“I’m heading out Zelda, I’ll be back before dusk. If you need anything let Purah know, okay?”
This was the fourth time that week that Link left her to her own devices, and it was oddly suspicious, specially for him. He was never the type to leave her with just her lonesome self in his own home in an unfamiliar village.
She didn’t dwell on it too much. There was far too many things to catch up in her hundred year absence. New discoveries, history, experiments, concoctions, fauna and flora to study to keep her mind off of the idea of being alone.
And just as he promised, Link returned home by the time the sun started to hang low in the horizon. Strangely, his fingers had been bandaged, but she wasn’t going to pry. Knowing Link, it was more than likely a small accident, scraping his hands while climbing a rough cliff. There was no reason to be suspicious of him, her finacé.
But why did the thought still linger?
She trusted him, and she knew he was much more open with expressing himself than he was a century ago. More innocent, purer, more affectionate and loving from the freedom of his previous burdens- all which made her heart flutter in every right way.
He noticed her looking at his bandaged hands, “Oh this? Just an accident, don’t worry- it hardly hurts.”
Just as she thought he’d say. ‘Course he would brush it off.
“I see…” was all she could get out.
I’ve done it now… Link sighed.
Truthfully, he was spending time in preparation for Zelda’s eighteenth birthday, wanting to make it special for her.
He remembered, her last birthday was ruined by the Calamity when it wreaked havoc across the kingdom, killed him and their friends, the king as well as most of the inhabitants. Needless to say, it was a foul day for everyone.
So, in order to make it up to Zelda, Link called on his friends from the four corners of the kingdom and began preparations to celebrate the right way.
He soon learned that it was nigh on impossible to hide a birthday fruit cake in his house, as Zelda would smell the sweet cream frosting and devour it in the blink of an eye if he wasn’t careful. This was something that had to be done away from home if it hoped to survive till her special day.
He arranged with Impa to hold her surprise party in Kakariko, and Paya happily agreed to help in any way she could.
Riju brought drinks, Teba brought in fresh game, Sidon had plenty of fish in a net and Yunobo brought games to play.
Hours prior to the start of the feast, Link went ahead and cooked up a storm of dishes for everyone, cake and dessert included, banquet tables set up in the middle of the village, torches made and lit to illuminate the grounds.
After things were properly prepared, he transported himself to the travel gate in Hateno, with the help of the slate, to fetch Zelda. Of course with the perfect excuse.
“Zelda, Paya needs some ‘feminine advice’, do you wanna come with?” Link spoke up after nudging her from her studies.
“And what, pray tell, is she needing advice for, Sir Knight?” She looked at him with a brow raised.
Link shrugged, “She didn’t tell me specifically.”
Paya always was skittish around men, let alone the Hero of Hyrule… So her coming up and outrightly asking him doesn’t seem plausible… though I have to give them the benefit of the doubt… perhaps she did get over her fear uneasiness of men.
Zelda sighed, “Alright, give me a few moments to get ready. We’re using the slate, correct?”
Of course Link nodded, perfectly concealing his ulterior motives. Doesn’t mean that it will be the closest one to the village…
Zelda quickly put away her research and dressed herself in her travelling clothes, and met Link at the door.
As per usual he was ready as soon as he suggested it, and typically, he was waiting for her as she primmed herself up.
Link thumbed through the map on the Sheikah slate, pulling up one of the nearby shrines, and offered Zelda his arm before they evaporated in streams of blue lights.
Moments later they appeared at their destination overlooking the hidden village. Unbeknownst to Zelda all the party guests were hiding, and the torches were snuffed out, covering the village in a blanket of darkness. Not even the last glimpses of twilight helped to discern what was going on in the valley.
Link took her by the hand and lead her down the path into the village proper. Zelda followed where he pulled her, to and fro as the road wound down.
And then he let go.
She heard his boots trot through the dirt for just a few paces further ahead, mumble a few unintelligible things off in the distance.
Suddenly, her world lit up. Literally. So bright, she had to snap her eyes shut till they adjusted.
As her eyes refocused, she started making out faces from the silhouettes, his included.
And they all shouted-
“Happy Birthday, Princess Zelda!”
Her eyes opened wide, and she saw Link spin around with an ornately decorated fruit cake.
“Sorry I had to fib to you… I wanted this to be speci-”
He saw Zelda rush up to him, and sat the cake down before she squeezed him in a tight hug. He was taken aback when he heard soft sobs and hiccups along with the dampness on his clothes.
“Thank you, Link… this makes up for the hundred birthdays that passed me by,” She blubbered out, to his surprise.
He smiled softly, combing his rough hands through her hair in a soothing gesture, “I’m glad… but I have one more question to ask.”
The young man took in a deep breath before he opened his mouth, his free hand went to grab something from his pocket, “Would you… do the honor of becoming my wife?”
Link revealed a box containing a metal band with a single diamond set in the center, sending her heart soaring and become vapor locked from the immense joy that surged through.
She smiled, leaned in, and pecked him on his soft lips. Looking back up into his azure eyes she spoke only above a whisper-
“Yes. Yes. A thousand times, yes.”