So I started a new story, because as I played Skyward Sword I couldn't help but to imagine how it would be like if Saria was part of it. The whole ZeldaxLink fluffy thing was too much for someone who hate the pink princess...anyway, this story will follow the original plot only with one more major character obviously which will change a few things. This is more to satisfy my own train of thoughts cause I'm uncertain how some will react or if they even want to something like this, bla bla.
I'm always happy to see that someone reads my stuff or if it makes them happy to even read it as such. I'm sorry for the sometimes short describtion or the loss of words I've had...sometimes I feel like my English vocabulary is not big enough so that I could describe things as they should be...for any hints or good word phrases I'm always thankful. :D
The Sky beneath Us
Her feet hurried trough the corridor and her steps filled the air with a quiet 'thump, thump, thump' sound. She had been sent to wake her friend up. He had still not left his room even though breakfast had ended and the important event got closer. She sometimes wished he wouldn't be such a sleepyhead. Finally she reached his room and opened the door with an energetic thrust as she was greeted by a familiar screech and the sight of her dear friend on the ground next to his bed. His leg was still entangled with the light green blanket and an innocent head of a purple-blue Loftwing glanced at them through the open window. "Morning…?" she mumbled confusedly but the proud animal didn't mind her much as he spit a thin letter into the blond haired face. After that, it vanished quite quickly. He groaned and rubbed his head while the young girl still stood in his door frame; an amused expression on her face.
"Well someone really seems to like you, Link." She had to stifle her laughter, failing miserable at it.
"Ow…" The young man rubbed his head while he stood up. "Shut up, Saria."
She giggled softly and walked up to his side. "Is the letter from Zelda? I bet she preaches you again about oversleeping."
Link only smiled dryly at her idea, probably because he knew it was true. He opened it with clumsy hands until he finally could read the written words by no one else than their other friend.
"Hey, sleepyhead…" He read out loud before he groaned once more. "…she really preaches me."
"She is your alarm clock after all. You never wake up before Zelda or I come for you."
"I'm still growing, I need my sleep." His blue eyes twinkled while he glanced at her.
"Of course." Saria laughed. "The Wing Ceremony awaits you!" She started to pull at his hand to force him to move. "Zelda and I are still Underclassmen; we have time to play around but not you. So hurry up."
Link sighed and followed her obediently. "Yes, yes…" He chanted tiredly. "I promised Zelda to meet her before the Ceremony as well…I'll never get my earned sleep."
Saria shook her head smiling at his excuse and they left his room to head for the exit. But before they could even leave for that direction was there a young man with short brown hair and clothed in a warm yellow who waved over to them.
"Link, good luck in the Wing Ceremony."
"Thanks Pipit. I'll need it." Link tried to smooth his messed hair down while he and Saria continued their long walk.
"Even Pipit wants you to win, you better not disappoint him." The green haired girl said.
"Thanks Sar, that really let's me relax."
Saria only laughed softly and patted him on his back, because it was a bit annoying to reach for his head. Her friend has grown much since their childhood and was taller by a whole head. Even Zelda towered over her; she didn't seem to grow a bit anymore, Saria thought dreadfully.
"You'll get over it."
On their way to get out of the Knight Academy the girl told him excitedly that she finally could fly with her trusted Loftwing without being nervous anymore, which had always been her problem up until now – while Link listened attentively, he gave her a hint or two how to improve. Their conversation was only disturbed by the sight of Fledge who struggled with a heavy looking barrel.
"Hey Fledge…you okay?" Saria glanced at her common underclassman who nearly jumped at her words.
"Oh, good morning you two." A smile spread on his soft face. "Yeah well…I got to move this barrel to the kitchen…but I can't even lift it." He rubbed his rather thin arms nervously. "I would love to cheer you on, Link. But I can't do that it seems. It will take who knows long for me to solve this problem here."
Link smiled slightly as he reached for the barrel himself. "Let me do this." With a little force he lifted the wooden barrel and made his way towards the kitchen, Fledge lifted his arms in worry. "I'm sorry Link that you have to do this for me." The green haired girl shook her head as her friend disappeared in the needed room and made sure that the other underclassman understood that the blonde did it willingly and would be glad if he really came to cheer him on.
"That's settled then." Link scrubbed his hands against each other to get rid of any dirt and grinned cheerfully at the other male. "But I got to go now, see you Fledge." The blonde haired young man told the other one goodbye and left the Academy with Saria together. The underclassman was left behind thankful for the help he received. Even though his look had a bitter glint to it.
