|Little Witch Academia: Witches of Midgard Chapters|
|Next:||Valkyrie of Fire Part 2|
Valkyrie of Fire Part 1 is the first chapter of Little Witch Academia: Witches of Midgard.
After a tiring afternoon where she improved her newly restored broom flight ability, Akko encountered a dying deer-like creature named German. German hastily gave the box he carry to Akko and her roomates Lotte and Sucy before buying them some time so they can escape from mysterious dark creatures who after the box. Curious with its contents, Akko, Lotte, and Sucy opened the box and discovered 3 ominous mystical gauntlets which grant them Valkyrie mantle. Explaining this turn of events to Ursula, who revealed her familiarity to the gauntlets, they soon approached by a squirrel-like creature named Asger who confirmed the young girls' story and revealed the existence of an insidious ancient sect of magicians called Naglfar, a group of magical armor-clad witch warriors called Valkyries, and a secret magical kingdom founded by followers of Nine Olde Witches called Thapoli. When Ursula and Asger attempted to secure the gauntlets however, both of them surprised that the gauntlets had chosen Akko, Lotte, and Sucy as their wielders, which means the three friends now bear the sacred responsibility to protect the world of magic.
Ever since dawn of universe, Yggdrasil, the cosmic tree came to being with its roots cover the world, held the stars and planet in place. The tree also connected world of man, Midgard, to other eight realms, Svartalfheim (world of Svartalfheimians), Asgard (home of Gods), Vanaheim (home of Vanirs), Jotunheim (home of jotnar), Alfheim (home of elves), Niflheim (dark and cold realm), Muspelheim (realm of fire), and Helheim (realm of dishonorable death). The first witches discovered magic by drawing power from the Great Tree's branches.
But overtime, Yggdrasil's power wanes and Age of Magic come to an end, resulting magic civilization facing decline. Not only that, times of disorder fell upon Midgard when Jötnar rose against the Gods, and the war between them left humanity in disarray. Worse, the Great Winter fell into Midgard and threatened to push mankind into brink of extinction. It was during those dark times Yggdrasil bestowed power to nine witches to calm the world in Gods' absence. By aiding both humanity and witches alike as well as restoring world's magic, those witches became legendary figures known as Nine Olde Witches. Nine Olde Witches also founded Luna Nova to rehabilitate witches who had lost their place in the world. Their benevolent deeds soon attracted the attention from both surviving Jötnar and Gods alike. One of them, Loki, the jötunn who now known as God of Destruction, grew spiteful towards humanity that he set out to destroy Midgard. Of course, Gods refuse to allow this to happen.
As Loki enslaved lindworms, race of destructive serpents of Niflheim, into his personal army against Midgard and witches, Nine Olde Witches gained allies from surviving Gods led by Heimdall, Warrior From The North. Alliance between Nine Olde Witches and the Gods successfully vanquished Loki's forces in a devastating battle that ravage the world. As punishment for chaos and destruction he inflicted to world of man, the fallen god was imprisoned and forced to watch as witches fashioned his skin into mystical suits of armors known as Valkyrie Armors to be used against his surviving brethren and followers. His lindworm army on the on the other hand, liberated from his control by Nine Olde Witches and returned to their homeworld. But one of them, the dreaded Great Lindworm, sole lindworm who managed to free itself from Loki's control during the war and ensured Nine Olde Witches' victory over the fallen god, gravely injured by the battle. In order to help the beast regained the peace it lost because of Loki, Woodward, one of Nine Olde Witches, used Claiomh Solais to purify its remains and reincarnated its spirit so it can have a second life in the distant future as a mortal being. But the process exhausted magic within the Great Tree that it reduced into Ley Lines, threatening to bring another decline of magic forces in the world. Fortunately, Nine Olde Witches have a plan to restore Yggdrasil; they secretly passed down and protected the seed of Great Tree itself, Grand Triskellion, which then locked away and hidden in the forest that will be known as Forest of Arcturus. Legends also mentioned that Thapoli, secret magical kingdom formed by followers of Nine Olde Witches, had also created Valkyrie Armors from the Great Lindworm's hide, but out of respect on their legendary serpentine ally, they only created 5 of those armors.
For decades Loki remained imprisoned, and events of Great Winter, war between Gods and Jotnar, and Loki's invasion and eventual imprisonment by combined forces of Nine Olde Witches and surviving Gods shall be remembered by Norsemen as Ragnarok. But Ragnarok is far from over, and from the very day magic restored to the world by Nine New Witches, the battle to determine future of both Midgard and magic has begun...
