Disclaimer: I don’t want to get in whatever trouble people can get into when using other people’s characters so - The Legend of Zelda, Link, Zelda, Ganon, Hyrule and other related characters and settings belong to to that wonderous console company, Nintendo. No infringement intended.

Shadows of Fate

Juliet A. Singleton (juliet@northcastle.co.uk) & Kirsty Singleton (arcadionseye@btopenworld.com)

Chapter 2

     Timothy looked upwards at the dark, cloudy sky. Back at North Castle, he could almost always see the stars, but not here. Timothy hated travelling on boats. He and Ewan had done it many times, but still, he never enjoyed the rocking motion, and the feeling of vulnerability that it left, stuck out there, in the middle of the vast water, open to attack. Aden was leaning over the side, looking down at the water below.

"How long d'you reckon it'll take?" he questioned, turning to look at Timothy. The young hero shrugged.

"I dunno. I've never been to Benlucca before," he said.

"Me either. It's too bad Bri and that freak got a head start," Aden stated. Freak? That'd be right, Timothy thought angrily. "I just don't get why she'd run off like that, I mean come on, she's only fifteen!" Aden continued.

"Because she thinks she's in love. That jerk has twisted her mind," Timothy replied bitterly. He kicked the side of the boat in frustration. "Why can't we go any faster?" he questioned.

"That's boats for you," Aden replied, grinning slightly. Timothy did not grin back. "Aww come on Timmy boy, it's not all that bad. We'll find Bri, we will," Aden said, trying to cheer his friend up.

"Have you seen the size of Benlucca? I bet it's at least twice the size of Hyrule!" Timothy lamented. He knew that Molasar would probably take Brianna to the Gerudo Valley, but only the goddesses knew where that was. Brianna had excitedly told him that the valley was a secret and no-one in Benlucca, apart from the Gerudos, knew where it happened to be located.

"It'll be an adventure!" Aden stated, still grinning. Any other time, if Ewan had not been on the verge of death, and Brianna had not been in deadly danger, Timothy would have agreed with his friend. He sighed, and glanced down at the dark, swirling waters below. "I'm telling you, Brianna was the last person I'd expect to do this sort of thing! She was always so... well you know. Sensible," Aden remarked.

"I guess people change sometimes," Timothy replied. "Or they caught up in the excitement of it all," he added thoughtfully. He couldn't imagine what Brianna actually saw in Molasar, but there had to be something. Or maybe the man... or boy, whatever age he happened to be, was a master manipulator.

"Brianna never seemed the type to be after excitement. I hear she's not her mother's daughter... in the personality side, anyway," Aden said, grinning. Timothy nodded.

"Yeah. My dad and Link told me all about what Queen Zelda was like when she was younger. Always running about looking for an adventure," he said.

"Maybe Brianna really is like that too, she just never realised it before!" Aden said, sounding pleased with himself at this particular deduction.

"Maybe," Timothy shrugged. He didn't really care if Brianna had suddenly found a passion for adventure or not. He just cared about getting her safely away from Molasar.

"But heck, she's still just a little girl," Aden continued.

"Oh hardly," Timothy said sarcastically.

"She's fifteen Tim, fif-teen," Aden replied patronisingly.

"I know!" Timothy snapped. "But she's very mature for fifteen," he added, blushing slightly.

"Gosh, no need to get so defensive, Tim. Jeez, anyone would think you had the hots for Bri, or something," Aden laughed.

"I don't!" Timothy quickly replied, turning to look back at the water.

"Haha, Tim, you're such a cradle snatcher, d'you know that? She's like five years younger than you!" Aden said, joking.

"I'm not a cradle snatcher! I don't like Brianna. Not like that, anyway," Timothy retorted. He frowned, and ran a hand through his curly black hair.

"I'll bet it's why you turn down all the other girls. 'Cause you're saving yourself especially for our Princess Bri," Aden continued, grinning widely.

"Oh sure!" Timothy replied, trying to remain calm.

