I have decided to keep a journal since lately I have been under a lot of stress. Master Auru suggested it, telling me it is a good and swift way to clear my head. It's also a good excuse to have some 'me' time, which I've barely had in… a month.
One month since the Mirror of Twilight broke. Goddesses.
So many things have happened since that day.
The first thing I remember after my ears stopped ringing was seeing Link fall to his knees. He was in absolute shock.
'Why?' he said, in a faint whisper.
He was so affected he didn't even cry.
I didn't know what to say. Nothing I could say would give him solace in that moment.
I never thought Midna would do that, until she said 'as long as the Mirror's around, we could meet again…' But given the circumstances of how the three of us met, it simply couldn't be possible. She had the resolve to finish this conflict once and for all. And if breaking the Mirror -and thus severing forever any way to join both worlds - was the only way, she just had to do it. The feelings of all of us had to be set aside.
I might not agree with the way she did it, but I understand it. Perhaps I would have done the same thing. I cannot judge her.
So, in absolute silence, I came close to him, sat on the sand covered ground, and held his hand.
The only sound was the whistling of the desert wind. We stayed like that until the first stars appeared in the sky.
I guess we both refused to believe we would never see her again.
The cold of the nightfall woke us up from our numb state, reminding us it was time to leave. None of us was ready to spend the night on Gerudo Desert.
The return was silent. We were still holding hands.
We walked towards lake Hylia for a couple of hours, until Link suddenly stopped. 'we can't get out of here unless we warp'. his voice was hoarse.
'Do not worry, we will find a way', I said with a soft smile, squeezing his hand a bit. He looked so tired and sad.
Fortunately, my childhood geography and history lessons paid off. I remembered there were some ruins we could climb in order to get near the east road to Castletown. Some time later we reached the road, and Link called his horse, Epona. She dashed through the fields, and we reached our destination at the break of dawn. We got off the beautiful mare at Castletown's gates.
People were gathered in the square, chattering, trying to figure out what happened in the Castle. As we entered the city, people cheered and greeted us as the victors of light - despite torn clothes, dirt, sand, sweat and blood. Yes, it was a joyous occasion for everyone, but it was bittersweet for us. This victory was stained with loss.
Later, I walked quickly to the Castle's grounds. I needed to see the damages to the castle.
To the disappointment of the mason's guild, the wreckage was less than expected - only the throne room was damaged. And nobody died because of it, which was truly a miracle. I turned to my companion, who was looking at the hole in the ceiling above the Goddesses' sculpture.
'She really gave him a run for his rupees', he said with a soft smile. 'Do you think she will remember us the way we will about her?'
'I hope so. If not, I will make sure to gather every single bloody speck and shard of the Mirror of Twilight on Hyrule to cross over and make sure she does', I answered, as tears welled in my eyes. Emotions surfaced despite trying to contain myself.
He smiled as tears fell freely from his eyes. 'Was Midna with you all the time you were at the tower? ', he asked, as he dried his eyes with the back of his hand.
'She came to visit at least once a day. In the beginning she was really mean and sarcastic, but later she became nicer. She told me stories about her realm, and her people'. I sighed, and continued. 'I guessed she was a runaway of sorts, since after she left the day before she brought you as a wolf, there was quite a lot of activity, from what I could see from the tower. When you brought her here dying and I used my magic to save her, I could see her memories, and realized who she really was, what she had gone through… Everything. She was really fond of you and appreciated your efforts to help her'.
He nodded, and he seemed a bit more resigned. Loss is not an easy matter to deal with, after all.
'You are not alone in this. If you feel sad, lonely, or just want to talk, allow me to be there for you, as a friend', I said as I held his hands. 'Besides, we also share a common burden'. The triangles in our hands were proof of it .
'Thank you, your Highness. It's a honor to this humble goat herder you consider me a friend', he said as he bowed his head. I stopped him right away.
'You bow to no one, Link. Not even to me', I answered. 'Now let us go outside. We need to tell the people what happened'. He nodded.
We left the throne room and went back to the town square. People made room for us.
I informed them about the most important things that happened during the invasion. Link remained silent most of the time, but his presence made people more serene. I realized he was acquainted with most people, and he was adored and respected by the crowd.
Once everything was over, we walked outside the gates. It was time to say farewell to Link. He deserved to have some rest after all these trials and tribulations.
'I have no reason to retain you here. You are free to go back to your home or do as you wish', I said, extending my arm for a handshake.
He reciprocated it, and held my hand with both hands. 'Thank you, Your Highness'.
'Just call me Zelda. We are friends from now on'. I said with a smile.
'Alright… Zelda', he answered. 'It's gonna take a while to get used to it though'. He mounted Epona, and as he patted the mare's neck, he said 'I've got a feeling our paths are going to cross again sooner than expected'.
And with that, we said our goodbyes, and he rode back home. I really wished his statement was true.
