Category: Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Author: Mrs Pettyfer
Pairing(s): Zelink. Maybe some surprises.
Genre: Adventure, romance, fantasy.
Rating: T for some dark themes, minor language, and violence. No lemons.
A/N: SO excited for this one. Okay so, I have been a huge fan of these games since I was a child. I grew up playing Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, and fell completely in love with Breath of the Wild. This story essentially is a re-telling of BotW, with some ties to Ocarina of Time. It's been so long since I played Majora's Mask and Twilight Princess, so any connections to those two are simply a coincidence. I will be playing with canon and adding my own elements, so treat this as a retelling/AU of sorts. The idea for me with this was...how would the game go if Zelda had been able to go on this adventure with Link? What if the champions were alive? Then it sort of morphed from there.
The story will be broken into "parts," and each part/title is taken from the songs from Ocarina of Time. This is my first story in this world so I apologize if I don't get it all right. I hope you enjoy it. Thank you!
Disclaimer: This is written for fun, not profit, and the world of Legend of Zelda does not belong to me.
PART ONE - THE SONG OF TIME
The Princess of Hyrule woke with a start, jolting upright and panting. Her head was aching with the last remnants of her dream. She felt as though she had had this dream before, even if she couldn't remember much more than random details. There had been a young boy in a silly looking hat. The feel of wind on her face. A golden light. And…a song. A beautiful song that seemed to transport her to another world. Another time.
Zelda rubbed her eyes, casting a glance at the door. It remained closed, thankfully. She had not called out tonight, as she sometimes did, when she had these strange dreams. The guards did not need another reason to watch her closely. She was already the center of their attention—of the entire realm's attention. They stared at her everywhere she went, always with that same expression, as if they were waiting.
Just one week prior, she had celebrated her eighteenth name day. Eighteen, and her power had still not awoken. The weight of it was so threatening not even a Goron's strength could keep her standing much longer. Still, she had to try. To keep trying. For her people, for everyone she loved, she could not give up.
Sighing, Zelda laid back down, trying to settle her mind. She longed to hear the comforting lullaby of her childhood, the one her mother used to play for her. But there was only an empty, cold silence.
Zelda stared up at the starry painted ceiling above her, praying to the Goddesses that she would not fail and doom Hyrule forever.
"What are the specific properties of the essence of nightshade?"
"It must be brewed on a blood moon, the blue nightshade and hemlock freshly picked and ground. A pinch of rock salt, and..." Zelda's voice faded as she gaped out the window. Was—did Robbie finally manage to—
"Ouch!" Zelda yelped, gripping her wrist at the sting from her master's cane. The guards stationed nearby fidgeted with uncertainly, hands resting on the pommels at their side. Striking the princess was like making a demand of a Great Fairy—it was like asking for death. And such was also true of apprehending Master Impa. "That really hurt!"
"Good," the old woman snapped. She had been tall and lithe once, but an elixir created by her sister gone wrong had caused her to shrink to the size of a child. Age had caused her back to curve and her hands to wither, though her strikes still hurt immensely. "You are not focusing."
"I am focusing," Zelda replied in frustration. "I know the components of the essence of nightshade. I could brew it in my sleep."
Master Impa made a hmph sort of sound. "We shall see about that. Now, I want you to—" Despite her size and age, the woman moved with a speed that was unnatural, a speed in which only the Sheikah could achieve. A sharp blade was now pressed against Zelda's throat.
But Zelda had moved too, the first lesson Master Impa had ever taught her drilled into memory and habit: React and act.
The tip of a feather quill was clutched in the princess's hand, lightly pressed against Master Impa's side. It was not much, but it rang true of her master's second lesson: anything can be a weapon.
"Good, good," said Master Impa, looking pleased as she stepped back. The guards, however, were green in the face, looking miniscule in their gleaming armor. They had never quite gotten used to Master Impa's often unorthodox teaching methods. Neither did the king, but somehow she had convinced him to let her train the princess in the ways of the Sheikah.
