Chapter 6: The Future
“He can’t be the Hero of Time! What kind of trick are you trying to play, Adventure Guy?”
“I’m not lying, Hoskit! He really is the ancient Hero! He traveled through time and got stuck! That’s why we’re here! We’re trying to send him home!”
Nearly the entire Rito Tribe was gathered in the Commons of the mountain cavern that served as the royal palace and mail centre. Quill, the postman who served
, could have confirmed the claims made by the Hero of Winds and his young sister, but he was out running his route. It was said that the postal flyers were having trouble again in dealing with sudden changes in the winds, something they’d not seen since young Link had set sail to find new lands… Outset Island
“I got her!” puffed a breathless Komali as he flapped in through a doorway. Following the young prince was Medli. The Sage divided her time between the
, where she prayed, and her home, where she attended to the Great Valoo. The Rito had feared that they’d lost her forever when she’d awakened as a Sage – that she would have to stay in the temple or that she would be caught into the spirit world. Once young Link had defeated Ganondorf, the Sages of this age were no longer bound. The Master Sword that they’d prayed over had done its work. Far from being caught up in the spirit world, Medli tread both it and the material plane at will and, as she well knew, a living Sage had more power than a dead Sage. Earth Temple
“Good,” his father said, looking to the boy and his companion. Our Sage will surely be able to ascertain the truth of this matter. The Chieftain stepped aside to let Medli see the three Hylians.
“Link! You’re here, I’m so glad! I missed you!” Medli chimed, “And your little sister, too… but who is this? A big brother you didn’t tell anybody about?”
“Um, sort of,” Link fidgeted. “He’s a guy that Aryll found washed up on our shore. He speaks a strange language, the ancient talk you do. He’s also the Hero of Time.”
“He traveled through time and got stuck!” Aryll explained. “We call him Rinku, ‘cause his name’s the same as Big Brother’s, but he says it with an accent. The Great Fairy on our island said he needs to retrace Big Brother’s steps to get home. We brought him here to talk to Valoo!”
“Alright….” Medli said tentatively.
Rinku approached her, offering out a hand for a shake. “Like I said about your postman, they look like Watarara. Pleased to meet you, Miss?”
“She is Sage,” Aryll explained. “Sage Medli of…Dirt. Er… Earth.”
Rinku laughed softly. He regarded Medli and dropped to one knee before her, bowing his head.
“Why is he bowing?” Medli yelped.
“I think it’s because Aryll explained that you’re a Sage,” Link said.
“You never bowed to me like that… Come on, guy, get up!”
Link laughed. “You were my friend before you became a Sage. Besides, I’ve seen you get dizzy. Kind of hard to keep all solemn around you after that. Rinku is very respectful… he’s a knight from the ancient time.”
Rinku rose and took Medli’s proffered hand for a shake. Medli looked up into his eyes in wonder. “Your eyes… your touch….”
“Your eyes…your touch…” she repeated in Ancient Hylian. “You really are out of your own time, aren’t you?”
“Yes. You are the… Sage of Earth, correct?”
“Yes… I am. I should bow before you, Hero of Time.”
“Don’t bow, please. It makes me feel awkward. I’m really more of a regular guy than people of this time seem to think. I’m just trying to get home. I was told that I needed to speak with someone here. Val..Valor? I cannot seem to remember the name I was given.”
“Valoo, the Great Valoo. He is a powerful dragon and is the local patron god for us Rito.”
Medli turned to everyone assembled. “He’s the real deal,” she announced. “He speaks the old language fluently and with a specific accent. He also has a ‘feel’ to him. The powers the goddesses have given me as a Sage speak well of him. Be nice to Rinku like you do Link.”
Gasps in the crowd gave way to cheering.
“We really shouldn’t waste time,” the Hero of Winds said. “We really need to see Valoo.”
“Sage Medli,” Rinku asked.
“Yes, great Hero of Time?” Medli asked, turning around.
“From what I can make out of the broken words Aryll’s told me, I’m supposed to give you this. We got it when we were attacked by big bird-monsters out on the sea.”
Rinku handed her a large, golden feather.
Medli blushed. “A golden feather. Did Aryll tell you that Rito give each other these as a sign of romance?”
Rinku blushed deeply. “N-no! I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to be rude, it’s not like that! Aryll said it was for good friends!”
