Disclaimer: I dont want to get in whatever trouble people can get into when using other peoples characters so - The Legend of Zelda, Link, Zelda, Ganon, Hyrule and other related characters and settings belong to to that wonderous console company, Nintendo. No infringement intended.
Paths of Deception
Juliet A. Singleton (Scullys@bigfoot.com) & Kirsty Singleton (email@example.com)
When Kaibre awoke, he found himself chained to a cold, craggy wall, in a room that was lit by only the flickering light of a half spent torch. He let out a small groan, hanging his head, and squeezing his eyes shut, trying to banish the ringing that filled his ears.
"Ah, so our guest finally awakes." Kaibre immediately opened his eyes and looked up, recognising the owner of that voice, a frown cutting across his forehead.
"Robert," he spat bitterly, glaring at his former comrade. He and Robert had briefly known each other in the court of Queen Seline of Catalia, and had shared many a disagreement over how things should be done, when it came to the protection of the Queen, and her country. When Kaibre had left, they had barely been on talking terms, and since they had met again their relationship had deteriorated to this, Kaibre now a hostage of Robert's.
"Yes, that is my name," retorted Robert, his voice equipped with a sarcastic edge. Kaibre merely continued glaring at him, full of malice.
"This is stupid, and I think you know it," continued Kaibre, ignoring Robert's facetious remark. Robert let out a chuckle at the sellsword's words.
"Stupid? Pray, my friend, what exactly are you referring to?" questioned Robert, his green eyes glittering as he paced to and fro before Kaibre. Kaibre cast his gaze aside, and let out a sigh, intolerant of such games.
"This. You keeping me captive here. By doing this, what exactly do you intend to gain?" asked Kaibre, impatient with his captors flippant gait. Robert ceased his pacing and stood before Kaibre, staring him right in the eye, so close Kaibre could feel his breath against his skin. He held the gaze of his captor, unblinking, refusing to back down.
"What do I expect to gain?" Robert surprisingly broke away, and began to pace. "I'm not entirely sure Kaibre. In fact, why do I keep you alive at all?" At this point the Catalian General paused once more, again giving his full attention to his captive. He stepped closer. "Why indeed?" Kaibre's frown deepened, and he tested the chains that held him, lunging out towards Robert with his full strength, his fists clenched, his expression determined. Robert stepped back neatly, chuckling once more at Kaibre's frustrations. He drew his sword, and held it again to Kaibre's throat, a pleased smile creeping across his face. The feeling was all too familiar for Kaibre, as he recalled Robert holding him in such a position shortly before, outside North Castle. A cold realisation snaked over him, as he remembered Robert's words, his advice on where exactly to locate Mara Hespara, the women he had been searching for in order to clear his own name. He had walked straight into Robert's trap, and that was why he was held here now, his life no longer his own, but in the possession of a man he hated and a women he despised.
"Kill me. Kill me now. But I swear to you Robert, it will serve you not," promised Kaibre, his voice hard, but he could still not hide his suspicion, or fear, that Robert would willingly carry out the challenge. Robert just smiled once more, and drew his sword away, replacing it back in its silver scabbard.
"Wait your turn. I have far more important people to get rid of first," assured Robert, before turning his back to Kaibre. Kaibre lunged away from the wall again, dust falling from the chains in the wall, but still they held strong. Robert did not turn, despite the rattling the chains made.
"You won't achieve anything Robert. Not this way." Robert just smirked to himself, still facing away from Kaibre.
"The great leaders of this world are barely remembered for their kindness and compassion Kaibre, they are remembered for their ambition, their ruthless ambition. No country that exists today is built on a foundation of peace, each and every one was built on a foundation of fighting, struggling, striving...and a desire for something better. That is what I desire for my country and my people, and I believe that I can make it happen." Kaibre shook his head in disgust.
"You do not understand your own ambitions. People will always want for something better, but most do not realise that what they have is already good enough," he murmured. Robert turned at this point, facing Kaibre. His face was etched with flickering shadows, his firm nose and cheek bones were accentuated in the darkness, and the clothes he wore, a forest green tunic, trimmed with gold made him seem all the more noble.
