From the Ashes of a Kingdom Reborn
By: Ashe Van Hollow
A/N: This is my first ever fanfiction and I would certainly appreciate it if you would all please, sit back, relax, and finish this chapter. It's a bit slow at first, but it'll get better. The title says it all.
Prologue: The Fall of Hyrule
"Trying to rule out the criteria."
Rainfall. Her inability to see anything in the courtyard was all because of it. She stumbled, fumbling around for something. It was an urgent need, a desire to obtain something which was lost, even though she didn't know what it was. She licked her bottom lip slightly, and tasted a mix of blood and salt. Her desperation increased when she heard footsteps behind the door leading to her. She had to find it now or else, all would be lost.
They began banging on the doors, yelling for her to open up. She tripped over something and scraped her knee through the torn dress. Through the curtain of rain, she could decipher a body. A horrifying sensation of recognition choked her. It was her caretaker, Impa. She couldn't hold back the scream of anguish that rose from the very depths of her soul. All noise ceased. Then there was a loud explosion which, for a few seconds, lit up the whole courtyard. From the corner of her eye, she spotted that which she had been searching for.
Then he came into the courtyard and quickly shoved her against a wall. She could see the evil glint in his eyes. He was insane, in a degree far beyond imagining. And he had won.
"Finally, I've found you Princess of Destiny. Now, where is it?"
She spat at him.
"I'd never tell you, even if it killed me."
Her defiance only served to amuse him and he grinned at her maliciously.
"Sir! We've found it!" A soldier declared.
"Wonderful. This will make things go by much easier. We have no other use for you, Zelda. Now, gather around, soldiers. It is time you see how to kill a descendant of the sages. With the fall of this girl, the last heir to the throne of Hyrule, you shall finally witness our rise to power!"
The soldiers cheered. Zelda made one last attempt at his human side.
"He trusted you. I trusted you! Why have you betrayed Hyrule?! Betrayed me?! The senseless destruction…How could you?"
If only for a second, there was guilt in his eyes.
"Goodbye Princess Zelda."
He raised his sword above his head to strike the final blow.
Her crystal clear blue eyes shot open in shock and she sat up straight. Her hands clenched the sheets of her bed. She was trembling badly. The door burst open and Impa raced inside with a few guards. Quietly, and with what she hoped was a calm voice, she ordered the guards out. Once they were outside, Impa turned to Zelda.
"Is everything alright?"
"Yes. It was just a nightmare."
"Was it the same as the others?" Impa asked quietly.
"This time there were a few factors that hadn't…that hadn't quite appeared in the others."
"This time I was out in the courtyard. I was searching desperately for…I'm not sure what, although I'm certain it was important. And there was a man. I don't remember his face."
"Do you remember any details that may be relevant? Your dreams have had a tendency to come true…"
Zelda shook her head thoughtfully.
"I don't think anything will happen. You needn't worry about it."
But if that was the case, then why did she still feel uneasy?
"Then I shall see you outside, your highness."
"Please don't call me that. We've been through this before. When we're alone, please honor me by calling me Zelda." She tried to correct.
"Good morning your highness."
Impa left through the doors before she could argue. She sighed at the stubbornness of the woman. She never really had been able to convince her to call her by her first name.
She took her hair brush and combed through her blonde hair. When she was done, she braided the last of it down mid back in an elegant manner. (1) It was very easy, as she had years of practice, but how she did it without any help, the servants could only wonder. As she dressed she noticed a subtle tapping against the door. One of the servants coming to check on her because of the nightmare, most likely.
"I'm fine, thank you. It was just a nightmare. You needn't worry about it."
"Alright then. The King awaits you, princess, and he does not like to be kept waiting."
She sighed slightly in exasperation. Her father's antics were amusing at some points, but this morning she wasn't in the mood. But soon that feeling was replaced by a new one. Dread. The dream had filled her with it. The feeling of dèjá vu made no sense. She had never experienced the ransacking of her home, and even less an invasion of darkness and shadows that came from another realm…had she? No. It was impossible. Surely she would have remembered such an incident.
