**All Standard Disclaimers Apply**

Book Two in the Doppelganger Trilogy
Shadow Kingdom
by The Wolfess


Chapter Twenty Seven: The Snowpeak Ruins

Night fell on the empty remnants of Old Kakariko Village with the distant, echoing howl of a wolf. Link's eyes snapped open. He shook himself and stood up, brushing the dead grass off of his tunic. Ducking into the larger room, Link found it empty. The sound of people outside in the main street of town answered his unspoken question as to their whereabouts.

Out in the main street, two soldiers were readying the wagon and gathering up the horses. The horses took a quick drink from the shallow square water hole opposite their sleeping quarters, and then a soldier guided each to its place. Volc was practicing archery with five of the soldiers over by the open area near the entrance. They used the sides of the building as targets. Auru was teaching the remaining three a few of the finer points of swordplay. It was obvious that these men were not experienced recruits, and every chance they had to train was beneficial.

Link smiled to himself as he watched the training. He yawned, stretched his back and neck, and tilted his head back. He was enjoying the feel of the night air. It was warmer than it had been in a while—a sure sign that spring would come soon. Finally, stretching his neck one more time, he walked over to where the Marquis was training. "How goes the battle?" he asked, leaning against the stack of crates in the middle.

"Good morning, Link," Volc said, giving the hero a little half smile. "Or evening I guess. Anyway, just a moment more and we'll be ready."

The hero nodded and wandered over to where Auru was teaching. He watched the old man show the young soldiers some basic footwork patterns. When they had practiced a few times, Auru had them pair up and practice with each other, using wooden sticks for swords. Link laughed when they tripped over their own feet and stumbled, but it was all in good humor. They caught on quickly. Soon both the fencing lesson and the archery lesson were over and the men moved into position around the wagon.

"All right," Link said, standing where they could all see him. "Today, we don't have to worry about Castle Town so much. Castle Town's north wall has always been neglected. However, we have to be quiet. Just because it's neglected doesn't mean that they won't send a party out to investigate if a lot of noise is heard. What we do have to worry about are the monsters dotting Upper Lanayru. There should only be a few in our path tonight. I'll pick them off from a distance so we can move quietly. After that, our biggest challenge yet awaits: scaling Snowpeak Mountain. Luckily, once we're at the top I think you will find yourselves…uh, pleasantly surprised…by what we find."

With one last glance back at the fading billboards of Old Kakariko, the procession made their way down to the ledge. They lifted the wagon down carefully, like they had the night before. Everyone climbed in again, since it was still faster than walking, and Volc mounted Daru. Link called Epona and took the front. They trotted the rest of the way to where the path opened up into Upper Lanayru, where Link held up his hand. The company pulled to a stop behind him.

Wordlessly, the hero pointed to a single Lizalfos and two Tektites blocking their way along the upper wall to the entrance to the cave. He rifled around in Epona's bags, hoping what he left there so many months ago during the Mountain Campaign would still be there. Finally his fingers brushed what he was searching for: his bow and quiver. He pulled them out, momentarily brushing his fingers over the familiar wood. He had missed his bow sorely. Shaking himself, Link hooked the quiver onto Epona's saddle. He took an arrow out and notched it in the bow. Pulling back the string, Link sighted down the length of the arrow. He would pick off the Tektites first. After all, they were the most annoying.

Link took a deep, steadying breath. He watched the bouncing pattern of the first Tektite. Then, as it was coming down from the peak of its bounce, he released his arrow. It hit the red bugger just as it landed in the deepest part of its crouch, and it crumpled to the ground dead. Link did the same with the other, and then turned his attention on the giant, armor-covered lizard.

The problem with Lizalfos was that they made really loud noises when they caught sight of an enemy and they were very tough to kill. If he approached it as normal Castle Town would surely be alerted and send someone out. However, shooting it from a distance wouldn't do much. The arrow would only glance off of its tough hide. Luckily, Link had an idea.

