Chapter 5: Going Ahead
", Uncle." Zelda smiled slightly, "You've finally come to visit." Her uncle, Andire, lived in Southern Hyrule, in Windfall City. He rarely came up north to visit her of her father.
The elder brother of her mother, Queen Marial, Andire has lived most of his life in relative comfort, without the pressure that comes from being an heir to the throne. He was a successful businessman, single handedly starting trade between Hyrule and Netrios. He generally kept himself distant, preferring his own company, he never married, and rarely told others of his business. Zelda hadn't seen him in four years, well, eleven if you counted the Seven Lost Years.
"I figured it was high time I came back to the place I grew up in Zelda." Andire said calmly, seeming to ignore his niece's show of affection. "Besides, Harikan is probably messing things up as we speak." he smiled weakly.
Zelda giggled at the joke. "I'm sure Daddy is doing fine." she stepped away from her uncle. "But aren't you the least bit curious about what's been going on?" she laughed. "It's been over a decade since we saw each other, how about catching up?"
"A decade?" Andire said, raising an eyebrow.
"Um, I mean it feels like it's been over a decade." Zelda said quickly, she hadn't made a slip up like that in a while. "It's just nice to see some family again."
"Believe me Zelda, I'm glad I'm here." Andire chuckled, as if laughing at a private joke.
At Seven in the morning, the city was pretty much empty. The sun was just barely rising over the horizon, the chill of Autumn was clearly felt now. One could see the heat in their breath change into smoke. Few people were out, even fewer witnessed the sight of a young Gerudo running as fast as she could, as if her life depended on it. She continued to run, her shoes clapping against the stone pavement, a panicked look gracing her features. She made a sharp turn, only to slip on some ice that had formed in the cold night. Falling flat on her back, she cursed loudly.
"I don't need this." The girl growled, pulling herself up, wincing at the pain she felt. She continued her mad race to an unknown destination. Running right past a small group of houses, where a man peered out his window, getting only the briefest glances at the girl, before she left his sight.
The man shook his head at what he had seen, that girl, she had sparked a flash of memory within him.
"Kilya?" The man said, a glimmer of hope in his voice, "Couldn't be..." he whispered, the hope dieing.
Malon groaned, lesser men might have complained about the sheer amount of work she had done so far, starting at an hour before dawn, she would be finished with her morning chores by breakfast, still in two hours.
Good thing Malon wasn't a lesser man. That didn't mean she had to like the morning routine, she didn't, but it had been done as long as she could remember, so it was a habit engraved in stone.
Malon was going to be able to do it all in her sleep one day, she was sure of it. But until that happy day came she would have to deal with the chores while conscious. "Alright, cows milked, horses fed, sheep washed." Malon checked off the chores from her mental list. "Now all I need to do is make sure that the fence is in tip top shape." Of course, it never was, there was always a hole of damaged area. So Malon knew that she would be doing some hammering today, like everyday.
"Let's see if a miracle happens today." Malon muttered, grabbing the tools needed to repair a fence, she knew she would need them.
Her father was surprised to see Andire at the table, calmly eating some Batter Toast, drenched with plenty of syrup. Zelda grinned, "Apparently Uncle Andire decided to visit " she said cheerfully.
"I see." Harikan said, "Well, glad to see you again Andire. It's been a while."
"It has Harikan." Andire said coolly, he always seemed to be like that. "I've been busy, in truth, I merely have business here at the Capitol."
"I see." Harikan said, a hint of anger in his voice, one that Zelda barely caught.
Andire looked at Zelda and her father, both dressed in a dirty T-shirt and jeans, in contrast to the spotless silks he wore. "I see your habit of dressing below your station has spread to your daughter." he said.
Zelda frowned, her memories of her uncle were fuzzy, but she seemed to remember that he had some old ideas when it came to the way people interacted with each other. "Uncle, this is just more...practical." she said. "I mean, do you spend all day in clothing like what you're wearing now?"
Andire just shook his head. "Never mind." He said, "It won't matter for long anyway." he whispered.
"What was that?" Harikan asked.
"Nothing." Andire replied, "Just thinking aloud."
"Oh, right, I'm not exactly allowed to enter the castle." Kasuto said, staring at the locked gate. She turned to the Guard stationed there, "Please?" she begged, "I really need to get in." She put on her best "helpless little girl who needs help" look. No mortal man could resist.
