|The Legend of Zelda: Seeds of Destruction
Author: Zana Zira PM
*ON HIATUS* Just before Link's birth, the King of Evil was beginning his own journey - one of insanity and greed, all for the Triforce. Fleeing from her home in Gerudo Valley, one woman dared to defy Ganon and stray into Hyrule to give birth to the young girl we know as Malon. Follow the story of this young woman and her daughter's role in sowing the seeds of Ganon's destruction.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Family - Malon & Ganondorf - Chapters: 2 - Words: 4,103 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 08-25-12 - Published: 08-15-12 - id: 8434209
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Rhodora! Rhodora!" a worried Gerudo guard called out as she dashed through the desert fortress she called home. "Oh, where is that daughter of mine?" She squinted against the already bright sun, lengthening the faint wrinkles around her lips and eyes. Her hair, though still mostly red, was beginning to show traces of silvery gray. And her missing daughter was giving her more gray hair by the minute.
"Ziti!" another Gerudo cried out when she spotted Rhodora's mother. The younger woman was heavily pregnant, so Ziti was surprised to see her out in the center of the fortress instead of at home. "Have you found her yet?"
"No, I haven't. Has anyone around here seen her today?"
"Well, Taara said she thought she saw her heading toward the Colossus at sunrise. Her daughter Nabooru was getting restless, though, so she was a little distracted trying to keep her in sight."
"The Colossus!" Ziti exclaimed, slapping a fist into her open palm. "Of course! How could I have forgotten to look there?! Thank you, Nadia. Ah, and before I forget, have you decided on a name for the baby yet?"
"Yes. Her name will be Aveil," the young woman answered dreamily.
"How lovely. Your daughter will grow into a fine warrior like her mother. I'm sure of it." Nadia laid her hand across her belly and smiled, happy for the compliment. "Well, I'm afraid I must be off. Please tell the King that I will bring her to him shortly. And be sure to get some rest, will you? I wouldn't want anything to happen to the little one."
"Yes, Taara said the same thing this morning," Nadia said cheerily. "I'll be careful, I promise."
Ziti nodded, then placed two fingers to her lips and whistled loudly. A shrill whinny rang out from across the fortress, and a large chestnut stallion with a white mane and tail trotted to her side. Ziti quickly grabbed his mane and hoisted herself onto his back, then gave his rump a firm slap and charged off toward the Colossus.
"When I get that girl," she growled to herself in exasperation, "she's never leaving my side again!"
Rhodora, meanwhile, was completely unaware that she was needed back at the fortress. She was too busy enjoying the beauty of the Desert Colossus, an enormous temple that the Gerudo had built centuries ago as a tribute to Din, the goddess of fire and power. Though no living Gerudo had ever seen her, Din was believed to have flowing hair the color of a ruby and a strong disdain for the male species. The Gerudo believed that they had descended from Din herself, and this explained their fiery red hair and the fact that a male was born into the tribe only once every century.
The sky was cloudless, colored a blue deeper even than Lake Hylia's. It was still early, so the air was warm and dry but not yet hot. A gentle breeze blew through the tall pillars around the temple, tossing the sand into strange shapes that whirled and danced around Rhodora in a soundless celebration of nature. The young woman closed her eyes and listened to the wind echoing through the courtyard; sometimes, if she listened very closely, it sounded as if the spirits of her ancestors were whispering to her.
"Beautiful," she said to herself. "Just beautiful. What do you think, Shajzrha?"
Her horse, a blue roan stallion with long black legs and a beautifully dished head, flicked his black-tipped ears in her direction and snorted, but continued munching on a patch of grass he had found between some small rocks.
"Not as interesting as that grass, eh?" she said with a chuckle. "Oh, well." She blinked to clear the dust from her deep fuscia eyes, then stode over to where Shajzhra was still tugging at the small patch of dry grass. She scratched him behind his ears, and he nuzzled her hand and nibbled affectionately on the end of her red ponytail.
"Ouch! Hey, not my hair!" she said as she laughed and pushed him away. She reached into a small leather bag she had tied around his neck and retrieved an apple, then resumed scratching his ears while he ate it. Her eyes suddenly took on a faraway look, and her face sobered. "I don't know how much longer we'll be able to go outside the fortress like this, Shajzhra." He flicked an ear toward her. "I'm eighteen now. Mother really wants me to make my first outing to Castle Town now that I'm old enough. She was my age when I was born; it's about time for all the girls my age to start becoming mothers. But even so, I don't know that I'm really ready to give up my freedom yet." Shajzhra nickered softly in response. Rhodora could swear that the horse really understood her, sometimes.
