Authors Note: I am alive. I apologize for the long wait. I took the summer off to work as many hours as I could get. Then my mother retired and now she wants to do everything with me. I started writing in September, got a good chunk done in December. Then the world went to hell in a virus laced handbasket. Working in a hospital guaranteed hours but it is still scary to clean instruments laced with Covid-19, especially with the shortage of PPE's and all. I completed the chapter on Easter and been editing it with my beta-reader Noctus Fury since then. A big thank you to him.
This is the first M-rated chapter, we will now get into more political, adult-oriented areas such as marriage and war. This chapter will have some language and violence, some detailed some not, the more detailed one plays into my next chapter. So, you have been warned.
Thank you for your time and enjoy the next chapter of An Arranged Life.
Disclaimer: I do not own Disney's: Frozen or Dreamworks: How To Train Your Dragon
As Prince Hans approached the back of the castle, he noticed that the snow around the castle was deeper, and the air was colder. Sergeant Major Hansen had ridden ahead to explain the situation to the rear wall guards, in an attempt to sway them to their side. As he looked back at the sled containing the Viking and the Queen, his thoughts drifted to Anna and her whereabouts.
"Her reaction to all this might complicate things, even though she was mad at Elsa to denying our union, she still cares about her. I will have to create a situation that will allow us to marry and then get rid of her and the earliest convenience. This is the closest I may get to having my own kingdom, and nothing will stand in my way." Turning his head back around, they had stopped at the rear gate. A few guards were looking down on them and their incapacitated queen. Hans was eyeing them, would they arrest him, fire on him or side with him? He dared not go for his sword in case they took it as a threat.
"Open the gates!" One of them yelled.
As the gates opened, he could see Sergeant Hansen waiting for him near the stables, a smile on his face.
Instructing his horse forward, a guard came to his side and took the reins of the steed, Hans swiftly dismounted and came to stand in front of Hansen.
"Well, what did the wall guards say?"
"They are on our side, with the promise of better pay and living conditions," Hansen explained as he watched the gates close after the last guard came through.
"Take Queen Elsa and Chief Hiccup to the dungeons and clap them in irons."
"Yes, Sir." A guard complied.
Two men hoisted Hiccup out of the sled and carried him into the barracks and down the concealed tunnel beneath the trap door. Another two guards gingerly took Elsa the same direction.
"Good, now that is taken care of, we need to sway the foreign representatives to our side and legitimize my rule... and Hiccup's eventual execution. Sergeant Major Hansen gather the representatives in the meeting room, and I will be along shortly. Also, have your men at the ready in case Captain Birger tries to intercede." Hans ordered.
"As you command, Prince Hans." Hansen saluted then moved into the castle.
Moving through the castle he could see the hallways were devoid of life and many people and guests were in the rooms gathered around the roaring fires, that had been lit by the servants to keep everyone warm, everyone had blankets around themselves as an extra precaution.
As he moved deeper, he saw fewer and fewer guards saluting him and more and more guards eyeing him. Either they did not know of their fellow guards' betrayal, or they knew but dare not try to arrest him on their own or without orders.
Coming to a stop in front of two oak doors he could hear Prince Ludwik of Polska and the Duke of Weselton talking loudly to each other. Taking a deep breath and releasing it, he pushed the doors open, moved into the room and allowed himself to sit at the head of the table. Two of Hansen's men closed the door behind him and stationed themselves on either side of it.
"Prince Hans are you mad?! Dragons?!" Prince Ludwik shouted at the young prince. "There is no such thing! Have you truly gone mad? Assaulting the Queen and Chief Hiccup are grounds for immediate imprisonment!"
"And I want to know what happened to my guards!" Duke Weselton demanded. "I was taken outside to see Erik laying on a stretcher with his leg bandaged and begging for my forgiveness regarding the now-headless Francis. I demand justice. Who's responsible for my guard's death and the other's injury?" The Duke demanded.
"At this time, I believe it to be Chief Hiccup's dragon," explained Hans, looking rather nonchalant and matter-of-fact. "The beast released some sort of firebolt from its mouth and splattered Francis' head across the wall. Then Queen Elsa, who did not seem surprised to see such a dragon, spoke its name and pushed it with her powers out of the castle and into the air." The foreign dignitaries were shaking their heads in disbelief.
"Prince Hans is delusional," declared Prince Ludwik. "Perhaps the altitude got to him, send for a doctor."
Prince Hans sighed and got up from his chair, moving over to the glass doors that led to the balcony, he opened them and looked up at the moon. "Prince Ludwik, please, come look at this."
The Prince and the Duke, both eyed one another, but came outside, shivering slightly at the cold temperature. "Look at the moon, and tell me what is flying in front of it."
Both men looked up and gasped, just as Prince Hans had described, a black dragon was flying around in the sky near the setting moon.
"Mother of God, this changes everything. I'm sorry to have doubted you, Prince Hans." the Duke apologized.
"Same for me as well," Prince Ludwik voiced. "But, what now? Queen Elsa has magical ice powers and the Vikings have a dragon. And to top it all off, she and Chief Hiccup are engaged to—"
"Dragons, not dragon." Hans corrected.
"Come again?" Ludwik asked, confused, and annoyed at being interrupted.
"They have dragons", repeated Hans. "The Vikings live on an island in the North Sea, and they came neither by boat nor horse — and there is no way four Vikings can fit on that one dragon. Thus, there may be three more dragons hiding somewhere. We must find them and destroy them. Once they are taken care of, we may need to execute the other Vikings who are in this castle. And if need be, find their island and kill whoever lives on it to prevent reprisals." Hans explained, not taking his eyes off the flying beast.
After a few minutes, his eyes drifted to Prince Ludwik, the Duke of Weselton, and the four still-quiet representatives from Frankrike, Hispania, Corona, and Ireland. "What say you?"
The Frankrike diplomat looked at Hans with a dismissal gaze. "I refuse to be part of this plot, and will see myself out." The Irland, Hispania, and Corona representatives voiced something along the same line and they too walked out into the hallway.
"And what of you two?"
Prince Ludwik looked down at the Duke and back at Prince Hans. "I am with you; I will inform my King and he will most likely provide the men needed to purge the Vikings."
"And if the King of Polska does indeed provide the men, then I will provide the ships and material to transport the soldiers." the Duke vowed. "We must arrest the Vikings at once and extract information about the hiding place of the remaining dragons. But first, we need to find Princess Anna and sway her to our side. Do we know where she is?"
Hans shook his head. "The last I saw of her was many hours ago when she was riding out of town towards the forest. We should have men sent out to search for her. I am truly concerned about the safety of my fiancée. She is not dressed for this kind of weather and the snow is only getting deeper." Hans said, worry dripping off his voice. The two diplomats ate it up, "Do not worry, Prince Hans. We will find her and bring her back." The Duke voiced and patted the taller man on the back in support.
"I must ask what will happen to Queen Elsa once we execute Chief Hiccup?" Prince Ludwik asked the two men before him, concern on his features. "I can't imagine she will be pleased once she hears about her fiancée being killed. What will we do with her, and how do we convince her to stop this snowstorm? At this rate, we may freeze to death before we can even go to our respective homelands and make preparations to destroy the Vikings." As if Winter heard him, a new snowfall descended upon them and a cold northern wind began to blow, forcing them inside and closing the balcony doors with fervor.
In answer to the Prince of Polska's concerns, Hans answered, "We will continue to detain her, and if need be to force her to lift her curse upon Arendelle. If she can conjure ice and snow, then she can make them stop as well. She will see reason, regarding her fiancée being executed as for the greater good." he paused. "Perhaps you can marry her, Prince Ludwik — when she has had enough time to grieve, of course." Hans suggested. The Polska Prince thought about it, before nodded his head, liking the sound of this idea.
"But first we nee—" Prince Hans was interrupted when the two entrance doors suddenly burst inward almost hitting the two men guarding it.
"Prince Hans, what is the meaning of this?!" Captain Birger demanded as he, two dozen of his Royal Guardsmen, along with Ruffnut, Astrid and Fishlegs, came streaming in behind him filling the room, their weapons were drawn.
"Whatever do you mean, Captain Birger?" Hans said playing innocent.
"The representatives told me what you are planning, and I gathered my men and the Vikings to my side to confront you. Where is Queen Elsa?" Birger demanded, glaring at him.
Astrid came up to Hans and rested her ax upon the table. "It seems I may be cutting off some limbs after all. Where is Hiccup?"
"He was arrested and placed in the dungeon for the death of the Duke's bodyguard, Francis. Queen Elsa was also detained for injuring Erik and aiding in the death of Francis."
Looks of surprise cast themselves upon the faces of the Guards and Vikings alike.
"The Queen would never kill anyone!" Captain Birger countered. "That is a lie!"
Prince Hans chuckled a little. "I did not say she killed anyone — she only aided. Hiccup's dragon killed Francis."
Silence hung in the air as the implications and the closely-held secret were let out.
"Dragons? Prince Hans you must be tired, sick even to think Dragons exist." Captain Birger voiced as he looked at the young prince.
"You can stop lying, Captain. I saw the queen talk to the dragon and it listened to her; the Duke and Prince have both seen the dragon in the sky. And they legitimize my right to detain the queen and chief and force them to stop the storm and reveal the location of the other dragons, that you three rode in on." Prince Hans pointed to Astrid, Ruffnut, and Fishlegs.
"So what if we have dragons?" Astrid voiced without a care that she confirmed their suspicions. "Just because we have dragons doesn't give you the right to kill them or us — since that is what you are probably planning on doing. In all actuality, we only need to detain you three, and nothing of what you plan to do will come to fruition. Said and done." Astrid explained as she placed her ax against Hans' neck.
Prince Hans didn't seem to be phased by the ax at his throat. "You harm me, the Duke or Prince Ludwik, and there will be war. You realize this, yes?"
"Most likely," Astrid admitted. "But we Vikings have been able to overcome extraordinary odds to survive and win. Plus, we love a good fight," Astrid added with a smirk.
As she leaned in, the wooden doors burst open again to reveal Sergeant Major Hansen and nearly three dozen wall guards behind him, swords and crossbows drawn. They moved into the room and surrounded the Royal Guards and Vikings.
"You are being arrested for crimes against the kingdom, Captain Birger." Sergeant Major Hansen ordered.
