The Costume Ball: The Correct Version by Sapphira
Summary: I wrote this story a few years ago, and sent it to Kasuto without really checking it over. He put it up on the site, and then I found several typos, a huge plothole, and my friend wanted her character's named changed. So here's the new version, with all of that corrected, and a few more inside jokes added in. Enjoy, amici!
Categories: Fan Fiction Characters: Link (OoS & OoA), Link (OoT & MM)
Genres: None
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 20 Completed: Yes Word count: 30193 Read: 108616 Published: Jul 26, 2004 Updated: Jul 27, 2004

1. Chapter One by Sapphira

2. Chapter Two by Sapphira

3. Chapter Three by Sapphira

4. Chapter Four by Sapphira

5. Chapter Five by Sapphira

6. Chapter Six by Sapphira

7. Chapter Seven by Sapphira

8. Chapter Eight by Sapphira

9. Chapter Nine by Sapphira

10. Chapter Ten by Sapphira

11. Chapter Eleven by Sapphira

12. Chapter Twelve by Sapphira

13. Chapter Thirteen by Sapphira

14. Chapter Fourteen by Sapphira

15. Chapter Fifteen by Sapphira

16. Chapter Sixteen by Sapphira

17. Chapter Seventeen by Sapphira

18. Chapter Eighteen by Sapphira

19. Chapter Nineteen by Sapphira

20. Epilogue by Sapphira

Chapter One by Sapphira
Chapter One
Link sat at his desk, his candle’s light dancing over the page of the worn book. He knew there must be something in the ancient book that would point him in the right direction, but wherever it was, he was still hunting it down in the deep dark forest of the pages. Not only was the book about two thousand pages long with tiny print, but it was prophecy, and prophecy was incredibly difficult to decipher. Link was never very good at decoding the prophecies when the books were new and plentiful (every time a prophet started coughing up a prophecy, the scribes were on the scene faster than the press to make several copies of the future), and this book was hundreds of years old. To add to that, it was the only one left of its kind.
Link leaned back for a moment to rest his eyes. He had been searching for hours for a clue as to what was behind the strange happenings. He hoped it wasn’t Ganon again. He shuddered as he remembered his encounters with the evil villain in the alternate timeline…
…Covered in blood and burned in several places, he and Zelda finally reached the exit of the collapsing castle. They ran outside into the light. It was actually dark out, but compared to the castle, any light was blinding. They backed up as far as they could as debris flew out in all directions. Link took a chunk of brick to the head at one point and Zelda got a severe burn on one arm. After they finished watching the castle collapsed perfectly into itself, he freed two fairies to revive himself and the Princess. As they celebrated finally defeating the King of Evil, a loud rumble issued from the ruins of the castle. Link had known in his heart that Ganondorf was still there somehow, and he had to (attempt to) finish him off. So he slowly walked into the smoke and rubble, sword drawn and shield up. Suddenly, flames rose around the ruins, separating him and Zelda, who screamed as a lighting storm flared up. Ganondorf burst out of the wreckage and brandished his Triforce symbol. It was then that it dawned on Link that this guy might just be around for a long time. After a transformation, Ganon stood before him, and Link knew that this was what he had been born to do. To his dying day, Link would never forget the battle that raged, in lighting and flames, between himself and the Dark Lord. He never forgot the curse of Ganon as he was sealed away “forever” in the Evil Realm. He never forgot anything from the alternate timeline, anything before Zelda sent him back to live the years that had been stolen from him…
…And then in Holodrum…
…Then, Din and Nayru the Oracles stood before him. He had just beaten Onox, and his arms and legs were screaming for rest. It hadn’t been easy to keep using magic attacks, swatting away Din in her crystal prison, and avoiding that large mace that was easily twice as big as his body. And then he had to battle the dragon form of Onox. Anything after Ganon had been pretty simple, but this one was almost a rival. Link had never run so much in his life. Sadly, he was not used to running in situations, at least not running away. At last, the dragon lay slain and he and Din escaped. Once they were back at the Maku Tree, however, he was informed that Twinrova had kidnapped Zelda and were going to sacrifice her to resurrect Ganon. Link stocked up, especially on magic potion, and bravely entered the Room of Rites. Before he reached Zelda, he was transported to a sort of battle room to kill Twinrova again (He had killed her once in the alternate timeline). Unfortunately, Twinrova herself became the sacrifice that brought Ganon back. Link faced the giant pig for the second time. This time, he had no strength, and he nearly collapsed on the floor (which would have been a mistake because Ganon would have stepped on him). He was down to his last strength, with no more magic potion, and no special rings to help gain back strength. With one more swipe of his sword, Ganon came crashing down before he disappeared to the Evil Realm once more. Link remembered this incident well, especially since Din, Nayru, and Zelda all kissed him for saving all three of them. He also remembered watching the three birds, which he could have sworn were triangles a second before, fly away as he left Labrynna and Holodrum…
Link was startled by the knock on his door. He had been so deep in his memories he had fallen asleep in his chair. Groggily, he stood up, walked to the door, and opened it. “Yes?” he asked.
A servant stood in the hall. “Master Link, the—” he started, but Link cut him off with, “Just ‘Link.’” He started again. “Pardon. Link, the King wishes to see you immediately. He is in his study.”
Link wanted to hit the man, but he slammed his fist (painfully) into the doorframe instead. The servant, a man named Jonathan, understood why Link was stressed. “Sorry, Link. I know he’s been driving you insane for weeks, but it’s only because you are the only one in the world who he feels is capable of some of these tasks. I think—”
“Jonathan, last time he wanted me, it was to see if I thought he should wear a green or a blue tunic to a meeting. I don’t have time for this! I’m supposed to be finding out about these crazy problems, you know, stuff like the Sun’s Song going missing, mysterious deaths of cuccos all over Hyrule…. I know it’s not wolfos, they don’t eat birds, they eat people. And then there’s the weird sound everyone’s been hearing. And the King wants me to look it all up in the old prophecies. Do you want to see the book? It smells like mildew and the print is tiny and smudged. My head is killing me from trying to understand it; I just get a headache from just trying to read the words! I need some sleep, for Goddess sake!” He stopped and panted.
“You done?” inquired Jonathan.
“Yeah, I think so,” breathed Link. “In his study, you say?”
Link made his way down the damp corridors to the King’s study. The torches were high quality, but they still burned as if their souls of flame were in torment, and they cast dancing shadows across the walls. He did not think that there could be another task the King could set for him to complete. His Majesty must have noticed that Link was practically among the living dead due to lack of sleep. Indeed, now it was about 8 o’clock in the morning, and the only sleep Link had gotten was the nap while he remembered the past.
His footsteps made almost no noise on the bricks of the floor as he reached the King’s study. He loved these boots. He had had them when he was a young boy, and they still looked as if he had bought them yesterday. However, what was true outside was not true inside. On the inside, they had been broken in to fit his feet perfectly, and now wearing them was like wearing his own feet. He loved how they made almost no sound. It was too bad that making no sound outside of the study did not save him from having to go in. He had to see the King. He sighed as he pushed the door open.
“Oh, there you are, boy!” said the King, who sat comfortably at his desk. He looked as if he had gotten a good night’s sleep, and his clothes were freshly pressed. He was not an old man, but the lines on his face and the gray at his temples gave away that he was not a young man either. His eyes, however, were sort of proof to the world that he and Zelda were related. They had the exact same eyes, even if they were completely different people. The King was open and friendly. Zelda was secretive and introverted. Link would have sworn that they were not related at all, but the eyes were a dead giveaway. And they were not people to be crossed with. If you betrayed them, you would find yourself in one hell of a lot of trouble.
But Link decided that he would not put up with this any longer. The King may be the King, but Link was the Hero of Time, a law unto himself, and he really wanted to take a nap. The King was making him do ridiculous little tasks, and Link could no longer pretend. If the King doesn’t know what I’m going through, Link thought, then that would ultimately lead to me collapsing from severe exhaustion, and then what kinds of trouble would the kingdom be in? And who did he think he was, calling me “boy?” Am I below him? Grrrrrr….
“Your Majesty, I will not put up with this anymore!” Link cried. “I need sleep, and I’m sick of helping you do useless things! You do not need my help to pick out your clothes, decide on the meals for all of your business parties, or clean out your study! I’m trying to look up stuff in the prophecies and I haven’t gotten any sleep at all for a couple days! If you ask me to wipe your butt, I’m leaving Hyrule for good!” He paused and finished. “And don’t call me ‘boy!’”
The King nodded knowingly and motioned for Link to sit on a chair in front of his desk. Link sat and glared at his monarch. The King sighed and shook his head. He leaned forward on his desk. “Link, this is just as I thought.” Link gave him a look that clearly said that he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “I read in a prophecy that to test the Hero of Time, I had to demean him until he showed me he would not tolerate it. It was a test, and please, I can wipe my own behind.”
Link was stunned. “A test?” he asked incredulously. “Why would you need proof that I’m the Hero of Time? What about Termina, Holodrum, and Labrynna? I’ve proven myself, what more do you want?”
“You did not hear me, Link. Yes, you have proven to me that you are the Legendary Hero, but you had no proof to show that you were also the Hero of Time. No one else seems to remember this alternate timeline except for you. I found a prophecy that said a Legendary Hero would do anything for his ruler, but the Hero of Time would not, for he can travel the rivers of time. He is a law unto himself. So, to prove that you were a law unto yourself, I did just what the prophecy said. I demeaned you.” Link thought for a moment, and felt sick as he remembered thinking those same words earlier in his anger. A law unto himself…
“So now you’ll believe me when I talk about the alternate timeline?”
“Yes,” answered the King. “Now, I need to discuss something with you. Afterwards, take a quick shower and a long nap. You look like the living dead.” He paused and leaned back. “Many men do not marry until they are older than thirty. Important men have to marry sooner, in their late teens or early twenties. I married when I was twenty-two, and Zelda was born when I was twenty-four. She wasn’t born as early as some children, but she was born very early in my marriage by general standards. Do you know the reasons for this?”
Link sighed. “It’s so the line is carried on after death, just like in any other family, but since the person has a better chance of dying before they could marry and have children, they need to do it as soon as possible. Your Majesty could be assassinated, and my job requires me to be in danger at all times. It’s also that our lines are more important than those of the village butcher or the common townsman.”
“You say it like a text would read, Link.”
“It’s almost like a rule to me.” He sighed heavily. “I suppose that you’ve found me a wife, haven’t you?”
The King laughed a little at this. “I would never do that to you, even if I could.” Link, who had been staring at the floor, looked up at this. “The prophecy says that you must find your bride after you’ve proven yourself.”
“So, how am I going to find someone? What am I supposed to do? Parade through the streets, calling, ‘Hey, I need a wife! All you have to do is bear my child or children, and we’re not even required to love each other!’ It’s impossible!”
“We are having a ball.”
“Oh, great!” drawled Link. “That way, I’ll have to dance with and talk to all of the conceited ladies who just want to show me off as a trophy to the rest of the world if they could marry me! I’ll just—“
“Link, stop it!” commanded the King. “You always do this! I hate this! Why don’t you just deal with a ball! What would you have me do to make it more enjoyable for you?”
Link thought for a moment. “Well, I hate how everyone always acts so fake because they’re talking to me. I never get to see the girl behind the mask….Hey! That’s it! A mask! Make it a costume ball!”
“You seem a little too eager,” said the King, suspecting something. “What’s the catch? Tell me, or else no costume ball.”
Link was getting excited. “No, this is better! It’ll be a trick on all of them!”
“What is it, Link?” The King’s face was turning bright red.
“It’ll be a costume ball, and everyone will call people by what they are. Like “Farmer” for a farmer, et cetera. Everyone will wear a mask. Now, I have to talk to Liam about this, but I have a great idea. Everyone says we’d be twins if not for our difference in coloring, and we sound the same, too. So, Liam wears a costume that people would expect me to wear, and I’ll wear a less conspicuous one. That way, when people talk to me, they won’t suspect that they are talking to Link at all, and since Liam will be acting like me, the shallow ones will flock to him. It doesn’t matter if he gets the annoying ones. He’s not the one getting married.”
The King thought for a moment. He leaned back farther in his chair and pulled at his beard a bit. Link finished off by saying, “And I can do it anyways because I’m a law unto myself.”
The King burst out laughing and almost fell out of his chair, which startled Link. “It’s a deal,” he told the Hero. “It’ll be a five night event starting at nine o’clock and ending at two o’clock the first night, and then starting and ending an hour later for each other night.”
“And,” Link added, “when the clock strikes five forty-five on the final night, people can reveal themselves to each other, and then spend the final fifteen minutes knowing the identities of the people they met. The day after, people come back in costume, and we announce who I was and who I’m marrying.”
“Good idea, Link. Now, let’s see. We’ll be inviting all of the single young folk in Holodrum, Racona, and Labrynna as well as the ones in Hyrule.”
“Why invite the guys?”
“Don’t be so stupid! If we only invited ladies, no one would have trouble picking out you. And you can only dance with one girl at a time. Everyone else would have to sit out. Need I explain more?”
“Not really. I get it.” Link yawned a little.
“Now, we have to get you and Liam costumes. We could make Liam a phoenix, because phoenixes are the guardians of the Triforce, so everyone will immediately suspect he’s you, plus it’s easy to pick out crimson in a crowd. Now, I’m not sure what you could be. Hmmm. You definitely should be some sort of animal; otherwise it would be too obvious who you were, especially if you were a knight, because everyone would suspect that, too. What do you think?”
He never got his answer because Link had fallen asleep in his chair.
Chapter Two by Sapphira
Chapter Two
“So I need you to pretend you’re me,” finished Link. Liam looked at him with a little uncertainty.
“You really want people to think that I’m you?” he asked. “Have you gone completely nuts? All of the hot girls are going to want to follow you around. If they think that I’m you, they’ll follow me!”
“Yeah, that was the point.”
Liam smiled. “I always knew you were a true friend! You’d even give me the pretty ones.”
Link sighed. “I hope you’re being sarcastic. I don’t want to always think of you as someone who goes for looks.” Liam laughed.
“I’m just playing with you, kiddo. I’m going to do this because you’re my buddy, not because I want hot girls. “
Link sighed sarcastically. “And to think, I actually believed you. You really had me fooled.”
“Okay, enough joking around for now. So, I have to get a phoenix costume for the ball?”
“Yeah, and make sure that you get a mask to go with it.”
“Anything else I should know?”
Link thought for a moment. “Well, your hair needs to be covered. Everyone knows that I’m a dumb blond and not a dumb brunette, so your head would be an automatic giveaway.”
“Well, I’ll think of something. Dumb brunettes are smarted than dumb blonds, you know.”
Link grimaced. “Ha…Ha…Ha…” he said as he trudged to his own quarters.
He and Liam were like brothers, almost twins. The only ways that anyone could tell them apart were their hair and eyes. Liam had brown hair and green eyes, while Link had blond hair and blue eyes. Other than that, they were generally the same. They had almost the same voice and build, similar handwriting, and the same birthday (August 27th) and allergies (seasonal and peanuts).
Their stories, however, were completely different. Link was the Hero of Time. He had battled many horrors, braved many dangers, and saved many people. He had moved to Hyrule Castle because he was friends with the Royal Family and the Kokiri Forest was not a good home for the Hero of Time. He belonged in the Castle, and he was very happy living there. It was also easier to find him when there was an emergency that he needed to take care of. Link also had no family to go to at all, and the King was like a father to him, and Zelda, a sister.
Liam was born in the Hyrule Castle Town. His parents were wealthy when he was born, but when he was twelve, his father lost all of their fortune in a bet. In a desperate attempt to save the family, Liam’s mother did what she could. She sent Liam’s two sisters to work in Labrynna as maids and his two brothers to work in Holodrum as guards. Neither country would take Liam because they felt he was too young. Racona would have taken Liam, but their king had a vision one night that his son would die if Liam came to Racona before a certain time, so Liam clearly could not go there. Therefore, Liam’s mother appealed to the King of Hyrule. The King did not like Liam’s father, but he reluctantly took Liam in as a guard. By the time he was fifteen, Liam was the Captain of the Guard, and that was when Link came to the Castle. Instantly the two became friends.
People joked that they had been separated at birth, and it actually became a little bit of a scandal. The King had to show the people birth certificates to prove that the two young men were not brothers.
To Liam, Link was the brother that he never had. His real brothers were ten and nine years older than him, and they did not like to hang around with him at all. Most of the time, Liam would watch the two of them practicing dueling by sparring each other. By the time he was ten, old enough to wield a sword, his brothers were like strangers. Therefore, Liam taught himself all that he could in one year about weapons and fighting.
