The Great Desert

By Shadsie & Sailor Lilith-chan

Chapter 3: Power and Price




Seventeen Years, Eight Months Ago…



The crying that had been echoing throughout the two-story farmhouse had died down. Russell Ordona sat on a comfortable chair outside a bedroom door. His wife was outside with his daughter, showing the girl his brother’s two horses. He’d taken a leave from his work as part of the Royal Guard to offer assistance to his brother and his sister in law. Link’s expected child had been born today and Russell could not wait to see his new niece or nephew.


He’d brought his wife and his little girl out to Link’s house in Darunia. He and Darla were going to help Link and Grace out with the housework while Grace recovered and everything got settled. He didn’t know how much help young Malon would be, but she tried, and her bouncy personality brought smiles to everyone. Like Russ, Link worked in the Royal Guard, but, unlike him, had taken something of a partial retirement. While Russell was active duty, Link held a position that was more like being in the National Guard – he was called to the palace when extra soldiers were needed, but was otherwise free to pursue his crazy idea of trying to grow crops in the scorched Darunian mountain soil. Link had actually been quite successful in his venture, growing drought-resistant plant species and inventing new and interesting ways to manage water. Some of his techniques were becoming popular throughout Hyrule.


Russ’ ears twitched as the door opened softly. Link emerged carrying a small bundle in a blanket. His face looked strangely grim.


“Is Gracie okay?” Russell asked in worry.


“She’s okay,” his younger brother answered. “She’s asleep. The midwife is watching over her.”


“The baby… is the baby alright? Your face, Link…”


Link gave Russell a weak smile. “I want to talk with you about him, alone,” he said, “You may hold him, if you’d like.”


“So… it’s a boy,” Russ said, holding his arms out to receive the wrapped and slightly squirming bundle. The child fussed, making little noises of annoyance and screwing his eyes shut against the light. Russell had always wondered why people thought newborn babies were “cute.” They were pink, tender and had shriveled up little faces… to him; they looked like wrinkled little monkeys. In his eyes, children got “cute” later.


“Ssh, ssh,” Russell soothed, sitting back down in the chair. He held his new nephew close and bobbed him up and down gently with the arms of an experienced father. “Welcome to the world…eh?”


“Link. Link Jr.”


“Ah. You and Gracie agree on that name?”


“Of course. There aren’t too many ‘Links’ in the world. We’d figured it could use one more.”


Link Jr. squirmed and writhed enough to free his hands from the soft blanket enveloping him.


“He’s already pretty strong!” Russ exclaimed, “For just being born.”


“Oh, he came chargin’ out,” Link Sr. said, his face going a little pale. “Maybe I shouldn’t have been in there to watch it, but I had to be there for Grace. The labor was quick, according to Doc Kuro. It seems he was eager to be born. Maybe he knows the world is gonna need him.”


“Huh?” Russ asked, puzzled.


Link Jr.’s left hand flailed up and caught the sunlight. Russell’s eyes went wide. He laid the child gently down upon his lap so that he could take the tiny hand between the thumb and forefinger of one of his own. The child let out a short, cracked wail as Russ gingerly manipulated the hand to get a good look at it.


“You see it,” Link Sr. stated.


“Are you sure it won’t fade with time? It could be just a bruise or a non-permanent birthmark.”


“Look at it, Russ!” his brother insisted, “Perfect symmetry, even with the ‘missing piece’ in the middle. It’s a perfect Royal Crest… a perfect Triforce mark! Look closely! The triangle mark on the lower right… it’s a bit lighter than the others, isn’t it? I think he’s got the Triforce of Courage in him, Russell.”


“Have some sense!” Russell demanded, “That’s all superstition!”


“Then why did Mom and Dad feel it important to name me after the Hero of Winds? They believed in the legends. Maybe the fabled deeds our ancestors did weren’t all exaggeration. The legends all kind of add up, don’t they? And they say that in times when the Hero is born with a piece of the Triforce already residing in him, the coming of great evil is immediate.” Link paced the floor, his eyes on his brother and his son. His face had an immensely sad cast to it. He shivered lightly. “To think that my firstborn is an agent of chaos.”


