It would be an exaggeration to say that Warriors hasn't missed his Hyrule. Because while all the others are nice and all, there really is no place like home, a home where he knows all the back streets and the places that serve the best alcohol and people know him and will say hello if he passes them on the streets.
It would not be an exaggeration in the slightest, and would instead be entirely accurate to say that he'd been dreading his return because he knew something like this might happen.
"So there's good news and there's bad news!"
No one so much as looks up when he bursts through the doors of the very luxurious room the Heroes have been given in Zelda's castle for their visit. Instead they've thrown themselves onto the furniture that's definitely several magnitudes better than what they've been dealing with for the past months and don't seem inclined to panic. Or move.
"Give us the good news first for a change." Legend calls boredly, like he's overreacting about this crisis.
"Not everyone has to be involved with the bad news. I only need three of you."
And that gets their attention.
"So," Time suddenly looks appropriately cautious, "what is the bad news?"
"Zelda is pleased to host you all, and our arrival has caused quite a stir in the courts since it's been a while since we've had the excitement of visitors from another world, and my Hyrule does nothing if not honour those who came before us. So, presented with this rare opportunity, she's throwing a ball for us!"
It is only the horrifyingly large amount of practice Warriors has that keeps his tone as something optimistic instead of the despairing sobbing he's been doing mentally since Zelda made the announcement. It's a beautiful parallel to the way the Master of Ceremonies had lit up at the chance to organise an event to introduce some important visitors.
The others aren't so good at hiding the way their expressions fall. Which confirms every sad suspicion he had about what comes next.
"Thankfully, her Highness is very understanding that we are a weary group of travellers and so she doesn't expect all of us to make an appearance."
Instead, she'd given him a number of Heroes she wanted to see instead and now he had the extremely unenjoyable task of making that happen.
"So, I need about three of you who know how to not offend people at a fancy party. If anyone has any experience with political events, now would be the time to volunteer."
And all the horrified whispers fall tellingly silent. If anyone has the skills he needs, they're not about to sign themselves up for this.
"I need someone to do it." He sighs. No, there will not be some well-timed disaster that will prevent the ball from taking place, because two people have learnt some very depressing lessons. The Master of Ceremonies knows by now to have several teams of highly trained soldiers at the ready for any unfortunate events. And Volga has figured out that there's no point turning up unless he knows for sure that he will actually be fighting Warriors.
Which is a pity. Nothing had made Warriors appreciate the dragon knight more than the assistance in dodging irritating social events.
"If nobody is willing to volunteer I'll be forced to interrogate all of you individually and drag whichever three are the best to the ball kicking and screaming."
Or get Impa's Sheikah assistants to do it, because they're so very good at it. Not that he knows and if he did know, it wouldn't be from personal experience at all. Ever. As far as the world is concerned, he turns up to every single one of those events completely willingly and he's always very happy to be there.
He waits. No one says anything.
"It's compulsory. We can't say no."
They don't say no. No, not a single Hero says anything because they're not about to paint a target on themselves like that. He hates them all. Interrogation time it is.
Time takes one look at Warriors. "No."
"You understand that this is important, right? Like this a serious thing and it needs to be handled properly." Warriors is desperate, and Time knows it. Time knows it because he's done the exact same mental tally of their group and has realised who has enough social skills to pull this off and has seen the depressingly low number. He gets the problem.
Time gets the problem, and he knows that Warriors knows he gets the problem.
"I'm old and boring." A blatant lie. "I'm sure all those nobles will be far happier to meet someone younger and more spirited."
"Please don't do this to me." Warriors begs. He knows full well that the old man probably has experience with this type of thing, enough to know to avoid it at all costs.
"I'm sure you'll find a way to persuade some of the others." Time says kindly. Warriors does not appreciate the polite tone. Warriors is no longer capable of feeling emotions like appreciation and is instead stuck in this cycle of fear and hatred.
"You're our leader. You're supposed to prevent disasters like this, not cause them."
