Disclaimer and Notes: The Legend of Zelda does not belong to me. I’m just borrowing the toys for non-profit fun. To anybody litigious - can’t get blood from a stone.
Despite recurrent names and themes, this story has no relation to any of my others. As for my fair warnings, in this, I play with an odd idea regarding the split timeline theory.
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“It feels weird to think that I may have died,” the girl said, seated comfortably upon a great tree stump. Her best friend sat across from her. He was more mature than her in body, but much younger than she was in spirit. Late afternoon light painted their faces, hair and clothing in golden leafy patterns. The forest was warm today.
“I don’t know if you really did for sure,” Link said to Saria. He looked up at the
, which loomed above them. “All I know is that I tried to get to you, tried to save you… broke the curse on this temple, then you awakened as a Sage. I do not know if you were a ghost then or if you were living and just had some spooky powers.” Forest Temple
“Is Zelda having the visions, too?” the little Kokiri asked. “I’ve been having dreams of the other time ever since you first left the forest. They’ve been getting more vivid and more frequent since I awakened myself as the Forest Sage – though I’m quite alive, I am!”
“Everyone in Hyrule’s been having the visions,” Link replied, “At least people that are old enough to have been involved in the other time. People know what I did, even though in this life, I did not do it. I suppose it’s why everyone trusts me when I share my stories. I am always wondering what happened to that other time, though – if it’s really true or if it’s somehow been obliterated. I left that Hyrule, though everyone in this Hyrule seems to be nearly as aware as I am that it existed.”
“Memories of another life and another time that never happened, but did…” Saria mused.
“Time is a strange mistress,” Link sighed. He looked down at her with sad eyes. “The more I think about it, the more I think that in that other time, you did die to become a Sage. I think all the Sages died to be awakened. I am glad that no one had to this time around. I means that I did not fail you and each of you is more powerful this way – you can walk both the sacred places and the land of the living without having to experience something as horrible as dying. Why the other time is leaving echoes into this one, I do not know.”
“It was a very good thing that you came back, though,” Saria said brightly. “It was meant to be – you got to save that world with the weird moon you told us about… and you’ve been protecting Hyrule ever since.”
Saria noticed a sudden shift in Link’s facial expression and grabbed one of his hands. It felt warm in her touch and she could feel, ever so slightly beneath the skin, the gentle throb of his pulse. “Are you alright, Link?”
“Yeah,” he said, looking up and throwing on a smile.
“For a moment, you suddenly looked very upset.”
“I’m fine, Saria. Listen, I have to go now, okay?”
“Alright,” Saria answered. “Take care of yourself and take care of Zelda.”
Link walked off into the depths of the forest, giving a casual wave. Saria watched him until his form vanished past the shafts of the late afternoon light that filtered in through the many trees. She began playing her ocarina.
A whiny of a horse caught the Forest Sage’s attention. Who would bring a horse out here? It was very rare for a horse to be in the Lost Woods, for the animals feared the place. This wild forest was a place for wild beings, not domesticated creatures. Saria took the ocarina from her lips as she saw a rider approach the sacred meadow. This was not only highly unorthodox, it was highly improbable. The rider’s light armor glimmered in the sun. A wink of sunlight off it nearly blinded the girl. Judging by the armor, this man had to be a royal messenger. He had to be someone harmless; in any case, otherwise the Skull Kids would never have let him pass, though his armor did have some scratches in it.
“Hallo!” the man called. “Might you be the Sage of the
“Y-yes,” Saria answered. She climbed down from her stump and cautiously approached the rider and his beast.
The man dismounted and produced a scroll of fine parchment. “This is a royal message from the king and Lady Zelda. I am afraid that it is not happy news.”
Saria took the scroll. Unlike some of the other Kokiri, she could read Hylian letters without the aid of a fairy, though her fairy was happily flitting around her. She unrolled the parchment and read it.
“This can’t be right,” she said, bewildered. “I was just talking with him.”
