The Legend of Zelda: The Circle of Destiny

Race to Live

Zelda stood in the bedroom, one hand clutching what remained of her breast band to her chest, her other hand over her mouth as she sobbed. Anne-Marie and Growder were trying to save Link's life.

"Here, hold this on his wound—hold it tight," Anne-Marie instructed. "We have to stop the bleeding."

Link was lying in the bed on his right side. Growder had bandages pressed to Link's wound, front and back, and was holding them tightly, like a vice. But even so, Zelda could see blood beginning to seep through them.

Link's face was as white as the sheets. Zelda had never seen anyone so white before.

"You killed him," Zelda said, sobbing harder. "You killed him."

"He's still alive," Anne-Marie said anxiously, as she hurried to mix some medicine.

"He's dead. You killed him." Zelda insisted.

What was she going to do without him? How would she ever manage to find the Master Sword and defeat all the demons by herself? Even if Link was left permanently crippled—even if she had to do everything herself—she still needed him, if only so she didn't have to do everything alone.

She couldn't go back to being alone. She had grown up surrounded by people day and night, but was emotionally isolated. It wasn't until she had met Link that she knew what it was like to have a friend and confidant—someone who supported her; someone to be her sounding board and give her advice; someone to share her burdens.

She couldn't go back to being alone.

No one said anything for a half-hour or so—except for Anne-Marie, who gave Growder the occasional instruction.

After a time, Long Fang came into the room, his face grave. He had bandages over a few of his wounds, and his fur was still ruffled in places, but he looked in far better shape than either Zelda or Link.

"How is he?" Long Fang asked.

Anne-Marie—bent over the bed, trying to apply some sort of medicine—stood up with a weary sigh. "This is beyond my skill to heal," she admitted sorrowfully. "I don't know much about humans, but I do know he's lost a lot of blood—too much. I don't know what else to do."

Zelda began to wail.

Long Fang looked at her. "Do you know anyone who could heal him?"

Zelda shook her head without thinking.

"No one?" Long Fang pressed.

It took her a couple of minutes to regain control of herself and stop sobbing. "Um… Kara helped him before—when he was first wounded," she said with a sniff. "But she's in Erenrue; that's more than a week away."

Long Fang began to think aloud. "We can travel much faster than a human. If I sent a runner, he might be able to get there in three days. He'd need a day to rest and eat, then he could ride her back in three days."

"If he survives it that long, a healer won't be necessary," Anne-Marie said. "He needs help today."

Suddenly, Zelda had a flash of inspiration. "Wait… I can bring Kara here!"

She reached out in her mind. Kara? she asked hesitantly. What if the old woman had not survived the invasion?

Yes, Your Highness?

Zelda breathed a sigh of relief.

Link is dying and we need your help.

What's wrong with him? Kara asked sharply, suddenly all business.

He's lost too much blood. He's as white as snow.

Did he reopen his wound?

Yes. …Well, actually, it got reopened for him.

What do you mean?

I don't have time to explain. I can teleport you here, but you won't have any way to get back to Erenrue… unless you are bonded with someone there?

Not anymore. But I think I would prefer to be away from here anyway. Things are quite bad. I can always call in my favor with the Akira Tribe and live with them until Erenrue is freed, she added, almost as an afterthought.

Zelda was confused—why had Kara not mentioned that people lived in the mountains?—then she began to wonder….

Who is the Akira Tribe? Zelda asked.

The tigers, Kara said, as if Zelda should know that. Then she added, I told you about them, didn't I?

No, you didn't.

Oh, gracious, I meant to tell you! Kara said, sounding utterly appalled. I don't know where they live, but they have a tendency to find you when you need them most. I gave you my cloak so that you could call in my favor, if you needed it.

Zelda was silent for a moment as what Kara said sunk in. …A cloak? One lined with tiger fur?

Yes.

…That's the reason why Link is dying, Zelda said, feeling numb from sheer disbelief. They were going to kill us both because they thought we murdered one of them.

Oh, no! No!

Zelda didn't reply. She couldn't believe that Link was going to die because an old woman forgot to tell them the purpose of a cloak.

Call me there at once, Kara said.

Zelda willed for Kara to be teleported to her side. A moment later, in a flash of white light, the hunchbacked old woman appeared, carrying a large bag of what looked like medical supplies.

"What's this?" Kara demanded. "Who tried to kill Link and Princess Zelda over my cloak?"

"The cloak is yours?" Long Fang asked, looking at her in surprise.

