In Plain Sight
Summary: The Kingdom of Hyrule has a strict no-magic policy; any magic user could be put to death if they’re found out... even if that person is the Princess.
~Generic AU. Zelink. Mild/moderate violence range.~
Word Count: 8436
Or on Ao3
“Keep it secret. Keep it hidden. From everyone, especially your father.”
Zelda kept her hands behind her back, her mother’s voice echoing through her memory as she stared at the pyres in the distance, flames roaring with the vengeance that her father poured into every witch hunt. There were three this time, and Zelda was grateful that they were far enough away that they couldn’t hear the commotion that always accompanied such events.
“This is barbaric,” she whispered, as she did every time she was forced to attend.
“This is justice,” her father, King Rhoam whispered in return. “They are a blight. The greatest evils in this world are caused by these creatures, and they must be purged.”
Zelda said nothing, simply sighing and keeping her eyes on the ground until it was over. The grass wasn’t terribly interesting. It swayed in the wind every now and then, but there was little else to occupy her. She counted the intervals between gusts. They were uneven and unequally spaced out until they stopped all together.
She glanced up. The spectacle was still taking place, and she needed to stay entertained to get through this.
Biting her lip, she took a brief glance at her father before curling her finger behind her back and immediately feeling the wind return, a bit stronger so it could caress her face and move her hair and whip at their royal cloaks. She turned into it and closed her eyes, letting a smile rest on her lips as she felt the magic in it as poignantly as if it were a physically tangible thing. She knew this was something only people like her could feel.
She hummed in contentment, lost in the distracting feeling.
“Wind’s picked up, eh?” her father mumbled, tugging his flapping cloak against him.
Zelda felt a prickle on the back of her neck, which always happened when someone was watching her, and her eyes immediately glanced around until she found the source of the attention, because her father’s eyes were rapt on the scene in the distance, even when he spoke to her.
One of the knights, her favorite, in fact, had his eyes on her, softly watching her enjoy the breeze. She never mistook the gleam in his eyes as anything other than simple attraction, as she was sure he’d noticed in the way she lazily watched him go about his tasks as well.
So when their eyes met, they both smiled at each other for the briefest moment, forgetting where they were and who was around before he regained his better senses first and proceeded to look straight ahead at attention, as he was expected to.
“Can’t we leave yet?” Zelda asked, letting the wind die down slowly so as not to seem suspicious.
“Stop asking me, Zelda. You’re a Princess, and you must endure long events without complaint.”
“Yes, court hearings and council meetings. But watching people die? Please… I…uh…. I have a delicate heart,” she said quickly, unsure what else could get her out of this. “And these events so easily break it.”
King Rhoam looked at her and sighed. If nothing else, he did love his daughter. He had a terribly odd way of showing it, but he did. And to him, she was still just a fragile child.
“Link!” he called, and Zelda’s favorite knight stepped forward. “Take the Princess back to the castle.”
“Yes, Your Majesty,” Link said, bowing first to the King and then to Zelda as he followed behind her.
When they were far enough away, Zelda visibly shuddered and turned over her shoulder for a final look at the smoke in the air, praying that no one ever found out her secret, or she would be up there herself.
Her father loved her, but there was no doubt that he hated magic more. Other royals in the past hadn’t been exempt from the law. Her own mother had been one of them, and her grandfather had carried out the sentence himself.
Zelda had been under more scrutiny in her youth when they were watching to see if she’d inherited her mother’s magic, but Zelda heeded her mother’s words and kept every impulse to herself, fighting not to use it at all. Now, it practically called to her, begging to be used, like a siren calling a sailor into the sea. She simply couldn’t help it at times.
At night, she’d pray to the Goddess, begging Her to take away Zelda’s powers. She wanted to feel safe in her own home, and to lose the one thing that made her special. She wanted to be normal. Ordinary. Unassuming. Uninteresting. Safe.
The Goddess never listened, and Zelda’s magic only grew stronger over the years.
“I hate those events,” she muttered to Link as he hurried up beside her.
“Why do you do it?” she asked, glaring at him.
Loyal to a fault, Link was one of the knights who was responsible for bringing in many of the magic users who’d eventually be put to death. It was an order from the King. And Link never refused an order.
“His Majesty commands that I do so.”
“What if I command that you stop?” she asked, already knowing his answer.
“I’m sorry, Princess. Your father’s commands supersede your own.”
“I know,” she whispered as they reached their horses. Link helped her onto hers before they both made their way across Hyrule Field.
Zelda was in no hurry to get back, and Link matched whatever pace Zelda set.
“But why?” she asked again, a little more frustrated. This wasn’t the first time they’d had this conversation, and for some reason, she expected his answers to change.
She’d long since commanded him to ride and walk beside her when they were alone. She welcomed his company when she had it, and him walking behind her always frustrated her while trying to hold a discussion.
“If I don’t do it, I’ll be killed, and someone will replace me. My noncompliance will not change a thing. And if I can be honest, Princess, I’d rather be alive to be your guard than die in vain protest. Your father doesn’t care for me. I won’t be a martyr. I’ll just be another fallen soldier.”
The trees passed them by, and they rode into the wide expanse of the truest part of Hyrule Field, where the mountains in the distance were unobstructed by trees or castles or buildings. Small streams took the place of lakes, and the field was calling them closer with the light colors and gentle swaying grass.
“Have you ever let anyone go?” she asked, turning to him.
He looked at her with wide eyes. And though he knew her better, it almost felt like she was attempting to trap her into admitting something that could get him killed, and he immediately defaulted to defense, like the soldier that he was. “I would never! My command is to bring in all magic users for questioning. From there, it’s not in my hands. I cannot disobey my orders. If anyone found out, I’d be strung up beside them.”
“’If anyone found out?’” she asked curiously and uncompromising. She could see him squirm, and she didn’t care. She wasn’t trying to trap him, and her curiosity had gotten them both into far worse situations in the past. “What if you could guarantee that no one would ever find out. Would you do it?”
Link shook his head and made a contorted face that betrayed his stress. “I don’t know. It’s not a situation that will ever happen, so I don’t need to consider it. Besides, I am loyal to the monarch of Hyrule. I will not disobey, no matter my beliefs.” He turned to see her disappointed expression, and it pulled at something inside him that he often tried to ignore. He longed to comfort her, but this conversation could be treason. So he spoke true words that were still carefully cultivated to keep him safe. “Now, if you command me to stop when you’re Queen of Hyrule, I’ll have no choice but to gladly obey that command.”
Zelda smirked at him, blushing under his stare but let the conversation drop and returned her attention to the field. Too much prodding was suspicious, but she was allowed this much after watching the deaths. There was nothing suspicious after coming back from such a horrific event.
