Yes I should be working on "you're in the army now." I will finish it. I swear. I'm just not feeling it right now. Im in the middle of a "Frozen" obsession.. so enjoy this.
That was all she was really aware of. The deep biting cold that had crawled its way into her bones as she trudged thru the deep snow of the forest. The wind howled around her, blowing thick clouds of snow up into the air, blinding her. A hardy helping of snow and ice clung to every inch of her clothes after so long in the storm. They were frozen and stiff. Her ragged breaths billowed out of the cloth wrapped snuggly around her face, being swept away by the turbulent winds around her. The barren trees creaked and groaned against the wind, some swaying dangerously. Normally she would walk around these, but couldn't find herself to care at the moment. She had no desire to make her journey even a few steps longer than it had to be. It was like this every year, though some winters were better than others.
She could faintly see her destination in the distance. A soft warm light glittering in the distance, a beacon in the dark onslaught of winter called to her. It filled her with the strength to take another step and another. Wading through the thigh deep snow she was numb to her own movement. Her awareness locked solely on the light, getting steadily brighter, steadily stronger till after what seemed like an eternity she heard more than felt her boot make contact with the old wood of the trading posts porch.
A powerful gust of wind and snow herald her arrival as the door burst open and she lumbered thru. Using what strength remained to close it behind her, shutting out the winter. She gave a few stomps, shaking off a few layers of winter.
"Yoo-hoo" She glanced to her left. A large man in a sweater, which she would have rather frozen to death than wear in her opinion, was staring at her smiling.
"I knew I'd be seeing you again soon, that time of year again, yeah?" She nodded, dual teal orbs staring out from underneath a black fur lined hood. Reaching up to pull down the frozen cloth of her hood, twin ginger braids fell loose, speckled with gleaming crystals of snow. She yanked the cloth from the lower half of her face revealing a soft rounded face peppered with freckles and a few thin scars. The most prominent of which was saddled across the bridge of her small pert nose, stretching to the inner edges of her cheeks. She gave a little shake, casting snow from her form before running a tongue of her cold chapped lips and croaking.
"Every year" She smiled, teal eyes crinkling around the edges as she pulled off the leather gloves and deposited them in a nearby chair. "It's good to see you, Oaken."
"You too, I was afraid you wouldn't make it this year, Anna." He smiled as she went about disrobing. A thick black fur shawl joined her gloves followed by a wool one. She gave a snort.
"If I don't come and compete I don't eat." She informed him, patting snow from the hardened red leather and metal of her armor. It scraped and chinked against the broadsword at her waist as she moved about.
"You think you will win this year, eh?" Anna grinned, resting a hand on the pommel of her sword.
"I'm gonna do my best." She pumped her fist. The movement eliciting more jingles and tinkling. Oaken nodded. "Is the bedroom upstairs empty?" She gazed at him questioningly. He nodded again.
"Ya, feel free to use it, the sauna too." She smiled kindly at the large man before gathering her discarded equipment into her arms and galloped up the stairs to the room in question. The door was wide open, for which she was glad with her arms full of her travelling gear. She kicked it closed behind her.
The room was dark and cold, easily fixed. She unceremoniously dropped her stuff to the floor and took a small leather pouch from her waist emptying its contents into her open palm. A pair of dull black stones. She crouched down in front of the fireplace and with practiced ease struck the stones together. A shower of sparks sprayed the dry wood, quickly catching. She blew a few shallow breaths of air on to the embers and after a few moments flames leapt from the wood. She remained there staring into the flames as they licked at the wood. Filling the room with a dull warm light and soothing crackle, pop of the wood.
She didn't know how long she'd been staring into the flames till she became aware of how hot she was getting in her armor. She stood with a stiff stretch. Muscles that before were numb with cold were now alive with a dull aching. Her eyes drooped heavily. It's had been three days since she'd last slept, since the day she'd left the north to make her yearly journey south to Arendelle for their sword fighting tournaments held in the spring. A few quick tugs and the strap keeping her sword to her waist went loose and she propped it against the bed post.
Anna began working on the various clasps and straps of her armor. With each one a heavy piece of metal fell to the floor. When the last piece fell away she pulled the chainmail over her head and let it fall to the floor with the rest, revealing a toned but much lither form. Clothed only in a tight pair of brown breeches and a loose white undershirt, she slipped off her boots and flopped onto the bed. Her head had barely touched the goose feather stuffed pillow before she left consciousness. She had three days of sleep she needed to catch up on, and was only a day's trip from the capital city.
