Silent Courage

Chapter 7: An Old Friend, a New Problem

Chapter 7: An Old Friend, a New Problem

“Every. Single. Time. She gets hurt in a Temple every. Single. Time,” a really, really familiar voice stresses as I feel myself slowly come to. My entire body’s screaming.

“I’ve noticed that too, and I’ve only known her for two weeks,” Navi’s voice says from on top of my head.

“I really hope Zelda will be able to help, I’m not good with this world’s magic,” the familiar voice sighs.

I groan, slowly opening my eyes to see daylight shine in my face. I close my eyes, grunt, then roll over away from it. The familiar voice giggles and my eyes snap open, I’m now wide awake. “And you’re lazy as ever.”

Not completely wanting to believe it, I look over my shoulder and gape when I see the familiar ruby/orange eyes smirking at me. ‘Midna?’ I ask. She giggles the familiar giggle as I get to my feet. ‘What-what are you doing here? Aren’t you supposed to be-!’

“Yes, I am supposed to be in the Twilight Realm, but the moment I discovered this new problem here, I just teleported to Lake Hylia. Good thing I did too, you were collapsed and the fairy wouldn’t shut up,” she jerks her head at Navi, who looks really irritated. (Gery: Oh Midna, you start out as a b***h, then everypony loves you.)

“Stop calling me ‘the fairy’,” Navi mutters under her breath before flying into my face. “Link, there’s something you need to know.”

I feel my ears drop in worry, ‘What?’

“You’re…still a wolf,” she says. I look down and low-and-behold, I see wolf paws. But why are they smaller than usual? My paw can easily get out of the shackle now. Come to think of it, Midna and Navi are larger than before. “But you’re a wolf puppy.”

Now my ears fall more, ‘Huh?’

“Navi explained what happened in the Temple of Lord Fish-”

“Jabu-Jabu!” Navi yells.

“Whatever-she explained what happened in the Temple with the explosion, and I think the magic of the Sphinx affected you like this,” the Twili Princess says.

‘Why does everyone around me have magic?!’ I mind-yell.

“I don’t know, but the magic of the Sphinx must have hit you and caused this to happen. Now you’re a puppy, and a runty one at that,” Midna smirks.

‘Of course, let’s just top off the cake!’ I think.

“But look at the bright side, now people won’t run away from you,” she says.

‘I think I prefer to be a large wolf when everyone runs than being a runty wolf pup,’ I sigh. ‘Can you change me back?’

“That’s another thing, the magic seems to have…affected that pressure point too. It’s now paralyzed. But don’t worry! It won’t affect your walking, just the ability to change you back into a Hylian,” Navi explains.

‘Gah!’ I let my head fall onto my paws, my luck just keeps getting worse and worse.

“C’mon, maybe we can get to the castle and get Zelda’s help,” Navi says as Midna stands up. Okay, now she’s just towering over me more, and I know her mocking smile when she uses it.

“How will we get back up? There’s no way I’m going to talk to anyone with this problem around, and I doubt anyone really trusts Twili right now thanks to Zant-”

‘Zant!’ I remember. ‘Midna, Zant’s alive!’

She looks at me for a few seconds, blinking in shock. “But…that’s not possible, I killed him, remember?”

‘I know, I saw you kill him with my own eyes, but he’s alive! And he’s causing more problems around here than before!’ I tell her, craning my neck to look up.

“Oh great Twili Gods,” she runs her hand over her face. “This is just perfect! I just hope the Chancellor can take care of the Twilight Realm for this.”

‘Wait, how did you get here? You broke the mirror,’ I tilt my head.

“I know I did, to prevent anyone from the light world from coming to the Twilight Realm. Twili can still go in and out, just no one from this place can get to the Realm,” she explains. (Gery: That’s all the sense I can make as to why she broke the mirror. That always makes me sad :’()

“C’mon, we’d better go now so we can get there by dark. It might take longer with you being a pup,” Navi says and sits on my head.

“I can easily travel through the shadows, so I’ll go ahead and tell Zelda what’s going on. Maybe we can think of something by the time you get to the castle,” Midna says before disappearing.

I look up at the bridge and huff in annoyance, nothing will ever go right for me. “Let’s go, there has to be some way up,” Navi tugs my ear and I get to my feet, but stumble forward and fall, not used to these small legs. I glare at Navi when she stifles a giggle and whistles, looking away innocently.

‘Care to share your amusement?’ I ask, raising an eyebrow.

“Well, with you being a pup and stumbling around, it’s just cute, okay?” she giggles, not holding back this time.

I narrow my eyes more before getting to my feet, shakily taking a step forward and getting used to the legs. Once I can finally run, I start sprinting to the spot with the Sky Cannon and yelp when something digs up from under my paws.

