Hello, everyone, sorry for the delay! I've been trying to upload this since yesterday but the site was being a tool. Here's part 2 of The Postman series! Please read and review as I'm always up for suggestions or criticisms! :)
(I have revised this first chapter and will slowly begin to revise the other chapters as well. I will always state in the Author note whether the chapter has yet been revised)
How to be a Villain
The news of Ganondorf's defeat spread fast across the nations. The entire country of Hyrule instantly rejoiced, relieved that once again their hero saved the day. Every town and village celebrated the victory by declaring a holiday and having great feasts and parties to commemorate Link. Once again, there was peace in Hyrule.
Zelda was enjoying the festivities as well and was overseeing the preparations of a large banquet. Servants flitted about the room doing everything she ordered and the dining hall looked stunning with the silk banners and large bouquets of flowers.
Link, who was the guest of honour, was slouched in a chair on the far side of the room, feeling very out of place. He was a boy born in the forest and raised on the battlefield, so being pandered to and admired made him uncomfortable.
Zelda smiled at him from across the room, dressed her finest dress of gold and blue, and despite himself, Link smiled back. Zelda approached, cheeks flushed with excitement and eyes sparkling, and took a seat next to him with an exhausted sigh. Although she looked tired, her smile was still bright and she straightened her dress as she glanced over at him.
"You don't have to look so miserable." she teased. "This is a celebration in your honour, you know."
"I know." Link said, gazing across the dining hall. "It's just that the battle is still fresh in my mind. I'm not used to so much quiet."
Zelda gestured towards the servants setting up the banquet, all of them bickering and yelling at one another. "You call this too quiet?" she asked in amusement. "I can barely hear myself think!"
Link didn't answer but offered her a small smile. Only those who had seen the nightmare of battle would ever truly understand what he meant.
"You should enjoy yourself." Zelda said gently. "Hyrule's dark times are finally at an end and you can hang up your sword."
Link looked away, smile disappearing. "I know I should be happy, princess, but I just have a feeling it's not over yet..."
Zelda placed a hand on his arm comfortingly. "You killed Ganondorf, you saw him die yourself. He's dead and isn't coming back. Hyrule is safe and no one has to worry any more."
Link's eyes were troubled when he looked up at her. "Ganondorf has a habit of escaping death. I can never be sure he isn't lurking out there somewhere."
Zelda shook her head, not even wanting to consider it. "You killed him, Link. He couldn't have survived."
Link gave an uncertain nod. "When I fought him, I stabbed him through the chest and he was almost dead when I left him. The entire castle was on fire and it collapsed on top of him but I still feel like it's not over."
Zelda was rather surprised. "The castle collapsed?" she asked in interest. "I wasn't aware of that."
Link gave another nod. "The magic Ganondorf shot at me caused the fires and weakened the structure. I saw it collapse as I was climbing Death Mountain."
Zelda's eye widened. "I'm glad you got out!" she exclaimed. "I do hope The Postman got out in time as well."
Link hesitated a moment as he furrowed his brow in confusion. "The Postman?" he questioned. "Why would you care if he got out? He kidnapped you!"
"Kidnapped me? The Postman?" Zelda asked in surprise. "Are we talking about the same postman?"
"Hyrule's postman." Link confirmed.
"Why would a postman kidnap me?" Zelda asked, raising an eyebrow. "The only way The Postman would kidnap me is if someone stuck a stamp on my forehead!"
Link was confused and gave the princess a frown. "But the guards at the castle said The Postman was the last person to enter your room before you were kidnapped! He's been helping Ganondorf all along!"
Zelda now matched Link's confused frown. "What? We were both kidnapped together by Ganondorf..."
Link shook his head. "No. He refused to help us when he knew of Ganondorf's location, then he was at the castle during the final fight. He was working with Ganondorf the entire time!"
Zelda continued to frown at him. "Of course he was at the castle; we were kidnapped." she stated. "And what do you mean he was helping Ganondorf?"
"The Postman had the master key hidden in an envelope and refused to give it to me. He was working with Ganondorf to keep me out of the tower!"
Zelda's frown deepened all the more. "You mean the letter he was trying to deliver? It had the master key in it?"
Link gave a nod.
"The Postman seemed very determined to deliver that letter but he didn't seem to know what was in it." Zelda said thoughtfully. "He kept mentioning that he had to deliver it but didn't appear to be hiding anything. He was even the one to help me escape the dungeon."
Link's eyes widened in shock and he sat straight up in his chair. "He helped you escape?"
"Yes..." Zelda replied, starting to get a bad feeling about the whole thing. "He could have just left me there, but he went out of his way to trick the guards into letting me go. I wouldn't have been able to escape if it wasn't for him and I probably would have died."
Link felt stunned straight to his very core and he quickly averted his eyes from the princess. "I thought he was helping Ganondorf... I was sure... I- I really didn't know..."