"Crimes? What crimes?" inquired Birger.
"Knowingly withholding knowledge from the rest of your men about the existence of dragons. And for knowingly following a queen who practices dark magic. Have your men drop your weapons — you three as well." Hansen ordered, pointing to the Vikings with his sword.
Realizing they were outnumbered, and that any advantage they had in their superior training as a Royal Guardsman was outmatched with the use of crossbows by their now former fellow guards. The weapon would annihilate them in a few seconds; and at such a close range, a lunge from a sword would not make a difference.
Birger gave the nod to his men to drop their weapons, but Hiccup's friends refused to do so.
"Either you three drop your weapons, or I will order my men to open fire on you." Hansen threatened. "I have no qualms against killing you, as we only need Hiccup to question.
Seeing they would be no use to Hiccup dead, Astrid told Fishlegs and Ruffnut to drop their weapons, Ruffnut took an extra few seconds to glare at Prince Ludwik and the Duke. Perhaps they would escape from the dungeons and retake the castle later; they did have several tricks up their sleeves when it came to breaking out. No dungeon on Arendelle could ever hold a Viking — for long at least.
Astrid sighed as she straightened up, but brought her ax away from Prince Hans a little too quickly and nicked the man's neck as a result. A drop of blood trailed down and stained Hans' green undercoat.
"Oops, sorry about that." Astrid apologized, though she looked anything but sorry before she laid her ax on the table. The clatter of fallen weapons resonating through the cold room.
"Captain Hansen, take these men and women down to the dungeons. Make sure they are watched so they don't try anything. I will see to searching for Anna — her safety is paramount."
"As you wish, Prince Hans," Hansen said and saluted the prince. He led the now disarmed Royal Guardsmen and Vikings down the hall to the dungeons. A few Royal Guardsmen looked at their former friends contemptuously and muttered something under their breath about traitors and how they'll hang for this.
Prince Hans moved out of the room and walked down the hall towards the reception area to see about getting his horse fitted for another search.
A few moments later, a guard came running up to him, "Your Highness, Princess Anna has been seen riding towards the castle. She looks ill."
Prince Hans thanked the guard and walked quickly towards the front entrance of the castle. Just as he rounded the corner, he saw Anna being helped by a few of her servants, with blankets being wrapped around her. Anna fell into his arms, and he noticed how cold she was. "Anna, you are freezing! Let's get you near a fire."
"Hans, you need to kiss me." Anna begged, her voice urgent. A blush graced Hans' face, as her handmaidens gave knowing looks and turned around to give them some privacy.
Hans picked up Anna and carried her into a room, closing the door behind him with his foot and setting her down on a nearby couch. Walking over to the fireplace, he placed some wood upon the firedogs, throwing kindling on for good measure. He then ignited the fire with some matches before walking back over to Anna and placed another afghan around her and rubbed her arms to stimulate her cold body. Anna would not stop shivering, he was starting to become worried that they would not be able to marry. He needed witnesses to see that they exchanged their vows, so he could assume the throne with legitimacy.
"What happened Anna, why aren't you getting warmer?" Hans asked, fake concern dripping off his tongue as he brushed Anna's face with his thumb.
"It was Elsa's doing, she froze my heart — albeit accidentally. I had gotten too close and she released her magic, which hit me in the chest. An act of true love will save me. Please, kiss me, Hans, I need you." Anna said pleadingly, reaching out to Hans' face.
Hans leaned in, his lips millimeters away from her, only to pull back and give a hauntingly cold smirk. "Oh, Anna if only I truly loved you — which I don't. I mean Anna, are you really this dumb, how could someone truly love someone after only a few hours." Hans pulled away, and got up from the couch, moving to grab a pitcher of water and pour its contents onto the flames, extinguishing the fire and warmth.
"What?" Anna asked, shocked and dumbfounded. Moving to walk towards Hans only to fall to the ground. Shivering, Anna grabbed the afghan and blankets to wrap around her, but this too was stopped by Hans who ripped them from her body and threw them back onto the couch. By now all color was gone from Anna's face and she resembled a ghost, her hair too was turning white as snow.
"What's the mean…meaning of this Hans?" Anna asked confused, her shivering getting worse by the minute.
Hans walked over and kneeled in front of the stricken princess. "I am the youngest of thirteen children, and the only way I was going to get to the throne was to marry into it, and sure Elsa was the preferred choice, but once Elsa revealed that she was going to marry that crippled Viking, she was out — which left you as the only eligible candidate. I thought it was going to take years to organize an accident involving the two of them, but what luck I have had this night! Instead of years, I will become a king tonight, and thanks to you I will use your impending death to prosecute Elsa and have her executed for treason and murder, among other crimes. Thus bringing back summer, becoming a hero and the king Arendelle wants."
Standing up from his kneeled position he moved over to the door, gripping the handle as Anna spoke up. "I will stop you, Hans."
Looking over his shoulder, Hans smiled at Anna. "Sure you will, but be sure to say hello to your parents after you die."
Opening the door and locking it behind him, Anna curled up into a ball in front of the fireplace.
"Dammit, I am such a fool! It's all my fault, again."
Tears began to roll down her face, and she sobbed, heartbroken and helpless against Arendelle's doom caused by her hand.
Overhearing the Duke talk about how something must be done, Hans propelled himself into the room, where an hour before was filled with guards and traitors. Looking up from the door squeak, Prince Ludwik and the Duke of Weselton saw Prince Hans stumble in, he gripped the high chair to steady himself, a look of dread etched on his face. "Prince Hans, what is the matter?" Prince Ludwik asked, concern laced in his voice.
"Princess Anna is… is dead." Tears welled up in his eyes, one falling down his cheek.
"What, how?!" Both the prince and duke yelled. "Hook."
"Anna froze to death by her sister's hand," Hans' voice cracked. "She told me that Queen Elsa had an outburst and her powers hit her in the heart, freezing her from the inside out. There was nothing I could do, but fulfill her dying wish to marry someone who truly loved her. We exchanged our vows, kissed, then she died in my arms." Hans then collapsed into the chair, escalating his charade as a grieving lover. The two men around him moved to pat him on the back as a means to try and soothe him. "Line"
"Then there is no doubt that Queen Elsa is a monster that must be dealt with." The Duke voiced with determination.
"Prince Hans, Arendelle looks to you now," stated Ludwik, his face solemn. "As witnesses, we legitimize your succession to the throne of Arendelle as its King." The Duke of Weselton nodded in confirmation.
Hans stood up, looking every inch the distraught lover crippled with grief and pain. Donning the mask of solemn regret, Hans spoke. "And it is thus with a heavy heart, that I condemn Queen Elsa to death for treason against Arendelle, and the murder of Princess Anna." Hans decreed, while at the same time thinking with an inward smirk. "And Sinker."
Cold and pain was what woke Hiccup as he slowly opened his eyes to see that he was staring up at an unfamiliar ceiling. "Why am I looking up?"
Moving to get up, his motion was restricted by chains linked around his hands and legs.
"What is going on?" He asked as he started to get a little worried.
"I wondered how long it was going to take before you woke up."
Hiccup turned his head to the side to see Prince Hans watching him from the far corner of the room. Moving forward, Hans lit a candle illuminating the room.
"Prince Hans, what is the meaning of this?" Hiccup demanded, panic beginning to rise within him.
"The chains? They are to keep you restrained, of course. I wouldn't want you to escape. I have too many questions to ask you." Hans moved to stand right next to Hiccup, him resting his hands on the table to look over Hiccup's mechanical foot. "Impressive work."
"Questions, what questions? And where are Elsa and Anna? I demand you release me! You have no right to be doing any of this."
Hans looked down and Hiccup and smiled wickedly. "No right? Perhaps I should catch you up on recent events. I am now King of Arendelle. And once today is over, I will be a hero, loved by all." he smirked. "And you have no right to ask any questions. No… the only thing you should be concerned with is the location of your dragons. Where are they?"
Hiccup froze at the news of Hans being King of Arendelle. How did that come about? Did Hans and Anna marry, but even if that happened, he wouldn't be a king, he would still be a prince. All questions banished from his mind at the sound of Hans asking about his dragons.
"Prince Hans, are you ill? I think the cold weather went to your head, dragons do not exist." Hiccup knew that this was a vain attempt, but he had to see just how much Hans knew, or if he was just bluffing.
But Hans shook his head and sighed. "Don't play dumb, Chief Hiccup." he chided. "After you were knocked out by the Duke's bodyguards, Queen Elsa pinned them to the wall with her ice. After myself and a few guardsmen arrived, and had gotten her to calm down, a large black dragon burst through the doors and killed one of the Duke's guards who had mistakenly pointed a crossbow at her. She then turned to the beast and told him to leave, which he did. In retaliation, the other guard aimed his crossbow at her, but I intervened which caused him to fire at the chandelier, which fell knocking Queen Elsa out cold. She is being held elsewhere for causing all of this." Prince Hans finished, annoyed that he had to retell the Viking of the events his fiancée had caused. He had left out a few details to save time, which mattered. The longer he took, the stronger and colder the storm outside became.
"Well, so much for trying to explain my way out of this", Hiccup thought.
"Now, where are the dragons? And don't expect rescue from your friends; they are in a cell along with Captain Birger and his Royal Guardsmen, for supporting a Queen who practices dark magic," Hans added after he caught Hiccup looking toward the door slightly behind him. "No one is coming to help you, now tell me where the dragons are?"
"Go to Hel."
"Looks like we will have to do this the hard way." Hans sighed, disappointed but not surprised, before moving to place a leather strap across Hiccup's head, preventing him from turning his head side to side. Grabbing a wad of cloth, Hans stuffed the material into Hiccup's mouth and proceeded to grab a bucket of water and set it on the table. "Last chance, Chief Hiccup — where are the dragons, or I will rip the answers from you.
Hans was met with silence.
"Fine then, suit yourself. Guard!"
One of the traitorous wall guards unlocked the door, moved inside and closed it behind him. "Your orders, Sir?"
"Hold him down — we're going to extract the information out of him." The Guard nodded and moved to hold Hiccup's jaw so his mouth remained open.
