The More You Suffer: The Better
I wrote this in 98 and submitted it to the famous Kasuto, but he hasn't posted it since, so I figure I spend time on this-I should put it somewhere. So here it is on the well know fan fiction, net
Fell free to e-mail me with any comments or anything you please, good or bad: TriFrog7@yahoo.com
Before you read this, you should know that it takes place after the ‘Ocarina of Time,’ and ‘Majora’s Mask,’ but directly after ‘Oracle of Seasons’ and ‘Oracle of Ages’. Even if you don’t know all those games, this story will still make sense.
I’ll admit, Part One isn’t as good as Part Two and so on, but the details are needed, so read on! Once it gets to Part Three though it gets more interesting and you’ll see what things lead too; I’ve written it like a book, so it’s long and detailed; I hope you enjoy it!!
It has to do a lot with emotional issues, issues I’ve unfortunately felt, known, and been through myself, so I write this with very much confidence and knowledge. Unfortunately, and fortunately, I personally have had a ruff ride in life, too much like Link; so I hope this story could perhaps shed some good light on things for other people who have had hard times…
Oh, and PS: when it comes to Impa, I know she was portrayed differently in each of these games, but I think of her as a little of both; not as a muscular Sheikah or an overweight hag, but as simply an older woman (about the same age as Zelda’s father) of Sheikan heritage. But then again, you can think of her however you’d like to. Enjoy!!
Part One: The Final Days Before His Innocence Lost
The sun was low, the long days of struggle finally ending. Link was happy -everyone was happy. First he was at Holodrum and faced Onox, then he was lead to Labrynna to face Veran; eventually he faced Twinrova, then Gannon and saved his friend, Princess Zelda, from harm. He saved both towns, and all their peoples. It’s not like he planned on all this happening to him…again it seemed. But he was glad to help, and hey, it was kind of fun, he liked the challenge. Everywhere he led himself, misfortune, distress, and sorrows seemed to surface; it was almost like fate pulled him toward the right directions. But now, this was his favorite part of him troubles; everyone was in high spirits, just delighted and ecstatic all the pain, and evil was lifted. Usually when ‘his work was done’, Link would take off, satisfied, leaving practically no one even knowing whom, how, or what helped them, but this time proved different. He made a lot of friends who aided him this time: there was Din, Nayru, Ralph, the Maku trees, and of course Impa and Princess Zelda. They all kept him from leaving this time. And from the way they praised him, everyone knew he was their savior. Every single person in the towns knew that Link was the reason for their bliss, and rewarded him nonstop for it. They tended to his wounds, offered him food, a place to stay, you name it he could have gotten it. A huge celebration would take place the next day and the mayor ordered a statue to be made in Link’s honor right away. All the attention sort of embarrassed Link, he wasn’t used to so many people lavishing and praising him so well; all he really only asked for was a single “Thank you.”
Chapter One: Two Days Etched Into Their Thoughts
It was late now, about 2:30 a.m., and everyone was mostly sleeping now; after all the excitement, it came easy. People offered Link a place to sleep, a place to stay, but he declined. The first thing he did was call Epona to make sure she was alright, although he knew she would be, and decided to find a place to sleep in Labrynna’s woods. It was such a beautiful, serene, (besides some faint hammering) summer night, Link wanted to sleep outside, he liked to.
Since Impa had been traveling with her ‘troop’, she had a tent, which she and Zelda would stay in. They all picked a spot in the woods, near the water, and what had to be the largest oak tree in the forest (after the Maku trees) to make camp. But Zelda was too excited to sleep; she just pretended to sleep until Impa had. The last time she saw Link was a couple years ago. Before he left, they had spent a few months together. She had so much fun (and so did he), until Navi left. She taught him all about life out of Kokiri, and they spent hours together playing games, running around town, talking -just being kids; something Zelda wasn’t so used to. She didn’t really play with other children, but just spent her time alone or with Impa and her father; Link’s company was very much appreciated by her. But, after Navi left, Link began acting different. He became doleful, and always seemed to stare off and think to himself, even when you where talking to him. Zelda was concerned about him; she had grown close to him before he left Hyrule.
Zelda wanted to see her only friend. She didn’t want to sleep! So, she carefully snuck out of the tent to look for him, making sure she knew where she was at all times. Not even after a minute or so she heard Epona whimper, and followed the noise. Sure enough, Zelda found her. Only a few yards away Link was lying down in the grass where the land slightly steeped. Zelda smiled, and slowly edged toward him and realized he was sleeping. He didn’t snore, but sort of exhaled loudly.
Epona had been watching Zelda and thought that she had gotten a little too close to him and began to show her displeasure. (Epona didn’t seem to like anyone, but when she did, she was very protective, loyal, and loving towards them; she had never trusted and listened to anyone like the way she did Link, they have literally spent years together). Epona charged up to Zelda and began to bellow at her, rearing up on her hind legs. She tried to push Zelda as far away from Link as she could with her presence, and literally her nose.
“Oh, shhh…” Zelda whispered, alarmed, backing up, “Epona! It’s okay, I…” Zelda had to back away from Link, if she didn’t Epona would knock her down and hurt her. She put her hands up in defense, “Oh..Epona, please…I…I wasn’t going to do anything… Please,…oh.. shhh….”
Link was a light sleeper, for good reason, and after hearing Epona so upset quickly woke up. He sat up and saw Epona pushing someone. He immediately shot up, “Epona, Epona!”
Epona stopped, turned around and walked to him. “What’s wrong? What’s wrong? Calm down,” he said lovingly petting her. She happily whimpered back. He tilted his head to see past her. He rubbed his eyes. “Who’s there?!” he called out, half asleep.
Zelda hung her head in embarrassment, stiff in her shoes; she wanted to see him, but not like this…
Link walked right to her, Epona following. “Zelda?!…is that you?”
“I’m sorry…” she answered shamefully, “I didn’t mean to wake you up…or upset Epona…”
Link smiled and turned to Epona, lovingly petting her again. “That’s Zelda,…my friend,” he whispered, sleepily, “She’s good, she’s nice!…It’s okay.” Link moved Epona in front of Zelda and gestured Zelda to pet her. She did. Epona snorted and stamped her legs in displeasure; her ears went flat on her head. Zelda quickly took her hand back, afraid.
Link wearily stood next to Zelda, “She doesn’t get along with very many people.”
“I’m sorry…” she said with a sad look on her face.
Link rubbed his eyes and sighed, obviously tired, “It’s alright…” He stretched his arms in back of his head, then scratched his head. “What are you doing here anyway?-Are you ok?”
“I’m fine,…I just…couldn’t sleep…”
“Oh…” He rubbed his eyes again, and then shut them as he stood. Zelda watched him stand there.
Epona came to him and nudged his face with her nose. Link practically jumped and his eyes flew open.
He yawed. “I’m going back to sleep now,” he said looking at Zelda.
“Goodnight,…” she sheepishly replied with a half grin. He smiled back and headed back to where he was. “…I’m sorry…”
“Don’t worry about it,” he sat down. “Gooood Niggghht,” he said in a yawn as he lay down on his side and shut his eyes.
That whole situation was embarrassing for Zelda. She hoped that Link didn’t realize why she was really there; she wished she had stayed in the tent….
Link woke up to find that he had overslept. When he returned to town, he found it draped in streamers and fancy dressings-Wow! He stood wide-eyed looking around: a bunch of small tables with chairs sat in the grass, people were standing all around talking and laughing, the unmistakable smell of barbeque was in the air, and a small band played some cheery tunes nearby.
“Link!” a voice cried out, “There you are! We’ve been waiting for you!” It was Din. He looked over to her. “Come over here!” she yelled, waving him in.
“You must have been tired…” Link nodded his head and started eyeing the food on the table. “Dive in!” she exclaimed, “Take your fill! There’s certainly enough to go around!”
Link went over to the table. There was a pile of plates stacked up, but he noticed an empty platter. He looked around to see if anyone was watching, then quickly grabbed the platter and started filling it up. Cucco legs, hamburgers, some sort of whitish, sticky salad, buttered rolls, lasagna, and all sorts of other foods began pilling up on his plate.
He sat down and began to dig in! Ralph and Nayru walked up behind him. Ralph started commenting on all the food on his plate, and Nayru poured a drink and placed it in front of him.
A couple hours later, Zelda had come over and was sitting with Link for a while, talking like old times. Din was a few feet behind them. Out of the blue, Impa called over to Zelda, “Zelda! Zelda, come here, I need to see you for a moment!” She smiled at Link, saying she’d be right back. He smiled back, and watched her walk away. He didn’t really understand why, but there was something about the way she walked…it was nice…
A laugh broke out behind him as a hand sat on his shoulder. Link looked to see Din smiling at him, shaking her head.
“Oh…nothing” she answered.
The bandleader stood up. He waved his arms furiously over his head and yelled at the top of his lungs, “Hey everyone! Hey!” Everyone stopped and looked over at him. “Hey! Let’s get this party go’n!” He pointed at a couple people in the crowd, “Yeah, come on! Let’s do it!” They ran over and picked up their instruments; now a dulcimer, double bass, and a castanet prepared to join the guitar, drums, and the other instruments all ready at play. “Yeah!!! Come on now everybody! Grab a partner and hit the floor! Lets go!!!” He said a few words to the band, “One, two, three, four…” They started playing a faster paced, high-spirited song.
Just then Din lightly hit Link on his back. “Come on!” she excitedly shrieked, “It sounds like fun to me!” She ran to the grass and began to dance gleefully to the music. Others ran in too and began to dance.
