Author's Note: Hope we're off to a good start.
She can't see the landscape anymore
It's all painted in her grief
All of her history etched out at her feet
There were few options available to her. The kingdom was falling apart - crumbling before her very eyes. Was she supposed to sit on her throne in the empty castle and watch her people suffer? She wrestled with the idea of searching for other options, but no matter how optimistic Ravio was for the future, they weren't finding any alternatives. This just couldn't go on much longer. She was Princess of Lorule and she had a duty to the citizens of the once great kingdom. It was her responsibility to restore this land back to its former glory and she'd take what was rightfully theirs by force if need be. Hilda would not disappoint the people anymore.
Ravio found out about her plan weeks before its execution. He fretted over her for days but Hilda refused to listen to the boy's concerns. It should have come as no surprise that the day before she was supposed to go through with it, Ravio had disappeared from all of Lorule. The few knights she still commanded searched everywhere for the boy but even his home had been abandoned. Hilda knew he had fled the country but to where was beyond her. A large part of her already missed her closest friend dearly - the most level-headed person she had ever known - but she couldn't waste any more time chasing after cowardly rabbits.
Hilda had decided to cut the middle man out of her original plans. There was only one way they could obtain the tri-force without disturbing their sisterland, Hyrule, but the plan was dangerous. She knew Ravio hadn't left out of fear of Hilda destroying another land but out of fear that she'd fail and doom them all. Anger flashed at the thought that he'd ever think she'd be unsuccessful and she had half a mind to send the knights back out again - toss him in the dungeon and call him a traitor. If he had been so concerned about her victory then he could have stayed to help her defend the throne.
Because, yes, what she was doing was dangerous. There was a small possibility that Lorule would fall today. Hyrule and Lorule had few connections together but the ones they did share were powerful and strong enough to manifest in both worlds. The Master Sword, for one, did exist in their realm but entirely different from the way it did in the land of Hyrule. It served as a link between the two worlds, something to tie them together. Lorule's hero could draw it from its slumber but could not wield it. As with everything else, Lorule could only release chaos and bring destruction upon its people, not hope and safety.
However, Hilda had no use for desert kings of olds. Ganondorf was not their goal today. No, this would be the day that Lorule was finally given relief. She'd heard of a magical wish granting hat and the last person that had it in their possession was the powerful man that stole it - The Wind Sorcerer Vaati. The plan was suicidal and it had left quite a hole in Lorule's treasury to convince the castle's remaining staff to come with her to the mirrored Four Swords Sanctuary. She would have to release the beast from its prison and pray that her men would be able to put it down before it could deal any everlasting damage to her person or their world.
The monster's power was strong, radiating off of the sword. The moment she stepped inside the Sanctuary's garden she was hit with the raw magical energy. She was way over her head. This would never work. She should have listened to Ravio. For a split second, Hilda thought about turning back around. There was still time to go home with her tail inbetween her legs. Why risk Lorule's little safety? They could live a few couple centuries without their Tri-Force. The knights behind her stopped, hands on their swords. The sound of the land breaking apart just a few miles away fastened her resolve. She was doing something to save them. Would it be better to let them suffer as the world around them crumbled or to face the wrath of one of Hyrule's ancient criminals?
She held her head high, taking small powerful steps towards the sword. Her gloved hand reached out, hesitating just by the hilt. The seal was already weakening from Hyrule's neglect. This was their one last hope, her desperate attempt to make things better. Ignoring the static in the air that made the hairs on the back of her neck stand straight, Hilda gripped the blade's base and pulled. It slipped from the stone pedestal easily without any restraint. The air around her grew stale and the guards backed away from the stairs leading to the legendary Four Sword.
A sharp pain went through her fingers, making her drop the weapon. Without wasting any time, she swiftly brought her staff in front of her. The wind began to blow hard, knocking a few of the soldiers back. Hilda's eyes fought against the dark smoke rising from the sword, blinking back tears. A soft breeze tickled the side of her face but the atmosphere was anything but calm and peaceful. Slowly, she turned herself around to see what had happened to her small army only to find that she was the only one left standing. Her entire defense team had been blown away, some slumped up against the walls of the Sanctuary unconscious while others slowly rose up, testing their limbs to see if anything had broken in the fall.
Her relief was short lived when she heard a man's voice from behind her. It was youthful and not particularly deep. Hilda wouldn't describe it casual or sweet, nor would she categorize it as cruel and commanding. It was just… a normal voice. Not at all what a monster should sound like. And did she mention it was incredibly close and right behind her? Hilda whipped around, finding that the haze had cleared and now a young man stood but a few feet away from her. He stood just a couple of inches taller than her, his hair matching her own length.
They shared the same red eyes and penchant for purple, his hair a lavender and his skin only a few shades lighter. The Princess caught herself before she could back away, holding her ground before him. She was the rightful ruler of Lorule and she would not back down from any man no matter how terrifying their reputation was.
"You have to be really desperate to release me," the man looked her up and down, taking in her appearance. "What could possibly put you in such a dilemma that you'd come here with your entourage?" he questioned, his gaze shifting to over her shoulder to get a good look at the men. The stranger smiled slyly. "They're not that great on their feet, huh?"
