Temple of Time
As the blue glow dimmed around Link, he looked and saw that he was once again his child self, and the Master Sword rested in the Pedestal of Time once again, hopefully forever. As Link was admiring how that the future Zelda sent him back to regain his lost childhood, he turned to look at Navi, his faithful fairy companion. But, she seemed a little sad.
"Link?" asked Navi.
"What's the matter, Navi?" asked Link, noticing she was a little sad at something.
"I...I have to go now." she said.
"What?! Why? Can't you stay with me?" asked Link, surprised at Navi's statement.
"Yeah...but..." said Navi, turning away from Link, "You're a Hylian, not a Kokiri. Hylians don't need a guardian fairy...so..."
"So you're just gonna up and leave?!" said Link, getting a bit angry at this, "Is that it? Just because I'm a Hylian means that we have to be separated?"
"I'm afraid so..." said Navi, who started sniffling a bit, "It's the Code of Fairies, and we aren't supposed to disobey it. Please...try to understand, Link."
"I CAN'T understand, Navi!!" yelled Link, his voice echoing throughout the Master Sword chamber, "You and I have been through too much together, and now you just want to LEAVE?!! Fine then! Go!!"
Navi turned back to look at Link, who was facing away from Navi, his arms crossed and his body shaking in anger. She didn't say another word and just flew off towards the window in the chamber. But, under her breath, she muttered, "Good-bye, Link, and...thank you..."
Link, still with an angry look on his face, turned to see Navi fly out the window. Something was different about Link, and it showed. Normally, he'd never yell at Navi, even if she got a bit annoying at times. And yet, he had done just that. Link turned away from the Pedestal of Time and started to slowly walk out of the Temple of Time, making sure to shut the Door of Time and retrieve the three Spiritual Stones from the pedestal outside. As he turned to get a last look at the temple's interior, he had a determined look on his face. Yes, indeed, something about Link had changed...but what?
Link decided to head to Hyrule Castle to see Zelda, knowing that she would be waiting for him...
Hyrule Castle Courtyard
Link had managed to once again sneak by the castle guards without even being noticed. Those guards couldn't find me if I was standing behind them! Link thought to himself as he entered the castle's courtyard. Sure enough, there was Zelda, peering through that same window as before. He started to walk towards her, but stopped and looked in the right-hand window, seeing some pictures hanging up on the wall inside. Huh...I wonder who those people are? They sure look...weird. thought Link. He was referring to the pictures of the Mario crew that could be seen hanging up on the wall through the window he was looking in. Link shrugged his shoulders and went on to Zelda.
When Link was close enough, Zelda heard him and turned around to see him, a surprised look on her face. "Huh? L-Link? Is that you?!" she said with surprise.
"Yeah, I'm back." was all Link said.
Zelda went up to Link and smiled, seeing that her best friend was still alive and well. Obviously, the future Zelda had transproted Link to a point in between when Link first met her but before Ganondorf had chased her and Impa out of the castle. This would explain why Zelda still knew him. "I'm glad to see you're alright, Link..." she said, but then her voice turned worried, "but shouldn't you be out looking for the Spiritual Stones?"
Link reached into his pocket and pulled the three stones out and showed them to Zelda. "You mean these?" he said with a smile.
Zelda gasped in amazement. "Whoa! How'd you get them so fast?" she exclaimed.
"It's a looooong story, Zelda..." said Link.
"It's okay, please tell me what happened. I got plenty of time now." she said.
"Well...okay...but try to keep an open mind, okay?" said Link, sitting down in the cool green grass.
"I will." said Zelda as she sat beside him. Thus, Link told Zelda everything he had been through, from the point where she gave Link the Ocarina of Time, how he became an adult, how he had rescued Saria, Darunia, Ruto, Impa, and Nabooru and made them realize they were Sages, and how Ganondorf kidnapped her future self and Link rescuing her from his evil clutches. He ended by telling her how she had helped him in sealing Ganondorf away in the future, and then sending him back to where he is now. He only left out the part where Navi had left him. This whole story took a few hours to tell, and Zelda paid every bit of attention to all of it.
"Wow..." said Zelda in amazement, "You sure have been through a lot..."
"I'll say..." said Link, stretching his arms out.
"So, what do we do now?" asked Zelda, "We have the three stones, and Ganondorf is still around...so now what?"
"My advice would be to get your father to believe that Ganondorf is planning something against him and get him into a good prison soon." said Link. "That way, Hyrule is safe before any damage is caused. I sure don't want to make the same mistake I once did..."
"Good idea. I'll do it right away!" said Zelda, but then she looked at Link with a curious look on her face, "You know...something's different about you...but I can't put my finger on it."
"You think so?" said Link, a bit surprised at Zelda's statement, "I don't feel any different."
"Eh...it's probably just me." said Zelda, smiling, "Anyways, thank you for returning the Spiritual Stones, Link. What're you going to do now?"
"I'm going home in Kokiri Forest. I'm tired..." said Link, giving off a yawn.
"I guess you would be after all you've been through." said Zelda. "Okay then, I'll see you later Link."
"You too, Princess. Take care." said Link as he got up and walked out of the courtyard.
Zelda watched as he walked out. As she was, she had a worried look on her face. Something IS different about him... she thought to herself, He seems...more mature than when I first met him. I wonder...
Link was walking back to his home in Kokiri Forest. It had been a long journey for him, travelling across time, defeating monsters, trekking those dungeons, and saving the future of Hyrule. It had all taken a toll on little Link, and it showed because he was slowly walking across Hyrule Field, breathing loudly. Soon, however, he heard a noise. It was faint at first, but as it got closer, it sounded like...footsteps. Rapid footsteps. Link, on instinct, turned around and was ready to pull out his Kokiri Sword, but when he saw who was making the footsteps, he stopped and smiled.
The footsteps belonged to Epona, and young Malon was riding her. She was heading in Link's direction, waving her hand to him. Link smiled and waved back, seeing another of his old friends and a would-be trusty steed. "Hey! Fairy-boy!" yelled Malon, still waving to him. Link liked the nickname she had given him awhile back, since it made perfect sense that he came from the forest. However, the mention of a fairy made Link remember what happened in the Temple of Time between him and Navi, but he decided to keep it to himself and ran towards the now-slowing-down Malon and Epona.
"Hi, Malon!" said Link coming up to her and Epona, "You're looking well. How's Epona doing?"
Epona neighed with cheer as she saw Link come up. Link patted Epona on the head, and smiled as Malon got off Epona. "She's doing fine! You don't look so bad yourself, tee-hee!" said Malon with a giggle.
Link looked at Malon and gave a slight blush. "Uhhh...thanks." he said. Even after that long journey, Link still had a bit of nervousness around cute girls, and Malon was no exception. "So, what are you doing out here in the field? It'll be dark soon, and those skeleton creatures come out onto the field at night." said Link, voicing some concern.
"I'm just giving Epona some excercise." said Malon, "What about you?"
"Just heading home to the forest." said Link, yawning again, "I'm bushed..."
"Awww...poor baby." said Malon with a smile, "You want a ride home? I'm sure Epona won't mind."
"Nah, it's okay." said Link, shaking his head, "I can go by myself."
"Aw, c'mon!" said Malon, "It'll be fun!"
"No thanks, Malon." said Link, a bit more stern this time.
"Pleeeeeese? Epona would love it if you played with her, like you did all the time at the ranch!" said Malon with starry eyes.
This was starting to get on Link's nerves, and he couldn't help but yell. "I SAID NO THANKS!!!!" he yelled.
Malon stopped suddenly and her smile went to a look of surprise and fear. "Wha....what's...." she stuttered, but then she became angry as well, "What's gotten into you?! You always jumped at the opportunity to play with me and Epona, even if you were busy with something! What's wrong with you?" Malon's eyes filled with tears. "Well, fine! *sniff* Go on then! Just don't come crying to me if you fall asleep before you get there!" With having said that, Malon ran off to the Castle Town Market. Epona snorted at Link then turned around and followed her master.
Link just stood there and watched as Malon and Epona went off towards the drawbridge to the town. He then said to himself, "I'm sorry, Malon...I have more important things to worry about anyways..." With that, Link turned around and ran towards the entrance to Kokiri Forest. It had just gotten dark when he got there, so he was glad to not have to handle the pesky skeletons that came out.
Castle Town Market
Zelda had done as Link had asked, and Ganondorf was sent to prison for questioning. Feeling content that she had done something right, she decided to take a walk in the market. The sun had already set, but there was still enough light inthe sky to see everything anyways, and her royal curfew wasn't until 8:00, so she thought she would see what everyone was up to in the market.
As Zelda was walking around, she happened to notice a familiar face nearby, sitting on a bench and looking as if she was crying. A horse was next to her, nuzzling her with its nose, as if trying to calm her down. Zelda seemed worried that one of the citizens of Hyrule was in depression, so she decided that it was her duty to go and console her. She walked over to the girl and sat down next to her.
"Um...you're...Malon, daughter of the ranch owner, right?" asked Zelda, looking over at the crying girl.
As it turned out, it was Malon, and she immediately looked up to see Princess Zelda looking at her with a worried look. "Um...your highness!" she blurted out, and immediately got on her knees and bowed to her, like everyone else in Hyrule did for royalty.
"Please, don't do that!" Zelda scoffed, "I just want to be treated like everyone else. Now then, is something wrong, Malon?"
Malon got off her knees and sat back down next to Zelda, still sniffling a bit from the tears in her eyes. "Well..." she started, "It's about...Link."
"Link?! What...is something wrong with him? Is he okay?!" asked Zelda, worried that something happened to her best friend.
"Well, not really, but..." said Malon, feeling a little better due to the fact that she was talking to the most trustworthy person in Hyrule, "I met him on the field, and we said hi to each other. But when I offered to play with him, he just said no."
"He did?" asked Zelda.
"Yeah..." said Malon, "But the way he said it, it was almost like he never wanted to play ever again!"
"What?!" exclaimed Zelda, "That's...not like Link to say something like that..."
"I know!" said Malon, seeing as if Zelda agreed with her, "That's not like the Link I used to know!"
"Whoa..." said Zelda, her mind filling with more thoughts by the second, too many to count, "I'm so sorry that happened, Malon."
"Don't be..." said Malon, looking over at Zelda again, "It's not your fault."
"I know, but..." started Zelda, but then something brushed up against her. Epona nuzzled a surprised Zelda with a playful tone in its voice. Zelda giggled and stroked Epona's head. Epona softly snorted as Zelda stroked her head.
"You're so gentle." said Zelda to Epona.
"That's amazing..." said Malon, seeming surprised, "Usually Epona doesn't just come up and nuzzle a stranger."
"I guess she doesn't consider me one." said Zelda, turning back towards Malon and smiling. Zelda then had an idea. "Hey, I know! Why don't we go to the forest tommorow and play with Link then? I'm sure he was just having a bad day, that's all. You can stay with me tonight if you want to. The royal stables will be perfect for Epona here.
"You mean it?" said Malon with excitement, "Oh, thank you Princess!"
"Please, call me Zelda." said Zelda, getting up from the bench.
"Thank you so much! But, won't daddy get worried if I'm not home tonight?" said Malon, sounding worried.
"Don't worry, Malon." said Zelda, smiling, "I'll have my nursemaid, Impa, send a message to Lon Lon Ranch that you're going to be my special guest for a few days. I'm sure she'll understand."
"Thank you again!" said Malon, getting up and grabbing Epona's reigns. "You wanna ride back to the castle?"
"Sure, I'd love to." said Zelda, and with some help from Malon, hopped onto Epona. Malon led Epona to the castle gates, all the while Zelda rode on Epona's back. The girls then spent the night together, and Impa agreed to send a message to Lon Lon ranch.
But this night wasn't over just yet...
As Link entered the Kokiri Forest, he was happy to see it just the way he remembered it. However, as happy as he was that he was back home again, he still was having some major thoughts about Navi leaving him. He noticed that all the Kokiri were already asleep, including Saria and even Mido. Probably for the best that I don't wake them up. thought Link as he quietly went over to his house. He climbed the ladder and entered, seeing that it too was still the way he had left it. He glanced over at his bed, and started to remember how that is where he first met Navi; how she had waken him up to tell him that the Great Deku Tree had summoned him and that he needed to follow her. It was the start of his most grand adventure yet, and he would never forget it as long as he lived.
As Link sat down on his bed and kicked off his boots, he remembered all the times Navi had gotten him out of a jam. If it wasn't for her, he probably would've gotten lost in all those dungeons and temples he had to explore, especially the Water Temple, which he remembered to not only be the hardest one he conquered, but also the place where he met his dark double, forcing him to outsmart himself. Navi helped greatly in that battle, as well as the one against the guardian of the Shadow Temple, Bongo Bongo. If it wasn't for her, Link would've never found its weak spot. Link continued to remember all those times, but then thought about Navi leaving him again.
I think Navi leaving me means something... thought Link as he lied down on his bed, I guess it means that I can take care of myself... Link pondered on this for a few minutes, then abruptly sat up with a determined look on his face. "That's it then!" he said out loud, not caring if someone heard him, "From now on, I'm acting more grown-up! I need to put these childish things of mine aside, and act like the grownup I was in the future!" Link felt satisfied at this and lied back down on his bed, soon falling into the deepest sleep that anyone could ever know.
Little did Link know...that this decison of his would eventually have its drawbacks...
The next morning...
The sun came up over the horizon in the Kokiri Forest, making beautiful rays of sunlight seep through the trees and waking up the flowers in the forest. The sun peeked through the window in Link's house, and right into his eyes. Link fluttered his eyes open, slightly straining from the sun in his eyes. He sat up in his bed and gave a loud yawn. Whew...haven't slept like that in awhile... he thought as he got up and slipped his boots back on. He then grabbed his sword, shield, and other equipment, and headed outside. When he got to the bottom of the ladder of his house, he turned around and bumped into someone. With both people giving off a loud "Ooomph!", both characters fell to the ground.
"Hey! Watch where you're going!" yelled Link, rubbing his head.
"Link?! Is that you?!" came the other character's voice, sounding feminine, yet childish.
Link immediately looked at who he had bumped into. It was his best and dearest friend Saria. Link got a wide-eyed look on his face, and immediately went and helped her up. "Saria?" he said, sounding happy, "You okay?"
"Link!" said Saria as she looked at him with a beaming look on her face, "You're back! Oh, I missed you so much!"
"I missed you too, Saria." said Link, smiling back at her as he helped her up. "Um...sorry for bumping you like that!"
"It's okay, Link. No harm done." said Saria, brushing off her outfit. "So, you're back for good this time?"
"Yep." said Link, giving a proud look on his face, "I'm back for good."
"That's great, Link!" said Saria, seeming as happy and cheerful as ever, "So, when did you get back?"
"Just last night." said Link, "Didn't want to wake any of you since it was the middle of the night and all."
"You're always so considerate, Link." said Saria, smiling at him, "So, what're you going to do now?"
"I'm going to the forest to train some." said Link, walking past her towards the entrance to the Lost Woods. Saria seemed a little odd about hearing this.
"Really? Even after you just got back?" she asked.
"Yeah. I gotta keep my practice up. Don't got any time for fun and games and all that whatnot." said Link without giving it a second thought.
Saria was usually very cheerful around Link since they are great friends and all, but now, she seemed sad. "What do you mean no time for fun and games, Link?" she asked, in a somewhat sad tone of voice.
"What I mean is..." said Link, stopping and turning around to face her, "I want to be more grown-up, Saria. I need to focus on what's important now, and that is keeping myself in tip-top shape, in case any monsters or something attacks the village."
"Well, that's great and all, Link..." said Saria, secretly seeming disgusted with what Link had said, "But don't you think that playtime is just as important?"
"If it keeps me from more important things..." said Link, taking a deep breath, "Then no."
Saria gasped at Link's answer. She couldn't believe what she had just heard! "What do you mean 'no'?" she said in a louder tone of voice, "You can't just work your life away! Don't you know the old saying 'All work and no play makes a boring day.'? You can't just go out and work for the rest of your life! You need to relax, take a load off sometime! And not only that, but..."
"SARIA!" yelled Link, cutting her off. Saria quickly stopped talking and just gasped at him, not saying a word. Of all the people to yell at, Link never did yell at Saria. "Don't you get it?!" he continued, "Someone needs to be responsible for this forest! True the Great Deku Tree is dead but still gives the forest life, but what if something comes around and tries to destroy it?! What then?! A dead tree can't just get up and shoo the monsters out! I need to become more independent, more grown up, and more reponsible! In other words...THERE'S NO TIME FOR ME TO GOOF OFF!!!"
With those words echoing throughout the forest, Link turned around and stormed off for the Lost Woods entrance, leaving Saria sitting near his house, crying her eyes out. At first, Link meant to turn around and apologize, but he thought it would be better to go on and let the lesson he just said sink into Saria's head. He felt a little bad having to yell at his lifelong friend, but he had to get his point across, and there didn't seem to be any other way. He turned around and gave one last look at Saria before entering the Lost Woods, ready to begin his training day. One of many he would have until the end of his days...
A little later on...still in Kokiri Forest...
A horse with a beautiful young girl riding atop it came into the Kokiri Forest, along with another young girl walking beside her. It was none other than Malon, with Zelda riding on Epona. As they came into the forest, they were awestruck at the beautiful sights of it. The dayflies flying around, the beams of sunlight radiating through the forest's canopy, the sound of a small babbling brook running through, and the houses carved from large trees scattered around.
As they were marveling at the sights of the forest, a Kokiri girl came up to meet them. "Hey, you're from outside the forest, aren't you?" she asked.
Zelda and Malon turned to look at the Kokiri girl. "Well, yes we are." replied Zelda in a kind tone.
"Really?" said the girl, seeming intrigued at the sight of someone outside the forest, "You two are pretty. Are you what is called an 'angel'?"
Zelda and Malon looked at each other with surprised looks on thier faces, then looked back at the girl. "Um...not really. We just came here to visit Link." said Malon, getting to the point.
"Link?" replied the girl, "He just came back yesterday, but no one has seen him since he came back. Except for Saria, that is."
"Saria?" questioned Zelda, sounding curious, "Who's Saria?"
"She's Link's best friend." replied the girl.
"Do you know where we can find her?" asked Malon.
"Yeah, follow me!" said the girl, and she started walking towards Saria's house, with Zelda (still atop Epona) and Malon following closely. Soon, the group had reached the entrance to Saria's house, and Zelda dismounted Epona.
"Could you watch our horse for us, please?" asked Zelda.
"Sure thing!" said the girl.
