"Apparently, he purchased a cloak and a horse before making his way out of Arendelle. I apologize Your Highnesses, but beyond that we can't find a trace of Barny." The captain Franz said.
We had called for a search of Arendelle for Barny the moment we had noticed that he'd slipped away. The guards had been scouring the town for hours and hadn't turned up much of anything as to where he had gone. To be honest I didn't really care where he was, he betrayed us but then helped Elsa and Anna, so there really was no reason to bring him in for questioning. The most concerning part was that he still had that strange knife. For everyone's safety, it shouldn't see the light of day ever again, just imagining what it could do to the magical world was difficult.
But with no clues and no leads as to where Barny went, we had to give up the search. So we sat in the throne room, Elsa on my right side and Anna, with Kristoff, on my left. Franz continued, "The Southern Isle ship has passed beyond the horizon and a notice has been sent around the kingdom to sink any Southern Isle or Weselton ship near our waters. Is there anything else Your Majesties require?"
"Not at the moment. Thank you captain." Elsa said with a small smile. Franz smoothly bowed at the waist, turned on his heels, and walked out of the throne room.
Both me and Elsa sagged into our thrones with simultaneous sighs, while Anna and Kristoff sat down in ice chairs that Elsa created for them. "So, are we done yet? Is that it?" Anna asked.
"I seriously hope so. I could do with some peace and calm for a long time." Elsa responded. She looked at me questioningly. "Are we done yet?"
"I believe so. I don't really feel like there's any more issues we'll have to deal with for a while now. Well, except for our stupid wheat production." I answered, earning a giggle from Elsa.
The doors of the throne room burst open as Kai and Gerda jogged in quickly. Me and Elsa once again sat up, trying to look the part of the kingdom's royals. "King James, we have some...ah...'visitors'."
"I wasn't expecting any visitors. Who are they?" I asked, curious. News of my wedding and coronation couldn't have traveled fast enough for kingdoms far enough to not have attended to already be at Arendelle.
"Uhm, well, it's kind of hard to say. I think you'll need to see for yourself, Your Highness." Kai said, looking to Gerda for affirmation. She nodded and everyone looked at me.
I stood up with a huff, just another thing to do. I quickly walked across the room, everyone else following behind me. I threw the doors of the throne room open and looked around, but was only met with a sight of the hallways of the castle.
"Your Majesty, they're assembled in the main courtyard." Gerda interjected, seeing me confused.
"Why wouldn't they just be gathered here?" I asked.
"Well, they kind of needed a bit more room." Kai explained.
I rolled my eyes, exasperated. I was really quite tired, with everything that went down that day, and wasn't really in the mood to be strung around Arendelle. If it was any other servants I would just demand that they tell me, but since it was Kai and Gerda I went along with it.
After a bit of walking, I finally got to the castle doors. With a flick of the wrist the door handles glowed blue and the doors swung open of their own accord. I was expecting a small group of Arendellians who had some sort of magical problem, or some very informed foreign nation administrations, but what was actually there was far from normal.
As the doors of the castle flew open, around a hundred heads turned towards me. Gathered in the courtyard was a huge crowd of people of all shapes, sizes and nationalities. No two people looked alike. Some wore armor that varied in every way imaginable, from oriental armors of the east to european armor from the west. Others wore robes and carried various items inscribed with different symbols and shapes meant for different magical purposes and applications. And then some even wore just regular clothes ranging from expensive to peasant-grade. They all carried packs and supplies, weapons or tools.
And they were all looking at me differently. Some looked in admiration, others in disappointment. Some in apathy, and some in respect. But none the less, everyone was looking directly at me. Not at Elsa, not at Anna or Kai or Gerda or Kristoff. Just directly at me.
I leaned over to Kai, who had moved to stand at me left while Elsa stood at my right. I asked, "Uhm, who are these people and why are they here? I've never seen any of them before."
"I don't really know. They urgently requested to see you. They referred to you by your full name." Kai answered.
Two of the crowd stepped forward, one man and one woman. The man was decently tall, about average for Western Europe, just an inch or two smaller than an average Arendellian man. He had salt and pepper hair that reached only to his ears, with a clean shaven face. His face had smooth angles with a strong jaw line, relatively attractive. His eyes were a calm amber, like a warm hearth. He wore typical knight armor from Western Europe, although his helmet was missing. There was no formal decorations on his armor, not a symbol or colored rope/cloth. He had two fencing foils, one strapped on each side of his waist.
The woman was a petite Asian woman, without much muscle on her small frame that was significantly shorter than everyone there. She had silky black hair that reached down to her waist. Her eyes was also pretty dark. Her face was mostly sharp angles, but not in an unattractive way. It gave her an edge that would have been diminished by her stature. She wore long flowing robes of green and blue silk. In her hand was a normal looking wooden staff that had a few nicks that looked suspiciously shaped like heads. But her cherry red lips were already curved into a warm and trusting smile, which I gratefully returned.
