This is Berk
The group tumbled through the portal, getting that same sick feeling as before. The tunnel seemed longer then last time, mostly because they have to travel farther back then to Rapunzel's time. When the light came to then end, everyone got spit out and landed hard on the ground. The portal closed, letting the sunlight touch their skin.
When they slowly came to, they start to feel the rough grass beneath them, and the cool breeze on their backs. But the queasiness in their stomachs makes it pretty hard to stand up.
"Jack," Merida groans while holding her gut. "Next time we see North, we should tell him to offer a better mode of transportation."
"No problem," Jack said using his staff to stand up.
Rapunzel rolled to her front, and slowly sat up to see the ocean surrounding the cliff. It was a deep blue, with rough sea stacks popping up everywhere. "Whoa," she said quietly. But her jaw dropped when she turned around and saw Hiccup's home. When Jack and Merida felt better to stand on their own two feet, they wowed at the scenery.
Just on the other side of the bank and down the cliff, was a small village With tiny houses and a small harbour. The village was next to a small mountain with huge doors leading inside. The forest surrounding the village was vast and strong with evergreens. A huge mountain overlooked the entire island with snowy peaks. But everyone's eyes went back to the village, seeing pretty big people living there.
"So, this is Berk," Merida said to confirm their location.
"Yep," Hiccup said joining the others and looking down on his home. "It's about a few days north of hopelessness and a few degrees south from freezing to death."
"I don't know," Rapunzel said scratching her chin "looks like a nice village to me."
"It has its perks," Hiccup said. "We've got pretty good fishing spots, the woods are great for hunting and we have charming views of the sunset."
"And looks like you have a massive hall," Jack said pointing his staff towards the big doors.
"More like a great hall," Hiccup slide in. "That's...what we call it. The great hall."
"Sounds great," Merida said, trying to add a little humour of her own.
"Yep," Hiccup said, catching on to her sarcasm. "This village has been here for about 3 generations, but every single building is new..."
As he tells more about his home, Rapunzel began to walk down the cliff to get a better view of the village.
"Whoa, whoa!" Hiccup said catching her and waving his hands around. "Where do you think you're going?"
"To the town," she said as if Hiccup didn't need the explanation.
But Hiccup ran to try to stop her. "No you don't!"
"Why not?" Merida asked as she and Jack walk to meet them.
Hiccup's mind was racing, thinking of a good excuse to not go. A lot of things came into his mind, being that he's been missing for a number of days, the other three are complete strangers, Merida is Scottish, etc. But how to explain it to them and to not go? But he groans at the fact that they will have to go through the village to find his stone, and to get to Toothless, who is waiting in the cove just in the forest. Hiccup knows what he must do, but it's best to prepare the others for the worst.
"Well..." Hiccup starts, mumbling each word. "My tribe doesn't...exactly...trust strangers. We get raids and pillages on regular bases. So if they catch any of you, they might try to kill you."
"So we'll stick to the side lines," Jack said with a smile, "no big deal. We'll be like the ninja turtles, Stealthy as the shadows, quicker than the eye can see..."
"Whatever Jack is saying," Merida said interrupting Jack who huffs at her, "we will be fine."
"We might be, but you, not so much," Hiccup said with his arms crossed.
"What does that mean?" Merida said, getting A little aggravated.
"Well, look at you! You're a Scott, remember?" Hiccup said waving his hands to gesture all of Merida.
"Oh," Merida said, getting where he's going.
"But I thought you didn't have a problem with that?" Rapunzel said.
"I don't, but the people might," Hiccup said in a reasonable tone. "If they pick her out, they'll probably give her the sentence of death, or worst, a blood eagle."
Of all the years of being brave, Merida's body shivers a bit at the mention of the blood eagle. She knows what that sentence is about, and is really thankful never to have witnessed it.
"That defiantly sounds bad," Rapunzel said a little terrified.
"That doesn't frighten me one bit," Merida said, trying to sound tough. "I can take on anyone that..."
"Be as it may, it still would be best if we don't get spotted," Hiccup said holding her hands, trying to reason with her.
Merida seemed to get the point and nods her head. "Alright, I won't start any fights."
"Thank you," Hiccup said really grateful.
"Now that's done, can we go in?" Jack said being impatient.
"Alright," Hiccup said to the group, "just a few rules though."
"Really?" Everyone groan in frustration.
