Disclaimer: I dont want to get in whatever trouble people can get into when using other peoples characters so - The Legend of Zelda, Link, Zelda, Ganon, Hyrule and other related characters and settings belong to to that wonderous console company, Nintendo. No infringement intended.
Juliet A. Singleton (Scullys@bigfoot.com) & Kirsty Singleton (Indigo_Spacen@mail.com)
Link looked down at the ground, wondering if the trees he, Fayzie and Aden were seated under were a good idea. The storm was beginning to draw nearer, he had been counting the delay between the thunder and lightning, and he knew the isolated copse of trees would be an easy target for the flailing lightning. Fat droplets of rain fell through the trees, hitting Link on occasion, but he was still quite dry. He turned to Fayzie, who was sat with her son close to her. She looked up at him, her face pale.
"They've been a long time," she said softly. Link sat down next to her, and looked at Aden Junior. He wondered if the boy would ever turn out like his father. He hoped not.
"I know," breathed Link, although he was trying not to think about it. Thoughts flew through his mind, all of them bad, unthinkable, almost. What if Aden had come upon Aaron and his wife, taken them by surprise? He closed his eyes, trying to banish such thoughts. Fayzie noticed his expression, and touched his wrist lightly with her own hand.
"I don't regret helping you Link. What they did, it was wrong," said Fayzie. Link turned his gaze to the woman and smiled. She had always been the prettiest of the tribe, with her long, raven hair and pretty, delicate features. She didn't look like a traditional Kokiri, but then again, it had only ever been members of his own family that had retained the genuine Kokirish look. His brother Hayden, had been a classic example. His blonde hair, and sweet face an expression both traits of an original Kokirish Tribe member. Link sniffed a little at the thought of his brother, his brother who had died eight years previously.
"Thank you for helping me," Link finally said, realising how long he had remained silent for. Another roll of thunder erupted from the skies, making Link shiver a little. He saw Fayzie was shivering also, he placed a comforting hand on the Kokiri's shoulder. "I never meant to cause all this," he apologised. Fayzie smiled at him, a mixture of sadness and maybe something else in the smile.
"You didn't cause this Link. It was those Tanolian raiders...they did this to us, made our tribe so bitter...so cruel," murmured Fayzie. Aden leaned over, hugging his mother tightly, nestling his head against her breast. Link noticed her flinch a little, but her son appeared not to notice. Link hated to think what Aden had done to Fayzie because of him, the suffering this sweet, gentle woman had had to endure.
"Yes, maybe," conceded Link.
Suddenly, as a flash of lightning split through the sky, tearing open the black night like a hunter the belly of his prey with a knife, Link heard something else, other than the constant patter of rain. He looked around, alert to his surroundings. Fayzie looked at him, concern and dread filling her. Link stood up, looking around carefully. He heard a snap of a twig from behind him, and he whirled around, clumsily seizing his sword from his belt. Out of the gloom of the trees, a horse appeared, and Link's heart, which had been beating wildly in apprehension and perhaps fear, leapt at the sight of his faithful steed.
"Carefree!" he exclaimed, yet keeping his voice low. The bay stallion let out a snort, and trotted over to Link, nuzzling him with affection. Link turned to Fayzie, the first genuine smile appearing on his face since he had arrived in Catalia. "Perhaps things aren't going to be so bad after all," he murmured, before turning back to Carefree and patting him on the neck.
"Perhaps," murmured Fayzie, not feeling as confident or uplifted as her fellow tribesman.
Zelda and Aaron hurried back towards where they had left Link, Fayzie and her son, the rain battering against them relentlessly.
"I can't believe this," hissed Zelda unhappily, commenting on the weather. Aaron turned to the princess.
"It could be..." began Aaron. No, he didn't want to even finish that sentence. There was absolutely no way that their situation could be any worse.
"You were saying?" asked Zelda, her turn to glance at Aaron.
"It doesn't matter," answered Aaron. The wooded copse was closer now. Zelda had noticed too.
"I don't think Link is well enough to travel," she commented to Aaron quietly. Aaron shrugged.
"We don't have much choice. We have to, if we want to keep away from them," said Aaron, breaking into a jog. Zelda followed him as he sprinted to the trees, wanting to get under cover from the rain.
"They're coming!" called Fayzie to Link, standing with her son. Link turned.
"Can you ride a horse?" he asked. Fayzie smiled at him shyly.
