Linkle tried to stay out of sight as she explored the hallways, though she was certain she had circled around a few times.
She tried to keep her mind on the dragon slaying hammer the Goron had mentioned, but her mind wandered to the dragon in question, as she let the name echo in her mind the compass pointed in the direction the dragon was in. She tried to think about something else, but Linkle's mind was turned towards the grueling task ahead, no matter what she did she found herself thinking about possible obstacles.
She wondered where the monsters were but thanks to Ganondorf, they were probably defending another path—maybe even rallying for an attack. As the thought reached her she turned to bring it up, but a blast somewhere caught her off guard. "Ganondorf!" she spoke to the compass.
Eyes wide she tried another name, one more fierce because she had yet to meet it's face, "Volga."
Linkle jumped at her whisper and the compass moved from one side to the other. Whatever this dragon looked like, it was home. She couldn't just leave a Goron there, though, on the other hand, Gorons prefer lava to water, so maybe they were heat resistant...but then there were claws. Without another thought, Linkle sprang into the caverns. With a hammer hitting a dragon's head on her mind, she followed her compass.
Aryll leaned over the railing, thinking about the situation she was in. In the end, leaving was probably the best choice, but it felt like she had abandoned something more important than her post, but knew that with Ganondorf in charge of the castle—not to mention the monsters that attacked the castle, and the Iron Knuckle that had attacked Linkle and Malron—the best thing was to prepare for a sea monster attack or for the Gerudo to steal a Hylian vessel, all while trying to find information on anyone working under Ganondorf, just in case he wanted them to attack or run after Linkle.
"Captain, a message delivered by the Zoras."
Aryll held out her hand and waited for the envelope to fall into her grasp and started off for the captain's cabin.
The whole walk she wondered what it could be about, when she finally reached the door, but found she had company. She smirked and nodded at the older sailor, who was looking at all the ships in bottles she had collected.
The former captain of the same crew in a different ship in his chair, turning as she approached her chair, "Bored, are you?"
"How did you guess? I was hoping to chat, but it looks like you might be busy. How's Linebeck?"
"Linebeck's not changed at all since our last visit."
"And your sister? I know it was her birthday recently...ah, I remember when I was your age—I had a sail full of dreams that were more like wind than ideas."
Aryll stared at her desk and sat down, tapping her envelope against the table, leaning back in her chair and scrunching her face, "She's missing."
"What, why would she do that?"
"She left the village and stayed gone for hours, when I went to look for her, there were green clothed people everywhere, then Ganondorf had a bunch of women line up and none of them were Linkle...I take it he's hunting for her."
"Well, her grandma always told her she was the Hero reborn, maybe she was onto something."
"I don't know, but she's too brave, hopefully Malron finds her. Linkle sometimes wandered into the woods to find some sticks if there wasn't enough firewood, and Malron had this way of finding her remarkably fast, before the wolfos did! Somehow she always remained calm, while I did everything from yell at Linkle to giving her the silent treatment when she disappeared like that. I hope that hasn't changed, I hope she comes back with Linkle...what am I saying, this is foreshadowing, of course she's the one to save Linkle! I'll do what I can but I won't bet on me finding her first."
The former captain watched her as she stared the desk down, "Aryll, maybe you should rest first, before initiating our search."
"I—you're right, of course, Linebeck will send me word soon, he will...Linkle will be fine...I wish I could look for her, but she could be anywhere at this point!"
"Just take it easy...Ganondorf lacks the resources to find her, while Linebeck has contacts all across the land!"
"Then let's find a place he has no contacts, or at least...not the ones who would inform him on a missing person."
Linebeck turned around as he polished a painting of a skiff sailing under a clear sky when the door to his store swung open, "Ahoy, how can I be of service?" he inquired, turning around after setting the painting aside to find a woman darkening his doorway.
"I'm looking for one Linebeck the Spineless, know him?"
"O-oh!" Linebeck instantly recognized the green paint over her eyes and climbed onto his counter, jumped down on the floor, which sprang him up into a hole in the ceiling.
Jolene followed his actions but nothing happened, she backed up and saw him peeking out at her, "Linebeck, you're a genius, how is it that only you can activate it, does it need to be reset?"
"Nothing as simple as that, you're too light, Jolene, for you to deliver enough force to activate the launch mechanism, you'd need to increase your overall weight or fall from a greater height, thus increasing the force you deliver in the landing!"
"How much higher are we talking about?"