Her confusion quickly grew into frustration. Why couldn't she remember the face of the man that betrayed her? Every alarm in her body screamed out for recognition but no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't remember the man's face. Her unease increased as she remembered which day it was. It was the day her father, Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule, would publicly announce her engagement with Zant, the prince of Twilight. They were going to announce it at the ball tonight in celebration. Everyone was allowed to attend.
Personally she thought the engagement was kind of stupid, as she didn't even love the guy, even less like him. It was a sort of neutral relationship. From her part at least. There wasn't a day when she didn't wish he had never fallen in love with her. From the first time she saw him she knew she could never bring herself to love him. And yet he wasn't as false or pompous as any of the others. She had suddenly found herself accepting and her life was slowly, but steadily, spiraling out of her control.
"Is everything alright in there, princess?"
She snapped out of her reverie. She noticed bemusedly that she had been sitting on her bed for quite the long time after she had finished dressing.
"Yes, everything's fine. I'll be right out."
"Your father is not pleased so I suggest you take your sword with you."
Zelda laughed softly as she opened the door.
"Dearest Marin, I certainly hope it does not come to that." She said.
Marin smiled and bowed. At her reaction, she frowned and sighed in frustration. She had known Marin for as long as she could remember and she hated the fact that Marin still thought of her as her princess and not her friend. After all, they had practically grown up together.
"Princess, forgive me for saying this but that frown does not suit your beautiful complexion. Although your beauty is not diminished, it is better to see you smile." Marin said.
"There's no need for flattery. Please don't put me on the pedestal. I'd rather walk among my friends. And if you must insist on treating me like royalty then do it when there are other people around. When we're alone then treat me as a friend."
Marin laughed and poked Zelda.
"I was wondering when you would say that! I was dying to tell you about yesterday…" She sighed dreamily.
Zelda blinked in surprise.
"Did he propose?" She asked blankly.
Marin stifled a laugh at the memory.
"Goddesses, he was so nervous! It took him the whole night to pop the question, and he could barely speak."
"About time. That's so like Mido." Zelda said, laughing joyously, "I wish you a happy marriage."
"Thanks. Oh, hey. I heard you had a nightmare this morning. Everything ok?"
"It was nothing. You needn't worry about it."
For a second, Marin looked confused which made Zelda confused. Then Marin looked startled.
"I'm holding you up, Zelda, and your father isn't happy! You'd best go see him before you actually do have to face his wrath!"
Zelda winced at this. When her father wasn't happy…everything somehow ended up going wrong. She thanked Marin and bid her good morning. She made her way to the Grand Hall and approached their table. Her father stared at her with a blank look, the kind that clearly stated 'You better have an excuse ready.'
"I had a nightmare." Was her simple reply, along with a blank look of her own.
Her father raised an eyebrow at this.
"This slowed you down for half an hour?" He asked quietly.
She hoped he wouldn't ask the dreaded question.
"And Marin had nothing to do with it?"
He stared at her with an expectant expression. She almost sighed in relief.
"Alright. Now why don't you sit down and tell me about your nightmare?"
Oh…How wonderful. Sarcasm is a really nifty tool, don't you think?
"It was nothing, really. You needn't worry about it."
How many times had she used that line already? What, five?
"If you're sure. I have something to discuss with you, though. It's about the Gerudo's situation…"
Zelda began eating, hardly paying attention to her father's discussion. She had heard the argument so many times she was almost reciting it with him. She already knew the correct answer to the problem but her father would most likely not approve. Of course, when had he ever approved of her decisions?
"…They have no food and they seek aid from our country, but we cannot abide. What kind of King would give away his people's food? They work so hard every day for it."
