Disclaimer: I do not own the Legend of Zelda, Nintendo, or any of its characters.
Author's Note: Welcome to The Courtship of Princess Zelda, probably one of my favorite brainstorms. My name is Kurai Hitokiri, and I wanted to share this story with you, the readers of I hope you really enjoy this story as I love writing it.
The Courtship of Princess Zelda
By Kurai Hitokiri
Chapter One: The Lone Musician
The sun slowly descended behind the craggy tops of the Silver Mountains, the sky turning various shades of bloody red and bruising purple. The last rays of light played upon the golden leaves of mid-autumn as trees shed bits of life upon the emerald forest ground.
Small hovels made of strong wood and plaster gleamed faintly in the falling darkness, strangely silent as the wind breathed over their paint chipped surfaces. Their eyes glowed as silhouettes moved about their innards. The only sound to be heard the steady babble of the small brook beneath the old wooden bridges that seemed to transcend impossible gaps.
Leaves crunched beneath a young man's feet as he stood amidst the heart of the small congregation of houses. Clad in a bright green tunic and crème pants, he seemed to blend amongst the natural flow of nature. It was as though he spoke to the trees under his blue eyed gaze, he was the setting sun as his golden hair turned hues of crimson, and he was the rock with his rough and handsome features.
With a large hand he reached into his pocket, his fingers touching against the edge of cool clay. Gently clenching his hand about the object, the man wordlessly closed his eyes, putting a flute like instrument against his wind chapped lips.
A soft, flowing melody crescendoed into the cool night air. It moved like water; graceful and almost unnoticeable upon the ears, gently winding its way into the world and dying just as quickly.
As the music came to a loud, melancholy climax several doors opened, people of different ages and ethnicities stepping outside their homes. They formed a circle about the man, staring at him with wide, tear filled eyes as they clasped their hands about their loved ones and buried their faces within each other's arms.
The man played on, unperturbed by the growing crowd as his hands continued to move flawlessly over the fragile instrument's body. The music wept and screamed, blaring into gentle ears and turning sadness into horrid guilt. It was telling a story, and making the audience feel every single emotion that was not even theirs…
The music wound down to the end, reaching a loud trill… fading into oblivion…
The young man gently opened his eyes again, not at all surprised at the amount of people that had shown their faces. For a moment it looked as though he were going to speak, his lips beginning to part, but instead his jaw clamped shut, as if biting his tongue. He inclined his head, almost as though ashamed of himself for not speaking.
From among the crowd one man stepped forward, his head riddled with gray hair, a mustache curling over his upper lip as he smiled kindly at the young man.
"Link, I was wondering where you'd gone to. Come, we have much to talk about, young one… very much."
The young man named Link had found himself gently steered into the confines of a cozy studio, candles lighting every which way and illuminating a room sparsely furnished. Upon the walls hung tapestries of many ages, the most prominent one showing a young woman with black hair wearing bluish robes. Her eyes were wild gray, her features young. But within the depths of her silvery orbs illuminated strength and wisdom beyond the years she appeared as.
It was said to be the only known image of Artemis, the Sage of Cosmos.
Link found himself enchanted by the sight, starring at the image with inquisitive eyes as he felt a cup of tea thrust into his hands and himself shoved down onto a plush cloth couch.
The man sat down himself; taking off the blue overcoat he had worn to see Link's late night performance. He smiled, stirring a large quantity of sugar into his cup. "Yes, a beautiful piece, is it not? I haggled for it a very long time, probably had to sell half my property to get it. It's brought nothing but good luck to my household."
"Now Link, you are a great talent to us… the best that we have had amongst our little self. Rusl can craft blades, Midna excels in beautiful magicks, and Malon outdoes herself in horses, but you, my Boy, have the greatest gift. You can express yourself through your songs and bring anyone utterly to tears."
Link's brow furrowed for a moment, unsure of what to say. The man was trying to get somewhere, what did he want?
The man chuckled, taking a sip of tea. "I have a favor to ask… Next week is Her Highness' eighteenth birthday. Every town is sending their most cherished gift to the party. While I could send Rusl with an exquisite masterpiece, I believe that Princess Zelda would far more appreciate a gift of… far finer taste."
"Link, my Boy, I'd like you to perform for the little lady's party on behalf of myself, Zeb Bo and Ordon."
