Trails in fire
Gobber spent the last hour getting the arena cleaned for this rare occasion. He was rather surprised when Stoick came into his forge and told him that a holmganga was issued by Astrid against a Scottish girl. Neither the less, when the chief says something is happening, it's happens. So he happily made sure that the weapons are gone, and the dragons are safely locked up. However, to give the girls some tactile thinking, he left out the low wooden walls that made a small circle in the centre.
As soon as he finished, crowds of Vikings start to pile up above the arena.
"Looks like it's going to be a full house," he comments looking up.
As he attends to the final touches, the girls were put into separate rooms near the arena, just so they don't try to kill each other before the appropriate time.
While Astrid was in a room by herself, think of her strategy and getting the ash out of her eyes, Merida was in another room with Rapunzel.
"This is nuts," she comments peering through the door and seeing the arena. "You shouldn't have agreed to this."
"Relax," Merida said stretching her body, "I can take her."
"That's not what I meant," Rapunzel said crossing her arms. "The point of coming here is to keep a low profile and find the stone. Being drawn into a fight will kill that chance."
"I know," Merida said. "But that girl will never let it go. She's not willing to back down. So I'm not now."
Rapunzel shook her head at Merida. She then goes and takes her hands with a pleading voice. "Merida, please, you have to call this off. Let's just go back to the cove, find Hiccup and we can hide away for a few-"
"We can't wait that long to find the stone!" Merida snaps her hands out of Rapunzel's. "Don't forget, after were done here we have to go to my home and find both mine and Jack's stone. We can't hide from this. It's too late to back out now; I have to go through with this. Besides, if I win the Vikings might back off and we can actually find the stone."
Rapunzel knows that she has a point, but there had to be a better way to resolve this then fighting. But before she could say more, Gobber came through the door and looked at the girls. He studied them before he spoke.
Merida took a couple of steps in front, "yes?"
Gobber looks at this girl, noticing the red curls and the worrier face. "Seems you're the talk of the town."
Merida shrugs, "guess so." Merida can guess this man is here to take her into the arena. So she pulls of her quiver and gave it and her bow to Rapunzel. Rapunzel tries to jumble all the equipment, but with some adjusting she manages to put the quiver on her back without any arrows falling out.
As soon as Merida was at least at ease knowing her stuff is safe, she follows Gobber to the arena doors. The roar of the crowd was loud and proud.
"Oh boy," Merida whispers to herself.
Gobber points his hook to a small tunnel that leads to a cage door. Merida took her leave from Gobber and walks towards the door. She peers through the gate and takes in the environment. She looks up, seeing the Vikings screaming and Hollering for the fight to begin.
"I have to say, these Vikings make the lords back home seem like civilized men," Merida said to herself.
"Saying your last prayers?"
Merida turns to the harsh tone of Astrid's voice. She walks into the tunnel and meets Merida facing the door.
"It's a good idea to ask for the gods guide when going into battle," Merida said indifferent.
"I don't need gods to guide me," Astrid said with a glaring eye. "A real worrier only relays on their skills."
"If you say so," Merida said looking at the arena. But her eyes couldn't help but studying Astrid. She seems really focused and proud, as she was waiting for this moment all her life. Merida didn't really get why that is, but Astrid has a level of pride that's overwhelming her. That might be used against her if Merida can play her cards right. Merida also took the time to make sure that Astrid wasn't hiding anything under her shirt or her armbands, but no weapon is found.
'As long as she keeps it fair,' Merida thought to herself.
Soon the doors open and the crowd roars with excitement. Merida and Astrid step through the doors into the arena. While Astrid was basting at the Vikings cheering her, while Merida took a more careful look around. The arena was rather big with high stone walls and a cage on top. Around the cage were isles of Vikings all yelling and flailing their arms around. There were a lot of children in the front row then there should be. She could also see the group of teens in a huddle on one side. The twins were yelling at the top of their lungs, Fishlegs looked a little scared, while Snotlout have a nasty smirk. Merida ignored him and looked to the only open space in the crowd. There sat the chief on his mighty throne. Beside him was Gobber, a rather old and frail woman with a giant walking stick, and Rapunzel. Rapunzel tries to lean into the cage, with worry.
"Be careful," she whispers.
Merida nods as she and Astrid made their way to the centre. Merida was a little surprise that there is no sand to cushion the rocky floor, but then again she's in Viking times, they don't really put much handle on safety.