Suddenly, Zelda gasped and signaled for Link to stop and dismount with her. She ran over to a tree that stood alone in the field and fell to her knees, crawling over to the base of it. “Link, look!” she called behind her.
Two Silent Princesses bloomed fiercely, their blue and white petals enticing her over with the force a predator might attract prey. And with this flower, her absolute favorite in all Hyrule, she would happily be its prey and stare at it, study it, observe it.
The hair on her neck pricked again, and she knew that Link was looking at her, not the flower.
It wasn’t an unpleasant or even distracting sensation. She felt it so often as the Princess that she was able to tune it out in larger crowds. But when there were fewer people, she was more attuned to the feeling. And when she was just with Link, she felt it often.
“Link—” she said, twisting around to beckon him over, unsure if he simply hadn’t heard her. But she felt her cheeks immediately burn when she realized that his gaze was decidedly not near her face.
His eyes darted up to hers immediately, but there was no denying that he’d been caught. He grabbed the hair at the back of his neck and fisted it tight, cursing as he felt himself flushed and ready to die a little. Suddenly, the grass became terribly interesting, because he couldn’t stop staring at it, unwilling to let himself look at her again because she already knew where his focus had been. He debated apologizing or holding on to that last sliver of hope that she hadn’t actually noticed.
Zelda let out a nervous chuckle as she folded her hands in her lap while she sat back. But once she felt the nerves pass, she waved her hand dismissively and held one out to Link to encourage him to join her. “Come here.”
He was more than grateful that she didn’t bring it up. Link even debated taking her outstretched hand to let her pull him beside her, but after that, he couldn’t let himself slip around the Princess of Hyrule once again, and he knelt beside her, one knee down like he was bowing.
Zelda wished he could get comfortable around her, but she couldn’t blame him. He’d gotten too comfortable for a moment and been caught just seconds ago.
One thing that she liked the most about Link was that he often forgot himself around her. He treated her like a person, and not just a figurehead. And Link felt the same, basking in the rare courtesy that someone showed him. Zelda knew he was just a human, fallible, and imperfect.
They were each other’s haven when the rest of the world expected too much of them. Link was not a pawn, and Zelda was not a princess. They were simply friends.
“There’s two of them,” she said instead, hoping to take his mind off of things, to coax that easy friendship back out of him. “They’re so beautiful. It’s a shame how fast they wilt when indoors.”
“They’re your favorite,” he said simply, running a gloved hand over the petal. It wasn’t a question.
“They are. You knew that?”
She stared at him for a while longer before accepting that he wasn’t going to elaborate on how he knew. This wasn’t the first time she’d dragged him from his horse to look at flowers, mushrooms, bugs, or even frogs, so there was nothing to give her away by her reaction. He simply knew. He knew her.
Resting her chin in her hand, she stared at the flower. “Convince me not to run experiments on one of these in an attempt to domesticate it. Convince me to leave them both here.”
“I’d never think to try to deter you from your research, Princess.”
She grinned in his direction before biting her lip, one final consideration before she uprooted one of the flowers carefully from the ground and returned to her horse with Link beside her.
Days passed with little success in her experiments. The flower was withering quickly, and the edges especially were shriveling. Link returned to his other duties, and she to hers.
Nearly a week after taking the flower, it was near death, and she wished he had convinced her to leave it where it belonged.
“Princess?” Link’s voice called from outside her door.
Zelda stood up from her desk and looked around, flicking her fingers at some clothes until they moved into her closet, and then again at the bed that she’d taken a nap in that the maids had never fixed—unbeknownst to them that she’d slept at all. The blankets returned to their pin-straight smoothness, and the pillows carefully arranged themselves. She stood in front of her door and waited for them to stop moving before turning the handle for Link.
“Hello,” she said pleasantly.
“Princess,” he greeted and stepped into her room, looking around.
It was a nightly inspection for anything amiss, something her soldiers had done since she was a little girl. She was used to the invasion of privacy for the sake of her safety by now, but when it was Link on guard, it always gave her some time to talk to him, even if it made her slightly embarrassed to have him go through some of her things. But shame was something she’d long-since set aside when it came to this nightly ritual. At this point, half the guards in the castle knew what was in her room from this task.
He began in her closet, looking intently enough to make sure there was no hidden assailant, but fast enough to avoid invading her privacy too much.
“How was training?” she asked curiously.
Link chuckled and turned to her, calling her out on that question. “Why do you ask? I saw you come by.”
She blushed and tripped over her foot before steadying herself. She hadn’t realized he’d seen her. She bit her lip, following beside him as he made his way around her room. “Well… from a knight’s perspective, I mean.”
He stopped his search for a moment to look at her, his eyebrow raised suspiciously, and—dare she even think it—a little bit flirtatiously. The corner of his mouth lifted slowly. “It was fine, Princess.”
He returned his attention to his search, walking beside her desk, his eyes trailing along her open books, quills, the wilting flower, and her bag. He then looked under the desk before moving on.
“I’m so bored,” she whined, leaning against the wall beside him. “Give me more details than that. Humor me, at least.”
“You’re bored? I couldn’t tell,” he snorted, this time a full smile gracing his face. “Unfortunately, there are no details, Princess. It was just… fine.” Then he got onto his knees to look under her bed.
With him on his hands and knees and his upper half hidden under the bed, Zelda understood the appeal of letting her eyes linger low on someone one considered attractive. Though it was not for the first time that she admired him, she did connect her thought back to the way she’d caught him just a week ago staring at her.
She crossed her arms, and both cursed and praised whoever had come up with the form-fitting design on the royal guard uniform pants. He wiggled a lot too so he could see all angles under the bed, and Zelda bit her lip as she indulged in the moment, probably more than Link had the other day when she’d caught him ogling her. Zelda was, after all, a scholar who loved to observe her specimens.
Link always moved quickly in everything he did. It’s why he was primarily appointed to guard her so often: his reflexes, his skill, his speed; he was all but a machine. It was no surprise that he was quick to search under the bed as well, always courteous to keep her privacy as untouched as possible. So, he efficiently removed himself from under the bed and turned to Zelda before she had the time to look away.
Blushing viciously, Zelda, unlike Link, managed to keep Link’s gaze, undeterred by being caught. Link had gone red, but as he pushed himself to his feet and started to walk to her windows, he let his arm brush hers, a sly grin on his face to match her own.
Zelda bobbed her head to the side triumphantly, following him to the balcony, as she always did. He looked over the edge, and Zelda looked as well, wishing she knew exactly what ‘signs’ he was looking for. Was there meant to be a person on her roof?
She felt that sensation on her neck again, only this time, she let herself pretend not to notice until she’d swept the entirety of the roof with her eyes before meeting his.