I shake my head and jump to my feet to see a weird creature that looks like a large, yellow mole with red hair sticking up. “Man, things sure have changed. Didn’t think my hibernation would make me sleep so much that a lake was made in the desert,” it says in a guy’s voice as it looks around, sniffing the air. “Whoo-wee, look at all this greenery! And what kind of thing is that?” he looks at the stone tower overlooking the Gerudo Desert before whistling in amazement. “How long was I sleeping for?”

“Excuse me,” Navi asks, seeming just as surprised as me at seeing this thing. “Who are you?”

“Wow, never seen a fairy like you before,” he crosses his arms. “I’m Logan, Logan the Mogma.”

“Well Logan, may I ask what a Mogma is?” Navi asks, circling around his head.

“Sure thing, a Mogma is me, obviously, and we usual migrate to the Lanayru Desert when the volcano starts to cool a bit so we keep heated, there we hibernate until the desert becomes cool, but for some reason I wouldn’t wake up until late last night, then I went digging and found myself here, now talking to a fairy and some puppy,” he explains.

‘Lanayru Desert?’ I wonder.

Navi does too, as she asks, “What’s Lanayru Desert? The only desert I know is Gerudo Desert, and this is Lake Hylia in the Lanayru Province, why would you say it’s a desert?”

The Mogma’s eyes grow wide, “B-but I could have sworn I went to sleep in Lanayru Desert…”

“Oi Logan! Wha’s the ‘old up?” another Mogma shows up below me again, making me roll to the side once more. This time it looks like a girl with spiky black hair. “‘Ow long was you gunna keep me waitin’?”

“Mel, we ain’t in Lanayru Desert anymore! This fairy here…” he looks at her.

“Navi.”

“Navi, okay. Navi here just told me that this is Lanayru Province, not Desert,” Logan tells Mel.

“Eh? Tha’s weird, we did dig to the des’rt, din’t we?” she scratches her head.

‘Navi, they’re obviously confused, and they look tired, why don’t we ask them if they want to come to the castle? Zelda’ll most likely know what’s going on,’ I suggest.

She bobs up and down before asking the Mogmas this. “Well, we don’t really know what to do…so, okay. Thanks for the offer, Navi,” Logan smiles.

“Heh, ain’t this a cute pup.”

‘Huh?’ I respond stupidly before I’m picked up with a small yelp of surprise.

“This pup yers?” Mel asks, petting my head with sharp claws.

“Uh…sure? We need to get her to the castle too,” Navi says.

“No problem, we can just burrow to the top of this lake with the pup,” Logan says.

‘What?’ I blink.

“You fly up an’ we’ll see ya soon, kay, Navi?” Mel asks and puts me on her back before she starts digging down, sending rock and dirt behind her.

We come to a long tunnel, the one I assume they came up from. I see ice and an image of two Mogmas coming out from it. They must have been frozen down here for more than a thousand years, since Navi didn’t seem to know what they are, and Nayru knows how old she is.

I’m taken out of my thoughts when more dirt hits my face, I shake my head and Logan looks back. “Hey Mel, why not put the pup down for a bit? I don’t think it likes getting hit with stones,” he says.

“‘Kay,” she nods and puts me down, to my relief. I shake the dirt out of my fur and sit down, waiting for them to get farther. Mel soon comes back and picks me up again, making me feel small, even though I know I am.

Soon the two Mogmas dig up beside the bridge and I jump off Mel’s back the moment we surface, I hope I never have to go underground again. I shake the dirt out of my fur and move as they look around more at the bridge. “Wow, that’s some building skill,” Logan whistles.

‘I thought so too the first time,’ I muse and start trotting off into the direction of the castle. Navi flies over and sits on my head as the Mogmas follow me under the ground, I’ll need to remember where their holes are, I don’t want Epona getting her foot stuck in one.

By late afternoon, I spot the walls of the castle and sigh in relief, these paws aren’t good for long distance travel. “You alright?” Navi asks for the umpteenth time since we’ve been walking.

‘I’m fine, I just need some water once we get in, and when we see Zelda, I just hope I can change back and get going to find the last two Sages, I’m so close,’ I think, really hoping this doesn’t put a hole into my plans.

“Dang, this buildin’ stuff is even better than the bridge!” Mel exclaims.

“How will we get through? It’s obvious that the people have never seen us before, with your reaction, so they might think we’re monsters,” Logan asks.

“You can burrow under the city, following us like you were before, and when she taps the ground three times, it will be safe in a courtyard,” Navi says.

“That could work,” they both say and go underground. I start moving again and run through the gates just before they close, Zelda ordered that happen since the invasion. I peek around the stone wall to see people scrambling around for last minute things and I wince, I came at the wrong time. Oh well, no turning back now. If I can face the Gerudo King, I can get passed these people.

