Title: Festival of Waves
Pairing(s): Omg, it's a surprise! (Not really, but it should be easy for you to guess).
Note(s): The revision process starts... again. I can't believe I'm revising a revision. I'm never satisfied with my work. Yes, the story is going to be dramatically different by the time I'm done with it. I'm changing the title to "Festival of Waves" since "Windfall's Valentine Ball" was downright cheesy, and Valentine's Day probably didn't exits back then. I'm also eradicating Elena from the story, since I never liked her character, and she served no purpose other than to be Makar's love interest. Besides, I've got something else in store for the little guy.
Chapter 1: The Return to Land
"Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart."
She was tired and she was ready to claw someone's eyes out.
Tetra normally wasn't one to get sick of the sea; but after nearly two months of being trapped on deck with her idiotic shipmates, she was starting to feel claustrophobic. The endless miles of surrounding water had become dizzying, the normally soothing rock of the boat was now nauseating, and the usually refreshing spray of the ocean on her face had turned cold and unpleasant. Yes, it was to the point she either return to land, or murder everyone on deck; which was exactly why she ordered the ship to turn around and return to Windfall where she would try to regain some of her lost sanity. The search for new lands would have to wait.
That order was given nearly a week ago, and now everyone's patience was thinning; even the ever-sweet Medli was more irritable than usual. Thankfully, Windfall, after several painstakingly long days of search, was at last in sight. Tetra sat idly at the front of the ship, gazing longingly at the island that seemed so far away from where they sailed. In reality, they were approximately two hours time away, but to everyone on board, that may as well have been a lifetime.
Tetra shut her eyes and rubbed the back of her neck, feeling sore. She hadn't slept much lately. No one really had after their beds started to reek of sweat and rotten seafood; they didn't exactly have the time, or even the provisions, to actually wash anything. Tetra sneaked a peek at the distant patch of land, which seemed no closer to them than it did five minutes ago.
Suddenly, she felt a mix of frustration, anger, and lack of sleep climb up her throat, ready to burst forth as a cry of distress.
"Medli!" she bellowed so loudly that everyone on deck would hear. After a brief moment of silence, with exception to the sound of the waves crashing against the sides of the ship, Tetra could hear the pitter-patter of Medli's feet running towards her.
"You called, Miss Tetra?" she asked as she approached the young captain from behind. There was a slight edge of resentment in her voice; if it were anyone else, Tetra would have called them out on it.
"Medli, do you believe you are able to make the flight from here to Windfall?" asked Tetra bluntly, not even bothering to cast the Rito a glance. The former attendant hesitated. She was tired as it was, and flying most definitely was not her strength. She almost considered telling the captain the Komali would be much better suited for a trip across the ocean, but dismissed the thought; she was approaching seventeen years of age, she could handle it herself.
"Yes," she answered firmly.
"Good," said Tetra before finally turning to face the Rito. "Then I need you to take whatever monetary provisions we have left and fly ahead to Windfall. I'm quite frankly sick of trying to sleep on a bed that smells like dead fish, so I'm willing to drop a couple of hundred rupees to get a few rooms at the Windfall inn." After a moment's pause, Tetra winked. "So, whaddaya say? Would you be willing to make us some reservations?"
The concept of sleeping in a warm (and sanitary) bed visibly brightened Medli's mood. She quickly nodded and bowed.
"I won't let you down, Miss Tetra, " she said before running off to collect the rupees below deck, nearly tripping over her tiny feet from her excitement. Tetra merely pinched the bridge of her nose and sighed.
The transition from Korok to human had been a long and awkward stage of Makar's life. No one had exactly expected it to happen, but it seemed that after Ganon's death, some sort of... curse had been broken. Over time, his wood-like texture became fleshy and warm, he grew fingers and toes, dark and messy hair sprouted from the top of his head, and he became... well, human.