Zelda's eyes widened in realization. "Link, what did you do?" she demanded. "Did you do something to him?"
Link let out a deep breath and stared down at the floor uneasily. "He wouldn't give me the envelope and I was angry at what I thought he'd done. The betrayal wasn't something I could forgive."
Zelda reached out and took him by the hand and gave it a squeeze, encouraging him to continue.
Link felt horribly guilty and closed his eyes. "...I was so mad at him and he wasn't cooperating..." Link answered hesitantly. "I needed the key so... so I fought him for it..."
Zelda let a gasp. "Link, he isn't a warrior! He just a postman, a civilian! How could you have fought against a civilian?"
Link looked even guiltier and his shoulders slumped. "I was so furious, I wasn't thinking straight." he confessed. When I thought he was standing in my way of getting to Ganondorf, I.."
Link hesitated a long moment before continuing. "I killed him for the key."
Zelda's mouth dropped open in horror. "Oh, Link!" she cried. "He didn't do anything wrong! He saved me!"
Link said nothing as he sat, eyes closed and fists clenched. He felt like an absolute monster and took a deep, shaky breath. Zelda gave his hand another squeeze in comfort, still unable to believe Link would do such a thing. The cheerful, dependable postman that she was fond of was dead, killed by the one sworn to protect the people.
"I didn't know," Link said quietly. "I killed an innocent person."
"It will be alright, Link." Zelda assured him with a sad frown. "It was an accident; you thought you were doing the right thing."
"That doesn't make his death justifiable." Link responded, slumping further.
"No." Zelda agreed.
Link slowly stood to his feet and stared across the room numbly. Everyone seemed so happy and energetic as they prepared the banquet and Link felt he deserved none of it. He didn't feel like celebrating and let out a heavy sigh.
"I'm going to go for a ride on Epona." he stated.
Zelda gave him a nod of understanding. "Perhaps that will make you feel better."
Link turned away. "No. No, it won't."
The desert air was blistering hot but The Postman didn't notice, feeling chilled to the bone. He was in a state of shock and gave a shudder, unable to believe what had happened. He stood at the outer edge of the room, drenched in blood and staring blankly at the Gerudos in front of him.
When Ganondorf had first appeared in his throne room in the Gerudo City with The Postman by his side, the Gerudos had been surprised. They had given The Postman a curious look, wondering if he was a prisoner but didn't question their king.
Ganondorf was angry and exhausted and flopped down into his throne with an exaggerated sigh immediately upon arrival. The Gerudos instinctively knew what had happened and were quick to wait on him hand and foot. Ganondorf had scowled moodily at everyone and everything but allowed his subjects to fuss over him. He accepted the wine they brought and drank three glasses before his posture began to relax.
Looking up into the fearful and expectant faces of his Gerudos, Ganondorf explained all that had transpired. He told them of his defeat by Link's hand and it was obvious the Gerudos were both disappointed and disheartened. Gathering around their king, they gave him kind words and gentle encouragements and that seemed to placate Ganondorf somewhat.
After his fifth glass of wine, Ganondorf's gaze fell on The Postman. He gave a frown, having completely forgotten about him, an motioned him forward. Feeling incredibly uncomfortable when every eye turned to him, The Postman obediently approached. Ganondorf stared down at him a long moment as he took another sip of wine then said
"You have agreed to come under my employment. By doing so, you swear allegiance to me and to the Gerudo nation. You will not betray me or any Gerudo. As of today you are a part of the Gerudo Clan and will give us your unfaltering loyalty. Do you understand and accept?"
Eyes on the floor, The Postman gave a mute nod, still looking like he was in shock.
Ganondorf seemed satisfied with this and gave a grunt. "I accept your word, postman. Do not disappoint me."
The Gerudos all whispered amongst themselves, surprised and confused over the turn of events. Men, other than Ganondorf, were banned from Gerudo territory so the entire situation was very unorthodox. The Gerudos weren't sure how they felt about this but none said a word, not daring to question their king. The Postman was nobody special and they wondered what use he could possibly have for war.
Although The Postman wasn't looking, he could feel the gazes on his back and shifted slightly. Ganondorf watched him for a moment then said
"You have free reign to go where you want but don't leave Gerudo territory. If I summon you, you're to come to me without hesitation and without question. Any disobedience will not be tolerated."
"Yes, sir." The Postman said quietly.
Ganondorf nodded and waved his hand dismissively. "Someone get him some clean clothes and take him to his quarters."
Ganondorf's mother, Galanda, stood by her son's side and gave a frown of disapproval. "His quarters?" she questioned. "You'd allow him such a luxury? You should give him a stall in the stable."
"As I said, he is now a Gerudo, so he will be treated as such." Ganondorf said impatiently. "Give him one of the rooms on the fifth floor."
Galanda crossed her arms, she being the only Gerudo who ever dared question him. "And may I ask why you're allowing an outsider to join us?"