"Maybe three feet or something like that!" Linebeck chuckled, feeling good about his mental powers, "And Mom said I should've been training with the sparring instructors instead of reading!"
Jolene jumped off the desk and landed on the springboard, which sent her up into the ceiling's hole, "You always did talk too much!"
"Oh, no, no, no!" Linebeck cried, scrambling away, "At least this metal cover is too heavy for your arms!"
"Stop run-" she watched in amazement as Linebeck shoved a metal lid up and climbed up onto the roof. She pressed against the lid, but Linebeck was right when he said it was too heavy, she was swift and had sharp blades, but not too strong, Linebeck's bigger arms gave him an advantage.
She ran out and found Linebeck running for the docks, and to her ship. She smiled and rushed at him, "You made a mistake, Linebeck!"
Suddenly her ship's sails started waving in the wind, and she realized he must have cut them loose, the two stared down each other and Linebeck pulled out a bomb, "Me or your ship, Jolene, but not both!" he threw it into her ship and pulled out a bow, aiming for the bomb. Jolene stepped away from him and he ran towards his ship, hoping in and sailing away.
Malron checked the necklace a lot more than she needed to, so was prepared to wake the Sheikah just as the hour changed.
She had been counting the seconds and counted twenty seconds before pinching it again for the time, and found it had changed, she tried not to startle the sleeping warrior, but after nudging shoulders and talking softly failed, she raised her voice a bit at a time, then took a deep breath and yelled, "Sheikah...Time!"
"Huh?! Are we under at—oh, huh...I swear I heard chanting for a minute, then someone yelled the final incantations." an inquisitive red eye told her it wasn't just a passing remark.
"Um, I was counting the seconds so I could wake you upon the hour." she replied apologetically.
"With that bloodcurdling screech?" the Sheikah sat up for a moment before leaping upright.
"Um...you weren't waking up."
"That explains it...I apologize, the fault is mine."
"Well, I wouldn't say it has to be someone's fault...to be honest, that felt pretty good, refreshing, even, I haven't yelled like that, and with everything going on, I feel like maybe I should yell more often."
"Ha, the most secluded places in the world are quite good for yelling, and without proper training, I can imagine this would be stressful." she saw the warrior's frame shake a little, stifling a laugh, but for what, she didn't know. The next statement perplexed her even more, "You've passed your first test."
"What, my first test? Yelling 'Sheikah Time' like I lost my mind?"
"No, your first test was a test of patience and obedience to your commander, you've passed that test."
"What's my next test?"
"Well, now that you know there's tests involved, I can't really tell you, can I? You won't know your next test when you see it."
"But now I'm expecting it!"
"Which is good, but you still won't see it, in fact, you will eventually tire of awaiting the test, or forget it, that's when it'll hit you."
"So, my next test is for vigilance? I can't be sneaked up on if I sleep with one eye open."
"True, but expectation is just when you're on the look out, with...your 'Sheikah Time' you can never truly expect anything!"
"I...it just slipped out!"
"I'm sure it did."
"Anyways, what should I call you, since we haven't been properly introduced?"
"I told you that you wouldn't be expecting the second test."
"Call me Tsuki."
"Wait, was that a test?"
"It wasn't...aside from favoring the spear I also play ridiculous pranks."
"So, you like to use spears?"
"I can use many weapons, but anything I can stab with is generally my go to weapon."
"So, Tsuki, you had to find Linkle, will you be out now?"
"Yes, I'll send word of a small monster population on my way, you can pick any of the basic wooden weapons and practice on them, their all very durable, at eighteen hundred hours a postman will show up by the gate outside the village, try not to keep him waiting."
"Got it! Will I have to sign for it?"
"Quick, think of something for me to call you!"
"U-uh, Mal?! Um, Ronran?!"
"Um, like Malron...and ranch...with just bits and pieces, um-"
"No, I like it, just say that to the postman and he will understand!" Tsuki instructed.
"Oh...okay." Malron had a melancholy look as she stared at the floor.
"You don't like it?"
"It's not that, I just...don't know."
"Well, I'll be going then, you're probably worried about Linkle."
"I am...good luck...tell me how she is when you see her...give her this!" Malron turned around and took a bottle of soup off a stool she found somewhere, and offered the bottle, a sad smile on her lips, and a small tear in her eye, "She...said she'd be...expecting dinner...ha, ha, tell her that next time she's doing the dishes."
"Fate can be bitter to choke down-"
"I'm fine, I just hate thinking...at all, really, I mean, she could be anywhere! All I can do is just sit here!"
