After using her song to bring her galloping over, Link mounted Epona again, wallet lighter and bomb bag heavier. Goron City had been much the same. (The child goron had grinned as he saw the bomb bag. "Oh, Brother! You've finally gotten some bombs! Just go down to the shop and get some for cheaper than they sell outside the city! But don't tell anyone else about that—it's a seeecreeet!") The sky told them it was the afternoon. "Well," Link said, "shall we go to the circus?"
They made it through Castle Town with a bit less time than before, but they discovered that they can open the gates to let you outside at night, though they won't keep them open or let you back in. It was the twilight before dawn when they reached the first fork in the road after Ybayba and stopped when they found a sign not seen before. The sign pointed down the road they always skipped. "'This way to the amazing Wanderers' Circus of Wonders traveling performance! Here for only three days!'" read Samba. He looked up at Link. "Welp."
Link and Samba traveled down the road. They soon came upon a group of tents set up in the field by the road. "I wonder when their performance starts," muttered Link as they approached. "Samba, hide."
Link parked Epona at a handy fence erected there for horses to be tied to. (He didn't tie her, of course.) It was dawn by then. There were seven tents, five small, one medium, and one large. All had red and yellow stripes. Link entered the large one, noticing a booth set up with "Tickets" written on it. (It was unoccupied at the moment.) Inside, it was dim, but he saw a stone ring in the grass (finding it odd for a moment to see grass inside a structure) and bleachers around the entrance's half of the tent. A man in a tailcoat with an absurdly huge mustache walked around, checking things like the bleachers and the tent poles.
Link went up to him. "Excuse me, sir?" he asked.
The man turned to him and raised his eyebrows. "Oh! Are you here for the show?" he asked. Link nodded. "Well, you're a sight early! We don't start until a couple hours before noon! I'm just double-checking to make sure we're all done setting up the tent."
"Ah. Can w—I talk to some of the performers?" Link wondered.
"Sure!" the man chuckled. He fluffed his coat flaps. "I'm Joru, the ringleader, by the way," he introduced. "I'm the leader of the Wanderers. It's an adventurous life, a tough one, but it's the only one for me!"
"...Did you run away to the circus when you were little?" Link asked jocularly.
Joru gave a belly laugh. "Indeed, I did, young man! And happy for it!" he replied, and Link laughed back. Joru wiggled his whiskers. "You'll find our other performers in their tents. Some of them look a bit...odd, but don't be scared—they're all very nice people, you've my word. Otherwise I wouldn't have them in my circus!"
Link thanked him and exited the tent. He looked at the other tents as he approached them. Signs by them said the names of the inhabitants. He noticed that one tent had some laundry hanging out to dry by it. Curious, he examined the medium-sized tent first. A white horse was tethered on a post by it. "'Champ, Kellese, Prance, Phin, and Quiy's Tent'," read Link. "Wow, lotta folks..." He entered the tent carefully in case they still slept.
To his left and right were hanging walls of fabric. Flaps hung down with names painted on either; the left bore "Phin" and the right "Quiy". Before him was an open area where he saw something pacing around in a cage. Curious, he walked over. He gasped when he saw a genuine lion in there. He noticed another enclosed part of the tent, reading "Kellese" on the door flap, in the corner.
"Hey, what are you doing here, kid?" asked a deep male voice. Link spun around and saw a man about a head shorter than him standing without a shirt, wearing bloomers and black knee-high boots. He frowned at the swordsman. A whip hung from his belt. "Champ gets nervous around new faces without me. You should be careful." He walked over to the lion and called out to him. The lion purred and brushed against his offered hand. "There, boy...Phin's here..."
"Are you the lion tamer, then?" Link assumed.
"Best there is, kid!" Phin crowed. "My best friend's this lion I've raised since he was a cub, named him Champ. He's a big sweetie as long as he knows ya."
Link smiled. "Neat! I'm Link, by the way." He frowned. 'What to ask about...?' "Have you guys had any trouble?" he decided. "Or any weird happenings going on?"
Phin laughed. "We're a circus, we're FULL of trouble and weird happenings," he said. He paused, shuffling his feet. "And I don't know much—I spend all my time taking care of Champ, pretty much. It's a lot of work to keep practicing our act."
"Oh, okay," Link nodded. "Thanks. Is Quiy awake? Can I see him or her?"
"Her, and yeah, but ask first, she might be dressing," Phin answered, nodding.
Link stood by Quiy's doorflap and cleared his throat. "Excuse me? Miss Quiy? May I come in?" he asked.
"Sure," replied her voice. Link entered and found her getting dressed in a festive outfit, already in a tutti-frutti leotard. He blushed when he saw her fine curves and well-groomed long, brunette hair, and she giggled. "Come early to meet the performers, huh, kid?" she asked. She bowed a little from her seat at her cot. "I'm Quiy, rider of Prance—you saw the dear colt outside—and famed dancer."
Link smiled and nodded. "Link. I'm just wondering, have you heard or seen anything out of the ordinary?"
Quiy frowned, putting a finger to her delicate lips. "Hmmm...Well, I've heard a little about there being a monster uprising," she said after a moment. "But..." She shook her head. "No, dear, nothing else. Sorry." She smiled sweetly. "I'd like to get finished, now, if you'd please..."
Link exited her room and went to the last inhabitant's tent. "Excuse me? May I come in?" he asked.
"If you want, but I'm a mess," a deep woman's voice replied, sounding slightly muffled.
Link pushed through the flap and stopped, widening his eyes. Before him was the hairiest creature he'd ever seen in his life! It was vaguely humanoid, sitting in a chair and staring a mirror, covered with messy, matted, tangled, thick, massive white hair. He saw a snout sticking out of the hair. "O-Oh! Sorry!" Link stammered. 'She wasn't kidding!'
The beast chuckled mirthlessly and reached a right paw, it appeared, through the hair, and parted some from its face, turning and looking at him. Link raised his eyebrows when the face was that of a wolf's. "That's alright, hun," she forgave, eyebrows knit over her sapphire eyes. "I get that a lot." She shuffled her other arm, fighting to free it from her hair, then its paw out, saying, "I'm Kellese, the fearsome she-wolfos. I'm part of our very small freak show with Candy, our fat lady."
Link took the paw and shook with only a half second's hesitation. "Link, I'm here to ask some questions, and see the show later," he introduced, a blushing smile on his face.
Immediately, Kellese leaned over and sniffed Link's hand. She raised an eyebrow. "You didn't hesitate nearly as long as other people—and I smell why," she said curiously. "I smell lizalfos...especially on that finger..." She looked at his Rings.
Link blinked, eyebrows raised. "Erm..." 'Maybe this might help get some answers...and they seem trustworthy if they have a beast of their own...' "Hold on." Link stood back and tossed Samba.
Kellese raised her eyebrows. "Oh! Interesting magic," she commented. She looked up and down at the somewhat annoyed lizalfos. "And who're you, blue boy? Never seen a lizalfos of your color before..."
"Samba, of Jgk'hry," he introduced. He furrowed his brow. "I swear, I thought all the wolfos were dead, or at least weren't anywhere near Hyrule anymore," he said suspiciously. "Only white wolfos are left, and they're all the way up on Embargo Ridge, not a one of them nearly intelligent enough to be even halfway civilized..."
Kellese looked away. "That's...I don't wanna talk about it," she replied quietly. She growled, grabbing her head. "Besides, I can't think straight with my hair all over the place like this!" she added in frustration.
"Then just cut it," Link shrugged. "It looks way too matted to brush anymore..."
Kellese whined and shook her head. "No, it's too thick and tough for normal blades to get through without taking forever," she lamented. "I'd need something heavy-duty, which we don't really have around here...And no, not a sword, please," she added quickly as Samba began to draw his. She shook her head and sighed. "I'm sorry, I can't talk much right now. I got lost in Verdart a few months ago, and by the time I found the Wanderers again—we have a show there for the deku scrubs—my hair was like this. I think I might still have a twig or two in there..."
"Oh, my..." Link frowned. "I'm sorry..."
"It's okay...Just...leave me be for now, please..." She turned back to the mirror and sighed. "I'm trying to figure out what I can do for an act while I'm like this..."
Samba frowned. "Okay...I wish we could find something to help..."
Suddenly, both him and Link froze. Eyes wide, they slowly looked at each other. "No way," Link muttered.
"Of all the coincidences," murmured Samba.
Link stepped over to Kellese and dug in his bag. "Kellese? Could this be of use to you?" he asked, producing the shears that the deku scrub from a few nights ago had given them in exchange for some of Link's deku nuts.
Kellese glanced morosely over. "No, they'll be as useless as the rest..." she murmured, looking away again. She did a double-take. "Wait, are those shears?" She grabbed them from Link's hand. "These have to work!" she grumbled.
Link and Samba watched with raised eyebrows/-ridges as she snipped and snapped away madly at her hair, white strands and clumps flying hither and tither. A minute later, pretty much the entire clump of hair flumped to the ground, and Kellese breathed a big sigh of relief. "Hahhh! Much better!" she smiled, running a paw through her new, short-clipped haircut. "Had to pretty much shave my head, but a few minutes with Quiy will smooth things over." She turned and looked at them. Her face was much more appealing without so much hair around it. With a wolfish grin, she said, "Thank you, guys, thank you so much! I thought I'd never get to perform again! I thought I'd melt! I thought my head would snap from so much weight! I thought I'd never be rid of so much hair!" She laughed down at the mass below. "I'm sure we'll find some use for that as a prop, or something," she chuckled.
"Not a problem," Link smiled. "Glad we could help."