"Where is Zelda?" Saria wondered after they stood outside and a light breeze went by. "Probably at the statue of the goddess…let's go." They both made their way towards the great monument. Because they already were late enough in the schedule, the younger girl wondered if she really should come along –the director Gaepora asked her to make sure that Link would attend the Wing Ceremony on time. She still had to tell him that everything was alright. Though she was sure it was fine like this, too.
Instead of waiting for her, her older friend forced her to keep up with his fast pace and they both run in the end the stairs up, a little game of who reaches the place first. It was obvious that Link would win but she pushed herself to hurry. She still fell behind to her dismay. "Come on!" He called out as he grabbed her hand to quicken her small steps. Saria stumbled slightly but laughed at his sudden energy and she let him willingly pull her along just like she did in the morning.
Out of breath but happy nonetheless they reached the separated small flying island where the great and proud statue of the goddess laid, and while gasping for air a light melody reached faintly their ears.
"Oh youth, guided by the servant of the goddess…unite earth and sky…bring light to the land…"
The beautiful voice stopped and on the marvelous platform in front of the statue stood Zelda who turned around to them smiling after she noticed their presence.
"Good morning Link!" She giggled slightly. "I'm glad my Loftwing and Saria were able to wake you up."
The girl with long blonde hair didn't let the only male utter a word before she showed him proudly the wonderful instrument in her hands.
"Look! This outfit and instrument are mine to use today. I wanted to show you two them first." Zelda spun around once to show her complete look for the important day. "The instrument is gorgeous! I asked my father, it's called a harp."
"You'll be playing the goddess, right?" Saria exclaimed just as excited as her female friend.
"Yes." Zelda answered smiling all the way. "And how do I look?" Her clear blue eyes sparkled curiously at Link, while Saria already saw it yesterday night. The green haired girl had to help her friend with the wrap she had to make for today.
"Uh…" Link was obviously at loss for words, he was only able to choke out an uncertain, "…nice…costume…?"
Saria sighed next to him. That was the worst choice of words he could use. Zelda has always been a girl with a light temper.
"What exactly it THAT supposed to mean, you goof?" She put her hands on her hips in an offended manner. "If you think I look silly, just come out and say it!"
Link jumped at her outburst and lifted his hands as if to show her that he washed his hands in complete innocence, but before he could apologize no one else than director Gaepora appeared behind them.
"Ah, Zelda there you are." The older man walked towards them in high spirits. "I see, you all three have gathered already."
"Father." The blonde girl smiled at her parent happily.
Gaepora crossed his arms casually while his eyes sent Link a warmly look. "You must be very excited, young man. If you win today's ceremonial race, you'll get to participate in the postrace ritual with Zelda, so give it your best out there."
Link nodded once as Zelda stepped closer to the new formed circle in worry.
"About that father…I don't know if he can do it. He didn't train at all for the ceremony…and even when he's out riding his Loftwing, he's just lazily gliding around. Probably daydreaming!" The girl in the dark pink dress furrowed her brow. Saria knew there was truth to her words but often she was at fault as well. Her friend tended to take it easy when they both flew around because he knew she was still scared.
"No need to worry yourself, Zelda." Her father tried to calm her down. "You should know him, he and his Loftwing share a special connection. I myself have not seen something like that in my lifetime." The old man scratched his beard as all of them glanced towards the endless sky.
"As you know, each of us in Skyloft is but one half of a pair." The director explained. "We are only made whole by our Loftwings, the guardian birds that the goddess bestows upon each of us as a symbol of her divine protection." His gray eyes smiled at the three youngsters; his arms spread themselves to emphasis his words. "When we are young, every one of us meets our Loftwing under the great Statue of the Goddess…I'm sure you recall."
Gaepora smiled at Link. "The two of them shared a strong connection the moment they met, do you remember? What a sight it was!" The compliment made Link grin in embarrassment and he scratched the back of his head out of habit. "The two of them are made for each other, no doubt."
"Remember how jealous you were, dear child?" Gaepora laughed with his loud and deep voice. "Ah, but who can blame you? You weren't the only one envious of the powerful bond shared by Link and his bird." The headmaster sent Saria a soft grin who returned his with honest amusing eyes. It was true; even now she envies her good friend.
Zelda sighed deeply before she turned towards her father fiercely. "This contest is nothing to laugh about, father! If Link doesn't fly fast enough…if he messes up his chance to become a knight…" The words bubbled out of her in hectic and her father waved his arms slowly to calm her once again.
"Calm down, my child...you always seem to turn into another person if something concerns Link."
His lovely daughter stared at the ground for a second before she shook her head wildly. With a sudden stern look she turned towards Link and she approached the confused male. "You'll squeeze in some training before the competition, Link!" She said before she grabbed his hand and started to drag him with her. Out of reflex the blond young man took a hold of Saria's hand and pulled her with him, as Zelda took the lead of the trio.
