Chapter 2: A Big Job
"I really need to look into how well our guards are trained." It had been almost a month since the fire and the guards still haven't found anything, "Honestly how hard could it be to find one person?" I asked myself.
My thoughts were interrupted by someone knocking on my door, "Queen Elsa are you in there?" A male voice asked.
"Yes," I called out, "What is it Kai?" I replied to the head servant.
"You have a visitor; Kristoff the Ice Master and Deliverer. Apparently he has some important business to discuss with you."
"Kristoff, what does he want?" I asked myself silently, "Very well, send him in." the door opened and Kristoff walked in looking serious, but I could see clearly that he was nervous, "What is it Kristoff? Not that I don't enjoy your company, but I need you to make it quick I have important business to attend to."
Kritsoff's serious face dropped and I could clearly see just how nervous he was. He started to rub the back of his neck. "W-well, you see your maje- I-I mean Elsa. There's something that's been on mind. Actually it's been on my mind for quite a while and well I guess I should get to the point so-" Kristoff rambled until I cut him off with a laugh.
"Wow I don't think I've seen you this nervous. Not even when you accidently said you could kiss Anna for giving you that sled." I said in a humorous tone.
Kristoff blushed, "You heard about that?"
I laughed, "I was the only thing Anna could talk about for days. To be honest I got a little old after a few hours." Kristoff blushed even harder, "But it was still very sweet. You've really made Anna happy after what Hans did to her."
Kristoff face grew angry, "I still wish I could've had a go at that bastard," his face lighted a bit, "but none the less it was hilarious when Anna punched Hans into the fjord."
Seeing I wasn't going anywhere with this I decided to get back on subject, "Kristoff you said there was something on your mind."
"Oh yeah, well there's actually something important I needed to ask you." He said the nervousness coming back.
"Does this involve your ice business?" I said in a monotone voice.
He waved his hands defensively, "No, it actually has something to do with your sister."
"Go on." I said curious on what Anna had to with this.
The day after the fire.
I woke up with the thought of that ice girl from the fire. I rubbed whatever sleep that was left from my eyes and got out from under the sheets, "Morning Ithilagar." I said in a groggy tone there wasn't any response. I looked around the room, "Ithilagar? I said in a more alert tone. The wolf wasn't anywhere in the room. I saw that the door was open, "Maybe I slammed the door so hard it opened itself," I thought out loud. "So Ithilagar isn't here, he must be… Uh oh." I made sure I had everything before slightly rushing down the stairs where I saw Ithilagar eating off a plate that was placed on the floor. I breathed I sigh of relief and went to sit down at the table nearest to Ithilagar.
"About time you showed up." Ithilagar said quietly.
"It's a miracle I even got to sleep." I replied, "I've had a lot on my mind."
"This wouldn't happen to be about that girl you saw would it." Ithilagar asked in a mocking tone.
I rolled my eyes, but that didn't stop my cheek from heating up, "Yes, but only about her ice powers and nothing else."
I could almost feel the wolf smirking, "Keep telling yourself that."
I was about to contradict him, but a voice interrupted me, "Are you talking to that wolf?"
I turned and saw one of the female workers here, "After years of traveling with no one but a wolf. You grow a few habits, besides Ithilagar is a smart wolf, so it's like I'm talking to a real person." I explained.
She nodded, "Of course, I guess I shouldn't question you, can I get you anything?"
I thought for a minute, "Just a simple breakfast and mug of glogg would be fine." She nodded and walked away. When she was out of earshot I turned to the wolf, "Okay what were you really doing up this early."
"Gathering information, apparently you left quite an impact on the city guards. I saw a small group questioning citizens whether or not they saw someone with your description." Ithilagar explained, "But on the bright side I found out where we can purchase a house. There's I think what is called a 'Real Estate Office' not far from where you started that fire. It's a small building with a sign with a house printed on it above the door."
