The corridor of
was lit by softly dancing candlelight the two cloaked figures walked quickly across the stone hall, keeping their faces low to avoid identification. Shadows leapt ahead and behind them, the only signs of a guard accompanying the two figures. They finally reached a grand door decorated by a mural of the legendary Hero of Time, and, glancing one way and the other to ensure secrecy, entered the room it hid. Inside was a small room decorated by stone walls. A fairly large, round table stood in the middle of the room. There were four doors alongside the walls adjacent to and opposite of the grand door. They were small and wooden and connected through a secret passage to the servant’s quarters. The doors opened almost simultaneously, and four cloaked men entered the room. When the doors closed, the six figures waited silently and finally nodded. Feeling safe and assured of secrecy, they removed the hoods from their heads and uncovered the half-veil covering their mouths and noses. Hyrule Castle
“Good evening Gentlemen,” the Princess said. The four men, the highest ranking Generals of Hyrule, bowed to their kingdom’s leader. “I know all of you understand the importance of today’s meeting, and I thank you for making time to attend at such short notice.”
“We are all servants of Hyrule your majesty, servants of the great Princess of Hyrule. We come when you beckon, and at no time is there an exception,” General Roland said, accentuating his words with a deep bow. A pompous man, one of great ambition, Roland was far too young to validate his extreme arrogance.
“Even still, gratitude is always appreciated. Now, shall we put aside the formalities and take up the task of saving our kingdom?” General Silverstone said. The Princess held back a smile. The General’s somewhat crude mannerisms were made up for by his brilliance, and his obedience. She could always depend on him to win a crucial battle if the need were to ever arise, or to silently stay seated during battles of internal politics. He was dependable and sturdy, qualities for which the kingdom was at a dire need.
“Very well Shaisel, if you please,” the Princess said to her personal assistant. Shaisel, a woman of nearly seventy, brought revealed a decent sized map from under her cloak. General Gernard stared at her old, wrinkled features and almost non-existent figure covered by a gray cloak with a look of lust. The Princess inwardly rolled her eyes. If it was female, the man would go to bed with it. She silently swore to feed him to the dogs, alive, if he even so much as glanced at her in such a manor.
“Thank you Shaisel,” the Princess said. “Now, gentlemen, if I could have a status report on the current crisis.”
“As you know your Excellency, we sent a regiment to combat the raiders in the
. To shorten the tale, they did not succeed,” Roland said. provinceof Faron
“Oh come now, boy!” Silverstone said, raising his voice a bit more than necessary. If Roland was suave and eloquent, Silverstone was a brute quite an enjoyable match up.
“Why don’t your stop hiding the facts from the Princess and tell her what really happened.”
“That is what really happened. They went, and they lost,” Roland said defensively.
“Aren’t we hiding a few small details?” Silverstone gestured with his fingers to signify “few.”
“Stop being such a brute, Silverstone,” Roland countered, a remark that struck the Princess as a bit childish.
“Gentlemen, please stop! We are in a time of crisis, and it would be best if you took your personal grievances outside this chamber. Admiral Cortenury!” the Princess called out to the fourth man in the room.
“Yes ma’am!” he said, placing his closed fist on his chest in a salute.
“Please fill in the details,” she said. The military head of intelligence, the Admiral would definitely have all the details, and because he was a quite and introverted man, he could avoid any heated personal debates.
“Of course ma’am! The detachment from General Roland’s army arrived at Faron five days prior to this meeting. Subsequently, according to our best military data, they were slaughtered in not one, but many encounters with the enemy. The enemy sent the only survivor on horse back to General Roland’s army headquarters. He was carrying the Regiment commander’s head.”
“Did we debrief the survivor?” the Princess asked, her eyes glaring at General Roland.
“No, you’re Excellency. He died moments after arrival,” the General explained.
“And what of the wounds, what could we determine from his injuries?” the Princess asked.
