‹ Prequel: A Hidden Kindness

Queen of the Banished

A Cold Reception (a warm embrace)

1183 words

Monday, April 13


Servants were bustling around the mansion as Ganondorf and Rabia finished getting ready. It was still early, before sunrise, but they had to leave soon to get to their audience with Zelda on time. Aveil and Nabooru met them in the house before they left.

“Nabooru, keep things running while we’re gone,” Ganondorf said. “Aveil, please file the papers on my desk - I ran out of time.” Nabooru nodded and Aveil grumbled to herself. “Okay, let’s go, Rabia,” Ganondorf said. He finished harnessing Kerberos in front of the other two horses as the servants put the last of their luggage into the carriage.

“You know, it’d be faster if we only took the horses,” Rabia said.

“Yes, but the carriage is more comfortable and less dirty,” he winked. She rolled her eyes and climbed into the carriage behind him.

~ VAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTT ~


“Rabia, wake up,” Ganondorf shook her shoulder gently. “We’re here.”

“Hmm? Oh, sorry. I didn’t mean t-” she stifled a yawn. “To fall asleep on you. You make a good pillow.” Ganondorf chuckled.

“Thanks. You make a good book rest,” he patted her head. She laughed and swatted his hands away. The carriage came to a halt inside the castle gates. Ganondorf stepped out of the carriage and offered Rabia his hand. She raised an eyebrow at him.

“I am capable of exiting a carriage by myself, you know,” she said. Rabia stumbled over the last step and he reached out to steady her. She cleared her throat. “...Thanks.” Ganondorf chuckled, but schooled his face into a neutral expression when she tossed him a half-hearted glare.

Rabia found it odd that several of the guards lining the pathway flanked her and Ganondorf as they approached the castle doors. She didn’t recall them doing that for other visitors, but then again she had never been a formal visitor before. Ganondorf moved closer to Rabia and eyed the guards with unease. The two guards stationed at the doors pushed them open as the group approached.

There were guards lining the throne room walls as well, which Rabia knew was different. Zelda was standing on the dais in front of the throne with Link at her back. Sheik and Tet were nearby, the three of them as heavily armed as the guards. Rabia fell a half-step behind her husband as they approached the dais. Ganondorf got down on one knee and Rabia followed suit. They crossed their right fists over their chests and bowed their heads to Zelda in the traditional Gerudo greeting.
“Good morning, King Ganondorf, Queen Rabia,” Zelda stated. She pressed her hands together and bowed her head to them politely.

“Da musti, Zelda-iva(1),” Ganondorf greeted her in return and stood, offering Rabia a hand up. Zelda settled herself onto her throne and crossed her hands in her lap.

“You requested audience with me,” Zelda stated. “What can I do for you?”

“We would like to negotiate a trade deal,” Ganondorf said. “Our tribe has much to offer, if you would allow us to do so.” Zelda’s eyes narrowed.

“And how do I know your people won’t terrorize or steal from anyone else set up in the market, King Ganondorf?” she asked. “Your people have a history of thievery in Castle Town.”

“My people only stole what they needed to survive,” Ganondorf said icily.

“Princess Zelda, if our tribe members were allowed to sell goods in Castle Town, they would be able to purchase their items. They’d have no reason to steal,” Rabia jumped in, interrupting her husband. Ganondorf clenched his jaw, but fell silent. “If you agreed, there would be repercussions for any of our tribe members who did steal or… terrorize.”

“Oh? And I’m sure they’d be as enforced as they were the last time the Gerudo people were allowed in Castle Town,” Zelda answered, staring Rabia down. “What goods do your people have to offer us that we can’t get elsewhere?”

“Glass and clay, mostly,” Rabia said, checking her nails as she spoke. “Items made of glass and clay. Oh, and some amazing war horses, of course.” She looked up at Zelda. “You can certainly get glass and clay elsewhere, but I can guarantee we’re closer. The horses… well… why settle for mediocrity?” Rabia shrugged.

“... We can discuss this trade deal further, later. Come back tomorrow at noon. We’ll be meeting in the conference room,” Zelda stated. “You are dismissed.” Ganondorf and Rabia bowed to her again, then exited the throne room. They walked back to the carriage silently and didn’t speak until the horses had gone through the gate.

“...What the actual fuck?” Rabia said. “You noticed how weird she was being, right?” she asked. Ganondorf shrugged.

“She seemed normal to me. Cold, a little bit condescending…” he trailed off. “I guess that would seem strange to you,” he said. “I think it actually went rather well. Thank you,” he added, “for stepping in before I put my foot in my mouth.”

“I’ll interrupt you any time,” Rabia said. Ganondorf rolled her eyes as she laughed. The carriage stopped in front of her parents house, and before she could step out of the carriage Chase was hurtling down the driveway towards them.

“SISSYYYYYY!” he launched himself at her and gripped her waist in a tight hug.

“Oof!” Rabia patted his head. “Hey, baby bro. Did you miss me?” She swung him up into her arms. He nodded.

“Lots and lots!” he looked around and lowered his voice conspiratorially. “Rob isn’t as much fun as you,” he said. Ganondorf finished gathering the bags from the carriage and they headed towards the house.

“Oh, now I just don’t believe that,” Rabia said. She reached over to take a bag from Ganondorf, but he shook his head.

“I’ve got it. You’ve got your hands full,” he said, amused. Chase peeked over Rabia’s shoulder at him shyly.

“Aww, Chase, you remember Ganondorf, right?” Rabia asked. Chase looked uncertain. “You met him at the wedding!” she cried. Chase shrugged and she sighed.

“Rabia!” Petra pulled the door open just as they reached it. Rabia set Chase down and he scampered off past his mother. “Oh! Goodness. Come in!” she smiled and stepped aside. “Don’t worry about those,” she nodded to the bags in Ganondorf’s hands. “Rob will bring them upstairs, you can just set them down here. Now, come in!” she led them to the living room, where everyone else was waiting.
Lance ran over and gave Rabia a big hug before he ran upstairs after Chase. Saul stood and pulled Rabia into a much gentler hug and kissed her cheek.

“Hey, dad,” she hugged him back.

“Psh, yeah, whatever, sweet reunion over,” Rob shouldered his way between them and gave her a tight hug. “Hey, baby sis!” he pressed a loud, obnoxious kiss to her cheek.

“Ew, oh my goddesses, Rob!” Rabia wiggled out of his grip and glared at him. “You are the WORST.” She wiped her cheek on her sleeve.

“Aww, I missed you too,” he smiled.

“Come, let's sit, the tea is getting cold!” Petra shooed them into the room.
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Translations:
1. Good morning, Princess Zelda