Chapter 9: Inconvenienced Indirect Postal Service
Inside the protective walls of Castle Town people streamed by in the streets, flowing as smoothly as a gurgling stream in the summertime. Meanwhile in a quaint residence in the southeastern section of town, Agitha, a self-proclaimed princess with a unique appreciation, which was seen by others as more of an obsession, for insects, sealed off an ornate envelope after tucking the letter she had just finished composing inside. She scribbled the name of the recipient, as well as the destination, on the front in big bold strokes. Once she finished this, she dropped the quill she was holding and stood up, turning to the young hero that was also in the house.
"Now we just have to deliver it to the Postman!" Agitha announced, sounding as if delivering a letter was the most exciting thing in the world and should not be delayed any longer.
"Great," Link replied with strained emotion, somehow feeling that this was going to involve more than just going up to a guy and handing him a letter, "Where's this postman usually at?"
"Well, he's everywhere!" Agitha exclaimed flinging her arms up to emphasize the range of the Postman's whereabouts. Then she abruptly let her arms fall to her sides, "Except when you need him of course. Then, it's as if he disappeared into thin air, and then tracking him down is almost as hard as catching a flying bug with your bare hands! Oh, but don't worry Lil Grasshopper because here in Castle Town there's a sort of indirect postal service. The Gorons manage it."
"Gorons? Why Gorons?" Link wondered tilting his head to the side as if that would help him see the logic behind it.
"A couple reasons. For one, they have families back in Kakariko that they are always sending mail to. They have an easier time of finding the elusive Postman whenever it's convenient for them unlike most people. I guess it's kind of like a sixth sense," Agitha shrugged, "Another reason is because the Postman hides out in the bar, or so I was told, and there's a Goron that goes there all the time also and usually sees him."
The duo stepped out of the bug-filled house and straight into the late morning rush, Link having smartly slipped the letter into his Delivery Bag so it wouldn't get damaged on the way. Agitha ran ahead of him leaving Link to fend for himself in the river of people. When he finally managed to get out of the small side street, and into the market area that had been so tempting to him before, and still was, he found his acquaintance leaning over the counter of an unmanned shop.
"What are you doing?" Link questioned the younger girl as he approached her from behind. She sighed heavily in disappointment before straightening her posture and facing him.
"The Gorons I usually ask to deliver letters for me aren't here. They're always here. I wonder where they went," Agitha explained seeming a tad upset. She quickly brightened again. "It's not a big deal though. They aren't the only Gorons in Castle Town. In fact, there's a whole house of them in the central square! It's just a bit of a longer walk, but that's fine. Let's go!" Agitha grabbed Link's wrist and dragged the boy through the lively crowd of people, not seeming to be fazed anytime she bumped into someone.
Link allowed himself to be dragged to a building as people pushed past him and his companion. Agitha released her grip on Link and pulled open the door or, rather, tried to that is. When it didn't work she used two hands to tug on the door, hoping it was just stuck but to no avail. The door was locked.
"Hey, Agitha, look," Link spoke up pointing to a sign that looked like it had been hastily hung up on the door, as if the person that had put it there hadn't been planning on departing in the first place.
Agitha scanned it and huffed," Closed? They're never closed." The girl then removed her hands from the door handle and bowed her head in thought.
"Aren't there any more Gorons in Castle Town? Didn't you mention that there was one in the bar?" Link inquired.
Agitha's head snapped up, her slight period of depression gone, "Yes! Yes there is, but…" Agitha trailed off looking to the side guiltily, "they don't allow kids in the bar since the drinking age here is sixteen. Neither of us are sixteen, so we can't get in."
"Do you have any friends that are sixteen or older that can take it for us?" Link wondered, sincerely hoping that she did.
"I have Grasshopper, but that's out of the question because this letter's purpose is to get him here. I have Goron friends, but they aren't here either," Agitha explained her face downcast. The two mulled it over for some time before the younger girl unexpectedly took Link's hands in hers and exclaimed quietly, "Oh yes! I just remembered! One night I was looking for bugs, because some only come out at night, and I was wandering around town. I found a firefly and chased it. It flew all the way to the bar, and I almost had it when the bar owner's pesky cat came out of the shadows and ate my poor bug! Then it jumped on top of some big crates that were stacked on top of each other and disappeared into a window! Since then, I've noticed that the window is usually always open. If it is, then we can sneak in. Between the two of us, we’ll be able to get on the crates and deliver the letter!"
"Okay, where's this bar located?" Link asked completely nonchalant about sneaking into a forbidden place since he'd done it so often by now.
"This way! Follow me!" Agitha cried in excitement pointing before shooting off in, what seemed to Link to be, a random direction. He followed obediently and soon found himself being led down two flights of steps until they stopped in an enclosed nook. He immediately spotted the crates that had been in Agitha's woeful story and the window with its shutters wide open beckoning them to come inside.
