Legend Of Zelda Fan Fiction ❯ The Legend of Link: Lucky Number 13 ❯ Mido's Dead ( Chapter 31 )
What just happened here? Mido faded away, kicked the bucket, died, and all of that, check. Saria plays her song and flies into my brain, hysterically wailing about his apparent death, check. I come over after a detour involving my son and his mother to console my friend, check. So, now, why is it that she's been playing with Link ever since?
Let me walk you through the scene as it occurred, a couple of hours ago…
I'd finally calmed myself enough to sleep after the wife and I did our thing. Then all of a sudden, Saria's voice echoes through my head like an explosion. She's going on and on about Mido's bed being empty and his tunic being the only thing there. Naturally, I'm not exactly a bastion of concern about this. He's the oldest Kokiri-surpassing the ages of even the Know-it-all Brothers. Of course, I didn't spend the last sixty or so years with him like Saria had. They weren't married in the technical sense, but they were the hylian equivalent of the union. I calm her down as best I can and tell her that I'll be over soon.
Soon equals around noon or three hours later.
As I was explaining the situation to my wife, I was trying to think of something more comforting to say than, "He's old and old people die." After a few minutes of this, Nabooru gave her condolences and fell out again. The delay in my trip occurred on the fourth floor. I walk past Link's bedroom, noticing that it was open. Keep in mind that it's a little past nine in the morning, and he doesn't make a move until at least 10:30. I ease into the room and find Sepaaru standing guard at the foot of his bed. She's still in light purple soldier garb, velvet purple boots, shield, and sword on her back.
Mistake number one: I tell her that he's fine and doesn't remember a thing.
Mistake number two: I forgot that I didn't soundproof the room while having sex and that they would hear us more than likely.
Mistake number three: Normal people don't watch their children die, resurrect them, have sex hours later, and think everything is fine. No, you see, you have to reach a certain level in your mental depravity to do that. And as we know, I'm probably the only person alive that can do that and ask the mother of the once deceased what's with the attitude and not know. This leads to Sepaaru's verbal melee on my ass. In all of the things I've done (or haven't, as the case is), the sex was the worst. To her, that symbolized that I cared absolutely nothing about my son. The fact that I could even become aroused in any fashion on a day like that made me a "heartless, unfeeling bastard."
This is all coming to a head in front of the sleeping child.
I lose it here, almost. I calmly-in a loud whisper-explained that I didn't go off and kill most of the surviving Shiekah for fun. I didn't go off and kill them because I was bored-I killed the secretive clique for them. Above all else, I killed each and every last one of the soulless fucks for my son. I explained that she could accuse me of whatever she'd like, but saying that I didn't love him was the one line that she did not cross. I'm a poor excuse for a father, fine. I'm a pathetic leech who tends to enjoy a few hours of self-loathing, which is cool, because it is true to an extent. However, you don't tell me that I don't love my kids.
"Look, I'm sorry I've hurt both of you, but you can't expect me to dwell on yesterday."
This, of course, leads to her saying: "What? So, you're going to pretend yesterday never happened. Yesterday was all just a bad dream. You're just going to forget it?"
"No," I said directly. "I'm going to live with that for the rest of my life. Does that mean I'm going to sit around and think about it like other days that I thought were the absolute worst? No. For the first time in my twisted little existence, I have the power to move beyond something painful. Coming home to find almost everyone I care about dead… painful doesn't even begin to describe it. And I'm sorry to say it, but I'm not reliving that for you or anyone else. I'll look at him smile and I'll smile. I'll look at him breathe and I'll breathe. I won't look at his corpse again. Neither in reality nor in my mind will I be subjected to that again. You can despise me for it, but the fact is, he's alive and that should take priority above everything." I bowed my head and prepared to leave, as her facial contortion still spoke of anger.
Now, this is where the beauty of children comes into play.
"Dad," I hear barely, almost in that same frail voice his spirit or my mind decided to use yesterday. "What are you doing here?"
