Very Long AU/Explanation: If you have come across the fic and have read it before, you're probably very confused at the lack of chapters and the addition of this new long and confusing one. That's because I decided to redo Twilight Rider and improve it so it lives up to its full potential. Whenever I look back upon the original of this story I can't help but cringe and muse over what I'd change if I could do this ove again. Well I am, and have put together the basics of a real plot other than just plopping Eragon down in Hyrule and let him stumble through Link's journey. More elements from both The Inheritance Cycle and Twilight Princess have been added, as well as more material from Ocarina of Time, considering OoT is closely tied with TP. Original elements of my own creation have also been included to help give this new rewrite a life of its own. Sol, ladies and gentlemen, sit back and enjoy the ride. Welcome to Twilight Rider Version Two.
Pairings: The main pairing is definite in this fic. Later EragonxSaphira is inevitable but will not be romance-centered. Eventual and more mild MidnaxMurtagh and NasuadaxOrrin may or may not come into play. Slight pairings may include EragonxIlia/Arya/Midna, implied LinkxMalon, and tinges of LinkxZelda, depending on your interpretation of a pairing.
Time Line: The prologue takes place roughly fifteen to twenty years after the events of Ocarina of Time. The story itself is a post-Eldest AU that takes place roughly a few weeks before Twilight falls upon Hyrule.
Disclaimer: The Legend of Zelda and The Inheritance Cycle do not belong to me. Both belong to their respective owners. However, all original material including characters, locations and artifacts you do not recognize from either universe, belong to me.
Song for the Chapter: Evacuating London- The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe Soundtrack
The stories of the Hero of Time are perhaps the best known in all of Hyrule, overshadowing all other past heroes. Though decades have passed since the Hero of Time walked the lands of the living, he is forever immortalized in legend. Bards sing of his valiant deeds. Children play their games, all acting out their favorite parts, all squabbling to be the famed Hero of Time while one unlucky youth gets stuck with being the ill-fated monster.
Though their are numerous versions of the popular legend, almost all retain the basic skeleton of a plot. A dying mother flees into a mysterious forest, pleading with its guardian to look after her baby boy. The guardian agrees, and the child is raised among the elusive forest people, growing up in the belief that he is one of them. Here the future champion grows up in peace, safe and sound from the evil forces that hunt him with the intention of killing him before he can pose a threat to their sinister plans.
However, events drive the boy out of his forest home and into the wide land of Hyrule to begin his destiny. He journeys to Hyrule Castle, and meets the Princess Zelda of the time. Zelda admits she is having prophetic dreams of a great darkness falling upon the land, and shares in her suspicion that the mysterious man meeting with her father the King at that very moment was the evil. She also tells the boy that she believes he is the light that shall defeat the darkness. Princess Zelda then besets the boy a task to collect the Spiritual Stones, the keys to the Sacred Realm, where the powerful Triforce is hidden. Should the mysterious man, known most commonly as the King of Evil or the King of Thieves, get his hands upon the Triforce, Hyrule could be doomed forever.
Despite the boy's best efforts, the King of Thieves succeeds in plunging Hyrule into darkness. The boy then tries to retrieve the Master Sword, the Blade of Evil's Bane, from its pedestal. However, the young child is too small and too weak to fight his powerful adversary. To rectify this, the Master Sword seals its young bearer in the Sacred Realm for seven years.
The boy emerges seven years later as the fullgrown Hero of Time, at last ready to face his destiny and defeat the King of Thieves. He first embarks on a quest to awaken the Seven Sages, whose formidable power will merge with his own to give him the strength to face this evil. Along the way the Hero is reunited with Princess Zelda, who has lived in disguise in order to avoid capture by the unworthy King.
Finally, when Princess Zelda was seized by the King of Thieves and it seemed as if all were about to fail, the Hero of Time and his enemy engaged in a final legendary battle. The Hero of Time succeeded, sealing the King of Evil away in the Sacred Realm forever. After this victory the Hero of Time vanished, never to be seen again in Hyrule.
