Lon Lon Ranch Present….
Malon nervously played with her hands as she watched her future husband to be sip hot coffee from a wooden mug as he waited for her father to awake from his seemly eternal slumber. Malon’s cheeks reddened at the realization that Stonard had arrived hours ago, and her father remained deep asleep.
“Marcilus, do you want me to tell him you are here? You have waited for so long.” Malon shyly suggested.
Stonard waived her offer off, putting his empty mug down while yawning.
“You know what? The trip has finally gotten to me, I will retreat to the guest room and sleep for a few hours. Do let me know when Talon awakes though!”
He gave her a kiss on the cheek and went into the room. Malon felt somewhat relieved by Stonard’s departure. She was embarrassed that Stonard had come all the way to the ranch to ask for her hand, and her father slept soundly if a bit longer than usual for the proposal to swiftly take place.
She wanted to postpone this prospective marriage at all costs, but wasn’t brave enough to deny Stonard herself. Perhaps there was another way she thought. Malon went up the steps and entered her father’s room, she softly closed the wooden door behind her.
She sat by her father’s side and gently tapped him on the arm stirring him awake.
“Oh! Malon…what? What is it?” Talon asked with droopy eyes.
“I need you to do me a favor! And you can’t say no!” Malon replied with urgency.
“It’s early Malon…whatever it is ask me when I wake up later in the day.” Talon finalized turning away from her.
“There is no time …Stonard arrived earlier. He is resting at his room. He is going to ask for my hand and you have to buy me some time.”
“What!? But I like Stonard…and besides I can’t just refuse him.”
“Don’t.” Malon sighed. “Just tell him to …wait another month. Yeah, tell him to wait another month…so that you can prepare a big celebration in the ranch.”
“But he won’t understand the reason for such a postponement after all he is just looking for a straight yes or no answer.” Talon reinforced.
“Then…tell him that yes, that you will allow him to marry me …but that I can’t know because you want to plan for a surprise celebration when he asks me.” Malon urged.
Talon scratched his balding head with a confused look.
“Wait? He hasn’t asked you to marry him yet?” He asked.
“No. I think…I think he is wary about me turning down his proposal. Perhaps he thinks that if he earns your approval I will be swayed by it or something.” Malon replied .
Talon placed his hand over Malon’s shoulder before he asked,
“You don’t want to marry him do you?”
“No.” Malon shook her head. “But only because I still feel that Link will return. I am scared to be wrong.”
“Well I won’t force you into something this important if you don’t feel ready. The heart is a strange thing honey.”
“I am sorry. I know you really like Stonard.” Malon apologized full of sincerity.
“Doesn’t matter if I like him, I am not the one marrying the boy.” Talon replied with a smile.
“Thank you dad.” Malon said with a sigh of relief.
Kokiri Village Present……
Link opened his eyes, he looked across his room, and neither Saria nor Aryl were anywhere to be found. He was tired, but it was finally daytime and some of the brightness peered through the curtains to let him know that it was time to leave.
Saria had told him that he had to go and to be honest there was nothing else for him to do at the forest. He had eliminated most of the surrounding Moblin plague, and the Deku Tree was finally strong enough to cast his protective magic around the forest keeping the Kokiri safe.
Link fastened his belt, strapped on his sword and shield, and exited his Tree House. He would be back to this Tree house, how could he not? He had been back many times during the other time line, had lived most of his entire life in its quiet yet comfortable innards.
Yet this time something felt strange as he walked out of the door and commenced the ordinary descent down its wooden ladder.
“Maybe it is the way Saria said ‘and We shall never meet again’…maybe she is just being over dramatic.” Link told himself as he made his way down.
As he walked back to the Forest entrance he saw all of his child hood friends playing around as always…carefree spirits. Some waved at him, some of the girls giggled at his way. Link had the body of a maturing 15 year old ( though he was really 17) and was considered handsome by most. So he was used to the giggles and whispers. Everything seemed normal except for one little freckled boy named Mido or as Link referred to him jokingly; the alpha runt.
Mido eyed him curiously and ran towards him,
“Hey! Wait up Link!” Mido yelled as he approached him, “ Oh! Awesome Scar! How did you get it!!”
Link smiled, he had grown to like Mido and Mido had humbled himself throughout the years to end up admiring Link who he saw as his big brother.
“Long story …had a fight with a giant Moblin.” Link replied play fully messing around with Mido’s red hair.
“Did you win?” Mido asked wide eyed.
“I wouldn’t be here taking to you if I hadn’t.”
