Legend of Zelda: Zelda's Honor

Epilogue - New Beginnings

They found him days later, delusional and wandering aimlessly at the bottom of the new caldera that was Lake Hylia. He was raving mad and quick to anger and vowed to kill them all if they got any closer. It took the better part of a day to subdue him and hike him back up the steep cliffs of Lake Hylia. Many men lost their lives that day just to bring in one man, Ganondorf. They promptly placed him in a makeshift cell garnered from the prisoner cages that still stood in the aftermath of the Nevachrean camp’s destruction.

They sent the dragons back to their home deep in the Xaagar Mountains to be with their alpha male. Their job complete, there was no need to hold them to any pact. Many Zoras, Gorons, Nevachreans and more stayed to help clean up the battlefield and establish a raging bonfire with which to burn the remaining bodies that were not turned to ash. A great mourning rose up amongst the people that day.

At Zelda’s insistence, they had Veraca take Ruto back to their homeland prior to the burial. She decided it best to not have her together in the same place as Malon, too much bad blood there. It would be many orbits before they heard anything of the Zoran kingdom due to the turmoil within the royal line. The Zoras had to reestablish their reigning monarchy.

They buried Link a few days later. They placed him deep in the woods beside the dead Deku Tree where his mother was laid to rest. Cayla established a gossip stone beside the first to mark Link’s eternal home, for he was part Sheikah as well. Darunia had ordered a grand set of armor to be made that would adorn Link’s body in his coffin. It was a striking suit of armor with forward curving horns on the helmet and a terrifying visage ornamenting the front breastplate. It was armor befitting a great hero in Darunia’s mind.

With Saria’s guidance, they refound the temple they had stayed at on their travels to the Xaagar Mountains and proceeded to place the Master Sword there. Zelda reverently removed the sword from its sheathe and traveled to the inner chambers of the blown out structure. She approached the platform and spied the pedestal with the unique indentation where a sword would go.

No sooner had she slipped the Master Sword into place, a small jingling giggle diverted her attention to the treetops. A rather scrawny figure, looking to be made up of little else but fabric and straw was gazing down upon her with its creepy red eyes. It reminded her of a scarecrow come to life. It twisted its head this way and that. Memory returned to her of Link’s stories, of a land called Termina and a skull kid he had befriended. Could this be the very one?

She called out calmly to him, “Are you a friend of Link?” A minute passed in silence before Zelda wondered if he even heard her at all. At length he finally nodded. “Will you do me a favor in honoring him? Please defend this place and this sword. See that only the true heir comes back to claim it.”

The skull kid blinked at her before disappearing into the trees with a rustle. Zelda sighed before returning to the others by the Deku Tree to begin the ceremony of interment. Many of Link’s friends and acquaintances he had met during his lifetime were there to remember him and mourn his loss. Zelda lingered behind to escort Malon back to Epona for the lengthy journey home long after everyone else had left the forest.

The rebuilding process had been extensive and arduous. Multitudes of people ranging from Zoras, to Gorons, to Nevachreans and even people from surrounding countries pitched in to help out Hyrule’s resconstruction. Each race had their role to play in renovating the capital city. Zelda took a legion of scholars from the pool of helpers and scoured the remaining books of the library for any and all information regarding the Gerudo.

Due to Ganondorf’s deceit, treachery and willingness to commit or enable mass genocide for the sake of his own people, he was unanimously sentenced to death for his crimes. However, she stayed the hand of fate, feeling a swift death was far too good for him. She spoke to Saria and Malon at length about their experiences with the Gerudo and learned of a parallel world similar to their own, the home of the Twili; the source of their abnormal magick.

After much research, she traveled on several expeditions to the colossal sanctuary standing tall in the desert, broken and in ruin. Saria accompanied her on a few of the trips. Darunia supported them as he could by providing protection from local wildlife.

Zelda had ridden Epona through the desert, a gift from Malon on Link’s behalf. She preferred not to join them on these excursions and did not want to keep Epona as her own. It simply brought back too many painful memories. Zelda always smiled in reminiscence of her, the girl had become quite swollen of late.

