I made it back to the cabin as the sun was setting over the trees. I took of my scabbard and sword, opting to carry it in instead of wearing it. I noticed Elsa’s horse was tied up in the stable next to mine. I gave them both some sugar cubes I had snagged during the re-distribution of food. I gave each horse a pat before heading towards the cabin door.
My hand was half way to the door handle when I felt a wave of dark magic coming from inside the cabin.
Great I mentally groaned now there’s this to deal with. I put the scabbard and sword back on before I opened the door and stepped in.
The cabin was darker than it should’ve been, there was no fire burning in the pit and no candles were lit. There was a black fog swirling around on the floor, bending to the will of an unfelt breeze. And it was freezing cold, snowflakes hung in the air and frost was building up on the windows. I listened closely and reached out with my magical senses; while I couldn’t hear anything, I could sense something.
When I reach out with magical senses, it’s like my mind reaches out and touches things, learning what things are in general. While it’s not very accurate, nothing but someone who knows their way around sorcery can hide from it. So when I reached out, I could find anyone or anything weaker than my magic. Towards the back of the cabin, I could feel four life energies, they weren’t as strong as usual but they were firm. But not far off from them was a stronger energy, but it wasn’t the same as the others. It was cold, and had an unordinary amount of sadness underneath the cold.
I drew my sword, and slowly walked forward just in case there was a trap. I drew up a little magic to my finger tips for spontaneous magic, but when I did so the blade of the sword gave off a soft blue glow. I smiled; I really did have the perfect sword for me. With the light of the blade to guide me, I made my way towards the life energies.
The energies seemed to come from a room in the back, from the outside it looked like a simple storage room. Keeping hold of my sword in my right hand I used the left to open the door slowly, the door creaking loudly all the way. When the door opened, I got a blast of sub-zero air directly in my face. I took a second to heat my face back up to a tolerable temperature, then stepped inside carefully and maintaining a defensive stance with my sword.
I wasn’t expecting what I saw. Eowan, Eugene, Repunzel, and Kristoff were all lying on the floor knocked out and very pale from the cold temperature. They seemed to be breathing but they probably went into shock, and if they stayed that way for long they might not make it. But that wasn’t the worst thing in the room.
In the corner of the room, in the center of a ring of frost, Elsa was curled up in fetal position whimpering slightly with her eyes squeezed shut hard. The most disturbing part was that there was a large pitch black streak running all the way down her braid. Fear started to build up in my chest again, the same that I gave into earlier and made me lose control.
I ran towards Elsa, sheathing my sword, and kneeling down to her level. I tried to touch her to see if she was okay, but when my hand was inches away she freaked out and started screaming. A shockwave of darkness and ice exploded out of her and sent me flying into the wall behind me. Dazed, but still conscious I stood up and started my way back to her, a bit more carefully this time.
“No, James please stay away from me I can’t control my powers!” Elsa pleaded, trying to back herself further into the corner.
“Elsa, just relax. We can solve this together.” I tried to calm her.
“NO! That’s what Anna said before I froze her heart! I won’t let that happen to you too.” Elsa placed both hands on the wall next to her, the one that protected us from the outside, and a dark frost pattern spread across it. Half a second later the wall exploded out wards and Elsa ran out of the cabin.
I looked back at my friends unconscious bodies then back to where Elsa was running away. Tired but determined I drew the last bit of magic I had and created a smokeless fire ball above their bodies to keep them warm. Then I leapt out of the newly made hole and sprinted after Elsa.
Elsa was already well into the forest by the time I caught up with her. She can make some good time but I have longer legs so I was much faster. It didn’t take long but when you’re fighting a bitter headwind and trudging through ever increasing snow, it takes the energy out of you really fast.
“Elsa, stop! Let me help you!” I called out.
“No one can help me! I hurt everyone I touch!” She screamed back, and a hurricane of black snow formed around her at a break-neck speed.
The hurricane got bigger and bigger, faster and faster. I’m ashamed to admit it; I considered turning around and taking care of the others, but then I remembered how Elsa looked so vulnerable cowering in the corner. I couldn’t just let her live on like that, if there was something I could do I had to do it for her.
I charged straight into the hurricane. The black snow whipped at my exposed skin, and buffeted my face forcing me to squint. But I forced my way through to the center, where Elsa was on her knees weeping and holding her arms close to her chest. The black streak in her hair starting pulsing with dark magic.
Elsa tried to run from me but she tripped and I managed to tackle her at the waist as she was getting up. I grabbed the black streak and separated it from the rest of her hair. The hair was so cold that it felt like it was burning off instead of freezing solid. I quickly grabbed my sword and cut the streak off. The cut of hair blew up in an explosion of darkness, a streak of it slammed right into the center of my chest and knocked me off Elsa.
The hurricane died down and my vision stopped looking like a dark tunnel. I pulled myself up again, seriously how many times am I going to get knocked down today? I made my way back over to Elsa, who was lying down in the snow still sniffling but not full on weeping anymore. I sat down next to her and placed a comforting hand on her shoulder; she flinched slightly but then seemed to consider something.
