Tears of Ice
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"Tears of Ice"

Tears of Ice

By: Pichu*Star

May 29th, in the 24th year of Hyrule's 16th era

My name is Prince Nariff, son of King Alkenea of the Northern Lands.

The land in which I was born and raised is a continuous blizzard, a white wonderland. Outlanders think it's either amazing and beautiful or cold and treacherous. But if you live here, you just think it's snowy and boring. You can't travel around much, and food is pretty scarce. Even royalty has it tough here.

I've always wanted to get away from here. Not just because of the climate, but also because of my father.

It's no secret that my father is the most greedy, corrupt king ever to sit in the Northern throne. He's not above using his slyness and wits to gain wealth, to become more powerful than the other kingdoms. Thank the goddesses I'm nothing like him. I got all my traits from my mother, who died of hypothermia when I was 12.

My father.

Truth be told, I despise my father for everything he is.

That may seem a bit shocking for me to say; as it nowhere fits the image my subjects have of me. I'm told I'm quite liked by my subjects, for both my physical traits and my personality. My hair is odd, to be sure, but I like it, and I guess others do too. It's white and spiky, with grayish-blue highlights. My eyes are sea green, and, according to others, I always look calm and serious. And I guess I'm pretty quiet too. My personality is described as sarcastic and funny, but gentle and kind. That's how I am. So why should I say I hate my father?

Because of everything he's ever done to me. If I were to sum all of it up into one sentence, it would be: He ruined my life. Because it is true.

Ever since before I could even crawl, my father has tried to instill the same greed, the same ruthlessness, the same cold-heartedness that brought him to power. into me. Fortunately, my mother saw what he was planning for me-to turn me into a carbon copy of himself, so his power would live on even after he passed away. She would not let him do that to me. So she taught me never to listen to his lies. Never to fall for his silvery words and bribes. To think for myself, and become kind-hearted and compassionate. Everything my father wasn't.

I learned from her well, and vowed to obey her every word until my dying day. Unfortunately. everyone else dear to me paid the price.

My younger cousin, Sophie. She was every bit like the sister I never had. And we grew closer to one another after my mother died. But my father would not let me have comfort. He hated me, you see. Hated the fact that over the years, his wife turned me against him. I actually think he was glad to see her die. So to make me utterly miserable. he killed Sophie. When she was only 12-years old. It all looked like an accident, of course. She was accidentally locked out of the castle one night, and froze to death. But I knew. I knew my father staged it all. He made sure she was locked out, and told the guards not to let her in when she knocked.

Funny how much his cold smile revealed to me the next day, when he told me.

As horrible and ruthless as that was, he didn't stop there. He next killed my other comfort. My dear horse, Diamondflake. She was a beautiful white mare, gentle and intelligent in every way. He killed her, and left her out in the courtyard for me to see the blood freezing on her snowy white coat and mane. Now I have another lovely horse, a stallion named Windfreezer. Goddesses know when my father will decide to kill him next.

I lost everyone close to me from the time my mother died, when I was 12, to when I had to send my best friend, Tommy, away when I was 19. Tommy was a kind boy, two years younger than me, who tagged along like my little brother. He was aspiring to be in the Flurry Riders someday, part of the Northern cavalry. We were as close as friends could be, and because of this, my father plotted to get rid of him as well. Thank the goddesses I overheard his plot to the guards to murder him. I told Tommy to leave the castle town, go back to his home in the village many miles east of my home.

I have never seen him again.

How can a man be so cruel? To his own family? How one can live with so much blood on their hands, with no care in his heart for his own son, whose life is a living hell. Wondering about it sickens me. And I don't try to. As much as I hate him, I have found no hope to live on anymore. Yet, as my mother once told me, to live is to hope. And since I live, I will hope. I will be brave, and not take the easy way out by killing myself. I tried that once. But as soon as I saw my own blood running down my hand from the cut I made on my wrist, I knew this was not the path destiny had in mind for me.

My subjects are in the cold about all this corruption. No pun intended. Whenever they see me, I must smile and act as if life is good. In public, my father acts like the man I wish he was. The father I wish I had. For all the people of the Northern Lands know, my father and I love each other every bit as much as I loved my mother and Sophie.

Love my father. Excuse me while I retch.

I'm not trying to be funny either. You can't imagine how much I hate him for all he's done. One day I hope to have the ultimate revenge against him. To take the kingdom out of his greedy paws and make him acknowledge me as the true king. To have him watch as I destroy every bit of corruption he's worked so hard to make for himself, and have him live the rest of his life in a dungeon watching me make things right. I feel a bit guilty for thinking such horrible thoughts like that, but can you blame a guy?

Waiting for the day when that'll happen isn't exactly bliss, though. Since home at the castle with my father is hell, I try to find peace in the castle town, saying hello to my subjects. I can't afford to make friends, but at least I can feel better by seeing the faces of normal people with normal happy lives. But. like I said, my subjects like me quite a lot. That's not so bad, but when you add fangirls.

As soon as I step out of the castle, girls swarm over me like bees over honey. I can hardly exit out into the castle town without being rushed by a crowd of young ladies, all hoping I'll take a fancy to one of them. I'm their celebrity. Their superstar. But I don't want that. I hate being in the limelight, and I don't want girls swooning and fawning all over wherever I go. One wonders why I haven't gone crazy yet. It's insane. "Oooh, it's Nariff!" "Prince Nariff, we LOVE you!" "You're the one hot thing in this cold place, Prince Nariff!" They say stuff like that. I'm absolutely serious. I was actually tackled by a whole group of them while I was bending over to pick up something. It's beyond disturbing. A fine young man like me cringing at the sight of every young lady who glances my way. I'm certainly not enjoying the thought of being practically every Northern female's sex idol. I sometimes wonder why I was cursed to be the Prince of the Northern Lands. I don't feel the way a prince ought to, and it's been nothing but emotional and physical pain all the way.

