CHAPTER 4 - Kyrissam
Sora's eyes fluttered shut. She swayed in the saddle. Her eyes flew open and she regained her balance quickly. She tried to focus on the road ahead, but her vision blurred. She was woozy from blood loss and so tired she was resting her hands on the saddle and letting Stalker follow the crowd. Her feet hung lazily at Stalker's sides, instead of in the stirrups. She usually didn't use a saddle anyway. This just seemed to keep her from falling more than if she was riding bareback.
Link was keeping his eyes open from sheer force, like Sora. Faylore on the other hand was asleep, leaning back against Link, her head tucked under his chin. Sora smothered a yawn and almost wished she were Faylore at the moment. Anything to get some sleep. Her eyelids kept drooping and she fought to hide it.
"How long is this journey?" Link asked Mylintha.
"A few days." Mylintha replied stiffly.
Link frowned and glanced over at Sora. She would never last a few days. She needed rest. She was hurt and out of energy. If she got sick, she wouldn't have the strength to get better. She had, after all, saved him and Faylore. He owed it to her to see that she got better. Link gently shook Faylore. "Faylore. Can you ride on your own?" Link asked.
"Yeah." Faylore replied. "I'm feeling better. Why?"
"Sora needs my help." Link said.
Faylore followed his gaze to Sora. She was struggling to stay upright in the saddle. Her face was very pale and her eyes kept on fluttering shut. Faylore nodded agreement, then took the reins from Link. Goldmoon was a calm mare and would be easy enough for her to handle. Faylore inched Goldmoon up alongside Stalker. Sora looked up, slightly startled as Link slid into the saddle behind her.
"What are you doing?" Sora demanded angrily.
"Letting you get some rest." Link answered, taking the reins from her hands.
"I'm fine!" Sora protested. "I don't need any rest!" "Sora, please. You need to rest. You're wounded." Link pleaded. "You saved me and Faylore. At least let me do something to pay you back." "Well, I guess." Sora conceded, yawning a bit. "Don't let me sleep too long. I only need an hour or so. Promise?"
"I promise." Link said, lying through his teeth. He would let her sleep until she woke herself.
Sora yawned once again and leaned up against him. She shut her eyes and sighed. Her bones ached, her head ached, and she felt so, so tired. Stalker's smooth, easy canter soon rocked her to sleep.
Link glanced down and Sora. She was fast asleep, but it was an uneasy sleep. Sora squirmed in her sleep. She flinched, almost as if someone were going to hit her. When she began to whimper, Link talked to her softly until she calmed down. Faylore glanced over worriedly.
"Is she okay?" Faylore asked.
"I'm not sure." Link admitted. "She feels warm. She may be having fever dreams."
"Oh no!" Faylore exclaimed. "Link, she needs some help now!" "I know that!" Link snapped. Faylore gave him a hurt look and he sighed. "I'm sorry. I just don't think there is anything we can do." "They can help us." Faylore said, pointing to the backs of the Gerudos.
"I don't think they will." Link muttered.
Sora stirred a bit, then woke up. Link sighed. Sora glanced up at him, and frowned but said nothing. She looked straight ahead, almost as if concentrating on something. Link waved a hand in front of her face. She didn't respond. Link frowned.
"Sora?" Link asked.
"I think, maybe there's something. But I don't know." Sora said.
"What did she say?" Faylore asked.
"I have no idea." Link replied, shrugging.
"Frat, you've always been such a spoil sport." Sora complained.
"Frat?" Link stared at her.
"Huh? What are you talking about?" Sora squirmed in the saddle.
"You called me Frat." Link said.
"I did not." Sora protested. "What gives you that idea?"
"You did." Faylore said gently. Sora shook her head. Sora blinked and rubbed her head. She'd had a dream, but she couldn't remember what it was about. It had given her a headache though, and that she was very aware of. Sora reached down and stroked Stalker's neck. He shook his mane, then turned his head and bumped her foot with his nose. Sora absently patted his nose.
"I've got a bad feeling." Sora stated.
"Is it your stomach?" Link asked. Sora elbowed him in the ribs. "Ow! What was that for?" Link exclaimed.
"I just don't trust them. Why is no one around us upset that they are Gerudos?" Sora wondered, glancing around.
"I don't know." Link admitted. "This is weird."
"Hey! Excuse me!" Sora called out to someone nearby. No answer came.
"What the heck!" Link exclaimed. "What's going on here?"
"Here's a better question," Sora quipped, "Where's Faylore?"
"What?" Link glanced around. "She's gone!"
"No really. I hadn't noticed." Sora said sarcastically.
"If they hurt her I'll kill them." Link vowed.
"I don't think they hurt her." Sora told him. "Unless there's a whole lot I can't see from here."
Link followed Sora's gaze. Faylore was trotting back to them on Goldmoon. Link sighed with relief. Then he felt a sharp pain in his stomach. He landed in the dust. Sora turned Stalker and grinned at him. "I ride alone." Sora stated. She turned Stalker and they galloped after the Gerudos.
