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Taki lay about in the tall grass rather lazily as she enjoyed this moment of bliss. It was the perfect temperature out, and the thick brush under her was more softer than any bed made. For awhile, her eyes were closed, day-dreaming of a good long break from her current quest. For years she spent looking for a way to permanently destroy that foul blade, at least putting it away so that it didn't come back again during her lifetime. She rarely was given a small chance to relax like this in her years of demon hunting.
The grass was a lovely forest green shade, reaching up to one's knees in height and softer than a feather. In some places, patches of dew from the morning shower could be seen, giving off a heart-warming glint. The evergreen trees smelled of pine as the gentle wind whooshed by it, making them bend slightly.
Nearby, a chestnut mare with a white mane and tail grazed on the grass silently. The horse's white locks waved in the gentle breeze of spring. The horse was rather touchy about who he let ride her. Epona, as she was called, would only allow two individuals ride her. Her current master, and the girl who raised her. No one else could go near her. She was wilder than any mustang.
Taki learned this all the hard way. Her partner turned close friend tried to warn her one day, but Taki ignored his pleads and was bucked off Epona's back and right into a nearby stream. Poor Taki was embarrassed and furious at the same time. Her friend however, only laughed at the display. His voice was so amused and filled with gentle caring that Taki soon found herself laughing with him. How could anyone hate the young Hylian?
A small sound reached her ears in the wind. It was a peaceful tune, representing timeless legends. Epona raised her head, listening to every tune that met her ears that twitched in the wind.
Taki sat and listened as well. That strange blue ocarina was a mesmerizing instrument. She could feel a strange energy when she touched it, and every time Link played it, it just instantly caught her attention. Nothing else would matter, just the music of the ocarina in her ears. Usually, Link only at night, to ready himself and now Taki for their slumber.
He never once uttered a word in Taki's presence. He would grunt for answers or gesture with his hands and head when spoken too, but no vocal reply. Silent, and edgy, was how she described him. Sharper than his own sword, Link was unique in her eyes. He could say the same about her, despite she still spoke. Taki was colder than any other person he had ever met before, but gradually as he traveled with her, he discovered that this was all just a mask to shield her emotions from manipulation. He knew of this logic, the Sheikah of Hyrule followed the same ideals, it made them unpredictable, it made them dangerous.
Nonetheless, Taki understood his silent nature.
She could see in him herself. Alone, no one to relate to or speak with about trivial things. They both lost family, this she gathered from the dull, sad look in his eyes, and both hunted and hunted by evil creatures. This, she learned the day she met him.
Taki soared from one tree to the next with relative ease, searching for the surge of evil energy Soul Edge's shards radiated. She had been eating her breakfast earlier when she felt it. A burning sensation she recognized all too well, it tore her insides out and brought the coldest chills she ever felt down her spine. Forgetting her food, she grabbed her pouch with Soul Edge shards and jumped into the trees to search for the disturbance.
It wasn't long when the sounds of battle reached her ears. She stopped on a nearby tree and pushed the branches out of her eyes-sight and viewed the battle below. A young lad wearing a hood and wielding an elegant sword and shield was being pushed back by a rabble of Lizardmen, servants of the evil blade and spawn of the evil seed.
Taki was tempted to reveal herself and offer a helping hand to the young, out-manned boy, but something stopped her. The Lizardmen were not pushing this lad back at all, he was backing away as he deflected their blows. Not wanting to pass up a chance to see something interesting, Taki held her ground and watched. The boy was planning something, that she could tell. What, she wasn't sure of.
Then it caught her eyes. Two large trunks held up by brown ropes were suspended in the air, hidden in the trees. Taki followed the rope line and noted with interest that the end was tied down on another log which was where the boy was backing up to. Each trunk was tied into several branches, barely holstering the weight of the massive wood. If it were to fell, whatever was under it would be flatter than her sword.
'Clever boy.' She admired mentally, raising her eyebrows in accommodation.
Gradually, as the mysterious teenager moved backwards, he suddenly lashed out at the supporting rope and the two large trunks fell down, crushing the Lizardmen with ease. Their dying screams quickly faded. The boy walked forward, removing the hood and revealing a lad that Taki estimated was seventeen years of age. Young, but skilled.
She watched the teenage boy wipe his sword and set a fire to burn the bodies with weary. She still felt Soul Edge's shard nearby. But when she looked everywhere but the lad, she could no longer feel it. So, he must have a shard.
