The platform shook as it reached its destination atop the tower, a walkway above over the towers roof, encircling a crystalline structure sitting atop the tower. A contemptuous scoff escapes his mouth. The source of all their hardship now stood before him, completely helpless.
Grunting, the man heaved his heavy satchel off his shoulder and lowered its heavy load onto the floor. Pawing through the bag’s contents, he pulls out a cloth-bound object and slowly unbinds it. Standing and slowly exposing it to the moonlight at his back was a black pyramid-shaped relic. It had taken a bit of effort, but he managed to swipe it from under the noses of their most elite soldiers without any of them being the wiser. At last, he and his beloved would soon be freed.
Whispering in a foreign dialect, he sets the object upon the ground and takes a few cautionary steps back. A violet glow radiates from object seconds later, growing in intensity in tandem with the volume of the young man’s speech. Just a few seconds more… freedom…
“Please, stop this!”
That voice… She couldn’t have risked coming all this way. No, she shouldn’t even know where he was. Gulping down the growing lump in his throat, he looked down to find her staring back at him, a young white-haired woman standing on the roof of the tower. This woman, the love of his life, had followed him all this way, not knowing the danger she had walked into.
“M-Mu…” He could hardly elicit her name when the woman’s head swung around and stepped back in shock. Unfortunately for her, she had unknowingly been followed by eight soldiers, each garbed in long white. With nowhere left to run, they slowly descended upon the helpless maiden.
Without a second thought, the young man threw himself off the upper walkways. He staggers slightly upon after his harsh landing against the stone floor several yards below but managed to compose himself in time to throw himself between the incoming enemy and his lover.
“Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.” He assured her, a fierce determination in his voice. But, it seems his words didn’t do much to inspire confidence. As he felt her tightly embrace him from behind, he could feel the trembling of her body against his.
The soldiers quickly surrounded them and reached for their weapons. All he had strived to accomplish, now worthless. Taking a deep breath, he prepared for his impending end. And as the soldiers raised their blades against the young couple, a dazzling violet light engulfed them.
The young boy suddenly woke up and his heart was racing wildly in his chest. As he rustled his leg free from the tangled mess of sheets, he wiped the cold sweat from his forehead. He waited till his panicked breathing had calmed down before sitting up.
He was still in his room, safe and sound. But, again that dream had disturbed his sleep for these past two weeks. But, merely thinking about it caused him to tremble. It all seemed so real. So many times this nightmare had come to him and he was still no closer to figuring out what it all meant.
A few moments in silence and the young Hylian felt he was calm enough to return to sleep. It would be for the best if he just pushed the dream from his thoughts. He had to get all the rest he could get. He had a busy day tomorrow.
The wagon’s creaking wheels were steadily slowing. Peeking out from the covered carriage, it seemed the wagon was going to park in the southeast area of the plaza. Not too many townsfolk in the immediate area, meaning sneaking out would be easy. Donning a tattered brown cloak over the dark blue tunic she wore, the stowaway leaps from the back of the vehicle before it comes to a complete stop. The wagon’s driver was none the wiser.
It was early in the morning and already there was quite a bustle in Hyrule Castle Town. Sure, many of them were just waiting till the markets opened, but this day was special. It seemed that news had quickly spread that the Zora music band, the Indigo-Go’s, were making a stop in Hyrule and were even going to give the citizens a special performance.
But, that wasn’t of any concern. The task at hand was to find the location of the Captain of Hylian Guard. If the stories were to be believed, at this early hour in the morning, he was usually with a few of his fellow knights at the local bar. How nice… getting liquored up before a day of protecting the royal family and the kingdom.
Scoffing silently, the wanderer threw the hood of her cloak over her head and started across the city square, pushing the through the mob of people as they either awaited the Indigo-Go’s performance, or for the stands in the marketplace to open. Once at the opposite side of the plaza, the drifter immediately spied a small gathering of knights and guards, waiting anxiously before a nearby westward street. With luck, they were waiting for the Captain and all that was needed was the perfect opportunity to strike.
A figure off in the distance must have signaled them as they turned and marched down the road. The nomad made haste through the crowds, stepping on a few toes and knocking a few unlucky folks down. Rounding the street corner, she was unexpectedly struck quite hard in the stomach. Groaning, the mysterious vagrant staggers back as she peered up to see just what hit her. To her surprise, it was a young blonde boy, his blue eyes quivering as he stared at her, clutching a brown box close to his chest.
