Saturday, January 16, 2021

DWOA Princess Alliance: Chapter 13


Disney's World Of Adventures: Princess Alliance

Chapter 13 – For The First Time In Forever

    Once upon a time, there lived two sisters: the youngest sister, Anna, and the oldest sister, Elsa. The oldest was born with magic ice powers. However, an unfortunate accident forced her to hide her powers and wipe away all traces of magic from her youngest sister's memory. Following the untimely passing of their parents, Elsa was crowned as the new queen of their kingdom. Unfortunately, she accidentally revealed her powers and fled away to the far-off mountains.

    Anna followed after her sister, and with the help of a brave woodsman named Kristoff and a talking snowman named Olaf, tracked her down to an ice palace. Anna pleaded for her sister to return home with her, yet Elsa refused, and in a fit of anger, accidentally froze her sister's heart. Only an act of true love could cure Anna's ice curse. She returned to her kingdom, hoping to receive true love's kiss from a prince she fell in love with. Sadly, the prince did not love her back, having used her to take over her kingdom.

    The prince left her to die as he took off to defeat Elsa. Anna escaped and saved Elsa from the prince, but at the cost of her own life. Her frozen heart turned her to ice. Fortunately, her love for Elsa proved to be the act of true love that unfroze her heart. The two sisters rekindled their friendship, Elsa openly practiced her magic, and they both lived out their days ruling their kingdom together.

    And they all lived happily ever after.

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    Near the base of the snowcapped mountains of Arendelle, far from where the kingdom sits between the sea and fjord, where the white of the snow waters the green of the forests, in an open snowy glade, Olaf the talking snowman occupied himself with the most important task: creating a replica of Sven the reindeer in the snow.

    As Olaf carefully molded his sculpture into the form of the reindeer, Sven himself lay upon a patch of grass as a model would lounge upon a divan. Most artists would favor a mighty steed standing triumphantly in mid-gallop as the choice for their sculpture, yet the talking snowman preferred a more practical subject in a casual pose.

    With artistic precision, Olaf brushed away loose snow here, packed snow there, and covered his piece with bark for fur, fallen branches for antlers, and pebbles for eyes. Upon adding the last touches, he took a step back, positioned his branch fingers in the form of a frame, and gazed through with one eye to study his sculpture. 

    “Perfect!” he replied with a thumbs up.

    Sven stood from his resting spot, where he sat for the past hour, and trotted over to his ice sculpture. He circled it several times, glancing up and down at his likeness, inspecting every little detail. When he saw that everything was to his liking, he gave the widest grin and made the loudest stomp with both hooves.

    “I know!” Olaf placed his arms akimbo, satisfaction written on his face. “I’ve outdone myself. Anna and Kristoff are going to love it.”

    Meanwhile, the aforementioned couple scaled a cliff several yards away from Olaf and Sven. Garbed in their outdoor gear, knapsacks strapped to their backs, the two scaled a rope that stretched for nearly half a mile upward. Anna took the lead, climbing a foot or so above her boyfriend. Over the last half hour, they laboriously performed the same action of thrusting a pickaxe into the rock above them and slowly pulling themselves up inch by inch. Their hot breath billowed from their mouths like smoke from a chimney, as their exhausting climb forced them to heave for breath. Nevertheless, they continued upward.

    Finally, Anna clasped her gloved hand upon a crevice. Struggling, through bated breath, she heaved herself up and pulled her whole body up over the edge. In a triumphant sigh, she sat upright with both legs dangling over the side.

    Another minute or two passed until Kristoff grasped the same crevice. Anna took him by the hand and, despite her small and lissome stature, heaved him onto the ledge as he took his seat beside her. The two said nothing, the only noises they made were them struggling to catch their breath.

    They had only reached the midpoint of the cliff. The top sat several yards above them. Yet their burning lungs and muscles felt as though they had climbed to the very precipice.

    “You know—” Anna spoke in-between heavy inhales and exhales, “I never imagined—that I could scale—an entire mountainside—before I met you.”

    Kristoff turned to her, his breath rising and falling with hers. “We’ve certainly done—everything together. Hiking. Mountain climbing. Ice fishing. Ice harvesting.”

    Anna let out a heavy sigh upon catching her breath. “I guess a girl like me can learn and accomplish a lot when her boyfriend’s an outdoorsman like you.”

    Kristoff smiled. “You’ve certainly tried everything these past 18 months.”

    “A year and a half? We’ve been dating for that long?”

