The sun started to set beneath the horizon as Jack Frost sped through the air of Arendelle, riding the icy winds to catch his targets. Although he didn't feel right about leaving Elsa behind, he was, at least, reassured that the Ice Queen could defend herself when push came to shove. After all, she learned his
He pushed thoughts of her aside. It wasn't the time for an ego boost. He had much more pressing matters to attend to -- like the horde of nightmares before him. In the middle of his conversation with the blonde, he spotted them outside the perimeter of Elsa's castle. They appeared to have been ready to ambush the Ice Queen when her guard was down.
His grip on his staff tightened.
Not if I have anything to say about it. Pitch isn't getting anywhere near Elsa.
And with that thought and increasing determination, he sped up to catch up to his targets as they weaved through the mountain range. Raising his staff, the winter spirit shot blast after blast of his magic, eliminating the nightmares one by one...
...until five remained, if his mental count of the dark horses were correct. But they were nowhere in sight. Somehow, the surviving nightmares had disappeared. The guardian glanced around the immediate surrounding area, gritting his teeth in annoyance. But there was no sign of them.
Gripping his staff tighter, he flew higher into the sky to get a better and wider view of the perimeter around him.
They couldn't have gotten far, he thought as he hovered just below a gray cloud. His eyes darted around the area in search of Pitch's minions...
...and a triumphant smirk crept onto his face when he finally spotted one by a mountain.
The winter spirit raised his staff, ready to blast the nightmare out of existence. Releasing a pulse of his ice magic, the shot sped through the air and hit its target dead on, the dark horse disappearing with a dying neigh...
...and at the same instance, the Guardian could've sworn that he heard another neigh coming from another direction...
...that sounded like it was coming from...
His eyes widened in alarm as he quickly spun around, intent on protecting himself-- but it was too late. Three of the four nightmares he had missed turned into a swirling vortex of dark dust that held him in place in the gray cloud. From the torso down, his body and staff were enveloped in an almost-translucent black and red case. Although he struggled, he felt as if the dust was being...reinforced by something. It was something solid and thick... Also smooth and...and...cold?
No... It can't be.
His eyes widened for the second time as he recognized what was holding him. At that same moment, a familiar laugh rang out through the cloud.
The laughter grew louder as he knew that his captor was only getting closer, his dark form hazy from the cloud cover. Jack continued to struggle and all the while, willing for his bonds to release him...
...though ultimately failing. He felt in his core that they did not listen to him. Even if they were of his element, they only listened to the one that controlled them.
No. No. NO!!
The surviving nightmare broke through the cloud cover, and with it, a rider that continued to laugh evilly in delight as his plan succeeded. "Well, well, Jack Frost. Nice to see you again. It's been a few years, hasn't it?"
"Pitch..." Jack growled, his struggling not ceasing. "What have you done to this ice?"
The boogeyman chuckled as he dismounted from the black skeletal horse. "Do you like my new trick? I admit that it had been difficult to pull this off with all your...interference for the past years..." Pitch raised his hand with his palm open, and with the gesture, the nightmare he had been riding came undone.
"But once you were out of the way..."
The black dust that was its essence swirled into his palm.
"...all it took was one little push..." Closing his hand at the last word, the dust compacted.
"...and the raw fear in your dear Elsa's heart grew tenfold, thus allowing me to tap into her powers -- and by association, your powers."
When the man of fear opened it again, a red snowflake floated on the palm of his hand. A low amused chuckle escaped his lips. "Ice magic is simply breathtaking, don't you agree?" He laughed again, mocking the Guardian that clenched his fists in rage.
So that was it. That was Pitch's plan. He was using fear to get to Jack's powers over ice through Elsa. To do that...he planted fear in her heart of her powers. He made her frightened of her own capabilities. He had made her fear her entire life.
"What did you do to Elsa?" Jack said his anger showing in his voice and face, eyes glaring frigidly at the dark man. "If you hurt her, I swear, when I get out of here, I'll--"
"Don't you mean if?" Pitch corrected. "Struggle all you want, Frost, but the ice won't listen to you. It answers to me now." The boogeyman's lips curved into a sinister smile. "And as for what I've done to her..." He chuckled. "That's the beauty of it. I haven't done anything."
