Stories by Haiku
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By: Haiku

Exile– a state of being, a person unwanted, shunned, never to return. But it is also a place, enourmous caverns underneath the earth, full of unwanted people, sent down by the empire. The empire. When you’re the head in town, you don’t need any fancy names, just The Empire. Every day, more and more people enter Exile. From conqured territories, or nextdoor neighboors. Anyone could be sent down there, if they stole a horse, or if they just robbed an old lady.

The small army stood at the foot of the large natural granite wall encircling Hyrule. “Ok, set it up there, and there,” the mage said, as he took down notes. This area had been overlooked in favor of other territories, but now, they had the resources to take it. A new invention, high-explosive sticks, enabled them to open a way into the unknown land.

“Ok, light it, and RUN!” the old man said as they ran indeed, and an explosion, and the wall crumbled, revealing a road at the other end, and a view into the land.

“The General will be pleased!!!” the mage said, but with false enthusiasm, as he had heard tales of this place. “Ok, we are to lead an expedition into the land as planned, then report back. Understood?” the mage said, as a group of empire archers, and about four soldiers entered the land, and began to walk along the road, as the Mage took notes, and began writing a map.

Link was awake and going along his buisness in the forest, when the ground rumbled, nearly knocking him off his feet. He looked up to see what it was. He didn’t see anything, and decided it must be outside the forest. He dropped his stuff, and began to run in the direction of the forest gate. He saw archers, and soldiers and a robed man entering through a hole in the great wall that surronded the kingdom. Link went stealthily along, and got in front of them and ran as fast as he could towards the castle.

At the castle, buisness as usual was going on. Zelda, now 16, her ‘princess crap’, as she put it, she had to learn was a lot more intensive. Which she didn’t like. However, Link ran in, out of breath, and said to the king, “Intruders have entered Hyrule!” Link gasped after saying it, and he shouted orders to confront the small army group.

The soldiers were walking along, trying to stay out of sight, exploring the land. Link and the group of armed castle guards leapt from bushes on the sides of the road, and stood in their way. “What are you doing here?” Link asked of the party.

“We are here on buisness of the Empire,” the leading mage said.

“What buisness is that?” Link asked.

“To claim the land in this valley, which rightfully belongs to the Empire,” the old man said.

“This land is the kingdom of Hyrule, has been for thousands of years,” Link said.

“The Empire owns all the land around it, and we are claiming this as our own,” the old mage said, and the Empire archers notched there longbows with one swift movement. They strechted the bows impossibly far, waiting for the command to fire. “I suggest you move aside, and let us pass,” the mage said.

“I think we better talk this over before we are so hasty to fight,” Link said. The archers pulled back a little farther, waiting patiently for the word to let go of his arrow.

The old man smiled, and said, “Perhaps your right. Shall we meet with your leader, and talk out terms?”

Like we are gonna let you have an inch of our land, Link thought, but put a false, strained smile on and said, “That sounds good. Follow us,” Link said, and he began to walk, but the guards fanned out on all sides, in case any of them tried anything. The archers slung their longbows over their shoulders, but had shortbows ready to fire now, being as trusting of the guards as they were of him. Link nodded to the guards, and they sheathed their swords, and Link began walking towards the castle.

After 5 minutes of walking, they entered the castle gates, and all the guards stationed themselves in a pattern; where if anything went wrong, they were able to act. The mage had all the soldiers and archers wait in the courtyard, and Link and the mage went into the chambers of the King. “Greetings, I am Micheal, represenitive of the Empire,” the old man said.

“I am Harkinian, king of Hyrule. What is your buisness?” the King said.

The mage’s hard blue eyes looked at him, surveying the king. “Our Empire has claim on this land, and we were sent to claim it for our Emporer,” he said directly.

“I’m sorry, but nothing of that sort is going to happen here. The kingdom of Hyrule has been here for thousands of years, long before your Empire has,” the King said.

“Nevertheless, I am going to have to send a messenger back to tell my superiors of our predicament,” Micheal said.