Russell stood and handed Link Sr. his child. “Don’t think that,” he said gently. “He is your son. That is what he should be to you, nothing more, nothing less.”


Link closed his eyes and held little Link close to his chest. “Evil will hunt him,” he said softly. “I need to protect him for as long as I can. I know a Gerudo who is skilled in the art of ancient, traditional tattoos. I will get the same mark he has. In this way, perhaps evil will come to me instead of to him, at least until it is his time.”


“Don’t speak so grimly, little brother. I’m sure you are worrying needlessly and that he will live a nice, normal life. I already know that you’ll make a terrific father.”





A loud and wild sound awakened Zelda from her light slumber. Immediately she was aware of the gentle motion of a horse beneath her and the sensation of a warm body next to her. Link’s shoulders shifted beneath her cheek.


The noise sounded again and Zelda startled. “Huh? What is that?” she asked groggily.


“It’s the wolf,” Link said casually. “We’re almost home. He’s been hanging around for the past month or so, over out on that ridge.” He pointed to a butte that was bathed in the pale pink light of the emerging dawn. “At least I think it’s a wolf. Uncle Russ says it’s probably a coyote, but I think he looks too big and the pitch of his howl is off for a coyote. They sound more like a baby crying. I hope it’s a wolf – they’re rare, so it’s nice to know that one feels safe sharing land with us. It’s quite a compliment.”


“You aren’t afraid he’s going to go after your livestock or anything?”


“Nah. He always stays far away over there. If he wanted any of our animals, he’d probably have made his move by now.”


He added; “You slept some. I’m glad. You felt so tense, though… I suppose you would, after what you’ve just been through, but are you alright?”


“Yes,” Zelda replied. “I’m alright. Thank you.”


They rode down into the little green-patched valley that was Ordona Ranch. Link yawned as he got Rhiannon into her stall in the stable and gave her a flake of hay and a small bucket of oats. Zelda stood aside patiently, admiring the views and savoring the scent of horses. She’d always rather liked the smell of horses. Her nose wrinkled, however, when she caught other smells off the main pens of the ranch – goat-smell and cattle-reek, the former mostly from hair and hide oils, the latter mostly from their manure. Such aromas were not often pleasant to people unused to them.


Link chuckled slightly upon seeing Zelda’s face. “You’ll get used to it,” he assured. “To me, it smells like home. Everyone does seem to be a little…robust…today.”


He gathered up the package he’d had tied to Rhiannon’s saddle and led Zelda to the ranch house that was his home. He gently entered, not wishing to awaken anyone who might still be asleep, though he knew with the hours kept on the ranch that it was unlikely that anyone would be. Just as he’d predicted, Russ was up at the stove hovering over a skillet full of scrambled eggs. He did not look up at either Link or Zelda. He simply yawned.


“Got my package okay, kid?” he asked. “Just set it on the table. Didn’t expect you back so soon. You must have ridden all day and night. You can have the day off today to rest up. You feed Rhiannon already?”


“Yeah. Russ, I…”


“I’ll tell Malon that Rhiannon’s taken care of. Want some eggs?”


“Uncle Russ, we have a houseguest… of sorts. She doesn’t have anywhere to go and she says she’ll work, I hope that’s alright…”


Russ looked up and startled. “Oh!” he exclaimed, “Oh! I’m so sorry, miss.”


“That’s… that’s alright,” said Zelda hesitantly. “I really don’t wish to impose… I’ll sleep out in the barn if you need me to.”


“We can’t do that to a lady. You can take Link’s room. He can sleep on the couch.”


“Huh? That seems so…”


“I’ll be okay,” Link said. “I was planning on that, anyway. My room is nice, I’m sure you’ll like it.”