"I thought you would have remembered..." she said slowly. Link looked at her blankly, then remembered. That day, on his 12th birthday, when Link had received his first horse, Cloud, Fayzie had been the one to teach him. He recalled, a little embarrassed, of how he had fell from Cloud so easily, whereas the steed had accepted Fayzie with no more than a snort.
"Of course...perhaps you could take Carefree? I mean, I would, but I don't think I'm fit for a start," began Link. Fayzie nodded.
"I would be glad to," said Fayzie, smiling at Link again. He smiled back.
"Come on then, you and little Aden can get ready, for when they get here," said Link. Fayzie nodded and took her pack, and her son's hand, leading him up to Carefree, who regarded the two a little strangely. "Carefree, this is Fayzie and Aden, they're going to be riding you for a while, so be good," said Link softly to his faithful steed. Carefree snorted, pawing at the ground a little. Link smiled and turned to Fayzie, helping her up. He waited for her to get settled, then smiled down at Aden, who watched him a little warily. "Want a lift up?" offered Link kindly. Aden nodded shyly, so Link leaned down and picked up the lad, hoisting him onto Carefree, just in front of Fayzie. At that moment, Aaron and Zelda arrived under the shelter of the trees.
She saw Carefree and smiled a little.
"You found him?" she asked, walking up to Link. The hero nodded, smiling at his wife. He noticed she was soaked through.
"I guess we won't be sailing today," he said, feeling a little daunted.
"Or any time," muttered Aaron darkly as he tried to squeeze some of the rain from his tunic. Link looked at his wife, alarmed.
"What do you mean?" he asked. Zelda looked to the ground.
"Aden...or whoever, they sank our ship," said Aaron. Link looked back to his friend.
"No..." he began to protest. Zelda caught hold of Link, and looked at him intently.
"It's okay, we're going to ride Opela, Seline will give us sanctuary," she explained quickly. Link wasn't dusty on his Catalian geography, he knew how far Opela was away from this place.
"Zelda, I..." began Link, again meaning to protest. He didn't know if it was a journey he could make, but reluctantly, he knew it was one he would have to make, regardless of how he felt.
"We have to leave immediately," said Aaron, interrupting. Zelda leaned close to Link, and kissed him softly.
"You know I love you Link," she whispered. Link took half a step back.
"More than anything," he whispered back, his voice choked with emotion. He kissed his wife again, only now realising just exactly how much he had missed Zelda.
"Cut it out you two! There's more important things at hand!" piped up Sprite, who had been quiet up until now. Link hugged Zelda, whispering to her softly.
"We can do this," he promised, before stepping away, his eyes still locked with Zelda's. Aaron had already mounted his horse, and was watching the open ground beyond the copse vigilantly. Zelda nodded, and mounted Moonmist. She then turned and leant a hand to Link, helping him up. He got up behind her, his hands settling on her waist. Just having Link close to her again made Zelda feel all that more safe. Aaron turned to see that everyone was ready.
"Okay, I'll go in front, Fayzie, you can go in the middle, and Link, Zelda, you can take up the rear," he organised. Fayzie nodded and motioned Carefree to move behind Aaron's own horse. The truth was, she hadn't ridden in years, not since she'd married Aden. But she guessed it was just something you never forgot. Now that they were all ready, Aaron trotted out from under the cover of the trees, and into the barren, rain battered landscape. "Which way to Opela?" he suddenly asked, realising he was the least familiar with the landscape. Fayzie pointed along the coast, to the east.
"We should take the coastal route, but we should keep away from the path. Aden and Derin will take the same route, but they aren't that able horsemen...they'll keep to the roads," said Fayzie. Link smiled. He and Fayzie had always taken every opportunity to explore their surrounding countryside when they were younger, Aden and Derin had preferred to stick to what they knew. They had the upper hand already.
"Okay, we'll do that, that's a good idea," credited Aaron, turning Jet towards the coast. Checking around the land for one last time, Aaron nodded, then encouraged Jet into a steady trot, taking off for the capital of Catalia.
They rode a long way into the night, along the coast for almost 3 or 4 hours. Eventually, Aaron decided that it was safe for them to stop, in a sheltered gathering of trees, near a small stream that ran off down to the beach close by. Link, who was by now absolutely exhausted, began to feel a little better after a wash and a clean change of clothes. Aaron made a small campfire meanwhile, urging Fayzie, Zelda and young Aden to sit close.
