Chapter Four: Glinting Rocks and Storm Demons
"Well, you seem enthralled."
Link's head shot up and saw Reena across the way. He let out a sigh of relief, feeling his heart going a mile a minute.
"That's one way to say hello," he said, eyeing her. "Trying to scare me to death?"
"You should be used to it by now," Reena said, sitting down. "At least I would assume so."
"You are more subtle than a Stalfos," Link said, watching the flames in front of him dance. "Hopefully I'll get used to you."
Reena smirked and took her cloak off. "So, where are you coming from?"
"Going to," Link corrected. "The Deku Shrubs in Termina have a fire problem."
"You might get set on fire… that'll be interesting," Reena said, nodding her head in approval.
"Things happen," Link agreed.
Across the way he saw a flicker of a smile come from her. He allowed a small one to come to his face at how conservative she was. However, he couldn't blame her. This was the only second time he had seen her since they had become 'official' friends. An idea suddenly came to his head and a mischievous glint came to his eyes.
"What?" Reena demanded, thrown off-guard.
"You don't smile that much," he said.
"…A little observant, are we?" Reena asked, eyeing him warily. Link rolled his eyes and sat down next to her.
"Ever played rock-paper-sword?" he asked, looking at her.
"What?" she asked, looking at him as if he had lost his mind.
"It's a game," He explained.
"That's apparent," Reena said, rolling her eyes. "How do you play?"
"Alright, paper beats rock, rock beats sword, and sword beats paper," he explained showing her with hand movements. He quickly showed her how it was played and laughed at the 'you have been alone for way to long' look Reena was giving him.
"And the point of this is…?" Reena asked.
"If you lose, you've gotta tell me something about yourself that I don't know," Link said. "If I lose, I tell you something about me that you don't know."
"Alright… fine," Reena said, still believing this was the stupidest thing she had ever heard. They shook their fists three times and Link lost. He thought for a moment before answering.
"I'm 16 years old, nearly seventeen, and broke my arm at ten trying to stand while riding a horse," he told her.
"You idiot," Reena muttered, shaking her head. They went again and this time Reena lost. "Uh… I hate men."
"Oh, come on," Link said, impatiently. "It has to be something good, Reena."
"Alright, alright," Reena said, racking her brain for something else. "I… nearly lost my arm… learning how to use double swords."
It wasn't long before laughter echoed through the night. Link kept losing, but always had something to tell. However, he was getting fed up with having Reena beating him all the time. She though, was quite entertained by his annoyance and many interesting stories to tell. Hours passed of rock-paper-sword and many secrets were shared. And from that point, Reena knew she had not made a mistake it asking for his friendship.
"Hey, Reena," Link said as she jumped from a window that belonged to the castle.
"Damn, how'd you know?" Reena demanded, taking the eye patch off. Her hair was in a long braid that wrapped around her head. He didn't know what she did to it to make it brown. She wore solid black and cut ran along her cheek. She saw his eyes linger on it.
"It's fake," Reena said hastily. She smeared it with her finger. "See? Just berries."
"Nice," Link commented. "Anyways, your entry made it obvious. You always use the same window."
Reena bit her lip, "I'll have to try a different one. Moving along. How've you been? Nearly die lately?"
"No, not lately," Link informed as they walked down the path away from the castle. "What'd you take this time?"
"Eh, nothing they won't miss," Reena said.
"Thief," Link said.
"Stalker," Reena answered. "So, how'd you know I'd be here tonight?"
"Well, I overheard the King and Queen talking about robberies and I knew it must be only one person," Link said.
"Were they giving you another mission?" Reena asked.
"No," Link said. "I was visiting. I've gotten to know them well. They like to talk to me whenever I come. We've become good friends."
Reena nodded, shifting her sack. They walked past the guards who nodded at Link but eyed Reena. Once out of earshot of the guards, Link turned to her.
"All I ask is that you don't steal one thing," Link said seriously. "Don't steal the tiara in the glass case."
