Time's Castaway

By Shadsie

Chapter 8: The Present


Standing on a sandbank at Greatfish Isle, Rinku spoke with Jabun.  He did not speak for very long before the huge whale-fish sank back beneath the waves, content with having shared his power with the young man. 


Rinku had learned that Jabun was the mature form of the Zora guardian, Jabu-Jabu he’d once known.  Jabu-Jabu had fled when Ganondorf had made his conquest of Zora’s Domain.  Rinku did not understand this and had asked for an answer.  The whale-fish had not been cowardly – he’d merely been young then, a child with little understanding of what was going on.  Moving on a feeling that the Hero of Time would come to save his people, he did the only thing he knew to do to avoid becoming sushi for Ganondorf’s table.  When he’d fled his island in the present era, he’d done so only after all the people had safely evacuated.  Rinku had also asked the fish if he’d still had a taste for beef.  Jabun had said something about his recent lactose intolerance. 


Link and Aryll had watched Rinku and the whale-fish talk.  Aryll could make out a few words here and there.  When Jabun sank, Rinku turned to them and pointed to the place in the sea where he’d been. 


“Huh?” Link asked.


“He said something about bein’ inside Jabun,” Aryll said. 


“Not romantically, I hope,” Link said, making a face.


“What?” Aryll inquired. 


“Er,” Link said, looking up and whistling in a failed attempt at innocence. “Uh, pirate-talk, sorry.” 


Rinku spoke to Aryll some more, gesticulating with his hands.


“Oh!” Aryll said, “He says something about ‘inside stomach’ or ‘inside guts.’  Rinku, that’s gross!” 


Rinku echoed Aryll’s face of disgust as if to say “Yeah, it was pretty gross,” before going on with his little story.


Aryll gave him a scolding look and took him by the hand.  “Now, Rinku… I know you’re the Hero of Time, but you can’t expect us to believe eeeeverrrything you tell us.  Don’t make up lies!”


Rinku gave her a confused look.


“What? What did he say?”  Link asked. 


“He said something about a Princess Paperweight,” Aryll explained.  “That he had to carry Princess Paperweight around inside the fish-guts to fight a jellyfish and that there were cows or something.”


“Now that we’ve seen the three guardians, where do we go to next, again?  It was you and him that saw the Great Fairy, not me.” 


Rinku pointed to Link.  “Ding-dong” he said.


Aryll laughed. “Yeah, Big Brother is a ding-dong!  You got that right!”


The man gesticulated, trying to make an imaginary something look “tall” with his hands, then pointed at Link again.  He tried his best Modern Hylian.  “Ding-dong. Jabun says Wind-Hero needs to ding-dong at Divinity-Tower top so we can go Undersea.”


 “The Tower of the Gods,” Link said, putting a hand to his chin.  “There’s a huge bell at the top of it.  I rang it the first time… the first time I saw the old kingdom.  I wonder how it can be, though.  Hyrule beneath the sea was flooded when my friend gave his final wish to the Triforce.  It was washed away.  I don’t understand why the gate to it would open again…”


“Well,” said Aryll, “The Great Fairy did say something about the Tower of the Gods, and if Jabun confirmed it, I guess that’s where we’re going!” 


“Let’s go back to the ship,” Link said.  “If we’re headed to the Tower of the Gods, there’s something I have to give both of you.” 


The party boarded and Link ran down into the hold.  “Come on, you guys!” he shouted.  Rinku and Aryll blinked and nearly tripped down the steps when the bright daylight became darkness.  They blinked and let their eyes adjust.  Link drug a chest out from a shadowed corner.  “Go on, you two open it,” he beckoned. 


Aryll popped the latch.  As the lid came open, there was an ethereal light and swelling music that culminated in a “da-na-na-na!” sound.  Rinku looked shocked. 


“Why is it doing this?” Aryll whined. 