"Excuse me father, but if I may, why not let them pay off the debt over time? Their people die every day from starvation. We cannot let this continue any further. Their land is not fertile enough to bear food for them and you know it as well as I do. If this continues, I fear the consequences. This situation will most likely end in bloodshed."
He sighed thoughtfully, and she was surprised when he nodded.
"I suspect you're correct in your assumption. I'll discuss this with the council. Well done, my daughter. You will make a great Queen yet."
He left Zelda at the table pondering what had occurred.
"Did he just praise me?" She asked herself quietly.
"Your engagement has lightened his attitude towards you."
She jumped at the sudden intrusion. Turning around, she saw Impa standing at the doorway. Regaining her composure, she stood and watched as the cooks carried away her plates. She signaled Impa to follow her. Quickly and quietly, they left outside towards the garden.
"I don't want to marry him."
The statement was simple enough but the reality of it crashed down upon her with full force. She didn't think herself ready to get married, especially not to a man whom she didn't love.
"I know you don't."
It was the hour of twilight and she awaited the arrival of her fiancé. The ball would start any minute now and the guests were arriving. She wore an elegant gown and everyone complemented her on her choice. Marin was standing with Mido next to Zelda as she uneasily awaited Zant. Something was wrong and she could feel it in the air. Something had been wrong ever since that morning. It stirred a dark and cruel fear inside her, a fear so irrational it spurred paranoia.
Yes. Something was horribly, horribly wrong.
"Princess!" A voice made her look up.
Zant stood there panting holding a bouquet of pink roses in his hand. He walked up to her and kissed her softly on the cheek. His lips were cold, and the feeling sent shivers down her spine.
"Unfortunately we're going to have to wait until we're married to do anything about that. Or maybe it'll come sooner than we think." He winked.
He had obviously misunderstood the meaning of her shivering. She smiled weakly in response. That was the one thing she feared the most about their marriage.
"Let's go inside." She whispered.
He obliged and flashed her a grin. For a moment her heart stopped. There was something eerily familiar about that grin, as if she had seen it somewhere before. A sinking feeling began to develop in the pit of her stomach.
"Everything alright, your highness?" Marin asked. Her concern was touching.
"You look a little pale."
"Maybe it's the heat. Hyrule certainly is hot during this time. Sometimes I wish I could do something about it." Zant suggested.
"I'm fine." Zelda snapped.
Without waiting for an answer she went inside. The noise there was distracting, but only slightly. The feeling was still stuck, like a warning bell had just been set off. What was going on? She could feel something amiss and she feared for her friends and family, even more for her people.
"What's going on?" She murmured to herself
Suddenly, she heard her father's booming voice call out for everyone's attention. She made her way to the front of the room, wondering whether he was already going to announce her engagement. She felt someone move beside her and caught a glimpse of blonde hair. On her other side she felt Zant come up behind her. He placed his hand on her shoulder attempting to give her some kind of comfort.
The King of Hyrule stared at everyone at the crowd. A hushed silence fell upon them all and they turned to listen to the important announcement of their king. He stood strong and tall, and for a second all her fears vanished. For a second…
"First of all, I'd like to thank all of you who are here tonight…"
For a second, she thought she saw a flicker of movement behind one of the stone pillars that stood behind her father. She stared at the darkness behind the pillar for a few moments, horror mounting up in her throat. She told herself it was a trick of the light. Over and over again she repeated it in her head, forming a mantra.
'You're just a little paranoid because of the dream you had last night. Nothing's going to happen tonight. Nothing is hiding behind that pillar.'
Doubt plagued her saying as she tried to convince herself. The doubt was there, just like it had been when she had thought of marrying Zant, when she was considering his proposal. It had been there when she had said yes. It had been there when she had told her father. It had been there when the ball had been announced. All of her decisions had been plagued by doubt. Her nightmares had started before she had accepted his marriage proposal. They had begun haunting her right after she had met him.
"Or maybe it'll come sooner than we think."
