Disclaimer: I don’t want to get in whatever trouble people can get into when using other people’s 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.

Shadows of Fate

Juliet A. Singleton (juliet@northcastle.co.uk) & Kirsty Singleton (arcadionseye@btopenworld.com)

Chapter 9

     "Where is she?" demanded Aden through gritted teeth. His arms ached from being shackled to the wall, and he knew it had to be well past midnight, closer to dawn even. Timothy, who was half-asleep, opened his eyes at the sound of his friend's voice.

"Maybe she isn't coming," he murmured, his throat dry and parched. He tugged a little at the chains that held him so, cursing his own ignorance. Aden let out a snort.

"Brilliant. They'll probably leave us here to rot," said Aden miserably. He attempted to scratch his nose, but this was made impossible by the bonds that held him to the wall.

"We can't rely on some teenage rebel. We'll get out on our own. Not only do I worry about Brianna, but the fate that may fall over Rillar, I doubt Molasar will look kindly on her actions of aide to two Westlanders," said Timothy. Aden frowned.

"Yeah, I hope she's okay," he said quietly, feeling ashamed for so easily letting the plight of Rillar fall from his mind. Timothy tugged on the chains that held him fast, hoping to pull them away. They were bound strongly to the wall, and it looked like they weren't showing any intentions of falling away as easily as Timothy might've hoped. "The thing is, once we do get out, what then? I mean, this place is going to be rife with those Gerudo and their swords. We have no weapons, how would we stand a chance?" questioned Aden. Timothy wasn't sure whether it was a question to him, or whether Aden was merely jesting himself. He jerked again his wrists, gritting his teeth as the sharp metal cuffs bit into his flesh, making it weep.

"Stealth my friend. And luck," replied Timothy. Aden nodded his head.

"I suppose 'twould be the only way. I'll pray that it's enough," said Aden.

"You should pray that we free ourselves first, for praying for an event that at this stage is unlikely to occur is hardly worth a jot of thought," muttered Timothy. His wrists were sore from the punishing savageness of his metal bonds, ut he knew his pain was no measure of what any truly suffering man had felt before him. He continued rattling the chains from the walls, hping the small amount of noise he was making would not alert their sleeping guard.

"If she had come back to free us though, would you have granted her terms?" questioned Aden suddenly, referring to Faykantra.

"She isn't coming, so that is not something I will allow my thoughts to ponder upon any longer than necessary," said Timothy. Dust fell from the wall as he pulled again. Suddenly, the two heard an ominous creak as the prison door opened, and both gazed across in the darkness, wondering if Faykantra was here to keep her promise. They saw a figure emerging from the dim light, creeping slowly and stealthily, up to their barred doors.

"So you came," announced Aden as loudly as he dared when he saw Faykantra's face.

"Was there any ever doubt?" asked Faykantra lightly as she unlocked Timothy's door. Aden watched her as she went inside, but the wall obstructed any further view of the two. He sighed, bowing his head to his chest, waiting for his turn to be released.

Faykantra slipped into Timothy's cell, and crept up to him, producing a small knife from her belt.

"I was only able to steal the key from the guard to your cell door, so I will have to pick the locks with this," she explained, tenderly taking Timothy's hand, and inserting the knife into the cuff about his wrist. She smiled at him as she did so, twisting the fine blade, and the cuff clicked open, revealing Timothy's bloodied wrist. "I see you made an attempt to release yourself," she murmured. Timothy waited for her to turn to the next cuff, but she did not. Instead she rested her gaze upon his handsome face, and brought up a hand to his jaw-line, tracing it, seeming almost fascinated by him.

"Please, release me," asked Timothy, his voice low. Faykantra narrowed her eyes.

"I remember my terms, no doubt you did," she said quietly. Timothy lifted his gaze from the stone floor to Faykantra's face.

"I cannot kiss a mere child," he protested.

"Then do not kiss me," she said, reaching her full height and pressing her lips to his. After a few moments she stepped away, tracing her lips with her tongue, shivering with delight. "Now I do understand why more of my race desert this valley to travel to the west," she confided, flicking open the other cuff. Timothy fell forward slightly, rubbing his wrists, then stared at Faykantra.

"I thank you for your aid," he said, stepping past her and outside. She followed him and stared into Aden's cell.

"Now will you release me?" he asked impatiently. Timothy turned and took the knife from Faykantra. He played it into the lock and switched it about, forcing open the lock and pushing forth the door. He stepped inside, swiftly releasing Aden, helping him to a steady footing. Aden glanced at Faykantra, nodding her a thanks.

"Where is the room of your King?" asked Timothy, turning to the young Gerudo.

"I have already risked enough, I cannot let him know it was me who released you, or his wrath will be eternally upon me," whispered Faykantra.