"Yes," Hiccup said with any authority he has in him, though he knows how much people love to listen to him, which is not at all. But for his friends' safety, he has to try. "Try not to be spotted, try not to talk too much, move as quickly and as quietly as you can, avoid anything sharp and please don't set off any snow storms Jack."
While the girls gave off a 'are you kidding,' look to Hiccup, Jack intentionally let a few snowflakes fall down.
"Not even a little furry," Jack said as a joke.
"I mean it Jack," Hiccup said. "We're already coming up on winter; we don't need devastating winter for another few months."
Everyone but Hiccup giggle at the statement.
"I'm being serious," Hiccup said a little annoyed of how seriously his friends are taking this. "Just please don't give yourself away."
Jack decided the joke is over and blew all the snow away. "Don't worry Hiccup," he said with a smile. "I'll be on my best behaviour."
"Thank you," Hiccup said as he then leads everyone to the village, though it was quite a hike down the cliff.
"So where are we going first?" Rapunzel asks Hiccup.
"To a secret cove, just on the other side of the village," he answers. "My friend will be waiting there."
Wonder and anticipation filled the other three. Throughout this adventure, Hiccup has been talking about his friend, including the fact that he's a dragon. Though still a little sceptical, they can't wait to meet the friend they've been hearing about.
The girls had a little trouble going down the hill, with it being so steep, but Jack was there to help if anyone lost their footing. At the bottom, it was only a short walk to get to the edge of the village. The group hid behind a house to get a good view of the people. A lot of them were as big as a giant, with fat and muscle to match. Most of the men have either scruffy messy beards and hair or none at all, torn tunics with plates of leather armour and furry boots. The women were almost the same as the men, messy and battle ready. They had tunic like dresses with armour scaling down the dress. The group kept picking unique features of the people, Rapunzel looked at all the clothes, none of them fancy like in her time. Remembering the people in her village seemed to have simple and peaceful clothing then the people here. Jack kept looking at the weapons everyone is carrying; from axes, maces and spears, to swords, bows, and giant hammers. Merida on the other hand, kept her eye on two features everyone had. The first are the different head gear everyone had, they differ from helmets to head bands. From her studies, Merida could tell what the significance of the head gear is. Helmets usually mean worriers, while the head bands say shield median, highly respectable worriers. The other thing Merida could pick out is all the scars, bruises and missing limbs on the people. They've been in battle before, and they don't seem to be bothered by it. Merida remembers that her father sometimes still has trouble getting over the fact that his leg was gone, but these people seemed so calm. It's just something Merida can't wrap her head around.
Hiccup on the other hand, has something else on his mind. Surely he's been gone for a while, but no one seems to be worried and searching for him. They are just going about their daily lives. Is he that I likeable that no one cares if he's gone or not? Are people relieved that he's not there to mess things up? Or maybe he wasn't gone for long? For all he knows, time could work differently while traveling to different time periods. But that doesn't make any sense. He pushed all thoughts of the village aside, and got back to the mission. He needs to know that Toothless was still at the cove. Hiccup knows his friend is alright, thanks to the ring. But he still wants to see is friend again, face to face. And in order to do that, he and his friends have to go across town and tread through the forest.
Hiccup, Merida and Rapunzel turn to Jack's voice as he points to some hanging sheets.
"You can use these to blend into the shadows." He suggests. The girls were up for the idea and quickly grab off two long dark sheets.
"Guys, I'm not too sure this is a good idea," Hiccup said unsure. "I know who these belong to, and Bertha doesn't like anyone touching her stuff. The last guy who did, ended up with a missing toe."
"But it will help us get through town faster," Rapunzel said drawing the blanket over her head like a cloak.
"Besides," Merida said doing the same while getting a cloak for Hiccup, "it will help us blend, and not look suspicious."
"Yeah, cause three strangers with cloaks running through town isn't suspicious at all." Hiccup said sarcastically.
"Just put it on," Merida said shoving the cloak to Hiccup's chest. He groans and pills the sheet over his head. To get with the group, Jack pulls his hoodie over his head and Baby tooth hides in his pouch. Soon, the group were ready to run through the village.
They start by ducking behind one house, then when the cost was clear they run to the next house, And so forth, and so forth. As they run, the group, except for Hiccup, kept looking at the damaged houses. They either looked burned down or had broken wood at one side.
"See?" Hiccup whispers to the group. "Old village, lots and lots of new houses."
Only Rapunzel slightly giggled at that comment.