"Good evening, King James I presume?" the man greeted in a faint English accent.
"I am indeed King James of Arendelle. If I may, who are all of these people and what is the purpose of all of your visit?" I responded.
"Oh, I do apologize. My name is Andrew Wellington, of Bristol, England." Andrew introduced himself. "While there, I trained in double handed fencing and assisted in preventing the rise of an increasingly violent local gang, as well as taking down one that was already established."
The Asian woman bowed deeply at the waist, and said in perfect English, "My name is Ah Earlene, but you may call me Earlene. I come from a small, nameless village in China. Although they typically did not allow women to train, I taught myself how to wield a bo-staff, as well as discovered subtle Earth-magic. I was exiled from my village when I used what I had to defend the home of my neighbor from forest monsters."
"Well, you both already seem to know who I am, King James of Arendelle and Primordial of Heroes," I gestured to Elsa. "This is Queen Elsa, my wife. And although it is quite the honor to have met you two, I still don't know why any of you are here."
"We received messages in our dreams, telling us to come to Arendelle. We have come for you, King James, I believe we have come to help you, being heralded as heroes in our own homes, it seems logical that we come for training and guidance from the Primordial of Heroes." Andrew explained.
"Wait, you all already know about Primordials?" Elsa asked.
"Oh course, Your Majesty." Earlene said with another bow to Elsa. "Our dreams have been very descriptive, giving us knowledge and insight. At least that is the case with me, I cannot speak for everyone present however."
"So, you've all come here because of me?" I asked.
"I believe so. But it is within your right to send us away." Andrew said.
"James wouldn't do that. We'd be happy to have our own heroes here in Arendelle. But there won't be enough rooms for everyone." Anna said.
"I don't think that'll matter. We can set up camp-" Earlene started to say, but I cut her off.
"No no, that won't due for guests of mine. There are a few good inns right here in Arendelle where there'll be enough room for everyone." I said.
"We would hate to intrude, but we don't have much money at all." Andrew apologized.
"Well then, how about instead of payment, you can pay Arendelle and the inns by performing tasks and errands to earn your rooms." Kristoff suggested. "That's what I did for a while."
"Sounds good to me." Elsa agreed.
Earlene and Andrew exchanged a look and seemed to agree with the idea as well. "That seems like a fair deal to us."
"Well then, how about everyone takes a week to get settled and to get a few tasks accomplished around town. Then we'll all meet in the courtyard to discuss what needs to be done." I suggested.
"A logical plan. Until next time, King James." Andrew said with a bow.
"Thank you for your generosity, Your Highnesses." Earlene thanked with a bow as well.
The two heroes turned to address the rest of the group to tell them the arrangements.
After a day of organizing efforts and people, Elsa collapsed on her bed, changing her ice dress into a nightgown like she did every night, her star necklace still around her neck. James, however took his time, carefully taking off his royal robes and folding them neatly, he had a great respect for anything royal.
She watched him place his folded robes in a basket that Gerda collected dirty clothes in and placed his crown gently in an ornate wooden box. He placed his sword and scabbard on a wooden display that was recently made for it. Then he walked over and crawled into bed next to her. She flicked her wrist and a gentle winter breeze blew out all the candles at once. James wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close to him.
"Quite the day, huh?" She asked.
"You don't say, died, came back, threatened and roughed-up a world leader, lost a magic knife, and took a bunch of heroes under my wing."
"Are you looking forward to that?" Elsa asked.
"Psh, no. I don't even know what I'm even supposed to be doing." He said.
"We can figure that out later. We've got a week to think of how to stall them again." She said, getting a small chuckle out of James. "This castle is going to be pretty crowded from now on isn't it."
"Probably. Is that a bad thing?"
Elsa thought about it for a minute. But the answer wasn't hard to find. "No. This castle has been too empty for too long. People is just what it needs."
"Good. But to be honest, I'd be happy even if it was just you."
Elsa snorted. "You're cheesy, you know that James?"
"I can't help it. You're just so perfect."
She lightly slapped his arm. But snuggled in closer none the less. "You know what? I think it was all worth it."
"What do you mean?"
"Everything we went through, and what came out of it. It was worth it. I wouldn't change a second of it."
"Me neither." He said. He reached under her chin and lifted her face to his before softly kissing her.
"I'm glad. Now it's time to go to sleep, we've got a meeting early tomorrow and a few remaining repairs to coordinate." Elsa said.
"Whatever, Snowflake." He kissed her forehead. "Good night."
"Good night, James. I love you." She said one last time.
"I love you too."
They both fell asleep peacefully, with smiles on their faces. The nightmares that certainly would've come from the trauma of what they had gone through did not come, being forced away by their love. And, although neither of them nor anyone in the castle ever noticed, above them while they slept a miniature aura borealis formed. Different shades of blue rolling and boiling together in the air, creating beautiful patterns of snowflakes, birds, stars, and many other things. Although it looked very similar to the one shining in the night sky outside their window, the one above them radiated warmth and love.
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