Silent Courage

Chapter 21: The Final Sage Part 1

Chapter 21: The Final Sage Part 1

I slowly open my eyes, feeling a breeze blow my hair into my face. The first thing I think is that I met the first Link, and I learned that all the previous heroes look out for each other. I’m filled with glee at the thought of helping whoever’s next after I pass away. I stifle a laugh, thinking of the names of my past selves. They’re all named after their titles, I assume anyway. There’s Sky, Min, Green, Blue, Red, Vio and Time. Cool.

I frown suddenly in thought. Sky said that he was helping me with the strange feelings I have, but how? And what are they? Why couldn’t he tell me what I feel?

I shake my head. That doesn’t matter. What does matter right now is that Turkey-er- the Imprisoned is a Demon King named Demise and Ghirahim is very dangerous. I’ll need to look out for the Demon Lord, he might try manipulating me into marrying him. I shiver. I don’t want to marry him. I won’t. He can try whatever he wants, he won’t get me to marry him.

“Link, you okay?” I look up to see Sheik, frowning tiredly. “You look like something’s troubling you.”

‘Sheik…last night in the graveyard, when Ghirahim was talking to me, he…he offered me a deal. If I were to join him, he would make me at the top of his ranks. But not his fighting ranks,’ I gulp down the lump in my throat. ‘He wants me to be…his Demon Lady.’

Sheik’s eyes harden at that. “He what?”

‘He wants me to be his,’ I feel my eyes sting and hug Sheik tightly. ‘I don’t want to be his! I could never abandon my friends and only family I have! I could never abandon Ilia or Zelly or Midna. And I would hate myself if I abandoned you. It would hurt more than dying.’

His hugs me gently, rubbing circles on my back. “I know you would never abandon your friends,” he lifts my face. “You shouldn’t have to worry.”

‘But-but Sky told me that Ghirahim’s really manipulative. What if he uses magic to get to me, and I’ll wake up a Demon?’

“Sky? Who’s that?” he asks.

I tell him what I ‘dreamed’ of last night, about how I met my first incarnation, how we all have names based off our Hero Titles, how we look out for each other. I leave out what Sky said about the feelings I have. I don’t know why, either.

“That’s cool,” he smiles, sitting up and helping me up. “So you always have help.”

‘Yeah.’

“Link, I’m curious about something, who exactly is Ilia? I know you’ve mentioned her a few times, but who is she?”

I beam, sitting up straighter. ‘She’s basically a sister to me. She’s a year younger than me, her birthday’s in the spring, but she’s a lot more mature than me and acts more like an older sister than a younger. We’ve always played together when we were little, and she could understand what I was trying to say about ninety percent of the time. She even invented games that we didn’t have to use our voices to play. In exchange for all she’s done, I’ve protected her from getting hurt and I would even risk my own safety to save her,’ I think. ‘I haven’t seen her lately because of the whole ‘look for the Sages’ thing, but I think she’s at Ordon. Neither of us likes Castle Town, but I have to live with it because I’m Zelly’s knight and I’ve been helping her get through the last few months.’

He nods and looks around, sighing. “Let’s get back to the Inn, Charlie might be worried.”

‘Yeah, I just hope he doesn’t smother me in a hug,’ I think and we head back to the Inn, seeing the Cillage nice and calm after the festival. I’ve really enjoyed coming here, and I’ll never forget this place.

“There you are,” Charlie says as we come to our room. “I was about to come looking for you. I just got a messenger bird from Zelda, she wants you two to get back to the castle. Sounds like she has a lead of who the last Sage is,” he smiles, holding up a note. “Go pack up, we should leave before it gets busy. And it will take us a few days to get to the castle. I sent the bird back telling her when she can expect us, so we need to hurry. Oh, and Link, she sent this to you,” he hands me a paper-wrapped package. “It seems your friends decided to give you a present of their own.”

I flush, they didn’t have to do that. How’d they find out anyway? I suspect Ilia. Sheik leaves to pick up some supplies and Charlie leaves to pack his things, so I have time to open the package alone. I read the card and smile to myself. ‘Happy birthday, Link! You didn’t think I would forget, did you? Zelda told me that you wouldn’t be able to make it back to the castle in time for you birthday, so we sent her hawk out to find you. That bird is smart too. It looks like the relationship with Zelda’s hawk and her is the same as yours and Epona. Anyway, inside this package is a present from me, Zelda and Midna. Rusl has another package waiting at Telma’s Bar, so you can pick it up there. Don’t worry, they won’t trick you into drinking. I hope you had a great time in Hylia Village! Ilia.

P.S. Midna’s been trying to steal this and change it (she’s already done it with five different letters, this is the sixth attempt). Have I ever mentioned I find her both fun and annoying? Well I have now. She’s both fun and annoying. Enjoy your present!’

I find myself laughing at this. Midna trying to steal it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. I rip off the paper and find a small staff, about the length of my forearm. The staff is forest green with gold vines twirling around it and attaching the light blue crystal at the top. Why would Ilia send me a thing for magic? I see a note attached to it and read, recognizing Zelda’s handwriting. Yay, more reading.

Link, I think I’ve discovered something important about your Triforce. You know that magic is in your blood, right? And I know you’ve never been able to channel that magic without losing control of yourself,’ I feel my ears fall sheepishly at this. ‘Don’t blame yourself, you were never trained in magic. This staff will help you control your power if you lose your temper, which I’m sure you have at least once in the last little while,’ that’s nice, but what does that have to do with my Triforce? ‘This is the Relic Staff, and it helps by channeling into a person’s magical core, and for you that comes from your Triforce. Granted, you’re controlled magic isn’t as powerful as mine or Ganon’s, but yours is the most dangerous if you lose full control of it. Thankfully this has not happened yet for you, but this is also a bad thing. We are blind as to how strong your magic is or what it is exactly. But on a side note, train with this and you can conjure a little bit of your core. Just be careful, I know how much your fear magic. As long as this is with you, never fear for losing control of yourself. Happy birthday, Link, even if we are in the middle of a possible crisis, we can still enjoy ourselves. Zelda.

P.S. I’m sure Ilia mentioned this in her letter, but has Midna ever tried to take something to ‘modify’ it? She’s done this three times to me already, and honestly it’s quite annoying.’

I snort, turning the staff around to look it over. I place it down and pick up a small box, opening it to find a polished red stone on a silver chain. I pick it out and hold it to the light, grinning when I see through it. Since this doesn’t have a note, I assume this is from Ilia. I slip it over my head and tuck it under my tunic as I reach for the last thing.

I pick up a dagger, jaw dropped as I look at it. The blade is a shiny black and the hilt is orangey/red, reminding me of the sky of the Twilight Realm. In the hilt is a cat-eye ruby and I grin as I run my thumb over the blade, cutting myself a bit on the edge to see the sharpness. My grin widens as I wipe my thumb on my breeches, this dagger will help me so much, I can tell.

‘Thanks guys,’ I think and tie the sheath of the dagger on my belt beside my Rupee bag and slip the staff into my Never-Ending Bag. Once finished, I leave the room and find Sheik and Charlie down the hall, talking about something. I walk up to them and Charlie beams.

“There you are, Little Beast. We should get going,” he says and we head out.

Much like the first time I entered Hylia Cillage, I look at everything I can, not wanting to miss anything. I look over my shoulder, towards the graveyard. ‘Thanks,’ I think to myself, smiling. I’ll never forget this place.

