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"It's time."

Impa's words rose Zelda from the seat at her desk. She had a lot to think about. Today was a very special day for her. A dark one. It would have been the day Link and the sages had sent Ganondorf back into the void of the Sacred Realm. Of course, she had sent Link back into time and only the two of them understood what was happening. Right now, though, Link was sleeping in his treehouse in the Kokiri Forest. And Zelda had something else on her hands...something big.

Impa led her down the stairs to the conference room. There sat delegates from all of Hyrule's major races. Nabooru, as the Gerudo's queen. Darunia, as the Goron leader. Ruto, as the Princess of the Zora. Apparently, their king still wouldn't move his big ass, not even for an emergency such as this. The Kokiri were the only ones without a representative. Impa took a seat, and the meeting began.

"Thank you for coming on such short notice, brothers and sisters of Hyrule." Princess Zelda spoke with not much of a emotional tone, just a plain voice. Which was unusual, given that she usually sounded so upbeat and happy.

"Where is the Kokiri representative?" Darunia was always the outspoken one, although pretty much everyone but Impa had no problem speaking their mind.

"Dumbass, you know they cannot leave the forest." Ruto and Darunia had this thing about arguing a lot.

"Did I ask you for an opinion?"

"ENOUGH!" Zelda shut them up. "Normally, I find your bickering humorous, but not today. The Kokiri apparently do not have a representative." Zelda was sad at this: she thought Link would have been there by now. She had sent a messenger the day before. Link was the only one in there who could leave, and given the dire situation, she knew he would come.

"Now, let us begin. As you all know, my father passed away seven months ago."

"Very tragic. I still have trouble believing he's gone." Darunia may have acted tough, bvut he had a few soft spots. The late King of Hyrule was one of them.

"With his passing, I was the one who had to rule. Immediately, a neighboring country has decided that Hyrule is ripe for the picking. As we speak, a quarter of a million troops are coming in by sea from the east and over the western canyons into the Gerudo's territory." The room was hushed now. Hyrule had a history of being very violent internally, but its relations with other countries was top-notch. Nobody had ever had a problem with the kingdom.

"If those bastards make it to the Spirit Temple..." Nabooru was a little bit concerned. "Ever since the Haunted Wasteland was cleared out by my people, there's no reason why they couldn't march straight into our land." The Haunted Wasteland was a giant sandstorm waiting to kill, but the Gerudos had recently completed work on a giant tunnel system leading right to the sacred temple. "There aren't enough of us to hold them, even for a few hours."

"The Zora people can only do so much from underwater." Ruto was less concerned due to her racial pride. But she still knew the threat was pretty bad.

"We need a head count on soldiers. We have 5,000 Hylians."

"800 Gerudos."

"300 Gorons."

"600 Zoras.

"Okay. Now, how do we defend Hyrule from 250,000 men, with only a handful of able-bodied warriors?"

The council was silent.




Link sat up from his bed. He climbed up to his feet, trying not to fall back down. His hair was all over the place.

"Uh...goddamn..."

Link remembered the reason for his dizzyness: an empty bottle of rum lay on the floor. He slowly walked over to the bathroom door. Three years ago, Link decided to just put a damn outhouse in so he didn't have to do his business outside. Being struck by lightning while urinating with your shield on was a memory Link didn't want to remember. While Link was doing his business inside, Saria took it upon herself to walk into Link's house.

"Have you been drinking again?"

Link didn't answer, only the sound of a liquid stream.

"Yep."

Link walked out of the outhouse. "Morning to you, too."

"I'm not the one who has to be in Hyrule in...oh, about two seconds?"

Link completely forgot that he had been asked to represent the Kokiri at an emergency meeting at Hyrule Castle. "I can make it, remember?" Link grabbed a tunic from a chest nearby and slid it on.

"You're going looking like THAT?"

"Why not? I'm not going to impress anyone. I might stop and see Malon..." Malon. After Link's escapade through time, Link tried to visit Malon as much as possible. She didn't remember "fairy boy" at all, but she soon got to know him. Link still remembered that he went ahead and made the trip to Hyrule Castle Town, and met Malon there, waiting for her dad just as he remembered. And just as he remembered, he had to sneak into the castle to wake Talon up. Then, he went back to the ranch fo visit Malon, and met Epona. The part Link didn't relive was when he kept coming back...and after seven years he and Malon managed to make a very nice bond together. At the moment, they were nestled comfortably between dating and friends. But Link was going to change that soon. Malon was turning seventeen in a week, and he wanted to make it special for her.

"LINK!" Saria broke Link's train of thought. "Stop daydreaming and hurry up! Get your sword and go!" Saria handed Link the Peacemaker. Obviously the Master Sword was laid to rest. So Link had saved up money for about six months to have a replica made. It didn't feel the same to Link, and there were a few minor changes to the looks; the handle was green instead of blue. But, it was a sufficient weapon. Link readied his Ocarina and brought it to his lips. He paused quickly.

"Forgetting something?"

Saria giggled. "Sorry, Link. I guess we're both in a hurry." Saria jumped up as high as she could to wrap her arms around the neck of a much taller Link. "See you soon, Saria." Link then let her go and played the Prelude of Light. The yellow particles flashed around him, and he was gone.


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