"You'll remember me…"
"When the summer sun shines down on you and the wind blows warm and gentle…"
"You will be drawn to the golden field…"
"You will sense me there with you…"
"You will come back to feel me there…"
"You will want to remember how we felt…how I felt…"
"You will never want to forget…"
"You will always come back…"
"You will want to remember…"
"And even though it will never be the same…"
"You will always come back to the field…"
"To come back to me…"
So the Twilight came. An everlasting shadow was cast over the once green, vibrant land. A dreary, never ending cycle of dull clouds replaced the sunlight and stars. The people became as spirits, their remaining souls becoming helpless and terrified shadows, never understanding the change that took over them. Strange beasts roamed the forests and fields. They were dark, faceless things that crept over the land, crawling on all fours with their bellies to the ground. Their screams could be heard piercing the gloom. Zelda heard the sound of their cries from the top of her prison tower. She shuddered as the stale wind carried the sound up to her vigil on the balcony. Every hair stood on end and she felt afraid. These were the creatures of her nightmares.
She turned her eyes to the pale orange sky. A winged, black scaly beast was lazily drifting through the low hanging clouds. It was not a bird or a dragon or anything of the world she knew. The thing was something new, a creation of the mad usurper king that now called her land his home. Zelda was wise enough to know that the Twili who called himself Zant was not the true power behind the uprising. The Twilight belonged to Zant, but he himself was not powerful enough to bring this world through the ancient Mirror of Twilight. No, he was working on borrowed power. Some other force was at work, controlling the easily manipulated Usurper King and staying hidden in the shadows until the time was right to strike. She could feel a hint of the power underneath the Twilight. It was like the faint scent of a rose, drifting on a breeze, barely discernable but just enough to be detected. She could sense something strong, something familiar, something dark and far more deadly than Twilight.
Zelda hung her head in sadness and pulled her thick cloak closer to her body. Without the comforting warmth of the sun, the Twilight remained dim, cold, and misty. The pitiful fire she managed to ignite in the hearth was the only source of warmth she had. She gave one last look to the shifting clouds and wandered back inside. She walked to the hearth, which was wafting out small breaths of warmth from a few smoldering logs. Zelda knelt on the floor and began to poke around the embers with a stick.
She knew no concept of time. There were no days or nights. Her internal clock told her when it was time to sleep and time to be awake. She had fallen asleep close to twenty times since her imprisonment, so Zelda guessed that she had been captive for about twenty days. Even so, her body was weak, tired, and confused. When she wanted to sleep, the perpetual light made her mind think that it was still day. Because of this, her sleep was restless and her waking moments were full of exhaustion. Zelda was trying desperately to keep herself together. Emotion was constantly bubbling to the surface. Tears came without her permission and her eyes were red rimmed and puffy from wiping away tears hour after hour. Sleeplessness picked away at her defenses and her mental strength was waning. At times, a pressing guilt would wash over her. What have I done, she would ask herself. How could I let this happen to my people, my home…to myself? Her reasons for letting Zant invade Hyrule were becoming less and less clear. The confidence and faith she had felt at that dark hour were quickly fading. It seemed as though the goddesses were not listening to her, or were unable to hear her prayers through the twilight fog. All she could do was stand watch at her tower balcony and stare off into the distance. When the guilt waned, it left a heavy sadness. Each day was becoming more of a burden and the guilt became more pressing and the sadness heavier. Zelda longed for the sun, the stars, and the moon. She ached for some normalcy to bring her back to where she needed to be.
Her only solace came from a visit with a sharp-tongued, quick-witted Twili imp named Midna. A small ray of hope shone through the dim in the form of a possible Hero; the bearer of the Triforce of Courage. Zelda did not know if he even existed or where Midna would find him, but that tiny chance of finding the Hero gave her some modicum of peace.
