Legend Of Zelda Fan Fiction ❯ The Legend of Link: Lucky Number 13 ❯ A Gift for a Friend ( Chapter 5 )
Look out for a second. Longshot, Lens of Truth, Fairy Bow, Mask of Truth, Zora Mask, Goron Mask, Fierce Deity Link Mask, Great Fairy Sword, Mirror Shields, Gold Gauntlets, Silver Gauntlets, five tunics, five pairs of tights, Hover Boots, Iron Boots, and last but not least, the Ocarina of Time. Well, that's everything I should need for my little journey. You know, somehow this feels kind of liberating striking out on my own like this. Come on, it's time to go.
"You've got to be kidding me," I find myself saying.
What is it? Well, it's my calendar with three dates circled on it-the 6th, the 7th, and the 13th to be exact. What's so funny about these dates you ask? On the 6th, yesterday before the whole Zelda thing, Malon was married. I know, I know, I let a good one get away in her. But I can't feel bitter towards Ingo (not the freaky stable hand, eeew!) or Malon. I'm happy she found someone rather than waiting around for me to quit riding the hems of a woman who obviously had moved on. Zelda offered to throw her a more grand scale wedding because she was a friend of mine, but Malon wanted to keep it simple. I'd be the best man, Zelda would be the bridesmaid, and a few family members would be present. Malon looked beautiful in white, but the various farm animals adorning her dress may have been a bit much. I'm sure her and Ingo, who strangely resembles me, will be happy together.
The 7th, which is today, is Ruto's wedding day. I can't say I ever felt anything for her; I just didn't think we'd be compatible being two different species and all. I don't think I should go to her wedding seeing as I don't really have a gift for her or any… I got it! Okay, the wedding will be later on tonight…
"Crap!" That means it's about 7 P.M. now. The wedding is supposed to be at 8, so I should have enough time to get her present after I take a quick bath. Well, I guess you can go. Just don't peek. I suppose I'll tell you more of the story now, huh? Figured you'd see it my way.
So, as I managed to push my things through the crawlspace, I'm thinking, "Now, this is the risky part." It was also a risk in judgment, seeing as how anything on the other side could have stolen them. Hey, this was for Zelda and all that's good in my little life, so to risk dieing needlessly made perfect sense! Without my tunic on, I managed to fit through the hole, collect my things, and then I stood ready for anything. Well, I was reading for anything except nothing. Yep, there wasn't one iota of resistance in the whole place. No statues sprang to life, no flaming keese, no one-eyed robots shooting at me-it was just empty. Once I made it to the palm of the statue that housed the gauntlets, I decided to go ahead and get the flashier mirror shield. (That face on the shield from Termina just looked disturbing after awhile.)
I didn't exactly feel like doing things the long way, so I lined the Longshot up with the chest, which was suspended about 30 feet above me, and fired. It blasted through the rotten wood of the chest and the shield went spiraling to the ground. You guessed it. I jumped down too, and landed with a nice little roll. I picked up the shield and looked it over with a nostalgic eye, fondly recalling how many times it had saved my life. Of course, reminiscing had its place.
So when I heard, "Sister, did you hear something?" I knew that wasn't the place.
I slowly reached for the ocarina, played a random warp song, and got out of there with the quickness. I managed to hear one of the witches say, "Ganondorf's not going to like this."
Ha! I'd saved Nabooru's life again, and this time without the 7 years of torment she'd experienced while I was asleep the other times. Hold on, I need to rinse off… much better. Do you want to know what the problem with tights is? It's if you're remotely damp, they'll cling to you better than your own skin. "Argh, stupid little get the… Aah!" Great, now I talk to myself while falling down like a moron. Let me check the time again. A little smack with the sword and the Gossip Stone says…
"The time is 19:47."
Ugh, now I've sat here too long. Move! Let me get my tunic on. Is everything secure and buckled? Good, now I need to run back to the house for a moment. I just realized this is the last time I can truly say; "This is my home," because once this wedding is over, I'm gone.
I had told Saria that I might be leaving the forest for good a few days ago. It saddened her a great deal, but she eventually understood.