Link had died just the way he’d always thought he would – on a sword and protecting Zelda.
The princess had supposed it was no finer death for him, the way he’d always wanted to go, but it was cold comfort as she stood in the castle garden before the stone sarcophagus that contained his stiff, preserved body. An arrangement of flowers was laid atop the lid as well as an unsheathed sword, one of a few that had made up his collection – the gilded one that he most favored. The garden would be opened to the public shortly. For now, only family, the royal court and Link’s most personal friends milled about the garden outside the royal chapel.
He was to be the first of the royal family to be buried here. Among the many strange fixations he had gained during his adventures, one of them was his insistence upon not being buried in Kakariko should he die. He had broken into the royal crypt there long ago and had described the things he saw there with no small degree of disgust – carelessly piled bones and ReDeads milling about. He’d said that he didn’t care if he was just left in the woods somewhere, so long as he didn’t have to spend eternity there. Zelda decided it best to honor his wishes and to keep him close.
She winced. Malon was crying bitterly into her father’s shoulder. Zelda did not know why she could not cry. She had wept when it had happened, but she was now calm and cool. She was in shock, she supposed. She kept analyzing the situation. Here she was, readying herself for her husband’s funeral and she could not even muster a sniffle. Impa had told her this morning not to be ashamed of that, for the stress had merely sapped her tears. The children were with her now – young twins. Zelda feared that as they grew, that they’d lose all memory of their father. Stories told were one thing; a personal, warm memory was another.
The age of twenty-two was far too young to die, even for a hero…especially for her Hero.
A shock of green hair caught her attention. The Sage could leave her forest. Sages could go anywhere they wished.
“Saria,” Zelda said softly, crouching down to hug her. “You came. I am so glad you came.”
“I don’t understand,” Saria said, “I got the message the day before yesterday, yet it happened four days ago?”
“But…” Saria insisted, “That can’t be right. I saw him the day before yesterday, just before the rider delivered the letter to me. I was talking with him. I even held his hand. Is this some sort of trick? I know how Link can be with pranks, but I never thought him cruel like this.”
Zelda stood up straight and tall. “Darunia,” she said, looking toward the Goron leader. The Sage of Fire and his son shuffled over as Zelda gently removed the sword and the flowers from atop the coffin lid.
The two Gorons lifted the lid off the sarcophagus and held it. Saria peered inside. It definitely was Link. He was dressed in his usual garb – a simple green tunic with white undershirt and leggings with belts fastened around him. His skin was pale and he looked waxy and just a hair … smaller… than normal. In other words, he looked dead.
“I made this coffin for our brother,” Darunia spoke up. “When Gorons die, they go still and become one with the rock of our mountain, even when buried. We curl up and become the stones. Little brother is just a Hylian, so we made a stone to surround him. This way, he can be like a Goron warrior.”
Saria sniffed and turned to Zelda. “He looks peaceful,” she said, “like he’s asleep.”
Zelda motioned for Darunia to replace the coffin lid. “The priests and the funeral manager created a good illusion,” she said. “It is just an illusion. He actually died in a great deal of pain.”
Saria let out a short gasp.
Zelda sighed deeply. “I was there and saw it happen. Teeth clenched, eyes screwed shut, blood… a lot of blood… the tip of a sword in his heart.”
Zelda remembered the scene vividly. A few minions of Ganon lingered in the land, even to this day. One had broken into the castle – a tall lizard-like creature. It had come straight for her bedchamber, bypassing her father’s. It had been , but Zelda had been lying down to deal with an intense headache. Link had been outside at the training grounds, schooling some of the squires.
It was said that these lingering minions sought blood sacrifice to bring back their executed king. It was said that the blood to do this had to be from the royal line and that it would work best if it was the blood of someone wise. It so happened that Link had come inside and was heading to check upon his ailing wife when he’d caught the Dinolfos in the hall outside the bedroom. Zelda had arisen upon hearing the clashing of steel and Link’s yelling. She’d opened the door and stepped out into the hall.