"Now, Epona, you be good for the little girl, okay?" said Malon, patting Epona on the nose. Epona gave of a snort of approval and went with the Kokiri girl near the steam. Zelda and Malon then went into Saria's house, seeing Saria slumped on her bed, her face buried in her arms, still sniffling and sobbing.
Zelda could see that Saria was sad about something. "Let me handle this, okay Malon?" she said to Malon quietly. Malon nodded in agreement and Zelda went beside Saria's bed.
"Um, excuse me...Saria, is it?" she asked, putting a hand on her shoulder.
Saria gasped and sat up with a start, nearly causing Zelda to lose her balance and fall over. She turned to see two unfamiliar faces looking at her. "Wha...Who-who are you?! What are you doing in my house?!" she yelled.
"Wait! Please, calm down!" said Zelda, trying to keep her calm. "We mean you no harm. We're friends of Link!"
"You...y...you are?" Saria stammered, tears still in her eyes. "I...I...I don't believe you!"
"Please, you must trust me and my friend. We are friends of Link." replied Zelda.
Saria still wasn't sure about this, so she had to be sure. "Okay, if you are friends of Link, then answer me this: What's the name of Link's fairy?" she asked them.
Zelda and Malon looked at each other and smiled, then looked back at Saria. "Navi." they both said.
Saria's eyes went wide when they gave the correct answer. She wiped her tears away and spoke up. "Okay...I believe you." she said, "But what are you doing in the forest. I thought outsiders weren't allowed in here!"
"We came here to visit Link." said Malon, "I guess maybe since we're his friends we are allowed in, I think."
Saria looked at Malon. "That...would make sense, I guess." replied Saria, getting on her feet, "Well if you're here to see Link, he's not home. He's out 'training' in the forest."
"Training?" asked Zelda, "What do you mean?"
"I guess I trust you enough to tell you..." said Saria. Saria then explained the recent episode that her and Lik just went through awhile back. After hearing this, Malon spoke up in a somewhat brash manner.
"He said that to you too?!" she said, seemingly angry at hearing this again, "He said almost the same thing to me!"
"He did?!" said Saria, seemingly surprised that there was something more to this, "So, he told you he didn't have time to play as well?"
"From what I heard from her, pretty much." replied Zelda.
"I'm so sorry to hear that..." said Saria apologetically.
"It's not your fault." said Malon, "It's Link's! Do you know where we could find him in the forest? We came here to see if he could play with all of us today."
"Yeah, I think I do." replied Saria, "I know the forest better than anyone else here besides Link. Let's go!"
With that, the three girls, with Saria taking the lead, went out of Saria's house and towards the entrance to the Lost Woods. When they got there, Saria looked around to find any traces that Link was around here. "If I know Link, he's probably at the slingshot target practice." said Saria, "Follow me! You don't want to get lost here, trust me."
The two other girls nodded and followed Saria closely as she led the them to the place where she had mentioned. Sure enough, there was Link, firing off his Slingshot and getting perfect bull's-eyes each and every shot. Saria motioned the other girls to hide in a bush until she told them to, and Zelda and Malon hid in a nearby one. When they were out of sight, Saria slowly walked up to Link, who still didn't notice she was there.
"Your aim sure has improved, Link." said Saria.
Link stopped firing his slingshot and turned to face Saria. "Oh, Saria. Um...thanks." he said, "What're you doing here? Hopefully not ask to play again..."
"Nah...just checking up on you." she replied, "But, I do have a surprise for you."
"A surprise?" asked Link, looking curious, "Like what?"
Saria responded by giving off a whistle, which was Zelda and Malon's signal to appear. The other two girls jumped out of the bushes and yelled a surprising yell at Link, who was so startled by the sudden appearance of Malon and Zelda that he fell on his back. The three girls went over and looked down at him, with wide smiles on thier faces.
"Zelda?! Malon?! What in the name of Hyrule are you two doing here?" Link said in a loud tone.
"We just came to say hello, Link" said Zelda, helping Link back to his feet.
"Yeah, we missed you fairy-boy!" said Malon, "And besides, we're bored, so we came to play with you!"
The mention of playing around plus the mention of a fairy got Link's blood to almost boil. "Not this play stuff again..." he muttered.
"Link, listen to me." said Zelda, holding Link's hand, "We heard Saria's story about what you said to her. It's nice and all that you want to be responsible. That's a very mature thing for someone of your age to say, Link. But, that doesn't mean you have to throw your childhood away and not have some fun time as well. Don't you see? If you work and train all the time, you'll exhaust yourself, and then you can't protect anyone! You can't go on like this, Link! Please, reconsider your thoughts!"
Link, even though he was back to being a child of only 10 years old, had just about had enough of this. It was time for him to prove his point to his friends. "Listen, girls..." he said in a somewhat stern voice, "You three are the best friends anyone could ever want, and nothing will change that. But, if I don't take responsibility for the forest, then who would? Surely not that idiot, Mido, or any of the other Kokiri for that matter!"
"Not...even me?" said Saria, who felt like crying at hearing that, but became brave and decided to hold back the tears.
"Saria, you're very responsible," continued Link, "but I think you don't deserve that kind of responsibility. You should be frolicking in the forest, playing your ocarina in the Sacred Forest Meadow. You don't need to worry about working like that."
"What about me?" asked Malon, "I work at a ranch, and I get up really early in the morning just to milk the cows and feed Epona. I have plenty of responsibility around there!"
"And I'm the crown princess of Hyrule." added Zelda, "You couldn't even begin to imagine the responsibilities I have."
Link looked at the three girls with a blank stare. Sure, he understood them, but he had one question to get off his chest. "If that's the case, why do you ask if you want to play around? Shouldn't you be back at your places and doing your work?" he wondered out loud.
"Because even though we have responsibilities, we can still find time to have fun." said Malon, "After I'm done with my work at the ranch, I go out and ride Epona in the field, giving her exercise and me some time to myself. That way, we both get something good out of it."
"And even though I'm the princess," added Zelda, "I still have time to play around with my dolls and my dollhouse and other things." Zelda looked at Link with a hopeful expression. "You see, Link? Just because you now have a reponsibility doesn't mean you need to throw your childhood away. C'mon, let's go play, please? All three of us and you can have a great time together!"
"Zelda...Saria...Malon..." said Link, looking at each girl as he said thier names, "I...I...can't. I can't do that."
"WHY?!" yelled Saria, almost on the verge of crying again, "What is so important that you don't want to have fun anymore?!"
"Because..." said Link, trying to find the right words. Link turned to face his back to the girls, and a long pause followed afterward. All was quiet for about a minute, as the girls patiently waited for Link's response. Soon, Link turned around and had a stern look on his face, and the next words he said would shock the girls entirely.
"PLAYTIME IS FOR LITTLE KIDS!" said Link in a loud voice.
The reaction the girls had was to be expected. They were shocked and surprised that a young boy would say something like that, especially one who always jumped at the opportunity to go and play with his friends. After the initial shock, Zelda spoke up. "Come on, girls." she said in a flat tone, "Let's leave him alone. It's obvious we can't convince him, so let's leave him to his 'duties'."
"What? But...Zelda...!" said Malon and Saria. Zelda just shook her head quietly at the two girls and turned around towards the exit. The other two soon followed, all the while Link watched them walk off, with the stern look still on his face. Link had indeed changed a lot since his adventure, but was it too much of a change...?
A few minutes later...back in Saria's house...
Zelda, Saria, and Malon were all sitting on the floor of Saria's house, the thoughts of what Link had told them still fresh in thier minds. Saria was the most upset about this whole matter, since she had known Link the longest. She was sitting near her table, her head on her knees and crying quietly.
"Saria, I'm so sorry." said Malon, "You've probably known Link longer than any of us, so I can understand how you feel."
"Thanks, Malon..." said Saria, sniffling.
"Girls..." said Zelda in an almost no-nonsense voice, "I think it's time we do something about this change of attitude Link has."
"What?!" said both of the other girls, looking at Zelda with a surprised look.
"But what can we do?" said Saria, "Link won't listen to reason, and I doubt anything else will work, so then what?"
"Yeah." added Malon, "It's not like we can force him to play with us! I mean, it's not like he's one of your dolls in your dollhouse, right?"
Zelda was about to answer that when her face suddenly brightened, like she had a brilliant idea. That surely was the case, for she ran over to Malon and gave her a big hug. "MALON! You're a genius!" she beamed.
"Uh...Zelda? You've lost me..." said Malon, clearly confused at Zelda's sudden bright reaction.
"Yeah, what's the big idea?" asked Saria, just as confused.
Zelda let go of Malon and stood back a few steps, still smiling her beaming smile. "Malon's remark about my dolls just gave me a wonderful idea!" she said.
Saria and Malon looked at each other, clearly confused. "Um...you want to play dolls with him?" asked Malon.
Zelda shook her head violently. "No, no, no! We're gonna make Link a little doll!"
"HUH?!?!" replied both girls at once.
"Let me explain." said Zelda, sitting down near the girls, "Since I was very little, I was taught the ways of magic. During one study, I was taught how to shrink objects to a small size. I taught this spell to Link a while ago so that he could carry his equipment better, and every time he wanted to use something, it would revert to its normal size and then shrink again to fit in his pocket."
"So THAT'S how he carried all that stuff..." said Malon.
"Yes. Now anyways..." continued Zelda, "What I have in mind is a plan not only to teach Link a lesson for yelling at us like that, but to also make him realize that fun time is just as good as work time. What I plan to do is..." Zelda took a deep breath before continuing, "...make Link shrink!"
The other two girls were stunned at Zelda's idea. "You can really do that?" asked Saria.
"Of course!" replied Zelda, "However, there is a catch, though..."
"What? Link won't get hurt, will he?" asked Malon, somewhat scared.
"No, not that." replied Zelda in a reassuring tone, "It's just that the shrinking spell does work on humans, but only for 48 hours. After that, they return to normal size."
"How come?" asked Saria.
"All the spells of the Royalty of Hyrule were made so that they couldn't be used for evil. Think of it as a safety harness for the spell in a way." said Zelda.
"I get what you're saying, but..." said Malon, somewhat hesitant about his whole idea, "...won't Link be in a lot of danger at that size? So many bad things could happen to him! He could get stepped on, eaten by a wild animal, caught in a spider's web, or..."
"I understand that, Malon." said Zelda, interrupting her, "But Link will be with us the whole time, and I'm sure none of us would like to see any harm befall him, right?"
The two girls nodded in agreement. "So, are you all in for this?" said Zelda, putting her hand out in an agreement manner.
The other two girls thought for a moment, but soon, Malon spoke up. "Yeah! Count me in! This'll be fun!" she said as she put her hand on top of Zelda's.
"Well, Saria? What about you?" asked Zelda, "You can still say no if you want to."
Saria thought for another moment, but then looked at Zelda and Malon with a smile on her face. "Let's do it!" she said, putting her hand on top of Malon's.
"Fine. Then it's settled. After tonight, Link is going to get the best two days of his life!" said Zelda.
"When does Link usually fall asleep, Saria?" asked Malon.
"If I know Link (and I do), he usually goes to bed at about 9 p.m." said Saria.
"Alright then," replied Zelda, "We'll go and sneak into his house at 10 p.m. That way he'll be sound asleep by then."
The other girls nodded in agreement, and the three stood up and walked out of Saria's house. Saria agreed to give the other two a tour of the village and some of the Lost Woods. During that tour, they walked by Link, still firing his slingshot at the target. As they did, they let out quiet giggles. Link, with his keen Hylian ears, heard the giggles and turned to look at the three girls walking off in another direction. What was that all about? he wondered in his mind, Ah, well...girls are too unpredictable anyways. It's probably nothing. Little did Link realize the scheme the girls had for him...
That night, around 10 p.m....
Everything was quiet in Kokiri Forest, save for the crickets chirping and an owl hooting. But that silence was broken when quiet footsteps could be heard near Link's house. Three figures crept towards his house, making sure that they were as quiet as possible. The three turned out to be none other than Zelda, Malon, and Saria, and they were about to put thier plan into action.
"Okay, girls..." said Zelda in a quiet voice, "We need to make sure not to make any sounds. We don't want Link to wake up, okay?"
"Relax, Zelda." said Saria, also in a quiet voice, "When Link falls asleep, he falls asleep."
"Let's hope you're right..." said Malon, quiet as the other girls.
"I'll go up first and see if it's okay." said Saira. The other two nodded, and Saria quietly climbed her way up to the balcony of Link's house. She quietly entered his house to hear the sound of a quiet but irratating snore. The snore belonged to Link, and he was fast asleep on his little wooden bed, fully clothed and kind of drooling over the side. Saria just looked at him and smiled. Must've worked himself to sleep. she thought, Ah, Link...ever the stubborn one, huh? As Saria finished that thought, she noticed he didn't have his equipment on him, save for his slingshot in the back pocket of his tunic (fully sized I might add). Saria thought for a second, then got a sly smile on her face as she quietly walked up to the sleeping Link and carefully slipped the slingshot out of his pocket and put it in her own. I don't think he'll be needing this where he's going. she thought.
Saria crept back out to the balcony and signaled the other girls to come up. The other two climbed up the ladder and quietly entered Link's house, with Saria right behind them. They saw Link just laying there totally zonked out on his bed. "I never knew he slept THAT hard!" said Malon, keeping her voice down.
"That's Link for you." replied Saria.
"Where's all his equipment?" asked Zelda, curious.
Saria pointed to the pile of equipment lying next to the table. "Good." said Zelda, "We don't want him to use those to escape. All right, girls...It's time for me to do my thing. Stay back, because I don't want to shrink you too."
The other two took a few steps back while Zelda kneeled in front of Link. She then closed her eyes and folded her hands, quietly mumbling some ancient words, which Saria and Malon couldn't understand. Soon, Zelda stopped mumbling and held her hands over the sleeping Link. Her hands glowed a pale blue color, then sparkles of white light sprinkled down over Link, and the sparkles were somehow "merging" with Link as they touched him. Not surprisingly, Link was still sleeping through all of this.
Soon, all the sparkles of light had merged with Link, and Zelda's hands stopped glowing. She quietly stood up and stepped back to join the others. But Malon was curious about something. "How come nothin's happening?" she whispered to Zelda.
"Just wait for it..." said Zelda.
All the girls watched Link carefully. At first nothing was happening, but in the moonlight coming out of Link's window, the girls finally saw Link's body start to get smaller. As he was, Zelda smiled and thought to herself, Please don't hate us for doing this to you Link. It's for your own good, I promise.
Link continued to shrink slowly and gradually, getting smaller and smaller. Zelda was nice enough to let Link's outfit shrink with him, for even she knew better than to embarass someone like that. Soon, the spell had taken its full effect, and Link stopped at only 3 inches high. The girls quietly walked over to Link's bed and kneeled down to look at thier now-diminuative friend. Zelda smiled to see that her spell had worked properly.
"Oh, he's so little!" whispered Saria.
"Not to mention so cute!" whispered Malon.
"Alright, girls..." whispered Zelda, "We can have fun with him tommorow morning."
"Huh? Why can't we now?" replied Saria.
"He's been through a long and rough day. He deserves to rest." said Zelda.
"Tee-hee! Yeah, you're right..." giggled Malon quietly.
"There's a small problem though..." said Saria.
"Like what?" asked Malon.
"As big as his house is to him now, it's far too cramped for all three of us to have any good fun with him." said Saria.
"Not to mention that someone else might see him like this..." added Zelda, "Well, then, where should we go?"
"I got just the place." said Saria, "There's an area in the Lost Woods called the Sacred Forest Meadow. It's a place where me and Link go to have some time together."
"Ooooohhhh...Saria!" said Malon in a wooing voice.
"Don't get the wrong idea!" snapped Saria quietly so as not to wake up Link, "It's just a place where we go to play together and play on our Ocarinas, that's all!"
"Alright then," said Zelda, "We'll go there."
Zelda slowly and gently scooped Link up in her right hand. At first the girls were afraid that Link would wake up from this, but oddly enough, he was still asleep. "Man, he sleeps harder than a log." remarked Malon. The other two girls just smiled.
"One last problem..." said Zelda, "How are we going to get Link down from here? I can't climb down and carry him at the same time..." Zelda stopped for a moment before getting an idea, "...or can I?"
Before Saria and Malon could ask anything, Zelda used her free hand to pop off her hat and then used her other hand to gently place Link in her golden-blonde hair, then placed her hat back on her head. "That should do it. Besides, he'll be comfortable in there." she said, smiling. In her hat, Link was subconsiously reveling in the fact he was lying on something soft and warm, not knowing it was Zelda's hair he was lying on. Sure enough, he was still sleeping through all of this (man, the kid knew how to work himself out, didn't he?)
The girls then proceeded to climb down the ladder outside, with Zelda being especially careful as to not rattle her tiny passenger. Sure enough, she didn't, and she touched down on the ground safely. "Ok, follow me." said Saria as she led them back to the entrance of the Lost Woods. Zelda decided to keep Link in her hat until they got there, for she knew she still had to climb up the small cliff that was near the Lost Woods entrance. Soon, the girls made it through the Lost Woods and arrived at what would later be known as the entrance to the Forest Temple in the Sacred Forest Meadow. When they arrived, Saira pointed out to Zelda a stump in the ground, the same exact stump that Saria always sat on to play her Ocarina. "Put Link down here." she mentioned.
Zelda nodded and took her hat of and gently reached for the little Link still in her hair. She was successful in getting Link off her head without waking him up, and placed her hat back on her head. She then proceeded to place Link carefully on the center part of the stump. Link tumbled a little bit after being placed there, but remained asleep. The girls then knelt down to look at him again.
"So, now what do we do?" asked Malon.
"We let him sleep for now." said Zelda, "But when morning comes, he's going to get a big surprise!"
The girls giggled quietly as they sat near the stump, agreeing that two would sleep and one keeps an eye on Link. Since Zelda had done the work in shrinking him, she volunteered to watch him first. But before the other two girls went to sleep, she got another idea.
"Girls, I think I know how we can get Link to be even more surprised in the morning!" she whispered.
"How?" they both asked.
"Huddle up." said Zelda, and the three girls huddled up and Zelda explained what she had in mind. After a few minutes, they broke the huddle, and were quietly giggling again. "That's brilliant, Zelda!" said Saria.
"Can we all get up early enough to set this up?" asked Zelda.
"I have no problem with it. I wake up early every day." said Malon.
"I can get up early if I need to." said Saria.
"Good, then we'll wake up at dawn, before Link does." said Zelda.
