Hello, readers. Before this story begins, I'd like to make a disclaimer. This story is currently not in progress. This was in development in April 2020 and progress has stopped since then. I've been wanting to get back into finishing this story, but I've been losing commitment. However, if you find this story to your liking and would like it to continue, please leave a review or a PM. I hope that enjoy this pilot chapter, regardless.
Serving as a leader of a kingdom was never an easy task, and though Anna knew what was expected of her when she was coronated as Queen of Arendelle, the work was still strenuous. There were diplomatic actions to be made with nations across the continent, negotiations with foreign traders, interest groups within her own kingdom to 'listen' to, and children to entertain. Now, her husband, King Kristoff, and her companion, Olaf, definitely helped her alleviate some of the work and stress, but there were just some things that no amount of help can do. She and Kristoff took turns with the tedious work, and if it was possible, they either stuck together at the issue in need, or split their work like teammates. Hopefully by the end of the first week they would adjust to their new responsibilities.
Though this was the seventh day as leaders of Arendelle, the amount of stress that resulted from this new occupation was still lingering. It was enough to impact their sleep schedule so that Anna couldn't not rise from her bed without a foggy brain, and the same went for King Kristoff. Both of them hardly wished to free themselves from the heavy and warm bed sheets that suffocated them to an everlasting slumber. Unfortunately, duty called and Anna had to make the first move. She pulled herself, with a great struggle, out of her bed with heavy eyelids, a hairdo that rivaled Merida, and a stinky mouth. Sitting up, she managed to groan to Kristoff to get up, but he was harder to motivate. No matter. She looked back and crawled over to him to peck his exposed cheek. It usually did the trick. His eyelids twitched and a murmur escaped from his mouth in refusal. Tough morning. Anna went for the neck as a back-up plan. At that moment, he turned his head slightly towards her and croaked a 'good morning'. They embraced for a moment and it was quite a while before any of them actually got out of bed.
Today was gonna be a tough last day. There was a meeting to be made with the kingdom's real estate council about the project for building expansion across homes, and right after she needed to find a way, with Kristoff's help, to incite the Middle Eastern traders to make business at Arendelle. Her last meeting with them was not favorable, though part of the reason was because of her lack of experience in bargaining. Without them, her kingdom's money had nowhere to move. After that, there was to be a tour about the kingdom for three solid hours, reconciliation with some more foreign powers, and details that Anna and Kristoff didn't need to be reminded of. Serving as rulers was no piece of cake.
Anna prepared her appearance for the first morning meeting by the vanity: she tucked in her now neatly arranged hair above her freshened mouth and her wonderful queen dress. Unlike the one she wore six days ago when she was being coronated, this one's dark olive colors were replaced with a dark purple shade. When everything was ready, she left her vanity and proceeded down towards the meeting room in the castle on the first floor. When she reached the room, the guards by the door informed her that her council was running late today. It ticked her off for a bit, but she brightened up when she noticed she could pull herself away for a moment and wander out. She couldn't leave too far from the meeting room, but she could at least poke her head out by the entrance of her castle. If she caught the council members coming their way, Anna would walk with them back inside.
She strolled towards the inner gates and stood to the side breathing in the fresh air. Anna hadn't had a time to pause life likes this since Elsa had stopped by for a round of charades after her coronation. Now, Anna could let her mind loose. "Ugh... these last few days have been really stressful." For a moment, she reflected about herself as of now and her sister when she was queen for a good three years. "Now I have much more respect for the things she had to deal with... on top of her powers!" The thought of her sister did grant her some hope about making through the week. "Well, I know she would be smiling for me regardless... oh, brilliant!" She realized that an evening celebrating with Elsa on her first week as queen was a splendid idea. With her and Kristoff and Olaf, they could even play another game of charades! It was to be a perfect evening! She returned inside to prepare a letter to send to her with Gale's assistance.
Or at least she was going to. There was a whizz through the air, but it was not the type that sounded like Gale's presence or a really strong wind. In fact, the whizz was not coming from the air at all, but rather the sky. Anna looked up to identify the source of the noise, and she saw something coming from the clouds. Shielding the sunlight from her eyes, she squinted to find the source of that strange sound. She never heard of it before. It sounded... mechanical. Suddenly, the noise cut off just before something flew from the clouds. Anna quickly assumed the thing was an avian bird, but another glance at it disproved that theory. The thing was too large to be a bird. The thing didn't look like it had feathers either. Instead of wings that bent at the joints so a bird could create momentum, it was perfectly straight. The thing looked like a vessel of some sort, but what vessel could fly in the air?
The thing even had two motionless blades at the front, and it was clearly losing in altitude. In fact, the front of this thing was aiming downwards, and if she formed an imaginary line in front of it, and assuming that it followed the path of this line, it appeared that this thing was hitting... straight into the populace center of Arendelle. Her people would be struck by this falling thing!
Anna rushed across the bridge and past the gates to warn her people to get away from the estimated area of impact. The citizens were running in the opposite direction towards the castle, and she bumped into a number of them along the way. She saw it coming down way too fast for her to alert her people, but she wouldn't surrender to being an actionless queen. However, she stopped in her run when the thing tore through the first building. It continued down its path, destroying the homes of her people like a bad wolf blowing down a house made with hay straws. There was nothing she was able to do at that moment in time but feel helpless.
The thing, after tearing through the eighth building, finally found itself trapped into the structure of the ninth before it caused the infrastructure to collapse into a heap of debris.
With the thing finally still, Queen Anna ran past the outer gates to examine the thing that brought ruin to a sector of her kingdom. Along the way, she was relieved to find that her people were mostly unharmed as they limped about the kingdom. It seemed everyone was lucky enough to not get caught by the disaster. Anna finally caught up to the thing, and it was even more exotic to look at than from afar. For starters, the thing appeared to look similar to a box with windows and a large space inside like a house. She noticed that its exterior was mostly colored with a red and white paint, and there were words on the side of it. It read: "Nook Inc." Her people approached behind her to look at the mysterious thing that fell down from the sky.
Suddenly, the doors (Anna didn't even know the thing had doors in the first place) of the thing opened and three distinct figures were crawling out. They were distinct because they were not human, or at least did not look like such. Their height was much smaller than a human, and they were covered in fur like a raccoon. In fact, they looked like brown raccoons with the exception of no visible mouth. There were similarities, however, as these figures did wear green shirts on their torso, and the biggest of the three figures had white pants. These three filed out onto the cobblestone path coughing for a good while, yet oblivious to the crowd that swarmed them.
The people reacted with bewilderment and appall. Anna's face had hardly moved from the sight of these new faces, until one of them had looked at her. It was the large one, and he quickly looked about him as he stood up. Realizing all the damage that he had done to these poor people in the last minute, he gave a sheepish look. Somehow, it spoke, and his cute little snout wiggled a bit when he did so. "I am so sorry about the damage I caused to your people. I hope we could make amends with you about this situation. Yes, yes."
Well, so much for building expansion.
