Link looked out over his small village, after 17 years here it was time to leave, time to move on and well...move out. He had joined the Lanayru Province Guard as a junior member at age 9 and finally graduated into the ranks at age 15. It had only been two years since his first patrol with the other, longer serving members, it had only been two years that he had been a full fledged member, and now he was receiving an even greater honor, he was being promoted to the Castle town Guard; sure it's more training, but it's the capital of Hyrule, and home of the royal family, he could barely wait!
"And now these young soldiers, the elite within our elite, are moving on to a great destiny, a calling for which, only the best of the best are chosen" Master Elgon was exclaiming to the gathered villagers. Master Elgon was a former Captain in the Hyrulean military and since retiring from the service, became commander of the Lanayru Province Guard. Elgon was a middle aged man, but you wouldn't know this by looking at him, still toned and powerful looking, with long white hair and silver eyes, you could tell he was still the warrior he was when he was young. He was the best archer and swordsman in the province, and possibly the entire land of Hyrule.
"Am I the only one getting tired of standing here while Master Elgon just drones on?" Link heard from over his shoulder. Link was standing in the second line of the three there were, the lines being composed of those being transferred to the Castle Town Guard. "Shut up Oreck" Link said with a wry smile",
"Seriously, I'm starting to get kinda..dizzy, y'know?"
"Well maybe if you didn't drink so much..."
Link and Oreck let out an audible laugh together, catching themselves quickly, they looked at Master Elgon, who looked back to glare at them before saying, "Over time, our Guardsmen will learn to take their new duty more seriously" the crowd let out a short laugh, leaving Link and Oreck slightly embarrassed.
Elgon turned towards the guardsmen, and raising his sword, recited the Lanayru Province Pledge, and after that, led them in the Pledge of Service to the Royal family. Link and the other recruits sheathed their swords, took a bow, and received the Triforce medallion all Castle Town Guardsmen must wear. "Take this seriously, you are a uniquely talented warrior, that's why I chose you for this" Elgon said to Link quietly as he affixed the Medallion to the center of the chest plate of Link's armor. Link listened to Elgon as he went down the line, wondering if his commander complimented everyone like that, to his amusement, and confusion, all Elgon said to anyone else was "Good job Guardsmen, serve the people of Castle Town and the Royal family with pride."
Link stared out across the pub, seated across from Oreck, and another Guardsmen named Kallil, wondering if this was the last time he'd ever see it, he was snapped out of these thoughts by a loud clap right next to him.
"Wake up, Link!" Oreck said "Aren't you at all excited to be getting transferred to Castle Town? Hell, I know I am!"
"It's a great honor" Kallil chimed in "My family thought I was joking when I told them, my old man always told me I couldn't swing a sword". Oreck and Kallil laughed, with Link joining in.
"Yeah, I am excited." Link answered, still lost in thought.
"You doing alright? You've been kinda tired looking ever since the ceremony ended." Kallil asked.
"I know what it is" said Oreck with a smirk.
Link looked at him inquisitively, "Really Oreck? Do tell?" he remarked with a laugh.
"It's what Elgon said to you, I was right behind you, so of course I heard it, he seemed really proud of you, you're just trying to figure out if there's some meaning to what he said, right?"
Link looked at Oreck, then glanced at Kallil, who too, was staring at Link eagerly awaiting an answer.
"Um, yeah, that's it" Link said unconvincingly, in all honesty he had forgotten Elgon's compliment. Link was a natural with every type of weapon it seemed, why this was, he didn't know, but he was used to receiving compliments about it from villagers and instructors alike. Link was pleased when Oreck and Kallil nodded, believing they were correct, the truth was, he was scared, not of leaving his home, family and most of his friends, but of going to Castle Town. It was always a far off fantasy land, something that existed in his dreams...his dreams...when he was young he'd dream of slaying fearsome monsters, saving Princesses...well...the same Princess, over and over again...and sometimes she'd be the one doing the saving, the dreams were extraordinarily vivid, to the point he'd be baffled when he woke up, believing them to have been real. To this day he still had the dreams, but didn't take them as seriously as he did when he was a child. He rested his chin on his fist, with his elbow propped up on the table, he began to visualize the Princess's face, her flowing blonde hair, sky blue eyes, and fair skin, he began to smile without knowing it, visualizing her in a pink dress, he was scared, scared that she might just be a dream, what if she wasn't real?
"Big brother, big brother!"
Link was startled out of his fantasy by the familiar voice of his younger sister Nika, running over to him
"Looks like you've got a fan" Oreck said, followed by a good laugh on both he and Kallil's part.
Link looked back at them, with a smile he rolled his eyes, silently thankful he'd have at least two friends in Castle Town. Link walked over to his little sister and picked her up with one arm, Nika was 11 years younger than Link, by most standards this was a rather large age gap, but Link believed he got along with her better because of it.
"Is it true, are you leaving?" she asked, the sad expression on her face making Link want to reassure her.
"Yeah little sis, but I'll come back, you know that!" he said with a smile while putting her back on her feet, what he said did nothing to reassure her, the sad look she had became more pronounced, Link tensed up, knowing what was coming.
"But..but..father didn't" she said. Link looked at the ground, 9 years ago their father was called to duty, he was a soldier in the Royal Hylian Military, at the time the kingdom was at war with the neighboring land of Labrynna, many villagers were called to arms, and many didn't make it back. Seeing tears welling up in her eyes, Link hugged his little sister tight as he stood up still holding her.
"Promise you'll come back!"
"I promise I'll come back, safe and sound" said Link, "Besides, I'm only in the Castle Town Guard, not the military." Link looked his sister in the eyes, "Okay?" he asked, with a reassuring smile.
