Story Idea with Minish Vaati

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Story Idea with Minish Vaati

Postby Autismo555 » Mon Mar 28, 2016 8:43 pm

For a while now, I've had this idea of a LOZ fic that's been buzzing around my head. I'm calling it Vaati's Rehabilitation.

During the seven years after the events of Majora's Mask, infamous Minish Sage of Winds, Vaati escapes from the Dark Realm and seeks to reek havoc on Hyrule and rule it with an iron fist. During the festival of Princess Zelda's 18th birthday, Vaati attacks Hyrule Castle and easily dominates over the Seven Sages each, and was about to kill the Princess until he is interrupted by the untimely arrival of Link intervenes and defeats him with the four masks he obtained in Termina. When Link strikes the jewel on Vaati's forehead and dispels the evil away, only the Minish form of Vaati survives and he is taken before the Princess and the Seven Sages.

During the trial, Princess Zelda charges Vaati to reform his wicked ways under the watchful eye of the safes. Since Darunia is busy rebuilding Castle Town from the attack and Rauru has an obligation of guarding the Sacred Realm, Nabooru, Impa, Ruto, and Saria (in that order) are left to teach the de-powered and diminished Sage of Winds the meaning of humility, discipline, obedience, and kindness (also in that order) while a shadow grows in a deep part of Hyrule. Can Vaati really change his wicked ways for the better, or will the tragic and painful past he was forced to endure end him up into the void of the Evil Realm by the hands of the Goddesses?

Contains: F/M, feet, vore, boobs, body climbing, humiliation, handheld, gentle, feels

EDIT: Changed description to shorten it a little.
Last edited by Autismo555 on Tue Apr 05, 2016 9:00 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Story Idea with Minish Vaati

Postby cubedcinder » Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:57 am

Sounds most interesting. It'd be cool to see this get written by someone.

(Sorry it took so long to approve this post; I'm the only moderator and this is my first time logging into the board all week. :oops:)
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Re: Story Idea with Minish Vaati

Postby Autismo555 » Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:41 am

cubedcinder wrote:Sounds most interesting. It'd be cool to see this get written by someone.

(Sorry it took so long to approve this post; I'm the only moderator and this is my first time logging into the board all week. :oops:)


(It's alright. I was patient for the most part. Besides, if I don't have enough on my plate, I might take a crack at writing it for the site. We never have enough stories with Vaati in it, anyway.)
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Re: Story Idea with Minish Vaati

Postby Autismo555 » Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:53 pm

Okay, so here is the prologue to my Vaati story that I have had in my mind for quite some time now. I feel that this is the time to let my ideas loose on the world. Here's hoping you all enjoy my first VGGTS story!

----

Vaati's Redemption

Prologue - The Night Before the Festival

All was quiet one paticular eve in Hyrule. The full, silver moon hung about its apex in the night sky, shining its luminescence all over the land where the glow would reach. The villages, the forests, and the mountains were also overcome with the shade from the moonlight,many perfect contrast to how the night sky should be pictured as.

Almost everyone in Hyrule was fast asleep. Everyone and everything that roamed in the daytime, every Hylian, Kokiri, Goron, Zora, Gerudo, a every rarely, Sheikah were fast asleep under the grace of the midnight serenity, leaving only the nighttime creatures, the guards in every place outside of the Kokiri Forest, and burglars to stay wide awake as they performed their natural routine. Unbeknownst to everyone, there was one certain Hylian that was still awake, staring longingly into the horizon and beyond the night sky.

He was Hylian in origin, but was raised a child in the Kokiri Forest among the forest children. Like so many Kokiri, this Hylian wore a green tunic and an elongated green cap on his head, with brown boots and gloves on his hands. He sat next to a campfire near the edge of the woods, accompanied by his chestnut horse and friend, Epona. His eyes gazed up into the night sky, glittering with stars and thought back to the seven years he had spent outside of Hyrule.

He thought about his childhood, how he was casted out because the Kokiri thought he was different because he had no guardian fairy watching over him, how his life as a child had ended after the supposed death of the old Great Deku Tree at the hands of an oncoming evil. He thought about his departure from the Kokiri Forest, about the friends he made in Death Mountain, Zora's Domain, Karakiro, the Gerudo Desert, and in Castle Town. He thought about his adventures into the future as an adult and back, how he learned of his Hylian roots, and his destiny to stop the tyrannical king of the Gerudo, Ganondorf.

Link had thought about the people he had left behind in his emotional journey. He thought about Saria, his oldest friend who was more of a sister to him; he thought about Darunia, his sworn Goron brother who he entertained with Saria's Song; he thought about Ruto, the Zora Princess who he rescued from the belly of Lord Jabu Jabu; he thought Malon, the Lon Lon Ranch girl who gave Epona to him for his long journey ahead; most of the time, he thought about his fairy companion, Navi, the same companion he sought out for seven whole years after she bade him farewell at the end of his journey.

He thought about Impa, Nabooru, Rauru, King Zora, Talon, Ingo, some of the Kokiri, even that bratty Mido who was knew Link was an outcast and treated him as such; but the person that Link thought about the most was the daughter and sole heir of the Hyrule Royal Family, Princess Zelda. The same Princess Zelda he spent a short time with before he left on his journey. Not a day goes by that he did not think about the same Princess who he helped defeat Ganondorf in a ruined future as adults, and exposed his uprising when he returned to the past as a child. The same Princess he played with in the backyard of Hyrule Castle, exchanged stories of the forest and the world beyond, and parted ways with her on the day he left Hyrule for seven years.

That was going to change on the morrow, for the next day held a festival, honoring the founding of Hyrule, the first Hero of Legend, the first Princess of the Hyrule Royal Family. It was a celebration that only everyone in Hyrule could leave their homes and gather at the Castle Town. Every street would be filled with laughter and cheer, decorated with shops from every land in the nation, colorful banners, and food, familiar and foreign.

Link's face stretched lightly with an amused smirk; he knew there was another significance to tomorrow's events. He was not about to pass up the opportunity to see Princess Zelda again for the first time in seven long years. He had plenty to talk about with Zelda, and the first story he had in mind would be the emotional adventures he took in Termina. He would describe everything that happened to her, from the Skull Kid wielding Majora's Mask using the moon intending to use it to destroy Termina, to the rescuing of the Four Giants to stop said destruction. He still had the masks, the Mirror Shield, and the Gilded Sword from his adventures to prove it.

Epona snorted and whinnied a bit, averting Link's gaze towards his equine companion. He reached out and slowly brushed his hand along the side of her neck and torso, finishing up his act of affection with a few gentle but firm pats.

"Easy does it, old girl," the Hero of Time assured his horse. "You're just so excited to meet with a familiar face again, aren't you?"

Epona gave her head a nod. Link chuckled. "So am I. I can't wait to see everyone back at Castle Town again. I'm not sure how many will recognize me, what with me being gone for seven years straight. I just hope no one's going to be made at me for up and leaving them for seven years. Just imagine what they might say or do if they every saw my face around tomorrow."

Link sat up and stared up, wondering. "Every girl I've met will probably chew me out for being gone so long. Mido will probably brag about how his suspicions of Link being different from the Kokiri was right on the rupees. Malon might take you back and ban me from her ranch. I can picture Ingo coming at me with a pitchfork if I step anywhere near the gate. Ruto will probably be mad at me because I haven't followed through with her wedding that she intended for me and throw into Jabu Jabu."

Epona nuzzled her master's head with her own, causing Link to chuckle with amusement and drape his arm over her neck.

"You're right. I'm probably overreacting. There's no point in worrying about it now where I can live through it tomorrow" Link said with a yawn. "Well, we might as well not waste anymore time then. We'll head out first thing at dawn's light. What do you say, girl?"

The gorgeous mare rolled her body over and laid her head down against the grass as Link chuckled. "I'll take that as a yes," he said as he laid himself down on the ground next to her. "Good night, Epona."

For a while, Link couldn't sleep. All he could do was just lay on the grass, staring up into the night sky once more at the glittering stars twinkling, thinking about the heavens above and anything beyond that. Somewhere out there, there was that distant nebula in the heavens from where the three Golden Goddesses came from, the same three Goddesses who descended and used their power to give creation to Hyrule, filling it with the red earth, the laws, and the life to uphold those laws.

That life came from the Goddess of Courage, the very courage that Link was endowed with at a very young age to uphold, just as the laws from the Goddess of Wisdom that Zelda was endowed with as well. The strength of the Goddess of Power had long abandoned the clammy hand of Ganondorf's who now resided within in the void of the Evil Realm, leaving only Link and Zelda the only two living people in the world who wielded the power of the other two Goddesses.

Link knew deep down inside there was a strong bond between him and Zelda, even if one or the other were in worlds or countries apart. He felt that bond in Termina, on the night that Skull Kid pulled the moon down on Termina. He felt it many times during his seven years. That bond was what brought Link back to the edges of Hyrule in the first place. Tomorrow, he would he would use that bond to reunite the Princess at the celebration in Castle Town.

Stifling another wide yawn, Link let his heavy eyelids close over his eyes.

"Good night, Princess," was the last thing Link said before he let himself drift into an immediate deep sleep.

----

The only people who were allowed to roam the streets of Castle Town at night were the foreman and his workers, each of whom were given the task to set up the finishing touches to the streets for the festival. Almost every window was darkened, everyone in their houses or inns were fast asleep, ready for the day when all of Hyrule would join in merriment for the celebration that would be held in the streets.

There was one particular window that was lit intensely through the combined lights of a few lit candles. That glow came a window overlooking all of Castle Town and most of Hyrule, perched from the tallest tower in the middle of Hyrule Castle. Inside that window was the shaded figure of a young Hylian woman, dressed in a lilac nightgown that was light enough to breathe through with the late spring breeze. She was of Hylian royalty, her eyes as beautiful and blue as lapis lazuli, and long, pure gold hair flowing down to the middle of her back, her bangs hanging down her face and barely touching her shoulders.

The Hylian royal clinched her fist at her chest and felt a twinge of anxiousness as she watched over the distance, waiting for him to return, waiting for him and her to reunite as old friends. This had become routine for Princess Zelda for a few years now, and she could never curb the habit of thinking about him; the boy, now presumably grown up, whom spent a short time with her after he warned her about the Gerudo king, Ganondorf's treachery against the Hylian king, her father.

It had been nearly seven years ago. Nearly, bring the appropriate term, for tomorrow marked the seventh year that Zelda and the boy met in her garden. It would also mark the seventh year since the boy left Hyrule on his chestnut pony with nothing but his sword, shield, green Kokiri clothing on his head and back, and her family's magical heirloom which housed the power to move time itself.

A lot had changed during those seven years. Ganondorf had been banished to the Evil Realm for his crimes and crimes and was thus forgotten by nearly all of the people in Hyrule. Zelda's father died peacefully in his sleep, leaving the Princess to take the throne at the age of fifteen. The fires of conflict between the Hylian people and the Gerudo people had been quelled with the combined efforts of Zelda and the current Gerudo queen, Nabooru.

In the course of seven years, all of Hyrule had finally become a nation united, prospering with the peace that had finally been sought out for so long. Tomorrow, the entirety of Hyrule would join together in celebration of a glorious day passed down for countless generations. A day that marked the birth of the beloved land they were born and raised in.

'The festival would be even more special, if he were here with me right now,' Zelda thought with a lamenting sigh.

"Princess," a firm, female voice made Zelda jump with fright. She turned, and under the doorway to her room was her Sheikah guardian and surrogate mother, Impa. The Sheikah stood under the arc with her arms crossed and a slightly disapproving scowl on her face, her steeled breast and belly armor glistening in the light of the candles.

"Impa," Zelda said, fearful for words.

"You were supposed to be asleep hours ago, Princess," Impa informed her with a tone like a mother scolding her daughter. "The festivities begins today at mid-morning, and yet you are wide awake in the middle of the night, staring out into the horizon like you have done so many times before. I am aware of what troubles you, Princess, and I know you are waiting for him to return after seven years, but his has become a habit of yours. A bad habit, to put it more precisely."