She remembered Link yelling at her to stay back. She’d heard the footsteps of her guards clattering upon the stone and tile of the adjoining hallways. The Dinolfos used Link’s distraction to thrust its sword forward. At the same time, Link thrust forward. Both fell to their knees, each one’s sword in the other’s chest.
Zelda had yelped and ran to Link. Her guards had finally arrived and surrounded them. Link was bent over, his teeth clenched tight and his eyes shut. Captain Krin pried the Dinoflos off Link’s sword and the magical creature instantly dissipated into smoke.
“Link! Link!” Zelda’d cried, feeling his neck and cheek. A frigid feeling had settled into her heart. Before she’d even laid him down, she knew he was gone.
As Zelda recounted the story to Saria, her tears began to flow again. They had not been sapped. They were just waiting to flow again.
Saria looked down. “I know I saw him,” she said.
“Catch him!” Nabooru shouted. “Show him no mercy and bring him to me!”
She had just returned from the old
, now converted into a place of judgment. The Hylians called it the Arbiter’s Grounds now. Ganondorf had been successfully executed there via a measure of direct banishment several years ago, unfortunately to the loss of one of the Old Sages. As one of the New Sages, she felt compelled to visit the old grounds every now and again to make sure all the seals were still in place. With a creature such as Ganondorf, every precaution was to be taken and every lock maintained. Spirit Temple
Nabooru had not expected to come back home to see the Gerudo Fortress in chaos. Her warriors were running around everywhere trying to capture an intruder. It was a man, too. Unless invited (which was rare), men were not allowed here.
She caught a glimpse of him upon one of the rooftops and she ground her teeth in anger. It wasn’t enough that this young punk had broken into her people’s stronghold; he had to wear those clothes. How dare he impersonate such a fine man? How dare he have such little respect for the dead?
Nabooru had not known Lady Zelda’s consort well in this life, but she had met and talked with him on a few occasions, and she’d been bested by him in a royal swordsmanship tournament. She’d felt a connection to him that was deeper than normal, however, because she’d remembered him from the echoes. Like all of the New Sages, she felt the presence of having lived an alternate life in an alternate reality very keenly.
The Hero of Time’s funeral had been just over a month ago. Nabooru had attended it. She’d placed a little coin on Link’s chest when the coffin had been opened for part of the service. She’d stolen it from his pocket during the swordsmanship tournament and felt it appropriate to return it. She knew that he’d stolen it from her during a time he’d visited her tribe on royal business. It was a little game – thieves respected thieves and those that knew arts of stealth. Neither of them knew who’d originally held the coin or who had first stolen from whom. The game was over. By placing the coin in the coffin, Nabooru had acknowledged that.
The Geurdo had hugged Princess Zelda and had let her cry into her shoulder. She could not say that she’d been truly grieved, but she was sad and had paid the respect due a fallen warrior, which is why seeing a random person running around in clothing meant to impersonate the dead man set her teeth on edge.
The figure jumped down from the roof and vanished from sight. Nabooru ran for the alley he’d headed to. Just what was this guy trying to prove?
She caught up to him and stuck the tip of her scimitar against his back. “Don’t move,” she said as the man put his hands up. “I will be taking you to one of our dungeons now until we sort our why you have decided to trespass upon our territory. If you were looking for love, you shall be greatly disappointed. We Gerudo are not quite as ‘easy’ as rumors say.”
The man let out a playful chuckle.
“Why are you dressed like that?” Nabooru demanded. “That is quite a famous get-up. You do know that the Hero of Time wore clothing like that, don’t you? Are you trying to follow in his footsteps or something? How dare you! He hasn’t even been in the ground for two months!”
“I believe I have something of yours,” the man said. The voice was familiar, but Nabooru could not place it at the moment. She tensed and prodded the man’s back as he swiftly reached into a pocket of his green tunic and took something out of it. With a flick of his hand, something spun through the air and landed, to Nabooru’s absolute bewilderment, in the palm of her free hand.