“Come on Link!” He heard Din faintly over the music and chuckling. He looked around and noticed Nayru, sitting with Ralph, looking right back at him. Nayru smiled at him then looked back at Din. Din was twirling and jumping; she danced beautifully. Then he noticed how the others danced. Some had been imitating Din, while others just looked like they were having convulsions-Link laughed. They’re just having fun, he thought. Link is a very outgoing guy, so he decided, Why not?! He wanted to have fun too! So, he stood up and made his way to Din.
With a smile ear to ear, she grabbed Link’s hand and twirled him around a few times, laughing. “There you go!” she snickered, “Just let the music guide you!” So, he listened to the music, and started dancing. Where it took him is another story; he looked more like he was skiing then dancing. It was fun! He ‘danced’ around everyone like he was in his own world! In fact, he hadn’t noticed that everyone was starring at him after about ten minutes.
The music then stopped and he fell back into reality. He stood and looked around, noticing that all eyes, even the band’s, was on him.
He froze, looking at everyone looking at him. He realized what must have happened and started hysterically laughing; he hit the floor laughing at himself.
The crowd began laughing with him and the band started up again. Link stayed on the ground and looked up at everyone, happily dancing and chuckling again. He had landed near Nayru’s feet and turned to see her looking down at him, with a big smile on her face. “You’re quite some dancer!” she sarcastically joked.
“How come you and Ralph don’t dance?”
“I like to sing, not dance-I’m not any good at it…either.”
Link still smiling, began to laugh again, “Oh, I get it!”
Zelda ran over and knelt down beside him. Link rolled over to look at her. She began hysterically laughing at him, and put her hand on his shoulder, unable to talk.
“Hey!” he pretended to be offended, but he just smiled again and started hysterically laughing with her.
“Do you want to dance Zelda?!” he asked, still laughing.
“Oh, no way! Not with you!” she teased.
“Hey, it was fun! Come on!” Link sat up and grabbed her hand. They both stood up and Link began to try to take Zelda to dance.
She tried to pull her hand back, “No…No, don’t!”
“Oh, come on! It’s fun!”
He stopped, “I won’t dance like that, I promise.” Zelda rolled her eyes. “It’s more fun then just watching…” She gave in and let him take her.
An early meal was prepared, and the band needed a brake. Everyone gathered some food and sat at a table among their friends. Unfortunately for Link, the platter he used before was being used to hold food on, so he’d have to use a plate like everybody else. He also pocketed some baby carrots and an apple while he was filling his plate. Before everyone started to eat, the mayor of Labrynna requested to first make a toast. Link took a seat at a small table with Zelda and Impa; Din, Nayru, and Ralph sat at the table next to theirs; and everyone else quickly filled all the others. The mayors’ assistants came around and poured wine for each person, even Link got some. The mayor stood and spoke: “First, I would like Ruul, mayor of Holodrum, to stand up here and make this toast with me. Would you do me this honor?”
Ruul stood right up and said, “Of course. After all, I should be making this very same toast for the very same reasons!”
The mayors stood, side by side, in front of the crowd, holding their drinks. “First I would like to quickly take the time to thank the band, and all the good townspeople who prepared all this food, the tables, and preparations here today… Thank you very much.” The crowd jumped in with a quick applause. “But now, onto the important matters which bring us all here today.” He paused and looked at all the people. “Some awful things happened these past days,…first in Holodrum, then here, in Labrynna. We all feared for our towns…our homes,…and most importantly,…our lives. We gave into the fears and…the pains this evil brang to our fair lands… I admit…I didn’t know how to deal with the problems. I…had no say in anything that could have been done to protect my land -and neither did Ruul,…” he looked over at Ruul, who nodded back at him. “There was nothing we could have done,…we were powerless in this time of need.”
He stood silent for a minute, while everyone remembered. “But one brave, young man took it upon himself to help us.” He, and everyone else it seemed, looked over at Link, then back at the mayor, “He risked his own life to save ours! He courageously stepped in and did something no one else here could have! He eliminated -no, destroyed the evils that plagued our lands! It’s because of him we are here celebrating today. It’s because of him that our lands are peaceful and happy once again.” He looked over at Link again, “Link….please join us up here…”
Link stood up and walked over to the two mayors. They parted, so he could stand between the two of them. The mayor looked down at Link, and Link back up at him. “I can not thank you enough for what you did.”
-“Nor can I” Ruul cut in. Link looked to Ruul, then back at Plen.
“Such generosity… So valiant,…so astute and diligent… You honor me by being in my presence.” Link grinned. “Your scars won’t go unnoticed.”
The mayor turned, looking to a large, tarpped structure in the middle of a small saltwater pond nearby. “I,…we all give this to you for all the trouble you went through for us. We sincerely appreciate all you’ve done. We will all treasure it in your honor, and will never be able to thank you enough. Please accept this.”
He motioned for the tarp to be lifted. A statue of Link was reveled. Everyone stood to see it and a roar of clapping and cheering commenced. Link stood, almost in amazement, staring at it.
After about five minutes of rejoice, the crowd finally grew quite. Plen, the mayor, announced, “And, I might add, that a similar one will also be put in Holodrum in your honor!”
He faced the crowd and raised his glass, “A toast!” He looked at Link, “A toast to you!…” he looked at the crowd, “A toast to Link!”
The crowd all raised their glass and all said, “A toast to Link!”
-Ruul cut in, “To a young man destined for great things!” and the two mayors drank their wine. The crowd drank their wine.
“Thank you, Link,” Plen said, and looked back at the crowd, “Now let the celebration continue with this fine meal!”
The mayors both sat down and Link went back to his seat, the crowd applauding until he sat down. Then everyone began to eat.
Impa and Zelda sat smiling at Link when he sat back down, he smiled back at him.
“Congratulations!” Impa said overwhelmingly happy, “You disserve it!” Link just nodded.
“Yeah, Link!” Zelda called out while jumping out of her chair. “Congratulations,” she whispered, while giving him a big hug.
He went flush, “Yeah,…” he said as Zelda sat back down, “…Thanks!”
He looked down at his food, grabbed a fork, and lifted up some weird, stringy, red stuff. “What is this stuff anyway?” he asked, looking at them.
“That’s pasta!” Impa said, “You’ll like it!”
“He likes everything!” Zelda said with a giggle, looking at all the food he had pilled on his plate. Link just smiled as he crammed it in his mouth.
After the meal finished, some of the people got up and walked around, while most of them still sat, chatting. Thinking of last night, Link decided he wanted to go for a walk too and invited Zelda to come. Impa let her go, she knew that Zelda would be safe with Link. They
headed into the forest.
“So,…where do you want to go?” Zelda asked.
Link looked at her, in a serious way, “I want to try something.” Zelda looked at him puzzled.
After a few more footsteps, Link whipped out his ocarina (the ocarina of time Zelda had given to him), and started to put it to his mouth, but stopped, and stood for a second. He turned his head, smiling at Zelda.
“What?…” she asked.
“Zelda,…after last night, I’ve been thinking…” He looked back at the ocarina. “Take this,” he said holding it out.
“What?…” she said, still puzzled, “Why? I gave that to you to have, I want you to keep it”
“I just want you to play it,” he said taking a step forward.
She took it, “What do you want me to play?…”
“I want you to call Epona”
“But I don’t know how.”
“I’ll teach it to you.”
Zelda looked at him confused; why dose he want to teach me to call Epona? She thought of last night, “Link…It’s okay if she doesn’t like me, she doesn’t have to.”
“It’s not okay with me,” he replied earnestly, “I don’t want her to think of you as a treat… Not you…” He pulled out the apple and carrots he had taken earlier and handed them to her. “Epona likes these. She also likes to be pet, but not on her face or under her neck.”
Zelda took the food, still looking perplexed. She didn’t understand why this was so important to him. She knew that he and Epona were close, she saw how they were before Link left, and had the proof from last night, but why is he asking her to do this? She didn’t decline what he asked though, there had to be a certain reason.
“Remember,” he said, cutting into her thoughts, “Horses can’t see what’s directly in front of them, so make sure she can see what your hands are doing. Let her smell you, and the food -all that will make her feel more at ease.”
Zelda managed a smile at Link through her confusion.
“Don’t worry, she won’t hurt you, if anything she’ll run away from you. I’m going to hide when she comes so she can be with you, but if anything looks wrong I’ll come right out, okay?”
“Are you okay with this Zelda?”
“Yeah…” This was important to him, she was determined to do this.
“It’s like this…” he started fingering the holes, while Zelda held the ocarina. Then she fingered them. Link corrected her mistakes, then Zelda got it right. “Good,…” he said backing away, “Now call her.”
He ran back, hiding in a bush. Zelda took a breath and began to play Epona’s song -she played it well! The sound of Epona’s hooves slowly became loader until she showed up. Noticing Zelda standing there, alone, she stopped a couple feet away from her; she tilted her head and sniveled in confusion. Zelda decided to play the song again. As she did, Epona began to canter around her, like she was looking Zelda over. Now Epona stood closer. She lifted her head up, as if she was trying to smell her.