Little did the people know the Hero of Time had not just disappeared into thin air. When Ganondorf had been sealed away and peace had once again come to the land, Zelda had sent the Hero of Time back to relive the seven lost years of his childhood. Link, once again a child, arrived the day before the King of Darkness conquered the land, before the key to the Sacred Realm was removed and the way left wide open for darkness.
Link and Zelda had retained their memories from that forgotten time, and together managed to persuade the King of Hyrule Ganondorf was not to be trusted and guilty of the worst crimes imaginable. The Gerudo King was imprisoned while an investigation went underway. Shocking evidence of terrible deeds Ganondorf had committed earlier and than attempted to conceal before his arrival in Castle Town emerged, more than enough to convict him. Hyrule's King did not hesitate when he sentenced Ganondorf to death. The Sages themselves (in an unincarnated, spiritual form) carried out the execution, ending all threat from the male Gerudo forever.
While the danger was nullified and history seemed unlikely to repeat itself, the few that remembered the forgotten of time were loathe to allow the legend of the Hero of Time and the King of Evil to be lost along with it. They spread the tales, omitting actual names and other suspicious details, allowing a pure version of the truth to remain without endangering the well-deserved peace of Link or Zelda.
Link was more than happy to not be burdened with being the Hero of Time. For the first few months, unused to the sudden change from adult warrior to a young child once again, he had wandered about, saving lands like Termina while trying to find out where to go from there. Finally the former Chosen Hero realized he had tired of saving people, of a rootless and aimless life. With that revelation Link returned to Hyrule, settling down at last.
He grew up, had the childhood he rightfully deserved. Link did not abandon his heroism completely; he still took up the sword from time to time, driving off the raiding parties and rebellious Gerudo that stirred up trouble. But he did not join the Royal Guard, nor did he seek to enlist in the army. In his heart he remained loyal to Zelda and would have answered her calls had she beckoned him back to her. But the Princess did not trouble his peace, and the two rarely met in that new time other than the briefest and rarest of secret meetings.
Link even married, started a family of his very own. This time around he had an actual profession that was quite profitable, instead of just running about and doing favors, expecting nothing in return. His life was slow and quiet and he did grow bored occasionally, but Link was content with this new life.
Unfortunately, the alternate future he had left behind in the past was not so keen to forget him. Ganondorf may have been long dead, but traces of the sorrow and bitterness he left in his wake still corrupted parts of the world. Some of the loyal subjects he left behind, the most faithful of the Gerudo, did not believe their beloved King was gulity of those crimes. They believed he had been executed unfairly and thirsted to avenge him. The Gerudo may not have been able to get at Princess Zelda, but the strange boy that had supported her claims was not as protected. After years of coercing and stealing the information, they were able to discover the identity of this boy. And find out where he currently resided.
At last, Nabooru and her gang could have their righteous revenge, and Ganondorf could have his justice.
Again, Zelda was haunted by dreams that meant sleepless nights wandering Hyrule Castle. Such nightmares of frightening frequency and chilling intensity had not plagued her in almost twenty years. Not since Ganondorf had arrived to seek an alliance with her father. Not since her foolishness had almost destroyed the land by allowing evil to enter the Sacred Realm. And this time, the green-clad boy that had brought the light to chase away the darkness had not arrived. No hope graced her dreams, possible salvation was nowhere in sight. Only unbroken visions of blood and death came to her, a thousand times more bleak than her earlier dreams.
Tonight, the nightmares had gained a terrible strength. Though her visions were purely only in her mind, phantom aches from where the curved blade had plunged into her side and ripped out her eye still lingered far longer than normal, as if she had actually endured the wounds being inflicted upon her own body. Zelda had abandoned all hope of sleep and had instead slipped on a robe and slippers. Going to her window, she looked down on the world below as if the sight of her beloved kingdom could soothe her nerves.