I nodded, "Okay after I'm done eating we'll check it out." As if on cue the waitress came back and placed a plate and a mug on the table. I said my thanks and started eating.
Later that day Ithilagar and I were standing outside the door to the Real Estate Office, "This is the place," Ithilagar said.
"Okay let's get in there before any guards see us." I said walking towards the door.
"And by us, you mean you." The wolf stated.
I quickened my pace, "Just come on." And after I said I opened the door which was followed by a dinging noise and walked in while being closely followed by my wolf companion.
The office had only a few pieces of furniture, two chairs in front of a large ornate oak desk. Sitting behind the desk was a tall slim man with neatly combed brown hair and blue eyes hiding behind a pair of bifocal glasses. When he saw us walk in he stood up, "Gentlemen, I welcome you to my office. Please have a seat." His voice was deep and strangely persuasive, almost charismatic. I sat down in one of the chairs and Ithilagar sat down next to it. He reached his hand across the table, "My name is Robert Homes, and who do I have the pleasure of talking to?"
I shook his hand, "Zander Smith, I believe I sent you a letter almost a year ago saying I would come?"
Robert thought for a minute before his face took on a look like he remembered something. He then opened a drawer in his desk and started searching through the files in it until he took out a paper that looked a little old. "Do you mean this letter?" he handed me the paper and I recognized the handwriting and signature.
"Yes this is my handwriting?" I said.
Robert brighten up, "That's good, because when you sent me your plans for the place you wanted to set up shop here. I immediately went to work and I must say your timing is perfect. We finished building it just a few weeks ago."
I smiled, "That's good to hear, so it has all I asked for?" I asked.
"Yes, the forge, the house, a personal space for your wolf, everything. The only thing we need is to furnish the place, but on the bright side the forge and shop portion of it is finished so while the builders bring in the furniture into the house portion of your new home you can get to work in your forge and start making anything you're going to sell when your shop opens."
I was looking forward to working in a familiar environment, "Does the forge have materials and tools I can work with?"
Robert nodded, "Yes you have iron, steel, silver, gold, leather, a couple other materials, and several types of precious stones of various, types, shapes, sizes, and colors."
I looked at him surprised, "How did you know I make jewelry?"
Robert smiled, "I didn't, I just thought I'd add it in just in case."
I lowered my voice, "Did you get me a large supply of the special material?"
Robert nodded, "Yes, though I've never seen somebody put in a request for such a large amount of titanium."
"I have my reasons; let's just say I have a…special use for titanium." Robert nodded not wanting to argue, "Well I'm very satisfied with the place." then I remembered something. "Then I guess there's only one thing to discuss."
We both nodded and said simultaneously, "Payment."
Robert smiled, "Okay so let's get down to business. There's construction costs, furnishing fees, furniture costs, supply prices shall I go on?"
"No, no." I said quickly, "I just want to see the final cost and get it over with."
"Okay I took the liberty to write it down." Robert handed me a piece of paper.
I looked down at the paper and my eyes widened, "Whoa, well that's a little pricy. Hey Ithilagar look at this." I showed him the paper and he let out a yelp of surprise.
"Yeah I know, but your request was a little demanding." Robert explained.
"Ok, let me talk to my friend here before we make a final decision." Robert nodded and me and Ithilagar walked in away so he could hear us, more specifically Ithilagar. "What are we going to do?"
"I don't know, can we even pay that?" Ithilagar said quietly.
"We can, but it would completely clean us out." I explained. "If we pay it we won't be able to pay for food or to stay in that inn while they finish putting the furniture in."
"Maybe we can convince him to lower the price a little." The wolf suggested.
I shook my head no, "You and I both know I have no social skills so I can't talk to this guy. Besides this guy won't be budged my words, he's probably done several deals and I bet he hasn't bended for any of them. His last name is Homes for crying out loud!" Ithilagar nodded in agreement, and then he smiled, "Ithilagar what's with the creepy smile?"
