30th October 2013, 10:11 AM
The Legend of Zelda: Twin Kingdoms
The Legend of Zelda: Twin Kingdoms
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Twin Kingdoms is a story based on the Legend of Zelda franchise, aimed at telling a grimdark story of war, politics, devious plotting and heroic actions in a notably darker atmosphere than official works by Nintendo regularly provide. Focusing primarily on rising tensions between the Kingdom of Hyrule and the neighboring Republic of Koholint, this story will also feature characters from across the world, such as prominent Gerudo leaders, heroes from Holodrum, warriors from Labrynna, and more.
Twin Kingdoms deviates quite a bit from established lore presented by official works by Nintendo. As such, trying to view them through the same looking glass that one uses to enjoy the games will not work well. Consider this story an alternate universe. Characters, ideas, monsters, pretty much everything present here will not match what you know and understand. This story draws a lot of inspiration from traditional fantasy.
Focusing on many intertwining plotlines, Twin Kingdoms will detail the adventures, ambitions and outcomes of numerous characters from the many regions of the world. These characters will be called focus characters, with chapters dedicated entirely to their point of view. The focus character of each chapter will be listed alongside a link to the chapter in the table of contents, as well as below the title of each chapter.
Table of Contents
Chapter 01: The Legend Begins
- Focus character: Link
Chapter 02: Royal Affairs
- Focus character: Lady Mishel
Chapter 03: The Republic of Koholint
- Focus character: Lady Nika
Last edited by Eliza Prescott; 17th October 2014 at 03:45 AM.
30th October 2013, 10:13 AM
Re: The Legend of Zelda: Twin Kingdoms
Chapter 1: The Legend Begins
(Focus character: Link)
The roosters were crowing, signaling that dawn was upon the land. The golden glow of the sun illuminated the tall pine trees that surrounded the lush, amber fields that lay to the south of Eldin Township. Much of the town was still asleep with the exception of a young man who was in the fields, bright and early, for his final day. Long, tan hair drooped over his forehead and shoulders, covering all by the pointed tops of his ears. He was already hard at work, carrying a wickedly sharp sickle on his back and a basket of freshly harvested barley in his hands.
He placed the basket inside the barn, then began to grab handfuls and toss them to the horses stabled within. He stopped at a particular horse, spending extra time with it, patting it on the nose and making sure it was well fed.
A large, rounded man appeared at the door to the barn, yawning and stretch. "Link, my boy... already hard at work?" he asked.
"I had difficulty staying asleep. I figured I may as well put my energy to use." he replied. "Especially on my last day here."
"Yesterday should have been your final day," the older man said. "It'll be sad to see you go."
"But I am going, Ranal. No amount of discussion is going to change that."
"No, no. I'm not here to talk you out of it. You're my best farmhand, but I know how much work you've put into your swordsmanship. It's been hard, but I've finally come around to supporting your choice to pursue that." he said. "'sides, the kingdom could always use more defenders."
"It's not the kingdom I'm looking to defend, it's the people." Link replied.
"Boy, ain't that the same thing?"
"It's... it really... I suppose you're right."
"Tell ya what, Link. Take the rest of the day off. I imagine you've got preparations to make for the road."
"Already done, sir," he replied.
"Said your good byes to everyone?"
"Everyone? How 'bout that girl in Ordon that you fancy?"
Link looked down, then turned back to the horses and tossed out some more barley. "No. I haven't had the time to see her recently. We've both been busy lately."
"Well, ya got the time, now. Go on. Take your horse, too."
Link dropped the rest of the barley back into the bucket and opened up the stable that held a dark chocolate-brown horse. He grabbed a saddle off of the wall behind it, placing it gently on the horse. "Are you going to be at the farewell ceremony?"
"Of course. Everyone will be. It's a big deal, it's not often we see folks leave the town for a bigger life. Or leave at all."
Link hopped up on the horse and grabbed the reins, guiding it out into the central area of the barn. "I'll be back, sometime. I promise."
"Stay safe out there, boy."
Link tapped on the sides of his horse with the heels of his boots, spurring it forward and out into the fields of the farm. He took a long, loving look at the surround landscape that had been his home for the past twenty three years, realizing how much he was going to miss it all. Yet at the same time, he was happy to leave; He felt as if his daily life was below him. Farm work, such as caring for and cleaning up after the animals, being knee deep in the damp Murkwater swamp, loading the mill with grains, none of it was fit for a budding swordsman to him.
But at the same time, he had a lot of friends that he'd be leaving behind, friends he saw as the family he never had. He would miss Innkeeper Brin's songs at night, and Elder Mayvis' stories of courage. He would never see someone who put so much devotion and love into his bread as Staven Baker. Nor would he have any children looking up to him, flattering him with endless comments of how strong and brave he was. Most of all, he would miss the warm embrace of his childhood friend, Sara. His decision to leave Eldin Township was one that brought him great sadness, but he realized that it must be done. Many thoughts brewed in his mind, but he locked them away as his horse picked up its pace, carrying him westward towards the sister village of Ordon.
- - - - -
The surrounding scenery was the picture of peace and serenity. Green, freshly fallen leaves fluttered through the air under the clear, blue sky, landing in the pristine pond of Ordon Springs. A harmonious sonnet of birds came from the tree tops, complimenting the sound of the wind that blew a refreshing breeze across the area. Small woodland creatures dashed through the tall grass grass, playfully running about, hunting for food or investigating the two women who were sitting on a fallen log, staring out into the pond. They laughed together as they shared stories and experiences they had had since they last saw one another.
In the distance, the sound of a galloping horse echoed through the quiet clearing. Link was riding down the road, fast and hard, pushing his horse to its limits. He almost passed the two before he noticed them, stopping nearby to tie his horse's reins to a tree. With a wave and a smile, he greeted the two warmly. "Morning, Sara. Jezzia."
"Link," Jezzia replied.
"Come, have a seat!" Sara said, tapping on the log next to her.
As Link took his seat, silence overtook the group. Jezzia stared off into the distance, waiting for someone to speak, while Sara swirled a stick through the water and watched the ripples.
"So. Today's the day, isn't it?" Jezzia asked.
"It is," Link replied. "Feels odd, doesn't it?"
"Feels like just another day to me," she replied.
"Of course it does, you're not the one going somewhere."
She gave him a condescending stare.
"So... how are things in Ordon, Sara?"
"Things have been going well. The pumpkins are growing nicely this year... We haven't lost any livestock to the wild animals... Most shocking of all, my dopey brother has been doing a good job as mayor in my father's absence."
"He's a good kid, your brother," Link said. "I can't help but feel like you'd do a better job than him, though. You're older and more experienced. He's just a boy."