The sprawling grounds of her castle and the town beyond it was spread out before her. Few lights shone through the windows of shops and houses. It was late at night, too late for even the nocturnal crowd and still too early for the first people to open their shops and prepare for business. Past Castle Town was Lon Lon Ranch, barely visible on the dark horizon. The ranch had once been owned by Talon, but he had retired and his daughter and son-in-law managed everything in his stead. The establishment was invaluable to Castle Town as it was the only ranch close to the capitol, supplying everyone with prize horses, meat, and of course its famous milk.
Zelda frowned, sensing something was very, very wrong. Squinting, she focused on Lon Lon Ranch, trying to see past the obscuring blackness. Dark clouds gathered over the compound, along with a strange orange light that flickered like...
"Fire!" Zelda exclaimed aloud, her blood turning to ice at the horrifying revelation. "Link!"
The Princess of Hyrule kicked off her confining slippers, seizing her bow and quiver-full of arrows she always kept close at hand. Dressed in only a nightgown she rushed from her personal chambers, calling for her guards to follow her. There was a commotion as all within earshot scrambled to obey her command, the pounding of heavy feet and the clanging of metal armor as they tried to keep up. She did not slow down for them, trusting the guards to be intelligent enough to follow her path to Lon Lon Ranch.
Running out of the castle at a frantic speed, Zelda whistled shrilly for her horse. Only a moment later her white mare thundered out of the stables, easily able to pick the lock that confined it to its stall and rush out to its master. The Princess of Hyrule gracefully vaulted upon the horse's back. Seizing her mount's mane she steered the mare in the direction of the ranch, shouting for her men to meet her there.
Galloping through Castle Town at top speed, Zelda prepared for the inevitable confrontation. She knocked an arrow onto her bow, knowing full well her quiver would be empty by the time dawn came around.
Lon Lon Ranch rapidly grew nearer, as did the terrible sight in front of the gates. At least twenty dark-skinned and red-haired Gerudo crowded around something, blocking it from view. Their faces were pulled into fierce sneers, eyes gleaming hatefully at the thing that stood at their feet. Suddenly Nabooru herself, leader of the female thieves in Ganondorf's place, rose above her followers. She was smirking victoriously, brandishing one of her swords above her head for all of her women to see. A small and bloodied piece of flesh that Zelda recognized all too well was impaled upon the tip of the blade, illuminated in the harsh light of the fire.
"An eye for an eye!" Nabooru exclaimed triumphantly, her voice silencing the murmurs and jeers of her comrades. "A life for a life! A family for a family! This boy, this Link, was responsible for our beloved Lord Ganondorf's cruel demise. It was he who lied to the King of Hyrule, made the Hylians believe our Lord was a heartless monster worthy of execution. At last, we have returned the favor. His home burns as our fortress did. His wife and child has been slain as our mothers and daughters have been. Now, his life has been taken early from as he stole Ganondorf's! Hear this, Hyrule, for Link is dead! Our Lord has been avenged!"
Nabooru tilted her head toward the heavens, leading her gang in the traditional cry the Gerudo used to proclaim victory over an opponent.
While the Gerudo were distracted, Zelda raised her bow, trembling at the thought of what had to be done. The part of her that still remembered the forgotten time still thought of Nabooru as a trustworthy friend, one of her fellow Sages, an ally that had worked alongside her to end Ganondorf's tyranny.
Not anymore, Zelda, she scolded herself. The Gerudo you see before you is not the Sage of Spirit, not the Nabooru you know. This is a woman that remembers nothing of what Galbatorix did in that other time, one that chooses to believe the crimes he did in this one were only lies fabricated by jealous enemies in order to sabotage him. She is not a Sage her, not a friend nor an ally. Nabooru is a fierce enemy that would she you no mercy. An enemy that has killed Link.
Hesitation vanishing, Zelda felt no remorse as she unleashed the arrow. It was a perfect shot; the tip of the weapon flew straight and embedded itself in Nabooru's throat. A crimson blossom emerged from the wound and the Gerudo leader faltered, her cry dying in a choked garble. Silently she collapsed to the ground, leaving a group of stunned Gerudo in her wake. The female slaves were quick to react, unsheathed their blades and whirling to face Zelda. The Princess of Hyrule let several more arrows fly, all hitting their intended targets.
