~Link, Zelda, Ganondorf, Nabooru, Navi, and other related characters and places are all property of Nintendo. No infringement intended
CHAPTER 3 - The Meadow
Gavin awoke with a slight migraine and a dull ache in his right shoulder. For a few minutes he just laid there amazed at still being alive and wondering how long he had been unconscious; it was then that he finally took a good look at his surroundings. At seeing where he was, he sat up suddenly in surprise. The sharp pain he felt shoot through his shoulder at doing so forced him to lie back down, but his eyes continued to stare unbelieving at where he found himself.
Gavin was lying in a soft bed inside some sort of cabin. The cabin was small, one-roomed, and contained only the bed, a table and chair, a miniature bookcase, and a large chest. Light filtered in through the only window, which was situated above the bed and next to the door, and a vase of daisies sat on the table along with a half-uneaten plate of food. In addition to this strange surrounding, Gavin realized that his wound had been cleaned and neatly bandaged. "How did I get here?" Gavin wondered aloud to himself. He attempted to look out the window, but found it was too high up to see through from his vantage point. He gingerly began to sit up, and found that if he did so slowly enough, he could avoid any major discomfort on the part of his shoulder. He continued to rise until he was in a sitting position, then figured if he could get that far, he might as well stand all the way up. Upon reaching his desired position, a wave of dizziness overcame him, but he stood firmly, waiting for it to pass. It was not long before it did, and he could see clearly again.
Immediately Gavin made his way slowly toward the door and pushed it open, the morning light momentarily blinding him. Once his eyes had adjusted, he found himself looking at a small secluded meadow. The little field was covered in wild flowers and a brook wound its way down the left side. Amidst the cacophony of the running water, his long Hylian ears picked up the sound of someone singing, and he immediately began sweeping his eyes over the small meadow in search of the sound's source.
It did not take him long to find it. Not far from the cabin a solitary figure was laying by the stream, almost completely hidden by the tall grass and flowers. The figure's bare feet were raised above its head in a strange, careless fashion. Gavin was about to approach the figure, when it suddenly sat up revealing the face of a young woman. She instantly spotted him and stood up quickly, brushing off the grass that had clung to her clothes. "Ah, you're awake finally. Mercy, I thought you'd never wake up! But still, you shouldn't be up and about yet!" Gavin didn't have the chance to reply as the girl took him gently by his left arm and led him back over to the bed, chatting the whole way. "My, isn't it a lovely morning! You know we haven't had weather like this for days. Oh, but you're probably starving! Well that can be taken care of quick enough." She lightly walked over to the chest and began rummaging around in it.
"Might you be so kind as to tell me your name miss, and where it is that I am?" Gavin asked once he got the chance.
The girl had pulled from the chest a wrapped up loaf of bread and a container of milk. Setting these items down on the table, she turned toward Gavin, "No need to call me 'miss', and since you're so curious, my name is Mariana, but you can just call me Mari. And this," she continued indicating out the still open door, "is my meadow, well at least I like to think of it as being mine." She smiled and extended her hand to him in an exaggerated formal manner. Gavin tentatively shook the offered hand, while at the same time studying the girl. She was tall and slim with hair the color of ripened wheat and piercing deep-blue eyes. Overall she was rather pretty, but not in a stunning way. The best word he could think of to describe her was 'natural.' She just seemed to have a natural, free air about her: she was simply dressed in a blue jumper, wore no make-up or shoes, and the only piece of jewelry that adorned her was a small silver ring strung on a chain about her neck. She appeared to him to be no more than 20 years of age and was obviously Hylian, having the trademark long pointed ears. "Now sir, it is your turn," Mari said turning back to what she was doing.
"Well..uh..my name is Gavin and I am a captain in the Hylian army, but could you te..."
"Aren't you a little young to be a captain?" Mari interrupted inquiringly. Gavin continued, ignoring her question, "I was wondering if you could tell me how it is that I got here and how long I have been unconscious."