Suddenly, a scream is heard and everyone looks to the entrance of the Cillage to see a green beast jump over the wall. It’s bigger than an Orc, and looks it looks similar, but I have a feeling that it’s not an Orc. For one thing, it has teeth pointing up from its lower jaw and has the eyes of a hawk as it stomps towards people, who I just now realize are running in panic. I feel Sheik grab my hand and he turns, running. I yelp and try to keep up, looking around in fear as other people bump into us and push us around in their haste to run away. ‘Sh-Sheik! I can’t run that fast!’ I think, but he doesn’t seem to hear me.

“Come on, we’ll try to get to an alley,” he yells over the crowd as a man bumps into him. He holds my hand tighter and I hear the beast roar from behind me, followed by thundering footsteps as it runs after whoever it sees fit.

My legs start burning from running, and bruises start to form from the people bumping and pushing me, but I keep pushing on, knowing I can’t let go of Sheik, or I’ll lose him.

Not a second after the thought crosses my mind, someone’s foot catches mine and I trip. My heart stops for a moment when my hand leaves Sheik’s. I only get to see him turn his head in panic before I lose him. Fear rises to my throat as I steady myself and get pushed along. Where is he? ‘Sheik!’ I mind-yell, practically getting lifted by the people around me. ‘Charlie! Where are you?’ I yell louder, but I don’t hear Sheik or Charlie.

I push through the crowd, trying to find Sheik or Charlie, but whenever I think I spot or hear them, someone runs into me and turns me around, making me disoriented. I keep mind-yelling for Sheik, getting more scared as the moments go on. I look around to see the Orc-like beast swing its hand and hit several people, making them go flying. I spot and alley and my heart lifts, if I can make it there, then maybe I can climb on the roof and try to find Sheik.

I grin to myself and head for it, when a few big guys in front of me stop, making me run into them and stumble back. I manage to stay on my feet, only to get pushed aside by one of the men as they run towards the beast. I fall down, and look up just in time to see someone step on my left hand. I bite my lip and try to get up, but others just push me over and step on me. Just my luck. I finally manage to stand up again and with the little strength I have I push forward, trying my hardest not to go where I don’t want to.

As I push my way towards the alley, I mind-call for Sheik, looking around every-which-way for him and Charlie. I hope they’re alright. Before I can look back at the alley, I’ve lost it and I’m once again blind for where I want to go. I curse myself for getting distracted and look behind me, seeing the alleyway disappear as the creature steps in front of it, hitting more people aside and killing anyone unlucky enough to wind up near its feet. I wince when someone crashes into me, making me stumble, but I stay on my feet and keep pushing through, trying to keep my own panic under control. With all the people running around, I feel like a lost kid.

As more time goes on, the fear in me rises and I’ve had more than one close encounter with the beast thing. I notice guards trying to shoot it, but while their arrows hit the thing, they do nothing to stop it. If anything, they’re just making it more enraged.

I get pushed harshly aside, again, and prepare myself, when someone catches my arm. Before I can process what happened, I’m taken into an alley and feel arms wrap around me. It takes a while to realize I’m shaking. Guess I was more frightened than I thought. I don’t need anyone to tell me this is Sheik.

“I’m sorry,” he whispers, loosening his hold on me. “I shouldn’t have been running so fast.”

‘I don’t blame you,’ I think, looking up. ‘I don’t blame anybody. They panicked, it’s hard to think when you panic.’

“You don’t seem so panicked,” he remarks.

‘I couldn’t afford to be. When I was going through the Twilight, I had to learn to keep my panic under control or I would die. It was hard through,’ I look out over the alley, seeing the Hylians getting out and only a few are left. ‘At least they’re safe. But what are we going to do about the beast thing?’

“Hmm, I’m not sure,” Sheik says, letting me go. “Maybe if we found out what it’s after we would have an easier time.”

“I can tell you what it’s after,” we jump a bit and turn to see Lune standing there, arms crossed as he smiles. “Sorry I’m late, got a scolding from a certain redhead for bringing my misbehaving brother and dumping him with her.”

‘What are you doing here, Lune?’ I walk up to him.

“If you’re curious, I’m here to tell you something about that troll.” So that’s what it is. “Troll’s are similar to Orcs, but are smarter and stronger. It’s common sense that they’d be hard to kill. But they are far from immortal. The best thing to kill them with is magic, and I believe you got a present from another Triforce Holder?” he puts a hand on his chin, and I imagine if he had eyes he would have a mischievous look in them. I reach into my Bag and take out the staff Zelda sent me. “Exactly. Keep that with you and you can fight that guy. Be careful, if you’re emotions get too strong and you toss it aside, you might find the hidden power of your Triforce.”

“Hidden power? I’ve heard of that. It varies from each Triforce Holder and is unique to that one person. Not one has had the same hidden power as their previous incarnations,” Sheik says, coming up beside me. “You’ll have to be extra careful, Link. The Triforce of Courage has weak natural magic, but your hidden magic is even more powerful than Ganon’s.”

‘Crap,’ I think. Zelda never went on the full details of how powerful my magic would be.

Thanks for leaving me in the dark, Zelly.

“What is that troll after, anyway?”

“I thought you had forgotten. It’s here to completely destroy Hylia Village. It was sent here by Majora to wipe out the race, but I guess she didn’t count on them getting out. This is the only troll that made it to Hyrule, so if you kill it, then you won’t have to worry.”

“So we kill it with magic. Got it,” Sheik nods. “You stay here, Link. We don’t want you to lose control and hurt yourself or others. Can you make sure she doesn’t do anything that could kill her?”

“Sure,” Lune shrugs and Sheik runs out of the alley. Lune puts a hand on my shoulder before I can follow him. “Wait, I need to warn you of something,” I look up at the Demigod, wondering what he wants. “Although my brother is no longer a threat, that doesn’t mean you’re safe. I know you must know this, but there are many things that will be sent after you. You have a bounty you could say. Be careful who you talk to, and who you consider safe. An enemy could be behind your lines and you wouldn’t know it. Keep an eye out for anyone suspicious, alright? None of the Goddesses would appreciate if I let you die.”

I tilt my head. What is he exactly?

Lune smiles. “I’m a messenger for the Gods, since I can travel to any time in past or future. But I don’t have full free travel. You see this?” he holds out his wrist for me to see a golden bracelet with a weird face on it. “In a time far in the future, these things are called ‘watches’. This ‘watch’ allows me to see where and when I am in time. Now, the real ruler of time, Lord Time, is the one who decides where I go and when. If some world is in trouble, he sends me there to investigate. Since he is in close ties with the Golden Goddesses, they inform him of what’s going down and he informs me. Because of that, I’m a messenger and am supposed to protect the one who is most likely to be killed,” I pail. Jeez, that’s comforting. Lune laughs at me and ruffles my head. “Din will probably yell her head off for that. But now you know why I stick around. Well, I should go. Today’s my day off,” he vanishes and I turn back to the alley’s mouth, feeling my face return to its normal colour.

Well great, people are looking to kill me. Why am I not surprised?

I hear a cry of pain and run to the end of the alley to see Sheik fly through the air and crash into a stall due to the troll hitting him. I grip the staff in my hands tightly, my knuckles going white as I feel rage boil in me. I kick it down and point my staff at the troll, a shot of yellowish-green light comes out and hits the troll in the back of the head before it can crush Sheik. It turns to me and spots me, roaring at being attacked. It runs at me and I gulp before sprinting away from it. I wasn’t counting on it to be so fast!

I skid to a stop and turn around to face it, taking out my sword and shield. If I don’t hold my ground, this thing will destroy Hylia Cillage. The troll roars and swings its tree trunk-thick arm at me. I duck under it and take a swing at it, but my sword gets stuck in its leg, to my horror, and it kicks me, sending me through the air to land on the ground fifty meters away. I gasp as I land on my back and sit up, shaking slightly when I see my shield behind the troll. Crap.

