Chapter 10: The Calm before the Storm
The final echoes of the music faded. It was a common pleasure to the various workers of Lon Lon. The soft, beautiful tones emitted by the heir to the ranch were truly sounds to hear. Many of the ranch hands commented on her, wondering what she would be like once she reaches adulthood. The young girl had been singing for hours, it seemed. But now it appeared that her inspiration had faded.
It was a pity, really, that the girl was still a child (and rather strange, at that) otherwise some of the younger fieldworkers would have shown some interest in her.
Not that the girl knew or cared about any of that. She was to busy wrestling with her own problems. Which, compared to the dilemma of an interesting person being too young, was a lot more important.
Malon let out a relived sigh. There was nothing better then some relaxing singing to clear her mind and thoughts. She now had a small grip on these new senses. While she doubted if she was thinking hard about anything else the control would fade. It was strangely quiet; the only sounds in the fields were the sounds of horses. She was in her element.
Though it was getting dark though. "I should try that new trick out!" Malon smiled, holding out her hands. She whispered the incantation, gathering the mana needed for the spell "Light Orb!" The glowing ball of light formed in her hands. "Alright!" She cheered, "Another victory for Malon!"
Then it started to grow. The ball of light soon grew to the size of a large melon. "What's going on?" Malon tried to force down the ball, but she couldn't do anything. It just kept on growing. Faster and faster, until it looked ready to burst.
"Oh... shit." Malon muttered, as she closed her eyes just a second before her vision filled with white.
They were on the road to Lon Lon. First they had headed to the Castle, where they had gotten Sheik's horse. They were now riding towards the great Ranch.
Marial was a beautiful horse, pure white. Everything about her screamed grace and power. Kasuto could hardly believe that Sheik could control her, let along keep the young Gerudo from falling off.
Then again, Kasuto was holding on by grasping Sheiks waist, and was thoroughly enjoying every second of it. She grinned as she gripped him tighter for a second. Oh Kas, you naughty girl! she giggled.
"What's so funny?" Sheik asked.
"Nothing." Kasuto replied lightly, "So, how much longer until we reach Malon's place?"
Sheik shrugged, "We passed into the Lon Family's land a while ago. It's just a matter of time before we reach their house."
"Wait..." Kasuto looked around, "Just how much land does Malon's family own?"
Sheik looked around, "Well, I'd say that from the central house, Talon Lon owns three maletoe surrounding it."
Kasuto's eyes widened, "That's a lot of land! Larger then my hometown! How rich is Malon?"
Sheik shook his head, "The Lon family is an old Noble Family, from back when such titles mattered. Though they always were one of the least wealthy of the nobility. The ranch is all they own." He turned to her and grinned, "Though, that's really enough, isn't it?"
Kasuto nodded slowly, "Wait... how rich are you?"
Sheik blushed, "I don't really want to talk about it..."
Kasuto grinned, "Oh really..." She wanted to try something new out. "Please?" She asked as sweetly as she could.
"Oh come on..." Sheik muttered, facing forward again, as if Marial needed guiding.
"Pretty please?" Kasuto started rubbing against Sheik, "I really really want to know."
"Err..." Sheik turned to face her, "Could you please stop that?"
Kasuto had him in her trap. Instantly she pouted her lips and widened her eyes. She began to make soft whimpering noises. "Pwetty pwetty pwease?" She asked in a childish voice.
"Gah... erk..." Sheik stuttered... his face was now pure red. "I- Um- Err- Oh fine! Damn you and your adorable features!"
"Thank you. Now speak." Kasuto instantly returned to normal.
Sheik faced forward again and sighed... "Fine. I received a small island of the coast of Labrynna for my tenth birthday."
"Cool!" Kasuto squealed, "You must be really rich!"
"Can we not talk about this?" Sheik muttered, "I'm not used to having any money. It makes me uncomfortable to have this much."
"Oh..." Kasuto suddenly felt guilty, "Sorry."
"It's alright." Sheik said gently, "I understand you're curious."
Suddenly, the darkening sky suddenly lit up again. As off in the distance a very bright white light shone. The piercing glare shone for a few seconds, before fading as quickly as it came.
Sheik, Kasuto, and even the horse stared for a moment.
"What the fuck was that?" Kasuto asked slowly.
"I think it came from Malon's house." Sheik continued to stare. "I don't think anything blew up..."
