Well, it's been awhile since I last published a multi-chaptered fanfic! But I've finally mustered the motivation to plan, write, and complete another Zelda fanfic! I'm planning to update with one chapter a week, and I'm dearly hoping to stick to that schedule. Anyways, I'll give you a quick summary and disclaimer before you can start reading.
Summary: Hyrule has fallen under the dominion of the usurper-king Ganondorf, who has hunted down the Royal Family virtually to the last. It is up to Link and Zelda, an impetuous knight and a woman with a mysterious past, to restore the true monarchy and establish order in their beloved land of Hyrule.
Disclaimer: The Legend of Zelda and its characters are the sole property of Nintendo, although this story belongs to Falls-44!
*Note: There are some mature scenes in this fanfic. Mostly graphic descriptions of blood and violence. I will be sure to give you a heads-up in any chapter involving the aforementioned mature scenes.
The sound of distant shouts and clashing steel reached the ears of Aleron Hylia, as he gripped the reigns of his horse in sweaty palms. The poor beast was frothing from the mouth as he urged it to go faster, slipping through the muddy earth and torrential downpour of rain. Behind him, he could hear the canter of several other horses, their riders closing in on their prey like a hound on the hunt.
"We cannot go on, Aleron!" the man riding next to him called, cradling his infant daughter from the raging wind. "My horse is weak; we will not be able to outrun them much longer."
"Then we shall fight them, milord," Aleron replied through gritted teeth, fully aware of the futility of his words. Both of their horses were in miserable condition after days of hard riding, and their pursuers would certainly outnumber them.
"I cannot ask you to sacrifice your life for me," the other man replied, tiredly, stopping his horse abruptly. Aleron reined his horse in as well, despite his mind screaming at him to continue forward. The sound of approaching riders was audible over even the rain and wind; he could not see far in the darkness, but Aleron estimated that their pursuers were at most a minute behind.
"My king," Aleron said hurriedly, "We must continue…"
"No," the other man replied tiredly, "our horses are weary, and we will not outlast them."
"Then go, and I will stay behind," Aleron pleaded, drawing his sword. "Please, milord, do not give yourself over to them!"
"Take my child," the man begged, holding out the bundle that held his infant daughter. "Keep her safe, protect her, I beg of you!"
"Sir Aleron, I will only slow you down. They still do not know of your service to me. Take my daughter, hide her, protect her. I beg of you, Aleron, do this last favor for me!"
Reluctantly, Aleron sheathed his sword and gently took the small child into his arms. She was only a baby, not even past her first year, but she would soon be the last remaining Royal left. The last bit of hope left for Hyrule. Aleron cradled her securely in his arms, a feeling of wonder stealing itself through his soul.
Aleron nodded curtly to his king. "I will do as you ask, milord."
The other man sighed in relief, his faint smile barely visible in the faint moonlight. "Thank you, Aleron…"
The sound of approaching hooves interrupted his words, and from the darkness, a coarse cry as their pursuers finally caught sight of them. Aleron looked up in alarm.
"Go!" the king cried, "and may the Goddesses watch over you!"
Without another word, Aleron spurred his horse off into the night, leaving his king, holding the fate of Hyrule in a bundle in his arms.
Aveil watched coldly as her riders dragged the fallen King of Hyrule to his feet, after they had mercilessly beat him off his horse. Several days of hard riding had left the king in a filthy state: his once fine clothes and apparel were filthy, and his face was bloody with welts. Aveil sneered as he was deposited unceremoniously at her feet, face down into the mud.
"There was another rider with him," one of her warriors reported, saluting promptly. "We can still catch him."
"Let him go," Aveil said carelessly, examining the king with vague interest. "This is the one Ganondorf wants." To the king, she addressed bluntly: "Do you know who you are?"
Almost defiantly, he lifted his head up from the mud, and spat on her shoes. "I am Daphnes Nohansen Harkinian, King of Hyrule."
Aveil laughed, lightly kicking him in the ribs, causing him to groan in pain. "No. You are nothing, only dead meat that will soon be fed to Ganondorf's pet dogs."
The king smiled, continuing his defiance even through the grimace of pain on his face. "Good. Then I shall soon see my wife in the Sacred Realm."
"I'm sure you will," Aveil said loftily, while her group of warriors watched on in silence. "Unfortunately, 'soon' is a relative statement, because after the chase you have led me through… I am in no mood to grant you a quick death."
She drew one of the long, silver knives she kept attached to her belt, and delicately placed its honed edge on the king's arm. In the moonlight, she could see the thick, viscous green liquid that coated the knife's blade. A potent substance, brewed from the venom of a hundred desert serpents and personally enchanted by the Spirit Temple sorceresses. Designed to cause excruciating pain in anything unfortunate enough to receive the toxin.
"It was a pleasure, Harkinian," Aveil murmured seductively, her bright red lips only matched by the spray of blood that coated her knife as she slit the king's arm.