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.
Shadows of the Past
Juliet A. Singleton (Scullys@bigfoot.com) & Kirsty Singleton (Indigo_Spacen@mail.com)
Slowly, the sun sank down behind the mountains. The sky changed from a golden myriad of colours, to a soft, velvety darkness which descended over the land of Hyrule like a great blanket. Somewhere, a long way away, perhaps up in the Ruto Mountains, a wolf howled. It sounded lonely and forsaken. A young man, tall and lithe, with unruly dark hair stood on the stone terrace which ran along the front of the castle. He inhaled the night air deeply, feeling strangely at loss at what to do with himself. The night air remained warm, signifying that indeed, summer was coming. The young man sank down, and sat upon the top stone steps. His name was Link. He was the destined hero of the beautiful country of Hyrule. Over the years, the man had overcome many things, fought many battles with evil, diced with death, just for his country. And for his wife... His dear, beloved princess, the only girl he'd ever loved, and the mother of his children. Princess Zelda, sole heir to the throne of Hyrule. She wasn't here right now, instead, she was already in bed, asleep. Usually, they liked to share such sunsets together. She'd complained of feeling tired over the past few days, and Link was worried that she wasn't feeling too well. But, she'd pushed aside his concerns, replying tartly that she was fine, and getting up and going about her daily business, as if nothing was wrong. He supposed she would tell him if there was anything wrong, as soon as she was ready. Link glanced upwards, noticing the stars starting to come out. When he and Zelda had been younger, they'd picked out the brightest stars in the sky, naming them after their dead loved ones. One was for Zelda's mother, Queen Alina, and others were for Link's family; his dead parents, and three siblings. He could still remember those stars this very day, even though they had done it over ten years ago now. The beginning of summer always filled Link slightly with remorse, when other people were extremely cheerful. For it was around this time, that his brother Hayden had been killed by the evil Carcastan tribe from Tanol. This year doubled in sadness though; tomorrow was the first year anniversary of Leigh Temple's death. Link couldn't believe it had been a whole year, since the beautiful, courageous champion of their neighbouring country, Sosaria, had fallen from the top of the Tower of Nagul, and been struck by a lightning bolt. They'd never found her body, but, they had to assume her as being dead. She had never been reported as being seen anywhere in Demiari since the incident had occurred. And a year was a long time. Link looked down into the courtyard, watching the guards patrol. The shadows began to grow longer, masking almost everything in an inky blackness. Was this what death was like, he wondered. He knew that the dead went to a place called the void, but that was all. It was something that he was unable to comprehend himself, even though he had almost been there once himself. But, he had been given a second chance in life, and it was something he meant to make the most of. No-one had ever really noticed when he felt sad. He tried to hide it by acting excessively cheerful, and it worked. Even Zelda, who was very good at picking up on feelings, didn't seem to be sensing his pain right now. She seemed too preoccupied, too tired. Their latest child, Brianna, was quite demanding, even though she was less than a year old. Zelda took more attention of the baby than him. He didn't really mind, because it was something he didn't like to talk about. Especially where Leigh was concerned. Link couldn't mention her name, without Zelda getting huffy about it. The Princess had deeply hated the Sosarian Avatar, and had not made a big secret about it. Tomorrow, Link planned to travel to the Tower of Nagul, along with his friend, Head Knight, Sir Drake, and a few other friends of Leigh's. Zelda had flat out refused to go. Link knew it was no use in even trying to persuade her. Zelda was extremely stubborn, and rarely changed her mind about anything. As he sat thinking about this, a French window opened nearby, and a tall, broad figure stepped out.
"Hey Link, what in Hyrule are ya doin'? Come inside!" Drake shouted.
"Just coming!" Link called back, before standing, and trudging inside.
The Great Hall was the main living area in North Castle. Drake, along with Link's close friend, and one-time apprentice, Aaron, were seated at one of the wooden tables, playing cards. "I fancy a game of poker, how 'bout it?" the knight suggested, as Link walked inside. The hero sat down at the table next to them.