She wasn't sure what time it was when she woke but knew it was still morning at the very least. The fire had long since died out. Not a single ember burned in the pile of ash. She sluggishly pulled herself up into a sitting position. Muscles protesting as she did so. Eyes still closed she haphazardly swiped at the dried drool on her chin. She grumbled incoherently under her breath as she pulled on her chainmail and boots, than began the long process of strapping her armor back on. When all was snuggly back in place she grabbed her sword, allowing a moment to study the sheathed blade. How long had it been since she'd gone to a black smith and had it tempered? Sharpened? Cleaned even? A while, she grimaced as strapped her constant companion to her waist. That would have to be the first thing she did when she got to Arendelle. She pulled the wool cape over her shoulders before layering the black bear fur shawl over it. She snatched up her face wrap and gloves before bounding down the stairs with a renewed energy only a good night rest could give.
Oaken wasn't at the counter when she came down. She wrapped her face cloth around her head before digging into pouch tied to her waist. The gold coins jingled merrily as she pulled them out laying them on the counter. She pulled on her gloves and flipped the hood up before stepping out into the cold.
Her boots crunched in the new fallen snow. It was still cold and cloudy, but Anna was eternally grateful for the lack of wind. She bowed her head and said a silent prayer to the winter spirits. She could see clearly thru the leafless trees, expansive miles of white snow before her. She took a deep breath, burning cold air filled her lungs. Not an entirely unpleasant sensation. She'd always loved winter. Her hand reached up to touch her hood. She could see the white streak in her hair in her mind's eye.
She wasn't sure if Winter loved her though. She exhaled the large cloud of air she didn't know she'd been holding before slogging thru the snow.
After a few trudging hours she summited a hill and her breath hitched in her throat. The Kingdom of Arendelle, blanketed in white lay before her. Still a few hours off, but she could see it none the less.
The distant castle glistened with ice, the chilly blue waters of the fjord like a glassy mirror, reflecting the castle and surrounding city in its waters. She smiled to herself at the magnificent view before her. She was brought out of her gazing by the echoes of shouting and the familiar sounds of battle.
Without thinking about it Anna, nearly tripping in the snow ran towards the frenzied sounds of fighting. She crested a hill to see a pack of six grubby bandits, furiously fighting with four men dressed in the forest green uniforms of the Arendelle guards. A covered chariot sat on the snow covered cobblestone path behind them, the driver trying to calm the frightened horse.
The door burst open and a figure in a blue cloak bolted from the chariot before running into the woods. Two bandits broke away to follow, and so did Anna. She slid down the hill and ran after. One bandit tripped and fell. Anna leapt over him without breaking stride. She could see the figure in blue zipping through the trees.
The wind began to blow and howl as it began to snow again. The figure tripped landing into a deep pile of snow, letting out a small surprised and obviously feminine shout, allowing the bandit to catch up, his sword drawn and raised. Anna leapt in time to catch him. In a flash of metal, her own sword was drawn swinging. It sliced across his back, spraying blood onto her cloak and stained the snow with red. He made a loud gargled sound. Anna knew from experience to be the sound of the dying. The crunching of snow alerted her to the approach of the other bandit. She whipped around and brought her sword up just in time to block a strong downward strike. She kicked him back, knocking his sword away. He stumbled backwards.
She pressed her advantage, jumping forward and with a quick thrust, impaling him on her sword. The same strangled sound as the first burst from his throat as red blossomed forth from his chest as he fell, dead in the snow. She exhaled before turning to look at the figure in the snow, wind still kicking up clouds of snow around them. She quickly wiped her sword clean in the snow before sheathing it and walking tenderly toward the figure.
"Are you okay?" Anna half shouted to be heard thru her mask and the wind. She offered her hand to the strange cloaked woman. She hesitated for a moment before a teal gloved hand reached out and grabbed Anna's. As she pulled her up the wind began to quiet and die till it was gone as quickly as it came, though a light snow still fell around them.
"Are you okay?" Anna asked again. The woman nodded and reached up, pulling her own hood down.
"I am, thanks to you." She gave a small smile.
Anna gaped, though it was hidden by the mask. The woman before her was a few inches taller than herself. Her flawless skin was an ivory color, but not unhealthy. Stunning icy blue eyes shining with gratitude stared into her own teal ones, her platinum blonde hair was piled up in an ornate bun atop her hear, topped with a crown…
Anna immediately recognized this woman. She'd been in Arendelle for longer than usual the year before so she could witness the crown Princesses coronation. She'd glimpsed her a few times from the crowd, and now here she was, standing before her. In all her snow covered glory. The Queen.
Queen Elsa of Arendelle.