~Link, Zelda, Ganondorf, Nabooru, Navi, and other related characters and places are all property of Nintendo. No infringement intended
CHAPTER 2 - The Horrors of War
Gavin sighed and shifted impatiently in his horse's saddle. Dawn had just broken over Hyrule Field, covering it in a bright reddish-gold light. In the distance he could just barely make out the dying glow of the campfires that indicated the location of the makeshift Gerudo camp. Glancing over his shoulder, Gavin studied his troops. The men were all lined up in battle position, nervously awaiting the expected Gerudo onslaught. Despite the fact that Gavin, being only 23, was many years these soldiers' junior, he was still respected and well liked amongst the men: He was a wise leader, a good friend, and an excellent and brave swordsman. "Well, if these Gerudos don't show up pretty soon, I say we forget the war and go play a good game of poker!" a man on horseback said jokingly, trying to lighten the tension that was obviously plaguing the troops. Gavin turned toward him, "I would more than willingly take you up on your offer, Captain Malcolm, but as I recall, you lost all of your money playing me last night." The men laughed at Captain Malcolm's apparent embarrassment. Malcolm was captain of the castle guards, and one of Gavin's closest friends. His easy-going manner and quick wit made him a favorite amongst the soldiers.
"Yes.... well, it was just beginner's luck," Malcolm fired back in a good-natured tone.
"Either way, it leaves me 100 rupees richer, and besides..." Gavin was cut off by a loud war cry coming from the direction of the Gerudo camp. The troops visibly tensed as a large Gerudo army came into view, their black silhouettes standing out against the slowly rising sun. In their front a man on horseback could be seen leading them on; it was the Gerudo king, Ganondorf. Under the direction of their leader, the Gerudo legions simultaneously began to charge on the waiting Hylian company. "Advance!!" Gavin cried over the heads of his troops, and the Hylian army immediately began marching forward to meet the oncoming attack.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Kassala leaned against one of the supports of her tent, humming an old traditional tune that her mother had taught her as a child. Her scimitar shone brightly in the morning light as she busied herself cleaning it, and in the distance she could hear the fury of the intense battle taking place not far from the camp. It might have seemed strange to some that she was not phased at all by the fighting, but by now these skirmishes had become commonplace and Kassala, herself, had taken part in more than one. After finishing with her weapon, she set it aside and closed her eyes. These wars had been going on even before she was born, but often she wondered what had started them all and why they still continued. She doubted that anyone could give an answer. "Kasi, Kasi!" Kassala opened her eyes only to see a young girl of around eight running up to her, her golden eyes sparkling with excitement.
Kassala smiled, "What is it Nabooru?" "Have you not seen the fighting Kasi? Oh it is glorious! I wish that I could be down there fighting too!"
At this statement Kassala turned serious. How the wars had corrupted the youth! Children being born into such bloodshed grew up reveling in it, accepting it as part of everyday life until one day it would be the end of them. Had not the same been true with herself? Kassala leaned toward Nabooru, looking her straight in the eyes, "Listen to me Nabooru, war is never glorious. War is the creation of weak cowardly men, too stupid to realize that there are other ways."
"But, Kasi, King Ganondorf says that...."
"King Ganondorf is one of those weak cowardly men," Kassala said fiercely, "remember this Nabooru, we may pride ourselves on our thievery, but always remember that it is wrong to kill and plunder the way the king does. It is wrong, just like war is wrong. Promise me Nabooru, promise me right now that you will never, never do as Ganondorf is doing now!" Nabooru seemed frightened by Kassala's words, but nodded her head sincerely. Kassala studied the young Gerudo. Nabooru's mother had died not long after her birth, and Kassala, only fifteen at the time, had sort of stepped in as a surrogate mother to the orphan, although it was all of the Gerudo's job to watch over her. That was the way the Gerudo worked, as a community where everyone was treated like family. Although, ever since Ganondorf, the sole male amongst the Gerudo, had become king, many of the old ways had been changing. Kassala could not help but feel that the man was evil, but there was not much she could do. "Kas!" Kassala tore her gaze away from Nabooru and focused on the approaching figure.
It was Kalimara, Kassala's best friend.
"Kas, we are needed at the front!" Kalimara exclaimed.
"I am coming Kali," Kassala answered, standing up. She pulled her fiery red hair into a tight ponytail, grabbed her scimitar and shield, and gave Nabooru one last look before heading off to take part in the combat.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Down at the battlefront the fighting was raging. Hundreds were falling by the sword and hundreds more were wounded. Gavin was not sure how much longer either side could hold out. He, himself, had thus far been able to come through the battle unscathed, but nevertheless things looked bad.
At that moment two Gerudo had charged him and were trying to somehow get him off his horse, but his height gave him the advantage and he quickly planted his sword into one of them, before kicking the other one from off her feet and resigning her to the same fate. Hearing a furious cry behind him, he turned around, but not fast enough. He soon found himself sprawled on the ground, a Gerudo standing above him with her scimitar poised over her head, ready to deliver the final blow. Gavin rolled out of the way just in time and the Gerudo's sword became implanted in the ground. As she struggled to pull it out, he had reached for his own weapon but instead of killing her, he delivered her a blow to the head with the butt of his sword, knocking her unconscious. Turning to his left, he saw one of his soldiers being overtaken by two Gerudo; using his shield to fend off other attacks, Gavin made his way over to aid the struggling Hylian.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Kassala had just entered the fighting, but was already overwhelmed at its intensity. Hylian and Gerudo were falling left and right, their bodies littering the ground and staining it with their blood. All of a sudden, she heard a pain-filled cry and turning to her left, she saw Kalimara fall to ground, blood running from a sword-inflicted wound on her shoulder. Fear gripped Kassala's heart as she saw her friend collapse; she swiftly finished the soldier she had been fighting and made her way as quickly as possible to her. After reaching her, she leaned down and grabbed Kalimara under the armpits, pulling her as far from the battle as she could. Kassala then placed her fingers on her friend's wrist seeking a pulse. "Please be alive," she silently pleaded, tears already starting to formulate in her golden eyes. Suddenly she heard a movement behind her and turning around saw a Hylian soldier, his sword lifted above her. She knew the end was coming and braced herself for the blow, but it never came. A man had placed himself between her and the soldier and had fended off the other's attack with his shield. "We do not attack the wounded or unarmed," the man exclaimed angrily at the other, "Now get back into the battle where you can do some good!" The other soldier, looking ashamed, obeyed immediately.