"Me? Oh, no..." she chuckled. "I'm too busy helping mother run the store. Besides, I'm a woman. I couldn't be mayor even if I wanted to."
"Sure you could!" Jezzia said. "Haven't you heard? For the first time ever, a woman is High Priestess of the Hylian Cathedral. Even one of King Eldin's advisors is a woman! Times are changing..."
"Ah, Lady Mishel... I'd heard about her, what a mysterious lady," she replied. "But that doesn't matter. Things might be changing in the capital, but they certainly aren't in Ordon."
"Women who follow the rules rarely make history, Sara. Be who you were meant to be."
Another moment of silence passed before Sara decided to break it again. "I had another dream again, last night... It was a pretty bad one."
"What was it about?" Link asked.
"I saw Hylia's Great Gate, far to the east. The royal army of Hyrule was marching up to it, then they started to break it down. They tried and they tried... until it eventually shattered. They marched through, only to be met by another army. They clashed violently..." she paused, visibly distressed by the memory. "It was horrible, absolutely horrible, there was so much bloodshed. The leaves of the trees withered away and the water turned blood red." She paused again, then leaned up against Link and grabbed ahold of him. "I'm really worried about it."
"I've had dreams in the past that have come true, down to the last detail. If this is one of them, I fear for all of our lives."
"I'm sure you've had plenty of dreams that have never turned out," Jezzia said.
Sara nodded. "A few..."
Link stared forward into the pond. The thoughts of what might happen began to flood his mind if Hyrule went to war with a neighboring kingdom. He always viewed his swordsmanship as not only a fun distraction from his obligations as a farmhand, but as a bridge towards nobility, chivalry and protection of others. He had difficulty wrapping his mind around the idea that those who'd chosen the path of righteousness could be forced to choose between their own ideals and killing someone else for less than pure reasons.
"There was more..." Sara added. "I also saw Hyrule Castle. It was a smoldering ruin, destroyed after years of war. The King and Queen were hanging from the gates, the Prince sold into slavery in the deserts. I wasn't sure what happened to the Princess, but she wasn't there."
"Mmm," Link hummed, unsure of how to respond. "I wish I could take you to Hyrule City. Maybe you could see one of the magicians, or maybe a priestess of the faith. They might be able to tell you what your dream means, or if it has any credibility."
"But what if my dream was real? I'd be right in the middle of it all when the walls came crashing down. I'd be in danger, and do you know who's fault that would be?" she asked, wagging her finger around before tapping him on the nose. "Yours."
"It's your idea to bring me. Besides, I simply must stay in Ordon and look after my father. I'm the only one there for him for most of the day..."
Behind them, a peculiar whistling came from the forest behind them, interrupting the conversation. A quick glance at the trees showed no strange movement, but the sound of twigs snapping and leaves rustling in the distance definitely meant that something was lurking nearby.
"You hear that?" Jezzia asked. As the whistling continued a second time, she hopped to her feet and reached for her hip. With an audible ring, she pulled a freshly sharpened short sword out of its scabbard and took up a defensive stance, studying the trees around her as she looked for movement.
"What..." Link asked, completely shocked not only to see her holding the sword, but holding it well. Her stance was perfectly balanced, indicating that she had experience with the blade. "Where'd you get that?"
"It's mine," she said.
"You know how to use it?" Link asked, grabbing his own sword and his flimsy looking wooden shield.
"We're about to find out. Stay behind us, Sara." she said, stepping in front of her.
A third whistle emanated from the forest, followed by a sniveling roar that came from the canopy of the trees. Several branches waved or snapped as four shadowy figures descended from the trees in front of them. One of the figures fell from the tree and rolled into the road. It was a little green man with a pointed face, covered in acne, dirt and scars. His short black hair was equally filthy. Around his diminutive form was primitive leather armor. Three more of his kind flocked to his side from the forest, shouting and screaming at the top of their lungs in a wild attack.
"Goblins!" Link shouted, raising his shield.
The lead goblin ran towards Jezzia, leaping through the air in an attempt to jump onto her. With a quick swing of her left arm, she knocked him aside, spinning around to focus on another goblin who was approaching from a different angle. The second goblin stopped in his tracks, pulling a slingshot from his belt and took aim at her. With a small jagged pebble retrieved from his pouch, he fired at her, but was surprised to see it bounce right off of her and doing no damage. She grabbed her sword with both hands and charged at him like a rampaging rhino.
Meanwhile, Link was gracefully dodging the other two goblins, stepping from side to side as they too tried to leap on top of him. Their weaponry was primitive and overall useless, but they put up both a brave and vicious attack. With a swift swing of his sword, Link snapped one of the goblins' spear in half, while the other broke upon contacting his shield. Out of options, they turned to their sharp claws, which looked like far superior weapons than the ones they were just holding. One jumped skyward, only to be met by demise as Link slashed upwards, slicing him deeply from his hip to his head.
The body of his now lifeless comrade came crashing to the ground, catching the attention of the lead goblin. With a combination of clicks, grunts, hisses and vivid somatic gestures, he ordered the other surviving goblin to halt the attack and stand behind him. With his friend by his side, he looked up at the two. "Gold. NOW!" he hissed in a rudimentary attempt at the common language.
"Look somewhere else, we have nothing for you!" Jezzia said.
He turned to his friend, clicking, snorting, shouting, shoving and then finally nodding. The two goblins turned to their fallen comrades, descending on them like ravenous wolves. Every pocket and every pouch was searched and looted. "Gold, gold! Happy!" they shrieked as they both picked up an unimaginably small sack of coins. Satisfied, they skittered away like cockroaches back into the forest. As quickly as they had arrived, the goblins were gone.
Link caught his breath, sheathing his sword on his back. "I can't believe it, goblins this far south?"
"Would you rather it be a bear? Or bandits?" Jezzia asked, wiping away the sticky, violet blood that was dripping along the blade of her sword. "Gross! I just polished this thing, too!"
"I'd rather it be nothing. If goblins are appearing this far south, there are more of them. I'm not sure if Eldin or Ordon will be safe."
"I don't think either town is in real danger if two novices like us can deal with them so easily."
"Hmm," Link said, contemplating the situation. "You should probably get home, Sara."
"Not without a proper good bye," Sara replied. She walked over, pulling a shiny, golden ring off of her left hand. Atop the ring was a cubic purple gemstone, shining with every color of the rainbow as the sun went through it. She opened Link's hand slipped it over his pinky finger. "First, I want you to have this. It's a gift my mother gave to me when I was young. It's supposed to bring good luck to travelers, and since I don't travel much, you'll need it more than me."