“Good friends’ indeed! Don’t worry about it. I don’t think she understood what these really meant. Very few outside the tribe do! Come on, let’s go see Valoo!”
Valoo’s first words to the Hero of Time came as a shock.
“I can sense who you are, Hero of Time. You slew my mother.”
Rinku stood upon a rocky outcrop looking up at the ponderous body of the dragon. Link and Medli stood beside him.
“What did he just say?” Medli asked.
“I do not understand…” Rinku lamented.
“I bear you no malice,” the dragon said, “I was merely stating a fact and something that you need to know. You are the Hero of Time. In the past age, you slew a dragon named Volvagia.”
Rinku hung his head and closed his eyes, deep in thought. “Yes, I did. I had no choice. The Gorons would have been killed, and possibly all the villagers and refugees in
. I tried to save the dragon, but in the end, I was forced…” Kakariko Village
The Hero of Time had one peculiar consolation in having been sent back in time to relive his lost childhood. In his world, his Hyrule, some of the killing that he’d done had been undone. He had no regrets in re-killing the undead or in dispatching magic-spawn and dangerous wildlife. He did, however, have regrets over the occasional sentient being that fell to his sword. There were a few monsters that were able to change loyalties, if given the chance. Encountering these always made him think too much about the ones that hadn’t that he’d had to be decisive with. More than that, he did live with the knowledge of having killed actual people.
Koume and Kotake haunted the young man’s dreams. They were exceedingly wicked and had technically undone themselves with their own spells, which he’d merely reflected back upon them as they were trying to murder him. Still, it was the Master Sword tight in his grip that had given them final blows. It was said that the sword was holy and could only take life by the will of the goddesses. Link of Time had watched the hags’ spirits ascend, in fact, which surprised him, but made some sense when he thought hard about the weapon they’d been killed with. Some swords could eat souls - the Master could presumably save them, or so he liked to think, at least to assuage his guilt. When time had been reversed for him, so had Koume and Kotake’s deaths – although they had been rendered no longer a threat to Hyrule.
One of the Hero of Time’s biggest regrets had been Volvagia. There was no way around it. There had been no victory in the slaying of the dragon as there had been for other monsters. While other beasts that held the temples and sacred places had been demons, spells and phantoms, Volvagia had been one of ancient Link’s childhood friends, a pet he’d rescued from Hyrule Market. Volvagia had run away before he’d been forced to take his seven-year nap. Navi had said something about dragons his age having a need to find a girl dragon to be with. The young Hero liked to think in the new time he’d been given, that Volvagia was somewhere free, a wild dragon. In this timeline, like everything else he’d killed in his artificial maturity, Volvagia was dead.
“Volvagia was my mother,” Valoo intoned.
“I thought he was a boy…” Rinku said slowly.
“She laid a clutch of eggs deep in the heart of her mountain. I knew her but a season and was the only hatchling to survive to grow strong and be blessed by the goddesses as an earthly deity. While I was still a mewling, my mother became enchanted by a wicked and destructive spell. I still remember watching what became of her. Her soul was locked away. You freed it, Hero. Do not regret killing her. It was the only way to free her spirit.”
“Thank you,” Rinku said, tears sliding down his cheeks.
“This is precisely why I embody the Future for you, Hero. I was the young of one of your enemies and I grew to inherit this world – as full of hope and promise as the waters fill the
. I grant you a measure of my power so that you may return to your own world and embrace your own future.” Great Sea
“I accept it with gratitude, Lord Valoo.”
“Go now to the
ForestHaven. An old friend is eager to see you.”
As Medli, Aryll, Link and Rinku made their way down the mountain trail on the newly-constructed paths the Rito had made for wingless visitors, Rinku tried to shake a memory from his head. In his mind, the big, sad eye of the freshly-severed head of his old friend stared up at him, sparkling with tears. He’d been as quick and clean as he could. Volvagia had died as herself, but deeply confused, unaware that there had been a spell upon her. Her expression was pure agony, a look of “I thought you were my friend, why did you hurt me?” Rinku hoped to the goddesses that her spirit was free and had hoped it forgave her as well her son apparently had.
“Hyup!” The Hero of Winds made little jumps as he wandered down the trail. Rinku smiled, walking steadily behind him. He wondered how many regrets the boy had gathered in his journey as a Hero.
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