Categories > Games > Zelda > Infernalis

Recovery

by Icestryder 0 reviews

Hyrule celebrates the coronation of Queen Zelda.

Category: Zelda - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama,Fantasy - Characters: Link,Zelda - Warnings: [?] - Published: 2017-06-09 - 2777 words

0Unrated
“Daddy, are you sure you won’t be comin’ with me? They’re going to make Zelda queen of all Hyrule and all the Castle Town and Kakariko folk are going to be there and it just won’t be the same without you,” complained the burgundy haired young woman as she and her father finished loading the last crate of milk onto the cart. She patted her hands against her homespun purple dress, sparing the white top she wore from being dirtied.

“I wish I could Malon, but with Ingo sick in bed, someone has to stay here and care of these animals. Right now Castle Town needs them more than some queen,” replied the burly bald man as he patted the head of a cow that happily chewed its cud.

‘I figured you of all people wouldn’t let chores make you miss a chance to try Anju’s special fried cucco again. ‘Sides, you’ll break her heart if you don’t show,” Malon teased the large man as he labored to milk a cow. She thought she might have seen her father blush slightly, but it was almost impossible to tell under the bushy beard he wore.

“Don’t linger too long making the delivery darlin’. I can’t take care of this big ol’ place by my lonesome.”
“I managed for years, you’ll do just fine,” Malon said with a laugh as she wrapped her arms around her father before climbing into the driver’s seat of the cart. “I love you daddy, I’ll sure you bring you some of that tasty cucco!” Malon shouted, snapping the reins and setting off toward the capital of Hyrule.

( * )

Sunlight shone through elaborate stained glass windows, bathing everyone within the ancient cathedral in radiant light. Banners depicting the Goddesses’ sacred symbol atop the winged crest of the royal family lined the rows of oak pews. It seemed to Malon that the entire kingdom of Hyrule had gathered together within the Temple of Time. Excited faces pushed against each other, straining to catch a glimpse of their beloved leader. Malon stood far in the back with the other common people. It irked Malon slightly that the people actually doing the rebuilding of the city were still kept at an arm’s length from royalty. Angelic voices from the choir sang out in praise to the goddesses. Oh how wonderful it would have been to join them in song! thought Malon.

Trumpets blared, interrupting Malon’s thoughts and silencing the crowd. From the inner chapel emerged the six Sages to stand before the altar, followed closely by a cadre of Hylian royal guard resplendent in their polished steel plate armor. The royal guard descended the steps around the altar and fanned out in a half-circle around the apse, frozen as statues.

The elderly sage, Rauru rapped a Triforce-topped ceremonial staff three times against the ground. “People of Hyrule, I present the Princess Zelda,” he proclaimed. Zelda glided into view, the epitome of Hylian elegance. The princesses’ ornate lilac and white gown was beautiful, but it was the royal guard at Zelda’s side that dazzled Malon. The farm girl’s heart fluttered as her gaze lingered upon Link, the memory of their meeting as children bringing a smile to her lips. Far back as she was, Malon had little hope that Link would be able to spot her.

Zelda approached the altar and the Sages bowed their heads in reverence. The people looked on with rapt expectation. Only one pair of cerulean eyes did not follow her.

“We, the Sages of Hyrule, offer you the crown to rule over all of Hyrule. Are you willing to take it and become our queen?” Rauru’s voice resounded once more.

“I am willing.”

“Will you, with your power and wisdom, enact Justice and Law through our realm?”

“I will.”

Impa, the Sage of Shadow, knelt before Zelda, holding a gold-fringed amethyst cushion atop which sat the sapphire-encrusted golden crown of Hyrule. “We, the Sages of Hyrule, then entreat thee, receive this crown,” the one-time nursemaid of Zelda said.

Zelda reached out with an ivory gloved hand, gently lifting the crown over her head. With practiced aplomb, Zelda placed the crown upon her brow. She bore the weight well.

Together the Sages spoke. “May the Farore grant you, our Queen, the courage to shield our nation during peril. May Din grant you the strength to bear the heavy burden of rule. May Nayru grant you the wisdom to lead effectively through the darkest times. In the name of the Goddesses I, the Sage of Light, anoint thee Queen Zelda, Lord of all Hyrule. May she reign eternal!”

“May she reign eternal!” The people below repeated before breaking into raucous cheering and clapping. Malon placed thumb and forefinger against her lips and gave a sharp whistle.