"Come on! You'll thank me later!" Were her last words before she dragged them towards the jetty.
"Zelda hold on…" Link tried to argue as they arrived, he seemed to worry about something but the girl with the long blonde hair didn't want to hear any of it. "Go on! Jump off the edge and call your Loftwing, Link!"
Saria wasn't sure if she should laugh or take the worrisome look of her good old friend seriously. The young man though tried to explain his misery. "Something is wrong." He said as Zelda pushed him closer towards the edge. "I can't sense him."
The blonde girl laughed it off as a mere joke. "Hmm? Oh yeah? You can't 'sense' your bird out there?" She mocked him with a deep tune. "Nice try, Link! You won't fool me!" She was ready to push him over the edge but Saria finally stepped in to stop her. "Hold on, Zelda! I think he is serious-"However it was too late and their friend fell off the island with a grimaced face.
"Oh gosh! Link call your bird!" Saria shouted as she stared down into the sea made out of nothing but clouds.
The young man did what he was told and whistled loudly, it was a shame that the piercing sound fell on deaf ears. No proud bird answered his plead and hurried to his falling form. Gaepora came to a stop next to the two girls and stared down into the sky. His expression suddenly turned into a serious one as he noticed that something was off.
"Something is wrong…" He mumbled. "…the Loftwing takes too long…"
Zelda gasped and clasped her hands to her mouth in shock. She wanted to punish herself for not listening to his plea. Saria instead bit her tongue and even though she was still nervous she took a run-up and jumped of the bridge to help her friend. With trembling lips she whistled as loud as she could, to call the Loftwing with light cyan feathers she met long ago.
And true to their bond a familiar screech was heard as it appeared out of nowhere. Her short green hair whipped around her face until she took a firm hold on the colorful animal. Only then she was certain enough to dash for the helpless young man who was more than glad to see her there.
Her Loftwing was quick and grabbed him with its claws carefully to not crush his bones. And together they returned to the surface and to a more than worried Zelda. The girl was close to tears as the two landed safe and sound again.
"Are you two alright?" Gaepora said as Link tried to catch his breath. He never had experienced such a rush of emotions before; he thought he was going to die.
Saria climbed down from her bird and patted it thankfully its neck. She was surprised herself that she had reacted to fast and was glad that everything went well. But she nodded only slightly not trusting her voice. Suddenly the deep sky scared her again after such an experience…
"I'm fine." Link murmured slowly. "This is odd…" Gaepora said; his eyes looked around puzzled. "For a bird to ignore the call of his master…" The young man stood up slowly as the director glanced at him. "You still can't sense your bird nearby, eh, Link?" A nod was the answer. "This is a big problem…"
Zelda stepped closer, "I'm so sorry, Link. I should have trusted your words…" Suddenly a bell ringed loudly over the island and the blond haired girl looked up alerted. "Oh no…Link you should go on and search for your Loftwing….I'll talk to instructor Horwell, so that he delays the Wing Ceremony a bit."
"She is right, we need to hurry." Saria looked at her friend who sent her a nod of agreement.
"Thanks Zelda." He turned to the girl who still felt guilty. "We'll hurry up."
With these words Saria and Link left their other friend and her father behind to search for the lost bird. It couldn't be that far, the young man believed. But he was worried nonetheless that he couldn't sense its presence anywhere. The only hope for now was that some residents had a few clues for them...or the person at fault was the one he already suspected. The pair ran down the stairs they had climbed not long ago and dashed down the path which led into the center of Skyloft. The bazaar was closed for the day, so that place was not an option.
"You know, Link?" Saria started to say while they continued to run down the path. "I have already someone in mind who could be the one we search for."
Her friend's lips turned into a firm line. "Groose…" He grumbled and what for a luck he must had that exactly that person appeared with his followers in front of him, on the plaza next to the tower. Strich and Cawlin were busy massaging his shoulders while the suspected individual person only sat there and enjoyed the attention. "…he is not going to get out of than pen soon, guys." Were the only words they heard and it was enough to be sure he was the criminal here.
Groose still didn't notice them as he stood up but his two friends did and they obviously knew they were caught as Link and Saria approached them. The redhead turned around slowly and recognized the two before he himself took a step back out of surprise. "Whoa!" Groose exclaimed shocked.
"Link! Uh…so…uh yeah. Just how long you have been standing there?" He stuttered at first in worry but suddenly, as if he was bitten by a small insect his attitude changed and he found confidence in something. With a big grin he shook his finger at Link's angered face and he walked around the two in a circle.