"There's not much food, just what Zelda and I brought. Hopefully... hopefully I'll be able to catch us some food tomorrow," Aaron said, looking a little worried.
"There aren't many settlements around here, especially on the road to Opela. And most are inland," Fayzie informed, as Aaron handed out some bread rolls with slithers of meat on them. Zelda glanced around her, looking for Link.
"I better go and check if he's okay," she said anxiously.
"Leave him be. He'll come over when he's ready," Aaron said. Zelda frowned.
"I think..." she started, then stopped. She ran a hand through her golden hair, it had been darkened somewhat by the constant rain, looking upset.
"I'm so sorry for what happened," Fayzie said, looking at the Princess sincerely. Zelda didn't say anything, and instead gazed into the fire.
"It wasn't your fault," Aaron reassured, placing a warm hand on Fayzie's shoulder.
"Yes, if it hadn't been for you, Link would have been in a lot worse shape!" Sprite exclaimed.
"I had to do something, I couldn't just stand back... he never deserved it," Fayzie said, looking to the ground as if she were ashamed of the acts of her husband and his friend.
"Link hasn't deserved anything life has thrown at him," Zelda said quietly, hugging her knees and looking up.
"A lot of the time, no-one does," Aaron agreed. They all sat quietly, munching on the bread for a while.
"It makes you a stronger person, though," Sprite eventually pointed out insightfully.
"I suppose," Zelda agreed, looking around again.
"Let's set the bedrolls up, I'm sure we all need some sleep, and we can't rest for long," Aaron said, tactfully changing the subject.
"Good idea," Fayzie said, opening up her pack. She turned to her son. "Darling, you'll have to share with me, but you don't mind, do you?" she said. He shook his head. Aaron smiled over at the scene, thinking of his own son. He was about the same age as Fayzie's son. He wondered how both his wife and son were getting on without him. He missed them both terribly, and his heart suddenly went out to young Aden, and how he might miss his own father. But, it was for the best... if Aden had beat Fayzie, which he clearly had, he wouldn't hesitate to beat his own son. Fayzie had done the right thing, no matter how cruel it was. Zelda suddenly stood up, and went off in the direction of the nearby stream.
"Wait, I'll come with you!" Sprite offered quickly. Zelda whirled around, looking annoyed.
"I'd rather see him alone," she stated pointedly, before disappearing into the darkness. Sprite let out an offended noise, and shook her tiny fist behind Zelda's back.
"Jeez, sometimes I hate her more than I hate Navi!" she exclaimed. Aaron shook his head to himself, smiling. He looked over at Fayzie, and she smiled shyly back.
"They like being alone a lot," he informed.
"Link said they were close," Fayzie said, looking over to where Zelda had gone.
"Yeah, but it's not just that, Zelda just sometimes gets a little jealous, she likes to have his sole attention," Aaron grinned.
"I'm a little.... nervous, around her," Fayzie admitted. Aaron let out a small chuckle.
"You wouldn't be the first. She's nice, really. Very nice, in fact. Well, so long as you don't get on the wrong side of her," he said, remembering Leigh, his smile fading somewhat.
"I..." Fayzie started.
"Don't worry, I'm just joking. She really isn't that bad at all. She's always been nice to me," Aaron said sincerely.
"She's nice to everyone, except me!" Sprite yelled.
"Shush!" Aaron warned, on his guard again.
"They shan't come this far out," Fayzie reassured.
"I just don't want to take any chances," Aaron replied darkly.
Zelda found Link nearby, sitting by the stream. He was half dressed, and appeared to be examining his injured arm. Being sharp of hearing, he heard Zelda's light steps, and turned to face her.
"Zel... what are..." he started. She quickly walked right over, and sat down on the bank next to him.
"I just wanted to see if you were okay," she whispered, her gaze travelling over to his arm.
"It's nothing, I'm fine," Link said, quickly covering the wound with his hand.
"No it's not," Zelda said, gently pulling his hand away. Though it was dark, she could tell the deepness of the unhealed, ragged laceration on his left limb. "Let me," she said, soaking the rag he had hold of in his other hand with some water. He had also set up a small fire, and was heating some water from the stream to clean the wound. He winced as she gently ran the warm cloth over the area of the injury, obviously in a lot of pain. "I'm sorry," she murmured, feeling useless. First aid had never been one of her strong points, after all.
"It's just very tender, don't worry about it," Link said softly.