"Then tell us where we may find it," pushed Aden, stepping forward. Faykantra passed Aden a scrap of material, parchment like. He looked at it.

"A map of the layout, his chamber is in the centre, and her chamber is here," said Faykantra pointing to another hastily drawn room on the map. Then she turned and was gone. Aden looked at the map in the hopelessly dim light.

"Are you any good at map reading?" he asked, handing it over to Timothy. Timothy squinted at it.

"Adequate," he replied, looking it over. He paused. "We need to find Rillar first," he said.

"But..." began Aden. He supposed his friend was right. Timothy laid one finger on a section of the map,

"This is where we are. Rillar must be in a separate prison," he figured. They strolled along the narrow passageway which was lined with cells. When they reached the end, Timothy saw the Gerudo guard, asleep at her post.

"Woman," tutted Aden. The Gerudo's lids peeled away from her eyes, and she stood, raising her sword.

"Timing, as usual Aden, was perfect," complimented Tim, diving forward, narrowly missing the intended blade and grabbing the guard by the neck, holding her from behind. Before she could utter a warning to her fellow comrades, Timothy levelled her against the wall, making her lose all consciousness. He took the whip that hung at her belt and bound her wrists tightly together, laying her upon the floor. Finished with her, he grabbed the sword from the floor, passing it to Aden. He grabbed the ring of keys from her belt and then exited, locking the door as Aden passed the threshold.

"You know Tim, I never thought you had it in you," commented Aden.

"What?" asked Timothy, a little annoyed by Aden's incessant chatter.

"Hurting a woman," said Aden.

"Do you think I enjoyed it? I did it only because two people I admire and respect are in danger," said Timothy sternly. Aden shrugged.

"Okay," he murmured, stepping forward, Tim pulled him back as a guard strolled by, her eyes not noticing them in the shadows of the door.

"We need to be more careful from now on," said Timothy, his voice painfully low. Aden nodded, knowing his friend was right.

"Yeah, sorry," he apologised, knowing he'd made more than his share of idiotic mistakes, most recently in waking that guard.

"Come on," urged Timothy, peering round the corner, scuttling to the next entrance in which they could crouch and hide.


Link felt himself being gently shaken, and his eyes unwillingly opened, yawning.

"Your majesty, 'tis just before dawn, I would very much like to take you into Conim, there is someone I think that thou shouldst see," whispered Sentri. Link sat up, stretching. He was inside the modest abode of Sentri's, and he had to admit it was the easily most comfortable night of sleep he'd had for a while. Once Sentri had brought him here, he had been fed a nourishing stew of woodland roots and hers and meats, and the two had conversed deeply into the night. Sentri had been very distraught to hear of what Link had been witness to, the death of his own good friend Tseremed, and the turning of Leigh. He had not even heard of the arrival of Leigh due to his isolation, and he cursed himself for he had some thoughts that he may have been able to help or even prevent the tragedy that had befallen both of his friends. Sentri rested a plate before Link, equipped with a fresh loaf and a cutting of meat. "The journey is not long, it will take us no longer than an hour to arrive, but during midday the town is rife with soldiers of the king, and not only do they take hostile to any stranger, but especially to me. Link nodded, breaking the bread in two and beginning to eat. He paused, remembering the words of that patrol guard inside Dew forest, something about the rest of the Avatar's cohorts being no longer alive. Or something to that effect. Tseremed had been spared, for a reason he had never revealed, Link wondered if this was the case with Sentri. Sentri noticed his pause, and questioned it. "I fear there is something on thy mind, pray, doth thou wish to inform me?" asked Sentri. Link shrugged, raising his eyes to the warrior.

"You were a companion of Leigh's, weren't you?" he asked. Sentri gave a sad smile.

"Indeed I was. And know I do know what weighs thine mind so. You wish to know how I didst escape the blade of British?" guessed Sentri with a sigh. Link nodded.

"You don't have to say if you don't want to, it's just one of the patrol men I met when I was with Tseremed, well...he mentioned something about tasks for British, that no other companion would carry out," said Link.

"It is true. Tseremed did agree to return a favour to British for his life, but the last time I did see him were in happier times. I know not what Tseremed agreed to do, but I doubt I would hold it against him even if I didst know. He was a fine man, honourable," said Sentri wistfully. He looked back to Link. "But I am avoiding the question, I see that. Your question was why did I escape the blade? I am a trainer by trade, and I agreed to train the community of Conim into fine warriors for the price of mine life. I have so far fulfilled this bargain, but..." began Sentri, lowering his voice, "only for the aims of training them into future opposers of British and his cruel regime, and not for more members of his vile army," finished Sentri. He stood. "I will leave you in peace to prepare our horses, come out when thou do be ready," he said, before leaving. Link sat thoughtful for a moment, then quickly finished his breakfast, before changing back into his clothes and hauling up his pack and walking outside.