"Do you write all that soppy poetry for her, too?" Aden laughed.

"Do you want a punch, or what?!" Timothy said angrily.

"I was just joking, Tim, honestly, sometimes, you're way too serious," Aden replied.

"I love Brianna, but only like a brother. Like Ewan loves her. Like that," Timothy insisted.

"Alright, alright, calm down. But really, from the way you were acting, it did sound like you fancied her, or something. I mean, I wouldn't blame you. With her being a princess, and all," Aden replied, grinning widely.

"Just shut up. Like Brianna would even look at me anyway," Timothy said. He continued to stare down at the water. It seemed to have become a little more rougher. He stepped away from the sides, a little nervous.

"Oh, so you DO like her! Go on Tim, admit it. You're in love with Princess Brianna aren't you? Haha, that's the funniest thing I ever heard in a while! What's Ewan gonna say about it?" Aden pressed, still laughing.

"Well, he can't exactly say anything in his present state, can he?" Timothy snapped, his tone still angry. Aden suddenly went quiet, thinking about the young prince. He eventually leaned over, and patted Timothy on the shoulder.

"I'm sorry about before," he said quietly. Timothy remained silent.


Link managed to open his eyes as he felt himself being gently shaken. Despite his lack of sleep, he managed to get up, right away. He looked at Zelda, and gave her a small kiss.

"Sal is here," said Zelda softly after they had parted. She let one hand gently tuck a stray lock of hair behind Link's ear. They drew together in a hug, just holding each other made things seem all that less murky, that little bit clearer. "Please, come back in one piece," pleaded Zelda softly, leaning against the strong frame of her husband.

"I promise," said Link, slowly stepping away. His glance locked longingly onto Zelda's and he turned away, pulling on his boots. Zelda leaned over him.

"And...be careful," she reminded, her words choked up with emotion. Link stood up, and gave Zelda one last parting kiss, holding her chin firmly before stepping away.

"Everything is going to be okay," said Link reassuringly.

"Is it?" asked Zelda, her gaze falling to the floor. Link took her by the hand.

"With all my heart Zelda, with all my soul, I'll make sure things go back to how they were, how they were supposed to be," said Link, his eyes solemn and sincere. Zelda managed a small smile.

"I know," she said softly, her gaze once again falling to the floor.

"Goodbye," said Link.

"I love you," reminded Zelda.

"As do I," said Link before turning to leave. Zelda did not watch him leave. She merely waited a while, then walked out onto the balcony, just to see the huge form of Sal flying away from the castle, and into the early morning grey. She then stepped away from the taunting coolness of the outside and shut the door behind her. She left her room, and made her way to return to her son.

When Zelda walked into Ewan's room, she noticed another figure, sitting by her son's bedside. As soon as she entered, the figure stood up and turned to her.

"Oh Zelda, I'm so sorry," said Fayette, walking up to her step-sister, and enveloping her in a comforting hug. Zelda didn't know how to respond, but suddenly realised that this was no stunt of Fayette's. This was genuine concern. After a moment or so, the two separated, and when Zelda's eyes met Fayette's, there was not one ounce of anything even near her step-sister's usual conniving stare. Just utter sympathy and sincerity. Fayette took Zelda's hand and led her to her son's bedside, allowing her to sit down.

"How long have you been here?" asked Zelda, her words softly formed, as she gazed upon her son.

"I...a few hours maybe, I came in to see how you were, and when I saw you had gone to get some rest...well, I stayed with him," admitted Fayette.

"Thank you," murmured Zelda, looking down at her hands, clasped tightly in her lap.

"It gave me some time to think Zelda, about, well about everything. I've been so selfish, so unreasonable...and everyone hates me for that. But I have no one to blame but myself. When I think of all the things I've done, said to people, they way I treated you, and Link...and Selina. To think that Raymundo was killed, and this, this has happened to Ewan. He's so kind, so good, he doesn't deserve to be like this, not when there are others far more deserving of the punishment," said Fayette, sounding angry, yet upset. Zelda turned and saw her step-sister's face.

