It was several hours later when Ephus pulled up short. He wasn't sure where it was, though he could barely see the water and the long beach of the coastline in the dark.
Ephus racked his brain. The only thing he could come up with was the Normandy invasion. Damit, he thought, one of the bloodiest battles of WWII, me stuck near the beginning of it. Especially with that blood thirsty asshole Ares nearby.
Into what little forest there was, Ephus took cover. So far, the techniques Epaphus had taught him were working, though with a stronger Ares would that last?
Godling, came Remira's thoughts. I did not think that the conflict we're witnessing would have drawn us so strong. I could attempt to move us again though I used half of what I had last time. I am not sure if we will go very far, though your energy is rapidly replenishing me.
No, returned Ephus's thoughts. We need to get you completely powered up. That way we have no more unexpected stops. Again, Ephus felt a wave of thankfulness wash over him from Remira.
Had there been more like you throughout time, perhaps more of my kind would still exist. Alas, you are only the fourth that we have ever encountered, one you met.
Ephus was shocked, he had thought there were far more that thought like him out there. So, how much more time will you need? Ephus asked.
The problem is not how much I need, as to how much you have. The impending battle will start soon. This we are afraid will cause us to move far sooner than the time you have set forward.
Damnit, Ephus swore under his breath, so you have nowhere near enough to get us back all the way.
Not at the moment, when this starts in a few hours of your time, we will be close. Though, as we said, we do not think that we will have enough to go all the way back.
Ephus nodded his head, about his luck as always, he thought, as he tried to increase the energy flowing into Remira. Ephus felt a slight amount of shock from Remira. Godling, you cannot expend this much energy, we are afraid that you will need it when we return.
Ephus tried as much as he could to get an answer from Remira, though the stone stayed quiet. A look at the area before him saw that the German army was preparing for something.
Ephus shook his head as he lowered his energy, was a good idea with that creep, Ares nearby. A turn of his head, Ephus was staring a spot a distance away. Damn, he thought, if that doesn't feel like a god, though who?
Still staring, he was surprised when a familiar godly power manifested before him. The male that appeared didn't appear familiar, though Ephus seemed to know.
Ephus started to move forward when the figure looked straight at him and shook his head no. What the hell was Ephus thinking? Then what seemed like forty or fifty German troops appeared. They took a smiling male into custody, a shocked Ephus heard. This should buy you time. Don't worry, I am far stronger than I was the last time we met.
It appears that we have help that we did not see in the timeline. Soon, Godling, we should return to your time. Came Remira's thoughts.
Ephus watched for the next two hours. The army before him were on high alert. It had to be about 6 - 6:30 a.m. when Ephus saw thousands of landing craft as they crept to the shore.
About to move, Ephus felt energy start to climb from inside his pocket. Then, like before, it was like a door opened in front of him, then he was pushed or pulled through it.
Ephus tried to stop himself as he stumbled forward, toward a familiar building. There, Godling, we have returned to your home. I believe that we should go to the Asgard realm before we are discovered here.
Ephus was confused a moment, then nodded as he vanished. A few faces were suddenly looking out the windows and the door.
A worried Quinn stepped out, looking around. "I swear Bast, I felt him appear."
Behind her stepped out Bast, Serket, Sekhmet, Thoth, Freya and the Valkyrie Göndul. "Yes," Bast started, "I thought he was here a moment also." Turning she looked at Freya. "Knowing our husband, he is focused on this mission of his. He is probably in the Asgard realm, if he has returned."
The whole time all of them were staring at a, starting to glow Quinn. "Sister wife," said Serket. "I am worried about him also; we have to remain calm. As before in the Greek god realm, husband seems to know what he is doing. We all thought he was gone when he reappeared. I...I trust him."
Bast and the others smiled, this was the strongest Serket had been since they knew her. Quinn turned to look at Serket, then smiled. "I trust him also, sister, though, as we all know at times, he seems to be all over the place."
Serket also smiled as she watched the glow fade from Quinn. All of the others seemed to breathe a sigh of relief.