"None of the other deals he didn't budge, but I have a feeling he'll budge for this one." I was about to question him, but he continued, "Because you have something those past customers don't."
Realizing what he was getting at, "No, no no no a million times no!"
"Come on it's just this once." Ithilagar practically pleaded, "We need that house and we need money until the house is ready to live in, and it's already to work in so you'll soon be able to get the money you do pay back in no time. All you have to you is become the owner of the place."
"And what makes you think I'll earn all that money quickly." I shot back.
"Hmm let me think." Ithilagar said, "Maybe it's because there isn't a blacksmith in Arendelle currently, you have a lot of skill, and a person with your personality will attract customers."
"But is your idea really necessary?" I asked through clenched teeth.
"Yes it is. Look you and me are the ultimate team for this kind of thing." Ithilagar stated.
May hazel eyes glared into the wolf's golden yellow ones, he did make a convincing argument, "Okay fine, but just this once." I said. Ithilagar smiled in satisfaction, and after discussing the plan we walked back to the desk, "Okay we had a thorough discussion and we've come to a decision…we'll take it." Robert smiled, "But…there is a problem with the price, and we were hoping you could lower the price a little."
Robert's smile dropped, "How low are we talking here?"
I shrugged, "Uh I was thinking….20-40% lower."
Robert's jaw dropped, "If you think you can make me drop it that much….you are sorely mistaken. Either you pay the full price, or you get nothing."
I looked at Robert, then Ithiligar, then at the floor, and then I chuckled. As I was looking up I said, "We were afraid you'd say that." I continued to chuckle, and started to take off my black leather gloves, "Robert I don't think you understand the…gravity of this situation."
Robert crossed his arms, "Actually I think I do becau-" he was cut off by my hand shooting across the desk, grabbing him by the neck, and pulling him across it and into the air.
"NO YOU DON'T!" I screamed trying to make my voice menacing, "NOT. AT. ALL!" Robert was staring down at me, fear evident in his eyes, and I'm pretty sure out of the corner of my eye, I saw Ithilagar looking at me in surprise.
"Ow…your…hand." Robert struggled to saw through the vice grip around his neck.
I smirked, "What about my hand? Is it…too cold?" I asked loosening my grip so he could talk easier, but it was still strong around his neck.
He tried to shake his head, "No, quite the opposite it's hot, really hot. What are you trying to do give me a burn?"
I looked away, closed my eyes, and chuckled, "Actually, funny that you should mention that, but that really depends on your answer to this question. Will you lower the price?"
Robert steeled up his face, "No I won't, no threat could possibly make will make me lower the price."
My smirk dropped and I narrowed my eyes, "Pity you should say that. You mention my hand was hot right?" He nodded and I flashed him an evil grin, "Well why don't we turn up the heat a bit." My hand seemed to glow a little red and Robert grunted in pain, "Don't scream." I raised my other hand, "Lower the price."
Through the pain he stated, "No…never."
I glared at him, "We wouldn't want to have a little accident would we?"
Robert laughed, or tried to, at my threat, "What could you possibly do, you're just a boy."
I gave a short and sarcastic laugh, "You hear that Ithilagar, 'just a boy' he says." Ithilagar nodded, "Well for the record, I am 22 years old, and I'm not like other boys." Right after I said that the hand that wasn't gripping his neck was instantly covered in flames.
"What the?! How did you..." he tried to say then he realized something, "You?!" he asked.
"Yes, I started that fire, and this is how I did it." I moved my hand dangerously close to his face, "Now I want you to lower the price, or I may…just…" I moved my hand closer with each word on the last part. Robert was starting to sweat, and it wasn't just from the heat.
"A-a-alright I'll… lower the price." Robert said slightly defeated, but still utterly terrified.
I smiled, "Good boy." I dropped him and his hands immediately went to his neck, which had a red hand shaped burn on it. "Now hurry up and get the paperwork ready, and I'll get the money ready."