“I-I…” The poor boy seemed on the verge of tears. As the woman regained her composure, the fear in his eyes swelled as he stared up at her from her imposing height. “I’m so sorry!” He blurted.
“No,” the woman quietly responded. “I’m sorry.” Without so much as a glance in his direction, the woman took off down the street.
Raising an eyebrow, the boy just shrugs off the odd character. Taking a right at the corner, he approaches the nearby stand and places the box underneath the stand. He and his brother, a teenage youth a couple years older than him, were helping Leon, the local tailor and cloth merchant, to sell his surplus of fabric, and perhaps a few outfits. While he was transporting wares from the store, his brother was busy setting the merchandise out for display.
“There anything else?” the older boys asks as he laid out several pairs of stockings.
“Not much more,” he replied hastily before dashing back to the store.
The bell hanging overhead chimed as the boy opened the door to Leon’s store. Heading to the storage room, he saw the tall, well-dressed owner, Leon, browsing through the racks of clothes as he tried to decide what last garments he would bring for sell. Near the doorway was the last box of fabrics that was to be sold.
“Is this the last of it, sir?” the young boy inquired, heaving the box off the ground.
“Sure is,” Leon responded as he found and draped a last pair of pants over his arm. “Let’s hurry along,” Ushering the boy out of the room the man hastily walked to the exit and held it open for the young boy.
He wasn’t entirely sure, but there seemed to be a bit of urgency in his voice. The marketplace wasn’t meant to open for at least another 10 minutes, so they had plenty of time to set up. Once he had stepped outside, Leon hurriedly locked the door and started off towards the marketplace. The young boy let out a soft gasp as Leon placed a hand on the boy’s shoulder, trying to put in spring in both of their steps. But, he almost had to jog to keep up with Leon’s long strides. In the several months he had been helping Leon, the youth had never seen such a look of panic in his eyes. His darting eyes certainly made it easy to tell he was on the lookout for someone.
“Leon, sir, is something wrong?”
“I… no,” he responds. “J-Just want to get to the stand without having to…”
Leon came to a halt quite suddenly, running a hand through his brunette tresses as he let out an exasperated sigh. Seeing just how upset he was, the boy decided to look around for the source of his employers anguish. It didn’t take long for him to notice that he was looking at the tall, solidly built man garbed in a white coat, his red cape fluttering with each of his steps, who was headed in their direction. The boy gulped as he looked at his stern face, realizing that he was none other than the Royal Knight and Captain of the Guard, Adalric, himself.
The knight took a glance over at them, seeing a hint of disappointment as his eyes met with Leon’s. Without a single word, Adalric walks past them, leaving Leon to mutter something under his breath. After a few seconds to vent, Leon resumes his stride.
“What was that about? Is he the reason you wanted to hurry?”
Leon didn’t respond. Instead he resumed a normal pace heading into the city square with his young companion tailing him closely. When they reached the stand, Leon began laying down the clothing he brought for sale. He spent several moments fiddling with the merchandise, not really doing much other than shifting them around. Finally growing tired of avoiding the boy’s question, he throws his head back, wiping his hand over his face. “Captain Adalric… he’s my brother.”
“Wow!” the boy’s older brother exclaims. “You’re brother is THE Adalric? That must be pretty awesome.”
“Not if you quit the knights,” Leon mutters as he reached into the pocket of his pants and produced a blue headband. “But, enough of that,” Leon proclaimed as his usual smile returned. Placing the band around his head, he took the single red feather he kept in his shirt pocket and slid it between the band and head, just above his left ear. “Let’s get ready to sell!”
Down the road Adalric traveled, giving a kind smile and a friendly nod to all he passed. Turning down a smaller road, he descended the stairs found at the dead-end. This quaint little bar had long been a favorite of his and regularly came by with a few of his men for a quick meal and a drink before beginning their day.
Several of his men were already seated at their usual table at the back and they waved him over to take a seat between them.
“We already ordered your usual, Captain,” responded the knight to his right as he took his seat.
As the barkeep came with his drink, he flashed the brunette woman a flirtatious smile. She just smiled and playfully smacked him in head with rag before returning to work. Adalric lifted the mug to his lips, but stopped suddenly when he had the sudden feeling he was being watched. Taking a quick sip of his brew, he slowly sets his drink down, his eyes wandering, trying to figure where this sense of foreboding was coming from.
Then he saw it, a blonde woman, body draped in a brown cloak, seated all alone at a table on the opposite side of the bar. Certainly not a regular and, as far as he could tell, not someone he had ever seen around the city. But, this woman was staring directly at him, no doubt, and while he would have been flattered, her burning gaze was a bit disturbing to say the least.