The fake sympathy promptly vanishes as soon as it becomes clear that it hasn't worked. "I wouldn't say 'disaster', that's a very strong word. Try using 'learning experience' instead."
The only experience that Warriors is learning from is this one and it's a lovely lesson called Time Is A Traitor. The old man is going to watch Warriors fumble around and panic trying to get the other Heroes to function at an event full of snobs and it's going to be awful.
They both knew that one of Warriors' best bets was Time. Time probably saw this coming the moment they stepped foot in the castle, just like Warriors had.
"No. I'll send in Sky next, see if you can bully him into it."
And so Warriors is abandoned to his fate.
Sky smiles sympathetically. "I don't think I'm the person you're looking for. I can't even be trusted with simple documents like a love letter."
Warriors pauses everything and just stares. "I was going to say you might still be a contender if I just take the three who are least likely to snap and punch someone, but now I'm really curious."
"Well, I was entrusted with delivering a confidential love letter to someone's crush. My first mistake was reading it."
That... doesn't sound so bad.
"And then I just happened to walk past someone who liked the same girl and he sort of asked what I was doing so I mentioned it of course, because we're good friends and it wasn't like I had been told to keep it a secret."
So Sky understands loopholes? Never mind, he might be one of the people Warriors could consider taking with him. This is by far the most encouraging result he's had yet.
"So then I delivered the letter, a nice and simple affair. She read it, wasn't very impressed, but she agreed to meet him anyway. He was thrilled and didn't even notice that she hadn't even kept the letter."
Something is about to go very, very wrong. Sky is smiling serenely in a way that means some sort of plan he hasn't mentioned yet is going well, because he looks way too content for that to be all.
"And of course, the meeting itself was confidential and I wasn't supposed to tell anyone about it, but I did want to see all my hard work pay off, so I went to go and spy on them, of course. But on my way there I just so happened to run into Pipit- he was the one who also liked the girl."
Suddenly that smile isn't so serene at all, it's all sharp and smug instead and Warriors just knew there was going to be something like this. "So I went to go and spy on them and to my shock and horror I saw the poor fellow get turned down and then Pipit came running in and confessed to her and they got together right in front of him."
Warriors stares. "You planned that? That's brutal."
Sky blinks innocently. "What? I wasn't finished. I kept the letter, remember, so tell me Captain, do you believe in ghosts?"
"Sky, we've travelled together for months now. You know I believe in ghosts because we've had to fight them off on a weekly basis. What's the point of this?"
"So there was a ghost haunting the school. It was in desperate need of some paper and it wasn't like the letter was helping anyone else now, was it? So I handed it along and well, the poor boy had tried really hard with it and it was rather sweet. So the ghost took a liking to him because of the letter and started haunting him instead out of a newfound affection."
Warriors stares. "What did this boy do to you to deserve this?"
"Oh he helped put my Loftwing in a cage," Sky says mildly, "would you look at the time, it seems we've overrun. I saw where Legend was sulking earlier, I'll send him in for you."
And Sky manages to waste the entire session and gives Warriors nothing to work with but a slowly growing sense of fear. He's spent the whole time rambling on about a vaguely related story and now Warriors has no idea what to do with the information he does and doesn't have.
The bastard is going on the list of potential candidates just for that.
Legend and Warriors stare at each other.
"You know what? I'm willing to bet that you could do this, I wouldn't be surprised if you picked up the skills for it from one of your thousands of quests. But you'll mess it up on purpose just to fuck with me, won't you?"
Legend's face stretches into the scariest smile Warriors has ever seen. "I'm so glad we understand each other."
"I know it doesn't even need to be said but I really hate you right now." Warriors also hates Legend in general, but it's especially bad today. Because he's going to have that smug expression the whole time Warriors flounders about looking for anyone mildly competent because they both know it's going to be a struggle. Not even a struggle, downright impossible.
And then, maybe if things go badly enough, Warriors will be forced to go back to Legend and beg for his help, like he's some sort of pathetic worm that can't handle even a simple problem by himself- although this can hardly be called a simple problem. Even so, the thought of begging Legend for anything leaves a bitter taste in his mouth.
