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The Goddess Martyr

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Here's the next chapter, sorry if it's kind of long :/ Enjoy :D

Lunch passed in a tense quietness, ending with me finding out that we had free time until a quick dinner and then the Raid. I agreed with Kevin to fight on his team along with his hall, but I didn’t actually feel like playing a game with the other Campers. I still wanted to head back to my mom, or least find out someway that she was alright. Yet I was stuck in Camp, and I spent my free afternoon with Kevin and Jean in their halls.

Their cabinmates weren’t really picky about who came in, as long as they left before dinner. My mouth dropped open when I saw Kevin’s storm-grey hall, apparently named Bilskirnir. It was loaded with weapons and armour; most of it looking like it’d been lifted from a museum. Pictures had been carved into the wood on the upper walls, of a strong bearded man fighting off various enemies. Besides the shelves full of weapons, and the metal bunk beds, I thought I saw a couple plushie goats in the corners. I looked at Kevin, who shrugged and muttered, “I think they said Dad had a chariot pulled by two goats.”

I lifted my eyebrow, but soon forgot about the goats. On the ceiling, painted black so it stood out against the wood, was a swastika sign. I stared at it, wondering if there were several Nazi Germans living in the hall, and I heard Jean suck in a breath when she saw it too. Kevin looked up, paled, and explained quickly, “Wait- that’s not what it looks like – it’s the symbol of my father, Thor.”

I looked at him, saying, “Thor was involved with Hitler?”

Kevin rubbed his eyes, shaking his head vigorously. He said, muffled beneath his hands, “It was Thor’s sign before Hitler. They have nothing in common.”

I nodded slowly, still not fully believing him. I let it go, checking out the cool weapons instead. We spent about an hour trying to figure out how to use them, ending with us accidentally slashing the pillow of one of the beds, and hurriedly hiding the evidence underneath the bed.

We stopped at Jean’s hall, Himinbjörg, while she dropped off her hoodie. I didn’t actually go inside, but from what I saw through the doorway, they weren’t lacking for weapons either.

Leaving the dark green hall, we walked to Valhalla, while the horn blew again. We managed to get there before the stampede of kids, but even as we were eating with plenty of seats around us, Ben walked sulkily by. He never looked at us once, and sat with his Vanir friends, ignoring us. I seethed quietly, and Kevin tried to talk me out of my bad mood.

“He doesn’t want to get kicked out of their group, Jenson,” he said around a mouthful of food, shovelling more into his mouth at the same time, “Let him hang with them for a while. He’ll come back.”

I glared in their direction, ripping chunks out of my steak and eating them in hunks. I noticed, besides Ben’s ignorance, that dinner seemed to be a quick affair. Even Sigurd at the head of the table was busy shoving his face, and gulped down from his old-fashioned goblet, belching after. Groa sent him a scowl, and he tried to suppress the next belch, but ended up emitting it when he was apologizing to Groa.

When the majority of plates were empty, Sigurd stood up, and the hall’s small amount of chatter stopped. He gazed at all of us, his scar shining on his face. His beard moved, indicating his mouth was moving, and he announced clearly to the hall, “The Raid will start in ten minutes. You have that time ta get ready and onta Idavoll, or you’ll be sitting on the side watching.”

With that, he exited from the hall, taking Mike and Groa with him. The hall exploded into loud talking, kids running off in clumps to grab something from their halls quickly before ‘the Raid’ started. I headed down the dirt path with Kevin and Jean, not sure what was going on.

Kevin answered my questions as we walked, “I’m not really sure, but the other people in my hall said that they play the weekly Raiding game on the field – so that’s Idavoll. It’s kind of like Capture the Flag, except you have to find a horn instead of a flag. And there’re always treasures you can take with you, and it adds up to your team’s score at the end of the game. The team that wins is usually the team that gets the horn, but there’ve been times where the other team won because they got more treasure.”

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