Chapter 3: Hero of Time
Link spent much of his time with Aryll. She taught him her games - as best as she could without knowing his language, collected shells with him and tried to teach him words for various things around the island. He helped her to carry jars of fresh water with Sue Belle and aided her in other chores. He pulled weeds in
’s yard for him and he caught wild piglets for Abe and Rose. Mesa
He and Aryll had breakfast one morning at their home. Rose had invited them in for sausage, ham and crispy bacon. Aryll would never forget the look on her Big-Big Brother’s face when he made the connection, nor the sharp sound his fork made clattering on his plate when he dropped it.
Her Rinku walked along the beach a lot. She knew that he was looking for something and tried the best she could to help him, though she did not know what he was looking for. She brought him all kinds of odds and ends – rusted keys, a pocket watch, even an old empty treasure-chest that had found their way to Outset’s shores. He only shook his head sadly and continued to search.
She watched him one morning, walking along the sand, looking out at the ocean forlornly when Orca came up behind her.
“I wonder what he’s looking for…” the old warrior said. “My brother has been sending out letters, but no word has come back regarding anything of help to our mystery-man.”
“I want us to help him,” Aryll replied, “but I’d be happy if he never goes home.”
“Huh?” Orca yelped.
“I like him. He’s like family now with me and Grandma. He reminds me of Big Brother.”
The old man put a gentle hand upon her shoulder. “We have to think about what’s best for him, sweetheart. If you ask me, I don’t think he’s nearly as addle-brained as my brother thinks he is. Look at the way he carries himself! He has a determined stance. If he were crazy, I think he’d act more…broken. He doesn’t look like he’s ever been broken.”
Aryll looked up to her elder. “I know he’s a warrior, ‘cause he’s got warrior-scars. I know! Maybe you can spar with him! You can take him to your place, give him his sword back and see what he can do with it! We can let him know what you want by having him watch you and me spar!”
“Wonderful! Ever since I saw that sword of his, I’ve been itching to try him in combat. I’m sure you’d like to show off your skills, too. You have a ways to go, but your skills have been getting sharper of late.”
“Maybe I’ll get in twelve strikes this time!”
“It would be nice if others on the island would show as much interest as you and your brother have.”
“It’s because of Big Brother! With him gone, I’ve gotta protect the island! I’ve been on an adventure and stuff already, so that means it’s up to me!”
Orca laughed. “Go fetch Rinku and meet me at my dojo.”
The room was dark but Link instantly recognized it for what it was due to the weapons on the walls. He also noticed the fierce jawbones that hung as decorations.
That one looks big enough to have belonged to something as huge as that evil fish that almost ate me in Termina, he thought. I was a Zora then… A bit regretful that I do not have access to that mask now, with all this sea...
Suddenly, Link missed his mask collection. Certain pieces were never truly his to begin with. The Deku, Goron and Zora masks that had allowed him to change his form were pieces he had given to the family and friends of the deceased people to which the faces had belonged. He’d hoped that their souls would fly free, seeing as he had finished their business in the mortal realm. The Fierce Deity mask was something that he’d taken with him to Hyrule and had sealed in a tomb with the help of Princess Zelda. She had enacted a multitude of magical protections upon it, for he greatly feared it falling into any hands but his – or even his again, for that matter.
As for the rest of his masks, they decorated one wall of the chamber he had in
. The once-Hero woke up every morning to see a display that some visitors found creepy. He enjoyed entertaining Zelda with some of the masks. He remembered the time they’d laughed after he used the Bremen Mask to march every single animal at Lon Lon Ranch out into Hyrule Field - chickens, cows and horses all in lockstep. Malon had socked him in the jaw and laid him out on the ground for that. If he hadn’t fallen for Zelda, he thought that he could have easily fallen for her. Hyrule Castle
He watched as Orca handed Aryll a spear. He stood apart from her holding a spear of his own. Link gaped as the little girl came for the old man with the fierce determination of a trained soldier. The spears clashed – their shafts clattering against one another and their heads creating sparks as metal met metal. After several blows, Aryll was sent to the floor. She grunted as she got up and gave Link a broad smile to show that she was un-injured.