But the thought of owing the veteran Hero a favour? Well that makes him feel sick for entirely different reasons.
Legend cackles like he knows exactly what's going through Warriors' head. Which he does, the bastard.
"I'll send in the Champion for you. Good luck."
"So," says Wild because he's trying to get Warriors to kneel over and die from shock, "I actually have some experience with things like this."
"You?" Warriors hates everything. He just stares at the Champion and doesn't say anything else because Wild's appearance speaks for him. There's a leaf in his hair, mud on his boots and a very sheepish smile on his face.
"I was a knight a century ago, but I was also recognised as the Hero and before that I had a bit of experience with Zora events but I think they're a little different. Anyway, the second his Majesty had even a shred of hope he wanted to show it off to all the nobles and advisors he could in order to keep their support with proof he had a plan. "
Which yeah, fair enough. Impa had Warriors parading around in clothes saved for the Hero almost as soon as the Triforce stopped glowing on his hand to see if they could salvage even a shred of morale after Zelda vanished. It wasn't a bad plan at all.
"So he planned a whole host of parties and balls and ceremonies to show off their newly acquired Hero and the Princess he'd be working with. So yeah, I was stuck trying to impress nobles and not offend anyone a lot."
Warriors raises an eyebrow. "And you remember enough of this to be confident today?"
Wild shrugs. "Well I don't recall everything, but I'll know the basics which I'll bet is more than most of the others. And after Zelda stopped hating me she gave me tips and we still laugh about them together even recently."
This is an unexpected but very, very welcome surprise. "I'm going to have to quiz you on a few things just to make sure you're good."
Wild nods. "That's fine, go for it."
So yeah, it's the second time a session has overrun but Wild actually knows things. He really does have enough social graces to get through a royal ball and he's hidden it masterfully, but at this point Warriors is closer to calling this a miracle from Hylia herself than questioning it.
No, it's not the fact Wild has this oddly specific skillset he's questioning.
"Okay, but no living being enjoys these things. Why come forward like this? You could have escaped."
Wild shrugs. "I owe you for not telling Time about my part in the shield surfing incident, and I really feel bad for you since you also don't want to be doing this. That being said I will want one small, tiny favour from you for my help."
He pats Warriors on the shoulder as he leaves. "Besides, the look on everyone's faces when you tell them that I'm one of the ones you're going with will be priceless."
"If you're even trying with me, you must be really desperate." At least Twilight looks pitying and seems to actually mean it. "Who have you tried so far?"
Wild will probably kill him or worse take back his offer to help if Warriors ruins this surprise for him, so he makes sure to sound properly dejected. "The old man, Sky, Legend and the Champion."
Twilight nods like this explains everything, which it very nearly does.
"So I don't suppose you-"
"I don't think I'll be much of any help. After all, I'm just a simple soul from the countryside, I'd never make the cut with all those noble born folks out there." And Warriors is well aware that he deserves this but still.
"I've apologised for that already! I'm really, really sorry."
Twilight just shrugs, because he's decent and had already accepted Warriors' far more sincere apology shortly after the incident occurred. "Still, it doesn't change the fact that the only experience I've had was some short official ceremony proclaiming me the Hero and then Zelda let me head off back to Ordon."
"So it's not a matter of won't help, it's just that you can't." Because that can be worked around in a pinch. Warriors can manage something with this if the alternatives-
"No, it's both."
Twilight shrugs. "I don't know what to do here and I really don't want to know what to do here. Sorry friend, but you're on your own."
And so Warriors is cruelly abandoned once more. He has one definite answer, one maybe and the steadily dwindling hope that he might not have to beg for Legend to participate after all. Or he could just turn up with the two of them and suffer Zelda's wrath with quiet dignity later.
On second thoughts, he'd rather beg Legend.
"Please no," Hyrule whimpers, "I really don't want to do one of those balls again."
Warriors smiles like a particularly hungry wolf has just seen an injured rabbit. "Again? Tell me more."