“I also want to address them, for our way of life is threatened by your army,” the king said, and took a pen and paper, and began writing; as did the mage. After aobut ten minutes, they signed their papers, and went into the courtyard.

“Send these messages to the camp!” the mage said, and an archer pulled out an arrow, but instead of a head, it had a wooden bottle attached to it. The archer put it in the bottle, stretched the bow again as far as he could, and released, watching it soar, and drop passed the stone wall. Link whistled, amazed at their abilities. These stupid people have no idea what’s going to hit them.... thought the mage, looking at the guards awed faces. “Nothing but fools,” he said where no one could hear him, and talked to one of his soldiers, and waited for a response.

In the camp, the commander of the force had received the messages, and read the king’s letter first. “...and we do not wish to see combat, and a peaceful end to this situation.” He read the last of it aloud. Then he took the other message out of the cracked message arrow. “These people are fools. It will be easy to take their land, but I do not wish to overestimate them. Send his letter to the emperor, and ask for further instructions. Ask whether we should begin the setup of an exile portal to transport their citizens should a conflict arise,” the commander read aloud to his top warriors. “Ok, get a messenger, and have this taken to him, and do as had been instructed in the letter,” the commander said to his assistant, and he ran from the tent, and went to find a messanger as instructed. “I’m taking a horse into the valley, and going to meet with the king. I don’t want him to mess things up, by threatening the Exile-sentence on them all,” the commander said, as he mounted a horse, and galloped through the hole in the wall.

Meanwhile, in the castle, talks of ways to settle for both sides were going on. It wasn’t pretty. “Were not going to pay 30% taxes on all goods shipped!!! That’s ludicrous, no way are we going to agree to that!” the king almost yelled, as the ‘talks’ proceeded.

Then, a soldier came into the room, and said, “Excuse me your majesty, but there is someone to see you.” Then, the door opened, and the commander came into the chamber.

“I am commander Roberts,” the man said.

“Come, sit,” said the mage.

“Who are you?” the King demanded.

“I am the commander of the force outside of your territory,” the commander said. That made the king a bit edgy. Clearly something was up, and he had to find out what it was.

“Well come and sit then,” the king said.

“I would rather not. I have been told that you two are talking it over, trying to work out a proposal. You're wasting your breath. What you say to him has no bearing on what is going to happen. Whatever happens, is decided by the emperor,” the commander said.

“So Micheal I would stop trying to rile these people up into revolt, and return to camp,” Roberts said, and the mage stood up, and looked at him with those same hard eyes, and said nothing as he walked from the chambers.

“Now, all you can do is wait. Would you mind telling me of your lands?” the commander said, and he did, telling him of the Gerudo, the Zora, and the Goron.

After more telling of their history, their beliefs, the man stood and said, “I better be getting back to my troops, it has been nice talking to you,” the commander said. He had indeed been intrested, but also worried. The other people of the land sounded very odd, and would probably have to be cast into Exile. He wondered how they would react to that, as a populous. He rode back, and had another messenger take another message to the emperor, about the strange people in their lands, and other things about them.

“We may indeed have a harder time than we first thought. Did you know that trees grow that their seeds are explosive? This area is very valuable,” the man said.

“There is no way they would be able to stand up against us!” a tough warrior said, and a deep rolling laugh emerged.

“On that, you are correct. They will be able to put up a heck of a fight, but they would be no match for us.” He laughed, and they drank for a while longer, and retired to the night.

At the giant castle of Hawthorne the Emperer, he had received the first message.  “Indeed, we may need to create a Exile portal, but only if things get way out of hand. Attempt more negotiations, and report back on there conclusion,” he dictated to a middle-aged woman, who wrote on a scroll. Then, another messenger came in.

“Sire, another message from the valley,” the man said, and bowed and hurried out of the throne room.

He read it, and said, “Also add, that Exile portal may be set up in the event these people are extremly hostile and unpredictable, and that empire occpation will happen, and tell the troops to begin occupation of city,” he said, and she reworded it so it sounded smooth, and it was sent along with a trained falcon, back to the camp.