Link laughed.  “It’s a music-box chest.  I picked it up in my travels.  It stores things like normal, but it makes opening it dramatic, like you’re getting something special every time!  Isn’t it great?”


“Make it stop!” Aryll demanded.


“Alright,” Link said as he pressed a gem-like button on the back.  He looked at Rinku, who was holding up something in his hands above his head and contemplating the treasure he’d just discovered.  “You got eyepatches!” the boy announced.


“Eyepatches?” Aryll asked. “What would we need those for?  We all have two eyes!”


Link took one of the patches from Rinku, careful of their respective Triforces, and placed it on his head.  He covered his own left eye with it.  It was made of leather that had been dyed green and meticulously stitched.  It had brass studs in the center in the shape of three interconnected triangles – the Triforce emblem.  The patches that remained in a puzzled Rinku’s hands were plain – one black silk and the other cracked, brown leather.   


“This one’s my personal patch,” Link said.  “Tetra had it custom made for me.  Sometimes monsters see me wearing it and run ‘cause they see the emblem and know who I am.  The other two are from Nudge and Niko. I paid them so they can get new ones on Windfall.  They’ve been wanting new ones, anyway.” 


“What are they for?” Aryll asked again, “Our eyes are fine.”


“They’re for battle,” Link explained.  “You know how you and Rinku walked down here out of the bright sunlight and were blinded?  These keep that from happening. When the pirates see a monster-ship we want to raid some distance off, we’ll put these on to adjust one eye to the dark, that way, when we have to fight below decks, we just switch the patch and we already have an eye ready to see.  You sacrifice depth perception and some peripheral, but it’s really pretty handy.” 


“We aren’t going to be raiding any ships, Big Brother.”


“I know,” Link answered, “They’re for the Tower.  It’s really dark in there, when you first sail in and I don’t know if there are any monsters still lurking.  I’d like not to be caught unaware.  Ever have a chu-chu drop on you out of nowhere? It’s not fun.  Can you explain all this to Rinku?  He probably knows this trick, being a seasoned warrior and all.” 


Aryll did her best to explain the eyepatches. 


“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Rinku replied.


“Um… just trust Big Brother, okay?” was all Aryll had to say.  



The entrance to the Tower of the Gods was indeed quite dark.  The trio sailed into it and switched their eyepatches around.  Indeed, the old pirate-trick aided their visibility.  Once they’d adjusted fully to the dark, they took the silly things off.  The tower was silent save for the gentle lapping of waves upon the stones. 


Aryll held the grappling hook.  She panicked when she saw something strange, just resting upon a staircase.  The creature was perfectly still.  She walloped it with the hook, anyway.  The creature did not move and the grapple was covered in gunk.  “Ew!” Aryll said, touching the green slime.


Link took out his spoils bag, a little knife and a small tin.  “Hold the hook out, like that.”  He scraped the green gunk into the tin and sealed it, putting it away. 


“Chu-chu jelly,” he explained.  “It may look gross, but it’s valuable. People make medicines out of it.  The green kind recharges the magic in Hylian blood.  It’s pretty invigorating.”


Aryll’s eyes looked to the monster she’d procured the jelly from.  It had not moved and whatever passed for its eyes were clearly closed.  “Is it already dead?” she asked.


“No, looks like its sleeping.  And if you look over there, there’s some bokoblins sound asleep.  I think since I defeated Ganondorf, the tower’s holiness must have put everything to sleep.”


Rinku reached out to touch one of the bokoblins cautiously.  He slipped something off its neck and regarded it with a puzzled expression. 


“Oh, you can keep that if you want,” Link said. “Though I don’t know what you’d want with a joy pendant.  I know some girls like them.” 


Rinku bent down and handed it to Aryll.  The girl laughed. “I’ll wear it later,” she said, pocketing the prize. 


Link brought out his sword.  “I wonder if we should just kill the rotten things, make sure they never wake up again.”


