The Scottish lands
The clouds move away from the sun, letting it shine down on the Scottish lands below. The eagles glide though the sky, looking for their pray. One lucky bird spots a small mouse scattering in the grass that's surrounded by a circle of stones. The mouse seemed to be separated from the rest of the pact. A perfect snack.
With great haste, the eagle started to swoop down and opens its talons to snag the mouse. But as it got close, the winds changed drastically and a blue magic whirlwind appeared out of nowhere. Scaring the eagle and the mouse away.
Out of the portal popped out Merida, Rapunzel, Jack, Hiccup, Baby tooth and Toothless, hurling them to the hard ground below. They all groan as they struggle to stand up as the portal disappears.
"Oh," Rapunzel groans while holding her stomach, feeling just as sick as last time. "That was the worst one yet."
"I hear you," Jack said leaning on his staff for support.
Then everyone heard a sickly groan. They all look to Toothless, who was new to this experience. His face grew green and he looked like he was trying to hold something down.
"Ummm Hiccup, is your dragon gonna be ok?" Merida asks while getting worried.
"Yes…No," he said though very unsure. As he got up he stepped backwards a bit. "Best to give him some space, just incase."
Everyone took that hint and stepped back. Toothless felt something coming up his throat, something gross. Soon he couldn't contain his upset stomach and barfed out a lot of fish all on the grass floor.
"Ewe," everyone said in disgust. But they became even more disgusted when Toothless ate that pile of half eaten fish.
"Ok," Rapunzel said turning away, becoming green, "I think I'm gonna be sick."
Jack ran to her side and held her to give her balance. "Easy," he said quietly.
When everyone felt better, they looked around and marvelled at the ancient stones around them. Then seemed very ancient, but also had a mystical feel to them. They all seemed to have patterns and symbols engraved in them,
"Wow," Hiccup said while studying one of them. "These are incredible."
"I agree," Rapunzel said looking around. "So this is your home Merida?"
"We're at the ring of stones," Merida told everyone.
"Obviously," Jack said in a joking manner.
"Just outside of my kingdom," Merida continues. "I can't exactly tell the portal to send us to my throne room and we just show up infront of everyone. That would be very bad."
"I hear you there," Hiccup said, agreeing with that statement, remember his dilemma with Berk and the thought of just appearing in front of everyone, and then explain to everyone your new friends and where you've been for days.
"So I picked this place," Merida gestures to the stones around them. "It's just outside, where no one can see us yet."
"Good plan," Jack said with a smile.
"Probably a good idea no one saw us being sick," Hiccup said while rubbing Toothless's head. "That time through the portal was horrible."
"Yeah," Jack said while twirling his staff over his shoulder. "I'm surprised we haven't seen a blue phone box yet in there."
He giggled to himself before looking at the others. He saw no one got his reference; their facial expressions were either confused or annoyed.
Jack groaned a bit, he should've expected this outcome, "forget I said that."
"With that out of the way," Hiccup said while rolling his eyes. "What do we do now?"
Everyone turned to Merida, hoping she had some idea where to go.
Merida looked at them, not entirely sure how to lead. She's seen her mother do it all the time, but now people are looking for her decision. She can't start looking for her stone by just searching the entire forest. That'll take way too long.
She then thought back to the riddle Emily gave them. 'The stone will be where your heart is?' But that didn't make any sense to Merida. Her heart isn't in one particular place, certainly not at her castle. There she felt trapped, confined by the rules and traditions her mother placed on her. Still, might as well start there, just to clear that place. Besides, it would be interesting to see what her kingdom has gone through since she left.
"We might as well start at the castle," Merida said. "I want to see what's going on there."
"Alright, let's go," Rapunzel said and started walk between two stones.
"Hold it," Jack said as he reached his hand out and grabbed Rapunzel's hair, making her stop. "Do you have any idea where the castle is?"
Rapunzel thought for a moment, but then grew disappointed, "nope," she said.