"Faye, the only people who deserve this are those who commit it! You shouldn't say such things," said Zelda honestly. Fayette turned away.

"This bad blood between us, how foolish it is. All these years we've scrapped and bickered for no reason, it shouldn't have to take such an event to bring people closer, we should have been there for each other in the first place, we're sister's for goodness sake," she said quietly. Zelda stood up.

"You're right," she agreed, looking down at Ewan. "You don't realise how sorry I am that I was never there for you, when Raymundo..." said Zelda, her words trailing off. It didn't feel right to talk of death before her son. She sat back down. Fayette looked round.

"Do you know who may've done it?" she asked softly. Zelda shook her head, her eyes fixed on the rise and fall of Ewan's chest.

"I don't know. Which is what makes it even worse. I fear that his attacker may have been someone who held a grudge against the family, rather than Ewan. He never had any enemies, none that I knew of. What if was an old enemy of mine? The goddesses know I've made enough. What if my son is being made to pay for a mistake made by his mother?" asked Zelda, guilt creeping into the corners of her voice.

"No, you can't blame yourself," said Faye sternly, giving Zelda another hug.

"Oh Faye, I've been so selfish, if anyone deserves to be where Ewan is, it should be me!" sobbed Zelda.

"No. No-one deserves that, least of all you! Look, let's not think of ourselves, let's think of him, and concentrate on making him feel as comfortable as possible," said Fayette firmly. Zelda finally nodded.

"Yes..." said Zelda, taking Ewan's hand. "Link has gone to find Leigh..." she added. Fayette remained silent for a moment or two.

"She would know how to heal Ewan," said Fayette slowly.

"If I had not demanded her to leave," said Zelda forlornly, still surprised that Fayette had not managed to give some glib remark.

"I'm sure Link will find her, and she will doubtlessly be able to heal Ewan," said Fayette.

"I only hope he can find her safely, if she has gone to Sosaria, then...well I don't know what to think," finished Zelda.


So, her worst fears had been verified. Leigh stared up at the castle, a sickening feeling beginning to climb up inside her. She had been dragged from the ship, and through the charred streets of Evian, and now here she was. There had been crowds, jeering and cursing her, throwing debris at her. It looked like the Guardian had not wasted any time on making the people whom had once loved and respected her turn against her. There had been not one sympathetic face in that crowd. And now, here she was. At the castle of Lord British, or at least where it had once stood. Now there was a huge red fort, the backdrop a set of mountains which had been carved into the Guardian's true form. She felt sick. She was being delivered to the Guardian, and this was now his domain. It was dark, and flaming torches lit up the castle, burning almost with hatred. She was given no more time to pause and was dragged across the lowered drawbridge and into the castle. She attempted to shrug free of her captor's grasp, but she was weak, as they were strong. The Guardian had had plenty of time, 15 years even. Too long. She was pulled through the corridors of the castle, and she saw that the place had changed as much on the inside as it had on the outside. This certainly wasn't the way she had imagined her return. The doors to the throne room opened as they arrived, and Leigh finally managed to get a firm touch of the ground with her feet, and managed to walk the last few paces, before she stood before the throne of her old friend, her old liege, Lord British. He smiled when he saw her, and she fell to one knee as she was promptly freed and nudged forward. She quickly rose, trying to look as dignified as possible.

"Ah, Avatar," began Lord British. Leigh said nothing. This man was not the one she had known when she was last in Sosaria. "That is how thou wouldst greet an old friend? Really, I am disappointed. After all those times we shared together," went on the king. Leigh folded her arms, an ill-amused expression spreading across her features.

"You are no friend of mine," she said quietly. British raised an eyebrow, an uncharacteristic smirk on his face.

"Oh Avatar, I'm so...how does one say this...hurt?" he said.

"You will be," said Leigh in a menacing tone. But this merely raised another smirk.

