Featured image art “Team Mundilfari” by Arute (@ast05water)
Trade minister Michael urged the horse pulling his wagon on, with Danny sitting beside him. They rushed to the dark forest beyond Arendelle, where three women were standing off in the middle of the night. Danny, the ice princess adopted by the royal family, looked up at the elder man nervously. “I’m scared. Mummy and Auntie Anna aren’t here. What are we going to do?”
Michael could only bite his lip, acknowledging Danny’s concern. “I’ll do what I can to assist the Countess and Hilde. But without Elsa and Anna, we can only mobilize so quickly when Selene has sprung such a sudden trap for Vi and Hilde.”
At least Mattias was probably being alerted to the disturbance as he spoke, he thought to himself. The wagon was approaching the woodlands, and he pushed further in, following the voices of Hilde and Selene. The sight that awaited him in a clearing, surrounded by tall trees, stunned him.
“Vi!” he cried, his horrified eyes falling on six sheets of holy light that had trapped the vampiress from multiple directions, stabbing into her abdomen. He looked at Selene, and then at Hilde, putting the pieces together. Selene’s arm was raised, and in her hand was an amulet from the arsenal of Kveldulf weapons: armaments from the post-Viking Age era that were shrouded in mystery, and known only for their incredible power in destroying unholy creatures.
Yet Selene, the royal librarian, had apparently gained possession of and mastery over these weapons. And now she was using it to threaten Vi and Hilde. How was that possible?
“Stand back,” screamed Vi as she glimpsed Michael and Danny, blood pouring from her lips. She looked like she was in agony, unable to move her arms or legs as Hilde roared in anger at Selene. Selene, in turn, looked remarkably calm.
Hilde hated herself for not reacting like a lightning bolt when Selene attacked Vi. Now it was too late. She glared at Selene, who looked slightly nervous yet resolute as it dawned on her that her meticulous preparation was paying off. “Release her. Release the Countess, damn you,” demanded Hilde, her fists clenched tight, and fur was already beginning to emerge from her pale, moonlight-dappled skin.
“And lose my leverage against you? Forget it,” said Selene calmly, her spectacles flashing. “You’re going to fight me, and I’m going to slay you. Then, and only then, will I let the prime minister go.”
“Ignore me, Hilde,” hissed Vi, though she couldn’t hide the pain she was in as six sheets of razor-sharp, burning light sliced through her vampiric body. She could regenerate the seared and cut flesh and bone, but without blood to feed on fast, she’d lose her healing and perhaps life altogether. “Get her and put an end to this!”
But Hilde couldn’t. As much as she hated to admit it, Selene had indeed rightly taken Vi as hostage. Instead, the commander responded to Selene’s declaration: “You think the kingdom will simply let you walk away after – and this is a long shot – managing to defeat me? Do you think my Lady will simply let you go back to your quiet life in the library when you’ve committed treason against the kingdom and are attacking her right now?”
“I have no intention of hurting the Countess any more than I need to. And, yes,” declared Selene coolly. “I have two reasons for why I don’t think the government, or even Anna herself, can try anything funny against me after I’ve killed you. First, my vengeance is pure. I truly wish no ill will on anyone else. Once I defeat you, my whole purpose for all this will be no more and the kingdom will be at peace. Second, I won’t be punished because I know every dirty little secret of every single person here. Thanks to my uncle’s files and intel, I’m better informed on everyone than anyone in the Ravens could possibly be.” She looked over at the trade minister. “And you, Michael – you shouldn’t have come here. Why you brought young Danny here, I have no idea.” Her emerald eyes glinted. “Stay out of my way.”
“Vengeance won’t bring you uncle back,” shouted Michael, “and hurting the people best placed to help you rebuild your life is sheer folly – “
“Save the talk,” said Selene coldly. “You don’t think I’ve reflected on these questions before? Whether it was worth burning in hate against the woman that could have effortlessly saved my uncle?”
“You’re being completely unfair,” said Michael. “I wasn’t there, but at the Battle of Arenfjord, that great clash with Grand Duke Yaraslaf, even Hilde was outmatched. Yaraslaf overpowered everyone, including Hilde, and dealt Severin a killing blow. She couldn’t save your uncle, but not out of carelessness or indifference.”
Hilde gritted her teeth, bowing her head. “I respected and admired Severin. I would never have abandoned him. But Yaraslaf’s power was too great.”
“You, the scion of Von Altheim, admit to your inferiority to a Russian Grand Duke? Huh. A weak excuse, but whatever,” said Selene, gazing at Hilde, “but the fact remains that the light of my world was snuffed that day, and in the meantime, as he died for you and Mattias, Commander Hilde, the entire kingdom was freaking out over you: you, a werewolf who just last year was a despised enemy of the queen.” She pursed her lips. “Do you think that’s fair?”
She raised her amulet, and to the shock of Hilde, Vi, Michael, and Danny, a beam of light pealed from its centre, but that light was malleable, almost liquid, and seemed to flow and dance at Selene’s command, coalescing in her hand and forming into a one-handed sword.
“Kveldulf Formation Art: Blade of Sacred Light. Fight me, werewolf of Arendelle,” demanded Selene, raising her newly formed sword and pointing it at the growling Hilde.
“I’m going to destroy your life and household, just as you’ve wrecked mine.”
Her voice rose in hatred and anticipation as Hilde began to morph into her mighty werewolf form, jaw elongating with sharp teeth emerging, fur bursting out and covering human flesh completely, and legs growing into powerful hind limbs that threw Hilde at Selene’s direction.
“Fight for your Countess, and die!”
NEXT: WEREWOLF AND HUNTER!