"…Why?" Reena asked, intrigued.
"It's…one of the few remaining things that belonged to their first child," Link said. Zelda came to his mind and the bite of failure hit him hard. He fell silent.
"Hey…Link, you okay?" Reena asked, putting a hand on his shoulder. She remembered how a year ago she wouldn't have been able to do that.
"Yeah," he said quickly.
"What's up?" Reena asked. "You know I'm gonna get it out of that empty head eventually."
"It's nothing," Link assured.
"Come on," Reena prodded. She took his hat and he glared as she stuck it on her head. "You'll get it back when you tell me. Which isn't that hard of a task."
"Alright," Link said, snatching his hat back. "When I was seven I began going on adventures. I traveled everywhere, helping places in trouble."
"You were young," Reena said.
Link nodded. "When I was nine, the King and Queen called me. New leads were found on Princess Zelda. I had never let anyone down, so I accepted their mission. And…I never found her. I failed. Two years of looking and I couldn't find a thing."
Link sighed, rubbing the back of his neck. Reena gently punched his arm.
"There was going to be a time you couldn't be the hero," she said.
Link nodded, noticing they were in Hyrule's Market.
"Hey, snap out of it!" Reena said. "I need someone to make fun of and use sarcastic remarks on! I can't do that when you're so quiet."
Link let a small smile come to his face. Reena nodded in approval.
"Thank you," Reena said. "I can't stand it when there's an awkward silence. So you couldn't find her. Life goes on. If you won every time, you'd be an arrogant bastard."
"I'm not already?" Link asked.
"…Good point," Reena admitted. "Okay, you'd be so stuck up to the point that I'd have to kill you. You're only 17. You can't to everything."
Link gave her a half smile. Only then did he realize that they were in Hyrule Field. He turned to Reena, an idea coming.
"…Do you wanna come with me to Malon's?" Link asked.
"Lon Lon Ranch?" Reena asked.
"Yes," he answered. "You can go from there to…where ever you going."
"…Does she have anything expensive?" Reena asked.
"Reena," Link chided, eyeing her.
"Alright, alright," Reena said. "Er…I'm not real sure. Gerudo staying at a Hylian's house. Hmm…doesn't do anything for my standards."
Link rolled his eyes. Gerudo were too worried about their image.
"You'll just stay the night at someone's house instead of having to sleep on the ground," Link said impatiently. "Yes or no?"
"Not to mention if anyone ever found this out I'd never live it down," Reena continued, ticking off cons on her fingers.
"Reena," Link said, eyeing her.
"And I would be thrown out of the Fortress-"
"-And no one at the Fortress would ever associate with me for as long as I lived and Nabooru would look at me forever in utter disgust-"
"What?" She demanded, putting her hands on her hips.
"A simple 'yes' or 'no' will be sufficient! I don't need a list of reasons why or why not!" Link exclaimed.
"I'm deciding if it's worth it," Reena answered. "Who will you tell?"
"Everyone," Link said, rolling his eyes. "Because that's what I do."
"That's why I thought," Reena muttered. Link eyed her. "Alright, fine. But I'm staying in this disguise."
"Fine," Link answered.
"But I'm getting the dirt out of my hair," Reena said.
"…Yes…please," Link said, casting a sideways glance at her.
Reena glared and Link smirked. His eyes grew big as her hand flew towards him. He braced himself for a hit, but instead only felt her hand swish above his head. He felt the top of his head and glared.
"Give that back!" Link cried as she put his hat on her head. "Reena! Will you stop taking that thing?"
"No," Reena answered, hitting his hand away as he reached for it.
"Reena! Come on!" Link said, irritated. She laughed and ran off. Link cursed, ruffling his hair and chasing her. 'Give it back!' could be heard echoing through the night.
"I'm back," Reena said, popping her head into Nabooru's room.