“Don’t worry,” Russ said with a smile. “We’ve taken in folks before. You can stay here as long as you work hard and you may leave at any time. Link’s got a good intuition about people, so I trust you. I’m afraid we can’t pay you much. May I ask your name, miss?”


“I’m Zelda.”


“Ah, like the youngest princess. It’s a nice name. Link here’s named after a string of fabled heroes, but we don’t let it go to his head. I’ll make you a nice breakfast and my daughter Malon can show you around.”


“Thanks, sir.”


“Call me Russ.”


Russ began plating eggs and toast. He suddenly dropped his plate on the floor and stared at Link. He dove for the young man and ripped the gun that he’d had stowed in his belt away, flicked the chamber open and the bullets out of it, and slammed it down on the kitchen table.




Link shrank a little and his ears drooped. He looked to the floor and toed it with his left boot like a guilty child. “You don’t understand, Uncle Russ,” he said meekly, “Zelda was attacked by a group of vicious men and I helped her get away. One of the toughs dropped this so I thought I’d pick it up in case they chased us and we needed prote-”


“Enough,” Russ said, leaning over the table and shaking his head. “How many times have I told you… you don’t need this kind of protection. If this thing has been implicated in any crimes… well, your fingerprints are all over it now, but that’s beside the point. This stuff is dangerous… very dangerous. You shoot someone with a gun, they die. You need to be a man of peace, Link. It’s what I’ve raised you to be...”


“Uncle, you’re being ridiculous! I didn’t even shoot it! I just thought I needed something to scare those idiots off… If I had to, I probably could have winged them! Besides, didn’t you and my father used to be gunmen, lawmen? And Dad had a sword, too! Yet you won’t train me for either of those! Wouldn’t my father have wanted to pass down his skills?”


“Link,” Russ said in a strained voice, “Your father… Listen. I know I try not to talk about the past too much, so I’ll just leave it at this, what I’ve told you time and time again: You don’t want to see the things that I’ve seen. You don’t want to go through that, trust me. I know you make a show of being brave and all, but you don’t need my life, or your father’s life. You need your own life and I made a promise to my brother that it would be a good one.”


Zelda watched the family drama unfold before her in silence. She held a hand to her mouth and just looked on.


“Oh, I’m sorry, Miss Zelda,” Russ said, “That was very rude. I’m very sorry about that.”


“He did save me,” Zelda said firmly. “There were three gunmen and they’d found me in the street in Nabooru. They were going to do… something terrible… to me. Your nephew came along and stood up to them. I honestly don’t know how he did it – they were all armed and he wasn’t, but he managed to sucker-punch the leader so I could get away. He was exceptionally brave, Mr. Russ. I don’t think he was going to do anything bad with that gun – he was merely concerned with protecting me.”


“Well,” Russ sighed, cleaning what would have been his breakfast off the floor, “I can’t say that I’m thrilled with my nephew risking his life so, but I am glad that his sense of honor is intact. We’ll have some breakfast, get to know each other a little and then we can give you a proper welcome.”



Seventeen Years Ago…


Officer Russell Ordona had been riding for days. He did not know how it had come to this and he tried to trace the chain of events that had led to him, with a posse, riding through the Goddess-forsaken country known as the Lost Hills in search of his brother, now the most wanted man in Hyrule.


The terrain could only be traversed on foot or horseback, and horseback was much safer. The rocks seemed to shift and move. Russ was certain they’d passed by that great boulder that looked like a ram’s head at least three times. It was easy to get lost in this country, hence its name of the Lost Hills. Superstitions surrounded the area. There were old men that said the place was enchanted and that the stones and bushes moved of their own accord to entrap those not wise enough to figure out its puzzle.


Russell had been chosen to lead the fugitive-search because he knew Link well and knew where he would be likely to go. Russ had come here on a hunch. The Lost Hills were an excellent place to hide and his brother had spoken of taking camping trips and botanical research trips here. Russ had broken off from the main group of men at the base of the hills. He’d taken two men with him – Captain Kyle Kenyon and a young officer recently inducted into the Guard, Blake Bladebringer. The posse had found some signs that two shod horses bearing riders had passed up this way. Russ had wanted to go on into the hills alone to confront his brother, but, as Captain, Kenyon had insisted on coming and on bringing the new officer.


