A 7 year old Zora sat just outside of Zora's domain, picked flowers lay in neat stacks around her. Gaddy wasn't to far away watching the princess, a ring of flowers wrapped around the bicep of her arm that did not hold the spear. It was just under the armor of her arm, in clear view for everyone to see.
Every guard had one, compliments of Zarya. It was rare to see a Zora guard or anyone not holding or wearing some sort of flower that Zarya had made them. No one could say no to the little princess when she made the flower bands and they didn't mind.
Zarya was currently making on for her grandpa, she always would make it too big or too small. She was determined to get it right, King Dorphane didn't seem to mind and encouraged her to keep trying.
Even Sidon would sport the flower bands, as well as Link having his own flower crown from time to time. Zarya had gotten good at making the band's and crowns. Both her father's were busy in a meeting with Aunt Zelda, but they promised they would have a picnic near the reservoir once it was done.
Zarya was able to leave the domain if a guard or one or both of her fathers were there, and with Gaddy so close by her fathers didn't mind her being in this area of the domain. As long as she kept Gaddy in sight.
She would hate to cause her fathers to worry, but there are a few times she disobeyed the few rules her fathers had.
Zarya was on her way back to the domain when voices caught her ears. She looked up when a movement caught her eye a brown Zora, a Hylain and a small yellow Zora walked in between them. What made Zarya halt was the conversation they were having.
"Lola, when we show you the Lynel you have to remain as far away" the voice of the brown Zora touched her ears.
The Hylain nodded "yea, they can be very harmful to zoras and this will help you to avoid them if you travel hyrule."
They were halfway up the slope towards the Lynel's territory and without thinking she took off after them. Fear gnawing her insides for the two zoras and the hylian.
Just as she reached them they were an inch inside the territory looking over a rock to stare at the Lynel. The brown Zora was about to lift Lola up to look. With a quick tug, she dragged them away from the view.
"What are you three doing here!" She said her voice scared and small.
"Oh! Princess" Lola said with a happy squeal to loud for her liking being close to the Lynel's territory.
The Hylain smiled "we were showing Lola the Lynel"
"You know you're not supposed to be up here!" Zarya hisses "come on!"
She grabbed the hylian's wrist and the older Zora's and tugged them to follow. The next thing Zarya knew her back flared in white hot agony. A loud scream bounced off the rocks, not even realizing it came from her own voice.
Zarya didn't know if she passed out or what happened, but the next thing she knew was a howl jolting her awake. She leapt away as blinding pain coursed down her back, if she moved or anything touched it.
The wind that would usually feel good on her scales, hurt so much. She couldn't hold back the tears that started to fall and didn't register the frantic voices calling for her.
Two hands touched her arms, they were shaking and Zarya could only recognize they were smaller than her Daddy's hands. Probably either Aunt Zelda or Papa, another choked sob escaped her as she squeezed her eyes shut. The hands instantly left her arm and wiped the tears from her eyes.
She peeled them open to see Link, Lupus and Aunt Zelda both next to her, worry and fear shine brightly in their eyes. She reached out her hands when she realized it hurt to much to speak and began to slowly sign [three...came up...stopped them]. Her signing she saw was hard to read.
Link nodded just as a roar caught Zarya's ears making her shrink into a ball and whimper in pain because of her actions. Zelda stood and raced away, probably to see what happened when her angry voice covered the mountain.
Daddy soon appeared at her side, what she also realized was Muzu and one of the palace healers were coming up the side of the mountain. The healer who was known at Nile, kneeled down beside Zarya.
"We need to roll you on your side, this is going to hurt for a few minutes, ok Princess" Nile spoke in a soft voice. Zarya felt her Daddy and Papa each hold one of her hands and she nodded trying to stop her tears from flowing.
Nile reached into a pack that Zarya didn't notice as quickly as he could. He pulled out a single bottle, one that looked to be a chilly potion.
Nile spoke again but, Zarya didn't hear it, she cried out again when she was shifted on to her side. Her hand having a deathgrip on both of her parent's hands. If it hurt them, they made no sound.
Nile reached for the chilly potion and held it to her lips, for the first time she shook her head. "Hurts"
Sidon held out his hand and Nile placed the potion in his palm and quickly took the healer's place "sweetie, if you don't drink it. We can't move you." A soft whine catches her ears as Lupus nuzzles her face gently.
