Balance of Power

by Justin Caynon


      The rich kingdom of Hyrule lay nestled between the ocean and the land where the large city of Midgar had once stood. It was destroyed by something mystical or science related, it was always hard to tell. Hyrule didn't implore the same rules that the rest of the peoples of the world did.

Whereas technology ran wild and over took humans, the Hylian people and the humans within their boundaries stuck close to practices of magic and their origins. This meant that the people from outside Hyrule never mixed with the ones inside, all of this was about to change.

Malon's shimmering red hair swayed from side to side as she walked up the winding stairs of Castle Hyrule. Soft beams of light filtered down from the large chandelier at the top of the castle's winding stairs. Her mind was swimming with questions, it was not a happy time in Hyrule, because there was the impending threat of war on the horizon.

For once this war was no to be with Ganon, another kingdom to the East, Grentilda, wanted to own the lands that the Zora and their river occupied, the Hylian people did not wish to lose that land and their treaty with the Zora. If the Grentildians moved their soldiers in to occupy the land there would have to be a war.

She worried about how far this war would go and how long it would rage on, there hadn't been a real war against someone who was not working in Ganon's interest in over ten years.

She sighed as she passed one of the windows in the tower, she could see out almost to where Lon Lon Ranch was. It was a long way out but the castle's tower was so massive and tall that you could see nearly to the Gruedo land. She couldn't see how someone could want to steal land that did not rightfully belong to them.

In her mind there was always enough of everything for everyone, but she knew that wasn't just the way things worked, there were people in dire need of things that they could not acquire.

But more than anything she worried about the love of her life, the only one that she had ever really known, Link. He was the highest ranking soldier in the Hylian Army and would have to be out there to the lead the others and show them that there was a chance of winning this.

Malon wanted so badly for there to be some other way to go about things, but that didn't seem like and option now. All around her there were signs of the impending war. Earlier that day she had seen a catapult out in the courtyard being field tested by taking shots at the unoccupied sections of the Death Mountain Range.

Her dress was catching on her shoes slightly, Malon tugged at it to get it away. The new style of dress that she was wearing was hard for her to get used to, she had been so used to her old dress that she used to wear at the ranch so much that this fancy thing was getting in her way.

The new dress was light blue, the bottom was frilly with a lace design. The dress didn't have shoulders and stopped just above her bust. She kept her red hair the same way it had always been. Her bangs hung down on the sides of her forehead and her hair was flowing right down her back.

A voice from somewhere upstairs called down to her as she continued to walk, "Malon," came the voice, "Where are you going?"

Malon didn't answer at first, she seemed to be in a daze, as she passed every window she would look out and try to see if she could spot Link and Epona coming over the horizon. There was no sign of either of them and she was beginning to get really worried. Link had gone out yesterday morning to find out if he could see how far the enemy had advanced.

It was obvious that the first thing that could have happened to him would be that the other army could have captured him. Link's name was very well known, the one who defeated Ganondorf. She worried about the things that they might do to Link. She couldn't help but worry, it was the man she loved.

Since she had first met him when he came into the ranch exhausted and scared she knew that he was someone special. She remembered some of the first words said to her: "Wow, you're hair is red…its so beautiful."

Back then all she could do was blush, the two of them were only ten years old, they hadn't been able to undergo those changes yet. But now she was a full grown woman, and she had feelings that were fully grown. She knew what she wanted. Her dreams of a knight in shining armor on a white horse had been replaced by dreams of a house full of children and a loving husband that cared for her.

Wasn't that what every woman wanted, a family of her own to watch over and raise.

The only problem was she'd have to get Link to settle down for this dream to come true. Link had never even kissed a woman before, it just wasn't one the things on his mind.

Malon had made her decision, she was going to change his mind. When he arrived back at the castle she was going to go out to meet him and kiss him right on the lips. Her chest ached with the feeling that this was the right thing to do.

Then she remembered that someone had called her and wondered how long she had been standing there without answering. Then she simply said, "What did you say?" she asked back up the stairs.

The person who had called her was Lady Aurora, Malon and Aurora really didn't get along all that well, but they put up with each other. Aurora smiled as she approached Malon's spot on the stairs.

"I asked you where you were headed, you must be out of it," said Aurora.

Malon slowed down some, "I was trying to find out if anyone had heard anything about Link," said Malon.

