Ember looked out her window of the less than tidy room she had rented. The walls were paper thin and she could hear the person in the next room arguing with someone over lost money. There were a bunch of cobwebs in the high corner as though no one bother to even reach up to clean them. The bed looked clean when she came in, but when she had pulled the covers back, she got a blast of dust in the face. All and all she couldn't complain for the money she had paid. It was better than sleeping outside.
As she was leaning out the window for some fresh air, her ears pricked up a commotion coming down the alley to which her widow looked upon. Naturally she ignored it. Street fights were more than common in the eastern part of the city. Somewhere a metal clank fell indicating and ally cat or a raccoon had found its feast for the day. In the far distance Ember could pick up on the bustle of the main square just in front of the inn she was staying in.
The excitement from today's events spread around and the air was full of energy. Ember didn't want anything to do with it. Every time the town is ablaze like this is either for the yearly summer festival or when the hero of the land showed up. It was only spring.
It seemed to Ember that the "Great Hero" soaked up all the attention he got. She often wondered if he just came to town to show himself off and have the girls swoon for him.
Ember laid her head in her crossed arms and breathed deeply out her nose. She stayed like this for a few seconds before deciding that the air in the alley was just as bad as the air in her room. She picked herself off the window sill and headed out the door of the musty room. Her legs moved like clockwork as she headed down the stairs at the end of the hallway and out the door.
Once outside, she moved along the busy street south towards Telma's bar. Though she was too young for hard drinking, she enjoyed a mug of mead every once in a while. Though to get there, she would have to cross the main square. Something she did not wish to do on a day like this.
As she approached the hustle and bustle of the Town's hotspot, a crowd grew thick around her. Ember kept her head down and her elbows tucked in as she moved slowly through it. She had to shove and squeeze past a few tight knit clutters, and there were some annoyed yells her way, but sooner than she thought, she was in the front of the crowd.
A roar of clapping and shouts erupted around her. Ember jumped at this sudden outburst and she looked up to take in what was happening. Towards the east came the hero literally on his high horse. She was a chestnut color with a pure white around her hooves and for her mane and tail. Atop the horse rode a young man around his late teens wearing a forest green tunic with matching windsock hat that covered part of his blond hair. Upon his back he carried a shield and one handed double bladed sword.
Around her children looked in aw, men and women were cheering and clapping. IT wasn't the noise that annoyed her though. It was the fact that every young woman around her was dreamy eyed giggling and calling out the hero's name. "Link! Link! Over here! I love you!" And all the other good stuff. Ember rolled her eyes as he winked at one of the girls.
His eyes then landed on Ember. As though to flatter her, he raised his eyebrows and smiled at her with his head cocked slightly upward. Ember scoffed at this gesture. She laughed making it obvious it was faked. Then she turned serious and mouth "no" while glaring at him with disgust. He seemed taken aback a little, but otherwise carried on his way. Ember smiled with satisfaction and continued on her way.
Link hesitantly lingered outside the eastern gate to the castle town. He barely made his horse move faster than a slow trod. With each inch covered, he got more and more depressed about entering the city gates. He slumped forward in his saddle and laid his chest on the back of his horse's neck. Ahead of him, his escort from the royal ministry stood impatiently waiting.
"Hurry up; you don't want to be late for your appointment with Miss Zelda." Link huffed and sat back up. His inner legs were sore from riding back to Hyrule after discussing an alliance with a neighboring land. After signing a treaty, the same messenger that now stands before him, annoyed and impatient, had ordered him back to the castle to report to Princess Zelda.
"Yeah that would be tragic." Link muttered to himself.
"Nothing!" Link huffed. As he approached the regal looking minister he sat up straight and put on an obviously fake smile.
"Now sire, is that anyway to act when entering the town?"
"I hate going to town . . . people stare and I get followed around."
"Only by eligible young women. Honestly Sir Link, I do not see why you complain. There are plenty of young men who would want to be in your position. Now show some pride, you ARE a hero after all." Link sighed and prepared to put on a convincing act. "Come, I'm to be by your side when you show yourself."
Link urged his horse forward and they came upon two large wooden doors. Right as they approached, the doors slowly open inward. Immediately they were blasted with loud cheers and applause. Link put on a convincingly fake smile on and started nodding to the people around him. A group of girls were calling his name.
"Acknowledge them sire; these people are here for you. Even if they are annoying to you."
So Link winked to one of the girls. Of course they screamed.
"Ick, I really hate coming here." Link thought to himself. He then turned to another young girl just around his own age. She had silvery white hair that went halfway down her back. She wore a loose white shirt and plain black pants. Upon her feet, she wore nothing. She looked as though she didn't want to be there as much as him. Link raised his eyebrows and cocked his head almost halfway admiring her. It surprised him a little when she fake laughed at him and mouthed "no" in what seemed like disgust. He chuckled to himself and went on his way.
Ember paid for another drink and downed half of it right then and there. She slumped on the counter and put her cheek to the cool polished wood. The main pub was small with an even smaller back room that was covered by a large red curtain. The owner of the bar, Telma, took Ember's drink from her.
"Child, you've had more than enough." Ember groaned and picked her head up. "I'm cutting you off. Go back to the inn and get some rest. Besides, aren't you supposed to be on a budget?"
"I don't want to go back to that disgusting room. It's filthy."
"Ember, what do you expect for a fifteen rupee room?"
