Act II: In Which the Princess is Kidnapped Yet Again or In Which Vaati has a Disagreement with a Dragon
Despite her best efforts, Zelda could not worm her way out of Vaati's grasp. As he soared through the sky with her still wrapped within his claws, it came to the point where she figured she didn't want to fight. Mostly because the drop would likely kill her, and she rather enjoyed living. However, the more the princess thought of the situation, the more she was thinking maybe death would preferable to being the prisoner of a feared monster who would do who knows what to her. She didn't even want to think of it, and truthfully, she was terrified of the possibilities.
Eventually, however, she did see their destination – a place she'd heard only legends of: The Palace of Winds. She didn't admire it, however. Because although it was a beautiful spectacle to behold, she also knew it was her prison. So she did look at it – and really look at it. She did her best to memorize every tower and its location, every outdoor hall, everything she could see while she was still on the outside of it to try and see if maybe she could find a safe way off of it when she was actually there.
She did her best in that short amount of time to ingrain the sight of the Palace within her brain before Vaati picked up speed and flew them right into the Palace. He dropped down to what seemed to be a courtyard with such speed, Zelda thought he surely had a death wish. But the stop was rather abrupt, and she hadn't quite noticed the fact that the beast had lowered her to the floor. Standing stock still, she hadn't quite registered that there was no longer a massive claw trapping her, or that the claw had all but disappeared, retracting into the one eyed demon.
He did not move, and Zelda made a break for it. She realized how incredibly stupid that was as soon as she began to run, as this was Vaati's turf. But she wasn't stopping either – the drive to want to get away from the sorcerer being too strong for her to stop even if she had wanted to. She hadn't run halfway across the courtyard before she saw an eddy of wind appear before her. The princess skidded to a stop, nearly falling over as she did so. The only reason she stopped was because someone had caught her.
… Wait. What?
Puzzled, she looked up to see who it was that had kept her from falling. It was a young man, cloaked in purple and with hair the color of lilac. He was very good looking and Zelda found herself blushing… until she realized the same sense of wrongness that she had felt from Vaati was coming off of this smiling young man. She put it together. Her blush quickly faded and she let out a rather unbecoming squeal before attempting to scramble away.
Vaati was quick to grab her and pull her back. "Tut, tut, princess, you should know better." He hissed in her ear.
"Release me." She demanded.
"As you wish." He let her go with a smirk. "But you'll find that it would be rather difficult to leave without my say so."
She turned on her heel to glower at him, not wanting to think about the truth of the statement. "Link will defeat you." She said matter-of-factly.
Despite the still smiling face, Zelda thought she saw something flash behind the mage's eyes. He then began to walk, circling around her much like a lion around a gazelle. "Have so much faith in your beau?" He asked sardonically.
"He is not," Zelda said firmly, "But it doesn't matter whether he is or not, because he will defeat you. He's done it bef-"
"No – his ancestors have before, not him." Vaati snapped. "And I'll see to it that he will never reach here."
"He'll find a way-" Zelda began, but stopped when Vaati had quickly closed the space between them.
Wearing a spiteful smile he told her, "No he won't." She stood her ground, ignoring his close proximity. She didn't want to give him the pleasure of seeing her flinch or try to run away. After a moment, she wondered if that was the right course of action, because if anything, his grin seemed to broaden more. "You're a fighter. Even now, you refuse to back down because you don't want to give me the satisfaction of seeing your fear."
"I don't fear you." Her words came out venomously.
With a chuckle, Vaati caressed a lock of her hair and said, "Then you're either very foolish or very brave – though the two aren't mutually exclusive." She clenched her jaw, restraining the urge to spit in his handsome face. In fact, she had to remind herself that if he so wished, he could very well throw her off this floating palace. Apparently, he'd caught on to her line of thinking and chuckled again, "Brave then; or at least you seem intelligent." Her jaw clenched again. "And I rather hope that's the case; I'm none too fond of the idea of a foolish bride."
Alright, he had just been asking for it that time. She slapped him – or tried to. He had caught her hand. But that wouldn't stop her, she still had another free hand. So she tried to slap him with that hand. But he had avoided her left slap completely by deftly moving behind her, all the while keeping his hand over hers lightly.
