(Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess/Commission)
It had been a long and arduous journey that had ultimately ended with the defeat of the usurper Zant and his fellow conspirator the demonic Ganondorf, as well as the rescue of Princess Zelda, the rightful heiress to the throne of Hyrule. Link, once a humble goatherd from Ordon, had begun his journey simply to rescue his best friend and his horse, and none could've envisioned what that task had turned into...save, perhaps, the Three Goddesses. Link's journey had taken him from one end of the kingdom to the other, through perils and wonders beyond counting, and had earned him a reputation amongst all the races of Hyrule, from his fellow Hylians and the humans to the reclusive Gorons and Zoras. He was even held in esteem by the otherworldly Twili. It was a mighty good thing Hyrule had Link to call upon, because the kingdom's own army was a joke. Sadly, not even a very funny one.
The few chest-thumping blowhards who'd offered to escort the stricken Zora Prince Ralis to Kakariko for treatment had practically evaporated upon learning that the trip would be dangerous. Nor had they been terribly impressive when a certain blue-eyed wolf with eerily human-like intelligence had begun parading around Hyrule Castle Town and sending the locals into a panic. Still, it was clear that other threats might come to Hyrule, and Link might not be able to fight them alone. So, in order to regather Hyrule's scattered troops and whip them into shape (literally, if needed, Telma had reportedly said) Link had been awarded the title of 'First Knight' by Zelda herself.
As he rode away from Ordon, amid much fanfare from the locals, however, Link was not alone. He was accompanied by the young boy, Colin, who was the son of Rusl, Link's adoptive father and a fellow warrior. It just so happened that Colin had garnered interest from the princess for his quick and articulate mind as well as his few bouts of bravery. He was allowed to become Link's 'squire', a position that he certainly considered to be a great honor. Never before would he have imagined he could be depended upon for something like this, let alone by the young matriarch of Hyrule herself. It took a lot of shaking from Link to help the young man snap out of his initial dumbfounded shock.
Though they would eventually return to help train the army in case of a future attack, Link would not have the chance to see Zelda face to face for a very long time. It would be the most regrettable part to come out of his new position in life, something that Colin could tell was very much obvious whenever the man who was his big brother in all but blood looked so forlornly in the direction of the castle.
In any case, while they were gone, Zelda knew that she had a task no less daunting than turning a bunch of fops into proper soldiers. One of the the most visible signs of Hyrule's recent woes was the destruction of Hyrule Castle, following the second of four grueling battles between Link and Ganondorf. Its loss was a terrible blow, both to the kingdom and to Zelda's image as a ruler, and that was leaving aside just how much of the kingdom's wealth has been lost when the castle treasury and all the rupees therein had been buried or, worse, blown to bits.
The funds and resources to rebuild it would not be easy to come by, but Zelda also knew it was vital to helping her realm to heal. If the castle was restored, it would give the people hope for the restoration of the land itself, as the castle was seen as such an iconic symbol. Princess Zelda also needed to do this in order to repair her public image as well. Though not many would dare say so to her face, it was no secret that her image amongst her subjects...left something to be desired. Though the people of Hyrule were certainly more grateful to have her around rather than that monster Zant, that didn't mean that she was taken in with exceptionally open arms. In fact, a lot of people still liked to blame her for what had happened. They saw her failure to prevent Zant's attack as a lapse of proper leadership on her part. After all, she had basically surrendered to him because her forces weren't strong enough to handle such creatures. It didn't help that she would have likely remained under the control of the monster forever if she hadn't been rescued by a 'random sword-wielding teen from the woods'.
To try and repair both the ruined castle as well as her own reputation, Zelda had decided to gather together her most trusted group of advisers and officials to discuss what they should do next. How to allocate the available funds, how to start the repairs, what should be done to help alleviate the peoples' unfavorable opinions, and other such issues that needed to be solved. One would have hoped that the trouble caused by Zant and Ganondorf would have ended with their defeat, but it seemed that the after-effects of said defeat left a greater impact than Zelda anticipated.
