So, I've decided that there are so many plot holes in this story that I might rewrite it. Possibly revamp it. I don't know if that'll mean anything to do you guys out there, but just letting you all know... There's a possibility of a better version of this story coming later in the... month. Or months. ...Or even years. Don't know yet. I'll think about it.
But since this is the last chapter, I'm going to finish it off with all it's cheesiness and plot holes intact.
Final Disclaimer: All things Zelda related mentioned in this story do not belong to me. They belong to the awesome director/storyline writer of the original Legend of Zelda of whom I failed to look for online. They're awesome.
Final Chapter, enjoy.
The light seemed to expand, turning everything in my vision to white. The sound of the chains grating against each other seemed to be muffled, until it eventually began to fade away. I closed my eyes, squeezing them against the light and listened to the sound of my heart beat in my chest.
The light dimmed. When I opened my eyes again, I was no longer in the dark, dank cavern. The stone walls covered in dew was replaced with solid stone bricks and bright red tapestries embroidered with the sign of Hyrule. The high rock ceiling had become elegant vaulted ceilings, stained-glass windows shining colored light inside the room. The floor was a tan marble, veined with white, and a red carpet ran down the center, leading to a gold throne at the back of the enormous room. Windows lining the walls allowed in even more sunlight, streaking the white walls with the sun's brilliance. I even fancied that it was warmer, far warmer than it was before. It was like walking into a home heated by a fireplace after walking in a winter storm.
Arran was kneeling next to me, his eyes staring at his surroundings as his mouth hanging open. He let himself fall onto his rear, his arms hanging loosely at his side. A sigh whispered from his lips. "This is... This place is..."
Sheik collapsed to her knees.
"Princess Zelda!" Arran shot up in his seat, scooting over on his knees to where Sheik sat hunched on her shins.
Sheik lifted her hand, holding Arran at bay. She looked up at him, smiling. Her eyes had returned to their original blue color, her entire form appearing more feminine than her disguise allowed. "I-I'm alright."
Arran leaned back, staring at her face. His voice trembled when he spoke. "You really are the Princess." He bowed his head, more out of intense relief than respect. Tears began to stream from his eyes. "You really are Princess Zelda. I'm so glad."
Zelda turned her head to me, weariness shining clear in her expression. I gestured to her appearance. "Your disguise."
She nodded, brushing fingers across her cheek. "I couldn't sustain the disguise after using so much magic." A shaky laugh fell from her lips.
I smiled, laughing too. My voice shook from sheer relief. I rose to my feet, my limbs feeling like rubber, and turned full circle in my steps. "This is..."
"The audience hall. Of Hyrule Castle," Zelda said.
I nodded my head. "Hyrule Castle has returned then."
Zelda bowed her head. "Yes. Hyrule Castle has returned." Her voice trembled and I noticed tears running down her face, tracing her smiling lips. "Hyrule Castle has returned to us."
"Your Highness..." Arran bent forward fighting between giving a comrade comfort or giving a princess her respect.
Zelda rubbed her dirtied gloved hands on her face, wiping them from her cheeks as her voice came in light sobs. "I'm so glad. Father... I have managed to protect Father's castle."
I felt a frown cross my lips. "The king...?"
Arran nodded, wiping the tears from his face. "Yes. Seven years ago, His Highness the late King Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule was murdered. We had believed that it was Lord Shadow who did it, but everyone who was going to expose this was killed as well. Before we were even able to realize it, Shadow had seized the throne." Arran looked to me, a graveness in his tear-streaked eyes. "He ruled the kingdom with fear. And everything had changed."
I lowered my head. Seven years I had spent locked away in the Chamber of the Sages. When I fought him at the gate of the castle town, had he already killed the king?