That visit had been ten sleeps ago and Zelda was starting to feel the heaviness again. She began to despair of ever finding the Hero of old. Zelda tried so hard to fight the gloom, to have hope in the goddesses and faith in the hero, but the burden was too pressing and she had no reprieve. Food had begun to be tasteless and she could no longer stomach anything. As she watched the glowing reds and yellows of the burning logs, Zelda imagined that she was staring at the warm, summer sun. Closing her eyes, Zelda began to recall the happy, carefree days of her youth. She had spent many a summer afternoon playing in the sunbathed courtyard or swimming in the cool, clear waters of Lake Hylia. Her father had always been with her then. Zelda remembered the sound of the crickets singing a cheerful goodnight song as the sun set on the horizon. Her father would pick her up in his strong arms and carry her tired little body back to the castle. When they day came once again, she would go to the lush fields of corn, wheat, barley, maize, and anything else you could possibly grow in the summertime. Her father would teach her about each different crop and explain to her about economy and agriculture. Those lessons might have been boring to any other child, but Zelda loved to learn and she loved her father for being her greatest teacher. As she reflected on countless summer days past, Zelda did not even notice her body grow limp and her mind become fuzzy. Sleep took her unexpectedly and soon the Princess was fast asleep on the dusty stone floor.
When she awoke, a pair of dark, smooth hands were softly caressing her face. Long sleeves of an ornate robe were swishing against her shoulders. Through bleary vision, Zelda saw that she was nose to nose with a pale blue face. Monstrous yellow eyes stared blankly back at her.
"Zant…" Zelda muttered weakly as she tried to shake her face out of his grasp. "Don't ever touch me." She tried to yell, but her voice came out as a shaky whisper.
"The guards came into your room. They saw you lying on the floor and presumed that you were dead," Zant replied, his eerily calm voice breaking the stillness of the room. His hands remained pressed against her skin and his eyes still stared. Most of the times that Zelda had seen him, he showed hardly any emotion other than a cool, deceptively calm and controlled demeanor. There were other times though when he became uncontrollable, wild as an animal. He would scream a more hideous scream than his Twilight beasts and his speech was an angry, violent jumble of words and threats and thoughts. Zelda could not decide which was worse; the ominous, seemingly stable man or the insane, wild animal.
"I came to see if you were still alive. We can't have you dead. That would be most unfortunate." Zant finished with a hushed voice, as though afraid that somebody might overhear him. Zelda pushed herself into a sitting position and saw that her guards, Twili minions, were gathered at the entrance of her room. Zant's hands slid from her cheeks, though he remained sitting next to Zelda. Her mind was still muddled from sleep and she felt very disoriented. Something about that sleep had been different. Her eyes wandered to the windows and they sky had changed from orange to purple. Zelda had been asleep for quite some time. Though she had probably slept more than she had in days, Zelda did not feel rested. In fact, she felt more exhausted and ill than she had before. Zelda ignored Zant as she stood to her feet and stumbled over to her bed. Zant's eyes followed her every movement. Zelda wondered what he thought of her, this pitiful creature of light suffering in the darkness. What were his ultimate plans for her? Why was it so important that she stay alive? Zelda pulled the thin, ragged bedclothes over her now shivering body. She was so cold.
"You must eat," Zant commanded in his spine-tingling voice. He gestured with a black, thin hand to a plate of gray, unappetizing food that was sitting on a small table near Zelda's bed. "We can't have you dead." Her stomach turned as she looked at the plate of food. Zelda shifted to the other side of the bed, her back now to Zant and his minions. As if unsure of what to do in the Princess's rebellion, Zant stood there in the same spot, his body slightly swaying as he rocked back and forth on his feet.
"You must eat. We can't have you dead. My master will not be happy if you are dead." Zant spoke with a hint of fear in his voice. Zelda dimly registered that he mentioned a "master." His swaying became more apparent the longer Zelda ignored him. Fearing a maniacal breakdown in her chamber, she slowly pulled herself out of bed and shuffled to the table with the food. She forced herself to take a bite. It took all her strength to keep the tasteless food down. A sense of calm seemed to wash over Zant and his swaying ceased.
"We will be keeping a closer watch on you, Princess. We can't have you dead…" Zelda only nodded, holding the food in her mouth and pretending to swallow. After what seemed like ages, Zant finally left. The very second Zelda was alone, she spat out her food and threw the scraps into the fire. It was not that she didn't want to eat. She simply couldn't. Zelda would have given anything to be able to eat, but her mind and body were spent. Bitter, angry tears formed in the young woman's eyes as she managed to find her way back to bed. All she wanted to do was fall on the mattress, curl up, and sleep until this horrid nightmare that was her life was over.
Zelda lay down on her bed and huddled into a shivering ball. The gloom was settling in. Guilt returned. She should be strong. She was being weak and frail. Her people needed her to be mentally sound and physically capable, not this weeping, guilt-ridden mess of a human being. Yet she could not be what the people needed. She was afraid. She was ashamed. She was losing hope and faith. Her prayers and pleas grew weaker each day, as well as her spirit and body. She was failing herself and failing Hyrule. Zelda scolded herself until she fell back into a deep, fitful slumber.