Zelda glanced over the sea of jubilant faces with a radiant and regal smile. After an appropriate amount of time basking in the adoration of her people, Zelda turned away and held out an arm for Link to take. Steel slid against silk then then pair began their procession. Royal guardsmen converged upon their queen, splitting the crowd in her wake to forge a path to the market square.

Slowly, the crowd began to file out of the temple behind the royal procession into the market square where a great feast had been prepared. Delicious smells wafted into Malon’s nose causing her mouth to water. Her stomach rumbled. Her delivery could wait. The allure of fried cucco was far too great a temptation.

( * )

Link stayed silent as he walked through the empty Temple of Time. This was a familiar path for Link, one he had walked many times as he would return to this cathedral to set sail on the currents of time. The newly-crowned queen had left her celebration and ordered him to meet her here. Excitement built as he anticipated what Zelda had in store for him in such a secluded spot. Their shared ordeal had brought them close initially, but Zelda always kept him at a distance. Not a day went by without the Princess sending him on some mission that would keep him tied up in the field for days.

Link entered the inner chapel, treading over the Triforce insignia inlaid within the decoratively patterned tile floor where Zelda awaited. Zelda’s eyes were cast toward the windows high above, the light from them seeming to cause a glow from the circlet from which flaxen hair spilled over milky shoulders.

“Link, I’m glad to see you alone.”

“If you wanted to get me alone again, you didn’t need to give me a formal order,” Link said with a laugh.
Zelda did not face him, but spoke quietly. “Our nation could never have asked for a more courageous hero than you Link. You were instrumental in awakening the sages and defeating Ganondorf. In the months that followed, you have also been a great help in the reclamation of our beloved capital city. ”
“It was nothing. After facing Ganondorf removing some redeads and poes was almost relaxing,” Link declared with a grin. “You didn’t ask me here to go over my accomplishments, why did you ask me here?” He moved closer to her.

“What I’m going to say will be painful. Whatever feelings you think were growing between us can never be. They never could.”

Link was blind-sided. “What? Why?” he choked.

“I am of royal blood and have a duty to seek a mutually beneficial marriage. Hyrule has been weakened and is in need of allies.” She finally turned to Link, seeing his dejected face. “Did you think just because you are the hero you were entitled to the princess?” Zelda asked with a sneer.

Zelda’s voice hardened as she continued. “You will return the Master Sword and the Ocarina of Time to me,” she commanded. “Though you have served well, the Sages and I have decided that allowing anyone the ability to travel time poses a danger to this future we have built. Even if you were to travel back to the past, there would be war with Ganondorf - a war where the outcome is uncertain. As queen and protector of these people, I cannot risk this. I will not allow this.”

“It is my duty as the Hero of Time to….”Link began to protest.

Zelda cut Link off abruptly raising a hand to silence him. “Your only duty is to serve me. I have given you a position of honor in the royal guard. Do not make me strip you of that title as well.” Zelda’s harsh glare left no room for argument.

“Fine. Take them,” Link spat in disgust, unbuckling his sword from his belt and letting it drop the tile. He reached into the pouch he kept tied around to his waist and retrieved the Ocarina of Time, tossing it with contempt into Zelda’s hands. Without another word exchanged, Link stormed out of the Temple.

( * )

Celebration was in full swing in the rebuilt sections of Castle Town. Casks of Talon’s Lon Lon Milk that Malon had brought had been cracked into and distributed to thirsty citizens. Bards played festive melodies and people danced in the streets or belted out the rowdy drinking songs. Malon had finished her deliveries’ and now sat in her empty cart taking in the spectacle all around her. City life was almost overwhelming with its tapestry of sights, sounds, and smells. It was nice for a visit, but she had doubts if living in such a place could ever appeal to her.

Reflections of light from a figure in shining plate stomping from the temple grounds caught her eye. This was just the chance she had been waiting for. “Hey fairy boy, over here!” Malon yelled, waving Link over to her. Link didn’t appear to recognize her at first, but soon recognition dawned on him as he caught sight of familiar fiery locks. He approached the cart, aggravation evident in his stride. “Oh hello Malon,” he said curtly.

“Oh hello Malon,” Malon mocked his voice with feigned a look of hurt. “Is that any way to greet an old friend?”

“I’m sorry,” Link apologized.

“Someone looks grumpy today. What’s the matter?”

“It’s nothing. I just have a lot on my mind right now,” Link replied.

Malon held out a glass jar with a red cucco label on it. “It sounds like you could use a drink. I’ve been saving this tasty bottle of milk for a special occasion but I would love to share it with you fairy boy,” she offered. Link took the offered beverage and drank deeply, the fluid infusing him with warmth. A general sense of well-being took over his body and he took a seat next to Malon. Together they watched the spectacle.

