Raising The Stakes

by Eon

Chapter Two: Spring Fairies


Sora was in the crumbling infirmary, scrambling around on the floor for Link's sword. The air was thick with dust and it was impossible to breathe, impossible to see. She could hear Frat on the other side of the building, cursing loudly as he got showered with debris. Sora's fingertips had just come in contact with the blade of the sword when she looked up to see a pillar falling down on top of her. Then everything went blank and Sora was struggling to open her eyes. She could hear Frat's voice pleading desperately with her to wake up.

Sora finally managed to get her eyes open a slit. All she could see was Frat's bright purple eyes, filled with concern. He had a bandage around his forehead and he looked tired and years older than her really was. Sora opened her mouth to ask where she was and what was going on, but nothing came out. She found that her throat hurt when she tried to speak.

"It's okay Sora." Frat soothed. "We're safe now."

Sora sat up slowly with Fratello's aid. The room she was in was large and warm, with flowers painted all over the walls in sunny yellows, vibrant reds, sunset purples and twilight oranges. Plants hung from the ceiling, a few small trees sprouted up through the floor, and flowers and vines covered certain parts of the walls, including the frame of a wide open window on the left wall. The bed she was in was very soft and she had been covered in thick but strangely cool furs. Frat sat on a large rock near the bed, holding her arm to support her.

"Where are we?" Sora croaked, finally able to talk.

"Verindale. The realm of the Lente, the spring fairies." Frat told her.

"Are we dead?" Sora asked.

Frat chuckled. "Apparently not. The Lente rescued us just in time, but they won't tell me how."

"But a pillar fell on me!" Sora protested.

"Sora, it doesn't matter." Frat said, hugging her. "I'm just glad you're alive. You've been out for nearly a month."

Sora pulled back and stared at him wide eyed. "A month? You have got to be kidding!"

"I'm not kidding." Frat shook his head.

"Where's Link and Oliana and Poonta?" Sora demanded, grabbing Frat's arm.

"I don't know." Frat answered. "I was in the building when it collapsed, so I don't know if they got away safely."

"Where is…?" Sora trailed off and looked frantically around the room.

"You mean this?" Frat lifted Link's sword and handed it to her.

Sora nodded and took it from him. "Yeah."

"The Lente told me you had it in your hands when they found you." Frat said. "You have cuts on your palms, because they had to pry it from your hands. You were holding it tightly."

"But that's impossible!" Sora protested. "I didn't have it in my hands when the pillar fell on me."

"Are you sure?" Frat asked.

"Positive." Sora replied. "This is all too weird."

At that moment a door burst open and a girl bounded in. Her hair was blue and tightly wrapped until it reached the bottom where it was loose for about three or four inches. She wore a short skirt made of nearly see through silk and a halter-top in a brilliant yellow. Her feet were bare and made hardly a sound on the wooden floor. A pair of gossamer wings were folded down her back. She carried a tray on one hand and danced across the floor to Sora's bed.

"Hello, hello!' The girl exclaimed breathlessly. "Glad to see you up! I'm Sunni and I've been taking care of you since you arrived here!"

Frat sighed. "Good morning, Sunni."

"You must be Sora!" Sunni chattered on, placing the tray at the foot of Sora's bed. "Frat here has told me so much about you! Ya know, your brother is really sweet! And he's way cute too!" Sunni finished off with a girlish giggle.

"I'm guessing this is a spring fairy?" Sora glanced at Frat.

"Unfortunately." Frat muttered.

"Isn't he such a grouch before breakfast?" Sunni laughed. "Oh what I've had to put up with from this one! He absolutely refuses to leave your side! What's a girl to do! So I've just let him stay, of course I've forced him to eat and sleep!"

Frat cleared his throat. "What brings you in here so early?"

"Oh well you see," Sunni chattered, "I have to run an errand for Mama today! I just wanted to make sure you know, so when my little sister comes in you won't be freaked out or nothing! I have to go though, so I'll see you tomorrow, kay?"

Sunni giggled again and skipped out of the room, her wrapped hair bouncing wildly behind her. When she was gone Frat sighed with relief and sunk down in his chair. Sora grinned at him and he shot her a baleful look.

"Well I think I'm gonna eat now, kay?" Sora mimicked. "Cause I'm way hungry!"

Frat groaned. "Oh Sora please don't. You have no idea what I've been through."

"You are a grouch when you haven't eaten breakfast." Sora laughed.

"That's because I didn't want to go ask Sunni for it." Frat said.

"Oh but she thinks you're way cute!" Sora giggled.

"I don't usually hit girls but I can make an exception." Frat muttered.

The door creaked open once more. A smaller girl with pink hair falling down to her waist in two braided pigtails walked in slowly. She wore a nearly see through skirt and halter-top like her sister, in bright blue. She was also bare foot, but she didn't dance across the floor like her sister. Instead she stumbled over to the bed and sat down on a stone across from Frat.

"Hi." She said shyly. "I'm Daisy."

Frat picked her up and hugged. "Very nice to meet you Daisy!"