"What's your problem anyway? Oh wait. You're here because of the race, right? You want to plead, eh? You're so desperate to win so you can get some alone time with Zelda, huh?" His feet suddenly stopped and he bent down towards Link to only grin even more. "Well, sorry, pal." He shook his head in mockery. "Groose doesn't do charity for wimps. My advice? Work hard and wish with all of your heart. And oh, hey? Where is that red ball of feathers of yours? You think that this thing with the tiny brain maybe got even lost?"
Saria held onto Link's arm to stop him from doing something he could regret. She couldn't stand Groose at all. He was someone who has always been an idiot. His obsession with her dear friend Zelda was disturbing, too. The young man at her side gritted his teeth in anger and he glared at the red haired male in annoyance. She always told him not to let such stuff get to his head…but still… "Seriously Groose, nice hair you got there!" and she was thankful that Link instead of picking up a fight only smirked at the red haired sarcastically…
"You lay off my doing right now, or I'll flatten you!" The taller one glared at the blonde angrily. "Everyone knows I've got the slickest pompadour in town!" Grosse pointed at his hair, which seemed to fight against the gravity with all its might. "You know?" His hand nearly collided with Link's face as he shoved his pointy finger in her friend's direction. "We are all getting tired of you and your bragging! You've been friends since you were kids? Big deal. Doesn't change the fact that you float through life with your head in the clouds! Dopes like you are dragging our honored academy through the mud."
His obsession in all was already bizarre enough but that went overboard. Saria glared at Groose now with just as much enthusiasm as Link did. "Just shut up, Groose! That's mean and not true!"
"And who were you talking about again, Groose?" A new voice appeared sternly in the gathering and everybody turned to see no one else than Zelda standing there angrily. With fierce steps she took the place in front of Saria and Link and pushed the two of them behind her.
"Don't even try it, Groose!" Zelda pointed at him angrily while her two friends stared at her in awe. She had always been the 'unknown – leader' of their group. The first to talk back. "You're picking on Link again, aren't you?" The big confidence in the red haired young man shrunk into nothing as Zelda continued her preaches in which she had always been good in. "He's a student at the Academy like all of us. Why do you insist on bullying him around so much?"
His only answer was a weak, "Yeah…I suppose…"
That didn't satisfy the young lady in the slightest. "You suppose? You suppose what?"
This was one of the moments where Saria and Link were actually scared of Zelda. She could be a nightmare if she wanted to.
"I suppose you…eh…" His face turned red until he finally was able to look away. His long time crush was too close; he couldn't keep a straight face on. "Just…forget it. I wasn't supposing anything, anyway." He and his fellows turned towards one the short bridges before they jumped down to fly away from the scene. Zelda on the other hand sighed and shook her head, she finally came to the same conclusion the other two had. Groose and his friends are the bad ones who hid the poor Loftwing.
"They really are a nuisance…" The long haired girl turned to the other two. "I talked to Instructor Horwell; he delays the beginning of the Wing Ceremony. We'll find your Loftwing in time, Link. I'm sure." She pointed towards the sea of clouds. "I'll fly around Skyloft. Maybe I'll find him this way. You two should scatter and look around the Island."
"Yeah. That's a good idea." Saria commented. "I'll go this way and ask a few residents, Link. You should go back and ask the people who live close to the academy." Her explanation and gestures sounded good to him so he agreed without complain. "Got it. Let's go."
With that the trio scattered into different directions, trying to find clues about the whereabouts of the lost Loftwing.
Saria stood in front of the entrance of a cave which was blocked by a row of thin and high trees. They were thick enough to not be just pulled out but stood so close together that it was nearly impossible to squeeze through them. The sounds of rushing water ringed in her ears, while a nearby bug buzzed a frequent melody. She scratched her left cheek softly and tried to think about a way to get in, she felt frustrated to not be able to do something. What should she do? She was sure that she heard Link's Loftwings call from in there. It was weak and faint but still there. He must be on the other side…she was too nervous to call her Loftwing…she didn't want to fly around the cave to get onto the other side…
Alerted she turned around relieved to see no one else than the dark blonde, her eyes lit up as he even appeared with a sword. Laughing she clasped her hands together, she didn't even think about asking Master Eagus for a weapon. "You're a genius, Link."
"I know." His grin was cheeky as he made sure to cut the trees down as best as he could and to finally open up the way which leaded them to his trustworthy Loftwing. He put his weapon away as it was enough to fit through and he and Saria made their way through the dark cave to the other side. Inside of the small 'mountain' like cave it was pitch black. You weren't able to see your own hand properly though it was already difficult enough to walk down the path without slipping as the angle changed a few times.