Zelda slowly lifted up her hand to Epona’s nose. Epona stepped closer, smelling it. She cried and took a step back. Zelda thought of how Link had talked to her and pet her. Zelda stood still. “Epona,…” she whispered lovingly. Epona, knowing her name, now also stood still. “Epona…I have something you might like…” Zelda smiled and slowly reached for the apple. Epona stomped her hove, and took a couple steps back, her ears going down. Zelda froze. “It’s okay…It’s alright. Link said you’d like it.” Epona also seemed to recognize Link’s name; hearing Zelda say it gave her some confidence. Epona began to loosen up a bit; her ears up again. Zelda slowly brang up the apple with her hand, “Here you go…it’s an apple!” Epona raised her head again, and walked closer to smell the apple. She took a bite out of it, and cautiously ate the whole thing.
Zelda played Epona’s song again; she knew how Epona loved it so much. Epona walked right up to her as she played, and began smelling Zelda -front to back, up and down. When Zelda finished, Epona reared up and whimpered happily.
Zelda slowly raised her hand up to pet her on the side of her neck, the way Link had. Epona allowed it. She still seemed on guard, not the way she was with Link, but she still allowed it.
“Hey, Epona… Do you want a carrot?” Zelda slowly got out the carrots and held them so Epona could see. Epona readily took to them and ate them. “You like them, hhmmm…Good… They’re good aren’t they?” Zelda said, petting her again.
Epona sniveled, sort of going with the way Zelda pet her.
“I’m sorry about last night. I didn’t mean to scare you,…I know how much you love Link.” Epona snuffled excitedly. “I’m sorry…” As if she understood, Epona sort of moved her head up and down. Zelda could feel that Epona’s muscles weren’t tensed up anymore, she seemed at ease.
Zelda softly hugged her; Epona seemed to like it. She whispered, “Epona, Epona…”
Link came out of the bushes and walked over. Epona looked over to him and excitedly cantered over to him.
“Hey, Epona!” he said petting her, “See,…Zelda’s good.”
Zelda walked over to them and started petting her too. Epona was happy, nothing like she was last night.
“You did it…” Link blissfully stated, smiling, “ I knew you could… You have a kindness animals understand… A lot of people don’t have that. Maybe that’s why you and I get along so well…”
Epona began to playfully push Link. “Wow-hey!” he said pushing back, “Go do that to her!” As if following commands, Epona turned to Zelda and started trotting over to her.
“No!” Zelda ran in back of Link, “Get him, not me!” Epona ran over, circled them, and started pushing Link again.
“Hey, you’re supposed to be on my side!” He jumped on her, his stomach on her back. Epona sat down in the grass and rolled him off. He quickly sat up, avoiding her hooves in the air.
Epona sat, calm again. Link scooted over to her and laid his head on her mane, patting and petting her side. She shut her eyes and relaxed her head peacefully.
Zelda came and sat on the other side of Epona and started petting her too; laying her head on her back.
Epona happily whimpered. Zelda had gained Epona’s trust, thanks to Link. That isn’t an easy thing to do, but it sure helps when you give her what she loves. But when it comes to ridding her… -that would take some time.
They had been out for two hours, and wanted to return to where the others were. As soon as Zelda reached her sight, Impa walked over to her. “Zelda! There’s something here I know you’ll like,” she said confidently.
Link and Zelda followed Impa back to the tables. There were desserts set out now; about half of them were gone, but a lot was still there.
Impa walked past some white cake, cheesecake, chocolate cake, cinnamon streusels, blueberry and apple pies, brownies, cookies, pudding, and a bunch of other foods to the end of the table.
Link slowed his pace, and looked astonishingly at all the food. He had never seen things like this -and he thought all the other foods earlier arouse his intrigue! Link looked over to Zelda and noticed Impa filling up a bowl for her with this whitish and brownish, almost chunky, thick stuff. He walked over and looked at it with an almost disgusted look on his face.
“Do you want some, Link?!” Zelda excitedly asked him.
“What is it?…” he questioned, putting his face closer to the bowl.
“Ice-cream?…” Link looked at her.
“Yeah,” she giggled, “You’ll like it -it’s really good!”
“Zelda sure loves her ice-cream,” Impa added.
“Alright…,” he looked to Impa, “I’ll have some!”
Impa filled up a bowl for him as Zelda put some sprinkles on hers. Impa gave him the bowlful, and Zelda dropped some sprinkles on his too. “Sprinkles!” she cheered, smiling.
They all walked to a table and sat down. Zelda started practically throwing it into her mouth. “I love ice-cream!” she said blissfully looking at Link, “Do you like it?”
Link slowly took a mouthful, tasting it with all of his taste buds, and smiled. “Wow…this is good!” They both practically inhaled it and went back to the table for seconds. Zelda got more ice cream, while Link took a little bit of everything else.
As they sat down again, Link watched Zelda devour her ice cream; She must really love that stuff…
Zelda burped as Link stuffed himself with everything he had. Impa gave her a look, and Zelda excused herself.
Link finished eating and leaned back on his chair.
“Full?” Zelda implied.
Link nodded, “I don’t think I’ve eaten so much food in my life!”
Zelda got up, went to the table, and returned with two drinks, placing one in front of Link.
“Thanks!” he said chugging it, taking a few breaths, then finishing it. Then Link burped. Impa gave him a look and Zelda giggled. “What?” he said looking at them.
“Excuse yourself,” Impa demanded.
“Excuse…me,” he said in a hiccup; Zelda giggled some more.
They sat there silent for a while, watching the crowd. Some people were bringing out stuff, such as: big bottles, rings, small sandbags, balls, wall-like stands, a big bucket of water, mallets, a bag of stuffed animals, nets, balloons, and other strange things. The band also helped, as some people set them up, almost like little stores outside.
“What are they doing?” Link asked.
“It must be a fair,…” Impa said.
“A fair?” he mumbled.
“People set up games to play,” Zelda answered, “For a few rupees you can play the games they have, and if you win, you get a prize!”
“Games?… What kind of games?…”
“Usually there’s a ring toss, some sort of shooting or dart game, a game where you have to pick the right key to open a chest. There are all sorts of things to play!” she exclaimed. “I think you’ll like it! It’s sort of like a carnival, but better!”
They watched as the ‘booths’ set themselves up.
About a half hour went by; all the stands were up. It was around 6:00 now and the sun was still shinning, it was still a beautiful day.
The people from the band went back to their instruments, and the same guy started yelling to get everyone’s attention, waving his arms in the air. “Hey everyone!” he shouted. It wasn’t as noisy as it was earlier, and he instantly got everyone’s attention. “The fair is open!” he announced, clapping his hands; a small applause broke out, then stopped. Pointing to them as he explained, “Those stands are 2 rupees, those 3, that one 4, those 5, and those two, with the big prizes are 7. And, of course, if you want to dance go on ahead! Good luck, and let’s have some fun!” Everyone cheered and walked to the stands as the musicians began to play their instruments again.
Zelda looked over to Link, “Do you want to play?!”
“I’d like to…” Link forbiddingly answered, “But…I don’t really have any rupees…”
“Don’t worry about it,” Impa said, standing up, “I have plenty.” She reached into her pocket and handed each of them, both 75 rupees. “I don’t think you’ll need more then that. You two run off and have fun.”
Zelda smiled and grabbed Link’s hand. He stood looking at Impa, “Are you sure?”
“Indeed,” she replied, “Go have some fun now, Link!”
He smiled and ran to the stands, Zelda leading the way. She wanted to play the ring toss first.
They played a bowling game, pick the cucoo, and fling the frog after that.
Then they played the water gun racing game against a couple of other people. They both lost, so Zelda squirt Link instead; he tried to squirt her back but the water had shut off already…
They went over to the ‘Pick a Month, Pick a Number’ table and bet some rupees on what the wheel would turn to. Zelda guessed October; Link guessed #7. Nayru and Ralph, who showed up, picked May and January. The man spun the wheel and it landed on #2. Zelda guessed October again, Link #7 again, Nayru #4, and Ralph June. The wheel was spun and it landed on June. Ralph yelled a load, “Yes! I won,” and got a stuffed bear for winning. Nayru cheered and commented on how cute the bear was, and they went to another stand, waving to Link and Zelda as they left.
Zelda hit the table with her hand and said, “How come I can’t ever win anything?!”
Hours and rupees went by; neither of them had any luck. Zelda was at the beanbag toss when Link noticed one of the 7 rupee booths: ‘Shoot the Targets’.
He left Zelda and walked over to it. He watched someone try to shoot various objects as they came down, and up, and from the side, with a bow and arrows. He only got six shots out of twenty.
“Oh, I’m sorry sir -do you want to try again?!” The man laid his rupees on the table and tried again; he got eight that time.
“I’m sorry sir -better luck next time!”
He walked away, shaking his head. Link, being the good shot he is, stepped up. The man behind the counter said, “Well, if it isn’t Link! Would you like a try, Link?!”
Link confidently smiled, now this is a game he could play!
“Has anybody won yet?” Link asked.
“Nope, not yet! One person hit fourteen targets, but that’s the record so far!” He watched as Link picked up the bow and examined it. “All you have to do is hit all twenty targets and you could win one of those!” the man pointed to a couple large, lovely looking stuffed animals. “So…what do you say?! Would you like to try your luck?!”
Since Link had watched the other man play, he had a good idea of what to expect and was sure he could hit them all; after all, he has been using a bow for a long time now, and was very skilled at it. He put the 7 rupees on the table, smiling at him, almost wickedly, “I’m in.”
A couple of people had come behind and watched as the man gave Link thirty arrows. “Good luck!” he said, stepping out of the way.
A whistle-like sound went off and the targets showed themselves. Zelda ran over, after seeing Link, and watched the rest of his shots. He aimed, shot, and moved fast, successfully hitting the targets as they popped out. The crowd watched, amazed.