"Yes. That hide was given to me by Lord Rufus the Third—or, rather, it was given to me after he died."

Long Fang's eyes widened until they looked like they were going to pop out of his head.

"You are that Kara?"

"Yes, I am."

"But… that was so long ago! Lord Rufus was my grandfather."

"Yes, and I'm Hylian; we live much longer than normal humans."

Long Fang continued to look at her in shock, then he bowed to her. "Forgive me."

"I think it's Link and Princess Zelda's forgiveness you need to get," she said tartly."Although I have committed my own sin against them. I only hope that I can undo the damage."

She quickly took Anne-Marie's place and began to work at a feverish pace. She put Growder to fetching supplies and heating water, while Anne-Marie turned to Zelda's wounds.

"I need to put medicine on your cuts or they will fester and you'll get a terrible fever," Anne-Marie warned.

Numbly, Zelda lay down on the opposite side of the bed. She found she couldn't even look at Link; he looked so bad, it made her heart ache.

Anne-Marie gently blotted the dried blood off Zelda's back, then she began putting some sort of thick salve over the cuts. It made the cuts sting even worse at first, but once the salve sealed them off from the air, most of the pain actually went away.

Anne-Marie was just finishing when Long Fang walked back into the room; Zelda hadn't even noticed that he had slipped out.

"How is he?" he asked anxiously.

Kara continued to work for a couple of minutes, then she sighed, stepping away. Tears were in her eyes. "He's lost too much blood," she said quietly, although her voice seemed to ring through the silent room. "There's nothing more I can do."

Zelda buried her face in the pillow and began wailing again.

"He can't die," Long Fang insisted, his voice carrying over Zelda's loud crying. "I have foreseen in the stars that he will defeat the evil now stalking through the world."

"Stars show destinies, not the actual future. Destinies can always be circumvented."

"It was Tarsus who did this," Anne-Marie said. "He is the one who tortured these cubs in order to incite everyone to turn against Lord Long Fang. Perhaps it was he who went against his destiny."

"That's possible," Kara said. "If he was trying to go against his destiny and seize power that he was never meant to have, it can have negative consequences on other people—even to the point that it interferes with their destinies."

She shook her head. "But that's neither here nor there. Nothing short of magic will save him now, and I know no one with the skills necessary."

"Magic?" Long Fang said, looking thoughtful.

"Do you have someone who can perform magic?" Kara asked hopefully.

"No, but there's a Great Fairy who lives in a cave on a nearby peak."

Kara stood up straighter. "That would work! A fairy's magic will cure anything this side of death."

Zelda jerked up. "There is hope?"

Long Fang shook his head a little. "Not much. There was an avalanche sometime back that caused the mouth of the cave to be covered up. My people can no longer get inside, but you are small; perhaps you could find a way in or move enough stone to get in. It's worth trying, at any rate."

"But there are monsters on that trail now," Growder warned. "It will not be easy to even get to the cave, and then there may be no way in, and it will all be for naught."

"I'll take the chance," Zelda said without hesitation. She jumped to her feet. "I need something to wear and my weapons."

"We have nothing here for humans to wear," Long Fang said, "but we can return your things to you."

Growder and Anne-Marie hurried out of the room and returned a few minutes later carrying and all of her and Link's weapons and clothes.

Neither of the gambesons had buttons anymore, and Link's was stiff with dried blood, so she put her own back on again. "Do you have pins of any kind?" Zelda asked.

Anne-Marie fetched a few long pins and Zelda managed to pin the front of the gambeson closed. She slipped on Link's maile shirt, as a layer of protection, then belted her sword around her waist and fastened her cloak around her shoulders.

When she tried to strap her quiver on, though, she found that it put too much pressure and caused too much rubbing on her sore back—a soreness that was bound to increase as the canvas gambeson rubbed the salve off and exposed her cuts again.

She thought about the problem for a moment, then tried something novel: she hung her quiver from her belt. Crossbowmen kept their bolts in a quiver on their waist, but archers typically didn't because the longer quiver got in the way of running. But Zelda was more concerned with pain slowing her down than the quiver.

Lastly, she grabbed Link's knife—the one he had taken from the Abbot's house—and slid it into the top of her boot.

"Growder, carry her to the cave," Long Fang commanded. "Do anything and everything you can to help."

"Yes, m'lord."

Kara looked at Zelda. "Hurry, Your Highness. He's not long for the world, and once he crosses to the other side, no amount of fairy magic will bring him back."

