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"Don't! Link, it's me!"

Link stops dead in his tracks, almost falling backwards. He drops the blade immediately, then clutches his forehead hard.

"SHIT! I'm so sorry!"

"It's okay..." Malon took Link's hands away from his head and held them. "Did you forget I was coming out today?" Link is still obviously edgy, so Malon assists him in calming down with a quick kiss to the cheek.

"I'm sorry. Whoa...I'm okay." Link and Malon embrace, as Malon's head finds Link's shoulder almost instinctively. "So, what's going on again?"

"Saria and I are going to check up on Kiko. Remember?" Malon and Saria were really good at getting their stories straight to fool Link. Malon's dog Duke had a habit of eating Link's pot stash, and Malon desperately tried to hide it from Link until one day when Duke took a massive dump in front of Link, with several marijuana stems and seeds protruding from the turd.

"Oh, right. I have to go find that stuff for her medicine..." Malon immediately hands Link a small slip of paper. "Saria sent me over with the recipe so you'd know what to get." Link looks down at the list and reads it for a second.

"I've got to go. See you in a little bit, fairy boy." Malon leaned up and kissed Link. As she walks away, Link stops for a second, then starts to collect his gear for a little jaunt through the woods.




Link drags his feet, a little bit worn out. Going from one corner of the woods to the other, he managed to collect all the necessary ingredients for Saria's recipe. He had to get the mushrooms by literally prying thm from the hands of a few Deku Scrubs who didn't want to let go without a fight. So Link took to it, and caught a Deku Nut with his bare hands, throwing it back in their faces. It scared them off for the time being. Link then had to climb a tree nearly seventy-five feet high just to reach the leaves he needed. Almost slipping and falling from the tree, he caught his ground only to slip again coming down from the last branch, falling on his back. Deku berries were the easiest to find, but the hardest to obtain. They lay under a thick layer of thorns that Link had to saw through with his knife for half an hour. Finally, everything was okay, and Link had what he needed. He stopped at a familar stone archway - it was the enterance to Gorom City. Link couldn't resist: he always loved the echo going down that cavern.

"HELLO?.ello.ello...heh, that is so cool!"

Link smiled a little bit and went to go on his way when a familar voice came echoing back.

"HELLO!.ello.ello...who the hell was that?"

Link started to look down the tunnel. "Hey...who is..."

"LINK!"

"LINK!" Link looked and finally saw who was on the other end of the tunnel: Link, Darunia's son. He began to roll up the tunnel, as seeing a Goron run is so hilarious that's why you'll never see it. Let's face it, the goddesses didn't mean for a Goron to run. Link uncioled and met up with Link, directly in the middle of the magic gateway between the two regions of Hyrule. Link was taken back by the young Goron's appearance: he was now fully-grown like the other Gorons. You see, Gorons age differently than the other races: becoming fully grown within one year but living for several hundred years. He had his little Goron goatee, but unline most Gorons his blondish fur was in dreadlocks.

"What's up, Link?" The Goron and the Hylian try to slap fists, but the outcome is obvious. Link holds his hand, wincing a little bit. "Shit. Not much, Link. What about you?"

"Just chilling, nothing out of the ordinary. Dad had to spend a week on bedrest. Get this: he was doing his daily roll through the tunnels, and rolled over the edge of the mountain going too fast1"

"HUH?"

"Yeah, he came down the mountain still curled in a ball. Went right into the Kakariko Windmill. Smacked it so hard he almost knocked it over. I didn't think you could ever crack a Goron's skull but he came damn close." Link gets himself a seat beside a crate, Link pops up onto the crate.

"Man, I'm glad he's okay."

"So where you been, man?"

"What?"

"You haven't been out of the forest since that whole Lych thing. What's the big deal?"

Link rubs his temples. "I don't know, man...I think it was just the whole brother thing...I don't know..."

Link reaches up and gives Link a gentle pat on the back, which still kinda hurts. "Hey, man...I don't know what to say, so I'll be honest. You want to smoke some weed, talk this out?"

Link pulls a small wooden pipe from his bag and grins. "I was waiting."