The girls all nodded in agreement, then Saria and Malon lied down in the cool green grass, while Zelda kept a close watch on the tiny Link, knowing that this was going to be an interesting two days to come...
The next morning, around 8 a.m....
Link woke to the bright sunlight in his eyes as he always does. He mumbled and sat up, stretching his arms out. "Well, time for another hard day of work." he said to himself.
As Link turned around to get out of his bed, he noticed that he wasn't in the same place as before. "Huh? Where am I? Why am I outside?" he wondered out loud. Link quickly stood up and looked around him. It looked as if he was in a forest, but the trees seemed a lot larger than the ones he knew, much bigger than the ones in Kokiri Forest. Some trees looked as big as the Great Deku Tree, while the smaller ones still towered over him like a normal-sized building. Link was very confused and a bit ruffled about this. "This doesn't make any sense. Was I sleepwalking?" he said to himself.
"Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnkk....." came a voice that seemed to surround Link.
Link jumped at the sound of that. "Huh?! Who's there?" said Link, instinctively reaching for his sword, only to realize that it wasn't with him, along with the rest of his equipment. Link gulped when he realized that.
"Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnkk....." came the voice again, this time a bit louder.
"Who are you? What do you want?" yelled Link, getting a bit tired of someone speaking to him that he couldn't see.
"Tee-hee! You don't recognize my voice?" said the voice again, but this time it sounded more clear. It sounded...feminine.
Link thought for a moment, but then realized who was talking to him. "Saria?! Is that you?" he called out to her.
"Took you long enough." said Saria's voice, giving a slight giggle.
"Are you contacting me with your song or what?" asked Link.
"Nope, I'm near you." said Saria's voice.
Link was getting more confused by the second. "Well, where are you then? I don't see you!" asked Link.
"I'm hiding, silly." said Saria, giggling again, "Why don't you come and find me?"
"Saria..." Link said with a groan, "Didn't I tell you I have no time for games?"
"Aw, c'mon, Link! Just this once? I have a surprise for you if you find me!" said Saria.
"Another surprise?" Link said with a hint of disgust in his voice, but Link knew that finding Saria would probably get him some answers as to why he's out here, so he shrugged his shoulders. "All right, but the surprise had better be good." he said.
"Don't worry...it is!" said Saria's voice.
Then, just to make sure that he wasn't lying, Link called out in a not-too-playful tone, "Ready or not, here I come!"
Saria's voice giggled again, and Link set out to find her. I just hope she's not in trouble or this is a trick by a Skull Kid or something. Link thought to himself as he scanned the area. From where he was standing, there didn't seem to be any kind of place even a Kokiri could hide. The terrain looked to be made of wood, and there were no other forms of vegetation growing there, save for the rest of the gigantic forest surrounding him. Soon, Link came to a slope that led down to what appeared to be a large rock covered in green grass. Link knew that it was too steep a dropoff, so he took a step back to avoid slipping. He examined the grass-covered rock near him. It looked...peculiar and yet somehow familiar to him, but he couldn't quite put his finger on it. "Saria? Am I close?" he called out.
"You're red-hot, Link!" came Saria's voice again, this time seeming louder and closer.
Link was puzzled by this. He had solved many puzzles in all those temples, but this one was a brain-buster to him. He looked around, but still saw no signs of Saria. Finally, Link decided that this wasn't fun anymore. "All right, Saria..." he said in a somewhat disgusted manner, "I give up. Where are you?"
"You sure you give up?" asked Saria.
"Yes." sighed Link.
"Okay, then. But since you tried so hard, I'll still give you that surprise." said Saria.
Link smiled, knowing that Saria was always nice to him. "Okay then, let me have it!" he said.
"As you wish!" came Saria's voice.
What happened next was going to be the biggest surprise that Link was ever going to get. Link could feel a faint rumble as the large grass-covered rock he had noticed earlier began to move and lift itself up! Link shuddered at that, but stood his ground bravely. Soon, however, he saw some certain features on the rock he hadn't noticed before. There were two flesh-colored spires coming out of two ends of the rock, and they almost looked like...ears? Soon, however, the ground rumbled and Link fell off his feet and onto his rear. Link closed his eyes tightly and waited for the rumbling to stop. As the rumbling subsided, Link held his head and looked at what was going on. What he saw next were two tree-sized objects rising out of the ground, and they too were flesh-colored. But then...Link heard Saria again.
"Hey, Link! Up here!" came her voice again.
Link got a bug-eyed look when he heard that, and slowly looked up....and up....and up. He had arched his back to the point he would fall over when he finally saw Saria. The only thing was...Saria was gigantic!! As it turned out, that grass-covered "rock" was her head and hair, and the tree-sized objects were her legs! Link just dropped his jaw in disbelief, thinking that this was a nightmare for being so rude to Saria and the other girls earlier.
"Well? What's the matter, little Link? Speechless?" asked an amused Saria.
At first, Link didn't respond to that, but as soon as he gathered what little wits he had at the moment, he hopped to his feet and ran off in the opposite direction, screaming his lungs out. Saria knew he'd react like this, but oddly enough, she let him run. It was almost like she knew something that Link didn't. As Link continued to run, many thoughts were racing through his mind, but one stuck out: What in the name of all of Hyrule is going on here?!!
As if to answer his statement, Link all of a sudden ran into something...soft. He fell to the ground again and looked to see what he had ran into. It looked to be a wall of some sort of white, fabric-like substance. Wait...fabric?! Link's eyes bugged out again when he noticed that it WAS fabric he had ran into, and the designs on it looked familiar as well...too familiar in fact. His thoughts were interrupted when he heard another loud feminine voice.
"Hey, fairy boy! Good morning!" said the voice.
Link broke in a cold sweat. There was only ONE person he knew that ever called him that, and he was almost deathly afraid at who it was when he looked up to see Malon towering over him as well. Malon just looked down at him with a smile and waved at the diminuative hero. Link, on the other hand, just sprang to his feet and ran off again, away from the gigantic Malon and Saria, all the while saying to himself, "This isn't happening...this isn't happening...this isn't happening!"
But in his panic, Link wasn't seeing where he was going, and he again ran into something. As soon as he fell to the ground, he instantly saw what he had ran into...another "wall" of fabric. This one was light pink in appearence, but the large Triforce symbol on it was a dead giveaway on who it belonged to. "No...not her too...!" Link said with gasping breaths. He knew he shouldn't look up to see who it was, and he probably already knew who it was as well, but he had no choice as he lifted his head to see none other than Princess Zelda looking down upon him, also towering over him just like the other girls.
"Hello, Link." said the titanic princess.
Link just froze. He couldn't believe what he was seeing. Soon, the other two girls stood by Zelda and looked down at him. Link just continued to not move and see his three best friends all of a sudden had somehow become enormous. He almost felt like he was having a heart attack, but without the fear of dying from it. Zelda leaned her head towards the little Link. Link put his arms up in his face, expecting the worst to happen, but his fears were somewhat calmed when Zelda spoke up. "Link? How do you feel this morning?"
Link sprang to his feet again, and suddenly felt a rush of courage flow through him. "What in the name of Nayru has happened to me?!" he shouted, his face burning with anger and confusion, "Why are you girls so big?!!"
"We're not big, Link." said Zelda, keeping her voice a little quiet so as not to harm Link's ears, "You're small."
Link looked as if he was going to faint. "I...I'm...I"M WHAT?!!!" he yelled again.
"It's like I just said." replied Zelda, "You're small. About 3 inches tall to be exact."
Link groaned and sat down on the wooden surface. "How did this happen to me?!" he panicked.
"I believe it was...me Link." said Zelda.
Link once again sprang back to his feet, totally surprised at Zelda's response. "WHAT?!! You mean YOU did this to me?!" he yelled, pointing at Zelda's large face. For someone who was really small at the moment, Link certainly didn't seem too afraid of the titanic trio of girls near him. But then again, if you've faced gigantic monsters several times, you wouldn't be afraid either.
"Guilty as charged." said Zelda.
At that point there was only one question that popped into Link's mind, and he wasn't afraid to ask it: "WHY?!!"
"I'll explain, Link." said Zelda, sitting down in the grass so she could be eye-level with Link. The other girls followed suit and sat down near Zelda. "You see, after you yelled at us like that yesterday, me and the girls decided to take some action. I used the shrinking spell I taught you to make your equipment small on you."
"But, that spell only shrunk my equipment!" said Link, seeming a little confused.
"That's only half-true Link." continued Zelda, "The spell works on living things as well, but it'll wear off in 48 hours. It's kind of a fool-proof way that the spell wouldn't be used for the wrong puropses."
"Wrong...purposes?" replied Link, sounding a little angry, "And shrinking me isn't wrong?!"
"I see nothing wrong with it." replied Saria.
"Same here." added Malon.
"Okay, okay..." said Link, sitting back down, "But that still doesn't explain WHY you shrunk me!"
"That's easy to answer, Link." said Zelda, giving off a smile, "I shrunk you so you could have some fun with us!"
"WHAT?!" yelled Link, getting tired of hearing the same thing from them again, "Didn't I tell you playtime is for little kids?!"
Zelda was about to respond to that, but soon her eyes went wide and she smiled a bigger smile. She looked at Saria and then Malon, and they had the same looks on thier faces. Soon, the trio of girls just started laughing. However, Link was taken aback by this, and wasn't amused. "What's so funny? Did I say something?!" he yelled.
The three girls just continued laughing for another minute or so before thier laughs faded into chuckles and giggles. Then, Zelda looked down at Link again with a smile on her face. "Link..." she said, trying to stifle her laughing, "...you ARE a little kid!"
Link was about to retort back at Zelda, but soon, he went silent for a moment, realizing what Zelda had meant. "Oy..." he groaned as he fell on his back in disgust. Zelda and the rest just giggled.
"So, what should we do first?" asked Malon, "Any ideas?"
"Yeah, I have one:" said Link, sitting up, "Change me back to normal! I don't have any time for this!!"
Zelda leaned towards Link, which made Link flinch a little. "There are two things wrong with that, Link." she replied, a hint of sterness in her voice, "First, I don't know how to reverse the spell, so you're stuck like this for the next two days. Second off, I don't think you're in any position to make demands, okay?"
Link admitted that she had a point on that second thing, and just sighed and nodded at her. "So, I'm stuck like this for the next two days, aren't I?" he asked.
"Yes you are." replied Zelda, the sterness leaving her voice, "So, you might as well get comfortable and used to being like this. In fact, I think you look kinda cute when you're so little." Zelda giggled a bit after that.
"Zelda...you're embarassing me..." said Link, his face blushing a deep red.
While Link was blushing, a faint grumble could be heard. Link's eyes went wide as he knew that the sound was his stomach growling. "Oops..." he said, continuing to blush, "I guess I haven't had anything to eat since I got back to the forest."
"So it seems." said Zelda, "I could hear that grumbling too."
"Huh? How? I'm so little I have to shout just so you can hear me!" said Link, a little confused at Zelda's remark.
"Have you forgotten, Link?" said Malon, looking down at him, "We're Hylians. Our ears are quite sensitive, so we can pick up the smallest of sounds, including your now-shrunken voice!"
"Oh, yeah...I forgot that..." said Link.
"Still, we should at least find some food for you..." said Zelda, but she looked disappointed, "Drat! I forgot to bring food for our little excursion. I guess we'll have to go to the market to find some..."
"That may not be necessary..." replied Saria, getting everyone, including Link, to look at her with questionable looks, "There's plenty of food here in the forest, like berries and stuff."
"Good thinking, Saria!" said Link, happy to see Saria was as bright as ever, "But, I can't go and get it...I'm too small, and who knows what dangers could happen to me?"
"Not a problem, Link." said Saria, looking at him with a smile, "I'll go out and find some food. In the meantime, you can stay here with Malon and Zelda and talk for a short while. Be right back!"
"Don't be long, Saria! And be careful!" said Link.
"I will!" replied Saria, and she went off to find some food for the little Link. As she walked off, faint tremors could be felt for Link, since he was so small and to him, her footsteps were like thunder.
As Link saw Saria walk off to find some food, he noticed that only Zelda was with him, and that Malon was nowhere to be found. Link looked all around him, but no Malon. Only Zelda was there, still sitting in the grass, looking at Link. "Hey, where'd Malon go?" asked a puzzled Link.
"Huh? I don't know...she was here a second ago..." replied Zelda, looking around to see Malon was gone.
Soon, however, Link got his answer...
"BOO!" yelled Malon as she sprang up from behind the stump Link was on. Link was downright scared, and nearly lept a few feet in the air (to him, at least), all while screaming his brains out. Malon just gave a loud giggle. "Oh, that was priceless!! You should've seen the look on you face!" she said while giggling.
Link, a little dizzy from the sudden startle, looked over at Malon with a dizzy, yet angry look. "Don't EVER do that again!" he said to Malon in between large breaths.
Zelda couldn't help but to giggle as well. "That wasn't too bad, Malon." she commented, "You sure scared the pants off him!"
"Geez...this is not going to be a great two days if this keeps up..." Link muttered to himself as he regained his bearings.
A few minutes later, Saria had returned to the group with what looked like a handful of berries. Saria showed the group the berries in her hand. They were a little bigger than a grape with a smooth and slightly bumpy greenish-blue skin. "What're those?" asked Malon.
"These are a special berry that only grow here in the forest." said Saria.
"I know these!" said Zelda, recognizing the berries, "They're Likan berries!"
"Likan berries?!" said Link, still standing on the stump. His eyes went wide and a hint of drool came out of his mouth. "Saria, you never cease to amaze me..." he said.
"Ummm...can someone tell me what's so special about these?" asked Malon, being the only one here that didn't seem to know about them.
"Likan berries (pronounced "Like-an") are sweet, yet tart-tasting berries that grow here in the forest." explained Saria, "They're called that because mostly anyone who has tasted them like them. They're very delicious and quite plentiful too."
"Not to mention some consider it a delicacy, such as myself." said Zelda, "Wow, you're so lucky to be able to eat these all the time, Saria! I only get a shipment of them every two weeks at the castle!"
"Yeah." said Link, which made the girls look down at him again, "Now, c'mon! Let's eat!"
The girls nodded and Saria split the berries between everyone, but she held onto a few for Link. Malon was still a bit unsure of the berries, but knew she should trust in her friends and gulped one down. "WOW! These're great!!" she beamed. The other girls and Link smiled, seeing that the berries still lived true to thier name. However, Link seeing the girls stuff themselves with the berries was making him even more hungrier.
"Hey! What about me? What am I, chopped liver?" asked Link in a sort of impatient tone.
Saria looked down at Link while holding a few Likan berries in her hand. "You'll get yours, Link..." she said, but then her face twisted into a sort of cruel smile, "...But you need to earn it."
"WHAT?!" yelled Link, "Whaddya mean I have to earn it! I'm starving!!"
"I think he should earn his breakfast, since he was so mean to us the other day." said Saria, looking at Malon and Zelda, "What do you think, girls?"
The other girls nodded in agreement. Link, however, wasn't pleased at this one bit. "Hey! That's not fair! Why do I have to work for it, anyways?!" he yelled.
Saria leaned towards Link. "First, you yelled at us, then you say that we're treating you unfair?!" she said, not bothering to keep her voice down. Her voice echoed in Link's ears. "Think of this as punishment for yelling at us. Besides, didn't you say that you don't mind working anyways?"
"But-but-but-but-!" Link stuttered, but the look Saria was giving him meant that he shouldn't argue. Link just slumped his head down and sighed in disgust. "Alright...what do I have to do?" he groaned.
Saria's serious look turned to her heartwarming smile that she always had. "Seeing as how you're my lifelong friend and all, Link, I got an easy job for you." she said. Link looked at Saria with a smile. Even though she was now a lot bigger than he was now, she still called him a friend, even after the yelling episode he gave her yesterday.
"So, what's the job?" Link asked, but then gulped in nervousness.
"Simple." said Saria, "All you need to do is give me a backrub."
"Wha-HUH?!" exclaimed Link, surprised at the "job" he was given. "How am I suppposed to do that at my size?! And what kind of job is that anyways?"
"Well, while I was picking the berries, I tripped and landed on my back, so it could use a good massage." explained Saria, "As for the size problem...well, you're a smart boy. I'm sure you'll think of something."
Link didn't know how to react to this event, but his growling stomach got the better of his judgement and he decided to go ahead with it. "Okay, fine. I'll do it." said Link.
Saria smiled and handed the remaining berries to Zelda. She then lied down on her stomach next to the stump and motioned Link to get on her back. Link, still a little nervous, carefully slid down a smooth part of the stump down onto Saria's back. He took a few steps and was rather intrigued at how differently the fabric on her shirt felt at this size, not to mention how it looked. He could see how the shirt was threaded together ever so carefully. Still, it gave him enough room to not step in a hole or anything, so he made his way to the center portion of her back. "Alright, so, where should I start?" he asked Saria.
"Right where you are is fine." said Saria.
"Okay..." said Link, taking a long breath, "Here goes nothing..."
Link pressed his hands against Saria's back and started massaging it in an up-and-down motion. Though Saria barely felt it, she admired how Link, despite how little he was, was doing his best. Link started doing circular motions with his hands, being especially careful as to not make anyone think that he was doing something inappropriate. He was nervous the whole time he was doing this, and his eyes trailed towards Zelda and Malon, who were just sitting there and watching the whole thing with smiles on thier faces. Link blushed as he saw thier smiles, not knowing that because of this he had stopped rubbing Saria's back. Saria noticed this and poked Link with one of her fingers.
"Hey, Link! I don't feel anything moving up there!" she said in a teasing manner.
Link snapped out of his nervous state and began to massage her back once again, this time a little faster and more rigorously. He then started moving up and down her back, trying to cover a wider area. Saria was content this whole time, and her back was feeling much more relaxed, even though it was being massaged by someone only 3 inches tall. Soon, Link had massaged the center part of her entire back, but he was tired from moving around so much, that he just sat down with authority on her back. Saria noticed the sudden stop in movement and got worried.
"Something wrong Link?" she asked.
"Just...tired..." said Link in between long breaths.
"Okay. You've done enough. Now just apologize to all of us and you can have some berries." said Saria.
Link stood up and brushed himself off. "I'm sorry, girls. You are my best friends, and I never should've yelled at you like that. Can you ever forgive me?" he asked with a slight pleading tone in his voice.
The girls thought for a moment, and then Malon carefully scooped Link off Saria's back and set him back onto the stump. The three girls then sat down next to the stump, facing Link.
"We forgive you." they all said together.
Link smiled as the girls fogave him and saw Zelda place the two remaining Likan berries next to Link. "Eat up, Link." said Zelda with a smile.
