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.

Zelda: Requital

Juliet A. Singleton (Scullys@bigfoot.com) & Kirsty Singleton (Indigo_Spacen@mail.com)

Chapter 5

    Far, far away, to the south, in Benlucca, a very sad ceremony was taking place. It was the funeral of their late Queen, Balayna, 'She of the Sunset'. Only a week ago, she had passed away in giving birth to a child. As was customary in the Gerudos, the body had been cleaned and bathed in scented oils, and dressed in a pure white robe, nothing more. The body was placed in the Temple of Winds, where a lighted torch set fire to the body, burning it to ashes. Two large golden urns full of sweet burning incense had been placed at either end of the altar, to mask out the odour of burning flesh. A lone harpist sat in a corner, strumming out the throes of a melancholy tune. The Gerudos were all crowded around, watching the spectacle sadly. Balayna had been a great and just leader to their people, and many were sad that she had been taken from them. A deep, dark voice suddenly permeated the minds of the watching women. She deserved it, she was a traitor, the voice said. They all glanced around at each other fearfully. The voice sounded like that of their supposedly dead king, the evil Ganondorf Dragmire.

    "Surely it cannot be?" Jenimue whispered, turning to look at Dindraina in horror.

    "Balayna assured us that he was dead," Dindraina replied, trying to sound confident about it. She and Jenimue had been some of the few of Balayna's loyal followers, who during the recent war against Hyrule, had rebelled against Ganondorf, and helped Link and Princess Zelda instead. No-one had known about the rebellion, but obviously, Ganondorf had known. If this truly was him, in spirit, then they had something to be worried about. The flames licked at Balayna's body greedily, reducing it to nothing but black charcoal. When it finally stopped burning, Kalimesse scooped the ashes into the bejewelled urn, and sealed it up.

    "May the Great Balayna have safe passage to the Afterlife," she announced, and the crowd all murmured in agreement.

    A few hours later, Faylita, the new Gerudo Queen, was lying upon a silken mattress, and satin cushions, being fanned by two attendants. Faylita had been Balayna's younger sister, she was only nineteen years old, but that wasn't an unusual age to assume power of the tribe. Some rulers had been even younger, especially the male ones. Her name meant 'She of the Rain Clouds', and she was certainly pleased to have the chance at being Queen, even though she deeply missed Balayna. Suddenly, the deep voice that she'd heard back in the Temple of the Winds, filled her mind again. You must take care of the child, and teach it your magic, the voice told her. Faylita glanced up, to see if her attendants had heard the voice too, but they continued fanning her as if nothing had happened. Do not let that old hag be its guardian, it is your duty now, the dark voice continued. Faylita shivered in fear, but she felt obliged to do as she was told.

    "Send for Kalimesse," she ordered her attendants. The two walked off, leaving her in peace for a few minutes, while they carried out her request. "Ganondorf?" she said out loud, glancing about the room, as if he might be there. She received no answer, except for silence. "Who is this?" she questioned again. Still no answer. Faylita had been insanely jealous when Ganondorf had picked Balayna to be his wife. She had only been second-in-charge at the time, but the Queen had been old, and Ganondorf had not favoured her. He had killed her, and put Balayna in her place, despite her protests. Faylita had often wished that he'd picked her, instead. It would have been such an honour. You will teach Molasar the black arts you know so well, Faylita, the voice suddenly said, making her jump. She didn't dare say no. "Yes," she found herself saying, even though she hadn't intended to. Good. I knew I could count on you, Faylita, the voice said. Faylita nodded slowly. "Yes, My Lord," she said softly. A sudden movement of the drapes over the door caught Faylita's attention, and she saw Kalimesse stood in the doorway questioningly. Faylita rose from the mattress, and walked over to the old woman. "I have decided that I shall care for Molasar from now on," she said.

    "But why? My Queen, you are busy enough," Kalimesse protested. Faylita's eyes narrowed.

    "My sister would have wanted it this way. I am his aunt, after all," she said. Kalimesse nodded slowly.

    "Well, if you must," she said.

    "Have the child moved to my chambers at once. I must supervise all aspects of his upbringing from now on," Faylita said shortly.

    "Yes, My Queen," Kalimesse said, curtseying, before leaving the room. You have done well, the voice stated. Faylita folded her arms, and smiled to herself. She would do a perfect job of raising Molasar...


