l Expectations ran high in Link. Everything that he had ever done in the past few days led up to this. The battle with the ogres, the constant riding, and him almost giving in to his insanity. But all of that didn’t matter now because he was at Hyrule City, now.
It didn’t take long for Link to realize that he was not the only village representative there at the time. The feelings of him feeling mildly special had vanished. People held odd gifts, each one telling a story about the village where it came from.
Now, more than ever, he wanted to at least know what he was giving to the Royal Family. Some people were talking in groups. Small conversations all around him. Although he didn’t mean to, he caught on the last few words of the people next to him, “…..beautiful princess.”
He turned around and saw that it came from a burly man holding a bow and arrows made entirely out of wood talking to a petite and small woman, holding a gold tiger statue. Link inched his way closer to the people. So close, he did not realize that he was nearly breathing down the burly man’s neck.
The man didn’t mean to be rough, but he playfully put a large strong hand on Link’s shoulder and brought him around so that it looked like all three of the people were talking. “Well, what have we here?” the man asked in a thunderous voice.
Link was shaking unintentionally. “Oh stop that, Bruce, you’re scaring him,” said the small petite woman. “I’m Allisa. What’s your name?”
“L….Link,” he managed to cough out. The man still had his hand on Link’s shoulder. It didn’t hurt him, but it felt like his shoulder would crack any minute.
“Where are you from? Judging by your clothes, I’d say the woods,” said Bruce.
“Well, sort of,” said Link. “I live near the woods.”
“Oh yes, that’s right, you live in that village far away. I forgot what it was called….Let’s see…Toru….Taru?” Allisa thought hard.
“Toaru, I’m from Toaru.”
“Yes that’s right. I’ve been there once, they sure are dressing differently now, huh?”
“Yeah, those are some interesting clothes you’re wearing,” Bruce teased.
“My friend made them for me just for the trip. This is the first time I’ve done something like this,” said Link
Allisa eyed Link, “How come Mayor Doran didn’t come?”
“I don’t know. He just picked me to bring this here.” Link held up the object to the two people. They looked at him with a what’s-under-the-sheet look. “I’m not allowed to look at it. Doran gave me strict orders not to see it.”
“So?” asked Bruce. “They tell us all that stuff. We never listen, we just wait until we’re out of sight, then we look at it.”
“Doesn’t the Royal Family get angry at that?” asked Link.
“Oh, no,” said Allisa. “They’ve grown used to it. We all do it.”
“Yeah,” said Bruce. “You’re far enough from your village. Why don’t you look at yours?”
“I…don’t want to. I know I can’t, so I won’t,” said Link.
Bruce folded his arms and gave Link a hard stare, “Doran would’ve done it.”
“Now Bruce, I think it’s very noble of Link to do this.”
Link smiled, then remembered why he was talking to these people in the first place. “I heard you mention a princess.”
“Oh, looks like someone has his eye on the princess,” Bruce let out a deep laugh.
“I do not! I don’t even know what she looks like!”
“I don’t either,” said Allisa. “No one does.”
“No one’s seen her in some time,” said Bruce. “Some say she fears the light, forcing her to live in darkness.”
“I highly doubt that.”
Link clenched the object in his hands, suddenly feeling more protective of it than ever. Link saw that some of the village representatives were leaving, no objects in their hands.
“Looks like their starting to present their gifts,” said Allisa.
“What do I do? I’ve never done this before,” Link said, panicky.
“Relax, kid,” said Bruce. “All you have to do is go in there, get on one knee and bow. Say “my village of Whatever bears a gift for you”. When a guard comes to accept it, you give it to them and leave. Your village is always the last to present, so they’d probably be so bored that they won’t even care how ridiculous you look.” Bruce chuckled.
“Oh Bruce, leave him alone!” said Allisa. She turned to face Link, “Don’t worry, you’re going to do fine.” She smiled.
“Snowhead Village!” a guard called out.
“That’s me,” said Bruce. “It was nice meeting you, bye!” Bruce ran to the guard and into the Royal Family’s chamber.
“You know, when I first came here, the guard looked at me funny,” said Link.