On the other hand, Link didn’t know what a brother was like. Growing up in the Kokiri Forest was more of a trial for him than most people thought. Link did not have a fairy until he was ten, and other Kokiri mocked him for it. He only had one friend, Saria, and a child needs more than one friend to have a remotely happy childhood. So Link lived alone for his childhood, only speaking with other Kokiri if it was necessary, or if they were Saria. When he began his journey to change the timeline, all of the Hero’s skills he needed came to him with great ease, and he made a few friends along the way. However, they tended to be girls. So Link was as confused as Liam was when they became close friends. How does one act like a good brother when one has never had one?
And so, this question settled their problem. They both decided that neither of them knew how to be a good brother, but then again, when the first boy was born, and his little brother was born, he probably didn’t know what to do either. Then, they realized that, because they had the same birthday, they didn’t know who was older. After a game of rock, paper, scissors (best two out of three), they decided that Liam could be older by five minutes. So, when their birthday came around, Liam’s would be celebrated with a cake first, and five minutes later, another would be brought out for Link.
It had been three years since they had met and become blood brothers. Some people swore to the Goddesses that when one of them would walk into a room in the Castle, they would have to say who they were, especially in the summer when Liam’s hair would become blonder in the sun. It was like having a set of twins with similar names. The two would have been kicked out of the Castle for confusing everyone so much, but they were very valuable, so they got to stay.
Then, there was the rumor about one of them marrying Princess Zelda, but that died quickly. First of all, no one could figure out if the rumor said that Link was going to marry her or Liam. Then, Zelda announced her engagement to the Crown Prince Daniel of Labrynna. That shut everyone up, to Link and Liam’s relief.
In the news, they were referred to as “the twins,” and this annoyed the twins to no end. Finally, the King told the press to watch it, or else Link wouldn’t be so willing to fight off monsters that attacked them and Liam would post fewer guards in their district. Liam and Link bought the King a pair of pink, fuzzy slippers as a present for this. They also sent Zelda a bra that unhooked in the front “so Daniel won’t have too much trouble on your honeymoon.” She sent both of them dirt in their thank-you notes. Such was the way of the boys and their friends.
So, when Link asked Liam to help him for the costume ball, Liam would have never even thought of saying no. It was like the time when Liam asked Link to double date with a girl from town with a “disagreeable” personality so Liam could date her really nice friend. Liam dated the nice girl for six weeks, but she broke up with him because her disagreeable friend liked him.
Chapter Three by Sapphira
Chapter Three
Link waited at the back of the ballroom, nerves going haywire. He had fought the Evil King twice without ever doubting himself, but now, it was as if all that doubt he had avoided had come swooping down into his brain. Liam was upset as well, which wasn’t very helpful. He would say something like, “What if they figure it out on the first night? What will they do? What will we do?” This had an amazing effect on Link. The day before the ball, he lay on his bed with a romance novel. He hated romance novels. Liam actually dumped a bucket of water on him to snap him out of it. Link was furious, his mattress and bedclothes had to be completely replaced, and the book got very soggy and unreadable. Therefore, this action produced the desired effect. Link stopped thinking about the ball, and Liam got revenge for when Link did that to him last year.
And now the ball had begun. People had already begun to file into the room, producing one of the tickets they had been given along with the invitation and costume assignment. The King didn’t want to have five people dressed up as cuccos, so he had Link, Liam, and Zelda come up with a list of costumes for men and for women, and each person was randomly assigned to one of the costumes based on gender. They were not even given the actual guest list. The King didn’t want Link to know who was coming at all, so they were just given the number of men and women. Therefore, there was no official list of who was who, and there were no repeats at all. And everyone wore a mask.
Liam looked perfect in his phoenix costume. Not only was it a nice costume, but he also looked like Link. He wore crimson britches, shirt, tunic, and cloak, and he wore normal boots. He had a crimson mask over the top half of his face like everyone else, but he also wore a phoenix hat that covered his hair and shadowed his face with a giant beak. He looked like a real phoenix. The cloak also had a golden Triforce on the back of it.
Link had decided to be a hawk. He could think of nothing else to be, except perhaps a dog, but that would have been goofy, not serious. Also, since Liam was a bird, he should be one, too. His costume was similar to Liam’s except that the costume was in steel-grey, and the hawk-head was different. His cloak was also more like a hawk’s wings.
The two agreed to stay far enough away from each other during the event so no one noticed how similar their costumes were. Link did not know how he would survive now that he was alone again. Alone, just like in the Forest, just like in the dungeons, just like when the time came to face the Evil King…
He shook his head. This was no time for a breakdown. He had to be strong. He half-hid behind a column along the side of the room so that people sort of knew he was there, but they didn’t take much notice of him. Such is the beauty of half-hiding.
Within fifteen minutes, the entire room was full. A dais at the head of the room had been set up, and upon it sat the King, Zelda, and Prince Daniel. None of them were in costume at all, but they were well dressed for this occasion.
The King stood and cleared his throat. The ballroom fell silent. “Welcome to Hyrule Castle,” he declared. “Tonight is the first of five nights here. Tomorrow, the ball will begin at ten o’clock and end at three o’clock. However, let’s focus on the present. I’m sure most of you have heard of the young Hero Link. He is currently single, and he wishes to find a bride. These parties are a way for Link to meet a young lady. However, there is a catch. No one is to reveal their identities until the final night at a set time. In fact, if this were a normal ball, Link would be standing here upon the dais for all to see right now. However, he is among you right now. Ladies, he may be the man next to you. Maybe he is not. This is a chance for everyone to reveal their true selves, metaphorically speaking, even if they wear a mask. Just remember, everyone is to call everyone else by their costume name. For example, this young man here might be named Donald, but we will call him ‘Phoenix.’” He motioned to Liam. This was all part of their game. Everyone’s attention would be on Liam now, and people would speculate as to why the King pointed him out at the start. The King finished. “Just remember, you aren’t supposed to know who everyone is. So, don’t bother trying. The evening after the final night, everyone is invited back, in costume, and we will reveal Link and his chosen bride to everyone! And now, let the ball begin!”
And with a flourish from the conductor, the orchestra began, and so did the Costume Ball.
Chapter Four by Sapphira
Chapter Four
Link began the night very cautiously. This ball was his idea, and having Liam pretend to be him was his as well. Up until now, he had only been worried about what would happen if something went wrong, like if someone found out who he was. Now, he was worried about what to do. He didn’t know who to ask to dance with him first. Should he pick a pretty girl or a less attractive one? Should he pick the one in the corner or the one who seemed very popular with the other men? He hadn’t planned on what to do; he just automatically assumed that he would do it. And now, he was in the middle of this scheme and he was half-hiding like a loser. Immediately, he moved out of half-hiding so people wouldn’t wonder why he was half-hiding in the first place. He did it carefully so that not everyone noticed that he was coming out of half-hiding. Half-hiding is a very delicate art that Link was the master of, if not the creator of.
Link then decided to just ask someone to dance. He realized that if he pretended to be just another guy at the ball, no one should suspect him. The first lady he asked to dance was one of the unattractive loners that half-hid very poorly. She was dressed up as a Gerudo. It was not the best costume for her, but the assignments had been random, so it wasn’t anyone’s fault. Link found out the hard way that she was a loner for a reason. Not only could she not dance, but she snapped at him and accused him of messing her up. When the dance ended, she told him she had never had a worse dance partner. Later, Link learned that she told this to everyone. Shaken by this bad experience, however, he did not dance again for another song.
The next lady Link asked to dance was a popular one dressed as a milkmaid. After she finished dancing with a farmer, Link asked her to dance. As they danced, Milkmaid waved to friends and other men she had danced with calling out their names. After one short song of “Oh, hi there, Farore!” and “Oh, look, there’s Gibdo and Farmer and Knight!” Link thanked her for the dance, and then danced with someone dressed as Din. However, Milkmaid kept coming back to him, or pointing him out to her other dance partners. Geez, thought Link. She must really like attention. Or maybe she just likes guys to admire her. Indeed, her current dance partner was staring at her and listening closely to her every word.
As the clock struck ten, Link half-hid by the back of the room. The King forbade him to leave the room without a partner to prove that he was not running away, but Link needed air. The door was the only place he could get enough of it. He made sure to stand far enough away so that it did not look as if he was trying to leave or get air. As he stood, wishing that he had already met the perfect girl and the Costume Ball could end, he heard people enter the door. Startled, he went from half-hiding to complete hiding. Had they seen him? Apparently they didn’t because they continued to talk as they entered.
The late arrivals were two girls who knew each other, but they were being careful to call each other by their costume names. Link could tell they thought it was funny because whenever they said their pseudonyms, they exaggerated them sarcastically. One of them, a copper-haired girl of medium height, was dressed as a butterfly. However, she was not simply a normal butterfly. She wore a simple, long black strappy dress, a black mask, and black heels, but she had amazing wings. They were attached to the dress at the straps. They were made of a stiff material that was still flexible, but it allowed the wings to be open most of the time. The design on the wings was incredible. They looked like two great flames in the shape of the butterfly’s wing, but they weren’t glaringly bright colors. They had pale yellow centers, which quickly dulled to a burnt orange and then to a deep crimson near the edges, which faded to almost black. Her hair was done up simply to fall down a bit at the back, and her makeup consisted of crimson lipstick. In contrast to her costume, her eyes were baby blue. She also wore bronze wrist cuffs that, to Link, really made the costume work better.
The other girl was as well dressed as her friend Butterfly. She was a fairy. When Link had been developing the list with Liam and Zelda, Link had chosen “fairy” as a costume, but he purposely hadn’t specified what type. He wanted to see for himself what the lady would choose to be. Now, he finally saw what fairy would be attending tonight. She was fairy of the sky. These fairies were very rare, and few people had ever seen one ever. There were many pictures in books of what people thought they might look like, so Link guessed that either the girl had made up her own costume or she had found an idea in a book.
Wherever she had found the idea, the costume was spectacular. Unlike some costumes, it wasn’t elaborate at all, but it got the point across very simply and looked very nice on her. She wore a strappy dress not unlike her friend’s, but it only went to her knees and it was made of a strange, iridescent blue material. She must have made her costume with Butterfly because the wings were almost the same. They were also attached at the straps of her dress, but the wings were made of the same material as her dress, and they were in the shape of fairy wings. She also had the two smaller wings attached to her straps at the same places as the longer ones. Her heels were the same as Butterfly’s as well, but they were pearly blue, as was her mask, and she wore silver wrist cuffs. Her hair was pulled back elegantly, but still let down in the back. The colors of her hair and eyes were just as mysterious as the color of her dress. Her hair was somewhere between light brown and blonde, but it also had a few red highlights in it, almost daring someone to try and guess its true shade. Her eyes were a different story. While her hair was all different colors at once, her eyes seemed to be some color that wasn’t blue or green, but not an intermediate shade at all. She also wore shimmery pink lipstick. Link suddenly felt that she would have made a great water fairy because her eyes were like the ocean.
Butterfly and Fairy were perfect standing next to each other. One costume reflected light and the other absorbed it. Link realized that they looked even more magnificent because none of the other costumes could rival them in any way. These girls must be very creative, he thought, or they just really want to impress me. Link skulked to another spot closer to the two ladies so he could hide and hear some of their conversation.
“…And we wouldn’t have been late if you hadn’t worried so much about your wings being recognizable as fairy wings,” scolded Butterfly. “You must really have a crush on him to want to meet him so badly.”
“Shut up, or else I’ll tell someone that you have a poster of him on your wall,” retorted Fairy.
Butterfly laughed. “Very funny. I don’t have any posters on my wall, so you can’t prove that.”
“Sorry, I meant to say that you had a poster of him on your ceiling.” They both giggled. “Besides,” continued Fairy, “you were late, too. You couldn’t find your black eyeliner, and then you just borrowed my crimson one.”
“Yeah, yeah. You know I’m just making fun of you. What are friends for if they can’t pop your big head once in a while.”
“Good point, although sometimes they are needed to boost your ego, especially when self-esteem is low.”
“Don’t get all sappy on me. If I cry I might muss up my makeup.”
“Very funny. I know you could care less about your makeup right now.”
“Right. Now I’m worried about my shoes.”
Link was finding himself drawn deeply into their conversation. They sounded a lot like him and Liam, although he and Liam didn’t talk about the same types of things. He was also happy to find girls at this ball that weren’t completely antisocial or shallow.
Suddenly Fairy gasped. “There’s a guy at the refreshment table looking at us!” she hissed at Butterfly. “Which one of us do you think he’s looking at?”
Link looked at the refreshment table, and to his dismay, Liam was staring in the direction of the girls Link was spying on (It’s spying even if it’s harmless. Link’s no criminal, but he was spying). The expression on Liam’s face was odd, almost as if he could not stop looking in the direction of the girls.
“I’ll go to the table,” said Butterfly in an odd voice. “If it’s you he’s looking at, I’ll walk away and circle around, and then you can walk up. Otherwise, I’ll probably see you in a couple dances.” Both of the ladies looked excited about this. But before she left, Butterfly turned to her friend and asked meekly, “Do you think it’s Link?”
“It doesn’t matter who it is,” replied Fairy. They both knew this did not answer the question, but Butterfly left anyway. As she approached the table, Link could see his friend’s eyes moving with her. Soon the two of them seemed to be talking shyly near the table. Link then took his chance before ditsy Milkmaid came looking for him again.
He made his way a little more around the room and then carefully came out of hiding. Then he slowly meandered over to Fairy, who was still watching Butterfly. As he neared her, he changed his mind about her eyes. She would have not made a good water fairy. Her eyes didn’t remind him of the ocean anymore. Carefully he stepped next to her.
“Your friend’s costume seems to be missing something,” he said softy.
Fairy turned around sharply to see who had spoken. As their eyes met, Link felt something odd snap inside his chest. It wasn’t very painful at all, and it felt almost like magic, but not quite. He quickly dismissed it because he didn’t know exactly what it was. He saw Fairy’s face change a bit, like she was startled, but Link could see a little something else. Like the feeling in his chest, however, he could not identify it, so he ignored it.
“What’s missing? Can’t you tell that she’s a butterfly?”
“Yes, but she’s missing her antennae.”
Fairy chuckled. “We had a pair to go with the costume, but they made her look ridiculous. You don’t think she’ll be kicked out for not having a perfect costume, do you?”
“Not at all,” replied Link. “Speaking of costumes, where did you get the idea for yours? Not many people know what sky fairies look like.”
“I know. I got the idea from a picture that Butterfly drew of what she thought they looked like. She likes fairies a lot.”
“Then wouldn’t she have wanted the fairy costume?”
“Of course she did.”
“Then how come you’re the fairy? Didn’t she want to trade?”
“Oh, she wanted to trade. She likes fairies much more than I do.”
“Why didn’t you trade?”
“Because I’m her friend.” Link didn’t understand at all. He shrugged.
Fairy laughed. “You’d understand what I was saying if you knew us better.”
“Where are you two from?” he asked.
“Are we allowed to say?” questioned Fairy. “I’d hate to tell you and then get in trouble. Then again, I’d hate to not answer you and find out later that I could.”
Link smiled. “I’m sure it’s okay, and even if it wasn’t, the King won’t find out. That is, unless you run to the dais, weeping, to confess.”
“That sounds like fun. I hope he wouldn’t have me slapped in irons and thrown in the dungeons. I don’t want to ruin my dress or muss up my hair.”
Link liked her sense of humor. Most girls wouldn’t joke about that sort of thing. “So where are you from? I mean, what country? I don’t want your address or anything.”
“Ha, ha, ha,” she said, sarcastically. “I’m from Racona. What about you?”
“Hyrule.”
“Oh, so you’re on the home team. Do you live in the Castle?”
“Yep. Are you staying in Hyrule, or are you making the trip everyday?” Racona’s capital city was not far from Hyrule Castle Town, but it would have been rather obnoxious to make the trip twice a day at odd hours.
“We’re staying at Lon Lon Ranch right now.”
“Oh, is Malon here?”
“Yes, but I won’t tell you which costume. And don’t you dare come to the Ranch and try to see Butterfly and me unmasked. I’d slap you.”
