Heart of Ice
Nothing but icy blackness. Coldness all around. A rushing sound filling his mind as it felt like Ice gripping his heart.
Capt. Erik Slovak coughed and jerked able to see his breath as Elsa backed away looking frightened. He clutched his chest feeling like ice was sticking in it. "What…What happened? I thought I was dead."
"We did too." Elsa said softly looking at him. "I thought for a minute I just killed you faster."
"What did you do?" Erik gasped forgetting all protocol for them moment.
Elsa looked down and spoke very softly. "I froze the wound to try to stop the bleeding."
Erik looked confused. "As much as I appreciate your attempts." He paused remembering his place. "Your Highness. Won't it just melt in a few minutes?"
"I tried to make it so it won't" Elsa said softly not comfortable discussing her abilities.
"You can do that?"
Elsa just put her gloves on. "Please excuse me." She turned and started to walk out of the room.
She stopped and turned shyly.
"Thank you. I owe you my life."
She looked up and smiled slightly. It was the first time he had seen her smile. It suited her better then the shy scared girl who he had met earlier.
"Actually I owed it to you for saving mine." She then left the room and headed back to hers.
The King smiled slightly. "When you recover Captain we need to have a discussion about what you have seen. Until then do not discuss anything about Princess Elsa with anyone. And I mean anyone. Not even her sister."
"I understand Your Majesty, you can count on my discretion. I'm still not sure I believe it myself much less understand."
The King smiled. "Rest easy Captain it looks like you will still be in service to Arendelle."
Even though his heart was healed…or whatever you could call it. The rest of Erik's injuries still needed to heal. He spent a great amount of time in the castle infirmary. He had been wounded before but no to the extent of this. To take his mind off how much everything hurt and how bored he was he tried to make sense of what he had seen. He now had a pretty good idea of why the gates had closed. Although with all the rumors that flew around the kingdom of the mysterious princes locked away being able to create ice wasn't one of them. He couldn't figure out why she had to be so hidden though. It did appear she may have some trouble controlling her powers. But on the other hand she didn't seem that dangerous. It wasn't like she was shooting fire off everywhere. What's the worst she could do? Accidently freeze the stairs so people tripped and fell? It wasn't like she could cause winter year round over the kingdom.
He sat up. Oh well it wouldn't be his concern after he got better anyway. He would go back to his unit and probably never see her again. He just had to live with this interesting little secret the rest of his life. It's not like he didn't have to hide things before.
He needed to walk around for a bit and get his legs moving. He groaned as he stood his body aching and walked slowly. As he walked down the hall a little ways he saw a young girl come down the other side. "Princess Anna!" he bowed.
Anna looked at him for a second then her eyes got big and she ran to him and threw her arms around him hugging him tight as he tried not to groan in pain. "Oh thank you, thank you, thank you for saving my sister."
Well this was awkward Erik thought. Not sure what the appropriate thing to do was he awkwardly patted her on the back as she hugged him squeezing his bruised ribs. "Just doing my duty your highness." He said.
"Yes but…she would have died! I can't lose my sister. I mean I don't really see her anyways. But to actually lose her…" she shuddered. Then let go and blushed a little. "Thank you again." Then she ran off.
He stared after her wondering. Did she really not know about her sister?
The army made its way back towards Arendelle victorious from what would be known as the battle of Moret's Point.
Sambo walked next to the wagon that carried the body of his friend Ian escorting him on his final journey home. He barely spoke to anyone as the marched. He was wondering if he was the last one alive of the four friends. Both Erik and James were missing. They had both been reported to be perusing fleeing rebel leadership. He hoped they were still with the small group of soldiers that were behind securing the last of the prisoners.
It was hard to make add up. He thought sadly. He might be the only one left after a battle where Arendelle forces did not take heavy casualties, but in fact won an overwhelming victory. On the other hand all four of them had survived the slaughter during the liberation of Fernada two years ago where seven of ten of the attacking Arendelle force had become a causality.
Soon the lights of the city could be seen approaching and a call went through the ranks. "Ready the victory signals! Let the people know we are triumphant!"
Soon horns and trumpets sounded alerting Arendelle know the victorious army was home. The men shouted and several fired blank rounds into the air. It was approaching sundown but people burst from their homes to line the streets to welcome the boys home. Sambo didn't feel much like celebrating though. With James and Erik missing it would be his job to tell Pricilla about Ian. It was not a conversation he was looking forward to having.
