It's during a fight against Ganondorf that she first senses it - a hint of something in the shadows, an extra presence that urges her on, boosts her speed and her jumps and the shadow magic that wraps around her like a comforting cloak. She wins easily, and doesn't stand alone on the winner's podium, and it's not until what passes for night at the tournament does it make itself known.
The first thing she is aware of is the sound of a lyre, bandaged fingers plucking expertly at the strings. The second is the Eye emblazoned in red across his chest, and the third is the only slightly staggering fact that the young man in the shadows is another one like her.
"You fight well," he tells her, and his voice is like pure shadow made into sound - soft, low, almost musical - impossibly foreign to those that live in the light, but like a balm to her.
"You helped me," she says bluntly, and he nods in confirmation, finally lifting his head. And she's expecting it, but there's still a sharp intake of breath at his red, red eyes. "Who are you?"
The hands on the strings falter for a moment, then switch to another song - lower, mournful, one that tugs at something in her very soul. "A shadow," he says, and it's almost like he's discovered the idea for the first time himself, "Nothing more and nothing less."
"But," she says, and stands. She needs to know - needs confirmation that the young man with the lyre is who she thinks it is, "You're not, are you? You're a hero. You're the one who helped the Hero of Legend."
"...Aren't you?" she whispers, and is gratified when he nods once.
"I helped the Hero," he confirms, and there's a wistful note in his voice, something too familiar to simply be respect, "I am no hero myself."
She approaches now, stopping a few paces away. From here, she can see the details - the bandages around his arms and fingers and torso that mimic her own, the Eye, the cowl that covers his face. The Legendary Sheikah in every detail, replicated in the form of a young man with a lyre.
"You are," she whispers, "You're a legend. I was named for you."
"You were named for a lie," he says simply, but there's no malice in his tone. "The old ways have been forgotten. The nameless have been named. Shadows become heroes. We are shadow made flesh - we are the bridge between the dead and the living." He ducks his head and smiles, and even though the cowl covers his face, it reaches his eyes. "More dead than living, now."
She bows her head, knowing it's true. "There's barely any of us left," she confirms, "Only myself and Grandmother, and she's old."
He nods, and stands as well, and she almost takes an involuntary step back when he steps forward. "But still you live," he says, and there's wonder in his eyes, "The hope of our people."
For just a moment, she breathes in the scent of something undefinable, voice caught in her throat. "Will you show me your face?" she asks quietly, finally daring to meet his gaze.
"Will you show me yours?"
She nods, and tugs it down almost hastily. She can almost hear the rebuke from Grandmother, but Grandmother is not here and a legend of the Sheikah is, and if she can't show her face to him, who can she show it to?
He takes another step forward, and her eyes close for a moment. And lips, whisper-soft, brush across hers, whispering in a tongue long-forgotten against her mouth. And she doesn't know the the words, but she knows the meaning - "You are my blessing."
When she opens her eyes again, he's already long gone.