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

Chapter Twenty-Eight: An Unexpected Request

by LaxyakLovesLoZ 0 reviews

Chapter Twenty-Eight: An Unexpected Request

Category: Zelda - Rating: G - Genres: Fantasy - Characters: Link - Published: 2024-04-19 - 1886 words - Complete

The sound of many voices woke her, a distant rumble reminiscent of Castle Town. It was actually quite relaxing. It was something Lila wasn't familiar with, but she thought she could get used to it. Her bed was very comfortable, so she didn't want to leave her curled-up position.

She thought about the day before. Her trial. She had passed, and now was officially the Hero of Courage. What did that even mean? And Zale was the Son of Wisdom? Lila had never heard that term before, or even the reverse gender version of the Heroes past. Perhaps there were just as many secrets of heroism as being a spy.

Reluctantly, she pushed the covers off her and sat on the bed. Her clothes had been changed, so her tunic and accessories lay on a nearby table, freshly clean. She was glad to have clean clothes but hoped her caretakers kept her modest.

A few of the other beds around her still held a few Hylians from the previous battle. She even recognized a younger man who had yet to wake up. He looked thin, and his skin was a bit ashy-colored. Lila's gut twisted; she had been on the wrong side all her life, and these people had to pay for her lack of courage. She couldn't let anyone else be harmed because of her. For the first time, she felt what Zale consistently told her could be true. She would use courage to keep others safe.

As Lila pondered, her nurse came by with a drink of water and some bread. The woman no longer looked at her with fear, but with something brighter, something Lila had never seen before... except maybe on Zale. She asked, "How's Zale?"

The woman smiled softly and chirped, "He's resting soundly. He's ever so peaceful when he sleeps. Looks just like the Goddess, only more handsome," she finished with a giggle.

Ignoring the bit of confusion brought on by such an odd statement, Lila asked, "Is there a place I can change privately?"

The woman nodded and pointed to an opening on Lila's left. "You can leave your sleeping gown on the bench."

"Thank you," Lila said, gathering up her things.

A few minutes later, Lila stepped outside the hospital tent to feel a gentle breeze in the lazy afternoon sunlight. Although the many people displaced by Ganondra were now sharing tents in a forest, Lila could sense a new energy about them. She saw smiles, watched children play, and occasionally heard singing. The singing reminded her of some of the few times she felt happy growing up. The Gerudo women loved to sing, whether alone in their homes or performing errands. However, Lila had never joined them.

As she wandered around the camp, she saw a keese perched on a little girl's shoulder. Lila did a double take, wondering why a keese would be outside a cave. Then she realized it must be Mori and little Zelda. The girl looked almost exactly like Zale except her eyes were green, and her hair was done up in a few braids. Most of her yellow-blonde hair hung loosely though, down to her waist. She looked to be around ten or eleven years old. Lila noted the lack of regalia on the princess. One other woman stood by, probably the princess's handmaiden.

"Mori, it's good to see you again," Lila greeted as she approached. Zelda and the maiden stopped their conversation and looked at her with confusion.

Seeing Lila fit and walking about, Mori flew quickly to her side. "You're okay! How'd the trial go?"

Lila showed off her bow. "Not as bad as people made it out to be. Are you going to introduce me to your new friends?"

"Oh yeah! Ella," he said the name pointedly, "do you remember Lila?"

Zelda nodded shyly. "It's nice to meet you, Hero."

Lila blushed and waved off her politeness. "I'm no one special. Did you get out safely, um, Ella?"

She nodded again with a broad smile. "Thanks to you and Mori. Nellie met us at the bottom of the stairs. I'm glad she was also safe, and I would have been lost without her."

"I'd have been so upset if you got hurt," said the maiden, "or worse." Nellie appeared older than Lila, but only by a few years. She had soft brown hair braided into a bun and caring brown eyes. She seemed to focus on Zelda but also watched their surroundings. Lila thought she must be great at keeping her ward out of harm even though she didn't look particularly trained in combat.

Lila lowered her voice for her next question. "Is your identity still a secret to everyone?"

A worried look appeared on Nellie's face, but Zelda seemed unphased. "Yes. It was one of my father's last orders, or so I hear." Her tone lowered in sadness. "No one knows where he is."

"Don't you worry my lady," said Nellie. She placed a small hand on the girl's back. "I'm sure we'll find him well soon enough." The sentiment didn't revive Zelda's spirit, and Lila wondered how many times she had already heard it.

