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.
Juliet A. Singleton (Scullys@bigfoot.com) & Kirsty Singleton (Space@xs.clara.net)
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Zelda felt extremely tired the next morning, due to the fact that she'd lain awake worrying for the better part of the previous night. However she forced herself to get up knowing that Nick would be paying them a visit sometime soon, and most probably today. Sprite flew into Zelda's room, looking extremely happy. "Good morning!" she said brightly .
"I wish," Zelda replied, rubbing her eyes in an attempt to stay awake. Sprite didn't notice the Princess's sombre mood.
"Wow, I had such a great time last night! Carrie introduced me to this guy, Cornelius, except he just likes to be called Con, and the party was just fabulous!" she said excitedly.
"Party?" Zelda enquired, sorting through her dresses.
"Don't you remember? It was the autumn ball! We have it every year, remember, you and Link saw us all celebrating last year!" Sprite said, grinning.
"Oh yeah... I remember," Zelda answered, choosing a wine red gown and holding it up against herself in the mirror.
"Well, this year it was even better. And Con, he has an identical twin brother called Vladimar, I think their parents like weird names," the faerie giggled.
"They're not any worse than my name," Zelda remarked. She'd always wished her parents had named her something else, the tradition of calling every female first born heir Zelda seemed completely stupid to her. She had already vowed that she would never subject her own children to the same torture. Sprite just laughed.
"Anyway, Carrie is going to date Vlad, and I'm going to date Con. The worst thing is though, we still can't tell the difference!" she exclaimed.
"I'm sure you'll be able to sooner or later," Zelda answered, smiling slightly. The faerie's cheerful mood was almost infectious.
"I sure hope so! I would be so embarrassed if I got them muddled up!" Sprite replied. Zelda got changed into the dress, then began on her hair.
"So where's Link?" the faerie asked, zapping Zelda's hairbrush playfully, so that it flew out of her hands.
"Sprite!" Zelda said in mock anger. She bent down to retrieve the hairbrush, still speaking. "Link's trying to retrieve the Triforce of Power from Ganon. He's been gone since yesterday morning," the Princess explained.
"By himself?" Sprite enquired.
"I assume so. Perhaps some of the others accompanied him; Selina didn't come back here last night, so I figured she might be with him," Zelda replied, placing her silver circlet on top of her hair. Sprite grinned mischievously.
"Selina, eh? Aren't you a bit worried?" Zelda lightly swatted at Sprite with her hairbrush.
"That's no funny! Besides, I know that I'm the one he's in love with," she said, smiling. Sprite just chuckled, and flew to one side of Zelda. "Come on, I do want to be on time for breakfast. Nick shall probably be arriving soon," Zelda said, opening her bedroom door and walking down the stairs.
Sprite continued chatting as they walked to the Banquet Hall. "My sister was being so facetious last night. She just thinks she's so funny! Well, I certainly wasn't laughing anyway," she said.
"Fleur isn't that bad, I mean I bet she looks up to you really," Zelda replied.
"As if!" Sprite declared. Zelda just smiled, and walked into the Banquet Hall. The table was already set for breakfast, and the King and Fenella were seated there.
"Good morning dear, Sprite," the King said as the two entered the room. Zelda smiled, and took her place at the table.
"Good morning Your Majesties," Sprite said politely, sitting on the edge of the table next to Zelda.
"Is Prince Nicolas arriving today?" Zelda inquired.
"I believe so," the King nodded.
"Faye is so excited about meeting him! To think, a king to be is interested in my daughter!" Fenella exclaimed. Zelda felt like saying, I can't imagine why, but she kept her mouth shut. Instead, she smiled at Fenella and said,
"Nicolas is an extremely wonderful person. I'm sure you shall both enjoy meeting him."
"Yes, that's quite right. The prince is a very good friend of the Kingdom already, but if he did marry Fayette, that would make our alliance even stronger," the King added. Zelda sighed. It seemed to her that half the time, people just got married so that their two countries would remain on speaking terms. Didn't anyone marry for love anymore? Fayette stepped into the room, wearing a particularly tasteful purple gown. Her hair was immaculately curled and her make-up perfect. Zelda could certainly tell that her sister-to-be was dressed to impress.
