Chapter 1: The Lone Soul
Link wandered the halls of his castle, deep in melancholy. In the last two years his problems had escalated. Just last year, Lady Roxanna had come to his court, in hopes of snagging him for her husband. She and Lady Oliana were constantly fighting; rivals from the very moment Roxanna had arrived at court. Now he would have to choose between the two of them, although he didn't wish to wed either.
He had seen his best friend, Sorella, Princess of Dragon Rock on Caseree Isle and her brother, Fratello, only once in the passing years. They had been a relief from his worries, both of them carefree and fun to be with. The girl Link had taken in, Isannah, who would turn 11 this week, was one of his few other joys.
Along with her was Legacy, the horse Sora and Frat had given him for his 16th birthday. He was a proud, pure white stallion, his gait smooth and easy, his stature that of a war horse. Link also got great joy in spending the little free time he had with Poonta Kaytog, the 18-year-old Gerudo girl who had been his companion in the years after his family had died, and was now his guardian. She was easy going for her race, and good to talk to, always surprising him by sneaking him out of the castle once in a while.
Poonta herself stood watching him as he paced, the mask of her helm pulled down over her face. Link had become like a younger brother to her, and she would risk her life for him if she had to. Studying him now, she understood why Roxanna and Oliana fought over him as they did. He was handsome, even for his young age, pleasantly thin and fairly muscular, from all the training she had given him over the last couple of years. His hair was sandy gold, hanging down to his shoulders and usually pulled back into a tail so that it didn't get in his way. His eyes were a soft, gold flecked blue, always full of caring and concern. Dressed in a sapphire blue tunic, a white full sleeved shirt, breeches, leather boots, and a light cloak thrown over it to ward off the chill spring breeze that had kicked up, he looked older than only 17 years.
Link stopped his pacing and smiled at her, then ducked into his rooms. Poonta sighed and sat down, leaning against his door as the end of her watch drew near. She was tired, very ready to go to sleep, although she had something to do before she could rest. She also must wait for the guard who took the night shift, before heading to her own chambers.
The guard came within a few minutes, as always a little late at her own request. Poonta always waited until she was certain Link was asleep before she would leave her post. She knew if she did not he would sneak out in the middle of the night. Although he was King, his was still a child, and therefor able to get himself in trouble with his own advisor, Nicodemus. Poonta smiled at the night watch man and stood, brushing the hallway dust off over her leather breeks. She lifted off her helm and started to her rooms, which she shared with Isannah and Oliana. When she walked into the room the two girls were asleep, so she shut the door softly behind her and walked into her own chamber.
Once there Poonta stripped out of her clothes and pulled on a soft woolen shift, deciding to take her bath in the morning. She sat at her writing table and lit a few candles to see by. Poonta rested picked up a piece of fruit from her dinner tray, sat down at her writing table and picked up a writing quill. Lady Oliana had taught her to write and read in her free time, and now Poonta began work on two letters that she needed to write. One was to be sent to her home in Gerudo Valley, to her adopted parents Yzane and Mylintha, who lead the Gerudos peacefully.
The second was a special letter, one that would not make much wording to get the correct results. Poonta had long planned a surprise for her King, in hopes that it would cheer him up some. She also knew it would help him slightly with his problem. She was writing a letter to Sora and Frat, to tell them to come. Frat was handsome, close to 20 years old, and a prince himself, still unmarried. He needed to marry within the next year, and Poonta hoped that either Roxanna or Oliana would have eyes for him. She had no doubt that one of them would.
When she had finished her letters Poonta rested them on the mantle for the ink to dry. In the morning she would give them to Hyrule's royal messenger and tell him where to leave them so they would get to the right people. No mortal of Hyrule could get to Caseree without possibly getting killed, nor could anyone enter Gerudo Valley, for it was a culture established of only woman. The only man allowed there was Yzane, who was leader of the Gerudos and the only male born in 100 years, was tradition.
Poonta sighed and pulled off her shift, tossing it to the floor as a wave of tiredness swept over her. She crawled under the layer of thin furs and pulled them over her head, her bright red hair spilling across the ivory white, goose feather pillow. She closed her eyes and was asleep within moments.
Sora leaned over Robin's withers, gripping his mane tightly with her long, thin fingers. They were the fingers of a harp player, which she was, and a very good one at that. She smiled as the wind whipped her golden hair around her cheeks, and her purple eyes sparkled in the dying light. The sun was going down, giving off a bright red glow, while the moon was already in the sky, a silver globe against the light sapphire of the sky, mixed in with the rainbow colors of the sunset.
She rode at a fast canter to the crest of the hill, then pulled Robin up and slipped her bare feet out of the leather loops she had attached to the saddle pad to use as stirrups. She dropped the thin bits of leather used as reins and let her feet hang against Robin's furry side. Sora rested on Robin's mane, the bright red hairs like silk on her cheek. She watched as her brother Frat rode up the hill on his midnight mare, Summer Sky.
Sora lifted herself half off of Robin's mane and raised her hand, waving lazily. Frat was grinning ear to ear and Sora kicked her feet back into the stirrups, wondering what was up. She retrieved the reins and trotted over to him. Sky and Robin bumped noses and whinnied as they met. They were good friends now, almost like brother and sister. Sora smiled and gave Frat a quick hug.
"So, what brings you out here?" Sora asked.
