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Chapter Five
“Link the Archer”

Link trudged down Hyrule Field, walking towards the Kokiri Forest. Link hadn’t talked to Saria since the party and she must’ve been worried about him.

He heard the clatter of wooden wheels on dirt behind him. He turned when he heard a voice call out to him.

“Hey, Fairy Boy” It was Malon, “you’re looking pretty down. Need a lift?”

Link nodded and climbed into the wagon. He joined her in the driver’s seat. She started the wagon up again. Malon glanced at Link and said cautiously, “I...heard what happened at the party.”

Link looked at her and sighs, “It’s the talk of the kingdom, huh?”

Malon nodded slowly, turning her attention back on the road, she spoke, “Yeah, you two were Hyrule’s “perfect couple”, I guess. I’m not into gossip, but I hear things while at the marketplace.”

Link shook his head, “Derek...he’s such a prick. I felt like knocking the bastard out back there.”

Malon raised a brow, “What? At the party?”

“No, it was earlier tonight. The way he talked about treating her...” Link said.

Malon nodded slowly, finally getting it, “ he’s the old-school type.”

Link shrugged, “You could say that.” Malon glanced back at Link and asked, “So, where do you want me to drop you off? The Forest?”

Link thought for a moment and replied, “I don’t know...”

Malon smirked and said, “You don’t know?” Link nodded with a sorry look. Malon sighed and shook her head, “Oooookay, then. How about you spend some time at the ranch?”

Link agreed solemnly, “Alright.”

They rode in silence together until they reached the ranch. Malon drove the wagon through the gates and stopped in front of the barn. She glances at Link, who was deep in thought. He didn’t seem to realize they had reached their destination.

Malon poked Link, “Hey, we’re here.” Link looked up and glanced around, “Oh, sorry.”

Malon hoped off the side of the wagon and walked to the back, she knew how to get Link’s mind off of the troubling subject, “Hey, Link...mind giving me a hand?”

Link smiled and nodded, hoping off the wagon and joining her. Together, they unloaded the milk crates from the wagon. After less than half an hour, they finished. They both were sitting on the horses’ barricade fence outside. The moon shined down and reminded them both of the time they first met.

Link glanced at her and asked, “Do you still sing to the moon?”

Malon smiled and looked up at the moon dreamily, “Yeah, but not every night. It’s only when I’m feeling lonely.”

Link questioned this, “Lonely?”

Malon nodded, “Yeah, I never got to make any actual friends. Sure, there are those nice people I chat with between deliveries, but other than that...” she glanced at him, “I don’t really have anyone else. It’s all the work I have to do. It’s getting to me, that’s all.”

Link raised a brow and asked with a faint smile, “What about me? We hang out everyday, I always thought of us as friends.”

Malon smiled back at him sheepishly, “Oh, right...I...uhm...didn’t think about that. I thought you only came because you wanted to check on Epona.”

Link shook his head and smiled, “No, it used to be that way. You’re saying you didn’t think I was your friend? That’s so hurtful.” Link joked.

Malon turned red, “Sorry. I guess I couldn’t believe I had a friend, that’s all. Anyways, enough about me being a lonely farm girl with no life, it’s making me feel bad.” She smiled at him.

Link pulled out his fairy ocarina, Saria had made him a new one ever since Ganondorf destroyed the last one, “You wanna do a little duet? I’ve gotten better since last time.”

Malon smirked, “...which was about a month ago? Alright,” Malon jumped off the fence and landed softly in the grass, “just don’t play too fast, ok? ‘Cause last time you almost made me pass out.”

Link laughed softly, “I thought it was funny.”

They spent the next hour playing and singing, eventually, they tired and had to take a breather.

Link replaced his ocarina and said, “We were pretty good.”

Malon looks at him shrewdly, “’Pretty good’? We were great! I never sang that hard my life, having an instrument in the background just sorta woke something up inside.”

Link laughed, “You got way too into the music.”

Malon countered, “Yeah? Well, I saw your face and you were really into it, too.”

Link shrugged, “At least I can admit it.” He glanced at what looked like a bull’s-eye with a few arrows strewn all over the field. He asked, “What’s that? Are you trying to get into archery?”

Malon replied with an embarrassed tone, “Oh, that? Uhm...yeah, I guess. I’m not very good at it. I forgot to clean up because I lost track of time and had to rush to my next delivery. I saw you shooting while riding on Epona once and I knew I had to try it.”

Link hopped off the fence, “How about I give you some pointers?” Malon smiled and followed, “Alright, Fairy Boy, teach me.”

Link picked up Malon's bow from the grass and pulled an arrow from the ground, “Alright, first show me how you shoot.”

Malon smirked, taking the bow and arrow, “I thought you were supposed to teach me, not the other way around?”

Link matched her smirk, “Just shoot it, Red.” Malon blinked and smiled, “Oh, Fairy Boy gave me a nickname!”

Link shook his head. Malon fired, missing the target completely, the arrow flies and lands somewhere outside the ranch. Link blinked and pointed to the target, “I hope you know that you’re supposed to SHOOT the TARGET.”

Malon sighed and replied angrily, “Just shut up and teach me before I shoot you.” Link laughed, "With a shot like that? I've got nothing to worry about, then."

Malon pouted, angry and embarrassed, "Well, you're standing mighty close, I can still smack you with this bow, you know."

Link smiled and pulled another arrow from the ground, “First off, your stance is off.”

He handed Malon the arrow and stood to her back, taking her hands and guiding her body into the perfect stance. He talked her through it, “Alright since you’re right handed, stand like this. Now, keep your feet shoulder width apart. Now relax.”

Malon looked at Link over her shoulder, “Wait, I saw you and you did it the other way.” Link sighed, “That’s because I’m left-handed.” Malon blinked, “ are?”

Link raised a brow, “ I was saying. It doesn’t really matter. It’s just that this way is easier for you.” Malon turned red as Link continued, “Now, this is called ‘nocking’ the arrow.” Link moved her hand and makes her place the arrow on the bowstring “See? Keep your fingers relaxed. Don’t get too tense, ok?”

Malon felt hot all over, Link was so close to her. She hardly heard a word he was saying.

Link kept talking, “Keep only the thumb and index finger on the arrow and relax...”

Malon’s mind began drifting, and she blushed.

“And...There you go, see?” Link said after he was finished and stepped back from her. Malon snapped back to reality and looked at the Bull’s-eye. An arrow was impaled right in the center red, she blinked and looked at her hands, they were still in the firing stance. Malon smiled, reverting from her stance, “Hey, I finally did it!”

Link smiled, “Good, now do it yourself.”

Malon blinked, glancing at the target with an arrow stuck dead center. She looked back at Link and said with an embarrassed tone, “Uhm...would you mind showing me again?”

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