Chapter 3

Midna stood near the side of the meeting room that was shared by her, the councilors, and various other officials that occupied the Twilight Kingdom. Her tall, slim figure garbed in a classy, if slightly revealing dress. They had just finished up a meeting, going over the usual discussion of allocation of resources, emergency preparations, and ceremonial duties. The room was rectangular and large enough to comfortable hold the thirty or so individuals that now milled about discussing personal matters. A large rectangular table, proportionate to the room dominated the center, adorned with plates, food and glasses.

Midna paid no attention to them however. She was lost in her own thoughts. Thoughts about the status of her kingdom. Thoughts about Hyrule. Thoughts about Link. Midna had spent much of the past three months thinking about him, and wishing she had never destroyed the portal between Hyrule and the Twilight Kingdom. Link could have been extremely helpful with several issues.

"Princess Midna." Midna heard a voice behind her. It belonged to one of the royal advisors by the name of Lilyan. "I see that you skipped over the offer to discuss suitors in the meeting again." Lilyan said impatiently.

Lilyan was the same shade of pale blue that Midna and all other Twili had. However she was shorter than Midna, and had shoulder length black hair. She had served the royal family for almost seven years. Following Midna's return to the Twilight realm, Lilyan had been trying to marry the princess off. Lilyan believed that the image of a stable monarchy would help pave the way to a stable region. Lilyan thought that turning Princess Midna into Queen Midna would also give a good reason to celebrate and raise moral.

While this was a perfectly reasonable way to gain political stability, it was infuriating to Midna on a personal level. In addition to the nagging Lilyan, Midna also did not care for the overt displays of affection and courtship from the droves of nobles, barons, and heirs to powerful houses that came to bid for her hand. At Best Midna found these men incompatible. At worst, they were painfully annoying. There was also the issue that she loved another man.

"Yes I did Lilyan. There are more pressing matters, such as rebuilding farm lands and food stores, than marring me to a man I hardly know." Midna said with a tinge of bitterness.

"We cannot keep pushing this off. People will expect you to either assume the throne, or they will want interim leadership."

"People want to be able to eat first."

"Princess. If this is a matter of not being in the mood…" Lilyan trailed off.

"No Lilyan. It is a matter of it not being important right now. We will discuss this when the time is right. Not sooner." Midna finished and walked away, relived that she had pushed off the issue a little further. She walked in the direction of the one person in the room that she knew, trusted, and liked. His name was Bindur.

Bindur was the other royal advisor. Bindur had served Midna's father for twenty years before Zant had his attempted coup. Bindur was as tall as Midna, but far stockier. He had slicked back grey hair, and a receding hairline that he was not ashamed of. Bindur was old enough to have more wisdom than almost everyone, and was, as he joked, to close to death to deal with being tactful. Midna had known him since she was a child and loved him like an uncle.

As she walked over, Midna noticed that Bindur was in a conversation with two men. The first was one of the many nobles and barons that were councilors for their lands (though one of the few not attempting to marry her, or their son). His name was Kaz, and came from the farmlands to the northwest. Kaz was a thin, older man, one of the few on The Council, so it came as no surprise that he and Bindur were friends. They probably went to the same garden on the castle grounds to get away from everyone.

The second man Midna did not know. He was clearly a soldier, but not like the regular palace guards. Instead of a full suit of armor, he wore grey wool pants and a brown leather shirt with steel plates riveted to the chest and shoulders. A tomahawk, with a boarding ax head was on his right hip. This was a far cry from the spear and shields almost all of the soldiers in the region carried. To complete the strange ensemble, his black hair was long enough to the point where he had to tie it back in a ponytail.

Midna approached the groups and announced her presence. "Good day Councilman Kaz, Advisor Bindur. How are you doing?"

"How do all old men do when they have to deal with younger people?" Kaz asked. "We are tired of so many people having opinions that sound stupid."

"Kaz is tired, I find them amusing. Like when a drunk tries talking about anything more complex than making a pot of coffee. They rarely understand what they are saying." Bindur said with a smile.

"I find almost all of you to be long winded and poor compromisers." the mystery man said. "Present company being the exception."

"Nice recovery." Kaz said. "Princess Midna, I apologize for my lack of manners and for my companions as especially. This is Captain Zennel of the Second Light Infantry Company. He leads Raider Teams into the Black Woods bordering the farmlands in our region."

"It is a pleasure to meet you My Lady" Zennel said with a courteous salute.

"If you would excuse me." Kaz started. "I must attend to a personal matter quick."

Bindur gave Midna an apologetic look. "I will be back shortly, but I must talk to Lilyan about stockpiling some of our food reserves."