Dumbfounded, Hilda openly stared at him. This man… was the great beast Vaati. The most powerful Wind Sorcerer to live - the only other creature too strong to be killed and had to be sealed away like Ganon. He was just a boy. This would be simple. Hilda rose her staff without a word, a dark magic gathering at the top. She thrusted the rod in his direction, the spell shooting out. He caught the black energy ball in his hand, laughing at the pitiful attempt to wound him. Bouncing it up and down, Vaati shook his head.
"Is this all Hyrule has to offer me? A pitiful girl playing pretend? Your magic is nothing compared to Her Royal Highness'." Vaati tossed the ball over the girl, the charged force exploding onto the ground and rolling off in waves, injuring the guards. "I'm almost too ashamed to seize control."
Pretend? How dare he mock her nobility. "I am no imposter," Hilda began, lowering her staff once more. "I am the rightful ruler of this land and I demand that you relinquish the Wishing Cap."
"Rightful ruler?" Vaati stepped forward. "The people of Hyrule would put a two bit witch in charge of their great nation? They should have just gave me the keys to the kingdom if they were going to let you run it into the ground."
Her temper began to rise, grip tightening on the wooden base of her staff. "I am no witch. If you do not hand over the cap, we will take it by force. So say I, Hilda of Lorule."
Vaati paused. "Lorule?" He furrowed his brows, searching for the name in his memory. It didn't ring any bells, but then again most of his memories were covered in a sort of fog. The man moved away from her, pacing about in front of the Four Sword's resting place. His foot almost came into contact with the fallen weapon and he scrunched his nose in disgust, gently pushing it away with his big toe. Finally, he stopped and looked back at the girl. "You lost me."
Pleased to have finally shut him up, Lorule's ruler cleared her throat. "My kingdom and the kingdom of Hyrule share fixed points. Both the Four Sword's Sanctuary and the Master Sword's resting place exist in our worlds, allowing me access to your prison." She chose to withhold the information about how she was unable to seal him away again. "This land is falling apart. Our great kingdom once went through a terrible war and my ancestors destroyed the great power in hopes that it would end things once and for all. Unfortunately, we cannot survive without the gift of the Goddesses and have been suffering since. I require the Wishing Cap so that I can-"
"Wish for the holy Tri-Force. I get that much." Vaati adjusted his cape. "Regrettably, I refuse to let you so much as breathe on my posession."
"Then we will take it from you!" Hilda banged her staff on the ground, furious. How dare this pompous little sorcerer keep the hat to himself so selfishly. "You will not leave Lorule alive-"
"However," he rose a finger, interrupting her again. "I'm sure we could come to a compromise. Your hand in marriage for the cap."
It was the last thing she expected to hear. Hilda's frustration froze, replaced with an icy fear. Marriage? She had been expecting death with her failure, not a wedding ceremony with the convict. If she married him, she'd never get rid of the man. He'd be King of Lorule and then… well… what was stopping him from killing her? He'd have the crown, what more did he need?
"If I refuse?" she asked, keeping her voice steady, albeit quieter.
He examined his right hand's nails disinterestedly, letting silence fall between them for a long agonizing moment to build up the suspense. Finally, he glanced back up at her as if he'd forgotten all about the monarch. "If you should refuse, Lorule will fall with you as its precious princess while I escape to Hyrule. It's a win win situation, really. I don't care to rule some place on its last leg. I want something befitting for the Greatest Sorcerer Alive." Vaati shrugged carelessly.
"A… A win win?" she repeated, flabbergasted. "You'd let innocent people die all because there's no benefit for you?"
"Well I didn't get sealed away for nothing, did I? Come to think of it," Vaati looked at her smugly. "You put your people at a risk when you came here. For all you knew, I could have thrown a temper tantrum and decided to tear this place apart - I still can if I don't get my way. You were willing to let all of those so called 'innocent people' die just so you could play hero. Oh, sorry, I forgot I'm the villain here."
"You don't understand my situation! I have a responsibility to this kingdom and I would do anything to save them-"
"Then say yes. Commitment to a man is a small price to pay for the revival of your territory."
How had Vaati managed to turn this whole thing around? How had he made it look as if she was being the selfish one here?
"And risk leaving them with a dictator?" Hilda glared.
"It's not a dictatorship, it's a monarchy resembling a dictatorship. There's a distinct difference."
"You're insane if you think I'd ever put you in charge of my kingdom-"
"You're an idiot if you thought there would be no consequences to your actions." Vaati took a step closer to her, his icy breath hitting her face. She shuddered a bit from being near him.
"How am I supposed to trust that you won't kill me the minute we're wed?"
"You're not," he answered. "You'll have to cross your fingers and pray to your precious Goddesses."
Hilda didn't flinch at his unwavering stare, looking him back in the eyes. Would she really marry this felon to save her country? The answer came to her easily and with little to no prompt.
"I'll do it," Hilda rose her hand up delicately, interrupting him before he could speak. "The wedding will be under my own terms and I will need to see my land fixed before then."
He crossed his arms over his chest, looking strangely disappointed and satisfied with her decision. "Now now, Princess, have patience. Hyrule wasn't built in a day."
"Lorule shall be." Hilda didn't turn her back on him, distrusting him. For all she knew he might conjured a dagger and run her through with it the moment her eyes were off of him. "I want it done immediately."
"Then there is no deal. How am I supposed to trust that you'll marry me if I fix your kingdom before the wedding?"
"You're not," she repeated his words from earlier. "I guess you'll have to cross your fingers and pray."