“Don’t look over, but, any of you ever seen the dame over there, the one in the cloak?”
The knights peered over at the cloaked figure, watching as she took a quick sip from her mug, her gaze unwavering as she stared in Adalric’s direction.
“Certainly wasn’t there when we came in,” the knight to his left responded.
The other knights just shrug, as does Adalric, and they began to converse about other matters.
“Not you, not yet,” the mysterious woman mutters silently. Sure he was dressed like the Captain of the Guard, but he wasn’t the one she was after. “Where’s your father? Where’s Lodin?” She let out a groan of frustration before she downed the last bit of drink left in her mug. Pulling out a few rupees from the pouch attached to her belt, she drops them on the table as payment for the drink and left the bar in a hurry.
That was certainly a waste of time. Lodin must have retired from the knights and had his son succeed him. Maybe there would be a better chance at finding Lodin around the marketplace. But, that was a big ‘maybe’ for when she returned to the plaza, she found a greater number of people present now that the markets had opened.
Roughly ten minutes flew by and there wasn’t a single soldier around and no sign of Lodin. This trip to Hyrule would not be in vain. She would find Lodin without before night fell on Hyrule. Her father would have wished it.
Zelda strolled through the marketplace with a wide grin spread across her face. She always enjoyed browsing through the marketplace and seeing all the happy citizens of her kingdom. It had been a while since so many merchants from the outside providences had all gathered in the Castle Town. As a plus, she would also get to see the Indigo-Go’s performance, something she hadn’t seen since her younger days.
Zelda passed by a stand where they were selling an assortment of different potions, another selling fruits and vegetables, when she spied a Goron’s stand where she was immediately attracted to some of the most beautiful gemstones she had ever seen. They were nice, but she had never been the one to wear jewelry.
Suddenly, a pair of hands pushed against her shoulders and stopped her where she stood. Looking forward, she saw a man, clad in a white suit, bespectacled, with his long black hair slicked back. He soon released his hands and Zelda was hit with the realization that she was mere inches from running into this man.
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” Zelda spouts as she takes a step back. The princess was quite surprised at how tall this man was. He would be quite intimidating were it not for his gentle smile.
“It’s quite alright. No harm done.” With another smile, he extends his hand out to the princess. “My name is Lucius.”
“Pleased to meet you, Lucius,” Zelda returned, firmly taking his hand and shaking it. “I am Zelda.”
At the utterance of her name, the man slowly retracted his hand as his green eyes widened in disbelief. “You mean… Zelda, Princess of Hyrule?”
“The very same.”
“O-Oh, how very exciting!” The man couldn’t help but grin even wider. “Here I thought I would never meet THE Princess Zelda. Though, if you don’t mind my saying, I always expected a princess to dress more…, well…”
“Proper?” she finished as she gave a quick look over her simple outfit, a blue blouse and a white pair of pants. “I don’t wear dresses or anything like that unless I absolutely have to.”
“Ah, too bad.”
“So, Mr. Lucius, what brings you to Hyrule? Are you a merchant, by chance?”
Lucius shook his head. “Actually, I just so happen to be the manager for the Indigo-Go’s,” he informs her as he brushes a hand through his hair. “In fact, I was just on my way to pick up some cloth. Lulu has been dying to make a new outfit to perform in.”
“Well, that sounds delightful. Mind if I join you?”
“Not at all,” Lucius replies. With Zelda at his side, Lucius made his way to the west end of the marketplace, approaching the stand of the cloth merchant while giving Leon a friendly wave in greeting. “Hello, Leon. You’re looking well.”
“I’d say the same to you.” Leon picked a bag off a crate underneath the stand and handed it over to man. He opened it slightly and fingered through the bundles of fabric held within. “That’s everything, right?”
“Indeed,” he responded. Tying the bundle again, Lucius pulls a small pouch of rupees from his pocket and hands over the payment.
While the men were busy conducting their business, the youngest of Leon’s aides gazed quizzically at the man in white. But, it seemed the longer he held his gaze, the harder it became to look away.
He wasn’t really sure if he heard that voice just then. Maybe it was just his mind playing tricks on him. Perhaps that was true since he was starting to feel rather light-headed and dizzy.
The boy jumped slightly as a large hand clasped his shoulder. He was finally able to break away from Lucius and up into Leon’s eyes. He must have really been out of it for he had never seen such concern in the man’s eyes.
“Are you okay?”