Without warning she sat up and leaned her upper body on my chest. I was a little surprised, but wrapped my arms around her anyways. I rocked gently until she stopped taking ragged breaths, her breathing smoothed out.
“They took Anna. I couldn’t stop them and they took Anna.” She managed to choke out. “They took her to a ship.”
Guilt ate at my insides as I realized that if I had waited I could’ve tried to save her. But the Emperor said that he was shipping the food to Weaseltown, so it would make sense that he took her to the same place; the Crown Ship. “Don’t worry Elsa, if they took her where I think they did; we’ll get her back in no time.”
Elsa, who had been cradling herself, slowly reached her arms around me in a kind hug. “Thank you. Thank you for everything James.”
“It’s nothing you wouldn’t do for me.” I replied. “We need to get back and help the others.”
“I don’t know if I can. I’m exhausted.” Elsa said in an apologetic tone.
“Don’t worry about that. I just need you to take the cold out of them like you did for me.” I explained. I took one arm off of her and hooked it under her knees. She gave a tiny squeak when I pick her up, and blushed about the contact as I carried her back to the hole in the cabin.
From where I was holding her, Elsa waved a hand and the dark ice came out of their bodies and disappeared, along with the coldness in the cabin. All of the others started waking up but I walked past them and went to Elsa’s temporary room and set her down on her bed. But before I could leave she grabbed my hand.
“We need to talk, remember?” Elsa said, with a small nervous smile.
“Don’t you think this can wait? It looks like that magic really took the energy out of you.” I asked, not wanting Elsa to exert herself any more than she needed to.
The last time I decided it could wait, this happened. No, I think we should talk about this now.”
“Alright then, let’s talk.” I agreed. I sat down on the bed near her and turned so I could face her comfortably. She propped herself up on her elbows, and took a deep breath steeling her nerves. I really had no idea what she wanted to talk about, as far as I know whenever a girl’s involved I’m pretty much clueless, so she wasn’t helping my nerves by being nervous herself.
“I don’t really know how to say this, I’ve never done this before.” Elsa said followed by a nervous laugh. “I… uh… this is awkward. I mean it’s not that you’re awkward. Gah, I mean-.”
I chuckled a little, I had finally figured out what she was getting at. “Don’t worry Elsa, I think I know what you’re talking about. And I think it’s high time I ask you; Queen Elsa, would you do me the honor of allowing me to court you?”
Elsa laid there for a second looking shocked. Her lack of reaction put a dent in my confidence, but I tried to keep a small smile on none the less. As the silence stretched on even my smile wavered. I thought I had done something wrong; like if that wasn’t what Elsa was talking about at all.
But all of my doubts were wiped away when Elsa jumped forward and hugged me. “Yes, I would love you to.” She said with her arms around me. It took me a second but I finally comprehended what Elsa said and wrapped her arms around her in return. As with every time I touched Elsa; a calm, refreshing cool feeling spread out from where she made contact with me and this time it even got rid of a dull throbbing in my muscles.
“Now that we’ve settled that, you need to rest. I want to get moving to help those kids and Anna as soon as possible, but we’re not moving until you’re fully rested.” I said as I pulled back and smiled. She looked mildly irritated but still happy.
She gave me puppy dog eyes, “Do I have to? I mean this is pretty big, and I don’t know if I can get to sleep after all that’s happened; and I’m absolutely sure I’m going to have nightmares.”
“Yes, you do. But if you’d be comfortable with it, I could stay and make sure you don’t have any nightmares?” I suggested. Elsa allowed it with a small nod; she took special care to morph her ice dress into sleepwear instead of dissolving and rebuilding it.
She slowly crawled under the covers and I grabbed a chair from the corner of the room and sat down next to her head. “Still wearing that necklace I made you I see.” Elsa placed a hand on the miniature star I had made for her that hung around her neck.
“Yes, I love it. It’s the best piece of jewelry I’ve ever had; and since I’m the queen that’s saying a lot.” She giggled slightly. I smiled, she really was great; and now, there was nothing holding me back from telling her.
“Has anyone ever told you how amazing you are?” I asked. Elsa’s cheeks turned a deep red as she lowered her head shyly with a smile. I grabbed the blankets and pulled them up over her. “Now go to sleep. You need it.” I commanded.
“Well what if I can’t get to sleep?” She asked with a smirk. I gave my own smirk back, “Well it’s a good thing I know how to use a sleep potion.” She giggled at that and closed her eyes.
I heard everyone else start moving around and they eventually made their way to the room. I looked at them with a questioning eye as they stood in the doorway and gave them a reassuring gesture so they just drug themselves to their rooms. I stayed awake for a few hours, making sure that Elsa didn’t have any nightmares, but eventually I did slip off into unconsciousness, and back into my some nightmares of my own as usual.