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Hyrule: A Kingdom In Ruins

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What is hopefully the last busy evening begins [01 Jan 2020|01:21am]

There was tomorrow in Gerudo Town, but they were going to be home for dinner, thank you.

The morning gave over to the noon hour, and into the early afternoon quietly up at the Hateno Tech Lab.


Link wouldn't be Link if he didn't stir shit pots occasionally, so he occasionally inserted himself into the conversation the science nerds were having, actually offering helpful suggestions, but always in a way that made them give him dirty looks.

Hey, they were talking about improving kitchen technology. They'd want the input of someone who'd be making the most use of those things. It wasn't his fault that the technical talk bored him enough that he had to spice it up.

Speaking of spices, he did take a moment to turn his helpful expert advice into a scolding to Symin and Purah for their shittastic collection of cooking spices. He received an eyeroll from Zelda, a tolerantly patient look from Symin, and a puffed-up bird impression from Purah.

Tough, they weren't eating right, Link wasn't going to let that go.

It was much earlier in the day than Link was expecting when the Sword told him the women were close enough that if he and Zelda left the lab now, they could meet them at the town gate.

It was still late afternoon; a check on the Slate said 3:26. But Link wasn't expecting them before 4. They made good time. He hoped they didn't push Zumi too fast to try to get to town early for them. Even if Zumi wasn't having what were apparently more issues with morning sickness than should be normal, that was going to make her feet swell and there was nothing not painful about swollen feet.

He set aside the history book that he'd found on one of shelves that Symin had claimed for his research. Symin was interested in how technology affected geopolitics in history, and the technology part was frustrating to get through. He liked what it did, but given that it failing was one of the big factors that made them lose against Ganon the first time, he wasn't interested in its role in history for awhile. Maybe something to pay more attention to later, after Zelda's ideas and plans started going from the development stage to the public testing stage, but for now, he was happy to let that part of his own personal history stay in the background.

He had enough in his memories to sort through, he didn't need to linger on the parts that he remembered that were the ghosts that would cause the nightmares he losing the energy to outrun.

But, the Sword had come to his rescue as he was just starting to have trouble finding more parts in the book that didn't focus on the technology as much.

"You wanna go down to the town gate and meet your new hairdresser and save her and her fiance from any potential scares Nack might give them if he decides to multiply his paranoia by a bunch today?" he asked Zelda, closing the book and standing up. "The Sword says they're finally here."

Honest liars [15 Jul 2018|10:12pm]

Yammo had been born on the road, had ended up facing it alone from a young age- just barely into her teens -when she and her mother had accidentally crossed paths with a Lynel. Her mother had provided a distraction just long enough for Yammo to get away, but Yammo wouldn't even pretend to hope that maybe her mother had gotten away as well, and they'd meet back up somewhere. She wasn't going to double back later to see if she could find her mother's body; it was too dangerous, and if she got killed because she doubled back, her mother had died for nothing, and that didn't sit well with her.

But even without seeing a body to confirm her mother's death, she wasn't going to try to fool herself into believing that she wasn't then completely alone, in a world that was a dangerous and hostile place to live. Hyrule had been plagued by monsters its entire history, and monsters weren't even the only danger out there. There were only so many resources out there, and people were sometimes forced to fight over them.

Add in the fact that she was a woman, and the kingdom was on a slow slide into dangerous for women to exist in, and learning the survival skills that her mother hadn't had a chance to teach her yet suddenly had to be done alone, and in a hurry.

She'd gotten lucky on one of those skills, having already been coming to the awareness that she held utterly no attraction to men whatsoever before the fatal encounter with a Lynel left her an orphan. She didn't have to try to navigate romantic and/or sexual entanglements with men, which made them easy to keep away from.

Not that all- or even most -men were dangerous in any sense of the word. Most men out there would sooner take on a Lynel than hurt a woman, especially knowingly. But there were a few, just enough, that for whatever reason, had either stopped- or simply was never taught to -viewing women as equal and fully functional people, just the same as men. And those men could be dangerous. The stories of men like that going to the far extreme of committing violence against women for one reason or another were few and far between, but even with those being as few as they were, there were still plenty on their side that expected women to defer to them and give them whatever they thought they were entitled to. And the fact that it was impossible to tell which men on that side of the spectrum would turn out to be one of the extreme examples, and which ones just needed to be told off and given the cold shoulder, made being able to read a man to tell which side he fell on a survival skill that only women had to learn. And one that Yammo had to learn in a helluva hurry.

That particular survival skill had translated easily enough into protecting herself as a merchant in business transactions. The longer she was on the road, the more supplies she was able to gather up and sell, and the more money she'd be ultimately carrying, and right back to the limited resources, telling honesty from lies was a skill she'd polished until it shone.

It was tough to sneak lies by her, tougher than even a lot of fellow merchants.

Which made Zumi's tendency towards open honesty one of the things that she so loved about her. Sometimes Zumi shied away from the truth, but Yammo understood why, and always gently called her on it and reminded her that she wasn't at the stable anymore, everything that had kept her backing down from being honest about something was behind her and done, and she could move on. But she'd taken the advice that Link had given her on the subject to heart, and it made their relationship as solid as the mountains themselves.

The problem was, Yammo had a feeling that Link wasn't taking that advice to heart, and Zumi was letting him get away with it.

