Merida vs Astrid
"Wow, this place is bigger on the inside."
Those were Jack's first words as he and the others step through the giant doors into the Great hall. The hall was one giant room, big enough to fit Vikings and dragons together; though the dragons would probably hate seeing the dragon killing pictures hanging on the walls. At the centre of the room was a roaring fire on a pedestal. Small Tables surround the pit with adult Vikings engaging in conversation. There was a larger table on the other side of the room, underneath a metal dragon with a sword through it. Also on the other side was a mighty throne, overlooking the entire hall. The group can guess that's where the chief sits.
"This was not what I was expecting," Rapunzel said looking around.
"I agree," Merida said think back to her castle. Her family only really had one place similar to this, but it's a lot smaller, and they had bear stuff, not dragons.
As everyone quietly steps in, they pulled their cloaks a little more over their heads and hide their hair. They were rather surprised that no one has spotted them yet. But then push that worry aside when the aroma of food entered their nostrils. They quickly ran to the source, and found a nice rack of meat on a long table. They're not sure what kind of meat it is, but it smelled cooked. It looked like a number of people have already had some helpings, with some bones being bare and some plates are left behind in a mess.
"So, what do we do?" Rapunzel ask being entirely new to this.
In truth so was Merida, so she can't give a direct answer.
"I think we just grab a plate and take what we can," she said grabbing a plate and pulling off a leg. Rapunzel nervously did the same and took some skimps of meat and a small leg. They then looked around for a table that was not out in the open. Jack manages to spot one in a back corner near a torch. The hurried to that table before it was taken and sat down. The girls say in the chairs (Merida near the wall and Rapunzel on the other side), while Jack jumped onto the table and sat cross legged.
"Really, Jack," Rapunzel said a little crossed. "Don't you know table etiquette?"
"Not really," he shrugs, "I don't really eat, so what's the point of learning manners."
"It's alright," Merida said. "No one can see him anyway."
"Oh right, but it's still a little improper." Rapunzel said. She looked down at her food, and not seeing any forks or knives. "So what do we do now? How do we eat this?"
"I think it's like medieval times," Jack said. "You eat with your hands." He then mines to her what to do with the leg. She gulps nervously as she takes the leg by the bone and chomps a mouth size piece in her mouth. She nearly chokes on it at first, but then chewed in done a bit and swallowed it.
"Maybe you should take smaller pieces," Merida said biting into hers.
Rapunzel nods and bite down a smaller piece and swallowed it a lot better.
"There you go," Jack said pretty happy.
"What do think this is?" Rapunzel asks. "Cause it's delicious."
"If I have to guess," Merida said looking at the leg in her hand. "It might be Yak or sheep. They seemed to have a lot of those around here."
"Now that we're all settled, do you guys really think his stone is here?" Jack asked looking around the area.
"To be honest, I'm not so sure," Merida said. "This place doesn't quiet feel like somewhere Hiccup can enjoy."
"I agree," Rapunzel said swallowing a piece of meat. "When I got mine, I felt almost a peace with myself and that I was home. Even if it was in my tower that I was locked away for my entire life, once I pushed away the lies, it didn't feel like a prison anymore. Here however, it stills seems a little hostile and unwelcome to someone like Hiccup. Especially with all the dragon killing artistry around us. I'm kind of uncomfortable just sitting here."
"And yet the Vikings treat this as an everyday thing," Jack points out.
"And that book, all those 'kill on sight' lines can really get to you in the worst way." Rapunzel said putting her elbows on the table and holding up her head.
"Compare this to Rapunzel's time, this is a fire to her sunshine and flowers," Merida said. "And I don't mean that as a pun to the dragons."
"Yeah, it would be a miracle if his stone is actually here on this island," Rapunzel said eyeing a dragon painting on the wall.
"But if it's not here, where can it be?" Merida wonders.
"Maybe back at the cove," Rapunzel thought out loud. "Toothless is there and maybe that's where his heart truly belongs."
"Ladies," Jack said urgently. "Don't look now but we're about to have some company."
Rapunzel almost shivers in her seat, knew in that this was going to happen, while Merida quickly eyes their new guests. Four teens are making their way towards them. She can instantly recognize them as the twins, Hiccup's cousin and the big guy.