“What do you mean?” asked Allisa.
“Well, I showed him this gift, and he just went blank.”
Allisa shook her head. “I have no idea.”
“Great Bay Village!” the guard called out.
“Oh, that’s me, I live near the ocean, hence the name. Anyway, it was great meeting you! Hope to see you again soon.”
Allisa turned and left. By now, there were only about six people in the room outside of the Royal Family’s chamber. Link included. Soon there were only four, then two, then he was all alone. After a short eternity, the guard came out one last time.
“Toaru Village,” he called unnecessarily.
“I’m here,” said Link. He walked to the guard and he led him into the chamber. The King sat comfortably on his throne. From a distance, he looked like a snow top, mostly because of his white beard.
Link walked reluctantly to him. There was a long red velvet carpet leading up to him. Link didn’t know how far he was supposed to go until he stopped. At last, he got on one knee, bowed and held up the artifact to him, keeping his head down.
Remembering what Bruce told him, he said, “My village of Toaru bears a gift for you.”
“What is it?” the King asked
Link was taken back at how he responded. It was a normal tone, not fancy or noble or anything.
“I…don’t know sir. I was instructed not to know,” said Link, nervous.
The words of the young man hit the King like a punch. “Arise, son,” said the King.
Link obeyed. He held the object in his arms, tightly. “Follow me.”
The King walked down a dark corridor behind his throne. There was a huge wall in front of them.
“Um…this is just a wall,” said Link.
“It’s what’s behind it that matters. This is not a wall, it’s a door,” said the King. He pushed on the door with all of his strength. Dirt fell under the pressure, but the door did not move. “I need your help, kid.”
Link pressed his back against the door and pushed with his feet. He could feel the door opening. More dirt fell. The effects of abandonment of the door never being open made it that way. Finally, the door swung open.
Link found himself in what seemed like a temple. Some of it was in ruins. There was a shallow pedestal near the entrance, another pedestal with something carved on it in the back, and two stone doors with three triangles on it.
“Where are we?” asked Link, amazed.
“This is the Temple of Time, Link,” said the King, not turning to face him.
“How do you know my name?”
“I knew you were going to come here. One day. I waited year after year for the day you would return. There is a lot that you don’t know. You are more than you think you are. Remove the cloth from the gift that you have given me. Don’t worry, you can look at it now.”
Link slowly pulled the cloth from the artifact. It dropped to the floor in a pool. Link held in his hands, a huge green emerald surrounded by gold and a swirl in the center. It was simply beautiful. It could fit in Link’s hand, and had room to spare.
“It’s beautiful,” Link said in a daze.
“That is the Kokiri’s Emerald. It belongs to you.”
“To me? But this is Toaru’s gift to you.”
The king walked over to the pedestal and picked up another object wrapped in a cloth. It was around the same size as the Kokiri’s Emerald. The King removed the cloth and there was a ruby surrounded by gold in the shape of a “V”.
“This is yours too. It is called the Goron’s Ruby.”
“Who were they? I never heard of either.”
“The Kokiri’s lived in a forest long ago. Until dark times came and no one stood a chance. The Goron’s were just the same. They lived in the mountains, in solitude. The hero, thought to have destroyed all of the evil in Hyrule vanished. No one knows where he is. Or if he’s still alive.
“The sacred relic, known as the Trifore, was split and broken into three pieces again. They say it still lives, but no one knows for sure. You were born to protect these stones, known as the Three Spiritual Stones.”
“But sir,” said Link, I only have two.”
“There is another stone known as Zora’s Sapphire. I do not know where it is. I was to protect the Ruby, Toaru Village was to protect the Emerald, but I know not of the whereabouts of the Sapphire. You must find it.”
“I don’t know. I live a happy peaceful life in Toaru. I have friends and almost family there, I do not wish to live the rest of my life out in Hyrule Field.”
The King stroked his beard. “I see. But there is another reason why you must find it. My daughter was kidnapped by evil dark creatures. They believe that she possesses it, but she does not. If you find it, we can get her back. Fear not, Link, the stone will come to you. You do not have to go out and find it if you do not want to. With two in your possession already, the other stone’s power will awaken, it will be easier.”