Kellese smiled, then frowned. "Oh, I just must give you something in return..." she growled. She looked around her room. She pushed her lips to a side in a half frown as she picked up a small paddle with many holes in it. "Well, uh...it's not much, but this is my old hairbrush," she offered, turning and holding it out. "Pulled out all the pins when trying to brush my hair again...I'm sure you guys could put it to some use...Sorry it's such a poor exchange!" She looked as if she were blushing under that fur.
Link forced a smile, taking it. "Urm...it's alright," he replied slowly. He put it away. "Would you be willing to—"
"Uh, shoot, look at the time!" Kellese suddenly barked, looking out the tent window hole. She grinned nervously and got up. Now that her hair wasn't covering her like a cloak, they found she wore a very primitive-looking tank top and skirt, both made from hide and full of tears and crude stitching. Samba guessed it was made that way on purpose as part of her act. Kellese hurried past them. "Gotta go see Quiy about my hair, don't bother us please!" she explained quickly as she passed.
Link and Samba blinked at each other before shrugging. "Might as well stay out if they have her," Link told Samba. Samba nodded.
"Oh, you've got a friend? Where'd you come from?" asked Phin as they passed. "You look like you'd make a good addition to the show! You and Kellese could have a beastman battle!"
Samba half-eyed at him. "Are you serious?" he asked flatly.
Phin laughed. "Nah, just bein' a jerk," he smirked.
"Who next?" asked Link, looking around at the other tents.
"Let's just go around them," Samba pointed. "They're all situated around this tent."
So they went. First was Candy, "World's Fattest Woman" according to the sign. A tall, short-and-black-haired woman, she was phenomenal—her hips were wider than Link and Samba standing side by side, her seat could provide a very comfortable one for each of them, her belly sagged to where her knees should have been, and her chest was ridiculously huge. Her chubby hands and feet seemed tiny, wrists and ankles partly swallowed up by her limb fat. She had no neck, a triple chin, and balloony cheeks. And yet, she was walking—no, dancing around her private tent, humming to herself. She wore what had to be the biggest leotard in the world on her body, tights on her legs and arms, all dark colors. These served to smooth out her figure, cover her skin (which was not in the best of shape, red and blotchy in many places), and accent her curves. These combined with her surprisingly cute, ginger-eyed face to make her, to Link's astonishment, an appealing sight.
"Oh! Hello there, dearies," Candy greeted sweetly when she saw them. She giggled and held her hands behind her back, resting on the fold of fat there that made her seem like a walking sphere. "Come to see the world's fattest woman in her natural habitat?"
Link and Samba both blushed, shaking their heads. "N-No, ma'am," Samba replied. 'Drejsk and Krungratrg would be jealous...'
"We're here to ask some questions, is all," Link explained. 'What does she eat?...'
"Ah, okay," Candy chuckled. She stood and watched them for a moment. The boys were unable to stop staring. She smirked and turned a circle. "Take a pictograph, they're on sale for 20 rupees apiece," she joked. Link and Samba squeaked and looked away, mumbling apologies, and Candy laughed. "Ah, don't worry, I love being fat enough to sit on a goron," she dismissed, batting her hand. "If I didn't like people staring at me, I wouldn't put myself through being a freak show exhibit." She sat down on her extra-large, metal-framed cot. (The others were wooden-framed.) "So what do you want to know, dearies?"
"How are you even alive?" Link and Samba blurted before they could stop themselves. They squeaked and clamped their mouths shut, blushing red and purple respectively.
Candy cracked up, holding her stomach—presumably trying to hold her sides. "Oh, Farore, you're adorable!" she cried. She wiped a tear away a moment later. "Oh, you're both so priceless. I'm sorry, don't worry, I've heard it all." She giggled. "And to answer your question, it's part blood, part generous amounts of exercise (this ain't all fat, darlings), part proper diet, and part daily doses of red potion." She smiled sweetly. "And yes, by 'blood' I mean my body wants to be this way more than like you two's," she added. "Now, what do you really want to know?"
Link, getting over the initial shock, blush finally cooling down, cleared his throat. "Have you seen or heard anything strange or troubling recently?" he asked.
Candy frowned. "Urm...well, uh..." She wrung her wrists, looking to the corner of her tent. She looked back and shook her head. "No, I haven't. Nothing you'd be interested in."
Link and Samba exchanged eyebrow and eyeridge raises. "Alright, thank you, Candy," Samba nodded. "Sorry if we bothered you."
Candy smiled and shook her head. "Not at all! You two are so cute, I could just eat you up!" she giggled. She laughed harder as they paled at the joke. "Go on, I need to freshen up."
Next they found the tent of "Yobi, Strongest Man in Hyrule". It was directly from the corner of Candy's tent. They heard deep snores coming from it, however. "Maybe we should come by later," Link suggested quietly. "It's still very early in the morning."
The next tent was empty. "Ringleader's Tent" read the sign outside. "He's still out," Link shrugged.
The next tent over, they found "Sparrow and Robin, The Flying Prodigies" and went inside. They were the tent with the laundry hanging outside. A slender pair greeted them, one male, one female, and they looked similar to each other. Both were dressed in leotards, as well, brightly colored with aquamarine. "Hi! I'm Sparrow!" the man greeted.
"And I'm Robin!" the woman smiled.
"We're twins," Sparrow explained.
"That's why we look similar," nodded Robin.
"And that's why we make the best acrobat team in the world!" both exclaimed, clapping a hand together in a pose.
Link and Samba blinked a moment. "O...kay," Samba grunted. "Could you tell us if anything strange or troublesome has been going on lately?"
Both shook their heads and replied in unison, "Nope!"
Robin frowned, looking up. "Well...it's not 'lately', but a while back, someone stole some clothing off our line nearby Death Mountain," she described. "Stole a red shirt and a pair of gray overalls..."
"Those were my favorite overalls," lamented Sparrow.
Link and Samba, smiling to themselves, decided to try the last tent. Simply "Bob the Clown" was written on the sign outside. Once inside, both yelped as a bucket of water dropped onto them.
"Oh! Visitors!" chuckled a man in a festive jumpsuit standing at the other end of the tent. "I suppose I whet your curiosity, hm?" He giggled.
Samba half-eyed, wiping his eyes clear, and snarled. "What if your fellow performers came in here?" he scolded. "You could ruin their costumes!"
"Well," Bob smirked, walking over, showing off a painted face and a round, red felt nose, "my fellow performers know to take high steps coming into my tent to avoid the tripwire."
Link held Samba as he growled viciously. "Samba, please, he's just clowning around, it's his job," he laughed.
Samba humphed and crossed his arms. "Bob, have you seen or heard anything strange or troubling lately?" he asked. "And be serious."
Bob chuckled. "I might have to charge you if you want me to be serious!" He shook his head. "Sorry—Now let's see..." He thought for a moment. His eyes glanced over them while he did so. After a moment, he sighed, then shook his head. "Not lately," he replied. He smirked. "But, I've heard many a tale that may interest the two of you..." The smirk became a grin. "...O Knights of Dualty."
Link and Samba looked at each other, then at the Rings, then the Master Sword. "You know your stuff," Link complimented.
Bob laughed. "I have to know my stuff," he replied. He turned back to the other end of the tent.
"What are you going to tell us about?" asked Samba.
"About something you Knights might want to hear about," Bob replied, putting on a purple clown wig. "Tell me, are you two seeking out creatures known as Leviathans?"
Link raised his eyebrows and nodded. "Yeah, the Leviathans of Material," he confirmed.
"Well." Bob turned to them and winked. "Be sure to come to today's performance, then. Though you may want to hide away, Mr. Lizalfos," he added with a smirk.
Samba nodded. "Yeah, expected as much..."
Link frowned. "Why?" he asked. "Why not now?"
"If I told you why, it would kill the surprise!" Bob chuckled. "Now go, I need to rehearse."
Link and Samba exited the tent. "Should we wait for the strong man to wake up?" Link asked.
"Maybe, but he might know as much as the others," Samba growled. "From what everyone was talking about, I swear we'd've heard something more direct by now..."
Link and Samba decided to wait for an hour before checking back at Yobi's tent. They went around the big top. On the way, they found some work horses and wagons behind the tent, as well as a wide tent (no name) with three empty beds. On the other side, they discovered a few more tents and three booths, these situated so that they formed a small alleyway. The booths each had what appeared to be different fair games. A man in a porkpie hat greeted them as they came by one of them. (The other two were vacant at the moment.) "Hey, the show's yet begun, but why not have some fun?" he suggested. "Ten rupees, ten shots, ten targets, win lots!" He held his hand out to his booth. Inside were a number of moving targets.
Link raised his eyebrows. "Ooh, I always liked these games," he said, smiling. He walked over, Samba groaning and following. "What's the prize?" he inquired.
"Hit six targets and you win some arrows as consolation," said the man. "Hit eight and you'll get another free try. Hit ten and you'll win a secret prize! Only at Hawkeye Archery Range!"
Link frowned in thought. "Hmmmm...Okay, I'll give it a shot," he said, handing over a yellow rupee.
The man chuckled and took it. "Alrighty, then, sir! Here's ten arrows, use 'em wisely!" he bade, giving him the arrows. "Need a bow?"
Link took his out. "Got my own," he replied. "Just stand here?"
"Nope, between those posts over there," the carny pointed, indicating two wooden posts ten feet from the booth. Link went there. "Alright, I'll be ducking right here so you don't hit me. Good luck, and remember, we're not responsible for any damages sustained or inflicted during this game!" He ducked down.
