“You!” cried the princess, flabbergasted.
The crouched down figure, lowered her head in defeat then raised it to stare painfully and regretfully at the princess:
“My lady… I know that you told me to go to my room…But I couldn’t leave you alone… I didn’t have it in my heart to leave you with the demon king!”
The hard expression on Zelda’s face softened, she exhaled half amused and half irritated.
“Demelza” She murmured.
“Congratulations for your engagement” the servant finally said apologetically, after a long pause.
The princess smiled, bid goodnight to her lady-in-waiting and went to sleep.
The next day, at noon, Zelda arrived in front of the great door located in the highest tower of the castle, this was the room where the council will be held, and where Shadrian usually worked. She was nervous, she felt her throat dry and she was fidgeting with her hands. This was the first council meeting she would have in her life.
Due to his health, the king won’t assist, so Zelda was sent at his place and on top of that it would give her an idea how the future meetings would go once she became queen.
The soon-to-be queen deeply inhaled, passed a hand through her dark brown hair, and straightened herself; she wasn’t going to let fear get the best of her. She pushed the huge door open and entered. The room was dark, it was lightened by several candles on the walls of stone, yet it was still dark and cold, the royal lady could feel a chill running through her whole body. A big round table was disposed in the middle of the room circled by many chairs all had the same size, except one, it was much bigger than the others…The king’s chair. The princess advanced toward the sit and climbed on top of it.
“I see that you are already there, that is good; punctuality is the mother of all virtues” said a voice behind her.
She turned to see her faithful advisor; Shadrian. She smiled: “I wanted to give a good impression”
“You did, my dear, that you did…” the scholar trailed off, as he noticed the distraught air of his student.
“No need to be worried, I am sure you will do fine” he reassured her “We still have time, my little Zelda, I will tell you everything about the council and each one of the advisors, you won’t be destabilized” the tutor winked.
“Please, do” the princess smiled.
“Alright, as you can see, there are nine places around this table for each of the councilmen Geoffrey of Mornmouth, Elrick D’arcil, Janne of Caerleon, Shawn Stark, Tyrelius of Countbury, Rajah Stone, Rene Stern, and me.” Replied the old scholar. “During the council, we will discuss about the politic Hyrule is going to follow, the economic state of Hyrule as well as the problem in the exchanges with the other countries.”
Zelda was absorbing all the tutor information with a big interest.
“However, some of the counsellors, are not convinced of your wisdom and knowledge, as I know their nature, they will try to do anything to lead the meeting, and do as they please, do not give them the occasion to do that.” He paused and then added “You know everything you have to know in order to conduct this meeting, princess, you will do great”.
The soon-to-be queen noticed the sincerity in her tutor’s voice, and trusted him.
‘I can do it!’ thought the princess encouraging herself.
There was suddenly a loud knock at the door, cutting off the cold silence and settling an uncomfortable atmosphere.
“Ah, looks like the other advisors came, are you ready my queen?” said the tutor gently.
Zelda nodded, her crystalline blue eyes full of determination and resolution. At that moment, the soon-to-be queen felt that she could hold all the weight of the world on her shoulders.
As the door opened, all the advisors entered in a religious silence, they all sat at their respective places. Some of them eyed the princess with a slight interest, while the others were looking at her with disdain.
‘They must think that I am just a silly child’ thought bitterly the princess ‘well, it’s time to prove them wrong’.
“Well” said one of the councilman a warm smile on his face, “It’s an honour to meet you here, your highness, my name is Rajah Stone, at my left is sir Tyrelius of Countbury, at my right is Rene Stern…” Rene Stern was a little old man with blue piercing gaze and Tyrelius was middle-aged man with grey eyes almost black.
“It alright Rajah we can continue presenting ourselves” A blond man with green eyes, sited next to Rene, said in a cold tone “After all, we are all adults here…” he trailed off, looking scornfully at the princess. Then he continued “I am lord Geoffrey of Mornmouth, I don’t doubt your ability or your competency princess. However, I think you are too young to conduct such a meeting. This is why I shall…”
“No one cares about what you think lord Mornmouth!” Shadrian cut him off dryly.
Zelda felt her blood boil, and her head dizzy under the anger caused by that man; the meeting didn’t even began, yet she found herself being openly and explicitly treated of a child and being incapable of conducting the council. She breathed, calmed herself down and promised herself that she was going to make Geoffrey Mornmouth swallow his own words! The young lord glared at the princess’ tutor, but nonetheless stayed silent.
There was a long and awkward silence. “Henry of Caerleon, it’s an honour to meet you your highness.” A middle aged black haired man said, visibly relieved of cutting the almost unbearable quietness. The princess nodded and tuned to the two last councilmen.
