Ocarina of Time by chriso_10
Summary: Based on the manga by Akira Himekawa.
Categories: Fan Fiction Characters: Link (OoT & MM)
Genres: None
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 7 Completed: No Word count: 20938 Read: 37141 Published: Dec 08, 2004 Updated: Dec 10, 2004

1. Prologue by chriso_10

2. The Child Saga: Chapter 1 - The Deku Tree’s Crisis by chriso_10

3. The Child Saga: Chapter 2 - Link's Journey by chriso_10

4. The Child Saga: Chapter 3 - Enigma of the Tri-Force by chriso_10

5. The Child Saga: Chapter 4 - The Search for the Spiritual Sone of Fire by chriso_10

6. The Child Saga: Chapter 5 - Inside Lord Jabu-Jabu’s Belly by chriso_10

7. The Child Saga: Chapter 6 -Introducing the Hero of Time by chriso_10

Prologue by chriso_10
Thunder crashed, lightning lit the dark night sky with a blinding flash and rain bucketed down from the heavens. A castle burned, surrounded by rallying men yelling over the loud crackling of the fire. A lone woman carrying a baby galloped away in a frantic rush from the fallen castle, trying desperately to evade the men on foot attempting to block the way. Swords were brandished menacingly at her, often scraping painfully at her skin, but her baby remained wrapped tightly in her arms away from harm.

‘Take her down!’ a man commanded from behind her.

More men appeared in front of the charging horse only to be run down or made to dive to save themselves. So it was with immense relief that the towering gate appeared ahead of the woman, signalling that she was almost there. More shouts from behind her and more men appeared ahead of the horse, only metres from the freedom of the gate. More swords flashed, some finding the vulnerable flesh of the woman, some finding naught but air before they were run down and crushed beneath the heavy weight of the horse. And a second later the horse emerged from the gate into the open plain, leaving behind the burning castle. But, the woman had paid dearly for the protection and subsequent safety of her son. She had sustained deep cuts from the many swords she had fended off, allowing crimson blood to ooze forth and stream down the body of the woman.

Her death was now all but certain, for she could already feel the dizzy, sickening effects of loss of blood, which was not helped by the steady fall of rain and frequent clap of thunder. Her son was crying fiercely in his mother’s arms, making her squeeze him closer and cover him even more with the blankets and cloth already wrapped around the babe. And in her mind her destination screamed out, her husband’s words ringing over and over in her head. Get to the forest! The forest, although already looming ahead, was far, maybe too far to ask her already tired horse to go. Her son’s life was her motivator, adding even more to her iron will.

The horse at least managed most of the journey, but only a few hundred metres from the forest it stopped in complete exhaustion and collapsed in soggy mud, forcing the woman to go ahead on foot, braving the dark, wind and rain, all in an attempt to save her son’s life before it had really even begun.

It was now that she doubted herself. The forest would surely defeat her with its never ending avenues of trees and its massive landmass. Upon entering in the forest and plunging into an even deeper darkness, she encountered fairies. These balls of light with wings fluttered around her whispering comfort and reassurance that sanctuary was not far. With her vision now so blurry as to almost see nothing, she stumbled into a glade, home to a towering tree with its bark arranged to show something of a face. Here, with her last breath, she sighed her relief, collapsing onto the damp but strangely comfortable growth at the foot of the tree and letting her baby boy roll free from her arms, now not crying.
The Child Saga: Chapter 1 - The Deku Tree’s Crisis by chriso_10
In the dense, dense forest, which spreads in the east of the Kingdom of Hyrule, the Kokiri Forest, there exists a tribe of Kokiri inhabiting the area. The strange and wonderful thing about this tribe is that they forever remain children, never taking the form of an adult. Each of the Kokiri that inhabits this magical forest possesses his or her own fairy, which serves as a guardian and a friend to their owner. However, for some reason there is one boy who doesn’t have his own fairy, and his name is Link. On this beautiful sunny day the Great Deku Tree, the Kokiri’s guardian spirit, was telling the Kokiri a story; the story of creation. But of all the children congregated around the tree, a few were missing.

‘Once upon a time, far, far away…’ the Deku Tree started, ‘Hyrule hadn’t yet any shape. It is said that three goddesses descended upon this earth…’

And it was at this moment that Link, still in his house in the village, woke from his slumber. He stood up, stretching his arms behind his back as far as they could go and stepped to his door, but stopping to take a look below. He saw no one. Odd, he thought. But then it hit him like a slap of a hand: the Great Deku Tree’s story was today. With a run up he soared out of his door and landed with a quick recovering roll below. Am I too late? He sprinted off down the path between the trees the Kokiri used as houses and into the tree line. Dodging the few branches and weaving between the couple of trees he continued through the forest heading for the Deku Tree’s glade.

The Deku tree, continuing his story, said: ‘One was Din, who created the red earth with her fiery hands…’

All the while Link dashed along the forest floor toward where the rest of his kin were.

‘Another was Nayru, whose wisdom gave law to the world…’

Link crashed through a fragile tree, snapping a few branches on the way.

‘And the other one was…’

Link, now almost within sight of the glade, was abruptly stopped by a Kokiri whom he knew quite well. Mido, the leader of the Kokiri stood in front of him with a smug smile on his face that Link just wanted to pound.

‘Whoa, hold on,’ Mido said, holding a hand out, ‘You can’t go beyond here.’

‘Whatever, Mido. I can go wherever I want,’ Link said in retaliation.

‘No you can’t! Look, I’m the boss of the Kokiri, OK? A half-person like you is way too childish to hear the Great Deku Tree’s story!’

‘That has nothing to do with it!’ Link said with a snarl, offended. ‘Get out of the way!

‘If you wanna pass,’ Mido continued, pushing his face right up against Link’s, ‘then get your own fairy first!’

Link was too frustrated to argue any more, so he simply dived on Mido, wrestling him until Mido’s leg was bent in an awkward way, causing him to scream in agony.

‘Let me go!’ Mido yelled loudly.

‘The next time you call me a half-person I’ll-’

Out of nowhere Mido’s fairy swooped down on Link at a tremendous speed, making contact with his head and knocking him off Mido’s writhing body into a small pond next to them. His body was soaked, and his wet, blonde hair hung down over his eyes.

‘That’s not fair!’ Link said.

‘What’s unfair about it?’ Mido said with the same smug smile. ‘Fairies are a part of the Kokiri. She’s equal to me.’

Having completely forgotten about the Deku Tree’s story, it came as a big shock when a booming voice called to them from the glade now behind them.

‘Hey! What are you two doing over there?’

‘Fairy-less!’ Mido said with a snort before running back to the village.

Link sighed and climbed out of the pond. Dripping water he trudged down to the glade that was now empty at the conclusion of the Deku Tree’s story. With another sigh he sat on the lowest of the Deku Tree’s roots and held his chin in his hands.

‘Never-mind what Mido says, Link,’ the Deku Tree said comfortingly.

‘Great Deku Tree?’ Link said, ‘How come I’m the only one who’s different from everyone else?’

‘When the time comes, I will tell you.’

Link sighed again.

‘Link!’ a female voice called from the tree line.

‘Saria!’ he said, relieved that his best friend was here.

Out from the trees emerged another Kokiri, a girl, with green hair and also wearing a green tunic. Saria was Link’s best friend in the world; there was nothing he couldn’t share with her. He ran up to the trees to meet her.

‘I was looking for you,’ she told him, ‘where were you for the story?’

‘Never mind that,’ Link said, brushing away the question, ‘I want to show you something!’

‘What is it?’

Down at his belt was a Y-shaped stick, carved smoothly with some cloth wrapped around the base for grip and a string attached to each arm of the sick.

‘Ta-dah! It’s a slingshot, and I made it!’ Link said, quite proud of his creation.

‘But why did you make it?’

‘Well, so I can… so I can knock the best fruit in the trees I can’t reach. Look at this!’

He took Saria into the forest a bit until, and from a small pouch in his belt, he took a little seed and, cocking it in the string, he fired it at an apple in a tree. A little “snap” and the apple fell cleanly to the ground.

‘Wow!’ Saria cried out. ‘Let me try next!’

Link handed the slingshot over to his friend, who took a seed and fired it at another apple, which fell to the ground just a smoothly.

‘You’re really wonderful to think of these things, Link,’ she said while Link took aim at another apple.

‘Maybe that’s why no fairy will come to me…’ he supposed, taking the seed from the string at putting it back. ‘I guess it’s because I’m strange after all.’

‘That’s not true!’ Saria exclaimed immediately. ‘Even if you don’t have a fairy, you’re still my very best friend, Link.’

Link smiled at her, thankful for the kind comment and thankful to have such a good friend.

‘Oh,’ Link said as an afterthought, ‘I’ve been having the same dream lately. The sky becomes pitch black, I’m standing in front of a huge house with a peaked roof…’

‘…Could that be a castle?’ Saria asked.

‘Castle? What’s that? Is it something in the forest?’

‘Well,’ Saria explained, ‘as the Great Deku Tree has told us, they exist far away from the Kokiri forest and beyond the plains. It’s said that the world is very big and that there are many different lands in it…’

‘The world…’ Link said dreamily to himself.

*

That night Link was lying in his bed with a thin sheet draped loosely over his body. He was wide-awake and after hours of tossing and turning he was sweaty. His conversation with Saria earlier that day stuck in his head as clearly as if it had happened only a second earlier. The concept of a world outside the forest fascinated him, so much so that it was keeping him from sleeping. What is this “wide world”? There is surely something outside the forest I just don’t know of yet. I wonder if the Great Deku Tree would forgive me if I told him I wanted to go outside the forest? I guess I better not… With that thought his eyes finally started to grow heavy and eventually close, allowing him to get some sleep at last. But at this time, unbeknown to Link, impenetrably dark clouds began to seep through the forest and eat away at its tranquillity. The clouds then descended into the village where all the Kokiri were deep in their sleep, and from the edge of the village, through the black clouds, a single shining eye flittered its gaze around the village, laughing to itself very silently.

And under the cover of the black clouds it moved through the village into the glade where the Deku Tree stood. Dozens of fairies fluttered into view from the leaves of the Deku Tree and hovered around the thing that had entered the glade.

‘Who are you?’ the Deku Tree ordered.

‘It is evil!’ many fairies whispered silently to the Deku Tree. ‘It is allies with evil!

‘The Deku Tree will not forgive those who have entered this forest and are allies with evil!’

But the thing did not take heed of those words; instead leaping onto the face of the Deku Tree, and, with claws incredibly sharp, ripped massive strips of bark from the Tree’s trunk, until it could enter it. The fairies raced around the Deku Tree in alarm, and some entered the hole the creature had gone onto, but they did not return.

One fairy did not panic, though, but remained calm and tried to help.

‘Great Deku Tree?’ the fairy said.

‘Is that Navi?’ the Deku Tree asked. ‘Just now an evil creature has entered inside of me. I’m losing my freedom!’

‘Great Deku Tree, what should I do?’

‘The forest is in danger! Go to the fairy-less child… and invite him here. Go, Navi!’

No sooner than when the Deku Tree said, it Navi was off, speedily fluttering her wings as fast as they would let her. Above the trees she searched out the village and found the house she was looking for. Ignoring Mido, who was standing under the ladder, she flew in through the open doorway and hovered above the sleeping form of Link.

‘Link! Link!’ Navi shouted, as loudly as her petite form would let her.

Link’s eyes shot open upon being startled, but he took a few seconds to rub his eyes and wake up before he spotted the fairy floating above the middle of the room.

‘Come on, Link!’ she shouted again. ‘Get up right now!’

‘Huh?’

‘I’m Navi, the Great Deku Tree sent me.’

‘A… fairy!?’ he said in disbelief. ‘Alright! Finally a fairy has come to me!’

Link, in his excitement, reached out to cup Navi in his hands, but the fairy swerved and angrily flew around Link.

‘We have to hurry!’ Navi said again.

‘Now I can bost to Mido!’ he said to himself.

‘No! We haven’t got time!’

Link took a run at his door and leapt of the balcony to the ground and into the dark of night. Unfortunately it was where Mido, who was still wondering why a fairy flew through Link’s door, was standing,

‘Mido?’ Link asked. ‘What are you doing here?’

‘Very important business! Now get off!’ Mido commanded, his voice strained due to Link sitting on his back.

‘The grass is withering,’ Link noticed, seeing a tuft bathed in light from Navi’s glowing body.

‘The trees are too!’ Mido commented, standing up. ‘I don’t think this has ever happened before!

‘It’s because something evil has entered the forest!’ Navi said, startling both of them. ‘The Great Deku Tree is in trouble! Link, hurry up and go!’

Finally getting the message, Link followed Navi, who was now floating ahead of him to lead the way through the darkness and into the glade, while Mido followed.
The Child Saga: Chapter 2 - Link's Journey by chriso_10
‘Great Deku Tree!’ Link cried upon entering the glade.

