Reluctantly, Loki ventured back towards the ruins the next morning. He rubbed the black bruises that splotched his limbs and chest. His stomach growled noisily. He made a makeshift bucket made out of some scrap armor he found just outside the caverns. He was able to melt the snow with what heat his body could emit, which apparently was not much. The slush sated him for the night, but now the food was starting to take its toll.
The ruins felt darker than in his memories. He needed to find food and fast. What would he find? Any creatures that would have survived must be monstrous in size. Plants were rare in this environment and nearly impossible to find, unless you knew where to look, which he did not. He would have to search the abandoned castle for scraps or if he got desperate, the crushed soldier he came across earlier. He shivered, hoping he would not have to resort to such savagery.
There was a rumble and the ground shook beneath him. He spun around to see one of the enormous icicle-like columns crumble to the ground in the distance. Over the grumble of the collapsing ruins, there was a small scream like a child. Squinting to see farther in the perpetual darkness that was Jotunheim, he could make out a figure running from the dust cloud created by the column. Loki panicked, A person, he bolted towards the figure. He could not fathom how he could be so lucky. Since he'd landed he had been trying stay alive, rather than finding an escape which was the original plan. Even if they are the last one they have survived this long haven't they? He would not lose this opportunity.
In the jumble of dust and debris, a pillar as wide as a tree trunk came tumbling towards the figure. With a thud, he rammed in to the stranger, pushing them out of its path. There was a crunch and a stomach churning snap. The stranger grabbed Loki's hand but was not quick enough to pull him from the wreckage. Splinters of pain shot through his foot and into his calf, his leg buried in rubble.
"." cried a meek little voice. "Hold still. Don't move." Was he hallucinating or was a child really trying to unearth his leg. That's when he noticed a wet sensation streaming down his forehead. He wiped away the liquid and examined the midnight blue substance on his palm. Only then did he realize, as black dots clouded his vision, that it was his own blood.
Every breath shot daggers of pain deeper into Loki's chest. As he began to wake, the falling sensation forced his aching hands to grip at the stiff bed beneath him. Ever so slowly, he forced his eyes open. The chamber was black, save a small blue flame glowing softly in a cracked, sooty lantern. In the dim lights, the exiled prince could make out one of his feet poking out of the thin blankets. Its disfigured shape inclined him to move it and have a closer look. Shards of tear inducing pain burst from his ankle and snaked up his shin and down his toes. He let out a sharp cry, alerting a sleeping figure who had dosed off against the wall.
"Are you okay?" the figure said, the child-like voice ill fitting to the tall body.
"What is this place?" Loki inquired sharply, ignoring the child's concern.
"The infirmary, you're safe now." The meek voice replied. "You should probably lay do-"
"Come closer." The prince commanded, eyeing the familiar silhouette. The figure stepped closer to the weak flame timidly, avoiding the Loki's piercing gaze. The deep blue of his skin etched with markings that wove across his face and bare chest. His blue fingers fumbled with his jet-black hair, twirling the strands between them while ruby eyes averted their gaze, staring down at his toes.
"I've been told to alert the physician when you awaken." He mumbled, his eyes fixated to the floor. Loki took in the child's appearance; vulnerable, yet deadly. At least to anyone not of Jotun blood. He lay back on the pillow creating a steeple with his hands on his sore abdomen.
"Did you bring me here?" He asked, barely above a whisper. The boy nodded, looking up to see the invalid staring at the sheets before him.
"I heard them talking." The boy said. "The nurses, they said you were..." he paused.
"That I was what?" Loki demanded immediately. They had every reason to kill him, so why didn't they?
"An angel, come back to save us." This was not what Loki had expected.
"Is it true? Are you the prince?" Loki's muscles tensed. They really thought of him as a savior, after what he did to their king. That's when it dawned on him. They had no clue. Ever since he killed Laufey and Thor destroyed the bifrost, they were desolate, isolated, detached from the other realms. He had given them the magical ability to cloak themselves. That is why everyone thought them to be extinct.
The gears in his head began turning, fabricating his course of action. If he cannot destroy the Jotuns, he could restore their glory, given they would do the same in return.