"It'll be okay," Saria told me. "I'll see you again some day. Even if I don't, as long as you know the song we can talk at least." She gave me a quick peck on the cheek and ran off to be with her "boyfriend," Mido. I use the term boyfriend loosely, since the Kokiri don't actually define relationships. Nevertheless, it had been something interesting to find out about. Saria and Mido had been together for years, which is difficult to stomach in and of itself. Heh, it's no wonder that he was so mean to me. His girlfriend spending all of her time with a 10-year-old and she's pushing 50.
Take a look out that window. Look at the Kokiri dancing around that fire. Notice how some of their shadows seem unusually tall? That's a representation of their true image if they were ever to leave the forest. They wouldn't die instantly as some legends claim. They'd just age the years they haven't. The blonde one with the purple fairy, do you see her shadow? Still looks like a kid, doesn't it? If she left here that's how far she'd age. Now look at Navi's-looks like the shadow of a grown woman doesn't it?
Well, that's because she's been around as long as I have. So, if she were to leave she would become a 25-year-old woman. It's the Kokiri without shadows who need to fear the outside world; they're the ones that die the instant they leave. Those two could leave and be fine. Unfortunately, once they step up to claim adulthood, they can't go back. Shit, it's not like they're missing anything by staying perpetual children. I think it's a good thing they stay here.
"Damn it!" Now it's 8 o'clock. Come on, let's go. I sling my saddlebag over my shoulder, and a warp song later, I'm standing where it all began-the Temple of Time. Okay, if you want to get technical, it all began inside of my tree house. But since I'm pressed for time, shut up. My boots thump lightly across the marble floor towards my gift for the new Zora Queen-her mother's gem stone. No one's going to need you anymore, I find myself thinking, smiling as I remember meeting Ruto for the first time.
"Come to rob the place, young Link?" First Kaepora, now Rauru-what is it with old sages and me?
"No, I've come to get a gift for my friend," I reply, a little shocked that he wasn't performing at the ceremony. I still wonder who placed these stones here. Maybe Rauru knows. "Do you know who put these stones here? I always had to retrieve them in my quests, but they were already there the last time. It doesn't make sense."
He gives me a puzzled looked, saying, "I thought you did." I shake my head no and the sage's brow tightens. "The Goddesses work in mysterious ways, they do. Perhaps Ganondorf had them stolen, and, since he lacked the Royal Family's Song, couldn't open the chamber."
"I guess so," I reply, taking the stone and placing it in my saddlebag. At least he saved me some leg work… not that I'm grateful or anything.
"Let's get a move on. Queen Zelda and the rest of the party left hours ago." Rauru grabs my wrist, pulling me along with him. Now, I really don't want to go, because I know if I see Zelda, she's going to try and talk me into staying. Sad thing is I don't think I'll be able to refuse.
So, how do you make one friend happy without making yourself miserable? Apparently, I don't have time to ponder this, because Rauru used a little sage power to warp us to Zora's Domain.
"Are you coming?" the sage asks, looking back at me expectantly.
"Yeah, just give me a second." Rauru nods his understanding before rushing off to the throne room. How do I avoid Zelda and, at the same time, appease Ruto? "I got it!" I shout before shushing myself. Perusing through my saddlebag, I retrieve the Zora Mask. It's been a while since I put this thing on, but here goes. The transformation isn't so bad with this mask. It's only…discomfort is when the fins sprout out of my arms. Ugh, phew.
Now that I'm in disguise, maybe I can squeak by with only Ruto knowing who I am when I give this to her. As I leisurely jog up the ramp to the throne room, I hear the end of Rauru's proceedings. A few hushed whispers arise, signaling the confusion one would expect from the arrival (and interruption) of a foreign Zora. Zelda and her soon-to-be husband sit on the front row, seemingly unfazed by the ankle-deep water and noise surrounding them. Ruto and Mikaru exchange a look between themselves and me, before continuing with their vows in what I assume is Zoran. Well, that's what I think the language is seeing as the Zora part of the crowd all made a sob of some sort while listening to it.
"You may kiss your bride," Rauru adds for finality, wrapping up quite possibly the shortest wedding in history to a fantastic uproar from the crowd of 30 or more spectators. Damn, that's Zoran efficiency for you. No muss, no fuss, just straight to the honeymoon.