“I know I have to ride home with these two objects in hand, but there will be demons after me. I narrowly escaped with just one.”
“You were destined to hold the Kokiri’s Emerald. You can use the power from that. I also heard that you were trained to fight. Just believe in yourself. Please, find my daughter.”
“It would help a little to know what her name is….”
Link’s mind raced with questions as he rode back home to Toaru Village. Oddly enough, there were no more demons or monsters after the stones, especially ogres. “Maybe they’ve given up,” Link thought.
There was a huge crowd waiting for Link when he returned. Andim was at the front. It seemed that during the entire trip, this was the only time he smiled happily. Now he had two stones, and everyone expected him to not have any.
He hid them under the hem of his tunic. Everyone cheered and Link was soon bombarded with questions. He told everyone the story about the ogres that he battled. After a while, the Mayor shooed them away and gave Link some space. Once everyone cleared out, only Andim and Ilia stayed. Ilia patted Epona on her back. “She’s had a long trip. Let’s go brush her up,” she said.
On their way to the small pond, a crowd of small children awaited him. All beamed when they saw Andim and him approach. “There he is!” one child cried.
“What’s going on here?” asked Link.
“We want to learn how to fight like you, Link!” a small child called out in a loud voice.
“Yeah! We want to kick butt!”
“Yeah!” all of the children cheered at once.
Link laughed, “But I’m still learning myself.”
“Please, Link!” Andim pleaded.
“Please!” the rest pleaded.
Link shrugged, “I guess I can show you a few moves.”
“Link’s gonna teach us how to fight! Yay!”
All the children cheered. “Hold on there, kids,” Link calmed them down. “To be a good warrior, you have to be calm and at peace, but at the same time, you have to tough and aggressive.” Link playfully hit his fist in the palm of his opposite hand.
“But how can we be calm and tough at the same time?” asked a blonde child.
Link scratched the back of his neck, “Lets see if this helps….”
“Earth, sky, day night. Sound and silence, dark and light. One alone is not enough. You need both together. Winter, summer, moon and sun…” Link pulled his sword out of his sheath, jumped up and came down to the ground with a sword swoop.
“Lesson number one!” Andim came by and handed each of the children a stick to represent a sword.
“Like a rock, hah, hah, you must be hard. Hah…hah.” Link pretended to hit something.
Like an oak, hah, hah, you must stand firm, hah, hah. Come quick…” Link’s sword glided over the kids’ heads as his sword swooped over them, “Like my blade. Think fast, hah, hah, unafraid!”
The children repeated everything he did, and repeated the words. “Like a rock, hah, hah, I must be hard. Hah, hah, like an oak, hah, hah, I must stand firm. Hah, hah, come quick, like my blade. Think fast, hah, hah, unafraid.”
“Ok, Link, I’m ready!” called a small child.
“Uh huh, but you’re still out of balance,” Link tipped the child with his finger. “You’re only halfway there.”
Link sat crossed legged on the grass with his hands on his knees.
“Like a cloud…you are soft. Like the trees, you sway in the wind……Creeping slow you’re at peace because you know……it’s ok to be afraid.”
Again, the children repeated what he did.
“Like a cloud, I am soft. Like the trees, I sway in the wind. Creeping slow I’m at peace because I know……It’s ok to be afraid……”
Link stood in place, doing various moves as the children mimicked him. Repeating everything Link sang a second later.
“One alone is not enough. You need both together. Winter, summer, moon and sun. Lesson number one.”
Now half of the kids sang one part, and the other half sang the other part,
“Like a cloud…”
“Like a rock, hah hah I must be hard.”
“Like the trees, I sway in wind.”
Link sang, “You can fly!"
“Creeping slow I’m at peace because I know…”
“Like my blade. Think fast…”
“It’s ok to be afraid.”
“You have begun!”
All of the children sang, “Lesson number….lesson number…lesson number….lesson number…lesson number one!”
And with that, all sticks dropped and everyone fell back in an exhausting fashion….