    “Ever since we’ve saved the kingdom from your sister’s eternal winter.”

    Kristoff reached into his knapsack and pulled out a box wrapped in paper and ribbon.

    “Here.” He handed it to her. “My 18-month anniversary present.”

    Anna’s eyes sparkled, her grin widened, as she gazed upon her gift.

    “Aww! You shouldn’t have. No. Really. You shouldn’t have. I didn’t know we were exchanging presents. I would have bought you something if I did.”

    “Oh, you don’t need to get me anything.” Kristoff chuckled. He shook his head and waved a hand at her. “My present is seeing the look on your face when you open yours.”

    Anna did not hesitate to tear away the paper and fling open the lid. Her eyes sparkled and her mouth opened into an even wider grin when she saw what was inside.

    “Just what every girl needs.” She reached inside and pulled out, “A grappling hook!”

    She held aloft the gun with a hook lodged in its shaft and a rope attached to it. She leaned over to Kristoff to plant a warm kiss upon his cold cheek.

    “Thanks. I love it.”

    Kristoff smiled. “I knew you would. It’ll certainly prove useful for situations such as these. Perhaps we can use it to climb the rest of the way to the top.”

    With as little hesitation as she had opening her present, Anna peered through the scope on top of her gun. With it, she spied a branch growing from the topmost edge of the precipice above. One eye closed, tongue sticking out the side of her mouth, she carefully aimed and fired.

    From a mighty blast, the hook flew several yards up towards the branch, wrapping itself several times around.

    “Nice shot!” Kristoff took hold of the rope, pulling it back and stretching it taut.

    “Thanks!” Anna wrapped her arms around Kristoff, who likewise wrapped his arms around her. Once their embrace was tight enough, Anna pulled the trigger again. Immediately, the rope began retracting, pulling the two of them up along the cliff. Once the rope had retracted to the hook clenching onto the branch, the two pulled themselves up and over the precipice.

    The couple now stood at the very top. Though not the highest peak of the Arendelle mountain range, it was certainly high enough to allow Anna and Kristoff a spectacular view of the scenery below of mountains, forests, kingdom, and ocean.

    “The view is amazing,” were Anna’s first words upon releasing the hook from the branch and standing close to the edge. “It’s almost like a landscape painting.”

    From his pocket, Kristoff pulled a brass telescope.

    “You can see more with this.” He opened the spyglass and offered it to his girlfriend.

    Anna glanced through it to study every little detail below, dictating everything she saw to Kristoff.

    “I can see everything with this: The palace. The town. There’s Olaf and Sven. Oh, wow! His sculpture’s a real masterpiece. Um. Oh! There’s also Elsa’s ice palace. And Marshmallow’s there playing with the Snowgies. Um. What else. Oh. Of course. There’s a swirling green vortex of inexplicable magic.”

    Anna had to raise her eye from the telescope to blink several times, checking to see if she had spoken correctly. “Wait, what?”

    Kristoff took the telescope to check for himself.

    Somewhere in the snow below rose a glowing green vortex. Within it rose a flurry of snow that took the form of a snow giant. It was similar in shape and size to Marshmallow. The only difference was that this new snow giant was made from green snow and had four arms. As the vortex died and the snow giant became fully formed, it gave a roar that echoed through the mountainscape like thunder.

    Kristoff turned from his glass to his girlfriend. “Anna, did Marshmallow turn green and grow an extra pair of arms?”

    Anna took the glass and glanced in the direction of the Ice Palace. There she saw Marshmallow playing among the Snowgies.

    “No, Marshmallow’s up there at the palace.”

    She aimed the telescope to where the green snow monster stood. Slowly it began waddling forward before gaining enough momentum to reach a galloping yet lumbering jog.

    “That new snow creature’s down there—” She gasped, raising her eyes from the glass. “And it’s rushing toward Arendelle!”

*****

    Silently still as an ice sculpture, Elsa stood, eyes closed, arm extended, palm facing upward. Over her palm floated an ice crystal. It glowed blue, its light brightening and fading in sync with her breath. Elsa took a deep breath and exhaled. The crystal flew from out of her hand, spiraled upward around her, and rose several feet over her head. In a sudden burst, it dissipated into countless snow particles that fell back to earth in a snowfall. Elsa opened her arms to embrace the chill of the snow as it fell upon her.

    “Magnificent!” Grand Pabbie applauded her as he sat in the corner of the room where she stood. He propped himself up with his wooden staff and staggered upon it as he approached her. “You have come a long way in controlling your powers.”

