I followed Elsa throughout the castle, trying to
make a mental map of the castle. But there was something about her that I just
couldn’t ignore; the way she had spared my life, even after I had broken into
her castle, and how she had melted all the snow on me like it was nothing.
I ate another spoonful of some delicious chicken noodle soup, which was fantastic. We stopped in front a plain wooden door. Right down the hall were two other doors, a light green door and a light blue one.
“This is the guest-room; you’ll be staying here during your time with us.” Elsa stated. “If you need me or Anna you could check our rooms just down the hall or me in my study.”
I choked a little bit on my soup. Not only was Elsa being extraordinarily kind by not throwing me into the dungeons, she was also giving me a place to sleep and live in the castle! “Wow, I can’t even begin to tell you how grateful I am Your Highness.”
Elsa raised her hand to cut me off, “First off, just call me Elsa. And second, I owe you for Marshmallow throwing you through a window.” She said with a kind smile.
I would like to say that I was really smooth and swept her off her feet. But in reality I just stood there, probably looking really dumb, staring at Elsa in pure awe. And I would have stayed like that if not for one of the nastiest surprises in Elsa’s life.
Horns sounded outside, causing Elsa to jump and snapped me out of my embarrassing trance. Elsa ran to the windows opposite of my temporary room, and looked down at the courtyard.
“Oh no, oh no. No, no, no, no, no!” Elsa said, on the verge of panic.
“What? What’s going on?” I asked.
“The emperor is here! I thought he wasn’t going to arrive for a week! I still have so much to prepare!” Elsa almost shouted.
After all she had done for me, I couldn’t just let her meet the emperor in the panicked state she was in. So I grabbed her by the shoulders and said, “Elsa. Calm down. You’re going to walk out there and surprise him with calmness. You can get the servants to clean while you talk out there.”
She looked at me with big blue eyes full of fear, but I must have proposed at least one reasonable idea because she took a second to collect herself, turned around and walked down the hall. At the end of the hall she turned around and said, “Thank you, I needed that. Please, stay out of trouble.”
With that, she simply turned the corner and left me standing alone in the hallway.
Stay out of trouble, I thought, I can do that. I walked into my new room and looked around. All that was in there were a medium sized bed, a closet, and a desk. A window on the far side of the room looked out into the sea. I walked over to the closet, opened it and put on a simple black leather jacket with a cloth hood. I walked over to the window and looked out to see a small ship anchored right next to the edge of the castle. Looked pretty normal enough, until I saw there were ropes dangling from the top of the castle wall. “Well crap,” I said “there goes staying out of trouble.” And I ran out of the room and down the hall, towards the outer wall where those ropes should be.
Once I got there, I looked over the edge of the wall down towards the ship. It looked like all of its crew had already climbed up over the walls. Then I heard two female screams, and the sound of warriors getting into battle.
I sprinted through the castle towards what I had already guessed was the main courtyard. And what I found was not very confidence inspiring; Elsa, her sister Anna who had been mentioned during the tour, and a short man with a thick brown beard, colorful silk robes, and a golden crown, who I had guessed was the emperor.
A group of men in black had surrounded them, at their feet lay a dozen wounded or unconscious guards. Elsa threw her hands forward and a wall of ice accumulated and surged towards the attackers. A deep red glow appeared around the men and melted the ice wall before it could touch them.
“Heating stones from a dying volcano, you can’t touch us with your powers Elsa” the man who seemed to be the leader mocked.
“Go home Hans, you have no power here!” Elsa challenged, but I could hear the fear in her voice. She wasn’t sure if she could protect everyone from Hans. But luckily she wouldn’t have to, I had no problem with this Hanz guy, but I couldn’t let him attack my host.
Since I was on the wall that wrapped around the courtyard above everyone, sneaking over to the nearest guard outpost was relatively easy. I grabbed a crossbow and smiled at the irony. I crouched down behind the inner lip of the wall and got a bolt loaded into the crossbow.
“Not that I’m sorry or anything, but I’m here to take your kingdom from you Elsa. And maybe as a bonus I could keep both you girls as wives.” Hans gloated. That was crossing the line, I hadn’t even known either girl for more than an hour and yet I still felt the urge to protect them.
I popped up from behind the position and let my instincts take over from there. Hans had split off from the group, but I didn’t want to take him out first anyways. I aimed between of the feet the guy closest to the girls, and pulled the trigger.
Everything worked out the exact way I planned it. The heating stone in his pocket worked on all projectiles, not just Elsa’s magic. As the bolt got close to him, the red glow appeared around him. The only thing that happened different was that the bolt didn’t turn into steam; the entire bolt set on fire, and sent a huge puff of snow up right into his face. Not very effective in disabling anyone, but it sure sent them into disarray.
The men, and Hans, scattered; taking cover to avoid another volley of bolts that I sent after them. When they had all crouched down behind something solid, I grabbed a sword lying next to me and vaulted over the wall.
Probably one of the most idiotic things I’ve done, without any help or any memory of training, I charged the men. I had been able to span the entire distance before the first guy realized that I wasn’t shooting at them anymore. He popped his head over his cover and the first thing he saw was the hilt of a sword smash into his helmet. The second noticed his friend go down and got into a proper defensive stance, holding a large battle axe horizontally and ready to block anything I threw at him. Unfortunately, I had no intention to go sword first into combat.
