Epilogue: Life goes on
Before we get into this last chapter I just wanted to say that I found the song "Where would we be now" by Good Charlotte fits very well with this last chapter for some reason. Anyway, if you have the song I'd be nice if you listened to it while you read. I like to do that a lot cause it gives the lecture more feeling. I don't know if you understand what I'm saying, but whatever, jus laying it out there. Anyways, enjoy the epilogue!
Sometimes we look back at the past and wonder how we ended up in the position we are in right now. Time sure is something that I can't fathom. It has the ability to heal wounds, bring people together, bring change to something or someone's life in such a drastic way and ironically enough we tend to miss these things. 'Time flies, people change, and the world keeps on spinning.' It's a term I hear a lot, but they can't be anymore true, definitely filled with wisdom. Life goes on…
It was another sunny day in the newly formed Island of Rebirth. After the ordeal with Vincent Infiero the island was left in a catastrophic state, but the wonders of nature slowly healed the land and it eventually became the paradise that many had grown to know and love. The trees grew even larger and greener than ever before; the waters glistened like many sparkling diamonds and Star Mountain stood tall and strong like it always had. The townspeople lived their lives with a new understanding of life and although the cost was great they learned to cope and live to the fullest, thanking the Goddesses everyday for their blessings.
A tall young man walked through the busy streets of the town marketplace. His long golden hair tied in a small ponytail stood out from the rest of the crowd and the large black and golden sword with the word 'Destiny' engraved on its blade shone brightly on the man's back. The normal blue and brown Guard Squadron leather armor made the man seem rather imposing and intimidating, but his warm smile would say different. He walked by himself through the crowd as many individuals greeted him with friendly smiles and waves.
After greeting almost half the town the young soldier made his way down towards the harbor where he entered the "Shark's Cove" tavern. He silently sat in one of the tables near the end of the bar and waited patiently for one of the waitresses to get his order.
"That look suits you Link," Ms. Crystalis spoke from behind the man startling him somewhat.
"I can't stand it actually," Link replied as he looked at his armor in disgust. "I'm suffocating under this."
The tavern owner let out a small chuckle. "It was your decision to join the Guard Squadron was it not?"
"Yea," the teen nodded with an annoyed look. "A decision I'm starting to regret."
"Darien giving you a hard time?"
"Just because he's the new Elder doesn't give him the right to boss me around like a lapdog," Link snorted. "By the way, you're older than him, right? Why didn't you become the new Elder instead?"
"Me?" Ms. Crystalis pointed at herself. "Oh hell no sweetie, first off, I don't want people thinking I'm an old woman and second I'm happy being the owner of this tavern and serving poor devils like you," she concluded with a large laugh.
Link sighed and smiled. "I suppose."
"Linky!" Ruby called out suddenly before jumping on top of the teen giving him a bear crushing hug.
"Err… hey… Ruby," Link choked.
"C'mon Ruby stop harassing him," Coral said as she pulled Ruby back by the collar of her uniform. "Hi Link."
"Hi Coral," the teen smiled while adjusting his leather armor.
"Girls I'm taking a quick break," Ms. Crystalis said while taking a seat in front of Link. "Bring us something to drink please."
"Yes ma'm," both girls spoke simultaneously before leaving back towards the kitchen.
Crystalis watched the two girls walk away before turning back towards the soldier, her demeanor suddenly turning somber. "It's been several months now…"
"Five to be exact," Link spoke in a soft voice.
"How are you holding up? You've been living in her house right?"
Link sighed and leaned back in his chair. "It's been hard I won't lie… not only did I lose Zelda, but my friends as well…"
After the battle with Vincent Link had made his way to the coast where Raiku and the rest of the pirate crew as well as the townspeople waited patiently for him and Zelda. The loss of Zelda and the Elder was almost unbearable for everyone especially for those close to Zelda. Link apologized countless times and even offered his own life as retribution, but everyone denied him that choice for they viewed him as the person who had saved them rather than the one who had brought all those tragedies. Darien offered him a position as a Guard Squadron member and Link quickly accepted the offer. He would protect the island for the rest of his life, just as he had promised.
