Chapter Seven: Riding, Riding, Sudden Stop (Ilia's Perspective)

And so we had left the vicinity of Hyrule Castle Town, leaving Princess Zelda to her duties, mounted upon our two trusty mares.

You know, I never realized how strange that sounds. Usually it is "trusty steed," but both Lilly and Epona are females, so I kind of have to use the word "mare." Alright, this is really beside the point.

Anyways, I was riding through Hyrule field with Link. The wind was blowing through our hair. It felt so good, like the wind could stop time everywhere in the world except for around us. Just for a few moments of avoiding interruption, if nothing more.

I smiled at him, but he seemed so preoccupied. The smile quickly dropped away from my face. Ever since Zelda had spoken of this "Twilight Princess" Link has had a strong look of determination in his eyes; that determination that he gave me once before when he had protected me and the others on our way to Kakariko for the very first time. Back when I had lost my memory of him.

But why was this princess so important to him? It wasn't like he had been close to her or anything, right? I mean, he traveled all over Hyrule, and the Twili people could only live in darkness…right? Could it be that Link…perhaps had feelings for her? No, I must be imagining things. How could he even know of this princess? Unless…he had gone into the darkness…no, what a silly thing to think, something like that isn't even possible.

"Link," I began. He just kept on staring forward, although he did nudge his head to the side to acknowledge that I had spoken, so I continued to speak.

"I missed you."


"Why didn't you come back to Ordon? We were all so worried about you. Well, at least Uli and I were. And Colin and the other kids…"

Still no answer.

"Fado has been having a lot of trouble with the goats; as usual…he's been waiting for you to come back so he has an assistant again…"

Link sighed. I admit, that probably wasn't anything new. Fado always had trouble with the goats. And I'm sure everyone knew that already. And Link would probably hang out with the princess than herd Fado's goats anyways. Wait, what am I saying? Link isn't like that…Link isn't so self-centered like that.

"I came looking for you."

He nodded in response. He didn't even give me a glance. I was starting to feel neglected. Was this strange princess of the twilight so important to him? More important than I was to him? Just what is it with him and princesses?

"So…about what happened last night…" I began, wanting to know exactly what had gone on. Link had been so out-of-character it was almost scary. But then again, he was almost an adult. It's just that I had always thought he had more self-control than that. I've always known him to think before he acted…but now…something must be wrong. He was…almost like an animal. Almost like…a wolf…

No, what am I saying? Link is nothing like that. This was…as much as I hate to admit it, I suppose it was partially my fault. I wanted him to do it. Well, part of me wanted it. The other part of me was just curious to see why the other side of me wanted it. And another side of me still was afraid of it. All of that together made this all so much more…I don't know, fiery for lack of a better word. All that heat, and passion, and lust, all mixed in together inside of a pot of broiling misunderstanding. Neither of us knew or understood exactly what we were getting into.

"But what about when you kissed me? By the fountain?"

He blushed when I brought this up, probably from shame, and his eyes eased, becoming sorrowful and filled with regret. I could tell that he was pleading for forgiveness. But it was not an apology that I was after. It was an answer. I didn't want him to feel shame for what he did; I wanted him to tell me why the hell it happened. I needed him to.

"Why did you do it?" Okay, that was an admittedly stupid question, but it needed answering nonetheless.

He shied his face away from mine. Then he made Epona speed up. So I sped Lilly up. He wasn't going to avoid me that easily. I watched as we sped passed the plains and the hills, racing each other. I was starting to feel slightly dizzy from the speed.

"If you can't tell me why, then at least tell me if you meant it."

Link's eyes filled with shame. I suddenly felt very selfish and rude for asking this. The whole time, he was trying to apologize; I should have known that he didn't mean to do that. Though somewhere deep inside of me, I wished he had. My heart sank lower than it ever had before as I realized just how much I was hurting him. I quickly tried to change the subject. I cleared my throat.

"So…why did the princess want us to help reforge the Mirror of Twilight anyways? What's so important about it?" Even if I wasn't a little bit jealous about anything, I was still curious. After all, even her highness Princess Zelda acted as if the very object was what was holding the fabric of the universe together. It's got to be pretty important for someone so wise to believe something like that so strongly, right?

His reply was but a single word. "Midna."

My heart sank. Midna? Who on earth is Midna? The Twilight Princess? If this whole journey is just so Link and Zelda can see this Midna person, princess, whatever she may be, I'm going to feel so used…I would have been so used! But then again, what if this Midna person had some kind of magic powers? What if she really did hold the balance of the universe in check? Of course, I don't really believe that one single person could possess such power, but anything could happen, right?

I mentally sighed. I didn't feel like questioning things anymore. I had a major headache, and I had had it with all of this nonsense about everything. No more Twilight Mirror…no more dwelling on what happened last night…no more Twilight Princess…no more Midna.

The rest of our ride was silent. For a while, the uncomfortable silence surrounded the both of us. Where silence was once a sign of peace between us, it was now an ominous reminder of how we were only pushing each other apart by continuing with this love affair.

I decided to take in the scenery that was around me so I could forget about my troubles for the time being. There was no way I was going to dwell on this any longer. And since Link apparently had no objections, not like he ever did anyways because I always seem to be the assertive on in this relationship, I was just going to sit there and let my eyes have their fill.

I had never noticed that the world outside of Ordon was so beautiful. Green was everywhere, and there were huge mountains and canyons and cliffs sprinkled across the wide expanse of land. In the distance, I could see a huge, stone bridge that led to someplace else. Maybe a separate province or something. We were quickly approaching that bridge…which happened to stretch across a vast lake. A really vast lake. The body of water itself must have been over twice the size of Ordon Village! And then the land surrounding it…it must have been at least the size of Ordon if it could be all clumped together into one mass.

In the middle of my observations, I was suddenly awoken from my daydreams of comparison. We suddenly stopped, Epona careening to a halt, and Link was about to fall off of her, hanging on only by a single hand. I quickly stopped Lilly. Epona neighed frightfully and urgently.

"What is it?" I asked, hopping down from Rusl's horse and helping Link down from Epona.

Epona kicked the dirt furiously in one area. Link went over to investigate. He sat down; nudging Epona's hoof away, and began to brush away the dirt. Within a few short moments, he was holding something small, black and shining in his hands. It glimmered faintly in the sheen of the sunlight.

"What is it?" I repeated. I was becoming nervous. What was so significant that Epona had to come to a sudden halt? I mean, it was so unexpected that Link nearly fell off of her, and he's practically the best horseback rider ever.

"This," he replied with a single word, his eyes gleaming with excitement. This was the first time I've seen him so excited about anything, besides that time I got my memory back. I couldn't help but feel happy for him. But a little hint of jealousy was bubbling up inside me as well. I pushed it down before it became noticeable.

Then he began to speak again. Was he actually continuing a conversation with me? Was this a turning point in his willingness to speak?

"It's a fragment of the Twilight Mirror."

So this is what we were looking for…