It's been a while since I've picked this up. A lot has happened. I proposed to Zelda – she said yes can you believe – and we completed the trials given to us by Maz Koshia. Got something called a Master Cycle for my troubles too, except Zelda keeps trying to dismantle it to see how it works.
She says she wants to get married as soon as possible, can't say I disagree. She admitted to me that she enjoyed some of the attention her engagement brought her but she just wanted to have me as her husband already. I might have gotten a little weak when she said that and I think it showed, but the feeling is mutual.
Thankfully, neither of us are big on ceremony these days.
Since the defeat of Ganon, and the subsequent retreat of Hyrule's monster population, more and more people were starting to use the roads. Villages were no longer the confined and cut-off settlements that they used to be. Trade and the swapping of valued skill sets in this new self sufficient age had sprung up in earnest between the races.
Zelda was pleased to discover that this increased skill trade was occurring naturally, thus reaffirming her theory that a monarchy was not necessary in this era and might even have disrupted this natural balance. However, if the people had been expecting a grandiose wedding – considering the participants – they were disappointed when the rumour mill started back up again.
“I think we should be married somewhere quiet, with only a few people present,” Zelda suggested, placing her chin in her hands as she rested against the dinner table, “or we could just elope, of course.”
Link, being the reserved person he was, whole heartedly agreed – to the small wedding, not eloping. So, the question that remained was where? Lurelin was briefly discussed after Zelda very tentatively suggested it over a plate of bacon and eggs. Very crispy bacon.
Link gave the suggestion a few minutes of silent thought before shaking his head. “No. I know why you suggested it, and I appreciate the thought, but... I promised Aryll that I would not look back.”
His sister, Aryll, had lived the majority of her life tucked safely away in Lurelin village along the south coast. She was now very old, stretching even Hylian limitations, but she had been given the chance to see Link again, see him alive, and confirm all the stories she had heard from a Rito bard that liked to visit the area. Just as Link got to see that she had survived the rise of the Calamity, even if she had lived her life without him.
“She made it clear to me that she did not want me being tied to that place simply because she was there. She lived a good life... now it's my turn.”
With the subject of Lurelin put to bed another location suggested was Kakariko Village.
“Impa is already there, as is Paya, and I've always felt welcome there,” Zelda said, mentally drawing up a pros and cons table.
“It is pretty, but it's a Sheikah Village. They went there to live in solitude and preserve their culture. We're both Hylian,” Link pointed out.
“I suppose … it is a shame though. Ideally we need a neutral location, somewhere all races can feel welcome, given our select group of friends.”
A thought occurred to Link in that moment; a place he had, guilty, almost completely forgotten about.
“Isn't that the settlement you helped Hudson build on a plateau in the south of Akkala?”
“That's the one.”
“...that could work.”
We decided on having the ceremony in Tarrey Town in the end as it's the most diverse area in Hyrule currently. That is until we can get Castle Town renovated into a place of commerce again but Zelda is still hashing out the details with the Nation leaders.
Of course, we needed to actually ask the inhabitants of Tarrey Town if they wouldn't mind hosting us first. Thankfully, they were happy to accommodate us, but Zelda ended up staying there for the entire day. Wouldn't say why, just that it was a secret...
As soon as the seamstress had caught wind of the reason behind Zelda's visit, she had immediately enquired about her wedding dress. The blank look on the researcher's face had said all it needed to on that topic and Zelda was shepherded into her store, intent on taking matters into her own hands.
“Oh yes, he's officiated for many people from what I've heard … mostly Zora mind you … just make sure he doesn't slip in a weird clause at the end of your vows,” she warned as she finished noting down Zelda's size and moved on to show her colour swatches. “Now, of course a bride's dress is traditionally white-”
“That was only to demonstrate the family of the bride's wealth, that they could afford to keep things pristine. Admittedly, for me that would have been a moot point and it was more of a symbolic gesture that the bride was a virgin and therefore 'pure',” Zelda rolled her eyes along with her use of air quotes. “But, Rhondson, I'm going to let you in on a little secret; I'm not a virgin.”
