Bruh I’m calling it right now both the Phantomhive Manor morons should have died in that episode. Both of them were clearly overpowered by their respective counterparts, but BOTH the Trancy Manor fools made the same mistake:
They talk too much.
If Claude hadn’t fucked around with his monologuing he would have beheaded Sebastian before they heard Ciel and Alois fighting. And Alois, the sweet idiot, he had like three (3) opportunities to kill Ciel but Like Claude, HE TALKS TOO MUCH AND HE LET CIEL REGAIN HIS STRENGTH TO FIGHT BACK
Zelda’s Log #8: The Things We Lost (And The Ones We Gained)
A/N: I have a very strained relationship with my father, so writing about Zelda’s relationship with her father comes quite close to home. I cried a lot writing this, as you might guess.
Fun Fact: this is the second chapter I wrote when I was planning this series.
Music: Mitski - Francis Forever; Claude Debussy - Suite Bergamasque III. Clair de Lune.
*Leaves giant box of kleenex just in case*
She almost immediately regretted coming to the place once was her home.
Her last times on the Castle ruins were hazy, because of all the adrenaline and the rush of the battle.
One was a hundred years ago, as she faced the Calamity head on, on her own, surrounded by the wreckage on her kingdom, and the fire devouring and consuming everything, turning buildings, people and living beings in ashes.
The second one was still among the ruins, but the Calamity was no more, sealed away with her power and the blade carried by her reawakened appointed knight: she just returned to pick some belongings - her Sheikah slate among them - and clothes from a chest. Nothing else, nothing more.
She remembers the vague image of a Silent Princess in bloom crossing her eyes before leaving the ruins and rushing on horseback. She regained focus once they were in Link’s house - where her new life began.
Now all she sees is every single detail: the cracks and textures, tears and wears, growing plants and moss on the rubble and ruin surrounding her.
No malice, no enemies; just destruction and silence.
10.37 a.m. I am currently revisiting the castle ruins. I have no idea which is wiser: to rebuild or to tear everything to the ground and start over. Either case, at least I know Mr. Bolson has us covered.
Fun thing: I’m writing from my old desk. Some things never change.
Link tapped her shoulder, signaling her to follow him somewhere.
Despite the massive level of decay, she could recall all the halls and rooms. Link’s steps ceased in front of a concealed door, now out of its original position, on the library.
She could be able to recognize her father’s studio in any state.
Zelda had lost the count of how many times she had been scolded there.
‘I found this’ -his hand grabbed a torn up volume- 'on my first incursion here’, he explained, 'I thought you might want to read it, or just have it as a keepsake’.
‘My father’s journal?’, she examined the book, her face unimpressed. ‘I didn’t know he had one’.
After reading the first pages, her expression was neutral. As she made progress her lips pursed, her brows frowned, and her teeth clenched.
After reading the last page, her soft voice turned in a growl, she brashly closed the journal, and without a word, it flew across the room, to Link’s surprise.
The thudding of the book echoed on the walls. Zelda started wailing, tears cascading down her cheeks.
‘He knew it was not the way’, she sobbed, ‘Why did he understood so late that I was doing my best? I tried so, so hard to be a good daughter and Princess, you know how much, and all the time I felt he was ashamed of me!’
She crouched on the stone floor, emptying her heavy heart. Link sat on the floor, containing her with an embrace, not very differently from the day the Calamity fell upon the land.
'If only… if only he had just accepted me just as I was before all fell apart…’, she murmured, brusquely wiping her cheeks, 'I would have been able to find another way to awaken my power… and maybe, saved me from the hopelessness I always felt’.
The slow strokes Link gave her in the head calmed her down, little by little, until the sobbing faded. Silence was in the air for a moment, until he decided to disclose some words of consolation.
'Your father used to roam the Great Plateau as an old man, you know?’, he revealed, ‘He helped me out at the beginning of my adventure, when I had absolutely no idea of my purpose, or who I was’.
She looked at Link, eyes full of reluctance.
‘Did he tell you about me?’ Her brows were still furrowed.
‘Yes. First, he asked me if I recognized your voice, which I didn’t… ’, Link sighed. ‘And once he revealed who he was, the King begged me to save you’ - he cupped her cheek - ‘He knew he failed you’.
Zelda looked sideways, eyes fixed on the dumped journal.
'At least, he had some remorse’, she murmured, getting up and dusting off her knees. ‘I can be a little more forgiving considering that fact’. She walked towards the volume, and picked it from the ground. 'I’m keeping this, as a memento. He is still my father, even with all his shortcomings’.
When she closed it, a small bunch of envelopes fell from the large notebook.
’To Priestess Augustine’, she read outloud. 'That’s my mother’s name’.
'I don’t remember seeing those back then’, Link reminisced, scratching the back of his head. 'Maybe they were well hidden’.
Zelda read the first letter for both of them.
I hope you fare well, after getting acquainted during the Midsummer celebrations. Master Rauru has nothing but words of praise for your devotion to Our Lady and The Golden Three, and your vast knowledge on the matters and happenings of this land.
I wish I could get to know you better.
Zelda and Link, looked at their finding, then to each other, speechless and with widened eyes.
'I’ll read this one’ - Link picked the next one - ’To Crown Prince Rhoam Bosphoramus Hyrule - this one’s written by your mom, I think’.
'It is! Her handwriting is lovely’, Zelda caressed the delicate and feminine manuscript words, with a warm smile on her lips.
Thanks for your kind words, although the praise comes close to home - the loving eyes of my father.
If you think I haven’t seen you spying on me at the Temple of Time, you are terribly, deeply wrong.