Queen Anna ordered an emergency cancellation of all of her previous meetings and events that were to occur that day, and it seemed to be the right call. With a wrench thrown in the gears, it disrupted the functionality of everyone's day by a large amount. Anna needed to get to the bottom of this. Shortly after, she had the raccoons detained and brought to the throne room with King Kristoff and Olaf to her side. Given what has happened, she's going to need all the alleviating she can get. However, even with the door closed and all access to the room shut, Anna couldn't even utter single word. She was conflicted with what type of persona she should approach them with: the bad queen, the good queen, or somewhere in between? Her brain was also melting about the concept of their existence. How was something so alien, so strange, and yet so cuuuuute walk right into her throne room?!
Anna was stunned for perhaps a good minute before Kristoff and Olaf noticed her open mouth. "Um, Anna? Arendelle to Anna, hello?" Kristoff called as he waved his hand in front of her eyes.
Olaf offered to chip in with a cheery tone. "Maybe she's having a reality crisis where everything in the kingdom is falling apart just when things were about to make sense!"
"Olaf, not now." Kristoff opted for a more direct approach as he lightly shoved her shoulder.
"Huh?" Anna recoiled back as she looked at her King.
"Anna, our guests," he gestured towards the coons.
"Oh, right..." Anna mumbled before she stared off at the coons again. Her mind was dead again after trying to work up an introduction.
It concerned Kristoff and Olaf greatly that she wasn't responding. Kristoff asked again as he placed his hand on her arm. "Anna, what's wrong? How come you're not saying anything?"
She stuttered, "I- It'- It's be-" Her words were failing her so she instead pointed at the guests with an open palm and repeated. "How?!"
"What do you mean how?" Kristoff was giving a confused look.
"How are they here?! That thing, the timing of that thing, and them?! How?" She was crying out in a shocked and misunderstanding tone, as if the reality that she had once believed suddenly came crashing down on her. "I- This doesn't ma-"
Kristoff tried to offer some breathing assistance to calm her nerves. "Anna, take a deep breath and-"
"But- They- I-"
"I told you she was having a crisis." Olaf commented with a smirking face.
The couple did not approve. "Olaf!"
A voice interrupted their display of a disheveled team. It came from the biggest member of the three raccoons. "Excuse me, but may I make an explanation as to why you're all feeling this way?"
That voice got them to stop raising their voices at each other. They shut their mouths and turned the other way before they reset themselves to their previous position. At last, Anna was able to find her voice again albeit she still stuttered. "...g-go on."
The big coon with the half-open eyelids spoke up. "Before I do, I think it would be better if we introduced ourselves, hm? My name is Tom Nook, the founder and president of Nook Incorporated. The younger ones you see before you are Timmy and Tommy, my pupils." Each of them waved at the royalty with an uplifted and jolly face, given the irony of what fell outside the castle.
Queen Anna sighed to herself. "Good, at least I can start with that." She introduces herself first before following with the rest of her team. "My name is Queen Anna of Arendelle. This is King Kristoff, to my left, and my companion, Olaf, over here." Kristoff gave an awkward wave in return while Olaf was jubilantly waving back. The adorable snowman even mouthed the word 'Hello' back in response.
"It is great to meet you all," Tom responded in a warm manner before he quickly became guilt-ridden. "I must admit that this entire situation is my fault. I did not check to make sure that the fuel tank for our airplane was full before we departed. We ran out of fuel right above your kingdom. I am very, very sorry about that!" He said, shaking side to side.
Anna was relieved that Tom appeared to be of good character, but there were some parts of his statement that puzzled her. "Well... I am glad that we've cleared that up. I accept your apology… but I have some questions about what you just said, if you don't mind," she stated in an accusing manner.
"Oh?" Tom tapped his chin. "Well, what would you like to know about?"
"Well… what is an airplane?"
"Oh?" Tom was surprised. "You never heard of an airplane?"
"Well, I don't mean to be rude," Kristoff disclaimed. "But we've never seen a walking raccoon either."
"Oh? You never seen someone like us before either?"
"Umm… nope!" Anna shook her head trying to show a polite smile while Kristoff face-palmed. Olaf joined in on the face palming, too.
"Hm. Well, I figure I could have made an educated guess on that, after being around here for a while. I haven't seen a single cat, gorilla, seagull, dodo bird, or deer around. Anyhow, you asked about airplanes, yes? Well, a plane is a vehicle used to fly in the air."
"To fly in the air?"
"Yes, yes, your majesty." He nodded with enthusiasm. "People use them all the time to travel, or at least they do from where I come from."
Huh." Anna was left in wonder as her eyes looked up. That 'thing' is called an airplane... She tried picturing a sky filled with those 'airplanes' and people traveling in them. So, it works like a ship, but in the sky?
Kristoff took this opportunity to continue for her. "Are planes supposed to end up like the one outside the castle?"
The flashback to the wreck that he caused made him go sheepish. "Well if the pilot is good, then no. They're not supposed to. I guessed I'm not that good of a pilot then, huh?" Tommy and Timmy shook their heads at that statement, and Tom shrugged in resignation. "I guess it's only sensible since I got my license today."
Anna spoke up again, but now she looked interested as she had her chin resting on her propped-up fist as opposed to her petrified posture before. "Where were you headed with this 'airplane'?"
"Ah, we were all on our way to an airport to get ready for a venture!"
"Wait," She interrupted. "I'm sorry to interrupt, but... what is an airport?"
"Well, I guess in your terms it's like a sea port, but for airplanes."
"Ohhh!" She resumed trying to picture a sea-based port but full of the airplanes Tom Nook had crashed in.
Anna's pondering was a sign for him to take over. "What kind of venture were you planning for?" Kristoff asked.
"Well, we're about to get ready for a Deserted Island Getaway venture! It's a new package that the Nook Inc. had been preparing for a very long time, and I've been very proud how it turned out, yes, yes." Tom was beaming with pride as he talked about it. "Our trip to the airport was to allow us to prepare the place for new villagers who are ready to make a new life at a deserted island!" Suddenly, he let out an unhappy sigh. "But as we can see, we're not going to make it to the airport anytime soon with the airplane at its current state."
"Right," Kristoff agreed. The former ice-gatherer had no idea how an airplane works, but even common sense teaches that if something looks broken, it most likely is. He looked back to his partner who was still thinking intensely. "Well?"
Anna whispered into his ear. "I think they're honest and really kind at heart. We should give them a chance and ask if we can help them out."
"But what about the damage they've done?" he whispered, concerningly. "Are we not going to talk about that?"
"Ooohh... yeah, you're right. But first..." She looked back at Tom. "So, would there be any chance we can help you with your airplane?"
Tom's eyes lit up in delight. "Ah, yes, yes. We have diagrams of parts for our plane, but their resources are going to be hard to find. If you are able to source for those resources, we could most definitely repair our plane and be on our way."
"We would love to, Tom, on the benefit that you can also help us out in return. The thing is, your plane managed to destroy a number of our people's homes. These people have already been taken care of in terms of their temporary displacement, but I'm sure they would really like to return back to homes just as it was. I was wondering if you'd like to make amends with that."
"Ah, I presume you'd like us to repair those buildings for you, yes?"
"Exactly. If you can make it happen, we would gladly find the resources you would need to fix your airplane."
"I think that is an agreement we can come to!" Tom smiled (though the idea of a mouthless raccoon smiling remains a mystery). "I hate to ask for too much, but do you think you can provide us with a place to stay while we work with your people?"