Link produces a pipe of his own, made from a rock. Using a new invention called a minitorch, Link lights the bowl. Link also has his own way of lighting a bowl: he merely sticks his whole hand in the torch lighting the stone hallway. Pulling away, his thick Goron skin is completely unaffected by the heat. His bowl is lit, and he takes a drag.

"So, talk to me."

"Well, you know the drill. My mother died because of my brother. And my brother died because of me. I spent my whole life not knowing who my family was. I never knew my bloodline, where I came from, what I stood for. I was never really a Kokiri. I was an outcast in Kokiri clothing. All because I didn't have a fairy. And the day i got one, my life turned upside-down. My life wasn't mine anymore. I was an instrument of fate." Link paused from his story to take a hit.

"What the hell do you mean? You didn't have to save the world. You didn't have to come up Death Mountain that day and become the great Dodongo buster. You didn't have to Dude, you have free will. A choice. You only think you didn't have a choice because in your heart, you knew you couldn't say no and live with yourself." Now it's Link's turn to pause and hit. The two then switch bowls.

"Well, yeah, but it was destiny...it was all freakin' planned out. Before I was even born I was going to be a fighter. I never got the chance to be anything else. And now, I don't have anyone to fight. So I'm just drifting."

"Wait, so explain something to me." Link turns a little bit to face his Hylian friend. "In the alternate future, about six months ago according to the seven year thing, you would have taken down Ganondorf. Right?"

"Yeah."

"And six months ago, Lych tried to storm hyrule."

"Yeah. I get your point. There's something there."

"Yeah. But what?"

"That's my point, Link." Link hops down from the crate and taps the ashes from his bowl. "Even when I was given back my childhood, I had to fight. When I came home, I met with Zelda. We talke. She told me there was something she had forgotten to tell me. She said, "Link, even though we defeated Ganondorf, and everything is restored, it is not over. Seven years from now, as a result of ripples and effects caused by your repeated time travel, a new evil will arise. You will have to become the Hero of Time once again." I didn't believe it. I didn't want to. And for the first two or three years I didn't."

"Why not? Dude, you've seen Zelda's powers. She doesn't play around."

"I wanted a chance to live my life. I don't know...but when I was thirteen I met this guy. He was a young Hylian soldier working the gate at Kakariko, but he wasn't from anywhere around Hyrule. After talking for only two minutes, he spoke quietly. He said, 'Son, listen to my words. I am I am here in secret. I know who you are. I know of the future that was. You were the Hero of Time then, and you are the Hero of Time now. And in four years you will have be the Hero of Time again. Evil will come again. It has destroyed my land, and it will destroy yours. I beg of you, please don't forget my words.' And he returned to his post, standing like a statue back on guard as to tell me to leave him alone. I obviously did. The next day he was gone. Nobody there knew who I was talking about, or who I was trying to describe to them. He vanished."

"Who was it?"

"I never found out. But I listened to him: I spent the next four years powering myself up. I eventually acquired all of the treasures of the Temples, only the temples weren't crawling with monsters. They were brilliant, beautiful monuments as they were supposed to be. I was welcomed by the spirits and given blessing: told nothing about what I would face; only that I would be ready. Zelda called for me in that council meeting the day the army breached Hyrule's borders. She knew from the beginning. She never expected me to be there. She didn't know about my visit from the other man; she only thought I still didn't believe her and I had went on to live my life, unable to be the Hero of Time. Imagine her suprise when I showed up ready to rumble."

The future Goron leader listened intently to every word. Finally, Link was silent and it was his turn to speak. "Wow, man. That's incredible. You see? It was destiny you go through hell, but was destiny that you survive it. Think about it like that: you've got a scar running down your chest, but at least there's still a heart in there still beating."

"You're right. I shouldn't think of it that way."

"Cheer up, man. Hey, you've got a birthday tomorrow. That's reason to celebrate, right?"

"Yeah...but...wait a second, how do you know that tomorrow is my birthday?"

"Man, one more question." Link tried to change the subject. "When did you find out about this stuff?"

"Huh?"

"Weed."