"Why not?" he said amicably. Drake grinned, and began to deal out the cards. Both Aaron and Link reached into their pockets, and dug out a few rupees.
"Did you hear that we're getting a new healer tomorrow?" Aaron remarked conversationally.
"Really? Well, I for one will be hoping that she'll be as hot as Selina was..." Drake began, grinning widely. "At healing, that is," he quickly added, still grinning.
"Of course," Aaron agreed, also smiling.
"How do you know that it'll be a girl, anyway?" Link asked, placing his stake in the centre of the table. Aaron and Drake followed suit.
"Because, healing is mainly a woman's profession," the knight grinned, thinking he was being clever. Link picked up his hand and studied it critically. It wasn't very good, but at least he might have a chance to make it better. He glanced over at Drake. The knight looked pleased with himself, but when playing poker, he used expressions as part of deception to fool them into thinking whether he had a good hand, or a bad hand. Aaron looked a little disappointed. He quickly placed three cards down on the table, and Drake gave him three more.
"First I've heard of getting a new healer," Link remarked, swapping two cards.
"Well, it's not my fault you've not been paying attention to the goings on around here recently," Drake replied. Link didn't reply. The knight put some more rupees in the middle. "Not that there's much been going on," he added.
"So what else is new?" Aaron shrugged. Link frowned.
"You're complaining because nothing is happening?" he said incredulously.
"Well come on Link, you have to admit, it's been a bit boring of late," Drake answered.
"No, it's been nice and peaceful. The way I want it to be," Link stated, watching as Aaron took some more cards. Drake raised his eyebrows.
"You? Enjoying the peace?" he questioned.
"Certainly. Just me, Zel, and the kids, like I've always dreamed," Link said, swapping another card. Drake stared at him, before dumping some more rupees in the centre.
"I'm raising the stakes," he said.
"Fine by me," Link replied. Aaron didn't look so sure. He swapped his cards again.
"You know, ever since you got married, you've got way too serious and sensible," Drake remarked, grinning.
"Well, maybe if you were married, you'd understand!" Link retorted shortly.
"No thanks. Not for me. Don't want to end up like you," Drake laughed.
"Well jeez, thanks a lot," Link said, slamming his cards on the table angrily. "I'm folding," he added, standing up.
"Link, we were only joking around," Aaron said, running a hand through his dark hair.
"Yeah well, can't you see, I'm not in the mood for jokes," Link replied, his brow creased up in a slight frown.
"Well, excuse us for breathing! So what've you done to get the princess angry this time, huh?" Drake questioned, his eyes twinkling.
"Nothing! She's not even angry with me. Just lay off me, alright?" Link replied, glaring at his friend angrily.
"Fine, fine," Drake said, holding a hand up in mock defeat. He turned to Aaron.
"I'll see you," he said. Aaron placed down his cards, and so did Drake. Drake had four of a kind - four kings and one other card. Aaron only had a pair.
"Ah, I knew I was onto a winner!" Drake exclaimed, taking his winnings. Link sighed. He had had a straight flush, which was higher than Drake's. But, for some reason, he didn't feel like playing cards anymore. Sticking his hands in his pockets, he trudged out of the hall, and towards his bedroom.
Zelda was lying fast asleep as he entered the room after a short climb up to the top of the tower. A shaft of pale moonlight was cutting through the curtains, illuminating her slightly. Link lit a candle, and quietly got undressed for bed. Wandering into the bathroom, he began to think about his brother again. He missed him so much... it had been so unfair to have had him snatched away like that so cruelly. For the second time. Link travelled to Catalia when he could, to place flowers on the graves on his dead family, but there were so many bad memories in his home country that he hated to stay for any length of time. He knew that the Catalians of Gardarika Town hated him, because of what had happened with Kylara. Maybe... perhaps it was time to try and patch things up. The recent war, had made Link see things in many more ways. He realised that he'd not valued life, until it had almost been taken away from him. And that sometimes, it was too late to repair broken friendships. The hero walked back into the bedroom, and climbed into the bed, under the soft, warm covers. He blew the candle out, and cuddled up to Zelda, who shifted slightly in her sleep, automatically placing her arms around him. I have to sort things out there, he thought to himself. Maybe then, he could lay to rest all the bad memories, and stop feeling like this. Zelda suddenly stirred, blinking sleepily.