Standing, I take out my bow, shooting an arrow at the troll, but like with the guards, it does nothing but anger the troll further. I run before it can hit me, and I look at my sword, which is still deep in its skin. How do I get it out? I yelp when its foot comes down, almost crushing me, and I grab the hilt of my sword, only to get lifted off the ground when it takes a step forward. It shakes its foot and my grip loosens on the hilt until I’m thrown off. I fly through the air and slam into a roof, groaning as I roll off and hit the ground. Lifting my head, I see the troll is moving towards Sheik. Growling, I stand, ignoring my aching body, and grab the staff from my bag, aiming it at the troll. Strange this thing makes me feel really calm, and even though I know my rage is at the boiling point, I don’t feel it. I guess this is way Zelly sent it to me.

I shoot at the troll again, hitting it dead on, and it turns to me, moving too fast for me to register what it’s doing. It smacks me and I roll across the ground, getting stopped by a wall. ‘Ouch,’ I think, sitting up again. I reach for my staff, which is beside me, when I see the troll grab Sheik and throw him towards me. He lands beside me and I sit on my calves. ‘Sheik? Are you alright?’ I see his side bleeding and a small pinging noise enters my ears, making me deaf to the world around me for a moment before I snap my head towards the troll. Before I can do anything, I shake my head and snap out of it, thankfully before I cause any damage. I can’t lose control of myself over a little thing like this. The cut’s not even that deep. I take the staff and think to myself. The troll’s weakness is magic, so I just need to summon as much magic as I can. I gulp a little, I’m not looking forward to this.

“Little Beast?” my ears twitch at Charlie’s voice and I turn my head to see him walking out of an alley on the other side of the troll, his back to us. The troll, seeing easier pray, stomps towards Charlie and my heart races. No, not him!

‘I’ll be right back, Sheik,’ I tell him and run at the troll, a whole new fear bubbling in my stomach. I can’t lose my uncle after such a short time! I throw a rock at the troll to get its attention, but it ignores me this time and grabs Charlie just as my uncle turns around. I see the troll ready to break him, and I summon all the rage I feel to power my staff, but the troll sees me and kicks me away. The staff flies out of my hand, making my heart stop.

I glance at Charlie, and this is what causes me to snap. The troll tries to break Charlie’s spine, but my Triforce burns as I start to see red. I’m scared, but I can’t stop myself as I walk up to the troll and grab my sword hilt, taking it out and making the troll notice me. I step back, sword in hand, and feel a smirk form on my face. Before my eyes, the sword glows and starts to grow, the blade turns into a twisted shape. I recognize the shape, I think Zelly calls it a helix. The glow fades and the Master Sword now has two blades in the helix shape, one is yellow and the other is a greenish colour.

So, my uncontrolled power is to have my sword change? That isn’t so bad.

My thoughts are proven wrong when I speak, and not in the broken speech I had in the Sheikah Crypts. “I’m liking this power,” I whisper, and this is when I realize I have no control over my body, it’s like I’m just a thought floating in my own head.

If I was in control, I would probably have fainted by now.

As it is, I see my vision fading as the smirk on ‘my’ face grows. Oh dear, this is about to get very, very bad.

Everything goes black. I hear a clank, a thud, and the sound of metal ripping through flesh. Everything is quite. I can’t see a thing for a while, but my vision slowly comes back. I just see shadows at first, then grey colours, and finally I can see again.

But what I see is a sight I fear.

The troll’s head is split in half, blood and brain matter splattered on the ground as its body lies limply. I blink in shock. The blood forms a pool and a small stream trickles towards me, and I notice some of the crimson fluid dripping off my sword, which returns to its normal, single-bladed self. I look fearfully between the sword and the troll, trying to process what happened. Suddenly, it clicks into my head. I gasp and stumble backwards, falling in my haste to get away from the troll. My sword falls on the ground, the clanking of the metal the only sound I hear, and I crabwalk away from the troll, breathing in shaky gasps.

My ears twitch and I turn my head to look around, Charlie is standing behind me and Sheik’s arm is around his shoulders as my uncle helps the Sheikah walk. They both just stare at me, and I stare back. Confused and scared. “Little Beast?” Charlie whispers and I flinch. His voice sounds hoarse and he sounds scared.

He’s scared of me.

I did this.

You’re a fool. Don’t you see? There is no ‘good’ or ‘evil’. There is no ‘light’ and ‘dark’.”

I killed this troll.

You are just as guilty for the cause of death as I am. You’ve killed many creatures to get to me, you’ve helped kill a Twili, and you’ve killed helpless Twili who had no control over themselves. If I am a monster, you are a monster.”

I’m a monster.

Getting to my feet, I stumble away from Charlie and Sheik, shaking in fear, before I turn around, sprinting away as fast as I can. I ignore their calls as I keep my head down and my eyes closed, leaving behind my weapons in my haste to run away. I feel tears run down my cheeks as I run out of the Cillage and into the forest, running the fastest I’ve ever ran before.

What happened to me? Was that my hidden power? I turn into a killer? A monster? What have I done? What if I hadn’t stopped after killing the troll? What if I had gone after Sheik and Charlie?

More tears run down my face as I make it to a lake. I fling my back against a tree, shaking harder as I look up at the sky, which is the same as it was before, bright and happy. I want to hide. I need to hide. I can’t let Sheik see me.

I climb the tree and see a hollow. Feeling relived, I use the Kokiri Stone to become tiny and hide inside the hollow, curling into a ball and hiding my head. There. I can’t hurt anybody like this.

You’re lying!’

I am not lying. I am telling you reality. We both turn into beasts, we both kill things for our own gain, we both make self-sacrifices to achieve our goals, and we’re both monsters. Take it from me, kid, the sooner you accept your role as a monster in this world, the better.”

Link, don’t listen to him! He’s trying to get to you!”

You stay out of this! This is between me and her!”

I…I’m not…a monster…’

You sound so unsure now. You are starting to see the truth. Don’t you understand? You’re. A. Murderer.”

I…am…not!’

Cling! Shing! “AHHHHHHH!”

I blink, but that doesn’t help clear my blurry-eyed vision. ‘I…I am…’

-Sheik’s POV-

I come out of my stupor when Link turns and runs. I can tell she’s afraid, but of what? Shaking my head, I look around to see the dead troll, and it doesn’t take long to put two and two together. “Oh Goddesses, what happened to her?”

“I don’t know,” Charlie shakes his head, staring forward. “I should go after her. She could get hurt.”

“No, I’ll go after her. You stay here in case she comes back. I’ll find her,” I say and run after her, pushing my pain to the back of my mind.

Thunder rumbles and lightning flashes overhead before rain pours down, just to my luck. I slow to a walk as I search for Link, calling out to her. Where could she be? Why did she run? Something inside me tugs and I don’t think about where I walk, I just walk. Not too long after I get this feeling, I find a clearing with a lake and a single tree is inside the clearing. I stop, the feeling fades, and look around. Could Link be around here? Why did she run in the first place? Sure, I was surprised by what she did, but the way she looked at us when she ran. It was as if she was afraid, not of us, but herself. It made my heart break, that’s for sure.

‘Link! Where are you?’ I don’t dare call out-loud. There’s no telling what else is out here.

There’s a tug in my head and I look at the tree, finding footprints leading to the tree. I smile softly, of course she would hide in a tree. This doesn’t surprise me much. I walk over to it and knock on the trunk, calling to her. ‘Link, I know you’re up there. Come down here and tell me what’s wrong.’

When I get no reply, I climb the tree and when I don’t find her in the branches, I notice a hollow. Link must have shrunk herself. ‘Link, it’s me,’ I think, sitting beside the hollow.