Hans held the bucket above Hiccup's head and tilted the bucket forward so the water spilled onto Hiccup's face drenching the cloth and prevented him from breathing. Hiccup tried to shake his head to prevent the water from entering his mouth but to no avail. What made matters worse was that the guard pinched Hiccups' nose closed to prevent him from breathing out of there. More and more water went into his mouth, down his throat, and into his lungs. His immediate reaction was to gag, but he was unable to. His body started to convulse as less and less air was being supplied to his body. After a few seconds, the cloth was removed from his mouth, he immediately spit out the water and breathed in and out several times to catch his breath.
"Now, as I asked before, where are the dragons?" Hans asked again as he set the bucket on the table.
Hiccup breathed in and out once more, before looking at the determined prince. He then cast his eyes forward and set his jaw.
Hans looked at the defiance and fumed. Never had anyone infuriated him so much as did this man. He looked at the Guard and nodded towards the bucket. Said guard grabbed the bucket and dunked it into the watering hole that was set up in the cell. Bringing back the now-filled bucket, he handed it to Hans. The Guard resumed his position as Hans began the process again.
Each subsequent time Hans poured the water in longer intervals and gave Hiccup less and less time to recover until his entire body was wet and shivering from not only the cold water but from the fact that the dungeon was not well-insulated against the snowstorm that raged outside.
After nearly an hour of this, Hans was fed up and threw the bucket against the wall shattering it. "This is taking too long, at this rate we will all freeze to death before he gives up the location of the dragons." Hans all but yelled.
"Perhaps you need to try something more forceful," The Guard suggested as he handed Prince Hans a large wooden mallet.
Hans took the mallet and looked over at Hiccup, who was looking at him with a small twinge of fear in his eyes, his teeth chattering at this point from the cold. He walked over and slowly started to lightly tap the mallet against Hiccups' chest, before moving down till he was tapping the leather of Hiccups prosthetic leg.
"Hmm, this looks like something you care about," Hans commented, a wicked glint in his eyes. "The intricacy of the leather and metal works must have taken weeks to craft and perfect. I would hate to destroy something so detailed."
Hiccup eyed Prince Hans till said man looked back at him. "Have you always been mad in the head, or is this something new?"
Hans set his jaw and scowled at the Chief. "Leave us."
The Guard nodded, left the dungeon cell and locked it, leaving the two men alone.
"Mad in the head? That is a good question. I like to think of myself as a well-mannered person who gets mad only when provoked — but then, I would be lying to myself." Hans gave a small chuckle after giving Hiccup his answer.
"In all honesty," he continued, "you will die today. And you won't be my first. No, you will be my eighth."
Hiccup felt his heart plummet after Hans revealed his true self. This man was no Prince Charming — he was a psychopath.
"Eighth? How have you gotten away with murdering seven other people?"
Hans gave Hiccup a crazy smile, "Well, being a prince did help; but it was my charming and friendly manner which caused people to believe anything I said. I remember the first person I killed was a small boy who was balancing on the handrails of a stone bridge that I was crossing over one day. When he saw me, he immediately started asking questions about what it was like to be a prince. He just would not stop asking questions, he was so annoying. So, I walked over to him as he was balancing on the handrail, and without a second thought I pushed him off. He screamed, of course, as he fell until his head smacked against the rocks below. It was quiet for a little while till his mother came over, screaming that she had seen everything. And just like the boy, her yells were annoying too. So, I picked her up and threw her over the bridge as well. I killed two annoying birds with one bridge."
Taking a moment to catch his breath, he cupped his hand and lowered them into the water trough. Raising them back up he drank the water from his hands and then shook the excess water from his hands.
"When people asked what had happened, I told them that the boy lost his footing and slipped off, and when the mom came over and saw what had happened to her son, she threw herself off the bridge for the sorrow was too much. And the people believed it, all I had to do was look sad and mourn the loss of two people and I was off the hook."
Hiccup looked at Hans and saw a monster. He was not fit to be a prince.
"The third person was a woman I had slept with, and upon waking the following morning, she demanded payment. When I refused, the bitch had the nerve to threaten me by saying she would reveal to everyone that we had slept together. Thus, I strangled her with my hands and after receiving a few scratches as she struggled against me, she finally died. I left her body there for her husband to find. He was later found guilty of murdering her, a crime he was hung for. All's well that ends well, I guess."
Hiccup was shaking a little from the thought that Hans had murdered people without being suspected in the slightest. He had faced madmen before, but in those instances, he was not defenseless and had his friends or Toothless to help him. But now, there was a chance that he would die today and never see Elsa again. Hiccup looked back at Hans as he started again, a smile on his face. He was proud of himself, how disgusting.
"The fourth, fifth, and sixth persons were enemies of my father, the king. In an effort to gain his respect and love, I took care of people who were most critical of him. One could say I did his dirty work, which is true. I believed that killing those men would gain me a better seat at the table, but I was wrong. He didn't acknowledge my work at all and continued to allow my brothers to harass and beat me." Hans spoke as he rested against the wooden table, thinking back to his adulthood.
"It was then I realized that the only way I would be able to be king is if I married into one. Hearing of Princess Elsa's coronation, I immediately knew what I had to do. Honestly, I would have gone after Elsa herself but when her sister Anna bumped into me, she was just too easy to pass up. And then when you two announced your engagement, that almost derailed everything, but thankfully Anna pushed Queen Elsa over the edge and now we are here."
Hans pushed himself off the table and moved around till he was next to Hiccup prosthetic leg.
"Which brings us to the most recent person that I murdered; she was a red-haired woman I had just met yesterday. She was so full of life and at the same time, so naïve. I am speaking, of course, of your now-dead would-be-sister-in-law, Princess Anna." Hans said a wide smile spreading across his face.
Hiccup's eyes opened to the widest he has ever made them go, a chill ran down his body, and for a second, he could swear his heart stopped beating.
"The eighth person will be you and the ninth person, of course, will be Queen Elsa —after I make her end this damn winter. And once you are all dead, I will rule over this kingdom, and with it I will finally have a place to call my own."
Silence hung in the air as Hiccup processed everything, he didn't have long to wait before Hans spoke up again, "Now, I know what you are thinking. You are probably thinking why tell me the location of the dragons if I am just going to kill you. Well, there are two ways I can kill you: quick and clean or slow and messy. If you tell me now, I will remove your head from your body with the swing of my sword; but if you refuse, then I will use the mallet. So, what will it be, Chief Hiccup?"
"Fine." Hans rushed forward and stuffed the soaked cloth back into Hiccups' mouth before he could blink. He then raised the mallet above his head and brought it down onto Hiccup leg, shattering it. Hiccup groaned in pain as his stump was partially hit. Hans smashed the limb again and again until shards of the leather and metal were bouncing off the walls. His stump bleeding from being torn open, Hiccup for his measure spat the cloth out of his mouth and moved to cry out in pain, but Hans slapped his hand over his mouth.
"Not so fast, Chief! Wouldn't want you waking up the queen. Who knows how she might react." As Hans leaned over Hiccup, he brought his free hand down onto Hiccups' stomach to gain more leverage over him, but a cry of pain escaped his victim's lips to which he had not expected. Removing said hand he saw that his tunic was blood red. "Oh, what do we have here?"
Ripping open the tunic, Hans discovered a large stitched up cut.
"Hmm, it seems you injured yourself, Chief Hiccup," Hans tutted. "It would be a shame to ruin such fine stitch work, but oh well." He raised the mallet above his shoulder and brought it down onto the wound ripping it open. Blood quickly surged out onto the table as Hiccup screamed into Hans's hand. The pain was mind-numbing, he fought against the restraints, and as he struggled Hans' hand slipped a little allowing him to bite the palm in between the thumb and index finger. Hans yelled in anger and smacked the mallet across Hiccup's face in retaliation. Blood poured from Hans' hand as he repeatedly smacked Hiccup with the mallet, Hiccup crying out in pain with each blow.
Elsa stirred from the cries and yells of pain that was coming from somewhere. Waking slowly, she noticed she was in her castle's dungeon and her hands were shackled up to the wrist and chained to the floor. Getting up and moving as close as she could to the window, she saw that the kingdom was still covered in snow. Another cry of pain — one she knew was Hiccup's — snapped her out of her stupor. She tried to run to the door but was held back by the chains.
"Hiccup!" She heard Astrid and Ruffnut yell from across the hall. Why were they locked up? What happened to her kingdom?
Hiccup did not respond with words but with another cry of pain. Someone was hurting him. Anger coursed through her veins, ice slowly crept out of the shackles and down to the chains. The temperature in the room dropped to the single digits as the walls were soon caked in snow and ice, suddenly the shackles broke apart and so did the wall beneath the iron-barred window. Said iron turned brittle from the cold and shattered.
"Hiccup!" She yelled out to Hiccup. Maybe she could save him.
Hiccup snapped out of his cries of pain when a harsh wind blew into the room. He weakly heard a guard yell that Queen Elsa was about to escape and that the exterior wall had fallen apart.
"Hiccup!" He heard Elsa yell out to him.
"Elsa! You need to leave! Find Toothless in the cove and fly back to Berk! Get away from here; I will find you! Now, run!" He shouted over the strong wind and freezing cold.
Prince Hans ran to open the door but it was frozen and locked, he needed the guard to open it.
"But Hiccup, I don't know what is happening!"
"Forget about me and run, dammit! Save Toothless and fly away! Run now before they catch you! Run!" And so she did, just as the guards broke down the door to her cell. She was running across the fjord away from everyone.
Smashing the frozen door to Hiccup's cell open, the Guard freed Hans and moved to further restrain Hiccup.
"Sir, the Queen has escaped, what should we do?" One of the Guards, a blue-eyed and blond-haired man, asked.
Drawing out his sword, he turned to the young Guard. "Lock this place down, no one else leaves. I will deal with the Queen."
"And send a message to Captain Hansen and tell him to keep the diplomats safe and busy, don't want them snooping around asking questions." Hans quipped as he ran out into the blizzard.
"Sir." the Guard said as he ran up the stairs to barracks, out into the hallways and into the dining room where Captain Hansen had set up in. The young corporal filled Hansen in on everything that had happened.
"Mercy, this was supposed to be a clean coup d'état and now it is a mess. Well, since it already a mess, might as well make it a little messier." Hansen turned towards Corporal Petter, "Corporal, would you mind killing ex-Captain Birger for me? I need to stay here and follow Hans' orders, just use the crossbow, it will be easy since he is in a cell and can't run. Do what you want with the others, they picked their side."