'Now what am I going to do?' She asked herself. Picking off the younger warriors was nothing she could feel prideful of. It would be a disadvantage for him and an unfair fight. But he possessed a great evil that he may not know what was truly capable of. She made a careful and quick decision, for as soon as the fire was started and the flesh of the Lizardmen began to burn, the boy sheathed his sword on his back and ran off into the trees.
It didn't take Taki long to reach the quick lad. As soon as she was in front of him, she dropped in front of him, halting his advance. She stood, keeping her face and eyes blank. She still did not know entirely what the boy was capable of or if he was drawing on Soul Edge's power through the shard.
The lad was slightly surprised by the sudden appearance of this beautiful woman. Her jet black hair moved with the same grace she had. The brown of her eyes looked very wise and experienced on the battle-field from what he could see. Apparently, this was a warrior woman of these lands foreign to him. He made no movement to draw his sword, fighting without reason was not his way. From the looks of it, neither was it the way of this lone huntress, for she remained still. But they both kept their guard up.
Taki gestured in the direction the boy just came from, a slightly impressed smile on her face.
"That was brilliant what you did back there." She started. Link offered a smile, but his confusion remained. Was that all she had to say, or was there more?
"Your skills are impressive, young one. But what I want to know is; where did you get that shard?" She asked. The mention of the shard put the boy into an immediate state of alert. He narrowed his sharp eyes and glared ahead. Taki did the same.
"Hand it over, or you can simply die like all the other fools who sought that blade." Taki hissed in warning. The boy did not move, nor did he make any sign of her threat registering. The fight that had commenced was a bloody one. With Link's fighting skills, coupled with his strength and long range combat style proved difficult for Taki to counter with her own, swift maneuverability and her light assaults. Once they had finished, it seemed as if the two had ended in a draw. Both were damaged, both were exhausted, both could barely stand.
It didn't take long for Taki to sense the holy energy radiating from Link's sword. She questioned him, pressing for answers about his involvement with the evil blade. Eventually her suspicions were confirmed about Link not being native to this realm. Further, she discovered his true intentions. Noble as they were, she feared he was lying. But the strong, honest look in his eyes said otherwise. Taki had seen people lie, and she had seen people tell the truth. It was easy for her to determine which was a lier and which was honorable.
As awkward as their first encounter was, Taki found herself enjoying Link's company. It was nice to have a companion, one to watch her back when she couldn't. Link felt the same. Before he met Taki, he was pretty isolated from anyone else. He fought through many warriors, only befriending a conniving pirate who showed a good side often. But ever since a massive golem made an appearance, Link's only ally had vanished on a search.
So it was only him and Epona, traveling the woods and deserts, sleeping in caves or on mountaintops. Only occasionally a stranger with a heart would allow him to stay in a room, house him and feed him. In return, he gave him so of his riches, and offered a helping hand around for labor. But whatever it was, he was still moving across the world with no one to have as an actual companion. He had been alone for so long, he embarrassingly forgot how to speak. Had it not been for Epona, he may have slipped into madness.
He longed to hear the words of others, and Taki at his side was just perfect. She didn't say much allot, considering he couldn't talk back, but a mutual understanding grew between the two. He often thought what he would do after this quest was over, whether he was victorious or defeated. The life of high adventure was weighing down heavily on his shoulders. He was tired of all the fighting, tired of swinging a sword around. He wanted to settle down and wither away in peace.
But not alone.
Taki was his closest friend now. Even though Epona was with him, Taki was becoming more and more savory for Link. He wanted to see her often, not while she was slitting the throat of a Lizardman. He wanted to travel the tree canopies at her side, just to see if he could keep up with her. He wanted to hold her in his arms when the bitter cold at night and winter left him feeling empty.
He longed for the warmth of her lips on his.
She too was tired. Every renowned demon in the world except for Nightmare, had been wiped out from existence by her hand. She planned a long retirement after Soul Edge was defeated again. She bore no doubts that she would be victorious. She would do everything in her power, even if it meant destroying herself, to make it so. Spring was so welcoming to her, the soft grass under her could so easily seduce her to sleep.
Nightmare and Soul Edge stood in the way of her bliss.
Once she was done with this madness, she would live her days smelling the flowers scent from afar, bathe in the sunlit skies, and wash herself in the warm rivers. Her body ached for a break, begging for a permanent respite. But she wasn't entirely sure just yet if she retired now. Her mind desired to know what Link's plans were. If he would continue traveling, she would accompany him. His presence was soothing to her sore soul. An empty void in her heart yearned above all else to be filled.
Link must have been the one to fill it. His touch was tempting to her, they had been through so much already that she couldn't bear to acknowledge a possible parting. So accustomed, was she to his presence. A sudden disappearance would render her what she feared most.
To withering away in solitude.