The Gerudo prepared a counterattack and Zelda cursed, knowing she'd be overwhelmed before she could kill them all. However, the young Hylian was spared when the saving call of her guards came to her rescue. Armed men were thundering over the drawbridge, obviously her orders had been passed on. Those that rode upon horses would be arriving soon, and the Gerudo knew that this reinforcements would soon outnumber them. Some of the female thieves charged fearlessly at these men, their anger over Nabooru's death conquering their common sense. Most turned and fled, no doubt retreating to the desert.
While her men pursued the Gerudo or tried to douse the flames that consumed the barn, Zelda hurried to find out the fate of Lon Lon Ranch's inhabitants.
The sight the Gerudo had obscured was now painfully visible. A young man lay limp, still stubbornly clutching a sword. Zelda did not need to see the bloodstained blond hair or the single blue eye to recognize this figure. He may not have been dressed in his signature green tunic, or wearing his foolish cap, but she still knew this dead man as Link, he who had once been known as the Hero of Time.
Gingerly the Princess made her way past the man and through the gates. She kept her eyes trained high up, forcing herself not to look down at the lifeless form or the blue eye still impaled upon Nabooru's blade.
While the barn may have been burning, the ranch house itself was unharmed by the ravenous flames. The horses were in the center paddock, galloping around as they were frightened by the fire, but physically fine. There were holes in the barn where the milk cows had charged through the walls in attempts to escape fiery deaths. The bovine were currently running around, chased by men that were trying to apprehend them.
Zelda made her way to the ranch house, feeling panic bubble up once again when she realized the door had been kicked open, no doubt by Gerudo intent of making sure their promise to kill Link's family was fulfilled. Once again stringing her bow, the Hylian monarch charged in.
Inside, the house was a mess. Furniture had been damaged and tossed about, a clear sign of a struggle. White feathers were strewn about, covered over fallen female thieves that had been pecked into defeat. Talon's beloved Cucoos crowded around him, clucking and pulling at his clothes in an effort to rouse him. The elderly man groaned, unconscious but alive. Zelda quietly picked her way past the destruction, positive Talon was not in dire need of urgent medical attention, and cautiously made her way up the stairs.
The room on the second floor was the sight of a disaster. Two Gerudo were near the entrance, arrows portruding from their lifeless forms. A third thief was close to an upturned wooden cradle, apparently only stopped from her mission by the shaft in her back.
Swallowing nervously, Zelda ventured toward the cradle. Something weakly tugged at her nightgown before she could take more than two steps and, startled, the Princess of Hyrule glanced down, expecting an injured Gerudo to be snatching at her.
Her violet gaze met Malon instead of another hostile enemy. The redheaded woman was severely injured, dress torn and covered in dried blood. A bow and several arrows lay at her side, proving she had been the one who had killed to protect her infant child. Malon's blue eyes fluttering weakly, as if it took all of her remaining energy to keep them open. Judging by the feverish haze to them, Zelda even doubted this poor woman could recognize her as as the ruler of the kingdom.
The young Hylian hastily bent down, the words already on her lips as she prepared to call for a Red Potion. Shaking her head weakly, Malon silenced the order. Zelda leaned close, trying to hear the soft words that the injured woman was whispering.
"S-s-spare me your efforts," Malon croaked in a hoarse voice. "I am... beyond... the help... of the living... now." She clutched desperately at Zelda's dress, blue eyes shining with a frightened light. "My husband.... Link... where is he?"
Zelda choked back the sob that threatened to escape her. Tears brimmed in her eyes, but she stubbornly refused to let them fall. She had been trained since birth to lock away her feelings and weaknesses from others. To lose her composure now would mean losing her one opportunity to assuage Malon's pain in anyway possible. Princesses had to be strong for their subjects. No. Her own mourning could wait.
"Link is gone," the Princess murmured softly. "Your father is injured, but he will be fine."
Malon closed her eyes for a moment, tears falling freely. For a brief moment Zelda envied this free display of emotion, but the ill feelings quickly dissipated when the dying woman opened her eyes again. Beseechingly, she turned her gaze once again to the other Hylian, blue gaze shining with desperation and grief.