"Good morning everyone!" she called out as she walked across to the table.
"Good morning dear. My, don't you look pretty this morning?" Fenella said brightly. Sprite made a face at Zelda, and the princess tried hard to stop herself from giggling.
"Well, I do have to look my best mother. After all, I do want to make a good impression on Prince Nicolas!" Fayette replied, sitting down next to Fenella. The King glanced out of the window.
"Why, I believe this is him now," he said, seeing a man riding through the courtyard. Fayette suddenly looked nervous, and Zelda grinned.
"What's so funny?" Fayette asked.
"Is that her favourite saying?" Sprite whispered. Zelda smiled at the faerie then looked across at Fayette.
"I'm not laughing at anything. I just felt like smiling," she replied. Fayette was about to retort, when the King asked where Link was.
"He's still in Saria, I assume," Zelda replied.
"He said something about trying to steal the Triforce of Power back from Ganon," she added.
"I see. Well, I do hope he's being careful," the King replied. Aaron walked into the room, along with Drake.
"Father, you worry too much. You know he'll be just fine," Zelda replied, laughing a little.
Damon, Dion, Charles and Impa also arrived, taking their seats. A messenger walked into the room. "Your Majesties and friends. May I please present - His Royal Highness, Prince Nicolas of Dalsona!" Nick stepped in, looking rather embarrassed. He grinned at Zelda and Drake, then sat down at the table at the spare place across from Fayette.
"Welcome to North Castle again, Nicolas," the King greeted.
"Thank you. I'm glad to be here," Nick replied, smiling round.
"I hope you had a good journey," Zelda said sweetly, jumping in before Fayette had the chance.
"Well, the sea was a little turbulent, but no, it wasn't at all bad," he answered. "Oh yes, and I must congratulate you and Link on your engagement. Where is Link, by the way?" Nick added, looking around for his friend.
"He's gone to Death Mountain. We're after Ganon's Triforce, for it seems likely he may complete the Triforce of Wisdom soon. We need to have the upper hand," Zelda explained.
"Oh, and thanks. We're very happy about it too," she added, smiling.
"I always suspected you had a thing for each other," Nick replied, his eyes twinkling. Zelda just smiled wryly, and Sprite giggled.
"Prince Nicolas, this is my daughter, Fayette," Fenella said quickly, not feeling very happy that all of the prince's attention seemed to be on Zelda.
"Oh yes, of course. I'm very pleased to meet you, Lady Fayette," Nick said warmly, smiling at the pretty girl who was seated across from him.
"Me too, Prince Nicolas," she replied in a shy tone.
"Call me Nick. It's much more informal," Nick replied, smiling at Fayette again.
"Oh, okay," Fayette replied, still looking shy.
"Nick, how's it going back in Dalsona, old friend?" Drake asked. "Simply wonderful, my friend. My Father's men just discovered a new diamond mine, and we're using the money to build a beautiful new schoolroom and houses for one of our poorer villages," Nick replied.
"How wonderful. I wish we could afford to do such things here, but Hyrule simply hasn't got the resources. Especially not since most of the tax money is used to repair the damage Ganon and his monsters cause," the King said sadly.
"Yes, I heard that Ganon burnt Saria to the ground. I ran into Selina last night in Mido and she told me all about it," Nick replied.
"Yes, a simply terrible business. He even attempted to siege the castle. I don't know what I'd have done without my wonderful men," the King replied.
"And of course, Charles helped out marvellously. I do believe neither of you have met," the King added, gesturing at Charles. Nick smiled at Charles.
"Nick of Dalsona," he said, leaning over the table to shake the man's hand.
"Charles of Lemmink," Charles replied, accepting the handshake.
"Why, you do look familiar!" Nick exclaimed. Charles suddenly realised he had also met Nick before, several years previously.
