The King paced close to his chair. Behind him, in the shadows, a Sheikah lurked, scribbling notes. Around the meeting table sat representatives of most recognized species and groups of Hyrule: Lady Urbosa, the Gerudo chieftain, King Dorephan, the Zora king, Darunia, the Goron boss, Komali, the Rito elder, and… Kohga, master of the Yiga clan. Despite the Yiga’s feud with the Hylian royalty millennia ago, they had been allowed to participate in trade meetings for a few decades now. Trade meetings happened every 10 years, and it would be the first Kohga would participate in.
Along with the representatives, each had their personal guard behind them. Kohga, having the brilliant idea to bring along his most trusted guard, Sooga, forgot it would mean little Fuga would have to come as well, as they didn’t want to be left alone back home. They were looking around, wide-eyed, at the vastness of the Hylian castle. They had stopped running around the table in circles when they almost made the King trip.
“I just don’t get it,” started Kohga. “Why can’t the Zora just-”
“There’s no waterway for us to take that could reliably take us to the desert,” said King Dorephan.
“And our sand seals can’t get past the desert,” sighed Urbosa. She had been a friend of Kohga’s for a long time, but she still thought it a bad idea to invite him to the trade meetings. Despite it being a well-meaning gesture from the king, she knew he wasn’t the most logical in his choices and should’ve instead had Urbosa advocate for both the Gerudo and the Yiga.
“But can’t you use other methods?”
“Do you really expect us Zora to walk in the desert?” said Dorephan, in a loud voice. Kohga knew the Zora were usually quite quiet, but Dorephan had worked extensively on the projection of his voice to talk to outsiders, and it made him look authoritative. “We’ll be lucky if we don’t dry up after 10 minutes.”
Urbosa placed a hand on her temple. “Horses are also not desert-trained or Zora sized, it would be wrong to use them.”
“Can’t you ask for help, from, I don’t know,” gestured Kohga wildly. “The Rito? They can fly, right?”
“Why- don’t bring us into this,” said Komali. “Unless we’re getting something out of this trade, we won’t go around helping everyone in need. We have our own things to attend to.”
The Hylian king had spoken. His voice was booming, he wanted to be heard above the growing commotion. He had grabbed the back of his chair and turned his gaze towards the Yiga.
“Your suggestions are well-meaning, and appreciated, but-” he chose his words carefully. “You don’t seem to understand why some things simply can’t be done.”
Kohga’s eyebrows furrowed under his mask, invisible to the others around him.
“But they can be done,” he started as everyone around him sighed. “You guys just don’t want to collaborate on something if it doesn’t benefit you personally. Which is what I don’t get.”
Sooga, who was far more prudent in social situations than his partner, placed a hand on his shoulder and whispered a “That’s enough, Kohga,” which was promptly ignored.
“Sure, you say you want to collaborate, that you want to work with other groups, nations, whatever, but you don’t commit unless there’s something in it for you.”
Sooga’s grip on his shoulder tightened. He had to make him stop talking. Now. Or else it would be a dire situation for the Yiga.
“You don’t know how to run a kingdom,” said the king, severely. His eyes were piercing. “We can’t help everyone just because we want to, it would be ruinous!”
“Is that how you raise your child as well since the queen’s death? To do nothing that could help her because it doesn’t make you look as strong-”
“Don’t you dare bring my family into this!”
The table fell all too silent. Not one of the representatives dared take a breath. The king was looming over the table, as Kohga sustained his stare. He hadn’t realised quite yet the weight of his words and the effect they would have.
“There’s the problem with you Yiga,” started King Rhoam. “Contrarian to the end.”
Kohga started laughing. An honest laugh, which surprised everyone. All stared at him, wide-eyed, terrified for him, seemingly so unaware of his situation.
“Why?” Kohga managed to say between two laughs. “Because we stand up for what’s right? Even if it goes against what the Hylian monarchy believes?”
“You-” the King had been taken aback, and physically recoiled. “Insolent-” He couldn’t complete a phrase, not in the state he was in.
Sooga, knowing it was a point of no return, resorted not to whispering, but to speaking out loud, for Kohga to listen to him, this time.
“Kohga. You need to stop talking.”
Kohga turned to face Sooga. Despite both wearing a mask hiding their faces, they could tell by each other's body language what they wanted to express. It was the first time Kohga had seen Sooga so anxious, scared. The reality settled in, the high from the verbal fight was crashing, hard. It was yet another point of no return for the Yiga, all because he wanted to be right, to prove a point, and went too far. Kohga turned back to the king. Well, if it was a point of no return, might as well make it the best point of no return in Yiga history. Go big or go home. In this case, he was going big and definitely going home after. Forever.
“I just think you’re mad because you realised you can’t raise a child as well as me.”
Sooga, who had grown to learn and anticipate his partner’s behaviour, did not expect such a phrase to be spoken at that moment. With that, Kohga got up and picked up little Fuga. Fuga’s bright, big eyes scoured the room one last moment, and saw, in the hallway, a young princess staring back at them. Without turning back, Kohga added one last thing.
“I won’t be returning to these little business meetings, so by all means, go forth with what you’re already thinking, and ban the Yiga from Central Hyrule again. See if I care.”
Sooga followed after him.