I come out from behind the wall and go through the street, hoping no one will 1: see me, 2: see me and run, or 3: see me and want to take me home.

I become more cautious and careful as I come to the Town Center and main Market. I walk out when suddenly a group of people walk towards me. I jump around and over their feet, hoping beyond hope that the Goddesses will be nice enough to let me get out unhurt.

But someone must really hate me up there, or they like messing with me and having a laugh.

Someone in the back steps on my tail and I yelp quietly, but the person looks down. I look up to see a young teen, maybe thirteen, looking at me with curious brown eyes. “Hey there, little guy,” he crouches down and I try to get away, but he picks me up around the middle and looks me over, ignoring my struggles to get free. This is when my stomach decides to give me more problems and growls. “You sound hungry. C’mon, I’ll feed you at home,” he says as he carries me.

‘Navi, go tell Mel and Logan not to come up! I’ll get out as soon as I can!’ I tell her and she bobs up and down before flying off.

‘I really hope I can get out soon,’ I think as the boy comes to a rather run-down house. He enters and two younger twin boys around eight run up, not seeing me and hugging the older boy tightly, me in the middle.

“George, you’re home!” one boy yells happily while the other pulls back.

“What’s that?” he asks and the other boy lets go for the oldest kid to readjust me in his arms.

“It’s a puppy I found, he looked tired and hungry, so I thought I’d take him,” the boy smiles as he puts me down, only to get picked up awkwardly by the first boy.

“Hey boy! I’m Jeremy!” he hugs me and I struggle to get free.

“I’m Davis,” the second boy pats my head.

“Alright, put him down, he needs food,” the oldest boy, George apparently, says and the kid puts me down, to my relief. “C’mon boy,” he hits his hip and I just sit down, I’m not going to answer to ‘boy’ while I’m a wolf.

“I don’t think he’s trained,” Jeremy says, crouching down.

“Come on, you hungry or not?” George asks and picks me up again. Dammit, forgot he could do that.

He brings me into an even more rundown kitchen where two men and two women are. One of the women looks over and spots me right away, blinking in surprise when she does. “George, what do you have there?” she asks.

“It’s a dog, mum, he was in the Market and looked tired and hungry, so I thought I’d take him in for the night,” he explains, putting me down at his feet.

I look up at George’s mum as she crouches, looking me over with a soft smile. “We’ll, he certainly is cute,” she pets behind my ear and I resist growling, why does everyone call me cute? “Yes, I think we can keep him for a night. But you’ll have to let him go in the morning, I don’t think he’s domestic. And he’ll have to sleep outside,” she says, getting up and looking at her hand. “And he’ll need a bath.”

‘Oh great,’ I think.

“Okay! C’mon, boy, let’s get outside, you can eat there,” I grudgingly follow the boy to the small back lot and he ties me up to a small shelter, I guess they used to have their own dog. He only ties me up with rope, so even if they think they’re keeping me I can easily run. He runs into the house and comes back with some raw and slightly moldy cow meat. They don’t have much, do they?

He gives me the small piece and I look him in the eye, he shivers a bit before smiling. “It’s alright, we have enough to get us to winter,” he doesn’t say it can get him through winter before he goes back into the house.

I eat the meat they willingly gave me with guilt, I shouldn’t be here, eating their food, but if I don’t eat it, it will go to waste. I sigh and lie down, putting my head on my paws, this might be a long night.

I guess I fell asleep, ‘cause next thing I know I’m being shaken awake. I look up with groggy eyes to see the twin boys with a bucket of soapy water and a rag each. “Alright, boy, we’re gunna bathe you,” Davis says and sits on the back of his knees as Jeremy sits on the ground in front of me.

They dunk the rags into the bucket and start to wash me, and I can tell a lot from the way they do it. Jeremy makes short, hard strokes that make me want to jerk away, but Davis makes long, soft strokes that make me stay put. Thankfully they finish scrubbing me quickly, the Jeremy dumps the bucket over my head to clean me of the suds, making my ears drop from the dampness.

“Alright, there we go,” Davis says as he wipes me dry with a ragged towel. “There, see you in the morning boy,” they both smile identically and leave inside the house. Once again, I slip into sleep when they close the doors.

________

‘This is so strange,’ I think as I wander around the odd forest. The mushrooms are huge, the trees are so tall, and the fruit on the trees look like retarded pumpkins, making me feel smaller. ‘Why does everything mock me?’ I wonder as I walk around, still in the body of a wolf pup. Footsteps make my ears perk up and I hide under a mushroom as I see brown boots walk by, chasing after a bird thing with a bulb on its back.

I come out slowly and look around to make sure nothing shows up unexpectedly. I sigh once I see the coast clear and turn around to find myself in a different place, a Temple of sorts with a bird statue in front of it. I see a boy go through, and the image shifts to where I’m in a round room, the boy and the man from my other dream fighting each other.