"You alright, Saria?" Link called out as his friend got left behind by a few steps.
"Yeah, I'm fine. Just look out for the exit. I would love to have an exit."
He laughed with his husky voice which echoed back and forth from the cold walls and it calmed her that at least he was in high spirits. He has always been an optimistic guy. As they were small he would always be the one to cheer them on while Zelda was the one who lead the little trio. Saria had always been quieter, or at least that was the feeling the most got when she stood next to the daughter of the headmaster. However in truth, she was much more energetic if you really knew her.
"It reminds me of when we were here years ago." Link started to speak again. "We saw a shooting star and were convinced it landed behind this cave." The green haired girl blinked at him as the memories returned to her mind, she had to smile fondly. "Yeah." She answered softly. "It was Zelda's birthday and we wanted to give her a shooting star." Now she had to laugh because it sounded so silly. However if you were a small child you were of course convinced that this was possible. "In the end she was crying so much because she couldn't find us."
The older one grinned lopsidedly. "Yeah, that was a chaos. Gaepora was angry with us, too."
"You think that maybe we couldn't find the shooting star because it landed in the land beneath the clouds?" Saria looked up as finally a light appeared not far from them.
"Sounds like it would be possible…right?" His eyes glinted though the darkness. "The land beneath the clouds…"
"Ah." The young girl looked at her friend as she realized something. "How did you know that your Loftwing was here anyway? I only found it by coincidence because I heard its call."
The young man was slightly confused by the quick change of the topic but replied calmly. "I met Pipit and Fledge on my way to Eagus to ask him. Pipit forced Fledge to confess that he knew about this. He eavesdropped on Groose and others, but they found him and threatened him to be quiet about it."
"Oh no, the poor Fledge…" Link nodded at her words. "Yeah, I know. Oh hey, if we are already talking about more or less random stuff…" Her friend looked at her a bit confused. "…why was Zelda chosen to play the goddess in the Wing Ceremony? Didn't you want to as well?"
Saria felt the strands of her short green hair tickle her cheeks as her face heated up slowly. "Well…", the girl looked away to avoid his piercing eyes. "…I…withdrew from the vote. I thought that Zelda was better suited for it. She looks like a goddess to me and she can sing well, too…so…" She felt embarrassed to confess such feelings but if she would lie he would see right through it.
"What?" He asked surprised. "Only because of that?" The two finally reached the exit and stepped out into the light which blinded them for a moment. Link squeezed his eyes shut for a second and squinted at the girl next to him to see her small form despite the sunlight, while he tried to finish his sentence. "I would have actually liked to see you in that goddess costume…really."
Saria stared at her friend in surprise because she didn't expect to hear that. But it made her happy and it warmed her heart. She sent him a small, maybe even sudden shy smile and her cheeks colored into a rosy red by such compliment. She tended to feel self conscious next to the headmaster's daughter so a compliment was always a surprise and nice. "Thanks…"
"Link! Saria!" Zelda's voice reached them over the wind and the moment lost the tension it created.
The familiar girl landed next to them brushing a few hair strands out of her crystal blue eyes. "I heard that Saria was searching around the waterfall, so I thought I'd fly around to help you look." She furrowed her brow in light worry. "Did you find any sign?", "We heard the Loftwing's call." Saria answered confidently. "He must be here somewhere." Relieved Zelda started to smile. "The place where Groose and his friends hang out is close by; maybe we'll find a clue there."
Link nodded and started to walk away as suddenly Zelda's head whipped around towards the sea of clouds she came from. "Huh…?" Her friends stopped in their tracks to look at her confused. "Who…who's that?" The blonde haired girl murmured. "Who's calling for me…?", "Zelda?" Saria asked carefully while her childhood friend finally seemed to notice that she was being watched. "What? Oh sorry. I got distracted there…let's go."
The other girl exchanged a silent look with the only male before they shrugged with their shoulders. For now they dismissed her weird behavior. To find the Loftwing was the more important matter. The three of them started to follow the narrow path for some time; it took a few minutes before they reached the dead end. And right there, locked in a very small pen was no one else than the missing Loftwing. The poor bird panicked and screeched loudly. Its wings were too big for the tiny room it had and it hit the walls with them frequently.
"Oh no!" Zelda gasped as they hurried towards it. Link was the one who reached it first and frustrated he drew his sword to cut through the ropes which held the barrier stubbornly. His crimson Loftwing was trembling in sheer relieve to see his master and as the last plank fell on to the ground with a deafening sound it was more than happy to step out of its prison. "You okay?" Link asked while he patted the bird pitifully. "You were scared, huh?" His partner stretched his wings and nudged the blonde carefully with his head.