"Snotlout! Snotlout! Oi, oi, Hey!" The cousin cried out seeing the group ahead.
"What do we do now?" Rapunzel whispers in fear.
"Just try to play it cool," Jack tells her. "Try not to draw to much attention."
"I think we are past that now," Merida points out.
Jack turns his attention to her. "And you don't talk so much."
She huffs and leans back to the wall with her arms crossed. Rapunzel manages to bite some more leg when the male twin puts an arm around her.
"Whatcha doing in our spot?" He said seriously.
Rapunzel was taken back, "sorry," she said with her mouth full.
The female twin came up on her other side. "He said, why are you in our spot?"
Gods the smell on them almost made Rapunzel puke. She quickly swallows her food in hopes to not spit it back out. She looks at the almost insane looking brother and sister, and thought to be polite about this.
"We are so sorry we took your spot," she said getting up. "We will just-"
"Whoa hold on there," Tuffnut said pushing her back into the seat. "Who said you can go?"
"We sure didn't," his sister said with her arms crossed.
"Yeah," he nods. "We can't let a crime, as taking our table, go unpunished."
Rapunzel became very nervous, what are these guys going to do. Merida prepares to spring into action if needed.
"Guys," the big guy said nervously. "It's just a table, we can find another-"
"Can it Fishlegs," Tuffnut snaps. "They need to learn to respect our personal rights."
"Personal rights of a table?" Rapunzel said a little confused.
"Exactly," Ruffnut said pointing at Rapunzel. But the pauses and looks carefully at her. "Hey wait," she leans closer and sniffs Rapunzel. "You don't smell like anyone around here."
"Are you sure," Snotlout said.
"Positive," she said leaning closer and trying to see under the cloak.
But Ruffnut's ourder almost made Rapunzel sick again. "Have you heard of personal space?" She said plugging her nose.
Ruffnut grabs Rapunzel's arm and pulls her up from her seat. Rapunzel tries to move her face away from view. "Yeah, you smell clean and like strawberries, disgusting." Ruffnut said almost becoming sick herself.
Snotlout walks a little closer to Rapunzel, and scratching his chin. She tries to back away, but is held firm by Ruffnut. "You are defiantly not from around here if you are trying to avoid the Snot-man." He said.
Rapunzel leans over to Jack, "do something, this is really uncomfortable." She whispers.
"Sorry, can't really do anything without you guys being called a witch again," he said in sympathy.
"Great," Rapunzel rolled her eyes. She was then pulled to the cantered of the group, with all the teens looking at her. She pulls her cloak closer to conceal her identity. At this point the entire room is looking at this group, wondering what is going on.
Merida got up from her spot and tries to get to Rapunzel, but the twins and Snotlout blocks her.
"Hey, would you cut it out?!" Rapunzel said to the teens.
She then felt a big hand on her shoulder, grabbing the cloak. "Let's see who's under here," Snotlout said with force as he rips the cloak off Rapunzel. As he does, part of Rapunzel's dress flew with the wind, as did her long braid.
Everyone around her was in awe by her fancy dress, her beautiful face and her long hair.
"So much for not drawing attention," Merida murmurs to herself.
"Wow," Fishlegs said trying to hold himself together. "She's pretty."
"Eh, she ain't that pretty," Ruffnut said annoyed.
Fishlegs ran right beside Rapunzel and graves a piece of her dress. "This fabric is finer than anything I've seen. So dainty and light. The details are neat and clean and it lifts almost like air," he said all excited, which made Rapunzel slightly uncomfortable.
"Thanks," she said yanking it out of his hands. "Took me almost a month to make."
"You made this yourself?!" Fishlegs asks her.
"Ummm, yes," she said leaning back about.
Then she felt someone yanking her hair. She looks to see the male twin looking at it.
"That's a lot of hair," he said. "You can make a sweater out of it."
"Don't touch the hair," Rapunzel said pulling it away from him. She tries to go back to Merida and Jack, but is blocked by Snotlout showing off his muscles.
"So what's a fancy girl like you, doing in these parts," he said with raised eyebrow and a ridiculous smile.
Rapunzel eyes her group to help come up with an excuse, but they can't see Jack, and if Merida speaks there's a good chance they can be killed.
"Ummmm..." She said trying to think. "Me and...my friend...are just humble travellers...who just found your village and decided to get a little something to eat." She smiles, hoping they buy it.
