Chapter 3:

The Frost king

Koyomi's Collection

The winter was harsh that year, with snow piled high and temperatures dropping below freezing. Everywhere you looked, you could see people bundled up in thick coats, hats, and gloves, trying to stay warm. But despite all their efforts, the cold seemed to seep into their bones and chill them to the core.

One such person was a young girl named Emily. She lived in a small town nestled in the mountains, where winter always came early and stayed late. Emily loved the snow and the crisp air, but this winter was different. The cold seemed to be more intense than ever before, and she found herself shivering even when she was inside her warm house.

One day, Emily's parents decided to take her and her little brother on a winter hike in the nearby forest. They bundled up in layers of warm clothes and set out early in the morning. The sun was just beginning to rise, casting a pinkish glow over the snow-covered landscape.

As they walked deeper into the forest, the cold seemed to intensify. Emily's fingers and toes were starting to go numb, and she could feel her nose turning red from the chill. Her little brother was also struggling, despite being wrapped up in a thick coat and hat.

After walking for what felt like hours, they came to a clearing in the forest. In the centre of the clearing stood a tall, leafless tree, its branches covered in frost. Emily stared at the tree in wonder, feeling a strange sense of awe.

As she looked closer, she noticed something strange. There was a figure standing next to the tree, wrapped in a cloak that seemed to blend into the snow. Emily squinted, trying to make out who or what it was, but the figure seemed to be a blur.

"Mom, Dad, do you see that?" Emily whispered, pointing towards the tree.

Her parents looked over and frowned, unable to see anything but the tree and the snow.

"What are you talking about, sweetie?" her mother asked.

"The figure next to the tree," Emily said, her voice trembling. "Can't you see it?"

Her parents exchanged a worried look, and her father stepped forward to investigate. But as he got closer to the tree, the figure vanished into thin air.

Emily's parents decided it was time to head back home, but Emily couldn't shake the feeling of unease that had settled over her. As they walked back through the forest, she kept looking over her shoulder, half-expecting to see the mysterious figure again.

By the time they made it back to their house, Emily was feeling exhausted and drained. Her fingers and toes were still numb, and she could feel a headache coming on. Her parents tucked her into bed with a hot water bottle and some warm blankets, hoping that she would recover soon.

But Emily didn't recover. Over the next few days, her condition worsened, and she started to develop a fever. Her parents took her to the doctor, who diagnosed her with pneumonia. They were shocked and scared, but the doctor reassured them that with proper care and medication, Emily would recover.

The next few weeks were a blur of doctor's visits, medication, and worry. Emily was confined to her bed, unable to move or even speak. Her parents were by her side day and night, trying to keep her comfortable and hopeful.

But despite their efforts, Emily's condition continued to worsen. Her fever spiked, and she started to hallucinate, seeing strange figures and hearing eerie noises. Her parents were at their wit's end, not knowing what to do.

One night, as Emily lay in bed, delirious with fever, she saw the figure from the clearing in the forest standing at the foot of her bed. It was draped in a cloak of frost, and its eyes gleamed with an otherworldly light.

"Who are you?" Emily whispered, her voice barely audible.

The figure didn't speak, but it reached out a hand and touched Emily's forehead. As soon as its icy fingers made contact with her skin, Emily felt a rush of cold energy flow through her body. The fever broke, and she felt a sudden sense of clarity.

The figure vanished, leaving behind a chill that lingered in the air. Emily's parents rushed into the room, relieved to see that their daughter was finally getting better.

Over the next few days, Emily made a full recovery. Her fever subsided, and she regained her strength. But she never forgot about the mysterious figure that had appeared to her that night.

As winter slowly gave way to spring, Emily spent hours poring over books and researching the folklore of the region. She discovered that the figure she had seen was known as the Frost King, a mythical being who was said to rule over the winter months.

According to legend, the Frost King had the power to bring about snowstorms and freezing temperatures, but he could also bring healing and renewal. It was said that those who were brave enough to seek him out could ask for his help in times of need.

Emily was fascinated by the Frost King and determined to learn more about him. She spent the next few years studying everything she could about winter folklore, becoming an expert in the process.

Years passed, and Emily grew up to be a successful writer, specializing in stories about winter and the cold. She wrote countless articles and books about the Frost King, spreading his legend far and wide.

But she never forgot about the night when the Frost King had appeared to her, bringing healing and hope in the depths of winter's cold. And every time she looked up at the snow-covered mountains, she felt a sense of wonder and magic, knowing that the Frost King was still out there, watching over the world and bringing renewal amid the cold.