Sadly, the Guard was a woman, and was such immune. "rry kid, but no." she said.
Kasuto clenched her fists, "But I-"
"I'm sorry, but the rules are that only those with proper papers can enter the castle grounds." The Guard explained.
Kasuto hung her head in defeat, nothing was going to change this woman's mind! "But...I need to see..." Kasuto thought for a moment, realizing that perhaps saying that she needed to see Zelda wouldn't help her much. "I need to see him!" her mind drifted to Sheik, hey, it's true, she does need to see him, even if he's a she at the moment.
Now this caught the Guard's interest, "What do you mean?" she asked, a slight look of amusement.
"Well..." Kasuto began blushing, "There's this boy..."
The Guard laughed, "I see, young love, tell me more."
Kasuto couldn't believe she was saying this, "There's this boy, he works at the castle...and I really need to talk to him!" She looked down at the ground, "Please?"
The guard sighed, "I don't mean to be the bad guy here." she said, "But I'm just not allowed to let you enter, if you give me a letter, I'll be glad to get it to your little sweetheart."
Blushing heavily, Kasuto shook her head, "No thanks..." she muttered, before dashing away, beyond the Guards sight. "What to do..." she said, only one idea came to her head, "No, I am not sneaking in."
A moment passed.
"Kasuto Lilla, you are an idiot." She muttered, as she began climbing up the cliff side. "I'm going to regret this, I know it."
Zelda tossed off the old shirt and pants, she couldn't use them for training. Quickly pulling on a tank top and shorts, she smiled. "I feel good." she said happily, her eyes drifted to her dresser. "I wonder if she has anything to do with it." her face brightened, "At the least, she's a very close friend."
But was she something more? Pleasant thoughts of Kasuto drifted through her mind.
"Zelda, it's time for your training. Zelda! Are you on this world?" It was Impa, her clear voice snapped Zelda out of her daydreams.
"Oh Impa!" Zelda turned around, her face flushed. "rry, I was thinking."
"Really?" Impa smiled, "It must be about some crush if you're blushing like that."
"No...it's not that, I'm over that." Zelda felt her face get more red. "I'm not interested in any boy right now." she said.
"Whatever you say Zelda." Impa laughed, "But I'm willing to bet someone is slowly grabbing your heart, well, good luck."
Kasuto entered her head Damn, was I telling the truth? Quickly deciding the change the subject, Zelda spoke of something else. "Guess what Impa? Uncle Andire is visiting."
Impa's smile instantly became slightly forced. "How...wonderful..." she deadpanned.
Zelda looked up at Impa, "Is something wrong?" she asked.
"Nothing. Nothing." Impa waved her hands, "Just thinking about something." she said quickly. ", are you ready to train?"
Zelda grinned, "Always ready, Impa."
"I'm an idiot, I'm an idiot, I'm an idiot!" Kasuto said to herself, as she hid from a Guard's sight. The Guard peered around, Kasuto tried to make herself appear smaller. A minute passed, and the guard left to go patrol somewhere else.
Kasuto cheered silently, she then moved around the moat, looking for a place to jump over it. It looked pretty futile, "I could try here..." a small ledge stuck out from the castle, hanging over the moat, it looked like a rain gutter, it pointed into the moat. "I should have stayed in bed..." she muttered. Backing up, denying any since and reason while she did it, she ran forward, jumping as far as she could. Flying through the air through a brief moment, she landed on the gutter. For a moment she wavered. Waving her arms around in a panic, she grabbed the wall, regaining her balance.
"Thank you!" she said to the heavens, she was now on the other side of the moat, now she could find an entrance.
Zelda paused, clutching the sword in her hands. The enemy was near, all she had to do was find her foe... Keeping her mind solely focused on the battle at hand, she sensed something. Spinning around, she slashed the sword down, a loud clang was heard, as she saw her opponent.
Impa had casually blocked Zelda's blow with a knife. "Your sword skills are sloppy." she told her student, "I'm disappointed," Impa knocked aside Zelda's sword, and struck out with her own weapon.
Zelda twisted out of harms way, swinging her sword again, only for it to be blocked again.
Impa struck once more, this time, Zelda felt the knife move through her skin, leaving a thin cut on her arm. "Looks like you lose today." Impa said casually.
