As Anna and Istas sat on the rock, watching the figure, they both tensed with fright. Istas rose, preparing to meet the figure. Anna, too, rose to stand behind him. They were both without weapons. Anna watched as Istas adopted a fighting position, preparing to defend them both. The roar of blood in Anna's ears drowned out all other sound. Her heart beat so quickly within her that she was beginning to feel faint.
Istas watched as the figure continued to advance on them. Adrenaline coursed through his entire body, making his hearing sharper, making him more alert to every little sound and motion the figure before him made. He tensed, preparing to spring upon the figure as it came still closer.
"Istas," a voice said. It was a gentle, feminine voice. Anna watched as Istas relaxed for a moment. Apparently, he knew whoever was coming toward them. As the figure finally reached them, the full moon's light revealed the figure to be a young Shiekah girl who was about their age. She wore armor, and, at her side, carried a spear.
"Istas, I have come to tell you...." the girl said, trailing off. For a moment, there was silence, broken by the hooting of a nearby owl in the trees nearby.
"What is it, Mira?" Istas asked. A pang of dread hit him, filling his body.
" The Elder....he's very upset with what you did, Istas. Hagen....he wanted you killed, doing what you did. Fortunately, the Elder said a more lenient punishment was in order. The Elder decreed that...well....you can't come back to the village." Mira had hung her head as she spoke. Now, she raised her head and looked Istas in the eyes.
"I've been exiled?" Istas said, voice filled with disbelief. Mira nodded. "Yes, Istas, I'm sorry."
With this, Mira bid them goodbye, turning and walking off into the darkness. Istas just stood still for a moment, open-mouthed. He could not believe it. Banishment had been the farthest thing from his mind when he'd helped rescue Link from the Shiekah prision. Well, anything is better than death, he thought. He slowly walked back to where Anna stood. Pity for him registered in her eyes.
"I'm sorry," she said, looking at him with sympathy as he approached her. He stared at her numbly, allowing her to embrace him. Sighing, he sat down on the rock again, chin in hands. Anna sat beside him, putting her arm around his hunched shoulders. She did not offer him any further words of comfort, simply sat with him. He smiled at her faintly. At least he got to spend more time with her now than ever. What would he do, though, when the adventure was over? He did not have anywhere else to go. His village had been the only home he had ever had. Now, he did not have even that. He sighed again.
Slowly, the sky was starting to show the first signs of dawn. The cries of the nocturnal creatures, the hoot of the owl, the howl of the wolfos, was starting to die down. Istas looked up at the sky, watching as it came. He looked down at Anna. She had fallen asleep against him, her head leaning heavily on his shoulder. She was so pretty, even in her sleep, he thought.
For a time, he sat, thinking only of the Elder, of Hagen, and of his village. It was rumored that, long ago, someone had been exiled from the village, only to be accepted back. He had once heard Hagen talking about it with some of the higher-ranking trainees. Istas struggled to remember what he had heard Hagen saying. He had been a young boy at the time, no more than ten or eleven years of age. Ever since he had been but five, however, he had wanting to see what the trainees did. At that young age, he could not wait to be one himself. He had often snuck to the room where the trainees were to see what they did. More than once had Hagen caught him snooping around where he did not belong. He could still remember the day he'd heard Hagen rebuking one of the trainees. He'd heard Hagen ranting and raving about how, long ago, there had been a young trainee that had done something so unspeakable, they had been banished from the village forever. This had been before Istas had been born, but the older trainees knew who Hagen was talking about. Not long after this person had been exiled, they had been allowed back into the village for performing a heroic act.
Istas thought for a moment. Perhaps, he too, could get back in the village by doing something heroic. And, he knew what that heroic act would be. He would have to stay with Link and Anna to defeat Ganon and retrieve the pieces of the Tetraforce. He watched as the sun began to rise, filling the sky with light and warmth. Slowly, he, too, fell asleep. For a time, both the young lovers who sat upon the rock were lost in their own seperate world of dreams.
