Business in the Twilight

My name is Hael. For the entire 18 years that I have lived, I've been a merchant. Business is my life, pricing my specialty, and making deals my calling. But when the Twilight falls, everything changes. There is no business anymore. Everyone's locked up inside their houses, quaking in fear. Monsters roam freely. The Royal Castle is overrun by creatures, and I'm locked up in it's dungeon. But somehow, someway, no one knows. Everyone goes about their business in Castle Town, and those in Kakariko are forced to fend for themselves. Not one person gives a damn about the Zoras or the Gorons. Not one person gives a damn about me. I'm on my own.

Everyone is on their own.


4. Chapter Four

     Ganondorf  chuckled and sat back in his chair, the sudden rage seeping away into a confident grin. "But now," he swept his gaze past his servant standing obediently next to the stairs, the creatures lined on the wall, and the entire oppressive room, until his sharp gaze landed squarely on me. He paused, smirking as my eyes still stared at the glowing triangle on his hand. "I'm sure of victory." What is he looking at me for? The obvious answer was that it was because he was speaking to me, but something was...different. Off. He knew something, and that was his ace in the hole. But still, what's his trump card? I slowly started putting the pieces together... What's different between now, and all the other times he's failed to complete his mission? I thought of the old legends that were told to children around the fire, and tales written and memorized in school about the horrid owner of the Triforce of Power. Army of monsters, check. Triforce, check. Evil powerful servant, check. So what is it? That sword? No...he wouldn't have shown it today.

    The sword was leaned against his seat, wrapped in an oil cloth to smother it's pure glow. Suddenly, the sword made sense. The most recent history that included Ganondorf was his execution. Well...attempted execution, I thought grimly. The Seven Sages tried to kill him in the prison Arbiter's Grounds. They almost did. Stabbed him straight through the stomach...but his Triforce of Power allowed him to break his bonds. He took the Sage's Sword and killed the Sage of Water. No one knows exactly what happened next, but he was assumed dead, either by the power of the other Sage's, or the brutal heat of the desert. 

     At least that's why its there. I examined how nonchalantly it was leaned against his seat. It was a message. It held no power over him. Nothing held power over him. He had the Triforce of Power for a reason. The very sword used to execute him is now his weapon, his tool. But still, that doesn't answer the question...What's he got up his sleeve? Somehow, I was still missing a piece of the puzzle. I sighed, I'm probably missing a lot more than I think I am. And even if I figure it all out, I can't tell anyone if I'm stuck in this hell hole. But would be nice to know. Lost in thought, I didn't see as Ganondorf motioned to his servant on the stairs.

    "Zant." His servant, whose name was apparently Zant, looked up. His helmet hid his face, but I could still tell how eager his was to do Ganondorf's bidding. I was right. He is a buffoon, I thought.  "Bring them in." The sound of his voice snapped me back to attention. I watched warily as the servant walked out of the room, and returned with two creatures in tow. Between them they carried a large box made of carefully crafted deku wood. Where did he get that?!  Deku wood is so rare nowadays, it must be worth a fortune! Waiting for Zant to climb the stairs, I was surprised to see him stop in front of me. He stepped aside, and the creatures presented the box to me. My heart started to beat faster and louder. I reached my hands to the lid and hesitated.

     Zant leaned over to my ear from behind. I tensed when I felt a slight breeze as part of his helmet clicked back to reveal his mouth. His warm breath tickled as he got uncomfortably close and whispered softly, "Don't worry, they shouldn't bite." Oh goddesses, he's a pervert! A creepy pervert! He stepped away, laughing to himself as I stared at him from the corner of my eye. My hands were shaking awfully, and my heart was racing. This is really bad. Really, really bad. Should I seriously open this? I didn't realize as my hands moved on their own, slowly pulling up the lid, revealing something I would have never guessed.

    The sight of two curved swords unexpectedly brought a smile to my face. "Pfft ahaha!" I clutched my sides as I began laughing hysterically. Me? Are you kidding? I'M his trump card?! I laughed harder and harder, practically falling to ground. Between breaths, I managed to get out a few words. "Are you serious?! HA! Oh goddesses, now this...! This is something!" After a little while, my sides started to hurt, and I slowly calmed down. I touched my face to find it damp. My, my, what a stunt. How did this imbecile manage to take down the castle? Or is this an illusion? I stood straight, much more confident than before. "Me? I'm what's 'ensuring your victory?' Let me tell you, I've heard some crazy stuff...but this? You're joking, right?"  