‘…Sheik, am I a monster?’ this question shocks me to the Din’s Hell and back. Why would Link think this?

‘Of course you’re not. Why would you think that?’

‘Because a…person once told me I was an evil monster.’

I frown. That person was either prejudice against Hylians, didn’t know Link, or was just trying to get into her head, because Link is the furthest human being from a monster as possible, even despite being able to turn into a wolf. ‘Who thought you were a monster?’

She remains silent, and my heart tugs. I think I know who. ‘Ganondorf said it, didn’t he?’

‘…Yeah. He said I was a murderer. And he was right, Sheik. I killed so many things without a second thought. Only for my own gain.’

‘Link, if you’re a murderer, than I’m like Osamu.’ Never thought I would be using that Tyrants name so soon after he was dead. Or to try and comfort somebody. ‘Why would you even consider something Ganon told you, anyway? He was obviously trying to get to you.’

‘I know, but some of it was true. I kill things, Sheik. Even if I hate it, I still kill them. How can I not be labeled as a monster?’

‘Because you’re you,’ I think without hesitation. ‘And ‘monster’ doesn’t fit in your category. Trust me.’

Silence. Again.

‘Link, come out. I won’t let you be alone right now,’ I tell her, offering my hand to the entrance of the hollow.

I hear rustling and, slowly, Link peeks out, still looking scared. ‘How do you always know what to say?’ she asks, climbing onto my hand and sitting cross-legged.

I shrug. ‘It just comes to me when it’s needed. I’m guessing you couldn’t control yourself when you gained that sword?’

‘No. Everything went black and I could only hear what was going on.’ I pail. Jeez, that was horrible to watch. To hear it but not know what’s going on… no wonder she was so scared. ‘When I got back into control, I saw the troll and well…freaked out. I couldn’t believe I had done that. And I had talked.’

“I heard that a bit,” I mutter. “Charlie mentioned your eyes turned white, you had no pupils or irises. They were all white.”

She blinks, shivering. ‘I can’t say whether that’s creepy or cool.’

“I’d say it’s both,” I smirk when she giggles. Ha! I made Link giggle! Her giggling sounds cuter than her usual chuckle. How’d I get this lucky? “Alright,” I place her beside me. “Grow already. You look like you need a hug, and not get crushed by it.”

She smiles and uses the stone. Soon, I can hardly breathe as she hugs around my chest, burying her face into my neck. My heart flutters and I hug back, sighing in content. I could stay like this forever. Sadly, forever ends when the rain starts to fall harder and we’re soaked to the bone before long. I help Link down the tree and I notice that her legs are shaky. Probably from the magic she used and using her hidden power.

My gut tugs and my eyes grow wide. Why do I have this feeling that that wasn’t her hidden power? Why does it seem like that was only a fraction of what she could have done?

I shiver, but shake the feeling off. I’ll worry about it when the time comes. Right now, I need to worry about helping Link back to Hylia Village so we can go to Hyrule Castle. I pick her up, ignoring her protests, and head out, saying she needs to relax a bit.

-Link’s POV-

I’m surprised that Sheik found me, since I had found that lake by accident, but I’m glad he came. I look up at him from my position in his arms. He really makes me feel safe. Safer even then when I was with Rusl as a kid. Wonder why.

I wonder a lot of things around Sheik and I’m still not sure what these feelings of butterflies mean. Sheik mentioned it when he was telling me his past, when he and Rosalie were lovers, but that can’t be the same thing…can it?

Naw, why would Sheik like me like that? I’m really not that special than any other girl he could have.

My heart pains horribly when I think this. The idea of Sheik actually being with another person hurts quite a lot more than I thought it would. Maybe…maybe this is-

“Here we are,” Sheik’s voice interrupts my thoughts and I look around, surprised at how short the walk was. I see Charlie wave at us and smile. At least he’s not afraid. “How is everyone?”

“They’re all fine. The troll didn’t cause that much damage, surprisingly. The Hylians are getting to work cleaning up, but we should go. They’ll be talking about the Troll Slayer for quite some time,” Charlie’s eyes shine on me and my face falls.

‘Oh Goddesses, isn’t being the Hero of Twilight hard enough?’ I groan, hiding my face in Sheik’s neck. ‘I don’t want to have another title.’

“Too bad, Shorty, you have many titles,” I glare at Sheik for his comment, but he just smiles as he and Charlie head to our horses. My glare melts away at Sheik’s smile. I can’t stay mad at him for just that. In fact, I don’t think I could stay mad at him for anything.

-A Few Days Later, At Hyrule Castle-

I stare at the photo I have as we head into the Castle. The photo is of Charlie, mom, dad and me, and we seem to be having a picnic under the tree I was hiding in the other day. I smile. Thanks for the gift, Rusl, even if it hurt you to keep it from me for so long.

Sheik taps my shoulder, smiling at me. “So did Rusl explain anything else?”

‘He explained why he didn’t want to give this to me when I was younger. I would have gone out to look for Charlie if I had known I had an uncle. You know how curious I am,’ I tuck the photo into my Never-Ending Bag.

“How do you think Charlie’s going to hold up? Being part of the Resistance and all.”

‘I think he’ll be fine. He and Rusl are the original people who founded the Resistance anyway. That’s still weird to think, but I guess Rusl and my family had to meet somehow. Rusl mentioned that he and Charlie had met when Charlie signed up for the Royal Guard. That’s also where he made friends with my dad. Charlie promised to tell me about how my parents met once everything is settled and back to normal.’

“Link, your life will never be normal. You’re a short, scrawny Hylian with the Triforce of Courage and are the only girl descendent of the Original Hero and you’re not even close to being considering ‘old’. And you have the worst luck when it comes to being the Goddess’s Chosen,” Sheik smirks and I whack his arm playfully.

‘Gee thanks, I can really feel your love,’ I laugh, but stop when he looks away. I tilt my head. What did I think? And why is he blushing? ‘Sheik? You okay? Did I do something wrong?’ he looks back at me and I notice his eyes fill with some emotion or other. Can’t place what it is, either. ‘You can tell me, you know.’

“Yeah, I know. It’s nothing, really. We should go talk to Zelda, she said she had that lead, right?” he says and looks forward, refusing to look at me. I look down, putting my hands in my pockets. What did I do? I don’t know why he blushed.

We come to Zelda’s study and I wave goodbye to Sheik as he leaves, telling me he’s going to the library. I enter the study and see Zelda reading. No surprise there. ‘Hi Zelly!’ I grin, closing the door. ‘Thanks for that staff, it was kinda needed just after I got it.’

“How come?”

‘Uh…You know how you said I have that ‘hidden power’ in my Triforce? Yeeeah I kinda, maybe, sorta lost control of it,’ I rub the back of my head awkwardly. ‘And I-er-may or may not have slaughtered a troll without meaning to. Sooo…yeah,’ I sit down in the chair opposite her.

She sighs. “What made you lose control, and if you had the staff, how did you lose control?”

I summarize what happened when we were leaving the Cillage, telling her about the troll, about Lune helping out a bit, about me going blind for a few seconds and waking up to see the dead troll. I’m actually really embarrassed about that, now that I’ve had time to think about it. ‘I know going into that state for something so minor was stupid, but I didn’t want to lose my uncle,’ I think, looking down at my hands and biting my lip. ‘I hate losing my temper.’

There’s a knock on the door and I look over my shoulder to see Pretty Boy come in. He notices me and sneers, but I see a lot less loathing in his look. I blink, narrowing my eyes a bit in confusion. What’s with the sudden change in look?

“I’m sorry to interrupt, Princess,” Pretty Boy bows in apology. “But I will be leaving the castle for a little while. I got news from a caravan that some of my people are in, and I must make sure they are safe,” he says.