"Sir! It will be my pleasure." Corporal Petters saluted as he turned and ran in the direction of the armory.
"Good, at least if this goes badly, it wasn't I who killed Captain Birger. I will throw Prince Hans under the cart and blame him for everything. That way I will have a small chance at surviving this thing if it all goes wrong." Hansen thought as he made his way to the kitchen to bring some soup to the civilians and delegates. Wanting to look as innocent as possible.
Turning a corner, Corporal Petters yelled out an order for the dungeon entrance to be guarded and for everyone else to secure the castle. Salutes went up and the men scurried off to fulfill the orders that were given. Moving into the armory and pushing aside the safety bar that lined the walls, Petters selected his weapon and some spare bolts. Replacing the safety bar and moving down the dungeon stairs, we walked towards the cell holding Captain Birger. Noticing the destruction of the cell that formerly held the Queen he hugged his coat closer to his chest as the wind whipped around the dungeon. Bits and pieces of metal bars and wood littered the floor, some as far back as the cells that held those Vikings.
"My goodness, it's hard to believe that the destruction made it all the way back here!" thought Petters. "Oh well. We can always rebuild later."
Walking to stand in front of Captain Birger who was standing behind the steel door, but in front of his men, the corporal cocked his crossbow.
"Any last words, Captain?" Corporal Petters asked the old guard.
"Long live the Queen!" Birger yelled and stood at attention, awaiting his death. A loyal guardsman till the end.
"Sorry, Sir, nothing personal." He voiced and smiled as he brought the crossbow up to his shoulder and rested it on one of the horizontal bars.
"Hey, no offense taken." He heard a voice say behind him before a hand clasped over his mouth and a sharp object was shoved into his back. He was picked up, his feet dangling above the floor, he groaned in pain for several seconds before letting out his last breath, prior to slouching against the steel blade. Blood gushed from his back staining the floor and the pair of fur made boots that belonged to the person that held him up, he was then tossed aside into an empty dungeon cell.
"Mercy of Thor, Astrid, I told you I wanted to kill him." Ruffnut said as she came out from her cell and unlocked the cells holding the loyal guards. "What now?"
"Now, we get Hiccup and liberate the castle." Astrid said as she kicked open the door, it surprisingly shattered, the ice was doing a number on the castles infrastructure. "Hiccup!" She yelled as she moved into the room where Hiccup was held and grabbed some bandages out of her satchel, placing them against the open still oozing wound. "AHHH!" Hiccup yelled. He had seemingly lost consciousness for a little while.
This wasn't good. "Fishlegs get in here, now!" barked Astrid. Said man ran into the room. "Sew up his wound and heal him the best you can. I and Ruffnut will take care of everything else."
"Wait," Captain Birger protested as he moved into the room that was slowly getting crowded. "This is our home, we should take it back! We are Royal Guardsmen, and we swore an oath to protect Arendelle." A dozen or so guardsmen formed up behind Birger and nodded in agreement.
"Don't take this the wrong way, but things are about to get bloody. And if you are up there, I and Ruffnut might mistake you for the enemy in the heat of battle. It is best if you stay here for a few minutes while we reduce their numbers, then we will send a signal to tell you to come out and secure the citizens and diplomats. Sounds good? Great." Astrid spoke quickly before leaving the cell, giving Birger no chance to respond.
Ruffnut follows closely behind and whispers to Astrid, "Do you have a plan?"
"Yes. Show those traitorous Guards what happens when they are on the wrong side — show no mercy." Astrid answered and gave Ruffnut a wicked smile.
"You know me, I never did." Ruffnut smirked. "It's my turn anyway." As she crept up the stairs, she spied a guard with his back towards the descending stairwell. Moving till she stood directly behind him, she quickly brought her hands around his chin and whipped his head to the side, snapping his neck. He dropped like a bag of flour to the floor.
"You know he is still alive, right?" Astrid voiced as she moved into the barracks looking for weapons. Luckily for them, the traitors had placed their weapons on the table for inspection.
"Yeah, I know, " shrugged Ruffnut with a wicked grin, "but some of them deserve to die slowly. Not all, but some. Others will be hacked and sliced. Ah, I see you have been reunited with 'Bonecutter'. Time to see how many swings it will take to slice a limb off. I'm guessing two." She snorted as she picked up her dual daggers and slid them into their respective holsters.
"I bet a gold piece that one is all it takes. Besides Hiccup designed this beauty himself, and his weapons do not disappoint. Now, let's get to work."
Turning around Ruffnut and Astrid spotted a dog locked away in a crate, walking over to the said crate, they read the name tag that was posted on the outside of the cage handle.
"Folgesvenn. Personal dog to Princess Anna."
"Do you think we should let him out?" Ruffnut asked.
"Yes, we can let him out and use him to tell Birger and the others that the hallways are clear. He will be our signal. Now let's get back to the task at hand." Astrid voiced as she looked down at the grey-haired dog and smiled. Moving forward and unlatching the door. "Okay, boy. Be a good dog and be very, very quiet, were hunting traitors."
Folgesvenn gave a soft 'woof' and let his tongue flop out as he panted in what they thought was excitement.
Moving out of the barracks and into the many hallways that coursed through, Astrid and Ruffnut looked down the two hallways and nodded at each other. Splitting up to cover more territory, Astrid moved left to clear the outlining walls and stables while Ruffnut turned right to cover the armory and offices. Ruffnut motioned for Folgesvenn to follow her, which he did.
Peeking around the corner with her the reflection from her daggers Ruffnut spied two guards moving back and forth down the hallway, and one stationary guard resting against the wall in front of the entrance to the armory.
Looking back down at the dog, she mouthed the words "stay here" and pointed to the rug. Gripping a dagger in each hand, Ruffnut released a pent up breath and peeked around the corner again to see that the guard was about to come to her spot. As the guard's foot slapped down next to hers, she turned on him and thrust her dagger into his throat before he could utter a sound. She yanked his body to hers and threw him further down the hallway out of sight of the other two. Yanking the dagger out caused a shot of blood to splatter itself onto the wall and flooring staining it.
Noting the sudden absence of one of their fellow guards, Private Fredrick called out to his friend. "Lars, where did you go? You know you shouldn't be wandering around by yourself, especially with—" Frederick called out but was suddenly cut off as he too was killed in a similar manner, but this time a dagger was shoved into his stomach. He doubled over in pain, as he tried to remove the dagger from his gut.
Ruffnut ran into the hallway as the last guard ran to meet Ruffnut with his sword drawn. Said guard slashed at Ruffnut aiming to cut her in half, but she merely slid on her knees and got up behind him, before she grabbed his forehead and dragged her dagger across his throat. The traitorous guard dropped his sword and tried to cover his neck in an effort to contain the bleeding, but Ruffnut was not having any of that. She merely batted his hands away and drew his head back further allowing more blood to rush out. Finally, after a minute, he succumbed to his wounds.
Picking up the fallen guards sword, Ruffnut slowly walked to the hunched over who was finally able to rip the dagger from his stomach. Clutching his wound, he looked up to the female Viking. "Please, show me mercy, I have—" He was cut off as Ruffnut lopped his head off in a single swing, said head rolled a few feet before resting against the leg of a chair.
"Vikings don't have time for mercy." Ruffnut spat. Looking at her handiwork, she was pleased with herself, three kills in as many minutes. Walking down the hallway to the armory, she peeked inside, there was no one. Moving inside she retrieved some parchment and a quill, writing a quick note, she moved back to Folgesvenn. Said dog was still waiting where he was told to stay.
"You are such a good boy, take this note to Hiccup, he is in the dungeon." Ruffnut put the note in between his neck and the collar, then pointed to the barracks door. Folgesvenn gave out a woof and scurried off.
"I wonder how Astrid is doing?" Ruffnut asked herself as she admired all the weapons that hung on the walls of the armory, taking a good long look at a ribbed dagger, "Ooh… me likey."
"Hold still Chief."
Hiccup was groaning into the cloth as his best friend was sewing up his side for what seemed the fifth time. "Fishlegs, I think maybe someone else should try, or at the very least just wrap some bandages around me and call it a day."
Just then Folgesvenn entered the dungeon cell and barked at Hiccup, Birger who was leaning against the table holding Hiccup in place to prevent him from hurting himself further bent down and retrieved the note from the dog's collar.
"The armory is clear."
"Alright men, this is it. We are to go to the armory, pick our weapons, and secure the castle. The diplomats must be kept safe. We must find Princess Anna and ensure her safety. Everyone ready?" Birger asked as he looked around the dungeon.
His men nodded and saluted at him, Birger moved over to Hiccup and clasped his shoulder. "We will come back for you with a doctor, once things are settled down." Birger then headed up the stairwell with his men in tow.
Fishlegs nodded his head, then grabbed a handful of bandages and gauze. Forgoing the needle and thread — his nerves getting the better of him and not allowing his hand to stop shaking — Fishlegs instead wrapped Hiccup's wound and pinned it together with a wooden bobby pin.
As the last guard left the dungeon, Fishlegs closed the entrance door behind him to prevent anyone from going back down. The resounding clang jolted Hiccup from his stupor.
"Elsa!" Hiccup yelled into the vacant cell. As he bolted upright with a hiss and a groan.
"Easy, Chief," Fishlegs tried to reassure him soothingly. "It is just you and me. Everyone else is clearing the castle of the traitorous guards."
Swinging his leg over and hobbling to the cell door, he moved toward the now destroyed dungeon cell that had earlier held the love of his life. The only visitor of the cell was fresh snow and ice.
"Woah, Hiccup!" protested Fishlegs. "You only have one leg and are in no condition to fight or rescue anyone. If you challenged Prince Hans now… well, it wouldn't even be a contest. Best let Elsa find Toothless in the cove and we can meet her back at Berk." Fishlegs
"Toothless, of course. He can save her." Dragging himself to the broken wall, he flopped down face-first into the freezing snow and blizzard-like wind after his now only leg left slipped on a loose brick.
"Chief, did I not just say that you are in no condition to fight? I swear your head is full of mortar sometimes." Fishlegs voiced as he gripped Hiccup by the shoulder and heaved him into a sitting position.
Leaning back into Fishlegs arms, Hiccup brought his hands up to his various pockets that lined his armored vest. Popping off a button and bringing out a small horn, he brought it to his lips and blew, releasing a small whine into the air.
