Posted on April 27 2018 by Kat Vadam
Chapter Three: Calm
Deya wiped his brow. It had been a long night, and there was a lot of work ahead of him. The guards of the town and the soldiers that had traveled with the princess had placed orders from his master – the local blacksmith – for replacements for the weapons that had been broken in the attack. They also sought extra weapons, just in case. Not wanting to take any more chances, especially with a member of the Royal Family in their midst, the residents of Ordon Village were increasing their security, too.
Smirking, Deya thought of what his master had said to him a few hours ago. “While this may be good for business,” the blacksmith said, “never forget, my boy: peace is what all true smiths strive for!” Though Deya had only been working as an apprentice under the blacksmith in Ordon for a few months now, he already had high respect for the man and the other residents of the normally quiet village.
However, last night had been anything but quiet. Cries for help had risen with the smoke as fire had torn though the once-peaceful town. Through the smoke and the embers, Deya thought he had seen a tall, bulky figure in dark armor accompanied by strange piglike creatures, but he wasn’t sure amidst all of the chaos – the fires, the cries, the shouts, the explosions…
Wait, he thought, those explosions were pretty close to the smithy, and – His eyes widened in panic. He rushed outside around the back of the smithy, to a pile of stacked ore. He rapidly began moving several aside as the blacksmith walked out and caught Deya in the act.
“Deya, lad, what ye be doin’?”
Deya shook his head impatiently. Moving a few more ores aside, he stopped and pulled a small box out of a hollow in the pile. Opening it, he gave a relieved sigh. “I was concerned that my energy charges might’ve been damaged in last night’s attack. Thank goodness they weren’t. It took quite a while and multiple failed attempts to actually capture the energy of the storms.”
“What, lad? Are ye still toying around with those experiments?”
Deya sighed before taking a metallic cylinder out of the case. “Master, I truly believe that this could be the beginning of an entirely new line of weapons.” An inspired light entered his eyes. “Could you imagine it? Swords and spears infused with the power of lightning! And perhaps some electric safflina could be used to protect the user from the effects, and –”
The blacksmith raised his hand and sighed. “Deya, I get that ye be a Sheikah, and ye be sworn to protect the Royal Family, but don’t ye think that maybe this is a bit of a wild idea?”
Deya grinned. “It’s wild, alright – wild enough that it might be able to work.”
The blacksmith shook his head. “Ye have ye mind set on this, don’tcha, lad?” He looked up to see Deya smiling at him. “Ye be a persistent one. I know I can’t stop ye, but I’m still not sure how good of an idea this be.”
Deya nodded and set the cylinder back in the case. “I know. And while I may not exactly have your support, at least you aren’t trying to shut me down entirely.” He bowed. “Thank you, master.”
The blacksmith patted Deya’s shoulder. “Ah, ye welcome, laddie. Ye’ve been a grand help in the few months you’ve been here.”
A knocking sound came from within the smithy, and the blacksmith looked back inside. “Looks like the boy that Rusl ordered the new sword for is here to pick it up. Would ye go take care of that, lad?”
Deya nodded before turning and walking back inside the smithy. He set the box with the electrical charges off to the side. Inside the front entrance, a figure with blond hair was leaning against the wall, looking around, waiting to be tended to.
“Hello, how can I be of assistance?” Deya asked.
The figure looked up. “Hey, I’m Link. A friend of mine placed an order a few days ago for a new sword for me for the knighting ceremony this afternoon. I wanted to see if it was ready yet.”
Deya nodded. “I figured you were. With the attack last night though, I’m just being cautious.”
Link cleared his throat. “Fair enough.”
“We received a lot of orders for weaponry from both Ordon’s guards and the princess’s soldiers. But you’re in luck! We finished your new blade about an hour ago.”
Link breathed a sigh of relief. “That’s good to hear.” Crossing his arms and standing firm against the wall, he seemed uneasy. Deya knew Link had been present last night. He had seen for himself as the young guard hovered over and protected the princess. He also knew that the event later that day could end up being one of the most important events of Link’s life. He was in position to potentially become the princess’s own appointed knight, after all.
Deya took notice of this. He gave a gentle smile. “So – are you stressed, thinking about last night, or thinking about later today?”
Link opened his mouth before pausing. “A little bit of everything, actually. It’s one thing to have another milestone toward becoming a knight, but another thing entirely when it involves being so close to the Royal Family. And last night…” He trailed off.
Deya nodded sympathetically. “I don’t blame you. I admire that you have such a significant goal that you’re reaching for, but I wouldn’t want to be in that same situation. Especially not after last night.”
Link paused once again, then nodded, losing himself in thought.
Deya became aware of the awkward moment that had developed. Pointing behind him, he asked, “Would you like me to go ahead and get the sword for you?”
“Yes, thank you.”
Deya turned and walked back to where Link’s new sword was resting after cooling. Carefully lifting it, he returned to where Link stood, taking a few deep breaths to calm himself while waiting. Suddenly, passing off his work to someone else had become somewhat unnerving.
Link unsheathed the sword, looking at his reflection within the blade. He took a few steps back, before quickly swinging the blade in three skillful strokes. Satisfied, he sheathed the blade and smiled. “Rusl already paid for it, right?”