"There is a stream nearby if thou do desire to wash," called Sentri as he saw Link emerge. He pointed off to the east. Link smiled gratefully and followed a worn track through the trees to the stream, which rounded off in a still pool. He knelt there, shedding his pack and dousing his weary face with water. It was cool and refreshing, and sitting there, Link could see his reflection clearly in the crystal liquid. He looked older, tired, than he had when he had last glanced at his image. He found himself thinking back to Hyrule, and to his son, and wife. Then his thoughts turned to his young, naive daughter. He closed his eyes, giving a prayer to the goddesses, to watch over them all, and himself. Shortly after, he rose, and followed the track back to Sentri's home, where the man was standing, ready and waiting.

The two mounted up, and Link followed Sentri's lead through the tangled woods.

"Who is this person you want me to see?" asked Link.

"Thou wilt know as soon as we arrive," said Sentri quietly. Link let out a short sigh. They continued through the woods, following the worn track that wound from tree to tree, their only company the chirping of various insects and the seldom singing of the birds. There was evidently a river nearby, as Link could hear the rushing of water through the trees.

"An hour you said?" asked Link after a while. Sentri, who was in front, nodded.

"Yes, obviously less than that now, do not fret sir, 'twill not be long," assured Sentri.

"So, what can you tell me of Sosaria? In fact, do you know of any healers in this, Conim?" asked Link. Sentri continued riding forward.

"Sosaria is now the pit of despise that Leigh had always tried to prevent. There will be no-one in Conim who can help your son, save the person that I am taking thee to see," said Sentri.

"So they are a healer?" questioned Link.

"Perhaps, but she will be no more accomplished than the greatest healer in your own land," answered Sentri.

"Then what use is this woman?!" demanded Link a little sharply, halting his steed. Sentri halted also, turning in his saddle.

"Although her hands do not possess the skill of healing, I feel that another skill she possesses will be of great use to you," said Sentri in a low voice. Link glanced across at him, his face caught in shadow of leaf, his expression stern. Link finally relented and nodded, apologising.

"Sorry, it's just, well, there's no excuse..." he mumbled, his head hanging.

"I do not think ill of you for worrying of your family, in fact, I admire you for it good sir. These days thou wouldst be pressed to find any good man in these lands who think of anyone but thineselves," said Sentri, his tone wistful. Link showed a rueful smile, then eased his steed into movement again. "Anyway," continued Sentri, urging his horse forward also, "you will soon see why I doth bring thee to meet this woman," promised Sentri, before falling back into silence, and leading the way through the wind-torn trees towards the town of Conim.


Leniarala woke Brianna at first light. The young girl sighed uneasily, as Leni prodded her gently, waking her.

"Come, Princess, we must begin to prepare you, and it shall take a lot of time," Leni said. Brianna rubbed her eyes, and yawned. She wasn't used to get up early at all. As she glanced out of the window, the sun was only just beginning to rise.

"Oh Leni, must I? Only I'm so tired..." she started, yawning again.

"Lazy girl! Why, I am up at dawn every morning, I have many jobs to do!" Leni remarked.

"In Hyrule, I..." Brianna started.

"You royalty are all the same. You rise and sleep when you please. Us peasants are less lucky. You are waited on hand and foot, but we have to wait on ourselves," Leni interrupted. Brianna bit her lip, feeling guilty.

"I'm sorry. I always felt sorry for the servants at the castle, but my mother treats and pays them so very well, they are better off than those who live in the villages," she explained.

"Then your mother must be a kind hearted ruler. We need one of those round here, for His Highness is harsh, like all men. A woman's touch may soften him," Leni said, helping Brianna get up out of the bed.

"Why, Molasar is not harsh! He is very kind," Brianna defended.

"Maybe you do not know him as I do," Leni stated.

"I know him well enough to love him," Brianna said firmly. Leni nodded, understanding.

"You shall make a good queen, I'm sure," she smiled warmly.

"Thank you, Leni. I shall be as good as my mother, I should hope," Brianna replied.

"You really look up to your mother, don't you? I hated mine, she couldn't wait to send me away from home to work," Leni said, looking angry for a second. Brianna remained silent for a while, as her lady-in-waiting gently brushed through her tousled golden hair.

"You shouldn't hate your mother," she finally said, quietly. Leni ignored her.

"Come, we should not stand around in idle chit chat. You must be washed, bathed, your hair done, your make-up, and put in your dress before noon. That is a lot to do, so we must get started," she said.

"It shouldn't take that long," Brianna remarked.