Zelda looked down, averting her gaze away from her guardian and to her chest, her fingers unfurling into a gentle clasp. Impa walked up to the Princess and gently clasped her hands on her shoulders, a gentle touch like a concerned mother but a firm grip like a father's.

"Do you want to talk about what you are feeling right now, Princess?" Impa asked

Zelda inhaled, but the exhale came out a bit shaky. "It's that day of the year, Impa. The day that he left Hyrule for his own personal destination," the matriarch of Hyrule explained. "Even though that the time I've spent with him was short, I have felt that I have known him for a long time, almost like an eternity. Before he left, I gave him the Ocarina of Time to ensure that he would have a safe journey, and I have prayed for him for each day of each year. Now that the most important festival of Hyrule is upon us, I am constantly waiting for him to show himself. Just one time, that is all I am asking."

"And you believe that you will feel peace knowing that you can meet with him during this year's festival?" Impa deduced in the form of a question. Zelda nodded as her own form of her answer. "I see. You want to see how much he has changed since his departure and how much the last seven years has changed him."

This time, Zelda shook her head and looked up to Impa. "No, this is something entirely different.It is like I have this strange feeling that I have accomplished a great deed together with him. A deed determining the fate of all Hyrule that fell onto mine and his shoulders, and you, Ruto, Darunia, Rauru, Nabooru, and even Saria of the Forest were there to help seal that deed."

Impa remained silent for a moment as she took in the words of her charge.

"Now I see," she repeated in her understanding tone. "So you feel there is a deeper connection between you and him that happened in another time, and that time had taken place during this very day."

"Yes."

"And you feel you will see him again because that connection is strong."

"Yes."

Impa knew about the Princess's sense of deja vu. In another time when Hyrule was ruled under the iron fist of Ganondorf, Impa was awakened as the Sage of Shadow, one individual of the six races of Hyrule who were chosen by a higher power to vanquish the evils threatening the land. She, and the other individuals Princess Zelda had mentioned, were the Sages responsible for sealing Ganondorf into the Evil Realm where he would spend an eternity in a vast world of emptiness between realms.

After the deed had been done, Hyrule became at peace for the first time in seven years. Impa and the other five Sages retained their status, gaining the power to transcend back in time to merge their spirit forms into their younger selves, moments just before Link warned Princess Zelda of Ganondorf's threat. Ever since Ganondorf's sentence was carried out, the spirits of the Six Sages remained within their younger counterparts to watch over Hyrule and reawaken to stop any major threat if necessary.

Impa gently embraced Zelda in her arms and hugged her close, trying not to poke her to much with her armor as she gave the Princess an empathetic hug. "Do not worry, Princess. You have said yourself: you and he have a connection so strong that not even the hands of fate can sever. If you have prayed that Link's journey was safe and you have felt any form of safety in your heart, it means that he is faring better l, no matter what obstacles he has encountered. If you feel that he will come in the festival, then it means that he will come in any shape, form, or guise. It means he will come to see you."

Zelda found comfort in Impa's words the same way she found them after the death of her father. She gently joined her arms around Impa and embraced her back. "Thank you, Impa. In my time of need, you always found a way to assure me that everything will be alright."

Impa smiled tenderly at the Princess as she stroked her golden blonde hair. "Your mother asked me to protect you from whatever ails you, Princess, and your worries have ailed you tonight," said, breaking the embrace apart. "Now then, you must get some sleep, Princess. You have a big day coming at dawn's light and you need to be well awake for the ceremony."

Zelda nodded with acknowledgement and turned to her queen-sized bed. She placed herself in the middle of the bed under the covers and gently tucked herself in. Impa smiled and turned herself around and proceeded to walk out of the bedroom door, when the coo of Zelda's voice halted her.

"Impa," Zelda called for her. "Do you really believe that Link will show tomorrow?"

The Sheikah turned and met the Princess's curious gaze, a sympathetic mask that she retained on her face. "I cannot say. Even I must have my doubts about it, Princess," said Impa. "However, if the Goddesses have willed it to be, then there is a chance that Link will reveal himself to you during the festival, no matter how small that chance may be."

An angelic smile spread across the Princess's porcelain face, and a gentle moan came from her throat. "Thank you, Impa. I shall use those words as my comfort for the rest of the day," she said while she covered her mouth to yawn properly. "Good night, Impa."

Impa nodded gently. "Good night, Princess. Pleasant dreams."

"Pleasant dreams," the matriarch replied as the Sheikah closed the doors to her bedroom, disappearing from her sight. She turned to her candles, breathed a gentle puff of her breath, and the lights were instantly extinguished.

The shadows shrouded the entirety of the Princess's bedroom with only the moonlight to provide the comforting glow. Zelda turned her head to the Windows on her right and thought the glass, gazed out into the stars of the night sky. She could not explain it, but she felt that somewhere out there, Link was lying on the grass, staring up at the same cluster of stars that she too stared at. Perhaps this was part of the bond that Impa spoke to her about, how the bond between Zelda and Link was so strong, she felt she was seeing what Link was seeing at the moment.

"Good night, Link," Zelda whispered to herself. "Pleasant dreams."

With that, the Princess closed her eyes and drifted into an immediate deep sleep. Despite how early she might wake up, she would always find a way to feel refreshed for the festival later that morning.

----

In the dark of the Lost Woods, most of the mysterious and forbidden land untouchable by the mooinlight's gentle touch, there was a single tree, propping up an individual on its strong, petrified branch. It was a single Skull Kid, sleeping with his witch-like hat over his shadowed face as a dark and light fairy slept on his belly.

The Skull Kid dreamed of his mischief he caused in Termina, how the fairy boy saved him from that cursed mask he stole, and how he was left alone with his fairy sibling companions, Tatl and Tael. He dreamed of how he ascended back into Hyrule from that passageway hollowed out into that tree trunk and lived among his fellow Skull Kids, dancing and playing their flutes. He even had musical sessions with that forest girl who used her wooden ocarina to teach him her song. He giggled when he found himself dancing to the song's energetic rhythm.

Suddenly, a noise resounded somewhere near the Skull Kid, waking him, Tatl and Tael up in the process. He stretched himself, yawned, and scratched himself on his thigh, looking around to see what was causing that racket at this hour.

His piercing yellow eyes caught the sight of darkness in wind form, creating a big ball of black that surged and oozed like some poisonous sludge, much more toxic than the murkiest of all swamps. The ball of darkness, surrounded by the winds swirling around it, grew as big as a Kokiri stood, except it had grown itself to become a few feet bigger than the tallest Know-It-All Brother of the forest children.

Then, from out of the darkness came a figure, the appearance of a young man in the shadows with a cape that flapped in the winds, the cap that hung well from the top of his head, and an eye on the left side of his face glowing an evil red light. The fairy siblings and the Skull Kid jumped as they hid behind the tree and watched the figure standing on the ground like an evil menacing statue.

The figure clenched his fist up to himself, a low young growl emanating as streams of gusts whipped around his hand. Skull Kid stuck his head out to better observe this interloper and the power he possessed. It was like watching someone willingly putting on the cursed Majora's Mask and had complete control over it.

Suddenly, the figure whipped his hand, and a powerful squall was shot in the direction of that nearby tree, flinging the wood backwards in splinters with the fury of a thousand blades simultaneously at work. The winds that whipped and blew around the figure's hand called as he looked towards the tree he shredded with his power.

"I was certain that there was someone there spying on me," the figure said to himself as he looked down into his hand. "No matter. That is of little consequence right now. After so long being sealed away like some common criminal, I have returned at last. Hyrule shall pay dearly with its life for destroying mine, and there will be no stopping me this time."

The figure turned his hand over, and he beheld three glowing triangles dimly radiating from the back of his hand, projected in the air like a phantom image. Out of the three triangles, the bottom left triangle was glowing orange, the symbol of power corrupting its host.

"Not while I have a third of the Light Power bestowed upon me anyway."

The figure gave a hearty chuckle, molding it into a fit of maniacal laughter that echoed in the air like a ghost as he and the ball disappeared into the winds. Behind the stump of the tree the figure had shredded was a traumatized Skull Kud, shaking uncontrollably while Tatl and Tael huddled up to him for security.
Last edited by Autismo555 on Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Story Idea with Minish Vaati

Postby cubedcinder » Thu Apr 07, 2016 2:06 pm

Nice work so far! Looking forward to the next chapter. :)
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Re: Story Idea with Minish Vaati

Postby Autismo555 » Tue May 31, 2016 5:49 pm

Okay, how about this for a revised story plot?

Seven years after the events of Majora's Mask, Vaati, the infamous Mage of Winds, attacks Hyrule Castle Town on the day that marked the two hundred years of Hyrule's founding. Before Vaati could kill Princess Zelda and take the land for his own, the untimely arrival of Link prevents her death, forcing a battle between the Hero of Time and the wind sorcerer. After Link defeats Vaati using his skills and the power of his transformational masks he obtained in Termina, Vaati returns to his old Minish self, and he is forced to make a decision: Vaati would be rehabilitated under the watch of the female sages and granted amnesty by Princess Zelda, or he would be sealed away in the Evil Realm for all eternity. Meanwhile, a shadow grows in a dark part of Hyrule, along with an deep voiced laugh.
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Re: Story Idea with Minish Vaati

Postby cubedcinder » Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:40 pm

Autismo555 wrote:Okay, how about this for a revised story plot?

Seven years after the events of Majora's Mask, Vaati, the infamous Mage of Winds, attacks Hyrule Castle Town on the day that marked the two hundred years of Hyrule's founding. Before Vaati could kill Princess Zelda and take the land for his own, the untimely arrival of Link prevents her death, forcing a battle between the Hero of Time and the wind sorcerer. After Link defeats Vaati using his skills and the power of his transformational masks he obtained in Termina, Vaati returns to his old Minish self, and he is forced to make a decision: Vaati would be rehabilitated under the watch of the female sages and granted amnesty by Princess Zelda, or he would be sealed away in the Evil Realm for all eternity. Meanwhile, a shadow grows in a dark part of Hyrule, along with an deep voiced laugh.


Fine by me if you're comfortable with it yourself. :)

I saw your e-mail, BTW. I'll send you a reply tomorrow morning once I've had a chance to unwind from the long trip back.
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Re: Story Idea with Minish Vaati

Postby Autismo555 » Sun Jun 05, 2016 1:54 pm

cubedcinder wrote:
Autismo555 wrote:Okay, how about this for a revised story plot?

Seven years after the events of Majora's Mask, Vaati, the infamous Mage of Winds, attacks Hyrule Castle Town on the day that marked the two hundred years of Hyrule's founding. Before Vaati could kill Princess Zelda and take the land for his own, the untimely arrival of Link prevents her death, forcing a battle between the Hero of Time and the wind sorcerer. After Link defeats Vaati using his skills and the power of his transformational masks he obtained in Termina, Vaati returns to his old Minish self, and he is forced to make a decision: Vaati would be rehabilitated under the watch of the female sages and granted amnesty by Princess Zelda, or he would be sealed away in the Evil Realm for all eternity. Meanwhile, a shadow grows in a dark part of Hyrule, along with an deep voiced laugh.


Fine by me if you're comfortable with it yourself. :)

I saw your e-mail, BTW. I'll send you a reply tomorrow morning once I've had a chance to unwind from the long trip back.


Just saw your tweet on the feed. I know what you might say about how it's lengthy and all, but I'll try and lessen the chapters a bit as I go along. If I'm also being a bit repetitive, I apologize for that, too. It's the first time I've written a LOZ piece ever (but I won't let that excuse the way I write).
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Re: Story Idea with Minish Vaati

Postby Autismo555 » Sun Jun 05, 2016 2:02 pm

Here is Chapter 1. I'm always open to positive feedback, honest criticisms and suggestions from my readers.

