Chapter 12: ...of the end
For a moment Zelda fell out of the act she was placing on. Millions of thoughts raced through her mind, all of them trying to place just what was going on.
Why was her uncle a man who she had known all her life... family... here? Where people were conspiring to destroy her and her father and all that they live for? Confusion and shock came across her face before she managed to regain control and slip back into the act.
Luckily, Andire looked about as shocked as her, so he did not notice the conflicting emotions.
The whole room was silent as everybody waited. As these two people stared at each other.
Andire finally broke the silence... "Zel- Zelda... what are you doing here?"
Zelda stepped back, "I... I'm here to fix what's wrong." Her eyes narrowed and a smirk appeared on her face, "And I figured coming here is the best place to do it."
Andire paused to think of this; "Well then," He shook his head, "Tell me more."
Zelda felt like shuddering, yet she kept her body from acting. She would find out what was going on.
A small piece of her was hoping against hope that it wasn't that she thought.
A sound was heard.
"Who's there?" Kasuto spun around, looking rapidly in the dark streets. "I- I-"
"It's a dog, they're all over the city." Malon muttered, she was lying down against a wall, a wide brimmed straw hat was tilted low over her eyes, "Relax, there aren't Moblins waiting to eat your bones."
"How can you say that!" Kasuto tried not to shout at Malon, "Zel's in the pit of leevers all alone!"
Malon tilted up the hat, a dry look on her face, "You worry to much, you know that?"
"..." Kasuto glared at Malon, "What if she's hurt! What if I can't do anything to help her... I could be just sitting her like a rusty Iron Knuckle and horrible things could be happening!"
"Or," Malon pointed out, "Things could be going as planned. One can not know the future."
"According to Impa, I can." Kasuto pointed out.
"... bad example." Malon grinned, "My point is that life is unpredictable, the most you can do is prepare for problems and hope things go your way. No use fighting things you can't control. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a nap to take." Malon pulled the hat back over her eyes.
She's unbelievable. Kasuto thought.
Andire took Zelda to his office, still in a slight state of shock. Though Zelda appeared to have recovered.
"Zelda." Andire coughed, "Tell me... what are you willing to do... to fix what's wrong?"
Zelda paused, the question rang deep within her... She did not need to lie, "Whatever it takes."
Andire smiled uneasily, "Very well." He glanced at her, "Zelda, if you..."
"Think like you?" Zelda asked, wincing on the inside.
"Um... yes." Andire muttered, "Why did you stand against me against that Sheikah?"
Zelda paused, "Well..." The answer came to her, "Would you like to piss off the person in charge of being your meatshield?"
Andire chuckled, "I see." He walked closer to her, "And that... Sheikam boy I've heard of?"
Zelda froze, what was this? All these questions that were pressing against her walls of deception. "Sheikam... he's just some guy that follows me around sometimes, I usually manage to ditch him. Besides, he has a girlfriend, some Gerudo, so he doesn't have time to bug me." Zelda knew that stretching the truth, tossing in a small lie here and there, was much easier.
Andire sighed with relief, "Well, my niece, we have some things to discuss." He reached into his desk, pulling out a rolled up scroll. It was an old fashioned type, made by hand from old bark removed from trees without cutting them down. The type of paper that was best for recording magic knowledge. Andire unrolled the scroll and laid it out in front of her.
Zelda looked down at the scroll and gasped. Written on the paper were spells of destruction, of burning, magic promising death to all. Despite the fact that the spells were written in Common Hylian text, which had no latent magical power, Zelda could still feel a tingle of the spells energy contained within the realm of sub-reality.
"There are spells here I don't know..." Zelda whispered, and something told her that trying to use those pieces of magic was not wise.
"You wrote it in the language of magic?" Zelda asked, "Are you planning to read it aloud?" The language of magic... words of power that when strung together could form incredible spells. All other magic was merely translating this power. Said to be the language of the gods, albeit a weakened form. The only time Zelda had ever spoken the language of magic was when she had spoken the spell that had given birth to Sheik. She hadn't been able to speak for a month.
"Yes." Andire answered, "Me and six others."
"It could kill you." Zelda knew that Andire was no mage...
"It won't." Andire smirked, "But, tell me, Zelda, what do you think of it?"
Zelda's analytical side took over, she began to speak in that calm tone that teachers used when speaking about some subject. "Seven people speaking the spell, combined it would be enough destructive force to wipe any life within the boundaries of the spell from existence. A marvel of magical technique. To contain such destruction..."
"It took me and a dozen other people five years to get the words to stick together." Andire said matter-of-factly.
"So... you're planning to wipe out the Confederate Council." Zelda paused, "Such a vacuum of power would create chaos."
