Chapter 57 - Fate of Their Friends
Veraca woke up. The Zora blinked his lids briefly before recognizing where he was. Turning his head to gaze upon his queen, he wondered how they got to this point. Ruto was sleeping peaceably next to him. The chains they had secured around her wrists were gone but the scars still remained. He grimaced at the things they had to do to get her to rights. For a brief moment in time, they had all but given up on having their queen ever come back to reality.
It had been over two orbits since they had captured Ruto from the Negev Marshlands. It had only taken just over an orbit to make any significant progress on repairing her fragile psyche. She was irrational and volatile towards them all, her mind only focused on either killing, sexually raping the males or her ultimate fantasy, Link. She had gone through so much virulent conditioning living with Naar that it was a miracle at all that she progressed this far.
It was only last week that mentioning Link’s name in her presence did not prompt a reaction of rapture and complete cessation of the current exchange. Ruto was no longer obsessed with hurting others or fixating over Link, a prize she could never have. Unfortunately, she was still highly sexual in nature and it took everything in Veraca’s power to enforce the rules of conduct around their queen. The older soldiers did their duties religiously but the younger generations, still in their pubescent years, were in awe at the carnal attention their queen afforded them.
To avoid a royal catastrophe among the bloodlines, there seemed to only be one thing left to do to keep the royal bloodline secure. Veraca and his group of commanders assembled one evening to hold a conference on what to do with Ruto’s increasing lust for males. It was the final linchpin in their plan to make her healthy. It also was the final obstacle they couldn’t quite overcome. Whatever Naar had done to indoctrinate Ruto in this regard, he had done the job unbelievably well. None of the Zoras could wrap their minds around such a perverse addiction.
At length, they ultimately decided that to stymie the tide of rising issues revolving around her unique mania, they should appoint one person as her personal escort to satisfy it consistently. Much to the chagrin of Veraca, they all chose him to be her personal assistant in this regard. He was the general of their legions and well respected within the community. If there was ever to be a mate to Ruto to ultimately become their future king, they admitted he was the best choice possible.
Veraca was deathly nervous of their first encounter together and dreaded even being in the same room with Ruto that night. As she made her typical pass at him sexually, he accepted his responsibility to his people and did not resist. At first she reacted violently, thinking it was some sort of trick or another way to mock her. She was incredulous at his seeming compliance with her lascivious demands. In time, she accepted his acquiescence to the intimate act and laid him out that very night.
Knowing only men as her partners, she was like an innocent babe in the ways of how Zoras mate. They fumbled profusely in the first few evenings together. Although Zoras do indeed have phalluses that extend from their inner loins when aroused, it was not utilized in the same way Ruto was used to. The male merely places the phallus inside the female, injects his seed to fertilize her eggs and then removes himself. There is no prolonged method by which Zoras experience pleasure during mating, it is purely reproductive in nature and is treated more like an obligation to provide future Zoras to the community than anything remotely recreational.
Ruto was quite disappointed at the overall experience. Veraca was appalled at what she had expected him to do with his aroused member. Knowing that he was chosen to placate Ruto in this matter and so as to not have problems in public, he deigned to satisfy her demands. The weird sensation of thrusting in and out of Ruto was quite alien to him. Long after he spent his initial seed flow, he kept going for her sake. After a time she finally exploded in ecstasy, their bodies warm from the exertion. It was far more work than it was worth as far as Veraca was concerned, but at the very least it subdued Ruto considerably in the weeks that followed. For that, Veraca was praised for having finally solved the final obstacle to bringing their queen to rights.
Gazing down her voluptuous body which was quite unlike any other Zora in recent memory, he began reminiscing their last few evenings together. It had been a nightly thing with her since they started, she was insatiable and he felt he was getting in far better shape simply doing this than his daily training regime. Veraca was finally starting to see the appeal of the way the land-walkers did things in bed and actually began enjoying the prolonged bouts of mating they shared.
Ruto’s eyes flickered open. She smiled as she beheld his face next to her. “Good morning, my love.”
Veraca beamed at the term of endearment she had recently coined with him almost a fortnight ago. “Did you sleep well last night?” He asked this question consistently every morning. Forming a pattern with her seemed to be helpful and kept her on a routine that she could focus on, even if the answer to the question was more or less the same.
“I always do when I’m next to you.” She soothed; her voice soft and gentle. She reached a webbed hand over and massaged his cheek. Veraca closed his eyes as he lightly pressed into her palm.
“Are you ready to greet your subjects, my queen?” He offered smoothly.
