Odd could feel his blood pumping through his veins, faster than a tornado, and more dangerous than a volcano. Sweat coated his palms and his neck from nervous anticipation, and a primal desire - no, need - to destroy every last person who had threatened his family took him over, plaguing his mind with hate filled thoughts.
In this distance, Odd could make out the slight thump-thump of the guard's boots upon the cold stone floor, muffled by the heavy wooden door. There was no way he could move it on his own - he'd have to improvise when the time was right.
Pressing his body up against the wall, it suddenly became apparent to Odd just how rugged and rough the cave wall was, and a plan began forming in his head. Sound echoed in the caves, meaning the men were probably about a minute or two's walk away - in other words, just enough time to do something either completely brilliant, or completely reckless.
Quickly, Odd tied a knot in his thin, baggy shirt which he'd been made to wear, so that it fitted tightly, and then he braced his foot against the wall of the cave to the left of the door. Grunting, he reached across to the other wall, rested the remainder of his weight on his hands and, with a considerable effort, placed his remaining foot upon the stone, so that he was completely suspended.
Odd could hear the men's voices drawing nearer, and he carefully, but quickly, began to scale the wall, using the rough crevices and outcrops as supports, much like a very difficult climbing wall. His foot slipped multiple times, and his sweaty palms did little to help him get up.
Still, the thought of getting free urged him on, and with one last final effort, he managed to pull himself up, breathing heavily after the climb. By now, the guards were but a few metres away, and as the door creaked open, Odd could feel his heart beating faster than he ever remembered, aside from perhaps when he was attacked by the Southern Isles' guards.
He remembered the day clearly. Remembered his fight with Elsa, then running off to the woods. He'd always found refuge in the forests where he'd grown up, hidden away from the world, but more significantly, away from his father.
Perhaps he'd been overconfident, too sure that he was safe in the shadows of the trees which he'd always found comforting. Perhaps he'd just been to frustrated with Elsa trying to keep him inside the castle where it was safe, that he hadn't really been paying attention.
Perhaps, just perhaps, he had wanted something bad to happen, for the sole reason of making Elsa feel bad that she'd locked him up, had forced him to run off that day.
He didn't know, although he had a sickening feeling the last reason had been why he had been captured, why he hadn't tried to escape. Considering how caught up he was in his anger at Elsa, he could easily imagine the thought would have crossed his mind, or influenced his actions very slightly.
Now, of course, he was abhorred that he'd thought about that, horrified at even the possibility that he could have.
The door creaked open, and Odd took a deep breath quickly, holding it with all of his will, as the guards, three of them, filed into the room, and it was clear that they were beginning to panic when they could not see their prisoner.
Odd felt his lungs burning, and he squeezed his eyes shut at the discomfort, willing the guards to search the other end of the room to give him a chance to get out. His arms and legs were shaking, and he knew he couldn't keep this up.
"He must be in here somewhere. It's a small cave." One guard, presumably the one with highest authority and power, said. "He can't have gotten out - it's dark in here, he must be hiding in the shadows."
Odd's eyes shot open as he felt his arms and legs begin to give way, and he could feel his body burning inside, knew he'd be forced to take a breath any second.
The two largest guards slowly moved away from the doorway, beginning to search the room, but the final remained still, looking around, puzzled. He scanned the room quickly, then checked and double checked.
Slowly, he began to take a step, just as Odd felt his time end - he let his legs fall down as he pushed away from the wall, grunting as he landed atop the smaller guard clumsily, knocking them both to the floor and rolling a few metres.
He quickly pushed himself up, but the guard on the floor with him must have hit his head in the fall, and was out cold. Odd's bright green eyes, now shining with exhilaration, connected with the two other conscious men in the room as he stood up, and for a moment, no one moved.
A pebble crumbled from the ceiling of the cave, and the trances were broken - the guards began sprinting back towards the door as Odd also fled, slamming the door shut as hard as he could in an attempt to buy him a little more time. He didn't dare look around to see if it had worked - all he focused on was escaping, keeping his legs moving.
He had to escape. He had to take care of his wife, and the rest of his family too.
A loud shout came from behind, accompanied by a deafening smash as the heavy wooden door crashed against the ground, completely blown off its hinges by a furious looking guard, whose pupils were dilated, whose face was red with pure hatred and rage.
"Get him!" He snapped at the men on the left and right of him, and they quickly jumped to attention, leaping over the fallen door and rushing after the escaped prisoner.