Erik heard the noise and went to look out a window. He saw in the fading light the Army enter the city the flags and banners raised high as the citizens lined the streets. The people started singing the Arendelle anthem as the troops marched on in an impromptu victory parade. Erik wished he could be down there with his men marching in victory. Why did it have to go down like this? It should have been just another battle but the events that unfolded had turned his world upside down. He didn't regret what he had to do though. If he hadn't the Nation would be under control of a mad man who was willing to murder two girls in front of their parents. And it could have been even worse. He closed his eyes and could see Arendelle in flames right now as a full blown civil war erupted in the city.
He opened his eyes again and watched for a while. It had been and eventful time but he was looking forward to getting back to the life he knew. Hopefully it would help him forget that his best friends betrayal was one of the chief causes of all this.
For two months Eric was in the castle recovering from his wounds. During that time his regimental and battalion commanders came to congratulate him on a job well done. Sambo was allowed to visit as well. He was awed by entering the castle. He was horrified when Erik had told him of James betrayal and how he was forced to kill him. Leaving out the details of Elsa's ice powers of course. The two talked for a while catching up.
"So word is you actually saw Princess Elsa." Sambo said prying for details.
"Where did you hear that?"
"Come on. It's all over that a young soldier saved her life."
"What makes you think it's me?"
"Rumor is that a young Marine, not a castle guard fought off her attackers."
"Come on Sambo. You know as much as anyone not to trust rumors. Especially in this city. Besides it was pandemonium in here."
"All I'm hearing is a yes." Sambo grinned.
"Look I can't talk about it."
"I knew it. Comon what's she like?"
"I'll I'm gonna say is she's just another girl all the rumors are wrong."
"That's a cryptic answer if I ever heard one, but hey I get it orders and all."
"Look I'll make a deal with you. When we reach the afterlife I'll tell you the whole story in every detail."
"Yea we both know your ghost will stay at your post for eternity." Sambo laughed. "Just be ready for questions from the people when you go out into the city again."
"How are they going to know it's me?"
"Um the medal ceremony."
Erik groaned. He forgot the King was going to honor Him and several other guards that were involved in the battle for the castle. It was going to be in four days. Not in the castle of course the gates remained closed but in the center of town. "I hate those things."
"You know for a man who get embarrassed to be given public recognition and awards you sure do some insane, dangerous, and stupid things to earn them."
"Well they say no good deed goes unpunished."
Sambo laughed. "Well I need to be going I'll see you at your ceremony. Don't worry were all ready to give you plenty of hell."
"So help me the company is going to be doing latrine duty for a month."
Sambo laughed as he left. "Get yourself better its dull out there without you. Well it's dull with you too but I have no one to give any grief.
Erik responded by throwing his shoe at him.
The day before the ceremony The King sent to see Erik. He was escorted to a small private room and bowed. "Your Majesty, you sent for me?"
"Yes Captain I understand you will be heading back to your regiment tomorrow?"
"Yes your Majesty. I'm mostly recovered. I humbly thank you for your hospitality in letting me recover here but I need to return to my post."
"I understand. However there is something we need to discuss first."
"Yes your Majesty."
"While Myself and the Queen are forever indebted to you for saving our Elsa's life, what you saw her do cannot be made public. As I'm sure you have guessed she is the reason the gates have been sealed. It's for her own protection. Who knows how the people will respond if they find out. Fear can make people do things they wouldn't normally do. It's also to protect them. Elsa is not in control of her powers and can be dangerous."
"I understand Majesty, but if I may, she does not seem that dangerous."
The King smiled slightly. "I appreciate your belief in her but remember you are a veteran of combat. You have seen many horrible and terrifying things. To you danger is somewhat common place. To the average citizen though such unknown power can be terrifying." The King continued. "In fact you are only one in four people who know about her ability including her mother, the royal physician, and myself."
Erik looked confused at the King. "Forgive me my King, but her sister does not know?"
The king looked solemn. "She did once. When Elsa was eight and Anna was five they were playing in snow in the castle of Elsa's creation. Unfortunately there was an accident. Elsa struck Anna with her powers and nearly killed her. She survived of course but her memories of her sister's ability were erased and it was thought best she not be exposed." The King decided it was not necessary to mention the trolls. "Ever since then Elsa stays away for fear of hurting others. We hope that as she gets older she can learn to control and conceal her abilities fully. They seem to manifest more during heavy emotional times especially when she is upset. For right now, I'm sure you noticed, that gloves seem to help."