"No, I've had enough of politics. It's a mess, it's always going to be a mess and it's never, ever going to be my mess again."
The Captain has not survived being associated with Zelda's court this long by not knowing where to adapt and change tactics. He nods like he hasn't already ruled out half of the group and tries for an understanding smile. "What makes your Hyrule's government so messy?"
He doesn't even have to fake curiosity. The traveller had made it no secret that his land barely had civilisations going having been utterly overturned by Ganon's monsters. All towns were fairly recent developments, as far as Warriors could remember.
"We have a succession crisis going on. I saved one Princess from Ganon and then tried to help Hyrule rebuild. We got towns up and running, we got mayors in place, had a guard system going and a wizard in each town to protect the people from monsters. And then Impa realised I was chosen for some other destiny and sent me off to save an ancient Princess cursed into an enchanted sleep for knowing too much about the Triforce."
"So now you have two Princesses?"
"Yep. And they're both citing their Hylia-given right to rule. Any government we have is split entirely between their two factions."
"And you're the Hero."
"Yeah," Hyrule sighs, "I'm the Hero. My support would be enough to tip the scales entirely so they both keep trying to get me on their side. And I thought they'd be pleased to see each other, I was thinking there'd even be something like a family reunion."
"The first Princess immediately tried to find a way to exclude the other from succession as soon as her recovery was announced, didn't she?"
"Yeah," Hyrule's eyes are distant like he's still struggling to understand the logic of anything at all, "that's exactly what happened. Proclamation from the Privy Council was sent out the exact same day."
"Yeah, I know. The only thing faster than how quickly they issued it is how fast the Princess I was with went from hurt to pissed."
"I'll bet they keep trying to outshine each other too, trying to win over anyone still undecided."
The traveller nods sadly. "It's pretty clear cut because they both have very different ideas on policy so they attract different crowds. But there are a few people who can be swayed and that's when it gets vicious."
"And you're one of those people that can be swayed? Sweet Hylia, no wonder we found you hiding in a cave."
Hyrule just sighs. "I can't even blame you for being desperate to find people for this, because if we end up in my Hyrule, they'll probably pull the same thing and they'll want everyone, not just four of us. It'll end up as some contest on who can win over the most Heroes."
Warriors has an idea. A good idea! "If you do this for me, tomorrow I'll call a meeting with all of Zelda's best political advisors and historians and we can sit down and see if we can figure anything out for you."
"I'll take anything."
And that's that. He has attendee number two.
"Four! So glad you could make it!"
"Wild and Legend teamed up to drag me here. I'm not doing it."
Uh oh. That isn't exactly a good sign about how the rest of this conversation is going to go.
"But you'd be really good at it!"
"I don't do it as a personal favour to my Zelda, I'm not doing it for you. Look, I'm really sorry because I can tell you're stressed, but no. I don't like crowds, I never have and I never will. Nothing you can say will persuade me."
And Four has always been honest, if a little blunt so Warriors is willing to believe this isn't just a scheme to get out of it.
"I see. Fair enough, I won't try and pressure you."
So his options are bullying Sky (which the more time he's had to think about it, the worse an idea it seems because that story might have been an attempt to stall but it also might have been a threat, he isn't quite sure), appealing to Time or begging Legend.
Wind with all his curses and poor manners and wild stories. Oh yeah, Warriors can just imagine how Wind talking at the nobles will go. What would he even tell them? Tales about dodging pirates and hunting down sea monsters, stories of wish-granting sea gods with haunted Temples, or would he go for the wild spectacle of explaining all about the trains from-
Never mind, he knows exactly who his third victim will be.
Wind glares at him. "Why are you even asking me. You know-"
"I know you and Tetra are setting up a county, New Hyrule was it? And that comes with politics so I think you know far more than you're letting on."
Wind stops glaring at him and starts eyeing the window like he's considering it an escape route. Warriors just hopes the sailor remembers that they're on the fourth floor before he takes a running leap at the glass.
