The Pirate Prince
Chapter 10: Lost
Link sprung to his feet and dashed towards the edge, skidding to a stop just before the drop. Link leaned over and looked down. Midna looked back up at him, hanging from a timber support, Impa a few feet below her. Link looked around for Aryll, but not spotting her anywhere. Midna quickly hauled herself up, with Impa following quickly behind her. Link then spotted something below on the floor of the fifth level.
Link tore through the crowd that had gathered to look at the fire, a group of Zora and Rito extinguishing the flames. Link charged down the stairs, Tetra following him. Eventually, the two reached the bottom of the steps going onto the fifth level, Link quickly located the object.
It was a telescope. Aryll’s telescope, Link knew from the sea gulls painted onto the side of the casing. Link looked a few feet a head of him, his eyes stopping at Aryll’s broken form. Link staggered forwards, before falling to his knees. Tetra stood behind him, as he could only stare at his sister and hope she would say something, anything. Link reached out, his hand faltering before it reached.
To Link, everything was silent, no people, no birds, no sea. It was as if time itself had stopped, only to torment him. Aryll suddenly gasped, making Link and Tetra jump. Link scrambled forwards and tried to move her, only stopping when she groaned.
Aryll’s eyes slowly opened, as Link drew her into his arms, “Hoy big brother.”
Link’s breath caught in his throat, Aryll’s face was riddled with pain. Tetra’s hand landed on Link’s shoulder.
“We need to get her to a doctor.” Said Tetra, leaning forwards, “Or, at least, someone who can help her.”
Link’s mind immediately went to Telma, Link carefully slung Aryll’s arm around his shoulders, Tetra doing the same on the other side. Link became acutely aware on the fact that they looked like a drunk trio trying to get home. They staggered down two levels, with Link kicking the door to Telma’s bar open. Telma looked up to scold Link, before catching sight of Aryll. By this point, Aryll had blood leaking from her nose and mouth.
“What happened?” Demanded Telma, as she threw plates and cups off of the long table she had in her bar.
Link and Tetra set her down, Link barely able to speak.
“Dutour blew his house up, Impa and Midna were thrown off the level, along with Aryll, but they were able to catch themselves before they fell, but Aryll didn’t get such an opportunity.” Said Tetra, as Telma started checking Aryll over.
Link could only place his hand over his mouth and walkout the door.
Link looked at the empty whiskey bottle that laid on its side on his desk. Link had been in his quarters for the past three hours, trying to process what had happened. Aryll fell. She fell over a hundred feet. Link already knew that she wasn’t going to walk away from it, not without some life changing injuries. Link heard a gentle knock on the door. Link let his head thump down onto the desk, before hearing the door open.
“Alfonzo, I’m not in the mood.” Said Link, his face pressed against the surface of the desk.
“I’m not Alfonzo.” Came Zelda’s voice, making Link look up, “Telma managed to get Aryll into a better condition, but she said she’s not out of the woods yet.”
“Whoopy.” Grumbled Link, his voice muffled by his arms. Zelda rolled her eyes and looked around Link’s cabin. Aside from the desk, there was a bed with a set of draws next to it and an umbrella stand that was filled with swords, Zelda caught a glimpse of a few Master Sword replicas, only missing the tri force crest. Zelda also saw an axe and a flail hidden amongst the swords.
“Aryll might pull through, it seems the table broke her fall, even if it was only slightly.” Said Zelda, as she looked into the umbrella stand.
“That doesn’t change anything.” Said Link, “It doesn’t change that she was up there because of me, she was placed in harms way because I made a stupid decision that may have cost her life.”
Zelda looked at Link from across the room, before stomping over to him and grabbing his collar, “Link, listen to me,” Instructed Zelda, “Aryll has the same freedom as everyone else, if she didn’t want to go, she would’ve said. Do you honestly think that she would blame you for something that came down to mere chance?”
Link didn’t respond. Zelda let out an irritated sigh, before hauling Link to his feet, “Come on, you obviously need to talk to her.” Said Zelda, as Link staggered around, “Are you drunk?”
Impa sat outside the bar, quietly. Not many were aware of this, but the Sheikah, whilst having very keen eyes and ears, had little experience with death, the sight and sound of it nearly driving her to sickness. The majority of her years she spent were around the then Princess Hilda, who later became queen and became the mother of the new princess. Impa remembered her heart breaking, but also how holding the baby in her arms helped relieve that pain. The same pain she had started to experience again, following Hilda’s death. There was more that one reason Impa hated Henrik, a reason she didn’t dare share with anyone else, out for fear of becoming an outcast.
Impa was suddenly removed from her thoughts by Zelda dragging Link by the collar, while the boy wiped traces of vomit from his mouth.
“I don’t want to know.” Said Impa, after a moment of silence, before Zelda dragged Link though the door of the bar. Link was in there for a total of five seconds, before he rushed back outside and threw up over the edge of the level.
‘Please tell me that he isn’t the chosen hero.’ Thought Impa, sending a small prayer to the heavens, as the pathetic sight of the boy throwing up over the edge was slowly being burnt into her mind. Link straightened up for a moment and then collapsed onto the floor, before Zelda came back outside with a glass of water.
“I am never touching whiskey again.” Groaned Link, as Zelda set the water down next to him.
“Something that’s always confused me, Link.” Said Zelda, “All those arguments, all the running that came from them, what started it, what gave you the resolve to walk away when Ganondorf banished instead of going to him and begging for forgiveness?”
Link quietly moaned, before hauling himself into a sitting position.
“Seven or eight years ago I got lost in a sand storm, I was stuck in it for an hour before I moved,” Said Link, his voice hoarse, “I wandered around, unable to see more than half a foot in front of me and just as I thought I was going to die there, I heard them, like songs in spring, The heroes of old, every last one of them and with them the Colossi behind them, The Heroes chosen by the Gods. One of them, the Hero of Winds I think, waved his baton and the storm died and I saw their faces. The look of disappointment and shame was burned onto all of them, until they vanished, leaving only the Hero of Time and the Hero of Twilight, the hero of twilight looked as if he was weeping, before he too vanished and the Hero of Time had a look of rage, before he turned and walked away, his head bowed and his sword forgotten and all I could say at the time was ‘why?’ I didn’t know what drove me to ask that, but I was found shortly after. No one believed me, except Riju, she looked as if she were going to cry, she died that night and I decided that I would get an answer, for her, the woman who looked so broken at the tale. Fa-Ganondorf, didn’t want me to wander the desert ‘chasing fairy tales’, as he put it.” Link look so broken, Impa quietly wondered if she should make herself scarce.
“When that night came, the first thing I did was leave and when I had enough provisions, I went back to desert and looked for that sword, the only solid piece of proof that what I saw was real, and I found it, laying across Riju’s grave, as if she were telling me to go, and I did,” Said Link, his voice cracking, “And now, because of my stupidity, my sister is going to die.”
Zelda pulled Link towards her, his face burying itself into her collar bone, Link’s shoulders shook as he cried, his hands gripping the front of Zelda’s shirt.
Impa lent back and looked up at the sky, Link’s story had intrigued her, Impa made a mental note to ask Link about said sword, but the heroes had appeared to others before, they always spoke to them, offered words of advice and wisdom to the weary traveller, many not knowing that it was one of the heroes that spoke to them until after they had arrived at their destination. Impa knew this for a fact, for the Hero of Twilight had helped her return to her home when she was young.