Of course, there was no need for them to go and sit around amidst the rubble of the castle, so they had to borrow the mansion of a recently deceased duke. Though the mansion owned by the young Lady Agatha was larger and more opulent, its use as Zelda's provisional home was rejected after learning just how fond Lady Agatha was of collecting bugs and letting them flitter about as they pleased.
Zelda gave all of the honors she could bestow upon the late nobleman's family, assuring them that she respected his property and was grateful to be able to use it. Even the staff who had served the duke were placed at Zelda's disposal by the nobleman's family. The kitchens were hard at work to serve her and the other men and women working alongside her. Of course, they were determined to give Zelda everything that she could ever want. She tried not to ask for much at all, but none of the chefs were afraid of putting forth their best available effort for her sake.
Looking to the various Lords and Ladies that inhabited Hyrule, many of them came up with various ideas, some worth consideration and others not quite so much. There was one man who had recently come into contact with Zelda and had begun to serve under her. He said his name was Lord Aganhim, though he was always quite vague on which part of Hyrule he actually hailed from. It didn't really matter in the end however, as long as he seemed to have Hyrule's best interests in mind, which Zelda required of him. He was tasked with, among other things, a duty to broker new trade negotiations and establish contracts with those who could potentially supply what Hyrule needed, to help increase both the flow of revenue as well as the amount of resources available for the country's people. A large, burly man with blueish skin and a fondness of wearing red, he had basically waltzed in out of the shadows to aid them when they needed it most. His appearance, well...Zelda could not say for sure personally, but it seemed that he was considered rather handsome by the other women of the court as well as the female staff. Zelda couldn't quite see it. She didn't know what to think about him.
He was a man who seemed to understand trade better than anyone else there, or so he liked to claim. She put him to work just as she did with everyone else. Claims and words meant nothing to her so much as results and action did. She wanted to see for sure that he could do what she expected.
However, as time went on, she found that his work was not coming up to par as she had hoped. In fact, it started to deliver to her a great deal of unwanted stress. Stress that she ended up finding herself mitigating through the use of food. Given the remarkable devotion of her newly acquired kitchen staff, a filling meal to smother her frustrations was easy to come by...and usually excessive in size. Aganhim himself had also contributed to this, both to relieve stress and when he brought would-be trading partners to Zelda, where she'd be expected to wine and dine as well as negotiate. Not that she was terribly satisfied with Aganhim, however. Though he did manage to bring many prospective partners to the negotiating table-slash-dining table, they always seemed to want more in return than Zelda was inclined to deliver, and certainly more than she was inclined to give. So, that meant a night spent dining copiously and negotiating with dignitaries either ended with nothing to show for it, save the dirty dishes, or Zelda had been forced to take a deal which, while helpful to Hyrule, was also self-injurious to the kingdom's long-term well-being. Aganhim always lay the blame on the would-be trading partners, saying they were money-leechers and intransigent, and that Zelda was doing all she could under the circumstances. Zelda didn't like hearing that so often. It made her anxious...and hungry too.
The food that was served at the mansion was really quite decadent. The very best dishes from the very best recipe books of Hyrule Castle's greatest chefs made up the bulk of her meals. Instead of eating something small and simple, Zelda was always being served meals that could easily have been split across three different times of a single day. It seemed that Aganhim had been the one to put in a request for such an absurd amount of cooking preparation. When Zelda tried to question him regarding why he was so keen for her to eat so much and how that helped their situation, he was very quick to defend his decision. Interestingly, his counterargument was more convincing than she would've given him credit for.
"You should be able to eat whatever you please, my dear. You are the princess of this country, after all. You are the one we depend upon to make the final decision at the end of the day. If you let stress prevent you from eating a proper meal, you'll be left hungry and malnourished, and that in turn could increase your chances of failure when it comes to proper judgement and behavior. So do you really wish to risk your reputation even FURTHER?"
