Had it really been that long? Elia found it hard to tell now. The days slipped into each other, the
seasons passing without her noticing much.
Sure, she acted as though everything were normal, and on the outside it
was. But inside she was slowly dying,
even as her body went meticulously through the motions of everyday life.
That was how long it was supposed to
have been. Elia was supposed to have
been a ripe eighteen, eagerly awaiting his arrival. She would be outside, perhaps tending the garden, when he would
ride up on his horse. He would take her
into his big, strong arms and carry her away.
They would be wed. They would
take a nice trip somewhere, see the world.
He would know all about the best sights, and take her to them. And then they would come home to Kakariko to
settle down. She would give him
children. She thought four or five
might not be too much, perhaps even six.
Anything to make him happy.
Yes, for years now she had seen that
dream grow and build in her mind. The
happy expectation of reuniting with her love.
And then her eighteenth year had passed. And then her nineteenth.
And now, here she was, in the middle of her twentieth year, and still no
She had fulfilled her promise. She had waited. She had grown up. Her
long brown hair gained more waves. Her
hips and bust expanded, but she remained slender. She didn't grow more than an inch taller, though, leaving her at
barely over five feet. Link would still
tower over her. That she wouldn't
mind. She wished that Link were simply there
to tower over her.
Elia sighed. How much of the past five years had she
spent in her dream world? Was it
childish to be like that? Was she still
condemned to a lifetime of childhood, like the fabled Kokiri? Would Link never return?
She still had her old job at Dain's
Tavern. She liked it there. Dain was a good friend, her only
friend. Elia didn't really get interested
in finding other friends. Most of the
girls her age were busy starting families, and the other women in town were
either old and cranky or too engrossed in gossip. She avoided men; young and old ones were after her.
The only people she liked to talk to
would be adventurers coming through Kakariko.
Many were on important missions for Queen Zelda, and if they weren't,
they claimed to be. They had
fascinating tales to tell of terrifying monsters and lovely damsels in
distress. When she had the time, Elia
would sit and listen for an hour or two.
She cared little if the stories were, in reality, more fiction than
fact. They were at least a distraction.
Elia picked up the jug of beer next
to her and glided over to the man who had called her. When she had been a child, Elia had had very clumsy
tendencies. Maturing had given her
grace and stealth.
"You're a pretty one,"
said the man with a big grin, watching with greedy eyes as the woman poured him
a fresh drink. Less could be said about
the man's appearance. He was probably
at least fifty, with graying hair and wrinkles. He was also a bit pudgy, seeming well fed for the rags he wore.
"Thank you," Elia told him politely, secretly wishing to
leave the man's company. She forced a
smile and said, "How are you this afternoon, sir?"
"It's been a long time since
anyone called me 'sir'," he chuckled, more to himself than to Elia. "Missy, could you be bothered to have a
talk with an old, lonely man?"
Elia looked around. The tavern was virtually empty, since it was
the middle of the afternoon. Most of
the men, even the drunkards, had to be out to help with the autumn's
harvest. Elia sighed quietly to herself
and obliged him, sitting down with a small glass of beer for herself.
Dain could be seen from the
kitchen. She was discreet, but Elia
knew that the older woman was watching her to make sure no trouble
aroused. Dain had a keen eye for
trouble, but she also knew that it was Elia's duty to appease the customers.
"Where are you from, sir?"
Elia asked, again forcing the fake smile.
She thought him too old to try and woo her with tales of dragons and
princesses, and wouldn't be surprised to find out if he was a farmer from
another village ducking out on his responsibilities.
"I," he started, taking a
big sip of his drink, "am a traveling merchant."
That didn't sound too
unbelievable. Elia blinked suddenly,
thinking about her father. Was he in
another tavern somewhere, having the same conversation with another serving
"What's the matter,
missy?" asked the man, noticing her slightly panicked expression.
Elia shook her head. "Nothing, I was just thinking about my
father." She pushed back a long
strand of wavy brown hair that had managed to escape the white hood she wore. "Do not worry about it."
He nodded. "Well, I have a tale for you from the city I was just
"Pwyre?" she repeated, the
word terribly unfamiliar to her.
"Where in Hyrule is that?"
The man chuckled. "'Tis not in Hyrule, but in a land far
to the west." He got a distant
look in his eyes. "Yes, a land far,
far away. It is Hyrule's forgotten
brother nation, Diola."