"Are you okay?" Faylore asked.
"Never better." Link replied. "Never better."
Link struggled to his feet and dusted himself off. He hopped up on Goldmoon
behind Faylore. After making sure Faylore was holding tight he kicked Goldmoon
into a canter and then a gallop to catch up with Sora and the Gerudos,
It was dark when they reached the Gerudo camp. They dismounted their horses and tethered them. Sora looked both ways then tossed some silvery dust on the horse's ropes, so they couldn't be stolen. It was an old trick she'd learnt from the Sheikah. A Gerudo guard led them into a tent nearby. The first thing Sora did was flop down on a straw mattress, completely ignoring the food tray on the table near one side. Link eyed the food; he hadn't eaten in what felt like days. Faylore just sat down and stared out into the darkness. Faylore turned back to them and looked around the tent. Suddenly a noise came from the entrance of the tent. They all looked in that direction. A Gerudo girl, not much older than them, stood watching them. Her short-cropped red-gold hair fell into her face. She didn't look nearly as imposing as the other Gerudos.
"Hi." The girl said.
"Hey. Join the party." Sora quipped.
"I heard someone was sick." The girl looked directly at Link, ignoring Sora. I guess this makes me the leader, Link thought.
"Yeah. Sora." Link said, pointing to the Sheikah girl sulking on the bed. "She seems a bit better now though."
"Aye-uh. No surprise." The girl smiled. "The smoke in Death Mountain made Captain Yzane sick for weeks an' weeks. I healed 'im myself." "What's your name?" Sora asked.
"It's not important." The girl replied.
"What is your name?" Sora demanded, crossing her arms and glaring.
"I am Poonta." The girl told her. "Poonta Kaytog. And you?"
"I'm Link of Hyrule." Link was the first to speak out.
"I'm Sora of the top of Hyrule Castle's gate." Sora joked. Link glared at her.
"I'm Faylore." Faylore said. "I'm not 'of' anything. Not even the gate."
Poonta giggled slightly. Even Sora cracked a smile. Link just shook his head. Sora clapped Faylore on the back and lay back down on the bed, suddenly feeling drained. Link still eyed the food.
"That's there so you can eat." Poonta said dryly.
"Oh-yeah. I knew that." Link stammered.
"You did not." Sora stated.
"I did too!" Link argued.
"He didn't." Sora whispered to Faylore. Faylore giggled. Link gave an exasperated sigh and settled down to eat.
"My but you're a rude one. D'ya always speak to people like that?" Poonta asked Sora.
"Yep. Call it, uh, habit, I guess." Sora replied.
"More like instinct." Link muttered, his mouth full.
"Don't talk with your mouth full, Highness." Sora scolded. "'Highness'?" Poonta raised an eyebrow curiously. "Then this truly be Prince Link?"
"Well, that's what he tells me." Sora said. "Whether I can believe him or not is an entirely different matter in itself."
"Aye-uh. You never know who you can trust." Poonta agreed.
"Is it just me, or are they getting along?" Link asked, looking at Faylore.
"I'd say 'twas just you if I wasn't seeing it myself." Faylore replied.
"Ignore them." Sora said. "That's the best way to deal with them." Poonta laughed and Sora winked, reveling in teasing Link 'til his ears turned bright red from embarrassment. Sora glanced out at the night sky and absentmindedly reached for her harp where she kept it tucked beneath her tunic. The carefully tuned strings had remained perfectly tuned and none had broke. Sora softly strummed the harp, sighing at its soothing melody. Link looked up from his food a moment. Sora smiled and started to play; a haunting melody that carried the length of the camp.
The sound of her song reminded Sora of vast forests, filled with animals. She did not remember how she learned to play such songs. Each one reminded her of a part of nature, whether it be the calm serenity of woodland animals, or vileness of evil human minds. Both were of nature, she knew, but she preferred that she never meet up with the latter.
As Sora finished her placid song, a figure stalked through the opening of the tent. Wavy brown hair framed a handsome face, with blue eyes cold as ice. The man stood, glaring at Sora. Sora gently placed her harp in her lap and stared up at the man. Although seemingly brave in the face of danger, Sora felt utterly terrified and she realized she was seeing that one element she wished never to encounter.
"M'lord!" Poonta exclaimed, struggling to her feet. She then bowed, kneeling with her head down, in a sign Sora figured to mean she was unworthy. "Stand!" The man barked. "Please, introduce me to our guests."
"M'lord, this is Link, Prince of Hyrule and his companions Sora and Faylore."
"Greetings, this fair eve." The man said. "Might I introduce myself? I am Kyrissam, leader of the Gerudos."
"Well met." Link said diplomatically. "I thank you for your hospitality and kind service."
"Yes. Those are all well and good." Sora agreed. "But what brings you here, in such anger and haste? I do not believe we were doing anything wrong, were we?" "What Sora means is-" Link began, but Kyrissam cut him off. "No need to make amends for your impertinent little friend." Kyrissam said. "I understand perfectly well her suspicions and I guarantee you there is nothing to fear."
