Posted on May 13 2022 by Michaela El-Ters
|| Previous Chapter ||
-One Hundred Years After the Seal-
The crash of a vase and violent shaking woke Saria. An earthquake? She thought. After a moment, the shaking receded, but whatever sunlight was shining through the window faded. Every hair on Saria’s arms and neck stood on end. The sensation she had felt so many years ago was in full force, and it was at this moment she knew. The seal is broken.
She rushed outside of her house. Fado already had his violin and bow slung on his back and ran up next to her.
“What do we do?” he asked.
“We have to get to Hyrule Castle Town and help King Daphnes and the civilians. We can teleport directly there from the Sacred Forest Meadow. Follow me!”
After a brief flash of light and the Prelude of Light melody echoing in their ears, Saria and Fado stood in the center of the Temple of Time. She couldn’t remember the last time she had been here, but she could tell from looking around that the building was beginning to show its age. She could see the vines growing along the windows outside and the dust that floated through the air.
As they ran outside, the screams of Hylian civilians made Saria’s blood run cold. It was chaos all around them. Civilians fled to the gates, carrying few possessions and clutching the hands of their loved ones. Others had collapsed to their knees in prayer, their faces bowed to the ground while they cried for salvation from the goddesses. Stalfos and ReDeads stalked the alleys. The sky was shrouded by dark clouds, with shadowy wisps resembling elongated fingers reaching across Hyrule. Queen Ruto and another Zora, who Saria suspected was Laruto based on her letters, were helping civilians evacuate as they ran to the center of town.
“Hurry, the King and Zelda are waiting in the castle basement!” Ruto shouted.
Hyrule Castle was devoid of life. All of the servants and most of the guards had fled, and the opulence from Hyrule’s golden age was gone. Saria and Fado quietly and carefully made their way to the Hero of Time’s statue, where the entrance was sealed off to outsiders and would only open to let them in.
Deep in the basement of Hyrule Castle, Daphnes stood in front of the pedestal where the Master Sword dwelled. His beard and hair was completely white. Next to him, Zelda the Sophic held her young son’s hand and was surrounded by loyal servants. Not long after Saria and Fado arrived, Queen Ruto and Laruto joined them. Ruto clutched the Water Medallion while Laruto stood next to her.
“I am grateful you are all here,” King Daphnes said. “With your powers and the might of the Triforce of Wisdom, and the Triforce of Courage the hero will hold, we shall conquer the King of Evil.”
In the dark of the basement, barely illuminated by the candles Zelda the Sophic lit and the Master Sword’s ethereal glow, the Sages positioned themselves around the Master Sword. Saria and Ruto held their medallions while Fado and Laruto held their instruments. They offered their prayers to the Goddesses, while Fado and Laruto played melodies that imbued the Master Sword with a gentle light.
Saria had lost track of the days they spent in the basement. King Daphnes corresponded with guards who came and went to report the condition of evacuations and enemy numbers. From what little Saria could overhear, the battle wasn’t going well. Strange enemies were beginning to raid and patrol the castle, making it harder for the guards to slip in unnoticed. They rationed what little food was left, and Zelda’s son tried to hide his tears while she held him close to her.
Saria remembered Princess Zelda’s story after their victory against Ganondorf and the story she told of sending Link back to his original timeline. Would it have made any difference if she didn’t do that? Saria pondered the question. For a long time, she had resented the princess’s decision to send Link back, but she began to question it now. Would there be a hero to save us now?
After what felt like several days, serene and song-like voices overwhelmed their senses. Three golden lights floated above them, positioned in the shape of the Triforce. Will the Golden Goddesses save us? Saria thought in wonderment as Daphnes and Zelda the Sophic bowed in reverence.
“O’ valiant ones…the King of Evil’s blight spreads across the land. The hero meant to save all…is not destined to appear, in the present or near future. To save the people of Hyrule from the King of Evil’s calamity, we must sacrifice this golden land…an endless deluge from the sky shall fall, and from the flood, a new world will emerge for the chosen on the highest mountaintops…”
The lights slowly faded from within the basement, and Saria couldn’t process what she heard. Hyrule…our home…is going to be flooded? She watched the sweat form on Daphnes’s forehead, and Ruto clasp her hands to her mouth in shock. The silence was deafening, and it felt as though the world had stopped.
Zelda the Sophic rose and broke the silence. “…The goddesses have spoken. We have no time to waste. Father, please take with you Ralph and retreat –”
“No, I will not leave and allow you to stay here,” Daphnes said sternly. “I am the King of Hyrule. It is my duty to stay behind with my kingdom. If the goddesses deem the flood will save us all, and choose your life above mine…then I shall happily abide by their wishes.”
He clasped his daughter’s hands in his gingerly. “You must survive. You must reach the surface and pass on our legacy. The power of the Triforce…must not fall in the hands of evil. Do you understand?”
Zelda’s eyes flooded with tears as she embraced her father. All Saria could hear was Zelda’s sobs as they echoed all around them.
In the days that followed, the storm the goddesses promised began as nothing more than a gentle sprinkle. Saria, Ruto, Fado, and Laruto worked together to evacuate as many of the Hylians, Zora, Gorons, and Gerudo scattered across the land as they could; those that were “chosen” by the goddesses and even those that weren’t. Saria was dismayed at how many refused to go with them and leave their fates in the hands of the goddesses.