"Vikings and lasses!"
Merida turned to the booming sound of the chief's voice.
"Today, we are treated to a challenge we haven't witness in a long time. A holmganga!"
The crowd cheers even louder at the mention of the term. The only one that wasn't cheering was Rapunzel. Every time she hears that word it makes her stomach turn.
"These worriers will battle each other, until one goes admits defeat. Or they simply can't continue to fight."
"That doesn't sound pleasing at all," Rapunzel said under her breath.
"May these ladies fight with honour and courage!" Stoick then took a seat on his throne and gestures Gobber to take the announcing from there.
"You heard him here Vikings!" He yells with excitement. "In one corner, we have our very own skillful, strong and deadly worrier, Astrid!"
As the crowd cheers for her, she looked at them as if she's above all that. She didn't raise her arms or salute them; she just stood her ground and kept a stern face.
"And in the other corner, a lass from parts unknown, who is...is..." Gobber scratches his head to think of something else to say. But he's never met this girl until a couple of minutes ago and has only heard from the villagers they're opinion.
Rapunzel rolled her eyes and whispers in his ear a bit of information that she's learned from Merida without given too much away.
"Thank you lass," he whispers to her before yelling at the crowd again. "Who is a worrier that values determination and strength to protect the people she cares about. Let's hear it for Merida!"
Instead of cheers, Merida receives a number of boos from the Vikings. But that was what she was kind of expected to get. She then looks at Astrid, who is egger to get this fight started. But fighting purely out of anger could make you so blind, you lose focus. Merida doesn't want to start like that, so she extends an arm to Astrid.
"I want to wish you luck and a good fight."
But Astrid spits near her hand. "I don't need your grace," she sneers before turning and walking to one side of the circle.
Merida draws her hand back and looks at her. "If that's the way you want it..."
"THAT'S EXACTLY HOW I WANT IT!" Astrid screams with a fire burning in her core.
But at that moment, Merida saw something in Astrid, something that triggered a memory in her mind. Astrid had the same anger she did when she ripped that tapestry and yelling at her mom. It felt weird to see an almost reflection of yourself in someone else. But it did get Merida think that this source of anger is deeper then she's letting out. Astrid is hurt, and she's taking it out on the people around her. She's letting aggression take over. Merida knew she had to calm her down somehow, and maybe a fight is the best way to do this.
Merida turns around a goes to her respected corner and waits for the single to start. She looks at Astrid, ready to charge when ready.
"Fighters ready?!" Gobber yells ready to clang a bucket on some big Viking's head. "Then FIGHT!"
With one swing of his hook, he hit the bucket and made a giant clang rang in the air.
Astrid was the first to move, charging with great speed towards Merida. But Merida stood her ground, and waited for Astrid to come closer. In a spit second, Merida moved out of the way, and made Astrid hit the wall with much force. Merida then grab Astrid around the hips and tossed her to side and on the floor.
The crowd winces at seeing Astrid in this situation and yell her to get up.
Astrid tries to use her strength to get up, but Merida manages to pin her whole upper body to the floor.
"Gottcha," Merida said wrestling with the stubborn Viking.
"Not yet," Astrid said as she uses her legs to raise her butt and lower back, lifting Merida with them. She then flips Merida off her and on the other side. As Astrid quickly charges to Merida to grab her, Merida rolls away and back on her feet. She the grabs Astrid's hands and the two of them tries to push the other away.
As the Vikings cheer at seeing this source of entertainment, Rapunzel couldn't help but worry that this fight will go too far. She knows Merida's pride will never make her quite, and Astrid will do anything to win. They were almost a perfect match; there is no telling who will win and when this fight will be over.
Back it the arena, both girls try to knock each other down with their legs, but they're speed too far to grab on. Then Astrid got an idea, she leans back, making Merida fall on top of her. She then grabs Merida's arms with her arms and legs, making her captive not move. But she then pulls the arms almost out of their sockets, making Merida scream in pain.
"No," Rapunzel whispers in fear.
"Like I said scot," Astrid said through her teeth. "You're no match for me."
But then then Merida snaps her head back, hitting her skull to Astrid's nose. It made Astrid let go of one arm and Merida uses it to elbow her in the chest. Once fully free, Merida turned around and sits on Astrid's chest, pinning her arms with her hands.
"You were saying," Merida said catching her breath.
