A/N: I got so excited just thinking about writing this chapter. Even though the main main character is obviously Faron, in working on this story, Daltus has honestly become my favorite, and I pray I do him justice. Once again, I suck at describing people so some constructive criticism might help. Also, I was strapped for names for some reason, if you've got a better idea than 'Daniel' and 'Tes' than let me know.


Daltus adjusted the hood over his head before grabbing the rope tightly and jumping to the other side of the wall. He let out a sigh of relief as it held his weight, and continued to scale down the stone, stopping to make sure no one was watching and careful not to lose his footing. Once he touched done on the soft grass, he looked around once more and gave several sharp yanks on the rope in just the right way, so the length fell down to him and he rolled it up and hid it underneath a bush. He could not afford to leave the rope hanging there, as the guards would start their morning shifts soon and would notice. He would have to take the alternate route back. There was nothing to worry about; he was very good at keeping track of time, amongst other things. He would be back before anyone noticed he was gone. He grinned wildly to himself, and took a deep breath as he took his first confident step outside the walls.


Faron's feet firmly planted into the ground as she jumped off her horse. She giddily bounced in her own boots, just waiting for the drawbridge to finally come down, signaling the market was open for the morning. As she waiting, with a tight grip on Epona's reigns, she looked up in awe at the magnificient castle looming in front of her. She had never been this close before, but now she could almost see the individual blue tiles covering its roofs, and, nayru, it had so many windows! The walls surrounding the castle and the market from the outside world were all that remained between her and a moment she had waited five years for. All she could think about was meeting the king. She realized she knew absolutely nothing about him, though some speculated he was the wisest man in all of Hyrule, and had ruled over the land in peace for many years. She wondered just how many had it taken to give him such legendary knowledge. He must be a very wise and kind old man, maybe even over one hundred years old! She was distracted from her thoughts by the creaking of cranks and old wood as the guards slowly lowered the drawbridge across the moat. With Midnight hiding in her shadow, silently grinning at his sister's happiness, she led Epona up the steps and into a realm that was, as of yet, unexplored.


He smiled to himself as the plaza suddenly came to life. Daltus watched, as windows were slammed open, dust swept off doorsteps, and people filed in from every direction. Nearly all of them were carrying wares of some sort, rushing to set down barrels of fuit and knick-knacks next to the empty wooden stalls, which soon filled up with a colorful array of goods. Patrons now began to emerge from the various houses and even from beyond the gates, some from the poorer villages to the south, dressing in simpler clothing that is more practical. Others from the town wore very elaborate dresses and colorful outfits, many sitting down at the café as a server took their orders. Daltus found himself unable to stop grinning, even as a row of guards marched by and he turned away securing his hood over his head. He stopped to watch several local children gather in a small crowd and cheer as they played with spinning tops, trying to compete as the toys bounced off each other. He himself almost wanted to cheer with them when one of the tops emerged the victor, but thought better of it and continued on his way, admiring the unfamiliar scenery.


She thanked the man who took Epona's reigns and began to lead her into the stable where several goats waiting to be sold to market were bleating and munching on their hay. She handed the man a few rupees, in return, he promised to look after the horse for the day. Faron walked passed the increasingly large crowds of people and into the plaza, and could not help it, as her smile grew even wider. The market was completely bustling with people rushing this way and that, stalls filled with all sorts of harvests and goods, merchants shouting and advertising their products. A fountain in the center of the plaza, adorned with a statue in the shape of the Hylian crest, spewed crystal blue water, and Faron admired the view from its edge. The castle stood in all its glory before her, the gates just a matter steps away. Guards lined the walls around the gates, where a band sat behind the pillars playing jovial music to match the pace of the market itself.

"Oh, Midnight, it's beautiful, this place is just amazing! You're such a worrywart, I'm so glad we came!" She ran around the fountain and observed some children having a spinning top competition, and shouted with glee when one of the tops knocked the other out of the ring. A line a soldier walked by her, spears in hand, giving a slight nod at her as they noticed the sword and shield slung across her back. "And see, I get some respect here! I bet I look like a proper warrior don't I?"