Rinku, seeing the unsheathed sword, shook his head solemnly.  “Honor,” he said in clear Modern Hylian.


Link put his blade away.  “You’re right.  There’s no sport in killing things in their sleep, even if they are monsters.  Come on!  If everything in the Tower’s asleep, we should have no trouble reaching the top!” 



Link took his grappling hook and used it to ring the great bell just as he did the last time he was here.  It sounded clear and true as the Triforce on his hand glowed.  Rinku’s Triforce piece glowed.  Everyone looked over the edge of the tower to behold a strange circle forming in the sea water below them, near the entrance of the Tower. 


The clattered down the stairs and through the lifts they’d come up and back to the boat.  Link steered it into the luminous patch.  Down they went.  Rinku’s face took on a look of panic as they drifted down into the dark waters. 


“Its okay, Rinku!” Aryll assured him, taking his hand.  “Isn’t it strange? We can breathe!”


Once Rinku realized this, he calmed.  This felt just like when he’d first lost the Ocarina of Time, drifting in the ocean, buffeted by the waves and slowly drowning.   The water was as air to them.  Not only could the heroic trio breathe, they could see clearly.  The water distorted some things before their eyes, but for the most part, objects were clearly visible beneath a cast of blue.  There were towers with ragged flags whipping gently in the currents. 


The ship landed upon the silt seafloor among ancient brickwork.  Then, as if they were all in the bottom of a giant bathtub and the plug had just been pulled out, the ocean around them drained away.  Rinku, Link and Aryll were left dripping as they stared up at a sky made of rippling water. 


“This is….” The Hero of Winds began, “This is just like it was before – a land in a bubble and without wind.” 


Link lowered the deck and practically jumped out of the boat. 


“What are you doing?” his sister called as he began running up the steps of the palace they were parked beside. 


“If it’s like it was before… the king!  The king might still be alive somehow!” 


The boy disappeared into the darkness of the castle entranceway calling “Your Majesty?  Daphnes?  It’s me! It’s Link!” 


“Wait, Big Brother!” Aryll called, running after him. 


Rinku took the scene in.  He slowly exited the ship, staring up at Castle Hyrule’s towers, broken bricks and tattered flags.  Tears rolled silently down his cheek. 


“Big Brother?” 


Aryll caught up to a gasping Link in the grand hall and put a hand on his shoulder. 


“He’s not here,” Link moaned.  “I thought… maybe… there was a chance…”


Aryll hugged him.  “You miss your friend like I miss you when you go out to sea.” She turned as a shadow entered the hall.  “Rinku?”


Rinku walked slowly, giving careful consideration to everything around him.  He struck Aryll as being zombie-like as much as Link was being ReDead-like. The young man walked up the steps upon which were the remains of a broken statue.  He knelt, running his hands over the severed bronze head, caressing the nose and cheeks. 


“Yeah,” Link cautiously ventured, “It was a statue of you.  Ganondorf broke it.”


Suddenly, Rinku lost all composure.  He doubled over with sobs.  Link put a hand on his back and rubbed it.  “I’m sorry the statue broke,” the younger boy said, “I couldn’t do anything about it.”


“It’s not the statue,” Rinku said with a puffy, wet-eyed gaze.  “It’s… I’m touched that people would do this for me.  And they’re gone now… all those people are gone.”


“Rinku!” Aryll exclaimed, “Your Modern Hylian has gotten really good!” 


Rinku sniffed and wiped his nose on his gauntlet.  “I didn’t say anything in Modern Hylian.”


“We must be able to understand you here!” 


“It is his kingdom,” Link said, shrugging.


“Not entirely,” Rinku corrected as he got up from his kneeling position. “I never actually entered the castle in this timeline.  I could sneak into the garden easily but never made it inside the palace.  This castle is actually a re-build.  The one that I knew was replaced by Ganon’s Tower.  This hall, though… it bears a remarkable resemblance to the one I am a man of court in back in my timeline.”   