Merida holds Astrid firm as she tries to escape. She moves her feet to try to get them under her butt to knock Merida off, but she couldn't get them under. The sound of the crowd got to her, all of them yelling her to get up and fight back. The hint of their voice marks disappointment. She can't take that, she can't be this village's failure, she's not Hiccup. So using all her might, she lifts her stomach and manages to get the legs under her and flips Merida over her.
As Astrid jumps to slam her elbow on Merida's stomach, Merida moves out of the way. Astrid's elbow nearly broke off with much impact, but it just scraps some skin and spread some pain. But Astrid tries to brush off the pain and got back to her feet.
Merida did the same and leaned on a wooden wall to catch her breath. Her body was beginning to give into pain, and her shoulders really hurt. She can guess Astrid's pride was hurting more than her body.
As she concluded that, Astrid charge again at Merida, and punched her in the stomach. Merida felt the impact spread through her body, almost making her go down. But then adrenaline kicked in and she slams the side of her hand on Astrid's neck. Soon the two of them started a sparring match, each of them blocking punches and chops.
"Just give up Scott!" Astrid yells with much anger backing her blows.
"I never give up," Merida said using her skills to defend and attack.
The Vikings couldn't believe how much these girls were going after each other. Some of them began to cheer for Merida, others just for the fun at seeing this brawl. The teens were yelling to see so much violence, the twins were especially happy. The only one that wasn't happy was Rapunzel. She can't stand seeing this fight. From where she was standing, she can see the bruises appearing and here the cries of pain being screamed. And yet the people here seemed to enjoy seeing this, especially to people who are so young. How can anyone allow this brutal fight? She looks back at the chief sitting on the throne. Even though he keeps his composure, she can tell he's jumping for excitement on the inside.
"How can anyone allow this?" She asks herself. "What have we got ourselves into?"
Rapunzel turns her head the other way to see Jack and Baby tooth phasing through a number of Vikings to her.
"Jack!" She whispers to make sure no one could hear. "Thank goodness you're here. Please tell me you got good news."
He shakes his head and kneels beside her. "Just the opposite," he spoke in his normal volume to make sure she can hear. "Hiccup is missing!"
"What?!" She shrieks in a quiet scream. "Are you serious?!"
"Yes," Jack nods. "And toothless is missing too. They're not in the cove."
"Well that's just great," she said almost face palming the cage. "So what do we do now?"
"I don't know," Jack said. "But whatever it is it has to be quick. Who knows what kind of trouble Hiccup could be in?"
"Agreed," Rapunzel said looking at the battle field. She sees Merida and Astrid still sparing, grabbing each other's hair and dress to take an advantage. "First of all, we need to stop this fight. Maybe you could freeze..."
Both Rapunzel and Jack turn to see Gobber looming over them.
"Hi," Rapunzel said while twirling her fingers in a pleasant manner.
"I can't help but over hear, but did you just say... Hiccup?" He asks while raising an eyebrow.
Rapunzel's heart almost stopped. They've been caught. But how? She never said the name. Quickly, she makes up an excuse he would believe.
"I didn't say that sir," she frantically said. "I said watch out. As in watch out for that punch..."
"No not you," Gobber said pointing his hook at her. But then he moves it to point at Jack. "Him."
Jack looked around to see if he was pointing to anyone else. But no, he was pointing that hook at him.
"Me?" Jack said to clarify if the man was talking to him.
"Yes you, who else?" Gobber asks as if Jack was sane.
"Wait," Jack said getting up and looking at Gobber. "You can see me?"
Gobber continues to lock his eyes on Jack and moves the hook around. "I can see you plain as the hook on my arm!"
Fear steeped in Rapunzel and Jack. The fact that he can see Jack means disaster to the idea of stealth. And the fact that they blurred out that they know Hiccup makes it worst.
"And the day keeps getting better and better," Rapunzel said picking on Hiccup's sarcasm.
Jack slaps himself hard on the forehead, completely forgetting that Hiccup knew him by his old name. So there was no doubt that some people here have heard of him. "Oh boy."
Gobber inches his hook closer to Jack. "When did you last see him?"
Jack was caught off guard, and tries to back away from the hook. "This morning," he blurts out. "I haven't seen him since."
Gobber then picks up Jack with his hook by the hoodie.
"Hey!" Jack cries out.
"No, don't," Rapunzel pleads to Gobber.
