Chapter 15: Arendelle's New King
I watched the soldiers in front of me proudly, "Set 4!" I shouted and in perfect uniform the soldiers attacked the training dummies in front of them, "Set 5!" I shouted and they went through a different series of attack. I walked through the line of men and women as Agdar shouted out commands of his own. Each of them were strong and confident, when I reached the end of the line I stopped. There was a boy in his early teens having trouble keeping up. I watched him for a minute or two before walking over.
"You're too stiff," I said slightly making the boy jump.
"Sir?" he asked in a somewhat timid voice. I reached out a hand and he put the practice sword he was training with into my hand.
"You're too stiff, and that can be a problem. When you're stiff when your blade hits something you're not able to counter as easily, your movements become slow due to trying to regain your footing and before you know it you're on the ground with your opponent's sword in your back." I said, "Keep your stance more loose, stay on the balls of your feet and use the recoil as an opportunity to go for another attack. Try it again." I said handing the training sword back to him. the boy turned back to the dummy and started to strike, this time he was barely having any trouble, "There you go, keep it up and I'm sure you'll earn a title or two out there." I said ruffling his hair.
He nodded, "I won't let you down sir," he said and went back to training.
An hour passed before I decided that it was enough for the day, "Stop," I called out, "that's enough for today, the combined armies of the Southern Isles and Weselton will be arriving in only a month maybe even less, and I can't imagine a better and more noble army to lead into battle." I said and I could see that their spirits were rising, "but there's still one problem…" I added, but then I smiled, "You all need proper equipment. The armor and weapon shipments are here, so it's time to collect your gear." They all cheered.
I helped pass out the armor, being a blacksmith I could always tell what size of armor would fit someone the most, Agdar was in charge of handing out weapons. A while later they only people that didn't have equipment When the members of my elite team came up I shook my head when they asked for their armor, "You're armor isn't here." I said to all of them, "Come with me." I said.
I almost laughed seeing the astonished expressions decorating their faces. In front of each of them was a suit of dark metal armor, "Are you serious sir?" Serana asked.
I nodded, "I want my elites to be better equipped to show the Southern Isles who they are. Go ahead and try them on." It took a while, but everyone was able to get into their armor, "Does it fit?" I asked.
"Sort of," Natasha said. I raised an eyebrow, "I think they might be a little big," the other's nodded in response.
I only smiled, "I figured they'd be too big." I said and my orange eyes began to glow and become like a dragon's, "Just don't freak out." I said as tendrils of fire magic began to come off my body and snake their way towards them. They went into the armor or wrapped around it and I focused on the magic inside the armor, and then the dark metal started to compress and almost shrink as it tightened around the builds of my elite members.
When I was done the magic faded away and my eyes returned to normal, "That… was awesome." Antonio said and he flexed his armor covered arms, "This stuff almost fits like a second skin now." The other's agreed.
I chuckled, "It should help protect you on the battlefield, but of course sometimes the best defense is a good offense." I said before pulling out a weapon rack, "Collect your weapon, and choose wisely. Each weapon is one of a kind. Made from the same metal as your armor." I explained, they actually chose their weapons rather quickly. "Very good, you are dismissed," they nodded and started, "Oh Will, Miranda, one more thing." I said catching their attention and I smirked, "Before you two start making out in the training room again, make sure you're the only ones there." Will and Miranda's cheeks turned crimson and everyone else shared a laugh.
I was walking through the halls of the castle to get back to my room, "Zander," I turned around and saw the Ice Harvester.
"Hey Kristoff," I said.
"Zander, you do realize what day it is right?" he asked, I thought for a minute, it was Monday and that meant… I groaned, "Yep, it's fitting day."
"Get that smirk off you face before I knock some of your teeth out," I said as I walked past him, he only chuckled and followed.