Daisy struggled away and moved to sit back down on the stone, but ended up missing and landing on the floor. Frat tossed his head back and laughed hysterically, while Sora was already caught up in a giggling fit.

"What's so funny?" Daisy demanded.

"I think Frat has a problem with your sister." Sora explained.

"Oh." Daisy giggled. "Wait 'til he meets Lilly."

"Oh not another one!" Frat groaned.

"Oh I think you'll like Lilly." Daisy said. "I'll go get her."

Daisy sprung to her feet and raced out the door before either Frat or Sora could stop her. She came back moments later holding the hand of another fairy. This one must've been the oldest. She was tall, with long white hair the hung wild and free to her knees. She was dressed like her sisters, but in white and she was the most beautiful person Sora had ever seen. She could have sworn the Frat's ears perked up when he saw her.

"Hi." The new fairy said. "I'm Lilly."

"I'm Sora. And this drooling mutt over here is my brother Frat."

Frat scowled at Sora. "Have some respect for your elders."

"Oh please. You're only older than me by two years." Sora rolled her eyes.

"You were out a long time." Lilly said, sitting on the bed.

"Yeah, Frat told me." Sora shrugged. "I guess I needed the sleep."

Lilly laughed. "I suppose so."

"When do you think she'll be well enough so we can go home?" Frat asked.

"I couldn't say." Lilly replied. "Let's see how she does today and tomorrow, make sure she doesn't have a relapse, and then we'll decided."

"Maybe we should check on Link and the gang first." Sora suggested. "We can't exactly let them go on believing we're dead."

Frat nodded. "Good idea, Sora. Though, with all the responsibilities Link has as King, the shock might kill him."

"Well that would be ironic." Sora said, grinning.

"Have you eaten yet?" Lilly asked Sora. "Eating will give you energy and help you to get better faster. I can tell your friends are important to you, so you'll want to get to them as soon as possible."

"Hmm…could you tell me what's best to eat?" Sora asked.

"Anything fruit." Lilly grinned. "Fruit is very good for you."


"Well, I have to go." Lilly said. "I'll check on you later."

Sora nodded and picked up and apple from the tray that Sunni had left near her bed. When Lilly let Sora grinned at Frat mischievously. Frat glared at her and through a grape at her. Sora laughed and ducked under the covers, still eating her apple.


Sora was really surprised to find Robin outside when the fairies finally let her wander around. Sunni told her that he had just appeared one day. Or at least, Sora thought that was what she said. The girl talks so fast that most of the time she was impossible to understand. Either way, Sora was really glad to have Robin there with her. She'd really needed a friend, what with Frat following Lilly around and hanging on her every word.

Daisy had been spending time with Sora and unfortunately, so had Sunni. But today Sora was all-alone with her horse and she was happy to just be able to spend a peaceful day outside. She had a lot of thinking to do, which was impossible when Sunni was around. Sora missed her friends dearly, especially Poonta, who was the only one who really understood her. And she was worried about Link. Faylore's true identity had been a slap in the face to him.

One of the male fairies that Sora had befriended walked up to her and sat down in the grass, far away from Robin's hind legs. His name was Aren. He had green hair that hung all the way to his shoulders and dressed comfortably in a tunic and breeches most of the time. Aren had learned that it wasn't a wise idea to be anywhere near Robin's hind legs, because the horse was very protective of his owner.

"Sora. Earth to Sora!" Aren called. "Hey, you in there?"

"Huh? Oh sorry, Aren." Sora said. "I was busy thinking."

"You think?" Aren teased. "I never knew you could."

Sora glared at him. "Ha ha, very funny."

"Hey don't be angry with me." Aren laughed. "It's not good to annoy the bearer of good news."

"Good news?" Sora asked. "What do you mean?"

"Lilly says you're well enough to travel." Aren told her.

Sora jumped to her feet. "All right! It's about time!"

"I'm glad you're so excited." Aren said, a little sadly.

"Oh come on." Sora sighed. "You're not gonna miss me one bit."

"Yeah, probably not." Aren grinned.

Sora shook her head and walked away. Robin looked up from where he lay sprawled out on the grass and frantically scrambled to his feet to follow her. Sora laughed and scratched his nose when he caught up with her. Robin snorted and followed along at her heels like a loyal puppy. At least I have one friend, Sora thought.


Sora was dressed in the clothes the fairies had given her: tight breeches with a piece of cloth, almost like a skirt wrapped around her waist, knee high leather boots, and a shirt with no sleeves, only straps. Also a pair of leather wrist guards that went over her palms and back midway, then continued on to her elbows in metal rings, each one attached by four thin pieces of metal. The clothes were in rust red and dull brown, but Sora didn't mind. She also threw a fur lined cloak over that and pulled the hood up to cover her face.

Frat was dressed in the clothes that he had had on at the Sheikah kingdom, but they had been patched up and cleaned. He also wore a cloak, though he had the hood down at the moment while he said good bye to Lilly, Sunni and Daisy (although he would have preferred that Sunni not be there). Sora had said good bye to Aren earlier and didn't feel like anymore good-byes at the moment. She had too much to think about.