Rinku walked down the steps into the main hall, hung with tattered tapestries.  “The Hall of the Hyrule Castle I know is just like this – only new and neat and without statues of me.  Zelda’s father wanted to honor me that way for the various things I’ve done for the kingdom, but I declined.  I told him that statues are for the dead, not the living.  The Royal Family addressed the court here and held feasts and dances for all the people of Hyrule during the great holidays.  Anyone could show up, from the wealthy nobles to the common farmers.  That’s how Zelda liked it, even if her father didn’t always approve.” 


Rinku took Aryll in his arms and spun her around.  She squealed in surprise and delight.  “Zelda and I used to dance just like this.  May I have this dance, little princess?”


The two danced about the hall until they stopped abruptly to admire an old painting.  How the paintings upon the walls had survived the deluge was anybody’s guess.  Beads of water glistened upon the oil paint. 


“Hey, these people look a lot like the pirates and Tetra!” Aryll observed. 


“Yeah,” her brother said, scratching the back of his neck.  “Tetra is Zelda – one of the Royal Line - and she looks just like that when she’s wearing the dress and stuff, but I don’t think the girl in the painting is her.”


“She’s not my Zelda,” Rinku added.  “Mine is… when I left my reality…a couple of years older than I am, an adult.  Even when she was a little girl her features were a bit different. Her nose was a little more button and she’s a bit longer in the ears.”


“I think the girl in the painting must be Tetra’s grandma or great-grandma or somethin’.” Link added, “Tetra said she was born on her mother’s ship, out in international waters and that’s why she’s free. She has no country.” 


“Except Hyrule…” Rinku whispered, brushing the canvas with his fingertips ever so lightly. 


“Now that we’ve found a mainland,” Link explained, “We want to create a New Hyrule there.” 


Rinku turned to him and smiled.  “Make it a shining kingdom,” he said, “a golden land of the gods.”


The trio wandered outside over a path past gardens and fields.  They stepped indoors again to explore another wing of the palace, untouched, this time, by Ganon’s wicked magic, or so it would seem.  They scoured every nook and crag for a small blue flute. 


They wandered into an area filled with six huge armors, standing in a circle.  It reminded the Hero of Winds of the palace basement, though this was a different area.  The armors, as one, suddenly moved.  Both the Links brought out their swords. 


“Run and find a place to hide, Aryll,” the younger Link commanded.


“What… what are they?” Aryll questioned, refusing to let go of her brother’s shield-arm. 


“Darknuts,” Link spat.  “They can only be defeated if you cut their armor off from behind.  They’re vicious and strong.  This breed of beast has killed me at least five times – those are just the times I remember.” 


“K-killed you?”


“You remember how we revived Rinku with a fairy?  That’s happened to me before.  We have three bottled fairies on us.  Like an idiot I left the rest back in the cargo hold of the ship! Rinku’s got one in his pocket and I’ve got two.  Take one. Hide or run back to the ship or something.” 


“No! I won’t leave you!  Or Rinku!” 


“Aryll! This is serious!  I don’t want to lose you, either!” 


An enormous sword crashed down for them.  Aryll removed her grip by instinct.  Her brother drew the monster-knight’s attention by slicing ineffectually at its armor with scrapes, sparks and clangs. 


Aryll scrambled behind a fallen marble pillar.  She watched as Rinku divested one of the creatures of its armor (its helm remained).  He deftly avoided its sword and stabbed it through the chest with his own.  Another beast crept up behind him.  Aryll gritted up her courage and let fly with the grappling hook she’d snitched from her brother’s pocket along with the bottled fairy he commanded her to take.  The grapple snagged the creature’s helm and pulled it off, revealing a jackal-like head beneath. 


It turned toward her and threw its sword.  It hit its mark.  The sharp side of the blade did not strike Aryll, but the blunt force of the flying weapon threw her straight into a wall.  She saw bursts of light.  She felt her neck snap. 