It was a small coin with the pattern representing the spirit-element minted into it.
The man turned around and faced the Sage, smiling.
“Link?” Nabooru yelped. “What the?”
Then, right before her eyes, he vanished completely.
Young Link the Goron was sure he’d seen his Big Brother wandering one of the mountain trails. Darunia had seen him near the Great Fairy’s cave.
Ruto had seen him while swimming, hovering about in the mists of a waterfall on the upper Zora’s River.
An acolyte at the
was sure he’d seen the specter of the Hero talking to the ghost of the ancient Sage of Light in the public area of the sanctuary. Templeof Time
It was said that perhaps, these appearances were merely echoes of another time.
The moon was full as Impa walked around the palace
Castle. Warm nights like these were perfect for clearing her head. Normally, this time of year, she would be in Kakariko taking care of her adopted people there, but she felt compelled to continue her duties at the castle because Zelda needed her now. gardenof Hyrule
Her little Zelda, who had grown up and had little ones of her own… but in Impa’s eyes the future queen would always be that tender little girl she’d raised. Impa recalled Zelda in her youth. She had been sickly when she was very young, which was why the king was, perhaps, a bit overprotective of her even when she’d grown healthy. Impa had occasionally snuck her past the palace walls so she could see the town and the fields just a little bit and play with other children. Impa knew no harm would come to her, for she watched over her from the shadows, always.
For now, she served as an advisor and she watched the twins – they were such a delight, even though they were in their “terrible toddler” stage. The little girl looked the spitting image of her mother at that age and the little boy was a handsome lad, carrying very much the looks of his father. The king was soon to retire and to have Zelda ascend as the queen. It was all going to be so much harder now without the Hero-prince at her side.
Even now, as the Sheikah walked past the pond, her ears were attuned to the sounds of the palace. She looked to one of the high windows of the tower that looked over this garden. Zelda’s childhood suite was behind her and was currently where the twins slept. The tower room was Zelda’s own bedchamber. The fire in it was out and no candles glowed. Beneath the squeaking of frogs and the buzz of night insects, Impa’s sensitive ears could pick out the princess’ soft snoring. This was a supernatural sense of hearing, a result of her birthright and her training. All was safe in the castle for now.
Impa walked past the garden’s lone grave. Zelda’s window looked right out upon it. She wondered again why the princess had ordered it dug here – it was as if the princess had wished to torture herself. It was the first thing she saw out her window when she awoke in the morning. The dirt was still fresh over it with small brave seedlings of grass just beginning to sprout. The tombstone was elegant and simple – it was gray and emblazoned with the mark of the Triforce. It read, in strong letters: “Herein Lies LINK, Hero of Time, Savior of Hyrule. He lived and died a hero. May Time never forget his deeds.”
Impa walked over to the pond and gently plucked a white lotus out of the water. She set the dripping flower upon the grave and bowed her head in respect. “Thank you for saving my princess,” she said. “I’ve already thanked you, but I cannot thank you enough. It should have been me to give my life for her. She misses you terribly. Some days, I worry she might give up the will to go on.”
“She won’t. Zelda is strong. I have faith in her.”
“Who is that?” Impa breathed, jumping to attention. She blinked and sighed in relief. “It’s just you.”
His form was translucent and washed out like watercolor. He was mostly white and fairly sketchy. He leaned casually against the tombstone. As the Sage of Shadow, Impa had no fear of ghosts and kept quite a close relationship with them. She’d felt, somehow, that he’d never left, though this was the first time he’d graced her with a formal appearance.
“You don’t belong here, Link,” Impa said coolly.
“Trying to re-enter my body hasn’t been working out,” the ghost admitted, rubbing the back of his incorporeal neck and looking sheepish. “I greatly miss having it.”
“I felt you slip. The wound you sustained is one that even the pink fairies cannot heal. You might have had a chance had you had one with you – but a slim chance at that. By now, it is far too late.”