"That can be arranged. I can also have an assistant secure a list of people who were affected by the disaster and send it to you. I can cover the tenant rates, free of charge, but the rest will have to be up to you. Do you think you'll need a loan to pay for everything you'll need for your temporary stay?"
"I appreciate the gesture, your majesty, but the Nook Inc. is fully prepared, yes, yes," he answered with confidence. "We shall persevere through these trying times, yes, yes!" The King and Queen were giving him a tilted head and confused look. Olaf looked at the two of them before he mimicked them with slight exaggeration.
Tom's arms were in a superhero pose as the hands were by his sides. "I think the Nook Inc. shall make a fine expansion at..." He paused for a moment as his arms flailed down. "I don't think you ever told us where we are, matter of fact."
"Oh right! Sorry," Anna sheepishly rubbed the back of her head. "Welcome to Arendelle, by the way."
"Arendelle!" Tom exclaimed. "Yes, yes." Timmy and Tommy nodded in excitement. A new place to meet new people, though it still won't beat the island that they were dreaming to go to.
Anna was feeling at ease due to their eccentric reaction to all of this. "Well, before we let you go, is there anything else you need? I mean, I feel that I'm hardly leaving you all with enough to get by."
Tom Nook assured with a happy face. "There's no need to worry, your majesty. We'll be just fine."
"A- alright, then," Anna said, unsurely. "I guess there's no need to keep you here. You may leave." She didn't even notice that she cracked a smile before they left.
"Thank you, your majesty. We'll hope to see you all soon." The three of them smiled (again, how did they do that is unknown) and left the throne room.
After the Nook family left the room and the door shut behind them, Anna, Kristoff, and Olaf were all that remained in the room. A sigh escaped from her mouth and a wave of exhaustion fell over her. Kristoff and Olaf looked at her with a concerned face. "What in the world just happened here?" She thought to herself. "I was talking to walking raccoons a second ago, and they were the best guests I ever had since I was coronated queen. Aside from Elsa, of course." She was comparing them to the diplomats and trade representatives that had arrived on her doorsteps. Out of all them, only the Nook Inc. had managed to make her entertained, at the very least.
Kristoff placed a wary hand on her shoulder. "Anna, are you okay?"
"Huh? Uh- yeah, sort of," she responded. "I guess I'm feeling a little better than before." A sense of discomfort still lingered in her mind, and it was festering. However, she can't recall what it was.
"Yeah," he agreed. "Hey, how about we just call it day? I think everyone's in the city had it rough this morning." Olaf nodded in agreement as he reached over to his side.
Anna gave a long sigh. "Yeah, that sounds like a go- oh darn it!" She cursed at herself as she stood up quickly and thrusted her fists downward.
"Anna, what is it?" Kristoff asked. He and Olaf quickly went up to her.
"Ugh... I just remember something that I forgot to talk about with Tom."
"What is it?" Olaf inquired.
"It's about the people! What are they going to think about three walking raccoons living at Arendelle for a while?!" Kristoff realized what her point was. He rested his head in his hands and groaned in frustration.
"It's too late to call them back, is it?" A heavy nod from Anna confirmed his suspicion. After much deliberation, he tried to give the best answer for the time being. "I guess we're going to have to leave it to the people to figure it out. Hopefully, we won't have to do anything about it. Maybe things will work out on their own."
As little as it helped Anna's concern, Kristoff was right. Even though they are rulers of Arendelle, they pledged with their hearts that they won't interfere with the livelihood of their people unless it was for the sake of equity and justice. As she, Kristoff, and Olaf retired to their own needs, Anna hoped that the Nook's temporary visa won't change the life at Arendelle too much. For now, she would have to take this new available time to catch up on some sleeping hours that she's been missing out on. Maybe this time she can wake up like a Disney princess.
Even though the servants were giving funny looks, whether it was in their sight or behind their backs, the Nooks didn't seem to care at all. They had a mission to resume their trip, and they thought it was fortunate that they would be able to serve the community while they worked towards that goal. The Nooks left the outer gates with the list and a charter with instructions on where they will be residing in. Timmy and Tommy Nook looked just as thrilled as Tom was about the whole 'community helping' gig. As they marched about the plaza, the citizens of Arendelle were staring at them and privately gossiping about their alien looks. None of the members in the pack seemed to notice as they just waved at the citizens in a friendly manner, which only resulted in even more confusion among the populace. Tommy assumed that the people were giving looks because he and Timmy looked like twins. To solve this, he pulled out a stick with an orange flag at the top and a white emblem of a leaf with a hole on one side; and he waved in the air as he smiled at them (the concept of Tommy smiling is just as confusing as Tom). He hoped he solved the confusion that was evident on the people's faces.
At the final turn of a block, they reached a small building that looked like a shop. It seemed to be empty, but perhaps that is because it used to have two stories before Nook Inc. made an emergency landing. Inside, there was debris everywhere from wood chips to ruined furniture. It was an unsuitable living environment for a family of four to live in, hence it was abandoned.
Though Tom felt shame as he examined the state of the place, he quickly replaced it with a staggering optimism. He faced Timmy and Tommy after they entered inside and made a proclamation. "Here we are. Though it's not quite ready to be a comforting place, I am sure that with enough hard work and elbow grease we can get this place ready. I think this would also be a great time to practice our skills and mentality for the deserted island lifestyle, hm?" Timmy and Tommy nodded in agreement. "Hm. I think so, too. We'll have to find a way to get enough money to reopen Nook's Homes here. I think starting with a housing agency is the quickest way to find ourselves in quicksand, yes, yes. Not even poor Lloid is with us."
A small peep came from Timmy, the not-holding-a-flag coon. "What if we turn this shop into Nook's Cranny for the time being? That way, we can garner enough money to fund a Nook's Homes." Tommy seemed to like the idea as he waved his flag enthusiastically.
Tom was ecstatic at the suggestion. "That's a splendid idea! We did bring some valuable wares with us, if I recall correctly, hm?" Timmy and Tommy nodded. To be clear, the wares that are in question are not in the airplane that rests at the top of a heap. Instead, these items are in the pockets of Tom, Timmy, and Tommy. How their wares were able to fit inside their pockets despite the lack of a bulge on Tom's pants and the lack thereof pockets for Timmy and Tommy, however, is a trademark secret of theirs. "Excellent! Let's get to work and turn this shop into the Nook's Cranny we know and love!" Tom cheered.
From dusk until midnight, the Nooks took their sweepers and cleaned out the jeepers. Wooden debris was recycled into lumber, which was wonderful for future crafting projects. Display stands were cleaned and shelves were dusted. Timmy and Tommy even went as far as giving the place a whole new paint job from some paint cans that had in their 'pockets'. There was even electricity in the shop thanks to a solar-powered generator kit that Tom Nooks had stored in his 'pockets'! (Seriously, these Nooks Inc. pockets were getting out of hand!) Mystery and absurdity aside, the Nooks' Cranny was furnished, decorated, and ready for opening by 8AM in the morning. There was even enough material left to hand-craft a sign for posting outside the shop.