    “I have a great teacher to thank for that.” Elsa blushed with a nod as she faced him. “Your training this past year has helped. I only wish my parents had allowed me to train under your tutelage rather than—”

    She cast her gaze away before finishing that sentence. She felt ashamed to imply any wrongdoing on her parents’ part, if not more ashamed about admitting the trauma she suffered being confined in her home, forced to conceal her magic from everyone else, including her sister.

    With another breath, she gained the courage to return her gaze to her mentor. “Lock me away and hide my powers.”

    Grand Pabbie sighed. His eyes fell to the ground, then slowly lifted back to Elsa.

    “I’m sure your parents had good intentions, misguided as they were. Their big mistake was forcing you to conceal your magic. Suppressing it only made you more fearful, and fear quickly became your undoing.” He shook his head. “But we must not dwell upon the mistakes of the past. We must learn from them and move forward. We learned that concealing your powers only makes you weak and lose control. If you are to move forward, you must not be afraid of them. You must not hide them.”

    Elsa raised her hand, cupped. Once again, she formed another crystal that hovered silently over her palm. She knelt on one knee to allow Grand Pabbie a closer look.

    “Your parents taught you not to feel, but conceal. That was the wrong lesson, especially at such a tender age. You must unlearn what they taught you and embrace the antithesis of their teachings.”

    Elsa nodded, sending the ice crystal flying into the air and exploding into another snow flurry. “In other words, I need to reveal, not conceal.”

    “Precisely.” Pabbie nodded.

    Elsa stood and bowed before the elder troll. “Thank you for all that you taught me. I will certainly keep your lessons at heart. And thank you for coming to the palace for my lesson. I know I usually visit you in the valley with the other trolls, but I have a very important meeting to attend to shortly.”

    A door soon opened and a servant stepped through. “Your majesty, the dignitaries from Corona have arrived.”

*****

    Rapunzel curtseyed and Eugene bowed as Elsa entered the throne room. She stepped in front of her throne upon her dais.

    “Princess Rapunzel,” she addressed them. “Such an honor to meet the heiress to the throne of Corona.”

    Rapunzel rose from her curtsey. “And an honor to meet you once again, as well.”

    “Again?”

    Eugene nodded. “Yeah. Remember? We attended your royal coronation last year.”

    “Oh!” Elsa blinked. “My apologies. Many guests attended that event, and I didn’t have the opportunity to meet every one of them.”

    “That’s okay,” Rapunzel said. “We didn’t get a chance to meet you either.”

    “Wouldn’t blame you if you overlooked us,” Eugene added. “We blended into the crowd with everyone else. You could almost say we were Easter eggs.”

    “Anyway,” Rapunzel interjected. “We have a very urgent matter to attend to, and we need your ice powers to assist us.”

    Elsa blinked several times. She clenched one hand over the other and drew them both to her heart. “My powers?”

    Rapunzel nodded. “See, there’s this Ancient Evil threatening to return and destroy the world. So we’re trying to gather several princesses together to stop it. And we could certainly use the help of you and your powers.”

    Elsa slowly lifted her gaze from her hands. “You want me to use my powers—for combat?”

    “Sure.” Eugene nodded. “We saw you put them to action last year. Gotta say it’s not every day you’re trapped by a midsummer blizzard, huddled in a crowded shelter, shivering, wrapped head to toe in blankets for warmth.”

    “Eugene!” Rapunzel whispered through her teeth, slapping him in the stomach with the backside of her hand. She noticed Elsa drop her forlorn gaze to the floor. “Oh, but that’s okay. After all, if you can freeze an entire kingdom in winter, you can certainly freeze an evil villain in their tracks.”

    Elsa took a deep breath and returned her glance once more at the other two. “And it’s precisely for that very reason that I have to decline your offer.”

    “What?” Rapunzel and Eugene both exclaimed.

    Elsa strolled toward the window overlooking her kingdom. “What happened last year was the fault of me losing control of my powers. I’ve since learned to gain better control of them, but I’m afraid I may lose control again. I can’t bear to think what would happen then.”

    Rapunzel and Eugene approached her. “But you don’t need to worry about hurting anyone. We just need your help to hurt something really, really evil.”

    “But what if it’s not the only thing I hurt?” Elsa turned to them. “What about collateral damage? I nearly lost a sister last year because of my magic, and I can’t risk hurting anyone else.” She shook her head. “I’m sorry. But I have to decline.”

