Chapter 8: Light Past. Dark Present.
Shadow seemed depressed. This was new. Kalo had never seen him like this. "Feeling guilty?" he said smugly. "It's about time."
"Have I hit a weak point? Could the Big, bad Shadow have a conscience?"
"Are you finally realizing that what you are doing is wrong?"
"I said shut up!!!" Shadow finally screamed. "What I am doing is necessary, It Is the only reason I exist. It is...the only way to end my pain."
Wintertime in the Kokiri village. A time for rest, living off food stores. A time for talk, preparing for the next spring.
And being the children that the Kokiri are, a time for snowball fights.
"I will not be defeated!" Saria shouted from on top of her house "I am the snowball god!"
A snowball hit her in the face.
"Don't you mean 'snowball goddess?'" Link asked. Conveniently standing on the cliff overlooking the village, which Sarias house was next to. Holding another snowball to throw, he pulled his right hand back. "Because last I checked you were a girl?" He threw it.
Saria ducked under the snowy attack. "Ha! You stink at aiming!"
Link pouted, "That's because I'm left handed!" He folded his arms indignantly "I was using my right." He stuck he tongue out at her.
"An opening!" Saria chucked a snowball at Links face, hitting him while his tongue was still out.
"Ack! Cold! You evil, evil woman!" Link shouted, rubbing his face and mouth..
"And proud of It." Saria said with a smile.
Link laughed, his smile growing. He looked down at her. "We've been out for hours Saria, lets go to my house to get warm." Link jumped down onto her roof "I'll make some Sweet Tea." Sweet Tea, a Kokiri beverage made from boiled herbs, very sweet herbs. It is one of the sweetest foods In Hyrule.
The Kokiri are addicted to it.
"Yum!" Saria said, "But does that mean you forfeit?" She leered at him.
Link raised an eyebrow, "Nope, I'm just taking pity on your wretched soul."
"So I win."
"Only because I let you."
Saria giggled. She pulled Link Into a hug. What ever you say Link, whatever you say."
Malon rode the cart into the city. Delivering a shipment of Lon Lon Milk to the castle was interesting at first, but now It's a weekly routine. Of course, there was the attack that happened three days ago. Malon wondered if Link or Saria had been in it.
"Miss Lon!" a guard shouted "If you could come here for a second!"
Malon sighed 'What Is it this time?' "Coming!" Getting off the cart, she walked over to the guard. "Yes?"
"Miss Lon, four days ago a girl was found passed out next to a horse that had your ranches mark on it" In Hyrule, branding is done by magic, using a special paint that can't be washed off without the consent of the person who painted it on. It isn't visible without using a spell.
"Really? Where is it?"
"It's in the public stables. Would you like me to take you to it."
Malon nodded "Just let me make this delivery."
Zelda looked at the letter she wrote.
I'm sorry, but I'm leaving, I don't know when I'll be back, but I will be back. Something's wrong with Hyrule, Impas disappearance is somehow connected to it all.
I'll be fine. I can take care of my self, Impa made sure of that. I'll be doing what I should do, help the country the best I can.
Your daughter, Zelda
Setting it down on her nightstand, She took a deep breath. "Lets do this."
Reaching into the back of her closet, she pulled out her training uniform, a skintight outfit, blue pants that wrapped around her feet. A white top with the mark of the Sheikah on it. And white bandages to serve as wrappings around the head, arms and hands.
Putting it on she looked at herself in the mirror. She looked almost like a Sheikah warrior. Only her blue eyes betrayed her Hyilan heritage. "Only one more thing to do." Holding up her right hand, the Triforce of Wisdom flashed. There was an explosion of magical power, with a light so bright Zelda was blinded for a moment.
When the light faded, a young man was standing in the mirror. He was handsome, with soft, rugged futures. He had the red eyes that all Sheikah had. A Sheikah warrior.
Zelda had become Sheik, her alter-ego, her escape, and her sanctuary, once again.