"Link?" she murmured.
"Zel..." he replied, smiling at her in the dark.
"Oh... is it late?" she questioned.
"It's only nearly ten 'o clock," Link answered.
"I thought you'd be up later," Zelda said softly.
"No... I... Zel... I've... I've decided something," Link said.
"Mmm, what?" Zelda questioned, looking a little more alert.
"When I go to Catalia, I think I'm probably going to stay for a few days," Link said.
"What? Why? I thought you hated..." Zelda began, sounding puzzled.
"It's just something I have to do, that's all," Link replied.
"Well... okay," Zelda said, leaning back down against her pillow. "I could always come with you," she added hopefully.
"No... no, it's something I have to by myself. You understand, don't you?" Link asked.
"I guess so," Zelda replied, sounding a little sulky.
"I won't be gone that long, you know," he said, leaning over to place a small kiss on her lips.
"Oh but Link... I feel... I feel like we've had hardly any time together these days. The children keep me so busy, and I've been having to help father with the new set of kingdom decrees..." Zelda murmured sadly. It was true. Over the past few weeks, both of them had been pretty busy. Link was having to help train new castle guard recruits, and he'd had to go over to Valour Hold on more than one occasion. "It... perhaps we could make it a vacation. You know, just you, and me... alone...with nothing to worry about," the princess continued. Link sighed.
"Zel... I don't think you'd want to go to Catalia. Maybe after..." he began.
"Oh, why are you so keen for me not to go?" Zelda questioned, sounding hurt.
"It's not that I don't want you to go, it's just... there's some things I need to do, and I really need to do them alone. Zel, you have to understand me," Link said, lacing his fingers with hers under the covers. She pulled her hands away, however.
"Oh, I understand alright!" she said angrily.
"What? What's the matter?" Link asked, confused by her tone.
"Oh, no doubt you've got some other Catalian girl who you want to see, just like Kylara!" Zelda snapped. Link almost winced at her words.
"Zel, how can you think that?" he asked, very hurt.
"Well, I offer to come along and support you, and you're telling me not to come!" Zelda replied.
"Well, you never wanted to come before," Link said quietly. Zelda went silent. Finally, she spoke again.
"I suppose you'll be going to the tower with Drake tomorrow," she remarked.
"Why wouldn't I be?" Link asked.
"Well, it's obvious now that you did have some sort of feelings for Leigh, isn't it?" Zelda snapped.
"Oh fine, think what you like. But it would mean a lot to me... and everyone else, if you came as well," Link said hopefully.
"Don't count on it!" Zelda replied coldly.
"I can't believe that even after all this time, you won't believe me about Leigh," Link said, his tone still hurt.
"I'll believe you if you don't go tomorrow," Zelda remarked.
"Believe me if I do this?" Link asked, before leaning over to kiss her. She kissed him back, then pulled away.
"I'll think about it," she replied grudgingly.
