The ice mountain's minions were swiftly being dealt with as the fire kingdom's people rallied behind their revived princess. Blistering flame and ice made clouds of steam rise to the heavens, enshrouding the kingdom. Amid the chaos, PB makes her way from Morrow's roost. Where the junk was Lady? Morrow had frost and stiff wings so flying on her would be suboptimal. She rounds a turn to go for the morgue. Maybe the rainicorn was still mourning. From the corner of her eye, Peps comes out around the bend of the corridor.
"Peps! Have you seen-"
Her voice cuts short when she sees someone following Peps. She saw those boots first. Those red boots like the ones Marceline has a pair of… Wearing them was the dark suited form of Hunson Abadeer, lord of the Nightosphere.
"H- YOU!" She balks, "What are YOU doing here?!"
"Hello there, Princess. Sorry but I'm not exactly here to chat…" He picks one of his long, pointed ears, "Where's my little monster?"
"Miss Abadeer, ahem, your highness…" Peps coughs on the side.
"Yes, yes, where is my daughter, Marceline?" Hunson flicks off a bit of ear booger.
"She's gone after the Ice King," PB sighs, "And we're a bit busy here too."
"What? You let her go out there after the nut nearly killed her?" An edge of disapproval creeps into Hunson's voice and he looks with scrutiny at the princess, "I thought you had feelings for her. Or so she said…"
"Wh- What…" That caught her off guard, but she quickly recollects herself, albeit with a bit of a blush, "I-It's not like I can stop her if she has her mind set on it! She has… feelings for the Ice King and… some junk… And she isn't some kid…"
She falters a bit. Hunson half sneers, but in such a way it almost seems like a grimace or a baring of his fangs. He breathes in her face through his teeth, emitting an oddly pitched sound. It sounded like a whistle or woodwind, but not of this world. The princess holds her ground and looks into his eyes. His breath was cold, colder to the soul than the body.
"… You know she is too kind, my Marcy…"
"…? What are you-"
"If you care about her, princess… You should know what you have to do."
She looks at him with slight bemusement. But the next few nanoseconds allow her mind to process his suggestion. And her eyes widen with realization.
"That's … But I can't-"
"Oh, you can, princess. You're smart, aren't you?" Hunson's mouth curls more into a smile, "You need to do it, because Marceline won't be able to. No matter how much she thinks she means it… She's too attached to that old fool."
You have to kill the Ice King.
"You'd do it for Marcy, wouldn't you? It'd just break her heart otherwise… She'd freeze up before him. You know she could never. And then..."
"Finn and Jake are-"
"I know, I know… but can you really expect them to do anything? They've failed before, haven't they? And who's to say Marcy would just stand there and take it, watch them cut him down? No... my little monster is too feisty for that..."
PB remains silent. She hadn't thought of that part.
"Hear me out, princess…"
Hunson takes out something from behind him. The princess instantly recognizes the squirming form of Bella Noche, the same one which had scrambled out from Marceline's wound.
"Gya! Ngh! L-lemme go!" The little being of anti-magic squeaks in a high-pitched chipmunk voice as he struggles against the demon lord's grasp.
"This thing can kill the magic user. All we need to do, is have your brain power figure out how to take out its anti-magic and use it to, let's say… force the old coot to finally call it quits."
"That's… verrückt…" PB mutters that, but her face is not in much shock, "It's just… It just might…"
"It just might work?" Hunson grins, "Yes, it will. So… shall we get working?"
The princess seemed to still be in thought. But she wasn't protesting. It was becoming clear, and the plan was forming. Hunson's grin was unrelenting, as he knew the hook was on.
"I… don't have a lot of time."
"Ooo is running out of that too. And fast," Hunson replies, "So, better act quick, princess."
PB takes out her usual specimen canister. She typically carries backups around to pick up anything interesting. Unscrewing the lid, she holds it out so Hunson could stuff the squirming thing in. Bella Noche gives a high-pitched squeak as he is contained. Inside, he bangs against the glass with his little fists in vain.
"Well, I see those gears turning in that gummy head of yours…" Hunson says toothily.
"I will come up with something."
She said that with the strangest sense of resolution she'd felt since the whole shebang began with the ice age. She was sure. Perhaps it was the despair when she saw the Vampire Queen lifeless on the experiment table. Maybe it was the immense relief she felt when she woke up. It was… a completely different level almost, compared to when Marceline nearly died from Hierophant's poison.
She was done with that.
The Ice King didn't matter to her. What she couldn't do was let Marceline get hurt anymore.
"A gun would do nicely… a blaster maybe with a spread effect…"
Hunson grins as the princess goes to retreat to her labs. She will come up with something. The demon's whispering had done its work. Peps looks at the demon with slight annoyance.
"There, happy now? Would it kill you to actually help out though?" The candy folds his arms.