"It needs to be attended to," Zelda said firmly, wiping it some more.
"It's too bad it had to be my left arm," Link sighed. That was his sword hand, after all. "There's some bandages in my pack..." he motioned, pointing over to it. Zelda nodded, and reached in, finally finding some. After drying his arm, she deftly bound some of the material around it, covering it up.
"In time, it'll heal," she promised. Link nodded, but he didn't look very happy.
"There was so many of them... I tried my best, but..." he started, sounding upset. Zelda wrapped an arm around him, pulling him close.
"Don't think about it, please. Try to forget..." she murmured, leaning over to kiss him gently on the cheek.
"Zelda, how could they? They used to be my.... friends," he said despondently.
"They're all fools, cruel and arrogant fools, and I'll see to that that town is suitably punished for its treatment of you," Zelda said, her tone turning angry.
"No... no, don't. Please, Zel. I don't want to cause even more trouble," Link replied, looking down, ashamed. Zelda frowned.
"Your choice, then," she said quietly. Then she smiled a little. "And come on, if we sit here like this, you'll catch the death of cold!" she added. He smiled back at her.
"I guess you're right," he agreed, reaching over for the shirt he'd put down nearby. Zelda helped him put it on, then they stood up together.
"I suppose we'd better get back to the others. They'll be missing us," Zelda sighed. Link grabbed hold of her hand and gazed at her.
"Wait a moment. Not yet," he said. They leaned close, and met in a gentle kiss, which eventually turned into something a little more passionate. After a few moments they leaned back, gazing at each other, and catching their breath. "Oh Zel... I really, really missed you, so, so much..." Link murmured, his lips finding hers again.
"Me too... I was so worried about you... I knew something was wrong, I just wish I'd arrived sooner," Zelda said sadly.
"No... no Zel, don't say that," Link said, reaching up to run a hand through her hair. They met in another kiss.
"It's so beautiful out here," Zelda breathed, gazing around them. There was nothing for miles except gently rolling hills, trees and of course, the sea. Most of Hyrule was covered by mountain ranges instead. "So peaceful..."
"It used to be," Link said sadly.
"Don't let them spoil it for you," Zelda replied. "Don't hate your homeland, for what its worth."
"I can't help it. Every time I've come here, nothing but bad memories are left behind," Link sighed, running a hand through his own hair.
"Seline will help us, you'll see. Opela is beautiful... as nice as Mido, from what I remember," Zelda promised.
"We went once together... remember?" Link said, looking into her eyes. She nodded.
"Yes... I think Seline knew too..." she smiled.
"Knew what?" Link asked.
"That we... we were in love," Zelda said softly, turning to look up at the stars.
"You did waste a lot of time admitting it," Link smiled, running a hand across her cheek.
"But I'm making up for it now, aren't I?" she replied, giving him an imploring look. He nodded, smiling.
"How are the children?" he asked.
"They're fine. Missing you of course, but fine," Zelda replied. She suddenly thought of Kaibre... was he protecting her children like she'd asked? Thinking about the handsome sell sword made her blush hotly, and she was glad it was so dark, Link couldn't see. It was just a kiss, nothing more, she thought to herself, trying to keep calm. She pulled Link down onto the grass, kissing him. "I love you, I love you so much..." she murmured truthfully.
"I love you too, Zel, more than you could ever imagine," Link replied, kissing her back softly.
"I'd never do anything to hurt you, you know that, don't you?" she suddenly said. Link looked at her, and saw tears glistening in her eyes.
"Zel?" he questioned. She suddenly burst into tears, clinging to him tightly.
"Link, I'm so, so sorry," she wept.
"Hey... what for?" Link asked, puzzled. He stroked her hair comfortingly. She didn't reply, so he decided to leave it. Whatever it was, it could wait. For now...
Mara sighed, a little discontented. Things were not panning out as she had hoped or intended. It was all very nice, in the company of this knight, but he was a little to reluctant for her liking, like he had something on his mind. His gaze constantly wandered from her to the tower window, as often did the conversation.
"Tell me Drake, you seem a little...preoccupied," began Mara. Drake turned to her.
"Please do excuse me fair lady, but I am on duty," reminded Drake. Mara frowned a little. It was true, he was on duty, but she sensed it was not his duty that was distracting him.
"I'm a very good listener you know," informed Mara. Drake looked slightly confused, but the look of bewilderment soon turned into a grin.