"I'm not sure I'll be doing much of that myself once I reach Hyrule City."
She pulled him in for a hug, fighting back at the tear that was forming in the corner of her eye. "Come back alive, okay? Don't forget about me."
"I never will," he said, gripping her like an anxious bear.
A moment of quiet reassurances and sappy embraces between the two had passed before Jezzia grew restless. "Come on, love birds! Link won't be leaving today if you keep at it."
"I guess she's right... Come on, let's get you home."
"I'm not some frail little flower, I can get home by myself. I got out here just fine."
"Link, don't worry so much. She's able to take care of herself." Jezzia said, interrupting him.
"You'll need all the sunlight you can get if you're going to get to Hyrule City in a timely manner," Sara reminded.
The two bid farewell to each other. As Sara started walking along the trail, Link mounted his horse and trotted over to Jezzia to offer her a ride. She mounted the horse with little effort, and with that, they went in the opposite direction, returning to Eldin Township.
- - - - -
The early summer sun was beaming down on the town square where the four dozen citizens of Eldin Township had gathered. Exotic flowers of all colors lined the white wooden fences and the gables of the houses. The fountain in the center of the town was spraying water for the first time in three years. Nearly everyone was dressed in their best clothes, or at least the best that a small farming village far from any master tailor could offer. On the northern end of the town square were four people, two atop horses. One of the four, a large man with a shiny, bald head and a stately red and gold tunic was addressing the crowd.
"Eldin tradition states that the closest living relative see their family member off when they leave town. Unfortunately, Link's parents are no longer with us. Do we have any volunteers for the ceremony?"
A haggard man with tanned skin stepped forward. "I will, mayor."
"Very well, Ranal," the mayor said, stepping aside to give Ranal the crowd's full attention.
Ranal stepped towards Link, placing his hand in his shoulder. "Link... when I took you in, you were merely a boy. Small, weak, uncertain of yourself or your future. Yet still, I saw potential in you. Now, you're a man. Big and strong, and a hard worker. For that, I thank you for the effort you've put in, the courage you've displayed." He turned to the crowd to continue his speech. "Link and I have grown close over the past twenty years, so much so that I now see him as my own son. His work on my farm has made each harvest very successful, and I fear that the town would be much worse off without him." He placed his hand on Link's horse, running it down the soft mane. "But you have a new calling, my boy. Gone are your days of tending to the pumpkins. Now begins your days of tending to the kingdom, and all the innocent who need your help!"
The crowd cheered joyously, chanting Link's name in unison.
As the crowd died down, he continued. "Having said that... I, Ranal of Eldin Township, do hereby grant Link of Eldin permission to leave town. No longer bound to the land, but now bound to duty, he is free to come and go. May the road be safe and the wind at his back."
"Safety and prosperity," the crowd echoed in unison.
The mayor stepped forward again. "Any parting words, Link?"
Link thought about what he was going to say, but the emotion of the moment derailed his thoughts. "Uhh... Not much aside from that I'm going to miss all of you and all of my friends from Ordon Village."
"That is fine, Link," he said, turning towards a man with a bloated, rounded frame, a ruddy complexion and a thick beard. "We also have another one of our children leaving us today. I have not been made aware of the reasons she is leaving, but... Perhaps, Brin, you could inform us?"
Brin stepped out from the crowd towards Jezzia, who was on top of the horse next to Link. "My daughter, everyone." He said, motioning towards her. "We've had many disagreements over the years, most of them about potential future husbands. Tried as I might, I could never convince her that they were right for her. When she was young, she was scared of her own shadow--"
"--but now, she's even more fearsome than that bulldog I married!"
The crowd laughed. Jezzia covered her smiling face with her palm, trying to hold back the laughter.
"Just kidding, Lenore. I love you." he said after receiving a sharp glare from his wife. "To the point, like Link, my daughter, too, has done much for this town. Through her hard work, my inn was transformed into a rowdy tavern filled with low-life, glory-seeking drunkards into a beautiful, well known establishment that serves knights and nobles alike! Through that work came our wealth, and through that wealth came her opportunity to do what she wanted ever since she was a young girl. So now, I say that I, Brin of Eldin Township, do hereby grant my daughter, Jezzia of Eldin Township, permission to leave town. No longer bound by the land or duty to her family, she is free to come and go. May the road be safe, and the wind at her back."
"Safety and prosperity," the crowd said.
The mayor stepped forward. "And you, Jezzia. Any parting words?"
"Yes. I'd like to thank you all for everything that has led to this moment. Your day to day efforts have made Eldin Township a charming place to visit for many of the travellers that stop by my father's inn. Because of you, I've been fortunate enough to be allowed the opportunity to train in my art, giving me the opportunity to both explore the world for all it has to offer, as well as settle in Hyrule City." she said. "Thank you from the bottom of my heart."
"And what is your art, exactly?" the mayor asked. "I still haven't heard."
Brin and Jezzia looked at each other with panic. "T-Tailoring?" he said.
"Y-Yes, tailoring! I will be studying under Master Levee." she replied.
"Very well! Perhaps when you return, you can see about getting us out of these rags." the mayor joked. "That is it for the ceremony! Safe travels, Link, Jezzia. Please, return safely when you are able to."
"Will do, mayor," Jezzia said, snapping her horse's reins and pushing it forward. With a fanfare and a cheer, the two thundered out of town and into the wilderness, starting their week long trip to the capital city. Their journey would take them through the murky Faron Woods, alongside the Loto and Edrick rivers and across Lake Hylia before finally reaching the capital, Hyrule City.
Last edited by Eliza Prescott; 17th October 2014 at 03:22 AM.
7th November 2013, 12:45 AM
Re: The Legend of Zelda: Twin Kingdoms
Chapter 2: Royal Affairs
(Focus character: Lady Mishel)
It was a gloomy start early in the morning. The clouds hung low in the sky like a thick blanket, casting a dark shadow over the majestic spires of Hyrule Castle. While the castle shined a bright white on sunny days, the rain soaked walls were dulled to an ugly gray. Despite this, the castle was still a grand sight, boasting the tallest spires, the most ornate detailing and the largest bell tower in all of the kingdom, striking a sense of awe and wonderment into even the most oppressed of individuals.
Atop the northwestern spire was a room filled from floor to ceiling with all sorts of curious artifacts. Arcane devices of mysterious origin lined the shelves, as did racks of potions designed for any situation imaginable. Gems of every color of the rainbow sat on tables and bookshelves. In front of the large mirror that hung from the wall was a young woman, running a brush through her frosty white, shoulder length hair. She brushed the hair aside, staring into her reflection; All that looked back were colorless eyes full of life and wonder. "Most magicians need to cast spells to look this good..." she muttered to herself, self absorbed in her own beauty.
