This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
In the kingdom of Arendelle, the fiord waters have thawed and flowers are starting to bloom. There is still snow in places on the surrounding hills, and the higher peaks are still covered. Spring is nearing and the first trading ships of the year are docked and unloading their cargos. The air is beginning to warm and winter jackets are being replaced by cool season clothing.
At the palace, a celebration is being prepared for the spring season and to welcome the first merchant ships' arrivals. Right now, a feast of fresh food from more southern ports is being brought into the palace. Of particular interest are the fresh raspberries and strawberries. People in the village are excited. They can't wait for the party to begin. They also want to see what Queen Elsa will do with her magic to make the event more exciting. The people of Arendelle have come to love their queen after their initial fear and shaky start.
Elsa is talking with the staff as supplies are brought in. She is making sure plans are in place for the celebration. Meanwhile, Anna is jumping around checking out everything that is coming in. Anna cannot help herself to some of the berries, and she enjoys their flavors as she eats them. As she savors their sweetness, Anna brings a hand full over to her sister Elsa and offers her some.
Anna exclaims, "Elsa, aren't these some of the most delicious berries you have every tasted!" Anna says this while she is eating one of the berries.
Elsa picks up one of the berries and tastes it and says with a smile, "Yes, they are very good; but we have eaten berries this good before. Anna, you always do like to over dramatize things."
Anna replies, "Well the first berries of the year are always the best and they should be enjoyed."
In amusement Elsa says, "They will be, so please leave some for the celebration before you eat them all up."
So with a smile on her face and a skip in her step, Anna heads to the kitchen with the supplies. She wants to make sure everything finds a place and that she knows where everything is. The kitchen is a busy place. Many people are working there cooking cakes and breads, and preparing vegetable and appetizer trays from the supplies brought in. Milk and eggs soon arrive and are placed in a walk in ice box. Anna notices that the ice used to keep the box cool is getting low.
"The ice is getting low in the ice box!" Anna exclaims loudly to a nearby kitchen staff member.
"We are aware of this princess, and an order has been sent to replenish it. Plus, we need additional ice in order to make the ice cream for the celebration." replies a kitchen member.
With excitement Anna then says, "That means Kristoff will be showing up today then."
"Yes dear," replies the kitchen staff member, "The official ice deliverer will be showing up with a cart load to replenish our stocks".
Out in the palace courtyard, stone fire pits are being prepared and the excess dirt is being sweep from the stone walls and floor. Elsa steps out of the main doors of the palace and takes a deep breath. The air has developed a fresh scent as some of the early spring flowers are pushing up, even through some of the snow that remains.
"Ahhh, Arendelle in spring time" sighs Elsa, "Signs of a new beginning and hope for the coming year."
Just then a cart rolls into the courtyard being pulled by Sven the reindeer with Kristoff at the reins.
Elsa calls out to them "Good morning Kristoff, and to you as well Sven."
Sven snorts out a hello and nods his head.
"Morning Queen Elsa," Kristoff replies as he climbs down off the cart. "It certainly looks like it will be good weather today. Especially, for all the work that is going on around here," as he eyes all the busy servants.
Elsa approaches the cart as Kristoff heads to the back to pulls off a hand cart. "It certainly feels like excellent weather, and I hope it doesn't change for this evening's spring celebration", she replies. "So is this all the ice for the palace?"
"Nearly all of it", Kristoff response as he pulls the hand cart around from the back in order to talk face to face with Elsa. "I, umm, have some help; sort of. He's bringing the last few blocks in."
Just then a voice calls out from the main gate. "Heads up!" It is Olaf, a snowman magically created by Elsa, riding a block of ice into the courtyard. Kristoff turns around and grabs the hand cart handles. Then Olaf jumps off the ice block and slides up next to Kristoff, just as the block of ice slides onto the hand cart with a thud.
"You're not looking to have a long life are you, Olaf", Kristoff exclaims with a hint of disapproval.
"Life is supposed to be cherished", retorts Olaf, "and who better to cherish it than a snowman."
"So, where are the other 3 blocks you said that you would bring?" Kristoff replies.
Olaf responds, "Oh, they are on their way in."
Just then 3 ice blocks enter the main gate with a kid, squealing with delight, riding each block. Elsa quickly creates an ice ramp which launches the blocks into the air. As the kids and ice fly through the air, Olaf grabs a hold of the hand cart as Kristoff catches the first child in one arm. Meanwhile, Olaf catches the ice block on the hand cart. Kristoff then catches the second child in his other arm, and Olaf the ice block again on the hand cart. However, the third child hits Kristoff squarely in the chest knocking him backwards. In response, Elsa quickly creates a pile of snow. This allows Kristoff and the kids to fall harmlessly down into the pile of snow. Then with delight, the kids begin to laugh and throw snow at each other, over the top of Kristoff. However, as Kristoff gets up, he gets a face full of snow from an errant snowball. So Elsa begins to laugh at Kristoff's misfortune.