"Catalia has played its part in suffering, in strife, and in fighting. Now we have a right to claim, to have, something better," retorted Robert, clearly agitated by Kaibre's words.
"And at what price to others?" reacted Kaibre, his eyes burning straight into Robert's.
"Others have never thought of us in their success. They have reached out to us only in their failures, why should we give them the respect they have never given us?" exclaimed Robert, his voice tinged with anger. He marched up to Kaibre, looking down on him, before delivering a blow to Kaibre's stomach, making him want to double over, but being unable to do so. He let out a sharp breath, followed by a dry cough, his gaze plummeting to the ground.
"Robert!" called out a voice sharply from the darkness, and Kaibre dared a slow gaze upwards, just to see Mara stepping out from behind Robert. "I would like him alive, if that isn't too much to ask," she scolded sharply, and Robert just returned her request with a frown.
"He doesn't deserve to live," he muttered bitterly, casting a disdainful glance towards Kaibre. Mara walked up to Kaibre, laying her hands on his shoulders, looking at him, concerned.
"Are you okay?" she asked. Kaibre just gave her a confused glance, and spat on the floor at his feet.
"He's fine. Taken worse beatings, that's for certain," murmured Robert.
"Why are you keeping me here?" asked Kaibre, looking back to Mara. She smiled.
"The princess has an obvious soft spot for you, and we may be needing a bargaining token," she said sweetly.
"Bargaining token for what?" asked Kaibre, letting out another cough. Mara smiled.
"Now that would be telling, wouldn't it?" she answered, leaving him and turning her attentions back to a clearly annoyed Robert. She whispered something in his ear, and gave him a soft kiss, while blatantly turning her eyes back to Kaibre. She then grasped Robert's hand, and led him from the room, the door slamming shut behind them. Kaibre grimaced as the slam vibrated through the wall and against his back, and turned to look at his manacled wrists, pulling them away from the wall. They held fast however, taut and outstretched from the wall. He cursed under his breath, his strength seeming to fail him, and tried again, but it seemed for now, that all his efforts were destined to be in vain.
"Why do we always end up doing things Sprite wants us to do?" moaned Tiffany aloud. Carrie nodded.
"I know! It's totally annoying. Boy, did Sprite pick herself the right friends," moaned the faerie. Felicity was just ahead of the two, and she paused, waiting for them to catch up.
"It's not that bad!" chided Felicity, "at least it'll be interesting."
"But I don't want interesting. I want fun, and well...more fun!" moaned Tiffany.
"I think this Mara character is a genuine threat. If we don't catch her now, we may not get another chance," said Felicity, her voice and expression earnest. Carrie rolled her eyes.
"So she's some human half-wit healer. Who cares?"
"If she can use reagents like Black Ivy, she ought to worry you," retorted Felicity. Tiffany let out a loud sigh.
"Well you can use Black Ivy," pointed out the pretty faerie. Felicity grimaced.
"But you know me. I'm hardly going to go about conjuring up demons and the like to try and take over Hyrule!" said the ebony-haired faerie, her tone one of exasperation. Carrie gave a smirk.
"Well, you never know do you?"
"I don't have it in me!"
"You summoned up that Griffin thing that time...what was his name...? Enzar!" exclaimed Tiffany. Felicity frowned.
"That was an accident. And anyhow, that was more to do with Sprite than it was with me," argued Felicity.
"Ah, but was it an accident?" asked Carrie playfully, one eyebrow questioningly raised.
"Of course is was!"
"You say that now..."
"Yeah, come to think of it, what were you gathering that Black Ivy for?" suddenly interjected Tiffany thoughtfully.
"That day, you had us looking for the stuff when that Mara appeared," reminded Tiffany.
"Is that really relevant?" asked Felicity, visibly flushing. Carrie nodded.
"Well actually it is. I mean, who's to say that Mara wasn't doing the same spell as you? I mean, the spell you were doing wasn't evil was it?" Felicity paused.