“How about you tell me what’s going on in that blond head of yours,” suggested Malon.

“It’s Zelda. I have sacrificed so much to put a stop to Ganondorf’s evil and reclaim Hyrule, but it’s like she sees me as just a soldier, not as anything more,” Link confessed. Malon lifted the bottle to her lips and drank, her body shifting uncomfortably. Link continued; his gaze far off into the crowd as he spoke. “I’ve also been thinking about all the time that has gone past. I was held in hibernation for seven years of my life in the Sacred Realm. I’m never going to get that time back,” Link sighed. “I just wish I could go back before I opened that damned seal in the Temple of Time and even touched the Master Sword, so I could live my life.”

“It wasn’t so great living during those years ya know. I wish I could have slept through that nightmare. Every single day Ingo worked me like a slave tryin’ to impress Ganondorf. Every single night I prayed to the Goddesses that a knight in his shining armor would come and put Ingo in his place,” Malon said, her voice somber.

“Malon,” Link whispered taken aback, “I didn’t have any idea.”

Malon shook her head and with a giggle said, “Instead the Goddesses sent a fairy boy in a silly hat and dirty green tunic to save us all.” She held out the bottle to Link.

“Hey! It was clean. Sometimes,” Link protested, taking the bottle and taking a gulp of its smooth liquid.

Malon rapped her knuckles on the winged crest in the center of Link’s breastplate. “I hardly recognized you in this soldier’s getup. If it wasn’t for your blond jumble of hair, I would have figured you were one of those noble stiffs,” she teased.

“To tell you the truth, I don’t even recognize myself when I wear it. But our majesty the Queen insists,” Link said, passing the bottle back to Malon who quickly finished the remains.

The hour had grown late, with the sun sinking low in the sky and threatening nightfall at any moment. The revelry had grown ever wilder as the shadows lengthened and more milk had been consumed.

“Oh no!” Malon exclaimed as she noticed the setting sun, “I need to be getting back to ranch. Daddy’s goin’ to be so furious with me if I don’t make it back by morning since he’s stuck workin’ the farm all alone. Can I ask you for a favor - will you escort a lil’ farm girl back to her house? I have a bow to fend off Poes, but I would feel so much safer with the Hero of Hyrule at my side.”

Link thought about it for a brief moment before answering, “You know what Malon, I’ll do it. Right now I would rather be anywhere but here…”

( * )

The night was peaceful. Link could hardly remember a time when he had a chance to relax. Link stole a glance over at Malon. Moonlight illuminated her crimson hair, almost giving her the appearance of a halo. His thoughts wandered back on the day the two of them had met. While he slept, Malon had grown into kind-hearted and responsible woman. While the change must have felt gradual to her, for Link it was an instantaneous change. When he had seen her for the first time after waking up, he couldn’t believe his eyes at the person she had become. She must have caught him staring because she turned to face him with a strange look on her face.

Link was about to apologize for staring when Malon pointed past him to a strange light in the distance, closing in on them.

“What the…?” Malon started.

Link shushed her brusquely; leaning forward was if straining to hear something. A crackle of a pink energy lashed out from the darkness, burning a hole through the side of the cart. Squeals of high-pitched laughter followed after. The source was a bulbous creature with luminescent pink skin. A long tongue waggled from between a mouthful of pointed fangs. Three clawed hands were alight with eldritch energy that the creature began lobbing in the direction of Malon and Link.

“What is that thing?” Malon cried.

“I've never seen this kind of thing before. Get behind the cart.” Link ordered as he leapt from the cart. Link pulled his shield to the ready but when his hand reached for the sword that was supposed to be hung from his hip, he was met with empty air. The monster seemed to sense opportunity and barreled towards him, hurling flaming orbs of energy haphazardly. Link held his shield before him, trying to both dodge and deflect any of the incoming projectiles.

Spindly pink legs propelled the creature at Link as it leaped through the air to close the quickly shortening distance between them. Midflight, the creature lost balance and began to flip end over end before crashing into the dirt. Deep between its beady green eyes was lodged an arrow. Screeches of merriment and pain spilled from its maw as its form became unstable, beginning to decompose into a shapeless pink blob.

Link turned to see Malon holding a bow, another arrow notched and ready to loose. “Thanks,” Link breathed, “I was almost …”

A lunatic cackle from the rapidly distorting face of the creature interrupted Link. Green eyes burst into a torrent of energy that washed completely over Link. A cry of pain strangled in his throat as Link crumpled to the ground.
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