Zelda Dungeon Marathon 2018:

Hello everyone! After a several-month hiatus, we’re pleased to be back with Fan Fiction Fridays! This story takes place primarily in the world of Breath of the Wild, meaning that almost every location mentioned in the story has an actual location in that game!

Now, with that said, we’re proud to present to you our new story: Beyond the Horizon.

Chapter One:
The Future Knight from Ordon

“How much longer?”

The carriage bounced along the rocky road, jerking its three passengers uncomfortably in their seats.

“I would like to remind you that this journey was upon your request, and quite a burden for the people of Ordon to make such last-minute changes.  The ceremony is meant to take place at the castle.”

“Yes, I am aware.  How much longer?”

“Princess, for the sake of your people, and for the sake of my sanity, please try to calm your anger a little.”

“Fine.  But how much longer, Impa?”

The old warrior sighed, thumbing the blade at her hip.  A small blade, to be sure, yet honed to perfection and able to slip through the finest parchment or the toughest skin.  It was a tick, annoyed and impatient, and Zelda could read the unspoken words behind the insignificant movements. Impa, too, hated confined travel, used to crossing grounds on her own two feet.

Yet as her advisor, a certain duty needed filled.  A princess wanted an escort. Needed an escort, because “what a princess wants is what she needs,” she had been told by servants through the years.  Whatever. Truth told, neither of them were at home in their appointed positions, though both had been granted on history and blood.  Impa longed for fire and steel, and Zelda for wings to fly far away. One to keep the other grounded, and one to set the other free. They worked together in tandem, often to the frustration of the King, her father.

“Only barely less time than the last time you asked,” Impa growled.

Zelda shifted, tapping at the binds of her corset.  It forced her to sit straight, when all she wanted to do in this blasted carriage was lean back and breathe.  Her normal clothing allowed for movement; royal garb kept her stiff and complacent to the crown. How very fitting.  At least she could wear her boots under the dress – it was long enough.  No one would see their worn brown leather. She wiggled her toes.

Impa caught on.  “What has you so impatient, Little Princess?”

“Nothing,” she lied, leaning as best she could against the carriage window.  Her handmaiden next to her nervously straightened her dress across the seat, sitting back against the carriage door to her own detriment.  Zelda wished she would just relax. Who cared if the dress creased? “I just want to get this over with.”

“Nothing wrong at all?”

“No.”

They stared at each other, and Zelda refused to blink first.

Of course, she did, because no one took on a Sheikah in a contest and won.  But the will remained. Impa did not need to know many things, no matter how close they were.  Dreams, irrational thoughts and worries, those were hers, and hers alone. She could deal with them.  She needed no one.

“Where am I staying?” she asked to change the subject as she stared out the window.

Impa snorted.  Well, that wasn’t good.  “You won’t like it.”

“I am sure it’s fine.”

“It’s the mayor’s house.  He has cleared out for you.”

“Why would he…?” Zelda sighed, resisting the impulse to sink into her seat.  She tapped once more on the bindings of her corset. “He did not need to leave his own home.”

Impa rolled her eyes.  “That is not the way things work when royalty comes to town, and you know it.”

Royalty.  Her defining word.  Princess.  Blood of the Goddess.  Child of Destiny. Royalty.

No, this trip could not end soon enough.

 

“You know, I think I speak for many people here when I say that we’ll miss you if you win, Link.”

The guard turned his head and looked out down the rough dirt path that led away from the town. The bright colors of wildflowers sprang up in patches among the course grass that grew along the side of the road and spread deep into the forest. A squirrel peeked its head above the top of the grass for a moment before turning and darting up a nearby oak tree that had stood watch over the town ever since it was founded. The fading golden light of the setting summer sun shone through the branches of the trees, catching specks of pollen and dust in its beams.

The guard turned to the young swordsman who stood across from him, leaning against the opposite stone wall that served to protect Ordon Village. The youth, who was clearly in his late teen years, was clothed in a traditional tunic of red and green that was common apparel for travelers in Hyrule, and a pair of sturdy trousers. His messy golden hair ran down his head and formed sideburns over his pointed ears, and his blue eyes shimmered with strength that was uncommon for someone of his age. He was just slightly taller than average, and he was in especially good shape thanks to much vigorous training, primarily with the sword that now rested in a scabbard on his back.