"We have to hurry!" Saria was the first to break the warm reunion as the bell was heard once more to signal the soon start and Zelda nodded. "Yeah…but uhm…hey you two…" the blonde girl stepped closer towards the edge with her two friends; her face was suddenly serious and soft. "…I heard a voice a few moments ago…did you hear it, too?" Both of them shook their heads regretfully which made the other sigh deeply. "It's been happening a lot lately…it's like…someone is calling for me…"
Saria furrowed her brow in worry; she could only wish to help her friend because she could do nothing in this moment. The girl in the pink dress watched the clouds beneath them with interest and her grimace disappeared merely. "Remember how we wondered, what's beneath the clouds?" She started to ask into the silence. "Some said that it's an empty, barren place. Or that there is nothing at all…but I….we had the feeling that they're wrong."
"Someday, I want to see for myself…with you two together…" Suddenly Zelda shook her head, she hated it that she sounded so melancholic at times like these. With a new gleaming energy she pumped her fist into the air to shove her silent thoughtful words aside. "I shouldn't talk about this now!" She exclaimed while laughing dryly. "We have to hurry, right? Let's go!" With those words she jumped from the edge and shortly after her the others followed.
"The Wing Ceremony will now begin! Participating students, please assemble!"
The trio landed onto the plaza and rushed towards the instructors hectically. It was only their luck that they still did it in time. It was obvious that the headmaster couldn't delay the race for too long anymore. Saria gave Link a slight push to urge him on.
"Good luck in the race Link!" She smiled brightly at him and Zelda nodded at her side. "We'll be cheering for you!"
The sandy blonde grinned and thanked them for the encouragement before he hurried towards the other students who were already waiting in a strict line in front of the instructors. Groose glared at him as he joined them but Link didn't let him be bothered by it. That redhead was a lost cause, he reminded himself, Saria said that herself – I have to keep a cool head.
A melody, to finally announce the start of the Wing Ceremony, was played and above them were already fully fledged knights performing a few tricks to attract the other residents. The students looked up and watched their seniors and role models showing off what they have already learnt in all this time and it didn't take long until the Plaza was filled by the villagers who were curious enough to see who would be the one to graduate into the senior class.
"Your attention, please!" Instructor Owlan called out loudly and all their heads snapped towards him immediately. "At last we are ready to begin the Wing Ceremony." He sent Link a small smile who only scratched sheepishly the back of his head. "I'm glad you all could make it. But now I'll explain the rules, so listen."
The man with long white hair showed them a small Loftwing in golden color. "I have attached a small statuette to this bird, who I will then release to the skies." He stared at the young men seriously. "Whoever catches the bird and claims the statuette will be this year's champion." Owlan crossed his arms behind his back while he focused the students in front of him. "Don't forget that today's champion will graduate to the next class, bringing him one step closer to being a knight. He will also receive a gift from the young woman chosen to play the role of the goddess in this year's ritual."
"And this year, the role of the goddess will be performed by the lovely Zelda." The instructor smiled at the headmaster's daughter who laughed in return. Saria shared the bright expression with her best friend and they both giggled together about a joke which maybe only they understood.
Owlan turned back towards the participating students. "Also, I want to see good and clean flying." He reminded them hauntingly.
"That goes double for you, Groose!" Headmaster Gaepora threatened the redhead who jumped in surprise by being punished so loudly. Link had to stifle his laughter and hid his grin behind the left hand. This day turned out to be better than he expected. Even more as Groose noticed his 'misery' and turned bright red because of anger.
"Alright! Be ready!" Owlan called out and the students prepared themselves. "And…GO!"
Saria and Zelda watched as the group of young men jumped from the edge and called their birds in hurry. The colorful Loftwings flew with them away to chase the golden bird with the important price and both girls run towards the bridge to get a better view of the race. The green haired girl peered in search for their friend; it was pure luck that his crimson Loftwing was easier to spot than the others. The other animals blended into the sky easier.
"He will make it, right?" Zelda asked while her eyes tried to find Link in the chaos as well.
"Of course." Saria laughed. "It's Link."
That was enough to make her best friend smile.
"He did it!" The older one of the girls exclaimed in euphoria. "He won the race!" She grabbed the hands of the green haired girl and both of them cheered and jumped into the air happily. After all these problems since this morning it couldn't be any better.
"Oh yeah." The blonde girl let go of Saria. "I have to go to the goddess statue now to end the ceremony with Link!" Zelda stared into the sky where Link closed in on them; he waved with the small statue in his hand proudly saying something whilst both girls couldn't understand what he was trying to convey with words. But suddenly a small sly smile appeared on Zelda's lips and she turned to her good friend. "I'll scare him!" She laughed and with that she suddenly jumped from the bridge.
