I have a little treat for you, seeing as I've finished my coursework and am in an exceptionally good mood. This is the prologue for one of the fics that has been going through my mind like a bushfire at the moment, and has been the source of many doodles and imaginary conversations between characters in my head. (The voices are talking to me again, be afraid!)

Now to business. Er herm.

Disclaimer: The original characters in this story (of whom there will be many) belong to Lucinda Hill and come from that mushy grey place between her ears. The wonderful characters who you're all familiar with belong to Shigeru Miyamoto, the God of Gaming.

This is a totally different Hyrule to the one included in the Endeffera saga. Totally different. And this story is a lot more grown up than Endeffera and Hyrule Tournament, more like some aspects of Heroes of Hyrule. I will be continuing this story after Endeffera has been finished, which with a little luck it will be soon. Only if this preview generates enough interest though...


by anime animal


He was being followed, that much was obvious.

The rain slapped against his cloak, its impermeability rendered useless due to the unrelenting downpour and making absolutely no positive effect on the state of his dryness. Soaked to the bone was soaked to the bone, cloak or no cloak.

I can't stop though, not until I'm somewhere that they can't come after me.

He swallowed hard and kept running, his heart hammering against his chest painfully. Every muscle in his body screamed at him to stop, but rest was a luxury he could not afford.

Damn damn damn.

He cursed inwardly at his stupidity. Anyone could have seen that they'd soon figure out that he was gone, and they must have sensed that something was afoot which was why all the horses had been left unshod. Over this sort of terrain, a shoeless horse was totally useless. They had known that he'd run, they knew that it was her only chance. And because it was her only chance, he had to do it. Even though he was scared, even though he was alone and nowhere near strong enough to make a difference he would help her.

That was if he could get away from these idiots.


Arran stretched his long legs out and put his mud encrusted boots on the top of the table. He sighed leisurely and looked around his surroundings with an air of satisfaction.

"Y'know sweetie, if my boss saw you like this then I'd lose my job."

He smiled at the pretty young barmaid and winked.

"Ah, but you know that you wouldn't. You're the only good thing about this place, Pella."

She blushed a rosy pink colour to the roots of her red-gold hair.

"Arran, you are nothing but a hopeless flatterer."

He took her hand and kissed it softly.

"Only where flattery is due, beautiful."

Her blush deepened in tone until she was called over to another table. Arran watched her leave and smiled satisfactorily to himself.

"I believe that this evening's about to get interesting."

"Oh please, do you always think of women as sexual conquests?" a small, shrill voice asked.

Arran rolled his eyes and deliberately ignored the speaker, turning instead to the other man at the table.

"Do you think that you can get that fairy to shut up?"

Without looking up, his companion shook his head.

"Maybe if you showed her some respect..."

Arran snorted in disgust.

"Gimme a break man, since when do we show it respect?"

The fairy's aura turned from pale blue to red.

"It happens to be your advanced warning system bud, so don't start with me."

"Cool it firefly, you might burn your bulb out. With a bit of luck."

Before the fairy could think of an appropriate reply, the door to the tavern flew open with a loud thud.

"Which one of you lowlife scum answers to the name of Arran?"

The landlord made to pacify the newcomer but was interrupted by Arran standing up.

"I'm Arran."

His companion rolled his eyes in disbelief at his friend's stupidity. Clearly when allotting blessings to people, the gods had forgotten to issue brains to the man in addition to his looks.

The newcomer was a huge man with a thick, ruddy beard and a chest like a barrel. Arran's dark eyes flickered nervously to the man's enormous hands.

"You've been sniffing around my wife."

Arran maintained his composure while swallowing a lump the size of a Cucco's egg.

"I have?"

"Here we go again," the fairy whispered, perching on Arran's friend's head. "Maybe you wanna step in and sort this out before it gets ugly."

He shook his head lightly  .

"He needs to learn a lesson."



Arran was starting to look particularly uncomfortable with the situation and was well aware that all eyes were on him and the bear he was confronted with.

"I'm sure there's been some sort of misunderstanding..."

"I'm sure there hasn't been."

He swung for the wiry younger man and his fist connected with his jaw with a mighty smack that caused even the fairy to wince. Arran's head shot backwards before he straightened himself up again, rubbing his jaw with his eyes sparkling full of mischevious intent.

"Well you sure punch like a man," he said slowly. "It's a pity that you can't do other things like a man, at least according to Susa."

"You dirty son of a-"

"Uh uh, there are ladies present," Arran teased.