Her whole life she had been taught to make good decisions and the only way to make good decisions was to be sure. If she was sure of her decision, even if it was a mistake, at least she would know she had truly thought it over and she had thought it the best option at the time. But she had made all those decisions, taken all of those risks not based upon certainty, but upon fear and doubt.
"My daughter as you all know has been courting princes' from all over…"
His grin earlier had not been made out of love or anything else. There had been something else hidden in his face, behind his mask. There had been a malicious side to that grin. A sadistic side. And his eyes…his eyes hadn't been the same lighthearted ones she had seen the last time he had come to visit. This time they seemed wilder for some reason. They seemed weighed down by burden…by guilt.
"Maybe it'll come sooner than we think."
And with an epiphany she realized who he had reminded her of. The man in the nightmare.
"I am here to publicly announce her…"
And she caught the flicker of light that only happened when reflected against a drawn sword.
"…engagement to the…"
She ran forward.
She heard her name uttered from Zant as he tried to grab her arm.
A shocked silence ensued as they watched the King of Hyrule's eyes suddenly widen. The front of his formal uniform ripped open and the tip of the blade of a sword was visible. He looked down towards it, reaching with his hands and gagging almost unbelievably. Blood seemed to spill out of his mouth like an over filled bathtub. And then his gaze rose to meet Zelda's horrorstruck one. She was stone still, almost like a statue. She had frozen mid sprint, her hand reaching out towards him. Her breath came out in a shocked cry.
She staggered one step forward. Her facial expression was a mix of pain and shock.
"Father…" Her voice was choked.
He slumped forward and fell for the final time. Behind him stood a man dressed in black. He stared at everyone's shocked expressions with sick amusement.
"You…won't get away with this." She spoke with such defiant fervor that for a moment, everyone wanted to believe her.
He stared at her, smirking. She couldn't look away, even if she had wanted to. She glared at him with fire in her eyes.
"Destroy the town, disperse the people, and kill anyone who dare oppose you." He said to a group of soldiers, "And Zant, I shall give you the most important task of all: Kill the Princess of Destiny."
Before she knew what was happening, a group of soldier's surrounded her in a protective circle.
"You shall not harm our princess!"
The man in black laughed and suddenly a black portal seemed to shimmer and appear behind him. Black monsters rose out from it and rushed at the soldiers who vainly attempted to fend them off. Zelda stared in horror as her men quickly fell to the ground, unmoving.
Someone suddenly grabbed her hand and pulled her quickly and roughly towards the stairs. Marin dragged her along up them as quickly as she could. They heard the commotion in the ball room and the screams of children crying out for their parents. People ran towards the exit of the castle, trying to escape the sheer horror of the situation.
Marin led Zelda through the hallways of the castle always listening to the footfalls of the soldiers following them. Somehow she touched a panel in the wall and the wall opposite to it slid open. Marin shoved Zelda inside and quickly followed her in. She touched a dusty candlestick inside the passage and the wall quickly slid shut.
Zelda felt Marin's hand grab hers again as she led her through the passage. It was pitch black and their heavy breaths echoed off the walls. Fortunately, something told her to keep quiet and she did not a moment too soon. Soldiers ran on the other side of the wall and they could hear the clinking of the armor they wore.
"They went over here! This way!" Someone shouted.
After the soldiers had passed, they moved on through the passage. They kept moving in a heavy silence that was killing Zelda on the inside. Her father was gone. What had happened? Why was everything going wrong? And why had the man in black called her 'The Princess of Destiny'? What was that supposed to be? Nothing made any sense.
Out of desperation, Zelda squeezed Marin's hand in an attempt to convince herself someone else was there inside the tunnel with her. The other girl squeezed her hand back and whispered comfortingly:
"We're almost there."