As the rain continued to pour, in Kakariko Village, Saria and Laruto went from house to house in an attempt to persuade any remaining villagers to evacuate to the top of Death Mountain. In a single-room house, a young woman named Norah kneeled at the bedside of her ill husband.
“Please,” Laruto begged, “You must seek refuge while there’s still time! The flood won’t stop, and you still have a chance–”
“I will not leave him,” Norah said between gritted teeth as tears streamed down her cheeks. She clutched his hand tightly. “If this will be my end, so be it. I choose to stay with my husband until the very end.”
Saria grabbed Laruto’s wrist and tugged gently. “I think we should respect her wishes.”
“But even if they weren’t chosen, we should still try–”
“I know. But I think…I understand how she feels. She doesn’t want to be without her loved one. I can understand her not wanting to live without her best friend.”
After a moment, they left the house and made their way to the pathway that led from Kakariko Village to the top of Death Mountain.
They stood at the pathway that led from Kakariko Village to the top of Death Mountain. Ruto used the Water Medallion to control the flow of water and keep it from flooding the pathway, allowing refugees with wagons and livestock to safely pass through.
“What about the Kokiri?” Fado asked.
“I’ll help them evacuate,” Saria replied calmly. “They can’t survive without the Deku Tree’s blessing, so he needs to make it to the surface, too. Fado, go with the refugees to the top of Death Mountain. I’ll…join you as soon as they’re safe.”
“O-okay…” Fado sounded uncertain.
We both know I wasn’t one of the chosen, Saria thought. She forced a smile and continued, “When you make it to the surface, hide somewhere safe, okay? One day, they’ll need your powers to give the Master Sword and the hero strength.”
He sniffled and wiped his nose, “I will.”
As soon as the latest group of refugees passed through, Ruto dropped to her knee in exhaustion. Saria ran over and put her hand on her shoulder. “Are you okay?”
Ruto tried to wave it off, “Oh, I’m fine. I’m just not used to using this much of the Water Medallion’s power, is all. What are you going to do?”
I have to go back and help the Kokiri, and…” her voice cracked and she trailed off.
Ruto gave her a knowing look and hugged her. “I understand,” she said softly. “We’ll see each other again on the other side soon, my friend.”
Saria removed her ocarina from her pocket and prepared to play the Minuet of Forest to return home for the last time.
The water in Kokiri Forest was already ankle deep as Saria ushered the Kokiri to the meadow where the Deku Tree dwelled.
“Where have you been?!” Mido shouted. “We’ve been worried sick!”
“I know, I’m sorry!” Saria said exasperatedly. “But there’s no time to explain, I have to get you all to safety!”
She turned to the Deku Tree Sprout and extended her hand. “I don’t have enough power on my own to get you to safety. Can I use the Kokiri Emerald?”
The Deku Tree looked at her solemnly for a moment before conjuring the Kokiri Emerald in front of him. As it floated into her hands, he said softly, “We will miss you.”
“Wait, what do you mean–” Mido asked incredulously.
Before they could explain, Saria took a few steps back and held the Kokiri Emerald and Forest Medallion in each hand. She felt the might of their combined power course through her, and focused all of her energy on raising the ground and roots around the Kokiri and Deku Tree Sprout.
“Goodbye, my friends,” Saria said with a sad smile before the ground ruptured beneath them and rose out of the ground like a mountain. It rose towards the sky, far away to where Saria hoped they would be safe. She felt the power slowly drain from her and collapsed to her knees. At least…I was able to save our friends, Saria thought. Link would be happy, right?
In a weakened daze, Saria made her way through the Lost Woods, trudging through the rising water to the Sacred Forest Meadow. The water was rising faster now, and a couple of times, Saria had to swim through the maze before reaching the staircase. She stumbled to her favorite tree stump, and her forest fairy Fay rested on her shoulder as she sat atop it. She closed her eyes and listened closely, ignoring the rush of the water and focusing on the rustle of the leaves and the trees around her. I’ve always loved this spot, she thought. She opened her eyes and brought her ocarina to her lips, playing her melody for one last time.
As the song continued, fond memories of a lifetime ago when she would sit atop the tree stump and talk with Link emerged in her mind. She didn’t remember him as the hero stories immortalized him as. She remembered her goofy and kind best friend. She could hear his boots as he ran across the meadow, and saw his smile.
Her song echoed through the trees all around her, and when she was done, she smiled. The water was swirling around her now, and through her hazy vision, she thought saw Link standing in front of her. I’m sorry I couldn’t save Hyrule like you did, Link. But I think I’m ready to go now and join you wherever you are now, she thought. I’ve lived a good life. He extended his hand to her and smiled. Saria reached out to take his hand, and as they were completely submerged under the water, time began to slow and still. Saria’s vision was overtaken by the bright, warm light of peace.
Featured art: @LiKovacs
Michaela El-Ters is an Associate Editor for Zelda Dungeon. She has always been fond of Saria and her friendship with Link in Ocarina of Time (this is not her first time writing about it in some way on this site), and this story serves as a tribute to the beloved character and her legacy in the Adult timeline. Along with writing, Michaela enjoys watching shows and movies, playing video games, and hugging her dogs constantly. To read more of her content, check out her blog here.
Michaela El-Ters is an Associate Editor for Zelda Dungeon. She also writes blogs and streams games on the entertainment website Objection Network managed by her roommates. Her favorite Zelda game changes with the seasons, but the series as a whole is near and dear to her heart.