Again everything moves and I find myself in the black room again, the one column of light the only thing I can follow. As I walk, I start to see something form in the distance, it looks like something heart shaped and colourful-

I jump awake and look around quickly to see the sun peek over the horizon, indicating that I can go to the castle today. Thank Nayru for that. George comes out and unties me, giving me one last smile before nodding. Giving a small, un-wolf-like nod back, I dash off and squeeze through the broken fence, running as fast as I can to the castle.

Thankfully I make it to the courtyard in no time and without being spotted, when I smell something, like steel and desert sand. I turn around to see a certain Sheikah and roll my eyes as he looks down at me, smirking knowingly and mocking my new height. “Didn’t know this happened to you, Shorty.”

‘Jerk,’ I mind-mumble, I’m still pissed off at him for what he did. He laughs and starts walking.

“So, are you going to call up your mole friends?” he asks.

‘Have you been stalking me?’ I ask, galloping beside him to try and keep up, knowing I’ll have to deal with him for a bit longer.

“Only for a bit, I do have a life, you know,” he says.

‘Have a funny way of showing it,’ I think and tap the ground three times. Not long after, Logan and Mel show up, looking at me and Sheik in confusion.

“Didn’t those two treasure seeking idiots describe what the woman in black looked like?” Logan asks.

“Yeah, they said she ‘ad red eyes an’ blonde fur, an’ this guy fits the bill,” Mel nods. “Hey dude, what are ye?”

“I’m a Sheikah,” he says.

“Finally! Something familiar!” Logan cheers.

“Come on, we need to see Zelda,” Navi says and the Mogmas jump out of the ground. I didn’t expect them to be so short, and this is me thinking. We walk through the castle easily without getting spotted and Sheik knocks on Zelly’s door.

She opens it and sighs when she sees me, “I was really hoping Midna was kidding.”

“Would I ever do that?” Midna asks from inside the room.

“‘Yes,’” Zelda and me say/think at the same time.

“You know me so well,” she remarks dryly as we come in. “And who are you?” she asks the Mogmas.

After introductions, Zelda starts talking to them, looking rather sad. “I’ve heard of your kind before. But…I’m afraid that…there haven’t been any Mogmas here in over a million years,” she tells them.

“What? No way, we haven’t been stuck in the ice that long…have we?” Logan looks at Mel.

“Don’t look ‘t me! I don’t ‘eep track o’ stuff like that!” she says.

“You two are welcome to stay here for as long as you like, I have a courtyard that’s not used anymore where you can live,” Zelda offers.

“Gee, thanks. This whole place is weird,” Logan bows his head.

Zelda quickly takes them to the courtyard and comes back, sighing as she sinks into her chair. “I don’t know how to cure you yet Link, what that Sphinx did is so strange, and I can tell by the magic surrounding you that it won’t be easy to break,” she says.

I groan, dropping to my stomach and putting my paws over my ears. ‘Who hates me so much?’ I ask/whine.

“Link, didn’t you listen? She said it wouldn’t be easy breaking this, she didn’t say it was impossible,” Midna says.

My head shoots up and I look at them, ‘Really?’

“Yes, you’ll need to find three items that will break it,” Zelda says, taking out a very old book. “The Fire of Din, the Love of Nayru, and the Wind of Farore, if you can find these three items and bring them back here, Midna can make something out of it.”

“It’s a bit of a chore, and it won’t correspond with your main objective of finding the Sages, but finding two more Sages in the body of a wolf pup wouldn’t be very productive,” Midna smirks.

‘Great,’ I sigh but shake it off.

“Navi will be staying here, the amount of magic she was exposed to has raised her power and she needs to learn to control it,” Zelda looks pointedly at the fairy.

“Heh, yeah I kinda blasted a hole in the roof when a cat was chasing me last night,” she laughs sheepishly.

‘Guess I’m going alone,’ I shrug.

“Nope, I’ll be coming with you, and so will he,” Midna nods to Sheik.

“What?” he raises an eyebrow.

“We need some back up, and what better way than to get a Sheikah to help? You don’t mind, do you? Too bad if you do, you’re coming anyway,” she says before he can say anything. “C’mon, it’s still early and I know where the Wind of Farore is,” she gets up and starts walking and I’m forced to run to keep up. Stupid. Short. Puppy. Legs!

I look up at Sheik as Midna goes into his shadow. ‘You need to promise not to use magic, you’re just lucky I have enough human in me to not bite you where it hurts!’

He looks at me, not seeming convinced by my threat, but promises anyway. ‘You need to swear!’

Sighing, he puts his left hand on his heart and says, “I, Sheik, won’t use magic around Link or may Din’s rage come down and strike me where I stand.”