She hadn't said anything at the time, when Link caught back up with them just west of the Dueling Peaks. It didn't seem the time, and she didn't know how Link operated. While she could tell just being around him why Zumi had found him safe to go to for help back at Serenne, and she therefore didn't fear any sort of temper or other potentially dangerous reactions from him if she prodded, she didn't know what sort of tactics he might employ to get around her questions.

And that feeling was just that- a feeling. Her polished skill at reading deception in someone's words and tone of voice and body language told her that there was some dishonesty going on in that exchange, but that dishonesty could've been about something else going on in Link's life that was simply bleeding into the subject of Zumi's pregnancy by accident. Despite all the legend attached to him, the Hylian Champion was still just a regular person, fallible and capable of making mistakes like that. She wanted a chance to mull it over, to look back at what she observed in the conversation and evaluate what exactly it was that had sent up the signals that those skills were flagging.

So she'd thrown in a quick reminder that there were going to be some questions that would need answers that they all would back each other up on, tentatively accepted that Zumi had simply had a donor, and Link ran into them by fortunate happenstance, and directed them to Hateno for the help they needed, and then let it go. But there was more they'd have to hammer out, and Link had been in such a rush to get away from the entire situation that she didn't have much of a chance to point those details out.

And she wanted a chance to examine those observations and piece together what they meant.

They'd reached Dueling Peaks Stable not more than about fifteen to twenty minutes after they'd parted ways with Link, and Zumi wanted to keep going. She wasn't feeling queasy, and they didn't know how long that'd last. But there were still monsters along the rest of that road, and Link said he wouldn't get to that stretch until the next morning, so there was no choice but to stop at the stable and rest.

Yammo would've made her rest anyway, in part because she didn't want her pushing herself. Not in her first trimester; not ever, really, but definitely not then. That was the riskiest part of a pregnancy, and chances of a miscarriage were higher then than in the other two trimesters.

But it wasn't just that that would've made Yammo make them stop at the stable and not just push forward, even if she had to nail Zumi's boots to the floor. Yammo wanted a chance to do that mulling, and do it before they got to Hateno. There was a lot on the line, if the queen found out about Link and Zumi's brief partnership, more than Yammo was certain she knew about, and none of it was anything she was willing to play around with carelessly.

So they spent the rest of the afternoon and evening resting, Zumi agitated by being stuck at a stable, and Yammo for once letting her pace and walk off the nervous energy from it, rather than try to pacify and distract her.

Yammo had woken that next morning before the sun was rising, and took the opportunity that being the only one- aside from Tasseren -awake to claim use of the stable's wash house, letting a cold shower (they were always cold, and she hoped that Hateno had some sort of power source that could warm water so she could find out what a shower that wasn't cold was like) finish waking her brain up and coalesce what needed to be addressed into words that wouldn't immediately put Zumi on the defensive.

The cooking station had been claimed by the time she was done, the sun starting to peek over the fort walls to the east rousing the stablehands, who would need to eat before starting their daily work. Yammo knew that Zumi would likely be not far behind them, the all of two and a half months away from Serenne not enough to undo a lifetime habit.

Letting the stablehands take their time with their food, Yammo went back into the stable's community room for guests, grabbing one of the chairs from the table to sit next to Zumi's bed and sit back to wait for her to wake up.

Zumi's habits did not disappoint, and the sights and sounds of the stablehands finishing their breakfasts and starting their work had woken the other guests and driven them outside. Meaning the two women were alone inside.

"Good morning, sleepyhead," she said softly when she saw Zumi's eyes slowly prying themselves open.

Link's Journal, end of Game Day 3 (Image heavy) [05 Jul 2018|04:15pm]

((Game Day 3 being the one where Link got a makeup lesson and Zelda picked her first ladies-in-waiting. I'm basically going to be writing each 'day' in my journal until my own hand cramps up, at which point, Link gets to deal with his doing the same. :p He stays up after bedtime to do this, so Zelda doesn't know he's doing it. Him and his neuroses. 9_9))

18 pages, all images, you're welcome for the cut. )

Let the birds be my clock of morning [03 Jul 2018|09:38pm]

Sunlight streamed through the windows, but that didn't rouse Zelda in the early hours as much as the high twittering of birds as they started going about their daily business of gathering bugs and twigs, and scolding one another for whatever the reason. In the days of the glory of the castle, her bedroom tower was high enough that the birds rarely disturbed her. And even now, she felt she could roll over and pull the blanket over her head and ignore the twittering and go back to sleep.

But they had too much to do that day.

She stretched, cocked her head, listened. The only noises she could hear existed outside the house. The house itself was silent. Unless Link was being supremely stealthy, he was still sound asleep. She carefully pushed back her blankets and tip-toed her way out of bed to lean over the railing and look down below. No sign of him, so he was either awake and outside somewhere, or still tucked away behind the makeshift curtain nailed up over the space under the stairs where the small bed he slept on was located. Either way, there was no sound of anyone else in the house awake and moving.

Just in case he was still asleep and be it far from her to wake him before he was ready to move; Zelda made a point of being as quiet as possible as she backed away from Link's possible view to get into the trunk where she'd folded her dress she wore home last night. She could change for Zora's Domain later, but she needed something that wasn't her nightdress for greeting a strange man. She grinned broadly as she opened a small box she'd chosen for her jewelry, looking at the assortment of pretties that Link had graced her with.

