World of Light > When You Meet Her
When You Meet Her
Why, then, was he so depressed about it? The truth was, he had been having the time of his life until Gan started acting so strangely. While Link's friend was hardly the most talkative sort, his stony silence ever since their audience with the Prince that morning was deafening. He had no idea why he seemed to be so angry--why wasn't he happy for Link's success? It wasn't like Gan to be so jealous and hateful. It made Link so unbearably sad.
Not really being able to stand any more of it, he excused himself from their banquet table, and went for a walk to clear his head. In hindsight, it should not have been such a bad idea in theory...however, in reality, Hyrule Castle was far larger than he thought it would be. So it was that some thirty minutes later, Link was wandering a hallway hopelessly lost with nary a guard in sight. Why couldn't he get caught being somewhere he had no business in when it would actually be convenient?
He came across an enormous door that appeared to be made entirely of glass, and peered through it to the courtyard outside. It opened up into a small, beautiful garden with all sorts of colorful flowers and a large fountain. That was not what immediately grabbed his attention about it, however; it was the slender figure in a stunning gown of violet, white and gold sobbing on the edge of the fountain that caught his eye. She was crying hysterically, and Link frowned at the sight. No one should be crying alone like that, he thought. Impulsively, without a second thought, he went to her. She did not seem to notice the sound of the door, nor his footsteps toward her.
"Hey there," Link said softly to the crying girl. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a white handkerchief, offering it to her with one outstretched hand even as he placed the other on her slender shoulder in a gesture of comfort. She suddenly looked up, clearly startled by his sudden presence.
"Who--" she asked, her voice choked with tears and confusion. Link frowned at her.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you. I just saw you and I thought you could probably use the company. Or at least a hankie?"
She nodded, took the soft scrap of fabric from him, with a faint smile of gratitude. "Thank you, kind sir." As she dabbed at her eyes and slowly pulled herself together, Link sat quietly watching her. Even with a face flushed red, rivulets streaming down her smudged cheeks, she nearly took his breath away. Her eyes were so blue--almost like the Prince's, and the thought struck him as rather odd. But like his, it was rather like looking into Lake Hylia. Her hair was long, and golden; it shone like the sun, even in the starlight. She was the prettiest girl he had ever seen, even in the mess she was in. None of the girls in Arendal looked half as good even on their best day. Link found himself blushing a bit. It suddenly occurred to him, after she'd not said anything for several long moments, that maybe she might want to be alone after all. She was obviously a highborn lady and didn't need some silly hick bothering her.
"I can go, if you want..." he offered, hoping she'd tell him not to.
"Oh, that is quite unnecessary!" She looked sort of upset at the notion, and Link had to admit to a certain amount of satisfaction at that. "I--thank you. I suppose I merely needed to sit with someone."
"...why are you so upset, anyway? If you don't mind me asking, that is."
"It is of no moment," the girl replied with a sad smile. "Only a bit of family trouble..."
"My best friend's mad at me, and I have no idea why," Link said, by way of sympathy. "I guess it's sort of the day for it, huh?" Link gave a little laugh, and she giggled in return.
"I suppose so."
Caught up in the strange intimacy of the moment, neither of them seemed to notice that Link was holding her hand. Nor did she seem to care. They sat there, enjoying one another's company for what it was, with little expectation. Though he'd ostensibly come outside to comfort her, he also found his own cares and worries slipping away, just sitting with her. "My name's Link, by the way. I probably should have said something earlier, but, well, I kinda forgot."
The girl giggled again, and smiled warmly at him. Link thought he would melt into a puddle and dribble into the fountain when she did so; his knees turned to butter. Her smile was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen. She started to speak, but hesitated; she seemed briefly troubled, as if she didn't know how to respond, but then took a deep breath. "And I--I am Zelda."
"That's a pretty name," Link said without thinking. Her momentary confusion at his response was a little odd, but he thought nothing of it. Her smile grew wider.
"Why, thank you, Link. I am pleased to make your acquaintance."
"Same here. Hey, have you ever been fish--"
It all happened so quickly, he scarcely had time to react. Within the blink of an eye, a white-haired man clad all in black and silver yanked him hard off the fountain, slamming him into the ground. Before he could say a word or even cry out, he was pinned face down, and paralyzed somehow.
"Mikal, that simply is not necessary!" Zelda cried frantically.
"Has this scoundrel harmed you, Princess?"
Link's eyes grew wide in disbelief and more than a little panic. Princess?!
"No, he most certainly has not! Remove yourself, Shatriyaan, that is a command!"
"With the deepest respect, your Imperial Highness, I cannot obey an order which runs contrary to my oath to protect the Imperial person. This intruder had a hand on you, Princess."
...Imperial...Highness...!? The panic grew deeper.
"A hand only offered in comfort, with no malice or ill intent. The boy is no threat, I swear to you! Please," Zelda pleaded. "You are hurting him."
It hung in the air for a long moment, but finally the guard relented. He roughly jabbed a finger into Link's spine and suddenly he could move again. He was roughly helped onto his feet.
"You should not be here," the Sheikah said coldly. Link followed the guard sheepishly back into the castle. He turned, taking one last look at Princess Zelda, who was frowning apologetically at him.
"I'm sorry," she mouthed, and Link thought he'd had enough of imperial royalty for one day.