"I don't know why you worry about that boy so much, you're not like the rest of us, you don't even really belong here," said Aurora. "You're nothing more than a stable girl."

Malon had learned to let the insults roll off her back whenever they were flung at her. She was starting to grow up she could tell, "This stable girl has to go tend to the children downstairs in the manor…" she said calmly.

Aurora called after her as she walked away, "Just remember he'll never see you as anything more than a friend!"

The words stung at Malon's very soul, she wanted to believe that Link loved her somewhere deep down inside. But he seemed just as content to roam the countryside in search of adventure.

The steaming pile of rubble that had once been Midgar seemed surreal even a day after the fact. Metal beams and bits of building material were clumped up together, but some of the city had escaped almost untouched, which meant that the city could be built back.

The rains had come again in the over night hours. Soaking down into the cracked upper plate of the city and falling all the way to the ground far, far below. It was a kind of cleansing effect, like new life was about to spring out of the destruction that had rained down the previous day.

People were all around helping others to get out of the wreckage as the sun rose over the mountains to the back of Midgar. It was a sign of better times and more than just oppression for the people of the world.

Miles and miles into the debris where the Shin-Ra building had tilted over, there stood three figures ominously picking at the scrap metal that was left by the explosion. One of them stepped out of the smoke and stood in the golden light of the sun looking out across the fallen city, his spiked red hair was drooping down to the sides some. He had a long thin ponytail in the back, but it was singed at the end. He wore a tattered and torn blue jacket.

He looked back at a tall Hispanic man and a blonde woman dressed much the same as him as they stepped into the light, with a smug tone he snuffed, "Well would you look at this shit, all that money they put into building it and it falls over like a damn card house!"

The other man, who was tall with tan skin and a goatee just nodded back at the red head.

The woman answered him, "Reno, we have to go over this logically—there's got to be something that weakened the city before all of this happened, after all this is an old, old city and with age everything…"

"Elena—shut up!" Reno yelled, "You talk too much, love!" he stepped a little further from the Shin-Ra building, "Look at us now!"

There was a pause.

"I'm all cut up, my suits torn—the Shin-Ra are gone—we might as well spend our days drinking our asses off in some bar…" Reno said then looked to the tall bald man. "What do you think Rude?"

The tall bald man responded, "I think we should get the hell off this pile of junk," he kicked a small cylinder shaped metal piece and sent it skipping down the debris pile like a stone across water.

Reno nodded, "I think so too, President Shin-Ra and Rufus were fools to think that they could crush a planet this size."

Elena folded her arms, "Where's the nearest bar?" she asked.

"I think there might be one in Kalm—if there isn't there damn well should be; let's head over there…"

There was a crisp sound like something breaking behind them and they froze at the sound of a smooth, most familiar voice, "So I'm a fool, am I?" said the voice.

Reno started to laugh and turned around to see a man standing on the very edge of the upturned Shin-Ra building holding a long double barreled shotgun and staring right down at them. He was clothed in a white jacket with a white riding coat under it buttoned up. His hair was a red almost orange color and he had bangs that hung off slightly to the side.

He was very cut up and looked to have been through hell and back. His skin was covered with soot and dirt, as were his clothes. Slowly and painstakingly he stepped down from the side of the building, "It's over…"

Reno's laugh trailed off into an echo, "I can't believe you survived that thing's assault on the building." A large black dog stepped up next to the man in the white clothes, "And you brought him out with you."

The red headed man lowered his gun and looked out across the city that had once been so magnificent, then just turned away with a hint of emotion in his eyes now, rubbing the dog on the top the head.

"What'd you mean it's over, Rufus sir?" Elena asked.

He looked down at her, "I mean that this is the end of what Shin-Ra used to be—we stop trying to fight nature and use it to our advantage!" he said.

Reno looked back up at him, "Huh what'd you mean?"

Rufus shook his head slowly, "We will rebuild Midgar using water, wind and sunlight to power it—and we'll still get our money—how does that sound boys?"

"What do ya think happened to Sephiroth there mate?" asked Reno.

Rufus came over to join them, "I'm sure Cloud exterminated him—he was the stronger of the two."

Elena nodded, "That Cloud fellow ain't so bad—he helped to rescue me from some perverted piece of shit in Wutai."

"Hmm," started Rufus, "None of that matters now—we've got money to rebuild this city—but we need workers to do the job…"

Rude folded his arms, "There's plenty of workers here who would love to see their home rebuilt…"

There was a slight wind that blew across all of them as Rufus looked up at the sky, "From hence forth there shall be a new era in Shin-Ra Electric and Power, we'll expand our way all the way to edges of the world—even through Hyrule!"

