Zelda woke up the next morning feeling exhausted and heartbroken. She still couldn't get over the night before and she couldn't help but hate the look in Ike's eyes as he left her room. She absolutely hated herself but yet she knew nothing could ever come of their relationship. He knew her as Sheik and he could never know who she truly was. She dressed in clothes from the dresser that actually fit her but she still wanted to wear that shirt that Ike had given her. It was so comfy. Instead with a sigh she changed shirts quickly and was escorted to the throne room where Elincia would be waiting. She arrived there and instantly she found herself admiring the young green haired woman sitting on the throne. She was very beautiful, more than she imagined. Elincia looked her way and waved her forward with a thin gloved hand. She felt a little jealousy for absolutely no reason that Ike was around such a lovely woman all the time, but she quickly brushed it off as Elincia greeted her.
"Ah Sheik," she gave Zelda a warm smile, "it's so wonderful to meet you."
"You as well your majesty," Zelda returned her smile and gave a small curtsy still ignoring the stab she felt being called Sheik.
"Sir Ike should be with us in a moment, so please," she stood from her throne and stepped down the red carpet steps to stand in front of Zelda, "would you mind giving me a summary of what you suspect is happening in Hyrule?"
Zelda nodded, "I overheard some of the soldiers talking the other night when I found Ike, and they were discussing these plans on attacking Crimean villages near the new border."
"They didn't mention any reason?" Elincia asked, her eyes widening as she was hearing this information for the first time.
"No your majesty." Zelda felt so weird saying that instead of having it said to her but she ignored it.
Elincia touched her chin in thought, "perhaps we could hold a peace talk instead of war."
"If I may," Zelda started, "there are strange things happening in Hyrule. From what I've heard and seen the council wants war. I highly doubt they'll listen to anything other than blades crossing."
Elincia sighed heavily, but her eyes moved to behind Zelda, where she just knew Ike was coming. He stood next to Zelda, not even sparing her a glance, and she lowered her eyes to the stone floor beneath them. Ike filled Elincia in on all the details, including how they believed Hyrule was being brainwashed by strange magic. Elincia was silent as he talked and Zelda zoned out only hearing the sound of his voice as he spoke. She had no idea what exactly he was saying, merely listened to him speak until she was addressed directly. She raised her eyes only to meet his once again cold gaze.
"Sheik," he started gruffly, "anything else you'd like to add." She shook her head as he looked back to Elincia.
"Then we have no other choice," Elincia turned to the blue haired man next to her throne, "Geoffrey, station more troops at all of the villages near the new border. If Hyrule really is going to attack us, we need to make sure the civilians are protected. Oh and make sure all battle plans are kept secret. The last thing we need is other nations knowing what's going on and trying to get mixed up in this."
"Yes Queen Elincia," Geoffrey bowed and hurried off, leaving Zelda alone with the queen and Ike.
"Oh and Sheik," Zelda raised her eyes to Elincia trying her best to look neutral.
"Since you know more about Hyrule than us, I would like you to join us until this issue is resolved. Sir Ike will always be beside you if you'd like."
Zelda nodded her head and accepted. How could she deny the queens offer? She was planning on doing it anyway, but the thought of Ike always being with her made her uneasy. He looked at her so coldly and she just wanted to throw her arms around him in a big hug just hoping that he would return it. Internally she groaned. Why did this have to be so difficult? She wished she could just tell him... to just tell him who she was and pray that the goddesses would keep him in her life always. Even though she hadn't known him long, the three days they were together constantly made her never want to leave his side. Now that she was getting what she wanted, every future second they spend together would be awkward. Elincia had left and that meant that Ike and Zelda were alone again, but instead of saying anything he merely turned to walk off. Zelda felt a slight surge of irritation, falling quickly in step behind him and following him all the way into the courtyard. Zelda didn't have time to admire the stone work and plants however for he turned quickly on his heel to face her and she walked directly into his chest.
"Can I help you with something?" He asked as she took a step back and looked up at him.
"Ike I just wanted to say I'm sorry," she started as she lowered her eyes feeling his still on her, "I was just nervous-"
"There's no need for you to apologize," he stated quickly, "I overstepped."
"No, you didn't," she looked back up at him and gave him a small smile. "I was just nervous. I didn't mean to upset you," she continued and felt her heart beat faster as he touched her chin lightly.
"Can we just leave it as friends?" He asked after a minute and she felt something in her shatter into a million pieces. "I have a few things to help Geoffrey with concerning the plans," he started, "If you'll excuse me."