Link didn't argue with that and immediately sat down next to a Likan berry and took a bite out of it. To Link, the berry was just a bit taller than him in height, but that also meant that there would be more berry for him to eat. Link savored the flavor of the berry with each bite he took, and he was getting juice all over him in the process. Soon, Link had eaten his fill, even though he had only eaten half the berry. Link sat down on the stump and patted his stomach. The girls just smiled at him.
"So what now?" asked Malon, "What do we do first with our little Link?"
Link looked up at Malon with an annoyed face. "Do you have to use the word 'little'?" he said, annoyance in his voice.
The girls just giggled. "Sorry, Link." apologized Malon.
"No harm done." said Link.
"Let's let Link's food settle first. We don't want him to get sick during activity." said Zelda.
The others nodded in agreement, and everyone took a little break. I wonder what kind of activities they have in store? thought Link to himself, I just hope they know what they're doing...
"Hey, girls..." said Link, looking up at them, "How about until my food settles, I'll tell you a story? That should pass the time better."
"Nice idea, Link!" said Saria, "You can tell us what you were doing while you were away!"
Zelda seemed a little worried at hearing this from Saria and looked down at Link. "Um, Link? Could I have a word with you, privately?" she asked.
Link was curious as to why she said that, but decided to go ahead with it. "Um...sure, Zelda." said Link.
The other two girls went off and talked with each other for a few minutes so Zelda could speak to Link. "So, what is it? Is something wrong?" asked Link.
"It's just that..." started Zelda, sounding worried, "If you tell them about your adventure, it might cause bad things in the future. Time shouldn't be trifled with rashly, you know."
"Not to worry, Zelda!" said Link, sounding reassured, "I plan on telling them it like it was a fairy tale or something of the like."
Zelda smiled when she heard that. "Smart thinking for someone so small." she joked.
"Zelda..." said Link in an annoyed voice. Zelda just giggled and called the girls back over. When Malon and Saria returned, they all sat close to the stump and listened to Link's story. Link told them of his adventure, only leaving out the more important things like how Saria became a Sage and Zelda getting kidnapped. Instead, he told it like it was a fairy tale, about how a young man was destined to save a princess from an evil king, and that he also needed to free his six other friends from the clutches of the evil king's most trusted minions. "All in all, the young hero conquered over the evil king, and with the princess helping him, used magic to seal him away forever. The hero was praised for his tremendous courage, but sadly had to go back to the land from whence he came. After that, legends were told of this hero for all of time, even though after that no one ever saw him again. Peace had returned to the land, and everyone lived happily ever after." Link finished.
"That was a wonderful story, Link!" said Saria, smiling and quietly clapping her hands.
"Yeah, that was neat! Where did you hear this story, anyways?" asked Malon.
"Just something I read during my adventures out of the forest." said Link, getting up and stretching himself out.
"Well, then..." said Zelda, standing up to her full height, "Now that Link's food has surely settled, what game should we play first?"
As Zelda said this, Link got a worried look on his face. I just hope it's something safe... he thought to himself.
"Funny you should ask..." said Malon, a grin on her face, "While you were speaking to Link earlier, me and Saria came up with something."
"Like what?" asked Link, a little edgy on asking this.
Instead of answering him, Saria scooped Link up in her left hand and brought him up slowly to her shoulder. Link was a bit surprised at this, but got over it quick as Saria gently sat Link on her shoulder. "Just wait, you'll see!" said Saria, smiling.
Link was getting a bit nervous about this, but knew he could trust Saria and his other friends. "Okay, we're going to play catch!" said Malon.
"Huh? But how? I'm too small to catch anything!" said Link, sounding surprised.
"You don't need to." said Malon, smiling a wider smile, "That's because we're going to catch you!"
"WHAT?!!" yelled Link, even more surprised than before. "Hey! I'm not a toy, you know!!"
"Aw, c'mon! Where's that tough Link I always knew?" joked Saria.
"Girls, you can't be serious..." said Link, groaning. But the looks on the girl's faces showed that they weren't kidding. Even Zelda seemed to agree. Having seen that, Link gave in. "Alright, but be gentle, okay?" he murmured.
"Okay! I'll throw him first!" said Saria. The other girls nodded and ran back a few steps away from Saria. Saria shook her head. "Go back further! I'm really gonna let him fly!" she said. The other girls did that and were soon about 20 feet away from Saria. Saria gave an OK sign signaling them it was far enough. She then looked at Link, still on her shoulder, and he was shivering all over like he was frozen stiff.
"Saria..." said Link, still shivering, "You're not really going to throw me THAT far, are you?"
"Don't be silly!" said Saria, "I can't throw that far by myself!"
Link gave a big sigh of relief. "So then, why did you make them back up that far?" he asked.
Saria gave a big smile and slowly stood up, keeping one hand below the shoulder Link was on so that if he fell, she'd catch him. Luckily for Link, he had a good sense of balance and stayed on her shoulder with only a few minor slips. Once Saria was standing, she reached into her pocket and pulled out something that looked, despite the size difference, all-too-familiar to Link. Link's eyes nearly shot out of his head when he saw his slinghot in her right hand!
"Hey! That's mine! What are you doing with it?!" asked Link in an angry manner.
"You had this in your pocket the night we shrank you, and we didn't want you using anything to escape, so I held onto it for you." explained Saria.
"But, what are you going to do with it?" asked Link, sounding confused, "You don't have any Deku Seeds to shoot from it..."
"Who said I was shooting seeds?" said Saria, giving Link a teasing grin.
"But, that's what you shoot out of a..." Link started but then froze stiff knowing exactly what Saria had in mind. Link nearly jumped off Saria's shoulder in panic. Link's face was filled with fear as he shouted to Saria, "ARE YOU NUTS?!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Instead of replying to that outburst, Saria gently picked Link off her shoulder and placed him in the center part of the slingshot's rubber band and carefully pulled it back, with Link struggling to get free. Soon, Saria had pulled him back as far as she could, and Link was pleading to Saria to not go through with this.
"Saria! You're crazy!" said Link, still struggling, but to no avail, "Please, don't do this! What makes you think I'll go towards Zelda or Malon anyways?!"
"Just trust me, Link." said Saria, "Besides, think of it like flying!"
"But-but-but-but-!!" stuttered Link, but Saria paid no attention to him as she called out to Zelda and Malon. "Okay girls! Here he comes!"
Link froze in place and clutched onto himself as hard as he could as he heard Saria count down...
"Three..." counted Saria.
Link broke in a hot sweat...
Link's teeth were chattering...
Link's eyes shut tight...
*THWIP!!* went the slingshot.
"CRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAPPP!!!" Link yelled as he went soaring through the air. Link screamed the whole way, as he was sent zooming towards Malon and Zelda. Soon, he felt the momentum of the slingshot give away, and knew he'd be slowing down soon. Link continued screaming and covered his eyes, waiting for the horrible impact of the ground below...
But instead, he landed on something soft. Link pried his hands away from his eyes and found out that he had landed right on Zelda's hat. The only thing is, he wasn't on her head. Zelda had used the hat as a sort of net to catch Link. Link, still shivering a bit from the experience he had just went through, slowly stood up inside Zelda's hat and looked up at Zelda's huge face with a blank look.
"Are you okay Link?" asked Zelda in a worried tone, "I hope Saria didn't overdo it..."
Link just continued to stare up at Zelda with the same blank look. Soon, however, he spoke up. "I...I........I......" he stuttered in between long breaths, but what he said next surprised Zelda even more. "I...I WANNA DO THAT AGAIN!!" he said with a joyful look on his face.
Zelda's eyes went wide when she heard that from Link. "What?! Are you serious?!" she asked, making sure he was indeed, "You didn't hit your head or anything, did you?" she added, sounding worried yet in a somewhat joking manner.
"Are you kidding?!" said Link, laughter permating his voice, "That was the ride of my life! C'mon, I want to go again!"
"Tee-hee! Okay, okay!" said Zelda, giggling.
With that, each of the girls had a few turns firing Link from the slingshot, each one using Zelda's hat to catch him in. There was one instance where Link almost didn't get caught, but even so, Link enjoyed every moment of it, and was just laughing the whole way through. The girls, especially Zelda, were all having a lot of fun shooting Link from his slingshot, and were pleased to see that he was too. They continued this for a few more rounds before they just fell on the grass laughing. Link at the time was still in Zelda's hat, rolling on his back and laughing as well.
Soon, the laughing subsided, and the girls went over to Zelda's hat lying on the ground, where Link was still laughing his butt off from having so much fun. "So, was that fun, Link?" asked Malon, smiling down at him.
"You bet!" said Link, trying to stop laughing so he could speak clearly, "That was the most fun I've had in my whole life!"
"You see, Link?" said Zelda, smiling, "You can't just work your life away. You need to have fun as well."
Having been reminded of how he had acted around the girls the other day, Link's happy tone went flat. He had a worried look on his face as he stood back up. He looked up at the girls, who were standing at thier full height. He had to admit that they looked a bit frightening to him because of the sheer size difference, but he knew he was in capable hands, since they were his lifelong friends. Soon, Link spoke up. "Girls...can we take a walk? I have something to confess..."
The three girls were a little surprised at this, but decided that a walk would be nice. "Sure, Link. I'll carry you as we walk." said Malon. She then set her hand down near Link so he could hop on. Link hopped on her open hand and Malon carefully lifted him up and set him on her shoulder. Zelda then picked her hat off the ground and brushed the grass from it before putting it back on her head.
The girls then started walking through the mazelike structure of the Sacred Forest Meadow, all the while Link was carefully sitting on Malon's shoulder. He held onto a few strands of Malon's hair just to be sure he wouldn't fall off. "So, what is this thing you want to confess?" asked Malon.
"It's about how I acted towards you girls the other day." said Link, sounding somewhat depressed. "It's the reason why I did."
"Really? What is it?" asked Saria.
"It's a long story, but I'll try to tell it out." said Link. "After my adventure outside the forest was over, I got seperated from Navi."
"Really?!" exclaimed Saria, "I knew something was different...Navi's not with you anymore!"
"Yeah, she isn't." said Link in a glum manner, "She must have realized that I could take care of myself from now on, so she just up and left. It's because of that, as well as much of what I went through in my adventure, that I decided that I needed to be more responsible not only for myself, but for others as well. That's why I shunned playtime and used the time instead to keep fit and wait for the next danger to impede on the forest or the rest of the world."
This was all being listened to very carefully by the girls, and Saria in particular was really interested. "But, a fairy doesn't just up and leave a Kokiri, Link! That just isn't right!" said Saria, stopping the group and getting in front of the shoulder Link was sitting on.
Link saw the look in Saria's eyes, and he knew he had something else to confess. "Saria..." started Link, swallowing hard, "There's something about me you should know...but...I'm a little scared of telling it to you."
Saria was confused at Link's statement. "What do you mean? We're best friends, Link. You can tell me anything you want." she said.
Link just stared at Saria's face for a short time before taking a deep breath and speaking again. "Saria.........I'm.....not a Kokiri."
Saria gasped and had a shocked look on her face. "But...then....what are you?!" she asked in a slightly panicked tone.
"I'm a Hylian, Saira." said Link, "I'll eventually grow up. How else could I have left the forest and not died? I just hope this doesn't change how you look at me..." Link looked down in disgust, forgetting that he was (to him) high up in the air on Malon's shoulder.
Saria was speechless for a short while, but soon she looked at Link again with a smile, the same kind, gentle smile she always had. "Link...don't you remember what I said to you before you left the forest for the first time?"
Link looked at Saria for a moment, but then his eyes widened when he remembered. "Um...yeah." he said, "You told me that regardless of the fact I was different from all the other Kokiri, we would still be friends forever, right?"
Saria's heart lept when she heard that. "Exactly! You remembered!" she said, her sad tone now exciting.
"How could I forget something my best friend said?" said Link, smiling.
Saria couldn't contain her excitement and snatched Link from Malon's shoulder and hugged him tightly near her chest. Link was totally taken aback by this, but despite the fact Saria had a tight grip on him, he found the hug to be rather...cozy. Link gave in and let Saria continue to hug him, feeling reassured that Saria didn't think differently of him since he told her of the fact that he was a Hylian and not a Kokiri.
"Awwww...." said Malon and Zelda, watching the whole scene.
Hearing this, Link started to feel a bit embarassed on the fact someone else was seeing this. He blushed, but no one seemed to notice. "Um...Saria? You can let me go now." said Link flatly.
Saria released the hug and placed Link back on Malon's shoulder. Link had to gasp for air a bit after being placed back on Malon's shoulder from the gigantic hug he was given, but he soon felt better as he gripped a few of Malon's hairs and the gang continued walking through the forest.
"Link..." said Saria, sounding heartfelt and warm.
"Yeah?" asked Link.
"Thanks for telling me that." replied Saria, "Now I know why you were different than the others, and now...I have no more regrets."
"Uh...sure, no problem." said Link.
Soon, though, Link heard a loud growl, but it wasn't the growl of a beast, but of Malon's stomach. "Oops...guess it's lunchtime." she said, "It has been awhile since we ate this morning."
"Good point. Guess we should find some more Likan berries, huh?" said Zelda.
"I saw a Likan tree a bit further back." said Link, "Why don't we have a picnic underneath it?"
"That's a great idea, Link!" said Malon.
With that, the three girls, with Link hitching a ride on Malon's shoulder, went back to a Likan tree that was a bit further back. When they got there, they saw the tree was large...very large even to the girls, but even more so to Link. "How are we supposed to climb up there? It's way too high!" said Malon, feeling a bit like Link staring up the large tree.
Link looked at the tree and saw there were a few low branches, but they were still too high for the girls to reach. Link thought for a moment, but then had an idea. "Hey, Saria! I've got an idea!" he said.
"Huh? What is it, Link?" asked Saria in a questionable tone.
"Think you can slingshot me up there?" said Link pointing to the lowest branch on the tree.
Saria was shocked at first, but then realized Link's plan. "I think so, but...." she started, feeling worried for Link, "How are you going to pick the berries at your size? Um, no offense..."
"None taken." said Link, "As for your question, well..." Link smiled as he held up his right wrist, showing the Goron Bracelet he got from Darunia a long while back, "You didn't quite get all my equipment off me!" he finished, smiling wide.
The girls looked closely at Link's wrist, seeing the Goron Bracelet on it. As the girls stared at it, Link felt a bit claustrophobic at the fact that the girl's faces were surrounding him. He tried his best to shrug it off as he began to explain the bracelet. "This is a Goron's Bracelet." he started, "I needed it to pick bomb flowers up on a mountain, and I think it should give me enough strength to pick the berries, even if I am only 3 inches tall."
The girls pulled thier faces away from Link and looked back up the tree. Saria then turned to link on Malon's shoulder. "All right, Link, I'll do it." said Saria, knowing that Link can always be trusted.
Without hesitation, Saria carefully plucked Link off Malon's shoulder and got out the slingshot with her other hand. She placed Link in the middle of the rubber band strap and pulled back and aimed a little above the lowest branch. But before she let go, she looked over at Link. "Good luck." she whispered.
Link looked at her and gave her a thumbs up. Saria smiled and looked back at the branch and aimed carefully. Soon, with another *THWIP*, Saria let Link fly up towards the branch. Link spead his arms out like a bird to make himself maneuver just above the branch. he landed a bit roughly on the second lowest branch, but it didn't faze him that much. "Oof...that was kinda rough, but I think I'm okay." he said to himself as he brushed off the tree bark debris on him.
"Link! Are you okay?" came Zelda's voice from below.
Link peered over the edge of the branch and put his hand up to his mouth to amplify his voice. "I'm fine! Now stand below the branch so you can catch the berries!" he yelled.
The girls nodded and went below the branch Link was on. When Link saw that they were in position, he went and grabbed the nearest Likan berry and pulled with all his might. Oddly enough, thanks to the power the Goron's Bracelet gave him, he was able to pick the berry with little trouble, not to mention even lift it over his head! Link smiled and went to the edge of the branch. "Okay! Here they come!" he yelled down to the girls. With that, he flung the berry downwards towards the girls and saw them catch it without trouble. Link smiled and went on to pick more.
After about fifteen minutes of this, Link picked a total of 34 Likan berries, and the girls had caught every one of them easily. Link sat down on the branch and took a few deep breaths, seeing he did a hard, but well-done job. As he relaxed, he heard Malon's voice. "Hey, fairy-boy! How are you gonna get down?" she asked.
Link's eyes went wide upon hearing that. SHOOT! he thought to himself as he slapped his head in disgust, I completely forgot about that! But just before he was about to acknowledge Malon, her saw a vine on the branch. Perfect! he thought as he got up and headed towards the vine. As he did, he yelled back down to the girls. "I'm going to drop a vine! One of you stand under it so you can catch me, okay?"
Link's message got across to the girls, and Saria went closer to the tree. She saw a vine slowly being lowered down, so she stood underneath it, waiting for Link to say he was coming down. Soon, the vine stopped lowering down, and Saria faintly heard Link's voice. "Okay! I'm coming down!"
"Alright, Link! I'm right here if you need me!" said Saria. Soon, she saw the tiny Link climb slowly down the vine. Thankfully, he wasn't having any trouble doing it. Soon, Link reached the bottom of the vine, which just happened to dangle right in front of Saria's face. Saria brought her open hands up so Link could drop down safely. Link did so, and Saria carried him over to the other girls.
"Is he alright?" asked Malon.
"He's fine, just a little tired." responded Saria.
"You have no idea..." mumbled Link, still in Saria's hands.
"Well, maybe some food will help relax you." said Zelda, placing a Likan berry in Saria's palms next to Link.
"Wait a sec..." said Saria, seeing Link crawl over to the berry and then stopping when he heard her.
"Oh, no..." muttered Link, sounding annoyed, "Don't tell me I have to work for my lunch too..."
Saria giggled at Link's remark. "Don't be stupid, Link." said Saria, smiling, "You did enough work getting these down. I just want to sit down first so I can put you in my lap. It'll be more comfortable that way for you."
"Oh...I see. Then go ahead!" said Link, relieved that Saria wouldn't make him work again.
Saria smiled and slowly sat down in the grass, then placed Link and the berry in her lap. After that, Link and the girls began eating berries and chatting about other things going on in thier lives. They were all having a wonderful time.
This happy (not to mention cute) time was interrupted though, when another voice could be heard. "HEY! SARIA!!" came the voice, loud but distant.
The trio and thier shrunken friend turned to look to see that Mido was coming thier way. This frightened all of them, especially Link. "Oh, shoot! I can't let Mido see me like this! What are we going to do?!" he panicked.