“Aryll!” Link cried. 


Aryll felt a refreshing sensation as her fairy danced over her, restoring her health and life.  Link de-armored the helmet-less darknut and stabbed him through the stomach. 


Aryll watched in horror as a darknut’s sword came for Rinku’s neck.  It sliced clean through leaving a thin line of red that lasted but an instant.  Before his head could fall from his shoulders, Rinku was restored by his fairy and his would-be killer was toast.


“It’s not Game Over yet!” Link snarled as he dodged and sliced the armor-bindings of the last two darknuts that were left.  By the time the battle was over, he’d used the last fairy to cure having his ribs crushed in from the blunt side of a blade bigger than he was. 


Rinku was injured. 


The Hero of Time staggered, disoriented, bleeding from a cut on the forehead and a deep cut to his right thigh.  It looked, to Link, disturbingly similar to an injury a fairy had brought him back from once – and for the moment, the group was fresh out of fairies.


“Rinku! Wait!” he called, “Where are you going?  Rin- LINK! Stop right now!” 


Rinku either had not heard him or did not care.  He used the wall for support, disappearing into the darkness of a corridor.  His blood-trail was easy to follow. Link drew a bottle of blue potion from his tunic.  He’d brought a few of them from Hollo’s hollow in the Forest Haven.  Aryll walked beside him, disturbed at Rinku’s blood on the floor.  There was too much of it.   


They caught him in an antechamber.  Light streamed down from a tear in the ceiling.  The young man laid himself down on a long flat stone shelf.  “Rest,” he muttered.  “Just need to lie down and rest a bit.  I’ll be just fine.” 


“I’ve got potion,” Link said gently.  “You have to drink it.  You’re disoriented – sick from blood-loss and pain and stuff.  Here.  It tastes nasty and will make you burp, but it will make you feel better, I promise.” 


As the younger Link reached out, he stopped and stood shock still. 


“Big Brother?” Aryll inquired. 


“No,” Link whispered, shaking his head, “No…”


Rinku laid before him stretched out on the stone slab.  He was pale and his sword was un-sheathed and laid atop him, his hands clasped around it almost prayerfully.  Link remembered some story Orca had told him about how warriors were laid out for their funerals.  The younger boy saw people milling about, ghost-like, as if he wasn’t witnessing immediate reality.  Rinku looked older, too.  He was still clean-shaven and he didn’t have much in the way of wrinkles, but his hair had gray streaks, mixed in with the blond.  His ears drooped slightly at the tips.  A young man who was well-dressed in an old-fashioned way in a red and gold royal tabard laid flowers on Rinku’s chest.  A gray-haired woman dressed beautifully and wearing a light crown wept.  A knight in armor knelt before Rinku’s stone, striking the tip of his sword into the ground. 


Link watched, mesmerized, as the people faded and Rinku, it would seem, turned to stone.  No – what the boy was seeing was a stone casket, carved in relief in Rinku’s likeness.  Vines grew over it in an instant.  A forest grew in among the brick walls of the chamber, which broke into so many mismatched ancient ruins. 


A large and handsome wolf darted out from behind the vine-overgrown sarcophagus.  A small sinister-looking creature wearing a helmet made of stone and shadows rode it.  The wolf and his rider darted away to be replaced a curious-looking rabbit or hare that bore fur that looked pinkish in the dim light.  After that a traveler wandered into the clearing.  He was dressed in a similar manner to Rinku, but his hair was darker and wilder.  He seemed to be wary of his shadow. He seemed lost, like a person looking for Wisdom. He carried a wooden sword.  


The strange scenes subsided.  Rinku sat up and took the bottle of blue potion from Link.  For a moment he saw the boy’s clothing change as well as subtle features of his face.  He wore a brimmed cap and a black vest – a uniform like one Rinku had seen donned by people who worked with certain kinds of machines.  Behind him stretched a vast country and tracks into a mysterious future.


