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 the Past

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

Chapter 8

   Zelda woke with a start, as she heard someone padding across her room. She sat bolt upright, ready to defend herself. She saw it was only Kaibre. Kaibre turned and saw Zelda, and smiled apologetically.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to wake you," he said. Zelda looked at the shards of light pouring through the windows.

"It's morning?" she asked. Kaibre nodded. "You stayed out there all night?" asked Zelda again. "What is this, twenty questions?" asked Kaibre grinning.

"Did you stay awake all night?" continued Zelda, taking his previous answer for a yes. Kaibre nodded.

"It's my job. And perhaps even my life. If someone had come up that balcony and seen me asleep, I would've been dead. And I don't really want that to happen," said Kaibre.

"I can't believe you stayed up all night," remarked Zelda.

"The things we do for love," commented Kaibre light-heartedly. Zelda smiled.

"Indeed," she agreed. She got up, and walked over to Kaibre.

"What put you in such a good mood?" she asked, walking over to her dressing table and picking up her comb, beginning to run it through her hair.

"I just saw a beautiful sunrise, and heard the first bird song of the day. What more can a guy ask for?" said Kaibre cheerfully. Zelda couldn't help but smile at him. His mood was infectious.

"On mornings like these, there's nothing more that I like to do than take a walk through the palace gardens, what do you say?" invited Zelda. Kaibre shrugged.

"Sure, why not, it'd be useful to know my way around the grounds of the castle, as well as the interior," said Kaibre.

   "So, why don't you tell me about yourself?" asked Zelda casually as she and Kaibre walked through the royal gardens of North Castle. Kaibre, who was watching his feet as he walked smiled a little.

"I don't make a habit of getting to know my, clients," he said. Zelda looked forward.

"Yet you don't decline to taking early morning walks with them?" she asked.

"Where you go, I go. It's my job," replied Kaibre, raising his head.

"So why don't you make a habit of getting to know those who you work for?" asked Zelda. "Sometimes, it's just better that way," said Kaibre.

"Sometimes? What if sometimes it isn't?" said Zelda.

"You know, these gardens are really beautiful, far nicer than in Catalia," commented Kaibre, skirting away from the subject. Zelda looked around smiling at the compliment.

"Yeah, it is," she said.

"In Aidnaryk, that's where I come from, they had royal gardens in the palace too," began Kaibre. "I've never been to Aidnaryk, my father has though. Did you work at the palace there?" asked Zelda.

"Yeah, when I was younger. I never enjoyed it though, the only good thing that ever came out of that place was Jenny," said Kaibre, his voice quiet.

"Jenny?" asked Zelda. Kaibre looked at Zelda, surprised that he had let such information slip.

"Uh...but that was then, that was ages ago," he said. Sensing that Kaibre did not wish to speak of whoever this 'Jenny' was, Zelda changed the subject.

"So what were the gardens like in Aidnaryk?"

"It was a while ago, I can't remember much, but what I do remember was this huge man made lake, surrounded by trees and stuff, like a little cove. It was like another world , they had faeries there too, like in Hyrule, but there were hundreds of them, all living by the lake. I never came across a more beautiful place than there, but I doubt it would be like that now. What with the wars and the raids by the Tanolians, it'll probably be as desolate as Catalia," said Kaibre, his voice sounding sad.

"Those Tanolians really don't know hen to give up. You'd think with their leader dead," said Zelda angrily.

"Yes, someone killed Carnivaris didn't they, in fact, it was in Hyrule wasn't it?!" said Kaibre. Zelda knew who that person was. Leigh had been the one to kill Carnivaris of course, but she didn't really want to bring her up into the conversation.

"Yeah, one of ours, but they perished afterwards," said Zelda slowly.

"That's awful. But at least they played their part, even though it doesn't look to have discouraged the Tanolian menace in the least," commented Kaibre.

"When I finally rise to the throne, I was thinking of improving the castle grounds. It's not like Hyrule doesn't have the money, and the jobs it would require," confided Zelda thoughtfully. "Uh-huh. The castle grounds are pretty small, compared to most countries, no offence," said Kaibre.

"None taken. A lake would be a nice idea though," said Zelda. Kaibre smiled.

"Yeah, it would."