"No, but you must look perfect for His Highness. He requires it," Leni replied, as they walked into the bathroom. The young Gerudo had already filled the tiled plunge pool with water earlier. It looked cool and inviting to Brianna, who was hot already. She turned to look at Leni, slightly haughty.

"I should think he would love me, whatever I wore. I am beautiful enough!" she commented. Leni looked surprised.

"I would think you would want to please your lord by looking you best," she said. Brianna stripped down from her night clothes, and climbed into the pool, enjoying the invigorating feeling of the water.

"I do wish to please him," she said, taking hold of a bar of scented soap.

"Then if you do not need me, I shall work on finishing your dress next door," Leni said.

"I shall be fine," Brianna said, wondering what had come over her for a moment. She hadn't meant to sound so supercilious; she had sounded too like her mother, when she was angry. She sighed, as Leniarala curtsied, before walking out of the room. For about the millionth time since Brianna had arrived there, she wondered if she was doing the right thing. True, she loved Molasar, and true, she didn't want to let him go. But there was a whole world waiting out there, full of people she hadn't yet met. Not to mention she missed her friends; Alyssand, Renee, Timothy, Aden... even her older brother, her cousins, and of course, her parents. Gently, she washed her skin, smoothing the oil into it. She was going to look her very best for Molasar. She was going to look... beautiful. She had never considered it before, but that night at the party, when she had left her hair loose... She had looked like a completely different person. But is that person me, she wondered to himself, picking up a small hand mirror that lay nearby. She gazed at herself, and the girl that gazed back in the mirror looked older, self assured, and happy. This is it, this is my life, she thought. She and Molasar would be wed, and Hyrule would have a new ally, however small. She had her own piece of land, her own palace. She was making something of her life. I'm marrying royalty, she thought to herself, smiling. Molasar was a king. It was better than Ewan, who went after peasant girls. Not that there was anything wrong with that, but a royal family should really always marry into royalty to increase its holdings, after all. She would be the first in the family to marry royalty for two generations. It's not just for me, it's for my county. Besides, Ewan will gain Hyrule's crown, so I should have my own land anyway, Brianna thought. She sank lower into the water, letting her hair get wet. She wanted it to dry curly, in big, thick waves. The way she had had it the night of the party... The night where she had realised that she was indeed, as beautiful as her mother. I shall have Leni tie it up in a beautiful, intricate style, she decided.

A few hours later, Brianna's hair was fully dried, and she sat, in a light robe, in front of a large mirror. Leniarala was applying her make-up.

"I can do this myself, you know," Brianna said.

"I must do it," Leni stated firmly. Brianna smiled to herself, thinking how funny and stubborn these Gerudo were. "What is so funny?" Leni asked.

"Nothing. I am just so happy today, that's all," Brianna replied, still smiling. Leni squinted a little, eyeing Brianna's face carefully.

"There. You look so much older, and so pretty. How lucky you are to have such a perfect complexion, and that any colour will suit you," she said. Brianna nodded.

"I know," she smiled. Then she looked in the mirror. "My gosh, is that really me? Why Leni, you have done wonders in such a short time!" she exclaimed, pleased at what she saw. Her maid-servant had used the sort of colours that she wouldn't normally dare try, and the result was simply amazing. Her blue eyes were enhanced by the shimmery blue-green eye-shadow, and her eyelids rimmed with a dark coloured kohl. Her skin seemed to shimmer, and her cheeks were dusted with a light blusher, and her lips with a goldy-red lipstick.

"You are naturally beautiful, you do not really need make-up," Leni said. Brianna chewed on her lip slightly. That had been one of her mother's philosophy. Her mother always looked pretty, whether she wore make-up or not. "It only saves to enhance," Leni added solemnly.

"Thank you," Brianna replied politely. Leni nodded, and stepped away.

"Now you shall see your dress. Your hair, we shall do last," she said. Brianna stood up, and looked over to where Leni was stood, holding the most astonishing dress Brianna had ever seen. It was made of a creamy-gold material, was revealing yet not revealing, and decorated in all manner of amazing stitch-work.

"Oh... oh, it's lovely!" Brianna exclaimed, hardly able to believe that she would wear it. It was so incredibly different to a Hyrulian style gown, which were traditionally either white or cream. But Brianna loved it. "Leni, you are so talented!" she added.

"The stitch-work is not mine. Many women have worked quickly on it, for it to be done so soon. But the cut is mine, and the design," Leni replied. Brianna, overcome with joy, rushed up and hugged the young girl.

"Thank you, thank you!" she exclaimed. Leni stepped away, slightly embarrassed, yet also pleased.

"Come, you'd best try it on, we need to see if it will fit," she said.