Chapter I - Dawn of the Festival

Somewhere beyond the safety of the Kokiri Forest, hiding in seclusion within the depths of the forbidden Lost Woods, there was a giant temple built of concrete bricks and constructed in the form of a great mansion. The temple, the Forest Temple as it was called, sat at the very rear of a great, grassy valley called the Sacred Forest Meadow, at the exit of a maze that stood about ten feet tall, a few feet taller than the head on a full-grown Moblin, and guarded by the forest creatures to oppose any unauthorized persons from going any further. The inside of the temple had the power to distort anyone inside with mind-bending illusions, built with somewhat complicated puzzles to confuse the visitors inside, and was designed after the inside of a mansion with portrait paintings and red carpets on the floor. The entrance of the temple, however, had a staircase that was destroyed many years ago, but it was still accessible through a special warp pad with the glowing Triforce mark on the surface with the image of the Wind Medallion on it.

Sitting on a stump at the entrance to that temple was a young forest girl, a Kokiri named Saria who played her wooden Fairy Ocarina passionately with her eyes gently closed. Saria was a young girl with short lime green hair worn under a grass-colored hairband, wearing a long-sleeved wool sweater with a color to match her hairband underneath her female Kokiri top and skirt that matched the color of her hair. She wore boots on her feet that reached up just below her knees, one of those boots swinging to the rhythm of her song as she played it on her wind instrument, watched over by her pink fairy guardian.

Saria loved spending night and day at the entrance to the Forest Temple, her "special place" to sit down on her favorite stump and play her song for hours on end to appease the spirits of the forest. She never grew tired of playing her song repeatedly, it was the most enjoyable and energetic song to be composed in Hyrule.

As Saria was halfway through her song, a wind blew in her direction, making her stop her ocarina all of a sudden and gasp.

This was not a wind she felt before. This was a different zephyr, one that brought fear and terror to those who have felt it.

"Saria?" the pink fairy flying around her head asked, fluttering down to her face. "Saria, what's wrong?"

She, as as the embodiment of the spirit of the Forest Sage, knew from her heart that a new darkness had fallen over her home in the Kokiri Forest, an evil taking the form of a wind. Saria couldn't tell what the new shadow was bringing, nor did she know who was responsible for the shadow. All the Kokiri girl knew was that this dark wind held a dangerous power she had felt before, one that she never felt in a long time. Years probably.

Packing away her Fairy Ocarina, Saria suddenly got up from her seat at the stump and ran to the labyrinth of the Sacred Forest Meadow as her fairy guardian looked on in worry. "Saria! Wait for me!"

Saria could not wait for her close companion to catch up with her. She needed to seek where in the Lost Woods she felt that dark power and see for herself if it was significant enough for her to worry about. The Sage of the Forest knew everything there was to know about the Kokiri Forest, having extensive knowledge of the path through the Sacred Forest Meadow maze, the path through the Lost Woods that would take her to and from home safely, and the Forest Temple where her spirit from the future was trapped by Phantom Ganon until Link rescued her and awakened her as the Forest Sage.

Using that knowledge, Saria crossed the path of the Sacred Forest Meadow safely until she reached for the Lost Woods. Gasping in between breaths, the Kokiri girl turned through the elaborate road through the hollow logs of the Lost Woods until she came across a clearing in the area where a Deku Scrub hung its target from a dead tree branch, and a few of the Skull Kids waited to play their flutes with each other or with the Kokiri. Over a cliff in the same clearing with a wooden railing, with a ladder leading down to another petrified tree, the peripherals of Saria's eyes caught her attention as she turned her sight and gasped.

She saw the Skull Kid with the two fairy siblings at his side whom she closely befriended with a long time ago, huddled against a pile of woodchips and splinters, the remains what used to be his favorite spot where he often hung around and play his flute. The Skull Kid's body was shivering and scared little whimpers came from his beaked mouth, the effects from the traumatizing sight he was made a close witness to with Tatle and Tael. Saria quickly climbed down the ladder and ran to the shaken Skull Kid, keeling down his level and holding his gloved, wooden hands.

"Skull Kid? Are you okay? Did something hurt you?" the forest child asked the forest imp.

The Skull Kid could not answer her, as he was too shaken up to mumble out a word from his beaked mouth. Saria turned to the fairy siblings with a firm face. "Tatl, Tael, what happened?" she asked. "Why is the Skull Kid so scared?"

"W-W-We were just sleeping here, m-minding our own b-b-business, wh-wh-when something just woke us up i-in the middle of the-the night," Tael explained through a frightened stutter.

Saria's face grew to worry. "What woke you up?"

"It was a person.. or something. We... we didn't see him. It was too dark..." Tatl said, "...but there was this big ball of dark wind. It appeared next to us and took the shape of a human. We were hiding behind the stump when the human-thing just raised its arm and turned the tree into shreds! We didn't see who it was, it was too dark, but we did hear him say that Hyrule was going to pay dearly for destroying his life!"

Saria looked to the pile of shredded wood at the Skull Kid's seat, processing the information that the two fairies gave her. Before she could the fairies what the dark human said, the shaking voice of Skull Kid drew her attention to him. "Wind... t-t-turned the tree... to shreds... Going t-to destroy Hyrule... with... L-L-Light... Light Power..."

Light Power.

At that moment, Saria's eyes went lifeless with a newfound fear.

Once upon a time ago, the Great Deku Tree passed the story of Hyrule's early days, before the creation of the Kokiri, before the Gorons became Hyrule's staunchest allies. She remembered the long-dead tree tell her of an evil sorcerer who tried to claim the Light Power for himself, a sorcerer who had the power to control the winds. He could even transform into the wind itself, able to travel far across the land of Hyrule in such a short time.

Saria once asked the tree what the Light Power was.

She got her answer from the deep voice of the tree.

The Kokiri girl stood up to run for the Great Deku Tree, but was stopped when a bony, wooden hand gripped her arm. She gasped when she saw the poor Skull Kid look up to her with pleading eye, body still shaken from his encounter with the wind manipulator. "P-P-Please...! Please... d-don't leave me, Saria!" the little imp child begged the girl. "Please don't leave me alone in the dark! I can't sleep alone with that thing still around! Please... don't leave me, Saria! Don't leave me!"

The Skull Kid began to cry, little droplets of tears coming from his glowing beady eyes. Instinctively, the gentle-hearted Kokiri girl sat down with the forest imp and hugged him for comfort and protection, patting his shuddering back while his sobs were muffled into her tunic. "Hey... shhh, it's alright. I'm not going to leave you here by yourself," Saria's gentle voice reassured the Skull Kid as she pulled him in tighter. "I'll stay with you until the dawn breaks over the horizon. Shh... it's alright. It'll be okay..."

While the two different forest children hugged each other during the peak of midnight, Tatl and Tael hugged their bodies against each other, given some extra protection from Saria's guardian fairy and the courage to stay through the night.

----

Several hours later...

The Cucco crowed as the dawn's first light broke through the horizon.

Waking to the sound of the early morning's many songs whispering in his ears, Link opened his azure eyes with a flutter to the growing brightness of the shifting orange sky and the clouds passing overhead. He took a deep inhale from his nose and exhaled one of the biggest yawns he had ever emitted, stretching his arms to their full length as he slowly sat up from the imprint he left in the grass. Slowly, Link got to his feet, stumbled a bit when his legs was trying to regain their senses of feeling and blood circulating through his limbs, and stretched his torso left then right while holding his hands at full arms length.

With another exhale, Link gently patted his faithful steed on her side. Epona's head lifted up upon reflex and whinnied a surprised, tired whinny that made Link chuckle amusingly. "Morning, Epona. Are you ready for the big day today?"

Epona nodded her head in response. She stood up on her hooves and snorted, shaking her head to perk herself up while Link placed his Hylian Shield and his Gilded Sword onto his back. He brought himself up on his horse, saddled himself, and gave Epona a gentle pat to help her start her first few paces to a voyage across the vast expanse of Hyrule Field.

"Where do you suppose we can stop first, girl?" Link asked his horse, stroking her mane. "You know, the ranch is on the way to the castle. Do you want to stop there first and see how Malon is doing, or should we just skip past the ranch and go straight to the Castle Town instead?"

Epona gave a wild, happy whinny and raised on her hind hooves, catching Link completely off-guard as he held onto his horse's neck to secure himself. The very thought of reuniting with the red-haired girl who had raised her as a foal made the grown, chestnut mare excited, the same way that a child would feel upon seeing their parent after so many years in absence. With another excited rise on her hind hooves, Epona nearly knocked her beloved owner off had he not kept his grip onto the horse's neck and rubbed her nuzzle to calm her down.

"Whoa! Whoa!" Link gave a gentle chuckle while he held his beloved horse down and gently pat her neck, which dropped Epona's level of excitement dramatically. "Okay, okay. We'll stop at the ranch first and say hello to Malon, then we'll go straight to Castle Town. How about that?"

Epona gave a happy snort and a bobbing head in response.

"I'll take it as a yes, then." Link turned Epona to a certain direction, and with a slap on her flank, they galloped to the middle of Hyrule Field, towards a big, grassy mesa that was big enough to hold a small village. That mesa, with its one path up the steep trail through the stone formation and out on top, held the Lon Lon Ranch where Epona was born, a ranch that was well known in Hyrule for raising the best racehorses, and for distributing their famous and very nutritious milk.

The Hero of Time smiled at the memory of his first visit to Castle Town, a village hustling and bustling with lost of people who were bigger and hairier than he was. He remembered taking in the first sights of the empty town late at night, just as the drawbridge closed up behind them to keep away the nightcrawlers that stalked the field when the moon rose. He came across a plaza with buildings encircling a single fountain in the middled, among them being the Shooting Gallery, the Bombchu Bowling Alley, Granny's Potions Shop, the Treasure Chest Contest, the Bazaar and the Happy Mask Shop.

While he explored the town at that late hour, Link met with a pretty redhead girl his age, singing to herself at the fountain. Her father, the rather lazy owner of the ranch, had gone to deliver milk to Hyrule Castle, but he did not return. The girl deduced that her father was sleeping on the job at the time, so she tasked Link to find him and wake him up by giving him a Cucco egg to incubate through the night. When the light of the next morning peeked over the horizon, the Cucco hatched as Link snuck around the castle guards and found the hairy, slumbering form of the girl's father.

By simply taking out the hatched fowl that instantaneously grew into a full-grown rooster, Link allowed the Cucco to crow next to his ear. Talon awoke with a startle and he panicked at the thought of his little girl scolding him for being lazy.

Link had never seen a middle-aged man run like that without the aid of the Bunny Hood.

The tunic-clad Hylian giggled at the memory and rubbed Epona's cheek. He was certain that his horse remembered that day when the paths of these two faithful companions first crossed upon his first visit to the ranch. Epona had been really timid when Link had first met her as a foal, always sticking by the red-haired girl whenever she sang that wonderful, soothing song, and always shying away from any stranger who tried to approach her. When Link learned the song that the girl constantly sung through the tone of Saria's Fairy Ocarina, it had an immediately positive effect on the foal, allowing herself to approach Link as a friend whenever he needed someplace for him to go.

Now, after seven long years of taking Link through the outskirts of Hyrule and parallel dimensions with many striking similarities between the two places, Epona has finally grown from her timid shell and allowed anyone other than Link or her former owner to approach her at her consent. As the horse and ride strode along the light of the rising sun to the approaching mesa, Link would be proud to show the red-haired girl how much his positive influence helped her grow.

----

The first instance of sunlight shining on her bed gave Zelda every reason to wake up from her slumber.

Despite staying up until the middle of the night, Zelda had achieved a well-earned sleep. It was fourteen minutes past the seventh hour in the morning, an intuitive guess by Zelda based on her observation of the shadows cast by the sunlight. That meant only three more hours left until the festival would begin, with only over two hours of preparation for the regal monarch of Hyrule.

Deep inside, Zelda felt a part of her being excited to be a grand part of the festival. She would meet with the finest and fondest of greetings from the monarchs and the representatives from each nation and race united by the efforts of the Princess. While the thought of meeting her friends put a smile on her angelic face, she could not resist the thoughts of Link showing himself to her, if only for a short time.