Three months has passed since Grand Triskellion released and Yggdrasil restored to the world once more, and life at Luna Nova progresses as it always does. However, the same cannot be said for the rest of the world. Magic is once more abundant. Witches, wizards, and other types of magic practitioners are no longer bound by the amount of magic they can use. They no longer have to rely on the use of sorcerer's stones as a source of power for magic. In essence, anyone with the ability to cast spells and use magic can do so anywhere with no restriction. For example, the witches at Luna Nova Academy can fly around Blytonbury instead of walking. It is a new convenience that everyone is grateful for.
About witches who responsible for this grand achievement, it was mentioned that only two of the involved nine were broadcast across the entire world long enough for everyone to remember. However, thanks to the intervention of Witch Community, any paparazzi or large reaction is greatly subdued. By the end of the month after the battle, no one has tried to bother the witches who stopped the missile from damaging a foreign country. It is, after all, the duties of the government that presides over the world of magic. Coordination with the government of the non-magic world was also essential to control everything.
And so, the witches at Luna Nova can continue with their studies without impediment from the outside world. Within the school, the professors try their best to limit any large disturbances. They cannot do much about flittering gossip, but as long as it is not hurting anyone they let it be.
Everything has returned to normal, that is, until one Saturday evening at the school. Akko is improving her flight broom skills ever since she able to float for the first time. The young witch had actually been rather impressed with how good her broom flight ability now, but it apparently lacked certain something. After a while, Akko decided to descent back to the school grounds and called it a day when she sees a thick black smoke rising from the woods on the western side of the school. Curious with what happened, Akko decided to investigate.
Upon getting closer to the source of the smoke, the sight that greet her is a total chaos. Smoking, smoldering craters can be seen everywhere with trees and bushes in the area either reduced into ashes, uprooted, or ripped from the earth by a powerful force, a number of roasted remains of what appeared to be large insectoid creatures littered everywhere, and in the middle of all is a strange deer-like creature. It has emerald body and head with light green thin mane, brown antlers, light green eyes with black sclera, black nose, yellow four-pointed, star-like crest on nose bridge area, armored forelegs and lower rear legs, a pair of hollowed tubes that protruding backwards on the hip area, and three long brown tail where one of them carry what appeared to be a wooden chest. It also wears what appeared to be a brown choker with yellow edge around its neck which has a white clasp with some kind of insignia vaguely resembling a sword inscribed on it and two green diamonds on the clasp's sides; and what appeared to be a brown belt with a strange device that has a spool of silverish ribbon on his left front leg that severely damaged. Ever since she enrolled at Luna Nova, Akko has seen many magical creatures, but none of them resemble this deer. Judging from its injuries and damages around it, it appeared the deer fought those monsters and won, but not before severely injured in process.
Littered corpses of insectoid monsters on the other hand, looked bizarre and repulsive. Like someone had clone a centipede, a dragonfly, and some kind of alien monster from faraway planet together, or so it is Akko thought. Their exoskeleton is black with grayish underside. They have box-shaped reptilian head with mouth full of sharp teeth, two pair of blue eyes, and a pair of sharp protrusions that protrude upwards on their lower jaw. They also have short neck, with thorax that has two pair of triangular insectoid wings and long insectoid arms end with two sharp claws. The upper part of the arms and claws are gray in color whereas the rest is black. In place of the abdomen is segmented body which obviously belonged to a centipede with eight pair of legs.
Suddenly, the deer collapsed, startling Akko that she immediately rushes to its aid.
"Are you okay? You're hurt", Akko asked as she aiding it regaining its feet. She doesn't know why she asked such question to the mysterious creature she just met, nor even she care because she felt pity to it. As soon as her hands touch the deer, Akko realizes its body actually covered by what appeared to be moss instead of thin fur of an animal.
Suddenly, the deer speak to the young witch with deep, weak voice, "No. I am dying. This wound is fatal", startling her that she almost fell out of shock at that instant. The mysterious deer inspects Akko's clothes and face where he immediately recognizes her as one of two witch students who revived Yggdrasil and destroyed Noir Rod-mutated missile. "You're one of girls who stopped the missile, do you? Are you from Luna Nova?"