"Perhaps." Andire shrugged, "But Torre has been sitting here, rotting, for a long time. Another purging is perhaps needed. Besides, with you here, there will be little problem... you can rally people in a way I can't." He placed his hands on her shoulders, "You! Princess Zelda Eleanor Hyrule! The heir to this world! Ruler of the Light! I shall stand by your side as you bring true peace to Torre!" His voice rang with power as he spoke, magic of suggestion and influence wrapped around Zelda. Pressing against her will, trying to make her believe what Andire said.
Yet such faint magic could not work against one who held the Lawgiver's power.
"You place magic in your words, do you even realize it anymore?" Zelda asked quietly, "Or is it a reflex for you now? Because surely you know that you need not try and convince me."
Andire flushed, stepping back, "I'm sorry... I did not realize it. It is indeed a reflex... a habit I long ago acquired."
"I see..." Zelda paused, "Is there more?"
"Of course." Andire smiled quietly, "Allow me to tell you..."
An hour passed.
"Damn it! Where is she!" Kasuto shook her fist at the sky... "Please be OK..."
Malon looked at Kasuto, "All you've done is panic, why?"
"I-" Kasuto was about to answer when the door opened and people poured out, they were talking and laughing. Their excitement clearly showing.
Kasuto and Malon ducked behind a corner, with Malon peering out to see. "Hey... I see Zelda, she's with someone." She whispered.
Kasuto looked beyond... sure enough, Zelda was standing in front of the doorway, talking to a man. The... it was. The same man she had seen in her vision, the very same. Instantly a cold fear gripped Kasuto's heart, as she suddenly feared for Zelda's life. Yet nothing happened, Zelda turned and went towards them, while the man headed off in some other direction.
A calm look was on Zelda's face, for about two seconds. Then a horrible look of illness overcame her. Zelda dashed towards them, tripping just a short distance away from Kasuto and Malon.
"Zel! Are you OK?" Kasuto leaned over Zelda; she was down on her hands and knees, making retching sounds.
"I feel sick..." Zelda whimpered, before throwing up all over the ground. "Ugg..." A few more minutes of heaving passed, before she stopped after a final coughing fit.
"Um, ew." Malon stepped back.
"Errnn..." Zelda pulled herself up... "That... erk!" She pushed herself back down, somehow managing to hack up a little more vomit.
"Um... are you OK?" Kasuto asked.
"I'm fine!" Zelda shot up, "I just found out that... that..." Tears streamed down her face, "Oh Nayru... Kas... He wanted to hurt you. He wants you to feel... He sent them after you!" She grabbed Kasuto and hugged her tightly.
Both Malon and Kasuto stared as Zelda just broke down. She was sobbing hysterically, clutching the Gerudo like a lifeline.
"Um... What happened in there?" Malon asked. But Zelda just cried even harder.
"Zel..." Kasuto whispered.
"Tell me... that Sheikam boy, his Gerudo girl... what does she look like?" Andire asked.
Zelda paused, "Kasuto? Um... I think she's about a head taller then me... kinda older then she looks, she's only thirteen but she looks about fifteen." She shrugged, "She's the type of person that sticks in your mind."
"I know." Andire's face twisted in anger, "That little half-creature attacked one of our fellows. We attempted to teach her a lesson... but that little demon murdered one of the fellows... and left one other to the flawed courts, odds are he might wish he was dead."
Zelda understood what Andire meant. Rape is among the worst crime possible. Even attempted rape is punished harshly, often with forced castration. But still... "Wait... do you arrange that to happen?"
Andire sighed, "Zelda..." He smiled, "I am the founder and leader of the One Right Way. Nothing is done without my say so."
"Huh?" The Happy Mask Salesman glanced at Zelda, as Kasuto and Malon were carrying her in. "I'm assuming that Miss Hyrule had some difficulties?" Strong emotions could drastically affect a Torrian's body. He could guess what had caused Zelda that much distress.
"Why..." Zelda whispered.
"Um, Boss? Can I set Zel down somewhere?" Kasuto asked.
"Of course." He backed away, "There's a couch in the back." He followed the strange group, as they tossed Zelda on an old couch of his.
"Can you tell me what happened?" He asked Malon, pausing as he noticed that Malon was looking somewhat green as well. "Do you need to use the restroom, Miss Lon?"
"Um, no, I'm fine." Malon said quickly, she appeared distracted.
"I see..." The Mask Salesman smirked, "I'm surprised that you, of all people, could have stood being so close to Zelda in her current state. It must be overpowering."
Malon glanced at him in shock, but with that, her focus was gone. She quickly held her hand against her mouth, "Restroom!" She squeaked out.
"That way." He pointed to the nearest toilet, chuckling as Malon dashed there at high speeds. "Well Kasuto, I think she was a little effected."