The Nooks stood outside the shop facing the sign. They felt mighty proud of all the humble work they did. "It's almost like we're back in the city," Tom noted. He laughed, "I'm proud of both of you, and even for myself." Timmy and Tommy were dancing in glee upon the praise. "Now, let's settle in for the night. We'll have a big day tomorrow." A hard day at work deserves a hard night at rest, so the Nooks tucked themselves to sleep that evening excited that tomorrow was their first day opening up shop in a kingdom!
Though yesterday was a past full of chaos and confusion, today was a time to recover from it. For the first time in a week, Anna woke up like a beauty. Kristoff was even able to surprise her with breakfast as a late-celebration for surviving her first week as Queen of Arendelle due to being able to lie in some sleeping hours for himself. After they shared a moment, they dressed up proper for the day and braced themselves for the meetings that signified the resume of their lifestyles. It was a bore.
Fortunately, this was one of their more relaxed days. There were a couple of busy works and meetings to tend to and attend to, but it only took away their morning. Their afternoon was free. The two thought it was an opportunity to check up on the citizens personally, so they changed their attire into more comfortable clothes and walked out the gates with Olaf and Sven. The citizens of Arendelle were swarming them as usual, and they greeted each of them in kind. Though, the crowd was significantly smaller than before. Not that they minded it.
As they toured the city, they noticed that a particular section of the street was very crowded. Too crowded for how Arendelle shops usually do during busy hours. Kristoff counted at least 50 heads that were lined up on the street, and the fact that they were in a line makes it more puzzling.
"Well, that's new," Anna said. She was puzzled at why this particular street was full of people.
Kristoff leaned towards her ear. "You think this has to do with the Nooks from yesterday?"
Anna's eyes widened in horror. "Well let's not wait to find out!" She hoped that the Nooks hadn't caused too much trouble for her people, but with all the changes that has been happening recently she's gotten really worried. As they approached closer, it became clearer to them that all of these people were lined up waiting to enter a single shop. It befuddled Anna even more. "W- what kind of shop could all these people line up for th-" She found her answer as she stopped to read the sign, or rather signs, that were displayed above the shop. The first one was "Nook's Cranny", and there was a pair of windows above it before there was another sign that read "Nook's Homes".
"Oh," was the only word Kristoff, Anna, and Olaf said in response.
When Nook's Cranny opened up for the first time, the citizens were initially skeptical. People walked by this shop, but only a few people dared to give it a glance. It's not necessarily their fault as the shop was really bizarre-looking to their standards. It stayed that way throughout the morning until a curious boy entered inside and saw all the mysteries and profound wares the Nooks had in store. He came out of the shop with an inflatable hammock, and as soon as the public saw what he was holding the rest was history. The Nooks accumulated so much money they opened up Nook's Homes at the stroke of noon after completing construction of a second floor! They were forced to split their efforts soon after the home agency was open for business; so, Timmy and Tommy continued to work at Nook's Cranny while Tom Nook worked upstairs with the people on the list that was given to him from yesterday.
Down at Nook's Cranny, the shop was bustling with so much business that they had to put a limit on the amount of people allowed inside the store. Still, the people were determined to find out what kind of wares Nook's Cranny has to sell.
"So, what's this gadget here?" A man asked as he pointed at a brass thingamabob.
Timmy explained to him. "That right there is an alto saxophone."
"An alty what-a-nome?"
"It's an instrument. Here, let me show you." Timmy took the instrument off the stand and played a couple notes on it.
The man was amazed by the sound that the brass instrument created. "Woah! I've never heard a sound like that! How much is it?"
"It's roughly around 530 coins," Timmy piped up.
"I'm sold!" He exclaimed as he handed Timmy the bag of gold. The two shook hands and the customer left the door a happy man with an... alto saxophone.
Timmy and Tommy were both approaching customers throughout the day. Profoundly, neither of them was attending the register for there was no need to have a cash register in the first place. Any gold coins that were collected was placed into their 'pockets' (which would be really useful for everyone else if only they explained how it works).
"Hey mom!" A young girl jerked at her mother's dress to coax her to come to one of the products on the display (and buy it, of course). "Look at this! Isn't it so pretty?"
"Oh..." the mother moaned. "She wants me to buy... that?!"
Tommy was approaching them. "Hello! I see you're looking at this sand castle right here."
"Um... yes, but..." she was about to refuse, but the begging and pleading from her naughty little daughter was too much. She knew this was going to sound stupid to her husband, and she was worried she was going to look dumb right in front of everyone else in the room. "Alright, honey. How much is it?"
"Let's see, this one is about 380 coins," Tommy replied.
"Ugh," she groaned. It's a steep price, but anything's worth it for her daughter. She withdrew a bag of coins and handed it to Tommy with hesitation. "Here."
Tommy smiled as he accepted the bag of coins and stored it in his 'pockets'. He proceeded to pick up the sand castle and hand it to her. "Here you go!"
"Uh- what?" Despite that the sand castle was, as a matter of fact, a real and genuine sand castle made up of real sand that was collected from a beachside, it stayed intact despite having the platform removed from it! She had expected it to fall apart as soon as Tommy's hand lifted upwards, as that is how sand naturally acts. However, her mind was too bewildered and stunned from trying to figure out the possibility of a sand castle acting up like this that she failed to realize that she's now holding it in the palm of her hands. Not even a single grain of sand has fallen to the floor! The mother remained hypnotized as her little devil of a daughter dragged her out of the shop.
Once they had left the shop, Tommy replaced the empty display stand with an inflatable hammock before resuming to greet and meet the new people throughout the day. "Hello!" he said as Timmy joined him from behind. "Welcome to- oh! It's Queen Anna!" he called in a cheery tone.
Being the respectable King and Queen of Arendelle, they all opted to wait in line just like everyone else was for the Nook's Cranny shop. Their status in hierarchy fortunately kept them busy, as people came by to greet them. Some of those who had come out of the shop had also stopped by to show them the wonders of Nook's Cranny, and they were... more or less in awe. Eventually, their turn came, and they entered inside, though Sven was instructed to play bodyguard by the entrance. As Timmy and Tommy greeted the royalty, Anna, Kristoff, and Olaf lost their minds in the shop. Their jaws fell as they looked at the foreign and inexplicable intricacies in the store. "Where in the world did they get all of this?" Anna wondered.
"Take a look around, and let us know if you need something!" Timmy cheered, with a smile.
"... something," Tommy murmured with a similar expression.
Anna hadn't come here to make a purchase. Her initial thought was to see Tom Nook and discuss the recent changes she suspected that he had done. Right now, however, that was thrown out the window as she was staring at one of those objects that the children were showing to her earlier. "Um... what is this 'thing', here?" the Queen asked as she pointed.
"That would be an inflatable hammock!" Timmy answered. "Would you like to try it?"
"Uh... sure..." Anna slowly knelt down to figure out to get on this 'hammock'. She tried to sit on one side of it, but due to the silk-like fabric of her attire and the smooth material of this hammock she slid too far and fell inside the crevice of the hammock. "WooAH!" she cried out. Timmy and Tommy laughed out loud, and despite the weirdness of their surroundings Kristoff and Olaf were inclined to join in albeit in a lower volume. Anna blushed out of embarrassment for a little bit before she tried to turn herself to the correct direction. "Okay, if this is supposed to be like a hammock, then if I turn this way..." She turned herself clockwise until her body was parallel to the hammock. She lay down and tried to feel out the hammock.