   Link sighed as he slumped down against the cave wall.

"This sucks," complained Sprite.

"Thanks for your oh so insightful comment Sprite," retorted Link sarcastically.

"Well excuuuuse me for breathing!" exclaimed Sprite, offended. Link couldn't help but feel bad at his off handedness. He grinned at Sprite.

"You're excused," he joked. Sprite, did not find it funny.

"Hmmmph, you guys are all the same. You think you can weedle your way out of an apology by making some lame joke, well it doesn't work with me!" said Sprite loudly.

"Okay Sprite, I'm sorry," apologised Link.

"It'll take more than that, hero," said Sprite, perching on a small rocky cleft on the cave wall, and folding her arms. Link shrugged and yanked open his pack. He began to rummage through it, before finally pulling out a solid, wooden box. He placed it on the floor, and prised off the lid, and began to rifle through the contents of it.

"What's that?" asked Sprite, unable to contain her curiosity.

"Oh, just some stuff Zelda gave me some time last year," said Link.

"Oh by the goddesses, you bring something of her everywhere, don't you?!" sighed Sprite in annoyance.

"She's my wife," said Link. In the box he came across a small leather bound book, which surprised him, he had never seen it before. Or at least never recalled it. He opened it and suddenly realised. It was the book Kylara had left for him in the Shadow Temple, after she had, revived him. He leafed through it carefully, feeling sad. He hadn't liked Kylara, never mind loved her, but he would never have wanted to see her dead.

"What's that?" asked Sprite, settling on Link's shoulder. Link swatted her away.

"Nothing for you," said Link.

"If it's poetry, I can do poetry, here listen - there was a faerie called Navi, and she thought she was a bit savvy, but really she wasn't, cos she had freaky hair!" sang Sprite. Link eyed Sprite warily.

"You call that poetry? It sounded more like a semi-limerick," said Link.

"Well I just made it up off the top of my head you know, it's hard," defended Sprite. Link laughed a little.

"Okay, okay, I appreciate it," he promised.

"No you don't, you'd rather read Zelda's soppy poetry any day," said Sprite in a sulky tone. Link looked down at the first page of the book, and promptly closed it. He tossed it back into the box. Sprite smiled slightly. "I knew you'd see sense in the end," she said cheerfully. Link rubbed his eyes.

"Actually, I'm a little tired, so..." began Link, stifling a yawn.

"But Link! It's morning! You've had your sleep!" said Sprite.

"I know, but I'm really tired, so if you don't mind," said Link, lying down on his bed roll. "Fine! Go to sleep! I'm going to explore!" said Sprite huffily, flying away from her perch and out of the cave.


   It rained for three days flat. Link had nothing to do, and nowhere to go. He also knew that no ships would have been leaving for Hyrule during the stormy weather, and so he and Sprite had been confined to the dank and dismal cave. Carefree was especially unhappy, not being out in his natural habitat. Already, the wet and the cold were beginning to take their toll on the hero, along with his injuries. He felt cold, and absolutely miserable. Even Sprite couldn't lighten his mood. Speaking of the faerie, at present, she was nowhere to be seen. Link figured that she was probably asleep somewhere. That was all that they'd really done over the past few days; sleep. Right now though, Link wasn't feeling too sleepy. Sighing, he reached over to his pack, and took Zelda's box out. He then pulled the small lantern close, so that he could see what he was doing. Inside the box were several small scrolls, letters and poems that Zelda had written for him. Somehow, reading through them, made him feel somewhat closer to her. He began to wonder what she was doing right now, if it was raining as heavily in Hyrule as it was here, if she was missing him, as much as he missed her. As soon as the rain cleared, he'd be on his way back to Hyrule. There really was no point in sticking around anymore. He'd come to Catalia, hoping to patch things up with Arcesius, and the rest, but instead, his own tribe kin had attacked him, and almost attempted to kill him. It was clear that he would never be forgiven for what had happened to Kylara, and that was something that would hurt him for a long time to come. The memories just refused to go away, even sat at her grave, he couldn't exorcise the demons that grew inside him. It was the same with his brother. He could have prevented his brother's death, and that made him feel sick. But at the same time, he couldn't have let Zelda die. He'd made an oath to protect her, and now that they were lovers, that oath had grown even stronger. But even Zelda couldn't ease his pain over his family, and the terrible killing of his village. She hadn't been there, she hadn't experienced it. She couldn't even begin to understand. That was why he'd come here alone. Now he wished that he'd never even left North Castle in the first place. He wished that he was there with Zelda. He missed her so much... Suddenly, the roar of the rain seemed to die down. Link stood up, even though every bone in his body protested. He wandered over to the mouth of the cave. The sky, though still grey, seemed to be coming clearer. The sun was attempting to peek through the clouds. Link began to smile. He began to gather up his belongings, and saddled up Carefree.