Reena continued down the hall, going to her own quarters. She pushed aside the tapestry and entered her haven. A half smile appeared at the sight of a warm bath ready for her. Nabooru was good when it came to knowing her thoughts. She quickly undressed, letting her hair out of its tight bun. She slid into the water, sighing. Nabooru strode into her room, looking at the stolen goods. "Has knocking become out of style?"
"I don't have to knock," Nabooru answered, pulling out a ruby statue. "Not bad. Are these all from the castle?"
"Uh huh," Reena answered, letting her hair under the water. Brown swirled in with the water. Nabooru let out a disgusted sigh and Reena smirked. She touched the water with her finger and the water became crystal clear again. In a minute, Reena's golden hair shimmered.
"You misuse those powers," Nabooru muttered.
"So I cleaned the water," Reena said, rolling her eyes, "big deal. It's not like I use them for anything else. Aside disguises. Nearly fooled Link, but he was able to guess because of my entry…"
"I guess it's better you don't use them for anything else," Nabooru agreed. "So, you ran into Link again?"
"I run into him a lot," Reena answered, running lather over her arms. "He got me out of Hyrule Castle with no problems. Walked right past the guards without any problems."
"So now you're using him?" Nabooru asked, nodding in approval at a dagger.
"No," Reena said, eyeing Nabooru. "Why'd you become friends with him? Sure he helped you, but he was a kid then."
Nabooru eyed her, "I don't fancy him if that's what your thinking."
"Sure," Reena said. "Denial."
Nabooru glared and dunked Reena under the water. Water spurted everywhere when she surfaced again. She was laughing and coughing at the same time.
"I was joking!" she gasped, trying to breathe. A knock interrupted their dispute. "Come in!"
"Uh, I'd rather not," a familiar voice answered. "And I think you'd rather I didn't also."
"Stalker," Reena shouted.
"Thief," Link answered. "I'm just returning something. You left it at Malon's."
A pocket book slid under the tapestry. Reena got out of the water, wrapping her silk robe around herself. She grabbed it and felt herself go red.
"Thanks," she said. "I didn't know I brought it."
"Anytime," Link answered from the other side. "Gotta go. Termina's got some problem with a storm demon."
"Don't die, alright? I don't want to have to hear about it for the next one hundred years," Reena said.
"Thanks for the concern," Link muttered. "I'll probably get struck by lightening. You thought that little dodongo gave me a bad burn? Wait till I get back."
Reena laughed and leaned against the rough wall, "Have you dealt with a storm demon before?"
"No, this'll be my first one," Link said. "What do you suppose their like?"
"Tornadoes," Reena answered. "And earthquakes."
"…Damn," Link murmured. "Well, this'll be fun. See you later."
"I'll see your corpse later, you mean," Reena corrected.
"Yeah, really," Link answered.
She smirked and walked back to her bath. She slid under the water again, refusing to look at Nabooru.
"You became friends?" Nabooru asked with interest. "I thought you were bound by the law to hate men."
"So did I," Reena said, looking at Nabooru. "We became friends because we see each other often. Is that a crime?"
"For you it should be," Nabooru said.
"I figured if you accepted him, he can't be that bad," Reena said with the wave of her hand. "And I'm leaving it at that."
Reena walked along the ocean shore. She kept her cloak tightly around her, trying to decide upon a disguise. She bit her lip in concentration. She had to think of one that would stump Link.
As she walked on the sand, Reena let the sound of the water sooth her. Very few times was she able to enjoy being by herself. Ahead the waves crashed upon one of the many low rocks, making them glint in the moonlight.
…Glint? Reena stopped. She examined the scene more closely, walking towards it. As she neared the 'rock' took a familiar shape.
"Hylian Shield," she moaned. Reena ran the rest of the way, dropping to her knees next to Link. She turned him over and felt dread take her. His face was as white and his lips blue. "Link, of all the times, this is the one time I don't want you dead!"
Her hands flew as she undid the straps to his weapons. His chest stayed frozen as before.