"And how, dear Avatar, dost thou expect to hurt me? Art thou a fool, or merely just disillusioned?" asked British.

"Neither." British just smirked again.

"Oh, but where has thou wit gone Avatar? I must say, those years in Pagan have certainly worn thee down, but they didst give myself plenty of time to show Sosaria how it shouldst be ruled," said British. Leigh stood forward, one fist raised, but her way was blocked by the crossing of two halberds. She stepped back. A look of steely determination now covered her face.

"Did you really think I would leave you to it? You knew I would come back sometime," said Leigh angrily.

"Oh, but thou wouldst not be here, were it not for mine intervention," informed British. Leigh again said nothing. "Thou dost know, now that I am in the flesh I will have a much better advantage to get myself acquainted with thee. After all, I have heard that there are far more enjoyable ways to get inside a woman, other than slicing through the flesh of her belly," leered British. Leigh remained silent, and British smiled. "Where is thy tongue Avatar? I do hope one of my minions has not cut it out," asked British, laughing. The rest of the men in room also laughed along with British, probably more through fear than amusement.

"I will kill you," promised Leigh coldly. British laughed even louder at this comment, joined by his men. Then he stepped down from his throne and she felt two hands grab her from both sides. He leaned close to her, his breath hot on her face.

"Thou wilt never kill me Avatar, because my powers are infinitely more so than thine will ever be," he whispered menacingly. Leigh drew back, for some reason shaken by his words. She knew why she was. Because she knew there was some truth to them, her powers were nothing to his, in fact, her powers were extremely limited. Even the most powerful spell she knew would never kill him, and her current physical powers were little above zero. British stepped back, looking to his men. "Thou dost know were to taketh her, I shall meet thee there," said British, before Leigh was hauled from the throne room, and away from the castle.


Link watched down below as Sal guided him through the clouds that lay above the sky. All he could see was blue, rippling blue.

"If I so much as get a sniff of the monster that did that to Ewan, I swear, he shall be no more than toast!" continued Sal angrily.

"You'd have to wait for me to kill him first," said Link through gritted teeth.

"I only hope you know what you are doing. Sosaria is not a great place to be at the moment, in case you hadn't noticed," said Sal.

"I know, but I have to go Sal, if that's were Leigh is," said Link.

"Is there no-one else who could help?" asked Sal.

"If there was, we wouldn't be doing this," said Link.

"No, I mean, have you not looked? In events such as these you're supposed to send messenger's to every country, pleading for the best doctors, that's what you should do!" said Sal.

"I know, and it is being done, but Leigh can restore life even after it is lost! No-one else can even do that!" said Link.

"But Sosaria is dangerous!" protested Sal.

"And my son draws near death every breath I take," retorted Link. Sal shook her head.

"Fine, I was only saying," said Sal.

"I know, and I thank you for your consideration, but this just needs to be done. How much longer until we reach Sosaria?" Link sighed.

"Not long my impatient friend," replied Sal calmly.

"Thank you so much," said Link gratefully. Sal smiled.

"It's nice to be acknowledged," she said. Link nodded. Then he saw the first tip of land, the first signs of Sosaria. "Land ho!" roared Sal.

"Take me to the first town we see, if Leigh is in Sosaria, people are bound to have gotten word. She is the Avatar after all," theorised Link.

"And word never spreads better among the vast hordes of peasants that inhabit this land," said Sal. Link wasn't sure if the dragon was being serious. He just shrugged.

"At least I hope anyway, we have little time as it is," said Link. Sal nodded.

"That is true," she agreed. Link looked back down to the world below, as the land began to spread out like an old, unfurling map.

"If my geography is any good, the nearest town we should come across should be the forest town of Dew," said Link, squinting far below. Sal nodded. "The nearest after that, well, it's Evian, the capital," continued Link. Without a word, Sal suddenly swooped down low, Link grasping on tight. "You could have warned me!" he shouted, over the whistling air that blew across them.