Surprised Saria gasped, she was sure that her best friend would cause her a heart attack soon. However it was a relieve to see that Link was ready to catch the cheeky girl; his faced mirrored the greenhead's feelings perfectly. But before his Loftwing flew towards the giant monument to fulfill the ceremony his owner looked up to catch Saria's eyes with his own. He sent her a genuine smile and presented her the statuette while Zelda was still trying to sit up on his Loftwing.
The girl which was left behind on the island started to laugh and showed him a victory sign with her hand. His smile brightened by miles as he saw her reaction and only then he urged his Loftwing on to aim for the Statue of the Goddess. "Don't you want to congratulate him in person?" Headmaster Gaepora appeared behind her and she looked up to him with big blue eyes. "Yeah." Saria replied smiling. "I'm going then." The green haired girl started laugh and thanked the older man before she started to run towards the monument. Hopefully she would make it in time and not miss it completely.
In the meantime Link and Zelda landed on top of the Goddess made out of stone and offered the sacrifice to her Grace, just like it was expected from them. The performing goddess took the harp into her fragile hands and played once more the divine song she had learned for this day. The tune was taken away by the wind and echoed faintly in the distance before Zelda presented the winner of the race her hand.
Link bent down on knee and laid his hand in hers, he was ready to receive the blessing. He had fight down a grin while he waited patiently for Zelda to recite the little speech. The face from Groose was priceless he thought, as he grabbed the statuette even though they tried to hinder him with mean but weak attempts. Oh how he wished he had a picture of it so that he could look at it whenever he want. He could only hope that his memory was good enough. "Link." His friend awoke him from his daydream and the girl in front of him handed out the sailcloth she had made herself. He stared at it thankfully and put it away with such care that some might think he was worried it could get torn. He stood up and smiled at his dear friend. "Thanks…"
"You know." Zelda giggled slightly. "They say that the goddess gave the Sailcloth to her chosen hero long ago." Her blue eyes gleamed at him warmly. "I had worked hard on the Sailcloth, Saria even had to help me, so I'm really glad I got to give it to you, Link. Make sure you take good care of it." The sandy blonde nodded and grinned at her playfully. "You know me." He said laughing and the girl smiled in return. "Thanks for keeping the promise, Link…" His smile became softer as he watched her taking a step closer. "Now we really should finish up this ritual, Saria is probably waiting for us…" She sent him a slightly shy glance but he knew after all these years what she really thought behind such an innocent expression.
"You know what awaits you, right?" Her smile widened.
"Uh-oh…" He took a step back, a bad mistake he would realize later.
"And just what are you thinking? Don't be silly. This is your big moment, Link." Zelda forced him to turn around so that he had to face the depth in front of him. And for him it felt like a déjà vu as the girl shoved him again off the edge.
The wind rushed past him and tugged and pulled at his clothes; he could only hear its whistling as Zelda call vanished in some distance. She could have at least given him time to prepare but she always moved at her own pace since they were kids. Beneath him the ground got closer and closer and he tried to land on the platform which was close to the big monument. His eyes caught a glimpse of a familiar green before he pulled out the Sailcloth to control and to relieve his fall. But the moment he landed safely on his two feet he was greeted by Zelda instead by Saria who he had expected. Did he only imagine seeing her hair?
"That was perfect! You're amazing Link!" Zelda run up to him smiling.
The sandy blonde was glad that he recovered quickly from the sudden fall and couldn't help but smile back. His friend seemed to be in a good mood today. Maybe she had been really excited about performing the goddess in the ritual? Then it would make sense that Saria resigned that quickly. For her best friend she was willing to give things up easily. Zelda who still stood in front of him suddenly played with her hands rather nervously and her eyes glanced at him timidly.
"You know, Link, seeing as you won today…" She started to explain while he could only wait patiently for her to express her wish. "And with the weather being so nice…" The male furrowed his brow; he didn't understand what was so difficult for the girl to say. She was always the straightforward one from them. "You know…maybe you'd like to go, you know…go fly around the clouds together?"
"Uh…sure?" Link raised one eyebrow of his. She could have said so earlier; they did it nearly every day. However before he could ask her why she behaved so strangely in his opinion, the one he had seemed to imagine finally appeared. The greenhead was running the way to them up until she reached the pair, obviously out of breath.
"You're amazing, Link!" Saria breathed heavily while she pointed towards the statue. "You jumped from up there?" So he did see her and she saw him, he thought.
