All that remains of the Kokiri presence in Hyrule exists in this forest. Their playgrounds, their homes, their ruins. All that the current generation knows of the forest children came from this place, this place of death. One day, the Hylians marched into the woods and took what they thought was theirs.
…they killed children.
I could do nothing. I'm not Kokiri. I'm not Hylian, Zora, Goron, or Fey. I'm nothing. To the invaders, I was not. My words were ignored, my pleads disregarded. I was detained, forced to listen to the Kokiri as their home was set aflame, as trees crumbled, as their great protector died.
I've tried to convince myself that they are not their ancestors, that the children will grow away from the selfish beliefs of their parents, but I know it isn't true. Someday, Hyrule will be at war with itself again.
Someday, we won't need Ganondorf to drive us to our knees and put the sword to our throat. There will be no dictator, no foreign culture threatening to engulf our own. We will do it to ourselves, bring death upon ourselves. On that day, there will be no further need for the cycle.
No further need for heroes.
I meditate, focusing my senses on all that cannot be seen. The scent of a pine tree drifting through the air. The whistle of a soft breeze. Subtleties long forgotten by Hylians. Only through serenity can I draw her forward, the true spirit of the forest, the one sworn to guard it till the forest children make their return.
Saria of the Kokiri.
She's not the girl my father knew. She's not a girl.
She's hardly Kokiri.
Her entire being has been given to the forest, protecting it as the Great Deku Tree could not.
Where there was once skin, there is now bark. Where there was once hair, there are leaves. Where eyes once rested, there are spherical black orbs. A far cry from the girl my father knew, from the girl I knew. Her form and status prevent me from even hugging her, from letting her know how glad I am that the beasts of Twilight did not claim her.
She drifts towards me, taking root with each step, bringing about new life with each breath. "Lora." The voice of the girl is echoed by the voice of a god. "You have returned to me."
I nod. "Yes."
"Why have you returned to me?"
"Because I have a question for you."
Saria was silent. The forest was silent.
"What happened between you and my father after my mother left?"
Another pause. "Navi?"
I wish for a moment that I can appear as myself, that I can do away with Ashei and remain Lora. "He stayed in the forest with you after he returned from his journey. What is… what happened?"
For a moment, it is a girl who answers, a twelve year old girl trapped in childhood. "I loved your father in a way Kokiri were not meant to love. And for a short while, he loved me." She looks as though she is about to cry, but her eyes allow no tears. Such pleasures were sacrificed long ago. "We were happy."
"…and… my mother?"
"I am not your mother, Lora, if that is what you've come to ask." Her words are laced with regret. "The Kokiri are not like Hylians. We can experience their pleasure, but we cannot bear fruit from it. No children could come of our union."
"What about my mother?"
There is a pause, longer than before, masking some secret I can't identify. "Your father always loved Navi. He and I shared a love, but the bond your mother and he forged went beyond mere romance. They developed something more. I believe your mother was afraid of that love when she fled."
"But she came back?"
"Link found her. He never gave up on her, but he experiences lapses in his searches."
"Where was she?"
Saria finally sits down in front of me, crossing her legs. Plants stretch out to touch her. Mother. Life-giver. "Navi was living far outside the borders of Hyrule, perfecting her magic. In that time, she'd perfected her control over magic. She and Link were allowed the type of relationship previously barred from them."
Nothing in life was ever so easy.
Especially not for the Hero of Time.
But I say nothing. I let the lie slide. Something is missing, something about my mother. I don't believe that magic would so easily grant her such power over matter. Even Saria should know that centuries of life have taught me to accept everything with a grain of salt, regardless of the source.
I stand. I have heard little, but it is enough.
The god returns to Saria's voice. "When will you return to me?"
"Soon," I say as I leave.
I will not lie to her as she's lied to me.
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