In the morning, the commander awoke to the falcon sitting on top of him, awaiting him to get up. The bird flapped onto a chair, as he sat up. He saw the scroll tied to it, and he took it off, and read the scroll, while the bird awaited its next instruction. He read the last part to his assistant, and told him to spread it to the soldiers. “I am now going to meet with the king, gather a party of archers, and soldiers. I don’t think he will take this too well.”

“WHAT?!” was what the king yelled as he got the news from the General. “Listen! We will allow you to stay, but you’re not going to be taking our deku nuts! Children live in that forest, you can’t just...kick them out!!! We will SELL them to you, not just give, there a precious resource!” He took a piece of paper, and hurriedly wrote a response to the letter, and Roberts tied it to the Falcon, which took off, and left the castle, heading for Hawthorne castle.

The Emperor read the letter, and said to his letter-writer, “We understand, but be advised, that we are going to send in people to evaluate your people, and flush-out the ones that are inappropiate. As for your explosive nuts, we understand your stance. We will allow you to harvest and sell, but we are going to start the planting of the plants that make these, so we can harvest these incredable items in better quantity,” The Emperor said. He then sighed, and said “What do you think about this Walinda?”

The secretary said, “They’re whole life is about to change. I don’t know if they’ll cope. I would send down some experienced people to watch over the situation. You’re basically telling them ‘you’re mine now, and everything you have is mine too!’ It’s very unnerving, even for me. I hope no one is killed, or sent to Exile,” she said.

“I don’t either, but we must do what we have to,” he said, and was silent for a minute.

She then said, “Did he really say there were rock-eating giants, fish-people, and a race of female-only thieves?”

“Yes, its hard to believe. But I guess we have to take his word for it,” Hawthorne said.

“What are you going to do if they do revolt?” she asked.

“Send them all to Exile, the only thing I can do. I don’t want to have a group of rebellious people, with the order that is around it,” he said sadly. “Ok, send the bird again, she should be rested by now,” he said, and the bird flew into the room, and the Emperor petted his feathered head, and tied the letter onto it. “I hope they don’t mess this up, that place sounds incredible.”

A couple of weeks later, things had become very tense in the land of Hyrule. The king was a governor now, his daughter, a princess in name only. The people went on, but the archers that stood on buildings that looked-over the marketplace unnerved people, and made them cautious of what they did. The Gerudo, always troublesome, has outwardly refused the guards, and barricaded the entrance to the desert, and made a gate to keep them out. They had decided to not pursue it, it was way too hot anyways. The Goron went on as usual. The guards felt dwarfed, and it was apparent these creatures didn’t need the help of the soldiers in keeping the peace. And the Zora had total contempt for the guards. All they could do is sit on the shore. And often rocks and other things were thrown at them. All was at peace for the most part.

The hawk was sent out to report on the progress, and it’s main focus was on the troublesome Gerudo. “They have total disrespect, and we continually are ‘losing’ supplies daily. Request advice on what action to undertake,” the Emperor read aloud. “Set up an Exile portal...and rid the land of the thieves...” the Emperor said. The secretary gasped, but kept writing, and turned to him.

“Are you sure?” she asked.

“Yes,” he said firmly. “I have been too soft with them. Also add that any more blatant disrespect to Empire forces will mean Exile,” he said, and went back to reviewing reports from major cities in the empire.

“Yes sir....” she said, and wrote it down, tied it to the hawk, petted him, and sent him out of the window.

“YOUR GOING TO DO WHAT?!” Harkinian yelled as the commander read the letter to the former king. “You can’t do that!!! They’re a part of our society. Ours!!! You can’t just.....dump the unwanted!” he said.

“Yes we can, and we are,” and the commander walked from the room.