I ask kindly of you to stop following me, for you are interrupting my job; also to behave accordingly to your station as Crown Prince.
P.S.: I just saw you at the temple library. Stop following me!’
'Like mother, like daughter’, Link smirked, earning an elbowing from the Princess.
'Let’s go outside’, she requested, 'I rather spend the night outside than here, among the rubble’.
5.25 p.m. I find myself rather conflicted: despite the resentment I have against my father, the diary I read shows he had conundrums of his own: in the end, he was a single parent raising a peculiar child, with the added responsibility of leading Hyrule.
He failed as a parent. He knew it and acknowledged it, and I can give him credit for that. He failed also to mend our relationship, for the Calamity struck before we even had a chance to reconcile. That was out of our hands, sadly.
I started reading the correspondence father had with mother before they even had a relationship. Link and I found them casually on his journal. I hope this sheds light on my father’s true colors, and also I will hopefully learn more about my mother, for he talked very little about her with me.
Link set up camp on a courtyard beneath Zelda’s old study, so they would have shelter in case of an impromptu rainfall. Fall was slowly approaching, after all.
They shared a simple dinner of rice balls, meat, mushroom and vegetable skewers, and fresh fruit. Once done, they continued reading the letters.
Thank you so much for your kind words at my father’s funeral. I am devastated, but life goes on. He lived a full life without regrets, so I know he rests in peace in the Sacred Realm.
Come visit whenever you want. I won’t try to kick you out, I promise. I consider you now a friend.
'She doesn’t hate him anymore’, Link commented, after finishing his reading.
'We could be reading all night long, you know?, Zelda received the letter and put it back with the rest. 'I’ll check the last one’.
She took one from the bottom of the bunch.
'To Zelda’. Tears welled in her eyes. ’From Papa’ - she handed her partner the envelope - 'I can’t read this’.
She walked away from the campfire. Link followed her, out of instinct.
‘Don’t, please’, she ordered, not turning to look at him. ‘I want to be alone for a moment’.
And he waited, next to the fire, until she reemerged from the shadows.
‘I’m better now’. Her eyes showed she had been crying again.
‘Permission to speak freely?’, he asked, in a tone that suited more the Link from a hundred years ago that his current self.
‘You shouldn’t ask that, of course you are free to do so’.
‘It’s because you are not going to like my words’.
He took a deep breath.
‘Your father was terrible at parenting, that’s a fact. He never understood you wanted a life beyond the royal duties until it was too late. But…’ - his voice cracked - ‘at least you remember him, and even have his journal and the letters as keepsakes’. Tears started running down his cheeks. ‘I have nothing’.
Zelda felt a little ashamed of her, forgetting about the fact Link had a loving, caring family the Calamity had literally wiped out of existence, and from his memories, after his hundred-year sleep.
‘Instead of being angry at him’, he wiped his tears, ‘learn from him. Don’t do the same things he did to you to our children’.
She nodded, smiling at the word that slipped from his lips. ‘I won’t. I promise - cross my heart’.
They hugged tightly for a while.
‘You’re sniffling, young lady’, Link scolded her playfully, ‘Blow your nose’.
Zelda’s slightly puffy and reddened eyes went round as the full moon over them. She broke the embrace and dashed inside the castle, to Link’s stupor.
She quickly returned with something in her hands.
Two old handkerchiefs, with delicate and intricate needlework: one with a Z monogrammed, surrounded by Silent Princesses; the other an L surrounded by a laurel wreath.
‘Your mother embroidered these’. She placed the weathered, but still soft cotton pieces on his hands. ‘One she gave it to me after making her son smile for an undisclosed reason… the other one… I stole it from your belongings’ - she blushed - ‘I had these hidden on my desk’.
Link crumbled, falling on his knees, crying his heart out, holding on to Zelda by her waist, who held him in silence.
‘She asked me if I knew what your favorite flowers were’, he sobbed, reminiscing a little. ‘I never understood why’.
She laughed bittersweetly, and kissed his hair.
They remained next to the fire in silence, holding still on to each other, Zelda realizing her beloved had dozed off, clung to her lap, handkerchiefs still on his grasp.
She covered Link with his hood, huddling against him for warmth, and picked the still unread letter.
‘My Dearest Daughter,
You were born today. I’m overwhelmed by happiness. I wrote some about this event on my journal, but I couldn’t convey it in words properly, I think.
I intend to give you this letter when you turn seventeen, as a sort of time capsule.
Although you are so tiny and chubby, you look so much like your mother, I wonder if you will show off her traits when you grow up: her sense of wonder, her intellectual, scholarly tendencies, or her stubbornness. I have to brace myself for the last one, in that case.
I will try to be the best father I can be, and if I fail, I beg your forgiveness beforehand, for no one is born knowing how to be a father. At least I have your mother for guidance. Goddesses know what I would be without her.
I will always love you.
Zelda had no more tears left. She just had silence.
11.52 p.m. Dear Father, wherever you are: I have mixed feelings about you. A part of me will always resent you for how you treated me, but the other feels sorry for you, for every time I refused to follow the rules and went to research ‘my beloved relics’ as you called them, I became more and more of a living reminder of my mother.
Heartache and loss surely make people change radically, and act against their good will.
I might be able to forgive you someday. But for now, upon request of the man I love, I will learn from you, and not force my will into my offspring, and even so, I won’t let your memory plague my future actions and choices. I have to restore a kingdom - no small feat - and help Link regain as much of his memory as possible, for it is my responsibility, after sending him to the Shrine of Resurrection.
My biggest triumph over the harm you did to me, will be me, being unapologetically me.