Link stood and took careful aim. Some targets were easier to hit than others. He missed two small ones that popped in and out quickly. All misses stuck in the wooden back. "Alright, we'll give you another try," the man said, grabbing the arrows and giving them back to Link when he came over.
This time, Link hit all ten. "Yes!" he pumped his arm. "I did it!"
Samba scoffed. "Good. I didn't want to end up wasting all our money here," he grumbled. "A stupid prize? Really, Link?"
Link proudly marched to the booth, where the man was laughing. "I shouldn't let grown men play this game," the man chuckled. "They're usually better at archery than the kids I usually get...Tell ya what. I was gonna give ya a stuffed toy, but you're a bit old for that. Why don't you take this instead?" He pulled out a large quiver. "This baby holds 40 arrows—that's 10 more than the standard 30-arrow quiver size! And you earned it, kid!"
Link grinned, holding the quiver for a moment. "Thanks, sir!"
Samba gawked. "What? A bigger quiver? For a game?" he squawked. He growled and shook his head. "Of all the..."
"'Stupid prizes?'" Link finished, smug expression on his face as he returned to his friend. Samba just smacked him in the back with his tail, making him stumble and laugh. "And no, he hasn't heard or seen anything, either," he added. "I asked quick."
Neither did the magician and his lovely assistant. Nor the other booth keepers who were behind the other two booths, working. Not even the fortune teller in her dark, star-spangled tent could tell them anything, and they paid her twenty rupees! But all of them paused before saying no—paused and looked uncertain in some way. (The tent in the back was empty, though they assumed why because "FREAK SHOW" was painted above the entrance.) "They're hiding something," Link surmised. "But what?"
When they checked back at Yobi's tent, the snoring had ceased. Link entered, saying, "Excuse me, Mr. Yobi?" Samba began to follow, but right as he opened the flap, Link came crashing right into him, the two falling down to the ground.
Samba blinked in surprise as he winced. "The—!" He looked up.
A large man with grand muscles (but nowhere near as huge as Rargon's or Daigorno's), a white, leopard-spotted, single-shoulder singlet showing them off, seethed at them, a frown on his bearded face. "Don't talk to me!" he roared, hazel eyes burning with fury. He turned on his shoed heel and stormed back into his tent.
"I thought they were all supposed to be really nice," Link grumbled as he got off Samba.
"Yeah," Samba agreed, the two standing and brushing themselves off. "Let's go ask Joru about this...He gave his word..."
Joru wasn't in the big top. Sparrow and Robin were, instead, setting up their tightrope. "Joru?" asked Sparrow from the beginning platform, tying down one end.
"He said he was going to check on Kellese," Robin answered, climbing up the other one with the other end of the rope in hand.
Link gulped as he watched them set up the rope. "I always wonder if I'm ever going to have to walk across one of those, these days," he murmured. "I don't have the best balance..."
"What about the ledges?" Samba asked.
"At least you can lean against the wall with ledges," Link answered, biting his lip, "the floor can't swing out from under you, and you know which direction you'll fall!"
"Well, I doubt we're going to have to go across any tightropes," Samba assured him. "C'mon, let's find Joru."
Inside the medium-sized tent, they found Joru talking to Kellese in front of Champ's cage. (Phin stood by his friend to keep him calm, wearing a pinstriped shirt now.) Kellese's hair looked much neater—she must have indeed seen Quiy about it. "Maybe you could try and scare some of the audience members?" suggested Joru.
"Nah, I don't wanna do that to people," Kellese shook her head. "We could get in trouble, anyway. Maybe I could improvise an act with Champ and Phin?"
"No way," Phin objected. "I know Champ and you are great pals, but I have no idea how to handle him and you..."
"What about being a foil for Bob? You could act like you're trying to ruin his jokes, or he could play fetch with you," Joru smiled, holding a finger up.
"Hmmm...Maybe, but..." Kellese crossed her arms, sighing and turning. She looked up, then raised her eyebrows. "Oh! Link and Samba!"
"Hm?" Joru turned and raised his as well. "Oh! You have a friend, Link? A lizalfos, no less! Is this one of Jgk'hry's? Please say yes..."
Samba grinned evilly. "Nope," he lied. He laughed at Joru's expression face. "Yas, I am, just kidding."
"But all joking aside, Joru," Link said sternly, the two walking over, "you promised everyone was friendly."
"Everyone is friendly," Joru repeated, frowning. "What's wrong?"
"Well, I wouldn't call being literally thrown out of a tent 'friendly,'" Samba deadpanned, making air quotes.
"Oh..." Kellese's ears drooped and she held her mouth, brow knit. "He's, uh...He's been in a bad mood these past few days," she explained. "He doesn't want to talk about it..."
"Yes, I should have warned you about him," Joru admitted, rubbing his arm. "Are you alright, sirs?"
They nodded. "We've survived worse," Link shrugged.
"Way worse," Samba added, smirking.
"Ah...Well, did you find out what you needed?" asked Joru.
They shook their heads. "That's the other thing," Samba frowned. "Your troupe seems to be hiding something..."
Joru raised an eyebrow. "Really, now?" He stroked his whiskers. "Why do you say that?"
"They act a bit weird when we ask if they've seen anything odd or troubling lately," Link described. "Heck, Kellese, you weren't fooling anyone by running off that quick," he added, crossing his arms at the wolfos.
Kellese bit her lip. "I, uh..." she said in a small voice.
"Gentlemen," Joru addressed, raising his voice and stepping in front of Kellese with a frown, "we're all very busy. We need to prepare for today's performance. Thank you for your interest in us at such an early hour, but if I'd please have your leave until the show begins. Tickets are 50 rupees apiece." He glanced back at Kellese, then wiggled his mustache. "However, since you did help out Kellese earlier, I think it fair enough to allow both of you free admission. Just this once, though—all subsequent shows are full-price. Don't worry, I'm the one selling tickets, I'll know. Now please, leave."
Link and Samba glanced at each other uncertainly before nodding and leaving. "That was interesting," Link muttered, starting to walk to Epona.
"Well, we were kinda putting her on the spot there," admitted Samba.
"What's this about the wolfos, though?" Link wondered after a moment.
"Ko told me about them a couple years ago," Samba said. "Originally, they were feral monsters like rocs or like likes. They—"
"Link! Samba!" called a familiar voice. "Y'all must be real stoked about this circus if yer here before us!" They looked and saw Darcia riding a horse down the road. "We started off before dawn to get the best seats. Y'all can sit with us! If yer already there, Samba, I bet nobody'll raise too much fuss aboutcha."
Link smiled and nodded. "That'd be great! Thanks, Darcia!"
"They ain't gonna start sellin' tickets fer a while, now," Talgo said, stopping his horse at the fence. Darcia stopped hers, too. He looked at the swordsmen and smiled as he dismounted. "Now, were you two talkin' 'bout somethin'?"
"Oh, sorry!" Darcia apologized, smiling sheepishly while she dismounted beside her father.
Samba shook his head, smiling. "That's alright. I was just telling Link about the wolfos tribe," he replied. "You know about them?"
"Only a little," Talgo shrugged. "We gots us some time. Why don't we all sit down and talk a bit outside the ticket booth?"
So they sat on the grass by the entrance to the big top. Samba removed his helmet while he rested. He rubbed at the back curve of his skull. 'I swear those scales weren't so rough before,' he thought to himself. He shook his head. 'Must be from wearing the helmet so much. Now let's see...' He looked up again and cleared his throat.
"As I was telling Link before, originally, wolfos were monsters like rocs or like likes or octorocks," he re-began. "They say, though, that one day, a hundred years ago or so, a wolfos found its way to the fountain of the Great Fairy of Knowledge. The Great Fairy took pity on the savage creature and blessed it with her power, the power of intelligence. This power spread to any wolfos that this one touched afterwards, and after it discovered this when touching its mate, the wolfos ran around, touching all in its pack, then leading them to others so it could pass on the power to them, too.
"In a year, nearly all the wolfos in Hyrule were intelligent. They decided to worship Nayru in particular for her wisdom, and sought to live as both beasts and men combined in one perfect form. They erected a small village somewhere in the fields of Hyrule and one somewhere in Verdart. Nobody knows what happened to the ones in Verdart, but it's assumed they were consumed by the swamp's dangers. This sect, you see, sought to return to the simple ways of the beast, but couldn't quite throw away the intelligence they had been given. They wanted to be alone in their ambivalence, and some think they went to the swamp to let it swallow them up. The field wolfos lived in peace for a long time.
"There's evidence of at least the field wolfos existing, since there are lots of stories that traders have given. They even helped some hylians build something nearby their home—I never heard quite what. However, sadly, there was apparently some sort of war or something, and now all that remains of the field wolfos are the ruins of their village, mostly eaten away because they built with wood and hide." Samba sighed. "Ko says that it took a long time to convince the elder back then to try and form an alliance with the wolfos, but by the time we came, they had been extinguished...not a trace of their whereabouts," he added quietly.
"Aw, that's sad," Darcia frowned. "I wish I could've met 'em..."
"Well, there's an intelligent wolfos here," Link said, smiling. "Her name's Kellese. We helped her out of a hairy situation." Samba swatted him for the pun.
"Well, I'm sure we'll see her, then," Talgo grinned. "This sounds like an interesting circus already!"
"And we're selling tickets starting now," Joru added, walking into the ticket booth and flipping a sign that said "CLOSED" to say "OPEN". "Blue and Green get in free for helping Kellese earlier, but you two have to pay 50 rupees each for tickets like everyone else, friends or not."
"We were prepared for it," Talgo said, getting up and opening his wallet, pulling out the proper change.
. . .