"Epona!" Malon was surprised to find her horse here. "You've been here for four days?" She knew Saria wouldn't leave her here. So she must still be in the city! "Excuse me!" she asked the guard who led her here "The girl who rode this horse? Where is she?"
The guard looked at her, he seemed to think for a minute "Oh! She was one of the people injured in the attack. Poor girl."
'Saria!' "Where is she?" Malon appeared desperate. "She's a friend of mine!"
"Heh, apparently she's a friend of the princess as well, she's resting In the castle. But, if your her friend, I guess I can sneak you in."
"Thank you." Malon shook the guards hand.
Link and Saria were deep in the Lost Woods. Trying to find some rare Yellow Lightflowers that were needed for the Summer Celebration. The Summer Celebration was an annual ceremony welcoming the coming of Summer, it was very Important to the Kokiri, legend had It that if it was not done, Din would not let Summer come to the Kokiri. So finding those flowers was a very important job. Unfortunately they were VERY hard to find. It was a job done by a male and a female Kokiri. The Great Deku Tree chose the girl, while the girl chose the boy.
It was the first time Saria had been chosen, and she had chosen Link.
Saria didn't know why she had chosen him, or why choosing him had made her blush.
Pulling some vines out of the way, Link groaned "Saria, I think we're lost."
Saria stared at Link "Lost? Link, Kokiri do not get lost. Outsiders get lost."
Link sighed "Saria, do you know where we are?"
Saria felt very embarrassed now "No..." she whispered.
Link heard her though, "Then we are lost."
Saria looked around, they had been out for hours. She had no idea where they were, and it was almost night. She heard a Wolfos howl in the distance. "L-lets find our way back." She suggested, feeling more then a little scared.
They walked for another three hours. It was now night and it was cold.
Sitting down, Saria shivered. "Link, I'm so cold. I feel tired too."
Link sighed, "Maybe we should rest for the night."
"B-but we'll fr-freeze!" She was shivering really badly now. She suddenly felt someone get close to her.
It was Link.
"We can keep each other warm" he said, his arms were wrapped around her.
Saria was blushing so hard she was sure her face was as red as an apple. Link had never been this close to her before. It felt...nice and she did feel very warm now.
Link smiled. "Better?"
Saria took a deep breath. He smells like Oak Trees... She blushed even harder, why should she care what Link, her best friend smells like
Her male best friend. That seemed to make a difference for some reason.
Muttering out a quick "Much better" She found herself snuggling In further. Sleep began to come over her.
She fell asleep feeling warmer and safer then she had In a while.
"Saria wake up!"
Saria woke up, dimly noticing that Link wasn't next to her anymore, feeling a little bit of disappointment. She sat up, rubbing the sleep from her eyes. "What is it Link?"
"I found them! the Yellow Lightflowers!" He shouted with glee.
Saria bolted up "Where!" She said with urgently.
"Over here!" Link turned and ran in a direction, Saria following.
Sure enough, they were there, a whole patch of them. Light flowers of all four colors; green, yellow, red, white. The petals literally glowing. Each color representing a season. Link smiled "Well?"
Saria hugged Link, a little tighter then normal, and squealed "Yes! Now we can go home."
They both new the tradition for gathering the flowers. Link bent down and picked two, Saria did the same. Taking one of them, Link and Saria each gave each other a flower.
The ritual complete, Link and Saria put the other flower they picked into their bags, they were to be used in the ceremony. The ones they gave to each other were to be kept.
Saria looked at the flower. On impulse, she put it up In her hair. "How does it look?" she asked.
Link looked at her, a strange look in his eyes. "You look very pretty..." he said with an air of reverence.
"You think so?" She asked, a smile on his face.
"Yes." He said, Link began leaning closer to her, with that strange expression still there, when his face was an Inch away from hers, (Why didn't she move?) his strange look was replaced by one of confusion. He pulled away, shaking his head.
"What?" Saria asked, the air around her feeling heavy.