Her body went rigid at the prospect. Having mellowed since their first mating, she was beginning to think clearly and actually ruminate on what the future laid before her. She was personally terrified of becoming the queen to her people, to be that figurehead that everyone looked up to and obeyed. All she wanted was to escape from this dreadful requirement of her station. In the deepest thoughts of the night, she would sometimes imagine herself still in the arms of Naar. Those nights were few and far in-between these days, but she’d always wake up screaming from them.
“No.” She whimpered; closing her eyes as if to block out Veraca’s presence, childishly hoping that by not seeing him he wouldn’t exist.
He dared not push her further, knowing full well that would shut her down quickly. He truly wondered what Naar subjugated her to night after night. Shaking off the last clutches of sleep, he rose up from the spongy bed and traveled over to the nearby coral dresser. Hefting his regal armor, he looked at it with unease. Ever since his appointed pairing to their queen, it was dictated that armor be made more befitting his status. He certainly didn’t feel like the king his people deserved. He was only chosen as king to bring complicity to Ruto, the last in the royal bloodline, and to help carry that genetic thread to the next generation. Being chosen as her mating partner seemed hardly a reason to name him king.
Sighing, he fitted himself with the shelled carapace, taking extra care to fasten the buckles to hold it onto his moist skin. He noticed Ruto had stepped up beside him and was watching him intently. “Did you feel like accompanying me on my rounds?”
She nodded dimly, “I don’t want to be alone.”
Taking it as consent, Veraca assisted her in dressing for the day. She was still unused to clothing since being primarily naked in Naar’s presence. Despite the fact Zoran clothing was quite minimal in general, that it existed at all was foreign to Ruto. Placing the last clasp on her belt which held together her sparkling emerald dress, he stood back and admired his handiwork.
“You are truly beautiful.” Veraca admitted truthfully.
Her cheeks flushed a dull color of green at his compliment. She also never got those when living amongst men for seven cycles. “Thank you.” She stammered, knowing little else to say to his commendation.
The full extent of the day was occupied with overseeing the troops on their daily routines of training, each day Ruto was impressed with how well disciplined her people had become. Long were the days they lounged around in relative peace inside Zora Hall in the hills far northeast of where they resided now. If there was not a war currently presiding in Hyrule at this very moment, she would be quite surprised to see how militant her people had developed.
Upon seeing their reigning queen taking the time to visit them, every Zora would stop their current objective or task and bow low, many saying cordial greetings and endless praise. She accepted all with heartfelt appreciation, but inside she felt hollow and false to be accommodating such comments. Whenever she felt like she would swoon from the onslaught of being normal again, Veraca was beside her. He held her firmly and became that reassuring presence amidst the chaos.
Ruto gathered that the war was progressing further northward as the army moved its divisions westward through the Gerudo kingdom and eastward towards the Xaagar Mountains where the Gorons were still encamped. None of the Nevachreans knew or probably cared about the Zoras infesting the waterways of the Negev and further south and east, traveling as far as the great lakes just south of the Nevachrean capital, Glaun’rung.
The biggest news that day had come in the form of a scout who swam into the council meeting from a nearby tributary tunnel. The youthful Zora reported that a great victory had been claimed for Hyrule, the capital had been overthrown by a combination of Hylian, Gerudo and Nevachrean troops. The most startling news of this report was the name of Link being dropped. Veraca looked nervously at Ruto, but she hardly made any reaction to the update. Inside her heart, however, the fires of yearning were reignited.
The Zora commanders expeditiously decided they should send aid to the reconstruction efforts of the Nevachrean capital, in a show of good faith of their intentions. Sending several novices off to relay the orders, they adjourned for the day. The remainder of the evening went without incident and Ruto actually laughed at a few of the discussions being dialogued over dinner. Exhausted from the day, Veraca escorted her back to their room and shut the door quietly behind him.
“Can’t we get another room? One without a door?” Ruto blurted abruptly, gesturing to the entry. She was used to tent flaps and prior to her capture, curtains of kelp as chamber coverings.
Veraca shook his head, “I am sorry my queen, but you know this is for your safety right now.” Indeed, they still had to be careful of Ruto attempting to escape and potentially making her way back to Naar. At Veraca’s request, the sentries locked them in their room together each night and unlocked it early in the morning prior to their awakening.
“Will you please call me Ruto now? We’re lovers, for Din’s sake!” She exclaimed throwing her arms up.
Veraca cocked his head to one side before questioning, “Technically, you are queen and I am your king by appointment. You are of royal bloodline and I am not.”
