Chapter Thirteen: Stepping Stones
“So after everything, I’m here on a mission from Princess Zelda herself to find the cloaked man who assisted us,” Deya said, concluding his account to Avela and Rakumo of what had taken place over the last few months. They were seated in the woods next to the stable immediately outside Rito Village: Deya sitting on a log with Avela next to him, and Rakumo on a tree stump a few feet in front of them. The wind gently stirred the leaves of the trees that had not been felled, and the sound of a horse’s stirring hooves could just scarcely be heard from a few dozen yards away. Deya took a deep breath. “I believe Her Highness is now attempting to find a place to set up a new village for the people of Ordon.”
Rakumo, wearing a serious expression, and Avela, teary-eyed, sat in silence for a few moments. Avela leaned over to Deya and gave him a hug for the third time in the past ten minutes, and Rakumo gave a mournful sigh. “You’ve had a rough few months, haven’t you, friend?” he said.
Deya looked down at his feet. “Yeah, I have. But I’d rather not think about it.”
Avela pat his shoulder as Rakumo gave a nod. “Of course. I’m sure I wouldn’t want to in your situation, either.” Giving a gentle smile, he added, “Well, you’re here with old friends, at least, in the village you love.” Avela nodded, sadly looking at Deya.
They all sat quietly for a minute before Rakumo slapped his legs and stood up. “Well then, you came to ask about the cloaked man, correct?” Deya gazed up at him and nodded. “Then let’s focus on that for the time being. Someone must have seen or heard something. Let’s try asking the guards, shall we?” He beckoned for Deya to follow, then turned back towards Rito Village with Deya and Avela following close behind.
Avela, Deya, and Rakumo drifted through Rito Village, talking to each guard they encountered, asking if they had seen a man in a dark cloak, Deya describing to his best memory everything about him – his height, his build, the fact that he used bomb arrows, even the patterns in the cloak’s material – any little detail that Deya could think of. After several failed attempts, though, Deya’s patience and hope were waning.
Then, a few minutes later, he felt a rush of excitement as the eyes of the guard they were speaking to glimmered with familiarity.
“Why, yes,” the guard popped up, “I do believe I recall meeting such a person, and even receiving aid from him.” Deya listened closely as he continued. “A month or two ago, word reached us that a half dozen or so wolfos came around a bit too close to the village – about near the Warbler’s Nest, I believe.”
“Wolfos?” Deya inquired.
The Rito nodded. “Oh yes. They’re disgusting creatures. They’re similar to normal wolves, except they’re larger, faster, stronger, and far more aggressive, They have death in their eyes, and bloody claws and mouths. And they don’t die normally, either; they seem to vanish a cloud of smoke. ”
Deya made a face in disgust, and Avela shivered. “I’ve seen them, Deya. I don’t like them at all.”
“My young nephew was the one who had informed us, actually,” the guard continued. “He had been in the area, but had been forced to flee. A man in a dark cloak – one that appeared as you described it – had spent the night at the village inn and overheard. There weren’t many guards around to assist – they were out hunting, you see – and he wanted to lend his aid. Skeptical though I was, I lent him a bow, and we went to dispatch the villains. What I had not realized was that my nephew had followed us down to watch the fight. Two of the wolfos almost got their dirty claws on him before I had noticed. The cloaked man dashed towards it and shot one of them directly in between its eyes, then knocked the other away with his bow. It broke in the process, but then he began to use his remaining arrows like daggers!” The Rito pumped his wings, exhilarated by the memory. “That man was like a beast! If he hadn’t been there –” His tone drastically altered, and he shook his head. “I don’t know what I would’ve said to my sister.”
“Do you know where the man went after that?” Deya asked, pressingly.
The Rito shook his head. “I’m sorry, but I do not. I put his broken bow aside and gave him mine in thanks for his help. I’ll repair the broken one later.”
“Can we take a look at it, perhaps?” inquired Rakumo.
The guard nodded. “Of course! I set it on the table next to the second chest from the right in the armory.”
“Thank you very much!”
Rakumo walked away and began to head up Rito Village’s many flights of stairs. Deya and Avela chased after him.
“You have an armory here? Since when?”
Rakumo chuckled. “Barely. It’s a supply of weapons, yes, but the majority of them have a specific owner. And there aren’t very many otherwise. We’ve had it for a couple of years now; actually; we began putting it together about a month after you left.”
Once they reached one of the highest levels in the village, Rakumo walked to a door that was built into the side of the giant stone backbone of Rito Village, opened it, and stepped inside.
There were a few bows set on hooks in the walls, only separated by the occasional lit torch, and several chests sat below them, gathering a fine layer of dust. Deya walked over to one of the chests, and, kneeling, opened it. It was filled with dozens of bundles of arrows that he presumed were in case of emergency. He then turned his attention to examining the stranger’s bow.
“Here, Deya,” Rakumo gestured. On the table next to the arrow chest sat the sad remains of a longbow, snapped clean in two. Deya nodded his slightly embarassed “thanks,” and took to examining. Being careful not to knock the two loose pieces together, he began to slowly turn each part over in his hands.
Avela watched over his shoulder. “What are you hoping to find?”
Deya shook his head and shrugged. “I’m not really sure. Anything that would give us some sort of clue to his identity, I suppose.”