"Come on Sprite, let's get moving!" he shouted, jumping onto his steed's back.

"W...what?" came a sleepy voice.

"The rain's stopped," Link replied. Sprite emerged, looking bleary-eyed.

"Oh thank goodness!" she exclaimed, flying over onto his shoulder. Link smiled, and urged his mount forward, out into the open, wet, fields.


   Mara stood outside the Triforce tower, frowning. She couldn't get in. Something protected the tower, and was warding her off. A good protection spell. She scowled, her eyes narrowing. This, was certainly something to do with the Princess. Mara had discovered that the woman had excellent magic skills, and practised theurgy. She had evidently cast this spell, and the only way to remove it, was to kill her. Mara quickly walked away from the spot, before anyone noticed her. Last time, that knight had seen her. It wouldn't be good, if anyone saw her in the same place again, or they might surely put two and two together. Mara knew that her luck couldn't last out forever. Zelda's husband, was already late back, and the stupid princess was already worried sick. Mara hated love. It was a stupid emotion, she thought. It made you do stupid things. She had tormented Zelda some more, but she had to be careful, because the princess had a bodyguard following her everywhere. And he was good. Very good. Mara could see that he was going to be a challenge for her. Ewan, however, was a different story. He was very trusting, and Mara had befriended him easily. Each day, she had been in to see him, chatted to him. The previous night, Impa had let her look after the children for a while, and without the nursemaid's watchful eye, Mara had been able to talk to Ewan a lot more. Gradually, she would persuade him to come with her. Failing that, she would simply drug, and kidnap him, but it would be nice to have his trust anyway. She was planning on telling him things, warping his mind, so that he would hate his family. She had already begun, by saying that his mother loved his little sister more than him.

"See how she always has so much time for Brianna, Ewan. She never has time for you, does she?" Mara had said. She had to give the lad credit, though. He defended his mother through thick and thin. But Mara had been clever. She didn't want to turn the boy against her. Ewan would grow to love her, Mara, and despise his perfect parents. Mara was looking forward to meeting Link. Maybe she would kill him, too. He might get in her way. But first, she had to get rid of that tiresome bodyguard. Then she would get rid of Princess Zelda. Suddenly, another thought occured to her. Even though she couldn't pass through the barrier, other people could. That had to include Ewan. She could perhaps send the boy up for the Triforce... Mara quickly shook her head. No, that was too dangerous. She had to get rid of the Princess. Smirking, she headed back inside the castle, a plan beginning to form inside her head...


   Link would have liked to visit Hayden's grave again, and pay his proper respects to it, but right now, he didn't think it would be a good idea to even step foot into Gardarika Town. He had practically been beaten black and blue last time, and he didn't want to risk it again. Next time, he might not end up being so lucky. Those townsmen, especially his kinsmen, had been angry enough to kill. He skirted around the edge of the town, then rode towards the coast. The sky was beginning to blacken again, but Link hoped perhaps that a boat would be going across back to Hyrule. He was already beginning to feel extremely sick, and he knew that if he didn't get some shelter soon, his flu' would take a turn for the worse. Not only that, but his food supply was running extremely low. He'd stayed in Catalia much longer than he'd originally anticipated. He hoped that Zelda wasn't worried about him. No doubt she would be upset when she saw the state he was in.

"Link! Link! There's two boats in the harbour!" Sprite shouted, flying towards him breathlessly. "Is there anyone on them?" Link questioned.