"Sounds about right," Tuffnut shrugs.
"Yeah, no complaints here," his sister agreed.
"Wait, wait, wait," Snotlout protests. "Where exactly are you from? Outcast island? Berserker island? Kondor?"
"No, a land called Corona," Rapunzel answers.
"Corona? Never heard of it," Fishlegs said.
"Well, it's pretty far away," Rapunzel said hoping not to slip that she's from a different time.
Merida couldn't stand there and watch Rapunzel being belittled by these questions. So she walked up to her and tries to drag her back to the table.
"Anyway," Merida said trying so hard to hide her deep accent. "We are sorry we took your table, you can have it. We will just be on our merry way."
They walk away from the group of teens with Jack right behind them. Everyone in the hall pretty much stopped what they were doing and looked at the group with a mix of confusion and anger.
"That's the worst accent I've ever heard," Rapunzel whispers.
"What do you know?" Merida whispers back trying to get away from the teens. "You've only been out of the tower for almost a week."
"Still," Rapunzel retorts. But as they continue to walk, Merida felt her cloak getting tugged. Her instincts react as she pulls in the cloak tighter to her body.
"Let me go!" She yells as she sees Snotlout and the twins pulling her cloak.
"Oh come on," Tuffnut said. "If one had to do it, they we all have to do it."
"That's right," his sister said. She then grabs her brother's helmet and runs off with it.
"Hey, that's not fair," he yells and begins to chase his sister around the hall.
But Merida and Snotlout still played their game of tug of war with her cloak.
"I said let go!" She commanded him.
"Not a chance," he said pulling harder. "Just show me who you are? Are you from this Corona place? Maybe the stranger's sister? For all I know, you could be useless in a dress; that's something I would love to see."
"Useless?" Rapunzel repeated.
"I think he means Hiccup," Jack said to her.
"But why would they-?" Rapunzel began only to get cut off by Merida.
"Can you help me out over here?!"
Rapunzel ran to her friend's defence and tries to pull the cloak away from Snotlout.
"Give it back!" She said through her teeth.
"Never," he said through his own teeth. "When Snotlout wants something, he takes it!"
"That's my boy!" A man yells in the audience. Everyone can guess it's this brat's father.
"Well, not this time!" Merida said as the puts a lot of force in her next pull. This made the fabric slip through Snotlout's big fingers and force him and the girls to fall on the floor.
The girls quickly got up and staggered away, but every eye was on them. The Vikings made an almost circle around them so they can't get away. Jack was forced to the sidelines, knowing he can't use his ice powers to help his friends get away. They might end up getting sentenced to death. It pained him, but he can't get involved with this in anyway.
"Look," Rapunzel said to everyone. "We don't mean you any harm. We are just travellers who are just passing through."
"Then why hide!"
The girls turn to the direction of the fierce voice. A young Viking woman holding a double edge axe steps forward so everyone can see.
"Why hide yourselves?" Astrid asked again.
The girls were taken back at this. They are pretty much busted now. But what would happen if Merida revealed herself and they discover her origins? They rather not take that chance.
"My friend here is a little...sensitive, around people," Rapunzel said trying to diverge attention. "She gets a little shy and quiet, she can't really stand being around people. Plus, she has a nasty scar on her face, really ugly, you don't want to see it."
"Excuse me!" Merida whispers to her, trying to hide her anger.
"If you got a better idea I'm all ears," Rapunzel whispers back.
Astrid laughs cold as she swings her axe. "Around here, getting a scar is a way of life. It's the mark of a true fighter. So why should you hide yours."
Merida pulls her cloak more over her head, while Rapunzel tries to block her with her body.
"Also," Astrid said coming closer and closer to them. "If you really have 'good' intentions, you shouldn't be running around in Bertha's blankets."
"I knew it!" A woman cries out in a shrill voice. "Those are mine! I lost them a day ago!"
"We didn't mean to," Rapunzel said defensively. "We were just-"
She was cut off with the axe just a centre meter away from her face.
"I will ask you again," Astrid said not letting anger being held back. "Why are you hiding? Are you spies? Or maybe invaders?"
Fear seemed into Rapunzel, with sweat dripping down her face. "We're...we're..."