Zelda nodded.


Growder hurried through the elaborate system of hallways that the tigers had carved into the mountain over generations; Zelda had to jog to keep up with him.

Finally, he stopped in front of a door. He looked down at her seriously. "Do you wish to go out? It is very dangerous."

"I'm going," Zelda said firmly. It never occurred to her to do anything less.

He nodded a bit. "I would do the same for my mate," he said. Then he opened the door.

Outside, the air was bitterly cold and the sky, above the multitude of snow-covered peaks, was covered in leaden clouds, but at least it wasn't snowing. There was a snow-covered trail ahead of them and to the right and left sudden drop-offs that seemed to go down into nothing. Near the door the trail was wide, but it narrowed farther up, where it went up and around the side of a peak.

Growder shut the door behind them carefully, then dropped to all fours. "Get on my back," he told Zelda. "But mind the fur; I'm not a horse that you can pull on."

Zelda climbed onto his back and got herself situated. She went ahead and nocked an arrow against her bow, holding it in place with her left hand, and used her right to steady herself against Growder.

"I'm ready," she said.

Growder took off with a great leap, then went running up the trail. Zelda quickly came to appreciate the speed at which he moved over the snow. He was almost as fast as a horse, but his wide paws kept him from sinking too deeply into the fresh, soft snow that lay atop the deeper, but rotting old snow underneath.

As the trail narrowed and grew steeper, Growder barely slowed down. He clearly knew the trail well, but more than that, he had claws that he could use to keep traction on the slippery, narrow path.

They went around a curve and suddenly Growder skidded to a stop. Zelda had to grab his fur to keep from being thrown headfirst off his back.

"There's one of the monsters," Growder said.

Barely thirty feet ahead, there was a black bat with red eyes hovering over the trail. As soon as it saw them, it began flying towards them.

Zelda lifted her bow and shot; she struck it in the body and it fell to the snow.

"Good," Growder said. "Be ready; there are more ahead."

Zelda readied another arrow and he took off, running up the trail.

The trail twisted and turned as it wound its way up the mountain—so much so, they could never see very far ahead. They would just round a corner and suddenly there would be a bat or two right in front of them. Luckily, Zelda was a fast shot, and she was able to bring them down so quickly, Growder barely had to slow down.

And then, around one corner, they ran into an entire flock. For a moment, everyone was stunned—Zelda, Growder, and the bats. Then Growder snarled, "Down!" and he leapt forward.

Zelda barely managed to duck under the flock of bats, as Growder dashed under them. She could hear them clicking and flapping as they pursued them.

Zelda drew her sword. "Turn around and let's face them—otherwise, they'll be attacking us from behind."

Growder made another couple of powerful leaps forward, then whirled around to face the oncoming bats.

Zelda gripped tightly with her knees. "Now!" she called out, and Growder bounded forward, right towards the bats.

Zelda swung her sword left and right, causing the bats to shriek as they were struck down. There were so many of them, she had to use her bow like a cudgel and strike a few out of the air with it.

Suddenly, there was a black fuzzy body in her face and tiny claws scratched down her right cheek. She jerked back and swatted the bat away. She wasn't sure if it had actually attacked her, or if it was just tumbling out of the air and caught her on the way down.

For a moment, she froze—the horrible memory of what happened to her cousin, Nicoli, flashing before her eyes. But more bats swarmed in and she immediately resumed cutting and stabbing and beating.

A minute after it began, all of the bats were down and Zelda was left panting from exertion and adrenaline.

"Are you alright?" Growder asked, trying to look behind him.

Zelda put her sword away and wiped her cheek with the back of her hand. There was a little bit of blood there, but not much. It was only a small scratch.

"I'm fine," she said. It did seem that she was immune to the demons' dark magic, even if they could physically harm her.

"Then let's go on," Growder said.

They continued up the winding mountain trail, but the remaining bats were alone or in pairs and Zelda was able to easily bring them down.

Then they went around one last corner and there, in front of a pile of fallen stone, lay a wolf.

As soon as it saw Growder and Zelda, it slowly rose to its feet, growling and bristling.

"Get off my back," Growder told Zelda in a low voice. "This one is mine."

"But, if it hurts you, you will turn into a demon," Zelda warned.

"I am not human; those rules don't apply to me. Besides, this wolf is no demon. He's just trying to poach in our hunting range and we don't allow that."