Cycles of sleep melded into each other until Zelda could no longer remember how many times she had rested. She lost track of any shred of time that she had tried to keep. Not that she cared any longer. It had been far too long since she had seen Midna and from what she understood from the whispered, hushed conversations between her guards, most of Hyrule was now covered in Twilight. Only the Ordonian Province was left and it was proving difficult to get under control. Hyrule was slipping between her silk covered fingers and she could not do a thing to help herself any longer. Her health continued to deteriorate. Zelda could not keep herself awake for more than what seemed a few hours. Each time she awoke, the guards would push food towards her. She would ignore it. It went to the point where Zant himself would try to coax her into eating. In her fevered, near delusional mind she thought it was rather touching how the shadow beings were trying so hard to keep her alive.
When it became that Zelda wouldn't even awaken at their arrival, Zant decided to take drastic measures. Zelda felt a pair of hands lift her up from under her arms and force her to her feet. She took a few tentative steps before stumbling. The hands were back and they caught her before she tumbled down to the floor. Zelda looked to her left, then to her right and saw that she was being supported by two shadow beings. She was too weak to even be frightened. Their cold, dead touch was almost a welcome comfort. It had been so long since she had any companionship or human contact. The loneliness was unbearable. At this point, she would have accepted a friendly hug from even Zant.
The beasts supported her as they marched through the quiet, dark hallways of her castle. Zelda looked around at the Twilight that had settled into every corner, every crevice of her home. Her sadness deepened as Zelda remembered how these barren hallways were once full of people, laughter, and life. Now the emptiness was a dark reminder of the present state of the world. She hung her head in shame and let the beasts carry her prone form the rest of the way.
They unceremoniously dumped her on the hard marble floor of her throne room. The towering, open arched doorway let the soft purple glow of Twilight fill the ornate chamber. The sharp cold of the marble against Zelda's cheek seemed to fill her with some awareness. Realizing that she was lying face first on the floor of her very own throne room filled her with enough strength to have the dignity to painfully lift herself to her knees. As she did, Zelda caught sight of a face staring back at her in the polished, shiny marble. The face was thin, gaunt, and pulled into a morose frown. Zelda's fingers glided over the smooth floor as the traced the outline of the chin. This was her face. She had not even recognized herself at first. A single tear trickled out of the corner of her eye, trailing down her thin cheek and falling to the floor without a sound.
Zelda pulled her gaze away from her miserable reflection and finally raised her head. Every being in the room was waiting in tense silence for her to make a move. The shadow beings were poised around her, ready to subdue her if necessary. Zant was nervously rocking on his feet, wringing his hands and muttering incoherently to the figure sitting on the throne.
Somebody was sitting in her throne and it was not Zant. Zelda's mind was frantically trying to push past the haze and grasp at the mental prowess and confidence she once had. She needed to snap out of her reverie. Something terrible was taking place, even more terrible than the Twilight. She recognized the figure on her throne. From the designs on the clothing to the type of armor, she recognized both from countless history books she studied, though its type had not been seen in a century. The skin was tanned and the hair was the color of fire. His eyes, his terrible eyes were two pools of molten gold.
She knew him from the tales passed down in lore and history. She knew him from visions and dreams, images that once belonged to her ancestor and namesake; the Zelda who had hid from him for seven years before finally aiding the Hero of Old in his final battle with the ancient foe. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, she knew him. And he knew her.
Zelda trembled as she saw that the Gerudo King was staring at her. So this was the power behind Zant. She should have realized. This man, this thief had been after her throne for an age. He was now leaning casually in her throne, his arm propped up and his chin resting on his fingers. His brow furrowed as he continued to look down at her. Zant mumbled continuously, but Ganondorf seemed to pay him no mind. Zelda's eyes met Ganondorf's and they held each other's gaze. Life coursed through her veins like a fire and Zelda felt herself slowly returning. Anger replaced guilt. Justice burned away at shame. His silence mocked her. Zelda almost wished that he would stand to his feet and make an arrogant, rambling monologue to her about how he had this diabolical plan, how she was weak, and how nobody would be there to save her. She could not say why this silence bothered her, but it did. His brow furrowed deeper and even his lips fell into a somber frown. Zelda cringed. It tasted too much like pity and she despised any sense of grief for her from her ancient enemy. Underneath her righteous anger, she felt like a fool. How dare she let herself be weak when a thing like Ganondorf was sitting his massive haunches on her throne. She was stronger than that. In the face of her adversary, Zelda decided that it was high time she pulled her wits together and push herself back into the light, even if the only light around came from within her. It was time.