With Mido trailing close behind, Link ran up to the Deku Tree’s wide trunk and laid a hand on the coarse bark.

‘Answer me Great Deku Tree!’ Link shouted in desperation, bashing his hands on the wood.

‘He’s really cold… it’s as if he’s dead,’ Mido surmised from behind Link.

‘Mido? Link?’ and voice said from behind the two of them, near the tree line.

Link glanced back to see Saria and all the other Kokiri appearing from the trees to see what was going on. Link looked back at the Deku Tree, and from a hole as big as Link’s head, an eye peeped through, severely startling Link. And then the hole was burst open even more, and emerging from it the creature that had entered the Deku Tree. Now with the light of the fairies lighting up the area, the creature could be looked upon. It was an arachnid-like creature but had a single, shining eye and menacing claws that looked like a crab’s on a few of its legs.

‘Stone!’ the creature croaked, clearly unused to speaking. ‘Give me the stone!’ it managed.

This scared all the Kokiri save Link, who was standing at the front of the group of Kokiri, angry at this creature’s intrusion into the forest and into the Deku Tree.

‘Where is the stone!’ the creature said again.

But getting no answer it turned around and once again entered the Deku Tree through the gaping hole it had left. Navi followed the creature until it entered the tree, when Navi turned around and rejoined Link.

‘It’s a Gohma, Link,’ Navi informed him. ‘Her weakness is her eye!’

‘Then I’ll go and get her!’ Link snarled before making his way to the tree.

‘Link!’ Saria yelled.

Seeing this Mido immediately drew a sword from under his clothes.

‘I’ll go too!’ Mido said. ‘I’ll help the forest with the Kokiri sword!’

Link didn’t have time to care, so he continued into the Deku Tree, which was bathed in an eerie green light, but not bright enough to see with. Behind Link, Mido was bent at the knees with his sword out in front of him, ready to strike.

‘Don’t overdo yourself, Mido,’ Link said.

‘Shut up!’ Mido whispered. ‘I’m not going to let you be the only one to show off in front of Saria!’

‘What are you talking about?’

‘I’ll never let you have Saria!’ Mido said with a snarl.

Link looked away and ventured further into the Deku Tree, his slingshot now out and cocked with a seed, ready to fire at any moment. Mido wandered off to the right, and immediately found himself in trouble.

‘What’s this sticky stuff?’ Mido said, echoing through the inside of the tree.

‘Hurry up!’ Link told him.

But Navi was focused on something else.

‘What’s that strange noise?’ she said, before flying to the roof.

With her luminescent light the top of the hollow tree was visible, that of a circular web blocking the higher part of the tree.

‘I can hear it, now,’ Link said.

A sucking noise was coming from above, a resonant sound that was growing louder. But as suddenly as it had started, it stopped.

‘Where is the stone?’ the same throaty voice said.

Mido was now frozen still and shaking. A minute earlier he had been brave and ready, and now he was scared and shaking.

Navi, upon hearing this, had rushed to the position on the wall where Gohma was.

‘S-she is… eating the Great Deku Tree!’

At this, the arachnid’s revolving eye turned to observe the two Kokiri who had entered the Deku Tree and disturbed her feasting. The creature then pushed herself off the wall and plunged to the floor, making a booming ‘crash’ upon landing. If Mido was scared before, he was even more scared now; now he was whimpering.

‘Should I curse you two as well?’ Gohma said.

But Link was already moving. He had dived backward and fired a seed aimed at Gohma’s eye. It made a clanging sound like metal-on-metal, but it had hit the area to the right of the shining eye. A few more shots were fired, but Gohma was awake to Link’s intentions, so she closed her eye and took the beating with her metallic-like skin.

‘The stone… where is the stone!?’ Gohma demanded, getting louder.

In frustration she lifted her claw and crashed it down where Link stood, but a quick dive and roll and Link was out of danger for the moment. What’s this about a stone?
Link ran around and hid behind a rock while he fished in his pouch for a seed, but Navi interrupted him.

‘Link! Mido is…’ she said.

Mido was still rooted on the spot shaking harder than ever, and Gohma was aware of the immobile Kokiri. Link dashed out from behind the rock and grabbed Mido before Gohma’s claw came thundering down, dislodging Link and making him stagger and fall back into a web, which he stuck to like glue. Again, he tried to fish around in his pouch for seeds, but he didn’t have a pouch anymore. It lay behind Gohma, who was now advancing on him. Oh, no! I’ve got no bullets! But, luckily for Link, a single seed was stuck in the web, having been deflected by Gohma onto the web. He quickly cocked it a aimed at Gohma’s shining eye. I need to hit it! He let the seed fire and watched it cut through the air toward Gohma, but her eye had moved and was concentrated on her shoulder, which had just been hit by a rock. No! Link inwardly screamed while he watched the seed bounce off and fall to the ground. Mido appeared to the side of Gohma carrying an armful of rocks, which he was hurling randomly at Gohma’s body, taking her attention from Link. But, this was Link’s chance to get free. He squirmed violently and ripped the sticky substance from his clothes with his hands and broke free of the web.

Gohma was now scurrying around Mido, circling him like a bird of prey, while he tossed rocks at her impervious body. Link swooped in on his pouch and took a seed, which he cocked into his slingshot immediately. He ran around Gohma until her eye came into clear view, entirely focused on her prey, Mido. So he let fly the seed, which made a beeline for her eye, striking it right in the centre of the pupil, causing her to reel back making a noise that must have been an expression of pain. And then Navi appeared next to Link’s hat.

‘That’s not enough, you’ve got to stab her eye and make it completely useless!’ Navi instructed.

And on the ground next to him lay the Kokiri sword, asking him to pick it up and use it. And that he did, grasping it with his left hand he advanced on the thrashing Gohma with the sword at the ready. Reaching her, he waited until she got lower and he lunged
at her eye, aiming for the tiny slit left between her eyelids, which he went straight through. To this, Gohma loudly screamed started toppling down. Her body actually started to be melting, giving off a purple kind of cloud that disappeared almost immediately to leave the corpse of a relatively large normal spider.

‘So this is Gohma’s true form?’ Link asked Navi.

‘Apparently,’ she replied.

‘It’s just a bug!’ Mido laughed.

But Link was already dashing toward the hole they had entered, to see if the Deku Tree was still OK after what Gohma had done. Mido followed closely behind, his fairy only now emerging from inside Mido’s clothes, to which Navi silently snorted.

‘Great Deku Tree! We beat Gohma! You can go back to normal, now!’ Link shouted.

‘Well done Link… and Mido,’ the Deku Tree said, to which Mido beamed. ‘With both of your powers combined you were successfully able to break the spell… but it seems my life won’t go back to normal after all…’

‘What!?’ Link cried. ‘I fought with all my might! No, it can’t be for nothing!’

‘Link, listen well. As I was being eaten by Gohma I understood her intentions… she was under a spell herself. The one using this frighteningly evil power is a black king of the desert. His desire is to conquer Hyrule and make the Tri-Force his.’

‘Tri-Force?’ Link said, confused.

‘If you had been to my story, you would know. The Tri-Force is the three sacred triangles, which keep the power descended from the goddesses of Hyrule from time immortal. They have the power to create the world reflected in the heart of those who touch it. If a person with a pure heart touches it, it will be a just world… if a person with a devilish heart touches it, it will be a world conquered by evil. A horrible crisis is drawing near for Hyrule… that devilish person must not touch the power of the Tri-Force! Fortunately, with you courage, surely you can kill his ambition.’

‘I can’t fight such a scary guy,’ Link said stubbornly.

‘You can! Find out about the outside world and grow, Link. Now, go to the kingdom of Hyrule. There you’ll surely find the princess who was chosen by the gods. Take this, the Kokiri Emerald, the stone that that man wanted so much he cursed me for it! And you must go with extreme haste. Please, Link… I… I believe in you.’

‘Alright, I understand Great Deku Tree.’
And from the foliage came down a sparkling green gem, which Link held up in front of his face peering with curiosity into its amazing glittering centre.

‘It’s best that you make a shield out of my remains. It should protect you from every evil in you path.’

Suddenly, Navi flew up to the Deku Tree.

‘Great Deku Tree…’ was all she said.

‘Navi, I ask of you to assist Link…Everyone, so… long…’

‘Great Deku Tree!’ the Kokiri said in unison, all with tears streaming forth from their eyes. But the Deku Tree had visibly stiffened and turned a shade of grey, so he was surely dead. But Link had work to do, so he wiped the tears with his green tunic and walked over to the Deku Tree. Everyone watched, not moving, as he peeled a thick piece of bark from the Deku Tree and whittled away at the sides until it was the perfect shape for a shield. He attached a few straps to hold on to, and he was ready.

‘Let’s go Navi,’ he said.

‘Alright!’ she answered.

‘“Go”? Go where?’ Mido asked. ‘We Kokiri can’t exist outside the forest.’

‘The Great Deku Tree wouldn’t have sent me to my death. Besides, I want to see the outside world, Mido. No matter how big or what’s there, I want to see it with my own eyes. After I’ve passed the gem along, I’ll return. I promise.’

‘Wait, take this,’ Mido implored. ‘At least you can carry your sword.’

He presented a simple scabbard attached to a leather belt, but too big to put anywhere but over his shoulder and across his chest. So, his sword was sheathed on his back, and his shield fitted nicely on the scabbard.

‘Thanks, Mido,’ he said gratefully.

‘And don’t come back now, you hear!’ Mido said with tears welling up in his eyes.

And with this, Link turned and walked through the hollowed out tree trunk, thus exiting the Kokiri Forest and entering the Lost Woods. Across the bridge he dashed, but was halted by a familiar voice.

‘You’re going, aren’t you?’ Saria said from the edge of the little wooden bridge. Link turned around.

‘Saria…’

Saria looked sadder than Link had ever seen in his life, and it was having an adverse effect on his excitement about exploring the world.

‘I’ve always known I was different from the others, but… this forest is my home!’

Saria gave a little sad laugh and said: ‘Yes, it is.’

‘I’m giving you this ocarina,’ she said suddenly, and from her tunic she pulled a hollow oval shaped object with a mouthpiece jutting out and holes to form the notes. Link reached out to the green and cream coloured object.

‘Play it sometimes and think of the forest, OK,’ she instructed him as he took it.

‘I promise.’

She looked at his face with a sombre expression and gave another sad little smile.

‘Goodbye,’ she said.

Links smiled at her one last time before turning around and going through the other hollowed out log, into Hyrule Plain.

Emerging from the trees into the vast expanse of grasslands, Link halted a moment before walking off, and from high above, on a dead but tall tree, an owl looked on, unbeknown to Link. When Link broke into a run down the path in his excitement, the owl spread its wings and soared off after him. So it seems the time for the child to depart on his journey has arrived. The world of Hyrule’s future depends upon a single little boy…how will it end? In the name of the Great Deku Tree, I will watch over you…
The Child Saga: Chapter 3 - Enigma of the Tri-Force by chriso_10
The bright disk in the sky shone down with pride across the plains of Hyrule. The rolling hills covered in grass that was neither green nor yellow. And all that could be seen were bushes and trees scattered randomly across the plain. The only sign that civilization had touched this tranquil place was the dirt road that wound its way between and over the undulating landscape. Along this modest road trotted Link, now past his initial excitement of being out in the world, and suffering from extreme hunger. Breakfast seemed a very long time ago, with the events of the day so memorable and momentous that the day seemed like a week, and he hadn’t once stopped and thought about food almost the whole day. That decision was now harshly regretted, as he had no clue of either where he was going or how long it would take to get there, and his stomach was not coping very well. And with the sun getting progressively lower and lower in the sky, he began to doubt whether the Deku Tree was correct in what he had told Link to do.

He told Link to hurry, but maybe the Deku Tree, despite his abundance of knowledge and wisdom, didn’t quite comprehend how far he was telling Link to go.
And so, with his legs screaming out in tiredness, and his stomach on the verge of eating itself, Link sat down in the shade of a large tree next to the road. Taking his sword and shield from his sweaty back and laying them beside him, in the shade, he sat quietly, wishing he had never left the forest.

‘Why are you stopping?’ Navi asked.

‘Because I’m tired and hungry!’

Navi audibly grunted, obviously displeased.

‘Then I’ll go and try to find some food!’ Navi told him, before scooting off.

And it was not long before his eyelids started to droop and every second was a struggle to stay awake. It had been a long day, indeed, as physically tiring as it was emotionally, but all thoughts now turned towards food. Those thoughts quickly became dreams, in which he was feasting on food he had never seen before, but tasted just as good as the succulent fruit of the Kokiri Forest.