She'd never heard of it before. Perhaps he was just spinning tales. "I'm afraid I'm not acquainted with the
idea of this 'Diola'," she said, the skepticism creeping into her voice.
"I said it was
'forgotten'. Yes, many years ago, Diola
soldiers fought bravely alongside Hylians.
A magical seal was placed in front of the land by a misguided emperor,
who thought he was protecting his people.
However, he only succeeded in lengthening the war for the other peoples
who were fighting. He thought his
people safe, but really they just grew angry and overthrew the government
system. The land has been in turmoil
"Meanwhile, the Hylian King was
working on unifying the peoples and lands here. 'Peace' came, and his brother, the Emperor of Diola, had long
since fallen. He faded from existence,
just as easily as the Hylians forgot about their brothers. For you see, Hylians were truly descendants
of Ancient Diola."
The man took a big swig of his beer,
some dribbling down his double chin.
Eager to hear more, Elia poured him more of the smelly drink. He wiped his face with the back of his
tattered sleeve and continued.
"Where was I? Ah, yes.
You see, Diola is a land of magic.
The people there were once content to relish in the gifts the Goddesses
had given them. But some of them, later
to be Hylians, wanted to get closer to the gods. Because of their long ears," he said, pointing to his own,
"they could hear the gods. They
grew greedy, and soon began pilgrimages to find the spot of the Triforce, a
relic rumored to possess immense powers.
"They were lead by a hot-headed
general, a man of surprisingly great nobility, courage, and wisdom. He was actually the one to touch the
Triforce and change Hyrule into what it is today--did you know that? Ah well, that is another tale.
"There was a group of holy
priests traveling on the same pilgrimage as the general. They saw it's power and foresaw great
tragedies if they left it how it was.
So, they erected the Temple of Time to protect it. The general became the first King of Hyrule,
situating his castle close to the sacred Temple of Time. The relic sealed away, the pilgrims lost
their greed and soon wanted to settle down.
And so Hyrule was born, growing from the spot of ultimate holiness. It expanded to touch and join the lands of
the Sheikah, Kokiri, Zoras, Gorons, and, most dangerously, the Gerudo."
"So they were all here before
Hylians--I mean the Diola people?" Elia asked, gazing at him intently.
He nodded. "'Tis the same, I suppose.
The Hylians soon forgot their roots, believing themselves destined
protectors of the Temple of Time. They
thought that they had always been in Hyrule!" He scoffed, sipping his beer yet again. "Thank you," he said when Elia poured him some more.
"But you said that Diola fought
with Hyrule during the war."
"Well, the Hylians conveniently
remembered their long lost homeland in times of desperation. The Diolans were resentful, but the Hylian
rulers--at that time Hyrule was commanded by a pair of liars, the ones who
started the war in the first place--promised to mend the ties and reunite with
them, after the fighting was through." The man chuckled.
"Of course, that was a war of a hundred years ago. There were a great many wars in the past few
hundred years, which explains Hyrule's sparse population.
"The Diolans didn't trust
Hyrule again until the last war, the great war that split Hyrule's lands into
an infinite number of pieces. They did
not join in until the King of Hyrule, Zelda's father, personally addressed the
Emperor of Diola. With Diola backing it
up, Hyrule's victory seemed sure--until the old emperor died and his foolish
son took over."
"He was the one who made the
"Yes. He might have been a fool, this Manlyn (that was his name), but
he was a powerful sorcerer. And so he
summoned his soldiers back to the palace, and made a barrier between Diola and
"What became of the barrier,
then? And of Emperor Manlyn?"
"Who knows what became of Manlyn!"
the old man said disdainfully.
"With rumors of mutiny, Manlyn disappeared. The barrier faded away a short while ago--I
would say three years or so.
"And that brings me to what I
was talking about in the first place," he said finally. "I was recently traveling in
Diola. I stopped in the city of Pwyre
and I heard of a man, a Hylian hero who was trapped in a tower--"
Elia gasped. "It wasn't Link, was it? Link, the Hero of Time?"
Dain cleared her throat from the
Elia looked up to see a group of men
walking in. She excused herself and got
up to attend to the new customers. Then
she returned to the table, very interested in talking to the man she had seen
All she found were a few rupees next
to the empty beer mug.