Link aimed at the giant lizard's skull. As he let it fly, he kicked Epona into a sudden gallop. The arrow hit the Lizalfos just as its back was turned. By the time that the Lizalfos shook its head to get out of its stunned trance, Link jabbed his sword at the base of the Lizalfos's skull, severing it completely. The creature's eyes rolled back in its head and it fell, silently, where it stood. Link turned in his saddle and motioned for the cart to follow him.

They raced across the stone path cut through the mountainous north side of the field. Soon they found the tunnel that Link had promised them was there and it was just big enough to fit the cart through. Link and Volc dismounted their horses. After clearing some rubble in front of the entrance, Link guided Epona into the tunnel. The cart followed after him, trailed by Volc leading Daru. The tunnel was dark and cold. The ground was rough, littered with rocks and uneven patches, so the group went slowly. When all light seemed to be gone, Link pulled out one of Coro's lanterns and lit it. A warm light filled the cave, guiding them onward.

Soon the air became damp. Then walls of the cave began to glisten with water. They could see a small point of light ahead of them. That light grew larger until it was obvious that they had found the exit. Link stopped them just inside.

"We have to leave the cart and the horses here. The Zora never check inside this cave. They've mostly forgotten it was here, I think. When I found it, both entrances were blocked by giant boulders. The Zora mostly take the waterways to Upper Lanayru, and to the castle from there." Link riffled through Epona's packs. He put away the lantern and kept his bow and quiver on him, as well as a large empty sack. All twelve KRP soldiers also had a large sack with them. Link was banking on getting some help from Yeto and Yeta to get the armor to the wagon, but just in case it was good to have a sack they could carry back and forth.

"Okay," Link said once the horses and wagon had been secured and everyone was lined up. "So there are two ways to get down from here: one, we could just jump. The waterfall basin is very deep, so that would be fine. Two, you can scale down the rocks and vines to our left. We'll have to come up that way on the way back, so either way is good. The other tunnel you see on this ledge with us goes up to the throne room, so you definitely don't want to go that way. Got it?" The men affirmed their comprehension, so Link continued. "When you get down to the basin, just follow my lead. They will recognize me, and hopefully they'll just let us through. If not…well there's only a few of them, so use the butt end of your sword. We won't be killing any of them for any reason, you hear me?" Again, another affirming grunt. "Okay then. Let's go," Link said.

The hero stopped to make sure that the soldiers who decided to take the long climb down and Auru—who said that he was too much of an old codger to jump like that—could see where the rough path down went. Satisfied that they understood, Link, Volc, and a couple of the braver soldiers all took a running jump off of the ledge. They landed down in the cold waters of the waterfall basin. Link was the first to surface, and he treaded water until he saw all three of his companions pop up.

"Follow me," he said once they got close enough to hear him over the roar of the waterfall. "If they seem alarmed, we clock them on the head and get everyone through. Got it?" Volc and the two soldiers nodded. Link looked up to see how close Auru and the others were—closer than he had thought they would be. They were all very fit men, and Link knew that getting them all to the top of Snowpeak would be no problem.

Satisfied that the men climbing down would join them shortly, Link swam toward the icy entrance to the mountain path. There were three Zoras on shore—two on either side of the tunnel and one standing by the water. All of them had the ornamental war helmets and spears of Zora guards. Link furrowed his brow as they drew closer. If these Zora decided to fight, it would be no joke. The Zoras were fierce warriors when they wanted to be, and trying to clock actual armed soldiers on the head wouldn't be easy.

Link reached the shore, and Volc and the two soldiers swam up alongside him. Gripping the snowy grass of the bank, the hero hoisted himself up on shore.

"Halt!" shouted the Zora closest to shore. Before Volc and the two soldiers had even managed to get fully out of the water, a spear was already pointing at their chests. "How did you get here? Zora's Domain is completely off limits to all Hylian people!"