I explained that I came to check on him and see if he was resting well. Sepaaru shot me a glance, friendlier than expected, as she sat down finally. Link proceeded to amp up to break the odd silence surrounding him. This is where the story begins about me taking him to this cool castle. It had a moat like in the stories and the guards were (gasp) men in shiny suits of armor. Then there was this town and it had all of these weird people. This one guy, one with the funny squiggles around his eye, pierced his ears.
And the crowning jewel of his incessant talking, "I didn't cry, not even once mommy! But," he paused, suddenly rather downtrodden in his appearance. "Daddy doesn't have anymore earrings. He gave me his only ones."
I was moved… right on over to his bed and plopped down into the big blue blanket.
"Don't look so down," I said, lifting his face up with the end of my finger. Once I had his full attention, I ran my left hand over my left ear, covering the ends in a multitude of rings. "I'm a man of many talents and I'm pretty sure I have another pair laying around here somewhere."
He laughed, clapping as I did the same thing to my right ear. For my grand finale, I wiggled both ears and dropped all but one earring in either ear. The astonishment and admiration in his eyes as he saw them all disappear was fulfilling. So much so, in fact, I forgot about my earlier argument with Sepaaru, who had begun to smile at the display in front of her an undetermined amount of time prior. The mood, however, was short lived. Varia rang the breakfast bell and Link's stomach woke up then. Everyone starts making his or her way to the dining room, which I'd modeled with chessboard black and white marble floors and a table fit for royalty. Nabooru fails to show for obvious reasons, but her daughter doesn't. Zelda comes in, stinking of stable work, and just flops down in the chair in front of me.
"Is it okay if I eat, SIR?" she asks in her most abrupt voice. "Or should I go suck the yolks fresh from the chickens?"
"I suppose you can eat with the rest of us, since you did get up without being told." Usually, I'd snipe back with something, but my heart wasn't in it today. I waved my hand flippantly, removing the filth from her body and the stench from my table, before pulling out a seat next to me for the boy. Auntie Varia, as usual, spoils him by serving him first. You'd think for a lady so bent on killing men and boys that she would be hard on him. You'd be wrong, because the woman caves like a straw house when he smiles at her.
Anyway, Saria flies back into my brain and I have to pass on breakfast. While I'm aware of the fact that I'm about to leave, no one else at the table was. This is where I decide to invite my son along. He's so shocked by the notion that he chokes on his eggs. As amusing as it was, I also felt that bit of sadness. Link looks to Sepaaru and gives her that look, which breaks her faster than most anything. I assured her that I would bring home in one piece, which lent a whole animal leasing feel to the event. Finally, after all of the haggling, we leave.
"Um, where are we going?" he thinks to ask after a moment to consider that I haven't told him.
"You know that forest man nickname of mine?" I asked him. Link does indeed remember and that leads to the explanation of us going back to that forest.
"So we're going to another dumb forest," he sighed, kicking a rock over the side of the bridge.
"No, we're not going to another dumb forest," I began to explain. "A friend of mine lost someone very close to her and we're going to try to make her feel better."
"Oh," Link says, before continuing with, "are we almost there?"
I stopped and just looked at him.
He was nervous with the staring, but his lack of patience seemed to tickle me. I picked him up and sat him on my shoulders before giving into his impatience. The world around us appeared to slow down for a second, before Hyrule Field whirred past us in a blur of smashed colors. Once we were at the entrance of the forest, I put him on the ground and he was stoked then. It was like watching an angry Deku Shrub storming about, just happier.
"Dad, did you see that! We were like way back there and then… wow! Did you do that? How did you do that? Can we do it again? Mommy isn't going to be mad about it, is she?" One after the other his enthusiastic questions spilled into the morning air before I told him to calm down.
"You should see how fast I go when I'm trying," I then added, because he actually shut up.