Zelda slid off Growder's back and retreated a safe distance. She wasn't sure if she should have her bow or her sword ready; both seemed inadequate to deal with the huge wolf. It was easily as large as the one that attacked her and Link on the plain. It was certainly as large as Growder.

The wolf growled louder and Growder got into a crouch—his tail twitching angrily—and he began to growl and make wild noises in the back of his throat.

Zelda immediately saw a problem: the wolf had the height advantage. The wolf must have realized that, too, because it suddenly launched itself down on Growder, and the two of them rolled around in the snow, savagely snapping at each other.

Zelda had to retreat a little farther down the trail to stay out of the way. She watched the fight anxiously as they rolled close to the edge of the cliff. She wanted to warn Growder, but she was afraid if she shouted at him, it would distract him.

She slung her bow across her back and drew her sword, resolved to run in and stab the wolf if it looked like he was going to get the better of Growder. And, at one point, she thought she was going to have to do so; Growder rolled onto his back and the wolf got on top of him.

But it was all a clever ploy on Growder's part. His hind legs were tucked underneath the wolf and, with the power of a heavy spring, he kicked up and sent the wolf flying over his head and into the abyss beyond.

Growder got to his hind feet and roared triumphantly. "And don't come back!" he shouted into the dark chasm.

He finally turned to Zelda. "The fairy's cave is there," he said, pointing to the pile of fallen stone.

Zelda scrambled up the steep trail. She looked all around the rock—even climbed up to the top of the pile—but she could see no opening.

"It's closed off!" she said in a panic. Would she be able to shift enough rock to get in? Maybe if Growder helped….

He interrupted her thoughts. "Here is a place. Can you get in it?"

She looked down and saw him sniffing around one corner at the base. She half-climbed and half-slid down the pile and got down on her hands and knees and checked out the hole. It was small and she couldn't see in it more than a foot or two, but she could feel warmer air coming from it—air that smelled sweet, like flowers.

"I think I can get in," Zelda said, even as she repressed a shudder. "But you might need to give me a bit of a push."

"Just say when," he said.

"Do you think I will need a weapon?" she asked.

He shook his head. "No; there is nothing in there but the Great Fairy.

Zelda took off her bow, quiver, and sword belt, then got down on her belly and began crawling into the tunnel using her elbows.

Oh, gods, I hate this. Oh, gods, I hate this. Oh, gods, I hate this, she said silently to herself over and over again. She had no Link to help her through her claustrophobic spell—and she would never have Link's help again if she didn't go through with it, which is the only reason why she kept on going.

"Give me a push," she shouted back to Growder once she felt she was mostly in the little tunnel. Using her elbows to pull herself along was quite tiring.

She felt his large paw against the bottom of her feet and a second later, she was sliding across the stone.

The fresh, spring-like air grew more intense, and then, suddenly, her head popped out of the little hole and she looked around.

She was inside a large cave. There was a faint light glowing and swirling in the middle of the room, and it shifted color from yellow to green to blue, then back to yellow.

Zelda pushed herself out of the tunnel and got to her feet. She could then see that there was a shallow pool in the middle of the cavern.

Come closer.

Zelda looked behind her, but there was no one in the cavern that she could see.

Come, the voice whispered again, but Zelda wasn't sure if she was hearing the voice in her head or with her ears.

Drop your cares and enter my pool.

Without being told, Zelda knew what was expected. She took off her cloak and then bent over and wiggled out of the maile shirt and gambeson both. Then she kicked off her boots and dropped her pants. Naked, she stepped over the edge of the pool, and onto a set of stairs.

The water was as warm as bath water and as soon as it covered her feet, she realized how very tired and worn they had been, because the water instantly made them feel wonderful and new. Surely her feet had not felt so perfect on the day she was born.

She hurried to step in deeper, and with every step, the water came up higher and restored her body, removing fatigue and soreness she hadn't even realized she had.

The pool was deeper than it had first appeared—or maybe it was all some sort of strange illusion, because the steps continued down until she was up to her neck in water. Then she took a deep breath and took another step down.

But there was no step under her feet; she was left floating in a dark, silent nothingness.

But she wasn't afraid, as she had been when she was lost at sea. The water that surrounded her was warm and comforting. She felt as if she was back in the womb—safe and untroubled by the world outside. There was only the steady beat of her mother's heart softly pulsing all around her, in rhythm with her own heartbeat.

Princess Zelda, you come to me in at a dark time, the strange voice said. Two of the great kingdoms have fallen, and Shi-Ha will follow them soon.