Link pulled back on the reigns of the horse and Epona lifted up into the air on her hind legs. With his gloved hand Link slowly stroked the horse's neck lightly to calm her down, "Easy there girl, you've had a hard few days, now haven't you?" he asked his trusty horse.

Just as she settled he climbed down off her back with a sigh and looked around. The area was all too familiar, he had left here over ten years ago but if felt just like it had been yesterday. It was the Kokiri Forest that surrounded the Lost Woods.

He glanced up and down at the towering old trees that marked the path into the woods. It had been so long since he had come here, he didn't see any reason to come back since the Kokiri were not very welcoming to outsiders. But this time he had gotten a special invite from an old friend.

Saria had sent the request to Link using her fairy, the fairy on the other hand had not stayed with Link. She just decided to head back and tell Saria that Link was on the way. He didn't even get any details about what Saria wanted, he just knew she said it was urgent.

Link entered the forest slowly, he knew that he could run into someone who was trying to guard the entrance. It was still against the rules to leave the forest. Some of the children even believed that they would die if they did.

The shady moist ground of the forest was covered in leaves that crunched under his feet as he walked. He watched what was occurring to either side of him, things seemed pretty peaceful and the forest seemed to go on forever. He decided that he knew where Saria would be, near the forest temple in the Lost Woods.

To save himself further trouble he would just play the song on his Ocarina. He held the instrument to his lips and played slowly fingering the notes carefully to make sure that he got them all right.

Suddenly bright green balls of light appeared revolving around him, they started to dance suddenly and moved faster around him and then he was encased in light. When the light vanished he was standing on the seal of the forest temple.

He was facing towards the path that lead back into the Lost Woods, before he could turn around to face the temple entrance a voice that sounded like a grown female came to him. The voice had a melodious tone to it and sounded oddly familiar.

"This is what I always dreamed of Link, since the day we found out what you really were," came the voice.

Link turned to face the temple to see a girl standing there in front of him, her hair was long and greenish blonde. She had a long shimmering green dress on that seemed like something royalty would wear. A slight smile was on her face, "Link, you don't even recognize me in this body…"

His eyes went wide with shock as he realized that he was looking at Saria, the Sage of the Forest. "How did this happen?" asked Link.

"I'm not even sure myself, I woke up this way a few days ago and I've been waiting to see if you can shuttle me back to Hyrule Castle for an audience with the King," said Saria.

Link couldn't help but stare at her now, she was so graceful and gorgeous and something welled up inside of him. He didn't know why it chose to come over him now, standing there looking at the maturely developed Saria that he never dreamed he would get to know.

"I'm sure I can get you there, but I don't know what we can do, we have so much on our hands right now, like this threat of war…"

"Lexi told me that you were off checking on the position of some soldiers," said Saria, Lexi was her fairy.

Link walked over and took Saria's hand and led her over to where he stood, "Hold on, I'll use the Ocarina to get us back to the castle."

"No need, I still have my Sage magic, we can go anywhere you want…" said Saria.

Link thought for a moment, "What do you say to a horse ride, we can warp back to Epona and ride in from there," Link suggested.

"I'd like that a lot," Saria said.

Link took her hand and helped her to mount the horse, he wasn't sure that she had ever even seen a horse in her life. She scooted back to give Link some room to sit down. Epona didn't seem to like the way that she moved. The horse let out a grumble and backed up some. Link steadied her, "Whoa girl, calm down Saria won't hurt you," he rubbed the side of the horse's reddish brown hair.

Quickly he mounted the horse taking the reigns in his hands. He straightened himself on the horse where he sat in front of Saria, she slipped her hands under between his arms and his torso. She let her fingers spread out across his muscular stomach.

"How long will it take us to get back to Hyrule Castle?" asked Saria.

Link brought his hand back and went to pull at his belt some, he touched Saria's hand lightly and ran his fingers back down her arm, then as if something shouted to him he pulled his hand away and grabbed hold of the reigns, "Hang on," he told her nervously.

She nodded slightly and Link gave Epona a swift jolt, she sprinted off towards the castle at top speed. Link was running her as hard as he could, the horse didn't seem to be tiring at all and he wanted to be back at the palace before nightfall.

