Chapter 11: The Beginning...
Zelda yawned as she sleepily opened her eyes. She had fallen asleep on the ground on a large mat. She sat up and stretched out. Looking around, she could see Kasuto curled up in a large chair. "Heh." She walked over to her. "Morning Kas." Zelda leaned over and gave her a peck on the cheek.
"Nnn..." Kasuto opened her eyes, she smiled sleepily. "I like the view."
"Come on, let's go get some breakfast." Zelda pulled Kasuto up.
"Then we..." Kasuto looked away, "... try to stop those people."
"Not try." Zelda brushed her fingers against Kasuto's cheek, "We will stop the future that you saw."
Kasuto clasped Zelda's hand, pressing it against her cheek. "I can't help it. I'm just so scared. I've been trying not to think about it, but I'm just over my head!" She closed her eyes as tears leaked down over their hands. "I don't know how you handle it."
Zelda stared at Kasuto... "I don't really know. I guess it's just part of who I am."
"Who are you?" Kasuto asked, "Do you know yet?" She sighed, "When we first met... you seemed so confident. So sure of everything." She pulled down their hands, looking at them. "How quickly I realized that you are as fragile as me."
Zelda shivered, there was something different about the way Kasuto was speaking, she was speaking from the very depths of her soul.
"When you just... gave up on everything." Kasuto fell silent for a moment, a look of intense pain on her face. "I was more afraid then, then I had ever been." She looked Zelda straight in the eyes.
Zelda gasped at what she saw in Kasuto's eyes. There was a deep pain within those golden depths. She didn't know what had happened to her little Gerudo, but it must have been horrible. To hear Kasuto say that something she had done was worse then everything else pierced her to the core.
"So... can you tell me who you are?" Kasuto asked quietly.
Zelda blushed faintly, "Kasuto, I-"
The door burst open, "Hey! You're both up!" Malon said loudly, "Come on! We've been waiting for hours!"
"Gak!" Zelda flushed, "Malon! Do you have to..."
"Huh?" Malon tilted her head to the side, "Did I do something?"
"Nothing." Zelda sighed.
"Well, come on! The sun is up and the breakfast is cold!" Malon grabbed both girls by the arms, "You two sleep way to late, you know that?"
As Malon dragged them, Kasuto caught sight of a clock, "Malon... it's Eight o'clock... what time do you get up?"
"Oh about Five." Malon said casually, "Sometimes earlier if there's a lot of work to be done."
There was a moment of silence as Zelda and Kasuto computed that comment.
"This girl is insane." Kasuto said with wide eyes.
"Ah, good morning." Talon nodded as the three girls came down, "How are you ladies this morning."
"How do you people live waking up at Five A.M.?" Kasuto asked incredulously.
Talon laughed, "You get used to it Miss Lilla." He pulled out two plates pancakes from a refrigerator, "Sorry about it being cold, but I cooked them hours ago."
"Food!" Kasuto grabbed a plate "Syrup... I want syrup!"
"Here." Talon handed Kasuto a bottle, "Enjoy." He smiled as Zelda took her breakfast with a bit more restraint. "So, how did you two meet Malon?"
"She jumped me." Kasuto muttered as she downed her pancakes.
"That sounds about right." Zelda chuckled.
Talon laughed, "Malon says that the three of you have something important to do today. You should have seen her rush around this morning. She was so eager to finish her chores before you two woke up."
Malon flushed, "Daddy..." She smiled weakly.
"Thanks Malon." Zelda patted Malon on the back, "You're considerate, if nothing else." She winked.
"Thanks..." Malon turned away, blushing.
"Well, I'll leave you girls to your games." Talon gave his daughter a hug, then turned and went outside, whistling a cheerful tune.
"Well." Malon smiled as Talon shut the door behind him, "Let's go be heroes!" She laughed for a second, before suddenly giving Zelda a very serious look. "But first..." She grabbed Zelda by the shoulders, pulling her down onto a couch, "You need to get some more feminine clothing on." She casually pulled out the "clothing" they had bought the other day. (Kasuto still refused to acknowledge those strips of cloth as clothing.)
"Well, let's begin Princess." Malon grinned evilly, "You, Miss Lilla! Out!"
"What?" Kasuto blinked, "Why?"
"Because Zelda here will be getting naked!" Malon said lightly.
"Why do you get to stay?" Zelda asked.
"Because I'm not sexually attracted to you." Malon laughed that evil laugh of hers.