"You look like a proper loon," She stomped at the shadow in vain. "Heh heh, I'm kidding! I'm just glad you're happy." Faron's eyes widened as a large, yellow, rock-like creature passed by, mumbling 'excuse me' with a rumbling deep voice as it carried two large barrels on its shoulders, with two smaller little creatures happily followed behind.

"Midnight, what is that?!" She whispered. He responded with an equally curious, 'I don't know'. "Oh, who knew Hyrule had so much to see, I don't think I'll ever leave this place!"


Careful to remain unnoticed, Daltus continued to wander through the plaza stopping as he started to near one of the roads leading to the outer gates. He wondered if he could slip past without the guards seeing, out into the fields. 'No, that's just a little too risky.' He thought to himself. He walked over to a nearby stable, peeking at all the goats lining the pens. He gasped in surprise as a large horse nipped at his hood. He shushed the creature and tried to push it away but it continued to nuzzle his hands.

"Okay, okay, I get it, you like me, but I haven't got anything for you," he whispered, stroking the horses's forehead. "Just wait until your master gets back, alright?" Despite its grunts of protest, he walked back towards the plaza. The horse, upset at the departure of her new friend, began stomping and winnying, catching the attention of the stable hand.

"Come on, what's wrong with you?" The stocky man reach his arms out, trying to calm down the horse, who only neighed and reared back stomping down hard far too close to a nearby goat. The horned creature let out a frightened bleat before bounding forward and busting through its gate and into the plaza.

Daltus had barely turned around to see what the entire ruckus was, before he saw a clearly angry buck, horns lowered, stampeding towards him.


"GOAT LOOSE!"

Faron jumped at the shout and looked back in the direction of the stable, seeing a distraught stable hand trying to handle a distraught Epona, all the while a large buck was stampeding towards the plaza. People screamed and cleared its path, all except a young man in black hooded robe, who simply seemed to stand there in shock as the animal rushed towards him. Faron quickly ran to stand its path, her arms raised, and her feet planted against the ground. As the buck reach her, her gloved hands gripped tightly around its horns and she pushed back against its stampede. It tried to push her with its horns but she fought back and only slid back a few feet before standing firm in front of the shocked man she was trying to save from being trampled. The buck continued to fight, so with a yell she gave one last heave and twisted its horns, knocking the animal off its feet and onto its side with a thud. She dusted off her hands as the goat led out of defeated bleat and stood up, hanging its head and stumbling back to the stable.

She let out a relieved huff, and turned towards the man she had saved from a frankly embarassing death. "Were you just gonna stand there as that bugger trampled—" She stopped short as the young man stared at her, mouth agape and yet to release the breath he had held in terror. She smiled at his wide, soft brown eyes and wild brown hair that his hood now barely clung too. He was no more than a few years older than she was. She was not too sure, why her eyes suddenly averted to his lips, which remained parted in shock, or why she began to look his thin form up and down. Why was she suddenly thinking about how tall he was? Or how handsome? Did she mention he was handsome?

"H-h-h-hi-i…" She stumbled out with an almost drunken looking grin. He blinked and finally shut his mouth, swallowing nervously.

"Hello…" Both were surprised when she let a stupified "huh" at the sound of his voice. He both looked and sounded like a teenager and a man shoved together in one body, who had strangely skipped the awkward transition altogether. Coming back to reality, he suddenly looked around and readjusted his hood so it properly covered his head. He sighed in relief to see that the crowd had returned to its previous hustle, paying the two no mind.

"Um, thank you. For—for, saving me I suppose. Oh, trampled by a goat, that'd've been a terrible way to go…"

"Well, your welcome, but I'm sorry too, it looks like it was my horse that disturbed it in the first place…"

"Oh that's your horse! No, that would still be my own fault. I think she likes me…" He looked back at the horse, scrunching his nose. Faron only smiled wider. Oh, so even her horse liked this guy. What a catch…

"I'm Faron, by the way, in case you wanna remember the name of your savior, or whatever…" 'Oh nayru that was so stupid!' "So uh, you got one?"

"One what?" "A name."