“Well I hope they’re alright. You may take a few guards with you if you deem necessary.”

“Thank you for understanding, Princess,” he bows again and glances at me again, that weird glint in his eye.

‘Why was he looking at me like that?’ I ask.

“I’m not sure, but Link, you should never feel stupid. Especially if someone you know and love is at stake. You’re very smart, and you do notice what’s going on around you, you’re just childish and love to goof off, which hides it from a lot of people. Enough about that, though. I did call you back for a reason,” Zelda sits back down. “Link, do you know how a Sage is chosen?”

‘Nope.’

“They are chosen specifically by the last Sages. Each of them is chosen before the Sage before them dies. They pick a race, and then that’s it. It’s out of their control from that point.”

‘Kinda like how we’re chosen?’ I guess, shrugging.

“Very similar, yes. Not the exact same, mind you, but close enough. The last Sage of Spirit, a Gerudo named Nabooru, was very mischievous and liked to play tricks on many people. Even the Hero of Time.”

I get a flash through my head. A woman is laughing at me as honey and feathers cover me. I shake my head. ‘Yeah, I can see that.’

“Well, I found a diary that was kept by my incarnation who knew the Hero of Time, and she said that Nabooru told her she wasn’t choosing a Gerudo as the next Sage of Spirit, because that was too boring, to use the same race for each Sage. So she mixed it up a bit and said she’d make a human who was part of the Wind Tribe, who were a group of ancient people who lived in a hidden swamp passed Lake Hylia. The one located in Old Hyrule.”

‘…Seriously? But Time told me that the Sage of Spirit was going to be Gerudo.’

Zelda smiles slightly in amusement. “Well, I guess she tricked him. Either that or she tricked the Princess. But the Princess mentioned she didn’t get any glimpse of a lie from Nabooru.”

‘Good to know before I get my butt whooped by those ladies,’ I think. ‘So, I gotta go back to Old Hyrule and find the Wind Tribe?’

“Yes, but you won’t go alone. Like when you went to find the Sage of Forest, Nura, Adam and Alex will come with you. So are Shadow and Vaati for some reason. I’m not too sure why, but I assume it’s to do with the spell they’re making.”

‘Can Sheik come?’

She giggles, smiling at me for some reason. I tilt my head. Why is she laughing? “If you want him to, yes he can. I need to get going. Sorry we haven’t had much time to talk, but there’s one last meeting I have to go to, then everything will be arranged to start training new recruits.”

‘New recruits?’

Zelda sighs, standing up and pacing. My ears fall. She only does this when she’s beyond stressed. “I didn’t want to tell anybody, because I knew they would get scared, but I know you can handle it. Link, we’re very close to being in a war. The air has changed around Hyrule, I can feel it. Even the animals are sensing the danger, and some of the horses have tried to attack their riders to escape the city.”

Now that I think about it, there weren’t many animals on our way back from the desert. ‘So…we might go into a war after all?’

“Yes. I fear that day might be closer than we think, and I don’t want to risk the lives of my people. Anyone who can fight, from ages eighteen to thirty five, is being trained. And all the farmers, traders and journeymen are gathering everything they can for storage. Not even by my orders, Telma and the Resistance were the ones who started this. I’m grateful for that.”

‘Why do we need more supplies?’ I ask, standing up.

“The war I’m talking about is a siege.”

‘Oh…’ I say, still a little confused, but not wanting to waste Zelda’s time. ‘Alright, I’ll go find everybody. If we’re this close to fighting, then we should go as soon as we can.’

“Stay safe, Link. And try not to hurt yourself too badly,” Zelda warns.

‘Put some faith in me, Zelly. I’ll be fine, quite worrying about me and relax. We might be on the verge of war, but you don’t want to get snappy when the time comes,’ I think, walking backwards to the door and opening it. ‘Bye!’ I run out and head to the library.

Why do Vaati and Shadow want to come? Last time Vaati needed something, he just sent Shadow with us. What are they planning? Knowing those two, something devious.

“Hey there,” I jump and spin around to see Midna laughing. When did she sneak up on me? “You are so oblivious when you’re deep in thought,” she says, crossing her arms. “So that Nabooru tricked you?”

‘Time and me both. Two birds with one stone I guess,’ I shrug. I’ve always hated craning my neck to look up at Midna. She just likes to mock me sometimes because she’s so tall.

“Who’s Time?”

‘That’s what the Hero of Time calls himself. The past Heroes call themselves by their titles to make it less confusing.’

“Okay then. C’mon, we should find your lover boy,” Midna says, walking passed me. I stay still for a few moments before running to catch up to her.

‘Lover boy?’ I ask, trying to keep in stride with her.

Midna looks like she’s about to smack me. She looks at me with an expression that’s a mix between ‘are you serious?’ and ‘how stupid are you?’

“Do you really need me to spell it out for you?”

‘Spell what out?’ jeez, it’s like trying to solve a riddle.

“Who have you been with for the last little while?”

‘Sheik.’

“And who’s helped you out of death the last two months?”

‘You, Zelda, Nura, Adam, the Coal-Headed Idiot, Shadow, Vaati, Navi, the other Links, Naoko, Sonja, Charlie, Sheik-’

“You can stop now,” Midna says, eye twitching. “Open your eyes, Link! Can’t you see the way Sheik looks at you?”

‘You mean when his eyes turn softer and a little unfocused?’

“You’ve noticed?”

‘Yeah, of course. It happens all the time,’ I shrug.

“You noticed?”

‘I already said yes. Why?’

You noticed?”

‘You sound as if I’m an idiot.’

“You’ve noticed the look…Could have fooled me.”

‘What?’

“There you are, Link!” Midna goes into my shadow as I turn the corner and see Nura and Adam.

“Zelda already told us about where we’re going. It will be cool to travel around Old Hyrule,” Nura says, smiling. She looks different with her glasses, but they suit her somehow. “How have you been, anyway? We haven’t really seen each other.”

“Ugh, I can’t believe I’m going with you again,” Alex says as he walks up, irritated.

“It’s just one more time, Al. Besides,” Adam grins, “I thought you said you liked seeing more of Hyrule.”

“I was half-asleep,” Alex defends weakly, crossing his arms and scowling.

“We should go before these two start fighting,” Nura whispers. I nod and we head to the stables, the brothers don’t even notice. And people call me unobservant. “I still find it funny that the last Spirit Sage tricked you,” Nura says. “But I’m happy that we didn’t go on a wild goose chase. Though I suppose it would be interesting to see Alex get mad over it.”

‘He gets mad over everything,’ I think. We come to the stables and I smile at Epona. I won’t be taking her with me this time, she deserves a break from all she’s done. I’ll probably just travel as a wolf. I spot Sheik and look down, scuffing my foot a little awkwardly. I still don’t know what I ‘said’ to make him not talk to me.

Nura looks between me and Sheik, a knowing glint in her eye. She grins impishly. “Why are you shy around him all of a sudden? Did you enjoy yourselves at that village?”

I feel my face heat up at the thought of the night when we were on the roof and he kissed the side of my mouth. That was nice, but very awkward. “I’m taking that as a yes,” Nura says. “Link, do you really have no idea what you’re feeling?” she asks, tacking her horse. Is she talking about the butterflies? “You’ve never felt that kind of thing before, have you?” I tilt my head. “Link…I wish I could tell you, but I know that if I do, you’ll probably just deny it and start acting differently around Sheik. Just be careful what you do and ‘say’ to Sheik. You might just ruin your...friendship.”