"I'm leaving, I'm leaving dammit." Kasuto muttered as she stomped out the door. "I'll get you for the teasing Malon Lon! One day I will!" A loud slam sounded her exit.
"Tell me, Zelda, when was the last time you really dressed like a girl. When you put forth real effort into it. When you wanted to look like a girl." Malon asked sweetly.
Zelda gagged, "I was nine."
"So... three years?" Malon shook her head, "You need to learn to love your girly side more."
"Malon... I'm nineteen." Zelda grinned sheepishly. "Those extra seven years, remember?"
Malon's jaw dropped, "By the Gods... You need help." She shook her head, "Girl, when I'm through with you boys will be fighting each other to get a look at you."
Zelda suddenly had an intense feeling of impending doom.
"Mom? Is something wrong?" Kasuto pulled at her mother's pants. "You look sad..."
"Hmm?" Kilya looked down, a moment later she smiled, "No dear... I'm fine."
"No you're not." Kasuto folded her arms and gave her mother a sassy look, "You're sad. Don't try to pretend you're not."
"Heh." Kilya's eyes shined for a moment, "Can't trick you, can I?"
"Nope!" Kasuto tapped her head, "I'm not dumb enough to fall for tricks."
"I guess you aren't." Kilya laughed softly, before looking out the window again. Just watching the world go by.
It hit Kasuto why her mother was depressed, "It's about Daddy, isn't it?"
Kilya nodded slowly, "Yes... I miss him very much." She smiled as Kasuto held up her arms, indicating that she wanted to be picked up.
"Why did Daddy leave?" Kasuto asked as she was pulled up to Kilya's eye level.
"He was forced to. He wanted to stay, but he couldn't." Kilya said, trying to stay strong for her child.
"That's not what the other girls say." Kasuto frowned, "The other girls say that all the boys left because they were bad. That they wanted to hurt everyone."
"That's a lie!" Kilya said, a look of anger briefly overcoming her gentle face. But an instant later she calmed, "Kasuto... do not believe the things people say about boys, or Hylians, or Sheikah, or any other kind of person." When Kasuto nodded she continued, "Your father is the most important person in the world to me. One day, you'll find someone who is as important to you as Daddy is to me."
Kasuto blinked, "What will I do?" She asked.
"Do what your heart tells you." Kilya smiled, "Every person is different. When you find the most important person to you, you'll know it."
Kasuto nodded, "I understand." She said seriously. "I'll be sure to remember it, so you don't have to remind me."
"That's my girl..." Kilya smiled sadly, "You do that."
Kasuto sighed as she waited outside. She knew why she was thinking of her mother now...
Would her mother approve of Zelda? Of Sheik? There wasn't much she remembered of her parents... other then being told that while she had gotten her looks from her mother. Almost everything else came from her father. (Which, as one might guess, only added to her peers dislike of her.)
Other then some general feelings of happiness, and a few fractured conversations... nothing. She could barely remember Kilya's face... but even that was a lot compared to the pathetically fuzzy memories of her dad.
"Oh well." She shrugged, she didn't want to get depressed over something that had happened a long time ago. The time for mourning had long since past.
"OK! We're ready!" The door opened and Malon stuck her head out, "You can come in now."
"Finally." Kasuto rolled her eyes, "You've been in there a full hour."
"Works of Art take time my dear friend." Malon said in a wise tone. "Come in and observe my masterpiece!"
Kasuto took one look at Zelda and nearly died right then and there. She was wearing a soft pink sleeveless shirt that pushed the limits on what was considered revealing. A black belt with a silver Triforce as a buckle wrapped around a sky blue miniskirt. A simple golden chain hung from her right wrist. Her hair was braided back and hanging behind her, allowing everyone to see every inch of her face.
Zelda blushed, "I look stupid... don't I?"
"No... you look... beautiful." Kasuto smiled weakly.
"OK, now do you believe me now that your girlfriend has expressed the same opinion?" Malon asked dryly.
Both girls glared at Malon.
"Anyway." Kasuto coughed, trying not to think about how one could see every piece of Zelda's figure in that outfit, "How are we going to get back with you like this? I mean, it's nice, but we'll be riding a horse, across Hyrule Plains."
"No we won't." Malon said in a sing-song voice, "Zelda here has an alternate method of transportation."
"Wait, what?" Zelda shook her head, "What do you mean by that?"
Malon sighed, "Behold. Zelda's Kokiri Sack." She picked up a plain brown bag from the table. She opened it up and began rummaging through it. "I know one has to be in here somewhere!"
"Hey! What are you doing?" Zelda shouted.