“Awesome!” Mido replied taking a curious look at Link, “Are you leaving again?”
“Yeah.” Link nodded.
Mido shook his head with a distressed look before replying,
“That’s not good. You promised you would continue my sword lessons when you returned.”
“I am truly sorry…I will owe them to you.” Link reached into one of his sheaths and pulled out a beautiful short sword, its blade made of fused sliver with gold.
Mido’s eyes brightened at the sight, his jaw dropped slightly as the blade shimmered before him.
“Now Mido, a great sword a great warrior does not make. However all great warriors carry with them a legendary weapon.” Link paused before he took Mido’s right hand and placed the hilt of the blade in it, “This is the Gilded sword! A legendary blade forged by the master blacksmiths of Termina. It was forged with the rare, and mystical gold dust! This is one of the blades I used to defeat Majora’s Mask!”
Mido eyed the blade in amazement, his ears reddened and his facial expression went from one of pure amazement to one of sincere confusion.
“It is the most awesome sword that I have ever seen. But…I don’t understand? Why are you showing it to me now?” Mido questioned.
Link smiled while patting Mido’s shoulder,
“Mido, I am not just showing you the blade. The blade is my parting gift to you. I have not much left to teach you…” Link paused for a second as he knew he was lying, but what else could he do? Just like he did when he left his tree house Link felt deep in his heart that he would never see Mido again. “You are already a worthy Kokiri Warrior, worthy of song and tale!”
Link paused again. Perhaps he was over doing it, after all as far as he knew there had never been a Kokiri Warrior other than himself, and Mido had yet to do a great deed, but the boy seemed excited enough at this point for Link not to feel too bad about leaving.
“Indeed! After all I AM the GREAT MIDO!” Mido exclaimed before bursting in self confident laughter.
“That’s our Mido! So you see, with this sword I expect you to keep everyone in the village safe, especially Saria. Until I return everything is in your hands my freckled friend.” Link finalized.
There was a solemn moment between the two. Mido broke the silence when out of nowhere he hugged Link. Link was taken aback in surprise as tough, and arrogant Mido had a golden heart but he rarely showed it.
“I am sorry.”
“Sorry for what?” Link replied.
“For how I treated you.”
“Ah…we were kids…we are brothers. Brothers fight sometimes.”
“I know. Thank you.” Mido said.
That had been out of character coming from Mido, but perhaps he also felt that this would be their final goodbye. Saria had been very clear about never meeting again the night before. Link at first thought she was exaggerating but now he wasn’t so sure.
“Well I guess I got to go Mido. Remember take care of everyone. This is your duty as a legendary Kokiri Warrior!” Link exclaimed almost like a captain would order his troops.
Mido stood up right his face brightening again, as he twirled his new sword.
“I, the GREAT MIDO Will not fail you Link. I will keep the Kokiri and the The Great Deku Tree safe!” Mido finalized.
Link shook his hand, smiled, and patted his head before resuming towards the village’s entrance. As he walked he felt an urge to speak to the Great Deku Tree but thought the better of it. The tree had a way of spoiling future events, and Link was beginning to think that maybe the Tree had foretold his death to Saria. It seemed like the only plausible explanation for him leaving the forest destined to never return.
Knowing the future, the time of one’s death is a scary thing. Perhaps the greatest gift the goddesses gave to mortal beings was the total oblivious and unpredictable nature of their death. Link wasn’t about to spoil this gift for himself just yet.
As he made his way to the wooden bridge that connected the village to the outer forest Link could spot Saria in the distance. She was in the same spot she had been standing in the first time he left the forest. Oh! What wondrous time that had been!
Link had been a child of ten winters then. The excitement of leaving the forest was magical. The outer world seemed alien and completely fantastical to him at the time. He felt sorry that the other children couldn’t leave. They would forever miss the wondrous sights Hyrule had to offer.
“I guess I should feel blessed for that” Link thought reminiscing on how his life had differed from the other Kokiri Children.
As he approached Saria he couldn’t help but to smile at her. It wasn’t a happy smile, it was a smile rooted in acceptance. He had come to accept the fact that he had to leave…though he still wasn’t sure why.
“Saria…” Link greeted stopping right in front of her.
“Link…” Saria replied.
There was a silence between them broken only by the faint sounds of falling snow flakes.
“I guess … I am leaving. Never to see you again?” Link questioned looking straight into Saria’s blue eyes.
“I am…not sure. But I feel that…I feel that it is…yeah. This is good bye.”