Definitely the circlet. And one of the sapphire necklaces. Yes, that would do. Her mother's signet ring. If she had to use any sort of authority this morning, she wanted to have the appearance to back up her words.

A cough and a sneeze from somewhere downstairs broke the silence peace, making her jump. Quiet footsteps that wouldn't have woken her but were audible to her now padded off to the washroom.

So Link was awake now. She doubted he heard her, or that she did anything to disturb him. She was being fairly quiet, and they both knew they had to get up early. She went to the stairs while he was in the washroom after slipping her boots on, and still in the habit of silence, tip-toed her way down the case, trying to minimize the old wood's squeaks and groans as she went to the kitchen table to sit.

Maybe she did need an omelet with an endura carrot, she thought, as a face-splitting yawn suddenly made her eyes water.

Day 1 of Back In The World: Complete [20 Jun 2018|02:53am]

After a very long day of running errands, Link was ready to go home. If Ganon was still around, he wouldn't even be thinking of resting yet, would probably not be doing anything in the way of rest except stopping to eat something with endura shrooms or carrots, or maybe downing an enduring elixir, if he didn't have time or place to cook and eat. With Ganon hanging over his head, he'd simply been unable and unwilling to rest until he had no choice. Too much to do, too many people to help, too many monsters to keep a wary eye out for.

And a princess in the castle who needed him to help her break Ganon's power and seal him before her own power ran out.

Now, however, Ganon was gone, and while the monsters were still there, and while their numbers would never fully reach the coveted extinct status, and while there were still a lot of people to help, the kingdom's need for him to keep going at a breakneck pace was gone. And he was trying to resist it, but his mind and body were aware of that, and starting to feel the effects of it. He was tiring out easier, and starting to crave the quiet privacy of his house to hide in and get the rest he so desperately needed.

He wasn't very happy about it, either. Rest meant that the monsters he couldn't fight with a sword had a chance to catch up with him and start screaming the silence at him. And now he shared his living space with someone, a someone that he desperately didn't want to see those monsters or hear their silence. A someone who was snarled up in that mess in his head, and a someone who was counting on him to transition to an entirely new sort of job that was dire enough that he couldn't put it off, but not anything that could be approached with the sort of full-blown sprinting he'd approached the last one with. Which meant the monsters could catch up, he wouldn't be able to shake them, but he couldn't take the time to try to weather their storm until the clouds finally broke enough for him to walk around without getting rain dumped on him.

Given a choice, part of him would be very tempted to tell Zelda she was welcome for his help, good luck on rebuilding the kingdom, big job and all that, and walk away and simply go on with how he had been, a vagabond with a fancy sword, clearing out monster infestations and making a living off of selling services and/or elixirs, and otherwise retire from being a Destined One. He was tired of it, it'd gotten him killed once already, and it seemed to want to try to dictate every detail of his life. Including one detail that he really resented it trying to take a hand in.

Considering that detail made being home alone around Zelda uncomfortable sometimes, he felt entitled to that resentment. Dealing with that loaded cannon wouldn't be as maddening if the fuse wasn't already lit on it, no matter how long that fuse was taking to reach the powder. It was lit, and it'd go off, and something would end up destroyed by it. It was just a question of what, and how bad the damage would be.

Objectively, the best thing for it to destroy would be the door he kept closed against the outside world, a door he'd closed before he even was a teenager, because even he knew that having that door shut so tightly, complete with several locks, wasn't the healthiest approach to take to the world. And his reason for closing that door would take a stick to his head several times for it. She wouldn't be the only one, either, there were a lot of people who would. At least now, the number of them who would even see that the door was actually there and be hurt by its presence was small enough to be counted on one hand with a couple fingers to spare, unlike back then.

Too bad one of those people was the one who'd lit the fuse on that cannon. And lived with him.

Was it really asking too much to at least not to have been put in front of it by anything but his own damn choice? Did destiny really have to try to control even that part of his life? He would've ended up in front of it anyway, a fact he wasn't able or willing to admit to himself yet, but having the choice would've been nice.

Going back to the house suddenly seemed like the thing he didn't want to do the most. For the moment, anyway.

Fortunately, scrubbing that makeup off had made his eyes red from irritation, which gave him an excuse to put off going back to the house. Nobody could ask why his eyes looked like he'd been crying if they didn't. He'd find something else to do until the redness went away. And hopefully took his souring mood with it. Going home in a bad mood was only going to end in everyone's feelings getting hurt, and the cannon complicated things to the point of causing hurt feelings enough as it was. If he could do something to at least minimize how much she was hurt, he'd do it, without hesitation.

Even without the cannon making such a mess of things, he still loved her, for fuck's sake. (Which was enough on its own to make him want to run, the cannon just made it that much more terrifying.) She was the last one he had left. (Which honestly was one of the biggest reasons he wasn't running.) He'd die for her, did once, would again, without hesitation. Destiny may have been the one that put him in the place to do it, but that much, at least, had been by his own choice.

It'd sure as hell be nice if he could get his two sets of his own memories to sync up so part of him didn't feel like she was a stranger, so he could figure out what to do about that cannon, though.

He sighed, wringing out the washcloth that was part of any good traveler's pack he'd used to clean his face. "My head's going to make me go grey before my time," he grumbled under his breath.

Time stopped for a second, something about his words giving him a now-familiar sense of deja vu, and he held still, shooting a mental hand out to try to grab that whisper of a memory that ran past him before it was out of reach.