"Of course it will, it's perfect!" Brianna replied, smiling widely.

"Then, we shall prepare you hair. As beautiful as it is loose, it must be tied up, else you shall get too hot!" Leni laughed.

"Of course, of course," Brianna nodded happily. She looked down at the heavy ring on her finger, then back at the dress. "This day will be perfect..." she sighed.

"A new age has come for the Gerudo," Leni agreed.

"Their greatest age..." Brianna said thoughtfully.


Timothy glanced around the corner, and quickly motioned to Aden, and they quickly jogged down the passageway, rolling behind a crate, just as a Gerudo patrol of two walked by. They sat there, breathing heavily for a moment. Once Timothy had caught his breath, he dragged the map Faykantra had given to him out of his pocket and studied it.

"Do you actually know where we're going?" asked Aden.

"Not really," admitted Timothy. The map was a poor scrawl, and he wasn't really sure where they were, are where they needed to be. He pointed to the room on the map that was intended to be Brianna's room. "That's Bri's room, and I reckon this is another prison, so if we just follow that corridor down there," muttered Timothy. Suddenly, the two felt a shadow loom over them.

"Ah, prisoners," they heard one female voice mention.

"Ah, men," said a different voice. They both turned their eyes up, just in time to be both met with the hilt of a sword between the eyes. They both slumped to the ground out cold, before the woman grabbed them by their shoulders and hauled them off down the corridor.

Sentri turned to Link as they approached the outskirts of Conim.

"We are almost there now," he said. Link nodded. He had to admit, it had felt longer than an hour since the two had set off from Sentri's home in the woods. There was a river to Link's left, and it ran slowly past them and into the village. In the distance he could spot a wood mill, and more buildings. As they rode on, they passed a large solitary stone building, which Sentri informed him was the Sosarian mining head quarters. As they pushed on, they soon came to a camp, just outside the town. Sentri halted, and left his mount, motioning for Link to do the same. Two small children ran past them, calling and screaming in some childish game. Sentri led his horse to a small wooden gate and tied his horse there, Link did the same.

"Who are we here to see?" asked Link. Sentri remained silent and trudged to the centre of the camp, receiving greetings from men and women alike who were going about their daily chores. Link recognised these people as Gypsy's, and they nodded to him politely, to which he did the same. When they reached their destination, Sentri stopped before an ancient looking woman, who was hunched over a wooden table which was under the shelter of a large Gypsy wagon. She did not look up, but instead held up a hand as a greeting.

"Greetings to thee kind sir Sentri. And to thee Lord of Hyrule. Please, seat thineselves, I have matters of great importance that both of thee must hear of," said the woman. Her voice creaked and twisted as she spoke, but it was not a cruel voice, it was a kind one. Link sat down after Sentri, folding his hands upon the table.

"Your son..." murmured the woman, her hands wrapped over a small glass ball. She wore a long hood, drawn over her face, and her head was bowed so that Link could not see her. The woman seemed totally absorbed in the ball as she rolled it in her hands, tilting it and sliding it with fascination. As Link heard her mention Ewan, he leaned forward.

"You have news of him?" he asked hopefully.

"Yesss," replied the old women, her tongue curling the 'sss' sound with care. Link waited. "The thorn in his side, it is turned black. She hath healed your son, but beware," hissed the woman, throwing back her hood. Her face looked centuries old, lined and creased beyond recognition. Two milky white pearls gleamed as her eyes, and long white hair adorned her head. Link could tell by her eyes that she was blind.

"Beware?" asked Sentri.

"The thorn it is black, no longer in his side," murmured the woman, holding the glass ball to her face. Sentri turned to Link. Link just gave him a puzzled expression.

"When you say his, do you mean my son's side?" asked Link. The woman held the ball aloft, murmuring to herself.

"No. His side. He. Him. Forsaken is our world alone, without this Thorn," said the woman. Sentri nodded.

"She is speaking of Leigh, Leigh was the thorn in British's side. Or, as we know him now, the Guardian's side," said Sentri in a hushed voice. Link smiled.

"So my son is well?" he asked.

"Well indeed my Lord, but the world is not. The thorn has turned, it is no longer white, but black," said the Gypsy woman almost cryptically.

"Leigh is evil?" asked Sentri, his eyebrows creased.

"He made her that way. Shrine of Sacrifice, oh how forsaken we are!" cried out the woman sadly. Sentri hung his head.

"She killed Tseremed," reminded Link. He turned to the woman. "Then why did she heal my son?" he asked.

"A trade, a trade, a foolish trade! Naive is the ruler, desperate to see her son again, the thorn is black under the mountain!" said the woman. Link leaned back, trying to comprehend the words of this old woman, not sure if there was any meaning, or just babble, careless tongues running away with themselves.

