Happy Birthday, Linkle (Evening)419Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡuNsaPLmkKz
For a while she just stared into the fountain before walking away from it and wandering the square's stores, there were places selling bombs, arrows, potions, but she wasn't here for supplies, and soon came across the bomb bowling alley, where she spent twenty rupees before getting the hang of aim and timing, destroying the targets by carefully rolling the bomb so that it would approach the center of the five targets, blowing them all up. She ended up making a bit of rupees, but the manager told her she was already using up a bunch of bombs and they were almost out, even though Linkle had just restocked the rental bomb bag the manager had given her.
The next building over was a smithy who was busy filling orders for Hylian knights, who were having their gear reinforced. She decided to leave since she didn't need anything upgraded, besides, the knights seemed to have to hold out a card saying they were permitted to have their weapons enhanced, but it seemed new, since a couple of guards casually mentioned to her that ever since the Gerudo began stealing weapons, only a few who were required to fight could have weapons upgraded, since they were the least likely to be targeted for weapons theft, Linkle didn't know why that was, but it rose the question of what the Gerudo earlier was chasing her for.
Linkle decided to see if the building sporting a thin, wooden bow was the archery hall, and it was. She grinned as she reached for the bow at her side, but the manager waved his large hand, "No crossbows allowed, miss."
"What, why not?" Linkle groaned, crossing her arms.
"Those crossbows have fancy rapid fire, don't they? This is for true masters, truly master the bow, and you get a true archer's prize."
"Oh, what's the prize?" she inquired eagerly.
"You'll see if you win, one hundred and fifty points for the prize, everything below gets you some small amount of money, but take it from me, lass, no one has beaten this game, and we've been open a decade and a half."
"Really? I guess I'm about to end that streak then, huh?"
"Oh, ho, ho, are you now? Give it your best shot!" he said, setting a bow on the table.
Linkle took the bow into her hands the way Malron had, and stepped up the blocks on the floor and took a quiver of a rack, it had two loops of leather to wear like a backpack, after putting it on she started stuffing arrows into it and slid the bow off her shoulder, back into her grasp, and drew the string with her fore and middle finger, and strummed it for a bit before the man made an annoyed grunt, "Are you about ready to shoot, Your Greatness?"
"Ha, ha, any time, my loyal subject!" she watched as he pulled a lever and pulled an arrow out of her quiver, firing at the targets that appeared to be rupees until most of them were destroyed, only to find more kept popping up out of places, and the pace increased, she suddenly found herself missing very quickly, then lowered her bow and resigned to watch the targets fly about rapidly in front of her, "Twenty points...that's ten rupees, isn't it?"
"Well, I think we've well established that-" he dropped his words as two rupees, one red and one blue, found their place on his desk.
"Another one, peasant."
"A-anything you say, Your Highness!"
Linkle nodded and refilled her bag, focusing on the point of the bow that should line up with any target before pulling back an arrow, then as the whistle blew she started firing quickly, missing often until she started leading the targets, letting them run into her arrows, her score was considerably higher before they all vanished from the stage, "Fifty rupees, yes!"
"You...paid attention to the prizes, a lot of people have trouble remembering what side of the stage those targets can fly from, but I noticed you found a pattern."
"Well, it was reverse this time, but that makes sense, they go back the way they came from."
"There's different settings, though I may not use the same one all the time."
"Oh, we'll see about that, this time I'm going for the big prize!" she reached into her pocket when she noticed the guy staring at the arrow depositor, but before he could say anything a blonde haired woman stepped into the room and Linkle saw from her gait that she didn't look too happy, but something seemed familiar about her.
"Why you little soup guzzling, mess making-" Linkle had her hands up when she realized who she was talking to, and hug pounced her.
"Aryll! I missed you so much!"
"I missed you too, Linkle!"
"Peasant," Linkle turned to her new friend, who was ducking behind his desk, though with his large frame, he was clearly visible, "this is my sister, Aryll!"
"H-huh? Your sister is Lady Aryll?" the manager said, getting up from his bad hiding place and, still trembling, set his hands together and attempted to regain his lost composure.
"How many people do I have to tell," Aryll groaned, "there's no title of ladyship, I'm just watching our oceans, any title I'd take should be 'Captain', I do steer the Royal Navy's flagship."
"I guess people love you more than respect you, huh?" Linkle said, forgetting about the archery she was previously engaged with.
"Ha, I guess so. Why's there a purple rupee on the desk?" Aryll inquired, pointing at the manager's reward.
"Oh, that? I've been winning prizes, Castle Town's so much fun!"
"I'm glad to hear you're enjoying the games here, and not only that, but you seem skilled with that bow to have gotten fifty rupees."
