Raising The Stakes

by Eon

Chapter Four: Let The Games Begin!


<I>Sora glanced around her, wondering where she was. The place looked vaguely familiar, felt warm and homey. She noticed Link asleep in a corner, his blond hair falling into his face and she smiled.</I>Sleeping like a baby, <I> Sora thought, grinning. She walked quietly over to Link and rested a hand gently on his shoulder. He started and awoke, his blue eyes wide. Sora grinned down at him.

"Hey there, sleepy head." Sora teased.

"Sora…are we dreaming again?" Link asked.

"I think so." Sora replied. "It's that cave again. From the night we…"

Sora stopped and blushed furiously, her cheeks turning from ivory white to strawberry red in seconds. Link just smiled, reached up and tugged on a lock of her hair. That made Sora blush even harder and she sat down on the rocky floor with her head resting on her knees. Link sat down beside her and hugged her, resting his head on top of hers.

"This cave makes me feel different." Sora said sleepily.

"Me too." Link agreed. "Really different."

Sora gazed up into Link's eyes. "We really need to wake up now."

"Yes." Link agreed quietly.

"We need to wake up." Sora said again. "Before we…"

Link leaned close and brushed his lips softly against hers. At that moment Saba walked into the room sing loudly and badly off key. Sora and Link jumped apart, brushing imaginary dirt off their tunics. Saba sat down on one of the big rocks and sighed.

"Now you two can be friends, but I'll have none of that." Saba said. "Understood?"

Link sighed. "Saba, can't you tell us what is going on here? Why do we…feel like this?"

"That is irrelevant." Saba said, ignoring the question.

"We have to know." Sora argued. "I certainly want to know. I don't like it one bit!"

"You don't?" Link asked, looking at her.

Sora blushed. "We maybe not exactly…but that's not important! Just tell us what is going on here!"

"I'm afraid I cannot." Saba said. "Oh my, look at the time. You have to wake up and forget about all of this."

"But I don't want to forget!" Link protested. "I don't want to forget again!"

"I'm sorry, but there is no other way."</I>


Sora awoke to darkness. She waited until her eyes focused a bit, then stood, letting the fur blanket she'd slept under fall to the ground. She leaned her cheek against the bars of the cell, letting their coolness clear her mind. She couldn't remember the dream she had just had, but some leftover feeling still ate at her, leaving her in silent misery. It was something she wanted so much, and couldn't have for some reason or other.

Sora turned and looked upon her companions. Frat slept with Oliana in his arms; Sora remembered vaguely her having a nightmare and him comforting her. Poonta had moved back farther in the cell but she slept in front of Link, hand curled around her spear protectively. It suddenly made Sora aware of Link's sword, which was still strapped to her back. Sora brushed dust off her rumpled tunic and lay back down, pulling the fur over her. Before long she had drifted off into deep, dreamless sleep.


Saba fingered the pearl necklace she wore, afraid of what would happen if it ever broke. She watched Endoch as he brushed Spirit, their ghost horse. Saba had argued that a ghost horse probably didn't need to be brushed but she let him do it anyway. He finally finished and just dropped the brush, which Saba picked up and slapped him over the head with.

"Ow!" Endoch shouted. "What was the for?"

"Oh stop your whining." Saba smiled. "Call it a love bump."

"How do I know you ain't trying to kill me?" Endoch grumped.

"I would have done that long ago if I could." Saba said.

Endoch smiled a toothless smile. "Come on admit it. You'd be lost with out me."

"I think I could handle being lost." Saba muttered.

"You could not." Endoch argued. "Not without me!"

"Oh yeah, not without great wonderful you." Saba muttered.

"We never used to fight like this." Endoch sighed.

"Hyrule wasn't in such great danger then." Saba reminded them. "Oh how do you discourage soulmates from falling in love?"


"Hey," Sora grunted as she fell against the wall. "I think you just smashed a vital internal organ."

"I don't really care." Faylah smiled.

"I didn't really think you would." Sora muttered.

"Girls, girls, please don't fight." Kyrissam interrupted. "I want Faylah to be in a good mood when she kills you, Princess."

"I'm looking forward to it." Sora quipped. "So I guess I'd really hate for her to be upset."

Link elbowed Sora in the ribs. "Can't you keep your mouth shut?"


Link sighed and stumbled along, Yzane's spear poking him in the back every time he lagged behind. Mylintha had Poonta and Oliana both under control, while Faylah held Sora by her shoulders, occasionally slamming her into the wall. Kyrissam held Fratello by the shirt collar, shoving him along with his foot. <I>I guess Frat could really use a swift kick in the pants,</I> Link thought, smile. He turned and caught Mylintha's eye and she nodded briefly.

"What have you got up your sleeve?" Sora asked softly.

"I'll explain later." Link whispered back.

"Quiet!" Kyrissam snapped.

"Yes master." Sora muttered.

Kyrissam grinned. "I think I could get used to you calling me master, Princess."

Kyrissam caught Sora by the chin and lifted her head up to meet his eyes. Sora glared at him and spit in his face. Kyrissam just wiped it off and let her go, smiling. When he had, Faylah swung her roughly into a nearby door. Sora yelped and slid out of her grasp, curling up in a ball on the floor. Link tried to move forward but Yzane grabbed him.

"Leave her alone!" Link shouted.

"Sora!" Frat shouted at the same time and also tried to move forward.

Kyrissam grabbed Frat by his hair and pulled him back. He watched helplessly as Faylah kicked Sora in the ribs, the picked her up and slung her into the wall on the other side of the corridor. Sora bit her tongue when she hit the wall and the copper taste of blood filled her mouth. She struggled to her feet and told herself to remain quiet until they were outside. <I>I need all my strength to help Link,</I> Sora reminded herself.

When they finally reached the outside Sora breathed in deeply, inhaling the sweet morning air. She and her companions were led to the middle of the Field, then thrown to the ground. Sora picked herself up and stood, arms crossed, waiting for it to begin. Robin and a night black horse she didn't recognize were standing and waiting for them and Sora had a feeling that the horse race would be first.

"So Sorella, ready to ride?" Kyrissam taunted, holding Robin's reins just out of her reach.

"I'm ready for what ever you dish out." Sora said, still glaring at him.

Kyrissam laughed and handed her the reins. "So be it, Princess."

Sora looked at Robin, figuring his tack was probably unstiched in some places to make sure she got killed or hurt, or really just to make sure she lost the race. Sora took off the saddle and bridle, knowing she wouldn't need either. Then she hauled herself up onto Robin's back with some work and settled into position over his withers, waiting for Kyrissam to mount.

Kyrissam laughed again and vaulted into the saddle of his night black horse. Faylah stood at what they must've marked as the starting place with a silky scarf in one hand. They had been nice enough to tell her the route of the race, which was shocking enough as it was. They both walked their horses over to Faylah and suddenly Sora became nervous. What if she didn't win? What would happen to Link then?

Sora glanced over at Link, who sat on the wall in the middle of the Field with Poonta, Frat and Oliana. He smiled at her reassuringly and Sora exhaled deeply, entwining her fingers in Robin's mane. <I>A smile to make chocolate melt,</I> Sora thought. <I>I guess it's a good thing I'm not made of chocolate or I'd be a puddle.</I>

Suddenly Faylah raised her scarf and waved it in the air wildly. Sora knew that was the signal to go and she held her breath as Robin shot forward, pounding over the soft turf. <I>Racing the wind,</I> Sora thought. <I>But who will win, and who will die?</I>

Back to Story Menu