Merida giggled a bit, "don't worry, I know how to get there from here." She then looked at Toothless, and grew worried. "But...maybe it would be better if the dragon stays here."
Toothless looks at her and angry snorts at her.
"Why?" Hiccup asks.
"Well, you see," Merida said as she makes her way to Toothless to calm him down. "My father is known as the bear king, I don't want him to start calling himself the dragon king. The stories will never end."
"I gotcha," Hiccup said looking at Toothless. "But he should accompany us for a bit, through the forest. Just in case we run into anyone looking for you and we need a quick exit."
Merida huff a bit, knowing that Hiccup might be right. "Ok," she said before looking at Toothless. "You know I didn't mean it the way I did, I was only looking after your safety."
Toothless forgave her a bit and allowed her to nuzzle him a bit, before getting her wet with slobber.
"Toothless, cut it out!" She cries as she giggles a bit. Everyone watching was cut in laughing a bit.
When everyone calmed down a bit, they began their journey towards to Merida's kingdom.
"Keep an eye open," Merida warns everyone. "This is bear country."
Though the path Merida's taking them on is a pretty tough one, full of tree roots and wild plants. Merida power walks through everything as everyone follows behind. Jack was having an easy time flying over the path, while Rapunzel just carefully walks over the roots. Hiccup and Toothless we're having the most difficult time getting through. Toothless because he was to big with his wings, and Hiccup because he was still getting use to his new foot.
"Ok, lift the leg up like this..." Hiccup said to himself as he tries to walk around and over some roots. But one root seemed to latch around his metal foot, making him fall backwards.
Luckily, Toothless was there to catch him just in time.
"Thanks bud," Hiccup said while regaining his balance.
Rapunzel looks back to see Hiccup struggling with his new foot. She decides to run back and hold his arm to help him "Are you gonna be ok?" She asks.
He met his eyes with hers and tries get his footing right again. "Yeah," he answers her.
Rapunzel continues to look at that leg, feeling remorse for not being able to bring it back. "I'm sorry I couldn't do more to help you."
"What are you talking about?" Hiccup said as if she was crazy. "You did what you could. You got me on my feet, or foot, faster then what I could do on my own. So don't beat yourself up about me. You helped save me. So I'm one foot short, it will actually make it easier for me to fly with Toothless. It just needs a little getting used to, especially on solid ground."
"Yeah," she said, letting him go and passing her. "I wonder how it will do on ice."
"Don't give Jack any ideas," Hiccup warns her with as much seriousness he can muster, which made her broke out in laughing with him.
Meanwhile at the front of the group, Merida and Jack tread through the forest pretty quickly. Only Jack looked back to see the others taking their sweet time.
"We should stop here for a bit," he suggests to Merida. "Give the others a chance to catch up."
Merida looked back to see her friends not that far behind. "Alright," she said a little irritated.
Jack leans back on a tree, but then moves his head to see the tree has a hanging target on its trunk. On the target it seemed to be over a dozen arrows, all pointing to the bullseye.
"Whoa," he said examining it. "Is this your handiwork?"
Merida looks at it and nods. "Yeah," she said. "Whenever I have a day off of lessons and my mother's content watch, I come out here with my horse and we practice my shooting and go on mini adventures together." As if to prove her point, she grabs an arrow and shoots it at the target. It landed right between the arrows at the middle.
"Wow, nice shooting," Jack said very impressed. Baby tooth even claps for Merida.
"Yeah," Merida said looking at the target. "I've been practicing ever since I was a wee lass. My father keeps saying that learning to fight is essential, being a princess or not. I've always taken that lesson to heart, no matter how my mum disagrees."
She then looks around at the trees around her, getting a warm, comfortable feeling in her heart. It was something she's felt every time she's in these woods, but being away from it makes her feel at peace. There was just a better feeling in being the lively woods then she was in the cold stone walls of the castle.
She took a deep breath in through her nose, letting the fresh air fill her lungs. "It feels great being here again," she said to the air.