As Robert gathered the papers, I sat down, put my gloves back on, reached for a bag attached at my belt and started to count out the money, "That was quite a show." I looked down and saw a smiling wolf, "You are quite the actor, you had me scared, and I'm not even affected by your fire."
I laughed softly, "Yeah, I kind of scared myself." I wasn't joking; I really scared myself with what I just did.
Robert put a few pieces of paper in front of me and nervously said, "Okay Mr. Smith I gathered everything," I stood up and looked the paperwork, "I just need you to give me the money, and then you can sign the deed and this contract and the house is yours."
I nodded and rubbed my chin with my gloved hand, "What is in that contract? Does it include the working finishing the furnishing?"
He adjusted his bifocals, "Not only that, it gives you permission to live and sell things in Arendelle, and I take it you're going to open a blacksmith shop."
"Yes I am, it was about time the city got one don't you think?" I asked.
He nodded, "Yes usually we get everything from the next town over." He handed me a pen and I handed him the money, "You're doing all the citizens of Arendelle a favor by opening this shop."
"It makes me feel good to hear that." I said, "Now where do I sign?" Robert told where to where to put my full signature and where to put my initials.
When all the details were worked out he had me sign the deed, "Okay Mr. Smith the Dark Armor Forge is yours, but I must say it's a strange name."
I shrugged and accepted the deed from Robert, "I'm a strange man Robert."
"Yeah you showed me that single handedly," I gave him a strange look, "Sorry I spoke without thinking." He held out his hand, "Pleasure doing business with you Mr. Smith."
I smiled and shook his hand, "Feeling's mutual Mr. Homes."
"Welcome to Arendelle." He replied.
I released his hand and started walking towards the door, "Wait one more thing." I said turning around, "Tell anyone what happened in this meeting and you'll regret it. You don't want to make me angry."
Ithilagar turns towards the sales person, "Trust me you don't want to." Robert's jaw dropped and Ithilagar and I were out the door before he could say anything.
It's been almost a month and already my house has been furnished and I've been working hard to make my new shop look presentable. I had recently made a few swords, knives, and other weapons being displayed on a couple weapon racks, I had a few pieces of armor on a couple mannequins, and in a large glass display case I had a few pieces of jewelry displayed.
"Okay Ithilagar the Dark Armor Forge is now open for business." I said proudly to my wolf companion.
"Okay cool… now what?" He asked.
I walked over to the window and put up a sign that read 'GRAND OPENING', "Now we wait for our first customer."
"I can't believe Elsa gave me her blessing." I said excited and I walked through the streets with Sven and Olaf. I have no idea how the later of the two came to be with us, but I guess I was in too good of a mood to say no.
"Why wouldn't she?" Olaf said, "Even though you're kind of rude, a little messy, not the best social person,-"
"I get it Olaf." I said rolling my eyes. "Now all we need to is go over to the next town to buy the only thing I'm missing to be with Anna."
Olaf looked confused, "I thought you already were?"
"No Olaf that's not what I meant." I said rather annoyed. Don't get me wrong I like having Olaf around; he's can just be a little… I don't know clueless.
"So where are we going?" He asked.
"To find a forge weren't you listening?"
"You know because I need to find a place that sells rings?" Out of the corner of my eye I saw Sven's head going back and forth between me and Olaf.
"Didn't you hear me at the castle I told you I was going to get one for Anna?!"
I face palmed, "Why am I feeling a sense of déjà vu?" I said quietly, "Come on let's just get to the sled and go."
"Well don't we need supplies?" Olaf asked, Sven grunted in agreement.
"Okay we'll stop by the market to get supplies, but only the necessities I want to keep as much money as I can until we get to the forge." I said as I hooked Sven up to the sled. When I was done I put in and climbed in, "Come on Sven take us to the market." I whipped the reins and the reindeer started to pull.
When we got there I walked over to a food booth and started looking at some of the stuff they were selling, "Well carrots are mandatory."
