Princess Zelda stood on the highest balcony of the castle, staring out at the vast sea of green which was called Hyrule Field. The grass rippled, giving it a watery appearance; the very reason Zelda was watching it. She always enjoyed windy days. Since she had never seen a real ocean before, this was the closest she was ever going to get to one... unless her father, King Darius, took her on one of his trips to neighboring countries. One which he was coming back from at that moment. Zelda was also up on the balcony to watch her father return home, riding on the ocean-like field.
I wonder if father has succeeded in making a treaty with the Gerudos, she thought.
Zelda sighed and brushed a leaf off the dark pink top that covered her white dress like a corset. She looked down to see the red, brown and yellow trees shedding their autumn coats for the chilly blanket of winter snow. Autumn was Zelda's favorite season. Everything seemed so calm and tranquil. And full of windy days, which obviously she enjoyed. But of course she loved things about the other seasons: Winter's auroras coloring the skies. Summer's swimming weather. And spring's perfect atmosphere for romance...
Zelda's heart sunk at the thought of romance.
"Zelda?" said a low, feminine voice behind her. Zelda turned around to see Telma standing at the door. Telma had been Zelda's caretaker since she was a baby, but she also worked at a bar at the base of Hyrule castle, and she secretly worked with a group of specially trained warriors that served the royal family in times of hardship.
"Hello Telma," Zelda said softly, turning to completely face her caretaker.
"You should come inside," said Telma. "Dinner has been prepared."
"I would rather dine with my father once he arrives."
She blushed when she and Telma heard her stomach grumble.
"Come on young lady," said Telma, taking a hold of Zelda's arm. "You are eighteen years old. You are still growing."
Zelda raised an eyebrow.
"Mentally," Telma sighed, rolling her eyes. "Now come on."
Link sat silently with his friends at Telma's bar. He was listening to the gossip around him. The bar was unusually full and there was plenty to hear.
"Hey did you hear about the king?"
"Yeah, I heard they were ambushed on the way back."
"By Gerudos too."
"I thought they were settling that fight."
"Any news about what happened?"
"Nope. All I know is that he was attacked. That's what Omero said."
Link turned around to see three men discussing the ambush. They were all middle aged and, looked like knights. Link turned back to the bar counter and leaned on his elbows.
"Hey," said Rusl. "What's wrong with you Link?"
He nudged his friend in the side.
"Nothing," Link replied dully, his mind trailing off to something else, causing him to blush.
"Are you thinking about Zelda again?" the man to his left called Bo teased. Link scowled.
"Bo, that's not funny."
"What? Ever since you saved Hyrule from Ganondorf you've been thinking about nuthin except her. After all, you did meet her."
"And fight her."
"Hey!" Link said, sitting upright. "She was being possessed by Ganondorf. What was I supposed to do?"
Bo and Rusl started laughing and patted him on the back. Two men behind them gave all three of the Ordanians weird glances.
"We're just saying," said Bo. "That's the worst that happened while you were up there, right?"
Link's mouth curled into a small smile.
"Yeah," Rusl repeated jokingly. "He even touched hands with the princess of Hyrule."
"Shut up, Rusl."
"Alright, lover boy wants us to change the subject," said Bo. "Well... if the king was attacked, do you think there's gonna be a war?"
Link remained silent the rest of the conversation.
"I dunno. That's a possibility. But even if the king didn't survive the attack, how would Link's girlfriend take charge of things?"
Link scowled again.
"You mean Ze...oh."
Rusl started laughing again.
"You are slow, Bo," he chuckled. "But if she gets caught in this war, Zelda won't last a minute. The country needs a king."
Link stared off into space giving the conversation a bit of thought. A war? But why? Money? Power? Lust? What?
Zelda took a sip of her wine as she reluctantly dined alone at the long table. She heard a long echoed bang as the doors to the dining room swung open as a servant ran in.
Zelda jumped to her feet as the man fell to his knees, torn and bloody.
"Your Highness," he said. "His Majesty's the king has been attacked by Gerudos and is dead. I am the only one who has escaped to tell you."
Zelda stared horrified at the dying servant. She slowly backed up until she hit the back of her chair.
"The war has started," said the servant. "It is up to you, my princess." And he died.
Zelda was frozen where she stood. Attacked? Dead?