"Hey," Link said, putting on his most disarming ranch-boy smile. "Long time no see. Don't you remember me? I was the one who saved Ralis, remember?" Auru and the other soldiers had made it down and stopped just around the corner from the encounter. They were gripping their sword hilts in white-knuckled hands and preparing to move forward. Link, however, caught Auru's eye and almost imperceptivity shook his head. He wanted to avoid a confrontation that would turn bloody. Thankfully, Auru understood the movement and held out his hand to his soldiers to stop. Still, they drew their swords just in case.

The Zora guard was not wavering. "Turn around and go back the way you came," he said, his watery voice firm.

"Come on," Link said. "You don't remember me even a little? Ralis taught me how to catch Reek Fish, remember? I caught one right over there by Mother and Child rocks. I'm just passing through to the mountain to see my yeti friends. If there was another path to get up there, I would avoid Zora's Domain all together."

The guard lowered his spear. "The Reek Fish? I saw the guy who caught that! He wore a green tunic just like you…so that was you?" The Zora flipped up the mask on his helmet. Underneath the fish head, he was smiling excitedly. "That was so cool. Only Ralis can catch them, so I know he had to have taught you how. I never knew the Reek Fish guy was also the guy who saved our prince—well, king—though. Makes sense why he would teach you his secret in that case."

Link nodded, smiling and resting his hands on his hips. "Yeah, that was me. Ralis and I are good friends now. Hey, do you mind if my friends and I just go through to Snowpeak? There's no other way in and out of that place, and I swear we'll come straight out."

With all of the Zora's attention on Link, Volc motioned for Auru and his soldiers to put their swords away. They did so just in time for the Zora to turn around and look at them, taking stock of how many people Link had with him. Auru smiled and waved at the guard. The Zora's eyes narrowed a little in suspicion.

"These men are dressed like soldiers. Why are you bringing soldiers to Zora's Domain?" His spear was up again, and his helmet mask down.

"It's a hard trek up the mountain," Link said, "and that's when I did it in summer. On the tail end of winter here, I'm sure some of the passes are blocked. I needed some help clearing the snow. Anyway, these are men from Kakariko, not the castle at all."

The Zora lowered his spear gain. "Hmm," he mused. "I'm not sure…but, well, you seem to mean well. And I have to help out a man who's caught a Reek Fish, right? That's no small feat!" He turned to the guards on either side of the entrance. "Hey! Let these guys pass will ya? This is the guy that caught a Reek Fish! Remember that?" The Zoras at the entrance gave a resounding 'oh yeah!' and stepped aside.

"Thank you," Link said, smiling. He motioned for Auru and the other soldiers to join him as they walked to the tunnel.

It was a quick jaunt through the small passage, and when they came out on the other side they were met with a blast of icy air. It was significantly colder here than elsewhere in Hyrule, and although the sky was clear the air itself was so cold that the hylians could feel their nose hairs freeze instantly upon breathing it in. One man coughed a little, the air like knives as it went through his windpipe.

The water dripping from Link's hair and clothes had frozen already. Water drops turned to snow as they dripped to the ground. Everyone was shivering already and scooting together for warmth. "Well, here we are," Link said, turning to the men shivering behind him. "I know it's ready cold—trust me, I feel it too—but as soon as you all get moving your bodies will warm up. We need to move fast though. We have quite a climb ahead of us."

They moved out wordlessly. The less they spoke, the more they could conserve their energy for the climb up the mountain—and it was no small climb. First they scampered down a thin, snow-covered incline. The snow was so deep that they sank up to their waists in it and it was very slow going. Once they reached the bottom and moved away from the rock wall, the wind could finally reach them. It blew so fiercely that it picked up the loose top snow and blew it around. The men couldn't see anything but a wall of white and Link's green tunic just in front of them.

Link stopped and came back to them. "Don't be afraid!" he shouted over the wind, and he held up his wolf mask for them to see. They nodded, understand what he was doing if not why. Link put on the mask. Once the transformation was over, he towered over his hylian counterparts. He shook his fur coat and lifted his nose into the wind, catching the scents there. He could smell the slightly disgusting scent of Reek Fish, though it was very faint. Following it, he made sure to move slow enough for the hylians to keep up with him.

