Part 1: Daydreams
Chapter One: Dream Bubbles
Aislinn bit her lip and scanned the cement floor of the barn, her violet gray eyes darting here and there. Nowhere! It was nowhere! Daray must have run off with it…again. He was too smart for such a little foal, that was certain. Aislinn just knew her parents would be annoyed at her if she didn't get it back from the little baby horse. She was already in deep trouble for skipping out on her studies to visit her friends in Hyrule Market City. Aislinn put her hands on her hips and blew, angling her breath upwards. Her white bangs fluttered upward, bringing a giggle to her lips.
"Now, where could Daray be?" Aislinn wondered. "Well, if I were him, where would be?"
Aislinn stood, thinking and chewing her lip thoughtfully and tapping one foot to the rhythm of the leaky faucet in the other room. Well…she knew that Daray must have dragged the object she was looking for a good distance, since he wouldn't have bothered with it otherwise. And she knew he would get tired and would have to stop from time to time. Now where could…
"Uh oh." Aislinn said out loud.
She ran out of the barn, her bare feet thumping on the thin grass turf. Her mom, Malon, stood in the field, petting the horses and singing to them. Shoot! If her mom saw, Aislinn knew she would be in deep trouble. Quickly she angled around one of the trees and stood behind it, panting. Oh no, oh no, oh no! This couldn't be happening! Oh now she was going to get double punishment.
"Aislinn, is that you?" Malon called.
"Um…" Aislinn racked her brain, coming up with a hopeless idea. "Noooooooo…This is a Ghooooooost."
Malon frowned and stepped towards the tree. "Aislinn."
Ouch. Warning tone. "There isssssss noooooooo Aiiiiiiisssssllllllliiiiinnnnnnn here."
"Aislinn, get your scrawny rear end out from behind that tree!"
Dad! Nervously Aislinn chewed at her fingernails, wondering what to do. Her father called her again and she sighed. Aislinn stepped out from behind the tree, and stood, staring at her dirt stained toes and wiggling them. Her father walked up to her, took her by the shoulders…and lifted her into the air. Aislinn yelped as her father began to tickle her and tried to fight back.
"Link!" Malon scolded. "She'll never learn if you don't use discipline!"
"Oh, Malon, don't be such a stick in the mud!" Link laughed.
"Ooo…Daddy, let me down!" Aislinn whined.
"You'd never think you were almost 8 years old." Link said, plopping her down on the ground.
"Hey!" Aislinn pouted. "Oh! I gotta…go!"
Aislinn raced away and towards the entrance of the Ranch. Her little brother Zyer looked up from the Cuccos he was feeding and stared at her. She gave him a small wave and dashed onto Hyrule Field. Maybe he's at the Encampment, Aislinn thought. All the kids there give him treats…or Hylia Lake Village! He loves it there; they give him spice candy and bits of peppermint and maple sugar. Yes, she should check there!
Just as she was heading in that direction she saw Daray sip past her. He was dragging along her father's sword, which would slow him a little, but even he was too fast for Aislinn to keep up with. She started after him, sprinting across the beautiful green grass of Hyrule Field. He was heading in the direction of Hyrule Castle. Now why was he going there?
Aislinn put her head down like a horse would and charged forward at top speed. It didn't work…she tripped and fell, getting a mouthful of dirt. With a sigh, Aislinn stood up and spit the dirt out of her mouth. The grass stains on her knees were going to make her parents even angrier with her, but she had to catch that horse! She started running again, following Daray away from Hyrule Castle to the desolate, deserted field nearby.
Aislinn stopped in her tracks but Daray kept going. With a groan of despair, Aislinn followed. Her parents had forbid her ever to go into this part of the Field, for some reason they wouldn't tell her. A dark cloud hung over it always, and many rumors ran about the Villages, Cities and Towns that it was haunted. Aislinn didn't care; she had to catch Daray!
Daray galloped into the middle of the field section and stopped, turning his head and giving her an expectant look. Aislinn slowed down to a trot and closed the distance between them. But when she was only 5 feet away, Daray took off again. Aislinn followed, her legs growing tired and her breath rasping in her throat.
The little horse galloped to the small section of river and swam across, with a little trouble. Aislinn was almost certain that the little section had its own current, but she plunged into the water anyway. She gasped…it was icy cold and made her fingertips go numb. Aislinn swam across quickly and stumbled up the other bank to where Daray stood, shaking out her short fur. She grabbed the sword and tugged it away from him.
