"Do you know where Elsa and Anna went, Kristoff?" Odd asked, his voice expressionless. "I haven't seen them since this morning, and I'm getting a little worried. I don't want anything to happen to them."
Kristoff shook his head. "I'm not sure, either. I saw them heading out together this morning, but I'm not sure where they went. I'm a little surprised they didn't tell either of us anything, because I know Anna, at least, hates leaving me guessing."
He slowly began to walk away from Odd, towards the main castle entrance hall. "I think I'm going to go and find Sven, and go search for Olaf quickly. I might take Lysse as well - she hasn't had any exercise for ages. Anyway, Anna made Olaf a carrot cake, and I might as well get it to him now while I have a load of spare time... Give her and Elsa ten or fifteen minutes to get back, and after that, I'm going to see if I can find them, if they aren't here then."
Odd nodded. "Okay, then. That makes sense. I guess I'll stay here and wait for the girls. I have a letter I need to write, anyway."
Kristoff frowned. "Oh? I thought Elsa dealt with all that stuff?"
Odd looked a little uncomfortable. "Yeah, but she has been tired lately. So, I offered to do it for her while she gets a rest. Of course, she'll still check it after, 'cause you know what she's like, but it'll take some of the weight off her shoulders."
Kristoff smiled at his brother in law. "That's nice of you." He said, "Well, I'll see you around."
Odd forced a smile and nodded, waving a few times before turning around and frowning. Ugh, he thought to himself as he began to walk away, Some people really infuriate me. Glancing out of a window to his right, he watched for a few moments as Kristoff galloped off, and huffed grumpily. I guess I'll just have to do something about him, then, as well.
There's just so much to do. Geez- who'd have thought that this job would have been so much work?
Sven and Lysse bleated happily at the exhilarating feeling of running fast once again, and Kristoff cheered as his reindeer launched himself down a snow covered hill, skidding happily on the slippery surface as he slid down. The buck reared up as he increased in speed, and he continued to glide down the slope, and the man upon his back laughed, clinging on tightly, his eyes wild with excitement.
Sven grunted happily, but yelped when his hoof caught on a tree root, and the pair were sent flying, Kristoff hanging on desperately as he sped through the chilly december air. Lysse bleated happily, and launched herself after them, cheekily. They all landed with a thud in the snow, rolling a few metres, before standing up, laughing and chortling.
Sven bleated. "Whoops." Kristoff translated, and he stroked the buck's node affectionately, chuckling, and patted the little baby doe beside him too. "Don't worry, boy; no harm done." He said, and then noticed the squished package trapped under his friend's body.
"Oh, dear." He remarked, pulling the mess out, "It seems Anna's carrot cake for Olaf is ruined. And she spent so long making it... ah, well." He chuckled. "She'll get over it. I'm sure she'd enjoy the chance to make another anyway." Glancing over at Sven, who was eying the package eagerly, he rolled his eyes, and undid the wrappings.
"Here you go, you two." He said, "You can finish this up and then we'll head on back."
Sven bleated happily, and Lysse reared, before the pair tucked into the squished mess of carrot cake. Kristoff chuckled, and he rested his head against Sven's body.
"Slow down, Anna!" Elsa shouted, "You'll kill your mare if you keep her going at this speed! At least slow down to a trot!"
Anna huffed, but she sighed, and softly pulled back on the reins, lengthening her reins just a little as she did to give Misty a bit more freedom. "Fine." She said, and though she had agreed to go slower, she still pushed the poor horse into a quick trot.
Elsa trotted up next to her sister, and then moved in front of her, so that she could not get past and hurry on ahead. Softly, the Queen slowed her gelding down, and Anna, stuck behind her, also had to cease her mare's rapid trots to just a steady walk.
"Elsa!" She moaned, her face red in frustration. "Let me go!"
The Queen shook her head. "No, Anna. At least let Misty have a bit of a break first, and then you can go again, after that." She sighed. "I promise not to stop you doing whatever you want with Odd, but please, just don't let it get in the way of your horse's health. She's a cracking mare - you don't want to damage her."
"Fine." Anna snapped again, and Elsa shook her head slightly, and looked out across the horizon. She could just make out the very top of the castle peeking over the land in front of her, watching and waiting for the Queen to return, and she sighed.
I almost hope he's not there. She thought to herself, Then at least no one else will get hurt.
Anna's voice brought Elsa out of her trance, and she looked behind her slightly, slowing down a little so that she was closer to her sister. "You know Heidi..." The Princess began slowly, and Elsa nodded, signalling that she was listening. "You don't think Odd... or, whoever this guy is... you know..."
Elsa gasped. "Oh, my gosh." She whispered, "It must have been him. He didn't seem surprised when We were told Heidi had died, and I thought he was just, well, in shock; I thought that he hadn't taken it in. But it makes sense now. He must have killed her!"
Anna's face grew brighter, a much deeper shade of red. Elsa's white face had gotten a slight pink tinge too, and her lips were pierced tightly together.
"Let's go back." Elsa said, and Anna nodded.
Kristoff chuckled as he pushed Sven away from his face, not appreciating the reindeer's wet licks. "No, Sven! No kisses!" He scolded, and the buck hung his head sadly.
"But I love you!" Sven whined, and Kristoff sighed.
"Yeah, yeah, love you too, Bud. Now, come on... we'd better get back home." Slowly, he stood up, brushing off snow from his trousers, and he pulled a reluctant Sven up onto his hooves. Lysse whined, and he laughed, reaching down and picking the little doe up, draping her across his companion's back, before climbing on himself. Wrapping his arm around his lost daughter's pet, he kicked Sven on, heading back towards Arendelle.
"Nearly there!" Anna cried out, and she almost looked excited at the prospect of getting revenge for her sister. "I've been thinking... you know you gave me some magic..."
