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5 Seconds Before Falling In Love With A Witch Hunter

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Five hundred and twenty-six years of life. Five hundred and twenty-six years in which she'd never had a problem getting rid of witch hunters looking to get their hands on the loot hanging over her head.

Elsa sighed wearily, it wasn't that the huntress represented a great challenge for her, she was the most powerful witch in the kingdom and lived her life sheltered from most of the world in a house built on top of the largest tree in the forest; Although she went down to the nearby town quite frequently, she never caused havoc among the townspeople, moreover, some even liked her. Okay, she may have caused a snowstorm that buried the town in several layers of snow in the middle of summer, but it wasn’t really her fault, that day her grandmother had passed away and she was just a teenager… The witch’s frown darkened at the memory of that horrible day, but she soon recovered…it had been a long time since she let memories ruin her day.

Elsa looked outside, the tops of the trees spread like a blanket of lively green below her window. The town looked like a small cluster of houses with brightly colored roofs in the far away distance. 

There was also that time when she caught a cold, she spent almost an entire week looking for the little snowmen she had created with each sneeze. And those creatures had turned out to be very mischievous, turning the town upside down at their pace. But the kids had fun and she helped fix everything they broke so the villagers weren't mad for long.

Oh yes, there are also the times where she finds some thief doing their thing and turns them into different types of vermin like toads, weasels and rats... but only for a few days, then they return to normal.

Elsa didn’t understand why she had earned the Reward that the county governor had placed on her head, but after that the hunters began to invade her forest, one more annoying than the other... until she arrived.

Stirring the cauldron that was slowly boiling over the fire, Elsa remembered the day they met, almost two months ago. It was a day like any other, the forest was recovering from a harsh winter (not related to her magic, thank you very much) and she had gone out in the early hours of the morning to pick medicinal mushrooms, her bunion tonic was very popular in the village and had run out of ingredients to make more. Elsa was walking through the trees, minding her own business when an arrow skimmed past her face to embed itself with a loud thump! in the trunk of the tree next to her.

“A warning shot, witch. You would do well to surrender without resistance."

Elsa, still surprised that she hadn't noticed the presence of another hunter chasing her, turned to look at her attacker. Behind her, about twenty paces away, a redhead covered in tight black leather, pointed a crossbow at her.

Elsa gave a lopsided smile as she straightened up.

"You hunters are getting bolder," she said, dropping the basket full of mushrooms from her hands and raising them in surrender.

“Don't try anything weird, witch. I'm faster than you can imagine” the hunter's body, in very good shape according to Elsa, was on full alert.

"I don't doubt that you are fast... but I am faster"

With a slight movement of her foot, a path of ice quickly slid from the sole of her shoe, covering the huntress’ body in ice. Everything except for her head that was now looking at her in disbelief.

Elsa laughed lightly, trying to cover her mouth with her hand to hide a bit. It was not her intention to make fun of the huntress but she deserved it for having tried to capture her.

Still smiling, she approached the redhead.

"Release me, you damned witch" the hunter's teal  eyes blazed with fury as she tried to break free from the ice that was imprisoning her.

“Tsk, Tsk. That's no way to talk to someone you just met. Is it not?"

Elsa had come over and was examining the huntress appreciatively. Ever since the hunters had started to appear, Elsa hadn't been able to help but notice that they had a highly trained physique, and the specimen that she now had in front of her was no exception. Elsa walked around the block of ice that now contained the huntress as she examined her carefully, the tight leather pants fitted her body exquisitely, the sleeveless red top with the legend Born Rebel under the leather vest that left her arms bare... her very well defined arms.

“My name is Elsa” she told her when she had finished turning around and was facing her again. The huntress's freckled face was flushed from the effort of trying to free herself from the magical ice, yet to no avail.

"What's your name?" Elsa tried, she always was a peaceful witch and she didn't see the need to fight to the death with this particular huntress.

“You don't need to know my name, witch. Just know that I'm going to bring you to justice."

"And for what reason will you take me to justice?" Elsa was now visibly amused.

"What kind of question is that?, you will pay for all the evil things you have done!"

"Aha... and what would those evil things be?" Elsa asked, bringing her face closer to the redhead's until she was a few millimeters from her small nose.

The huntress had been silent for a few moments.

“Well…the snowstorm that wreaked havoc on the nearby town,” she finally said, as if it was the only thing she could remember.

“I apologized for that incident to the mayor of the town, and helped repair all the houses that had been affected. The villagers are not angry… in fact, sometimes they call me to help them repair their roofs”

"Well, I…"

Elsa smiled again.

"You'll have some time to think of more excuses to hunt me down, the ice will take a couple of hours to melt." Elsa told her as she planted a resounding kiss on the redhead cheek. The witch gathered her basket full of mushrooms and followed her path as if no one had tried to capture her.

 

After that encounter, Elsa had seen the huntress almost every day, but the attempts to capture her always had the same result and the witch managed to outsmart them. She wasn't going to deny that sometimes she came very close to being captured, but it was all the fault of the huntress for being so distracting. Besides, Elsa always tried to be friendly and ask her name but the woman refused to tell her.

 

Elsa took the cauldron off the fire and left it near the window to cool down the potion she had prepared so she could put it in small glass vials, then she walked over to the table where a stack of opened letters rested on the surface. She had asked all her contacts about a huntress with the characteristics of the redhead; Nobody knew her name but everyone said that she was dangerous, one of the best in her class and that she should be careful.