Early the next morning, Link stepped outside and onto the balcony, just in time to catch the sun rising up into the sky. But instead of the usual myriad of colours, that came with the summer sunrises, it was dull and grey, as Link's mood was, and the sun's rays could pierce neither of the drab and dark exteriors of the sky, nor Link's mind. How fitting he thought, that on the day that marked Leigh Temple's death, the weather would take a turn for the worse. Everyone's mood would be bleak that day, especially his own. He took a deep breath, then winced as a cold drop of water landed upon his forehead. He looked up, to see a menacing black cloud above, and quickly stepped back into his room to avoid the sudden rain shower that followed. Inside, he turned and glanced at his wife, who was still sleeping. He wondered if she was still in a bad mood. He knew it would happen, she seemed to have hated Leigh more than perhaps even than the evil Ganondorf, and Leigh had certainly, in Link's mind, not done a thing to deserve Zelda's bitter hatred. Today, he, Drake and several others would travel back to the Tower of Nagul, to pay their respects. Despite what Zelda thought of the female Avatar, the woman had certainly contributed a great deal to Hyrule's current peaceful state. She had helped Hyrule even after she had been put through a lengthy trial, instigated by Zelda herself, which had resulted in the sentencing of death by public execution. Shortly after the sentencing though, there had been a mysterious revolt among the peasants, caused by the Nightmares, and the castle had been stormed. Zelda had been kidnapped, and Leigh managed to escape, and ended up rescuing Zelda from her own public execution, organised by the Nightmares themselves. After that, a group of them travelled to the Tower of Nagul, which was the Nightmares base, but upon arriving at the tower, it was discovered only Leigh and Link could enter the tower. Once inside, before the two were torn from each others company, Leigh had confided in Link that she had experienced a vision, in which she had seen herself die. Not before, however, they had shared a last kiss. Link shook his head, trying to clear his mind of such thoughts, but it was no use. He had pushed Leigh away, Zelda was the only one for him, but something, he felt, inside him had ceased living when he had seen her fall to her death as they escaped from the tower. There was a small part of him that had loved her, and perhaps, if the situation had been different, he may have just reciprocated Leigh's feelings. He looked back across at his sleeping wife. The way she had acted, during those final few days before Leigh's death had been appalling, nothing of the Zelda he had fallen in love with even present. After Leigh had died though, Zelda seemed to go into shock, guilt overwhelming her for a short while. But after that, she soon returned to her normal, kind and loving, if a little flighty, self. But now, it was all happening again. As soon as Drake had suggested that they go and pay their respects to the heroine, Zelda had been against it. She had been against the tribute plaque that was placed in Mido town cemetery, and in a rare occurrence, she had had the support of her step-sister, Fayette. Link glanced out onto the balcony, amazed at the torrent of rain that poured from the skies. It was extremely reminiscent of the relentless rain that had poured down leading up to that fateful journey to the Tower of Nagul.
Drake watched as heavy droplets of rain hammered against the windows of his quarters, feeling heavy-hearted. He had felt this way for the past couple of days, although his brash and knightly exterior had not shown it. He had never told anyone, nor really admitted it to himself that he had fallen for Leigh's charms whilst he had known her, and had never had the chance to tell, or show her his own feelings. When she had fallen, then been struck by the bolt of freak lightening, he had tried to convince himself it had not happened, he persisted in searching through the rubble of the rapidly crumbling tower through the pounding rain, and it was only until his friends had to drag him away from the site that he realised his true feelings for the Avatar. Her death had made him realise a lot of things, including about his own morality. Even during the war he had never thought about his own death, but to see someone like Leigh killed, it had to make you think, and re-consider your options and life. But, a year on, Drake felt as though nothing had happened for him, believing his was still held by his lingering feelings for the now dead Avatar. He stood up from his bed and hauled on his leather boots, feeling a little too optimistic about the weather conditions. If the rain carried on like this, it was very unlikely that the arranged group would be able to make it to Mido cemetery, never mind the Tower of Nagul.
"Excuse me my good friend, I am looking for some people, I know they came to this land but have not heard from them since, I was wondering perhaps if thou could tell me anything?" asked a polite, well toned voice. Selina, who was accompanied by her husband, and King of Dalsona, Nicolas, turned to look at the stranger. She was surprised he did not recognise her, after all, she was the Queen of the most wealthy and important country in the Demiari. She smiled pleasantly and nodded.
"Certainly sir, although I'm not sure if we could be much help," she responded, but Nick held up a hand.
"Good sir, am I mistaken in thinking you have the tone and gesture of any traditional man of the Sosarian realm?" he asked. The man grimaced and nodded slightly.
"Not at all, yes I am from the shores of that damned place, yet I find it hard to call that realm of corruption my home country," admitted the man, who was handsome and intelligent looking, with a lean, yet strongly built figure. His face was kind of expression, and he had well trimmed black hair, which was greying slightly in places. He looked to be in his mid-thirties.