Soon, the four were sitting in the bleachers together right at the bottom, Darcia wanting to be as close to the action as possible.
Samba passed the time by updating his beastiary. Link, sitting next to Darcia, caught up on old times. Talgo leaned back against the bleacher behind him and dozed. After Samba was done with the beastiary, he got out his guitar and began strumming for fun. Talgo woke up to this and raised an eyebrow, commented that he never knew he played, and went to sit next to Samba for a while, helping teach him some songs he knew. ("Papa plays guitar, too," explained Darcia to Link.)
By then, people had begun to arrive. Many of them gave amazed glances at the blue lizard monster exhibiting signs of extreme intelligence and gentleness. Darcia had to say that his former seat was taken many times. After a couple hours, Talgo sat back in his seat, and Samba strummed a few songs, singing softly. Link was surprised that Samba was actually a very good singer, able to keep pitch and diction, singing clearly even when going so quietly that his growl took most of his voice. Samba smiled at his instrument after a song. "I never really realized it back home," he said, "but I really, really love music..."
"Well, it's a good thing you do, or we'd have an annoying quest," Link chuckled. "Between the Lullaby, Epona's Song, and the Song of Penitence, we're going to be playing a lot."
Link ended up playing along with a song or two, though, and whenever one of them finished, the people around them clapped, making them blush. "Is this part of the show?" more than one person asked while people were still arriving.
Eventually, Samba ended up talking to people, explaining he was just a friendly lizalfos from Jgk'hry and he was friends with Link, while Link just talked with Darcia again. Finally, after a couple more hours of sitting, holding spots while the ranchers need the bathroom or had to buy fair food for breakfast, and entertaining themselves, Link and Samba looked around as the tent went dark, the entrance closing. A drumroll started.
"Ladies and gentlemen!" called out Joru's voice as he stepped out, a limelight spotlight shining on him. He held a megaphone in his hand. With the light, Link noticed that there were etchings around the stone ring that, if he squinted, looked somewhat like owls. "I welcome all of you to the Wanderers' wonderful Circus of Wonders!" The crowd cheered. "And now, let the show begin!" Musicians began to play as he introduced the first act.
The show was delightful. Quiy and Prance had a wonderful performance, showing off riding tricks, before Quiy displayed her exotic dancing to the crowd. (Many men leaned in to watch.)
Link and Samba watched intently when they saw Bob come onstage to juggle and give little quips. He left with a yelp when, out of nowhere, Kellese came and skillfully snapped one of his balls from the air, making many laugh as he chased her offstage. They were disappointed when he told not a single actual story.
Next came Phin and Champ, who put on a classic lion tamer's show, complete with chair, whip, and tricks. He even had a small wrestling match where he came out on top, somehow. ("Probably choreographed," Link whispered to Samba when the lizalfos blinked in amazement.)
Bob came back with another interlude, this time throwing cream pies out at the audience. Kellese came and tried to eat one of the pies, but Bob yanked it away. In retaliation, she grabbed another and pied him point blank. Bob yelled and chased the snickering wolfos.
Sparrow and Robin put on a breathtaking performance up above the ring. On the trapezes, they showed off their fearless acrobatics. Link bit his lip again as he watched them balance across the tightrope with a long staff, then with nothing but their arms, and then while doing cartwheels and flips.
Finally, this time, when Bob came onstage again, he came with no props whatsoever, and the spotlight shone on him. He cleared his throat and waited for silence. "I am but a tragic clown," he began, exaggerating every motion he could. His voice was rich and loud without the need for a megaphone. He paused. "Aw, who am I kidding? I love screwing around!" The crowd laughed, and he held his hands up for silence. "But...I have a serious side as well," he continued. He looked over to where Link and Samba were sitting as he said, "For today, I have a tale that adventurous folk will have especial interest in."
Link and Samba leaned in close.
Gesticulating with his entire body, the clown told his tale: "While most legends speak of the elements, this speaks of the mundane...the very things you know of and see every day. It spekas of the materials used to build and destroy empires. Wood, nature's bountiful, beautiful building material; flexible, sturdy, renewable, carvable...Stone, the earth's greatest barrier and foundation; hard, heavy, strong, plentiful, undying...Metal, mankind's most important discovery; stiff yet malleable, cool yet hot, sharp yet blunt, heavy yet light...
"And the very material surrounds you today—cloth. Woven from fibers either plant or animal, cloth is nowhere near as construction-worthy as the previous three, but it is still essential. Without it, humans and zoras would perish in the winter. Without it, we could not express our emotions and messages with a mere glance. Without it, we could not have simple, cool shade in the hot summer heat, nor could we be protected from the wind and rain as we are now. And without cloth, we could not sail ships to other lands, discovering other countries like Holodrum and Labrynna...or perhaps Hyrule itself. All while being light yet strong.
"Yet cloth can be used for sin, as well—choking, blinding, binding...concealing. If you journey around the hill west of Castle Town, northwest of here, and cross the West River, you will find an abandoned tent, much like this one. They say this house of canvas conceals an evil beast that devours or damns all those who fall into its trap. Stay far from it, if you find it—for it is no innocent fair, but a Carnival of Desolation.
"There also exist monsters that abuse these materials...Leviathans...Beware them. For they represent evils that rest in all our hearts. Evils stemming from ignorance. Who knows? Perhaps any one of you might turn into one if you abuse these materials, too, and choose ignorance over consideration.
"And with that," he finished, bowing, "on to the next act."
The crowd applauded, and Link and Samba looked at each other. "Well, we know it's definitely cloth, next," Link said.
"But...does he mean...that it's here?" wondered Samba.
The next act was the magician and his lovely assistant, who performed a few basic acts of parlor magic, including the saw-the-woman-apart-in-boxes-and-put-her-back-together trick.
Then another skit with Bob and Kellese, this time with Bob singing a silly song and doing a little dance, Kellese coming over, watching for a moment, then giving him a wedgie before running off while he gave chase again.
Yobi came on next. He frowned while he looked at a barbell on the ground. He scoffed and proceeded to pick it up with his left arm, standing and yawning with it high above his head while covering a yawn. He then held it out to the side and dropped it, making a loud thud as it hit the ground. He then looked at a heavier weight and picked it up with his right arm, a little more challenging. After dropping that a moment later, he looked out at the audience. He soon found what he wanted and walked over to some people in the front row of another set of bleachers.
The audience burst out laughing and gasped in amazement as Yobi picked up both of them, one in each arm, and lifted them high, walking back to the center of the ring and turning to show everyone. He let the two (who had curled into boulders) down, and they jogged back to their seats, laughing, as the crowd clapped for him. He bowed, then began walking offstage.
"FAAAAAKE!" a voice from the crowd called loudly.
Yobi stopped and looked around, scowling.
"FAAAAAKE!" the voice repeated, a few more soon joining as it began to chant. "FAKE! FAKE! FAKE! FAKE!"
Yobi snarled and turned before shouting, "WHO SAYS I'M A FAKE! HUH!"
Link and Samba looked around, as did a few more people. They found a bunch of teenage boys standing with megaphones made of wood or metal or just rolled-up paper or parchment. They were in the next set of stands over, far away from them. Samba growled and dug into his pebble bag. "Maybe I can Fire Pebble 'em from here," he grumbled. Link grabbed his paw and gave him a look.
Some people in the stand and around the whole tent began to join in the chant. A few behind the group did, too. Talgo glowered behind him. "Whatchu eggin' 'em on for?" he asked.
"There's no way he's that strong!" the man behind him replied. "Those gorons are probably guys in suits!"
Yobi's face was getting redder and madder by the second, fists shaking. Finally, he clenched his eyes shut and body together before springing it open, standing like a challenging gorilla, eyes gleaming red, roaring...skin splitting apart to reveal a complete body of red crystal below.
Link and Samba sucked in their breath through gritted teeth and looked at each other, wide-eyed, while the crowd screamed. "How the hell did this happen?" Link whispered hoarsely.
"Better question—what do we do?" hissed Samba.
"Guys!" They looked at Darcia, who nodded determinedly. "The show must go on!"
Link and Samba looked at each other again, then at Yobi, who was currently stomping to the stands where the teens were currently screaming and backing away. They nodded and got up from the stands, running over and stopping before Yobi, swords drawn. Yobi scowled at them, golem-like body glistening and glowing with a crimson darkness. He roared, then swung out at them.
Link and Samba jumped aside, but Samba yelped as his sword was punched out of his hand. It flew into the stands, where it stuck perilously close to someone's head (the woman fainting soon after). Samba grimaced. "Link! Lead him away!" he called.
Link nodded and called the golem's attention. "C'mon, over here, phoney!" he jeered. This worked well, and Link led him to the ring. There, he turned and spin attacked the oncoming punch away, making Yobi howl in pain. He looked back in the stands at Samba. He was too busy trying to get to his sword. Link nodded. "I'm in this alone, this time," he muttered, facing the man two heads larger than him.
Yobi swung his arms down at him in an attempted grab, moving faster than Link liked, but Link was able to jump aside, then roll around to rise in a spinning Back Slash. The strongman growled and grabbed a barbell to throw at Link, but the swordsman was able to jump aside more than quick enough. He suddenly had a mean, but effective idea: When he saw the golem reel back his arms to grab again, Link quickly set down a bomb before backflipping. Yobi grabbed the bomb instead and looked at it, perplexed, for a moment before it blew up in his face, causing him to yowl in agony and stand, dazed, for a moment. Link took the opportunity to land a sword combo.