    Link led his horse, Carefree back into the stables, and bedded him down for the evening. He filled the horse's trough with some oats, and another with some clean water, then making sure that the stall door was secure, he walked back outside, into the courtyard. He headed through the training range, and up the path along the eastern wall of the battlements. The sun was beginning to set; it was after ten 'o clock already. Link had been to Ruto that afternoon to visit his aunt and uncle, and ended up staying later than he'd planned. Zelda would probably be wondering where he was. He'd seen them a few days before, when they'd attended Brianna's christening, but they'd invited him back for a meal. He'd looked forward to it, because he didn't get to see them very often, and they were the only real family he had left. However, when he'd arrived, his aunt Janey and uncle Govan had had a guest round. It had been the elder from Gardarika Town in Catalia, Link's birthplace, well almost. He'd been born in the Kokiri tribe village a few miles away. The Elder, Arcesius, had wanted Link to marry Kylara, a Kokiri girl, but he'd gone ahead and married Zelda. Kylara had then killed herself, so he and Arcesius were not on very good terms. The whole afternoon and evening had not been at all pleasant for him. As he walked past the marble fountain, he saw a tiny figure seated on the rim of the pool, their knees drawn up to their chest, and their head resting down on top. It looked like Sprite.

    "Sprite?" he questioned. She looked up, and sighed.

    "Hi," she said quietly. Link seated himself upon the stone rim, and peered down at her.

    "You're not usually at the castle this late," he noted. Sprite sighed again.

    "I know. But... well, I don't really feel like going back to Silva-Veredis Le' Fey at the moment," she answered.

    "Why not? Your family being unreasonable again?" Link questioned.

    "Sort of," Sprite replied.

    "So, you want to talk about it?" her friend asked, looking concerned. Sprite looked down at the floor, noticing a lone, shiny black beetle crawling across the flagstones. It looked utterly repulsive, and she shuddered slightly.

    "You wouldn't understand, Link. I'm sorry, but it's a faerie matter only," she replied.

    "Well, okay. But don't sit out here alone all night. It'll get cold later, you know," Link said, standing up. He brushed down his tunic, and then began to walk away, towards the castle.

    "Actually, Link. Wait!" she called after him. He paused, and turned back questioningly. Sprite sighed again to herself. He was actually bothered about her, even though she was only a faerie, someone pretty insignificant, really. Sometimes, she wished that he were a faerie too, or that she was a Hylian, then they could be together. Pushing such thoughts out of her mind though, she flew over and hovered in front of him.

    "It's Navi," she started.

    "Navi? Oh, not this again," Link said, frowning.

    "Link, she accused me of a multitude of crimes before the faerie council, and now I'm in deep trouble!" Sprite exclaimed.

    "What? Why?" Link asked, looking somewhat surprised. Sprite shrugged.

    "Don't ask me. She's hated me from day one," she replied.

    "As have you hated her from day one. If you'd both give each other a chance..." Link began.

    "Link! You're supposed to be on my side! She just butted in from like nowhere," Sprite interrupted.

    "Actually, if it hadn't been for Navi..." Link tried. Sprite interrupted again.

    "This is so frustrating!" she exclaimed, holding her hands up in defeat.

    "Well, she did come for a reason, you know," Link stated. He shoved his hands in his pockets, and regarded Sprite somewhat disappointedly.

    "She did her job, and now it's time for her to go back to the past, back to her eternal sleep, until she is needed again," Sprite said.

    "Well, maybe. But there's no reason for you to act so jealous," Link replied.

    "I'm not jealous... although, how would you like it if someone turned up, and just pushed you aside and took your job away?" Sprite asked. Link thought about this for a moment.

    "You do have a point," he finally acknowledged.

    "Well, that's how I feel. And now I'm in trouble with my elders, because of her," Sprite said, looking sad. Link reached out and caught hold of her, and gently ruffled her hair with his little finger affectionately.

    "Don't worry. I'm sure that you'll be able to charm your way out of any sort of trouble, as you usually do," he grinned. Sprite tried to smile back, but she didn't feel quite as confident.

    "Sure thing," she said quietly, as he let her go, and turned to walk inside.