Zarya whimpered as she felt words being traced into her skin [we know it hurts, but if you don't drink you'll continue to hurt, please Zarya]
As her parents began to softly coax her she allowed her Daddy to pressed the bottle to her lips and she slowly drank it. Coughing immediately from the veil taste as her back slowly began to numb enough for it to be a dull ache.
"she's ok to move, the chilly potion should cool her for enough time to get her to the palace" Nile moved to check Zarya and nodded "don't touch her back or it will be worse."
She hissed softly when she was hoisted into her Daddy's arms, his arms positioned under her legs. She didn't let go of her Papa's hand, she still held it in a vice like grip.
Over her Daddy's shoulder, everyone followed. The Zora and Zelda's guard were all there. Muzu and Zelda returned her gaze with worried ones of their own. Lupus paces around the Zora royal family, soft whines were heard from him. Nile was probably walking beside her parents to keep an eye on her back. She then realized the two Zora and Hylian children that had originally come to the mountain were gone.
Before she buried her head into the crook of her Daddy's neck on the walk back, she finally picked up the reeking stench of dead Lynel. Just as they stepped into the throne room, the chilly potion began to wear off.
A pained whimper left her lips and she felt her Daddy pick up the pace. A familiar worried voice softly filled the room, just as her parents walked out.
She felt herself be laid down on a bed, her back out. After a second, Nile came over and held out another potion for her to drink. This time she didn't refuse. It must have been another chilly potion as her back went back to the dull ache.
A pink potion was held out to Zarya and instead of it being Nile, Zelda stood there. "Here, you need it more than me"
Zelda looked away for a moment before speaking again, Zarya realized Papa might have been signing "yes, I'm sure. It might not fully heal because of most portions not fully working with Zora, but it should help a bit more than the hearty potions"
Before anyone could stop her Zelda uncorked the bottle and promoted Zarya to drink, who didn't refuse.
Nile then, returned with a long cloth. He pressed it gently over her back and with the help of Sidon and Link began to wrap a gauze bandage around her midsection. Zarya soon fell asleep.
Unknown to how long she slept, Muzu was silently watching over her. Her Daddy and Papa sat on a couch not to far away, sleeping on one another. That's when she noticed darkness on the outside of the window.
"Hi Muzu" she said softly, not wanting to wake her parents.
"Zarya" Muzu sighing softly in relief and gently ran his finger across her tail much like how her fathers would do "How are you feeling?"
"Tired...and my back hurts" Zarya mumbled as she purred softly.
Muzu hummed "I would assume, being grazed by a shock arrow can not be a good feeling. You were lucky"
"I know..." Zarya knowing a shock arrow can be fatal to a Zora and child even more so. "I had to stop them..."
"Who were the three that had climbed up the mountain?" Muzu asked as he took the princess's hands when she held out for her own.
Zarya looked away as she heard a sigh from Muzu, "rest and maybe you'll tell your fathers in the morning"
Zarya nodded and tried to fall asleep, it was an on and off sleep that didn't help when her back began to hurt again. She didn't even see a chilly potion nearby, it wasn't long when Nile had walked in to set another potion down beside her.
It hadn't been long since Muzu had left and the sun had barely risen, she opened her eyes and whimpered softly drawing his attention "morning princess, here"
"Thanks" she said as she expected the bottle and drank it. She stuck her tongue out in disgust making Nile chuckle.
She sighed softly as the healer went over to her parents and shook them, Link sat up instantly even though his eyes gazed around sleepily. He then settled on Zarya and was up and at her side before Sidon even moved.
Zarya melts into her Papa's hug and spoke as her Daddy also appeared in her eye view. He ran his fingers across her tail which now she realized was swept to the side. "I'm sorry" she said, trying to keep her voice from shaking.
"We know" Sidon spoke his hands didn't halt in the action. "Link told me you were trying to get someone away from the mountain"
[Will you tell us who was there?] Link signed as Zarya looked away and hid her face.
"It is noble you wish to protect them" Sidon said with a small sigh "but, there has to be consequences. I know you were keeping them from harm, but you still got hurt while doing so"
"I-I heard them wanting to show the Lynel so the sister of the Zora could know what one looks like" Zarya said in a soft voice. "The sister was named Lola"
Sidon nodded and turned to Link who signed [I'll stay with her]
"Alright, if anything happens send Lupus to get me" Sidon said as he left, that when Zarya noticed Lupus laying at the foot of the bed. He wasn't even touching any part of her, looking to scared to touch her.