"But, how can be this be? How in the Demiari did you manage to get here, from Sosaria I mean? The last thing I heard was that Be-, I mean Lord British was forbidding both exit and entry to the country," said Selina, blushing slightly at the slip of her tongue. She had almost called the Lord of Sosaria by his now more familiar name of Beast British. The man smiled slightly at Selina.
"I would not worry milady, of thy slip of tongue, I think of British as well as the next Sosarian, which I must tell you, is very little," reassured the man.
"Then how did you journey here?" pressed Nick. The man held up a small, black and shiny stone.
"This object of rarity is known, in our realm, as a moonstone. It allows passage to all matters of places, using the etheral currents. I managed to acquire it from British's library, it is the only other one of its kind," replied the man. Selina looked at Nick, who did not seem to understand. During the time that Selina and Leigh had shared together on the bloody battlefield of war, Leigh had told Selina a great many things, including how she had got to Hyrule in the first place, via a moonstone, exactly the same as this man was displaying right now. "Really, you must excuse my terrible manners," began the man. He extended a hand shaking both Nicks, and then kissing Selina's. "My name is Sentri I'shtel, in my homeland, I was a trainer, that was, until, British ordered both me and my fellow countrymen to help in the building of his new fort, based over the ruins of Evian," introduced the man. Nick and Selina both gave him a shocked look.
"Evian, in ruins?" asked Nick. Sentri nodded.
"Alas, soon after British began to change, great storms arrived on the shores of our once fair isle, ripping every town from shred to shred. The storm remained over Evian for a whole week, destroying everything in a more complete way than one could imagine," said Sentri, somewhat wistfully.
"But this is most extraordinary, when Zelda asked British if all was well, he agreed that it was," said Selina in amazement. If what this stranger was saying was true, then at the time Zelda had received a missive from British declining her and her country's help, he really was in trouble.
"Zelda? You know the ruler of this land?" asked Sentri. Selina looked back to Sentri and nodded.
"Yes. But forgive us, we have failed to introduce ourselves," said Selina.
"Yes, of course, I am Nicolas of Dalsona, and this is my beautiful wife, Queen Selina of Dalsona," introduced Nick. Sentri's eyes widened in recognition.
"Please, do forgive me your highnesses," said the man, bowing.
"No need good man, now tell us of those you seek," said Nick dismissively. After Sentri seemed to recover from the shock of realising who he was speaking with, he began.
"More than a year ago, our countries champion was cast away from our land, to this fair country, months after, on the orders of British, two more of my friends left in search of our champion," said Sentri.
"You mean Leigh Temple don't you?" asked Selina, who had known for a while. Sentri nodded in excitement.
"You perhaps know of her whereabouts?" he asked. Selina cast her gaze towards a concerned Nick. Sentri saw the expressions of them both and faltered. "She has left this country? Or, worse?" he asked. Nick was the first to speak.
"British already knew, we would've assumed the rest of Sosaria would have been informed. A year ago, today in fact, Leigh fell and was struck from a bolt of lightening as her and this country's hero where fleeing from a crumbling tower. We never recovered her body," said Nick slowly. Sentri stepped back, stumbling into a chair and sitting down.
"But..." he began in protest.
"We, and a few friends of hers are travelling to the tower today, to pay our respects," said Selina softly. Sentri shock his head in disbelief, a frown forming across his forehead.
"But, she, she was the Avatar, how can this be?" he asked.
"We're very sorry you had to find out this way," consoled Nick, placing a hand on Sentri's shoulder. Sentri gulped at a lump that was fast forming in his throat.
"And what of her friends that travelled here to find her, they, nor their ship never returned," asked Sentri.
"Sparks is living well, he is the apprentice to the Triforce protector in fact, and living at North Castle," said Selina. Sentri smiled, comforted by the fact that his younger friend was well, but when no word of Katrina was mentioned, his face grew grave once again.
"And what of the companion he travelled with? Katrina?" asked the swordsman. Nick's expression remained solemn as he spoke.
"I'm afraid she has also perished in the last year, not long before Leigh herself... She was killed during a raid on North Castle," told Nick. Sentri looked back down at the table, unable to meet with either of Nick or Selina's sympathetic gazes.