Well, not all the ways. She did not know how to move between the folds of the world, or how to make trained warriors disappear, or how to move as silently as a shadow. She suspected there was much she would never know about the ancient Shadow Folk.
Zelda set down her quill and subtly, secretly, glanced outside again. The Guardian was no longer hovering above the ground, but rather was surrounded by four Sheikah as they examined it, prodding at the metal and red beams.
Master Impa sighed. "I can see you are determined to lose focus this afternoon."
"I just find them so fascinating." Zelda didn't bother to pretend where her attention now rested. "Robbie thinks the scouts will be fully controllable in a fortnight. Less, perhaps, with just a bit more tweaking on the ancient core. He says—"
"Do not let your father hear you talking such nonsense, child."
Of course Zelda wouldn't. Her father disapproved of her research and interest in the development of the Guardians—programmed, mechanical weapons crafted from ancient technology by the Sheikah. They were thought to have been created some thousand years ago, recently discovered again by the Sheikah. Zelda was intrigued by the mechanics of the Guardians, how a strange blue energy seemed to animate them.
But no. Her time was to be devoted to her training, to awakening her power. As if she wasn't doing just that nearly every second of the day…
"A princess should be knowledgeable in all matters of her kingdom, should she not?"
Master Impa's mouth twisted into a semblance of a smile. "Indeed, she must. Tell me then, why have you not noticed the absence of your guard?"
Zelda looked up in alarm. Her mouth slacked. The three Hylian guards that were stationed in the great hall were indeed gone. Likely pulled aside by other members of the Sheikah for this very lesson.
Another failed lesson. Zelda wanted to slump in her chair in frustration, but princess's did not slump.
"Be on your guard always, child," said Master Impa, pinning the princess with a hard stare, her red eyes glowing. "Pay attention to your surroundings. Death waits for no one to notice his presence before he strikes true."
One did not inherit the title of king without bearing many responsibilities. Despite spending most of his time dedicated to governing the land, delivering justice, and keeping the peace, King Rhoam always made a point to have dinner with his daughter if he were in Central Hyrule.
The dining hall was a massive room surrounded by stone, arched windows, and wrought-iron chandeliers that swayed gently from the summer breeze. An array of long wooden tables and benches were set on the thick red runner that ran the length of the hall. There was a head table near the fireplace reserved for the royal family and their guests, situated atop a raised dais. The king sat, as always, at the head, with Zelda at his right. It was an awfully long table for just the two of them, she always thought.
Tonight was a feast of honey glazed boar that had been hunted just this morning, roasted root vegetables, hot buttered rolls, fresh wildberries from Hebra, and sweet apple pie for dessert.
"How is the progress on the stalkers coming along?" Zelda asked after she finished tearing off bits of her roll. Impa would scowl at her table manners, but her father had never cared for such etiquette.
Which made it all the more obvious he was avoiding her question as he continued to chew his boar in an almost dignified manner. Finally he swallowed and said, "That is a question you ought not to bother yourself with, my daughter."
She had expected this sort of response and was prepared for it. "Well, I suppose I could just go down to the courtyard and find out for myself," Zelda said with a shrug, spearing a carrot and blinking her father innocently.
The King was a burly man with a thick white beard and large nose, his golden crown a spark of sunshine atop his head. He looked too large to be sitting at this table, his overlarge. He leveled her a look and pointed at her with the tip of his fork, his massive hand nearly swallowing it. "You are to be focusing on your studies, Zelda."
"This is part of my studies, Father. I am trained by those that created the Guardians."
"You think I do not know what you are doing?" he said, not looking at her as he cut into his boar. "You wish the Guardian's to succeed—because you expect to fail."
Zelda felt herself pale. She had never thought of it like that. And yet…perhaps in the back of her mind, beneath the fascination and intrigue of the mechanisms of the Guardians, a small part of her had.
"I am doing everything I can," she said quietly, eyes falling to her plate.