Don't ask why I'm about to do this, but it just seems fitting.
Reaching for the ocarina that usually occupies my boot, I produce in its place the fishbone guitar. I take a few deep breaths and hope this sounds right. Today's Song: The New Wave Bossa Nova. I feel every eye in the room shift to focus on me. The guards haven't accosted me, so that's a good sign. Well, there's also no real sound in the room. Heh, I suppose I'm a glutton for punishment, because I have to see their faces. Scanning the room, I notice all the Zora appear to be rocking in unison with the beat of the song. Wait a second. Isn't this an old Zoran bedtime song? Shit! Leave it to me to put the crowd into a literal coma. Maybe I better switch to the Serenade of Water. Yeah, anything is better then this. I slowly segue from the Bossa Nova into the Serenade, which luckily jostles the Zora crowd back into the conscious world. This is met with a few claps as everyone partners off and begins to dance as a few servants move the pews out of the way. From the Hero of Time to the Zora Royal Musician, what can I say? I'm a man of many talents.
Well, this is going to getting tiring sooner or later.
Ah, there's the ticket. A band of Zora sitting in the corner-now how's that for perfect placement? I nod the count, allowing them to segue into the song instrument by instrument: horns, drums, guitar, and then a little bass. Finally, with that out of the way I can give my present to Ruto. I walk up the slope where her father sat until his passing a few years ago to present myself to the dancing newlyweds.
"Mind if I cut in?" It's their first dance and I'm already muscling in-go, Link!
"Sure, Link," Mikaru says, whispering my name before backing away from his bride.
I nod my thanks, careful to keep my hands on Ruto's hips as we begin to dance.
"When did you become a Zora?" She smirks, over-dramatizing the mock surprise.
I reply, "Funny."
"But seriously," Ruto says, "why are you wearing the mask here?"
Do I lie or tell the truth? The truth hurts worse. So, as per my maker's design, I'll tell her the truth!
"I didn't want Zelda to know who I was," I tell her quietly. "And since I never got around to showing her the masks, I'm hoping the boots and tunic half don't give me a way."
Ruto knew Zelda and I broke up a while ago, but to her knowledge we were still on good terms.
"Why don't you want her to know who you are?" Ruto asks understandably so, as I dip her.
"Because I'm leaving Hyrule," I reply, digging into my bag of tricks and pulling out an elegant spin. "I know if Zelda saw me she'd try to get me to stay. But I can't just sit here and watch them go live happily ever after." As I said that, my eyes slowly trailed across the room to the happy couple. Disgusting couple of mother… Calm down.
"What does that mean?" Ruto asks as the song ends.
Gee, I'm leaving. What does that usually mean? "It means goodbye," I respond in all seriousness. "I came to tell you that I was leaving. And, so you don't think I'm a cheapskate, I also came to give you your present." Whoa, they know the Bolero of Fire. Cool.
Standing here, I can't help but notice how Ruto looks a little downtrodden by my reply. It takes a minute, but she finally nods her understanding.
"I got this on a sort of grab-and-go run, so I didn't get a chance to wrap it." I reach into the magic pouch on my hip and produce the stone. "Here it is."
Ruto's eyes glitter with happiness upon seeing. Somehow, this makes me feel a little better. Uh, oh! She has that look in her eyes. "Thank you!" Ruto's arms wrap around me in a very punishing hug. "I thought I lost this forever!"
"Uh, no problem… I can't breathe!"
True, I can hold my breath in this body for a decent amount of time, but having all the air in me forced out is a little much. As I take a moment to catch my breath, Ruto begins to explain the significance to her husband, who probably already knows the story but listens as if it were the most important tale in the world. Good man, he knows the tricks of the trade.
I interrupt with a little cough. "Well, I have to go now. I wish you two the best of luck. If nothing else, at least you know it can't get any worse than mine." I laugh through the sharp stab of pity they bestow upon me, and the arch of admitting my self-loathing in public. Heh, at least someone was able to show me some pity. I watch Ruto fix Zelda's back with a menacing glare, as she knew how much the woman meant to me. Same old Ruto, I must say. Even when I came out here when I was 13 that winter to get the Iron Boots, she's been an excellent friend to me. Of course, I had to work through the layers of pretentiousness, petulance, and come-ons, but she helped me a great deal. We've been friends since then, but as they say, "All good things must come to an end."