"No," she whispered, feeling a sense of dizziness rush over her. She looked around the room, saw Telma rushing in and, fainted.
Link had left the bar hours ago to walk around the field. To his right he saw
Agitha, the "Princess of Bugs" sifting around in the flower bed. The wall of rocks had been cleared away from the entrance so the Goron was no longer punching his knuckles off to remove them.
I wonder if what Rusl said about a war is true, thought Link. Ganondorf is dead. And obviously so is Zant. So who could be trying to attack us?
The sun was setting in this autumn evening. Autumn, a calm serene time of year where everything seemed to go just right... well, that is until now. Link smelled acrid smoke in the air and turned to see the Hyrule Market up in flames. Link swirled around and dashed for the castle.
"Agitha!" he called behind him. "Hide somewhere! Duck down into the flowers!
The castle is under attack!"
Agitha did not hesitate to react. The last Link saw of her was her little hat dropping beneath the flowers.
She wears nothing but floral colors, thought Link. She'll be fine.
But his mind was focused on one thing and one thing only: Zelda.
The princess slowly opened her big blue eyes and saw Telma watching over her. She had been removed from the floor and transported to her bedroom where she lay safely
in her bed, being fanned into consciousness.
"T-Telma?" Zelda whispered. "What happened?"
"You passed out," said Telma. "Just a small swoon. But you hit your head. Please don't ask questions when I ask you these. How old are you?"
"And where are we now?"
"Hyrule castle..." Telma leaned back in her chair and crossed her arms.
"This doesn't make any since," she said. "You suffered significant damage to your head when you fainted. You hit the table." She paused. "Wait..."
Zelda sat up in bed.
"What can you remember about this year?"
"Do you remember any dangerous times for Hyrule. Any rising heros? Twilight Realm?"
"What are you talking about Telma?" asked Zelda. "What is the Twilight Realm?"
So that's it, thought Telma. She cannot remember when... she met Link! She had no idea who he is now!
Zelda continued to give her an odd look.
"Telma what are you talking about?" she asked. "Who is Zant?"
"Nothing dear," said Telma, putting a hand on the bed. "It would be best if you didn't remember it."
Forgetting Link isn't the best thing but in the big picture, maybe she shouldn't remember that night.
"Maybe you should get some rest," she said, standing up. "I will check on you later."
"Telma," Zelda sighed. "I'm eighteen. I'll be fine. I'm not scared of the dark anymore."
Zelda slept peacefully through the evening, but was awoken by a harsh boom. She sat up in bed and looked out the window. Smoke was rising from the market. It was on fire!
"Oh Lanayru," she said. "What's happening?"
She saw huge dark creatures trying to break down the castle door.
What are those things?
Zelda staggered back and decided she had to get out. She grabbed her cloak, scarf and sword and ran out of her room. There was a secret hallway that led out of the castle.
All she had to do was get to the cellar. She entered the dining room to see the beasts feeding on the body of the dead servant. Zelda screamed in terror, attracting the beasts attention. They were all black and appeared to have metal plates on their face.
I've seen those things before, Zelda thought. But where?
The beasts charged at her, crying out in a low metallic rumble. Zelda turned on her heels and tried a different route to the cellar. The Shadow beings were right behind her.
There it was! The door to the cellar! Zelda pushed open the doors, stumbled through and then slammed them shut, locking a plank in between them. She knew that would not last long. She approached the wine shelf and pulled back one of the bottles. There was a click and the shelf moved to one side, opening a hallway for her escape. Zelda entered and closed the door just as the Shadow beings broke down the door and looked around confusingly.
Link struggled to get through the scrambling crowd, running for safety as a rampage of Gerudo thieves charged through the gates, killing at will. Link drew his Ordanian sword and promptly killed one thief. In a few minutes he had effortlessly annihilated a few more Gerudos. Then he heard a high pitched scream. He whirled around to see a woman in a dark cloak slashing her sword about. Link narrowed his eyes and found that he recognized that sword.
"Zelda!" he cried. The woman turned around to face him. She gave him a confused look.
"Zelda watch out!" Link yelled over the cries of the Gerudo thieves. It was too late. Zelda had been knocked out cold by the hilt of one of the Gerudo's swords. The thief raised her sword to finish the job, but the blow never came. For her head rolled past the untouched princess. Link wiped his sword clean, and knelt down next to her.