"Zelda made a trade with Leigh to heal my son?" guessed Link as he mulled her words about.

"He likes it not. War will follow as he slinks to the mountain to regain his precious little trinket," gurgled the woman. Link couldn't understand what she was talking about. For a moment he wondered if she was mad.

"Mad? Merely distracted, she is," suddenly hissed the woman, turning her blind eyes upon Link. Link shifted in his seat uncomfortably. Suddenly, the woman let out an ear piercing scream, and she hurled the glass ball away from her, smashing it upon the ground. She fell face first to the table, weeping. Two men appeared, looking worried and went to her side, trying to soothe her. They looked to Link and Sentri.

"Perhaps thou had best go," said one of the men. Sentri rose from his seat, placing down a small pouch of gold before the old woman. The second man nodded.

"Thank thee kind sir," he murmured.

"Thou must leave, leave our forsaken land or thine land wilt be lost to the black night, if not to Him!" wept the woman as Link turned to leave. He looked across to the woman, pausing to see if she would say anymore. "All is lost, all is lost, never to be returned," wept the woman, and Sentri placed a hand on Link's shoulder, turning him away and leading him back through the camp.

"Did you understand any of that?" asked Link, untying his horse. Sentri nodded.

"Yes, or at least I like to think. Your son was healed by Leigh, but the Guardian has turned her in some way, bent her to his will, although I do not like to believe it. She has taken something in trade of your son's life, though what I do not know. She has taken it to a mountain, if you know of any, and what she has the Guardian also wants. He wants it so much, he is willing to start a war over it. Can thou think of such a thing?" said Sentri. Link shrugged, mounting his horse.

"The Triforce?" he asked, it was the only thing he could think of. But Leigh, despite all her powers would never be able to use it. Not well in any case. Only he, Ganondorf, Zelda, Brianna and Ewan could use the object of power as far as he knew of. Sentri shrugged.

"I know not of thy artefacts sir, but I do know that thou must return to Hyrule. Thy son is saved, she would not lie, so therefore thou have no need to stay," said Sentri.

"But how can I get back? Sal isn't here, and the only other way is by ship," said Link.

"Sal, Sal is thine dragon, am I correct?" asked Sentri. Link nodded.

"Yes, but I told her to fly back to Hyrule. There is no way of calling her back," said Link.

"But thou couldst ride a dragon?" asked Sentri. Link nodded.

"Well yes," replied Link. Sentri nodded.

"I wouldst give thee mine moon pearl, but it was confiscated by British. But there is another way. Every third day, one of British's Preceptors arrives in this town upon a great red dragon. They are the Guardian's law upholders, they make sure his will is carried out in every town in this damned land. If thou couldst slay this Preceptor, then thou couldst take his steed and fly back to thine own land," said Sentri. Link paused then nodded. "So thou doth agree?" asked Sentri.

"If it's the only way," said Link.

"I assure thee sir, it is. I wouldst not tell thee otherwise," said Sentri sincerely. He looked to the sun in the sky. "The Preceptor will not arrive for another two days, so thou dost have time to prepare and hone thine skills. We shall get thee a room in the local inn, where thou shouldst remain for the rest on thy stay. In two days time we shall ride to the town hall, where the Preceptor always makes his foul tongued announcements straight from the mouth of British. Once he leaves, follow him and slay him," instructed Sentri, his voice low. Link nodded.

"That I will do," he agreed before following Sentri into the town of Conim.


Tim forced open his eyes, his head throbbing. He could remember nothing. He struggled to get up, for he was lying down, when he realised he couldn't. Thick ropes bound him down, across his chest and legs. He blinked a few times, straining his muscles under the ropes, trying to free himself. He looked around the dim room, and saw Aden, also lying tied down to a bed.

"Aden!" he hissed. Aden wearily turned his neck.

"What?" he asked.

"Where are we?" demanded Timothy, struggling to free himself.

"I dunno," replied Aden, his voice slightly slurred. Timothy looked away from his friend as something caught the corner of his eye. He saw behind a white linen dressing screen, the perfect silhouette of a young woman. Hanging over the screen were the top and trousers of a standard Gerudo guard. He swallowed a little, looking back to Aden. He didn't really like the way this was looking. He had no idea how long they'd been out cold, but he had a feeling it was too long. Just then, the woman stepped out from behind the screen, smiling seductively at Timothy. He smiled back, blushing visibly, realising she wore very little clothing. She was certainly beautiful, in every way, in fact, but Timothy felt more than just a little uneasy. Even more so when another Gerudo female appeared, wearing no more than her companion. "I knew these girls were forward Tim, but isn't this a little crazy. Or am I still dreaming?" he heard his friend ask. Timothy ignored his dazed companions question, and began to struggle even more to break his bonds. The first female he had seen walked over to him, leaning over him and kissing him. She then sat atop him, and began to remove his shirt. She smiled at him.