Ephus appeared within the confines of Freya's domicile. A shocked Odin and Frigg could only stare at Ephus with the huge weapon Gungnir beside him. "I am hoping that with this you are able to regain control of your realm."
Ephus slowly walked to Odin, then turned toward Gungnir and nodded. Ephus touched Odin a moment after he grasped Gungnir.
Even as Odin's eyes started to glow, there was a scream in the air. "You may have that weapon back; you will never regain the nexus or the throne. We are far too strong to defeat, even with the godling." Came the voice of Loki.
Ephus smiled as he was looking at the visage of Loki. "You have obviously forgotten who you are dealing with." Drawing back his fist, Ephus slammed it into Loki's stomach. This again drove Loki back into the wall of the room, then through it.
With a spit, Loki appeared, heightening his power. "No godling, I have not forgotten. I am surprised with one as powerful as you seem, that you have to hide. Come, face me."
Ephus started to laugh, "You must think me the most stupid. With all the allies there, you expect me to make myself a target for all of you? No, I might take most of you, but not all of you. I think I will continue to whittle your allies down."
"So, you are nothing but a coward, not even worthy..." Loki stated, then was cut off by Ephus.
"A coward? No, I think that is true of you, hiding behind those there. I seem to remember meeting you alone outside of Athens, where I beat you soundly. If I was to meet you now, I am afraid I might end you easily. As proof, you on the floor grasping your sore stomach. We will meet soon, on my terms." Ephus said, as he slapped Loki, knocking him back to the floor.
Odin and Frigg looked at Ephus in shock. "Godling, do you think it wise to antagonize Loki? At the moment, he holds the Nexus."
Ephus smiled as he turned to face Odin, "Actually yes, an angered enemy is a careless enemy."
A moment later the entire building shook. "The Giants and Dark elves have replaced the Valkyries. I believe that Loki thinks that their strength and magic can break through."
Ephus looked at the wall, seeing who Odin was speaking of. "You think I can send them somewhere and keep them there? That should weaken Loki some."
Odin's eyes went large, "If you can keep them there, it will weaken Loki's support. Can you get all of them? Including those in the throne room and the palace?"
Ephus concentrated, then his brows furrowed. "All but the biggest Giant and a powerful Dark Elf."
Odin nodded, "that would be the leaders."
Ephus nodded, then concentrated on the realms that Odin had showed him.
A few moments later, they could hear Loki scream, almost all the Giants and dark Elves vanished.
"What has happened? Both of you bring them back", Loki said as he tapped his foot. When both of the leaders looked confused, then even more, as they concentrated more.
"I cannot bring them back," the giant leader said. "They are blocks keeping me from reaching them."
"It is the same for me," The Dark elf said.
"WHAT!? You both are the masters of your realms. This should be simple for you. Move!" Loki said as he shoved both the leaders aside. It was Loki's turn to concentrate harder and harder. Even the portals Loki tried to open refused to respond.
"You might as well give up; you have lost all contact to them. I suggest.." Ephus started.
"I suggest you shut up. When I defeat you, I will enjoy slowly breaking your body and spirit 'til you beg me to destroy you." Loki was nearly screaming.
Ephus sighed, "just as conceited as another god. Ares was as much a joke as you are."
Ephus grinned as he broke contact as he heard Loki start to scream again.
Ephus turned to Odin and Frigg, "we are going to need more allies. Do either of you know where Thor is?"
They looked at each other, "I had heard the Dark elves say that Thor was banished to the realm of the Light elves, Alfheim. We aren't sure how that realm and Vanahelm were sealed. No one can reach them." Frigg said.
Ephus's eyes went wide in surprise, " Let me look a moment. Ephus had been nodding as he looked over what was blocking them. "Hmmm, I might be able to, what is there doesn't seem like much, though I have found lately looks are deceiving."
A moment later, Ephus appeared before what appeared to be a thick cloud. Looking closer, Ephus nodded as he passed a hand past a section of the cloud. He was surprised when a section almost a mile across vanished. A push of his hand caused the opening to stay.
A smile came to his face as he slowly moved through. That was 'til more than a dozen long-eared people appeared.
"I take it you are the light elves?" Ephus said as all of them stopped in front of him.