Link had hit them all, and a load siren went off, briefly. The man walked back over. “Congratulations…” he said, awestricken. “The only one to hit all twenty targets!” he yelled, “You can pick your prize! -Which one do you want?!”
Link scanned them looking for one he liked. “That one!” he said, pointing to a handsome looking green sea turtle stuffed animal.
“Here you go, Link!” The man handed it to him.
Link turned around to see Zelda standing there, staring at him, with her mouth slightly open. He walked over to her holding up the turtle. “See…” he said, “I found a game I could play!”
Zelda smiled and suddenly jumped next to him. “Wow!!” she hollered, “That was awesome!! You won!” She looked at the turtle, “I want to win a prize too…” She looked back to Link. “Do you still want to play?” she asked with sort of a puppy-dog look in her eyes.
“Sure!” he answered with a smile, “This is fun! It’s even more fun when you win!!”
It was late now, and the fair had ended. Some large torches had been placed around for light, and people were still dancing to the band’s music. They played softer, more soothing music then they played before; couples were mostly slow dancing, although Din was out there too. Link had shown the turtle he won to Impa, who was very impressed. She said that he ‘had a gift,’ and was glad they had so much fun. The mayor, Plen, came out and announced that a small fireworks display would be held, so when the time had come, everyone went and sat in the grass to watch it.
It was magnificent! They were all sorts of colors and went in all different directions. When it was over, everyone returned and the mayors’ assistants offered everyone a glass of wine to celebrate; Link and Zelda chose not to have any.
A group of small children played with a dog over in the grass, some adults chatted at the tables, couples continued dancing, some played charades and card games, and a few walked around. It’s almost like happiness filled the air; everyone was laughing and had smiles on their faces, Link was really glad he stayed for this. He started to feel tired though; that music was putting him to sleep.
He got up from where he sat and stretched his body. “I think I’ll go for a walk,” he said.
Zelda shot up. “Can I go too?” she asked.
Link looked over to Impa. “Stay by Link’s side,” she answered, kindly. “And if you want to go to sleep, try to near the tent, okay.” She added, noticing Link’s heavy eyelids.
They both nodded and headed back into the woods. “Lets just walk to the tents,” Link suggested, rubbing his eyes. So, they walked to the tents and sat down near them.
The music must be pretty load; they could faintly here it from here. Link sat, leaning his head on the big oak tree. Zelda inched a bit closer to him and laid her head on the tree’s roots; it was surprisingly comfy.
“Link…” she said, looking over to him. He looked to her. “…Did you have fun today?” she asked with a smile. She could only imagine what a normal day for him was like; it must be difficult.
Link smiled, “Yeah! I had a lot of fun…” He put his hand on his stomach, “And a lot of food! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to eat that much food in one day again… Well,…maybe I could, but this will really hold me off for a couple days; I usually don’t get that much to eat…”
He looked up into the night sky. That comment made Zelda feel depressed. The way Link lived was nothing like the way she did. He was never guaranteed any of his meals, or even shelter if he suddenly needed it, while she, on the other hand, had royal treatment. She really admired him for that…
Earlier in the day, Link got into talking about what happened in Termina, with Majora’s Mask, with Zelda when she had asked him what he had been doing. He cut it short and left out a lot of details, but managed to say something about most of the other masks. He told her what the ‘children’ said to him about the Fierce Deity’s Mask too; it made him wonder exactly what the mask was… Everything still left Zelda intrigued though.
“Link…” she said still looking at him.
“Hhmm?” he answered.
“What did ever happen to the skull kid? -The one who had Majora’s Mask?…”
Link looked down, suddenly dispirited, “Nothing…”
“Nothing?” she said incredulously, “What happened to him afterwards? -Where did he go?”
Link sat silent for a minute thinking of how to place his words, then looked back to the sky. He answered, “He and I became friends… I became friends with the two fairies too… We had a lot of fun for awhile,…but then…” He took in and let out a deep breath. “But then he had to leave…”
“Oh…” she whispered. Zelda could tell she had asked a bad question. Though she was still intrigued, she tried to change the subject to something else.
She looked at him staring into space. “The sky sure looks beautiful tonight, doesn’t it, Link?”
Link smiled again, “Yeah! It sure dose…”
They sat looking up for a few minutes. Then Zelda broke the silence, “What do you think of when you look at the stars?…”
Link made an odd face. “Why?” he said with a chuckle.
“Well,…I don’t know… It’s just that most people say something corny like the stars make them feel small, like ants, like just tiny specks in this huge universe… I never thought about it that way. I was just wondering if you did.”
“…No,…I don’t think about that… Actually, looking at the sky, especially when it’s like this, makes me feel special, -like I’m apart of this big universe… The sky has always been like…a blanket to me! I almost feel like the stars are like eyes looking down, watching me, making sure everything’s okay…”
He sat, quite for a few seconds, almost in pain. “…I never had anyone,…really,…to be there for me,…that stayed with me…” He smiled, “But no matter what happens,…no matter where I am or what I’m doing,…it’s always up there…”
He took another deep breath, and continued. Looking at the ground, “The earth always has a spot for me,…it always makes me feel like I belong… No matter where on it I am…I feel good with it there -not that I could leave it!” He laughed and looked to the sky, “…I guess the stars make me think about the good things there are in life -that everything in this universe is here for a reason…and that every soul in existence has a place… No matter how everyone else treats you…here, everyone and everything is welcome, no matter what…”
He looked over at Zelda, “Why? What do you think of?…”
She looked to him, smiled, and they both looked back up again.
“Well…” she replied, “When I look at the stars…it makes me wonder… I think of all the people, plants, animals, and all the earth under it, and I wonder what everyone is doing… It makes me think of all the things that could be going on around the world… Then I wonder how many people are doing what I am, looking at the stars. What are they thinking about when they look at them? …Are they alone or with someone?… Then I pick a star and wonder how many of those people could be looking at the very same one…and,…if they were, maybe they would wonder if someone else was looking at it too!”
They both sat there, silent, looking at the sky for a while, absorbing each other’s thoughts. They could still here music playing in the background. They both started listening to it.
Link had brought the turtle; it lay by his side. Zelda looked over to him and scooted closer, resting her head on his turtle. He looked down at her and smiled; he didn’t mind. She smiled back and closed her eyes; Link closed his eyes too.
Not after long, the music had soothed them to sleep. They had quite some day today; lots of running around and excitement. Impa found them a couple hours later and let them be; they looked so peaceful. She went to sleep with the tent door open that night, just in case.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
The next morning Link woke up finding he had rolled off the tree, onto the ground. He sat up and saw that Zelda was already up. She was over at the tent with Impa talking to her about something. Link picked up the turtle and walked over to them.
“Well, good morning, Link,” Impa said, noticing him.
Zelda turned around with a grin, “Good morning, sleepy head!”
“Good morning,” he replied with a yawn, putting his turtle practically in the tent.
“We were hoping you’d get up soon so we could get some breakfast,” Zelda cheerily stated, “Do you want some?”
He eagerly nodded, and they headed back to town.
All the remnants from the fair were gone now, but everything else was still there. People from this town were around, but most of the people from Holodrum had gone back home.
Din, Nayru, and Ralph sat at one of the tables to the far back, and others sat at most of the other tables eating. Bipin, a local housewife, had generously made some more food for the crowd. There were pancakes stacked high, toast, bacon, sausage, cucco eggs, banana bread, fruit, muffins, and some of the desserts and other food from yesterday all out.
Zelda and Impa took some breakfast foods, while Link took a little of everything. They pushed a table next to Din and the other’s table and sat, eating and chatting. Din mentioned that she and some others from Holodrum had stayed at the Labrynna Inn; that’s why they were still here. She was leaving tomorrow. Nayru said something about helping cleaning up, and putting the tables and chairs away; Ralph commented on how many games he had won at the fair; and Impa said that she, Zelda, and the rest of the ‘travelers’ were also going to leave tomorrow; they had a small journey to get home compared to Din. Zelda seemed discouraged about going back home.
Nayru asked Link what he was going to do, but he just shrugged his shoulders and made a face; now he had something to ponder on during the rest of the day…
Everyone went back and got some desserts. Link got more of the other things; he really liked those pancakes.
An hour or so went by when Zelda suggested that she and Link go for a walk.
“Why not?” he said and they headed back into the woods.
“I really like walking out here!” Zelda cheered. “Link?…” she said with a timid grin.
Link looked at her, “What?”
“Why don’t you call Epona?”
He looked at her stunned but extremely happily; he never would have thought she would say that! He took out the ocarina and gave it to her, “Here, you call her again.”
Zelda gladly accepted and played Epona’s song. She had really started to like Epona, she loves animals! -as dose Link.
Sure enough, Epona came galloping over. This time she came right over to Zelda, who started petting her right away.
“Hi Epona! Would you like an apple?!” she said whipping out an apple.
Link walked over as Epona happily ate her apple. “When did you get that?!” he asked, surprised, “I didn’t see you take it!”
Zelda looked at him impishly, “When you were stuffing your face!”
Link just shook his head and laughed.
Epona reared up and bellowed at Link, stomping her front hoof a couple times. “Epona, not now!” he said.
“What?” Zelda questioned. Epona walked behind Link and nudged him forward a couple times, excitedly. “What is she doing? -What dose she want, Link?”
Link had turned around to face Epona who snorted back at him. “She wants me to go for a ride with her.”
Zelda’s eyes widened enthusiastically, “Are you going to…”
Link looked at her, “Do you want to try to ride her?!”