"This war has made you old, and it hasn't even happened yet."
That earned him a self-deprecating smile. "That's my hair you're seeing."

Like a lot of his older memories, days that pre-dated Zelda and the Champions, he couldn't call to mind the face that went with that voice, not a name, not any real idea who that person had been to him. His statement to whomever that was made him think she was a fellow knight, probably someone he knew before the Sword claimed him. But he'd known a lot of people in the knighthood, so that only narrowed it down to about a hundred.

Next to him, the Sword sat silently, the first thing retrieved from the Slate after he'd reached the Dah Kaso Shrine, followed immediately by his proper clothes and that rag. He studied it silently, wondering if it would be worth the effort of asking her what she knew about that person. He knew she had to know, she had his full memories stored in her own, everything up until that exact moment, and on up until they finally parted ways, just as she had with her previous masters.

But she was so overtaxed when it came to dealing with his brain's rewritten memory recall functions that it probably wouldn't do him any good.

The Sword itself felt like it was tangled up with whatever that memory was- the blade, not the spirit inside it -and that confused him. The metal of the ring that hooked his sleeve to his finger clinked quietly against the hilt of the Sword as he laid his hand on it lightly, trying desperately to pull whatever it was that was stuck in his craw up to where he could look at it and see what it was before it drove him crazy.

When just the contact wasn't enough, he picked it up entirely, holding it by the sheath in his right hand, his left hand wrapping around the hilt and drawing the Sword, just a bit, just until the Triforce mark etched in its surface was visible. Holding the hilt in his left hand should've felt unnatural, especially when he was certain this was one of his own memories and not one of the Hero of Time's he was remembering, but at that exact moment, it didn't, and there was a rising sense of muted panic bubbling up at the back of his mind, more a ghost of the sensation, than the real thing. Whatever exact moment in time he was remembering, he'd been deeply afraid of something, something to do with the Sword, and something to do with the knight whose name he couldn't recall.

"The way I see it, you've two choices."
"Which one of them includes waking up to find out this was a strange dream?"
"I'm afraid neither of them. You can keep quiet, this goes no further than this room, and you take the chance that destiny will be kind and let you stand in a place on the battlefield where that Sword will do anyone any good."
"The other?"
"Or, we could find my superiors, and theirs, and on up until the king knows that the Sword has chosen this generation's knight."
"That'd take me away from the unit."
"It would. And put you where the princess will need you the most. Our fellows, or the princess. And I think you know whose side it is you belong at."

It was only the near-holy respect for the Sword that kept him from tossing it to the ground and recoiling like it was the memory that had just attacked him, and not simply a blade that was an innocent bystander. Slowly, he set it down on the ground in front of him, staring at it like it might bite, or more accurately, that it was telling him a story he didn't want to hear.

Seconds passed as he studied the Sword, unwillingly listening for more to that story, but his memory didn't give him anything more, so he finally surrendered and set the Sword back out of the way so he could change. The chill of being under the shade of a bridge, down next to the water, was starting to bother him and make him want a real shirt and pants.

The memory had chased away his bad mood at least, leaving the strange and increasingly familiar cold lump in his stomach that a lot of his memories left him with when they trickled back. Some of that feeling was just a general discomfort with getting glimpses into his past and not being able to see the rest of the context of whatever he remembered to understand what was going on at the time. Most of those glimpses only left that general discomfort, but some, like that one, felt like there was something important that he wasn't able to remember, compounding the problem. If it was a random and rather mundane memory, nothing that had a huge impact on his life and the turns it took, it'd still drive him nuts, not knowing the rest of it. But when it was something important, it added another level of urgency to remember the rest of it, frustration when he couldn't, and a quiet nagging worry that if he didn't remember it soon, something bad could happen.

He wasn't sure this one was a 'something bad could happen if you don't remember it' memory, but it'd been important to explaining how his life ended up where it was. Knowing those explanations would make some of his quirks that hadn't fully gone away make sense to him, and possibly give him a way to explain them to Zelda if she almost inevitably asked. She was rarely satisfied with a shrug and an "I dunno" in response to questions. On any subject, really. She was a researcher at heart, and disliked mysteries that she couldn't figure out.

Given that her knight and only real remaining friend had been given a complete memory wipe that had changed his behavior enough to probably confuse her sometimes, she was probably frustrated enough by him without having to deal with his idiosyncrasies that couldn't be explained by the amnesia. They would be behavior that she would've already seen, and hadn't been given an explanation for before the answer was dropped down a bottomless pit, possibly never to be seen again. It'd probably be appreciated if at least those questions could be answered with more than that shrug.

But, nothing was forthcoming, not on this issue, so once he was dressed, the Gerudo outfit back in the Slate's inventory, he pulled up his map and stared at it, trying to decide what to do until his eyes stopped looking like he'd spent about an hour crying. If he were smart, he'd head over to the Dueling Peaks Stable via the Ha Dahamar Shrine's travel gate, and clear out the path between there and Hateno while he was killing time. Zumi and Yammo would be going through there tomorrow morning, and Bolson and Karson were possibly already there, and while Bolson and Karson could handle themselves well enough to have gotten up to Tarrey Town in one piece in the first place, Zumi was not only pregnant, but in her first trimester. Link knew very little about everything involved in reproduction after his part would be done, but he knew that most miscarriages were in the first trimester. Which made making sure she wasn't going to be in danger for that last long walk more important than for the construction men.