Merida knew she had no choice, not if keeping their identities a secret will mean Rapunzel losing her life. Besides, if there is anything her father has taught her, is that she can't let fear take over. She has to face danger head on and conquer it. So she steps beside Rapunzel and looks at Astrid in the eye.
"The reason why I am hiding is because I'm different," she said with honestly in her normal Scottish tone. Astrid looked at her, lowering her axe. "I've heard how you people treat someone who are strange, different and unique. You belittle them, hurt them, chase them out with swords and torches. We were afraid that you would attack us, before we could explain our intentions. But hiding doesn't make the accusations go away, and I can't stop being me. You wanted to see who I am, well here I am."
She then pushes off the cloak, letting her orange hair bounce back up and her face seen by all. Every Viking is taken back at this girl looking so different then Rapunzel. This girl looks elegant but a fighter as well.
"Oh man," Tuffnut said from the crowd, "I wanted to see that nasty scar."
"My name is Merida," she told everyone, "and I can assure you that we come in peace."
"Yes, we come in peace," Rapunzel chimes in.
"But that voice," Astrid said clinching her fist. "You're Scottish."
Merida sighs as she answers. "Yes, I'm from the Scottish lands, and I know of our kingdoms' history, but we didn't come here with hostile intentions. We were just passing through and got hungry. We were just on our way out the door and off this island."
"Oh I'll get you off this island alright," Astrid said holding her axe and charging with it at them.
"Look out!" Merida cried as she pushes Rapunzel and herself out of the way and to opposite sides of the area. Astrid came between them with her axe clanging on the floor.
Rapunzel got up and looked at her as if she was crazy. "We just said we didn't come here to harm you, why are you attacking us?!"
"Because you're intruders, from Scotland no less," she said with the rage of a bull. "It is my duty to keep Berk safe from outcasts like you."
"Are you nuts?!" Rapunzel said getting defensive. "We're not outcasts!"
"Doesn't matter," Astrid spat out ready to charge. "You're still not wanted here!"
She then runs with much adrenaline at Rapunzel. Rapunzel tries to run away, but the adults used their bodies to make sure she can't get away. She can't understand why everyone is going along with this, but has little time to think about that. A mad woman is aiming to kill her.
Merida got up and sees this happening. Thinking quickly, she quickly swipes a sword from a Viking and runs to block Astrid's axe from coming down.
"Move!" Merida said looking back at her friend while holding the axe back. Rapunzel nods and manages to push a Viking back and race to meet Jack in the crowd.
Merida then uses her might to push Astrid away from her.
"Is that how you treat visitors here?" Merida questioned with anger.
"Only those that don't belong here," Astrid answers. "The only place for people like you is in Helheim's gate. And I'll take you there myself."
"Why?" Merida said trying to talk to this girl while holding in her frustration. "Why does it matter what or who I am?"
"Because parasites like you need to be put in your place," Astrid said charging again. But Merida was able to block her coming attacks and repulse them back at her. They kept going at it while the crowd began to cheer for the fight.
Rapunzel and Jack look at the two fighters. "This is what we tried to avoid," Rapunzel whispers to Jack. "What are we going to do?"
"I honestly don't know," Jack replied. He then looks at the crowd applauding this behaviour. "I just can't believe these people, treating this like a gladiator show down with the lions."
"Seeing as I have no idea what you're talking about, I will have to agree with you," she said looking back at the fight
Merida manages to push Astrid back away from her. "Put in my place? You hardly know me."
"I know you well enough," Astrid spats. "You're someone who should never be here. All you people do is take everything that don't belongs to you!"
"What are you-?" Merida said before blocking another blow. She then moves to the side, making Astrid fall backwards a bit.
It landed Astrid close to the group of teens.
"Wow, she's a really good fighter," Fishlegs said eyeing Merida.
"Yea," Tuffnut agreed. "Maybe better then Astrid."
Astrid took that comment hard and nearly chokes him. "NO ONE, is better, than ME!"
"Let him go," Merida said reading her sword for anything. "We don't have to fight like this."
Astrid lets him go, making him land hard on the floor. She then readies her axe again. "Yes, we do."
Fishlegs pushes his way to Astrid and tries to speak to her, but there was fright in his voice. "Maybe she's got a point. They really haven't done anything wrong, so maybe you can't just back off for a bit and-"
"NO!" She said stabbing him in the gut with the axe's handle. He fell to his knees, holding his gut with his hands.