She and Link knew of this day very well, and she knew that there was no way that he would forget the day just as well. If she could just meet him just once, if only for a short time or for a while, then it would make her life significantly happier. Before Link left for his years-long journey, he and Zelda made a promise; a promise that one day, Link will come home, take her hands into his, and say-

"Good morning, Princess," Impa's voice came from the door, snapping her from her thoughts. "Have you had a pleasant night's sleep?"

Zelda sat up in her bed, her covers so neatly folded as she rose, and stretched her arms all the way up to their maximum length. She let out a relaxed sigh and turned to her retainer with a graceful smile. "Good morning, Impa," she gently said to her Sheikah guardian, "and yes, I have slept well for only a mere seven hours."

The Sheikah hummed like a small laugh with a gentle smile. "I am glad to hear. Today is a big day for you, you know."

"I know. Today marks the day that Hyrule was founded by my ancestor, and the festival is certainly something to look forward to."

Impa shook her head. "That is not what I am referring to."

Zelda immediately caught on to her mother figure's message. "Oh... of course. I have almost completely forgotten about the other significance of this date."

The Princess of Hyrule looked away to the floor, but the feeling of Impa's hand on her shoulder gave her all the strength for her to make eye contact with the silver-haired woman. "Do not fret, Princess. Even you must know Link cannot forget the importance of this day as well as you do," Impa said reassuringly. "You have grown up to become a fine woman, Princess, and you have been very brave in your darkest times. For the sake of Link, you must be strong for him as well. He would not have wanted you to worry yourself about today. He has shown tremendous courage to warn us about Ganondorf's treachery, so it is only fair that you shown the same courage. For him."

Zelda smiled. "You're right, I can't worry about him now. There is so much to do in so little time, I cannot falter by letting my troubles stand in my way," she said with a newfound determination for today. "Even if he does not show today, nor tomorrow, nor a time in the near future, I will not allow my fears and doubts to hold me back from enjoying the festival today." The wise Princess of Hyrule turned to her bodyguard, retaining her graceful, gracious smile. "Thank you, Impa. You have always been there to help me live through the hard times that have me in my life. For that, I am deeply grateful to you."

"It is nothing, Princess," the Sheikah shook her head with all modesty. "You would have done the same thing for the people the same way I would have, even when Hyrule falls into dark and dreary times. That is why the people of Hyrule look up to you. The see you as powerful and wise, a shining beacon that shines the path of Hyrule into a brighter future."

"A beacon which would not have shone brighter today had it not been for your help, Impa."

Impa didn't resist a touched chortle to her charge's compliment. "And a beacon who knows how to commemorate those who help shine its brilliance as well," she bantered, making her and Zelda laugh. She turned to the outside windows as the sun began to rise over the mountainous borders of Hyrule, and she knew from her years of training to tell the tie by the sun's formations what time it was. "Now then, let's get you up and out of bed. The festivities begin in a few hours, and we must use that time to get you prepared for the grand ceremony. You need to get cleaned up, you need to get dressed, and you need to eat a healthy breakfast before you can practice your speech today."

"Of course, Impa. I shall get ready right away," the Princess of Hyrule said with a nod.

Princess Zelda uncovered herself from her thick linen quilts and placed her bare feet on the floor, feeling the soft rug on the floor tickle her soles as ran her hands back from her face and through her golden locks. Impa held out her robe for Zelda to place over her nightgown, and she did so as she gently slipped her arms through the sleeves. She tied the waist tie around her hips to hold her robe around her body, and she walked out of the bedroom with Impa trailing behind her. They walked down a splendid hall with a red carpet brightened by the sunlight shining through the windows, towards the bathroom where she took her morning dips in the porcelain tub.

"I have also taken the liberty to running the morning bath for you," Impa pointed out. "It should be up to your shoulders and hot enough for your pleasure, but you have only half an hour to get yourself cleaned and freshened up."

"Is there an extra robe for me to wear when I come out?"

"Yes. It is hanging on the hook as we speak."

"Thank you, Impa," Zelda graciously thanked her guardian. "Tell me, Impa, are the preparations for the festival complete?"

"The carpenters have just put on their finishing touches over an hour ago, Princess," Impa informed. "The stage will be strong enough to fit the combined weight of twenty strong Gorons, so you will be able to open the ceremonies from there."

"And what about the entire nation of Hyrule?" Zelda asked, gently rubbing the sleepiness from her eyes with the back of her hand. "Is there any news about the races that are attending the festival."

"As a matter of fact, Princess, these are the reports that have been informed to me by the guards," Impa informed as she remembered an official report from the Captain of the Hylian Royal Guard. "The Gorons have already started to migrate from Death Mountain, the Zoras are emerging from their domain and from the depths of any body of water deep enough for them to swim in. The residents of the Kokiri Forest are making their way from the forest, including the Kokiri, the Skull Kids, and the Deku Scrubs. The Gerudo have been spotted making their way through the canyons, and every Hylian from Castle Town and Kakariko Village are making their way to the center as we speak."

"I see," the Princess of Hyrule acknowledged, "and that only leaves you, Impa. You're the last of the Sheikah race and the only one who will be joining the festivities."

"I try and not think of my own kind, Your Grace," the Sheikah guardian said through a bit of reluctance. "Even if I do think of them, I would be so arrogant as to call myself cheiftain of a tribe long thought to be dead."

"I would not call that being arrogant, Impa. In fact, you have plenty of reason to sit among the leaders and the chosen representatives of each tribe that swore to ally themselves with my kingdom" Zelda assured. You should be honored that you represent the shadows that live to protect and serve the members of the Hyrule Royal Family until the end. No one but you could attain that honor so easily, Impa. After all you've done for me and my family, you deserve to sit by my side on the stage."

A firm hand on her shoulder stopped Zelda as she turned to the firm look etched on Impa's face.

"Princess," the Sheikah spoke before she grew a smile. "Thank you. I would not have received such an honor without you."

Zelda smiled back. "You're welcome, Impa."

A few paces down, there was a single decorated door built in the wall on the Princess's left side. Past that door was the bathroom that was big and spacious, fit for a princess to bathe and cleanse herself. "I'll be just outside the door. I will fetch for you when the sunlight covers the spires outside the window," Impa informed her charge. "That's about thirty minutes from now. Until then, enjoy your bath, Princess."

"I will, Impa," Zelda said. "Don't worry, I'll be out of the bath before you walk through that door."

"At the first instance of water dripping from the tub, I will be through the door before you can fully stand up," Impa retorted playfully.

"I would like to see you try," Zelda challenged as she closed the door behind her.

Impa chuckled as she stood at the door, arms crossed and a standing pose firm.

"That you will, Princess. That you will."

----

The Lon Lon Ranch became lively before the Cucco's crow at the first glimmer of sunrise.

The cows that produced the world famous Lon Lon Milk began to sound off with a moo. The steeds and racehorses winked their eyes open, awakening from their bed of hay with a snort or with a whinny. The small pen of Cuccos of every age became a cacophony of clucks, crows, and chirps. Above all else was the noises of a grumbling farmhand grunting as he hoisted a heavy steel keg of Lon Lon Milk onto the back of a donkey-pulled covered cart, one of three driven by the residents of the ranch.

As part of the special festival being held on this day, the owner of Lon Lon Ranch agreed to bring every covered cart of their finest milk to Castle Town for every soul attending the celebration. It was quite beneficial for the Lon Lon Ranch's business; anyone who drank the dairy would have just enough energy to celebrate at the festival through the night as if the end of days were approaching.

As Ingo, the tall, grumpy and slightly pudgy farmhand hoisted the lead weight that was the third milk keg inside the cart, he complained under his breath of how he was subjected to this back-breaking work all on his own while his lazy boss slumped at the reins of his own cart. With a little added strength, the farmhand threw the milk jug onto the cart, making it dip with the extra added weight while the donkey at the reins remained still. Ingo's spine cricked from his age and the weight of the jug, causing him to become paralyzed from the waist down while he pushed against his back to get him moving again. With a firm push, Ingo realigned his spine with another crick, and suddenly, he could move his legs again, though only by a painful limp.

The nearby barn door opened, and from that doorway came a pretty girl with auburn hair, as red as some leaves in the autumn season. She wore a white frock that matched with her lavender skirt, and a golden brooch depicting the face of a beast tied into her yellow scarf on her chest. In her hands, she carried another keg by the handles, grunting as her strength was being pushed to its limit by the weight of the kegs and the liquid that sloshed inside. In every few paces, the red-haired girl placed the keg onto the ground, stopped for a single exhausted puff of breath before she lifted the keg up and continued with her toiling work. When she made it to her cart, the girl pushed herself to lift the keg up and into the cart, only barely managing to place the container into the back of the cart before she released a tired sigh.

The red-haired farmgirl slumped on the back of her cart, taking only a moment of her time to compose herself after her part of her tedious task had been partially completed. She looked to her father, the pile of pudge, hairs, and fabric resting his head at the reins while his snoring had a sound similar to a mating call that would attract any female bears within a twenty-foot radius. She loved her father, she could never lie about it, but she had to admit as well that he was a country-dwelling sloth. The girl couldn't deny that her father had the tendency to sleep in the middle of the job like he was diagnosed with that sleeping disorder... narco-something or whatever the doctors called it. She and Ingo really needed their boss's strong hands to help them haul the rest of the kegs onto the carts so they would ship off to Castle Town for the festivities.

With an annoyed and tired sigh, the girl stood up and walked all the way to the house for a minute while Ingo struggled to lift the keg through his back problems. She then returned to the carts with a frying pan in one hand, and a metal ladle in her other hand. Suddenly, she banged the two metal objects together like an obnoxious Goron tribal drum, loud and sudden enough that her father jumped out of his seat in fright and screamed.

"WHAT IN TARNATION!?" the owner of Lon Lon Ranch cussed as he landed back in his seat with a painful THUMP! He turned to see his daughter banging on the pan with the label and covered his ears. "Malon! What in the name of Din Almighty are you doin', waking me up like that!?"

The girl named Malon ceased banging on the drums and placed her hands on her hips in a scolding position. "I was trying to wake you up so I could remind you that we need the help," Malon stated matter-of-factly. "You said we would get these kegs lifted into the cart within five minutes past dawn's light! You were supposed to help me and Ingo get the job quicker! Now we're eleven minutes behind schedule and we haven't gotten more than half of these kegs hauled up as we intended!"

"Now don't you take that tone up with me, Missy," Talon, the father and ranch owner grumbled. "Just because I've got my eyes closed for a moment doesn't mean I ain't capable of helpin' y'all move those kegs onto the carts. I'll have you know I slept outside all night so I would be up early and get this show on the road."

"Then what are you still doing snoozing up there when you could be helping us move things a little faster down here?" Malon huffed with annoyance. "Think, dad, don't you realize that if we can't get our rears in gear, then our milk is going to spoil by the time we get to Castle Town? What message do you think that's going to send to everyone in Hyrule about our business?"

"Now you listen to me, young lady," Talon scolded. "No matter how fast or how slow we load them milk kegs onto the carts, our milk will never spoil that fast. Those kegs have that material that keeps the milk cool and fresh for a long time."

"But dad, by the time we reach Castle Town, the milk won't be fresh anymore. It'll become sour and undrinkable."

Talon grumbled under his breath. "Fine. If you're so insistent on having me help get this loading process done quicker, then all ya had to do was ask," Talon said as he jumped off of the reins and grabbed the nearest milk keg he found at the same time as Ingo did.

"Hey! What do you think you're doing!?" Ingo snapped.

"I'm trying to help you out," Talon answered as calmly as he could. "You look like you need an extra hand."

"This coming from the same boss who's always sleeping while I, the great Ingo, work myself to the bone!?" the lanky ranch hand said. "Thank you, but I can take care of it myself!"

"I know you can. That's why I'm helping you!" the fat farm owner argued.

"The only reason you're helping me is because your daughter insists that you help out!"

"And now I'm trying to help you get the loading faster! Gimme that!"

"You gimme that! I already had a good grip on it!"