"I don't know Link! We have to do something before he sees you...but what?" said Zelda, also frightened.
As Mido came closer, Saria, with Link still in her lap, got scared out of her wits. The girls had said that they didn't want anyone else to know of Link's little "accident", and if something wasn't done soon, the secret would be out.
Saria then shook off her fear and looked down at Link in her lap. "Link? You've got to hide." she said, but without a panicked tone.
"I know that, Saria!" retorted Link, "But even though I'm small, I'm still noticeable! Where could I hide that Mido wouldn't see me?"
Saria then got an idea and smiled at Link. "Umm...Saria, what's..." Link began asking, but before he could finish, Saria gently picked him up with her fingers, turned around away from the incoming Mido, then used her other hand to pull back the collar of her shirt, and dangled Link above the opening. Link immediately realized what Saria had in mind, and he literally froze stiff. But instead of just dropping him inside her shirt, Saria gently lowered Link down inside. "Just hang onto the inside of the shirt and don't make any sudden moves, okay? You'll be fine, and Mido wouldn't dare look here!" she said, but then added something else, "Oh...don't get any bad ideas while you're in there, okay?"
Link grasped the fabric of her shirt, shuddering and sweating like heck. "Uhh...I...I wouldn't dream of it...hehe..." he replied nervously. It was a little hard not to think inappropriate thoughts when you were inside a girl's shirt, almost touching her chest. Thankfully, to Link's remedy, her breasts were covered by a small, but kinda thin undershirt. Link sighed with a bit of relief that he didn't have to look at them directly, knowing that he was only 10 years old and shouldn't be exposed to such things at that age. Saria, seeing Link secure, closed the collar of her shirt, leaving Link in a darker area, but with light coming out of the holes in between the fabric's threads. Through one hole, Link could see outside and was quietly but carefully listening to the conversation outside...
"SARIA!" yelled Mido again, coming up to the trio of girls. Saria turned around just in time to see Mido, and stepped up to him. "Hey Mido, what's all the racket?" she asked.
Mido was about to respond when he saw Malon and Zelda sitting under the large Likan tree, looking at him. "Okay first of all," he said, pointing at the other two and looking at Saria, "Who're those two? I thought people outside weren't allowed in the forest?!"
Saria smiled, keeping her cool, and making sure to keep her passenger in her shirt safe. "This is Zelda and Malon." she said, looking over at the two girls then back at Mido, "They're friends of mine, and they are also friends of Link as well. We are just playing and having a picnic, that's all. They mean no harm to the forest, so I let them in."
"Well, if you say so..." started Mido, but then remembered why he came looking for her, "Hey, speaking of Link, where is he? I heard he came back from another Kokiri, but I haven't seen him around. Where is he?"
Saria smiled happily. "He went off to train somewhere, but he said he'd be back soon. Why? Did you want to tell him something or what?" she asked curiously.
"Well..." said Mido, "I just wanted to tell him hello and sorry for treating him like such a weirdo all the time."
Saria gasped and put her hands up to her chest, but remembering not to be rough around that area due to Link being there. "Are you serious?!" she excalimed, "Do you really forgive yourself for that?"
"Yeah, kinda." said Mido, rubbing the back of his head, "I did act like a complete jerk, and I had really no reason to. I guess I shouldn't tease people like that, huh?"
"Saria, why don't you let Mido have some Likan berries, then we can continue having some fun." interrupted Zelda.
Saria turned around and got what Zelda was getting at: She wanted to get Mido away from here before he gets too suspicious about Link. "Sure thing, Zelda. Here you go Mido, and I'll tell Link your message when I see him again, okay?" she responded, handing a small handful of Likan berries to Mido.
"Okay, thanks Saria. I'll see you later, okay?" said Mido. Saria nodded and Mido turned around and headed away. Once he was out of sight, the girls all gave off a big sigh of relief in unison. Unknown to them, so did Link from inside Saria's shirt. Speaking of which, Saria pulled back the collar of her shirt and looked down inside...
As Link clung onto the inside of Saria's shirt, after listening to the entire conversation outside, he felt relieved that Mido had changed his ways somewhat. His thoughts were interrupted by the sound and feeling of the fabric moving. He looked up to see that Saria had pulled away the collar of her shirt again and was looking down inside at Link. "Okay, Link, he's gone. You can come out now." she said. Link wasted no time and began quickly climbing up her shirt using the threads as footholds. After a few minutes, he climbed over her collar and dropped into her open hand, which Saria had placed there to catch Link. Link catched his breath as Saria sat down carefully and placed Link in her lap again, continuing thier picnic with the rest of the girls. Link was a bit relieved to be out of Saria's shirt, since he felt a bit nervous being that close to her, but that nervousness would soon come back when Malon spoke up.
"So, fairy-boy...did you like it in there?" asked Malon teasingly.
Link started violently blushing. "WAA! Uh....um....um...well...." Link spluttered, trying to not sound inappropriate.
The girls just laughed at this.
Later that day...around sunset...
It had been an interesting day in the forest for the trio of girls and little Link, who was riding on top of Zelda's head on her hat at the time. Most of the time was spent letting Link explore the grass of the forest, looking at it in a whole new way. Link was almost no taller than some blades of grass, and though this did frighten him somewhat, he knew he had three great friends always watching over him, like a mother would to a child almost. At one point, Link even got to take a ride on a caterpillar, and he had lots of fun with that. By now, the sun had just set and the nighttime sky was coming up around the forest and the rest of Hyrule, and everyone was heading back to the Sacred Forest Meadow to call it a day. When everyone arrived though, Link brought up an interesting question.
"Um, girls?" he asked, getting thier attention, "Just curious about something..."
"What is it, Link?" asked Zelda.
"Well, um...." Link started, "Where am I going to sleep?"
The girls looked at each other for a few minutes, and all were silent. Soon however, Saria spoke up. "That's a good question, Link..." she said, looking confused and in thought, "I guess we didn't ever think of that..."
Everyone was in deep thought for the next few minutes, when Zelda finally had an idea. "I know! Wait here with Link for awhile, okay girls?" she said. Saria and Malon didn't know what she was thinking, but decided to trust her judgement. With that, Zelda handed Link to Malon and then stood back a few steps. "Don't worry, I'll be right back!" she said, and then twirled her body around, dissappearing in a flash of green light.
Saria and Malon gasped at what just happened to Zelda, but Link, sitting in Malon's open hands, just sat there calm as day with a smile on his face. Even at that young of an age, she knew... he thought to himself. His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of Malon. "What...what just happened to Zelda? Where'd she go?" asked Malon in a panicked tone.
"Relax, Malon." said Link, causing Malon to look down at him in her hand, "She just teleported, that's all."
"Teleported?" asked Saria, "How?"
"Surely Zelda told you she had been studying magic, right?" asked Link. The girls nodded in agreement. "Well, that was Farore's Wind, a teleportation spell. It basically lets her go to anyplace she knows about." said Link.
"Wow..." said both girls in amazement.
A few minutes later, Zelda reappeared in the same flash of green light, holding a large object in her hands. Link was the first to notice the object. "Um...Zelda? Is that...?" Link started to ask.
"Yep. This is my dollhouse." said Zelda looking at her dollhouse in her hands. It was quite nicely made for a dollhouse. It had two stories to it, as well as interconnecting rooms and even a roof that was removeable. "I thought about this awhile back, but now just got reminded of it. You can sleep in here tonight, Link."
Zelda sat her dollhouse near the stump in the meadow and took the roof off. Malon then placed Link inside waht looked to be the master bedroom for the dollhouse. Needless to say, Link felt normal-sized again, since everything was, despite the fact that it was small in comparison to everything else, normal-sized to him. Link saw a bed in one corner of the room, complete with bedding and pillows. Whoever built this dollhouse spared no expense in making it as real as possible. He felt like he was normal again, until he looked up to see the three girls peering inside through the opening in the roof.
"So, what do you thnk, Link? Is it suitable?" asked Zelda.
"I couldn't ask for anything better, to be honest!" said Link in a cheerful tone.
"Man, you have no idea how many times I've wanted to explore my own dollhouse." said Malon, "You're so lucky, fairy-boy!"
"Well, if you need anything, Link, just holler for us, okay?" said Saria, smiling.
"I will! Thanks you three...I couldn't ask for better friends in Hyrule." said Link.
The girls smiled and left Link's sight, with Zelda putting the roof back on the top of the dollhouse. Link decided to turn in early, and kicked off his boots and hopped into the doll bed. He liked how real it felt, almost like a real bed would. It felt so soft and snuggly that he fell asleep almost instantly.
Unbeknowest to Link, who now was asleep, Saria was looking through one of the windows of the dollhouse at the sleeping Link, smiling the whole time. Soon, she crept off from the group back to Kokiri Forest...
Later that night...
As Link was asleep, he was suddenly awoken by a voice. Link sat up in the doll bed, listening for the voice again. It was distant, but it still seemed loud by his standards. Link quickly ran to the nearest window to look outside and try to identify the source of the noise. When he got to the window and looked out, he saw Malon, standing near the gossip stone in the meadow, and she appeared to be singing. That's when it hit Link: She was singing Epona's Song! Link marveled at how much more beautiful the song sounded to him now that he was a lot smaller and could hear Malon's voice a lot more clearer than ususal. "Wow...if only I had my ocarina on me..." he said to himself.
Then something else caught Link's eye: On a small end table nearby in the dollhouse, there was a small, makeshift ocarina on it, and there were even holes in it to play songs! Link saw this and got a specatacular idea. He quickly got his boots on and ran over to the ocarina on the table. He saw that it looked just like the Ocarina of Time, only sized down for someone of his size to play it. He wondered how anyone could make something so precise as this, but after trying it out, he saw that it worked just like the real deal, only without the magical powers. Knowing this, Link ran down the stairs of the dollhouse to the main floor and opened the door leading outside, where he was met by large blades of grass. That's when he got a bit frustrated, knowing that it'd probably take him all night just to get to where Malon was now at his size.
His frustration waned though, when he saw a ladybug nearby. He knew ladybugs could fly, and decided that would be his ticket to getting to Malon. As he approached the ladybug, which was relatively the same size as him, the ladybug turned and saw Link. Link got a bit scared at this, but his fright became surprise when he heard something weird. "Can I help you, little one?" came a voice. Link was totally surprised. WAIT A SECOND!! Did that ladybug just...TALK to me?!! he wondered to himself. As it turned out, yes it did. Link wasn't sure how, but he swallowed hard and spoke up.
"Um...sorry to bother you, but do you think you could give me a ride to that kind girl over there please? It would mean a lot to me." said Link, remembering his manners.
"Oh, the one with the beautiful voice? Of course, dearie. Climb aboard!" said the ladybug. Link shrugged his shoulders and climbed on. It almost felt weird riding on another bug in the same day, but Link had sorta gotten used to it now. Still, Link had to ask something. "Um, if it's any of my business, how is it I can understand you?" he asked.
"Well, my best guess is that that other girl's magic is the cause of it, but that's just me. Now hold on tight!" said the ladybug. Link wondered how the ladybug knew of Zelda's magic, but dedcided it was better not to ask and grabbed onto the ladybug's antennae and held on as the ladybug took flight towards Malon. After a few minutes of buzzing around, she touched down on the top of the gossip stone and allowed Link to get off.
"Thank you very much, miss." said Link, smiling to her.
"I'm glad I could help, dear. Now, I must be going!" said the ladybug, and she flew off.
Link turned around at the singing Malon and looked up to her. She looked so calm and serene singing like that. Link whipped out the small ocarina and waited until Malon was at a point in the song where she has to pause before starting to play the song as well. When Malon heard this, she abruptly stopped and looked around, not noticing Link. "Huh? Who's playing that?" she wondered out loud.
Link stopped playing for a moment. "Down here, Malon!" he called out, waving up to her.
Malon looked down at the gossip stone and saw Link standing there waving to him. "Link? How'd you get all the way out here?" she asked, "And how are you playing Epona's Song? I thought all your eqiupment was back at your house!"
"First of all, a kind ladybug flew me here." said Link, smiling up at her, "Second, I found this tiny ocarina in the dollhouse, and it works just like a normal-sized one! Listen..." Link brought the ocarina up to his mouth and played a quick ditty on it. Malon smiled as she heard Link play the song.
"Neat! you wanna play together?" she asked.
"Malon, that's the very reason I came out here." said Link, smiling.
Malon smiled back and sat down next to the gossip stone. She then started singing Epona's Song again, with Link accompanying her on the ocarina. The two sounded beautiful together, and this continued for about fifteen minutes when Malon stopped singing.
"Link, that was amazing! You're quite talented on that!" said Malon.
"You're wonderful yourself, Malon. You have a great singing voice." replied Link.
Malon giggled and put her hands near Link so he could climb on. "Well, as fun as that was, you need to get your sleep, Link. We still have a lot of activities to do in the coming day!" she said as she carried him back to the dollhouse.
"Yeah, you're right." Link said, nodding in agreement.
Malon took the roof off the top of the dollhouse with her free hand and placed Link gently back inside. "Good night...fairy-boy." she said quietly.
"Good night, Malon." said Link before Malon closed the roof again.
Link then kicked off his boots again and plopped himself back in bed. As he was getting comfortable, his mind was filling with thoughts about what had gone on in the past 24 hours, and all the fun he had with Zelda, Saria, and Malon that day.
I only wish it didn't have to last for only another day... Link thought to himself as he dozed off to sleep.
The next morning...
As the morning sun rose in the Sacred Forest Meadow, the rays of light shot through the windows of the dollhouse Link was sleeping in. Link fluttered his eyes open and sat up to give a loud yawn and stretch himself out. This was his second day shrunk because of Zelda's magic, and he was actually starting to get used to it, despite the potential dangers he could be in at this size. Link hopped out of the doll bed, slipped on his boots, and started to head downstairs, remembering to put the small ocarina back on its table.
But before he could head out of the bedroom, he felt a faint rumble. He looked up to see the roof of the dollhouse being removed, and saw Zelda looking down inside, right at Link. She had a warm smile on her face as the morning sun shone in. "Morning, Link. Sleep well?" she asked.
"Like a log." replied Link
Zelda then placed her hand inside the dollhouse and dropped a Likan berry inside. "Here's your breakfast, Link. Eat up, since we have lots more activities to do today." she said.
Link raced towards the Likan berry and started eating. "Y'know, no matter how many of these I eat..." said Link before he swallowed his first bite, "I never can get enough of them!"
"Guess that's why they're called Likan berries." said Zelda, watching her tiny friend stuff his face.
Once Link was finished, Zelda laid her hand down inside and allowed Link to climb on. Link did so and Zelda carefully lifted him up out of the dollhouse. She then used her magic of Farore's Wind to instantly teleport her dollhouse back to it's original location. She can even do it with objects? thought Link as he saw her do this, Wow...no wonder she was destined to use the Triforce of Wisdom.
Soon, Zelda turned around and started walking. As she was, Link noticed something was...off. "Um, Zelda?" asked Link.
"Yes, Link?" replied Zelda.
"Um, where's Saria and Malon? I don't see them anywhere..." said Link, noticing indeed Saria and Malon were nowhere to be seen.
Zelda let out a quiet giggle. "I'm taking you to them now. We've got a surprise for you, Link." she said.
Link, though he was used to these "surprises" now, still felt a little unnerved at this, knowing that at this size, Zelda and the others had pretty much total control over what he did, though he was thankful they never took that too seriously and were only doing it for his protection and safety. Soon, Zelda and Link had left the Sacred Forest Meadow, and into the Lost Woods. Link knew that many people got lost here, hence the area's name, so he voiced his concern to Zelda.
"Zelda? You know where you're going, right?" asked Link.
"Yes, Link, I do. Saria showed me the correct path, both forwards and backwards. I won't get lost, don't worry!" said Zelda, reassuringly.
Link accepted that fact and Zelda started walking through the Lost Woods, being careful not to trip and drop Link in her hands. Soon, the duo came to what appeared to be a pond in the forest. Link recognized this pond immediately, for he had used it in his journey earlier as a shortcut between Zora's River and Kokiri Forest so long ago. But what exactly were they doing here?
His question was answered when Zelda spoke up: "Okay girls, he's here!"
Link wondered what Zelda had in mind with the other girls, but his thoughts were answered when he saw Saria and Malon come into view. The thing was...they were...different somehow...Link soon thought his nose was going to bleed from seeing the sight he saw.
"WHAT THE GODDESSES?!!!" yelled Link as he saw Saria and Malon...both in swimming suits!!!
"What's wrong, Link? Haven't you ever swam before?" teased Saria, knowing very well what was going through the little Link's head right now.
Link once again froze stiff; in fact, you could say he was literally petrified. Here he was, 3 inches tall, and there were two giant girls wearing nothing but a two-piece swimsuit. Malon's was pinkish in color, whereas Saria had a pale green. Link did his very best to not think bad thoughts on this matter as he swallowed what was left of his pride and spoke up. "Y-y-y-you're saying you w-w-w-want me to go...*gulp*...swimming with you two?" he stuttered.
"Not just with us, fairy-boy..." giggled Malon as she pointed behind Link.
"Huh?" said Link as he turned around, but he'd regret doing so.
It seems during the time Link's eyes were "transfixed" at the sight of Saria and Malon the way they were now, he didn't seem to notice that he was lowered down onto a small boulder nearby, and now Zelda was standing behind him....
....and she too was in a two-piece swimsuit, also pink in color, but with a trademark Triforce symbol on the center part of the top piece. Link's eyes went so wide, you'd think they popped out of his head. Link moaned as he saw Zelda in her new guise, and his jaw dropped.
"Well, what do you think, Link? I made it myself." said Zelda turning around to show the entire swimsuit.
Link just didn't say a word and continued to dumbfoundly stare. Zelda noticed this and decided to snap some sense back into Link.
"Hey, it's not polite to stare you know!" she said as she leaned her head towards the little Link. This snapped Link out of his shocked state, seeing Zelda's enormus face directly in front of him.
"S-s-s-sorry, Zelda. I-i-it's just...um...well...uh..." stuttered Link, trying to find the right words.
"Don't tell me you can't swim..." said Zelda leaning a little ways away from Link.
"No, I can, it's just...it's just..." Link just couldn't find the words.
"He's just shy around pretty girls, tee-hee!" giggled Malon, catching Link's attention.
"WHAT?! No! I...!" Link started, but then decided to just shut up before he said something offensive.
"It's okay, Link. We understand." said Zelda, but then came up with something else, "You know, for someone who said he was going to act more grown-up, you sure get embarassed easily!"