You will get but little help from here on out. You must rely on Link, and he on you. Neither of you can defeat this evil alone; neither of you can be replaced.

"That's why I'm here," Zelda said… or maybe she just thought it. "Link is dying."

I know. You must not let that happen, or your world will be lost.

There were stairs under Zelda's feet again. She walked up them, slowly emerging from the water.

The light of swirling colors was glowing brighter, and when Zelda turned around, she saw a woman of unsurpassed beauty. She was wearing a skirt that looked as if it was made from the mist that surrounded the mountains. Her wings were as transparent and iridescent as those of a dragonfly. Her greenish-blue hair cascaded in loose curls over her shoulders, hiding her bare chest.

"I have cried many tears for this world," the fairy said, speaking aloud in her soft, but sad voice. "Even now, it is not clear to me that it can be saved. But if it is to be saved, you and Link must suffer for the sins of others; it is only through your self-sacrifice that there is any hope of redemption."

The fairy reached up to her cheek and caught a glistening tear on the tip of her finger. Then, as if in slow-motion, she gently pushed the tear through the air, towards Zelda.

It sparkled in the air as it slowly floated to her—a diamond flashing in the dark. But when she reached up to catch it, her fingers closed around a small glass bottle filled with a liquid so clear, it was all but invisible.

Zelda looked up, meaning to say something, but the fairy was gone. There was only the dim, swirling light hovering above the pool.

Zelda hurried to pull on her clothes again and she carefully tucked the little bottle into her left boot.

She was still feeling a strange surrealism as she crawled through the tunnel—so much so, she completely forgot to be claustrophobic.

When she got to the end, Growder took her by the hands and pulled her out and set her on her feet. But he took a step back, looking at her as if he was a little afraid.

"You look… strange," he said.

"Strange? How?" she asked.

"I… don't know. But your eyes are different. You… look different. And you smell different. You smell of the perfume coming from the cave. It's… an otherworldliness—as if you came close to death, but were brought back."

"I didn't die, but I feel reborn… sort of." Zelda couldn't describe what she had felt when she had stepped into the fairy's spring, but she did feel like a new person, even as she felt like she was the same person she had been before. Something about her had been permanently changed, but she wasn't sure what.

"Anyway, I have what Link needs. Let's get it back to him," Zelda said.

Growder nodded a little and dropped to all fours. Zelda put on her sword belt and quiver and grabbed her bow, before hopping onto Growder's back.

He bounded down the trail—going much faster down than he had before.

Zelda felt a calmness inside herself. She had never noticed before that she had been nervous and tense, but now she felt perfectly at ease. It was as if she knew nothing bad would happen to her, so she had no fear. She didn't know why she felt that way—certainly the fairy had not promised that; in fact, she had promised suffering—but nonetheless, she faced running the gauntlet of bats with no more worry than she would have had walking across her bedroom to go to bed.

The first bat they encountered on their way down still had Zelda's arrow sticking out of it.

"What sorcery is this?" Growder said, skidding to a halt. "Why isn't it dead?"

"We can't kill them with normal weapons; only the Master Sword will send them back to the Dark World. We can, at best, only stun them for a while."

"Then fighting them is a waste?"

"It depends on if they stand between you and your mission—which this one does."

The bat flew closer. But rather than shoot it or knock it aside with her sword, Zelda reached out and grabbed it by the shaft of the arrow. It clicked and squeaked and flapped its wings, but it could do nothing more than that, impaled as it was on the arrow.

It was so ridiculous-looking, Zelda actually laughed. Then she flung the arrow out in a cutting motion. The bat flew off the end and sailed down into the empty chasm, disappearing into the dark.

She and Growder continued down the trail—Zelda easily capturing the skewered bats and throwing them off the ends of the arrows—either into the chasm or dashing them against the rocks.

The large flock of bats delayed them less than a minute. Although Zelda had to work hard to knock them all down, she did so with a practiced ease and calmness—very different than before.

Before long, they were back at the door into the mountain.

Zelda got off Growder's back. "Who would have thought I would have gotten all of my arrows back?" Zelda said, tucking a handful back into her quiver.

"I'm glad; you may yet have need for them."

"I know I will have need for them," she replied.

Growder opened the door and the two of them hurried through the passageways—Zelda's calmness draining away and her anxiety growing; what if she was too late? It was a possibility she hadn't considered before because they had always managed to pull through every difficulty somehow, but the Great Fairy had said that that it wasn't certain that they would succeed. There might come a time when their luck would run out.

Zelda prayed that it wasn't now.