"Oh!" she exclaimed, noticing a small green bush tucked into the shadows behind the temple. "Is that..." she muttered, striding toward it. "It is! A rhodora plant!" She smiled as she began plucking some of the small fuscia flowers for which she was named. When Rhodora was a child, her mother once told her that soon after Rhodora was conceived, she had had a strange dream. In the dream, a sandstorm had struck the Gerudo fortress during the night. Just before the storm reached her, every grain of sand had transformed into a glowing rhodora petal, coating the entire fortress in a thick layer of deep pink blossoms. Later, when her daughter was born, her eyes were the same color as the flowers, unlike the Gerudo race's usual golden-colored eyes. So, of course, she was immediately named Rhodora.
A loud shout reached Rhodora just as she was finishing a braided necklace of the pink blossoms. She slipped it over her head and turned around to see her mother galloping toward her on Arakra, her flaxen-chestnut horse. In mere seconds, Ziti had reached her and jumped off of Arakra's back, landing lightly in front of her daughter. Rhodora was taken aback by how flustered her usually stoic mother looked.
"Mother, what's wrong? What's happened?"
"I've been looking for you all morning, Rhodora!" Ziti snapped. "The King has sent for you. We mustn't keep him waiting."
"The King?! Sending for me?!" Rhodora repeated, wide-eyed with disbelief.
"Yes. Now fetch Shajzhra and let's go."
Rhodora obeyed and quickly mounted the horse, then galloped off beside her mother. Shajzhra seemed happy to run beside Arakra again. The two got along well, as long as no mares were around to compete for, and the young blue horse lived to run. To him, exercise was as important as air and water.
"Mother, what is this about?" Rhodora asked quietly as they neared the fortress and slowed to a trot. She could see the King's palace not far in the distance, looming just behind the tall walls that protected their home. Her heart pounded against her ribs in anticipation.
"I'm afraid I've no idea," Ziti replied in an even softer voice.
"You can't be in any trouble, though, or they would never have allowed me to fetch you," she added reassuringly.
"I suppose..." In truth, though, that was not why Rhodora was so anxious. She had only spoken to Ganondorf on one occasion, though she had seen him numerous times outside the palace, talking to the other guards and to Kotake and Koume, the two powerful and beautiful sorceresses who had raised him. When she was fourteen, he had been the one to present her with her membership card and white uniform after she had passed the highest tests of stealth and strength among her peers. Though his words had been sparse, she had felt an immense attraction to the King of Thieves ever since. He was certainly physically attractive, with piercing gold eyes and hair the color of a phoenix's flames, but there was more to it than that. He was also very intense; he appeared as if he were always studying everything in the world around him, no matter how insignificant an object might seem to everyone else. He was very controlled and very disciplined, but there was an aura of fierce power about him that made everyone he met trust his authority immediately. And, though he seemed aloof, Rhodora had immediately sensed that beneath his indifferent appearance he was actually very kind.
Rhodora suddenly felt her face redden and chided herself for thinking about their king like that. He was out of her reach. She had no right to think of such things. Her role was to serve him as a guard and to support his future wife and heirs. As she and her mother passed through the stone gate into the palace courtyard, she took a deep breath and steeled herself for the meeting. Several guards quickly surrounded them, directing the stablehands to take their horses to water and then leading them to a small sitting-area just outside the throne room.
"One moment, please, while we tell King Ganondorf that you have arrived," said one of the women before she disappeared into the throne room. A few seconds later, she reemerged, holding the door open and beckoning them in with a wide sweep of her arm. Rhodora swallowed, then cautiously entered with her mother close behind her. When they reached the rug before the throne, they both dropped to one knee with their right arms held across their chests and their heads bowed low.
"We are ready to serve you in any way you would use us, for we are eternally loyal only to you, King Ganondorf," they recited in unison. Every Gerudo woman was taught to address their king this way from the time they could speak, so they knew it well.
"Rise, Ziti and Rhodora, and look at me," Ganondorf said amusedly. They obeyed, and he smiled warmly. "I am pleased that you both arrived so quickly. Forgive me for summoning you on such short notice."