    Zelda sat on Aaron's bed, gazing at the Triforce intently. It glowed and shimmered, yet she could feel nothing emanating from the object. It remained, as ever, in three separate prisms, coloured blue, red and greeny-yellow. Wisdom, power and courage. Something was troubling the Princess, and she had come to the Triforce Tower, in hope that her Triforce, the Triforce of Wisdom, would give her some guidance towards these feelings. But, even as she quietly concentrated, nothing came to her. Zelda had a slight psychic ability, which sometimes allowed her to have visions, and warnings and such. It was once a quality found in many Hylians throughout Hyrule, but since their lines had intermixed with other races, most had lost the ability over the hundreds of years. Zelda, being royal, had an advantage, because her line was almost pure, and therefore retained the skill. Link too, had an almost pure Hylian line, and was slightly inclined to such feelings, but he wasn't as intimately in touch with his psyche as she was, and so often didn't feel the way she did. He could manage telepathy, but that was about it. But at least he understood, and knew that she really could sense when something might be wrong. Others, such as Drake, usually scoffed at her claims, even though he happened to be a Hylian himself, and the humans, like Selina, couldn't really understand, because they'd never even had such an aptitude in the first place. Zelda admitted to herself that she was a born worrier, and prone to being obsessive about the safety of Hyrule, and not to mention the Triforce, but tonight, there seemed to be something in the air. A darkness... but, it seemed so very far away. Perhaps that was why the Triforce wasn't picking up on it, or maybe she was so fearful of Ganon returning, that she had somehow imagined the notion, and then convinced herself that it was true. But he's imprisoned in that damn sword! He couldn't possibly have escaped! she told herself, as firmly as possible. Leigh, the Avatar from Sosaria, had trapped Ganondorf's spirit in a gem prison, and assured them that he couldn't escape from it. Zelda knew the exact location of the sword. It was locked in an iron strongbox, which was made from plates six inches thick, and padlocked with several chains. Then it had been placed in a number of boxes, each bigger than the last, and every one magically, and manually locked. Zelda had cast one of her own sealing spells upon it, and so had Leigh. It was impossible to lift, and impossible to open. The chest had been placed in a secret cellar, which lay many metres down below the actual castle basement, the location known only to a very few members of the castle, such as herself, Link, her father, Impa and Drake. Suddenly, as she gazed into the shimmering blue depths of the Triforce of Wisdom, an image suddenly flashed in her mind. It was of a baby, a baby with dark skin. However, she could make out nothing else of it's features. The vision disturbed her somewhat, although she didn't know why. A cold chill went through her, making her shiver slightly, and she was sure that she could hear laughter at the back of her mind. Suddenly, the door to the room was opened, and Aaron and Aimée walked in, and Zelda lost her concentration. They stared at her in surprise.

    "I'm sorry... Princess," Aaron hastily apologised. Zelda turned to look at him, her face pale. "Are you okay?" he added. She nodded.

    "I'm just tired... I didn't mean to surprise you, I... I just wanted to come and see the Triforce for a while," she said, standing up.

    "Worried it might not all be here?" Aaron joked. Zelda smiled wryly.

    "I just wanted to think about some stuff, that's all," she said. The young Triforce Protector nodded in understanding. Zelda hitched up her long skirt a little, and walked over to the door.

    "Goodnight," she said.

    "Goodnight," Aaron and Aimée called after her, as she walked down the stairs.

    "What was all that about?" Aimée questioned, looking a little confused. Aaron shrugged.

    "You know Zelda," he replied. He placed a sheet over the top of the Triforce, and then pulled the curtains shut. "Come on, let's get some sleep," he said, smiling over at his wife.

    Zelda walked quickly up the tower stairs to her bedroom. She hadn't meant to stay up at the Triforce room as long as she had. The princess slipped into the darkened room, and realised that Link mustn't be back from Ruto yet, or that he was still downstairs. Brianna was fast asleep, as usual. She got changed into her night-dress and robe, and climbed into bed, still thinking about the vision that she'd had. It had been of a baby, what could that mean? It certainly hadn't been Brianna, but could it somehow be connected to her? Or had she just imagined it? Just got herself upset over nothing? It sometimes happened, but she was rarely wrong about anything. She sighed to herself, and forced herself to put the incident out of her mind. Think about the Summer Festival, she told herself. The even would be happening in very few days, and she'd barely got even half of it sorted out. And then there was the matter of gaining contact with Sosaria, to hope that all was well in Hyrule's sister country. Captain Jamison had set sail that very day, and Zelda fervently wished that he and his crew were safe from the notorious pirates that roamed the in the sea that separated the two countries. Her missive to Lord British had to arrive safely, for if it didn't, her last alternative would be to send Link across flying on Sal, but even that might not be safe, for many people saw dragons as threats, and would shoot them down without question. At that moment, Link walked into the room, looking absolutely exhausted.

    "Did you just get back?" she questioned. He nodded.