That meant going through the swamp and plain between the stable and Fort Hateno though, and his brain was already lost in trying to piece together the past, tromping right over his grave wasn't going to be a great idea.

After another sigh, he glanced over his shoulder at the Sword, back in its proper place on his back. "I know I'm probably asking a lot of you right now, but if you could use those filters you had on me yesterday morning, just until I'm past the fort, I'd be grateful."

I will do my best, the Sword said. I cannot promise 100% success this time.

She didn't say her reasons, but Link could pick up on them from her just fine. It wasn't just her in his head, after all. "Yeah, I know, my damn memory's focused there," he said, shaking his head and staring off over the water. It wasn't like yesterday, when it was just noise caused by present going-ons, it was attached to a memory, and whatever it was the Shrine did to his head, it almost out-powered the Sword.

Reluctantly, he decided to chance it. "I have to go through there at some point, though. May as well do it when I have to kill time anyway. Less time I have to be away from home."

I concur that this would be the most efficient use of time. I calculate an 78% chance of success, with that number decreasing the longer you are there.

In other words, don't dawdle.

"Trust me, I don't intend on spending more than about fifteen minutes at most. There's not more than a couple small camps. I've never seen anything stronger there than regular bokoblin." He glanced at the Sword again. "Unless you've seen something I haven't."

I have not observed any monsters more threatening than that, she confirmed.

Well, that more or less committed him. If there'd been more threatening anywhere in there, he'd just go through that night and take care of them then, when he was in a slightly better head space, but with only about a dozen and a half regular bokoblin to contend with, it wasn't going to require an intense level of concentration, nor would it take very long.

He looked back down at the map. The Ha Dahamar Shrine was in the middle of what amounted to a giant puddle, which meant if he went there, he'd either slosh through the water and hope his pants and boots were dried by the time he got to Hateno to not look like a complete mess when he got home, or he'd have to use Revali's Gale to fly up over it.

The other closest option that wouldn't require backtracking was the Ree Dahee Shrine, along the side of the northern peak of Dueling Peaks, a bit back from the Big Twin Bridge.

Option one required either wading through water or using a spell that, while not particularly taxing, seemed like using a sword to do something a knife could do just fine. Option two gave his feet more time to try to grow roots to avoid having to go through the field of dead Guardians.


Spell it was.

Select Ha Dahamar Shrine, hit travel.

Once he'd been reassembled at the shrine and his awareness settled back in, he hooked the Slate back on his hip, took note of who was outside at the stable- he saw Yammo and Zumi both inside, and good that they were in there, he didn't really feel like getting stopped and caught up in any sort of conversation -then popped the paraglider, summoned the updraft, and lifted up into the air, leaning to the left to drop him down on the road just north of the stable.

He gave the Sword a second to start putting those filters he asked for in place, then walked up the path, veering off just before the Kakariko Bridge to follow the road east.

The road had just barely gotten on a straight line, and Link could already tell that the Sword's 78% success rate estimate was pretty on the nose; she had his thoughts redirected from traveling through the memories of the field, but wasn't able to keep his thoughts from looking that way.

He decided to skip fighting the old fashioned way, not willing to chance having his focus too distracted to be safe taking the time to do so, and go straight for chucking bombs at the camps.

When in doubt, blow it up.

Using bombs meant that his 'fifteen minutes' time limit was longer than he actually needed, and he wondered why he hadn't just done that the first time he went through, when he was still working under the weakness caused by the Shrine's total reset on him. Hindsight was perfect, he guessed.

He almost got trapped into a potential conversation when he got to the fort walls, catching sight of Bolson and Karson stopped for either a late lunch or an early dinner at the fire just outside of Doctor Calip's cottage before he'd passed through the gate. He took a sharp right turn to put the fort wall between them and him.

Damnit, he really didn't want to get caught in any sort of conversation. His head just wasn't in the right place to be much use in one.

Back to the map.

There was the Kam Urog Shrine in that little valley just on the other side of the cottage. It opened up easily to the road, and he was certain there weren't any monsters between there and where he currently was.

This was a cheap cheat, he thought, but it was a cheat he was going to abuse, hopping over to the shrine's travel gate.

There. He shouldn't get caught up anywhere after that.

If he'd wanted to be extra cautious, he'd clear out all parts of the road between there and Hateno, including where it looped around pointlessly between the Fir River and Camphor Pond. It'd give more time for his eyes to stop being irritated and red, and eliminate the chances that the people incoming would get hurt if they took the wrong path.

Both reasons were sound enough that he really should follow that loop around. (Why was that even there?)

He desperately wanted to be home, though. His feet were starting to want to grow roots in protest if he kept forcing them to move. And the Sword had already dropped the filters she had been trying to maintain, now that he was away from the swampy field between the stable and the fort walls. That wasn't helping.

Stare at the map a bit more, maybe it'd make his decision for him, or at least convince his feet to be willing to go along with the decision he had already made.

Well, it wasn't that big of a detour, and it wasn't littered with monsters, nothing worse than a few moblins and a small handful of bokoblins, and again, he'd never seen anything tougher than the average varieties of both through there. They wouldn't take long.

It was a little more than the two hours the Sword had given to Zelda as an estimate of when they'd be back when he got to the crossroads that divided the Midla and Ginner Woods. That estimate was given with an 80% chance of being accurate though, so he wasn't so far from that mark that she should be worrying yet.