"Zelda," he said, shaking her. "Wake up!"
Then there was a flash, and Link and Zelda disappeared from the horrific scene of Hyrule market, and into a familiar world. Link opened his eyes and blinked to adjust his them. He was on his knees, the unconscious princess in his arms. He looked down to make sure she was still breathing, and to his relief she was. But out of the corner of his eye, he saw a black flake rise up like reversed black rain. Link looked up. Everything was in the soft orange glow of the Twilight Realm.
Midna's home, Link thought.
He saw other Twilit residence walking towards him, giving him weird looks. He realized no one from the Twilight Realm except Midna had ever met a Hylian, so he must have looked weird to them.
A tall woman broke through the crowd forming around Link. She was tall, at least a foot taller than Link, and she had an exotic crown on that hung over her forehead. Her fiery orange hair was done in a way so that it formed a pony tail in the front and hung down her chest.
"Link?" she said, looking down at him.
The Twilight Princess knelt down at his level, still being taller than him. She then realized who was in his arms.
"Zelda!" she whispered. "What happened."
"She was knocked out," Link answered. Midna stood up and spoke in a different language to two Twilis. They both reached over and picked Zelda up out of Link's arms.
"Come quickly," said Midna, walking over to the palace.
Inside, Zelda was set onto a bed. The Twilight bed was obviously designed for luxury, because it was stacked with fluffy comforters that enveloped all but Zelda' head in a cocoon of plush.
"She should be awake by now," Link said nervously.
"She will be fine," said Midna. "Now, a question that has been lingering here ever since you came... How did you get here?"
Link glanced at the sleeping princess and shrugged.
"I don't know," he said, scratching his throat. "There was just a huge flash and I was here."
Midna leaned back in her chair stroking her chin with her index finger.
"What went on before you... came?"
"Hyrule was under siege by the Gerudos and... the Twili."
Midna sat upright. Them? But how?
"Why would we attack you?" she asked. "What is the..." At the same moment, both Link and she realized.
"Zant," they both said
"I thought he was dead?" said Link. "You killed him."
Midna took a deep breath and glanced out the window, watching the reversed black rain-like substance, floating upwards.
"Midna?" said Link. "Do you know something I do not?"
She turned back with a look that said she was about to regret what she was about to say.
"Link," she stuttered, "do you remember that one time in the Lanayru spirit spring, after you defeated Morpheel the monster that took over the Lake bed
"And Zant took us by surprise?" Midna continued. "Well, he said something to me after you were struck down." She paused. "I need you."
Link remembered that. Midna was still an imp at that time. That had been just before Zelda gave her life force to save her.
"What are you getting at, Midna?" Link said. "Where is this all going?"
Midna took another deep breath.
"I need water," she said. "I'm sorry. One moment."
She clapped her hand and a servant brought her a small basin of black water. Link grimaced at the tar colored liquid.
"It's water, believe me," said Midna. "It just looks different in the light of Twilight."
She took a sip from the basin and sighed.
"As I was reluctantly saying," she said, leaning on her hands and rubbing her temples, as if she were having a hard time thinking. "... Zant was once my lover."
Link's spine stiffened as he sat in his chair. His eyes were set on the Twilight Princess, now frozen with shock.
"I know this comes as a surprise," said Midna. "But love was the whole reason he dethroned me. He thought I had been unfaithful to him and he attacked me, transforming me into that hideous imp. And... I did not really kill him."
The news just struck Link even harder. He was completely motionless. His knuckles were white with tension as they clenched the arm rests.
"W-why did you not tell me this?" he stammered. "You acted like you hated him. Now you are saying you loved him?"
Midna nodded so faintly Link could barely tell. She blinked back a tear, but one fell from her right eye and froze as it hit the ground. Link moved his feet from thespreading ice.
"Alto nieve aqua," said Midna, causing the ice to stop and melt. Link relaxed, but only a little.
"I'm sorry," said Midna. "As you have seen twice, my tears can freeze and shatter matter. I have to conceal my emotions, which I haven't been doing well lately."
"I still cannot believe," said Link, taking off his cap and running his fingers through his hair, "that you... and Zant ... it's just so..."
