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Chapter Three
Auralii hid behind a pillar in the ballroom. She gathered her skirts in her hands so they didn’t billow out and give her away. She sighed in desperation. Jakob, one of the young stable hands, was following her around. He worshipped the ground she walked on, but he didn’t seem to understand that she wanted to be left alone. Unfortunately, she was the only other person in the entire Palace his age other than Kalunera and Sapphira. Their little brother, Kenrith, was only eleven, and he had plenty of little kids to play with. Auralii just wished that Kalunera and Sapphira weren’t so busy so often. In years past, they had always been around, and they always had fun together. Now, Kalunera was constantly busy learning to be the Queen, and Sapphira was always out and about working as a healer and sorceress. Jakob saw this as an opportunity to win Auralii’s affections. Auralii saw this as a living hell.
Right now, at the celebratory ball in honor of the newlyweds, she wished that someone would show up and talk to her so she wouldn’t have to face Jakob. She was almost considering going back to her room when Link walked right past her. She almost didn’t notice him, but it’s sort of hard to have someone walk past you and not notice them. “Link? What are you doing?” she asked.
He was startled. “Oh, hi there. I didn’t think that you’d see me.”
“You walked right in front of me.”
“Sometimes half-hiding works even then.”
“Half what? Link, you are weird.”
He smiled. “Half-hiding. It’s when people see you, but they don’t register that you’re there. I use it when I don’t want people to bother me, but I don’t want people to think to themselves, ‘Where’s Link?’ When you’re in half-hiding, people looking for you can sometimes find you.”
“Sounds complicated.”
“Not really. You’re doing a pretty good job of it yourself.”
“Am I? Good.”
“Why so relieved?”
“This boy, Jakob, won’t leave me alone.”
“Oh, one of those. Usually if you talk to someone else, they’ll leave you alone.”
“I know. That’s why I’m glad I found you.”
He laughed. “Fine with me. I was just escaping someone myself.”
“A certain Lady Harriet. She seems to forget that I’m married.”
“Oh, trust me. She knows you’re married. She just doesn’t care.”
“That doesn’t help.”
“I’ll talk to her. I’ll explain that your wife doesn’t like the attention that she’s giving you.”
“Hey, thanks! Do you want to get something to drink?”
They walked to the refreshment table. Auralii saw Jakob begin to approach her from the left, and he had parchment in his hand. “Oh great,” she whispered to Link. “He’s going to try to read me poetry.”
“Okay, let’s pretend that we’re discussing something important.” He raised his voice so Jakob could hear. “Although I don’t think that people should be restricted on the number of cows they can own.”
“Well,” said Auralii, playing along, “I think that it should be the opposite. Cuccos are much less expensive to feed and care for, and they take up less space. Cows can cause all sorts of problems.” Jakob looked disappointed, and he walked away. “It worked!” cried Auralii, quietly so Jakob couldn’t hear.
“Good. Are you old enough to drink wine?” He held up a decanter.
“Yes, I am sixteen.”
Link looked surprised. “In Hyrule, legal age is eighteen.”
“This is not Hyrule. Besides, Kalunera and Sapphira must have had wine in Hyrule.”
“But Sapphira is eighteen.”
“Now she is, but at the Costume Ball, she wasn’t. And Kalunera is still seventeen.”
“Good point,” conceded Link, and he poured her a glass before pouring himself one.
“So,” said Auralii, “Are you having a good time in Racona?”
“Yeah, it’s pretty nice. I still haven’t been out of the Palace, but as we rode through, Kalunera and Sapphira pointed out some really cool things.”
“Like what?”
“Well, we rode through the center of the town. The stores look very interesting. I want to check out the one that says it sells old prophecy.”
“Oh, I know which one you’re talking about. They also sell really good fiction, too.”
“Excellent. I didn’t bring any of my books with me. We also rode past the Forest of Winter. That place looks so cool.”
“It’s fun to go there in the summer. You walk in and it’s snowing.”
“Maybe we should have a picnic there before we go back to Hyrule.”
“Sapphira and I are going back to Hyrule. I have a job there. Liam is going to stay here with Kalunera, for obvious reasons.”
“That’s sad. I won’t get to see Sapphira as often!”
“Don’t worry. We’ll be visiting very often. Liam and I are blood brothers, and it’s painful enough for us to be separated, too.”
“Oh well. I guess Sapphira will enjoy living in Hyrule.”
“I hope so. If she gets homesick, I don’t know what we’ll do.” He looked around. “Speaking of which, I think I need to spend some time with said wife. I haven’t seen her all evening.”
“Alright. Thanks for helping me out with Jakob.”
“No problem. You’re going to help me out with Lady Harriet, so we’re even.”
“I wasn't keeping score.”
“That’s what you think.” Link left to go find Sapphira. Auralii stood there for a moment thinking that that was not the right comeback for the situation. Then she shook her head and went to find Lady Harriet.

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