A note from Kenaren

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A tall, fair-skinned man with shaggy black hair sat with his arms draped over the back of a park bench as he watched his two young daughters play. The midday sun was shining brightly overhead, the sound of cars passing nearby and the laughter his children filled his ears.

A smile of contentment spread across his face as he watched them play with the other children in the small park.

"Mind if I sit?" A raspy voice asked from the man's left.

"Knock yourself out." The man replied without looking.

"Thank you." The raspy voice replied. "I'm not the young man I used to be." It finished with a chuckle.

"I'm Father Ardent."

The first man saw a large, weathered hand enter his field of view.

"Torga." The first man replied while giving the hand a gentle squeeze.

"Quite the grip you have there." The old man chuckled to himself.

The two sat in silence for a few moments before the old man gestured to the two identical girls sitting nearby and asked, "Those yours?"

The man turned his head to look at the ancient looking, gray-haired man sitting next to him. He was wearing a pitch black priest's robe, minus the collar. And if the midsummer sun made it uncomfortable, the old-man did an excellent job of hiding it.

"Yes." The man replied.

"How old are they?"

The first man returned his head to its previous position and he continued to watch his kids as he spoke.

"They turn six next week."

"Ah... What I wouldn't give for my own daughters to be that age again." The man said wistfully.

"I thought priests weren't supposed to have kids?"

"I wasn't always a priest."

"Touché... So... How old are your daughters?"

"Old enough to know they want nothing to do with me."

"Ah... I'm sorry to hear that."

"Don't mind it. It's my fault. I left when they were young and by the time I returned... they had lives of their own."

Torga, sensing the topic wasn't a pleasant one, decided to change the topic.

"How long have you been a priest?"

"Hmm... Since before you were born." The father finished with a laugh.

"Father!" A girlish voice called from somewhere behind the bench.

Torga and the father both turned to see a young woman with bright green hair jogging towards them. She was wearing a snow-white sundress and appeared to be in her early twenties.

"Your daughter?"

"Yes. My youngest."

"What happened to you being a priest since before I was born?"

"I have been... Never said I was a good one." The priest patted Torga on the shoulder and grinned at him. Then he stood up and turned to greet his daughter.

"Hello, my dear! I thought we weren't supposed to meet up for another two hours?"

The young woman wrapped her arms around the old man's waist and hugged him.

"We were, but I decided to come early. You're not mad, are you?"

"Of course not!" He laughed as the two of them began walking deeper into the park.

"See you soon, Torga." The priest called over his shoulder as they melted into the crowd of tourists visiting the city.


"You were so handsome when you were young!" The young woman squealed as she squeezed her father's arm.

"You calling me ugly?" The father asked as his body seemed to ripple and an older, but still similar face as the one possessed by the much younger man appeared. His eyes glowed a blood-orange color and his hair turned completely white as they walked.

"Of course not!" The girl said hurriedly.

"Relax, Yggdrasil. I'm only teasing you."


The father chuckled at her pouting face and linked her arm with his.

"Sorry, sorry. I'm just so excited! I finally get to see the rest of my family after all these years... I can barely stand the thought of waiting another minute."

"Why are you waiting? I mean, can't you just stop everything from moving forward and reveal yourself to them?"

"No..." He sighed. "Unfortunately, that is one of the things I can't do. I already put everything at risk to see Elizabeth and Hannah. I can't risk the others spotting me before your brother takes the younger me away from here."

The girl seemed to grow somber at that. "Poor Nialus..."

"I don't like it any more than you do... But it was either this or let him and the other originals waste away in eternal slumber," he explained. "At least this way they can be reincarnated and have a chance at a normal life."

"That's true..." She muttered sadly.

The father wrapped his arm around the girl's shoulder.

"Come on. We've got a few more things to take care of before the show begins."

"NOOOO!!!" Reina screamed as helicopter broadcasting the battle between a four-hundred-foot tall Fenris, a several-thousand-foot long Jormungandal, and the army of golden warriors was interrupted by the disappearance of Torga and the four odd-looking humans.

She immediately spun on the spot and activated her teleportation magic.

"Reina, wait!" Hali yelled as she dove for her.

However, Reina vanished in a flash of light before Hali could reach her and appeared in the middle of the battlefield.

"Torga?" She asked aloud as she stared blankly at the battlefield.

"Honey?" No response.

"This isn't funny!" She yelled at no one.

"Ken, you bastard! Where are you!!" She screamed at the top of her lungs.

Unbeknownst to her, her screams attracted the attention of a couple of golden warriors... Who blinked out of existence almost as soon as they noticed her.

"Hey, I'll thank you not to call me that. I knew who my father was." A raspy voice said from behind her.

Reina spun around and stared wide-eyed at the tall white-haired man standing before her. Sure, his eyes were a different color, and his hair was as white as freshly fallen snow... But she'd recognize that look anywhere.

The man, while continuing to smile pleasantly at her, snapped his fingers. Then, as if the entire thing was an illusion, the god, golden warriors, damage to the landscape just... disappeared. The reporter, his cameraman, and the residents of Yggdrasil's fall stood in their previous positions and resumed their lives as if nothing had happened.

"Wha—What just happened?"

"I reset the timeline." The father explained.

"... You did what?"

"I reset the timeline." Father said again.

"What... In the world... Is that supposed to mean!?"

"... Okay, basically, I made it so the events of Ragnarok never began. In fact, I made it so everyone but you, Ayla, Lokir, Lena, Fenris, Hali, Solon, Talia, and the goblins forgot I ever existed."

"... How?"

He stepped closer and slowly reached out to touch her face.

"By fulfilling my promise."

"Aww..." She stomped on his foot. "That doesn't explain anything!"

"Okay! Jeez! But can I kiss you first? I'm dying over here!"

She pulled his head down and laid on him the longest, most passionate kiss they'd shared in years... For her.

"Hey, what gives!?" Fenris growled as he trotted over in a form not much larger than that of a Great Dane.

"Yes, it was just getting good." Noodle hissed.

Torga absently waved his hand at them. They both disappeared in a *pop* as the air was displaced and Torga leaned in to rest his forehead against Reina's.

"Well, it might take a while." The father warned.

"If what you say is true. Then we've got all the time in the world."

"The rest of our lives?"

"Or two, in our case." Reina giggled.

"And beyond, if I have anything to say about it... Which I do."

The Fath— Torga and Reina both disappeared in a blur of motion as they disappeared from sight to live out the rest of their lives in peace... Probably.




A note from Kenaren

Well... I can't believe I'm finally saying it... But this is the end of Torga's story. I'm forever grateful to those that stuck with me through this. Through the long hiatuses when my day job was driving me crazy. Through the months when my PC was broken and I couldn't write.

And especially for giving a guy who never expected for so many people to actually like what he wrote a chance. You guys inspired me to publish my first book, and I'll forever be grateful to you all for that. 

So once again, and for the (possibly) last time on this series...

Thanks for reading my stuff, everyone!

Support "A Snake's Rise"

About the author


  • The insane snake handler


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