"So, what do you think?" Kristoff queried.
It was an experience unlike any other hammock. Instead of feeling the ropes and fabric underneath her and supporting her very body, she observed a different type of cushion underneath her. It was... an airy kind of sensation. "It feels... funny... I kind of like it!" Even as she spoke out loud, she was surprised that she liked the inflatable sofa.
"That's wonderful!" Timmy praised, smiling.
"...that's wonderful," Tommy murmured.
"That will be 700 coins!" Timmy informed.
"Wait, what?!" Anna hurried herself off the inflatable hammock before she shook her hands in refusal. "Er, sorry, but we're not here to buy anything."
"Oh? Is there something else you came here for?"
"Well, yes, actually. We wanted to talk to Tom Nook. Is he here?"
"Ah! You can find Tom upstairs in our expansion," Timmy answered as he pointed to the stairs at the corner of the shop. Anna followed his arm and saw an elderly couple coming down the steps with glee on their faces. They walked by them as they exited the shop from the same door. "The stairs lead right into his office. I'm sure he'll be so glad to see you!"
"... glad to see you," Tommy murmured with a smile.
Anna noticed that Tommy was repeating the last bit of what Timmy had just said before. It was strange, but she also thought it was adorable. He seemed to be smiling anyway. "...well, I know I will, too..." she said awkwardly. Their friendliness and absurdity was too much to keep it from being at least a little awkward. She and Kristoff proceeded to the stairs, but as they began Anna noticed that Olaf was not with them. She caught him staring at one of the other intricacies the Nook's Cranny had to offer. "Olaf?"
Olaf seemed too occupied with one of the decorations that was before him. Several strings were hanging from a straight bar, and each of the strings held a small, metal ball at the end. His eyeballs moved with the balls: as one end of the ball struck the chain, the other on the opposite end flew up and the cycle repeated. This exercise of physics was so hypnotizing him that if any were to call on him, he became deaf. Not even Timmy and Tommy were able to unbreak the spell as they explained the details of a Newton's Cradle.
Anna had called on him several times with no success. "Anna, I think he'll be fine," Kristoff assured. He figured that as suspicious as the Nooks are, they were of no threat to their dear friend. Rather, they were as innocent and as good-hearted as Olaf, at least from their point of view. Anna paused for a moment before she nodded in agreement. The two of them continued upstairs and left their faithful companion to Newton's second law of motion.
Tom Nook had just finished discussing with his third tenant that he was responsible for, damage-wise. He was very happy how these last few meetings turned out, which was evident from the smile on his face. Right now, he was behind his desk on his laptop making inventory of all the essentials the Nook's Homes will need to prepare for making repairs. It was then that Anna and Kristoff arrived at the second floor, and Tom quickly identified the royal couple. "Ah, Queen Anna and King Kristoff!" he welcomed with a pleased smile. "Welcome to my office, yes, yes! I hope you find it comfortable."
Anna and Kristoff were pleased at his suggestion, but it quickly wore off as they looked around at the bizarre items that were in the office, especially that machine that Tom had on his desk. They kept staring at it as they sat down on the guest seats in front of him. Tom seemed to notice, and he laughed humbly. "I see you have found my laptop!" he grinned.
The King and Queen caught themselves acting uncanny in front of him, and they apologized as they sheepishly rubbed the back of their heads. "Eh he... sorry about that," they admitted.
"It's no problem! I figured that these possessions we have are very interesting to you, hm?" He received some nods. "That's all fine by me. Now, what can I do for you?"
"We wanted to stop by and check how you're doing so far," Anna said. "Though, I would like to ask how you managed all of this in a single night." She moved her hand in an upward arc to imply that she's talking about the building in its entirety."
"Ah, well it was nothing short of our resolve and responsibility to continue our trip and to pay back what we owe to this wonderful kingdom for our hospitality in the meanwhile," he replied, happily. "Though our arrival was in an unfortunate form, we strove to make reconciliations as quick as we could. No nook or cranny shall be left unchecked, as the saying goes. Right here, every citizen is a nook and cranny, and we will do our best to ensure our debts are repaid to each and every single one of them."
Anna couldn't help but feel inspired by Tom's attitude and optimistic view. She saw clearly why Timmy and Tommy shadowed a coon like him. "W- wow," she stammered, nearly. "I'm in awe of your standpoint, and I respect that really. Though, I also wanted to make sure if the people are treating you okay."
"Yeah," Kristoff continued. "We forgot to discuss it with you when you were with us in the throne yesterday, and we felt at fault throwing you back outside with a different crowd." Anna gave a bittersweet nod.
Tom went up in laughter. "Ho, I appreciate your thoughtfulness, but rest easy now. Your people were as kind as they could ever be given the situation. Of course, they've only given us funny looks, but I would have done the same if my chair had started walking on its own! Ha-ha!" Anna and Kristoff joined him as they chuckled. "Yes, yes. I'm sure we are doing fine just now. I am pretty sure, too, that you saw the pudding yourself as you came here looking through Nook's Cranny, hm?"
"Oh yeah!" Anna exclaimed, recalling a curiosity from before. "Where do you get all of this stuff anyway?"
"Ah, well the Nook's Inc. are very versatile with their business friendship, yes, yes. We have friends all over the world who help us make this possible, and we were fortunate to have some of those wares with us when we made the abrupt landing."
"Interesting," Kristoff curiously stated. "We had some guards search the airplane yesterday while you and your Nooks were detained, and they reported that it was empty inside and out."
"... you searched our plane?" Tom asked, with a hint of enmity. He was now staring at them with a cross expression.
"W- what?!" Kristoff was taken by surprise, and Anna was shocked to hear Tom turned so quickly. "W- well we had to! You came at us out of nowhere, and we had to take measures in case you were considered dangerous."
Anna tried to coax the coon as well. "We didn't mean any ill-will, Tom, but we had to be careful. I'm sure you would understand considering you deal with business."
There was silence in the room for a good while. Nothing broke it except the chattering of people and the autumn wind outside. Finally, Tom shut his eyes tightly and exhaled deeply. "Sorry. I just don't like it when folks don't ask for permission before they go snooping in someone's hole. It brings bad memories, hm."
Anna and Kristoff digested this new information about their coon and entrepreneur with a melancholy gut-feeling. It was a political action they had to take as leaders of Arendelle. They had to put the people first. Despite that, it still hurt their hearts that it troubled Tom Nook, someone who had been a character of humility and generosity since the accident. Anna dryly asked, "No... we're sorry... do you want to talk about it?"
"Hm... no, but thanks. Let's forget this ever happened, yes?"
"Sure," Anna supposed.
"Right!" Suddenly, the demeanor that was on Tom suddenly vanished and he was back to normal with his relaxed eyelids. "Anyhow, I've been mighty successful with the whole house remodeling, yes, yes!" he chimed.
"Well, that was quick," Kristoff noted in his head (as Anna did, too). He was a bit startled by the sudden change. "I- That's great news, I guess. Could you tell us more?"
"Hm, I guess it won't hurt. I have just finished talking with my third tenant on the list, and we were excited about how their new home is going to look like with all the new rooms and expansions!"