"It's hard for me to believe. I don't know if I can," he said quietly to himself.
"The rest of us will be arriving soon, those who are going to the tower to pay their respects. Sparks will be among them, and you are more than welcome to join us," offered Nick. Sentri looked up.
"Perhaps 'twould be best for me to join you, perhaps to help me realise all of this," agreed Sentri his tone morose. He clasped his hands together, and sat in silence, along with Nick and Selina, giving them all time to contemplate the death of their much liked, and in some cases loved, friend.
By mid-morning, everyone had arrived at North Castle, ready to make the journey to the Tower. Sparks was overjoyed to see Sentri. Nick and Selina arrived, along with Charles, even Damon and Dion. In fact, the whole group of friends had assembled in the Great Hall, happy to see each other all again, but saddened because of the reason why they were meeting up.
"You're sure you won't come with us, Princess?" Nick questioned to Zelda, who was stood there looking rather distant.
"I have no reason to come," she remarked shortly.
"Zel, please, it would mean a lot to us all," Link said, looking at her imploringly.
"I'd really rather not," the princess replied. "And don't hurry back on my account," she added. Link turned away from her glancing around the room. They were all ready to go.
"Alright. Let's get on our way. This weather might take a turn for the worse any moment," he stated. It had stopped raining, but the heavens were still very black indeed. "I'll be out in a moment," he added to Drake. The knight nodded, following the hero's gaze to where Zelda had stalked out of the room only a few seconds previously.
"I don't think you'll be able to persuade her to come. She's been against this from the start," he said sadly.
"I know. Maybe she won't come... but I hope she'll at least give me her blessing. I don't want to leave for Catalia... while me and her are still not speaking to each other," Link replied.
"Maybe by the time you get back from Catalia, she'll have calmed down a little," Drake said hopefully.
"Maybe. But Drake, I'd rather make up now. Otherwise, I'll be worrying while I'm in Catalia. You all go on ahead, if you like. I'll catch you up," Link replied. The knight scratched his chin thoughtfully.
"Well... okay. If this is what you really want to do, then you'd best do it. I'll lead the group on," he said.
"Thanks, Drake," Link said quietly, before turning to go and find Zelda. Drake watched after him, slightly worried. He'd never seen Link act so withdrawn about anything before, he was usually good at hiding his feelings. Not this time, though. Sighing, he walked out of the castle and towards the drawbridge, where the others were waiting.
Link found Zelda in the library. She was writing, and didn't even hear him come in, she was concentrating so hard. Or maybe she was just pretending not to hear him. Nonetheless, this didn't stop Link. He walked across the room, over to the desk she was sat at, near the window.
"Zel?" he intoned, quietly. She glanced up.
"What? I thought you'd be gone by now," she stated, quickly looking back down at the scroll. Link looked down at it too. It was an unsigned contract, obviously for the new healer, who was supposed to be arriving that day. The name Mara Hespera was written neatly at the top, in Zelda's ornate, flowing hand.
"I'm not going," Link said quietly, placing a hand on the princess' silk covered shoulder. She looked up again, her green eyes showing surprise.
"But Link! I thought you..." she began.
"I don't want us to fight about this. Obviously, it makes you upset to see me go to pay tributes to Leigh, and I can't bear to see you upset. I love you too much for that," he said truthfully. Zelda stood up, and then wrapped her arms around him, drawing him into a hug.
"But you wanted to go so much... Oh, I..." she began, before trailing off. A faint, guilty blush appeared on her face. She quickly stepped back, and looked away. Link pulled her round to face him.
"Of course I wanted to go. But I also don't want this..."
"Neither do I," Zelda admitted. "But still... can't you understand how hard it is for me?" she asked, her voice a little plaintive. Link narrowed his eyes, a little angry at her.
"It's equally hard for me," he replied.
"Oh, of course!" Zelda snapped.
"Zelda, you really are taking things to extremes, you know. Leigh is gone, probably forever. You know that!" Link argued.
"Yes, thank goodness!" Zelda replied.
"How can you act like this Zel, I don't understand you. Why do you hate her so much, please, why?" Link asked.