"They run on a loop, they go one way, then return from the other side, but it's not exactly reverse, so I know which strings are coming from where, but this guy claims there's different orders."
"He's right, I sometimes come here to shoot, I've gotten the prize, though I've been here a while now...I don't shoot professionally, but it's good to know in case our ships our ever attacked."
"Well, I have a feeling this guy's about to tell me he's about out of arrows, so I'll just be taking this," Linkle said, taking the purple rupee of the desk, "and I'll drop by whenever I come back, okay, peasant?"
"Ha, ha, where did that come from?" Aryll inquired as they left the building.
"It's not important, but I don't think he's very fond of my confidence in my skills."
"Oh, well, speaking of which, I haven't seen Malron, but that is her carriage, right?"
"Yeah, we came here for my birthday, she said she would be a couple hours until we met up here, but I think she just wanted me to be able to stay in the city for a little while," Linkle patted her wallet and sighed, "you want to eat something? I'm buying, since my wallet has swollen."
"Ah, sure, something light for me, though, I'm having dinner with an important individual later, and I would like to eat something, since it'd be weird to just sit there while she wolfs down whatever's served up to her."
"Whoa...is she...kind of large?"
"No, high metabolism and low manners. Speaking of which, I also brought something for her, just...keep that under your hat, alright, Big Sis?"
"Yeah, sure, I'll keep it a secret from everybody!"
"Great to hear."
"I just wish you could stay here for longer, I guess your on business, huh? Oh, is it a tribute to a princess or someone? Oh...you said important! I can only imagine there must be ten or so people who are important here!"
"You might want to say eleven, I don't know if she's staying here or what, she may relocate for dinner, I don't know what her plans are."
"Hmm, maybe I can help you, just tell me where-"
"Not happening, but nice try!"
"Ah, come on!"
Ha, ha, wow, and I thought I was the younger sister!"
"What does that mean?" Linkle pouted.
"Well, we're about the same height, but then...you always had such enthusiasm, I guess I mean I feel older sometimes."
"Uh, anyway, where are we eating?"
"You said you're buying, though...that looks good, the Hyrule Cafe."
"You know the place better than me." Linkle remarked, letting her sister lead her to the cafe.
The council room was the only time Zelda found where sitting next to the her father wasn't 'distracting', though she was often given some trivial task by the council so as to prevent her from saying anything against it, not that she could make any decisions, save the decision to influence anyone else's decision. She was reasoning against one of the hundreds of things that someone thought were good ideas when Impa marched int the room, her Gerudo prisoner in chains that rattled throughout the halls.
"Impa, who is this?" the king demanded.
"A Gerudo, your lordship, if I may-"
"Certainly not," interrupted one of the lavishly dressed knights or lord or whatever the title was, Impa didn't really care for official names, not when she had some of her own that were equal, if not better, to the current title, "who are you to bring this woman before us? Do you not know what the Gerudo can do?"
A braver high rank gentleman walked up to Impa's prisoner, "What is your name, why have you left your countrywomen for Hyrule? Are you on a mission for them? This woman is quite silent, isn't she?"
"Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!" the laugh echoed within the helmet and rang out in a metallic voice, "Yes, this woman is quite silent."
"Why have you brought her here, Impa?" the king inquired.
"I wanted to talk to Zelda, actually, but you should hear this too, or see, rather," Impa pulled the face guard up, only to find the eyes visible, the rest of his face was covered, Zelda gasped as she noticed this and Impa nodded, "just like in your dream, Zelda, you were right!"
"More of this dream nonsense, Impa?" another noble jeered, "Surely your daughter is crazy, Your Majesty, I advise you have your son be named successor, and not your ill daughter."
"Do what you like, but when the kingdom falls to pieces, I will not wait around for any of you to fix it." Zelda shot back, before turning to her father, "What do you have to say on the subject?"
"I...would believe you, but even then, what would this mean?"
"That they're invading for...Hyrule—no, the world...the gods' greatest treasure."
"Oh, just tell them already, girl," the Gerudo laughed, "we're after the Triforce, our leader will be very happy once he has the key to finding it."
"So I was right!" Zelda exclaimed, to reach another dismissively snorted.
"You're so right, Princess Zelda! Oh, wait, everyone wants the Triforce, that's why the hero hid the way long ago, hundreds of years, even."
"Yes, well, someone in Castle Town is very important...just think, you great and honorable people , you could wish for any good thing you pleased, it could all be yours! And then you would bring peace upon the world, for many thousand years to come! That's all I wish for."
"Take her from my sight." the king ordered.