"I don't think we've met," he answered. Nick grinned.
"I suppose I meet so many people, I get them muddled up!" he said good-naturedly.
"Our Charles is a dragon hunter, and a might fine one at that!" Drake praised. Charles smiled modestly.
"We do get a lot in Lemmink, so I'm well practised," he said.
"I once saw a dragon in Sosaria before!" Fayette piped up, not wanting to be left out of the conversation.
"Ooh, was it big and scary?" Drake enquired, laughing.
"It tried to attack Evian, that's Sosaria's capital you know, but luckily, Lord Richard's men managed to kill it before it did any real damage," Fayette explained. At that moment, breakfast arrived. Zelda wished it was over already. Fayette was already getting very tiresome. The bad feeling she'd had from the night before still hadn't diminished either, and she wondered if she should set off for Death Mountain herself. Then again, it was unlikely that her Father would let her go. Sighing, she settled down to eat her meal, barely listening to the lively chatter around her.
As Zelda stepped out into the passage after breakfast, a messenger stopped her. "Your Highness, a letter for Master Link. Could you please keep it for him, until he returns?" the messenger asked. Zelda nodded, and took the note. Opening it, she discovered that it was in invitation to Hayden's funeral, that was to be held in Ruto the following week. I hope that he gets back soon, she thought, folding the piece of paper back up. She began to walk up to her room, then decided against it. Instead, she walked through the Great Hall and went up the main stairs to the third floor, where Impa's quarters where. She still felt troubled from the night before, and often, Impa could usually come up with an explanation, or at least comfort her. She knocked on the door, then stepped into Impa's cosy rooms. She'd always loved them as a child, and still did now.
"I'll be just a moment," Impa called. Zelda took a seat, and waited for her old nursemaid to finish whatever she was doing. Impa walked over, and smiled warmly at Zelda.
"Hello Princess. Are you okay?" she asked, seeing Zelda's downcast expression.
"Well..." Zelda began, fiddling with the tassel on the nearby cushion.
"Wait a moment. I've made some elderberry juice, and some shortbread. I think that's just the thing to get you smiling again," the Hylian woman suggested. Zelda smiled slightly.
"Thanks Impa, you're the best," she said. Impa smiled, then disappeared to get the treat.
She soon returned, with a big jug of elderberry juice, two cups and a huge plateful of shortbread. Zelda took some, and grinned. "How come you've always just made biscuits whenever me or Link come and see you?" she asked, taking a long drink of the delicious juice.
"Ah, that's my little secret," Impa smiled. Zelda took a bite of the shortbread, which was as delicious too. "Now, what's up? I don't like to see my princess looking so sad," Impa said.
"I'm not sure really. It was just last night, I was getting this really bad feeling, but I don't know why," Zelda replied, taking some more shortbread.
"I'm not surprised. I think many of us feel that Ganon's up to no good," Impa said, giving Zelda a small hug.
"But I'm so worried! If he completes the Triforce of Wisdom, then..." the Princess began.
"Don't worry about it so. Link will make sure that it doesn't happen, just you trust him and everything will be fine," Impa reasoned. Zelda fiddled nervously with her engagement ring, then looked up.
"But Impa, it's so dangerous! What if Ganon captures him, or he gets in some other trouble?" she exclaimed.
"Princess, Link knows what he's doing. Don't you worry, it's not good for a young girl like you," Impa chided. Zelda sighed melodramatically.
"Well, it's just that..." she began. "Now come on, we'll have no more of this nonsense. It sounds to me like you're just missing him," Impa interrupted.
"I'm not missing him!" Zelda protested.
"Princess, you forget how long I've been around. I know these things you know," the nursemaid grinned. Zelda smiled slightly, then took some more of the shortbread.
"This is so delicious. Link will be devastated to hear that he missed out," she said, grinning.
"That's more like it! Now you keep smiling and stop your worrying. You'll soon see that you'll feel much better," the old woman promised.