"I suppose you do have a point there, Aganhim, though I do think that receiving a platter filled to the point of overflowing with this much bread, meat and cheese is possibly overdoing it? I do not need to eat this much."
"No battle can be waged on an empty stomach, and this will be a protracted campaign! It simply works that way! You will be able to gain more energy from the food inside of you!"
Princess Zelda lifted both her knife and her fork into her hands. She supposed that she could see where Aganhim was coming from. Maybe he hailed from the Gerudo Desert, where food was often scarce and thus resources were treated with so much more care. Or maybe he really did believe it was best for Zelda's sake. Whatever the case, Zelda wasn't going to turn down this offer to eat. She didn't want to disappoint the men and women who had worked so hard to make these meals for her. She wanted to show respect to them, at least, if not Aganhim and his odd beliefs.
As time went on, and more and more trade negotiations dragged on, stalled, fell through, or turned out to cause more harm than good, Zelda hardly needed the encouragement where eating was concerned. And, that was leaving aside all the dinners she was obliged to treat her guests to, where they'd often bring delicacies from their homeland and eating too little of these might be taken as an affront. Unsurprisingly, this ended up having an adverse effect on Zelda's waistline.
She had always been rather thin, possessing a dainty kind of figure with hardly any visible muscle to speak of. There was still muscle there, but not enough to make her look like she had any sort of 'fullness' to her overall image. Now, though, she started to fill out with something much softer, much flabbier, than what she began with. It started with her stomach developing a layer of softness over it. That layer became thicker and thicker as time progressed. The discussions about Hyrule's future were often peppered with numerous lunch and dinner breaks, ones that ended up filling Zelda near to the brim with numerous tasty delights. She had not meant to end up eating so much, it just sort of tended to happen against her will and better judgment. When she took her first bite, she couldn't stop from taking another, and another, and another. It was odd because she had never been a big eater to begin with. Aganhim stood behind her and watched over her so diligently. She never even noticed the times where he had his hand on his shoulder or when he was rubbing the small of her back. She didn't even notice how he would sometimes whisper indecipherable words into her ear. She just kept on eating, almost like it was all part of her duty to do so.
Meanwhile, Link and Colin were handling their new duties as knight and squire quite well. The two of them had been tasked with basically cleaning up the weaknesses within the Hyrule Guard, and alas, there were many weaknesses to speak of. The ease with which Zant conquered Hyrule Castle was nothing short of humiliating on the part of the royal soldiers, who were expected to protect the kingdom and its people from invaders. Link had been capable of fending off a great myriad of monsters and villains by himself. Yet these supposedly well-trained men and women of Hyrule couldn't do a thing against them. This was their best chance to remedy that folly and make the royal guard an organization worthy of respect and admiration again. Link and Colin were both as determined as anything to see this transformation through. Of course, being so dedicated to their cause kept the pair from getting to see Zelda for long stretches of time. Link remained unaware so far about the young woman's growth, or the effect that the adviser clad in red was having over her.
Link dearly missed Zelda though. No one could see that better than Colin. The boy had always been exceptionally good at reading between the lines and figuring out people before they said anything. However, it wasn't like it was very hard to tell Link's feelings for the princess anyway.
"Are you going to, um, propose to Zelda when we return, Link?"
Link didn't really know how to respond to that question. It was a pretty heavy query. The boy didn't even have to ask him if he liked Zelda to begin with, because he already knew. Colin smiled up at him with this sort of cheeky little grin. It made Link feel uncomfortable, if only because he was being asked something he really hadn't planned out himself. Now he didn't know what to say. Colin was too good at being able to read people. He probably knew that the two of them were going to get together at some point. It wasn't something left to chance, it was an inevitability.
"Well, even if you don't propose, I still think you should tell her how you feel!" Colin grinned. "I KNOW she'd feel the same way...!"