From the back, the hylians could see that in his new form Link was able to walk almost on top of the snow. He didn't sink in at all with his wide, large werewolf paws. He was also a much larger and darker target for them to spot in the white blizzard, and it was obvious from the way that he stopped to sniff the air and then continued along a purposeful path that he was following a familiar scent. Although he looked frightening, they were quickly very grateful for his strange form and the abilities that came with it.

Link led them to the edge of a body of water. Though parts of it were normally liquid and others were chunks of ice, it was so cold here in the winter that the whole lake was frozen solid. At least, the top 6 inches of the water was frozen enough for them to cross it without jumping at all. In front of them, Link's movements were ever purposeful. He stopped to sniff every now and then, but he was following a path that only he could see.

Link had helped them up a couple steeper inclines and stopped by a single tree on an overlook near a lone stone on an outcropping. It had the Sheikah Eye carved into the stone. He bowed his head, as if paying his respects, before turning to return to the group under the tree.

"We're getting close to the ice cavern," Link said, his mask in his hand. "From there it's a lot quicker." He put the mask back on as he finished talking and began to walk. They trekked on in silence for a while. Suddenly, someone at the back of the group stopped.

"You okay, Eomer?" Volc asked. The man in question furrowed his brow.

"I thought I heard somethi—ARGH!" Before the man could finish speaking, his body was jerked under the snow. The hylians shouted and tried to get over to where he had been, but they were slowed down by the waist-high snow drifts. Link, much lighter on his feet, was able to get back a lot quicker. He stopped just a few steps back from where Eomer had been standing and looked down to examine the spot. The snow was starting to shift in a way that was familiar to Link. As if a snowman were building itself, a form rose from the snow. It was a White Wolfos, and its snarling was the only sound to rival the howling of the wind. As suddenly as the first Wolfos had created itself, a second one rose from the snow behind it, and a third. The three White Wolfos began to circle the group of Hylians, snarling and gnashing their fangs. The first one, obviously the alpha, raised his head to howl—the sure sign of an impending attack.

Link gnashed out as the same time as the first Wolfos leapt forward. The hero caught the snow creature in his arms, the claws on his hand-like paws digging into the creature's sides. The Wolfos thrashed its body, snapping its jaws at the wolf man, but Link had no patience for it. He sunk his teeth into the creature's neck. His jaws—slightly larger in this form than in his regular wolf form and much bigger than the Wolfos's neck—clamped down on either side. There was a sickening crunch and the creature's whole body went limp. Link tossed it aside, baring his blood-covered fangs at the two remaining Wolfos waiting a pace away. They walked to the left and then to the right, and then they leapt into the snow and disappeared.

Link stepped over to the spot where Eomer had vanished. He jerked his mask off and stowed it away in his pouch. "Quick!" he shouted, motioning the hylians over. "Dig in the snow! He's under there, I promise!"

"But they're gone," Volc said, although he was already maneuvering himself under Link and digging in the snow.

Link drew his Gilded Sword and Mirror Shield. "No, they're not," was all he said, his eyes scanning the blizzard around them. It would be a lot easier if the conditions weren't absolute white out, or if he were somehow able to scent them. The problem with White Wolfos was that they were not real creatures—they were made out of snow, and when they died they returned to the snow. Link glanced at where he had thrown the dead Wolfos's body. As he watched, it crumbled into a pile of snow and blew away.

Just then Link heard a Wolfos howl. He spun around, his sword leading and his shield up, just in time to catch the Wolfos leaping at his back. His sword caught the first creature's shoulder, and before Link could yank it out the second one was running toward his right arm. Link smashed the second Wolfos with his shield, and the first one jumped back of its own accord. They began to growl and stalk back and forth, watching Link.