"Got it!" Aislinn exclaimed in triumph.
But that didn't stop Daray. He trotted away from, towards the darkest corner of this field section. Aislinn had no choice but to follow him. He stopped when he reached to corner and turned his little snout to the ground to nibble at the grass, waiting for her. When Aislinn reached him again, her turned and nudged a pot on the wall. Aislinn looked at it and noticed a small niche there. It had the same mark above that her father's sword had on the hilt. A bubble of some kind…
"Boy, I think we should leave." Aislinn said.
Daray snorted and nudged the wall again. Aislinn hugged herself tightly as a cold wind kicked up, shoving her lightly towards the wall. Aislinn lifted the sword and studied it, her brain working with a wisp of whimsy. Daray nosed her hair and then the wall, stamping one small hoof impatiently. Aislinn hefted the sword, which weighed almost as much as she did, balanced it on her shoulder, and poked it into the niche in the wall.
Daray stood behind her, shoving her forward with little nudges and nips. Aislinn staggered beneath the weight of the sword, trying to push it into the wall and having much trouble with it. She got it half way in before it stopped, the sound of metal on stone slapping her in the face. She was about to pull the sword out of the wall, thinking her whimsy was only that, whimsy. But Daray shoved her forward again. She stumbled and felt the sword drive deeper into the wall. It slid all the way in and a bright blue light slipped through the crack between the sword and the wall. Aislinn gasped and let go of the sword's hilt.
The sword slid out of the wall and the light blasted forth, engulfing Aislinn and Daray both. It began to swirl, a mix of black and blue. Daray whinnied nervously but stood at Aislinn's side, his small muzzle held up with bravery and bravado. The light began to whirl faster, faster, faster, until it created a sucking effect. Aislinn screamed and clutched Daray's short, fuzzy mane. The light pulled at her, sweeping her off her feet. She lost her grip on Daray and slid through the hole. The little horse whinnied bravely and leapt in after her.
Aislinn groaned and rolled over, a thick lock of dark blue hair falling in her face. She brushed it away and straightened her white dyed bangs, then sat up. Daray stood with her, snuffling her all over. He seemed to be asking if she was all right. Smiling, Aislinn reached a hand up and stroked his soft, velvety nose. She stood and glanced around her. She was in a stone walled chamber, plain but, strangely enough, not dark.
About 6 feet straight in front of her was a door carved into the wall, a silver and crystal handle attached to it. Aislinn took as tentative step forward, then reached back and grabbed Daray's mane for comfort. She took another small step forward and this time the horse followed. After some talking between each other (although Aislinn held up all the conversation) they managed to approach the door. Curiosity chewed at her like a rat, muddling her brain and confusing her thoughts. Aislinn reached out and grabbed the handle.
A strange feeling of heat rushed through Aislinn, stirring the blood in her veins, making it boil and simmer. She gasped and tugged with all her might on the handle, wanting to get her hand off of it. Instead the door flew open and Aislinn fell back, her hand coming loose at last. Daray neighed in terror and back off, ducking his head so the bright light that flooded from the doorway wouldn't blind him.
Aislinn glanced up and put her arm in front of her face, shielding her eyes. She stood, swallowed a lump in her throat, and stepped bravely into the bright light, still clinging to Daray. When she had stepped completely through the doorway, the light cleared, leaving both Daray and Aislinn blinking, trying to regain their eyesight.
"Daray? Where are we?" Aislinn asked, although she knew the colt couldn't answer her.
They walked forward, and as they did, their eyes slowly began to adjust to the light. The walls surrounding them were some kind of crystal, sparkling like the walls of a salt mine. Pink and Blue and White light bounced off the walls and splashed into a small pond below, with water of pinkish tint. From the water bubbles floated upwards, whispers that they carried on their surfaces echoing through the chamber. Surrounding the water was chunks of sparkling minerals, garnet, sapphire, ruby, opal and amethyst.
Aislinn sighed, the beauty of the place in front of her trapping her in a trance. Even Daray, who was rarely interested in anything other than making mischief, was spellbound. Aislinn stepped forward, wanting to touch the surface of the water with her fingertips, wanting to sit on one of the pretty jeweled stumps and listen to the whispers that came from the gossamer bubbles. She could bask in the beauty here all day long.
But, to her dismay, she could do no such thing. If she didn't get home, and soon, she would be in deep trouble. And if her parents went looking and found her here…well, her punishment was already severe enough. She didn't need more problems. Aislinn grabbed Daray's mane and started leading him away from the pond. She was unaware of one of the bubbles looking at her…with a face so old and wise it was creepy.