"Again," I said summoning another round of targets, within seconds large spears of ice destroyed them, "Defensive!" I shouted launching several projectiles at my student, reacting quickly she formed a dome of ice around herself. When the dome had done its job, it shattered as an icicle from the other side shot through it. I jumped to the side the icicle missing my face my a few inches. "Very good," I said turning towards the Queen of Arendelle, "You have gotten skilled at using your magic, but we still need to work on your weapons training." She nodded, "But I think that's enough for today, besides I'm pretty sure you have other things to worry about."
"Thank you Xant," Elsa said before leaving the room.
Wow, training can be really tough sometimes, "Elsa?" I jumped, "Oh sorry."
"Oh no, you're okay Anna don't worry." I said turning around to face my sister, "Was there something you wanted?"
"Don't you remember?" Anna asked me, "the fitting for your dress is today." Oh yeah, I was getting married soon, I needed a wedding dress.
"I hope I won't have to tell you to be careful with those needles," I said as they started to take measurements on the suit I wore to Kristoff and Anna's wedding.
"Not this time Zander," the seamstress said, "We just need to see how much you've changed since the last fitting and then we'll just make a few alterations to your suit to better fit the occasion and your size." She said as she measured my sleeves and around my shoulders, "Your build has certainly gotten more developed." She commented and started to write down what I guess were my measurements, "Can you move your arms very well?"
I moved my arms around, "I think I'm good in that area," of course I spoke too soon when the seams at my shoulder suddenly ripped, "but I've been wrong before." I added and everyone that was around me laughed.
Now I could clearly see why it was so difficult for Anna to choose her wedding dress, I wanted to find the perfect dress and that was becoming extremely difficult. Anna and Emma on the other hand weren't having any problems, except for the fact Anna had to find a dress that would fit her with her baby bump. Anna was going to be my maid of honor and Emma wanted to be the flower girl.
"I still can't see why you can't just make a dress with your powers," Emma said as she watched me look through them.
"It's different in this situation," Anna told her, "You'll understand when you're older."
"Hey," Emma pouted, "I'm a big girl." She said. Anna had a look that was a cross between playful and sinister.
"Well we'll see about that." She said before tickling Emma's sides making her squeal with laughter. I looked over at them with a smile. Emma tried to beg Anna to stop, but she was laughing too hard. I turned my attention to the dress rack, I searched through them when one finally caught my attention. I pulled it out.
"What do you think of this one?" I asked showing Anna and Emma the dress.
They both smiled, "That's the one." They said simultaneously.
"Put it on, put it on." Emma said excitedly. Anna agreed with her and I went into the dressing room. When I had the dress on and walked out. "That's it that's it!" Emma squealed excitedly. I smiled.
I looked myself over in the mirror. My suit was fixed, but still a little uncomfortable. I guess I would just have to get used to it, "Are you satisfied?" Taylor asked walking up behind me.
"A little stiff, but I am." I said, "Guess I'm just not used to this kind of attire just yet." Taylor chuckled.
"Well good thing you will only have to wear this once then." Taylor said trying to make light of the situation. I cracked a small smile.
It had been a few days since I picked out my dress, several royals, governors and ambassadors were arriving. I was willing to guess that more people were coming to attend my wedding than Anna's, but of course that wasn't surprising considering what would happen after the wedding.
Right now Xant was giving me a lesson in weapons combat, this time Xant was using a 'learning on the job' tactic. Both me and him had a practice sword, my goal was to simply block him, "When facing an enemy, you must always be aware of the fact that they want to kill you." he said before swinging his sword. I raised mine and tried to block it.
I wasn't successful and Xant tapped my side with his practice sword. "In the battlefield you would be dead before you could swing your sword, you need to you your strengths to your advantage." He said swinging his sword with more aggression. This time I did my best to avoid the sword rather than block it.
Xant was still able to tap me on the side, "Good; they say a good defense is a good offense, but the reality is when it comes down to it you can only rely on two things. Either your strength or your reflexes." He said before advancing again. "Study your opponent, exploit weakness and make them suffer for it." he said attacking again.
"Weakness," I muttered to herself as I dodged attacks. One thing I knew about Xant was that he was confident with everything he does and very proud. I also knew he was strong- wait… I got it.