“Yeah right. I doubt you’d even recognize me. My bet is that some poor, innocent guy will stop by the Ranch tomorrow for some eggs and you will think he’s me, so you’ll slap him as hard as possible. Then, tomorrow night, you’ll make fun of me, and I’ll say, ‘I haven’t been by the Ranch since last Thursday,’ and then you’ll feel shamed.”
“Is this some sort of plan? If it is, I’ll have to come to the Castle and find you.”
“You won’t be allowed at the Castle.”
“Why not? Will you tell the guards that some girl, you don’t know her name or exactly what she looks like, will come by and they shouldn’t let her in?”
“No, you won’t be allowed in the Castle because Link lives here.”
“Oh.” She got rather quiet.
“What’s wrong?”
“Oh, nothing. Don’t worry, I’m fine.”
Link doubted that. Was it about him? “Him” meaning Link. He was the reason for the balls. The ladies here weren’t here just for the hell of it, they wanted to meet and maybe marry him. Thinking about Fairy like that made him uncomfortable for some reason. Maybe it was because he hadn’t thought of her as someone who wanted to marry Link. Suddenly, “Link” became another person to him. It was an odd feeling, nothing like the one earlier, but odd all the same. He realized that at the ball, he had to be two people. Link, the man who had to pick his bride from among the many women, and Hawk, the man who was at the ball, but was not as important to the women as Link. It was as if the ladies wouldn’t fall for him because they were falling for him…Ouch, he was getting a headache.
Before he could think, and as the next song struck up, he said, “Would you like to dance?”
Fairy looked uncertain, as if Link could be walking up this very moment, and dancing with Hawk could spoil her chances. But then, she looked thoughtful. All this lasted in about a second. “I’d love to,” she replied.
Chapter Five by Sapphira
Chapter Five
Fairy was a great dance partner. Unlike Gerudo, she knew what she was doing and she didn’t snap at him for messing her up. After all, she didn’t mess up at all, and that made Link more confidant than usual. Also, while the flirty Milkmaid had called out to friends she knew and shouted gleefully to swooning swains so Link could see how wanted she was, Fairy danced with him like he was an everyday person.
At one point, Fairy began to look around every so often, curiously. Every few minutes, her eyes would dart around for a moment and linger on one spot before they returned to normal.
“What are you looking at?” questioned Link.
She had been looking at whatever it was again, so it took her a second to snap back into reality. “Oh, what? I’m sorry, what did you say?”
“I asked what you were looking at,” he repeated.
“Um, it’s nothing.” She sounded worried.
The next time her eyes wandered nervously, Link’s followed. It took him a while to see what she had been staring at. Butterfly was off near a corner dancing with someone.
“What’s wrong with her dancing with someone?” he asked.
“Oh, that,” said Fairy. “I guess you’ve got pretty good eyes.”
Yeah, I’ve got good eyes, thought Link. I saw you. Fairy must have realized the same thing because she blushed. “So what’s the matter?”
“It’s a little bit odd that she didn’t want to come to the balls because she was afraid…”
“Yes?” prompted Link.
She sighed. “She was afraid that some guy would fall in love with her and dance with her all the time, et cetera, and mess up her chances with Link.”
“But what if the guy is Link?”
Fairy shook her head. “She didn’t want to take the chance.”
“That’s odd. Don’t you think—” but Fairy shushed him quickly.
“Listen, Hawk,” she said. “You wouldn’t understand the real situation unless I told you, but I can’t. Otherwise you’d know who were are, and you’re not supposed to. So, just take my word for it. She didn’t want to come tonight, but I wanted to, so she came. I just think that it’s odd that she worries day and night about it, but then immediately dances with the first guy who sets eyes on her.”
Link nodded. “I understand. Next time I tread on sacred ground, kick me. That is unless we’re dancing. I don’t want to embarrass us too much.”
“Okay. I would say you could kick me, but everyone would see my maimed leg or foot. I’m not exactly dressed in pants.”
“I understand. I’ll just pinch you.” He paused. “Who is Butterfly dancing with anyways?”
“Oh, this Phoenix guy that was staring at her when we first got here.”
Link almost tripped, but managed to keep it subtle. No one had noticed. Except…
“What’s wrong? Do you know who he is?” Fairy had picked up on it.
“Oh, no, I don’t know very many people at the ball at all. Well, I know Malon, but I have no clue what her costume is.” Damnit! I’m talking too much! She’ll know I’m covering up something.
“I see.” The song ended. “Do you want to go get some refreshments?”
“Sure.”
They spent the rest of the night dancing and talking. Link began to forget the odd feeling in his chest and the weird thought of Fairy coming to the balls to meet him. He found that, just like Zelda, Fairy was not a shallow girl. She was a true friend. He also realized that Fairy was hiding something. It had to do with the real reason that she and Butterfly were late (He decided that they had been talking like that to cover up for their tardiness), why they were dressed so finely, and why Fairy was concerned about Butterfly dancing with someone.
As they were talking to each other about great Goron mystery novels, a guard came rushing up to Link. “Hawk, we need your help in the North Wing, stat!” The King had informed the entire guard about the Costume Ball. He had told them that if they needed Link, he was a hawk, and they could only call on him if it was an emergency. Obviously it was.
“What’s wrong?”
“There’s been a disturbance in the Hero’s quarters, sir!”
What? His own rooms? He could think of nothing of value there that could be valuable to anyone else. Most things were small souvenirs, gifts, and other personal items. Sure, his weapons were there, but all of them were either replaceable or were protected by the Master Sword. The weapons were in a chest that could only be opened if the Master Sword was removed from it, but nothing evil could touch the sword. So what could have been the motivation? There was nothing priceless there. Except…
“Was anything taken?”
“Not that we know of. Unless there was a library book.”
The prophecies!
Link rushed to his rooms. About halfway there, he heard Fairy say, “How do you know the way so well?”
He stopped short and turned around. “What are you doing here? You should have stayed in the ballroom!” Now what if she suspected him?
She shook her head. “I wanted to see what the Castle was like. Besides, you were holding my hand.”
Link blushed, dropped her hand and apologized. He continued to run to his rooms. He noted Fairy’s footsteps still behind him. Finally, he reached his door. “You know,” he said, out of breath, “you really shouldn’t be here. These are Link’s rooms, and you’re not supposed to be out of the ballroom, really.”
She shook her head. “Don’t worry, I won’t confess to the King if you don’t. Why did they drag you out of there anyways? Don’t you guys have enough guards?”
“Yeah, but I’m a good friend of Link’s, and he doesn’t let most people go into his rooms.”
“Then why didn’t they grab him instead of you? If they are his rooms.”
He sensed what she was doing. “It would be rude to take Link from his own ball.” Her face fell a bit. She must have suspected him of being Link.
He opened his door slowly. His face grew grim as he surveyed the scene before him. His bed had been completely blown to bits, as had most of his furniture, except his desk. Everything on it was exactly the same as how he left it, except there was a space where he had left the book of prophecy. He did a quick search of the room. However, searches always take time, even quick ones, so it took about a half an hour. Fairy stood patiently at the door, taking in her first, and probably last, glimpse of the Hero’s room. It was sad that she did not see it when it was in its normal state of disorder, which compared to this was very neat indeed.
Finally, he was done. The only thing taken was the book. He was very glad to see that the chest with the Master Sword on it had remained completely untouched. His makeshift safe had worked. He walked over to Fairy. “Well, no one will be able to really investigate till after the ball, so we might as well go back.”
“But what if they come back?”
“They won’t tonight. They got what they came for.” He sighed. “Do you have the time?”
“No, but hold on.” Fairy stooped down and picked up the little clock that Saria had given Link last year. It still worked, even after being thrown to the floor.
“It’s ten till two,” she said.
Link had an idea. He took her hand and said, “Come with me.” He knew it was dark, but the area would be well lit so people could find their ways home after the ball, and the moon was out.
“What is it?” asked Fairy.
“I want to show you something.” They went down some flights of stairs until they came to the door that Link had been searching for. “In here.”
On the other side of the door was a balcony. They walked to the edge of it. It looked over the entire expanse of Hyrule Field. Even in the night, with barely any visibility, what they could see was beautiful. The grass was full, the moon was almost full, and the trees cast eerie shadows in the moonlight.
“Oh, wow,” breathed Fairy. “I didn’t think your country could be so beautiful, especially at night.”
“What do you mean, ‘at night?’”
“Well, It would be easier to see in the daylight.”
“This isn’t the only view of its kind here.”
“Really? How many are there?”
“There are actually four more. One of each of the wonders of Hyrule.”
“Oh, will you take me to another one tomorrow night? Please?” In the moonlight, her eyes were eager.
“Sure. I’m sure the King won’t mind.”
She laughed. “So, which one tomorrow night?”
It was his turn to laugh. “You’ll have to wait and see.”
The clock struck two, and the first night of the Costume Ball was over.
Chapter Six by Sapphira
Chapter Six
“So you have no clue who could have done this?” asked the King.
“Honestly, Your Majesty!” cried Link. “I keep on telling you this! I have no clue who took it! The guards told me that all of the sudden they heard crashing noises, and when they got to my rooms, it was as it is now. It’s destroyed and the book is missing!”
“I’m sorry, Link. It’s just that I can’t understand how no one saw anyone sneaking into your rooms. It couldn’t have been a crazy stalker from the ball, could it?”
“No.” Link shook his head. “They would not have gone for an old, decrepit book on my desk. They would have gone for my tunic or my sword.”
“Liam, did you notice anything peculiar last night?”
Liam was sitting quietly in the chair next to Link. He had been acting strangely all day. “Oh, uh, no, Your Majesty. I know what you know.” Link thought it was a little odd that the Captain of the Guard knew very little about the incident.
“I did hear about something else, Your Majesty,” supplied Link. “Some of the guards who were close to my rooms said they heard the murmurs.” The King grew very silent. The murmurs were the noises that people had been hearing lately. It was odd that they had been heard near Link’s rooms.
“That settles it,” announced the King. “Whatever’s making those noises is causing the trouble. Tonight, we post guards outside of Link’s quarters.”
The meeting was over. Link wanted to go to the library to get some more prophecy. He definitely wanted to find out what had destroyed his rooms last night. Even though the most important things, like his weapons, hadn’t been touched, his clothes were ruined, all of his precious items had been blown to bits, and, most importantly, his books had been reduced to dust. Link was not a bookworm, but he had a collection of his favorite books that he read over and over again. Some of them were valuable, although all were replaceable. However, the cost to cover all of the damage, aside from all of his whatnots, was enormous.
First, though, he needed to clear something up. As they left, Link pulled Liam aside. “Okay,” he said. “Tell me why the Captain of the Guard knows less about what happened last night than his own men.”
“I’m sorry, Link,” sighed Liam, “I would have helped, but it was so weird…”
“What?”
“The girl, Butterfly. One look at her, and…it was like magic, I swear to Nayru.”
“Yeah, her friend noticed her dancing with you and got kind of upset.”
“You talked to her friend?”
“I danced with her friend. Her nickname’s Fairy.”
“Oh. Well, I can’t really explain what happened, but one moment, I’m looking, naturally, for something to eat, and then my eye sweeps the crowd and just stops. Right on Butterfly.” His face got distant for a moment before coming back to earth. “Oh, I could see you half-hiding. Nice work, I almost missed you.”
“Thanks. Go on.”
“Well, I just kind of looked at her until she walked over. I could tell she was as confused as I was.”
“And then you asked her to dance?”
“Uh, no.” He blushed. “We just started dancing. Not one word to each other. It was so weird.” He looked to Link for reassurance. “Link, I’m going crazy, aren’t I?”
“No, not yet. I have a question to ask you. It’s kind of weird, so don’t get scared and run off or anything.” Liam laughed, and Link could see his friend slowly returning to normal. What was up with him? He was normally just like Link. “Did you feel anything in your chest when you saw her? Sort of like a snap?”
Liam looked thoughtful. “Actually, I did. So you think it means something?”
“I have no clue. I have to go now. I want to find out who killed my room so I can slap them upside the head. Do you want to come?”
“Sorry, I’m in major trouble.”
“What do you mean? The King’s not mad at you, is he?”
“No, I sort of accidentally, on purpose sent Zelda a weight-loss brochure. I’ll see you later.” He started to walk off.
“Not if Zelda finds you first. Then, I’ll see your head, but you won’t be too lively.”
“Ha, ha, ha…” Liam walked around the corner and out of sight.
Link was confused. Liam had felt the same feeling when he saw Butterfly as Link did when he saw Fairy, but he and Fairy acted normally. They didn’t just take one look at each other and start dancing. Link hated when things like this happened.
As he was walking to the library, Zelda came marching around a corner. “Oh, good morning, Link,” she said. Her voice sounded pleasant, but what she said next didn’t. “Oh, can I ask you a couple questions?”
“Sure. What is it?”
“First, do you know where the torture devices are? I’ve looked everywhere for them, except the dungeons, but Father says they aren’t there.”
“He’s lying. They’re in the second dungeon in the closet with the poe engraved on it.”
“Oh, thank you.” Her face became very evil. “And, I have one more question. Do you know where Liam is? I’ve been looking everywhere for him, too.” She grinned.
Link was lucky this time. Last time Zelda had pulled a trick on Liam, Link had told her where to find him because he didn’t know what she was planning. Now, he had a pretty good idea. “Yeah, I know where he is.”
“Well, where?”
“He’s hiding from you.”
Zelda smiled and shook her head. “You know about this one then, right?”
“Yeah. Don’t get upset. He was kidding. If you lost any more weight, I wouldn’t be able to see you…”
“That’s sweet of you to say that, Link.”
“…which wouldn’t be such an awful thing,” Link finished.
“Oh, ha, ha, ha,” growled Zelda. She sighed. “So, whatcha up to?”
“I’m on my way to the library right now. The only thing taken from my rooms was that ancient prophecy.”
Zelda nodded. “That one. I know. Do you think it was what has been causing all of the strange things around here?”
“It has to be. The guards heard the murmurs.”
Zelda’s eyes widened. “That’s serious. Did you even find anything in the old book?”
“Not really.” Link suddenly remembered something. “Wait! Come on, follow me!” He grabbed her hand and they both raced to the remains of his rooms.
Once they were there, Zelda asked, “What is it?”
“Well, I took some notes on things that were interesting,” Link replied. “Now, I have no clue if they’ll be helpful or not, or if they’re still here.” He began to rummage through the rubble. “You never know, though. They key to it all could very well be here.” Zelda began to search as well. Finally, Link found the sheets of paper under some torn drapery. “Here we go,” he said, and began to read them.
…She who holds the key can be found in Hyrule…Only one can open the door to the Triforce…The moon will show its face…The Evil One will ride again…The mirror of the Hero of Time…The key will be in disguise…To get what he wants, he must travel to Hyrule…The Triforce is found within…The key to it all will be protected…He seeks the Princess…
Link had taken it all in note form, and none of it was in any particular order.
“Is this all?” asked Zelda. “It is a huge book.”
“I barely got through any of it. Besides, I took down parts with certain words. See, the first note says ‘Hyrule,’ and so does the one about getting what he wants. The ‘key’ in that sentence was in other ones, too, so I took them down. The last one seems to be saying that you’re in some sort of danger.” He paused. “You wouldn’t happen to have any keys would you?”
“Link, I don’t think it’s about me,” retorted Zelda. “I have no clue what it’s talking about.” She was turning red, and she looked angry. “Listen, I don’t think you were really trying when you took down these notes! They are completely random! What do dead birds and murmurs have to do with keys? You were supposed to be looking up those things!”
“Listen, I’m sorry! It’s not easy to read that stuff, especially when your dad is making me do ridiculous little tasks every five minutes!”
“Don’t say that about my father!”
“It’s true! I didn’t get any sleep for days because of his meaningless tasks and this stupid prophecy!”
“This is just like you, Link! Blaming it on everyone else! No one made you become a Hero, okay? Don’t go blaming everyone else when you have to do your job!”
“Since when do I blame everyone for my job? I don’t blame them, I save them.”
“That’s what I mean! You have to save them! You make it sound like it’s their fault!”
“Zelda, stop it! I am not complaining about my job!”
“Oh, I’m sorry! What were you complaining about then?”
“The jobs that aren’t mine that I have to do anyways!”
“Link, I can’t believe I ever respected you!”
“What are you talking about?”
“You are such a little bastard. You know, it’s a good thing that your parents never knew you. They would be ashamed.”
“Shut up!” roared Link. “Just get out of my room!”
“Excuse me, Link.” She said his name as if she had a bad taste in her mouth. “You only live here because of your job. This is my real home. After these stupid balls are through, you are going back to Kokiri. You don’t deserve to live here.”
“Get out!”
“I don’t have to if I don’t want to. This is my house. However, I’m leaving because I can’t stand to talk to you.” She turned to leave. Link was bright red with rage. Any more of this and…
“Oh, and by the way, Link, I hereby order you to stay out of the library. We can't have you losing any more of our valuable texts.” She shut the door in his face.
Link could not believe what just happened. A few minutes ago, they had been best friends, but suddenly, he was the bad guy because (according to Zelda) he insulted the King, blamed others about his job, he had lost a valuable prophecy, and he hadn’t taken good notes. Steaming with rage, he went to sit on his bed to calm down, but then it hit him. He had no bed because it had been blown to bits.
It was too much. Link kicked open his door and marched down the corridor. This time, his boots were not silent at all. He wanted everyone to hear him and know his anger. He reached the door and opened it roughly. Then he stood, breathing heavily, fuming with wrath.