Kassala stared in amazement as her savior turned around and quickly leaned over Kalimara. He was young with startling green eyes that contrasted sharply with his dark-brown hair. "She will live," the young Hylian said briskly, "the wound is not deep, but I advise you get her to a healer soon." And with that he disappeared into the fighting, just as quickly as he had appeared.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Queen Celine set her needlework on her lap and looked down at it in absently. The truth
was that she hated sewing and was only doing it now to try to keep herself from thinking about
the battle surely taking place at that very moment. Despite all of her efforts, she could not shake her uneasy feeling. All of her anxiety was not over the fighting however, somehow she felt that a much larger danger was impending, although she had no idea what it could be. "Milady, is everything all right?" A tall austere figure stood in the doorway and was looking at her through concerned eyes.
Celine looked up, realizing that in her uneasiness, she had begun to pace. She recognized the figure immediately. "N-no, everything is fine, Impa. What are you doing here? I thought that you were still in council." Celine forced herself to sit back down and appear as normal as possible.
The older woman took a seat next to her, the concern had not left her mysterious purple eyes. Impa was of the elusive Sheikah race and was, in fact, a high standing officer and leader of her people. During the time that she had spent at the castle because of the wars, Impa and the queen had formed a tight friendship. "The council adjourned just a while ago, now please feel free to tell me what is on your mind."
Normally, the queen would have been more than willing to; she trusted Impa in a way she could never trust anyone else. But for some reason she felt that the anxiety she was facing was a burden that she would have to carry alone. Looking into Impa's eyes, Celine forced a smile, "Everything is fine," she reiterated as firmly as she could, "I just need to be alone for a while." Impa didn't seem convinced, but nodded her head understandingly. "Very well, but you know that if you ever need anyone to confide in, I am always here." She then rose and strode out of the room.
Once she had left, the queen walked over to the window and gazed out over Hyrule Field. Somewhere on that very field at that very moment, men were losing their lives. Overwhelmed by the thought and her own fear, Celine closed her eyes and silently began to pray.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Beads of perspiration were beginning to formulate on Captain Malcolm's brow as he feverishly fought to defend himself against the three Gerudo that were attacking him, but no matter what he did he could not find a way out of his precarious situation. Suddenly, one of the Gerudo let out a cry of pain and collapsed. Malcolm breathed in relief as Gavin stepped in and helped him take care of the other two.
"What took you so long?" Malcolm said grinning over at Gavin.
"Just had to take care of a little situation," Gavin replied.
"Well, thank Din you got here in time!"
The two fought side by side for a short while, but soon lost each other in the massive struggling. Gavin had just taken care of two Gerudo simultaneously when he suddenly felt a sharp pain in his right shoulder. Dropping his sword, he fell to his knees and using his left hand he removed the arrow that had hit him. His vision began to blur as the pain in his shoulder intensified, blood flowing freely from the wound. Gavin knew he had to get out of the battle before he lost consciousness. Struggling to his feet he made his way to the nearest clearing in sight, but halfway there his legs gave out beneath him. Breathing heavily he continued to drag himself as far away from the fighting as he possibly could, the throbbing in his shoulder becoming almost unbearable. The landscape had become hazy and he could no longer tell where he was. Blinking repeatedly to clear his vision he tried to assess his whereabouts, but failed as a wave of pain spread throughout his body and darkness overtook him.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
In Hyrule field the fighting continued to rage, but a new turn of events had occurred. A large Sheikah army had arrived providing fresh recruits to the battered Hylian company and tipping the balance in the Hylian's favor. With the added help, the Hylian army succeeded in forcing the Gerudo legions into a gradual retreat.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Unaware of the current sway of action down in Hyrule field, Kassala waited anxiously outside of the healer's tent in the Gerudo camp. After fifteen minutes, the healer finally emerged and allowed Kassala to enter with the precaution that she not stay long so Kalimara could get some rest.
The tent smelled strongly of herbs and medicines and was cluttered with all sorts of apparatus. In the corner Kalimara laid in a bed made out of blankets on the ground. "How are you feeling?" Kassala asked, kneeling down next to her friend. "It aches a little, but besides that I am fine.....Thanks to you Kas," Kalimara looked over at Kassala gratefully, "Had you not been there......" she let the sentence trail off not wanting to think of what surely would have happened.
Kassala smiled, "You know you would have done the same for me Kali." She decided not to mention the Hylian who had technically saved both their lives, knowing that it would only confuse Kalimara, who at the moment needed to rest.
"Well, I had better go so you can get some rest." Kassala stood up and made her way toward the tent's opening.
"Kas," Kalimara was leaning up in her bed. Kassala stopped and turned around. "Do you think there will ever be peace?" her friend asked simply.
Kassala thought for a moment before replying, "Not as long as Ganondorf continues to rule. Now get some sleep, I will see you in the morning."
Back to Story Menu