“Yeah. I am a Hylian. I guess I don’t belong here.” Link conceded remembering what Saria had said.
“I didn’t mean that…It was wrong of me to say that. These woods will forever be your home. I just…you wouldn’t understand.” Saria exclaimed distressed as she embraced Link.
“Did…did the Great Deku say something? Like something about me or something?” Link asked.
“Well…there is a shadow that approaches our land.” Saria pulled back for a moment in order to stare at Link’s eyes directly with a serious worried expression on her face. “It comes from the West.”
“Why didn’t he summon me? If you hadn’t told me just now, I wouldn’t have known about it.” Link said in disappointment.
“You are not the Great Deku’s responsibility any longer. He can’t just tell you what to do. I chose to tell you, because I feel that it is inevitable that you will be drawn into this conflict.” Saria caressed Link’s cheek before continuing, “Princess Zelda will come for you, and you will have to decide whether to go with her or stay at the Ranch.”
“And? And then what?” Link asked puzzled at the strange prophecy.
“My vision ends there….I had been having that dream for weeks…then the Great Deku Tree told me about the shadow from the West. I have nothing else to say beyond that.” Saria replied then lowered her head, “At least in regards to your destiny.”
“So this is why I have to leave …”
“No. You have to leave because I want …no…I need you to.”
Saria walked away from Link briefly then turned around teary eyed. Link couldn’t tell if she was angry, scared, or both.
“You didn’t have to know this. It isn’t your concern. We were created long before you …just for you. To wait for you. Now your mission is done. We were to remain for all eternity in the forest as children. The Great Deku Tree took a liking to us and our fairies but …then this happened. He just told me we had to …stop being, as in giving up our humanity in order to survive. Just out of the blue!” Saria had screamed that last word out in frustration.
Link was taken aback by Saria’s frantic reaction. The always sweet, and soft spoken girl he knew was now angry and scared.
“I..” Link was cut shot before Saria exploded in another out burst.
“I want to do the right thing, the Tree showed me a vision of what was to come…everyone dies, slaughtered…I…the things they will do to us! But I hesitate, and I feel it is unfair. It is unfair to stop living. It is unfair that I can never see you again.”
This time Saria fell to her knees on the cold snow. Link got closer and embraced her softly. Saria broke down in tears inconsolably as Link held her in his arms.
“I will defend you. I will protect the forest.” Link said reassuringly.
“You can’t fight an army and hope to win. This isn’t about you. This is about the Kokiri. We have lived as we are long enough.” Saria answered in a softer tone.
“I can’t just walk away knowing this.” Link shook his head, “I will face what ever is coming with you!”
Saria’s eyes flared up again and she loosened herself from Link’s embrace while pushing him away,
“I want you far away! You need to start walking away from this forest, and you must never look back so that I never look back straying from my path. You and I will be the death of everyone if you don’t leave now.” Saria put her hand on her chest in an attempt to calm herself before she called for Aryl.
“But-” Link objected before being cut off by Saria,
“Aryl will remain by your side and you will leave us be…please…” Saria’s eyes watered up again, “ please, I am conflicted about The Great Deku’s decision as it is. My attachment to you served us well against Ganondorf. But it is unhealthy. I am a magical being bound by powers beyond your comprehension, and even mine. You are a mortal bound by the passage of time, and death.”
Link shook his head and sighed. He didn’t know what to say mainly because he had a lot to say. The Kokiri were his life. He had been bound to them since his moribund mother sought shelter in the woods, and left him in the care of the Great Tree. If the Kokiri faced extinction, so should he. Then again he wasn’t a Kokiri by birth or blood.
“I don’t understand…all I want is to help.” Link said.
Aryl arrived at Link’s side but strangely remained silent.
“Then go. I have to prepare the Kokiri to accept this change …we have been human for so long that we have lost track of the centuries. I have to convince the rest of moving on. But I can’t do this …If I am still attached to you.” Saria said her voice full of sadness.
Link walked up to her and embraced her one final time, he squeezed her harder than ever before.
“I already lost you before…when you turned in to a sage. As long as you are safe …I can live with parting with you.” Link choked on his own words as he struggled with holding back his tears before continuing, “I love you…you will never know how much, you were everything to me for so long. I guess what I am trying to say is that you will always be with me…my only family.” Link finalized before letting her go and resuming towards the forest entrance.
Saria silently nodded to Aryl who proceeded to follow Link. Saria turned to watch Link go.
“And you with me …” Saria whispered. They would never meet again.