A shiver goes down my spine. I wouldn’t like that at all. That would be horrible. Nura smiles. “Good, you understand. Now go talk to him for a bit,” she pushes me towards him forcefully, making my feet skid over the ground. She shoves me and I stumble/run forward, landing in a pile of hay in front of Sheik. I sit up and shake my head, grinning up at Sheik sheepishly.

‘Hi,’ he gives out his hand to help me up. I take it and thank him, picking some hay out of my hair. ‘Sorry for the sudden appearance. I wasn’t expecting to be shoved by Nura.’

“You just surprised me, that’s all,” he doesn’t look me in the eye, and I frown, moving my head to try and see his eyes, but he keeps hiding them. Huffing, I grab his head and turn it to me.

‘What’s wrong, Sheik? Did I really say something to make you this upset?’ I ask, letting go. ‘If I did, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make you sad or uncomfortable.’

He sighs. “I know, I know. And I don’t blame you, you were just joking after all.”

‘But?’

“But what?”

‘You sounded like you were about to say something else, is all,’ I think and hug him. I ponder for a moment if I should ask him what these butterflies mean, but when I try to ask, someone pulls me away from Sheik. I look over my shoulder to see Shadow smirking.

“Hey lovedoves,” he chuckles as I get my tunic free from his grasp. “Quit making a scene, we need to get going to Old Hyrule after all.”

We turn our heads to see Nura, Adam, Alex and Vaati staring at us, and I feel a blush rise on my cheeks as I look down. Nura has a knowin smile on her face, Adam’s trying to control his laughter, Alex is smirking ever-so-slightly, and even Vaati seems amused about something or other. Things just got really awkward.

Sheik and I don’t look at each other as everyone packs their last couple things, and my cheeks are still on fire. And I can’t turn into a wolf to make the blushing stop until we get outside Hyrule Castle Town, unless I want to cause a panic like I did way back when.

Midna giggles from my shadow and I look down, sticking my tongue out. “Stop being such a child,” Vaati remarks, whacking me over the head as he walks by. I rub the back of my head and glare at the purple mage. “It’s hard to believe you’re a Link.”

“I don’t find it hard to believe, Min, Green, Red, Blue and Vio were just as childish as Twi-Twi is,” I look at Shadow in surprise. How does he know? He smirks mysteriously. “Hey, you didn’t forget that I’m a Link too, right? I get info on what you guys did too. Sky and Time let me in on what’s happening.”

Now that he explains it that makes a lot of sense. I really do forget that he’s a Link.

With everyone now ready, we head out. Sheik makes me sit in front of him and wear a cloak as we go through Castle Town, and my blush turns steadily darker at the looks Nura and Adam send me. Why are they looking at us like that? I honestly can’t wait to be a wolf so this blush can go away. Sadly, I don’t ever get the chance, because Sheik forces me to stay on Joyce, saying I wouldn’t be able to keep up as a wolf. Midna’s just laughing at me, which makes me glare at nothing.

Once again, we come to the clearing before the Forest Temple, and I find that in the last two months, vines have somehow made a bridge. I look up and around, feeling eyes on me, and I spot Lune grinning down at me. A woman is beside him, she has green hair that reaches down to her bare feet, a green dress that seems to be made out of vines and leaves, and even from here I can see she has green eyes. She smiles at me too and winks, giving me a thumbs-up and I see she literally has a green thumb. The two vanish and I shake my head a bit as we head across the vine-bridge.

Um, thank you…Green Goddess? Sorry I don’t know what to call you.

Somehow, we get along relatively well as we walk into the Lost Woods. Vaati and Shadow are walking in silence, Alex and Adam are talking about names for Alex’s and Maria’s (Alex’s wife) baby, which is due in a few weeks. So far they have Jubilee, Nathan, Catharine and, Adam said this as a joke, Alex. Me, Sheik and Nura are leading the way and being alert to any possible ambushes. We don’t want to end up in the situation we were in last time.

“So, where’s the way to the Lower Lost Woods again?” Sheik asks.

‘It should be around here some-WAH!’ I yelp as I fall through the ground and land on my butt. I look up, pouting slightly. Of course that would happen. ‘I found it!’ I ‘call’ up and stand, dusting off my breeches. I hope I can remember the way.

“Nice find, Link,” Sheik says when he jumps down, landing with his stupid Sheikah grace.

‘Shut up,’ I mind-grumble, crossing my arms. ‘S’not funny.’

“Yes it is,” he smiles. At least he’s not avoiding my eyes now. I look up to see if the others are coming, but all I can hear is Adam and Alex bickering about something.

‘You’d think they were a couple, not siblings,’ I think.

“Come on, you guys!” Sheik cups his hands over his mouth and yells, making me wince and cover my ears. “We have to get going!” he notices me covering my ears and smiles apologetically, I shrug it off and smile. But I suddenly blush when the flash of that night runs through my head. It apparently goes through Sheik’s head too, because his cheeks turn pink and he coughs awkwardly.

I gulp. Why is it suddenly so awkward around him? I hope it doesn’t last long, it might ruin us. I’d hate it if that happened.

Luckily, the others come and we, somehow, make it to Kokiri Forest. None of the Kokiri are out, but that’s probably for the best. I wouldn’t want them to get frightened by Shadow or Vaati. We go through the hollowed log and come out to see the old Hyrule Field again. I frown suddenly. Uh-oh, we don’t know where the old Lake Hylia is.

“Never thought I would see this place again,” Vaati says, breaking me out of my thoughts. He and the others are looking around the field.

“It’s a lot less…alive then what it was before, that’s for sure,” Shadow comments. “But I kinda like it. Gives it some colour.”

I roll my eyes at the doppelganger. Of course someplace dead had colour to him. “Do you know where the lake is?” Nura asks them.

“I don’t, but Vaati does,” Shadow says.

“Um, one question, why are you guys here anyway?” Adam asks. “Last time Shadow came with us it was to get something for a spell you were making.”

“It’s none of your business,” Vaati snaps, heading to the south. “Move your feet, already. We don’t want to waste sunlight.”

I raise an eyebrow at Shadow, he shrugs. “Like I know what he’s thinking all the time. He’s a loner bookworm, he doesn’t tell me what he’s planning.”

“Shadow, shut up. If I want that short freak to know more about me, I’ll tell him myself,” Vaati growls. I notice Sheik stiffen out of the corner of my eye and I look at him, seeing him glaring hard at the Wind Mage. I take his hand to calm him down, and he looks at me.

‘Calm down Sheik. Lots of people have called me a freak,’ I tell him. ‘It doesn’t bother me.’ I see a bit of hurt in his eyes. But it’s more of a sympathetic hurt. Why would he be sympathetic? ‘It’s not like I’ve never called myself a freak.’ For some reason, his eyes flick away from my face for a few moments before he looks back at me. We’re walking behind the others, so they don’t notice.

‘Link, why would you call yourself a freak?’

‘I was the only Hylian in Ordon, I had a birthmark on my hand that burned sometimes, I rode Ordonian Goats for fun, I can ‘talk’ to my horse-’ I start to number off, but he silences me with a clap on the shoulder, about to say something when lightning flashes overhead. We look up to see dark storm clouds rolling in.

“We should try to get to the Lake before the rain falls,” Nura says. “It will make travel worse if we wait until the rain’s gone, since it will be harder to walk in mud and puddles.”

‘Sheik, last time we were here, did it rain at all?’ I ask, trying to remember.

‘No, there wasn’t even a hint of dampness in the air.’

‘Then this will be bad. I think there might be a flash flood, and if that happens, we’ll all be in trouble,’ I gulp.

“How do you know that?” he says out-loud, quietly enough so the others don’t hear.

‘I don’t know,’ I say when wind starts to blow.

We trek over the field, pulling our cloaks around ourselves to keep warm. Shadow and Vaati are the only one’s not affected by the sudden drop in temperature, though that doesn’t surprise me at all.