Zelda wasn’t sure she was ready to ride her. “Well…I don’t know. I don’t want to get hurt.”
Epona started pushing Link again. He turned around, lightly pushing her head and she stopped, and tilted her head. Link turned back to Zelda. “We could both ride if you want. It would be better that way; Epona might lose her temper if you rode her alone. You’d probably confuse her because of how I tamed her. I doubt I do what most people do to control; their horses.”
Epona cried impatiently. Link looked back at her as she kicked some dirt into the air.
“Calm down, Epona!” he shouted, laughing.
Zelda walked next to Link, “How would we both ride? You would sit in front and I could hold on to you?”
“If that’s the way you want to do it! I’ll show you how to handle her!”
Zelda’s face beamed with pleasure, “Okay!!”
Link went over to Epona and pet her, “Okay, Epona, you got your way…again.” He walked her over to Zelda, “I’ll get on first?” Zelda nodded, and Link jumped on and settled in.
Zelda walked over, putting her hands on Epona’s back.
Link held out his arm, “Need some help?”
She grabbed his arm and he helped to pull her up. She got as close to Link as she could and put her arms around his waist, holding on. He kicked Epona and lightly tapped her neck and she began to trot along. They rode around the forest for a while; Link showed Zelda how to control her. He also jumped Epona over a few low rocks and logs to show her how Epona liked to approach a jump. It takes a great deal of trust on a horse’s side when it comes to jumps…
After an hour or so, Link got off and let Zelda try. She had a way with Epona… She took it slowly, and Epona worked pretty well with her. Link was amazed at how fast Epona had taken to her. Perhaps Epona knew how much Link wanted them to get along and cooperated for him. Or, more likely, Epona could feel that Zelda meant no harm, and could be trusted, just as Link had learned. Zelda really did have a warm heart. Link could tell when she spoke that every single word came from her heart, and everything she said was always nice to hear…
“How am I doing?!” she called to Link.
“Great!” he called back.
Zelda rode back over to him. “Really!!” she shrieked.
“Epona is starting to trust you…”
Epona whimpered happily as Zelda pet her. “Do you think so?…” she asked.
“Yeah, but I wouldn’t try to make her jump right away. Even I had some trouble with that! -And I don’t want you to get hurt.”
Zelda smiled at him and lead Epona off again. She was having so much fun getting to know her!
Link peered at the ocean as the birds dove into it catching fish. He walked over near the waters edge and sat down. The sounds of the gulls and the waves were intriguing to him. He was used to being in the forest with all the trees and animals that called it home. But the sea,…it was different. It was like a whole other reality… It too teems with life, like the forest, but it worked entirely different then it at the same time…
Link heard Epona whimper, and turned around to see her with Zelda cantering over. He stood up and walked toward them.
“There you are!” Zelda grinned, “I couldn’t find you!” Epona reared up and Zelda held on, a little panicked. “I think I’m done now. Epona seems to want me off!”
Link helped her get down.
Zelda then pet Epona, “Thanks for the ride, Epona! It was fun!”
Epona whimpered and walked to Link, putting her neck on his shoulder. He laughed and pet her. “Great Job Epona!”
“Epona’s a wonderful horse,” Zelda said, looking at Link.
He hugged Epona and said, “I know,…she’s my horse…”
Epona turned around and walked back into the forest.
“She must be hungry” Link declared.
“Me too!” Zelda added.
Link got in a runner’s stance, “I’ll race you!”
Zelda stood next to him, “Ready… Set…” and she took off, giggling.
“Hey!” he yelled running after her, “I’ll still beat you!”
They both ran, laughing their heads off.
When back in town, Zelda had to stop to catch her breath. She went and sat down in a chair at the first table she could reach. Link stood there next to her.
Two girls, about Link and Zelda’s age, and what appeared to be one of their younger sisters, sat at the table beside them playing checkers; they had stopped and stared at them when they came over.
One of the girls and her younger sister had black hair; the other was a brunet. Link noticed them looking over at them intensely, so he waved. The two older girls got up and walked over to him. He started to back up a little.
“Hi Link,” the brunet said flirtatiously, “How are you?”
Link backed up some more, “I’m okay.”
The other girl came closer now, smiling at him strangely. Then the two of them looked at each other, giggled, and ran off.
Zelda looked over to Link, rolling her eyes.
He looked back to the other little girl at the table. She smiled and waved at him, saying, “Hi Link!”
He waved back, answering, “Hi!”
The girl kept staring at him.
Zelda stood up and the girl yelled to her, waving, too, “Hi Princess Zelda!”
Zelda walked over to her, “Hello. May we sit down with you?”
Link came over and they both sat with the girl.
“What’s you name?” Zelda asked her.
“Well it’s nice to meet you Lilly!”
Link eyed the checkerboard. Quite a while ago he and Zelda had played checkers together; he kept losing until he finally beat her.
“Checkers!” he called out.
“I was playing with my sister…sort of. She usually doesn’t really play. She was really talking to her friend.”
“Where did they go anyway?” Zelda asked.
“I don’t know,…” Lilly answered somberly, “They always run away from me. They never want to play with me…”
Link sat up in his chair, “Can I play with you?”
She looked over to him and her eyes brightened, “You really wanna play?!”
Link’s eyes started to look as lit up as hers, “Yeah!”
Link got up and sat in the chair in front of Lilly’s, and they both set up the board.
“You go first!” Link insisted.
The two of them played and Zelda got some food and drinks for the three of them.
Another hour or so went by, when Impa came by and spotted Zelda and Link at the table with Lilly. She came over, introduced herself to Lilly, and visa versa. She then told Zelda that she had to come with her to the tents.
“Why?” Zelda asked unhappily.
Impa pointed to the sky. Dark clouds were coming far from the west. “It’s going to rain,” Impa informed her.
Lilly looked up, with her mouth open. “Woooow!” she mumbled, “I better get home too!” She stood up and collected the checkerboard and pieces; Link watched her disappointed.
Lilly looked to Zelda then Link, “Thank you for sitting with me! Thank you for playing with me -I had so much fun!!” She briefly hugged Link, then hugged Zelda, “Thank you…”
She had all her stuff. “Bye Princess, bye Link!” she said waving to them and running off.
“Bye!” “Bye, Lilly!” they waved.
“You’ll come too?” Impa said to Link, who nodded in response.
They went back to the tents and saw everyone Impa came with, Din, Nayru, and Ralph sitting around a small campfire. They were roasting some meat over it, a familiar sight for Link. Everyone welcomed them and they all took a seat. It was a little after noontime, but the sun was starting to fade away into the clouds; it was darker then it usually would be. Everyone sat around talking and laughing until the meal was finished cooking. When finally done, it was cut up and everyone got their share.
A short time after everyone had eaten, the wind really started picking up, and the clouds were coming overhead. Din, Nayru, and Ralph said their goodbyes and headed to their shelters back in town; everyone else went into their tents to get some relief from the wind.
Everyone said their goodbyes and looked at Link strangely as he sat. He loved it when winds like this came through; everyone else just thought he was crazy and carried on.
Impa tried to get Zelda in the tent but she refused to leave Link’s side. So, having no choice, Impa looked on from the tent. They sat next to the oak tree chatting and laughing, enjoying the wind. Impa couldn’t help but laugh as she watched them make faces at each other, sticking out their tongues and so forth; they made quite some pair…
It started to really get dark out and it began to drizzle after a while. Impa wouldn’t take no for an answer this time and she called for Zelda to come in. Zelda came over, upset. Impa knew she didn’t want to leave Link, especially in the rain. Link just sat there, gloomily now. Zelda gave Impa the puppy-dog eye routine and asked if Link could come in too. Impa hadn’t the heart to let Link sit out their in the rain. She told Zelda that she’d be right back. Zelda waited, noticing that the turtle Link won was in the tent. She stared down at it.
Impa then returned, with a smile on her face. “Demetri has room for me in his tent. I can stay with him tonight. Go on and get Link, you and him can stay here.”
Zelda was thrilled and ran out waving to him to come over. He walked over, wet now. “Do you want to stay with me tonight?”
“I don’t want to intrude…” he gloomily replied.
Impa cut in, “I’m going to stay with Demetri, there’s no problem with you staying here.” A huge smile came to Link’s face; he thought he would end up freezing in the rain! “You two don’t stay up to late now, alright. We have to get going tomorrow.” Zelda nodded her head somberly. Impa took some stuff and left, going into one of the other tents.
It was starting to rain harder now.
“Link…” Zelda said looking at her dress, “Would you mind waiting out here for a minute?” She began to get into and close the tent, “I’ll only be a second.”
Link took cover under the oak tree as he waited. -Five minutes later Zelda opened the door and Link ran over. He started to look at her oddly as he noticed what she had done: she had taken the charm off her head, took down all her hair, had taken off her ‘gloves’, earrings, shoes, stockings, and had taken off her dress so she only wore the light purple, slip like clothing she had on under it now; she looked nice…
“What are you waiting for Link?!” she yelled over the rain, “Come in!”
Link came back to reality and sat down in the tent.
Zelda closed the tent door and let out a deep breath. “Make yourself comfortable.”
Link took off his boots, sword, shield, and bag, and put them next to the door as she watched. She scooted over to where he put them, staring at his sword like it was the first time she had ever seen one. She brang her hand over to it, “Can I…?” she asked.
She picked it up and unsheathed it, examining the blade, awestricken. “Imagine how many things you must have slashed and gorged with this thing… Did you get it forged?”