It was on their second trip that Saria finally led them to the central room high atop the structure, the one chamber which was open to the sky with a massive black rock of darkest obsidian resting near its center. Opposite it was an unusual mirror that seemed to suck dry the very light around it. Zelda was in awe at this alien object, so unlike anything they had ever encountered in their lifetime. Based on her newfound knowledge, she knew without a doubt that this was the entryway into the Twili realm.

Zelda rubbed her shoulders trying to keep them warm as her breath came out in visible puffs, “This is where we will do it.” She confirmed to no one in particular.

Darunia grunted, “Do what?” He asked, scratching the sealed over stump of an arm. It had healed rather nicely but he would always be handicapped in battle, although none of his subjects would ever tell him that to his face.

“We will discover how this mirror works and exile Ganondorf to the very realm their vile magick spawned from. Hopefully there, may he be massacred by the very people he tried to exploit.” Zelda huffed with derision.

“Didn’t you say we needed six sacred sages?” Saria pointed out curiously, fluttering back after examining the mirror. She pointed to both Darunia and herself. “You have two of us already. If the books are to be believed, we need all six of us here. We still don’t know who the last one is.”

Saria was just as adamant as Zelda in learning all she could about the outside world. She was completely sheltered most of her life, she finally took the newfound peace to learn more about the land she lived in. She had awoken one day knowing that she was a sage, an ancient duty tasked by the Goddess Hylia long ago to maintain vigil on the Triforce and protect it from evil hands. Rauru said several others would awaken as well, chosen by destiny and Hylia’s guidance. Zelda asked how she could guide anyone from her current position but Rauru corrected her by stating her past life’s actions were influencing destiny and would provide that direction.

Darunia and Cayla had awoken as sages on the same day, merely hours apart. Cayla knew in her heart that her sister, Impa, should have been the rightful Sage of Shadow. However, due to her death, destiny had chosen a new vessel for the responsibility, a vessel that was so closely tied to her by both blood and love. A Zora emissary named Leelan brought news to the capital of Ruto’s awakening. She had pleaded with Veraca to get that urgent message to Zelda as soon as possible.

That just left one unaccounted for, the one for spirit. By all accounts, the texts said she or he would be born from the desert. Assuming it would be one of the remaining Gerudo left alive after Link’s judgment, they queried both Merin and Malon about it. Neither one delivered any positive answers. In desperation, Zelda even sat down to talk with Giana for a time but to no avail. Would this form of punishment even be viable if they didn’t have the requirements needed to execute it? How else were they to lock away one of the most dangerous men alive? Especially one who was found to be in possession of the Triforce of Power?

“I know Saria.” She finally answered at length, tapping a finger to her chin, observing the spacious chamber. “We’ll find them eventually. Until then, we have to keep constant watch on Ganondorf until we are ready. We can’t stall the restoration of Hyrule on his account. We must press onward with rebuilding our country.”

Darunia nodded in firm agreement, “I also approve of your sentiment, if your guidance remains true throughout all the cycles, then we must trust to the magick you laid down then to find the final sage we seek. Your council mages should be able to contain him long enough until we are ready to implement this plan.”

Zelda glanced around the room, investigating the heavy chains strewn across the floor. “Even if we banish him into this world,” she waved a hand in the direction of the massive stone, “we need to have a way of making sure it is kept sealed for all time. I may have to ask the sages to commit their souls in the afterlife to this task.”

“Isn’t that a bit harsh?” Darunia questioned.

Zelda winced at his accusation, “I know it is. Which is why I won’t ask it of anyone who isn’t willing to make the sacrifice, it is a heavy thing to ask of anyone. Hopefully the good of the nation will win through however.” Her expression pained at the knowledge that she might be damning forever those she held dear to this task.

“To think,” Saria murmured, “This is where I found Navi. If it weren’t for her, Link and I…” As if on cue, a rising nausea began bubbling in her stomach. “Not again.” She moaned as she flew behind the podium and wretched miserably.

Sharing a knowing look with Darunia, Zelda ambled up to the dais and stepped around the mirror to find Saria trembling with the exertion. Gingerly wiping away the bile from her mouth, she felt awfully embarrassed at what she had done.

Zelda dotingly asked, “Is there anything I can do to help?” She placed a comforting hand on Saria’s back, just below her wings.

Saria shook her head, “No. It’s nothing. Just this darn sickness. I’ll get over it eventually.”