The empire soldiers had invaded the desert, but with very bad results. They apparently got wind of it, and the whole city was fortified. After three days, however, they were all caught, and thrown into the teleporter. Hyrule became very bitter towards the soldiers. Stands charged exorbitant fees to Empire guards. The Zora had no regard for the guards, who did nothing except fish occasionaly beside their waters. The desert was tottaly silent, and empty. The former king was very hostile towards the guards stationed there. He took their reports, and sent them on their way without a word.

However, one day, an incident arose by the Zoran waters. A guard was fishing, and had hooked something. He reeled in, and found he had hooked a Zora child. The hook was deep in his arm, and the guards howled with laughter. “Please, help me, it hurts!” the boy cried.

“Why should I, you mock us, make fun of us!!!” the guard that had him hooked said, and yanked on the line, causing the child to scream. From far below, the slight scent of blood in the water, and thrashing and screams weredetected, and other children came to see what was the matter.

“ me get this off!” said the ensnared child. One got close, but was hit with a small rock, and looked up.

“You don’t help the boy!!!” roared the guard with laughter, as the trapped kid cried.

“Tommy, go get dad!” said a Zora girl, and another Zora dived under the water. The guard smiled, they knew the penalty for disrespect. The guard yanked again, and another child was trying to help, and was hit with a stone, and started to cry. The others wanted to help, but couldn’t as there friend was trapped and in pain. Then, an adult Zora surfaced, rage on his face.

“Let go of him!” the Zora yelled.

“Why should I?” the guard said, and the Zora went over to help the child. A rock flew and hit his head. Another child caught it, and flung it hard back, hitting the guard in the face, and causing him to let go of the rod. The adult freed the boy, and the kids yelled at the guards, and dissapeared under the surface.
The next day, the king got a heavily biased report on the incident, how a Zora hit a guard with a stone, breaking his nose, omitting the child being hooked. The now-governor Harkinian told them to bring the Zora before him, but not in restraints.

“Find out who it is, and tell him I request an audience with him,” said Harkinian, and the messenger went away.

A day later, the Zora came into the throne room, bruised and beaten. Two guards flanked him on each side, and he looked at the king with distaste. “GET OUT OF MY CHAMBERS YOU SAVAGES! GUARDS!!! ARREST THESE MEN!” said Harkinian, and two guards came into the throne room. “You do not hurt any citizen of this city, is that understood?!” he growled, and the soldiers nodded, and the guards took the men away. The former king then turned to the Zora, and said, “What happened?”

The Zora then proceeded to tell him, about the fishing guards, them accidently getting the boy. Then his voice grew angrier as he told him how they taunted him, and threw rocks at the other Zora who tried to help, and showed him the lump that was still on his head from the rock that hit him. “Then, I went over to free him, and WHACK! I was hit, but one of my sons caught the rock, and threw it back, and that was when the man let go of the rod,” said the Zora, rubbing his head. “The child, has a deep and long gash on his arm.”

The king let out a sigh, and got a messenger. “Tell ALL guard posts that they do not interfere with people’s normal activities, and that they are to not hurt anyone, without provacation. And ALL injuries caused by a guard are to be reported to me,” he said, as the man wrote it down.

“Yes sir, I will take it immediately,” and walked hurridly from the large room.

Meanwhile at the guard barracks, the hawk was sent out with the account of the soldier. The Emperor read the letter, and laughed. “They got a bunch of idiots down there! Write on there that the soldiers better have better discresion, or they’re going to have to answer to me,” he said to his secretary.

“I hope the boy is all right....” his secretary said.

“Me too. I think I should send person to advise me on the situation,” he said, and she sent someone to find a worthy person. “Someone who wouldn’t be biased toward the military. In the mean time, tell the commander that we will not be pressing charges against the creature, and that he is to not harm them,” he said. “Let’s just hope they don’t stir them into rebellion,” said the Emperor.

“Why would that happen?” said the woman writing the stuff down.

“'Cause our soldiers may make them think that they have lost their way of life,” said Hawthorne the ruler, and he sent the bird out.

