II. Don't Mess With The Elves
Ice turned around with that woman in his arms and walked a little away from the edge of the cliff. Sara heaved a sigh of relief when she saw him retreating a few steps back. When he stood at the very edge, the thought that he might fall from the cliff terrified her.
“Sara. Move back.” Ice softly said. Sara realized that his eyes had turned blood red by that time. But she was happy that Ice was talking to her again. His ghastly silence back then was so strange that she felt stifled. She nodded in response and complied with his wishes. She moved back and stood near a rock twice her height.
Ice nodded and once again looked towards the city of Eudora blankly. And the next moment, a small portion of the ground beneath his feet froze and turned to ice. Glossy and crystal clear ice. That ice beneath his feet spread around with exponential speed and covered the whole cliff in the blink of an eye. Everything in front of Ice had frozen.
Next, ice crystals started sprouting out from the ground as if they were germinating plant saplings. They appearing on that cliff and grew vertically up as if they were trying to climb on each other, and within a few short minutes, they formed a colossal chunk of ice, hundreds of meters in height. It appeared like a giant iceberg was transported from the sea to that place. Sara gulped her saliva when she watched that.
After that chunk of ice was formed, Ice stepped forth. He closed his eyes as if he was thinking about something, and then he tapped on the ice with his feet. Small cracks appeared on the frozen ground because of his step, and they spread ahead. When the cracks reached the huge iceberg, they sped upwards. After the cracks reached the top of that iceberg, there was an earthshaking explosion sound as if an avalanche was happening. The next moment, small chunks of ice on the surface of that huge iceberg started to fall down. Those small chunks broke into smaller pieces as they fell and turned to small dust-like white particles. But they didn’t get accumulated on the ground. Before they could reach the ground, they lessened in volume and disappeared to nowhere, just like how that huge iceberg had come out of nowhere.
After all the particles disappeared, and the view cleared, one could see a colossus sculpture. That sculpture was almost as tall as that iceberg. It looked very imposing standing on the cliff as it looked towards the city. The sculpture was glistening, and it appeared it was made of glass instead.
The ice sculpture was that of an elven lady dressed in a beautifully embroidered gown. It looked like the woman in the arms of Ice except the statue’s expression was that of indifference, like a cold goddess had descended. She was looking down on the mortal world as if nothing could stir her heart. But that expression on her face only made her look more beautiful. The statue’s hair was almost reaching her feet. One of her hands was holding her dress on the right side. The other was closed gently in front of her chest.
The craftsmanship on the ice sculpture was so good that every strand of the hair could be seen on that sculpture. The fine detailing in the dress, the skin, the face, and everything else of that elven lady made her appear lifelike as if the sculpture would come alive the next moment. One couldn’t imagine that Ice created the sculpture alone and in a few minutes.
Sara was dumbstruck as she stared at that sculpture with both her eyes and mouth wide open. She didn’t understand how such things were even possible. The sight in front of her turned her every belief upside down. She could tell that Ice was doing all that, but she didn’t know how he was doing it. Even though Ice and Sara had lived together for years, she had never seen him doing anything miraculous like that. And what happened next left her brain even more shocked.
Ice started flying! He flew with the woman that lady in his arms and landed on the left shoulder of that sculpture. He parted his legs to stabilize himself.
“I know you won’t like what I will do. But I can’t really stop myself. I feel too angry... and helpless. Even if it was small, this little place had a hand in this state of yours and so it must fall. It is time for their judgement.”
A shadow of a giant bow, almost the size of that sculpture, started condensing in front of him and floated in midair. It too looked like the bow sculpted in ice. Even the bowstring appeared to be made of ice. The string looked so thin and brittle as if it would break if anyone pulled it.
But the bowstring drew back on its own, without breaking, as if an invisible giant was pulling it. A glassy silhouette of an arrow formed. The arrow appeared to be sucking in something from the air as the invisible giant pulled it back. The air near the arrow went berserk. Sara, while standing back, felt suffocated even though she could still breathe properly as if the arrow had swallowed something necessary for life. She felt oppressed when she looked towards the arrow.
The bowstring was perfectly drawn when the tip of the arrow started shining in white light. The swallowing action of the arrow stopped along when the arrow started shining. The bow tilted itself and fired the arrow towards the grey clouds. One would expect an explosion after looking at the sight of that arrow, but it didn’t make any noise as it traveled.
The speed and momentum of the arrow were so strong that it pierced the cloud and made a small hole in the cloud. The sunlight penetrated from that hole for a moment before the clouds spread and closed that hole.
The bow disintegrated as if it was made of loose sand and disappeared into nothingness after firing that arrow. The deathly silence crept it once more.
A while later, a similar hole could be seen in the clouds directly above that city. That same arrow tore open another hole in the clouds, but this hole was bigger. The tip of the arrow gave off a white blinding radiance while falling straight down, not adhering to its original trajectory, like a small piece of meteor, but that radiance bought spine chilling coldness along with it instead of scorching heat. The arrow descended at the center of the city, above the royal castle and as it did, there was a huge soundless explosion. The white radiance of the arrow tip burst open and scattered, engulfing the whole of the city.
The next moment, the white light vanished, and it took along the fire of life with it. Everything inanimate in the city of Eudora had frozen. The palace, the buildings, the walls, the roads, everything froze. And along with them, some living froze too. It was like some people and beasts were specifically targeted. Others didn’t feel a thing except for the sudden fall of temperature. The bustling city just became a giant project of a master sculptor who put his entire life into sculpting every corner of the city.
There were some people outside the southern city gate trying to gain entry inside the city. That arrow had frozen the city, but it froze nothing outside the outermost wall of the city. Some of them were absent-minded because of the sudden change. Some started shirking in fear of the power that froze the city, and others were happy inside for somehow surviving the disaster. Suddenly, a sharp voice echoed in their air.
“Don’t mess with the Elves.”
It was Ice who said those words, and somehow his words traveled far to the people of the city. The people looked in the direction of that voice and saw a huge sculpture of a beautiful elven lady. Looking at that, some people knelt down and started worshiping that statue as if it were a goddess. Their actions started a chain reaction and soon, every person that stayed alive knelt down while looking that that ice sculpture.
On the cliff, Ice was looking at the frozen city with the same expressionless face. And he finally looked down towards that woman in his arms. His expressionless face changed to that of gentleness.
A thin sheet of ice appeared in midair, and he placed that woman on that gently, as if he was putting a sleeping baby to bed. The sheet of ice was so transparent that it felt like that woman was floating in the sky.
Ice held that woman’s face in his hand and caressed it.
“I can feel you’re still alive and one day I promise I will wake you up. Just wait for me, love. Till then, you can rest here.” He bent and whispered in her ear. Ice lightly kissed her rosy lips and then withdrew his hand.
Ice started growing on that sheet and engulfed that woman. As the block of ice floated in midair, it looked like a transparent coffin. He waved his hand and the transparent ice became black. One could see that there was a beautiful woman inside that coffin, but one could not discern her features.
The black coffin fell in his hands. He hugged that coffin and as he did, those tears he had been holding for so long finally found their escape.