"There's a surprise for you inside." Frat said. "Come on!"
Frat turned Summer Sky and heeled her forward into a gallop. Sora laughed and followed, wondering what the surprise was. The long grass tickled the bottom of her feet and lightning bugs buzzed angrily as they were almost trampled by Robin's hooves. A few birds still sung in the trees, some frogs croaked in the nearby ponds, but most of the bigger animals were asleep with their young, newborn just this spring.
Sora and Frat pulled their horses up when they reached the large field where they were kept. Only Sky and Robin slept in that field, all the other horses slept in the stables at night. They were content with it, but Robin and Sky were still young, still wild and they didn't like to be closed in. Sora and Frat let their horses loose in the field and walked towards the old castle together. Sora stared at the old Dragon statues, at the banner high above the east tower with the Dragon sitting on the rock. This was her home. Her family was a proud one.
One inside, Frat handed her an envelope of manila colored parchment. Sora immediately recognized the royal seal and tore open the letter, forgetting how valuable parchment was considered on Caseree. She knew by the handwriting that it was from Poonta, and felt an odd pang of disappointment. <I>Why should I care?</I> Sora thought. <I>Link is too busy to write me a letter. Its nice I even got one at all. I should be more appreciative.</I> Sora finished scolding herself and settled down in a comfortable chair in the corner to read the letter.
<I>Sora, my friend,
I am in need of your assistance here at the castle. Link needs to relax, be the kid he is, but he cannot. Not long after you left, a lady by the name of Roxanna came to stay at court, in hopes of winning Link's affections. But I am afraid that she and Oliana have clashing personalities, and they fight constantly. Now the both vie for Link's affections and it is a horrendous battle.
I beg you heed this letter and come at once! Link is in dire need of your company, both you and Frat's. I know he misses you, for you are better friends than any he has had before. Please, come.
Sincerely, Poonta Kaytog</I>
Sora dropped the letter into her lap with a cry of joy. She jumped up, the paper fluttering to the floor slowly and half-tackled Frat, who walked in the room carrying the dinner tray. Frat stumbled backwards, the tray slipping from his hands. Sora caught it and danced back gracefully, laughing. Frat sighed, shook his head, and took the tray back from her.
"What's got into you?" Frat asked.
"Poonta wants us to visit!" Sora cheered.
The tray clattered to the floor. "You're kidding me!"
"I'm not!" Sora said, laughing. "She invited us! She said Link needs us. She said that there is a new lady in court named Roxanna, who's trying to snag the poor boy!"
Frat sprinted across the room and grabbed the letter from where it lay on the floor. He read it quickly, his bright purple eyes scanning the page. When he had finished he dropped the letter back to the ground with a joyous cry and hugged Sora, laughing.
"Think mom and dad will let us take the wake there?" Frat asked, suddenly serious.
"I don't see why not." Sora said. "Mom and Dad are reasonable about that kind of thing. Come on, let's go tell them!"
Frat nodded and dashed from the room, leaving Sora standing by herself. She blew out the candles on the old wooden tables, picked a torch from one of the braziers on the wall, and followed Frat into the darkened corridor. Excitement ate at her, gnawed at her like a mouse eating stale cheese, but also and odd calmness surrounded her. As much as she couldn't wait to see her friends again, she didn't want to get her hopes up. Something told her that she was not going to have as good of a time as she would hope.
He awoke to the dripping sounds from the old underground stream in the chamber next door and looked at the ceiling, the rock sticking out jaggedly in some places. His room was dark and dreary, but it was his room. It belonged to him, not to his brothers and sisters who were evil tyrants and took all the good things for themselves. They didn't care about the murder of their own parents, nor did they feel the need he did to avenge them.
Flynn threw aside the pile of furs he used as covers and let them fall to the floor. The cave was only cold because he had nothing on but a pair of doeskin breeches, he told himself, but he knew better. It was naturally cold in Faylinn, the kingdom of the dark faerie, even in the summer. It was their evil hearts that cooled the stone the lived in.
Flynn stood and strode over to the mirror to study himself the way he did every morning. He was 18 and very handsome, with wavy red hair that came down to eye length, bright purple eyes, a trait of most people on the Isle where he lived. Flynn was slim, with the same features as his father, who was also handsome. He was muscular, strong, intelligent and…short. Shot on patience, short on attention…short on height. Flynn was only 5 foot four, strong but nearly a foot shorter than all his brothers and most of his sisters. The only sibling he had ever had who had even liked him was Marianna, and she was dead.
Flynn pulled on a full sleeved shirt and a fur lined, short sleeved tunic over it. He put on boots and strapped them on with leather strings so the wouldn't be pulled off by the thick mud that covered the floor of the lower caverns where he often stayed. Mona, the young maid who served him and warmed his bed at night walked into the room carrying a breakfast tray. The food in Faylinn was magicked; otherwise it would poison anyone who ate it.
Flynn took the tray from her and shooed her from the room. He placed the tray on a small wooden table near his bed and sat down in a chair in the corner. Flynn lit a candle, which really gave off no warmth or light in the dim cavern and opened a book. He would have his revenge on the ones who had killed his parents, and then his siblings would appreciate him. Then all of Faylinn would bow down to him. His parents had been the greatest rules the city had ever known. If he avenged their deaths, no one could berate him any longer.
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