Orca rummaged in a chest and brought out Link’s sword and belt. The young man took it from him, surprised. He went to the back of the room and took up his spear again. He gave Link a nod. Knowing what he meant, the castaway girded his gear on over his borrowed clothes and brought out his precious gilded sword.
The old man was tough! He countered every strike beautifully. He was tricky, too. Link grunted and panted as he dodged. He almost had his feet swept out from under him several times. Link knew that this was just a sparring session, but he honestly wondered if Orca was trying to kill him.
Orca, for his part, was impressed. The kid was swift. He hadn’t seen such determined fighting since Outset’s own Hero of Winds had left the island – only their little Link had to build up his skill. This “Rinku” character fought like a well-seasoned warrior. Orca saw the look in the man’s blue eyes. He worried, for several moments, if Rinku was trying to kill him.
“You fight like a Hero,” Orca said between breaths.
“Keep it up, son! I haven’t fought like this since I was your age!”
Link narrowed his eyes, making them intense and hard. Orca noticed something strange on his sword-hand – his left.
“What in Nayru’s blue sea is that?”
A golden glow was emanating from the young man’s hand. It grew in intensity as the blows continued. Orca yelped as the tip of Link’s sword came within an inch of the tip of his nose and the shaft of his spear was sliced in half with a clean snap.
The old man stared at him and panted. “That was… that was…”
The glow on the young man’s hand retreated, but it was then that Orca noticed a mark that he had not seen before. Aryll hadn’t seen it before, either. Had it newly appeared or had it been there the entire time, but faded? The mark was dark and golden. It was a mark that Aryll had seen on her brother’s hand – a triangle made from three smaller triangles with an empty space in the center.
“That’s….” Orca gasped, “That’s the tri-tri-tri…”
“Triforce!” Aryll finished for him.
Orca acted like a man suddenly Poe-sessed. He dashed past both Link and Aryll. They could hear his frantic footsteps charging upstairs outside and shouting.
“Sturgeon! Open up! You’ve got to get your giant head down here, quick!”
Aryll heard some mumbling about the racket being horrible conditions for studying. There was a surprised yelp and then there was more mumbling.
“Oh, you can’t be serious,” the other man’s voice groused.
“Come see for yourself!”
Link sat across from Sturgeon at Grandma’s dinner table. It seems that Aryll’s residence had become the primary meeting place for long, deep chats. In any case, Link felt at home here, so it was a good place for examination. Sturgeon held his left hand, tracing the mark on the back of it gently.
“Don’t be alarmed,” Link assured. “That’s just the Triforce of Courage. I’ve had it for a while now.”
“It is,” the old scholar answered, “I can feel magic from it. Your pulse still high. Is said to aid the bearer in adrenaline.”
“I was fighting hard. Orca is very good.”
“Yes. Hooligan-swordsman he is. There is problem in this…”
“The Triforce of Courage already exists in our world. One from our island bears it…Aryll’s brother… Is out exploring the
. He, too, is named Link. I am sure Aryll has shown you pictographs of him. He is our pride – Good child. He is our Hero – the Hero of Winds. He found and together-put the fragments of the Triforce – the one you bear. This means your age is not ours. You are the Hero of Time.” Great Sea
“That is just what I told you from the beginning.” Link answered.
“I am sorry - very. We are so sorry. Please forgive us.”
Sturgeon got out of his seat and bowed before Link’s chair, touching his forehead to his sandaled feet.
“What? Why are you doing this?” Link yelped.
Sturgeon rose and took his seat again. “You are mighty legend here – the great Hero of Time! I did not believe you. I thought your mind had gone away. That is reason everyone on our beautiful
has been treating you childlike. Forgive us for such great disrespect!” Outset Island
Link sighed and then gave the old man a gentle smile. “Don’t worry about it,” he said. “Everyone here has treated me kindly. There is nothing to forgive. In fact, I am glad that, thinking I was in such a state, that you cared for me. There are some societies that are not nearly so caring toward their mentally ill members. You could have set me out to sea on a boat or locked me up or something.”
“We never do such bad things!” Sturgeon insisted. “You outside of time.”