Of course, there were still some features about him that were rather tree-like. He was still a rather small and frail being by human standards, but if he stretched out his long and lanky arms, they almost looked branches. His hair didn't look quite normal either, in fact, it was almost... leafy. He thankfully was not the only Korok to experience these changes, however; from what he understood, all of his companions in Forest Haven had made the transformation, too.
That fact still didn't stop Makar from feeling downright odd in the company of a crowd, though. While that it was true he indeed more closely resembled a person, people could easily tell that there was something not quite right about him. Komali often joked that there was no need to worry about his botanical appearance when he, himself had a giant beak for a nose. This assurance always did make Makar feel a little bit better, (especially since it came from prince) but the way people stared bothered him.
"You okay there, Makar?" asked Link, who had been keeping the frail boy company that evening.
"Yeah, I'm fine," he muttered plainly, though it was quite obvious he was lying.
"Well..." Link hesitated. "Nudge announced a few minutes ago that Zuko spotted Windfall. We should be there in no time."
Hearing that they were approaching Windfall brought about a bittersweet feeling within Makar. He would normally be ecstatic to be reaching land (he was, after all, much more adept to soil rather than seas), but he couldn't help that worry the relentless eyes of the townsfolk would fall upon him again, like they did every time.
Komali arose from below deck just in time to see Medli take flight. At first, he thought she was just planning to circle the ship a few times to stretch her wings, although he quickly noticed that she was actually headed somewhere-to Windfall, in particular. For a moment, he panicked and prepared to go after her, but his rash 'rescue mission' was loudly interrupted by Tetra.
"Oh, for the love of Nayru, don't freak out, lover boy," she said, rolling her eyes. "She'll be perfectly fine; she's going to reserve us a few rooms at the local inn. Won't that be nice?"
"You mean you put her up to this?"asked Komali, his voice a mix of both shock and anger. "You know her wings aren't very strong."
Tetra looked offended, upset he'd dare to use such a tone with her as the captain, even if he was royalty (she was too, though she was rarely willing to acknowledge it). She looked prepared to yell, to lash out with all of her angers and frustrations that had developed over the past few weeks, but at the last moment, she clenched her fists and turned away. He was just worried; it would do neither of them any good to argue.
"Look," she began in as calm a voice as possible, "Medli will be fine. I wouldn't have asked her to do it if I didn't think she could; I was even nice enough to ask if she thought she could." Komali still looked unconvinced, though he said nothing.
"Just have a little faith in her," continued Tetra, casually leaning back against the rails. "She doesn't always need you to come rescue her."
The pirate was referring to how Komali was constantly looking out for Medli now; whenever he felt she was in danger, he was always first to swoop in and save her. It was ironic since just a few years before, the tables were turned and she was always the one looking out for him. But he had grown up a lot physically since then while she... well, she had grown up physically too, but in a much different way.
Over the past few years, Medli had blossomed into a beautiful young Rito woman. If she still resided on Dragon Roost, dozens of suitors would be lining up to marry her (he would be too, if courtship with peasant Ritos wasn't forbidden). Knowing this had caused Komali to develop a sense of protection over her; as well as a reason to join her travels with Tetra and the rest of the pirates. His father couldn't prevent him from doing anything if he was across the sea, now could he?
Komali sucked in his breath and nodded.
Medli nearly fell to the ground after as she reached land, exhausted from her flight. Her pale cheeks were flushed with heat, sweat dribbling down her forehead. After several deep breaths, she pushed herself off her knees into a standing position. Her feet were slightly wobbly at first, but after a moment's time, she regained her bearings.
And then, she smiled. She had done it. She had to admit that she had had doubts about whether she could make the flight, but she had actually done it.
The Rito glanced back, trying to catch sight of the ship. The distance of the flight wasn't long at all by usual Rito standards; there were a few select postmen who could easily make it from Dragon Roost all the way to Outset without stopping. Now that she thought about, it was quite pitiful how far her wings could carry her compared to everyone else in her tribe.
