Chapter 8: Little Spies and Prying Eyes
The wind rustled the leaves of the trees gently like a caressing hand. Two girls hid among the many branches of a tree making sure all people were out of sight.
"Okay Aryll. We're going to do some spying," Tetra announced to her temporary pirate associate, glancing up at the child who was crouched on a higher branch. Tetra was sure that she'd figured it out, but she could still be wrong, so they had to check before they went charging in demanding that a random stranger help them.
"Spying? You mean like what Big Brother did in that fortress to save me?" Aryll wondered, cocking her head to the side like a curious puppy.
"Yes….err, kind of. The difference between our spying and what he was doing is that we won't get caught," Tetra explained.
"Is it safe to get down now, captain?" Aryll asked. Tetra nodded and together the girls carefully climbed down without incident.
"Alright. They went that way so we'll head that way too," Tetra said pointing past the spring in the direction that the boys had retreated to.
"But aren't we supposed to stay hidden?" Aryll questioned, confused.
"Yes, so if you have to say something whisper. Although….." Tetra trailed off an idea forming, "I could send you in there."
"And let them see me?! That's crazy!" exclaimed Aryll clutching her telescope to her chest and shaking her head at just how preposterous it was.
"Kid, there are two types of spying. With one you stay hidden but with the other you're in plain sight and actually talk to the person you're trying to get information out of. Of course, we'd have to make up a story for you. How about…" Tetra suggested tapping her chin thoughtfully, "…you got lost and can't find your way home. If he asks where your home is just say that you were traveling with your family and got separated and that you come from far away."
"Isn't that lying?" Aryll replied.
"Yeah, so what?"
“So, lying is bad!"
Tetra rolled her eyes. "Not when it's for a good cause. Plus it's not a complete lie. You are lost and can't get home. You do live far away and you're technically separated from your family because we don't know where your brother is. It's not like I'm telling you to change your name or anything. Just tell a few half-truths. It's like acting without the other person knowing that there's a show going on. Don't worry; you won't be alone. I'll be the hidden spy and you'll be the hands on spy."
"Why do we even have to spy? Can't we just ask err…what is it we want to know?" Aryll asked making it quite clear the she still didn't fully support Tetra's idea. Although she did like acting. She had spent many days on Outset putting on puppet shows with her brother for the other inhabitants of the island.
"We need to know if he's your brother's counterpart, and if he is then we're one step closer to getting home, got it?" Tetra explained, exasperated.
Oh…okay then. I still don't like spying though. Why can't you be the hands on spy instead?" Aryll pouted.
"Because I'm a pirate. Hands on spying isn't my thing. I'm stealthy and quiet and you're not. Besides, no one ever thinks anything of a cute little girl like yourself. Now go," Tetra ordered shooing the other girl off toward the village, "I won't be very far away even if you can't see me. Act like it's a game, and for Nayru's sake don't tell them you're spying!"
Tetra trailed Aryll at a safe distance while making sure to remain hidden the whole time. When Aryll finally confronted their target Tetra was too far away to hear much more than bits and pieces of the conversation.
What she did catch sounded normal enough. They must have been at the question and answer game for at least ten minutes before the teen invited Aryll into a literal tree house which Tetra found intriguing. Seriously, who constructed their house in a tree?
Tetra was about to dart out into the open, but to her dismay she noticed some children playing a game a little ways away. Well, that wouldn't do at all. She bit her lip pensively, scanning the area for something she could use to her advantage.
That's when she noticed the targets set up on the trees and tree branches across from her hiding spot. She smiled devilishly. Perfect. Hopefully this would scare the kids off. Tetra bent down and plucked a reasonable sized pebble up off of the ground. Using her dagger she carved a crude skull and cross bones symbol into it. Then she repeated the process with a few other rocks.
Next the pirate gathered her ammo into her left hand and took meticulous aim with her right before letting the pebble fly. It wasn't enough to shatter the wooden target but it was enough to make a satisfying clack and shake it.
This had drawn the children's attention away from their game and to the eerily swaying target. Tetra threw another, this time hitting a higher one right next to the bulls eye. The next hit home lower and to the left. By now she could tell that she had succeeded in freaking them out to an extent.
"LINK!" the children called frantically, running over and standing apprehensively at the bottom of the tree house ladder. Was that the boy's name? Link? Now that if that wasn't a clue then she didn't know what was. Not to mention, it was kind of bizarre. Two people with the same name that look incredibly similar. Something was definitely amiss. Tetra frowned. She hadn't anticipated the children to call for assistance. She'd hoped that they'd just run away.
The boy appeared at the doorway, but Tetra's view was obscured by leaves. He asked the kids something along the lines of what's the matter? And the children responded with overdramatic yelling and pointing at the targets accusingly as if they had committed some unfathomable crime.
He gave them a skeptical look but jumped down from the mini deck, completely ignoring the ladder, and approached the targets. He shifted through the bushes and other various plants for a while before coming across one of her ammo. She cursed under her breath. He wasn't supposed to see that! This just wasn't her day.
The other Link flipped the rock over in his hands, and she saw his eyes widen. He quickly scanned the area for the threat. Tetra sank deeper into the foliage ready to run if she had to. Thankfully Aryll came out just then asking what was wrong.
"Thank you Aryll,"Tetra thought, grateful for the distraction. Now was her chance to sneak away inconspicuously. After all the plan hadn't totally backfired. Now she had proof that he was who they were looking for. All that was left to do now was approach him in the right way, but getting caught at the moment definitely wasn't the best first impression.
Staying low to the ground and dropping the remaining ammo behind a bush, Tetra slinked away as the conversation was taking place. Her foot came down on a twig and snapped it. Tetra gritted her teeth and winced silently cursing the broken stick for getting in her way and swearing that she'd get it back for its treachery one day. She dared a glance to see if anyone had noticed. Unfortunately they were all staring at her hiding spot. Darn that stick. It probably thought that this was funny. Well, she wasn't laughing.
The boy started towards her hiding spot, but Aryll tried to pull him back claiming it was dangerous. However much Tetra appreciated her companion's attempt she knew that it was in vain, and as quickly and silently as she could, while avoiding everything that could be classified as a stick for she would not be thwarted again, she left the premises.
The older Link was already running after her with Aryll in tow. Tetra scrambled up a tree for what she estimated to be the third time that day, and hid among the branches and leaves just as the pair reached the clearing. A glint of metal caught Tetra's eye, and she realized for the first time that the boy had a sword and shield strapped to his back. If he was anything like the Link she knew then those weapons weren't just for show.
"I'm sure it was nothing. Probably just an animal. Let's just go back," Aryll urged attempting to persuade the older boy to leave by tugging on his arm.
"I know I saw something though. You should go back just in case," the boy replied looking around distractedly. From her perch Tetra had a great view of the area. Aryll and the other Link were in the middle their backs to the dense woods behind them. She noticed a monster that resembled a bokoblin but slightly different in a way sneaking up behind Aryll and the boy. In one hand it held a spiked club and in the other a horn. Tetra's eyes widened as she predicted what would happen if she didn't do anything. She was at a crossroads of indecision. After analyzing the situation quickly in her head she came to a terrifying conclusion. There was no way that she could possibly warn Aryll without revealing herself as well. For once the young pirate captain was at a loss for what to do.