Stifling a groan, she turned to the bed in crossness, “That may be true, but both you and I know that your children will be of royal blood. I can already tell my eggs are fertilized.” Veraca suppressed his surprise at her certainty but allowed her to continue, slowly slipping off the pieces of his armor as he listened. “Once I lay them and they hatch, they will be the product of us. So stop putting yourself down and accept the role of the king that you are!”
He smiled inwardly as he countered, “As soon as you fully accept your role as queen and take up the responsibility of your people. Last I checked, you preferred to hide out in our room than show your face.”
Ruto fumed for the rest of their bedtime ritual that night. At length they slipped onto the clamshell bed together, fluffing up the sponges they laid on. Casually bringing up the diaphanous covers over them both, Veraca laid down next to her, his eyes tracing the shells traversing across the ceiling in some crazy, haphazard design.
“Link is still alive, isn’t he?” Ruto whispered.
Veraca’s body tensed, this was the first time she had brought the name up in many moons. He was unsure of where this was going to go. “Yes.” He confirmed haltingly.
“I’m not allowed to see him, am I?” She continued morosely.
“I’m afraid not at the time.” He murmured tersely.
“He is something I probably can’t ever have, isn’t he?” A tremor of anguish percolated into her voice.
“He is not Zora. It would never have worked Ruto.” She visibly reacted to him calling her directly by name. “Even if you did marry him, the royal bloodline would have died out. Only one of your own kind can fertilize your eggs.”
Salty tears came to her eyes, deep down in her heart, she knew he was right. “I hurt him so bad Veraca. I don’t think he will ever forgive me.” She moaned in misery.
Veraca meant to embrace her to comfort her emotions, she gently pushed him away. “Maybe in time, forgiveness will come.” He mollified softly. “For now, for you to do honor to him, you must keep your promise to your people and be the queen that they need right now.”
They were silent together for a time. Veraca was almost asleep when he felt Ruto shifting down by his loins. “Ruto? What are you doing?” He asked dubiously.
Embarrassed but unwilling to back down from her course of action, she gently brought out his phallus and was stroking it between her fingers. “Please, will you let me do something for you tonight? I do not ask anything in return.” She pleaded.
His heart broke to see the queen of the Zoras beseeching for something so trivial. “Ruto…whatever Naar made you do in the past; you do not have to relive it here.” Veraca spoke earnestly, trying his best to ignore the sensations she was causing him.
Ruto nodded, “I know that, but you deserve so much better than what I can offer. The least I can do is bring you pleasure tonight, it’s all I know how to do well.”
Without a further word, she plunged her mouth onto his member. He gasped in shock at her wicked action. If it weren’t for the many moons of practice doing land-walker actions such as redundant thrusting, he wouldn’t have appreciated this pleasing act as much. Well versed in how such sexual mating could be agreeable, he had hardly the strength to resist and laid back in repose and enjoyed his queen.
A screaming war cry reverberated through the mountain pass as the hammer splattered the man’s brains out. Another arcing swing brought the massive sledge into several more targets, flinging them off their feet and into the nearby jagged rocks, impaling several in the process. The Goron seemed to be enjoying himself. Strapping the unwieldy hammer into the holder on his rock plated back, the imposing creature rolling itself into a ball and began plummeting down the decline; the business end of the sledge sticking awkwardly to the side of the rolling Goron. Laughing manically inside his ball, he aimed his trajectory down the hill so that he tripped up every single man on the way down with the hammer.
Unfurling from his compressed state, in one fluid motion the Goron gripped the gigantic sledge and swung it around hitting the remainder of the opponents; many skulls were caved in those precious few seconds. Eyes darting around quickly, the massive Goron spotted a fleeing grunt. With an earnest guffaw, he ran after the poor sap waving his monstrosity of a weapon above his head like a lunatic.
The daunting being made of rock and stone was almost upon the hapless soldier when his body shifted to the side, cut cleanly in half. The Goron looked dejected at the fact his prey had been killed before he could finish the job. He glared up to the nearby rock as a Sheikah finished plucking chunks of flesh from her gauntlets, casually sheathing a sword in the scabbard across her back.
“That was my kill woman!” The Goron frothed.
“Then maybe you should be faster next time in offing him.” She crowed jokingly.
The Goron couldn’t help but grin in mirth at her cheek, “You are great fighters. I’ll give you that.”
“As are you Darunia, and all your kin.” She looked down at the split man. Groaning, he was already trying to put himself together. “You know this is fruitless, they just keep coming back.”