"No. But it doesn't matter anyway, because the spell I was doing was a new one...one I made myself. So Mara couldn't know about it," said Felicity. Tiffany and Carrie both shot each other curious glances, then turned to her. "No. I won't tell you because I couldn't do it...I wasn't powerful enough," said Felicity before the two could even ask.
"You couldn't do it?" asked Tiffany.
"You weren't powerful enough?" echoed Carrie. Felicity nodded.
"Yes, there's no need to act so surprised. Spells never work the first time round, but it did tire me...a lot."
"Is this the day Death Mountain freezes over?" exclaimed Carrie with a giggle.
"Yes. Very funny," shot back Felicity. They continued on.
"What was the spell?" pursued Tiffany.
"Nothing interesting," said Felicity dryly. Carrie grinned at Tiffany.
"So not interesting you weren't powerful enough to do it?" They both giggled.
"Wait until Sprite hears this!" exclaimed Tiffany. They giggled again.
"Oh, you two are regular jesters, did you know that?" said Felicity, becoming slightly agitated by her friends. They just giggled more. "If you keep at this, when I do perfect the spell, don't think I'll tell you two," she threatened.
"Well it doesn't matter, does it? We wouldn't be interested, remember?" said Carrie. Felicity sighed.
"Come on. Stop this messing, we'd best hurry up to Death Mountain. I have a bad feeling."
"Sure it's not because you found a spell you couldn't cast?" jibed Tiffany. Felicity turned to them again,
"No!" she insisted, unable to resist the inane grins on her friends' faces.
"Come on, it's funny, admit it," teased Tiffany. Felicity let out a sigh.
"You're never going to let me live this down are you?" she asked dejectedly. Carrie and Tiffany grinned at her.
"Not until your dying day!" the stated. Felicity smiled.
"How I'll relish that day," she joked wryly.
As Enzar paced the corridors of Death Mountain, a sudden stench attacked his nostrils, and he let out a chuff of distaste.
"Moblin," he spat under his breath. The smell, to a Griffin at least, was unmistakable. He had supposed Death Mountain was still bound to have some residents, those who had been left behind by Ganon's sudden disappearance. He smiled to himself. Moblins could be quite amusing when they were terrified. He followed the scent through a few more twists and bends of the dark, murky corridors until he came to one of the hollowed out lairs that infested the mountain and the earth beneath it. There, in the middle of the room sat a yellow skinned moblin, accompanied by an ashen boned Stalfos. They didn't hear the tick of his claws as he approached, they were apparently too engrossed in a card game of some type. He recognised them immediately, for these were none other than the distinctive, if incredibly stupid, spy scouts of Ganon.
"Aspete. Skoll!" exclaimed Enzar stepping forward. Aspete nearly jumped out of his skin, whereas Skoll would have surely done the same, had he had skin.
"Whut?" exclaimed Aspete in total surprise. He stood before Enzar, and nearly fainted when he realised what the creature was. Skoll rose to his feet and turned.
"Eeep!" he cried, staggering backwards and crashing into the table they had been seated at. Enzar grinned, showing off his teeth,
"So we meet again," he said in a deep tone.
"Erm..." started Aspete. Skoll clambered up from off the floor and stood quaking besides his moblin companion.
"Is you Ganon?" asked Aspete somewhat stupidly. Enzar just laughed.
"I hardly think so. I am the Great Enzar! Surely you remember me!" exclaimed the Griffin somewhat proudly. Skoll scratched his skull.
"You was the one who Ganon didn't like, wasn't you?" he deducted.
"That would be one way of putting it," said Enzar slowly. The two obviously had poor memories.
"Oooh, is you that one who Fink killed?" Skoll smashed Aspete over his head with his fist.
"That's Dink you idiot!" he corrected. Enzar frowned slightly. The two were far from in awe of him...in fact he doubted they even realised the power he held.
"No, it's Fink! There was definitely an 'ink' in 'is name, and there was an 'F' somewhere as well, so it must be Fink!" argued Aspete.
"No. It's Dink. You just getting the 'f' mixed up with the 'd'." Enzar rolled his eyes at the display.
"I believe you mean Link," he said, in a bid to end the argument. They both looked at him.