"Err..." Zelda sat up, coughing quietly, "Stupid Hylian body." She muttered.
"If you think Hylian's are emotional, you should see Harincos." The Mask Salesman said.
Zelda glared at him, "Shut up." She coughed, "You just didn't..." She trailed off.
"I assure you, Miss Hyrule, I am on your side, your secrets are safe with me." He said calmly.
Zelda's eyes widened, "Urm..." She sighed, "Oh, never mind."
"You know?" Kasuto asked quietly.
"More then you think." He laughed softly.
"OK..." Kasuto shivered slightly, "Zel... can you tell me what happened?"
"I... he..." Zelda whispered, "His name is Andire Alexander Hyrule. He's my uncle."
"Who?" Kasuto asked, "What does..."
"He's the founder, the leader, he's the one who masterminded all this!" Zelda cried out, "It's his fault!"
"He's... what?" Kasuto nearly fell back in shock.
Malon was now leaning against the toilet, purging her stomach of all contents. The moment she had gotten near Zelda a sudden rush of nausea had overcome her. Malon knew all to well what Zelda was feeling...
"Damn it all to fucking hell." Malon cursed under her breath, the rare emotion of irritation coming into her voice. "Did I ask for this? No."
Malon sighed and sat up, the sick feeling of depression and confusion was still coming from the other room, though not as strong. There was also a feeling of shock, it too gnawing at the back of her mind. "Shit... why does this have to be so fucking hard!" Malon cursed again. "Good thing Dad isn't here..." She smiled weakly, knowing that Talon would freak out to hear her use such language. She let out a few Gerudo cuss words she had heard Kasuto say, she didn't know what they meant, but they sure made her feel better!
But that still left the problem of strange emotions pressing against her mind, mixing with her own, confusing her totally.
"Gifts need to be earned, hoo. Even after the earning they can prove troublesome."
Malon looked up and saw Kapeora Gabeora looking down from the top of the toilet. "How'd you get in here?"
"Open window." Kapeora replied.
"Oh... Well, it doesn't seem like much of a gift to me." Malon groaned.
Kaepora's feathers ruffled, "You're the first true empathy to be born in a hundred years. You're also a witch, an untrained one, but one none the less. You do know that only empath can compose Songs of Power... no, you wouldn't, that knowledge was lost." He hooted in annoyance before continuing, "Besides, what you're going through is nothing compared to the trials Link, Zelda, and even Kasuto have gone through."
Malon sat up, her own emotions overshadowing the ones pressing against her mind, "What?"
"They had, and still are having, greater trials because their roles and gifts are greater." Kapeora looked down at her, "Kasuto is a Seer, and was to open the path leading to the Temple of Spirit to Link. Zelda is the Time Sage, and Link is the Key. Both are also Champions of the Gods. You're role in Destiny was to teach Link a Song of Power that could calm the fiercest angers. Turn the most wild beast into a tame house pet. You have filled that role. Yet you were not satisfied, so you forged a new Destiny for yourself, and now your future is clouded."
Malon stared at the owl... "I just wanted to help people, to be a hero... to make people happy, is that too much to ask?" She whispered.
"No child, it isn't." Kapeora cooed softly, "Just because your path is cut by your own hands does not make it any lesser. Be a friend, follow your heart. It what your mother would have wanted."
Tears fell down Malon's cheeks, "Thank you..."
Kapeora hooted loudly, "You are welcome, young one. Consider yourself lucky, very few people every truly realize their Destiny, even fewer make new ones. Yet more and more have been appearing as of late. Perhaps the age when lives could be planned has passed..." He spoke this last part more to himself, "Well, best be going, give Nameless my regards." With a flash of darkness, he was gone.
Kasuto had stood there for a moment, trying to digest the information. It didn't seem possible.
The Hylian Royal Family. Ruler of all the Hylians living within the Confederacy, the family who created the Hyrulean Confederacy, and whose name was placed upon it to honor them. Yet according to Zelda, Andire, who was the grandson of one of the founding members, wanted to destroy it?
Kasuto wanted to ask more, but her Boss coughed, stopping her before she could even speak.
"Miss Hyrule, is there anything you need?" He asked her in a calm, business-like tone.
Zelda glanced at him, before that same calm look came across her face, "I need a glass sphere, a rune tablet to write on, and some flower petals."
Her Boss smiled, "I shall see if I have those things." He left the room, only to come back a few minutes later, holding a glass sphere, a couple flowers, and a thin stone tile. "Always be prepared." He winked.
"Um, hey guys, what are you doing now?" Malon came back... there were tear streaks down his face, yet she was smiling and looked relieved.
"I'm making a Memory Orb." Zelda answered, still keeping calm as the materials were handed to her.