Awhile later, Anna twitched beside Istas. The dream she was having came to her in jumbled pieces. First, she could see Princess Zelda, trapped inside a crystal. Then, there was Ganon, shouting orders to his minions. Then, she could see a large portal opening up in the floor. Lastly, she could see her pendant, spiraling downward to her outstretched hand. Suddenly, her eyes opened. Her breathing was rapid, and sweat had formed on her forehead and palms. She closed her eyes again, trying to get her breathing back to normal. Thoughts that were as mixed as the dream she just had began to fill her head. She sensed the dream she just experienced was a premonition, a not so pleasant one.
By now, the sun was shining brightly in the sky. A stream of birds flew past the white, cottony clouds, advertising a beautiful day. Yawning, she stretched her arms and legs. Slowly, she began to stand up. Istas stirred and awoke. He, too, stood, and, together, they began to make their way back to the campfire they had left the night before.
Link had gone by the time they arrived, off hunting for more game. Anna and Istas gathered the pieces of wood and bark around them, trying to revive the live embers which still sparked with light and heat among the dead ashes. As they added the sticks, the fire began to flare up again.
A short time later, Link returned, the limp body of a fowl in hand. "Where did you two go?" he asked of them as he began to clean the bird. For a moment, neither of them answered. Then, Anna said,
"We just went to go gather some wood for the fire." Link stared at her for a moment, contemplating this. Then, he shrugged, dismissing it.
Once Link was done cleaning the bird, they roasted it over the fire. This was what their breakfast for this day was. Although Anna did not fancy the idea of meat so early in the day, her hunger outweighed any doubts she had, and she began to eat.
Finishing, Link rose, scattering the ashes from the fire with his boot. "Well, we'd better get going," he said to Istas and Anna, who sat side by side as they ate. They rose, starting off into the trees. Anna led the way through the numerous dirt paths that crisscrossed the forest.
"It'll be quite a walk," she warned as they made their way through the undergrowth along a path she had chosen.
For the better half of the day, the trio made their way through the forest, following Anna on the paths she had chosen. Despite the fact Anna was taking the shortest way possible to reach the small cottage where her aunt lived, it still took quite awhile, and by the time they reached the cottage, it was nearly midday.
They approached the cottage. Anna rapped on the door with her fist. For a moment, there was no reply. Then, slowly, the door began to open. Anna could see her aunt peer cautiously out the crack in the door at them. Then, seeing who it was, she opened the door wider.
"Oh, Anna, Link! It's been awhile! Come in," their aunt said, motioning for them all to come inside the small cottage.
"Who do we have here?" the middle-aged woman asked, looking at Istas with a stern eye.
"That's our new friend, Istas, Aunt Mary," Anna said in explanation.
"Don't you mean boyfriend?" Link asked, feigning innocence. Both Anna and Istas turned a little red at this comment.
"Link!" Anna said sharply, elbowing him. Link dodged out of the way, smiling at his younger sister, making her turn even more of a scarlet color.
"Boyfriend? I see," Aunt Mary said, smiling a little. Anna glowered at Link. She knew that her aunt was the type of person who would think that Anna's having a boyfriend was cute, and she also knew Link was as equally aware of it.
"So what brings you lot here?" Aunt Mary asked of them all. Anna was about to reply, but her aunt said, "Oh, dear, how rude of me! Do sit down!" So, they all sat. Anna watched as her aunt rushed back and forth around the small kitchen, tending to some soup she had prepared. The whole house smelled of herbs, and some dried herbs hung from the rafters above their heads. Finally, their aunt settled down in her chair. For a time, they talked about what was going on in Kakariko, and catching up on what had happened to them all since the last visit. Istas introduced himself and explained his situation. Finally, their aunt said,
"I heard that the princess was kidnapped by Ganon."
Link replied, "Yes, she was. We're all looking for her, as well as the Tetraforce."
For a moment, their aunt said nothing. Anna could see that her aunt was thinking about something. Suddenly, her aunt rose from her chair.
"I'll be just a moment," she said, then left the room. Link, Anna, and Istas all looked at one another, wondering what she was up to.