I nod, convinced but still angry at him, but the anger soon dies by the puppyness in me not having a large attention span. Stupid puppyness. ‘So, do you even know where to find this thing we’re looking for?’

“A little, I have a feeling the Wind of Farore is through the big log in Kokiri Forest,” he shrugs.

“You’re right, it is. And I know exactly where to find it,” Midna’s voice says.

‘That’s good,’ I think. I hear Sheik let out an annoyed sigh before I’m picked up. ‘Hey! Put me down!’ I mind-yell at him as I struggle.

“That will take too long, Shorty,” he says and tucks me under his arm as he keeps walking. I growl in deep annoyance, jerky Jerk’s a jerk.

We come to the stables and he puts me down as he goes to a white and brown Clydesdale standing in one of the stalls. “You’re not in more trouble again, are you?” I look to the side to see Epona.

‘Shut it, ‘Pona,’ I think, glaring.

“Who hates you so much they turn you into a puppy? And a rather cute one at that?” she asks, I see that smirk in her eye.

I kind of wish people would stop calling me ‘cute’.

“Alright, let’s go,” I try to run from Sheik, but he easily picks me up and I growl as he puts me in the saddlebag.

‘I hate you so much right now,’ I think and he buckles it down, making me go into it so my head’s not stuck.

“Sure you do, Shorty,” I know he’s rolling his eyes. He gets on and I roll around in the saddle bag as he walks his horse out. The minute he hits the grass, he makes his horse burst out into a run and I’m pressed into the back of the saddlebag by the force.

-Sheik’s POV-

Why does so much crap happen to her, then I’m the one to save her and/or help her? It’s like she was born with a bad luck charm. And why does she have to be so cute as a wolf and Hylian?

…Did I just think that? I think I thought that, but did I really? Don’t know where that came from. I shake my head, I know what this is, and no, I can’t feel it. I promised I would let no one in after what happened in the desert-

Don’t think of that, Sheik! Just get to the Kokiri Forest and start looking for the Wind of Farore!

You wouldn’t need to look for it if you hadn’t scared her and made her put her mind guards down, if she had kept them up, she wouldn’t be a puppy right now, a quiet, almost non-existent voice whispers in the back of my head.

What’s done is done, can’t change it now, I think angrily to myself, then grow confused as to why I’m arguing with myself. Oh-no, I think any sanity I have left is going.

I’m taken out of my thoughts when I see the sun setting and we’re only half way through Hyrule field. Sighing, I halt Joyce and hear a soft thud and a growl from the saddlebag before I hear Link mind-yell at me. ‘I still hate you!’ but I don’t hear any heat behind the words.

I just chuckle as I jump off the saddle and get her out of the bag as Midna comes out and takes the supplies from the other. I put her on the ground and she scouts the area for any danger while I go to get some firewood. My thoughts keep drifting to the blue-eyed girl, I know what I feel, and I know it’s real, but I just can’t. Not after Rosalie-

No! I promised myself I wouldn’t think about her!

I shake my head again and see I’ve gathered enough wood. I go back to our rest place to see Link still scouting. It’s funny seeing something as small as her walking around the perimeter, since she doesn’t look much larger than a small rabbit. Even in the animal life she’s the smallest.

I laugh to myself and pile the wood to start and make a fire. Soon it’s glowing bright and Link comes over, sitting down beside the fire but still looks into the night. “You can stop now, you know, nothing’s going to attack with the fire,” I tell her.

‘Habit,’ she replies shortly. Midna soon comes back with a rabbit, which is larger than Link, by the way, in her hand.

“Got dinner,” she tosses it at me and sits beside Link, smirking at her. “Hey Linky.”

‘Oh Goddess not you too,’ she groans, putting her paws over her snout. I know she’s trying to be serious, but I don’t think anyone can take a puppy seriously, even if she is seventeen.

Midna giggles and lies back, putting her hands behind her head. “Yes me too. Zelda told me about your friends and their nickname for you. Oh! And she told me something about Nura’s blindness,” I see Link perk up with this. “Zelda will be able to cure the worst of it with the herbs from Lon Lon Ranch. Her eyesight won’t be the same, but it will be better. And Zelda’s also designing a new image for spectacles, so she can get them thicker and to stay on someone’s face easier.”

Link sighs in deep relief, resting her head on her front paws. ‘Thank Nayru, Din and Farore.’

We eat our food in silence, just enjoying the meal as the moon rises. Soon we’re finished eating and we settle down for the night as a cool wind starts to blow.

In the middle of the night, I wake up to see Link shivering in her sleep, both from a cold and, what looks like, a nightmare. I nudge her awake and her head snaps up, fear in her eyes before she sees it’s only me. She sighs and starts to curl up into a tight ball, but she still shivers. “You’re cold,” I whisper.