The next thing she knew, he was right behind her. There were quite a few reasons why she didn't like that. The first was that his grip was once again tight over her own hand. The second reason why she was sure she did not like this was the fact that his other hand had just slid up from her thigh to her waist. Reason number three was that she knew Vaati was enjoying this far too much; she could see his wide grin from her peripheral vision – and anything that made him smile she knew would not make her smile. "Let me go." She hissed.
"I'll never let you go, princess." He hissed right back, his grip on her hand tightening possessively. "You're mine now, and no one shall take you from me."
She shuddered. And much like there were several reasons for not liking how she was being handled, there were several reasons as to why she shuddered. The first was that she could sense he had truly meant what he had said. He really intended to keep her here and he was truly confident that no one was going to take her form him. Just hearing him speak like that filled her with a sense of dread because a part of her believed those unwavering words. The second reason she shuddered was to resist doing something very unprincess-like and would likely warrant her being thrown off the edge and into the ground hundreds of feet below – which was to say, kick him in the balls.
And the third and final reason was… she actually kind of liked what he'd said. The actual content of the words themselves she despised. The way in which he said the words, however… He truly believed what he was saying. He was incredibly confident in his abilities; it could've been arrogance, but the way in which he spoke said that maybe he was just speaking the truth. And more than that, those words had power behind them – as if to make it seem as if they were all the more truthful… and that… that was attractive…
Unfortunately, Vaati seemed to be able to sense that. Maybe it was the slight blush in her face or the fact that she dropped her guard for the smallest of moments, or maybe even the fact that she actually seemed to finally avert her gaze. "Oh? Where's your fight, princess?" He cooed mockingly, pulling her close enough so that she felt her back against his torso. "Giving in already?"
A flare of anger rose up in her. She pulled herself away and then spun on the ball of her foot to go and attempt to slap him again. A deafening roar shook the very air. Zelda froze where she stood, while Vaati looked upwards in alarm. A great shadow passed over them as a massive winged creature extended its talons to perch upon the tallest tower of the Palace of Winds.
The princess gaped at the dragon. "Va-Vaati…" she stuttered, "Th-there's a drag-"
"I can see that." Vaati neither sounded nor looked pleased. At the same time, he did not seem to be afraid either. And that was because he wasn't. He was more outraged that during his absence that someone dared to move in on his territory.
"Is there supposed-"
"No." He responded through clenched teeth. He looked the princess and said, "Stay out of sight; I'm going to have a word with it – and don't try to escape; as I said before, it's rather difficult to leave the Palace without my say so."
Her glare returning, she said nothing to him, but simply watched as she felt the wind pick up around him and carry him off towards the dragon. Much as she hated the idea of it, she did go indeed take cover. She knew that when Vaati said he was going to have a word with it, he meant things might get ugly. And much as Zelda believed she could take care of herself, she was sure she would only get in the way if a battle broke out between the mage and the dragon. But she wasn't about to listen to Vaati on that 'don't try to escape' condition. She knew that he probably knew that too, and she also knew that he was probably right in saying that she couldn't get off of this floating palace without his help. But goddess damned she was going to try! She may be a damsel in distress but she was going to be such a pain about it, she would make sure of that!
Vaati, in the meantime, flew up to the tower hastily. To say he was not pleased was an understatement – especially since he knew that blasted girl was going to try and run. They always did, but he had a habit of repeating himself just in case one of them would listen. Whatever the case, the faster the dragon left, the easier it would be to find the girl.
The dragon took notice of Vaati and growled – a low rumbling sound that was so deep, it was barely audible. It was a truly massive dragon, very top heavy and with a scarred hide. Perhaps to the average person it would have been terrifying. To a wind mage so powerful he could not truly be killed, it was just a nuisance. The mage came to a stop several meters away from its massive head, ignoring the hissing the dragon was letting out.
"Good afternoon." Vaati managed as pleasantly as he could… so it didn't come out very pleasant at all.
"It was until you pests came along," the dragon rumbled threateningly.
The mage gave the dragon an icy smile. "I realize that when you came about this palace, it may have been deserted. But this is my abode, dragon."
"Onox!" The dragon hissed angrily. "I am called Onox! And who are you to claim this place, little bug?" He'd risen up on his hind quarters and spread his wings out, the leathery furls twitching angrily in a great threat display.