Link scooted over next to her and pointed to a part of the sword close to Zelda’s hand, “See that…” there was three small, but deep slash marks.
“Yeah…” she whispered.
“That’s from a Wolfos. I let him get to close before I could wound him.”
He lifted up his sleeve a little, exposing a healed, deep, slash mark scar. “I got this too…”
She felt his cuts with her finger, “This looks like it hurt. -It looks deep!”
Link smiled, almost proudly, “If it made a mark on my sword, you’d think it would be deep. It didn’t bleed that much though…”
Zelda looked back to the sword and compared.
“I did get a wound on my shoulder once that bleed a lot…”
She looked at him, “Did it leave a scar?”
“Oh, yeah. It sure did.”
“Can I see it?”
She put the sword back in its sheath and watched Link turn around, pull his shirts neck hole, and sort of wiggle his shoulder out.
Zelda’s eyes widened and her mouth open. “Oh my goodness! How did you get that?!” she said coming closer. On the back of his shoulder there was a nice, big, almost diamond shaped, dark red scar; you could tell it went in deep.
“I was stabbed,” he casually answered.
“You were stabbed?!”
He turned around showing the front of his shoulder, where a small, whitish, diamond shaped scar was. “I guess it went all the way through…” he said looking at it.
Zelda looked like she was going to cry, “Oh my goodness! Link!!…” She moved to the side of him looking at the scar on the back, then the one in the front. “Of course it would bleed a lot! You were stabbed!!”
Link looked at her, “I know…”
“Link! You could of easily needed stitches for this! How long did you let it bleed?”
“Until it stopped,” he answered with a laugh.
Zelda had a look of concern on her face, “Link, really… How long did this bleed for?!”
“I don’t know,…about three weeks I guess…”
She still looked upset.
“…I wrapped it up with some thick, dry reeds I found, and one of my spare tunics… It took me two months to finally get the bloodstains out of it…” he said powerlessly.
She finally smiled again, “Be careful Link -especially with a wound like that… What if it got infected?! You could of ended up losing your arm!”
He hadn’t realized the seriousness of that situation. He looked down, ashamed, “You’re right… I didn’t think about that…”
Zelda laughed. “It’s okay!” she said, cheerily, “Just make sure you do think about it next time!”
Link smiled at her.
“Are there any more like that?!”
He started to undo his belt. He turned around and sat on his knees, lifting up the back of his shirt a little. On his lower back was an upward gash.
“This one’s not that bad, is it?” Link said trying to look back at her.
She shook her head in disbelief, “How did you get this one?”
“Umm…” he dropped his shirt and redid his belt, turning around. “I just fell…” he said a little embarrassed.
“Where did you fall?”
Link started laughing softly; Zelda couldn’t help but laugh a little too.
“What’s so funny…how did you get that?”
“I told you… I fell…”
“…In a river…”
“…You must have really torn your tunic up when you fell.”
Link started laughing to himself again.
She gave him a strange look, “What, Link? What’s so funny?”
He shook his head, “My tunic wasn’t… It was untouched…”
Zelda made an even stranger face at him, “What do you mean it was ‘untouched?’…”
He didn’t say a word……
After a few seconds, Zelda open her mouth and gasped, putting her hand to her mouth.
“You were… Were you?… You were…”
She bit her lip and started laughing. She pointed at him, in hysterics now, “You…you were…” She couldn’t stop laughing.
Link shook his head again. “Yeah, yeah,” he said trying to ignore the subject, “Okay, can we talk about something else now?”
Zelda was on the floor, still laughing.
He wiggled his foot impatiently, “All right, come on now.”
Finally, she stopped laughing and rolled over to Impa’s extra traveling case that she had left behind in the tent. She took out a small candle, matches, a pencil, and a small bunch of papers tied together like it was a notepad. She lit the candle, and then put the matches back in the bag.
“Okay now, Link. Lets play tic-tack-toe,” she said, plopping next to him, “I’ll be O’s and you be the X’s!” It’s a corny, old game, but they ended up playing it for a while…
“Okay, the score is now: 127 to 127,” Zelda stated marking another point, “How about we stop now and call it a tie!”
Link tiredly looked up at her, “It’s a tie!”
She sat up, blew out the candle, and put the notebook and pencil away, “That was fun!”
Link picked up the candle and put it near his stuff so the wax could re-harden. They couldn’t see very well now that the flame was out.
Zelda pulled out a blanket from the bag and sprawled it out; it was a dark red blanket with a thick, threaded, decorative, black outline.
“Link, bring your turtle over here!”
He picked it up and lightly tossed it at her as he made his way next to her.
“Are you going to use it as a pillow again?” Link asked jokingly.
She hugged it, saying, “Maybe…” She pulled the blanket on her. “I like him, he’s so soft and comfy,” she said hugging it again.
“It is cool, isn’t it?” Link said.
She nodded and hugged it harder, making an ‘mmmnn’ sound.
Link pulled the blanket on him too, “Zelda,…do you want to keep him?”
She looked up, “Oh, Link, no…it’s yours, you won it!”
He smiled, “I want you to have it.”
She shook her head and held out the turtle, “Link, I couldn’t. It’s yours. I couldn’t take it from you.”
He wouldn’t take it.
“It’s not that I don’t want it…” he said, “It’s just… I don’t have enough room to take it with me, and if I did, I’d probably end up leaving it somewhere anyway… I want you to take it. I won it for you! -I know how much you wanted a prize!”
Zelda sat it on her lap.
“Thank you, Link…” she said with an adoring look in her eyes, “I promise to take good care of it. I really appreciate it…”
He just smiled, “I know.”
She put the turtle down, laid on her side, facing Link, used it as a pillow, and hugged it. Link started to lay down too when Zelda suddenly said, “Do you sleep in all your clothes like that all the time?”
He stopped and faced her, “Most of the time.”
“And that’s comfortable?!”
“No, but I usually have to keep myself together or I could end up losing something. Someone could steal them.”
“What do you do to get comfortable when you can safely take something off? -That is besides your boots and weapons? Anything?”
He finally laid all the way down, “I’d probably take off my tunic and hat…if I could.”
“I’m not going to steal them,…” she said affectionately.
He shook him head, “I don’t want to. I’d feel weird in front of you.”
“Why would you feel weird?”
“I don’t know… I guess I’m not used to people seeing me like that.”
“Without your tunic and hat on?! Link, I don’t care. I just want you to be as comfortable and happy as you can be… Besides…when is the last time you did take them off?”
“Besides when I change them and stuff…it’s been a while…”
“Come on then, Link! You might as well enjoy it in the tent! Look at me! No one is used to seeing me without all my royal attire, but I took them off! It’s not really a big deal, I just wanted to be more comfortable.”
She was right; she did it and he didn’t mind. In fact, he found it kind of nice. It’s not that big of a deal, and he did want to be more comfortable…
Link sat up, “You won’t laugh at me, will you?”
“Why would I laugh at you?”
“…I haven’t cut my hair in a while. It’s sort of all over the place.”
Zelda sat up, hiding her excitement, “I’m sure it’s not that bad…” She expected it to be only about shoulder length; she was curious to see him without his hat.
She tilted her head, “…It’s okay. I wouldn’t laugh at you.”
He put his hand under his hat, manipulating something. It loosened and he pulled it off.
He had such an exposed look on his face that Zelda had to giggle.
“You said that you wouldn’t laugh…” “I’m not laughing at your hair, I’m laughing at your face.” It wasn’t like she expected it to look. Link was right; it was messy looking and it was long. It thinned out as it got longer. It sort of looked like it had molded to his hat.
She came closer and put her hand threw it, “It’s not that bad…”
She took her hand back. “You look nice!”
He managed a half grin. “I guess…” he sarcastically replied. He then looked down and undid his belt.
Zelda lied down again and watched him. He took off his belt and lifted his tunic over his head; he wore a brown shirt and his white pants underneath it. He put them beside him, in the corner of the tent, and laid down on his back under the blanket again.
“Now isn’t that better?…” Zelda asked.
“Yeah, it is!” he answered sort of wiggling under the blanket, settling in. He put his hands under his head and stared at the top of the tent; Zelda still looked at him. They laid there listening to the rain for a while.
Link was thinking about tomorrow and what he planned to do. He knew he’d miss Zelda, she was very different then most people, but he was used to people coming and going in his life. He never allowed himself to really feel that close to anyone, simply because he knew that they’d be gone eventually. He learned to live for the moment; he learned to take things as they came…and left. He’d never forget anyone, but he would never let himself grow attached to them either. It would just make it harder… He did let himself grow close to one soul, however, and that was Epona. They showed love to each other like family; after all, they had spent every day together for years. He always felt more ‘at home’ with animals more then he did with people most of the time. They never judged him like people did; they just want happiness, like he did. He had seen the evils people can cause throughout his life, but animals, and the rest of nature, were different. They do what is necessary to survive, and are never cruel, or spiteful like people can be. It amazed him to see what rupees and possessions had done to people…
Zelda kicked the blanket a little, averting Link’s attention to her. She pulled it up to her face, and noticed Link looking at her again.
She giggled and hugged a bunch of the blanket with her face, “I love this blanket!” She kicked playfully under it.
He smiled, “Yeah, it is nice… I had forgotten how nice…”
He looked back to the top of the tent.
Zelda scooted an inch or so closer to him.
He looked at her again.
“I’m going to miss you,…” she sadly whispered.
He gave her a small grin; not letting himself fell the emotion of her comment.
He looked back at the ceiling again.