A second later, Mary walked into the room, a small chest in her hand. Anna gasped. That was the chest she had tried to open when she was small!
"Anna," her aunt began, "I found this one day when I was out walking in the forest. I put it in this chest, and it is time to give it to you."
Anna held out her hand as her aunt placed the tiny chest into it. She looked at it for a moment. There was definately a piece of the Tetraforce in here, she could sense it. Her pendant began to take on a faint glow, one which began to grow stronger as she lifted the tiny lid. Link and Istas could sense it as well.
There, in its resting place among the folds of the velvet material in the chest, lay a small golden shard. Anna's hand slowly decended, and as she picked it up, could feel its power.
"I knew this day would come," Mary said, and everyone looked up at her.
"What do you mean?" Link asked her. His aunt did not reply for a time.
"Well, Link, Anna, I knew from the moment your parents came to the door with you both that my life would never be the same. When Anna was given to me, she was merely a baby, an infant. I, never having children of my own, was at first reluctant to take her in. But as she grew, I knew that I had an obligation to take care of her. I gave her the pendant she wears because it was her mother's wish. One evening, I was walking outside when I found that golden shard laying on the grass. I picked it up. I knew it had special power, and so I kept it safe in my house for all this time. Along with that, I found this."
Mary reached into her apron pocket and produced an old paper. Link took the paper and opened it. It was an old map, crudely drawn, but link could still make out some landmarks that were familiar to him.
"That map was made shortly after they built the Sanctuary," Mary told Link. Link nodded and continued to look at it. Some red spots on the map stood out from the faded paper, and Link squinted to see them better. There was one right behind Kakariko Village. Under this red spot were the words 'Old Graveyard-Second piece.' There was one by Death Mountain which read 'Death Mountain-First piece.' Link looked up at his aunt in surprise.
"What is that paper, Link?" Anna asked him. Link handed it to her. Anna read it over, then gasped in surprise.
"It's a map of where all the pieces are!" she exclaimed. Her aunt nodded, confirming this.
Anna looked the map over. Where was the third piece? She found the area with the red spot that read, 'Sanctuary-Third piece.'
" Looks like we're headed for the Sanctuary next," Anna said. Then, she remembered something.
"Aunt Mary, you used to look out the window all the time. Why?"
" I was watching out for Link. He was a little boy at the time, and with Ganon always in the shadows, I'd watch him play here in the forest whenever he was close by. By the time he was about four, it was too dangerous to walk into the forest anymore as a child," her aunt answered.
Link remembered being a small child of four, playing in the forest. There had come a day where he was no longer permitted to do this, and now he knew why.
"It was nice visiting you, Aunt Mary, but we have more pieces to find," Anna said, and they all started for the door.
Ganon, in the meantime, was staring intently into his crystal ball. He could see what that pest Link was up to. So, he thought he could gather the pieces of the Tetraforce before he, the King of Evil, could? He laughed aloud at this. He had also been able to hear what they had been talking about too, had seen the map the girl held. So, they were heading to the Sanctuary, were they? Not before his moblins and stalfos got there. Waving his deformed hands over the crystal ball, he could see his army of minions searching around Hyrule for the pieces of the Tetraforce.
"You idiots get over to that Sanctuary right now! The old man there must have a piece of that blasted Tetraforce. I want that piece, and I want it now!" Ganon roared.
"Yes, Master Ganon," the leader of the army, a stalfos named Curick, said. Ganon watched as Curick began to re-route the troops to the direction of the Sanctuary.
"But Curick, we's tired of dis!" the leader of the moblins, Karott, said. The other moblins and stalfos began to mumble in agreement.
" Karrot, you flea brained idiot, shut up and do as Master Ganon says!" Curick snapped.
Ganon waved his hand over the crystal ball, making the scene dissapear. he looked up to where Princess Zelda was inside the crystal.
"Ah, Princess Zelda, what did I tell you? Hyrule will soon be mine!"
"No, Ganon, Hyrule will never belong to evil!" Princess Zelda said in reply, but her words were drowned out by Ganon's loud cackling.....
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