Vaati's eyebrow twitched. A bug, was he? A quick hand movement and a sharp gale cut across the dragon's face, causing it to snap to the side as if it had received a slap. "I'd watch your overlarge tongue before you call your betters bugs, dragon." The mage snapped venomously. "I am the Sorcerer of Winds, Vaati – the rightful proprietor to the Palace of Winds! And if you value your scaly hide, I suggest you leave before my Palace obtains a dragon-skin decorating theme!"
Onox snarled and snapped at the mage, but Vaati did not move. The dragon, he knew, was trying to save himself a humiliating expulsion. The snaps were half-hearted, weak attempts to try and intimidate Vaati, which weren't working seeing as the snaps did not even come close to the mage. The creature only snapped around three times before letting out a half-hearted roar of retaliation and then flying away rapidly. Just to spite him, Vaati momentarily took the wind from beneath the beast's great wings, causing it to drop and how in panic. When the dragon managed to catch the air again, he swiveled around and roared his outrage, but he did not go back. The wind mage smirked. It served the great brute right for encroaching upon his territory.
Naturally, though, Onox was not amused. Whether that purple bug was Vaati or not, he had just been humiliated! It was a blow to the dragon's pride, one he would not stand for. His eyes caught sight of the mage's companion, scurrying below. The dragon bared its teeth, recognizing the figure so reminiscent of Hyrule's princess beneath him. He had no doubts it was her, actually. And what luck! It ends up Onox could use a super-powered princess! He looked back to the mage, who had been glowering expectantly at him, no doubt having thought the dragon would have left by now. The dragon puffed up his chest and then let out a great roar which quickly turned into a belch of flame.
It forced the mage move, but more importantly, it distracted the purple bug. And during that time, Onox swooped down towards the Palace and landed right before the princess, who had screeched in panic. She threw some sort of magic at him which just bounced off of him uselessly. A swoop of a front claw had the girl uselessly struggling in his grasp, and without further adieu, he leapt back into the sky.
An extremely displeased Vaati had been flying towards him, readying some sort of spell. But Onox snorted triumphantly and showed off the princess in his claw – his grip evidently having been too tight for the girl to handle. She lolled in his claw much like a ragdoll, and the sight of it caused the mage to come to an abrupt halt in the sky. "Yes, sorcerer! It seems I've taken your bride right from under you – and she'll have an even better use for me as my next meal!"
Vaati, as history could often tell, was not a patient man. When he got particularly ambitious, sometimes he skipped little details in his impatience. He also had a bit of a temper issue, one which caused him to do things that didn't quite allow him to think clearly when in a rage. He'd been working on remedying that, because it would be rather embarrassing to be continuously foiled for making the same mistakes.
He thought he'd done a rather good job so far, being direct and to the point, grabbing his soon-to-be-bride immediately and without much banter. As far as he was concerned, he was displaying a great deal of mercy and patience with the dragon – especially since he had no plans to kill the beast more than just remind it of its proper place. Unfortunately, there were just some things that could ruin the practice of patience and anger management in an instant. For example, a dragon stealing what he had rightfully kidnapped easily could send him into an uncontrollable rage.
And it did.
Vaati flew at the dragon with every intention of using his magic to rip Onox into tiny, irreparable piece and get his woman back. He hadn't quite thought that the dragon would quickly make a complete turn in the opposite direction and lash his tail out right at him… but that was mostly because the mage had been busy envisioning that dragon-hide decoration theme he'd threatened earlier. So the dragon's tail smashed right into the mage, throwing him away from Onox and the princess and leaving him extremely disoriented. And then disoriented turned to blacked out when the mage made contact with the floor of the Palace of Winds.
Zelda awoke to quite uncomfortable situation. For one, she was wrapped up in claws again, though these were significantly larger than the last. She was also in the air again, she noticed. However, this flight was much more uncomfortable than her last – which was saying something. Dragons, she noted, bobbed when they flew. And because this one was a particularly heavy dragon, his bobs were making her green in the face. Enough so that she made no attempt to fight back or squirm in his grip. She had the feeling that she may just throw up if she tried.