Zelda nodded, cursing the fact that Impa had cut her, that hadn't happened for a while. Impa had always sparred with her like that. They would fight, until one injured the other. Zelda had been sixteen(In the Seven Lost Years) before she had ever touched Impa, that memory was rather sweet. And now, because Impa had chosen a weapon that she was poor with, she had lost. At least Impa never did anything serious. (Though there was one time Impa had reduced her clothing to ribbons using a Razor Chain. Luckily they were alone when that had happened.) Zelda looked down at the cut, she could have a doctor cast a small healing spell over it later. (Zelda had never bothered to learn any healing magic for herself.)
"What in the name of the Three Goddesses is going on here?"
Andire had apparently entered the training field, and he was running towards the two. Many of the soldiers, either training along side them, or just resting, stopped to watch the spectacle that was soon going to happen. Andire stopped in front of Zelda, his face twisted into absolute rage. "What are you doing Sheikah?" he shouted in Impa's face.
Zelda looked at her uncle for a minute, what was he so angry about? "Um, Uncle, what's wrong?" she asked.
Andire ignored Zelda's comment, instead continuing to focus on Impa, "Well?" he snapped.
Impa did nothing, her face remained emotionless. "I have no idea what you are talking about." Impa said icily.
Andire looked like he wanted to kill Impa on the spot. "What do you think I'm talking about you stupid Sheikah? Whose blood is on that knife you're holding!"
Impa glanced at the small spot of red on her knife, "Why, I believe it's the blood of a dragon." she said sarcastically.
Zelda snickered, but Andire shot her a cold glare. Zelda decided to be quiet after that.
"No, last I checked, that was the blood of the little girl you're supposed to be protecting!" Andire smirked viscously, "I can get you arrested for this."
Impa smiled just as viscously back, "I doubt it, considering that Zelda is my student in the Sheikah Warrior Arts, and I have permission from her father to do what I feel is necessary to get her to learn."
"The girl's better then half the army!" a Guard shouted, and all the soldiers laughed.
Impa kept up the smile, "So as you can see, Andire, I am perfectly within my bounds."
Andire bristled with rage, "You will address me properly Sheikah!"
Impa smirked, "Then you shall address me properly, as Lady Impa Rastam Abbar of the Sheikah Shadow Clan. I expect my name said in full, Andire. But, judging by your habit of calling me 'Sheikah' I won't get that pleasure."
Andire gritted his teeth, "What makes you think you deserve to be called nobility?"
"Maybe my service in the War of the Southern Gods?" Impa said casually, "Of course, you weren't born then, so I can't be surprised you forget that fact."
"As if I'd believe a demon." Andire hissed.
...the demonic Sheikah...
Zelda's eyes widened, she opened her mouth to protest her Uncle's words, but Impa beat her to the punch. Literally, she punched him in the stomach.
"I would have thought you would have gotten beyond your base instincts by now, Andire." Impa growled as Andire straightened himself up. "You are a fool and a bigot. Nothing in your life has proved to be of any redeeming value. The only thing you have going for you is that you're second in line to the throne, and there is a snowflakes chance in hell that you'll ever become first in line! So do not think you can act all high and mighty around me!" Impa spat at his feet, "Come Zelda, it's time for us to leave."
"Zelda, do not go what that Sheikah!" Andire said.
Zelda turned to her uncle, "I'll listen to you once you apologize to my teacher." she said coldly, before turning away.
"Traitor..." Andire whispered, to quiet for anybody to hear.
Kasuto peered around the corner, she could see a door that was partially open, with no Guards in sight, she ran through the door.
Alright! I made...it...in... Kasuto stared at the room she had entered, it was apparently a women's changing room Where guards got dressed and put their armor on.
Swearing quietly, Kasuto ducked behind some armor.
Malon picked at her breakfast, she just didn't feel hungry. "Hey Daddy," she looked up to her father, "can I go to Castle City?"
Talon nodded, "I don't see why not." Talon pretty much trusted his daughter to take care of herself.
Malon smiled, "Thanks Daddy." Now she could see Zelda and Kasuto again.
Kasuto was still hiding behind the armor, there were two women in the room with her, a Hylian, and a Sheikah. Kasuto actually recognized the Sheikah, she was the Guard she had ran into while in prison, Sarae.
"Hey, Halan." Sarae said to the Hylian, "I was wondering if I could take your job today, I really don't want castle duty today."
"Really?" Halan asked, "Why?"