"Y-yes", Akko nodded. "Come on. I'll bring you to—"
The brunette and the mysterious deer hear a loud roar from the woods. Whatever it was, the strange deer curses in desperation, "There's more of them?! Damn it! At this rate—"
Akko and the injured deer looked up and see Lotte and Sucy hovering with their brooms. Apparently, they also attracted by the same smoke which led them here. Before Akko can explain what happened to her teammates however, they see movements among the trees followed by faint growls. Realizing they don't have much time left, the injured deer hastily jerked Akko's hand off of her without warning before hands the chest on one of his tails to Akko and begged, "There is no time! You three must bring this box to a friend of mine at your school. I believe you know her as Professor Ursula Callistis, but her real name is Chariot du Nord. I'll hold them off and until you give it to her, guard it with your lives!"
"Them what?", Sucy wondered.
"Apollyons", the injured deer said with hatred as surge of green energy emanates from his body. "They after that box. I killed some of them as you can see here, but never expecting there are more of them. Now go!"
"No, we'll stay with you," Akko argued. "Maybe we can help."
"No! You must save yourselves!", the injured deer protested. " Save yourselves and get that box to Ursula! If those things get their hands on it, all will be lost."
"I think he's right, Akko", Lotte suggested uneasily. "I have a bad feeling about this."
Akko turned on Lotte, then Sucy and the injured witch. Sucy normally unfazed by things that greatly terrified her teammates and other girls, but this time, Akko can sense uneasiness in her as much as Lotte. She wanted to help the injured deer, but knows their upmost priority is to get that box to Ursula. So, she cried, "Everyone, let's get out of here!"
"Hop onto my broom", Sucy said. "You won't fast enough as of now."
With that, Akko hopped onto the Manbavaran's broom. The three friends hastily fly back to Luna Nova in that instant. Akko takes the last look on the injured deer who then charges for whatever that come for him. They heard explosions and eerie roars from behind. He must've started his fight with more Apollyons that come for him and the box. Even so, they're too late, as the box now on the hands of three young witches who unsure what to do with it except to bring it to Ursula.
The three friends managed to return to the school. As they walked through empty corridors, Akko explained to Lotte and Sucy circumstances which led to her meeting the strange deer.
"Why he wanted us bring that box to Professor Ursula so badly?", Sucy wondered.
"I don't know. He guarded this box as if his life depends on it", Akko said. "What do you think about it, Lotte?"
"I'm not sure. Perhaps the answer lies inside that box", Lotte said.
Curious with its contains, Akko opens the wooden chest, and sees three identical metallic bracelets sit inside. Each of them has different colors; red, yellow, and green, and has a matching circle with yellow outline and matching four pointed star inside.
"It's just three bracers", Sucy commented.
Akko picks up the red gauntlet. Suddenly, something like electrical shock runs through her without warning, startling the brunette that she dropped both gauntlet and the chest in that instant, spilling the rest of the chest's contents. "What was that?!", she cried.
Confused, Sucy and Lotte recover items their roommate dropped. When Lotte touches the yellow bracer, she feels same sensation and reacted the same way Akko did. Sucy on the other hand, let out her usual creepy grin upon touching the green bracer while saying, "Interesting."
Now wary with the strange deer's mysterious package, Akko abruptly takes the green gauntlet from Sucy's hands and put the rest back into the chest while saying, "W-we should get these to Ursula-sensei right now! Come on!"
Akko and her two best friends about to set out for Ursula's office only to see the professor standing in front of them with her mouth hanging open.
"H-How," gaped Prof. Ursula. "How did you get those gauntlets?"
"Uh", Akko is at complete loss due to the person she looked for unexpectedly appeared before her.
"You three need to come with me", an unreadable expression is etched across the professor's face as she implored the three students to follow her. First the strange deer at the forest, then mysterious gauntlets inside wooden box the deer gave to her which intended for Professor Ursula, and now this. Akko gulped heavily. The world as Akko knows it has changed that very day. Little did she know that unlike the day she recovers Shiny Rod, which now has returned to the stars, her life will take a different turn this time.
Once she and the three students inside her office, Professor Ursula locked the door and making sure all windows are shut tight. She can't risk the information about mystical gauntlets meant to delivered to her getting out, for her enemies have become much slyer. Akko and her friends on the other hand, are on the edge. Neither of them knows what kind of situation the strange deer put them through. Professor Ursula sat down in the chair across from her, and she put a serious look on her face.