"It is not enough."
She looked up at that, fighting to hide the hurt of his words. "I—I don't know what else to do. I have gone to the Springs of Power, Wisdom, and Courage. I have prayed to the Goddess, and to the Old Goddesses. Master Impa—"
"Master Impa has complete faith in you."
She would be the only one.
Silence fell as they continued to eat. The princess pushed her vegetables around her plate, having lost her appetite.
"Zelda," the king said, this time more softly, "I do not need to stress the direness of the situation. If you cannot seal Ganon away, the world will fall to his darkness. Demise and Chaos will reign, and life as we know it will end. If you fail, Hyrule will be no more."
"I know," she whispered quietly, feeling the weight of a thousand prophecies. "I know."
Despite her father's warnings, Zelda could not help herself. She stood on the castle grounds beneath a warm sun, watching as a handful of Sheikah were working on a Guardian Stalker. The stalker looked like an overgrown metal spider, with six legs that allowed it to crawl across the ground. The top of its head swiveled jerkily, a red eye beaming where a laser would blast. These were supposed to be the strongest of the Guardian models, to be positioned at borders across Hyrule.
"What do you think, Princess?" Tai of the Sheikah asked.
She stepped back and smiled, admiring the machine as it began to walk—a bit chunkily, but moving forward none the less. Such progress these past few weeks!
"I think it's absolutely brilliant," she said brightly.
Tai looked pleased at the compliment and went back to work. Zelda continued to watch, wishing she had brought some parchment for note taking. She raised a pale hand and wiped sweat from her brow.
Zelda was dressed far too formally to be out in the sun, wearing a long dress made of the traditional blue and gold colors of the royal house. She wore glimmering amber earrings, a diamond circlet crafted from Gerudo atop her head. There was to be a royal announcement in the sanctum today, and Zelda had wanted to spy a moment on the progress before she was expected. Her father was too busy preparing for the emissary's to notice her absence.
It was only when she felt Master Impa's gaze upon her did she head back to the castle. She was expected to greet the emissary from Hebra, a Rito named Teba. Rito's were too proud to travel by tower, opting to fly to the castle instead. Their powerful bird-like bodies made them exceptionally skilled aerial warriors, especially with their hand-crafted bows. Only Rito's were permitted to use them. Zelda showed little desire to wield a sword—pleasing her father just as much as it displeased Master Impa—but she had a talent for archery. A trait from her mother, she had been told.
Zelda waited for Teba at the west gate of the castle, two guards stationed nearby chatting animatedly. She heard one talking about his son taking his first steps, how proud he and his wife were. She was about to ask his son's name when she felt the wind stir her long golden hair and whip across her face.
The Rito landed powerfully in a gust of wind, the ground quivering from the force of it. Zelda stared as the bird-like warrior stood straight, towering above her. Teba's feathers were white as snow, his beak as sharp as his eyes. He wore lightweight Rito armor, with a golden bow strapped to his back and a quiver of arrows.
"Apologies for startling you, your highness," said Teba, offering an incline of his head. A gesture the proud Rito would only extend to royalty, no doubt.
She did not bother denying his claim and smiled instead. "Not to worry, Teba. We are pleased you could make it on behalf of Chief Kaneli. I hope you had safe travels?"
"Unfortunately," he said drily as they set for the sanctum. "Thought about provoking a herd of bokoblins in the western Hyrule plains for the fun of it."
Zelda felted a little startled. "The western plains? That's odd."
"They tend to dwell in Faron." Bokoblins were harmless if you were armed and prepared, and they tended to live in small herds and stay isolated in the dense forests of Faron.
Teba did not look concerned. Why should he? Bokoblins were kittens compared to the beasts that dwelled in the Hebra Mountains.
The walk was not a far one, but Zelda could tell the Rito would have preferred to fly. She glanced at him, at his powerful body, and wondered if it would be too forward to ask if he could fly her. She had always wanted to fly.