"I understand." Link glanced over at Sora, furious with her.
"Poonta, see to it that our guests are well taken care of." Kyrissam said. "Yes M'lord." Poonta bowed once more. Kyrissam turned and, with a flourish, stalked out of the tent.
"Nice guy." Sora commented sarcastically.
Sora picked up her harp and tucked it beneath the folds of her tunic once again. She laid back and closed her eyes, listening to the sounds outside the tent. They weren't night sounds, but army sounds. Sora could hear horses snorting, weapons clanging and people talking. She focused her mind on a melody in her head, and soon she was asleep.
Sora awoke to complete darkness. Faylore and Link were asleep on straw mattresses, holding hands. Sora rolled her eyes, then turned towards the door. Poonta lay in the doorway. Sora climbed to her feet and headed out of the tent, stepping over the sleeping Gerudo girl careful not to wake her. A cool breeze swept over her cheeks, blowing her slightly damp hair off of her neck as she stepped outside. Her eyes flickered to the spot where they had tethered the horses. They were still there, sleeping on their feet. Sora walked over to Stalker and scratched behind his ears. He woke up and lipped her hair playfully. Sora laughed and pushed him away. She quickly gave Goldmoon's withers a scratch, then turned back to the camp. Sora noticed that one tent, the biggest one, glowed with eerie light. Intrigued, she stepped closer, keeping her eyes glued to the tent. I bet that's Kyrissam's tent, Sora thought. It would only make sense, it being the biggest. Sora kept moving forward, suddenly getting an uneasy feeling Sora reached the tent entrance. She knelt down outside the tent, listening carefully, although the sounds inside were loud enough for her to hear. Kyrissam stood in the middle of a bunch of cheering Gerudos. "The King of Hyrule wishes for peace between us." Kyrissam said. "But we are of different worlds. There can be no peace between us." "What can we possibly do?" One Gerudo demanded, obviously uncertain. "We have the King of Hyrule's son." Kyrissam replied, smiling evilly. "Thanks to-" "How do we know he won't escape?" The Gerudo interrupted. "He can't escape. I have something that will keep him here." Kyrissam informed her. "He will not leave because of-" "So how exactly do we defeat the King?" The Gerudo interrupted again. "I mean, he's got troops, body guards and so on. What've we got?" "It's not what we have." Kyrissam said. "It's what we will have. Soon, we will have to most capable to lead us into battle! All we need is a little of Prince Link's blood for the spell and-" "We can bring back Ganondorf!" An older Gerudo finished in a cheer. "Precisely!" Kyrissam hissed.
"I don't believe it." The other Gerudo demurred.
"Then you die!"
Sora sat watching, as Kyrissam lifted his hand, palm outward. Energy collected around him and Sora felt waves of something that was just evil. Then an energy bolt stuck the young Gerudo, killing her instantly. Sora gasped All eyes turned to her. She jumped to her feet and stumbled backwards. "Kill her!" Kyrissam shouted.
Sora turned and ran. She didn't think for a second she could escape them, but fortunately they didn't think so either, so they took their time to get weapons. Sora pulled out a dagger and sliced at the horses' ropes as she ran passed.
"Link!!!" Sora screamed. "Faylore! Poonta!"
"What is it Sora?" Link asked, stumbling out of the tent sleepily, Faylore right behind and Poonta standing outside the doorway. "We have to leave!" Sora told him.
"Why?" Faylore demanded. "I don't want to run anymore." "We have to!" Sora yelled. "I don't care if I have to beat it into you, we're in danger and we have to leave!" For emphasis, Sora glanced over her shoulder at the now approaching band of angry Gerudos. "Don't speak to her like that!" Link growled. Sora opened her mouth to speak, but Poonta cut her off.
"She's right." Poonta said. "You must leave."
Sora gave Poonta a quick smile of appreciation, then turned to look for the horses. Stalker was right behind her and Goldmoon was there to. "Go! I'll catch up!" Poonta turned and ran for the tent that housed the Gerudo horses. Link helped Faylore, who was still protesting, onto Goldmoon. Sora vaulted effortlessly into Stalker's saddle. She turned and kicked him in the first direction she could think of.
She could hear Goldmoon behind her. Faylore was still protesting loudly. Link tried to quiet her. Sora sighed and leaned forward, urging Stalker to go faster. A dark shape darted from the shadows and galloped up beside her. It was Poonta. She reached out and handed Sora a curved blade. Then she dropped speed a bit until she could hand one to Faylore as well. She gave Link his sword, which the Gerudos had taken from him, back to him. "Where do we go?" Link asked.
"I don't know." Sora replied, shrugging. "You're the leader." Link looked around. Behind him was the Gerudos. Their torches were growing specks of light in the dark. To his left were mountains, although he could recognize that only from their height, for it was very dark. To his left was water. The only way to go was forward.
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