Deya nodded. “The entire cost for it has already been paid in full, yes.”
Link grinned. “I’ll have to thank him again later.” He dug a few rupees out of his pocket. “I figured he had, but I brought rupees to cover it anyway.” He held a red rupee out towards Deya. “At the very least, here’s a tip for your work.”
Deya took it gratefully and gave a small nod. “Thank you very much! I’ll make sure to split it with my master. Hey, best of luck in the ceremony later!”
Link waved as he headed out the door. “Thanks.”
Deya turned and began to head back towards his electrical charges. I’d like to be able to watch the knighting ceremony. Perhaps my master will let me take a little bit of time off to see how things go. As he picked up the box that contained the charges, he began to think about how else they could be used. I’ve heard rumors that there used to be electric arrows. Perhaps someday I can find some. Examining them might help me figure out how to construct the new types of weaponry I have in mind.
A certain sense of clarity could be found by listening to one’s own thoughts, then considering them as an outsider. Zelda knew what Impa would say if her advisor found her like this, sitting on the bed after bathing, wrapped in a robe, head buried in her arms: “Riding that self-pity horse again, Little Princess?” The Sheikah’s alto tones resonated in her mind…amidst flames and shadows and mortal fear. She pulled her knees closer, hugging them until her arms hurt. Memories of the night before flashed in her eyes every time she closed them like the fire that ate her carriage alive, without mercy, nearly claiming her handmaiden’s life with her own.
And Marianna was only here for me. I asked her to come.
Zelda chased her own thoughts in her head, trying to keep up and overcome them. She wanted to blame herself. Had she never changed the ceremony, had she never demanded to go instead of the king…
“But what good is this doing you now?” Impa’s voice rang clear.
She looked at her torn palms. Large cuts so deep, they were nearly black, lined the creases, and her skin now sported blisters that made flexing her fingers difficult and painful. Beneath the robe, bruises spoke reason to her slow, purposeful movements.
Yet, she knew she was lucky. Marianna…was barely alive. Her handmaiden, younger than she, so delicate, so attentive to her lady’s every need, suffered far worse. Zelda had sent her back to the castle the moment the Ordon doctor had completed all he could do. Compared to Marianna, her injuries were nothing.
Her self-pity was worthless.
And this wasn’t your fault. The circle completed once more. Zelda smashed her fists against her thighs in aggravation. It hurt like crazy.
The door to her room opened. “Riding that self-pity horse again, Little Princess?”
“I knew you would say that,” Zelda said, not lifting her head. She felt the bed settle at her feet as Impa sat down.
“You are not going to the ceremony like that,” Impa said, tugging on the hem of the robe. “And I refuse to dress you.”
Finally, she looked up, meeting Impa’s sharp crimson gaze with a half-willed smirk. “Fine,” she protested, “but I’m not wearing the corset.” Impa shrugged noncommittally. “In fact, I think I might outlaw them across the land.”
“And with her decree, the first revolt against the young monarch was begun, spearheaded by the ladies of the court.”
Zelda rolled her eyes. “What would they do, gossip me to death?”
“Of course. Next, they’ll claim you wish to wear pants.”
“Actually…” the princess began, glancing at the end of the bed. She had lost her ceremonial clothing in the fire, and her dress from the night before had needed repairs to fix several burns in the hem, so she had requested to borrow clothing from the mayor’s daughter. Luckily, the two of them were the same size. Also, to Zelda’s private amusement, the rules of a mayor’s daughter were quite relaxed compared to the expectations of nobility. Next to a thigh-length, rust-colored skirt sat a pair of brown leggings, waiting to be worn. Impa ran her hand down her face.
“Your father will have my head for this.”
“The king does not like beheadings. He’d put you in stocks. In a dress.”
Impa gave a false grimace, looking down at her own clothing: the tight-fit garb of a Sheikah warrior, pants and all. “Well, lucky for me, the tailor finished repairing your dress this morning. I just picked it up.”
“So, you get to be spared the stocks,” Zelda said, feigning disappointment.
“And the dress.” The elder grinned playfully. “Feel better now?”
She nodded, slowly at first, then a little surer of herself. Yes, the banter the two of them shared typically served to make her feel better in her darkest moods. Impa helped calm her woes and slow her racing thoughts. With conversation, Zelda could think rationally. She hated relying on someone else, but sometimes, need abounded, and she was forced to allow someone else in.
“Good, because I meant it when I said that I will not dress you, but you need to get ready.” The Sheikah gently, yet still forcefully, nudged her knees until her feet were flat on the floor. “The mayor thanks you again, by the way, for your forgiveness of his guards…”
“The guards did not do anything wro-”
Impa held up her hand to cut her lady off. “He also hopes you enjoy your time here, despite the events of last night. You made a wise decision, you know. Expressing that you understood the town held no fault, thanking the mayor for such a quick response, then continuing with plans instead of turning tail and going home. Your father will be proud. As I am proud.”
Zelda gave a small smile, then reluctantly set off to finish getting ready. The ceremony would soon begin, and she had to see it through.
Featured image by MaskedGolem.