Zelda, though still shaky, gathered enough energy to stand. She wouldn't be found sitting beneath him a second longer. Ganondorf raised an eyebrow at her sudden burst of strength. Zant, however, burst forth in an unexpected fit of agitation.
"Master! Look at the girl! For days she has refused to rise from her bed and now she stands before you as though she had the strength all along! I think that she has been deceiving us! She will trick us, take us by surprise and then—"
"Quiet," the Gerudo menacingly interjected. He did not yell or curse or threaten. The command was a simple word, but his voice rumbled dangerously through the chamber room like thunder. Zant shriveled before his master and his voice choked out with an abrupt, frightened whimper. The shadow beings around Zelda all recoiled at the sound of Ganondorf's word. The Gerudo turned his sharp eyes to the still cowering Twili and gave him a hostile glare before continuing.
"Do not think that I would be so easily deceived. It would take much more than feigning an illness to mislead me. However," Ganondorf turned back to Zelda. She put a firm, stern expression and held her head high. "I do not doubt for a second that this one would be capable enough to play me for a fool." His eyes narrowed. "No…she would be the quiet storm. We would never see her rage coming, not until it was already upon us. And it would not be so obvious as pretending to be sick. The Princess is smarter than that. Her simplest plans would be far more clever than anything you could devise, Zant." Ganondorf lifted himself out of Zelda's throne and drew himself to his full height. He would have towered above Zelda, had she been standing close to him.
"Yet now, she is far from able. You need only look at her to see that she is unwell." His eyes roamed over her, taking in her haggard appearance. Zelda saw the pity return to his sun colored irises. She felt her cheeks flush with unwarranted emotion. She could not hold her tongue for another moment.
"Ganondorf! You cannot—"
"Zant!" The Gerudo interrupted, cutting off Zelda before she had a chance to even speak for herself. She swallowed her words and wounded pride. Ganondorf continued as though Zelda had never even spoken. "You do not have flowers in your world of Twilight do you?" Ganondorf asked gruffly. Zant shook his head no. The Gerudo placed his hands behind his back and regarded Zant, almost thoughtfully. Zelda was curious, despite herself. "I thought not," Ganondorf continued. "No sun would mean no flowers or grass or trees. Living in constant dusk, a flower would wither and fade. Zelda, a light dweller, is like a flower. They crave the sun. They needs the sun's nourishment or else they will die."
The throne room fell silent once more. Zant had cocked his head to the side, as trying to comprehend why any living creature would need sunlight for any reason. Sunlight killed Twili. He could simply not understand. Zelda herself was baffled at how Ganondorf, her long time enemy, would regard her with such decency, even so far as to compare her to a flower.
She found her voice again. "What are you trying to do?" She demanded. Though Zelda's throat was raw and scratchy from disuse, her words echoed sharply through the chamber. She waited for him to answer. Ganondorf glared back at Zelda. This time not a hint of pity showed in his features. His face was stern, ugly with sudden anger. Zelda did not falter. With a huff, Ganondorf turned away from the Princess. For half a second, Zelda thought that she saw his face fall. The moment was gone in a flash and the Gerudo was facing Zant again.
"This Twilight is killing her," he growled to a cowering Zant. "Creatures of light were not meant to live without the sun. The Princess is more use to us alive than dead. Do what it takes to keep her living." Ganondorf jerked his head in the direction of the entrance. Zant nodded his head and rushed over to Zelda's side. The shadow beings grabbed her arms and began to lead her to the door.
"NO!" She yelled, suddenly aware that the meeting was finished. "NO, WAIT!" Zelda was livid. She needed to stay. She had to talk to the man who had taken control of her Kingdom. Something needed to be done! She could NOT be taken away so soon.
Her cries rang over the cold stone walls of her throne room, ignored and useless. The Gerudo King has rested himself back in her throne. A dark shadow fell over his face and all she saw as she was dragged away were his two eyes, shining like suns in the blackness.
