Fan Fiction

The Legend Of Zelda: Blood Of The Holders

By coasty30
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Chapter 35: Chapter 34 A Fishing Village Welcome

A Fishing Village Welcome

The journey from Nautalin was far more pleasant than the one that took them to the port city where the Council of Lords resided. Bright sunshine as well as the warm summer air and light breeze that would carry the sea spray to the road lightened the moods of the travelers who were looking forward to the celebration of Summer Solstice.

The escorts that had arrived from the city that morning rode ahead of the Princess while Link on Epona rode next to her. Paldnor rode with the escorts who at the moment seemed to be listening to one of his endless tales.

Outside of the city, they had passed many orchards and vineyards and Aera took the opportunity to feast on the grapevines. Zelda savored the moments of peace with the absence of the chatty fairy.

Their progress had been very good since they had passed the remnant of the Nautalin battlements. Zelda had been very surprised at how relaxing the sight of the crumbling walls had been earlier that morning especially as they had passed by and then disappeared behind them as they progressed down the road. Were it not for the anticipation that she felt for the upcoming solstice festival, Zelda would have been overcome by the deep fatigue that her short time with the council had brought on from days of long and often quite pointless debate. The arguments would usually be over small and often trivial matters that the Lady Princess was certain held no relevance to the issue. She secretly longed for her return to council after the celebrations when she would no longer remain quiet about many things.

Though it had happened some time ago, the words of Lord Dodus still loomed in the Lady Princess’s memory.
“The House of Red Lions will lead us to ruin.” The Lord of the Guild of Shipwrights called throughout the council hall. What troubled her most of all was the truth in his statement, she was a blood relative of the House of Red Lions. The noble family had a reputation for being both ambitious and traitorous, but also having tremendous wealth. Her grandfather, the Earl of the House of Red Lions, had ambitions of becoming king, and with the full blessing of her great grandfather who was king at the time, he would have been betrothed to her grandmother, Princess Zelda XXXVI. In what many say was an act of protest from the Goddesses themselves, the king fell ill and died before any promises were made. In the confusion, the young Princess used her wits and ascended the throne becoming Queen Zelda I. After it had been done, the new Queen agreed to honor her father’s arrangement with the Earl of the House of Red Lions to avoid an armed rebellion. There was only one condition. She would marry the Earl, but he would not be king. That one act had crippled the Earl; any act that would legitimately give him power had been taken away. If he seized power, the House of Red Lions would forever be known as usurpers, and any house with stronger claims would have a right to take up arms against them. Whether or not the Earl was working against his wife and Queen was never known; he himself died some months before the birth of their child, who would become King Davos, Zelda’s father.

Zelda sighed; her grandmother was a smart woman indeed. She had avoided tyrannical rule as well as bloody rebellion, but she paid a price. Like many of royal birth, she had married for politics and not for love. Though the King and Queen Rimeena shared a special bond in Zelda, the two were not in love.

“A burden of royalty it is.” Zelda though looking out at the fields of grapevines her mind full of the events before her birth. Suddenly her mind went forward to what would be in the future. The king would name her successor to the throne, though it had not happened yet Zelda knew it would. So did her mother, much to her dismay. Like her ancestors, she too would be expected to take a husband and keep the bloodline going, but like the same ancestors, her marriage would be arranged. Royals lived lives of luxury and women typically lived without worry, but the sacrifice was never being in the arms of a true love. At that moment, the thought of Malon with a courtship braid over her left shoulder, and of Renell’s lifelong infatuation with her did not give the Princess any happiness.

“You seem distracted.” She heard Link call from behind her. He was right, so distracted in fact that she did not hear him leave her side for whatever reason he did. “What troubles you?” Link asked reigning Epona as he returned to her side. Zelda sighed deeply, his question was simple enough but the answer was far more complicated.

“I desire a respite. Nothing more.” She answered; it was not a total lie. “The council has...” She added signing loudly. “…drained me.” Link cast a sidelong glance before speaking.

“You sit on the council.” He said as though that would explain the whole situation.

“Link my troubles…They are not that simple.” She said looking down at her horse’s saddle.