"We know this, you will not proceed further. We know not how you removed our barrier; you will not pass further." The obvious leader of the light elves said.
"I was only seeking Thor, Odin and Frigg. They are both free, though we need his and your help," Ephus said.
"You lie! We would know if..." A confused look came to the leader's face. He turned to the one beside him, "summon Thor. What this creature said is true."
Many around the leader had doubtful looks on their faces, though, none more than the one the leader had spoken to.
"Leader, we are sworn to protect Thor 'til.." The one started to say, then quieted as the others hissed.
The leader sighed, "just summon Thor, he more than I, can see if this is true."
The messenger nodded with wide eyes as he vanished. "So, I guess we wait 'til he appears?" Ephus said, then was shocked as a muscular, blonde, male appeared with the messenger.
The blonde male looked Ephus over a moment, then shook his head. "I know not why you are worried, this one," here the male indicated Ephus, "Has no power."
A small smile came to Ephus' lips, as he started to power up.
The blonde's eyes opened wide a moment, then he nodded. "So, you can mask your power quite well. I am afraid that won't help you." With that, the blonde drew a large hammer and a sword.
"Ah, you must be Thor, I..." Ephus started and moved back as the blonde swung the hammer extremely fast.
"Come, whatever you are, if you can defeat me, then we can talk," Thor said.
"What if I take you to a draw?" Ephus asked.
"By the look of you, even with the power you have? There will be no draw, so before I destroy you, what is the real reason you are here?" Thor said with a dismissing look.
Ephus sighed. Why was it that they all wanted to do this the hard way?
"As I told these beings, I am here to seek yours and their aid. Even with his weapon, plus the giants and dark elves banished, Loki still has powerful help. Odin and I require you," Ephus said, though. I doubted Thor had even listened from the look of disdain on his face.
"So, it appears I will have to beat the truth out of you," Thor said as he moved closer.
Thor's hammer struck with unbelievable speed, Thor's face was in shock, Ephus had blocked his opening move. "It appears that you are trained, well somewhat, come prove you are worthy."
As he had before, Ephus started with the Egyptian style. Thor was shaking his head as he came close to landing several blows. Ephus nodded as he smoothly switched to the Greek style he'd learned. This caused Thor to smile.
"Not bad though, it still won't help you. Enough of this play," Thor said as he started to press his advantage.
Shit Ephus was thinking. This was play to him? These gods really were sword play happy. Switching to the Asgard style, Thor's eyes opened wide in surprise.
"When I have defeated you, you will tell me who taught you our fighting style." Thor growled out; his advantage almost completely gone.
Ephus wasn't trying that hard at first, then remembered that Freya had warned him about Thor. Nodding to himself, Ephus started to drive forward as hard as he could. To his surprise, Thor actually had to back a few steps.
In the unusual position of having to back up, Thor roared as he once again tried to gain an advantage.
Both combatants backed away from each other when there was a surge of power near them. Thor's face was in shock as Freya and the Valkyrie Göndul appeared.
"Always so quick to battle Thor," Freya said with her hands on her hips.
"Freya!" Thor shouted as he rushed to her, then stopped short when Freya drew her sword. "What is the meaning of this Freya!?" Thor asked.
"I have seen you with the battle lust before, this is about the only way I can stop it." Freya said with a serious look on her face.
Thor looked at Freya with a start, by all the realm, she was deadly serious. Thinking for a moment, Thor hadn't thought that he and the other were going at it that hard.
Almost as if reading his thoughts, Freya said, " Yes, the both of you were going that hard. Göndul and I could hear the blows before we got here. They were that loud and powerful."
Thor looked at Ephus, then his sword and hammer, "truly you are more than worthy. What is your name, Warrior?"
Freya smirked and shook her head, "I'd like to introduce the godling Ephus."
Thor once again held a look of shock on his face. "The same Ephus who freed the realms of the Greek and Egyptian gods?" When Ephus nodded his head Thor rushed forward, wrapping Ephus in a bear hug. "Your deeds are known here, warrior, though I have to ask. How did you learn our fighting style?"