The commander in charge of the soldiers in Hyrule city had another meeting with the king, this time to discuss what rebellion would be punished with. “There will be no need for punishment, as long as you can keep your soldiers in line and not provoke another assault! Your actions in the Gerudo desert are not forgotten. People think they might be next. News of the Zora attack has got out. They wonder if they will be treated the same way,” said the king. It is true, that the Empire has a disdain for the different. And the appearance of the Hylia people, their pointed ears in paticular, is disturbing to the guards. So they aren’t as kind as they might have been otherwise.

“Exile is where those who blatently defy our guards awaits,” Roberts said.

“And what if the guard said ‘have sex with me’? If the person was scared to report it, you would send him to that place you keep going on about, and that would be it! Have you sent anyone else other than those Gerudo there?!” he asked.

“Not yet....”

But the King cut in, “Not yet?! It should be never! All of our cities are peaceful! YOUR soldiers are stirring the people up! What do you do to a begger who steals a piece of gold from a money bag of a person walking the streets?” the king asked.

“Exile,” said the man simply.

That is your problem!!! You do not hesitate to send people there you don’t want!!!” the king yelled. “Out of my sight. You come to ME before you send ANYONE there. Is that clear?!” he said, and Roberts nodded. “Thank you. As for the Zora, you should be apologizing to him. You beat him, when I said don’t harm him! That is not to happen ever again,” he said angrly, and the man nodded again. The commander stood to his feet, and left the castle.

At the barracks, the hawk was waiting on Roberts’ desk. He came back, and read the message, and threw it down. “Everyone in this city is too soft....” he said as he sat down on a bed to cool off.

It has been now two months since the takeover by the Empire. It was Deku-nut season, and hired harvesters entered the forest, and marveled at the children. A represenitive from the Empire came up to Link. “What is this forest for, a mass daycare center?” Link laughed.

“These are people. See that boy over there?” he said, as he pointed towards Mido. “He’s over 30 years old. They don’t age here like other people,” Link said, and the overseer’s mouth was open. “Don’t worry, they don’t bite, there very shy, but a friendly people,” he said. He saw Empire guards enter the forest, and Link’s expression instantly darkned. “What are they doing here?!” he said with distaste.

“They are here to make sure that no one steals from the harvest,” he said.

“I know what you mean. They’re not always mean, but I saw them in the city. Most are becoming friendly to the citizens, but some, they’re more like the Empire in general. Mean, to anyone and anything not natural, or familiar, or different,” he said, implying to his tone and expression.

“What do you mean, ‘in general’?” he asked.

“Have you heard of the ‘Exile-portal’?” he asked. Link nodded his head. “It goes to a gigantic underground cave-system. All unwanted people up here are sent down there. Your Gerudo, for instance. I heard of your Zora, they may be next,” he said, and Link was gripped with a mixture of shock and horror. The man saw it, and shook his head. “It’s something we could do without. But it is the reason that the Empire doesn’t have to build prisons, or ‘waste’ money on rehabliatation programs, or mental hospitals,” the man said, and spit to emphasize his last point. “People say that it is probably hell down there, with all of our criminals down there. You never know, but  I don’t think that’s true. I knew some people who were sent down there. One was caught stealing. He stole a pair of boots. That was it. It’s extremly unfair, in my opinion,” he said, and turned to watch the laborers coming in the forest. Link was shocked because of how little it would take to get you sent down there. Link knew there weren’t enough criminals in Hyrule to fit into his treehouse. That was because things were great.

Link turned to the man, “You can stay in my house while the harvest is going on,” Link said, and the man of at least 33 smiled.

“Thanks,” he said, and looked in. “I’ll bring my stuff after the evening shift is over.” And he climbed down from the treehouse, and began barking orders at the laborers, who were bringing in ladders and large baskets.

At the Hyrule castle, the king had come to a decision. “Sir, I would like to request that your men leave, and let our own guards take over,” he said to Roberts.

He only shook his head. “We have orders to stay here until the Empire’s postion is solidified...” but the king cut-in.