When Xant went for another overhand swing I raised my practice sword holding it at an angle and rather than blocking the blade I redirected it to that it would bounce off. The action caused Xant to lose his balance and stumble and I took this opportunity to put the blade against the side of his throat. I smirked, "Dead," I said and Xant looked at me with surprise.
"I'm impressed," Xant said giving me a slight smile, "But you're not finished yet, let's see if you can do it again." He said taking the offensive once again, but this time I knew that there was a way I could do this.
It was the night before Elsa's and my wedding. Kristoff was throwing me a 'Last Night as a Single Man' Party, it was a shame Flynn couldn't be here, but Kristoff was able to get the guys from my Elite team to come so it was still an enjoyable night.
Things got really interesting when Antonio challenged Bruce to a drinking contest, those guys could really hold down their drinks. Both of them were able to down more than twenty shots before even taking any effects of the strong drink. In the end Bruce won leaving Antonio stumbling around the bar close to going unconscious.
Kristoff, Will and I watched Antonio stumble around finding it completely hilarious. I looked over at Kristoff, "So Kristoff how's your speech coming along?" I asked, I had made Kristoff my best man which means he had the same responsibility that I had just a few months ago.
Kristoff choked on some of his drink, the rest he spat out of his mouth in surprise. Unfortunately Will was next to Kristoff. "Oh crap I forgot."
"Whoa, seriously?" Will said in disgust, but it went ignored by the Ice Harvester.
"Well that looks familiar," I said with a slight chuckle, "Well Kristoff I'm getting married tomorrow so you might want to start thinking." I said as I drank from my tankard, then without warning the tankard was removed from my hand.
"And you might want to start thinking of not drinking the night before your wedding," Xant said placing the tankard on the table, "You do not want a hangover on what's supposed to be the best day of your life." He said taking a seat.
I rolled my eyes, "Nice to know you're looking out for me." I said. I knew one of the reasons he wanted me to be in my greatest mindset was that Xant was going to be the one to marry me and Elsa.
"Well you're going to need my help with the responsibility you're about to take." Xant said. When I gave him a confused look he actually laughed, "The council didn't tell you?"
"Tell me what?" I asked clearly not knowing what he was talking about.
"Zander this is going to be a large scale event for two reasons," Xant said, "The first is that the Queen of Arendelle is going to get married, the second being that tomorrow Arendelle will have her a new king." Realization finally sunk in, I was going to be crowned the King of Arendelle.
Zander seemed to be in a little of a daze, "You alright there boy?" I said shaking his shoulder, and then he fell out of his chair and fell to the floor unconscious. I chuckled, "Well it was about time that he got home anyway." I said.
Kristoff looked at his unconscious form, "How are we going to get him back to the castle?" he asked, I didn't directly answer him, only grabbed him and slung him over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes, "Well there's one way." Kristoff said.
"Well let's get back to the castle," I said walking towards the door.
I didn't really know, or question how I got back in my room, but when they told me I had to get ready I didn't feel like wasting any time. I showered, shaved, got dressed, and I even made an effort to fix up my hair. I felt confident and on fire, well not literally. Smiling at my reflection I walk out the door.
I haven't felt this nervous since… I don't know if I've ever felt this nervous. "Elsa you need to calm down," Anna said, "You don't want to mess up your dress." She said.
"I'm just nervous," I said looking at the flowers in my hand.
"Why?" Emma asked, "Don't you love Papa?"
I looked at my soon-to-be daughter, "Of course I do."
Now she looked confused, "Then what is there to be nervous about?" It was such an innocent question and yet so hard to answer.
"She just wants everything to be perfect," Anna said, "she still has yet to realize that Zander won't care about it." I rolled my eyes.
"I can only imagine what it'll be like when you become a real mother." I said, "You already act so much like one."
"Yeah Aunt Anna is the best." Emma said hugging Anna, who hugged her back. I smiled admiring how much Anna and Emma treated each other like family. There was a knock at the door and Mama poked her head in.
