Link knocked on the door and listened for footsteps, one hand on his sword's hilt. He heard someone coming and tensely waited. Slowly, the door opened. Just a crack. Through the crack Link saw the darkly tanned skin of a Gerudo. His mind jumped, and he moved forward to attack.
"Don't move," the girl said coldly. She had Maarei's accent, so he knew it couldn't be a Gerudo. The Amethysts have outlandish looks, he remembered Maarei say.
"I'm...sorry," he said. "I thought you were a Gerudo. I mean you no harm."
"Yeah right," she replied, not moving her bow and arrow from it's position. "Who are you?"
"I'm a Hylian. I came to help."
"Help?" She laughed bitterly. "No one can help us now. We've just been waiting for you to attack us. We know what he did to the Opals. And I don't believe you."
"About what? The part that I'm Hylian or the part that I've come to help?"
"I have proof. I would show you, but I think you'd shoot it."
"I won't." She lowered the bow. He called out Navi, who had went back to sleep. "You have the ears too...all right. You can come in, but I'm not putting away my bow."
When they came into the light, he saw more of what she looked like, and Maarei was right, it was very unusual. She had almost darker than Gerudo tan skin, and floating, pale blond hair. They came to a table and she motioned for him to sit down. She sat across from him.
"I'm Aetta Amethyst," she said. She had large, titled lilac eyes that were the weirdest Link had seen yet. "Now tell me your name and how you plan to help us."
"My name is Link, Hero of Time, and I bring a message." Her expression changed.
"Oh...I remember you. I think I've seen you in pictures before. So, what's your messege."
"It's from Maarei Beryllos. She's in Hyrule, at the castle."
"Really? I heard she was dead. Is King Phelan alive too?" she inquired. Link shook his head.
"The king is dead, killed by Ganondorf. Maarei got away. Now Ganondorf wants to take over Hyrule, and will be storming the castle soon. We need your help to fight him off."
"I think...there are some of us around who I can send to help. I'll alert the other Houses, and try to get someof the people to fight too."
"What happened to the Opals?" Link asked, knowing Zelda and Maarei would need to know.
"Well, they live just north of us, so we knew what happened before anyone else. Ganondorf hypnotized at least half of them, and know that half is with him. The other half is all right, as far as I know. They're a huge family. But we'll come; the south will be there."
"I can't believe the Opals have been split! They're some of the best fighters in Melanthos. Now, we'll be fighting them!" Maarei looked angry. "I know them. Now, since they're hypnotized, they'll probably die and they won't even care! I'll bet the other Opals won't fight them. Not their own kin."
Zelda sighed. "Let's all just go to sleep. We've been up for too long and we won't be thinking straight until we're rested. So I'm going to sleep, I don't know about you." She started walking back to the tower. She was so tired it hurt to walk. When she reached her bed, her eyelids closed almost atomacticlly, and sunk into a sweet peace, apart from all the horrors of reality.
Two days had passed and they knew Ganondorf would be arriving soon. Hyrule had been told of it's surrounding countries. Whether they belived it or not, no one could say. But who else would have demolished the forest like that in just a few hours? Link, Zelda and Maarei knew those who refused to believe it now would soon believe it when they saw so many troops of foriegn looking people marching through their land.
They feared it would be a real battle, from the way it was looking. They were waiting for the Melanthians to begin to come. Maarei was right however; the good Opals would not fight their own kin. It was the morning before then battle, and they were all preparing.
"What are we going to do about the magic he might use?" Link asked Zelda. "Not every person can use magic for defenses. You saw what he did to the forest."
"Yes." Zelda shivered. She had went with some others to help clean up the woods, and seen just how powerful his Ganondorf's magic had become. "But I think his instinct is to fight it out. He'll probably think that's fun. But I'll defend the castle and the remaining Triforce with my shield."
"Your shield?" Maarei repeated.
"Watch," Zelda drew a small box in the air with her hands. It glowed and shimmered blue.