As Link's squire, Colin was the one entrusted with relaying information about their progress training the army between him and Zelda. While Link had to stay behind with the troops, Colin was able to meet up with Princess Zelda herself. She always paid attention so closely to Colin's reports on the Hylian Hero himself. Colin didn't really notice how Zelda had started to grow softer and wider around her stomach area, as it didn't really matter to him. He neglected mentioning it to Link too. All that really mattered to him was to help encourage these two to be more open with their feelings. He even asked the princess herself some questions that would have probably seemed too personal for anyone else to try.
"What do you think about Link, Princess Zelda? You always seem so happy whenever you talk about him."
"W-Well, I do admit that he's a..." Zelda said, before stuffing a small biscuit into her mouth. "A charming man, if not the most talkative."
"Heh, you should tell him that next time. I think he'd be really glad to hear that!"
"I...! I don't think I could do such a thing! It would cause him, um, some unnecessary distractions in the middle of his already busy schedule," Zelda exclaimed, eating a handful of cookies in a panic.
Whenever she got flustered, she tended to eat a lot. Not that she HAD to be flustered to stuff her face, it happened almost on command by this point in time. Behavior like this was what helped her manage to bloat up to a pretty rotund 230 pounds. The weight showed all over her body, from her plush upper-arms to her plump rear and distended pot-belly. Such softness was unbecoming of a royal like herself and it didn't really match her usually stern and serious personality. Of course, it wasn't like she willingly chose to turn into a butterball. Zelda's dress was long and flowing, so it concealed a good deal of her growth from the public, but it wouldn't be able to last for very long. Not while Aganhim continued to influence her.
Though Link and Zelda continued to think about one another, they did not find many opportunities to actually meet. Aganhim did his best to keep Zelda preoccupied with one thing or another, whether it was having her work on new legislation or eating more food prepared by the chefs downstairs. It made Zelda sick sometimes from having to eat so much, but she didn't like leaving anything unfinished. Every time she started a meal, she pushed herself to consume it all until not even a crumb was left behind. Aganhim seemed to appreciate such behavior, as if he was hoping she would do that from the very start. Why she let this man come around and boss her so, Zelda didn't really know. If she had been allowed the chance to stop and think about it, she would realize that Aganhim was well out of line with this behavior. However, Aganhim never gave her a chance. He kept making her eat, and eat, and work, and eat, and work, and eat. She ate so much that her belly felt like it was going to explode. Zelda ate, which made her stomach expand, thus allowing her to keep eating more the next time. A cycle with no end in sight, the only result to come from it being morbid obesity.
"I think that - MMPH - I have had more than - URP - enough, Aganhim."
"If you really think that you've had enough, then why do you continue to pick up your fork?"
This was not an uncommon conversation between the two of them, and it almost ended with Zelda giving in and continuing to eat.
"That's right. You should be eating. Don't even think about anything else. The repairing of Hyrule Castle, this country's return to glory...those things...they will come SECOND to your appetite..."
And thus morbidly obese Zelda did become. She understood eventually that Aganhim was trying to do something to her, but it didn't happen until she was already past 300 pounds. By then she was so addicted to eating that she did not even require the mysterious man's help to continue glutting herself. She was able to do it by simply sending a request to the kitchens by herself. It was hard to NOT eat when there was such variety to tempt the tongue, and every single choice proved to be as mouth-watering as the last.
'I shouldn't be eating so much...' Zelda thought, as her plump sack of a tummy inched ever so casually over her lap. 'I really, really shouldn't...ah, but this Hylain Trout...it had been grilled to PERFECTION tonight...mmmm~'
Soon she reached 325, then 350, and eventually she swelled up to an incredibly impressive 375 pounds of fleshy, flabby fat. Her arms and her legs had become encased in so many countless rolls and folds of fat that she couldn't wear her favorite white gloves anymore. Her fingers were chubby enough to rip straight through them, and the less mentioned of her bulky bingo-wings, the better for her. Zelda's stomach had managed to grow so far outwards from her torso that it could nearly touch her knees when she laid on her back. Her big buttocks provided some of the most comforting cushioning imaginable, but it would have been much better if it had been a pillow to sit on and not her own backside filling up space instead. The other nobles did not seem to be so willing to take her seriously anymore. Even her infamous 'thousand-spear glare' had been dulled thanks to the presence of pulpy jowls and a double-chin that conjoined with her fat neck. She didn't exercise and she had never been very muscular to start with, so not only did she become fat but she also became extremely weak. She wasn't 'fit' to be able to handle carrying so much fatness all at one time.