They were soft as they watched her.
She turned towards him and hesitated for a moment. “So? Am I in danger?”
“You’re safe, Princess.”
“Thank you. Will you be in for the morning round? Or are you going to see your mother?”
“How do you know—”
“You mentioned it a few weeks ago.”
His eyebrows went up. “You remembered?”
“I do listen when you speak, Link.”
He took a deep breath and nodded. “Yes, I’m most likely going to ride out for the day, but I’ll be here in the morning.”
“Okay,” she smiled, following him back into the room as he made for her door. “I’ll see you then.”
“Goodnight, Link,” she said, closing the door.
She leaned against it and took a deep breath to steady herself before returning to her workbench and her wilting flower.
“I shouldn’t have done this to you,” she whispered to it as if it could hear her apology. She set to stroking the petals gently, and as she did, color went back into it, straightening the stem out, returning the petals to their softness and former glory, flourishing and beautiful and alive. It made her giggle, as magic sometimes did when it felt good. Breathing life back into something always felt particularly special.
She stood up, satisfied, and closed her eyes to picture an outfit as she ran her hand just in front of herself. When she opened her eyes, the clothes she’d been wearing had swapped places with the pajamas on her chair, and she was comfortably ready for bed.
The magic was practically bursting from her, and once she ducked under the covers, she passed a ball of light between her hands, letting it hover as she did. It soothed her and let her release a lot of her magic at once, which made it easier to control in the long run.
Once she’d tired out, she drifted into a peaceful sleep.
Until hours later when there was a knock on her door.
Zelda groaned and cracked her eye open, scowling at the bright sun coming through her window. “Is it morning already?” she called back, faceplanting her pillow.
She could practically hear Link chuckle. “Unfortunately, it is, Princess.”
“Ugh!” she groaned, covering her eyes with her arm. “Give me a moment.” She closed her eyes again, and at once she felt her heavy eyes thank her, completely at peace, as if she could fall immediately back to sleep.
“Princess?” he knocked again.
She sat up with a start. She knew Link would never knock twice in a row after she asked him to wait. “Link? Did I fall back asleep?”
This time, she was positive he laughed. “I believe you might have.”
“I’m so sorry,” she hissed, grabbing her robe off the bedpost and wrapping it around herself, stumbling for the door. “I’m sorry,” she said again when she opened it, nearly falling into Link as she tried to get her sleep-addled brain to work.
He came into the room and looked around. “No need to apologize. This can’t be the most fun wakeup call to have to go through each day.”
She cleared her throat and carefully waved her finger quickly in front of her, ensuring that her breath didn’t smell of sleep before she spoke. Link turned to her and she felt the prickle on her neck, but she was still bleary eyed as she tried to talk to him. “It’s understandable. Ever since Twinrova, I don’t hate this routine as much as I used to. Though I would like a little bit more sleep in the mornings.”
Her eyes finally cleared enough to realize he was staring at her, his eyes looking her over in a way that she’d only seen a few times from him, and mostly when he thought she wasn’t looking. Last time he’d looked at her like this, she’d been wearing a ballgown.
This time, she realized suddenly, she was standing beside Link looking a mess. She’d normally remembered to tame her frazzled bed-hair or change clothes before the guards entered in the morning, but she’d forgotten. It wasn’t the first time this had happened, but it was the first time she’d forgotten with Link as the guard. And he was the only one that she blushed around.
She was in her light robe, her heavier ones put away for the season; her shirt was too small on her, riding up over her stomach, but she welcomed that and a pair of shorts in the summer heat. Feeling her hair, she gently smoothed it down, though she could feel the wild tangles from a fitful, warm night. She tugged the robe closed and bit her lip, blushing as she closed her eyes and turned away, cursing herself again.
“Sorry,” she finally said, when she had the courage to look back at him. “Excuse my appearance.”
He took a deep breath and cleared his throat, finally coming back to himself. “You look…” he didn’t finish, and laughed softly to himself as red spread along his neck. Then he simply nodded at her and hurried to her closet to start his routine.
When Link’s back was to her, Zelda covered her eyes and groaned, wondering if she could tell him not to look at her long enough to at least switch into pants rather than shorts. But then she would be announcing that she’d be changing behind his back, and that made her feel distinctly less comfortable than simply enduring her embarrassment from looking like a bridge troll.
Link passed her, his eyes sweeping over her almost subconsciously before he kept up his search. He reached her desk and stopped, his fingers trailing along the stem of the Silent Princess.
Zelda watched him as she tied her robe closed rather than holding it before going over to him. “That’s the one we found last week. My experiments are slowing the decaying process.”
“Slowing?” he asked carefully, rubbing the petal lightly. “Was this here last night?”
“Ye—” she started before she froze. Last night, it had been withered and shriveled. And Link was keen enough to know that. Her heart raced until he finally glanced over at her, curiosity burning in his eyes, his hand still on the flower.
“No,” she finally said. “I had a different flower here that I was looking at. One that didn’t survive an experiment. I worked a little longer after you left.”
He stared at her for a long moment, but not with the same look he’d had when he’d seen what she was wearing. This was distinctly pensive, and she could see the wheels in his brain spinning rapidly. For once, she cursed that he was smarter than everyone gave him credit for. He thumbed the flower one more time before circling around the room to get to her bed.
She followed behind him so he couldn’t see the absolute stress on her face, or the way she kept fisting the roots of her hair as she thought about her carelessness.
He knelt down, and turned to her, catching her in her worried state. He froze on his knees, his brow furrowing. “Are you alright this morning, Princess?”
She let go of her hair and nodded. “Just tired. Are you excited to see you mother? When was the last time you visited her?”
Link took a deep breath and shrugged as he looked under the bed. “I’m not going. I was called on another… assignment.”
Assignments. That’s what they often called apprehending magic users.
Zelda sat on the bed and heard Link groan before he pulled his head out.
“Sorry,” she said quickly.
Link leaned an elbow against the bed and watched her from his knees. She grabbed one of her fringed pillows, needing something to distract her hands until she finally turned to him. “Is there any situation that you’d defy my father and just not do it? Just let them be in peace, or refuse to go despite your orders?”
“No,” he said, too quickly.
“What if it was just to make me happy? Would you do it then?”
That stopped him, and he hesitated, staring at her as he thought. She could see the conflict warring in him. He was like her in that he truly didn’t want to apprehend magic users unless they posed a threat, like anyone else. But his loyalty to the crown… it went beyond his loyalty to her, and she knew it. The answer to this question would only hurt them both, and she knew that too.
“No,” he finally said, looking away, ashamed of his own answer. He stood up without another look at her and went to the window and balcony.
