"Oh, oh, I knew that would happen!" Zelda cried. They had somehow been able to get Maarei in, luckily. But now what? They laid her down on a bed. Her already ready porcelin complexion was now a sickly sheet white. Zelda felt for a pulse...the skin was cold.
But she could feel it, very faintly. Maarei had lost a lot of blood. She was lying very still, barely breathing.
"Go get Impa," Zelda told Link. "Hurry." After Link left, Zelda started pulling out the arrow. It was deep, and had evidently been shot from a close range. When it was out, Maarei's eyes fluttered open for a moment.
"Zelda?" she said quietly. "Where am I? Did we win?"
"You're back at the castle and we're not done fighting. You got shot down. But you're going to be fine now."
"I'm freezing," Maarei said, shivering. "Why is it so cold?"
"You're just sick, from whatever was on that arrow." In her dream, the arrow's posion had been blue. She would have to investigate on.
"Oh," Maarei replied weakly, then fainted again.
"I'm here," Impa called.
"Come in, and hurry, Maarei's been shot with some kind of poison, I don't know what."
"Well, give me the arrow and I'll--" Impa began, but was cut off by a loud banging sound. The castle shook a little.
"Oh, no," Zelda said aloud in horror. "The shield, I left it unattended..." Ganondorf or someone else was trying to break in, had snuck in. But how? She didn't have time to think, she was just running.
As soon as she got back behind it, she lifted her hands and sent out more fortification. The glittering wall wavered, and became more solid. Bang. Bang. Bang. What was that? Zelda ran around the edge of the shield, scanning the interior of the castle with her eyes. She could see no one suspicious. As she neared the courtyard, though, she saw something flying towards the top of the shield. The shield had ceiling, Zelda had made sure of that.
It looked like a bird, flying agianst it. Zelda squinted at it. Every time the bird flew near it, bolts of red energy were emitted from it. She walked closer to it, puzzled. As she neared it, it felt her looking at it, and turned to face her.
The bird had red eyes, glowing like hot coals, burning into hers. Zelda gasped and took as step back. The bird was a raven, black as midnight, a bird of death. With strange red eyes.
It us an evil bird, Zelda thought. She breifly stepped outside of the shield, so she could work magic to make it go away. But before she had a chance to cast a spell, it flew away by itself. She caught sight of a jewel, on the back of it's head.
Ganondorf returned quickly, to his base camp, and morphed back to his human form. That shield was fairly strong, but it could come down. He was testing it, to see how well it stood to moderatlely good caliber magic. With his new found powers, he could go anywhere, do anything, it was almost too easy. He smiled to himself. I had it in me all along, he thought.
He's known Link would leave the forest after Ganondorf left him there, so Ganondorf had let him. What could Link do now anyway? Ganondorf was so powerful he could have crushed Link right then and there, rather than let him live. But, no, Ganondorf liked war.
He was thinking hard about this battle. Now that he had discovered his hidden power and how to control it, perhaps he wouldn't need the Hyrulian Throne. Not yet. Before that he would get the Cyreenian Throne. He had many Cyreenian pirates on his side, so that would be easy. He could control a lot from the Melanthian Throne, also. It was good, Melanthos being so wealthy a country. but all those Houses, joining up with the Hyrulians...they couldn't stay in Hyrule forever. They had to come back sometime. And when they did, he would make them pay...
Maarei, Link, and Zelda...Ganondorf thought, frowning. They shall pay too. But first things first. I have to find Saria, weakling as she is, and kill her also. The seven sages won't be able to unite. Maybe I should kill them too. Then I will have no enemies, and the World, the rest of the Triforce shall be mine! I'll need to "surrender" for now, and carry out my new plans.
He glanced at the Triforce of Power, which he always kept with him. It had switched hands, for so many years...now it was finally his to behold. Thinking of his plans, he grinned, slow and cold. Oh, there is so much to do, and so little time...
* * * *
"Wh-what?" Zelda stared at the messanger, incredulous.
"It's true, Princess, Ganondorf has surrendered."
"But, that was only one day!" She glanced out the window, and saw the sun, begining to set. "That's not right. He's tricking us, he wants something from us. He won't get it," she said defiantly.
"As you say, highness," the messanger replied, leaving.
Zelda rested her head on her hand, looking out the window. The setting sun turned the sky crimson. Like Ganondorf's eyes. She decided to take that only as an omen.
Someone knocked on her door.
"Who is it?"
"It's me," she heard Link say.
"Oh, come in." The door swung open.
"We won," he replied, but was not smiling.
"Or so it seems," Zelda said dryly.
"That's what everyone's been thinking. We were a little confused, seeing the white flags and all."
"It's a trick."
"I'm suspecting too. Shortest war I've ever heard of," he commented.
"Better, I guess. We'd better go tell her the news."
Maarei opened her eyes and looked around groggily. It took her a moment to remember where she was. Her shoulder was hurting terribly, and she was still cold. She wondered how the battle was going. If they won, there was still hope for her country, because the fight to get it back would be two against one.
The door opened, and in walked Zelda and Link.
"Oh, you're awake," Zelda said. Maarei nodded weakly, but it hurt her shoulder too much to nod. She winced and tried not to think about it.
"How are we doing out there?" she asked.
"We won," Link said. Maarei sighed with relief.
"But don't get your hopes up," Zelda added quickly. "That battle was too short, for such strong armies. It only lasted a day."
"Was it just a day? Sorry, There's no way to tell time in here," Maarei told them. "But your right, it could be a trick. This thing is far from over."
"Oh, about that arrow," Zelda began. "We couldn't identify it. What ever it was is gone now, it looks like, but I'll try to examine it over later."
"Thanks," Maarei said. She hated being helpless, sitting in a bed while everyone else was up and doing something. It wasn't that she liked battle, but at least she could do something to help.
"If we won that battle, what now?" Link asked. They were all thinking it.
"So many things..." Zelda said. "I'm certainly not going to losen the defenses on Hyrule Castle...we have to find Saria, and kill Ganondorf,"
"And get back my Throne," added Maarei.
"That goes along with killing Ganondorf," Zelda said.
"Not nesicarily," Maarei pointed out. "First we have to figure him out..." She tried to sit up a little more, to feel stronger, but she dizziness swept over her and had to lay back down.
"Are you okay?" Link asked.
"Yes...just tired...and sick." If only they knew what was on that arrow!
"This battle does not solve anything." Zelda frowned. "All we know now is that Ganondorf is up to something again. There's no telling where this will lead."
"We'll be able to beat him," Link said with finality.
"So we hope," Maarei replied. "So we pray."
They stared at her.
"Where did you get that from?" Link asked.
"I don't know," she said. "I think I read it somewhere."
"Well, we'll leave you now, Maarei," Zelda concluded.
"Yes," Maarei said absently, feeling herself grow sleepy. They left, and soon after, Impa came in.
"Would you like anything, Queen Maarei?" she asked.
"No, no thank you," Maarei said. "I'll just go to sleep." Queen Maarei? she thought. I like that, she thought, smiling faintly. But I'm practicly in exile. Soon I must go back and claim what is rightfully mine...I need a plan...will I be able to do this? Will we be able to overcome this?
So we hope. So we pray.
Coming soon... Book 2, The Crown!
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