"I could have, but that would have been no fun!" replied Sal loudly. Link managed a half grin, but that soon vanished as Sal landed with a crash, and Link was thrown from her back.

"Art thou okay?" asked a concerned but timid voice some time later. Link cringed as he tried to get up, only to find he couldn't.

"Ouch," he finally said. He looked up, to see a pleasant looking woman, maybe in her early forties.

"Oh, please do forgive me, mine name is Aimé good sir," introduced the woman, who Link noticed was dressed in a monks robes.

"Link," said Link, holding up his hand, which she firmly grasped and helped him up. "Thanks," he said.

"Thou didst land in our vineyard," said the woman, looking at the huge dragon, still planted in the middle of the vineyard.

"Uh, I'm sorry about that, Sal must've just lost her balance," explained Link with a quick smile.

"Sal?" questioned Aimé. Link nodded.

"Yeah, my dragon," said Link.

"Oh, sir, we thought...some of the guards shot the dragon from the sky. They're vicious creatures, especially green dragons like that one. Only the red dragons of the Preceptors are allowed to roam our skies," said Aimé, looking most apologetic.

"What?!" asked Link, running over to the dragon, worried. An arrow was sticking from her neck. It must've been a strong arm to deliver the arrow, most of the time, the projectiles just normally bounced off the dragon's tough hide. He turned to Aimé. "We have to help her," he said. Aimé paused.

"Oh, sir, I wouldst certainly aid thee in any way, 'tis just that how can I be sure that I could trust thee? Thou mayest be some mad mage, who hath a dragon that couldst rip our abbey apart at any word," said Aimé. Link frowned.

"Look, Sal, she's tame! Why would I want to hurt you?" asked Link.

"There are enemy forces outside Sosaria, we have to be wary..." began Aimé. Suddenly two guards appeared.

"Who is this?" demanded the first one. Aimé turned to look at Link. Then the guard.

"Well?" asked the other, rather impatiently.

"Link, look, I don't mean you any harm, I come in peace. I'm looking for someone, someone vital to the recovery of my ill son," said Link. He wasn't sure whether it was wise or not to mention he was from Hyrule.

"But thou dost ride upon a foul beast of destruction, thou must be evil!" declared the first guard, raising his sword towards Link. But Aimé raised her hand.

"Wait, what do thou think thyself to be doing? I know this man," said Aimé quickly. The guard turned and looked at her.

"Thou dost?" he asked.

"Do not taint thy tongue by defending such a man, he must be a twisted mage!" the second guard snapped.

"No, really. I speak the truth, this man is a friend of mine, he hails from Conim," lied Aimé. The two guards looked at Link suspiciously for a moment.

"Fine, but thy still have to explain the presence of this creature," said the guard. Link nodded.

"It captured him, he was journeying from Evian when the foul thing rose from a copse of trees and snatched him in its great maw, he couldst not do a thing about it!" exclaimed Aimé.

"Then we shall kill it!" declared the second guard. Suddenly Sal rose up, breathing great streams of fire from her snout. The guard screamed as he was caught alight, and the second guard ran forward, only to be lifted up, and bitten in two. Aimé grabbed Link's arm and ran away, to the abbey, dragging him inside and down a flight of stairs.

"I know thee, thou art from Hyrule," said Aimé, closing the cellar doors. Link nodded.

"I take it those guards wouldn't have reacted nicely to knowing my true origins," figured Link.

"I'm afraid that it is so. The countries are hardly on speaking terms, thou art their ruler, correct?" asked Aimé. Link nodded again, and Aimé kneeled before him straight away.

"An honour to be in thine presence dear sir, but I don't think many others would share mine feelings. A lot of things hath changed in Sosaria since the Avatar left," said Aimé, looking downcast.

"That's who I am here for, Leigh," said Link quickly. Aimé looked up.

"But she is no longer alive, Lord British is even beginning to deny that there ever was a 'Leigh'," she protested. Link shook his head.

