"They're waiting for you, Link. Are you ready?"
The Hero finished buttoning the top of his shirt and responded, his voice traveling through the wooden door. "Yes, Your Majesty. Just give me a moment."
"Well, I hope you're hurrying. The council is expecting you, and my daughter is out here wondering if she may enter."
Link hesitated for a moment, then replied, "Yes, Zelda may come in."
A soft bump on stone alerted Link to Zelda's presence. Softly, the Princess stepped towards him, decked in a golden gown that caught each beam of light, giving her an almost unearthly appearance. Her hair was now pulled back into a traditional Hylian style, and rings now decked her fingers. The only blemish that Link could see was a bruise on her left shoulder which the Princess had tried to hide with a shawl, however she had not noticed that the fabric had fallen, exposing her wound.
"How are you?" Link asked her, striding towards the window. The Hylians had quickly began to reconstruct and undo the damage Ganondorf caused. Everywhere, carpenters built sturdy frames, and masons sough to set the foundations of new homes. The citizens shouted back and forth to each other, pointing here and there to complete their tasks.
"Better than I've been for a bit, but not at my best," replied Zelda.
Link nodded, understanding what she meant by that statement. Frowning, he changed the subject, "What am I supposed to say at the council?"
"Tell them everything that happened, even up to Midna's kidnapping. Remember, it's based on that the council will make decisions."
"Isn't it simple? We take a force, and we go after Ganondorf. I don't see what's so difficult."
"It's tradition," responded Zelda, hanging her head, "We always turn to a council of the people of Hyrule, you know that."
Link turned to Zelda. "I know. Of course I know. But it's just...It takes too much time. We've waited a day already."
Zelda sighed. "Well, you know how it is with power. We all want it, but once we obtain it most people are afraid to throw it around."
This made Link and Zelda give a slight chuckle before Zelda continued, "You're ready, aren't you?"
"More than ready."
All eyes were fixated upon the Hero as he entered the cold, stone room. In front of Link, a long table rolled out almost to the back of the room, and seated on each side were the rulers and nobles from each Hyrulian region. The only unfamiliar face was a Goron to Link's left hand side, the new ruler of the Goron tribe. With sadness, Link remembered the sight of Darunia's mutilated head, the only splash of colour in the entire battlefield at the time. The new Goron leader nodded in respect, and like the others watched as the Hero took a seat at one end of the long table. Slowly, Link met the eyes of the others sitting on the council, the only show of emotion being when he smiled slightly at Saria, seated a bit further off with Mido at her side. The Moledos were here, too, both the King and Xenia, who was as beautiful as ever, a radiant flower within the cold chamber. At the opposite end of the table sat the King, staring intently at the Hero, eager for Link to begin. With a last glance at Zelda who gently lowered herself into a chair by her father's side, Link spoke.
"He mentioned a dark magic and a Glass Palace, then he went on to say how with the power of the Weapons and Midna's Fused Shadows he would be able to dominate the world."
"Well that is just ridiculous!" piped up Lord Hur, a young Hylian noble who had just recently taken the title of his deceased father, "There is no Glass Palace in Hyrule!"
Link let out a low grumble from his throat. Beside him, Ruto rolled her eyes while Nabooru of the Gerudos suppressed her laughter. Lord Hur was very well known, though not exactly for all the most preferable of reasons. He was only Link's age, yet the extremely handsome Alistair Hur had already inherited his father's fortune as the senior Lord Hur passed away only a year prior due to complications with his lungs. Or so his physicians claimed, as an empty vial of arsenic and water were found near his bed at the time of his death. The young Alistair Hur was immediately distinguished as the new Lord Hur, and now participated in many of the council meetings. However, it was soon apparent that his naivety and lack of awareness for many issues made for many outlandish statements from the younger Hur's part. His last comment was no exception. Upon noticing the reaction of the council, Lord Hur the younger opened his brown eyes wide, portraying himself to be as innocent as a fawn. After all, the young Lord knew no better.
Ruto cleared her throat to break the very awkward silence that had befallen the council. "I have heard of the Glass Palace. It is something the Dark Interlopers had built prior to their expulsion from Hyrule, located on an island known as Trius."
"So it does exist!" exclaimed Lord Hur, only to have any further words cut from him as Ruto shot him a glare.
"As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, the Glass Palace is on the island of Trius. However from what I know, Trius cannot be located anywhere on a map. Ancient Zora legends speak of Trius as the land where all life began in this world, a land that can now only be accessed if you have most of the seven Island Nations by your side."
"The Island Nations, you the islands beyond the Great Bay of Termina, don't you?" clarified Nabooru, fiddling with her long hair.
"Indeed. I cannot recall all the seven off the top of my head, however each one of those Islands holds a sacred stone, and you need to win the trust of the people on that Island in order to hold each one in your possession. However, the only person who will be allowed entrance into the Glass Palace is the one who has at least four of the seven stones in their hands."