She didn’t follow him this time, sulking on the bed instead, as if she’d expected a different answer from him. And when he returned, she looked back at him. “Do you think they’re all evil, like my father does?”
“No,” he said, again too quickly, too certainly. “I think we’re all capable of great evil, magic or not. The measure of a good person is one who doesn’t succumb to the pull of that evil. Magic isn’t involved in that decision.”
“So, you think I’m capable of great evil?” she asked, only partially teasing him.
“You’re the only exception,” he said with a grin.
She smiled and nodded, but it was laced with sadness. “Thank you. Be safe while you’re out there.”
He nodded in return. “I should be back by about midafternoon.”
“Okay,” she sighed, and he left without another word. Her head slammed back into the mattress and she longed for a way to protect more people like her.
She glanced at her desk where she could see her Silent Princess and groaned. She could barely keep herself safe. How could she protect others?
Zelda was sorely reminded of her powerlessness when her father made her go to the magic user’s ‘trial’ the next day, a trial that was preceded over by the King himself.
She stood on the balcony with Link behind her as she watched her father in his throne, head of the proceedings. There was never a fair trial, and the accused were almost always found guilty.
This time though, it was a little harder to deny.
“You are sentenced to burn at the stake until dead,” her father said after hearing everything he needed to. No matter how many times he said it, it was still spat with as much resolve and vigor as the first time he’d uttered those words.
“No!” the man yelled, rattling the chains around his bound wrists.
Link took a step forward as the room shook with the man’s rage.
“No!” he screamed again, this time, his eyes darting to Zelda and then back to her father. “You and your family will die for what you’ve done to us!”
Zelda sucked in a breath and shuddered, but she gasped when she felt Link’s hand slide into her own. His other hand was on the sword at his back, always ready to move.
Their eyes met for a brief moment, and he tightened his grip reassuringly, which she returned before they both watched the man’s fit before the throne as soldiers tried to get near him, only to be thrown back against the wall by the unseen force of his magic.
Biting her lip, Zelda debated whether or not to intervene, but her decision was made for her when she saw the man turn his attention to a display of weapons that began to shake loose and hovered at the ready, like projectiles.
Zelda clenched her free hand, holding on to the weapons to prevent him from flinging them anywhere. It was difficult to hold so many objects still, but she kept them tight as she felt his magic tug against hers.
He was visibly rattled by the intervention, his head whipping around to try to find the source. But the distraction gave a guard the opportunity to try to apprehend him.
The man went to jerk his head, to send the guard flying, but Zelda dropped the weapons and curved her wrist, holding his head still so the magic was derailed, and the force hit the wall instead, sending a picture crashing to the ground, but not a person.
Gasping in shock, the man tugged at his chin. But the magic was like a hand, and he followed it straight to her eyes. He scoffed, his wide and accusing glare chilling her to the core.
Her hand fell and she let go of him, her heart stopping completely in that moment. He knew it was her.
She and Link tightened their grip on each other as soon as the man’s attention went to her, but the man let out another scream. This time, flames roared from his mouth, and straight towards Zelda.
She didn’t realize she was on the ground until she saw the flames above her. Link had her cocooned between him and the stone balcony, his head shielding her from the worst heat of the fire.
His reactions were fast though, and he pulled her to her knees, dragging her beside him to get her off the balcony. Zelda noticed a flag above had also caught fire, but Link had her out before she could discern any other damage. He didn’t care if the whole castle caught fire; Zelda was his priority.
He pulled her behind him as other guards ran into the room, likely to deal with the fire. But that wasn’t Link’s responsibility.
He grabbed a passing guard. “Hey, tell the King I’m bringing the Princess back to her room for safety.”
“Sure, Link,” she said before hurrying into the throne room.
Link said no more until he’d practically pushed Zelda all the way back to her own room. Zelda was still rattled, and she let him guide her as her thoughts were stuck on the way that man had looked at her. What was he saying now? She couldn’t focus on the halls or the doors.
So she was beyond surprised when Link gently placed a hand on her cheek and let the other run through her hair.
“Are you okay?” he breathed, looking her over for any wounds or injuries. “Were you burned?”
“No, I’m fine. Are you?”
“Yeah, I am.” He stopped and stared at her, eyes wide as he breathed through an unfamiliar sensation that threatened to steal the air from his lungs.
Link had been a royal guard for years. He’d worked closely with Zelda for quite a while. But he’d never been in a situation where she’d actually been in danger. Sure, he’d cleared bandits off the road, or taken down a bokoblin hunting party before they could reach the Princess, but he’d had those situations entirely under control. This? The flames had nearly hit her. If he’d been any slower…
“Thank you,” she whispered, stopping his train of thought when she took the opportunity to lightly brush back some of his hair that had fallen loose of his ponytail and into his face. She tucked a strand behind his ear and let her hand trail along his skin while he watched, too nervous to move with her that close.
Her door swung open, and Link was in front of her with his sword drawn before she could even gasp.
But he quickly sheathed it and dropped to his knee, head bowed as King Rhoam rushed in and grabbed Zelda.
“Are you okay? They’re taking that demon away now for an immediate execution. He was raving, threatening you. Saying it was your fault as they dragged him away. Link, I want you to stay alert for the rest of the day and night. Don’t leave her side, do you understand? I don’t trust him, even in death.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
“Good. I’m going to deal with that monster. I don’t want you there today, Zelda.”
“Okay,” she muttered as Rhoam stormed back out of her room, slamming her door violently.
She was glad she wasn’t going to be there. Rhoam was going to make it hurt.
“He said it was your fault?” Link asked, his brow furrowing.
Zelda shrugged and leaned against her desk, staring down at her Silent Princess. “He said it was the Royal Family’s fault. He must have meant me indirectly.”
Link moved up beside her, his eyes lingering on the flower as well before she felt the prickle of his gaze. “You’re trembling. You should sit and breathe. Deep breaths.”
She sat on the bed and pulled her legs up, adjusting the bottom of her dress over her knees. “I wish I could have been born normal.”
Link knelt beside her. “If you were normal, we’d never have met, so I’m glad you’re not.”
She smiled as he misinterpreted what she meant. She let him. He was cute, his eyes still wide with worry. “Yeah, that’s a perk.”
Link was on her heels the rest of the day while she did her tasks and entertained herself in the library. He was quiet and far more watchful, and Link’s orders were reiterated to him by the King that night at dinner.
Rhoam pointed his fork threateningly in Link’s direction where he stood. “You do not leave her side tonight; do you understand?”
Link now stood in the corner of her bedroom, staring at the wall like a punished child while she changed.
“My father was literal, huh? Not to leave my side,” she mused, opting for a longer pair of pants this time.
“Mhmm,” he mumbled.