"We are going to have an interesting talk with the chief," Gobber said dragging Jack with his hook.
"It's going to be interesting alright," Jack said under his breath. He was pulled to in front of the chief's throne and stumbled to the ground.
Stoick looked away from the battle to focus on Gobber. "What are you doing Gobber?"
"Stoick," Gobber said pointing his hook at Jack. "This boy knows something about Hiccup."
Stoick looks in front of him as Jack stands up and dusts the dirt off his pants.
"What boy?" Stoick said completely clueless.
"The boy right there!" Gobber screams gesturing to Jack.
Stoick looked again, but couldn't see a thing.
"I think your helmet's too tight again," he said to his friend. "There's no one there."
But then Stoick got hit with the old woman's stick. As he looks at her, she points to Jack as well.
"I guess she can see me too," Jack concluded.
Gobber looked like he was going to lose his mind. "How can you not see him? He's right infront of you!"
"Ummm, sir," Rapunzel said tapping Gobber on the shoulder. "Jack can only be seen if people believe in him."
"What?" Gobber said even more confused.
"I said, he can only be seen by people who believe in him," Rapunzel repeated. But Gobber still couldn't believe his ears.
"But what's this about Hiccup?" Stoick asks a little cautious.
"This boy knows him and has been with him recently," Gobber explains. But then he turns to Rapunzel, "which means that you've seen him too."
As much as Rapunzel wants to deny it and say nothing of the source, she knows they've been caught.
"Yes," she admits, "he's been traveling with us."
Those words made Stoick stand up from this throne. "Where is he?"
"We don't know," Rapunzel said repeating what Jack told her. "We were supposed to meet at our camp site. but then this fight happened and Jack couldn't find him anywhere. We don't know what happened to him."
"But he's on the island? Right?" Stoick asks with a bit of hope in his voice.
"I don't know," Rapunzel said worried.
"For all we know Pitch could've taken him," Jack mumbles.
But he forgot that people can see and hear him. "Who's Pitch?" Gobber asks.
"Shoot," Jack cursed as he looks at Gobber.
"What was that Gobber?" Stoick asks for an understanding.
"The boy said some guy name Pitch might've taken him," Gobber said.
"Pitch?" Stoick asks with the same curiosity.
But this conversation gave Rapunzel an idea to get the Vikings on the same level and also to stop this fight in the arena.
"How about this," she said to the chief. "If you stop this fight, we'll tell you everything. Our quest, what Hiccup has to do with it and who is Pitch and why we have to stop him. We will answer any questions you have. We won't run, we won't tell lies, and we won't hold back anything. I promise. And when I make a promise, I never, ever break it."
Stoick took all she said into consideration, thinking of what act to follow. There was so much mystery wrapped around these girls, and now there's supposedly a boy that he cannot see. He looks to Gothi for council; she nods her head in approval to Rapunzel's request. He then thought about Hiccup. If he is still on the island, why hasn't he come home? Maybe the answers lie with these strangers. He then peers at the arena with the two girls still going at it. They were covered with bruises and scrap skin, but they continued to give it their all. It seems that this fight will go on forever and Stoick wants the answers now. He has to know about these girls, and more importantly what's happening to Hiccup.
"Stop the fight!" He calls out.
Rapunzel breathes in a huge sigh of relief as the other Vikings became confused. Hearing the chief's words, Merida pushed Astrid away from her and looked at the chief. She sees that Jack and Rapunzel were next to the man. 'They must've talked him down,' she thought. She quietly thank the gods she didn't have to fight anymore, she didn't know how much more she and Astrid could take.
But Astrid was furious; she looked at the chief with anger in her eyes. "What's going on!?"
"They are going to tell us everything we need to know," Stoick explains. "There is no need for this fight to continue."
"But...but!" Astrid stutters.
"They even have knowledge of Hiccup," Stoick adds. Almost every Viking starts mumbling at that. "They will tell us where he is, and how he is a part of this...quest of theirs."
"Really?" Merida asks Rapunzel.
"It's the only way," she answers back.
As Merida shrugs and begins to leave the arena, Astrid felt a darkness in her. This fight was to prove that she is a far capable fighter then Hiccup, that she can follow the Viking way of justice and honour. But now Merida and her friends have taken it away, just like Hiccup took her honour of killing the dragon away. And now she finds out that these people are FRIENDS with him. She can't let them get away with it again.
