The fortress had never been so full of life. Even in these dire times, there seemed to be a mad energy around as every single Gerudo, from the oldest to the youngest, seemed to try to keep themselves busy for the war effort. Many were those that discussed the arrival of their king, with veiled desires of insubordination being on close to everyone's lips. The beasts that were with Ganondorf, the imminent death of their beloved mate and the fact that they would go into battle, even their youngest ones, for the sake of conquering a land they had never seen before made it a tough proposition for them all. Yet, they knew not what they could do as they gathered resources and weapons for what would prove to be a tough and long journey into the unknown. Armed with their spears and readying their horses, they merely waited for their leader, Namira, to give the order and lead the way toward a new chapter in Gerudo history, one they were reluctant to see begin.
They did not have to wait long for her to show herself, as she brought Link along with her. With many beginning to whisper that this could perhaps be a public execution, the word in the crowd was one of dissatisfaction, of cruelty as none wished to see their lover or their father die in front of their eyes. As Namira rose her fist in the air, the chatter stopped as she looked at the crowd with a solemn, yet stern look. ''Sisters and daughters, today we will have to move out of the fortress. In the name of our king that sits on the throne of Hyrule, we will have to dedicate our body, mind and soul to a campaign in his name. We will face tortuous days and many hardships in this endeavour. However, I believe this to be wrong...''
With the last sentence being uttered, the crowd began to speak again, discussion being ignited by this seeming reluctance from their leader. Could she be talking about rebellion? Would someone stop her? Would she designate someone else amongst the tribe who could do the job in her stead? So many questions rose as their eyes settled on both Link and Namira as she rose her fist in the air once more to reclaim their attention.
''We Gerudo are unloved. We have a reputation for being measly thieves, for being elitist and secluded and for disregarding many laws in favour of our own. I have no problem with that. However, I will not let it be known that we will also be raiders, pillagers and supporters of a king that is accompanied by dark creatures. I will not let our children be sacrificed on the pillar of something ugly and wrong. As all of you know, I have been asked to kill our mate, this man who had shown his worth many years ago, only to show us more facets of his skills and talents as he lived with us. The decision that I took when I met him allowed us to have another life, to work toward something difficult, yet worthy: to allow love and another way to dictate our future. I will not sacrifice this newfound hope to satisfy Ganondorf. We all love Link and to allow him to meet his demise by our hand would be akin to kill our newfound soul,'' Namira continued, her speech gaining in intensity as she frowned and spoke with vigor.
This talk of heresy, of willingly brushing the ancient law aside was met first with thunderous discord, only for the opinion of the mass in front of Namira to mellow down considerably when she mentioned Link. Children barely able to lift a spear cheered on, caught in this bravado without being fully aware of the consequences, whilst the adults began to have serious talks about what this could mean, how they could change in a manner so drastic. It all stopped down, however, when Link himself rose his arm, as all Gerudo were silenced by this attitude and demeanour of his that he hadn't shown in years.
Smiling at the sight of her beloved trying to help her, Namira looked at him, then at everyone in the crowd. ''I suggest we fight, not to do the bidding of our king who our laws obligate us to show allegiance to, but to remove this law and take our destiny in hand. He said that we were feeble, that our new way of life is a travesty and a shameful one, yet we all know better. We are happy and we deserve to be and, if you are with me, I hope you all shall fight to make it so future generations can bask in this joy that we worked for so intensely. Who's with me?'' Namira finally asked, raising her fist in the air as she breathed heavily, her own courage being severely tested right now.
In this, she was joined by Link who unsheathed his beautiful sword as he used his other hand to hold Namira's own hand in the air. Seeing their mate and their leader to caught up in this, children were the first to join in this brave display as they rose their spear in the air as best they could, chanting and cheering. Seeing the younger ones so caught up in the spirit of things, many of the warriors then went on to accompany them as they rose their scimitars and spears in the air, the chant only getting louder. The mass getting into the spirit of things, they all began to display an immense courage as their fears were put to rest by the promise of a better future, of something to look forward to instead of the dread promised by their once-king. It seemed that the Gerudo were indeed going to war, but their original target had changed, as Ganondorf would soon see...