"Who?" He let out an agitated sigh.
"Link. The hero. The one who defeated...erm...Ganon." The two just stared at him. Aspete strode up to him.
"Is you alright in the head, mister?" he asked politely.
"It's Link. Not Dink. Not Fink. LINK!" insisted Enzar, his anger growing.
"No...methinks you is 'finkin of someone else. We don't know no 'Link's' here," said Aspete calmly. Enzar gave up.
"Fine!" he muttered, not wishing to waste a further breath on the matter. He began to pace around the room.
"Er, can we get you sumfink?" asked Skoll finally. Enzar stopped.
"Yes. You can tell me what happened to Ganon for a start," he replied. He had given his life to give the moon pearl to Ganon, and he'd gone and messed it all up and got nothing. Enzar shook his head.
"Who?" Enzar sighed.
"You know. Your last master. His name ended with 'anon'," illustrated Enzar impatiently.
"Oh. You mean Ganon?" said Skoll knowingly.
"That's what I said!" bellowed Enzar.
"Nope. You sed it rhymed with 'anon' there's a 'G' at the start see, and you never said it," said Aspete somewhat precisely.
"I don't care what you think I said. That's what I said! Just tell me what happened to him!" demanded Enzar.
"Alright, keep yer wings on!" said Skoll, taking a step back from Enzar.
"He went an' got 'imself all trwapped in dis sword fing," began Aspete. Enzar waited.
"That princess Zelda put him in der...at least I fink it was her...she had yellow hair...so it probably was her..." contemplated Skoll.
"That was after he nicked the Triforces and the ickle kiddie. He was all funny. Like a really, really ugly human...." Added Aspete.
"But humans is so ugly anyway!" argued Skoll.
"But he was reallly ugly!" exclaimed Aspete. Enzar looked to the ground, wondering how the two had survived so long.
"And der was this big war type fing. With fightin' and stuff..."
"And dats all we's can remember." Enzar stared at them.
"Who is your master now?" he inquired.
"We ain't got a one," said Aspete, looking a little confused.
"Yes we have! It's him!" argued Skoll, pointing to a crude painting on one of the cavern walls. To Enzar, it looked like a big pair of faerie wings that had been set alight.
"Who?" asked Enzar.
"The great lord Agabaga! Master of the Volcano!" answered Skoll. Enzar looked at the stalfos.
"Since when did we 'ave a master?" demanded Aspete, finally catching up with the conversation.
"Since now. I'm your new master," announced Enzar.
"You is?" asked Aspete, looking crest fallen.
"No! He isn't! The great lord Agabaga is!" argued Skoll. Enzar shot towards the stalfos, bringing himself eye to eye with the skeleton.
"You will do as I say from now on," he said in a low voice, his ember eyes driving into Skoll's own eyes like a spear in its target. Skoll began to quake again, his bones audibly clattering off one another.
"Okay..." he murmured obediently. Enzar smiled.
"Good. Now here's what I want you to do...."
Link smiled as Zelda snuggled into his chest as the rode across the plains of West Hyrule aboard a horse and cart.
"How you feeling?" he murmured quietly, and she just let out a small sigh.
"Better than I have in months," she replied, not one word a lie. Link smiled again, and turned his gaze to the countryside that fleeted by.
"Look, this was were we had our first encounter!" piped up Selina suddenly, a small grin on her lips. Link grinned back.
"So it is," he acknowledged, and Zelda glanced up, smiling also.
I don't think I'll ever forget that day," commented the princess, recalling her and the then healer's first meeting. It had hardly been a sound step towards the solid friendship the two now held.
"Huh, that was the first time I saved a girl and she snubbed me," complained Link, although his eyes were still grinning. Selina just gave a shy shrug.
"What can I say, I like to fight my own battles," she explained. Zelda saw the warm glance between her husband and friend, and couldn't help but feel a hint of jealousy. It could have been so different, she thought, if Selina had been a little more persuasive in her pursuit of Link.