"Are you really going to stay Link?" Raiku asked as the pirates boarded the small wooden boat they would use to get back to the Nightmare.
Link glanced back at the people and then at his friend. "I must stay Raiku. I promised Zelda I would look after the people here."
"You know…" Raiku began as he looked out in the horizon, a distraught look on his face. "I have a feeling after we leave we won't see each other again."
"Maybe so," Link replied as he walked next to the thief. "After all we've been through I'm glad I met you Raiku. You're the closest friend I've had all those lonely years. I'll never forget you."
A small tear fell from the young prince's face as he turned to smile at his friend. "Who knew your could be so romantic?" he smirked while out stretching his hand. "Be good Link."
Link smiled as well and took the green haired teen's hand. "See you on the other side."
"Abso-freakin-lutely," Raiku grinned.
"Raiku and the rest of the pirates left and it seems the force field that surrounded the island is back to its original state. No one will get in again," Link assured.
Ms. Crystalis gave Link a look of pity, but quickly dismissed it and let out a large smile. "Well, you're doing a good job so far. Feel free to come in whenever you want. I'll take care of ya."
Link smiled and nodded. "Yea, thanks."
Link spent most of the afternoon with Ms. Crystalis and the girls. They drank and shared memories together though the truth of the matter was that although time had passed they still needed each other in order to cope with their loss. Link would be eternally grateful to them and so would they, but it remained only as a silent reminder.
After saying their goodbyes Link walked out into the streets of the town, his destination the small clinic. He reached the small wooden house and entered through the front door waving towards the receptionist in the process. Maneuvering through the small rooms he eventually reached the back one. He sighed and took a step inside the room only to be met with a flying vase that almost crashed into his face.
"Whoa!" Link gasped as he caught the object thanks to his fast reflexes. "What was that for?"
"I told you I didn't want to see you until I fully healed!" a young man spoke with an indignant tone. His dark hair and eyes contrasted with the white sheets of the bed he laid in. The room was small with only a small nightstand and a large window that showed the ocean in the distance. Though it was small it seemed very cozy though the youth that resided in it didn't seemed to be enjoying it at the moment.
"Sorry," Link apologized in a sarcastic manner. "Couldn't help it… Kain."
The young soldier sighed in defeat as the blonde youth took a seat next to his bed and placed the vase back to its original place on top of a small desk.
Link took his time to examine Kain's leg cast and smiled. "It seems to be getting better."
The raven haired teen glanced at his healing leg and sighed once more. "It's been five months and it still hasn't healed properly… I'm this close to cutting it off."
Link chuckled at his remark. "If you do that then you won't be able to challenge me again, right?"
Kain smirked. "That's true… still… I'm surprised I even survived that fall."
"You still don't remember anything, do you?"
"No," the teen shook his head. "All I remember is falling into the cold water and darkness overtaking me," he paused for a moment letting the memory sink in once more. "That armor still clung to my leg and I felt myself sinking into the ocean floor. Next thing I knew I had washed up ashore… still alive."
A small silence overtook the room. Both teens became lost in thought, their minds wandering back to that fateful day when they had fought and almost killed each other. It seemed so long ago yet the memory still haunted them, especially the memory of her.
"Hey Link," Kain spoke. "I'm…"
"It's ok," Link cut him off, a faint smile forming on his lips. "I understand."
"Still… if it wasn't for me…"
"If it wasn't for you, this island would have been destroyed."
"I made a mistake."
"So has everyone else… including myself… yet here we are, fighting to make things right. We owe it to her, right?"
Kain's eyes widened at Link's words, but smiled a sad smile and nodded. "Her… you know… I loved her ever since I've known her."
Link stared at the raven haired youth with a sorrow fool look. "I know…"
"Don't get like that though. That's not the point of this conversation," Kain smiled and glanced out the window. "After her parents passed away I took care of her. I would always see her and play with her and if she was sick I would stay by her side. If she was sad and cried I would hold her and if she was happy then I would happy as well…"
"That is why I don't feel as bad I thought I would be. I know she loved you and in the end she chose you. No matter how much it bothered me I couldn't help but feel a bit relieved as well."
"Because I knew you loved her too and I know you treated her just as she deserved to be treated."