"I hear that bastard Andire showed up," Sarae growled, "I have a cousin who lives in Windfall, he's told me all about him."
"I see, well, if it's that important to you, I'll trade duties with you."
"Thanks, your a lifesaver." Sarae said, clearly relived. "Well, I guess I'm going out today." She paused for a moment, "Odd, where's my sword?" Sarae looked around, moving close to where Kasuto hid.
Kasuto began praying to every god she worshiped, Please don't let me get caught. Please don't let me get caught!
"Oh! Here it is." Sarae grabbed her sword, just a foot away from Kasuto.
Thank you! Kasuto would have shouted with joy, but then she would have been caught. Soon, she was all alone. Moving away from her hiding spot, Kasuto thought about her options. "If I enter the castle, I'll be caught." she sighed, "This better be worth it!" her eyes wandered, coming across a suit of armor, one that looked about her size. "No, just no. I am not disguising my self as a Guard!"
Malon smiled as she entered the stable. The building that housed the pride of the Lon Lon Ranch. About twenty horses, each one with a unique personality, Malon knew how to take care of each and every one of them. They were her personal project, and they all loved her. "Hey there guys." She said as the animals looked at her, "No food, sorry." she smirked, as some of the horses neighed in disappointment. "I need to ride you Epona." She moved over to the youngest horse, a young red foal with a white mane. "Hey there girl, we're going to Castle City." Epona grunted in agreement. "Yeah, you want to run, don't you?" Malon patted the horses head, "Well, let's go."
Zelda followed Impa, looking as her caretaker and teacher stormed forward, a cold look on her face. "All you alright?" she asked.
Impa stopped, before sighing, "I'm fine Zelda, just a little angry."
Zelda stood close to Impa, "Why do people call Sheikah demons?" she asked.
Impa looked down at her charge, who had become like a daughter to her. "Zelda, Sheikah are the People of Shadow, of darkness. Death is tied to darkness, all sorts of things that frighten the other races the Sheikah treat as normal. So the other races started to fear and hate the Sheikah, especially the Hylians."
Zelda paused, "Why the Hylians? They seem to get along so well. I know that none of the races got along well...but..."
Impa shook her head, "It's in our instincts. Hylians are creatures of Light. Sheikah are creatures of Shadow. They oppose each other, only recently have the two blended together."
Zelda sighed, "I see..." she said, "Well, I'm glad that people get along today, aren't you?"
Impa smiled slightly, "I guess I am Zelda."
"I hate myself." Kasuto muttered, walking down the castle hallways, looking for Zelda.
Oh, she was in a Guard's armor.
Funny how things work out.
"Arrg!" Kasuto slammed her fist against the wall, letting loose a string of Gerudo curses.
"I take it your lost?" a man said, with a hint of amusement.
Kasuto looked to her side, standing there was a burly Hylian. Wearing a red work shirt with black pants, his whole head was covered with curly blond hair, sharp, laughing eyes, looked upon her, a grin was on his face. "Because you just said that someone's mother mated with a leever and that they and their children shall be consumed by the demons that lie within the deepest pits of hell when they die at a young age. I can only assume you were talking to me, seeing as I'm the only one in the room."
"Erk" Kasuto looked down in embarrassment, "You understand Gerudo?" she asked, beginning to panic.
The man laughed, "Yes, I do, but don't worry," he winked, "I know you were talking to the castle." he laughed deeply, "I know how frustrating it can be for someone new to navigate through it."
"Um, thanks for understanding." Kasuto muttered.
"Think nothing of it miss," the man said, "My name is Harikan, yours?"
Kasuto looked at him for a moment, "Kasuto, please to meet you."
"Why don't you join me in my office, Kasuto? You look like you could use the help." Harikan said.
Kasuto shrugged, "Alright."
Zelda slumped down in her bed, heavy thoughts plaguing her mind. What did her uncle mean? What did Impa mean? She didn't like the idea of a member of her family having the same sort of opinions as the man Kasuto had attacked yesterday. That would be awkward... she thought dryly, I can picture it now; "Oh, hi Kas, this is my Uncle Andire, he thinks you and your mommy are whores. No, don't flay him alive, he's nice once you get to know him." Zelda groaned, "I'm doomed." she muttered. "But why would he think like that? He was raised by my grandparents, and I know they weren't like that." Zelda hadn't known her grandparents, but both her parents had told her stories. "Plus, Mom wasn't like that..." Zelda sighed, "I can't judge him yet...."