Arran continued, "Before long, he launched the campaign to kill the rest of the Royal Family. There was a law that states: at the death of the king, another member of his family would take his place. Even though Shadow had already taken control of the kingdom, he wanted to eliminate all opposition." A darkness passed over his eyes. "He killed Her Highness the Late Queen and all of her consorts. Then His Highness the Late Prince followed soon after. Princess Zelda was said to have died too, more rumors spoken on the lips of Shadow's men. Hyrule became a land of grief and despair."
There was a moment of silence, one where Zelda slowly began to wipe her face. When she spoke, her voice was coarse, but firm. "That Shadow stole the feeling of courage from my people and with that, ruled over them. Now that he is gone, there is much to be done." She leaned forward, placing her hands on the carpeted floor before pushing herself to her feet. Her blue eyes met with mine. "Hyrule needs her Queen to be strong."
"Your Highness...!" Her words spawned a smile upon Arran's face. He shuffled his legs underneath him, pushing himself up on one knee. He bent his head, arms folded in a bow.
Zelda smiled down upon upon Arran. She placed a hand upon her heart. "Arran Pasha. Will you be the First Knight of Hyrule?" Arran's head bolted up, eyes bulging. Zelda merely bowed her head. "A Queen will need her guard."
"Oh!" Arran fumbled his legs, unsure of whether to leap to his feet or to plant his face in the floor. He settled with the latter, arms trembling with renewed energy. "Y-Your Knight, Your Highness?! I am... unworthy of such honor! Thank you, Your Highness!"
Zelda turned to me. "Link, may I borrow the Master Blade?"
I unsheathed my sword, balancing it with both my hands and handed it over to her. Zelda gripped the sword by the handle, bringing the blade to her face. She then turned her eyes toward Arran, lowering the blade to sit lightly upon the crown of his head. "Today, Arran Pasha shall be named First Knight of Hyrule. Bring honor and protection to us all."
She lifted the sword as Arran rose his head, his face completely flushed. The grin on his lips stretched to the corners of his cheeks and I almost saw tears budding up in his eyes. He practically shouted his words. "I will protect Your Majesty and all of Hyrule!" With a nod from Zelda, Arran sprung to his feet. "I have to tell everyone else!"
Zelda laughed. "They will enjoy the news, I'm sure."
Arran hopped a few times, shouting out in glee. He grabbed my shoulder, shaking it before turning and dashing from the audience hall, his laughs echoing through the vast chamber.
I watched him go, smiling, and a small sigh escaped my lips. "He's excited isn't he?"
"...Yes. He has a right to be." There was a short moment of silence before Zelda spoke again. "...Link?"
I turned around to face her.
Zelda's eyes were turned down to the Master Sword in her hands, the blade resting on one hand while the handle was wrapped in the other. Her reflection stared her back between the smears of blood and dirt. "The Master Sword." She paused, studying her reflection. "It is here because you pulled it from the Pedestal of Time seven years ago." She lifted her face finally, looking me in the eye. "Just like when you came to defeat Ganon. You have once again saved Hyrule. Thank you." She extended her arms, handing me the Master Sword.
Though what she spoke was gratitude, her expression was grim. "Like before, I should return to you your lost time." She lowered her head and instantly I felt my stomach sink. "But Shadow had taken the Ocarina of Time from the Royal Family. I don't know how he was able to steal it, but we have been unable to find it."
"He took the... Ocarina of Time?" I felt concern begin to smother the relief in my chest.
Zelda slowly shook her head. "I had suspected that he sought for the Sacred Realm, but there is no Triforce there anymore." Her eyes drifted to the back of her hand, her other hand curling over it. She looked up at me again. "I will find the Ocarina of Time, Link and return you to the past. But until then..." Her eyes wandered down. "...Until then, I hope you will stay with me? Give me courage?" One hand lifted up, fingers unfurling.
I felt my face turn hot as I saw her hand hovering there and waiting. I couldn't turn her down after all this, could I? I rose my hand, taking hers in mine.
Zelda's eyes darted to her hand, then up to my face. I smiled sheepishly, fully aware of the blood flushing my face. She grinned.
"Thank you, Link."