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Chapter One
The Best Birthday Gift

One week after the events chronicled in Shadow and Light...

“Happy Birthday, Zelda!!” the entire royal dining room shook from the sound of so many people yelling at the same time. Zelda stood up from her table and blushed, she stood there for a few more moments until her father cleared his throat and grabbed her arm, pulling her back down. Around her were the other sages along with Link and her father. They were all wearing expensive looking clothes.

Zelda looked at the others and smiled happily, “You guys are the best!”

Link and the others laughed, “You don’t need to thank us, Zelda. It’s your birthday! You’re SUPPOSED to have a party.” Link said.

“Well,” she glances at the large pile of presents behind her, “let’s hope you guys got me something BESIDES expensive jewelry, it’s getting old.”

Nabooru blinked and excused herself, snatching her present from the pile and telling the others, “I’ll be back...I gotta exchange this!”

Her father smiled and said, “Just wait...I just know you’ll love the gift I have in store for you.”

There was a tap on Link’s shoulder. Link turned to see Saria wearing an expensive green dress adorned with jewelry. Saria wore an uncomfortable expression.

Link looks Saria up and down and says, “Wow! Saria, you look great!” the others whistled and clapped. Saria blushed and smiled nervously, “T-thanks...” she then sat down in her reserved seat. The seat was to Link’s left. Link was sitting across from the king, Daphnes, with Zelda to his right at the head of the table.

Saria stared blankly at the various utensils before her. She didn’t know so many different forks existed.

Link looks at Zelda and asks, “So, this is your seventeenth birthday, how’re you feeling?”

She smiled, “I feel relieved to still be alive, if that’s what you mean. And...” she held Link’s hand from under the table, “I’ll be looking forward to your present...”

Impa cleared her throat, “Ahem.”

Zelda and Link looked at the others staring and blushed, they both said in unison, “Sorry.”

Daphnes offered Link an expensive looking bottle, pouring the drink into his glass, “Give it a try, Link.”

Link smiled politely, not daring to refuse the King’s offer. He took a little sip. It tinged his throat slightly, but had a faint taste of fruits.

Link smiled and poured himself some more as Daphnes laughed.

Daphnes then stood up tapping his glass with his spoon to get the room’s attention. The room went silent as the hundreds of guests turned their attention to the King.

“Everyone,” Daphnes said, “friends and family, I’d like to thank all of you for being such splendid guests for my daughter’s seventeenth birthday. As I look at her now, I see that she has blossomed into a beautiful young woman.” Zelda nodded and smiled. Link nodded in agreement while taking another sip of his drink.

“That is why...” Daphnes took his daughter’s hand and stood her up, “I’d like to use today to announce her fianc!” Link choked on his drink.

Saria, who had been struggling with the forks, drops them in absolute shock. The other sages' jaws drop. They looked shocked as well.

Daphnes gestured across the next table and a handsome looking young man stood up, “My daughter will be engaged to Prince Derek of Aria!”

Derek bowed.

Zelda was speechless.

Seconds later the room was filled with claps as Zelda sat back down silently. The King went over to congratulate the lucky bachelor.

A smiling Nabooru returns and sets her present down on the table, “Hope you like this, Princess, I got it for a real cheap price. It’s practically a steal!” Her smile slowly faded, “...did I miss something?”

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