Okay now that I was here I was nervous out of my mind, I mean there were so many people here. I kept fidgeting and shifting around. Pretty soon I felt like I was going to start pacing, "You really need to calm down," Xant said, "if you get any more nervous you might just burst into flames."
"He is right you know," Kristoff said, "I've been in this situation before, just like you said. As soon as you see her walking up the isle you'll wonder why you were nervous in the first place."
Xant nodded in agreement, "If it makes you feel better I'm sure I'd be feeling the same thing if in your situation." He said, and then the music started to play.
I looked down the aisle to see the doors open, Anna was the first to walk in. Emma was next to walk out being the flower girl. I found it odd that she wasn't holding a flower basket. When she started walking up the isle she smiled up at me before her hands began to glow and her fingertips were covered with ice-blue flames.
Everyone looked at her in astonishments and she shot small flames into the air that took the form of cold fire flowers before disappearing and becoming embers that looked like flower petals. I smiled at Emma, which caused her smile got bigger as she took her place next to Anna. Olaf was next riding in on Sven's back, how and why they let a reindeer in here I'll never know. Olaf had a silk pillow in his hand where the rings were resting. Olaf and Sven took their places next to Kristoff. Then when Elsa came out my jaw nearly dropped, she looked breathtaking.
Elsa walked up the aisle with a small smile behind the veil over her face. When she stood next to me I mouthed, "You look beautiful." Her cheeks were dusted with a beautiful pink.
Xant looked at the couple in front of him. He was both proud and happy for them. "Dearly beloved," he said, "We are gathered here today to join this man and this woman in holy matrimony." He said, "Two people who couldn't be any more different in both appearance, power, even personality in some places. Yet they found love in one another and today that love will seal the two of them eternally." He said, "Now if anybody objects and has a reason these two should not be married, speak now or forever hold you peace. He said before waiting a few seconds. When nobody spoke up he turned to Elsa, "Very well, then it's time for your marriage vows. Queen Elsa, do you take Zander Smith to be your lawful wedded husband? To love and cherish him, in sickness or health, richer or poor for as long as you both shall live?"
Elsa smile grew wide as she nodded her head, "I do."
Xant nodded and turned towards Zander, "Zander Smith, Military General and Blacksmith of Arendelle. Do you take Queen Elsa to be your lawfully wedded wife? To love and cherish her, in sickness or health, richer or poor for as long as you both shall live?" he asked.
Zander took a brief glace at Elsa before turned back to Xant, "I do."
Xant nodded, "Then it's time to exchange rings," he said turning to the side, and Olaf walked forward and held up the silk pillow.
Zander took Elsa's ring and Elsa took his and they turned to one another. Zander was the first to speak, "I, Zander Smith, take you, Queen Elsa, to be my wife." He said as he slipped the ring onto her finger, "I promise to love, cherish, and be true to you in the best and the worst times, whether in sickness or in health. I will love and honor you until the day I die and even beyond that."
Elsa has tears in her eyes as she slipped the ring she had onto Zander's finger, "I, Queen Elsa, take you, Zander Smith, to be my husband. I promise to love, cherish, and be true to you in the best and the worst times, whether in sickness or in health. I will love and honor you until the day I die and even beyond that."
Xant's smile was growing, "Cross your wrists over one another." Zander held his arm out and Elsa rested her arm on it so that her wrist was directly above Zander's. in one of Xant's hands he used dragon magic to form a red ribbon with gold edging, "Then with the tying of this ribbon," he said wrapping it around their wrists and tying a secure knot, "and with the power vested in me…" he said and the ribbon glowed slightly, "I now pronounce you husband and wife, you may kiss the bride." Zander, using his free hand lifted the veil over Elsa's head and then they leaned close to each other and shared their first kiss as a married couple. Everyone cheered for the wedded couple.
Not much later Zander was kneeling in front of Arendelle's bishop where he had a gold crown in his hands. The bishop put the crown on Zander's head and he stood up. The bishop then picked up a cushion where the Royal Scepter and Orb lay.