     "Fancy swords you got here," I said casually, "Mind if I take a look?" I stifled another laugh and peered at the swords, curiosity taking over. The blades were long and curved, deadly sharp. They were polished to a beautiful white shine, a perfect complement to the golden handle. Engravings that started from the pommel curved elegantly around the grip. With a closer look I realized that the engravings were ancient topography. The language of the Gerudo? Why? I glanced at Ganondorf. He tried to hide a smirk as he watched me examine the blades. Right, I thought, he was their king...makes sense. I breathed a sigh of relief, He still doesn't know. But still...these look really familiar. Did I sell a pair? See it in a book? I reached into the box and slipped my hands into the grips of each sword. They were identical to each other, and perfectly balanced just the way I liked. A sinking feeling found its way into my stomach as I rolled the swords back and forth. I used to do this all the time as a kid. Mom had a pair, and she let me play with them after she dulled them. I tossed a sword and listened. It made a soft fwwp as the blades sliced through the air. One bad catch, and you're down a limb, I thought. But I had practiced too much to miss. I caught it easily and flipped it over in my right hand, staring down at the pommel. It can't be there... No! A tiny R was scratched sloppily into the gold. R for right. I always got them confused as a kid.

    "You didn't think you could keep your secret forever, did you?" Ganondorf said quietly. He didn't bother trying to hide his smile anymore. It was like a trophy he put on display. I couldn't stand to look him in the face, so I continued to stare at the R.

     "Where did you get these?" I whispered.

     He continued, "No matter how hard you try-"

     "Where did you get these?" I repeated.

      "-I can recognize one of my own when I see one."

     I sat in silence, unsure of what to do. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind now. He knew. What I was, who I am, where I really come from. From this one, tiny white lie, only one speck of blood, I was one of the most wanted criminals in the entire kingdom—a Gerudo. The mere name sent chills down a Hylian’s spine, and sent waves of raging panic throughout crowds. It was only fitting that the king of such a tribe be the vilest creature the Goddesses ever breathed life into. And at that, the one to expose the secret I had tried desperately to hide from. I found it a sad coincidence that a man I had met only minutes before revealed perhaps the best-kept secret in Hyrule. A sudden melancholy took over. I had hoped our kind would die with me, I thought, but it was only a fairy’s dream. But, either way, it was one hell of a run. Once word gets out…I’ll be fed to dogs if I’m lucky.

      My thoughts were suddenly voiced against my notice. I gestured to my ears, now long and pointed, “We did whatever we could to fit in.” Ganondorf unconsciously touched his own. “I’d say we did a pretty damn good job. Of course, there was only one of us we had to hide, wasn’t there?” Surprisingly, I fought tears back, recalling all the horrors my tribe had gone through in hopes of saving themselves.

      In all typicality, his ears should have been extremely round, like the rest of our race. It was the Goddesses’ curse to exile us to solitude for not worshiping them as we should have. There is no way to hide your very making. These marks were what bound us to our fate—death. In the early years of time when the land was still new and the world brimming with danger, the two races—at that time only one—lived in peace. That peace was short lived. Before long, people became aware of the faults in the Goddesses. How could they leave their people to survive on their own? Where was their protection from disaster? Each question led only to more, and the situation quickly ripped a rift between the two sides. Some devoted themselves wholly to the Goddesses, never doubting and quick to defend their only salvation. Others questioned, prodding the ideals that the lap dogs of the Goddesses held so close to them. They began to argue, showing the true nature of humans in all their ugliness. At first, it was merely heated discussion, until the one final question arose:

      Who lay claim to the Triforce?

      The Triforce, left by the Three Golden Goddesses at the place where they made their departure into the heavens, is a holy mass that encloses an ultimate power. Whoever laid their hands on such a divine relic, no matter who or what they were, had one wish granted. No tricks, strings, or surprises up it sleeves. The magic was pure and unlimited. Any desire, whether good or evil, was granted. Once the people of old had discovered its might, they did what any sensible people would do. They went to war. Those who lusted for such power went mad in search for it, and would do anything to only lay eyes on such a wonder. The Goddesses—long departed for their final perch—would certainly never meddle in such affairs. Instead of looking to the heavens, they cast their eyes downward. Using whatever strength they could muster, sorcerers awoke the beasts that lay submerged in their dark souls, and the soil below gave birth to incarnations of pure greed. A fissure ruptured through the earth, and out poured like tar an army of dark creatures. Their leader, a terrible beast whose name was scratched out of all records, was so great, it took the immortal life of a fourth goddess and her hero to merely seal him. History records drew blank for the next entire era—only dim references to a floating city were made in books hundreds of years later. Assuming humans returned to their senses, historians figured that’s when the real problems arose. Even after a divine war, man was still separated by his differences and greed. The once united people thusly split into two, one hailing to their new patron goddess, the Sand Goddess, and fleeing to the desert. The other stayed under the protection of the Triforce, now fitfully sealed in the Sacred Realm, and continued to build itself under its three divinities.

       The rebellious tribe was chased into the desert and labeled the Gerudo. Those who remained took the name of Hylians, and prospered in rich fields blessed by the Goddesses. Over time, all communication between the two ceased. At best, the two were mortal enemies, silently praying for the destruction of each other. Skirmishes were common, until an all-out war broke out. Although war seems too light of a word. It was a slaughter. The two sides—desperate to cleanse the world of the other—fought until there was one man standing. There was no surrender. Only justice for some and death for the rest.



I'm back from the dead! Yay. Eventually, even if this takes me goddamn 20 years, I will finish this!

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