"I don't know. But I bet they'd go across if you paid enough," Sprite answered. Link put a hand on the pouch that hung on his belt. It contained 350 rupees. It had only been 50 rupees passage last time, but with the threat of a storm, he might have to pay more to get someone to take him back across to Hyrule. As the small harbour came into view, Link slowed Carefree down, and road down the steep path carefully. Sprite darted on ahead again. The sun shimmered lightly on the deep blue waves, which were at the present moment, crashing gently against the grey rocks of the Catalian shore. It could get a lot more fierce, later. Link didn't want to think about that, though. He dismounted, and led his horse down onto the wooden pier.

"Hey, anyone around?" he called. The place remained silent, aside from the sound of the waves. "Hello?" Link said once more, sounding a little unsure.

"There's no-one here," Sprite said, flying out from one boat. Link sighed.

"Oh, great," he muttered. Shading his eyes, he turned back to the way he'd come, looking upwards. There were a few shanty buildings, but they looked like storage sheds, nothing else. Certainly, there appeared to be no-one about the place. "I guess no-one's sailing across after all," Link said, sounding deeply disappointed. He swallowed uneasily, then glanced over at the smaller of the two boats. He was no navigator, but surely it couldn't be that hard to use a boat? All he had to do was make sure it stayed on an easterly course. Then he shook his head. It would be wrong to take the boat, after all. "Come on Sprite, I guess it's back to camping out," he sighed. The faerie looked at him glumly.

"I guess so," she muttered. The two turned to go back up the path. Stood in their way were several menacing looking men. Link recognised Aden and Derin at the front. They were brandishing clubs. Link unsheathed his sword, but was struck on the head from behind. He blacked out...


   Kaibre glanced around, wiping the back of his neck. The rain had begun to die down, thankfully, but he was still wet. He was sitting on Zelda's balcony once again, keeping a watchful eye on anything that had been going on. He looked up at the sky, which was punctuated by a milky white orb of rock, the moon. There were barely any stars to be seen, masked by the masses of thick cloud that lined the Hyrule night sky. He rubbed his hand over his face, detecting a film of fine stubble over his chin, he had neglected to shave in the last few days, and decided it probably would be better if he just allowed it to grow into a neat beard instead. Not that any of this mattered. There was definitely someone in the castle who had it in for Zelda, but they had yet to show their faces around here. Suddenly, he heard a scrabbling from below, and someone cursing quietly. He sat up, alert and quickly placed his hand on the hilt of his sword, ready for whatever, or whoever could be approaching. He leaned forward, still in a sitting position, and peered through the railings of the balcony, spotting a dark figure clinging to the vines near the balcony. He knew he should've cut them down. He slid carefully away from the side, not wanting to reveal his presence just yet. He didn't want to scare whoever it was off, because if he did, he would be forced to give chase, and he didn't want to leave Zelda unguarded. He peered into Zelda's room, seeing her figure sleeping peacefully. Suddenly, he felt the feel of a cool blade pressing into the side of his throat. Cursing silently for dropping his guard, Kaibre released his grip on his sword and slowly stood up, arms raised. He turned slowly to see the fiugre who held the sword to his throat, but they wore a black hood and clothing.

"You shouldn't let your guard down like that," reprimanded a low voice. Kaibre could tell straight away that it was female. He hadn't heard the voice himself though, any time around the castle. Kaibre let his eyes travel down the figure, noticing they were standing relaltively close to him.

"Perhaps you should take your own advice," said Kaibre, before swiftly sticking out his foot and kicking the figure in the shins. They lurched back in surprise, dropping the sword, which Kaibre leaned down and grabbed. He thrust the sword forward, straight at the stranger's neck. "It seems the tables are turned," remarked Kaibre.

"That's what you think," murmured the figure. Suddenly, the blade flew from Kaibre's hand, as a burning sensation jolted though his arm. He let out a small yelp of surprise and stumbled backwards, holding his hand in pain. But he didn't waste any time in drawing his own sword with his un-injured hand.

"Who are you?" he asked.

"As if I'd tell you," snorted the figure. Kaibre lunged forward catching the figure on the shoulder.

"You're the one who's been bothering her royal higness in there aren't you?" guessed Kaibre. "Ooh, so intelligent," remarked the figure sarcastically. She drew a wooden bo from her sleeve, and prepared to attack. Kaibre stepped forward, attempting to catch the figure again, but she smartly defended, then jabbed forward with the wooden weapon, catching Kaibre in the stomach winding him heavily. He didn't pause to recover however, but tried again, but the figure was far to nimble and easily stepped aside, smacking Kaibre in the face. "Really, I expected a little more of a challenge," tutted the figure.