This didn't help Link at all, and he just blushed violently. The girls just giggled at Link's reaction.
"Well, I had anticipated this, so..." said Saria as she reached down for something on the ground and picked it up, "That's why I made this!"
Link looked in Saria's hand and saw what appeared to be a boat carved out of wood, and it seemed to have enough room for two people of Link's size. Link gave a sigh of relief knowing that he wouldn't have to swim with the girls directly. "Well, enough chitchat, let's go swim!" said Saria as she headed for the pond and sat the boat next to the shore.
The girls agreed, but Link, though he had accepted seeing the girls like this, was still nervous. Still, they were his friends, and he knew better than to not trust them, so as Zelda picked him up and placed him near the boat, he hopped in the boat and saw Zelda get into the water. That's when Link noticed something else was wrong...
"Um, girls? There's no paddles for this boat!" he said loudly so they could hear him over the splashing water.
"This boat doesn't run on paddle-power." came Malon's voice next to Link. Link looked way up to see Malon standing next to him, her bare feet dangerously close to the boat. "Huh? What do you mean? What does it run on, magic?" he asked, nervous.
"Nope. It runs on..." said Malon before she leaned down and gave a smile, "Girl Power!"
"What the-?" but Link didn't have time to finish as Malon grabbed the boat, with Link still in it and went into the water. The boat stayed afloat, but Link was still unsure of his mode of transport, namely who was the "captain" of the ship.
"You ready?" asked Malon. Link nervously gave an OK sign, and Malon started swimming slowly. Link's nervousness was starting to wane a bit, thanks to the feel of sailing on the water. He was glad Malon was taking it slowly, and he saw the other two girls splashing each other playfully. Sometimes, a stray drop of water (which to Link was quite big) would splash in Link's direction, soaking him and his outfit, but he didn't mind, for he was enjoying the ride too much. He decided to lay down in the boat and look at the sky above, watching clouds go by and insects zoom over him, even though the insects were a lot bigger to him than normal. He felt so relaxeed that he shut his eyes and breathed a long breath of relaxation.
Malon noticed this and got an idea. She gently pushed the boat and let go, being sure not to rattle Link, and then let the boat trail off and come to a slow stop. It wasn't until it stopped that Link realized he wasn't moving. Link abruptly sat up in the boat. "Huh? Malon, why are we stopping?" he asked.
There was no answer.
"What? Malon? Malon!" Link called her name several times and looked around, but alas, Malon was nowhere in sight. Link then remembered how she scared him yesterday morning and thought she was about to again, so he stood at the ready for when she appeared.
But standing was the wrong choice.
Soon, a rush of water sprang up from behind Link, and Malon came up and gave a loud roaring noise. "RRAAAAAAAARRRRRR!!!" she yelled, and this along with the rush of water caused Link to fall out and the boat to capsize. Link, being the good swimmer he is, came up to the water's surface and treaded the water. He then saw Malon, with her face only above the water. Link frowned and said, "Geez, Malon! What're trying to do, give me a heart attack?!"
Malon giggled. "I was a sea monster, fairy-boy!" she said with a smile, "The Sea Monster of Kokiri Lagoon!" she added in a somewhat spooky voice. Link wasn't amused much, but knew she was just playing. He swam over to the capsized boat, turned it over, and hopped back in, wrining out the water from his hat and dumping the water out of his boots. "Malon..." said Link.
"Huh? What's up?" said Malon, worried that Link was angry for her doing that.
"If you ever do that again..." said Link. This worried Malon even more, but then Link finished, "You'd better be prepared to defend yourself, since that sea monster is going down next time I see it!" Link's voice sounded playful.
Malon smiled, seeing Link go along with the joke. Just then, Saria and Zelda came by, and Saria was floating on her back, almost right next to the boat Link was on. Link saw this and was amazed at the sight of Saria being able to do that. "Whoa...hw'd you learn to do that?" he asked.
"It's just one of those things you learn from living in the forest." she said in response.
From Link's perspective, Saria just seemed like...an island floating in the middle of an open sea. Link noticed this and got a sly smile on his face. If they can play some tricks on me, so can I! he thought. He then noticed a small twig just perfect for him floating in the pond. Link scooped it out of the water and used it to paddle over to Saria. Luckily, Saria was floating very slowly, so Link caught up to her in no time. Saria saw Link doing this, but she remained perfectly still, wondering what was going through Link's mind.
When Link "docked" next to Saria, he lept out of the boat, twig still in hand, and quickly climbed up Saria to her midsection. Saria was beginning to dislike this and was about to roll over to get Link off her, but she stopped when she heard Link say something that the girls would soon not forget.
"I hereby claim this island in the name of Hyrule!" Link said in a triumphant, but somewhat sarcastic voice.
Silence abounded for a while as the girls just stared at Link, who had the twig raised in the air with his left hand, much like a sword. Soon however, the silence was broken by Zelda, who was giving off a slight chuckle. That chuckle soon became a giggle, then became laughter. Soon, Zelda couldn't even take the laughing so much she had tears in her eyes. The other girls soon followed, as did Link, though because of Saria laughing, he lost his footing and fell in the water, but as he treaded he still laughed along with the girls.
This continued for a while longer and the laughing soon faded into chuckles and giggles. "Link! You goof!" said Saria, now treading water, "Where'd you come up with THAT?!"
"I don't know! It just...came to me!" he said, still chuckling.
"So you think of me as an island, huh?" she said.
"Well, the way you were, you seemed like one." said Link.
"That's...so cute of you!" said Saria, but then she splashed Link with some water, causing Link to go under for a few moments. Link groaned as he returned to the surface.
"If I was my normal size, you KNOW I'd splash you back!" Link remarked.
"But you're not, are ya?" said Malon, giggling.
Link got an annoyed look on his face, but then just smiled and laughed. The girls joined in the laughter once again.
As the day went by, Link and the girls had more fun swimming. There was a time when Link got on "Saria Isle" and defended it from the "Sea Monster of Kokiri Lagoon". Malon played her part nicely, and even went down in a grand fashion. "And so," said Saria, who seemed like the narrator for this tale they were playing out, "the brave hero saved Saria Isle, and the giant princess of it gave him a reward."
"Um...reward?" said Link, sounding nervous once again.
Zelda leaned down, some drops of water dripping down on or near Link, and gave him a kiss on the head. "Thank you, my hero." she said, playing her part.
Link blushed again, but tried to stay true to his character, "My Princess, it my pleasure entirely." he said, bowing to Zelda.
"Thus, Saria Isle was at peace again, and everyone lived happily ever after. The End." said Saria, narrating once again.
"You all played your parts well." said Link, still blushing a bit, "But, was that reward nessecary? I'm only a kid."
"We were just acting, Link. Don't let it go to your head." said Zelda.
"Yeah, you're right." said Link, shrugging his shoulders.
After that, everyone got out of the pool and dried themselves off with some towels that Saria had brung earlier. Link had to use a leaf to dry him off, but though it wasn't as absorbant as a towel, it did the job nicely for one of his size. After everyone was dry and properly dressed (Link faced the other direction in embarassment as the girls changed), with Link in Saria's hands, they ventured back to the Sacred Forest Meadow, ready to begin the next activity.
In the Lost Woods...
As Link and the girls were heading back to the Sacred Forest Meadow, Link, sitting on Zelda's shoulder, was talking about how he had to face many monsters during his adventure.
"I bet they were scary, weren't they Link?" asked Zelda.
"Nah, not really." said Link, sounding confident, "True, some I fought were a LOT bigger than me, but I showed no fear whatsoever. After all, Navi was with me, and she helped me out of even the toughest situations."
"Wow! You're so brave, fairy-boy!" said Malon, sounding cheerful.
Saria, on the other hand, didn't answer at all. Link noticed this and wondered what was wrong with her. "Hey, you okay, Saria?" he asked, sounding worried, "You haven't spoken much since we left the pond."
"Um, well..." started Saria, but then she felt her feet hurt, possibly from all that swimming earlier. Saria decided to sit on a nearby stump. "Can I stop here for a second? I need to rest." she said.
"Sure thing." said Zelda, but then Saria spoke up again.
"Actually, I'd like for you two to go on ahead to the Sacred Forest Meadow. Me and Link will meet you there." she said.
Everyone had a confused look, especially Link. Zelda then handed Link to Saria and set him in her lap. "If you insist, Saria, but if you need us, we'll be in the Meadow, okay?"
"Sure, I understand." said Saria, then her and Link watched as Zelda and Malon walked off and disappeared into one of the log exits of the forest. Saria then looked down at Link, while Link looked up at her.
"So...is there something wrong?" asked Link in a curious manner.
Saria responded by reaching down and taking off her boots, being sure that Link didn't get jostled around too much. She set her boots aside and laid her bare feet in the cool green grass. "Much better..." said Saria, feeling the coolness of the grass.
"Um, Saria? Am I missing something here?" Link asked, now getting a bit annoyed that she didn't seem to listen to him. But that soon changed when Saria looked down at Link in her lap again.
"So, out of all those scary things you mentioned to us Link...you weren't scared at all?" asked Saria.
Link noticed that Saria didn't have her heartwarming smile like she always does, but instead just a straight look. It didn't look intimidating, but Link was wondering what was on her mind. "Well....no...not really. I got pretty brave while I was out in the outside world." said Link, trying to sound confident, though with a large girl looming over him, it wasn't all too easy.
Little did Link know what Saria was thinking in the back of her head, and soon, Saria's straight look went to a piercing glare. Link saw this expression and was intimidated on the spot, though he did his very best to hide it. "I don't believe you." said Saria in a somewhat stern voice.
"What?" said Link, sounding surprised at Saria's statement, but was moreso surprised at how she looked at him. He had never seen Saria angry before, much less at him of all people.
"I said I don't believe you!" said Saria, now not bothering to keep her voice down for Link. Link shuddered a bit from the sudden change in vocal volume. "There's no way a person your age can be totally fearless, Link! In fact, no one is completely fearless! Everyone's afraid of something!"
"But, Saria, I..." said Link, but Saria didn't let him finish his sentence, and picked him up so that he was eye-level with her.
"Link, if there is anything I hate more in this world, it's a liar." said Saria, glaring at Link. Link was still trying not to seem scared, but it kept getting harder as this conversation went on. But the next thing Saria said would make most in Link's situation wet themselves. "But if there's anything I absolutely despise most of all, it's if that liar is the friend I've known all my life!"
Link knew immediately who she was talking about, and before he could say anything to back himself up, Saria set Link down on the ground, albeit in a somewhat forceful manner. Link grunted as he hit the ground and was lying on his back, looking up at Saria, who was now standing at her full height and literally towering over Link. Needless to say, Link had a fearful expression on his face.
"To think that I trusted you!" said Saria, looking down on the tiny Link lying in the grass, all the while keeping her stern look, "Do you know what I think should happen to liars, Link?"
Link didn't bother answering that question, for his fear was pinning him to the ground. He could feel sweat gushing from his forehead, and his legs almost felt like they were paralyzed. Soon, Saria decided that she would answer her own question, but Link was not going to like the answer on bit.
"I think liars don't deserve to live." she said, "And since you're a liar...you've gotta go."
Link's eyes went as wide as they could when he saw Saria's foot lift up and over his position! "Well, Link, you've been a great friend, but it's time for you to go now. Good-bye..." she said, and she started to slowly lower her foot down onto Link.
"WAIT! SARIA!!" Link screamed, thus stopping the foot's decent. Saria looked around her foot at the little Link, and she could, despite the fact Link was a lot smaller than her, see the fear etched all over him, "Okay! I admit I was scared all the time! You wouldn't believe how many times I thought I was going to die during my adventure! I just wanted to sound good, that's all! Now please, for the love of the Goddesses of Hyrule, don't kill me!! We've been through so much together, and you really want it to end this way?! Please! I'm sorry!"
Saria paused for a moment, but kept her foot hovering over Link. She just stood there and stared down at him with a straight look, not saying a word. It was amazing how she kept her balance this whole time. But this silence soon was lost when she gave that glare again at Link and lifted her foot up higher. "Sorry, Link...but it's too late for regrets." she said, "Time for your dirt nap...my friend."
Link put his arms over his head and screamed in terror as Saria slammed her foot down to the ground...
"Huh?" said Link, realizing he wasn't dead. Still shaken up, he slowly sat up and saw that Saria had actually slammed her foot down beside him instead of on him. Link then looked up at Saria, but instead of seeing that stern glare she had, she had the same heartwarming smile as always.
"Nice work, Link." she said, "You've passed."
Link stood up and looked at Saria with a dumbfounded look. "What?! Passed? Passed what?" he said in a no-nonsense voice.
"You passed the test of trust." said Saria, moving her foot away from Link and sitting back down on the stump, "I knew you were just saying that you weren't scared of everything out there, but you never admitted it, so I wanted the truth out of you, and thus I put you to the test, and you passed with flying colors."
Link's jaw dropped anime-style after hearing all of this from Saria. "Do you mean to tell me..." Link started as he felt like he was going to explode, "...that you put my life in jeaporady just to TEST me?!"
"I had to Link." said Saria, reaching down and picking him off the ground and putting him on her lap, "Please try to understand, Link, that I had no real intention of harming you, much less kill you. I'd never do anything like that, nor would I want anything like that to happen to you."
"Saria..." Link said almost without actaully breathing, "I...I...I was so afraid!!" Link fell to his knees and cried uncontrollably, still scared of the image of his best friend nearly crushing him to death, "Why'd you...have to...do that?! I could've died!!" Link choked in between saying his words, and the mental strain on himself was unbearable.
Saria admitted to herself that she possibly overdid it a bit, and decided to comfort her best friend. She scooped him up and gave Link a gentle hug near her chest. "It's okay, Link...it's okay...just let it all out, I understand." she said softly, feeling Link wipe his tears on her shirt, "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have done that. I just thought that no one could be totally fearless, so after hearing you say that, I...I didn't know what to do except test you. I promise nothing like that will ever happen again, Link, whether it be by my hands or anyone else's."
Link looked up at Saria, his face all red with tears. "You...promise?" he choked.
Saria looked down at Link in her arms. "I promise. Cross my heart." she said.
Link wiped the tears from his face and smiled, then hugged Saria back as best as he could. Saria felt this and was a bit surprised, but she thought it looked cute with him doing that and decidied to let it go. The two just hugged each other for a few minutes before something (or rather someONE) interupted them.
"So, Link...did you learn your lesson?" came the voice.
Link and Saria had wide eyes as they saw that Zelda and Malon were standing there looking at the two with crossed arms. They didn't look mad, but they were concerned. Saria blushed when they saw her holding Link. "Um...hey girls! Uh...we were just...um..uh..." Saria stuttered, but Zelda shook her head and the two walked up to Link, still in Saria's embrace.
"It's okay, Saria." said Zelda, putting a reassuring hand on her shoulder. She then looked down at Link, who was wiping away the last of his tears from earlier. "Link, that was very brave of you." she said to him.
"Huh? I don't understand. What did I do?" asked Link, confused.
"You admitted to Saria that you were scared during your adventure Link." said Zelda, "There's an old saying in the Royal family that goes like this: It takes great courage to show no fear, but it takes a great deal more to admit that you're afraid."
Zelda's words seemed to sink into Link's head, and Link had a look of realization on his face. That makes perfect sense! Link thought to himself, I was afraid all those times I was facing a gigantic monster, and even as much when facing ones about my size. Yet even though I admitted I was scared, I faced them showing no fear. Now I know why I was destined to bear the Triforce of Courage... Link's thought made him feel a lot better, and he looked at the girls, all with smiles on thier faces.
"Zelda....Malon....Saria...." said Link, looking at each as he said thier names, "You are truly the best friends anyone could ever have. Thank you so much for teaching me this lesson, and know that I will never let anything happen to you."
The girls smiled at Link, now released from Saria's hug and standing in her hands. "We won't let anything happen to you either, Link." they all said, and this made Link's heart almost skip a beat. All this time he as protecting someone, but now he had three people protecting and caring for him. It felt very good to him that he had such great friends, even if they were funny at times. Link decided to ride piggyback on Saria's shoulder for the walk back to the Sacred Forest Meadow, and they all headed back there after Saria put her boots back on. But as they walked, Saria brought up a question.
"Link?" she asked.
"Yeah, Saria?" replied Link.
"When you were on the ground looking up at me..." she said.
"Uh...what about it?" asked Link, not sure of what Saria was getting at.
"You didn't...see anything did you?" she asked in a somewhat teasing manner.
At first Link didn't quite get Saria's question, but after thinking it over a bit, his eyes went wide and he blushed violently again.
"SARIA!!" Link yelled, "I'd never do that!"
Zelda and Malon heard this, and with Saria, just laughed at Link's reaction.
In the Sacred Forest Meadow...
Link, Saria, Malon, and Zelda had finally arrived back in the Sacred Forest Meadow, and all of them were sitting in a circle on the green grass. Link of course was kinda small, so he was sitting in Zelda's lap, feeling quite comforted with the fabric of her dress on his back. To him, it felt like he was lying down on a cloud. "So, Link, how have you enjoyed yourself these past 36 hours?" asked Zelda.
Link sat up in Zelda's lap and looked at her. "It's been lots of fun, I admit!" said Link, but then his tone of voice went down and sounded a little sad, "But, then again...In just twelve hours...I'll..."
"Be back to normal..." Malon finished for him, knowing what Link had on his mind, "Are you saying you like being like this, Link?" she asked him.
"Well, it is kinda weird being this small," said Link, "but then again, I've been able to do things I couldn't do at my normal size, not to mention all the fun I've had with you three. I just kinda wish the spell didn't last such a short time..."
"So you admit you like being this little?" asked Saria.
"Well....in a way...yeah, I kinda do." said Link, rubbing the back of his head.
"Aww...I never knew you were like that Link." said Zelda.
"Well, to be quite honest..." said Link, "I've had this sort of...nagging feeling that I like seeing you girls like this to me."
"What do you mean?" asked Malon.
"Well, it's just...I've...um..." said Link, blushing a bit, "I've kinda had these dreams before where you three or some other girl is basically towering over me. Trouble is, all those dreams ended up with me dying by that girl's hands...or worse, by thier feet." Link shuddered upon remembering the bad dreams he had invloving this during his childhood. "Sometimes my death wasn't intentional, though, as the girl in question didn't know I was there. Those dreams creep me out, but after seeing how well you three take care of me while I'm like this, some of those fears have just...flown away."