Zarya sighed and looked at her Papa, who was clenching his fists. Without a second thought she worked his fingers opened and settled her hand against his.
Link smiled softly at her and he touched his head to hers before drawing his hands away so he could sign, a frown returning to his face [you could have gotten us first].
"I know..." Zarya said softly "I didn't think I was just scared for them"
Link smiled as he huffed a small laugh [spoken like a true princess]
Zarya smiled back as the door slowly opened, Lupus instantly lifted his head up before laying it down when Zelda appeared "is it ok if I come in?"
Link nodded and waved her in and Zelda walked full in "How are you feeling?"
"As fine as I can be" Zarya said with a sigh. Zelda moved next to the bed. "I won't be surprised if the others will come a visit when they hear what happened"
Link nodded [Or send something if they can't and visit the sooner they can.]
"Yea" Zelda said before adding "oh Zarya, Muzu has let you off of you work for know, he'll accept it once you've full healed"
Zarya nodded trying to hide a smile "ok"
[You sound so disappointed] Link signed and Zarya just felt the sarcasm with each word her Papa signed.
Zarya only chuckled before she bit back a hiss of pain, the chilly potion had worn off slightly, though it was still there.
Link kissed her forehead as he traced into her shoulder [rest]
Zarya nodded and closes her eyes, the next time she woke. Soft voices fully the room, Lupus was now laying his head across the back of her legs.
The voices she picked up on were Nile, her Daddy and Auntie Zelda, she had a feeling her Papa was there too when she heard Nile acknowledge him.
"There is nothing you can do?" Sidon's worried voice was quiet not to wake the already awake Zarya.
A sigh before Nile spoke "I'm sorry, the lightning burned away all of them. The skin on her back won't toughen up when she reaches maturity."
"But, the area can become sensitive" Zelda spoke "even the feel of wind can cause pain"
"The best bet is to have the water-proof padding that the guards wear under their armor. It thin enough for her to not even notice" Nile suggested.
There was silence as Zarya figured Link was signing and Nile spoke again "yes, the padding doesn't offer any protection, but it's the best bet we have. We can't just make her armor, she's still growing, you'd have to correct it every month. The armor could cause more pain when she's growing"
More silence filled the room before Sidon spoke "the best we can do is put a guard on her when Link and I are not with her"
Nile grunted in approval "that maybe the only option you have right now. I'm sorry we couldn't do more your highnesses"
"It's alright my friend, there isn't much you can do" Sidon said in a sad voice. Zarya shifted and Lupus growled softly making they all fall silent. She then felt herself drift back into slumber.
A week later, Zarya was able to walk around the room without her father's help. Her back now not flaring in so much pain, but it did feel painful when she walked forcing her to stop every few seconds. As well, as anything touching it would make it flare up, even the wind hurt.
Zarya was currently alone in her room except for Lupus, she was looking over her shoulder a mirror behind her. Auntie Zelda left a few days ago while Teba and Tulin were on their way to visit the Zora princess.
She looked to see her back now was paler, a contrast to her normal dark blue as well as red lines moving across her back like uneven spider webs. Papa had the same type of scar, remembering him telling her he got it from Thunderblight Ganon.
She knew that Link sometimes didn't like his scars, it was then she and her Daddy would spend the day making Link not think those thoughts.
Now she knew what her Papa meant, she did not like how the red lines stood out against her now pale back. Lupus watched from the bed, his ears slightly pinned as he almost guessed what Zarya was thinking about.
She was snapped out of her thoughts when knocking reached her ears, she scrambled back to her bed. She sat up being mindful of her back when the door opened. Tulin hung from the doorknob as the door sung open as he chirped in surprise. The sight cause Zarya to giggle.
Tulin drops from the knob' closes the door and before he said anything Zarya zipped her lips. Knowing he was going to say to not tell his Daddy that happened, this time Tulin laughed. He climbed up onto the bed and sat across from Zarya, that's when she noticed he was dragging a bag behind him "how are you doing?"
"Fine, as much as I can be" Zarya said with a small shrug.