Rapidly, and without another word, they reached a fork in the passage, bathed in a soft light from some candles in the wall. They took the right one and soon came upon a dead end. Marin let go of Zelda's hand and tapped the wall three times. It slid open to reveal the courtyard. It was pouring rain and she could barely see three feet in front of her. Another creepy wave of dèjá vu washed over her and she remembered the events in her dream. As if by a force of nature, she ran forth and tripped over something. Horror built up in her throat as she peered through the rain at the corpse's face.
"Princess, who…?" Marin's voice was shaky, almost as if she already knew who it was.
His face was blank and his eyes stared up at the rain, wide open as if something had caught him from behind. He wore a green tunic and was a bit on the short side for a man his age. It was Mido.
"…No…no, no, no…" Marin whispered over and over again to herself, "This is my fault…Oh goddesses, I killed him…"
A paralyzed shock was the only thing Zelda was aware of. Not even the tears of her friend were enough to wake her up. Numbness spread over her like a fog. Her mind vainly tried to analyze what was happening. Trying to find a logical explanation for why they were committing wild and senseless murder. Her eyes stared at Mido's lifeless body. They were unable to move from his shocked eyes, and for a moment Zelda imagined herself like that. Cold and unmoving.
"Oh Mido, I'm sorry…I'm so sorry…I never knew this would happen…"
Zelda slowly turned to look at Marin. She loved Mido; she truly did and there was no way of escaping the reality of his death.
"It wasn't your fault." Her voice seemed cold and almost uncaring, even to her.
"Yes it was, I sent him here to meet us…What've I done, Zelda? Why is this happening to us?"
"I wish I knew."
A rasping noise reached them, and they both looked fearfully towards where they came from. The secret panel slid open and a solitary figure approached them. It limped slightly as it walked towards them. The figure had a torch in hand, clearly taken from one of the walls inside the passage.
"Your Highness, I've been searching all over for you."
"Impa!" Zelda whispered in relief
"In your nightmares you were searching for something of great importance. I think I have found it."
The caretaker held something up in her hands. It glinted in the moonlight. A small and dull crystal shard hung from a golden chain. It glinted dangerously, almost in warning.
Something inside her stirred.
"Where did you find it?"
"Inside the throne room. I assume you know what to do with it."
Zelda shook her head.
"In the nightmare I did, but I don't remember."
The silence was broken by a burst of yells of excitement.
"I can see her! She's in the courtyard!"
The color in Marin's face drained and Impa handed Zelda the shard. She encircled the chain around her neck and fastened it.
"We've got to get you out of here!" Marin hissed.
She ran to the wall opposite the original one and tapped twice. It slid open revealing yet another secret passage. She waved Impa and Zelda over, both of whom were dead quiet. The panel slid shut behind them. They ran as fast as they could, following Marin who led them through a maze of passages.
"Where are we going?" Zelda asked. She made sure to keep her voice as low as possible.
"The stables. I'm getting you out of here alive if it's the last thing I do!"
She felt her heart wrench. When her friend spoke that way it made her think it would be the last time she would ever see her. She couldn't bear the thought of never seeing her again, and even less the thought of her dying while protecting her. She swore mentally to herself that she would personally make sure Marin made it out alive.
"You're coming with me."
"No. One rider has more chances of making it out of here unnoticed." Impa said
"There's no way I'm leaving you both behind. You'll come with me."
"Princess, please. You're life is more important." Marin said selflessly
"No. I refuse to believe that I am more important than my friends. A good kingdom is made up by its people, not by its rulers. My duty is to protect my people, not to sacrifice them in order to save myself!" She replied indignantly.
"Milady, what you're thinking is crazy."
"Unfortunately for the both of us, I like crazy." Zelda said, smiling grimly
They reached the end of the passage and Marin stopped. She signaled at Impa, who in turn stepped forward. She placed the palm of her hand flat on the stone wall and it shimmered. A grinding noise reached Zelda's ears accompanied by the clinking of gears having been set into motion. The wall slid open and some stairs were revealed. They descended them quickly. Once downstairs, the path twisted like loop holes on a rollercoaster. They pressed forward until they reached yet another dead end.