"Link! Come on, wake up!" she felt panic begin to talk her. She put her mouth over his, forcing air into his lungs. Nothing happened. She kneeled back, feeling tears. She curled her fist and hit his chest. Water suddenly spurted from his mouth. Reena's head shot up. She took his hand as he coughed more and more, water splashing to the ground. He began to shake violently and gasp.
"You had me worried there for a moment," Reena reprimanded. His eyes slowly opened and began to close again. "No! I don't think so! Link! Link, stay awake, damn it!"
Reena took her cloak from around her shoulders, draping it over him. She took him in her arms, praying her body would warm his. She looked around for any type of help.
"I need to get back," Link moaned. "I…need…can't stay…"
"Are you insane?" Reena demanded. "Don't answer that."
She put one of his arms around her neck and dragged him to the grass. Her hands searched his body, looking for whatever he used. Her hands clasped around a strange shape in his shirt and she pulled it out.
"Yes!" Reena said happily when the Ocarina appeared. "…I only know the harp…oh well. I hope this isn't much different."
Reena played from memory Epona's song. When she finished, she looked up hopefully. Nothing. Then hooves sounded and a frantic whinny. Epona cantered to Link's side. She lay down next to him. Reena smirked.
"Smart horse," she murmured. Reena instantly took Link's tunic and white shirt off of him. They were just as cold as his skin. Reena looked past the fact that he had probably been like this for days and threw his wet clothes aside. She put her cloak back over him and also took the blanket on Epona. Once she had both on him, Reena quickly gathered driftwood. She stacked it and placed her hand on the end of a long branch. She concentrated and fire soon sprung from it. She smiled in triumph and soon a fire blazed. She went back over to Link and saw his color slowly returning.
"So help me, pull that again and I'll kill you," she whispered.
Link opened his eyes. Where was he? He blinked and saw stars above him. Grass pricked his back and he could hear the crackle of a fire. His vision was suddenly blocked off by a large blur the belonged to Epona's muzzle. He smiled and stroked her forehead. He went to pick himself up but a hand stopped him.
"Listen, I know you're insane, but that's just asking for death."
"Reena?" Link asked, lying back down.
"The one and only," she answered, kneeling next to him. He felt her warm hand touch him, burning his skin. "Still freezing. But at least you're not white anymore. Let me tell you, you're extremely delusional when you're near death."
Link tried to remember everything before he passed out. There was ice and snow. He racked his brain for information. Then it hit him.
"The Zora's!" he cried, jumping to his feet. Dizziness over took him and Reena had to help him sit back down. "I need to get back to them! They need my help!"
"Whoa, settle down," Reena said, keeping him down. She put the blankets around his shoulders. "You can't go back out there unless you have a date with death!"
"You don't understand," Link said, going to Epona's saddlebag and taking out a new tunic and white shirt. He pulled them on and went to stand again. Reena looked at him incredulously. She forced him down again, finding it easier than before.
"Okay, why do you need to go back there so badly?" Reena demanded.
"A fish with a bad temper," Link answered, he tried again, but Reena stopped him…again.
"Okay, idiot," Reena said. "Do you not realize that you can't walk and that I can force you down with my hand? That usually says something!"
"I don't have time!" Link said desperately, looking her right in the eyes. "If I don't get there-"
"Enlighten me, how are you going to defeat this fish if you can't stand!" Reena asked.
"I'll find a way," Link said. "Not like I haven't found alternatives before."
"By the goddesses! You are a stubborn idiot!" Reena cried.
"Yes," Link answered. "I'm glad you realized that. Either way, I have to get there tomorrow."
"Tomorrow?" Reena demanded. "Then I'm coming with."
"What? No!" Link said.
"Excuse me? I have to make sure you don't die!" Reena said.
"Can you swim?" Link asked, leaning against Epona.
"He asks if I can swim," Reena said, rolling her eyes. "Yes, I can swim!"
"No," Link said after a moment. "I'm not pulling anyone else into this."
"Yeah, like I'm going to listen," Reena muttered. "That's a laugh!"
Link looked helplessly at her. When he had begun his duties, he had sworn not to pull anyone else into this.