    "Sorry. My aunt and uncle... well, they had a guest, and they kind of delayed me," he said.

    "That's alright," Zelda answered amicably, trying to hide her worry. That was another thing that Link was good at picking up on. He didn't seem to notice though; in fact, he seemed rather preoccupied. He got in bed beside her, and gave her a kiss and a cuddle. "Did you have a nice time?" she asked quickly, before Link could question her about her day.

    "It was alright," Link replied, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. "Did you get anymore of the Festival planned?" he added.

    "Well... a little. Nothing much that interesting, though," Zelda replied.

    "You're going to do a great job, stop worrying," Link said.

    "I'm not worrying," she protested.

    "You are," Link answered, smiling knowingly at her. Zelda sighed, and then smiled back at him and nodded. It was better to let him think that it was the Festival she was worried about, and not something else, she figured. "Anyway, this is nothing compared to what taking on the responsibility full-time will be like. If you're worried about this..." he began.

    "Well, I have so much to... to.. well, you know. Everyone loves my father so much, what if they think I'm a lousy ruler?" Zelda questioned.

    "They won't. Anyway, you're forgetting something," Link said.

    "What?" Zelda asked.

    "You've got me," he replied, leaning forward to give her a kiss.

    "Yes. I really don't know what I'd do without you," she replied truthfully, as he snuffed the candle on the nightstand out.

    "Panic?" he questioned cheekily.

    "Link!" she protested, punching him lightly in the arm.

    "Zel!" he groaned, clutching his arm in mock hurt.

    "Serves you right. I don't panic," she stated firmly.

    "Most of the time you don't," he joked.

    "I'll really hurt you in a minute," Zelda threatened, forgetting about her problems for the moment.

    "Oh I'm scared. You punch like a girl anyway," Link mocked.

    "You'll regret that you ever said that!" Zelda announced. She leaned over towards him, but he was too quick, and grabbed her by the shoulders, pulling her close for a long, lingering kiss instead. They were interrupted however, by Brianna beginning to cry.

    "What is it about babies?" Link sighed.

    "I don't know, but they have great timing, don't they?" Zelda answered, clambering sleepily out of the bed, and walking over to the cradle to give her new-born daughter a cuddle. As she held Brianna close, she was suddenly reminded about the baby in the vision the Triforce had given her. She shivered slightly, and hold Brianna even tighter. The baby stopped crying, and she put her back down into the crib.

    "Thank goodness for that," Link announced, interrupting her thoughts. "I thought she might keep that up all night," he added. Zelda turned back to the cradle, and peered down into it. Brianna had fallen asleep again already.

    "Lucky for us," she smiled, heading back over to the bed. Stop thinking about that damned vision! she told herself, as she pulled the covers up over herself to keep warm. For some reason, she suddenly felt very cold.

    "Are you okay?" Link suddenly asked, his tone sounding concerned.

    "I'm fine," she replied.

    "Tired?" he questioned.

    "A little. I think it's just all catching up on me," she admitted.

    "Next time she wakes, leave it up to me," Link said softly, giving her a hug.

    "Thanks," Zelda replied, feeling grateful. They both settled down for the night, and Zelda drifted off into an uneasy sleep, as she worried about the fate of Hyrule...

    "Okay Ewan, how'd you like to come fishing with me, Tim, and Aaron today?" suggested Link as he woke his weary son. Ewan's eyes snapped open immediately, nodding his head eagerly.

    "Would I?" he said with enthusiasm.

    "We're going to have to set off soon though, there's more fish to catch in the morning," warned Link, helping Ewan get dressed.

    "I don't mind," said Ewan, pulling his tunic over his head. Link handed him a belt, which he quickly fastened around his waist, and finally, he shoved on some shiny, black boots.

    "Hope you're not afraid of getting wet though," said Link. Ewan shook his head, rolling up his sleeves.

    "I'm not afraid of nuthin'," he said grimly. Link smiled and patted Ewan on the head.

    "Course not," said the hero, humouring his son. Only the night before, Ewan had sneaked into his parents bed, complaining about the scary monsters in the nursery. At the time, the boy had been half asleep, so it was likely that it had been a bad dream, rather than the alternative that Link liked to think of, and that those scary monsters were Ewan's cousins, especially Rosella and Roderick. Ewan appeared to catch on to what his father was thinking and shook his head.

    "I want to see Brianna, that's all," he insisted.

