I have come to gnaw at your roots, Eagle, I thought as the ocean welcomed me, its refreshing density pleasant on my dry skin. I still have a long way to travel. I have been on land for a thousand years to replenish my strength after I have slain the other serpents who sought what I desire most. They had been strongest as one body, but I had the wit. After the battle, I became the sole survivor, but it left me very weak and vulnerable for sequential onslaught. I took to hiding. Now it is time to return for the final battle. You’re not strong enough, Nidhogg. Our defenses has doubled since you died, Eagle replied. Yet, here I am. Scared, Eagle? I thought menacingly, wondering whether Eagle was bluffing or not. He did that once before. The ocean seemed darker than I can remember, but a lot can happen in a thousand years. The ocean floor was jagged and fresh, dark and sinister. I ignored those trenches underneath where eternity seemed to fold into another. I passed coral reefs, vast empty spaces and caves. I passed vessels of unknown yet familiar origins, sunken ships I identified from before the great battle, and shallower trenches where golden substances glinted off weakened sunlight. You betrayed me, Eagle, I thought as I recaptured the moment Eagle sent the others on my trail. The battle had been in an ocean such as this one, only emptier, devoid of other life and natural features that seem to grow over time although no one sees. Eagle had been my only friend then, and he betrayed me. I betrayed you not, Dear One, for it is you who brought that down on yourself, Eagle replied earnestly. Was it not you who sought to destroy the tree? Was it not I who tried to protect it from your greedy teeth? I flinched and almost collided with a merry blue whale gliding its way through the ocean with a sullen downward cast of its big mouth. Its small eye regarded me with idiotic confusion, and I snarled. I need to destroy the tree, Eagle. Can you not see the danger its providing? I screamed. Can you not see that all hopes and dreams are based upon its roots? I passed a second whale, and I took a nip at it, though it probably felt nothing. A thousand years has done nothing for my anger. I still felt it burning inside of me like the red-hot center of earth where some of Yggdrasill’s roots ended. Is that a bad thing, Nidhogg? Yggdrasill has sustained life for millions of years, why does it suddenly have to be destroyed? Eagle said in a matter of fact way, the loyal subject that he was. I loathed him for being so blind, then again, he haven’t seen what I have seen. Suddenly all memory flooded back in an instant. The vision, the new ships underneath us, the great heartache, everything flooded back with force equivalent to that of a tidal waves, and this time I collided with something ovoid shaped, spewing bubbles from its backside with skin as hard as I’ve never experienced. Almost like metal. It frightened me, this thing slugging in the water, as if planning, waiting. I knew I could break it in half, easily, but I knew that where there’s one, many others might be in waiting. You hesitated, Nidhogg. You ready to give up yet? Eagle asked. I noted some sarcasm, but decided to ignore it. You don’t understand, Eagle, you are all in danger of what is to come. You have known me all my life, yet you doubt me and I don’t understand why. I have seen it, the danger. You know the change the world has undergone, I even saw it buried under tons of water. The people don’t coincide with our beliefs anymore. They have grown beyond that. Big metal ships are coming this way, I have bumped into one shaped like a teardrop. Isn’t that ironic? It shoots fire. You know nothing can destroy Yggdrasill but the immortal from which it draws its life. Not even Hel can save you. I am the only one. That is why I went down to its roots all those years ago. If I don’t destroy the tree, the people will only prolong years of agony for everyone residing on Yggdrasill. Think of the creatures. Think of the nine worlds we might save by destroying the tree? I felt a sudden sting within my head after I explained everything to Eagle. The anger inside me vanished and made way for sadness. What if Eagle stays blind and decides to render me insane? After all, can I blame him? What if this is true, Nidhogg, what would the implications be? What will happen to the nine worlds? You must understand, your vision makes this very hard to believe in an instant, Eagle finally answered, and the weight that added to the pressure of the ocean lifted clean off me. Although Eagle did not give the go ahead, he could tell that his old friend saw this logically. You did not realize this, Eagle, but I give the tree its life. It sprung from me when I was wounded by the gods, as punishment for disregarding them. And yes, that makes me older than you, even though it seems that complicated. I suggest you evacuate the tree while I tend to its destruction. The nine worlds will be disconnected from the tree, but only as long as another tree springs up in its place. I will grow another one, but do not know how long that will take. It could be years. And I’ve seen its new location, too, although you will have to secure its property as to ensure no human trespass. If the nine worlds were to be destroyed, so will earth. You understand our grave situation, don’t you? The people will stop at nothing. The new Yggdrasill will be situated in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean. The people will call it Triángulo de las Bermudas. I don’t know why, but they do. You have to believe me, Eagle. Do as I say or all will be lost. I’m almost there. I could smell the roots. I could smell it yearning to be saved. I could feel Eagle lift his hate towards me and cast it aside, too strong a word but nonetheless, and I felt free to wrap my body around every root that dug through the chunk of land that gave it its stand, every root that cut through the expanse of ocean, into the next earthly crust. Let it rip, Master, Eagle thought, and wished me good luck. I pulled.