He ducked into the northern-sitting Ginner Woods to lean back against a tree, enough to catch his mental breath and check that he wasn't going to have to be trying to explain red eyes too much. After staring at his mirror a moment, he decided that the little bit of red at the corners was light enough to be easily passed off as having been just rubbing his eyes, maybe from getting something blown into his face.

Eh, good enough.

In the name of minimizing how many people he potentially had to make that excuse to, he decided to be a cheap cheater again and hopped straight up to the Myahm Agana Shrine. He wasn't sure exactly who was working on the bridge, so he didn't know if Thadd would be at his sometimes manned post of town guard, and he assumed that Seldon would be out front, doing his normal idling about. Best to not chance getting stopped. He never had been before, but that was. Well. Before.

The bridge was blessedly done, and whoever had been working on it had cleared out, which meant that he didn't have to go past anyone to get home. A peek down the hill revealed no signs of Seldon, so Link took a guess that he must've been minding the store for once, if Zelda was over there with Sophie.

She certainly wasn't at the house, he discovered, which suited him fine. It gave him a chance to work on unwinding the spring his head was twisted into before he had to go find out the total for whatever shopping she did that day so he could pay Pruce back for it. And maybe ask him for advice on how to handle the whole money thing in the first place. Just giving Zelda a wallet of her own and throwing rupees into it whenever he needed to go out on his own would probably work most of the time, but that still ran the risk that something would come up that she'd need more than she had. He doubted that it'd happen if he left enough for her, but the townsfolk could only make so much change if all she had were higher value rupees to maximize how much she could carry. And it'd probably take Purah a little while to make a replica Slate for Zelda that had a functioning inventory rune to get around that.

He seemed to recall she had something for this back when they were traveling, but he couldn't remember exactly what it was. Some sort of voucher system, he'd assume. That might work.

Talk to Pruce first. He knew this shit better than Link did.

But before that, get his head reattached to the present, at least enough to function without raising any concerns until he could get home again.

He considered dropping some of his equipment under the stairs, since he wasn't going to be leaving town again, but there was always the chance he'd have to, and if he was that tired of wearing it, that's what the Slate's inventory rune was for.

Speaking of his inventory, while most of what he'd gotten that day was for Zelda, he was going to just go ahead and hide those journals in that little curtained off alcove he was calling a bedroom for another night. He doubted she'd need reason to mess with the Slate's inventory before he could otherwise get them out of there, but he'd put those in the same shopping bag her stuff was in, which meant that he couldn't just toss the bag at her, and she'd find it weird if he drew any attention to trying to remove something from the bag before he gave it to her.

He didn't bother with hiding that makeup he was given for himself, there wasn't really anything but exasperation attached to that. But maybe it was just because his mind was still traveling around the past somewhere, he worried that if she knew he'd bought something to write that history she wanted down in for her, she might get eager for him to get to work on that, and he really didn't want to do that at any pace but his own. She was less likely to be disappointed that he wasn't throwing himself into it as much as she would, if she were in what she perceived was his position. He didn't have the heart to see that sort of disappointment on her face.

Because thinking about that did so much to help his current mood.

Well, may as well just go out and get it over with. If Zelda came back to the house with him when he was done, he could always just bullshit out that he didn't sleep well last night and wanted a nap to get away with hiding under the stairs. It was the closest he had to privacy at the moment, it'd have to do.

Journals hidden, boots changed- he'd managed to find some mud somehow to walk through at some point -and a bit of agitated pacing done, he headed back out, down to Pruce's shop. If Zelda wasn't there, he could settle whatever debts she'd racked up for him, then go across the road to get those clothes to her, since she would be in the company of the person who'd be doing any alterations they needed.

Ivee wasn't at her usual post when he got down to the store, which made him think she must've been one of Zelda's 'ladies,' another likely being Sophie. He had a feeling it was probably just those two right now; chances of Prima leaving the inn for more than an emergency were low, and there were no other women in town that were in Zelda's age range that she'd be already considering friends.

Pruce was in the store, looking bored when Link stepped in. "So how much did she raid your wallet?" he asked in lieu of a normal person's greeting.

So. About them errands, huh? [29 Apr 2018|01:36pm]

((Man. How about all that self-play. It's what I get for playing 90% of the characters, I guess. :p And also currently the only character who can fling himself around the kingdom in seconds, so the job of errand boy has fallen to him. Purah's really got to come up with something for Zelda.))

After contacting Zelda and ending up with a laundry list of things he needed to get, as well as a brief panic when she asked about the sign outside his house, of all things, Link shifted his focus to his new agenda: getting a bunch of girly stuff.

His life went awry somewhere along the line, and he wasn't quite sure where. As much as he missed his sister, part of him was glad his early teen years weren't plagued by a teenage girl potentially trying to cajole him into being her practice dummy for learning how to apply makeup and do fancy hair styles. There was a good chance Marin would've ended up more like their grandmother than their mother on that front, but even so, that was an arrow he'd dodged.

It wasn't even getting dressed up like a woman that would've bothered him- when he was growing up, women were the ones with the power, it wasn't exactly an insult to look like one, and he had to do that later to get into Gerudo Town anyway -it was the idea of being turned into what amounted to a science experiment that would've annoyed him. Being told to sit and stay and be subjected to whatever his handlers wanted to do would've driven him crazy.