He noticed a dark red spot on the string and pointed to it. “It looks like someone – or something – bled on it a little there.” He frowned. “Too bad we can’t use that to figure out who he is.”
As he examined it further, he noticed that there was a torn piece of…something…stuck in the shards of broken grip. Upon further examination, he perked up. “I think this is part of his cloak!” He could not help the excitement that crept into his tone.
Rakumo bent to see, then nodded. “From what you’ve said of it, I think you might be correct.”
Deya stared at it with a cutting gaze. “This needlework – the stitches – it looks familiar, somehow.”
Avela shook her head. “Sorry, I don’t recognize it.”
Rakumo looked up in thought. “Neither do I, but it does look vaguely familiar.” Looking at it again, he added, “It does look like it was made for lighter weather, however. Sun cover, and not much else.”
Deya’s eyes brightened, and he snapped his fingers. “That’s it! I know where this is from. And where I need to head next.”
Deya stood at the base of Rito Village, looking up at the town he loved, a few clouds gently floating by overhead. It wasn’t his true home, but he wished it was. Then again, I’m not sure exactly where my home really is, he thought to himself. This is probably the closest place to it, honestly.
As he began to turn away, disappointed at the short length of his visit, he heard a flutter of wings behind him.
As Deya turned back around, he saw a flurry of red feathers. Avela landed gracefully, folding her wings against her chest.
“Oh, hey. What is it?”
“Where are you headed?”
Deya looked over his shoulder. “South. Honestly, I hate the weather down there, but it can’t be helped. The Princess herself sent me on this mission, so I need to go.” He let out a sigh.
Avela looked carefully at him. “What’s wrong? I can tell something’s wrong.”
Sighing again, Deya looked back up at Rito Village. “I just don’t want to leave yet. I love this place, and I don’t know when I’ll get a chance to come back. It’s a long trip from the rest of Hyrule.” Avela sympathetically nodded and gave him a hug. After hugging her back, he continued, “I have a crazy idea. I don’t have the last thing I need to carry it out, but if I did, and if it could work, it’d be amazing.”
“Yeah?” Avela asked excitedly.
Deya nodded, pulling a sheet of paper out of his pack. “I have this special map of Hyrule that I made, with my mother’s help. She’s a mage – remember her?” Avela paused in thought for a moment, then nodded. “The map was made a while ago with this idea in mind. It’s a specific form of teleportation magic. Instead of only being able to teleport to a point where you could see, like with common teleportation spells, you’d be able to teleport from any distance, even across all of Hyrule.” He gestured up at Rito Village. “I want to be able to build a structure – like a small pillar – and bind the teleportation magic to it. The spot would then appear on this map,” he stated, giving it a tap, “and I’d be able to touch it and teleport directly to it.”
Avela nodded excitedly. “That sounds great! What’re you missing, then?”
Deya awkwardly smiled. “While I may be the son of a mage, I do not have teleportation magic.”
Avela stared at him for a moment, and then grinned.
Deya looked thoughtfully at her. “What is it?”
She leaned forward, still grinning, and gave him a playful wink. “I have teleportation magic.”
Deya did a double take. “Wait, what? How?”
Avela giggled. “Don’t you remember how I had been starting to take lessons in music and music-based magic?”
Deya slowly nodded. “Yeah?”
“You’d be surprised how many different variations of teleportation magic appear in melodical form. Some ancient ones only work for specific locations – even long-distance ones – but there are a few that have been altered to change warp points over time. And I know one of those.”
Deya stared at her. “That just might work for what I have in mind.” He began excitedly gesturing while explaining his thoughts. “We could build the structure up there right on the middle level of Rito Village, but out of the main walkway, and then we could bind your teleportation song to it, and then they’d both be bound to the map –” He looked back at Avela. “This might work. This just might work.” He looked up at Rito Village, and then turned his head to the south, chewing his lip.
After thinking for a moment, he declared, “I’m going to go ahead and build this. It might take a few hours – or a day, if I consider the fact that I’ve never done this before, and there’s a good chance there might be problems – and I do need to find the cloaked man, but this will save time in the long run. I’ll leave tomorrow, then.”
One more day here. That’s all it will be. And that’s just what I need.
The Princess won’t be mad…
Deya turned and began heading up the path towards Rito Village, but Avela grabbed his arm. “You mean we’re leaving tomorrow,” she said with a smile.
Avela crossed her wings, still smiling. “I’m not going to let you leave for a few years again, Deya, even if you are going to be able to teleport here after you complete this plan of yours. We haven’t spent much time together in so long, and I’ve missed you. Besides,” she, too, glanced to the south in lament, “as much as I like Rito Village, I’d like to be able to see more of Hyrule, like you have.”
“Are you sure no one would mind?”
Avela shook her head. “It’s all right. Rakumo’s for it, too. He said that he’d like to come along as well, but he has a duty to the village.”
Deya nodded. “I understand and respect that.” Smiling, he put a hand on Avela’s shoulder, adding, “I’ll be glad to have you come with me, though.”
As they both turned to look out, Avela asked, “So after we build this magical teleportation structure thing of yours, where are we headed?”
“Gerudo Town. And now that you’re coming with me, that’s going to be so much easier.”