Astrid then took aim and Merida and taunts her.
"There's no way,
I'm gonna sit this one out,"
She attacks Merida with such force, but Merida parries it.
"Gonna take a chance now
Not be a prisoner of doubt."
Merida pushes her back again, but Astrid recovers and swings her axe at her head. Merida manages to doge it just in time.
"Gonna knock down this wailing wall
This beast of sin
So what do you say drengr
Are you in?"
This word struck Merida as she swings her sword up at Astrid who quickly gets away. The fight began to get bigger as the girls move to the side of the audience. The Vikings moved out of the way to not get hurt themselves.
"I'm coming straight on for you!" Astrid screams as she attacks Merida over and over again.
"I made up my mind"
She runs past Merida to get high ground on a table.
"I'm feeling strong now,
Now I'm coming through,
Straight on, straight on for you
Straight on for you!"
She swings at Merida who moves away from the table. Astrid jumps down and have chase to Merida.
Meanwhile in the crowd, Rapunzel and Jack were forced to stay with the group of teenagers watching the fight.
"My money is on my Astrid," Snotlout said with a wicked smile.
"I don't know," Fishlegs said scratching his chin, "that red head girl is quiet a formable foe."
"I'll bet on her," Tuffnut said.
"I'll bet the one you're not betting on," his sister said.
Rapunzel couldn't believe them, their friend is trying to kill Merida, and they take bets. "Do you guys doing this now!" She screams.
Merida hid in a corner of the fire pit and waited for Astrid to attack again. She didn't want to fight, but now she has no choice. It was her life or Hiccup's rules. As she waits for Astrid, she notices a lot of ash around the rim. Thinking quickly she grabs a handful of ash and waits for Astrid.
The girl's scream caught Merida's attention as she dodges away from the axe.
"Give up yet?" Astrid said huffing and puffing. It was clear to Merida that anger was blinding this girl, now to make her blind to something else.
"Not to you," Merida said running around the corner, baiting Astrid.
"Now I know
How to play my hand"
Astrid charges at Merida ready to swing her axe around the corner.
"What the Viking don't know
The gamble understands" Merida says as she throws her handful of ash in Astrid's face. Astrid tried to back away and cover her eyes, but the ash was already in, blinding her.
But she brushed off as much ash as she can and charged angry at Merida.
"NO! You don't stand a chance!" She shouts holding her axe high.
"You don't stand a chance!" Merida yells back charging with her sword by her side.
In a split second, the weapons were locking in each other, and the girls looked at each other with fire in their eyes.
"I'm coming straight on for you" Astrid shouts as she breaks apart from Merida.
"Straight on for you!" Merida response with a swipe of her sword.
"I made up my mind," Astrid said dodging the sword.
"As have I," Merida shouts back.
They then continue clashing with each other, shouting at the same time as each other.
"I'm feeling strong now
Now I'm coming through"
They keep clashing their weapons with each other, almost sending sparks everywhere. As they fight though, they also cut a number of tables down, scared some stone in walls and slice shields through the middle. The ash began to itch her eyes, but she pushed her condition out of mind to focus on the fight.
"Straight on, straight on for you" Astrid screams as she keeps swinging her axe. But her latest swing became stuck in a shield. But she keeps swinging her weapon at Merida.
"Straight on, straight on for you" she repeats as she runs at Merida.
Seeing no choice at this, Merida prepares her weapon and runs towards her opponent.
"Straight on for you!" She cries out.
"Straight on for you!" Astrid screams as her axe locks again with Merida's sword. They try to push their weapons forward, waiting for the other to give up.
"WHAT IN THOR'S NAME IS GOING ON HERE!?"
Both girls stop at the sound of the loud voice coming from the doors. The crowd gave way so the girls can see the large shadow of the chief.
"About time someone stops this nonsense," Rapunzel said under her breath.
Stoick made his way across the hall to the two girls. They lowered their weapons and moved away from each other.
Stoick first turned to Astrid, "I expected this kind of behaviour from the twins. But you, you should know better."
"But chief-" Astrid tries to argue.
"You made a mess in the hall, broke every piece of furniture here and almost endangered your fellow Vikings."
