Her heart was fluttering in her chest even despite the mead as she opened the first tent flap. It wasn’t the first time for her to feel the touch of a man and it wouldn’t be the last. She giggled tipsily at the thought. Not the last by far, there were so many of them wanting to say goodbye to their chieftain through her.

Asta had been proud to offer herself for this. The Old Master had been such a kind and gentle man to her but the new one was nothing like him. The New Master only saw the Old Masters strength in the battlefield and fierceness in the raids. He never wanted to see the kindness bestowed on the lesser beings and on his wife. He didn’t want to see the wisdom in his decisions and leadership. She was glad to be his in Valhalla.

Some of the men were gentle, some were rough and beat her after. They all said “I do this because I love him” before sending her on to the next one. None were as satisfying as the Old Master but she went through them all anyway. She was given more mead constantly. When she was done with the round she lay down on the tablet and they raised her up. She saw her mother and father, her relatives and on the last time she saw her Old Master and he was calling for her.

She removed her bracelets and her rings and gave them to the old women who’d stayed with her the last days. Then she was lead to the tent where her Master was waiting. She could already hear the banging of the shields that would end her life. She suddenly didn’t want to go. “Sing, dearie. Sing your farewells.” said the old woman escorting her. Everyone always said she had a good voice for singing so Asta started singing. It was a melancholy tune, one of goodbyes. When she was done they pulled her in and the darkness enveloped her.