As they walked, Melissa tried to learn as much as she could from Chara as they made their way to breakfast. The soldiers she’d seen fighting yesterday had ended up retreating, leaving the battle a draw. Many of the Gerudo had been injured, but the same could be said of the Hyrulian soldiers. So hopefully they wouldn’t be back for a while. No one seemed to know why Hyrule was trying to invade. From what Chara was telling her, neither the gerudo, nor their king, had done anything to provoke such assaults. True, the evil king Ganondorf was the villain and usually the instigator of all the bad that befell this world, but according to Chara he hadn’t done a thing. Melissa didn’t believe her though. He wasn’t called the dark lord for nothing and Hyrule wouldn’t be sending soldiers unless they suspected something, but she kept these thoughts to herself.
Her mind began to wander as they moved through the torch lit halls. If Ganondorf was real, wouldn’t that mean Link was also out there? Probably gathering items and powers to fight Ganon once more. She hoped she could catch a glimpse of him and smiled to herself. Her sisters would be so jealous if she actually got that chance. That is if her sisters believed her… but this would take escaping.
“You teach me speak ancient?” Chara asked, bring her mind back to the present.
“Sure, if I can.” Melissa agreed distractedly, now trying to think of ways to stall her meeting with the evil king, but all her plans were for not. Right in front of her stood the dining hall and there at the very back “He” sat.
She frowned in dismay. She had hoped he would be too important to even be here with the rest of the tribe, but no such luck for her, and no matter how inconspicuous she tried to be, Melissa knew she would stick out like a sore thumb. Being so pale compared to everyone else, of course it wouldn’t take long to be spotted. She tried not to look at him as she followed Chara to a seat, but even with her eyes downcast, she could feel the stares of everyone around her. Some looked curious. Others gave her looks of hatred. Nervously Melissa brushed her hair over her ear and there was a collected gasp from the women watching. Just what she didn’t need. She spared a glance at the throne where Ganon sat and just as she feared he was now staring directly at her. Melissa turned her head as quickly away as she could, and to her relief and dismay, Chara had found them a spot uncomfortably close to him. Even sitting with her back to him, she could feel his gaze bearing down on her, but on a more positive note, no one was giving her looks of hatred anymore.
She tried to forget everything and just eat. The food didn’t look too appetizing, but she grabbed a piece of stale bread anyways. It ended up being so tough to chew that it took a little gnawing to even get a piece small enough to swallow. Some of the gerudo around her started to giggle, so she abandoned her bread for a drink instead. Taking a sip, she was happy to find it was quite pleasant. It almost reminded her of the agave cactus juice she used to get at the store, and before she knew it, she had finished it off. With nothing left to do, she turned to Chara and tried to make small talk with her, but stopped when she noticed that most of the girls were very quiet. It must be “His” presence that left a hush in the room.
“Our great lord would like to see you.”She heard a voice behind her speak, causing her to jump.
It was Kotake and she tensed up wanting so desperately to stay where she was. She was too close to him as it was, but with the prodding from the witch behind her, she reluctantly got up and made her way to the throne where he sat. She was too scared to meet his eyes, so all she could do was stare at her feet.
If she had thought the room quiet before, that was nothing compared to the hush that fell when he spoke. His deep voice resounded about the hall in the same strange language the others had used before.
“He is ordering you to Look up!” Kotake hissed at her, elbowing her in the back.
She didn’t want to, but what choice did she have? Lifting her head slowly she tried to compose her face into something a little less fearful. Her gaze met a pair of brooding amber eyes, but she did not stop there. If she was forced to look at this man, she might as well examine all of him. To her surprise, he looked a lot like the version of Ganondorf from Twilight Princess. He sported the same beard and weird hair style that he had in the game, and his skin was much darker than any of the women here. As her eyes looked him over more, she noticed Koume was hovering around him busily. They had taken off his armor, revealing his muscled chest and torso which Koume was busily wrapping a bandage around. He must have been wounded last night, and secretly she thought he had probably deserved it.
After they had both made their mental observations of each other, Melissa could only stand there silently as Kotake flew to his side and spoke to him. She wondered what the old hag was telling him. He looked almost disinterested with what the witch was saying, but perked up after a second.
“This Hylian can speak Gerudo?” He responded raising an eyebrow, before giving her a skeptical look.
“Yes my son.” Kotake said bowing and moving out of his way as he stood up.
Melissa wondered if he had switched to speaking ancient so to test if she truly could understand him. Wait had Kotake just called him her son?
“So, is Zelda so short on soldiers that she is now sending little girls?” Ganondorf asked letting out a deep and menacing chuckle.