Kasuto pressed her hand against her forehead, "It looked like a Light Orb spell. But why would anyone make a spell that big?"
For a moment they both pondered this.
"Malon?" Kasuto asked dully.
"Malon." Sheik urged Marial to move foreword again.
They had reached Lon Lon, and Kasuto could not believe that Malon lived there! The place was huge, with enough buildings to house at least a hundred people. "And Malon's dad needs this much space to run his business?"
"Pretty much." Zelda answered, "Lon Lon is the largest supplier of horses in Hyrule. It's also a big source of Dairy and other animal products."
"Oh." Kasuto nodded... "Wait a minute! When did you change!"
Zelda turned to her and smirked, "A few minutes ago, didn't you notice Kas?" Laughing at Kasuto's baffled look, she continued, "I'm slightly taller as now, plus my hair's lighter." They stopped at the main gate.
"Good girl." Zelda petted her horse, as she jumped off it.
"Whoa! Whoa!" Kasuto waved her arms in a panic, without Zelda to help her keep her balance she suddenly stumbled off. With a quiet thud she fell off Marial and hit the ground. The horse let out a grunt at the Gerudo, slightly annoyed that someone would fall off her.
"So much for the stereotype of all Gerudo being master horse riders." Zelda said lightly.
"Oh shut up." Kasuto pulled herself off the ground
"Who's there?" A sharp voice demanded, a moment later a man Zelda recognized came out.
"Who are you two?" Ingo demanded.
Zelda paused for a moment, "We're friends of Malon." She answered, "Can we see her?"
Ingo sighed, "Are you as weird as her?" He asked worriedly.
"Nothing is as weird as her." Kasuto smiled slightly.
"True... she nearly burned everyone's eyes out today." Ingo shook his head, "She's in her room." He pointed to a nice looking house, "She's in there. Now if you excuse me ladies, I have work to do." He walked briskly past them.
Zelda blinked, "Odd... the last time I met him..."
"What?" Kasuto glanced at her.
Zelda sighed, "I guess he just doesn't like Sheikah." She shrugged, "Come on, let's go see Malon.
"What about Marial?" Kasuto asked, pointing to the horse.
"She's trained not to wander." Zelda walked up to the door, Kasuto quickly caught up.
As they knocked on the door both of them realized something.
Crap! Zelda thought, What if Talon recognizes me? We've met a few times before! Before she could try changing, however, the door opened.
"Hello there." Talon peered down at the two girls, and for the first time in her life Kasuto felt small. This man was huge Yet, despite that he gave them a gentle smile, "What brings two young girls here at this hour?"
"Um," Kasuto said uneasily, "We're here to see Malon. It's really important. Can we see her, please?"
Talon smiled, "Of course." His eyes shined gently, "It's so nice to see Malon finally make friends her own age."
Zelda decided not to point out that Link, Saria, and her were actually a fair bit older then Malon. Mainly because that would require some explaining that she really didn't want to deal with.
"Come on, I'll show you to her room." Talon let them inside.
"Thank you, Mr. Lon." Kasuto said.
Malon rested in her bedroom. She had taken some care to make sure it was dark. Her eyes were still somewhat sensitive to light.
Her door opened, "Malon? Someone is here to see you." A small bit of light entered her room.
"Ack! The light! It burns!" Malon said dramatically.
"That's enough of the theatrics." Talon said lightly.
"It still stings." Malon closed her eyes, "Be gone!" She giggled.
"Good luck." Talon said, shutting the door.
"You are an unbelievable person." Malon heard Kasuto's voice said.
"Perhaps." Malon smiled, "I can't really see you, what's up?"
"What happened?" Zelda's voice asked.
"I tried to cast Light Orb." Malon grinned sheepishly.
There was a pause.
"You're kidding." Kasuto said, "You couldn't do this?" A ball of white light formed in front of her hand.
Malon hissed and shielded her eyes.
"Turn it down Kas." Zelda formed a ball of dim red light. It cast the whole room into a red tint; the light was very easy on the eyes.
Malon smiled, "Thank you. That's much better."
Kasuto put her hands on her hips, "Why the hell are you allowed to cast magic?" She gave her a slight glare.
Zelda placed a hand on Kasuto's shoulder, "Malon's still learning."
Kasuto sighed, "But when I learned magic the problem was that I couldn't get the spell to work. Not to have them blow up!"