Elsa sighed thoughtfully. The huntress didn't seem so dangerous to her and she hadn't even seen her today.

The witch packed her potions and went to her favorite apothecary, young Demetrio, who sold all her potions and with whom she had struck up a kind of friendship in recent years.

The walk to town was uneventful, it was a walk that Elsa normally enjoy. She passed by the Mrs. Odina’s hut, a very old woman who provided her with some fine herbs that she used to make wonderful stews, and in return she would leave her an ointments for joint pain.

Once in the town, most of the villagers preferred not to notice her presence, many didn’t accept that a witch could walk freely through the streets, invested in the old ways as they were, but none wanted to face her fury. 

On the way to the apothecary, Elsa passed a couple who were fighting, the husband tried to take the woman by the arm but he slipped and and face-planted in the middle of the street, cursing the ice that had suddenly appeared under him.

Still smiling, she arrived at Demetrio's place who greeted her with a huge smile.

"Well, here’s my favorite witch... welcome!" the young man told her, opening his skinny arms to embrace her.

"I'm the only witch you know, Demi" Elsa replied, accepting his hug.

“Perhaps, perhaps… it doesn't mean that you're not my favorite. Do you have my potions?”

"Of course, you know I wouldn't neglect our business, even if they're trying to hunt me down every day."

"Ah yes, speaking of which..." The apothecary pointed with his thumb to the room next to the shop, where he used to attend to the ailments of the villagers.

Elsa looked in the indicated direction and almost dropped the basket with her potions.

The huntress emerged from the room barely covered by a minimal towel, with needles stuck in her back and arms, covered in a fine layer of sweat, and with eyes blazing in the witch's direction.

"My patient is in an acupuncture session and was just waiting for the tonic to accelerate the healing of that I had commissioned from you"

Elsa laughed.

"Is she the reason you've increased the order for that tonic, Demi?"

"Indeed" replied the boy, sensing that the situation would be the most fun to witness.

"I don't need anything from her, she's a witch" snapped the redhead.

"She doesn't need anything from me" said Elsa turning to Demetrio, trying to pretend seriousness.

“Come on, Elsa, you know that I don't ask you for special tonics if I don't consider it necessary. She really is hurt."

“The last time we met she tried to get me into an immobilizing trap, I just defended myself. I don't think I hurt her that much” Elsa defended herself.

“Hey! Don't talk like I’m not here” the redhead snapped, frustrated.

Neither of them paid any attention to her.

“Nono, this was not your doing. It so happens that there was a fire in one of the houses near the main square.”

"Oh?"

“And our hunter here threw herself into the flames to get out the baby who had been trapped inside” continued Demetrio with his story.

Elsa glanced sideways at the woman who was barely holding herself against the door frame.

"Is the baby okay?" the witch asked.

“Yes, little Kris is in good health. But she…” he said pointing at the redhead. “Came out of the incident with large burns on some parts of her body”

“I see…” Elsa said, turning and addressing the huntress.

“I can heal you” she told her seriously. “I will relieve your pain and discomfort in no time… but you have to tell me your name”

"Forget it... I don't need your magic" snapped the redhead and tried to return to the stretcher where she had been lying before hearing the witch's voice.

She took only a few steps but she was still very weak and her knees gave way. Elsa was quick and caught her before she fell to the ground.

"For once, put your pride aside and let Elsa help you" Demetrio scolded her, as he approached them.

"Come, Demi, help me... this woman will die of stubbornness before we can convince her of anything" Elsa said, carrying the hunter to the stretcher.

“I already said I don't need…” the hunter tried again.

"Shut up, you'll do what we tell you and then you can continue trying to hunt me down like you do every day" Elsa scolded her with a hint of amusement in her voice.

Demetrio hurriedly took the needles out of her to make room for Elsa to work. The hunter kept her eyes closed the whole time, it seemed her injuries really caused her pain.

Elsa stood in front of her and took her by the shoulders, causing the redhead to open her eyes.

“Tell me your name, hunter, and I will help you”

The woman remained with her lips firmly sealed. Elsa sighed wearily.

"Turn around"

The huntress reluctantly complied.

Elsa swallowed with difficulty, the woman’s back was raw, it was obvious that Demetrio had cleaned her wounds but the pain that she must be feeling must be tremendous.

Elsa concentrated and sent a flow of healing magic through her hands to the redhead's damaged skin.

"Cold," the woman said in a relieved whisper as the witch's magic slid down each of her nerve endings, easing the pain and healing her wounds.

In just a few minutes, her skin was healed. The witch's fingers slid over the healthy tissue, admiring the expanse of tanned skin.

"So many freckles" Elsa said, admiring the woman in front of her as her finger caressed her back.

The huntress turned and held the witch’s hands as if to stop her path.

"Anna" she said in a whisper that Elsa barely heard.

That single word hit the witch in the chest as if the huntress had cast a spell on her, but there was only one small set of letters, just a name.

If Elsa had known five seconds earlier that a name would sound like the most important word she would ever know, she probably would have tried to stop her, run out of there. But she didn't, and there they stood holding hands, looking intensely into each other's eyes, unable to move.

"Anna," the witch repeated.