Disclaimer: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess characters belong to Nintendo. This story is not for sale or rent.
Notes: This is just a little snatch that I wanted to use for a larger story about the various Links and their guardians/partners. Even if I never get around to writing the larger work, I feel this deserves to exist. This was inspired by my looking in upon philosophical debates online and getting annoyed at the inevitable classism some feel the need to bring up. I've found, in life, that some of the wisest people you'll meet are also the lowliest.
The air of Telma's hit them both with a warm blast, as warm and inviting as a soft blanket on a winter's day. A few spats of the cold late spring rain followed them in. Midna edged closer to Link as the light from the interior's many sources shrunk his shadow. It wasn't a bad view, really – looking right up the back of his tunic. The young man's body was well-toned from a life of hard work.
Link was greeted by Telma and given a mug of hot tea. Midna remembered how time and time again the bartender refused to serve him any of the more intoxicating drinks behind the counter. It wasn't just his age – but the fact that people were pinning their hopes on him and needed their warrior to have a clear head. Midna thought her very wise. Hot tea was best for a night like this one, anyway.
There was quite a bit of chatter in the back of the bar, from the big, round table.
"Well, magic is the way of the world, of course. Fairies are in the taxonomies. I just doubt the Goddesses. If they set the world into motion and left it, they might as well not exist at all and I don't think they do."
"But where would that leave me, my friend? I do consider myself a servant of Nayru."
Shad, a man Link had met briefly before, was seated across the round table from a man neither he nor Midna had seen before. They were engaged in a somewhat heated debate.
"That is just tradition, professor. Don't tell me you really believe in it. As my teacher, I'd always imagined you to be more sensible than that, though everyone at the university does know you as the dream-chaser."
Link walked over, smiling but saying not a word. He gave Shad a questioning look.
"Ah, Rael!" Shad exclaimed, "Let me introduce you to a true son of Farore! This is Link."
"The Link?" Rael asked, adjusting his eyeglasses. Rael was a young man – slightly older than Link by appearance. His hair was dark and cut short and he had rounded ears. He was dressed well in a white shirt and silken red vest. He offered out his hand, which Link gently shook as he sat down.
Rael turned to Shad. "This is the one who fought though all those monsters to help that sick Zora kid get to the doctor in Kakariko Village?"
"Yes," Shad nodded. Link rubbed the back of his neck and grinned in an embarrassed manner. "Though I'm afraid you'll not get the whole story of it from him. He's a rather shy and humble fellow."
Shad turned to Link. "This fine young man is Rael. He is one of my students."
"Didn't know you taught anyone," Link said softly.
"Yes. Did I not tell you, dear boy? I am the Professor of History and Letters at the University of Castletown. I cannot hold regular classes right now because… it is actually a part of the Royal Palace which is under that strange shield of ominous magic at present."
"I caught him in here and decided to get re-acquainted," Rael explained. "Oh? You're looking at my papers there…"
Link gingerly leafed through sheets of parchment that were resting on the table and smiled.
"Those are parts of an essay on ancient literature. Are you familiar with the work of the Bard?"
Link nodded, then sat up and took a deep breath. "Down into the depths his feet did take him, into the dragon's keep….
And he recited, by heart, his eyes closed, the grand Volvagia Epic from the Legends of the Hero of Time, a poem that spanned several pages in a normal book. He did not miss a single word.
"Amazing!" Rael said. "Quite well-read!"
Link grinned a goofy grin and took a sip of his tea to replenish his now-dry throat. He cleared his throat before speaking. "The Hero of Time is….supposedly my ancestor," he said shyly.
"You don't say…" replied Rael.
"It's not like I have actual records," Link said. "It's just what was passed down through my family. My parents died when I was very young, so they didn't have a chance to pass down everything they wanted to."
"We were just talking about those very legends, Link," Shad explained. "We were debating the history, the evidence."
