The journey to the portals seems to take even longer without Wraith. I was apparently the last one to hear about his decision to stay behind. No one’s been talking. Even Daemon seems upset about the loss of his brother.
As we stop under the portal, Henki reaches forward and puts a warning hand on my shoulder. “Nikki, up until now, we have traveled through dimensions that have housed those who wish to help you. Hölle is not the same.”
“What do you mean? I thought all of the Old Ones and ghosts were against her,” I reply, confused.
Henki shakes his head. “Not all. Some of the Old Ones agree with Kendra’s views, though they are not as extreme as she is.”
“So Hölle will be more dangerous for me?” I ask flatly, my hopes slowly falling.
“You embody everything that Iâ and Eira hate,” he replied with a strong warning in his voice. “Your mother was the daughter of who they consider to be the most powerful Old One, and yet she not only hand-selected the new human ruler for the supernatural side, but married him as well. And not only did she marry him, she also had an Eidolon child with him and lived in the human world for many years. We will all need to tread carefully throughout Hölle, which will be difficult.”
“Why?” I ask.
“Just as Enfer is made out of living metal and stone, Hölle is made out of snow and ice. The entire dimension is a winter wonderland, but it is as deadly as it is beautiful,” Henki explains. I can barely make out his dark eyes boring into mine with a strong intensity.
“We’re Shadows and Eidolons, though. I thought cold can’t affect us,” I say, still holding his stare.
“Thy father’s parents were from Osnabrück in Northern Germany, correct?” Daemon asked, then continued as I nodded. “Dost thou remember some of the legends thy father told thee about Jotenhëim and the Frost Giants?”
I nodded again.
“Hölle is where those legends originated,” Daemon explains. “There are giants made of ice that live in Hölle, along with other massive creatures of ice and snow that will not hesitate to kill thee. Not just because thou art Eidolon, but because thou art the Eidolon daughter of the Shadow Lord. We all must be on our guard,” he finished as he loosened his sword in his sheathe.
I follow his example and roll my shoulders around. “So we all fight if anything comes after us?”
“No. We will fight, thou shalt run,” Daemon says, holding up a hand as I start to protest. “It is our job to protect thee, Nikki. I will not let thee fight if there is a chance that running will grant thee safety to see thy journey through.”
Henki nods in agreement. “Come. Let us go.”
He steps in front of me and leads the way as Daemon falls in behind me. My shoulders tense and I start feeling nervous. These are two strong warriors who aren’t scared of anything. If they’re afraid of what’s in Hölle, then I get the feeling that I should be terrified.