"Malron, she's going to be alright-"
"No one can say with any certainty...and alright is relative, with each cut, scrape, abrasion, and bruise I may collect, I will always be one bruise better than I could be! Who knows what monsters she may encounter?"
"I'll report back when I find her." Tsuki nodded solemnly, hand on the red eye of the Sheikah garb, "You have my word as a Sheikah."
Malron watched as Tsuki left, and turned to a weapons rack, "I'll not waste any time getting familiar with the varying weights and forms of these weapons!"
She felt the shadows of doubt creeping out of the corners of her mind and tried to push them back. With a final cry as she stared up at the ceiling, she grasped a handful of determination and began her training, "It's Sheikah Time!"
Malron grabbed a spear and struck a practice dummy with it, she jumped back, surprised when it struck back at her, "I knew I should have started with a sword!"
Linkle followed a narrow passage, and anxiously pulled crossbow off it's boot, and fit her hand into the gauntlet of a clawshot. Not being able to turn her head around made her uncomfortable, and that she couldn't walk much faster than she had been didn't help her remain calm, all she could do was walk up ahead and prepare for whatever she found ahead of her.
Soon there was a red glow against a wall not too far, and she felt the urge to step a little faster, though the cramped space prevent her from doing so.
Before she emerged, she took the time to peek out to see what was on the other side. There was a lot of lava and no monsters, so she took a breath as she pulled herself out and slipped her arm across her head, brushing her hood back. Linkle looked around, sending herself in a circle before putting her clawshot and crossbow away.
"Great, looks like I need to go back!" Linkle muttered, then heard a strange sound that sent her backing up into the tunnel she came from. She crouched low, drew her crossbow as she pressed her other shoulder into the side of the wall. Linkle slowly made her way forward and saw a lizard like monster high up on a ledge, the wall leading up to it had rocks jutting out of it. She looked down at her hands and whined quietly as she braced herself for more barehanded rock climbing.
The lizard monster watched the ground below it and Linkle feared she had been spotted, but it turned around and walked away. Linkle started out when she heard a screech that sounded almost victorious, followed by one of despair as something fell with a thud in front of her enclosure and jumped back up, turned, and struck at Linkle, who already had her clawshot ready and pulled the trigger, sending the monster stumbling back.
Suddenly someone fell on the monster's head and bounced off, giving Linkle time to grab her crossbow and fire a couple of shots at the monster before it fell.
"Lizalfos aren't too difficult if you can get one or two alone." the stranger advised, masked and in strange, thin, almost skin like clothes, "You have surprisingly good reflexes, considering you're not a Sheikah. You must be comfortable with your clawshots, and very focused...and tense."
"And you are?"Linkle breathed, surprised by how alert she felt now.
"Call me Ohirume, I'm a Sheikah." Ohirume looked up at the ledge, "We're very rare these days."
"Why are you here?" Linkle wondered, remembering how this place was forbidden to humans.
"Because you're here, in a nest of dragons. That was a dragon known as a lizalfos, there's many of them, they live here, they are part of the dragon tribe that lives here, Gorons are forbidden to be here, and humans aren't allowed here, broadly speaking, because of safety reasons, and the Gorons have a lot riding on the dragons being happy, they have a hundred year old treaty, and Hylians would be an excuse for war...though I' surprised they didn't name any earlier excuse for war."
"But there's a Goron trapped in here!"
"That's what I know, but Ganondorf and Volga are allies, so it's pretty suspicious that Volga can kill the leader of Gorons and be within the jurisdiction on the Goron and dragon treaty, but by that same notion, he might not know what Ganondorf did, he may be a unaware that the Goron didn't mean to drop in from the roof, though it's unlikely he could have gotten in without a fight otherwise, so my theory is that Volga's looking for war, and doesn't mind ignoring the unrealistic excuse he's going to use to get it."
"If humans aren't allowed here...why did you beat that lizalfos up?"
"Humans aren't forbidden here, so long as the aren't breaking in on the dragon side or sneaking in through the Goron side, the Gorons are being extra careful these past hundred years, though. I was going to act as an mediator for the two groups, but the Gorons were edgy, and when I brought up the idea to one of the dragon patrols on the Dragon Road that leads up the other end of the mountain, they laughed and charged at me...they said something about their orders, and something else about negotiating with a weakling...they like fighting, weak opponent or not, so be careful."
"They like fighting...this is a plot for them to have a reason to fight, like you and the Goron out there said."