She nodded her head reluctantly as he left, leaving her to hurry off to her room. She shut the door swiftly behind her, her heart pounding as she slid down against it, kneeling on the floor before her. She felt tears pricking at her eyes as she slammed her fists against her legs. "Why am I so stupid?!" She cried out angrily into the empty room. Somewhere in the back of her mind she hoped she would hear her mother's voice answer her and tell her that everything was going to be okay. She longed for the comforting hold of her mother, just as she had felt the very first time her heart was broken by a childhood crush. But her mother was gone, and she had no one left to comfort her. Link was gone, Midna returned to the twilight realm, and she didn't even have Ike anymore. She felt completely alone.
Zelda sighed heavily as she looked out her open balcony doors at the courtyard below. Her escort had stopped by and brought her a canvas and paints to entertain herself, since Elincia still wanted her to stay in her room unless with an escort or Ike. It was obvious that Ike wasn't completely done with her since he was the only one she told about her hobby. Instead of having a wide view of the land like her room in the castle at home, she had a nice view of the courtyard and decided to paint the spot where she and Ike had stood earlier. Since it was fall however, none of the flowers were at full bloom, so from her imagination she painted the flowers in, trying her best to cheer herself up. She had only been working on it for two hours so of course it wasn't really done, but Ike had knocked on her door and when she invited him in, he immediately noticed the painting, but didn't say a thing about it.
She started putting the paints and canvas aside, and Ike waited until she was finished before telling her the news. "Well we received some news a few minutes ago and it's not exactly good."
"What happened?" She asked, her eyebrows furrowing.
"A group of Hylian soldiers attacked a town before we were able to get men out there and some of the survivors were saying that they've moved on to 'spread a message'," he explained and Zelda's solemn mood grew heavier over her, "apparently they're claiming that we're holding the accused princess even though no one has even seen her."
Zelda swallowed hard, "really?"
"Yeah, but to be honest," he continued, "I think she's already been killed and they're just using her as an excuse to wage war."
"Yeah probably," Zelda took a deep shaky breath, trying her best to look as calm as possible. Ike didn't seem to notice.
"Supposedly that group of soldiers is still out there, and we're getting together a small force to track them down if they've moved any closer to the castle. I need you to come with me. You're the only one of us that knows anything about Hyrule."
She nodded her head silently, debating on whether or not to ask about her magic. "Ike," she started as he turned to her with a rather apathetic look, "Hyrule is much different than Crimea, and..." He looked at her to continue, "And I do have powers of my own. My magic doesn't require tomes to use."
"I understand," he said after a moment, "the men understand that you are different than us, and if they give you any problems I'll take care of it."
"Well, it's not just that," she continued, "I also possess the ability to heal wounds, but I heard from my escort that the queen of Daein also possesses this ability. You call her branded though, and I'm not sure what that entails."
"Don't listen to him," Ike scoffed, "he's very old fashioned. You are not branded and you're not a freak. You're Hylian, and there's much we Crimeans don't know about your homeland."
She felt herself grimace, "you won't leave me by myself?"
He led her through the castle to prepare for their trip and she was a bit concerned what might happen if her soldiers saw her, but she knew that having Ike by her side she'd be safe. The discussion of a melee weapon had started on their way to the castle's armory and Zelda had mention she was somewhat practiced with a sword.
Zelda huffed as Ike was kneeling before her tightening a belt on her hips. "It's a little tight don't you think?"
"Well," he started as he stood before her, "I know you have magic, but it's best to have something to defend yourself with if you can't use it." She blushed as his hands ran across the belt making sure it was securely in place, the contact making her feel nervous. "There, you're all set."
"Ike," she started as he was putting a few things in a small pouch on his own belt.
He turned to look at her and she felt herself slightly blush again, "yeah?"
"Thank you for everything." She gave him her best warm smile and felt her heartbeat speed up as he turned towards her completely and actually returned the smile.
"You're welcome." She pushed away the oncoming feelings afraid if she said anything else she might ruin the moment and looked to the floor. He cleared his throat to break the silence, "you ready?" She merely nodded as he led her off through the halls. She was nervous of course, but it wasn't from the trip or even the fact that she'd be out in the open. She felt safe knowing Ike was going to be next to her, yet she felt the anxiety build and build. What if she was recognized? She knew if her identity was revealed everything would fall apart fast and she wasn't prepared for that at all.