With the speech concluded, the many preparations that had been dealt with had to be changed, as the plan had diverted in many ways. With Namira taking charge of many things, the younger ones were kept in the fortress as barricades and fortifications were being built. The fortress would have to live up to its name as they would not risk their home and their precious daughters to be caught in the fires of war and the intensity of battle. They were simply not ready for this and a lot of this campaign against Ganondorf was for their sake as well. Caught in planning and preparing her forces, Namira went on to rest a little in her chambers before returning to this intense energy in the fortress, just for a meal and to clear her own head. What she found in her chamber, though, was Link as he picked many of his own equipment that he hadn't given to Shehra and Shakti as he prepared himself too. ''What are you doing, Link?'' she asked, incredulous at the sight of her lover being geared for battle.
''I'm joining the war effort, Namira,'' he said calmly, equipping his strength-enhancing bracelets and picking up his bow and quiver before taking a look at the Master Sword, the light-filled blade still perfect in its sharpness and balance. ''I aim to make sure my tribe will be protected and that most of everyone will be back safe and unharmed once this campaign is done,'' he further explained, going through the chest in which Namira had kept his belongings.
''How did you know that's where I kept your tools and weapons?'' she asked, a little baffled about his boldness as she saw him discard his green tunic, the one he had worn when he first got to the fortress. ''Aren't you gonna wear your adventurer's clothes? The one you had worn for so long?'' she further asked, sitting down on her bed as she observed her foolish lover as he took out his bomb bag out of the chest.
''I always knew it was here. I just never needed them while I was busy living here happily. However, I can't, in good conscience, leave you all to fight to protect me. I was known as the Hero of Time and it would be cowardly for me to make it so all that I care about would not be defended by my sword hand,'' he explained, taking a chain shirt as he began to dress himself for battle as well. ''As for my uniform, this was to make me remember that I was raised by the Kokiris in the forest, a symbol of where I belong. I have spent many more years here in the tribe and I feel that this is where I belong, so I shall wear the colors of the Gerudo for this campaign,'' he announced, taking a red cloak with a hood and a veil as he hid his face to be in spirit with the tribe.
''Well I cannot, in good conscience, allow you to do this. We love you all too much to make it so you'll get on the battlefield and possibly meet your demise there. You've trained our future generation, of course, but most of what you did was listen to us speak or make love to those who came to you, which were many. Your battle spirit must be quite rusty, dearest,'' she said, her voice tinted with worry and concern for her mate as Namira rose from her bed to try to stop Link from being foolish.
''Very well then. Test me. If I prove to be inadequate, then I shall stay here and protect the fortress. If I meet your standards, then I'll lead the charge along with you,'' he declared, pointing his sword at her, declaring a duel.
Stupefied once more by his boldness, Namira saw the stark contrast between the loving and subservient mate of the tribe and the warrior she saw standing before her. He was still subject to many triggers and suggestions, yet it seemed that his tenacity and dedication was not only sincere, but passionate. She, however, felt that bringing him along on this campaign would be against one of their very reason for going against Ganondorf in the first place as she grabbed two scimitars from a nearby weapon rack. ''Very well, but I expect you to follow my command when you lose, dearest,'' she declared as she lunged toward Link with the intent to bring him down swiftly.
Her attack was blocked blindingly fast by his Hylian shield as the clanging sound of her blade on thick metal resonated in the chamber. Link, quickly reacting, then made for an estoc with his sword as he then charged with a few steps toward Namira with the intention of knocking her down. This, however, was met with Namira jumping out of the way with the agility she was known for as she aimed for his neck with the flat of her blade, a technique that could render anyone paralyzed in seconds. Aware of this trick, Link simply rolled out of the way as he rose on his feet, spinning with his blade in a sudden momentum, bringing his blade very close to Namira's face. With both being entirely focused on the fight, they began to look for openings in the other's defence as this test had barely begun.