    "I believe you," protested Link with a laugh. He looked around the rest of the beds in the nursery. Timothy's was all rumpled, and empty, so Link guessed that Tim had probably crept up to his parents room the night before. The rest of the beds were occupied with the sleeping bulk of the children, except Ewan's of course. Link looked at Ewan's bed, giving his son a meaningful look.

    "Oh but father, Impa always makes them," groaned Ewan.

    "Impa needs all the help she can, and you can start by making your bed," said Link firmly. Ewan nodded, and turned to make his bed. "Tim hasn't made his," pointed out Ewan as he caught sight of his friend's bed. Link nodded, striding over to the bed.

    "That's why I'm going to make it, just this once though," said Link, quickly pulling the sheets straight, and settling the blanket in it's proper place. Link was surprised that not another child had stirred, but he guessed they must be heavy sleepers. He walked back over to Ewan's bed, eyeing it critically. It was quite neat, but their were a few wrinkles here and there. Link quickly straightened them out then took hold of Ewan's outstretched hand, leading him out of the nursery.

    "Got everything?" asked Link outside the gate, where they had chosen to meet. Aaron nodded, holding up a metal box.

    "What's in there dad?" whispered Ewan.

    "It's called the tackle box, it'll carry our bait, weights, spare lines, and some other stuff," explained Link. Link could see two rods by Aaron's side, one quite a bit smaller than the other, that'd be the one for Tim to use. Link had his and Ewan's rods, Ewan's was also smaller, they could hardly expect some five year old kids to use a full sized rod just yet. Link remembered when he'd been a lad, he'd been quite an expert fisherman, catching sixteen pounders regularly. Last time he'd gone fishing, which had been the first time in years, he'd caught a twenty-two pounder, the biggest catch of his life. When he'd been much younger though, catching eight to twelve pounders had been more his thing. Link hoisted Ewan up onto Carefree, before getting on behind him. "I got the food," said Link, pointing to a small pack on his back.

    "Great, come on then," said Aaron with a grin, motioning his horse to set out a leisurely pace, they had plenty of time after all, the sun still had to rise.

    "It's beautiful," said Ewan with awe as he gazed out at the small lake. The first rays of sun danced off the water prettily, almost enticingly.

    "The best fishing spot in the whole of Hyrule if you don't mind me saying. Me papa ran it before me, and so did his. At one time someone in ma family was running another fishing spot in the south east of Hyrule, in Lake Hylia," said the fisherman proudly. Link let out a long whistle.

    "That's going back more than a couple of hundred years," he commented.

    "Yep, and I'm proud to say so. Well, I'll just leave you folks to do as you please, you want a fish weighin' just bring it to me and I'll see if you broke the lake record," said the fisherman, removing his cap and scratching the top of his head.

    "What is the lake record?" asked Ewan and Timothy eagerly. The fisherman smiled kindly down at the two boys.

    "Well for the adults here, it's a twenty six pounder, caught by Error of Ruto. But for little ones like you, it's a nine pounder caught by a little chap who goes by the name of Anthony Cohere. He was eight at the time mind you, so he was quite a bit older than the two of you. Tell you what, if either of you can catch a six pounder, I'll give the both of you a little prize," said the fisherman.

    "Yeah! We're gonna win that prize Mr!" said Timothy eagerly.

    "Well now I'm pleased to hear that. Now if you need me, I'll be in my cabin at the corner of the lake," said the old man, waving to the four as he walked away.

    "Dad, what's the biggest fish you ever caught?" asked Ewan, hopping around excitedly.

    "Last time, I caught one that weighed a good 21 pounds," said Link with a grin. He'd never beaten the record set by Error though.

    "What about you Uncle Aaron?" asked Ewan.

    "Same as your father, 21 pounds," said Aaron, grinning at Link. That day the fish had really been biting.

    "Alright then. I'll go check the horses are okay, while you find us a good spot to fish from," said Link, nodding at Ewan and Timothy.

    "Alright. Come on Tim, we'll find the best place to fish from ever!" said Ewan, rushing off down the shore of the lake, his feet splashing in the water. Link then walked off to the cabin, where he'd tied the two horses, checking they had enough grass to feed on, and water. They were in the shade of the cabin, so they wouldn't get too hot anyway. He patted Carefree for a moment, before slipping his steed a carrot. He then turned to Aaron's horse, a black stallion by the name of Jet.

    "Alright boy?" asked Link, giving the loyal horse a carrot. He heard whoops and shouts of excitement coming from he lake, he turned and watched as he saw Ewan and Timothy rushing along the edge, splashing each other with the water, Aaron walking along behind carrying all the equipment, keeping a safe distance from the splashes of water. Link smiled, shaking his head, deciding he'd best go and help his friend out.