"I bet," Jack said out loud as he watches the others catch up to them.
Merida shrugs as she goes to another nearby tree and places her hand on its rough bark. "Yeah," she said while thinking back to riding Angus and going on mini adventures with him. "Here, I can feel like I'm one with nature, literally."
She knows she's connected to a season in some way, thanks to Emily. But in the woods, she felt almost on top of the world. Like she can do anything, like she can change her fate with a bow and arrow. No rules, no responsibilities, where she can do anything and be whoever she wants.
"It's out here," she continues, "that I can truly be free." Without warning her friend, she aimed at the target again and hit it on the bullseye.
"Hey!" Jack yells as everyone caught up to them. Though they didn't have time to rest or anything, Merida ran down the path of her usual route with her horse, and felt emerged with everything around her.
"When cold winds are calling," she said out loud.
"And the sky is clear and bright,
Misty mountains sing and beckon,
Lead me out into the light."
Merida then felt the wind surrounding her, gliding around her dress and making her hair fly around her. She moves her bow around, making it look like she's controlling the wind, even though that's Jack's department.
"I will ride," she continues, "I will fly,
Chase the wind and touch the sky,
I will fly,
Chase the wind and touch the sky. "
As she closed her eyes, she felt like she can hear nature backing her determination and siding with her. The others watch as Merida enjoy this moment being home.
"Where dark woods hide secrets," she said as she looks around.
"And mountains are fierce and bold,
Deep waters hold reflections,
Of times lost long ago. "
Merida looked up, seeing the eagles above her. Almost feeling as free as they are. She puts her bow away and ran to the nearest tree, and started to climb it. When she got to the top, she made her body raise, letting half her body rise above the leaves of the forest, and looking far ahead at the Scottish woods.
"I will hear their every story,
Take hold of my own dream,
Be as strong as the seas are stormy,
And proud as an eagle's scream.
I will ride, I will fly,
Chase the wind and touch the sky,
I will fly,
Chase the wind and touch the sky. "
She felt a rush of wind blow on her face, it almost felt like rain massaging her face and soul. She reaches her hand up to the sky, almost feeling like she could touch it.
"And touch the sky!" She yells to the sky above her. The wind tries to fight her arm, but she felt stronger, reaching it as far as she can.
She drops her arm and twists her upper body so her back is to the wind, letting her hair blow across her face. "Chase the wind, chase the wind."
With one more big breath she screams. "Touch the sky!" She felt at peace, and ready for what her world has to offer.
"If you scream any louder, someone will hear you."
Merida nearly jumps off her branch in fear. She grabs hold for better support and looks to her side to see Jack just hovering above the trees.
"Are you trying to give me a heart attack?" She rages as she grabs some leaves and throw them at him.
"Not really," he shrugs as he watches Merida disappears into the tree.
She climbs down to meet the others, beating Jack at putting her feet in the ground. She looks at the others and gathers herself. "I guess I got carried away abit."
"It's alright," Rapunzel said with a smile. She remembers what she was like when she finally left her tower.
"So," Hiccup said. "Let's go to the castle."
"Hold on," Merida said stopping him. "We can't go through the front gates, there sure to be guards there."
Everyone agreed about that statement. If they're caught...well they don't want to think about that. After everything they've gone through, getting caught would be a bad idea.
"So where do we go?" Rapunzel asks.
Merida thought for a minute about how they're going to get to the castle. But then an idea popped into her head. A crazy idea.
"We'll make our way to the kingdom's wall another way." She said. "We just to go the long way around."
"The long way is better than the getting caught way," Hiccup said in his sarcastic tone.
Merida nods as she continues to lead everyone through the forest, and back home.
Unknown to them, something big was hiding in the shadows of the trees, looking at them with sad eyes. if it wasn't for the trees' shadows and how dark the fur was, you can see a tear fall on the figure's sad face.
Song: Touch the Sky from Brave