Her yelling and struggling had zapped Zelda of what little strength she had been able to muster. She was back inside her tower room, sprawled across the bed. Her mind was a swarm of thoughts and emotions. The fire she had felt in the Throne Room was gone and the gloom was once again creeping back. Yet, she found that it was easier to suppress. Ganondorf had said that the Twilight was killing her. Knowing the possible cause of her depression gave her some sense of fight and fire, and even a faint glimmer of hope. What if Ganondorf was right? What if it was the abominable Twilight that was making her sick? She was a light dweller that needed the sun and what if this constant dusk was poisoning her? Zelda begrudgingly admitted to herself that Ganondorf's claim made sense. She felt selfish for feeling this way, but it made her less ashamed of her downward spiral into despair. There were forces at work that were completely out of her control and her body was thrown into a world that it was not meant to survive. What then would be her next course of action? She had no way to escape the Twilight and Zelda knew that it would be a matter of time when the sickness would come over her again. Panic was rising to the surface and she hastily shoved it down. For the first time in too long, Zelda said a quick prayer to the goddesses, asking for relief from the Twilight and for her mind to not succumb to it again.
Zelda was too anxious to fall asleep. She had been dead to the world for a long time and she did not think that she could sleep even if she wanted to. It was time to stay awake. Something in the atmosphere had changed after her encounter with Ganondorf and she wanted to be as aware as possible for anything that might come her way. She sat up in bed and pulled her legs to her chest.
Then she waited. Zelda knew that she was waiting for something. Some instinct told her that it was only a matter of time before something drastic was going to take place. Zelda wondered if the goddesses were placing this sense of anticipation on her heart, or if the wisdom she gained from her Triforce allowed her to sense the supernatural.
The sky outside slowly changed from purple to brown to orange and she wondered idly if the changes in the color of a sky meant that a "day" had completed its cycle. She watched as black particles floated from the ground right up into the hazy heavens. She wondered what those things were. Also, every noise that she made seemed to have its own echo. How obnoxious would it be to live in a place where every single sound that you made had an echo? Everything about the Twilight was so strange and unnecessary. She found herself hating those logic defying pieces of twilight for no rational reason. Perhaps she was just bitter. Zelda suddenly shook her head, ridding herself of those negative thoughts. She needed to stay strong. This was no time to fall back into that sad, despairing hole.
Zelda was unsurprised to hear the sound of footsteps climbing the tower staircase. Zant and some of the shadow beings soon gathered at the door of her open room. His pupil-less eyes stared blankly for several moments.
"It is time, Princess. My master demands your recovery. You will come with us." He commanded in a voice as blank as his eyes. Anxious to see the outcome of this twist of events, Zelda hopped off the bed and donned her cloak. Zant and his shadow beasts seemed nervous. She obeyed Zant's command to follow him. She did so willingly. The tall Twili led his strange retinue out of the castle and into the quiet, somber streets of Castle Town. Glowing blue and green spirits floated through the town square. A haunted chill ran through her. Those spirits had been her loyal subjects. They wound their way through the town and went out one of the smaller city gates. They walked a dusty, well-worn path that she was not familiar with. Zelda could not guess where she was being taken, but she was excited and anxious all at once. She did not sense any apparent danger and she even felt a sense of calm.
After a short while, Zant and his minions stopped in front of a massive, pure black wall. Confused, Zelda looked in both directions. The wall went for miles and miles. She craned her neck and found that the wall reached all the way to the sky, seemingly never stopping.
"Where have you taken me?" She asked, more curious than afraid. Zant was more frightened than she was. He was wringing his hands and swaying as though caught in a whirlwind.
"Zant," she repeated. "What is this?"
The Twili rocked a few more seconds before answering. "This is the edge of Twilight," he stammered. His sense of control was quickly fading.
"Well…" Zelda was very unsure why she was brought here. "How will this help me recover? What do you want me to do about it?"
"Step through," he snapped. His nerves were fraying. Zelda looked at the looming black behemoth of Twilight before her and she was highly skeptical.
"Step through? What will happen to me if I do?" Zelda inquired. After all that she had been through, stepping into the unknown "edge of Twilight," did not seem like a smart idea.
Zelda never got her answer. Zant's bony hands pushed against her shoulders and she fell backwards into the blackness. Zelda had no time to scream. White, blinding light flooded her vision. She closed her eyes in pain of the sudden brightness. Zelda fell with a thud as her back hit the hard ground. She spent several minutes gasping for air, her eyes still stinging from the onslaught of light that were unused to seeing.