I walked him through Kokiri Village and introduced him to the locals before getting the lowdown on where Saria was. Where else do you think she'd be? I entrusted my son's well-being to the Know-it-alls before embarking on my trip to the Sacred Meadow. I still didn't have squat to say about Mido's death, though. I really don't have much to say about the subject, but I could at least relate to losing a loved one and I hoped that would be enough for her. Saria was sitting on her typical stump when I came up the steps, which looked oddly out of place.
"What am I going to do?" she whispered after I'd been standing there for at least five minutes. "I don't even feel sad anymore, you know? I just lost my… my… we don't even have a word for it!"
Her sudden emotion startled me some. Saria, the one who almost always had something to smile about, was depressed. Now, what was I supposed to do about it?
"Um, you lost your husband?" No, that's not how I said it. That's how I asked it.
Saria looked up at me and just sighed.
"Kokiri don't get married, silly." She patted a spot beside her on the stump and quirked an eyebrow. "Right, right, you're too big to sit with old Saria."
"Ouch," I replied, inviting myself to sit on the ground in front of her. "Husband may have been the wrong word, but he would've been considered as much outside of this forest."
"You know I wasn't even here when he left?" she continued, speaking as though I hadn't. "I came back from town and everyone was going about their normal routine before Navi walked up and said, 'Mido faded away.' None of them care! None of them can care! This stupid forest won't let us!" Saria's shouting made me jump.
"Us," I said slowly. "You don't care either?"
"I care," she muttered, "but not like I should. I've learned some things since becoming a sage. One of those things is that this stupid forest filters the bad stuff out of the Kokiri life. We can be sad, but just for little while. We can be mad at each other, but we tend to forget why we were mad at each other in the first place in about a day. It's like we're in one of the loops you said you were in. Life around us moves on, but we stay the same. And if we don't stay the same or get too bitter, we get turned into Skull Kids."
"What?" The look she gave me was akin to utter disbelief or the way you'd look at someone who'd said something completely stupid. I must say, the look hurt a bit coming from her.
"The damn paths all lead back to the village if you take the wrong one, what kind of idiot could get lost?" Saria shrilled at me, before her temper resided and she apologized. "I'm sorry, this isn't me. But I look at all of you outside of this forest and I feel bad. I see children in the market that talk about what they'll be when they grow up and I know I can't have it. This medallion lets me experience what most Kokiri dream of, but it also makes me aware of just how limited our lives really are. We can't choose when we're happy or when we're sad-we're just happy, whether or not we want to be, and I'm sick of it."
She pulled out her sage's medallion and threw it on the ground, gracing it with a rather contemptible glare.
"I want to feel sad about him dying, but all I feel is empty! He died this morning and it feels like it happened forty years ago, Link. I hate this," Saria said in a final burst, falling limply into my open arms and crying freely.
"It's no better out there," I told this sobbing little woman.
"But shouldn't I be able to decide that?" she asked, face firmly buried in my chest. "At least some dumb, old tree doesn't make it so you're happy when you know that you should be sad."
"True," I admitted thoughtfully. "But I also don't have some dumb, old tree to protect me from all of the bad stuff out there."
No, this didn't detour her rail of thinking in the slightest. In fact, it seemed to inspire her obviously grief-stricken mind to continue down the wrong path.
"Yeah, well how would you feel if someone killed Zelda and an hour later you didn't care?" Saria asked rather demandingly, as she sat back to look me in the eyes. "You knew you should still care, but you just couldn't. You'd like your life to be like that?"
"Well, no," I said before she hopped on it and rode her point out.
"And neither do I," she says, going on to say, "no one deserves that. I wish I was normal like you."
What? Stop laughing! I am normal… somewhat. Doesn't mean I want her to be my type of normal though. What do you say to that? Someone wants to be normal like you, when you consider yourself on the outer edges of abnormal. I honestly didn't have a single thing to say in light of that. Everything that I could've said to her didn't seem like it would be the right thing to say. And everything in-between right and wrong didn't seem like it'd help anything. Sensing my lack of communication, Saria gave a fairly weak smile before saying something a bit unique.
"So, Mr. God, care to help a friend out?" she asked innocently, getting back to her feet, and taking her seat.