"Oh. Couple of years ago, ran into some nomads in the Gerudo desert. Told me all about it. I brought some seeds back to the Deku Tree. He told me it was a plant, a creation of the goddesses just like anything else in the forest. I asked him about its use. He told me that it takes an ingenious mind, or an extremely lucky one, to discover that trying to inhale the smoke from burning a flower could be a positive experience. It wouldn't be a problem, he would allow it to grow with the protection of the forest's magic. He only asked that it never be used for any malicious purposes. It should be respected and appreciated as a product of the earth. Tell you the truth, I don't really see the problem. How could anybody possibly use something that makes you feel this good for anything bad?"

"I hear ya, homie. I hear ya. I think that's the greatest thing you ever did for Hyrule, introducing this into our culture. Here in Goron City, proeduction has doubled on the rock mines, not to mention nobody ever really complains anymore about living in a giant cave with no windows and only one working door. I'm sure it's the same everywhere else."

"Not really, man. Saria and I are the only ones who smoke it in the forest."

"Really?"

"Yeah. We always ask, but they never want to. Their choice."

"Well, I guess that getting high just isn't for everybody."

"Maybe not."

"Well, I gotta get going back. We've got a big race tonight. There's a Goron racing track in the Crater now. Sometime you should bring Malon down for a few races."

"You can make her a custom Goron tunic then."

"Can't she wear a normal one like everybody else?"

"I'm sure she could, Link, but she might not want everybody to see her tits. Well, all right, I have to get this freakin' medicine back to the girls before it gets dark. Take it easy, Link."

"You too, Link." Link and Link shared a quick hug, which almost crushed Link's spine. As the two Links walk back their seperate ways, Link turns back before heading back into the forest.

"Hey Link. Isn't it funny seeing how many times we can say Link and confuse the reader?"

"Dude, it sure is. You made that joke last the whole chapter, too. Nice."

"Thanks. I'll be here all week."

"Just walk your ass back to the forest so we can get on to Chapter 3."

Link shakes his head and waves, laughing to himself as he walks back into the Lost Woods. Little did he know, though, that Chapter 2 is not quite over yet.




It is dark outside in the forest. The fairies and spirits light up the area with their dim glow, making a sort of twilight. Malon is mounting Snowstorm, who has an all-white saddle now to compliment her all-whote coat. Link helps her up, and once she is up she leans down a bit to Link.

"I'll see you tomorrow."

"All right."

"I'm bringing Epona. She is dying to see you."

"Thanks."

Malon and Link share a slow kiss. They finally pull away. "Good night." Malon gives Link a very cute smile as she pulls up and begins to ride gently out of the forest.

"Good night..." Link watches as Malon leaves out into Hyrule FIeld. Saria walks up behind Link.

"You're lucky the Deku Tree is letting her enter the forest for you."

"I'm lucky she'll come here to see me." Link and Saria begin to walk towards Saria's house. "I'm suprised she has time with the ranch." Lon Lon Ranch suffered some heavy damage from the siege, but was built right back up. Now bigger and better than before, the ranch was flourishing. New horses, cows, chickens, and other animals were born faster than new barns and stables could be put up. Talon was more sucessful than ever, and immediately began to hire more workers, mainly to get Malon out of the stables and into Link's waiting arms. However, Link had not even left the forest to visit the ranch. Epona hadn't seen a single rider since Link, no matter how many times she went out into the field. It seemed like this everywhere: Hyrule was prospering faster than ever. Yet Link had not seen a glimpse of it.

"It's late, Link. Go get some rest before tomorrow." Saria looked up at Link.

"Yeah, you're right. Whoever gets up first wakes up the other?"

"Just like every other day. Night." Saria jumped up and hugged Link.

"Night Saria." As Saria went into her home, Link turned to walk towards his own. As he began to reach the familar rope ladder, he began to feel slightly strange. He was still sort of high, yeah, but it didn't feel like a buzz. It felt different. Link began to ascend the ladder. The farther up the ladder he went, it felt like the longer the climb to the top. Link got to his feet and prepared to enter his home. As he did, the doorway seemingly followed him. Link was astounded, looking behind him quickly. The door was back in its normal place. Shaking his head, Link walks towards the enterance to his bed chamber. Entering through, he feels the strange sensations for one last time before collapsing onto his bed face-down, his eyes rolling into the back of his head. This was not a drug-induced smiley kind of passing out...some kind of dark force was putting Link to sleep. And it worked. Link lay on his bed, locked in slumber.


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