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“Anger, eh? I try to keep mine in check. Tends to hurt a lot when I don't. Comes in handy now and again, I guess. Maybe I should see what I can do with it.”
Alex actually did rather enjoy this conversation. In different circumstances, he'd probably have just sat on top of the rock and chatted with her about all this. But that'd be avoiding the goal he had actually come here for, and that idle thought only made him push all the harder once more. Of course, it still did nothing, and he knew that, but that nothing wouldn't keep him from trying his best to move it anyway.
“Can't say I know a ton about mythology. I've read a little bit here and there on my phone when I'm on boats or something, but I never exactly settled down to just read it or anything. So yeah, lay it on me, I'm down to listen.”
"Using your anger and keeping it in check are not mutually exclusive. A man might use a gun, while keeping it in check so it does not spew bullets everywhere. Do not feel any one emotion is one-note. Everything has it's benefits and it's flaws" Ulv told him. She, mostly because of her Endless Fury power, had interesting views on emotions. And then she grinned when he accepted her offer to give him some storytelling. Sometimes it was nice to just sit around and talk to someone casually. No pressing matters, no real direction. Just, a talk.
"Ok, so Thor, butch He-Man God Of Thunder, was traveling to Jotunheim, the land of the Giants. For, reasons unknown. These kind of tales never really say why. Their travels led them to a castle, which they easily entered through the massive gaps in the portculis. The giant there, mocked Thor for his diminutive size, because they were Giants and the Gods of Asgard were about normal height. Looking to retain his dignity, Thor boasted of his great ability, and the Lord of the castle decided to test him with three trials. These trials would pit Thor against the Giant, but much like your rock, there was more to them, that met the eye" Ulv had a twinkle in her eye, as she bit her lip for a second and mentally prepared the next part...
“It's rough to do that, but I get the feeling that's not something you need me to tell you. I get what you mean, though. Don't gotta just fly off the handle when you get mad about something. Stuff like that.”
That point brought his mind back to the interaction that had brought him here in the first place. He started to ruminate on it for a moment or two, but shook his head as he decided that wasn't a good idea at the moment. For now, he had other stuff to focus on. Namely, pushing this rock, and listening to Ulv's storytime. Both, admittedly, took a lot to keep track of, but the rock took his priority. That wasn't to say he wasn't listening, though.
“Hey, maybe he just wanted to head on over. He ever been before? Coulda just been a new place to be, I can respect that. And telling those giants to fuck off with that? That's some shit I can get behind. Fuck those guys. Can't just go 'ha I'm the big guy, eat my dick,' that's shitty.”
He was, admittedly, very invested in this story already.
Taking a second to nod softly, she did like where he was going with his thought. "Indeed. Anger has a way of simplifying a complex existence, and so true mastery of self comes when you can admire the complexity of existence while raging in fury. Something I needed to learn otherwise I'd be a danger to everyone around me the moment I started a fight" . The ability to continue was made hard because she broke into a huge grin and giggled softly. He certainly had an interesting way to interpret a story from what little he had been given.
"Some backstory. The gods of Asgard and the Giants were mortal enemies. A lot of stories about one screwing over the other. Like Thrym and Thor, which I shall tell in a bit. Anyway, the first trail, which ends pretty amusingly, was an eating contest. Thor and the Giant were set at opposite parts of the table, and had to eat everything up to the centre. Thor, ate ravenously, consuming all the food on every plate. But, the Giant outdid him by eating not only the food on the plates, but the plates and even the very table itself. So naturally, he won"
“To be fair, I try not to really think about life being too complex even when I'm in a good mood. I like to go one step at a time.”
Alex thought about his own anger problems for a little. He hadn't really had a breakdown or anything in a good while. That was nice, he had to admit. Tended to suck pretty fucking badly, so if he could avoid it, he definitely would. Ah, geez, speaking of that his bones were staring to heat up a little too much again. Deep breaths, a brief little moment of rest, and more steam slowly venting out. The worst part was when it came out of his eyes, Christ. And then right back to pushing.
“But wait, hold the fuck on, I thought it was about eating everything on the table. I guess I get the plates, that's whatever, but eating the table doesn't seem like it should've really helped there. Like, the table's not on the table is it? I wouldn't think so. But whatever. Seems kinda shady, I'd probably get pissed if he pulled that on me.”
True. To think of how complex life was was quite the brain buster even before everything else was factored in. So instead Ulv just focused on him. He was still passionate and heated to push the rock, but that and the conversation were were his focus was. At this point, he would probably only notice he moved the rock if he fell flat on his face because it was no longer there to push again. Maybe he had stronger mental faculties, but he had been pushing it for a while. Most people would get single-minded at this point in the task.