The three girls were a bit surprised that Link had thought of something like this before, but when Link finished talking, Zelda scooped Link up with both her hands and brought him up to her face. "Link, as Saria said, we will never let anything bad happen to you while you're like this." Then Zelda had a funny thought. "Actually, though I mean no offense to the real thing, you could call us your three protective Goddesses of Hyrule!"
Link's eyes opened wide as he heard Zelda say that, but then got a smile on his face. "Yeah, you're kinda right about that. Besides, with the way I am now, you're probably big enough to be them to me!" Link chuckled after saying that, and the girls soon followed with giggles.
"Hey, here's an idea..." said Link, getting the girls' attention, "Why don't we play catch again, only this time, just with your hands."
"You catch on quick, Link! Sure, that sounds fun!" said Saria.
So the girls stood up, and Zelda carefully did so to make sure Link didn't fall. The girls then gently tossed Link from one to the next, and Link was having lots of fun, since it almost felt like flying to him. After a few tosses, Link then said, "Higher! Toss me higher!"
"Okay, Link!" said Malon, who had just caught him, and she tossed him much higher than ususal, but not overly so, since she knew that even if one of them had caught him, the impact would hurt Link, and they didn't want that. Luckily, Saria caught Link without any trouble. "Do it again! I loved that!" said Link, smiling and laughing all the while.
Saria smiled, "Okay, catch Zelda!" she said and threw Link high into the air towards Zelda.
However, Link wasn't about to have a happy landing, for at that time, a Guay was flying by, and it looked as if it was searching for food. With its keen bird eyesight, it spotted the little Link high in the air, and swooped down immediately, probably thinking that Link was a bug or something. Before Link saw what was happening, the Guay grabbed Link by the tip of its beak and held Link by his left leg. Link found out that he wasn't near the ground and looked up to see the Guay holding him by his leg. "AAAAHHHHH!! ZELDA, SARIA, MALON!!! HELP!!!!!!!" he screamed towards the ground at the girls.
The girls immediately noticed the Guay holding Link captive, and they were all in shock! "LINK! HOLD ON!!" yelled Zelda, running in the Guay's direction. Saria took a few pebbels in her pocket and flung them towards the Guay, but her aim wasn't as good as Link's and they all missed by a long shot. Malon tried throwing rocks from the ground, but she didn't even come close to hitting it. As much as they tried to stop the Guay, it soon disappeared from sight, with Link going along for the ride.
"No....Link...." said Zelda, collapsing on her knees, ready to cry. The girls had tried thier best to save him, but to no avail. Had they lost thier best friend, or was there still hope for our little green hero?
Up in the sky above the Lost Woods...
Link was still scared stiff as the Guay flew in the sky with Link only being held by the leg by its beak. He was panicking outside and inside. This is just great! he thought to himself, Not only am I separated from the girls, but now I'm gonna be bird chow! Guess this is my lesson for picking on them all the time back at the ranch...
Link then remembered that his hands were still free, and he still had that twig from the swim earlier. Link thought for a moment and spotted a large tree out in the distance, then got an idea. This may be crazy, but it's much better than becoming food, I guess. t he thought, then reched behind his back and pulled out the twig. He took a good aim and flung the twig towards the Guay's eye. The twig hit it's mark and poked it square on the eyelid, causing the Guay to caw and drop Link. Link knew he was going to fall, but he didn't count on stopping short of his landing target. He screamed and panicked as he fell.
But just before Link lost hope, he saw a leaf floating in the sky. Link's eyes brightened as he saw it and reached out to grab it. He barely got ahold of it, took one end in one hand and the other hand on the other end and put the leaf over his head. Soon, his decent was slowing down considerably, as he had used the leaf as a sort of parachute. He gently swayed in the wind and landed on a large branch of the tree he was aiming for. Link collapsed on his rear end and gasped for breath. "Whoa...I thought I was actually going ot die there for a moment..." he said in between large breaths, "Thank the Goddesses that I'm alright."
Link got back on his shaking legs and looked around. The tree he had landed on was rather large indeed, larger than the Likan tree that he and the girls found earlier. The tree was so large, in fact, that Link was above the canopy of the forest! "Whoa..." Link said with an uneasy look, "This may be quite the challenge for me. I could wait here until the spell wears off and then climb down..."
Link began to think about doing that, but he shook his head. "Yeah, right. I could do that..." Link got a smile on his face, "but where would the fun be in that?! This oughta' be better than going through the Great Deku Tree!" With that, Link started walking towards the tree itself, and luckily for him, he saw a hole right at the end of the branch. "Well, guess this would just be another dungeon for me to go through, huh?" he said to himself, remembering all the dungeons and temples he went through on his adventure. "Then again...there's just one big problem this time..." he said to himself. He knew what he was talking about, since he didn't have any equipment this time around, since the girls removed it from him before Zelda shrank him.
Link then noticed something shiny hanging from a thin branch nearby, and it turned out to be a sewing needle. "Huh...I wonder how this got up here?" he wondered. Instead of answering, Link saw this as a bit of good luck and reached out to grab the needle and put it in his sword sheath. The needle was a bit large for the sheath, but it was the only place Link could put it without poking himself. Link took a deep breath and said, "Well, here goes nothing." As he ended saying that, he entered into the hollowed tree and started another interesting quest.
Back in the Sacred Forest Meadow...
Zelda was still on her knees, crying that she and the rest were not able to help Link from getting taken away by that Guay. Malon and Saria did thier best to comfort Zelda, and though Zelda thanked then for thier kindness, it didn't help all that much. She had lost not only her best friend, but future savior. "Zelda, please. It's not your fault." said Saria, putting her arm around Zelda, "If you remember, I was the one who threw him last. I should've seen that bird coming, and I was too busy having fun."
"Yeah...I know, Saria..." said Zelda, still sniffling her tears away, "But we should've been more careful, and now because of us he's probably-"
"NO!! Don't say that, Zelda! Don't even THINK that!" yelled Malon, surprising both Zelda and Saria with her expression. "If I know that fairy-boy, he's still out there! He said himself that he's been through a lot of dangers already, and I don't think getting carried away by a stupid bird is going to be anything he can't handle! C'mon, you two, we've gotta find Link!"
Malon's determination sparked something inside of Zelda and Saria, and they felt courage well up inside them. "You're right, Malon!" said Zelda, a determined look on her face, "We can't give up hope! Let's go and find him!"
"Yeah! Count me in too!" said Saria, feeling just as determined.
So, the three girls set out to the Lost Woods, hoping to find any trace of the little Link that got lost.
In the Hollowed Tree...
Link looked around at how vast the tree looked from the inside. "Wow, and I thought it looked big out there!" he said out loud. "Geez, even though I've been through a large tree already, this one sure seems creepier." Indeed, the interior looked more foreboding than the Deku Tree's was, as there was moss and spider webs all over the interior. Link knew that he'd probably have to fend for himself more than once in here, but he knew he was a brave person (despite the fact even he gets scared), and decided to march on.
As he did, he saw drops of water dripping from the ceiling, probably from the fact that since this tree was very high up, moisture gathered up here, thus giving the tree vital water, even in the dry season, which would explan why it got so tall in the first place. It was lucky for Link that there were holes in the tree providing light to creep in. As Link ventured down a slope, he knew that it was way too quiet in here. Normally hollowed-out trees would be home to many animals, especialy a tree of this size, and Link was questioning why there didn't seem to be any life around here, besides the tree itself. Link continued down the slope, ready if any bug or offensive creature decided to call him a snack.
It wasn't long before Link came to another opening in the side, but not one that led outside. Link was careful as to make sure not to startle anything around him, for as the Deku Tree told him a long time ago, anything could be watching him at any moment, so it pays to be cautious. Still, nothing seemed to be around, and Link carefully walked into the "room". When he did, he saw large mushrooms growing out of the sides, and that this section had a large hole in the center, with more mushrooms onthe walls of the hole. Link saw this and got an idea. "I can use these to get down!" he said in joyment, and he carefully inched his way down to the first mushroom, almost slipping at one point, but quickly regaining his footing. When he landed on the mushroom, he judged the distance to the next one down and when he saw it was safe enough, jumped down to the next one. He continued to do this until he got to solid ground.
Link looked back up and didn't even see the ledge he started on. "Whoa...that was a longer way down than I thought..." he said to himself. Unbeknowest to Link, he hadn't landed on solid ground, but on a beetle's back! Link gasped with surprise as the beetle moved out from under Link, causing Link to fall to the floor. Link then saw the beetle charge after him, looking as if it was agitated that something bothered it. Unlike the friendly ladybug he met earlier, this beetle didn't want anyone else around. Link unsheathed his "sword" and lept out of the beetle's way.
"Ugh! He's pretty fast for a bug..." said Link as he landed on the ground. The beetle charged him again, but this time, Link was ready. As the beetle drew near, Link lept up and thrusted the needle into its back. As much as Link wanted it to go all the way through, though, he knew beetles had hard shells, and though it was wounded and the needle stuck in its back, it wasn't down for the count. "This didn't go quite as expected...ugh, I wish I had my equipment!!" Link said in a frustrated tone. Link then realized the beetle had slowed down because of it's wound, and Link had another idea. He rushed over to the wounded beetle and yanked the needle out of it's back, then rushed over to the opposite wall.
"Hey, black butt! Come and get me!" Link yelled in a mocking manner. Even though the beetle couldn't understand Link, it knew all to well it was mocking him, so in a desperate attempt to silence Link, the beetle rushed over to Link again. "Just what I wanted it to do..." Link said under his breath, and when the beetle was close enough, Link darted out of the way, but then rushed for the beetle's side and gave a strong kick to it's broadside, causing the beetle to fall over on it's back, exposing its belly, and Link knew that was where beetles were vulnerable.
Link decided that it was time for him to end this pointless battle, and ran towards the topsided beetle and jumped in the air, forcing the needle into it's abdomen, which also caused bug juice to spray all over Link. He was about to puke when this happened, but did his best to hold it in. When the beetle looked dead, Link pulled the needle out and jumped off the dead beetle, all the while covered in bug juices. Link felt disgusted that he was totally filthy, and tried to wipe away all the juices he could. "Gugh...I swear this is something I'll NEVER get used to!" he said out loud, and when he was wiped away of most of the juices, he looked around and saw another opening, and headed out, looking back at the dead beetle in disgust.
Back in the Lost Woods...
"I just hope Link is okay..." said Saria in a worried tone. The girls had been searching every blade of grass for Link in the Lost woods, but thier efforts were not going so well. Each of them had split up for awhile to search more of the woods, but still no luck. Soon, the girls came back to thier meeting place they had agreed upon to report if they found anything.
"Well, any sign of him?" asked Zelda.
"Nope..." sighed Malon.
"I didn't find anything either..." said Saria.
"I can say the same..." said Zelda, "But we can't give up! Link can't die that easily! He's got to be somewhere in the forest!"
"Very true..." said Saria, "But there are bird's nests everywhere in the woods. It would take forever to search them all..."
"Well, I say we try looking in some anyways, as long as we try not to disturb the birds." said Malon.
"Good idea, Malon. Let's go!" said Zelda, and the girls rushed off.
Back at the Hollowed Tree...
Link had just stepped outside onto another branch, glad to be able to get away from some of the danger he was in. He had just skewered a beetle and was still kind of covered in bug juices. Link decided to sit down and rest for a moment and admire the scenery. "Wow, it sure looks beautiful up here..." said Link, admiring how high up he was, "I wish I could find an easier way down though, since even if I stay here until I return to normal size, it still would be a long ways down."
Link had indeed climbed down a ways to his standards. Though to anyone of normal size, he had only climbed down about 15 feet downwards, which wasn't much considering the tree's abnormal size. Link went into deep thought as he laid down on the branch and rested his head a bit. He had been through a lot so far, and his body was taking a toll from all the events over the past day and a half. Link almost fell like falling asleep, but knew that if he did and returned to normal size during his sleep, the branch would surely crack under him and cause him to fall down to the ground way below, so he did his best to stay awake.
As Link stared up to the sky, he noticed a faint glow in the distance above him. "Hm? What's that...?" he wondered as he sat up, looking at the glow. Soon, the glow was close enough to distinguish, and to Link, it was all too familiar what that glow was: It wa the glow a fairy gave out! "....Navi?...Did...did she come back?" Link wondered, hopeful that it was his fairy companion that had found him. As it turned out, it was a fairy, but it wasn't Navi, though, because upon closer inspection, Link realized that this fairy had a green glow instead of Navi's blue one. Link was a bit depressed in knowing that it wasn't Navi, but his hopes were still up. If it was a resident fairy of the forest, perhaps he could ask it if the fairy had seen the girls. Link stood up and shouted and waved to the passing fairy, trying his best to get its attention.
Out in the distance, a green fairy was flying around, as if looking for someone. "Aw...where could she be?!" said the fairy, looking around, "She said she'd be back soon, yet it's been a full day and a half since she left! Where could she be?"
At that moment, the fairy heard faint screams coming from a nearby tree, the same one Link was on. "Huh?" said the fairy, perking up her sensitive fairy ears, "What's that? Sounds like someone's calling for me." The fairy's eyes brightened. "Maybe it's her!" with that, the fairy flew towards the source of the shouting and soon saw Link on a branch nearby. "Hey...isn't that...?" she said to herself, seeing Link on the branch, "That IS Link! But...he looks...different..."
The fairy landed near Link and was surprised to see that Link was about her size! "What the...!" yelled the fairy, clearly seeing Link the same size as her.
"Hey, wait! Please...I know it may be difficult to admit seeing someone like me at this size, but I need your help!" said Link, trying his best to make sure the fairy didn't fly off in fear of him.
"But...you're...Link, right?" asked the fairy.
Link was surprised to see that the fairy knew his name. "Wha-! How do you know my name?!" he asked.
"You mean you don't recognize me?" asked the fairy, coming closer to Link, "I'm Saria's fairy!"
Link's eyes went wide, just like the so many other times as before. "What...? You are? That's...that's...."
It was silent for a minute or so before Saria's fairy spoke up again. "Well, first off, you need to tell me how you got like this, and why you're up here." she said, sitting down on the branch.
"Oh...right, guess I should do that." said Link, sitting down next to her, "I suppose you were there when I told Saria off like that, huh?"
"Yeah, I was...That was pretty mean of you." said Saria's fairy, looking glum.
"Well, you'll be happy to know that I've apologized for that and the girls forgave me." said Link, sounding reassured.
"Well, that's good. But how did you get like this?" she asked.
"It's a loooooooooong story, but here goes..." said Link. Link then told Saria's fairy all that had happened over the past day and a half, how Zelda shrank him, making him realize that he couldn't be the way he had originally intended, how much fun they had together, and how he had came to be up in this gigantic tree and how he was attempting to get down.
"So that's what's been going on..." said Saria's fairy, after listening to the whole story.
"Yeah, that's about it." said Link, getting up to stretch, "Now I'm stuck up here until I can either get backto normal size at the end of the day or if the girls find me. Although I'm probably too high up for them to notice me..." Link's face had a look of dismay.
Saria's fairy was in deep thought for a moment, but then she suddenly got up and looked straight at Link. "Hey! They may be too far down for you, but I'm not! I was actually looking for Saria before I found you, so maybe if I find her..."
"...You can help them find me!" Link finished, knowing exactly what she had in mind.
"Exactly! Now all I gotta do is find them..." she said with a thinking tone.
"Did you try the Sacred Forest Meadow? That's where they were when I last saw them." said Link.
Saria's fairy slapped herself in the head. "AGH! I can't believe I didn't try there!" she cried in a disgusted voice, "Alright, I'll go look there. You stay on this branch, and I'll come back if I find them, hopefully with them too."
"Great!" said Link, overjoyed that he had another great friend to help him, "Hey, umm...do you have name, by chance?"
"Oh, how silly of me! I almost forgot!" she said, somewhat embarassed, "My name's Spryte."
"Okay, Spryte..." said Link, "You go and find them, and I'll wait here for you. Don't take too long though, since there's only about 5 hours left until the spell wears off."
"I will, don't worry!" said Spryte, but then she noticed the needle in Link's sword sheath, "Hey, have you been using that to fend off bugs and stuff?" she asked.
Link looked at the needle behind him. "Um, yeah...why?" he wondered.
"Can I see it for a second?" she asked.
"Um...okay." said Link, and he handed her the needle. Spryte then looked it over, neglecting the fact that it still had a bit of bug juice from the beetle on it. She then closed her eyes and started to glow a pale green. Link was wondering what she was up to, but soon saw the needle start to glow a bright white. Soon, a flash gave out, and in Spryte's hands was a small sword, fit for someone of Link's current size. She then handed it to Link. The sword looked basic, except for the fact it had a jagged blade and a red hilt, and it seemed to have a magical glow coming out of it. "What's this?" asked Link.
"It is the Sprite's Sword." said Spryte, "It is only bestowed upon one who shows great courage and has had some sort of friendliness with a fairy. Since you meet those qualifications, you seem trustworthy enough to wield it."
Link was glad to have a sword back in his hands, even if it wasn't his trusty Kokiri Sword or even the fabled Master Sword. Link sheathed his sword and said, "Thanks, Spryte."
"My pleasure." she said, bowing to Link, "Now then, I'd better go find Saria and the rest. The sooner the better, right?"
"Right! Good luck! I'll be waiting here!" said Link, giving her a thumbs-up.
"Okay, I won't be long, I promise!" said Spryte as she flew off into the distance. Link watched her disappear into the forest and decided to sit back and relax some more.
I just hope she finds them in time... he thought to himself.
In the Sacred Forest Meadow...
After another hour of searching, Zelda, Saria, and Malon all met back up at the Sacred Forest Meadow, still sad that they had not found Link anywhere, even in any of the bird's nests. All three girls slumped to the ground in dismay, worried for Link's safety. It was thier responsibility to take care of Link while he was like this, but they had slipped up and now he was lost, and everyone felt disgusted with themselves.
"Geez, no sign of him anywhere." said Malon, sitting on the stump.
"Yeah, but we can't give up. Maybe we need to look even further into the forest." said Zelda.
"We could, but I don't know the deeper part all that well. I never ventured that far out." said Saria.
The girls all pondered on that for a few moments. Soon, though, Saria spoke up. "Well, what I said was true, but if it means we'll be closer to finding Link, then I'll take that chance, even if I have to venture out of the forest to find him!"
"Spoken like a true friend, Saria!" said Malon, happy that everyone was keeping on the positive.
The girls were just about to leave when Zelda noticed something in the sky. It was small and had a green glow around it. "Hey, isn't that a fairy?" she asked, pointing to the glow. As it turned out, it was a fairy, but not just any fairy; It was Spryte, Saria's fairy!