“What in the name of Din is wrong?” asked Liam.
Link began to say something, but he was so angry he couldn’t talk. Liam could tell the reason for his brother’s silence, and began the remedy for “silence by anger.” He pushed Link into a chair, got some cold water in a mug, forced it down Link’s throat, slapped him across his right cheek, applied ice to the mark, opened a window for approximately one minute, closed it, took the ice away from Link, and pulled up a chair. “So, what happened?” he asked.
“Zelda and I went to my rooms because I remembered that I had some notes that I took from the prophecy that was stolen.” Link sounded winded, and his voice was cracking. “I showed them to her, and she got mad at me because she thought the notes were useless. Then I told her that I had tried, but the text is difficult and the King was making me do stupid tasks. She got flaming mad at me and yelled at me for insulting her dad, complaining about my job, and taking bad notes. She…she…” He stopped and looked at the floor.
“What did she do?”
Link sighed. “She said that it was a good thing my parents never knew me because they’d be ashamed of me.” Liam could tell Link was on the verge of tears. Link had always been sensitive about never knowing his parents, so this remark really hurt.
“Stay here,” said Liam. He left the room, but he didn’t return for an hour. Link sat in his chair looking around. He wouldn’t have left even if Liam hadn’t told him to. Because his rooms were uninhabitable, he was staying in Liam’s rooms. Right now, there was nowhere else to go at all. Link eventually became tired of waiting, so he made another copy of the notes. He had practically memorized them.
Liam returned, his face set like stone. “It’s alright, Link. You’re all set now. You’d better eat dinner, it’s almost seven o’clock, and we have to start getting ready soon so we don’t have to rush at nine-thirty.”
“What did you do,” asked Link suspiciously.
“I had a little chat with Zelda’s pappy. Let’s just say that her father isn’t too happy with her behavior.” Link smiled at his friend’s choice of words. “Anyways, she couldn’t get rid of you even if she really wanted to. I have a feeling that she’s upset about something right now, and your notes weren’t what she really wanted.”
“So I can stay?”
“No, Link. We’re going to kick you out because you are completely useless. Of course you’re staying! The King even told me that if you tried to leave, the guards have permission to drag you back in chains.”
That was reassuring. Link smiled a little and got up. The ball was still tonight, and he needed to get ready to face it again. This time, though, he couldn’t just hang out with Fairy. He’d have to meet some more ladies. The King had scolded him for really only becoming acquainted with one girl. “You’re supposed to be meeting everyone to choose a bride!” the King had said. “Your one true love could be standing right next to you, but you never even meet her because you met this other girl first!” The King had a point, but how was he supposed to explain this (in any way) to Fairy without her suspecting?
Chapter Seven by Sapphira
Chapter Seven
As the clocks tolled ten, Link half-hid behind a statue. The guests had already arrived, but he had not yet thought of a method of meeting new women without having to explain to Fairy that he needed to meet as many women as possible because he needed to find a bride, but he wasn’t Link. He sighed. He had never expected to have this dilemma.
Fortunately and unfortunately, a witch saw him. Witch was actually very pretty, and she looked nice, plus he had someone to dance with so Fairy couldn’t seek him right off the bat. However, the fact that she saw him meant that he wasn't half-hiding well enough. It must be my nerves, he thought.
“Hi,” Witch said shyly.
“Hello,” replied Link. “Would you like to dance?”
“Sure,” she replied. From the look on her face, Link could tell that she was very shy, and very glad he had asked her to dance.
“So, where are you from?” he asked as the musicians started a slow serenade.
“Labrynna,” she answered. “You?”
“Hyrule.”
“That’s nice. Have you ever been to Labrynna?”
He’d better lie. “Not yet, but I was thinking of visiting there someday.”
“Oh.” Her face fell a bit. Link sighed inwardly. She thought he was Link.
Everyone suspected him! Why did everyone think he was Link? No one really knew what he looked like or sounded like unless they were from Hyrule, and some Hyrulians had never seen him, only heard of him. He hoped people thought that Liam was him, but now he doubted that. He glanced over at the corner where Liam stood. Butterfly and Fairy were obviously not here yet, for he was half-hiding alone.
After the dance with Witch, Link half-hid and slowly made his way to Liam. His brother saw him coming, of course, so when Link arrived he asked, “What’s wrong?”
“Excuse me, but everyone is supposed to think that you’re me!” hissed Link, so no one else would hear. “However, I’m finding that many women are asking me questions with small smiles on their faces as if I’ll trip up and reveal who I am. You have to dance with other girls, or else the masquerade won't work at all.”
“I’m sorry!” cried Liam. “It’s just…Butterfly…I’d feel so guilty…”
“Please, Liam. The last night, you can get her name and address so you can go visit her or something, but for now, just try to help me out. You should ask Fairy to dance, too.”
Liam sighed. “Fine. They’re not even here yet. You’re right, though. The ball is supposed to be fun.”
“Liam, I’m sorry. I know how much you’d rather stick with Butterfly…”
Liam gave Link a quick hug, the type guys give each other (They clasp one hand and sort of slap each other on the backs; you know what I’m talking about). “It’s okay. Don’t feel bad. I’ll get over it, I’m stronger than you. Besides, you’ve dealt with worse.”
“Thanks, bro,” replied Link. He gave Liam a small salute and skulked back to the spot he was in previously.
Afterwards, he came out of half-hiding and danced with a number of girls. To Link’s relief, Liam danced with some, too. The night was going very smoothly. Link and Liam met for an update at about eleven o’clock to discuss how everything was going. Link was pleased to report that no one since Witch had tried to see if he was Link, and Liam was excited to say that so far five women in a row had asked him several questions to try to see if he was the Hero. They had made fabulous progress.
Link had made a mental list of all the ladies, so far, that he would even consider marrying. They were Fairy, Din, Nayru, and Witch. Everyone else was either not right, or he hadn’t met them yet. He hoped he wouldn’t have to add too many more names to his list. Decisions like that gave him headaches most of the time.
At midnight, Link was dancing with Farore. She was nice, but not too bright, so she was not on his list. As they were dancing, he heard her say, “Oh, great. They’re here.” Link glanced in the direction of the door. Butterfly and Fairy were there! Link hid his joy at seeing them.
After his dance with Farore, who had hinted that she wanted to dance with him later, Link approached Butterfly. He did have to meet her to see if she would be on his little list or not.
“May I have this dance?” he asked.
She looked surprised and a little dismayed at seeing someone other than Liam, but she accepted. “So,” she said, “You’re the guy that Fairy was talking about.”
“I guess so,” replied Link. “She’s very nice.”
“She thought the same of you.” She looked thoughtful and paused. “Do you by any chance know Phoenix? That guy over there?” She pointed to him.
“No, I don’t think so. Why do you ask?”
“It’s just that you sound remarkably like him. It’s weird.”
“It is. People have always told me that I have a unique voice.”
“Oh really?” She laughed a bit. “Well, now you have competition, don’t you?”
He laughed, too. “I guess so. Maybe we should have a contest to see who has the most unique voice.”
“Yeah, but it would be a tough decision, wouldn’t it?”
“I don’t know. I’ve never had to judge a contest like that before.”
“You wouldn’t have to. Fairy and I could judge. What would the prize be?”
“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe a year’s supply of orange toe-socks.”
“My, if you need a year’s supply, you sure wear them out quickly.”
This conversation lasted until the end of the song. Link decided that Butterfly was like Fairy, but a little less serious. She would be perfect for Liam, who was less serious by nature. While Link did help with the practical jokes, he wouldn’t do them at all if Liam wasn’t around. Besides, Liam and Butterfly had something special between them. Any girl who could leave Liam acting the way he did that day must be amazing indeed. Fairy was sort of a more serious counterpart. However, this was not saying too much seeing as Fairy wasn’t always serious.
After the musicians stopped playing, Butterfly thanked Link and went in the direction of a corner where Liam had just come out of half-hiding. Link smiled and shook his head.
Just then, the musicians struck up another song. Link felt himself being swung around a bit into dancing position. “Did you think Butterfly was nice?” asked Fairy.
“And ‘good evening’ to you, too!” said Link. “Yeah, she was pretty nice, but she just drifted magnetically towards that Phoenix guy.”
“Yeah, she really likes him a lot. I was a bit surprised. She told me that they didn’t even say anything at first; they just started dancing!”
“Weird! Why would they do that?”
“No clue. I was as confused as she was. She said she felt a snap in her chest when she saw him, and when they actually started to talk, he told her that he felt one, too!”
“What do you think it is?”
“I though it might be fate, but she told me I’m wrong.”
“Oh.” Time for a topic change. “So, why were you late?”
She looked uncomfortable. “It’s one of those things where I’d have to kick you.”
“Sorry.” Okay, wrong topic.
The second night passed just like the first. They talked about their interests for a while. Fairy was trying to convince him that the Zora and the Gorons had a common ancestor when a guard ran up to Link. Link saw another run up to Liam.
“Hawk! Another disturbance!” The guard was out of breath. “The Captain’s rooms! This time, we’re getting Phoenix, too.”
Now Liam’s rooms, too! What did this thing want? “Is it the same as last time?”
“Not exactly. It’s different, but just as bad.”
Link began to run again, this time, Liam joined up with him. “Great,” said Liam. “This is just what I needed. I wonder what they took this time.”
“I know. What could they want so much? They got the prophecy…The notes!” They ran faster.
“Can someone explain why both of you are going this time?” asked Fairy.
Link and Liam stopped short. Fairy and Butterfly were both behind them. “What are you doing?” yelled Link. “I wasn’t holding your hand this time, so you have no excuse.”
“I just wanted to see what was wrong,” replied Fairy. Butterfly didn’t give a reason.
“You both should have stayed downstairs,” said Liam.
“Why both of you?” asked Butterfly. “Phoenix, you said you didn’t know this guy!”
“Hawk told me the same thing,” added Fairy.
Link couldn’t think of any way out of this. “Okay, so we know each other. You know this whole ‘sacred ground’ thing?” he asked Fairy, who nodded. “Well, this is ours. Don’t ask questions, and stay here for now. We’ll come and get you.” Fairy and Butterfly looked angrily at the two of them, but agreed to stay.
The brothers kept running until they reached Liam’s rooms. At the door, they stopped. “That was just peachy,” said Liam. “Now, they’ll really think that I’m you.”
“No, Fairy knows that they asked me to come up here last night when Link’s rooms were destroyed. If she’s going to suspect anyone, it’ll be me.”
“Whatever.” He opened his mouth to say more, but then both of them heard a low, laughing sound. It was coming from Liam’s rooms. “The murmurs!” he cried. Liam burst open the door.
Whatever had made the murmurs was gone, but they had left a mess. The entire room was covered in goo. The goo was clear, but it was think and tinted black. It smelled terrible, almost like rotten cucco. The goo had soaked everything, including the papers on Liam’s desk. Luckily, there were more copies of all of Liam’s important lists and rosters that he needed as Captain of the Guard. They were stored in many different places, so anything on his desk was replaceable. Except for the notes. Link found them on the desk. They were right on top, but it wouldn’t have mattered if they were on the bottom. All of the papers were soaking wet and the ink had run all over the place. Nothing was readable, especially anything in Link’s handwriting.
Liam swore very creatively. “This is worse than what happened to your rooms!” he moaned. Link agreed. In his rooms, some things could be saved, but nothing here could. The goo had ruined everything. It also smelled to high heaven.
“Goddesses!” cried Link. “This has been a great night! First, two girls start to figure out who we are, and then this crap from hell soaks up your rooms! Just peachy, just peachy…” If Link or Liam said, “Just peachy,” it meant they were really upset.
“There’s nothing we can do now,” said Liam. “We’ll just get really smelly.”
Link thought for a moment and smiled. “Well, they didn’t get what they came for.”
“What do you mean?”
“They wanted to destroy the notes. They were the only irreplaceable things in your rooms. Practically,” he added. Liam did have items like gifts from friends, but he understood. “But they didn’t know that I not only took notes, but I memorized them and made copies.”
“Where are the copies?”
“I have feeling that if I say, whatever it is will hear me and find them.”
“Well, this proves that the notes were important, and Zelda was extra wrong to have yelled at you.”
“Thanks a lot, bro.”
They left the room and went to a public washroom (They have public washrooms in castles, too.) and used some cologne to cover up the horrible goo smell. Then they went back to their waiting ladies.
“What time is it?” asked Link.
“Ten of three,” replied Fairy.
“Let me take you back,” Liam said to Butterfly. She nodded and the two went back downstairs.
“Would you like to see another sight of Hyrule?” Link asked Fairy.
“Sure,” she replied. “You promised.”
“I didn’t promise, but I still will.”
He led her to another balcony. This time, the great expanse of desert loomed before them. Under the moonlight, the cacti cast long shadows, and the swirling sands danced with the playful breeze. The overall effect was even more stunning than Hyrule Field.
“Normally, I hate deserts,” said Fairy. “The larger one in Racona is always flat and boring.”
“Well, this one isn’t too pretty once you’re in it, I’ve heard. People tell me that you can’t see a thing once you go in farther. It’s a never-ending sandstorm.”
“It looks nice from here.”
The clock chimed the hour. “Time to go,” sighed Fairy. “Maybe tomorrow night, I can convince you that the Zora and Goron races are related.”
“Good luck,” said Link, and they both laughed as he led her back to the ballroom.
Two down, three to go.
Chapter Eight by Sapphira
Chapter Eight
Link cursed as he dropped the chest on his foot. “Watch it, that’s heavy,” warned Liam.
“That was a little late, wasn’t it?” asked Link as he hopped around the room, clutching his foot in pain.
The King had moved the two of them into a guestroom until their rooms could be restored. He didn’t bother to get two rooms because the guys didn’t mind. There were two of each main furnishing in the room, such as two beds and two desks. This was good because if there had been only one bed, the guys would have argued over who got the floor.
They had just finished moving the remains of their personal belongings into the room. Link had saved his entire desk and his chest with his valuables and weapons, as well as some things like clothes that hadn’t been destroyed, and Liam had found that everything inside closets, drawers, etc., was perfectly fine. It was four o’clock in the afternoon. Everyone had woken up at three in the afternoon thanks to the ball. Because it was being held so late, people just slept really late. Link and Liam had slept in this room last night, and now they had truly claimed it as their own by throwing their clothes all over the floor.
For a while, they sat and talked about some dance partners they had the nights before. Link told Liam how to answer some mysterious questions the girls asked, and Liam told about girls he had met, but Link had not. “Stay away from that Zora girl. I think she really wants to gain power or something. She dropped several hints about how powerful you must be, and how lucky the girl you marry would be, et cetera. Beware of her. She’s not even worth dancing with.”
“Thanks. That’s one less person I have to dance with. Oh, and if anyone asks if you’ve been to Holodrum, say just once, and it wasn’t exactly a good time to visit. The girls will think you’re me because I’ve only been there once, and things weren’t pretty.”
“I know.”
They talked some more about this. Then, Liam brought up the subject that made Link really nervous. “What are we going to do about Fairy and Butterfly? They are definitely onto us.”
“I know. I don’t know what to do. Our plan was perfect. We wouldn’t be seen near each other, so no one would suspect. If they hadn’t followed us to your rooms, this wouldn’t have happened. I just don’t know what to do.”
“Do you know where they’re staying?”
“Fairy said they were at Lon Lon Ranch, but do you think it would be wise for me to show up there?”
“I think you should give it a shot. Maybe you could send a messenger in to say that you wish to speak with Malon alone, and she could meet you outside the walls to talk.”
“Good idea. Do you want to come?”
“No thanks. I was actually going to talk to Zelda.”
Link’s face grew grim.
Liam shook his head. “Don’t worry, I’m going to talk sense into her. She’s just being a bitch.”
“Thanks.”
“No problem. Good luck and be back by eight o’clock or so.”
“Okay. See you later.”
Link saddled up Epona, his trusty horse, and started out for the Ranch. He didn’t even have to go inside, right? He could just wait. The messenger he had sent for rode quietly behind him.
Finally, they reached the Ranch. The messenger went inside. Link waited, half-expecting to suddenly hear the screams of girls as they heard about just who was outside the walls, but none came. He sighed and waited some more.
Malon returned with the messenger. She seemed to be very confused. “Link, what are you doing here?” she asked. “Someone might see you! Why are you taking such a risk?”
“I don’t have too many questions. I just need to know about two of the girls who are staying here.”
“What are you talking about?”
“You are housing people, right? For the balls, I mean.”
“Yes, we are, but I don’t know what girls you’re talking about.”
Link stared at her incredulously. “You aren’t housing a redhead and a light brunette?”
“No. In fact, we aren’t housing any women at all. Only a bunch of guys from Labrynna.”
“But they told me they were staying here!”
“Well, they aren’t. Sorry, Link. Do you know where they’re from?”
“They said they were form Racona, but I’m not sure I should believe them…”
“I heard that most of the ladies from Racona are staying at the Dancing Dog Inn in Hyrule Castle Town.”
“Most?”
“Well, I did hear about some staying at the Soaring Sky Inn, but it was just a rumor, and it might have been about ladies from Holodrum.” She shook her head. “I can’t really help you.”
“No, actually, you helped a lot. You’re coming tonight, right?”