But despite the nausea, she was quite upset. Kidnapped by a monster only to get kidnapped again by another monster.
This day, by far, had to have been her worst day ever. And it was all Vaati's fault. She'd no idea what he had said to the dragon, but it obviously didn't like whatever was said and now she was paying for it.
Her hatred couldn't stew, however, mostly because she felt like chucking her lunch more and more with each passing moment. She was so focused on not throwing up, she hadn't noticed when the dragon was lowering itself on the side of a craggy mountain. As the bobbing stopped she realized the change of lighting and the different surroundings. They were in a cave now…which she supposed was only natural seeing as a dragon had kidnapped her.
The dragon lifted the claw which held her to a cliff within the cave and placed her down there. It was a bit of an automatic reaction for her to back up against the wall. The cliff was incredibly small while the drop was incredibly large. She didn't like those odds, and was doing her damned best to not move. It was harder than it seemed, what with still feeling a bit sick from the earlier flight.
The beast let out what seemed to be rolling rumble of growls. They took her by surprise and she nearly fell, but she caught herself and glared. She glared even more when she realized the dragon had been laughing at her.
"Not hoping to make me your bride too, I hope." She snapped shakily, her hands behind her trying to find some sort of grip on the craggy wall.
The dragon let out another rumbly laugh and said, "No, no. Dragons have no use for scrawny Hylian mates."
"Ah, lovely then." Zelda said. Well, that was one bad situation out of the way. Maybe she wasn't completely doomed. She might just be able to get out of this… "Erm, I can't say Vaati didn't deserve that because I don't want to marry him. So you did me a favor… is there any chance that you can let me go?"
She had a feeling that was the case. After all, if the dragon had really just wanted to take her to get on Vaati's nerves, he probably wouldn't have taken her to a cave to keep her captive. So Zelda needed to compromise. With a dragon. "If you release me," she began, trying to think of what dragons liked, "Ah, I'm sure my father will grant you various treasures to add to your hoard!"
"My hoard is quite comfortable, thank you." Said the dragon with a light chuckle.
At least he was somewhat polite… something else. A riddle contest? With a dragon? That was a terrible idea. She would lose in a second. A deal of some sort? But she really had nothing to offer. "Um… I'm afraid there's not much I can do for you Mister…?"
The dragon laughed again. "Onox. And you're actually mistaken. There is something I want from you."
Zelda brightened. So there was a way out of this after all! "Really? What is it?"
"The princesses of Hyrule are said to have great magic within them," began Onox. "As a dragon, magic has great value to us. And I would like your magic."
She frowned. He wanted her… magic? She wasn't sure she could give that up evenif she had wanted to. "I'm sorry. I wouldn't know-"
"But I do." The dragon said. He bared his teeth in what she could only assume was a grin of some sort. "Dragons… we have a rather unique ability that's little known to anyone but ourselves."
"R-really?" the princess asked. She wasn't sure she liked where this was going.
"Yes. We dragons have the ability to absorb powerful magics."
"That's impress-" She began, thinking flattery might get her somewhere. But the dragon cut her off. "Through ingestion."
She gaped and lost several shades of her color. The words of Onox bounced around in her head… The dragon was going to eat her? She went through the options in her head:
1- Wait for Link to save her. But how on earth could Link save her if he had no idea where she was. As far as her best friend knew, she was Vaati's captive in the Palace of Winds. So option 1 clearly wasn't the way to go, unless Vaati was about to go telling Link that he'd lost the princess he kidnapped – and the day that happened was the day Gorons learned to swim. She could always try to send Link a message via telepathy but that was never her strong suit…
2- Try to keep compromising with Onox. … She had the distinct impression that wouldn't work.
3- Try to escape herself. It would be a mission in itself, but she wasn't about to stand idly around waiting to get eaten. She had much better things to do with her time than that, thank you very much!
4- … Wait for Vaati to save her.
She had mixed feelings on that last one, and most of those feelings were all negative. Because Option 4 resulted in either one of two outcomes – she'd be eaten by a dragon, or she'd be saved by the mage who wished to force her into marriage. Zelda wasn't sure which she preferred, as both seemed to contain equal amounts of wince inducing horror. At the same time, Link didn't know where she was or her circumstances. And even if Vaati didn't know where she was, he knew her circumstances and therefore had a much better head start. She still dreaded the idea of it… But what was worse was that he would come after her.
