An Unsuccessful Confrontation
Among the hills, Mattias is swooping over the tops of the trees. As Mattias follows the contours of the ground, he carries his passenger, Kristian. In no time, Mattias reaches the mountains and begins to fly upwards. Small streaks of flame can be seen trailing the firebird and each flap of his wings creates thin swirls of flame off of his wing tips.
It takes only a few minutes of flight up the side of the mountain for Mattias and Kristian to reach the location of where the avalanche had started. Mattias then circles the area, while Kristian looks for signs of where Goran might be. After expanding the search radius, Kristian finally sees a glow of light coming from a cave in the side of a cliff. It is the cave that Goran had created earlier for his shelter.
"Down there!" says Kristian as he points to the location of the cave. So Mattias turns sharply and dives down towards the ground. As the firebird nears the ground, he pulls up flapping his wings. Flames can be seen coming off of his wings as Mattias lands and some of the small debris on the ground ignites. Once on the ground, Mattias bends down and Kristian slides off of the firebird's back. Now Kristian looks over to the cave that has a fire glow coming from its interior and then looks back at Mattias.
"Take it easy Mattias. I'm just going to talk with Goran, but be ready to leave at a moment's notice," says Kristian. "I might need to leave in a hurry."
Kristian then leaves Mattias and heads towards the mouth of the cave. Once there, Kristian takes his time to enter. Kristian doesn't want to have Goran get the better of him like he did back at his campsite. Finally Kristian enters, not as a coward but pulled up and ready to face an unforgiving Goran.
The mouth of the cave quickly opens up to a room of decent size. Goran had spent some time to turn the original rough cave into a modest clean room. The walls, floor, and ceiling have been refined and the floor had been cleared of loose debris. In the middle of the room is a pile of rocks. The rocks have flames flaring up from them and the pile is being treated like a campfire. It projects light into the room and provides warmth, though neither of these two men needs the fire for warmth. On one side of the room sits a smooth stone slab with Goran's sleeping blanket placed on it. This slab is being treated as Goran's bed. Off to the side of the stone fire sits another stone slab on stone legs. It is acting like a table. A large stone chair sits at one end of the table and a simple cylindrical stone sits at the other end acting like a stool.
As for where Goran is, he is sitting in the stone chair eating a bird that he had caught earlier. He is also drinking out of a stone goblet. Once Kristian enters the cave, he sees Goran and quickly checks out the rest of the cave. Goran almost immediately sees Kristian standing near the mouth of the cave.
"You've got some nerve to show your face up here," says Goran as he picks up his stone goblet.
"It hardly takes any to come here to talk," replies Kristian warily as he walks over to the stone table.
"Good to hear you say that," says Goran coldly as he takes a drink from his goblet. "Fear is not a thing people like us can afford." After looking Kristian over, Goran asks, "So what brings a traitor back to his king?"
"Go ahead and call me a traitor if you want, but you are hardly a king," replies Kristian.
"I am lord over everything that I survey, including you," gruffly says Goran.
"So you are king of a comfortable cave; and as for me, the only control that you have is that which I have allowed," replies Kristian.
Now Goran's hands flare up as he becomes angry from this slight of Kristian's. "You better watch what you say Kristian. You are already on my bad side. Go any further with your comments and you will regret it," angrily says Goran.
"You are in a foul mood," says Kristian as he sits himself down at the table.
"Of course I am," growls Goran. "You were down there betraying me to that freak of nature. Because of you, I had to set the avalanche off early and I still had to follow it up with a barrage of fireballs to accomplish anything."
"Well you accomplished it. The queen was buried in the avalanche," says Kristian. "It may not have been how you planned it, but you still took out your foe. Our mission is done here."
"It is not done. She is still alive. I can sense it," replies Goran.
"How can you sense that?" asks a shocked Kristian. "Did you witness something down in the village?"
"There is no need to see anything to know that she is still alive," replies Goran. "When such a creature dies, there is a release of magical energy. Normally it would be dispersed into the environment. However we are here. So some of that magic would enter our bodies if we allow it. It is a natural reaction to their magic over ice and our magic over fire. Even from this far away some of that magic would enter me."