Chapter Two: The Birthday Gift
Gryphon yawned and stared out the window. My 12th birthday and I'm so bored I may die, Gryphon thought. What an irony that would be. He picked up one of the packages that had been set on the chest at the foot of his bed and looked at it with disgust. Why were they giving him gifts for his birthday? All he wanted was for them to spend the day with him, just one day a year. But now, Dad was King of Hyrule and had much business to take care of. And Mom had three pretty daughters to pamper and teach.
So what did he have? Gryphon, Prince of Hyrule and Heir to the thrown, had nothing and no one. They wouldn't even let him go into the City to make friends with some of the local boys. No, he must stay in his room all day and try to entertain himself. Gryphon eyed the small ranch not far from the castle. He wanted to visit somewhere; maybe he could visit there. Maybe they'd even have a son he could become friends with.
But how was he to convince his guardians to let him go? Certainly he would be unable to go anywhere alone. No one would even let him out of his or her sight, but…Gryphon smiled. He knew a way out of the palace. He didn't know where it would lead, but he didn't care very much. So he would go there…but when? He couldn't do it today, just in case his parents did decide to visit him. Maybe…a week from now? That sounded like a plan, no one would bother with him then.
So it was set. He would travel this path, one he had never taken before, and he would enjoy himself and have an adventure. No one could stop him and he would return unseen, so they would be utterly confused. Yes, he was smart for his age. After all he was a Prince, and he had been schooled day after day by his many tutors. Now he was cunning, clever, swift as a fox, and he was getting out of this castle if it was the last thing he did.
Just a week later, not very far from the castle, a beautiful morning was dawning on Lon Lon Ranch. Aislinn forced her eyes open and jumped out of bed, nearly throwing herself halfway across the room. She pulled clothes out of her trunk and struggled into them, her eyes barely open. She ran a brush through her long hair and then stumbled down the stairs. Her parents were at the table, her mom eating her breakfast in silence, and her dad, trying to eat his breakfast and shoo away a few stray cuccos at the same time.
Aislinn laughed and tromped down the stairs nosily. Her parents looked up at her and both of them gave her secretive smiles. Aislinn pouted at them, and then flounced down the rest of the stairs, nearly stepping on one of the squawking cuccos. She plopped down in her chair and attacked her breakfast like a hungry predator that hadn't eaten for days.
"Slow down." Link laughed. "You'd think that was the last meal you'll ever eat, they was your shoveling it down your throat."
"Mmphf mfffmph mfffph." Aislinn mumbled around a mouthful of eggs.
"Aislinn, try swallowing first." Her father suggested.
Aislinn swallowed. "I said, I can't wait to see what you got me for my birthday!"
"It's your birthday?" Malon asked. "Well, I knew there was something we forgot. My, my, Link, we do forget such small, simple things don't we?"
"Oh yes." Link agreed. "We certainly do. It must be old age settling in, I suppose."
Aislinn pouted. "I'm not falling for that! I know you remembered my birthday and that it's important to you, so stop trying to trick me, because I'm not going to fall for it!"
"Okay, okay!" Link held his hands up. "Your present is out in the barn."
With a yelp of joy Aislinn dropped her fork, stood up, knocking over her chair, and raced out of the door and into the yard. She flung herself across the ground at top speed, her long hair waving out behind her like a banner. She pulled open the heavy doors of the barn and ran inside, her eyes adjusting to the dim light. She ran down the aisle, peering in each stall. She reached in Daray's stall and gave him a pat, and then continued on.
Suddenly Aislinn stopped, back tracked to Daray's stall and peered in. The little black colt stood in the straw, chewing at a bright red ribbon that had been tied around his neck. Curious, Aislinn opened the stall door and went inside. Daray nudged her, then went back to chewing at the ribbon. Laughter came from outside of the stall.
"I told you it was a good idea we didn't use flowers." Link laughed.
"Yes." Malon agreed. "Oh…Aislinn, you still don't get it, do you?"
Aislinn shook her head. "No…"
"Daray is your birthday gift." Link told her, grinning.
"He…" Aislinn frowned. "But…I thought you said…You said I couldn't have my own horse until I was 10!"
"Well, we know how close you are to Daray." Malon said.
"You're the only one who can control him." Link muttered.
"So we decided to let you two grow up together." Malon finished.