"Only because she wasn't-" Astrid said pointing at Merida.
"If you think this kind of behaviour will make me consider letting you take Hiccup's place in the arena, you are mistaken."
"It's not that at all sir."
"To think you will go to such lengths to-"
"I was just bringing that Scottish girl to justice!" Astrid yells while pointing her axe to Merida.
"You call what you just did justice?" Merida retorts.
"It's the only justice for you deserve!" Astrid sneers back while wiping away more ash from her face.
"Why you little-" Merida said through her teeth.
"Enough!" Stoick commands. In an instant the entire room became silent.
Stoick then walks over to Merida and glares down at her. "Now then, who are you are what are you doing here?"
Merida gulps, but then shifts her body to appear more proper and regal. Even though she hates being like this, she's in front of the chief and might as well make a good impression.
"I am Merida of DunBroch," she told the chief. "I am traveling with my friend Rapunzel of Corona. We were just passing through your village. We didn't mean any disrespect."
"And yet you got involved with one of my finest worriers here," Stoick said crossed.
"She started it," Merida said gesturing to her. "I tried to not fight at all-"
"Did you think that throwing this stuff at my face?!" Astrid argues pointing to her eyes.
"You did that yourself," Merida points out. "I had to defend myself."
Rapunzel couldn't stand there letting this thing heat up into some blazing fire ball. So she runs to the group and stood in front of Stoick and in between the girls.
"Look sir," she said in a pity voice, "it was not our intention to create such havoc, honest. We just wanted some food for our journey..."
"Journey?" Stoick asks raising an eyebrow. "What kind of journey?"
"Ummm..." Rapunzel said trying to say the right words.
Merida took a couple of steps in front of her to speak directly to Stoick. "It's a long journey that is very personal to us. It something you and your people don't want to get involve in."
"Seeing that you are traveling through my village and attacking my people, it seems that we are being involved in this," Stoick said.
"We were just coming for a little bit of food," Rapunzel tries to explain.
"She's right," Merida said. "We were just passing through-"
"And then attacking me!" Astrid yells at them. "Don't try to deny it, everyone here saw it, you were willing to kill me!"
"Like you weren't?" Merida said to her cross.
"No," Rapunzel said trying to come in between them. "I'm sure you two weren't thinking of taking each other out."
"That's what it looked like to me," tuffnut said with almost everyone around him murmur in agreement.
"What kind of journey are you on anyway?" Astrid asks with a fist on her hip.
"Our business is our own," Merida answers.
"Typical Scotts," Astrid bicker. "Always taking what you want and not having any thoughts about other people."
"Are you any better?" Merida asks with no respect in her voice. "You attacked me without any thought about the people around you. Why should I tell you anything?"
"Because I'm better then you," Astrid said as she and Merida looked at each other.
"You think so?" Merida mocks. "Compare to this little spar, you are nothing."
"Oh really?" Astrid said with rage. "In that case I challenge you to a holmganga!"
Every Viking gasps at the sound of that. Whispers began to spread throughout the crowd as Merida takes a step towards Astrid.
"I assume what that means?" Astrid asks in a mock tone.
"Oh course I do," Merida replied. She knows a lot of customs of the Viking way thanks to her mother's teachings.
"I'm sorry, what's a holmganga?" Rapunzel quickly asks Jack.
"It's basically a duel," he answers. "They fight till one goes down."
"But Merida can't fight," she whispers to Jack. "This wasn't part of the plan."
"I don't think that's going to stop her," Jack said while looking at the girls.
"Fine then," Merida said to Astrid. "I'll accept the challenge. But no weapons, no tricks. Skill against skill alone."
"Seems fair," Astrid said glaring at Merida.
"If I win, you and your people will treat us with respect and let us be with our business with no questions asked," Merida declared her terms.
"Fine," Astrid agreed. "And if I win, you and your companion will be treated like the vermin you are. You will tell us your mission and take the punishment as we see fit."
Merida thought about that deal for a bit, no doubt she'll receive the blood eagle if she loses. But this could give her friends the time and space needed to look for Hiccup's stone. And besides, Astrid needs to be put in her place.
Merida extends her hand to Astrid with her palm facing in. "You're on."
Astrid grabs Merida's hand and tries to crush her fingers.