"There is nothing to forgive, My King," Ziti answered hastily.
"You flatter me, Ziti. So, Rhodora," he said, turning to address her, "I wished to see you today because I have a proposition that I hope you will consider."
"And what might that be, My King?" Rhodora's heart was pounding as she answered him.
"You have recently turned eighteen, is that correct?"
"Yes, Sire." She was a bit confused by this question.
"And have you been introduced to Castle Town with the other women as of yet?"
"I have not yet ventured there, Sire." Ganondorf seemed pleased by her answer.
"Good, good..." he muttered to himself. "Rhodora, I have watched your progress since you passed your Membership Test four years ago, as I do with every young woman once they pass. You have improved much more than I expected since then, and your superiors have informed me that they, too, believe your skills are unusually refined for one so young. They say you are extremely disciplined, willing to train longer than many of the others to stay on top. I have also found you to be very intelligent and resourceful. I can see those traits in you even in the way you are studying me now."
Rhodora blushed, embarassed that he could read her so easily.
"There is no need for embarassment; it is an admirable quality. More to the point, though, the reason I called you here is this: I need someone to rule by my side, to help me decide what is best for our people, and to rule over this tribe if anything should ever happen to me." Rhodora's heart felt like it was going to burst from shock. Could he really be asking this to her? "My mothers know of the story of your name. They believe this to be a sign of good fortune for our tribe. They have asked for the guidance of our ancestors' spirits, and they, too, agreed that a marriage between us will bring prosperity to our people. There are many great thieves among the Gerudo, but I have waited for you. So I ask you, Rhodora, will you become my wife and rule together with me for the rest of our days?"
"I am not sure what to say... I am so honored that you would choose me... Yes... Yes, I will be your queen, King Ganondorf." The young king smiled at her, pleased by her immediate agreement and the calm with which she conducted herself.
"Very well. It would be most auspicious if the ceremony were to take place in ten days' time, on the night of the full moon. My mothers will help you prepare. Sadly, I do not know much about women's wedding preparations, so I would be no help. Is all of this alright with you?"
"Yes, that is perfect, Sire."
"Rhodora, you are to be my wife. You can address me by my name, or even simply Ganon, if you like," Ganondorf said with a gentle smile.
"Oh, yes... Of course... Ganon..." she said, blushing.
"Now, young lady," said Kotake, the large blue jewel on her forehead glinting brightly, "you are free to go. We will send for you tomorrow morning to begin the preparations."
"And," added Koume, "we must be sure that the old armor fits properly, Kotake."
"Ah, of course. How could I forget?"
"Thank you very much, Lady Kotake, Lady Koume, Ganondorf," said Rhodora as she and her mother bowed to each in turn.
"You have bestowed a great honor on our family today," said Ziti, her face nearly touching the floor as she bowed. "My daughter will become a great queen, I assure you." Rhodora was the only one who noticed the slight threat directed at her in her mother's voice.
"I never doubted her," said Ganondorf. Ziti and Rhodora bowed to each of them once more, then followed the guards back to the courtyard, where their horses stood groomed and ready for them. They quickly mounted the stallions, and Ziti gave Arakra a firm kick, galloping through the gate with Rhodora right beside her.
"Where are we going, Mother?" Rhodora asked when they passed by the fortress and instead ran toward Hyrule.
"We are going to Kakariko Village, my dear," Ziti answered, her eyes glinting fiercely. "We must acquire a few valuables for your dowry tonight, and the guards there are weaker than those in Castle Town." Rhodora was a bit frightened by the look in her mother's eyes; she had never looked so fiendishly happy before. "Just think, Rhodora," she continued excitedly, "out of all the other women in the valley, you are the one the King chose. This only happens once every century! Do you realize how lucky you are? You will have the privilege of carrying the daughters of the most important person in our tribe! Your name will live beside his forever in the annals of history!" Tears had begun to drip down Ziti's cheeks, washing away the sand on her deep brown skin.
"I always knew you were destined for greatness, Rhodora, ever since the day you were born. Din herself shall smile upon this union! You have earned this. You trained harder than anyone else and became one of our best fighters; that is why the King chose you." Rhodora's chest tightened at those last words.
"I should be happy," she thought. "This is the chance of a lifetime, every Gerudo's dream. So, then, why does all of this make me so sad?"