"Gimme a minute." Malon stretched out the bag, making the opening impossibly large "Ah ha!" She reached into the now huge opening, puling out a harp. "Here we go!" She let the bag close up again. Malon then tossed the instrument to Zelda.
"What?" Zelda caught the harp, "What are you doing?"
"It's simple." Malon grinned, "You play one of those Songs of the Temples, we get an instant trip to the Temple of Time. Ta-da! We're in the city!"
Zelda blushed slightly, "That does make sense... but what about Marial?"
"She'll be taken care of until you can pick her up." Malon waved off the concern.
"You know the Songs of the Temples?" Kasuto grinned, "Play one!"
Zelda sighed, "Fine. I guess Malon makes sense. Both of you get close to me." Both cheerfully complied, "OK, this is called Time's Prelude to Light." She plucked the strings of the harp letting a soft tune fill the room. A golden light began to swirl around them. As it spun faster and faster. "Now, this may be disorienting." Zelda said as the light grew brighter
"I've warped before." Malon shrugged.
"Err.." Kasuto couldn't help but think the light was slightly frightening, "Wait I-" Then the light covered them completely everything became distorted and strangely thin looking. All the while they began rushing through everything at insane speeds. "Oh fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!" She screamed the entire time, even as they landed with another burst of light. Luckily, the room was empty.
Malon and Zelda stared at Kasuto for a moment. "Heh." Zelda smirked, "I did that too the first time I warped."
Kasuto blushed, "So..." She said quickly, trying to change the subject, "We're in the Time Temple now?" She had only been in here once before, one month ago.
"Yup." Zelda looked around, "Not many people come into this room, which is good.
"What's the point of this room anyway?" Malon asked, "All it does is take up space, the only thing here is that tiny altar."
Zelda smiled, "This room contains a portal to the Golden Land. Of course... it's a pretty well sealed portal. You'd need have three magical jewels, posses one of the three Oracle Tools, know the Song of the Time Sage, and have the Hero of Time helping you out. To get through it."
"That's a pretty well guarded portal." Kasuto shook her head, "It must be damn near impossible to get through it."
"Yeah..." Zelda sighed, "It is..."
"It's pretty cool." Malon nodded, "You know, since we're in a Temple we should pray for our success, just in case."
Kasuto smiled, "That sounds like a good idea." Then something hit her, "Wait, Zel, you're the Time Sage, right?" Zelda nodded, "Then aren't you in charge of this Temple?"
"Urk." Zelda blushed, "Well, technically, but almost nobody knows that I'm a Sage! Besides, the priestesses do a good enough job here already. I wouldn't want to take the job away from them..."
Both Kasuto and Malon giggled at Zelda's distraught.
"Humph!" Zelda folded her arms, "You're both against me."
This caused them burst to burst out laughing.
The sounds of anger. A person, calling out for hatred against those not like her. Her voice fell upon many ears, fortunately, only a few listened. Most did not desire to hear the woman's message. Yet this did not deter her, she merely continued to preach her hatred. It was a last ditch effort for her... before the purging began, and those who did not listen would regret their mistake.
The Temple had many small prayer rooms within it. Each one contained a small shrine to a single god or goddess. Zelda had come into one of the rooms alone. For while Malon and Kasuto had gone off to pray to Nico, a servant of Farore and god of peace, she had left to pray to her patron.
She was now standing before a beautiful statue of Nayru. It was made of pure silver, showing the image of a beautiful woman with long hair. Clean and pure water flowed around it like ribbons thanks to some skillful magic. Both hands were held out, one containing a stone that glowed with an eternal light, the other holding an hourglass that never needed turning, the sand just seemed to disappear once it filled to a point. The statue's face was one of a strong parent, setting down the rules with a gentle hand. The room itself was covered with murals showing Zoras, Hylians and Ayikes studying and learning. Teaching and spreading the Light of Wisdom to the world.
It was in here that Zelda prayed. She stood in front of the statue, her right hand held in front of her at an angle, with her left hand clasped around it. However, while the pose was correct, most people would have been shocked at the... conversational tone she used while praying. If anybody had been around to watch her, of course.
"Hello again Nayru." Zelda grinned sheepishly, "I know it's been a while since I really talked to you. But I've been kinda depressed. You probably know the whole thing about Kasuto. To top it off there's this whole nasty thing with the OWR..."
There was a moment of silence. Zelda just stood there, still in the praying position. Then she sighed with relief. "Glad to see you understand." She stood there for a moment again, before giggling, "Farore really said that? Oh geez..."