As everyone crept and run through the village, they saw more damage and more Vikings with battle scars. Clearly this place is not a good one to raise kids. But a couple of kids made Jack stop in his tracks. He looked a bunch of small children with tiny sharp weapons, battling each other. Normally, a mother would stop this, and tell the kids to not run with scissors. But a mother was not around, and any grown up walked by, are happy that the kids are playing this way. 'They shouldn't,' Jack thought, 'play time is supposed to be having fun, not trying to kill each other.' Having a quick look around to make sure no one is watching, he flicked his staff to a nearby shadow, and made a tiny snow bank.
When the kids first saw it, they wondered how the snow got there. But within seconds, they dropped their weapons and played in the snow, throwing small snowballs and laughing. Jack giggled seeing his magic in the kids' eyes, but then he flew to catch up to the others.
Unknown to him, a child looked up from the snow and thought he saw a blue thing fly away.
"What was that?" He asked before having a face full of snow.
When Jack reached the group, they hid behind a cart full of clothes, looking over at a man with a bald head, a blonde moustache and a hook hand and peg leg. He was in a shop with a a lot of sharp weapons, banging away with some metal. From where they were, the group could hear the man sing.
"Well I've got my axe,
And I've got my mace,
And I love my wife with the ugly face,
I'm a Viking through and through!"
The man then cooled down the metal with water and turned around.
Hiccup's heart missed a beat; he thought for sure he was caught.
The man's voice trailed off to see no one behind him.
"Oh, right." He said with a sad look, putting what he's working on down. He looked so depressed, he just stop working. He didn't move or say another word. Something was on his mind, that's too sad to think about anything else.
Hiccup looked over his hiding spot, never seeing his mentor so upset. Hiccup could only guess that he was missing him. It made him happy to know someone truly missed him.
"Who's that?" Rapunzel whispers.
Hiccup turned away from the blacksmiths shop and faced his friends. "That's Gobber," he answered. "Blacksmith and mentor in the ways of fighting. I've been his apprentice ever since I was little...well...littler."
Everyone looked over to Gobber, still feeling down and out.
"Is he always like this?" Jack asked.
"Not usually," Hiccup said with a little concern. "Normally he would pound first, and mope later. He's the type of guy you would invite to a party and he'll drink up all your ale. Something must be really bothering him."
"I think he misses you," Rapunzel said looking at Hiccup. "Why don't you go and say hi to him."
"I can't," Hiccup quickly said. "We still have our mission, and I don't want to..." He cut himself off before saying the reason why he wanted to run away in the first place.
"Don't want to...what?" Merida asked him.
Hiccup had to think of something quickly to hide the truth. Though he is sure they won't mind the answer, they still don't really believe in dragons being real. He knows sooner or later he will have to tell them, but not yet.
"I...don't want to...get you guys caught." He said with a nervous smile. "I just can't risk it yet."
"Sure," Merida said rolling her eyes, not really believing him.
"Look," Hiccup said, catching her eye roll. "I promise to explain everything, just not yet."
Everyone nods in understanding before moving away from the blacksmiths and further into the village. They kept to shadows, hiding behind houses and carts, sometimes even on the other side of Yaks and sheep. As they move around, they saw a lot of banners and pictures of Vikings killing monstrous creatures. One almost made Rapunzel sick to her stomach, it had a Viking battling a creature with two heads and having its blood and inners spilled out. Rapunzel couldn't believe they would display that with kids everywhere.
Suddenly a banner fell almost on top of Rapunzel, but she dodged out of the way and hides next to a food cart. But then the food cart's wheel rolled off and all the fruit tumbled over. Rapunzel quickly ran to the group before getting spotted.
"What did Hiccup say about drawing attention?" Merida said a little annoyed that they almost got caught.
"That wasn't her," Hiccup said pointing out to a small group of teens. Three of them were laughing their heads off, while the other one looked extremely nervous.
"Who are they?" Jack asked Hiccup.
"Well," he replayed, "the one with the big muscles is my cousin, Snotlout, The terrible twins are Ruffnut and Tuffnut, and the big shivering one is Fishlegs. They're my class mates and they are the ones that pretty much love destruction and battle."
"Sounds like they would fit in my neighbourhood," Merida said, thinking back to the mess the lords made in her throne room.
Hiccup looked at the group of teens getting scolded by some adults, and noticed that one teen is missing. As he wonders where she might be, he could hear her angry voice from behind.