Odd's eyes widened, and though he'd foolishly paused for a moment to watch what was going on, he quickly scrambled backwards, spinning around and running. He could hear the guards' heavy footsteps behind him, knew he had much less energy than them, and that they'd soon catch him up. He'd been given pathetic rations for so long now, just enough to keep him alive, and only his desperate need to escape gave him strength.
The guards, however, had eaten plenty, and also had their own motives, their own encouragement to catch him - they had been tasked with keeping him locked away, and if he were to escape...
It would not be a pretty sight.
Still, he had no remorse for the men. They'd made no attempt to help him, so why should he do so in return?
Smashing into a door at the end of the corridor, Odd winced as the force of the impact threw it wide open with a deafening thud as it hit the wall opposite, and he ran, ran faster than he could ever remember. This was his one chance to escape, and he was not about to blow it.
Scrambling over the steep, uneven floor of the cave, Odd struggled to keep his balance, to not trip over and fall, but with every step he took forward, he could feel his body beginning to awaken, the air growing crisper with every passing second, giving him a new life, a new sense of power, which he hadn't had before. His limbs burned with a new need to just run, and his eyes shot open, taking everything in with a new sense of clarity.
Turning a corner sharply, Odd could have almost shouted in glee from the welcome energy his body had granted him, but he stopped short, skidding to a stop when he saw a guard standing in the middle of the corridor, glaring daggers and grinning coldly. He was a large, burly man, and clearly not one who could be easily intimidated. He had a short, fat little neck, but that was the only part of him which could be considered small - the rest of his body was bulked up to at least three, maybe four, times the size of a normal man's.
Odd gulped, and heard his pursuers come to a stop behind him. He quickly tried to dodge around the man before him, but new it was pointless - he was not weak himself, but compared to the men before him, he was even weaker than a newborn baby.
But that didn't mean he couldn't think for himself.
Desperately, Odd looked for an escape, a way around the guard, but could not find anything; he gasped as he felt a rope be tied around his neck, and was jerked back by it.
"Got you!" The guard growled, and Odd gagged as he felt the rope be pulled tighter, momentarily cutting off his airways. "Come on, get moving."
The rope pulled at Odd's throat again, but he refused to bow to the men before him; stubbornly, he dug his heels in, and would not move. The guard growled, pulled again, the rope cutting into Odd's skin until it grew so tight, his vision went blurred and cloudy, and he was forced to walk, to follow, like a little puppy.
Pathetic, he chided himself as his feet dragged across the floor. He felt his foot catch in one of the crevices and he tripped over, and the rope threatened to completely suffocate him if he didn't move. His body was weak again now, from lack of oxygen, and he pulled himself forwards, just to release some of the pressure from his throat.
"Come on, you little Scumbag!" He snarled, "Move!"
Odd took a breath and let himself be dragged along, before his eyes widened, and a memory buried deep down shot to the surface.
"Get up, you little Scumbag!" His father cried, and the young boy did so obediently, his eyes squeezed tightly shut, as he waited for the next blue to strike. He bowed his head, and screamed as he felt the hot poker pressed down upon his back again.
Odd's eyes widened, and he gasped as he felt the heel of a boot place a blow upon his chest.
He fell down again, and a sharp boot connected with his side. "Get up! Get up, now!"
"Get up!" The Guard snarled, and Odd slowly rose, his fists clenching. "Get up, now!"
Odd stood at full height, furious, but he kept his head bowed as he walked, trying to control his rage. He slowly followed the guards, but as he passed the door he'd smashed down, his anger overwhelmed him, a primal need to survive, to run free, overtaking him.
Odd shook his head, trying to wriggle out of his restraints, but to no avail, and the guards hadn't quite caught onto his rebellion just yet.
Glancing around, he noticed a sharp fragment of wood left in the doorway, and he grinned. Slowly, he inched his way over, and positioned his neck above the blade, and before he could be pulled away from his one chance, he pushed his head down. The rope sliced cleanly in two, and fell to the floor, as Odd felt his neck be slashed down the side, from where the rope had held to the base of his chin.
Blood quickly pooled on the surface of his skin, but he was free once again.
Mia frowned, as she rubbed her forehead, trying to relieve the aching pain which was tormenting her so. She couldn't help but feel in her heart that someone very close to her needed help.