“If I remember right, there was a time when you took care of yourself rather well and did great things.” Link added deliberately keeping his voice low as not to gain the attention of Paldnor or the escorts; despite the low tone, there was an edge to his voice.

“It was a different time then, Link. If people did not work together, then they suffered together.” She then looked up to him her eyes hardened. “I am not wanted there.” She uttered shaking her head.

“That should matter?” He asked looking to her. Zelda kept her eyes low and looked at her saddle.

“What must I do?” Zelda asked her fatigue gave up the desperation that she felt deep in her soul.

“What is that, Zelda?” Link asked not noticing the voices that could be heard from in front of them.

“I said, what must I do?” She repeated in a louder tone looking up from the saddle. Ahead of them on both sides of the road people had gathered and their cheers were now starting to grow loud and all around small children could be seen running around and jumping in the air in excitement. Some of the children appeared to be chasing a small fluttery light.

“I believe that you need to smile, Zelda.” He answered pointing at the crowd. “Those people wish to see the face of their radiant Princess.” Zelda nodded in agreement and against her mood, she managed a bright smile and many warm greetings as they approached the people.

“Make way for the Princess!” The lead Constable called in a booming voice. It really wasn’t necessary, the crowd had lined the road and not blocked it, but the people seemed not to mind and the road strewn with dirt and rocks was suddenly covered with colorful fragrant flower petals. The greeting throngs started nearly a mile outside of the town’s gates and by now Aera had returned and was sitting on Zelda’s shoulder.

“I thought that you would remain out of sight?” Zelda muttered through her smile.

“Aren’t I not good luck?” She answered as she waved her tiny hands at the gathered people. What annoyed Zelda the most was not the fairy’s blatant flamboyance, but the fact that she was right. A fishing village like Porsail was filled with sailors, the sort that would cast a rupee into the sea to appease a spirit or not cut their hair or nails until they returned home from sea. Farmers as well as sailors saw fairies as harbingers of luck and good fortune, and if one flew on board your ship, you were sure to return with all hands and full nets. For the villagers, seeing the Princess riding into the square with a fairy sitting on her shoulder would undoubtedly be seeing as a promise of good fortune from the Goddesses for years to come.

The crowd lining the road did slow Zelda’s progress making the last mile of her journey the longest. As Link had suggested, Zelda held a smile on her face and as she hoped the people seemed to draw strength and happiness from the simple act.

Zelda had wondered just what sort of village that it was. Hyrule City was the jewel of the realm, but like any city there were troubles and even though the Kingdom was experiencing a time of great prosperity, there were still poor and impoverished towns and villages. Rutone was not one of these. A fishing village that was nestled between the seashore and a rocky hillside the buildings looked as though they had been painstakingly carved from the hillside and polished to a fine white that gleamed in the sun. The sight filled Zelda and her companions with awe, enough that the smile left her face faded only for a moment.
“Magnificent!” Paldnor declared shielding his eyes from the sun as he gazed at the fishing village.

“Very.” She said agreeing with her scribe.

The constables continued to lead the way to lead the way with Zelda and Paldnor following and Link bringing up the rear. People crowd cheered and called out to the Princess. Some were even singing and offering prayers as she passed. Smooth cobblestones replaced the dirty roads and Zelda looked up as they passed under an enormous archway made of pure white coral and carved with vestiges of the Goddesses, as well as fish, dolphins, and what looked like Zoras. Every home that they passed seemed to be made of the same white coral that the entrance arch was made, and every building was strewn with flowers that filled the air with a sweet fragrance.

“There are so many flowers.” Aera called out from Zelda’s shoulder.
“Of course little one, this is a fishing village after all.” Paldnor said to her causing a look of total confusion to come across her tiny face.

“In my youth I considered being a fisherman for a short time, and I do mean a very short time.” He explained with a laugh. “I prefer the smell of fish roasting rather than rotting.” The old man finished.
“I prefer neither.” Link called from behind.

“So the flowers.” Aera started.