There was warmth. Comforting warmth wrapped around her like a blanket. Zelda's fury at Zant for pushing her into the Twilight flickered out and was forgotten. As her eyes slowly adjusted to the light, Zelda realized that she was no longer in the shadow of the unnatural twilight. She was somewhere familiar. Finally, Zelda was able to open her eyes and look at the world around her.
Pure, beautiful sunlight shone down upon her. The sky was a clear blue with not a single cloud above. All around her was a field of barley. The golden stalks were swaying in the warm breeze. For miles, this field stretched on and on. Far in the distance, Zelda could see another black wall of Twilight. In fact, all around her the field was guarded by the towering Twilight. Only this pocket of golden field was free from the darkness. Zelda choked out a noise that was between a sob and a laugh. She was free. The hold that the Twilight had on her body was slipping away. The sunlight and sky invigorated her. For a fleeting second she felt like herself again. Zelda stood to her feet, knees shaking, and she threw off her cloak. Next came her gloves and then the light armor that she wore on her shoulders. Zelda took off her crown and unbraided her hair, letting her honey colored locks fly free in the wind. Without all the armor and things, Zelda wore only the simple lilac gown.
She sighed in contentment as her arms and shoulders basked in the sunlight. How wonderful it felt to stand in the sun after so long of being in the cold, dank Twilight! Zelda could not understand why this field was in sunlight while the rest of Hyrule was covered in Twilight, but for now, she would not question it. She would simply enjoy the time she had in this field. Feeling enough strength, Zelda began to walk slowly down the dirt path. She tuned left and waded though the waist-high barley. The stalks swished gently around her. Zelda did not realize that she would have thought that a field could be so beautiful. Her tired, near starved body did not make it far before she had to sit down. Zelda lowered herself onto the ground and was swallowed up by the field as she lay on her back, looking up into the vast blue sky. A sudden, wonderful thought came to her mind. Why not stay here? The Twili could not retrieve her. The pure light would kill them. No wonder Zant had been so anxious by the wall. He was terribly close to death even being near the sunlight!
Her mind went back to the dilemma. If she tried to go back into the Twilight from another spot on the wall, then there would surely be a shadow being waiting for her. If not, then they would be able to track her down if she tried to run. Zelda would weaken again once she went back into the Twilight. No, it would be far better to stay here. She was sure that she could manage. Maybe the goddesses had a plan for her here. Perhaps the Hero would find her in the field! Or, it might be a completely foolish idea to stay here, she mused. Zelda hoped that her wish of staying here would be true. Zelda did not think that she could abide going back to the miserable world she came from after being in the sun again.
Zelda smiled as the grass tickled her skin and she found herself laughing quietly. When was the last time she had smiled, much less even laughed? Time drifted by slowly. The wind blew softly and the barley swayed dreamily. It wasn't long before Zelda watched as the sun dip lower and lower in the sky. Feeling at ease for the first time in weeks, Zelda closed her eyes and let her body fall into a deep, relaxed state.
She must have fallen asleep, for Zelda woke with a snap. She heard the unmistakable crunch of grass being trod on. The small world was aglow with the reds and oranges of a sunset. Zelda found that she did not dread or hate this twilight. The dusk seemed natural and friendly, not sinister and cold. Yet she had no time to enjoy it. There was something in this field. She was not alone. Zelda scrambled to her knees and crouched like a lion in the barley. Her keen eyes scanned through the stalks, searching for any sign of her companion. She quickly found him. He was hard to miss.
Ganondorf was walking through the field. His tall form towered over the grass. Against the brilliant sunset, he was only a dark silhouette stalking through the barley. She could tell that he was looking for her. A puff of wind lifted Zelda's hair as her body remained perfectly still. Her dream of staying in the field seemed so silly now. Still, the thought of being caught like a mouse by Ganondorf and dragged back to her castle did not seem like something she wanted to add to her list of terrible things that happened to her.
Ganondorf was not a Twili. He, like Zelda, was a creature of light. Zant would not have sent her to this field if he did not have a way to bring her back out of it. Zelda would at least try to sneak away without getting caught. She took one last look at the dark shape in the field, and then she began to crawl in the other direction. She went slowly, carefully. Her heart pounded and sweat beaded on her brow. Ganondorf could not find her.