Zelda lifted her chin to have Saria look her in the face, “You and I both know that is not true.” She recalled the conversation back in the Xaagar Mountains, of Link and Saria sharing a special bond together. “What you carry is part of Link’s legacy Saria. You need to cherish your body and take care of it, so that you can take care of them.” She moved a hand to massage Saria’s stomach.

Saria blushed horribly as she turned away from Zelda, “I’m scared Zelda. I don’t know what’s going to happen to me. Will I become as bloated as Malon?” Zelda laughed at this. “Will it hurt when they come?”

Zelda shrugged her shoulders, “I can’t say. I don’t believe anything like this has ever happened to a Kokiri before. However, I believe fate had a hand in this and both Link and Navi helped save the Kokiri race. Don’t be afraid. Embrace the gift that was given to you.”

Saria bowed her head, quaking with fear of the unknown. “Okay Zelda.” She spoke flatly.

“Come on.” Zelda chippered, helping Saria back onto her feet. “Its getting late and we need to make it back to camp before it gets dark. We’ll head back to Hyrule in the morning.”

With Darunia leading the rear, they left the empty chamber and made their way back to camp. That night Saria opted to sleep next to Zelda. They spoke about life and children, looking towards the future of endless possibilities.

All seven of them were encircled around Ganondorf. Chains bound his arms which were linked around the dark obsidian stone. Rauru and Cayla had reservations about condemning the man to potential eternal torture in the Twili realm and decided it best that they execute him here instead. Upon a single vote, Saria was the tie breaker and they culminated their energies together to manifest a sword of incredible length wreathed in holy light. They plowed Ganondorf through with it, impaling him to the stone of darkness.

All of the sages breathed a heavy sigh of relief. The threat to their survival was dead. Darunia and Cayla made their rounds to congratulate each of them as they celebrated their final victory over Ganondorf. The Triforce of Power, Rauru speculated, should then pass to another person of destiny. It may be cycles or even millennia but they were currently safe from the immediate threat Ganondorf posed to the free people of Hyrule.

Ruto was oblivious to the merriment around her. She had never truly recovered from the experience of living her life among the Nevachrean pigs. Hurting her only true love and ultimately seeing him die before her eyes caused her to withdraw completely from the world. Veraca tried in vain to reach out to her and bring her back to the world of the living but she would just mope about her chambers each day. Her enthusiastic response at discovering she was a sage was a bolt of lightning in their dismal world.

Everyone but Ruto noticed the corpse of Ganondorf twitching and jerking. By some cruel twist of fate, the Triforce of Power continued to protect its bearer, even after death. With an animalistic roar, he snapped his left bound wrist from the chains, the glow of the Triforce illuminating brightly on his fist. He snarled at them wrathfully before struggling to undo the final chain which bound him to the darkened obsidian.

“Ruto! Come away!” Zelda commanded forcefully.

Lost in her memories, Ruto was barely aware of the danger as Ganondorf snapped the second chain and rushed forward clutching Ruto’s neck. Within seconds, she was nothing but dust floating on the wind. Ruto was gone. With a savage cry, he turned to the others and prepared to kill them all, his eyes bloodshot and devoid of humanity.

“The mirror!” Zelda shouted, pointing at the chilling object. “We have no other choice.”

At once, the rest of the sages raised their arms and summoned the energies to activate the portal. The ground shook as a portal to darkness opened up wide within the rock. Ganondorf bellowed and raged as an unknown wind began to suck him into the netherworld. He took one last look at Zelda before being dragged into the abyss, “You are mine!”

Zelda bolted out of bed screaming, jerking Cayla from her seated position in the shadows. The covers were in disarray over her bed, she had kicked them off in the night. She was sweating profusely at the dream. It had all been so real. Was it a vision of things to come? They had neither sentenced him to exile yet, nor had they found the sixth sage. What did it all mean?

“Is everything all right, my queen?” Cayla bowed briefly before stepping closer to the bed to rest an arm up against one of the four posts flanking Zelda’s bed.

Zelda shook her head fervidly. “No. It’s nothing.” She pressed a clammy hand to her forehead, trying to wipe the sweat off. “Just a bad dream, nothing more.”

