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Diamond nodded as Shadow nuzzled her gently as she and Andy ran out of the room. Choal watched as the only thing protecting him left as he took her hand softly in his as they began to dance he smiled at her softly as he said her dance card was filled by him.
"I did not want you to worry about that." He said as he took her into a turn as he looked at her "There is so much more to the story that I will tell you in private where guest ears cannot eavesdrop." He told her sighing. "If I said Shadow and I missed you would you be a little less upset with us?" he asked her. He seamlessly moved into the next dance making sure to keep her away from other suitors.
Elsa nodded as she listened to him. [b “Thank you for coming... It’s very king of you.”] she said. She watched him reach into his pocket and pull out the matching bracelets. [b “Those are beautiful... I love them. You didn’t have to get me anything, really. But thank you.”]
She grinned as she watched Diamond and Andy run to the door. [b “Diamond, my dear. Why don’t you, Andy and Shadow go play in the foyer. I don’t think our guests have ever seen anything like Shadow before.”] she called. She nodded to one of the guards, motioning for him to go with them. There was a lot of unfamiliar people in the Castle tonight, between a guard and Shadow, the children would be safe.
She looked back at Choal and bit her lip. [b “Why didn’t you tell me that you were charged with Treason? Why didn’t you just stay there instead of escorting me back to Arndelle?”] she questioned. She shook her head no when someone came up with their hand out, asking her to dance. [b “No Thank you... My leaned slots are taken by General Choal this evening.”]
Choal looked at her sheepishly as he adjusted Diamond in his arms. "I heard about the plans and I wanted to make sure I made it back in time." He said to him as he reached into his pocket and brought out two black leather bracelets that had mother and daughter on them. "I figure you would want something for both of you. I know it is not as grand as some other gift you will get this evening but I didn't want to come empty-handed."
Diamond looked at Choal "Does that mean Shadow is here as well?" she asked him as he smiled at her breaking the moment as he nodded as he sat her down. As she and Andy went running to go let Shadow into the ballroom. Diamond hugged the wolf with a smile on her face so happy to see the wolf back.
Elsa couldn’t help but smiled as Diamond ran out of her suite. [b “It’s amazing, isnt it? A month and a half ago she was so scared and shy... Now she’s the life of this Castle, along with Andy of course.”] she said.
She sighed as Anna helped her into her dress. [b “I love Balls because Diamond gets to interact with all of the children, but I hate them because I’m expected to dance with every eligible bachelor in and around the Kingdom.”] she said. She stood in front of the mirror after she was finished. [b “How do I look?”] she questioned. She linked her arm through Anna’s and smiled. [b “I’m really glad that you’re here with me... I don’t think I could do this Queen thing without you.”]
The double doors opened and they stepped out. Her eyes immediately scanned the room, looking for Diamond. [b “Where is she?”] she whispered. She froze when she found her daughter in the arms of Choal. [b “Anna...”] she said softly. [b “Choal is here..”] They walked down the staircase and she was finally face to face with Choal. [b “What are you doing here? How did you know?”]
Anna smiled at Diamond "Why don't you and Andy make rounds while I help your mom into her dress?" She smiled as Diamond nodded blushing softly as she played with her curls. "Pinky promise that we will be out there soon," Anna said as Diamond smiled linking their pinkies before running back to the party. "Think of it this way Diamond can basically freeze anyone in one place and walk away." Anna laughed.
Downstairs Diamond was greeting people when she overheard a weird conversation. "I wonder who Queen Elsa will dance with first?" a duke asked as he stood next to an Earl who was fixing his tie.
"A Prince than likely but maybe if we are upfront we can catch her eye first." The Earl said as Diamond walked up behind them.
"Why do you want to catch my mama's eye that sounds gross." Diamond said to the two guys when she heard someone come up behind her. She turned around and smiled brightly at the man behind her "You made it!" Diamond said as she hugged him.
Choal picked Diamond up holding her close as he stared down the Duke and Earl. "Move it." He said his voice slightly rougher like he was thirsty as he made his way to the stairs the music stop and people were whispering. The only sound that could be heard were the doors opening to let Anna and Elsa out. Choal looked up with Diamond still in his arms as he made eye contact with Elsa. "Um, Happy Birthday?" He said to her as he held Diamond he was smart enough to know if Elsa wanted to freeze him she wouldn't do it with her daughter in his arms.