Link jerked awake suddenly, feeling very cold, and twice as hungry as before. The only difference was that it was night, now, and the moon hung heavily in the sky straight ahead of Link, giving off a dim, pale light that bathed the countryside around him in its glow. And where is Navi? He also felt very unclean, something he had never really experienced before in the forest, but now his sweat from the day still clung to him, dried and giving off an unpleasant odour. He stood up; stretching and then whimpering from the pain his stomach was giving off. I’m so hungry that I’m hallucinating, Link thought, seeing a bundle of fruit arranged neatly beside his sword and shield.

And from above watched the owl. In the treetops it stayed out of view from Link, but ever watchful of the boy. That boy needs to learn a lot about the world, the owl thought to itself. But for now he must reach the princess with all haste! Eat up, boy!

In a state of utter disbelief, Link was prodding the fruit nervously, as if with one touch it would disappear like a ghost. Indifferent, now, to the strangeness of the fruits’ appearance, Link snatched pieces of the fruit ferociously and began to bite huge chunks from the delicious food, moaning with pleasure at how tasty the food was. Apple after apple, grape after grape he chomped into, until the pile was merely a few leftover apples and pears that Link found that he now couldn’t eat, despite the hunger he had gone through. So with a full stomach, a wave of tiredness once again washed over his young body, a pleasant tiredness that only comes after being pleasantly warmed, or eating as much as you could…

The call of a rooster marked the next day, so close that it woke Link with a start, his tired eyes snapping open to find nothing but the open fields he had gone to sleep in. The sun was rising, giving a nice orange brightness to the grasslands around him. He was happy now that he was not hungry and his journey could resume, reflected by the beautiful bathing sunlight he was now in. And what a stark contrast it was to the pale glow of the moon when he was hungry and cold.

Still with no sign of Navi, he picked up his sword and shield, once more strapping them to his back and starting his walk again, this time with a little strut in his step. The little dirt road was a nice even walk for him, but after a few hours of non-stop walking, he had to stop and sit down, this time faced with a new dilemma: thirst. He had gone a full twenty four hours without so much as a drop of water, which would be disastrous even just sitting doing nothing in his tree house. But he was walking, exerting himself without replenishing his body, so he had been rewarded with a nasty taste of dehydration.

He sat on a rock on the side of the road and, looking ahead, he could see the road fork off in two directions. Oh, no! Link thought, which way? But it was a question almost instantly answered, by a slow moving carriage emerging from behind a hill on the road forking left. A portly looking man with a large, black moustache and a balding head sat at the front of the carriage directing a horse, which turned at the fork and headed the opposite way. Link leapt from the rock and ran after the man and his carriage, desperately wanting a drink.

‘Wait!’ Link called loudly after the man, who was unresponsive.

Link was gaining on the man, anyway, so the twenty-metre gap was quickly closed and he found himself running alongside the carriage, keeping pace with it and side-by-side with the man on top of it.

‘Please, stop!’ Link pleaded.

‘Oh, I’m sorry, lad, I didn’t see you back there,’ the man replied, stopping the horse.

‘Where could someone like you be going alone? Where are your parents?’

Link waited a moment to catch his breath.

‘And what’s with the sword? Aren’t you a bit young for that as well?’ he added.

‘I need to get to…’

But he couldn’t remember the name, or the name of the princess he had to deliver the stone to. His train of thought was then disrupted, however, by Navi, appearing behind the cart seeming disgruntled.

‘Navi, where have you been?’ Link asked, forgetting about the cart driver.

‘I found this guy, but he was sceptical and thought I was a fairy trying to lure him to his death.’

‘I’ve heard stories of your kind,’ the cart driver interrupted, ‘appearing on the road, tempting travellers off to the side where more of your kind waits to pounce on people.’

‘That’s crap, fairies don’t do anything like that,’ Navi argued.

‘Stop fighting!’ Link demanded.

‘I’m sorry, lad, where were you headed again?’

‘… Hyrule! That’s it!’ Link recalled.

‘What a coincidence, that’s exactly where I’m headed for! You can join me, but your fairy friend will have to stay behind.’

‘It’s okay, I come from the forest, and she’s my guardian,’ Link clarified. ‘She won’t try to kill you.’

The driver rubbed at his chin before giving up and telling them to get on.

‘If you’re thirsty, there’s some milk back there for you to drink, as well,’ the man told them.

‘Thank you!’ Link said gratefully, already taking the stopper out of a big glass bottle and gulping down the milk.

And on down the road they went, travelling smoothly and leaving wheel marks in the dust behind them. The driver remained sceptical of Navi, however, not letting her go to the front of the carriage where he was, but she was content to stay with Link, who was still marvelling at how huge the world actually was.

‘Now I can finally appreciate how big the world is, while I’m sitting on the back of a cart!’ Link laughed.

‘Lucky we found it!’ Navi commented.

‘Yeah, I couldn’t go another step without a drink, which reminds me, this milk is very good!’

‘Why, thank you!’ the driver called from the front. ‘It’s my own mixture, famous all over Hyrule for its freshness and its quality, which is why the King loves it so much!’

But Link wasn’t listening anymore, instead he was fondling around inside his tunic, fingering the emerald he had there.

‘Go and meet…’ he said quietly to himself, ‘was Zelda her name?’ he asked Navi.

‘Yep, and you have to give the stone to her,’ she reminded him.

Again, the driver at the front interrupted their conversation, but this time with better news.

‘Hey, we’re at the Hyrule Market Place!’ he informed them.

Link turned his head, then his whole body to kneel on the boxes now instead of sitting. They were crossing a large drawbridge, connected with chains to a massive cream coloured stone wall that continued on out of sight on both sides. And above the opening they were rolling through was a strange symbol Link hadn’t seen before. Three equally proportioned triangles, arranged to form a larger triangle, was positioned above two wings that joined together with no body in between them.

Nothing prepared Link for what was inside the walls, though. After passing along an empty little bit, they emerged into a crazy area; people everywhere and a cacophony of noise. Along the wide avenue were arrayed countless numbers of stalls with countless numbers of different items. Link said thank you to the unnamed driver and got off the cart to stand amidst all the people with his mouth wide open, looking completely flabbergasted.

‘Wow!’ Link mouthed to himself. ‘There are so many people in the “world”! So many buildings, too. Navi, which one is the… “Castle”?’

‘Um, I’m not sure…’

‘I’m suddenly very hungry again,’ he said, sitting down. ‘I can’t move…’

‘Hang in there,’ Navi told him, ‘You did just have milk, after all.’

He nodded, but he still felt very hungry.

‘Welcome!’ a booming voice interrupted from behind, making Link to get up and turn to look. ‘It’s cheap! If you don’t take a look, it’s your loss!’

‘Food!?’

Yes! Link dashed over to the stalls in front of him and started grabbing food from all of them and shovelling it down his throat, savouring the new taste of something other than fruit. A hundred times better than the forest! Link thought.

His feast was then broken up, however, by a group of men wearing aprons that appeared behind him, their arms folded and a surly look on their faces.

‘Hey, boy,’ one of them said, ‘you are going to pay us money, right?’

‘“Money”? What’s that?’ Link asked, still stuffing his face.

That was a wrong move, since, suddenly, their faces turned very angry, and they started shouting.

‘That brat doesn’t even care!’ one man said said.

‘He’s a thief!’ another said.

And then hands were all over him, ripping at his clothes and grabbing things from inside his tunic. And then all hands were off him, his sword and shield were on the ground, and everyone was looking at one of the shopkeepers. In his skinny little hands he held the Kokiri Emerald, holding it up to the light for all to see and marvel at.

‘You do have something nice, don’t ya?’ he said to Link.

‘Give it back!’ Link yelled angrily. ‘Give it back!’

‘If you want it back, you have to give us the money!’ the shopkeeper ordered.
Link struggled out between the surrounding bodies and lunged at the man holding his precious emerald, for he would never want to fail the Deku Tree. But his advance was stopped by other bodies, blocking the way while they too gazed at the green gem.

‘Hold it!’ a young feminine voice shouted from behind the group, which was now very large due to the commotion. ‘I will pay you, so give him back the stone!’ All faces turned in her direction, to regard with clear cynicism and disbelief that another child would pay off how much Link owed. But their disbelief was silenced when she pulled out a purple rupee from her dress and presented it to the shopkeepers.

‘Two hundred rupees!’ they said in unison.

Link grabbed his Kokiri Emerald from the man with ferocity, when his arm was grabbed around the wrist. Turning, he expected to see another shopkeeper, to whom he would yell that his debt has been repaid, but instead he was looking at a girl dressed in a simple white dress with a pretty, blonde haired face and sandals on her feet. He could only assume that this was the girl who had paid his debt, but since he never had a good view of her due to the obstructing bodies, he couldn’t be sure.

‘Who are you?’ Link asked her while she led him through the crowd.

‘It doesn’t matter, hurry!’ she replied, leading him through shoppers that snorted distastefully at them muttering things like ‘stupid kids’ and ‘get out of here’.
The girl led Link to a fountain in the middle of the avenue, but at the far end, away from the drawbridge. Sitting on the edge of the fountain, Link tried to catch his breath while thinking himself lucky that a girl would be nice enough to do what she did.

‘Thank you so much… this is a very important treasure!’ Link said.

‘It is a lovely stone,’ the girl agreed.

‘It’s the Kokiri Emerald. The Great Deku Tree told me to give it to princess Zelda.’

‘I see… so you’re from the forest, huh?’ she asked, looking very intent.

‘Yep!’ Link replied happily.

‘Hm…’

‘That’s why I gotta get to the castle! See ya, and thanks again!’

Link hopped off the fountain and started walking away, Navi trailing, before being pulled back.

‘But you can’t go to the castle by yourself, it’s very well guarded!’ she said.

‘Oh,’ Link said turning around with unhappiness, but looking straight at the ground. ‘What should we do, Navi,’ he asked his fairy, while the girl rubbed at her chin. Navi opened her tiny mouth to respond, when the girl interrupted her, annoying Navi incredibly.

‘Hey, I know! Why don’t you play with me today? If you do then I’ll take you to princess Zelda myself.’

‘You mean it?’ Link asked incredulously.

‘She and I are best friends,’ she said, as if it were the most normal thing in the world. ‘Look, here’s my proof!’

From her dress she retrieved an ocarina, very similar to the one Saria gave Link, save the fact that this one was a dark purple with a small mark on the mouthpiece. Taking the ocarina from her, Link examined it carefully.

‘Oh, this mark,’ he said to himself, seeing a strange triangle.

But the girl was looking in another direction, with her hand to her mouth.

‘Uh-oh,’ she said before darting around to the back of the fountain and hiding from view. Link looked in the direction she had been with confusion. Walking his way was a tall, masculine looking woman that Link found very intimidating. She was very well built and muscular, while keeping the curvaceous figure of a woman. But the most intimidating thing about her, though, was the cool, confident way she moved, which, paired with the lone dagger she had at her belt, gave the impression that she could kill anyone she wished with a single, fluent stroke.

‘You there, little boy,’ she said to him. ‘Have you seen a little noble girl around? She has blonde hair and blue eyes.’

‘Um…’ Link said, making it look as though he was thinking, ‘Nope!’

The woman looked at him with a half-smile and turned around to walk toward a road that led out of the marketplace.

‘Thank you!’ he heard the girl whisper from behind the fountain.

Navi, seeing the opportunity, flew out of Link’s hat to talk with him privately.

‘Link, are you sure about this? She seems a tad bit strange…’ Navi asked.

‘She said she’d take me to princess Zelda, so…’

Navi sighed and regarded the girl that was getting up from behind the fountain.

‘If you think so…’ she said.

‘Come on, let’s go!’ the girl said waving him over. ‘There’s some interesting looking shops around here!’ she said, running off towards some buildings.

Link sighed and ran after her.

The first place they came to was a big building with a massive sign above the door that said: “Bombchu Bowling” in large Hylian print with a picture of what looked like a mouse head.

‘Bombchu bowling… what’s bowling?’ the girl asked Link.

‘I haven’t got a clue either,’ he replied, just as confused.

Inside, it contained a wooden alley with objects moving around at the far wall.

‘Hey kids, want to play?’ a woman at the counter asked.

The girl ran over to discuss it with the clerk while Link observed men throwing things that scooted down the alley and exploded with a loud bang and a huge cloud, but, unluckily for them, on the side wall, away from the target objects. The men groaned and walked out the door with no money left. The girl appeared next to Link with two of the things the men threw down the alley.

‘We have to throw them down and hit the things at the end, and if we do we get a prize,’ she informed him. ‘But when these things hit the ground, they can go anywhere, so apparently it’s pretty hard.’

Link nodded and took one from her and lined up at the line.

‘Hey, about this princess, Zelda… is she beautiful?’ Link asked her.

