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Chapter Eighteen

Jenoa awoke, her head aching terribly from the thrashing she had been dealt. Link was on his hands and knees before her, his look of concern having washed away by her rousal. He placed a hand on her back to ease her upward, being as gentle as possible to help mitigate the pain she was in, clearly conveyed by her grimacing. She looked at him for a moment and noticed that he appeared quite beaten himself. Cuts and bruises dotted his face, and as she gazed downward to shift herself back toward the wall, she noticed a long laceration down his left arm.

“Link…you–” she began before he abruptly stopped her mid-sentence.

“I’m fine. I’m more worried about you right now. You definitely had the worst of it by far.”

She chuckled a bit, causing her certainly broken ribs to grind betwixt themselves inside of her. She reflexively gasped, doing everything in her power to keep from crying out. “And you? What became of you two? I lost you both suddenly in the hallway and I was taken to…” she trailed off, the vision of being back within the Gerudo fortress that she had called home for the majority of her life began to rise to the surface once more within her. The stifling sense of imposed duty and Zayeeri’s morbid facade was giving her a rising sense of anxiety and she shook her head slightly to clear the thoughts from her mind. “When I returned, I was here in this chamber with that creature, and you both looked to be in such horrible pain.”

“It definitely wasn’t the best I’ve ever felt in my life,” Link said through a wry smile. He had instinctively brought a hand up to apply pressure to his side, but he too was doing his best to convince the other that his injuries looked to be more serious than they were. “I was taken somewhere else too,” he said, finally allowing himself to fully sit in front of her. “I was taken to a strange place that I had never been before. I stood at the top of a spiraling trail, and at the bottom, there was a stone pillar with these plumes of black smoke coming out the hole it was in little by little. It was almost like it was leaking? That’s the best way I can describe it. Anyway, before I was able to really get my bearings, the ground started shaking, and out of the hole rose that huge, black monster. It had no arms or eyes, but it had this huge mouth full of razor-sharp teeth. I saw you there too, chained up against the rock wall and it started moving slowly toward you. I ran as quick as I could, but hordes of Moblins, Stalfos, and even those Poe creatures kept doing everything they could to keep me away. I fought as hard as I could but it seemed like every time I took one down, five more would show up out of nowhere. Before I knew it, I was screaming down at the creature to leave you alone and that it could take me instead. Apparently, that worked because everything all at once just stopped and it turned toward me before opening its mouth and inhaling me like some kind of tornado. When I came to, I was hovering here in mid-air. Rukio was already here and I saw him screaming like he was in the worst pain of his life. I reached out, but before I could do anything I started feeling like I was burning alive. Obviously that wasn’t the case,” he said as he looked about himself, “but it absolutely felt that way.”

She breathed deep, thinking about everything Link had just told her. What manner of creature was he referring to? She had never once heard of such a beast, let alone any location that fit that description. It sounded very much like a sort of cork from the way Link had described it. And for him to willingly sacrifice himself so that she might live? They had only known each other for a brief time, but it was almost beyond belief that he would do such a thing for someone who he barely knew. He was a fool, but she had to admit to herself that he was a fool she was slowly becoming very glad she had fallen in with.

“And what of Rukio?”

“Oh,” Link began, turning gingerly to motion behind him. “He’s back there looking after the Great Fairy. She woke up shortly before you did.” Jenoa leaned to look over Link’s shoulder, and saw Rukio, ever the gentle giant, conversing with a half-prone glowing woman. “Always good to wake up to a friendly face,” Link said as he looked back at them. The words hit Jenoa strangely, and she found herself looking at Link without realizing it. He turned back. “Ready to go meet her?” She looked quickly behind Link and then back to him.

“Yes. I would very much like to meet the woman that gave me more than enough bruises to last a lifetime.”

They walked over, helping each other manage along the way before sitting down next to Rukio. He turned and grinned at Jenoa before reaching both of his big arms out and embracing Jenoa.