Aislinn grinned and hugged both of her parents, then hugged Daray. She took the ribbon of the little colt's neck and put his halter on so she could lead him around. Her parents went off to do their usual business, while Aislinn hauled her new colt out of his stall. When they were finally outside, Daray bucked and pranced and tried to pull away from her. He wanted to go onto Hyrule Field again. Aislinn frowned.
"Boy, I really don't think we should go out there." Aislinn told the colt.
Daray's little ears flicked back and forth in the direction of Hyrule Field. He flicked his tail, wiggled his whiskers and stomped a hoof. Aislinn knew what this meant. If she didn't do what he wanted to do, he would break away from her and do it anyway. Glancing over her shoulder, Aislinn saw that her parents weren't looking and Zyer was too busy playing in the mud. With a sigh, Aislinn conceded to Daray's demands.
"Slow down!" Aislinn said, tugging on the lead rope clipped to the foal's halter
Daray went faster instead. Aislinn ran to keep up, knowing well where the little colt was heading. He angled for the dark corner of Hyrule Field, tossing his head and kicking up his heels in coltish joy. It was, after all, a sweet fall day, the prefect day for romping and running, and stretching out legs. Daray had always been wild and free. He had never been dependent on anyone, even though his mom had died only a week after his birth.
Aislinn remembered too late that they didn't have her father's sword with them and wondered if they would be able to get back into the mystical cavern. The colt didn't seem to care; he just kept running in the direction of the hole in the wall. He splashed into the lake, dragging Aislinn along with him. He reached the wall quicker than he had the day before, although Aislinn had picked up awful grass stains on her knees from the times she had tripped and couldn't get back up. Plus, she was soaking wet.
The moment they approached the hole though it opened in its blue, swirling mist. Aislinn grabbed hold of Daray's mane and dragged him into the hole. This time there was no vortex, because they were not fighting. They stepped through and came out in the chamber with the door cut of stone. Fear suddenly rose in Aislinn's throat as she approached the door once again. She grabbed the handle and swung it open.
No bright light greeted them this time. Instead they walked right into a chain of bubbles that popped on Aislinn's nose and Daray's whiskers. Aislinn giggled and skipped over to the pond, plopping down on the amethyst stump. She turned to Daray, and suddenly her attention was caught by something. There was terrified screaming coming from all around her!
Gryphon swung his backpack over his shoulder and opened the door into the hall. He glanced left and right, then strode out of his room and down the corridor across from him. Normally guards were everywhere, but today most of them were guarding the king and queen. Gryphon had managed to trick the guard outside his room by telling him he saw movement outside. Now he had to move quickly, because if he got caught he would be in serious trouble.
He moved quickly through the maze of halls to a room full of family heirlooms, old armor and weapons, and the crowns of the royal family. It was not protected from this side, since the door was a secret one that even the guards knew nothing about. Gryphon was quite sure his parents didn't know about it either. The castle was old, with many forgotten secrets.
In this room was another long forgotten secret. Gryphon pushed aside a tapestry on the wall, and then stopped to glance at it. It had six people on it, three each seeming to be on opposing sides. A type of gem represented each. One, a female he thought to be very pretty, was represented by Amethyst. A male who stood beside her, who Gryphon felt he knew, was represented by Sapphire. Above the two, a black horse with golden eyes reared. Gryphon shrugged and pushed the tapestry away, disregarding it.
On the other side of the tapestry was nothing. Just blackness, a simple wall. Disappointed, Gryphon reached out and rested his hand on the wall. As soon as he did it lost its solidity and he slid through. Gryphon screamed as he was hurtled through a dark, sloping tunnel. It would have been fun, if he hadn't been so surprised by it.
After sliding for about 5 minutes or so down the chute, lights of all different colors began to flash, bouncing off the walls although it didn't help Gryphon see. A few bubbles came up to meet him, hovering in front of his face a moment before popping on his nose. Gryphon could have sworn he'd heard them whispering, but that was nonsense, the stuff of fairy tales. Finally he noticed a light ahead of him.
Gryphon shot out of a hole in the wall and landed with a splash in a cold pond. He scrambled around and came up, spiting out a mouthful of sweet tasting water. When he looked up he saw a little girl and a baby horse staring at him, their eyes wide and their mouths hanging open in surprise. The girl had to be about eight, with long hair that was dyed dark blue in back and white in front. In the strange light her eyes took on a purplish color, veiled by her long, curled eyelashes. She was a typical little girl, obnoxiously cute and most likely a brat.