‘Well,’ the girl said, preoccupied with aiming her bombchu.

And she threw the thing before she responded, which snaked off to the left instantly; exploding loudly only inches from an object.

‘Oh,’ she said unhappily, expressing her unhappiness.

‘Bad luck,’ Link said, stepping up to the line and hurling the bombchu down the alley, which landed perfectly straight and didn’t change direction an inch before blasting the moving wooden chicken at the end, sending it flying. Happy with his success, Link punched the air, laughing.

‘Cool!’ the girl said.

Rewarded with a red rupee, worth twenty green rupees, which was four times what they had originally paid, they left the alley and went everywhere in the market, having fun and enjoying their childhood. They bought masks, they played in the shooting gallery with Link’s slingshot and they ate expensive treats before emerging from the shooting gallery after their third visit. Now it was getting dark, ending their day of playing around.

‘That was so fun, even the third time!’ Link said, opening the door to find the marketplace darkened by the incoming night. ‘Night already? That was fast.’

‘Looks like the day is over… thank you for today,’ the girl said, clutching one of the masks they had bought and looking genuinely sad. She walked over to the fountain where they had first met and stared into the murky reflection.

‘I just wanted to know what it’d be like to buy things with my own money and play on my own for once… just like a regular girl,’ she said.

‘Please tell me your name!’ Link asked. ‘Mine’s Link. I want us to play again sometime.’

But the girl’s eyes were looking over his shoulder at something. Turning, Link noticed the advancing three women with enough time to draw his sword and shield to stand in front of the girl protectively.

The women looked like female ninjas. Each one held two curved, single edged swords, one in each hand. Each also wore a diamond on the forehead and a veil covering their noses and mouths, letting their long blonde hair free and their eyes to shine at them menacingly. Each of them wore a tight shirt covering their breasts, but separate long, loose pants. Their clothes were a dark purple with dark yellows littered amongst the patterns in their shirts, camouflaging them perfectly in the dark.

‘W-what are you?’ Link asked loudly, but timidly, trying vainly to sound confident.

‘Girl, we know who you really are!’ one said. ‘Give us the Ocarina of Time!’

Link was standing guard in front of the girl with his sword out, but she ran out from behind him towards a side alley with desperation.

‘Running away, are you?’ the same woman said, lashing out with one of her swords. But in mid-air, Link parried with his own Kokiri sword, showing a natural talent, and buying enough time for the girl to stop and get back behind Link, who now stood with confidence at a successful block.

The same woman scoffed before saying, ‘Who are you?’
But before Link could give a reply they were talking amongst themselves.

‘Someone is coming!’ the back woman said to the other two, before they all sprinted off with astonishing speed down the side alley the girl was headed to.
‘Hey, wait!’ Link called after them, running after them himself.

Once Link had disappeared down the alley, a shadow walked up behind the girl, who was now alone in the dark, quiet market.
‘Princess,’ the shadow said behind the girl, startling her.

Turning, the girl saw her bodyguard standing there, looking down on her, the same woman who had been looking for the princess earlier.

‘Impa,’ the girl sighed with relief.

‘I’m glad that you’re safe,’ Impa said to her. ‘Now, let’s head back to the castle.’

‘Alright,’ the girl replied, letting her bodyguard escort her away from the market.

Not more than a second after they disappeared into the shadows, Link came rushing back out of the alley to find it completely deserted, no sign of the girl he had spent the whole day with.

‘That girl’s gone! I wonder where she went?’ Link said to Navi, feeling a pang of sorrow at losing what he felt to be a new friend.

‘I’m sure she went home,’ Navi said in a comforting tone. ‘Little girls are fickle after all.’

Link sighed, agreeing with Navi without saying it, and put his sword and shield in their place on his back. Then, with no real destination, he started walking until, next to the fountain, he saw the object the girl had showed Link to prove her acquaintance with the princess. I’m sure that girl had this, Link thought, picking it up and holding it in his right hand. It looks like the ocarina Saria gave me, yet different.

‘Let’s just get to the castle, Link,’ Navi said, shaking him from his thoughts.

‘Oh, yes, I forgot about that,’ Link responded.

‘What time do you think it is, anyway?’ Link asked.

‘Probably close to nine is my guess.’

Geez, that day really did go fast, Link thought, as he walked off in the direction of the tall array of towers and spires that was the only building that seemed like the castle. It’s tall shape silhouetted against the navy blue sky, looking strangely ominous in the distance.

*

Sunlight came quickly to the kingdom of Hyrule, lighting up the world to allow the marketplace to bustle and teem with eager shoppers, the same as any day. Only the odd wispy, white cloud dotted the otherwise deep blue sky, and the day was already turning out to be a hot one.

Zelda was clothed in her royal garb that included an extravagant gown decorated with the Royal Family of Hyrule’s family symbols and decorations.

‘Father!’ she called out along the lengthy corridor while following at a distance. ‘Father, I beg of you, don’t meet with man! For some reason-’

‘Again with that dream of yours?’ the King of Hyrule yelled back, not stopping along the corridor. ‘Nonsense! It is a time of peace!’

And Zelda was left alone in the corridor, looking down at the floor with her hands held tightly to her chest and a glum expression writ upon her face.

‘Almost… there…!’ Link strained, grabbing the vine one hand after the other and pulling his body up the wall.

The previous night had been fairly frustrating for both Link and Navi. Guards littered the area even a kilometre away from the castle. There was so many of them and they were so well placed that even in the pitch black darkness of night a little kid couldn’t sneak past them. Instead, he had spent the night in a bush waiting for the guards to either tire or change between shifts. Unfortunately, that shift came at sunrise, so Link had spent the whole night in that bush, and he had a very sore back to prove it.

The castle was beckoning him now and, ironically, the guards were almost too easy to get past while inside the castle, so he found the princess’s courtyard after only twenty minutes searching.

The courtyard was a little grass island surrounded by a small moat, and at the back, beyond the half-dozen stairs to a dais, was a little alcove in the wall, with a window set into the stone that saw through to the throne room. On this dais was the princess, or what Link presumed to be the princess, with her back turned and her eyes staring through the window. Although, the illustrious gown was so regal-looking that anyone could have been forgiven for mistaking it to be the princess.

Stepping carefully along the mini bridge into the courtyard, Link had the Kokiri Emerald out, as if it were a letter permitting him to be here. Stopping in the middle of the courtyard, among the garden of flowers, Link stammered at his address to the princess, the most important girl in the kingdom.

‘Uh… excuse me…’ Link said, loudly enough for her to just her him.

Without turning from the wall she said, ‘I haven’t told you my name yet, have I, Link?’
While it was still registering in Link’s mind, the princess turned to reveal her face, to be none other than the girl Link had considered a friend the previous day.

‘Y-you’re…’ Link stuttered.

‘I’m Zelda, the princess of Hyrule,’ she finished.

Link didn’t move for several seconds, still trying hard to believe this.

‘Link!’ Navi hissed in his ear.


‘Oh, yeah,’ Link realised, remembering the stone he held in his hand. But returning her lost ocarina hung more heavily in his mind, though. ‘You dropped this yesterday, by accident,’ he said, handing the purple object over to her. ‘What a surprise it’d turn out like this!’

Again, her eyes were looking over his shoulder, at someone behind him.

‘Greetings, princess Zelda,’ a deep, commanding voice said from the entrance to the courtyard. ‘I’ve come to meet with your father.’

Link turned around to regard the stranger. In a way, he was reminiscent of the ninja women Link encountered the previous night, but it was a male, and insanely muscular and tall. His armour was very over-the-top, it covering every inch of his body except his face and it was the same colour and decoration as the swordswomen from the previous night. His skin was a dark, bronze colour; his hair was a flaming red; and his face was the kind that one could not trust fully, and one that irritated, with arrogance, to the point of screaming.

‘Sir Ganondorf, how ill mannered of you to enter this garden without permission!’ Zelda scolded the man.

‘I beg your pardon. Glory would be if you allowed us enter into a union with Hyrule. There is no other country as beautiful as this. And no princess as beautiful, either.’

‘There’s no need for flattery, stay away from me!’ Zelda ordered.

A smile crossed the man’s face, another arrogant thing that made Link dislike this man even more.

‘By the way,’ Ganondorf continued, ‘the secret treasure passed down through the Hyrule Royal Family, the “Ocarina of Time”… you have it, don’t you princess? Sometime… could you show it to me?’

‘I know not of which you speak,’ Zelda replied, very obviously trying to sound as adult as possible with her language. ‘However, I did hear the same things from the roughians yesterday. Could they be acquaintances of yours?’

Ganondorf’s smile quickly turned into a neutral expression, not openly betraying what Link thought was going through his mind. His eyes bore deep into Zelda’s, warning her against saying things like that. And then his threatening eyes turned to Link, who had largely gone unnoticed by Ganondorf for the conversation, but now Ganondorf took a mean look at Link before turning around and walking out of the courtyard. After he was gone, Zelda stepped down to Link’s level and looked on where he was looking.

‘Ganondorf,’ Zelda said, ‘the chief of the Gerudu race who reside in the deserts at the ends of the west. Right now he may pledge loyalty to my father, but what he really wants is the Tri-Force, which is in the country’s holy land.’

‘The Tri-Force!’ Link said alarmingly to no once in particular.

Then, is he the one the Great Deku Tree spoke of? Zelda then sat on the steps, to which Link followed.

‘I had this dream,’ she told him, ‘it was a frightening dream, in which Hyrule was over-ridden by black clouds. But then, a line of light appears and cuts through the clouds and shines upon the earth. There, I see the image of a person with a fairy holding a stone with green light.’

‘Fairy… stone…’ Link said to himself, piecing it together slowly.

‘I knew you were the one who appeared in my dream, from the moment I saw you. I… I am frightened. Ganondorf has to be the black clouds that were in my dream. I feel that his evil heart will destroy Hyrule.’ Zelda paused for a second, looking down at the ground. ‘But my father will not believe me…’

‘I believe you,’ Link said firmly. ‘The Great Deku Tree died because of his evil power.’

‘We mustn’t let him get the Tri-Force,’ Zelda told him.

‘Where exactly is the Tri-Force, where is the holy land?’

‘The entrance to the holy land is within the Temple of Time. However, the door is sealed behind a stone wall. In order to open it, it is said one must “collect the three gems and put them in their place in the temple”. But there’s one more secret. The Royal Family’s heirloom… the Ocarina of Time.’

‘Only two gems left, then eh?’ Link said, now inspired. ‘I will find them and bring them here. Princess Zelda, you keep that ocarina. I will go and retrieve the remaining two gems for you!’

‘Alright, Link… but you must keep the Tri-Force out of Ganondorf’s hands!’
The Child Saga: Chapter 4 - The Search for the Spiritual Sone of Fire by chriso_10
Once upon a time… a time before there was earth and ocean, and, of course, any life… upon this chaotic world of Hyrule, three goddesses of the Golden Land descended. The goddess of power, Din… with her strength and her hands of fire, she cultivated the land and built the red earth. The goddess of wisdom, Nayru, poured her knowledge into the earth, giving the world its order. Lastly, the goddess of courage, Farore, with her rich heart, gave life to those who would protect the law of the land. When the three goddesses finished their task and returned to the heavens, they left behind them the sacred triangles of the Golden Land, the Tri-Force, and that place became the Sacred Realm.

To protect the wish-granting Tri-Force from the evil-hearted, the sages built a temple and sealed it at the Gate of Time. “He who collects the three spiritual stones, stand here and play the Song of Time. If done, then the gate should open”.

‘This is the kingdom secret passed down by the Hyrule Royal Family,’ Zelda finished.

‘Then are you sure it’s Ok to tell me such an important secret, Zelda?’ Link asked.

‘My mother told me it before she died. She told me never to tell anyone about it, or about the ocarina. But you believed what I had to say… even my own father wouldn’t do that. Therefore, I believe in you, too!’

‘Oh.’

And then it was that Zelda’s eyes once again looked over his shoulder, forcing Link to turn around cautiously, but all composure was lost when he saw the terribly masculine woman he saw at the market standing only inches from him. He took a step back, startled, before Zelda comforted his fears.

‘Don’t worry, she’s Impa, my nanny,’ Zelda informed him. ‘Hey, Impa! This is the messenger from the forest that I saw in my dream.’

‘I am the one entrusted with the protection of princess Zelda,’ she said to Link, almost ignoring Zelda. ‘I saw everything yesterday in the marketplace. Especially your fight with the thieves.’

‘You were?’ Link asked.

‘I saw you to be a courageous boy who diligently follows through with princess Zelda’s wishes.’

‘Aw,’ Zelda said, ‘you can see through anything!’

‘By the way,’ Link disrupted, ‘do you have any clue where the two other spiritual stones are?’