Mori fidgeted uncomfortably, reminding Lila of his lack of experience on the subject. She tried turning the conversation to something lighter by asking what Zelda and Nellie liked to do in their spare time. She learned Zelda had an extensive sewing collection at home, and Nellie most enjoyed caring for stray animals around Castle Town. They were both sad to be away from home. Lila sympathized, but leaving her own home was one of the best choices she ever got to make. She briefly wondered how much freedom Zelda had but decided it probably wouldn't help the mood.

As the sun hung lower in the sky, Lila said goodbye to the other three. Mori seemed to like being with Zelda, which she didn't mind. It was nice to have a bit more time to herself. She wandered deeper into the forest, letting the silence embrace her. She breathed in the earthy smells, strangely comfortable smells, much damper than those of the desert. She thought to herself, This is where I could live.

Soon she heard a small, soothing tune arise. It sounded familiar – though she couldn't place where she'd heard it before. The song felt like it was both a welcoming home and a setting free for adventure. Then it was joined by voices as the melody shifted and danced. Before she knew it, she found herself crossing into a village.

The village was considerably smaller than both Castle Town and Gerudo Village, but not just in area. The homes were grown right from trees, but the roofs were only a little bit taller than Ganondra herself. Everything from the homes to the quiet brook was toned in green, making it all feel alive. Even the dust mites in the air seemed to twinkle along with the music.

In the center of the village were half a dozen children dressed in all green similar to Lila's own tunic. Multicolored lights flickered in the air, dancing and whirling around them. After a moment she realized the lights were fairies. Nabooru had told her they were nearly extinct, and if she ever found one to bottle it and bring it to her. Seeing their joyful movements and happy companions, it occurred to her they were far too precious and filled with goodness to go anywhere near him. She wondered, even, if he had an active hand in their loss in numbers.

As she grew closer, the fairies stopped moving and twittered with bell-like voices. The children stopped their playing to look. Their eyes went wide at the sight of Lila, but they didn't move from where they were standing. They stared at Lila with wonder but also fear, and Lila looked back with a half smile.

She raised her hand and gave a small wave. "H-hi. My name is Lila. I'm sorry I disturbed you; I just heard your music and instinctively followed."

The fairies conversed excitedly with the children listening in. Lila occasionally picked out a few words, particularly "hero" and "courage."

Finally, one boy and one girl stepped forward like they were the ones in charge. The boy spoke first.

"You don't belong here," he said flatly.

The girl quickly hushed him and shoved him lightly. "Mido, don't you see who it is?" She added to Lila, "Don't listen to him. He's still jealous."

"Am not!"

"Are too! Anyway, you must be here for a reason. The Hero of Time hasn't been seen for centuries."

Another child piped up, "I thought the Hero of Time is a boy."

"He is, or – was," the girl answered. "She is a different Hero."

"Oh, right." Though the child said it like he understood exactly what she was talking about, his face showed otherwise. "So... she... was a he... in a past life?"

"Basically," the boy said with a sly look. Lila blushed.

Unperturbed, the girl stated, "We are the children of Kokiri Forest, and these are our fairies." She waved to the lights floating around them. "Do you know why you're here?"

Lila answered, "Only that I heard your music. Why? Are there monsters that need killing? That's about all I'm good at."

The girl smiled, but her eyes turned down to the instrument in her hands. For the first time, Lila paid attention to it. The wooden object was small, about the exact size for her hands, with seven holes. The body was round like a goose and had a pipe on one side, presumably for blowing into. She vaguely remembered a picture of one of her predecessors featuring a blue version. To her surprise, the girl held it out to her.

"This is a fairy ocarina. You may know of something called the Ocarina of Time. I gave the Hero of Time a fairy ocarina just like this before he got it. I never saw him after he helped me awaken as the Forest Sage. I want you to have this one."

"Me? I can't take that—"

"To play it, put the long piece to your lips and blow," she explained over Lila's protest. "Put your fingers over the holes in different combinations to make each note."

Lila held the instrument with reverence. "But what will you play?"

She nodded and smiled gently. "I have others. Unfortunately, the Ocarina of Time is currently missing. Maybe this will help you recover it."

"Okay," Lila replied, "I'll find it for you."

"Thank you," the girl said. "It's time to go. If you find the Ocarina, come back to this forest. We'll be waiting for you." The girl and the other children each took a step back and waved.

Lila waved back. "I'll do my best. I'm glad I got to meet you." She turned around and retraced her path back to the Hylian camp. The music faded faster than it had appeared. She looked back, but no sign of the village or its inhabitants remained. Though she felt like she was in a dream, the fairy ocarina reminded her of her new task. Unsure of where to start looking she decided to ask Zale about it later.

Lila hoped she'd be able to return the artifact.
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