“I figured as much,” Link replied, scratching the back of his neck. “I seem to have lost my time-travel device. It’s the Ocarina of Time – a small, blue ceramic flute, full of magical energy. The last I remember before your Aryll found me was playing it. I have been hoping that it would wash up on shore…”
“No one found it or object like,” Sturgeon said with a sad shake of his head. “We keep looking, help you look.”
“Where am I, anyway? I know this is
, but beyond that, I know nothing. If I am a legend here, I must be in what is, to me, a future age. Can you tell me what your people know about me? Maybe that will help.” Outset Island
“Don’t know if will help,” Sturgeon said, “but trying is good. Outset is one of islands many on the
. On Outset, we tell story of the ancient kingdom. No one knows what happened to it, just that it was land before ours. It peaceful kingdom, enjoying many good things until great evil creature – sorcerer – came to disturb the peace. The goddesses rose a Hero to use the holy sword. Young Hero traveled through time – child and man. He saved the kingdom and banished the evil one. The ancient kingdom had peace – the Hero left. Now young boys wear clothes like the Hero’s when they come of age as an honor.” Great Sea
Link sighed fondly, “Yes,” he said. “It all kind of happened by accident, actually – at least at first. An evil man, Ganondorf, cursed my… my father, I guess – not my natural one. The Great Deku Tree was the guardian-spirit to the forest tribe I spent my childhood with. The curse killed him and I was sent out of the forest to find Princess Zelda. She sent me to collect the sacred Spiritual Stones because of a dream she had – her dreams always come true. By the time I was ready to return to Zelda, Ganondorf had orchestrated a coup. I tried to get the Master Sword so I could stop him, but its energies sealed me in the Sacred Realm for seven years. I grew up asleep and then was sent out to awaken the Sages and save the kingdom. I was able to travel through time in a limited fashion through use of the Ocarina of Time and the Master Sword – it served as an anchor-point between the seven years. I defeated Ganondorf, and his alternate form, Ganon…”
“Pig,” Sturgeon said, grinning.
“Yes, ‘Pig,” Link answered with a nod. “He had the Triforce of Power, which allowed him a monstrous form – a large pig-demon with horns. He nearly killed me, but with the help of Zelda and the Sages, I put him down. I sealed him away. After that, Zelda took the Ocarina of Time and sent me back to the timeline I’d started out in. I did not want her to, but she insisted that it was not right for me to have missed the seven years of my life that I’d spent sealed. After that, I left Hyrule to search for a friend of mine who had left me. I wound up falling into another kingdom – or another world… something like that, and preventing its end.”
“We know one legend only,” said Sturgeon. “The Hero of Time sealed the monster Ganon, then left. Many years after, Ganon broke seal, brought many bad things upon old kingdom. Many died. People prayed to the goddesses for help. Prayed for you to come, but you never did. The goddesses sent rains to flood the land. The old kingdom is no more.”
“No more? Flood?” Link asked, his face going ghostly white.
Aryll and her grandmother entered, their hands laden with plates. They had been preparing a meal for everyone. “What’s wrong with Rinku?” Aryll asked.
“Why have you waited to come NOW?” Sturgeon lamented. “You came late!”
“I don’t understand!” Link insisted. “I just want to get back to Hyrule! I left for a time, but I came back to it! Hyrule was fine when I was playing music in the garden!”
“Hyrule is gone kingdom! Is dead!”
“If I am sent back…” Link began - Then he realized something and his face took on a look of horror. “What is the very end of your island’s legend, Mr. Sturgeon?”
“I already told you. Hyrule is ancient kingdom. Is long gone now. We have our Hero, the Hero of Winds – legacy that you not fulfill. Ganondorf rose again on our sea – he put down. Our child told us of kingdom remains beneath waves of the
. Hyrule is dead by drowning. You go away just after putting Ganon down. No record of you after.” Great Sea
“Another timeline…” Link muttered. “I did many things in Hyrule after I came home from Termina – the doomed world. Also, few people know the story of how I put down Ganon, just the Sages and my dear princess, really. The Ocarina of Time may have split dimensions when I was sent back to my own time, maybe. I couldn’t come back. The way was sealed to me.”
“Hmm…” Sturgeon muttered. “If so, means that even if we find your time-travel device, go home you may not able. You now outside of time and space – space-time.”