Darunia guffawed heartily; scratching the back of his crown of a head, wreathed in spiked rocks that were as deadly as they looked. “True Cayla, but it is ever so fun to kill them over and over again.” He stomped up to the pitiful man who was dragging his upper body back to his legs and promptly began crushing his spine beneath his heavy foot. “They just don’t learn, do they?” The Goron king laughed.
“Sometimes I wonder if you Gorons have an overall plan on how to win this war.” Cayla intoned, gracefully leaping down from the rock to stand beside the huge king.
Hooting with cheerfulness, Darunia brought the hammer down onto the man’s head watching gray matter splatter across the dirt. “Ha! That’ll slow him down for at least a few hours.” He looked back up the mountain and spotted several other Gorons rolling down the hills, barreling through unfortunate Nevachrean troops who happened to stumble into their way. “Well, we are kind of isolated here. It is hard to get any news from the outside world.”
Strolling up the hill, seemingly oblivious to the pandemonium around them, Cayla insouciantly continued the conversation, “You honestly cling to that futile notion that he will come back for the Ruby? I should think that after seven cycles the boy is dead and we should start thinking about saving what is left of our people.”
Batting away a rogue body flying at him, Darunia grunted in protest, “Do not underestimate that boy’s courage. He floored us all when he came in one day to alleviate the Dodongo problem that had plagued us for so long. He is my sworn brother. I am bound by the vows we took that day to wait for his return. I believe in him.”
Efficiently lopping the head off the nearest soldier who dared look at her in vehemence, Cayla reinserted her sword into its sheathe. “You place all your hopes on a boy you’ve only met once. Do you even know his name at least?” She quizzically confronted him.
Tapping a finger to his chin, he had to admit that he quite forgot what the lad’s name was. “You know? I’m not entirely sure.” Darunia confessed.
“Hey, Darunia! Catch!” A fellow Goron joyfully blared, tossing a flailing body towards them.
In a flash, Darunia caught the chucked man, quickly snapping the man’s spine against his knee before tossing him down the mountain to be impaled on the jagged rocks below. “And don’t insult our ancestral obligations Cayla.” He admonished the jaded Sheikah. “Just because you got separated from your princess doesn’t mean you have to give up so easily on what you believe in! We were charged to uphold the protection of the Ruby until the messenger of the Royal Family came to claim it. Was a shame he returned it to us though.” He shook his head in disbelief.
Cayla huffed in derision, seven cycles with no word of Zelda was disheartening to both her and the rest of the Sheikah residing with the Gorons in the Xaagar Mountains. Impa was supposed to have joined them in the mountains, but they had heard nothing. Cayla had an elegant grace to her features and preferred to wear her hair in a long, tight braid that reached down to her knees. She adorned herself with the typical attire of her tribe, but over the years it had grown tattered in places due to the rugged life they had lived fending off the army all these cycles.
Both of their attention was diverted by a caller from on high, the look-out was pointing towards the east. Darunia squinted his eyes before Cayla called out what he couldn’t decipher. “Dragons!” Cayla yelled above the din of battle around them.
Darunia chortled as they sprinted up the hill towards cover, “At least they’ll permanently remove the existing threat right now!”
“If we don’t get incinerated first!” Cayla laughed as she raced the Goron king up the mountain.
The serpentine creatures swooped down on the battlefield occurring on the slope. Breathing liquid flames, they smote the helpless men against the mountainside. Many of the existing Gorons still vulnerable in the open chose to ball themselves up and ride off the side of the cliffs than face the burning wrath of their mortal enemies. They could survive the worst of falls, but would not walk away easily from dragon fire.
The two ran up into the caves at the peak of the incline, ducking swiftly behind the rock bend as raging flames surged into the cavernous abode. Darunia howled with merriment, “Now this is more like it!” Unlatching the hammer from his back, he waited for the inferno to die down before rounding the corner with weapon raised, cackling the entire way to the dragon’s snout.
Cayla shook her head in humor at the Goron’s joy in fighting. Hearing footsteps behind her, she turned to her liege and bowed low. “My lord, it is not safe here. The dragons are at our doorstep again.” She said reverently.
“Thank you for your concern.” The man said softly, “Any word yet from the south?” He asked hopefully.
“No my king.” Cayla spoke, her eyes still on the ground.
“Please, call me Harkinian. Formal titles mean little in this day and age.” He sighed heavily, the years written across his face. “To think, the peace I helped create by unifying our country would be so tenuous. Very well, keep me informed Cayla.” She bowed her head in obedience.