While the two farm workers argued over Talon helping to carry the keg over to the cart and Ingo insisting he would get the work done by himself, the farmgirl nearby couldn't help but heave a sigh. She hated to see her two important people in the world squabble over something petty, but the sight of them arguing over getting something important done was too stressful for her. "Those boys. Why can't they ever learn to get along?" Malon inquired to herself as she set the keg down.

Handling this much farm work wasn't good for her arms, especially since her ranch's business was on a tight schedule today. She couldn't even work with the stress of a heavy load and the two old guys arguing building inside of her. To alleviate said stress, Malon walked to the edge of the fence, heaved a sigh and placed her hands at her chest. She looked out to the horizon as far as the borders to each domain in Hyrule, closed her eyes, and sang her song out loud.

Suddenly, Malon heard the whinny of a full-grown mare, one unlike the other horses she kept in the stables. She whipped her head around towards the entrance of the farm, hearing the faint pitter-patter of hooves cantering on the ground over the growing noise of the two old guys fighting over each other. There, appearing just on the other side of the entrance was a sight that made Malon gasp and bring tears to her eyes.

A chestnut mare with a short white mane and beautiful eyes. A young blonde rider clad in a green tunic and cap, a shield on his back and a sword sheathed at his side. It could not have been a coincidence. Malon had just sung her song that her mother composed for her, and all of a sudden, a horse and her rider showed up at her ranch attracted by that soothing tune.

No, Malon tried to deny it, no it couldn't have been...

But it looked like...

It looked like her horse, the first horse that she raised as a young foal.

"It can't be..."

With a few slow steps, Malon quickened her pace towards the gorgeous mare, stopping to the horse's face. Gently, she reached on hand to clasp the horse's jaw, the other hand to caress her muzzle and looked into those navy blue eyes. Those eyes looked back at her with fond memories of the little red-haired girl who cared for her before the first encounter with her rider. "Hello, Malon," the rider in green introduced himself. "It's been a while, hasn't it?"

"You... it's you, isn't it?" Malon asked the rider. "Are you truly the fairy boy that I've met a long time ago? The same fairy boy that I gave my beloved horse as a farewell gift?"

The green-clad Hylian smiled and nodded. "The same fairy boy that you had me wake your father up at Hyrule Castle, and the same fairy boy who taught me the song that could tame my horse's wild spirits." He looked down to his horse. "Isn't that right, Epona?"

A whinny in agreement and a snort from the mare was all it took to confirm Malon's wonders.

"Link!" she cried as she leapt up to the Kokiri-raised teen and hugged him tight, tears of joy trickling down her cheeks. "Oh, Link, it's good to see you again! It's been far too long since we've seen each other last, and now look at you! You've really have grown these past seven years, I almost didn't recognize you!" The joyopus red-haired girl jumped down from her emrace turned to the chestnut mare and gasped. "Oh, Epona. You look as beautiful as the last time I saw you. You're just as big as your mother!"

Epona responded to this by gently nuzzling her former caretaker's face, causing her to laugh at the ticklish sensation of her horse's love. Link gently dismounted from Epona, came up to Malon, and the two chared another hug. "It's great to see you too, Malon," he said. "We were on our way to Castle Town, and we wanted to drop on by for a bit and see a couple of familiar faces. Yours was the one Epona wanted to see first."

"Oh fairy boy, you didn't have to do that," Malon said. "You could've waited for us at Castle Town and surprise us there."

"I know, but would you really want to disagree with a horse who wanted to see her home?"

"I guess not," Malon said, rubbing Epona's nose. "I'm just happy to see you two are in good shape after these seven years. Finding your fairy must have taken all over the world."

With that statement, Link grew a frown. "All over the world, and yet it proved to be fruitless."

Malon seemed shock from her old friend's melancholy statement. "What do you mean? You didn't find your fairy after all this time?"

Link shook his head. "Nope. Not one chime, not one glowing winged orb, and not one 'Hey!', 'Listen!' or 'Watch out!'"

"Oh, Link, I'm so sorry." The farmgirl placed her hands on his cheeks and looked up at him with sympathetic eyes. "It must've been hard trying to find your best friend for nothing."

Link gently unclasped Malon's hands from his face. "Yeah, well, if you've been gone seven years to find one familiar fairy and you found nothing, you try to move on," he said, looking at his first Hylian friend, "and I have tried, believe me. I was given that wakeup call I needed from my first journey from Hyrule."

"I would love to hear all about that."

"I'm sure you would, Malon," Link said. He and Malon heard the arguing voices of two middle-aged men fighting over a heavy milk keg grew louder, and they turned to see them play tug-o-war with the handles on the container. "I guess nothing much has changed with these two, huh?"

"No, it hasn't," Malon replied.

"What're they fighting over this time?"

"Oh nothing. Just another debate between Ingo's hard working and daddy's laziness," Malon said innocently. "Would you please excuse me for a second, Link?" The red-haired farmgirl ran up to the two stooges, their voices loud, cracked, and horsing as their heels dug into the firm soil in the grass. Malon cupped her hands over her mouth to project her voice across the sounds of the pointless bickering.

"Hey, dad! Stop what you're doing right now and come over here! We have a guest!"

Talon's attention was immediately caught while Ingo's attention was still drilled into taking the keg away from his boss.

"Huh? A guest?" he said. Suddenly, the ranch owner unconsciously released the handles of the keg, allowing the heavy container to fling Ingo under its weight and crush him into the ground. Talon let out a guffaw for someone his age when he recognized the blonde child dressed in green, the same one who befriended Malon as a child. "Well, I'll be darned! If it isn't that fairy boy from the forest standing as tall as I am!"

"Yep. That's me, all grown up," Link said awkwardly.

"Tink, right?"

"Uh, Link."

"Eh... close enough," Talon said, waving it off. "And I see you've been taking good care of my daughter's horse. Aww, look at her. She's as big as her mother and she's still looking beautiful, even after seven long years."

"And she's not so shy around strangers anymore," Link pointed out.

Another guffaw from Talon came as he slapped the Hero of Time on the back, powerful enough to make him stagger. "Well, isn't that just fantastic!? You're doing the one thing that even Malon couldn't do before you came along! Opening up to others!"

"Dad," Malon grumbled as her face became flustered in embarrassment.

The Lon Lon Ranch owner continued to laugh as he placed a strong hand on Link's shoulder, another hand on his hips, and swelled his chest up with pride. "My boy, you've become such a great role model for my daughter's horse, that I can't help but thank you for helping her emerge from her shyness!" Talon said. "As part of our gratitude for caring for her, I only need to ask a favor for you in return! If you get that favor fulfilled, I'll give you something nice as a reward!"

"You name it. I'm a jack of all trades when it comes to helping people," Link informed the pudgy man.

"Now that's just super!" Talon said, turning the blonde Hylian towards the milk kegs around the carts and pointing a meaty finger at them. "You see those kegs?"

"Uh, yeah," Link answered.

"Those kegs weigh a ton, and I mean a ton. We're gonna sell all the milk inside of those kegs during the festival, and we're running behind schedule," Talon said, earning a hard glare from his daughter. "Since we lack the muscle power and effort into loading those kegs into the carts, it'll take us a while before we can leave for Castle Town, but by then, the crowd will be all over the square. I need an extra hand to help load these kegs as quickly as we can."

Link looked to the pudgy farmer. "Mr. Talon, what if I told you that I have a way to get these kegs loaded quicker than you think?"

Malon walked up to the grown Kokiri with a raised eyebrow. "What are you talking about?"

"I mean I picked up a trick or two along my journeys that can help carry objects that three full-grown men couldn't carry a few inches off the ground," he informed them. "I must warn you that when I use this trick, it'll come to a complete shock for the both of you, but if you give the chance, I can get the job done faster. That way, we can hit the road before the citizens starts to gather in the town square, and we could get there so you guys can sell your milk to the crowd."

Talon pondered this, holding one hand with his fingers touching his chin, the other arm to hold up the elbow. "Hmmm. I'm not sure about that."

Malon rushed to her father's side. "Come on, dad, listen to Link! It's like he said, we're way behind schedule, and we don't have enough time to get the things we need to get done before we leave! Don't you realize how much it'll affect the ranch's business!? Our home!?"

Talon groaned as he pondered this as well. He looked to the carts mostly empty with only one keg each. He looked at the milk kegs that just stood in the grass, each one creating a circular indent from the weight. Then he looked at the sunlight slowly reaching over Hyrule, the dim light opening like a curtain to feature the morning glow on the field. With another grunt, he finally said, "Okay Link, you've got yourself a job. Now let's see how you intend to move these kegs onto the cart."

"You will, Mr. Talon," the Hero said as he reached for his back. "You will."

From behind, Link pulled out the Goron Mask.

"Link, this is no time to play around with masks. We're on a very tight schedule," Malon informed the blonde fairy boy.

"Don't worry, Malon. I know what I'm doing. Trust me."

Link stepped back a couple of paces and placed the Goron Mask on his face. Suddenly, a dark aura surrounded the mask and its wearer. Link gripped the mask as if he was in intense pain, his pained groaning becoming so deep anyone would mistake it for a beast lurking about. He threw his head up as a deep-voiced scream rung throughout the ranch, and in a flash of lightning, where Link previously stood was a Goron. A Goron wearing big gloves, boots, a bead necklace around its neck, and a pale cap over the spiky white hair.

Malon and Talon all watched with gaping mouths as the Goron appeared where Link once stood. The three ranch workers were completely stunned by the spectacle, watching Link put on that mask, watching him bellow out like he was in real pain, and later replaced by the living mass of rock and bulky flesh originating from the mountains. The Goron turned to the stunned three witnesses, stared at their gaping expressions for a moment, and simply shrugged. "What?"

"What in tarnation!?" Talon yelped. "Where in the world did you come from, Goron!? And what did you do to Sink!?"

The Goron couldn't help but give a chuckle to the ranch owner's shocked face. "You don't recognize me, Mr. Talon? I am Link. I'm the same Link standing before you... I just get the appearance and strength of a Goron warrior."

Malon frantically marched up to Link, a face twisted with hysteria. "Wha...!? I...!? How!?" Malon's voice was filled with hysteria as well. "How is this possible!? There's no way that a simple Goron Mask can change into an actual Goron! Or is that something you've picked up during your little seven year trip outside of Hyrule!?"

Goron Link gave a hearty laugh that would rival that of Goron patriarch, Darunia. "You're actually not too far off! I earned that Goron Mask while I was on an adventure in the blistering mountains of Termina! Just simply putting the Goron Mask on can change anyone who wears it into the form that you see now!" the mountain creature explained, noticing the fear etched on Malon's face. "Look, I know this comes as a shock to you, but rest assured that I'm still the Link that you still know; and I'm going to use this form to help the three of you out in your time of need. All I ask is that I can help you, and in return, you can give me your word that you can trust me."

Malon sighed. "Of course I can trust you, fairy boy. It's just that... you've completely changed before my eyes, and like you said, it came to a shock for me."

Her signature gentle smile spread across her face, her lips curved like a single flattened mountain. "But you're still the same Link who's treated my Epona well for seven years and helped her grow into a strong, healthy horse. You have my complete word that I can trust you with my life."

"Okay!" Goron Link said, turning to the kegs. "Now then, these are too heavy for even two able-bodied men to carry in the course of half an hour, but..." Goron Link said, lifting up one of the kegs above his head, weighing the same as a regular Powder Keg distributed by said race. "With the right amount of strength used by yours truly, then I can have these kegs stocked and loaded into these carts within three minutes. That should be enough time to make it to Castle Town before the crowd starts to gather."

"And you think you can get these kegs loaded within those three minutes?" Talon asked, slightly eagerly.

"Of course. It's no different than trying to carry an entire Powder Keg to a cave-in within three minutes."

Talon ran a hand through what's left of his hair, sighed, and turned to the pseudo-Goron. "Alright, Fink. If you can get these loaded up within three minutes, I'll give you something special as a reward. Deal?"

"Deal."