“I’m so glad you’re okay!” he said as she grit her teeth. The Goron had no concept of his own strength it seemed, and she wasn’t about to ruin his good mood with her outbursts.

“Easy buddy,” Link said, reaching out a hand in protest. “She’s pretty banged up and that’s probably not helping things.”

“I would imagine not,” the Great Fairy interjected. The three turned to look at her, surprised at themselves for being completely oblivious to her presence. A hard feat to be sure given her ever-increasing luminosity. She rose to her feet and extended a hand outward. Light began to swirl around the party and a calming warmth filled them. Their wounds that had been clearly visible moments ago, were now completely healed. They looked at each other, Jenoa in complete disbelief.

“It was like this last time too,” Rukio said. “I was pretty bad off, and the Great Fairy there fixed me up. You’d think I’d be used to it, but there’s still somethin’ real magical about it.”

“You met another of my sisters?” the Fairy asked, her poise regained.

“Darunia,” Link said, rising to his feet to stand before her.

“Well, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you have done for both she and I.”

“Jenoa’s the one you should be thanking for freeing you,” Link said looking back at her.

“Indeed. While I do owe all of you a great deal of gratitude for the effort, it is indeed Jenoa that is deserving of the lion’s share,” she said smiling warmly at Jenoa. The Gerudo warrior got to her feet as well and approached the Fairy. “Fitting I would think that one of your tribe freed me from the shackles of darkness.” Jenoa looked at her quizzically before getting a better look at her face. Her facial features looked strikingly similar to the angular composition of her own people. Was this fairy a Gerudo? “I am Nabooru, and I have watched over these lands for a very long time. I once provided succor and comfort for those that needed it. Until darkness…began to seep into my very being…” She looked forlornly downward, almost as though she were ashamed. “So yes, Jenoa of the Gerudo, I find it quite fitting and wonderful that you of all people were my savior. There is surely no better candidate to be the paragon of power and aid Link in saving Hyrule.”

“Paragon of power?” Jenoa asked, struggling to comprehend what she had just been told.

“Yes. Two of you have been collected thus far: Rukio, the paragon of courage and the hero chosen by fate. And now you, Jenoa of the Gerudo: the paragon of power. All that remains is to find the individual that was destined to represent the third pillar of our existence: wisdom.”

“Wait a minute,” Rukio said, pointing a finger toward Nabooru. “Link is the courage guy. That’s not me.”

Nabooru smiled at the Goron. “Isn’t it? Were you not quick to join him on his quest, knowing full well the dangers it may yield? While yes, Link may indeed embody something wonderful and great, your deeds have no less importance in the events to come. For it is only with the strength that you and Jenoa provide that Link is able to accomplish his task–his destiny.” She looked at Jenoa. “I ask you now to give him your support.”

“O…of course,” Jenoa said, not quite sure how to respond, the protocol for communicating with otherworldly beings a bit beyond her. In that moment, a red light began to envelop her body and Link’s, pulsing quietly. They looked at each other for several moments before it finally dimmed entirely.

“I believe that I will need some explanation as to what exactly just happened,” Jenoa said, her face contorted in confusion.

“Don’t worry,” Link said. “I’ll fill you in. It’s a long story.”

“It is done,” Nabooru said, clasping her hands together. “All that remains now is to see Ruto, the last of my sisters. Seek her out in the deepest waters of Zora’s Domain. It is there that you shall find what you are looking for I think. I only pray that whatever force threatens this land…that brought my own being to ruin has not consumed her as well.”

“Welp, if it does, I think we’re getting pretty good at taking care of that!” Rukio said enthusiastically, pounding his chest with one mighty fist. “What kind of paragon of courage would I be if I couldn’t help bring a Great Fairy back to her senses!?” Link couldn’t help but chuckle a bit and beam at his friends. He wasn’t entirely sure what destiny had in store for him, but Zora’s Domain would bring him one step closer to finding out.

Bryan King is an editor for Zelda Dungeon. He loves writing about everyone’s favorite green-clad elfin boy, and thinks Zelda II doesn’t get the love it so rightly deserves. 

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