I get a sudden chill and look over my shoulder, half expecting to see a Demon, but I don’t see anything. I tug Sheik’s arm and he looks at me. ‘I think something might be following us,’ I tell him.

He hums and looks back. ‘Keep your guard up. Who knows what could be out here.’

“Should we be there soon?” Adam asks, making us look forward.

“Yes. The lake’s just over this hill,” Vaati says, he sounds more irritated than he looks. “Just don’t be surprised if it’s dried up.”

It will be if the rain falls hard enough. I look up at the sky, seeing the clouds condensing more and becoming darker. I can also feel a little static charge in the air. There’s about to be a full out storm. We’ll need to be careful we don’t get caught in the middle of it.

We make it to the top of the hill and find that Vaati was right. There’s a giant, cracking dirt hole with some tiny islands in the middle, two rope bridges that lead to them and an old building that’s caving in. I see a gate cut into the bigger island and guess that’s where the Water Temple was. This place is so sad to be in. I look up to see reeds on the far side of the dried-up hole, leading into a cut-canyon. The way to the Wind Tribe must be through there.

Getting over the shock, I notice the others are in the hole, making their way across. A horrible sinking feeling passes through me as rain starts to fall. That’s not a good way to get over! I run after them, slipping and sliding in the mud, and catch up in time for the rain to pour down harder. ‘Guys, I don’t think that this is-’ I start to think when the ground moves. I slip fully and fall on my back. Sitting up, I find that the lake is already filling with about an inch of water, which catches the others’ attention. Finally.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Alex mumbles.

“We need to get to high ground before something happens,” Nura says and we head towards the bigger island. The water is already up to my kneecaps and the other’s calves. This is when I don’t like being short.

A sudden gust of wind blows at us and Shadow looks at Vaati, not amused, which is very out of character for him. “Look, Vat, I know you like wind and all, but can you stop that?”

“Shut it. I’m not doing this and I need to be stationary to actually summon wind, if you so recall, idiot,” he says, bringing up his arm to block the wind. Another gust blows at us and I see Nura’s glasses fly off. I gasp with her and look back to see them fall into the water. I don’t have time to change into my Zora Armour, so I go with my only option. I hit the back of my neck and turn into a wolf.

I jump into the water, which is half-way up the island, and swim down, hearing Midna yell at me for being an absolute dumbass, since she’s dragged down with me. I see the glasses and get them, but when I try to swim back to the surface, I’m stopped by the current pulling me towards the reeds. I get stopped by the reeds and stand, shaking my fur out, which does no change at all. I look at the island and think of how to get back.

“I would suggest not swimming,” Midna says. “You’ll probably just get pulled under the currents and drown, and we don’t want that to happen.”

I nod, squinting my eyes through the rain. ‘Sheik, don’t worry, ‘kay? I’m alright! Me and Midna are by the reeds.’

‘Okay, just try to…stay there I guess. We don’t have many options, and it seems the lake is as full as it can get. It’s strange though, it’s not getting any higher, even with all this rain.’

‘Well, there is a Temple under the island. Maybe the water’s draining into the temple and stopping the entire lake from overflowing?’

‘I see you’re point. Okay, you two stay there and try to keep warm. We’ll wait until the rain passes.’

‘I hope it passes soon,’ I think, feeling myself start to shiver. ‘Is it colder or warmer in my shadow?’

“Warmer, somehow. But do you really think I’m going to leave you to freeze to death?” she asks, sitting down on the little bit of land beside the canyon. “And stay as a wolf, you’ll be warmer,” she pats her lap.

‘Thanks,’ I think, lying my head on her lap. ‘Why does our luck suck?’

“I blame you,” I roll my eyes. “But really, I think this is either really good or really bad.”

‘How?’

“There was no rain when we were last here. That was about three weeks ago now, so it wasn’t that long ago. Even in Hyrule it was raining a lot. If this is good, it might help give some water to those Demons. If it’s bad, it might just cause more problems than it’s worth.”

‘Right, the demons. I wonder what they’re like. I doubt that they’re all like Ghirahim,’ I make a face at saying the Demon Lord’s name.

“I wouldn’t know. If they can live with this Hyrule, then I don’t really care. At least this land is being used for a reason.”

I nod, yawning. I look out to the lake, seeing a sort of shield surrounding the island. Probably from Vaati. I watch the rain fall and wonder, how did the Demons get here? Is there some sort of demon world that they’re originally from? Why do they want to take over Hyrule? Maybe I’m thinking too much into these demons. They might not even try anything against Hyrule, so I don’t see the point in thinking about them.

Just as it had begun, the rain subsides quickly. The clouds still linger, but now at least we can keep going. I get up and shake my fur just out of habit. I need to get Nura’s glasses back. Midna stops me from jumping in the water by grabbing my ruff and pulling me back. “Just wait, alright? They’ll find a way over here, so there’s no point in going to the island. Anyway, I should hide. These guys might mistake me for an enemy,” she says and enters my shadow. I sit down and wait for the others, getting bored pretty fast since Midna falls asleep.

“There he is. Hey Link!” I snap out of my daze and look up to see the others walking along the edge. “Why’d you just jump into the water without thinking?” Adam asks, taking Nura’s glasses from me.

“He’s reckless, what else?” Alex shrugs, looking down the canyon. “So we’ll get to the Wind Tribe through here?”

“Yes. Unless they’ve moved, we should find them here. It’s possible that they moved back to the Wind Ruins after somebody’s incarnation’s dealt with me,” Vaati glares at me.

“Come on, before we start killing each other,” Nura pulls Adam and Alex’s shoulders as she walks into the canyon. Shadow and Vaati head in as I look up at Sheik, asking him to turn me back to human.

“Sure thing,” he hits the back of my neck and I shake my head when I’m human. “Let’s go, we don’t want to lose them.”

‘What do you think the Wind Tribe will be like?’ I ask.

“Not sure. There aren’t many history books about them. They usually kept to themselves, and most Hyrulians didn’t even know they existed until the Minish Hero found them.”

‘I just hope that the Sage is with them, and that we aren’t heading into a false direction after all. But Zelda seemed pretty serious about the whole thing. I wish she would relax a bit more. It’s not good for her to be so stressed out,’ I bite my lip, more than a little worried for my friend. ‘Sheik, when we get back, I think I might take Zelda to Ordon so we can just rest and well…I kind of…’

He smiles, seeming to read my thoughts-er…before I-uh-think…them… Anyway, “You want to show her on your own. That’s alright. I need to do some extra things as well when we get back. Like finally joining the Resistance.”

‘They need all the help they can get,’ I smile. ‘Thanks for understanding, Sheik. And I am really sorry for whatever it was I did.’

“I forgave you the moment you said it,” he mutters, smiling. “Besides, it was stupid of me to react like that,” he puts his arm around my shoulders and my smile grows before I look around, finding that we’re in a marsh after exiting the cut-canyon. I really wonder if Nabooru was truthful about making a Wind Tribe person the Sage. It would be cool, but confusing.

“We’re about an hour from the Wind Ruins,” Vaati says. “But that is where we’ll probably need to go,” he points to a tower that’s at least a twenty minute walk. “The Wind Tribe might actually still be alive.”

“Won’t this be interesting,” Shadow smirks and we head towards the tower. It looks quite big from here, so I can’t imagine what it’s like close-up. Guess I’m about to find out.

In no time at all, we come to the tower and I crane my neck to look up at it, rubbing the back of it when I look forward. “Wow, I didn’t expect so many people to be here,” Adam says and it’s true. Teenagers of all ages live here, from twelve-year-olds to twenty-year-olds, they’re all wandering around, enjoying the cloudy day. One boy, who must be at least eighteen, spots us and walks up to us, curious but smiling. He has brown hair, eyes and naturally tanned skin.