Yobi also tried outright punching and kicking Link, which worked a lot better; the poor guy was barely able to avoid the punches by ducking, but the kicks were harder, since they came closer to him. Twice he was sent flying by a punt. He grunted and got up before beginning his assault again. He discovered that the Master Sword did considerable damage, but he surmised that the bomb did a lot, as well. 'Maybe if I bomb him enough...but that's too risky...' He had another idea.
Link got out the Thunderforge again and dodged a kick before giving a mighty swing. CRUNCH! It made Yobi yell and stumble back, kneeling for a moment while he recovered from the pain. Link took the chance to land a good combo on him with the Master Sword. His body cracked and began to glow dimmer afterward.
Link couldn't avoid the rising grab afterward, though, moving too slow. He was grabbed by Yobi, who snarled and slammed him to the ground. Link cried in agony as he lost a full heart. After that, however, Link had the process down: Avoid the melee and thrown attacks, leaving a bomb if he could when he tried a grab, and use either bombs or the Thunderforge to stun him before landing a combo. Fortunately, Yobi did not get any harder as he lost more and more structural integrity and glow.
Finally, Link gave one last combo, finishing with a decisive stab to the belly, and the crystal, dim and spiderwebbed with cracks, turned practically white from even more fissures, losing all glow. Yobi stepped back, swayed, then fell backwards. When he hit the ground, the crystal shattered and Yobi's body was engulfed in an explosion as if a defeated enemy. When the dust settled, he was human again, chest rising and falling as he panted hard.
Link breathed a sigh of relief before doing his fancy sheathing. As soon as he had, the crowd erupted, and he blushed as he turned to them. He rubbed the back of his neck. A moment later, he heard a groaning to his side and looked at Yobi.
Yobi was sitting up, holding his head and grimacing. He shook his head and opened his eyes. "Ugh...I feel like I've been hit by a goron," he grumbled. "What happened...?"
"You'll remember later," Link said, going and helping him up. "Just, ah, get back offstage..."
"Uh, okay," Yobi blinked, getting up. Both bowed to the audience before walking offstage in different directions.
"Well-done, Link!" complimented Samba as the swordsman flopped back into his seat beside the lizalfos. Samba smiled. "I got my sword back halfway through, but I figured you could handle him. You alright?"
Link nodded. "Yeah, I'm fine...I guess we both have had our huge fights with...Shoot, what should we call this stuff?" he asked, frowning.
"Ragite?" suggested Darcia.
The swordsmen blinked, then looked at her. "That's perfect," Samba replied, surprised. "How'd you come up with it?"
"Well, '-ite' is a common thing you stick on the end of minerals, and these guys seem to all have rage in common with 'em, so..." She shrugged. "Simple is simple."
"Well, alright, we'll call it Ragite unless we get some real term," nodded Link.
They watched while, as if nothing unusual had happened, Bob came back on and did another skit with Kellese. Bob was tossing a large bone and spinning it like a baton. When he tossed it up once, though, Kellese ran and, in a flash, caught the bone in her mouth before landing, throwing her head back proudly. She snickered at Bob before starting to trot off. However, this time, the bone exploded, leaving her normally gray, white, and black face covered with flour and blinking. Bob laughed at her, then yelped and began running as he was chased offstage, this time, after Kellese growled, "You're a dead man." The crowd guffawed at the turn of events.
Finally, as the grand finale, all of the acts from before started to go on at once: Quiy rode around on Prance, balancing on his back, while Phin rode on Champ. Sparrow and Robin did some high-flying trapeze action overhead while Yobi carried a juggling Bob on his shoulder. Suddenly, the magician and his lovely assistant appeared from underneath the animals, climbing up top and riding while seated, smiling and waving at the audience. Kellese came back onstage, face clean ("Probably licked all the flour off," snickered Talgo), and jumped up skillfully to Yobi's other shoulder, snapping at Bob's juggling clubs. It wasn't long before a sighing Yobi stood, holding the two apart by their collars (Bob still juggling, Kellese grinning and still snapping, tail wagging).
Finally, the ringleader came out after everyone stopped and held a final pose. "Thank you all for coming this fine day!" Joru called, smiling. "We hope you enjoyed the performance, no matter how rowdy it ended up!"
Some people laughed, everyone applauded. The performers bowed before taking leave. Joru walked over to Link and Samba. "You two, I'd like a word with you," he said, smiling. "Nothing bad, I assure you."
Link and Samba looked at each other, then to the ranchers. They said they'd be fine. Link and Samba looked back, nodding to him.
. . .
Out back in the medium-sized tent, Joru stood and sighed, facing them. "I suppose you see what we were hiding," he guessed wryly. "We...We were worried about him. We didn't want others to be worried, too. It's enough that misery naturally loves company..."
"Is Yobi okay?" asked Link.
"Yes," nodded Joru. "He said he wants some time in his tent to gather his thoughts. He would like to see you, however."
Samba crossed his arms, stepping aside while Phin approached with Champ. "How—" he began before getting a huge, scratching slurp in the face from the lion as he passed.
"I think Champ likes ya!" laughed Phin. "Toldja he's a sweetheart!"
Samba wiped his face off with a grimacing smirk while Link and Joru chuckled. He looked back at Joru, trying again. "How long has he been like that—unusually bitter and hateful, thanks to the Ragite?"
"Kellese meant to say a few weeks, not days," Joru sighed. "His temper had been getting worse and worse, and he began thinking himself our star attraction, despite us not having any one star." He twirled one end of his moustache. "Urm...He is back to normal now, right?"
"Whatever constitutes as 'normal' for a circus performer," Link shrugged, smirking.
Joru gave a belly laugh. "True enough...thank you two so much." He smiled broadly before grabbing a hand and paw. "You're welcome to come watch our show anytime you want, for free for life. That is the best I can give as a reward."
The swordsmen smiled and nodded. "Thank you very much, Joru," Link nodded.
"That is very generous of you," acknowledged Samba.
Joru released them and chuckled. "Doesn't mean you don't need to pay if you wanna play a few fair games," he added. "And I'm sorry, but the freak show isn't included with admission; we're considering it, though. It's in a large tent in that area. Kellese has gone there. Feel free to talk to them—we encourage our guests to do so!" He stretched. "Now, if you don't mind, I'll be returning to my quarters for a bit of a nap..." He walked out of the tent.
Link and Samba went visit the others in the tent before leaving. Suddenly, the Rings gave their sound and flashes. "Better get that," Samba muttered, pulling his guitar out.
"Hello, sirs? This is Ruedekul speaking. Can you hear me?"
"Yes," Samba nodded. "Did you call us?"
"Yes," Ruedekul confirmed. "I have gotten an idea where a Tool of Nations is. The grass senses a strange, dark power lurking within a large tent...That is all I can say. Does that help?"
"Yes," Link nodded, "thank you."
"It is my pleasure." He probably bowed. "I will leave you to your quest now. Good day." And he "hung up".
Samba crossed his arms and frowned. "A large tent..." he murmured.
"'An abandoned tent, much like this one,'" Link recalled from Bob's story, frowning as well.
Samba smirked. "I think we know our next stop."
"Yeah," nodded Link. "But let's try and have a little fun here and tie up loose ends, shall we?"
Samba frowned. "Well...okay. But we shouldn't waste too much time..."
Phin was busy feeding Champ a wild boar ("Not bullbo, though they can be used as food, too," Samba confirmed). "We performed excellently today!" Phin commented when they talked to him. "Champ was at the top of his game, as usual. He's got such a sweetie, I know he could never get taken by that...Ragite, you called it? But yeah, don't worry—he's truly lionhearted!"
Champ just growled at them. "Better stay away from him while he's eating," warned Phin. "He's a nice kitty, except when there's food involved."
"That was absolutely fantastic, dears!" applauded Quiy when they entered her room. "I'm sorry for keeping Yobi's problem a secret like that—Joru said we shouldn't tell anyone so that we don't scare off customers...or worse: Get told by the law we have to stop our performances..." She sighed. "But we were more worried about him than ourselves...Joru was, too."
When they went outside, they found the sky beginning to cloud over. Candy wasn't in her tent. "She's part of the freak show, remember?" reminded Samba when Link tilted his head. The human knocked his forehead at his forgetfulness.
They found Yobi sitting on his cot inside his tent, elbows on knees, head bent, lost in thought. "Excuse me, Mr. Yobi?" Link asked as he approached cautiously.
Yobi looked up at him. "Hm? Oh!" He smiled and sat upright. "You're the boy that stopped me from harming our audience today! Thank you for that!" His voice was full and, to their surprise, not deep, but normal-toned. He nodded. "Let me properly introduce myself—I'm Yobi, strongest human in Hyrule." He held his hand to Link.
Link took it, finding his grip just right—firm, but not painful like he expected. "Link, uh...descendant of the hero," he replied.
Samba raised an eyeridge. "What's with the title?" he asked.
Link shrugged. "Well, everyone else here has one..."
"We already have one, though." Samba offered his paw, smiling, and Yobi took it. "Samba, Knight of Dualty...Din's Knight of Dualty."
"Ah!" Link nodded. "And I'm Farore's Knight of Dualty," he added.
"Heh, knights, eh?" Yobi raised a bemused eyebrow. "Never heard of a monster knight before. Wait..." He frowned, looking up, rubbing his chin. "...I have heard of one...a dragon knight...but that's an old legend."
"Dragon knight?" Samba asked, tilting his head. "Never heard of that before...Wouldn't dragons be a bit big for knights?"
Yobi chuckled. "Not a dragon knight," he said, waggling a finger with a wink. "The legend says they could change size and shape at will. They had the hearts of true dragons—noble and strong." He crossed his leg, resting calf on quad. "However, they were very rare, and eventually died out. But the legend says they may have simply transformed to hide."
