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Blood, Soul, Malice

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Every sound seems far away, as if Ganondorf has water in his ears. As soon as the commotion died down, he'd been bundled off by his bodyguards, guided to a saferoom quickly and quietly before being given the promise that while they were going to help the search for the assassin, he'd be safe there even without them.

(Mariko, despite the stony set of her face, had looked at him with eyes full of guilt and shame, and he wanted to tell her it wasn't her fault, but he couldn't make his voice come out and then she was gone.)

Ganondorf is almost thankful for the state he's in, given the argument currently happening between Lana and Link, the latter having barged into the saferoom followed by the former trying to stop him.

And then Link's hands forming the sign for 'steward' pulls Ganondorf out of his trance.

"There's no need for a steward," he croaks, getting the others to look at him.

"Thank you, I've been trying to tell him that!" Lana groans, even as Link shakes his head.

'You're not of age', he signs, 'and you're in distress not a fit state choose a steward take a rest'.

"Oh, and I suppose you'd just happen to throw your hat into the ring?" Lana snaps.

Link shrugs and bows humbly, earning himself scoffing laughter from the sorceress. He rolls his eyes in response and turns to face Ganondorf, bowing low before raising his hands to sign again.

'I know the pain of losing your parents'-

"Yes," Lana says. "We all know the story of you murdering your parents in their bed because you'd found out they were Malice cultists conspiring against the king. Strange, how there was never any evidence found."

'This is the evidence', Link signs, gesturing at his throat and the thick puckered scar across it. 'The sacrificial cut that took my voice and nearly took my life'.

Lana groans and rubs at her eyes, muttering in some long forgotten language. Link seems to flinch away from the sound of her voice, but returns to speaking to Ganondorf.

"Your highness," he rasps quietly before continuing in sign, 'you need rest you have been through an ordeal perhaps the winter palace', then clears his throat and continues again, speaking once more, "You could leave tomorrow if you knew the throne was in good hands."

"Are you asking me to appoint you steward?" Ganondorf says with a frown.

All Link responds with is, 'Is there another candidate you can think of'.

And Ganondorf frowns because... Well. Yes, there is, but also no, there isn't. He could appoint Lana, but she has more important duties to attend to. The Sheikah master would likely gladly take the position... But she's old, and doesn't leave Kakariko much anymore. Appointing Karavi would be a political nightmare, as would asking any of his aunts or cousins to take the position. Link, on the other hand, is Hylian, from an old family that can trace their lineage all the way back to the sky knights - which won't cause too many ripples from the members of the court who still turn up their noses at Ganondorf - and he's popular with the people as well, practically a perfect picture of what a knight should be.

"Your highness," Lana says, "I say this not as one of the Guardians of Time, but as your friend.'

Ganondorf's face twists into a skeptical expression and Lana tilts her head in acquiescence.

"As your family's friend," she corrects, then continues. "You don't have to choose a steward immediately. Take some time to think on it-"

"Some time?" Ganondorf snaps as the stress of the evening finally catches up to him and anger and frustration roil in his chest. "Take some time to decide on a steward? My parents just died in front of me! I should be taking time to grieve!"

"Of course, I understand-"

"You're not even supposed to be here. You're supposed to be watching over the strands of time, impartial," Ganondorf says icily, and Lana flinches back. "Stop trying to influence me. I... I am not yet old enough to take the throne, and if appointing a steward gets you both to leave me alone... Link is the best candidate I can think of, and he's willing, so... So he's steward now."

A flicker of something unidentifiable crosses Lana's face before she schools it into an impassive mask.

"Very well, your highness," she says, bowing and taking a step back. She bows to Link with a muttered, "I will be in my chambers if I'm needed, Lord Steward," and vanishes from the room in a burst of sparkles and a faint chime.

Link turns to Ganondorf with a smile and puts a hand on shoulder, rasping out, "You've made the right choice."

"Sure," Ganondorf mutters, slumping back in his chair, suddenly exhausted. "Whatever."



 

"I believe congratulations are in order, master," Ghirahim purrs when Link returns to the manor. "You did wonderfully. I myself may have gone a touch overboard on my performance, but I suppose it doesn't matter n-"

He's cut off when Link grabs him and pulls him into a hungry kiss, backing him up against the wall and coaxing his mouth open to slip his tongue in.

"Go to the Yiga," Link whispers when he breaks the kiss. "Bring their master back with you. I need to talk to him."

Ghirahim nods, breathless and speechless. "Do I have to go... Right now?"

"Go," Link hisses, and Ghirahim nods and vanishes.

Minutes pass, during which Link heads to his study and sits at his desk. Ghirahim returns in a flash of red and white diamonds, clutching the master of the Yiga by the back of his shirt, and shoves the man at Link. He stumbles a moment before picking himself up and straightening his robe, shooting a glare at Ghirahim before bowing to Link.

"Tehga, master of the Yiga clan, at your service, O Bearer of Malice," he murmurs. “Your... Pet needs to be trained better."

'Ghirahim acts as he wishes so long as he follows orders', Link signs as the Yiga master straightens up. 'I have work for your people'.

"And we shall carry out your will, my lord."

Link smiles. 'The crown prince travels to the winter palace', he signs. 'Alone'.

A grin creeps across Tehga's face. "Unwise, for a boy as important as him. When?"

"Tomorrow," Link rasps.

Silence, as Tehga blinks disbelievingly.

"This gives us barely any time to prepare!" he finally protests, and Ghirahim stands up with a snarl.

"You are lucky to get this much warning!" He snaps. "You should be grateful for this opportunity. A chance to do my master's bidding. You worship the Malice, do you not?"

"My clan does," Tehga says with a sneer, "but I imagine you spend more time on your knees for it."

"How dare you! You're nothing but a lowly soldier! I am his-"

"You're his whore." Tehga spits on the rug he's standing on. "The mighty blade of the Demon King, reduced to nothing but a couple of holes to fuck."

"I should cut you down where you stand for such disrespect-"

"Enough," Link rasps, getting the attention of both of them and switching to sign. 'Tehga will ready his clan to pursue the prince'.

The Yiga master bows, and Link turns to Ghirahim and signs, 'You will stop responding to his barbs'.

Ghirahim grumbles out a, "Yes, master," and leans against the wall again, arms crossed and sulking.

The rest of the meeting passes without incident, Ghirahim continuing to sulk through most of it. Link pays this no mind, assuming the demon is nursing his wounded pride as rebukes tend to make him do, until the Yiga master leaves and the two remaining head to Link's bedchambers.

"Master... A word, if I may?" Ghirahim murmurs as the door closes with a click, and Link gives him a confused look.

'Something wrong', he signs, the demon pursing his lips and furrowing his brow as he thinks on what to say.

"I just... Wonder about what he said," Ghirahim sighs eventually. "You know I love you, master, with every fibre of my being, I am yours in body and soul, but... Sometimes it does seem that you only see me as a pretty face and a hole to fuck. I wouldn't blame you, of course, I am physically perfect and I'm sure my cunt feels wonderful, but I am first and foremost a sword. And so far I have been treated as... As arm candy, and a body to warm your bed."

Link reaches up to cup his cheek and wipe away a tear that had crept down his face, taking some eyeliner with it. 'I'm sorry for giving that impression', he signs. 'Now everything is in motion you should have more opportunities to fulfill your true role'.

"Good," Ghirahim says, a little smile on his face that Link matches. "Hm... Especially since I've found my little sister's wielder."

Link freezes, and rasps, "What?"