Ruto paused momentarily, her hand at her chin in reflection. "Logically, Ganondorf would be after the gems, and I have a feeling that is exactly what he is going to accomplish. In that instance, we need to send a force and obtain these stones before Ganondorf can lay his hands upon them."
"My Gerudos will come with the Hylians, then," announced Nabooru, straightening up to speak to the council, "When shall we depart?"
"But how will we obtain the boats?" interrupted Lord Hur, eager to participate in the dealings.
Every member of the council shifted their attention to Lord Hur. The new leader of the Gorons was the first to reply, "How do you think we will obtain the boats? It's a procedural matter, Lord Hur. We do have dealings with the Terminians."
The young Lord sunk in his seat and said no more.
"Well, that settles the matter," proceeded the King, rising from his seat and turning to a scribe near the wall, "Child, start a list! Whichever Hyrulians are willing to pledge their support will sign there!"
With that, the council disbanded. Immediately, Link stood up and intercepted the new Goron leader, curious to know the new individual. "Hello, sir," he began, "I don't think we've been probably introduced."
"Why, no we haven't!" exclaimed the Goron in a loud, joyous voice, "Hero, my name is Daron, Darunia's eldest cousin. I am only a temporary ruler, though; We are all waiting for our young Link to come of age."
"Please, Daron, I don't mean to rudely change the subject, but Darunia...what happened?"
A shadow passed over the Goron's face and his small, black eyes began to fill with tears. "He was executed in front of all of us. After they invaded, of course, and found that our defenses just weren't enough. I'm a father to young Link now seeing as Darunia had no other siblings. Evidently, I can't replace him completely, but I figure if I accomplish my role effectively as the Goron leader, then at least I'll have something to give the little one when he shifts into power."
"And what would that something be?"
"Hopefully peace and stability."
"What we all want."
Daron smiled at Link, but soon ended the exchange, "Well, I must go sign this list. Hopefully you Hylians will have a ship made especially for Gorons? We are quite a hefty bunch!"
"Unfortunately, you might just want to speak with the Terminians about that."
The Goron smirked at the mention of the Terminians before shifting his attention back to Link. "It's ridiculous, you know? We inform them that Ganondorf is plotting something on a grand scale and the only response we obtain from them is 'we won't send troops, but we'll send whatever resources you need'. Sometimes people are so unreasonable when they don't want to get their hands dirty."
"It happens, what can we do?"
"I agree with you. Well, I'll be signing that list now. Take care of yourself, Hero, we'll need you again in the long run."
"Thank you, Daron," responded Link, turning the other way, "And if anyone asks, do me a favour and tell them I'll be in the courtyard."
Link placed his hands on the edge of the fountain, feeling the cold sensation from the stone tingle his palms. Bending over, the Hero observed as the ripples in the fountain distorted his reflection as he thought of Midna. Somewhere out there, Midna was to be transported beyond the Great Bay of Termina to an island known as Trius, and from there Ganondorf had his own plans for her. And somehow, Link was partly responsible for what had happened, due to some inconspicuous script that hosted a spell, the latter of which didn't even make any sense to him even now as he bent over the fountain. It was in that instant when he noticed a small flicker in the water, a secondary reflection to Link's own. Slightly alarmed, Link spun around to find himself face to face with Farore, who was regarding him both with sadness, yet also with a tinge of pride.
"Farore!" the Hero exclaimed, "I wasn't expecting you."
"I've come to retrieve my sword, Link," said the Goddess, "It is of no use to you now. I expect Nayru will be paying the Princess a visit, as well, to collect her Weapon."
"Wait!" interrupted Link, "Farore what was that spell Ganondorf recited? Zelda and I never saw it inscribed upon the doors in the Secret Realm, how was it that Ganondorf managed to lay his hands on such magic?"
"Link, who is the primary guardian of the Secret Realm? Who is responsible for keeping anyone away from the Realm?"
Link took a moment to consider this. Certainly it was not the Goddesses, as after Ganondorf's last few stunts they would have had a hand in keeping him from the Secret Realm. "The Twili?" he ventured.
"Correct. The Twili. A tribe of people assigned to protect the Secret Realm in order to redeem themselves after the Dark Impostors attempted to conquer Hyrule. My sisters and I cast an enchantment on those golden doors deeming that only a Twili could activate the inscriptions that would reveal the spell. As the golden doors were locked, the Twili had to recite a chant in order to unlock the doors to the Temple and after this, the inscription would remain for an hour or so before disappearing. Midna must have done just that, and Ganondorf, following her, was aware of it like that."
"Farore, why couldn't the Goddesses prevent Ganondorf from entering the Realm in that case?"
Farore threw Link a grim glance. "When he escaped death for the second time, we knew that it would take the power of much more than a few obstacles us Goddesses created. Our role is to oversee events, Link, not to meddle in them, and we intend for it to remain that way."