Even though Emily had never seen the Frost King again, she felt his presence all around her. She could feel his icy breath on her skin whenever the wind blew, and she saw his reflection in the glittering ice crystals that formed on the windows on cold winter nights.

One day, as Emily was hiking in the mountains, she came across a small cave hidden among the rocks. Something drew her inside, and as she entered the dimly lit space, she felt a sudden chill in the air.

As her eyes adjusted to the darkness, she saw a figure standing in the shadows. It was the Frost King, his cloak of frost billowing around him in the cold air.

Emily felt a surge of excitement mixed with fear. She had spent years researching the Frost King, but she had never expected to meet him in person.

The Frost King spoke in a voice that sounded like the wind whistling through the trees. "You have sought me out, Emily," he said. "What is it that you seek?"

Emily took a deep breath and spoke from her heart. "I seek to understand the mysteries of winter," she said. "I want to know the secrets of the cold and the power of the frost."

The Frost King nodded slowly. "Very well," he said. "I will share with you the knowledge you seek but be warned - the power of the winter is not to be taken lightly. It can bring both beauty and destruction, and you must be prepared to face both."

And so the Frost King began to teach Emily the secrets of winter. He showed her how to read the signs of the coming snowstorms, how to track animals through the snow, and how to survive in the bitter cold.

He also taught her about the beauty of winter - the way the snow sparkled like diamonds in the sunlight, the way the ice formed delicate patterns on the windows, and the way the trees glistened with a layer of frost.

As Emily listened to Frost King's words, she felt a sense of wonder and awe. She realized that the cold could be both harsh and beautiful, both dangerous and healing. And she knew that she had much more to learn about the mysteries of winter.

Years later, Emily wrote a book about her experiences with the Frost King, sharing with the world the secrets she had learned about the cold and the power of the frost. And every winter, as the snow fell and the wind howled, she remembered the lessons she had learned from the Frost King, and felt a deep sense of gratitude for the beauty and wonder of the season.

As Emily's book gained popularity, she received many invitations to speak at conferences and events all over the world. People were fascinated by her stories of the Frost King and the secrets of winter, and she soon became a renowned expert on the subject.

But even as she travelled the world and met many people, Emily never forgot the lessons she had learned from the Frost King. She continued to spend time in the mountains every winter, watching the snow fall and feeling the chill in the air. And every time she saw the delicate patterns of frost on the windows, or heard the wind whistling through the trees, she felt a deep sense of connection to the world around her.

Years passed, and Emily grew old. She continued to write and teach about winter, but she knew that her time was growing short. As she lay in her bed one cold winter night, she felt a chill in the air and knew that the Frost King had come to visit her one last time.

She opened her eyes and saw the figure standing at the foot of her bed, just as she had so many years ago. But this time, there was no fear in her heart - only a sense of peace and acceptance.

The Frost King reached out a hand and touched Emily's forehead once more, and she felt a rush of cold energy flow through her body. But this time, it was not a healing energy - it was a gentle release, a letting go of all the burdens and cares of her long life.

As Emily closed her eyes and let out a final breath, she felt the Frost King's cloak of frost wrap around her like a soft blanket. And at that moment, she knew that she had become one with the cold and the winter and that her spirit would live on forever in the icy beauty of the season.

The world mourned Emily's passing, but her legacy lived on. Her book continued to inspire generations of winter enthusiasts, and her teachings about the power and beauty of the cold helped many people find solace and healing in the darkest months of the year.

And every winter, as the snow fell and the wind howled, people all over the world remembered Emily and the lessons she had learned from the Frost King. They gathered around fires, told stories, and celebrated the magic of the winter season.

As for the Frost King himself, he continued to roam the mountains and the forests, whispering his secrets to those who were brave enough to seek him out. Some said that he was a symbol of death and coldness, while others saw him as a protector of the natural world, a force of balance and renewal.

But no matter how people perceived him, they all agreed on one thing: the Frost King was a powerful and mysterious figure, a symbol of the beauty and danger of winter, and a reminder that even in the darkest, coldest months, there is always a glimmer of hope and wonder to be found.

And so the years turned, and the seasons came and went. Each winter brought its unique beauty and challenges, as the snow piled up and the cold wind blew. But through it all, the memory of Emily and the Frost King endured, is a testament to the power of the human spirit and the magic of the natural world.

As the world changed and technology advanced, many people began to forget the simple pleasures of winter - the crunch of snow underfoot, the taste of hot cocoa by the fire, and the joy of sledging and skating with friends and family. But there were always those who remembered, who held on to the traditions of their ancestors and passed them down to the next generation.

And so the Frost King continued to live on, a symbol of the enduring magic of winter, and a reminder that even in the coldest, darkest months, there is always a spark of light and warmth to be found…