"NO!" She cries out while tackling Merida to the ground. She then grabs Merida's wrist and pulls it begins her back, hurting her shoulder more.
The Vikings gasp in shock seeing this. But they don't go in and stop it, they just lean in more into the cage.
"No! Stop!" Rapunzel cries out through the cage.
"I said stop the fight!" Stoick said with more force and authority.
"No!" Astrid cries pulling Merida's arm more. She doesn't know why but hearing Merida yell in pain and struggling to get free felt good. It reminds Astrid of all the dragons she'll be able to ride the world of. "I told I won't give up, until I won. And I will rid every nuisance, every dragon, everyone that isn't wanted here!"
Rapunzel almost covered her mouth in shock, she then turns to Stoick. "Do something! Stop her!"
He goes up to the cage and swings his hammer down, bending the metal. "Astrid, as your chief, I order you to stop!"
"No offence chief, but I'm doing this island a huge favour. By getting rid of her!"
As Merida struggles to break free, Astrid reaches under her skirt, and pulls out a small knife.
"No!" Rapunzel screams with tears rolling out of her eyes.
As Stoick runs through the crowd to get to the arena doors, the bent in the metal gave Jack an idea.
"I'll stop her," he said as he flies through the hole and Into the arena. Gobber almost had a heart attack seeing Jack could fly, but Rapunzel payed more attention inside the arena. She then heard some comments from the children near by.
"Mommy, do you see that boy?"
"What's he doing in there?"
"Who is he?"
Rapunzel came to the conclusion a lot of children can see him, but then focuses back to Jack. He quickly lands on the ground, and just as Astrid lifts her knife in the air to plunge it down, he shoots a stream of ice that knocks the knife out of her hands.
"Ahh," she screams as she feels her hand super cold.
"Back off lady!" He cries as he summons a gust of cold wind her direction. It blows her off Merida and into a wooden wall. Jack then flies over and slams his staff on the ground. It sends a ground shock wave of ice in her direction and covers almost her whole body from the neck down in ice.
When the dizziness wares off, she screamed in fear at what just happened. She wasn't the only one that was scared, every Viking was freaking out.
"How did that happen?!"
"Is that woman a witch?!"
"No, it was the boy!"
"That boy made ice!"
"the ice just appeared!"
"is that stick magical?"
When Stoick finally made it down to the arena, he was shocked to see the ice. "How in Midgard did this happen?!"
Gobber was also confused, "how did that boy do it?"
Rapunzel tries to explain. "Well...you see Jack...is not a normal being. He's a spirit that can control ice and snow."
"Really?" He asks her. She nods her head as she turns back to her friends inside the arena.
Jack went over to Merida and cooled down her aching body.
"Thanks," she grunted in pain.
"You're welcome." He said helping her back to her feet. He then looked all around at the children looking at him. "Clear to see that I'm noticeable here." He takes her to the side and helps her keep her balance on a wall before flying over the arena. Every child and some adults are shock and surprised to see this.
"To those of you who can see me, my name is Jack Frost," he announces. "You might know me by another name, Jokul Frosti!" As proof, he made just the area inside the arena drizzle in snow. Every kids' eyes widen with wonder as they see this magic trick happening.
Gobber nods his head in full acceptance of what Jack is, "makes sense."
As people are curious about the snow, Stoick turns his attention to Merida and Astrid. "Get these ladies patched up and out of the ice. "he orders the crowd." I will deal with Miss Hofferson later. As for our guests, we will talk in the great hall." As he leaves, a group of Viking men went and start chirping some of the ice off of Astrid, while some of the ladies carried Merida away. As Jack looks at everyone leaving to the great hall, one question does come to his mind.
"Hiccup, where are you?"
"The nest," was Hiccup's last words before Toothless descended into a cave in the large mountain. At first the tunnel was long and dark, with the dragons' roars echoing off the sides. But then Hiccup can see the end with a bright red light. When Toothless flies through, Hiccup's eyes widen at what he's seeing.
All around him were ledges and cliff aides that have dragons resting. They kept going until they reach the top of the mountain. There was a giant hole on the top where smoke can escape. Below him was all red smog, covering the ground.
"What my dad would give to find this place," Hiccup said to himself.
Toothless shook his head a bit and his eyes returned to normal. He took one look of this place, and realizing where he is. He quickly flies to a hidden ledge on the side of the cliff and hid behind a stalagmite. He and Hiccup peered over the side to watch the dragons that have something in their claws dump them into the smog.