"To be exact, I was shoved off the edge. Again." He explained smiling putting the sailcloth away. Zelda huffed next to him and crossed her arms, mumbling something like 'you needed that push…'
"What?" Saria still tried to catch her breath. "Did she…?" Instead of finishing the sentence she started to laugh and grin. "Well that's Zelda for you!" Her older friend shared the laugh willingly while he suddenly raised his arms to offer a hug. Zelda could only shake her head at them smiling.
"You promised me there something, too."
"Huh?" Saria blinked at his form until she remembered how she had baited him to practice a few days ago. With a serious demand she had told him she will crush him with a hug when he really wins the race today. Her friend had accepted it laughing and trained a bit with her but she never really thought he would be serious. "You really want that hug?"
"Of course. I'm a man who keeps his promises." The sandy blond grinned.
Saria smiled brightly as she walked into his arms and hugged him with all her might. "Congratulations, Link." She murmured happily but Link on the other hand smirked and asked loudly, "Is this all you can do? I thought you would crush me." To revenge her damaged pride, she gave him a hack on the shin with full force which made him to her satisfaction flinch in faint pain. "Ow." Zelda laughed beside them gleefully. "And you're now a senior? Unbelievable."
"Thanks." Link deadpanned though he had to smile shortly after it again. He released the greenhead after an idea appeared in his head. "Oh yeah. Saria, Zelda said she wanted to-"
Before he could finish the sentence the very person who asked him a few moments before stopped him and shook her head. To his surprise she was blushing and bit her bottom lip nervously. "I…we alone…I wanted to…" Saria stared at them quietly before even she realized what was going on. So Zelda built up the courage to…her mind whispered to her that she should leave quickly and give her best friend the chance to confess. Link had always been a thickhead, so he probably didn't even get why she asked him out to go somewhere alone.
"I guess I'll see you later." Saria said slowly before she smiled at the two once more. It was easy to see that Link actually wanted to stop her from leaving but the green haired girl didn't want to take this chance from her best friend away. Even though she feared it would change a few things between the three of them. With the words, "I'll see you later!" Saria made her way back towards the exit of the temple, leaving the two blondes behind.
To tell the truth, Saria didn't want to change anything between them…
Link did, like the greenhead thought, still not understand what the other blonde had to confess and why Saria couldn't come with them as they both flew on their Loftwings through the sky. The weather really was nice, the wind wasn't too harsh and sea of clouds beneath them looked calm and collected. He patted his crimson colored Loftwing softly as Zelda finally found enough energy to call out to him.
"…Link? Hey Link!"
The young man turned around to her which caused his bird to balance his sudden movement out. The young man didn't even notice it. "What?" He asked a bit louder so that she could hear him more clearly.
"Today was amazing! Watching you win the race and performing the ritual together…I'll always remember this!" Her voice was so quiet and barely reached him over the wind and distance.
He stared at her and listened attentively to her words, it seemed important to her that he listens to this all. He knew that much.
"It really was wonderful." Zelda continued and he smiled at her to show he shared that opinion. And it made her happy too to see him like this. Finally the blonde haired girl found strength in her heart and opened her mouth again. "You know…Link…"
"There's something I've been meaning to talk to you about…" She was forced to stop as a sudden harsh wind and the sound of a loud bang interrupted their conversations. Zelda had to squeeze her eyes shut and Link stared surprised at the sudden brown and black colored tornado which appeared out of nowhere.
"What is that?" Zelda gasped in fear.
"Turn away!" Link called out in worry. "Quickly!" It didn't act natural, he thought.
But it was too late and the wind was too strong and fast. The sky suddenly got darker and all the calm and peaceful clouds were suddenly threatening. It was as if this tornado had a mind on his own as it closed in on them and to his dismay was Zelda the first which got caught. She lost the grip on her Loftwing and fell into the brown and black colored thing; her face grimaced in terror as she held her hand out to him.
The sandy blonde urged his Loftwing to fly into the whirlwind with all his strength; however the tornado nearly threw them a mile away as if he was nothing more than a toy. The force was so strong it knocked all the air out of his lungs, his rips felt like as if someone punched him painfully and before he knew it he lost his conscious and fell into a complete black sky.
"I am waiting for you."
"The time has come for you to awaken."
"You are vital to a mission of great importance."
The sky was falling. The sky was falling with Zelda together. The unknown voice disappeared. The sky beneath him was not the one he knew anymore. Everything was disappearing even though he tried to reach out. He could never reach Zelda's hand. And they were swallowed by a monster, huge and black. Her smile and the peaceful sky around him we're caged…behind a darkness which let the blood in his veins freeze…
"The sky beneath us wasn't the same anymore…"