Lon Lon Ranch Present
Malon was stirred awake by the sounds of horse hooves and unintelligible chatter out side of her window. The sun was barely making its way out, but she could easily make out the form of three Hylian Knights, one them being her own Marcilus Stonard.
She knew Stonard had been away for weeks on a mission out west. Malon should have felt relieved to see him back in one piece, the military was dangerous work, or at least that’s how she perceived the life of a knight to be. Instead however she was a bit annoyed at seeing him standing out there waiting for her with a gift (she assumed) in his hands.
The disturbing thing about this was that there was no obvious reason for her not to be head over heels over the young knight. She had dreamed of being stolen away by a handsome knight in shining armor since early childhood. Marcilus Stonard more than fit the bill. He was the most handsome man she had ever laid eyes upon at least as far as she could tell he was the most handsome Hylian Knight currently in service.
He wasn’t the tallest man she had seen but at least was a bit taller than her. Sometimes she wondered if Link had grown taller than Stonard. Link was one of the reasons she dreaded Stonard asking for her hand. Saying yes to Stonard would put an end to her fantasy love story with Link, and that scared her.
Malon took a deep breath as she dressed herself and nodded as she came to the conclusion that Stonard wasn’t the problem as much as what he represented. He represented the end of her childhood, the end of her freedom, and perhaps most likely the end of her stay at the ranch. Link in many ways represented those carefree days with Epona, her father, and even the ungrateful Ingo. It was a part of her she didn’t want to let go and Stonard symbolized the end of it, and the beginning of the life of a dutiful wife to a man devoted to a kingdom.
Malon went down the stairs while putting a fur coat on. The snow had stopped falling at some point during in the early morning hours but the temperature remained as chilly as it had always been during cold winters.
“Marcilus!” Malon greeted the young captain after opening the front door of her home.
“Malon my love!” Stonard replied followed by a quick kiss on her lips.
“Please! Quickly! Come in you must be freezing.” Malon gestured for Stonard and his companions to enter the home.
Once inside the men quickly approached the fire place with joyful and relieved faces. The trek from Castle Town to the farm was a 6 hour one on horseback. Stonard must have ridden all night to meet her. “We left word at the station in Castle Town…I wish to remain here for the following days…perhaps less until I am called back to the castle. A dangerous mission of upmost importance awaits me, so this might be the last time I will get to spend with you for many months to come.” Stonard said with a sad and somber face.
Malon frowned, she couldn’t recall the last time she had seen Stonard look sad about anything.
“Very well, once your men are rested the guest barn is ready to accommodate them. You can stay here in our spare room Stonard, it remains as you left it. My father will be glad to know you are here…when he wakes up of course!” Malon exclaimed.
Stonard sighed as he laid back to rest on his chair.
“I have an important matter to discuss with your father.” He took Malon’s hand in between his, “One that I hope will bring both of you as immense a joy as the one my heart feels when I’m this close to you my love.”
Malon couldn’t help but smile. Stonard had a way with words, and yet her smile hid the fact that she wanted to freeze time in order to run away. Her fear had finally materialized… Marcilus Stonard would finally ask for her hand.
Because of the heavy foliage that covered the forest, Kokiri Village rarely received the full brightness of the sun. So it was still dark when Saria opened her eyes and rose from Link’s bed. Link didn’t flinch he was soundly asleep, which was of comfort to Saria as she silently walked to exit the Tree house.
Aryl quietly followed. Both of them walked away from the village were only the crickets and owls could be heard from time to time. Saria looked behind shoulder making sure no one had followed them.
“Aryl. You have been the greatest companion anyone could have asked for.” Saria said staring directly at the her fairy. “I love you …and I will cherish every moment we spent together forever. Well…at least as long as I am me.”
“You know I love you as well…but you are scaring me a bit here.” Aryl responded.
“The Great Deku Tree has grown stronger with the passage of time…strong enough to foresee events that have yet come to pass. We, the Kokiri must embark on a journey to become something else.”
“Something like what?” Aryl interrupted.
Saria shook her head as she replied,
“I am not sure, but we must let go of our humanity…perhaps our individuality. We must become one with the tree or perish in the coming centuries. Mido and some of the others will have troubles accepting this fate…which is why I must lead them.”
“Well as long as it is for the survival of the Kokiri you can count me in!” Aryl said excitedly.
Saria smiled, but it was a smile full of sadness and pain.
“In order to lead my people I have to show them the way. I have to let you go …Aryl the Kokiri will no longer need a fairy companion. You have to return to a fountain but first you have to remain beside Link until he completes his quest…his life. It is important that you promise me that you will stay by his side until the end, you are my gift to him.” Saria said almost begging her fairy companion.
“But Saria… I can’t live without you…I can’t remember what it was like without you. My purpose was to protect you.” Aryl replied.
“And you did… and you don’t have to follow Link around but I wish that you would.” Saria said.
“But…but..this isn’t fair.” Aryl protested.
Saria took the fairy in her hand and looked into the village’s direction.
“Your purpose is that boy over there. The Hero of Time. He is the purpose for all of this, or at least was. Our creation, the creation of this village was the Great Deku Tree’s doing. He foresaw the arrival of his moribund mother and the child whose destiny was as important as Hyrule itself. We were created for the sole purpose of providing that orphaned boy a home. Great Deku didn’t know the exact time of his arrival which is why we have lived for centuries, but in the end the boy’s task has ended and in this reality at least so has ours.” Saria finalized.
Aryl remained quiet, seemly in acceptance.
“So in the morning when he wakes I will tell him to leave and you will go with him. You will not speak to him about what we spoke unless you deem it an absolute necessity. Link won’t understand.” Saria finalized with a sigh.
“So in the morning…that will be our final goodbye?” Aryl asked and Saria slowly nodded.
“Then…Saria you have been the most special being I have ever met…I will accompany Link as my final act of love for you. Once his task done, I shall disappear from this world myself.”