“Oh honey, do you think I was? I just look good in white.”
Still, the idea of wearing white reminded Zelda a little too much of her prayer dress, so it was agreed that they would stick to pastels and light shades but no pure white. For example, a pale, cornflower blue that would gradually fade towards the hems as they collected around her ankles. Rhondson even started designing some appliqués that she could sew onto the bodice of the dress after she caught sight of Zelda's engagement ring.
“That boy really does have attention for detail, doesn't he?”
There was no response from the scholar as she had become transfixed by her ring again, a giddy smile adorning her face as she stared at it. Rhondson left her to it, drawing up her patterns on waxed paper and selecting fabrics before a thought occurred to her.
“What is Link going to wear? I don't think I've ever seen him in anything formal... that would be a sight to behold.”
Zelda came out of her reverie with a giggle, “oh he always looked rather presentable in his Champion's tunic but it's seen better days now. I'm not sure what he'll wear, I suppose we'll just have to see.
Rhondson fixed her with a disbelieving stare.
“That's brave of you.”
“Oh, it will be fine,” Zelda assured, waving the words away, “he can wear what he likes, I'd marry him regardless.”
“... very brave.”
We've discovered a problem. How do we get everyone there? We don't intend for it to be a very long ordeal so for everyone to travel to Akkala, the trek itself would be longer than the event. I could just go and teleport everyone but it seems as though Purah has a better idea, we're about to go and see her now.
Purah is a wonderful friend, never let it be said that we don't appreciate her because we do. Despite her complaints.
She has perfected her technique to make Teleport Tablets. Last we saw of them she was still learning how to carve into guardium with the Ancient Flame – Zelda explained - but she can now make tablets that have fixed Shrine destinations written onto them! So, all our guests will need to do is activate one at a specific time to be transported to the Shrine that overlooks Tarrey Town.
Zelda is going to help Purah make the tablets that will return people home so that she can learn how to make them too. Purah's only request was to be one of Zelda's bridesmaids. As if she would say no.
Now I just need to actually finish writing the invites.
Link actually melted a little bit as he thought about it and draped himself over the table top, pushing half written letters and labelled envelopes aside while he dissolved with utter contentment.
He had taken responsibility for delivering all of the invites to their wedding in person. Hence the letters. He'd met many people during his travels and introduced Zelda to them later on, but it was the individuals who had personally invested themselves in aiding Link through his quest who would be joining them.
The Sheikah Directors Robbie and Purah, Impa and Paya of Kakariko, Teba and Kass of the Rito, Yunobo of the Gorons, Chief Riju of the Gerudo, and Prince Sidon of the Zora. Each were encouraged to bring someone with them if they so wished – Link highly doubted that Sidon or Riju would be 'allowed' to leave their domains without an escort and it was equally unlikely that Teba or Kass would want to leave their families behind.
An invite was also extended to Bolson and Karson. Even though they had not been instrumental to Link's Quest to defeat Ganon, they had offered their services in other ways. Carrying out renovations to their home, offering their assistance whenever they had need of it, puppy-sitting Toast, and simply being good neighbours to talk to and have their back. It would also provide them with an excuse to see Hudson after so long.
Still, compared to a wedding that Zelda would have once been dreading a century ago, the one they had crafted was looking to be very cosy.
It had been a bitter realisation when it occurred to them that they had no family to invite, however.
No parents to lead them to their significant other at the altar, no guiding hand or advice for what to wear or what to expect. No last minute familial teasing or threats to mention embarrassing stories. It was just them, working things out together the best they could. It was oddly fitting.
Link picked himself back off of the table when he felt something brush against his legs. Toast had trotted out of her alcove under that stairs to bother him for petting. With one hand reaching down to scratch her behind the ears, he finished addressing the last of the letters and stacked them up into a neat pile to one side. Then he settled himself in to wait for his soon-to-be wife to return from Hateno lab. He had a surprise for her.
Today is a very special day, but I don't think Zelda has remembered.
