He could hardly believe his eyes. Snow White is alive. Was it not a moment ago that he was in her funeral chamber? Was it not a moment ago when he was lamenting her loss and begging for her forgiveness for having not protected her in front of her cold lifeless body? Was it not a moment ago that he kissed with full devotion on her frozen lips?
But she is alive. She was alive and breathing when she stood in front of weary, tired soldiers and calling for them to fight with her with much passion and strength he has never seen in anyone he has ever known. He felt her will with every word she uttered and he knew that he would follow her lead in this battle no matter what.
He has never felt this so much relief in his life. To loose someone he cared about was nothing new to him. He always felt that was his curse. But she came back. When he saw her there standing, it was like his whole world entirely rose up from the darkness, from the ashes of his despair and misfortunes. To hear her speak was like hearing the tolling of the bells for the first time and all he can hear is her. He felt like she broke his curse.
He sat there, looking at the flames of the fire near his tent, sharpening his axe. The men were all assembled in the castle's courtyard. Duke Hammond insisted that everyone be given food and drink for the night as the battle in the morning will need their strength and sanity. Questions lingered in his mind. Although he knew that nothing made him happier than to see her alive, her wanted to know how she woke. He felt a scuffle behind him and when he turned around, he could see the dwarves setting up their tents and getting ready to retire.
"Ready to sleep guys? Make this count, it might be your last night!" he shouted out to them. They all just nodded out to him clearly exhausted.
He saw Muir whispered something to his son and his son helped him stand up. They were making their way toward him. He made room for them on the log he was sitting on. Only Muir sat beside him and his son went back to the others.
"Huntsman, how is your eyesight nowadays?" The blind dwarf asked.
He remembered Muir telling him that though he has eyes, but he did not see what Snow White has inside of her. This was when the White Hart bowed down and blessed Snow White at the Sanctuary when the great animal called out to her.
"Perhaps I'm still blind as ever Muir." he replied.
"I still couldn't believe what I saw today. We brought her here lifeless and cold yet stood at the courtyard earlier like she just woke up from sleep."
"Ah, yes. So I do see that your are still blind."
The huntsman's brow wrinkled in question and continued, "What happened Muir? Help me understand or else I might as well gouge out my eyes for they deceive me."
"She wasn't lifeless when we brought her here huntsman."
"What do you mean? I felt her skin, it was as cold as the snow and her breathing as still as the ice."
"The Evil Queen cast a spell on her Eric. A spell that made her still so she looks to be dead and she can have her way with her, whatever that may be. If it were not for you, and if you have not discovered them in time and thwarted her, she would have succeded then the princess would've been truly dead."
He pondered on the dwarf's answer but it still didn't asnwer his question.
"You see Eric," the dwarf continued, "she is no ordinary princess. But this time you might have acknowledge that she brings with her life, hope. The Evil Queen knows this. She might have different plans that we do not know of, but of this I am sure. The princess is the only one who is a threat to her. Of that we can all feel. Especially you, huntsman, since you were the one she sent to get her. You knew that she had to be of some importance to her."
He thought about the stong headed girl who punched him in the face and held a knife out to defend herself but was also desperate enough to ask for his help.
But Eric frowned as he neared his query, "I know the queen to be a powerful witch Muir, therefore the speel she cast is powerful, so how come she awoke? What broke the evil spell?"
"I know of only one thing that is strong enough to break that strong a spell. If it is pure, true and strong enough. "
"What is it Muir? Tell me." anxiety seeping into his voice.
"Love, huntsman, Love." Muir answered. "Pure love that is innocent, true love that is whole heartly given, and strong love that will weather any storm. Love given through a kiss."
"William," the hunstman said right away but sensing something wrong in that announcement."he kissed her when we discovered her."
"That's what puzzles me huntsman," Muir said. Eric looked at the dwarf.
"William kissed her then and there and the spell should have been broken then and there if his love is as strong as we think it is. But how come she just awoke now. Our journey was long and her rest inside the funeral chamber was almost two days. Why just awaken now?" The huntsman seeing the dwarf's brow crease, mimicking the same confusion he was experiencing.
But somewhere inside of him knew the answer to his question, he just didn't want to bring it out, not to Muir, not even to himself.
"Have you said your farewell to the princess huntsman,?" Muir asked, "on her deathbed?"
The Huntsman fell quiet for only a fews seconds before answering.
"I did." he replied, "I begged her forgiveness for not being able to protect her from harm's way."
"Surely you don't blame yourself for what happened. We are all powerless when it comes to Ravenna."
"Yes, I do blame myself. All my life, those I have cared for I have lost. Friends, family, brothers-in-arms, my wife - All of them death claimed and I had wished a million times that death claim me too. " The huntsman confessed. " This did not have to happen to her as well. " he pointed toward the direction of the Duke's palace indicating to the person within its walls of whom they were speaking of.
"So you do care for her. " Muir declared
The huntsman was blinked, surprised by the blind dwarf's tone of voice but he remained silent thankful Muir could not see his reaction.
"You know huntsman, it is not a curse to be followed by Death. It means that there are greater things in store for you before Death claims you. You might as well be destined as she is."
They stayed silent. The huntsman could not reveal what happened within that chamber, afraid of the consequences of his actions. Not of the consequences of what others might do to him kissing a princess, no. It was consequences that he might endure on his own and only he might know: Owning up to those feelings, knowing he would always be fighting to keep those feelings hidden or at bay, knowing that she doesn't know. That maybe the hardest of all, knowing that she would never know this burden that he carries, that this feelings might be buried forever and never to see the light because it's not right for her. And she deserves what's right.
"What does it matter?" the huntsman said, "I just went in there to say my farewell and left."
"Alright huntsman, if that's what you say. But remember in these times of darkness, if that kind of love exists that should not be kept hidden. It would bring light to the darkest tunnels and help us out of this."
"Even if it's not worth it?" the huntsman asked straight out, without even thinking about it and having a slightly bitter tone to it. And because of this he knew that the dwarf would know for sure.
"True Love is always worth it Eric."