    "Look at it," said Selina to her friend as she showed Zelda the present from Nick. Zelda stepped forward, touching the material with one hand, holding Brianna with her other arm.

    "Oh Selina, it's beautiful. I told him you were stressing over what you were going to wear but I had no idea he would go out and buy you one. Then again, with Nick, I should've known," gasped Zelda as she fingered the delicate fabric with her fingers.

    "It's even the right size and everything, and he must have had it custom made. How did he know the measurement?" continued Selina, still admiring the dress. Zelda snapped her fingers.

    "Aimée! He'll have asked Aimée, she's know. After all she does make most of your stuff," said Zelda. Selina nodded, agreeing.

    "It has to be. Aimée makes beautiful stuff, but this had to come from the hand of a Dalsonian seamstress, or a Sosarian one," said Selina. Zelda nodded.

    "You're so lucky!" said Zelda with a laugh. Selina smiled.

    "And you're not?" she remarked, referring to how lucky Zelda was to be with Link. Zelda nodded her head.

    "I know. Link has taken Ewan fishing today, along with Aaron and Timothy. It's great to see them all bonding, getting along. I think they both feel a little guilty, not being there through the war," said Zelda solemnly.

    "I know this may seem a little off, but that's when me and Nick became the closest, on the field. Odd, isn't it?" said Selina, placing the dress back into the wardrobe carefully, so not to crease it.

    "Not really. Something like that can really bring people closer together. At the time, I thought it was driving me and Link further apart, but now that it's over, we're closer than we've ever been. I think this one has helped though," said Zelda, looking down at Brianna lovingly.

    "That's one thing I'm worried about though. Me and Nick are both getting on a bit, what if we can't have children?" asked Selina worriedly.

    "Getting on? You're the same age as me thank you very much. And okay, Nick is quite a bit older, but that much. I'm sure if you want to have kids, you'll get them," reassured Zelda comfortingly. Selina nodded.

    "Can I?" she asked, holding out her arms for Brianna.

    "Of course," said Zelda, carefully slipping Brianna into Selina's arms.

    "She's beautiful, and so serene," said Selina, rocking the child back and forth slowly in her arms.

    "Yes, and even if she starts to cry, she can be calmed almost immediately. I've certainly had it good, both of them were always quiet and undemanding. But even if they hadn't been, I'd still love them more than anyone could imagine, and so does Link," said Zelda.

    "Raymundo seems to be quite a good one, I can remember Fayette saying the rest were all demanding and always restless," said Selina.

    "Mmm. Hey, I bet she'll go green when she sees that dress. There's no way she'll have a better one, even though she's apparently had it custom made from the best dress maker in Sosaria. Hang on, it might not even get delivered, in which case she'd have no chance," said Zelda with a laugh.

    "Shame on you Zelda for even thinking of the situation like that. Although I must admit, it'll be quite funny to see her reaction if my dress were better than hers," said Selina with a small laugh.

    "Of course it will be. I have to admit, it's far better than anything I was planning on wearing, I'll have to find out where Nick got it made, there is no way I can be upstaged at my own festival," said Zelda good-naturedly.

    "Oh I'm sure things can't be that bad. You have millions of gorgeous gowns," insisted Selina. "They look like old sacks compared to that," said Zelda, pointing at the partially visible dress.

    "Now you're exaggerating, none of your dresses could look like old sacks even if they tried!" laughed Selina.

    "Would you wager on that?" asked Zelda. "I would as a matter of fact," said Selina defiantly.

    "Okay then. That dress, for one of my dresses looking like a sack," said Zelda. "No way, you'd probably do something low and underhand like letting Fayette go through your wardrobe with a pair of scissors and a pot of brown paint," accused Selina.

    "As if I would!" said Zelda incredulously, before bursting out laughing.

    "Come on. I want to go and see what Aimée has been telling my husband," said Selina, walking over to the door.

    "Let me take Brianna first," said Zelda, reaching out for her daughter.

    "If you must," sighed Selina, reluctant to hand back the child. Zelda grinned.

    "Well she is my daughter after all, but I think she's due for a change so if you really must," started the princess. Selina quickly handed back Brianna.

    "No, it's alright, you can have her. After all, she is your daughter," said Selina smiling.

    "Works every time," commented Zelda as she followed Selina from the room.

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