Chapter 52

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For the next several days Loki received attention for what he did to Jalil. Some people thought it was great, some people thought he should have stayed in his place. But after a few days the topic had worn out and no one really cared anymore, which Loki actually preferred. Loki had also continued to consider Odin's offer about the council. He had finally decided to accept. Odin had given him a full week to think about it, so he still technically had two days before he'd be forced to answer, but he had made his decision, and he would tell Odin at the  end of the day.
"Loki" Thor said as he walked into the training room where Loki was practicing and exercising. Thor had given him some combat techniques that he could practice on his own, but Loki had gotten as good as he could while practicing on is own, he needed to start training with people. Loki stopped attacking the bag and looked over to Thor.
"Yes?" He asked, he was panting and had clearly been in here for a long time.
"I want you to start training with the soldiers in the arenas" Thor told him. Loki was quiet for a minute, he didn't know what to expect from that, but he knew he'd have to fight with the other soldiers eventually.
"Alright... when?" He asked.
"If you're not to tired, right away" Thor told him. Loki nodded slightly, may as well start immediately.
"Alright, I'll be there in a few minutes" he said. Thor nodded and left the room. Loki cleaned up everything that he'd been using, then changed into his combat attire and went outside to the arenas.
Thor was standing outside talking to one of the soldiers, whom loki recognized to be Fandral.
"Thor?" Loki said, as he approached the two of them, surely Thor couldn't be pairing  him with Fandral the first time right?
"Oh good, you're here" Thor said.
"I'm not going to be fighting Fandral am I?" Loki asked "not that I have anything against him, I have just never actually done this before" he added quickly, seeing that his question could easily be taken as an offense.
"No, no of course not" Thor said, for a moment Loki felt relieved, but then Thor kept talking. "You'll be fighting me" Thor said.
"I'll- what?" Loki said, he can't fight Thor, Thor is.... Thor.
"Relax, I'm not just going to start beating up on you, we'll start slow" he said, which made loki feel a little bit better, but not much. Nevertheless, Thor went into the training arena and Loki followed him, fully expecting to walk away with no bones intact. Thankfully, he was wrong.
Thor stared out slow so Loki could get used to fighting an opponent. When they first started, Thor was doing most of the attacking and Loki was doing most of the defending, Thor thought that he'd have to help Loki along, but before Thor had the chance to offer any kind of advice during attacks, Loki would have already defended and blocked Thor's offense. Thor was pretty impressed, so he stopped going so easy on him. He sped it up and didn't pause between attacks, which meant that for the entire fight Loki would have be constantly be on guard and thinking. But that didn't throw Loki off either, he was a quick thinker and a few times he was able to anticipate Thor's next attack and stop him before he even got the chance to start.
They had been fighting for a long time before Thor started to get a little irritated. Loki was too good at this for a beginner, Thor found himself wanting to take him down and pin him. Loki barely seemed fazed by anything Thor was doing, and this was his first day. Thor hadn't been really trying to take him down though, so Maybe he should give him  a real challenge.
"Alright, change of plans" Thor said, they had been doing this for a while and Loki was so quickly able to apply his skills to real fighting, Thor wanted to really test his level. "We're going to fight for real. I'm not going to hold back, I'm going to actually try and Pin you and you do the same. I want to see what you can do" Thor stated. Loki wasn't sure he wanted to do that, but Thor didn't give him much of a chance to object. Before Loki knew what was going on, Thor had attacked and within seconds they were involved in an actual fight.
Thor wasn't lying when he said he wasn't going to hold back, he got several hits in. Loki had to fight hard just to stay standing, but he held out longer than Thor was anticipating. He was able to deflect some of Thor's attacks, and he did a little bit of damage to Thor himself, but ultimately it came down to experience, and Thor had much more than Loki did. The fight was getting faster and Loki was getting more and more worn out, they'd been going at his for hours with the sun beating down on them, and though Loki was used to being hurt, he wasn't used to the heat. And he wasn't used to sweating like this. He was having a hard time breathing and Thor's constant attacking didn't make it any easier, he felt dehydrated and his head felt like it had been crushed between two boulders. Because he was feeling a kind of misery that he wasn't used to, he started to get sloppy, and made the mistake of leaving himself open as he deflected and attacked. Thor had attacked and Loki was able to grab Thor's arm and prevent the attack, but Loki left himself open and Thor was able to end the fight. Thor hit Loki in the stomach with a harder force than he had intended, and Loki wasn't able to keep himself up anymore. Thor hit him in the stomach and he collapsed to the ground, now very unable to breathe.
Thor realized how hard he hit Loki and knew that he'd ended the fight. Loki was on his back coughing, Thor got down and helped him to stand. Loki felt like his chest was collapsing and his vision was getting spotty.
"Here, sit, I'll get you some water" thor said as he brought Loki out of the arena and set him down on a bench. Loki was just glad to be done, he didn't want to fight any more today. After a minute, Thor came back and gave Loki some water with ice in it and Loki happily emptied the glass.
"Heat.." Loki said, his voice was ragged and dry. Even though he only said one word, Thor understood what he meant. He didn't even consider that Loki wasn't used to being that physical out in the heat. Sure he'd been living here for a while now, but he spent a lot of his time inside, he had never done anything like that with the sun beating down on him.
"You alright?" Thor asked. Loki nodded.
"Yeah... I need to get used to being that active in the sun" he said. honestly, part of him was glad to be so hot, simply because it wasn't possible on Jotunhiem, but the rest of him hated it. He was miserable.
"I'm going to go take a cold shower" Loki said as he pulled himself up and went inside. Thor didn't to to stop him. It was probably a good idea.
Loki got back to his room and took a quick shower, then got out and got dressed, he felt a lot better, but he was noticing that he was slightly bruised in some places.
Once he got dressed he left the room again to go find Odin to tell him that he'd be accepting his offer.
"Where might I find the king?" Loki asked some of the guards.
"He's in the throne room at the moment, but he said that you could wait in his study if you'd like" the guard told him "he was anticipating you wanting to see him" the guard added after seeing Loki's confusion.
"Oh.. alright, thank you" he said. Thor had shown him to Odin's study once before, and he was pretty sure he remembered how to get there.
There were two guard outside the study, but they let Loki right in when he approached.
Surprisingly, the room was quite comfortable. It wasn't bright and shining in gold like the rest of the palace, the light in the room was warm and even though it was a large room, it felt relaxed. There were some chairs in the room and a desk that was scattered with papers, and bookshelves covered the walls.
Loki paced the room for a little while, then decided to take a seat. He sat in the chair that was on the opposite side of he desk that Odin would normally sit at.
He was alone in the room with nothing to do, and as his eyes scanned the room, he caught sight of a paper that had a seal on it... a seal that was exactly like the one burned into his own skin, the seal Laufey had branded him with... there were only a few words written on that paper, but as soon as Loki read them he wished he wasn't able to read again. On the paper that could only be from Laufey, was written five words. It was vague, and loki knew there was more to the letter Than what he was seeing, by the five words that he did see were enough to make Loki's skin crawl:
'I want my slave back'

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