It was dangerous in Hyrule Field at night.

The door closed behind Malon as she stepped into her room, she couldn't have been anymore tired of being ignored by the inhabitants of the castle. Every since her father had died a year ago she had counted on Link for support. She handed the ranch over to Ingo and left.

When Link was away, she felt this coldness inside of her. It felt like the very center of her heart was missing and there was nothing but ice water in her veins. With no one there to talk to she was becoming the target of many jokes. All of those jokes aimed and carried out by Aurora.

Just before she had come back to her room Aurora had waited until Malon was out in the field and instructed all of the children to throw chunks of mud at her.

At that very moment her world had come crumbling down around her and she could feel her sub standard heart's position lowering. Needless to say she retreated to Zelda's private courtyard to shed her tears behind closed doors.

But the only thing that made her believe that it would all work out was what happened last night while she was sleeping. In some way or form her thoughts formulated themselves into a glorious dream where Link took her to heaven and did unmentionable things to her.

Needless to say that discussing things of that manner were below someone with the Lady status such as herself and were reserved for those such as harlots and whores. But she could not help but remember how real all of it felt.

Her red hair was spread across the bed in a wild disarray and his arms gripped her waste tight as she straddled his loins. Their bodies clinging together separated only by sweat and passion, every little touch that he inflicted on her was a thousand times more pleasurable than she could have ever imagined before. Her body moved in ways that she could not control as Link ravaged her with merciless sex sparing no part of her from his devious assault.

When she awoke from her dream she was drenched in sweat and her face was almost a florid as her hair. One of the servants had been knocking at the door and when she answered it she was very careful not to open the door all the way, they must have thought that she had a man her room or was pleasuring herself.

That was exactly how so many rumors about her had started and the only people who didn't believe the rumors were the few that knew her well such as Lady Amie and Lady Meriel.

Not even her two good friends could have the parameters of that lustful dream relayed to them, she thought it best to keep it inside of her mind as she went about her daily routine. Anyone else she told might even see her in a whole new light, she could go from being the simple Stable Girl to a devious temptress. Besides, it wasn't like she held any control over her dreams.

These days it seemed that she had control over very little, especially her heart. It was as if her heart was a piece of drift wood on Link's sea, and he just tossed her either which way. Sometimes he would compliment her, or just give her a hardy hug and it seemed like she was immersed in him for those few moments.

Other times he would wander off into the fields riding Epona and look for adventures to take on and just explore. And it seemed to her at those times that she was nothing more than one of the many pieces of drift wood that Link had to tend to and control in his life, as if she was so minuscule to him.

There was a knock at the door and Malon rose from the side of her bed and looked around the room. It was getting to be late and shadows were gathering. She moved to the door and just before she got there she realized that there was a tear on the edge of her cheek.

She wiped it away quickly and sniffled as a voice called out to her, "Malon, it's me, Zelda…" there was a short pause, "Amie said she saw you headed up this way."

"I'm in here," Malon replied. Zelda was another person in the castle who Malon could trust. Zelda seemed to trust anyone that Link trusted since the two of them were bound by the power of the Triforce that resided with in him.

Zelda opened the door of the room slowly to see Malon sitting there on the edge of her bed just kind of staring down at her lap. She didn't want to face Zelda right now. For that matter she didn't want to face anyone right now, all of this felt like it couldn't turn out for the better no matter what happened. Malon moved over on the bed some, "Hello Zelda," said Malon in an unmistakably monotone voice.

Zelda looked around, "Malon I heard about what happened earlier, are you feeling alright?"

"I don't belong here in this kind of environment," said Malon suddenly.

Zelda placed her hand on Malon's pale shoulder that was barely exposed above the light brown dress she wore, "You belong here just as much as anyone, those children look up to you Malon, and you're terrific with the animals…"

"I'm just a damn stable girl," Malon got up pushing Zelda's hand away, "I just catch hell from people about the fact that I'm not part of the Royal Family…"

"As far as I'm concerned, you are part of my family, just like Link is…" said Zelda.

Malon sighed at the sound of Link's name, "I miss him," she said after a second of just sitting there silently.

"I know you love Link…" said Zelda slowly and in a calm voice.

Malon looked up, her eyes wide with surprise, "You know and yet you don't care?" There was a pause, "But I thought you loved Link, too."