The group panicked a bit and race to hide from the voice. They peeked out a bit to see a young Viking girl talking (more like yelling,) to a big, strong man. The girl had her blonde hair tied into a long braid that went to her lower back, and her bangs fell down her head band. She was wearing a simple blue shirt with shoulder armour and bandages wrapped around her arms up to her elbows. She also wore a spiked red skirt with dark leggings and furry boots. The man was almost twice her size with red hair and beard. Out of all the Vikings, he was the most well-dressed. Sure he has battle armour under a simple dark green tunic with heavy metal shoulder pads and arm gauntlets, but he seems to be the most neat and tidied Viking on the whole village. The group held their positions as they watch the two of them talk.
"Why can't I take the exam?" The girl screamed with anger.
"Because that right belongs to Hiccup," the man said as calmly as he could, but still having a harsh authority to his voice. "He earned it, and there is no right to take that away."
The girl was fuming mad. "But it's been five days since he vanished. It's clear that he is not coming back. That coward probably ran away-"
"Watch that tone lass," the man said in a warning. "You have no right to say such things."
"But everyone knows he's a coward," the girl argued. "He would run from those beasts then have the guts to kill one. He will never be one of us if he relays on his tricks."
"That's why I am saving the Monstrous Nightmare for him, so he will prove himself to be a true Viking!"
"Monstrous nightmare?" Rapunzel quietly asked Hiccup to elaborate. He gave everyone a look, saying that he'll explain it later. He focused a little more on what the two people were saying, especially what the chief was saying. It was rare for him to hear his father supporting him, even for the wrong reasons.
"You don't know him like I do Astrid," the chief said.
"Which is not at all," Hiccup said under his breath.
"He likes to play his little games until he realizes that no one wants to play. He will be back in dew time."
"And what if he's not?" Astrid asked with furry. "Then will you give the honour to someone who is more deserving?"
"More deserving?" The chief said almost taken back.
"Yeah, like me," she said pounding her fist to her chest. "I'm the only one of the recruits who would go against those creatures with all the might a Viking has, with the passion to kill in honour. Hiccup always runs away, then performs some cheating tricks to subdue them, but never has the heart to do what is asked of him. He only got to the end just because of cheating and luck. So he should-"
"Enough!" The chef said in a loud voice that nearly shook the houses. Every Viking nearby stopped what they're doing at watch Astrid trying to act tough. "You are a fierce worrier Astrid, one of the best I've seen. But you want to talk about honour, then respect Hiccup's honour. He's earned the right to take on the beast and kill it, and nothing can take that away. So I would keep your jealousy inside."
"I'm not jealous!" She retorts. "I'm just saying Hiccup will never be a Viking!"
"We will wait till he comes back and then we will see if he's a true Viking or not." The man said before walking away from Astrid. Hiccup kept his eyes on his father, not believing he has so much faith for him.
But Astrid wasn't finished arguing. "You only saw him one time in the ring, all the other times, he blew it, almost got all of us killed. You're only defending him because he's your-"
"That has nothing to do with it lass," the chief stops and turns around to face her. "I was just shocked and surprised when Gobber told me how well he was doing. I almost didn't believe him, I thought I was going to tie him to mast and ship him off from going mad. But then Every Viking told me the same story, I didn't know what to think. But then the fight in the arena proved it, and I couldn't be more surprise at Hiccup. How he could go from being the worst Viking in the history of Berk, to placing first in dragon training. I guess it turns out he had a lot of potential in him, more than I thought."
"No!" Astrid said dragging her face with her hands. "All those times were nothing but tricks, probably conjured by Loki. He never had any potential, he's just a weakling!"
"A scrawny lad, yes. But he is also the most talented Viking I've ever seen. I mean, taking down a Gronckle with just a hand, I've never seen anything like it. Just imagine him with a mace or a sword..." The Chief's words left him as he just imagined his son next to a dead nightmare, with the proudest smile on his face. When he kills that beast, Stoick will be the proudest father on the island.
"But that wasn't him," Astrid said in disbelief of how happy her chief is. "He never went for the kill; he just put it to sleep. That's not the Viking way, that's just...Hiccup's way."
"Which is why he won the honour of killing the Nightmare," the chief said being back his stone face of authority.
"And it will be wise if you made your peace with this," he said shaking a finger in her face. "Hiccup, and only Hiccup, has the honour of face that Dragon, and nothing is going to change my mind. Even if I have to go through the woods to get him, so be it." He walks away from her, and looks at everyone to assume their jobs.