“Hello there! Who might you strangers be? It’s not very common to see a group of…your sorts here,” he says to Vaati, Shadow, Sheik and me.

“Hello. My name’s Nura, this is Adam, Alex, Sheik, Link, Shadow and Vaati,” she points to each of us respectively. “We were just traveling and spotted this tower from far away. What kind of place is this?” she asks, dodging the ‘finding the Sage’ part. Good idea, we don’t need them to think we’re crazy.

“This is a library of sorts.” Me and Shadow suppress groans. You’ve got to be kidding me. I look at Vaati to see his eyes spark. “It was built a long time ago by our ancestors, the Wind Tribe, to educate teens so they could go out into the world. We all stay here until we’re old enough and venture out to find places to live. We’ve never gone passed that dried-up lake, since there’s no life there.”

“So this is a library? And you guys live here?”

“Yes, there are multiple rooms through the building. So many, in fact, that the ones at the very top there are empty,” he points up to the top, which is obscured by clouds. “I don’t believe I introduced myself. My name’s Gale, I’m the top student here and have lived here since I was a little kid.”

“Are there any elders here? Or just teens?” Sheik asks.

Gale gives a friendly smile. “There are many older people here, they’re the ones who decide which students go where.”

I’m nodding, when I see the silhouette of someone standing at the window of the second story. I don’t get the ‘oh Goddesses! Someone’s watching me!’ it’s a calmer feeling and I’m happy I don’t feel like I want to shoot the person. I wave to the silhouette, and I see the shadow move after a few seconds. Did that person see me? Maybe not, even the second story is pretty high up, so I probably look like an ant to them.

Sheik looks at me, silently asking who I was waving to. I shrug and smile. He shakes his head, knowing not to question me by now. Brilliant!

Gale waves at us to follow him, not noticing me waving at the shadow, and as he leads us inside he talks. “You guys are soaked to the bone. Come inside and heat up. A good meal should do the trick,” my stomach growls, to my embarrassment. Gale laughs and turns to me. “Don’t worry, we get that response from most travellers that come through here. So you’re name’s Link, huh?” I nod. “You wouldn’t happen to be the decedent of the Link that saved Old Hyrule, would you?” I nod again. “Thought so. You look like he does in the pictures, just with darker hair. I hope you guys enjoy yourselves. Since we have so many rooms, you can stay in some of them, I’m sure no one would mind. We get travellers here a lot.”

We gape in awe at the building, the inside looks very similar to the Twilight Palace, just with light grey stone and more people. I glance at my shadow, I think Midna’s thinking the same as me. I smile a bit and look around more, spotting a boy reading a book on a bench. He’s just reading, but there’s something about him that stands out. He has tawny brown hair and…orange eyes? Wow, that’s cool. He glances up from his book and notices me, I grin and wave at him. He remains expressionless and goes back to reading. I poke Sheik to get his attention and ask him to ask Gale who that boy is.

“Um, Gale, who’s that boy over there,” Sheik jerks his head at the orange-eyed boy. Gale’s happy face melts into an unimpressed sneer as he notices the boy.

“He’s nobody, just a kid who’s not doing so well here. I honestly don’t know why he stays, he’s doing so badly in his classes,” Gale says, his voice bitter.

Nura and I look at each other as the others shrug it off. I look back at the boy to find him gone, like he wasn’t even there. Who was that boy? And why does Gale seem so bitter towards him? Questions, questions, questions. They pile up and have no answers, so I should probably stop asking them.

I shake the thought out of my head. I’ll worry about that tomorrow, I need food and some rest. Hopefully we can find the Sage tomorrow, and find out what exactly Ghirahim has planned for the future.

In my thoughts, I don’t realize I’ve lost everyone until I bump into a wall. I stumble back and look around, cursing myself for my stupidity. Where are the others? Midna laughs, coming out of my shadow. “You idiot. You just wandered off aimlessly, and they’re all too tired to see what’s in front of them.”

‘Thanks for making me feel better,’ I think sarcastically and look around. The hall I’m in is empty and pretty dark, even with my Twilight Vision. ‘Where are we?’

“Uh oh,” Midna mutters, going inside my shadow as we hear voices.

Two boys walk by, not noticing me as I stand near the wall. “How much time do you think until Avira is kicked out?” one of them asks.

“I’d say…two weeks? He’s gotten pretty sloppy with his duties, and it’s starting to affect everyone.”

“I think you’re mistaking that for someone else,” the boy I saw earlier is suddenly standing in front of them, arms crossed as the boys jump.

“Gah! Don’t do that, you freak!” the second boy cries.

“Why do you need to sneak up on people like that?” the first boy glares.

“I don’t. You just don’t seem to look where you’re going,” the orange eyed boy says. The two others run around him. He turns to look at them, hearing them talk about ‘rude weirdoes’ and their cat feet. He sighs, seeming annoyed, and I step out from the wall, tapping his shoulder. Or trying to. He’s at least two inches taller than Sheik, so I only tap his arm. He turns and looks down at me, making me feel like a kid, and I offer a grin as he raises an eyebrow. “You’re the boy I saw earlier. You entered here with that odd group.” I nod. That’s the only way to describe the people I travel with. “What are you doing here? Not many people come around here, so if you got lost, no one would think to look for you here.”

I shrug, rubbing the back of my head sheepishly. He probably gets what the problem is. “You are lost, aren’t you?” I nod. “Well, guess I could help you get back to your friends. My name’s Avira, or Freak as many call me,” he rolls his eyes. “I assume you saw what just happened.” I grimace and nod. “Don’t worry about it. I’ve heard a lot worse than what those two were saying. Trust me,” his face doesn’t give away any emotion. He has a very hard mask. “Come on, before someone spreads a rumour that I murdered someone.”

Sweet Nayru, someone would do that? Why? Avira seems like a really nice guy. Whoever would be that mean is a jerk. “So, can you tell me why you and your friends are here?” I shake my head. “You don’t talk much, do you?” I shrug, you could say that. The shadow of a smirk flashes across his face for a second before it falls back into the stoic mask. We walk on in silence, even our footsteps are quiet, when we spot Gale standing in front of us. The others aren’t with him and he’s scowling at Avira, not even seeming to notice me.

“What are you doing here, Avira? I thought you didn’t like coming to this part of the tower,” Gale sneers, walking up to Avira and trying to look intimidating. It doesn’t work very well, with Avira being four inches taller than him and all.

“I was helping this boy here find his friends,” he jerks his head towards me and Gale smiles.

“There you are, Link! The others were worried about you. Well, Nura, Adam and Sheik were, the other three didn’t seem to care much.” I blink. Really, what’s with the sudden change in attitude? These two must have a big rivalry or something. I back up a step, not wanting to get caught up in it. “How do I know you’re not lying, Freak?”

“I don’t lie,” Avira says simply. Giving me a curt nod. “Bye, Link. Enjoy your stay here,” he turns, hands in pockets, and walks back the way we came. I frown at Gale, why was he like that all of a sudden?

“Come on, you’d better not waste your time with him,” Gale says, guiding me away. “He’s just a useless loser.” I flinch, and see Midna flinch in my shadow along with me. Guess neither of us have forgotten how she used to treat me. “Nura said you’d be sleeping with Sheik, so I’ll take you there,” Gale says, oblivious to my flinch, or maybe even just ignoring it.

He takes me to the room and bids me goodnight as I go in. I see Sheik is already asleep and crawl into my own bed, just taking off my weapons before falling asleep. I’ll get food in the morning.


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