I see the crowd seems to be blocking the main corridor out of the room, and the only other alternative is to jump off the waterfall. Hmm, guess which way I'm going? I inch closer and closer to the hall that leads to the falls. Of course, the goddesses don't see fit to grant me this simple reply, now do they?
"You there by the falls," Zelda calls out to me with her evil siren's song.
They say when it rains it pours. Well, guess what? When it rains on me, Iron Knuckles beat me with sticks. I take a deep breath and force myself to turn around.
"Yes?" I respond to her, twisting my voice with the Zoran accent. (In other words, my voice sounds like I'm under water.)
"You're pretty good with that guitar." Oh, compliments! "Would you like to play at my wedding next week?" Zelda, my freaking Zelda, is commissioning me to play at her wedding to that… that… thing!
With more effort than it takes to probably shit a brick, I reply, "I'm afraid I'll have to decline. I hope you and yours have a pleasant union." Yeah, I'm a lying sack of shit.
I hoped a rock fell on Arthur and that Zelda would seek me out. If that happened, I could be number one in her heart again… okay, enough with the delusions of hope.
Uh, oh! She's starting to stare.
"You look familiar, do I know you?" I knew I was standing here too long.
"I'm afraid not," I shoot back quickly. "You've never known me."
The last part was thrown in for petty feelings' sake, obviously. How could she ever claim to have known me and ask me to watch her marry someone else? Too many memories are beginning to surface, so I turn away and walk down the corridor towards the rushing water.
"You do have time to consider my offer." Goddess-fucking-damn it! Does this woman not understand the very concept of the word "no"? Then again, five years with me fawning over you, and no is all but a foreign language. "The wedding is on the 13th."
I guess you see the joke from my calendar now, don't you? Malon was married on the 6th, Ruto on the 7th, and Zelda on the 13th. 6 plus 7 equals 13. Three women, two of whom I could picture myself marrying, all gone behind the number thirteen. 13 kisses, 13 seconds, 13 days, and here's the kicker, the 13th is my birthday (and Zelda's). This is surely an omen.
For a moment, I laugh at the pure irony of it all. I turn back to Zelda, and say, "I'll be a memory by the 13th." Before she can respond, I leap off of the waterfall. I'm glad Zora's Domain finally unthawed, because that would have hurt like hell if it hadn't. A few strokes later, I'm climbing out of the water, up the ladder, and back to my bag. "Guess I can take you off now." Yeah, yeah talking to myself, who else is going to listen besides you? The sweet, sweet cracking of my bones plays off the stone walls, distorting even further by the lapping water.
I put my tunic and hat back on before tucking the mask back into the bag. Sooo, do you ever get the feeling that you're being watched? After my time in the field, I get that feeling a lot. Damn squirrel set me off one day in the forest, and let me… never mind. That's a tale for another day. Hoisting my bag over my shoulder before strapping my shield and sword back on, I scan the room intently, though, idly enough to not draw extra attention.
Whatever it is that's staring at me feels like it's trying to look right through me. Nothing's in the water. Nothing's on the ceiling. Zelda's staring at me from the top of the falls and finally…
"Ah, shit!" This was said in closed mental quarters.
I don't know what to say or even begin to do now that she's spotted me. I'm still too upset to even try and talk to her, so we both just stare. If this day can get any worse let me know how. Oooh, that's just funny. The band has the nerve to play Zelda's Lullaby, and, even in face of this most painful song, we still can't speak.
"Do you think our kids will like this some day?" I remember her asking me long ago. I can tell by the way Zelda's looking at me that she too was remembering that day. No shot at that now, huh? Sarcasm, my only real friend through all of this, abandons me here. Rotten, rat-faced bastard…
"That was great! Hey, where'd Zelda go?" Score one for me. She turns to face the crowd and appeared to gesture something to them. Once again her eyes rest down on me, but I finally think of a way to leave.
"Goodnight, your highness." I bow at the waist, our eyes never leaving one another's.