"Okay, but that doesn't mean I like doing any of this."
"There's no way that dances can be worse than any of the other stuff you've had to do. Council meetings? Trade negotiations?"
Wind smirks. "Trade negotiations are easy. I was the only engineer operational in a crisis and I kept goods delivered while saving Hyrule, so a lot of very important people owe me. All Tetra has to do is send me and Linebeck and between us we work something out."
Warriors tries very hard not to think about the implications of that statement and fails. "Linebeck is in charge of your economy?"
Wind nods with the slow wisdom of someone who has already gone through all the stages of grief. "He's surprisingly good at it for such a greedy bastard."
"So what exactly is your role? I imagine Tetra is shaping up to become the Queen or whatever titles you go with for ruler, which means she has a lot of jobs, but what about you?"
"Officially, I'm the Hero. Which unofficially means Tetra just throws me where she needs me and I have to throw my title around, kill monsters and collect favours until either the problem is solved or there's a bigger problem distracting everyone."
Which about sums it up. Must be a thing that carries over across worlds then.
"Oh and I'm also helping train up the new guards and engineers so I guess that's a part of my job, too. So you can bet I'm important enough to be needed to be seen at Tetra's side in every public event ever."
Warriors whistles slowly. "Wow, you have a lot going on back home."
The sailor nods sadly. "Yep. We're both so busy that sometimes I don't see Tetra for weeks. But we keep in touch with the pirate charm, so that's pretty handy."
Time to slowly steer the conversation back to the topic he needs. "But you'll see each other at events for nobles, right?"
Wind brightens. "Yeah! Tetra hates dances as much as I do but at least we get to bitch about it together while we're there. And even though we have to wear fancy clothes and pretend to be polite for a few hours, it's actually sort of fun and- hang on a minute you're trying to trick me into doing this for you."
"Well," Warriors fights back a smile. "You've shown me that you're very practiced in these things."
"None of that matters because you can't make me do it."
"That's true, I can't force you to attend. However, what I can do is tell the old man exactly who thought it'd be a good idea to use his fancy mirror shield to slide down that hill, and exactly who crashed it into several rocks."
Wind goes pale. "You wouldn't."
Warriors just smiles. "Well, I wouldn't want you missing out on any fun once you decide not to attend."
"Fine," and isn't it nice how everything works out, "I'll do it."
Warriors takes a few moments to thank Hylia for the not insignificant miracles that have been performed this morning before he proceeds with the next step of the plan, which is actually carrying out that tiny little favour Wild wants for his participation.
"You found three people? Who?" The teen had almost been lying in wait for him and materialised as soon as Warriors stepped out of the unused office he'd repurposed into the interview room.
"You, Wind and Hyrule."
Wild's face lights up. "That's great! The others are going to hate it so much."
Warriors tries very hard not to let his confusion show. "You aren't even surprised that I went with them?"
"Warriors, you forget that I'm one of the people who knows about this. For all I know, Wind is an expert in domestic economic policy."
"That would be his friend, Linebeck. He's more in charge of transport and security. Anyway, why are you here?" A horrible thought occurs. "You're not backing out, are you?"
The Champion beams. "Absolutely not! I'm actually here to explain that favour I want from you."
"Sure. What is it."
"I," Wild says smugly, "want a memory."
"What? You mean you want me to help you remember something?"
"Nope!" Wild holds up the Sheikah Slate. "I want pictures of the time we spend together as a group, and this is going to be beautiful. So when the others find out, I want you to take a picture of their reactions. See if you can get everyone in the shot."
This is a lot more reasonable than Warriors expected. "Sure. Show me what buttons to press and I can do that."
And he decides that he's going to get a good picture for Wild, because he's doing a big favour for this very small one.
So he marches into the area where the others are still lounging and they all go quiet from where they've no doubt been making fun of his efforts to actually coordinate this. Smirks are shattered by shock once they see Warriors smiling. It's a deranged sort of smile, but it's still far too happy to meet their expectations.