"You serious?" questions Kristian. "Even after you take out one of these beings you still will get injured by their magic."
"I never said that the magic causes injury," replies Goran. "Yes, it causes discomfort; but that magical energy will allow our own powers to grow."
"My powers continue to increase just fine on their own," says Kristian distasteful of the idea Goran has just presented. "I don't need any outside help."
"You're young and naive," says Goran in a belittling tone. "At some point your powers will not be able to increase without causing injury to yourself. For creatures like us, our hearts will flame and turn us into stone. For the witch down in that village, hers will freeze and will turn her into ice."
"I won't need to go beyond my own abilities. I won't have a need for it," replies Kristian still distasteful of the whole thing.
"Of course you will," insists Goran coldly. "Power is the only thing that matters. It is the only thing that people respect. I willing accepted this curse that I have for that particular reason, power. Yet the magic that I was given was not enough. I could not stop an entire army or create one of my own. So I worked hard on increasing my power, but could only go so far. That is when I started seeking out these creatures of ice. Their magic over the cold helps to counter my power over fire. Their magic will keep my heart from turning into stone."
"You don't want people to respect you. You want them to fear you," states Kristian. "And I don't want any part of that. To live in peace is all that I want, and I was doing that just fine on our mountain top."
"You forget what happened to your mother. It was because of you that she died. They came once and others will come as well. You can never escape what you are Kristian. You have to fight to survive and you can survive best under my leadership," says Goran cruelly.
Kristian becomes upset with Goran's comments and Kristian's hands flare up. So Kristian stands up and places his hands on the stone table. The fire spreads out over a small area on top of the table. "Don't you dare bring my mother into this!" exclaims Kristian. "You may have taught me how to survive Goran, but you are not the only one who knows how to live! Power is not the only way and I won't participate in your efforts in obtaining more! Just leave this place with me Goran and forget about the Queen of Arendelle!"
Goran stands up now and slaps his own hands against the stone table. Goran's hands are blazing strongly and the fire sweeps up at both edges of the table a few feet. "You think you can live in peace with this witch!" exclaims Goran. "She will only be using you to increase her own powers! You are nothing but a means to an end for her!"
"Power is not what she needs Goran! She has all the power that she desires!" exclaims Kristian. "What she needs is something you cannot comprehend. It is something that you have never sought, but you are right about one thing. She does see me as a means to an end. The thing is I am actually considering allowing her to have it."
Goran roars as he lifts his hands up into the air. The fire that is coming from his hands, leap high and hit the ceiling. As it hits the ceiling, the fire spreads across the room. Goran then redirects that fire back down through his body and out through his hands at Kristian. Kristian has been expecting this and creates a redirecting fire. This causes Goran's fire to glance off and strike a wall in the room.
"You dare to side with this witch over me!" shouts Goran as he holds both palms upright. From his palms flames shoot up towards the ceiling.
"Only on this one point," replies Kristian. "Just leave Arendelle!"
"I will once I have finished my task!" states Goran.
"How do you expect to do that?" replies Kristian semi-sarcastically. Kristian stands with his palms directed towards Goran. The flames, from Kristian's hands, seem to come off the top of his curved fingers. "Elsa knows that you are coming and I'm not going to make it easy for you either."
"You don't have my level of power!" exclaims Goran as he releases a barrage of small hissing fireballs at Kristian.
In response, Kristian creates a horizontal spiraling funnel of flame as he falls onto his back. Goran's hissing fireballs try to curve down towards Kristian but the funnel keeps the fireballs from curving and striking Kristian. Instead the fireballs strike the wall at the opposite side of the room. These fireballs embed themselves into the wall where they still glow red. Then Kristian quickly rolls over and crouches on the floor. From this position, Kristian spreads his fire across the floor towards Goran. The fire moves quickly under the stone table, and then the fire erupts upward around Goran. This eruption of fire causes Goran to fall backwards into his stone chair.