The horse beside her was at least six months, maybe more. He would grow up to be a fine, strong horse. His coat was smooth, mostly black although it still had a few soft brown baby hairs. The girl clutched his mane, which was growing out and beginning to flop over to one side. Gryphon scrambled to his feet and looked at the pair.
"Um…hi." He said.
Aislinn's eyes widened in surprise. This creature could talk! Well…of course it could. It was human, after all. It had to be, because it looked mostly like Aislinn did, except it had man features, like her father and the boys in the towns and villages. Other than that though, it did not resemble anything she had ever seen. It was cloaked in finery, like someone who was rich. It had lengthy hair, a cinnamon brown striped with sandy blonde. The face was handsome, with high cheekbones and big blue eyes. But that was only Aislinn's judgment.
She stood up, clutching Daray's mane, and watched the creature move around. No…not a creature, but a boy. He had to be a boy, even though his face was not smudged, or his pants covered in grass stains like normal boys. But the only rich people Aislinn had ever heard of were the king and queen of Hyrule.
"Who are you?" Aislinn demanded.
"I'm Gryphon, Prince of Hyrule." The boy told her.
Clumsily, Aislinn curtsied. She was not particularly impressed with the boy prince, but her parents had taught her the proper respect for people of the royal family. When she straightened out she noticed the boy grinning at her. She drew herself up to full height and looked back at him, gathering together every last ounce of her 8-year-old dignity.
Gryphon laughed. "You are a feisty one. What's your name?"
"Aislinn." She responded softly. "My parents are Link and Malon. We live on Lon Lon Ranch."
"Link? As in, the Hero of Time?" Gryphon asked.
"Yes." Aislinn nodded solemnly. "Or, at least he told me he is."
"Wow!" Gryphon's eyes filled with boyish delight. "I've hear many tales about him!"
"I believe most of those are true." Aislinn said. "But, I can only say what I've heard."
"Yeah." Gryphon glanced around. "What is this place?"
Aislinn shrugged. "I don't know. This is the second time Daray and me have been here. Daray's my horse now! I got him as a present for my birthday today!"
"Happy Birthday." Gryphon said distractedly. He sat down on the stump of Sapphire and Aislinn sat next to him on the Amethyst.
"How old are you?" Aislinn asked.
"12. And you?"
"I'm 8 today." Aislinn said proudly. "And Daray is six…months that is."
"Yeah…hmm…bubbles, water…six stumps…" Gryphon observed.
"Six? Oh! I hadn't noticed that one!"
"Its black." Gryphon said. "Do you know what it is?"
"I think it may be Black Beryl." Aislinn said. "But I don't know."
"There's a lot of things you don't know." Gryphon muttered.
"Yes." Aislinn agreed, nodding. "There are a lot of things I have not yet been told. So, why are you here, Your Highness?"
"You are very intelligent for a child." Gryphon said. "I am here because I want some adventure. But you…surely you have fun. What are you doing here?"
"Daray led me here, the first time." Aislinn explained. "I don't know why…and I'm not sure why I came back. I like it here."
"What do you normally do, during the day?" Gryphon asked.
"Oh lots of things." Aislinn said. "Maybe you should visit me at the ranch sometime and we can go riding together."
"Yes, I like that idea." Gryphon agreed. "But I should be getting back. I just don't know how…that was a long, steep drop."
"Lift me up there. I'll see if there's a way."
They both stood and waded up to the hole in the wall. Gryphon grabbed Aislinn around the waist and pushed her up to it. She scrambled at first, nearly kicking him in the face, then got a hold, scraping at the rock with her fingers. She reached around, starting each time Gryphon wobbled. Suddenly her fingers hit something and she felt for it. It was a handle! She moved to the other side and found one there too.
"There's a way to climb." Aislinn said, struggling out of the hole. "I'm sure it would go all the way up. You can get back that way."
"But I can't reach the hole." Gryphon protested.
"How do you know? Have you tried?"
So Gryphon tried. He reached up, grabbed the rock on the edge of the hole, and hauled himself up. He got halfway there when his hold gave way and he fell on his stomach, a sharp rock cutting into his gut. Aislinn grabbed one of his ankles and pushed. Although she wasn't very strong, it was just enough to get him up there. He turned to her once he was finally settled.
"Thanks, Aislinn." Gryphon said.
Gryphon shrugged. "Just thanks. See you some other time."
Aislinn nodded and handed his backpack up to him. He took it and turned, starting up the steep incline. Aislinn herself grabbed Daray's mane and started out of the chamber. Well, today had certainly been interesting. She had gotten the thing she had most wanted for her birthday, and met someone new.