Thor looked from Ephus to Freya and Göndul. He then nodded his head.
"She was a good teacher, though I was afraid I would hurt her as we progressed," Ephus said.
Freya nodded her head also, "I had thought you were holding back at the end. You learned far faster than I thought you had."
"I have a plan, though I am afraid that we are going to need more help. Loki lost two of his allies, though, he still has the frost and fire giants. Plus, I don't think that they are going to fall for what I did again," Ephus said.
A few moments later, the light elves nodded to Ephus and Thor, their barrier reforming. The four then vanished appearing in Freya's domicile, startling Odin and Frigg.
Thor rushed to embrace both of them, a look of disbelief on his face. "I thought all was lost when I heard that both of you had been captured. What of Loki? Does he still hold the Nexus?"
"I am afraid that is true, though what he holds is all. With the return of Gungnir, he no longer has the ability to access anymore of the Nexus. The bad thing is that him being in control of any of it is bad," Odin said.
"Even with the five of us and Ephus, plus the five Valkyries, Loki still holds a great advantage." Thor said, shaking his head.
"I'm afraid it might be more serious than that," Ephus said as they all turned to him with concern on their faces.
"What else is there besides Loki and his allies," Odin asked.
"When I arrived here, I felt the presence of powerful beings. Beings that I thought had been taken care of. Have you ever heard of the Titans?" Ephus asked.
"They were the rulers of the Greek realm before their gods. Though, I have also heard that they were defeated by the leader of the Greek gods," Odin said.
Ephus nodded, "they were, though they were banished to a place that they cannot escape, by normal means."
" Are the stories about them true? Here, I thought they were just stories, the Greek gods made it up to scare others away," Frigg said.
"Oh, they are real. I also am afraid that I might have woken them up when I passed near their prison. It seems that my unique power is about the only thing that can free them. A situation I am not in agreement with," Ephus said.
"I have to admit that your power is most unusual feeling. Can..." Frigg started to ask.
"Oh yes," Ephus grinned. "I have felt several of them, though each different, their basic power is the same. It seems that they cannot mask it as well as they thought they could."
Odin and the Goddesses chuckled 'til there was a rumbling noise outside. "So, you knew we were here the whole time," came the voice of Cronus.
A small smile came to Ephus' lips, "no, not 'til you revealed yourselves. What? You didn't think I would notice after you and the others tried to take me? Please, as powerful as you are, you can't even hide from me."
Another voice blurted out, "you will pay for what you did to Iapetus. Not even you godling are allowed to hurt us."
Hurt? Ephus thought here he thought they had no form or feelings anymore. This was interesting, something to keep or later.
"Iapetus! What have I told you? Now quiet. Now then, back to business, I assure you, young godling, you will help release us. You have a great deal to lose, don't you?" Cronus asked.
Ephus smiled then started to laugh. "You can try Cronus; they are watched over by more than twenty gods and goddesses. Also, just so you know? They are all fully powered so, good luck there."
Ephus continued to laugh as he heard Cronus start to yell. Ephus was surprised when he waved his hand and the contact was broken.
"Hmmm, I may have to contact my father-in-law, I had thought he had restricted them more." Ephus said as he went into deep thought.
"You mean the leader of the Greek gods?" Frigg asked.
Ephus only nodded his head as his thoughts travelled back and forth. A few minutes later, he shook his head, he was going to need more information. That was for sure.
"I will return soon, here," Ephus waved his hand as Freya's domicile doubled in size. I hope that will ensure that all of you are more comfortable. AH! Also," Here Ephus reached out to touch Thor's shoulder.
At first nothing happened, then Thor's eyes grew wide as he started to glow. The others could see Thor's eyes also start to glow.
"By my hammer! I haven't felt this much power in a very long time," Thor said in complete surprise.
Ephus released Thor, watching as the glow started to slowly fade. Nodding, Ephus blinked out.
Ephus appeared a few moments later outside the huge building that was home to the Greek god leader. Extending his hands, he sighed when he felt no one there within.
With a shake of his head Ephus thought great, there was no telling where in the world or realm they were. As usual, Ephus sighed. Nothing was going his way.