The weight piled on so quickly that it made the princess' head spin, frankly. She became so fat that it started to prove difficult to do something once so simple as getting out of bed. She didn't want her servants to see her in this state all of the time. To mitigate the issue of lifting out of bed, she used a rope that was tied to one of the ceiling beams. Hopefully it wouldn't end up snapping at some point from trying to lift her, but if she didn't slow down her expansion soon, it could actually happen.
"Huff...huff...UUURRP...huff..." Zelda wheezed greatly from exerting herself like this. The leftover gas from last night's meatloaf wasn't making it any easier, either. She couldn't take this for another second longer. She was so hungry right now, but eating breakfast wasn't the top priority in her mind. No, what she needed to do was finally confront Aganhim for what he had done to her. She should have said something ages ago, but with so many brushfires springing up as she tried to knit Hyrule back together, she hadn't a chance to take a step back, evaluate her life and realize there was an issue. That issue being, of course, Aganhim's manipulation of her and her diet.
Suddenly, she lost her grip on the rope, no doubt because of the sweat catching on her chubby palms. Zelda fell backwards onto her bed, the mattress creaking extremely loudly underneath her. Zelda moaned. This wasn't working out at all. Her hefty highness made a pitiful grab for the rope, but she was too heavy to really reach all the way over there. Soon enough, her cherubic face was wearing the most adorable pout, cheeks flushed and all.
The bedroom door opened. Rather than a maid overhearing the sound, it had been Aganhim. The person that Zelda both wanted to see the most as well as see the least right now. He rolled in a cart filled with refreshments and snacks, including some breakfast biscuits and pancakes. He looked over at the bloated figure of Zelda lying prone in bed and he broke out into a sadistic grin. Zelda glared her ever-so-pitiful glare at him. She wasn't going to let him get away with this anymore.
"What's - URP - your game, Aganhim? I've figured out...you're trying to...fatten me up on purpose...huff...huff..." Zelda licked away some sweat that rolled onto her lips.
Aganhim walked over and pushed the rope away to ensure it was out of Zelda's reach. He smiled down at her. He no longer seemed like the same trustworthy adviser when Zelda had first met him. It was clear that he had nothing but ill intentions for her. Given the helpless state she was in, Zelda had to restrain herself greatly from feeling any fear. If anything, though, she was certainly more angry than she was scared.
"You need to...tell me...right now...or I will summon the guards...and have them take you away...in an instant..."
"Hmph. You can't hope to call your precious guards while you're like this. You can hardly stand up on your own!" Aganhim shook his head.
"I can...I can stand!" Zelda COULD stand without the rope if she tried, but it would have taken so much energy out of her that she would have likely collapsed right back onto bed afterwards.
"Don't kid yourself, my dear."
"Why did you...do this...to me? Convince me to...eat this much and...grow so fat? Were you planning on...marrying into wealth through me? Manipulate me...and weaken me...so it would be easier? I've not seen any other suitors...in quite some time..." Granted, Zelda turned away most of them because she had her sights set firmly on Link, but that wasn't something to bother bringing up right now.
"No. Of course not. I have no interest of marrying into the royal family. In fact, it would DISGUST me to ever think about wedding you, my dear." Aganhim said, slowly and softly, so Zelda would not miss a single word.
By this point, Zelda had regained most of her breath, no longer needing to take so many pauses while speaking. "What do...you mean by that, exactly?"