"Well...I'm not a very good talker," he replied. Mara stood up again.
"Something is obviously on your mind...it would help if you told someone," insisted Mara, taking his hand.
"It's nothing you'd want to now about," replied Drake, looking down at his boots. Mara smiled a little.
"Why? Is it about another woman?" she questioned, leaning closer to him. Drake released her hand and sat down himself. "I can understand if you feel a little uncomfortable about talking about it, but it would help, I promise you," implored Mara, facing Drake. The knight shook his head.
"No...I don't think so," he murmured. Mara sat on the crate next to him, leaning in to give him a kiss, but this time, he stopped her.
"It's late, maybe you should call it a night," advised Drake, his eyes meeting with Mara's.
"Maybe I should, maybe you too," said Mara, raising an eyebrow quite suggestively.
"I'm on night watch, I don't call it a night when I'm on duty," said Drake stoutly. Mara sighed and stood up.
"I could help you Drake, I really could," said Mara, her tone soft.
"I'm glad for your concern, but really, it's nothing," assured Drake. Mara knew when people were lying, fortunately people around here didn't seem as attuned as she was for detecting liars. Mara paused, giving the knight one last chance to speak. If he told her, confided in her, it would be obvious that he trusted her. At the present moment however, it did not seem so.
"Normally, when something is 'nothing', it is everything to the person who claims it so," said Mara wisely. Drake looked up at the healer. She saw his gaze, and sensed a change, like he had lowered those defences. She sat back next to him. Drake let out a small sigh and rubbed his eyes tiredly. Mara rubbed his back with her hand, comfortingly.
"I've never really talked to anyone...seriously," admitted Drake. Mara smiled a little at his admission.
"You're not the first man to admit that I'm sure," she said.
"I know but...it feels odd," said Drake.
"Do you think you could bring yourself to tell me what's troubling you?" asked Mara, sounding genuinely concerned.
"I don't know..." trailed off Drake. Mara bit her lip to stop herself from sighing in frustration.
"If you don't want to talk about it now, that's fine, but any time you do..." offered Mara.
"You were right about it involving another woman," said Drake quietly. Mara smiled to herself. She was beginning to gain his trust.
"Go on," chided Mara, her hand softly caressing the knight's shoulder now.
"You won't know her, nor do you need to...it's just, well, she died," said Drake softly. Mara almost rolled her eyes in exasperation. That was the problem with loving someone, becoming close to them. If you were to lose them, you would end up reduced to nothing, a quaking mess. Mara had never been close to anyone in her life, she had never felt love, nor did she need or want to. Love was derived from your so-called positive side, but she knew that all the so-called positive attributes a person had made them weak. It was negative attributes, like hate, selfishness, pride...they were what made a person strong. Compassion and kindness and love, they made a person weak. Mara was far more involved in her dark side than her light one, it was what made so strong.
"And you miss her?" guessed Mara, her voice as soft as she could manage.
"Yes...that, but I never told her something really important, something that I wish I had," continued Drake. Mara nodded understandingly. Sentimentality was another thing that Mara despised, it held people back.
"She'll know, where ever she is," promised Mara, trying to keep the disdain from her voice.
"Maybe," said Drake. Mara leaned close to him.
"I could help you forget," she promised. Drake stood up.
"Sorry...perhaps you should leave, I have a job to do," he announced. Mara looked upon him in surprise.
"But..." she began to protest.
"There's some things I don't want to forget," said Drake pointedly. Mara stood.
"Well...if that's how you want it sir," said Mara despondently.
"It's not that...perhaps another night hey," said Drake, smiling at her kindly.
"Perhaps," murmured Mara, before leaving the tower, and Drake, alone.
Mara glowered to herself as she walked down the steps. She had never been turned down, never. It looked as though Sir Drake was not going to be able to help her further in these matters. But who else could? As she walked down the corridor, she noticed that princess was returning to her room. She wondered whether she has access to the Triforce tower. She broke into a brisker pace, and soon caught up with Fayette, who looked a little surprised at Mara's boldness.
"Yes?" she asked the healer coldly.
"Greetings milady, how are you in your health?" questioned Mara as politely as she could. Fayette shrugged.
"I've been better," she muttered, continuing her pace. Mara kept up with her.
"I have some marvellous healing remedies that could make you feel better I'm sure," suggested Mara.
"I don't need my body healing...it's my heart that needs attending to," said Fayette with a sigh.