The black-robed man circled around the winter spirit, playing with the red snowflake in his hand. Jack's eyes were still trained on him, his glare increasing in intensity as the moments passed.
"You know the old saying, 'you only hurt the ones you love?' It's very true," the boogeyman narrated, continuing to round around the other spirit. "After you had left, the princess and her friends paid the queen a visit. Let's just say...that the sisters didn't see eye to eye. Their spat had left them both incredibly upset. But I believe it was more so for the ice child."
Anna... She became Elsa's undoing? The winter spirit recalled the blonde's state before he left her. She didn't want to see Anna. Even if she loved her sister, she wasn't ready to face her. She wasn't ready to let her in...not when she still feared that she would hurt the princess again.
Fear... It was that fear that set it off...
As the snowflake landed on dark haired man's palm, Pitch closed his hand around the ice crystal, and it returned to its dust form. "The situation gets even more interesting if you add Arendelle's current state of affairs into the mix." The dark man laughed, recalling the current sight of the city. "The entire city is frozen over! Ships are trapped on the city port, summer crops are withering and dying, the people in a state of confusion and fear for their lives...It's like a dream come true."
The boogeyman met Jack's eyes, happiness dancing in them as he dropped the volume of his voice. "And it's all thanks...to Elsa."
Jack's eyes slowly shifted downward, processing the new information.
It was the middle of summer...but Arendelle was freezing over? And it was all because of Elsa? But her control over her powers were excellent. Unless...
...the party. Anna's on-the-spot engagement. Her secret being revealed. All those events caused her to panic and to lose a considerable amount of control over her abilities. She used her powers that night to freeze the water and cross to the mountains...and now, the ice magic continued to affect the rest of Arendelle, guided by her emotions that night.
It won't stop... It'll keep going unless either me or Elsa stop it from spreading.
And to do that...he had to get away from Pitch. He had to get to Elsa and save Arendelle before it was too late.
Jack, with new found determination, decided to try getting creative with getting out of his prison. Concentrating all the power in his staff, he sent a surge of magic from the wooden stick through to the case and because of the sheer power, his bonds cracked and the shards of dark ice exploded outward.
Gripping his staff with both hands, he aimed it at Pitch and fired, freezing the other spirit and gaining the upper hand...
...or so he thought. Although the blast was a direct hit, the dark spirit had recovered almost immediately, slowly standing from where he stood...and was smiling. The unnaturally happy smile unnerved the Guardian, and more so did the amused chuckle that came immediately after.
"Did you really think that after my last defeat by your hands that I wouldn't have a back-up plan?"
The boogeyman raised both his arms and from behind him, an army of nightmares emerged from the clouds. The guardian gazed at them in horror, while Pitch smiled.
"These are a gift from the citizens..." the black-eyed man said, bearing pearly white teeth in a smile. With a wave of his hand, the nightmares turned into black dust once again, turning into a tornado that surrounded Jack. The Guardian fought back with blast after blast of magic, as the tornado closed in on him...
...until it compacted and solidified into a closed, almost-translucent box of red and black. The boogeyman smirked as he held up a hand -- the box following and hovering a little higher in the air.
"...and this is my gift...to you." With the last word, he brought his hand down swiftly, and at the same time, the box that held his enemy descended at a high speed towards the ground below.
By the area they were in, it would more than likely have landed in a deep ravine in the highest mountain, away from anyone who could provide him help. Pitch turned towards the direction of Arendelle, a pleased smile on his face, as he led his nightmares away.
"Come now. We have much more to do. Misery and fear won't spread themselves."
For the first time in what felt like forever, Pitch felt as if everything was going his way. He couldn't help but take a moment to revel in the feeling of triumph. He finally had his chance at a world with chaos and darkness, no Guardians to stand in his way...and not to mention his revenge. He laughed, at a small realization. What people said had been right...
Revenge was sweet...though he had found it to be something best served ice cold.