Impa repeated the process with this door and they emerged through a stone wall in an empty stall. The horses in the neighboring stalls whinnied in recognition. Once outside the stall, Zelda could see the shimmering fires of soldiers holding torches. They were fast approaching the stables.
"How did they-?!" Marin asked alarmed
"No time." Impa said, "We leave now!"
Zelda ran towards her own mare, Ashelia, inside a stall near the back entrance of the stables. The mare was pure white and she herself had chosen it as a filly when she was fourteen, three years ago. Quickly, she and Marin began dressing her up. Impa had already prepared her own horse and was leading her towards the back entrance when the said doors burst open. There stood Zant, his lips pursed grimly.
Zelda recklessly stood in front of him and slapped him. In her veins was a sense of betrayal so harsh, it flowed through her blood as pure loathing. She glared at him as the pain mixed with hatred showed clearly on her face. He bit his lower lip and closed his eyes. Then he turned to look at her again. His dark eyes were filled with an emotion she couldn't identify.
"Why would you do this?" Her voice shook violently.
"I can't tell you." His voice was low.
Zelda had to restrain herself from bursting into tears.
"Tell me why!"
"I'm sorry." His voice was as quiet as it was raw.
"You filled me with lies, and I should've known better. I never should've trusted you."
He reached out towards her reflexively but Impa pulled her back, dagger in hand.
"No, no don't say that! I do love you…"
"People who say they love others don't stab them in their backs!" Marin snapped holding Ashelia's reigns in one hand.
"He said I couldn't marry her because she had to die!" Zant argued, the pain in his voice was evident, and yet Zelda couldn't find it in her heart to pity him. Not even a little.
"Move out of the way."
"I'm sorry, Zel, but I-"
"Don't you dare call me that, you traitor!"
"I'm sorry Princess but I want the power. Goodbye."
He raised his hand and it began glowing with a reddish light. There was a sudden flash and they were momentarily blinded. When vision returned to Zelda, she saw Impa holding Zant off with a magical barrier. Marin had mounted Ashelia.
"Go Princess!" Impa shouted
"I'll be right behind you!"
Zelda reluctantly seated herself behind Marin. She spurred Ashelia who instantly began galloping towards the Castle's bridge, the only exit which led to Castle Town. Zelda turned her head around to watch the scene back at the stables. Impa was holding off Zant, pouring in all her concentration. She watched with satisfaction as Zant fell to his knees, weakened. And then the impossible happened.
The stables exploded. Her heart stopped for two seconds.
Out of the depths of the flames rose two solitary figures. It was Zant and the man in black.
The shock was mind numbing.
"Impa! Impa! No! We must go back! Impa!" She cried
She moved desperately, trying with all her might to get off the horse. Marin hauled Zelda towards her with her left hand and urged the horse to go faster. Slowly, Zelda stopped moving. She looked vacant, almost lifeless. A deep understanding had settled itself over her. This was not a dream. No matter how many times she screamed, neither her father nor Impa would come back again. This wasn't a bad dream. It wasn't a game. The feeling of finality wouldn't go away. This…was reality.
Zelda looked behind her to see what her friend had been upset about. Four riders followed them. She looked forward. The bridge was within sight.
She would survive this. She had to. For her people.
"Hyaah!" Marin spurred the horse
Marin led Ashelia into the bridge. The doors were wide open and they rode through them as quickly as they could. The townspeople stared at them with fearful wide eyes as they rode by them like maniacs on the run.
"It's Princess Zelda!" She heard someone say
"Move to safety! I'll come back to you, I promise!" Zelda yelled.
They sped through the plaza and ran straight towards the south exit. The riders were still right behind them, knocking arrows on their bows. They aimed and let fly. The arrows soared through the sky, straight at them. Marin jerked the reigns to the side and the arrows missed by half an inch. They passed the exit and entered Castle Town's small courtyard. Ashelia jumped the stairs and landed with a thud at the bottom.