When Link was at her side, she no longer felt fear. She was contempt. Even giddy at times and more easily able to smile or laugh. Occasionally, she enjoyed a spar with him, just to release some tense feelings between them. But the more contact they made, whether by hand or by eye, the more she longed his presence in hers. She even realized they completed one another. Link was more willing to smile, even under pressure and share an act of friendship with others he didn't even know- while Taki was cold and calculative, distancing herself from the attachments of others.
Complete opposites in mentality, but the two sides of the same coin. Without one, there could be no other. It was easy to find that train of thought for Taki, she was compelled to allow an attachment with Link to be born. She never expected it to grow this far though. It was an unusual situation, one she was not familiar with at all. All her life, she was told attaching to others could weaken one's resolve and defense.
But strangely enough...she didn't care anymore.
All she wanted was Link's presence to remain at her side until the day she died. To be allowed to keep looking into his ocean-deep cyan eyes. She wanted to pass her palm across his cheek, to see that red burning on them when she drew close to him. She loved it when he did this. His shyness was irresistible for her. She desired to see that shining smile look upon her with admiration and warmth. She wanted to press her hands against his chest and let her head rest on his shoulders. Her skin demanded to feel his breath down her spine, tickling as it went.
Her bond with him had indeed grew stronger than she ever thought it could.
The sun continued to provide the perfect temperature with the assistance of the steady breeze that gently swayed the grass to the side. The trees moved, the branches moaning softly as the leaves rustled amongst the wind. Under a great oak, Link sat with his ocarina to his lips, gentle playing a lullaby with a slow beat, and charming rhythm. Taki sat on the other side, enjoying this song. It was so soft and soothing, like the rose pedals she cradled in her hands.
Basking in the glory of the sun, Epona grazed silently. Slightly irate as she was hoping her master would play her song. Sensing her jealousy, Link managed to shift the song without making any mistakes. The one he played now was slightly different, the notes seemed to be rearranged. Epona neighed with satisfactory. Taki passed a glance at the mare, then turned to look at Link who gave her a wink.
She smiled in turn. Understanding his motive. She may have not been on the best terms with the mare, but she did save both of their lives several times. Even Taki admitted it deserved some form of reward.
She leaned back and cleared her head. The soft tune began to lull her to sleep, although she had no desire for a nap, it was so tempting. Before she could fully fall unconscious, Link brought the song to an end. She mentally shrugged, the surrounding peace could more than accomplish for the lack of music, but she still felt disappointed.
That was until she felt Link stir next to her. She felt him sit down, almost leaning against her back. Link's heart was more faster in beat now than normal, he began to sweat slightly. Taki almost felt his hesitance. She opened her right eye and sent him a curious gaze. She watched his hand slowly make its way to her own, and gently entwine around it.
She repressed the giggle threatening to reveal her consciousness. Broadening her smile, she tightened her grip on his hand. Link tensed at the notion, obviously he thought she had fallen asleep. No words were exchanged for awhile. They just sat, relishing in the moment. Gradually, Link's tenseness melted like an ice cub in the sun. He maneuvered his way around, now facing Taki's direction. She passed him another glance, noting the heavy red under his eyes. Her chest rumbled as she forced the chuckle down, still watching him. He seemed at the end of his courage, so she accommodated.
She shifted her position closer to him, now almost sitting in his lap while keeping her eyes closed, to add affect to his inner conflict. She grabbed his shoulder and draped on hers, and let herself rest against him. Link held his arm up to his nose, trying to keep a bit of blood from escaping onto Taki's head. He wiped it away as best as he could without alerting her of his action. Taki did not move. She was contend to give him all the time he needed, and the gentle pushes when necessary. She made sure to show him she was as patient as can be.
Gathering a bit more courage after awhile, he quickly and pathetically placed his lips on her cheek and withdrew instantly. Taki, taken aback by the sudden intrusion on her cheeks opened her eyes wide. She turned her head to Link only to see him look away as if ashamed. Her own cheeks were burning red now. And this time, her giggle escaped. Link looked back at her, only to see her repeat his action. The only difference was her target was not his cheeks, it was his lips.
AN: Well. This is long overdue, since March. I just recently tried to finish it, so I hope it was enjoyable. And for those of you who voted on my poll, I have two things to say:
1: I know I said I was going to publish the stories in order of the ones voted most, but apparently I can't make it work that way so I guess I'll update and publish in the order I get things done. So no more polls like that one.
2: There is a new poll, so check it if you'd like.
I love reviews, I love feedback, if anythings wrong with this story let me know so I can improve on my techniques. Thank you dearly for reading!