CHAPTER 1 - A Strange Land
Sora, Link, Faylore and Poonta stared at each other from four corners of the moss patch. The haunting music they heard made Sora tremble violently. She felt like she knew that music, like she'd heard it so long ago. This whole place felt oddly familiar to her, like she'd been there before. "Do you think the horses are all right?" Poonta asked. "Probably better than they would have been if they'd made that fall." Link replied dryly.
"So where do we go from here?" Sora wondered. "Does anyone feel as though this place was familiar to them?"
"No." Link said. "Why?"
"Well it just feels familiar is all." Sora shrugged. She glanced around her. Moments ago, or so it seemed that way, they had all fallen through a portal. It had been like nothing Sora had ever seen before. A swirling mix of colors, but also just a hole. What had it been doing there? And more importantly, what was it? Sora stood and stretched her legs out. Link leaned up against a tree. The bark was silver and it smelled cinnamony. The flowers also smelled like different spices and such, unlike normal flowers. The roses were blue and smelled like cinnamon as well. Faylore reached out to pick a tulip that was a strange purplish color.
"Don't touch that!" Sora yelled.
Faylore pulled her hand back just in time. The flower snapped at her and vines shot out, slashing at her. Sora pushed her out of the way and the four friends stood far away from the snapping plant, staring at it. It hissed and spit like a cat, waking up whole bushes of other flowers around it. Those began snapping and hissing as well.
"What the hell is that?" Link shouted.
"I don't know, but there's more of them." Sora replied. "That's not very reassuring!" Faylore clutched Link's arm and stood behind him.
When of the plant creatures pulled its roots up out of the ground! Faylore screamed and cowered behind Link. Poonta pulled out her sword, and Link pulled out his dagger. Sora lifted her staff and smacked one of the nearer plants things on the head. It screeched and backed off. I didn't even know I'd brought my staff, Sora realized.
The uprooted one lunged forward. Poonta hacked at it with her sword. It screamed in fury and pain and lunged forward again. Sora tried to help Poonta, but the plant she had hit wrapped a vine around her leg and started pulling her backwards. She screamed.
Link threw his dagger at the plant that held Sora captive. It missed, striking the trunk of a nearby tree. The tree made a sound like a snarl. It reached out its branches, long and snaking, towards Sora. "Great Link! Really great!" Sora screamed.
An arrow whizzed through the air. It struck the ground near the tree.
The tree snapped back its branches. The plant recoiled, letting Sora loose. She stumbled forward and nearly fell, but something grabbed her and kept her on her feet.
"Calm down." A soft voice with a slight accent soothed her. "I won't hurt you."
Sora looked up. A boy, only slightly older than she was, with longish blonde hair and bright purple eyes stared back down at her. Sora's own bright eyes widened and so did the boy's. He held her at arms length and studied her. "Who are you?" The boy asked.
"Maybe you should tell us who you are first." Link suggested coldly.
"I'm Fratello C'dessa of Dragon Rock." The boy told them. Sora stared at him. She was having a sense of De ja vu. The name was as familiar as the boy was. Even the land seemed less strange now. She had known that those plants would not hurt her, yet she could not explain how she knew.
"I'm Link." Link said.
"Yeah I know." Fratello smiled. "Prince of Hyrule. Well met, milord."
"He's gonna be King now." Faylore chimed in.
"Oh? And who might this be?" Fratello lifted Faylore's hand to his lips and kissed it. "Such beauty. We very rarely see the likes of such around here." "I'm Faylore." Faylore said, blushing.
"I am Poonta Kaytog." Poonta had her arms folded over her chest and Sora could tell she didn't trust this boy.
"And what of you, Little Bird?" Fratello turned to Sora.
The boy stared at her once again. He shook his head in disbelief and turned. He motioned for them to follow him. Link followed, obviously not very pleased to meet the boy. Sora trailed in back, trembling although it was not cold. Fratello. That name had been in her dreams for months on end. This boy had been in her dreams. But why?
"So, what brings you to Caseree?" Fratello asked.
"We're not sure." Link admitted.
"Yeah. It was colorful and swirly." Sora added dryly.
"The Wake." Fratello said softly. "You're lucky you're still alive."