Zander looked at the items, "Are you ready?" the bishop whispered softly. Zander nodded and picked the items up and turned to face the audience, then the bishop began to speak in Old Norse, "Eins og hann hefur nú hin helgu eiginleika og er krýndur í þessum helga stað. Ég kynna þér..." he said reciting the old text, "King Zander of Arendelle."
"King Zander of Arendelle." The crowd cheered as Zander put the orb and scepter back on the cushion. Then faced the crowd with a smile on his face.
Okay, you could do this Kristoff. Zander made a good speech at your wedding so in was only right that you make a good one at his. It was the feast and Zander looked at me. it was time for my speech. I took in a deep breath. I could do this.
I took my glass and stood up tapping my knife against it, I still didn't quite understand how such a small sound could catch everyone's attention, but soon all eyes were on me. I cleared my throat, "Hi everyone, some of you may know me as Anna's husband Kristoff Bjorgman. Today I'm now Zander's brother in-law and his best man. So here I am giving the first toast," I said looking at the newly wedded couple, "When I first met Zander I wasn't sure what to think of him. He just kept surprising me; he made an engagement ring for Anna and didn't ask for payment until I had an answer from her. As a thank you I introduced him to Anna and Elsa and they became friends pretty fast." Some people were surprised, "Then I noticed how he got along with Elsa, I thought only Anna could bring that side of her out, well I was proved wrong. At my wedding Zander told me that he had never seen two people more right for each than me and Anna. Well Zander, I'm going to say the same to you. You and Elsa are perfect for each other and I hope the flames of your love never quench and the ice that binds you together never melts." Zander and Elsa smiled at me, "To the bride and groom and our new king and queen." I finished raising my glass. People cheered and I felt proud of myself.
I hope Kristoff feels proud about himself, because he should. The feast past by pretty quickly and now it was time for the reception, and everyone was having a great time, even me. Elsa threw her wedding flowers and they were caught by Miranda, when that happened I gave Will a knowing glance and I laughed seeing how red his face was. I had my first dance with Elsa, this time I made it last as long as I could. I danced with Anna shortly as well. I even did my best to dance with Emma.
Right now I was going through one of the longest parts of any reception, meeting all the guests. It was getting boring after a while, but then two familiar faces caught my attention, it was Flynn and Rapunzel. "Zander, I was slightly surprised to find out you were the new king, with luck the kingdom will be burnt to the ground by the end of the month." Flynn said in a joking tone. We both laughed it out and shared a manly hug.
When I pulled away I asked him a question, "Did you get that letter I sent?" he nodded.
"Yes, Corona is willing and is ready to send its armies when Arendelle needs them to help them in the war," Flynn said and I nodded my thanks, "Well now that that's out of the way congratulations." He said.
I rolled my eyes, "Flynn you will never change." But then again, he wouldn't be Flynn if he did.
The rest of the evening just got better and better, soon it was time for everyone to go. Emma was asleep as one of the tables with chocolate smudged on her face. Gerda offered to take Emma to her room and I allowed it. "It truly was a great day." Xant said catching my attention.
I nodded, "The happiest of my life." I said, and then I remembered something and turned to Xant, "What was with the glowing ribbon?"
He chuckled, "There is no greater marriage than two souls bonded together by a dragon, the ribbon was infused with magic so that your vows and bond will never be broken." He said, "Of course your love is so strong I don't think you'll have to worry about one of you breaking your vows." I nodded and started to walked away, "Zander one more thing, I read a progress report and from the looks of things the war will begin in nine days, that's when the armies of the opposing forces will arrive." I nodded.
I arrived at me and Elsa's new room and walked inside to find Elsa waiting for me in the bed, when I changed and climbed in next to her she hugged me and kissed me lovingly and passionately. When she pulled away she snuggled into my chest, "I'm so glad I found you." she said softly.
I smiled, "Do you remember when I told you about reasons for continuing on?" I asked. She looked into my eyes and nodded, "You were it, my new reason for pushing on." I said.
Tears pooled in Elsa's eyes, "And you are mine." She said softly and soon we both fell asleep in each other's arms.