They were silent for a few minutes…
“Zelda…” He uttered with a sense of seriousness in his tone, “Would you do something for me?”
“Sure, Link. What is it?”
He looked back at her, “I want you to take Epona back to Hyrule with you.”
She was shocked to hear him say that. “Link…why?”
He smiled, “Because she likes you…and I can’t take her where I’m going.”
He waited for a reaction.
“…Where would you go without her? -That she couldn’t come?…”
“I want to take a boat out to sea. I want to see the ocean and other lands…”
Zelda was so taken by what he was asking that she was almost speechless.
“Zelda… I know you understand how important she is to me… I know I can trust her to you.”
She stared at him, sort of sadly. Finally, she answered, “Link… That you would trust me to take care of Epona…” She took a breath and smiled, “I do know how much she means to you… You have my word, I’ll make sure she gets home safely.”
Now he began to look sad, “You’ll play with her and ride her?…”
She giggled, “I’ll do everything I can to make her happy! -And hey! Maybe someday I’ll be as close to her as you are… I’ll make sure she’s fine I promise I will. I promise I’ll take good care of her.”
Link smiled again, “…Thank you… I know you’ll take good care of her…”
He looked up, “I just hope she won’t get mad at me!”
“I’m sure she’d understand,” she reassured him.
“I hope so,…” he mumbled.
Link shut his eyes and a few more minutes of silence went by; it was still raining.
He heard Zelda moving.
“Can I?…” she whispered softly, and he opened his eyes.
He suddenly felt her arm on his chest and her lightly hugging him. -Alarmed, he stiffened up his body; she could tell. She immediately let go and backed away from him.
“I’m sorry,…” she sadly whispered, “I didn’t mean to…”
Another minute later: “You don’t get to many hugs, do you?…”
Link sat quietly.
“…I don’t either,” she said hugging the blanket and closing her eyes, “Goodnight, Link…”
He watched her attempting to fall asleep. He felt horrible about what had just happened; she just wanted to give him a hug… She must be a little lonely too…
He moved next to her.
She opened her eyes as he lightly put his arm around her and hugged her.
She hugged him back, shutting her eyes again.
Link shut his eyes and they stayed there a while… He could feel his heart beating, as she with hers… He could also smell her…She smelt nice…
They began to fall asleep when Link accidentally leaned in and lightly tapped her head with his. Her eyes opened as she made an alarmed ‘hhmm’ sound and pulled her head back; Link had already pulled his head back, but pretended like nothing happened.
Both reawakened, they still lied there. Now it was Zelda’s turn to feel bad; he didn’t mean it. She could tell he was faking to be asleep. She smiled.
With her hand, she lightly pushed Link’s shoulder so he’d lie on his back. He went with it, opening his eyes to see her. She cupped one side of his face with the same hand and kissed him on his other cheek.
Still holding his face, she put her face to his and hugged him; he hugged her back.
This time he couldn’t resist enjoying it; it felt so good… He slowly rolled on his side again and she went with it.
She moved her head, kissed him on the cheek again, and moved it back…
They eventually fell asleep in their embrace…
Chapter Two: Departure
It was a beautiful, summer morning when Impa woke up. She was used to getting up early every day, but it was almost 10 o’clock now! She figured that she should go wake up Zelda now so they could leave by noon.
The tents all had small, removable covers on top of them; If it was a nice night, the air could flow threw the netting, and if it was raining, the cover could be put on and no one would get wet. It was put on from the outside with four little clips. Impa decided to undo the clips and take the cover off to look in on Zelda without waking her up first. Impa wasn’t really surprised when she found them sleeping in each other’s arms. She thought it was adorable, and didn’t have the heart to wake them up. They won’t see each other after this, or maybe even at all again, so they might as well enjoy the rest of their time together. Besides…Zelda would probably get mad if she woke them up.
They’ll wake up eventually. Impa made some breakfast, or lunch, for them while she waited…
Of course, Link and Zelda had overslept. It was about 11:45 when Zelda woke up. She slightly moved her head, which woke Link right up. They pulled their heads back and lightened their grip around each other. Zelda drowsily smiled at him as he rubbed his eyes.
“Mmmnn… Good morning…” she said, then hugged him again.
“…Good morning…” he moaned back.
She backed away from him, with her hand still near his chest. Both of them didn’t like getting up in the morning, but knew today that they had to.
Link sat up and stretched. Zelda yawned and watched him reach for his belt and tunic. He sat there for a minute or so trying to wake himself up. He put on his tunic and buckled on his belt. He then combed his hair with his hand and put his hat back on. He scooted near the door and put his boots on.
Zelda sat up and folded the blanket, putting it back in the bag; she put the turtle in there too. Link re-equipped himself and was ready to go. Zelda gathered up her royal attire.
“I’ll wait out side for you,” Link said opening, then slipping out and re-closing the tent door.
He noticed Impa sitting with a frying pan over the relightened campfire.
“Finally, you two are up!” she called over to him.
He walked over to her and sat with her, “Zelda’s getting her stuff together… What’s that?” He peered at the pan.
“It’s your breakfast! I made myself a bacon sandwich, so I decided to make you two some also… So how did you sleep, Link? -For you a tent must be a luxury!”
He smiled, “Yeah, I slept great last night!”
Impa smiled back at him; she knew they must of both slept great last night because of the way she found them in the morning. She hoped they didn’t realize she had seen them…
The tent door opened and out came Zelda, who walked right over.
Impa innocently asked her too, “Good morning, Zelda! How did you sleep last night?”
Zelda plopped down next to Link, “Very well!”
Impa laughed to herself; she thought it was so cute…
“How did you sleep, Impa?” Zelda interrupted her thoughts.
“Oh, just fine… You two must have stayed up late, it’s almost noon now you know!”
They looked at each other and smiled.
Zelda then looked to Impa, “Yeah, we had a lot of fun last night!”
“I’m glad to hear that,” Impa replied as she started putting the bacon on some bread roles. “I made bacon sandwiches for you two this morning,…” she turned and held out a plate with five sandwiches on it, “It’s probably no match to the cook’s bacon sandwiches, but there’s an egg, some lettuce, and a tomato on them… Eat them all up!” She put it in between them and began to put the fire out. “Oh, and here’s some milk,” she added, placing a large bottle near the plate. They both picked up a sandwich and started eating as Impa went into the tent to take out the stuff inside.
“Man, this is good!” Link mumbled with his mouth full. He finished and started eating another one. Zelda finished hers and drank some milk. Link finished that one too.
“You can have the rest,” Zelda offered.
“Are you sure?” he looked up.
She smiled and nodded as he wolfed down the rest of them and finished the milk.
Impa and the other had already taken down the other tents, and now took down the tent Zelda and Link had slept in. She watched them dolefully; she knew they were pretty much ready to go.
They both sat there, silent, for about twenty minutes, watching the rest of their things get packed up.
“Zelda!” Impa called waving her over.
She looked to Link, then back to Impa as she got up and walked mournfully over to her. Impa handed her the bag that was in the tent earlier, as they talked. Zelda was explaining to her how Link wanted her to take Epona home.
Zelda then came back over to Link. “Everyone is ready to go…” She had such a sad look on her face, “So…you should say your goodbyes to Epona now…”
Link took out his ocarina and called Epona, who came right over. He stared at her, then lightly grabbed her snout.
“Epona…” he said holding back the pain, “You’re going home now… Zelda is going to take you home… It’s where you belong…”
Epona stood silent and still with her ears up like she understood every word he was saying.
“I can’t take you where I’m going now… It’s certainly not because I don’t want you there… But…” He took a breath, and hugged her. “I’ll miss you very much, but you’ll be better back in Hyrule…”
He stood trying to look happy. “Zelda said she’d take good care of you! -And I want you to do everything she asks you to… You’ll get to see Malon again too; you like her!… Be good Epona, and I promise…someday…I’ll come see you again… Good luck my friend.”
He hugged her one last time and gave Zelda his ocarina. “Don’t refuse to take it back, Zelda. You need it now.” She took it.
Link then pushed Epona, who obeyed, to Zelda’s side. Link looked really sad… Zelda stepped closer and hugged him.
After about a minute they stopped.
Zelda grinned. She reached into the bag and took out the folded blanket, holding it out to him, “Here…I want you to have this. -And don’t refuse to take it.” He took it.
She reached back into the bag and pulled out 500 rupees, giving them to him. “Take these too. You’ll need them.” He took them too. She looked as if she could easily start to cry, but she managed a smile.
“Good luck…” she said obviously holding back her tears. She looked down trying to rebuild herself.
She looked up again. “Please come back to Hyrule some time… And good luck with everything. I truly hope no harm comes to you, and that you make out well… Link…”
She stepped forward and gave him another hug; whispering, “I promise, with all my heart, that Epona will be okay…”
She cupped the left side of his face and looked at him, smiling.
He smiled back, “I know…”
She kissed him on his other cheek, and then hugged him with her face against his again. She really hugged him tightly.
She gave him another kiss, and hugged him again for the last time.
She took a step back.
“And be careful!” she joked, thinking of all his scars.
“You too…” he replied, “On your way back home, be careful… There are more things out there then you realize…especially at night…”
Everyone was watching them.
He helped Zelda mount Epona, who also seemed melancholy.
Impa came next to her while everyone else waited to leave.
“Are you ready?” she asked Zelda, who could only nod her head.
Impa turned to Link, “Have a safe journey, my boy. And you know you’ll always be welcomed back at the castle.”
Link nodded with a grin.
Impa began walking toward the rest of the group as Zelda faced Epona toward them.