Satisfied with her outward appearance, she stood up and wandered over to the window. As she pushed the curtain aside and saw the miserable weather, her enthusiasm for the day began to dwindle. She sighed, "Rain... if only I had a spell to banish you, but I fear I am not that powerful." She looked down into the courtyard below, watching the patrolling royal guards fall into formation.
Down in the courtyard, a knight in shiny and needlessly elaborate golden armor paced back and forth, making sure his subordinates were in perfect condition. "Atten-tion!" he shouted. As he stood firm like a statue with his hands at his sides, the guards balanced their spears on end and raised their shields to cover their chests, not moving a muscle. "The queen and her daughter approach! Open the door!"
Behind them, the large wooden doors into the castle opened. Through them stepped two women, one considerably older than the other. The older of the two was dressed in a blood red silk robe, lined with golden tassels, jewels of all colors and embroidered in many places with the royal crest. Atop her gray, frizzy hair was a golden crown, encrusted with a large sapphire, a large emerald and a large ruby, each representing the golden goddesses of Hyrule, Din, Nayru and Farore. As she walked through the courtyard, she stuck to the age old tradition of avoiding eye contact with the guards.
The younger of the two was much less lavishly dressed, yet still carried a royal look; Rather than a stately robe, she was dressed in a white, black and lavender dress. Silver lining ran up and down the loose fabric, spiraling and twisting into ornate symbols that represented aspects of her faith. Atop her golden blonde hair was a small, silver tiara, holding only a sapphire in it. In her right hand was a long staff, topped with a silver carving of the royal sigil, bathed in the dim glow of a golden light. She greeted and nodded towards the guard commander in a friendly manner as she followed her mother across the courtyard.
The two entered the base of the tower and walked up the stairs, spiraling up towards the top. At the top, they stopped at the door which was labeled, 'Royal Advisor to King Eldin III, Lady Mishel'. The older of the two women knocked on the door.
"Just a moment, please," the young woman's voice called from within. The sound of a chair scraping along the floor and a glass bottle toppling over could be heard before the door opened. Mishel's face lit up upon seeing her guests. "Your grace." she said wit a bow towards the older woman, then turned to the younger one. "Princess Zelda."
"Lady Mishel," they both said in unison.
"Please, come in," Mishel said, stepping aside so her guests could enter. As she closed the door behind them, she said, "How are you on this... less than stellar day?"
"I've lived another day, at least," the Queen said. "As has my husband, my daughter, and thankfully, my son."
"Fortune smiles upon us even in the darkest times," she replied. "Yet still, nature has a way of clouding over that fortune."
"Yes... I am all too familiar with that." the Queen nodded. "Are you ready for the daily meeting of the advisors, Lady Mishel?"
Mishel looked at the rumpled blanket on her bed and the empty potion vials on her desk. "I must tidy up a bit. It shouldn't take long."
"Ah. I see." the Queen replied. "On another note, have you seen my son in recent days?"
"I visited with him last night and performed the ritual that Bensi asked for. I am afraid that he is not doing well."
"How so? I understand that he is stricken with illness, but I am not a doctor. How bad is it?"
"I am not a doctor either, but..." she started, looking down. "It would be best to discuss this during the meeting of the advisors."
A stone cold gaze came across the Queen's face as she nodded without emotion.
Zelda stepped between her mother and Mishel. "How did you perform the ritual? Did you receive the blessing of the Goddesses?" she asked.
"No. I call on different powers, m'lady. Powers that have served me well in the past." she replied. "Powers that have saved lives."
Zelda glared at her with suspicion. "You must be careful, Lady Mishel! The Goddesses do not look lightly upon those who put them aside. Look at what has happened to the Gorons! If my brother--"
"Indoor voice, Zelda!" the Queen chastised. She walked over to the door, motioning for Zelda to follow her. "Come. We should prepare for the meeting."
"I will be with you shortly, mother," Zelda said. "I have a few questions for Mishel."
"Please be respectful, but most importantly, be quick. I imagine she has much to do before the meeting." the Queen said. She opened the door and left.
As the door closed, Mishel looked at Zelda inquisitively. "What is it that you wish to know?"
Zelda took a seat on the chair in front of Mishel's table, idly flipping through the pages of the book on it. "Where are you from, Mishel? I was never told." Zelda asked. "One day, you appeared, as if from thin air, but where from?"
"The Wildlands, my lady," Mishel replied. "From the village of Rekkyv."
"Rekkyv... Outside of Hyrule..."
"Your powers were not granted and blessed by the goddesses, I assume."
Mishel was silent for a brief moment as she studied Zelda in an attempt to decipher a deeper meaning behind the question. "No. I learned them under my own training, through my own study. Through years of trial, tribulation and many painful tests of my limits."
"Then you are a witch. Forgive me if I am uncomfortable with your presence in this sacred castle."
"I suppose some would call me a witch, those more devout to the goddesses than I am. But I have sworn an oath to the same goddesses that you have, when your father chose me as his next Court Magician. Surely you haven't forgotten that? You were present for the ceremony."
Zelda looked out the window. "I..." she stumbled.
"You don't have to apologize, m'lady. I understand both your concerns and your skepticism, but I assure you that it is misplaced. I was a traveller for nearly thirty years, drifting from village to village in the Wildlands with my father. I am used to it."
"It must have been rough."
Mishel approached Zelda, grabbing her hand and looking deep into her ocean blue eyes. "Zelda-- excuse me-- my lady. I have been nothing but generous and hospitable to not only you, but your entire family since I have been given this opportunity. It breaks my heart that you still have lingering trust issues."
"I'm... I'm sorry. I have been a rude hostess, haven't I?" she said, hanging her head dejectedly. "Even my mother has accepted you, despite the rumors..."
Mishel tilted her head to the side. "Yes, the rumors..." she said, gazing out the window to see the busy marketplace of the capital. "Disgusting rumors perpetuated by disgusting people."
Zelda stepped away from the window towards the door. "Forgive me. It will take some time, but I'll try to be a bit more friendly in the future."
"I would like that. Maybe we can call ourselves friends soon."
"Maybe," she replied. "I should get going, my mother is probably wondering why I'm taking so long."
"It was nice speaking with you. I'll see you at the meeting of the advisors." she said, returning to her messy desk. As Princess Zelda closed the door behind her, a smile widened across her face. "Finally."