Medli shook her head. It simply couldn't be helped; while other Ritos spent their time testing their endurance and building up their wing strength, she was charged with the responsibility of caring for Valoo, which eventually led her to be called as the Earth Sage. And because of that, she was now caught up in this insane journey with Tetra and her band of bumbling pirates to search for the new land they would call Hyrule...
After a few minutes, Medli gave up on trying to spot the ship, remembering the reason for why she was sent to Windfall. She reached down and opened the small shoulder bag in which she had placed the rupees Tetra had instructed her to retrieve. The Rito breathed a sigh of relief to see that the two large orange rupees were still there.
Medli had no idea what the precise time was, but the empty marketplace told her that it was late into the evening. For a brief moment, she worried that perhaps the inn would be closed and she wouldn't able to reserve any rooms. However, she was quickly distracted when she felt a drop of rain fall upon the tip of her beak. She ruffled her feathers in surprise and picked up her pace; she didn't realize a storm was coming.
Thankfully, the inn was open. Medli cautiously stepped inside, curiously peering at the innkeeper that stood behind the front desk. The innkeeper had flecks of gray in her faded, red hair and dark, sunken eyes that indicated her lack of sleep. She only noticed Medli after she began to approach the desk. The middle-aged woman's tired, gray eyes settled upon the young beauty.
"May I help you?" she asked blearily, suppressing a yawn.
"Yes," began Medli quietly, looking up at her with sympathy. There probably was a time when she was vivacious and beautiful, although it was clear age was beginning to wear her down. "I need to reserve a few rooms for tonight." She hesitated before adding, "But we may end up staying for more nights than one. My, uh..."
Medli struggled for the right word; it would be unwise to say 'captain' since it might cause the innkeeper to suspect her of piracy. She was aware Windfall had a rich history of pirate raids (some of which were probably performed by Tetra and her crew in earlier years) because of its large and wealthy market, so even the slightest whiff of pirates could cause widespread panic. She cringed upon thinking how furious Tetra would be if the crew were forced to leave before they even arrived.
"My... employer wasn't specific." Medli felt very stupid saying it, but the innkeeper didn't seem to notice.
"How many rooms?" the woman asked, fumbling for a couple sets of room keys under her desk. Medli paused to silently calculate the answer to her question.
"... I believe four rooms will suffice," said the Rito finally. The woman nodded and set aside four sets of keys, their silvery surface covered in a thin layer of rust.
"It's 20 rupees per room for a night," clarified the innkeeper. "That's... 80 rupees." It was evident her weariness was affecting how fast she was able to think. Medli nodded and pulled out one of the large orange rupees. The woman's eyes widened and Medli's cheeks flushed pink; orange rupees tended to be an uncommon form of payment, due to both their rarity and value (this fact forced Medli to wonder whether Tetra had obtained such rare coinage legally or not).
"Ah... yes," muttered the woman, accepting the orange rupee and rummaging to find a red rupee to return to the Rito. Medli waited nervously, averting her gaze from the innkeeper to whatever else there was in the room... the chipped teacup on the edge of the desk... the burning candle that sat next to it... the potted plant in the corner... until her eyes finally settled on some sort of poster that had been poorly pasted upon the wall.
"What's that?" asked Medli, pointing to the poster. The woman rose her eyes up to Medli's warily and then glanced at where she was pointing.
"Oh... that's just an announcement for the annual Festival of Waves... its supposed to celebrate Windfall's history and its strong ties with the ocean," explained the woman tiredly. "If you ask me though, they really should hold the celebrations off longer. All it does this time of year is rain, and it really drives off tourism."
"What are the celebrations like?" asked Medli, pressing for further details.
"Well..." The innkeeper finally managed to retrieve the required change. "It used to be this week-long event with parades and dancers and all different stands and stalls lining the streets. A ball would be held on the last day and everyone who participated always had the most wonderful time..." She frowned. "But the celebrations have since then been reduced to nothing but the ball, so its a wonder as to why they still call it the Festival of Waves when there's no actual festival."