“What’s going on?” Aryll questioned as the two Links stared at each other, boring holes into each other with their gazes.  Rinku saw another world surround young Link – a world just as oceanic as the one above Hyrule, but the adventure was one with fairies and old sea captain.  Link stared at Rinku and saw his features become younger.  He saw a great, grinning moon behind him and four giant creatures – and dancing masks, lots of strange, disembodied faces. 


They stared at one another some more.  Images of Rinku’s childhood in an ancient forest surrounded by children and their fairies spun around him for Link to see, as well as images of Hyrule Castle in its days of glory, a desert of thieves, a river of fish and a mountain of rocks and dragons.  Beyond even that, both Link and Rinku saw a world of sky and magnificent birds large enough to carry human-type riders.


Somewhere within all this was seen one warrior divided into four before becoming one again, another time-traveler who danced through the four seasons with his animal friends, a boy who found a hidden world by becoming as small as a mouse and many other wondrous stories told in ghosts and impressions. 


“What next?” Rinku asked himself, “A Hyrule cloaked in desert as deep and vast as the Great Sea?”


Aryll did not see what the boys saw so clearly.  She saw many confusing images, all colliding into one another and did not know what to make of them.  Link took Rinku by the hand – their right hands, mindful of the Triforce – and led him out of the room, still sucking on the medicine bottle. 


“Thank you,” Rinku said.  “My head doesn’t hurt anymore and I think my leg-wound is mending.”


“It stopped bleeding,” Aryll said, “and you’ve got your color back.  Rinku, I was so scared!”


“What just happened to us?” Link asked.  “I-I think I saw your funeral… and after that, this weird wolf…”


“I saw your descendant in a frontier-land,” Rinku answered calmly.  “I think we’ve found the Nexus the Great Fairy talked about, a place where time and possibilities connect.  I think we saw each other’s futures and maybe our pasts, too.” 


“It doesn’t bother you that I saw your funeral?” Link asked.


“Nope.  I felt dead for a few minutes there, anyway.  I know that I have to die, eventually.  Heroes have to make way for new Heroes someday.  As long as I don’t know the details of when or how, I’ll be fine.  When you think about it, I’m supposed to be ‘dead’ in this world.  It doesn’t feel right being a relic.  I’m glad I was spared seeing your funeral, though.”


“I see something blue over there!” Aryll said, pointing to what she saw. 


“That’s the area where I left Ganondorf,” Link commented. 


“Ganondorf…” Aryll said with a shiver.  “Big Brother, I don’t want to go in there.”


“He can’t hurt you anymore, Aryll,” Link contended, “I made sure of that.  Actually, you might want to see the statue.  You can see how I impaled him and know that he’ll never come after you again.”


Aryll cowered behind her brother as she followed him.  Rinku had strode ahead and greeted them with an ear-to-ear grin.  He held, in one hand, a small round blue flute.  “I got it!” he exclaimed.  He stepped aside and knelt down by Aryll.  “It’s okay,” he soothed, “He’s very dead.” 


The trio looked up at the stone behemoth that was once the terror of both their worlds. 


“You jammed the sword in there pretty hard, didn’t you?” Rinku commented, looking to Link.  “Knowing that blade, it went right though his brain, his throat, his heart and maybe even into his stomach.  Wow.”


“I had to protect the Great Sea,” Link said slowly.  “I kinda felt sorry for him, though.  He was lost in the past and he said something about originally wanting Hyrule for his people, who lived in a harsh land.”


“I knew his people,” replied Rinku.  “They weren’t all bad – not all good, but not all bad, either.  When he took over Hyrule, it wasn’t for his people – it was for himself.  They suffered along with everyone else.  The Gerudo remained in their desert while Ganondorf took the fat of the land for himself and kept only monsters in his employ.  He lusted after destruction and lost his mind with Power.” 


