HyLink Fic Preview: What Blooms in Darkness
Hey guys, so @redprincessofdawn came up with the best headcanon ever?? Basically the idea was that the goddess Hylia posed as a young woman under the alias ‘Zelda’ that attended to the first inarnation of Link when he was imprisoned, as depicted in the manga. Over time, they become sweet on each other
because I’m a hopeless romantic. And since I’m utter trash for these two and loved her idea, I started writing a fic. I’m sorry this took so long? I always take forever, just thought I’d leave this here to give people a little preview and confirm that I am indeed working on it. Not so subtly tags @notsosilentprincess , thank you for your support as well I hope you look forward to the full fic!
If anybody else wants to be tagged for the full fic, feel free to let me know!
Hazy azure eyes followed the slow trickle of water seeping along the worn grooves of mortar, a siren song weaving between mold and bricks stained a darker red. Long ago the sight might have made him bite his chapped lips, straining against the chains in desperation. Instead he attempted to swallow against the sandpaper of his tongue, averting his eyes as he forced his breathing to slow. With what little energy he could spare he strained to look up at the heavens, the raw ache of his wrists and ankles no longer drawing a pained hiss as his head fell back. Were there stars above, gracing the children of Hylia with their twinkling courage as they drowned in a similar darkness? Or would the sky be the color of his mother’s eyes? A blue so soft and bright it made him long for the summers before he became a knight, dozing beneath the sky beside their little abode in the woods.
Too soon his limbs collapsed, the harsh clang of his chains filling the enclosed chamber. A sigh clouded in the low draft that carried winter’s chill, eliciting a mindless shudder as goosebumps alighted across his exposed flesh. Whether a blessing or a curse, it dulled his wounds enough to help him think clearly. It was the reason why he could now sense the elegant footsteps descending the longest staircase in the fortress, sharp with haste and slowing every so often with fatigue. Funny thing—that slip of a girl—always in a hurry to see him. For what, he could never fathom. He was little more than she, a disgraced knight with nothing but shame staining his hands.
Finally the door opened with a slight creak, the newly replaced obstruction already suffering in the dampness as it closed behind her with an answering groan. The tray in her arms trembled as she began to shiver, small puffs following in her wake as she clattered her way to his motionless form. His head was still bowed; weak and unwilling to face the pleading concern in her gaze when he refused to partake. It was enough to suffer her insistent stare, boring into his skull coupled with a misery that made her voice hoarse with unshed tears. He never understood the depth of her despair at the sight of him; why she spoke as though she were the one bruised and bloody.
He didn’t want her pity. What had befallen him had been his own fault. Where he thought his people would see reason, they were blinded by envy.
“Sir Link,” She began, as she always did. “You should try to eat.”
Her answer came in the myriad, grating sounds of doors being wrenched open throughout the fortress.
She tried again, and he could feel the heat emanating from afar in the small space as she stepped closer. “You must regain your strength.”
He could hear the water lapping at the sides of the waterskin she held it inches from his face, but besides the twitching of his fingers, he didn’t move.
“Please,” The whisper urged, “At this rate you’ll die.” She grew louder with each word, voice hoarse and cracking midway under the weight of her own thoughts.
He stifled a dry cough of a laugh, exhausted and bitter.
After a long, obstinate moment the routine was sure to come; he would hear her sigh as she placed the tray by his feet, waiting for the telltale scrape of the one left behind long before leaving with her. And what little peace he had come to make with his fate would return as soon as the door closed behind her and her footsteps faded, mercifully anesthetized by the relative silence she left in her wake.
He flinched when frigid, trembling fingers brushed the nape of his neck instead, adjusting a scrap of white cloth to cover as much of his exposed flesh as possible. When she was satisfied after a few tugs, her tiny hands retreated and curled around each other before they disappeared from his line of sight, a relieved sigh her only explanation. Only then did she move to exit the room, the audible clatter of teeth chattering and shudders wracking her small frame amplified in the empty space.
“Why?” He managed to croak, her hand freezing inches away from the door.
“I wanted to,” She eventually replied, voice soft. “It’s freezing down here.”
He pursed his lips, frowning. He would have expressed further disapproval had there not been an undertone of steel in her answer, a fierce insistence on his behalf unlike anything he’d ever known. Though her motive remained unclear, one thing was certain—she was being honest. Whether by a whim or some notion of compassionate obligation, she had done this of her own volition.