"Don't be silly, Peps…" Hunson puts a finger to his lips in a gesture of silence, "All I want is for my little monster to be okay… I don't like her hurt, and the princess thinks the same. We're both after the same thing."
He eyes the disapproving candy curiously, "What? You're so uppity these days."
"I am a butler of the Candy Kingdom now, sir. And I have to keep the Princess' interests at heart. Miss Abadeer is simply not a good influence in the end."
"Well… Maybe," Hunson shrugs.
There is another low boom outside as the fight rages. Waves of heat and cold clash as the fire elemental in Phoebe takes hold, blowing away the chills with brilliant solar flares. But the cold is relentless, and the ice hydra respawns its heads.
"I suppose I could lend a hand while I wait for the end… Hehe… but there's not a soul in it for me."
The ice cavern was more treacherous than any one of them remembered. The former pad of the king, with the leopard print bed, hamper of dirty laundry, and other silly things… It was all gone. All that remains are the spires of ice, like teeth in the cavern. Avoiding the jagged edges, the trio weave around in the frigid chamber and wind their way deeper into the colossus.
"Haa…" Finn breathes out puffs of vapor into his hands, "S-So Marcy… How'd ya wake up?"
"I just did," Marceline keeps her eyes ahead, "There wasn't much to it… I'm a vampire demon guys. How long did you think I'd stay down?"
"I'unno… everyone was pretty darn worried and Peebs was pretty scared you weren't healin'…"
"Whatever. Let's just stop this winter."
They see that the ways get more and more crowded within. The jagged ice now grinded as though it were the organs of a living thing. It wasn't going to be long before the colossus would be up and running again. There were already creaks being heard in its foundation as it moved.
"Gah…" Jake stares about at the latest triple fork, "These ways all look the same now! Which way's down?!"
"Let's take this one!" Marceline flies into one randomly. She didn't have much time to think. There was no time to waste. The boys follow her.
They couldn't tell if it was correct, the way they went. But they saw the ice penguins below, and it seemed they were on track. The familiar glacial parasites of the mountain were now grown to about three to five times their normal size, but they at least remained ignorant of the crew sneaking by overhead. It starts to seem like a more familiar path now as they go.
"How do we beat him again exactly?" Jake says for once, "We don't really got a plan of attack or anything. And I kinda don't want to be frozen into a block for Glob to pick up."
"Just break the crown, yeah…" Marceline says in a half-mumble, more so to herself, "That should work as usual."
"Huh? What? I said let's just get the crown. Usual biz and all."
"Um… if you say so…" The boy says with slight apprehension.
Eventually they arrive before a massive corridor before a pair of icy doors jammed shut like a pair of jaws. Through its opaque surface, they could just barely make out the form of Ice King, with his arms stretched out at his sides, and the gems on the crown radiating an eerie light. Around his body and emanating from the ice is a soft bluish white glow. This cavern somehow feels even colder than the rest of the icy bowels before it.
Even through the opaque ice, the Ice King's glare was palpable on the three. Finn clutches his sword. Marceline shivered inward but grew one of her arms into a large black claw. Seeing them on the defensive, a goading voice, reminiscent of the Ice King, reverberates throughout the cavern. But it is far more ancient sounding.
"Still alive? How irksome…"
"Stop this, Ice King!" Finn says bravely, "We don't wanna hafta fight you!"
"Yeah, just stop this winter already man! You're makin' it a real bummer for some people!" Jake balls his fists.
The voice merely chuckles.
"There is only cold justice in the world, as it should be… Soon it will all be frozen in the Ice Age… and the evil will be encased with it all. The people will be safe, undying, forever."
"That's a load'a junk!" Jake gives a mad cry of grief as he flies at the ice wall with his fists to smash the wizard, "TV ain't safe! HE'S GONE!"
The dog slams into the barrier of ice with a solid smack, not making a dent, even as he begins to relentlessly pound on the hard surface. Finn and Marceline jump in, the boy joining with his sword to try and slash the ice. Marceline changes into her large bat form to try and batter it as well. As cracks begin to show, the voice is oddly calm and unperturbed by their efforts. The crown gems seem to glow brighter, almost as if mocking them.
"Struggle as you may. But even you, blue comet, will not avail! This world is not your fodder!"
"I don't understand whatever biz you're laying down… But you aren't protecting anyone here!" Finn pants a bit as the cold saps his stamina a bit. But his cold hands held fast to his blade.
"Simon… Simon!" Marceline cries out as she tries to dig her claws into any cracks to pry the whole thing open, "You're still in there right?! Don't give up, you crazy old man!"
"Grr…!" The voice turns a little garbled, almost demonic, "You pests! Tiny, uncomprehending things! Just like the old elementals!"
Claws of ice grow out from the ground. They move as though prehensile to try and swat the attackers down.