"U-uh, wait, Your Majesty, perhaps we should talk to this woman for a while, she may mean well." one noble suggested.
"She tried to kill someone today, I doubt she means well if she was chasing a harmless wagon." Impa declared.
"Well, tell us, what do you know of the Triforce, Gerudo?" a noblewoman inquired.
"Only as much as you...the Chosen Hero of the Gods has the key."
"Yes, there's a key, it's said to help it's user find his way." the noblewoman said, waving her hand, "But what do you know?"
"That the hero has been reborn in this time, but is not yet required...so has not yet awakened, but when he does, he will side with us, for we are the just ones in this era, those he must help, we, the Gerudo."
"What, you're all thieves!" she retorted.
"Ah, but Hylians are no better, you are all, in fact, much worse, and so will pay by the hero's own hand." the Gerudo turned to Zelda, "Tell them, you've seen it in your dreams, a ruined Hyrule. Who do you think could burn down buildings, a thief? No, a thief army lead by the strongest hero!"
"This is all very disturbing, Impa, do us a favor and send her to the dungeon." the king ordered, and Impa nodded, guiding the Gerudo away as she laughed.
"I'm going to my room now, if anyone sends for me." Zelda said as she excused herself.
"Wait, Zelda, your attendant!" the king yelled, but she had already left, "She forgets her attendant too easily...maybe I need more guards for her."
"Or lock her away until she learns to be more rational."
"I doubt that's a wise approach." the king replied, leaning back as he prepared to get back to the topic at hand.
Zelda stormed through the halls and up several stairs before finding herself back in her room, "I can't believe this, that Gerudo...those eyes...that was the face I couldn't see!" suddenly there was a knock on her door, when she opened it her brother was standing on the other side, and threw a powder at her face, she covered her face with her sleeve and ran to the window, but he rushed next to her and grabbed her wrist.
"That will make you tired, it's best you get some rest now...you wouldn't want to be awake for what happens next." he said, backing away as she leaned against the window and glared up at him.
"Daphnes the second...what are doing?" she asked, feeling suddenly very tired and warm, "This is supposed to make me look like I have a fever...what's your scheme?"
"Bidding you good night, my sister." he answered, turned toward the source of quick running to find Impa toward the room, "Impa, there you are!"
"How long has she been like this?"
"I don't know, I found her like this, please, is there nothing at all you can do?"
"Go fetch a healer, now!"
"Ah, yes, right away!"
"Is this why you left the council, Zelda?" Impa wondered as she carried the princess to her bed. After laying her down she noticed a fine pale powder on Zelda's sleeve, "What is this?"
"Impa, Impa, we're back!" Impa turned to see the prince run in with the king and a healer.
"Good, I have to run to gather our warriors, the Sheikah Warriors have been looking forward to a test."
"Alright, good luck, my the Three Sisters guide you."
"And you too." she nodded, though she neglected to add that they'd need to guide him to hide from her if anything happened to the princess while she was gone.
After lunch Aryll showed her sister all around the city, then they found themselves back in the square to find an early Malron looking up at the sky, "Hey, Mal, look who's here!" Linkle ran to the mayor's daughter, who noticed the bag in Aryll's grasp.
"So, what's your sister got?"
"Uh, that's for some famous person, or something...she just says this person is important and that a dinner wasn't scheduled, sounds like the person should have had Aryll choose where they'd meet." Linkle said, crossing her arms.
"Well, I didn't want to restrict the plans, so...I'll just wait. She knows where I am, it'll be fine." Aryll said, waiting until Linkle turned away to return Malron's smirk with a nod.
"Well, Linkle, about ready to get back to the farm?" Malron asked, "The others haven't had a chance to give you their presents yet, and I bet they're all anxious to celebrate the day with you."
"Uh, yeah...Aryll, are you going to stay here and wait for your appointment?" Linkle asked, hoping that Aryll was free, or would at least be a tiny bit irresponsible.
"Nope, let's go, if there's room in the carriage, that is." Aryll said, following the pair outside the the city.
When they returned to the village, Aryll found that as much as the village had remained the same, it also changed a little. Malron had suggested she take her sister to visit everyone, while she drove to the farm and somehow hid the parcel she had purchased back in Castle Town. Before anyone noticed, night had fallen.
"So, Link," Malron said, approaching the sisters who were now in the field with Epona, "did you have any dinner plans, or were you planning on eating here?"
"I didn't think about that...Aryll, what about your plans?" Linkle inquired, watching as her younger sister grinned.
"I imagine I can stay a while longer." Aryll replied.
"Ah, great...is here alright, Malron?" Linkle inquired, imagining a birthday dinner with her sister in the village.