"Well, it's satisfying to know all our food is being dumped down a hole," hiccup said watching the dragons fly by and land on a different ledge.
"Why aren't you guys eating any of it?" He asks out loud, trying to understand what's going on.
"A very good question boy."
Hiccup nearly jumped off his saddle at that voice. He knew that was Pitch, but it sounded like it was coming from everywhere. Toothless defiantly didn't like the sound of this guy and let out a warning growl.
"That's what I like about you, always thinking."
Hiccup felt the air change behind him. He turned his head to see Pitch just inches away from him and Toothless. All of a sudden, it made sense why the dragons earlier looked almost like nightmares, and why they were chasing him and Toothless. Pitch wanted to bring him here, and he fell for it.
"Give me one good reason not to let toothless blast you!" Hiccup said.
"Oh, you don't want to hurt me," pitch said making himself sound so innocent.
"Oh yeah?" Hiccup said not really buying it.
"Yes," pitch said moving to the edge of the ledge. "I'm about to show you something."
"Not interested," Hiccup replied.
"Oh but I you might," Pitch said with a smile. "In the back of your mind, you've always ask the same question. Why?"
Hiccup draw back a bit, confused on what Pitch was applying.
"Why do the dragons do what they do? Why do they keep raiding your village? Why this war has been dragging on for three hundred years?"
Hiccup looked down at Toothless, realizing that Pitch was right. He has been wondering that ever since he was 5. But all the adults would say because they were monsters or it's in their nature. Hiccup knew there had to be another way.
Pitch looked over to where the dragons are and points to a Gronckle flying overhead. "Well, that dragon will show you."
Hiccup looks up at the dragon, who flies dazed over the smog and drops a half-eaten fish from its mouth. Suddenly a giant roar shook the mountain. As the Gronckle frantically tries to fly away, a giant mouth burst out and ate the dragon whole.
Hiccup's mouth dropped. He had no idea a dragon that big could exist. And yet, here it is, almost too close for his liking. He can see three eyes on one side, so more likely it has the same set on the other side, and great big nostrils. It's skin was almost rock type and had some form of coral around its head. But the teeth were hard to miss. They were big and sharp, capable of biting a giant ship in half. It scared Hiccup to think of what the rest of the dragon looked like.
"Beautiful, isn't she," Pitch said looking back at Hiccup. "Meet the Red Death."
"The...Red...Death..." Hiccup said finally finding the strength to talk. Suddenly the eyes on the dragon locked on to Hiccup. It reared its head back to lunge at him. But Pitch held out his hand and blasted the dragon with his magic, making it go down back into the smog.
"Don't worry boy," he said. "I won't let her hurt you. I've trained her well." he plays a bit with the pendent around his neck as it glows a faint green. "But of course, she still needs to eat. But don't worry, I won't allow her to gobble up you or your dragon."
Hiccup doesn't really buy Pitch's sudden charitable nature. He must have some kind of angle for helping him and showing him all this.
"You don't need to be afraid," Pitch continues.
"Afraid?" Hiccup said confident. "I'm not afraid of you."
"But you are afraid of something," Pitch playfully said. "Don't deny it. Everyone is afraid of something. Even dragons. Look at all of them, trembling in fear."
Curious, Hiccup got off of Toothless to peer over to the other dragons. All of them coward in fear of the Red Death below them. After seeing the Gronckle before getting eaten whole would make anyone scared. But then all the dots start to connect in his mind.
"The dragons are scared of the beast below," Hiccup said putting all the pieces together. "She's like a queen to them. They have no choice but to obey her. If they don't, they get eaten. They don't have any choice at all." The thought was sad that these creatures are reduced to slaves.
"Clever boy," Pitch said almost pleased. "And what will you do with this information? Tell your father?"
Hiccup's eyes shot open in shock. He should tell his tribe about this new revaluation. But if he does, what's gonna happen to him? To Toothless? They'll know that Toothless took him here, that he's been friends with his tribe's sworn enemy. Them what? They'll kill Toothless. Or worst, they'll come here and be killed by the Red Death.
He looks at Pitch who has a sickening grin.