There was a moment then where Zelda's face just started getting redder and redder, "No we have not done that! Wouldn't you know anyway? I thought you were the all knowing Goddess of Wisdom." She paused as if receiving an answer, "Invading people's privacy never bothered you before." Another pause, "Oh shut up."
There was another moment of silence, then Zelda shook her head, "Are you done laughing?" She waited for a moment, "OK, now that you're finished, I just want some help. You know, some guidance. I want to deal with this problem now." Another pause, "Ask the owl? Oh come on! You gods are so annoying! Do you people ever just give some real advice? The cryptic hints get annoying after a while." More pausing, "Oh fine, thanks for the help I guess." She bowed to the statue and left the prayer room.
"'You'll never learn if we give you all the answers' she says..." Zelda muttered as she walked out.
"Now what?" Malon asked as they left the Temple.
"Ask the owl." Zelda muttered sarcastically.
"What?" Kasuto blinked, "What does that mean."
"That's what Nayru told me." Zelda rolled her eyes, "Link think he has it tough with Farore... but I have to deal with someone who likes riddles." she muttered.
"Wait, wait, what Nayru told you?" Malon asked, "As in, the Goddess of Wisdom Nayru?"
"Yeah. She's a pain sometimes." Zelda shook her head.
"..." Both Malon and Kasuto stared. "Zel... most people don't have conversations with the Three Goddesses." Kasuto said quietly.
"Um, oops." Zelda blushed, "Sorry... it's just that she's been talking to me for a while... Though now the only time I can chat with her is when I'm praying in a church."
Malon suddenly laughed. "You people are amazing! The casual way you treat spectacular things. I love it!"
"Um..." Kasuto looked slightly nervous.
"Is something wrong?" Zelda asked.
"I've never been very religious... should I start going to church more often?" Kasuto asked. "What with you being all buddy-buddy with the Lawgiver and all."
Malon just laughed harder.
"Um..." Zelda didn't really know how to answer that.
"So..." Malon had stopped laughing, "How do we... ‘ask the owl' so to speak?"
"Hoo... that would be me, child." A voice said from a dark corner.
"Huh, who's there... yeeeaaahg!" Malon fell back when she saw two glowing red, eyes, that and the creature that belonged to them.
Kasuto raised an eyebrow. "It's an... owl." She said dryly.
It was indeed an owl. A very large owl, at least as large as Zelda. It was brown with black spotted feathers. It's head had a somewhat human-like face. Two very large feathers formed eyebrows over it's eyes. It ruffled with quiet laughter for a second. "Oh dear, young child, that was the best reaction to me I've had for a long while."
"Hello." Kasuto said slowly, "I'm assuming that you are here to help us."
"Correct Young Seer." The owl hooted, "Things are coming to a close. The Second Test is almost complete. I'm here to give you a tiny bit of aid." He looked around for a second, "The name's Kaepora Gaebora."
"How do you keep people from noticing an owl as big as me?" Zelda asked.
"I have my ways." The owl winked. "Now, children, if you follow me I'll show you where to go, I can't take you directly towards your destination, but I can point you in the right direction." He suddenly started flapping his wings, leaping into the air.
"Can life gat any weirder?" Kasuto muttered as they began trailing the large bird.
"And isn't it interesting how our fishermen can not make a catch... without paying taxes to the fishes!" A woman's voice called out in an obscure corner of the central square.
"Look..." Zelda pointed to the woman, "Do you think...?"
"Why else?" Kasuto asked, "Come on, we should wait for her to finish. Then we follow her to the sadistic little meeting."
"You guided them well, Kaepora."
Kaepora turned his head clear around, being an owl had it perks, "Thank you. They're much easier to guide then Link was."
The Mask Salesman smiled, "He's a tough one alright." He looked down at the crowd, "There is no doubt that Zelda will pass the Trial of Heart and Soul. She passed the Trial of Body with flying colors, after all."
Kaepora sighed, "I just wish that we did not have to test these children in such ways."
"We don't create the circumstances. Andire would have attempted this even if Zelda wasn't Nayru's Champion." The Mask Salesman smirked, "We just take advantage of it. Making sure that Zelda has a much deeper interest in it then she would otherwise. Face it Kaepora, the circumstances were perfect. A Seer has stolen her heart, so she has an special interest in the visions. A member of her own family is betraying her. What better test of the Heart and Soul is there?"
"You're point is made Nameless." Kaepora said, "So this will end with Link and Zelda having passed two of the Three Tests. I assume a new Champion of Din will be chosen, seeing as Ganondorf has fallen into sin?"