"I must go now, Link. Please, take care and remember that we believe in you."
And with that, the wind blew and soon, nothing but leaves were left where Farore had stood only moments before. Somewhere, a lark sang, and the pink of nearby cherry blossoms were carried around the garden, gently settling on stone, ground, and other flora in the courtyard.
It took a few moments before Zelda decided to open the door to her chamber, and it surprised her that Link was standing there. "May I come in?" he asked politely.
"Yes, it really doesn't bother me. Please, take a seat somewhere."
Noticing a chair by Zelda's bedside, Link slowly settled himself onto the cushioned surface, and watched as Zelda fixed her hair, running her fingers through the golden waves. Neither knew what to say, and it remained thus for at least a minute or two before Zelda finally piped up the courage to speak to the Hero.
"Nayru paid a visit," began Zelda, "She took the Basin away and said there was no more use for it. Did Farore do the same?"
"To the Sword? Yes. I'll tell you all another time, I'm bound to depart for Termina at the end of the day and, well, there are many things I still need to do."
Zelda stood motionless for a moment in silence, then she proceeded.
"Be safe," she said nervously, "I won't be there to watch you this time."
Link remained silent and nodded. Feeling slightly discomforted by his speechlessness, Zelda sought to continue the exchange, all while her fingers skillfully took her hair, gradually winding it into a bun at the back of her head. "It will be exciting, I presume. An adventure for the ages, perhaps another legend to add to your repertoire," she continued, smiling as though she were living a dream too sweet and full of opportunities for one to wake from, "You will have the wildest quests, and fight the most devious of enemies, as usual. You will meet so many people, Link, I confess I'm actually very jealous of you. Exceedingly envious, even."
The Princess had pinned her bun in place, and now proceeded to gaze our her window into the shining sun and the ruckus of a scene that involved the Town and its inhabitants. "Perhaps it isn't proper to want that as a Princess, at least most don't seem to encourage it. There are times when I wish I were a Prince instead."
"I know," said Link.
Zelda looked to him and continued to smile. "Or even a Hero, a Hero who saves a kingdom time and time again. A commoner who rises into the ranks of the most noble. I wish I were that Hero. Or just that I were born a boy, maybe that would make all the difference in the world. I could go with you, then, and we could both become legends."
"You haven't inquired as to why I came to visit, Zelda."
At this the Princess gaped her mouth as she was reminded that Link was a Hylian with a purpose in her chamber. "Oh, I'm so sorry. I admit I forgot. But, um, yes. Please do tell me what you need to speak to me about."
Link took a deep breath and smiled brilliantly at Zelda, showing her his teeth. Excitement was beaded into his blue eyes, leaving the Princess wondering and curious as to his intent. "Zelda. How do you feel about another adventure?"
Zelda was stunned, her mouth still agape as she struggled to find words. Then, giving up, she met his gaze and beamed.
"I thought you'd never ask."
Cue the dramatic Zelda music and there you have it! The ending to my very first fanfic that will be proceeded with a sequel, The Legend of Zelda: The Island Stones. For those of you who aren't a fan of sequels, my bad! However I feel as though Link and Zelda's adventure has entered a completely new stage with new developments and new themes. Therefore, in a few days I will be introducing the first chapter of my second fanfic, which will begin shortly after the point in time in which we left our story. I really hope all of you return to read my work, as I've learned quite a bit from writing this first fanfic in terms of plot, character development, etc. and I'm full of fresh ideas for the sequel!
Before I go on, I want to address something: Zelink. Yes, I'm getting a lot of private messages and reviews for a Zelink relationship to finally happen, however I feel that if a relationship between Link and Zelda were to work, it, like many other relationships in our lives, needs to take time and it isn't something that can be explored in simply one story. While I do appreciate many of the Zelink stories out there, I personally prefer to conduct a deep examination and analysis of the relationship. Besides, don't thorough developments always provide more fascinating plot lines?
Thank you to all the readers who made my first fanfic a surprising success, as I didn't expect it to be as popular as it became. Special thanks goes out to Eclipse Storywriter, as Eclipse has, essentially, read and stayed with this story from the moment it was uploaded onto the site. I also encourage all of you to take a look at Eclipse's story, The Legend of Zelda: Destiny Gems as it also provides quite the plot line and honestly, for someone who speaks English as their second language, it is very well written. Other individuals who constantly supported the fanfic include Lustrous17 and , and I hope you both will be back to read the sequel.
To conclude, thank you all for reading my first fanfic! Author Alert me or do whatever you want if you decide to read the sequel, The Legend of Zelda: The Island Stones. Hopefully, Silent Orion, my title is much more preferable for you this time, and I'd love if you, too, could continue reading. But of course, that last bit's up to all of you personally. Please leave a review if you can, and I really do love constructive comments. Remember: It's never too late to offer me any.
See you all next time!