She shakes her head, way too stubborn to suck up her pride. Guess I’ll have to take it out of her. I shrug and lie back down, pretending to sleep before opening my eyes and seeing Link breath steadily. Now I think it’s a good thing she likes her sleep. Smirking, I pick her up gently by the ruff and pull her close, the dog in her sighs and snuggles deeper into the warmth.

“So, how long have you liked her for?” I jump when Midna shows up from nowhere.

“What do you mean?” I ask, playing dumb.

She rolls her eyes. “Don’t try to pull that card, I know that look in your eye, you like her, a lot,” she smirks.

I feel heat rise on my cheeks, I’m really grateful I have a spear shawl. “I do not! We’re just…good acquaintances,” I say.

She raises an eyebrow. “Alright, live in denial. See how far that gets you,” she says and goes back into the shadows.

I let out a long sigh, I know she knows I have…feelings should I say, but I just can’t. It hasn’t been that long since everything that happened, and I don’t want to repeat it again.

With my mind swarming with craziness, I fall asleep once again.

-The next morning, Link’s POV-

I yawn, why am I so warm? Opening my eyes, I see the blood red eye of Sheik’s tunic. What? Looking up, I find Sheik sleeping soundly with his arms around me…again…only I’m a dog now, so I can’t blush. I wiggle out from his arms and shake myself, yawning and stretching as the sun slowly rises. I don’t remember my nightmare much, and I didn’t have one after that…weird.

Deciding I can’t stay still, I look around to see if I can run around for a bit. Luckily I see a small hill I can easily get to and back from in time before we pack up and leave. Smiling, I start out at an easy trot before full blown running. I breathe in the morning air and exhale slowly once I reach the hill, there’s always something new to find as a wolf, different smells to discover and different sounds to hear. I enjoy being a wolf sometimes, but not being able to change back…it makes it not as fun.

Shrugging to myself, I run back to the rest stop to see them packing the horse. Oh great, another ride in the saddlebag of stupidness. Midna smirks at me and I glare back, don’t you try-

She picks me up. Dammit, Midna! She laughs as I keep glaring at her. “Link, trust me, glaring won’t work when you’re a cute, runty puppy,” she giggles.

‘Gah! I’m a fighter! I’m not supposed to be cute!’ I think, annoyed.

“Well too bad, you’re a puppy and nothing’s going to change that for now,” she says before putting me in the saddlebag. “Now be a good girl and quit complaining.”

‘Sometimes, I don’t know why I put up with you,’ I mind-grumble.

“Sometimes, I don’t know why you put up with me either,” she replies before buckling the bag down and turning into a shadow.

Without a word, Sheik makes his horse run and I start to feel confined. I peek out of the side hole to see the trees pass and manage to get my head out so I can breathe better. I hear a sigh and feel the back of my ruff get picked up. Sheik puts me in front of him on the saddle and I dig my claws into the leather. “Don’t worry, you won’t fall. But you seemed desperate,” he shrugs.

I nod and thank him, looking around as we pass Coro’s house. As always, he nods to any passerby and Sheik nods back before coming to the front of the cave. He dismounts and puts me on the ground, taking out his knives to go into the cave. I follow at his heals and look around the darkness for any movement, I’ll have to be careful of Deku Babas and Skulltulas, considering how small I am.

We easily get through the cave/tunnel and find ourselves at the poison fog again. When will this stuff leave?!

“Wow, it’s still here?” Midna asks, coming out and looking around the forest. “I thought it would have been blown away by now.”

I just shrug and yelp when I’m picked up by the Twili. “Alright, I can just teleport over with Linky and you can jump over the fog,” she says to Sheik.

‘No wait don’t-!’ she teleports anyway, landing on the other side. I am so lucky I can’t throw up right now. She puts me down and I fall to my side, groaning and panting.

“Sorry, I knew it would be easier to get over this way,” she says and rubs my forehead. I just grunt and get to my paws, shaking myself as Sheik jumps down. Midna goes back into his shadow and we continue on through the forest.

We pass the seller bird and come to the Cuccos when we face a problem. How will we get over…?

I hear chain rattle and look up at Sheik to see him taking out the chain-whip. ‘Not again, can we not do this?’ I ask.

“We’re doing this, now don’t squirm,” he picks me up and puts his arm around my middle, tucking me into his side before swinging the chain-whip.

I take a deep breath and he jumps, swinging easily to the first outcropping. He takes his weapon back and swings off again, but I feel something grab my tail and pull me out of his grip. I hang upside-down and look up as best I can to see a Skull Kid, and I think it’s the one that helped me before. “I know you, but why you look so different?” he asks. “Oh well, hey smelly mister!” he yells at Sheik, who’s glaring at him. “I help you get doggy over, you go to entrance and I put doggy there!” Skull Kid tells him and leaps through the trees, still holding me by my tail.