"Over here, Lil Grasshopper!" Agitha called, her voice hushed. Link hurried over to where the bug-obsessed girl was standing. She motioned to a crate beside her and moved out of the way as Link pushed it against the other crates.
"Yay! You're so strong, Lil Grasshopper!" Agitha quietly cheered, clapping her hands together in elation. Link waved off her compliment and helped her climb onto the first crate before climbing onto it himself. They scaled the second row of crates with ease, and Link was about to head in through the window, but Agitha stopped him.
"Let's keep an eye out for Telma's cat. I know it sounds silly, but I'm sure that that cat has more intelligence than others. So let's just be careful in case she tries to warn her owner, okay?" she warned him, seeming to relive the moment when the cat had murdered her precious bug.
"Okay, are you ready or do you want to wait out here?" Link questioned, unsure of whether or not bringing along such an enthusiastic girl was such a good idea.
"Are you kidding? Of course I'm coming with you!" Agitha exclaimed as if the matter had been decided from the start. Link nodded and the two progressed through the open window. Link surveyed the attic. The first thing that caught his attention was the three ropes stretched across the floor connecting the wooden floor to separate sections of the room. The second thing that piqued his interest was all the pots. There must have been at least twenty of them. They'd have to be extra careful not to disturb any and alert the people below of the intruders.
"Be careful with the pots," Link whispered before he crept forward cautiously. Agitha nodded and tip-toed forward behind Link. He peered over the edge. Below he could see that the bar was bustling. Boisterous drinkers laughed and shouted for another round while others, more sober than their buddies, chatted. No sign of a Goron was evident to Link's dismay.
"Hey! Lil Grasshopper look!" Agitha indicated a man in one of the darker corners of the bar. Most of the man's hair was obscured by a red cap. He appeared to wear a white uniform with a touch of gold incorporated into it. The corner was dimly lit, making it nearly impossible to make out many more details.
"That's the Postman himself! Doesn't he look weird?" she giggled quietly, "Now we don't have to worry about finding a Goron." Link had to agree with Agitha that the Postman was strange, although not quite as strange as the flying Postman he met in the Realm of the Ocean King. He motioned for his partner to follow, already devising a plan in his head to get the letter to the Postman. As the pair stepped to the right, being careful to avoid any jars, a Persian cat with a maroon ribbon tied fashionably around its neck, blocked their path.
"Shoo kitty!" Agitha whispered while making a shooing motion with her hands and bending her knees slightly, "We're on an important mission!" The cat seemed to ignore the young girl's words and took a threatening step closer to the children, a low growl rumbling from within its small furry body.
"It's just a cat Agitha. Let's just go around it," Link suggested grabbing said girl's hand and doing just that. The feline stood there, staring them down with obvious displeasure at their presence. It hissed before turning and trotting off nonchalantly in the opposite direction.
"I'll keep a lookout in case it comes back. You get the letter in the Postman's hands," Agitha ordered. Link nodded and left the girl at her post while he stepped up to the edge of the floor cautiously. He removed the letter from his Delivery Bag and made to step onto the thick rope that was stretched across the rafters. Before he could, however, a large crash sounded making him jump and stumble back. He swiveled around to glare accusingly at Agitha, sure that the overenthusiastic girl had managed to break something. To his surprise it wasn't Agitha. She had her mouth covered with one hand, eyes wide as she stared in shock at the left side of the attic. Link shifted his disapproving gaze to the other side just in time to see the culprit. The same cat from before was sitting calmly, a smug look painted onto its pushed in face.
That's when Link noticed the absence of sound in the room. It was as if someone had flipped a switch thus muting all sound.
"It was probably Louise again," a man's voice from below predicted.
"Nonsense, she's right here," a woman's voice huffed. That's when Link noticed the cat's sudden disappearance. The sneaky thing had slinked away so quickly Link hadn't even seen it! Agitha looked at him hopelessly, mouthing something along the lines of what do we do now?
They could turn back and abandon the mission, but on the other hand they really needed the letter delivered as soon as possible. If the letter he had clutched in his right hand didn't get delivered then he may never find their friends. If they remained silent then the citizens below will be even more curious to find out what had caused the disturbance. Then they would be forced to retreat and turning back wasn't an option. An idea was blessed upon him right at that moment of something he could try, although it was a gambit that could either help or hinder their cause, but he figured it was better than doing nothing.
"Meow," Link imitated as best as he could. Agitha shot a strange glance his way but otherwise remained silent.
"Another cat probably snuck in through that window you always keep open," a different women's voice, sounding younger than the other, stated.
