Where Are You?
The sound of rushing filled my ears. It had been this way for hours, and it was not about to stop anytime soon. Water...pouring from the sky, brought by the goddesses, brought to seal or drown my homeland and the evil that was born inside its borders, the evil that brought us into darkness before the glorious day he was banished from this world. But now he was back, and we could delay our escape from Hyrule no longer. I knew this was to happen, but that does not mean I was happy about it.
Let me take you back in time, back to when and why this whole cruel mess was started...
My tale truly begins about a year ago when I was 17. A message brought to Hyrule Market Town by a fearful peasant quickly and easily spread to my castle. I remember when I first caught wind of the news I most feared, the news that I never suspected... I had watched as a messenger of my kingdom made his way to my father with urgent news. I hid myself behind a wall and listened.
"Your Highness," said the messenger. "A resident of Hyrule has spotted the King of Evil not far from Lake Hylia!"
My father dove into shock, almost denial for a moment.
"Pardon me! Ganondorf is slain. How can this be? How can he be alive?" he questioned.
I placed my hand over my heart. I did not want to believe what I had heard. I wished denial upon myself, too, though I knew, and would always know, that what the messenger spoke of was no joke, no lie.
But a glimmer of hope lit itself inside my heart--the Hero of Time! He had disposed of the wicked Ganondorf before, why couldn't he do it once more?
Other thoughts came to mind. Bad thoughts... I recalled the day he had left on a personal journey; I also recalled not seeing him since. However, I was not about to give up hope on his return.
Months passed, and my people prayed for Link to come back. Sightings of Ganondorf became more and more frequent, and soon, whole tribes such as the Gorons were being slaughtered and taken over as Ganondorf's minions returned too. There were deaths nearly every day of this horrible time; I remember the very first of these saddening events…
A distraught young girl had fled from her home at LonLon Ranch, explaining through tears to my castle's guards that Ganondorf had murdered her father. Several guards and warriors from my kingdom warily ventured to the ranch, only to find that the girl's words were true—her father was indeed, dead. The guards told of the large wounds on his body; it was obvious he had been murdered.
As time went on, more of my people died. The guards heavily protected my father and I as I waited for the return of the hero.
To my dismay, he never came. I did not understand…. As much as this thought pained me, I knew deep in my heart that he would not return to put an end to Ganondorf's evil as he had done so long ago, but I did not believe myself. I lay awake many a night thinking, Where are you, Link? Have you forgotten Hyrule? Have you forgotten me and your loyalty to this kingdom?
I began to feel betrayed.
With these memories said, let us go back to today, this most horrible day, the day of my departure and the ultimate sealing of my land.
I stood before my father, garbed in the clothing of a peasant woman, not the clothing of a princess. This was because I was leaving the kingdom, and if I dressed as elaborately as I usually did, Ganondorf would have no trouble finding me at all, and knowing my destined position as the keeper of the Triforce of Wisdom, he was bound to be after me.
"Father, why are you not coming with me? This downpour will drown you! Are you mad?" I asked, my eyes welling up with tears.
My father closed his eyes for a moment, sighed then opened them again.
"Zelda, my child, do not fear for my life. Concern yourself only with your own well being, for I shall be fine," he replied calmly.
He will drown if he remains here! I thought with despair as I let one tear travel down my cheek.
My father arose, approached me, and wiped another tear away.
"My child, you must understand, I cannot leave this kingdom. My memories and its spirit bind me here. I am not going to die."
"What are you saying, father? That this will not be your end? I apologize, but that is outrageous…."
"Do not dwell on what I have just told you. You must leave now, Zelda. Your escorts are awaiting you."
I started to speak, but my father interrupted.
"Go," he said, his tone telling me that this was the end of the argument.
I gave him one last teary look, one last sorrowful good-bye, before turning around, grabbing a small bag of my belongings, and exiting the castle.
I was to be escorted to Death Mountain to seek higher ground, and when I left the castle, two guards were waiting for me on horses, holding a beautiful white mare that belonged to me, which I would ride to our destination upon. I attached my bag to the horse's saddle and climbed on. I nodded to my guides, signaling that I was ready to leave, and thus, the three of us headed to Hyrule Market Town.
I slowed my mare's pace as we rode through its streets so I could see the people who remained, and would remain, in this dying land.
It was the most unfortunate thing I had ever known…. You see, only so many of Hyrule's population could seek safer grounds, the rest of my people were left behind. I thought of how they would drown or be slaughtered by Ganondorf, and it made me sick. I stared at the children along the streets watching my departure, children who would not live to see yet another day.
I could not take it anymore; I urged my horse into a fast trot, for I was unable to handle the harsh realities of this cruel world for the time being.
We entered Hyrule Field. The grand mote circling my kingdom was overflowing, and the ground was sopping wet. I looked to the heavens. The Goddesses' water and fate was raining down upon us without any sign of slowing or stopping.
Since we were away from civilization, my guards and I brought our horses to a gallop. I held my reigns tight as I tried to clear horrible thoughts from my mind, but it was no use—they came to me as fast as the downpour came to the ground.
My mind wandered to Link. I wondered where he was now…. Was he dead? Was he lost? Had he found a new life and pushed Hyrule out of it? No matter where I thought he may be, or what I thought he was doing, I could not help but feel betrayed. I had prayed for his return, but I knew it was too late now. No one could stop Ganondorf. The only thing, my father believed, that would stop that man's destruction was this downpour, this sealing.
How was giving up our kingdom going to help it? I had yet to find an answer to such an outrageous question.
My guards and I arrived safely at Kakariko Village, where I saw more innocent people who would not survive what my father called mercy, but what I knew as a curse, a sin, a tragedy that would mean the end of many…. I tried not to look at the villagers.
We reached Death Mountain, and the guards standing before its gates let us pass. Our horses slowed as they picked their way up to the top of the mountain.
I could not shake the Hero of Time from my mind. He remained there as if he were engraved in my thoughts. Not only did he still seem real there, but also in the most sacred and cherished part of all who are pure…my heart. However, I felt such rage towards him, and the feeling of betrayal lingered still.
I am not sure how long I rode along in my thoughts and on my horse, but before I knew it, we were at the top of Death Mountain. The journey was over.
I stopped my horse and dismounted, then turned to face the others who would survive our land's fate. I saw the sages, the ranch girl, a few Kokiri, Gerudos, and even Zoras, along with a few people from Kakariko and Hyrule Market Town. I received solemn nods of greeting from my stone-faced fellows. Then a long period of waiting began…. Oh, only the Goddesses know how long we waited! What were we waiting for? Even I did not know, until something finally happened….
Things suddenly grew quieter, and a blanket of stillness fell upon the world. Things remained this way for many minutes until, to my fear and shock, the heaven's water came down harder and with such violence you could not even think about it!
I screamed, and was not the only one who did so. Others who were on the mountain top yelled too, but there were more than, and this fact made me burst into tears.
The people below us, those without a future, also screamed. The air was filled with the screams of fear, shock, despair, and death.
I cried as I watched my whole life get buried underwater. I sobbed as the innocent suffered the cruelest fate imaginable.
Where are you, Link? I wondered as I yelled and cried. And where do your loyalties lie? Apparently, not in Hyrule….