By the time they reached the sanctum, Zelda had the sense that Teba was a Rito of little words, was more serious than proud, and was exceptionally perceptive. His head seemed to turn at every little sound: to the frogs hopping in the grassy meadows, to the sparrows flying above, to the shuffling of metal boots from the guards.
Master Impa and two Sheikah were waiting for them. Teba offered her the same courtesy as he had the princess, though this looked far less genuine and more stiff. It was no secret the Rito, and even to some extend the Zora, did not trust the Sheikah.
The sanctum was a large, circular room surrounded by stone and hanging royal banners. The tri-force was engraved in the center of the room on the floor, a symbol of three triangles inside one triangle. Guards were positioned around the room, and Zelda assumed there were some Sheikah as well—hidden in the shadows, like always. The king stood high above, at the top of a dais, stairs cascading down the wall on either side. He wore his royal doublet of blue and gold, matching Zelda's long gown. She stood at his side with her hands clasped in front of her, overlooking the small crowd below.
Emissaries from all regions stood before them. There was Teba, of course, but also a young woman—who appeared even younger than Zelda—from Gerudo named Riju. The Zora's had sent the elderly and grumpy Muzu, and Bargoh from Eldin had come. Each emissary—apart from Teba—had come with a small retinue. The rest of the sanctum was filled with guards, as well as some nobles and citizens of Castle Town, eager to hear the king's announcement.
Zelda was a little disappointed Urbosa had not come herself, but Riju had explained the Chief had been dealing with thieves in the Gerudo Canyon. Zelda did not support thievery by any means, but she felt a wave of sympathy as she imagined being subjected to Lady Urbosa's fury.
"Greetings, friends, and I thank you for traveling far and wide to join us," said the king, his deep voice echoing in the sanctum. "We have had peace and prospered since that dreadful Hyrulean Civil War, a testament to your leaders, and your kin. But as you know, the threat of Calamity Ganon is upon us."
Zelda forced herself to breathe calmly, not letting the fear of his name frighten her in front of her people. But the king lifted a thick hand and gestured toward her, causing the ground to wobble beneath her.
"My daughter, your princess, has been tasked with a harrowing mission: to seal Ganon away when he returns. But I fear she cannot do it alone."
Zelda fought the urge to turn to him fully, but opted to tilt her head slightly. What was he doing?
"With the help of Master Impa and the Sheikah, as well as the scientists of Akkala, we have salvaged the great Guardians that will offer protection to our land. In doing so, there has been a great discovery."
The princess did look at him then, fighting to at least hide her surprise. Her hurt. What discovery? Why has he not mentioned this? Why hasn't Impa? Anyone?
The king went on. "We have used this discovery to create what we are calling the Divine Beasts—enormous creations of ancient technology and magic, weapons to wield against the Calamity."
There was a murmur of excitement amongst the crowd, and even Teba now looked interested.
"These beasts must be piloted by those of skill, and courage, and power. They must be piloted by a champion." More excitement, more enthusiasm. The king held up his hand. "I, King Rhoam Bosphoramus of the Royal House of Hyrule, do declare that there shall be a series of tournaments. In which so a champion will be selected."
Zelda's fingers tightened as she forced herself to look neutral, to look like she knew of this plan. She tried to not look as betrayed as she felt.
"There will be four champions selected: one from Hebra, one from Gerudo, one from Lanayru, and one from Eldin."
Cheers erupted in the sanctum. The princess wished she felt as happy.
The king raised his hand again, and only after a long silence did Zelda realize he was looking at her. She turned to him; her face, she knew, a mask of complete indifference. His blue eyes softened, seeing straight through it.
"There will be four selected, but there will be five champions. The fifth," he said, and his voice was somehow both proud and sad, "will be my daughter, Princess Zelda."
A/N: Thank you so much for reading! I'd really appreciate your feedback and hope to update this every other week. I have a pretty solid outline and am very inspired with it, which always helps me write faster. :)