This is probably my first real attempt at a humorous chapter...anyway, I hope you enjoy.

2- A Royal Mess, Part 3

-

Link cursed himself as he walked down the long corridor inside the palace. He had truly wanted for Malon to have a good time, for all his friends to finally meet her. Instead, she was standing in a room, surrounded by at least two hundred people whom she knew nothing about. "She's going to kill me..." He thought as he finally made his way to Dining Hall, where the servant had told him he would find Princess Zelda.

The guard standing at the door gave a low bow, and silently opened the door for the Hero. Link slipped inside the noiseless room. It smelled wonderful, the servants just starting to set the first course out on the large, very long table which took up most of the room in the Dining Hall.

"Link!" Zelda's voice broke the silence as she came up to the Hero, smiling radiantly. She wore a light blue and silver gown, her golden hair arranged into perfect little ringlets. "I'm so thankful that you were able to come. I'm sure everyone is very anxious to see you again." She paused, noticing Link's face. "What's with the frown? Did I do something wrong?"

Link forced a smile. "No, no, everything's all right."

Zelda looked at him quizzically. "If you say so. Listen, I just wanted to make sure that you promise to take the seat of honor this time. As I remember, last time we had one of these gatherings you sat near one of the doors, and slipped outside before the party was even over. " She said in a most sisterly fashion, hands on her hips.

Link laughed sheepishly. "Yeah, well, you know I don't have much patience for small-talk."

Zelda shook her finger at him, laughing. "You're too selfish, you know that? Nevertheless, you will take the seat of honor at the head of the table. And if you even try to sneak out again, rest assured I will lock you in a room with Ruto for a day."

Link's eyes widened in mock horror. "Say it isn't so..."

Zelda smiled. "If you try and sneak out again, it will be-"

Both were startled to hear a crash behind them. "Noooo!" A voice behind them wailed. Zelda rushed over to a man bent over a broken bottle, it's contents spilt all over the floor.

"Chef Pierre, what's wrong?" She asked the master chef, who looked as if he was about to cry.

"That was-a my secret spice." He said miserably. I can't-a cook anything without-a my secret spice..."

Zelda looked up at Link, bewildered. "Well, umm...then, Pierre, can't you just get some more spice?" She asked hopefully.

Pierre shook his head. "You can only-a find the spice in Gerudo desert. I can't-a get it in time..."

Zelda looked hopefully up to Link. "Link...please...?

Link rolled his eyes. "Fine..."

-

Link rubbed his eyes as he entered the Dining Hall for the second time that day. "Stupid spice..." he said to himself. He had bought five bottles of the stuff, just in case Chef Pierre felt the need to break any more of his 'precious-a spice bottles.'

"There you are Link!" Zelda said, relieved. "Chef Pierre will be ecstatic when he sees this." She called in one of the servants, who in turn took two of the spice bottles to the kitchen.

Zelda turned back to Link. "Why don't you go ahead and take a seat? I just sent one of the chefs to announce that dinner is ready. The guests should be coming in any time."

Wearily, Link took a seat at the head of the table. If Malon had been angry before, by now he was sure she would be absolutely furious. As people started filling in, Link searched painstaking for Malon, finally sighting her in the midst of everyone. She seemed tired as well, but was smiling...talking to...who? Link pushed himself up from where he was sitting, only to see a very familiar green haired girl listening intently to Malon. Her blue eyes made contact with his, twinkling mischeviously.

"Link, I'm so disappointed in you!" Saria grabbed Malon's hand and ran up to Link. "You bring this poor girl to a party with a bunch of people she knows nothing about, and leave her all alone!" She laughed as Malon's face grew red.

Link walked over the Malon. "I know you're probably furious Mal, I just got tied up...I'm really sorry." He looked at Malon for any sign of repentance. She tilted her head, amused.

"Link, you're a mess. What on earth have you been doing for the past hour?" She asked.

"Long story..." He answered apologetically. "I'll tell you later."