"I don't need your level of power to be a pest," says Kristian as he stands up to look at Goran. "So do you still think, that you have the power to take both the Queen of Arendelle and me on at the same time?"
Goran pushes himself partly off his stone chair. His palms still blaze and one hand rests on the center of the backrest of the chair. With his hand on the back of the chair, Goran focuses his powers through this hand and blasts the back off of the stone chair off. He then stands up and moves over to stand behind the pile of flaming rocks.
"I have more than enough power to take the both of you on," snarls Goran. "But I won't have too."
Now Goran spreads his arms out to his side. From his hands, fire shoots out towards the sidewalls. The flames strike the walls and are redirected back towards Kristian. In response, Kristian extends his own hands and a flaming disc forms around each hand. Goran's fire strikes these discs with little effect.
"You're off your game Goran," says Kristian. "Give up your mission and we both can leave for home. Forget this senseless mission of yours."
Goran drops his arms down and smiles. "I'm not off my game. I'm at my peak!" gloats Goran.
When Goran's flame had struck the sidewalls, some of its energy went into the walls. That energy traveled through the walls and energized the fireballs that were embedded. Now Goran lifts an arm up and makes a come hither motion. Kristian is puzzled by this act, but the next thing that Kristian knows is that he is being struck in the back. The fireballs have come out of the wall and have flown into Kristian at Goran's command. The fireballs hit Kristian hard and he is sent sprawling across the room.
Now Goran walks towards the mouth of the cave as Kristian scrambles to get to his feet. Once there, Goran turns around and faces Kristian. "Your witch friend will never see you again," says Goran. "She will pay with her life for turning you against me."
Now Kristian begins to run towards Goran. He yells as he moves and his hands flare up strongly. Kristian begins to raise a hand to strike; but before he can complete the move, Goran acts. Goran lifts his hands up to his chest, and he then makes a quick motion outwards with his arms. The fire stones in the middle of the room erupt in flame and totally split the room in half with fire. This fire creates a blast of air that pushes against Kristian. So Kristian has to brace himself against this force of air. Now Goran turns away from Kristian and begins to walk out of the cave. Kristian meanwhile moves slowly against the rushing air. Finally Kristian makes it to the firewall and steps through it. Once through Kristian inhales and exhales strongly because of the effort, but then he moves quickly to the entrance of the cave.
Goran is outside the cave by the time that Kristian makes it through the fire. Now once outside, Goran turns around and faces the cave entrance. He waves his hands around; and Goran's magic, in its purest form, enters the small rock debris that surrounds the entrance. This debris begins to float in the air and come together to form a loose set of bars. Then this debris solidifies together to become solid. The cave entrance is now block by a set of solid bars formed by Goran's own magic. Meanwhile Kristian nears these bars as they solidify and fires a fireball at them, but the bars do not break.
"It's useless Kristian!" states Goran. "These bars and all the surfaces of that room are filled with my magic. Adding fire will only make them stronger. Only if the fire magic is extinguished will they fall apart, and I don't think you have enough water in there to accomplish that."
Kristian grabs a hold of the bars while his hands flare up. "Goran stop this!" exclaims Kristian. "This isn't necessary!"
"It is all necessary," replies Goran. "This witch and her army are a threat to my future rule, and with her death you will have no choice but to follow me. You will be a wanted man and no place will be safe for you to go."
With nothing more to say to Kristian, Goran turns and begins to walk away. "Goran! GORAN!" shouts Kristian as he reaches an arm trough the bars.
Just then a flash of flame comes down out of the sky and strikes Goran before going back up into the air. Goran tumbles to the ground, and as he struggles to get back to his feet. Meanwhile, Kristian looks up into the sky. What Kristian sees is Mattias. The firebird had come to help his master and friend. Now Mattias takes a broad swoop through the air before coming back down onto Goran. Goran just manages to get onto his feet when Mattias strikes him again. Goran lands hard onto his back but he manages to roll. Goran is on the ground but his hands are covered in fire.