    Rapunzel and Eugene stood silently for a few seconds before promptly breaking that silence.

    “Well,” Rapunzel shrugged. “That’s okay. We don’t need your help. We just need to gather together nine other princesses.”

    “Sure.” Eugene crossed his arms and nodded. “Perhaps the other princess of Arendelle can help us.”

    “Speaking of which,” Rapunzel added. “Where is she?”

    “Anna?” Elsa blinked. “Well, I’m sure she—”

    Before she could answer, a noise from outside the window caught her attention. She flung open the window. Upon opening it, the noise she heard grew louder and clearer. From the kingdom below rose the cries of people screaming.

    “Something’s wrong. I can sense it.”

    The others joined her leaning over the windowsill. Eugene cupped an ear.

    “Well, we can certainly hear it. Either that’s the scream of sheer terror, or some shop’s hosting a blowout special.”

    “I’m going out on a hunch and saying it’s the former,” Rapunzel replied.

    “We should check and see what it is,” Elsa said.

    Rapunzel leaped on the windowsill and started undoing her hair. “Right on it.”

    Elsa raised an eyebrow. “Why—”

    “No time to lose, and it’s quicker than taking the stairs.” Rapunzel unfurled her hair and extended a hand to her husband. “Eugene.”

    “On it, Blondie.” He took her hand as she drew him up. He wrapped his arm around her waist as he took hold of her hair. 

    Rapunzel flung her golden tress to a flag post down below. As it wrapped around, the two jumped from the window and swung to the bridge connecting the castle to the kingdom. They landed on their feet and raced toward the source of the cacophonous din.

*****

    Frightened townsfolk scattered screaming in every direction, fleeing from the lumbering ice giant. As it trudged toward the town square, the monster flailed its arms. Its fists missed civilians but smashed several stalls and booths. It stopped in front of one particular stall, the sign overhead reading, “Wandering Oaken's Mobile Trading Post.”

    “Woo hoo!” The jolly merchant wiggled his fingers in greeting. “Super blowout special today.”

    Oaken reached behind the counter to hold up two large fish. The monster, through an unfeeling stare, silently glared at him.

    “Buy one lutefisk, get one free. Super yummy bargain, ja?”

    Roaring, the monster thrust its fist into the stall, shattering it into splinters. Fortunately, the merchant, in a yelp, leaped out of the way his front counter was smashed by the heavy fist, debris flying in every direction.

    Only slightly bruised, Oaken picked himself up and dusted himself off. His brow furrowed, arms akimbo, he glared at the monster and what used to be his stall.

    “Well, you could have just said ‘No’!”

    The ice giant raised its fist and prepared to lob it down upon the merchant. Oaken cowered under its shadow, crouching back, covering his face to prepare for the inevitable blow.

    Several seconds passed, and that blow never came. Oaken peered through his fingers. He saw the monster’s arm ensnared by a hook attached to a rope, pulled taut by the person who tossed it.

    Anna tugged back on the rope she launched from her gun, holding back the monster’s arm long enough for Oaken to scramble away to safety.

    Kristoff rushed toward her, Olaf and Sven trailing far behind. With both hands, he took hold of the rope and helped his girlfriend hold back the monster.

    “Great catch!” He struggled to pull back.

    “Thanks,” Anna replied through bated breath. “All those fly fishing lessons paid off.”

    Constrained by the rope wrapped around its arm, the hook embedded into its snow, the monster struggled to pull its arm away as Anna and Kristoff pulled in the opposite direction. In one single burst of brute strength, the monster jerked hard against the rope and the two people holding it.

    The very force sent Anna and Kristoff flying yards toward a fruit stall. Their fall, fortunately enough, was cushioned by the merchandise. As the two struggled to lift themselves and fling away the crushed fruit, their two friends trotted and scuttled toward them.

    “You two all right?” Olaf peeled away a banana peel stuck to Anna’s dress. “That monster sent you both bananas, huh? Orange you glad you two had a safe landing?”

    The couple was about to respond to the talking snowman’s poor attempt at comedy when a shadow overtook them. The four saw the monster looming over them, all four fists raised overhead. The four friends thrust their arms forward (or, in Sven’s case, tilted away their head) to brace for the inevitable blow.

    Several seconds passed, and the blow never came. Olaf pried open his eyes.

    “Are we dead? I don’t feel dead.”

    Everyone looked up. They saw as the monster’s arm was ensnared by a long golden tress.