"I'll never let you go, princess. You're mine now, and no one shall take you from me."
Yes, after saying something like that, he was definitely going to come after her…
… Option 3. That was the best of them, she was sure.
"So…" she began again, looking at the dragon that had been eyeing her like a piece of rare steak. "Since you haven't eaten me now, I'm guessing there is preparation involved?" She asked.
"Very astute. Yes, there are things that need to be attended to – it is Old Magic, the magic of absorption. Preparations must be made." Onox conceded, nodding his massive head. He then rose from his sitting position and turned, as if to leave the cave. But then he paused, looking over at the girl one last time before jeering at her, showing off extremely large, carnivorous teeth that she dearly hoped she would not see up close. "And after that, more preparations must be made. I imagine you would taste quite lovely with a hint of lemon. Yes… lemon pepper princess sounds delicious." He taunted before he exited the cave and unfurled his great wings, flying off to who knew where…
And leaving Zelda on her poor excuse for a cliff, clinging to walls. I'm assuming that at least Vaati would have given me space to walk around. She thought bitterly as she peered over the edge. With a resentful sigh, the princess carefully placed her front against the wall and tried to think happy thoughts. Option 3… it just couldn't be easy, could it?
Poe and Gibdo were left out of proceedings following Vaati's break in into Hyrule Castle. In fact, they were thrown into the dungeons – not necessarily because they were thought to be conspiring with the enemy but simply so they couldn't mess things up further. This was a sore spot for Poe, because the only thing he was guilty of was being late for a situation he didn't even know was going to happen. Had he known that maybe heading back to the Castle at a full on sprint rather than a comfortable run would get him there in time to see Vaati, then he sure as hell would've sprinted! But alas… he hadn't.
And now he was in the dungeons… with his brother… so they wouldn't mess up anymore.
"This is your fault." Poe said simply.
"Shut up." Gibdo replied irritably.
"I know it is! You don't need to remind me!" The elder brother said irritably. His eyes flashed with anger at his brother… but then the face quickly turned to one of despair and he let out a wail. Poe rolled his eyes as his brother sobbed, "I-I messed up so bad! And now- and now – the p-princess is – hic! – is gone! And it's all – it's all m-my fault!" He let out another wail through his hiccoughs and sobs.
The younger brother looked at his brother with a mixture of shame and disbelief. He was related to this? He grabbed his brother's shoulders and shook him. "Snap out of it! You are a grown man and you're whining like a woman!" Poe backhanded his brother, who stopped his howling almost immediately. Gibdo sniffled for a moment and then nodded, telling his brother he was alright. The younger reluctantly let go.
And then the two were back to staring at the walls in their prison cell in silence.
The door to the dungeons opened. Both brothers looked at each other, puzzled. They didn't think anybody would be coming in here now what with Vaati having kidnapped the princess. The guards surely wouldn't be out bringing in common thieves at a time like this. And they were right. It wasn't any other guardsmen coming in. It was Link. And that just confused the two ever further. What was he doing here?
"Hey guys." Link said, as if there wasn't a wall of bars separating the two from him.
Gibdo just looked shamefully to the floor while Poe mumbled a, "Hi…"
"Listen, Sergeant Gibdo, I know you didn't mean to release Vaati. And Petty Officer Poe, you just had lousy timing. Overall, you two just had some bad luck."
"You think?" Poe said sarcastically while Gibdo kept his steady staring contest with the floor.
Link frowned. "I'm offering you guys a chance to get on everyone's good side again, you know."
Gibdo perked up hopefully. "You mean, everyone will forget how badly I messed up?"
"Eh, no," Link said guiltily, but he quickly added, "But they'll see as making up for what happened – and you'll probably be able to keep your jobs too."
Poe dropped some of his earlier hostility, his mood brightening at the prospect. The thought of wondering what he'd be doing once he was officially fired was rather grim, and anything that would allow him to keep his job was welcome. Gibdo was much more vocal in his appreciation, shouting, "Really? That's… that's wonderful! What can we do?"