Malon giggled, "But explosions are fun!" She laughed.
Zelda bopped Malon on the back of the head, "Don't make me lose my sympathy." She cleared her throat, "Now, each person has their own problems with learning magic. Most people share two common problems: Lack of control, and lack of Mana reserves. Now, you have great natural control Kasuto. But you lack reserves, that and a bit of self confidence." She winked at Kasuto, who blushed. "Now Malon here," She pointed to the farm girl, "Has incredible reserves. At the same time, she has no control. So her problem is that they tend to... backfire." She patted Malon on the head.
"Your powers of deduction are amazing." Malon said dryly.
"I'm amazing, aren't I?" Zelda said with a flourish.
"How do you know that?" Kasuto asked.
Zelda nodded sagely, "I had the same problem, tons of mana, no control. Impa used a unique method to get me to learn." She grinned viscously, "She locked me into the Shadow Temple and refused to let me leave until I learned control."
"The Shadow Temple?" Malon's eyes widened, "You went into an Elemental Temple? What was it like?"
Zelda sighed, "The Shadow Temple isn't the most... pleasant thing for non Sheikah. Heck, it's still unnerving for a Sheikah!" She grinned, "I learned control in a week."
Malon smiled, she couldn't help but enjoy the company of these two. Not only that, but there was something very different about them now. Before there had been some tension between them. Neither of them had even noticed it, the uneasiness that had kept them apart. Yet now, it was gone. The two were acting freely around each other, with nothing to stop them. For a moment Malon felt a harsh emotion... but then it quickly faded before she could even figure out what it was. So all she felt was happiness. "So, what brings you two here?"
Zelda nodded, "Right... down to business." She was worried, Malon could feel her nervousness. "We need to start infiltrating the OWR, soon."
Kasuto nodded, "We kinda need you to provide Zel with more backup." She sighed, "Because I'm just not enough..." A rush of sadness came from Kasuto.
Malon just nodded, "That sounds fine. So my job would be to help you escape if all hell breaks loose?"
"That sounds about right." Zelda laughed softly.
"Alright, so the basic plan is this. Zel here sneaks into the bastards place. Tricks the bastards, gathers enough information from the bastards to throw the bastards in jail. Meanwhile, me and you will be standing guard at strategic points around Bastard HQ. If the bastards somehow find out that Zel is tricking them then, as she runs to find a safe place to become Sheik, we'll blast them." Kasuto said this all very seriously, "Any questions?"
"One," Malon said, "Could you have possibly used the word ‘bastard' any more in that?"
"The answer is yes. If you want I'll give you the uncensored version." Kasuto winked.
"No. Just, no." Zelda placed a hand on Kasuto's shoulder, "We don't want to hear your obscenity filled tirade against the OWR... at the moment."
Malon laughed, "OK, that's cute." She waved her hand, and instantly the lights in her room turned on, making the room fully lit. "I think my eyes are better."
"Ack!" Kasuto winced from the sudden bright light and covered her eyes for a moment, "Damn your Hylian eyes!" A second later she pulled her arms away, "Very cute Malon."
"I know." Malon winked, "Anyway, I just want to know what brought you people here? I mean, you could have waited ‘till tomorrow."
Zelda suddenly became very fascinated by a wall. "It's just... I talked to Impa today, and she looked so stressed. So worried. I haven't seen her like that since- Um, since-" She stumbled, as if trying to figure out what to say.
But Malon had a pretty good idea, "Since Ganondorf?" Zelda's eyes widened as she turned to stare at Malon. "Link told me about it. Is that OK?" Zelda looked pale for a moment, before nodding. "Ah." Malon noticed that Kasuto didn't show any shock from hearing that. So she knows too. There was now only one thing left to do. "Well, you girls want to spend the night?"
"Sure." Zelda shrugged, "It's not like I haven't spent a night outside the castle before."
"Why not?" Kasuto smiled.
"Alright!" Malon grinned, "Sleepover!"
Zelda and Kasuto looked at each other, slightly confused.
"Oh, one more thing." Malon held up a finger, "The two of you are sleeping in different beds, at least."
"What?" Zelda blinked, "What's with that rule?"