“That they use swords, and not much else, ma’am,” the Admiral responded. “To attain any more information without military action is an impossibility. As of three days ago, we have lost all communication with any facility, organization, or individual within the
.” provinceof Faron
“The course, then, is clear,” General Silverstone said. “We’ll take an army and hammer our way into Faron if we have to. We probably won’t have to, though. The enemy seems a lot more like bandits than an actual army. It took them so long to take over a completely unprotected region.”
“If they were bandits, why didn’t they attack the Goron mines? That’s where the money is,” Gernard asked, bringing up an excellent point. “No, they’re not unorganized, ruthless bandits looking to make a pretty penny. They are trying to take our bread basket and force us to negotiate if we don’t want to starve to death. They know that we can’t survive without Faron, not after last year’s famine. That is why we must strike them with our full military force and crush them before they can bring us to our knees from hunger!” The generals all agreed to this solution, as she thought they would, and each begged for her support.
“We cannot do so,” the Princess said. Within moments, the room transformed from a vegetable bazaar to a graveyard.
“Why ever not!” Silverstone exclaimed. The Princess immediately brought her blazing eyes to meet with his, and he shrunk back.
“The people are only now beginning to recover from two years of famine. If we are to declare war on these bandits, we must take funding from the famine recovery project. We can survive for a few more months without Faron, but we cannot survive even days without the famine recovery project! As men of the military, you should know that the people come first! We cannot abandon them, leave them starving at our doorsteps, while we foolishly engage in a fool’s war. To march into Faron without knowing circumstances, situations, or even who the enemy is would only be a foolish endeavor. We would be sending our youth to their graves by the hundreds, as well as starving the remaining society.”
“We cannot just leave things as they are,” the Admiral said. “We are at this moment forced to act. We cannot leave the people of Faron in the hands of the enemy.”
“I am aware of that, Admiral,” the Princess said. “It is because of this that I am now exercising the privilege of the royal family and declaring Hyrule in need of a hero. Please make arrangements for this transition and support the endeavor. I shall meet with you again once the operation is under way. Thank you gentlemen.”
Without waiting for their approval or hearing any complaints, the Princess left the four shocked generals in the war room and hurriedly made her way up to her own personal chamber. Her personal aid, Shaisel, followed her up the stairs. Silently stepping across the hallway, they made their way through secret passages and back halls to the top most level of the castle. There she motioned to a high level royal guard, who immediately opened the door leading to the royal chamber. Knowing that confidentiality was assured, the Princess began to dictate orders to her personal aid.
“Shaisel, make ready the hero’s tunic. Tell the sages to prepare the Hyrulian blade and shield. Choose a good handler, and make ready the scout’s tools. Also, contact the Queen of the Zoras and the Goron patriarch. We will need to meet as soon as possible.”
The Princess and her aid entered her personal chamber and Shaisel closed the door behind her.
“Princess, there is much you did not tell the Generals,” she said.
“You know what I fear,” the Princess said.
“It is what lies in Faron, is it not?” Shaisel said.
“Could they know about it? Does anyone but the few sages and the royal family know about it?”
“It is possible. Not everyone will forget everything. Some will always remember some.”
“If so, we must act with all possible haste,” the Princess said, her fingers playing across the back of her white glove. She sighed a long, hefty sigh, almost as if she knew what was about to unfold. “Some days I wish I wasn’t born Princess Zelda.”
He lay in the open field on his back, a reed stem held by his teeth, hands folded behind his head, one leg placed on the other, looking lazily at the open blue sky that stretched towards the horizon. Now that most of the refugees from Faron had headed off towards
Castle Town, the town of had become extremely quiet. For the first time since coming to the small farming based community, Link had realized how quiet farm life really was. He was usually so busy with his work- learning sword play, maintaining a farm with the Master and the pipsqueak, horseback riding, archery, practicing different stunts, and learning the sciences and history of Hyrule- that he hadn’t really had time to feel alone. But now, after all the hullabaloo of the refugees had passed on, he felt strangely alone. Of course, there was always Sophie, the little guy, and the Master, but it no longer felt fulfilling; it felt like four drops of water in a baron wasteland. Link sighed deeply- quite a way of beginning his week off. Zyrish
Becoming bored of the blue sky, Link looked to his right and found Sophie, the pipsqueak, and two of his friends playing with wooden swords near the three small shops of Zyrish. Spitting the reed out of his mouth, Link stood and walked to the four- even playing with children was better than absolute depression.