"Hm..." Samba stroked his chin. "Interesting."
"You wanted to talk to us?" Link asked.
Yobi nodded. "I wanted to thank you for freeing me from that spell," he said softly, smiling faintly. "As soon as I went offstage, I found out what you meant, Link—I remembered all the things I'd done over the past month." He sighed, shaking his head. "And I realized that I'd been festering those feelings of...of...inferiority, of...exclusion...jealousy...all along."
Link and Samba looked at each other. "Are you sensing a pattern, here?" Link eyebrow-raised.
"That these thoughts aren't just put there? At least not entirely? Yeah," nodded Samba. They looked back. "Go on."
Yobi looked up, frowning as he gesticulated. "That's right, I've been feeling jealous of the others soon after I joined the Wanderers," he continued. "But...somehow, that crystal...It entered me somehow, I don't know how, and...enhanced my feelings over time..." He looked down at his legs. "I became obsessed with becoming the star attraction, and I looked at the others with malice...I forgot our promise that every performer in the troupe would be as important as every other performer in his or her way."
He held his hand up, looking at it. "I felt...like I should be running this place. Or something...I got sensitive to criticism, and, well...you saw what happened." The strongman shook his head, running his hands through his hair. "I remember all the times I snapped at everyone, and all the feelings I had felt...I feel horrible." He paused, switching legs. "...I think I'm going to quit."
Link and Samba started, stepping back. "What?" both went.
"I don't think I should be with a group that I'm jealous of," Yobi reasoned, holding his hands up, brow knit with a small smile. "I hear that Holodrum has this traveling show that I could join..."
Link shook his head, frowning. "Yobi, this wasn't entirely your fault," he averred. "You know that. And the others need you. You're an important part of the show."
"Everyone was worried about you, but they didn't want to spread their worry," Samba added. He looked up in thought. "...I think Kellese in particular was worried about you. She was awfully evasive..."
"Oh?" Yobi raised his eyebrows in genuine surprise. "Kellese is a friend, true, but...how evasive are you talking?"
"Before we could ask if she'd seen or heard anything strange or troubling, she bolted," Samba recounted flatly.
"But she was the first to admit something was wrong," Link pointed out, brow furrowed. "She said you'd been moody the past few days."
Yobi chuckled. "Yes, that sounds more like her," he nodded. "Did you say anything about her being a wolfos?"
"Well, I mentioned how I thought they had all died out," Samba muttered.
"That's it," Yobi pointed. "She's kind of touchy about that. But you'd better talk to her about it—she'd bite me if she found I told you!" He laughed.
Link smiled. "Then I think I know who was more worried about you," he said. "Candy."
"Candy?" Yobi repeated softly, blushing a little.
"She wrung her wrists and had this look of pain on her face when we asked our question," recollected Link, "and she glanced in the direction of your tent."
Yobi smiled slowly. "Ah...heh...She's always been so nice to me...And I've helped her keep fit," he murmured.
Link and Samba smirked at each other briefly. "She'd probably be awfully sad if you left," Samba shrugged. "She might start comfort eating and get unfit...end up unable to move anymore..."
Yobi scowled and stood. "Like heck she will!" he nearly bellowed. "If she does, why, I'll..." He faltered a moment, expression falling.
"And you contrast so well with the other acts," Link added. "They've got oddities, humor, courage, dexterity, and grace, but no sheer force."
"No example of the limits of the human body," Samba reiterated.
"And no good-looking male for the women in the audience," Link smirked.
Yobi slowly smiled as he bowed his head, chuckling. "You're right," he said quietly. He looked up again, grinning, and gave them a bear hug. "Thank you, Link, Samba...You're right. I can't quit. People need me."
Link squeaked, then smiled sheepishly at him. "Not a problem," he replied.
"Yeah," Samba agreed. "Yasyas."
Yobi chuckled and let them go. "Thanks so much," he said. "I feel better than ever before!" He smiled, rubbing the back of his neck. "I think I'm going to take a walk, enjoy the beautiful day. Hope to see you two again soon!" He walked between them through the flap.
Link and Samba left as well, then went to the acrobats' tent. They were sitting on the grass outside, looking at the clouds. "Oh, hey, you two!" greeted Sparrow happily.
"You have a good time, all things considered?" giggled Robin.
"We did," Sparrow gesticulated. "What better thrill than flying through the air with only your own skills and partner to trust?" (They had performed without a net.)
Link shuddered. "I've had many...'thrills' myself, but one I'll happily let you two enjoy is that tightrope," he remarked.
"Hey, if you're quick, you can grab yourself before you fall," shrugged Robin.
"And besides, don't those rings ya got make you guys the Knights of Dualty?" Sparrow asked, smirking. "Heh, you look surprised! Bob's told us a ton of stories, including the legend of the Knights of Dualty."
"You know, how three rings that together make the crest of the Royal Family allow two people to share that fancy Master Sword ya got?" Robin reminded. "If you two are around, things are a bit more troubling than we thought!"
Link and Samba exchanged eyebrow/-ridge raises before moving on. They high-stepped into Bob's tent to find him wiping his face off with a cloth. "Ah, the Knights return, having learned a lesson from experience," he snickered. "Thanks for helping Yobi, by the way."
"You have any idea what that red crystal stuff is?" Link wondered.
"Hmmm..." Bob stroked his chin. "...I have, but I'll have to glance through my reference book for my stories. In case you haven't figured it out, I'm also the troupe's storyteller," he added, holding his arms out near his waist.
"Yeah...That story you told us," Samba said, pointing a couple times. "It exists, right?"
"Of course it does," Bob laughed, raising an eyebrow. "Otherwise I wouldn't've called your attention to it beforehand."
"Do you know the locations of the other Tools of Nations?" Link wondered.
Bob smirked, holding his chin while he half-eyed. "Mayyyyybe," he replied playfully. "Now, shoo, I've got to change." He made the gesture with his hands.
They left and went out into the small crowd gathered on the far side of the tent. The people commented on the show, Samba, or one of the more local features. "Was that all an act, Greenie? ...It wasn't? Oh, come on, that had to be planned..." "This is the eighth time I've seen this show, and it changes each time. I love it!" "The Wanderers travel around to the same few spots in Hyrule in a cycle. That makes it handy to come see them because you know where they'll be if you're a traveller, yourself." "You're a good musician, lizardman! You should join the show and perform—you'll earn a lot of money!" "Eek! A monster! ...Oh...? I'm sorry!" "Are you the newest addition to the freak show? I'm just kidding! Besides, they already have a talking monster." "The magician from the show and his pretty friend is in that tent there. Daddy likes to go in and learn magic tricks...but I don't think Mommy likes it..." "Ooooh, that man's sleeping on the floor tonight if he keeps this up...!" "That woman in there tells your fortune for 20 rupees. They're astonishingly accurate...IF you can figure out what she's talking about, that is."
"These games are just a waste of time and money, but I promised my kid I'd get him a stuffed doggy...I stink at the game it's in, though," lamented a man. "I've tried a few times already, but I can't win it, and I'm running out of rupees..."
"What if I got it for you?" Link offered.
"Really? You'd do that for a stranger?" the man asked incredulously. "I'll give you something good in return if you do, I promise!" He pointed to the right-hand booth, which was wholly open with an odd, lounge chair-like object. (The archery booth was the middle one. The left booth had a line in front of it.) "It's that one right there, the Roll Ring Game. I stink at it, but it's really fun, so if you don't get it, at least it'll be entertaining."
Link and Samba went over. The object had a shallow wooden ramp that ended in a smooth, sharp curve up. An array of circles was mounted on the slanted back, mostly in the center but with one circle at either upper corner, as was a large half-circle below all this. Holes sat within the smaller rings, and presumably the larger, though it was hard to see from where they stood. Numbers of different values depending on hole location were painted on the rings. Nets covered the sides around the backboard and the front while a thin wood roof covered the top of the backboard. The woman with a porkpie hat at the booth smiled and waved.
"Step right up! Test your skill with this here Roll Ring Game!" she advertised. "Care to give it a try, sirs? Only 10 rupees for 10 tries!" She took Link's rupees and pulled up a plate on the side of the device. Ten orange-sized wooden balls tumbled down, visible from a long hole cut into one of the short, hollow walls of the ramp. "You need the rules?" Link nodded. "Roll these balls with a good ninepins arm and aim for the highest-scoring holes ! Gauge your strength and time your release, and give it all you got! You can start whenever you're ready. Take your time and have fun!"
Link nodded, then focused. 'I should do a few tests to get a feel for how hard I should go at first,' he thought. He did so, and by the time he finished, he had a good idea what to do. He had hit the bottom area of the entire array (thus 0 points) once, the large arc once (10 points), and each other one twice each.
"Aw, that was only 490 points," snapped the booth lady, who sounded disappointed despite her smile. "You don't win anything for that. You've gotta score a full 1,000 points to win the top prize, at least 850 for second place, and at least 600 for last. Wanna try again?"
Link did. 'I have to aim at the corners, where those 100-point holes are,' he reminded himself. It took him three more tries after that to win the top prize. He managed to get last prize his third time, which was a tasty caramel apple. Second time, second prize, and he got the stuffed doggie. "Great, let's go," Samba said, but Link, determined, handed him the toy, promising once more. This final time, the booth lady clapped.