Suddenly, her vision went cloudy, before a bright white light exploded into her view, blinding her. She began to panic at her sudden loss of sight, before a vision slowly faded into her mind, a vague image at first, until she could finally make it out.
A young man, with dark brown hair and bright green eyes, took a breath and let himself be dragged along a cold, stony floor, the rough surface scratching his skin, rubbing it raw and making it bleed a little.
A sharp kick connected with the man's side, and he gasped loudly, clearly in pain.
"Get up!" The Guard snarled, and Odd slowly rose, his fists clenching. "Get up, now!"
The vision faded out, and Mia fell over, shaking in both fear and anger. The man was her uncle, and he was clearly in great pain, and needed help. She squeezed her eyes shut, trying to calm down as her fists clenched and unclenched, and a snowflake burst forth, flying out of the window, quickly.
Mia took a breath and ran quickly out of the room, not noticing that she'd used her magic once again, determined to find the Queen. She was too young, too inexperienced, to help her Uncle, but perhaps the older woman could.
Blood splashed on the floor, and as the rope fell, the guards span to see their prisoner free once again. Odd groaned, as he ran as fast as he could, and he fully embraced the fact that it was now or never.
His feet pounded the uneven ground once more, as blood flowed from his neck like a river, running down his skin, staining his clothes. Odd wasn't sure if he'd cut an artery, but he was hopeful that he had not - though the bleeding was bad, he didn't think it was that deep.
Placing his hand to his neck, trying to slow the blood flow, he ran faster, and as he turned the corner to where the large guard was waiting, he did not stop for a second - as the man stepped to block him, he just carried on running, perhaps because he was losing a lot of blood and was not thinking straight, but he had no other choice anyway.
Odd braced himself for impact as he continued to go foreword, unable to stop, and to his amazement, the guard simply stepped aside, looking just as confused as the prisoner was. Still, he didn't ponder it for long, rushing past, as he felt another wave of blood from his wound soak his hand.
He groaned in pain, and noticed the sounds of footsteps drawing nearer - the guards were catching up to him, and if they did, he was done for.
By now, any energy boosts he'd experienced earlier had worn off, and he knew it. His legs were like lead, his feet dragging along the ground with every running step he took. His arms still ached impossibly painfully from being hung up for so long, and his chest was burning with lactic acid, as were all of his muscles, in fact.
He was a wreck.
Squinting his closed eyes open, Odd could almost had cried with relief - up ahead, not two, three hundred metres away, was a door, and by now, he could hear waves splashing against rock, so he must have been close to the exit.
He struggled forward, bumbling along like an excited child, although his excitement was more to do with the fact that he might not be caught again, might not die a slow and painful death as he had been before. Because that's what it had been; pushing his body to the point of near death, and then letting him recover very slightly to do it all over again. Similar to drowning someone then reviving them, just to drown them again.
Pure, sick, twisted torture. But boy, did it work.
Barely a few metres to go, and Odd could hear the footsteps of the men closing in behind him, could hear their heavy breaths.
His foot caught clumsily on a rough part of the tunnel, and he was sent falling, his world turning black as he slowly plummeted to the ground.
Elsa threw the door open and sent a blast of ice towards three large, muscled men, successfully freezing them in blocks of ice. She felt no remorse at all; the only thing she cared about was the falling man before her.
Rushing forwards, she managed to catch him before his body hit the ground, and her heart was pounding ten-to-the-dozen in her chest. Sinking to the floor, she cradled the injured man, tears of both happiness and fear cascading down her pale cheeks as she waved her hand, an icy bandage wrapping around his neck, enough to hopefully stem the blood flow, without suffocating him.
He was too heavy for her to carry on her own, that much she knew. In as loud a voice as she dared to use, she called for more men to come and help get Odd onboard one of the ships waiting outside.
Softly, she placed a very gentle kiss on his forehead. "Come on, Odd..." She whispered, "Come back to me."
Her voice caught in her throat as she saw the blood staining the icy bandage, saw Odd's chest rise and fall weakly, at an irregular, concerning rate. Her tears fell freely upon his brow as he was carried away, with her at his side the entire time.
He was extremely pale. In the light of the sun, Elsa could make out every single bone of his body, could see the dark bags under his eyes, the scars across his arms, face, chest, and legs.
He was so thin, so very thin, and so pale and weak...
No man deserved this cruel fate.
Her voice was barely audible, more a sigh, a silent plea to any higher power above to have mercy upon him. He'd been through too much.