Mishel sat down at her desk, returning to her studies. Before her was an ancient tome, the pages so dusty and aged that they were bound only by the magic contained within. The subject of the book was curses; how to craft them, how to study them and how to remove them. She immersed herself in the pages, trying to deepen her grasp of the nature of accursed magic, being startled by another knock at the door. "Coming!" she said as she slammed the book shut. Mishel opened the door to see an older man in his mid fifties, carrying an unsealed scroll in his left hand.
"Lady Mishel," he said with a courteous nod, tipping his pointed cap.
"Ah, Bensi. What can I do for you?" she asked. "Have you seen the Prince?"
"Yes. I'm afraid his condition has not improved overnight, like I had hoped..." he said, stepping into the room.
"Have you identified what's causing his illness yet?"
"I have not, unfortunately. Medicine has failed to treat him, and you've determined his illness is not magical in nature... I can't think of what it could be." he said, offering the scroll to her. "Please, deliver this to the King for me."
Mishel took the scroll. "Don't you... don't you usually deliver these to him?" she asked.
"I do, but I am genuinely fearful of his reaction. You, he trusts you. It will be easier for him to take the news if it comes from you."
"Good idea," she said.
"Now, I must return to the Prince. My wife is taking care of him in my absence, but she isn't qualified to do so." he said, leaving the room.
By herself again, Mishel closed the door and returned to her desk. She pushed aside the various papers, gems and books and unrolled the scroll to read it.
"My liege, I bring grim news. Perhaps the worst news you've received in all of your time as our King. Your son's illness grows worse by the day. As you are aware, he has lost consciousness a few days ago and has been in steady decline since then. My wife and I have worked to stabilize him, but I'm beginning to believe I've done all I can."
"I have run out of options, so I have consulted with Lady Mishel. Last night, she performed a ritual of salt and fire, of silence and study. With her knowledge of magic, she attempted to determine a potential magical cause for your son's illness, but was unable to do so."
"The disease that grips the Prince of Hyrule is a powerful one. All of my years of experience as a doctor and as a man of faith have done nothing to prepare me for treating an illness like this. I fear that without a divine intervention, your son may be lost to the sickness."
"I am sorry, my liege, but I must ask you to begin preparing for the worst. No efforts of mankind appear as if they will be able to save him. It's in the hands of the Goddesses now."
As she read from the scroll, the onyx pendant hanging from her neck on a golden chain pulsed with energy. "Now is the time..." a sinister voice whispered to her as a devious smile crept across her face. She stood up and closed her eyes, raising her right hand forward. She cupped her left hand beside her hips and a mysterious orb of ethereal energy began to form within it. Gaseous vapors emanated from the orb, wrapping around her body as they snaked towards her right hand.
Nearly half of the runes on the scroll began to lift in to the air, one by one. Any icy wind blew in from the open window, pushing the runes around the room in a swirling gust. The runes began to glow sky blue, shifting shape into different runes. One by one, they began to sink back onto the page, returning to their inky black texture, just as if they had been freshly written. After the wind had died down, She grabbed the scroll and a length of red ribbon from her desk. She rolled it up, tieing it closed with the ribbon. She looked in the mirror and did one final adjustment to her windswept hair, then headed for the door.
- - - - -
Five men and three women were seated at a round table, illuminated by the light that surged through the stained glass windows. At the head of the table was a lean man with a stubbly, brown beard, covering his lightly wrinkled and stressed-looking face. Atop his head was the most lavishly imaginable crown, forged from platinum and encrusted from tip to base in gemstones of all colors. To his right was the Queen, Calia II, seated patiently with her hands folded on the table. To his left was Lady Mishel, fiddling with her snowy white hair. Beside her mother sat Princess Zelda.
Around the rest the table were the rest of the advisors to the royal family; Advisor Anarien, the Keeper of Records; Advisor Hannelle, Keeper of the Coin; Advisor Grennen, the Grand General of the royal army; lastly, Advisor Blackmoore, Admiral of the Navy.
King Eldin opened the meeting with a prayer to the goddesses. "May the Goddesses look down on us and bless us, our people, and our lives. May they bless this meeting so that we may make progress towards a more prosperous and more peaceful Hyrule."
"Bless this day," the advisors replied.
"What is our first order of business today, General Grennen?" the King asked.
"We have new recruits for the city guard arriving. Not all of them are here in the city yet, but Kakariko's recruits have arrived, as have those from Genta Peak." Grennen said. We have some coming from the farmlands, the forests, hell, even as far away as the border with the Gerudo Wastelands."
"I see. How many recruits are we expecting?"
"Fifty-five in total, sir." he said, then paused. "Well... fifty-four, maybe."
"Which is it?"
"Well, one of the recruits is a young woman from Eldin Township, sir. She's not even a recruit, she's a volunteer! But, I had sent a message to--"
"Can she fight well?"
"It says here that, yes, she can. I've heard reports that she fought off a band of goblins single handedly!"
"If that report is true, I would be happy to allow her to fight in my army, then, especially if that is her desire. I will speak to you on this matter in more detail when she arrives." the King said.
"Very well, sir."
"Advisor Hanelle, please, set aside some money from the royal vault to make sure these recruits are well equipped. We will be providing whatever they lack." the King said.
Advisor Hanelle perked up and grabbed a quill that rested in a vial of ink. "Yes, your majesty." he said, writing some numbers down in a book in front of him.
"Admiral, anything to report?" the King asked.
"All quiet on the seas, sir," he replied. "Our cargo ships have not had any trouble with raiders."
"Ah, good. It's been awhile since we've had any trouble. I'm glad I put you in charge." he said. "Anything else to report on?"
The advisors were silent, having finished any important business they intended to speak about. Just as King Eldin was ready to dismiss them, Mishel grabbed the scroll that Bensi had given her, dropped it onto the table and slid it over to the King. "Bensi wanted me to give this to you. He came to me last night for assistance, as nothing he has been doing has had any luck curing your son of the disease that is ailing him. He felt that my knowledge in the magical arts might help him make a recovery, but... Well, I only found a cause."
King Eldin raised his glasses to his eyes and began to read the scroll. His expression changed from neutral to grim the further down he read.
"My liege, I bring grim news. Perhaps the worst news you've received in all of your time as our King. Your son's illness grows worse by the day. As you are aware, he has lost consciousness a few days ago and has been in steady decline since then. My wife and I have worked to stabilize him, but I'm beginning to believe I've done all I can."
"I have run out of options, so I have consulted with Lady Mishel. Last night, she performed a ritual of salt and fire, of silence and study. With her knowledge of magic, she has determined that he has been placed under a curse, one that only an experienced and wise master of magic could craft."