"Because." Malon one eye and wiggled her finger, "I don't want to be kept up as the two of you do stuff." She smirked with satifaction when she saw the two become beet red. To her further delight, they then just nodded in agreement. "So you agree with my reasoning?" They both nodded again. "So you do want to have a go at each other in bed."
"Gah!" Zelda fell back, "Malon!" she shouted, while Kasuto just giggled.
Impa slumped down into her chair. She was tired and frustrated. Why did any of this have to happen?
"Stupid, stupid, stupid!" Impa muttered to herself, "Why can't the world just leave this place alone!" In frustration she punched the wall behind her. Her fist making a small hole in the stone wall, "Hasn't Hyrule gone through enough!" She leaned forward and laid her head against her desk.
"Impa?" Edward entered the room, "Are you OK?"
Impa glanced up from her position. "Oh I'm just fine." She said sarcastically.
Edward raised an eyebrow, "I'm guessing that the stress is getting to you as well?"
"Oh no, it got to me ages ago." Impa smiled mirthlessly, "I am now insane."
Edward looked at her, "OK..." he sighed, "Well, can't say that I blame you... though you've been insane for years." He winked at her.
Impa let out a real smile, "Thanks." It seemed that Edward still had at least some sense of humor left.
"By the way," Edward held up an envelope, "I found this, it's addressed to you." He set it down in front of her.
"Thank you." Impa opened the envelope and pulled out the note.
Going out, might be gone all night. Be back tomorrow at most.
Impa laughed at the note, "Why am I not surprised?" She handed the note to Edward, "Look."
Edward read over it, "By the Goddesses, what is that girl thinking?"
"A lot." Impa smiled, "She's incredibly hard to predict. But everything she does has some reason."
"I know." Edward set down the note, "It's just that's she's still a child. Yet she insists on taking the world on her shoulders." He sighed, "It's like one day she was a young girl. The next she was an adult in a young girl's body."
"That sounds about right." Impa said, "Hey, remember when Zelda first tried using magic?" She sat up.
Edward laughed at the memory, "How could I forget? She was the sweetest little six year old you ever did see. The poor girl, she slipped into the library and tired to learn a spell... what did she try to learn again? All I know is that she somehow made the whole castle very attractive to wildlife." He smiled, "I had never seen so many wild cucco pecking at anything before!"
Impa laughed, "She was trying to learn a spell to change matter... I still want to know how she did that."
"Me too." Edward said, "Hey Impa. How about we go somewhere. We need a break, just for a while."
Impa smiled weakly, "A break is good." She stood up, "How about some dinner?"
"I'm fine with that!" Edward grinned.
Both Zelda and Kasuto were now experiencing the strange experience known as a "sleepover." Malon had instantly gathered various snacks and squealed in delight multiple times.
The two girls just stood there, staring. While Malon rushed around like a Deku Scrub on a sugar high. "Wow." Kasuto muttered.
"She's something else, isn't she? Talon walked up to them.
"That she is..." Zelda said.
"What are your names anyway?" Talon looked at them both, "I don't think I've met you two before."
"Oh, I'm Zelda, and this is Kasuto," Zelda answered without thinking.
"Zelda?" Talon raised an eyebrow, "That's not a common name."
"Urk." Zelda froze as she realized what she had said, "I'm Zelda... err..."
"Ruzantaze." Kasuto said quickly.
"Yeah, Zelda Ruzantaze." Zelda nodded quickly.
"And I'm Kasuto Lilla." Kasuto said.
"Well, pleased to meet you both." Talon said in that gentle voice of his
"Come on!" Malon suddenly grabbed both girls and ran off, "We have chatting to do!"
Talon chuckled, "You'd think Malon had found the greatest thing in the world." He commented as he saw his happy daughter, "Then again, maybe she has."
"Ruzantaze?" Zelda asked Kasuto.
The Gerudo shrugged, "It was the first thing I thought of."
"It sounds weird." Zelda pouted.
"Well, all that matters is that Mr. Lon doesn't realize that he's hosting a princess." Kasuto patted Zelda on the back.
Malon placed her arms around both of them, "Dad's not dumb. He'll figure it out eventually... oh well! Let's just have fun tonight!" She pulled away and plopped down onto her bed, spreading out.
Zelda couldn't smile; Malon's feelings were always so infectious. One couldn't resist it for long, you would soon be in the same room "Well, now what?" she folded her arms.
