Posted on May 25 2018 by Adam Barham
Chapter Seven: Aftermath
“Link, get up.”
Link opened his eyes. He found himself lying on his back in the middle of a void. He stood up, noting that the pain he felt when his arm broke was gone and that the arm itself was completely healed. His guard outfit wasn’t stained with dirt and dust, and it didn’t show any signs he was in a fight. He could perfectly see everything he was wearing, almost as if there was light all around him. He could feel the ground below him. But the ground was perfectly flat, and there was nothing but a black emptiness surrounding him. It was as though he was standing in nothing. Everything seemed so…strange.
Where am- How did I get here? He shook his head, pausing as the memories started piecing themselves together. He remembered the armored assailant standing over the princess. He remembered throwing himself between them. He remembered the assailant brutally swinging at his shield, breaking his arm. And then…a distinct yellow light shining and a cloaked figure saving them both, driving away the assailant.
“You were quite the shield, kid. And quite the sword as well.”
Link looked around, trying to find where the voice was coming from, to no avail. He was the only person there he could see. Really, he was the only thing in this place, wherever or whatever it was. Cautiously, he took a defensive stance and reached for where his sword would have been sheathed. It wasn’t there, and neither was his shield. “Who’s there?”
“You’ll find out eventually. For now, just refer to me as the little voice in your head.”
Sure. That’s not weird at all. Who is this guy? Still, even though Link had never heard the voice before, there was a sense of familiarity to it, as though he had run into an old friend. “And why are you in my head?”
“It’s a long story… However, you have more pressing matters at hand.” The voice paused. “It’s time to wake up.” At that moment, a bright light formed above Link. Blocking the light with his hand, he heard the voice echo again as the light filled the void. “Link, get up.”
Link awoke with a start, sitting up quickly and breathing a bit heavily. He looked at down at his left arm, still feeling some lingering pain, but nothing as severe like what he felt during the attack. I’m not dead yet. He was sitting in a cleanish bed in a white gown, but, much beyond that, he wasn’t sure. He felt someone grab his other arm. Looking to his right, he smiled at the top of a small, blond head buried against it, hands gripping in a bear-hug, his arm getting wet.
“Mister Rusl told me that you were here. You were in a really bad shape…I thought that-”
Link interrupted him, placing his left hand on Kaden’s head with a smile. “It’s alright. I’m fine.” Kaden looked up at him, with tears still in his eyes and a look of concern on his face. He didn’t move for a moment, almost unconvinced. Link’s grin broadened, until Kaden took a step back and wiped away his tears.
“Is it just us here, or the village?”
“The whole village.”
He looked around the room once more, noticing the other beds were the same as his. He realized he was in a hospice. In a bed near his own, a frail woman in bandages lay motionless, as though dead. He thought he may have recognized her: Zelda’s handmaiden. But the bandages covered half her face, and the assaulting light of the room made it difficult to tell. Still, it churned his stomach. “The princess took me here?”
Kaden shook his head, holding his arms out wide. “No. This big guy in a cloak carried you here on a big horse. He said you needed to go here.”
Out of the corner of his eye, Link turned and saw what looked like a nurse quickly walk out the door into a hallway. “So… Where, exactly, is here?”
The courtyard of Hyrule Castle – a beautiful and majestic place that many could only wish to see, much less walk there themselves – yet here, Deya wandered, too lost in thought to take in the gorgeous scenery. This fact briefly entered his mind for a moment, causing him to smirk at the irony of it. Yet, that insignificant revelation was washed away as quickly as it had come by the storm of thoughts that swirled through his mind.
As his mind swirled faster and faster, Deya began to monologue, voicing his own thoughts to himself as he attempted to sort through them
“The Royal Family has been very kind to the people of Ordon Village, allowing us to stay here for the time being. Can I really call myself one of the people of Ordon, however? Can I call myself a true resident of any place, other than Hyrule itself, considering how I wandered the land with my parents these past seventeen years? I only stayed in Ordon for a few months before the attack came; but I suppose it doesn’t matter too much. The true question now is, where will we all go from here? It’s clear that they won’t be able to house us here for an extended period of time. I wonder what we’ll all do. I wonder what I’ll do. I hope to continue tinkering, but it’s not like I can do it at the castle smithy.” As his mind wandered, his thoughts began to drift to his master who died in Ordon because of the mistake he made. He quickly stopped this unwelcome train of thought, shaking it away as he continued meandering through the courtyard.