"The curse that grips the Prince of Hyrule is a powerful one. All of my years of experience as a doctor and as a man of faith have done nothing to prepare me for treating an illness like this one. I fear that without another master of magic, your son may be lost to the curse. That is why I have consulted with Lady Mishel."
"I urge you, my liege, to allow her the time and access she needs to research the exact nature of this curse and how to free him from it. I believe that she is the only one who may be able to save him."
As King Eldin dropped the crumpled scroll to the table, a chilled sense of dread overtook the silent room. Despite the silence, one thought was on the minds of many, a thought that seemed to echo on the drafts that flowed through the room; Who would curse the prince, and for what motive? Many suspects came to mind, and the advisors murmured to each other.
"Advisor Anarien, if I may..." Mishel started. "I was sent to the Goron Refuge when the Prince fell ill, so I am unaware of who was in the castle at the time. Did we have many visitors?"
Anarien adjusted himself, speaking up in an old and sagacious voice. "Of course. Dozens."
"Any known practitioners of magic?" she asked.
Anarien scratched his chin through his long and silky white beard. "I would have to consult the records from that time, but I do remember that Grand Master Tingle of Koholint was visiting."
King Eldin's eyes narrowed. "Yes! I remember that man... a man so old, so decrepit that I am surprised the grave hasn't taken him. What do we know of this man?"
"Grand Master Tingle is currently on the Court of Koholint, advisors to King Lochlan," Anarien said. "He has served as the Master of Magicka for nearly three generations, being appointed by King Lochlan's grandfather." He leaned forward, looking deep into King Eldin's eyes. "As far as I know, his knowledge of magic can only be matched by the Seven Sages themselves, my liege."
"Eight sages, Anarien," Mishel reminded him.
"Eight..." Anarien said, searching the depths of his mind. "A mind as old as mine is forgetful, sometimes."
"Darunia, of the Gorons," she said.
"Darunia is a false sage. The Gorons have fallen out of favor with the Goddesses with their twisted abuse of magic!" King Eldin snapped. "What is the point of this?! My son is what is important!"
"My point is that if not even our own Court Magician could decipher the exact nature of the curse, a woman with decades of experience starting from childhood, then it must have been placed on the Prince by someone even more experienced. Grand Master Tingle is the only man I know that fits that description."
King Eldin rested his elbows on the table, rubbing away at the stress that was permeating him. "We need to establish contact with Koholint. Advisor Grennen, have Lord Randall choose three of our best riders to depart for the Great Gate tomorrow and have them report directly to me." he said, turning to Mishel. "Do you have any idea how time sensitive my son's condition is?"
"It's hard to say. The best I can do at the moment is stabilize his spirit while I work on reversing the curse."
King Eldin removed his crown, placing it on the table beside him and resting his forehead in his palm. "All of you, get out... I need some time with my advisor in the magical arts, so that we may find a way to remove this damnable curse that has been placed on him. I will speak with any advisors relevant to this matter at a later time. Dismissed." he said.
One by one, the advisors to King Eldin stood up and left the room in silence. the only sound to be heard was the deafeningly loud creaking of the floor boards beneath them. Awkwardness and nervousness hung heavy in the air.
King Eldin looked at his wife and daughter. "You as well, my birds."
Calia looked at Mishel, then back at her husband. "But Eldin... he is my son too. I deserve to know--"
"I will speak to you about it later. I need Lady Mishel's undivided attention if we are to quickly figure out the source of this curse." he replied.
Calia looked down, clearly insulted by her husband's words, but she felt as if there was little she could do about it. To her, it was just another one of her aging husband's bad days in which he didn't want to see her. Silently, she stood up and approached the door to leave. Zelda followed her silently.
"Mishel..." King Eldin said. "You must do all you can to save my son."
"I will do my best, Eldin," she replied. "I can't make any promises, but I will try."
"I know you can not if our suspicions are correct. I am not a person of magic, but to unravel the work of a man like Grand Master Tingle, a man with over two century of experience... It... It... It sounds impossible!"
"I have a heavy burden on my shoulders, don't I?"
"Have you determined the exact nature of the curse yet?"
"My ritual yesterday did very little to tell me what is afflicting him. Every attempt I made at deciphering the curse was blocked by powerful magic."
King Eldin sighed, looking up at the ceiling.
Mishel looked down, tapping on the table with her long fingernails, trying to craft her words carefully. "What will happen from here? Our relations with the Republic of Koholint, I mean."
"I do not know... But if we can prove that Grand Master Tingle was responsible, he must pay the price and be held accountable." he said. He looked her deep in her icy grey eyes. "I will have your support through it all, right?"
Mishel nodded. The two leaned forward, locking lips in an impassioned and loving kiss. After, Mishel spoke up. "If I may get started on helping your son?"
"Yes. Do what you can."
"By the Goddesses," she said, pressing her right fist against her chest.
King Eldin did the same. "By the Goddesses."
Last edited by Eliza Prescott; 17th October 2014 at 03:42 AM.
17th October 2014, 03:43 AM
Re: The Legend of Zelda: Twin Kingdoms
Chapter 3: The Republic of Koholint
(Focus character: Lady Nika)
The sound of bells ringing throughout the sky could be heard from the farthest reaches of the bustling city. The ringing of the bells was coming from the central spire of Castle Koholint, the most majestic structure in all the republic. The bells of Koholint only rang for important news; the birth of a royal family member, a noble wedding, a raid on the city, but today they rung for the death of someone many in the republic held dear to them. Below in the graveyard, a funeral of grand proportions was in progress. The cemetery was packed with onlookers, rich and poor, nobles and commoners.
Candles and incenses burned around an elaborate coffin that was draped in the finest of luxurious silk. A man in shining, ring mail armor addressed the gathered crowd. "People of Koholint..." he started. "It is with sadness that I, Sir Richard of Kanalet, officially inform you that our Master of Magicka, Grand Master Tingle, has passed away. He has brought us many decades of joy to us through his personality, safety through his hard work and brought us closer to enlightenment towards our mastery of all things magic through his studies. He will be missed."
The crowd hung their heads in silence.
"King Lochlan, if you would continue with the ceremony," Richard said.
Behind him stood High King Lochlan, ruler and protector of Koholint. On his head sat the crown jewels of Koholint, an ornate silver crown topped with blue silk. His blue and gold cape fluttered in the wind as he approached the altar in front of the coffin. "It appears that I was the unlucky one after all... My grandfather always said to me that the king with the worst luck would be the one to bury Tingle. My father was sure it would be him... But no! I've bested you again, father!"
The crowd laughed.