“Hey, it’s Link!” Poller, a chubby little boy, said, waving his sword in the air to greet Link. The pipsqueak apparently didn’t see Link- or just saw the drop in Poller’s guard an opportunity- and drove his wooden sword in Poller’s gut. The boy doubled over in pain, then flashed an angry look at the pipsqueak. With an awkward smile, the pipsqueak quickly apologized before a fight could break out. Finally he turned around and saw Link approaching them. His eyes shone with anticipation. Link sighed. Unfortunately, he probably had a plan to include Link in whatever they were playing.
“Link!” he shouted in excitement, as if he was the first to notice him. Rynath, the pipsqueak, was not one to hear things very well.
“Hey,” Link said, still a little sleepy. “What are you four playing?”
“We’re playing the old story!” Rynath said. Oh Goodness no, not that again.
“I’m a Goron,” Poller said proudly, showing off the mustard colored shirt given to him to fit the role.
His stomach makes him an even better fit, Link though.
“I’m a Zora,” the other friend, Pyler, Poller’s twin brother, said. If Poller was fat and ugly, Pyler was the young form of a prototypical pretty boy. Soft golden hair, large blue eyes, a slim frame, a well kempt and stylish look; Pyler knew exactly what he’d be when he grew up. To fit his forced role of a Zora, Pyler was outfitted with a blue outfit and branches painted white to simulate the Zora hair.
“I take it you’re Zelda,” Link said to Sophie. The young lady, not young enough to be a girl and not old enough to be a woman, blushed slightly.
“And he’s the Hero of Time,” she said, pointing at Rynath. The boy held his head high. He looked the role, too. He wore a green tunic, tight, white leggings, and had a leather strap around his waist for a belt. Rynath wore his wooden sword on his back, and used a large, circular wooden piece as a shield. He even shaped a piece of green paper like a cone and wore it on his head. Link smiled softly. It must have been nice to be a child in this time to turmoil. Still, though, there was something missing.
“Wait here,” Link said. Pulling out a knife from his belt, Link cut a good size branch from a nearby tree, and then cut a circular piece a bit thicker than the hilt of his knife. Using quick and precise motions, he carved a large triangle in the middle, and then a smaller, upside triangle in the larger one. Re-sheathing his knife, Link returned to the children.
“Here,” he said, giving the makeshift Tri-force symbol to Rynath. “Put it somewhere and it’ll protect you.” The child looked at it as if he was given a hidden treasure and told to protect it with his life. He thanked Link and eagerly put it in his pocket.
“Hey Link, you’re the Gerudo King,” the pipsqueak said.
“What?” Link said, a little bit surprised. “Why me?”
“Because!” the child said, his hands held up as if he was making an obvious point. “You’re bigger and you’re old.”
“I’m not old!” Link exclaimed.
“Are too!” the children said together.
“I’m nineteen!” Link said, trying hard to argue with logic, and failing miserably.
“Yeah! That’s old.” Rynath said.
“Maybe to a seven year old,” Link said to Sophie. She laughed a soft, feminine laugh, one that made Link a bit more prepared to take on the role of “evil bad
“And you like black,” Rynath said. That drove the point home. Even then Link was wearing a white tunic with black pants. Most all of his outfits had something with black in them. Realizing that there was no way he would win the argument, Link reluctantly agreed, and the game began.