The King went on. "What I need from you Captain, is o swear that you will tell no one about her abilities."
"Yes your Majesty. In fact I can do better do you have a cloth and knife?"
The king nodded and retrieved both items from a drawer. Erik took the dagger in one hand and ran the blade across the other pressing the blood to the cloth. "I swear by my blood and my service to Arendelle I will take the secrets of Princess Elsa to my grave."
The King nodded in approval as the cloth was placed in a box as part of the blood oath tradition. "Thank you Captain. That will be all I will see you at the ceremony tomorrow."
Erik packed his things the next morning and had them sent to his camp. He also requested two more items. His uniform he was stabbed it. It was ruined and bloodstained but he wanted to keep it as a reminder. He also requested James spear. Maybe he could use it one day to repair some of the damage it had caused.
He looked around the castle that had been his home for two months. When he came in he honestly didn't think he would walk out again. As he passed the staircase leading to the Royals Family's rooms and paused. He knew he promised Princess Elsa the story about his little special ability. That is if he still had it. The legend didn't say if it was just a one-time thing or not. Mostly because it allowed the warrior to live just long enough to complete his mission. He looked up the stairs again. Oh well if she really wanted to hear it she probably would have come down to see him but he had not seen her since she saved his life. She probably forgot anyway it was a stress-full time for her she was sure. And he guessed that if she really wanted to hear it in the future she could always send for him.
He took one last look around guessing he would probably never set foot inside again and walked out to the carriage that was waiting for him and several others and headed for the ceremony anxious to get it over with.
Elsa watched as the men departed for the ceremony. Part of her felt like she should be there to thank them herself. Erik and several guards did fight for her after all. However she knew she would not be able to hold it together in front of that many people. Exposed in the open. She felt a little guilty about not going to visit the man who rescued her but she just couldn't bring herself down there again. She liked the young Captain despite being a fierce fighter he had been very kind to her. In fact the reason he didn't recoil from her ability gave her a small amount of hope for the future. Her Father had told her he had sworn he would never reveal what he had seen her do. She felt grateful for that. As she watched him leave she felt a slight bit of sadness knowing they would probably never meet again.
Erik tried not to let his face turn red as he stood on the platform the King bestowing praises on him, Col. Davis, and the rest of the guards gathered there. When it came his turn he stepped forward.
The King spoke. "Capt. Erik Slovak you fought bravely at the battle of Moret's point. And even though you where betrayed and severely wounded by a friend and fellow officer. You rode back to Arendelle without regard to yourself to warn of the impending threat. You then joined the assault even in your weakened condition. Then you managed to save the life of Princess Elsa while nearly giving your own in the process. Arendelle can never thank you enough. I can never thank you enough. For your heroism and bravery I award you the golden circle and the heart of Arendelle!" The king pinned the medals to Erik's uniform a smiled both of them knowing they Kind had left a few of the stranger parts out. Erik turned to the crowd and his brigade saluted him. He drew his sword and held it straight up and down in front of his face saluting back with it.
After the ceremony it felt like an eternity of greeting and shaking hands with Nobles, Dignitaries, and Military brass. Then it was wading through a crowd of Arendelle's people all of them wanting to hear the story of him saving the princess. He was polite but just wanted to get away from the crowd and questions.
As he walked down the streets trying to keep from the crowds he thought about stopping at the Red Viking. He walked up to it but found himself unable to walk in the door. It was the last time the four had gathered as friends. He just couldn't go in right now. He turned a proceeded outside the city to his camp just wanting to be alone.
After the attack on the castle the Queen had been frantic about her daughters' safety. Despite the King's assurances that the rebellion was crushed she couldn't help but worry someone might make an attempt again. There were still those who voiced displeasure about the closed gates and hidden heir. The Queen feared that if they managed to succeed to get in the castle once they could do it again.
Despite her concerns the King was having trouble finding a solution. An increase in staff could lead to Elsa being discovered and someone talking. No guards knew about her ability and very few had ever seen her. He couldn't imagine Elsa even wanting someone assigned to her.
Then the King had an idea.