Link trotted Carefree over North Castle's drawbridge, tired, but happy. Captain Krin greeted him cheerfully. "Welcome back!" he called. Link smiled and nodded. He stabled Carefree, then immediately looked around for Zelda. She usually liked to be outside, but the sky was overcast, a sure sign of the approaching winter. He entered her tower, and made his way upstairs, hoping that she would be there. However, the princess was nowhere to be seen, and Link couldn't be bothered to take another trip all the way back downstairs again, so he decided to sit down and wait for her. He'd soon fallen asleep on the bed, when Sprite flew into the room 10 minutes later, to get a document Zelda had written for her father. Seeing him there, she smiled to herself, and flew over and perched on his shoulder. Oh... he looks so tired, I just can't bear to wake him, the faerie thought to herself. She saw his pack down on the ground, and curious, lifted the flap up and peeped inside. A myriad shaft of blue and red light seeped out, and she dropped the flap quickly, satisfied. Well, I guess he's saved the kingdom again. Zelda will be pleased, certainly, Sprite thought, glancing back over at him. Then, remembering what she'd come up for, she went over to Zelda's desk to get the piece of paper she'd promised to bring downstairs.
"Zelda!" Sprite called, as she flew into the Debate Room, where a royal council meeting was being held. Zelda looked extremely bored; her father had told her to attend the meeting for it would be good practice when she was running the country, but her mind was on things other than taxes, and how much money ought to be invested in the rebuilding of Saria. She looked up hopefully as Sprite landed in the middle of the table, a big smile on her face. "Everyone, Link is back and has retrieved both Triforces like he promised! A complete version of the Triforce of Power, and a half complete version of the Triforce of Wisdom! Isn't it fabulous?" she cried excitedly.
"Absolutely marvellous! Tell him to come down here at once!" the King said.
"Well... he's asleep. I think we ought to leave him," Sprite answered. Zelda stood up.
"I have to speak with him now, regardless," she stated.
"He's in your room, but I don't think..." Sprite began. Zelda smiled at her father.
"I know we're in the middle of an important meeting, but I really don't see the point of me being here, so I'm going to see Link," she decided.
"My dear, we'll be finished soon," the King objected.
"Well then, I might as well go anyway," she said, walking towards the doorway.
"Oh okay," the King relented helplessly, as his daughter rushed out of the room excitedly. He turned to Sprite.
"Did you get that document I asked for? I do hope Zelda didn't manage to lose it," he said. Sprite dropped a scroll onto the table.
"This is the one," she told him.
Zelda pushed open the door into her bedroom quietly. She didn't want to wake Link up just yet, she just wanted to take the Triforces to safety. She found them in Link's pack, and quickly took them across to his magically protected tower. It would have been wonderful to have had three complete Triforces, but for now, two complete and one incomplete was enough. At least it stopped Ganon, or anybody else from being more powerful. The Princess had never seen all three Triforces together at once, and she knew if they restored the Triforce of Wisdom, the three could be fused together to create one big powerful Triforce- the key to destroying Ganon for good. She treble checked her protection spell, before going back to her room. Link was still fast asleep when Zelda returned there. Smiling, she pushed him slightly, so that he would wake up. "Link! You are so great, do you know that?" she told him. The exhausted hero sat up, and rubbed his eyes.
"Oh... hi Zel," he said sleepily. She sat down next to him, grinning.
"How did you manage it?" she questioned.
"Oh... Well I guess I just stabbed Ganon a few times with my silver-tipped sword, and it killed him for a short while, so I made off with the Triforces whilst I had the chance. No doubt he'll manage to resurrect himself sooner or late. It turns out that Trenon was consorting with him, so I killed him too," Link replied, feeling more awake now.
"Who cares? We practically have three Triforces! And once we do have all three complete, we can be rid of Ganon for good!" Zelda exclaimed excitedly. "Yeah, but Zel, I think I've had enough adventuring for one day. Spending the night in Death Mountain wasn't very pleasant," Link said, grinning slightly.
"I'm just so glad that you're back! You got me out of the most boring royal council meeting ever!" Zelda said, hugging him.