Even in a horrifying moment, Zelda couldn't help but take pride. No one could outmaneuver her horse.
They continued pressing forward, taking no heed of the mob of goblins that guarded the entrance to Hyrule Field. Ashelia jumped over them, accidentally running one over when she landed. They came out onto Hyrule Field and Marin spurred Ashelia towards Faron Province. They didn't know where they were going but anything was better than getting killed by a group of blood lusting riders.
Zelda heard the 'twang' of a bow and turned around. An arrow scraped her right arm. She yelled out in pain.
"What is it?!" Marin asked anxiously
"They got me…but don't worry. It's just a flesh wound."
All of a sudden, she heard the echoes of another rider beside them. The rider had bright blonde hair and he had pulled out a bow. Leaning back slightly, he turned around on the horse and knocked an arrow. He shot at Zelda and she screamed. But the hit never came. When she looked, the arrow was lodged on another that had been heading towards her.
The rider knocked another arrow and released it. It hit one of the enemy riders and he collapsed to the ground. The mysteriously helpful rider turned around to face forward. He neared Ashelia.
As they rode together towards the woods, Zelda began to feel groggy and lightheaded. Blinking, she looked around sluggishly. Her breathing seemed to shallow and the woods seemed to distort in front of her eyes. She slumped forward, digging her face into Marin's back, trying to escape the feeling that she was about to throw up.
They entered the woods and the trees seemed to snap at her face, trying to claw at her. She clung to Marin fearfully, feeling herself fading. Her strength dwindled and she almost fell off her horse.
"Marin…" She groaned
"Zelda, what's wrong?! What's wrong with her?!"
"I think she's been poisoned! We have to lose them and get her to Aryll! Trust me, she'll help. Follow me and don't stray away!"
Automatically, their horses began galloping even faster than before. Their eyes focused on one thing only: Forward.
"Hold on, Zelda. Please hold on." There was a strong desperation in Marin's voice and she sounded teary.
Ashelia followed the other horse's lead and jumped into a creek. They splashed up the creek, riding for everything their lives were worth.
"What's your name?" Marin asked the other rider.
"How do I know that I can trust you?"
"You don't but you'll just have to take the risk for the sake of your princess."
"How did you know?"
"I was there when her father was killed."
"I never saw you."
"That's because I was only there to make a delivery. I was supposed to give this bow to the King as a present from the village of Ordon. I arrived at the Castle and was immediately pegged as a thief. I got held up and was imprisoned."
"How'd you manage to get out? And why are you helping us?"
"I got out by luck. I managed to trick one of the guards into letting me out and stole back the king's bow. Actually, I think it was meant for the princess. She has archery classes, does she not?"
He was trying to evade the question. Even Zelda, who felt as though she could die, could tell.
"She does, and is quite skilled. Now will you please answer my question?"
"I'm helping you because…Because I want to do something to help the princess. I guess my loyalty to the crown isn't completely gone."
"Loyalty wouldn't have anything to do with a certain reward would it?" Marin said.
"No. Really, what kind of person do you think I am?"
"A hot-blooded male like any other."
"Don't put me on the pedestal…" Zelda argued weakly.
"Oh Zel, what would I do with myself if I didn't have you to annoy?" Marin said tearfully.
Zelda laughed softly.
"Probably wander about lost, since I am the sun and you are the planets that surround me." She tried to joke.
Marin and Sheik both laughed.
"Such conceit! It's a side of you that I had never known." Marin said
There was a comfortable silence. And then they remembered why they were out there in the first place. Sheik listened for enemy voices but heard none. Not even the rustle of leaves when someone passed through. They had saved themselves and hadn't even realized it. Sheik let out a victorious laugh.
"I'll bet they'll think twice about chasing us now, won't they princess?"