Within seconds Toothless skidded to a halt beside his brother, he nuzzled his cheek with Hiccup's and sniffed his wound. He moved to lick said wound but was halted. Hiccup grabbed Toothless's face with his hands and held him at eye level.
"Toothless, Elsa is in trouble. Someone is trying to kill her. Save her, take her to the cove and we will meet you there. Please hurry." Toothless hesitated. "Go, she went that way." Pointing toward the middle of the fjord entrance. Toothless hesitated once more upon seeing blood on the snow.
"I will be okay, now go!" Hiccup yelled.
Toothless turned away and jumped into the air, but struggled to fly in the blizzard that swirled around the harbor.
"Okay, Chief, time to get you back inside." Fishlegs said as he hoisted his Chief up and dragged him back towards the dungeon.
"I hate being weak, I'm Hiccup the Useless again. A Chief is supposed to be able to take care of his own, I can't even take care of myself." He said with a frown as he looked down at his mangled leg and bleeding side.
Fishlegs could only grimace as he watched his friend slip into a depression at being made unable to protect his fiancée and friends.
Lifting Hiccup back onto the table and covering him with a blanket he retrieved from his pack, he moved to look at Hiccup. "Chief, you can't protect everyone all the time, that is why you have us as your friends and advisors. When you need rest, we will watch over you. When you are wounded, we will take care of you. When you need aid, we will be there for you. We will always be there, from this day to your last."
Hiccup looked at his secretary and close friend, amazed by the revelation that he doesn't have to do everything alone. "Never pegged you for being overly sentimental, Fishlegs." Hiccup chuckled.
"Well, I do like poetry and I usually lock myself in a library-turned-office."
Looking back at the entrance to the broken wall, he could see the storm getting worse. Just then a scream was heard followed by glass shattering and a body hitting the snow-covered bricks in front of the broken wall.
"Hmm… sounds like Astrid is clearing the hallways rather well." Hiccup laughed as he looked back up at the now-familiar ceiling.
As she looked at the now ruined window, Astrid gripped the handle of her bone cutter and ripped it from the decapitated body of a traitor. True to her word it only took one swing to cut through bone and skull. Turning around she casually walked over the bodies of a half a dozen green-clad guardsmen. Blood was dripping off the walls, soaking into the rugs and staining the wooden floors. Hands were sliced from arms, throats were cleaved and faces were chopped from the nose up revealing jaw and teeth.
"I am so glad, I do not have to clean this place up."
Hearing footsteps moving toward her, she reared her ax back ready to throw. A lone guardsman turned the corner and took in the sight of the carnage, before looking straight at her. "To Arms! Here she is! The bitch is right…" He didn't get the chance to finish as an ax embedded itself into his rib cage cutting into his lungs and severing his trachea. He slumped against the wall and turned to his now arrived comrades.
"That is certainly no way to talk to a woman. Now, who's next." Astrid asked, with a grim smile, as she looked to the two remaining guards. Gripping her ax, she ripped it from the chest of the dead guardsman and wiped the blood off with a soaked rag.
The last two men on the second floor looked on in disgust as their comrade heaved in several breaths of air before dying. Looking at the shieldmaiden, who was covered in blood and was smiling which disturbed them more than anything. Who would gain pleasure out of slaughtering men? They did the only thing that came to mind; they dropped their swords and raised their hands in surrender.
Walking casually to the two kneeling men, Astrid frowned. She was not used to having people surrender to her, she moved to take the rope off her belt when a thought crossed her mind. These might have been the men that hurt Hiccup so severely.
Instead, she gripped her dagger and shoved it through the mouth of the kneeling guard which tore through his vocal cords and severed his brain stem. Death was instantaneous.
The guard to her right swiftly reacted by successfully kicking her legs out from under her and caused her to fall on her back, he moved to strangle her, but she kicked him in the side of his head, stunning him. Grabbing her previously abandoned rope from her waist she swung it around his neck and tightened it till there was no slack. The man tried to reach forward and tear at Astrid's hands, but to no avail. After a last-ditch attempt at rolling her off, he turned blue and died. Not taking any chances, Astrid retrieved her dagger and shoved it into the heart of the dead green-clad guard.
Once she was satisfied that everyone was not going to get back up, she made her way down the steps to the stables to see that they were occupied by friendly guards, with the traitors having been tied up.
Spotting Birger, she whistled to gain his attention. "Captain Birger, the second-floor guards are taken care of. Where are you heading next?"
The Captain looked over his shoulder and nodded in thanks for what she had accomplished. But to be honest, he was horrified at the fact that many of his former friends and fellow guards were now dead. It would take years to get over this disaster.
"We are about to arrest Sergeant Hansen and the last of the traitors which should be no more than five. They are located in the dining hall. Care to join us?"
"I would be honored to, but I should keep to the shadows. I should not be seen by any foreign diplomats. This has already turned into a massive political nightmare that Hiccup and Elsa will have to clean up. And I am covered in blood, which would only reinforce the idea that Vikings are bloodthirsty monsters — something Hiccup is trying to change." Which was ironic, considering their methods of dispatching the guards — and their bodyparts thereof — were nothing short of brutal.
Birger nodded. "Right, we will go in first and you will watch our backs. Sounds good?"
Astrid smiled and waved over Ruffnut who had just strolled in. She was playing with some new looking daggers, looks like she went shopping in the armory.
Crashing for a second time because of the strong winds, Toothless gave up on flying and clawed his way across the ice-covered fjord. He was following a light scent of his brothers' mate; it was there, but only just. Normally he would be able to run across the ice, but his massive size was working against him as the ice under him started to crack and shatter. He had to jump and hop from floating to solid ice. He would not fail. His brother's happiness was tied to this female, and when together, he smelled the joy that radiated from his brother.
Sighting a glint in the distance, Toothless clawed ever closer to the sword-bound man. He would not fail.
Hugging the wall, Birger and his men, with Ruffnut and Astrid further down the hall, snuck quietly to the dining room where Hansen had set up his command. Birger, moving to the slightly opened door, peeked through the slit where the hinges were, to see Hansen and thirteen other traitorous guardsmen with crossbows looking down at some papers.
Moving back he motioned for Ruffnut to approach. "There are fourteen traitors inside armed, if you two could come through the opposite door on the far side and prevent their escape, that would be ideal."
"No problem, Captain. Leave it to us." She and Astrid crept down the hall and made a left removing themselves from sight. Birger made a hand motion and had his men line up behind him, then counted down.
"Three, two, one — go!" Birger rushed in and pointed his sword at Hansen, who was taken completely by surprise, believing that Birger should have been killed by now. Birger's men moved around the table and pointed their spears at their former brothers-in-arms. The traitors raised their crossbows in return, waiting for the order to be given.
Just as the hammers on the crossbows were cocked back, Ruffnut and Astrid burst through the opposite doors with their axes and daggers raised ready to be thrown at a seconds notice. "Don't even think about it." Astrid told them, waving her ax back and forth to gain their attention. "It's over. Now drop your weapons on the table, and you will be taken alive. Resist and… well, you will end up like your friends upstairs."
Sweat rolled down the necks of every man in the room as they eyed the blood-stained Vikings.
"Surrender? Ha!" scoffed Hansen. "We may be surrounded, but we have crossbows that can kill you at a distance. I should be the one asking for your surrender — again. And this time I will kill you myself, Birger, you annoying old man." Hansen seethed out as he raised his sword against Birger's. Suddenly something smacked his face, covering it in some sticky liquid. Bringing up his free hand to wipe against his soiled cheek, he brought it in front of his face to reveal it was bloodied. Looking down at the table, Hansen could see one of his former men's severed hand laying on top of some papers, now soiled red.
"If you don't surrender now, me and Astrid will kill you all where you stand!" growled Ruffnut. "Then chop your bodies up to the point that your own families won't recognize you. And then we will feed it to our dragons. And then—" Ruffnut rambled before Astrid interrupted her.
"I think they get it, Ruff." Astrid told her as the traitors placed their crossbows and swords on the tables in front of them, horrified looks plastered on their faces at the thought of being chopped up.
"Bastards!" Hansen yelled as he was the only one left, his men being tied up and forced to lean against the wall, their bodies at an angle to prevent immediate movement. "You think I will surrender? I committed treason and helped a coup, I know what will happen to me. I will go down fighting and die with what little honor I have! But first I will kill you, Birger." He said as he raised his sword and swung down only to see his sword fly off and hit the wall to his left. A numbing sensation coming over him.
A loud clang was heard as Astrid's bone cutter hit the floor in front of him, Hansen looked down to see his sword hand resting on top of some scattered sheets on the floor. He looked to his side to see his bloodied wrist, white bone pointing out and veins hanging loosely. As seconds rolled on, the pain came with it, white blinding pain. He fell to his knees, clutching his stump of a wrist to his chest and ground his teeth together to keep himself from screaming out.
Hearing footsteps approach, he raised his head to look at the woman, who leaned down to retrieve her ax. "You bitch, you will pay for this, I will—" He tried to get out before Astrid smacked the butt of her ax against the top of his head, knocking him out.
"Odin, I thought he would never stop talking. You alright, Birger? Astrid asked as she kicked Hansen for good measure, making sure he was out.
"Yes, thank you for saving my life. I owe you a pint when this is all over." Birger smirked as he held out his hand in thanks.
"No, you owe me a barrel," she remarked as she clasped her hand in his, sealing the deal.
"Will one barrel be enough?" Birger asked, then laughed.
Astrid just smirked. "We will see."
Moving around the table and towards the kitchen, Birger peered in and saw through another slightly open door that the diplomats were in commons hall without the faintest clue of what had just transpired.
"Right, you six go and secure the diplomats and the rest of you take these traitors to the stables and don't let any of the civilians see you. Move." Birger ordered as he placed his sword back into his sheath around his waist.
"Yes, Sir." The men chorused as they went their separate ways.
"Ruffnut, take this bacraut (asshole) down to the dungeons and have Fishlegs tend to him."
Ruffnut gave a two-finger salute as she grabbed Hansen by his right foot and dragged him down the hallway, not caring that his head smacked into the door frame.
Looking around the door, Birger plopped down on to a nearby chair and breathed a sigh of relief.