Harikan's office was rather plain, a few Picto Graphs hung on walls, and of course, piles of paperwork that the poor man apparently had to do. Kasuto sat down in a chair in front of his desk, while Harikan sat behind it.
"Coffee?" he asked, holding up a pitcher.
Kasuto shook her head, "No thanks, I can't stand the stuff."
Harikan shrugged, "To tell the truth, I can't either, though my daughter is addicted to it." He chuckled, "I just keep some here for visitors."
"I see." Kasuto smiled, looking over the paperwork, "Man, you have a lot of work to do."
Harikan smirked, "You might say I have an important job."
"Sir!" A Guard entered the room, "A suit of armor has been stolen."
Kasuto paled, this was not good...
"Really? Where's Edward?" Harikan asked.
"He took a day off." the guard explained.
"I see..." Harikan sighed, "Well, find that armor, it's likely just a prank though."
"Yeah, a prank..." Kasuto muttered.
"Hey, who's this?" the guard asked, peering at Kasuto,
"I'm new here..." she said quickly.
"I didn't know we had any Gerudo working for the Royal Guard." the guard said, examining Kasuto.
"Well, here I am!" Kasuto was really hoping that she could leave soon.
Harikan paused, "Now that I think about it, Edward never did tell me anything about any new people showing up..."
Kasuto was starting to sweat, this was beyond bad. This was something that she would very likely be thrown into prison for, for a long time!
"Miss Kasuto, can I please see your I.D?" Harikan asked, "I'm just a little curious, you have to admit the circumstances are strange."
I knew this was a bad idea, but do I do it anyway? Yes, and now I'm a dead girl for it! Kasuto could see only two options: Surrender, and hope they go easy on her. Or, stand up and run like hell. Don't you hate it when life gives you options, that, no matter which one you choose , you‘re screwed?
"Thanks for the help..." Kasuto said slowly, "But...I gotta go!" Kasuto stood up, and ran like hell. Eager to make her escape, Kasuto dashed past the guard, ready to run out the door.
Only problem is that she slammed into a very tall Sheikah woman. Both fell to the ground, leaving Kasuto easy pickings for capture.
"Shit!" Kasuto swore at the top of her lungs, scrambling to stand up, even as Harikan grabbed her arms, holding her in place. "Oh Goddesses, I'm sorry!" she said, "I just needed to get in and I saw the armor and I thought it would be a good idea and, oh Nayru! I don't want to go to prison!" She babbled like this for a minute or two.
"Can somebody tell me who is screaming?" A very familiar voice asked as a very familiar person entered the room.
"Um, hi Zelda..." Kasuto grinned sheepishly.
Zelda looked at Kasuto for a moment, "Alright, I want you to explain to me why you are currently being restrained by my father, wearing a suit of armor that's to big for you, while screaming your head off in the possess." She said, a confused look on her face.
"Don't forget that she rammed me over." Impa muttered, pulling herself up.
There was a moment of silence.
"Wait, did you say father?" Kasuto asked.
"Yes, that's my Daddy, the man currently holding you in place." Zelda said dryly.
"Friend of yours?" Harikan asked his daughter.
Kasuto processed this new information. Her mind came to one swift conclusion. "Fuck." she said, then fainted.
Andire stormed into his house in Castle City. How dare she defy him like that? "That Sheikah will pay." he hissed, "I guess my little niece is a traitor like her father, pity really, I thought she might have a chance."
They'll all have to pay, just one week more...
Zelda looked at the passed out girl on her bed, it had taken some talking, but she had managed to convince everyone that Kasuto was harmless. Well, then again, she really was. "What am I going to do with you?" she asked, smiling fondly.
"My head..." Kasuto sat up, she quickly, looking around the room, recognizing it as Zelda's.
"Hey Kas," Zelda smiled, "Good news, you're not in trouble."
"Kas?" Kasuto asked, raising an eyebrow.
"It's a nickname." Zelda blushed, "Do you not like it?"
"No, it's nice...Zel" Kasuto giggled softly "Hey, if you get a nickname, I do to."
Zelda blushed a little harder, "Well, thanks. Now, what did you come here for? I assume it was somewhat important."
It all came rushing back to Kasuto, the whole reason she was here. "Zel..." she sighed, "meone is going to try and kill you in one week."
The silence was deafening...
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