In a perfect life, I imagine myself living in a warm, comfy cabin in the woods. People don't bow to me, girls don't chase me, and I'm free to do what I please. I have a pretty girlfriend, who likes me for who I am, not what I look like or my title and riches. My friends don't see me as Prince Nariff of the Northern Lands, but as just Nariff. But that's not how it is. My life looks like a fairy tale, but it's more like a living nightmare.

Heh. and see what living such a messed-up life has done to me? It's made me cynical from the inside out. I wonder what Princess Zelda of Hyrule's life is like? Bet she lives the royal life the way it was meant to be lived.

Speaking of Princess Zelda.

My father told me the other day that we will go to meet King Harkinian of Hyrule soon. He will convince the king to have his daughter, Princess Zelda, marry me, so our kingdoms will be united. Then, it's only a matter of time before my father takes control of Hyrule, with no opposition to stop him.

I tried to be honorable. I tried to argue. I didn't want to ruin the princess's life by making her marry a stranger. I've seen pictures of her, and even sent presents of tribute to her in the past. She seems nice. Why ruin it for her? And on that note. why ruin it for me? Not that my life isn't ruined enough as it is. But arguing with my father is like trying to talk him out of breathing. Talking him out of something that could get him power. wasn't going to happen.

"I'm not marrying her!" I had yelled at my father angrily, after he had calmly related his plans to me. "We don't even know each other! How long is it till you understand that the world doesn't revolve around you?"

"Silence!" my father roared at me. Before I could even react, the blade of his sword had been at my throat, backing me against the wall.

"I don't want you ruining any of my plans," he hissed dangerously. "You will marry that princess, and you'd better not say a single thing to blow it, either. Or else-" He had pressed the sword tighter into my throat, enough to draw blood. "Understand?"

I had given a nervous swallow. "Yes." I whispered, tears welling in my eyes. Tears of pain, for the blood running down my neck. Tears of shame, because I could do nothing to stop my own father's greed, nothing to spare myself from the tyranny and cruelty that I lived with, day after day. Tears of pleading to the goddesses, to just let me curl up and die, cause nothing I did in life mattered anymore.

"Good," he snarled, sheathing his sword and striding off.

Do the fates absolutely hate me? What did I do to deserve this? The Northern Lands truly are a cold and treacherous place, for more reasons than one.

Last night. I entertained the thoughts of ending it all again. I sat in my room, staring at the shiny, sharp edge to my sword, admiring the way my reflection was slightly distorted in its blade. Ignoring the tears of despair running down my face, I made a slight cut across my right cheek with the tip of the sword, almost amused by the feel of warm blood trickling down my cold skin. I smiled at my reflection, the face everyone called handsome. They said I was good-looking. but good looks could do nothing for my grief.

However. before I could decide on how I should kill myself (cut my wrists, slice my throat, or stab myself through the heart?), I heard a strange, haunting call from outside.

"Prince Nariff."

I had jumped up, dropping the sword to my bedroom floor, and ran to my window. I threw open the windows, letting the biting cold wind in. It took the breath from my lungs for a second, as the chill slapped my face cruelly. I listened for the voice to make itself heard once more.

"Do not kill yourself. You still have a divine destiny."

"What destiny?" I asked the snowstorm, the blood and tears crystallizing on my cheeks.

"You must retain hope, Nariff. Be brave, and go to Hyrule as your father asks."

Tears spilled from my eyes at the thought of hope. "Please. who are you?" I cried. "What is there for me but more sadness if I go to marry the princess?"

"To live is to hope. Remember what your mother told you?"

"My mother.?"

"She would want you to continue on, to be brave and face the challenge ahead."

"What for?"

"Happiness may yet be ahead for you."

I had never heard such sweet words of salvation before. Happiness. I had begun to believe that was impossible for me. I began to sob involuntarily, nearly suffocating myself in the freezing wind that blew into my face. "Who. who are you?" I choked out.

"Surely you know? I am the Ultimate of Ice and Wisdom, pet of the goddess Nayru, symbol of the Northern Lands. I am the Ice Phoenix."

I could scarcely believe it. "The. Ice Phoenix?"

A shimmering, silver light surrounded me. I felt a strange sensation around my neck as something cold and heavy appeared there. It was a necklace, a silver one with a large light-blue jewel in the pendant. The mark of the Northern Lands, a snowflake, was within the jewel.

"That is my gift to you, Prince Nariff. It contains the essence of ice, of the Northern Lands, of me. You are the hope for the Northern Lands, and you are part of a destiny greater than yourself. Be at peace. Your waiting for deliverance from the oppression of your cruel father is nearly at its end. Have my blessing."

I had touched the necklace as the voice faded away, more amazed then I had ever been before. "Thank you." I whispered, closing the window against the blizzard. Then I had sunk to the floor, wrapped my arms around myself, and cried tears of joy, which froze against my still-chilled cheeks.

At last, I have found the reason to live. The hope to go on. With courage, I shall do as my father says, and go with him to Hyrule. I'm not sure if I will marry Princess Zelda or not. But if I do or don't, I hold on to the one thing that makes me smile, like nothing else has ever done for me for eight nightmarish years.

The thought that I may never have to cry tears of ice, ever again.

The End