The Mask Salesman grimaced, "Yes... one has been chosen. Though I was only told of it recently. This new Champion will have to pass the Trial of Body first though."
"Of course, the Seven Lost Years was the Trial of Body for Link and Zelda, what could match that?" Kaepora asked.
"We'll have to see. It's up to Din what the Trial is, you know." The Mask Salesman shrugged, "For all we know it could just be putting up with Makan." He snickered.
"Makan's awake? By the Shadows. I haven't seen him in ages." Kaepora sighed nostalgically, "I'll have to talk to him next chance I get."
"Well, you'd best go back to watching your new charges." The Mask Salesman said,
Many hours passed. Zelda was amazed by the amount of talking that one woman could do. She often repeated what she had said before, to try and get the message across to those who hadn't been there from the beginning. It's official. The OWR people are nuts. Anyone who can stand here and recite this message over and over has to be insane.
"Has she moved yet?" Kasuto asked dully, holding up a bag of sandwiches and some drinks. "I brought dinner."
"No..." Malon yawned, "Thanks for the food though." She grabbed a sandwich and a bottle of juice.
"Here." Kasuto handed Zelda a steaming glass, "Coffee."
"Oh! Thanks!" Zelda grinned and grabbed her precious drink, she took a sip of it, "Hmm... I prefer it black, but thanks."
"Welcome." Kasuto muttered, taking a sip from another steaming cup.
Zelda perked up, "I didn't know you drank coffee Kas."
"I don't." Kasuto said flatly, "I think it tastes like Kesse shit. But it's the only Goddess-cursed thing that can keep me awake." She gagged as she downed her cup.
"Tell me about..." Malon muttered, "I never thought hearing someone shout for hours on end would get boring."
"This must be how Guards feel on those stake-outs you hear about." Zelda said.
"Only more boring." Malon sighed.
Then, finally, the woman stopped. Within a few minutes she was leaving, heading hopefully to where the others like her gathered.
"It's about time..." Malon muttered.
The woman came to a small house near the edge of the city. She knocked quickly, and entered as soon as the door opened, shutting it behind her.
Somehow, they knew that they had found what they needed.
Zelda took a deep breath, she shivered slightly. "Ok, it's time. The two of you will have to stay hidden." She sighed, "This is going to be tough."
"You'll do fine. All you have to do is act a little, you can do that." Malon grabbed Zelda and hugged her tightly. "Good luck Princess-slash-Prince." She laughed slightly.
Zelda smiled at the simple joke. "Thanks Malon." she was released from the hug.
"Zel..." Kasuto just looked at her, "Don't do anything stupid." She said quietly, before quickly pressing her lips against Zelda's.
"I won't." Zelda turned around, "Now... to begin pretending." She shivered again, marching towards the house.
The building seemed to loom over her. She felt strangely small as she knocked. There was a pause as she heard a faint rush of voices behind it. Then footsteps came up to the door. It pulled open, revealing a young man glaring down at her. "Who are you?" He snapped.
Zelda glared right back at him, "What kind of idiot doesn't recognize his future Queen?" She snarled, getting into the act.
"Wait... what?" The man stumbled back.
"You heard me." Zelda gave him a coy look, "I am Princess Zelda Eleanor Hyrule. Now, if you don't want to get in any trouble, you'll let me in."
"Erk..." The man stared at her, "Do you even-"
"Oh shut up!" Zelda shouted, "I thought the Followers of the One Right Way had brains!"
"Err..." The man backed up, "What do you want... princess?"
"I want in. To everything you guys are doing." Zelda grinned viscously. That's it... fall for my act.
"Um, give me a minute." He backed up, "Come in, um please."
"Well it's about time." Zelda walked in like she owned the place. "I hope you guys are everything I've heard you are." She winked at the man, glancing around at the people who had all stopped what they were doing and were now staring at her. "What are you staring at?" She growled.
"Andire! Andire!" One of his followers, burst into his office, "You have to see this!"
Andire looked up, "What is it?" He was setting up the final touches before he told everyone his plans. "Is it important?"
He nodded quickly, "I think you should check it out..."
"Oh fine." Andire shook his head, who know what sort of incident had come up... He entered the parlor room, he instantly noticed that all the people had gathered around one person. "Move it!" He ordered, instantly the crowd parted. He gasped as he saw a very familiar face. The two sharp blue eyes belonging to that face widened with shock as they stared at each other for a moment.
"Uncle... Uncle Andire?" Zelda said in shock.
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