"Oh yes, I do! Sorry, it's a Da—Da—um, Daniel! My name's… Daniel." 'Daniel!? Really? Stupid, so stupid!' Much to his dismay, Faron frowned slightly at the less-than-unique name. "But, Faron, though, that's a nice name. After the forest, I suppose. Look, you're even dressed to match!" He indicated her green tunic. "Of course, you might be named after the great guardian dragon of the woods, who the forest is actually named after, so I suppose it depends if your parents read up that much on ancient history. Or myth, or lore… I guess not everybody considereds dragons to be a part of history…" He trailed off as he realized she was staring at him with raised eyebrows. Then she let out a hearty laugh she had clearly been holding back.

"Wow, you are funny, Mr. Daniel! Where do you get that stuff from?"

"I just uh, do a lot of … reading… I guess," He had started to chuckle with her.

Faron sighed away her laugh. "Well, since I've conveniently saved your life, care to join me in exploring the market? I've never been here before; I haven't got a clue where anything is!" Unbeknownst to her new companion, Faron's shadow was chuckling like mad at the awkward exchange, in response to which she attempted an inconspicous stomp. She realized she failed when 'Daniel' turned his head towards her with eyebrows raised, as they had begun walking towards the market stalls. She simply smiled at him, trying to blow it off. "You know a bit about this place, right?"

"Actually, I must confess, this is my first time in the marketplace as well. I'm afraid I'm just as lost as you." 'Daniel' said with a smile.

"You're at least a traveler then. We've been here five years, and I finally worked up the courage to visit this place."

"Five years isn't so bad compared to…" He cleared his throat. "I'm sorry, you said 'we'?"

"Um, yeah," Faron paused. "Me and my uh, brother, we've lived in the forest since we came from, uh, far away… So, where are you from? Must be far to have never visited here?"

"Actually, I'm from around here. Not very far really…" Why was he admitting this to her?

Her eyebrows lifted. "And you've never been to market?!"

"I know, not much for an excuse either. Just a bit of an introvert, I guess." His shame almost disappeared when he saw her grin.

"All that reading you do, just might be. Oh! What are these?" She ran over to the nearest booth where a woman stood proudly in front of a collected of brown fruits.

"The finest wood hearts around, miss!" The woman proclaimed. Faron blushed at being called 'miss' but picked up a fruit in her hand. "Just five rupees a pound!"

"A pound?" 'Daniel' asked, keeping his hood draped over his head. "Wood hearts are easily worth five a rupees a piece! Why are they so inexpensive?"

"I wouldn't be able to sell anything if they cost five rupees a piece, sir! Gotta keep the family fed, and it's not like rupees grow on trees!"

"Never cut down a tree, then, have ya," Faron mumbled. "I'll take a pound or two!" The woman filled a bag with several of the fruits. Faron handed her several rupees that were clearly worth more than necessary. "Go ahead keep the change. I think you need more than I do." The woman smiled.

"May the gods bless ya, miss!"

As they walked away, 'Daniel' turned to her. "Where'd you get that much money?"

"Trees!" He could not help but sigh to himself as she skipped off with a tongue-in-teeth grin.


They wandered through the entire market, exploring the allies of what Faron learned was known by the locals as 'Castletown'. After having their fortunes told by a large woman 'Daniel' proclaimed was an oddly accurate fake, stopping to pet a group of ally cats, and being invited by a strange little girl to an 'Insect Ball', the pair settled down in the grass outside the south gate, admiring the now setting sun. In the market they had come across several more stall workers with similar tales to the wood heart woman, and, once Faron was no longer looking, 'Daniel' had handed a few of them small bags containing far more rupees than their entire stock was worth, and then quickly rushed off with Faron before she could hear their squeals of delight. Even if he could not tell her, he felt he had to surpass her earlier stunt somehow. On the grass, they finally opened the bag of wood hearts and each took one out and simultaneously took a bite, before simultaneously spitting it out onto the grass.

"Oh my din, those are disgusting!" Faron tossed her fruit to the ground with disgust.

"Probably should've guessed from a fruit called a 'wood heart'," they both then burst into laughter.

"It's so strange," Faron said. "Watching the sunset from somewhere new."

"It's still the same sunset." 'Daniel' mused from beside her, leaning on his elbows.