"Kristoff." I heard Olaf say.
"Not now Olaf I'm trying to make decisions here." I started looking and a crate of cabbage, "Should I? No, I don't know how to cook cabbage stew."
"Kristoff?" Olaf asked.
"Not now Olaf…potatoes one that's something I can work with."
"KRISTOFF!" Olaf shouted.
"I turned around and looked down at the small snowman, "What is it Olaf!" I demanded rather than asked.
"I don't know if this is going to help or not," he said then pointed in a certain direction, "but I found a shop that looks like a forge that might have exactly what you're wanting to buy." I looked where his stick hand was pointing and, sure enough, there was a shop with a sign saying, 'Dark Metal Forge'.
"How come we've never seen that place until now?" I thought aloud.
"Because there's a 'grand opening' sign in the window." Olaf tried.
"It was a rhetorical…you know what, never mind. Let's just go in and see if they have anything we're looking for." I said and started walking toward the shop. When we were at the door I turned to Sven, "Just wait out here buddy, I don't think you could fit in through the door. Sven sat down next to the entrance, "Good boy, come on Olaf."
"I'm coming." The snowman called out as I opened the door and entered the forge.
The room was more spacious on the inside than it looked. There was a counter and several displays, carved into the front of the counter was what I was guessing is the shop's insignia. It was a backwards 'Z' with a vertical line going through the center.
"Hello anybody here?" I called out. About a minute later a pure black wolf with blood red stripes that at first I thought were gashes walked from behind the counter into view. The wolf walked forward a started sniffing me. When he got a good whiff he stepped back and started to growl, "Easy boy." I said to reassure him, "We're not going to hurt you." I was going to continue, but Olaf had other ideas.
"Hi I'm Olaf, and I like warm hugs!" he all but shouted in his cheerful voice. The sight of the talking snowman caused the wolf to jump back in surprise, and out of instinct going into a more feral position.
Just when I thought he was going to attack and voice called, "Ithilagar! Don't scare off the new customers." The wolf which I assumed was Ithilagar stood up strait and walked away, "Sorry about him, he was just suspicious, probably because you smell like a reindeer." I looked up and saw someone about the same age as me, if not maybe a year older walk out of what appeared to be a back room.
He was my height and looked like he had a pretty buff build, but he didn't look as broad shouldered as me. At least that's what I think because he was wearing nothing but black leather, and apparently with some crimson trim. He had a mop of black hair, tanned skin and what I think a lot of girls would call a handsome face. He had hazel eyes with some brown and yellow mixed into them. He reached out a gloved hand, "My name is Zander Smith, and I welcome you to my forge."
I shook his hand, "Hey I'm Kristoff Bjorgman, the Royal Ice Master and Deliverer of Arendelle."
Zander gave me a confused look, "Is that a thing?" he asked.
"Apparently so." I replied.
"Hi I'm Olaf and I like warm hugs!" the small snowman shouted happily.
Zander looked around, "Who said that?"
"Down here." Olaf responded.
Zander looked down and jumped, "What the hell is that?" he exclaimed.
I put my hands up to calm him down, "Don't worry I thought the same thing when I first saw him. This is Olaf and he's a living snowman."
Zander looked at me, "And how is that possible?" he asked.
"He was created by Elsa." I answered.
He raised an eyebrow, "And who is Elsa?"
I was about to answer when Olaf beat me to it, "Oh she is the nicest, gentlest, warmest person ever."
"Which is kind of ironic." I said, when Zander gave me a confused look I added, "She has the coolest ice powers; no pun intended."
Zander's eyes widened, "I did not know that, but you still haven't answered who she is."
Wanting to keep it simple I stated, "The Queen of Arendelle."
"Okay that's a little better." He said, "Now what brings now to my forge Kristoff?" he asked. I opened by mouth to answer but he interrupted, "No wait let me guess…you're buying something for your girlfriend."
Now it was my turn to be surprised. "How did you know?" I asked.