"Well that sounds splendid!" Anna cheered. "I'm glad it's going well."
"I share the same feeling. They were quite amused, too, when I said that it will be completed by tomorrow morning, yes, yes." Anna and Kristoff's mouth dropped, but Tom kept going with his dialogue. "They were really happy to know that their home sweet home will be getting a new makeover, yes, yes."
"You've got to be kidding me!" Anna thought, shockingly. "A full building by tomorrow morning?" If any other person had made this claim, she'd have laughed. However, Tom has proven to them that they had the toolkit to make it happen with the Nook's Cranny and Nook's Homes, for example. Still, she had to ask. "Tom, are you sure you're not joking?"
Tom gave a light chuckle. "Your majesty, I am no con-artist. I mean every word when I say it. Now, if you think that's impossible, let me tell you that I have two other tenants earlier who came up earlier and I've made the same promise as I did."
"Hold on," Kristoff interrupted. "You're telling me that you're going to get three houses up and running by tomorrow morning?!"
"That's correct, your majesty."
"I don't believe you," he stated, shaking his head in disapproval. "Unless they're really small houses. You have to show me the blueprints for those."
"I'm afraid I can't do that," Tom refused. "It's part of my policy with my customers. I can't and will never reveal anything about what we talked about without their permission."
King Kristoff was about to order him otherwise, but he quickly thought over what he had promised when he joined Anna on the throne. He thought about it even further, and theorized that this policy rule was most likely tied to his outburst from earlier. "Hm... I guess I will respect it."
"I'm glad you understand," Tom smiled.
Anna decided to take over while Kristoff spent some thinking about what had transpired. "Well, I doubt that you're going to handle this task by yourself, or even with only Timmy and Tommy by your side."
"That is a correct assessment, Queen Anna. We have a construction team who will help us with this task in the evening. Of course, it was quite an expense, so we started with the Nook's Cranny before I opened up this place. It still won't be enough to cover the material costs, so we decided to give the tenants a loan they can pay back."
"Loans?" Anna was stunned by this approach. In a monarchy system, the property of the people belongs to the landlord. In the Kingdom of Arendelle, all property belongs to the King and Queen, and in exchange for hospitality the people pay tribute to them. However, Tom's utility of a loan upon the tenants suggest that he is reselling her property to his tenants, and that none of the loan money is going into her wallet. However, it is not just the money she is concerned with but rather the dispute of land ownership. It was a trespassing of property proprietorship that Queen Anna wasn't able to ignore. "Hold on, Tom. You're going to have your tenants pay you money for a property that I own?"
"Well, as I said before. These constructions are going to be expensive given the tax rates, worker wages, and material costs. I didn't want to trouble you first through asking for a loan by you."
"But these houses belong to the Kingdom of Arendelle!" she protested, impulsively. "You're practically taking over some of our land an-"
Kristoff quickly cut her off before she derailed herself any further. "Wait a minute, Anna. Maybe it's not such a bad idea. Think about it for a moment. The Nooks aren't planning to stay for too long, right?" Tom Nook nodded in agreement. "Exactly. We'll have it back in no time. Besides, didn't you tell me you had trouble with the expansion and all those traders yesterday?"
Anna had to give it to him. What the Nooks were doing right now were solving two more problems that she had yesterday. The real estate council was struggling to agree on how big the budget was going to be, and her last meeting with the Middle Eastern merchant representatives went 'splendid'. With the Nooks in the house, they could do all the building expansion and exotic trading for her while she rescheduled the cancelled meetings. It's probably not the best financial move to make given how recent she met the Nooks, but she wasn't going to wait for the council to make up their minds either.
After some more thought, she came to an epiphany: it was only fair that they kept some of the profit and ownership over those houses for a while. The Kingdom of Arendelle's had reservoirs stocked with valuables that were fluid enough to turn into coins, so it had the capacity to spare a week with less income. Besides, Tom seemed like a trustworthy coon.
She closed her eyes and took a deep breath before exhaling slowly. "Okay, Tom. I understand why you have to do this, and I'm not going to stop you. However, I would like to ask if you can do me an extra favor."
Tom's eyes lit up at the suggestion. "I assume this is a business proposition, hm?"
"More like an outsourcing proposal. Before you arrived, I was having trouble with my real estate council on moving out a project to increase the height of all the buildings across the Kingdom. The Kingdom's reputation has grown since the last three years, and many people outside of our lands had decided to move in. The bad news is that we're running out of space for them all over the place. I brought this up with the council, but..." Anna paused, trying to carefully choose her words. "...they have a history of... being a little hesitant to act. Still, without their financial backing I can't give the order to expand our buildings. Now, given your capability, skills, and your current profits; I was wondering if you could-"
"Take care of expanding all the homes and facilities across the entire Kingdom?"
"Well, can you?" Anna inclined, nervously.
Tom placed his hand by his chin and thought about it for a good while. After a long wait, he put his hand down and nodded. "We can give it our best!" he said. "All I need to do is to tweak a policy rule, and everyone will be coming at our doors! Oh, but I should probably get a staircase installed directly to my office from the outside before that happens, hm? I can't let the people wait too long in line, yes, yes."
"That's wonderful!" Anna beamed. Kristoff nodded as he was relieved that a compromise was reached between the two, but the matter that a policy change was necessary wondered him. Anna, however, came to the same thought and had already beaten him to the punch. "So, what's this change that you're going to make?"
"Hm, that's a simple one, yes, yes!" Tom stood up and performed the confident superhero pose before he announced with a great roar. "THERE WILL BE NO MORE DEADLINES FOR ANY LOANS TAKEN FOR NOOK'S HOMES BUSINESS!"
"... WHAT?!" they shrieked.
When Tom Nook had worked with his tenants prior to the arrival of King Kristoff and Queen Anna, he had already employed an eccentric business policy with the establishment of Nook's Homes AND Nook's Cranny in a way never seen before on their scale. For starters, the deadline for the loans were not repeated at all, but the lent money was expected to be paid in full by the end of the week. As a way of balancing out this shorten space to repay debts, Tom had reduced what was the construction and labor costs of each service by nearly 70%. Following this logic, when Tom Nooks sets a price tag on the expansion and rebuilding of homes and facilities, the stacks of coins that he will gain from his tenants will not suffice to cover the expenses. Instead, he relies on the large profits coming from Nook's Cranny to make up for the short money.
When he made the announcement to amend that section of the policy, the royal king and queen rose a valid criticism: if the customers were no longer expected to pay their debts by a certain date, how can they be relied upon to repay it at all? Tom Nook devised a benevolent solution through bringing the Nook's Homes and Nook's Cranny business closer together. The first half of the solution was creating the Nook's Club membership for all customers of Nook's Homes. Anyone who was a customer of a house expansion or renovation becomes a member of the Nook's Club. These people will have benefits when purchasing wares at the Nook's Cranny such as reduced prices. The other half of the solution was to reward members who had repaid their debts to Nook's Homes with a ticket to a free product off of Nook's Cranny. Tom Nook had aimed that by rewarding his customers for good behavior, he was to be able to not only approach the goal of mass expansion across the kingdom, but also to reach to the people that he owed their homes to quicker.