"And you'll get it!" promised Kaibre, slashing forward with his weapon, hitting off the wooden bo, but continued with his furious attack until he eventually had the figure up against the balcony, virtually bending over backwards, holding the bo defensively in an effort to keep a blade from their neck. "So why don't you just tell me who you are, before I stick this into your neck?" spat Kaibre. His strength far surpassed the black clothed figure's, even though he was slightly groggy from the blow to his stomach and face. His nose was dripping with blood, and it had begun to pour again, making his tunic cling heavily to his build. Before the figure got a chance to speak though, their was a click from behind Kaibre, as the French doors opened. "Kaibre?" called out the sleepy voiced Zelda. Kaibre, momentarily distracted, received a devastating blow to the stomach, followed by a slash across the chest, with a knife. He stumbled backwards and fell against the floor, blood pouring from his wound. The figure stepped over him, towards Zelda, who let out a surprised scream, but as the figure attempted to lunge at Zelda, Kaibre grabbed the leg of the figure pulling them over, and pulled himself up. He grabbed the figure and hauled them up, and was about to unmask them when he received another blow to the face. He was pushed backwards, and the figure leapt over the balcony, escaping. Zelda ran to the edge of the balcony. "Guards!" she called desperately, but the figure had already melted into the darkness. She turned back and dropped to Kaibre's side, helping him up. It wasn't until he was in a sitting position that she noticed the ugly wound across the upper section of his chest. "Oh, I," she began. Kaibre let out a small cough and dragged himself up, peering over the balcony.

"It was her," he said.

"Her?" asked Zelda.

"Whoever it is who's doing whatever they're doing to you, it's a woman. And you know her," said Kaibre.

"What, how do you know? That wound, it needs attention," said Zelda, the words tumbling out at once. She placed one hand on his shoulder, to turn him round.

"She spoke to me, seemed quite eager to make as many remarks as she could, but as soon as you arrived, she didn't say a word," said Kaibre. He glanced down at his chest, the wound was bleeding quite heavily now.

"She could've just been surprised. I can't think of anyone, let alone a woman who would want to do this to me," said Zelda shaking her head.

"Yeah well, main thing is they didn't hurt you, but next time, next time they won't get away so easily," said Kaibre, his tone determined.

"Come on, let's get you down to the healer, she'll sort this out," urged Zelda. Kaibre nodded. "I suppose so," he admitted, allowing Zelda to help him off the balcony and into her room.

   "Princess Zelda!" called a guard as he burst into the room. Kaibre and Zelda both looked to the door, where the breathless guard was standing.

"It's too late now, whoever was here is gone," said Zelda.

"Oh," began the guard, confused. Zelda left Kaibre's side to go and lift Brianna from her cradle.

"You stay here, guard my room, I don't want anyone coming in here until I get back," commanded Zelda. The guard nodded.

"Yes your majesty," he agreed with a salute. Zelda nodded, then led Kaibre through the door and down to the healers quarters.

   Mara smirked as she heard a knock upon her door. She quickly finished off towel drying her hair, feeling glad that it was curly. If it had been straight, it would have taken much longer to dry. She'd already changed her clothes, no-one would ever suspect that it had been her. But she'd have to be careful, very careful. That Kaibre was certainly smart. He'd almost got her, back up there, on the balcony. She'd almost got him too, but unfortunately, Zelda had interrupted.

"Just coming!" she called sweetly. Quickly, she threw the towel onto her laundry pile, along with the wet clothes, hiding them behind her changing screen. Then she walked over to answer the door. Zelda was stood there, looking upset.

"Mara! You must see to Mr. Lainge at once!" she ordered.

"What happened?" Mara questioned. Zelda frowned.

"He has a bad wound to the chest," she said shortly, not answering the question. Mara narrowed her eyes, annoyed at Zelda's attitude. She stepped aside however.

