Chapter Thirty-Two: A Peaceful Night In

The Legend of Zelda: Real Courage

The next night, after a full day of running the kingdom on his own, Zale had a minute to himself. He returned to Lila's room, sat on a chair by her bed, and held her uninjured hand. Her equipment sat on a table opposite an open window, through which shouts and music could be heard, but the Master Sword leaned against the bed stand. He didn't feel right parting it from her, even if only across the room.

Though he held them back for so long, tears streamed down his face. He spoke to Lila, even though she couldn't hear him. He needed someone to confide in, to support him.

"You did it, Lila," he whispered. "Hyrule is safe thanks to you. The town and castle are being repaired quickly. While they're doing so, the people are celebrating your victory, but a deep sadness hangs in the air. Still, they've gone on nearly all day and all night."

He sighed and closed his eyes. Then he looked at the moonlight illuminating her things. "You promised you'd come back, and I'm holding you to that promise. Everyone's waiting for you to join the party."

He paused. "My father's still missing. We've searched all of the castle and the grounds several times over. We've found a lot of people, but not him." He paused again. Softly, he rubbed his thumb over the back of her hand. "Until he's found, I'm in charge, and Zelda has to remain in secrecy. Let me tell you, it's hard work bringing a kingdom back from devastation all by myself." He laughed a hollow laugh.

"The generals went home with their soldiers, except for Fapiath. You may remember she's the burly, blonde woman from Ordon Province. She asked to see you for a personal matter. When I told her you were still unconscious, she insisted she'd stay and wait. She's taken over the care of the animals. She loves animals..."

Zale's voice drifted off. He closed his eyes and leaned back in the chair.

"I wish you could be here with me. It's amazing to see the change in people. The crime rate has gone down and productivity has risen. Having a common goal has united them so that they've set aside their differences and vices.

"Won't you please come back?"

Lila's hand twitched in his, and he bolted upright. She was moving like she was trying to wake from a bad dream.

"I'm here, Lila," Zale said softly. "You're safe. You can rest easy now."

Her eyes flickered open heavily. He smiled a big smile at her and said, "Welcome back, my love."

She opened to say something but was too parched. He reached for a juice that sat on her bed stand, another thing waiting for her.

"Drink slowly," he instructed as he held up her head. "There. Did that help?"

Lila nodded slowly. "You're okay," she whispered.

The tears sprang back to Zale's eyes and he smiled wider. "Yes, I am. And so are you, and so is all of Hyrule. But I almost lost you out there, even though you promised to return to me. That wasn't very nice."

She managed to raise one side of in a tiny grin. "So...Ganondra—?"

"Is dead. You defeated her."

She looked to the window as though noticing the sound outside. Zale explained, "Everyone's happy because of you. They've been partying day and night since the battle."

Lila wondered, "How long?"

"A day or so," he said noncommittally. "You probably only need a few days more before you get out of that bed."

"That would be nice." She closed her eyes, but the smile was stronger now. "I don't like being in a bed all the time. It gets boring."

Zale let out a laugh, making her jump. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to do that. I'm just so relieved to be talking with you again."

"You should get some sleep," Lila told him. "I think you need it more than me."

"You're right. You have no idea how hard I've been working."

He never let go of her hand the whole time.

Lila awoke to darkness a few days later. The moonlight was the only source of light. She stretched while still laying down, feeling all of the aches and pains. The fingers of her left hand were strapped together to keep the bones in place, so her joints hurt a lot from disuse. She longed to be outside again, maybe dueling with the soldiers who fought by her side.

An unusual sound interrupted her musing, coming from outside the window. Curious, Lila closed her eyes and pretended to be asleep. She heard a person making their way toward her, though they were nearly silent. She felt the person close to her. Too close. Too close to her sword.

Her good hand shot out to grab the intruder. It was too dark to see his face, but he almost had his hand on the Master Sword.

"Guar—mrnm" Lila yelled, but he covered . It didn't do him any good. Two guards stood posted just outside her room at all hours. Who knew she would actually need their help?

The door burst open, letting in a flood of light. They grabbed the intruder and started forcing him outside the door.

"Let go of me! That sword belongs to me!" he shouted, desperately trying to escape. Then the light illuminated his face, and Lila gasped.


"We've got this—hrn—, my lady," one guard grunted. "You can go back to sleep."

"But—" They didn't stay to listen.

An uncontrollable shiver overtook Lila's body. She recognized that face. She knew that face.

It was her own.

End of book one

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culoapaperella #1
oooh a loz work,, gonna be amazing to ti read !!