“Are you going to sleep at all? Swap guards?”
Zelda crawled under her blankets. This wasn’t the first time a guard had to be in her room overnight to watch for a threat either, but again, it was the first time it was Link. “You can turn now.”
He hesitated before carefully looking at her. “I’ll just patrol the room throughout the night. Any footsteps you hear will likely be mine, so try to sleep through it.”
“Okay,” she said, familiar with that speech from the past.
He nodded awkwardly before heading out to the balcony. He turned to her once more. “Goodnight, Princess. I’m glad you’re okay.”
She smiled at him, trying to reassure him that this was normal for her. “You as well, Link.”
But she couldn’t sleep.
She heard his footsteps, sure, but for the most part, she was distracted by that prickle on her neck brushing over her often, letting her know that Link was watching her. Each time, her heart sped up, and she cracked her eyes open if she wasn’t facing him. She was usually better at ignoring it, but she had a feeling it was distinctly because it was Link, and she was hyperaware of him anyway.
She’d finally drifted off, but she awoke again some time later. The prickle was there, but it was different, and almost entirely foreign to her. In fact, she knew he wasn’t looking in her direction because of how different it felt. This wasn’t the same sensation at all. Her hairs stood up on her arms and the back of her neck, and she was immediately tense. But she sat up and opened her eyes, blinking the sleep from them and rubbing them as if that would wipe away the memory. Perhaps it had been a bad dream that stirred her.
Then she felt Link looking at her. That was familiar.
She turned to where he stood half in, half out between her room and the balcony, leaning against the frame. He was silhouetted by the light of the night sky, so she couldn’t see his face, but she didn’t need to.
“You alright?” he whispered.
“Yeah. Just felt weird. Probably a bad dream. It was so strange.”
“Okay. Don’t wake yourself up taking to me,” he chuckled.
“I like talking to you.”
He smiled at her, his teeth catching the moonlight before he turned his head into it. “You too, Princess.”
She watched him for a while, admiring the way the light framed him and drew her eye. Her chin was against her pulled-up knee that she hugged close to her. It was strange to realize that she could watch him for so long without feeling bored or embarrassed, enjoying the many different ways the moonlight caught his face.
But then, she felt her neck prickle again, and she sat up straight. Link turned at her sudden movement.
“Link, come here!” she said, too frightened to whisper.
He was by her side in an instant, sword drawn from her tone. “What is it?”
“Someone’s watching from the dark,” she breathed, this time, too hushed for anything but Link’s ears.
“Where? Did you see them?”
“No, but they’re there. Trust me.”
He glanced at her for a second before he nodded and held his sword ready in his hand while he searched the room slowly and carefully.
But the feeling never went away from her neck, even when he wasn’t looking. She covered her mouth, unnerved by how strong it was. Like they were right behind her, breathing on her skin, drawing every goosebump out of hiding.
She shot forward with a shriek, crawling to the end of the bed before turning to stare at the empty space in front of her. The sensation was burning.
Link was at the foot of her bed, sword raised, waiting for the threat.
She could feel it, this time right in front of her, hovering just in front of her face. She whimpered and started to crawl back until she’d run out of room, and then leaned back into Link while he watched her, confused. To him, there was nothing. There was no sensation, no prickle on his neck, no goosebumps. The only fear he felt was because Zelda was in such a panic. He almost wondered if maybe she were still dreaming.
“Zelda?” he whispered, one hand snaking around her waist to support her as she kept moving backwards until she was flush against him, even pushing him off balance in her attempt to keep moving back.
“It’s here. It’s right here. Link… please…”
He held her tighter, his arm completely wrapped across her waist, his eyes fluttering around the empty space on her bed. But he could feel her shuddering violently. And he trusted Zelda, even if he didn’t know what for.
In a single motion, he spun Zelda off the bed and thrust out his sword into the air.
An inhuman figure screeched out into the darkness, taking shape as it writhed in its pain.
Link jumped back at the sudden appearance, but he recovered fast enough to push Zelda back when the creature slinked onto the floor and began to crawl toward them. Link stabbed it again, and it howled.
“Where are the guards?” she yelled as Link kept pushing her towards the hall.
But at that, he stopped her, grabbing her wrist and pulling her behind him instead. They’d have come in with all the noise. Either they weren’t outside for some reason, or they were killed.
The creature calmed down again and stood taller than any person Zelda had ever seen. Link stepped forward with his sword, and this time, the figure sidestepped his stab and backhanded Zelda, sending her crashing into the wall with inhuman force before turning its attention to Link. Sharp claws pried at the chain-link armor Link wore while he struggled to get up, screaming as the claws began to pierce straight through the armor and started tearing at his skin.
Zelda blinked and crawled away from her wall, pushing the hair from her face so she could see. And she could see Link bleeding.
“Link!” she screamed, her hand flying out on instinct. The figure was thrown back as she released her power, and Link sat up, one hand over his wound as he stared at her in shock.
She stumbled, her head throbbing from the impact, but she made her way to stand over Link while he gawked at her.
These consequences were ones she was willing to deal with later. She wasn’t going to let Link die just to keep her secret.
The creature hissed and crawled up on to the wall before flinging itself at Zelda, taking her down to the ground with ease. Its sharp fingers, no longer a full claw, dug into the skin at her neck and she tried to pry it loose with her magic, which was stronger than her actual grip. But the creature was strong too.
Until it was screeching again.
Fingers slackened their hold on her, and Zelda looked up to see Link’s sword through its head as he clutched his bleeding wound. It slithered back and rematerialized on the other side of the room.
Link stood over Zelda. “You okay?”
She checked her skin, her hands coming back bloody. “I don’t know yet.”
It let out a roar as its shape changed again, and suddenly there were tentacle-like appendages, one going for Zelda and pinning her down, and the other clawing at Link’s armor again, the tip a sharp point that was relentless in its attempt to reach a vital organ.
Link screamed, stabbing futilely at the tendril as the metal of his armor kept being torn away like chipping paint.
“Link!” Zelda yelled again, managing to gather enough magic to push the creature’s arm off her. She scampered to her feet, slipping in a small pool of blood before she stood between the creature and Link, flinching back nervously.
She closed her eyes and drew from Link, feeling his gaze on her, feeling his presence. Feeling his wound. She was exposing herself for his sake, and that drew her powers behind her, rearing up.
Her eyes fluttered and her head throbbed, but when she opened her eyes, the creature was outlined perfectly for her rather than a dark mass of limbs, and she sent a burst of bright light at its center, holding it there until it became too much for them both. But she shook with effort, keeping it there a moment longer.
And the creature burst apart into darkness, disappearing like smoke.
She collapsed, and heard Link hit the floor right behind her.