"Come on, Birger, we can't rest now. We still need to rescue Queen Elsa." Astrid voiced as she held her hand out. Birger grasped it and was heaved to his feet by the thin, but physically fit Viking.
"Right, let us move."
After five minutes of dragging, Ruffnut came to the dungeon staircase with a patient Folgesvenn waiting nearby. Said dog gave a friendly bark, "Hey boy, nothing to see here, how about you go out and find the Queen, she must be scared and all alone. I am sure she could use a friend right now."
Folgesvenn gave a 'woof' and bolted out of the barracks toward the front of the castle. "That is one smart dog," she said to herself. "I wonder if I could trade my knuckleheaded brother for a dog here?" After a moment of thinking about it, she shook her head, a look of disappointment crossing her face. "Nah, mom would probably get mad at me if I did."
Looking back at the unconscious Hansen and then at the descending stairwell, she cupped her cheek in thought, "now how to get you down the staircase?" Smiling to herself, Ruffnut merely kicked the traitor off the first step and watched as he tumbled down the steps and rolled into the dungeon.
Hearing a faint rustling of armor and then seeing Fishlegs come into view, who had a perplexed look on his face.
"No time to chat, Astrid chopped the guy's hand off and you need to tend to him." Ruffnut remarked as she moved into Hiccup's cell.
"Umm, Fishlegs where is Hiccup?" Her voice betraying her for just a second as she noticed the empty cell.
"What!?" Fishlegs said in a high pitched yell. He ran back into the cell, only to see that Hiccup was indeed gone with the contents of his pack scattered on the floor. "It looks like he found his spare foot."
Ruffnut traced the drops of fresh blood on the floor until they led to the snow-covered bricks and the iced-over fjord. "Oh, Hiccup. You damn fool." Ruffnut voiced, dread gripping her. "Fishlegs stay here with him, while I go out and look for Hiccup." She said pointing to Hansen, then rushed out into the blizzard.
"Dammit, where is she. I need to kill her soon before I freeze to death." Hans said to himself as he struggled to move against the heavy wind and snow. Noticing a glimmer in the distance he moved quickly towards it, that glimmer turned out to be Elsa's ice-covered dress.
"Finally, now I just have to behead her without getting myself killed by her ice bolts. I need to get her on her knees if I can, it will make things easier and quicker."
"Elsa, you need to stop and end this winter. Your people are freezing and your kingdom will be turned into ice soon if you don't do anything to stop it."
Turning around at the sudden voice, Elsa held out her hands ready to defend herself.
"Stop, stay back, just let me leave. You and Anna can rule in my stead, just promise to take care of her." Elsa said as she inched back away from the prince.
Hans smiled inwardly to himself, "good she doesn't know it was me who was torturing her fiancée, this will make things easier."
Putting on a grim face, Hans spoke up, "Your sister came down from the mountain being carried by a man named Kristoff. She was weak and cold. She confessed to me that you had frozen her heart by a bolt to the chest. I tried to warm her up, but it was too late. Her face turned blue, her hair white and she drew her last breath before she succumbed to her injuries. Your sister is dead, Elsa! You froze her to death, and you're the cause of all of this!"
Taking in a sharp breath, Elsa was horrified. She had truly done it this time. She had killed Anna, her sister and the only family member she had left. She remembered the look on her parents' faces when she had sent an ice bolt to Anna's head in the ballroom all those years ago. Surely Hiccup will hate her for this, would he even love her anymore, knowing he would be marrying a monster? A monster that can't control her powers, a monster that froze her kingdom, a monster that killed her sister. Maybe this monster would be better off dead.
Overcome by her feelings, she collapsed to her knees and let out a cry in anguish. The swirling storm suddenly ceased, the snow suspended in mid-air, all the ships and castle surrounding them revealed themselves. A ship's mast was only a few meters away, it too frozen in time.
Hans unsheathed his sword ready to finally end this horrible nightmare. As he brought up his hand to swing he heard feet pattering and turned to see a dog midair, its jaw open and clamping down on his wrist in anger.
"Ahh!" Hans yelled as he tried to pry the dog off his wrist, blood coming off his wrist as the dog's teeth punctured his skin. Getting fed up, he punched the dog in the head and threw the animal off him, said dog smacked against a block of ice bolder and went limp.
Elsa hearing the commotion turned around and looked up in horror as Prince Hans had his sword out ready to kill her, paralyzed by her grief and fear, her body refused to move to her command.
"Hans!" Said man looked up to see Chief Hiccup limping toward him, his hand clutching his side in pain, he was about fifty yards off and behind him was another Viking running to catch up.
A loud monstrous roar was heard to his right as he looked saw that black dragon also approaching him, a menacingly look on its face, it was only twenty-five yards off.
"You are all too late! I will end this winter once and for all, then take the throne of Arendelle and rule over this kingdom and with it bring in a new era of prosperity!" Prince Hans yelled as he whirled around ready to behead the troublesome Queen.
Running to catch up to Prince Hans, Hiccup failed to notice a piece of ice in his path, and as a result, he fell face-first into a patch of snow. Ruffnut caught up with him and hoisted him up into a kneeling position, her arm slung around his back and her opposite hand pressed against his chest to keep him upright. He looked on in horror to see Princes Hans whirling around to kill the love of his life. He could only do one thing, "Elsa!" He yelled out at the top of his lungs in anguish.
Hearing his brother's yell, Toothless bound feverishly toward the sword-wielding man. He would not fail his brother.
Elsa herself could only stare in horror as Hans sword came down toward her, she closed her eyes and waited for the death blow. "I'm sorry Hiccup, please forgive me."
Suddenly a voice cried out. "Elsa!"
Elsa's eyes snapped open to see Anna come from behind her and move in front of her to receive Hans' sword directly. The sword coming down on Anna's raised hand, it shattering instantly, the pieces raining down harmlessly onto the ice below.
Hans stumbled back in shock and confusion, the only part left of his sword was the hilt, it wasn't much, but he could still crack her skull if need be. Hans took one step forward only to hear a screech and then received a massive hit to his right side, which flung him into the starboard side of the ship's hand railing that was partially raised from the ice.
Toothless let out a puff of air through his nostrils. He made it by just a hair. He looked over his shoulder to see his brother and the female with long braided hair come to his side. His brother moved to rest against his side in exhaustion. Hearing a cry in sorrow, he looked back over to his brothers' mate, to see her crying against a blue statue.
Hiccup felt tears fall down his face in the realization that Anna sacrificed herself for Elsa. A true act of love for a family member. Even though Elsa neglected her sister out of fear, Anna never stopped loving her. Anna never stopped trying to get Elsa out of her room and never stopped caring about her. From climbing a mountain to facing off against Hans, Anna never stopped. An amazing sister to the end.
"Anna... Anna… I'm so sorry, I failed you as a big sister and I never got to tell you… that I…I love you. Please forgive me Anna." Elsa's tears rolled down her cheeks falling onto Anna's upper blouse, which the ice absorbed. After a few seconds the spot where the tear fell, thawed. From that spot, the rest of Anna's form thawed out till she was alive once again and color restored to her body. Anna shifted and caught Elsa in her arms, startled Elsa looked up to see Anna alive and well.
"Anna… how are you alive? And why would you sacrifice yourself for me?" Elsa asked in disbelief. "I have been an awful sister to you."
"Because I love you, and only an act of true love can thaw a frozen heart. Even though it was my act of true love that saved you, it was your realization that I still loved you that allowed me to thaw. In essence, we saved each other." Anna voiced in happiness and hugged Elsa, to which Elsa happily returned.
A look of confusion crossed Anna's face as she moved out of the hug, Elsa tilted her head to the side. "What's wrong?"
"If an act of true love is all it took then why couldn't you gain control over your powers when Hiccup told you he loved you?" Anna asked.
Hiccup moved to stand up with the help of Toothless and Ruffnut, "Because love is two-fold. There is love that comes from a spouse or a lover like what I have with Elsa; and then there is love that comes from family: a sister, a brother, a father or a mother. Case in point, Anna." He said pointing to her.
"And only when you have both in your life are you truly happy and loved. And your sacrifice proved to Elsa that you loved her all along, and since she already has my love, she should now have control over her powers. She is now truly happy. Right, Elsa?" Hiccup voiced with a knowing smile.
A smile came to Elsa's face as for the first time in what seemed like forever she felt whole again. "Yes, thank you, Anna, for never giving up on me, thank you for being my sister. I love you." Elsa said as she drew Anna into her arms once again. Anna for her own measure held out a hand for Hiccup to join in. An offer he accepted and all three held each other in their arms.
As the three hugged Elsa tapped the ice with her foot and from that spot the ice started to thaw, as the ice melted it reveal they were atop a ship which raised itself out of the water. Moving out of the hug, they all looked around to see that weather clear and the snow and ice fly off the fjord, castle, and buildings and into the sky to form a giant snowflake. After a moment Elsa raised her hands and the snowflake dispersed till it was gone completely.
A warble came to their attention as it looked like Toothless too wanted to join in on the happiness, but Anna stepped back in fear.
But Hiccup was ready for this and soothed her. "Anna, do not be afraid. This is Toothless, my dragon. He is friendly and wants to be your friend. He—" he stopped when an ice logger came into view. "And who might you be?" Hiccup asked. Anna and Elsa both turned around to see who Hiccup was referring to.
"Hi, I'm Kristoff." the young ice logger greeted, bobbing his head politely, but looking a little awkward for intruding. "Princess Anna hired me to take her up the mountain, and then I rushed her back to the castle because of what happened at Elsa's ice castle. And then I came back to rescue Anna again because… I care about her." His statement ending is a whisper. A blush graced Anna's face after hearing that.
"Seems like we might have another couple soon." Hiccup voiced with a smirk as his hand wrapped itself around Elsa's waist.
"Woah, now wait a minute, we…" Anna began to say before they were interrupted by a grunt of pain as Prince Hans woke up from his unconsciousness.
Elsa felt Hiccup grip her waist tightly as she saw Hiccup's face change from happiness to a look of murderous intent. "Hiccup, don't—" but Hiccup wasn't hearing her.
"Ruffnut, kill him." Hiccup ordered without a moment's hesitation, his voice cold.
"Right, Chief." Ruffnut obeyed with a grim nod as she brought her dagger out and prepared to do as she was ordered to.
Moving to just standing in front of Prince Hans, Ruffnut readied to stab the bastard in the gut — the man deserved a slow painful death.