Ganondorf slouched in his throne and gave her a dirty look. "I can do what I want." he snapped. "He works for me now so I don't know what else you want to know."
Galanda gave her son a patient look then asked. "Why bring a man here? You've never brought your minions to the city before. Why now?"
Ganondorf ran a hand through his hair, not looking impressed at all. "If you must know, mother, I believe him to be more valuable than my usual minions. I don't want him to die while he's still useful to me."
Galanda raised an eyebrow skeptically but said nothing more on the subject. "Very well. I'll put him in the room in the far corner of the castle."
Ganondorf nodded, his attention already back on his wine and waved her away. Galanda narrowed her eyes at The Postman but motioned for him to follow as she turned away.
The Postman followed behind her silently, the grey stone walls of the castle seeming very cold and repressive, and let out a resigned sigh. His expression was completely downtrodden and Galanda was quick to notice.
"What has you so troubled, postman?" she asked. "Are you upset my son's plans didn't go as expected?"
The Postman shook his head. "No, miss."
"Then what is it?" she demanded.
"I apologize, miss, my day simply didn't go as planned."
Galanda stared at The Postman's blood-soaked clothes then gave a nod. "I can see that... Is that your blood or someone else's?"
"It's mine." The Postman responded morosely. "I was stabbed."
"Hmm, you lost a lot of blood yet you don't seem injured. Did a fairy heal you?"
The Postman ran his fingertips along the rough wall distractedly then answered. "Mr. Ganondorf gave me some Great Fairy Tears; I would have died otherwise."
"He saved your life?" Galanda demanded. "My Ganondorf? Why would he do that? What's so special about you?"
The Postman gave a shrug. "Nothing, miss. There's nothing special about me. I'm not sure why he saved me."
Galanda gave him a scrutinizing look. "You're just a postman?"
"Yes, miss,...or at least I was..." The Postman answered, looking even more miserable.
Galanda let out a disdainful snort but didn't press the issue. As they walked up the stairs, The Postman took a shaky breath, causing Galanda to frown at him.
"You will adjust." she said in way of reassurance. "Life can be good here."
"Yes, miss." The Postman said quietly.
As they went up stair after stair, Galanda gave him a somewhat curious look. "So, if you're no longer our postman, who is?"
"I don't know." The Postman answered honestly. "Someone else will have to take over my route. My brother, Jaru will probably take it over; I don't believe he has a route of his own yet."
"Is he a good postman?" Galanda demanded.
The Postman gave a shrug.
"Hmm, that doesn't reassure me. I liked how reliable you were and I don't want a replacement."
"Sorry." The Postman replied with a sigh.
They walked in silence the rest of the way, The Postman lost in thought, and a few minutes later they stopped in front of a door.
"These will be your quarters." Galanda informed him impatiently. "We'll be having a feast for my son's return at dusk and every Gerudo is expected to attend. Unless you wish to disrespect him, I suggest you be there."
The Postman nodded wordlessly.
Galanda gave him one last look-over with a scowl, then turned and walked away without another word. The Postman placed a hand against the wood of the door and leaned against it, taking another shaky breath. Closing his eyes as he tried to compose himself, The Postman opened the door and entered the room.
Link slowed Epona to a walk and stared across the fields wistfully. This was where he'd first met The Postman many years ago. Back then, he'd thought The Postman was just some crazy man running around the fields who was very fond of rabbits. It wasn't until much later that he'd discovered he was actually a postman.
The Postman had lived in a world all his own, nothing mattering except for his mail. He barely even seemed to remember Link unless he had a letter for him. When he'd been assigned to Clock Town several years ago, it didn't seem like he remembered their previous meeting in the field. Link had been young then and had happily followed after The Postman on his route within the town, curious and eager to help. The Postman had indulged him and even let him help with a few deliveries and pick-ups, calling him a junior postman.
Link let out a heavy sigh and stroked Epona's head, not feeling any better. The memories left him feeling guilty and rather sick to his stomach. He hadn't known The Postman well but figured the man must have had a family of some sort. Was The Postman married? Did he have children or was he single and alone? Whatever sort of family he had, Link knew he would have to be the one to break the bad news. His family or friends would notice him missing eventually and Link didn't want to put them through that. It would be better for him to confess immediately.
Link decided he'd ask around town to see if anyone knew who or where The Postman's family were. He'd write them a letter explaining-
Link paused. There was no postman to deliver the letter. More guilt settled into his stomach and Link gave his head a shake, trying hard not to dwell on it. He'd have to find a different postman to deliver it.
A thought then occurred to Link and his eyes widened. He didn't know The Postman's name! He'd killed a man in cold blood and didn't even know his name! He'd killed him like he was nothing but a Moblin and Link felt horrified at what he'd done. How could he track down The Postman's family if he didn't even have a name to go by?
Link felt uneasy at that thought and turned Epona back towards town. He'd ask around town to see what he could find out. Someone had to know The Postman's name...right?
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