When Frat had finally finished he mounted the horse the fairies had leant him. Sora was already on Robin, waiting (although not patiently) for Frat to finish up so they could get moving. The turned their horses and waved good bye to their friends, and Sora felt a sudden sadness come over her. This was the second time she was saying good-bye to her friends in just a month.

Frat and Sora rode a long in silence for a long time. Sora knew Frat wanted to go home right away and assure their parents that they were all right. Sora understood how he felt, but she had to make sure that her friends were okay first. Last time she had seen Link he had been in bad shape. Plus, she wanted to return his sword to him.

"Sora?" Frat said, at last.


"I know you want to make sure your friends are all right, but…" Frat trailed off.

Sora whirled in the saddle. "I told you, mom and dad can wait! At least we know that they're alive!"

"Sora, I'm older." Frat said.

"What does your being older have to do with anything?" Sora demanded.

"I think we should go see our parents first." Frat said.


"Sora, listen to me." Frat pleaded. "I know what's best for you."

"No!" Sora snapped. "You don't!"

Sora faced forward in the saddle once more and gripped her reins tightly, fuming silently. Frat had no right to tell her what to do! Who does he think he is? Sora thought. He's got some nerve! Sora held the reins so tightly that Robin began to fidget. He sidestepped and Sora got slapped in the face with a stray tree branch.

"Ow!" Sora exclaimed.

"Are you okay?" Frat asked, walking his horse up next to Robin.

"Yeah." Sora muttered.

"No you're not!" Frat grabbed her hand and pulled it away from her cheek. "You're bleeding!"

"I'll be okay." Sora said, tugging her hand away from his.

"Come on you."

Frat jumped down from his horse and pulled Sora out of the saddle. He half dragged her to a nearby stream and pushed her down by the bank. Frat kneeled and cupped his hands in the water, taking a small sip of it. Then he pulled out a spare piece of cloth and dipped it in the water. He used it to clean the scrape on Sora's cheek.

Sora winced. "Ow."

"I'm almost finished." Frat soothed.

"Could you be a bit gentler?" Sora asked.

"I'm being as gentle as I can." Frat said. "It's a pretty deep cut."

Sora bit her lip at the stinging pain and sat as still as she could. Finally Frat finished the job and let Sora go. Sora climbed back onto Robin's back and started on through the forest again. Frat and his nag followed. It wasn't long before they were out of the woods and onto open field. Sora took a deep breath and sighed.

"I missed this place." Sora murmured.

"Really?" Frat asked.

Sora smiled. "Yeah. It grows on you."

"Like toe fungus." Frat muttered.

Sora shook her head and urged Robin into a gallop. The horse snorted and tossed his head, happy to be out in the open once again. He stretched his legs and neck out and dashed across the turf. Sora leaned over his withers; Robin's mane stinging her cheeks as the wind whipped it back into her face. She laughed with exhilaration, reveling in the speed. Sora glanced under her shoulder and saw that Frat was way behind. She looked ahead and grinned. The future looks bright, Sora thought. Bright as the sun…


Link stumbled along the dew sprinkled grass in the dim dawn, his hands tied behind his back. Faylah shoved him along, occasionally poking him with a sharp-ended stick. They finally stopped in the middle of the field, near the Wall. Faylah shoved him to the ground and Yzane dropped Oliana in a limp pile next to him. Kyrissam threw Poonta into the wall and Mylintha tied her up with a strong piece of hemp rope.

"So, King Brat," Kyrissam said, pacing along the wall and smiling with deep satisfaction. "How are we to handle this? Maybe we will kill your friends, take over your kingdom, and hang you in front of all your people, hmm? How does that sound?"

Link spit at him. "Ugly baboon!"

Faylah slapped Link hard across the face. Startled, Link lifted a hand to his burning cheek and gazed up at her. She smiled at him and slapped him again, sending him flying across the dirt. Link lay back and stared the brightening sky in shock.

"Now, boy, are you going to cooperate?" Kyrissam asked.

"Never!" Link hissed, sitting up slowly. "I'll never willingly hand my kingdom over to you! I'd die first!"

Kyrissam smiled. "That can be arranged."

Kyrissam and Faylah turned away from them, speaking in quiet tones to each other. Link stared at the rising sun, ignoring them and the blood trickling down his cheek. His hands hurt and his wrists were cut from the harsh ropes they'd used to tie him with. The wind that blew made him shiver in the cold air. Link glanced at Oliana and noticed she was awake. Her eyes were wide with terror and she shivered in the cold air as well.

"Well, my love," Faylah giggled, loud enough for them to hear, "I think our little guests are getting restless. Can we kill them now?"

"Not yet." Kyrissam replied. "Soon, my darling."

Link rolled his eyes. "You two make me sick!"

"How simply childish." Kyrissam taunted. "Love makes the boy sick. Isn't that a five year old trait?"

"Hey!" A voice shouted. "You should talk! You don't know what love is!"

A bright red horse shot out of nowhere, reminding Link of a fireball in motion. The rider on its back had golden hair that whipped around her face and purple eyes that glowed angrily in the dim morning light. Link gaped and he could sense Faylah and Kyrissam staring.

"Sora…" Link murmured.

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