"Why do we have to travel in this dingy cart, may I ask? It's completely ridiculous!" They were the first, and understandably predictable words that had been uttered from Fayette's mouth since they had arrived in West Hyrule, and they gained nothing but withering looks from everyone in sight.
"Well Faye, if you really wanted, you could walk," suggested Drake from up front. He was driving, but he could still hear every word that was spoken. Fayette just gave a disdainful grimace, folded her arms, and returned her gaze to the passing scenery. The cart itself was quite large, but hardly what Fayette would describe as suitable transport for royalty such as herself. Along each side of the cart were two wooden benches, which were hardly an example of royal luxury, but there was room for at least four people on each bench. Their luggage was still on the ship at port, but it was expected to arrive at the hold before they did themselves, they were expecting to stop for the night, after all. Fayzie and Aden were seated at the front with Drake(at his insistence) whereas Ewan and Timothy were contentedly sitting next to Zelda, describing to one another what great deeds they were to fulfil when they were 'grown up'. Fayette had left Raye with Impa, as Zelda had with Brianna, after deciding the journey would be far too tiring for the young children, but the rest of Fayette's children were with her, Roderick sulking by his mother, the two twins sat on her other side pulling faces at one another, and Rosella constantly dashing from bench to bench, watching Ewan longingly. Nick and Selina sat together, facing Link and Zelda, but they were also seated on the same side as Faye, much to her discomfort.
"I feel sick," complained Rosamund to her mother, who just gave her a sharp look, a sign Rosamund competently read as to keep quiet. Everyone fell into an uncomfortable silence, before Zelda finally spoke to Aaron.
"It was a shame Aimée couldn't come," she sympathised. Aaron nodded in agreement.
"So was I, but she had to finish Lady Fenella's dress," said the Triforce Protector quietly. Fayette shifted uncomfortably in her seat, before deciding to open her mouth once more.
"Well, I think you ought to be pleased. It at least shows my mother deems your wife able enough to make her dresses...it should be an honour." Silence returned, before Aaron gave a small nod.
"Yes, I suppose there is that," he conceded, although he sounded as convinced as though Fayette had just told him she was going to rule the Demiari.
"Well, I would understand, but there aren't even any special occasions coming up. Why Fenella finds it so important to have one particular dress finished by one particular seamstress is entirely beyond me," contradicted Zelda, not able to resist making Fayette feel just that little more out of depth. Fayette glared at her step-sister.
"Look it's hardly my fault. Although I know it'd be hard for you of all people to understand, Zelda, I don't, nor would I wish to, have entire control of every person I come into contact with, including my own mother." Zelda's scowl deepened, and she stared at Fayette with contempt. She felt Link squeeze her wrist, but she ignored his pleas and continued to exchange conversation with her sister, determined not to let Faye have the last word.
"Hah! Don't make me laugh. You, not wanting to control people? You do it everyday of your life as a past time! There's nothing you enjoy more than manipulating and intimidating people into what you want them to do!" spat Zelda harshly, outraged that Fayette would accuse her of such things in front of her friends. Fayette sneered at Zelda, and immediately replied, much to the queen-to-be's surprise.
"Unlike you do you mean? Zelda, everyone here knows that you can't stand it when you don't control the situation. If you don't have your own way constantly, you dig your heels right in until you do!"
"Hey girls, let's just calm down..." began Link, raising his hands in a vain bid for peace. Ewan and Tim had ceased all conversation, whilst Rosamund, Rosalind and Rosella all listened with all ears open.
"Link's right...she isn't worth it," said Selina in a low voice, although not low enough to escape Fayette's attention.
"You take that back right now! Or I'll make sure you return straight back to North Castle!" retorted Zelda, her eyes burning into Faye's, ignoring her husband for a second time. A slight smile passed across Faye's lips.
"You just can't stand it when someone else is right, and you know you aren't," she pressed on, completely unfazed by Zelda's threat. Zelda glowered at Fayette's easy expression.
"And you just don't know when to give up!" she growled. Fayette raised her eyebrows and the smirk dissolved into something far sweeter. She raised her hands in a dramatic gesture.
