Tarnished Silver

by Kurai Hitokiri

Disclaimer: I do not own the Legend of Zelda, Nintendo, or any of these characters.

Author's Notes: Hello everyone *Bows* my name is Kurai Hitokiri, teller of tales. To those of whom I am already familiar, perhaps you were puzzled by my year or two long absence. As for that, much has happened since I last penned a story upon paper. Life has changed so much for me: friends have become strangers, strangers have become friends… But still, I have come to finish my writing here. So without further ado, please enjoy this story and review, as I would love to know opinions.



For many years, Hylians pondered the significance of the tarnished silver band that held its place upon the ring finger of their virgin queen, the venerable Zelda.

Since the day of her coronation, it lay upon that alabaster digit, coveting the sacred flesh beneath its icy surface. And though the once brilliant shine had faded since those decades gone by, still it remained upon the Goddess-like hand, seemingly an essential material.

Rumors circulated through the dust-swept streets.

'It was a prize from the time of Ganondorf'

'The Queen had a secret lover who had naught a penny to give but that ring.'

'Her Highness wished to show her allegiance to the people with simple items adorning her immortal self.'

Though none could guess the true significance that the silver wrought little spiral held upon the Queen.

That once, long ago, the tarnished circle had been bright ore with no purpose. That it had been dug from the earth with bare, bleeding, desperate callused fingers of a young man.

That silver ore had been polished to perfection and carried many miles, through many trials, for it to arrive at the burning forges of the Goron smiths lurking high above the land.

The ore had been melted and recalled to serve its new purpose. Gleaming as cobalt blue eyes smiled upon it and all it represented.

The Hylians had no idea that at one time, that young bit of metal had been carried to Her Majesty when she was merely a young woman and presented to her.

And though the piece of silver was among the simplest creations in existence, it brought her greater joy than any dazzling, gaudy jewelry had ever brought the young woman.

Simply because the band was wrought with love and promise.

The promise to spend eternity in each other's arms.

The promise of a clichéd happy ending.

And for many days, the lovers were happy. They spent countless days together, stricken with the endless blindness that settles so easily upon those inflicted with the infirmity.

For love is a poison, so potent that it robs the senses and takes away the wariness that we all covet so much.

From her, he stole the unyielding, stony gaze that had stared down so many lesser men. He made the cold, marble features warm and smile instead of the cutting glares so heavily chiseled into memory. He made the icy violet orbs that lay set in Goddess-carved features warm and melt into vibrant suns.

From him, she stole his strength and hardness of heart. Leeched at his cautioned attitude and made him soft in the face of his enemies.

Something for which they would both pay.

With his life.

For the moment he was sent from her, out of her sight and into danger's face, 'twas clear he was not as he once was.

His skills, though sharp, were dulled by the blunt edge of love's sword. For with every person he slaughtered, he saw himself.

He saw a young man as an attentive lover rather a scoundrel with an agenda. He saw each young child as his own, with the tender violet eyes of his lover and his own strong stance. Within each woman, he saw Her Highness, rosy lips parted for another much coveted kiss.

And so, for his hesitation 'gainst a desperate young foe, he was rewarded with death.

And with that bitter abyss, so did the thief return the qualities he had stolen from the Queen.

Once more she faded into the stone from whence she came. Cold, hard-hearted, and indifferent toward those about her. No more the carefree maid that her lover had liberated with his tanned, muscled arms and gentle embrace.

Only the silver band upon her finger remained as mockingly brilliant as the day her lover had bequeathed it to her.

And so the years passed, the Queen's fine, golden locks fading to silver. The unmarred complexion of youth tainted by blemishes and unsightly wrinkles.

Brilliant silver to tarnished decay.

One day, many years after the prime of her life, the Queen sat within her study, staring at the tarnished band upon her gnarled digit.

To her came visions of all that had happened within her story; every kiss, embrace… every cherished moment spent with one man.

And when she looked up, there he stood before her, on his knees, smiling grandly.

He could not be real. He had been dead for decades…

Yet here he was, shaggily cut gold hair framing ruggedly chiseled features. A deep forest green tunic and crème pants adorning a tanned, muscular body. And his eyes, the glorious, searching cobalt blue cut as deeply into her soul as the day she had last seen him.

"Zelda," he whispered, kissing her wrinkled cheek. "My Love, 'tis time for us to go home."

"Home?" the old Queen questioned, looking inquisitively at her lover.

"Yes," the deep baritone echoed. "Come with me, everyone is waiting."

The moment she took his hand, she felt weightless for a mere moment before she stood next to him, transformed.

No longer was she old, but as young as the day she had met him. Silvery gray had transfigured to flowing, golden locks that cascaded down a lithe, trim figure clad in the purest white. Loose, blemished skin pulled tight over dazzling, porcelain features as wise, knowing violet eyes gleamed. A grin lay splayed upon her rosy lips as she looked upon him, grasping his hand.

For a moment her lover stood, admiring her beauty before his eyes fell upon the bright, silver ring that still occupied her finger from that day so many years ago.

He smiled, bringing her dainty hand to his lips and gracing the cool metal with warmth.

"Shall we venture forth, my Lady?" he said, pointing forth at the light that beckoned them at the far end of the study.

"As we always have, my Love," she answered evenly.

And so they disappeared as they stepped forth into that endless light, leaving behind the tired remains of the once living Queen.

The next morning, the attendants found their ruler, huddled near the fireplace, wrapped in a silken quilt, fingers poised to turn the page in a book resting upon her lap.

Upon Her Highness' face was a soft smile of utter peace, the like of which they hadn't seen for many years.

The tarnished, silver ring which had rested for so many years upon her finger, had become as glorious as the day it had been brought forth from the womb of the forge.

Bright with the incandescent glow of one loved once more.


Author's Notes: Ah, and so the end of the story. I hope you enjoyed this, and I thank you sincerely for reading. I will be updating my story The Courtship of Princess Zelda as soon as I have the opportunity. Please review!

Note: Don't forget to read and review more of Kurai Hitokiri's excellent writing and artwork over at Fanfiction.Net.

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