"Mattias! No, get out of here!" shouts Kristian as he tries to wave off the firebird. "Go warn Elsa!"
Mattias looks down at Kristian and then the firebird begins to fly away. However, Goran manages to get to his knees and release a fireball in the direction of Mattias. The fireball races into the sky and just barely clips the firebird. Mattias tumbles through the sky from the strike; but as he nears the ground, the firebird regains control. At the same time, Goran has gotten to his feet. Mattias starts to fly away again when Goran releases another fire strike. This time Goran's aim is dead center. Mattias screeches in pain as the fire rips right through the firebird tearing him apart. Most of the bird's fire is extinguished and only a few remnants of flame float down to the ground where some small debris catches fire.
"MATTIAS!" shouts Kristian from behind the bars. His entire torso flares up and Kristian then begins to try and break through the bars with his shoulder. After a few tries, Kristian ends up leaning against the bars with his last attempt; and then he slides down the bars. Kristian ends up sitting on the ground with his head leaning against the bars. His fire recedes to his hands and Kristian's arms cross his body. His palms face up and the fingers are curled. Small flames emerge from his cupped hands as Kristian sits in a slumped position and cries.
"Pathetic," says Goran in disgust. "There is no room for such weak emotions in our life. The only thing that matters is strength and dominance. You better toughen up Kristian for this ice witch of Arendelle is going to meet the same fate as your idiot pet."
Now Goran turns away and using his magic powers, creates a large wolf made of fire. The beast roars as it comes to life. Now Goran grabs a hold of the fur on the back of its neck and swings himself up onto the fire wolf's back. After settling onto the wolf's back, Goran looks back at Kristian and says, "I am the only ally you are ever going to have, remember that." The wolf then heads down the mountain to Arendelle at a run with Goran on his back. As Goran leaves, Kristian lets out a cry of despair and fire covers his entire body. Then the fire erupts outward and fills the entire cave, and flames can be seen exiting through the bars that cover the mouth of the cave.
Down in Arendelle, Elsa and Anna have been going to the sites of where the people are working to restore and clean up Arendelle. Happy greetings are given to both sisters as the villagers are glad to see that the queen is alright. Elsa even helps some by creating ice chutes to carry the snow away quickly.
"I'm so proud of all of you, and Arendelle is blessed to have everyone that is here," says Elsa as she addresses a large group of people. "In time, with your help, Arendelle will return to the way it once was. It is also my hope that a certain individual will return to aid us in our time of need. He has already accomplished much here in Arendelle for us all, but he is now off on a mission that directly concerns me personally. For now I will show you what he has done for Arendelle."
Elsa steps over to the side of the road and raises her hands. Then Elsa waves her hands around and a cold wind blows from them. This wind begins to pick up the snow in front of her and lifts it into the sky. The snow is then carried away by the wind. After some time, a canyon is cut through the snow. It continues to remove the snow until the area of the village that Kristian had been working in has been connected to the main road. People then walk through Elsa's snow covered canyon and enter the snow free area of Kristian's work. Everyone is amazed to see so many of the homes free of the snow. They had been working for a few hours and have only cleared part of the main road. Here, in the residential part of town, several times more material had been cleared and not a spec of snow can be seen on anything.
Anna enters this area of the village alongside Kristoff, and she is smiling as she sees Kristoff's expression of amazement. "So who manage to do all this?" asks Kristoff as he looks around.
"It was Kristian," replies Anna with a smile.
"Kristian?" asks a puzzled Kristoff as he turns to look at Anna.
"Do you remember Kristian saying that he has a knack with handling snow?" says Anna. "Well this is what he can do when he isn't worried about being watched."
"Kristian did all this by himself?" exclaims Kristoff. "So where has he gone, and what is he up too?"
"He has gone to dissuade his friend from continuing on his mission," replies Elsa as she approaches Kristoff and Anna.
"You're talking about the job that the Duke of Weselton hired them to do, right?" asks Kristoff.
"Yes, and apparently the danger isn't over," replies Anna with some concern.