"Nothing, just some weird feeling I had for a minute." Link said.
"There you are! I see you found some Lightflowers!" It was Kalo, who said he would lead them back to the village when they found the flowers.
Saria looked at Link, the strange moment had passed. "Well, lets go finish the celebration." She felt like she had missed something Important.
Link looked like he felt that way too. "Yes." He turned to the fairy "We're coming Kalo!"
Sneaking outside the castle was easy. Sheikah were mostly trusted by castle officials, and the few that weren't were on wanted lists. So Sheik, by virtue of being a Sheikah, was pretty much ignored. Walking through the market place, he bought some supplies for the trip. Gerudo Valley was a two day horseback ride away. He could rent a horse from Lon Lon Ranch, a half day walk away. Then head to the desert of northeast Hyrule, and visit the Amazonian race. Maybe Shadow will come and help me. He could only hope.
Fortunately, Malon was somewhat known by the staff of the castle. So she didn't receive much trouble when she asked to see her friend.
Or, as it turned out, friends.
Link was there as well. Both of them in the same room, on beds next to each other.
"So you found each other." Malon was happy for Link, her best friend. Saria seemed like a good person, and from the way Link talked about her It was obvious he cared about her a lot. "Well Fairy Girl, I still expect to hear the details, so don't think being in a coma will help you." She hoped they heard her joke.
Sitting down next to Links bed, she noticed that there was a note on it. Curiosity overwhelming her, she picked it up.
When you read this I will be gone. I'll be on my way to Gerudo Valley. I hope you wake up soon enough for this note to be up to date.
Link, I'm sure you've already guessed, but I need to tell you anyway.
I love you.
I know you don't return the feelings. I know your heart belongs to Saria. And I hope you are happy with her.
When Ganondorf took over Hyrule, I disguised myself as Sheik. But spending nearly seven years In a disguise while being hunted like an animal affected me. For A while I actually thought I really was Sheik. I forgot who I really was, my life before I assumed my new identity became a confusing blur. I Invented memories for Sheik, a whole life for him I could tell you the story of his life. How he was born to Sheikah parents who died before he could remember them. How he was raised by his "Aunt" Impa. How he knew he had to help the Hero of Time and protect princess Zelda. And for a while, I thought It was all real. But my real memories were still there. They came to me at night, when I was asleep. I was always scared and confused. In my madness I thought my memories were tricks sent by Ganondorf to confuse me. I went as long as I could without sleep, I tortured myself endlessly. All the while watching Hyrule being dragged closer and closer to hell.
Finally I saw you.
You brought It all back to me. I remembered who I am.
I am Zelda
I am a woman
I am the Princess of Hyrule.
I am the Sage of Time
And I am In love with you.
The shock of returning to sanity almost made me miss you. But I managed to speak to you. It was easy to call myself Sheik, it still Is. After five years of thinking I was him.
When I sent us all back, I was glad for the second chance, the chance to be Zelda. It didn't work out. It was so easy, just to change. Become him again. He has no responsibilities, he can do what he pleases. It was so easy. So easy...
I guess sending us all back didn't work. None of us can escape destiny, your destiny of being a warrior, Sarias destiny of being a Sage. And my destiny...
My destiny of being alone, trapped between two lives. Neither of which I want anymore.
Princess Zelda Eleanor Hyrule and Sheik of the Sheikah
Malon slowly put down the letter she just read. And wished she hadn't. What she just read sounded unbelievable, yet she found herself finding it true. She stole a glance of Link. The Hero of Time... The hero of legend who wielded the Master Sword itself! Could her friend really be that person? Taking another glance at the letter, she noticed that there were dark splotches on it. Tears... Princess Zelda had been crying when she wrote this letter. Of course she was! She sounds so sad. She hoped this could be a joke, but somehow she knew it wasn't.
...Link will be looking for the Sages, go with him...
Shadow, the person who gave her the gift of the magical rods. The rods that tingled even now.
