Chapter 1: Gossamer
The mists parted, allowing the small group of travelers to pass as if magically. They rode on horses, one black, one red, one white, one a beautiful golden and the last one brown. The brown horse had a young Gerudo woman on its back. She was tall, with a heavy boned face and short cropped red hair. She wore the clothes of a Hylian guardsman, but two curve bladed swords criss-crossed over her back.
On the golden horse rode two fair young ladies, both of noble blood. One had long black hair and slim white fingers clung to the reins of the mare they both rode. The other was fair of face and feature, with long copper hair flowing down her back and a haughty look on her face. She rode with her legs both on one side, clutching the other girl's waist.
The black horse held a boy on the verge of manhood. He was tall and fair, with light blonde hair and purple eyes. He was more pretty, rather than handsome, but he was one to make any girl swoon. He wore the finery of the House C'dessa, a black Dragon across the front of his silver jerkin. A sword strapped to his side was the only weapon in view.
On the white stallion was a teenage boy, also blonde of hair and fair of face, but with eyes of the clearest blue. His hair fell down his back in a messy tail and his handsome face was clean shaven except for the slightest hint of a mustache on his upper lip. This one rode with his head held high, and wore the livery of the King. For, he was indeed the king himself.
And at last…the prancing red stallion. This horse was the tallest of all, and carried upon its back the shortest member of the group. She was obviously sister to the older boy, with her long blonde hair and purple eyes that glowed bright, lighting up her ivory cheeks. She had thick, curly eyelashes the covered her eyes like a veil. The fingers entwined in the red stallion's mane were long and slim, nimble from many years of harp playing.
"Home is just ahead." Link told his companions.
"Aye." Poonta agreed. "That it is sire. I can see the towers from here."
"I hope they have food prepared." Link mumbled.
"I thought you were going on a diet?" Sora teased.
Link shot her a baleful look, but she just smiled lightly and turned away. For two years now she had gone nowhere without a two handed blade strapped firmly to her back. It had been Link's blade, for a time, but she had kept it since the deaths of Kyrissam and Faylah. Somehow it made them closer, as if they shared more than just the bond of friendship.
"I can't wait to get back to my rooms!" Roxanna exclaimed. "No more sleeping in the dirt! No more taking baths in cold lakes! And no more eating Oliana's cooking!"
"And what, pray tell, is wrong with my cooking?" Oliana demanded.
"Let's not start." Frat cut in. "We want to look calm and in control when we get back to the castle…Link, you're the leader, you do the talking."
"Me?" Link sighed. "Yeah, cop out on me now, Frat."
They slowed their horses down to an easy walk as the gates of Hyrule Market City came into view. The drawbridge was not yet down, as the sun had just started to rise moments ago. They stopped their horses and climbed off to wait for the drawbridge to come down. Sora sat on the ground cross-legged and pulled a pendant in the shaped of a Dragon out from under her shirt. She took it off and played with it, absentmindedly singing an old children's poem she remembered from a book she'd read long ago.
Up and down, in and out,
Bright red smoke from a dragon's snout.
Bring a happiness that will never cease,
Bring with you the Dragon's release.
Sora screamed as the pendant went up in flames and tossed it away from her. She scrambled away as red smoke rose into the air, billowing and taking shape. Link and Frat had pulled out their swords and everyone waited in tense silence for something to happen. Suddenly the smoke dissipated, leaving a small, white creature in its wake.
The creature was about two feet tall, with an extra foot of tail. It had sharp silvery claws, scales, a long pointed snout and shimmering, crystal clear wings folded over its back. Huge blue eyes gazed in wonderment at the group of children staring back at it. Then Sora sat up very straight as a realization hit her. This was a dragon!
"Hello there, little friend." Sora said softly, reaching out a hand.
Frat moved forward to grab a hold of his sister, but Link stopped him. The Dragon reached out and clutched Sora's hand in its claws and studied it. It licked her palm, making her giggle, then released her hand and sat back on its haunches. The Dragon chortled, as if to signify that it was satisfied with the results of its inspection.
"Can you talk?" Sora asked.
"Of course I can talk!" The Dragon said, indignant. "If you can talk, why shouldn't I, pup? Are you to say that a child is smarter than I, an adult?"
"I did not mean to offend you." Sora apologized. "I did not realize you were adult. You are very small."
