‹ Prequel: A Hidden Kindness

Queen of the Banished

Secrets and Lies

1024 words

The next morning, Rabia was outside bright and early to supervise the servants packing up her carriage. It had still been dark when she had snuck out of the house, so she was surprised to see Kamilah running out of the fortress to meet her, Nabooru close behind.

“You’re not going without me,” Kamilah said as she tossed her bags into the carriage. “Someone has to look out for you.” Rabia sighed.

“I grew up in Castle Town - I think I’ll be fine.” Kamilah gave her a withering look and climbed into the carriage.

“Do you have something else to say, Nabooru?” Rabia asked the other woman, tilting her head challengingly.

“Yeah, I do,” Nabooru walked over to Rabia. “Stay safe.” She offered Rabia the hilt of her sword. Rabia gave Nabooru a considering look and took the weapon from her. “And when you get there, tell Ganondorf to think of us, his people,” she said desperately. Rabia nodded.

“I… I will,” she said. “Keep the valley safe while I’m gone.” Nabooru knelt and crossed her fist over her chest.

“Yes, Queen Rabia.” Rabia turned and took Kamilah’s offered hand and the two headed off to Hyrule.

~ VAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTT ~


The carriage reached Castle Town by noon, but the cobblestone streets were empty and silent. The few people that were out walked quickly with their heads down. The air was eerily still, and the nearby businesses Rabia was so familiar with looked empty and unmanned. There were a strange number of Gerudo guards in the street. Rabia hadn’t been aware that anyone had left for Hyrule.

If the silence wasn’t off-putting enough, the courtyard’s open gates certainly were. There were no guards posted outside and the carriage passed through them unimpeded. There were a handful of Hylian workers doing construction on the exterior wall, who stepped back and bowed deeply when Kamilah stepped out of the carriage. She offered a hand to Rabia to help her down the carriage steps behind her. Rabia frowned.

“What’s… going on?” she asked suspiciously. Kamilah linked arms with her and smiled reassuringly.

“Everything is fine,” Kamilah answered unconvincingly. Two of the workers heaved the doors open as they approached. Rabia entered the unguarded throne room warily.

“Rabia,” Ganondorf called to her, smiling warmly. He was standing on the stone dais next to the throne, and handed off some scrolls to a Gerudo guard before hurrying over to greet her halfway. He wrapped Rabia up into a gentle hug. “Is everything alright? I wasn’t expecting to see you here.”

“Everything’s fine,” Rabia said. “I missed you. I came to help wrap up the trade deal so you can come home. Where’s Zelda?” she asked.

“Did you not get my letter?” Ganondorf asked. Rabia shook her head.

“I haven’t heard from… anyone in Castle Town. Not for weeks,” she said with a frown.
“That’s odd…” he said. “Princess Zelda and Link had urgent affairs to attend to in Altea. I’ve been kingdom-sitting,” Ganondorf answered. Rabia pulled back and looked at him.

“I… what?” she frowned. “You left me to… kingdom-sit? For someone you don’t like?”

“It was… part of our agreement,” Ganondorf shrugged. Rabia eyed him skeptically. Ganondorf gave her a reassuring smile.

“Don’t worry, they’re due to be back tomorrow morning,” he said, setting his hands on her shoulders. “I promise.” Something in his face made anxiety twist in Rabia’s gut, and there was a strange reddish hue around his golden irises. Suddenly being close to him felt… unsafe.

“...Okay,” she breathed as she stepped back out of his space. “I… I think I’ll go to the garden, for awhile…” she said, eyes wide.

“Kamilah will go with you,” Ganondorf said with a nod in her direction. Kamilah bowed her head in acknowledgment to the order that it was, and Rabia bit her lip at the clear dismissal. Ganondorf took the scroll back from the guard and turned away as the two headed outdoors.

~ VAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTT ~


Why do you wait? A whisper in Ganondorf’s head, one he’d grown familiar with. He shook it off and continued reading through the training regime Kamilah had provided. He read the same sentence over and over, though nothing seemed to stick. DO NOT IGNORE ME. Just kill the girl now - there’s no reason to wait. Ganondorf sighed to himself.

Her people will react poorly if she disappears with no warning, he thought. He set down his quill and rubbed the bridge of his nose as rage built within him. If we kill her we’ll have no bait for Link, and her people will revolt against us and make it impossible to find him. After a moment, the rage quelled into a quieter simmering.

… Fine. But do not keep me waiting.

~ VAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTT ~


“...Kamilah, what can I do for you?” Ganondorf turned towards the door where the woman had been standing silently for the past several minutes. He should have found it unnerving that he hadn’t noticed her there, but he was in too good a mood. It was late - most of the castle occupants, Rabia included, had gone to sleep already.

“How dare you?” Kamilah hissed, her impassive face switching to anger. “Can you even begin to comprehend what you did to her today? And the lies on top of it?” she demanded.

“She wouldn’t understand. I’m just… protecting her from what has to be done,” Ganondorf said calmly. Kamilah snarled.

“She knows, Ganondorf. She knows your lying, and she’s terrified! She didn’t say a word to me all night after you banished us from the castle! You may be my king, but I REFUSE to allow you to do this to her.” Ganondorf stepped towards her threateningly.

“If you disobey me, Kamilah, you will never see your daughter again. I will make certain of that. Mind yourself.” He stared her down. His eyes glowed red in the dim lighting, and he smirked when she averted her gaze.

“It would do you well to remember who you’re hurting in this endeavor,” Kamilah said. She didn’t wait for him to answer, and slammed the heavy door behind her.
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Hmm... is this Ganondorf's true colors? Maybe. Maybe not. :P