Chapter Three: Friends
Aislinn rested on her bed, feeling miserable. She had been out so late last night, coming home from her now daily chats with Gryphon, that she had gotten caught in a thunderstorm. Daray was perfectly okay, as he usually was when he got Aislinn in trouble. But she was far from okay. She was sick with the flu. Aislinn lay in bed, shivering and groaning, the stench from the bucket beside her bed starting to get to her. She leaned over and threw up again.
"Ais." Her father said softly, coming into the room.
Ais had been her nickname since as long as she could remember. It was pronounced "ays" and…ugh! It hurt too much to think. Aislinn rolled over and wrapped her arms around herself, clutching her stomach. She could hear her father behind her, taking the bucket. He left the room quickly as a loud knock resounded on the door downstairs.
Malon wiped her hands on a nearby dish rag and walked over to the door. She opened it and her mouth fell open. Before her stood a blonde woman, close to middle aged but still beautiful and regal. Beside her was a young boy, maybe 12 years old, with hair that was brown and blonde striped. The boy held a small package in his hands and his blue eyes were wide. Link came down the stairs holding Aislinn's bucket and saw the two.
"Zelda?" Link asked, his eyes wide.
"Hello, Link, Hero of Time." Zelda said softly.
Link set the bucket on the ground and washed his hands off first, wiping them on the same dishrag Malon had used. Then he turned and eyed Zelda, suspicious. He had not seen her in so many years, ever since she had sent him back in time after he had defeated Ganondorf Dragmire and his evil alter ego Ganon. He hadn't wanted to go back to his original time. He'd wanted to stay with Zelda. What was she doing here, now?
"This is my son, Gryphon." Zelda told him.
"Is Aislinn okay?" Gryphon asked.
Zelda glanced at Link. "It's a long story. Apparently he found some way out of the castle and he and Aislinn became friends."
"I heard she was sick." Gryphon said, ignoring his mother. "A begging boy told me."
"Gryphon." His mother warned gently.
"It's okay. Aislinn is upstairs, but be careful. Don't disturb her if she's asleep…she's very sick." Gryphon nodded and sprinted off.
"I was wondering why she's been spending so much time away from home." Malon said. "Well, it's good to see that she's made a friend."
"Not just any friend." Zelda reminded her. "But a Prince."
"Why are you here Zelda?" Link asked. "After all these years, you come now."
"Yes, I know." Zelda said. "Link…you know I have prophetic dreams…I fear you will not live to see Aislinn grow up."
"What do you mean?" Link demanded. "What is going to happen to Aislinn?"
"She is…a very special child." Zelda answered. "So is Gryphon. I believe their destiny is something important, but-"
"No!" Link interrupted. "I was put through Hell, I will not let my daughter go through the same."
"Link…" Zelda sighed. "Don't you think I care? My son…It's not all clear, but someone will try to kill him. I…"
At that moment Zelda fainted. Link caught her and carried her upstairs to the newly added on guestroom. Malon followed along with a wet cloth and rested it on Zelda's forehead. They could tell just by looking at her that she was over tired, worn to the bone. She looked twenty years older than she really was.
Gryphon sat on the edge of Aislinn's bed, waiting for her to wake up. He fiddled lazily with the package in his hands and looked around her room. On the far wall was a tapestry and…Gryphon's eyes widened. It was the same people that had been on the tapestry he had gone through! They had to be! And the amulets on those people…why…Gryphon turned his eyes away. He was fooling himself.
On the table and dressers were all kinds of figures of fantasy creatures, unicorns, dragons and pegasi. They were made of glass, plastic, wood, and jade and one was even made of crystal. At the bottom of her cot was a cedar chest with a few books piled on top. On the floor was a throw rug of intricate patterns, made of the material used by Zoras to make water proof clothes. Her parents must have friends at Zora's Domain, Gryphon thought. That stuff must be expensive.
"Hey Ais." Gryphon said, turning to her. "How do you feel?"
"Pretty sick." Aislinn admitted. "How do you like my room?"
Gryphon smiled. "It's cool. Here, sit up. I have something for you."