“Actually, I haven’t been to any of the balls. I was invited, but I’m way too busy. Besides,” she said with a smile, “if you had wanted me for your wife, you wouldn’t need to meet me again at this ball. You already know what I’m like normally.”
“Yeah, shallow and irritable all the time. I don’t know how I can stand you.”
“Well, you’re a beast when you’re drunk.”
“Hush, don’t tell the world!”
He bid her goodbye and he and the messenger rode back to the Castle. Malon was right. He didn’t love her like that, and they certainly wouldn’t be happy as a married couple. With these thoughts settled, his mind returned to Fairy and Butterfly.
They were definitely hiding something. First of all, on the first night, they had arrived late and had tried to cover it up. Then, Fairy had been upset about Butterfly dancing with anyone, and said it was because it might spoil her chances with Link. If this wasn't suspicious, they had very fine costumes, so they must be very wealthy.
Then, they came late again last night without an explanation. They followed Link and Liam upstairs. It was very weird.
And they had lied about the Ranch. It made more sense now. When Fairy had said they were staying at the ranch, she had she had been lying. She didn’t know who Malon was, or at least she didn’t know her. When Link had asked if Malon was there, Fairy said yes, but she wouldn’t tell him which costume. This was a lie as well. Malon wasn’t there, and even if she was, Fairy didn’t know what costume, so she pretended she knew, but wouldn’t tell.
Why had they lied? They could have just not told him anything. Link just couldn’t figure it out. Plus, he didn’t have a lead like they did. The girls knew that any guy at the balls could be Link, so he was now a major suspect. Yet he had no clue about any of the girls that were attending. So, Link resolved to check the guest list the next day to find out exactly who these two young women might be. The King said he’d find a list and leave it on his desk.
Chapter Nine by Sapphira
Chapter Nine
The Costume Ball had begun again. Tonight was the halfway night, so Link was feeling a little better. There were only two nights to go after this, thank Farore.
Butterfly and Fairy did arrive on time tonight, but they did not approach him or Liam right off. They must still be thinking about last night, thought Link. He shrugged and began to dance with a girl dressed as a (rather tall) Kokiri. She was on “Liam’s Little List of Lovely and Likable Ladies.” Link had made up the name of the list, and it was a rather accurate name. All the ladies on the list were ones that were really the rare ones at the ball. They were the chosen few who were deep, smart, and beautiful. These were the girls that reminded Link of Zelda, Malon, the Oracles, and Fairy…and Fairy? How did she get on this little list?
He danced with a few more ladies afterwards who were also on the “L” list. They were all girls he would actually like to get to know better. It was odd, though, how many girls there were not like them.
As he danced with Witch again (She somehow had made it onto the list, and she was rather pretty), Link began to glance around the room for Liam to see whom he was dancing with. His eyes had only begun to sweep the crowd when they came to a dead halt on a familiar face.
Fairy was watching him from a corner. She was actually doing a very amazing job of half-hiding, but Link could still see her. The look on her face was astounding. She was looking at him, for he could feel her eyes, and her face was full of pain. At first, Link couldn’t think of any reason for the pain, but then it hit him really hard. I haven’t spoken to Fairy all night…
It was almost the end of the song, but Link kept a close eye on Fairy. She would drop her gaze most of the time because she knew he saw her, and she did not leave her spot. Finally the dance was over. Link quickly bid Witch farewell and walked as fast as he could to where Fairy stood.
“It’s one-thirty,” she said when he arrived. The ball had started two and one half hours ago.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “It’s just that you and Butterfly just went off to talk to each other, and I didn’t want to bother you at all.”
“Oh, it would have been okay. I mean, we do see each other all day at the Ranch.” Lie, thought Link.
The musicians began a song that hit Link in an odd way. It was the song that had played when he had a crush on Princess Zelda and they had first danced together. He had obsessed over the song, and even after he didn’t like Zelda like that, the song still reminded him of those times. “Would you like to dance?”
Fairy gave a little smile. “Of course.”
They began to dance, and Link couldn’t stand it any longer. “I need to ask you something very important.”
“Yes, what is it?”
He sighed. “Why did you lie to me?”
She looked taken aback. “What are you talking about?”
“I know that you’re not staying at the Ranch.”
“How did you—”
“I know Malon. I had to go to the Ranch today, and I asked after two Raconan girls, one redhead and one light brunette. She told me that the Ranch was only housing a bunch of guys from Labrynna. You also told me that Malon was attending the balls, but you wouldn’t tell me which costume. However, Malon is too busy to attend, and you don’t know her at all, which is why you wouldn’t tell me which costume.”
Fairy looked at the floor. “Listen, I’m sorry. I’m not allowed to tell you where I’m staying.”
“You could have just not told me at all, and said it was confidential.”
“Well you could have just told me that you knew Phoenix!” Her face flushed with anger. “Or was that confidential, too?”
“Fairy!”
“I’m sorry, am I not allowed to keep secrets? Only Hawk and Phoenix can.”
“Please, stop!”
She sighed. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I guess I just need some fresh air right now.”
“Me too. Let’s go somewhere else after this song. There are too many people in here right now.”
“Good idea.”
They were quiet for the rest of the song. Link didn’t know what to think or feel, so he did neither. He was having a rough week.
The song ended. “Come on,” he said. “I’ll take you to the next of the Five Wonders of Hyrule if you’d like.”
“Sounds great.”
He led her up the flights of stairs, he took a small detour because he had time to check up on his and Liam’s old and new quarters. He didn’t notice anything odd as he passed, so he continued. He and Fairy didn’t talk as they walked. Finally, they reached the balcony.
The entire Kokiri forest lay before them. The balcony was placed just right so that you could see more than just treetops, but it wasn’t only the front row of foliage either. The leaves glistened under the moon’s glow, and small breezes shifted branches. The sounds were very soothing and beautiful.
“Amazing,” breathed Fairy.
“The best times to view all of the Wonders are actually sunrise and sunset. So you can imagine what that’s like,”
“I couldn’t even begin to. Do you think it will be sunrise on the final night? So I could see the last one in its splendor?”
“Of course. I’ve been saving the best for last, you know.”
“You’re not going to tell me, are you?”
“Not a chance. Patience is a virtue.”
“One of the many I don’t have,” Fairy said sarcastically.
“One of the many you do,” Link corrected. Fairy turned to face him.
“How would you know what virtues I possess?”
“I once heard that the eyes are the windows to the soul.”
Startled, she turned away. Link found himself thinking that she looked more beautiful in the moonlight, but he kicked himself mentally.
“Is there somewhere we could sit?” asked Fairy. “I’m exhausted.”
“Let me see.” Link was happy to see that there was already a bench on the balcony, and it was close enough to the railing to still see the scene. “Right over here,” he said. He took her hand and led her to the bench. Feeling a slight tug of her hand (that he was sure did not mean for him to let go of it), he sat beside her.
The night was just fantastic. Link had lived in Hyrule his entire life, but he had left to save other lands as well. So, he knew for a fact that Hyrule was the most beautiful of them all. Tonight, though, the stars looked brighter, and Link was sure there had to be more of them than usual. The air smelled sweeter, and there were none of the odd noises that people heard at this time of night.
“It must be nice,” said Fairy, “to live here and see these beautiful things all of the time.”
Link knew that this night was an exception. There had been nights when he had been scared to death by some of the harsher realities of this country. “It’s not always like this.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, you never know if all of your cuccos will be alive tomorrow, or if your kid is going to come home from school safely. We are careful, and there aren’t many dangers in the populated areas, but sometimes, even the guarded places aren’t safe.”
“Safety wouldn’t matter to me.”
“Why not? It matters to me.”
“That’s because—” She stopped and clapped a hand over her mouth. After she removed it, she said, “Sorry, Hawk. Sacred ground. Butterfly is going to kill me!”
“Sorry, I shouldn’t be interrogating you.”
“No, no, it’s my fault. I keep on yelling at you for figuring out things you shouldn’t, but I’m the one who’s practically screaming out the facts. It’s just—”
“Shhhh…” He didn’t want her to give away any more information if she wasn’t supposed to. “It’s okay.” He absentmindedly squeezed her hand, which she squeezed back.
They sat like that for about an hour and one half, just looking and listening and thinking. It was really odd that they would be doing that while the ball was going on. Finally, they snapped back into reality when the clock chimed half past three. “Oh, we should be getting back now,” said Fairy. She looked a bit startled that she had just spent that long looking at the view.
“Yeah, you’re right. Follow me.” Link began to lead her down back to the ballroom. They were nearing the King’s study when they heard the low, laughing noise. “The murmurs!” cried Link, and he threw open the door to the study.
He opened the door in time to see papers fluttering around in the air. There were no mysterious figures though. Still, there was something odd about how the papers fluttered. “That’s weird, door opens outwards.”
“What are you talking about? What were those noises?” asked Fairy.
“The murmurs. We’ve been hearing them around Hyrule for a while. They seem to be linked to strange things, such as the death of birds. Also, guards heard the murmurs near Link’s rooms the night they were destroyed, and I heard them inside the Captain of the Guard’s rooms last night.”
“So what?”
“A valuable book had been stolen from Link’s rooms, and valuable notes had been destroyed in the Captain’s.”
“It seems that there’s a lot of valuable stuff here. How are we to know what was stolen?”
“I have to check. Nothing seems to have been taken at all. We should pick up the papers from the desk though.”
As they picked up the papers, Fairy asked, “But why was it weird that the door opens out?”
“Well, I pulled the door outward very fast, so the papers should have been pulled toward the door. But they were fluttering towards the other side of the room.”
“Maybe whatever it was that stole something left quickly through the window when it heard us.”
Link looked at the said window. Yes, it made sense. “It would have had to be very big and fast to make the paper follow it instead of the door.”
Fairy handed him the papers she had collected. Link quickly searched through. “Yep, everything’s here.”
“How would you know what’s on the King’s desk?
“How do you know if this is the King’s study?” That really shut her up. “Okay, I guess we should go now. I’ll have to inform…” He stopped short. “Goddess! The list!”
The guest list was missing.
“Uh, you know what, I think I’ll bring you back downstairs now.”
“Good idea.” They began to walk again. “Can I ask you a question, Hawk?”
“Sure.”
“What’s the Captain of the Guard’s name?”
Link was startled. “What?”
“What’s the Captain of the Guard’s name?”
“Why do you want to know that?”
“Oh, I don’t know. I just felt bad that his rooms got ruined, too, but I don’t know his name.”
“Link’s rooms got ruined.”
“I already know Link’s name.” She gave him a look that said, “Duh.”
“Oh, good point. The Captain’s name is Liam.”
“The Captain of the Guard?”
“Yeah. His name’s Liam.”
“Okay, thanks.”
“No problem.” In Link’s mind, it felt more like a question than a statement.
They reached the ballroom as the clock struck four. “I guess I’d better leave before my dress turns back into rags and my carriage turns back into a pumpkin,” said Fairy.
“What?” asked Link.
“Never mind.”
“I am looking forward to seeing you tomorrow night. Actually, it’s more like tomorrow morning.”
Fairy smiled. “Whatever it is, I look forward to seeing you as well. Let’s just hope that whatever that thing was doesn’t ruin it again.”
He laughed as they waved goodbye. Link could have sworn there was a little something more in her smile as she left.
Chapter Ten by Sapphira
Chapter Ten
The next day, Link went immediately to the King. “Your Majesty, last night—”
“Where’s that list I put on my desk?”
“Your Majesty—”
“I can swear to Din that I put it there. Where could it be?”
“Your Majesty!” shouted Link.
“Yes?”
“Last night, I was passing your study, and I heard the murmurs.” This made the King quiet. “I opened the door as quickly as I could, and I saw all of the papers from your desk fluttering towards the window. Whatever is making those murmurs had jumped out right before I came in. Then, I picked the papers up, but the list was missing. I think that was what it was after.”
“I’ll check my files.” The King proceeded to do this. He checked several filing cabinets, some drawers, and finally, a pile in the corner. “Every single copy I made is gone. And I made quite a few copies.”
“Obviously whatever it is doesn’t want me to see who’s at the ball.”
“Or anything in the prophecies that were stolen.”
Link smiled. “Not just anything. It tried to destroy the notes I took on the prophecies. Obviously, something I wrote down as important is important. It didn’t want me to find out what it’s up to.”
“How helpful are the notes?”
“I guess they should be helpful. It must think so, but I can’t make any sense to them. All I can tell is that something is going to happen when the moon is full.”
“How do you know that?”
“The prophecy said something about the moon showing its face. It must mean the full moon.”
“You’d better figure this out soon then. The full moon’s tomorrow night.”
Link felt sick as he walked back to his room. He practically had no time to solve this mystery. It was worse than trying to figure out some gossip stones.
He opened the door to his room and gave a yelp of surprise. When he saw who was there, he said, “What do you want?”
“Listen, Link, I’m really sorry,” said Zelda, who was sitting on Liam’s bed. Liam was curled up in a ball near the foot of the bed shaking. Link stared at them uncertainly. “Please, just sit down, I’ll explain.”
“This better be good,” he replied, and he noted that Liam shook harder.
Zelda sighed. “Okay, here goes. I was wrong about what I said to you. Your notes were not useless, and my dad is insane. I just wanted you to know that later that day, I got…” She trailed off.
“What?”
“You know…”
It hit him. “Don’t blame it on PMS!” Liam shook harder.
Zelda blushed. “Well, it’s more than that. I was in a bad mood anyways, but after I got…it…” Link didn’t need clarification. “I was relieved about something. You see, Daniel and I, a couple weeks ago…” She didn’t seem to be able to finish.
Liam burst out laughing. He had obviously been trying to hold it all in while Zelda talked. “This is great!” he cried. “She thought she was pregnant! That’s why she was really worried! It’s kind of hard to miss a pregnant woman! Her dad would’ve killed her! So she was really pissed that day, but now, she knows she’s not pregnant!” Zelda punched him in the stomach, curtsied to Link, and left the room, bright red.
“Wait, she and Daniel…” Link shook his head. “How irresponsible.”
Liam was laughing like a madman. Link got up. “Shut up, you freak,” he said as he threw a pillow at him. Then he ran to find Zelda.
He caught up with her quickly. She was walking very slowly, so it wasn’t too hard. Once again, his boots made no sound as he ran up behind her and grabbed her around the waist.
“Let go of me, I’m not in the mood.”
“Zelda, we still need to talk.”
“Liam can do the talking for me.”
“We all know that Liam can be quite a nutcase. I want to talk to you.”
“Fine.” He let go of her and she turned around. “Listen, I’m really sorry that I said all of those terrible things about you. You’ve saved my ass quite a few times, and I shouldn’t be repaying you with my bitching. I should bitch at Daniel; he is my fiancée.”
“Zelda, I think we’re all in a bad mood anyways. I think it’s the ball. As soon as it’s over, things will be back to normal.”
“You mean, you’ll have to save the world again?”
“Probably. It is my job.”
“Which you do well.”
“You were right though. I do tend to blame things on the people I save. Some people don’t think I can save them, and that makes my job harder, but I tend to blame even the people that don’t do it. You were right.”
“Link, I wasn’t right. Anyways, you have a hard job. It should be in your job description to complain.”
“Ha, ha. Let’s think of a joke to play on Liam. He won’t stop laughing, and I’m sick of hearing it.”
“Are you two afraid of the same things?”
Link thought for a moment. “In general.”
“What are you afraid of the most?”
He carefully whispered it into her ear. She bid him goodbye and walked away smiling.
Link went back to his room and kicked Liam, who was still laughing. “Put a sock in it. We need to talk.”
“Fine.”
“Use one of my gym ones.”
“Oh, very funny. What’s so important.”
“All of the copies of the guest list have been stolen by our evil friend.”
“Which evil friend. I’ve got about a dozen.”
“The one who murdered our rooms slowly.”
“Oh, that one.” He sat up suddenly. “Wait a second!”
“What is it?”
“Why did we need the list?”
“To try to guess who Butterfly and Fairy are.”
“And what is bothering us about those two, aside from the fact that they probably suspect us?”
“They’re hiding something. Flaming Din! Are you saying that they have something to do with this?”
“I can’t think of anything else.”
“Maybe this thing controls them. It might have sent them to gather information.”
“What information?”
“Maybe they were a distraction while it stole the information it needed.”
“Then why did it take the notes? It would have already had the information from the prophecies. And it only needed one copy of the guest list. There must be things on there that could have helped us.”
“The identities of Fairy and Butterfly must be something it doesn’t want us to know.”
“But we still don’t know what part they play in all of this.”
Link shook his head. “Let’s give it one more night. I have a feeling that this is one of those things that pisses me off the most.”
“How so?”
“I try to solve the mystery, and the minute that my time’s up, I realize that all of my clues were right, but my conclusions were all wrong. I’ll end up having to save someone or something anyways.”
“Well, Mr. Optimism, the glass seems half full, doesn’t it.”
Link threw his gym sock at Liam. “I’m going to get something to eat. Do you want to come with me?”
“No, Link. Solid foods make me have diarrhea.”
“Oh, sorry. Come on, let’s go.” They strode down to the kitchens where there was an endless supply of lobster. Link and Liam loved lobster, and Hyrule got it very cheaply from Racona. Racona was a country with a long coastline, and the seafood industry there was unmatched. So, Link and Liam could always have lobster, but even though Hyrule came by it easily, lobster was still considered a delicacy, so Link and Liam didn’t waste a single bite.