"I despise you. That is what I mean. I despise you and the entire royal family!" Aganhim said, right before he slapped Zelda right on her belly. It was such a forceful strike that it prompted a belch to fly right out of Zelda's lips.
"You failed all of us, Princess Zelda! When that monster Zant attacked, you SURRENDERED to him! There was really nothing else you could do? It only took a single day for the invaders to come out victorious! You were the one who let him win and caused the rest of this kingdom to suffer because of it! It was a breach of the trust we had placed into you as our monarch! Worse still, though...worse still...is what it did to my family!"
"Your family? I had no idea!" Zelda's eyes widened from behind her chubby cheeks. "I didn't know I had thought you were from a far off land! I didn't know you were a citizen of this castle town!"
Aganhim was so angry that he was trembling from head to toe. "I simply altered my appearance to better disguise myself, but since you never KNEW who I was, I guess it was pointless. In any case, I have much to tell you about my FAMILY! My brother? A guard serving under you who was KILLED when Zant attacked! He DIED trying to protect you, and you let his death be in vain! Then my sister-in-law and her two daughters? They DIED when this castle was destroyed! They were crushed to death, IN THEIR OWN HOME, by the rubble your pet swordman and Ganondorf sent flying when they blew up the castle! Do you understand now? Do you understand why I did this to you? Frankly, you should be thankful that I did not do even WORSE to you, Princess Zelda!"
"I'm so sorry, Aganhim..."
"Save it. You already know that apologies don't mean a thing to me."
"But, but still! You shouldn't do this!" Zelda said. She tried to ignore how her stomach was starting to gurgle from hunger.
"Why not, pray tell?" Aganhim asked.
"Your family, they surely would not want you to do this!"
Aganhim grabbed one of the pancakes off of the cart and shoved it into Zelda's open mouth. "You didn't even know they EXISTED! You don't have the slightest clue what they would have thought about any of this! A hog like you has no right to judge what humans think!"
"Wait...hold on...Aganhim, p-please!"
Aganhim did not show any forgiveness or sympathy towards Zelda or what he had done to her. He wanted her to feel complete shame for what she had done. It didn't matter to him if she had already suffered already, or if she herself had already gone through the guilt and the self-hatred for her failure back then. None of that mattered. What Zelda felt didn't matter. All that mattered to Aganhim was getting his own sense of vengeance against her. He continued to force more food down into her throat. Zelda shook her head and tried to scream for him to stop, but her mouth was far too full. She could have choked if she attempted to speak, so she had little choice but to keep swallowing everything down. At the same time, when Aganhim wasn't busy shoveling snacks down Zelda's throat, he was grabbing at her all over the body and mocking her for her grotesquely overfed body. He slapped her stomach contemptuously, as well as groped her huge, melon-like breasts. He didn't do these things for his pleasure or for hers. He did it because he wanted to show her how far gone she was. It was molestation done purely out of spite. Aganhim couldn't roll her over to slap her buttocks, but he would have done so if he could. He made her guzzle down an entire pitcher, but it was filled with wine rather than juice or syrup like Zelda had expected. The alcohol within the wine started to have adverse effects on the woman. The more she drank, the more she felt herself slipping away into unconsciousness. She had never been a strong drinker to begin with.
Now with this much wine in her system and a gut filled to the point of her belly-button turning red, Zelda couldn't handle much more. Before passing out, however, she managed to catch a few mumbled words coming from under Aganhim's breath. There was a name. A 'Count Gheb'. Fortunately for Zelda, she managed to remember it even once recovering from her forced hang-over.
Though the only lasting harm Princess Zelda suffered was the migraine and an extra pound or two added to her gigantic body, the worse part of the aftermath of Aganhim's stuffing assault had been the prevailing rumors. Apparently, at some point after she'd passed out, one of the servants had walked in and seen Aganhim hand-feeding her. He was considered rather handsome by the staff for whatever reason. Some of the girls were actually JEALOUS that Zelda had been given such 'special attention' by the older man. It made her want to scream, but she couldn't discuss the truth of what had happened. It irked her that some of the girls even said, whether jokingly or not, that they'd be willing to fatten up like the princess did if it meant earning Aganhim's praise. They really didn't know anything.