"No way," Legend looks almost offended, like he was looking forward to watching Warriors fall apart, "you found enough people?"
Warriors just smiles smugly. Legend hasn't exactly been quiet and his words have drawn the attention of every other Hero and wow, he has to give the chosen three credit, they're really good at acting confused.
"No way. Who?"
Warriors shakes his head, enjoying this far too much after the hours of stress. "Nope, I've worked too hard for this to just tell you like this. I'm doing a big reveal! Everyone line up."
What follows is so magnificent that it's a shame that Wild's slate doesn't do videos. Everyone, even Time, is curious enough to shuffle into a line and Warriors takes several steps back partly to make sure he's got a good shot of everything that's about to happen, but more to appreciate the way every single face goes from disbelieving to confused to wary as they realise whoever the three are, they're very good actors.
"So who are the unlucky chosen ones?" Legend drawls like he doesn't believe they exist. Warriors is counting down the seconds to the point where he'll be given the chance to get him back for this.
"Wind, Wild and Hyrule."
And he pulls out the slate and captures the best moment ever known to Hylia's land. It's chaos, all of it. Time actually looks properly surprised for the first time since they've met him and now they have proof. Four looks like Warriors might as well have just broken a perfectly good sword over his knee, Sky looks like he's the unfortunate boy from his own story, Twilight's grin has tightened so much someone might as well have stepped on his foot and Legend looks like he's just been told that Ganon is back for round four.
And amongst it all? Three perfect, politics-ready smiles.
"Here's your picture." He tells Wild cheerfully, handing the slate over so the giddy Champion can examine the masterpiece on the screen.
"Oh it was all just a prank for a picture." Twilight murmurs, weak with relief upon seeing the slate.
"Nope, that was his part of the deal where I agreed to do it."
"You do realise that we'll be in the castle when you burn it down? Is this your way of warning us?" Four asks drily, looking incredibly unimpressed.
"You couldn't find anyone competent so you've decided to just trash the place?" Legend just stares like this hadn't even occurred to him. "That's cold, I thought you liked your Princess."
"Hey!" Wind bellows, because he is a manipulative little shit. "We're plenty competent, screw you!"
Which proves their point wonderfully. Hyrule is glaring at them as if he's a second away from joining Wind in yelling and Wild is just smiling unnervingly and if Warriors squints, he's fairly sure he'll see Twilight starting to sweat nervously.
"Are you sure this is wise?" Time asks carefully like this is a disaster that needs to be carefully navigated. Oh, so now he cares about the problem. Too late!
"I know we all turned you down, but-" And Sky doesn't even get to finish his sentence after he spun that long, cryptic story that Warriors still can't tell if it was a threat or not.
"I wouldn't have chosen them if I didn't have complete faith in their abilities." He interrupts calmly like this isn't the single most worrying thing he could say.
"So just stay here and relax," they will do nothing of the sort and he knows it, "while we handle the hard work for the day."
And so they sweep out of the room, all smiling in a way that no doubt has every single other Hero considering escape plans. Warriors knows them like he knows the Master of Ceremonies and as sure enough as there are several teams of staff waiting to help them prepare, the others will be sitting there and worrying for hours.
"So Wild already has something appropriate to wear but the other two of you don't. Luckily we have several tailors who are willing to help us out so all you need to do is pick out colour requests."
Warriors expects Wind's groan. What he doesn't expect is the way Hyrule positively brightens.
"This is the first time in ages I can go to a ball and not worry that the colour I'm wearing will show support for one faction or another!" He explains giddily. "Which is really cool because I can finally wear pink again."
"Is that how people show what side of the divide they're on in your Hyrule? Colour?"
Hyrule nods sadly. "In general court attire they'll just wear a ribbon or something, but for balls? You may as well be able to cut the room in half by the colour the nobles are wearing. Gold for one Princess and pink for the other."
"Pink and gold, those are interesting choices." And Wild actually sounds as baffled as the rest of them feel.
"Gold because one of them claims she can bring back the golden age she remembers. Pink because it shows healing and her ability to lead Hyrule through the trying times she's lived through."