"You know why!" Zelda answered.
"Because she was attracted to me? Because she thought she was in love with me? Is it really such a crime?" Link questioned, watching his wife's reaction carefully.
"It is if the person is happily married!" she stated, folding her arms.
"We've all wanted things we can't have, at some point. Admit it Zel, even you have," Link remarked sensibly. She didn't reply.
"For example, look at me. Zel, I loved you so, so much, and when your father took me aside, and told me to keep away from you, because he wanted to marry you off to Kain... I felt so terrible, I couldn't even bear to be near you, because it hurt so much. And then... then... when I saw you in the barn, the night of your engagement party... you were so upset, and I broke my promise to your father. I kissed you Zel, because I wanted you so much, even though I knew it was wrong... Leigh, she..." Zelda interrupted his speech.
"Link, I understand what you're trying to say," she said quietly, looking down at the floor. Maybe he was right. She too, remembered back to that night, so many years ago. She'd willingly kissed him back, the temptation had been too great for her, despite the fact that she was engaged to someone else. Had the temptation been too great for Leigh, too? The princess looked up, tears shining in her eyes. "Go to the eulogy, Link," she murmured.
"But..." he began.
"Just go. It's obviously important to you," she continued.
"You won't be angry?" he asked.
"No... Besides, I'll be too busy to even think about it," she admitted. Stepping close, she kissed him quickly on the lips. "You'd better go now, else you'll never catch up," she said.
"I will. But wait," Link said. He pulled her close for a warm embrace, starting to feel somewhat better. "I'll see you tonight," he whispered. Zelda nodded, and then he left the room, off to catch up with the rest of the group.
The young woman stood on the crest of the hill, surveying the scene before her. In the gloom of midday, a magnificent sight stood before her. The tall, white castle, with it's blue slate roofs dominated the skyline. It looked absolutely beautiful. The woman had heard many stories about this castle, and not one of them had done it justice. She was glad that she had the chance to see it for real. And hopefully, it would be as beautiful inside, as out. Glancing up, it looked as if it was a going to rain again. It had done so nearly all morning, almost preventing the ship she'd travelled upon, from arriving on time. But now, here she was. She was in Hyrule, just as she'd always dreamed, and she was going to get a job there. A job as resident healer. Her long strawberry blonde hair suddenly whipped around her face as a gust of wind blew past her. The woman sighed, and shivered a little. There was one drawback; the weather. Even in summer, it was much cooler here, than in her homeland. The woman's name was Mara. Mara Hespera. She was an accomplished sorceress, but her craft had been something that she'd practised in secret. The people of her town would have not have been happy with her hobby. They would have cast her out, and no doubt labelled her as a witch. They said necromancy was the form of magic that only evil wizards learnt. Good people practised tharmaturgy, or theurgy. But Mara hadn't wanted to practise those forms of magic. So she had taught herself. But to the people in her town, she pretended to be a healer. Now, she had decided she was strong enough for the task ahead. And here she was, in the country of her destiny. Soon, she would meet the two she had heard so many stories about. That princess, and the hero. The pair who looked after that sacred, magical relic that Mara had wanted all her life; the Triforce. Mara was a striking woman, and a mere, twenty-four years old. She had long, blonde-red hair, which reached down to her waist. At present, it was tied up in a long, neat plait. Her eyes were a haunting, deep blue. She wore the hooded, grey robes of a traditional healer, which masked her slim, but well built figure. She held a long wooden staff, entwined with ivy in one hand, and over her shoulder, she carried a small leather bag, which contained a few important possessions. Perched on her other shoulder, sat a small, grey raven. This bird was her pet, her spy. She had rescued him from death, when she had found him abandoned in a nest near her home. He had been her constant companion ever since.
"Ah Hyrule... so peaceful now..." Mara spoke out loud, still gazing at the castle. She let her gaze travel around the landscape, seeing the tall, brown mountains, the vast green forests, the glittering blue sea. "But..." she added, pausing. "You haven't yet experienced the power of Mara Hespera. Or the wrath..." Then she laughed, before continuing on down the hill.
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