‘Well,’ Impa answered, ‘I don’t know where the Spiritual Stone of Water is, but I’ve heard that the Spiritual Stone of Fire is kept by the chief Goron, Darunia.’

‘OK, then,’ Link declared, turning around to walk out.

‘Wait, Link,’ Zelda implored.

‘Don’t worry,’ Link assured her, ‘I will find the stones before Ganondorf does and will bring them here!’

Link was smiling his boyish little smile, reassuring Zelda with every passing second that he would be able to do this.

‘…Right, and in order to keep the ocarina out of Ganondorf’s hands, I will likewise do my best.’

An awkward silence passed between Link and Zelda, Impa standing in the background, smiling down at how cute and funny this would look to anyone watching who didn’t realise what was at stake. She was fighting back a laugh when Zelda leaned in to Link’s cheek to lay a small little peck of a kiss on it, all the while Link looked completely confused as to what she was doing.

‘Please be careful,’ she half-whispered to him.

‘Come with me and I will show you where you should head next,’ Impa requested.

Leading Link over, Impa walked out of the courtyard to a window looking east. From the forest branching out from the castle, as unexpected as a pimple, was a deathly looking mountain. A ring of smoke, resembling a halo, circled around the tip of the mountain/volcano, adding a peaceful component to the steep cliffs that made up the mountain.

‘That is Death Mountain, where the Gorons reside,’ Impa informed him. ‘We must protect our beautiful Hyrule,’ she added as if Link, in his naivet, didn’t understand the consequences riding on his shoulders. ‘Link, this country’s peace rests on your courage. We’re counting on you.’

Link was determined, and with renewed confidence that people actually believed he could accomplish this task. With his face reflecting his confidence, he started towards the corridor leading to the front gate of the castle.

‘Leave it to me!’ he called behind him.

Taking the exit at a run, and stunning guards he dashed past, he made for the east, where, apparently, a village existed, and from there he would tackle the slopes of Death Mountain.

‘We’re off, Navi!’ he said excitedly to her. ‘To Death Mountain!’

‘OK!’ she answered.

If I told Saria I was gonna protect Hyrule, I wonder what she’d say? He sighed then, and taking out the ocarina Saria had given to him, he reminisced of his life before the previous day. ‘Play it sometimes and think of the forest’ she had told him. I wonder what everyone in the forest are up to? As he walked, he randomly strung notes together in the ocarina, trying to occupy himself to prevent boredom, but he had picked up a follower because of it. Hoof sounds in the ground caused Link to turn and regard, with surprise, the young horse following his music.

‘I think she likes that,’ Navi said, buzzing around Link’s ocarina.

‘Yeah, I guess so.’

Coming right up to him, the foal lowered her head, obviously wishing for Link to mount her for a little ride. With a little reluctance and a lot of caution he put his leg around the back of the small animal and sat on it, feeling rather proud at how adult he would look, sitting astride a horse. But with no warning the horse started galloping off in the direction of Death Mountain, so, once the initial shock had worn off, he sat back and enjoyed the ride, content that he would reach Death Mountain in no time at all.

Skirting around the buzzing Kakariko Village, the Death Mountain Trail beckoned to Link. The path was carved into the steep mountainous cliffs; so as to make the gradient walkable, but still, the going was tough for Link seated atop the young mare. Boulders frequently rolled down the trail on the steeper parts, creating the loudest noise Link had ever heard in his life, while testing Link to manoeuvre the horse around the dangerous debris.

‘How can people actually live in a place like this?’ Link asked Navi, who was floating around his head, instead of inside his hat, now that they were on flatter ground halfway up the mountain. ‘There’s nothing but rocks!’

‘Well, that would probably be because people don’t actually live here,’ Navi answered.

‘What do you mean?’ Link asked, jumping down from the horse and standing next to a rock. But Navi didn’t answer his question with words. Instead, she fluttered around the coarse rock Link was standing next to. Link leaned in; trying to get a closer look at the rock Navi was concentrated on. With a sudden rush, the rock, to Link, looked like it exploded, but, a second later when he recognized that a form lay in front of him, he changed his mind. A teddy-bear-like figure, with large, black eyes and wide, fat lips all on a rounded face positioned on top of a round body with rocks almost grown onto the back.

‘They’re Gorons,’ Navi finished, ‘Rock eaters.’

‘My, how rare,’ the Goron said in its slow dopey voice. ‘Is this a visitor?’

‘You are a Goron, yes?’ Link asked.

‘Well, I could have told you that,’ Navi whispered to him.

Ignoring the fairy’s remark he said, ‘Please show me where you live, I must meet with your chief, Darunia.’

With a groaning kind of sound, the creature turned and walked slowly toward what looked to Link like a rock wall. But, closer to the wall, Link noticed a crevice that now seemed so big that he didn’t know how he missed it earlier. Following the Goron through the wall, they found themselves in a subterranean city, consisting of three levels. But before they went any further, the Goron turned around, stopping Link from continuing.

‘This is a dangerous place for children,’ the Goron said, in his same drawling voice. ‘What do you want Darunia for?’

‘I’m looking for the Spiritual Stone of-’

Interrupting Link was the rolling boulder screaming past them, only to stop ten metres from them and turn around to come back to them. Again, what looked like a rock was actually a Goron, but one with more defined facial features, hardened as if he was angry. As well as the beard on his face, this Goron’s body was very well defined, muscly and veiny with the trademark Goron birthmark on his shoulder, looking like a block footprint.

‘What?’ the new Goron demanded. ‘The Spiritual Stone of Fire?’
‘Yes!’ he said, comforted that someone knew what it was. ‘The princess sent me here to get it so we can-’

‘Ridiculous! That stone is the heart of the Gorons. Do you think that I’d give it to a kid so easily?’

‘But… do you want Hyrule to be conquered by Ganondorf?’

Darunia’s only answer was a scoff, turning to pick up a rock from the ground and examine it. Link watched in wonder as Darunia made up his mind to place the rock inside his mouth and chew down hard on it. With a disgusted face he spat out the pieces of chewed rock like a man would when eating dirt.

‘That’s nasty,’ Darunia said before realising Link’s bewilderment. ‘We are a race that eats rocks,’ he clarified. ‘The dragon which lives inside Dodongo Cavern has begun to act violently, so we’ve been unable to reach our favoured rocks,’ he said with sadness. ‘So, unfortunately, I don’t have time to bother with you,’ he said with renewed annoyance.

Link’s head dropped and he began to turn towards the way he entered the underground city.

‘But,’ Darunia said, as if realising something, ‘you said that you want the Spiritual Stone?’ With a sigh, he continued, ‘Go beat the giant dragon, King Dodongo, and prove that you are a man!’

Link’s spirits suddenly heightened at the Goron’s request, and the sickly looking Gorons around him, all visibly starving to death, made up his mind with an iron will.

‘Tell me where the cavern is and I will go,’ Link asked of Darunia, who, looking to another Goron, made his order known with an expression. The Goron’s face saddened as if to say ‘why me?’ But he subdued and started walking to the exit of the city, stopping on the way to grab a lit torch from the wall.

‘I wish you good luck,’ Darunia said as Link walked past him, who went by without a word, already mustering his courage.

*

The Goron led Link down the mountain a fair way to a large opening in the cliff face that was a long, dark cave, the inside walls rugged and gloomy.

‘Are you really going in?’ the Goron asked. ‘It’s already eaten five other Gorons who couldn’t stand the hunger any more.’

Link didn’t answer the question, not liking the look of the dark cave, either. Taking a big swallow, Link stepped slowly into the cavern, waving the torch in front of him like a weapon, until he noticed a growth on the wall to his left. Looking back to the Goron, who was still only ten metres away from him, Link motioned for him to come over.

‘What are these?’ Link asked, waving the torch at the plant-like things ahead of him.

‘Those are flowers that grow only in Dodongo Cavern,’ he answered.

‘Flowers?’ Link reiterated.

‘But,’ the Goron said, stopping Link from getting closer to them, ‘if you pick them, they’ll explode.’

Link stood up properly and gazed again inside the cavern, having second thoughts about facing a dragon. It’s for the protection of Hyrule, he told himself before sighing and starting to walk again. But stopping him in his tracks was the terrible roar from deep within the cave, reverberating around the walls with a thunderous volume. The Goron, almost next to him, became incredibly frightened, displaying the timid nature of the majority of his kind.

‘I’m going back!’ the Goron screamed, twisting and dashing out of the cave.

‘Wimp,’ Navi said, emerging from Link’s hat at the roar. ‘Well, let’s go and fight this thing!’

Link started running down the corridor-like cave, coming out into an open room with an impossibly tall roof and lava dotted around the walls, seeping out from holes. But a huge lizard-like monster with teeth as large as Link himself, and a covering of iron-hard scales drew the main focus of the room.

‘There’s no way my sword or slingshot can harm that thing… and those teeth!’ he yelled at Navi, struggling to be heard over a bigger roar from the dragon. Navi sped off carefully toward the dragon, searching for weakness in the impenetrable scales. The dragon took no notice of the fairy pestering him, curling up into an armoured ball and rolling dead straight at Link.

‘Run!’ Navi screamed from twenty metres away.

Link did an about-face, sprinting for his life and trying to hide his body behind rocks to escape the ranting beast pursuing him. Successfully hiding, Link watched the lizard steam past, not slowing down in the slightest. And then Navi was back, next to his ears, flapping her wings with desperation.

‘The flowers!’ she shouted.

‘The bombs?’

‘Yes! When it roars, again, throw it inside its mouth!’

Link, now with a plan, lunged for a crop of a few flowers next to a wall. With a thundering shudder, the whole room shook with the impact between the dragon and the wall. Link, reaching the flowers, yanked a bomb flower and turned, feeling the flower sizzle in his hand, only seconds from explosion. Like a miracle, the dragon was on all fours again, walking toward Link with frightening speed, its jaws wide apart, giving off a mighty, booming roar, just what Link was waiting for.

With immense co-ordination, Link lined up a throw, hurling the flower with force through the gaping maw of the threatening dragon. Visibly, the dragon swallowed the bomb, realising what he had just consumed after a dull, muted explosion shuddered the hulking creature. Pain crossed the face of King Dodongo, before its legs gave way beneath it, and it came crashing into the ground, not moving. Alright, I did it! Link thought.

*

‘I almost forgot how good a decent rock tastes!’ Darunia bellowed with a mouthful of crunching stones. The cavern, now devoid of the hulking beast, seemed to glow with more light and radiance than before, although nothing had been done to it other than the Gorons coming in for a feed. Link stood aside, watching the population eat happily, content, almost shocked, at the feat he had accomplished.

‘Actually,’ Darunia said, remembering Link’s request, ‘not long ago a guy named Ganondorf stopped by here. He and his flunkies had the nerve to order me to hand them the Spiritual Stone. After I refused them, that giant dragon started acting atrociously. However, in exchange for that stone you did all that for us. You are a man among men! Now take this.’

Darunia twisted his down-turned palm, exposing the shining red ruby Link had been searching for.

‘It is a sign of my gratitude, and a seal of our friendship.’

‘The Spiritual Stone of Fire,’ Navi said eagerly, ‘the Goron Ruby!’

‘From this day on,’ Darunia continued, ‘you and I are brothers!
The Child Saga: Chapter 5 - Inside Lord Jabu-Jabu’s Belly by chriso_10
The healthy crackling of a blazing fire, giving off huge clouds of black smoke, was engulfing a castle. The vision was hazy, but a figure seated atop a horse could be seen, and in her arms a bundle of cloth. The castle is burning! …But it’s not Hyrule Castle. Where am I? Who is this person? A feminie scream cut through the air, followed by a voice, deep and calming repeating the same word.

‘Link… Link… Link…’

The woman on the horse was in a forest, now, trees whooshing past overhead. And then, out of the bundle’s view, a massive tree came into view.

‘Great Deku Tree!’ Link shouted, now sitting bolt upright.

A look around told him the reality of it all. …A dream… Under the light of the moon, Link sat beneath a plain tree in Hyrule Field. Link sighed and looked down to where his belongings lay. Amongst his sword and shield were the two stones.

‘The Kokiri Emerald,’ Link said to himself, picking it up, ‘and the Goron Ruby.’

‘Only one remains!’ Navi said sharply in his ear, startling him. ‘Come on, you’re awake now, so let’s go find the other stone!’

Link silently agreed with Navi, but one problem remained.

‘I have no idea where the other stone is, though,’ he said to his fairy.

Navi fell silent, as if she hadn’t taken that into account.

‘I bet the Great Deku Tree would have known…’ she said

‘Oh, well,’ Link said, standing up and collecting his things. ‘We better start looking, then!’

‘Yeah! We’ll do our best to find it!’

Under the shade of night the two companions started the search once more, heading in the general direction of the castle, for wont of any other reasonable destination. But suddenly Link stopped, concentrating hard on something, his long ears quivering.

