|More from SaeryenKatten||Romance/Adventure||PG||Positive|
|Fire, Song and a Snowstorm Chapter 8|
Within the highest floor of an icy fort, a firebender and an earthbender stood facing each other, trembling.
"So...th-that happened," Elsi stammered quietly.
Mihoshi broke into a smile.
"Elsi...we kissed. You and me, Els."
"Mihoshi," Elsi asked, "do you...you know..."
Mihoshi once again threw her arms around Elsi.
"I love you, Elsi," she said. "I believe I've loved you ever since we met as children."
Elsi smiled as she returned Mihoshi's embrace.
"I love you too, Mi'shi," Elsi said. A single tear formed in her right eye. This was possibly the happiest moment of her life thus far.
Suddenly, a crash and bang sounded from two floors below. Mihoshi and Elsi broke apart, each with an expression of shock on her face.
"What was that?!" Elsi cried.
The two girls turned to see Leyka entering the third floor with Ket-Ket close behind her.
"What's going on?" Mihoshi asked, stepping toward her sister.
"Someone broke in!" cried Leyka.
"The snow warriors got in!" Ket-Ket said.
Soon, Aira appeared, huffing up the stairs, her face wearing an expression of absolute panic.
"They're here," she said, breathing heavily.
Elsi felt as though she saw the older ice girl in a new light. No, she had never believed Aira's story, not until now. The snow warriors appeared to be after her. But then, who was creating them if not Aira?
"I can't let them find her!" Aira cried out, frantically running to the frozen fireplace. "They're coming. Elsi – it is Elsi, right? You're a firebender, use that against them! Ket-Ket, do whatever you can! You two" – she looked at Mihoshi and Leyka – "just stay behind Ket-Ket and Elsi."
As Aira had predicted, two soldiers of snow made their way up the stairs, followed by seven more. Elsi blasted fire at the first two, melting them into puddles. She noticed that Ket-Ket seemed to be bending the ice furniture, breaking apart the frozen flowers and end tables. These she sent at the snow warriors. Punctured by the sharp ice, three soldiers collapsed into snow.
But more were coming. Five more warriors filled the room, followed by four more. By now, Mihoshi and Leyka no longer heeded Aira's command. With no earth to bend, Mihoshi relentlessly kicked and slapped at the soldiers, as did her sister. Between them, they were able to disable five soldiers, but Mihoshi, who wasn't trained in fighting without earthbending, and Leyka, who wasn't trained in fighting at all, were growing tired. Elsi and Ket-Ket kept going, but it was apparent that they were outnumbered.
"No!" Aira screamed.
The four girls turned. Two snow warriors were headed in Aira's direction, hands outstretched to grab her.
Mihoshi didn't need to think twice: she ran at Aira, intent on pushing her out of the way – bam! She slammed against a wall of ice and slipped to the ground. When she looked up, she saw Aira had made the wall.
"Aira – no!"
Mihoshi could only watch as she pulled herself up. Leyka and Ket-Ket were trying to stop more from coming in, but they were obviously becoming exhausted. Elsi, however, was focused on the now four soldiers headed for Aira. She sent fireball after fireball at them but seven more headed for the ice girl. Within seconds, two of them had grabbed her by the arms and dragged her away from the fireplace.
"Please...no..." Aira said softly.
A crack appeared vertically down the fireplace, and then the whole thing shattered. Aira screamed in horror. All around them, every snow warrior save the ones holding Aira turned to snow and blew away.
They all turned to see who had broken the fireplace, and they saw. A woman stood at the top of the steps. She wore a long gown of indigo with dark purple trim. Her black hair cascaded to her shoulders in thin, unbraided pigtails, and her dark purple eyes gleamed with contempt. In her right hand she held what looked like a giant blue snowflake.
She walked with a pompous air to where the fireplace had been. Behind it was another room with three snow beds and a snow rug. Sitting on the rug, looking scared, was another ice girl. This one looked to be only eight years old with short hair that reached just above her shoulders.
"Aira," the dark haired woman said in a cold voice, "so that's where you were hiding her."
Aira looked at the woman with frozen tears on her face.
"Please," she said, "don't take Maya-Ar again."
Elsi glared at the woman.
"Who are you?!" she demanded. "Why are you threatening Aira?!"
"I," said the woman, "am Kaligah. Kaligah of the Frozen Heart, queen of ice and snow. And how fortunate it is that I meet three more girls worthy of joining me today."
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