"I love Link…like he's my brother and nothing else," said Zelda in a reassuring tone. Malon listened intently, "I'm a Sage now, I don't know how everyone else feels, but I think that I shouldn't be allowed to pursue a relationship, it might distract me from my duty."

Malon sighed, "It must be hard to be a Sage, it sounds like it carries a lot of things with it…"

"Being the Hero of Time carries even more I'm sure, Link must have felt so along when he was doing all that he did for Hyrule, I don't know how I would feel to go to sleep and awake seven years later in a world that was shrouded in so much darkness ," Zelda said.

At the mentioning of that period in time Malon's mind shot back to the way things with her when she was under Ingo's jurisdiction. Ingo had been so cruel to her, he frequently would lash out at her. Sometimes even beat her with his fists or just something he had picked up.

Once, she remembered, Ganondorf came by to check the progress on his war horses, and because Malon had left some mud on the hooves of one of the horses Ingo whipped her. The lashes that had covered her back bled for the rest of that day and they hurt for a whole two and a half weeks.

When she didn't deliver the milk to Ganondorf fast enough, Ingo dunked her head into a trough of water repeatedly until she was gasping for air as water dripped from her white blouse.

To this day she had nightmares sometimes that left her tossing and turning in her bed. Her mind would wander in the middle of the day, those thoughts would come back to her head and haunt her while she was awake.

Zelda stood and folded her arms about her chest. Her blue eyes shimmered as she gazed down at Malon, "But one day I supposed I will take a husband," said Zelda.

"I would think you would want Link to wait for that day…" Malon mentioned.

"There was a time that I would have," started Zelda, "But that was young love I had for him when I was just a girl of ten years old," said Zelda.

Malon looked around for a second, "Zelda, can I ask you something personal?"

"Sure," Zelda answered.

"Do you ever think about your mother…or talk to her?" asked Malon.

Zelda looked down at her lap and sighed, "Of course, I talk to her in the Castle Garden and sometimes when I'm just alone in my room, why?"

"I talk to my mother too," said Malon, "I've talked to her about Link and about how much I love him…how I wish to have a family with him someday…I want to name my child after her too." Malon said.

Zelda smiled, "Everyone loved my mother, they tell me she was a gorgeous and proud Queen of Hyrule, I wish that she had left me with a brother or sister to call my own…someone I could share things with as if they were part of me."

"You have Link…he's like you brother, right Zelda," Malon said finally.

Zelda moved towards the door, "I know, you have Link too you know…" she said. "There's no one that has the place in his heart that you do," said Zelda.

"I suppose that you're right, but how do I talk to him about this?" asked Malon.

Opening the door slowly Zelda began to step out, "There's a dance that's coming up, when he sees you in what I'm going to get you, he will have no doubt about who he loves…"

Link slowed his horse as he saw something up ahead moving, Saria tightened her grasp around him, her large green eyes gazing over at him, "I'm scared Link."

"Don't be," Link said as he pushed her hands away and began to dismount his horse, "I'm just going to see what this is up ahead of us."

Saria clasped her hands, "Do be careful!" she shouted after him.

Link whipped the Master Sword free of its scabbard and twirled it as if it were a little play thing. He brought the hilt up in his hand and then slowed his pace, "Hey up there?" Link called out to who ever it was.

Out in the grass, not too far ahead of him was what looked like a little midget in a cloak, the person didn't come up to his knees. There was no answer from the person, and Link was beginning to suspect that there was something going on here.

As he got closer to the small thing he held his sword back some, "Hello there?"

The small thing sprung at him in a flash of blinding speed and Link dodged to one side trying to counter its attack with his sword. The creature landed off to the side of Link and began to feverously attack him, forcing Link to deflect the attacks. When the creature landed his blows this time he aimed his attack at Saria.

As quickly as he could, Link moved to stop him. He was able to catch the thing just as it reached Saria and knock it away, but not before it cut Saria across the chest with a small knife that had been concealed in the sleeve of its cloak. Her scream was a little late, the wound had already been made. The thing scampered away and Link ran to Saria's side.

He put his arms around her waist and lifted her off of Epona, slowly he lay her across the ground and lifted her head, "Come on, don't pass out on me now—if you don't stay up I can't ride you back to the castle."

Saria's head dropped to one side, she was out like a light, "If I have to carry her back we'll be in constant danger the whole way."

From behind him there was a loud sound like rushing wind, he didn't know what it was, but as he looked up there was a tremendous shadow descending down over him.

Back to Story Menu