Chapter Nine

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"We need to get back to Asgard, now," Loki's voice was tight with tension as he looked down at Kenna.

Kenna struggled to her feet, nodding in agreement. Whatever the prince had felt in the talismans it had him unsettled. Kenna could read his rising tension in the set of his shoulders and the hardening of his eyes. She didn't want to stay here any longer than was necessary either. The thought that the entire army here was wearing those talismans was unsettling to say the least. Asgardians were difficult to kill on a normal day, but with talismans that prevented death and thousands of years of fighting experience made this army one of the most dangerous in existence.

The two of them turned and started off through the darkness together. Kenna struggled to keep up with the prince's long strides, occasionally tripping over the odd rock or pile of ash.

"We have to tell my father what we have-" Loki drew off, slowing his pace as he spoke.

Kenna turned back to the prince, not understanding why he stopped. "What?" she asked uncertain what had distracted him. When he didn't respond right away she took a step towards him, they needed to keep moving. "Prince Loki?" she asked uncertainly. She wanted to get out of here. Whatever magic was keeping these soldiers alive was more powerful than anything she had ever heard of and while the prince might be able to dispatch a handful of them an entire army was another matter completely.

"He'll not believe us," he said thoughtfully, then he lifted his eyes to look at Kenna. When he met her gaze his face was grim. "Me," he corrected chuckling humorlessly. "He'll not believe me. For you have been in the outer villages collecting plants for mother's garden and I..." he drug off and shook his head. He started walking once more, less quickly however.

Kenna trotted after the long strided prince. "You-?" she prompted when she reached him.

"It will be treason," he muttered almost too low for her to hear.

Kenna paused for half a step. She had only ever thought about what she risked coming here. She had never considered the fact that the prince could be punished for this as well. When Kenna didn't immediately keep up Loki reached back and ushered her in front of him with a hand at the small of her back. Kenna tried not to react to the prince's proximity and instead silently led the way. She couldn't imagine what it must be like to be a prince in the palace and know your own father didn't respect you enough to listen to the truth when you told it.

She pressed her lips tightly together as they walked trying to come up with a solution. The soldiers were hidden by magic...

"Loki," she said suddenly, reaching back to grab his arm.

Loki looked down at her hand in surprise.

Kenna immediately snatched it back uncomfortably, but pushed on. "The talisman' said they were what kept the soldier from dying."

Loki frowned down at her, nodding. "Yes, they must be what connects Harokin's army to his sorceress...assuming the tales are true."

"Right, and so they would also be what allows her to conceal the army."

Loki nodded and understanding dawned. "So if we were to remove the amulets from several soldiers and leave them alive Heimdall would be able to see them."

"Yes," Kenna said nodding enthusiastically. "We just need to-" she turned to head back towards the camp before finishing her thought out loud.

Loki reached out and caught her arm, stopping her. "You should wait here," he said.

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