"Bring him in, Your Highness," she said politely. Zelda walked in, a weak looking Kaibre behind. He was clutching his chest, and looked extremely faint. "Oh, gracious. Come over here, please," Mara said, putting the right amount of shock into her tone. She led Kaibre into the infirmary part of her room. It had a small cot, and several tables, packed with medical supplies. Kaibre got onto the bed, and Mara stripped off his shirt quickly and efficiently, and peered down at the wound, shaking her head. "This'll need stitches," she remarked. Kaibre groaned.

"Great," he muttered. Mara smiled.

"Oh don't worry. It won't hurt a bit." She turned to Zelda, who was hovering nearby.

"You needn't stay. This'll take quite some time, I'm afraid, Princess," she stated, smiling sweetly.

"I don't mind," Zelda said, folding her arms. Mara began to feel annoyed. She began to prepare an aenesthetic.

"Really. You two are inseparable. Anyone would think..." then she trailed off, blushing. Zelda glared at her.

"You really aren't in the place to assume such things, Miss Hespera," she said, in a highly aloof tone. Mara looked down at the floor, meekly.

"I'm awfully sorry. I didn't mean..." she began. Zelda advanced towards her, stopping only a few feet away.

"I am happily married! How dare you even imply that I should act in such a disrespectful manner? I don't know where you learnt your manners, but if you don't improve them, you'll find yourself out of a job!" Zelda said angrily. Before Mara could even reply, the princess had turned and strode out of the room.

"Looks like Drake was right," Kaibre said faintly.

"About what?" Mara asked innocently, applying the aenesthetic to Kaibre's wound delicately. "About her infamous temper," Kaibre replied. Mara smirked. She jabbed the needle into Kaibre's chest, hard. He gasped in pain.

"Oh, so sorry. Wrong place," Mara apologised.

"I thought you were supposed to be a fully trained healer!" Kaibre said angrily, sitting up. Mara stepped back.

"It was an honest mistake," she replied. Kaibre grunted, and lay back down. Mara turned, and picked up a bottle, shaking it. Oh yes, Mr Lainge, but your real pain hasn't even started yet, she thought to herself.


   It was the middle of the night, when Link finally came to. He groaned, and rolled over, every bone in his body, aching. A sharp, hammering pain was at the back of his head. Blinking, he opened his eyes, letting them gradually adjust to the darkness that surrounded him.

"Oh god..." he muttered.

"Finally! I thought you might be dead!" came a high pitched voice. Link realised it was Sprite. "I think I'm close to it," he sighed, rubbing his head gently. A wet, sticky substance that felt like blood was matted into the hair at the top of his neck.

"Well! An attitude like that won't get us anywhere," Sprite said loudly. Link swallowed the bile that had built up in the back of his throat, then attempted to stand shakily. He found himself confined in some sort of tiny cell. Three stone walls, and a metal door barred his way out. There was a small window in the door. He looked through it, but couldn't see anything.

"Sprite, where are you?" he called.

"Out here! In an awful cage. I've been trying to escape, but I just can't!" Sprite replied. "What happened? I remember..." Link trailed off there. His head was beginning to throb painfully.

"As far as I can remember, those bozo tribal relatives of yours bashed you up real bad. I tried to help, but someone grabbed me, I was lucky not to be killed!" Sprite exclaimed. Link groaned again, and slipped down onto the ground, leaning against the wall.

"Why didn't they just kill me?" he said out loud.

"Maybe because they want to torture you?" Sprite suggested. Link sighed, rubbing his head again. The injury was even more painful than that of his arm.

"Thanks Sprite. You really know how to make a guy feel better," he said sarcastically.

"I could make you feel much better, if I wasn't stuck in this darn cage," Sprite retorted. "That's all very well, but I think I'm going to bleed to death," Link said, sliding down onto the floor, and looking upwards at the ceiling. His head still didn't feel any better. He felt in his pocket, and luckily found a bit of bandage. He placed it on the wound on his head, and held it there.

"Link?" Sprite called out nervously.

"Mmmm?" Link asked.

"Are you really, really badly hurt?" the faerie questioned, sounding almost frightened.

"If saying I feel like I'm dying answers your question, then yes," Link replied.

"Hell," Sprite muttered. Link suddenly blacked out again.