"Oh...really?" asked Mara. She vaguely remembered Impa mentioning that Fayette's husband had been murdered a year ago. "It must have been a terrible ordeal to go through, it's hardly a surprise you're still suffering," added Mara with sympathy.
"Yes my poor Raye...what did he ever do to deserve such a death? But it wasn't him I was thinking of," said Fayette with a sigh. Mara felt a little surprised at the woman's attitude, it was slightly callous. Perhaps not everyone in this castle was of sweetness and light after all.
"Oh...then who do you speak of?" questioned Mara.
"Nicolas of Dalsona...how good we would have been for one another, until she had to interfere!" said Fayette bitterly. Mara paused.
"I trust we are speaking of the good Dalsonian King? And his wife...Selina?" asked Mara.
"Yes...but how could I expect you to understand? You are one of her kind yourself, you probably dream of marrying some rich king, but can't you see, that King's should only marry the titled... they have the right breeding after all," huffed Fayette sadly.
"Oh, I agree with you completely your highness. Us peasants should not interfere with royalty, it is our place to work and marry those of our own rank, we obviously aren't trained in the proper etiquette to rule a country," said Mara quickly. Fayette looked at Mara.
"Finally, a peasant who knows her place!" cried Fayette.
"You say you love this Nicolas of Dalsona?" questioned Mara.
"He would love me too, were it not for the wiles of that Selina girl," sighed Fayette dramatically. Mara lowered her eyes.
"She is a healer, is she not. It would not surprise me if she had cast some spell upon him," pointed out Mara discretely. Fayette looked at Mara in amazement, stupefied that she herself had not recognised it sooner. She had gladly accused Leigh of enchanting the minds of men, but she had never once thought that Selina would have done so. But of course, during the Great War, Selina and Leigh had worked on the battlefield together, and Selina had come back a much more magically ept woman. Perhaps Leigh had taught Selina much more than the art of healing spells.
"Oh, but now it all makes sense!" exclaimed Fayette. Mara nodded.
"Yes...I am almost certain of it. Poor man, he has no choice in the matter. Think how grateful he would be to the person who could break him from the spell," mused Mara, a plan forming in her head.
"Would you have such knowledge?" asked Fayette eagerly. Mara shrugged.
"Perhaps, but to create such a material to break the spell, I would need to be close to an extremely powerful source of magic," explained Mara. Fayette's eye's widened.
"Really? Well, what about the Triforce, that's an incredibly powerful magic artefact," suggested Faye. To have Nick at last, the mere thought of seeing those two apart was enough to make Fayette sing from the castle turrets.
"The Triforce?" questioned Mara, pretending to be unfamiliar with the object.
"Yes! It's what protects Hyrule from all evil, but it's very powerful and magical," explained Fayette. Mara nodded.
"Yes, that sounds just like what I need. We must stop this crime Selina is committing at once, and release that poor man from her evil charms. I will go to my quarters immediately and prepare the necessary reagents, then perhaps you could take me to this Triforce, where I can draw upon the power of this Triforce and cite the necessary mantra to bind the ingredients," said Mara. Fayette nodded.
"Of course, of course. How long do you think you will be?" asked Fayette. She couldn't believe what was happening. Was it true that Selina had cast a spell over Nick? She knew it had to be, it was the only thing that made sense. She wondered if perhaps Link had done the same to Zelda, but then decided against it. The fact was, her step-sister was just stupid.
"About an hour, maybe less...I will meet you back here when I am prepared," said Mara, before walking back towards her own quarters. Fayette smiled smugly then returned to her own room. The prospect of finally taking what was rightfully hers after all this time was simply too good to be forgotten. She had to write it down, so that it could be there to read and re-read for years to come.
Mara arrived in her quarters feeling far more pleased than when she had left Sir Drake only minutes before. This Fayette was so blind in her quest to win the affections of King Nicolas she was putting Hyrule in a very precarious position. Selfishness. She was selfish because of love. Everyone had a dark side and a light side, Mara was just thankful her light side did not blind her from what really mattered. She walked into the infirmary and pulled open the curtains to a cupboard, containing all sorts of herbs and chemicals, mainly used for healing but which could also be twisted to far more dark and amusing purposes. She knew that Selina had cast no spell over her husband, but Mara knew a spell that could stop that sickening love they had for each other. But it wasn't just that potion she had come to prepare, no there was an all together more important one. One that could be so draining, it could kill her. Mara, although not afraid of death, did not want to die. There were so many wicked things she yet had left to do on this world. She already had the reagents ready require for this all more important spell, but she needed the Triforce's power to bind them. She would have liked to have stolen the Triforce, what a prize it would have been, but she was now beginning to see that this would be unlikely until a later stage. She just had to create the potion, and take Ewan. Then she would be ready to perform the task that she had been waiting her entire life to do.
