By Sienna Moony
Soft candelight flickered from the wooden table, the glow illuminating the faces of the two young women who sat on either side. They were Reyna – the young, beloved queen of Hyrule – and her trusted counselor, Impa. Reyna tucked a curling strand of red-blond hair behind one elongated ear, her blue eyes looking as red as Impa's in the light of the candles as they flicked from one object to the next – a chair, a portrait on the wall, her fingernails – to keep from having to look Impa in the eye.
"I will leave tonight," Impa said sternly, as if already guessing her mistress's thoughts. Reyna took a deep breath, unable to blink for fear of releasing tears.
"No, Impa. I don't think you will." Reyna's voice shook as she stood from her spot at the table, her eyes finally resting on the faces of her twin children, their small forms tucked into the blankets of their crib.
"Your Majesty," the deep, clear voice echoed through the room, though she spoke in barely more than a whisper. Reyna lifted her head and looked over at the shining, loyal red eyes of her Sheikah companion.
"Your Majesty," she repeated, "I must leave as soon as possible." She insisted, still not catching on to Reyna's intentions. The queen bit her lip, her insides bubbling.
"I think I should go." She finally managed, softly. She felt her will crumbling as soon as she said it, and silently prayed that Impa would argue against it. One of her children – Zelda – shifted in her sleep and Reyna clasped the edge of their crib, her knuckles whitening.
"I know I should go," she corrected.
"Your Majesty, I do not think that is wise." Impa said, calmly. Impa never raised her voice. Reyna shook her head, smiling wistfully.
"It's right, Impa. They're already watching you. If I leave, he won't expect it, and I'll have a head start. Besides, he wants me dead. If I stay, he'll find some way of killing me, and then the children will never know the truth." She reached over to the crib, grabbing a blanket and eyeing her daughter thoughtfully. "If you stay, hiding in the shadows, he'll suspect you of being nothing more than a nurse maid."
Impa nodded, knowing it was true. In fact, she'd always known, ever since Reyna had relayed her vision regarding her children, but she hadn't wanted to admit it. The queen had been her friend since their youth, and now they would have to say goodbye. She watched as Reyna reached towards her son, caressing his tiny forehead with her hand lovingly. After a moment, she turned to her daughter, scooping her up in her arms. Zelda moaned in her sleep, but did not wake.
"Your majesty," Impa shook her head, reaching out to take Zelda from the Queen. For a moment Reyna held on tightly, afraid to let her daughter go, but Impa gently took the child without any harm being done. "You must take your son. Zelda will have your gift of sight. She will know what to do if she stays here."
Reyna's eyes returned to her other child, her forehead creased, and she nodded. She didn't need to ask how Impa knew. She just did.
She took her son and left.
Reyna had been right to go. If Impa had left, the guards would have been alerted by the other maids, and she would have been found and killed by morning. Reyna, however, left under the cover of darkness, the only sign of her departure a single tear on her husband's forehead, left as she kissed him goodbye. It took them a week to catch Reyna, as she headed south-east with her son, into the forests. When she heard their cries behind her, she hid her child beneath the root of an old tree, his small form protected only by a heavy blanket and an old sword that she put by his side. His blue eyes watched her as she turned the other way, her figure fading into the distance, leading the guards astray.
As their swords clashed down on her, tearing away at her life, the trees seemed to close and block the noises of her death, keeping it away from the child. The only sounds were the echoes of her final plea among the branches.
"Forest spirits, this boy will save us all! Protect my son, Link Dragonclaw!"