"And what colour do you normally wear?"
"Either green to show I'm the Hero and the only side I'm on is Hyrule's, or red because it's the colour the mages wear and they stand with me on neutrality... But before that these things were a fun excuse to try colours that aren't really common because we have no cloth trade, like pink."
Wind pats him on the shoulder sympathetically. "Court fashions suck. I'm so, so sorry, adding in factions has to make it worse. I'm so glad Tetra managed to get rid of Cole."
"I got to wear my royal guard uniform for things like this, since I was presented as the Hero in the service of the royal family, so I was spared from that."
Warriors sighs. "I miss those days. Being able to turn up in uniform was one of the more bearable parts of these. You know, we all talk about what it's like to fight monsters fairly often but I don't think I've ever been able to talk about this sort of thing before."
"I didn't think anyone else actually had to deal with royalty, or would care about my stories even if they did. You all seem so capable and I can barely keep up with things in my kingdom." Hyrule admits like he's ashamed.
"Your Hyrule is a nightmare. I think I speak for all of us when I say that you're the most capable of us. You had to deal with Ganon and then a succession crisis, you're something special."
Hyrule deflates. "I'm probably going to go back to a civil war or something. The only reason it hasn't got that bad already is that there just aren't the troops for it yet, with all guards being needed for the few towns and all."
"If that does happen," Warriors says knowingly, "then you find the people leading the armies, the ones giving the troops orders, and you take them out as quickly as possible. Disorganised chaos is much easier to take down than organised chaos."
"And how the fuck do you know that?" Wind demands, because he's an irritating kid with a sixth sense for interesting stories and he will not, even once, allow Warriors to just drop pearls of wisdom and gloss over everything else.
"In one of my earlier battles as a commander, I had a bit of a problem with some turncoats. Their surprise attack was devastating but it crumpled completely without the five leaders to tell the soldiers what to do."
Then, because they're not here to talk about Skyloft and all the fun times Warriors has had with his own disasters, he changes the subject by smiling reassuringly at Hyrule. "The point is, nothing is going to surprise the tacticians in my world anymore, so they'll definitely figure something out for you."
"I'm so glad I agreed to do this." Hyrule murmurs faintly and the poor boy looks to be about two minutes away from bursting into relieved tears.
"I'm very glad you all agreed to do this too."
"Hey! You blackmailed me, I didn't 'agree', don't mess with the facts."
"What did he blackmail you wi- oh. Oh no."
Warriors smiles charmingly at Wild. "Relax, I would have omitted your involvement entirely in the big reveal. Anyway Wind, I do feel sort of bad about that, so how about you agree not to fuck this up out of spite and I'll do you a favour."
The kid sits up straight at that. "What kind of favour?"
"I don't know, something that will probably put me in Time's bad books but make the trip more interesting for you. A tour of the rooms that house some of my more dangerous weapons, and then you can trial them in the training dojo."
Wind beams. All bad blood with the blackmail has been forgotten. "You should have started with that! Absolutely, that's a deal- and no backing out when you remember what's in there."
Which Warriors had already thought about before he made the offer, because he knew the stories of throwing around fire with a magical rod would be enough to win Wind over. He'll be there so it'll be safe, probably. And besides, he really doesn't want to see what revenge the brat will think of for his little blackmail attempt, so this compromise really is the better option.
"Right, now that's sorted out, I need to head back to the tailors with colour requests. Please give me something to work with."
"Pink." Says Hyrule, too quick and too smug for this to be anything except petty. Which yeah, Warriors can respect that.
"Fuck it, go with blue."
And he's very glad for the excuse to turn around and leave the room when he hears where the conversation is going next.
"So who was that Cole guy you mentioned earlier? You said Tetra got rid of him."
"Oh, Chancellor Cole was one of Tetra's advisors who turned out to be a demon so we beat the shi-"
The door closes behind him and he's so glad he can't hear whatever story Wind is about to launch into because he really doesn't want to know.