The older woman sighed in annoyance and replied, "Guess I'll have to go find the ladder then and shoo it out myself. Return to your food everyone. There's nothing to worry about." The volume soon grew back to a loud enough one to conceal their hushed voices.
‘Well, that blew up in my face. Good job, Link,’ he silently congratulated himself sarcastically.
"Oh no! We haven't gotten the letter delivered yet!" Agitha lamented, quietly.
"It's fine. We just have a time limit now. Watch out for that woman instead and warn me if she gets close. I'll worry about getting this to the Postman." Link whispered back holding up the letter. Agitha nodded, a determined look on her face, before hurrying over to the edge of the rough wooden floor and peering over it. Link got in his previous position and successfully stepped onto the rope. He balanced on it precariously and walked forward with his arms extended to maintain his balance. When he got to the middle he crouched down slightly so he had the corner that the Postman was nestled in in sight.
The young hero then took aim holding the envelope horizontally so it would cut through the air better and launched it. His aim had been perfect and the letter floated down gently into the Postman's lap. He watched as the Postman leapt to his feet and proclaimed, "A letter from the sky? It must be a message from the goddesses! I must deliver it at once!" The Postman then abandoned his drink, not noticing as it tilted and spilled its alcoholic contents on the table, and rushed out of the bar.
"Lil Grasshopper, hurry! She's coming!" Agitha alerted him. Link stood up slowly and rushed back to the actual floor as fast as was possible without falling. Link pulled Agitha back from the edge.
"Did she see me?" Link wanted to know. Agitha shook her head. A wooden ladder clacked against the attic floor, and they overheard the woman telling someone to hold it steady for her. Link and Agitha ran to the window and slipped back outside. Link dropped down to the ground and assisted Agitha in doing the same. They pressed their backs up against the stack of crates and tried to shrink into the shadows as much as possible. Not a moment later Telma's head popped out of the window and she scanned the area. Seeing no sign of an animal of any kind she harrumphed and closed the shutters with a finalizing bang!
Link let out a breath of relief and stepped away from the crate a bit, craning his neck to make sure the coast was clear before coming out of his hiding spot completely. When he confirmed that it was he gestured for Agitha to come away from the crates. She relaxed her stiff posture and squealed, "That….was the most fun I have ever had without bugs!" Link laughed and Agitha added, "You make a very believable cat too!"
The duo then made their way away from Telma's bar and the mischievous cat that aimed to destroy them and back to Agitha's abode. When they were standing outside of it Agitha whirled around and said with true felicity streaming off of her words, "That was awesome! Who knew that delivering a letter could be so exciting?! Anyway, you must be hungry by now, right?" Link nodded eagerly. He had been starving ever since they arrived in this strange world.
"It's past lunch time by now. Oh, I know! We should have a picnic! I'll bring the food, so don't worry about that! We'll have it in the garden. Go there and wait with your friends. I'll catch up in a few minutes," Agitha informed him before disappearing into her own house. Link made his way out of Castle Town and back to the garden where his friends were impatiently waiting.
"So?" Medli wondered.
"What took you so long?" Makar demanded.
"I asked Agitha and she said that she has a friend that will escort us to Ordon. I'm pretty sure that that friend is the Hero of Time too. Anyway, she wrote a letter to him. It took a while to track down the Postman but we managed it, and now all we have to do is wait," Link explained, approaching his friends.
"The mail delivery can't be nearly as fast as our system. What are we going to do while we wait?" Medli sighed.
"Well, Agitha offered to give us a picnic. She's putting it together as we speak," Link replied hoping to lift his companion's spirits a little more.
Great! I'm so hungry!" Medli exclaimed and Makar showed his agreement by jumping up and down in excitement, causing the others to chuckle at his antics. The trio didn't have to wait very long for Agitha to appear with a checkered red and white blanket, and a basket laden with food draped over her left arm.
"I'm here!" Agitha announced as if it wasn't obvious enough. She set down the basket, and then laid out the blanket with Medli's assistance. They all then made themselves comfortable on the ground and Agitha divided up the food evenly among everyone, with the exception of Makar who claimed that water would quench his hunger just fine. Koroks did not have the same eating habits as other races. Since they were more or less plants they were classified as autotrophs and only needed to consume water.
Medli and Link, however, accepted the food that was handed to them whether they were familiar with it or not. Agitha helpfully provided information about the food they were skeptical about such as the goat cheese and pumpkin dessert. The rest was pretty familiar but also a rarity on the Great Sea such as the cucco sandwiches, and apples. Despite the unfamiliar food they all enjoyed it nonetheless. Link was the only one that worried after the meal about cuccos potentially attacking them for eating their brethren, but then decided that it was worth it seeing as at least he wouldn't die hungry if they did decide to come for vengeance.