"They're just legends, really. There's no evidence that any of the events happened. The only 'Sages' that we know of are Darunia and Impa. Even the Zora Queen Ruto is more or less a legendary figure. In any case, there are no records of them actually having become Sages."
"That is because of the time distortion!" Shad said insistently. "The core Legend clearly states that once the Hero of Time had sealed away the King of Evil, he was sent back in time…"
"…and prevented the original events from even occurring," Rael finished for him, "so how do we know they occurred? Just some wild tale the Royal Family kept to entertain itself?"
"You know," Link interjected, "It is said that if one were to go back in time and change even the smallest thing, that an alternate universe would be created. I've also read of the theory that a multitude of universes exist all at once – all intersecting and echoing into one another without us knowing it. It could be that this particular echo was strong enough for our ancestors to remember a little taste of it."
"That's really interesting, Link," Rael replied. "It is something to think about. When you overcome that bit of initial shyness, you do prove yourself as sharp as that sword on your back."
"You do know that the Royal Family is blessed with gifts of knowledge and foresight, the gifts of Nayru," Shad added.
"Now you start in with the gods again! Professor…."
"Doesn't the magic in the world speak for itself? To their existence?"
"As I said before, no. Magic is magic – like life and death. It just exists and, with more work, the source will be found and explained. You do know that the tales of the goddesses were just the campfire tales of goatherds, right? Pah, written by goatherds."
Midna, from the shadow upon the floor, could feel Link wince.
"What's wrong?" Rael asked.
"N-nothing," Link said.
Rael then smiled at him. "You are clearly a brave, intelligent person, Link. How about you share some more of your thoughts on this – join the discussion."
"I'd rather not; you'd lose respect for me very quickly."
"You'd better not, Rael," Shad said. "This young man is a fighter and slayer of monsters – a seasoned soldier. You would not want to say anything that would upset him and have things resort to fisticuffs."
"Shad, you know I wouldn't do that," Link responded.
"Hmmm," Rael said, looking long at Link. "He's got the long ears. Have you heard the voices of the gods, boy? Pureblood Hylians are supposed to with their tall ears, but Professor Shad says he's heard not a word."
Link had, of course received more in the way of spiritual messages in just the past month or so than most people had in a lifetime. He'd encountered Light Spirits and fought malevolent Poes. Although he was hopeless to actually explain it, he could feel the strength and love of the courage-goddess Farore pulsing through his very being. He could bear no ill-will toward anyone who wasn't as blessed – or was it cursed – as he was. Link was never always sure of what he'd seen and experienced, anyway. Ever since his adventure had begun, he'd been imagining that he might be laid out in the field of Ordon Ranch, kicked in the head by his horse or something. All the wildest things he'd seen, too, could be just as Rael suspected – "things that just are," their interpretation a matter of personal belief. In any case, Link felt that keeping his mouth shut at this time was the best course of action.
It was just the one comment regarding occupations that bothered him.
"I thought so. Smart kid. So, you've gotten caught up in helping a lot of people lately, haven't you? Escorting the sick, throwing that big boar-rider off the bridge… Where do you come from? I haven't seen you around the city before."
"I've not been in Lanayru Province for long," Link confessed.
"You seem young to be a soldier, unless the Royal Guard's been recruiting young. You carry yourself with too much confidence and, dare I say it… majesty to be squire. The eloquence and memory with which you recited the epic… you must be a budding scholar, a young intellectual, correct?"
"Actually," Shad began, "Link is…"
"I do read a lot… on my days off," Link said.
"So, you are employed in some fashion?" Rael pressed.
"Yes," Link said, a smirk crossing his face. "Before I came here, I had a job. I will probably go back to it after everything I've been caught up in has been brought to a close. Do you want to know what I am, Rael?"
"My home is way out in the annex of Ordon. I work there as a goatherd."
Rael's jaw dropped as Link slid out of his chair, put two rupees on the bar to pay Telma for the tea, and walked out the door.