“Mask the horrid stench of fish that is a fishing village’s constant companion.” Paldnor’s glee was contagious and Zelda found her smiles were now quite genuine rather than just pasted on her fatigued face.

The group followed the constables through the village streets and into the square where a fountain stood in front of the largest building in the village, the Governor’s Mansion. The fountain was the very same white coral that everything in Rutone seemed to be made of and featured statues of the Goddesses Nayru, Farore, and Din. It showed a scene from the histories when the Goddesses were caring for the infant Matrona, who would become the first mother of all Hylians. Nayru cradled the baby while Farore played her harp and Din danced, and although they were stone, there was a life-like vibrancy to them especially when the sun glistened off their stone faces.

“So beautiful.” Zelda uttered while passing the fountain. She was surprised that word of this marvel had not passed beyond the rock shores of the village. The craftsmanship rivaled the royal artisans and the clerics would without a doubt declare it a holy site.

Standing on the steps of the governor’s mansions stood the man who invited the Zelda and her friends to his marvelous village, the Honored Knight, Sir Baradon Dalenon. Zelda caught site of the old man who had looked so sickly and frail all those weeks ago. He still seemed slightly bent and had a long gray beard, but there did seem to be more color to his face as well as a wide welcoming smile.

“Welcome, my Princess.” He called in a voice stronger than their last meeting. Zelda rode her mare up to the foot of the stares and two stewards helped her from the saddle. “You honor us with your arrival.” He said taking Zelda’s hands as she came forward.

“You honor me with such a grand welcome.” She answered kissing the Honored Knight on his cheek. “The citizens have been most gracious.” Aera then flew off of Zelda’s shoulder and hovered in front of the Honored Knight’s face.

“By the Goddesses!” Sir Dalenon said surprised.
“Aera, please.” Zelda called. “You of course know my scribe.” Zelda introduced Paldnor as he dismounted. “Master Paldnor Gurley.”

“Once again I am honored, Sir.” Paldnor said with a bow, as Link rode up on Epona.

“This is my Guardian, Sir Link of the Lost Wood.” Zelda had to try hard not to laugh because she knew just how much Link hated the title that he’d been given.

“Honored Knight.” Link said and after dismounting he dropped into a low bow, lower than Zelda had ever seen him do. Seconds passed before anyone spoke and only the distant cheers from the crowd behind him or her could be heard. Sir Dalenon looked down at Link for several seconds.

“Up lad, I’m not the king.” He said and offered Link a hand up which he accepted. The Honored Knight was showing strength that Zelda had not thought possible of him when she had first met him back at her ceremony in the spring.

The three of them Zelda, Link and Paldnor stood before the Honored Knight as Aera hovered above.

“Solstice is a gift from the Goddesses.” He called out and the crowd immediately quieted down. “A celebration of renewal, and on this year’s celebration, we are privileged to have Lady Princess Zelda, daughter of the King, High Councilor of the North here with us.” Cheers came from crowd, but Sir Dalenon raised his hands signaling that he was not yet finished. “My friends.” He called out and tone of his voice told Zelda that these were not just idle words, that he truly did count the entire village as his friends. “We are truly blessed.” Now cheers and deafening applause filled the crowded town square in front of the Governor’s Mansion.

They stood outside in the square for several more minutes before entering the Governor’s residence.

“Come in please.” The Honored Knight said guiding them through the doorway into the mansion.

“Quite magnificent.” Paldnor uttered looking around the entrance foyer. “Old kingdom?” He asked and Sir Dalenon nodded.

“Yes, restoring it was a bit of an obsession when I first came here near eighteen years ago.” He explained, and Zelda quietly agreed with Paldnor. The room was different then what she was used to. Hylian palaces used polished marble and other stones as well semi precious stones. The governor’s mansion had walls that had been white washed and painted with beautiful frescos in watercolors on the smooth white surfaces. As with the fountain out in the square, the paintings on the walls were of the Goddesses and story of Matrona the first mother. Allow me to show you to your room, my Princess.” Zelda nodded.

“Of course lead the way, Honored Knight.” She answered and both Link and Paldnor followed with Aera inspecting every curiosity she could find while barely keeping up.

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