Tea shot out of Link's mouth, the musician sputtering and coughing as the words finally made their way into his mind. Perform for the future Queen of Hyrule? Such an honor could not be bestowed upon an orphan such as himself. Why, he was no older than eighteen and surely those of far greater age would display their talents. It would be like sending an insult to the Queen.
"You doubt your value, Link?" Bo asked, a brow arching in amusement. "You have reduced the people of Ordon to tears in seconds, made us dance with joy on the rainiest of days, and made light appear on a cloudy day. You are the finest talent within our village, and it would be a shame for the people of Hyrule to deprive themselves of your fabulous talent. Do you doubt my words?"
Link hastily shook his head, blue eyes widening as he motioned to his throat. He opened his mouth, nothing but a faint whistling emitting from the depths of his throat. Again and again he motioned, even as Bo laughed.
"Your muteness shall be no problem, my boy. Perform, pour your soul out and you shall have all the voice you need. Those who don't speak are often the wiser."
"Will you perform, my Boy?"
How could he refuse?
Reluctantly he nodded, thoughts pooling into his mind as he silently, as always, wished he could speak in response.
Princess Zelda sat beside her father within the dim, arched room of the Royal Study. Book cases crowded against each wall, a single, large desk of stained oak lay in the midst of the room. A fire crackled dimly as the only source of light in the shadows of the night.
Through the thin silk of her nightdress Zelda shivered. Though the room was warm and lit there was something far colder than anything… her father's heart.
She spoke, hoping to break the icy silence that had surrounded them for the past few hours. Her violet eyes squinted through the darkness, looking at the imperious man clad in royal blue silk. His eyes were a thundering brown, peering out from underneath bushy brows as iron gray hair lay neatly gelled. He looked to have once been a kind man, for there were wrinkles about his mouth from constant smiles, but it seemed like happiness had left him.
He was dead without his lover.
"Father, should you not retire to sleep, there must be so much for you to care for tomorrow, with the plans for the party and the meeting with the council. You are running yourself ragged."
His smoldering gaze fluttered over her lithe form, taking in the soft gold hair, the beautiful Goddess carved features, and the pale alabaster skin that seemed to glow radiantly in the faint light. His daughter flinched under his gaze, though he disregarded it as he stared back into the flickering flames.
"There is far too much to deal with Zelda… Remember that when I am gone, which may be very soon, you must carry on as strong as ever. Do not rely on anyone for anything, they will backstab you."
Zelda saw the bitterness overflow in her father's eyes. She frowned for a moment, still staring at the ghost of the man she once knew and loved as her Father. "I am sure that not everyone is so horrible, Father."
"You do not know what it is like to have a true friend backstab you."
"Perhaps I would have a valuable friend had you not kept me locked in my room since Mother's death."
Almost as she said this, Zelda instantly regretted her words. The King's eyes seemed to water and for a moment his composure broke, quickly hidden once more behind building anger as his hand pointed toward the door as he loosed a terrible shout.
"Ungrateful Girl, begone from here! Go to your room and do not come out until you have curbed that wicked tongue of yours!" The words seemed to rattle the room, Zelda turning even before they were said and running from her own Father.
Tears leaked down the crevices of her face as she held back a strangled sob. She would not allow any of the servants to hear her crying. It was a disgrace for royalty to be anything less than perfect.
When se had reached her room she flung open the door and threw herself upon the downy blankets, drawing back the curtains at her bedside and for once not caring whether her caretaker Impa saw her in distress.
And as she drew her blankets around her and shuddered, Zelda clasped her hands together in prayer. She wished that she was just a normal woman that woke up every morning carefree… not a doll for men to gawk upon behind a wall of stone. She wanted to work, feel the sun upon her face, and have calluses to show that she was anything but weak. She wanted to read wondrous books and not be frowned upon for it, for people to greet her every morning with smiles and well earned respect, not the bows and scrapings of servants as they eyed her with resentment.
Most of all, Zelda thought as her world faded, she wanted someone to listen to her and care about her for who she was, not her status. To like her as she was and not for her looks or for what she pretended to be…
Zelda wanted a friend… a true, honest, and kind friend.
Author's Note: Okay, chapter 1 is done, and I must say I love to write this story. Please review, I want to know what I need to work on for the next chapter!