"when me and Dad heard, we went to the shop and found the softest thing we could find" Tulin reached into the bag and pulled out a blanket "when us Rito loose a large patch of our feathers our skin is very sensitive as well and it's hard to sleep. Laying on anything really soft helps us and you usually don't like to wear your gauntlets when you sleep."
Tulin gestured to the sliver almost water drop shaped gauntlets that laid on her bedside table. She looked at Tulin "are you sure?"
Tulin nodded and wraps the blanket around the Zora and she smiled, the blanket was comfortable against her back unlike the blankets she usually had on her bed. "There is a bed sheet and a pillow case too, but you'll family will probably change it when you they get here." He pats the bag before getting up to set it aside.
"Thank you Tulin" Zarya said with a smile.
"No problem, your highness" Tulin dramatically bows making Zarya laugh, she leaned forward slightly and the skin on her back stretches uncomfortably. She instantly straightened as Tulin spoke "have you tried being in Uncle Sidon's pool?"
Zarya...actually never thought of that. "I haven't been out of bed much because even with the Chilly and hearty potions that I've been drinking, it hurts. I've been cleared to move about my room and the main room, it still is uncomfortable"
Zarya pulled the blanket more around her, the other reason is because Tulin hadn't seen her back yet and she preferred him...not to see it.
Tulin spoke cutting though Zarya' s thoughts "I'll help you walk and I won't look" her shocked eyes met his calm one before she sighed and nodded.
Tulin backed up to allow Zarya to step off the bed, he held out his feathered hand and she allowed him to carefully grab her arm. The walk was slow and painful for Zarya, where she had to stop every few seconds to catch her breath. She sighed in relief when her back was covered in water.
Lupus wastes no time in moving from the bed to the side of the pool to watch over her. Zarya regrets not doing this sooner, she moved to try and situate herself to keep her back covered as well as lay her head on her arm so she could still talk to Tulin.
She managed it after a bit of shifting and she turns to her Rito friend. "Thanks for the help."
Tulin waved it off "it's fine, how's the surprise you've been working on?"
"It's coming along" Zarya said "It's confused my Papa why I took a picture of nothing on the slate."
"Who do you need left?" Tulin asked.
"Revali" Zarya said and caught the confused glance of Tulin and spoke before he did "he kept making different poses and movement that I couldn't get one clear picture and told me to delete the clear ones cause it didn't capture his "spirit" I swear I get why Papa was annoyed by him in the past"
Tulin chuckled softly, and the two fell into easy conversation. They were cut off when Sidon entered the room and his eyes grew slightly wide, but he smiled. Nile soon followed and he said "that is a good idea, princess."
"Tulin gave me the idea" Zarya said with a smile as Nile sat on the side of the pool and looked over her scales.
"Good thinking Tulin" Sidon said as he ruffles the boys head as he let out a happy chirp.
Nile nods in agreement before speaking again. "The healing process is going along fine, with the hearty potions it's going a little bit faster. Now, I need to speak with you about your back."
"Ok" Zarya said softly and Nile gave her a reassuring smile.
"We are having a stretchable water-proof padding made for you, to have it grow with you." Nile explains "as you know Zora scales when they are young are softer than adult Zora scales. The shock arrow, burned away all of the scale that is supposed to mature and harden with age (Young Zora scales don't grow back if they are burned away and if the area is in a large scale). When you reach adulthood armor will be made to make up for the missing protection, but your skin should be as painfully sensitive as it is now."
Zarya looks hopefully at Nile "how long should it stop being overly sensitive?"
"Unfortunately, it'll take a few years. The padding will help, so you'll just have to watch out when you don't have the padding on." Nile spoke seeing Zarya's face slightly fall "sorry princess, I wish I could bring you better news."
Sidon gently ran his hand over Zarya's tail, "thank you Nile." The healer nods and when I quick goodbye and leaves another chilly potion and hearty option for Zarya to take leaves the three alone.
Tulin jumps up making Zarya jump, "You'll get better! Be happy!"
"And we will be by your side through it all, my minnow" Sidon says as he leans down and presses and gentle kiss to her forehead, making his daughter purr. Lupus barks his approval as his tail thumps the ground happily.
Zarya eyes them before slowly nodding. She knew it'll take awhile for her to accept this, but she knew that she'd always have her family by her side to help her.