"Things would have probably been different, but I don't regret anything!" Link snapped back. "I came here as a lost soul who's only desire was revenge and power. Zelda showed me just how wrong I was and I loved her for it. Now I have the chance to make it up to her and I vow not to fail!"
"In the end… you were the better man."
"All right stop!" the teen suddenly snapped causing Link to stare at him with uncertainty. "We don't have to make this into a soap opera right?"
Link smiled and nodded. "Yea… that just wouldn't be right," he chuckled. "Thanks… Kain."
A lone hooded figure stood motionlessly on the old wooden docks of Hyrule overlooking the calm sea. He closed his eyes as the smell of the ocean filled his nostrils, a salty aroma he had grown used to. "Hard to believe five months have passed already," he mumbled to himself as he lowered his brown hood revealing a cascade of long green hair. He glanced over at the small letter he held in his right hand letting out a large sigh. "This may seem out of character, but something told me to do this. It's not easy dealing with the loss of someone close to you… but hang in there. "
Raiku overlooked the letter one last time before rolling it up and stuffing it in a glass bottle. "Till the next time Hyrule is in need of the Great Anarchist!" he smirked before launching the bottle across the water. He stared at it for awhile as it slowly floated away until it was no longer on sight. The young gerudo prince couldn't help but feel slightly overcome with sadness at the thought of his only two friends, but being the tough gerudo warrior that he was he shook off the feeling and smirked once more before placing his hood back over his head. "Till next time."
Link ran frantically through the small trail towards Zelda's house. All he could hear was the waves in the distance and his own breath as he gasped for air. The conversation he had with Kain replayed over and over in his head. "Can it be true?" Right now his mind wasn't sure, but his heart told him otherwise. There was still a small glimmer of hope.
It was near twilight back on the island and Link was still in the clinic conversing with Kain. It was odd how some unfortunate circumstances could create such friendships. This seemed to be the case for the two youths.
"You know… you've spent the whole day here," Kain said as he leaned back against the bed rest. "You shouldn't be neglecting your duties as a Guard Squadron member."
Link crossed his arms as he leaned back in his chair as well. "I suppose, but then again I don't think you wanted to be bored here all by yourself, right?"
Both teens chuckled slightly before allowing the silence to overtake them. Link glanced at the raven haired teen as he stared at his bed sheets in a complete daze.
"Hey Kain, you ok?" Link raised an eyebrow.
"Yea," the teen spoke after a few seconds of silence. "There is just something that's been fiddling in my mind these past few weeks."
"What is that?"
The soldier sighed and looked out the window. "The legend behind this island said that if the heart of the island died then so would the island, right?"
Link nodded. "Yes, that's the way it goes."
"If Zelda was the heart of the island, and she died," he turned towards Link with a stern look. "Then… why are we still here?"
Link's eyes widened in realization as the comment sank in. "I never… thought of that…"
"Link… do you think…?"
Link finally reached the house by sunset, but continued on towards the beach behind it. Nothing seemed out of place and it distraught him. He looked around hysterically hoping to see some sign of her, but to no avail. "If Zelda is dead then why are we still here?" he shouted into the heavens. "Why?" a trail of tears began cascading down his face. "How can this island live without its heart?" He kneeled on the white sand in utter frustration. "Don't cause false illusions… if she's not coming back…" He allowed the grief to consume him and for the second time in months he began to cry for the woman he loved. "Should I just give up hope…?" he breathed.
Just then a small glimmer in the distance caught his golden eyes. Wiping the tears away he narrowed his eyes and focused on the sparkly object that floated in the water a few feet away from him. He stood up and made his way towards the water. It felt cold to the touch, but this did not stop him. A small wave carried the object right into his hands where he picked it up and examined it. It was a glass bottle with a small letter inside of it.
"What… is this?"
He made his way back towards the beach and sat in the sand. He glanced at the bottle with uncertainty before popping the lid open and extracting the letter inside. After carefully unrolling it his eyes widened in shock as he examined its contents. "It… can't be…" he gasped.