"So that's your plan," Hiccup said cold. "You want me to know about this, but punish me by not telling my tribe. You making me suffer in silence, to tear my soul out. I can't tell my tribe because I can't let Toothless be killed, but the dragons will continue their raids. And if I tell them, they'll kill my friend, and they'll be killed by the queen."
"And they will blame you as they always do," Pitch adds. "So brings up the question, why bother telling them anything?"
"I... I could save my people," Hiccup said unsure of himself.
"Your people?" Pitch questions. "Why would call those Vikings your people? After all they've done to you. Not listening to you, turning a blind eye to you, treating you like dirt..."
"I know what you're trying to do," Hiccup yells. "You are trying to get me to your side! You don't know anything about me!"
"Oh I know more than you think, Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third." Pitch said passing around Hiccup. "Son of Stoick the Vast. Your mother, Valka, was lost to you when you were about six months old. After that, your people treated you like you were dirt. Mocked your efforts to help, degrade your status from heir to village idiot, and disregard your pain and suffering for their amusement. They rather watch then treat your cousin to the proper punishment. And your father, your father never made eye contact with you. Never tells you any bed time story or kissed you good night before bed. You never even got a good morning from his lips. He just a passes you off to the blacksmith and never looked at you again. After all that, you would still call that man your father, and those barbarians your people. You must have a big heart to allow that."
As much as Hiccup hates to admit, Pitch's words spoke truth to him. Everyone on Berk has treated him like that.
Hiccup's body shivered a bit feeling Pitch's cold hand on his shoulder.
"I do understand you boy," he says very cold but honest. "I do know how it feels to be cast out, to be ridiculed. I've lived my entire life never seen. To not be believed in. You see my boy, you and I are not so different..."
Hiccup jerks his shoulders and moves away from Pitch. "You and I are nothing alike!"
"We're more alike than you care to admit," Pitch said. "Think about it."
Hiccup stands still, trying to push what Pitch was saying out of his head. But his mind replays a lot of his life on Berk, and how rotten it was.
"No," he grunts, looking away.
"We both want proper respect, to be treated as more then scum on this earth," Pitch continues to play with a hurtful but childish tone. "I have to go to extreme matters to get it, and that's what you need to do to. The only thing bullies understand is force; it is the only way to demand respect."
"You're wrong!" Hiccup screamed, almost scaring Toothless and any nearby dragon away. "I don't need that; my friends do care and respect me."
"Of course your dragon friend does," Pitch said disappearing into black sand and then reappearing behind Toothless, rubbing its head. Toothless backed off in shock, becoming a little more scared.
"But what about the group you travel with? Have they given you the proper respect? Do they even call you a friend?"
"Of course they do!" Hiccup said quickly ready to defend his friends.
"Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha," Pitch said disappearing into the shadows. "Can't you see? They're using you as a means to an end. You've seen how they've treated you. Not really listening to your ideas or warnings. They just ran ahead with their own schedule."
"That's not true!" Hiccup protest.
"Really," Pitch said appearing behind Hiccup and clasping his hands over the boy's Shoulders. "Did you know while you were away, they got themselves in trouble. Vikings found them in the great hall, and the Scottish princess was challenged to a duel."
"Wha?" Hiccup said confused, not wanting to believe a word that Pitch is saying.
Pitch smiles as his pendent glows a faint green light and releases a mist. "Yes," he said. "But they wanted to avoid all that, and offered to tell them everything. Your mission, your journey," he leans in and whispers in Hiccup's ear, "even your forbidden friendship."
"No...that's not true..." Hiccup said looking down.
"But I'm afraid so," Pitch smiles a cruel smile. He then flicks his hand in front of Hiccup, and controls some black sand to make a small portal. Hiccup looked inside to see an overhead view of the great hall. His father is sitting on the throne with the council, with Merida, Jack, Rapunzel and Astrid in front of a large group of Vikings. While Merida and Astrid looked like they've been in a huge fight and are being treated by the nurses, Jack and Rapunzel were talking to Stoick.
Hiccup leans in to fully hear what Rapunzel was saying to his father.
"... We were hiding out in a cove just outside of the village. We've been there for only one night, but Hiccup knew it was the best place to hide, and it was very beautiful too. He didn't mean to not tell you anything, but he didn't want you or anyone from here caught up in this, he was just being careful."
"Yeah," Merida grunts in pain. "He didn't want you to pull him all over the place, that's kinda our job."
"Besides, we needed to stick to our job," Jack added.