"At least let me come with so you don't die!" Reena said, crossing her arms.
Link bit his lip, "…Alright. But only this time!"
"Deal," Reena said. "Tomorrow morning at the earliest."
"As annoying, stubborn, stupid, and stalking as you are, I don't want you dead," Reena said. "The Zora's can sleep outside tonight. They'll be fine. It's a fish."
Link sighed, knowing he wasn't going to win. He pulled the blanket tighter around his shoulders, shivering slightly. Reena added another log to the fire.
"Did it sneak up behind you?" Reena asked. She pulled a vial from her shirt. "Take all of this."
Link nodded, swallowing the purple liquid. It burned his throat, making Reena snicker at his expression.
"I wasn't able to keep an eye on all of its tentacles," he explained. "One wrapped around my neck and chocked me."
"… And the fact that you could have died…has no affect?" Reena asked.
Link shrugged, "After three close calls, you get used to them."
Reena let a half smile come to her face. She looked into the fire, watching the dancing flames.
"Hey! Give my hat back!" Link cried. Reena smirked and moved away from him, holding it tightly on her head.
"Mine now," Reena said. "I saved your life, I get it."
Link felt too weak to argue and his eyes for a moment. He opened one to see Reena making a face at him. He smirked.
"That was real mature," he commented.
"Maybe not, but it was appropriate," Reena said, lying down. Link took the chance and grabbed his hat. He quickly put it behind him, out of Reena's reach. She glared and closed her eyes. "I suggest you get some rest if you want to go tomorrow."
"Oh, are you all deciding of my fate?" Link asked.
"Yes," Reena answered. Link slid down resting his head on the ground. He looked at the stars and bit his lip.
"Thanks," he said.
"Anytime," she answered quietly.
"Reena, wake up."
Reena moaned. She shot her hand up to stretch and hit something hard.
"Ow!" Link cried.
Reena's eyes snapped open. She sat up to see Link rubbing his jaw furiously. He eyed her.
"I think you just broke my jaw!" he exclaimed.
"Oh, please! I barely hit you," Reena said, rolling her eyes. She stood, taking a look around. "I'm sure you've gotten hit a lot harder before."
Link only glared. He quickly put his blanket in Epona's saddle bag, stroking her. He put the fire out, hoping Reena had forgotten.
"So…how do we get to the Zora's?"
Link winced. She hadn't. He took his ocarina out and played a song Reena hadn't heard before. A moment later, an enormous turtle appeared.
"…We're riding…that?" Reena asked, unconvinced.
"Unless you want to swim there," Link said, walking to the turtle. He used the large sea urchins on its shell to climb on. He found Reena already waiting for him on top.
"Where's your cloak?" Link asked, sitting down.
"I left it," Reena said simply. "I can't swim with a cloak."
"I guess not," Link said with a smirk.
"Well, you seem better this morning," Reena said, the turtle starting off, making her stagger. "I'm not sure if that's good or bad."
"Thanks," Link said, rolling his eyes. "Yes, I can actually stand."
"That's always a plus," Reena agreed. "Are you sure you're able to do this?"
"I could've done it last night," Link said. "But you wouldn't let me."
"Oh, sorry for worrying about you dropping dead," Reena said.
"You had better be because that's not you," Link said. "I think you're falling ill."
Reena felt her head and nodded. Link laughed and shook his head. A silence passed between them as the lulled through the water.
"I…never asked, but how long have you been with the Gerudo?"
"My whole life… I think," Reena said.
"But…no offense or anything, but you're a Hylian," Link said.
"I know that much," Reena said. "Nabooru said she found me unconscious in the desert when I was five."
"…May I ask what you were doing in the desert?" Link asked with a laugh.
"I don't know," Reena admitted. "I've got no memory before Nabooru found me."
Link nodded. He leaned against one of the palm trees growing from the turtles shell.
"Enlighten me, why are there trees…growing on his shell?" Reena asked.
"Because I've been sleeping for a long time," the turtle rumbled.