    On the other end, Rapunzel struggled to tug back, holding back the arm in place long enough for the other four to scatter away.

    Eugene rushed to her side, took hold of her hair, and helped her pull back.

    “Someone should get the kid who built that. They won the best snow sculpture contest.”

    Once more, the monster struggled to pull back against the hair ensnaring him. And once more, in a sudden thrust, he jerked his arm forward. Rapunzel and Eugene were sent flying yards forward.

    Fortunately for them, they both landed gracefully upon Sven’s back. The reindeer carried them for several yards, with Anna, Kristoff, and Olaf trailing behind. Once they had reached a safe distance, Sven stopped. Anna and Kristoff respectively helped Rapunzel and Eugene off. 

    “Nice catch!” Rapunzel landed with both feet on the ground.

    Anna released her hand. “Same with you.”

    Rapunzel extended her hand. “I’m Rapunzel by the way.”

    Everyone else introduced themselves by simply saying their name. Olaf was the last.

    “Hi, I’m Olaf, and I like warm hugs.”

    He extended his branch to Rapunzel and Eugene. The two merely shot a glance at each other before staring at the talking snowman.

    “Okay, one walking, talking snowman’s enough for me for one day,” Eugene replied.

    “Oh, but I don’t think that other snowman can talk,” was Olaf’s cheery reply.

    “No,” Anna pointed at the snow giant fast approaching them. “But it’s walking—straight toward us!”

    Everyone ducked behind a wooden cart. The ice monster passed by it without even giving it a second look.

    Kristoff peered from behind the cart at the monster loitering mere feet away from them. He turned to his reluctant companions.

    “So what’s the plan?”

    Rapunzel placed a finger under her chin as she silently thought for a few seconds.

    “Well, snaring it sort of works, but it’s too big and strong for one of us to hold it in place.”

    “What about four of us?” Kristoff pulled two more ropes with hooks from his knapsack. “Four arms. Four ropes.”

    “Good thinking.” Anna clapped her hands together. “But we need to distract it. We need to catch its attention with something out of the ordinary.”

    Eugene glanced at Olaf sitting right next to him, nonchalantly. He pointed at him.

    “What about the talking snowman?”

*****

    The ice giant scoured the area in search of the others. He smashed away stall after stall in hopes of crushing whatever hid inside. Soon, a song caught his attention. He saw Olaf merrily prancing about with cane and straw hat.

    “La-dee-da-da—in summer!” He tipped his hat and waved his cane on bended knee.

    The giant staggered before the curious sight playing out before it. In a single breath, it let out a roar, the winds of which bellowed harshly against him.

    “Hi!” Olaf waved. “I’m Olaf and I like warm hugs.”

    The monster raised all four arms.

    “Wow! That’s a lot of arms. You must be a great hugger.”

    Before all four fists could fall upon the tiny snowman, all four arms became entangled by rope and hair. On either side, the four royals stood, holding back each giant arm with their respective snare: Anna, Kristoff, and Eugene with their rope, and Rapunzel with her hair.

    Eugene gave a big tug back. “Allemande left!”

    On his command, he and the others circled clockwise, like May Day dancers circling a pole with their ribbons. As they did so, their rope and hair began wrapping around it, binding its arms to its side.

    “Swing your partner round and round,” Eugene sang, “Till it crashes to the ground.”

    Upon that last line, the monster became entangled head to foot. Unable to move, it could only tumble forward like a felled tree, crashing face-first upon the ground. And like felled lumber, it lay motionless.

    Olaf flung both branch arms in the air. “Horray! We’re saved!”

    In a single movement, the monster flung away all four arms, breaking through its binding as if it had been tied with mere dental floss. It stood upon its feet, thrust four arms in the air, and let out a thunderous roar.

    “Horray! We’re doomed!”

    Rapunzel frantically reeled in her hair as she huddled close to the others.

    “So what’s Plan B?”

    Before anyone could answer, the monster lurched forward and raised four fists, all the better to crush at least four people cowering underneath its shadow. Everyone braced for the inevitable blow.

    As with before, several seconds passed, and the blow never came. Everyone slowly pried open their eyes.

    The monster stood motionless, its pose frozen like an ice sculpture. Its icy body glowed a light blue, its light fading in and out steadily as a person’s breathing.

    Elsa stood, arm outstretched, hand open and facing the giant before her. She was the only thing standing between it and the others.