Aislinn rolled on to her side and pushed herself up. With Gryphon's help she struggled up to a sitting position and leaned against the headboard of her bed. When she was settled Gryphon shove the package into her hands. Carefully Aislinn opened it, her small fingers tearing weakly at the paper. Inside was an amulet, shaped like a drop of dream water (at least that's what Aislinn thought it was, even though dream water didn't really exist). It was made of Amethyst, and the chain was pure silver. Gryphon helped her put it on, then lifted one on his own chest. It was made of Sapphire and was obviously made to be a drop of water.
"Yours is just water." Aislinn said.
"Yours looks like the Dream Water in the cave." Gryphon said. "Even though that stuff isn't supposed to exist."
"We know better." Aislinn agreed. "So, as soon as I get better, we'll go back there, okay?"
"Sure." Gryphon smiled. "As soon as you get better. And we'll take Daray with us too."
Aislinn frowned. "They wouldn't tell me if Daray was okay. Will you check him for me?"
"I'm sure your parents would tell you if something were wrong." Gryphon hedged.
"Please?" Aislinn begged, her grayish purple eyes wide. "I have to know if he's okay."
Gryphon sighed. "Okay. I'll go check him now."
"Thanks Gryph." Aislinn said, lowering herself back onto the pillow. She curled up under the blankets and fell asleep instantly.
Gryphon stood and tucked the blankets around her tightly. With one last cursory glance at the tapestry on the wall, he left the room and walked downstairs. His mom and Aislinn's parents were nowhere to be found, which was maybe for the better. He walked outside, where the sunlight hurt his eyes and trudged to the barn. The light was dimmer there and the aisle was cool and airy. Gryphon walked down the aisle, peering in all the different stalls.
Finally he came upon one with a black colt sprawled out on the straw, his tongue lolling lazily out of his mouth. When the colt heard Gryphon's footsteps he looked out, his tongue falling to one side. Gryphon laughed: It was Daray all right, and in his usual silly state. The colt clambered to his feet and walked over to the stall door. Gryphon pulled some bits of sugar out of his pocket and fed them to Daray.
"How are you feeling, old boy?" Gryphon asked, feeling silly. Daray just lipped his hair.
Satisfied, Gryphon gave the colt a last pat then headed out of the barn. The air outside was the freshest he'd ever tasted. In the city it was polluted with the smell of so many people, so many stand of food and weapons and gear, so many stray animals. Here it was just horses and grass and the faint scent of people. Gryphon could easily pick out the spicy smell that always mingled in the air around Aislinn.
Where is my mom? Gryphon wondered as he walked back into the house. She's been gone awhile now. He ran back up the stairs to go tell Aislinn the news. On the way he heard voice from the other room. Curious, Gryphon stopped and leaned his ear against it, trying to make the sounds come from inside.
"…destiny…I saw…Gryphon and Aislinn…great danger…"
Great danger? Gryphon shook his head and headed on to Aislinn's room. His father had told him the sometime mom had strange episodes where she thought she could see things that would actually happen. Of course, all such things were nonsense. There was no such thing as magic, or prophecy and there was no danger to either him or Aislinn.
"Gryph!" Aislinn was sitting up when he walked into the room. "Is Daray okay? He's not sick is he?"
"He's fine." Gryphon assured her, sitting back down on the bed.
"Gryphon!" Link called. "It's time for you to go!"
"Oops! Sorry Ais! See you soon!"
Aislinn yawned as she worked on scooping the dirty bedding out of Daray's stall. She had just gotten over her illness and she was still tired, but she could shirk on her chores. She planned to invite Gryphon over, but he was too busy to come over and play. So Aislinn was left with only chores to do and she was bored out of her mind.
Daray nudged her with his small muzzle and she turned to look at him. Mischief sparkled in the little colt's eyes and she knew what he was thinking. Aislinn reached out and slipped up the latch, her eyes towards the sky. When Daray pushed the door open and raced out of the barn, Aislinn gave a fake shriek of surprise and ran after him.
She gave her father a wave and pointed at the escaping colt, then charged forward out of the Ranch. She didn't really want to go to the dream place without Gryphon, but it was boring here, all alone. She wondered if she could reach the high ledge without him and maybe sneak into the castle to find him.
Daray had slowed his pace and she sprinted along beside him to the corner of Hyrule Field where the dream place was. It opened immediately and Aislinn walked in, suddenly fueled by a strange urge. She pushed open the doorway and leapt inside the dream room. Bubbles dashed away from her as she did. She sloshed through the pond of dream water to the hole on the other side. Daray stared at her as though she was nuts.
"I can make it up there." Aislinn said.
"I can make it up there!" Aislinn said more firmly.