"She is very alive, recently returned to this land. She has been elsewhere for the last decade and a half," said Link.

"You say your son was ill, you need the Avatar's aid?" asked Aimé, looking confused.

"She can heal like no other, resurrect even!" exclaimed Link. Aimé smiled a little.

"Resurrect? Why we have a dozen healer's in Sosaria, capable of such tasks. Or at least we did. Now that the Fellowship has become re-established, all healers hath been outlawed," said Aimé. It was Link's turn to be lost. "In any case, thou wilt need a new alias, if thou wouldst wish to be received well in this land," said Aimé. Link frowned. He heard a roar from outside, followed by a cackle of glee. It looked as though Sal had won her battle. Aimé looked slightly worried. "I take it that thou shall be travelling to Evian?" she asked. Link nodded.

"Then you shalt hath to re-name yourself something traditionally Sosarian, and you shall be from the isle of scars. Thou dost look like an accomplished fighter," began Aimé. Link nodded,

"I like to think so."

"Gibson. That name is not too conspicuous. The isle of scars doth have a school, known as the Library of pain, thou didst train there. That shouldst make people a little wary about crossing thy path," said Aimé. She glanced at Link's attire. "That is acceptable, nothing too unusual," she said.

"Why are you helping me?" asked Link.

"Because thou dost seem like a good man, yet under British's new rule, many a good man hath been slain, I do not condone it," said Aimé. Link nodded. Suddenly, the doors to the cellar opened, and someone walked down. They seemed surprised to see the two conversing. They were also dressed in the attire of a monk, the hood draped over their face. "Oh, brother Tobias!" exclaimed Aimé, also in apparent surprise. The man strolled over, lowering his hood, and glancing at Link.

"Who is this?" he asked. Aimé smiled.

"Gibson of the Isle of scars," she introduced. Link smiled and shook Tobias' hand.

"I came down to get a bucket, there's quite a fire going on out there," said Tobias to Aimé.

"Really?" asked Aimé, feigning surprise.

"Indeed there is, but I heard the most fascinating news," said Tobias, not appearing to be in too much of a hurry, considering there was a fire outside.

"Really, what would that be brother Tobias?" inquired Aimé.

"A woman entered Sosaria, claiming to be the Avatar of all things! Apparently she is being taken to the shrine of Sacrifice. British is sick of people attempting to blacken the true Avatar's name," said brother Tobias. He gave a short laugh. "To think, a woman claiming to be the Avatar! 'Tis simply inconceivable!" Link frowned.

"How can you be sure it isn't the true Avatar?" he asked, knowing full well that it had to be Leigh. The monk laughed.

"I would hardly expect a man of the scarred isle to be loyal to the Avatar. So many have waned from that legend's ways that it happens to be doubtful he ever did exist!" said the man, an arrogant tone creeping in. Link looked at him, and gave a small grin.

"You never know," he said with a shrug. The man was slight in build, and a mop of dark hair fell over his eyes, and he had a jovial if not a sly grin. He looked quite young, mid twenties perhaps, but his appearance was made much older by his bedraggled beard.

"In any case, British apparently knew this Avatar, he wouldst surely know if it was really a her," said Tobias. He shrugged. "Well, unlike some, I do have things to be done. And sister Aimé, one may consider it quite scandalous that a woman such as yourself should be alone with a gentleman such as Mr. Gibson," commented Tobias before retreating up the steps. Link shot Aimé a questioning look.

"He's like that," she sighed. Link nodded his head.

"Well, where is this Shrine of Sacrifice?" he asked.

"Near Geyser, in the desert," said Aimé, "You aren't really going to go, are you?" Link nodded.

"I have to, my son is dying," said Link gravely. Aimé looked down.

"It could take days to reach, even by horseback," she warned.

"Yeah, I guess I can hardly take Sal," reasoned Link.

"And thou wilt meet many hardships on thy way," continued Aimé.

"I don't suppose you have any horses going spare?" asked Link hopefully. Aimé finally gave in.