"Well done, sir! You got 1,000 points! Congrats!" she cheered. "You get your choice of top prize:" She pointed at some of the prizes hanging up at the back of the booth, going in order to a life-sized pink hippo plushie, a propeller beanie with a baseball cap visor, and piece of parchment with writing and a map on it. "A giant stuffed toy to give your girlfriend, a nifty souvenir cap with a stylish visor, or a voucher for Kwilliam's, the finest map-maker in Hyrule?"
Link, who had been disappointed with the prizes up until then, shot up his eyebrows and pointed at the voucher. "I'll take it!"
"Good, because if you took either of the other two without having someone to give them to, I'd be worried," the carny snarked, grabbing the parchment down with a long hook. "Thanks for playing!"
Link smiled and nodded, then turned to Samba, holding the voucher. "You know, it never made sense to me or Grandpa why anyone would let people get stuff for less like this," he mused.
They returned to the man from before, and Samba gave him the toy. "Oh, thank you," the man grinned, breathing a sigh of relief as he took the toy. "My kid'll be ecstatic! Here, take this—I bought it thinking it was the kind that restores your energy. Go ahead and keep the bottle, too—I've got plenty back home." He handed Samba a bottle of green potion.
The two looked at it with big grins. "A new bottle!" Samba crowed. "But...you should get it, Link." He smiled sheepishly at his friend. "You won the prize, after all."
Link smiled and shook his head. "No, you can keep it," he said. "What use do I have for green potion?"
"Well, I could use it, then give it to you..."
"After your lips touched it? No, thanks!"
Samba laughed and punched him lightly in the arm. "C'mon, let's walk around a bit more," he said, putting the potion away, the overcast sky above giving little light to reflect off its sides.
They ran into a bunch of teenagers who looked awfully familiar. They went over and talked to their leader, the one who had begun the whole fiasco. "Oh! You're that guy...uh...S-Sorry about before...We just thought it'd be funny...Don't sic your lizard on us!" He cowered.
"Lizalfos..." Samba corrected, rolling his eyes.
The leader stood straight again, raising his eyebrows. "Oh? Sorry—" he resumed cowering, "—don't sic your lizalfos on us!"
"Actually, we're here to thank you," Link smirked. "At least partly."
"You're...thanking us?" one of the other teens asked while their leader uncringed.
"If you hadn't brought out the Ragite sleeping inside him, Link never could have...'purified' him, I guess," explained Samba.
"That said, though, that was still uncalled for," Link admonished. "We're lucky people didn't get hurt."
"Sorry..." the leader said, rubbing the back of his neck and looking down. "We didn't think that'd happen..."
"Well, y'all shouldn't'a been doing that in the first place," scolded Talgo as he and Darcia walked up. He crossed his arms. "I oughtta wallop y'all..."
"We won't do nothin' anymore!" promised the leader of the teens, clasping his hands. "We promise, don't we?" He looked over his shoulder.
"Uh-huh!" all the other boys nodded, clasping hands, as well.
The leader looked back again. "Please don't hurt us!" he begged.
Talgo scoffed, uncrossing his arms. "If I hear y'all raise trouble again, I'm gonna make y'all work yer hides off pro bono for a month at my ranch," he threatened darkly.
The teens gulped and nodded. "Yessir," they understood.
They walked off quickly.
The four watched them go off, then Talgo sighed, putting his hands on his hips and shaking his head. "I wish kids these days were more like y'all," he mumbled. Link, Samba, and Darcia smiled and chuckled.
"You think they got affected by some Ragite, too?" wondered Darcia, frowning.
"Only time will tell, at least at this point," Link replied, shrugging.
"We can't see any of it on them until they go berserk," explained Samba.
"Alright...They're from Ybayba," Darcia said. "I'll keep an eye on 'em."
"Thanks," Link nodded.
"Alright, enough depressin' stuff, back ta havin' fun!" Talgo announced, rubbing his hands together.
Darcia pointed at the booths. "C'mon, Papa, I wanna try some of them games there!" she told her father. She smiled at the boys. "Y'all don't have to stick with us, guys. We know you've got important stuff to do."
"Yeah, we're going to wander around a bit more," Link said. He waved, smiling. "Have fun, and good luck!"
The ranchers bade goodbye to them before standing in line for the left game. "Let's not bother with that," Samba decided with a slight growl, grabbing Link's shoulder before he went over.
"Yeah...we're running low on money, too..." Link sighed. "I need to get a bigger wallet, but nobody sells 'em."
"Me too," Samba frowned, bringing out his smallish bag with a green rupee embedded in the burlap. "You'd think they'd be more common..."
"But they say they're expensive, too," Link added, frowning. "Anyway, let's get going."
Link and Samba walked over to the magician's tent. A man was standing inside, watching the magician demonstrate a card trick...glancing up every so often at the woman sitting in the back, reading a book. "Oh, it's you two!" the magician greeted them, looking up. He glanced at the man. "Sir, why don't you try?" he suggested before beckoning the two over. "It was a bit loud before, and my tent has no sign, so you might not've heard my name—The Great Granolini!" He doffed his top hat. "Thank you for helping our friend."
"No problem," Link replied. He smiled sorrily. "You're a bit busy, aren't you?"
"Afraid so..." The Great Granolini leaned over and whispered, cupping his mouth away from the man, "This guy's here to ogle at my lovely assistant, but I can't shoo him away professionally. You'll have to wait a while if you want to talk to me..."
The duo went back to the fortune teller's tent. "Ah, welcome," the woman with shawls sprawled over her whole body greeted in an airy voice. Her hair was white and her eyes red. She sat on a chair in her dark tent with a crystal ball before her on a table. "I remember disappointing you before when you asked me about strange goings-on..." She produced a red rupee. "I feel guilty for that. Please accept this refund."
Link held the rupee happily for a moment before putting it away. "Thank you, madam," he nodded.
"You are most welcome, O Knight of Dualty," the fortune teller giggled. "I foresaw your arrival. Please, come in, I have much to tell you...if you ask. I'll charge after you ask, this time."
Link and Samba sat in the two chairs before her. "Well, if you can see the future and that kinda stuff," Samba said skeptically, raising an eyeridge, "could you tell us where Princess Zelda is?"
The mystic shook her head sadly. "You have no idea how often I am asked that," she groaned. "But the truth is, Princess Zelda is impossible to scry on, due to her inborn psychic power," she explained more professionally. "However...I do have the power to point you in the right direction on your quest to save Hyrule from the evil slowly clouding over the land." She snickered. "But for a price, of course. I can also help you when you seek gold or...jewels."
"Jewels? What kind?" wondered Link.
"20 rupees, please," smirked the fortune teller.
Link half-eyed. "You knew this would happen, didn't you?" he asked, giving back the red rupee he had just been given.
"Not this time," she chuckled, pocketing the gem. She waved her hands over the crystal ball, muttering something for a couple seconds. "AH!" she cried suddenly. She smiled. "Search quite nearby when the moon is high."
"Betcha it's at that last booth," Link whispered to Samba. Samba sighed.
"Anything else I may help with?" the fortune teller asked.
"No, but thank you," Samba replied, clapping Link's mouth shut.
"Return when your way is clouded," the fortune teller bade as they stood.
Link frowned at Samba, crossing his arms as they stepped out of the tent. "I was just going to ask what she meant by gold," he pouted.
"And she woulda charged another 20, and that woulda come outta my wallet, too," Samba predicted, raising a non-plussed eyeridge. "Honestly, for a kid raised in a shop, you've sure been failing at being thrifty today..."
"Hey," Link swatted his shoulder, "everything I've bought today has ended up gaining something of use to both of us. Ended up getting that bottle for you, right?"
Samba sighed in defeat. "Yeah, you're right...C'mon, let's visit the beautiful ladies," he pointed at the freak show.
"Just 30 rupees apiece to see the oddest things you'll ever meet!" advertised the carny in front of the freak show tent brightly.
Samba half-eyed at him. "Really? What if we can prove that we've seen odder?" he asked bluntly.
"Then you get in free," the carny replied confidently.
"Inside there is an obscenely obese woman and a she-wolfos. We're a human and a blue lizalfos enjoying a day at the circus together," Link pointed out.
The carny blinked. "You're right, that is odder," he admitted in a mutter. He sighed. "Go in, go in..."
Link and Samba entered, high-fiving. They were the only ones inside the medium-sized tent with a fence as high as a counter between them and the two ladies within. The women smiled as they saw the familiar faces. "Hi, dearies!" waved Candy, who had been humming to herself and dancing a little again. "Welcome to the hottest tent around!"
"Yeah, between her fat and my fur and the lack of windows, we're roasting," Kellese added wryly, walking over and leaning on the fence with a smirk, tail wagging a little.
"Worst part is they charge so much to see us, nobody really comes in," Candy added, frowning as she joined her friend. Her blobbiness spilled over the fence and made it creak a little; she was smart enough not to lean on it.
"Yeah, we had to sorta trick him to get in," Samba thumbed over his shoulder. "And Link, if that didn't work, think showing him my beastiary would? Anyone can tell it's hand-drawn, and nobody'd go through that much trouble to duck 60 rupees."
"Probably," shrugged Link.
"So, just wanted to visit? Kellese asked.
"Pretty much," Samba shrugged.
"Heehee..." Candy smiled warmly at them, voice softening. "I heard about how you dearies helped out Yobi," she said. "Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Yobi's...very important to me."
"Awooo," teased Kellese flatly, and she cackled while Candy shoved her, blushing.
"I-It's not like that!" Candy insisted, crossing her arms over her generous bosom. "We're just very good friends."
Kellese elbowed her love handle with a more serious raised eyebrow. "C'mon, don't be such a sissy. He's a handsome, nice guy!" she coaxed. "Just admit you've got a you-sized cr—"
"Hush," Candy ordered unamusedly, grabbing her head and burying it in her belly fat, muffling her, blushing deeper.