Elsa glanced up, looking back at Anna through the vanity mirror, which she was sitting at. [b “You invited Choal?”] she questioned [b “Why?”] She was currently braiding pieces of her hair into a half up half down style, with loose curls to match Diamonds. She turned around and watched Anna. [b “Did he accept?”]
She read the response and it was like her heart shattered all over again. [b “He was banished?”] she questioned. [b “Anna.. I didn’t slander their pig of king! All I did was tell the truth. I wasn’t the one that rescued the prince! It was Choal. He wouldn’t let me fight with him.”] she explained. [b “I begged and he wouldn’t let me... He did it all, but the King wanted to give me all the credit..”] she was furious that Choal didn’t have a home anymore. [b “I wonder where he is then.. I hope he is alright.”] she muttered. She couldn’t help but softly smile when Anna said they had a connection.
She turned around after the knock. [b “Don’t you look so pretty my princess!”] she said after Diamond had walked in. [b “You go tell Uncle Kristoff to quit rushing the Queen and Princess.”] she said with a smile and wink. [b “I just have to get into my dress and then we’ll be down my dear.”]
Her own dress was aqua blue.
Anna was watching her sister get ready looking sheepish "So I might have sent a letter to Choal's kingdom about your birthday." She confessed when she offered her sister water and then handed her the response that she had gotten. "Princess Anna we regret to inform you that the former General is no longer associated with this kingdom. He was given orders when leaving the kingdom a month ago that should he distract himself by escorting the Queen home after she slander the King it would be seen as treason." Anna sighed at the memory of the letter.
"What I do not understand is why would he leave you two clearly had a connection and we would have been able to help." Anna complained as she looked at her sister. "It is kinda heartwarming he abandon everything to see you home after the mission." She said when there was a tiny knock on the door.
Diamond was standing their in a dark blue dress her hair was curled and half pulled back as she looked at them "Uncle Kristoff said that the party was waiting on you two." She said as she walked in. A month had made a huge different as the little girl had grown taller and no longer looked like a broken doll.
It had been three weeks since Choal had left. He said he had other missions and left right after breakfast, Shadow along with him. Diamond was sad, very sad. But Andy and Kristoff took mind off it, with the help of the trolls. They went on adventures around the kingdom almost daily.
Herself, of the other hand was a total mess. Her birthday was in three days and Anna was throwing at ball in her honor. She wouldn’t take no for an answer, she tried. She had been keeping to herself, she kept busy by practicing her magic out in the archery fields. She didn’t need the practice, it was just something to take her mind off of Choal.
Diamond joined her sometimes and she had improved drastically. Her nightmares were getting more scarce now, which was an improvement. Though some mornings, Elsa woke up and Diamond was cuddled into her side, but she didn’t complain. She soaked it all in.
Diamond yawned and nodded as Shadow jump on the bed curling her large body protectively around the small child. The wolf looked at Elsa as if to say 'I got this' before lowering her head to nuzzle her.
Down the hall, Choal was not expecting the Queen to have been by so soon. Okay a part of him had hoped she had forgotten but this woman had a mind like a steel trap. So there he stood shirtless in front of her batter and worn. "It is alright it is your home I am a guest in." He reassured her as he began to put the shirt on to cover some of the more extreme areas. "Is Diamond already asleep? According to the maids even with Shadow, it took her a while to fall asleep with you gone." He rubbed his neck wincing softly as he lifted his arms.
It seemed Diamond had indeed had a very fun few days. She, Shadow and Andy has explored the Castle, though she was told they had the most fun in the maze. Kristoff has a very different opinion though. [b “I’m so glad you had fun, my dear. I think I hear Shadow coming down the hall right now.”] she said as she began to tuck the little girl in. [b “Hi Shadow.”] she said. [b “Thank you for watching out for my girl.”] she kissed Diamonds forehead and they said their goodnights before she walked into the hallway.
Elsa walked down the hallway to the guest wing. Knocking on the door before she entered the room that had been deemed as Choals, and Shadows. Though Shadow preferred to sleep in Diamonds room. [b “Choal?”] she asked as she pushed the door opened. [b “I came to look at your face and—-“] she froze when she seen a shirtless Choal, with all kinds of scars. [b “I...”] she didn’t know what to say. [b “I-I’m sorry for just barging in...”]