"This really doth mean a lot to you doth it not?" she asked.

"More than my own life," said Link seriously. Aimé appeared to think something over for a moment.

"We have a few horses here at the abbey, if you like, you can use one. I usually take care of them, so they shall not be missed," suggested Aimé. Link smiled sincerely at Aimé.

"Thank you, you do not know how much that would mean to me," he said.

"You have no idea what 'twould mean to the people of this country, would their true Avatar return," said Aimé.

"You know her, don't you?" asked Link. Aimé tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear.

"We met, briefly. She momentarily saved this country from the fate it has now befallen," she said. Link nodded.

"What exactly goes on at this shrine?" asked Link, although he already had a vague idea.

"It used to be there for good, but now...in the recent past, many a good person has been cruelly sacrificed there, mostly former consorts of the Avatar. My guess is that is what may happen to Leigh, if it was her," said Aimé sadly.

"Do people not protest?" asked Link, horrified.

"No, they do not seem to have the faith, or the spirit. I feel as if I am the only one who remembers anything before Leigh left, but that can't be true, surely? I just think those who can remember do not wish to speak out, not after what happened to the companions," murmured Aimé. She let out a wistful sigh. "Come, I'll get that horse ready for thee, then thou can be on thine way," said Aimé. Link nodded, and followed her up the stairs, hoping he wouldn't be to late, for Leigh, or his son.

As he and Aimé walked outside, he noticed the general destruction of the vineyards that could have only been caused by his scalier friend. Sal however was nowhere to be seen. Aimé looked a little distressed at the mess, but ignored it, leading Link to the stables.

"Dost thou know where thine friend mightest be?" she asked. Link assumed she was referring to Sal. He shrugged.

"She'll be around I expect," he mumbled, looking up into the blue sky. At that moment, he saw a large, dark silhouette in the sky. "That'll be her," he said. Aimé looked up, and then drew under the shelter of the stable, opening one of the stalls.

"I don't expect that thy wilt know thy way around this fair country?" asked Aimé, as she led out a beautiful horse from the stall. Link shook his head.

"I have a rough knowledge of its geography, but I really don't know it well," admitted Link. Aimé looked thoughtful for a moment. She patted the horse, then placed a saddle upon its back.

"If you follow the trail out of the main part of Dew, soon thou shalt see the ending of a mountain to thine right. If thou head off the trail at this point, thou shouldst soon find a small hut. Tseremed the ranger lives there, I am certain that if thou didst tell him of thy quest he would be more than happy to aid thee," advised Aimé. Link nodded. He quickly mounted upon the horse, and smiled down at Aimé as he took the reins.

"Thank you," he said sincerely. He looked around. "And, er...sorry about the mess," he hastily apologised. Aimé smiled back at Link.

"Good luck in thine quest, I hope thou dost bear well," she wished him. Link nodded, then rode away from the spot, onto the main dirt track that ran through Dew. He waved as he trotted away, but Aimé had already ran back into the abbey.

Link followed the track a short while, passing another building next to the abbey, before coming upon the outskirts of a boggy marsh. Thankfully the track veered away from the marsh, to the south, wish Link eagerly followed. Soon the skirts of the marsh had vanished, only to be replaced by a thick brocade of trees and foliage. Link trotted on, following the line of the mountain that lay thinly veiled to his right. Soon it seemed to end, and he caused his steed to plunge into the thinly spread trees, and follow his course until he, as Aimé had told him, saw a small hut poking out among the trees. Link quickly rushed to it, and dismounted his horse outside the hut. He looked around, and examined the hut, which revealed a tattered cloth draped over the frame as a door. He couldn't exactly knock, so he called out.

"Hello?" he called unsurely trying to recall the name Aimé had given him. "Tseremed?" he called again. The cloth twitched to one side, and a face peered out, a man who was maybe five years Link's senior. The figure emerged, regarding Link suspiciously.