“Very well.” Cayla smiled sadly before waddling off back toward her silent vigil over her sleeping quarters.

Zelda regarded the pregnant Sheikah with affection, it had been almost two cycles since the death of Link and a lot had changed. She found it hard to believe that when she first met Cayla, who was later found to be Impa’s sister, they did not get along well at all. Now here she was, one of her most personal confidants and truest friends. She recently joined with a fellow Hylian she had taken a fancy to and was at least seven orbits swollen with child.

“Did you ever come up with a name for the baby?” Zelda asked diffidently.

Cayla laughed as she squatted down onto the chair, utilizing the nearby vanity for support. “You asked me yesterday this very question.”

Zelda clutched the bridge of her nose with two fingers as she scrunched her eyes. Why was she so absent minded these days? There was simply too much to do and be appraised of every day as queen, so many things slipped through the cracks. “My apologies Cayla. I forgot.”

Continuing to chuckle, Cayla humored Zelda, “The name is still the same: Impa, after my sister.”

Zelda waved a hand at her own silliness, “Of course, that’s right. How could I forget?”

Zelda slid out of bed and removed her night shift. She ambled over to the wardrobe, pulling out a rather elegant dress of pinks, golds and yellows. She sported a violet vest with the royal crest emblazoned on the front and a diadem of pure gold with a single sapphire adorning the center depression. She finally placed two golden pauldrons upon her shoulders and strapped the clasp beneath her neck. She checked her hair one last time in the mirror before heading out the door.

“Don’t wait for me.” She inclined her head to look back at Cayla, still sitting on the chair. “Get yourself some breakfast. It’s going to be another eventful day.”

With a smile Zelda turned and immediately screamed at the top of her lungs. Several Sheikah emerged from the shadows at her call. She waved them all down before turning to the abominable beast. The Cyn’Taak was inches from her face as she left the threshold of the door, its tongue rolled out and a stupid toothy grin on her snout. She gave Xavier a quick smack on the chest.

“You know better than to surprise me like that!” Zelda admonished.

“I ‘now! But I love ‘our reaction!” Xavier grinned ferociously.

With an exasperated breath, Zelda shook her head before motioning the behemoth to follow her down the hall. After Link’s death, they weren’t exactly sure what to do with the beast. They futilely tried reintegrating her back amongst her kin, but all they wanted to do was stab her with their barbs and eat her alive. With no alternative, they decided it best to have her live within the castle and become Zelda’s personal bodyguard, to which Xavier was quite excited at performing. There was already one instance where on her way to a neighboring country, Xavier defended them handily against a group of armed bandits.

A messenger ran up with a sack full of papers. In an excited, breathless tone, he entreated her, “My queen! If you would but look at these statutory missives for just a moment!”

Zelda rolled her eyes. She was quite tired of dealing with laws and regulations to last a lifetime. Was this the type of nonsense her father had to deal with? With a defeated expression, she stretched out her hand. “Give them here.” She snarked.

She sifted through the papers as the messenger stood by wringing his hands nervously. Nothing too monumental stood out to her until the final sheet. It detailed intensive humanitarian assistance to the budding economy of Nevachrea. The legislative initiator was signed as Ingo Gorman, she smirked at the name. He had returned home a hero after the war and was quickly elected king of Nevachrea. Naturally Ingo hated the position and gave it away immediately to someone far more political minded then he. Ingo preferred the small comforts of his brother’s pub and inn. Despite this, he was very influential in Hyrule’s court.

“I’ll grant this one.” Zelda offered, quickly dipping her signet ring in the proffered wax the messenger brought and stamped it onto the base of the writing.

“What about the others?” The messenger sniveled.

Zelda made a motion to dismiss him, “They can wait.”

Ignoring his blubbering, she descended down the steps and into the main courtyard of the castle, now blooming with the coming of spring. Bees and dragonflies buzzed past her as she made her way across the immaculate garden. Rauru was coming out of the opposing archway, making his way toward the dungeons. He had long since been elected to maintain the magickal prison they had placed Ganondorf in. It was a difficult and important task, at any moment Ganondorf would awaken to the power of the Triforce piece within him and all would be lost. They continued to layer on multitudes of magickal barriers with each passing week to buy them time should the inevitable occur.

