of course they are, Thor thought, they are not only his comrades, but his friends as well.

At last, it is Sif who speaks.

"Thor," she pursed her lips together and carefully worded her statement, "I, Lady Sif and the Warriors Three, do not believe that you should bring war upon the Nine Realms. Your decision is dangerous and will bring great hostility towards Asgard."

Thunder rumbled, lightning clashed as Thor rose from his seat and shouted "I am King therefore I know what is right and what is wrong. The Alfs have offended me, the king, and I shall not allow that for they can rise up against us in war. To ensure that is not to be, I, King of Asgard, shall end their hostility once and for all."

The Three and Sif took a step back from Thor's fury, but did not take another when Thor descended from the throne.

Thor's fury radiated from him and the air around them seemed full of static, "As warriors under the power of the King of Asgard, you have the duty to obey your king. I order you to assist me without foiling my intentions and twist words so that the war ends with me defeated. If I am to fall and later investigations discover that you tempered with my plans, you all shall be stripped of your power and banished from Asgard."

The Three and Sif do not react. They only bowed and said "Yes my King" and left the room without another word. Much like how Loki made his exit the day before.

One the Three and Sif left the room and the heavy door shut close, Thor called for his scribes to write down letters to be sent to Vanaheim and ordered a guard to let the Three and Sif know that he attends to attack the capitol of Alfheim so the war will consist of only one battle which has never been done in the history of Yggdrasill. He then announced that Asgard is to go into war and to have all warriors prepare for war.

After his announcement, he retreated into his room to change for battle practice. His room was not big nor small, but comfortable enough for a man of his size and class. As he changed, the hairs on the back of his neck rose as he felt the presence of another with its eyes upon him. He quickly glanced over his shoulder and in the reflection of a mirror he saw a shadow that disappeared in less than a second. That was all the time needed to recognize the venomous green eyes that leered at his back.

Once Thor finished changing and walked to the practice area, he ordered his guard to keep an eye on Loki as best as he could. The guard looked crestfallen at the task, but Thor gave him relief by saying "Do your best and do not be frightened if you lose him. Loki is a slippery snake."

After he said that, Thor thought he heard a hissing sound behind him and when he turned to see if his brother was standing behind him, only empty halls greeted him.

For the next days that passed, Thor felt the daggers of a stare that could only belong to Loki, but every time he turned to confront his brother, Loki is nowhere to be seen and the sensation of his stare gone. Thor remained on high alert for whatever Loki has up his sleeves and made sure that there is always someone watching his brother. Whenever Thor felt one of Loki's stares, he would have the guards report to him about Loki's location and what activity he is engaging himself in. the result is always the same: eating, sleeping, reading, or going on a little stroll around their home.

Then finally a week after Thor announced war on Alfheim, preparations were complete and battle plans got approved by Thor, Asgard was ready for battle. The next day is when Thor would lead his army, along with the Warriors Three and Lady Sif by his side and will proclaim victory over an impending doom. Before he retired to his room, Thor went to go visit his mother and father to say good bye. When he arrived at the door, he heard voices murmuring to each other. He realized that it is the voices of Loki and Frigga and he barges in to get them to stop talking to each other, but all he saw was Frigga sitting next to Odin's bed and Odin resting peacefully.

"Where is Loki mother? Is he hiding somewhere within these walls? That slimy-"

"Thor!" his mother gave him a hard, yet still motherly, look that made him silent. "Loki is in his room reading. He came by earlier for a visit then returned to his studies."

Thor was confused for he had heard his brother's voice within the room. He then said "I heard him in here having words with you… I know his voice when I hear it."

"Thor dear," his mother began," You must have heard things or your brother is playing a trick on you. I know you have guards watching Loki's every move and if you do not believe in the word of your mother, go ask your guards to verify my words."

"No mother," Thor sighed and took place on the opposite side of Odin's bed from his mother, "I have no need to do so, I trust your word."

"Thor, be careful out there" Frigga gazed at him with concern, "I do wish you would not put yourself in such danger, but you are king and your word is law."

"Never fear mother," Thor reached out to take hold of her hand, "I will come back safe and will bring more peace to Asgard and the other Realms."

His mother looked down and nodded, sadness filled her face as Thor guessed that she was scared for his fate might end in the battle field.

"I will return to you mother, I promise."

Later that night, Thor woke up momentarily to the sound of weapons clashing and moans of dying men outside of his hall. Dazed and confused, he stumbled his way to his door, only to open it and see warriors clad in black armor instead of the Asgardian gold and wielding wicked weapons fighting the royal guard. Thor noticed that each of the dark warriors had an insignia of green and gold. This could only mean one thing:

Loki.

Before Thor could join the battle, a force pulled him back into his room to the feet of his brother wearing his armor looking pleased at the chaos he had caused. Loki swatted him with his staff and sent Thor crashing into the wall. Loki stood before him and held him down with his staff. For a moment, he look concerned, but the moment quickly faded as he pulled a smile that reminded Thor of a grinning cat.

