Link still lived in Kokiri Forest. Even though he was offered a place at Hyrule Castle, he preferred to live in the place that he had always called home. He was the only Hylian living in the there. The rest were Kokiri, the children of the forest.
After Link killed Ganondorf, Saria and the other Kokiri were still not thoroughly safe. The Gerudos attacked the Forest Temple every so often, to avenge the death of their leader. Saria, the Sage of the Forest had been ill of late, and her powers were weakening. Link hoped it was only temporary.....but in the meantime, she needed someone to protect her from Gerudos.
Link himself would probably be the best, but he was always busy with something. He was always being called to the castle, the villages, and just about everywhere for one thing or another. He had considered a castle guard or two, but they were all at their posts, security had been very tight lately. Link wasn't sure why. Ganondorf was dead, wasn't he? Maybe the Gerudos had been attacking the castle too. He would ask Zelda about that the next time he saw her.
So he needed someone to protect Saria. But just who? Oh well, he thought. I'll think about this later. Now, I must go to Kakariko Village, to get my bow restringed.
Link rode Epona to the village and left her at the gate. He walked to the archery shop. He paused. Link knew everyone in Kakariko Village, but this person was unfamiliar. The person was small of stature, sitting by the well. A slim sword was seathed at his side. He was wearing a black mask, and seemed to be studying Link carefully. Link could almost read something behind his eyes, but he couldn't tell what exactly.
Link pushed open the door to the archery shop and walked inside.
Maarei caught the man staring at her, so she stared back. He looked uncannily familiar. Like maybe she had seen him somewhere before....in a drawing or something. Yes, a drawing! Zelda brought me a sketch of him once. It's Link, the Hero of Time, I know it is! I have to warn him--but what would someone like that need a sellsword for? Well, maybe I can follow him...
How strange that a princess can change into a sellsword in a period of one week. Yes, sellswords are low, but I have to put aside my honor and do what I can.
"Hello Link!" the man behind the counter said cheerily.
"Hi Chad," Link said.
"How are you today?" Chad asked.
"Oh, fine. My bow's string is loosend and ragged. Could you give me a new one?" Link asked.
"Can and will do, good lad," Chad said taking his bow from him and beginning to restring it. He reached into one of the drawers and pulled out a new string. His hands moved quickly and with great skill as he restringed the bow.
"Chad?" Link inquired.
"What, Link?" Chad said, not looking up.
"Do you know who that man is out there?" Link asked.
Chad stopped working. He put his elbow on the counter and rested his chin on his hand.
"Come to think of it, I don't," he said thoughtfully. "He came into town a few days ago. Hasn't spoken to much of anybody. I think he's a sellsword," he went back to his work.
"Here we are," Chad handed Link his bow. "Need any arrows? I just made a new batch."
"I'll take ten," said Link, and handed Chad his payment over the counter.
"Thanks Link. See you later!"
"Bye." Link said. A sellsword could be just what Saria needs. Untrustworthy as they are, they can be very useful if you have enough money. And I have enough money. Link walked over to the man, and realized as he got closer that the man was probably very young. No older than himself.
"Are you a sellsword?" Link asked.
Maarei got up and dusted herself off. "Yes, milord," she said, making her voice hoarse and deep. She had to acquire a Hylian accent with her speech as well. Her own Melanthian accent was smooth and musical. It would never do.
"Very well. I might have work for you. Show me your steel," Link said. As the person slid his sword from it's sheath, Link's eyes widened.
The sword was beautiful. It had been polished until it shone. On one side, near the hilt was the Triforce, gold and glimmering. On the other side was some writing, but the person's finger was covering most of it and Link didn't want to be nosy. The hilt looked like it was made of gold, but Link knew that was impossible. Link was a man of swords, and he could tell good, castle forged steel when he saw it. Where would a grubby boy get such a sword, other than stealing it?
"Where did you get this?" Link asked the boy.
"It was a gift, milord," the boy said.
"A person of royalty, milord. I will not say."
Link considered he was being too nosy. But he would definitely ask Zelda about it.
"What is your name?" Link asked the boy.
Maarei groped for another name.
"Roe," she said quickly. Appropriate, she thought. Our stableboy's name was Roe. I'm wearing his clothes. I might as well take his name too.
"Come with me, Roe." Link said. He turned and walked for the village gate. Maarei followed.
An hour later, Maarei had a horse. Link had bought her one from Lon Lon Ranch. Maarei told him not to trouble himself , but he told her she might need it. He's really right, she thought to herself. The horse was a beautiful black mare that she named Dara. When she got in the saddle, Maarei almost started ridding side-saddle, like she had been taught to do. But she caught herself and rode astride, which was allot easier, in her opinion.
This is not a normal sellsword job, Maarei thought. Why would I be needing a horse?
"You probably know who I am already," Link said.
"Most everyone does. Now you're probably wondering what I would need a sellsword for." Link said as they rode.
Maarei nodded again. It was best to speak as little as possible, since her male voice sounded a little false.
"Well, it's not for me, actually. It's for a friend. She hasn't been well lately, and the Gerudos have been attacking Kokiri Forest. You know about Saria, right? That's her. Her powers haven't been quite as strong as they were, and the Gerudos have been trying to capture her."
Maarei had heard of someone named Saria, in Zelda's story. The Forest Sage. A sage with weakened powers wouldn't help the predicament the World was in at all.
"Why do you wear a mask?" Link asked suddenly.
"It would not please milord to see what was under it," Maarei said, hoping he wouldn't ask her to take it off.
"Sorry. I'm awfully nosy sometimes," Link said.
They rode to the forest in silence.
Link was puzzled with Roe's eyes. They were almond shaped, and a startling shade of green. They were always restless and alert. He had never seen their like.
"I am going to be gone for a few weeks," He told Roe. "If you look after Saria, I will reward you handsomely." He knew that it would be all right because a sellsword would keep his word....for money, at least.
"I have to go visit King Zora. I'll be gone for, um...two weeks at least. I know you'll be allright here. The Kokiri are very kind."
Roe nodded. Link rode away for Zora's domain.
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