With much said and much to get done, Goron Link loaded the kegs he carried in his arms, making the cart buckle under its weight. Though his running speed was slow, the strength of the Goron Link plus his ability to curl up made up for his sluggish pace. He took one keg in each arm, carried them to the carts, and loaded them in a time that was a hundred times faster than the pace of the Lon Lon Ranch workers'. Within forty seconds, the first cart was already stocked with the kegs, acknowledged by the sound of the donkey's whine as it felt the weight of the cart on its back.

Watching with intrigue at Link's performance of the task, Talon knew he needed to reward Link with something more than what he intended to give him. Already, half of the second cart was filled with the kegs, with only around two minutes left and counting. Malon witnessed the quick and effective effort that Link put in to loading the carts with a wondrous smile as Epona trotted up to her, nudging her gently to get her attention. The auburn-topped farm girl placed one arm underneath and around the muzzle, leaned towards her face affectionately, and gently rubbed the top of her nose with her other hand.

The second cart was filled with the kegs. The buckling weight and the donkey's whine confirmed it as Goron Link went for the remaining kegs with around a minute and a half until the time ran out. The Goron knew he was going to beat the clock easy, and with only three more kegs left to carry, he would have a lot of time left on the internal clock to beat the time trial. Quickly, Goron Link turned and went for the two kegs that he could find. With a simple toss, Goron Link caught the two kegs on his arms and proceeded back to the cart. He loaded them both onto the cart with only one remaining keg to go. The Hylian-turned-Goron looked around for the last keg when his little beady eyes came across the form of the last keg crushing Ingo underneath its immense weight.

Link went to the moving keg, lifted it up from Ingo's body, and carried it back while the middle-aged farmhand gasped and choked for breath.

"Why... does this always... happen to me?" the lanky man wheezed.

"Oh, Ingo!" Malon gasped, hands covering her mouth in shock. She and Talon rushed over to their friend's side and attempted to aide in sitting up from his position. All that Ingo did in response was yell as he felt the paralyzing, agonizing pain run through his nerves. "Oh, Ingo, I'm so sorry! I didn't know you were trapped underneath that keg!" Malon tried to apologize to her farmhand friend. "Are you feeling okay!?"

"As much as I... the great Ingo, hates to admit it... I would have to say... no..." the injured farmhand wheezed. Malon and Talon helped sit Ingo up on his seat while his aching body tried to resist the movement in the form of of pained grunts.

"Easy does it, Ingo," Talon said. "Can you move anything at all?"

"Well, let's see..." Ingo responded in a raspy voice, using what's left of his breath to put into his usual complaints towards his employer. "My entire body is aching, so I can't really feel my arms move. I might have broken a few ribs and maybe punctured a lung from that weight because I can barely breathe. I can't move my legs again! I can't move my neck so I can get a look at the world around me, and I think I may have chipped a nail or two! What do you I can move, chief!?"

"Oh, this is not good," Malon panicked, clasping her cheeks with her hands as she shook her head. "With Ingo injured, we don't have an extra person to help sell the milk to our customers, and we won't make it to Castle Town before the crowds all gather! Our milk business is going to be ruined by tonight!"

Goron Link placed his hand on the ranch heiress's shoulder. "Don't worry, Malon. Everything is going to be fine," he said, reaching into his back pocket. He pulled out a glass bottle containing a pink fairy trapped in there from his last visit to the Fairy Fountain on his way back. He popped the cork out, and the little winged ball of pink light flew around Ingo's face, spreading its rejuvenating sparkles all over him to repair his injuries. After spinning around and around over Ingo's face, the fairy disappeared; the injured farmer's injuries, however, went with the fairy, as he felt rejuvenated and refreshed enough for him to jump up and dance like the patriarch of the Gorons.

"Whoa! I feel recovered! I feel refreshed! I feel... GREAT!" Ingo cheered as he jumped around, danced madly, and flailed his arms around.

Talon stood up and placed his hands on his hips, a triumphant smile on his face as Goron Link approached him. "My boy, you have performed quite a feat that none of us here has ever seen before! And because you were a great help in our time management as well as healing our injured help, I'm going to give this to you as a well-deserved reward."

Goron Link took the gift that the bald ranch owner handed out to him, turned around and held a Heart Container in the air, the prize spinning around in the air between his hands. He counted three more Heart Containers to go in order for him to extend and prolong his life force. Having his job done in Goron form, Link placed his hands at the side of his temples, and in a flash of light, the real form of Link emerged with the Goron Mask still in hand. Talon laughed at the sight and patted the grown Kokiri on his upper back.

"Sink, my boy! You have become such a great help with our poor time management that I have come up with a great idea!" Talon announced. "How would you like to work here as part of the ranch's farmhands for a while!?"

The Hero of Time drew back and modestly placed his hands in front of him. " Who? Me?" he asked, bemused. "Oh no, I couldn't work for you, Mr. Talon. Really, I don't want to impose on your job."

Talon guffawed. "Oh come now, my boy, you must say yes! You'd be like a part of the family to us!" he boasted with reassurance. "You look like the sort of person who needs a place to stay, a mouth that needs to be fed, and some muscles that needs to be built! Heck, I can even pay a part of the shares that we each earn equally, and you can take as much time as you want off! Just so long as you can get the work done of course!"

Knowing there was no way to change Talon's mind, Link graciously held out a hand to symbolize his agreement to the offer. He knew that as a bonus to working his job, he would be allowed to see his friends he intended to see during his stay with the ranch owner's permission. "Mr. Talon. You've got yourself a new employee."

Taking Link's hand with a strong grip, Talon gave him a strong shake that barely dwarfed his new employee's grip. "Welcome aboard to Lon Lon Ranch, Link! We're gonna have the best time gettin' to know each other well!"

The soft clearing of her throat like a turtledove broke the handshake between the two men apart as Malon stood with her hands on her hips, giving them a critical stare. "May I remind you guys that we're on a tight schedule here?" she asked the two in all seriousness. "We're about twenty minutes later than out intended departure time and I can see the tribes of Hyrule already moving in the field."

The three males of Lon Lon Ranch looked out over the fence of the ranch and shadows and dust clouds moving in the great field. A number of Gorons, Zoras, and Hylians alike traveled from their homes somewhere from across the fields or their respective homelands, all of them headed for a single destination at the north of the field: Hyrule Castle Town, and the grand castle that stood tall over the entire town.

"Hoo, doggy! Looks like we've got no time to waste!" Talon spoke to his farmhands. "C'mon, y'all! Let's hit the road! The sooner we can leave, the less traffic we have to catch!"

"Finally!" Ingo sighed with sweet relief as he pushed his newly-healed body into a run towards one of the carts.

The members of Lon Lon Ranch driving the carts quickly hitched the reins tight on the donkeys while Link mounted the back of Epona, eager for the trip down to Hyrule Castle. With a quick flap of the leather reins and a "Hyahh!" from the drivers, the donkeys started moving and pulled on the wooden carts towards the exit of the ranch. The carts creaked as the wheels squeaked, the donkeys put every ounce of friction in their cloven hooves to keep themselves from slipping on the steep path down the mesa's only trail down.

Talon was the first one to make it from the gate, followed by Ingo, and flanked by Malon. Link rode alongside the red-haired girl on Epona's back as they took their trip down to the market.

"I am so excited that you could join us, Link!" the eager Malon said, shaking like a giddy schoolgirl. "We get to be part of the most important festival in Hyrule, selling our milk and seeing everyone from Hyrule gather in the town square! I have never the other forest children before... other than you, of course, fairy boy!"

"I can't wait to get to the market, either," Link replied. "It'll be good to see the old square again. I've been meaning to try out the Bombchu Bowling Alley for a while now. I hope nothing much has changed while I was gone."

"Actually, a lot has changed while you were gone," Malon explained.

"Really?"

"Mm-hmm," Malon nodded. "A couple of years ago, Hyrule's population was starting to grow, so the Carpenter Brothers from Kakariko gave Princess Zelda a request to expand this town so people would have homes to live in, and places for work. Of course, the Princess gave her royal permission for the expansion, so now the town has four new districts, each one pointing into a cardinal direction. Where we are right now used to be Hyrule Castle Town Square, but now, it is officially the Hyrule Castle Town Southern District, a tourist attraction area filled with games, shops, and decent housing."

"Oh really?" Link asked again, a change of playful skepticism in his tone. "Well, I'll need someone to show me around, then. I'm bound to get lost in a town without someone to guide me."

Malon gave the adult Kokiri a friendly pat on his arm. "I can show you around, fairy boy. I've been around the place so many times, I practically know it by heart."

"Thank you, Malon. I can always rely on a friend to help me find my way around a new place."

"It's nothing, fairy boy. It's the least I can do for helping me get rid of an hour's worth of sore arms," Malon said, "but enough about me. Tell me about your adventures! I want to know what exactly you were up to after these seven years since you were long gone!"

"My adventures, huh?" Link said, pondering the first tale that came to mind. "I do have one adventure to talk about, but you wouldn't believe me if I told you."

"That doesn't matter, Link! You've been gone for a long time, you must've seen some amazing things this world has to offer!" Malon looked to Link with puppy dog eyes and a sad quivering pout on her lower lip. "Come on, Link. Tell me, please~," she used the tone of a begging child.

Link looked away playfully and slyly smiled. "I don't know. It's an awfully long story."

Malon's face turned from begging and sad to cutely angry, both of which kept her lip in a cute pout. Link couldn't argue with a face like her's before he finally submitted himself to her. "Okay, I'll tell you what happened, but I'l have to tell you in parts," the Hero of Time said. "We're going to be at the drawbridge in a little while."

"Yes!" Malon said, feeling a sense of victory over the green-clad blonde as he prepared to tell the tale to the smiling redhead.

"It was a week after I left Hyrule. I was searching for my fairy guardian... well, my former fairy guardian in the Lost Woods when all of a sudden, Epona jumped on her hind hooves and knocked me flat on the ground. I only lost consciousness for a brief moment, but not before I heard a child's mischievous laughter as I blacked out..."
Last edited by Autismo555 on Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Autismo555
 
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Re: Story Idea with Minish Vaati

Postby Autismo555 » Sun Jun 05, 2016 2:21 pm

The inside of the bathroom was that spacious, the floors decorated with tiles with the same patterns found within the Temple of Time, there was a single ceramic bathtub built like it was an altar leading into a baptism tub. The tub sat at the wall underneath a stained glass window depicting the founding and creation of Hyrule by her goddess ancestor and the goddess's hero. The symbol of the extinct Loftwing with the Triforce between its wings hung over the image of Hyrule Castle, a halo of light surrounding the three sacred golden triangles that shone down all around the window.

The borders of the window depicted three women garbed in different colored robes, each woman representing the Three Goddess that created the world. The woman on the left border wore a blue robe with blue flowing hair like water, the woman at the apex of the border was a woman of red with a fair like divine fire, and the woman on the right border was garbed in green with hair as green as the forest. Each of these women held a circle in their hands, depicting their respective symbols, the ones that are the symbols of the Zora, the Goron, and the Kokiri races.

Zelda turned the golden faucet off as the hot, steaming water reached to where only Zelda's head and neck could stick out from the surface. She slowly undressed herself until she was completely skin naked and walked up to the top of the steps leading into the water. She dipped her toes in to test the temperature and reeled her foot back when she felt burning at the tips of her lovely digits. Again, she dipped her toes and and slowly submerged her entire foot in, following with her leg and slowly up to her thigh. Once her nerves adjusted well to the sauna temperature of the water, Zelda lowered her entire body into the tub and let out a relaxed sigh. She took only a minute to get used to the hotness of the bathwater, turning her head to eye the finest shampoos and soaps imported from the westward Gerudo Desert.

The first thing she grabbed was the shampoo, a hair-cleaning gel made from the extracts of lavender, aloe, and other herbs the Gerudo tribe has grown. She dipped the gel into her hands, lathered it until the suds formed in her palms, and scrubbed her golden blonde hair. She scrubbed her scalp and the roots of her shoulder-high hair, letting the suds to do most of the cleaning as she hummed a tune that she learned from an early childhood age. Zelda let the suds set in her hair for a moment until she came to an end to the music she hummed until she dipped her forwards and under the water, throwing her head back to rinse off the shampoo from her hair. Zelda gasped and squeezed the water from her hair as the suds turned the water into a foggy and sudsy liquid.