‘I… hear a song,’ he answered.

Navi looked confused.

‘But who would be playing one in the middle of night… and in the middle of Hyrule Field?’ Link said.

Link, in answer to the noise, turned to his left and started walking in that direction.

‘But we have got to find the other stone!’ Navi yelled after him, annoyed.

‘It’s here,’ Link said softly, gazing at the wooden arch signalling the entrance to Lon Lon Ranch, which was painted in bold Hylian lettering. But the “ranch” consisted of a large, circular iron fence with a typical farm house on the very outskirts.

‘A ranch?’ Navi said, looking at the sign also. ‘But there’s no one here!’

The pair walked in, however, drawn by the melodic music coming from somewhere around there.

The scene painted a relatively scary scene in Link’s eyes. The pale moon against a backdrop of purple sky shone down on the eerily deserted place, as well as keese nested menacingly on sections of the fence, and strange noises seeming to come from under the ground. Then heavy “thumps” that squished the damp grass started from somewhere, and the music stopped. The thumps got faster and closer, sending Link into a panic before a creature knocked him down and held its face over his. A horse’s breath panted down on the quivering Link, but its head lifted at the sound of different steps approaching, a human’s, with a bright torch held out. A little girl held the torch in her left hand.

‘It’s the foal that I rode up Death Mountain!’ Link realised.

‘Well, that’s where she was yesterday!’ the girl said to herself. ‘Who are you?’

Link was still recovering from his fright not a minute before.

‘I’m, er-’ he tried.

‘Yes! A customer! It’s been so long!’ the girl squealed happily, her expression changing from one of curiosity to one of joy. ‘Welcome to Lon Lon Ranch!’

‘So, where are you from?’ she asked, while they walked towards the house. ‘Oh, so you’re a fairy child from the forest, huh?’ she said with observation.

‘Actually, we didn’t come here for sightseeing,’ Link said, finally getting in a sentence.

‘We’re working all night,’ she continued, totally ignoring Link. ‘Except for Dad, that is.’

They reached the other side of the ranch, to where a deceptively big house and a stable were. The girl led them over to the stable and opened the massive door with an audible racket.

That’s the guy I caught a ride with…Link thought, seeing a plump man asleep in a heap of hay in the corner of the stable.

‘Dad’s sleeping again,’ the girl giggled. ‘Hey! There’s a customer, Dad!’ she yelled at him, the change of tone so sudden as to startle Link.

‘Huh?’ the man said drearily, sitting up and looking at his daughter.

‘Hmph!’ a man scoffed in the corner. A lanky, tall man with a ridiculous moustache and a pitchfork held over his shoulder. ‘Even by night, the owner of the ranch is taking a siesta! He leaves all the work on this ranch to me!’

The man hadn’t tried to be discreet, his meaning loud enough for even the half asleep man to comprehend easily. But the girl didn’t take it like Link had expected. She smiled at the grumpy man and made her way over to him.

‘You’re right, Mr, Ingo! All we have is thanks to you!’ she said, trying to hug him.

‘I’m gonna change the name to Ingo Ranch!’ Ingo said.
Link was confused with this dysfunctional ‘family’, and remembered his next task for the first time in over an hour.

‘Uuh, look. I’m in a hurry to find the Spiritual Stone of Water, so-’

‘Here ya go!’ the girl said, reaching behind here and grabbing a large bottle of fresh water.

‘OK,’ Link said slowly.

The girl smiled at him and walked out of the ranch, leaving her father to go back to sleep and Ingo to continue mumbling his intentions.

‘I’m Malon,’ she said suddenly while they walked out of the stable. ‘Epona loves songs and music, that’s why I always sing to her.’

‘That’s why she followed your Ocarina, Link,’ Navi told him.

Malon climbed up onto the fence and stared at the moon, longing written on her face.

‘I’m sick of doing work, work and more work. Everyday,’ she sighed.

‘What about your mother, Malon?’ Link asked, leaning on the fence.

‘She died when I was little, but I’m OK now. Singing by myself every night makes me feel better.’

‘For me it’s my Ocarina.’

‘From that moon will my one and only prince descend,’ she said sadly. ‘Whatever. But it’s a wonderful thought, isn’t it? How about you, fairy boy? Do you have a dream?’

Link paused, thinking of the Deku Tree’s face. Grow and find out about the world!

‘My dream is… to see lots of the world.’

‘That’s a good dream.’

‘I think so.’

Silence fell between them, both staring at the moon, at the far away shape silhouetted in it. But the shape was deceivingly close, a giant bird, wings outstretched was only a hundred metres away when they finally noticed, and then it was at the fence, a massive owl with strange marks on its fluffy feathers and a human look about its bird face.

‘I see you have toughened up a bit, Link!’

‘Wha- what are you?’ Link asked the creature.

‘How informal of me,’ the owl said to himself, ‘I am Kaepora Gaebora. I’ve known you since you were a baby. The Deku Tree and I are old, old friends.’

‘The Great Deku Tree?’ Link said.

‘Link, the Spiritual Stone of Water lies in the Zora’s Domain.’

Kaepora Gaebora stopped to let it sink in.

‘Heh, heh. You’re expression has changed. If you’ll lend me your eyes, then grab hold of my legs, I will take you there!’

‘Alright, then! Take me!’

‘Fairy boy! Are you leaving already?’ Malon asked, startled.

‘I’ll come back to play again, Malon!’ Link called down, already a few metres in the air.

‘You better! You better come back!’

‘“You better come back” she says!’ Kaepora said to Link when they were soaring over the clouds. ‘You’re popular with the ladies, aren’t you?’

‘Shut up,’ Link said simply.

‘So,’ Kaepora said, changing the subject, ‘How’s the “world” from up here?’

For the first time in the flight Link dared turn his eyes to the ground below.

‘Woah, it’s so huge!’ Link said, liking what he saw. ‘Everything looks like bugs. We’re so small compared to the rest of the world.’

‘And in someone as tiny as you lies the power to change the world,’ Kaepora said thoughtfully. ‘But, actually, from the beginning it was your destiny.’

Kaepora paused.

‘Link, I know that you wished on your own to leave the forest. Before long you’ll understand the true meaning of those words.’

Link was still looking down in amazement at the world below, so when Kaepora’s talons suddenly let go of his shoulders, he was thrown into a state of panic. He plummeted downwards at an alarming velocity, the river below him getting bigger and bigger as the seconds went on. But, the fact that it was a river and the water was moving, his fall was broken nicely, although the savage current prevented him from feeling very relieved.

Finally emerging from the clear water some hundred metres and a waterfall downstream, Link was amazed at where he was. Complex pathways of stone surrounded the underground lake he found himself in. And the water itself was the cleanest Link had ever seen before. While it was almost ten metres deep, Link saw the bottom as if he was looking through glass.

‘Is this Zora’s Domain?’ he said to himself.

‘It’s very pretty,’ Navi said from behind him.

Where Link was floating, in the middle of the beautiful lake, he could see a gathering of creatures on the side of the water.

‘I’d guess those are the Zoras,’ Navi said pointedly.

‘Probably.’

Weighed down by his sword and shield, Link tried his best to swim over with grace, but soon found himself thrashing about in the water. Despite his troubles, he reached the bank relatively easily.

And once he was out of the water, Link set his eyes on the “people” arranged before him. They resembled people, but they quite obviously weren’t, with their blue scaly skin and fins protruding from their arms, as well as what looked like a fish tail connected to the back of their heads.

‘Greetings,’ one said to him, ‘And you are?’

Link took his time to stand up and catch his breath before answering, but he was beaten to it.

‘Insolence!’ another said. ‘You are in the presence of King Zora!’

“King Zora” was quite different to his subjects in that where they were “fish-people”; he was more like a normal fish, but three times as wide as Link, and twice as tall. The resemblance was there, however, since he had blue scaly skin like his people, and he did possess arms, and a sad excuse for legs.

‘I’m Link, King Zora,’ Link said, speaking quickly. ‘Please tell me where the Spiritual Stone of Water is! I come from Princess Zelda, for the world is in danger!’

‘Messenger of the Hyrule Royal Family…’ King Zora said, slowly and sounding like he had trouble speaking due to his puffy lips. ‘Regretfully, I am afraid I’m in no place to do so right now. Our lovely princess has been swallowed by lord Jabu-Jabu, you see.’

‘Lord Jabu-Jabu? Who is that?’ Link questioned.

‘Lord Jabu-Jabu is our protector deity who lives in the lake,’ said the Zora who first talked to Link.

‘The protector deity swallowed your princess?’ Navi asked.

‘Lately, Lord Jabu-Jabu has been acting strangely. It’s because that Ganondorf fellow came here!’

‘Ganondorf came here too?’ Link said. ‘Did he demand the Spiritual Stone?’

‘Yes,’ King Zora replied. ‘When I denied him, he left in a rage. When my princess Ruto left to feed Lord Jabu-Jabu, he swallowed her. And here I had chosen the most handsome Zora and was to celebrate their engagement tomorrow…’

‘Alright,’ Link said, smiling with the idea in his head. ‘How about if I go inside Lord Jabu-Jabu and bring Ruto here? Will you promise to give the Stone to me?’

King Zora put a finger to his lip thoughtfully before saying: ‘That’s an easy trade!’

‘Alright!’ said an excited Link.

‘But before you go,’ King Zora said, ‘Please take this weapon with you.’

King Zora, from his tiny robe, pulled out an expensive looking boomerang. It was a finely carved piece of wood with a gem at the point of it.

‘Surely it will come in handy inside Lord Jabu-Jabu.’

‘Thank you, King Zora,’ Link said, giving as much respect as he could, before bolting off behind the group towards the shrine.

Lake Hylia was a place some of the Kokiri had spoken to Link about when he still lived in the forest, although none had actually been there. They had said it was water from horizon to horizon, and the water was sparkling clear and clean. Emerging from the underground domain to the surface, Link believed he had found the lake he had heard of. A sense of accomplishment washed over him, making him feel proud, for his dream was coming true: he was seeing the world, and he was loving every bit of it.

‘I can’t believe I’ve found Lake Hylia!’ Link said to himself.

‘Lake Hylia?’ Navi chimed in.

‘Yeah! My dream was to see the world, and experience what I have always longed for in the stories I’ve heard.’

‘Well, I’m sorry, Link, but this isn’t Lake Hylia,’ Navi informed him.

Link looked at his fairy in confusion.

‘How can there be a bigger lake than this? It stretches from horizon to horizon, and the water sparkles with a blue radiance.’

Link brushed a hand down into the water and tasted it on his fingers to emphasize his point clearer.

‘Well, this is Lake Zora!’

Link hung his head down in sadness, his hopefulness crushed beneath a fairy.

‘Lake Hylia isn’t very far from here, but this is definitely not Lake Hylia.’
With a disappointed trudge, he walked up to a raised stone platform near the end of the lake. The water before the lake was knee high on Link, but the lake floor beyond the platform took a deep dive in depth.

‘That is deep,’ Navi said. ‘I can’t even see the bottom.’

‘Well…’ Link said, looking around, ‘What do I do?’

‘Call him or something.’

Link looked at his fairy for a minute before turning and facing the deep part of the lake.

‘Lord Jabu-Jabu!’ Link shouted at the top of his lungs.

For a moment, nothing happened, causing Link to look at his fairy as if to say: ‘Now what?’, but from the deep came a rumbling sound, making the water very violent directly in front of the platform. And through the thrashing water appeared the biggest fish Link had ever seen in his life. It was even bigger than any building Link had seen in his short experience of the world. And when Jabu-Jabu had come up against the platform, he was perfectly still.

Link was unsure of what to say, now that the giant fish had surfaced, so he said the first thing that came to his mouth.

‘Lord Jabu-Jabu, please let the princess out!’ Link said.

‘He’s a protector deity,’ Navi said, ‘so maybe you should give him an offering?’

Link didn’t see the complete logic in Navi’s suggestion, but he was awed by the huge fish. Snatching a lone fish from the water nearby, he held the slippery animal in both hands, raising it above his head.

‘Lord Jabu-Jabu, please accept this morsel!’ Link cried.

And from the deity came a short, deep groan, followed by one of his eyes to dart across Link’s body. And without warning, he opened his gigantic mouth and started sucking in great torrents of air, pulling the struggling Link and Navi in with it.

When Link opened his eyes next, he was thrown about wildly inside the spacious mouth of the fish he was in.

‘He must be moving!’ Navi thought aloud.

Link was not at all happy about the situation. He had been sent to save the princess but had fallen victim to the princess’s attacker. Not to mention the state of his clothes; covered in and soaked through with saliva and digestive acids that were irritating Link’s skin.

‘Let’s just find this princess and get out of here then,’ Link suggested.