"Woah!" Jake sways a bit with his spaghetti legs to avoid a slash. As Finn holds on tight, he spots the chance they had been looking for.
"Hahh!" Finn takes a leap of faith, jumping off Jake's back and just barely jamming the tip of his sword into a miniscule ledge of ice. The boy dangles there a bit, trying to hold to the ledge.
"Finn!" Marceline dodges a swipe before smashing back with her own claw, shattering the ice, "Ugh, come on…!"
"That won't work, I'm afraid, my little monster."
A small poot of orange flies towards the base of the ice wall. Within the next second, there is a sudden explosion of intense heat. It nearly flings Finn away from his secured hanging spot with the subsequent shockwave.
"Ugh…!" Marceline turns to the source of the voice behind them, "D-Dad?!"
The lord of the Nightosphere stands at the entry of the cavern, a portal of dark flames wreathing his being, issuing forth from a crack in the ice. His form is on the verge of becoming his true demonic self, with oozy tentacles waving about. Even more surprising is that, standing right next to him, is Princess Bubblegum. She seems tricked out for a cyberpunk fight with metallic gear over her pink insulated parka and snow visors.
"Peebles!" Jake gawks a bit at the monarch, "What are you- yow!"
The dog is too preoccupied dodging to finish his thought. But a small nick spreads a bit of ice along his forearm.
"I'm ok, I'm ok...!" Jake painfully wrings his rubbery arm to crush the ice.
"PB! Dad! What are you guys…" Marceline hisses at a narrow miss, "What are you doing here?!"
"Why, here to lend a hand, my dear little monster!"
At his command, searing black acid goo slashes in a wave at the ice, carving out a significant hunk where the kids couldn't make a dent. The Ice King snarls and makes some hand gestures in the ice before seemingly floating away from them. The ice wall suddenly grows a face and growls. Its eyes fire icy bolts out at them.
"Simon!" Marceline tries to make her way to the carved-out ice hole before it closes.
Hunson narrows his eyes slightly, "Go."
"Don't need to tell me...!" PB grunts a bit and taps something on her shoe. It transforms and a series of boosters pop out of her sole. With a simple step, she is launched towards the hole as the ice creeps back to close it. Both she and the vampire queen get through just as the surface closes.
Finn is not as lucky as he swung and misses his chance, landing with a solid smack against the ice as it closes.
He slides down until his rump touches the cold floor. Small puffs of mist form as he pants. In frustration, he makes another slash at the ice. The blue stone in his sword suddenly glows, and he hears a voice in his head.
You need to focus right now.
"H-Huh?" The boy blinks.
"Well Finny boy, Jake," Hunson chuckles, "Long time no see."
"What're you even doing here, Marceline's dad?" Jake asks suspiciously.
"I just had to make sure my Marcy would be ok. Meanwhile you two will have to fix the rest of this," Hunson gestures vaguely at the ice around them, "The King is distracted right now, you're welcome. So, you can take control here from the nexus."
The ice face growls, but Hunson swiftly silences it with a searing slap of his acidic tentacle. The face is slurred so much that it no longer has eyes or even a mouth to shoot with. Jake smashes the last of the ice claws.
We can do it. We can wrest control of the colossus.
The boy's body was glowing again with that blue energy. His eyes were slowly changing light blue as well, and he began to float. He faces the face of the ice wall. Revealed to his eyes suddenly was a complex net of magic controls and safes all gilt into the ice... wizard eyes.
"I... I'm gonna try, Jake. I think I gotta do this."
"What-what? Don't do anything stupid, Finn!"
"The hero will be fine," Hunson smirks and begins to teleport out, his part done, "Even the ancients can't stand against the cosmic forces after all, hehe..."
Marceline had barely slipped past the ice. PB is running on ahead of her, with her fancy tech shoes. The vampire flies after her. They proceed down a makeshift tunnel through the ice, where the Ice King likely fled ahead.
"YO PB!" She shouts, "What... What were you doing with my dad?!"
"There's no time, Marceline! Stay back!" Bubblegum shouts back, not sparing a look, "Let me take care of this!"
"YOU?! Don't be stupid!" Marceline nearly reaches her now, "You're supposed to be watching over the castle like always! Let me!"
Before PB can protest, Marceline tackles her to the ground with a sudden burst of speed. The boots could not sustain their weight combined. After they spun a few loops, the boots sputter and they both end up on the floor.
"Ugh... What..." Marceline picks herself up, "What the heck are you thinking P-"
Her voice catches in her throat when she sees the muzzle of the gun in her face. On the other end, finger on the trigger, is Bubblegum.
"P-Peebs...?!" Marceline hides the quiver in her voice and growls, "What're you...!?"
"Marceline..." The monarch's voice barely shook, and her hand was steady. Her eyes betrayed nothing as her finger squeezed the trigger. But her words conveyed everything.