Despite his injury, Link’s eyes were wide on her.
The door burst open, as if the creature had been holding it shut, and a hoard of guards poured into her room, followed shortly by the king himself.
“Zelda!” he yelled, pushing past everyone. “What happened?” he shot a look behind him, “Get the physician! They’re hurt!”
Zelda turned to Link, her eyes wide and fearful. He clutched his wound tightly and forced himself to his knee, to bow before the king.
“We heard screams. What happened?” Rhoam asked again, looking around in an effort to find a body. “Was this magic, or did someone escape?”
Link turned to Zelda over his shoulder and saw a tear run down her cheek as she looked at her father, and then at Link.
“It was magic,” Link breathed, realizing just how much it hurt to talk.
“Someone was in my daughter’s room?”
“They…” he froze and turned back to Zelda and then to Rhoam. “It came through the wall behind the Princess’ bed. It was a figure at first, and I stabbed it, but it completely reformed as something else, like it wasn’t really alive. Each time, it got a bit stronger and then…” he stopped and winced, taking a breath and another opportunity to look at Zelda. She was shaking.
“It had the Princess down on the ground, its… arm thing on her throat. And I stabbed it through its head, which made it… well… die, I suppose. It turned to nothing and disappeared. Once it did, its hold on the door must have released because that’s when you came in.”
Zelda’s eyes were locked on Link, wide and afraid and surprised and thankful all at once.
“Link,” she breathed before relieved tears started to rush down her cheeks, and she threw herself into his arms. “Thank you.”
He returned the gesture, biting down the pain it was causing him to do so as one of his arms still covered his bleeding wound. “You’re safe,” he whispered, and she tugged him tighter at the secondary meaning.
Rhoam put his hand on Zelda’s shoulder comfortingly until the physicians ran in and began to take care of the both of them.
That was the last Zelda heard of Link for two weeks while he recovered. She’d spent about a week of that time recovering herself, but it wasn’t until the night shift when she heard his voice sound out behind her door.
“Link!” she called, hurrying to the door and whipping it open. “You’re back? You’re okay?”
He nodded and patted his chest, as if that proved that it no longer hurt. And with that, she pulled him against her and wrapped her arms tightly around his neck.
“Thank the Goddess!” she breathed, letting go to close the door and to back away from him, to give him space from her. “I’m sorry.”
“I… you must… I’m… do you remember what happened?”
“All of it?”
“All of it.”
That almost made her more confused.
“You didn’t tell my father. You said you wouldn’t disobey his orders, even for me. You were meant to tell him about me. What I am. What I can do.”
“You were never the one in danger while I was obeying orders.”
“You’re not… afraid of me?”
He took a step forward and held out his hand to her. “I could never be afraid of you, Zelda.”
She smiled, relief flowing through her just before the rush of butterflies hit. She took his hand and squeezed it, and a deep, unfamiliar longing settled over her. For the first time since her mother died, someone knew about her. And he wasn’t running.
“How long?” he asked. “Have you had… magic?”
“Forever. My mother helped me before she was killed.”
“You had it then? When they ran all those tests?”
She nodded and let go of him so she could sit on the bed. He sat on the other end.
“I saw the flower. That was you, wasn’t it?”
“Yes. Was my story that easy to see through?”
“No. I believed you.”
“Just like you did when I told you that thing was in front of me. Why?”
He ran a hand along his face. “I don’t know. I just trust you.” He chuckled to himself. “A lot makes sense now: your attitude towards the deaths, the flower, that day with the horse…”
“You noticed that?”
He grinned. “The tournament?”
She grimaced. “Yes, but he was going to kill that man!”
“That dinner a few months ago?”
“Okay, but she deserved that!”
“My mother getting better?”
Zelda looked away and nodded.
“Thank you. You risked exposing yourself for my family.” He scooted a little closer. “Did you actually do something to that fire breathing guy?”
“I’m dangerous,” she scoffed, glancing at her door as if her father might pop out at any second.
He reached out and ran his knuckles lightly along the side of her neck where a discolored scar marked where the creature had grabbed her. “I trust you.”
She flinched before settling into his touch. “I think it goes without saying that you can’t tell anyone. My trust, and my life, rest entirely in your hands. And as uncomfortable as I am with that concept, you’re possibly the only one I actually trust with my life.”
Link smirked and blushed, but he tried to play it off. “You don’t trust your other guards?”
“I do, but if anyone other than you had been in here with me, I believe they’d have told my father about me.”
“Well,” he said, standing up. “You don’t have to worry about me. I wouldn’t tell the Goddess herself if She asked.”
He looked in her closet, remembering he had an actual job to do.
Zelda followed him, as she usually did. “If the Goddess asks, you’re allowed to tell.”
“You don’t even need guards, do you? If I wasn’t there, you’d have been fine.”
“Well, I couldn’t find it, so I did need you to stab it. And you’re a very good distraction.”
He stopped and raised an eyebrow in her direction.
“Oh, no, I meant you were good at distracting it! Not that you’re a distraction to me.”
One of his full-toothed smiles graced his face. “I didn’t take it that way, but now I know.”
Groaning, she regretted how often she talked, especially to him.
The path around the room was familiar to her by now, so as Link went to check under her desk, she waved her finger and pushed the chair out of the way for him.
He froze, and it was her turn to be triumphant.
Link gently placed a hand on the chair and glanced under the desk before pushing it back in, determined not to look at her, not to give her that satisfaction.
But she already had it.
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A Proposal Gone Awry
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4
Summary: Link has been touring the breadth and width of Hyrule to clear out the remaining monster camps, and soon enough, he reaches Zora’s Domain. Mipha asks him to wait before he heads back to the castle, which he was intending on doing... but some mischievous children may have other plans.
Thank you to @braidy-maidy, @zeldaelmo and @zeldadiarist for your help betaing!
Link & The Zora Children
Mipha & Revali (Legend of Zelda)
Contains spoilers for AOC. This is my take on the Heart's Escort Mission- specifically what you get at the end of that.Basically- I turn my angst gun on another character whoopsie but I don't leave Mipha high and dry I promise!