Instinctively Melissa stepped back afraid, which only made him laugh at her more. Her fear seemed to amuse him, and all she could do was watch helplessly as he descended the stairs to where she stood. There was nowhere to escape now. She tried her best to calm her nerves, but just couldn’t stop the slight shaking overtaking her legs.
As he came to a stop in front of her, she felt so small standing in his shadow. He really was a giant of a man, and now towering over her, he studied her a little more, mumbling to himself as he went. Reaching out, he moved to brush the hair over her ear, causing her to recoil away, not wanting him to touch her.
“I won’t hurt you… yet.” He chuckled, finding entertainment in how uncomfortable his presence was making her.
Once again his hand reached out, but this time Melissa stood her ground. She was not about to give him the satisfaction. Before he could touch her, she pulled her hair up giving him a defiant glare.
“Your ears do not appear to be pointed… how interesting. ” He said ignoring her stare, a menacing grin spreading across his face. “I thought you said she speaks.” He said turning away to look back at Koume and Kotake.
“She does my son.” Koume said coming to their side.
Wait Koume was his mother to? How the heck did that happen? This was starting to get very confusing.
“Well… Speak. ” He commanded looking down at her.
This of course made her jump.
“I— I don’t know what you want me to say.” She stammered.
“Then let’s start with what tribe you are from.”He offered.
“Tribe? I’m not from any tribe.” Melissa responded meekly.
“Well if you are not a part of a tribe, how do you know our ancient language? It is not easy to learn and is only fully taught to those of us who use Magic now. It is not something you can learn from just anyone.” He demanded crossing his arms, staring her down.
“It is one of the main languages of where I am from.”Melissa replied nervously backing away only to bump into Koume, making her jump once again. “Look I just want to go home. I don’t know how I even got here. I… I…” Melissa stopped with tears in her eyes. She was definitely on the verge of a breakdown.
“Enough! I need none of your hysterics.” Ganon barked, glaring at her. “I’m not quite sure if you are Gerudo or Hylian, and at this point it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that your fear shows you know who I am. So tell me… where do your loyalties lie? Who do your people swear allegiance to?”
Wiping her eyes, she tried her best to get a hold of herself. Of course she knew who he was. She was sure that even in Hyrule, even if they had never personally seen this man, they would know who he was right away. As far as loyalties went, she knew that she would side with Link and Hyrule because they were always the side of good, but he didn’t have to know that.
“I don’t really know. My people don’t live anywhere near this place or Hyrule. I guess we are on no one’s side.” Melissa replied trying to be diplomatic.
This information also seemed to peek his interest. Ganon began to talk in the same weird language again to Koume and Kotake. Melissa wondered what they were discussing because they kept glancing at her. Would they believe her? The girls around the room seemed to listen intently to what was being said, but Melissa could only stand there feeling left out.
Finally Koume said something to which Kotake seemed to be vehemently against. Ganon on the other hand just kept looking thoughtfully at Melissa, not really listening to the two of them now. She could see the cogs in his head turning which made her very wary. A smile spread across his face and he stepped closer to her, leaving the two witches to argue amongst themselves.
“What magics do you know?” he asked more softly.
“Magic?” Melissa echoed with a complete look of confusion. “But Magic isn’t real.”
Her comment of course earned her a funny look making her feel stupid for even opening her mouth. Especially when she remembered where she was.
“I assure you you it is quite real.” Ganon responded with a frown. “What about your parents, your people? Surely they know something of the arts.” He asked brows furrowing.
Melissa could only shake her head which seemed to disappoint him more. Why would he even want to know this?
“We could see if she could be taught.” Koume offered.
“What? Why would you want to do that?” Melissa blurted out confused once more.
Would she try if given the chance? She knew it could be a means of escape, but doubted she would be able to do it.
“The hylians have recently taken over our home in Gerudo Valley. This last battle has left a lot of us wounded. We need numbers before the Hylian’s restock and heal.” Koume said trying to explain their situation.
“I have no intention of fighting anyone, and I doubt anyone from where I am from would want to either.” Melissa responded before she thought about what she should be saying.
She felt no sympathy for their predicament. They had most likely brought this upon themselves, and though Melissa liked Koume just a little, she knew better than to trust anyone here.
Ganondorf glared and scoffed at her. “ If you won’t fight with us then you are of no more use to me.”
Melissa didn’t quite know how to take this statement. Did that mean he would kill her? Melissa looked around for a way out, but knew even if she managed to escape there was no way she would make it across the desert and what’s worse, he knew it.
Arms crossed, he waited for her to answer his threat, but Melissa, no matter how scared she was of him, wasn’t about to take this crap from him. If he was just going to kill her anyway, why should she?