Moving quickly, Elsa brought up her right hand and fired a bolt of ice between the two, from that ice bolt a wall of ice formed separating the two.
"Elsa, what are you doing?" Hiccup asked his fiancée, looking at her like she was crazy. "The man deserves to be executed. Toothless!" Said dragon moved to Hans' side and opened his mouth, ready to release a plasma bolt at point-blank range. A look of fear crossed Prince Hans' face.
"Hiccup, I am asking you to stand your bodyguard and dragon down," she requested, though the tone in her voice suggested otherwise. "I will have Prince Hans thrown in the stockade and sent back to his kingdom where he will have to answer for his crimes."
"Elsa, the man is too dangerous to be allowed to live," argued Hiccup, pointing in Hans' direction. "You don't know if he will be punished; he could be given a light or no sentence for all we know. We should kill him right here and now before anything else happens."
"Hiccup, you are not thinking rationally," she countered, trying to make him see sense. Honestly, his stubbornness was getting exasperating. "If I were to allow you to execute Prince Hans in my kingdom, then I am complicit in his death. And his family will surely declare war upon Arendelle." Lowering her voice so only Hiccup could hear, she added, "This kingdom is not ready for war at any capacity. We have no standing army, no standing navy, and are unprepared for a siege. I will not let my kingdom fall because you think Prince Hans should die."
Hearing this, Hiccup whirled around on Elsa, frightening her. "You think only I want Prince Hans to die?" he demanded. "What about Anna, Kristoff, Ruffnut, or Astrid — or even Captain Birger and the remainder of your Royal Guard? Hel, what about Folgesvenn?" Hiccup looked to his right to see the still unconscious dog laying against some rope on the deck. Turning back toward Elsa, he addressed her directly.
"Surely some of them want that man to die, most likely the latter. The man tried to murder you, tried to murder your sister, tried to murder me! He tortured me in that dungeon cell, and led a coup against your kingdom and tried to usurp your throne all within forty-eight hours. That has to be a record! Plus he confessed to me that he has already gotten away with six other murders. Surely those six victims want justice and you can't guarantee if he will receive it, can you?" He asked trembling with anger and pain as his stump and side started to bleed again.
Elsa's eyes widened in realization at all the information presented to her: the murders, the attempted murders, Hiccup being tortured and her throne being almost usurped. But still, she could not relent, she would not let Arendelle fall to an invasion.
"No, I can't guarantee," she finally replied. "But I can only hope that he will receive a punishment befitting a man as vile as him. Now order Toothless to stand down and go back into hiding. I can only imagine how I will explain this to the dignitaries and nobles who were watching this all unfold from the balcony over there." Elsa voiced as she pointed at the Commons Hall balcony, where sure enough all the dignitaries were watching everything going on between them and Prince Hans.
Hiccup wavered in his response and hesitated. Elsa pressed her advantage. "Hiccup, if you give the order for Toothless to kill Prince Hans in front of all these witnesses, any idea or dream of reintegrating dragons into our world or my kingdom will die here." She paused for a moment to let Hiccup digest that revelation before continuing. "Remember that the world is watching — and if you kill a royal, they may band together and call for the extermination of all dragons and any sympathizers to our cause." she placed her hand on top of his. "Don't give them an excuse."
Hiccup hung his head in shame at the thought of Toothless being hunted or his people being killed for protecting them. He let out a pent-up breath, then raised his head. "Ruffnut stand down. Toothless, go back to the cove and stay out of sight." Toothless closed his mouth and warbled in response. He truly did want to end this sad excuse of a man. But instead, he moved to the railing and jumped into the air, flying toward the rear of the fjord.
Ruffnut for her own measure sheathed her daggers but stood her ground eyeing the dangerous man in case he tried anything.
Elsa willed the ice wall away. Once the ice had disappeared completely, Anna took a step forward. "Anna?" Elsa asked looking at her sister.
"Hiccup was correct in saying I want to see Hans punished," Anna moved to stand in front of Hans, who looked undeterred but surprised.
"Anna, how are you alive? Elsa froze your heart." Hans remarked as he rested against the hand railing.
"The only person with a frozen heart is you, Hans." She said then kicked him between his legs. This immediately caused Hans to clutch his groin and fall to his knees.
"Very nice, but I can do better." Ruffnut crowed as she gave Hans a very strong uppercut, so strong in fact that Hans flew over the railing and into the water below. She then picked a piece of wood up and tossed it overboard for the Prince to swim to.
"All's well that ends well, I guess." Anna chuckled. Everyone joined in her merriment until Hiccup collapsed to the deck. Elsa and Ruffnut moved to his side.
"He needs a doctor and rest." Ruffnut said as she brought out a roll of bandages from her pocket. "I am amazed he lasted this long with his injuries; he must have been running on pure adrenaline."
Looking towards Kristoff, Elsa beckoned him forward.
"Kristoff, row to shore and get a few sailors to come over and take this ship to the dock seeing that none of us can steer a ship of this size." Kristoff nodded his head and moved to the side of the ship that had a rowboat, to which he lowered down and got into.
Anna walked over and kneeled beside Folgesvenn who was breathing and whimpering in his unconsciousness. "It's okay boy, I will take care of you. Thank you for looking out for me." She ran her hands across his face and fur, comforting him.
Elsa turned back to look at her beau. "Everything will be alright, Hiccup. I promise."
Hiccup looked up at Elsa and smiled. "I know that, Elsa. I'm sorry about earlier. I was just so angry at Hans. I am sorry if I scared you, I…" Hiccup tried to say but couldn't. Elsa smiled as she combed her hand through Hiccups' hair, a move she knew would relax him. A moment later he passed out from exhaustion.
"Rest now, Hiccup. I will take care of you. And when you awaken, everything will be taken care of."
And she meant every word of it.
Shifting slightly on top of a soft bed, Hiccup groaned as a beam of warm light and a cool breeze graced his face. Opening his eyes, he looked up to see another unfamiliar ceiling. Pushing himself up, he rested back against the pillow and headboard. Looking out of the window he could see that the sun was setting and people were ice skating in the courtyard of the castle. "Elsa must have made nice with her people and restarted the coronation festivities." Hiccup thought as he could hear people chatting and children laughing.
Looking around he noticed he was in the castle's infirmary, a medium-sized room with half a dozen white linen beds and a few nurses and one doctor also looking out at the festivities down below. Seeing a glass of water on the nightstand beside the table he moved to grab it but stopped when a sharp pain erupted from his side. He could not stop the groan from escaping his mouth.
A nurse caught the sound and made her way over to him. "If you had wanted water, my lord, you need only ask." The nurse tutted, picking up the glass, and handed it to him.
He nodded in thanks and drank the entire contents of the glass, he gave it to her silently asking for a refill. She walked away to refill his glass.
An older man, with white hair and a white stubble, approached him. "Hello, Lord Hiccup, I am Doctor Aaron, Queen Elsa's physician. She asked me to look after you. Your stump has been stitched up and the various cuts around it have been cleaned, the old wound on your side has also been stitched up once again. Ten stitches this time, I recommend bed rest for at least a week to let it properly heal. You have a few bruises to your face and chest resulting from the abuse you received from Prince Hans, but those should disappear in a few days." And as an afterthought, he added, "On a personal note, I must say thank you for helping the queen through this difficult time. If you ever need anything, you need only ask."
Hiccup said nothing, he just smiled and nodded in thanks. Doctor Aaron bowed his head and left the room, most likely to tell a guard that he had woken up. "'You need only ask.' That must be their favorite sentence." Hiccup thought as his mind drifted to the day's events, "and to think this was supposed to be a sort of break for me. I wonder where Elsa is?"
Having just wrapped up a meeting with the ambassador of Frankrike, who assured her that he would personally take Prince Hans back with him to tell the King the Southern Isles what his son had done in his name before he would go home himself. She thanked him profusely for such a gesture and they set a date for a future visit to discuss a new trade deal between their two kingdoms.
Before that meeting, she had met personally with all the ambassadors, who reassured her that none of the events except the one concerning the dragon, had affected Arendelle's relationship with any of their host kingdoms. She had also set dates of appointments to discuss that little detail, some had wanted to discuss it now, but held their tongues and respected the queen's wishes.
Now, she was off to see the Duke of Weselton, a man who had ordered her assassination from what she had been told by the representatives. She had no proof of this of course, but his bodyguards did try to kill her, and usually, guards don't act on their own conscious.
Flanked by a pair of guards, she approached a set of double doors leading to the dining hall, the place where the former Sergeant Major Hansen had set up his command in (who was now awaiting his trial in the still-damaged dungeons). She had been told what Ruffnut and Astrid did to the traitorous guards throughout her home and was sickened by the sight, smell, and sound of the blood and bodies decaying in the hallways and rooms.
She ordered for both of them and a small contingent of her guards to dispose of the bodies out of sight of the diplomats and her people.
Once the doors swung open, her eyes landed on the Duke who was nervously pacing around the table. She motioned for the Duke to sit, she had to remain cordial, even though she wanted to throw the rude ambassador into the sea and turn him into a human-sized icicle.
"Your Majesty, I am grateful you are unhurt. The actions of Prince Hans are most embarrassing, and he should be punished immediately." the Duke spoke in a rush in his usual sycophantic manner, trying to defuse any potential anger on her part.
"So, he is distancing himself from everything that had happened." She had been told by both the ambassador of Ireland and Frankrike that both the Duke of Weselton and the Prince of Polska conspired against her and they both recognized Prince Hans as the de facto King of Arendelle even though they did not witness the supposed union between him and her sister.
"Yes, and he will be punished in due time — as will you and Prince Ludwik." She eyed him carefully as he took in what she had said.
"I, Your Majesty?" he gestured to himself, the complete picture of innocence. "I did nothing wrong! It was all Prince Hans' doing! He is a lunatic… a mad man." The Duke sputtered out.
"Do not think of me as a stupid girl, Duke Weselton." she retorted, startling him. "I may be new to ruling, but I am not naïve enough to not see a blatant lie when one is spoken. I know that both you and the Prince Ludwik of Polska conspired against me and my fiancée, Chief Hiccup of Berk. Not only did you legitimize Prince Hans to usurp my throne illegally, but you also approved my execution and the torture of Chief Hiccup." Elsa narrowed her eyes at the old duke. "Such actions are grounds for war, anyway one looks at it. But I do not want war, nor any more suffering. That is why you will be allowed to leave unmolested — the only request I have is that you take back a letter for your King. My advisor is writing it as we speak, and he will give it to you after we are done here." Elsa replied as she rose from her chair and walked over to the window overlooking the courtyard, people were still ice skating around the fountains and enjoying themselves.