She could feel it.
It was coming.
And Malon was going along whether she liked it or not.
Moving through Hyrule Field wasn't particularly hard. It was late summer, so it was starting to cool down. Plus the plain is rather easy to walk on.
Though there were some troubles. Peahats grew around the grasslands, there were quite a few very large ones, and they tended to be a bit over protective of their territories. And lone travelers could find themselves harassed by Stalchildren at night. But it wasn't anything Sheik couldn't handle.
"Lets see, I've been out for about two hours. I still have a long way to go till I reach Lon Lon." Sighing, he trudged on.
"Out of my way boy!" Sheik turned and saw a horse moving towards him a high speeds. But the horse was almost upon him when it reared back. Throwing the rider off. "Arrgh! You blasted boy! Move when I say move!" Sheik recognized the man. Ingo Mar.
"Lousy stupid girl, staying way too long and now this stupid boy blocking my path." He muttered angrily, he probably would have continued If not for Sheik Interrupting him.
"Excuse me, but last I checked this was an open field, you could have moved."
"Don't backtalk to me boy!" Ingo moved to slap Sheiks face. Sheik pulled his head back to avoid the blow. Ingo glared at him. "Your a Sheikah." he stared at him, even more contempt forming on the ranch workers face.
"Yes." Sheik wondered what was going one.
Sheik realized what was going on when Ingo punched him in the stomach.
"Lousy Sheikah! Think you're so much better then us Hylians! Of course, you're at least better then those freaks that are Gorons and Zoras." Ingo his Sheik again.
"Now, Sheikah, when I, or any other Hyilan for that matter, tell you to do something, do it!"
Sheik stood up. "Only of you ask nicely." He spat. He could see why Link didn't like Ingo.
"You little brat! Learn your place!" He tried to hit Sheik again, but he was knocked out by a snap-kick to the jaw.
Sheik stared at the comatose man. "Now what am I going to do?" He sighed. "You know, this guys from Lon Lon." Picking Ingo up, he slung him over the horse. Then tying him up so he would stay on "Heh, a little tighter then necessary." Sheik got on the horse. "What luck, I should thank him." Looking over at Ingo. "Maybe not.
It was strange, Link had felt so many flashes of memory, some his, others obviously Sarias. That feeling this link with her that had been there ever since defeating the ShadowBeast fading was kind of strange.
Fortunately the memories had all been good. But now he felt himself entering the world of the living once more.
Saria opened her eyes suddenly. She sat up and noticed a person she knew sitting by Links bed.
"Malon?" She cloaked out. He voice felt like it hadn't been used in days. Which, it probably hadn't.
"Saria?" Malon whispered, she stood up. "Saria! Thank the gods your ok!" She ran over and gave Saria a Malon-Hug (Crushes your lungs) "I was worried about you!"
"Yo, Red. If you're so worried about Saria. Let her breathe!" A second voice croaked. Link had woken up. He was sitting up, a somewhat amused expression on his face.
"Fairy Boy!" Malon shouted, letting go of the Kokiri. And moving over to give a Malon-hug to Link.
"Good...to...see...you...to...Red...now...let...me...breathe!" Link gagged out.
Malon let go of him. She smiled. "Just good to see you again." She turned to Saria. "So Saria," she gave her a sly look. She pointed to Link with her thumb. "Made out with him yet?'
"Red! I do not need your input!" Link shouted as Saria blushed.
"I knew you both were an item!" Malon said with glee. "I was right, again!"
Link turned to look at Saria. "The outsiders have a term describing what Malon is to me." He said in monotone.
"And that Is?" Saria asked, raising an eyebrow.
Kalo sighed. Shadow was gone. Again. At least he was leaving images of the people involved In his plot.
On one side he could see Link, Saria, and Malon.
On another he could see Zelda, riding a horse to a destination.
On a third he could see Shadow, In a desert, gathering monsters to attack Gerudo Valley the moment he was ready.
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