The KRP soldiers were digging underneath where Link stood. He could see a hand wiggling its fingers under the snow. Link took a couple slow, bogged down steps forward just as the first Wolfos ran at him again. It dodged left and jumped right, but Link kept his guard up and moved his body with it. When the creature launched itself into the air, teeth leading, Link was ready for it: he thrust his sword straight up through its muzzle and into its brain. The creature crumpled to snow before its body could hit the ground, and Link turned his attention on the final Wolfos.

The soldier's head and shoulders had been dug free behind him. Link could hear Volc and Auru talking with him, making sure his mind was okay before they moved him too much. However, Link didn't have much time to pay attention to the man's answers. The final Wolfos jumped forward, running straight at Link without any fancy weaving. He jumped up like the last one had—like they all did when they went in for the final attack—and Link impaled it in the same way.

The Wolfos's body fell to the ground and crumpled to snow. The wind picked it up and blew it away. Link looked at his blade. What had looked like blood turned to snow as well, and Link wiped it off on his tunic before he sheathed the weapon. He would have to dry it off when they got to the mansion.

"How is he?" Link asked, turning around to face the men.

"I'm okay sir," Eomer said. He had been dug free and was standing with the others. His face and hands were quite blue, but he seemed mentally together. "I'm ready to go."

Link trudged over to him and put one hand on the man's shoulder. The hero locked eyes with him and nodded. "Good man, soldier," he said. With a final pat, Link took out his mask and turned to the others again. "We are almost there," he said. "I'll dig out the entrance quickly and you all will have to sneak through. I'll follow after I cover our tracks."

The men nodded. Link put on his mask and transformed. He shook out his fur and sniffed the air again, and then he continued to lead them onward. They reached what looked to be just another snow bank without many more Wolfos sightings. The men knew what to look for now and how to fight them, so they walked with their swords out and ready. Link walked toward a part of the snow along the wall that looked more sunken than the rest. He sniffed around for a moment, sensing the draft of reek fish-scented air he knew would be wafting out of the hidden entrance.

Once he had located its exact spot, he dove down and started digging. Normally he just dug enough to get his own body through, but this time was different. He had to dig deep and hard enough to clear it out so that his men could make it though safely. The men, for their part, fended off the Wolfos so that Link could be uninterrupted. Eventually, the hero had dug a pit deep and wide enough for everyone to snake their way through. He howled to get their attention and then dove in himself. Auru and Volc noticed first and started ushering the men through one by one. They then dove in themselves, disappearing in the hole Link left behind for them.

On the other side, they all stood panting and looking at the entrance, weapons ready. Link, however, covered it with snow, shutting them in completely. When he was done, he took off his mask. "They won't follow," he said, tucking the mask safely away in a spot where he could access it. "They cannot go where there is no snow for them to hide in, as they are made of it. Come on," he began walking past the lit torches in the underground tunnel they found themselves in. "We're almost there."

The men exchanged a confused glance, but put their weapons away and followed silently. Link took them to a rock wall covered in vines. He climbed up nimbly, and they followed with much less grace. Once at the top, Link killed a couple Ice Keese waiting for them as if they were flies, and then they came to a large, round stone door. In the door were the imprints of two very large hands.

"Excuse me, Link," said Volc, voicing what all the men were thinking, "but do you know what made these hand prints in the rock?"

Link had his hands on the stone door, preparing to roll it away, but paused and looked at the inquisitive Marquis. "My friend did," he answered, as if that were all they needed to know. He jerked the door open and rolled it away, revealing the quiet moonlight atop the mountain's crest. He stepped out into the crisp air and breathed it in as the men exited behind him and looked around. It was silent and clean-smelling up there. There were no Ice Keese and no Wolfos on the top of Snowpeak—just silence and solitude and one large, ice-covered tree.

Link and his men began moving toward the tree. The closer they got, the more they could hear two voices talking—a male voice and a female voice. They seemed to be arguing about who won a race of some sort.

"Yeto was faster," insisted the female voice, but the deep male voice laughed.

"No, no, Yeta was holding back on Yeto. Yeta would have won."

"No, my love, I never cheat!" she insisted.

Link reached the top first and cleared his throat. Yeta and Yeto spun around, the two giant snow beings towering over him with big smiles on their faces.