"Unnatural?" Midna interrupted. "In case you haven't noticed, Link, nothing around here is natural to you. And to me, you and Zelda wouldn't be natural."
"Whoa whoa whoa!"
Link sat upright.
"Don't turn this around at me!" he said. "Why does that seem unusual? We're both Hylian, and we're close to the same age."
"And Zant and I are both Twilis, and we are both twenty in Hylian years."
Link rolled his eyes in defeat.
"Plus, she's a princess and you are a wrangler from
. We are both actually from higher statuses." Ordon Village
"Enough!" Link bellowed. "What are you getting at?!"
Midna sat back down in her chair and took a deep breath.
"I did not kill him because I thought he would see that I... still do love him..."
"Sit down, Link."
Reluctantly, Link took his seat. He crossed his arms and slumped back in his chair.
Midna's voice trailed off as she glanced over at the bed.
"Zelda is waking up," she said, standing up. The princess stirred in her slumber.
"Father?" she mumbled. Slowly, she opened her eyes. Then her eyes shot open wide and she recoiled to the other side of the bed.
"Zelda," said Midna. "What is wrong?"
"Who are you?" Zelda stuttered. "What are you?"
"Zelda, it's okay, don't you remember Midna?" said Link.
"I do not know any of you!" she cried. "Stay away!"
She reached to her side, only to find that her sword was no longer there. To Midna's and Link surprise, she cursed.
"Zelda, it's me, Link," he said. "What's wrong with you?"
Zelda cowered at the other side of the bed.
"Who are you?" she said. That pierced Link's heart like an arrow.
She doesn't know who I am, he thought. But why? It's only been a few months.
"Dormio Zeldas," said Midna, waving her hand over the princess's face. Zelda's eyes grew cloudy and she swayed. She lazily blinked and fell back onto her pillow.
"Midna!" cried Link. "The whole reason we were waiting in the first place was for her to wake up!"
Midna rolled her eyes and sighed.
"Well do you want her to have a panic attack?"
Midna gave a frustrated grunt and rubbed her temples. She then sat down next to the sleeping princess and waved her hand over her calm face.
"Revilio Zeldas memorial," said Midna. Then she felt herself being sucked into Zelda's mind. Swirls of color flew past her as she fell into a state of telepathic travel.
She landed in the core of Zelda's memories. Misty clouds of fog tickle her ankles as she wandered around the princess's mind. She spotted a memory diamond floating like a bubble around in the air, shaped like a perfectly cut jewel. Memory diamonds were capsules where one's memories were kept, such as birth, or the individual's first kiss.
"Here's one," Midna told herself, reaching up and softly tapping the diamond down as if it really were an unbreakable bubble, merely drifting down so Midna could see into it. She placed both her hands around the diamond and peered into it. It portrayed a moving image of Zelda staring into a window. She was just a young girl then. Her hair was put up in a fancy bandanna that covered her head and wrapped under her head. Then she turned around to see a small boy clad in a green tunic.
That's Link? thought Midna with a giggle.
The two children walked up to each other and started talking. Midna let the memory diamond float away casually and continued to walk in Zelda's mind.
About a half and hour later, Midna came across another memory diamond, then another, and another! About a dozen memory diamonds floated above her. They flew rapidly in a circle, all around one pivot. Midna drew closer and saw that the object that the diamonds were orbiting around was the shattered remains of another memory diamond. Midna peered confused.
How is it possible for it to break, thought Midna. I've never seen anything like it.
"Refomio crystalis," said Midna. The pieces came together, but did not necessarily reform. Midna squinted to try and see through the cracks.
She could just barely make out the past memories. This was a recent one. All she needed to see was herself and she recognized it. However, why was this one all shattered? Had she lost her memories?
"Oh, no," she thought in horror. She drew back from Zelda's memories back into the bedroom. Link stared at her in shock.
"What the hell was that?" he asked. "You disappeared!"
Midna held her head as an ache began to rack her brain.
"Lower your voice Link," she said. "I've found the problem."
Link sat back down in his chair, nervous for Zelda's safety.
"She's lost all memory of you and I, Ganondorf and Zant, everything that happened. She doesn't even realize Hyrule was under siege by Zant five months ago. She doesn't remember any of it."