“Listen! Were not going to revolt! You’ve already destroyed a major part of our society! And if we were to revolt, it would be 'cause of your soldiers behaviour towards our citizens! We are part of the Empire, but in name only! We are a nation. We’ve been protecting ourselves for thousands of years! Nothing is going to change 'cause your ‘Empire’ says they own us! We submit, but don’t go trying to exert yourself over us!” he said, and took some paper, and wrote a letter to the Emperor. “Messenger, go and get Link and tell him to come to the castle. I wish to send one of our citizens, a dear friend to the royal family. I want him to meet your ‘Emperor’ and explain what is all going on!” the king almost yelled, and the messenger nodded, and left the room.

In the forest, Link was doing his daily routine, which isn’t that much at all. Then, he saw the messenger, and recognized him and walked up to him. Since the only time he ever comes into the forest is to get him, warn him, or something else, he went up to him. “Sire, you are to go with a person from the Empire to see the Emperor Hawthorne,” the messanger said.

“I understand, I will get my things at once,” and walked back and got his stuff.

After getting his things, he was on the road with the surveyor that had been sent by the Emperor. After a long awkward silence, the surveyor spoke. “My name is Peter,” said the man.

“I’m Link” said Link, and shook his hand.

“Your land, it’s very beautiful,” he said.

“That it is,” Link replied, thinking about it.

“Tell me, what are the different races like, in your land?” he asked.

“I thought you already found that out,” Link said.

He laughed, and said, “All I did was stand by the sea for a day, waiting for someone to come up, only to get splashed when I tried to talk. The people you call Gorons, I didn’t really get an impression, I didn’t know if there disposition was always like that,” He said.

“Well, I will tell you. The Zora, they are a very proud people. Also people to not be messed with. The Gorons are just as gentle as the people that occupy the cities. The Kokiri, they are just as you saw, fun-loving children. The Gerudo, that were ‘exiled’ as you call it,” he spit for emphasis of his point, “were only doing what they normally do. Your people, you leave your camps unguarded, with things not under protection?” he asked.

He said, “There hasn’t been a need in a long time to guard our camp as if we were in a war-zone.”

“Well there’s your problem. They can survive on their own, but what do they think when they see all your stuff spread-out?” he said, and Peter laughed.

“I guess you’re right, but no one disputes the Emperor.”

Link then asked, “What do you mean?” For a second, the 25-year-old mage laughed, then he got back his composure.

“Ahem, sorry, I forget you don’t know what he’s like. The Emperor, Hawthorne, is brilliant, but also ruthless. In his rule, no one has challenged him. No one has ever tried to break away from the Empire, such as small cities. First of all, there is no real need to. The soldiers protect with a mighty hand, but also kind to people who abide the law. I guess there just not used to your people. Your land is very beautiful. Your people, the model society. Just remember that you to try to appeal to him, don’t yell at him, asking why he does all this stuff. That will get you nowhere. Odds are, the reason he put up with your leader’s letters is cause the stupidity of the bunch that are there. They’re a bunch of stupid infantry. And archers. Not the guards you need. You should ask him to have the army moved-out, and actual guards moved in. You should tell him that your area is not a territory in threat of revolt, tell him, NICELY, that you want to be left in peace,” he said, and Link nodded. They talked a while afterwards, and came to a city, and spent the night.

A week later, Link arrived at the grand castle of the ‘Mighty and Fair Emperor Hawthorne’, or as the palace guards had to refer to them. Link grumbled a bit. “Makes himself to be a bit more than he is, huh?” he said, discreetly.

“Huh? Oh, doesn’t that too?” he asked.

“No, he doesn’t have to make a mighty impression of himself on his subjects to be seen in their eyes as mighty,” he said simply, and the words impacted Peter.

“I never saw it that way.” They continued walking, the two travelers now friends, as they stood at the entrance to the throne room. Two seven-foot-tall people, or what he thought were people, guarded the way into the throne. “Those are Golems, Link. There made out of stone, and enchanted. These are made out of extremely hard smoothed granite,” he said as the walked up to the door, he got up to six feet away from the small, simple granite-patterned doors, and the Golem moved, the sound of very smooth surfaces audible as it moved.