"How did you get those gauntlets?" she raised an eyebrow.
"The deer", Akko replied. "We met a strange green deer at the woods on the west of the school. He was injured, and something in the woods after him. I tried to help him, but he insisted me to bring those gauntlets to you."
"Strange green deer?", Prof. Ursula blinked. "How did he look like?"
"I'm not sure he was really a deer, but he looked just like one", Akko explained. "He has green eyes, brown antlers, and three long brown tails, I think. And he got some kind of brown choker with yellow edge and a clasp on his neck!"
"Brown choker with yellow edge and a clasp on his neck?", Prof. Ursula repeated.
"What those kids said was true, Ursula Callistis."
Everyone in that room turned around and sees a strange cat-sized creature sitting on top of the bookshelf in the office. He basically resembles a squirrel with green body, brown underbelly, two dark green stripes across the swiping tail, black nose, and lower rear legs, shoulders, and arms covered by armor plates. But the most peculiar traits are four-pointed yellow star-like crest similar to the strange deer's on his face and a pair of hollowed protrusions on his upper back. He also wears exact same choker around his neck with the deer's and a similar brown belt with a device that has a spool of silverish ribbon albeit his worn around the hip area.
The squirrel jumped to the floor, and Akko notices that even the fairly normal-looking parts of him aren't all that normal. Instead of paws, he has pointy short fingers that looked belonged to human that lacked visible claws or nails, and green eyes with black sclerae. His mouth also noticeably jagged reminiscent of fangs in spite of him obviously had true set of teeth beneath. Like the deer she met this afternoon, his body is predominantly covered by moss instead of actual fur. Akko's impression of the squirrel is cute, though she dares not to say it because the stern look of his eyes.
"It's been a while, Professor Ursula", the squirrel greets with deep, male voice, much to the surprise of Akko and her friends. "Or should I call you Professor Chariot."
"Asger? Long time no see", Ursula greets back before introduces her students, "Asger, they are my students. Akko, Lotte, and Sucy."
"M-my name is Atsuko Kagari. Just call me Akko", Akko said.
"Sucy Manbavaran", Sucy said.
"Um… Lotte Jansson", Lotte said also.
Asger nods, before turned on Akko and her companions. He inspects the trio meticulously, particularly the brunette before comments, "I see. No wonder why he entrusted you kids to carry those gauntlets for his behalf. Especially you, Akko. It's the honor to meet the witch who saved a country from a mutated missile and restore magic to this world."
"He who?", Akko wondered.
"German, the deer you three met at the forest near this campus. A friend of mine from Thapoli and good fighter", Asger said. "When I heard Naglfar after the chest he carried for Professor Chariot, I immediately set out to aid him before they could get their hands on it. I thought I was too late when I found him injured with the chest missing and surrounded by those bugs, only for him told me he passed it to you."
"Does that deer okay? I mean... German?", Akko asked anxiously.
The squirrel's expression become uneasy as he replied, "He didn't make it."
The three young girls in the room become devastated by German's death, particularly Akko. Part of her blamed herself because she left the deer fighting alone so she and her friends can safely deliver the chest to Ursula. "But the bright side is, the chest now in the right hands", the squirrel continues. "The thing that matter now is to find those who can help stopping Naglfar from destroying the world."
"Who's Naglfar?", Sucy questioned Asger.
Asger sighed. "Naglfar is an order of wizards and witches who named their group after mythological ship made of nails of the dead of Helheim. Magic folks who worshipped Jotnar, supernatural entities who enemies with both Norse Gods and Nine Olde Witches. They believe Jotnar should have their rightful place to rule this world. They will stop at nothing, not even the death of their own members. Descendants of Nine Olde Witches' closest followers, Thapolians, supposedly have wiped every last of them in the past. But apparently, a few of them survived and went to hiding, biding their time to regain their lost strengths. They made their presence known to magic community not long after Yggdrasil restored."
"That chest", Asger said as he walked towards Akko. "Contains something that can help us fight the Naglfar. Valkyrie Armors."
"Valkyrie... Armors?" Lotte wondered.
"But they don't look like an armor", Akko argued. "I mean, they looked like plain gauntlets."
"Gauntlets? Maybe", the squirrel nodded before he stands on his rear feet and gestured Akko to give the chest to him.