"LINK!" Yeto exclaimed. "How is Link doing? "

Link laughed, motioning for his men to slowly follow him into the yetis' sight. "I'm doing great Yeto," he said, and then motioned behind him "I brought some friends with me. I thought you could show them your home."

"Yeah?" said Yeta, the much smaller female yeti. "What you want to see old house for, huh?"

Link smiled. Yeta was the brains of this relationship, and even now she could see right through his ruse. "Well," he said, allowing his shoulders to sag a little and his smile to fade, "to tell you the truth, Yeta, things in Hyrule aren't going very well. I need your help."

"YOU need YETO'S help? HA!" the giant Yeto threw his head back and laughed. "That is funny! Well, Yeto would be happy to help Link. You saved Yeta's life, and we owe you."

"Sled down to house, uh?" Yeta said, smiling. Without further adoo, she flopped on her belly and was off, leaping over the snow dunes like a fish. Yeto shook the tree hard, causing all of the giant ice-leaves to fall off instead of just one. He took one and sledded down after Yeta.

"Seriously?" said Volc as soon as they were gone. "You want us to follow two giant and rather terrifying creatures down a mountain on leaves of ice?"

Link nodded. "Yeah! It's not as hard you make it sound. Just watch me."

Link hopped on one of the ice leaves and started pushing himself forward. It picked up speed quickly and soon he was sliding down the snow and toward the trail on the right. Not wanting to be left behind, the men began jumping on theirs one by one. Volc and Auru went last, taking up the rear to make sure no one got left behind. At least, that's what they would tell everyone later.

There was a lot of falling and getting back up, or chasing after stray ice leaves. It was a slapstick show the whole way down the mountain. But finally they all pulled in to the mansion and left their ice leaves in a snow bank. Link stood on the steps waiting for them, a big grin on his face.

"What took you guys so long?" he asked, his hands on his hips. "Come on in. Yeto's got some soup ready to warm us up."

"In?" Auru asked, still huffing and puffing from their bumbling trip down the mountain.

"Yeah," Link said, motioning above his head. "In there."

The men looked behind the hero and there in front of them was the giant, snow-covered ruin of Snowpeak Mansion. Its blue roof rose like a church steeple into the white sky, and its firm walls looked like the most inviting thing they had seen since they left Kakariko.

Link led them up the front steps and inside the front door. They shook off their clothing just inside the entryway and looked around at the old paintings, suits of armor, and expensive-looking antique rugs scattered about the great hall of the mansion. "What is this place, Link?" Auru asked, his voice full of an explorer's wonder.

"I know that this is the home of the yetis you saw before. I also know that it's brimming with artillery, weapons, armor—everything we need. Beyond that, I have no idea what it used to be. Some military outpost maybe. All the banners have a seal on them of some kind that I don't recognize, but there seems to be a lot of weaponry incorporated in the seal. Also, I think it was a long term operation since there is enough space and weapons and rooms here to house a whole army. There's even a chapel for the men to pray at, though to whom we have no idea. I don't think it was Hyrulian at all. Point is that it's been abandoned for centuries, and all the weaponry is ours for the taking. We will need Yeto's help though, Auru. We can't take this all back by ourselves."

Auru nodded. "So do you think we'll have problems convincing the beast to help us?"

Link frowned, gritting his teeth a little. "We will if you call him that," he snapped. "Yeto is a friend. He is a good cook with a compassionate heart. Just because he's big and scary-looking doesn't mean you should jump to conclusions about his character by calling him a beast."

Auru bowed. "I apologize," he said, furrowing his brow. He had never known Link to be outwardly sensitive about this topic, but the old general also didn't find himself surprised by it.

Volc stepped forward. "So, we'll follow your lead then," he said to Link.

Link relaxed a little and nodded. "First, we sit with them and have dinner. Pumpkin and Goat Cheese soup that'll warm you to the bones and fill you with energy. We'll fill the empty bottles I told you all to bring so we'll have some for the trip home and then we'll talk to Yeto, when we're all relaxing around the fire after dinner—well, breakfast I guess."