“My grandma says all dictators claim to do things ‘for the people’ but are usually lying. I still felt weird after killing him, though.”  Link looked to the Master Sword, then to his left hand, which he flexed.  “I had no idea I was capable of that kind of fury.”


Aryll peered cautiously out from behind him at the stone Ganondorf.  She stuck her tongue out at it. 


“You didn’t want him to take your sister from you ever again,” Rinku said with a soft smile. “Or your Zelda, or anyone you cared about.” He walked around the statue, regarding it with a critical eye.  “He looks like he put on some weight since my time.”


“When he started causing trouble,” Link began, “Most of the fish disappeared from the sea.  There were some magical talking fish left and lots of gyorgs, but most of the normal fish were gone, which was very bad for Outset, ‘cause it’s a fishing village.  Tetra and I used to joke that Ganondorf just ate them all.” 


“He still looks strong,” the Hero of Time mused, “He’s carrying his weight mostly in the chest.  He has more the look of an elder sorcerer.  In his younger days – when I knew him – he was muscle-bound all-around and looked more like a stereotypical bully.”


“Oh, he was a bully!” Aryll chimed.  “He had me and the other girls all locked up and his moblins would poke us with their spears through the bars except for this one nice moblin that Maggie liked.  If Big Brother hadn’t shown up, I think he was gonna sacrifice us an’ drink our blood!” 


“He disabled me with a magic-filled glare,” Link confessed.  “…When I first confronted him, when the Master Sword wasn’t charged-up right. I still tried to fight him.  There was pain through my body and I couldn’t lift the sword.  I would have been a goner if it weren’t for my friends.  My friends saved me.”


Rinku put his hand on Link’s shoulder.  “He did unspeakable things in my era,” he said.  “So if you ever feel guilty over turning him into…this…know that it had to be done.” 


He held up his ocarina.  “Are you two okay to get back home?” he asked. 


“Yeah,” Link said with a nod.  “We’ll just ascend back through the portal and sail home.  We even have more fairies and potions in the hold I forgot to pocket.  We’ll just sail home, or maybe head to Windfall to meet my outlaw friends... living it up like real scurvy pirates at the coffee shop.” 


“Then,” Rinku sighed, “I guess it’s time for me to go home.”


The young man regarded Aryll and Link with a sad smile, his big blue eyes wet at the edges.  Aryll wept and Link hugged him. 


“I’ll remember you,” Rinku said, “I know what I’m going to name my firstborn daughter now.”  He chuckled softly.  “And you can read about me in storybooks, though you know the truth about the ‘triumph forks.”


Link laughed at this. 


“Take care of your world, Hero of Winds,” the Hero of Time said before putting the Ocarina of Time to his lips.  He played a simple song.  He finished it and found the younger Link and his sister still staring at him.  He tried again, reversing the notes.  Puzzled, he changed the tempo.


“It’s not working,” he observed, stating the obvious.


“Maybe the magic’s weird in this place?” Aryll suggested.  “He may be dead, but we are standing near Ganondorf.  Maybe he’s being a meanie and not letting you go home.”


“I can test it,” Rinku declared.  He quickly played a highly magical song he knew as the Song of Storms.  Freshwater rain pattered down from a sky enveloped by a ceiling of waves that remained intact. 


“You made it rain?” Link asked.


“Yeah,” Rinku answered. “It means the magic still works.  I’d try the song I use to call my horse, but she’s not anywhere near here. I can’t use any of the ones that help me travel to places.  There’s another song I can use to test it that’s even more powerful than the rain-brining song, but it pretty much requires someone to be dying and I’m not about to hurt anyone just so I can test the magic by healing a soul.”  


“I wonder if the rain-song would work on the winds with my Wind Waker.” 


“The magic’s obviously still good,” Rinku said. As a final effort, he played a song he knew well, in its original tempo; the Song of Time. 


He fell to his knees, holding the Ocarina of Time out before him in both hands.  His face was ashen.  It wasn’t working.  He couldn’t go home.





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