Anna was impressed by the thoughtfulness. "Well, I have to admit that I'm fascinated by your way of thinking. I guess a reward plan would be nice if I was looking into a house."
Tom chuckled. "Maybe you should, your majesty!" The two joined Tom in the mirth. After it died down, Tom continued. "Of course, that was a mere joke, yes, yes. Anyhow, I still need to get the lumber numbered and ready the favored labors. I hope all of your questions were answered, hm?"
"I think so," she nodded, hopeful about the turnout of their meeting. They began to stand up and prepare themselves for exit. "We should get going, by now. I think we have some other places to visit, right Kristoff?" she asked, teasingly.
"Oh yeah!" Kristoff answered, shocked when he recalled one of his errands. "We have some grocery shopping to do. My reindeer, Sven, needs a new stock of carrots, heh, heh," he nervously replied.
"Kristoff!" she sang, smugly.
"Well, there's the crawfish and ice we need to grab for tonight's dinner," he continued, rubbing the back of his head.
"Kristoff!" she sang once more.
"... and Anna needs a new box of chocolate." Kristoff sighed in defeat.
Tom gave a hearty laugh at Kristoff's surrender. "Yes, yes, I see you have your hands full at the moment. Do take care of yourself, hm!" They shook hands and left Tom to his own devices (literally).
Anna and Kristoff returned to Nook's Cranny when they saw Olaf wearing a blue apron around his waist. He appeared to be interacting with customers just like Timmy and Tommy were doing. Speaking of them, they had also changed their grab from the green shirts to similar aprons. An unsuspecting visitor would have thought that Olaf was a regular part of the team given the appearances.
The two gave a surprised reaction as they paused and observed how Olaf was working as a staff of the Nook's Cranny. They approached him as he waved at a person who was exiting with his latest purchase: a... street lamp. "Olaf?" they said together.
The snowman turned around and was happily surprised. "Oh hey! I heard you guys talked with Tom Nook! How did it go?"
"I- It went well!" Anna answered, slightly stuttering. She then pointed at the blue apron. "Um... where did you get this apron?"
"Oh! Well, I really wanted that cradle thing on the shelf, see?" He pointed at the Newton's Cradle at the other end of the room with his stick arm. "You guys were stuck upstairs with Tom, so I decided to work here to earn my keep! See?" He swayed about as he let his apron move like a hula skirt. "Isn't this so cool?!"
Kristoff and Anna were struggling to succumb their giggles as Olaf explained his case. "I- well, yeah," Kristoff stammered. "It is cool, but we have to get going now."
"Aw, come on! Can't you at least get me that cradle thing? Please!"
The will of Anna was breaking as she gazed before Olaf's adorable yes. She looked to her husband, but Kristoff only gave a soft smirk. "Well, your highness?"
Anna was at a loss. She sighed, "Alright. I'll get you your cradle."
Suddenly, Timmy and Tommy surrounded them after they were freed from their last clients. Timmy approached, "I heard you'd like a Newton's Cradle? That will be 150 coins!"
Anna presented to him a sack of coin for them. As Timmy took the bag of coin, Tommy went to obtain the cradle and handed it to Olaf. The snowman was overjoyed.
"Will that be all?" Timmy provoked.
"Yes, I believe so," she replied.
"Are you suuuure?" Tommy pried.
Anna gave an uncertain face. "Um... yes, I think so. What are you getting at exactly?"
Kristoff nudged her arm with his elbow before he whispered. "I think they're talking about that hammock you were testing earlier."
Her face quickly bloomed with pink blushes of realization followed by embarrassment. "I- I'm sorry, but I'm not interested."
Timmy retorted, "But you said you liked it earlier!"
"W- wel- yeah, bu- I-" She was losing her voice as Olaf, Timmy, and Tommy were staring directly at her. It was bad enough that she had one pair of eyes to deal with, but now the case had tripled! "I- uh..."
Tommy cheered, "It's only 480 coins! Besides, wouldn't it be nice to have in your comfy room?"
"I... I..." she looked to Kristoff for help, but once again he smirked. At last, her mind was starting to yield to the inflatable hammock as she thought about how it would be great to rest on something so comfy and new. She also talked in her own head about how all the work she had done in the last week had justified the need for that hammock It was at this moment that Anna realized that deep in her heart... she really wanted that inflatable hammock. "... alright," she sighed, and pulled out a larger sack of coins for Timmy.
After the coins were stored in his pockets, Timmy pulled out a deflated and folded version of the inflatable hammock, and handed it to the queen. Anna was puzzled when she received the hammock, but the Nooks soon realized that she was confused about why it looked different. Timmy explained, "It's an 'inflatable' hammock. You have to blow through the attached black tube to it for it to work."
"Oh." She tried blowing through the tube immediately, but Timmy warned against it.
"Maybe you should wait until you're back at home. It's quite hard to carry it around once it's inflated since it's so big!"
"Huh!" Anna rotated the folded hammock in her hands and prodded the black tube like a child. Kristoff chuckled at the sight.
The opening day for Nook's Cranny was recalled to be the best-selling point in the entire duration that the shop was open because of this anecdote. The Nooks recalled with pride that the moment Anna, Kristoff, and Olaf left the shop with an inflatable hammock and a Newton's cradle, the two products became best sellers as profits tripled!
There was one issue with his plan that Tom later found himself stuck on. He pondered about it at his office as the sun settled over the horizon. Nook's Cranny, at the moment, was the equivalent of an exotic wares shop. The Nooks knew that their business would only attract people looking for new items. If Nook's Cranny does not attract the entire kingdom, they will fail the mission that Queen Anna had asked of them to do. All the marketing in the kingdom won't even be enough to convince a citizen to expand his or her own home. He realized at that moment that he needed to do more than just tweak a specific policy rule. Finding the solution, however, required some brainstorming from the help of Timmy and Tommy.
They met inside the shop of Nooks' Cranny where they discussed for the last hour. "We have a situation in our hands," Tom announced to the Nooklings. "The Queen and King of Arendelle had given us a job to make every single citizen of Arendelle a customer of Nook's Homes. Now, I already explained what I've done with the Nook's Club program, but I also detailed how it won't suffice. We can't just market our way with this. We have to offer something to the people. Do any of you have some suggestions?"
Timmy and Tommy thought long and hard about the conundrum until the flag bearer provided a suggestion. "What if we decided to sell more than just our stuff and sell groceries, too?"
Tom agreed with the idea. "I think that would be a marvelous idea. We could bring the convenience to our Nook's Club members closer than ever by having it all in one place! I even remember King Kristoff mentioned that he left to order some carrots from the market. Oh, if he decided to get carrots for his reindeer from our store!" He fantasized on the idea for a bit before Timmy spoke again.
"I think we can make some room here in Nook's Cranny for all the food and needs," Timmy added.
"... food and needs," Tommy mimicked.
"Excellent!" He cheered with a jubilant smile. "Though, we'll need to do something with those prices to give a reason for everyone in the kingdom to come here."
"Well, we never were in this for coins. What if we sell them for a quarter of the price the market is selling?" Timmy suggested.
"...selling?" Tommy echoed.