"Saria! Oh, thank the Goddesses I found you and the rest!" said Spryte, taking deep breaths from flying so quickly. She safely landed on Saria's shoulder and took a quick breather.
"Spryte! What's wrong? I thought I told you to stay back in my house until I came back." said Saria, wondering why her fairy came to her in such a hurried manner.
"No...time for that." said Spryte, taking another deep breath, "It's...Link."
"LINK?!" said all the girls in unison, all with shocked faces.
"Did you find Link?!" said Malon, grabbing Spryte and bringing her up to her face, "Did you, did you, did you??"
"MALON! Take it easy on her!" said Saria, gently grabbing Spryte from Malon's clutches. She slowly sat Spryte down on the stump. "Sorry about that, Spryte, we're all just eager to know where he is and if he's okay..."
"Link's alive." said Spryte. Everyone sighed with relief knowing that, but Spryte wasn't finished, "He's in a very big tree in the deep part of the woods. I found him there while searching for Saria, and I told him I'd find you three and show you where he is."
"Well, then, Spryte..." said Zelda, gently picking her up and smiling at her, "In that case, we'll follow your lead, and you can show us where he is."
"Alright then, let's go. There's not much time before your spell wears off!" said Spryte, flying out of Zelda's open hands and buzzing to and fro.
Zelda didn't have time to ask how she knew about Zelda's "little" spell, but decided it was best not to ask questions now and just follow Spryte to Link's wereabouts. Spryte flied off in a direction, with the three girls following closely so as to not get seperated from each other.
Back at the Hollowed Tree...
Link patiently sat and waited for some sign of Spryte's return, hopefully with the rest of the girls in tow. Link then sat up from his lying position with a determined look on his face. "Well, since it may take a bit for Spryte to get back, I guess I could try to climb down a bit more. No sense in just standing here, and it'll save the girls some work if they find me." he said to himself. But then he remembered that from where he came from, there wasn't another way down, so he was basically stuck on the branch. Link groaned to himself realizing that.
All of a sudden, something caught Link's eye, and it turned out to be leftover spider webbing. Even though it seemed as if the spider that spun this webbing was long gone, Link knew that you're almost always three feet away from a spider at all times, which was certainly true during his adventure because of all the Skulltulas he encountered. Still, this webbing seemed to be vacant, and seeing the webbing gave Link an idea. He went over to the webbing and examined it for any part that was still sticky. As it turned out, there were still some sticky parts, which played to Link's idea perfectly. He then carefully stuck some webbing on the sole of each of his boots, putting a little extra on each one just to be sure. Then he looked over the edge of the branch and prayed that this would work.
Link stepped towards the outer part of the branch, making sure his boots stuck to the branch each time. With a little practice, he was able to walk on the underside of the branch, using the webbing on his boots like glue to keep him secure. "Heh, wow...it actually worked." said Link, all the while standing upside-down on the bottom part of the branch. He didn't really have much time to ponder, as he knew the stickiness may give way at anytime, so Link wasted no time in walking down the tree stump like a bug clung to a wall. He was successful in getting down to the next lowest branch before the stickiness of the webbing gave way, but he was on the topside of the branch when it did. Link peeled off the webbing from his boots and looked around. He was still way above the forest's canopy, but it at least seemed a little lower down now.
"Well, it was a short trip, but at least I'm a bit lower down. I just hope Spryte and the girls find me soon..." said Link, taking off the last remaining parts of the webbing from his boots. As Link got back on his feet however, he heard a loud hissing sound. "Uh-oh...that's not good..." he muttered to himself while unsheathing the Sprite's Sword and looking around feverishly as to what was making the noise.
Link then heard something fall down directly behind him. Link jumped with fright and turned around to find a Skulltula had landed behind him! This was the kind that normally crawled around on walls, so to anyone's normal standards, they were only as big as maybe a child, but to someone like Link, this particular Skulltula was enormous beyond reason. "Aw, great...this is just my luck to run into one of you guys now!" Link said to himself.
To respond, the Skulltula lunged at him, and Link deftly jumped aside knowing that at his current state, any hit from this bug would certainly be the end of him. But, Link had fought Skulltulas before, and he knew thier weakness: thier belly. Problem was the Skulltula's belly wasn't face-up, and Link knew that even with the magic power of the Sprite's Sword at his disposal, he coudn't do much to the creature's outer shell. "Well, not much I can do, but hopefully this sword will do something, since it's all I have..." Link said, and when the Skulltula lunged again, Link jumped toward the beast and hopped up on his backside, taking a few stabs at the outer casing of the Skulltula, but seemingly doing nothing except anger the spider.
As Link hopped off the Skulltula's back and dodged the creature's swiping legs, all he could think was one thing: C'mon, Spryte...Hurry up and find the girls; I can't hold this thing off forever!
Back in the Lost Woods...
Spyte had finally shown the girls the tree Link was at, and was so exhausted from all this vigorous flying that she laid on Saria's shoulder to rest her weary wings. "Link's...up there." she said, pointing upwards.
The girls looked way up at the humongous tree, and like that large Likan tree before it, they once again felt almost like Link did in his standards, since the tree was so darn huge! "Whoa...how'd Link get all the way up there?" asked Malon, marveled at the sight of the large tree.
"That bird must've landed there. I'm just hoping he's still okay..." said Zelda, still worried for Link's safety.
"Spryte, can you still fly up there and see if he's alright?" said Saria, looking at her fairy on her shoulder.
"I'm a bit tired, but I can try..." said Spryte, getting to her feet and flying slowly upwards, all the while keeping an eye open for Link.
"...Good luck, Spryte." whispered Saria as she saw her brave fairy fly upwards.
Back in the tree...
"YIKE!" yelled Link as one of the Skulltula's legs scratched is right arm, leaving a cut mark. Link was doing his best to fend off the Skulltulla, but without much of his equipment, he wasn't having much luck. He was also showing signs of fatigue, since he was now barely dodging each attack, getting slower by the second. He knew he couldn't keep this up for much longer, and hoped that Spryte would arrive soon. Link then saw the Skulltula arch itself upward, revealing it's tender belly. Wrong move! Link thought to himself, and he quickly ran for the creature's belly and jumped up and stabbed it square on, making the Skulltula screech in pain. Link withdrew the Sprite's Sword and saw that the Skulltula was injured, but it seemed to be far from defeated. "Gugh...doesn't this monster know when to quit?!" said Link, knowing that his advisary wasn't defeated yet.
As the Skulltula was regaining its composure, Link suddenly saw Spryte fly in front of him. "Hey! You made it!" said Link, overjoyed that Spryte came back, "Did you find the girls?"
"Yeah, but...they can't climb a tree this big, Link." said Spryte, "I don't know it they can help out."
"I'm sure Zelda will think of something. Right now, I've got bigger problems!" said Link, remembering the Skulltula.
Spryte turned around and saw the Skulltula had regained itself and was now eyeing both Link and Spryte with its multiple eyes, and it looked like it was mad with rage due to the fact something a lot smaller than itself had harmed it. The Skulltula let out a loud screech and lunged forward at Spryte. Spryte couldn't move out of the way in time, but Link saw it coming and dove at Spryte, moving her and Link out of the way of the Skulltula's fearsome jaws.
"Oh, my...thanks Link." said Spryte, gasping for air.
"No problem. You need to get out of here and tell the girls to think of a way to get me down from here before I become this spider's meal!" said Link in a somewhat brash but understanding manner.
"Right. I'll leave for now. Hold on...that cut!" said Spryte, noticing the cut in Link's right arm.
"Oh, this? It's nothing..." said Link, but Spryte went over and placed her palm on the cut and it instantly healed. "Um...thanks." he said, looking at Spryte, "But, you've gotta get out of here before that thing gets you!"
"Okay, be careful!" she said, and she flew as fast as she could back down to the girls. Link saw her safely depart, only to almost forget about his own problem. Without any chance to get away, the Skulltula bashed Link to the tree's trunk, leaving Link battered and bruised, but not down for the count. "Grrr...this thing's a real pain in the neck..." muttered Link as he got back to his feet.
Back down below...
Saria saw Spryte fly straight downwards, but it looked as though she wasn't able to stop. Saria quickly ran underneath Spryte and caught her in her open hands. "Spryte! Are you alright?!" she cried.
"Yeah...but...Link's in danger!" said Spryte a little weakly, "A spider's got him cornered on a high branch, and I don't think you could climb that fast..."
"No...Link..." said Malon, almost ready to cry. The girls thought quickly and carfully as to what they would do to rescue thier little friend. That's when Zelda stepped up to the tree, a determined look on her face. Link saved me in the future, so now I think it's time to return the favor! she thought to herself before turning around at the other girls. "Girls, I have an idea, but you need to trust me with it." she said.
Malon, Saria, and Spryte all looked at Zelda with confusion, but they knew to trust her judgement. "Okay, Zelda, what do you have in mind?" asked Saria. Zelda went over to Saria and motioned Malon to come closer, then whispered her idea to the other two, with Spryte listening in as well...
Up in the tree...
"Gagh!" Link grunted as the Skulltula slammed himagainst the wall of the tree trunk again. Link could feel pain all over his body, and to make matters worse, he was slowing down considerably and having a tough time dodging the spider's attacks. He couldn't do this for much longer, even though he was able to injure the Skulltula more, though all it seemed to do was make it even more angry.
"I can't keep this up!" Link groaned, "I have to get out of here and try to find a safer area!" With that in mind, Link ran towards the Skulltula, but instead of attacking it, he slid underneath the spider, cutting it again along the way. Once out the other side, he hopped to his feet and ran for some cover behind some leaves as the Skulltula screeched in pain again. "At least I can hide somewhat..." said Link, taking deep breaths.
It wasn't long before the Skulltula regained itself again and started feverishly looking around for Link, tearing apart loose tree bark and leaves as it came across them. Link peered out from behind the leaf he was hiding behind and saw the Skulltula doing this, knowing that at some point, it would eventually find him and do the same thing to him. I've got to get down from here! Link thought to himself.
Just then, Link saw Spryte fly up in the air around him. "Link! You have to jump off!" she yelled down at him.
Link thought Spryte had lost it. "WHAT?! Are you crazy? I'll die if I jump from here!" he yelled back.
"Trust me! Saria will catch you!" Spryte called in response. Link didn't know what Saria had in mind to catch him, but it seemed better than sticking around up here with that Skulltula. But before Link could make a decision, the Skulltula pulled the leaves Link was hiding behind away, and gave a loud snarl. Link gulped and thought it was now or never, but the spider's legs were blocking him off from his exit. Link then remembered the Sprite's Sword in his hand. Thanks, Spryte. thought Link and without a moment's hesitation, Link threw the Sprite's Sword blade-first into the Skulltula's eyes, causing it to screech out in pain and forcing it's legs to move out of the way for Link to jump off the branch. "Okay, I'm gonna jump!" yelled Link, and without another wasted moment, Link leaped off the branch into the air and started what seemed like an endless decent...
...But that decent wasn't that long, as Link soon hit solid ground. Or at least what seemed to be solid ground. Link brushed himself off and looked up to see that Saria had indeed caught him in her hands. "Oh, Link, thank goodness you're okay!" she said, tears of happiness and relief flowing down her face.
"Hey, Saria. Man, that was a rough adventure for me..." said Link, seeing his best friend once again. Soon, Malon came into view.
"Hey, fairy-boy! Glad to see you're alright! I was worried you may never come back!" said Malon, looking at Link in Saria's hands.
"Yeah, I'm surprised I lived through all that. I'm just lucky you were here to catch me Saria." said Link.
"Well, actually, Link..." said Saria, seemingly somewhat nervous for some odd reason, "I may have caught you, but...well...um...we're...not on the ground, really."
Link looked very confused at Saria's sudden comment. "Huh? What's that supposed to mean?" he asked, looking over the edge of Saria's hand, only to see that he was indeed still very high up. So high up in fact, he still couldn't see the ground!
"Hey, wait a minute...are you flying or something?" asked Link.
"Nope, we're not." said Malon, also sounding a bit nervous. Link noticed that both girls were nervous about something, and that they seemed to be somewhat scared. That's when he noticed something else.
"Hold on...Where's Zelda? I thought Spryte found all of you and came here to get me safely down?" asked Link, finally realizing that Zelda was nowhere in sight.
"Um...well...she's..." Saria started, but then fell silent. Link looked over at Malon, but she too was silent, and sweating for some reason.
"C'mon, girls! This isn't funny! If something's wrong with her, tell me!" said Link, getting impatient.
Saria and Malon looked at each other nervously, then nodded in agreement to each other and looked back down at Link. "Alright, Link..." said Malon, "Zelda's fine, but she's...changed somewhat. It's thanks to her that we got up here and were able to catch you."
"Changed? What do you mean by that?" asked Link.
Saria, with Link in her left hand turned around and used her other hand to give a loud whistle upward. Link had to cover his ears since it was so loud to him. "Saria! Warn me next time when you do that!" yelled Link, holding his throbbing head.
"Sorry Link, but it was the only way to get her attention." said Saria.
"Huh? What do you mean? Stop playing games and get to the point!" said Link, who sounded almost as if he was on the end of his rope.
"Just look up." said Malon, pointing in an upwards direction.
Link folded his arms and turned around and looked up. At first, he didn't see much, since there was a thick fog around the area, but he could hear loud sounds, almost like breathing noises, only MUCH louder than normal. "I don't get it, what am I supposed to see?" asked Link, clearly confused.
"Zelda!! Mind clearing away the fog?!" yelled Malon at the top of her lungs. Link once again had to cover his ears since Malon's voice was so much louder this time. But as he did, he still heard what Malon had said. Huh? Zelda? Link wondered in his head.
Before Link could ponder anything else, a massive gale blew through the air, causing Link to lose his footing. But Link, ever prepared for anything, quickly grabbed onto Saria's sleeve and held on for dear life. The gale soon stopped, and sunlight shone through the forest, now that the fog was completely gone. Relieved that it was over, Link valiantly climbed back onto Saria's hand and looked around. He then noticed something in front of him; a large wall of...fabric?! "WHAT THE-?!" Link yelped, noticing the all-too-familiar Triforce symbol in front of him, only much, much, MUCH larger than usual! Link then arched his back upwards and looked and saw Zelda's face looming over him. Thing was...she was taller than Saria AND Malon as well! Link's eyes nearly popped out of thier sockets as he fell onto Saria's hand and fainted.
"Guess the pressure was too much for him..." said Saria quietly.
An hour later...
"Unngghhhh...huh?" Link mumbled to himself as he slowly regained conciousness.
"Hey! He's waking up!" came Saria's voice.
Link sat up with a jolt upon hearing Saria's voice. "Gaaah! What...wha...where...?" Link said as he gasped for air. He then realized he was back in his house, and that he was lying down on his bed. What was more important, though, was that he had returned to normal size! He then looked over and saw Malon and Saria standing there, no longer towering over him, but just the way he always knew them.
"Good to see you awake, fairy-boy!" said Malon.
"Did I...just have a dream or something?" asked Link, wondering if the two days he went through shrunk were only all in his head.
"Nope, it all really happened Link. You shrinking, us having fun, the whole thing." said Saria.
Link's mind was racing with questions, but he only had one to ask out loud. "Where's Zelda?" he asked.
"She's outside next to Epona, resting up." said Malon, "She was a bit worried for you, so why don't you go and cheer her up?"
Link climbed out of his bed and went outside into the starry night. As he did, Malon looked at Saria. "Think we should go too?" she asked.
"Nah. Let Link and Zelda have some time together. They are best friends, after all." said Saria.
Malon nodded her head and sat down in a chair. Spryte was with Saria, and whispered into her ear. "I thinkI'll just keep an eye on them, if that's okay..." she whispered.
"Sure, go ahead." whispered Saria, and Spryte flew outside, but stayed out of Link and Zelda sight.
Down below, Link had just approached Zelda and Epona. Epona neighed happily when she saw Link, and Zelda turned around and saw him too. "Link! Oh, thank goodness you're safe!" she said.
"Yeah, I'm okay. Glad to see Epona's doing well." said Link, but then his mind came up with something. "Um, Zelda..." said Link in a somewhat nervous matter.
"Yes, Link?" said Zelda.
"Um...back there at the tree...did you..."
"Grow to a titanic size? Yes, I did." said Zelda, finishing Link's question and answering it at the same time.
Link was shocked beyond reason. "How did you do that?!" he asked abruptly.
"Easy. All I did was do the shrinking spell I taught you backwards on myself." said Zelda, smiling at Link, "After that, I lifted Saria and Malon up to near where you were so one of them could catch you."
Link's face was filled with amazement and awe, but soon went to serious, "Hey, hold on a second! Are you saying you could've returned me to normal size at any time then?!" he asked somewhat rashly.
"Well, actually...yes, I could have. Please understand, Link. I only did it so you wouldn't have to go through life the way you had planned it." said Zelda, seemig guilty.
Zelda had thought that Link hadn't changed a bit from the last two days, but soon, she felt one of Link's hands rest on her shoulder. "Actually, Zelda..." said Link, this time in a more calm manner, "I'm glad you didn't."
Zelda's eyes went wide. "What?! You are?!" she said in surprise.
"Of course." said Link, giving a smile to Zelda, "If you had not done that, I probably would've made a decision I'd later regret. Now that I see that I still have much of my childhood to go through, I want to spend it to the fullest. True, I'm still gonna be responsible and train some, but from now on, I won't ever shun away from playing with any of my friends, including you."
Zelda's eyes filled with tears as she hugged Link tightly. Link was a bit surprised at Zelda's reaction, but returned the hug. Soon, however, Saria and Malon climbed down the ladder to Link's house and joined in the hug, making one big happy friendship hug.
When the hug was finally broken after what seemed like forever, Link then said, "You wanna know the truth about something, girls?" he said.
"Huh? What's that Link?" asked Saria, curious as to what Link was going to say.
"Well, not only did I have fun with you while at that size, but to be completely honest...I wouldn't mind doing it again someday!" said Link with a smile on his face.
The girls' eyes went wide upon hearing that. "One more thing..." said Link as he went closer to Malon.
Malon got an uneasy feeling as Link approached her, but soon, Link touched her on the shoulder. "Tag! You're it!" he said, then swiftly ran off.
Zelda and Saria then caught on to what Link was doing, and ran off as well. "Aw! Hey, get back here, fairy-boy!" she yelled as she ran after the rest. All in all, it had been an interesting two days for the whole gang of friends, and not once did they ever regret doing it, not even in thier adult days later on in life.