"Silk sheets, and golden bedposts." Telma chuckled. "Can I stay here for the night?"
"Now child, you know I can't do that."
"Come on, please . . . that pompous Link rode in on his high horse today and I don't want to run into him on my way back."
"Ember! You don't know him, don't be talking about him like that. He did save Hyrule you know." Ember groaned
"Why not? He acts like he own the place. All up on his chestnut horse, parading through town like he's the freaking re-incarnation of the great king of Hyrule."
"He may not be king but he is the reincarnation of the great hero of time."
"That doesn't make it any better" Telma shook her head. It was clear, she wasn't going to win this argument.
"Okay, you can stay, but come closing I want you to help clean this place up." Ember huffed.
Link hurried through the shadows of the streets, pulling the hood of his cloak farther over his head. Though it was already dark outside and most people were already inside, he didn't want to take any chances. His feet swiftly lead him down the stairs that lead to the door of the bar. He opened it slightly and peeked his head in. Telma was out from behind her counter and she was putting the chairs upside down on the tables. The curtain to the back room was drawn which made him think someone was still here.
"Pssst . . Telma." She turned towards towards him and smiled.
"shhhh shhh shhh . . . is anyone still here?" Telma shook her head.
"No one that would bother you. Were closed. Come on in dear. Have a seat I'll get you a drink, on the house of course." He opened the door all the way and slid his cloak off as he came in. He went over to the bar counter as Telma went behind it and started filling him a mug. Link sat down with a huff.
"Guhhh. Thanks Telma. It's good to have some solitude after making an unnecessary entrance into town." He picked up his drink and put it to his lips. He barely got to take a sip before a girl's voice startled him.
"If you think it's unnecessary, why do you do it every time?" He turned to see the same girl from earlier that day emerge from the closed curtain.
"Hey you're the same girl from earlier." He quickly set his drink down. "Wait, Telma I thought you said no one was here." HE started to get up with the intention to leave.
"Sit down, wonder hero and don't flatter yourself. She said, 'no one that would bother you'. I could care less who the hell you are." She sat down in the farthest stool from Link. She pulled out some rupees and set them on the counter. "could I get a drink Telma?"
"Don't you think you've had enough for one night?"
"If I have to share a room with his majesty over there," she pointed halfheartedly to link, "I think i get at least one drink. Besides, I didn't get to finish the one you took." Link chuckled to himself. She looked up at him and glared. "What?" Link shook his head
"Feh, Nothing." He held his mug to his lips again.
"Stupid hero." She muttered. Telma set down a full glass of mead in front of her.
"I heard that."
"YOU KNOW WHAT!" She stood up in anger at his snide remark. He propped his elbow on the table and held his head up with his fist.
"No, I don't know what. Why don't you enlighten me?" Her fist clenched and her teeth were bared like a dog.
"For the love of Nayru! You come here complaining about needing some solitude. But just earlier today, you ride in on your horse acting all high and mighty, smiling to random girls!" Telma, who had been silently watching this little back and forth between the two, decided to interject.
"Calm down Ember. It's not like he wants all the attention." Link tried once more to start his drink.
"Oh that's a load of-"
Link stood up himself "You Think I choose to make an entrance like that?" He waved his arm to the side of him. "If it was my choice, I would come in a more inconspicuous way! But Nooooooo!" he waved his hands in front of him. "Minister 'shoulder tassels' of the royal ministry always makes me come in and say 'hi' to the people. So no, I could do without all the attention." Ember rolled her eyes and sat down. With nothing more to say she started to drink her mead. Link decided to sit down himself
A sort silence came over them. Finally link spoke up after a few seconds.
"So. Your name's Ember huh?" She didn't look up.
"What's it to ya?"
"Just wanted to know the name of the person who made my day by not being impressed by my charming good looks." Ember scoffed.
"Oh yeah, I just couldn't resist that man charm of yours." She said sarcastically. Link smiled and downed half his drink. Telma started away towards the back room.
"I'm going to go ahead and turn in for the night. Ember, can you close up when you're done?" Ember nodded. "Much appreciated. Night you two."
"Night." They both said at once. Ember and Link sat in an awkward silence for a few minutes.
"So what's your story?" Ember asked. Link didn't look at her. He just finished the rest of his drink and set it down.
"You know just as everyone does." Ember shook her head and Link caught her annoyance from the corner of his eye.
"I hear it different every time. It's full of lies. I want to hear it from the horse's mouth. Then again, a horse's mouth isn't the best thing to look at."
"There's an insult in that somewhere."
"You think? So what IS the real story?" Link drew his arms closer to him while holding his empty mug in both hands. He stared hard at the reflective glass.
"It doesn't matter. You wouldn't believe me anyway." Ember shrugged.
"Okay, suit yourself." She yawned and propped her head on her hand and closed her eyes.
"What are you doing?" She opened her eyes to see Link looking at her with curiosity. Then she closed her eyes again.
"Waiting for you to leave."
"Why not just go to sleep?" Ember looked at him annoyed
"Are you thick? I have to close up remember?"
"What if I don't feel like leaving?"
"By the gods you are annoying. Get out before I hit you over the head with a broom."
"Fair enough. Though I doubt, you'd get a hit in." Link got up and headed towards the door.
"Out!" She said with authority but not harshness. Link laughed to himself as he closed the door behind him after he stepped out into the night. Just as it clicked shut, he heard glass shatter against the other side of the door. "Opps, guess she heard that."