“It was a lovely service, really,” Link commented, looking down at his own grave. “Many people… it’s nice to know I was loved so much, and it’s nice to be remembered. I was glad when Zelda was able to cry again… she needed to. That stone face of hers was disturbing. I hated hearing her cry, but… she needed to.”
“You don’t belong here, Link,” Impa re-iterated. “This is the land of the living. You need to go where you belong. As the Sage of Shadow, I help souls with passing. Come with me, Link. I’ll take you to the Ferry. I guarantee that it will ascend for you and not descend. Come now.”
“I’m afraid not, Impa,” Link said. “I’m not ready to leave just yet. I died too quick, too young.”
“Link… lingering upon the mortal plane is not good for you. Souls that do not rest grow weary. She, the children… everyone… will join you on the other side eventually. You need to take your rest. The
is not far from here and the Ferry within it awaits you.” Shadow Temple
Link shook his head and Impa grabbed for him. He vanished from her vision, dissipating into white smoke.
Zelda sat in one of the drawing rooms, grinning. She was taking a quiet moment to relax and to relive some pleasant memories. She held the piggy-shaped Mask of Scents up to a sunbeam. This was one of the children’s favorites, along with the feathery Bremen Mask – Link had taught little Kafei how to march in that and to lead the ducks around the garden pond, and the Bunny Hood, which little Zelda Anju loved to run around in. Link had once said that he’d like to take the children to Termina one day, provided he could find the way there again, to meet the good friends of his they’d been named after.
Link could always make Zelda laugh wearing the Mask of Scents – rooting around like a silly pig. He’d even found some valuable truffles this way, when they’d gone to the woods. She set it upon a desk too look over more of Link’s mask collection. He’d said that it was missing five pieces and always would. Link had told her the story many times. Three masks had been given to special people as memorials to the ones they’d loved. One mask he’d had for a while was given to the couple it had rightfully belonged to for their wedding ceremony. The final missing piece was kept under lock and key with many spells of protection over it.
Link had been able to wield the power of a ferocious god and had been able to turn it to a good purpose, but he’d confessed that he’d never been more afraid than when he’d worn that mask. He’d described the feeling of raw power in a rather creepy way – that it was like holding a butterfly in one’s hand, knowing, that in any moment, one can crush it… and that it was like having the urge to crush it even though one didn’t really want to. He had worked very hard to keep that impulse to cruelty in check and he told Zelda to imagine the metaphorical butterfly as all worlds and existence entire.
Zelda drew the Mask of Truth out of the bag that held the masks. She admired the Sheikah eye-symbol emblazoned upon it and had a sudden memory of being a lithe Sheikah, following Link at a distance, in the shadows, although in the current time, that had never happened. She put it on, wondering if she’d see the world just a little bit differently with it covering her eyes.
She startled back and nearly fell out of her chair. The princess caught her breath and willed her heart to slow as she took the mask off. She hadn’t just seen what she thought she’d seen, did she? Her gaze was to the floor, noting the polished hardwood. Boots. She saw the toes of boots. Cautiously, she lifted her head and looked up. Her first impulse was to wonder if she was dreaming or if she’d hurt her head. Her second impulse was to wonder if her grief had gotten the better of her. However, she felt most strongly that her sight was accurate – she was a Sage and her powers as such told her to have no fear.
He smiled at her - so sweetly.
“L-Link?” Zelda asked, reaching out for him.
He took her hand, and for a moment, she felt warmth. It felt like he was alive. Swiftly, the feeling was gone and she felt like she was holding cold vapor. He was still there, though, smiling.
“I did not doubt that Saria had seen you,” the princess said. “Her voice was so sincere and she’s smart enough not to play tricks.” She rose from her seat. He leaned in close to her. She felt a wisp of air brush her face. She closed her eyes and felt, for a split second, warm lips upon hers – then that cold air feeling again.
Then the two looked at one another – and Zelda looked past Link to the wall behind him, through him. They remained in an awkward silence for several moments.