‘I’m fine with that,’ Navi added.

Link turned away from the jaws of Jabu-Jabu’s mouth and continued through the fish’s body.

‘Princess Ruto! Princess Ruto!’ Link yelled, echoing through the organic walls.

‘Hold on, Link,’ Navi said. ‘Can you hear a scream?’

Link paused and concentrated. Without the squelching of juices under his foot, he was able to pick up a high pitched noise. With a look to his fairy, he dashed into the stomach of the fish, where he was greeted by a creature that looked every bit like a parasite. With strange, veiny and pulsing sacs the size of houses connected to the floor of the stomach, and from the sacs protruding tentacles from the sacs with enlarged jellyfish on the ends, it was a disease.

‘Help!’ screamed a girlish voice from somewhere close to the base of the parasite.

‘There, Link,’ Navi pointed.

Mere metres from the electrical jellyfish’s reach, a teenage-looking Zora was on the floor, cowering in terror at the thing over her. In seconds Link had bridged the gap between them and had the Zora in his arms, running for an exit, leaving behind the scary parasite in the stomach of Jabu-Jabu.

‘Princess Ruto, you’re safe!’ Link said, putting her down in a safe area near the mouth.

‘You insolent fool!’ she retaliated, struggling out from Link’s grip. ‘You are addressing the princess of the Zoras, Ruto! Name yourself!’

‘I’m the one who promised the King to come and save you.’

‘My father?’ Ruto said, in a drastic change of tone. ‘I never agreed to that!’ she said, switching seamlessly back into her arrogant voice.

‘What are you saying? Everyone’s worried about you! Come on! Let’s hurry and get you home!’

‘No way! You go home!’

In her cheeky, childish manner, she strutted off towards the scary creature Link didn’t want to see again. But, danger was everywhere in this strange fish, it seemed, as a group of jellyfish floated their way in front of Princess Ruto.

‘Watch out!’ Link cried, drawing his sword and slicing at one of the jellyfish, which Ruto had not yet noticed. But, countering Link’s heroics, the victim jellyfish shocked Link with bolts of crackling electricity, paralysing Link momentarily before regaining his self-control. I better not do that again, Link thought, mentally noting it down. Still stiff and sore from the shock, he looked at Ruto.

‘You have to come with me,’ he said, holding his hand out.

Ruto sighed, and all of a sudden, her face turned deadly serious, but it was clear that she trusted Link, now.

‘I will if you retrieve my stone!’ she demanded.

Link’s attention was now completely and utterly focused on her.

‘I dropped it when I was swallowed by Lord Jabu-Jabu. If you bring it back to me, then I will go back with you.’

‘You don’t mean a stone called Zora Sapphire, do you?’

Ruto was looking at him with the same seriousness that he was taking, which comforted him. And with that expression, Link’s question was answered.

‘Alright, let’s go!’ Link said, turning and bolting for the room with the parasite. And the parasite greeted him with an extraordinary show of electricity and airborne jellyfish, rocketing around the stomach of Jabu-Jabu.

‘Stay back a little!’ Link ordered Ruto, retrieving his boomerang from his belt.

‘Watch out for these jellyfish, Link!’ Navi warned him. ‘Unlike that other one that zapped you, they have enough voltage to kill you, so keep out of their road.’

‘Right.’

Boomerang in left hand, he drew it back and powered the sharp object in an arc through the air, on a course for a stray jellyfish.

‘Navi!’ Link called, ‘Get me a weak spot in that thing!’ signalling the creature controlling the speeding jellyfish.

And the small ball of light dashed in close to the monster, buzzing around it, while Link kept firing his boomerang at any jellyfish he could.

‘Watch out!’ came the cry of Ruto, just as a jellyfish, connected by a tendon to the parasite, aimed its direction in that of Link’s. But a dive and roll was enough for Link to escape danger and, conveniently placed him close to the parasite, now.

‘Link!’ Navi called, flying back toward him. ‘The base is vulnerable flesh! The rest is electrified muscle. Hit the base with your boomerang and then it will be crippled enough for you to give it the final blow with your sword.’

Taking this new information to heart, he drew back his arm for a lethally close shot with his boomerang. He watched the golden object slice through the air and embed itself in the red, fleshy material at the base of the parasite.

But it didn’t like that. Emitting a wobbly groan, it drew the few giant jellyfish it had left close to the injured flesh to act as a speeding shield around its body, not allowing Link to get any closer to the injured creature, and not in any danger from Link’s boomerang, which was painfully implanted in it.

To add more worry to Link, half a dozen purple tentacles started coming out of the top part of the monster, groping for Link in a last resort defensive. But Link had his sword out in a flash and was carving his way through slow moving tentacles with ease, but one remained out of reach; too high for him to hit with his small sword. And with a sickening realization, he noticed it was going for Ruto, who had her eyes on her sapphire that was safely grasped by a small tendon on the creature’s body. Link could only watch in horror as the tentacle, with surprising speed, snatched the Zora and dangled her high above the speeding jellyfish.

His boomerang was his only hope at getting the princess before being electrocuted to death by the monster. So he focused on the jellyfish, of which there were only three, spinning around fast enough deny easy access to its still vulnerable body. Link lined himself up right, followed a particular jellyfish all the way around the parasite, and when the time was right, leaped in front of it and landing only centimetres away from the veiny tissue of the creature. And with his childish cry, he stabbed the parasite repeatedly until it started convulsing wildly. The jellyfish were severed from the creature, now, and floated of their own accord around the stomach. Link fired his boomerang quickly at the tentacle holding Ruto, severed it, and caught her in the air, dashing for cover, only to get metres away from it before it exploded in a purple mess.
Link stopped and laid Ruto down on the ground, catching his breath.

‘You did it, Link!’ Navi congratulated him.

‘Yeah!’ he smiled.

‘I was a tad scared,’ Ruto admitted, looking sadly down at the floor. ‘The truth is, I was never swallowed by Lord Jabu-Jabu. I was hiding here.’

‘What?’ Link exclaimed. ‘But… why?’

‘My father… he went ahead and arranged a marriage for me without consulting me. He’s always saying: “Oh, my lovely princess!” I have my own feelings, and I’m not my father’s little doll!’

Link was only staring at the princess, not wishing to say something lest he anger Ruto even more. But an awkward silence followed, forcing Link to say something.

‘Being a princess sounds tough!’ Link said, rubbing his neck nervously. ‘But I guess I’m still envious of you. As for my parents… the Great Deku Tree told me that they died and I never had a chance to meet them. But since you have a loving father who’s worrying about you… let’s go home.’

Ruto sighed, and turned around, as if nervous about something.

‘Well… if it’s okay, then will you come with me?’

‘Huh?’ Link asked.

‘This is the Spiritual Stone of Water, the Zora Sapphire… an item I’m supposed to give to my fianc.’ Ruto turned around again, facing Link. ‘It’s the engagement ring of the Zoras, and I’m giving it to you!’

Ruto was blushing fiercely as she handed the sparkling blue sapphire over to Link, which had started to glow a radiant blue. Glancing up at Ruto for an awkward meeting of their eyes, he thought to himself: I’ve got all three stones. I can save Hyrule…
The Child Saga: Chapter 6 -Introducing the Hero of Time by chriso_10
Link puffed loudly and wiped away a drop of his sweat on his brow while stopping to walk, if only to give his body a rest after running for what seemed like forever. Night had fallen over the field, and the summer night was keeping the temperature warm, making it hard work travelling over the field. But Link was close to the castle, just another hill and it would be visible on the horizon, glowing with the light from the market.

‘Hyrule Castle…’ Link sighed, walking over the knoll, ‘Is burning?’

The sight on the horizon horrified Link beyond all belief, freezing him on the spot and instantly making him sweat. His mind started racing, explanations for this blaze shooting across his mind, until Zelda’s face finally appeared in his mind, which was instantly linked with Ganondorf. Even more possibilities raced through his mind, until his mind stopped on how much danger Zelda was in.

Instantly, he moved, as if suddenly cured of paralysis, and he moved he quickly. The market was normal and untouched, except for the hordes of people flooding through the streets, their terrified screams filling the night air. But Link’s gaze was fixed on the things chasing the people. Masses of skeletons garbed in archaic armour were mowing through the populace, all with a horrifying grin on their undead faces that sent chills down Link’s spine.

But even scarier than their evil grins was the ease with which they were cutting through the knights of Hyrule. Armed with burning stakes as well as swords, they were quickly forcing the people further away from the castle and into the alleys where they were free to slaughter the real competition, before hunting the rest of the people. All this time Link stood there, watching as countless soldiers fell and burned, and masses of people brush past him. Ganondorf has revolted… Link though calmly. Then his eyes were drawn to the castle and the enormous billows of smoke and flame spiralling into the night sky. So, with thoughts of Zelda still fixed in his mind, he continued to the castle, dodging the combat.

Where the castle foregrounds were heavily guarded only days earlier, they were now black and deserted, making his path to Zelda clear. The interior of the castle was no different, except for the plain evidence of confrontation. The decorations were left in tatters; both from fire and contact with something, and the bodies of the Castle Guard littered the floor. Echoes of more combat drifted to Link’s ears, but it was not the clash of steel on steel.

‘Zelda!’ Link screamed.

Up the marble stairs he went, listening for the only people left in the castle and following the faint echoes through the expansive castle. The trail brought him outside, in the direction of the balcony of the throne room, although where he emerged was one tower away from where Zelda was. Three figures were arrayed on the balcony, two cornered against the edge, and one heavily masculine figure advancing from the archway.

‘Curse you, Ganondorf…’ Impa said, blind hatred coming through in her voice, while she held Zelda closer to her. But Ganondorf’s smile only broadened.

‘The King is now resting peacefully… forever…’ he said with a mad cackle.

‘Zelda!’ Link yelled from across the balcony, gaining a hasty glance from her position in Impa’s arms. The stairs down to the ground were his only option.

‘I will obtain the power of the Tri-Force and become the King of Hyrule! No, I believe I’ll be the Emperor of the World!’ Ganondorf laughed madly.

‘No you won’t!’ Zelda said, interrupting his laughter. ‘The Hero of Time will appear to save Hyrule, and he will come to kill you!’

Ganondorf regarded the princess, ceasing his laughter for the time being, but keeping his arrogant smile.

‘What a laugh,’ he said, before his face contorted with rage, ‘Little girl!’

With incomprehensible speed Ganondorf lunged with his outstretched fist into Impa and her princess. But with even greater agility and speed, Impa leaped sideways with and sped back through the archway, leaving Ganondorf to crunch into the railing of the balcony, smashing the stone like glass. And in his position on the ground he glared through the opening after his prey, nursing his fist and wincing. But with his immense self-discipline he brushed the pain aside and called his skeleton warriors to him, who leapt with astounding height up to Ganondorf’s balcony.

‘Retrieve the Ocarina of Time!’ he told them, now standing up.

The skeletons were blurs as they pursued Impa, their swords outstretched, only to be met by Impa’s razor-sharp dagger slicing them up in nonchalant strokes while she sprinted off.

‘The Hero of Time…’ Ganondorf said to himself, mulling it over for a second. ‘An old wives tale,’ He scoffed.

Meanwhile, Link descended the stairs quickly, listening out for Zelda’s shouts as his guide. So it was with mild surprise that one of Ganondorf’s skeleton warriors blocked his path, its bulky form taking the width of the steps easily.

‘Out of my way!’ Link screamed at it, drawing his sword and shield with a ring of steel.

‘If you think you can pass, then try it, shrimp!’ it said back to him.

Link was getting angry and frustrated, and Zelda was getting further and further away from him and, along with her, Hyrule’s hope. Venting all his anger, he slashed at the skeleton’s torso, creating an explosion of bones all around him. But, countering Link’s effort, they regathered and formed the skeleton warrior once again.

‘Didn’t even scratch me,’ it said with a laugh akin to Ganondorf’s.

Link’s anger elevated a notch, causing him to advance again, but to be met this time with a swinging sword, which connected with Link’s shield with amazing force, shattering it and severely jarring his arm.

‘My shield!’ Link said between cries of pain.

Calming himself a bit, he looked at the edge of the staircase. It was a long way down on the left, and the ground was burning fiercely. So, Link dived between the skeleton’s legs and came up under it, throwing it off balance and tipping it off the edge, into the awaiting blaze and allowing Link to go on.

Impa had taken a detour to the castle stables to collect their horse, which would permit them a quicker escape. Link was not aware of this, however, so he was still headed in the direction of the market gates, which he figured was the only way out for Impa. The masses of people still cluttered about in confusion and terror, impeding Link’s path. And from the corner of his eye he spotted a white horse, with two figures on it, thundering through the skeleton ranks and demolishing them. Impa was getting away.

Link picked up his pace, but was easily beaten to the gates by the powerful horse.