Akko gives Asger the chest, and the squirrel opens it so he can reveal its contents to everyone present. "I see you girls have figured out what's inside of this chest, but you only see the half of the picture", he said. "Valkyrie Armor is magical suit of armor designed to enhance strength, defense, mobility, and magic of any witch who wear it. The armor also designed to take gauntlet form when not active, making it easier to conceal and transport. As a precaution to prevent them from being abused, Valkyrie Armors are given permanent enchantments upon their creation so only those who worthy can wield its power. Not to mention the armor also enable a witch who don it to overpower and even defeat a dragon by her own and can be used in places where magic not present."
"Whoa, that's awesome!", Akko commented.
"However, the armor can be dangerous to the user, as its powers can overwhelm her", Asger continued as he slams the chest shut. "One must never wear the armor's active form for more than two minutes. Never! If the armor stays in its active form longer than that, its magic will burn you to death."
"Two minutes?", Akko repeated.
"Yes, which is why that armor only used to face the direst of challenges", Asger nodded. "Regardless whether you intrigued by these armors' powers, it doesn't deny the fact that they also dangerous in wrong hands. So, it would be best if these armors kept hidden until I and Chariot find those who worthy for its powers. Chariot?"
The bespectacled professor nods as she takes the chest from the squirrel's hands and walked towards the empty wall in the office. With a wave of her wand, the wall parted to reveal a small hiding place. She put the chest into it and magically closed the secret compartment. She then turned on three students and implores, "Now, it's best if you three not mention this to anyone. If the news about these powerful items come out to the whole school, things would be complicated. Understand?"
Akko and her teammates nod with agreement. Suddenly, a banging noise came from the wall where Ursula hid the chest, startling everyone. Not just once, more banging noise can be heard from the secret compartment, persistent and getting louder. Ultimately, the chest bursts out of the secret compartment as if it propelled by tremendous force, and comically hits Akko on the face. The chest then landed to the floor before opens, and Valkyrie Gauntlets inside it fly to the girls' hands; Akko got the red gauntlet while Lotte and Sucy got yellow and green ones respectively. The whole events rendered Ursula and Asger speechless and incredulous.
"What in the world?!", Ursula cried out indignantly.
"Did you three touch those gauntlets?", Asger demanded.
"J-just for a second!", Akko said defensively. "We were curious why that box is so important. When I touched the red gauntlet, I felt tingling sensation on my hands."
"You do?", Lotte wondered. "I feel the same thing when I touch the yellow one."
"Same", Sucy added, waving the green gauntlet a bit.
"Tingling sensation? Great! The fate of humanity and Nine Realms now placed in the hands of young witches who not know what they up against!", the squirrel said sarcastically. " Chariot, I hate to say this, but it looks like new Valkyries we looking for are right in front of us."
Asger and Ursula turned on the now-confused three students. "V-valkyrie?", Lotte stared in confusion.
The former stage-magician removed her hat. "Valkyries are witches who trained in both martial and magical arts. In the past, witches stood alone against various evil beings who threatened their kind and humanity, but magic and arcane knowledge alone is not enough to deal more challenging adversaries. More than often, they had disadvantages should they deprived of their wands and magical equipment. To solve this problem, Thapoli, kingdom founded by closest followers of Nine Olde Witches and Beatrix Cavendish began experimenting with developing new elite warriors to face challenges that too much for normal witches to handle. The end result was Valkyries, and they proved effective during the war against Naglfar."
"Magic community had hoped to stop them like we did during the war", Asger continued. "We correctly predicted that they will return once Yggdrasil restored and were ready when they make their first move. But Naglfars surprised us- they attacked Thapoli with some kind of war machine that combines magic and steam technology. We managed to drove them away, but at the cost of our best warriors, including previous bearers of Valkyrie Armors that chose you now. They also have stolen something from the kingdom during the siege as well. I don't know what they stole nor what they planned with it, but it's clear that they must be stopped."
"Which is why German was sent to deliver those gauntlets to this school?", Lotte guessed.
"Where are Naglfars now?", Akko asked.
"Yes, and they already here, somewhere in England", Asger replied. "Given that they knew those gauntlets are in this school, they will likely attack this place as well."
"If Naglfar get their hands on Valkyrie Gauntlets you have now, it will be catastrophic", added the bespectacled French witch. "This is far worse than missile possessed by Croix's machines. I know this is more than what you signed for, but for now, we need to prepare."
"Prepare for what?", Akko asked.
"I and Asger will teach you how not to get killed, just in case", Prof. Ursula looked at the three students.