A cheer came roaring in from the crowd, who became excited to see these two fight. The only ones who aren't happy were Jack and Rapunzel, for fear in that Merida is in over her head.
"You heard it here Vikings," Stoick shouts to everyone. "We have a challenge. Both of you have an hour to prepare and get ready. Then we will settle this in the arena."
The two girls are led out the hall with the crowd of Vikings behind them, leaving Jack and Rapunzel behind.
"This is bad, this is very, very bad," Rapunzel said with worry.
"I'm sure Merida will do fine," Jack said trying to cheer her up.
"We've got to find a way to stop this fight, I can't stand seeing any of them hurt," Rapunzel tells him. "And you saw the other girl, she's is gunning to kill Merida."
"You've got a point," Jack said. "But what can we do?"
Rapunzel quickly looked around to make sure no one else is listening before whispering to Jack. "Go and find Hiccup, maybe he can help us. I'll go to Merida and see if I can talk her out of this."
"Ok," Jack said gathering some air to fly. "I'll meet you at the arena, good luck."
"You too," Rapunzel yells as she witness Jack flying past the doors. She then follows suit to catch up to Merida, Hoping with all her might to stop this feud.
Of course you can't really tell with Vikings.
On an island a couple sea stacks away from Berk, Hiccup and Toothless lay on a patch of grass overlooking the sea. They've spend a few minutes looking the area for Hiccup's stone, but had about the same luck as they did on the last 3 islands. They found nothing, nothing at all.
"I'm running out of ideas," Hiccup said out loud, hoping for Toothless's council. "Got anything bub?"
Toothless wasn't really paying attention to him; instead he was licking his paw and scratching behind his ear.
"Thank you for you well response," Hiccup sarcastically said while rolling his eyes. He then looked ahead to the sea and Berk just on the edge between sea and sky. His mind drifted to thinking of how the others are doing. If they found his stone yet or not. If they got into any trouble?
Hiccup got back to his feet and dust the bits of grass stuck to his pants. "Come on," he said to his friend. "We should head back now. We don't want the others to get worried, especially Rapunzel; we don't want to be on her bad side."
Toothless finished his self-grooming and got ready for Hiccup to climb on. As Hiccup was ready to saddle up on Toothless, small roars caught his ears. He turned around to see a herd of about 5 terrors flying their way. Much to Toothless's annoyance, 4 of them landed right on the saddle, while the other one landed on Hiccup's head.
The funny thing was, the terror didn't hurt Hiccup at all. He'd figured the claws would dig into his head, but no. The terror just playfully hangs off his head in front of Hiccup and looked at him. It did stick its tongue out to its eye, (creepy) but it didn't want to hurt Hiccup. Hiccup smiles and scratch the terror just behind the neck. It made the terror feel drowsy and rolled off of Hiccup's head. He quickly captures the little guy in his arms and held it like a child.
"You know bub, these guys are kinda cute," Hiccup said.
But toothless was trying everything he could to get the Terrors off of him. He tries to bounce them off, shake them off, even using his tail to whack them off. But they just keep coming.
Hiccup giggled a bit watching this scene, but then goes and gets on Toothless himself. He puts the terror on the ground and let it sleep a bit. Its family or friends fly to it to see if it's ok.
"Let's go while they're distracted," Hiccup whispers to his friend. Toothless couldn't agree more. With one quick flap, they flew off into the sky.
But the terrors look at them with horror expressions, knowing what the queen has in mind for them.
Jack's been calling for him about 5 times now. When he got back to the cove, there was no sign of Hiccup anywhere. There was just a wide open space full of rocks, a lake, and sets of human and dragon prints. Speaking of dragon, there was no sign of Toothless either. He's tried calling for him too, but he got no response.
"Oh come on," he mumbles to himself. "How can we loose a 300 pound dragon?"
He then heard something in the distance, a tiny set of wings fluttering behind a rock. He jumps high and lands on the rock to investigate. He was surprise to see Baby tooth there, pecking at a small dragon with two horns on its head and arm wings with a fire pattern on them.
Jack aimed his staff and shot out a small stream of ice at the dragon.
"Shoo," he said to it, "shoo, go away."
The small dragon quickly back jump to avoid the ice. Then it flew away, leaving a stream of fire crackers on its trail, and a tiny scorch mark on the floor.