She's with Purah at the moment and I didn't get chance this morning to mention anything before she left. I'm waiting for her to come back so I can show her all the gifts our friends have sent. I didn't think that when I told people what I had panned that they would be able to respond so quickly … but the cupboard full of presents says otherwise.
An entire year had passed since the battle with Calamity Ganon had ended, an entire year since Zelda's body had started to breath again. To age again.
The former Princess of Hyrule had woken up that morning – the morning of her eighteenth birthday - completely oblivious. Leaving Link still fast asleep in bed with a note placed in his unruly hair to let him know that she had gone to meet Purah at Hateno Lab. His surprise planned for her therefore had to be delayed and he hoped that Purah would not spill the beans before she got home. It was unlikely given that the young Sheikah's focus was undoubtedly fixed on their work, but either way she had already handed Zelda's gift off to Link to add to the others.
After I proposed, Zelda had insisted that we inform our friends in person. I believe her words were “They deserve to know from us, not through the grape vine, Link. You forget how much they care about you, they're going to be so happy for us!”
Once again, hard to disagree but I just don't think about telling people these things.
So, after Zelda and I were drowned in congratulations and well-wishes, I was pulled to one side to endure a variety of different comments.
“Took you long enough,” he'd grumbled before grabbing Link around the shoulders with one wing and rubbing his hair furiously with the other. Looking for all the world like a proud parent, taking personal joy in the small Hylians progress.
Riju had looked extremely smug upon the announcement and wiggled her eyebrows at Link shamelessly, mouthing out of the corner of her mouth, “how did you manage that?”
He'd stuck his tongue out at her but was then surprised when she gave him a genuine hug and added, “I really am happy for you. You deserve this, so much.”
There hadn't been any sort of sarcastic commentary to accompany the good cheer that came from Yunobo. He had waved his gigantic arms excitedly, clearly at a loss as to what he should do with this newfound energy before he gathered Link and Zelda into a hug. A far more gentle hug than either of them had come to expect from Gorons. He was so emotional that he accidentally summoned his crystalline barrier around them.
Then there had been Sidon, who cried. In between the sobs of joy they were each able to discern his words of heartfelt congratulations before he'd folded and drawn them into a secure embrace. It wasn't until after he had managed to pull himself back together that he had tapped Link's shoulder and grinned at him, baring all of his many shark teeth.
“I guess she likes mutts after all,” he whispered, conspiratorially.
I'm still not sure how the hell Sidon remembered that conversation but I wasn't about to give him the satisfaction of seeing me offended. I now regret teaching him how to engage in friendly ribbing.
Still, once I had endured all of the 'teasing' I was able to let everyone in on my plan to surprise Zelda for her Birthday – given that it had been moved and all. This then prompted a discussion of when my birthday was but it looks like everyone has sent something. Hopefully, I can pull this off.
Link was near vibrating when Zelda finally came home, hands covered in soot and a couple of fingers wrapped in plasters but with an accomplished smile on her face. After cleaning herself up, she dropped into a seat at the table. She tickled Toast's fluffy chest as the Hylian Retreiver came over to greet her, and then peered at the completed invites with interest while she inhaled the scents of spices and poultry cooking over the fire.
“We've finished off all the tablets we'll need so you can take those with you when you hand out these invites.” She patted Toast on her side to let her know that fuss time was over and she stretched against the back of her chair, taking in another lungful of air. “I recognise that smell. Urbosa used to have this made for me whenever I visited Gerudo Town with my mother. Took me a while to get used to the spices.”
“I know,” Link replied, hiding a knowing smile with his back to her as he continued to chop tomatoes and herbs, gently nudging an insistent dog away with his foot.
“Oh, how would you- Urbosa's diary? You little snoop,” Zelda accused, narrowing her eyes as Link gathered up his ingredients and added them to the pot above the fire.
She tried to catch his eye and see his reaction but he kept his face hidden from her the entire time he stirred the contents of the pot, replacing the lid and stoking the fire to raise the temperature. After watching him return back to his counter in equal silence she gave in with a groan.
“Alright, you win. What's the occasion?”
