Spoilers for rather late into the story. VP2 Einherjar fic. How the Arcdain group gets along. Or maybe doesn't.
For both gods and mortals alike, the World Tree was a breathtaking sight. The source of all life within the Nine Worlds, it towered majestically over the sombre fields of Asgard. Even the various creatures and dangers that dwelt among its branches couldn't quite dispell the atmosphere of serenity that clung to it like a veil.
So it was completely understandable for Silmeria's erstwhile host to pause for a quiet interlude in her quest for some time alone with her half-elven sweetheart. Which also meant that there was nobody around to watch the Einherjar.
For the second time of the day Khanon gingerly lifted a hand to his head, fingering the shaft of the arrow that had missed his ear by mere inches and was now lodged in the tree trunk by his head. He closed the tome he'd been reading, sighed, and stood up.
"Ehrde. A general of your station should be beyond these foolish pranks."
The only response was another arrow that came uncomfortably close to impaling his knee. Khanon narrowed his eyes and glared through the silent vegetation, gathering his magical energies. Scanning the foliage carefully, he saw a brief flicker of movement among the branches a dozen paces to his left.
Lightning crackled across the clearing, interrupting the serenity of the World Tree with an accompanying peal of thunder. Guided by years of training in the arcane, it struck the moving shape beyond the trees with perfect precision.
Several seconds later, Khanon gritted his teeth as he fended off the enraged Hresvelgr with his staff, trying to buy enough time to get another spell off.
Some forty feet above and behind the fight, one of the huge restoration crystals flickered and put forth another wave of power. The pulse of energies across the ancient crystal hid any sign of movement from magically enhanced sight, and was surrounded by dense foliage, making it the perfect sniping spot.
Ehrde jumped down from his perch on the crystal and stretched, unstringing his bow and meticulously checking his remaining ammo. His unlikely co-conspirators greeted him with muffled applause. The two knights had kept themselves out of sight for the entire escapade, neither being particularly used to games of stealth.
"I'm impressed," said Aaron, as he handed over a small trinket of fine silver filigree. "Nobody in our order could shoot like that."
Accepting the trinket, Ehrde examined and pocketed it in one smooth motion. "Your order could damn well have used some more training then."
The knight shrugged good-naturedly and rummaged through an incorporeal sack. In his green uniform he almost faded into the grass. "Five hundred Oth says he tries to hit you with Dark Saber next time. That spell actually homes in."
Ehrde simply scoffed. "Eight hundred Oth. He loses his nerve and falls a few levels."
"I'll see you that and raise you a Flare Crystal," grinned Fraudir.
On a higher branch of the World Tree, Roland leaned back under the shade of the generous canopy and relaxed in the cool breeze that ruffled his hair. The former knight captain watched the antics below, carefully keeping a straight face. "You know, I can't in good conscience approve of what Aaron's doing."
His companion in hiding, lodged against the tree trunk several branches away, nodded, hands never pausing as she polished her silver armor. "It's childish and beneath us as knights and warriors chosen by the gods," said Richelle. "We should be accepting of our fellow Einherjar."
"Completely," he agreed.
For a moment silence reigned, save for the rustling of leaves in the wind.
"You have to admit, though . . . "
"Somehow satisfying, nevertheless. And I didn't just say that."