"We should have undressed you before we tied you down," she said with a laugh.

"You can still untie me," said Timothy frantically.

"And let you get away?" she asked him, leaning down to kiss him again. Aden was being put through the same process, only he was less protesting. Timothy pulled away from the Gerudo's searching lips.

"Look, you don't want to do this," he said.

"Oh but I do. I am sure you could provide me with a very handsome child, male or female," she said in a low voice, kissing him once more. Suddenly, the door to the room crashed open, making the two Gerudo women freeze.

"If this is a dream, can I just thank the goddesses right now," breathed Aden stupidly. Timothy craned his neck past the gleaming body of the Gerudo and saw another Gerudo at the door. Rillar. She marched in, and dragged the first Gerudo from atop Timothy, and then the same with Aden. "Aww, it was just getting fun," protested Aden. The two Gerudo cowered before Rillar, but she ignored them and hastily began to untie Timothy.

"How did you find us?" asked Timothy, getting up once he had been untied.

"I saw these two dragging you down the corridor," said Rillar, turning her attentions to Aden, who groggily sat up. Timothy stepped over his captor, and helped Aden up.

"Oh, now I get it," he said, realising what had happened. He and Aden had been caught by these two guards, but instead of taking them back to their proper abode, they decided to put them to their own uses first. "How did you escape?" he then asked. Rillar smiled.

"I am very resourceful, it was just by chance that I saw you two being caught. Now come, we cannot waste another second, for I fear that Molasar is going to make your princess his bride this very hour," said Rillar, leading them out of the room. Aden stopped behind a little, turning to the Gerudo who had kissed him so seductively.

"You know, if you're ever coming through Hyrule, I live in Ruto, you're welcome anytime," he informed her. Timothy groaned and grabbed Aden by the arm, dragging him out behind them.

Faykantra eyed the crowd of women before her, somewhat nervously. These were the common people, the main body of the community. Faykantra had not taken the chance of inviting any of Molasar's faithful guards, else they could be tempted to report back to their King. Faykantra could not afford her cover blown, not when the time was growing so close. She looked at the women again. At least they were listening, though. At least they respected her, despite her young age. They recognised her birthright, they knew who her mother had been. They all agreed that Faykantra, the daughter of the former Queen, Faylita, should rightfully be betrothed to their King, Molasar. She was important. She would be heard. Holding her head up proudly, she held up a hand for silence. The women all immediately went quiet.

"My good people, today dawns the most darkest day," she started. "Our Great King, Molasar, is I fear, making a big mistake. Today, he will wed that Westlander Princess, that golden child from the north!" There were several jeers of disapproval from the crowd, and Faykantra smiled. She glanced over at the palace, knowing that Molasar would be too busy with wedding preparations to bother about what his people were up to.

"He mustn't!" shouted one woman loudly.

"No! That is where I need your help," Faykantra stated.

"Anything for you, Princess Faykantra," they all promised. She smiled again, and then strode closer, a gleam in her golden eyes.

"I had thought of killing the Westlander Princess, but that is too dangerous. For she has come from her country without consent, stolen away by our King. Her country might go to war, when they hear their precious princess is dead," she explained. There were several murmurs of agreement. "So... we must get rid of her another way!"

"Kill her! Send her back!" the crowd chanted.

"No killing! No, she must be left alive. But, something good did reach my ears. Two men, Westlanders also, as you may have heard, arrived in this city not long ago, looking for their princess. They must have been sent by the country's ruler, to retrieve her. If they do not succeed, us Gerudo may face more than just war. And Molasar is not thinking straight in this matter. We are no match for the Western Alliance!" Faykantra exclaimed.

"The Westlander men... they are imprisoned," shouted one woman.

"What? Why I released them my very self!" Faykantra said, looking a little annoyed. "But no worry, that is easily rectified anyway," she added, growing calmer. "Do you want the Westlander Princess as your Queen?" she questioned.

"No!" shouted the crowd.

"I have a plan," she stated, her lips curving into a cruel smile. Pacing, she smiled to herself, thinking. The crowd fell silent. "I, Faykantra, shall release the Westlander men, and guide them to the Temple, as the ceremony begins. None of you shall intervene, when they fight Molasar. I have mixed a little potion, which I shall place in the ceremonious wine, which will slow our King's defences. The Westlanders, without interruption, shall escape, with their princess, while Molasar slumps to the ground, unconscious. When he awakes, he shan't remember a thing... he shall awake in his own bed, as if it were all a dream..." she announced. "But! I must have your implicit trust! Promise me, you shall not intervene!" she ordered. All the women bowed down on the sand in front of her in a gesture of agreement. Faykantra smiled. "Good..." she sneered, glancing back over at the palace. Soon, it would be hers... like it was always meant to be...