"True. Eating the table was quite a bit of overkill. But it makes sense in the end when you get to the big reveal. Second, was a foot-race. And in this race, Thor was soundly beaten by another giant....I realize names are important. I forgot that part until just now. The giant who he competed in the eating contest, was called Logi, which means Fire. And now, he raced against a giant called Hugi, which means thought. In the first race, Hugi won so far that he doubled back to meet Thor on the track. But, infuriated by such a deep defeat, Thor pushed thrice as hard in the second round, and came only a dozen steps behind Hugi. Though, it was still a loss for him"
It wasn't so much that Alex had strong mental faculties. In fact, his were pretty weak overall. But hey, that wasn't gonna stop him. He could talk and push a rock at the same time, and it wasn't so much that he let one overcome the other as the two were very much the same task to him. If he were just pushing it with no other interaction, he didn't think he could pull it off. Not to say he'd give up, but...he'd probably lose heart faster.
“These giants sound like real fuckin dicks. Like I guess that second giant's not as bad, lapping him's still sort of a shitty deal but whatever. Sometimes a guy's just faster, I guess. Not the end of the world. Seems like a lot of these end up being kind of a raw fuckin deal for Thor though, like all of these are things the giants kinda got a leg up on him in.”
"Mmm, the giants aren't being a friendly bunch, I can certainly admit that. But hey, Thor wasn't exactly the nicest either. His general recourse for a Giant was to take his hammer and cave their skulls in. Only reason he was not doing that here was because his pride was on the line for winning in a fair manner. Of which braining your opponents is not" Ulv explained. These giants really were crazy unbeatable, but Ulv grinned at how relevant the story was to the current situation that Alex was in with his lovely little rock. And then, Ulv was about to speak but instead caught something on the wind.
"Ohh. Mirandi has just finished baking her pies~ I love her pies. She hand-grinds her spices and cooks the whole pie from scratch. Do you want one? They got, Meat and Potato, Steak, Steak and Ale, Lamb and Mint, Vegetarian, Chicken and Mushroom, and I think she is still doing her turkey pie. Nobody has the heart to tell her the festive season is over and nobody does turkey anymore. Although...nobody really communicated with each other at Christmas and she ended up getting like twenty turkeys from many different hunters"
Ulv giggled softly, remembering the friendly and happy look on her face when yet another man came in with a turkey. It, was really nice, to be around humans.
“I dunno. Sounds like maybe just fuckin bashing their skull was the right way to go about it, ya know? But maybe that's just me. I'm not Thor, I dunno what goes on in that guy's head. Fairness seems like it's already off the table for all this.”
Alex was fairly interested in this story, and he had sort of been using it as a way to keep a little distraction from the fact that he was, otherwise, in a fair bit of pain. Pretty unfortunate then that she was now shifting the topic of conversation, and to food no less. He hadn't really eaten in a while, had he? Ah fuck. No, no, that was gonna get in the way of all this rock-pushing. Couldn't be thinking about that...
“I, uh... Maybe when I'm finished with this. Think eating might be kinda distracting. Don't really wanna get sidetracked, you feel me? Unless that's fine, I guess, but I feel like it'd probably be better if I, you know, didn't do that.”
It was fairly apparent that Alex did, in fact, want a pie. But he sure as shit was trying his best not to let that show. In his head it just made sense that he didn't eat 'til he was done here. That might have been a long time, but that wasn't gonna stop him.
"Honor and dignity and all that stuff can get confusing. If you just kill him then you are basically saying that he is right. But if you beat him in a contest then you are proving him wrong. The fact that they are cheating is not withstanding" Ulv tried to explain. She didn't understand it very much herself, but that was Ulv. She had her own principles that most would find confusing, as so many people in this world did. And then, Alex made his words. Certainly wanted a pie to eat, but didn't want to say he wanted a pie? Didn't want to...stop for a pie? Ehh, Ulv'd fix that.
"Gotta have a life outside the rock. Self-betterment is all well and good, but if you have no room for pies, then you live a lonely life. Standing at the peak though you may, you've never had a pie, and never made a friend through having pies. So it's not really worth it in the end" she told him, revealing her wisdom through pies. "I'll get one of everything. We are a hungry girl after all. Keep pushing or catch your breath, you've got a few minutes of leisure time" she told him, before being gone in a gust of wind to go get pies.