"What happens after that is up to how he reacts, then," said Auru. At Link's confirming nod, the old general sighed, rubbing his forehead a little. Life around Link was proving to be full of odd twists and absurdities. He wasn't sure if he liked the strangeness of it all or if it made him feel old. "All right then. Let's go have breakfast with some yetis."


Yeta had gotten bowls out while Yeto made the soup. By the time that Link and his men filed into the kitchen, they had warm bowls of soup waiting for them. They all took their bowls into the fire-warmed living room and began to eat. The men were starving. They slurped up bowl after bowl of the soup, and Yeta kept them coming while Yeto lounged by the fire with Link and talked. For a long time they didn't talk about much. They just sat together, both being creatures of few words, and enjoyed their soup. But eventually Link began to tell Yeto about the troubles he alluded to before and how his small band of survivors was without weaponry or armor to protect themselves.

Yeto seemed like he didn't really understand what Link was talking about, but he was sympathetic. Finally, Link maneuvered his way to the question he'd been trying to ask the reclusive yeti all along.

"Yeto…I admit, I have a big favor to ask of you and Yeta."

The yeti ho-hummed and leaned back in his large chair. "Yeto thinks that he knows what little human wants, but speak."

Link nodded. "Will you help us collect the armor and weapons and artillery from your home and get it down the mountain?"

"All of weapons?" Yeto asked, his voice dubious. "It frozen under ice for years. Will take much time to break free."

Link shook his head. "Well, not all of them," he said. "We only have one wagon to take it back in anyway. But as much of it as we can fit in the wagon I hope."

Again, Yeto ho-hummed. He grunted and thought for a long time. Finally, as Yeta was taking the men's empty bottles to fill them with one last round of cheesy Pumpkin and Reek Fish Soup, the large yeti nodded in agreement. "Yeto will help Link," he said, "because Link helped Yeta when she was sick. Yeta and Yeto's happiness is thanks to you, tiny human. Those fish men in the lake would have attacked Yeto before he could ask for help—but you, you not judge yetis on our appearance, but judge yetis on our hearts. Yeto and Yeta are grateful."

Link patted the large, white creature's hairy arm. "I understand, Yeto," he said, smiling. "You're welcome…and thank you, my friend."

Yeta poked her head in with the first round of filled bottles. "Sleep now," she said, taking the next batch to be filled. "Rest today, and in the evening we will get to work."

"That sounds like a great idea. Thank you both," Link said again, leaning back and stretching his weary muscles. There were quiet yawns around the room as every KRP soldier agreed and began to get off the floor where they had been seated. They shuffled about picking their bowls up and taking them to the kitchen, and a couple of them even began washing them in the wash basin in the corner like civilized guests in a civilized home. For the first time in many of these men's lives they began to look at the world as not just civil people and monsters—but as good creatures of all types and shapes, and bad ones. Good hearts and bad hearts, no matter how scary the face. They would sleep soundly that night, tucked in warm—if quite dusty—beds knowing that they were safe under the yetis' grand roof. In the evening, as usual, their work would begin.


Author's Notes:

Another month, another chapter. Not a lot of news here: I'm still hard at work editing the Hero of Wolves (which is coming along fantastically, if I do say so for myself), and I've been doing some research for some stuff coming up in the trilogy that has been fruitful.

On a personal level, I love my new job! It's awesome! And I got hooked on the Game of Thrones book series (not the TV series…yet) and have been reading those like a starving person. What's funny about that is that I haven't read a novel (or any work of book-length prose) that wasn't either A) assigned in class B) classic scholarly literature or C) for research purposes in about 9 years. Most of what I read for pleasure is actually poetry or textbooks about poetry. Lol. So I'm enjoying reading a genre novel (le gasp!) FOR FUN (le second gasp!).

As always, thanks for reading and please review! I do so love the reviews. :)

~The Wolfess

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