That, and he remembered being an adolescent boy, and he knew how adolescent girls acted, and he and his sister probably would've driven each other up the wall and down each other's throats.

... he still missed her, though.

He forcibly shoved that subject aside and focused back on the task at hand, most of which was just taking pictures, but the first thing he had to do was something that he wasn't ... exactly looking forward to. For a myriad of reasons, not the least of which was 'fessing up to having not told the entire truth to Zumi and Yammo earlier about his relationship status with Zelda. Although before he could do that, he had to 'fess up to himself about it. His side of things wasn't anything he'd been... too untruthful about- there was nothing that he'd given any thought to (and fighting his brain to keep it that way was sometimes a challenge) -but he knew damn well what Zelda's side was. Sure, there honestly was the chance that the years had changed her, but he had a feeling in his gut that they hadn't. He'd probably hide behind that possibility for awhile yet, but it was something he was going to have to face at some point.

Sometimes he wished he'd worked harder at not avoiding dealing with emotions after his initial grief over Marin had passed. It'd make things a lot easier on him. His tendency to shut down had helped him save face when the kingdom's spotlight was on him, but now it was just making things messy.

Oh, hey, brain. Nice of you to drift back to that subject. Let's stay on task, hmm?

The women had made pretty good time, all things considered, as Link could see them just on the other side of Proxim Bridge as he approached it. He nodded in greeting to Brigo, who still was holding his position as guard, though what he was guarding and why, Link wasn't sure. Whatever made him happy and gave him purpose, Link supposed.

The First Official Day As Queen [29 Mar 2018|07:29pm]

It was the sunlight streaming through the windows that woke her, along with the sound of birds chittering away on the roof. Normal sounds. Proof of life sounds. Sounds she still marveled at after a hundred years of missing them. Without any sounds of activity coming from downstairs, Zelda was content to remain in bed, eyes closed against the red warmth of the sunbeams on her lids, listening to the birds.

She wasn't going to stay there all day, but just a few more minutes of enjoying the peace. Not quiet, but peace.

After a little bit longer, Zelda reluctantly pushed back the blankets and stood, stretching as she yawned. She looked over the railing down into the common room, and immediately saw what looked to be a note.

Written on napery. Oops. They'd need to get more paper soon.

"Link?" she called out, listening for him. With no response, she made her way downstairs and read the scribbling. "Hmm. All right." She frowned a bit at the part about paying Pruce back. They'd need to figure out how to put rupees in her own pocket if she were to do things like this on a semi-regular basis. Or maybe just make and use royal vouchers as they did in the old days, and Link would go around settling the accounts when the day was over.

She looked out the window toward the bridge, and there was no sign of anyone, not yet. The men must still be tending to their own business, which was fine by her. She needed time to get dressed anyway.

Zelda went back up the stairs and opened the trunk, looking at the meager choices she had. All pants and blouses, mostly identical save for color variations. She put on dark blue pants and a white and blue blouse to go with her new circlet, then sat on the bed to brush out her hair, pulling strands from the front toward the back into a ponytail and braiding it down her back, leaving most of her hair free. Once done, she donned the circlet, then her boots.

Not knowing what time people would show up to work on the bridge, and being hungry at that moment, Zelda tucked the napery note in her pocket then left the house, carefully stepping over the loose planks, and made her way to Pruce's shop.

"Good morning," she said as she entered. "Link's apparently left me to my own devices today, and left me this." She pulled the napery out of her pocket and handed it to Pruce, smiling. "So what's on the menu?"

Just some errands.... [28 Mar 2018|02:58pm]

Despite the fact that his body and mind both should've gotten more sleep than usual to make up for the night before, Link still habitually woke up early. Even when he was stopping to rest because he'd otherwise crashed and burned, he still couldn't sleep a long time, and he and Zelda had called it an early enough night that it was still dark outside when he woke up. He listened for sounds of Zelda being up and around, then lit the lantern in his little crawlspace to a low setting. More waiting, more listening, still hearing nothing.

Satisfied that she was definitely asleep, and hoping that she'd stay that way, he grabbed the Slate and crept out from behind the blanket-curtain, leaving his light under the stairs, and made his way to the washroom.

The first thing his mind latched onto while he was brushing his teeth was to start planning the day, what needed to be taken care of, which set of monsters needed killing, who still needed help, and-

Wait. Yeah. Ganon was gone. The mission was over. There were still things to do out there, but the big thing was gone. He could focus on other things.

Well, there were still those other things, and the next one that jumped to mind was the elephant in the room in his brain of Zumi and Yammo, and how to approach that issue. He didn't want to start Zelda's day off with that anymore than he'd wanted to end her night. He still didn't feel comfortable thinking about the potential for jealousy on her part- a hundred years was still a long time for her to change in, and he wasn't going to make any assumptions about how she felt. But culture shock was still going to be a huge issue for her to deal with, and he knew that no matter how right the Deku Tree was about the fact that Link couldn't do anything that was within his character to truly lower himself in Zelda's eyes, with the strict upbringing of her social class, it'd happen anyway- just for the short term, instead of the long term.

Children outside of wedlock were a Big Bad Thing among the ruling class, and he assumed that sex was included in that, given that at least for straight couples, one tended to lead to the other. Even with birth control, there was still a small chance. (Surgical intervention aside.)