“So… how long… has it been?” Zelda asked, “Since you’ve been around here, I mean.”
“Since I died,” Link answered. “I never left. I’ve been around Hyrule, but I always come back to the palace.”
“Did it hurt?” Zelda asked cautiously.
“Dying?” Link asked, a hand going to his chest. “Yeah. Worst pain ever, actually, but it only lasted a few seconds. The worst thing about it was not knowing right away if I’d failed or succeeded in protecting you.”
“I’m safe,” Zelda said with a quirky smile. She paced the room. “I suppose I should want to join you. I’ve been missing you with a profound ache, but I have our children to raise and a kingdom to take care of.”
“As it should be,” Link said with a nod. “And if you… you know… should ever have a need for someone else, know that I am okay with that, as long as he’s a good man.”
“Oh, Link, did you not hear what I just said about having a kingdom to run? I have no room in my heart for much else. And I’m not ready to let go of you so easily.”
“I’m glad to hear that because the truth is, I get twitchy over the thought with you with someone else.”
“You’ve had a lot of time to think, haven’t you?”
“There’s not much else to do when you’re dead.”
The ghost of Link sidled behind Zelda and held her in a cool, insubstantial embrace. “I am here for you. I could not bear to leave.”
Tears began to roll down Zelda’s cheeks. “Don’t go, then,” she whispered. “Don’t go.”
“Impa wanted to take me to the Ferry,” Link said. “I wouldn’t let her. I gave my life to protect you. I’ll give my death, for what it’s worth, to do the same.”
Two years passed in the beautiful
. The king retired and Zelda ascended to the throne. The coronation was the biggest formal event in the land since the funeral of the Hero of Time. Perhaps that was why a great deal was made of it – it was an event of joy much-needed by the people. As she was crowned, Zelda spared a glance for the figure in the room that had chosen to remain hidden from all but her. kingdomof Hyrule
The ghost of Link had become a given in her every day life. He was almost always around her. The only times he wasn’t there were times when she felt quite safe and he’d decided to visit others. He seemed to take a special delight in confusing the various Sages of the land – whether it was pick-pocketing rupees and coins from Nabooru’s pockets (only to give them back to her) or spooking Ruto from the mists, his playful nature had not been separated from him upon his death. He also liked startling the palace kitchen staff and frightening Zelda’s guards to show them how much courage they yet needed to gain to properly protect his Zelda.
The only place he did not make his presence known any longer was the
. He talked with Saria every once in a while, but moving among the Kokiri was something he would not do. Being an immortal child race, they had many superstitions regarding ghosts. He’d once met Mido and the boy’s reaction of abject terror showed him that he should never do it again. The child had been in such a state of fear that all thoughts of comeuppance upon the once-bully were immediately forgotten, replaced by a unique sorrow. Kokiri Forest
“You’re beautiful,” Link told Zelda as she walked the garden the evening after she’d received her high queen’s crown.
“I’m tired,” she replied. “My throat hurts from all the speeches. The people have faith in me, which is good.”
“It is as it should be.”
Link paused as they walked beside the pond. When he was in his “manifest” state, sometimes, he created a reflection. It was very rare, but something about the night and the moonlight was just right. Perhaps he was only willing his reflection to be. Perhaps it was an illusion. After all, he was only an echo of what he once was.
“Zelda?” he asked cautiously, “since when have I been rotting?”
Zelda turned to him. Indeed, Link’s ghostly form wasn’t what it had once been. “Bones” could be seen beneath the “flesh,” particularly the long bones of his arms and legs, though sometimes his ribs showed when he turned. His left cheek looked like it was missing, showing teeth beneath it.
Zelda did not answer. “I’m starting to look like a Stalfos,” Link lamented.
“It’s been happening for a while now,” Zelda said nonchalantly. “I didn’t think you wanted to know. Impa’s been trying to capture you. I think you may be reflecting the state of your body, or perhaps it’s a state of sorrow. You’ve overstayed.”
“Is that why you’ve been trying to evade me lately?”