Many questions were running through Russell’s mind. He could not believe that his brother was a murderer – and he did not believe it. The evidence pegged him as the most likely suspect – and the only suspect at this time. The fact that he had fled from his home with his young family only increased suspicion. Russell hoped to question him, which is why, despite the familial connection, he had been eager to join the pursuit. Russ hoped beyond hope that Link would talk with him and that he’d find something to clear his name. Part of him hoped that the man would get away, however. If Link was guilty – or just found that way, the penalty was hanging in the castle courtyard. This was not simply a murder case. The king was dead.


Link Ordona had been the last person seen entering and leaving one of the king’s council chambers before the body was found. Poor King Claudius Nohansen was discovered slumped over his desk, bleeding from a wound that had been inflicted by a sword. According to his personal attendant, he managed to choke out part of a word before he passed on; “Dona.” Link was one of only a handful of soldiers who still trained with a blade – that and the king’s last word gave the castle court all the suspicion it needed.


Before the bells had finished ringing, Link Ordona was gone from the palace grounds. Rumors abounded. It was a shock for the entire court and Castle Town. Link had always seemed like a loyal soldier, one of the most loyal and protective in the Royal Guard and a favorite of the court. He used to train Princess Cecelia in archery and swordplay. He was always finding rare books for Queen Daphne to read Kara and Anya at bedtime. He used to hold Princess Zelda and bounce her on his knee.


Now his farm in Darunia had lain un-tended for three weeks and there was a national manhunt. A bounty had been leveled on him and for information regarding him. “Why did you run?” Russell whispered to himself as he sat high in the saddle, listening for subtle variations in the air.


“What is he doing?” Blake asked the captain.


“He’s a Hylian,” Captain Kenyon answered. “Those long ears allow him to hear quieter things than we can. He’s tuning into nature.”


Russell kicked his horse into a gallop northward, through a gap between rock formations. Kenyon and Bladebringer followed him. He saw two shadows on the horizon.


“Link!” Russell called. “Please stop! Brother! Talk to me!”


The figure on the black horse made like he was about to flee, but found himself butted up against a rise of stone. “Russell? Is that you?” a female voice called – the voice of Grace Ordona. “Please! Don’t shoot!”


The baby she held on her arm cried as she and her husband rode their horses in a slow descent, down toward Russ and the other officers. Link looked at Russell with shame and sorrow. He halted his animal. Captain Kenyon brought out his pistol and leveled it at the man. Blake did the same.


“Link… Link, you have to talk to me,” Russell said gently. “I’m going to have to arrest you… I am sorry, but please, you have to come quietly and cooperate. We need to get to the bottom of what happened. We need to clear your name. I know you didn’t kill the king – but what you’ve done by running isn’t helping you.”


“My name won’t be cleared, Russ,” Link said slowly. He clutched his reins with his tattooed hand. “I will not be cleared of this crime. There are forces at work here beyond your control or mine.”


“We have to find out who framed you!”


“I have to protect my wife and son,” Link replied. “The forces at work are after the life of my son and they will not stop. The mark and my name have worked… they’ve mistaken me for him, for the time being. Please, you have to let me go, Russ.”


“Let you go? I can’t, brother, I just can’t! I’m of the Royal Guard. You know as well as I do what that means!”


“Russell, listen to me… I know who killed Claudius, but it will never be believed. It was P-!”


A loud pop sounded and Link Ordona clutched his chest. He fell from his horse. The gun in Captain Kenyon’s hand smoked lightly.


“Liiiiiink!” Grace shouted, clutching her child close and fighting for control of her mare as Link’s horse fled. She fell from her steed, suddenly and limply as another gunshot rang out. Russell jumped off his horse and ran to his brother’s side.