"There you go Kristoff", happily touts Olaf. "All delivered and even neatly stacked on the hand cart for you. So is there anything else you need my help for? I will gladly lend you a hand."
"Naww Olaf, I think you have done quite enough for me already today", responds Kristoff as he brushes the snow off of himself.
"Then the kids and I will head to the hills and see if we can't pick some wild flowers", happily chirps Olaf. "See ya Elsa and we will try and bring some flowers back for you."
Elsa waves to Olaf and the children as they run off. "He certainly is an interesting helper isn't he", amuses Elsa.
"He's a good friend, but sometimes he can be a bit much to put up with", replies Kristoff.
Just then Anna emerges from the servant's door which is located at the side of the palace front. She is carrying a couple of carrots in her hand. She smiles as she sees Kristoff standing in the courtyard.
As Anna walks up to Kristoff and Elsa, she says, "I heard you were showing up early today. So I thought that I would bring out a treat."
"That's much appreciated," replies Kristoff as he eyes the carrots.
"Here you go Sven", says Anna with a smile as she hands a carrot to the reindeer, "I know how you love your carrots."
"What, don't I get one to?" Kristoff says with a touch of humor.
"Oh, fine", amusingly replies Anna, "You can have the other one."
"Thanks", responds Kristoff as he takes the carrot, "You certainly are a pleasant thing to see."
"And you have helped to brighten my day," smiles Anna.
Now Anna and Kristoff stand there just looking at each other. Both of them are smiling, and neither one of them is saying anything. Elsa who is beginning to feel like a 3rd wheel speaks up. "So am I the one who is supposed to haul this ice into the kitchen, or one of you two love birds going to manage that?"
Kristoff, snapping out of his lover's gaze, replies; "Right, I had better get to it." He takes a bit of his carrot and grabs a hold of the hand cart.
"Here let me help," chirps Anna as she moves quickly and grabs one of the handles of the hand cart.
"I'll gladly accept your help," replies Kristoff with a smile. "Then you can tell me about the things going on in the palace."
So they both head off pulling the hand cart with the ice behind them. Anna is on one handle and Kristoff is on the other handle. Anna begins to tell Kristoff about all the preparations that the palace has been doing. Plus, she talks about the supplies that have arrived from the cargo ships, and how good the berries taste.
Elsa watches them walk away, and a sad feeling begins to come over her. "Anna is lucky to have someone to fall in love with," whispers Elsa sadly. Snowflakes, caused be Elsa's power, begin to fall around Elsa as Kristoff and Anna enter the servant's door. "And because of my powers, I will never find someone to love." As she says this, Elsa releases a small burst of cold air and snow from her upright palm.
Later that day, Elsa is in her room getting herself ready for the party. She had just finished putting on her dress, and her hair is a bit of a mess. So Elsa brushes her hair back with both of her hands, to temporarily keep it out of her face. Elsa does this so she can check out which shoes she would want to wear. While checking out the shoes, a knock comes from the door.
"Yes, what is it?" Elsa asks as she turns and looks at the bedroom door.
"It's me Anna. Can I come in?" replies Anna from the hallway.
"You really don't have to ask that," responds Elsa. "My door will always be open to my sister."
So Anna enters the room. She is dressed up and Anna's hair is brushed, though it is not yet done up in a hairdo. Then Anna replies to Elsa, "Well, that wasn't always the case. For a long while, I would be stuck outside your door; wanting to have some interaction with my favorite sibling."
Elsa replies with a smile, "I was your only sibling." Then after a slight pause and with a sadder tone Elsa says, "Back then, I could not control my magic powers very well, and I was afraid of people finding out. Plus, I did not want to accidentally hurt you like I did in our childhood."
"I understand that now," reassures Anna. "We all were trying to adjust to everything that was happening back then." Then wanting to change the subject Anna asks, "What are you looking for in your wardrobe?"
Elsa, turning back to look into the wardrobe, says; "I'm looking for a pair of shoes to go with this dress."
Anna walks up next to Elsa and looks at the selection of footwear that is neatly displayed in the wardrobe. "Let's see now," she replies focusing on the shoes, "I would probably go for one of these two." Anna bends over and picks up 2 pairs of shoes. Elsa takes a pair of shoes from Anna in each of her hands. Anna then turns back to the wardrobe and picks up a third pair saying, "Then again this is a nice pair too." After showing this third pair to Elsa, Anna turns again back to the wardrobe.