“I am Lord Elrick, my lady” said a black haired dwarf.
“Shawn Stark” said a red haired middle aged man.
The princess nodded, acknowledging the advisors and waited.
“My lady” Began one of the advisors “We heard words from our dignitaries in Gerudo valley, they have begged to broach the subject about the Gerudo Nation…”
“Oh my god you are such a whiner, all Gerudo people are girls! I’ll be happy to hunt them and kill them for you, now next problem, the horses in the stables are…” boomed one of the councilmen.
“Are you out of your mind?” yelled Zelda cutting him off “I might be a child, but unlike you, sir, I am wise and I don’t blabber nonsense, you are basically putting aside the problem about a whole nation to talk about the stable horses?” then she turned to the first nobleman who spoke and ignoring the second one and added “Please milord, continue.”
“Alright” he replied as he glared at the advisor who cut him off “As I was saying, the Gerudos became a very big threat and no, lord Geoffrey, they are not only women, they have a very strong leader, he’s known to be the king of evil, he is spoken of in all the legends within Hyrule.” Then he made a dramatic pause and added “I am speaking of Ganondorf, himself”
Everyone stared at the counsellor who just spoke with shock, the name he just pronounced conjures everything but sly about human being or rather Gerudo. Then he pursued talking “These people are growing strong, stronger than we care to contemplate. They have escalated in power and wealth. Their army numbers five thousands strong! Their army being composed of bublins, darknuts, other types of monsters and Gerudos!”
Another councilman added “Lots of the caravans go through the desert towards the other countries and get stolen…”
Lord Geoffrey who was silent and swallowing his rage, finally exploded: “I guess you have a solution to all of this your highness!” his voice was loaded with sarcasm.
“I have thought about this matter” Began the princess “How to win a man who men say cannot be won? Why not secure an alliance with the Gerudo, I think of something biding and definitive, such as a betrothal between the Gerudo Lord and me, this will give us the ultimate control over the Desert and trade routes, and he won’t risk to attack what belongs to him, namely, Hyrule itself.”
All of the council stared at the royal lady, befuddlement apparent on their faces, after a while it eventually disappeared, they pondered the idea and a lot of murmurs of approval were fusing around the room and they all accepted the idea, some of the noblemen there even complimented her for her wisdom, the soon-to-be queen couldn’t believe it, she got the luck of the century proposed the engagement between her Gerudo lover and her and the council accepted it.
Zelda listened to all the other advisors about the other matters concerning the kingdom, thanks to her knowledge, they defined Hyrule’s policy, the policy it would follow when dealing with the other countries as well as politics.
She truly shone, even lord of Mornmouth was fuming by himself, she humiliated him and he was angry for that, he was played and manipulated by a child!
Hours became days, days became weeks and passed quickly, since time waited for no one to fly.
Zelda was sitting on a stone bench in the castle’s vast rose garden, late in the afternoon, the sun was setting, reflecting the most beautiful shades of red, gold and green on the celestial sphere.
Impa was sitting next to her, putting on a nearby low table a ceramic teapot and two little cups from the tray she brought with her.
“How I wish I was a princess from the fairy tails, I envy them so much for their life of leisure, but I have something they don’t have…” The princess smiled.
“What is it?” The domestic asked.
“A fiancé as strong and wise as mine”
The lady-in-waiting exhaled irritably, and poured some tea for her and the royal lady.
“I told you I was going to find a solution, didn’t I?” this latter added with a smug smirk wide on her face taking the cup of tea from the servant’s hand.
“Did you finish writing the speech for tomorrow?” Impa asked to change the subject, however her voice was slightly filled with worries.
“Of course I did.” She replied “I even showed it to Shad, he was really pleased with it.”
“It doesn’t surprise at all” The old lady said with a large grin on her face, her voice filled with pride and tenderness.
Meanwhile, Edwin was sitting on his puff chair inside of his room, staring intensely at the vial full of dark liquid he was holding in his hand, deeply in thought, lightly playing with it and passing it through his fingers.
This was what he needed all along, this was what he wished for, he was finally going to accomplish his designed plan and help fate to get a normal turn and things would go smoothly for him and all Hyrule. ‘Hyrule doesn’t need a weak leader as my sister’ he mused.
He arose from the chair and headed towards the door, he gave a final look to the room.
This was his last time in this room as a prince, he was going to be crowned king soon and rule over this kingdom. ‘Time to put my plan in execution, tomorrow, there is going to be a speech, alright…But it’s not going to be my sister’s’ he thought darkly and laughed internally, getting out of his chamber and closing the door behind him.