"Ohh... cool!" Malon grinned. Memory orbs were recorded memories that could be played back at will. They were difficult to make, and were rather expensive.
"When did you learn how to make one?" Kasuto asked.
"Nayru taught me." Zelda answered, "She taught me a lot of things..." She set the stone tile down, yet a second later it floated up into the air. The petals flew off the flowers with a wave of Zelda's hand. "Never done it before though..." The petals burst into flames, and then the ashes condensed, a liquid forming from them. "Ink made from flowers..." She dipped her finger in the hovering ball of liquid. "Runes written without the aid of tools." She then drew a simple circle in the center of the tile. Then she added three strange symbols Kasuto had never seen before. The whole circle lit up in a sky-blue light. Zelda placed the glass sphere in the circle. It was a perfect fit. She then drew more and more strange signs and symbols on the tile. Until a beautiful pattern emerged that seemed to change with every passing second, glowing with a soft blue light.
Zelda shuddered, clutching her now shaking hand. "OK, now comes the hard part..." She looked at them, "Can you three give me support?"
"Of course!" Kasuto said as Malon nodded, but her Boss shook his head.
"Sorry... but I can't help you with this." He said regretfully, before leaving.
"Oh well, only three are needed." Zelda shrugged, "Malon, you go to the front," She pointed to the other side of the tile, "Kasuto, you stand next to me."
"Is the positioning important?" Malon asked.
"Yes, we're making a triangle." Zelda answered, "OK... now comes the hard part. You'll need to open your minds so I can send you a mental message. I'll tell you the word to say. Now, I have to warn you both, these are Magic Words. Speaking them will affect your body." She held up her right hand, the hand she had used to write the symbols, "Even writing them down is dangerous." Kasuto then noticed that the finger Zelda had used was burned, "Believe me, the incantations we use as a focus for spells are nothing compared to the full power one can use with a few words."
The unspoken part was, of course, that a person could easily destroy themselves with those words.
Zelda suddenly pulled out one of her knives, "Now, I just need to add some of the blood of the one whose memories we're recording, namely, mine. Once that's done Malon will need to speak her word, then Kasuto, then me."
Zelda then ran her knife across her left hand, creating a small cut. As she did this, suddenly a piece of knowledge entered Kasuto's brain, the word to say. Zelda pressed her bloodied hand against the sphere. Then, there was a burst of light, and Malon spoke, in a tone so unlike her normal voice. One that was harsh and commanding, yet still gentle and loving.
Kasuto then spoke to, in a determined and resolute tone that did not seem hers.
Then Zelda spoke, in a calm and intelligent tone. One that spoke of an eternity of Wisdom. One that fit her perfectly.
The light flashed red, then green, then back to blue. Kasuto and Malon were both blown away by the power. Kasuto's throat felt sore, like she had been screaming for an hour.
Yet Zelda stood there, her eyes wide open and unfocused. Speaking words that made no sense at speeds beyond normal ability. Her bloodied hand still clutched to the orb.
"Light." Andire said simply.
"Huh?" Zelda asked.
"Light, it reveals all things hidden, nothing can withstand the bright light of the sun forever. Yet many things can live through eternal Darkness. Through Fire, through Water, within the Forest, and all things have Spirit." Andire continued.
"A bit of a philosopher?" Zelda said.
"It's what I do best." Andire answered, "The Light eventually will blind even the strongest, yet Darkness can do no such thing. Fire can be extinguished, Water can be turned to ice or steam, the Spirit can fade, even the mighty Forest can be held back by the loggers axe." Andire laughed, "Only Light is eternal, indestructible."
"And Hylians are the people of Light." Zelda said quietly.
"Yes, that is why we are the greatest of all peoples to walk Torre!" Andire smiled broadly, "Eventually Light wins over all, for it was the last thing to be created from Chaos, given to us by the Lawgiver. It is the greatest of al things."
"I see..." Zelda paused, "You've put a lot of thought into this."
"Zelda, my dear, I just gave you my life's meaning." Andire kissed her on the forehead.
Edward heard a knocking at his door.
"Coming!" He called out, "Who could come at this time of night..." He reached his door and pulled it open, "Zelda?"
It was Zelda, dressed in new clothing, clothing he doubted Harikan would have approved of; one hand was bandaged, while the other was clutching something..
"What... what are you doing here, Princess?" Edward asked her.
Zelda held out the object in her hand... it was a glass sphere that radiated power. A Memory Orb. "Take it. It'll give you all the answers you need." She said in a dull voice. Her eyes seemed dazed, and there was a hollow pain reflected in them.
Edward took it quietly. Looking down at the Memory Orb, he wondered what could be contained in it. "Princess...?" He looked up.
Yet Zelda was already gone.
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