"The Gorons let you in? That's strange...perhaps...they sense something about you." Ohirume stared at the vanishing monster and sighed, "They may be unreasonable, but they're alive, too, so if you must engage...be swift."
Linkle stepped back, dazed as the reality of the situation hit her, "T-they're alive...this just keeps getting better and better."
"I'm not sure how much they understand, they have a great deal of intelligence, too much to be very different from Hylians, but they relish war with such a blatant disregard for life, it makes it hard to say if they're shadows of hate and destruction, given a means of fulfilling their evil intentions, or if they just like fighting and burning villages...I mustn't disregard the notion that it's just their...culture."
"They burn villages?"
"Kakariko Village has been burned before, the woods around it almost burned down."
"Is it alright now?"
"Yes, that group of monsters has already been dispatched years ago." Ohirume backed away, "I should be going now, we will meet in these mines again, I'll keep the Goron alive."
"I'll get that hammer!" Linkle grabbed the rock wall and gritted her teeth, then set a foot against a rock below her knee, but let go as Ohirume rested a hand on her arm.
"These may help, they're like mine, except brown." Linkle gratefully accepted the gloves Ohirume offered, and slipped them on, "Now you should be able to climb those rocks without trouble."
Together, Linkle and the Sheikah climbed the wall, and after dusting off, Ohirume turned to Linkle and nodded, then ran away.
"Compass, show me the way to the hammer!" Linkle pulled her hood up and ran along the path presented, greatly encouraged from her meeting with the Sheikah.
Ganondorf set up a festival to honor the late King and his son, everyone would offer up golden talismans and good luck charms, along with maps and compasses to guide the future to Hyrule. He smiled brightly, some people had silver compasses, while a few had bronze ones, there were gold ones from past treasure hunts or search and rescue missions, but then an officer holding a shiny, gold, spotless compass approached, "Thank you for donating." Ganondorf bowed gratefully.
"Don't thank me, Kakariko Village offers this one, a villager once saved another who, as a child, got lost a lot, the people and mayor pray it guides Hyrule well." the officer settled the disk into Ganondorf's hands, and Regent Ganondorf clasped it solemnly.
"It shall, my friend, we must believe this." Ganondorf turned to the crowd and raised his hand, "My friends, I must depart for my chambers, much work has been left by the good king before me, many ambitious projects he started, projects that he, regretfully, will not be able to finish, projects, the vision of which I find lacking for myself, forgive me if very few are accomplished, were I half the man he was, being tasked with ruling two nations would be a simple thing."
Ganondorf made his way back to his room and lucked the door. "Ha, this artifact from Kakariko wasn't there because it was a medal of honor...I know! That girl who tried to fight me, but I need to know her name first!"
He thought back to that day, he clutched the green garbed intruder by the neck, about to slam her against the tree and end her to make a point to her little friends, when something sharp pierced his neck. Ganondorf shook his head and took his hand away from the back of his neck, and tried to remember that name he heard as he rested in a semiconscious state.
"''Come on', she cried, 'Hurry...Linkle', yes," he murmured throatily, "that was her name. Compass, I command thee, show me where Linkle hides!"
He stared at the compass and frowned. He hadn't expect to sense the object's magic, but he did expect results, "Safe guard the-" Ganondorf stared at the roof as he leaned back in the large, red chair the king left him, "Who was she talking to, Linkle, or the bold, focused friend of hers? Bold...focused, perfect for battle—the red head, then."
He rose as he heard a knock, heavy and determined, progress, "What news do you bring?" he pulled open the door and met Aveil's gaze. She lowered her eyes and took a deep breath.
"Five Hylian Knights fell to an 'unknown force' outside the walls." Aveil scoffed, "Obviously a Sheikah."
"Order everyone to remain indoors and lock up the town, no one gets in or out." Ganondorf turned to her as he stepped away from the door, "And have the red head females in the city who aren't Gerudo brought in for questioning."
"Very good, milord." Aveil bowed and ran to deliver orders.
"So...Gods of the Triforce, these are your measures? This is all there is...a few nuisances and nothing more." Ganondorf stared up at the moon and the stars, "This should be entertaining, if nothing else."
He stepped back from the window and began an anxious wait, eventually he'd hear from his spies again, and confront whoever has the other two pieces of the Triforce.
Author's Notes: Imma back! As for Ohirume's explanation of monsters...I really have no idea which of the two is true, after playing Metroid Prime: Echoes, I say they're like Ing, except with humanoid forms, and all but the strongest lose their minds from being in the world of light, but that's unlikely.419Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡfJvl10Yewy