Elsa mumbled something, and Anna turned her head around for a brief moment, surprised when she saw how petrified her sister looked. Her heart sank, and she looked back in front, where she was going.
"I... I don't know what to say, Elsa..." Anna fumbled with her words, nervously. "I promise you, I won't let him get away with this."
Elsa nodded dully, and recalled saying exactly the same thing to Odd - or whoever the Odd impersonator was - that she would not let Heidi's death go unpunished. And she was not one to break her word.
"Neither will I."
Kristoff frowned, as he trotted across the top of the hills, and he squinted his eyes, making out the shape of two horses, one grey and one brown, something he was quick to point out to Sven.
"Hey, Bud..." He began, "Is it just me, or does that look remarkably like the girls?" Sven snorted in response, and Kristoff patted his side, as he tightened his grip on Lysse and began in the opposite direction, after his target.
"Kristoff!" Anna yelled in greeting, "Why are you out here!"
Quickly speeding up the last few metres, so that he could catch up with his wife and sister-in-law, Kristoff was quick to notice how tense Anna looked, as if she was anticipating something, and how Elsa's eyes were shining with both determination and worry.
"What's happened? What's wrong?" He asked, completely ignoring Anna's question, and Elsa looked nervous.
The Princess looked over at her sister warily, but the Queen smiled weakly, a signal that she was okay with Kristoff being told her secret. At least, some of it.
"It's Odd." Anna said, gritting her teeth. "He's... he's an impostor. That's why he's been acting so strangely."
"Are you sure?" He asked, "He has been acting strangely, but that doesn't mean he's suddenly a whole new person."
Anna took a breath, and kicked Misty on faster ad the gates to the kingdom drew ever nearer. "Certain."
Odd watched as Kristoff, Princess Anna, and Queen Elsa approached, and he grinned to himself. Oh, good. He thought, silently, as he placed the pen he had been holding down in his pot of ink. I've been waiting for her... company. He chuckled darkly. I guess it might have been a bit unwise for me to do what I did, if she says anything, but... hopefully she won't. I guess if worst comes to worst, I'll just have to get rid of them earlier than we had planned.
Sneaking another glance back out of the window, Odd noticed the way Anna's face was the perfect image of pure frustration and anger, and he began to curse under his breath.
"Shit," He muttered, "She looks like danger." Panicking, he jumped up, his previous plan abandoned, suddenly scared, not wanting to face the angered Princess; he'd heard numerous stories about her wrath, and she was so protective of her sister, he'd be dead meat.
His hand connected with the bottle of ink as he spun and ran from the room, the dark blue liquid spilling over his half-written letter, and he fled.
"There he goes!" Anna yelled, at the top of her lungs as she pointed at the fleeing fake-Prince, and Misty cried out loudly, neighing, and in the distance, Brandy Shot's head spun around, and he seemed to falter. Faintly, Anna could see the scared look in Odd's eyes, and he hurried to kick his horse on, yanking the stallion's head around forcibly.
Misty galloped after the posing Prince, her hooves pounding against the cobblestone ground, in sync with Elsa's gelding and Sven. Whistling, she continued forward, and was greeted, just as it began to rain, by Seier, who came out happily, wagging his tail and yipping around Anna's mare's legs.
"Seier! Catch him, Seier!" She shouted, pointing at Odd. "Fetch!"
The wolf continued to run for a few metres as he processed the request, then bounded forward, barking loudly, and Odd panicked, slapping Brandy Shot's flank, and the horse reared, scared.
The intruder clung on as stallion began to buck, and his choice of trying to push the boy on was clearly a bad one. With one final kick of his back legs, Odd's grip on Brandy's back slipped, and he was sent flying through the air, landing on the icy floor with a spine-tingling thud. Anna couldn't help but cringe slightly, but the she pushed Misty forward.
"Back off, Seier." She commanded, and the wolf, whose razor sharp teeth had been but inches away from Odd's throat, whined. "Back off, Seier!" She repeated, sternly, and begrudgingly, the snarling canine obliged, although his claws scraped across Odd's face for good measure, cutting across the nearly healed scars on his face.
"Here, brother in law." Anna said, offering her hand to the man on the ground, and he took it gratefully. The Princess smiled at him, but inside, her blood was boiling. "I am so sorry," She said, and her voice sounded perfectly sincere.
Odd seemed a little skeptical at first, but then she obviously relaxed. "Thank you, Anna." He said, smiling, and she smiled back, before reaching her hand up to his cheek. Softly she touched the newly bleeding cuts on his face, and she amazed herself at her control.
"That looks like it hurts, Odd." She said, and brushed her finger across. He nodded, muttering, "Like shit."
She smiled softly, and drew her hand back slightly, before her eyes hardened, and her first shot forward, connecting right with the bridge of his nose. "I bet that hurts even more, now." She snarled, and slapped his cheek, her anger finally releasing itself, and she lost the control she had before, bringing her first back and connecting with his chest, making him groan.
Bringing her knee up, she met her mark and Odd let out a yell of pain. Anna nodded to Seier, and the wolf sprung at the man, pinning him down, and Elsa came forward, grinning, as she waved her hand and encased his feet in blocks of ice. Odd squirmed.
"Get them off me!" He yelled, "You'll give me frostbite, you Bitch!"
Elsa took a gentle breath, and crossed her arms. "Watch the language around the baby, Odd!" She whispered harshly, and sent a well aimed kick to his groin area. Kristoff winced for him.
"Come on, Seier. Take him inside for me, like a good boy." Anna whispered, and patted the wolf's head. Seier wagged his tail, and seemed to take great pleasure in dragging him off.
"So, Elsa." Anna said, "What do you reckon would be a suitable punishment for him, then?"