Twisted. Dead. Blood red before him. All lain out like a carpet. Stained with the lost souls of those who had perished in the struggle. And all he could do is smile. His great leathery fingers gripping the sides of his ill won throne.
"Bring her before me."
All members in the court quivered at his words…one of them stepped forward, his spine rounded and hunched, his hands clasped at the palms, his skin sallow, his eyes sunken into sockets deeper than they ought to be.
"But sire please…"
"Bring her. Now."
He who dared to speak sank back into the crowd of what were once nobles. Nobles in the court of the good King of Hyrule. Now they were slaves to its greatest enemy.
The tramping of steel booted feet echoed through the stony corridors. She sank back into her damp cell, sensing worse things to come. Worse things than watching her own father slain before her unblinking eyes. Worse things than the hungry rats that she shared her cell with. She had not slept in so long, she could not remember the last time her eyes had been shut for more than a minute. It wasn’t just the threat of rats gnawing upon her while she slept, but also the threat of the dreams she was bound to have if she did drift off. Dreams of her dead father, dreams of the young hero she had sent to a fate surely worse than her own. Her attention rapidly switched from her thoughts to the present as she saw them standing before her. Two of her father’s guards, stood outside her cell, their expressions grave and forbidding.
"No…you can’t. Please, please don’t say it…" she murmured in protest, rising to her feet. The cell door opened - a whining creak splitting the silence. She was dressed in rags. Not the finery she had become accustomed to. One arm reached forward, grasping her slender wrist. She looked at the guard, her eyes meeting his. A tear ran down his cheek, and she turned away.
"I’m sorry…" he murmured, pulling her from the cell. She could barely resist, her strength had left her such a long time ago.
She was led down the passage towards the throne room, a walk once so familiar to her, but now it seemed as dark and desolate as the cell she had been imprisoned in.
"What has he done…?" the question lingered on her lips, and it emerged just a whisper - her voice had grown accustomed to keeping silent, it seemed harder to utter the words aloud. Neither guard replied, the young princess was unsure whether this was due to their inability to answer it, or their desire not to. For a single moment, one wrist was released as the second guard reached forward and pushed open the great doors, then he was back at her side, both men leading her across the threshold.
A stunned silence met them as they entered, the once nobles turned their eyes upon the girl with great sympathy, even though they were powerless to do a thing. She regarded them not with hate, but forgiveness. She knew that if any of them dared step out of place they would be as dead as she soon would be. Nothing could stop him. Nothing.
"Let her stand alone."
The two men stepped away, and the princess finally turned to face the man who had slain her father. It was now that she burned with hatred, and a bitter taste filled her mouth as she laid her eyes upon the man that had taken everything from her and all those that she knew. The man that sought to destroy all that was good, all that was beautiful, and all that would threaten him. Her heart pounded within her chest, and her throat became dry - despite all of her rage, she was wordless when she faced this man, this creature from the lands of despair.
"You are looking well, Princess, considering the circumstances."
The circumstances. She wished to reply, retaliate with a sly remark, but once more her voice deserted her. She could simply do nothing but stand and face him, he of the Gerudo - a man with olive skin and hair as red as fire. A leering smile upon his lips, a hooked nose like that of a beak of a vulture. Cruel and spiteful, it abhorred the girl that the Goddesses would allow such a man of evil to ever be born.
"You tried everything, did you not, yet still all of your attempts failed quite miserably - your so called hero now lies rotting in the earth along side those who called themselves sages, and with them is that pitiful man who was once this land’s King, and your father."
She squeezed her eyes shut as his taunting words rang out across the hall, so many dead, and she might have prevented it all. Her chest tightened and her nails bit into her palms as she clenched her fists. She begged that no tears would fall, and her silent prayer was answered, for the moment. She opened her eyes once more, and met his fierce gaze, this time determined to reply to his wicked words.
"This is not over."
Her tone was determined, and it made those behind her gasp at her gall. But he simply laughed. He threw back his head and erupted with a deep laughter that soon emptied his lungs. He turned his gaze back to her, and smiled, wrapping his hands together in amusement.
"And what, may I ask, is ‘this’? As far as I am concerned, dear girl, this war is won. Everyone who would threaten me is dead, and I am the Lord of this land. You are quite right when you state ‘this’ is not over. My intentions are only half won, I have far bigger plans for Hyrule and the world that surrounds it. Do you think that I would be satisfied with one pitiful country? If so, you may wish to think again!"
"You say all that would threaten you are dead? I still live."
The words left her lips as he finished, she regretted them as soon as she heard them - nothing was more pathetic than an empty threat.
He laughed again, although not quite so heartily. He rose from his throne and strode towards her, the once nobles shrank back as he passed them but she did not. He was twice the height of she, and he towered over her like a dark cloud.
"You live by my command only. If I did wish it, I could kill you in second. Now kneel before your rightful king!"
The royal court fell to their knees as soon as he commanded it, but she remained upright and strong. The king frowned in disgust and glared into her clear blue eyes, she met his gaze unwavering and valiant.
She knew that every second she refused, her life expectancy rate was getting closer to nil, but still she remained upright and defiant.
"I swear girl, I will strike you down before your next breath if you do not kneel before me! Do it! Do it now!"
For a second she contemplated her choices. She could die defiant, or kneel now and live.
"Kneel girl, or your life will end here!"
She knelt. Head bowed, she knelt before him, her eyes closed in a silent apology to her father and all that she had betrayed. She felt his oily fingers atop her head, and a snigger emerged from him.
"Defying me in public, girl, was not a wise choice."
She cringed as she heard the scrape of metal on metal as he drew his sword, and she felt the blade rest on her shoulder. He drew the sword along the line of her shoulder to her neck, before tracing the blade to her chin, forcing her to look up at him.
"You will die before you ruin this world."
She thought they were to be the last words she would ever utter, and they would have been, if not for an unexpected intervention. There was a sudden cry from the court, and both Zelda and Ganondorf turned to see a young man emerging from the nobles. He dived forward, knocking Zelda from the evil Lord’s path, grasping her hand and rising to his feet.
"She’s right you know."
He then drew a deku seed from his belt and threw it to the ground, a gasp of smoke escaped, enveloping both he and the princess. Ganondorf roared in anger, plunging forward towards the two, but they had already gone. The evil king roared once again before approaching one of the men whom had escorted the princess to him, and grasped his neck.
"How did this happen?!"
"Sir…sir, I don’t…"
A sickening crack sounded as the Gerudo snapped the unfortunate man’s neck, cutting off both the sentence and his life.
He turned, seething, to the cowering nobles, his teeth clenched and his eyes blazing.
"You will all pay! Each one of you!"
One of the nobles stepped forward.
"And we shall do it with the knowledge that we defied you also!"
Ganondorf let out a growl of rage, reaching forward with the intention of ending another life, but the noble was too quick, and he drew his own knife, before plunging it straight into his own heart. Ganondorf let out another cry of rage, before turning on the rest of them.
"Not one of you will be spared. I will destroy you. Every last one of you!"
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