Tags: Unrequited Love, Heartbreak, Healing, Emotional angst, Emotional Hurt/Comfort, Angst with a Happy Ending
Link had just got back from the battlefield, and he’d left Mipha there, albeit reluctantly. She insisted she would be the one to check over the Zora troops, alone, “I’ll be able to heal them as I go along Link. Why don’t you go back to the Domain and rest whilst I finish up? You’re not wounded, are you?” He replied in the negative, or well, he’d shaken his head anyway. He’d remained with her still, but she’d sort of stammered for a while, something about final preparations, and it was okay for him to leave. Link wasn’t entirely sure why she didn’t want him to stay, but he hadn’t heard her clearly through what seemed to be perpetual rain on Ploymus mountain, and Mipha had become particularly jumpy around him lately, so he opted to leave her be. He just assumed she meant preparations for the healing she was going to do- and maybe that was a private thing? Or maybe she wanted to ask him to train at some point and it was preparations for that? Not that there was much need for it anymore, with the Calamity destroyed and sealed away, but he missed his childhood friend and would like to help her if she wanted it. Just before he left, she’d clutched his arm, and had asked if he could wait until dinner for her because she wanted to tell him something. He saw no reason to decline, so he’d given her a slight nod and then moved to leave.
As he meandered back through the twisting pathways, he realised that it wasn’t that late, but for some inexplicable reason he felt tired. Sunset had just fallen over the Domain, and now the luminous stones started to glow and fluoresce. It truly was a beautiful place, although… he wasn’t a huge fan of the way the water flowing the walkways had started to creep through his metal boots. He sighed, it had been a spur of the moment decision to wear his Soldier’s Armour, he had put his Champion’s Tunic through the wash multiple times since the Calamity fight and it was still drying in his Guard’s Chamber. He felt strangely bare without it, and he certainly missed the increased perception he had whilst wearing it. And, well, for other, uh, sentimental reasons. No, not because the Princess had made it for him. No. Not at all. He was pulled from his thoughts when his foot squelched uncomfortably in his now soaked socks into the metal plate of his boot. The flow of water had never been a problem as a child because he could run barefoot everywhere and no one would care, but now as the Hero it wouldn’t be seen as proper. He would have to polish them later, to avoid rust forming. And change his socks.
He slowly exhaled, it had been a long week of fighting off the remaining hordes of monsters from Calamity Ganon’s revival, today being the day that he had decided to help clear out the remnants in Zora’s Domain. It was funny, because before he wouldn’t have seen a weeklong absence from the Castle as a bad thing, but now… He blushed slightly, before shaking his head. He still had to go clean up, and then eat dinner, because by the Goddesses he was starving, and then meet Mipha… And perhaps he’d teleport back to the Central Tower and then to the Castle. Just to see her again. He missed being by her side, and it left him restless to know he wasn’t protecting her. Somehow over the course of their journey together those feelings of friendship and wanting to protect her had slowly morphed into something else. Or perhaps, he reflected, his reasoning for wanting to do those things had changed. But he could start to smell the aroma of freshly made hasty meat skewers made using the abundance of fleet lotus seeds around the Domain and Link’s stomach audibly grumbled. Ah, food was close, so he hurried the last few steps to reach the Dining Hall.
Just as he was about to go inside, four small bodies ploughed into him, and he let out a startled gasp. They tugged at his boots, and he only belatedly realised it was the members of The Big Bad Bazz Brigade. Bazz was at the forefront with the sword Link had gifted him when they were children proudly strapped to his back. The sword was barely off the ground, though, with the tip jutting into the passageway with every jump he made.
“LINK!” Bazz shouted, a huge smile plastered across his face.
“Hey Link!” Rivan jostled with Bazz and they flailed their arms at each other, with both of them gripping one of his legs. Link looked down and wasn’t sure what to do exactly. Did he try to separate them? Or peel them off him? He couldn’t help but smile at their antics though.
“You’re coming down to our Domain an awful lot recently, aren’t you?” Gaddison, The Heroine, had both hands on her hips but then moved to pull the two squabbling friends off his poor boots. He hadn’t realised how heavy Zoran children were.
Behind them shyly stood Sidon, he was smaller than all of them, and he gripped his Lightscale Trident with shaking hands.
Link nodded at Gaddison, pointed back towards the mountain where the monsters had been. She nodded sagely, understanding what he meant. Link moved to pick up Sidon, he hadn’t been allowed to join Bazz’s group because he was too young, but he still followed them everywhere. Actually, he tried so hard to prove his worth to be allowed in, he’d even climbed Ploymus mountain to face the Lynel there in an effort to prove his courage. Link found him to be adorable, Sidon reminded him of what he was like at that age, keen to please and prove he was capable, but too reckless for his own good. Sidon smiled his trademark smile and wrapped both arms around Link’s neck. Link smiled; aw he was so cute.
“Hey Link! When will you go swimming up the waterfall with us? You’re older now right, do you have your scales yet?” Rivan asked.
He shook his head. He didn’t have scales, and he wouldn’t ever get them because he wasn’t Zoran.
“HE’S A HYLIAN you ninny! He’s not a Zora! He won’t ever get scales like we will!” Ah Gaddison, ever the voice of reason in the group of rowdy boys. She mothered them all, he could remember that from when he used to play at the Domain, and she sprouted logic that the Zora-equivalent of a ten-year-old Hylian probably shouldn’t have, but who was he to judge.
Rivan looked traumatised. “So, we can never swim up the waterfall with Link then?”
“NO.” She paused, “Well, unless someone gives him armour with their scale on it.”
Bazz shoved his shoulder into hers, “Why don’t you do it then?”
She shoved him back, doubly hard, so much so that he ended up slipping in the water and skidding onto his bum. Link suppressed a bout of laughter at his enraged face. “Do I look like I have a White Scale yet Bazz? I can’t give him one if I don’t have one myself!” She bent down and whacked his arm again. “AND ANYWAY, did you not listen to the history lessons we’ve had- you only give your scale to the person you want to marry, basically as an engagement present.” She fluffed her fins around, “And I guess by association love.” She shuddered, “What a disgusting concept. Imagine loving a boy. How desperate do you have to be?”
Link suddenly felt ridiculously embarrassed. He tried going to the shop on the way here, but they didn’t sell the actual chest plate part of the Zora armour and had looked at him strangely when he’d showed them the Greaves and Helm he already had and pointed at his chest. Then again, maybe he should have actually voiced it. He found it bizarre, considering all the other races seemed fine with selling their complete armour sets. He chalked it off as just a Zora thing. But now he knew better. Farore, he had been such an idiot. How had he apparently missed this piece of information? He hadn’t known the Zora Armour was only given as an engagement gift! And to someone you loved no less. No wonder the staff in the shop had looked at him as if he had grown an extra head!
Bazz looked sheepish, scratching the back of his head. “Well, that was the girl side of things, Heroine.”
Rivan looked confused, “Then you don’t love Link?”
Gaddison blushed bright red, “NOT IN THAT WAY! And I’m only 52! That’s not appropriate at all!” She punched them both, “Do you not remember anything about our plan?”
Bazz scratched his chin. “We want to go swimming up the waterfall.”