-

Link looked across the table nervously towards Malon. Because of his position, Malon couldn't sit next to him during the meal-strike three against him that night. Never had he been so thankful for Saria, she insisted that Malon sit next to her, assuring that she wouldn't be completely alone during the meal. By now Saria had introduced Malon to each of the six sages, and their individual personalities, respectively. Every now and again Link would catch Malon's eye, and try his best to make some silent apology.

He looked down at his meal. The meat seemed a little...overdone, but he could smell the 'secret spice' from where he was sitting. As he listened to those around him, he was startled to hear a scream. He immediately looked towards Malon, whose face had turned red with embarressment. For a second, no one said anything, though there seemed to be some type of communication going on between the sages. Suddenly, Ruto stood up, face full of rage, and hurled a fish, hitting Nabooru in the face. The next thing anyone knew, all six of the sages were involved in an all-out food fight which soon encompassed the entire table, dignitaries and all.

-

"What on earth happened in there?" Link asked Malon as they waited for their carriage to return in front of the palace. Both were currently in the act of wiping as much of the food off their clothing as possible.

"Well, umm...do you really want to know?" Malon asked, face still red.

Link nodded.

"Well..."

-

Malon looked across the table towards Link, who gave his best apologetic glance. What an evening this had turned out to be. Saria had introduced her to each of the six sages; herself, Darunia and Ruto (whom she met earlier), and Impa, Nabooru, and Rauru. Watching them, they reminded her of six siblings, constantly arguing amongst themselves and teasing each other mercilessly. All in all, they made her laugh.

What didn't make her laugh was this food she was supposed to eat. Half of the food she had never seen in her life, and it was hard for her to make out what was supposed to be eaten and what wasn't. She tried to watch the sages for any indication of how to eat the food, but to no avail. Picking up her spoon, she decided to try a pudding like...thing...that sat on her plate. She stuck her spoon in, but when she tried to pull it out, the spoon wouldn't budge. Nervously, she pulled the spoon once, twice. The third time she pulled, the spoon flew out, and flung the puddling across the table right into the face of Darunia. The sages fell silent.

"I'm...I'm so sorry Darunia...I didn't mean to..." She tried, feeling her face grow very red.

Ruto laughed. "That's just great Darunia...the pudding on your face matches your coloring perfectly."

Darunia smirked. "You don't say Ruto...well I know what ought to go beautifully with you." At this he picked up the fish on Impa's plate and threw it at Ruto, hitting her directly in the face. She let out a piercing shriek, instantly silencing everyone sitting at the table. For a couple seconds she just sat in her chair, eyes wide. Suddenly, she stood up, seething.

"How dare you Darunia?" She picked up the fish and flung it back at him, however her aim was off by a wide margin, and hit Nabooru in the face instead.

Nabooru glared at Ruto. "Fish-princess! Work on your aim!" She yelled, pounding her fist on the table. Too late did she realize that she accidently caught the edge of her plate, and sent all it's contents into the face of a very surprised Saria.

Saria sat, stunned. After regaining some composure, she wiped the food off the face, and gave a shrug, eyes twinkling once again with mischief. "Well if it's a food fight you want..." She grabbed a hand full of food and flung it into the faces of Darunia, Nabooru, and (accidentally) Impa.

-

"And that's how everything started." Malon let out a deep breath as she leaned back into the seat of the carriage. By now it was clear the both Link's clothes and her own were ruined, and she was not looking forward to riding back to inn dressed like this.

"Mal, I can't tell you how sorry I am. I really wanted you to have a good time." He said, disappointed.

Malon laughed. "Don't worry about it. Besides, I know exactly how you can make it up to me."

Link nodded. "Your chores for the next year, right."

Malon shook her head. "Oh no, just tomorrow."

Link tilted his head, curious. "What's the catch?"

Malon grinned, eyes twinkling with amusement. "Saria and I are going to have lunch tomorrow. I'm sure it will be a very enlightening experience for the both of us."

Link rolled his eyes. "Just great..."

Fin.