"Yeah, but at the same time, it's not. When I first got here, I would never be in the same place when the sun set. I always wanted to see it from somewhere different." Her eyes faded into a look of sadness. "It's funny how I seemed to get myself stuck anyways, in that forest. Like I was afraid to go beyond what I'd come to know. But then I ran out of new places, and maybe that's why I'm here. It's time to start seeing some new sunsets, and oh!" She stretched out her arms. "Now I don't think I can stop! Imagine, watching this from Lake Hylia, or the mountains to the west. Imagine seeing it from that castle over there…"

"It's not that great…" By the time 'Daniel' realized he'd said it aloud, Faron was already leaning towards him with wide eyes.

"You've seen it?! You've been the castle?!" He leaned back, surprised by her excitement.

"Yeah, I… I sort of… live there…" 'Might as well give up' He thought as he pulled his hood down completely.

"What like, a servant or something?" He went from resignation to offense, and stared at her wide, hopeful eyes.

"What, you don't…" 'She doesn't recgonize me? Real forest girl, huh?' "Um, yeah, something like that."

"Oh, then can you get me into the castle?! Can you get me to see the king?!" She shouted with hopeful glee and shook his shoulders with more strength than he expected from a young woman. Though he probably should have expected it, given her earlier performance.

"I don't think I—"He stopped, seeing her lips turn down in a pout and her big brown eyes shining at him. "Oh… well… yeah… I suppose, yes I can definitely get you in. oof!"

"Thank you thank you thank you thank you!" She shouted as she knocked him down in a hug. "Oh, I can't believe this, I've always wanted to meet the king, I hear he's so kind and wise…"

'Daniel' rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly. "Really? I've never heard that before."

"Well then you don't listen much do you? So, how're you gonna get me in? There's an awful lot of guards, I don't think I can just waltz in, can I?"

"Look, just, tomorrow, tell the guards that Daltus asked for you. If you meet a tall woman with gray hair and red eyes, she'll definitely know what you're talking about, got that?"

"Daltus, okay, got it," She repeated in concentration, than smiled wildly again. "Thank you so much for this, you have no idea how much it means to me!"

"Well, it's the least I can do really," he stood up and helped her to her feet. "Suppose I should be getting home. Wasn't exactly supposed to be gone this long. Oh, I'm gonna be in so much trouble with Impa…"

"Can't waltz back into the castle, then, can ya?" Faron giggled.

"No, but I know a way I can sneak back in, and find you a place to stay at the same time. Don't want you and that horse of yours crossing the fields in the dark, it's too dangerous. What was that horse of yours called again?"

"Epona," Faron said endearingly. 'Daniel' grinned.

"Epona, I like that name."


"Daniel, you should really try this stuff, it's magnificent!" Faron slurred as she held up a bottle trying to get it close to his lips. He was surprised how quickly she had downed the first bottle she ordered upon entering the tavern. He wasn't surprised by how quickly she had become tipsy and begun singing merrily afterwards. Luckily, he had averted the eyes of the equally drunken guards gathered at a nearby table, whom Faron was now attempting to harmonize with, the words too slurred to sound like a proper song. The dark skinned man behind the bar leaned over, chuckling.

"Didn't expect you to bring a girl back. You're really trying to get yourself in trouble, aren't you?"

"Talk about trouble, what are you doing serving a 'beverage' to a girl her age?"

"She says she's 18, who am I to question a woman's age? Besides, I always serve swordsmen, they do a fat lot more good than those idiot soldiers."

"You think she's some kind of warrior?"

"You think she's not?" The man looked at 'Daniel' with eyebrows raised.

"No, I definitely do not think that. She's just…something else, that's all."

"Why do I have a feeling you don't just mean her looks and personality?"

"Tes, can you just put her up for the night, she shouldn't be too much trouble. If she is, you know where to send the bill."

"Yeah, you bet I do. 'Night, 'Daniel.'" Tes teased and turned back to cleaning glasses. 'Daniel' rolled his eyes and Faron stumbled towards him.

"Are you leavin'?"

"Yeah, I am, it's been fun Faron, it really has." He smiled gently this time and set her down in a chair as he went to towards a ladder in the back of the tavern that led to Tes's attic and his 'alternate route'.

"I'm gonna see you again, pretty boy!" She slurred one more time before nearly passing out in the chair.

He laughed aloud as he began climbing the ladder. "Oh, yes you will, Faron, yes you will!"