As the last of the tiny shampoo bubbles ran down her long, golden hair, Zelda picked up a bar of soap, a little tan slab made from the expert craftsmanship of the Gerudo tribe's soapmakers and imported from said tribe, engraved with the symbol of the Hyrule Royal Family in the center. The Gerudo-made soap was picked up and lathered within Zelda's gentle hands, building up little suds and foam in her palms that was almost immediately massaged onto her left arm. In slow, ovular-shaped motions, Zelda rubbed the soap lather as she hummed to herself, her eyes closed gently as she moved the motions all the way up to her shoulders. The smell of the fresh soap wafted into her nostrils as she smothered the back of her left shoulder with her right hand, and used both hands to rub the subs all around and on the back of her neck.

As Zelda lathered the soap in her hands and scrubbed her right arm so gently, she felt a sudden warm feeling that made her jump with a tiny gasp. This was a feeling that she had never felt before in a long time. The last time she felt this gentle tingle in her heart was seven years ago, when she and Link spent a short amount of time together as two innocent children. A time that lasted for a few days, but helped develop a strong bond between Zelda and Link before the latter left the land of Hyrule for seven long years.

Suddenly, Zelda stood up from her bath, placed a hand at her breast and looked out the window, a wondrous glint in her eyes as stared at the rooftops of Castle Town. The sound of the Princess gasping and standing up so quickly alerted the Sheikah guardian outside the bathroom as she burst into the room, one hand on the handle of her sheathed dagger. "I heard a noise in here, Princess. Is there something wrong?"

Zelda did not turn to meet her guardian then, but she instead lowered her head and curled her fingers at her bare breast. "No. Nothing is wrong, Impa," the Princess of Hyrule said. "I just felt this warm, gentle feeling in my heart, like someone that was near and dear to me has returned to Hyrule. I first felt this feeling seven years ago, when the King of the Gerudos would bring darkness and destruction upon the lands of Hyrule, a boy from the forest had arrived in my courtyard, and together, we exposed his machinations and banished him to the Evil Realm."

With a gentle smile spread across her angelic face, Zelda turned to Impa with a joyous countenance. "Impa, my prayers have been answered! After seven long years of praying for a safe journey and a safe return, Link has finally returned to Hyrule! This feeling that I am feeling now is the absolute proof that he has come back! Even as we speak, he is on his way to Castle Town!"

The Sheikah let out a small chortle and turned to face her charge, placing a hand on her cheek while wearing a maternal smile of her own. "Just as the Goddesses have willed it to be," Impa recited her words from the middle of the night. "Now that Link has finally come back, Princess, you have all the more reason to prepare yourself for the festival."

"Yes, I am looking forward to the festivities more than ever," Zelda said, retaining her graceful smile to keep her growing eagerness inside herself.

"Good. Then we have more than enough time to get you ready. Once we get you dressed, we'll have a small breakfast in the dining hall and spend what time we have left to recite your speech for the ceremony."

"Yes, Impa. I'll be ready with the speech," Zelda said, her smile gradually reverting into a calm, serious demeanor.

Zelda stepped out of the bathtub and reached for the extra bathrobe hanging on the hook while Impa unplugged the drain at the bottom of the tub. The water was quickly drained into a whirlpool that formed over the hole in the tub leading into the drainage pipes, all while Zelda slipped her robe over her shoulders and arms, and tied a knot with the waist tie. Her robe fit tight and snugly onto her body as she walked out of the bathroom, calm on the outside, but feeling the urge to squeal like the excited child she used to be. After so many long years yearning for her oldest friend to return, Zelda would finally meet with the forest child again.

Impa grew a smile as well, a slight smirk that the Princess of Hyrule couldn't see. She didn't need her Sheikah ability to read the mind and heart of her charge to realize what she was thinking right now.

----

"He did what!?" Malon shrieked. "That masked imp stole my favorite horse a week after I gave her to you!?"

"He did," Link replied, nodding his head. "The Skull Kid and his fairies rode off with her into the woods, but I tried holding on to his leg while Epona carried us off to Nayru knows where. I was thrown off at one part of the woods, but I managed to track them down and chased them into this hollow stump in a giant tree. I followed them there, but there was this big pitfall leading into the darkness, and I fell into it by accident. There were images that ran through my mind as I feel, some of them resembling the masks I own, some resembling the masks that bore significance to the journey, and the ocarina that I lost. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, I fell on a giant flower in the middle of an underground pond. Twin torches were switched on, and there the Skull Kid and his fairies were, floating in midair with no trace of EPona anywhere."

"But what happened to Epona!?" Malon interrupted. "What did that imp do to her!?"

"The Skull Kid said that he was having a hard time with Epona's inability to follow anybody else's orders, so he got rid of her," Link said. "It turns out that he somehow teleported her to a ranch somewhere in Termina. It was called Romani's Ranch, and like Lon Lon Ranch, it specialized in making nutritious and energizing milk, owned by two sisters, Cremia the elder sister, and Romani the youngest sister who was named after the ranch itself. When I first visited there, I saw Epona locked away safely in the stables and crying out to me. In order to get her out of the stables, I had to relearn Epona's Song from Romani in person, and in exchange, I had to fend off these creatures called Ghosts who came around at night to abduct the only cow they had until the dawn broke the next day."

"Wait a minute. How is it that this Romani girl taught you Epona's Song when I was the one who taught you that in the first place?" Malon inquired.

"Well, here's the strange part that you probably won't believe," Link said. "Romani was the younger counterpart of you... well, she was as young as you were when I first met you, but Cremia was the same age as you are now."

"Wait a minute? You aren't joking, are you?" Malon asked. "Are you saying that I have twins in a world parallel to ours? Are you telling me the truth?"

"Yep, they were your twins if you can count the age difference," Link said. "They had the same hair, same face, same dress that you're wearing, even the same singing voice."

"I find that hard to believe," Malon said, "I mean, I can't picture myself running an entire ranch with a younger me, let alone in a parallel world."

"I knew you'd be skeptical," Link said, reaching into his bag, "so I got you this."

Link pulled out a Pictobox, a wooden cube with a glimmering gold lens, and took out a photograph to show Malon. The farm girl took the photograph and looked at the picture, depicting what looked like her standing next to a younger counterpart of herself, the former standing near a jug of milk with her right hand on her hips while the latter stood just next to her with a bow in hand. They stood at the entrance of a house with a stone chimney bellowing smoke from the fireplace lit inside.

"Oh my goodness," Malon gasped, a hand to her mouth as she handed the photograph back to Link. "So it's true. I really do have twins in another world."

"You do," said Link, "and just like you, I had to help them out with their farming business. Aside from helping Romani with her Ghost problem, I accompanied Cremia to deliver a cargo of milk to a milk bar in Termina called Latte. While we were riding along the way, we were being chased by these two masked bandits who tried to take the milk away by force, so I had to fend them off with my bow. When Cremia and I managed to deliver the milk safely, she gave me a cow-shaped mask that gave me access to a milk bar called Latte. That's owned and run by your father's counterpart, Mr. Barten. There were also a few customers that I saw regularly, and one of them is a man named Gorman, Ingo's counterpart. Gorman ran a troupe of traveling performers that appeared during the Carnival of TIme that took place in those three days. Come to think of it, Gorman has two brothers, and both of them are also Ingo's lookalikes."

"Wow. So does everyone in Hyrule have a counterpart in Termina?" Malon asked.

"Oh, sure. Almost everyone in Hyrule has a counterpart," Link explained. "Aside from your father and Ingo, everyone you see in Castle Town and Kakariko Village, the Gorons, the Zoras, the Gerudos, even the running man had a counterpart in Termina. The only exceptions there are the Kokiri, the Sheikah (well, there were Gossip Stones, Sheikah Stones, and the Lens of Truth that were created by them), Princess Zelda, and Ganondorf."

"That really is interesting. I ought to find that tree stump you fell through and visit Termina. I'd like to visit that ranch and see how it compares to our ranch."

"It's not that easy," Link said. "I found the entrance to Termina somewhere in the Lost Woods by accident. You'll have to find that Skull Kid with Tatl and Tael hanging around him somewhere first, then ask him to take you there."

"I guess," Malon said, bouncing in her seat with eagerness to hear the rest of the story. "But enough about that! I really, really, really want to know what else happened between you and the Skull Kid."

"Oh yeah, I guess I got sidetracked for a bit, didn't I?" Link said as he continued his story, leaving off from when he was staring down the Skull Kid. He told Malon how before he could confront the imp for stealing his horse, the Skull Kid used his mask to turn Link into a small, sad-faced Deku Scrub and laughed at his misfortune. Deku Link tried to chase after him, but Tatl stayed behind for a moment to stop him from following her, Tael and the Skull Kid, only to get separated. Reluctantly, Tatl agreed to join with Deku Link as partners to find where the Skull Kid was hiding, and she even taught him how to use a Deku Flower in his form. Link described in detail of the gaps he flew over by launching himself from the Deku Flower and use two flowers he carried as propellers to help him fly over the gaps. When he cleared the gaps, Link went through a stone door that took him underneath a tower with a water wheel to help function something mechanical on the top.

Link told of the Happy Mask Salesman who kept him for a moment by introducing the most unsettling words to ever come out of the grinning mask collector, "You've met with a terrible fate, haven't you?" Those words unsettled Malon's nerves as well while Link told of his quest to retrieve his stolen precious ocarina from the Skull Kid to have the Happy Mask Salesman change him back into his original self in exchange that he would take back the mask the Skull Kid wore.

Link told of his first three days in Termina while he took the form a little Deku Scrub, treated as a weak and fragile child by everyone in Clock Town, including the soldiers who stood guard at the gates leading into Termina Field. He told the part where he learned that the Skull Kid shattered the Great Fairy of Magic and four other Great Fairies in Termina into little Stray Fairies. He added in how he was given the power to shoot a magic bubble from his nozzle-like "mouth" from the Great Fairy of Magic as thanks for bringing all the Stray Fairies together. How he met the youthful group called the Bombers Secret Society of Justice, who challenged his Deku form to hide-and-seek for a password leading to the back entrance to the Astral Observatory. How, after being given the password, he saw the Skull Kid from on top of the Clock Tower as a precious, radiant stone fell from a frightening Moon's "eye" and landed outside of the observatory.

Now Link had to be careful with the story of the third and final night in Termina. He didn't want to give the secret of the Ocarina of Time away, so he had to improvise the story from the top of his head.

Through his words, Link told Malon of what happened on the final night, when Deku Link and Tatl went to confront the Skull Kid on the raised platform of the Clock Tower. Deku Link and Tatl tried to talk the forest imp into giving back the mask, but Tael flew from behind the imp and urged them to bring the four residing in the swamp, mountain, ocean, and canyon. Upon hearing this, the SKull Kid slapped Tael which angered Tatl greatly. When the Skull Kid scoffed at Tatl's rage and at the idea of them being powerless against him, the forest imp screamed up to the sky as he slowly used the dark aura emanating around him to pull the Moon down on them and crash onto Clock Town in five minutes.

Using his bubble, Deku Link knocked the ocarina from the Skull Kid's grasp, picked it up and (this is where Link fabricated the story a bit), played the Song of Time on his Deku Pipes to send him and Tatl back three days before the Moon crashed on them. Link told how he and Tatl were astounded by how everything just went back to normal, thanks to the song's magic powers. While they took in the sights of the restart of the three days, Tatl remembered that since he had retrieved his ocarina, his most precious item, she and Link would see the Happy Mask Salesman to keep the latter's promise to change him back to normal.

