AN: So this is actually an assignment I had to do for my mythology class. I would have added a lot more detail in this one, but because it was a class assignment, I couldn't do much with it... The assignment we had to do was to explain a part of the Norse mythology that wasn't explained in the book we were reading. We could either look it up online or we could come up with our own. So I mixed in two; why Odin swore brotherhood to Loki and why he has two wolves at his feet.
This wasn't a task for him. It was much better suited for someone younger, someone more like... More like... Thor. Yes, that was it. Thor was more suited for this. He was young and strong. Not to mention that he had his trusty hammer by him at all times. With a weapon such as that, and strength no one else could match to boot, Thor seemed like the absolutely perfect candidate. Hell, he even had thunder and lightning at his command! Even more reason to put him on the job! But alas, it seemed that it wasn't so. Thor was currently away on his own little quest of sorts. What it was, he didn't even tell anyone. As for the other gods, it seemed that they all had their own little things to do. Now, normally, they would just wait it out and have someone else do it later. But this was an urgent matter that could be ignored no longer. Therefore, the only one left to be able to do this job in such short notice would be Odin.
"I'm getting too old for this..."
A few muttered words and his foot was hooked into the stirrup, his hands tightly grasping the reigns. The saddle creaked as he pushed himself off the ground and swung his leg up and over the horse's rump. He settled into the seat rather quickly, yet gently as to not agitate the back of his steed, and gathered the reigns in both hands rather then just one. And with the click of the tongue and a tapping of the heels, he was off. Hooves pounded against the caked and worn dirt, weaving through the crowds that dived out of the way of the charging animal. He rode until grass replaced houses, and trees replaced grass, until the afternoon sun had dove down towards twilight. Only then did he finally pull back and allow his horse to slow to a stop, the heavy breathing enough to tell him it was about time for the animal to rest.
Not a moment after he had slowed the horse had he swung his leg up and over once again and, with legs and back sore from the long ride, allowed his boot to safely touch the ground. A sharp howl echoed through the trees. He was close now. His hand rested on his sword as he trudged through the forest, leaving his horse behind. He knew that it would still be there when he returned. If it wasn't, then that was a sure sign that the beasts have certainly spiraled out of control. Usually they weren't this way, but alas, it seemed that nature had took a cruel turn...
He trudged through the grass and bushes, headed towards only one destination. He didn't know how long he had walked, and he certainly didn't know how far, but he could tell that he was getting closer and closer. He could feel it. And so, Odin pressed on, until he finally reached the rumored clearing. He stayed within the tree line and hid among the shadows. His gaze peered out and before him lay a rather spectacular, yet worrisome, sight. There must have been at least thirty of the beasts. No, more than that. Since when had a pack ever had the mind to grow that large? Then again, with the abundant resources (AKA the livestock they had been preying on for the past few weeks now), it was quite understandable.
No turning back now. Drawing in a deep breath and then letting out just as slowly to calm his nerves, Odin took a step forward. And another. And another, until the sunlight finally reflected off of him and shown him in all his glory. The noise from such movements alerted the members of the pack. The stood with teeth bared. The hairs on their backs bristled and straightened. Menacing growls erupted from their throats. Their heads lay low. Each pair of golden eyes focused on one thing; the stranger that had just shown himself. Slowly yet surely, he drew his sword. The metallic sound was enough to begin the battle.
Wolves sprinted towards him at amazing speeds, quickly reaching him and leaping high into the air. He was quick to counter such an attack by swinging his sword, taking out the first few wolves within only one mighty blow. But that only dented the force that surrounded the cave at the other side of the clearing. And so, he continued to fight, taking down all that he could. He used as much strength and agility as he could, but alas, he was but a mere old man in this form. You see, because he was in the land of the mortals, he had to take on a much more appropriate form in order to not be found out. If the humans knew that he were a god, then he knew just how plagued he would be with questions. He wouldn't have been able to make it here.
And so, it was because of this form that the long battle gave him many wounds. At long last, he stood in the middle of the clearing with only half of the wolves down, the other half surrounding him on all sides. He was stained by the blood of their siblings, a sickening stench he knew would take days to wash out of the clothes he currently wore. Then again, it also clung to his skin, meaning that he'd have to wash it from there as well. This seemed like much more of a hassle than it seemed... Besides, his legs were starting to give out, his knees trying to make him collapse right where he stood. Still, he stood his ground as his eyes darted this way and that. There were just too many of them...
It was then that his savior came to him. He didn't know where the other had come fro, or who even this man was, but he knew that he would be eternally grateful. The only reason he had noticed this man was because he had felt a slight, yet comforting, pressure on his back and heard the words spoken to him; "Looks like you could use a hand." A quick nod was all they needed. His strength returned and his senses collected, Odin pressed on once more. His sword sliced through many more wolves before there was none other left standing. The only two living souls within the remains of the battlefield were the two fighters who had come to rid the land of this catastrophe.
Finally, the god turned to the one who had aided him in such a task. He didn't recognize the black hair and the dark eyes, but he knew he was indebted to him. "I thank you for your help," he began as he sheathed his sword once again. Though it was with a limp, he strode over to his ally. His eyes brimmed with confidence. "What is your name?" he questioned.
"Loki. Son of a giant."
That was rather odd, to find a giant wandering around this area. No matter, there was no sense in questioning it. With a curt nod, the god turned on his heel and strode towards the cave, the only place left for him to check now that the other members of the pack were dead and gone. "Come. We still have work to do. The task is not over until the last one falls." He didn't even have to look behind him to know that the other one – Loki, was his name? – was following behind him. He could hear the footsteps behind him, echoing his own. The two entered the cave and though they saw no signs of any adults, they did stumble upon two wolf pups lying within the deepest part. He let out a gentle sigh as he kneeled before the pups, whose eyes were barely opened, and ran his fingers along the soft fur. "If I had known that the mother was nurturing pups, then I would have no slain her. Perhaps I have been rash in my decision to not let one live."
"No, you did what was best for the village. It was for the survival of man kind. Though you have slain their mother, that does not mean that their life, too, is over. There is still hope for them."
The words Loki spoke were the truth. There were many orphans who were left alone in this world, and yet still managed to live just as any other human being. The only difference was that the loving, nurturing home had been stripped from them. But that also made them stronger. "Then I shall take this little ones with me when I return," he spoke as he gently scooped up one of the pups. He was surprised to see that the other one was gently picked up as well and focused his gaze towards Loki, now noticing that he stood beside him.
"Yes. Because even without a mother providing milk, they can live on, I'm sure."
The young man spoke with truth and the look in his eyes told Odin that he wasn't speaking from just thought and assumption; he was speaking from knowledge. With his mind now set, the god clapped a hand on Loki's shoulder, his eyes showing a strong determination. "Then from this day forward, I swear brotherhood to you, Loki of the giants. You may live with me, in peace, in the realm of Asgard. Until this brotherhood is broken, you will be allowed within the gates."