"Oh sister dear, look as us, carrying on like a pair of adolescents. Really, one would have thought we would have grown out of this type of thing by now." Zelda continued to glare at her sister, beginning to feel a little wary of Fayette, she was, after all, wearing the expression of the cat that had the cream. "I mean, it's so trivial. I can hardly help the fact that my mother is extremely tight when it comes to dead lines. The way you are acting towards her is as if she had done something far worse, like perhaps had an affair." Zelda's heart nearly stopped in her chest as Fayette mentioned the word, with that lilt to her voice like she knew something. Kaibre. Selina glared at Fayette agitatedly.
"What has that got to do with anything?!" she asked icily, annoyed by Fayette's attitude. Fayette glanced at Selina, a small look of surprise.
"Oh nothing, but why the reaction? Did I touch a raw nerve?" Selina looked enraged by the insinuation.
"How dare-" Fayette smiled at Selina's agitation, as well as Zelda's sudden silence. She risked a glance at Zelda, who was sat ashen faced and pale. Her subtle hint had obviously reached Zelda with the force of a boulder to earth.
"Selina...she isn't worth it," said Zelda, interrupting her friend. Selina looked to Zelda and gave a reluctant nod, although she still found time to send Fayette one last icy glare.
"You're right," she muttered, but Fayette simply smiled contentedly, and gave Zelda a meaningful glance. Zelda averted her eyes, and held her breath, astounded that Fayette had managed to gain such a hold over her. She risked a sideways glance to Link, who just gave her a comforting squeeze, and looked down again, heat rising to her cheeks in guilt. Until now she had managed to fool herself into thinking she and Link were fine, perfect even, but she knew she was having feelings for someone she hadn't had for a long time...in another word, Kaibre. The thought of him on his own, searching for Mara, a woman who had nearly killed him once already made her blood turn to ice. He could leave Hyrule, she knew, but she also knew he wouldn't. She looked at Link again, an enormous rush of pain and anguish ripping through her as she realised her betrayal. She and Kaibre had never shared anything physical except that one kiss, that one kiss she had so grudgingly ended. So she shouldn't feel so guilty, except she couldn't stop feeling the guilt because some part of her still wanted Kaibre. She closed her eyes, and thought of the situation, the situation she had never dreamed would arise between her and Link...the situation in which she found someone else who could compete Link for her affections. She glanced across at Selina and swallowed, wondering if she could confide in her friend. She had already spoken to Impa, but still, although her love for Link was still there, stronger perhaps then it ever had been, a tiny part of her desperately wanted to be with Kaibre. She looked back to Link and wondered if he had felt this way about Leigh, or Kylara or even Selina. She looked to the front of the cart, thinking maybe even some part of Link longed to be with Fayzie, the two had been such good childhood friends after all. If he had married Fayzie instead of her, perhaps all of the last few weeks bloodshed could have been avoided. She quickly shook such thoughts from her mind, and turned to kiss Link on the lips, surprising him a little by her sudden open display of affection.
"I love you," she whispered, and he wrapped one arm around her shoulder as she leaned against him, feeling a little concerned by her behaviour. It was nothing to do with what she had just done, more to do with her sudden backwards move against Faye. He had rarely seen her back down, and never so abruptly...and the fact that she had gone silent when Fayette had mentioned an affair worried him all the more. Not that he would ever take any stock in any of Fayette's insinuations, it had surprised him that Zelda had not rubbished Fayette's words.
"And I love you," returned Link, closing his eyes, trying to block out the thoughts that were wandering around his mind. Zelda would never, ever betray him, he knew that but after the way she had been acting recently, he couldn't completely dismiss the notion. Then he remembered something Robert had said, about Zelda's loyalties to that Kaibre character. And the way she had spoken to him before even considering Link. He was grateful to the man, he really was, he had saved Zelda's life but something in his heart couldn't stop looking to the obvious answer. He dismissed it as soon as it crossed his mind, forcing himself to think of something other than Fayette's well orchestrated manipulative insinuations. He knew he should know by now how good she was at it, she had managed to implicate him a thousand times for things he had never done, trouble was, he thought wistfully, Zelda had a rash tendency to listen.
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