"My... son... My baby... Calon," she breathed. "P-please, take him away from this... land. Those m-monsters... will never stop hunting him... Never leave him in peace. Take my baby.... away... where he can grow up free... of the darkness that shadows this land."
Zelda nodded, bending down to take Malon's hand in her own. "I promise, Malon. Your son will be sent far away from here to grow up in a different land. Somewhere will the misfortune that haunts his bloodline will never find him. Calon will be protected forever."
Comforted by this final assurance, Malon at last released her tremulous hold on life. Her form fell limp, her eyes closing for eternity as she unleashed her last exhale of breath. Bowing her head, Zelda spared a moment of silence for the poor woman. Sighing, the young Hylian climbed to her feet, turning once again to face the overturned cradle.
Cautiously she ventured over, a tentative hand reached out. The blankets had spilled out of the cradle when it had been turned over, concealing a suspicious lump that was undoubtedly the baby. The lump was alarmingly still, and Zelda's thoughts immediatly jumped for the worst possible conclusions. All apprehension leaving her, she removed the blankets, bracing herself for the horrible sight of a mangled and dead infant.
Baby Calon was unharmed. He was very still, no doubt the commotion and violence that had just occurred all around him startling him into a frightened silence. The young infant looked up at Zelda with big scared eyes, and then without warning burst into tears, crying for his parents.
Instinctively Zelda picked up the wailing baby, unable to stand his heartbreaking cries. Mimicking the mothers and nurses she had seen in the castle, she gently rocked Calon, murmuring softly to him. When the infant refused to quiet down Zelda softly hummed her lullaby, remembering how the gentle melody had managed to calm her in even her worst moments. Soothed by the lullaby, Calon's sobs ceased, diminishing first to soft whimpers and then to silence.
Now that the child was quiet, Zelda could get a better view of him. Even at such a young age, many of Link's features were visible in Calon, and she did not doubt this little boy was the splitting image of his infant father. He had a small tuft of blond hair and the pointed ears of a Hylian. His eyes were big and blue and innocent. Zelda's heart ached as she saw those eyes, as she had first seen them upon the young forest boy that had first met her all those long years ago, fresh from his first quest and eager for more adventure.
She smiled sadly. "Such beautiful eyes," she cooed to Calon. "Do you know how much you look like your father, little one? I don't doubt for one second you've inherited his famous courage as well. A normal child in your position would be bawling his eyes out. Even as an infant, your heart is stronger than most I know."
The baby flashed her an adorable smile, gurgling happily at the sound of her voice, all previous troubles forgotten. Looking like this, an innocent and carefree infant, it was hard to comprehend the depth of the curse and blessing that ran in his bloodline. Members of his family had played the role of the Chosen Hero for generations, whenever the need arose for one. Like how the Triforce of Wisdom ran in the Royal Family, the Triforce of Courage seemed to be past down in Link's family.
Zelda gently grabbed Calon's pugdy left hand, turning it over to get a good look at the back. The Triforce was unmistakably stamped onto his rosy flesh, glowing slightly in the closeness of the Princess's own Triforce piece. She sighed, stroking the baby's cheek softly.
"I am sorry," she told him sadly. "Whatever darkness and misfortune follows your bloodline, not even leaving Hyrule can make you escape it. The Goddesses themselves have bestowed a great destiny upon you and your descendants. You may grow up far away from this land, but your children are bound to come back one day. Like the Triforce, you family is bound to Hyrule." Zelda sighed. "Perhaps you shall be spared the same kind of fate that befell your father. Perhaps not. But you can not remain here, little one. The Gerudo shall hunt you mercilessly, and your premature death is not something that can be allowed. Your father was once the last of his bloodline, as you are now. Should you pass into the void, the primary bearers of the Triforce of Courage shall go with you."
Cradling Calon in her arms, Zelda swiftly left the house, taking great care to shield the baby's eyes from the horrible sights in it. Once outside, the Princess of Hyrule hastened toward the privacy of the fields, wanting to finish her matters in peace. Her men ignored her, too intent on dousing the fire and recapturing the escaped livestock to notice her and the infant she carried.