Link nodded. “I appreciate the sentiment, Rusl.” Giving a light sigh, he replied, “I’ll miss everyone here too.”

Rusl started again, hoping Link wouldn’t second-guess his choice. “Not many people get the chance to become a Royal Guard though, and it’s a chance worth taking.”

Link, still with his back to the wall, chuckled. “I’m still surprised they’re doing it here of all places. The castle would be much better for a ceremony, wouldn’t it?”

Rusl thought for a moment. “Especially with the attacks that have been going on recently and have been on the rise over the past month, there shouldn’t be a reason why a member of the Royal Family would come out here. But if the rumors are true, then she insisted.”

Link turned toward Rusl in a surprised tone. “So not only are they holding the ceremony here, but the princess is coming and not the king?”

“Yes. With the recent attacks, the princess herself will be choosing a personal guardian from among Hyrule’s finest warriors. So,” Rusl chuckled once again, “no pressure. In the meantime though, I’ll cover the rest of tonight’s shift. You should get some rest. And before you say anything, don’t worry about it. I’ll be fine.”

Smiling, Link stood up, brushing himself off and stretching. Jokingly, he responded, “Thanks. This means I owe you one, right?”

Rusl gave a hearty laugh before responding, “Not at all. But speaking of owing people things, I asked the blacksmith and his apprentice to make you a new sword for this special occasion. It should be finished by tomorrow.”

Link nodded. “Again, thank you.” Looking towards the village, taking one last good look at it from the post he’d stood at every day, he couldn’t help but smile and gently shake his head. “I’m going to miss this place.”

Giving one last salute to his fellow guard, Link began to walk through the town. As he walked, he made a mental note of everything that he noticed so that he could store it in his memories: the feeling of soft earth he walked on; the smell of mushrooms, chestnuts, and a variety of different foods being cooked in the homes that were scattered throughout the village; the sounds of children running and playing. He saw several friends that he had known for years heading in different directions: some were closing the shops they owned, some were heading back to their homes, some were getting in some evening fishing while the fish were still active.

On his way home, he happened to pass the blacksmith’s hut. He noticed the blacksmith’s apprentice putting something into the furnace – Link guessed that it might be the new sword that Rusl said that they were working on. The apprentice turned, noticed Link watching him, and raised a hand in greeting. The apprentice opened his mouth to speak, but before he could say anything, he and Link heard a shout from inside the hut.

“Deya! Come lend me a hand!”

The apprentice gave a brief sigh before turning and entering the hut. At this, Link resumed walking. After a few moments more, he finally arrived at his hut he had lived in for seventeen years. It wasn’t much but it was home. Link reminisced for a moment. This was the house that he grew up in, that his father built while his mother was pregnant. Ah, his poor parents. His mother died of an illness several years back, and his father died while serving in the Royal Guard. He hoped that by becoming a member of the Royal Guard himself, he could honor his father’s memory.

Link shook himself for a moment to clear his thoughts before entering. Walking inside, it was a small but cozy house. On one side sat a table by a small fireplace that smelled of cedar. On the other side was a small kitchen; the sink filled with pots and pans that need cleaning. Above the kitchen sat an overhang with two beds, a dresser, a candle to keep the room lit, and a small figure sleeping in one bed.

The figure, Link’s brother, was several years younger than Link himself. They shared similar features: similar facial structures, though the boy’s face was rounder; a similar color of hair, though the boy did not have sideburns; the same pointed ears. The boy was already fairly muscular for someone of his age, for he had been training too, out of admiration of his older brother. Underneath his bed was a gift that Link had carved for him for his most recent birthday: a solid wooden bow with his name carved into it – “Kaden”. Link took care not to disturb him as he began readying himself for sleep.

Unclipping his scabbard and setting it aside, Link sat on his bed. So – this could be the last time I sleep here. Once again, he paused to take one last good look at his home before leaning back, closing his eyes as he drifted off to sleep.

 

 

Featured image by MaskedGolem 

Beyond the Horizon is a collaboration of Adam Barham, Jarrod Raine, and Kat Vadam; follow them on Twitter

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