When the chief was in deep thought and a silence was around the great hall, Pitch closed the portal. He could see the horror look in Hiccup's eyes, and the feelings in them; Sadness, hurt and betrayal.
"No..." He whispers as he moves away from Pitch and to the middle of the ledge. "They couldn't...they...didn't..." Hiccup never felt so alone in his entire life. This feeling in his gut was worst then anything Snotlout beats him up or when his father would leave him. The people he thought he could trust had betrayed him, and might kill Toothless as well. He never felt so low, and he hated that feeling.
He was so focus on what he witnessed and the sick feeling in His stomach, he didn't notice the green most coming out of Pitch's locket and surrounding him.
"How...how could they?" Hiccup grunts, letting the hurt cloud everything around him.
"I know, it painful isn't it," Pitch said with a cruel sense of sympathy. He then flicks his wrist to produce a whirlwind of black sand dust around Hiccup.
Toothless roared at Hiccup to get his attention, but the wind blocked it. As he prepares to leap to his friend and get him outta here, he could suddenly hear the Red Death's call. It began to overwhelm him, pushing away his free will. He tries to shake his head to get her out, but it was no use, she was too powerful.
As Toothless struggles to keep the queen out of his head, Pitch blew some black dust at him to help his beast out. When the dust hits, Toothless relaxed, with his eyes open and empty.
The dragon was under her control, and his. He then turned back to the rider, and flickers his hands. "Your friends treated you like dirt, just like everyone else in your life."
In the midst of the sands, Hiccup began to see figures of the people he knew.
"Quiet the performance, useless," mocks the shadowy figure of Ruffnut.
"Oh, great, who let him in," her brother said.
"I've never seen anyone who messes up so bad," said the usual taunt of Snotlout.
"Where did Hiccup go wrong?" His mentor asks in a mean tone.
"He showed up,"Ruffnut said
"He didn't get eaten," Tuffnut agreed
"He's never where he should be," Astrid said.
Soon, harsh laughter from very Viking he knows echo through his ears. It was almost painful to Hiccup as he tries to block it out with his hands. He then crouches down to get away from the insults, but they just kept coming.
"You really are pathetic," Ruffnut laughs.
"Mr. Useless," Tuffnut chimed in.
"Is this some kind of joke to you?" Astrid said angry.
"You better get used to the floor useless," His cousin said with pride. "That's where you're going to be, kissing my boots."
"Figure out what side you're on," Astrid sneered.
But those words stuck in Hiccup's mind. 'What side I'm on,' he thought. 'Well it's clear that MY people don't want me on their side.'
He growled looking at the black dust figures that surrounds him. All of them were laughing in a mean way, everyone that Hiccup thought he can trust are laughing at him. He even saw figures of Jack, Merida and Rapunzel laughing at him.
"STOP IT! STOP IT!" He screams angry. He looks up to see a black dust version of his father, disappointed as usual.
"You are the worst Viking in the history of Berk," he said. "I am ashamed of you; you can't even kill a dragon. You are not my son."
Hiccup let those words fuel this new found anger inside of him. He lashes out and scratches away Stoick. He looked at everyone that was in this tornado, with an unforgivable rage.
Pitch was on the edge of excitement; his plan was working perfectly; Time to pour oil into this fire.
"You were always alone," he said. "You were never loved. When you got hurt, they laughed. So why not treat them the same. They've used you, and abused you, now it's your turn."
The green most surrounding Hiccup went into his eyes, and made him grunt in pain. The figures disappear into the whirlwind around him and began to sink into his skin.
"Use some of my power, use it get back at all those people who wronged you. Make them pay for hurting you. Show them, what a hiccup can do!"
Pitch laughs as he disappears into the shadows, leaving Hiccup to absorb this dark power. As it grows into him, he found himself loving it more and more. It felt so intoxicating, Hiccup could feel it. It begins to almost lift Hiccup off the ground, like he could do anything he wants. His mind raced with nothing but rage and thoughts of revenge.
As he closed his eyes and embraces this new power, the shadows around him obeyed his command, and spread around like snakes. Those snakes then gained wings and fly around the nest, scaring the other dragons.
Hiccup smirks, loving this feeling of power. He opens his eyes to the world, feeling reborn.
His eyes shine with bright forest green pupils and now surrounded by pure black sclera, reflecting the darkness in him now.
"Well watch out Berk, I'm coming home. Heh, Heh, Heh."