His demeanor shifted to grim and serious. "Tingle was like a father to me... he was like a father to all of us. When my father found himself too busy managing the Republic, Tingle looked after me. I've learned a lot from him. His wisdom wasn't just in the magical arts. Having been alive twice as long as any of us will ever hope to be, he learned a lot about politics, a lot about history, a lot about our neighboring kingdoms. With his knowledge and hard work, he brought the Republic of Koholint to great prosperity and peace. We went from a lonely city-state to a nation that protects over a dozen towns. Our Republic is forever in his debt." As he thought of the next thing to say, a crying woman near the front of the crowd caught his attention. "Ah, Lady Nika... please, come up here."
The woman wiped the tears from her face, attempting to compose herself. She approached the altar, then stood next to High King Lochlan and kneeled before him.
"If you haven't met her, this is Lady Nika, everyone," he said. "I think she would know Tingle better than anyone, having served as his apprentice and assistant for nearly thirteen years." He turned to her and placed his hand on her shoulder, lifting the rim of her crooked wizard's cap with his other. He looked deep into her reddened eyes and said, "Nika, he has spent the better part of seventy five years searching for an apprentice that he valued. He finally found that in you. Please, say something on his behalf."
"Y-Yes," she stuttered, trying to hold back her tears. She turned to face the crowd, taking a deep breath. "Grand Master Tingle... He's the best thing that could have ever happened to me... The best thing that could have ever happened to the Republic. He was a wizard, a scholar, a father figure... a real source of hope and inspiration for everyone he met. Because of him, all of our lives were greatly improved." she said. She approached the coffin and rested her hand on it. "Good bye, Grand Master. We'll all miss you. Me most of all..."
High King Lochlan returned to the altar. "Thank you, Nika." he said, turning back towards the crowd. "He's left a giant hole in all of our lives, one that I'm afraid we'll be unable to fill for years to come." he said. "Is there anyone else who would like to say a word?"
"What more can be said?" asked a voice from the crowd. "The man will be missed by us all." There was a collective mumble from the crowd agreeing with the statement.
"Very well," King Lochlan said, walking over to the coffin. He placed his hand on it in a moment of silence, beating back the tear that formed in his eye. "Gonna miss you..." he whispered turning to his personal guards. "We will now proceed with the burial."
Without a word, his personal guards sprang to action, surrounding the coffin on all sides. They lifted in perfect synchronization, carrying it towards the crowd. The onlookers parted like an opening book, allowing them to pass through, then began to follow down the shady path towards Grand Master Tingle's final resting place.
King Lochlan returned to Lady Nika's side. "Lady Nika, you have my deepest sympathies. I can't even try to imagine what you're feeling."
"Thank you. That means a lot coming from my king." she replied.
"If there is anything I can do..."
"There's nothing you can do... Nothing anyone can do..." she said. "Life is like that, sometimes..."
"How was your night?"
"Rough. I was seated in my chambers... I was supposed to study lesser transmutation, but my mind was lost in thought. I was numb, without a guiding purpose, I lost my senses. I saw and felt the books in my hand, but they meant nothing to me. The silence was maddening. Then, my eyes caught glance of a portrait, hanging above my study... It was the Grand Master. I had never noticed how young and handsome he looked in that old portrait. Then, poof, it hit me; He's gone. I'll never see him again." she said, sighing. "I can't, please, forgive me."
"I am so sorry," he replied as they began to follow the crowd of onlookers. "Perhaps now is not the best time, but... Do you happen to know what Grand Master Tingle was studying in his final hours?"
She took a moment to gather her wits. "I don't, unfortunately," she replied. "He said that it was related to the whereabouts of a sacred artifact rumored to be kept somewhere in Hyrule, but didn't tell me what it may have been. He said that it would be too much for me to understand at this time."
"Ah, yes, Hyrule..."
"He just returned from Hyrule last week... I wonder if he was close to finding it."
King Lochlan recalled why Grand Master Tingle visited Hyrule. "He went to visit the royal family of Hyrule to discuss things with them. Specifically, the High Priestess of the Hylian Cathedral, Princess Zelda."
"Did he tell you what he learned from them?" she asked.
"No. But I do remember that before he left, he referred to the princess as a woman of untapped wisdom. What that means, I don't know. Anyone who worships three golden statues as if they were goddesses is of questionable wisdom, if you ask me."
"You don't... you don't think they were responsible in some way, do you?" she asked.
"I have my doubts. I have known King Eldin since before both of us came to our thrones. He is an honorable and trustworthy man, and I would put my life in his hands if given the choice. He keeps an ever vigilant eye and an even tighter grip on both his family and his advisors."
"Though... there are liars and cheaters all around in Hyrule. Perhaps someone is responsible, but until I know the truth, I will condemn no one."
The funeral procession stopped as the guards reached Grand Master Tingle's final resting place. A priest in a stylish and ornate robe approached the hole to speak one last time on the Grand Master's behalf.
"Friends and countrymen... We gather here today to remember a dear friend. A man who, through his knowledge and generosity, saved this republic from certain downfall numerous times. Let us not forget how his magic ended the famine that struck our kingdom eighty three years ago. Or the time he exposed the plot to assassinate King Sommerled. His assistance in battling and defeating the great Alpine Dragon must not be forgotten, either. These are but a few of his countless achievements, and certainly the most memorable." He turned around and doused the coffin with sacred water. "We thank you for your service for the republic, Grand Master, but now your duty is done. Rest in peace."
The bells in the central tower of Castle Koholint rang again.
"By the grace of the Wind Fish, we lay this man to rest. May he be welcomed into the dreams of paradise for all eternity."
With the speech concluded, the royal guards began lowering the coffin into the ground. The Ballad of the Wind Fish, the national song of Koholint, began to quietly play in the background as everyone lowered their heads in silence and reflection. As the guards began to cover the coffin with dirt, the crowd of onlookers began to disperse. A sense of melancholy hung high in the air, choking the usually reflective and jubilant nature of funerals in Koholint. Instead, the people walked away in relative silence. They had not just lost a public figure, but a friend as well.
King Lochlan patted Lady Nika on the back. "Take your time to grieve, m'lady. However, I would like to see you sometime before tomorrow, we have much to discuss and much to do."
"Yes, my king," she responded. "I will take this time to find out what he may have been researching. Grieving can wait."
The two parted ways, with King Lochlan returning towards the castle. Lady Nika lagged behind for a moment, offering her final respects, before deciding how to best tackle understanding what her mentor was studying in his final days. She reasoned that going through his personal belongings would yield the most results, and set off for the majestic tower that overlooked the harbor.