“Goodbye,” she said turning her head and walking Epona away. She had started to cry, but pulled herself back together.
Everyone said goodbye, and Link watched them start to fade into the horizon.
He noticed Zelda and Epona stop, turn around, and wave to him. He immediately jumped up and waved back to her.
She continued on until she, and everyone else, were gone…
Now Link was all alone…
He looked down at the blanket and rupees in his hand and chuckled; he knew they would come in handy… He took a deep breath, and began walking back into town.
All the tables, chairs, and all signs of the celebration had been taken away; the town looked back to normal already.
Link noticed a small handful of people, including Nayru, Ralph, and Din, gathered near the statue. He decided to go over and say goodbye to his friends. Everyone turned around when he came behind them.
“Hey, Link!” Din called out, coming towards him, “Where’s Zelda?”
“They just left a couple minutes ago…”
“They did?” she asked with concern, “I was going to see if I could go with them…”
“If you hurry up you could catch up to them. They left from their spot in the woods.”
She smiled, “I think I will!” She looked at Nayru and Ralph, “I guess I’m off then! I’ll come by to see you two some time!” They nodded.
She looked back at Link. “Where are you off to?” she hurriedly asked.
“I’m going to head overseas,” he answered.
Din seemed a bit shocked, “Really?… Well, make sure you take a lot of fresh water with you. And if you’re ever back in Holodrum, please come visit me. It would be nice to see you again!… Well, I better get moving! It’s a good thing I already have all my stuff with me!” She began heading to the woods.
She turned around and yelled, “Good luck, Link! Bye everyone!” She waved, everyone waved back, and she started running.
Nayru stepped over to Link, Ralph following. “Overseas,” she announced. “What possesses you to head overseas, Link? Another adventure to seek?”
Suddenly a man stepped out of the crowd and ran into a house; the small crowd watched as he went…
“That’ll be a difficult journey, especially if a storm hits,” Ralph came in, “But knowing you, Link… You’ll be ale to take it.”
“Yeah, Link,” Nayru added, “I’m sure you’ll be fine!”
The man came out back out of his house and walked over to Link. Everyone watched him approach…
“Here.” The man said holding something out to him. Link took it and stared at it. “It’s an old canteen of mine,” the man filled him in, “I filled it up with fresh water for you. You can keep it. I’m sure it’ll serve you well.”
“Thank you very much!” Link said, amazed he would do such a kind thing, “It’ll serve me very well!”
Everyone was quite for a moment.
“Well, I guess I’ll get going too!” Link began walking away.
“Wait a minute!” a short woman called out, “Let me escort you! I can take you to the beach; it would be the least I could do.”
He took her up on her offer, but said to he had to go to the local thrift shop first.
A few minutes later, when he returned, the whole small group had pilled into the short woman’s carriage. He jumped on and they went down to the beach; it took a good twenty minutes to get there.
Link thanked the woman and walked into the small ‘Boats and Tackle’ house on the dock. He asked the man inside for a boat and gave him the rupees for it. “No, no, Link,” he said pushing back the rubees “After what you’ve done, take one for free. Consider it a gift of thanks!” Link thanked him and walked out.
The small crowd had gotten out and stood around waiting for Link. He picked a boat and began to untie its knots on the peer.
Nayru came running over to him, “Good luck, Link!”
“Thanks,” he answered, still picking at the ropes.
“Come visit us when you come back. I’d like it if you did.”
The rest of the crowd came over. Link had everything he needed. He had packed some food and some other supplies yesterday and bought some other things he would need, so he was ready to go.
He jumped into the boat and slowly began to leave the shore.
“Goodbye, Link! -Bye! -Good luck! -Bye, Link! -Thank you! -Have a safe voyage! -Thanks Link! - Bye! -Bye! -Bon voyage! -See ya Link! -Come back soon! -Goodbye!” everyone yelled, waving to him.
“Thanks!” he yelled back, waving, “Bye everyone!”
And there he was, drifting out to sea…
Chapter Three: Lucky Sea Days Can Drift to Demise
Link had prepared for his journey. He had pocketed a lot of food from the celebration, had a couple bottles of milk, the full canteen of fresh water the kind man gave to him, a map, a large candle, some matches, a bar of soap, a net, a compass, some first-aid supplies, the blanket and a lot of rubees -that Zelda gave him- and all the usual things he carried around with him. He got a lot of extra arrows, and a small pocketknife as well. He wanted to be prepared for anything…
He took out his map, studying it; according to what it said he should continue heading west to reach the next land. He licked his finger and held it high up in the air, feeling the breeze. He was truly in luck; the wind was coming from the east! So he opened up his sails and let the wind carry him westward.
He stood, studying the ocean as he sailed. It was surprisingly calm and pacific. It wasn’t quite as he pictured it would be, but was better. He expected it to be more difficult… But, he had more days to go, so he just figured that the ocean was on his side so far…
The day went by slowly, but nicely. Link rationed his meals and had plenty of liquids to spare. It was dark now, and he was tired. He took down the sails, in case the winds shifted overnight. He settled in and laid down under the blanket; it was so beautiful tonight. The air was so clean and there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky. The stars were bright, and you could even see a couple blue, and a reddish one up there…
Meanwhile, back in Hyrule, Zelda and everyone had just gotten back to the castle. Now Zelda was back home, in her room; Impa bid her goodnight.
Zelda had returned Epona to Lon Lon Ranch, and Malon was enthralled to see her again.
Zelda had changed into her pajamas, and now sat on a long, blue cushion seat on the tiny balcony in her room. She sat with her legs folded up to her chest, hugging the stuffed turtle, looking at the stars. She also had a magnificent view of the stars tonight…
She picked the star that leaped out to her. It was a red one! “Wherever you are, Link,” she whispered, “I wish you the best… And I wish that one day I’ll get to see you again…”
Then she began to think about what Link had told her he thought about when he looked at the stars…
Link had begun to think about what Zelda had told him she thought about when she looked at the stars… So, he picked a star that seemed to call his name, the reddish one… He wondered if Zelda and Epona were home yet… Then he wondered if anyone else was looking at it too… Needless to say, the both of them never looked at the night sky the same way again…
The morning came and Link had waken up fairly early. He immediately grabbed the compass to estimate his location on the map. North was almost directly right to where the front of the boat faced. He hadn’t drifted very far during the night; that’s great!
He tested the air with his finger; the wind was coming from the southeast.
He opened up the sails and let the wind take the boat westward. He ate, and then decided to put the net in the water with scraps left over for bait. Who knows, maybe I’ll catch something!
The day, again, went by slowly, but nicely. The ocean wasn’t like the forest, but it was all right… He took down the sails and went to sleep when he grew tired…
The next morning, the sounds of splashing and the boat suddenly swaying in the water awakened Link. He immediately shot up to see what was causing the commotion.
The water was still calm and pacific. He noticed some splashing next to the net. The net also looked like it was being tugged; Link had securely tied it to the boat, so it wouldn’t fall into the water unless it was untied or cut somehow. He looked to see what was happening.
There was a small pod of porpoises! They were biting, jumping, and circling the net!
He cautiously pulled the net up into the boat. He was amazed to see almost fifty mid-sized fish had been caught in it! So that’s why they’re tugging at it! He thought.
One of them stayed at the side of the boat; Link grabbed a fish, leaned over the edge, and the porpoise took it right from him! The others came over, so he did the same thing with them.
As they waited, Link took out his compass to find where he was; the boat was still going in the right direction. He bent down and put his hand in the water. It was pretty warm… He figured that this would be a rare opportunity…
He quickly stripped down to his pants and jumped into the water.
Since he’d been just sitting around the last couple of days, the swim was even more enjoyable! They swam around together for a few hours -Link keeping a very close eye on the boat. They had a lot of fun! But then one of the porpoises started making strange noises. The others caught on to him and they started making the same, strange sounds. They then all dove down farther in the water and quickly swam off. Link knew that something was wrong. As with the animals in the forest, when one took off in alarm, usually something bigger was coming nearby. So, he immediately swam to the boat and got inside; some fish still sprawled out on the deck.
About ten minutes later, far out in the distance, he noticed a large fin sticking out of the water. The porpoises must of known that shark was coming… He was glad he got out…But that was fun!
There were only five fish left, so Link decided to fillet one and have it to eat. He started a fire to cook it in a bucket that was on the boat, that way he could simply fill it up with water to extinguish it when he was done. It made a fine meal and he still had plenty of fluids to spare. So far, so good!
The time went by faster today, and he should only have a few more days to go. With the help of a barrel aboard, he bathed and redressed after he dried off somewhat. He then laid down and went under the blanket; he had started to grow fond of it…It smelt nice… The light rocking of the boat was something else though; he could deal with it, but knew he’d be happy to be on land again…
He watched the sky, listening to the ocean, thinking… I wonder what the other lands will bring…
He fell asleep, dreaming of the possibilities…
Unfortunately for Link, the possibilities hadn’t much to offer. He would safely reach land and go though some more adventures, like he had before in Hyrule, Termina, Holodrum, and Labrynna. Each quest became more difficult and complicated as they came. He had also met more people, but unfortunately more nemeses during his travels. The years he would spend overseas were destined to tare him apart emotionally, and somewhat physically; but everything happened for a reason… It lead to his ‘demise.’ His blissful innocence would be lost and he would make a new foe: himself. It’s amazing what solitude, anger, and cruelty can turn someone, even as kind-hearted and loving as Link, into…
Part 2 is next.... email me for more info