Fayette waited nervously, stepping from one foot to the other, leaning against the wall in the corridor. It had been almost an hour now since she had had that conversation with Mara, and she was beginning to feel a little apprehensive. What if the healer was wrong, what if this spell did not work. She supposed then that she would know that her and Nick would never be. But she wanted it to be so much. She had never felt so strongly about anything, perhaps since the day she had marred Raye. She had loved him, so much more than what Zelda and the others accused her of. She knew it was a year now since he had died, more, but that didn't stop her from missing him. His handsome face, his strong arms, his Brynellian manner. And he had worked so hard for her, just to please her. And how pleased she had been when Raye had been made leader of his country. Perhaps she had never appreciated him enough. She knew that he had loved her with all his heart, despite her many faults. Fayette hung her head sadly. Was she betraying her husband by so keenly wanting to win the love of another. She shook her head. Raye would have wanted her to be happy, more than anything in the world. He had shown her that when he was alive. Sniffing a little at his memory, she suddenly found herself wishing he had not died. How she had wished it so many times, but in the months after his death, she had found herself wishing it less and less. Perhaps because she had realised it was a useless wish. Raye was never coming back, no matter how much she wanted him to.
Faye was suddenly interrupted from her thoughts when she realised that Mara was standing before her, a small cloth bag now hanging over her shoulder.
"Are you ready?" asked Mara, giving Fayette a slight look of concern. She had seen a look of remorse on the woman's face, and guessed she was thinking of her dead husband. She was glad she had no feelings like that which held her so plainly back.
"Yes...are you?" asked Fayette. Mara nodded.
"Please, lead me to this Triforce, then we can set about stopping this Selina's treacherous ways," pleaded Mara. Fayette nodded and began to make her way towards the Triforce Tower.
When they were half way there, Fayette paused.
"Did I tell you that there's a guard in the tower?" she asked. Mara frowned. This would make the task a lot harder. But she had expected it in a way. She knew how to deal with 'guards'. She smiled as she remembered what she had done to the first man posted to protect Fayette's step sister.
"This Triforce must be very valuable," mentioned Mara, although she knew just exactly how valuable it was.
"Oh, yes. It's the prize of Hyrule," exclaimed Fayette. The guard at the entrance to the tower gave Fayette and odd look, equally more so for Mara.
"If you don't mind my saying your highness, it's very late," commented the guard. Fayette glance at a nearby wall clock, feigning surprise.
"Really, is that the time?" she asked, before pointedly ignoring the guard and stepping into the tower. She felt Mara grab her sleeve as she did so and looked at the girl in surprise.
"Excuse me, I tripped," excused Mara with a weak smile. Although she had used Fayette to get past the first spell, it was still waging its effect upon her, making her feel weak, nauseous and dizzy.
"Are you okay?" asked Fayette, beginning to ascend the staircase. Mara nodded feebly.
"Fine, really. Nothing that won't pass," assured Mara, letting out a short cough. Mara guessed that there would be another spell at the top of the tower, and it would far stronger, but she guessed that as long as she kept close to Fayette, she would be able to pass through. It would be certainly very embarrassing if her plan failed now, as Fayette would surely realise why Mara could not enter the tower and inform the whole castle. She did not want to think about it, she even cursed herself for such thoughts. Even so, she followed Fayette up the spiralling staircase, still feeling incredibly weak. Eventually they reached the top, and Fayette turned to Mara, putting a finger to her lips.
"We have to be extremely quiet," she warned, taking a step into the tower. Mara grabbed her sleeve again. Fayette turned to her, a little annoyed by this whole sleeve grabbing thing. "Don't tell me, you tripped," guessed Fayette sarcastically.
"No...should we be up here?" asked Mara, quickly taking her chance and stepping into the tower. She almost doubled over as she crossed, but luckily, the field was weakened by Fayette's interference. Fayette gave her an odd look.