Dust swirled.


The baby cried.


“Why did you do that?” Blake demanded of his captain, whirling around and turning his weapon on him. “They were unarmed! And she was innocent, and! And!”


“Will you shut up?” the captain hissed. “I am under orders. The Family Ordona is to be executed for crimes against the Crown.”


“There were no such orders!” Russell shouted as he held his choking, wheezing younger brother. “He drew no weapon on you and Grace and the child are completely innocent! My brother deserves a trail!”


Kenyon dismounted his red mare and stalked to where the body of Grace lay. Her eyes stared blankly up at him. A portion of the top of her head had been shattered by his bullet. Her child remained clutched in her arms, wrapped in his blanket, which was stained in her blood.


Blake Bladebringer watched as he stood, holding the reins of his and Kenyon’s horses, his gun still drawn in a shaking hand.


“I am under higher orders than you, officer,” Kenyon said. “It is my master’s will that this bloodline be wiped out. You have served me well, Russell. The Hero is soon to die, as are you. First, I must silence that annoying squall…”


He drew his gun and leveled it at the baby. Russell and Blake gasped at once. Blake fired off a shot which slammed into Kenyon’s right arm. He screamed and kept firing into his captain’s shoulders and legs. One shot landed in the man’s middle. Kenyon dropped his weapon and crumpled to the ground. Blake stood still and shook, not believing what he had just done.


“Traitor,” Kenyon muttered from the ground.


Link shivered in Russell’s arms. “M….my child,” he choked out. “I wanna see my son… one last time.”


Blake staggered over to Grace and the baby. He drew the infant up out of her arms and gently passed him into Link’s. Russell helped his brother to hold the boy. Link Jr. fussed and clutched at his father’s beard, which brought a small, pained smile from the man.


“Come on, now,” Russell said softly, “I told you that you were going to be a terrific father. You have to make good on that. We’ll get you some help.”


Link coughed deeply. Frothy blood issued from his mouth and ran down his shirt. “Think…lung shot… finding it hard to breathe. I’m not gonna make it, Russ. Please take care of little Link for me. Want him to have a good life…with honor…”


“I will, Link. I’ll give him a good life.”


Link held his son in an ever slackening grasp and looked down at him. “L-Link… I love you. I always will. Mind your Uncle Russ and grow up strong.”


His grip failed and Blake took the baby from him. He closed his eyes and gave one last, shuddering, blood-choked breath, a quick spasm, and then went still. Russell laid him down upon the earth and let his tears flow freely.


Blake held Link Jr. and looked back and forth between Russell and Kenyon, who was still alive upon the ground and moaning.


Kenyon hauled himself to a sitting position and looked to the sky. His eyes were almost rolled back. His face had an otherworldly quality to it, as if he was possessed by something. “Failed,” he said to no one in particular. Everything happened in a surreal fashion, so quickly that Blake could not stop it, yet so slowly that it was etched upon the young man’s memory forever. The captain took up his discarded gun in a blood-covered, pain-shaking hand, brought the muzzle to his head, and fired.


“Wha- What do we do now, sir?” Blake asked Russell.


“Give me my nephew,” Russ ordered. Blake complied. “We should… bury our dead,” he said.


“Out here? In the middle of nowhere?”


“Yes. You saw what happened. I don’t think Central Hyrule is a safe place for my family anymore. If people think my brother’s still on the run, it will buy me time to fetch my wife and daughter and get somewhere else.”


“Where will you go, sir?” Blake asked, “I think… that I shall have to flee, as well.”


“I’ll be going…. To my grandfather’s old homestead – it’s what’s left of the ancient Ordona Province, where the family name comes from. It’s way out there, by the Endless Desert… the old Calatian Sea. Its’ easily defensible if the need arises, but very few people even know where it is anymore. Maybe…” Russell choked back a sob, “Maybe… Link and I should have stayed there all along; instead of coming to Hyrule proper… we were teenagers then… stupid kids…He became a farmer in the end, anyway. We both should have stayed…”


“Sir?” Blake offered, “My father told me to live without regrets. I don’t think I can do that now, but… perhaps both of us can try?”