A nice form of symbolism wouldn't you say? Zelda perched high above her loyal subject, him bowing at her regal presence. She never made me bow before her; I was always told I didn't have to. "You're my boyfriend. We're equals in this relationship; no bowing." We were equals. In light of our present, I was bottom of the pile. There is no sense in breaking my back standing like this. Bah, one more look and I'm gone. I take this last look and immortalize her image in my mind: blonde hair, blue eyes and a white gown with 11, 12...13 Hylian Roses.
Still, no words or good-byes are spoken, and so I exit the Zora's Domain a free man. Free to do what you may ask? Free to hopefully move on with my life. "Goodnight Link," I hear whispered within my head. Zelda hasn't spoken to me through that Triforce piece in years, but I'm glad she just did.
It's kind of Interesting how everyone I planned to say goodbye to isn't here. Malon is still on her honeymoon. The Goron haven't returned from hibernation, and Saria has the kids to worry about. How can she have kids when she to is a child? I don't care to know the specifics, but some of the fairies aren't just guardians; they're Kokiri Children's children. What you witnessed tonight was an example of where the Kokiri come from so to speak. They start off as fairies, and then later mature into the childlike beings of today.
Shocking, isn't it? I felt the same way when Saria told me. It also turns out Navi is Saria's daughter. You know, she was little girl with pink hair by the fire. Yep. That's the same Navi who rode through time with yours truly. It figures Mido would spawn such an uptight, overbearing child… I'm going to miss her. Turns out a lot of stuff people said about the Kokiri was myth. Oh well, it's probably better if they do stay hidden from the rest of the world. Anyway, I finally have an idea of where I want to go. I always wondered what was beyond the Desert Colossus, guess I can find out now.
Suppose I'll finish my tale about the sages and stuff. It'll help pass the time on this walk.
After I played my warp song, the Bolero of Fire no less, I found myself in the fire-Death Mountain Crater to be exact. I ran quickly across the rickety old rope bridge towards Darunia's secret entrance. I forgot I had the gauntlets on, and the statue literally flew out of the way. Naturally, my superior balance didn't see fit to show itself, which led to my falling face first into the ground. Ah, nothing says hero of legend like a belly flop.
"Ah! Brother Link!" Darunia bellowed in his jovial, I-just-ate-a-big-meal voice, lifting me to my feet with one hand.
If you're wondering, we met when I attempted to get the Megaton Hammer. I explained the situation, while simultaneously trying to avoid killing the big lug as he tried to kill me with the hammer. We "fought" to a standstill, which somehow earned me the title of Brother and the Goron leader's respect. I told him to keep the hammer afterwards, but to also keep his guard up and beware of a green thief from Gerudo Valley, because he could be out to destroy him [Darunia] for being a sage.
Meanwhile, back in Darunia's chamber, I was surveying my surroundings. Darunia, Kaepora, Saria-whom didn't age outside of the forest via being a sage, I assume-Nabooru, and Ruto were all present and accounted for. Zelda and Impa, though, were not.
"Damn! No Zelda," I muttered, even weakened slightly realizing that I needed the light arrows to kill big ugly. Sensing the troops' faith waning, I launched into my storyteller's voice to recite my magnificent plan. "You're probably wondering why I called you here," beginning with the obvious is always the best approach…in my little world. "Well, the reason is simple. You're all going on a trip." That part I announced as though it were a grand vacation instead of a three-year sentence in a magical rift in reality.
"If you think I'm flying all of them anywhere else you are sadly mistaken." One guess as to who said that. Here's a hint: Kaepora "Mr. Save the World" Gaebora.
"Don't worry; your wings can take a rest," I assured him, though, biting the urge to roast him back. "No this is a place they have to take themselves."
Now that I think about it, it's funny how quickly I managed to piece the bulk of that plan together in the colossus.
"You're all going to the one place Ganondorf can't touch you, the Sacred Realm." Of course, this grand announcement was met with blank stares and confusion, minus the only person, now a bird, who'd been there before, Kaepora. The ever inquisitive Nabooru was the first to ask what the "Sacred Realm" was. Before I could answer, a new, more condescending voice spoke.
"The Sacred Realm is an area where evil cannot exist, and, more importantly, it cannot penetrate." Rauru beamed into existence shortly after his words. Everyone momentarily gasped in face of the blinding light, but took this new appearance in stride. "If you all would hold hands, we can begin."