"Okay" she answered, smiling back, wiping a tear away.
Link turned to Oreck and Kallil, "I'll catch up with you later!"
"Remember, we're moving out toward Castle town in a couple hours, don't lose track of time." said Kallil.
"I won't!" Link shouted back as he left the pub.
"Nika, there you are!" Link heard from behind, he turned to see his mother racing towards them from the village square, "You had me worried!"
"Sorry mother" Nika said, staring at the ground.
"It's okay mother, she was just with me, having a drink" Link said.
"You better be joking, son" his mother said with a smile as she rolled her eyes.
"Don't worry, mother, I'll let her wait until she's old enough." answered Link with a laugh. She was a short woman, of slight build, with long blonde hair, and green eyes, even with her short stature, she could still be intimidating. Link's mother sent Nika towards the village square to play with the other children, she then turned to face Link.
"I know I've said this before, but I'm worried about you."
"Yes mother, I know, but currently Hyrule is at peace, and I've proven I can handle myself, also, I've got Kallil and Oreck watching my back, so I'd say there's nothing to be worried about!" Link sent his mother the same reassuring smile he gave Nika, hoping it would have the same effect. His mother looked off into the distance, toward where Elgon was directing the villagers in setting up the wagons, saddling the horses, and packing up numerous weapons.
"It's just, when your father left...he said he'd be back and..." she trailed off, turning her head towards her son.
"Don't worry mother, I promised Nika I'd come back, and that's what I intend to do, no matter what!". Link's mother laughed, something that caught Link off guard.
"I always imagined you would learn to be a blacksmith or a carpenter, stay here, marry one of the local girls..." she trailed off again and Link could see tears entering her eyes.
"It's okay mother, it really is, I'll visit as much as my schedule permits, I promise, besides, who knows, when I'm in Castle Town I might meet a Princess, how does having royal grandchildren sound?" Link said with a laugh. his mother looked up at him with a laugh.
"Oh you." she said with a smile.
Link laughed and added "What? It could happen!".
"I raised a kind young man, not a jester" she said, smiling at her son, "Come say bye to me and your sister before you leave, I'm going to make sure she's playing nice with the other children" she said as she started off toward the square.
"Okay!" Link shouted after her.
"Sorry I haven't been around recently..." Link heard from behind him, whirling around to see Marin, a childhood friend of his, and probably the "local girl" his mother spoke of.
"It's alright" replied Link with a smile and nervous laugh.
"My father says you probably won't be back for a while, is that true?"
"I'm not sure, I'll figure it out eventually though." Link said quietly with another smile, Marin beaming back, causing Link to blush slightly.
"I just regret...not saying some...certain things." Marin said, glancing away.
"It's...it's fine" Link said, "If it helps you can say them now." he added with a smile.
"Maybe when you come for you next visit." Marin said, looking away and visibly blushing.
"Alright, I'll hold you to that!" Said link cheerfully, although he was a little disappointed.
Seeing this Marin stood up on her toes and kissed Link on the cheek "I hope that will hold you over until then!" she said as she began to walk away, turning around to wave as Link waved back.
"I'm thankful I don't have to deal with all that." Link heard Oreck say from behind him.
"I already got it all over with." said Kallil, head turned sideways.
"How long have you two been there?" Link asked as he turned around, slightly embarrassed.
"Long enough to know you're not the big tough guy you make yourself out to be" Oreck teased with a smirk.
"I'll show you." Link said, "In fact, I already have, many times." he added with a laugh.
"Can't you guys just wait to fight until we get to Castle Town?" asked Kallil, clearly not amused.
"I'll show you during training." Oreck said in a mostly friendly, but slightly threatening manner.
"We'll see about that!" said Link with a smile, as the trio headed back towards the pub.
"Looking to get with Royalty, ey?" shot Oreck playfully.
"Shut up." Link retorted, followed with a somewhat forced laugh.
Link, Oreck, and Kallil had donned their armor again, now adorned with Castle Town symbols as opposed to those of the Lanayru Province.
"I like the blue, the silver, and the gold, but these red markings are a bit much" Said Kallil, looking at the royal crest and the surrounding design.
"Does it really matter?" replied Oreck "We're men of Castle Town now!" He said proudly, his attention turning to Link. "Hey Link, what have you got there?"
Link looked down at the small basket his mother and sister had surprised him with when he went to say bye, and assure them he'd be fine.
"Smells good, kinda like...is that a cake?" Kallil asked, looking at Link curiously.
"Is it?" Asked Oreck?
"Yeah." replied Link "I'd completely forgotten it was my birthday in a couple days, my mother and Nika, they wanted to surprise me with this before I left." Link couldn't help but smile, and feel a little bit of sadness as he watched his village fade into the distance, leaving his family and his childhood behind.
He was brought out of it by Oreck, "Man! So did I! I remember the big celebrations the village threw for our 15th birthdays!"
Link and Kallil nodded in agreement, smiling while reflecting on those days. "Don't worry Link, we're gonna find a good pub in Castle Town, and celebrate your 18th good and proper!" exclaimed Oreck, "any of you want to join?" He asked the other Guardsmen in the wagon. As Kallil and Oreck struck up a conversation with the other Guardsmen, Link looked off into the distance, thinking about the Princess from his dreams, he recalled his most frequent dream, it was a recurring nightmare of sorts he had been having since he was 4, it was just he and the Princess, surrounded by complete darkness, she'd lock eyes with him, turn around, and begin to walk away, no matter how fast he ran he could never catch up, she'd be gone, with him being left in the darkness alone, but then, only then, did he hear her voice...he remembered it so clearly.
Thanks for reading! This is the first fanfic I've written and I really appreciate your views!