"Well," Mari sat cross-legged on the chair, "I usually like to go out every morning and watch the sunrise, but to my horror you fellows had decided to have a battle that morning. So instead of my normal routine, I decided it would be better to just take a morning walk in the little forest that surrounds my meadow. I had been walking for probably around two hours when I came across you, bleeding and out cold. Naturally I couldn't just leave you there, so I managed to drag you up here and treat your wound. You're lucky I've had a little training as a healer, that arrow almost went clean through."
"And for that I must thank you," Gavin said sincerely, amazed at the young woman's abilities. From her description he figured that he had somehow dragged himself as far as the small forest just south of where the battle had been taking place, but that was a good distance from where he estimated the meadow was. It must have taken her hours to get him there. "How long was I out for?"
"Two days," she answered simply.
"Two days!?" Gavin exclaimed, "but the battle, I mean, do you know its outcome?"
"Don't worry yourself, the Hylians were victorious, thanks to the Sheikah." Gavin released his breath in relief, but still he knew that he had to return as quickly as possible. "Look, I cannot thank you enough for all you have done for me, but I really must be...."
"Ah, ah," Mari interjected, "not another word until you've eaten." She handed him a plate of sliced bread and a glass of milk.
Gavin reluctantly accepted the food and began eating. For a moment neither spoke. Mariana watched Gavin as he nibbled here and there at the bread she had handed him, seemingly lost in his own thoughts. She tilted her head to one side. He was handsome, she mused, and couldn't be that much older than she. She especially liked his eyes: they were a startling emerald green color, and reminded her of the grass that filled her meadow during the spring. She blushed slightly at how excited she had been when she had found him, gosh, it wasn't every day that you just happened to cross paths with a good-looking young man wounded and in need of help. "Do you live here alone?" Gavin asked breaking the silence. "Well," Mari began, hoping he hadn't caught her looking at him, "I in fact don't really live here. I actually have a job down in Kakariko village as sort of an assistant to the healer there, and for the most part I board with her. But she's not very restricting and I usually come here for weeks on end, just to be alone with nature." She smiled and looked out the still open door, "I love it up here in my meadow, especially at this time of year when all of the daisies are in bloom. I love daisies," she continued looking over at the vase of flowers, "They are the happiest flower, don't you think? So open and friendly."
Gavin nodded in agreement. He found himself liking the young woman's carefree spirit, it was like a breath of fresh air after all he'd been through in the past weeks with the recent battles. His face darkened at the thought of the wars, knowing he would soon have to return to them. Sighing, he set his plate aside, "I really must be going soon, my men are probably worried about me."
"But, you're not fit to travel yet!" Mariana exclaimed. In truth, she really didn't want him to go. It was so nice having someone, other than the old healer, to talk to. Despite her independent nature, Mari often found herself lonely at times. "I am well enough," Gavin returned, standing up as if to prove his point. He staggered a little as he did so, but held his ground.
Mariana seemed a little disheartened, "Very well. Come with me, I'll show you the way." Uncrossing her legs, she stood up and both made their way out of the cabin. Once outside, Gavin was able to appreciate the full beauty of the little meadow that Mariana treasured so much. The sunlight filtered in through the tall trees surrounding the field, covering it with patches of sunlight and shade; the air was clear and fresh, smelling lightly of flowers and wild daisies. The two young Hylians talked casually as they slowly crossed the meadow, stopping when they reached the trail that led into the tiny forest and out onto Hyrule field.
"This is it," Mari said, then added, "You're sure you'll make it all right?"
"I'll be fine," Gavin answered, "and again, thank you."
As he started to carefully make his way down the trail Mariana suddenly called out, "You will come and see me again sometime, won't you?" Her cheeks colored at her sudden outburst as she stammered, "I mean...um....you don't have to or anything.....it's just, well...I get lonely and...."
Gavin laughed lightly at her embarrassment, "Nothing would please me more, milady," he replied in his most gentlemanly voice, before turning around and continuing on his way, leaving Mariana to stare happily after him.
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