“My lady.” He bowed low as they walked past each other.

She returned the gesture and continued on into the lengthy halls leading out to the stables. Presently she turned to Xavier as they reached the entrance to the stalls. She placed a kind hand on her ribbed chest, “Xavier, you need to stay at the castle. I would like to make this one trip alone.”

The Cyn’Taak’s eyes contorted as it tried to comprehend the order, “But the ‘heikah will ‘ollow you anyway.” The beast reasoned.

Zelda giggled at Xavier’s logic, “Indeed they will. But I want you to rest for today. Take some time off and practice on your hunting in the woods west of here. You know you aren’t skilled enough to kill something on your own without your tail.”

The beast growled at the insult but grumbled in assent as it scampered off to do just that. With a lingering smile, she entered the stable and found Epona. It nickered in greeting as it nipped at her hair playfully. “Hey girl.” Zelda soothed as she brushed down the fur on Epona’s neck. “Ready to ride today?” The mare shook its head excitedly as Zelda strapped the saddle onto her back.

“You have made a fine queen Hylia.” A voice behind her spoke.

Zelda squealed as she spun around quickly, whipping a baton out of her belt, its spikes immediately distended. The red haired man had his hands clasped congenially and was smiling at her oddly. He was hunched over due to the heavy sack of masks he wore.

“Ballos!” She said, catching her breath from the fright.

He nodded. “I am glad to see that all has transpired well.”

She frowned, “Not all things.”

A slight crease of his smile indicated something other than mirth but his grin never wavered. “Indeed, there were some sacrifices to be made. Per your orders, I helped shape the critical events that needed to happen to bring about this victory.”

“My orders? Oh.” She realized she must have given them to Ballos in a previous life. “Did I give you anything else? You knew what was going to happen, didn’t you?”

He nodded amicably, “You gave me the gift of foresight. I can see glimpses of what is to come and the potential to change them.”

“You were always there, weren’t you?” Zelda beamed at him.

He bowed low, “Always, my Goddess.”

“And what of the mask?” She probed.

“The mask of your champion? It is destroyed per your orders on that day. It will not be used for untoward purposes again.” Zelda breathed a small sigh of relief. After a few moments of silence, he purred, “Do you wish to request anything further from your servant before I take my leave?”

“No…” After a moment, she stopped him. “Wait. Your smile. I know why you wear one all the time. You do not have to keep the façade up on my account any longer. You can show your true emotions with me from now on.”

The smile never vacillating, he quietly beseeched, “If it’s all the same to you Hylia, I would prefer to keep my smile. It’ll remind me always of you.” With another bow of his head, he stepped out of the stable and out of her current life.

Wind whipping her hair back, Zelda closed her eyes and enjoyed the refreshing feeling of the cool morning air against her skin. Epona was thrilled to be galloping across the open plains once again. The landscape had changed since the battle between Majora and Link. Zelda’s gaze went to the hilltop where Lon Lon Ranch once stood. Malon had decided not to rebuild the ranch as was originally planned. She instead made for the small province of Ordon and restarted anew her life with her unborn child and Giana. In its place was a grove of trees and shrubs that had overtaken the existing structure that still stood.

Her eyes turning back to the edge of the Lost Woods, she recalled her last trip there with Saria. Merin and Ashley had come with them. Merin knew that being a Gerudo at this particular time was a rather unpopular prospect. She wanted to take her adopted son far away from Hyrule and raise a new family and rebuild the Gerudo culture into something far better than what it once was. With Zelda’s blessing, they branched off and headed southwards, discovering lands far beyond Nevachrea and settling there.

She entered the forest with Saria at her request. Given recent events with the war and how maladjusted she was to life among non-Kokiri folk, she favored living back amongst the trees and her woodland home. Zelda couldn’t blame her. The one and only time Kokiri were known to have left their home, they ended up being tortured, raped, killed and experimented on. There were so many mysteries surrounding their race and all of it highly exploitable for unsavory rogues to take advantage of. Saria felt it better that she save them all the hassle and retreat to the safety of the forest.