Silence answered his question.
"Princess?" He asked again, looking towards her.
Zelda had her eyes closed and was slumped forward against Marin.
"Is she alright?"
"Princess, wake up! Wake up!" Sheik yelled.
He leaned over towards her and shook her hard. Zelda swam through fog. She had never been this sleepy before. But she obeyed. She opened her eyes groggily, fighting against heavy eyelids.
"What's happening to me, Sheik? Why do I feel so tired?"
"It's the poison. Marin, we have to get her to my home. Aryll, my best friend's sister, she can help her. She may be young, but she's the best healer in the village."
"Which way? I'll try anything as long as she survives!"
"My home is in Ordon Province. It's right next to the spring where the great light spirit lives."
"Then we'll ride! How long do you think she has?"
With that said, a new determination burned inside Marin. She spurred Ashelia into a gallop and patted the horse's head affectionately. Meanwhile, Zelda was swimming through fog again. She was almost on the verge of losing consciousness. Sheik noticed somehow and snapped his fingers in front of her face.
"What do you usually do at the castle?" He asked, trying to keep her entertained.
"Politics…it all surrounds politics….Usually…I've got to sit through some really…truly very boring monologues…And then there are the…lessons…" She trailed off
"What are your lessons?"
She swam, trying to remember.
"I…I took archery lessons…and I also took swordsmanship…It was easy…although the thing I found easiest was magic…"
"Any good spells there?"
Her eyelids fluttered.
"Zelda, tell me about your spells."
"…There was Din's Fire…Nayru's love…I can…I can summon the wind with…with…"
"What else? Are you doing anything about the Gerudo's situation?"
"…Right…I think I discussed that…with daddy...before he…died…"
"I think…I remember when I was a child…before mother died…he used to make me kiss the top of his bald spot…and he said…because he said it would make his hair grow…but then mother…she died and daddy began to hate me because I…I looked like her… and I remember…she was shot down while hunting…by a soldier…he had mistaken her for something else…and then he was hanged…"
Marin had to stifle a sob.
"Don't cry…please don't cry Marin…I do so hate it when people cry for me…"
"How can you tell me not to cry when you've never told me how much you've suffered? And now this?! How can you sit there dying and be so calm about it?!"
"Because I have you here with me and I know we'll make it because we have to. We must save Hyrule. That is what is most important. Hyrule is what's most important…That is why I am calm…Because I believe that you will help me overcome this obstacle…Just help me now when I am dying. Please."
"I swear it, my princess."
The horses strained under the effort. Before they knew it, they had arrived at Ordon Spring. Sheik rode ahead and took a passage. Marin followed him and came upon a house. Sheik had already dismounted and had begun yelling:
"Aryll! Link! Help us!"
Zelda slowly slid out of her seat. The door the house had opened and a blonde haired girl stepped out. Zelda fell off the horse completely, her vision fading to darkness. The blonde haired girl placed her hand on Zelda's forehead and swore. She ordered a sky blue eyed boy to get her something. He stared at her in shock through blonde bangs.
"Go get the stuff! Move, Link! Sheik, help me carry her inside! And you, please come inside!" The girl ordered
Before she had completely lost consciousness, her analytical mind realized something. Once you lost something precious, you could never get it back. Not without a fight.
And she had lost it all.
"Trying to battle this hysteria."
A/N: Er...How was that for my debut? I...uh, I'm sorry if I accidentaly mispelled a few things. I went over it so many times, but something almost always slips. The next chapter is kind of slow, what with Zelda's explenation of everything that happened, and the way they ( Link and Zelda) get to know each other in the space of 4,000 words. Yes, I know. I'm moving that part a bit faster as I want to get the adventure started already...O.o...I'm impatient. But don't worry, if anyone bothered to read it, then you won't have to wait long for updates. Not that I'll rush or anything...I know better than to force inspiration. Thanks for reading. Cheers!