The Duke let out a loud sigh but did not rise from the chair that he was sitting in even though Queen Elsa had risen from hers. It seemed that he did not care about formalities anymore and showed his true colors.
"You know we will come for your fiancée, yes? He has dragons — mythical creatures I once told to my Godchildren to get them to fall asleep. And now that I know they are not mythical but real, I will rally the world to eradicate them and anyone who protects them. One of those beasts killed my bodyguard, Francis, a protégé of Erik. He was a young man — a son of a high-ranking Lord, who will seek justice against you and Chief Hiccup. I will make sure he obtains this justice." The Duke said as he rose from his chair and eyed the young queen.
Elsa slowly turned around and stared at the old diplomat. She silently lowered the temperature in the room by a few degrees. Ice spread slowly from her feet and froze the floor around her.
"You dare threaten the man I love in front of me?" The two stared at one another for a moment before Elsa broke the tension.
"Speaking of your bodyguards, they tried to murder me in my ice palace on top of the North Mountain. The penalty for attempting to murder a royal is death." She paused for a moment, letting that sink in before continuing, "Did you order my assassination, or did they act of their own accord?" Elsa asked as she moved to sit this time at the head of the table.
The Duke bristled at this question, that alone told Elsa everything she needed to know. But still, she could not do anything unless he confessed.
"They must have acted on their own. I did not order your assassination." He replied sharply with no extra explanation or apology.
"That is good. Because the implications that you ordered my execution without permission of your King would be grave, indeed. Not only for you, but your fiefdom as well, for without me, there would be nothing to stop my fiancée from burning your homeland to the ground." Elsa retorted and allowed some time to pass to let her words sink in. "He would turn Weselton and perhaps even all of Preussen into ash and glass."
Elsa could swear she saw a shiver ran up his body, but she could not tell if it was from her statement or the temperature in the room.
"Thankfully, your bodyguards failed — which leaves Erik, a man who you say acted on his own accord to try and murder me. As a first step towards a better friendship, I am requesting that he be handed over to stand trial for the attempted murder of a royal. You know what sentence that will bring. What is your answer to this request?" Elsa asked as she folded her hands in front of her as she patiently waited.
The Duke thought for a moment, he could refuse, and risk infuriating an already angry queen and destroy the one chance he had at recovering his fiefdom's prestige. But if he approved her request, he would be condemning Erik to death, a man who worked for him for years. But honestly, the man was hired help and since he failed at his task, he did not care what happened to him in the end. In truth even if they succeeded in their task, he would have still had to have gotten rid of him and Francis as a way of covering up his own involvement in the murder of a queen regent.
After a few moments of silence, the Duke of Weselton nodded his head in approval, unable to bring himself to condemn Erik to what was most likely a horrid death.
Elsa tilted her head in acknowledgment of the Duke's nonverbal answer.
"I do hope in time, we can get past these grievances and look toward a better, more peaceful future." Elsa stated as she snapped her fingers, alerting the Guards in the hallway to open the doors and come in to stand in front of the Duke of Weselton.
"You may take your leave now, Sir. Have a safe voyage home."
The Duke said nothing, nor did he look at the Queen before he left out the double doors.
Moving from her seat in the dining hall, she moved to see Kai walking toward her with the finished letter.
"It is finished my Queen, though I have just been informed that the Prince of Polska has departed Arendelle on board his ship without giving you a proper farewell. Should I prepare a similar letter for the King of Polska?"
Elsa was a bit displeased that a man who supported Prince Hans and allowed for her beau to be tortured had slipped out of her grasp without being able to be given a polite dressing down. Nothing could be done now, except perhaps a trade tariff or something along those lines, nothing too extreme, but sent a clear message.
"Hold off on the Polska letter, for now. I have just sent the Duke to his ship, be sure to give that letter to him as he boards the vessel. And have his bodyguard Erik taken to the dungeons, he and Hansen will stand trial soon. Also, have an emergency meeting convened in one hour with all my advisors and ministers."
"It will be done, my Queen." Kai bowed and made his way to the docks.
"The Duke thought he would just give me his bodyguard, and all this would be swept away, little did he know, I had already made my decision regarding his fiefdom. The Duke will never see another trade ship from my kingdom again." Elsa thought as she strolled into the hallway.
Making her way to the infirmary, she smiled and chatted with some of her well-wishers and maids. Turning a corner, she spied Hiccup looking out the window at the now nighttime festivities.
Silently sitting on the side edge of the bed, she took Hiccup's right hand in hers and kissed the back of his hand, alerting him to her presence.
"You must have been thinking or daydreaming really hard, for me to catch you by surprise," Elsa said with a smile, as she leaned in and kissed Hiccup on the forehead. An action he welcomed happily.
"I was just thinking about what a few days this has been. From watching your coronation to dancing with you at the party to fighting off the assailants at your palace and finally everything that happened at the dungeon and on that ship. This has been the weirdest and most painful vacation I have ever taken."
Elsa's smile turned into a frown at the summary of everything, the worst thing that happened to her was getting knocked out by Sergeant Major Hansen and seeing Anna turn into an ice statue. Whereas with Hiccup, he was tortured, beaten, and had his prosthetic limb destroyed for not giving the location of the dragons. He had taken the brunt of the physical pain for this occurrence. In truth, he had always taken the pain when horrible things occurred. From being abused at an early age, to losing his leg to save his people, seeing his father die in front of him, and everything that occurred for her coronation.
"If only I had opened my door and let Anna in if only, I had gotten over my fears if only I had done many things differently, if only…" Elsa thought back on her life.
Hiccup squeezed Elsa's hand, bringing her out of her thoughts. She looked back and saw Hiccups warm-hearted smile. "What have I told you about thinking about the past? It makes you grow older, and I want you to stay young and beautiful for as long as possible." He said as he brought her hand up to his mouth to receive a kiss. Bringing it back down, he rested their hands in his lap.
"You, Hiccup, are too good for me."
Giving a little laugh at his statement, he brought his eyes up to hers and took on a serious-looking stance. "Are you going to fill me in on everything that occurred while you were away?" Hiccup asked changing the mood and focus of the chat.
Elsa nodded and subconsciously shifted back into her queen role. "Yes, I will be breaking off trade relations with Weselton, sending a letter explaining what the Duke of Weselton did while he was at my coronation to King Harald of Preussen. And breaking off diplomatic relations with the Southern Isles. The ambassadors to the kingdoms that did not try to overthrow me, I set dates to meet them to discuss trade deals and the like. They all want to know more about the dragons, but they accepted to wait for another time to discuss that detail." Elsa said as she listed all the things that occurred that afternoon.
"This was not the way I wanted to reintroduce dragons to the world," Hiccup sighed. "But there is nothing I can do now, except to move forward and try and fix this. I need to show that dragons are kind and can live amongst humans as equals. That dragons and Vikings are not bloodthirsty, we deserve the chance to show our true colors. Will you help make my dream come true, Elsa?" Hiccup asked as he ran his thumb over her knuckles.
Elsa nodded and smiled. "I will Hiccup; we will do it together."
"Elsa, there is one more thing I must tell you before you go." Hiccup replied as he brought a small map out of his pocket. It showed Arendelle and all the surrounding kingdoms.
"As your coronation party was going on, Ruffnut eavesdropped on the representatives of Polska and Weselton. She reported that due to our wedding announcements, they entered into a proposed alliance. In exchange for access to Weselton's harbors, Polska would provide an army to Weselton if they were ever attacked or called for on. Meaning if they were to attack us and we retaliated, then we would have to fight Polska as well. And now with everything that has occurred, if the Southern Isles joined that alliance, we would be outnumbered many times over." Hiccup reported as he pointed from one kingdom to the next.
Taking a breath he continued, "We must prepare for the coming storm. We may try to keep the peace and denounce any use of dragons as offensive tools of war, but if the Gods truly want a war, they will create an opening to declare one. I will take precautions on Berk, and you should do the same."
Hiccup let all that which he said sink in. The prospect of war on her second day as a queen must have been jarring.
"Thank you for the information, I will make the necessary arrangements. Now you rest and get some food and I will see you in the morning." Elsa let go of his hand and kissed him on the side of his head. Moving off the bed and strolling down the rows of bed before turning around and catching Hiccup pull the covers over his chest to sleep. Slipping out of the infirmary, she moved quickly down the hall to her council chambers.
As she swept into the room, Elsa saw everyone rise and bow towards her. Smiling, she motioned for everyone to sit.
She noticed that everyone was present except for her Minister of Finance. Perhaps he was late.
As Elsa took her seat, the Minister of Defense, Halvard Petersen, a middle-aged man of thirty, he was calm and collected in his stance. Blonde hair and a slender figure, the only thing that seemed out of place was the pair of bifocals resting on the tip of his nose and a handkerchief resting on a stack of papers in front of his name card.
"Permission to ask a question, Your Majesty?"
"You may," Elsa replied.
"Your Majesty, cutting out everything that occurred at your coronation and thereafter, what is the first order you wish for me to carry out?" Mr. Petersen asked, cutting right to the chase. He was not blind to the fact that both Polska and Weselton tried to overthrow his queen. He knew war was a possibility, and Arendelle would need plenty of time to get itself situated.
Drawing her hands into her lap, she thought for a moment.
"I order for the spy rings to be reactivated."
Taking a moment to dwell on that order, Mr. Petersen asked for clarification of the directive. "Which ones, Your Majesty?"
Rising out of her seat and looking at her Defense Minister directly, Elsa's answer sent a chill down everyone's spine.
"All of them."
Authors Notes: Well there you have it, Chapter Eighteen. I hope you all enjoyed it, the next chapters will be fun to write. Political intrigue, war, marriage, love, etc. Parts of HTTYD 3 and Frozen 2 may make it into this story, I have not decided yet. But Elsa will remain a queen, that much is certain.
Please continue to follow and review this story, I thank you for your continued support and patience. Have a nice day or night. Sincerely Colonel Pepper