Hello there, dear reader. My name is Seeker and I recently had the privilege of going to visit Viola Mundilfari this past weekend.
Given the recent circumstances, some may question why on earth I would want to visit the countess that threatened Arendelle and Her Majesty with the warship Muspelheim. Well, I was inspired by Anna’s latest column about knowing your enemies… and besides, I needed a break after finishing the first part of Queen Emerita Elsa’s biography. So I paid Viola a visit and I thought some might be curious about how my trip to this mysterious aristocrat’s home went. The following is a retelling of that night from my personal journal. Enjoy!
I walked out of the dark forest into the pale moonlight with nothing but a Northuldran travel bag over my shoulder. As I slowly walked up to the portcullis of the Mundilfari estate, high in the mountain range of Jotunheimen, I was halted at by the guards who had noticed me. “Who goes there!” barked a sentryman, while the others drew their swords. I slowly put down my bag and gave the guards a friendly wave.
“Good evening, gentlemen. My name is Seeker. I believe Countess Viola is expecting me?” The guards looked at each other as they slowly sheathed their swords.
“You don’t have a carriage? Or horse?” one demanded gruffly. I shook my head.
“No, it’s just me.”
“How did you get here?” another asked. “You look like you just came out of the foliage, but Her Ladyship’s private forest is all the way down there, while we’re up here.”
“I walked,” I said, with a simple shrug.
The guards looked at each other in confusion for a moment while the captain rummaged through my bag. “Alright. You can go in,” the captain said suspiciously. He handed the bag back to me and I quickly followed him into the estate plaza.
An attendant approached me. “Hello sir, if you would please follow me. The Countess awaits,” he said.
“Of course,” I replied.
“May I take your bag?” the attendant asked curtly.
“Oh, that’s quite alright,” I said reassuringly. “Please lead the way.” The attendant said nothing and promptly began walking. I followed in silence as I took a moment to breath in all the wonders of the Mundilfari estate. Say what you will about the history and traditions of Clan Mundilfari, but they had excellent taste in architecture and design, refined over hundreds of years of experience in castle building.
The attendant led me through the estate until we arrived at a ballroom. I could hear a piano being played from behind the doors. The attendant opened the doors carefully and silently beckoned me inside. I barely made a sound as I walked into the high-ceilinged ballroom and glimpsed Viola sitting at a grand piano. She was playing Ludwig van Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. She was so focused on playing that she did not see me. I dared not interrupt so I got down on my knees a few feet away from her and allowed myself to be enveloped by the piece. How could a woman so cruel and so sad create something so wonderful? I could not tell if she yet knew I was in the room until she stopped playing. She turned to look at me and gave me a sickeningly sweet smile. “Seeker. So you did come. What did you think of my interpretation of the great master?” she said.
I stood up and softly clapped. “It was wonderful, Your Ladyship. You play beautifully,” I said enthusiastically.
Viola took a moment to look me over. “So this is the famous Seeker, royal biographer of the Snow Queen. I must confess – for someone of your stature, I was expecting someone with a bit more… flourish,” she said.
I smiled at her. “And I was expecting far less of your home. This estate is amazing and I’m sure dinner will be even better.”
Viola raised an eyebrow suspiciously, peering at me closely with those red, Nosferatu eyes. “And that’s all you wanted? To gawk at my house, eat my food and plunder my wine cellar? No hidden motives to learn about my plans at the behest of Anna or to attempt an assassination?”
I chuckled and shook my head. “No, no, my dear. You have more than enough on your mind right now and I dare not add more. I merely wished to take some time to visit Her Majesty’s rival, to see what all the fuss was about. And to prove my goodwill – ” I reached into my bag and pulled out something covered in wrapping paper. “ – I brought you a gift.”
Viola slowly took the present from me and unwrapped it. It was black tome written in a language that had been forgotten for centuries with ancient runes engraved on the cover, spine, and back. Viola trembled slightly while she looked at me. “Where did you get this?” she whispered.
I winked at her. “I’m a historian, remember? I did some digging for rare Mundilfari texts and discovered this. I took a gamble that you did not have this in your collection. Was I correct?”
Viola held the book under one arm and cleared her throat. “Would you like to eat?”
I perked up at that. “Oh, yes! Did you hunt for our meal this evening? The usual – fowl, venison, small game?”
Viola narrowed her eyes. “Yes… How did you know?”
“Anna mentioned it to me when she returned from her first visit,” I explained, as we made our way to the dining hall.
“Oh. Does my dear Anna talk about me?” Viola asked.
“Sometimes, though I must admit she does seem to bring you up a bit more than she used to,” I said calmly.
We continued our walk in silence until we arrived at the great hall, where the long dining table was. Anna and her escorts had dined with Viola here just a few weeks ago. We sat across from each other at the far end of the table as Viola’s servants brought us our food and drinks, course by course. We ate in silence for quite some time, simply getting used to each other’s presence until Viola gestured at the apertif. “How is the pheasant?” she asked smugly.
“I must it admit, it is quite delicious,” I confessed.
“So, mystic Seeker,” Viola continued. “What makes you so special? And why should I be entertained by your company?”
I shrugged my shoulders. “Nothing, dear countess.”
“Oh come now,” Viola scoffed. “Do you honestly think I believe any of that nonsense from your interview with The Arendelle Guardian? That paper has it in for me. Who are you, really? What role do you have to play in my challenge to the queen?”
I took a long sip of my drink, to irritate the countess. “Just as I said in my interview. I am merely a stranger passing through.”
Viola crossed her arms and stared at me for a few minutes before a smile grew on her face. “Show me one of your talents.”
I looked up from my meal. “Excuse me?”
“You listened to me play, now show me something you can do.” She stabbed her fork into a slice of pheasant. “Amuse me, royal biographer. I tire of people and playthings quickly.”
I considered this for a moment before I smirked. “Very well.” I slowly raised my right hand and snapped my fingers.
Viola held her fork inches in front of her mouth as she chuckled. “Cheap parlour tricks?” she asked complacently as she bit into her fork. Her eyes slowly widened as she slowly swallowed – something was wrong. I raised my glass to her. “How is the garlic seasoning, Countess?” I asked casually. Viola took another bite of pheasant and her eyes became wider than her dinner plate.
“Why is there garlic on here? The cook didn’t garnish this with garlic.” She stopped talking and stared at me. “What did you do with this?”
“Well, at least this proves you aren’t a vampire,” I said. “Garlic is poison for the creatures of the night. It would seem that there is hope for you after all.” I winked at her and stood up. “This has been a lovely visit Your Ladyship. I wish I could stay longer, but I must bid you an abrupt farewell and thank you for such hospitality.” I made my way to the hallway door and looked back at her.
“Take care of yourself, Countess. I understand things are difficult for you now, but if you listen to your queen and accept her love, everything will become brighter. Just take your fear… and let it go.” I walked out into the hallway, not bothering to close the door behind me.
Viola burst from her seat, striding after me. “Seeker! Where do you think you’re going?” she snapped. She dashed across the room and ran into the hallway. No one was there except a guard, standing idly until he saw Viola and snapped to attention. “Where is he!?” Viola demanded. “Where is Seeker?”
The sentry looked at her in utter confusion. “No one has set foot into this hall tonight except you, milady,” he replied. “It’s been total silence for the whole day.”
Viola’s crimson eyes narrowed as she looked around once more, before shooting a displeased glare at the guard and storming back inside to finish her dinner, alone.