True to his word, Skull Kid puts me down in front of the entrance and tilts his big orange hat at Sheik and disappearing in leaves. “So you met him before, Doggy?” Sheik smirks.

‘Yes, Smelly, he helped me find the Master Sword and Temple of Time,’ I give a wolfish grin when he glares at me.

We start walking and I easily find the trail I used last time with my friends and Alex, following it until we come to the hole in the woods. “I’ll go first,” Sheik says and jumps down. I look over the hole’s edge before jumping down and he catches me, putting me down so we can quickly get through here before he becomes a Stalfos.

I use the Kokiri Sent I picked up (don’t ask me how I got it, I think it was a self-conscious thing) and Sheik follows me. I can’t help but wag my tail when I see the Kokiri running around in their home. So we’re going to go through the hollowed log? I wonder what’s out there…

Only one way to find out.

We go through the village unnoticed and we find a gap to another hollowed log, a broken rope bridge on the ground below us. “I can easily make this,” Sheik scoffs and picks me up before I have time to process what he means. He jumps over the gap and smirks to himself as he puts me down. “Ready, Shorty?”

I roll my eyes. ‘Ready when you are, Jerk,’ I walk forward first and out of the log.

The sun blinds me momentarily and I blink a few times to let my eyes adjust to the sudden change. I go passed some dead trees to see a large field expand in front of me, in the distance I can see the ruins of a castle and the base of a large mountain not far from it, what could have been grass is now dried up dirt and all trees around here are dead. ‘What is this place?’

“I’ve only heard rumours of the Old Hyrule, but I never knew they were real,” Sheik breathes, looking around in awe. “They said that after the Hero of Time and Princess of Destiny died of old age, the land started to become filled with more monsters than usual, crops failed and no rain came to fill the river. The Zoras, with Lord Jabu-Jabu, were the first to react and leave this place, then the Gorons were forced to leave when earthquakes were shaking the Old Death Mountain, which is the base over there, and after that the Hyrulians, or whatever were left of them, were forced to leave after the other races. My teachers told me there is no known reason as to why this plague of sorts was happening, but it started with a drought.”

‘Zant said something about a plague coming to Hyrule when I saw him curse Jabu, and he wanted to start with the water source…so is Zant trying to create another dead Hyrule?’ I ask.

“No, Zant wouldn’t be stupid enough to try and attack the same place once on his own, besides, he needs to have someone tell him what to do. He was always useless at the council,” I know Midna’s rolling her eyes. “Anyway, no, he must be working under someone else.”

‘But who?’ the question lingers on all our minds, who would want to make Hyrule a wasteland where nothing can live?

“C’mon, Denials,” Midna comes out of the shadow, a cloak over her head to block out the harsh sun, “are we just going to stand around like idiots and look at what little scenery this place has?”

Wondering why she called me and Sheik ‘Denials’, I follow after her and Sheik, after a moment of looking both confused and annoyed, shakes his head and walks with us, hand on his chain-whip as his eyes dart around for any danger.

The field isn’t very large, we manage to walk it in an hour, and we come across the walls of the old Hyrule Castle Town, but it doesn’t seem abandoned. “Something’s not right,” Sheik’s eyes narrow. “This place should have fallen into ruin a long time ago.”

“I’ll go check it out,” Midna says and disappears into the shadows. Sheik and me wait in a slightly awkward silence, yesterday obviously on both of our minds. I still don’t understand why he used so much magic around me, even though he knew I don’t like it. Maybe it was to save me, but he still could have warned me, that way I could have prepared myself for the stupid power.

“Hey…I’m sorry about yesterday,” I look up at him but he doesn’t fully look at me. “It was stupid of me to not warn you about the magic I was using, I really had no idea you were that afraid of magic that the only guards you have on you, your mind guards, were taken down and I think that’s why the magic affected you so much, it zeroed in on who would be unable to handle it all. I really am sorry.”

I blink, tilting my head slightly. I think about not forgiving him, but he looks sincerely sorry about what he did. Plus the stupid puppyness in me wants to forgive him so badly. ‘You’re forgiven…Jerk,’ I finally think.

“Thanks, Shorty,” he smirks.

A few minutes later, Midna comes back, looking confused and worried. ‘What’s wrong?’ I ask.

“Demons, Demons must have come here once the other races left. They’re living in the town and can easily do so, they don’t need to eat much, so they don’t need resources around and they can just use magic to summon trees if they need them anyway,” she explains.

‘Bloody magic! It follows me everywhere!’ I mind-yell. I look at the sky, ‘Why do you hold a grudge on me?!’

“Link, stop mind-yelling at the sky, they’re probably sitting back and eating pork while watching you and your life struggles,” Midna says and cuffs me over the head, making me stumble to the side.

I huff and look around as the sun slowly starts to set. ‘So where to now?’