"Mr. God? Why do I have a feeling you're about to ask for something ridiculous." I stood up and folded my arms in that parental way that I've picked up over the years.
"Destroy this thing," Saria says plainly, as she picks up the medallion. "I can't keep going out there and coming back here. It's just making me a big jerk constantly wanting what I can't have. Without this, there's just me and my meadow with no desires, no wants, and nothing but happiness… constant happiness."
"I get it," I told her before she handed me the saucer-sized artifact. But herein lays the problem-what happened to Saria if I crushed the thing? I may be able to right the wrong I'd cause by doing that, but why should I take an unnecessary risk and potentially harm her? This leads to an impromptu appearance from Farore. Heh, it's not like she was helpful in the situation with her little "It'll be interesting" line.
What kind of garbage is that? I ask what happens to my friend and the best she can come up with is that nonsensical bullshit. Well, after Saria finished giving me odd looks over my tirade towards the Gossip Stone, I decided to try to use the power of persuasion. I'll spare you the details, but let's just say that it didn't work and I broke the medallion. Nothing seemed to happen at first, and then all of a sudden the wind started to pick up. I'm not talking about a summer's breeze, I'm talking a full on storm. The green powder I'd crushed the forest medallion into then began to swirl-like a green tornado if you can believe it-and then one of the weirdest things I've ever seen happened.
It all flew up Saria's nose.
The wind stopped at the exact moment she'd inhaled the last bits of it and everything was back to normal.
"Are you all right?" To this Saria replied with a bunch of disjointed mumbling and sneezed.
I was about to take her home when she says, "Link, you came back!"
Right, that's the same thing I thought-the girl had lost it. It was like her mind reverted back to the original timeline. As she explained it, I had been gone for years. This wasn't exactly the response I was expecting to get. How did I explain what all had happened? I mean about Mido. She seemed to go back to her usual upbeat self and telling her such a thing now would probably devastate her. Well, I thought it would've devastated her. It more like bounced off with minimal affect. Mido was gone and that was the way of the forest.
"Gosh, you got big!" Saria squealed, jarring me out of my thoughts. "Navi said you'd gotten bigger; but she didn't say you'd grown like this."
I tried to get a word in before Saria's attention jutted to something else.
"Oh, no!" she said, as she leaped to her feet. "That bad man on the horse, he's in the temple we've gotta stop him!"
"Saria," I said in my calmest of voices, catching her arm before she attempted to climb the tree to get into the temple. "I already stopped Ganondorf, remember? It was a little over twenty years ago."
Saria looked confused, but accepted my explanation fully.
"Well, I guess that makes sense," she proposed. "It would explain why you have old people hair."
Besides the joke, Saria had no further queries. I didn't grasp what she meant earlier about the lack of freedom of choice until that moment. To accept a twenty-three-year gap in your memory with a smile is ridiculous. And it's especially stupid when you lack the desire to even have that time span explained to you. I heard Farore had a bent towards keeping children sheltered, but I never knew it went this far. Well, it did make introducing her to Link easier than it would've been prior. Still, that's not the point. Huh? Oh, he came later. It's a funny thing too, considering I'd never shown him the paths that lead to the Sacred Meadow. He claimed he just had a feeling he knew where I was, before Saria kicked me in the knee for an introduction.
"Link, I'd like you to meet," I extended my hand back towards my friend and her guardian fairy to let them finish.
"Saria," she said boldly, while coming a little closer to my son's person than he was comfortable with. "Hi!"
"Uh, d-d-dad," he stuttered for a moment. I just sort of shrugged and gave him that universal head shake that meant say something. "Hello, nice to meet you."
"Dad," Saria says, completely changing gears again. "You have a son! Wow!"
"I…" never got past that word before she'd switched focus back to my son.
"You're cute. Want to play tag?" I watched the display of him sheepishly admitting to not knowing what tag was and Saria's surprisingly deep tutorial of slapping someone else, calling them it, and running for your life. He drug off by my sometimes… abrupt little friend. From there, the aunt decides to grace me with her presence and tell me another diatribe about the sages.