The following days went into a rush of work: I needed to organize a Council, coordinate repairs not only in the castle, but also in other places of Hyrule where aid was needed, and finally discuss all things related to my imminent crowning (a real pain in the backside, because it costs money we do not have right now for such frivolities). I also had to convince Impaz to come back to the castle.
The Resistance proved to be perfectly fit to be part of the council. Master Auru had worked for my father before, so he knows the inner workings of politics. Shad is an amazing scholar, with extensive knowledge of the history and laws of Hyrule, besides his fixation with the Oocca. Ashei is an expert warrior, skilled in combat and intelligence. I only needed to add one representative of each of the regions, and the leaders of the Goron tribe and Zora's Domain.
The conundrum emerged when the moment to choose a leader for the Army, which was in shambles after the invasion. Most of it has been decimated, and we could not afford to risk Hyrule's safety again. I needed someone with not only strength, but also charismatic, respected and admired by people. And young enough to be in charge for several years.
A champion of Hyrule.
Someone like Link.
I debated for days whether this was the right idea. Four nights ago, I decided to send a hawk with the following message:
I wholeheartedly hope you are doing fine and you are in good spirits.
I will go straight to the point. Remember when I asked during the battle against Ganon to lend me the last of your strength? Well, I lied. I need to request something from you, but I require your presence at the castle. It is not a matter that can be discussed in a letter.
So I am currently waiting for his answer. All the other matters have been mostly taken care of.
It seems someone is looking for me. I guess it's a good time to stop for today.
P.S.: I never thought the person that would be knocking at my door would be Link himself, dressed in his hero's garb and all. He certainly looked so much better without the forlorn look, grime and dirt from the battlefield. His eyes had not lost his fierce gleam though.
'How did you get in here?!', I said completely startled.
'There are many places the royal seal can let you in', he stated waving the letter I sent him, 'and even more if you wear the hero's tunic... Zelda'.
He was right. There was little chance the guards would not allow him. I let him in, told him to take a seat and make himself comfortable. His eyes wandered from one point to another, looking at the objects in my chamber, while playing with his hat between his hands.
'Do you have any idea about why I requested your presence here?', I said while I poured some tea for him.
'No, but it couldn't have a better timing. I was feeling kinda stuck in Ordon', he said, as he put his hat aside to take the cup. 'The first days were sleep, sleep, more sleep, and catching up with the folks. Then I started feeling restless. I realized my life after the Twilight was never going to be the same…and then I got yer letter. It really cheered me up, and came here as soon as possible'.
'I am glad my letter was well received, but I am not sure if it is going to be the same with my proposal'. I sat in front of him. 'I need your help to recover Hyrule's army and make it even better than it was before. You will have to recruit new people, train them, and most importantly, be their leader. You will become Lord Commander of the Army of Hyrule and The Queen's Champion... If you accept, that is'.
Link was perplexed, and remained silent. I feared this was a bad idea.
He swallowed hard.
'I accept. I'll do it'. He said, with a smile. Now I was bewildered.
'A-Are you sure of it? I do not want you to feel obliged to accept'. Nothing could make me feel worse that forcing him to take this job. I already got him into a conflict before.
'Absolutely sure. Nothing could make happier than helping you', he added. 'I would also put my skills to good use'.
I felt such gratitude towards him. This is no small enterprise; he will have to build the army almost from scratch. Farore chose well the bearer of Courage.
'Master Auru is going to help you get acquainted with the more formal issues of military life'. I took a sip from my cup of tea. 'He is also the head of the Council'.
'Auru?' He was surprised. 'Are the other members of The Resistance part of the Council?'
'Indeed. Shad and Ashei are part of it also'. I put my cup aside. 'But it is not complete yet. I need representatives from the regions'.
'Do you have any names yet?' Link asked.
He was really attentive, trying to get informed and learn as much as possible. I told him about needing help to choose people from the regions. He offered his help right away. He is knowledgeable about the land and their leaders, so this comes in handy.
'Besides the people, we would add the Goron Chief and Prince Ralis of Zora's Domain', and I added, 'The idea is to have the most diverse Council possible, since nothing can be achieved with one filled only with people who live in a bubble', meaning the nobles who used to be part of it until my father's death - except for Master Auru, for sure.
'That's quite daring, do you realize?', Link said.
'And that's just the beginning, my friend'. I stated, looking at him with a smirk, which made him burst into laugh.
'What is so funny, Lord Commander?', I inquired.
'You. How different is the 'Princess' you from what I see now'.
'You are also different, Link', I said, as I held my chin with my hands, 'You seem more quiet and thoughtful than this fearless daredevil that saved Hyrule'
'Courage not necessarily has to be reckless', he retorted. 'Neither Wisdom has to be static, my friend'. His southern accent gave his wording an additional dose of charm.
I looked at him again, and the fierce spark in his eyes made me realize something.
This is going to be the start of something amazing.