Kellese laughed into her gut before slipping out and grinning wolfishly at her friend. "You just don't wanna say it in front of them," she figured out. Her face fell. "Really, it's been a long time...just say it, you'll feel better..."
"Say what? There's nothing to say," Candy insisted, looking away. Kellese pursed her lips, then sighed in defeat.
"Say, Kellese?" Samba looked at her. "Could we talk a sec?"
Kellese nodded at him. "Sure! What about?" She smiled sweetly, tail wagging.
"Well...wolfos," Samba answered quietly, looking carefully at her.
Kellese's tail stopped wagging as she perked her ears and eyebrows up, then looked away, flattening her ears. "...I...would rather not...talk about it..." she mumbled.
Candy delicately put a sausage-fingered hand on Kellese's furry shoulder. "Kellese, I know it's hard," she said softly, "but Bob's told everyone about the story of the Rings of Dualty...and I bet even Phin can tell the Master Sword when he sees it. Not only that, you saw Link use the Rings right before your eyes!"
"I...I know they're the Knights of Dualty," she murmured, hugging herself, "but...do they really need to know...?"
Candy hugged the wolfos to her body gently, her fat providing a soft cushion all around her furry frame. "I think so," Candy replied. "I mean..." She looked at them, smirking a little. "...you two know by now where you need to go, don't you?"
Link and Samba nodded. "That abandoned circus in Western Hyrule Fields," answered the hylian.
"Yup," the wide woman nodded. She turned back to the wolfos, swaying a little, rubbing her arms. "See? They'll find it more likely than not. Why not—"
"No!" barked Kellese, pushing away from Candy and going to the tent wall, tail down low.
Candy frowned, lowering her eyebrows into a line, putting her fists on her hips, wobbling her whole body. "Quit acting like a little bitch and start acting like a grown one!" she chided.
Kellese shot her a withering look. "You have no right to lecture me about being a coward until you stop being one!" she retorted.
Candy bit her lip, stepping back a bit. "I...I'm no coward!" she flustered. "I'm not afraid of anything, except things that are perfectly sensible things to be afraid of!"
Link and Samba, watching this drama unfold, heard some footsteps approaching, looked over their shoulders, then stepped to the same side as Kellese. "Don't lie! You know damn well what I mean!" Kellese turned, pointing at her, tears starting in her eyes.
Candy brought her eyebrows down into angry slants, making her seem intimidating with her bulk. "I'll prove it to you, then!" she pointed. She put a hand on where her sternum would be and declared, "When we get our lunch break, I'm going to go over to Yobi, turn to his face, and say—" Here she turned her body smartly towards the entrance, then froze as she found herself making direct eye contact with Yobi. "—'Yobi?'" she squeaked.
Yobi was standing there, eyebrows raised, blushing, sweating a bit. "...C...Candy," he returned, throat parched.
Candy's entire skintight outfit became even darker as she broke out in a sweat all over. She glanced over at Kellese, who was standing, a little surprised as she watched, but still looking at her with angry expectation, tears starting to soak into her facial fur. Candy looked back at Yobi's eyes. Then, clenching her fists and setting her beet-red face resolutely, she took a deep breath through her nose, then gulped. "...'I'..." she began quietly before her eyes darted away. She closed them for a second, then looked up again, locking gazes with iron in her sight.
Confidently, but gently, Candy finished: "I love you."
Sound vanished. The air disappeared. Outside, the sun slowed its crawl through the sky. All grayed away from perception...except for Candy and Yobi. Two enormous hylians standing in a stuffy tent, separated by a railing either could smash with a small step, but could not pass with all the might in the world. Eyes bound in place with spice, ginger swirling with hazel. Sweat beading on brows, creeping down temples, sliding across cheeks, gathering on chins. Dripping. Falling.
"...I love you, too."
Feeding the earth below their feet with a dose of salt.
The world returned with an unheard splish to find Candy and Yobi embracing each other silently. Yobi held with all his strength, Candy's soft body protecting her from crushing, and Candy rested all the weight of her head and arm over his shoulders, Yobi's firm body protecting him from falling. Outside, it began to rain, as a drum beat began overhead, following an accelerando.
Finally, after a moment, the two parted, smiling at each other, holding arms, tears falling from eyes to mix with their sweat. "I'll never go away," Yobi vowed.
"I'll never give up," vowed Candy.
A sniff brought attention back to the side of the tent. Link and Samba looked beside them to Kellese, who stood with mouth hanging slightly agape in disbelief, crying, herself. She shook her head. "Th...That...I..."
Candy smiled warmly. "Your turn, sweetie," she murmured.
Kellese looked between the two lovers and the two fighters for a few moments before clenching her eyes, teeth, and fists. Suddenly, she vaulted over the railing and ran outside, going to all fours.
The two pairs of partners, the one friendly and the other romantic, blinked a moment at the entrance of the tent before looking at each other before muttering the same reaction: "Uh-oh."
"She just ran off!" the carny at the entrance to the freak show tent pointed, sounding worried when the four scrambled out of the tent. "See? You can still see her over there in the distance!"
"That's northwest, isn't it?" asked Link, hooding his brow from the medium rain as he looked at a quickly fading figure.
"Link! Samba!" They looked towards the tent and saw Joru running towards them from the other side. The four ran to meet him. Joru stopped, clutching his knees and panting. "I just saw...Kellese run off!" he exclaimed. "What's going on?"
"Long story," Candy replied quickly.
"We'll explain," Yobi said. "For now, we need to get to her, quick!"
"Already on it," Link informed, pulling his ocarina out while Samba did his guitar. Together, they played Epona's Song as fast as they could while being clear. To their relief, they heard a neigh in the distance. Making people jump out of the way, Epona sped to Link. He mounted her while Samba stood by her.
"Uh, come back soon," Joru bade hastily as Link reared Epona around and the adventurers dashed away at top speed.
Darcia, finally at the booth, stopped and spun as she watched them depart. "Welp, back to adventure," she muttered.
"She's pausing to rest a bit," Samba noticed as they pursued the she-wolfos. "We just need to keep after her until she runs out of breath!"
"And we don't run out!" Link nodded. "Just gotta moderate our dashes..."
Samba and Epona dashed as soon as their energy returned from the last dash, and gradually, though enemies sprang up from the damp field, which they plowed through or ignored entirely, and she weaved this way and that, they neared Kellese.
"KELLESE!" called Samba when they were only a few yards behind her. The rain was worsening, wind blowing from behind. "WAIT!"
"NO!" barked Kellese back over her shoulder, snarling. "Leave me ALONE!"
"Link, we'll have to subdue her," Samba realized, looking up at him. "Boomerang her, I'll dash ahead!"
Link nodded and pulled out his boomerang. Samba began to dash as fast as he could, pouring all the energy he had into hopping like never before.
Kellese glanced back as she heard mumbling on the wind. She scowled at the boomerang and the approaching lizalfos, then tossed her head up and howled. It sounded for all the world like she was singing two sets of three odd, ascending notes.
Link let fly his boomerang in the middle of it. However, as soon as she finished, a whirlwind abruptly kicked up around her body, whipping the angle of wood far off course. (It magically arced back to Link, flying weakly.)
"Get BACK here!" roared Samba, who had gotten close by then. He dived through the whirlwind, arms outstretched, before the wind accelerated enough that debris and rain formed a visual barrier.
"SAMBA!" Link called as Epona skidded to a halt at what she recognized as something you should NOT get near. Suddenly, the whirlwind compressed to the ground, forming a sphere that grew two wings of wind, which gave a mighty flap before the whole thing rocketed to the sky in the blink of an eye. Link sat on Epona, gaping at what just happened. "How did...What just...They..." he muttered. Standing up in his stirrups, he cried out to the empty, wet fields, "SAMBAAAAA!"
. . .
. . .
*Ruedekul is helping Krungratrg and Anjoltvrya build a well in the center of Here. He's carrying over the supports for the winch to the well. The well itself had been dug already, as evidenced by the amount of dirt all around a huge hole. Krungratrg had just deposited an armful of human-head-sized rocks onto a sheet of plywood-thin wood, and Anjoltvrya is working on mixing together Roman concrete.*
Ruedekul: Krungratrg, did you really have to make the hole so big?
Krungratrg: *sits, pouting, as he picks up some stones and, holding them in his paw, directs them to break apart into aggregate* Well, you asked me to dig it...and I'm a big guy who digs by burrowing!
Ruedekul: *sighs* Maybe I should have—*gasps and stops, dropping his load with a loud clunking clatter*
Krungratrg: Watch it, you almost dropped the stuff down the hole!
Anjoltvrya: *looks over, raising eyebrows* What is it?
Ruedekul: *looks skyward, wide-eyed* I sense...something actually somewhat dramatic just happened...
. . .
Okay. Ladies and gentlemen, this is an example of the characters taking the story in directions you didn't originally plan it to. And I'm still not ready to call it quits until I make the dungeon. Hoooo, boy...
To be honest, though, it was a lot of fun, having so much to do at the circus. (I know, it should really be a fair, but...) Also, I'll admit, I got poetic with that love scene up there. What can I say? I like big stuff, if you haven't noticed yet *strangles his furry side à la Homer to Bart*. I also put the map thing there because I'm tired of having them be so pricey, discouraging Link and Samba from buying many. Buying the map in parts was a stupid idea, despite being realistic.
Welp, I'd better end this and do stuff...CURSE YOU, FANFIC MUUUUUSE! *shakefish*