Here it was my two-hour master plan, and the old sage is taking over-not that I minded. The sages, minus Kaepora and Nabooru, followed suit. One can only imagine how the bird-man became so bitter towards women, but he seemed to get a painful hard-on when Nabooru didn't immediately jump-to with my plans.
"Well woman, what are you waiting for?" Mr. Hoot-Hoot asked vapidly.
"Look, you can't just expect her to walk into this so quickly," I scolded the large bird. "It's my damn plan, and if I'm not upset, you shouldn't be either." Whoo! I stole the wind from his wings and roasted his ass with extra glaze. If he had lips, I'm sure Kaepora's bottom one would've been on the floor. My attention shifted to Nabooru, upon which time I asked her about any concerns.
"When will we return, first of all," she stated, rolling her eyes at Kaepora. "What will happen to our respective people?"
"Good question," I admitted, but I had a workable answer. "I can set up the Goron and Zora with some people I know in Termina. The Gerudo, however, I'm not sure. Do you have any suggestions?"
I didn't know exactly what to do with the Gerudo, because I knew they wouldn't believe anything I had to say. Plus there was the fact that Ganondorf was probably still there, and a showdown with him that soon in the game would've spelled the end of the world. Nabooru was sharp, though. She immediately took a piece of clay from the floor and started scrawling on a piece of her pant legs. That piece was then torn away and handed to me.
"Find a guard with purple eyes and give her that. She will do the rest," Nabooru went on to tell me. There was a quick flash of something in her eyes, most of which I didn't recognize or pay much heed to before she coughed and spoke again. "And Link…" Nabooru paused awkwardly, but it looked like she wanted to say something she'd never said before. Then she finally says, "Thank you."
With little more than a raised eyebrow, I replied, "You're welcome. When it's over, Saria will let you all know." I flashed the ocarina at Saria and she immediately nodded before they all disappeared.
Now, in place of the sages were their respective medallions. Perhaps it was some form of automatic sage knowledge, the whole medallions thing. I know that I never mentioned the medallions to them, probably was Kaepora.
"What do you plan to do now?" Kaepora asked in that "this is a stupid idea" kind of way. I continued to wonder if he'd be nicer baked and glazed in some sort of sauce, but I managed to give his question serious thought.
A few minutes passed before I said, "I'm going to find the missing pieces of the puzzle. Impa used to live in Kakariko, so someone around there has to know something."
We both left the chamber, me giving directions to all the Goron on how to make it to the Termina clan, and Kaepora flying off to go perch on something. Early the next morning, the Zora all agreed to leave incase Ganondorf attacked them as a group to destroy the pure heart of the sage in Ruto. Mikaru (Ruto's future husband) led them via underwater tunnels to the Termina sect of Zora. Now, let's go forward to later that evening in Gerudo Valley. While I knew that I needed to find the woman with purple eyes, I didn't have a name to go on. So, while I figured out this problem, I would get the useless Ice Arrows, which was a lucky break in thinking to do that.
"40 rupees and you may pass," the taskmistress said, looking at me with disgust despite the pass I wore.
Purple eyes, I thought, it must be my lucky night.
"This is for you." I handed her the note and waited for her to read it. Suddenly, she smiled and waved a few patrolling guards over. "I'm not getting caught." I told myself. They began to whisper among themselves before the two guards ran off into the night. "Tell Lady Nabooru everything will be done as ordered… and good luck, hero," the woman said before she too ran off.
I shrugged and warped out of there, but not before getting the arrows.
The day after that began the waiting. Three very long years would come and go, and I still wouldn't see hide or hair of Zelda. Ganondorf had turned Castle Town into the ransacked hell that'd I knew it would become, and without those light arrows he would only get stronger by the day. I tell you what. You aren't going to believe where I would find Zelda. That, however, will have to wait. I've got to turn in for the night... morning, whatever. I'm tired and I've been walking for far too long. One more question? Fine, what is it? Why not just call Epona?
"Ha-Ha-Ha!" Sorry, sorry the question's fine. It's just a weird story, that's all. I'll tell you first thing when I wake up, though.