The Queen knocked on Elsa's door one night and said. "Elsa your Father and I want to talk to you about something."
It had been over a month since Erik had returned to the regiment. Arendelle was not engaged in any conflicts for now and barbarian, raider, and Pirate raids minimal and no were near the city. Most of Erik's time was spent restructuring his company and training new recruits. He didn't go into Arendelle much. Every time he did he was swamped with questions about the castle battle and Elsa. He tried to go see James parents who he had known most of his life so find some explanation. Unfortunately they had fled and evidence suggested they were involved promised powerful positions in the new régime.
From time to time he could feel the ice ball in his heart. He couldn't explain it but whatever Elsa did to him seemed to be working. He just hoped there wouldn't be any side effects to it. Already he would have dreams involving ice and snow and wake up feeling cold all over.
Early one evening e was in his quarters going over some papers when there was a knock on the door. He opened it and to his surprise there stood two of the royal guard.
"Capt. Slovak the King requests your presence. We are to bring you to the castle."
Erik looked confused. He couldn't imagine what the King wanted with him again. "Give me a minute gentlemen let me get ready." He went back inside and straightened his uniform and put his sword on his belt wanting to look his best. He walked back outside and nodded to the guards as they showed him to a carriage. As they rode to the castle Erik figured the King was probably going to offer him a position in the Royal guards. Given the losses they had taken several of the top soldiers from the army had already been recruited. It would be an honor to be offered such a position and he gained great respect for the castle guard after fighting alongside them. However his spot was in the field. He spent the ride trying to figure a way to politely decline the Kings probable offer.
The carriage pulled up to the castle and he was escorted inside. However instead of taking him to the throne room or even council chambers they escorted him to a room off to the side. "Knock when you're ready." The guard said and walked away. Erik took a breath and knocked. "Enter." Said a voice. He walked in and standing there was the King, Queen and Princess Elsa.
He bowed immediately. "Your Majesties!"
"Rise please." Said the King. Erik stood at attention.
"As I'm sure you remember we were attacked in our own home. My family's safety is of the utmost importance to me. Now the Queen and I have a personal detail and so does Princess Anna. Princess Elsa with her abilities makes protection for her more difficult. We have a request and the princess agrees. This is a personal request you may deny it, but we would all like you to consider it. We would like you to be Princess Elsa's personal guard."
Erik couldn't believe what he was hearing. Personal guard to Princess Elsa? That was actually quite an honor. Especially considering it was at her request as well. Well he felt flattered by the offer his first inclination was to decline the offer. Then he looked at Elsa. She was standing there her usual shy and quiet self but he saw something in her eyes. A glimmer of hopefulness in her eyes. While being a guard wasn't really in his nature when he looked at her he saw something. She look like she needed someone else. Someone who wouldn't be afraid of her. This girl was Arendelle's future. He had sworn to protect Arendelle. Maybe protecting her and being there for her was now the way he could do that.
"Your highness I accept."
The King and Queen smiled. Even princess Elsa smiled slightly. "Excellent." Said the King. "I honestly believed you would prefer to stay in the field."
"I serve where Arendelle needs me your Majesty."
"Very well. Are you prepared to take another oath?"
The king retrieved a dagger and cloth. "Princes you may want to advert your eyes for a minute." Erik said
Elsa looked down as he sliced the blade against his hand and pressed the print to the cloth. Erik then proceeded to say. "I solemnly swear to protect Princess Elsa of Arendelle with all of my being. I will keep her safe from harm and protect her honor. I will give my life for hers gladly. I will obey her commands and serve at her request. Her needs shall always exceed my own. I will do my duty to her until I no longer can or I am released from my oath."
"Very good." The king said as the cloth was placed in the box and sealed. Col. Davis will arrange your quarters and training tomorrow. I imagine you need to sort out some things with your regiment. For tonight your first official act will be to escort the princess to her room.
"Yes your Majesty." He turned to Elsa. "When you are ready your Highness."
Elsa smiled slightly and nodded and he walked with her to her room. They walked in silence down the darkened hallways but she seemed to be ever so slightly as ease. When they reached her room he opened the door for her. She looked at him and said. "Thank you for doing this. I don't want to be revealed to anymore people."
"My pleasure princess. Do you need anything else?"
"No thank you. Goodnight Captain." She gave that small smile as she closed the door.