Sunset wove its yellow and violet patterns across the sky as they began home. As they walked, the sky began to grow darker. The sound of chirping crickets filled the air from the grasses that swayed in the gentle breeze.
Link, although weary, was happy. Everything was as it once was. As they began over a hill, Link could see the dark form of Hyrule castle in the distance. The lights that were on in the castle pierced through the ever growing darkness. As they walked on, Zelda said thoughtfully, "Everyone must be worried about us." Link smiled at her. "There's no reason for them to be worried. After all, we saved Hyrule, didn't we?" Zelda nodded.
From behind them, Anna and Istas walked, each reflecting on the recent events that had taken place while they had battled Ganon. Anna felt no different in spite of the power she had gained. However, something still bothered her. "Istas," she said, "where will you live now that you've been exiled?" For a moment, he did not answer. Finally, he replied, "I really don't know. I guess I'll have to figure that out."
The castle was coming into view now. There were a few guards posted at the castle's archway. At the sight of Link, Zelda, Anna, and Istas, the guards began to shout, "The princess has returned!" Turning, they ran to the castle's large front doors and burst them open, shouting the news for all to hear. There were surprised shouts and turmoil from within the castle's interior.
Impa, beside herself with relief, was the first to burst through the crowd of soldiers and servants that had gathered at the castle's front doors to see Princess Zelda. "Oh, I'm so glad all of you are safe!" she cried, running to the princess. Embracing the princess, she continued, "Everyone at the castle was so worried that none of you were safe." "I'm fine, Impa. Ganon is finished, at least for now. None of us are too injured," Zelda replied. With that, Impa began to lead them through the crowd that filled the castle's front grounds to its interior. In the castle's richly decorated front hall, they were greeted by the King himself. Visiting with the King was Link and Anna's uncle, who was just as eager as the King to hear of their tale."Zelda, you have returned safely! Come to the throne room, all of you, and tell me of your adventure!"the King boomed happily. He led the way to the throne room, followed by Link, Zelda, Anna, Istas,Impa, and Link and Anna's uncle.
"....and we discovered that we were the holders of the Triforces of Wisdom and Courage, Father," Zelda said, finishing the lengthy tale sometime later. The King nodded thoughtfully. Impa broke in, "What of the Tetraforce, Princess Zelda? Didn't you find the piece and the papers in the library?Were you not dreaming of it before this whole adventure began?" Zelda nodded. "Yes. After Link found that he was the holder of Courage, and I found that I held Wisdom, Anna discovered that she was destined to hold the fourth force." "And what is the fourth force, Zelda?" the King asked from his throne. It was Anna who spoke up shyly for Zelda. "It is Hope, Your Majesty."
"What became of the Tetraforce, then?" was the King's next question. This he aimed at Anna alone. She spoke up haltingly, unsure of what to say. "It...I sent it to another realm, the gap between dimensions, Your Majesty, where it will be very difficult to find." The King nodded, and Zelda replied, "The Essence of the Triforce explained it was too much power for anyone to possess all four pieces." The story finished, the King rose from his throne. "Impa," he began. "Yes, Sire?" she asked. "Go summon the cooks in the kitchen and tell them to provide a feast for everyone in the castle as celebration of Ganon's defeat." "Yes, Your Majesty," Impa said, then rushed out of the throne room to the kitchen.
It was not long before the castle was filled with people rushing about to prepare for the feast. The servants spread the large dining table with a fine cloth, white as snow. Candles were set in their golden holders and lit. Dim light filled the large dining hall. Anna took her dress from Istas's bag and headed upstairs to one of the castle's guest rooms to change and wash her grimy face and hands.After washing her face, she gently touched the bandages that covered her injured arm. It was slowly but surely getting better. Back in her normal clothes, she came back downstairs and sat in her place at the table. Istas settled in his chair beside her. "Lovely as always," he greeted, half teasingly. She smiled at him in reply. Link and their uncle walked in. Their uncle sat down across from Anna. Link took a chair on Anna's other side as the rest of the food started to be brought out. The rest of the people who were to attend the feast began to take a seat as well.
The King strode in, adorned in his best robes, trimmed with gold. His jewel studded crown sat upon his head. Everyone bowed their heads in respect as he made his way to his seat at the head of the table. Princess Zelda came in a few minutes later. Link had never seen her look as beautiful as she did now. Her golden hair, just below shoulder legnth, was tied back in a white bow. Her dress, just as white, was adorned with lace, whispering softly as she made her way to her chair near the King's. She, too, wore her shining, golden crown, just as jewel studded as the King's.
The main dish, a roast goose complete with all the garnish, was carried in by two servants on a silver platter. Everyone began to eat. Talking accompanied the feasting, the main topic of conversation being the recent adventure. Link, Zelda, Anna, and Istas answered questions being asked by various people. Istas and Anna were a bit uncomfortable, as they weren't used to all the attention now being directed their way. Link, on the other hand, was used to all of it, and even reveled in it. Zelda, too, being royalty, was used to all the attention that was now being given to her.