I started to reach down to scoop up a handful of snow to throw in his face to make steam; but I felt a surge of power run through my body I jerked my arm up, missing the ground but still pushing my hand forward. Suddenly, a wave of snow formed and surged towards him. The red glow appeared, instantly vaporizing the snow but leaving a thick screen of steam behind to block his sight. He stumbled and I swiped his leg out from under him, he hit his head pretty hard and was knocked out.
The steam dissipated and the remaining three guys started to form a circle around me. Hans stood behind them, a safe distance away, swinging his sword in a circle lazily.
“Impressive trick peasant, but it’s time to give up now. We have you surrounded, you have no chance.” Hans said, smiling to himself as if I was an amusing monkey performing on the streets.
“Not a chance pretty boy.” I said back, pulling my hood up to cause shadows to cover my eyes. For whatever reason, as soon as the hood went up, my senses sharpened. I could see the men tense up before they move, I could hear their breathing, and most of all I could almost sense what they were about to do before they did it.
The men rushed at me all at once, hoping to beat me with sheer numbers. I thought about that little trick I pulled on baddie number two, so I thought what the heck, why not try again?
I thrust my hand forward, focusing on the ground and imagined the snow on the ground as a turbulent sea in the middle of a storm. And to my surprise, it worked. The ground turned into a series of snow waves, causing the men to fall over or lose their footing and stumbling around.
One last trick for the road, eh boys? I thought. I turned my palm face up, and thrust my hand towards the sky. The ground under the men shot up in an icy column, the snow from all across the courtyard rushed the rising snow pillar to add more height. And then the red glow around the men appeared. Then entire column disappeared and the men fell 30 feet to respective dull thuds on the soggy ground.
Hans took a step back, I could see he was trying to keep himself from reacting but the fear was still in his eyes. “How…how did you do that?!”
I just smiled in response. I walked towards him as menacingly as I could; with each step I took he took a step back until he backed into the castle wall. He raised his sword to keep me at a distance. As confident as I was trying to be, I really didn’t want to fight Hans. He looked like he could handle a sword and the snow column trick had drained me quite a bit.
“Alright look Hans, I just took out all five of your men without using my sword more than once. Let’s not get into this; I don’t want to fight you, you don’t want to fight me. If you leave now, I won’t have to use this sword.” I reasoned, trying my best to convince him to think subconsciously that he couldn’t beat me.
“Not a chance!” Hans roared, taking a big step forward. “I’ll cut you to-“ He was cut off by a large potted plant falling on his head, instant K.O.
I looked up and saw a large man with blond hair, dressed in furs, leaning out of a second story window, smiling like he won a huge prize.
“Kristoff!” Anna shouted, “Nice aim!”
“I’ve been working on it!” He yelled back, pleased with the princess’ compliment.
Elsa, Anna, and the Emperor all walked up to me with looks of fear and curiosity. I lowered my hood and started to bow, but the Emperor put out his hand for me to stop.
“I believe you just saved my life boy.” He said, “I’d like to know the name of my savior.”
“James.” I stated plainly, trying to sound respectful.
“Your majesty” Elsa said to the Emperor “he has amnesia. He will be staying with us while you are here, if that does not offend you.”
“Of course I do not mind. He is obviously well trained, and having him around would make me feel safer. And I would like him to be with us during our talks, he just needs clothes fitting for such talks.”
“Of course.” Said Elsa, “Anna, if you could take the Emperor to his room and introduce him to our Ice Harvester, I wish to have a word with James.”
Elsa pulled me to the side as Anna took the Emperor inside. “What was that?!” Elsa demanded.
“I couldn’t let them hurt you!” I defended.
“Not that, the magic!”
“I don’t know, it just happened and then felt right. Plus, I don’t think I could’ve taken them all on without magic.” At that, Elsa took a second to think. I looked out at the courtyard and saw what I had done. I had taken out an entire squad of mercenaries that had defeated the royal guards. The guards in question were dragging the sleeping mercenaries to what I would assume would be jail cells.
“We need a third party opinion.” Elsa decided after a few seconds.
“Like who?” I asked.
“Like the only people who would know what this means.”
“Wow, thanks for the details. Now I totally understand what you’re talking about.”
“I just don’t think I should tell you about them if they don’t know what I’m saying.” Elsa said nervously. There was no point in arguing with her so I just let it slide, as irritating as it was.
We both walked indoors to see that our “esteemed guest” was making himself at home. I couldn’t help but notice that she wasn’t very happy about the emperor making his appearance early. She dragged her feet like the hated the idea of getting there any earlier than she had to.
As we walked through the halls I got my first good look at Elsa. Her dress was made of pure white ice, but somehow managed not to look cold. She swayed her hips when she walked, which was very attractive. And she had her hair tied up in a braid reaching halfway down her back. She walked confidently, but her shoulders sagged from time to time, as if she was holding too much weight on her shoulders. We stopped just outside of the library doors.
“Look, the Emperor is here to negotiate an agreement to help protect Arendelle,” Elsa explained, “So the emperor and I will have to have a lot of meetings, most of which Anna probably won’t be allowed in. So please, protect her if you can.”
“I promise, nothing is going to touch her.” I said sincerely. And I meant it, if there was anything I could do about it, nothing was going to happen.
Elsa gave me a warm smile. I smiled back. We stood there smiling at each other, and then Elsa realized that we had been standing and smiling just a bit too long. She blinked a few times and looked away, her face turning red. “Thanks… uh, see you when I can.”
“Wait, when are we going to those friends of yours?” I asked.
“We’ll have to wait until the weather gets better and the negotiations end.” She said.
With that, Elsa strode into the library. I went back to my room, deciding I was going to figure out what these powers could do.