Zelda was forced to pass through the gates to access Hyrule Field, and once again had to endure the terrible sight of the dead Link. Closing her own eyes and pressing Calon's heart to her bosom she trudged forward, almost running past the unbearable situation. Epona had broken free of the paddock and lay beside his still form, mourning the untimely passing of her beloved master. The roan mare raised her head, as if sensing Zelda carried with her Link's only son. The Hylian almost felt the horse's brown gaze boring into her back, she could not bear to whirl around and face Epona and the lifeless body she guarded.
Reaching the safety of the open wilderness, Zelda tenderly placed Calon down upon the grass; she needed both hands to prepare the spell that would send this fated child to a place where he could grow up in peace and safety. The Princess was confident no harm would befall Calon. She sensed an otherworldly force was watching over the both of them, as if a greater power agreed that Calon had to be sent away from Hyrule.
Zelda raised a hand, calling upon her latent magic. At once she summoned a sheet of paper out of thin air and a pen. Carefully she wrote a note upon the sheet, including all necessary information Calon's new caretakers would need. Aware that his surrogate family may not be able to read the Hylian language, Zelda scribbled an intricate rune upon the page in addition to the message. The rune was magical: the first person to lay their eyes upon the paper would have the writing translated into their own language, meaning Zelda's note would be understandable to even foreigners who had never before heard a word of Hylian.
This note Zelda tucked into Calon's blankets. Then she picked the whole bundle up, once again concentrating on the magical strength the Triforce of Wisdom provided her. A tingle of energy arose from her hands, traveling from her and into the baby she held. Squirming, Calon did not hesitate to wail his dislike of the unpleasant sensation that pulsed through his body. A bright violet light enveloped him for a moment, obscuring his body from view.
When the light died, it became apparent that Calon's appearance had changed. His ears were rounded, his features heavier and more mundane. The golden Triforce upon his hand had faded into almost invisibility, now a very pale outline on his skin. Zelda had altered Calon's appearance to resemble a human, the Hylian-like race that lived at the fringes of the realm. She figured he would be sent to a land far away from Hyrule, one primarily inhabited by humans. So she had disguised him, casting a powerful illusion charm that would be passed on until the time was right for his descendants to return to their homeland.
"I know, I know," Zelda said when she heard Calon's whimpers of displeasure. "But this is for your own safety, young one. Farewell, little Calon. May the Goddesses guide you through even the darkest of nights."
She closed her violet eyes, sensing the impending event. Suddenly a strong wind blew by her, carrying with it the sweet scents of the forest. Reflexively Zelda threw up her arms to shield her face from the gust. When the strange wind vanished, she opened her eyes. Calon and his bundle were gone, spirited off by perhaps Farore herself to a safe haven where he could grow up in peace.
Her task completed, Zelda ventured toward the bloodied body of Link. The Hylian soldiers were still preoccupied with dousing the fires and capturing the escaped livestock; none would notice their monarch unless she called for them. Composure cracking at last, the Princess of Hyrule bent over the lifeless form of the man she had come to cherish in that forgotten time, and began to weep.
More than a hundred years after the tragic death of the man once known as the Hero of Time and the concealment of his only heir, a very different Princess Zelda with a very different agenda strode calmly through the dark halls of Hyrule Castle. It was past midnight, around the ungodly hour that only the unsavory characters of the world dared to brave. Almost every other soul in the massive castle, including many of the guards that had been assigned to the graveyard shift, were sound asleep. Not so for Zelda, whose prophetic nightmares plagued her slumber, only growing in frequency and intensity when she had first tried to only ignore them.