Turning around, she began walking to the exit. This brought on another volley of gasps from the surrounding tables. Melissa guessed that he probably wasn’t told “no” much, but at this point, she didn’t care. Having almost reached the door, she could hear his heavy footsteps coming up from behind her. Why let him stab her in the back? Better to face this head on.
Spinning herself around, brought her face to face with the dark king. This close, she realized he was trying to conceal the fact that he was out of breath. His wound must have been worse than Melissa first believed.
“How dare you turn your back on me?” He growled, anger flashing in his eyes.
Usually Melissa was meek. She didn’t even know why she felt the strong urge to fight with him. Knowing his history it was just plain stupid. He could strike her down where she stood.
“What do you mean How Dare I? I might ask you the same thing. I might speak your language, but I am not one of your subjects you can just boss around. You expect me to just bow to your every whim? Well let me make this clear! I will NOT be pressured to do anything I wouldn’t normally do. Not by you or anyone else.” Melissa found herself yelling at him.
With that, he pushed her forcibly against the door knocking the wind out of her. His face was livid as he held her there and the Triforce on his hand began to glow. Melissa thought maybe he was about to obliterate her using the Triforce of Power, but when she looked into his eyes, he seemed just as surprised as she was scared.
With no better plan of action coming to mind, she took this moment of confusion to twist the door handle and try to escape from his grip. Sadly, this action only caused the two of them to fall through the door and Ganon to land on top of her. His body was quite heavy and pinned her to the ground. They lay there for a moment dazed, but he quickly realized what had happened and rolled off her. It took a little longer for the initial shock to wear off for her, but once she could breath again, she quickly sprung up and broke out into a run. Sparing one glimpse back, she watched him struggle to his feet. This only made her run faster down the hall, and she did not even have the time to try and pay attention to where she was going.
“Stop!” she heard him yell after her, but there was no way she was going to do so.
She didn’t know how many corridors she had ran down, but she wasn’t going to stop till she was sure she had put some distance between her and Ganondorf. She felt thoroughly lost and was now starting to get tired, but the thought of what he might do to her if she couldn’t find her way out of this place, was all she needed to keep going.
Finally she reached a big pair of double doors and slowed. Could this be the exit she was looking for? Approaching it caused a red glowing pattern to trace its way up the door and it swung open on its own. She stood there, knowing that she probably shouldn’t go through. A door as fancy as that usually had a boss creature laying in wait to kill the unsuspecting hero.
As she pondered whether or not to enter she began to hear heavy footsteps behind her. She turned around to see an angry looking Ganon standing at the beginning of the hallway, and this time he couldn’t hide his panting. She didn’t even have to think about it. Nothing could be stronger than the man in front of her. Better to face a creature than this man’s wrath. Quickly she ran through the doors, which closed fairly quick behind her leaving her in the dark. She just hoped it was quick enough and that he had no time to follow, but to her dismay she heard his deep voice call from within the darkness.
“I said…*huff**huff*… Wait.” His breathing was so labored.
Next thing she heard was a thud. Had he collapsed? Was he dead? She doubted that but what should she do? She couldn’t see anything at all. What if this was a trick to make her think she was safe? What if it wasn’t? She couldn’t hear anything now and it made her worry. Melissa moved back till she hit the wall and followed it till she made it back to the double doors. Feeling around for a handle, she found none. Next she tried pushing against it, but it wouldn’t budge either.
Sinking to the floor, she gave up. She was now locked in a room with a very dangerous man. She still couldn’t hear anything from Ganon and she was pretty sure if he was conscious he would have found her by now. A desperate thought occurred to her. Maybe if she tried to help him he would spare her life. It was a long shot, but it was all she had. She would rather live. Besides, waiting for him to regain consciousness only to find her cowering in a corner didn’t seem like it would do her any good either.
“Where are you?” She called to him just in case he was awake enough to guide her to him, but was only met with silence.
Dropping to the floor, all she could do was feel around as she searched for his body. She didn’t have to crawl around long, before her hand touched his bare skin and the Triforce lit up again. It was bright enough to light up the entire room, which looked to be a crypt of some sort. Looking down at Ganon, she saw his eyes were closed and his chest rose and fell in shallow breaths, proving he was still alive. She lifted his head and cradled it in her lap. She may not like him, but she would do this if it meant she might live another day. She hated to admit it, but even though he was the bad guy, she didn’t like to see anyone hurt. She could see blood starting to seep through his bandage, and she guiltily thought about letting him bleed to death, but instead she applied pressure to the wound to try and staunch the bleeding. If he died she might not be able to get out of this room and he might know how to open the door that wouldn’t budge for her.