"I'm sorry was she not supposed to be like her mother?" Choal asked through a wince as Shadow was up on her back legs licking his face with worry. "I'm okay." He promised the wolf petting her fur "Did you take care of the little Princess?" He asked as Diamond nodded her head feverishly.
"She never left my side and slept with me in bed so I didn't have any nightmares! I even made a maze out of my powers to hide Andy and I in and she found us. Uncle Kristoff didn't like the maze to much though he kept running into the walls." Dia said with a shrug not understanding that her ice maze looked like a mirror maze. Dia waved Choal over and hugged him "Thank you for bringing Mama home." She said in his ear.
Choal hid the wince but smoothed the little girl's hair back "Your mother always knows her way back to you." He told her as they went inside Choal was shown to a room. Where he was thankful for a hot shower to ease the ache in his bones but he knew Elsa was not going to be happy at the scars on his body. It made him look like a jigsaw puzzle more than human even if some of the scares were covered in black tattoos.
Elsa laughed and simply shook her head. [b “If you want it to get infected and then look half the feeling in your face, be my guest.”] she said. She watched as his horse spooked and she was almost ready to jump off her own to grab him. [b “Are you alright, Choal?”] she asked after the horse had settled. [b “It was probably a snake or something.”]
She handed off the reins of her horse as well as Choals to the stable boy. [b “Make sure they get a warm bath and a big super, please.”] she said as she turned, smiling when she heard Shadows howl. [b “Indeed she does.”]
She giggled when Shadow and Diamond came into sight. Diamond was on the wolf’s back, in her pajamas. [b “She’s going to be a wild one, I think.”] she said. [b “She’s so brave.”] She squated down and held her arms open as Diamond all buy jump from the wolf to her arms. [b “My sweet girl.”] she said. [b “I missed you so much.”] She stood you and just held her. [b “How was it? Tell me about the adventures you and Shadow had?”]
She was walking off with the young girl in her arms, when she stopped. [b “You’ll stay another night... Leave after breakfast?”] she questions as she turned to look at Choal. [b “You aren’t leaving until I look at your face and those bruised ribs you think you’re hiding... Queens Order.”]
Choal smiled brushing the snow from his shoulder not phased. "That looking forwarded to looking at my cheek?" He teased as he looked at the lights smiling. "Let's get you back to your daughter Queen Elsa." He said as something spooked his horse and he groaned holding his side. The bruised ribs were killing him fr ok m the journey but his talks with the Queen had lighten his mood knowing he no longer had a home.
Choal held his side as they got to the gates and smiled at a familiar howl. "Looks like Shade knows we are back." He said and sound the sounds of claws on stone follow by sparks of snowflakes. He watched as Dia came towards them riding Shade in her Pjs he took his cloak off to wrap the child up. "Mama!" Dia yelled jumping into Elsa's arms.
Elsa listened to Choal as they rode. She was completely fascinated with what she was hearing. She couldn’t even tell that she was doing it, but it started snowing all of a sudden. [b “You’re not a demon, Choal.”] she simply said. She gasped as she realized what was happening. [b “I-I’m sorry!”]
She nodded slowly as he said the Prince was unharmed. [b “The prince indeed was unharmed... but did he not see the leader?! Or ask about the twenty other men you took out?”] she questioned. [b “That King makes my blood boil... and I’m the Ice Queen!”]
She was quiet after that. She didn’t know what to say... She was happy because the circus was gone and no other children could be hurt, but she was sad at the same time. [b “There’s Arndelle!”]
Choal sighed "To some I am." He was not looking at her he looked to be lost in his thoughts. "I started training when I was younger than Princess, in fact, I was so young I do not remember a time when I wasn't holding a weapon." Choal started out as he took a breath releasing it he was not sure if it was because of how high they were in the mountains or if Elsa was causing the drop in temperature. "There are stories that demons will take the form of Children to make people defenseless before stealing their souls. I was sent into an enemy camp and slaughter them I was told someone like me was only good as a weapon and that is how I have been living."
"Because of my nature, it is rare that I can do rescue missions without the victim being unharmed. The Prince came backed unharmed so the King knew it I couldn't have been responsible." Choal said as he put one palm up and a small shadow like flame appeared in his hands before it vanished. "My curse it better at night, more useful for death then it is for good. But I made you that promise so you would not attack the Shadows."
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