"Well, I have one question for you." Malon's eyes had a glint in them. Of course, Zelda hadn't been around Malon long enough, or else she would have run screaming from the instant that glint appeared. "What do you do about underwear?"
Zelda nearly fell to the ground at the question, "Wait, what?"
"What do you do about underwear?" Malon said, completely serious, "Do they come with the change? If so how did you set that up? Or do you just keep on whatever you're wearing when you change?"
"Why are you asking me this?" Zelda whined, placing her hands on her hips and glaring at Malon, "What I have as underwear really isn't your business."
Kasuto then calmly walked up to Zelda. She looked the princess over for a moment, before reaching out and squeezing Zelda's chest. "She ain't wearing a bra."
Zelda stood there; it almost looked as if all color had faded from her body with the look of shock. Finally she spoke, "Did you just grope me?"
"Yeah." Kasuto shrugged, "It's only fair right? You got a pretty good idea of what I felt like earlier today." She smiled.
It should be noted that Malon, by this point, was rolling on the ground laughing.
Zelda made a strange gurgling sound in response to that. "But... you don't go doing stuff like that, or talking about it, in front of other people!"
"Um, why?" Kasuto looked confused, "It's no big deal. It's not like Malon is an innocent little thing."
Zelda sighed, "Sorry... I'm just a little nervous about stuff like that. Though," She laughed softly, "I should probably expect stuff like that with a Gerudo."
"Yup. We're horny little gals." Kasuto giggled, "So get used to it."
"You two have an interesting relationship!" Malon popped up, "I'm glad I helped make it what it is today!" That evil glint came to her eye again, "Though I wish that I could have been there for the make-out scene."
"No." Both Zelda and Kasuto said after a moments pause.
It was a small tavern called by the name of The Sleeping Dragon. Located in an obscure corner of Castle City it had a small of loyal group of customers.
Two of those customers were quite well known, yet none of the other regulars treated them any different. For they had been coming to this tavern just as long as the others. One was a tall, very strong looking Hylian man. Wearing a dark red work shirt and black pants. His dark brown hair tied back into a small ponytail. He and the other regular, a Sheikah woman, were doing what old friends are wont to do. Talk about the past.
"Remember when I first joined the army?" Edward asked, taking a sip of his drink. (Non-Alcoholic, neither of them wanted to get drunk tonight.)
"Do I?" Impa smiled, "You were, what, sixteen? You had just signed up and I was in charge of training you and the rest of the new guys."
"I was scared shitless." Edward chuckled, "Here was Impa Abbar, hero of the War of the Southern Gods. And here was me, Edward Lilla, some nobody who decided to join the army."
"I say you did pretty well for a nobody, Sir Lilla." Impa took a bite of her bread.
"Perhaps. Who would have thought we would have become friends?" Edward shook his head, "Very unlikely."
"Yet it happened." Impa smiled.
"Hey Impa." Edward looked at her, "Why did you quit the military? You were at the height of your career."
Impa sighed, "I was tired of life in the army. I wanted to do something else. So I took a job in the government, but eventually I grew somewhat bored with that. So I asked Marial if I could help take care of her daughter." Impa took a gulp of her drink, "They made me Zelda's nursemaid and bodyguard right then and there. I thought taking care of a princess would be an easy task, much more relaxing then military life." She grinned, "I was a damn fool."
Edward laughed, "Children are the most difficult thing the Goddesses throw at you."
"And the most rewarding..." Impa closed her eyes in remembrance, "Zelda became the daughter I never had." She smiled sadly, "What with me never finding the right man."
"There's still time, don't despair." Edward comforted his friend, "I have another question though... why did you never visit me after we parted ways? When you went to the Castle and I went to Gerudo Valley and married Kilya."
Impa looked very uncomfortable for a moment, "I just... I... I kept on putting it off, thinking I could go visit you later. Until it was too late." She sighed, "We didn't exactly part on the best of terms though, did we?"
"No." Edward looked into his glass, "Oh well, that's all in the past now." He held up his glass, "Here's to a good future."
"To a good future." Impa held up her own.
Andire climbed into his bed, eagerly awaiting tomorrow.
For tomorrow would be the day when the final preparations would be complete... and nothing would be able to prevent his dreams from coming true after that.
Authors Note: Alright, I've already done this for TOoE, so I might as well do it here! If you read this story, please leave a review. It doesn't have to be much, just a sign that you know this story exists.
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