Zelda skipped happily through the corridors of Hyrule Castle. Today was her 18th birthday, and her parents, the king and queen of Hyrule, had promised to tell her something special for this occasion. It had been exactly eight years since Link had beaten Ganondorf and him and Zelda had sealed him away in the sacred realm. Zelda had offered Link money, or items as a reward for saving Hyrule, but he turned them all down, saying that living a normal life was enough reward for him. Zelda stopped skipping for a second, as her mind wandered to Link. She wondered where he was living now… he couldn't go back to Kokiri forest, as he was a Hylian, but she hadn't seen him in Kakariko village or Hyrule castle town either.

Remembering that she way on her way to speak to her parents, Zelda stopped thinking about Link and started to skip through the corridors again. Eventually arriving at the throne room, she entered it happily, but her face fell when she saw the serious faces of her mother and father. They didn't look like they were throwing her a party.

"Zelda, please sit down, we want to have a discussion with you." Said her father in a commanding tone.

Zelda sat down, expecting her parents to be handing her presents at any moment.

"Zelda, as you know, you turn 18 today, and so, me and your father have made a decision."

Zelda's excitement grew, and she couldn't wait to hear what they would say next.

"We've decided that you should become the Queen of Hyrule, today."

Zelda's face went white as she stared blankly at her parents.

"I'm sorry, what?"

"You're going to be queen, sweetheart."

Zelda looked at her mother, then her father, then her mother again, as if this was some sort of joke.

"But… I'm not ready to be queen."

"There are no buts about it dear. Your mother and I are getting far too old to rule a country, and you are now of an age where you can legally rule. We thought you'd be excited…"

Zelda felt guilty as she saw a look of disappointment setting into her parent's faces, so she tried to act more excited.

"I am excited father, I just don't think I can rule a country just now, I'm only a young girl!"

"You will pick it up quickly. Don't worry, you'll be fine. You just need some hands-on experience, that's all."

"I… suppose I could try… are you absolutely sure about this?"

"We are sure, Zelda. We… hope you don't mind, but we have taken the liberty of moving out with a few servants. We will leave tonight. After all, we don't want to intrude upon your castle, your majesty."

Zelda blushed. She had never expected that she would become queen, and although she was feeling nervous about her new responsibilities, she was excited at the same time.

That evening, Zelda was hugging her parents at the front gate of Hyrule as the left in a horse-drawn carriage.

"Don't worry my dear, you'll be an amazing queen," said her mother as they departed from the castle grounds.

"Be sure to write and visit a lot!" Zelda screamed at her father as she saw the carriage disappear out of the gates.

Turning around to face the castle, Zelda took in a deep breath. Just how hard could being a queen be?

Zelda rushed through her bedroom door and slammed it, tears running down her face. In a matter of days, she had gone from being a publically loved figure to a hated ruler. Everything had started absolutely horribly. There was a famine near the Gerudo desert, a shortage of jobs in Kakariko, and taxes had been increased. Zelda slumped on her bed, only to be distracted by cries from outside. Looking out of her window, she saw a large group of people with torches and other makeshift weapons gathering outside the gates. Her guards were doing their best to hold them back, but they were loud and violent. As one of them spotted Zelda's face looking at the group from her window, he pointed to her and screamed angrily. Zelda panicked and ducked, only to avoid shards of glass as various objects were thrown through her window. Crying harder, Zelda crawled over to her bed and tried to think of a way out of this mess. She wished she had never become queen…

Just then, an idea entered her head. It sounded ridiculous at first, but the more she thought about it, the better it sounded. Running to her desk, Zelda picked up a quill and started to scribble a message.

Dear Impa.

I am writing this to let you know that I am fleeing Hyrule Castle for the good of myself and my kingdom. I hereby leave the entire country to you. You are experienced in social matters and politics, whereas I am a clueless and inexperienced ruler. Please don't look for me.

Zelda

Zelda looked at the note she had written, and ran to her wardrobe to begin to pack. After fitting 2 of her dresses into a bag, she grabbed her purse, filled with enough rupees to buy her food for a month, and put on a large black gown she had intended to only use for funerals, and begun to slowly exit her room and make her way down through the castle. Upon quietly exiting through the front door, she saw that the rioters had vanished. She blessed Din, Nayru and Farore for their departure, before slowly departing herself. Taking one last look back at Hyrule Castle, she left in the darkness of the night, desperate to find a new place to live, hoping that one of her friends would help her.

Zelda paused where she stood, before thinking to herself, 'What friends?'

Most of the sages wouldn't help her. The Gerudos, Gorons and Zoras had all been displeased with her, so Darunia, Nabooru and Ruto wouldn't help. She couldn't go back to Impa, and she couldn't stay in the Kokiri forest with Saria. Racking her brains, she remembered two people who hadn't been sages who had shown kindness to her. Malon and Link. Unfortunately, she had no idea where Link was, so she decided to head to Lon Lon Ranch. Walking as quietly as she could, she slipped out of Hyrule Castle town into the open grounds of Hyrule itself.

Turning back to face the town she had called home for 18 years, she wiped a tear from her eye and departed.