"Of course it is," Malron turned to leave, "it won't take but an hour or so, I'll bring you back here then."
"Great, thanks!" Linkle grinned, today was almost the best birthday ever, minus that incident with that Gerudo back in the fields on the way to Castle Town.
"In the meantime, why don't you go and greet the others pouring in through the ranch's gate?" Malron pointed at the villagers clamoring about various day to day things as they made their way to Linkle, bearing bags and boxes with ribbons on them, "I have a feeling that's for you."
Linkle didn't realize how much time could pass opening the gifts of the ten or so residents of the village, but after bidding the villagers good night, she opened the door to the ranch house to find Talron asleep on his big sofa, two bottles of milk on the floor and one in hand, snoring loudly. Malron was reading the Hylian Times, but had looked up to find Linkle and Aryll entering the room.
"I hope you're not too hungry, then." Malron said, standing up and clearing her throat, before doing her best cucco impression, which was enough to wake Talron from his nap.
"Huh? What...oh, I must have had a nap." Talron concluded, yawning loudly.
"Yeah, you did. It's time to eat now." Malron informed, leading them into dining area.
Linkle found steak, fish, broccoli and a salad on her plate, along with a bottle filled with an orange liquid that must have been soup. Aryll had picked up cooking from their grandma years ago, but Linkle wondered how she found the time to make it, before remembering that her sister had sneaked away and was gone for a little while, she probably instructed Malron on what to do, but she didn't think Aryll suddenly brought it up, and wondered how long they'd planned this.
"Wow, uh, soup?" Linkle pointed at the bottle and her sister chuckled.
"I knew Malron was good at cooking, but I didn't expect her to do so well, I have a feeling Grandma would have been impressed, too." Aryll said, remembering how the former adventurer used to try to teach her, but ended up training Malron as both her granddaughters pursued other skills, "She always said you had the makings of a master chef, and she would know, having been one herself."
"Ah, I'm not quite there, yet." Malron said, pulling out a fourth seat for the table.
"What are you talking about, you're great!" Linkle insisted, "If you decide not to lead the village, you could always find a job in the castle."
"I like it here, though, maybe I'd open a restaurant or something, though."
"Well, that was the best meal ever," Linkle said, finishing her plate, "and I've had lots of them, so I'd know!"
"I do hope you didn't saved a little, tiny space for dessert, though." Malron smirked at the surprise on Linkle's face, "You forgot about that, huh?"
"Y-yeah, wow, I can't believe it slipped my mind."
"I'll be back in a minute." Malron said, vanishing into the kitchen and returning with a cake.
"Hmm, that looks good!" Linkle eager to have a slice.
"I hope it tastes as good as it looks." Malron replied.
After the cake they withdrew to the sitting room, but Linkle noticed a ribbon had been slapped onto the chest at one end of the room, and leaning against it was the bag Aryll had been carrying.
"I—uh," Linkle turned around to see the three behind her exchanging knowing glances, "this...is very unexpected."
"I knew you'd be surprised." Aryll replied, "So, look in the bag already, I've been waiting all day to see your reaction!"
"Ha, ha, got it!" Linkle ran to the bag and a telescope with seagulls drawn onto them, "Ah, thanks...but this means so much to you."
"All the better that it's with you, I hardly get any time, especially with all the time I spend in the fleet...I hardly have time to see you or our grandmother, I visited her yesterday, but she wouldn't let me miss today." Aryll had been staring at the ground, contemplating her time away when Linkle tapped her head lightly with the narrow end of the telescope. Having caught her attention she gave her sister a hug.
"Thanks." she said, realizing that Aryll would have to leave again soon, "Tell her 'hi' for me?"
"Of course I will...she wanted you to have this." Aryll handed her a little velvet box, when Linkle opened it she found a choker with a light blue gem attached to it.
"It's beautiful."Linkle pulled the jewelry out of the box, and grinned, "I feel so silly."
"It's lovely though, and matches your eyes well." Malron commented, "Though, I imagine you could make anything look good."
"Ah, yeah, the chest, now!" Linkle said, having had enough time in the spotlight for now. She knelt down in front of the box and pulled the locking mechanisms towards her, the metal loop lifted off the protruding shapes that held them in place, and slowly lifted the lid and reached into the box, pulling out a green, neatly folded...clothes, it turned out. She held the clothes out, another grin that made her feel childish spread across her face, "I got some green clothes! These look so cool, I'm going to wear them now!"
She let the outfit unfold and found it was a cloak with a hood, and promptly threw it onto her back and fastened it, then smiled up at Malron, "This is nice, thanks!"