"I am?" The Dragon asked. It looked down at itself. "Why, I suppose I am. It must have been the spell that locked me in that retched pendant."
"The bridge is down." Frat interrupted softly.
"Here, under my jerkin." Sora said, holding up an arm.
The Dragon sniffed. "You want me to go in there?"
"Just do it!"
"Oh, all right." The Dragon conceded with a sigh.
It climbed beneath Sora's arm and attached itself to her hip, flattening its small body against hers. Her cloak was big so it didn't matter if it didn't fall entirely flat. Sora remounted her horse, accidentally banging the Dragon against Robin's side. The Dragon grunted but kept relatively quiet as they rode along the path to the gate of the City.
"Link!" Nicodemus shouted as the king approached on his horse. "Just what did you think you were doing, sneaking out like that? And taking the young ladies with you! For all shame, Your Highness, it is a dangerous world. This was no matter of yours."
"You're out of place, Advisor!" Link hissed. He turned to Cara. "Hot baths and a hot meal. And I expect it soon. My friends and I are tired."
"Yes, Sire." Cara bowed and sprinted into the castle.
"Now, Nicodemus, everything has been well taken care of in my absence?" Link asked.
"Yes, Your Majesty." Nicodemus replied, bowing his head.
"Good." Link said. "I trust you'll be able to handle such matters again, in my absence."
"But certainly you don't plan to leave again, Your Highness?"
"Again, you are out of place." Link said. "Now go. Summon Joika to take care of the horses. She knows best what they want."
Nicodemus bowed and did as he was told. Link and his friends dismounted and waited until a young girl sprinted from the stables. Her long black hair was tied back into a braid, which swung wildly behind her as she went. She took the horses from Poonta and the two girls, while the other horses followed obediently.
Link beckoned his companions forward and together they walked into the castle. The halls echoed with their footsteps and many lords and ladies of the High Court peered out of their rooms to stare. Servants stopped in the middle of their work to bow or curtsey as was proper respect to pay to the King and his close companions. Cara appeared then, and she bowed to Link and smiled at him and his friends.
"Your baths are ready." Cara reported. "The meals will be done soon. And Joika is taking well good care of your horses, as always."
"Good." Link said. "I am to suspect that all my friends will have warm, clean clothes for after they bathe. You have no idea what we've been through."
"What do mean 'we'?" Sora demanded. "You didn't go through anything! It was me who went through Hell."
Link rolled his eyes and departed from his friends, heading in the direction of his rooms. Once there he shut the door behind him and locked it. The room was warm from the flames of a fireplace. Link went into his bathing chamber, where a bath was waiting him.
Sora giggled and blew a mound of lavender scented bubbles at the Dragon's snout. She (Sora had now determined that the Dragon was female) sneezed and backed off. She clung to the edge of the bathtub with her claws, her tail dangling in the water. Sora laughed and reached for a crystal bottle shaped like a water lily. She opened it and the most wonderful scent floated into the air. The Dragon sniffed, then sighed contentedly.
"What is that?" The Dragon inquired.
"I'm not sure the name." Sora told her. "But it smells good, hmm? I use this stuff to wash my hair."
"That little bottle?"
Sora laughed. "Oh no. I mix it with something else. Only a drop at a time. The stuff is expensive."
Sora took out a jar and opened it. Inside was a creamy looking liquid. The Dragon sniffed the air, but this time there was no smell. Sora scooped some of the gook onto a plate and dropped a small amount of the scent into it. She mixed it well, and the scent was enhanced.
"You're going to put that in your lovely hair?" The Dragon asked.
Sora blushed. "This is what I always use to make my hair nice."
Sora scooped up the substance and put it in her hair. She scrubbed diligently, until the stuff had lathered and the smell was almost overwhelming. The Dragon clutched the edge of the bathtub sniffing the air, her eyes half closed. Sora smiled and beckoned to a set of purple candles next to the tub. The Dragon went over to them.
"You want me to light them? It's quite light in here."
"They give off a wonder smell when burning." Sora explained.
The Dragon puffed up, her chest swelling. She blew and a small amount of fire spouted out, lighting the wicks of the candles and dying out before it could cause trouble. The smell of lilacs wafted in the air. The Dragon came back to the tub just as Sora dunked under the water to wash the stuff out of her hair.
"So, Dragon," Sora said. "Do you have a name?"
"Yes. It is Gossamer."
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