“Yes,” Russell said, holding Link Jr. close. He already regretted the lies he knew he’d tell the child in the future.






Zelda wandered upstairs. Malon had given her a tour of Ordona Ranch. She’d introduced her to the ranch’s other families and instructed her in some of the so-called simpler tasks. Every muscle in her body ached, including ones she never before knew she had. Malon was almost supernatural to her, how she’d lift and stack bales of hay with ease, carrying one on each shoulder when she needed to. Zelda was barely able to lift one a few inches off the ground, her hands clenching the bailing wire. Malon said that she’d build her muscles up in time. She’d nearly been dragged leading a horse (though she’d had experience with horses at the royal stables, it was always a groom that would lead her chosen mount back and forth between the tacking area and the stalls). The horse had walked at too brisk a pace, starting a light trot and Zelda had to dig her heels into the earth to keep from being toppled. She felt herself to be in a strange and perhaps more dangerous form of skiing until she got control of the animal.


Malon joked that at least they weren’t expecting her to be a farrier, which was, perhaps, the most difficult job around the place. Fado was their man for that while his son and Link were learning the trade. When Zelda had asked Malon about Link, the ruddy-haired woman had said “Link does a little of everything around here. He’s set to inherit this place, along with me.” She’d been living at the ranch for as long as she could remember. Link was like a brother to her, having been raised with her after being adopted by her parents. Her mother had caught ill and died when she was ten, leaving her father and Link as her only family ever since.


Zelda was told that Link’s room was the first door on the left. She walked in, hoping to plop down on the bed and not die. That plan was halted when she saw Link sacked out on the bed, lying on his stomach, still in his blue jeans but not in his boots or shirt. His vest was hanging on one post of the bed and his hat on another. His uncle did give him the day off, she remembered. He looked peaceful, his head cocked to the side on the pillow, a little rivulet of drool staining it… she did not want to disturb him. She slid down next to the bed, using it as a backrest. She’d never been this tired in all her life. It wasn’t a sleepy sort of tired, strangely enough – it was more of a bone-weariness, a throbbing ache in everything that wouldn’t have let her sleep if she’d tried.


There was a haphazard stack of books beside the bed. The gilded title on the cover of one caught her eye; “Legendarium Hyrulea.” The text of the open comic book resting on top of it did the same; “Our ancestors came to this planet with dreams of a paradise but found only sand. On this planet, anything can happen. We face impossibilities every day here. If we let every little thing get us down, we couldn’t go on.”


Zelda picked the comic up and thumbed through it. It was the latter volume to some extensive series, so she didn’t understand what was going on, but she gathered that it was a bit of escapism in the exciting new genre that had cropped up in literature these days; “science fiction.” Zelda had read a little “sci-fi” before… it all seemed to have to do with people traveling to the starry domain of the Goddesses and to other worlds that were out there, and also with new kinds of magics that the people of the future might create. Apparently, the people in this particular comic lived on a planet that was covered with sand… a lot like Hyrule now, but not how Hyrule used to be.


Link flopped an arm over the bed. Zelda stared at his hand. He didn’t have his wrangling gloves on. She’d had her proof already of who he was, when he’d saved her from those men in Nabooru and when she’d felt the urge to trust him. Now, she could not give in to doubt even if she’d wanted to. The bottom right triangle was even glowing mildly. She unwrapped the bandage from her own right hand to see the bottom left triangle glowing on her Triforce mark. “You’re resonating, aren’t you?” she whispered. She wrapped her hand back up and gently took Link’s hand in both of her own.


The young man immediately bolted upright and took a defensive stance. He stared at Zelda and caught his breath. “What?” he exclaimed.