"Uh, you're welcome, but that is your favorite color, right?" Malron inquired.
"How nice of you to remember, I think it goes well with my choker."
Zelda was out cold, and it made Impa wonder why today of all days was when Zelda's brother would try to take her out of the picture, she was certain he was the one who did this, but didn't know how to prove it. The powder was a mixture of enchanted sand, which gave her the feeling that Gerudo woman was behind it, but she couldn't confront anyone just yet, she needed to link them, perhaps catch them talking together.
His father would do one of two things if Impa went to him, dismiss Impa and maybe even lock her up and accuse her of trying to frame his son, or dismiss his son and send him far away, she was willing to take her chances, but first she needed to have some token of an agreement, just enough to put him under scrutiny, even if he could somehow escape prison, he would be unable to enact the rest of his plan.
She needed a plan, though, and so she decided she's turn to a certain prisoner.
The Gerudo woman looked up from her cell, her helmet echoing a chuckle, "Need help, Sheikah?"
"Yes, in fact, I would ask why you allowed yourself to be captured." Impa replied, playing on the off chance that she could get the prisoner to talk about herself.
"You know, Sheikah, I grew up in the harsh, dry desert, yes, there's a river nearby, but it's so low...and so we cannot use it effectively, meanwhile even the poorest here has food and water, sure, we live in the desert, we could leave if we wanted, become your king's subjects, we may be allied to your king, but that doesn't mean we don't sometimes seek...tribute."
"Would you try to kill one of our king's children?" Impa noticed the helmet tilt upward slightly.
"The princess is dead, then?"
"No, she's alive."
"Then...the prince is also alive, he demanded to know what I did to make the princess fall ill, I had hoped she'd be dead by now, actually. Anyways, I didn't do anything, I just got here, ask anyone around and they'll tell you the prince's outrage...I was hoping she fell ill with some horrible disease."
"Step a little close, Iron Knuckle, and I will let you in on a secret." Impa watched as the shining armor rose and stepped up to the bars of the cell, "I know that sand he used on the princess was enchanted, I know you gave it to him, that was the plan, wasn't it? Tell me how to lift her curse."
"I don't know what you mean, Impa...attendant to the royal brat, right? Look, she's got royal blood, the curse will dissipate soon, I'm sure, especially if it was a short term spell anyways." the Iron Knuckle turned around and went back to the shadowy seat, "That is all I will say."
"I will tie the crime to you, somehow. Perhaps I'll catch the prince and outright accuse him, then you will be given up."
"Wouldn't that be obvious? You can prove nothing, Shadow Warrior."
"And you have nothing to gain from silence, give him up and give me the cure, agree to this, I will bring the king and you can explain it to him, he will know your story and then he can talk to his son, bring up your story, and then, when Zelda wakes up thanks to you, she can testify."
"I don't know...hmm, okay, deal! Bring in His Majesty, the esteemed King of Hyrule." Impa nodded and left.
After folding her new cloak up, Linkle went to bed, once more in her home, which, she had to admit, as nice as the ranch, but she did worry about the cuccos, and it wasn't like Aryll had a place to stay in the village.
Linkle felt pulled into a deep sleep and saw a blue shimmer in a dark place, the voice spoke of magical mushrooms in a forest, and Linkle, for some reason, promised to watch out for the voice, to protect it. In the morning that dream would nag at her, in the back of her mind she said this, but also knew she would forget it, because that is the way of dreams, half recalled, familiar in the morning, but the details obscure. A red mushroom with a white stalk stayed in her mind, and she vaguely recalled the town apothecary used them for poultices and potions, but had long ran out since the way to the cave had been blocked of years ago, and though the mushrooms were used sparingly, they were soon emptied.
She wondered if it was related to last night's dream, they both seemed too real to be dreams, almost like a book being read aloud by a distant voice, but only while she slept.
The voice told her to be cautious when Linkle awoke, and to take care not to get in over her head.
Zelda's grip on consciousness slipped, and as she fell into the dark, quiet, sleepless night she prayed her message got through.
A/N: This one is longer than the last two, I tried not to do that, I hoped to keep this predictable. Anyway, sorry for the inconvenience.
I noticed that the archery hall here is kind of strange with the rules...but I kind of like it. It's not like you have to really understand the rules.
So, I know expected the action to start in this chapter, but technically it did. And yes, if anyone's asking themselves this (and I completely understand the doubt) I do know what I'm doing...it's just taking forever to get there! :-P Anyways next update is when Linkle's adventure begins. I will be following the outline of her story as seen on wiki as closely as possible. That said, there will probably be more OCs, I may need more names, I'll try not to use nonrecurring characters, though.