First, the Hero of Time found his sword in a game of treasure hunting, and then proceeded to, for no real reason; beat the friendly Goron upside the head with it. In the mean time, the Gerudo King kidnapped Princess Zelda, who screamed and hollered for the Hero of Time. This, too, was done for no other reason than to completely and absolutely defile ancient legends. The Hero of Time held the Zora responsible, and before the little Zora could escape, the Hero of Time decided to burn him on a stake. What better way to deal with Zoras than to burn them, right? After much argument and quarrel, the idea to burn the Zora was abandoned, and the Hero of Time instead let him live. To twist the legend even more, the young Hero took his newly befriended- or so he presumed, because, logically, you always befriend the man who tries to kill you, right?- Zora and Goron tribes, and attacked the evil Gerudo King. Before Link could even correct Rynath’s historical inaccuracies, the young boy pounced on Link with his wooden sword. Somewhere along the arduous preparations, Link was forgotten to be given a sword, and the Gerudo King, completely unarmed, realized this a bit too late. This resulted in a screaming Hero of Time chasing a helpless Gerudo King around the small farming village. In the end, the Gerudo King was slain (at least in pretend), and the Princess Zelda was saved. After almost a fourth of the light hours were wasted in defiling history, the twins, Poller and Pyler, took off their costumes and returned to their parents.
“Did you feel that?” Link asked Sophie as she watched the children run home to their parents. Seeing that certain sparkle in Link’s eye, a well trained Rynath went off to frolic in the fields.
“Feel what?” Sophie asked.
“I think the Hero of Time just rolled over in his grave,” Link said. Sophie softly punched him on his shoulder as she passed by him and sat in the shade of an old, tall tree.
“Admit it,” she said. “You enjoyed it.”
Link smiled as he sat next to her- not too close, and yet not too far. To lie was not an option for him, and yet, neither was admitting he enjoyed it. For a swordsman, reputation was everything. Instead, he silently leaned his head back against the trunk of the old tree and closed his eyes. In the darkness he felt Sophie rest her head on his shoulder. The two sat together until the light in dampened and the twilight drew near, talking with closed eyes about every subject imaginable. She talked about her new recipes, what she wanted to name her children, and how much she couldn’t wait until he received his license. He talked about having children, raising them to be strong warriors, and wanting a daughter to dress up in pretty clothes and give piggyback rides. He adored girls, and she thought boys were the epitome of adorability. Finally, he let loose a long, painful sigh, one which alerted her to what he felt.
“What’s wrong?” she asked, her concerned eyes looking up at her fiancé.
“I don’t know, Sophie. I’ve never felt like this before,” he said, refusing to meet her eyes with his own.
“What do you mean?” she asked.
“I’ve never felt so,” he paused, waiting to find a word to express his feeling. “Lonely,” he finally said.
“Things have gotten eerily quite now that the refugees have moved on. New people would always come up from the villages of Faron on their way to
, so I guess that does make it a little quieter than usual around here. Things have gotten pretty bad down in Faron, haven’t they?” Sophie paused. Her lower lip slowly disappeared under teeth. She looked down, almost as if to hide from his eyes. Feeling her anxiety, Link put his arm around her. Castle Town
“What’s wrong?” he in turn asked.
“If there’s a war,” she finally said, meeting his worried eyes with her tearful ones. “If there’s a war, you’ll have to go away, right?”
He paused for a moment, thinking how best to respond, and then said, “If you don’t get home in time to help your mother with dinner, she’ll be really upset.” Link sat up straight, gently pushing her head and arms aside. He didn’t want to get into an argument with her, not now.
“But Link-” she started.
“Come on, she’s probably worried about you,” he said softly.
“Link…” she sniffed as he stood up and walked away.
“I’m sorry,” he mumbled into the wind, a phrase she wasn’t sure if she heard or not, and then disappeared into the setting sun. She stifled further tears and returned to her home, not knowing how to deal with his response or his attitude.
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