"Shield," she commanded, making moving her hands in a circle. The box grew and until it surrounded the interior of the castle.
"Well, if we use a shield, what's the point of fighting?" Link asked.
"It's only a shield against magic. Anyone using magic or under the influence of magic can't go past it. But right now, we could walk right through it if we wanted."
"Really?" Maarei asked, eyeing the translucent wall.
"Sure," Zelda replied. "It won't hurt. You won't even feel it."
A messenger rushed up to them.
"The troops have are here, Princess," he told them.
"Which ones?" she asked wryly.
"The Melanthians, Princess."
"I'll be there in a minute," she told him, sending him away.
"Just like a party," Maarei mumbled. "The guests begin to arive."
Zelda was behind a window. A window facing out to the world. She felt like she was trapped, watching a battle helplessly from behind the bars of a cage. She wondered dimly where she was. From behind the window, you couldn't be sure of anything.
Why wasn't she out there? Why was she watching this happen without helping? Because she had to keep the window up. Up for those who couldn't stand to look out or be exposed to war. Up for those who needed a shelter. Up for those who needed a place to die.
Zelda suddenly realized where she was looking put upon. Hyrule Field. It was hard to tell, behind the window. The grass was stained red with the blood of those who had given up their lives in the stuggle. But she was safe, behind the window. She didn't know how she knew, but she did. Zelda was watching the scenes of death and war with a horrific fascination.
Why were they fighting? What was this all about? I know, I know, I must know. Otherwise why would I be here? Why am I here? A tiny part of her remembered, the part that was a sleeping princess inside a castle. But for now, she was somewhere else, almost touching the surface of the window. There was no ground beneath her feet. She was just there. She turned her attention back to the war.
Zelda saw them fall. They were falling everywhere, onto the blood stained ground she felt strangely attached to them all. Like she were every one them. But she stood, or rather floated there, behind her window, knowing she would never fall like that. Never have to have the knowledge that one second of misbalance could have your life snuffed out like a candle. No, she was safe, behind her window.
Then she saw someone she could recoginze right away, from behind the haze of the window. Maarei was riding toward her, ducking through the showers of arrows and the clash of swords. She looked anxious.
"Zelda!" she called out, over the roar of battle. "Zelda! I need to-" suddenly an arrow peirced her side. She was knocked from the saddle with an invisible force, and she landed at Zelda's feet.
Maarei! Zelda tried to gasp, but she couldn't talk. There was an invisible seal over her mouth. She tried to reach out to her, but there was a trench between the window and the battle field. She could only watch.
Maarei groaned and lifted her head, covered with the dirt and blood.
"Zelda," she gasped. Her side was strangely turning blue. The blue was mingled with the red of her blood until it turned a sickly violet. She was mumbling something softly, and Zelda strained to listen. "Zelda...please..." she whispered. "I..." She gasped again. Maarei's head bowed to the ground as she died.
Zelda stared in hate at the window that kept her in then at despair to her dying friend. She hurled herself toward it and the window broke, her fragile saftey broke, and she was falling, falling, falling...
Zelda awoke and sat up in her bed, breathing hard. She knew she had just had a nightmare but...she had forgoten what it was about. Death, she knew, but what about it? She sat there, trying so hard to remember. After a while, she sighed in frustration and gave up. Zelda knew she would remember it eventually. She'd just have to wait.
She gazed out the window and into the courtyard. Would the castle be standing at the end of the day? Who knew, who knew. It was around two hours before dawn, and a late autumn mist hung lightly in the air. So much depended on the day, the dawn. Everything depended on everything, and if just one thing broke, the battle would be lost and the kingdom would fall. In this innocence of dawn, though, there was peace.
Something about this stillness made her think of Maarei. She couldn't imagine what it would be like to be a queen, while a year younger than herself. Or what it would be like to flee from a castle taken from you. But, she thought, rocking back on her heels in bed. It could happen to me, today. It could. It could. Oh, sweet innocence of twilght, why can't you stay forever?
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