Once at the kitchens, Link and Liam stopped to say hi to their friend Kingly. Kingly was a lobster that had been found, dying, in Lake Hylia. No one could understand how he had gotten there, but Link and Liam adopted him. He was the only lobster in the castle that didn’t have bands on his claws, and he was the only one who had lived there for more than a week. Link and Liam would drop by the kitchens from time to time to feed Kingly something, and then eat one of his relatives.
After some lobster, the boys decided to go through the notes again, just in case. Link went into his old room, closed the door so Liam couldn’t see where the notes were, and came out with them in hand. “You’re never going to tell me about this secret hiding place ever, are you?” asked Liam.
“Nope. That’s why it’s a secret. Duh.”
They worked on the puzzle until about nine o’clock, and then they went to have dinner with the rest of the castle. Liam was a little disturbed to see Zelda so cheerful at the table. Unfortunately, lobster was the main course that night, so Link and Liam passed and just had cucco and salad. Liam had eaten three lobsters that day, and his record was five. Link was glad that Liam stopped at three. When Liam broke the record, Link had to hold the bucket for him later while he threw it up. Link remembered this with a shudder.
After dinner, the King called for Link and Liam. “Listen,” he told them. “Liam, I want you to post two guards at your new quarters as well as Link’s and your old ones. I also want some outside my study, my quarters, and Zelda’s rooms. And both of you, I need you to carry a knife tonight. I’d ask you to carry a sword, but I don’t want anyone to get too suspicious. Understand?” They nodded. “Okay. I’ll see you tonight.” The twins left to go get ready.
“Do you think he’s being too cautious?” asked Link.
“Well, whatever’s doing this will get what it wants anyways, so, yeah, he’s going a little over the top.”
“I hate not knowing what’s going on.”
“Me too. Oh, great! Another similarity!”
Chapter Eleven by Sapphira
Chapter Eleven
“Did anything strange happen while I was gone?” asked Fairy.
“Nope. You didn’t miss a thing.”
“Oh, good. I was a bit worried.” Her face shifted from silly to serious. “Really, what’s going on?”
“I don’t know, but if I did, it would be confidential.”
“Great.”
They had been dancing for about one half hour. Fairy had arrived with Butterfly an hour late, so it was one-thirty. Link had given her a questioning look when she arrived late, but she returned it with one that said, “If you ask why I’m late, you’re also asking for a kick.” He had just smiled and shaken his head.
This time, he did not make the same mistake as last time. He danced with some girls on the “L” list while he waited for Fairy, but as soon as she walked in, he met her eyes. She gave him a smile and waited for him to finish the dance. It was much better than last night.
The song ended. “Do you want to get something to drink?” asked Link.
“Sure,” she replied. They went to the long table. “Oh, and by the way, I also think I can prove to you that the Gerudo are related to the Kokiri.”
“An all female race and an all child race…I don’t think so. I’d believe the Goron/Zora theory first.”
“As long as you believe one, I win.”
“Not so. I can prove to you that the Sheikah are actually descendents of Zora, not Hylians.”
“Now that is not true.”
“Even if it wasn’t true, I could come up with some weird logic to prove it.”
“Yeah, like what? Do they both have gills?”
“Actually, yes. The Sheikah used to hide them with their clothing, but they’ve evolved, so the gills are barely visible.”
By now, Fairy was laughing. Link found that he really liked her laugh. Unlike other girls, this was genuine, and not just produced because he was trying to be silly. In fact, Link was beginning to realize that he really liked Fairy. Without him realizing it, girls began to drop like flies from the “L” list.
They continued this discussion for about an hour without realizing it. Then, they went back to dancing. Link forgot about what the King had said, and for good reasons. The King had told him to dance with as many girls as possible so he could meet them all. Link and Liam combined had already picked out the girls worth meeting, and Link had met all of those. None of them was a match for Fairy. It was just like what was happening to Liam. He would list girls for Link, and he would compare them to Butterfly. Butterfly was not on the “L” list. Liam had made it clear that he really like her. A lot.
So, Link was making up his mind. Fairy was the only lady at the ball that he was comfortable with as a friend. Everyone else still seemed shallow. Either my plan completely backfired, thought Link, or everyone’s normally like that!
They danced for a long time. Link completely ignored the fact that he had been dancing and talking to the same girl for almost the entire night. It was really weird.
At about three forty-five, Link began to hear the murmurs. At first, he ignored them, and thought that they were just the background buzz, but then they became clearer. Fairy began to notice them, too.
“I have to go check these out,” he finally said. She nodded, and followed him to the guard stationed at the foot of the stairs leading to the rest of the castle. “I hear the murmurs. Get Phoenix. Now.” Link wanted to catch the culprit this time. The guard nodded quickly and went to get Liam.
Link went up the stairs and into the hall. The murmurs were louder here. Without delay, he began to follow them. They kept moving from place to place after a while. Link swore after about twenty minutes. It was playing with him! He wouldn’t stand for this. He had no clue what it wanted this time, but he had a feeling it was in his room. He raced there.
The halls were very dim near his room, and his boots were still silent. That was probably why he ran smack into Liam. They were careful not to speak though. The murmurs were coming right from the door. Slowly, they drew their knives from their boots and opened the door.
An enormous shadow stood in front of the desk in the room. Link and Liam had refiled all of their papers once they moved rooms. The brothers watched as the shadow opened a drawer marked “The Evil Realm.” Link heard Liam give a small gasp. The shadow turned, saw them, grabbed the entire stack of papers, and leapt out of the window.
“Damn!” cried Link. “If you hadn’t gasped, it wouldn’t have heard us!”
“I didn’t gasp!” retorted Liam. “You did!”
“Don’t lie to me you little bastard!”
“Didn’t your mother tell you to watch your language when there are ladies present?” asked Butterfly. Link was about to respond that he never knew his mother, and thank you so much for opening an old wound. Then he realized who had spoken.
“Why did you follow me?” asked Liam.
“For the same reason I followed Hawk,” replied Fairy.
“Ahh! Don’t scare me like that!” said Link. “Please, you two. You should have stayed down there. This is dangerous. And I was not holding your hand again!” he said to Fairy.
“Okay, we’re sorry!” she said. “Doesn’t it seem odd, though, that the guard at the steps didn’t hear the noises, but we did? I think that entitles me to come with you.”
“No it does not,” said Link. “Both of you should have stayed and waited. Your families are counting on Hyrule to keep you safe for five days, so don’t make Hyrule’s job any harder.”
Butterfly and Fairy seemed to be silenced by this. Link had hit home in some way.
“Let’s go back down, Butterfly,” said Liam, and he took her hand and they left.
“Whose room is this?” asked Fairy.
“Link’s room, temporarily.”
“Oh.” She was quiet. “Well, tradition says that another Wonder of Hyrule is next on the schedule.”
He chuckled. “Good point. Let’s go then, shall we?” He bravely followed Liam’s suit and took Fairy’s hand. To his surprise and relief, she didn’t even make any motion to suggest that she was uncomfortable with it.
He led her up more stairs this time. “We keep going higher and higher, don’t we?” she asked at one point.
“Each balcony is higher up.”
Finally, they reached the said balcony. This one had a bench right near the railing, and it was high up so you could lean on the railing, too. Fairy pulled him over and they sat.
Death Mountain and the surrounding peaks stood magnificent in the faint light. The ring of smoke was tinted different colors, and the peaks looked less like hills than usual. The mysterious fog created a serene mood across the summits. Fairy let out a sigh.
“You keep on saying that each one is more beautiful than the last, and I never believe you until I see the next one for myself.”
“The last one is my favorite. It’s going to be more amazing than you can even imagine.”
“I can’t even imagine.” She smiled and leaned back a little. Almost absentmindedly, she rested her head against his shoulder. Link got an idea. He put her hand into his other hand and put his arm over her shoulders. To his amazement, she didn’t react at all. He would have though that she was asleep, but her eyes were wide open.
They sat like that until the clock tolled five. The sun was beginning to rise over the mountains. The two of them didn’t say anything at all as they walked back to the ballroom, and as Fairy left, the only goodbyes they exchanged were two small smiles.
Chapter Twelve by Sapphira
Chapter Twelve
“You too?” asked Liam.
“What?” said Link. “Sorry, I wasn’t listening.”
“Exactly. You’re in love.”
“I have no clue what you’re talking about.”
“Yeah, you do. You’re in love with Fairy.”
Link got quiet. “So what? You’re in love with Butterfly.”
“Don’t get so defensive. I am in love with Butterfly. I have been from the first night.”
“Well, how did you know I was in love with Fairy, Mr. Genius?”
“It doesn’t take a genius. You’re acting the same way I was after I met Butterfly.”
Link sighed. “I think I’m going to ask Fairy.”
“Ask her what?”
“Don’t be a dumbass. What was the entire point of the Costume Ball?”
“Oh, yeah. Well, I’m going to ask Butterfly.”
“It can be a double wedding!” said Link sarcastically.
“I get to pick out the décor!”
“Fine. Then I get to pick the cake!”
“Damn! You’re going to pick one with the extra-sugary frosting, aren’t you?”
“You like that kind.”
“Oh yeah. Just don’t have it decorated with little frosting fairies, butterflies, hawks and phoenixes.”
“I won’t. Besides, that would take a lot of red frosting, and that stuff tastes terrible.”
“That is why we didn’t put a lobster on the cake for Kingly’s two week anniversary of living here.”
It was six o’clock, and the two of them had just woken up. The balls had completely thrown off the sleep schedule. Usually, people woke up at six in the morning, but by now, the sun was setting. “This is great,” said Liam. “Once, I told Zelda that I could sleep until sunset, and we bet three rupees on it.”
“Liam, you can’t buy anything with three rupees.”
“So? I won, didn’t I? I’ll just have her put it in my paycheck.”
They went down to the kitchens to have the equivalent of breakfast. No one actually called it breakfast anymore because it was served at dinnertime. Link and Liam didn’t really eat very much. They had to go see the King.
“Your Majesty,” requested Link, “please, just let us carry swords. This thing was in our room last night, and it took all of our information on the Evil Realm.”
“I don’t want you to arouse suspicion.”
“You Majesty,” said Liam, “the ladies that we…” He didn’t want to finish.
“Are interested in?” finished the King.
Liam shrugged. “They already know that something’s going on. They know that we carried knives last night. I’m sure they wouldn’t ask questions if we had swords.”
The King sighed. “Fine. You may each carry a sword. But Link, don’t bring the Master Sword. This thing can’t steal it. Besides, everyone who sees the sword will know that you’re you. The balls are almost over, so don’t blow your cover now.”
“Yes, Your Majesty,” they both replied. They left and went to the courtyard.
“I have a bad feeling about not having the Master Sword tonight,” said Link.
“I do, too. It’s as if that sword would stop something from happening tonight.”
“Exactly. But I have this feeling that I just cannot carry it. Maybe it’s against something in the prophecies.”
“Man, I hate the prophecies. They’re always screwing with us.”
“I couldn’t have said it better myself.”
They didn’t speak for a while.
“Do you want to try to figure out the prophecy again?” asked Liam. “It’s really bothering me that we can’t seem to solve this whole mess.”
“Same with me. I’ll go get them.” He left for a few minutes, and then came back with the sheet of notes. They sat on a bench and reread the notes again.
“We already know that this is happening tonight,” said Link.
“Yeah, because it’s the full moon. But what is this entire thing with the ‘key?’”
“I have no idea. Well, some girl has this key, and this guy wants it.”
“What does Zelda have to do with this?”
“I don’t know. She said that the Princess in the notes wasn't her, but I can’t think of anyone else.”
“So Zelda has a key, and the key’s in disguise, and somebody wants it. Well, at least we know it’s a ‘he’ now.”
“I didn’t know I even had any mirrors.”
“Was there one in your old room?”
“Actually, yes. Maybe, he’s going to use that to get the key from Zelda.”
“And then he’ll ride again. Do you think it’s Ganon? He’s been loosed upon the world before, so ‘again’ makes sense.”
“I don’t really know. You should post some extra guards near Zelda, and maybe put some outside of my old room.”
“Good idea. We can’t let him do anything.”
Liam, who already had a sword, went to the barracks to assign some guards. Link went to the armory.
When Link needed a sword, he always used the Master Sword. It was really old, but no custom made sword would have ever been more perfect for him. Also, his job required him to have it to slay evils that couldn’t otherwise be slain. Like Ganon. So, he only had that one sword. Up until now, he had never considered using another sword, not even for one night.
When he got there, Maximus the Armor was there. He was a big man with a large mustache, and Link always thought that he’d make a good butcher. “So, Link,” he said amiably,” what are you looking for today? I’ve got some really nice ideas for shields.”
“Sorry, Max,” replied Link. “I think shields will have to wait for another day. However, you might be happy to hear this next news.”
“And what’s that?”
“I’m going to have to find a way to make a pig fly.”
Maximus’s face lit up as he realized what Link meant. “You’ve come to buy a sword!”
“Yeah. I need a sword for the ball, but I’m not allowed to carry the Master Sword. It’s the King’s orders.” Maximus was not listening at all. He was practically bouncing around the armory, muttering to himself about where he put those swords. Link sighed. When he first arrived at the Castle and began to buy weapons from Maximus, Maximus had tried to sell him a sword. Link had told him that he only needed the Master Sword, and said, “I’ll buy a sword from you when pigs fly.” Now, he had to buy a sword, and he had to get it from Maximus so he didn’t have to go into town. Fate was cruel sometimes.
Maximus came out of a back room with an armful of swords and scabbards. “So, what are you looking for? I’ve got broadswords that are really nice for guys like Moblins, but they’re sort of heavy, so I also have some that are lighter even if they aren’t as brutal on the big baddies.”
“Actually, I only need the sword for one night.”
“What do you mean? You can’t possibly need a good sword for one night.” He narrowed his eyes suspiciously. “Are you looking for a dress sword?” Maximus hated dress swords, and he thought that everyone who wore one was a poser.
“No, no, no!” Link assured him. “You see, the Costume Ball is still going on.”
“Oh, how is that going? Has anyone guessed who you are yet?” Maximus knew all about the ball and Link’s plan.
“I’m still doing well with my little plot, but there have been some major disturbances, and last night, we caught something stealing a lot of important papers from my room.” He went on to explain about the incident and their theories. “So, I need a good sword, but I’ll only need it for tonight.” He paused and smiled. “However, I might need to use it again in the future.”
Maximus nodded. “I’ll be right back.” He left for about ten minutes, and when he returned, he was holding a sheathed sword. “This is my nicest sword ever. It’s unbreakable, lightweight, and super durable. I just finished the new design that we were talking about, and so it’s better than the broadswords in terms of strength and effect, and it’s lighter than the light ones. Plus, it looks really nice, but not that cheap kind of nice that you see in those toothpick dress swords.” He placed it in Link’s hands. Link drew it and studied it in the light.
It looked very similar to the Master Sword, but anyone could tell that it wasn’t. It was thinner and the metal was more like silver than steel. The hilt was also a different shape, and it was a little shorter. Link was surprised at how much it fit him. “How come this fits so well?” he asked Maximus suspiciously.
Maximus looked uncomfortable. “Well, remember that time we were up really late last year designing armor?” Link nodded. “Well, you feel asleep at one point, so I traced your hand and took notes. I’ve also seen how you hold the Master Sword, so I got more ideas from there.”
Link smiled and shook his head. “I should have know I couldn’t trust you at all.”
“Well, what can I say? I’m an armor.”
“How much do you want?”
“Ninety rupees.”
“What? If you sell weapons like this at those prices, you’ll go broke? This is finer than any weapon I’ve seen in here, and some of those are priced above five hundred rupees!”
“You’re a great friend, and the designs you’ve created have made me a lot of money. I did get a lot of ideas for this sword from you, too. The Master Sword was kind of an inspiration.”
“Well…Fine, have it your way. Send the bill to the King. He’s paying for it. He told me that as long as it was under three hundred rupees, he’d pay.”
“Alright. I hope this sword serves you well.”
“Thank you very much, Maximus!” Link left the armory feeling very odd. He finally bought a sword, and it was really nice and discounted, but did this mean that he was turning his back on the Master Sword?
“No,” he told himself. “This sword is excellent, and I will probably use it again because it does sheath at the waist instead of on the back, but the Master Sword is still my sword. I will still use it, although I could use this one for more mundane things.”
And with these thoughts, Link strapped on the sword and went back to his room.
Chapter Thirteen by Sapphira
Chapter Thirteen
It was the final night. Link stood by the refreshment table as the clock struck one in the morning. The many guests began to file in.
Fairy and Butterfly were some of the first to arrive. Link felt like the luckiest guy ever as Fairy walked to the table. She looked the same as she did every night, but Link found her even more beautiful than usual. He couldn’t wait until the clock struck five forty-five.
He bowed to her and she curtsied. “Good evening,” he said.
She smiled at his formality. “Good evening.”
They began to laugh at how they were acting. They had never been this formal with each other from the beginning. From their first conversation to when Fairy grabbed him to dance without saying hello, their relationship was far from formal. “So,” said Link, “would you like to dance?”
“Of course.”
They just danced and danced until their legs got tired. Then, they went for refreshments. There, they discussed theories.
“So you see,” Fairy was finishing, “the prophecies have got to be wrong sometimes.”