"Maybe not, but I am allowed to see the Triforce whenever I want," said Fayette quietly. She noticed the bed in the tower was occupied. She knew Aaron had gone to Catalia with Zelda, so it must've been his apprentice, Sparks. That Sosarian friend of Leigh's. When Mara had recovered, she also noticed the bed, and stole over to it. Sparks thrashed in his sleep, as though he was about to wake. Mara took a small vial from her bag, and sprinkled the contents, unseen by Fayette, about the young man's face. It would ensure a nice, deep long sleep for the Triforce protector, and it would also ensure that Mara was not interrupted from her current task. She turned to Fayette.
"He is asleep," she whispered in a low voice, although she didn't really need to. Nothing would awaken Sparks for the next four or five hours now. Fayette nodded, but her gaze wandered back to the brilliant glow of the Triforce, transfixed by its sheer beauty. Mara followed her gaze, and soon she became lost in its awe. She quickly snapped out of it however, and approached the three glowing prisms, withdrawing a few reagents from her bag. She looked around and motioned to Fayette. "Please, bring me that table," she asked quietly, pointing at a small, flimsy looking piece of furniture. She obliged without complaint, and watched as Mara withdrew a small bowl from her bag and placed it upon the table, thereafter filling it with the reagents she had held before. Mara looked at the Triforces again. She placed her hand upon that prism of power, and felt the sheer might radiating through her. She sighed, almost in pleasure, then placed her other hand over the bowl of reagents. Fayette watched in fascination as the pretty healer began to chant some spell, the words were foreign to Fayette's ears, and they seemed obscure, alien almost.
"Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Razne Vloi'd'eth wgah'nagl fhtagn." She didn't recognise a word of it, but that did not matter. There was a sudden blast of light from the Triforce of Power, and it flowed right through Mara, making her translucent almost. It ceased almost as quickly as it had begun, and Mara fell forward, exhausted. She waited for a moment, before staggering back up and looked into the bowl of reagents. It had worked. A cruel smile swept over her face as she felt triumph and elation. She whisked an empty vial from her bag, and carefully emptied every last dark drop into the vial, before capping it with utmost care. Fayette stepped forward eagerly.
"Is that it?" she asked keenly. Mara turned to Fayette and quickly placed the vial in her bag, pulling out another with a certain swiftness that Fayette could not even be certain that Mara had moved. She handed the vial to Fayette.
"Yes," she murmured, looking immensely pleased with herself. Fayette regarded the vial, shaking it a little. The liquid was a lot lighter than what it had been in the bowl, but she did not read too much into it.
"What do I do with it?" asked Fayette, feeling slightly giddy with excitement. Mara retrieved the empty bowl from the table and placed it in her bag, careful to make sure that the vial was not crushed by it.
"He must ingest the liquid of the potion, it would be best for him not to know about it though, slip it into a drink or his food when he is not looking. It will work almost immediately, so be sure to be on hand to explain what has happened to him. I am certain he will be most grateful," instructed Mara, pushing the table back to where it belonged. Fayette was already leaving the tower, and Mara turned to admire the Triforces for one more time. They were as beautiful as she had been told. All powerful, all knowing, all courageous...this would not be the last time she saw these treasured artefacts, the next time she saw them, they would be hers forever. Fayette was paused at the thresh-hold of the tower, and she interrupted Mara's gleeful thoughts.
"Are you coming?" she hissed. Mara turned and nodded, grasping Fayette's hand which held the precious vial. They stepped out.
"Look after this carefully, for it shall be a while before I can cast such a spell again. Do not lose or break it," advised Mara, letting go of Faye's hand. The nausea wasn't quite as bad this time, the tower was glad for her to leave.
"Break it? Lose it? I don't think so. I will guard this with my life," exclaimed Fayette as she trod down the stairs.
"Watch where you step," advised Mara darkly, tempted to push the silly princess down the steps. Fayette nodded and they reached the bottom of the tower without event. Mara did not have to even have contact with Fayette to push through the magical field, but it still left her reeling. Fayette led Mara some way down the corridor, before turning to her.
"Thank you," she said gratefully. Mara smiled.
"Only doing my duty," she admitted. Mara felt as giddy as Fayette as she contemplated the potion she had just created.
"I will see to it that you get a pay-raise," promised Fayette before walking down the corridor, and leaving Mara by herself. She smiled.
"On the contrary Princess Faye, thank you, I will see to it that my plans ensure that you don't suffer...too much," murmured Mara coldly, before she returned to her own quarters.
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