"You will pull all Nine Realms into chaos Thor. I will stop you before you could do such a thing" Loki eyes glittered, "even if it means to end your life."

Loki swung his staff over and pointed the bladed part towards Thor's jugular, but before he can deal the final blow, Thor summoned Mjolnir and blocked Loki's attack and kicked Loki out of the way and got up. Loki stayed on the ground, doubling over from Thor's kick and from surprise. Thor kicked Loki flat on his back and placed Mjolnir on his chest.

"You have betrayed me brother. You say you don't want me to lead Asgard into war, but I know you brother. I know you every well. You want the throne. I can see it in your eyes, I see it every time I look at you." Thor stood over his brother in triumph, "You cannot trick the king of Asgard, Loki, and you will not take the throne from me. It is mine and as King, we prepare to leave as soon I give you your punishment and for betraying the king, you know what that means."

Loki showed no emotion on his face which made Thor angry and went outside to deal with the warriors Loki had brought, but when he stepped out, they were nowhere to be seen and the guards were confused at what had happened and wondered how they are not dead when they clearly remember the pain being injured and the feeling of their blood bleeding onto the floor. Thor stood among them just as confused until he remembered the Trickster God being held prisoner in his room. Loki was still there, not making any attempts to escape and only stared at the ceiling. He did not even react when Thor crouched beside him and poked his face.

"Why do you not escape brother?" Thor inquired, not relaxing in anyway incase this is all a trick and Loki was waiting for the right moment to attack.

Instead Loki just looked at him and dully answered, "You will ruin us all. This is your last chance. Call off the war and leave the Nine Realms be. No one will see you fit as King if you do not chose wise decisions. I have warned you."

"No Lie-Smith. You will not trick me into releasing my claim on the throne. I will not banish you. The only fitting punishment for treason and attempt to murder the king is death. You, Loki, are no longer my brother but an enemy to the Nine Realms. At dawn you are to be stripped of your power and be sent to Helheim." Thor got up and left the room.

He then ordered the guards to not leave their station and to keep a patrol in the room with Loki. Once he became satisfied with the security, he went to the throne room and called for the presence of the Warriors Three and Lady Sif. When they arrived, he told them of the attack and Loki's execution, their reaction is not what he expected. They seemed disappointed but did not say anything, but agreed to be an audience to the trial and help escort Loki to the Bifrost. Thor ordered them to go and apprehend Loki and wait for dawn to move out.

As the Three and Sif left the room, he told a guard to tell Frigga what has happened and to make sure she does not leave the room to see anyone. He does not want his mother to influence him to change his mind about Loki's fate. He must wait until the war is over, then he can deal with his mother.

A guard enters and tells Thor that it is now dawn and that his army is preparing to move out. Thor nods his thanks and leaves the room to meet with the Warriors Three and Lady Sif. Thor sees Loki bound by cuffs and chains and his face showed no emotion making it harder for Thor to guess what is going on in Loki's head. This only aggravated Thor and did not acknowledge anyone and only lead the group to the Bifrost.

Heimdall greeted them by stepping aside from the entrance of the Bifrost and watching them carefully as they made their way inside. Thor stood before them and the Three and Sif positioned themselves in a half circle behind Loki. Loki merely allowed them to place him and gazed at Thor with disappointment, but he made no attempt to escape.

Thor looked down at his brother and noticed how small he looks. Loki had changed into a more casual outfit, but the same color scheme of black and green with gold adornments rather than staying in his bulky armor. Sadness pulled Thor's heart, but his decision as king has been made and cannot allow himself to be kind to a murderer, even if the murderer to be is his brother.

"Loki Odinson," Thor began, "You have been found guilty in the attempted murder of myself, your brother and King of Asgard. This form of treason shall not go unpunished and for that, I, King of Asgard, sentence you to death, by the blade."

The Warriors Three and Lady Sif drew out their swords and impaled Loki from where they stood. Their faces were grim and each believed Thor's punishment to be wrong, but none will voice their opinions. Their king's word is law.

Loki had not registered what had happened, but watched his own blood spill and create a dark pool at his feet. When the Three and Sif drew their swords back, Loki fell to his knees and for the first time ever, Thor could clearly read his face as Loki turned his dulling green eyes from the red pool that continued to grow, to the clear blue eyes of his brother. Thor saw that Loki was shocked. Perhaps he expected banishment, but not death.

As if time grew still, Loki fell and the red pool still grew around his dead body.

Thor did not waste another second; he ordered the Three and Sif to bring his army to the Bifrost and told Heimdall to dispose of Loki's body once the army passed through the gate to Alfheim. He believed that a traitor had no right to be put to rest in Asgard.

Heimdall only nodded and opened the gate as the army arrived. The army shuffled by Loki's body and tried not to look or step in the pool of blood.

Moments later, Thor and his army arrived outside of Alfheim capitol and once his army arranged themselves in position, he gave his speech to encourage his warriors. Their battle cries were half-hearted, but Thor did not notice. The roar of blood-lust and war ran through his head as he yelled the final command to begin the siege and chaos broke through.

It was indeed a bloody day for the Nine Realms.