Holding up a burning torch so as to light her way, the Princess navigated the winding halls with ease. She had changed out of her nightgown and into a simple dress, but her mere presence was still enough to elicit raised brows and curious glances from the few guards she passed. Zelda acknowledged them all with stern bows of her head, the look in her violet gaze inviting no questions. The men murmured hasty apologies and bowed, shuffling past her without further incident. No doubt rumors about her nocturnal wanderings would spark in the morning, but the gossip of the servants that worked in her halls did not bother her. Zelda was Crown Princess, scheduled to be crowned Queen the day of her eighteenth birthday, which was now only a few scant months away. She had been raised to never allow the stinging gossip of her subjects get to her, and the young royal remained true to her past teachings.
She descended deeper into the heart of Hyrule Castle, which was the heaviest guarded section. Or, at least it was supposed to be. Most of the guards were hunkered down in side passageways, heads bowed and snoring quite loudly. Some of the men hadn't even possessed the dignity to find an isolated place to nod off on the job. They were sprawled out on the floor like drunkards or had nodded off on their feet, their spears supporting their idle weight.
Zelda couldn't but heave a sigh of shame and regret when she saw this severely inappropriate behaviour and blunt disregard to orders. Even their appearances were a disgrace. The majority of the guards were under-built or sported large bellies, showing little in the way of training and practice. Not to mention disregard for their own personal health. Their surperior commanders did not take much stock in properly disciplining or maintaining their men. No, their interests were focused on boasting and showboating for the pretty women that came their way, and stuffing their fat pockets with even more wealth.
Such was the way of Hyrule's soldiers. Less than a century ago they had been renowned of one of the most skilled and loyal fighting forces in the world. Other nations had taken great care to respect Hyrule and remain in good terms with its leaders, lest they incur the wrath of their army. But all of those years of peace and prosperity had weakened the rigid code that had kept the soldiers fit and battle-ready. The Zoras and Gorons were peaceful. The Gerudo had gone, the only trouble coming in the occasional raids from Bublins and smalltime bandits and thugs.
Zelda had been the first monarch in a long while to notice the sorry conditions of the Hylian army and how vulnerable they would be if a fullscale attack occured and had the desire to do something about it. She had tried to rally her father to do something, lest Hyrule be caught vulnerable by an enemy at the wrong time. The King of Hyrule had ignored her warnings. Holder of the Triforce of Wisdom she may have been, but her stubborn father refused to bow to anyone, much less his own daughter. Even when he had died almost a year ago and Zelda had assumed the throne, many of the older nobles could not be persuaded to support her efforts in strengthening Hyrule's forces. Zelda was still just an unmarried girl, still too young to even technically be Queen. Until she had proved herself a strong and capable leader, many of the nobles would remain recalcitrant to almost anything she tried to pass.
So I will just have to do this myself then, Zelda told herself. My female ancestors kept Hyrule intact through some of its most tremulous times. It was my namesake that had the prophetic dreams in the first place that prevented Ganondorf from usurping the Royal Family and siezing the kingdom for himself. I will not need the approval of some fat old men to protect my people from this grave danger.
Zelda stopped in an unoccupied hall. The corridor seemed of little importance; it was old and barely used by anybody those days, much less by the guards. In fact, the only thing that appeared to be some interest was the giant crest of the Royal Family engraved upon the stone wall. Considering this was in Hyrule Castle, the crest seemed insignifigant.
Not so for the Princess of Hyrule.
Without hesitation Zelda raised her hand. The Triforce crest upon it flashed gold. Immediately the crest upon the wall began to glow with of a light of its own, becoming so bright for a moment that the Hylian women was forced to shield her eyes for a moment. When the brightness dimmed the wall had vanished, revealing an opening that had been hidden previously. Swiftly Zelda entered, the wall closing up behind her until she wished to depart.
Here, hidden in the depths of Hyrule Castle, was the Chamber of Heroes. Monarchs from the beginning of the kingdom had collected artifacts and treasures belonging from Chosen Heroes of ages past to store in this secret room. Considering the Royal Family held the bearers of the Triforce of Wisdom, not to mention a thirst for knowledge no information could slake, quite a store had been amassed. Every single item present had an awesome story behind it, though some were long since forgotten even to the royals themselves.