“Do you have permission to see the Emperor?” said the animated object. A small sapphire glowed  where there should be a mouth, sending soft blue light as the sound came from it. It was very low, but without rasp, and was perfectly understandable. It only stood there waiting for a response. A diamond of Onyx with four facets making four more diamonds swiveled-around, looking at him, the object feeding sight information to the golem gem that animated the object, which was on its neck, glowing faintly. Peter stepped up to the object, and that caused it to go into defense mode, and drew the long great sword it held with one hand, preparing to strike down them if they tried to get at the Emperor without authorization.

“We are here on official Empire business,” he said, and held his hand out, with a slip signed by commander Roberts in it. The golem looked at the paper, studied it for a second, and put its sword away, and opened the door to enter the kings chambers.

“Have a nice day!” it said oddly cheerful, and the golem-gem flashed as the two magical creatures talked to each other silently as they stood at their post. It creeped Link out majorly. The walked into the chamber, with the emperor’s chair elevated on a six-foot step-pyramid. It made him look formidable. Link knew that was exactly what he was going for.

He bowed shortly, as he expected of Royalty, and said, “Sire?” trying to get his attention.

He turned. “Oh, I’m sorry, I was looking at something....It is rather intresting...” he laughed shortly, and the book he had said on the cover The Reign of our Emperor Link saw the cover of the book, and couldn’t help but laugh. “Is there something funny?!” Hawthorne said with impatience.

“Well...It’s that book. It seems like its just some half-talent writer who was hoping that you would buy a ton of his books for barracks, or whatever,” Link said off hand, and Peter looked uncertainly from the Emperor to Link. Your so stupid Link!!! If your lucky, he may only whip you!!! Peter thought to himself. The Emperor studied him for a second, and the roared with laughter, “You’re very perceptive, but also very brave, I admire that!” and Link sighed on his inside with relief. “You are right my boy, I get a hundred of these. All are almost the seem in totally opposite ways. However, I always get a copy of every one someone tries to publish. Always saying how great my rule is, how its going to get even greater,” he said in a casual tone. “You’re not here just to chat, are you?” he said, and Link shook his head. “Well, I guess we better to get down to buisness,” he said.

“Yes sire, I am from your new territory, the land of Hyrule,” he said, and the Emperor’s eyes went up to his ears, seeing their odd shape, and the different curvature of the face.

“It’s true, all your people have a beauty to your face,” he said, then motioned with his hand “Continue”.

“Sire, I have come to see if you would be willing to move your soldiers out of our land.” He said that, and the man laughed.

“I can’t be doing that!” he said.

“Sire, these men are not guards. They get bored sitting around doing nothing. They pester and bother our people as they go along their routines. Some even mangled and tourtred a small Zoran boy with a fishing rod until an adult freed him, and then he still got hit on the head with a rock. We don’t need soldiers in our city,” Link said, and the Emperor nodded.

“What do you suggest we do?” he asked.

“You could leave our land to its own affairs, the only millatary presensce being at the harvest times,” he suggested.

“Not possible,” the Emperor said.

“Ok, understandable. We want the soldiers out and gone, and guards, real guards who don’t serve in the military who will be staying and living in the city,” Link said, as Peter had suggested to him.

The King nodded thoughfully. “Anything else?” he asked.

“You could hire people from our own kingdom to be guards, it would be absoulutly no change from the usual,” he said. After he was done, he remained silent while Hawthorne thought it over. After three minutes or so of dead-silence, he spoke, and it surprised the two men standing in front of the throne.

“I have thought it over, and I think a combination of the last two would be in order. It would allow people to warm-up back to our Empire. I must admit, our soldiers are pretty stupid. Is the boy allright, you alleged he got hurt.”