“I was happy to see you at the coronation today…. But… yes.”
“I thought I comforted you.”
“You do, and you did, at first, but it is not good for you to linger here. It’s beginning to reflect upon you. You belong with the Goddesses and with your ancestors, not with me any longer… not here.”
“But, Zelda, I…”
“You cried out and warned me when there was another intruder in the castle. You’ve been giving my guards a good run and keeping Impa on her toes… but your time is done, Link. You should know these things about Time – you are its Hero.”
“I need to protect you.”
“You don’t need to protect me anymore. Please, go to Impa and have her help you pass.”
“What are you doing, Zelda?”
Feet in dress shoes clip-clopped upon the tile of the little chapel. The queen went to the back, moving past various sacred relics, including one that made her ghostly companion cringe.
“Well, in the eyes of the majority of the people you are a holy person,” she replied. “This is not an uncommon treatment for saints. Rauru’s right pinky finger is supposed to be in this chapel, somewhere, too.”
Link stared at a heart-shaped container that rested upon an altar. It was clear crystal with a trimming of gold. He knew immediately, by an innate sense, that what this fancy reliquary contained was something that belonged to him. It was well-preserved and even had the gaping, fatal wound in it.
“So the priests cut out my heart…” Link began, “and put it in a box.”
“Well,” Zelda answered, “your heart was for Hyrule - that is what they’d said. It’s just something for future generations to see and to hold devotion over in remembrance of you, supposedly. You didn’t watch the embalmers work on you, did you?”
“N-no,” Link said, shaking his ghostly head.
“I didn’t, either. Things like that are too painful. I was reluctant over the issue of the reliquary when it was brought up to me, but I thought anything that would give the people hope amid a dark time was a good thing, even if it was terribly bizarre.”
Zelda crouched before a little gilded treasure chest behind the altar and produced a key from the sleeve of one of her gloves. Link watched as she opened it and drew out a familiar blue object.
“The Ocarina of Time,” Link said. “I thought you were keeping it safe, since its power is no longer needed.”
“I was…” Zelda whispered. She stood and smiled at him. She stroked the instrument lovingly. “It is very powerful… able to split Time itself and leave us with its echoes. Its notes can bring the day or the night, can summon beasts or storms. It can transport the player on the wings of the wind and… with a very special song that someone taught me long ago…” she looked at Link with soft, sad eyes, “its notes can heal a soul and help it to move on.”
“What are you thinking about, Zelda?” Link said, his voice laced with fear. He stepped back from her.
“You need to move on, Link,” Zelda said sadly. “You will not go on your own, so I’ve decided to help you. Let me play the Song of Healing for you.”
Link turned away and vanished.
She had a feeling that he watched her from the shadows. Sometimes, she was sure she felt his presence even though he did not make himself visually manifest before her. Zelda only saw Link seldom now. He was usually sighted by her or by someone else at some random place in the palace or out upon the fields.
Impa told her that he was a cheeky devil, determined and wily. It mattered not to Zelda. She was going to send him to Heaven whether he liked it or not.
She rode across the field outside the castle on a night lighted by a crescent moon. She was surprised when she’d actually caught him. She’d dismounted and approached him as he stood beside a thin tree. He refused to look up at her.
“Have you finally accepted that you cannot stay?” she asked him. He responded with a slow nod.
“We will always remember you. Know that,” the queen said gently. The ghost met her gaze cautiously. “Its okay, Link. Right now, I have all the protection I need. What I need now is peace of mind – to know that you’re going to be okay. I want to put your poor spirit to rest more than anything in the world right now.”
“Do you think I may get to return one day?” Link asked. “I may need to help our descendants.”
“Whatever the Goddesses will shall come to pass,” Zelda whispered, taking Link’s ghostly left hand as best as she could. “Don’t worry about that now.”
“I love you,” he said.
She dropped his hand and placed the Ocarina of Time to her lips. Slowly and gently, the Song of Healing echoed over the field.
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