Ice Curse

:::

E. Aster Bunnymund walked through the streets of the kingdom known as Santoff Claussen, snorting at people who stared at him. It was odd for a Pooka to be seen without his tribe outside the Warren, let alone in the big city. They were endangered after all; one would think they would all try to stay together. However, it had been years since Bunnymund left his tribe. Being on his own wasn't such a big deal to him.

He noticed that the streets seemed quite desolate of people; only a few women and children were around and hardly any men. It couldn't have been because they knew he was coming and they were afraid of him. No man was afraid of a Pooka; he knew that for sure, even though they very well should be. "Hey, you're one of them Pookas, ain'tcha?" An old merchant said as Bunnymund passed him.

"That I am, mate." He answered in his strange accent.

"Ain't seen one of yous for a long time. You here for the fight, er somethin'?"

"Fight? What fight?" The Pooka asked. "Is that why there's no one around?"

"Damn right." The merchant man said. "Every strong man and soldier from around the city's fightin' at the arena today."

"What for?"

"To be the Crown Prince's bodyguard!" The man saw the funny look on the rabbit's face. "It's a high-paying job, Pooka."

"I don't care too much for money, stranger, or brats for that matter." Bunnymund shook his head and started walking again.

"It also proves that you're the strongest warrior in the land." The merchant got Bunnymund to stop. "I know that you Pookas like fightin'."

"That is where you're wrong, geezer." The rabbit turned to him. "We don't like to fight… we need to fight."

"Whatever you say." The old man put his arms up in defense. "Just tryin' to help you out. You looked lost over there."

"Lost, huh?" Bunnymund snickered under his breath. "Actually, I am lost. Which way to the arena?"

:::

Bunnymund let his pride get in the way again. He didn't really want the job, but when it comes to proving himself as a warrior, he needed to do it. Also, he wanted to talk to the king about a few things.

He was the last to sign up for the matches. He sat in the dugout, sharpening his boomerangs while he watched others sharpen knives and swords. This was going to take a while; there were so many men and creatures here to win the job. Most of them were already soldiers to the king. He supposed they wanted the extra cash, or the praise, or maybe to get near the crown prince.

He'd heard many rumors over the years about this distraught kingdom and its rulers. He heard the king was a jolly man who loved bringing happiness and wonder to his people and their children by way of giving them toys on one special day of the year. The queen was said to be a beautiful and bubbly fairy who was interested in keeping her people healthy, especially their teeth. They had a son, who was rumored to be the most beautiful and pure-hearted boy in the land, and was born with the gift to bring snow and ice during the winter, definitely making the kids happy. But something changed in the royal family a few years ago. The toys stopped being made, the health became plagued and the weather was cold all year round. They say a curse was put upon them by an evil wizard and they've never been the same.

But those were just rumors, and he knew that rumors shouldn't be trusted. The weather was definitely colder and the people didn't seem as happy as they could be, but a curse by a wizard? What a crock of shit. They probably just got sick of being nice. Humans change their minds like they change undergarments. He knew.

His long ears pulled back as he heard trumpets, and looked up in the special box at the top of the arena, seeing the royal family and their court enter from behind the curtain. They politely waved and sat down while the king addressed the people.

"Fair citizens of Santoff Claussen," The king began, speaking with a thick accent of his own. "Today is not a war or a battle, it is merely competition. A competition to acquire the most important position in my army; to be the protector of my dear son, the prince!" The people applauded for the boy, who stood and waved back. It was hard for Bunnymund to tell from where he was, but the kid didn't look like he wanted to be there. "Let the tournament begin!"

:::

Bunnymund was breezing through the competition. His opponents, whether they be soldiers or not, were jokes to him. He was the fastest, the strongest, and the smartest warrior in the arena, and he didn't break a sweat. The people in the stands whispered to each other, asking where that Pooka came from and how he's so strong. The whispers also reached the royal box, the young prince now becoming interested in what was happening. He smiled to himself, enjoying his victories so far. But now it was time for the final match.

His final opponent was none other than the general of the king's army. Predictable; he should be the strongest man in the kingdom to lead the forces. "How could an overgrown rabbit defeat all my men?" He said in a slimy voice.

"You're about to find out for yourself, mate." Bunnymund flipped his boomerangs in his hands.

"Ooo, and a talking rabbit at that! This should be interesting!" The general laughed at Bunnymund, which gave his cronies permission to laugh as well. The Pooka growled at them.

"General Eustace versus E. Aster Bunnymund. Begin!" The general was the first to attack. The rabbit dodged as he watched how the man moved, studying carefully. When he thought he got it, he did a few back flips to get a good distance away from him.

"Aw, running away like a rabbit does." General Eustace taunted.

"I won't run anymore, mate. Let's go." Bunnymund threw a boomerang in the man's direction to start the clash. They were pretty evenly matched, he had to admit. The human was a lot faster than he looked, especially in that armor. However, his attacks were slower than they could be as he used two hands with his sword. Bunnymund found an opening and whacked Eustace in the gut, thinking he had him until he felt the heavy blade graze his side. He groaned in pain and hopped out of the way before he was sliced further.

"Still willing, eh?" The general said, slightly out of breath. Bunnymund felt blood trickle down his side.

"You just made me mad now, ya drongo." He replied, getting his rangs ready again. He ran to the general, speeding up his attacks before he lost too much blood. Attack, dodge, attack, and dodge… finally another opening. The rabbit beat the man down, hitting in all the soft spots around the armor. He flipped back and threw the rangs, one to the hands that held the sword and one to the head, the two hitting dead-on. General Eustace dropped his weapon and fell to the ground. The Pooka grabbed his boomerangs and stood on top of the general, notifying his victory.

"E. Aster Bunnymund is the champion!" Everyone looked at each other, shocked that their heroic general was beaten by a giant rabbit. They applauded, but only to be polite. The general scowled at Bunnymund while he gave a sly smirk. He just proved to the kingdom that Pookas were stronger than humans. "The king will have an audience with you now." Servants came up to him and escorted him to the palace.

"Right, almost forgot about the brat." He whispered to himself. He looked up at the royal box, seeing the family getting up to return to the palace as well. The boy made eye contact with his new bodyguard before going back inside.

:::

A/N: Okay, this is my first AU for ROTG, everyone. But it will still have JackRabbit goodness inside! Enjoy!

Taru-chan