''How did you retain your might, Link? It makes no sense,'' Namira said in shock, unable to comprehend how he could still be this good even after so many years without any real adventures to keep him on the edge.
''It's simple. I trained the daughters of the tribe and made them exercise as much as they could, joining them up every single day,'' he began to explain, slashing toward where Namira was standing as he made her dodge his attack, only to follow it up by a shield bash that pushed her further in the room. ''I fought with them, teaching them techniques as I thought about improvements to my own for their benefits,'' he added, allowing her a moment to rise up before he sliced at her position, with Namira being barely able to dodge this one. ''And my endurance rose sharply too. It had to, considering how many times a day the numerous members of the tribe wanted to make love to me. I had to keep up and thus I gained muscle and endurance in doing so. I have lost nothing here. In fact, I gained everything, thus why I have to protect you all,'' he concluded, placing his blade close to her neck so as to finalize the duel in a satisfying fashion.
As Namira breathed heavily, she saw that Link was indeed not even breaking a sweat as he held her in place due to his skills with his sword. For a moment, she saw even more of that warrior spirit and his courage that had conquered her heart so as she was struck silent by this demonstration of force. However, as Link looked at her in the eyes, he looked up at the sight of someone else entering the room as his eyes began to follow something moving, with them then glazing over and a smile building on his face. Recognizing the look of bliss on Link's visage, Namira was dumbfounded as she looked back to see Fiora dancing in front of Link, using the Gerudo dance of seduction to bring him under her power. Much surprised by this development, she was soon free of Link's hold as his sword went on to slip out of his hand, falling down as Fiora stopped the dance as soon as Namira began to look at her.
''Mistress Namira. I beg you pardon for my intrusion in this affair, but I felt that I had to show Link his place and for him to be more pliable to your suggestions. Let me know if I was too bold in this,'' Fiora declared, going on one knee as she looked down on the ground, waiting for a command from Namira.
''You know how to use the Gerudo dance of seduction, Fiora?'' Namira asked, moving toward her bodyguard as she looked at the definitely hypnotized Link, still caught in his trance.
''Yes. While I have been brought under its magnificent power many times, my memory and my skills at learning new techniques made it so I was able to mimic this dance of yours. I am sorry to show it to you in such a moment, but I felt it was necessary for me to intervene,'' Fiora explained, her tone apologetic, yet firm as well as prideful.
Astounded by how those two intruders who had been brainwashed were so resourceful, Namira could not believe how dedicated and how strong they were. It was as if destiny were helping them along in their growth, an unseen force making sure that they'd get stronger in mysterious ways as both could easily take her out if they so wished, yet instead they were devoted to the tribe and to her.
''If I may be so bold as to suggest something, mistress, I believe it would be an immense mistake not to take Link along. Even while he was severely holding back, he still won against you in a fair fight. I saw the whole fight and there were multiple moments when he could have severely wounded you, yet didn't. His skills and the effect of his presence on morale would be a great benefit for our army,'' Fiora declared, looking at Namira with determination in her eyes.
Realizing that her commands were still effectively deadly-set in Link's mind, Namira knew that he was at a disadvantage when fighting against her and yet he had won in a matter of moments. Such dedication and courage had to be used on the battlefield and so, with a heavy sigh, Namira went on to wake Link up with a light kiss on his lips and a snap of her fingers. ''You have proven yourself worthy, Link. I will have you by my side in this campaign. You as well, Fiora,'' Namira commanded as both Link and Fiora kneeled in respect, content that their skills would be put to use.
After more preparations, Namira's army, comprised of a 100 Gerudo warriors, went on to march out of the fortress. Leaving behind those still pregnant, the children and a handful of veteran warriors for their protection, she rode with Link and Fiora by her side as they ventured out of their home to fight for it. This would be the a decisive moment in an arduous campaign, as they'd have to bring the fight to Ganondorf and, unbeknownst to them, correct the trajectory of an unknown legend in the process...