Categories > Games > Zelda > The Legend of Zelda: Real Courage

Chapter Nine: Prince Zale at the Hot Spring

by LaxyakLovesLoZ 0 reviews

Chapter Nine: Prince Zale at the Hot Spring

Category: Zelda - Rating: G - Genres: Fantasy - Characters: Link - Published: 2023-04-28 - 1365 words - Complete

Mori stayed in the cave when Lila returned to Kakariko. It was a lot later than she expected, so she went straight to the hot spring. It wasn't hard to find; there were signs everywhere pointing in the right direction. She wondered if there would be a lot of people in the spring, but soon realized most people would be in bed. Then she wondered if Zale was still there. She hoped he was. Lady Ganondra would like to know as much about the prince as possible. At least, that's what she told herself.

The climb to the hot spring took a lot of effort. If Lila hadn't been fighting monsters all day, it would have been easy. For her. With sweat gathered in uncomfortable places, a dip in a spring, hot or cold, was a welcoming thought. As she neared the summit, she heard voices.

"Prince Zale, I believe it is time for you to retire for the night."

"I'm not a prince out here," came the familiar voice of Zale. "How many times do I have to remind you?"

Lila moved closer but stayed out of sight. Zale sat at the edge of the pool with his toes skimming the water. He looked somewhat behind him to a man wearing too much clothing for such a warm place. The outfit seemed to be made of fine materials, and the man waved a matching fan in his face. Zale, on the other hand, wore dark shorts and a drying white tunic. The tunic stuck to his body in places and flowed freely in others.

"No one is around," the older man continued. "Surely your identity is safe."

"You never know who is in the shadows," Zale countered with a scowl. Funny, Lila was thinking the same thing.

The man sighed, realizing his defeat. "If you think so, Zale, but need I remind you to go to bed?"

"I'll be asleep in an hour. Now leave me alone." Zale waved a hand and turned his back on the man. With a harrumph, the man began walking away. Unfortunately, the only exit was past Lila. She scrambled to find a more secure place to hide, moving out of sight just in time. The man grumbled as he passed her, completely ignorant of her presence.

When she was sure he was gone, she revealed herself to Zale.

"You're up late," she greeted with a smile.

Zale looked up at her with alarm, which he quickly hid with a blank expression. "I could say the same for you. You... ah... didn't hear any of that, did you?"

Lila began to remove some of her armor, starting with her boots, as she mulled over what to tell him.

"Actually, I already knew who you were," she said without looking up.

"You did?" Zale asked. She could hear the worry in his voice.

She took off her robe and chainmail while thinking again. Her next response took a little more time to figure out. She heard water splash and looked up to see Zale standing, a new scowl on his face.

"What do you want?" he demanded.

Lila put down her sword and other weapons, rolling her eyes. "I don't want anything from you. I just... know. Okay?"

Zale crossed his arms. "No, that's not okay. What are you doing anyway?"

"I'm undressing so I can get in the water."

Zale stepped back. "You're what!"

It was Lila's turn to scowl. "Not all the way! Look, I'm done. Sheesh." She eased herself into the water, generating an involuntary sigh of comfort. The warm water soothed her aching joints and made the slimy feeling of sweat wash away. She tilted her head back, closed her eyes, and let her body sink. Zale was silent the whole time.

"Come back in," Lila joked. "The water's great."

"Who are you?"

"Really? Didn't I tell you already?" She opened one eye to give him a quick look worthy of her words.

"A name doesn't tell me much about you."

"It does for me, Prince Zale."

"Quiet! How do you know who I am?"

Lila heard the shiiink of a sword being removed from its sheath. Her sword. As soon as she heard it, she turned to face Zale and stood in the pool, all nerves ready to defend.

"Put that down," she warned him.

"Or what?" Zale asked. "You took off all your armor, and you're in no position to fight."

He was somewhat right. Lila was on the low ground, always a weak spot, with no way to escape. She had to admit he was smart.

"I'm not here to hurt you if that's what you're worried about," she said.

"Then why are you here?"

"To fight Volvagia."

The answer made Zale pause. His angry face turned into a confused one. "You?"

Even though she was up to her shoulders in water, Lila placed her fists on her hips. "Hey, just because I'm a girl doesn't mean I'm weak!"

"Oh... right."

"And here I thought you were smart," Lila teased. "Guess we're both wrong."

"You think I'm smart?"

"You fight smart."

"Now that I'm looking at you, you look quite strong."

Lila smiled. "I am."

"Strong enough to fight Volvagia?"

"You bet."

Zale lowered the sword. "Huh. Okay. You're not going to reveal my secret, are you?"

Lila sighed and shook her head like it was a stupid question, but inside she just didn't want to lie.

"Okay, okay, I deserved that," Zale said as he put her sword away. Then he got into the hot spring. "So is that why you're so dirty?"

"What?" Lila remarked, insulted.

"I mean your face."

"Are you serious?"

Zale shook his head. "No, no, I mean, you have soot all over your face. Is that from fighting Volvagia?"

"Oh, that," Lila said, feeling her cheeks reddening. "Actually I haven't fought him yet."

"Oh," Zale mocked, "the big strong girl is too scared to fight?"

"No! I just haven't blasted through the tunnels yet. Remember how I bought bombs from you?"


"I wasted them on a wall that didn't lead anywhere."

Zale laughed, floating onto his back.

"Cut it out! I got enough of that from Mori," Lila grumbled.

He quieted and moved closer. "Sorry. Is Mori that bird you were with earlier?"

"Yeah..." Lila said slowly. "He's a keese, not a bird."

"They're similar."

"Yeah, I suppose. Anyway, I turned back to Kakariko because I need to get more bombs. Then I remembered your offer and here I am."

Zale moved in closer and lowered his voice. "I've heard there are certain plants that actually grow bombs."

"Really? Nu-uh!"

"Yup. It's a legend passed down from bomb seller to bomb seller. I haven't seen one myself, though. Plus, they're bad for business if they do exist."

"Well if I see one, I'll be sure to let you know," Lila said.

"If we see each other again, that is."

"Oh yeah, you're leaving tomorrow, aren't you?"

"That's the plan, but..."

"But what?"

Zale looked down, suddenly shy. "This is silly, but... I feel like I know you."

Lila blinked. "Um... what?"

"Yeah, I know, crazy." He tried to brush it off and looked at her with a charming, crooked smile.

"No, it's not!" Lila countered before she could stop herself. "I felt the same way!"

They were both silent. Lila's breath came in short gasps, and she realized she needed to get some cold air. "I'm going," she said, pulling herself out of the spring. As she gathered her things, Zale came after her.

"Wait! I'm sorry. Don't leave yet."

Lila stopped but didn't turn to him. Her breathing hadn't calmed down. "What does this mean?" she asked quietly.

Zale's answer came slowly. "I'm not sure yet, but I'd like to find out."

"You never told me why you might stay longer." Lila could read between the lines, too.

"I'd like to spend more time with you."

She closed her eyes; she knew that was going to be his answer. "It's late. I gotta go. Big day tomorrow."

"Will I ever see you again?"

After pulling on her boots, she turned to face Zale. "You will."
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