‘Zelda!’ Link shouted as loud as he could.

‘Link!’ she said, looking around from the front of the horse. ‘Impa, we have to stop!’ she said to her nanny.

‘I can’t! We’ll be killed if I do!’

A last look of pleading wasn’t enough to change Impa’s mind, which was fixed on getting her to safety. But the fate of all of Hyrule depended on what Zelda had in her dress. She reached in and withdrew a purple, oval-shaped object, and flung it in the horse’s wake, in the direction of Link.

Link had stopped running, finally conceding that a horse is too quick for him to keep up with, instead watching Zelda disappear in the purple cloud that had enveloped the field. After they had gone he stood there, silently cursing Ganondorf. And then he saw the object Zelda had threw at him. It was exactly the same as what Saria had given him, which meant he held the fate of all of Hyrule in his quivering hand.

Over his heavy breathing he could hear another horse, coming from behind him. Quickly, he pocketed the ocarina and snapped his head back, seeing an immensely big war-horse, Ganondorf seated atop, charging from the market and stopping on the drawbridge where Link stood.

‘Boy,’ he said slowly, as if testing the word out. ‘Give me that item you just picked up.’

Link was frozen in fear for a second, intimidated by how much bigger Ganondorf was. But soon his sword was out of its scabbard, feeling strange in his hand without a shield in his right. He closed the distance between them with a hop and leapt into a jump attack, landing his small sword on Ganondorf’s defensive left forearm. And while Link remained in the air, his right fist came around and connected with Link’s chest, shooting him backwards and landing him on the dirt beyond the drawbridge.

‘You have a lot of courage to resist me…’ Ganondorf said, before his expression changed to recognition. ‘You’re the boy I saw at the castle with Zelda. A Kokiri… No, there’s something different about.’

Link was on his hands and knees still catching his breath after having the air pushed out of lungs. He glared at Ganondorf and picked up his sword again.

‘I am of the Kokiri Tribe! I am a child raised by the Great Deku Tree! Link!’

The little boy leapt into one last jump attack, focusing all his anger for Ganondorf into one powerful attack. Ganondorf extended his right palm to the incoming Link, a swirl of purple magic gathering in front of it. Before Link could get close, he was blasted by an enormous wave of pure magic, sending him backwards yet again. And when he landed this time, Saria’s ocarina popped out of its place on his belt and settled out of reach for Link.

In a second Ganondorf was off his horse and bending down to get the ocarina, a look of triumph on his evil face. That’s Saria’s, Link though with horror. Ganondorf held it in his enormous hand and regarded it closely.

‘Thank you for co-operating,’ he said to Link, getting on his horse and riding in the direction of where Impa had gone.

Link remained on his knees, looking up at the sky with a pained look of frustration.

‘I can’t do it Great Deku Tree!’ he shouted. ‘With such a small body, there’s no way I can beat him! What can I do?’

From her spot in Link’s hat, Navi flew out.

‘Zelda threw you the Ocarina of Time,’ she said, trying to cheer Link up. ‘You did find all three Spiritual Stones. She had to have thrown it to you for a reason.’

Link looked at the ground, trying to think.

‘She did say something about a temple. She said “the key to opening it is…”’

Link was looking at the ocarina in his hand, the spark of realization lighting him up.

‘The Ocarina of Time!’ he declared. ‘The entrance to the Sacrad Realm is in the “Temple of Time”!’

Link leapt to his feet and bolted back through the market, where things were starting to die down due to the lack of people for the skeletons to kill. Link avoided the market square, taking the alleyways behind the houses and heading for the north-east area of the market. The further he got to the temple, the less the effects of Ganondorf became. A block away from the temple it was as if nothing had happened, although the purple cloud was ever present over his head.

The Temple of Time was a gothic structure, as tall as the castle itself, but much simpler. High, arched windows covered the front of the temple, and on the space immediately above the door was the symbol Link had seen on the back of his left hand for years, believing it to be a birth-mark, but unsure due to the perfect shapes of the triangles. He had pondered on their meaning more than a few times in the forest during his wanderings, and it seemed an extreme coincidence for there to be the exact same symbol on a temple.

He was frozen on the steps to temple, not wanting to tear his eyes off the three triangles, liking the feeling that there was a chance that he had been important for his whole life. Liking the fact that now he could push the memory of his childhood teasing aside and label it as nothing, and that his life meant much more than what he had thought only a few days earlier.

‘What are you doing?’ Navi hissed, coming back through the temple’s door, having rushed in ahead.

‘That mark,’ Link said, holding up his left hand again.

‘The Tri-Force...?’

Link had the feeling that that was what it was; and in knowing it, it only gave him a greater confidence in what he was doing, and that it was right.

Silently he nodded to his fairy and resumed walking in to the temple. The grandeur and size of its interior didn’t mesmerize him as much as it would have on any other day. The white marble floor, the polished stone bricks of the walls, the exquisite red rug leading to an equally beautiful marble altar didn’t catch him. The plain, in comparison, stone door at the end of the room, did. It was a separate stone wall, more than a door, but Link wouldn’t mistake it for anything else.

Grasping the Ocarina of Time firmly in his hand, he tried to read the inscription of the altar.

‘Navi,’ he said, the fairy inspecting the door. ‘I can’t read this inscription, it’s in another language.’

The luminescent fairy floated over to the altar and regarded it closely.

‘It’s in Ancient Hylian,’ she informed him. ‘It says: “The one who collects the three stones is to stand here, and play the Song of Time. If done…”

Link held up the ocarina while she spoke, inspecting the holes of its surface. Song of Time? He thought as the fairy said it. And suddenly, without warning, something took hold of his mind, driving away all thoughts and replacing them with an image of Zelda, standing amongst nothing but white. In her calm hands she held the Ocarina of Time.

‘You will need to know this,’ she said, a sad look dominating her features.

She brought the ocarina to her mouth and blew a slow, drawn out tune. She played it a few times through, and Link found himself standing in front of the altar again. Breathing heavily, he looked at the ocarina, still safely in his hands, and not listening to Navi, who was still translating. Hurriedly, he looked at the altar again, noticing three wholes, resembling the three stones he held in his pouch. In a second Link had them sitting in their respective holes, and the ocarina at his lips with a breath of air in his mouth.

He played the tune flawlessly, not missing a note and sounding every bit like Zelda had played it; the slow beat, the long, drawn out notes. It was as if something else was moving his fingers, playing the foreign tune for him. And upon blowing the last note, the door moved. The three Spiritual Stones glowed violently and lifted slightly in the air, while the impossibly heavy stone slab split seamlessly down the middle and moved aside, showing the final chamber of the magnificent temple.

This chamber was more eye-catching than anything Link had seen before. Not so much for beauty, but for the feeling the room generated in his soul. On a raised stone dais, flooded with a ray of light from some high window, was a small stone pedestal. Contained in this pedestal was a sword: a sword with so much legend behind it that it inspired pride in Link’s heart just for the privilege of looking at it.

Link, that’s…’ Navi said dreamily, floating over to the dais, ‘the legendary… Master Sword!’

Link stepped slowly over to the dais, his footsteps echoing loudly in the chamber, making him impossibly nervous. His hands sweated and his legs started shaking, until he stood right next to it. Looking up and down the blade, he savoured the beauty of craftsmanship put into the sword, serving as pure eye candy for a boy.

‘If I have this sword,’ he said, half to himself, ‘can I beat him?’

His breathing started becoming laboured as he moved his hands closer to the hilt of the sword. His hands started dripping with sweat. He stopped inches from the purple grip, taking care. With one last leap of faith, he grabbed the handle hard and pulled upwards, sliding the blade as smooth as can be from its age old resting place.

Getting over the shock, he held the heavy sword in both hands, watching with fear as the rim of the dais exploded with blue energy, spiralling toward the roof and sapping Link of his consciousness. What’s happening to me? He thought, his vision getting blurred. What is wrong? The last thing Link remembered was the brief image of Ganondorf’s face, cackling with laughter and holding his fist up, as if in triumph.

*

‘Link…’ a soothing voice said, comforting him. ‘Awaken, Link, the chosen hero!’

Hero? Who do they mean? Questions started floating around his head, causing him a severe headache. Then he realised he had consciousness, shooting his eyes open open, seeing a sight he didn’t believe at first glance. The dais he had left only minutes ago floated in an impossibly huge space of blue nothingness, surrounded by a few lone platforms also floating. And while the pedestal was gone, he was sure it was the dais. The Tri-Force he stood on in the centre was definitely on the dais, and the circles at each point of the hexagonal platform, while he payed almost no notice of them in the temple, he was certain that they had been there.

While his eyes absorbed the space around him, his body felt severely different than it had only minutes earlier. His hands felt confined in gloves, and he had more clothes on than before. Glancing down at his hands gave him a shock. They were not only encased in leather gloves, but they were hands of an adult. What happened to me? The rest of his body was the same: in adult form, but not feeling much different.

‘What the-?’ he said.

‘Link, you’ve grown up! You’re an adult!’ Navi squealed, buzzing around his head.

‘Calmly look around you, Link,’ a new voice said.

Standing on one of the circles was an old man, looking somewhere in his fifties, and dressed in a yellow, archaic robe that made him look very much like a priest.

‘My name is Rauru,’ the old man said. ‘One of the sages who made the Temple of Time, the path to the Sacred Realm, ages ago. My body has long since vanished, but while in the “Space of the Sages”; I am able to communicate with you.’

‘What happened to me?’ Link asked, realising the obvious answer. ‘I mean, when I laid my hands on that sword, I suddenly felt very far away.’

Rauru nodded in understanding. ‘The Master Sword is a blade that cannot be wielded by those with an evil heart. In addition, only the one qualified to be the “Hero of Time” can budge it from its pedestal.’

Link had taken out the Master Sword and was once again gazing at its smooth blade while Rauru talked. He was amazed at how light it felt with his adult muscles.

‘However, you were still far too young to be the Hero of Time. And so, for 7 years, your spirit has been sleeping here.’

‘For 7 years?’ Link reiterated in amazement.

‘Yes. During those 7 years Ganondorf entered the Sacred Realm from the gate you opened and seized the Tri-Force of Power. Now, his evil continues to pillage all of Hyrule’s lands.’

Link’s heart sank at Rauru’s words. I let him get the Tri-Force? I opened the gate for him?

‘But there is a way to beat him!’ Rauru continued. ‘Break the spells on the five remaining temples and awaken the five other sages. If the Hero and the sages combine their powers, then the evil can be confined.’

‘I’m the Hero of Time?’ Link asked, looking at his left palm.

‘That’s not all,’ Rauru said. ‘Take off your left glove and look at the back of your hand.’

Link did as he requested, expecting to see the same mark he’d had all his life, but seeing something different. Before, the three triangles had been a colour just darker than his skin, almost a grey. Now, however, the bottom left triangle glowed with a golden radiance.


‘The Tri-Force’s natural defence is to split its three parts up and disperse among the people it has chosen. You, as the Hero of Time, have received the Tri-Force of courage. Ganondorf, as I have said, claimed power; and wisdom went to Zelda.’

‘Zelda?’ Link asked. ‘Is she alright?’

‘I don’t know, but she hasn’t been seen since you entered the temple.’

Link prayed with all his heart that she was alright, and was curious as to how she looked now that she was an adult.

‘What about all these clothes?’ Link asked. ‘This tunic is much bigger than my other one, and these gloves, this new shield and everything else.’

‘They’re a gift, from me,’ Rauru answered.

‘Wow, Link,’ Navi said, ‘I bet the Great Deku Tree would be surprised if he heard that you were the Hero of Time!’

‘No,’ Link answered simply. ‘He already knew; he left hints about it.’

‘Which brings me to ask,’ Rauru said, ‘that you know you are not of the Kokiri?’

‘I kind of guessed it,’ Link replied.

‘You have Hylian blood, the same as Princess Zelda. Before the kingdom of Hyrule was united, when it was still at war, you were born into the guardian house of the current kingdom of Hyrule. Your father died in battle, and your mother, while sustaining serious injuries, frantically fled the burning mansion your family occupied, holding the infant you. She fled into the Forbidden Forest and breathed her last, leaving her baby in the care of the Deku Tree. He sensed the fate of Hyrule’s future and decided that someday you’d leave the forest to become the Hero.’

‘I’m a Hylian,’ Link said to himself, not sad as such, but in acceptance.

‘From now on, hardships will be a given for you. That is your fate, and you can’t have any complaints.’

Link closed his eyes before answering: ‘I haven’t any. By becoming an adult I’ve gained a lot of power. I can fight Ganondorf on his own terms. If this sword chose me, and if I am suited to be the Hero, I will beat Ganondorf! And this time, I will protect Zelda!’
This story archived at http://www.kasuto.net/efiction/viewstory.php?sid=980