- - - - -
Lady Nika was in her quarters, seated at her desk. Various books were scattered across the table beside her, most of them about the metallurgical properties of iron, the process by which it is refined, and information about the art of transmutation. Beside the stack of books was a single ingot of iron, though part of it had been transformed into copper. She had been studying transmutation for the past few days, and she was making progress. However, that progress was meaningless to her right now; all that mattered was learning what her former teacher was studying in his final days.
The first step she took was to read through his journal. She grabbed a large, black, leather bound book from a box of Grand Master Tingle's possessions and placed it on her desk. Her attempts to open it were fruitless. While she easily bypassed the physical lock that bound it shut, there were magical wards protecting the contents within from prying eyes. "Figures..." she said as she tried to wedge her fingers in between the pages. "If the Grand Master locked it, I may never get into it..."
She rustled through more of the Grand Master's belongings. A collection of scrolls caught her attention next. She unrolled one and began to read it, discovering that it was an incantation for creating water from thin air. Another scroll detailed how to create a wand capable of altering the weather in a small area. Further scrolls were also about various spells that Grand Master Tingle had studied and perfected over his long life.
However, another scroll was perhaps the first clue to her investigation; a map of Hyrule and the surrounding area. The map was crudely drawn, but matched what little she knew about the kingdom. Hyrule City was placed directly north of Lake Hylia, while Death Mountain loomed over the western area. There were several points of interested marked in Tingle's handwriting. Perhaps these were locations of priceless artifacts relevant to his studies?
One point of interest was marked at Hyrule City itself, next to a building labeled as the Hylian Cathedral. Scrawled above it in barely legible writing was, "That as the Princess has told me; A test of bravery and wits awaits anyone who seeks the Great Sigil of Courage, entrusted by Sacred Blood for the protection of the World'.
Another point of interest was Mount Gora, a small peak located near Death Mountain. A small creature's head was drawn next to the mountain, a creature she didn't recognize. Written next to it were the words, "Home to the Great Sigil of Power, entrusted by Sacred Blood for the protection of the World'.
The next point of interest was not inside the Kingdom of Hyrule, but on the edge of the map, in the northern Wildlands. She instantly recognized the area as the Sacred Grove, which she lived in as a child. Home to the forest spirits known as the Kokiri, the area was also where the Great Deku Tree resides, a powerful demi-god who oversees both the forest it lives in as well as nature across the world. Marked alongside it were the words, 'Home to the Great Sigil of Wisdom, entrusted by Sacred Blood for the protection of the World'.
Hylia's Great Gate, the dividing line between the kingdoms of Koholint and Hyrule was also marked on the map, but its significance was puzzling at best. The meaning of these areas perplexed her. What was the 'sacred blood' that Tingle spoke of? What were the 'great sigils'? Did he stumble on mere religious artifacts, or was there some deeper meaning, some tangible source of power he was after? She cursed her lack of knowledge about Hylian faith, for surely that was holding her back in understanding what her former mentor was after.
She picked up one final scroll, which was a map of Koholint, this one much more detailed than the map of Hyrule. Like the previous map, this one had landmarks as well. One was the Shrine of the Dreamer, located on an island off the southern coast. Another was Gnarlroot, a town set in a deep, dark forest. One final point was marked, pointing to Witchhaven, home to the mischievous witch known as Syrup and her apprentice grand daughter, Maple.
The rest of the belongings that she hastily grabbed from Grand Master Tingle's quarters appeared to have little to do with whatever he was studying in his final days, and even more importantly, the two maps that she discovered. "This is going to be more difficult than I thought, I bet..." she mumbled to herself.
There was a knock at the door. She began placing the items back into the box, but left the maps on the table, intending to study them further after he guest was gone. She walked over to the door and opened it. King Lochlan was standing there, dressed in a much less formal manner than she had ever seen him. Without a word, he invited himself in and looked around.
"Hard at work already, I see?" he asked.
"I was just going through a few of his things to see if any clues might be among them, my king. I may have something, but I need to study it further before I make any conclusions." she said. "I didn't forget, I was going to visit you after I was finished here."
"Do not worry. I appreciate your work ethic, even in these trying times. You will be a valuable asset to the republic." he said. "Anyways, I have news you may be interested in. I have decided to send Lord Ralis to Hyrule to investigate Grand Master Tingle's death. He will do a fine job of finding and questioning those that the Grand Master spoke to during his time in Hyrule."
"My king, no!" she objected. "If Hyrule plots against the council, would it really be wise to send another member directly to them?"
"Lord Ralis is completely capable of handling himself, and I trust no one more than him," he responded. "I had thought about sending others, but I need someone I can trust."
"Then send me," she demanded. "This is personal for me, and I will understand what he was studying more than Lord Ralis."
"I can't send you. You were the Grand Master's apprentice, and you are the most skilled and knowledgeable master of the arcane that the republic has now."
"I will acc... Wait, I was his apprentice? Am I no longer?"
"No, m'lady," he said, drawing his sword. He balanced the point to the ground and continued, "Lady Nika, on this day, I am naming you as the republic's Grand Master of Magicka. You will serve in your former master's place in the Court of Koholint from this day forward, until death takes you."
She was flabbergasted by her king's words dropping to her knees and lowering her head. "My king, I am not worthy of such an honor."
"On your feet, Grand Master. You, above all others, are worthy of this title. You will serve as my advisor in all manners magical, which is why I can not send you to Hyrule."
"But, what about Lord Ralis? He is also one of your advisors!"
"We live in times of peace, his advice has not been needed for years," he said. "Besides, he is... considerably more expendable than you are. Military advisors come and go, but masters of magic such as yourself are... rare as hen's teeth."
"I will... try to live up to the standards that my mentor left behind."
"You will not try, you will do, that is something I am sure of. I have watched you grow in knowledge since you arrived in the city twenty years ago. Seven years later, you were chosen as his apprentice, a decision he did not make lightly. While I did not get to see Tingle grow up, I have a feeling both of you had similar experiences with your knowledge. You will make me proud to have you as my Court Magician, I know it."
"I admire your confidence in me."
"We will go through the formalities within the next few days, where you will officially be sworn in to your new position. But until then, you are free to use whatever resources are available to your new office." he said. "Now, your first task as my Court Magician... find out what Tingle was studying. I have a feeling it might be the key towards this nation's future."
"Yes, my king," she said.
The two bid farewell to each other for the night. As King Lochlan left her room, she returned to her investigation, but it wasn't long before she pushed the books, scrolls and maps aside to take the situation in. For her mentor and father-figure to be gone, having his responsibilities pushed onto her so quickly and so unexpectedly was almost crushing. She appreciated her king's praise of her, but was concerned that it was misplaced. She had a lot of weight on her shoulders, and knew that the days, weeks and possibly months ahead would be the most difficult she faced.