By some horrible stroke of luck, the hem of her dress got caught on a branch. With an edge of panic, Zelda started tugging on her skirt, trying to free herself. As she did, Zelda heard a thunderous crashing. Stalks were being trampled as a massive figure charged through the field. He had heard her! Zelda yanked her skirt, leaving a gaping hole in the fabric, and began to run as fast as she could. She frantically looked over her shoulder. He was not behind her. She looked around and a scream stuck in her throat. He was right in front of her. Before Zelda could stop herself, she ran right into his broad chest.
She gasped in fright and raised her arms to defend herself. Zelda reached inside herself and tried to muster up some magic to fight Ganondorf. The Gerudo was too quick. He grabbed her wrists and tightened his fingers around her like a vice. She held back a whimper of pain. Her arms feebly fought against him, but it was no use. She was stuck. Ganondorf leered down at her with his golden eyes. A wicked smirk slowly spread across his face.
"Princess," he murmured deeply. "Did you think that you were going to escape?" A slow, rumbling noise came from within his chest. He was laughing at her!
"I was going to try," Zelda hissed angrily. She was beyond furious that he laughed at her feeble attempts at escape.
Ganondorf's smile turned into a condescending smirk. "I have to admit, watching you crawl on the ground like an animal was more amusement than I've had in a hundred years."
Zelda's cheeks burned with anger and embarrassment.
"How dare you!" She snapped, trying to clutch at any shred of dignity she had left. Zelda pulled against the Gerudo. Ganondorf simply yanked her arms and he pulled her even closer. His face was inches from hers. She could feel his breath warming the air between them. His eyes bore into hers. She saw a raging fire within them. The two golden irises were full of triumph, malice, and elation. He was not amused by her fight.
"I brought you here for solace, for an escape from that sickening Twilight," he growled. "Do not take advantage of my generosity." A thinly veiled threat was woven into the sonorous tones of his voice.
Zelda scoffed. "Generosity? Do you want gratitude from me? I think not! Give me back my kingdom and then we will discuss how generous you are! For that, I will be ever so grateful," she replied with utter disdain. Zelda struggled within his grasp. If only she could get her hands out of his grasp, then she might be able to stand against him. She could put an end to the Twilight once and for all. Ganondorf sensed her desperation to be free and he only held on tighter.
Ganondorf laughed darkly in response to her. "I'm sorry, Princess. I'm afraid that I cannot do that. I've waited a hundred years for this chance and now Hyrule is ripe for the taking. I cannot give all that up now, just to make you happy." Zelda glared at him as she saw that he was mocking her, truly mocking her. Tears of frustration grew in the corners of her eyes and she cursed the weakness she was showing. She could not let him see her cry. She refused to let her vulnerability show. Not after he had seen her so frail and helpless before…
"Why?" She cried suddenly. "After hundred of years of failure and defeat, why do you try? Do you not understand that what you are doing is killing the land and harming its people? You are destroying a kingdom for what? Why, WHY are you doing this to me?"
Ganondorf's face screwed itself into a grimace at her outburst. "Why would any king try to take another land? You answer me, girl. Use that legendary wisdom of yours to figure out why this kingdom should belong to me and why I will never stop trying."
Zelda shook her head. Her legendary wisdom had run dry as of late. "To gain power and wealth, I suppose, but why Hyrule?" Zelda asked, her voice close to tears. "You have died for this land and here you are, back from the grave and spending your second chance at life making the same mistakes?"
Ganondorf's face changed from arrogant to irate in a second. He pulled his sharp features into a hard glare. Zelda could see that her words had struck a nerve. "There is much that you don't know," he growled in response. "I wouldn't expect a pampered, well-bred little lamb like yourself to understand anything. Your whole life, you have had every single thing handed to you on a silver platter. What hardships have you faced? What has happened to you that has truly broken your heart and left you in so much pain that it was hard for you to breathe? Tell me the earth-shattering problems that your spoiled life of a Princess has caused for you. Please, astound me with tales of your piteous life."
Zelda fell silent. Her struggling against the Gerudo's grasp stopped. How could he say such a thing, Zelda asked herself. His words wounded her in ways that he could not imagine. Her stomach twisted uncomfortably. She willed herself to not look into her past, to not let those memories surface…
Ganondorf took her silence as an answer. "Oh, you can't," he taunted. "Then you will not understand why I need to take Hyrule for myself. You do not even deserve to know what sort of filth that life has thrown my way."
The indignation drained from Zelda at Ganondorf's words. A flood of memories, painful and crushing, rushed to her consciousness. In a single moment, Ganondorf had demolished all the mental walls that she had spent years building in hopes of blocking out certain moments of her past. She stopped trying to fight her way free and let her arms fall to her sides. Ganondorf's hands still held on to her wrists, but his grip was softer.