Zelda had the privilege of seeing a Kokiri give birth for the first and quite possibly the last time. Unlike any delivery she had ever known and to the astonishment of them all, Saria gave birth to several dozen seeds of varying shapes and colors. Seeing so many natural Huma babies in her short time outside the forest, Saria was slightly disgusted at what she had produced. Zelda was charmed that even in childbearing, the Kokiri were still unique. She assisted Saria in planting each of them into the ground in hopes a new generation of Kokiri would sprout.

The next time she saw Saria, they already had flowers blooming on their stalks. Saria was excited about her children and had already named each of them after the flower they displayed. Seeing the young girl so happy with her brood, Zelda couldn’t help but be overjoyed for her. She was going to have a tough time being a mother to several dozen Kokiri kids! Would they even grow old since they had a part of Link in them? Or would they stall at the age Saria is now?

She was still reminiscing over her last conversation with Saria and her promise to return to her at the castle when the time arose to finally seal Ganondorf away for good that she was hardly aware of where they were until Epona reared up, jolting her out of her reverie. She had reached the small little cottage just along the border of the southern edge of the woods. The expansive plains north of Yolland spread out before her.

It was a quaint structure with a thatched roof overlayed atop wooden beams. The exterior was brick and plaster with several slanted windows embedded into the structure at haphazard angles. Even the wooden door was slightly off its hinges as it swung faintly in the breeze. Zelda shook her head in merriment. Malon was a survivor that was for sure but she knew nothing about proper construction!

Zelda climbed down Epona and tethered her to a nearby tree branch, allowing the mare to lazily munch on the verdant grass. An excited nicker startled Zelda as a dark brown stallion came trotting up beside Epona. They playfully nipped at each other, pawing the earth with their hooves in joy at seeing one another again.

Zelda had to laugh as she watched Epona chase and nip at Harden Jr.’s tail as he pranced away from her. She shook her head as she recalled Harden Jr.’s birth. Giana was there to witness the miraculous event and proclaimed his name on the spot. Malon took the young colt as her own before heading south to Ordon, preferring that Zelda keep Link’s horse, Epona.

She was just petting the stallion’s soft fur when she heard several kids laughing nearby. She snuck around the side of the cottage and spied two young girls playing out in the copse out back. Giana was a beautiful young girl now. Despite her missing a leg, she seemed to have no problems cartwheeling around a young toddler with sandy brown hair who was laughing at her antics.

“Say caterpillar!” Giana demanded, rolling down onto her stomach in front of the little tyke. The girl mumbled some gibberish before Giana shrieked in delight. “Say caterpillar!” She repeated, more enthusiastically this time. She was just about to get up and cartwheel again when she spotted Zelda observing them. She immediately went silent. It had been years since she saw Zelda last and she was quite the stranger to her.

“Where is your sister?” Zelda inquired.

Giana pointed inside the house before turning back to the child and making silly faces, extorting more giggling from the babe. Zelda carefully pushed back the oaken door and peeked inside the darkened chalet. She found Malon asleep at the table sitting in a chair, her head resting on her propped up hand. She awoke with a snort as Zelda gently rocked her shoulders.

“It’s okay, it’s just me!” Zelda placated calmly.

Malon let out a breath as she rubbed the sleep from her eyes, “I can’t believe you actually came back. After I hadn’t heard anything since the last letter I sent you, I thought you had forgotten all about us.” She mentioned deliberately.

Zelda smirked at Malon’s mock affront as she began to examine the humble abode she had created for herself and her family. “You have a lovely home here Malon.” She venerated as she jangled some hanging pots above the stove.

Malon snorted as she got up from the chair, smoothing down her apron. “It isn’t much at all. Giana helped when she could but it just isn’t the same without someone there to help you. It isn’t the same without…” She stopped abruptly as she held onto the counter tightly, her knuckles getting white.

Zelda assisted Malon in releasing her death grip on the wood and grasped Malon’s hands within her own, turning the woman to face her. “I know. I miss him too. I know that he loved you very much, far more than he loved anyone else. I deeply regret that I had to end his life.” Zelda bowed her head in shame.

Malon squeezed Zelda’s fingers but didn’t let go, “I know you did the right thing. I realize that now. I know I was angry at you before when it happened, but I know you were saving Giana and me. He would have killed us, I know that. I stopped blaming you long ago.”