"I guess I'm just too wonderful for words!" he replied, laughing.
"I'm just so happy... I could kiss you!" Zelda said. Link grinned at her.
"Why don't you?" he enquired. "I was just about to!" Zelda answered, leaning forward to give him a kiss.
"Nick is here," she added.
"Really? I think I ought to go and say hello," Link said, pleased that their friend was there for a visit.
"It's too bad that he's being entertained by Fayette. He came here in particular, just to see her!" Zelda said unhappily.
"Fayette? Why? I thought she was gonna marry some knight?" Link replied, puzzled.
"Evidently not. Besides, how could she pass up on the chance to attempt to become a queen?" Zelda said, beginning to smile again.
"I suppose you're right," Link agreed.
"You can see Nick at dinner. Right now, I think you ought to take a break. I'll go and get you something to eat, I'll be right back," Zelda promised.
"Where are you going with all that?" Fayette asked, as Zelda walked down the corridor towards her tower, attempting to carry a tray of food. She had so much on it, that she was finding it hard to manage.
"Well, Link missed both breakfast AND lunch, so I'm taking some food up for him," she replied, looking annoyed that Fayette had stopped her.
"What, up all those stairs? To your room?" Fayette replied incredulously.
"Yes. Why not?" Zelda replied, leaning against the wall slightly.
"Really, he ought to at least come downstairs to eat," Fayette said.
"Since when? It's not a rule that every meal has to be eaten in the banquet hall, you know," Zelda retorted.
"Anyway," she added, "how come you aren't with Nick?"
"There is such a crime as appearing too keen, you know," Fayette replied, looking smug. Then she smiled.
"Aren't you excited though? In a few days, Mother will be married to your Father!" Zelda looked down at the floor.
"I'm sure it will be a wonderful day for most of us," she said quietly. Fayette just smiled.
"I knew Mother would learn to love again someday. I'm so happy for her." Zelda nodded.
"I'm going to take this up to Link," she stated, beginning to ascend the stairs.
"Watch your step!" Fayette called out sweetly. Oh, shut up! Zelda thought in return. She was certainly glad at the present moment that she'd been born into royalty. How awful it must be for the maids who had to bring the food all the way up backstairs for each meal that was served! Halfway up, she stopped to rest. While she wasn't about to drop the actual tray, she felt like some of the things on it, like the glass, were about to fall off. Somebody would probably have brought it up, but they were so busy preparing the roast for the honorary dinner for Nick that evening, that she hadn't wanted to bother anyone. Sighing, she began to walk up the steps carefully again. She supposed it was their job to carry things about, but it really was hard work. She wished she could do something to make their job easier. As she thought about it, she finally reached the top of the stairs, and sighing in relief, stepped into her bedroom. Link, who was reading a book, immediately got up and took the tray.
"Zel, you didn't really bring this all the way up here?" he said, smiling at her.
"Well, Impa does it often enough. Besides, everyone was busy, so I had little choice," Zelda answered, smiling back.
"Anyway, I didn't really mind. It's just carrying something so unstable up all those steps!" she added. Link grinned, then settled down to eat his meal.
"Oh... I almost forgot," Zelda began, suddenly looking serious.
"Yeah? What's up?" Link enquired. Zelda picked up a piece of paper from her desk.
"It's an invitation for me and you.... To attend your brother's funeral in Ruto," she said softly. Link nodded, turning the paper over.
"My aunt and uncle want to see me before then, though," he said, reading what was written.
"Oh?" Zelda asked.
"I haven't been to see them in ages," Link explained.
"Well, my Father marries Fenella on Saturday, that's in five days. They'll certainly be invited, why don't you see them then?" the Princess suggested.
"I have a feeling this is a family thing, Zel," Link said, folding the letter back up.
"Father will send his men down under the mountains, and drive out those barbarians once and for all," she promised, stepping forward to give Link a hug. He hugged her back tightly. "Everything will soon be alright again," she murmured, not sure whether she was speaking to Link or herself.