“That does make sense. If they were always right, people wouldn’t be sputtering up new nonsense all of the time.”
“That’s what I’ve been saying. I like the way you put it. Simple and elegant.”
“I’ve got another theory,”
“What is it?”
“We all note that there are quite a few monsters in the world. Everywhere we go is infested. From what I’ve heard, the afterlife is not very crowded. The innocent go to heaven, and the half-and-half people become ghosts. My theory is that corrupted people become these monsters when they die, and that’s why there are many more today than there used to.”
“Good point.” She thought it over for a bit. “I can’t think of anything to prove you wrong.” She smiled. “I think you’ve finally convinced me.”
“Thank the Goddesses! I thought it would take me years! I thought I’d have to go home with you, trying to convince you the whole way.”
His last words seemed to interest Fairy. “That is something we should discuss after quarter to six.”
Link raised his eyebrows, but Fairy couldn’t see because of his mask. They continued to discuss theories for a while, but then changed the subject to books.
“Have you read the fantasy books by Leonard Goru?” asked Link.
She grinned. “You mean The Electric Cycle? I own them all!”
“Have you gotten the new one? Book Nine: Computer Virus Incorporated?”
“Of course! Those books are awesome.”
“I know. He was so creative to think up all of that cool stuff.”
“I’d never be able to live there in that world. I’d go crazy without magic.”
“Me too. I would like to try a phone though. They sound like fun.”
“You know he made them up. It’s impossible for electricity to work. Same with those phones. How could you ever talk to someone miles away without using magic?”
“It’s insane. That man is a genius. Did you know that there are no records of his birth? He won’t even say where he came from.”
“Wow. Wherever he came from, he is a talented author.”
“Have you noticed something about fantasy? All of the stories take place somewhere without magic.”
“I think that’s because that’s the basic book definition of ‘fantasy.’”
“Good point. It would be kind of cool to try to live there for a day. I want to drive a car.”
“Those sound like fun. We’d be old enough to drive, too.”
“I’m still having trouble figuring out what a movie is.”
“Me too. Or a radio.”
“Oh, I sort of understand those. First, people record all this music, and most of the songs are only five minutes long. Then, they play song after song at a special station. Somehow, and I guess it’s like TV, the songs get to all the radios in certain areas, and people can listen.”
“I don’t understand how they change stations.”
“Neither do I. I guess it’s something you just have to see.”
They kept talking until about three-thirty. Then Fairy said, “Oh, I love this serenade!” and they went to dance. They continued talking about books as they danced. Link felt like Fairy was treating him differently than she had the first night. Then, he was a stranger that seemed really nice. She danced with him and talked with him, and became his friend. After the third night, they really began to seek each other. Now…Link felt something else. He just hoped that she felt the same way about him as he did her.
Partners that were dancing around them began to get closer. Usually when two people danced, their bodies wouldn’t really touch and they could still talk to each other. Now that people had known each other for a while, they began to have more permanent partners, like Milkmaid and Farmer. They rarely ever danced with other people anymore, and Link and Fairy hadn’t danced with another person all night.
Fairy followed suit with the other dancing couples. She got very close to Link so that they were practically hugging, and rested her head on his chest, which was what everyone else was doing. No one was actually doing the dance steps anymore. Link spotted Liam and Butterfly doing the same thing.
The musicians began to strike up an odd song. It sounded familiar, although Link had never heard it in his life. There was a little countermelody that started, and it continued through as the melody began. It was very slow and mystical, and if people were actually doing the steps, they wouldn’t have known any to do.
“What song is this?” asked Fairy.
“I have no idea,” replied Link.
The song was very eerie and haunting, but Link liked it for some reason. It fit the mood perfectly. When it was over, the musicians kept the countermelody going while the conductor found another song.
Link felt as if they were all waking up. He also didn’t want to hear the next song. It would ruin the mood set by this one. “Follow me,” he whispered to Fairy. They left before the next song began.
Silently, they walked down halls and up stairs. The place was farther away than the rest of the Wonders. They left at about five, but since they were in no hurry, they arrived at the doorway at five-fifteen. “The sun is rising now,” he whispered. “I hope you aren’t disappointed.”
“I don’t think I could be.”
He put one hand over her eyes and opened the door. Then with his free hand, he took hers and led her to the railing of the balcony. Slowly, he removed his hand.
Fairy gasped as she watched the sun rise over Lake Hylia. The waters were not blue anywhere thanks to the sun’s bright glow. The moon was still setting as the orb chased it out of the sky. Small breezes ruffled the surface of the water, creating sparkles of light all over. The water was reflecting the color of the sky, and the sky was glorious. It looked like sunset was rewinding itself. The farthest points were dark blue, slowly but surely fading into purple, pink, red, orange, and then the yellow of the sun. It just continued to get lighter. Fairy squeezed Link’s hand. He glanced at her. She looked as beautiful as the scene that lay before them, and her delighted face reminded him of a child.
The stood together as the sun carried on with its ascent into the heavens. A stronger breeze reached them at one point, and Link put his arm around Fairy, who leaned back a little. Link was having a good day.
The clock began to toll five forty-five. “Wow,” said Fairy. “I can see why this is your favorite.”
“It’s even better at sunset.”
“I’d like to see it then.” She turned to face him. “You know what that clock meant.”
“Yes, I do. The masquerade is over.”
“Can I guess who you are?”
He was startled. “Sure, although I didn’t think you’d have heard of me.”
“Stop playing games. I know that you were pretending to be some regular old guy. I know who you are.”
“Okay. You’ve got three guesses and two of them don’t count.” He knew that she had it figured out. What else could she be so sure of? She had to know who he was.
She grinned. “Very funny. I know that you’re Liam.”
“Liam? What makes you say that?” Wasn’t she supposed to guess “Link?”
“I know you are. You’re the Captain of the Guard. Everything fits perfectly.”
Link opened his mouth to ask her who she thought was with Butterfly, but he never got the chance.
Something knocked him over and grabbed Fairy, who screamed. It was the shadow! Only he was bigger, taller…
It was Ganon.
Chapter Fourteen by Sapphira
Chapter Fourteen
Link drew his sword.
“Puny little man! You can’t hurt me!” Ganon was even more cocky than before. “Only the Hero of Time can stop me! For only the Master Sword can harm me!”
“Let her go!” cried Link, and he drew his sword.
“In your dreams, Liam!” Ganon thought he was Liam, too! What was going on? Didn’t the Evil King recognize his own arch-nemesis? “I’ve got your precious little Princess now, and soon I’ll have the entire Triforce!”
Link didn’t know what was going on, but this was a time for action. He quickly made a swing at Ganon, and he hit his leg. Ganon roared in pain.
“Go ahead and wound me!” he cackled, although he was obviously hurt badly. “Only that stupid Master Sword can stop me.”
“You destroyed my room, you bastard!”
“I’m glad you enjoyed the stench. I can’t stand birds unless they work for me, and cuccos and songbirds are really delicious. Well, I’d better be going. Your pretty little friend the Princess is going to help me destroy your little brother!” Link became angry as he realized that when Ganon said, “little brother,” he meant Link. Ganon did think he was Liam, and Liam was technically Link’s older brother.
“Help, Liam!” cried Fairy.
“Hold on!” Link yelled. He ran straight at Ganon, but suddenly went right through him. Stupid shadow magic, thought Link. Just peachy! Ganon smiled and jumped over the balcony. Fairy screamed. “No!” Link shouted.
It was too late. Ganon had Fairy. Link knew that one person could give him the answers. He raced off to find Liam and Butterfly.
Chapter Fifteen by Sapphira
Chapter Fifteen
Link ran through the halls. His boots made thumping noises as he searched. “Liam!” he yelled. “Liam! Liam!” As he ran past his new room shouting, the door opened.
“What’s wrong?” asked Liam. He had taken his mask off. “Where’s Fairy?”
Link stumbled into the room. He noted with satisfaction that Butterfly sat on the bed. She had also taken her mask off, and she looked really worried.
“The thing,” Link panted, “was Ganon.”
“What?” cried Liam. “How’d he get back?”
“I don’t know! He’s using shadow magic though. I tried to tackle him, but I went straight through. We’ve got to do something! He’s got Fairy! I guess she’s the Princess from the prophecy or something.”
“What?” asked Butterfly. “How would you know if she’s the Princess?”
“Ganon said she was! He wouldn’t be wrong. Although he did think I was you, Liam.”
“Wait. Hold on,” said Butterfly. She turned to Liam. “You’re Liam?”
“Yeah. You kind of guessed wrong. However, you did what we were hoping for.”
“What do you mean?”
“You were supposed to think I was Link.”
“If you’re who we thought Hawk was, than Hawk is…”
“I’m Link,” said Link. “We planned for this to happen. We were hoping you two wouldn’t figure it out. You see, we’re practically twins, so all we had to do was not be seen near each other. Unfortunately, you and Fairy started to figure things out.”
“We fooled everyone as well,” said Butterfly. “Or at least we fooled Ganon.”
“What are you talking about?” asked Liam.
“Fairy is my best friend, but she’s not the Princess. Her name is Sapphira.” Link found himself almost elated at finally knowing her name. Butterfly continued. “Ganon didn’t just mistake Link for Liam. He thought that Sapphira was me.”
“You’re the Princess of Racona?” asked Liam in disbelief.
“Yes. I’m Princess Kalunera.”
“I still don’t understand,” said Link. “How did Ganon mix us up?”
“Well, you two are almost the same person. The only way for Ganon to know who was who was to wait for someone to identify you. I said out loud that Liam was Link, and I guess Sapphira must have said you were Liam. So, Ganon used that information and kidnapped Sapphira because he thought she was with Liam. But I was really with Liam, so he picked the wrong girl.”
“The prophecy still doesn’t make sense.”
“Wasn’t it stolen?”
“I took notes.”
“May I see?”
“Sure.”
“Can I see your hiding place?” asked Liam eagerly.
“Fine,” said Link. He pulled of his left boot and pulled the folded paper out of the bottom.
“So that’s where it is! I never would have guessed. You kept going back into your old room when you went to get them”
“Shut up. Here you go.” He handed the notes to Kalunera.
She looked upset. “It all makes sense,” she said.
“Then you’ll have to explain, because we are clueless.”
“Fine. But this is a secret that few people actually know, so don’t tell.”
“We promise,” said the twins at the same time.
Chapter Sixteen by Sapphira
Chapter Sixteen
“The prophecies can sometimes be wrong. Obviously if they were always right, then we wouldn’t need new prophecies ever. The reason prophecy keeps changing is because of the Mistakes.
“Mistakes are little things that are not supposed to happen. They occur all the time, but usually, they don’t affect too much of the future. However, let’s say an author gets an idea that he wasn't supposed to get, and he writes a book about it. The idea and the book are Mistakes. Let’s say a guard was reading this book late one night, and he misses the beginning of his shift. During the part he misses, someone gets raped. They weren’t supposed to, but the guard wasn’t posted, so it happened. This woman gives birth to a child. This child should not exist. It is not in the prophecies anywhere. Anything it ever does is not predicted yet. It does not have to play by the rules of the prophecies at all.
“Sapphira is a Mistake. She is not supposed to exist, but she does anyways. She is not mentioned anywhere in the prophecies even though she may play a pivotal part in the past and the future. So, she can change what the prophecies say. Next time someone starts saying prophecies that include her, though, she will be there, and then she will be restricted. However, no new prophecies concerning her have been discovered, so she is, in a sense, free to do whatever she wants.
“Now, back to the prophecy that we have before us. Link, you actually copied the most important stuff you could have. I can sum it all up for you. I am the ‘key’ to opening a certain room in my palace. Only I am supposed to be able to open it. In that room are three glasses, each filled with either a red, blue, or green liquid. A person may drink only one of these. Red gives almighty power. Blue gives unlimited wisdom. Green gives unfailing courage. All three make the drinker immortal. If Ganon drinks one, no one will be able to banish him ever. Once I die, though, no one will be able to enter. So, Ganon wanted to kidnap me and use me to get into the room. However, he can only use shadow magic right now, so he had to wait until the full moon. He stole the prophecies because they told you that. The ‘mirror of the Hero of Time’ is actually you, Liam. You look exactly like Link. You were the one with me at the full moon. Ganon knew that I was disguised. It was a costume ball, after all. He didn’t know which disguise though, so he had to wait until you revealed yourself as Liam. However, you never did.
“Ganon didn’t know Sapphira existed. She confused him by naming Link as Liam, so he assumed that it was true. I reinforced this belief by saying that Liam was Link. So, he took the wrong girl. The bad news is that Sapphira can also open this room. The good news is that she is also a competent sorceress, so she’ll keep him on his toes.
“The entire thing about the Triforce being within and stuff just means that to get these powers, you have to drink the liquids. The room actually appeared when I was born, and it will disappear when I die, so Ganon is probably planning to get in, drink the power liquid, and kill me. Or Sapphira. He obviously though that if you found out who I was, you’d figure it out, so he took the guest list. I’m just afraid that he’ll get very angry when he realizes that he didn’t get me.”
“Why were you two late to the balls so much?”
“We had to go there with special escorts, and it took a lot of time some nights. We did manage to get there on time twice.”
“Why was Sapphira so upset when you first danced with Liam?”
“I’m a Princess. I couldn’t just marry anyone. The only reason I went was because of you, Sapphira, and the prophecies.”
“Why did you lie about where you were staying?”
“We knew Ganon was after us, and we didn’t want him to find us easily, so we just never actually said to anyone where we were staying. It wasn't safe at all. Sapphira almost told you though. She really wanted to.”
“We have got to save Sapphira,” growled Link. He was really upset.
“She’s going to be very surprised when she finds out that she was wrong,” said Liam.
“I’m just hoping that she’ll keep on pretending that she’s me,” said Kalunera.
“Where do think Ganon took Sapphira?” Link asked.
“I don’t know,” she replied.
“Didn’t Ganon steal all of our information on the Evil Realm?” asked Liam.
“He must be there!” said Link. “We should go as soon as we get the chance.”
Just then, a crier ran through the hall. The King had created criers to run through the castle and deliver urgent news to everyone by shouting it.
“Monsters have laid siege to the Palace of Racona!” the crier cried. “These monsters appear to have been sent by Ganon!” The crier moved on to spread the news to everyone else.
Kalunera let out a small cry. Liam quickly sat beside her and held her in his arms. “My family!” she cried. “What are we going to do?” Link thought for a moment.
“Okay,” he said. “I know a way to get into the Evil Realm. I’ll rescue Sapphira. You two should head straight for Racona. Liam, you know that you would be the Legendary Hero if I wasn’t already, so you should be able to drive off the baddies. Take Kalunera with you so her family knows that she’s safe.” Liam and Kalunera nodded. Liam strapped on as much of his Hero gear as he could find and led Kalunera out of the room. Before he left, he gave Link a quick hug.
“Please,” he said, with no trace of goofiness in his voice, “be careful. Come back alive.”
Link looked at the floor. “I won’t return until I have Sapphira safe in my arms.”
“What if she’s dead?”
Link found that he had trouble breathing at that thought. “Then I won’t rest until I’ve destroyed Ganon.”
Liam nodded and left.
Link felt alone again, just like all those other times. But this time, he wasn’t doing favors for other people. He had to rescue Sapphira.
He had to move quickly. He strapped on the Master Sword and his best shield. Then he ran to the stables. Epona knew that this was no time for a nice walk. Link mounted as quickly as he could and sped off toward Kakariko Village.
The village was silent due to the fact that people were sleeping off the time lag from the ball. Link didn’t want to disturb anyone, but he rode Epona straight through the village and into the graveyard. He had ridden Epona hard, and he had forgotten a blanket, so he threw his costume cloak over her. Then he pulled at a certain tombstone until it moved to the side, revealing a hole.
Two years ago, Link had to use this entrance to the Evil Realm to go fetch a relic for the King. Otherwise, he would probably be searching Death Mountain for an entrance for several hours. He was relieved he knew this one. Ganon must have stolen the information on the Evil Realm so Link or Liam wouldn’t be able to find him. So, Link thought to himself, what’ll it be this time? Every time Link went to the Evil Realm, a few baddies were waiting for him. Last time it was Moblins, and the time before it had been a pack of wolfos. Link dropped into the hole, and found himself facing a wall. Behind him he could hear a deafening and familiar scratching noise. Oh no. How did Ganon know? Link turned around very slowly, but he knew what he was going to see. He was going to see the very things that he told Zelda he and Liam were scared to death of.
The light coming from the hole created a pool of light at his feet. He could turn back any time because of the ladder that went up the wall. He really wanted to. Across the great expanse, there was a high wall that was made of rough stone, and there was a small light near the top. But Link wasn’t thinking about the wall or the light.
All over the floor, crawling on the walls, and dangling from the nothingness that was the ceiling were Skulltulas.
Chapter Seventeen by Sapphira
Chapter Seventeen