She turned to the hole and grasped the ledge as best she could, although it was much harder for her than it had been for Gryphon. She pushed up with all her might, her toes scrambling on the rough surface of the rock wall. Daray gave her a nudge with his nose and Aislinn toppled over into to small hole. She found the handles in the darkness, grasped them, and started climbing.
The going was tough, since she wasn't very stronger or big, and the handles were made for someone bigger than she was. She struggled her way up in the darkness, grunting and groaning as the strain of pulling herself up made her arms ache. She thought she was maybe halfway up when she heard something coming down the tunnel. It barreled into her and together they slid back down the tunnel.
They landed, plop, in the water, with the other person or thing on top of her. Aislinn struggled and pushed, and was surprised to see two astonished blue eyes staring back at her. She scrambled to sit up. It was Gryphon! He was the one who had been coming down the tunnel. Overjoyed, Aislinn threw her arms around him and they fell back into the water.
"Hey!" Gryphon exclaimed. "What's with you?"
"I'm happy to see you!" Aislinn explained, giving him a quick kiss on the cheek.
"Yuck!" Gryphon exclaimed, wiping his cheek.
"Do not be so quick to push away the young girl's affections." A voice spoke from the shadows. "It could mean your life…"
Chapter Four: Morath
Gryphon jumped to his feet, reaching for the small dagger he kept at his side. Aislinn jumped up too and gripped the cloth of his wet finery. She whimpered softly and pressed her body against his, trembling. Daray stood beside them, his ears plastered back against his head. They stood facing a wizened old man, in long blue ropes that were embroidered with symbols and runes of all sorts.
"Don't be afraid, my children." The old man said, smiling warmly. "Please, seat yourselves. We have much to talk about."
"Who are you?" Gryphon demanded, poking his dagger at the old man.
The man smiled. "Why, I am Morath! The greatest sorcerer in the history of Valonce."
"Valonce?" Gryphon asked, confused.
"The first major capital Hyrule has ever known." Aislinn said softly. "It was destroyed circa 347 AG Hylian time. Meaning, you should be dead."
"Very good!" Morath nodded. "And you do know what AG means?"
"After the Goddesses Din, Farore and Nayru descended upon chaos and created our land of Hyrule." Aislinn took a deep breath. "Valonce was built about 100 years after the Goddesses made the Triforce."
"She's a very smart young lady." Morath said. "You should take an example and educate yourself as well as she is."
Gryphon put his dagger away and took a wary step back. He sat down on the Sapphire stump and Aislinn took her seat next to him, on the Amethyst stump. Daray found a little alcove behind Aislinn and stood there, ears now in a relaxed position. Morath was scuttling about in a bag for something and finally found it. He opened a package and pulled out four pendants, not unlike the ones Aislinn and Gryphon wore.
"Garnet, a drop of blood. Life magic." Morath said. "Ruby, a drop of lava. Fire magic. Opal, a drop of stardust. Lightning magic. Black Beryl, a drop of darkness. Shadow magic. These belong to the bearers of such magicks."
"You mean…" Aislinn's voice trailed off and she clutched her amulet.
"You, milady are The Dream Weaver." Morath told her. "You are the reincarnation of Malenna, he most beautiful and powerful Sorceress in Valonce."
"Me?" Aislinn squeaked. "But I'm just a kid!"
Morath paid no attention. He was now focused on Gryphon. "And you…you were a trouble maker in your day. The reincarnation of Rinn, the first Prince of Valonce."
Morath paused. The two children were staring at him pie eyed, their jaws slack. Gryphon was sure he was some crazy who had escaped from jail. But Aislinn had heard many tales of Morath. They were her favorite before bed, and her father knew many of them. He always told it with a happy ending. And he had said something about Morath's spirit still wandering in Hyrule. This place must be significant some how!
"The girl understands." Morath said. "I can see it in her eyes."
Aislinn nodded. She lifted the amulet and held it up to her face. A faint memory of her dream magic came to mind. It was sent to her, she was sure, by the spirit of Malenna, lodged deep in her soul. The spirit also gave her some faint memories, having to do with Gryphon, but she could not figure out what they meant.
"So, I have some kind of water magic." Gryphon said at last. "What does it all mean?"
"Why, you have a destiny to pursue!" Morath exclaimed, as if the answer were obvious. "I cannot tell you very much. But, you must pack your bags and meet me here, tonight."
"Leave my family?" Aislinn asked. "I can't do that!"
"Malenna did." Morath said gravely. "We need you child. You must follow your destiny."
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