   Kaibre wandered into Zelda's room the next morning, feeling a little better. He dismissed the guard posted outside the Princess' room, and walked inside. He'd had to spend the entire night in the infirmary, under the healer's watchful state. Despite her slip with the needle, she'd proved competent enough. However, he'd worried about the Princess all night, in case that deranged weirdo had returned. He half expected to be greeted with a bloody murder scene, but to his relief, Zelda was sleeping peacefully in her bed, most of her diminutive figure covered by the purple silk sheets. Her long golden hair spilled out over the pillow, curling softly at the ends. She had her back to him. Kaibre walked around the other side of the bed, seeing her face. She was breathing evenly, a sure indication that she wasn't hurt. For a moment, he stood, just looking at her. She was indeed, quite beautiful, as Drake had informed him. Kaibre had never seen a woman with such delicate features, what was her race? He attempted to remember, knowing that Drake had the same blood. Hylian, that was it. He had seen a few Hylians in Catalia, but they hadn't looked like Zelda. He knew that she obviously had extremely pure blood, considering her family had sat upon the Hyrulian throne for centuries. He'd really never looked at her properly before. He didn't think it was right to stare at royalty; not at least, while they were able to notice, anyway. Then he reprimanded himself for even doing it. Awake, or asleep, it was wrong. He turned, and walked towards the balcony doors, thinking. He couldn't imagine why anyone should want to kill Zelda, but maybe it was simply because she was royalty, the kingdom's next heir. Maybe it was because of her sharp tongue, the one he'd witnessed last night. Perhaps Zelda had other faults he hadn't come across yet. Maybe the villain was just jealous of her beauty, or her power. Millions of reasons were flashing around in his head, not that they did any good. He needed a suspect, rather than a motive, and the only clue he had was that the perpetrater was female. A lot of women worked in the castle, and who was to say that it wasn't an outsider? Shaking his head, he walked outside, and looked around. Nothing seemed out of order. He wandered back into the tower room, and Zelda began to stir. She yawned, thrashed around a bit, and then finally opened her eyes, glancing around apprehensively.

"It's only me, Princess," Kaibre said quickly, in case he frightened her. She sighed, and flopped back down onto the bed. "Good morning," he added.

"Shouldn't you still be in the healers?" Zelda questioned.

"Nah. Anyway, I have a job to do," Kaibre answered.

"Well, if it's okay by you, I think I'll have a lie-in," Zelda said.

"As the lady wishes," Kaibre said gallantly.

   Zelda sighed, and pulled the covers over her head, luxuriating in the warmth underneath them. She'd slept badly the previous night, even though she'd had a guard posted outside her room to protect her. Not to mention the nightmares that she'd had about Link. She'd dreamt that he'd been murdered by the people of Catalia as he returned home. She couldn't help feeling that something bad might have happened to him, because he was so late in returning. Her common sense told her that the bad weather had delayed him, ensuring that no ships would cross the rough waters back to Hyrule. However, her psychic sense told her something else, that something was wrong. She couldn't trust herself enough to know if that particular sense was right though, or that she was simply believing it, because he was so late. Through the night, she'd attempted to gain some sort of psychic contact, if just to know he was okay, but Link hadn't picked up on it. Perhaps she hadn't tried hard enough, or maybe he was simply too far away. It was an exercise that was hard, and left you feeling physically exhausted for hours afterwards. Her psychic power was stronger than Link's, and she could reach him better than he could reach her. But, if he wasn't even thinking about her, it was unlikely they could even connect. There was only one other possibility that would explain why Link couldn't respond to her mind probes, and that was something she didn't even want to imagine. Sitting up, she pushed the blankets away, and squeezed her eyes shut, trying again. It had only been a few hours since her last attempt, and she could end up feeling weak all day, but she had to do it. She had to gain contact, to know he was okay. Link, Link, can you hear me? she pleaded in her mind. But nothing came back. Not even the tiniest spark. Link, please! Zelda continued desperately. Then she flopped back down upon the pillows, thoroughly exhausted. It was obviously no use. Something's wrong, oh Link, why won't you reply? she thought to herself, feeling upset. Shakily, she climbed out of bed. She had to see Impa. Impa would reassure her, make everything alright. I should never have let him go alone! Those Catalians shall pay if they've done anything to hurt him! Zelda thought furiously. Feeling utterly defeated, she sank down into the blankets, and began to weep.

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