Deya looked in the direction of the shout and stiffened in surprise. He thought he had recognized the voice, but he hadn’t expected to be noticed by the one speaking. The one he had turned to look at was Princess Zelda herself, looking directly at him. She was in front of a small group of people, with guards on each side of her. Deya recognized a few of the people as survivors of Ordon.
He hastily jogged near where she was and knelt. “Yes, Your Highness. How may I be of service?”
Zelda beckoned for him to rise. “You’re one of the survivors of Ordon village, correct?”
Deya stood and nodded. “That is correct, Your Highness; I worked in the smithy there.”
Deya thought he noticed a hint of pain cross Zelda’s face. “Pardon me, but I don’t know your name.”
The princess bowed her head. “I’ve made it a point to learn the name of each person from Ordon I meet.” She raised her head again. “But I don’t believe I know yours.”
Deya nodded humbly. “I am Deya, Your Highness.”
Zelda gave a sorrowful smile, then spread her arms out towards the small gathering of people that Deya was now a part of. “Men and women of Ordon, I need your assistance. There was a man in a cloak that appeared during the attack on your village. He saved my life and the life of Link, my appointed knight. I do not know who he was or where he went, but I’d like to thank him and ask him a few questions. However, I did not get a close enough look at him to notice any distinguishing features. Therefore, I wanted to ask if any of you noticed anything.”
A young lady dressed in a guard’s uniform – Deya recognized her as Rylan, one of Ordon’s warriors whom Zelda had chosen to join the Royal Guard – raised her hand. “Your Highness, I caught sight of him. His cloak was of an unusual fabric that I didn’t recognize and am unable to describe to the point of identification. However, he did have an interesting bow. The riser was gray with an interesting pattern, and the limbs -”
One of the other guards leaned over and whispered something in her ear. Deya couldn’t hear exactly what was said, but he did manage to pick out a few words, such as “Hylian” and “ordinary citizens”. Her face turned red for a moment – Deya thought it was the red of agitation, not of embarrassment – and she cleared her throat.
“Pardon me. The area near the bow’s grip was gray with a pattern I did not recognize. The ends of the bow that hold the strings were gold in color, with an interesting carving. Extending from the grip were two sticks, one of which was longer than the other.”
Deya started, slightly excited that he might be able to contribute something. “The limbs of the bow – were they reminiscent of splayed feathers?”
Rylan seemed pleased at the mention of the specific term for that part of the bow. “Yes, I suppose they could be described that way.”
Deya raised his hand. “Your Highness, that was a Falcon Bow from the Rito tribe, I’m sure of it.”
Princess Zelda looked back at him with peaked interest. “What knowledge do you have of this?”
“A close friend of mine is the sister of the captain of the Rito guard. I have seen and used one personally.”
Princess Zelda thought this over for a moment. “Then we should send someone to Rito Village to inquire about the man in the cloak. If he was using one of their bows, then they might have some information that we could use to find him.”
Deya took a step forward. “Please, Your Highness; I can go; send me.”
The princess looked him over for a second. “You would like to volunteer for this, Deya? What for?”
Deya looked up at Zelda. “If it pleases Your Highness, I already have knowledge of that region and its people. It would be good to see my friend again. And more so,” Deya thoughtfully stopped for a moment, “I have need to redeem myself of a mistake I made. This mission would help me to move past it.”
Princess Zelda seemed to ponder everything that he said, then nodded. “Very well, then. Deya, I am appointing you to journey to Rito Village in an attempt to gain information about the man in the cloak, and to follow any leads that you may find about him. You have two days to prepare for your journey. Good luck.”
Deya lowered his head. “Thank you, Your Highness. I will do my best.”
Featured Image by MaskedGolem.