"So how much danger are we talking about?" asks Kristoff. "I would have thought the avalanche would be the worst thing that could have been done."
"I'm hoping that Kristian will be successful, but the risk is very high if he doesn't succeed," replies Elsa.
"What Kristian did here is apparently what Goran can do as well," adds Anna as she gestures to the snow free houses. "If Kristian was able to do this, think of what someone with his abilities would be able to do against Elsa's magic."
"Elsa, you should get back to the palace then," says Kristoff as he looks over to Elsa. "At least there the walls can give you some protection."
"How can I leave to the safety of the palace when Arendelle needs my assistance," replies Elsa. "There is so much snow and with my magic I could help make things easier for everyone."
"We are all grateful for the help you have given us already," says Kristoff. "But there isn't a person here that wouldn't want you to be safe. You are our queen, and you are also my friend. Your subjects can take care of the snow for now. You just take care of yourself."
However Elsa does not feel comfortable about leaving her village like this. "I don't know. There is so much work to do. Even with my help it would take a couple of days to clean up everything. It is not like I can make this snow vanish in an instant," says Elsa.
"It would take even longer if we lost you," replies Anna. "Elsa, it would be best if we head back to the palace and inform the guards. Besides, the palace is still going through preparations to house all the villagers whose homes are still buried in the snow. So your presence is also needed there."
Elsa finally relents to Kristoff's and Anna's persuasion. "Very well, since there are things that need to be done at the palace; I might as well head back and see to the comfort of everyone," says Elsa.
Elsa waves good bye to Kristoff and Anna moves up to him and gives Kristoff a kiss. "See you tonight then?" asks Anna.
"Yes, but it will be late. There is a lot of work to do yet," replies Kristoff. He then looks away from Anna and shouts out to Elsa. "Don't worry Elsa! The main road should be cleared by tonight! I will work to make that happen."
Elsa turns around and replies, "Thank you Kristoff. Anna, are you coming?"
"Be right with you!" says Anna to her sister. Then Anna turns back to Kristoff and says, "See you tonight." "I'll have a meal ready for you when you show up!" says Anna as she raises her had to wave good bye and then hurries after Elsa.
The sisters walk down the road quietly for some time before Anna speaks. "I was just thinking, and I was wondering what you were going to decide to do about Kristian?"
Elsa looks over to her sister and asks, "What do you mean? I really have not thought about doing anything concerning Kristian."
"You must have been thinking about something," replies Anna. "I noticed that you didn't mention Kristian's magic to anyone. So I figured you had something in mind. I decided to keep quiet about him as well out of respect for you."
"It was really nothing Anna," says Elsa as the sisters continue to walk back to the palace. "Since we met him, Kristian has been having a difficult time."
"Well it does serve him right for plotting against you," interrupts Anna. "We were just lucky that he had a conscious."
"OK, I'll allow you that one point," concedes Elsa. "His conscious was troubling him, but what I was thinking about was Kristian's abilities. I've gone through much of what he is experiencing. Some of which I still have trouble with."
"You're feeling empathetic towards Kristian," replies Anna. "You want to make his situation better if you can."
"In a way, yes," replies Elsa. "Kristian is concerned about living in peace, and he is afraid of others finding out about his powers. I wish to honor Kristian's desire in keeping his secret, but I also want others to know of the help he has already provided.
"So that is why you showed everyone his handy work," says Anna.
"Yes, I wanted to give people a hint of what Kristian was. That way, it would be less of a shock for the people of Arendelle when they find out about him. If everyone would be more accepting, I thought that I could ease Kristian into opening up with others. Then maybe he would be more accepting of my offers to stay a while in Arendelle."
"You always have put others before yourself," says Anna with a smile.
"I'll admit, it is a flaw that I have," replies a smiling Elsa.
"I wouldn't call it a flaw, but at least this time you are taking some of your own wants and desires into this decision," says Anna cheekily.
"Anna!" exclaims Elsa in surprise and embarrassment.
However Anna begins to laugh and in a moment Elsa joins her sister in laughter.