Not that it mattered in the end. Aganhim had made it gastronomically clear that he was working against Hyrule's best interests, and he had to be stopped. He had already cost Zelda's figure and dignity, but luckily the princess's brain was still lean and agile.
By mentioning Count Gheb, Aganhim had made a serious mistake.
A longtime detractor of the royal family, Zelda had taken great pains, both mundane and magical, to appeal to him with the utmost secrecy. She'd never mentioned Gheb in the council meetings and Aganhim had never mentioned him once. So, how did the two apparently know each other?
They must have been working together to trick her and turn her into the blob she currently was. Sending in a request to put Link's mission on hold, she had the Hylian Hero return to the castle so that she could discuss her plan with him. Link had since learned that Zelda had gained a great deal of weight. He had heard word of it from Colin, various other knights, and even in letters Zelda herself had written to him. Seeing her in person was still a shock to his system, though. She really had become a gigantic woman during their time apart. Fortunately for him, he didn't hate it. In fact, she looked rather cute with that boulder-sized belly and that kissable double-chin. He would hold off telling her such things until the situation at hand was taken care of, though.
"Link, I would like you to do something for me. You are the only one I can trust with this mission. I want you to shadow Aganhim and, if you can, learn about his plot and the involvement of a man named Count Gheb. They are conspiring against me, and I fear both will happily ruin this kingdom in order to have their spoils. Please, Link. I-I need you. I need you, Link."
Link understood perfectly. He could tell that Zelda was hurting, and it wasn't just because of her big lunch from earlier that day. He threw his arms around her in a passionate hug. He didn't kiss her or attempt to touch her any more than that, but it was a hug that made both of them take pause anyway. Zelda pressed her face into Link's chest and took a deep breath. She needed to stay calm with this. She couldn't let anyone other than Link see her display such weakness. She couldn't afford to take damage to her reputation again right now. The two of them let their embrace linger for a few more seconds before splitting apart.
"Thank you, Link."
As much as he wanted to do it himself, Link had to leave the job to Colin in the end. His youthful but competent squire was a face that neither Aganhim or Count Gheb had likely seen before. They would have recognized the famous knight Link in an instant. With the help of their friends Auru and Shad, Colin was furnished with a cover story and a post as a servant boy. They found out that a man named Count Gheb was living at an inn in the castle town. They learned about this by tailing Aganhim himself at one point. Colin showed no fear as he wiped down the floorboards conveniently close to the door of the count's room. By pressing his ear against the thin wood, he could make out what the two of them were saying.
"So it seems you had your revenge with Zelda, but don't go too far with it, Aganhim, or it could get in the way of our main plan."
"I understand, milord. I had to do it, though. I already explained enough about why. But now that she's unable to help herself, we should be able to move onto the next stage of your plan."
"Yes. I want you to finish up with these bribes too. Our partners won't be happy if you don't keep giving them reason to stay on 'unfavorable terms' with our dear, pig of a princess. Besides, we can't take much more money out of that treasury. It won't stay buried under that rubble forever, and the risk of getting caught coming and going from there will grow by the day. Do what you must, Aganhim, but stay vigilant."
"Certainly. I shall miss fattening up that pitiful sow. Still, all good things, you know! For now, let's meet at Saria's Grave at midnight two nights from now, to get the last of our loot."
Colin hastily scribbled down everything he had heard. "Aganhim...Count Gheb...treasury...bribes...partners...unfavorable terms...Saria's Grave...midnight two nights from now...okay, got it!"