"That was interesting, wasn't it?" she asks in blatant false enthusiasm. My face let her know that I wasn't amused and she digressed to the answer of my unaired question. "You remember those little statues that were in place in Termina-the ones that held your current spot in time?"
I told her that I did.
"Well, think of the sages' medallions in that light. They work sort of like a dual layer to their, the sages, lives," she says, which proved my earlier thought correct. Farore then began to pace about to find the correct words-or dumb things down enough for me-to explain more than likely. "The medallions saved the personalities, thoughts, and memories of the sages at the exact point in time when they were found."
"In other words that save-point, if you will, carried over through the constant repeats in history?" She answered by nodding. So, I naturally pressed on. "So, everything that happens after that is lost to her once the medallion is gone."
"Exactly, she won't remember any of the stories you've told her or ever visiting the outside world. Before you told her, it was a few years after you'd left the forest and a few hours after finding the medallion within this temple in Saria's mind." And wouldn't you know it, Farore already had the answer to my next unasked question on the tip of her tongue. "Yes, the same thing can happen to your wife. But, if you noticed, those medallions are indestructible to mortals."
"What would've happened if Saria and the rest didn't 'find' these medallions?" From the sounds of things, they were just laying around inside of the temples for anyone to pick up-and I know that wasn't the case.
"It would have never happened," Farore said rather boldly. "I guess you weren't listening when we discussed enchanting objects. In cases like these, those mortals deemed worthy of carrying out acts on our behalf are enchanted with a certain mystic energy. The same energy is then imbued upon any and all artifacts that those mortals may need. Furthermore, there's a subconscious attraction to them. Surely, you must have wondered why all of the sages had such close bonds with their respective temples?"
Yeah, well… I didn't. That completely flew over the old noggin.
"Oh, boy," she sighed and gave a slight shake of the head. "Saria comes to this meadow every day for reasons she cannot explain. This holds true for all of the sages. Nabooru's fixation with the Desert Colossus; Darunia's secret escape route that leads right into the heart of Death Mountain; the underwater passage way from Zora's Domain to Lake Hylia's Water Temple and even Zelda's room that let's the sun in no matter what angle. Furthermore, why do you think they could be in such hostile places without the native inhabitants attacking them? Those Deku Shrubs and wolfos at the entrance can feel Saria's spirit and the way it flows evenly with this temple, so they don't attack her. Why do you think you made it through those temples and found each of them unscathed?"
"Let me think about this one," I replied drably, as I felt completely stupid under that tirade. "Those temple protectors all felt the harmony within those who were later identified as the sages, right? Since they felt that, the sages were all allowed to pass through the pitfalls that awaited me."
"Correct," Farore said in much the same, flat manner. "Anyone less than a sage," she paused and looked at me and added, "…or an unrealized god would've been killed."
This is the part where the awkward silence ensues. Well, that and the other question burning a hole in my temple.
"What's the point of enchanting stuff?" Sure, it sounded like an automatic way to go about things, but I imagined that it was more to it than that.
"To do stuff automatically," she told me. Did I mention that my imagination sometimes runs a little overboard? "I know you didn't think we sat around all day watching you all," Farore continued until I gave her that silent look. She closed her eyes and simply smiled that how-stupid-are-you smile. "Well, we don't. We opt to enchant certain items or events-like your perpetual time trial-and that way we're free to do other things. It's no fun if we do everything for you."
That last line rubbed me the wrong way. In fact, it rubbed me like sandpaper would someone's ass.
"That's just one big joke to you all, isn't it?" I asked quietly, but rapidly losing my temper. "I get ran through the proverbial ringer and, because I get some new bonus magic, it's suddenly all right to joke about it?"
The small smile vanished from her lips.