Link let out a strangled yelp. He was terrified of Skulltulas. Ever since he went into the Deku Tree as a little kid to break the curse, he had been scared of them. Upon entering and seeing Skulltulas and Skulltula web, he told Navi that she and the Deku Tree had picked the wrong kid. “Listen,” he told Navi. “I’ll do anything else. Just please! Don’t make me go in there! Please!” Navi made him go in anyways. Link was glad she did. He didn’t want to wimp out, and the fact that he had succeeded in killing all of those mutant spiders made him feel braver. However, fighting them had given him nightmares. Unlike what he had thought, facing his greatest fear had only reinforced it. At first, he had only dreamed about them, and he had been scared. Coming face-to-face was even worse than his worst nightmares. Memories of when he had encountered Skulltulas replayed painfully through Link’s mind. And he had never fought more than a few at a time. In this expanse, there had to be hundreds of thousands, maybe even more. The scratching noise was deafening. “How am I going to do this?” whispered Link to himself. Of all things I have to face to save the world (again), I have to face them!
As he started to lose all hope, Sapphira sprang into his mind. He had to save her. This wasn’t like the Deku Tree. In the Deku Tree, he had to break the curse, and to do that he had to solve puzzles. Skulltulas were only part of it, and Link didn’t even have to fight them all of the time. The Deku Tree was not facing his fear to save a loved one. It was proving himself as a Hero. Now, he had to overcome his fear, or else Ganon would be back. Then, Link would be dead, and there would be no more happiness in the world. If his theory was correct, then he would be reincarnated as some sort of monster, to the delight of Ganon, and he would probably be a Skulltula. Imagine that. A monster afraid of itself.
Link shook his head and closed his eyes. If I fail now, I am no Hero. I have to save Sapphira! No Skulltulas are going to stand in my way! I have to save her!
A small voice in the back of his head piped up, saying, Um, you have to save the world, too.
Oh yeah. Well, Sapphira’s more important than the world.
Link opened his eyes. The Skulltulas were still there. He bit back a scream. He noted with particular disgust that there were so many, some were crawling on top of each other. Link almost threw up, but he managed to stop himself. No! I have to save Sapphira! I’ve fought worse before. These guys are easy. One swipe of the sword and they’re gone! Just kill them and get it over with!
Link looked at his fear again and thought, But there are too many of them to kill them all.
Then it hit him. Just make a path to walk in! Run and swing your sword! Step on them! What are you? A cucco or a Hero? Just do it!
Link swallowed hard, closed his eyes, and ran. As he ran, he swung the Master Sword wildly in front of him. The Skulltulas began to run for him, but he was faster than they were, and the ones that weren’t behind him, he killed. The big ones that hung from the ceiling were rough though. You had to slice from the back. After a while, Link gave up on them and just ran under and away from them before they dropped down to attack.
Link opened his eyes at one point on this hellish journey and almost closed them again. The scene was more terrifying once he was in the middle of it. He was completely surrounded. The far wall was much closer though, and Link concentrated on it as hard as he could. He refused to think about the Skulltulas anymore. Whenever he began to think about their nasty legs and pale bodies, he concentrated on Sapphira. He still didn’t know what her face really looked like under the mask, but he would think about all of their conversations, their trips to the Wonders, the smell of her hair, her beautiful smile…
Link stopped running abruptly. To his great amazement, he had reached the wall. There was another clear space where no Skulltulas sat, and he was on it. They had stopped attacking and chasing him. Link wiped the sweat off of his forehead. Oddly enough, the sweat hadn’t come from running. It had been from fear.
Now he set himself to his task. He had to climb this wall. The light must be coming from a window. Otherwise, he was in trouble. He picked a hold and began to climb. The stone was very rough, and Link had climbed smoother rocks before. He was just relieved to be away from the Skulltulas. Finally, he reached the top, but before he stuck his head up to look through the window, he heard voices.
“Your little boyfriend will never get past those Skulltulas,” said Ganon. “I found out from his journal that he was terrified of them. I took all of the Skulltulas that I could find and threw them in that room. He’ll never get across, and that’s the only path he can use. The other paths do not lead here, even if he could find them. No matter what, Liam will never come for you, Princess!”
“Yes, he will!” said Sapphira, very surely. “I know that he’s as brave as Link is! And Link’s not afraid of you at all!”
“Yes, but Link and Liam fear Skulltulas the same. I found that out in the journal, too.”
Link was unbelievably overjoyed to hear that Sapphira seemed to be unafraid of Ganon. He was also glad to find that she was still pretending to be the Princess.
“He will still come for me. He loves me, and no spiders are going to stand in his way.”
“Suit yourself. My monsters are attacking your home right now. Soon, I will take you there, and you will open the door for me! Then, I will end your pitiful life! You thought that you could protect yourself, but the prophecies don’t lie. I will be the ruler of all once more!” He laughed maniacally, and Link heard a metal door slam. Then, he heard the sound of quiet sobbing. Quickly, he climbed into the window. He actually fell into room, and he let out a quiet, yet still audible, curse. He stood up and dusted himself off. “Liam!” cried Sapphira.
He looked at her for the first time without her mask. Her face was glistening with newly shed tears and smudged with dirt, but she looked beautiful all the same. He could now see her eyes without the obstructing mask. They were large and luminous, and her eyelashes could now complete the picture. For a Mistake, she was a nice looking one. Right now, she looked happy to see him, but she was sitting on a moldy cot, and her ankles and wrists were tied. “Liam, I knew you’d come!”
“Sapphira, has he done anything to you?”
“Other than tie me up and threaten me, nope. You were listening out the window I suppose.”
“For a little while. I just know what he plans to do with you.”
“How much do you know about all of this?”
“Kalunera talked to me about it. And about what you are.”
She got very quiet and looked ashamed. “A Mistake.”
“Sapphira, I love you, and just because you’re a Mistake doesn’t mean I love you less. ‘Mistake’ is a poorly chosen word to describe what you are. In my life, you are far from a mistake.”
She smiled. “Really?”
He grinned back. “Really. Now, let me undo your bonds.” He knelt down took out his knife to cut Sapphira’s bonds.
“Liam, are you really afraid of Skulltulas?”
He got very pale, but in the dim light, Sapphira couldn’t see. “I’m terrified of them. I’d rather face Ganon unarmed and naked than deal with Skulltulas.”
“So Ganon was lying. There are no Skulltulas out there. He made it up.”
“No. There were too many to even begin to count. There were masses of them.”
“You braved them for me?” She sounded amazed.
“I’d do anything for you.” He finished cutting her bonds and he took her hands in his. “Now, I have to clear something up. Do you know who Phoenix is?”
“Of course. He’s Link.”
“Sapphira, Phoenix is not Link.” She looked at him uncertainly. “Phoenix is Liam.”
Realization began to dawn on her face. Slowly, Link moved her hands to his mask. He was still wearing the mask, although he had lost the hawk hat in the sea of spiders. He placed her hands on the sides of the mask and let go. Her hands began to tremble as she removed the mask. Almost as if it was made of crystal, she placed it on the cot, and she moved her hands to Link’s face. Her face was filled with disbelief.
“Link,” she whispered.
Just then, the door was blasted open.
Chapter Eighteen by Sapphira
Chapter Eighteen
“Who’s here?” roared Ganon. His eyes fixed themselves on Link. “Liam? What the hell are you doing here? Didn’t you have enough fun with your eight-legged friends?” Link knew that Ganon still couldn’t figure out how he had gotten past his worse fear.
“Put a sock in it, Ganon,” he said coolly. “You’re not going to get away with anything.” He drew the Master Sword. Ganon suddenly realized who this was.
“Link? But you aren’t in love with Kalunera! You—” Then he noticed that Link was in the hawk costume. “It is you! But that’s impossible! If you’re Link, then this can’t be Kalunera!”
“Well, I never actually said I was Kalunera,” reminded Sapphira.
Ganon screeched with rage. “I’m going to end this now!” He grabbed Sapphira.
“Not this time!” yelled Link. He swung the Master Sword at Ganon’s weak point, his tail.
The Evil King bellowed in pain and anger. He dropped Sapphira, who rolled away and leapt to her feet. She held her hands up and muttered a few words. Bright blue light came streaming from her fingertips and locked onto the Evil King. His screams echoed louder. Link took the chance and began to expertly chop at Ganon. The cries grew louder.
Suddenly, Ganon’s hand flew out and knocked the Master Sword from Link’s grip. “Not again!” cried the Hero. This brought back bad memories. Ganon’s other hand flew into Sapphira, throwing her against a wall. She fell to the ground and lay there motionless. “Sapphira!” Link screamed. No, this can’t be happening. I did not just walk through Skulltulas to end up like this. This is my story, and the good guy always wins.
“Not so tough now, eh, Link,” chuckled Ganon. You seem to have misplaced your sword, and I seemed to have hurt your girlfriend.” He was dripping with the liquid that served him as blood. One last hit with anything, thought the Hero. One last hit will do him in. Then, I can grab Sapphira and run. But I have nothing left…
Ganon knew this, too. The laughter grew, and Link felt very small. He was the little ten-year-old again, facing Ghoma. Except this time, he was weaponless. Or was he?
Ganon stepped closer, and Link didn’t move. “Oh, still the brave little Hero, aren’t we? Even without anything left, he counts on his courage to save him. That Triforce piece is making you think funny. If you had just given it to me in the other timeline, everything would be fine.” Link wasn't surprised that Ganon remembered the timeline. It didn’t matter though, because Link knew that this talk was stupid. Ganon was trying to wear him down with false bargains and empty promises. “I could bring Sapphira back to life for you, but I need that Triforce.” Just one step more, Ganon, and I have you. “Just one Triforce piece, Link, and I’ll help you.” He took that one crucial step.
Link drew the sword that he had just gotten from Maximus. He had forgotten it once he had the Master Sword, and Ganon must have thought that Link would never use another sword.
Before Ganon could register what Link had, Link drove the sword home, into Ganon’s chest. Amazingly, the sword went through. Not even the Master Sword would do that. Maybe he’d keep this sword. After all, he was supposed to have returned the Master Sword to the Pedestal of Time years ago, but he had kept it for Hero’s business. Maybe now was the time for it to go back to its place.
Ganon’s shrieks rose into the air. Link twisted, and the yells augmented. Ganon let out a final scream and fell to the floor. Link pulled the sword from the reeking body and sheathed it. He then rushed over to Sapphira. To his immense relief, she was still alive and breathing, but it looked as if the blow from Ganon and the collision with the wall were not the only reasons she was unconscious. The magic she had used must have been very powerful indeed. Miraculously, the Master Sword lay a few yards away from her. Link sheathed it as well, and he picked up Sapphira. She was very light in his arms, and Link felt glad to finally be near her after all that he had gone through.
Behind the cot, Link found some rope. It must have been the stuff that Ganon had used to tie Sapphira up with. Link carefully tied it to the cot, and then, with Sapphira in his arms, he belayed out the window and down the wall carefully. To his relief and joy, all of the Skulltulas were gone. Even so, he ran as fast as he could across the room. Breathing heavily, he climbed up the ladder and into the light.
Chapter Nineteen by Sapphira
Chapter Nineteen
Epona was waiting for him, and she understood that he had just done something heroic. However, Link could tell that she needed to go back to the stables. Under less critical circumstances, he wouldn’t have ridden her so hard, but in his rush, he didn’t tend to her properly. His cloak had made a sorry blanket. “Sorry, girl,” he said as he rubbed her nose. Carefully, he placed Sapphira on Epona’s back so she was lying down, and he took some rope out of a saddlebag. Gently, but firmly, he tied Sapphira to Epona so she wouldn't fall off, and then he slowly led his horse back to the Castle. The village was still completely silent.
Finally, Link reached the bridge to the town. The guards that Liam posted there looked at him with concerned expressions, but they were used to him coming back to the town at odd hours, and this was not the first time he had arrived with an unconscious woman tied to his horse. Zelda had needed rescuing several times, too.
The Hero continued to trudge to the Castle. He didn’t know how to feel. He was beyond happy to have Sapphira back, and alive, and she loved him. He was also secretly pleased that he and Liam had succeeded in fooling some people. He was not happy though to have faced Ganon, and while he was relieved to still be alive after the Skulltulas, he was badly shaken up. He also was worried about Liam and Kalunera, and he did not know if Sapphira was going to be completely okay.
The King met him immediately after he stabled Epona. “What in the name of all the Goddesses happened?” he demanded. “One minute, everyone’s happily revealing identities, and then the next, Liam and the girl he’s been with the entire night run past me, and all he tells me as he leaves is, ‘We should be back soon! Link might not be back ever, and if he doesn’t then the world is ending!’”
“It was Ganon,” explained Link. He went on to tell of this adventure, but he purposely left out his feelings for Sapphira and the explanation Kalunera had given them (Link kept his promises). The King stared openly at Link the entire time.
“Well?” he asked. “Did you get the book back?”
“What book?”
“The prophecies!”
“I wasn't thinking about the prophecies!” cried Link. “I was thinking about the present, not the future!”
“Sorry, it’s just that the book was so valuable…”
“Can it, Your Majesty. I’m taking Sapphira to the hospital wing.”
Link did as he said he would, and twenty minutes later, Sapphira awoke in the hospital bed with a worried Link sitting beside her.
“What happened?” she asked. “All I can remember is his hand suddenly flying at me…”
“Shhhh. It’s okay. He knocked you down, and he told me that you were dead. I didn’t believe him, so I waited for him to get closer, and I temporarily killed him with my other sword.”
“What other sword? I’ve heard that you never use another sword other than the Master Sword.”
“I had to get another one for the ball. Otherwise, you would have known who I was.”
These words brought her back to the ball. “Was Liam pretending to be you on purpose? Kalunera told me that he kept dropping obvious hints that he was you.”
Link smiled. “There is almost no fooling you two. Yeah, Liam and I planned this out. Everyone would have treated me differently, even you, if I hadn’t pretended to not be me.”
Sapphira sighed. “That is true. I had been trying to figure out what I would say to you when I met you, and it’s true what you’re saying. If I had known you were Link, I wouldn’t have acted like myself. You did the right thing.”
“I’m glad you think so.” She smiled, and they didn’t say anything for a while.
“Sapphira?”
“Yes?”
“I need to talk to you about something really important.”
“You’re not Link either?”
“Very funny. I’m being serious.”
“Alright.” Link took her hands and pulled her up so she sat on the bed. He knelt down so they were at eye-level.
“Sapphira,” he said, “the King took me into his study one day, and he told me that I needed to be married.” Sapphira’s eyes widened. She knew what he was going to say, but she let him continue. “He said that we were having a ball for me to find the right girl. I didn’t want to have a ball because all of the girls would fight over me and act shallow. I told him that it seemed as if they all were wearing masks. We then used that concept to create the outlines for the Costume Ball. I asked Liam to pretend to be so that people would think he was Link, and I would be free to find out what everyone was really like.
“The first time I met your eyes, I felt something in my chest. I didn’t know what it was, but now I know. It was fate. Not prophecy, it was fate. I don’t know the difference, but I’m sure of it. Ever since, I didn’t even think of spending the evenings with anyone else.
“Tonight, everyone is coming back, in costume, to find out who I am and who I have chosen to marry. When I go up to the dais, I will have no one else but you stand beside me.” He paused. “Sapphira, will you marry me?”
For a moment, she just stared at him. Hey! thought Link. I thought she was in love with me!
Then, Sapphira threw her arms around his neck and kissed him.
“Whoa! Hold it! Public display!” Link (sadly) broke away from the kiss and turned to see who had spoken. Liam and Kalunera stood wide-eyed in the open door. Kalunera started to laugh hysterically, and Liam just covered his eyes and shook his head.
“Liam, I am going to kill you!”
Epilogue by Sapphira
Epilogue
“May the Goddesses bless your union forever and ever,” finished the minister. Link smiled as he kissed Sapphira.
It had been three months since the Costume Ball. Link had guessed (correctly) that Sapphira had accepted his proposal, and Link had gotten his revenge on Liam quite easily. It turned out that his trip through the masses of Skulltulas had banished his phobia. So, Liam awoke one day to find three very large Skulltulas (live ones!) in his room. He screamed like a little girl so loudly that people in Kakariko Village could hear him. It took several slaps and buckets of cold water administered by a doctor to make him stop. When Liam found out that Link had done it, he just said, “Oh, yeah. I should have known. I deserved it.”
Just like Liam and Link had joked about, they had a double wedding, Liam picked out the décor, and Link picked out the cake (with the extra-sugary frosting, but not the red stuff). And, for old times’ sake, Liam got married first, and he became the Prince Consort of Racona. Of course, five minutes later, the next ceremony began, and Link and Sapphira were wed as well.
The newlyweds were riding back to the castle when they heard a large commotion in the town. As soon as they saw several scribes near an old man, they knew what it was. Prophecy.
The four of them rode up, and Sapphira managed to read some of the prophecy that had already been taken down before the scribe snatched it away from her. Her face lit up.
“What is it?” asked her husband.
“I’m in it!” she cried. It took Link and Liam a while to understand, but Kalunera knew right away. Sapphira was mentioned in the prophecy. She wasn’t a Mistake anymore. Laughing with joy, she leapt into Link’s arms and hugged him.
“See? I’m not a Mistake!”
“I loved you even though you were,” he reminded her.
“Do you love me even more now?”
“No, but if you want me to, I’ll lie and say, ‘yes.’”
“You are no fun.”
“Shut up, or I’ll tell everyone that you have a poster of me on your wall.”
“I heard that!” said Kalunera.
And they walked back to the castle, all quite content.
This story archived at http://www.kasuto.net/efiction/viewstory.php?sid=610