While Aganhim served as a 'face' for the count to accomplish his goals of destroying Hyrule and Zelda's reputation forever, not to mention looting the kingdom clean, Aganhim was given the chance to get revenge however he desired. If anything, Aganhim was the only one who got what he wanted out of this scheme. That was at least something he could feel happy knowing as he was carted away to his cell to rot. Count Gheb was less thrilled, to put things mildly.
"That turned out to be easier than I thought." Zelda remarked after finding out how it all went.
Link took Zelda's hand into his own. He looked over at her and smiled. Zelda couldn't help but smile back. She knew that she could count on him. Of course, Colin as well. She had known he would make a good choice for Link's squire, but this exceeded her own expectations for the lad.
"I want to grant you knighthood immediately for your deeds, my dearest Colin, but I am afraid you are much too young for it to be allowed." Zelda told the boy with some regret.
Colin grinned up at her, though he had to look far over her gut to meet the princess' eyes. "It's okay, Princess! I'll just keep working hard so that I can earn it properly by the time I'm old enough!"
Colin was not only the boy who had helped solve the crimes of Aganhim and Count Gheb, but he had been the one who had helped give Link and Zelda the push they needed to finally become a couple. Though he was not very large, even for his age, he still left a grand impact in their lives that would be forever remembered.
Without missing a beat, after five years had passed, Colin came of proper age to be inducted into the knighthood. Though the castle was still a work-in-progress, Queen Zelda and King Link had made a point of ensuring the throne room at least would be ready for Colin to be knighted in, which the recovery of the former castle's buried treasury had made much simpler.
And, it was obvious that Colin had put just as much effort into making sure he was ready too. Years of training had helped the once small, shy boy grow into a strapping specimen of a young man who eagerly answered the summons to appear in the throne room before his queen and her husband, who he proudly called his brother, best friend, and king.
"Sir Colin, I want to thank you for everything you have done for this kingdom. From aiding the local community to training new knights, you have earned your new title through effort and hard work. You have helped us even during your days of youth, but that does not sway my decision here. I make you a knight because you rightfully deserve it. Nothing more and nothing less."
Zelda, having eaten her way up to a gloriously impressive 500 pounds, needed a little help from her husband to reach the rapier she kept sheathed by her ample hip. She was so big that her stomach filled up her entire lap, so she often used it to rest her arms, plates and anything else she had in front of her at the time. She even struggled to hold the rapier out in front of her, her flabby arm not exactly used to being stuck out for so long. Link had helped her regain some strength, but she spent a lot more time eating than she did exercising. Dieting had never proved to be an option in the first place. She had become known as 'Zelda the Generous', not just because of her generosity when it came to how she treated her subjects, but also because she was of generous size. If there was anything positive she could say she had obtained from her experiences with Aganhim, it was that she should learn to treat all people, including commoners and guards, with more respect. As well as that she had been taking for granted before just how good food could really be. Link lightly kissed her on the cheek as he held onto her wrist to keep her weak and chubby arm steady. Zelda panted even as she gently tapped the kneeling young man's shoulders with her blade.
"In the name of the Royal House of Hyrule, I dub you Sir Colin, a knight of the realm, with all the duties and privileges therein...and, I do look forward to what you shall accomplish next."
"Thank you very much, my Queen." Colin said, keeping his head down so he didn't show off his embarrassingly large grin.
"And now, I think it is time that we celebrate this occasion," Zelda said, right before burping to herself. "With a feast! A very, very, VERY large feast! Let us go and partake!"
Link and Colin worked together to lift Zelda to her feet. The quarter-ton queen gave them both a kiss on the cheek as thanks, and she allowed them to lead her into the buffet hall. She couldn't wait to start eating. She had been waiting since lunch to partake in another meal. It seemed that Aganhim would forever leave an effect on Zelda just as Colin did, and nothing would be able to change that anymore.
Link had had to finish this labor alone when Colin's family, his parents Rusl and Uli and his little sister Mae, yanked his former squire into a rib cracking hug. But, Link didn't mind and Zelda might not have even noticed.