Before she could react, Bindur left. She was now left with the enigmatic and blunt Captain Zennel. Though he did not seem to be a bad person, he seemed to not care about being great company as well. Then she realized what had happened, this was another attempt at a suitor.

"Curses. I fell for it." Midna said under her breath.

"I did as well." Zennel responded.

Midna stared at Zennel curiously. "What do you mean by that?"

"It is no secret that Lady Lilyan wants you to enter a state of monogamy. It is all most of the Nobles could talk about before the council meeting. Kaz wanted me here as an expert in the threat to food supplies, but I suspect he also wanted me to try and win your hand, if only to give himself and our region more reputation and a small claim to fame." Zennel exclaimed plainly. His eye had begun to wander the room, taking note of who was glancing at the Captain and Princess.

"Are you not going to try at all? Midna asked. She certainly did not wish to become romantically involved, but most available men were fighting to get private time with the Princess. Zennel was an anomaly.

"Princess, I would need to know you far better before attempting any sort of romantic courtship."

"Well as it happens, I have no desire to be in a romantic relationship with anyone here."

"So be it. Shall I return to the guest rooms?"

Midna thought it over for a moment. Zennel possessed a blunt honesty that made him easy to deal with. He was clearly an experienced soldier as well. There was a way that Zennel could be useful. In addition, it might keep Lilyan quite for a short period about the whole suitor agenda, and give more authority to Kaz to get resources for food production.

"Zennel. How long have you been in the army?"

"I joined when I was sixteen. I have been in for seven years now. I have spent the past three as an officer." Zennel answered.

"What do your Raider Teams do?"

"We defend the country side by being a good offense. We patrol the forest for bandits who try to steal food and supplies. When we find them, we raid the camps, take prisoners, etc."

"Do you like your position?" Midna asked inquiring further.

"Princess, I am being blunt. I feel this is leading to something. Could you just say what is on your mind?" Zennel asked as he crossed his arms in front of him.

That statement sealed the offer Midna had. "I apologize. I was trying to figure out what you're qualified to do." Midna explained. "When Zant tried to take over, he killed many of the Palace Guard, including the Captain. One of the Lieutenants has served as the interim commander, but we still need a replacement. Are you up for it?

Zennel stared at Midna for a short period. Finally he nodded with determination. "Of course Your Majesty. It would be an honor."

The two made small conversation for a short time. They discussed how fast it would take Zennel to hand over command, and what the situation of the castle security was like. Eventually Bindur came over, back from his conversation with Lilyan.

"Well it seems you two are getting along well." Bindur remarked.

"So far." Zennel said. "I do have to go now and tell Kaz about my change in post." Zennel bowed to both Midna and Bindur and left the room. At this point other councilors and official followed suit and the crowd dwindled. Eventually even Advisor Lilyan left, leaving only Midna and Bindur in the room.

"You're a crafty old fox when you want to be." Midna said.

"I know that, but to what are you referring to?" Bindur asked innocently.

"You. Getting Kaz to subtly present Zennel as a suitor. He is not at all like the heirs, barons, nobles that Lilyan is trying to get to court me.

"I did no such thing." Bindur said with mock shock. "But am I to understand that the young Captain has captured your heart?" he finished hopefully.

"No. But I have made him Captain of the Palace Guard."

"Well that will be a nice consolation prize for Kaz."

"Ha. So this was intentional."

"No. But I appreciate the credit given to me."

Midna finally relented, allowing Bindur to have his small victory. She was tired of people trying to force her into a relationship. She was still dealing with the loss of Link. He may not have died, but Midna was never going to see him again.

"Very well." Midna started. "If you are done defying your pseudo-daughter's wishes you may go." She finished holding out a hand to the door.

"Very well Princess. Have a pleasant night." Bindur said as he bowed and left the room.

Midna left the meeting hall shortly afterward and went up to her private chambers. The room was set up with a desk near the doorway. Along the back wall sat a king size, four poster bed. A doorway off to the left side of the room went to Midna's bathing area, and one at the back led to a private balcony. A bay window covered that wall allowing a grand view to the outside, with a set of double doors giving access .Midna moved gracefully moved across the room to the balcony, hew gown flowing behind her.

The sight that she saw was most welcoming to her. Sunset City surrounded the castle in all directions at the base. People milled about, happy and productive. It was especially busy today as there were so many dignitaries from other areas. Though there were problems, the kingdom was as safe and stable as any leader could hope it could be. Midna just wished she could share the view with Link.

A/N: I had to edit this chapter twice. I didn't particularly like some of the imagery, or rather the lack of. Anyway, updates are going to be slower now as this was the last chapter that I had already written before I started posting. I will try to get them out as fast I can, but not at the expense of quality. If these chapters don't meet my standards, how can I expect them to meet yours?