Gaddison took a deep breath. “Well done, Bazz, son of Seggin. That’s the whole point of this venture, none of the adults will let us go on the waterfall by ourselves because we aren’t that strong.” She huffed and sat down, her legs crossed and both hands holding her face up in what Link recognised as classic-moody-child-face, “We just need some supervision is all. That is what Link would have been ideal for, but he doesn’t have the armour, it was a longshot really.”
Rivan piped up. “WAIT I remember now! Wasn’t this to do with Kodah?”
Up until that point, Link had been watching the three of them squabbling with amusement mostly. He’d been surprised with the revelation of the Zora Armour but how was he supposed to know the intricacies of Zora… courting (?) rituals. It struck him as weird that they hadn’t changed a single bit since when he was a child and when he played with them. Although, it made sense, that they had remained children whilst he had matured, because Hylians aged much faster compared to the Zora. As soon as Kodah was brought up though, he winced. He could still hear her screeching LINNY when he had walked into the Domain with the Princess who had come to recruit Mipha as a champion. It had been mortifying.
Gaddison sighed. “Yes, she said she was making the armour for a Hylian remember! And then that gossip that my mother heard that she was in fact going to propose to the Hero? In case you’ve been living under a rock- that Hero is sitting right there!” She pointed at him, and Link went red-faced, his eyebrows raised high. Oh, thank the Goddesses Kodah hadn’t done anything. He had no idea what he’d even say. How had she ever thought he’d agree anyway- it wasn’t like he’d talked to her properly since when he was four! But then, time passed differently for the Zora… “I thought she would have given it to him by now.” She huffed, “We should have realised that flaw in our plan.”
Bazz was uncharacteristically silent as the three of them sulked over not being able to go up the waterfall. Link felt bemused that all of their extensive planning was over this armour that apparently a lover, in this case Kodah, was meant to give to their loved one (him haha what a joke) so that he could wear said engagement gift and take them to the waterfall. He shook his head, children’s priorities and means to achieve those were always… entertaining to listen to. Bazz suddenly perked up, “Baby Prince!” Sidon looked up from where he had been resting his head on Link’s shoulder. “Didn’t you go blabbing around the other day to the King that Princess Mipha was making someone armour?”
Rivan enthusiastically nodded, “YEAH- you said that King Dorephan was worried about it, so he commi-ssioned someone to get the materials, and he gave them the Zora Greaves!”
Link swallowed; he had a small inclination of where things were going but he wasn’t sure. He pulled out the Greaves anyway and after a round of ohs and ahs, a hushed silence fell over the group, everyone watching Sidon as the small red spots on his cheeks flared a darker red. He sucked in a small breath and slowly nodded.
Bazz nodded, and immediately stood up. “This is a mission for the The Big Bad Bazz Brigade. We hereby announce that we will go searching for this Armour- this is your pre-pre-liminary mission, Rookie Comrade Sidon. We cannot go find Kodah’s armour because we have no clue where it is so that would waste valuable time, but you know where Mipha’s is don’t you?”
Sidon nodded, much more enthusiastically this time. Link held his hands up, trying to get them to stop.
Gaddison stood up then, “Wait, what if she made it for a Zora?”
Bazz shook his head, “We’ll make do. You want to go swimming tonight, don’t you Heroine?”
Link was vehemently shaking his head, and opened his mouth, but the words died in his throat. What were they doing? What was he agreeing to?! No, he had to say something, he might not know much about courting rituals, but he didn’t want to wear something meant as a present for an engagement!
“Hey!” They all looked at him, “Is this… okay?”
“We need to ask Comrade Gaddison for that information because we, ahem, didn’t, uh, study the particulars.”
Gaddison paused. “Well, I don’t really know. Do you just propose once in your life and that’s it? I mean technically the scales grow back right? It’s not like you have a gaping hole in your chest. And really, everyone seems to be making one at the minute, so it probably doesn’t hold all that fancy meaning anymore. And Lord Jabu Jabu knows we have so many traditions that no one other than the oldies bother with.”
Rivan piped up, “Princess Mipha is nice too, so she won’t mind right?”
Gaddison nodded, “True, and theoretically, we’re just borrowing it. It’s not like Link here will take it forever or something. It’s just so we can practise going up the waterfall a few times on our own, and then we’ll give it back. She probably won’t even know we’ve taken it!” She shook her head, “I surmise no issues Comrade Bazz. We may proceed.”
“Sounds good! It means we can swim with Link, right?”
Bazz sighed, “Yes it does. Good so, last person, Comrade Link?”
Link blinked. This whole situation had gone from zero to one hundred so fast. He wasn’t even sure what he was consenting to, and he was really confused. Did this armour really matter to the Zora? Apparently, it did to the shop keepers, but maybe he’d just confused them? That was highly likely considering he hadn’t even said anything to begin with. And Kodah had made him one and he’d last seen her when he was four- she couldn’t genuinely believe he would agree to marry her right? But even ignoring that, it made the whole thing seem a bit like a joke- surely the Armour doesn’t mean that much if you’d make it for someone who you haven’t talked to in years? Plus, the way Gaddison was talking, and she was really the only source of actual knowledge on the topic, made it seem like it was something all the Zora did in their spare time. But stealing Mipha’s potentially specific armour for her future husband? That felt really wrong. And he knew Mipha was a very serious person, not at all like Kodah, so he had a feeling this meant more to her. Plus, why exactly was he agreeing - because the kids wanted to go surfing vertically? That just felt ridiculous. He shook his head. No. He wasn’t going to ruin Mipha’s gift for her, um, future husband. It’s not what friends would do.
Bazz’s eyes widened, “Please Link. You don’t… play with us anymore. I know you’re all grown up, and you have like responsi-si-”
“Responsibilities you fool.”
“What she said!” and then Bazz opened up his pouch, “AND we got you a gift! Your favourite from the Domain, Hearty Salmon Meuniere!”
Link sighed, about to decline, but his stomach rumbled again and Bazz shoved the plate into his hand. He always was too susceptible to food. And, they made a valid point. He hadn’t spent much time with them lately and they seemed desperate to go up a waterfall. Maybe this was a Zora rite of passage- he knew when he was younger, he’d been desperate to duel with soldiers, but everyone had laughed at him because he was so young. Perhaps this was the same for them. And who was he kidding- he just couldn’t say no. Especially to food children. And he couldn’t deny a small part of him was intrigued as to what the Zora Armour looked like after all. It was the last one he had yet to collect, having received the Greaves from who he now knew was the king, and the Helm from when Mipha had been recruited. So, even though he felt like it was probably not the right thing to do, he agreed, the reckless and hungry side won out. “One ride up the waterfall. And then we return the Armour.”
A series of exclamations and happy cries of “YES! LET’S GO!” rang out through the Domain.
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