When they walked into the bedroom, Zelda felt her heart stop. Had Link's face been that white when she left? She didn't remember his lips being tinged with blue.

She felt as if she wasn't quite in her own body anymore. She seemed to float across the room to Kara. She tried to ask if he was still alive, but when she opened her mouth, no words came out.

"Did you get it?" Kara asked anxiously.

Zelda numbly pulled the little bottle from her boot and handed it to Kara.

"I pray this works," Kara said, pulled Link's mouth open and pouring the potion in. "I can't tell if he's still breathing or not. If he's already gone, this will not work."


Link was somewhere dark, but in front of him stood a woman who radiated a soft, warm light. She had her back to him, so he could clearly see her wings.

You nearly died, Hero, she said in a soft voice.

"Did I?" Link asked in surprise. He racked his brain, trying to remember what had happened to him, but the last thing he could remember was passing out when he had been released.

He hadn't felt that he was dying; it sort of snuck up on him.

Yes, the fairy replied. Princess Zelda risked much to save you.

He frowned. "She shouldn't have done that."

It is admirable that you want to insulate her from all the hardships of the world, but you must resist that impulse.

"Why?" Link asked.

Because, in order to be a good queen, she needs to experience those hardships. If she is to have empathy for her people, she must know what it's like to struggle and suffer and lose. In order to rebuild her kingdom, she must have the courage and confidence to make bold decisions. And, if you are to have any hope of truly winning her heart, you must let her realize, on her own, how much she truly loves and needs you.

She has been isolated from the real world all her life; she has never connected with other people. You must allow her the opportunity to do so. She must become your partner—someone who shares the work and hardships and trials that this quest will heap upon both of you.

If you deny her this, you will deny her the ability to reach her full potential; you will deny Hyrule the chance to have its best queen ever.

Link bowed his head. He had been raised to one purpose: to serve his monarch. And from the first moment he had seen Zelda, he had put her up on a pedestal—something that Master Ryu had only encouraged.

He both loved and worshipped her.

It would be hard to let her struggle with things on her own—to let her take her lumps, the same as him. It didn't feel right not to serve and protect her.

The fairy spoke again. As a reminder of this, Zelda shall bear her scars for life—as shall you. They will set you apart from others and tie you both together. When you look upon them, remember what you and she suffered together. It is a bond between you both, and it is one that no one will ever be able to take away.

Slowly, the fairy turned around. Link gasped when he saw that she was, in fact, Zelda.

Then, suddenly, the light was gone and the room came into focus. Zelda was standing at the foot of the bed, topless. Kara was looking at her back. "You are completely healed, Your Highness. But… I'm afraid you have scars."

"What does it matter?" she said dejectedly.

"I always knew you must be a fairy," Link whispered, as he looked at her. "You are too beautiful to be anything else."

Zelda and Kara both jumped, then looked at him with astonishment. A moment later, Zelda grabbed her gambeson and covered her chest.

"Link! You're awake!" she said with relief. She hurried to sit beside him on the bed. Tears of relief began to flow down her cheeks. "We weren't sure you were going to make it."

"You're a fairy," he said, intent to getting her to admit it.

She brushed his hair away from his forehead. "I can't understand you. What did you say?"

He realized then that he had not really spoken the words he was thinking; he had only mumbled them.

He licked his lips and cleared his throat a little and tried again. "I saw you. You're a fairy."

Zelda looked at him in confusion, then chuckled a little. "You must have been dreaming."

"You told me that you saved my life—only I didn't know it was you when you said it."

Zelda looked more confused. "Link, you're not making any sense."

Kara shuffled over to the bed. "You were crossing into the Other World," she told him. "Princess Zelda managed to get some Fairy Tears for you and that saved your life. Between being so near death, and the magic of the Tears, I'm not surprised that you had strange dreams."

"It wasn't a dream," Link insisted. If it had been a dream, how could the fairy have told him that he had nearly died and that Zelda had saved him? That was obviously true.

"Link, I'm not a fairy," Zelda said gently. "If I was, don't you think you would know it by now?"

Well, when she put it that way, it seemed true enough; she certainly had no wings.

"I guess you can't be," he allowed, "but it still didn't feel like a dream."

"Maybe the Great Fairy was speaking to you through her tears," Kara offered.

"Maybe so."

"If she was, then you should listen to her," Kara said. "Fairies know more than the most accomplished seer or astrologist can ever know. The gods tell them things they never tell us. Her advice will be sound."

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