Although he supposed that it was possible that it was allowed as long as it wasn't spoken of and any 'accidents' were 'taken care of' before they were known about. That seemed like a disgusting way to approach the subject in his mind; it felt like it removed some of the agency of the woman involved in the affair, and that was morally reprehensible in his mind. But even if that were the case, and Zelda's sense of culture shock wouldn't include batting an eyelash at the fact that he'd had a partner he wasn't married to, just the possibility that the pregnancy wouldn't be terminated might... well, 'fluster' was the nicest word he could think of. Especially if he and the other women agreed that he was to have a place in the child's life. If that wasn't something that was going to happen, it might be an easier pill for Zelda to swallow, as how else could a lesbian couple have a child without adopting? Maybe medical science would someday find a way around that, but even Link knew enough about medicine and science in general that the day that was possible was centuries down the line, possibly longer.

But for better or worse, the subject would very likely come up, and he should know how long he had before the women would get into town to approach it. So in the name of not having them show up earlier than he thought and him not having a chance to tell Zelda, he decided his order of business for the morning was to track them down again, see how far away they were, and how fast they were going, to find out how long he had before they got there.

After he'd finished dressing, deciding against his Champion's tunic- he knew he was going to be getting into trouble with monsters, no point in dirtying it up, now that he potentially needed it for more than something to wear -he snuck back out of the washroom.

Good, she was still asleep.

He slipped back under the stairs, scrolling through the Slate for anything to write a note on to leave for Zelda- he wasn't going to just up and disappear without leaving her a note to let her know where he was going -frustrated when he couldn't find anything. Well, there was always the napery. He selected a thick-inked pen, geared up, turned off his light and slipped back out. He scribbled as legible a note as he could on a napery, frowning at how terrible it actually looked. But, it served the purpose.

Decided to clear the roads between here and Akkala so Bolson and Karson can get through. Pruce should be able to make you breakfast. Be back as soon as I can.

It wasn't the greatest-looking thing he'd ever written, but it'd do.

That was almost the end of what he wrote, grabbing the Slate to put the pen away, but then something crossed his mind. Despite her being trained to be In Charge, she had spent her whole life being told what to do, and she'd already said she was going to follow other peoples' leads. It was probably unnecessary for him to add anything, but there was still the small chance that she'd think it meant she had to stay behind and just wait on him.

Goddess knew she'd been doing enough staying home and waiting on him as it was.

Ignoring how that sounded in his head, he set the Slate back down to add- Feel free to do whatever needs done while I'm gone.

Another pause while he realized that 'whatever needs done' might include something like getting those curtains dyed that she'd mentioned last night.

So another addition- If you need to buy anything, tell Pruce I'll pay him back.

He considered adding a teasing jab about not emptying his wallet when his back was turned, but writing on that napery was hard enough, and the longer he lingered, the more likely she was to wake up before he left.

Good enough.

He had the Sword check on Zelda's mind one last time, to see how deeply asleep she still was, and then stepped outside, closing the door gently behind him. The Sword had confirmed that Zelda was out like a snuffed candle, that wasn't enough noise to wake her.

Once outside, he took a few seconds to stretch and breathe in the morning air; it was still dark, though the sky was turning a light grey, and it was blessedly not raining. And it didn't smell like it had earlier that night, either; the air wasn't thick and wet. Good. Now, hope that held out elsewhere.

"I don't suppose you happened to think of taking note of Zumi's aura when we were out the other night, did you?" he asked the Sword as he pulled out the Slate and called up the map.

I did, Master Link, the Sword replied. However, she is quite some distance away. May I suggest you travel to the Woodland Stable? The women may not have left yet. If they have, I'm afraid you may have to take the road to follow them, as I am not certain I can pinpoint their exact location via the map.

"Not a bad idea," he agreed, zooming the map in on the Woodland Stable. He tapped the Mirro Shaz shrine's travel gate, and selected travel.

The fact that it wasn't raining there, either, brightened his spirits, and he allowed himself the brief indulgence of the hope that Ganon being gone meant he wouldn't have to put up with as much rain in general, and that he wasn't just getting lucky.

The stable owner, Kish, informed him that the women had said their plans were to leave that morning, but Zumi's health had held the entire morning the day before, so they decided to leave early, rather than risk her being sick when they originally planned on heading out. They'd left around noon the day before.

Link checked his map as he walked away, trying to decide how far they could've gotten. Even if Zumi's lack of morning sickness held, she still was going to be limited to a walk. They might have gotten to the Wetland Stable already. Might as well jump there and look around. If the Sword said they were still back along the path between there and the Woodland Stable, he knew where to find them, and if they'd already passed by, he could catch up with them from that direction. Hopefully, though, they hadn't gotten farther than that, as after the Riverside Stable just down the road from there, there started to be packs of monsters that he hadn't had time to clear out when he first tracked them down. Yammo was good, but not that good, and with Zumi right there, she wouldn't be able to be as aggressive with them as she'd need to be.

A jump down to the Kaya Wan shrine took him right outside the Wetland Stable. The stable owner there, Lawdon, said they'd gotten there the night before, and had already left about an hour ago.

Okay, good, they couldn't have gotten far.

He took off at a jog down the southern path, hoping to catch them before they crossed Eagus Bridge.

Fortunately, he spotted them just north of where the path mysteriously branched off just past the Millennio Sandbar, one part going into the woods and stopping, the other moving on to the bridge.

"You ladies don't happen to be looking for directions to Hateno, are you?" he called to the as he approached them from behind.

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