Zelda smiled serenely. “You sleep softly,” she said. “You don’t snore – you’re quiet. That will serve you well on the journey ahead… you can sleep without enemies and predators hearing you. You also waken at the lightest touch and are immediately ready to defend yourself. That is also an asset.”


“What in the world are you talking about?” Link asked.


“Give me your left hand, please?” Zelda asked. Link did so, a questioning look on his face. Zelda smiled and traced a finger around the outlines of the triangle mark. “You do know what this mark means, don’t you?”


“It’s my birthmark,” Link said, “Nothing more. I know it’s a little strange, but it’s just a birthmark.”


“Don’t tell me you don’t know the Sacred Crest when you see it?”


“I know it looks like that, but really, it’s just a birthmark – chance.”


Zelda picked up the copy of “Legendarium Hyrulea.” “You read the legends,” she said with a smile, “You must know that your birthmark is the Hero’s Mark.”


“Well, yeah, but…” Link began, “I think that it must be common in my family. I’ve seen an old photo of my father and he had the same mark – and he was no one special. All those old stories are exaggerated, anyway, fairy tales.”


“They are not as exaggerated as you think,” Zelda replied. She unwrapped the bandage on her hand, exposing her mark. “I was not born with this,” she said, “though it is my birthright.”


“Uh? That’s what you were hiding? I’d thought you’d just gotten hurt. It’s great to see that you’re not-”


The bottom left triangle on the back of her hand glowed in a golden pulse. The bottom right triangle on Link’s hand did the same.


“Aaaah!” he yelped, “what is this? It’s never done that before!”


“I told you,” Zelda said again, “It’s the Hero’s Mark. Evil forces are moving upon the world. Hyrule has long been out of balance. You are the one to defeat the evil and to bring nature back into balance.”


“This can’t be true!” Link protested. “I’m just a rancher. I’m gonna be what Uncle Russ wants me to be and what my friends need me to be – a man of peace! Evil forces…Pah! Superstition!”


“Link…” Zelda said gently, “You can’t fight your destiny. I couldn’t fight mine. I’m sorry that I haven’t been forward with you but I am Princess Zelda. I – I fled the palace. The forces of evil were after me. You see, Ganondorf…”


“President Ganondorf?” Link asked. “But he was elected by the people as a representative! Uncle Russ didn’t vote for him and doesn’t agree with all his policies, but…”


“He’s begun calling himself King Ganondorf now, Link,” Zelda said, “And he has no right to it. He is not a true royal. He’s been overstepping his authority, running over the royal authority which is supposed to be final.”


Link slipped an olive-green t-shirt over his head and put his vest on. “Maybe it’s time we did away with royal law completely… it’s archaic. I’ve always liked the budding democracy, even if the guy we liked didn’t win the election. I’m not sure I believe you. You don’t carry yourself like a princess. You’re too… rough.”


“Stupid farmboy!” Zelda said, wrinkling her nose. “Destiny is biting you in the backside and you don’t even recognize it! Besides, it’s not all Ganondorf… I have reason to believe my eldest sister has some terrible things in mind for our land. Please, Link, you have to help me save Hyrule!”


“Did those thugs hit you over the head or something?”


“You’ve aided me and have been the stabilizing force in this world for countless lifetimes and now you would deny the call of destiny? Farore is calling you to act!”


“They’re just stories! Merely legends! Just because my name is Link – it means nothing! My father was named Link and he’s dead! He lived a humble life and died! I don’t know what you mean by countless lifetimes – I have this life, my life, and I want to live it! Keep your superstitions. I choose to live in reality.”


Loud noises sounded outside. The outside of the window by Link’s bed suddenly frosted over.


“It’s her…” Zelda gasped. “She’s here.”


Russ’ voice and the voice of another sounded downstairs. “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” the man said, “We are not harboring any fugitives and my boy did nothing wrong!”


“Hand them over or your life is forfeit by decree of the Crown,” the voice, female yet deep and dark, replied.


“Father!” Malon exclaimed.


Link grabbed his hat. He and Zelda bolted downstairs.

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