“Well, the best thing to do would be to find shelter and rest for the night, then we can look at the map I swiped from some Demon merchant,” Midna says and takes out said map.

‘Will you stop stealing stuff? You’re the reason I had a badly pecked head when I tried to go back to the Temple of Time because the seller bird attacked me,’ I think, rubbing my head with my forearm.

She just shrugs, ignoring me, and starts heading South-East. “Coming Denials?” we quickly follow her and I blink at us being called ‘Denials’ again, why does she keep calling us that?

I just shrug the thought off and gallop beside my friend. As we walk, we talk about what we’ve done for the past few months, and it’s like no time passed as we can easily talk to each other without it getting awkward.

‘So has everything settled down in the Realm?’ I ask as we come up a hill.

“Yeah, it’s settled down a lot. And so far no one even really talks about what happened, and everyone who was a Shadow Messenger has been treated back to normal,” she nods.

“Is this where we’re going to stay?” Sheik speaks up for the first time, looking at the ruins of what could have been a farm.

“Yes, this used to be the old Lon Lon Ranch, but as you can see, no one’s here,” Midna says.

‘We’d better go before anything shows up,’ I think and start walking towards it.

“Not so fast, Shorty,” Sheik pulls me back and I glare at him from over my shoulder. “If we see anything that could attack us, you run and hide. You can’t fight in the body of a pup.”

“I know you hate it, but he’s right,” Midna crosses her arms. “You’re a runt of a wolf pup, maybe you can kill Walltulas, but other than that you can’t make much damage.”

‘I’ll fight as long as I’m breathing!’ I tell them.

“No you won’t. While as a pup you’ll hide,” Sheik says in a way like he dares me to protest any further.

‘Fine,’ I let out an angry sigh and follow the two, the puppy in me wanting to whine. I think this is getting worse with my puppyness. I shake my head as we enter the farm, nothing is here and there are two rundown buildings on either side of the welcome sign, most likely the farmhouse and barn.

Luckily we don’t find anything that can attack us, so now we’re making a small spot to rest inside the barn. I look through the window as the sun sets and wonder whet the Demons are doing here, and if they’re hiding in our Hyrule. I really think Zant and whoever he’s working for are trying to cause the same problem, so I will need to tell Zelda once we’re done collecting the things to turn me normal. Well, as normal as a Hylian girl pretending to be a boy can go.

With a very confused mind, I fall asleep.

-Sheik’s POV-

“Do you know she masquerades being a boy?” I ask, carving some wood out of boredom.

“Yes, I’m the one that suggested it. She was already a tomboy, so I didn’t think it be too hard, especially with her being mute. I figured that less people would ask questions to a guy with a sword than a girl with a sword, and with all the later weapons she got, it actually helped a lot. And it worked out alright, even though so many girls chase her, it was rather funny,” she smirks at the girl-turned-pup.

“She is really convincing, even I didn’t know she was a girl at first.”

“How can you hear her thoughts? I can tell you’re not using magic, it’s more like how I talk to her.”

“I honestly don’t know. I keep asking myself that. I’ve heard that it’s possible for some people to communicate through mind, but my teachers said that the ability died out a long time ago.”

“…Maybe it’s because you like her,” Midna raises an eyebrow, it isn’t a question.

“I don’t like her like that!” I groan, resting my head in my hands. “We don’t get along grate and we’re complete opposites!”

“Opposites attract,” she shrugs and I sigh.

“I can’t like her, she’s afraid of me! She’s terrified of magic and I have magic in my blood! I grew up with it and I need to use magic every so often so I don’t get build up!” I say.

“She’s not afraid of you, she’s afraid of magic, and magic alone. As long as you don’t use it around her, she’ll be fine. I can tell she already thinks of you as a friend, maybe not as close as before since all the magic you scared her with, but she’ll warm back up. She never holds grudges that long, you’d be surprised how much I mocked her, ordered her around, I even pushed her to her limits and beyond, and I used magic around her daily, knowing full well she hated it, yet look at her now, she’s one of my closest friends, and all because she was able to let it go. But she’s stupid like that, she always tries to look for the good in people, that’s what made her hesitate to kill Ganondorf.”

“She hesitated?” I ask, looking at Link. She doesn’t seem to be the one to think like that.

“Zelda told me she didn’t kill him her first opening, and now she has that scar on her back for it,” she moves aside some fur for me to see a long scar, it’s probably worse when she’s human. “So there are good things and bad things about letting go.”

“Some things you can’t let go,” I say, clenching my fist and my mind going back.

“I know, but tell that to Link,” Midna jerks her head before lying down. “G’night, Denial.”

I roll my eyes, I’m not in denial, I don’t like Link and that’s that.

I close my eyes and think, why do I feel like I’m not being true to myself?

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