Elsa, realizing what was about to happen, stops Anna by saying, "Whoa, Anna! If you keep going back, we will be here the rest of the day still looking at shoes. I think these three will be enough to decide from." With that, Elsa places the two pairs of shoes she has on the floor in front of a full length mirror. Then Elsa places the third pair from Anna on the floor with them. Elsa models the shoes by standing above them and checking herself in the mirror. "This pair will do," Elsa exclaims as she bends down and picks up a pair. Anna then goes and picks up the other two pairs and places them back in the wardrobe.
Now Elsa sits down to put on the pair of shoes. While doing this she also says, "You just didn't come in here to help me pick out my footwear. So why are you here?"
Anna responds, "I wanted your opinion about this dress". Meanwhile, Anna does a little sway and a twirl in her dress. "So what do you think?"
"It looks beautiful, Anna" , replies Elsa as she sets herself down in front of a vanity mirror and turns to pick up a hair brush. As Elsa sits down, Anna walks over to Elsa and takes the brush from Elsa's hand and begins to brush Elsa's hair.
"I just want to look really beautiful for this afternoon's celebration," excitedly speaks Anna.
"OH," replies Elsa with a hint of humor, "Is there some special reason you want to look beautiful?"
"Of course there is," responds Anna while giving her sitter's chair a little kick. "I want to impress Kristoff. It is the first spring festival that we are together as, you know, a couple." Anna then continues to brush Elsa's hair. "I want to make this a big event. My relationship with Kristoff has been going really well and I want to further it along." Then with a quiet tone Anna says, "I'm open to the possibility of even marrying Kristoff." Then while shrugging it off, Anna says while still brushing Elsa's hair, "That decision is still way off in the future. Right now, I just want to enjoy my time with him, and this afternoon I really want to take his breath away."
Will listening to her sister speak, Elsa was becoming unhappy. This causes the brush, that Anna was using, to develop a frost on its surface. When Anna was done speaking, she notices the frost on the hairbrush. While continuing to brush Elsa's hair Anna asks, "So why are you unhappy, Elsa?"
Now Elsa stiffens in here chair do to her surprise from Anna's question. "What makes you think that I am unhappy?" she questions.
"There is this hairbrush for one thing," Anna replies; holding up the brush so Elsa can see it in the mirror. "And there is the sad expression on your face. So what is it, that is troubling you?"
After a pause, Elsa replies; "OH, it is just listening to you talk about Kristoff."
"What? Don't you approve of Kristoff and me teaming up together?" states Anna with surprise and some anger.
"No, it is not that," quickly replies Elsa. Hoping to calm Anna, Elsa continues by explaining, "I approve of how things have been going on between you two, and the pace at which you are moving in your relationship." Then in a more dejected tone, Elsa says, "The problem is that your relationship with Kristoff makes me think about myself. If you remember the day that I became queen. I had many men hoping to become my suitor. I turned them all away because I was trying to hide myself from the fear people would have of me. I was also afraid of possibly doing harm to someone else. Now the people know about my magic powers, and I am glad that they did find out. They even have accepted me for who I am. However, people's fear of my touch has stopped the men from trying to win my affections." With a slight pause and placing her hand on the mirror showing her reflection, Elsa says; "and now I am nearly left alone again with my curse." With her hand on the mirror, Elsa generates a frost ring around her own reflection.
Anna bends down and gives her sister a hug. "You will never be alone as long as I am here, and I am not afraid of touching you" she says. Then standing up, with her hands on Elsa's shoulders Anna continues. "Besides, your life's journey is still just beginning. There are still lots of chances for you to find someone. In fact, it is possible that you might even find someone at today's celebration." Anna begins to brush Elsa's hair again. "So I am going to make sure, that I will not be the only one who is going to wow people tonight."
Elsa smiles and says, "You have always been good to me, Anna."
Anna responds, "Hey, you are my sister; and I will always try to be here for you. So, don't you ever forget that." Elsa laughs, and the two sisters get ready for the approaching celebration together.
While Arendelle gets ready for the spring celebration, two ships enter the fiord. The passengers on board are heading for Arendelle. The bigger ship is of a stately manner. It is carrying The Duke of Weselton. The Duke was humiliated in front of his king when trade was cut off with Arendelle. Now he has come back to Arendelle on the king's orders to try and reestablish trade with this small kingdom. However, the Duke has made arrangements that he hopes might make Arendelle more willing to recommence trade.
When the Duke lands on the docks one of his men asks him, "Are we heading straight for the palace?"
The Duke replies, "I will not be welcomed at the palace. So the first thing we must do is make arrangements for sleeping quarters and a meal in town. When the spring celebration starts, then I will seek an audience with the queen. She will be less likely to have me removed from the palace with everyone watching."