A short while later, the gerudo Princess skulked down the corridors of the Royal palace, skilfully avoiding the duty guards. She had sent one of her followers down to release Timothy and Aden, and right now, she was heading towards the room where Molasar would wait, before the ceremony. It was traditional for the Gerudo King to sup some wine to relax him, before the marriage, and he would be attended to by several women. Clutching the valuable vial close to her chest, she dashed down another passage, heading closer to the special room. After some time, she finally came upon it, and luckily, no woman stood on guard outside it. Faykantra slipped into the small haven, and immediately spied the pitcher of golden liquid upon a small table, accompanied by various dishes, containing sweet fruits and other fancies. A chair stood next to the table; here, Molasar would sit, while he was calmed by the wine, and a woman playing soothing music. The other women would clean his face, and brush his hair, in preparation for the upcoming event. The room was empty at present, though. The young girl sprinted over to the table, and quickly poured the potion into the jug. It immediately mixed in with the wine, and would taste of nothing. Faykantra then threw the vial out of the window, where it smashed on the ground far below, leaving little evidence. She smiled, and picked out a sugared fruit from one of the nearby bowls. They were far too tempting, after all. She popped it in her mouth, enjoying the sweet taste it held. At that moment, she suddenly heard footsteps. Heavy footsteps. She gazed around wildly, looking for somewhere to hide. There was nowhere. She dashed behind the large chair just in time. Molasar walked into the room, alone. He closed the door behind him.

"No need to hide, for I saw you stood there," he remarked. Faykantra knew better than to disobey. She emerged from behind the chair, a sultry smile upon her lips.

"Why, King Molasar. I was just checking that all was in place, I did not want you to see me," she remarked silkily.

"What a pleasure to see you, cousin. It has been a while," Molasar said, recognising her.

"I suppose it has. But you have been busy, since you returned from the north," Faykantra stated.

"Indeed," Molasar agreed.

"Such a special day. Mother would have wished to see this," she said. Molasar merely grunted.

"I have waited long enough," he grumbled.

"How interesting your choice of bride is," Faykantra commented.

"She is as cold as that blasted north when it comes to..." Molasar began.

"Well, what do you expect? Of course, your own people can provide for your... needs, quite adequately," Faykantra said slyly.

"I will change her," Molasar said stoically.

"But in the meantime..." Faykantra said, smiling knowingly at him. Molasar let out a deep laugh.

"Ha! You are but a child, cousin!" he exclaimed.

"You have bedded younger, do not deny it!" Faykantra said, looking angry.

"I do not," Molasar said, folding his arms.

"You are but a child yourself, as is she," the princess added.

"She is a woman, but she does not know it yet. And I am a man, I am a great King!" Molasar said loudly.

"She is not much older than me!" Faykantra pointed out.

"You are still a child, I will have nought to do with you, cousin!" Molasar roared angrily. She was not deterred. She slid up behind him, placing her arms around his neck.

"Ensure your line is doubly made, take me now as a precaution, in case that Westlander Princess does not provide you a heir," she murmured, nuzzling his neck. Angrily, Molasar pulled her away, and pushed her across the room.

"I will ensure that she does, I do not need you for that!" he exclaimed. Faykantra stood up, eyeing him angrily.

"There was once a time when you would not have said no," she commented.

"That time has passed. I only have eyes for Brianna, now," Molasar replied.

"That is apparent," Faykantra noted, slightly sarcastic.

"You are as bad as you mother, may she rot forever!" Molasar replied, not happy with her tone.

"My mother raised you as her very own, you should not curse her name so!" Faykantra retorted angrily.

"Well maybe cousin, if you let me be, instead of enticing me away from my love, I would not," Molasar said, folding his arms again. Faykantra let out a short laugh.

"Oh, I entice you, do I? I thought you said I was but a child?" she said.

"You are the most beautiful of all the Gerudo, you are almost ready to become a woman, I would take you now, would I not be wedded in a few hours," Molasar said, gazing at her in a way that made her stomach turn somersaults.

"You are not wedded yet, it is no crime," Faykantra whispered, moving closer once more. She and Molasar met in a searing kiss, but a few seconds later, he quickly pulled away.

"No! It shall never be, leave now!" he ordered. Faykantra smiled, then headed towards the door.

"Cousin, you know where I am, should she leave you cold tonight," she remarked.

"I do. But she shall not," Molasar said.

"We shall see," Faykantra replied smugly. Then she walked outside.

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