Both spectating fairy and man sighed.

"Three, two, one..." the fairy muttered.

"I'll teach you some manners!" the irate husband roared, pulling a knife from his belt.

He lunged towards the unsuspecting Arran, only to be stopped when something cold and sharp pressed itself against his throat.

"Do you really think that you should be doing that?"

He found himself staring into the hard blue eyes of Arran's companion who held a broadsword to his neck.

"Put the knife away. He's a dirty bastard, I'll give you that, but killing him lowers you to something worse than him. Take this outside and without weapons if you have to take some kind of retribution for his act."

"Who are you to interfere?"

The older man growled and continued to advance forward. The blade of the sword pressed more firmly against his flesh.

"I'll not tell you again." The swordsman's voice had developed a harsher tone. "Put the knife away or take up your problems with me."

It wasn't the man's sword that made him change his mind, it was the uncompromising look of severity that filled his entire face. He dropped the knife on the floor.

"Thank you. You can go ahead and hit him now if you like."

Arran shook his head wildly before the man's fist once again connected with his face.


"Man, you suck." Arran pressed his fingertips against the swelling over his left eye and winced again. "You totally suck."

"It serves you right for sleeping with that man's wife," the fairy quipped in a singsong voice.

"Bite me Navi."

The fairy poked a miniscule tongue out at him and flittered out of his reach as he swung at her.

"Can't you do something about her?"

He was met with silence from his friend who rode ahead of him.

"Aw geez Link, you're not still mad at me?"

Again, he was confronted with a mute wall.

"I coulda taken that guy you know, if I had my sword with me I coulda-"

"Holy Farore Arran do you ever shut up?" Link snapped. "Every town we come to it's the same thing. We settle in, get along with people, almost get accepted and then you damn well go and spoil things by sleeping with some buxom tart wearing a gold band on her left hand! When are you going to grow up?"

Arran glared at his friend's back.

"Well excuse me for having urges, I'm only a man after all."

"You want to satisfy yourself? Then find a brothel."

Navi responded with an impressed 'ooh' and then sat on her partner's right shoulder.

"You know I agree with you about the hormone driven idiot but don't you think that you're being a little bit too harsh?"

Link looked at his longtime partner from the corner of his eye.

"He needs to wake up and take a long hard look at himself. We can't keep getting kicked out of towns because he can't keep his snake in his trousers."

"Perhaps it's a good thing," Navi said softly.


"How many years has it been since we went home?"

A pregnant pause fell between them as Link stared ahead.

"It's been sixteen years Link."

"We can't go back."

Navi fell silent and flew to sit on Epona's forelock, glancing over her bare shoulder at the man she had spent most of her life with. He was barely recognisable from the ten year old she had first encountered all those years ago, and it wasn't just the added height, the deep voice and the disgarding of his Kokiri clothing. She knew too well why it was.

The Hylian had left Hyrule, but Hyrule was still very much within him and he mourned for it. He longed to return to the land of his birth; to run through the wooded glades of the Kokiri Forest, to swim in the crystal waters of Lake Hylia, to race Epona across Hyrule Field and feel the wind flowing through hishair.

But as long as Phineas held something that was wrongfully his, Link knew that he could never go home.



Navi: Yay, you put me in it!

A.A *grumbles*: Alas.

Link: OK, I'm thoroughly confused. Why am I hanging around in bars with the fairy fiend and a bigger player than me?

A.A: Because you're in exile.

Link: I am?

A.A: Yes.

Link: Why?

A.A:... Um...

Navi: Ha, she doesn't know!

A.A: She, I mean I, do to. I'm just saving that part for later.

Link: Yeah, but why is the fairy there?

A.A: Later sweetie, later.

Link: And who is it that's running away and why?

A.A: Later.

Link: And who's this Arran bloke?

A.A: Ah well, he's your travelling partner/best friend...

Link: But Zelda is my best friend.

A.A: ...Who you met on your travels. He's thirty-one and year younger than you...

Link: Woah wait, I'm thirty two?!

Navi *looking up from anime animal's doodle pad full of character designs*: And you have a beard.

Link: I WHAT?!

A.A: Sexy Aragorn stubble, I promise.

Link: Yeah but...

Navi: Ooh, who's this Phineas you mentioned?

A.A: Well, if people want to find out, then they can review and ask me to continue.

Link: Oh brother, she's using this tactic again...

A.A: Yes I am. And they're going to reveiw cause they want to know who Phineas is, and I'm not going to say until the first chapter. Heh heh heh.