Zelda held out her torch, searching the shelves and pedestals that filled the chamber for a specific item. The most dangerous of treasures had been securely locked away with powerful seals only the bearer of the Triforce of Courage could break, but her quarry did not reside among those evil artifacts hidden away for good reasons.
After what seemed like an eternity of scouring through shelves of treasures, she found what she was seeking. Shoving aside some decrepit wooden masks whose paint was beginning to peel off, the young royal discovered a nondescript blue ocarina. Compared to the fabulous treasures that surrounded it, the instrument was entirely unremarkable, one that would be the last of the spoils that would be stolen should a thief manage to break in.
However, this ocarina was perhaps the most powerful object in all of the Chamber of Heroes. It possessed an ancient power that was on par with the Master Sword, with abilities unknown from even its users. This was the Ocarina of Time, the same legendary instrument that the Hero of Time had first used to seal away Ganondorf and later to save Termina from the madness of Majora's Mask. And it would be this ocarina that would help her save her people.
Cautiously Zelda took the ocarina into her hands. Her sensitivity to magic sensed the great power residing in this sacred instrument. Power so great it could even summon the Chosen Hero of the generation. The individual chosen by the Goddesses to protect Hyrule in its time of need.
The Princess's dreams had shown her terrifying visions of darkness falling upon the kingdom as she became just a mere puppet to the evil mastermind behind it. However, potential salvation had come in a flash of blue fire that had burned the shadows away, allowing light to enter Hyrule once again. When these flames had arrived a song had continued to play in the background. Zelda suspected that this very melody could summon the lost Hero back to the place that needed him most.
"Please, Goddesses," she murmured. "Let this work."
Without hesitation Zelda put the Ocarina of Time to her lips and begun to play. Her sharp mind easily recalled the melody and she was able to successfully play it on a single try.
A wind suddenly rose up around her, surrounding the young Hylian in a yellowish vortex that blew smaller objects about the chamber. There it remained, as if patiently awaiting her command.
"The Chosen Hero of the Goddesses," Zelda ordered, gesturing for the strange wind to leave. "Find him and bring him to Hyrule. I fear he shall be needed too soon for my liking."
The swirling vortex disentegrated, dissapating and exiting the Chamber of Heroes through small cracks in the walls. Zelda had no doubt that the strange wind the ocarina had summoned would retrieve the Hero as requested. Now all she could do was wait, and pray she had not acted too late to save her kingdom.
Next chapter: Calon arrives in Alagaesia and a childless couple get the surprise and blessing of their lives. Also, a young Eragon shows signs of being the Hero, but does anyone notice them? And, most importantly, do they recognize the importance of his future role?
1. My theory about the OoT-time glitch was that when Zelda sent Link back in time, only they and the divine spirits retained their memories of the events. The Sages (excluding Rauru) were not needed to seal away evil and hence didn't awake, meaning they too lost their memories of that forgotten seven years. Since Nabooru wasn't there to directly witness Ganondorf's evil firsthand, her extreme devotion to him blinded her from the truth. In order to avenge her King, Nabooru set off to kill Link, his murder and betrayer in her eyes. In case you're asking how a bunch of Gerudo killed the Hero of Time, they ambushed him in great numbers. Link may be a great fighter, but his isn't invincible. Even heroes have to fall.
2. I am under the impression that the Triforce of Courage doesn't leave Link's line, like how the Triforce of Wisdom likes to hang out with the Royal Family. In order to preserve the Chosen Hero, Calon, the last of the bloodline, had to be protected. If that meant sending him away from Hyrule, then so be it.
3. Looking back on things, I am sure that the races of Alagaesia are not familiar with the Hylian language or alphabet. Since Zelda does have the Triforce of Wisdom, I figure she'd also have a spell to fix any translation problems that may pop up when her message is sent to another land.
4. In case it isn't obvious, the melody the second Zelda played was the Song of Storms. Considering how Eragon arrived in Hyrule the last time, it seemed the most appropiate summoning.
5. My apologies for the lack of anything Eragon or Saphira in this chapter. The next chapter is dedicated entirely to the IC universe, including more on Calon and a Young!Eragon.