"Well, I've got to on a quest to defeat Vaati and save the princess. It seems like things might be easier if I had a little help." Link told them. "If you guys come along, I don't see why anyone would keep blaming you two for everything. But it'll be dangerous – there's the possibility that we may die."
The older of the brothers nodded, the determination evident in his face. "I'll do anything to make up for my mistake." Link nodded and then looked expectantly at the other brother.
Poe was less enthusiastic. He wanted to keep his job, yes… but he wasn't liking what he had to do to keep it. The big huge blaring possible side effect of doing this was not one he liked – that being the possibility that they might die. Gibdo was the one who wanted to be the hero; Poe just wanted the excuse to lawfully stab things, something the armor of the Hylian soldier allowed him to do. That and he also really didn't like the idea of thwarting the plans of Hyrule most feared mage. In fact, that bit actually seemed incredibly stupid to him.
… But maybe he could tag along, just stab a few things and take cover when things got too messy? Not to mention Gibdo would be expecting Poe to go… He still didn't like the idea of it but… Crossing his arms, he muttered, "Yeah sure…"
"Great," Link said cheerily. He grabbed the keys from the nail on the wall and opened up the cell door. The soldiers filed out of the cell; Gibdo happily; Poe grumpily.
Link led the way towards the exit, but paused at the door. He looked at Poe and Gibdo with a grimace and said, "I'm going to open the door." Poe's lips made a flat line; he was resisting the urge to say something extremely sarcastic. Link continued, "Don't freak out."
Poe forked an eyebrow and looked at his brother, who shrugged in response.
Link then opened the door and stepped out. The guards did so as well, not seeing why there was any reason to freak out. Not immediately, anyways.
Gibdo had been the first to notice, and when he had noticed, all he could do was open and close his mouth while raspy attempts at speech tried to present themselves. The younger brother merely stared at his brother first, wondering what could possibly be wrong with him now. Then he looked to where his brother had looked and had much the same reaction.
There were four Links.
"Hey, hey," the Link in the blue tunic said. His arms were crossed and his foot was tapping in irritation. "What are these guys staring at? Do I gotta kick their asses?"
"Oh but that doesn't sound very nice!" The Link in the red tunic said to the one in the blue.
Blue was about to snap at his red counterpart when a Link in a purple tunic let out an exasperated sigh, "Try to think of this from their point of view, Blue: They only knew Link as one person. Now they're seeing four? I wouldn't be surprised if they thought they were going crazy."
"We're not?" Gibdo finally asked. He even rubbed his eyes and opened them uop again to see if maybe he was hallucinating.
"No, you're not," said Link – the one in green that had come to get them. He had an expression that was mixed in between guilty and frustrated. "But they get awfully close to making me crazy…" And Link had only been around his three other selves for an hour.
And so I decided that the antagonist would be Onox, of Oracle of Seasons. I was thinking that really the only thing that could possibly kidnap Zelda from Vaati would have to be something that wasn't grounded. And the Zelda series conveniently has a villain who just so happens to be a dragon (even though we don't find this out till the boss fight but whatevs). ... Man, I hated fighting Onox. Beat the guy with only a quarter of a heart left, no lie. -w-
Derps, anyways, so we got some hatemance going on between Vaats and Zel at the moment. It's only natural. If they are to remain in character, I highly doubt Zelda is going to want anything to do with him. At the same time, power is sexy - and on a subconscious level, even Zelda recognizes that attraction... that doesn't mean she likes it. Right now anyways... Man, there is going to be one pissed mage next chapter.
Sage of Video Games, I hope it will continue to be interesting! And Vaatizelda is win - it's a damn shame there isn't more of it. D:
Purplegc, yes it is. And Gibdo's a whiny bitch, but he's a spaz about it. XD
righter248, thank you! X3
SubZeroChimera, I certainly hope so, though I don't think this chapter is quite as funny. D:
Mirria1, hehe, thanks. He's a douche, though. A stab happy one too. D:
Princess Mara of the Universe, haha, sorry for keeping you waiting then. And I should hope so; keeping characters in character, I'm trying my best! DX
Midna Hytwilian, pretty much. Though Poe's still much more subdued here than as a ghost. He's more of a douche now, though, possibly because no one has him on a leash. As for Gibdo, yes, he is a moron. He's also a dramatic spaz. XD