"Okay… the turtle talks. Alright…I'm okay with that…I think," Reena said, shifting on her feet.
"Relax," Link said, smiling at her confusion. "Besides we're nearly there."
"Yeah, the dark clouds ahead gave that away," Reena answered.
"Okay…it's somewhere in here," Link whispered his voice echoing off the walls.
Reena nodded, her hands resting on the two hilts over her shoulders. The room that she and Link had entered was large and circular. They stood on a platform that had moved itself to the center.
"There it is," Link muttered, pointing to the water's surface. Reena did see anything. Then an orb appeared and glared at her. Her grip tightened as the eye showed its twin and advanced. She could see the outline of a fish. A monstrous one at that.
"Get ready to jump," Link said as he edged towards the center.
"What?" Reena demanded. "Have you lost your mind?"
The platform shook violently and Reena nearly fell in the water. She hung on for dear life and was able to stay on. The platform continued to shake as Link helped her to her feet.
"What is it doing?" Reena asked.
"Trying to make us fall off," Link answered.
The shaking stopped and all went still. Reena looked around. What was going on?
"Get to the ground now!" Link commanded, getting on his stomach.
Reena found it better not to ask questions and did the same as him. The fish jumped out of the water and soared over them. In an instant, Reena's Gerudo swords were out. She jumped to her feet and slashed at the beast's torso. It withered in pain with a shriek and disappeared into the water. The platform shook again, but Reena expected it.
"Not bad," Link said, rising to his feet.
"Thanks," Reena said. "Okay, I think I've got a plan."
"So tell me," Reena said, leaning against a palm tree on the turtle. "Do you fight that thing often?"
"No," Link said. "It's odd…"
Reena waited for him to continue. He stayed silent though, deep in thought. "What's odd?"
"I've never had to go against a water demon so large in size," L Ink said slowly. "But that's not what bothers me. What bothers me is that after the first time I attacked it, it didn't leave. Usually the beasts leave because I've scared them off…"
"…So this one is just persistent," Reena said with a shrug.
"Very persistent," Link said. "Almost too persistent. I've got to see the King and Queen. Something's up."
Reena nodded. A smile stretched across her face. Link eyed her warily. What was she planning?
"Dare I ask?" Link said.
"That was fun," Reena said.
"What? Taking on the fish?" Link asked.
"No, riding the turtle," Reena said, rolling her eyes. "Yes, fighting the fish! I actually got to fight!"
"Er…don't you spar with Nabooru?" Link asked.
"Yeah, but it's not the same," Reena said dismissively. "This time there was the thrill of life and death!"
Link stared at her, "Alright, I knew you were crazy, but now I think you've gone off the deep end!"
"Oh, come on!" Reena exclaimed. "Why do you do it then?"
Link fell silent for a moment. "Because it's my job."
"There has to be other reasons," Reena prodded.
"I get to travel," Link said with a shrug.
"Anything else?" Reena asked.
Link shook his head, "I barely see a soul."
"Hey, what about me?" Reena demanded playfully.
"You know what I mean," Link said, eyeing her.
"Do I?" Reena asked mysteriously.
A small smile came to Link. A content silence passed between them as they sat together. They watched the sun begin to set into the water. The turtle gently hit the sandbar and they climbed down, thanking him.
"He dropped us off where I found you," Reena observed.
"How can you tell?" Link asked.
"That's my cloak," Reena explained.
She walked over towards it, Link behind her. She went to go pick it up when it suddenly burst into flames. She felt Link grab her hand and pull her back. They watched in shock as the cloak burned to ash. Reena slowly approached it. A symbol was formed by the ashes. It was the Triforce… except a serpent wrapped itself around it.
"Hey, Link, do you recognize that?" Reena asked as he joined her. She looked at him and saw his expression harden.
"We need to go now!" Link said. "We need to get to the castle. Reena, you have to come with me."
"Link, what's wrong?" Reena demanded.
"Ganondorf," Link hissed, staring at the ashes.