“It brought me here.”
Link got up and stepped outside, leaving the food set before him and Sturgeon untouched. Orca walked along the beach outside, looking at the waves. Aryll followed Link at a distance as he strode with angry purpose.
“Leave him alone, child,” Sturgeon cautioned. “We talked of things that may be too much for him right now. He needs to think.”
Suddenly, Link ran for the beach and dove right into the cold waters of the ocean.
“What?” Aryll, her grandmother, Sturgeon and even Orca, who was apart from them, said at once.
“Kingdom beneath the waves…” Link mumbled to himself, getting sea water in his mouth. “Hyrule, I’m coming home!”
Something in his mind had snapped. He clawed at the waves desperately as he sought to swim further out and further in. He felt himself being dragged back. The strong arms of Orca had him by the ribcage.
“No!” Link cried, kicking. “Home! I have to go home!”
“What are you doing?” the old warrior demanded. “You are going to kill yourself! Get a hold of yourself, boy!”
“Please…” the Hero of Time’s eyes streamed tears. “I caused all this! The flood… I killed Hyrule! I have to return to it! Zelda… please forgive me, Zelda…”
“He’s calling a girl’s name,” Aryll noted as Orca pinned Link to the beach.
came running up over the dune-grasses to help. Aryll watched Link’s eyes roll back into his head and his body go slack as Orca gave him a swift hard hit to the back of the head. She squeaked. Mesa
“What did you do to him?” she demanded.
“He’s out,” Orca sighed. “He should sleep for a few hours. I hope I didn’t give him a concussion, but as he was goin’ he was going swim out to sea and drown himself. Maybe you were right, Sturgeon. Maybe he really is as addle-brained as you think.”
“Not at all, you lout!” Sturgeon groused. “That man so happens to be the legendary Hero of Time! Hold your gasping. He has been displaced from his time. I’ll explain all inside. You and
get him to bed.” Mesa
“Is he really the Hero of Time?” Aryll asked as she watched her Rinku being picked up and carried by the legs and arms.
“It would appear so, child.”
The adults were talking and had sent her outside. Aryll got pieces of the story before she was sent outside to play. She pouted, then climbed up to her lookout tower. She scanned the sea with her telescope – a new one that Grandma had bought for her after her brother had taken her old one. This one was a newer model with neat capabilities, but she missed her original scope. Big Brother had better be taking good care of it!
She saw something interesting out on the horizon. She thought it was a ship, but she couldn’t tell what kind yet. She thought it was pretty big – a freighter or big merchant ship of some sort. Outset hadn’t been getting a lot of merchants lately, so if they stopped by here, it would be very good for the island.
She heard the sound of feet coming up the ladder. She turned around to see Link with a bandage wound around his head. She pocketed her telescope and ran to him, tackling his waist in a hug. He laughed slightly.
“Are you okay, Rinku? Orca hit you pretty hard.”
“I’m okay,” he said, knowing what her question was without knowing the words.
“That was really mean of him, but I guess you needed it. You were being a big dummy.”
He leaned up against the wall of the lookout, his arms on the railing.
“You look so sad, Rinku. Mr. Sturgeon says it’s ‘cause you can’t go home. Is that it? You can stay with me and Grandma. We’ll take extra special good care of you, I promise.”
Link looked out at the sparkling ocean, letting the salt breeze play with his hair.
“We kind of worship you, you know,” Aryll continued. “If you really are the Hero of Time. You’re a legend, ‘cause you saved the old kingdom once. That’s why boys like Big Brother dress like you when they turn twelve. They’re supposed to want to be like you – brave and strong.”
Link put a hand on her back, as if to thank her for trying to make him feel better.
“Do you want to look through my telescope?”
Link took the proffered tool and looked through it. “There’s a ship out there.”
“Do you see the ship? It’s a big one, but it’s still far away.”
She took her telescope back and took another look. She started gasping and babbling excitedly. “B… buh… That’s Big Brother’s ship! He’s coming home for a visit! Here! Keep watching!”
Aryll clambered down the latter, leaving a confused Hero of Time looking down after her. She started running all over the island, shouting at the top of her lungs.
“The pirates are coming! Big Brother’s ship! Big Brother is coming home!”
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