But Astrid was so mad, you could almost see smoke coming from her ears. "ARG! SON OF A HALF TROLL!" She screams and stomps away.
Jack, Merida and Rapunzel turn their heads to Hiccup, wanting him to explain what that was about. Hiccup took a big breath in and went into his thoughts. Out of everything he wants to tell his friends, he knows somethings they would not understand, like his father. It would be hard for them to believe that he is a son of a chief; they'll probably laugh at that. And then there is the arena fight, he'll have to explain that one later, once everyone is convinced that dragons are real. Hiccup guessed the only thing he could tell, is who those two were.
"The big guy is Stoick the Vast, the chief of the tribe," Hiccup explained as quietly as he can. "He is basically the guy in charge of everyone and everything on the island."
"Almost like a king," Rapunzel said.
"Something likes that," Hiccup said. "As for the girl, that's Astrid. She is the toughest, skilled, and most agile worrier in my class."
"With a matching attitude," Merida slid in.
"Well she's definitely not the most pleasant person to be around," Jack said while secretly sending a wave of wind Astrid's way to mess with her day.
"It sounds like she's mad at you for some reason," Merida said to Hiccup.
"Oh, she has a reason," Hiccup said sarcastically. "But I'll tell you about that later, right now we just need to get out of here and to my friend."
"Alright then, lead the way," Merida said.
"One problem though," Hiccup points out. "There's a bunch of oversized Vikings between us and where we need to go. We'll need a distraction..."
"Want a distraction?" Jack said twirling his staff. "Here's one for you." He points his staff in the direction of the Vikings, and made a huge gust of wind blow between them. The Vikings either turn their heads to block the wind, or race to protect their things from blowing away. The group took the opportune moment and ran with the wind. Not one person saw them. They raced through the streets and made it to the forest's edge. As Jack twirls his staff to slow the wind down, Hiccup spots something.
"No Jack," he shouts. "Not yet."
Everyone was confused as Hiccup ran back to the town. He went to a cart with giant baskets and began to look into each one.
"What is he doing?" Rapunzel asked the group, but no can give a good answer. Hiccup grabs one of the baskets and face back to the forest and past the group.
"Come on!" He shouts as he circles past branches and rocks. Merida groans as she runs to catch up with him. Rapunzel and Jack followed behind with Jack slowing down the wind in the village. But soon the village disappears from view, thanks to the tree trunks and bushes.
Hiccup finally stops as soon as they were a good distance from the village, and plops the basket down.
"What was all that about?" Merida asked catching her breath.
"Just getting dinner," Hiccup said opening the basket. The smell of fish filled every nostril in the area. The group looked inside the basket to see salmon, cod, tuna and a weird looking coloured fish with sparking scales. Hiccup dug his hand into the basket, trying to see deeper.
"Good, no eel," he said with a smile.
"That's very thoughtful of you Hiccup," Rapunzel said as nicely as she can. "But this way too much for us. I mean Jack can't even eat this. Don't you think you went a little overboard?"
"Nope," Hiccup said closing the basket. "Once you meet my friend, you'll understand"
Wasting no time, he puts the basket over his shoulder and walks onto a grassy path he made before.
He looks back to the others. "Aren't you guys coming?" The group shrugs and follows Hiccup, wondering what he's up to.
Hiccup quickly looks at his ring, hearing that tiny roar and seeing that shade of green in the dragon.
'I can't wait to see you again bud,' he thought as he takes his friends to see his best friend.
The first thing Pitch did is looked around at where he was. It was a shadowed cliff edge with red colour smoke around him. He knew he was in a place full of fear, he almost never felt such power coursing through his veins. He can even feel his nightmares becoming stronger here.
He peered out of the darkness to see a fiery pit below him and a high border of rock around him. He was pretty much inside a volcano. He looked up to see a lot of cliff sides with groups of creatures on them. He can't really see them, except for their wings.
"What the-?" He said before a powerful roar rang through the walls. Pitch then heard every terrified roar coming from above. It was clear that everyone here was almost scared to death of the creature below. Pitch leaned out, and got a better view of the monster beneath him.
"Oh my," he said with a sickening smile. He quickly came up with a wicked idea on how to control the fear in this time, and his fingers played with his pendent until it glowed green.
"Let's see how the guardians deal with this mighty beast."