The night dragged on. The dinner was finished, and the people at the table began to drift away once the leftover food was returned to the kitchen. Link, Zelda, and Istas stayed at the table to answer any more questions the remaining people had for them. Anna, however, left the table to seek the solitude of the castle guest room. Weariness lit on her like a cloak as she made her way upstairs, and she was grateful for the quiet guest room. She lay down on the bed, staring up at the ceiling. However, not tired enough to sleep, she noticed the bookshelf in the corner of the room, jammed with books of various sorts. Standing, she went to it and began to search through it. The majority of them were on spells and history, she noted. Finally, she lifted one down from near the top of the shelf. It was red covered, and although the gold leafing that spelled out the title was scratched and faded, she could make out the words, 'Old Legends and Tales of Hyrule'.
Heading down the stairs again, Anna made her way past the dining room and down the castle's elaborate front hallway to its front doors. Pushing them open, she was greeted by a cool, fresh breeze, which was quite a relief after the stuffy atmosphere inside the castle. The full moon was a white sphere up in the dark night sky. The stars pierced the darkness above, shining down along with the moon. Anna made her way along the cobblestone walkway that led from the castle arches to its front doors. The dark shadows of the trees danced and swayed as the breeze blew gently. On either side of her were the rose hedges, their pink and red roses in full bloom. Beside them were the benches, made of wood, so that people could sit and enjoy a sunny day. Anna sat on one of these, opening the book. The night above was cloudless, and the full moon gave enough light for her to read by. The book was mostly about legends and stories that were once told by people across Hyrule in the old days. Most of them had proven to be nothing more than myth, but some of them still had no explanation. Some of these tales are still legends to this day, she thought in awe.
Istas finally rose from the table and headed outside, leaving Link and Zelda to answer any other questions. He had seen Anna make her way past the dining room just a few minutes ago, and decided he wanted to see what she was up to. He saw her, sitting on one of the wooden benches alongside one of the rose hedges. The moon's light shone down on her, turning her hair to silver, making her look more spirit than flesh and blood. She was smiling a bit at something she was reading. He walked up to her quietly, then stood silent for a moment. She read on, not noticing he had come. He cleared his throat, and she nearly leapt out of the bench. Gasping, she looked up at him, eyes wide. "You startled me," she said, gruffly. "Sorry," he replied, then sat down beside her. "What are you reading?" he asked her, and she showed him the book. "It's a bunch of things people once believed a long time ago. Hard to imagine some people believed in such idiotic things!" she said with a laugh.
Istas did not reply to that, simply putting an arm around her shoulders. She layed the book down and leaned against him for a moment. Gently, he turned her face to him, then leaned down closer to her, wanting to kiss her. Suddenly, a feminine voice broke in, "A party, and I wasn't invited? Looks like I came on time, after all." Anna and Istas jumped apart, guilt written on both their faces. A dim shadow stepped forth out of the dark. "Mira, what in the name of Din are you here for?" Istas asked, as none other than his friend from his village stepped into the moon's light. Mira smirked a little. "Just skipping guard duty to interrupt your love life," she said sarcastically. Then, her voice grew a bit more seroius as she added, "Actually, Hagen sent me to tell you the Elder wants you to come back with me to the village tonight. Everyone in Hyrule heard that you helped defeat Ganon, so the Elder decreed for you to return home. So come on, let's go. If I'm late, I get yet another lecture from Hagen."
Istas reluctantly stood. Anna rose beside him. Just then, the castle's front doors opened, and Link and Zelda came walking out, side by side. "Istas, what's going on?" Link asked, upon seeing Mira. "I'm going home, Link. I was banished from the village, but I'm allowed back now." With that, he began to follow Mira, who was impatiently walking off under the castle archway. "Goodbye, Anna," Istas said, embracing her. "Will you be coming back?" she asked him softly. He nodded. "Yeah, I'll be back. Count on it." She smiled at him a little, watching as he started off into the dark. With a final wave in their direction, Istas vanished into the darkness along with Mira.
Anna stood watching where he had gone for a few minutes. Link and Zelda stood together behind her. Finally, Link said softly, "I think we should leave her alone." Zelda nodded, smiling as Link offered her his arm, a gentlemanly gesture. She accepted, and together, they went past Anna into the darkness on a walk.
Long after they had gone, Anna made her way back to the bench. The book lay open, its pages fluttering in the gentle breeze. Sitting down and picking it up, she began to read again. This particular legend was about a young woman that had gone with Ganondorf and the rest of his followers into the Sacred Realm in hopes of gaining the power of the Triforce. After Ganondorf killed his followers to have the power all to himself, the woman supposedly escaped, but no one knew what became of her for years afterward. Then, one day, many years later, someone saw her, young as the day she had dissapeared, which was impossible, considering it was nearly seventy years afterward!
Anna sat, thinking for a moment. How could that be? How could the woman stay young like that after so many years? Try as she may, she couldn't come up with a reasonable explanation. After awhile, though, she gave up thinking about it. Why worry about an old legend? she thought. Quietly, she lay the book down again, tilting her head to peer up into the night sky.
The stars and moon shone down on her, the moon bathing her in its soft white light. She smiled slightly. All is at peace, she thought, and the stars twinkled in soft agreement.
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