"No kidding." Link muttered.
"The Wake." Sora repeated. "What is it?"
"It's a transporter." Fratello explained. "But it's not usually used for humans. We try to keep such things away from Hyrule Field, because people would walk right through it and end up here. If they survived that is." "I never heard of this before." Link said.
"No? Well I guess you weren't ready to hear." Fratello shrugged. "I think the age is 17, when the heir to the throne in Hyrule is finally told." "I'm only 15." Link stated.
"Well that explains it." Fratello nodded his head. "Anyway, if the Wake brought you here, then you're here for some good reason, and not just because you walked into it. Faylore over here said you were King now. What did she mean?"
"My Grandfather died." Link said softly. "And my parents were killed. Cara, my guardian, said that maybe I should learn more before I became king. We were all riding when we went through that thing and ended up here. Speaking of which, where is 'here' anyway?"
"Caseree Isle." Fratello told them. "Also known as the Land of Dreams. We don't get many Hylians or such 'round here, because they can't handle the power."
"Ya mean, there's magic in them thar hills?" Sora asked, her voice thick with sarcasm.
"Well, yes." Fratello replied. "Dragon Rock is one of the highest kingdoms in all the land. That would make me a prince." Fratello paused and smiled weakly, then went on. "I had a sister when I was younger, but she disappeared."
"Oh I'm so sorry." Faylore interrupted.
Fratello nodded, then continued. "We set up her betrothal to Prince Link, in hopes that our kingdoms could be at peace at last. I know she would have liked that."
"To me?" Link looked stunned. "My parents never said anything." "They didn't want to, after she disappeared." Fratello explained. "They just figured they'd marry you to Lady Oliana." Fratello paused, then added softly, "I personally would take Lady Talia, no matter how stupid she is, over Oliana."
"So would I." Link laughed. "Unfortunately, Lady Oliana is best suited for me."
"You know, this might be a touchy subject but uh," Fratello turned and glanced back at Sora. "Your friend there looks a lot like my sister might have, when she grew up. Except for the hair."
"Who Sora?" This made Link laughed harder. "Please! Sora hasn't got an ounce of royal blood in her. Plus, she was raised by Sheikahs." "It was just a thought." Fratello sighed. "Anyway, Dragon Rock is just ahead." Sora pushed and stumbled her way along in the forest. When they finally reached Dragon Rock, the trees parted, revealing a castle that reached for the clouds. The old brick walls were covered in moss and look very elegant. Two stone Dragons guarded the drawbridge; their mouths open in toothy grins, their claws slashing the air. A moat flowed beneath the bridge, the water clears and calm. At the top of the shortest spires, a banner hung. It showed a black Dragon sitting on a rock, on a purple field.
"Wow!" Faylore breathed. "It's beautiful."
But Sora shook her head. This castle was familiar. She had seen it in dreams she'd had as a kid. The huge stone Dragons, the moss covered wall, the crystalline water. Even the tall towers, striking up through the clouds. She had seen them all before in a dream, just like she'd seen this boy. What did it all mean?
"Here we are." Fratello said. "I'm sure my parents would like to meet you.
And I have a lot of brothers and sister, though most of them are married."
"Hmm&ldots;how's Aurelia, after all these years?" Sora asked.
"Oh just fine she-" Fratello stopped and stared at Sora.
"What?" Sora looked around uneasily. "Did I say something wrong?"
"How do you know my sister's name?" Fratello asked. "Sister? What are you talking about?" Sora shrugged her shoulders. "I didn't say anything about a sister."
"My sister. Well one of them anyway. Her name is Aurelia." Fratello explained. "Well I don't know!" Sora sighed. "Gee Frat. Do you always have to be like a Firedrake? Ready to lash out and kill."
"Sora!" Link hissed.
"No wait." Fratello said. "What do you mean by that?" "Well you're so alert and ready for anything. Absolutely anything!" Sora explained. "You never relax. Not once when we were children did you ever-" Sora stopped. Her head was beginning to ache and she felt dizzy. Why are they staring at me like that? Sora wondered. All I said was someone's name. Sora's world suddenly spun around her, sweeping her off her feet. She hit the ground hard and then all went black.
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