Medli nodded and dropped the subject, although she was officially intrigued; she had never heard of this celebratory tradition on Windfall before, nor had she ever experienced anything of the sort back home; the only thing that perhaps came close were the private parties held to celebrate a young Rito receiving a scale from Valoo.
After Medli received her change and the four room keys, she hurried outside of the inn. It had started to rain a little bit harder now, but she nonetheless returned to the docks to see if the rest of the crew had arrived yet.
Her heart fell when she discovered they hadn't. She took refuge under a tree and waited. And waited.
Link had been in the middle of catnap when Senza came to him with the news that he was wanted on deck. At first, he rolled over and muttered that whatever Niko's situation was, it could be handled without him. Senza then informed him that it was actually Tetra who had called for him. Link immediately got up.
The young captain was waiting for him outside, tapping her foot impatiently. It was raining lightly, which had caused the blonde tendrils of hair near her face to curl. Her nose was wrinkled slightly, an indicator of her sour mood.
"What took you so long?" she demanded, clearly agitated.
"Sorry," he apologized, yawning. "I was sleeping." Tetra stared at him with a look that had a touch of both disgust and awe in it.
"You were actually able to sleep with how horrible it smells down there?" she asked, incredulous.
"I've slept under worse conditions," he reminded her. It was true; several years back when he had stepped up to fulfill his role as the Hero of Winds, he had the pleasure of sleeping in some rather... unfavorable places. Tetra shut her mouth and turned away.
"Oh, right," she mumbled to herself. Her shoulders sagged slightly and she seemed to be thinking. Link stood behind her, watching and waiting for her to speak again. After a few extra seconds of Tetra's silence, the young hero began to feel knots form in his stomach from the obvious awkward tension that was growing. He hated this; it seemed now that every time he was in Tetra's presence, she would grow quiet and ponderous, and he would have no idea what to say or do.
"Uh... Tetra?" he asked in an-almost whisper, just loud enough for her to hear.
"Hm?" Her head snapped up in surprise. "What? What do you want?"
"... Didn't you want me up here for something?" he asked, making a slight gesture to the area around them.
"Oh... Oh yeah... " She seemed more distracted than anything else. "... I don't remember why. Well, whatever it was, it probably wasn't very important. Go make yourself useful doing whatever it is you usually do." The pair just stood there and stared at one another, both clearly uncomfortable with the situation. Tetra was the first to break eye contact, stiffly walking away to attend to her other duties as the ship's captain.
Link sighed and returned below deck. As he clumsily stumbled down the stairs, he hypothesized that perhaps this "awkwardness" between him and Tetra was simply caused by their horrendous lack of sleep. Or maybe they had both gone a little bit crazy after being surrounded by nothing but seawater for two months.
"Either way," he thought as he pulled his filthy sheets over him to resume his nap, the pungent smell of rotten fish filling his nostrils, "everything will return to normal after we reach Windfall."
Or so he hoped.
Comment(s): Uh... yeah, if you can't tell, it's almost like the re-rewrite is loosely based off of the original. But the original sucked anyway, so whatever. This chapter essentially identifies the five main characters of the story: Tetra, Link, Medli, Komali, and little Makar. Hope it was enjoyable!
Makar Turning Human: Supposedly (this is running with a theory I've heard several time over the net), the Kokiri turned into the Koroks after Ganondorf rose again. It would only make sense he and the rest of the Koroks would return to being Kokiri after he was defeated.
Royal Courtship: It's been a repeated tradition throughout history that royalty courts and marries other royalty. I simply applied this concept to the Rito Tribe and to Prince Komali.
Wing Strength: People build up leg strength to make them run faster, Ritos build up wing strength to make them fly farther. It's as simple as that, yup yup.
Orange Rupees: Worth 100 each. They're rare to find in the game, so I presume they're rare coinage.
Red Rupees: Worth 20 each.