"Great idea!" Timmy and Tommy smiled as their mentor approved on the plan to execute their expanding market. "Hm, I'm afraid I will have to miss today's construction for our tenants if we're going to make this happen tonight. Can you two lead the construction team without me? I need to start talking with some farmers to bring their goods to our store." Timmy and Tommy nodded in understanding.
Luna was rising from the edge of the mountains as everyone (except for a few coons) tuned in to their slumber. The streets were scarce of Arendelle people. They were having supper in their own homes by now, with either the family or themselves – not that there's anything wrong with eating by yourself. The point is that everyone was taking this moonlight time to relax from their cycle of life in any way he or she pleases. However, there's one person who cannot find her peace while the rest of the kingdom took it easy: Anna, of course. Though, what could it be that kept Queen Anna from rest? Was it that her tour around the city had gone wrong and she's musing about the disaster? Did the real estate council bother her once more? Has Elsa reported back with distressing news back at the Enchanted Forest?
The good news was that the problem was miniscule. The bad news was that it was the most physically demanding task she had ever done. Not even the leap across the dam could compare. It was so terrible that Anna was plotting villainously about how to get back at the Nooklings. Why? "Hoooo... why didn't they tell me it was going to be so exhausting...?" Anna exhaled, as she clasped her chest. For the last fifteen minutes, she's been trying to inflate her hammock.
Kristoff watched her with amusement as he sat on the charades couch. Next to him, Olaf was slouching while his carrot nose was inserted the wrong way and his buttons were disproportionately attached to him. He was the result of someone who tried to interfere with the work of the queen by offering to help. Behind the two of them, Sven was cowering behind the couch after witnessing her wrath. "Are you sure you don't need any help?" Kristoff chuckled, unfazed by the recent event.
"Nope!... I'm... good!... I... can do this..." Anna's energy was fast depleting as the hammock was barely inflated.
"What about the part when you didn't know you had to twist the cap? You spent 10 minutes on that."
"That... was... only a... setback..." Anna finally gave up and released the hammock from her grasp as she collapsed to the floor. Her breaths were quite heavy and audible.
Kristoff smiled in victory before he stood up and approached. He knew at this stage Anna was too tired to wrangle him to the ground. "How about I make this up for you after what happened with the Nook's today and finish this hammock for you?"
"Sure…" she sighed. "I'm still… upset with what you did earlier… leaving me hanging."
"I know. It was cruel of me to leave you with the Nooks, but you deserved treating yourself with something nice. You've gone through one week serving as Queen, and it took a toll on you. We all know how many times you've skipped out on meals, how many times you've taken naps in the middle of the day to make up for the lack of sleep, and how many times you've left the meeting room with a defeated face." He took a pause to lift her up from the floor with arms over her shoulders. "
"Ha!" She pointed at him. The two were now having a gaggling fit as it echoed through the halls of the castle. Olaf smiled as he magically rearranged himself to his original shape, and Sven relaxed as he came around the couch.
Suddenly a pair of autumn leaves caught their attention as it flew through the open window and across the snowman and the reindeer's face. Gale was here. Among these leaves was a paper folded into a bird. Sven caught it in his mouth and arrived at Kristoff's side.
The King's laugh died down before he heard the soft clops of hooves on the carpet. "Yeah, Sven?" he asked, before he noticed the note in his mouth and the twirling leaves behind his companion. "Oh! Thank you." Kristoff took the paper from Sven and handed it Anna, who hardly noticed at first. "Gale has a letter for you."
"What? Oh!" Anna quickly took the paper bird from his hand and rapidly unfolded before she began to read it out loud. "'Hey Sis. How was your first week as queen? I'm sure you've done a great job, anyhow. By the time you get this, I'll be on my way to visit. Hope to see you soon! Love, Elsa.' Oh my gosh! Elsa's coming!"
"Really?" Kristoff said with a shock. The news caught Olaf and Sven off guard as well
"Yes! She'll be here any minute!" Anna was excited from the letter, and Gale seemed to be happy about the news as the leaves spun around each other energetically. Anna was relieved that Elsa would be coming in time for her one-week anniversary as Queen of Arendelle, despite the fact that she had forgotten to send her a letter at all since coronation day. "Oh well, at least everything turned out well in the end," she summarized in her head. Anna jumped from the floor and dashed out of the room. "I'm going to wait for her outside the gates!"
"Wait for us!" Olaf shouted as he quickly jumped off the couch.
He and Sven chased after their queen, leaving Kristoff behind with the hammock. The King smiled as his friends threw themselves out the door. "Heh. It sure has been a while since she's been this happy," he spoke to himself. As promised, he picked up the hammock by the black tube and began blowing through it. Half a minute later, he realized an important subject that he and Anna had overlooked. The longer he thought about, the more puzzling the conclusion became.
What is Elsa going to think about the Nooks?
While Kristoff took over to finish the inflatable hammock, Anna, Olaf, and Sven headed out to the courtyard and towards the central perimeter gate. Prior to their exposure outside, Anna has enrolled herself to a coat to keep herself warm. It was a good call as a cool breeze came the moment they were outside. Once they reached the gates, they stood around and waited for the sound of Elsa and her Nokk trotting on the stone path. Anna exhaled in joy. The anticipation of seeing her sister again was brewing inside of her, as her heart longed for Elsa's return. She tugged her coat tightly around her as she smiled to herself.
The night remained tranquil. None of them spoke a word as they continued to listen keenly. It wasn't a boring evening, however, for the ambience that the night often brings filled their ears. The chirps of crickets, the howling of the wind, the somber waves of the tide around the kingdom. For everyone, it was a good time to reflect.
A lot has happened in the span of two days. From the heavens above, an airplane carrying three bipedal raccoons has rocked the kingdom to its core functions. Homes were lost and families were displaced for the time being. Luckily, these kind-hearted souls, who had inserted themselves into Arendelle, were willing to stay and heal what they have broken. Not only that; they aimed to go even further and contribute towards the future of the kingdom. Anna considered it quite a serendipity to her work as queen as well. For her and her husband, it would put two problems to rest for the time being.
Though, all of this pondering about the Nooks raised an important question. Anna's brows furrowed until Olaf tugged on her night gown after he noticed her concerned face. "Anna, what are you thinking?"
She gave a long sigh. "I just realized something. What is Elsa going to think about the Nooks?"
"Oh. That's reasonable." There was a brief pause before Olaf resumed. "I think she would understand."
"You think so?" Anna asked as she turned her head towards the snowman.
"Well, you're her best sister. You had a lot going on this past week, and she's been queen before. Even if it was something like this which has never happened before, I'm sure she'd think you did the best you could."
"Hm... how are you so sure?"
"Well, what else could she say?"
Anna was at a pause thanks to Olaf's naïve optimism. He seemed to be right from her perspective as she reflected on the growing bond between themselves. Ever since the Great Thaw, they've grown as sisters and forged new memories despite their long years of isolation. Elsa's definitely softened up to the people of Arendelle in the last three years, and it was all thanks to Anna. Even if she still had the guilt from her past lingering in her heart, she seemed to have made amends with it and moved past it the last time she saw her. Surely with a changed perspective Elsa would greet her latest visitors with open arms, right?
"You're right, Olaf," she sighed. "I think everything's going to turn out okay."