Link smiled, and said, “That is a good solution. As for the boy, he was swimming, but his race, they’re people would not be an accurate term, but the best I can come up with. According to the friends of the boy, he was hooked, and the soldiers were throwing rocks at people who were trying to free him. The Zora totally loathe your soldiers. I will return, and explain things to them, about the new people coming in. Hopefully, they will understand what is going on. Perhaps you would like to come to our land, you can’t get the full impression of them without seeing them,” he said.

“I’ll think it over, and as for the guards, I’ll set that up as soon as possible. Would you not like to stay for dinner with me tonight, so we can talk more about your land, and your traditions,” he said.

Link obliged, bowing and saying, “That would be excellent Emperor, I have not had a decent night’s sleep in a week. Staying at second-rate rooms has not been very well on my back,” he said.

“As should be expected.”

Later that night, they all sat down to a dinner that promised to be exquisite, and Link, and his new-found friend wasn’t in the least bit. It was savory and rich, but not like fatty foods, it was spiced to perfection. After taking a couple of large bites, Link said to the Emperor. “Emperor Hawthorne?” he asked. Peter gazed at him in astonishment. NO ONE said his name. Only his trusted advisors.

“How dare you say my name, without barely knowing me!” he said in an angry tone, and the guards were ready to seize him, if the master of the castle so desired.

“Excuse me, sir, I meant no disrespect,” he said.

“But you did disrespect me!” he said, still angry.

“I’m sorry sire. I mearly wanted to talk to you. I did not know! I did not mean any disrespect at all, in any ways. I thought perhaps you were tired of being called sire or sir or Emperor  when adressed. I would not like it if people addressed me all the time ‘Master Guard over the Forest’, for that was my former title before you came into my land,” he said.

That brought an interesting point to his mind. Right now, most people would be groveling at his feet for forgivness. “I see, that you did not know. You may call me by my last name, you bring up interesting points often,” he said, and smiled. “What did you want to ask me about, Link, was it?” he asked.

“That is my name sir. I wanted to ask you about the dismantling of that call and ‘exile portal’.” And Peter dropped his fork. What is wrong with him?! He just rushes into things!!! He’s gonna get himself into something that he may not be able to talk out of, and this could just be it.... He thought, trying to go on eating as usual.

Hawthorne then said, “Why? It is a very effective method for keeping a populace in line.” Link grumbled at that statement.

“You wiped out a whole civilization when you set that thing up! And it’s an omonous thing at night. Also, what if some poor child wanders into it, and goes werever that thing leads to? What if some man decides to rape a woman, then throw her into there, as if nothing happened, leaving everyone to wonder where she went? Also, there is no need to control the populace. We never had any real jail, except somewere to keep the drunks over the night,” he said, rather angry.

The Emperor ignored that, and said, “What about these Zora I hear about, their total lack of respect for the guards?” he asked.

“They return in kind what they receive! And even if you decreed to send them into that portal, you couldn’t catch them. You try and fence them in, try and round them up, nothing would work. Not to mention there’s a deep bond between the Zora and the rest of Hyrule, including the Gerudo. That is why they show so little respect, or why it’s so lacking, to say another way. In any case, is should be dismantled, moved, destroyed, whatever means to remove it, but it NEEDS to be removed, nonetheless.” Link finished his little ‘speech’ with. He had a flare of making a ‘excuse me, may I say a word’ or something along those lines into a speech that goes quite a bit of time.

The emperor took a bite of his food, chewed slowly, swallowed, then said, “Ok, I shall have it done.” And that was all that was said during the dinner that was of any importance. After the night, they departed from the halls of the Emperor, and returned to his land.

After a week, plans to set guards up were in place. But it was of no use. The soldiers continued their stupid and foolsih taunting of the Zora, and they rebelled violently. The Emperor had the area sealed off. Mages came to the land, and set up a set of four portals, and edges of the kingdom. They invoked a magic upon the portals, and transported the kingdom of Hyrule into Exile. All that was left was the greenery, and patches of ungrown dirt where houses once stood. After that, no town ever thought of rebelling against the Empire.