Halfway through counting out some raisins he paused, the lights along his prosthetic flaring, before he placed the raisin jar to one side and turned to her. His face was devoid of emotion, determined to give nothing away but the highlights along his right arm betrayed him. Glowing with excitement as his heart raced.
It had actually become a very good indicator of his moods.
“Don't you know what day it is today?”
Zelda's eyebrows furrowed together in thought and Link turned back to the counter to finish measuring out the last of the ingredients to add to their dinner. Once everything was left to stew in a thick, amber sauce, he sat himself down at the table opposite Zelda. He watched her continue to work out why today was so special and bit down on his bottom lip to prevent a smile as he saw the minute set of expressions that always preceded a realisation spread across her face.
“Today's the day we defeated Ganon! Has it really been a year? It feels like it's been longer but at the same time it's still surprising that so much time has passed.”
While she marvelled at the passage of time, Link waited for a few more seconds before raising his eyebrows and inclining his head at her as if to say 'go on'.
“Is there something else? I mean that's a pretty big occasion in and of itself...” Zelda trailed off as Link got up and opened one of the cupboards under his counter.
From inside, he retrieved several brightly coloured packages, all tied up with ribbon, and tucked them close to him as he returned to her side of the table. He let them gently tumble out of his arms and slid the pile over to her, leaning down to place a kiss against the top of her head.
“Happy birthday, Zelda.”
Jaw dropping, she nearly choked with how quickly she inhaled in shock, spluttering a bit as she grabbed a hold of Link's wrists to get him to look down at her. Her eyes widened as she took in the grin taking over Link's features, obviously amused at her surprise.
“I had completely forgotten! My Birthday used to be just before the onset of winter, not in the middle of summer... Oh, Link!”
Zelda threw her arms around him, nearly bringing him crashing down onto the table as she squeezed his ribcage. He tried not to wheeze too audibly.
“I can't believe it. I'm eighteen. I've awakened my powers, saved Hyrule, spoke to the Goddess Hylia herself and now I'm about to get married. I'm eighteen.”
Hysterical laughter continued to fill their house as Zelda wiped tears from her eyes and she started to unwrap her many presents.
I think Zelda enjoyed her surprise birthday yesterday, she certainly didn't waste much time after we'd finished dinner to drag me to bed. I didn't even get chance to tell her about the cake I had hidden, but in my defence I was thoroughly distracted. I'll have to give it to her today.
She's currently tinkering with her new carving tools and flame cradle that Purah and Robbie gave her. We're going to visit the Ancient Flame at the top of the village to bring some back for her lab and then she's asked if I'll help her with organising her material storage. The highly cultivated seeds Riju gave her are being divided into glass tubes at the Kitchen table. I can hear the rattling from up here in bed.
I'll have to thank everyone for being so thoughtful with their gifts seeing as I gave them very little notice. None of them were overly dramatic or fit for a Princess, which delighted her; Lab equipment, seeds, preserved manuscripts from civilisations past, and rare materials mined from deep within the earth that still hold magic from eons long forgotten.
Zelda really took the Sheikah Monks words to heart. She's been scanning every book we've saved from the Castle library for any mention of past magic use. Apparently, it used to be pretty common place, but not commonly accessible. Unlike today. She's determined to bring the magic arts back into today's society, but with everything else she's set out to do I'll have to make sure she doesn't burn out.
Time to worry about that another day. For now, I suppose I should actually tip myself out of bed, these invites won't deliver themselves.
The day is finally here and I both want to curl up while squeezing a pillow to death and run around screaming. I'm glad I have Sidon here with me. He's keeping up a steady stream of encouragement and small anecdotes to distract me.
My legs won't stop shaking though. Today, I'm going to marry Zelda.
While Zelda had wanted to stick to tradition for this one occasion, she had not been willing to part ways with him until that morning. Something about missing her 'living pillow'. So, it was at the break of dawn when Zelda had taken Toast and travelled ahead of Link to meet their Sheikah guests already in the town, who had gathered together to help her get ready and otherwise keep her company.