"My dad was a blacksmith, a very popular one too, and he would always let me watch him while he worked. The thing I always noticed was guys around your age would come to the shop for only two reasons; weapons or armor, or a gift for a girl." He explained.
"So how did you know I wasn't here to buy armor, or a weapon?" I asked.
"You don't look the type to be into that stuff, you're a mountain man and they don't need armor." He replied.
"Okay you got me I'm buying something for my girlfriend." I admitted.
He smiled, "Okay so first of all, what's the occasion?"
"What?" I asked confused.
"You must have a reason for getting her something," He explained, "Usually it's an anniversary, birthday, or Christmas."
"W-well our six month anniversary is coming up soon." I said.
"Okay so it's an anniversary gift. Six months, so I'm guessing you want it to be a really special gift?" Zander asked.
"Yes, this gift is actually going to be pretty important." I said.
Zander smiled, "Well I girl is always expecting something big."
"I know," I said, "but this is really important." I added hoping he would catch on.
He thought for a minute then his eyes widened, "This wouldn't have anything to do with asking her a certain question would it?" he said a smirk crawling onto his face.
"Yes," I said in a 'finally' tone, "I'm looking for an engagement ring."
"Oh man," he said rubbing his hands together, "My first customer and he's asking me for a huge job."
"Yes this is a huge job, I need it to be your best work." I said.
"My best?" Zander asked.
"Yeah Anna means too much to him for anything less." Olaf piped up. Both of us started at the little snowman.
"Forgot he was here." Zander mumbled.
"Me too," I admitted.
"So I'm guessing your girlfriend's name is Anna?" The young blacksmith questioned me.
"Yes, actually Princess Anna." I stated and Zander's face froze, "What?"
Chuckling nervously he said, "I think my ears are wrong, but though I heard you say your girlfriend was the princess."
I shook my head, "No you heard right, my girlfriend is the princess."
Zander shook his head slowly; "With the experiences I've had to live through and that of all things surprises me?" He looked me in the eye, "How did the princess become your girlfriend?"
I rubbed the back of my neck, "It's a long story-"
"-and you don't have the time to tell it." Zander finished.
I nodded, "Yeah,"
He shrugged his shoulder dismissively, "Doesn't matter, but what does matter is planning this ring."
"Planning?" I asked.
"Yes planning, if you want this to be my best work, then I need to make something new." I shrugged in agreement, "So tell me, what does Anna mean to you?" he asked
I had to think for a minute, "Well I think she's the happiest and most beautiful girl I've ever seen. I would do anything to make her smile and I wouldn't let anyone hurt her. I always want to protect her and keep her happy, because she deserves that."
Zander looked up from where ever he was looking and asked, "Anna hasn't had much luck with love in the past?" I nodded, "Well that's all I need to know. I'll get started as soon as I can. I should be finish by next week, so come back then."
I nodded and headed towards the door, "Hey Kristoff, one more thing." I turned to the young blacksmith, "How much are you willing to pay for this?"
"I'll pay any price to make her happy." Was all I said before leaving the forge.
I waited until I was sure Kristoff could hear me when I turned to Ithilagar, "You really got to admire a guy like him."
Ithilagar nodded, "Yeah, I'd just wish he'd wash more often he smells like a reindeer."
"Tell me about it." I said silently agreeing with him, "Well one good thing came out of it."
"Actually two." Ithilagar corrected and I gave him a confused look, "We found out the name of that ice girl."
"Yeah, Elsa wasn't it" I said, "and not only that, we also found out she's the Queen of Arendelle."
"How is it you always fall for girls that are out of your league," Ithilagar questioned.
"I personally have no- HEY!" I said as Ithilagar burst out laughing, "I'm going into the forge." I walked into the back room and towards the table where I keep my materials my mind-set on the ring, but still on Elsa.
"Why is she always coming into my mind?" I asked to no one in particular as a decided on what metal I should use for the band.