"There is much you don't know either…" Zelda replied, her voice barely more than a gentle whisper. She did not know what made her admit weakness to her sworn enemy, but she found that she wanted to defend herself against his accusations. Her life might have been a glittering, shining, perfect dream to an outsider's eyes. She had the Royal Title, power, wealth, and beauty. Yet only Zelda knew the price of her life and the pain, loss, and secrets that she bore…
"Do not lie to me," Ganondorf retorted, though the tone of his voice did not match the harshness of his words. He spoke with a hint of anger, but his words sounded defeated and sad. Even he seemed to be drained of emotion, almost as though he, too, were just tired of fighting with the demons of the past. Zelda did not respond. She hung her head, overwhelmed with pain and memories.
They stood there in silence. They were both weighing the private burdens that each of them carried. It took Zelda far too long to realize that Ganondorf was no longer strangling her wrists with his fingers. She looked down and saw this his hands were holding her own. Her heart began to pound. She slowly looked up from their hands and met his gaze. Golden eyes met blue. His tan skin glowed under the light of the dying sun. The wind gently tugged at his red mane of hair. His face was an unreadable mask, but his eyes were soft and Zelda saw something in them that she did not want to understand.
With a gasp, she pulled herself out of his grip and crossed her arms over her chest. Zelda's abrupt movement seemed to shake Ganondorf out of some sort of stupor. His face twisted into a troubled frown and he took several steps away from her. Zelda stared at him, her mind a torrent of confusing thoughts and growing fear. Ganondorf, the enemy of her ancestors and the bane of Hyrule, had been looking at her with compassion? He had held her hands with what she could only describe as tenderness and she had willingly shared a tiny piece of herself with him? Ganondorf stared at Zelda, waiting for her to speak. Zelda's mouth was closed tight with shock. Ganondorf stepped close to her again and reached out his hand. Zelda jumped away from him like a frightened rabbit.
His hand fell to his side and his frown deepened.
"Just let me go," Zelda said. Her voice was shaking with a thousand emotions.
"Go then," he murmured. "Go through the edge of Twilight. My asinine servant will be there waiting for you."
Zelda did not need to be told twice. She turned her back to him and started marching away from Ganondorf as fast as she could. It took every ounce of her self-control to not run away from him.
"You'll be back again," he suddenly called. Zelda stopped to listen, but she did not face him again. "The twilight is killing you and the only way that you'll survive is to come here. The sunlight will revive you. You will find life somewhat more bearable in the Twilight as long as you can come back here."
She did not fancy coming back again. Her plans of running away had been dashed and shattered to pieces. Fuming, she marched out of the field and came to the spot on the dirt road where she had thrown away her cloak and armor. She hastily replaced everything and threw her cloak around her shoulders. The Twilight has there, waiting to swallow her back up into the dark world of dusk. Before she stepped into the blackness, Zelda glanced over her shoulder. She could not help herself.
Ganondorf had his back to the Twilight, his gazed fixed upon the crimson sky. For a moment, Zelda's confusion and terror dissipated and she found herself pitying the dark figure. There was a sadness, a strange frailty to his words and she wondered what had happened to him to break his heart, shatter his world, and turn his heart black.
Thank you for reading! This has actually been in the works for many years now. The idea for this story came from an inside joke between me and my friends, regarding Ganondorf being creepy, Zelda not appreciating it, and "Fields of Gold," by Sting. The inspiration was silly, but I'm a secret Zelgan Shipper, so you know, I had to write something serious about it!
R & R and happy happy happy reading :)
FOOTNOTE****WOW! I cannot believe that it's been almost a year since I posted anything on this site. Let me tell you, life has definitely been changing and growing. For those of you who don't know me personally (which is basically anyone looking at this page) I kind of had this thing called a pregnancy, which inevitably eded up in what they like to call an "infant," AKA little tiny demanding humans that suck up all your time, energy, and soul, but they're so adorable that you'd do anything for them, even if it means staying up all night, getting spat up and pooped on. Yes, Ginger Sheikah is now Mommy Sheikah! For those of you following this story, or any others that I'm working on, it might be slow going for a while. Baby Sheikah is 5 months old and rather time consuming *see above for more information* Writing is still my passion and my goals, but bear with me! You won't be seeing the last of the Great Ginger Mommy Sheikah!
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