I don't know if this letter will reach you all the way out there, but regardless I wanted to give it a shot. You're probably wondering how things are going over here in Hyrule. Well, let me tell you that things are going great. King Johansen has made Hyrule prosper in a way never before seen before. People are starting to call these times the Golden Age of Hyrule. Personally I find it rather lame, but I can't deny that it fits properly.
Everything back in the Gerudo Fortress has settled down as well thanks to the King's peace efforts. They have me working like a dog rebuilding sectors of the fortress that were damaged during the war, but other than that it's fine. I'm surprised I even managed to escape long enough to write you this letter. As for Captain Leone's crew, they disappeared soon after we arrived back home. I really have no idea where they might be, but I wouldn't worry about them 'scurvy dogs'. I sure miss the Captain though, sometimes it's hard to just accept the fact that he's gone, you know? Still, that old geezer's probably laughing at me in his grave. I can just picture him "Are ye a man or a fish? Stop yer cryin you scallywag!"
So how are things with you over there? I know it must be tough dealing with everything you've been through, but you're the strongest person I know so I wouldn't worry much… I hope… right? We've been through some of the most daring and outrageous adventures you and me and it feels surreal knowing it's all over. We might not see each other again, but I know that those moments were real and will forever rest in my heart and even though it may seem impossible I'm sure our paths will cross again. I might not be there now, but I'll support you always, as your best friend, that's what we do. So please, write back as soon as you get this! If you DO get this! Remember never to give up and always have faith!
"Raiku…" Link smiled as he wiped a lone tear off his cheek. "Never give up and always have faith…" He glanced up at the starry night and breathed heavily as images of Zelda occupied his mind. "Zelda… I don't want to believe you're gone forever… I will always love you… forever…"
"And a day…"
A cold shiver ran through Link's spine as he heard those familiar words coming from behind him. He had finally lost his mind? Had his grief taken a toll on his mind? Part of him feared that she wouldn't be there, but he couldn't simply ignore it. His mind and heart began to race simultaneously as he turned to find Zelda, as beautiful as ever, standing there smiling warmly at him just as she always had. Link quickly stood up and out stretched his hand towards her, but stopped, uncertain on whether she was real or not. "Zelda…?"
"Link," tears began forming around her sapphire eyes before she sprinted towards the teen catching him in a long embrace. "Link!"
"This… isn't a dream," Link thought as he inhaled her sweet scent and felt her soft golden hair caress his skin. "Zelda… how?"
"The Goddesses…" she said between sniffles. "They decided to give us another chance… they saw our devotion and our love," she took in a moment to regain her composure. "The heart of this island wasn't just me… it was you as well, us!"
Link was at a loss for words. He watched as Zelda buried herself into his chest and cried tears of joy. "I can't believe this," he whispered as he embraced her tightly once more. Raiku's words echoed in his mind as he glanced into the night sky. 'Never give up and always have faith.' So many questions aroused in his mind. Was this all preordained? Had he always been the heart of this island along with Zelda? He wasn't sure. Link's life had always been hard and full of obstacles, but in the end he had prevailed over his darkness and reunited with the one person who truly loved him and that is all that mattered to him.
"Zelda?" he mumbled.
The young girl sniffed and looked up at him, her deep blue eyes shining ever so brightly. He ran his hand through her soft cheek before leaning down to kiss her softly on her lips. She placed her hand over his as she returned the affection given to her. Their lips slowly parted though they remained close to each other.
"I promise never to let you go again," Link whispered softly.
"Where have a heard that before?" Zelda whispered back and smiled a playful smile causing Link to chuckle as well. "I love you Link and I won't let you go… never."
The two lovers stood what seemed like an eternity simply staring into each other's eyes lost in the love they shared under a bright night sky.
And life goes on…
A/N: Published: 6-26-09 Completed: 10-4-10 After a year working on this story it seems surreal knowing it's over now. I guess there isn't much to say after this. I had a blast writing this story and I want to thank everyone for your continued support throughout this experience. Without my readers I can pretty much say this story would have never been done so thanks again. I don't know when I'll post another story, I might work on remaking my Hyrule Battle stories, but I'm not sure at the moment. I hope to hear from everyone one last time. Once again, THANK YOU ALL!
~Special Thanks To~
Sparty the Bold
Master Assassin Darkstorm
A Morning Star