"...so after the Happy Mask Salesman saw I got my ocarina back, he somehow conjured up this enormous grand piano and played me the notes I needed to lift the curse off of me. I whipped out the Deku Pipes, played the notes, and all of a sudden, a simple Deku Mask fell off of my face. I looked down and around myself, and lo and behold, I was back to my normal self! Thanks to the Song of Healing as it was called, the curse of the Skull Kid was lifted off of me, and I got to keep the Deku Mask as a momentum of the occasion."

"You mean to tell me that you played those notes, you were changed back from a sad Deku Scrub to a human again!?" Malon asked. "That is extraordinary!"

"Indeed. Once I got back to my normal self, the Happy Mask Salesman asked for the Skull Kid's mask like I promised him," Link explained a portion of his story. "You should've seen how much the Happy Mask Salesman panicked when I told him I didn't have it. I've never seen his eyes open up like that before."

"What did he have to panic about. It was just a creepy mask, right?"

"It wasn't just a creepy mask," Link explained. "It was called Majora's Mask, a cursed mask that was used in an ancient tribe during hexing rituals. From what the Happy Mask Salesman told me, the power of Majora's Mask was so dangerous that the ancient tribe had to seal it away in shadow to prevent a great catastrophe from happening. No one except that tribe knew the true nature of the mask's power, and that tribe has been gone for a long time. According to legend, whoever wears Majora's Mask is granted a dark and evil power. When worn too long, it can even take complete control over its wearer's mind."

"And that Skull Kid just stole it from the salesman?"

"He didn't know of its power, nor did he know that the mask was twisting him from the inside," Link said. "With Majora's Mask, he created four masked beasts to imprison the Four Giants, Termina's guardian gods that rested in the four cardinal directions of the land. In doing so, he poisoned the Southern Swamp, created a blizzard in Snowhead Mountain that was dangerous to the Gorons to live there, made the waters of the Great Bay too hot and murky for the Zoras, and cursed the Ikana Canyon where the spirits lingered the first time I visited there. I had to free the Four Giants from those monsters in exchange for their help to stop the Moon from crashing."

"It sounds like you had your work cut out for yourself," Malon said.

"I did, but in the end, it was worth the hassle," Link said. "I managed to stop Termina from being destroyed, I helped lift the curse of Majora's Mask from everyone and everything affected by its powers, and I got to keep four of the masks I have with me all this time, among a few other souvenirs as well."

"Ooh, can I see them?"

"In another time," Link said, as he turned his gaze to the front. "Look, we're here."

Malon turned to Link's gaze towards the drawbridge over the moat as they approached the guarded walls to Castle Town. A significant number of the Hylian population crossed the drawbridge as well, a couple of horse-drawn carts to stand out among the growing crowd number. Link and the residents of Lon Lon Ranch crossed over the chain-hinged bridge and through the gateway guarded by two Hylian Knights, clad in their glimmering armor, staunchly standing with their spears upwards. They passed the gateway of the wall and into the beginning scene of Castle Town like Link remembered, decorated with colorful flag banners spreading on a line over the streets from one rooftop edge to another.

"Wow. This place looks like hasn't changed much since I left," Link said as he admired the familiar sights of Castle Town. "It may be the new Southern District, but that doesn't mean I won't call it the town square that I remembered as a child. I have such great memories of that place."

"Like when we first met by the fountain in the center of town?" Malon inquired.

"Like when me first met by the fountain, that's correct," Link clarified. "It was also the first time I heard your singing voice. I can almost remember it like it was yesterday."

"Perhaps you two can revisit Memory Lane when you two have the time," Talon suggested. "Look, there's our stand."

Link leaned over to the side and peeked at the stand where the milk would be sold to the growing masses in town.

His mouth dropped open.

"You've got to be joking!" Link said as he laughed, the original three members of the ranch looking at him quizzically.

"What's so funny about our stand?" Malon asked him.

Reaching into his back, Link took out his Pictobox and produced a photograph he took in Termina. He gave the photograph to Malon, who looked at the photograph for a moment before she covered her mouth to stifle her laughter.

The stand which Lon Lon Ranch reserved bore a great resemblance to the interior of the Latte, with the cow's head on the roof resembling Romani's Mask, spots, half-lidded eyes and nose.

---

Hidden in the middle of the Kokiri Forest, protected by the magic of the mystical flora, there was a wooden bridge at the entrance to the forest, leading across a gap from a cliff to a hollowed-out log.

Through the other side of that log, like a tunnel, there was a grand space inside the forest. It was a space with a few cliffs and a couple of paths leading into some deeper parts of the forest, a little stream of clear spring water trickling from a hole in a cliffside that led a path into the Lost Woods. Within that space were several gigantic tree stumps that reached as high as a little peasant cottage, hollowed out so they were big enough to house the non-aging forest children, protected by the magic of the forest.

The non-aging forest children protected by the magic of the forest were scurrying about in a frenzy, a few carts filled with goods, props, and knickknacks hitched onto a cow that mysteriously ended up in the hollow tree stump that used to be Link's former home. The Kokiri children ran around their village, gathering the stock they needed to set up shop in the Castle Town marketplace while others were gathering the stage props and costumes for a play they did annually for the late Great Deku Tree. One red-haired Kokiri girl gathered the spring water in glass bottles for gardening or refreshing purposes. One Kokiri boy with brownish hair over his eyes stocked everything he had stored in his shop to carry onto the cart, including Deku Seeds, Deku Nuts, Deku Shields, and Deku Sticks, and Hearts. Another Kokiri girl with blonde hair and twin buns on the back of her hair was sorting out the props used in the play, masks, wooden swords, costumes and all.

All in all, the Kokiri tribe pitched in worked as a team to get the cart loaded and ready to depart for the outside world. Most of the Kokiri were excited to see the wonders of the world, like the big people and the creatures they might come across. A few of the Kokiri were reluctant to go, one reason being because the outside was the place where Link ran away to and never came back. A couple of the Kokiri were skeptical to see what they would find outside the forest

There was, of course, one Kokiri child whose bravado and arrogance constantly blinded him to what he was truly feeling...

"Come on, people, hurry it up! We've got a tight schedule to keep here!"

...and his overly-commanding voice was ringing out in the forest so loud that it would reach a few Skull Kids in the depths of the Lost Woods.

Mido, the self-proclaimed "boss" of the Kokiri stood on a lone rock, one hand placed at his side and the other hand pointing at his fellow forest children as he barked orders to get the departure moving quicker. His mask of fake bravery and arrogance betrayed the face of reluctance underneath it, the reason for it was because he felt guilt for being cruel to the "fairy-less" Link to the point where he left the Kokiri Forest for good. After all, he was the one who said that Link killed the Great Deku Tree and spread the rumors to the other Kokiri children. Only Fado would believe him because she a sister and a friend to him, but the other Kokiri didn't think so. Even his dull underlings knew that "fairy-less" Link would never stoop to killing the father figure of the forest for no reason other than for being different.

In public, Mido maintained his image as the higher power of the Kokiri by ordering his underlings to pull the grass from outside of his house and tossing the stones away from his friend's house. In private, he mourned for the forest child he drove away with his cruelty. Despite the kind words of encouragement from his friend, Mido still felt guilt wrapped around his child-sized heart, and he continued to feel it even to this day.

Now the "boss" hid his guilt with his usual bossy demeanor, direct and supervising the Kokiri's first departure from the forest.

"Reko! Are you done piling up your stock yet!?" Mido asked, pointing his finger at the shopkeeper.

"Just getting the last of the hearts, boss," Reko answered.

"Good! Lari!" Mido called, pointing to the blonde filling the bottles with the spring water. "Finish up with your water collection so we can get out of here sooner!"

"I've got thirteen bottles left to fill! I'm going as fast as I can!" Lari replied, exhausted.

"Speed it up, then! I want to see those big people talk about how resourceful our spring water is!" Mido demanded, pointing to the other blonde Kokiri. "Fado! Be careful with those props! Saria won't be happy if we even get one scuff on the costumes!"

"I'm as careful as I can be, Mido. Trust me," Fado said back with a groan as she carefully placed the banner flags depicting the symbol of the Kokiri race.

"How can I trust any of you guys when we're just about five minutes away from leaving!?" Mido inquired. "We don't even know how big it is in the outside world! It'll take us days to reach this Castle Town place!"

"That's why we have Kaepora Gaebora to act as our guide," one of the three Know-It-All Brothers explained. "Since this is our first time outside the forest, we need the second wisest being in Hyrule to lead us to Castle Town and help us just in case we run into some trouble."

"Yeah!" the second Know-It-All Brother said. "Kaepora even said that the trip will be only two hours time! He said we'll get to Castle Town just before the Princess of Hyrule is giving a speech at the start of the ceremony!"

"And Saria is going to give the Princess a gift on behalf of the Kokiri Forest!" the third Know-It-All Brother said.

"Speaking of which, where is she?" Fado asked, looking around the village. "I don't see her anywhere."

Mido looked around the Kokiri Forest for any sign of the well-known forest child, but he could not see a thread of her light green sweater, not green hair of Saria. It took a minute for Mido to think where Saria could have gone, and when he did, he threw back his head and groaned. "She must be playing that ocarina of hers in that so-called 'special place' of hers," Mido grumbled as he turned his attention back to his Kokiri underlings. "Keep preparing for the departure! I'd better see that cart filled up and ready to go by the time I come back!"

"Yes, boss," the working Kokiri moaned in unison. They knew this was Mido's way of saying "get back to work while I goof off with Saria."

With a huff, Mido turned and strode to the entrance of the Lost Woods.

The bossy Kokiri walked through the tunnel of the hollowed-out log and looked at the other three logs, each one leading into a different section of the Lost Woods. One of those logs would lead him to Saria and her "special place". The other two would either lead him into serious danger with vicious creatures such as Wolfos or Mad Scrubs, or they would lead him lost in the middle of the flora, doomed to live forever as a new addition to the Skull Kid race. Mido played "eeny-meeny-miney-mo" with the log tunnels in his head, pointing at each one as he tried to visualize the path he took only once to the Sacred Forest Meadow.

"Okay, if I can remember the path to the Meadow correctly, it should right through..." Mido pointed to the log tunnel on the left. "...there."

"Are you sure about that, Mido? 'Cause you have been wrong before, you know," the fairy orbiting his head pointed out.

"Yes, I'm sure the Meadow is past there," Mido replied to the winged orb of light. "I can find some stinking stone maze past a bunch of tunnels no problem. It's trying to tone out your skepticism that's the real challenge here."

The fairy bopped him on the head in response, though it didn't have much effect except annoying Mido further.

Ignoring the fairy, the orange-headed Kokiri walked through that tunnel, stopped for a moment to remember the net tunnel that would take him closer to the Sacred Forest Meadow. He stopped at another fork in the Lost Woods of log tunnels, pointed to the tunnel on the right and walked through it, then walked into the next junction where he took a left. As he came to another fork of log tunnels, he remembered distinctly that the tunnel in the middle was the one to take him to Saria. He strode through the middle tunnel, and in the brief darkness, he neglected to see a figure come up to him and unknowingly collide with him, knocking them down on their rumps.

Mido grunted and rubbed his bum, hissing through his teeth while the figure that ran into him shook their head and held their hand to their forehead. Mido growled a bit, stood up on his two feet and gave a hard glare at the person. "Alright, wise guy, what's the big deal running into me like that!?" Mido screamed at the figure, but then he stopped and gasped when the figure he ran into was none other than the girl he was searching for. "Huh? Saria? Where've you been? I was just coming to get you! We've got everything packed, we've got the wagon hitched, and we're all waiting for you so we can get going!"

"There's no time!" Saria protested as she climbed up to her feet. "I need to speak with the Deku Tree Sprout! Something's come up in the forest!"

"What?" Before Mido could ask what the Kokiri girl needed to see the wise sprout for, Saria had already taken off like a Deku Nut from a slingshot, trailed the pink fairy guardian while the two took the exact route back to the entrance of the Lost Woods, and back to their village. "Hey! Hey, Saria, wait up!" Mido called as he raised a hand to stop her, but to no avail. Groaning with frustration, Mido followed Saria back to the village at a speed similar to her sprint.
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