The boy was about to respond when Lucius suddenly interjected. “It could be possible the poor lad is a bit dehydrated. It is a bit warm today.”
“Maybe.” Leon reached for the canteen he was keeping underneath the stand and handed it over to the youth.
The boy sipped at the water, but his thoughts were telling him that it was unlikely dehydration was the culprit. He couldn’t fight it and again, his eyes were drawn over to Lucius. His eyes slowly rose up over Lucius’ white suit, but, with a surge of willpower, he managed to dart his eyes away before he could look upon his face. It was strange, but he felt an unsettling air being given off by man before him. Then again, maybe he really was just delirious.
“Well, I’d better be leaving. The performance will be starting soon.” Lucius turns to Zelda and respectfully bows his head. “And it was a pleasure to meet you, Princess.”
“A pleasure of mine as well. I do hope our paths cross again.”
“We will, dear. We will.” Giving a last good-bye wave to Leon and his young assistants, Lucius saunters off into the crowd.
“So, you’re really THE Princess Zelda?”
Zelda turns back to the stand and was a bit taken aback at the teenage boy before her, grinning ear to ear.
“Yes, I am,” she replies with a nervous chuckle. “And who might you two gentlemen be.”
“Well, I’m Zach,” the teen replied as he brushed his brunette locks and gave the young princess a flirtatious smile. All he got out of the princess was an uncomfortable smile. Of course it seemed Zach didn’t notice or even care for that matter.
“And… your brother?” Zelda’s increasing feelings of awkwardness increased as the young teen stared dreamily at her. “W-Well, I’ll be leaving… now. I’ll be by your store later, Leon.”
“That will be just fine, Your Majesty.” Leon watched as Zelda hurriedly walked off and the instant she was out of sight, he lightly slapped Zach in the back of the head.
“Gah, what was that for?” Zach groaned as he rubbed his head.
It was nearly time for the performance. All five members of the Indigo-Go’s were on the stage erected in the center on the town square and Mikau and Jappas were busy tuning their guitars, Evan and Tijo were talking amongst each other, and Lulu was happily talking to a few fans in the audience.
This would be a first, watching an Indigo-Go performance. Then again, it’s not like getting out often was a choice. The guards had seen the wanderer’s face several times in the past. But, after what her father no doubt did when he last ventured into Hyrule, just waltzing into town was no longer a possibility.
But, the question persisted: Where had Lodin disappeared to?
Uproars of applause snapped the woman free of her thoughts only to realize the performance was set to begin. Lulu took center stage as the noise from the crowd died. After a few seconds, Evan broke the silence as he began playing a slow piano melody. Oddly, it had an eerie, otherworldly sound to it that grew as the melody soon quickened and Japas joined in on bass. Exhaling deeply, Lulu began to sing.
The realm above,
Where the golden light shines
Spirits fleeting through the earthly gash.
Whisper sweet words,
A tragic melody all but lost
The seed is shining
Splitting skies abroad
Quite odd. As Mikau stepped towards the microphone, the cloaked woman began to notice several other cloaked beings standing amongst the crowd. Where in the world did they come from? A question unanswered as Mikau himself began to sing.
Spirits sing for peace, waiting for rebirth
Fervent fields where the children play
The sky shines with a new hope
Time creeps towards the golden rays
A new dawn
Mikau stepped back as Lulu prepared to take over on vocals. What was going on?! The crowd was littered with twice as many cloaked figures as before. Did the townsfolk not even notice them?!
Silent worships in the name of peace
Deliverance of grief upon the serpent’s name
Salvation found in the seed of life
Pray hope lives upon the phoenix’s wings
A new morning thrives
Mikau joined Lulu at her side as he joined in singing alongside her. Now the situation was taking a turn towards frightening. At last, it seemed that someone else was noticing these strange figures, namely the band members themselves. Too many faceless figures were spread amongst the crowd. The woman was even more dumb-founded when she noticed one of the figures standing right next to her, trying to find out how they got there without her noticing.
“Excuse me, ma’am.”
“What?” she snarled. She turned to look back just when a hand reached out and gripped the wanderer’s shoulder. It was a man, no taller than her. Hissing under her breath, she swelled with anger as she stared into Adalric’s eyes.
And here he thought they were all gone. But, her red eyes were a clear giveaway to what she truly was. “Come with me. You’re not going to cause any trouble, are you?”
The warriors gather beneath the Gate
Howling for truth, their voices fall
Denying the eternal peace for man,
The eternal rest of the spirit
And soon enough, they did just that...