    She lifted her hand into the air and above her head. The monster levitated several feet into the air until the magic lifting it caused it to explode, dissipating into a snowy flurry that fell to the ground and the people below. When the deed was done, Elsa lowered her hand and her head with eyes shut and breathed a relieved sigh.

    As the falling snow graced them all, Rapunzel, hands clenched in front of her, approached Elsa.

    “That—was—” She unfurled her hands and widened her smile. “Amazing!”

    “I know, right?” Eugene clenched his hands in excitement as he stood next to her. “Now she definitely needs to join our alliance.”

    Anna raised an eyebrow as she approached the two. “What alliance?”

    “Oh!” Rapunzel exclaimed. “It’s the reason we’re here. See, we need to gather several princesses together to fight an Ancient Evil trying to take over the world, and we could certainly use a princess like her.”

    Anna blinked several times. “Oh, but she’s not a princess. She’s a queen. I’m a princess. But I’d love to join you guys. And I’m sure Elsa would love to come, too.”

    Elsa glanced at the others. “I’ll pass.”

    “What?” Eugene cupped his hands. “But your powers are so cool—literally, they’re ice cold. We need someone like you on our side to freeze the bad guys in their tracks.”

    Elsa finally broke away from her stoic pose to face everyone else. “I already told you: I don’t know if I’m able to control them.”

    Another voice called out to her: “And that’s why you need to go with them.”

    What appeared to be a round gray rock rolled toward them. Once it neared, it popped into the air and turned into the form of Grand Pabbie.

    “You can only take control of your powers once you stop hiding them,” he told Elsa.

    Rapunzel and Eugene gasped at the sudden appearance of the troll.

    “What is that thing?” asked the golden-haired princess.

    Grand Pabbie bowed before them. “Allow me to introduce myself: I am Grand Pabbie, the elder of the rock trolls who dwell in the Valley of Living Rocks.”

    Eugene turned to his wife. “First talking snowmen, now talking rocks. What’s next? Talking reindeer?”

    Kristoff leaned next to him, Sven by his side.

    “As a matter of fact,” he said through the side of his mouth, in the voice he used to pretend to be his reindeer. “I do talk.”

    Eugene glanced at Kristoff, then at Sven, then back at Kristoff before taking a cautious step back.

    Pabbie cleared his throat. “I am also an esteemed member of the Spellcasters Guild. I, too, know of the great matter that brought these other royals to our kingdom. There is, indeed, an ancient evil that seeks to rear its ugly head once more from the Abyss, and only ten princesses from ten kingdoms can stop it.”

    “Well, Anna is certainly capable,” Elsa replied, “But I—”

    “Your powers are great and were meant for great things,” The elder troll approached her. “This is one of those great things.”

    “I just don’t know.” Elsa sighed, gazing at her hands. “You’ve done a good job teaching me how to control them, but—what if I still can’t?”

    The troll shook his head and raised his staff. “I told you already: the only thing that will make your powers lose control is fear. And as long as you try to keep your powers hidden, the more your fear will grow. If you want to keep control of your magic, then you must not conceal.”

    Elsa raised her hands to her face. “I need to reveal.”

    Anna stepped forward to take her sister by her hands. “You don’t have to do this alone. You have me. I’ll be with you to help you through this. We’re all in this together.”

    Elsa glanced down, closed her eyes, and took a deep breath. “You’re right.” She turned to Rapunzel and Eugene. “Anna and I would be honored to join your alliance.”

    No sooner had she said that, a light appeared over her chest. A similar light appeared over Anna, Kristoff, and Olaf. Each light disappeared to reveal a mirror hanging around their neck.

    Curious, Elsa raised hers to her face. She opened its cover to see her reflection shining on the glass surface. “What are these?”

    “Something that proves you’re official members of the group,” Rapunzel replied. She went on to explain how the mirrors worked and how to use them.

    “Ohh!” Olaf exclaimed, examining his mirror. “How nifty!”

    Kristoff leaned next to Sven to speak in his reindeer voice. “Hey! How come I didn’t get one?”

    “Excuse me,” Eugene raised a finger. “What are you doing?”

    Kristoff returned to his normal voice. “Oh, this is Sven! He’s a talking reindeer.”

    Eugene kept his eyebrow cocked. “He’s—not talking.”

    “What?” Kristoff resumed his reindeer voice. “Of course I can talk! Can’t you see my mouth move?”

    Eugene stood silently for a few seconds, then leaned over to Rapunzel.

    “I’m going to tell him,” he whispered to her.

    Rapunzel slapped him against the arm. “Don’t you dare!”

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