This left Link with nothing to do except hover in the area of the Dah Hesho Shrine waiting for their guests to arrive as the tablets activated, unable to stay in one place for long due to accumulating excitement.
Chief Riju and her bodyguard had been the first to arrive, swiftly followed by Teba and Kass with their accompanying family. Riju had never met any Rito children before and was quickly enamoured with the brightly coloured swarm as they surrounded the young Cheif, peppering her with questions. Kass had laid a comforting wing on Link's shoulder before assuring him that he could lead the way to Tarrey Town.
This meant that the Hylian Champion was able to receive Yunubo, mere minutes later. The young Goron looked extremely uncomfortable with the sensation of teleporting and immediately conjured his shield upon arriving. It took Link a couple of minutes to comfort the shaking ball, but once he had Yunobo had marvelled at the view.
“It's so red here, like Death Mountain, but there's no rock anywhere, goro! I should leave the town more often...”
They took their time walking down the slopes of Kaepora Pass, discussing the advancements the Gorons had made with mining out a vein of magically charged ore. It was a very volatile material according to Yunobo and the Goron's had needed to take additional care with their cargo while transporting it but it had opened up a whole new area of trade for their region.
Their conversation came to a halt as Yunobo spotted his fellow Goron's tending to the cooking fires and left Link to join them and catch up. The Hylian wandered about the town to make sure that people were mixing in well, but it seemed that everyone was taking the opportunity to talk with the members of their nations who had left to populate this town.
Aware that he was now only waiting for Sidon to arrive, Link walked back up to the Shrine and settled down to wait. He was starting to become a bit confused by the lateness of the hour with still no shark Prince in sight until a loud whistling pierced the air.
Standing in the plains below the Shrine was Prince Sidon, accompanied by a motley crew of guards: Bazz, Gaddison, Rivan, and Sergeant Seggin.
“As much as I want to use that tablet you gave us,” Sidon yelled, cupping his hands around his mouth as Link scaled his way down from the high rise, “I was once again told to not be lazy!”
Seggin looked extremely unimpressed as he turned to berate the Prince while Link jogged up to them.
“That was merely one of my concerns, your Highness,” Seggin huffed at Sidon, but he came forward to greet Link cordially. “Since our Domain is only just on the other side of the cliffs behind us, it seemed a little redundant but I appreciate the consideration. Our main concern, however, was that we would be unable to all hold onto the device and travel together given … how many of us deigned to join the Prince.”
The remaining trio of Zora grinned unabashedly.
“You didn't think we were going to miss this did you, Link?” Bazz laughed, as if the idea were ludicrous.
Link rubbed a hand over the fabric covering his right arm in a nervous gesture. [I didn't want to be picking favourites. I love all of you.]
“That's very sweet Link but we all know that Sidon's plus one was going to be Bazz,” Gaddison explained, “and we couldn't let him have all the fun, the pompous snot, so-”
“Hey, hey now! When did this become about me?” Bazz spluttered, face tinting slightly as he blushed, eyes darting between Link and his 'friends'.
“Bazz, relax,” Sidon said, stepping in as he placed both hands on Bazz's shoulders, “you shouldn't feel the need to be bashful because I favour you over anyone else. After all, you are my partner!”
“Bazz? Bashful? Now that's a new one,” Rivan stage whispered to Gaddison, who fought hard to save face.
Meanwhile, a truly accomplished grin had spread across Link's face and he cheered, leaning back to exclaim to the clear skies above.
“Ha ha! You hear that Zelda? I won!”
Bazz, who had been in the middle of trying to form a comeback, choked and the Prince, Bazz's backup, whipped his head over to stare at the crowing Hylian.
“You … you made a bet? With Zelda?!” He exclaimed, completely losing his composure as he too began to flush, gripping onto Bazz's shoulders now as if to keep himself upright.
Link locked eyes with him and smirked, wiggling his eyebrows as he said, “not great when people bet about your romantic life, huh Sidon?”
Rivan and Gaddison were no longer trying to stifle their laughter as they held each other up but even the Sergeant could not help but let out a smirk before turning away. Effectively abandoning his son to his torment, the old Zora made his way towards Tarrey Town.