Before he could ask her further she departed, his head rising on its own to catch naught but a glimpse of a white dress and long, flaxen hair bathed in the glow of the torchlight. She seemed to be a peasant girl—as most prison attendants were—of simple dress and station. So what reason could she possibly have to help him? Had somebody bribed her? No, the thought was immediately amended, she stood too tall and seemed too stalwart for that. Though the hands around his neck had been dainty and clean, despite the cold peeling away at her fingers. Anything she had suffered was notably recent, no scars lining the expanse of her pale skin. A noblewoman in disguise, perhaps? It would explain why he had never seen her once in the Hylian settlement.
The night was spent wracking his brain as to the identity of the strange girl determined to aide him—even at the risk of her own imprisonment for treason, his once detached mien eluding him as curiosity took hold. When sleep finally took him he dreamed of the fields of wildflowers he often visited as a young boy, chasing the lazy bumblebees weaving among the stems—reminiscent of the scent that would cling to his neck long after she disappeared.
“You waste your efforts on a disgraced knight,” He murmured wearily before she even crossed the room to him. It was her fifth attempt—this time toting a fresh pastry—to coax him into eating, the intoxicating aroma of freshly baked bread and sweet filling blooming from her form. The scent wafted to where he was chained, a low gust of air behind the door carrying it across the room. His fingers twitched.
“I don’t see any disgraced knights here.” She replied calmly back, unperturbed as always as she approached his form.
He scoffed, though his voice was hollow. There was no anger or indictment to punctuate it’s cadence; only frank apathy. “Then you are mistaken or misinformed. Surely you were witness to the trials,”
“All I witnessed was the public humiliation of a good man. No more, no less.” Her words flowed so easily as she set down the tray that he almost believed them. “And I’m certain I’m not the only one who thinks so. Lord Dagianis may be a cunning man, but he is neither noble nor courageous. He will fall before the flowers bloom with the call of spring, and the people will be in desperate need of a hero when the Demon King rises again.”
He blinked at her bewitching insistence, her strange eloquence. Was this woman truly a peasant girl? Or even a disguised noble, for that matter? Everything about her opposed the notion. She did not cower, her speech was not broken and uncertain. Her wit was sharp and complex, but also unabashed and willful. Her presence was so compelling, invigorating; her prediction more akin to a prophecy than an offhand observation. Every word tugged at his numbed senses, peeling back his reasons for becoming a knight in the first place—why he’d accepted the title hero with grudging yet hopeful determination. The face of the priestess who relayed the divine message of his hero status surfaced, the faces of all the children who followed him excitedly to the outpost on their way to school, chattering away with relentless curiosity. The faces of his mother and father—long since departed and with Hylia—and the unsatisfied flame within him burning to make them proud. The statue of the goddess herself imbued with the strangest aura as he stood before it, gentle words steering him forward on the path the gods had evidently paved for him. How had he lost sight of all of those things in his time here? Would he really be satisfied, cowering here in the dark, simply because his people doubted him? Was he meant for more, or was it his destiny to rot in this prison? Did he care if it was? He felt even more confused than before.
He let out a low laugh, raising his head for the first time to lance her in place with a cold look—pale eyes frosting over. “Even if I was the hero of prophecy, what makes you so certain I wasn’t the one who killed them? What if Lord Dagianis was right?”
She gazed at him, deadpan, before walking up to stuff the pastry in his mouth. When he made a muffled sound of scandalized protest, she merely shrugged. “Just in case you were going to spout anymore nonsense. Don’t be absurd, anybody that knows you knows you would never do such a thing.” She finished, pulling off what was left of the pastry as he chewed and swallowed.
“And what could you possibly know of me?” He shot back, irate.
She met his glare with a vehement one of her own, before she sighed. “Henry.”
His brows furrowed, unable to make out what she said. “What?”
“I was curious,” She rubbed her arm and looked away, worrying her lip. “So I asked around, and eventually people pointed me to Henry. He said you were both stationed at the same outpost for a long time.” His eyes widened before he sagged into the chains, deflating. He began to laugh, the sound stolen from him at the thought of his best friend’s gushing. A rueful smile crossed his lips as he remember how long it took to convince the young man not to storm the court room on his behalf.
“That dolt. He spilled everything didn’t he?” He shook his head. “No wonder you kept trying. He’s convinced I’m going to save the settlement.”
“He was very convincing,” The light sound of a giggle shocked him, his head snapping up to find a brilliant smile on her face. “I believe him.” She murmured, voice soft.