"I'll have to get Hiccup to tell me what kind of dragon that was," Jack said picking up Baby tooth. "Speaking of Hiccup, where is he?"
Baby tooth quickly chirps to him what had happened and that Hiccup and Toothless left to go check other islands.
"He did what?"
Baby tooth tells him that she tried to stop him, but he wouldn't listen to her.
"Ok, ok, thank you for trying." Jack couldn't believe that Hiccup would leave the island without telling him or the others. "Great timing Hiccup, you decided to take a vacation when we really need you."
Baby tooth quickly asks what's happening.
"Merida has gotten herself in a fight with one of the Vikings. And that Viking seems to really want to kill her," he answers.
The fairy almost held her breath in the fear of what might happen.
Jack has got to think and act quickly to try to find Hiccup. "Let's circle around, see if he's still in the island. But we have to get to the arena in less than an hour."
Baby tooth nods and holds on to his shirt as he takes to the sky and begins his task in finding Hiccup.
"Come on bud, we need to go a little faster. The sun is setting pretty fast." Hiccup looking at the island of Berk just ahead.
Toothless could only go as fast as he can, but he knows that Hiccup is just worried. He would be too if he fears his friend is in danger. All those days of not seeing him made Toothless twitch on a regular business. If it wasn't for a strong connection to Hiccup, he would've gone insane thanks to fear. So he has to get the boy home as soon as he can.
As they're flying, a great shadow flew in front of them, cutting them off.
"Whoa!" Hiccup said taken by surprised.
The stop did make him look at the monstrous nightmare blocking the way back to Berk. But something felt off with this creature, Hiccup could sense this isn't normal dragon behaviour. For one thing, the eyes were thin slits, a lot thinner than before, almost none existent. The dragon's roar sounded more painful and fearful. But the big thing was the colour. Hiccup knew that dragons come in various shapes and colours, but this was almost pure black.
"What?" Hiccup questions looking at it. But then a deadly nadder came flying by. It exhibits the same features as the nightmare, but it's colours were more faded then pure black. Within seconds, a swarm of dragons came and surrounded the two off them. It made Toothless unease; he let out a warning growl.
Hiccup slowing patted his head to get him to calm down. "No, sudden, moves," he whispers.
But then the nightmare began to flap his wings, and giant winds almost blew Hiccup off of toothless. The dragons around them did the same thing, trying to pry Hiccup off of his friend.
Toothless shot a plasma blast, and hit the nightmare on the chest.
Toothless took the chance and dives down to the sea with great speed. The other dragons followed him, but some of them disappear into black streams of sand and block the way to the village. Toothless then levels off and flies away from the island.
"Those were Nightmares!" Hiccup said looking back at the beasts chasing them. But he came to one conclusion though, if the Nightmares are here..."Pitch must be here!"
The dragons chase them away from Berk, and into an area covered in thick fog.
"Come on Toothless," Hiccup said. "We can lose them in here."
Toothless payed more attention to keeping Hiccup safe then seeing where the dragons are leading them too. The duo swirled around a number of sea stacks and old boats poking out of sea.
But the something felt odd to Hiccup. He looked back to see that the dragons aren't chasing them anymore. He knew Toothless flies fast, but not that fast to lose them that easily.
"I'm not liking the look of this," he said looking at where they are, in a maze of rocks and ships. "Let's get outta here bub."
As Toothless was preparing to turn the other way and head back, he heard a call. A very distant but powerful call. He listens to it as if it was instinct to follow that call. Silently and obediently, he follows the voice.
"Toothless? Where are you going?" Hiccup asks as he looks at his friend. He was surprised to see that dragon's eyes were thin slits, just like the other dragons were.
'This can't be good,' he thought.
He then sees the other dragons following suite. But these dragons don't have any form of shadows that the others have, but they do have the same eyes as Toothless has. Hiccup quickly lays his stomach on the saddle and hope no dragons can see him. He then looks around to see the dragons are carrying things that are big.
"They must be bringing in their kill," he deduced.
As toothless and the other dragons fly around the sea stacks and rocks, the fog clears, and Hiccup could see their destination.
"Is that what I think it is?" He said out loud, looking to a high mountain surrounded by dark clouds up high. Hiccup can only guess where he is, but he thinks it's right.
Straight On from Strange Magic: originally by Heart