"What doth thy want stranger?" questioned the ranger. Link scratched the back of his head, a little unsure of what to say. The man waited patiently, watching Link carefully.

"The monk at the abbey advised that I should seek counsel with you fine sir, Aimé. I hail from Hyrule, looking for a friend," began Link. The man folded his arms.

"Thou wilt find no friend in these marred lands," said Tseremed somewhat bitterly.

"Leigh Temple," said Link quickly. The ranger looked up sharply, and frowned.

"In this country? Thou art looking in the wrong place my friend," he said. Link shook his head.

"She is here, and being escorted to the shrine of sacrifice. I need your help to guide me there, before it is to late," said Link solemnly. Tseremed shook his head.

"That is a mortal who hath been dead for years. Whomever is being taken to that shrine is clearly an impostor!" insisted the ranger. Link shook his head.

"No, I have seen her recently, she insisted on returning here, to help this land from whatever shadow it lies under!" said Link.

"You have seen the Avatar?" asked Tseremed. Link nodded.

"Please, agree to help me," he asked. Tseremed let out a short sigh.

"I am not the man I once was. I fear my mind, nor body, would be up to such a demand," said Tseremed wearily. Link inspected the man for a moment. He did show his age, lines crossed his face wickedly, yet under that he still maintained a youthful appearance and his hair was greying rapidly. He did not seem to be unfit in any way, he had a lean and well-built figure, that looked as though it was used to many years of wandering.

"Did you know her?" asked Link. Tseremed smiled wistfully.

"Somewhat briefly. What a charm 'twould have been to be in her fine company many moments longer," he said.

"Then why do you persist in resisting my request?" asked Link. Tseremed sighed.

"Wait one moment friend," said Tseremed, before disappearing into his hut. A few seconds later, he re-emerged, a heavy pack on his back. He motioned to Link's horse.

"Is that to be thine steed on this journey?" he asked. Link nodded. "Fine," he murmured, before putting to fingers to his lips and letting out a long whistle. Seconds later a sound of soft hooves could be heard, and a brown horse appeared before them. Tseremed quickly mounted the horse, and motioned for Link to follow him. "We have little time, and a long distance to cover, so we may as well start immediately," said Tseremed, trotting down a rough torch lined path. Link followed.

"How many days of travelling do you expect is to take?" he asked. Tseremed gave a shrug of his shoulders.

"'Tis hard to tell in times like these. But, I would forecast it to take at least two and a half days, if the weather and the gods are on our side," said Tseremed.

"How far is Evian from here?" asked Link. Tseremed tilted his head as he rode forward.

"No more than a few hours. We should arrive by the cloak of darkness falls upon us, giving us ample time to dine and sleep. But, 'twill be required to get an early start, 4am, I shouldst say," went on the ranger. Link felt a little daunted by this request, he was already weary from his mad dash around Hyrule, but he knew it was the only thing to be done. "From Evian, we shall take a direct course towards Clude, but turn sharply north upon arrival at the Lock marshes. Through there we shall travel north, before turning west and heading to Geyser. It is mine guess that we shall have to shelter under the stars in the grasslands, between the marshes of Lock, and the dry lands of Geyser. After that, 'twill be half a day's ride to the shrine," said Tseremed, running through their task of things. Link nodded.

"Sounds like you've been planning this journey," commented Link dryly.

"Never dismiss a well-ordered mind. I knoweth mine country well friend, and I do believe that thou know my name, but I have nought knowledge of thine own," said Tseremed, changing the subject. Link smiled.

"Link of Hyrule," introduced Link. The man appeared to recognise his name, but said nothing, nor did he turn around.

"Then thou mightest be its Lord," he finally said.

"You could say that," agreed Link.

"Well, I am in the company of yet another fine hero. Perhaps not all is lost for this country," said Tseremed. Link remained silent, not wishing to pledge himself to anything. Not until his son was once again safe and healthy. "Or maybe not," interrupted Tseremed.

"My son is ill, I came here knowing that Leigh could save him," admitted Link.

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