Then a second man asks, "How does the king of Weselton expect you to reestablish trade with Arendelle if you are disliked by the queen here?"
"I don't think he believes I can," replies the Duke, "However, in order to maintain my position in the kingdom I must do as the king orders. However, I have made arrangements that I hope will make the ruler of Arendelle more willing to negotiate trade. Whoever, that may be."
The second ship, that has entered the fiord, is a small and older ship manned by two men. Instead of following the Duke's ship to dock at Arendelle, it has docked itself just out of sight of the village. A young man jumps out of the ship and ties the ship up. Then an older man climbs out of the boat wearing a pack.
"Kristian, get your pack and let's get moving," commands the older man. "It will take a few hours to get to this place Arendelle. I want to get there before sunset, so that I can get the layout of the village and surroundings."
"Sure thing father," replies Kristian as he climbs back onto the boat.
"I am not your father, Kristian," sternly replies the older man. "Just because I took you and your mother in, when you both were in need, does not make me your father."
Kristian who is retrieving his pack replies, "You raised me after my mother died, and you taught me most everything I know." Kristian then climbs from the boat and stands next to the older man. "So, Goran, you are the nearest thing that I have to a father; but if you want me to call you by your name, so be it."
"You still need to get rid of these emotions of yours, Kristian," replies Goran. "This connection you need to make with someone else, someday will be the end of you." As Goran heads off, he calls back to Kristian, "Let's get a move on!"
So before Kristian follows Goran, he whistle back to the boat. In response to this whistle, out of the haul flies a hawk made totally out of fire. It flies to Kristian and lands on his pack. "Good boy Mattias," says Kristian to the bird. Kristian then gives Mattias a twig that catches fire in the bird's mouth as the firebird eats it.
"That dam bird of yours is going to give us away," snarls Goran as he walks the path to Arendelle. "I would have snuffed out his fire a long time ago if he was not such a good hunter."
"Mattias is a pet project of mine in more ways than one," objects Kristian to Goran's comments as he follows him. "I have worked hard so he could contain his fire on the inside for long periods of time without burning things down. Plus he has been a good friend to me."
"Again you are trying to make connections," replies Goran, "Perhaps I should snuff out his fire after all." With that said Goran turns around on the path and releases a fireball from his hand. It heads for the bird on Kristian's pack. However, Kristian responds by shooting fire from his hand towards the ground. This fire creates a wall of flame in front of Kristian. This wall of fire then absorbs Goran's fireball in its flames. "Nicely done," grins Goran. "At least you have learned to be on your toes. You will need that once we go up against the ice witch that the Duke of Weselton told us about." Now Goran turns away from Kristian to continue walking the path again.
"That is just something I don't get," Kristian wonders aloud as he follows Goran. "Goran, normally you would have roasted the Duke when he showed up at our camp; but you ended up taking his money for doing this job. Plus, I have never seen you before care about a village that is being menaced by someone. Besides this ice witch sounds as if she has magic powers like us. So why are we doing this job?"
Goran replies, "I don't care about the villagers. I do care about the ice witch. First thing you must realize is that ice and fire are natural enemies. She would be able to put out any fire you create and you can eliminate any ice she creates. Mattias would easily be one of the first things she would snuff out. Secondly, even though we are self-sufficient; we still need to buy goods from time to time. Money comes in very handy for those circumstances. Third, having a connection with the Duke would mean we would have leverage over him. That is why I did not reveal our powers to him. All he knows is that I am a mercenary that he wanted to hire."
"The Duke is an idiot "moans Kristian. "Why would he care if an ice witch is hiding in another village anyway? It's not like she lives next door to him."
"I don't care about his motives," replies Goran. "I do care about the threat the ice witch poses to us."
"She hasn't been a threat to us yet," contradicts Kristian. "We could let her stay hidden in the village and tell the Duke we couldn't find her."
"The ice witch may not be a threat now but her powers will grow in strength," states Goran. "Eventually, the people will drive her out of the village just like they drove us out. She could easily be driven into our area. I would much rather eliminate her now than a much more powerful witch later. That is why we will hunt her down in Arendelle."
"It would have been easier to find her if you had just asked the Duke what she looked like, and where in the village she lives," states Kristian.
"I wasn't going to suffer that fool any longer than I had to," growls Goran. "Besides, how difficult can it be to find an ice witch in a small village?"
Kristian is still feeling uncertain about this mission, but he relents to the leadership of Goran. After all, Goran has more experience in this sort of thing. So Kristian follows Goran obediently, on their journey to the edge of the village of Arendelle.
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