Zelda wiped a tear from her eye as she beamed at Malon, “Really? I’m very glad to hear that. It puts my heart at ease.” With a deep breath, she beheld the lush thicket behind Malon’s house through the glass and regarded the children at play. “She really has recovered nicely hasn’t she?” Zelda commented.

Malon turned to see Giana hopping around on one foot, much to the euphoric joy of her daughter. “Yes. She absolutely loves her niece and plays with her daily, teaching her new words and naughty behaviors.” She chuckled at that. Her countenance fell sharply, “But there are times where she seems to withdraw from me. She wakes up in the night, screaming from horrible nightmares.”

Zelda pursed her lips at the news, “I suspect the memories of the war won’t ever truly go away. They will haunt her for the rest of her life. They will fade but they will never truly disappear.”

Taking a deep shuddering breath, Malon nodded her agreement. “I just wish I could help her overcome these memories but I can’t escape them myself.”

Seeing the conversation going sour fast, Zelda changed tack, “And your daughter? How is she doing?”

Malon tittered at the obvious ploy but deigned to change subjects, “She is brilliant, beautiful in fact. She is the joy of my life and will carry on our livelihood when I’m gone. I plan to start a ranch here. Maybe even try my hand at farming. Who knows?” She shrugged.

“I think you would make an excellent farmer Malon.” Zelda quipped.

Malon rolled her eyes but continued to stare out the window. In a more serious tone, she probed, “You didn’t just come here to visit and exchange pleasantries did you Zelda? You had a purpose.” She went to the stove and poured them both some warm tea in two brown ceramic cups.

With a sigh, Zelda walked over to the table with tea in hand and sat down on a chair, indicating that Malon sit opposite her. “You are right. I did not.” Zelda began. “I had a dream, a vision rather. In it, we were sealing Ganondorf away and I saw six of the sages assisting me in this endeavor.” After a purposeful pause, “You were one of the sages I saw Malon.”

Malon immediately darted her eyes away from Zelda. “Okay.” She stated morosely.

Pressing her for more information, Zelda continued, “Why did you lie to me? Did you know then when I first came to you about it?” Without speaking or looking at her, Malon bowed her head in the affirmative, wiping a tear from her eye. “Then why the lie?” Zelda stressed.

The words caught in her throat, “I was scared Zelda.” She said nothing for many long moments. Zelda continued to sit and wait, allowing Malon the time she needed to get the words out. “I knew what I was when I woke up that morning but I didn’t know what it would mean to fulfill my role. I didn’t want to face Ganondorf again. I still don’t. I feel somehow soiled that I am even related to him by the very race I’m apart of.” She began to break down in tears.

Zelda immediately set her cup down and went over to her, wrapping Malon tightly in her arms. “Shh, it’s okay. I know it is a frightening prospect and I’m not long for it either. But if we have a chance at potentially sending him away for good where he can harm no one else, isn’t it worth the try?”

Malon nodded vigorously, clinging to Zelda’s arm as a lifeline. “Yeah.” She muttered.

“Well, I won’t push you to do it now. I would rather have you be comfortable with the idea first before we call upon the others to perform the rite.” Malon nodded again as Zelda returned to her seat.

They sat together for a long time, sipping on their tea, listening to the laughter of the girls outside. After a time, Malon murmured softly, “She has his eyes, you know.”

Zelda perked up her ears, “Your daughter?”

Malon grinned, “Yes. And already she has his sense of humor. She laughs at the oddest things that most others wouldn’t.”

They both snickered at this fact. Zelda remembered something and slapped a hand on the table. “Oh! In all those letters you sent me, not once did you tell me the name of your daughter! I’ve been dying to know what you’ve named her!”

“Didn’t I tell you?” Malon asked incredulously.

“Nope. Shall I ride all the way back to the castle and retrieve those letters to prove my point?” Zelda simpered.

“Don’t be ridiculous!” Malon bantered. “I believe you.” She lifted herself off the chair and walked over to the doorway, gazing out at the two children. “I thought long and hard about what I should call her. She was only three orbits old at the time and I still hadn’t the heart to name her.”

“Why?” Zelda queried.

“I guess naming her without Link being here would be the final nail in his coffin. I didn’t want to let go of his memory.” Malon sniffled. “Then one day, as if in a dream, the name finally came to me. It was…”

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