"We had to toughen you up somehow," Farore replied, surprisingly sullen in voice. "You were too naïve in the beginning to plug you into your power. Your father would've eventually come for us all, and in the best case scenario, you would have joined his fight out of a simpleton's loyalty. In the worst case, he would've killed you and added your power added to his. So, we decided that it would serve you better to experience certain aspects of life over and over until you formed your own opinions of them.
This was to continue until you were mentally and physically prepared to accept what would become of your reality. However, due to forces my sisters and I couldn't control, we lost something in the translation and you sort of… well, lost it. The toughness and wisdom we expected you to gain was exceeded. At the same time, your personality took unforeseen shifts. And by the time we realized that, our hold over your father's prison was beginning to wane and we had to risk that you were ready. I needn't remind you of all the pain and misery that followed, but there is something that I do need to tell you."
"What's that? This is all a dream and I'm really asleep in a cave somewhere." As you can probably tell, I was really not in the most happiest of moods. Before I gave it any thought, she grabbed me… hugged me, actually. "Hey! What in the hell are you doing?"
"It's not over, Hero," she whispers right into my right ear. "It's not over."
My body felt like a lead weight. It was her voice that night in the field, I realized. I had managed to push her back at least to arm's distance and then, we simply stared. How could it have been her? Mixed emotions were in heavy supply, as I couldn't quite put my finger on one particular emotion for more than a few seconds. Seeing as how I couldn't speak, Farore picked up the slack with something resembling an apology.
"I had to say something. You were leaning too far towards ending your life to be of any…" she paused, before I filled in the space.
"I was leaning too far towards ending my life to be of any use to you," I said evenly.
Farore nodded before continuing with whatever she was trying to get out.
"I don't blame you for feeling the way you do about us. But at the time, those few words were the only thing I could do without altering your fate too much."
Considering I now have a face to go on, you'd think I would be a little more upset with the cards Fate has dealt me. Maybe I just lack the will to go through some kind of battle anymore, but I noticed I've started to become more and more detached from everything in my past. It's a great feeling for the most part, yet there are still those times where it comes back as strong as it ever was. Today was and wasn't one of those times, fortunately enough for the aunt. I could tell she was struggling to humble herself and while I would've reveled in it back then, I think I've come to a place in my life where I can accept effort.
"Like I said before, I'm fine with how things have turned out," I told her, somehow bringing a smile to my own face. "Just don't fuck with my kids," the smile faded away, "and all is well." The smile returned and punctuated.
"So, how do you see things working out for the boy?" she asks, obviously trying to shift topics. I took the question literally and let my mind search for him. I found him and Saria exploring my old home and replied in turn to that sight.
"Everything looks good so far," I said dismissively before catching wind of Farore's laughter.
"Not look, Link. How do you see it?" she tells me, which was obviously alluding to using my abilities. "You should be able to see a limited view into his future. So, what exactly do you see?"
"The same thing you do," I replied this time. No, I wasn't bluffing-I saw it too.
"Think he'll throw her away like Zelda?" Farore asked, fully aware of my daughter's falling out with the friend that couldn't grow up.
"You know that depends on whether or not you choose to let go." The encrypted exchanges ended there. "He'll notice sooner or later-just like Zelda did-that Saria isn't going to grow up. As I said before, I won't impede on your respective territories. So, whatever you choose to do about her, I'll accept."
Lying out of my ass there, which was pretty obvious and Farore caught it.
"You're a real piece of work," she says before laughing uproariously. "Well, at least you thought enough to make the lie sound believable. When the time comes, Saria's yours."
Farore left after saying that. I've been sitting here ever since she left, trying to sort out that last line. Maybe not sort out, but rather put it into perspective. Huh? They're in the maze, eh? I stand up, walk to the edge of the stairs, and look down on them. Neither of them knows it, but I do-they're meant for each other. For Saria, Link's that little twinge of me that she resigned herself never to have. As for my son, Saria's a crush that'll grow given time and space. Look at them-I still wish life was that simple sometimes. Running around playing tag or hide-and-seek used to be some of the biggest factors in my life, but now… now, it's theirs.
I'll talk to you later.