He and Kapson had been in contact ever since the Priest left the Domain and he was confident that he could make his own way there to meet his old friend at his own pace. Leave the youngsters to their chaos. The sounds of continued teasing and whining followed him all the way into town.
By the time Link and his entourage of Zora made it back, there was little under an hour left for the groom to get ready and that was when the nervous energy exploded.
He was quickly shepherded into the Inn that Kapson managed, catching a quick glimpse of Toast walking around with a flower crown perched on her head before he was subjected to a thorough grooming by Teba. Once his hair had been tamed to an acceptable level by the Rito's assessment he was then passed off to Bolson, who sat him down on a bed and brandished a stick of eyeliner at him.
“I cannot express how much I need you to stay still for this,” the designer implored, bending at the hips to apply careful lines of black around Link's eyes. “Now, the big, hunky Zora over there tells me that you haven't told anyone what you're going to wear. Risky decision in my opinion, but we trust you so please don't let my efforts here go to waste.”
Without moving his head, Link let his hands answer for him. [I won't and that Zora is taken]
“Doesn't mean I can't appreciate the view, young grasshopper,” Bolson retorted, tapping Link's nose with a soft brush, scattering beige powder over his cheeks. “Now that I have you here, I've been meaning to ask. Who is taking whose name after this? I didn't want to assume.”
Link smiled softly, trying hard not to move his face too much.
[Both. Hyrule-Sylvis. Together it would translate as Hyrule Forest. We saw an opportunity and took it]
“Never let it be said that love is dead,” he sighed, “still, that is rather cute. Alright, all that's left is for you go into that room over there and work that weird mojo you do with that Slate of yours.”
He did as he was told, running on autopilot as his excitement peaked, and retrieved the various pieces of clothing for his chosen outfit, laying them out onto a table. For the millionth time, he thanked the Sheikah of old for the Slate and it's ability to literally warp his clothes around his mechanical arm. Getting a clingy shirt and elbow length gloves to pull over it would have been near impossible.
Link was fastening the last item in place just as he heard someone enter the Inn and Sidon start to speak to them.
“Riju? What are you doing here, shouldn't you be with Zelda?”
“Oh please, she's drowning in attention and I want to make sure that Link isn't about to go out there looking like a … Oh,” Riju trailed off as she caught sight of Link walking into the room, now fully dressed for their inspection. “Oh damn, Link, you clean up really well.”
“Well he did manage to capture the hearts of two Princesses,” Sidon quipped as he too took in Link's appearance in an approving once over.
The deep blue fabric combined with the golden accents of the Royal Guard uniform went well with his blue eyes and blonde hair. The deep red of the under shirt along with the thigh length white boots and elbow length gloves completed his striking appearance. Even though he was marrying a scholar, he did look fit to marry Royalty.
“I'm … sorry I doubted you,” Riju said, looking a little taken a back. She then turned to Sidon, “was this your doing?”
“Absolutely not,” the Prince announced proudly, “it seems he was set on this outfit from the get go and I can see why. Now then,” he rubbed his hands together, “it's time!”
The actual ceremony itself passed by a bit blurred for Link. He walked confidently up to the altar to stand before Kapson, who appraised him briefly before looking back out over their guests. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught sight of Teba and his family giving him a thumbs up, but everything after that was a mystery because the moment he saw Zelda walking towards him, led halfway there by Impa, his brain took it's leave completely.
Their vows were shared, rings were exchanged, and then they were able to express their love in front of their new found family. But the entire time Link and Zelda had stood before Kapson and their many witnesses, he couldn't help but wonder what he had done to please the Goddesses so much that they would let him have this.
Zelda looked stunning. Now I know why Zelda had spent the entire day in Tarrey Town. Rhondson really outdid herself but I can't help but feel that on anyone else the dress would not have been as effective as it was on her. I think I might have started crying, I'm not sure, I just knew that she looked beautiful. Covered in her favourite flowers and wearing the same colours, she was every bit the Silent Princess I have come to love.
I still can't believe she's now my wife.