Chapter One: The Adventure of a Lifetime

"Kage! Kage where are you? Ooh! You know that Mido's gonna kick your butt when he finds

out that his favorite tunic is gone! KAGE!" Mizuu, a guardian sprite, shouted, her small voice

echoing in the vastness of the Kokiri Forest.

"Ne, Mizuu! Up here!" a boy's voice shouted from overhead. The sprite looked up, finding her

dark skinned charge in the branches of a hazelnut tree.

"What're you doing up there?" Mizuu shouted, as she flew up and hovered before the boy's face.

"What do you think? I'm trying to stay away from Mido and wait for Link at the same time."

Kage replied, his crimson eyes twinkling in the half-light of the forest.

"Huh? You mean that Kokiri without a sprite? The one Mido treats like an outcast?" Mizuu

asked, as she landed on Kage's hatless head, casting an orange-ish glow onto his head.

"Yup. The very same. You see, he and I have been having some weird dreams here lately. Some

of his are downright scary. He keeps telling me of this evil presence that wants to take over the

world, and how he feels the call of destiny to fight back and save our world. I've been feeling the

same call too, but the Deku Tree said that there can only be one Hero of Time, but he also said

that there is a place in this destiny for me too. What do you think of that, Mizuu?" Kage mused,

as the sprite settled onto his shoulder.

"It sounds like we've got something big on our hands, Kage. Maybe, after you find out what's

going on, you will know where you fit in." Mizuu said, as Link and an unfamiliar sprite entered

the clearing.

"Hello, Link!" Kage greeted, cheerfully.

"Hello and well met, Kage! Are you ready to leave?" Link asked, huffing and puffing from

running from one end of the forest to the other with swords and shields on his back.

"I sure am! To get away from Mido is like a dream come true! The guy doesn't have anything

better to do than make us both feel like we're lower than dirt." Kage said, as he took one of each

of the swords and shields and slung them onto his back.

"Who's the new sprite?" Mizuu asked, as she floated around and up to the new sprite.

"This is Navi, my guardian sprite. The Deku Tree assigned her to me. We should go ahead and

leave, so we can make some headway before it gets dark." Link said, thinking about what the

Deku Tree had told him with his dying breath.

With that said, the two boys and their fairies set off, leaving the safety and security of the Kokiri

Forest for the vast unknown that was the land of Hyrule. When they got to the bridge, Saria, Sage

of the Forest, was waiting for them.

"It is hard to believe that you are both leaving. Fate has chosen a strange set of friends for this

adventure. The last of the shadow elves and the Kokiri that had no sprite. But I have faith in you.

Here, take these, you will need them." Saria said, as she handed them some ocarinas.

"Why would we need these, Saria?" Link asked, as he tucked the ocarina into his tunic. Kage did

the same.

"Those ocarinas are important. Link, I have given you the Fairy Ocarina, and Kage has just

received the Mystic Ocarina. Be careful and good luck to you both." Saria said, as she started to

leave.

"Goodbye, Saria. Don't forget us!" Kage called, waving at the departing Kokiri. Saria paused,

turned around and grinned.

"How could I forget you? You're the only one that had the guts to steal two of Mido's favorite

tunics! I could never forget you, Kage! Nor you, Link!" Saria said, with a laugh, as she

disappeared back into the forest, leaving the two boys alone. For a moment, the two Kokiri stood

alone, not knowing what to do next. Then Navi spoke up.

"Well, what are we waiting for? Let's go!" Navi said, as she flew forward. Getting the message,

Link and Kage ran after her, with Mizuu lingering behind for a moment to look back at the forest

she had spent her entire life in, until then. Then she turned around and flew after the two boys,

who were now entering a world they had never seen before. Link was amazed by the immensity

of a sky unmarred by trees. Kage blinked a couple of times in order to get his eyes to adjust to

being in total sunlight. Link had never seen anything like this before! Land that was devoid of

trees stretched for miles around them.

"Where do we go now, Link?" Kage asked, when his eyes had adjusted.

"As far as I know, we head to the castle first. But I don't know which way the castle is!" Link

said, as he sighed and sat down, to think for a moment before moving.

"Let's try going north. Maybe we'll get somewhere that could lead us to the castle." Mizuu

suggested. Link nodded.

"At least we have a suggestion on which way to go." Kage said, as he started walking in that

direction, with Link following not too far behind. Soon the two pint sized travelers and their

fairies found themselves near an extensive horse ranch.

"Wow! Look at all the horses!" Kage exclaimed, when one mare affectionately licked his face.

"Got licked by a horse!" Link laughed, getting a dirty look from the dark skinned Kokiri.

"What're you two kids doin' hangin' around here?" a man's voice demanded, causing the two

startled Kokiri to do an abrupt about face.

"We didn't hurt anything! Honest we didn't!" Kage yelped, instantly wishing that he hadn't left

the Kokiri Forest.

"Oh, Uncle Ingo! Stop scaring those two! Can't you see that they are far from home?" a girl's

voice asked, as she came between the bow-legged man and the two frightened Kokiri (well, it

takes a lot to scare Link, but Kage, on the other hand, was thinking about what to write in his

will). The man called Ingo scowled at the two boys then stalked off, grumbling something under

his breath about the mismanagement of the ranch.

"Don't worry about him, he's always been like that. My name's Malon, what's yours?" the girl

asked, as the two boys calmed down.

"My name's Link, and this is my friend Kage. The two fairies' names are Navi and Mizuu. Sorry

if we trespassed or anything." Link replied, feeling sort of sheepish about the whole thing.

"That's all right! My Uncle Ingo is always complaining about doing all the work around here and

how he should be the one to own the ranch. Would you like to see the ranch?" Malon offered,

apparently very pleased at having some guests that were her own age.

"Thanks but no thanks. Do you know which way the castle is?" Kage asked, politely refusing her

offer.

"Yeah! The castle is due north! Just keep going in a straight line, you'll reach it eventually!"

Malon said, brightly, with a smile, unfazed by the boys' inability to stay for a while.

"Many thanks." Link said, grateful for the girl's help.

"No problem! Come back anytime!" Malon said, with another brilliant smile, then walked off,

humming to herself all the while.

"That girl seems to have had an eye for you, Kage." Mizuu said, with a smile in her voice.

"Eww." Kage said, making a face and shuddering with revulsion. Mizuu merely giggled at his

reaction. They continued on their way, ever mindful of the enigmatic dreams they had been

having and the possibility of having some adventures. When they stopped for the night, they

could see that the castle was just within sight.

"We'll make a fresh start in the morning. It's too late to do any more traveling right now." Link

said, as the sky turned from blue to many shades of red, purple and gold.

"Sounds fine to me." Kage said, yawning and flopping onto the soft grass that was characteristic

of the country they now traveled in. Soon, both boys were sound asleep, both exhausted by the

distance they had traveled in that one day. Mizuu sighed. So much was expected of the two boys,

yet, given that, they were still only children. Destiny had given them some big shoes to fill. Were

they really up to the challenge?

"They sure look sweet when they sleep, don't they?" Navi asked, as she floated beside Mizuu.

"Yes, they do. They look so innocent. You would almost forget that they can be regular terrors

during the day." Mizuu said, with an almost motherly laugh. Navi chuckled.

"Almost." Navi agreed, as Link turned over, mumbling something under his breath as he did so.

"Do you really believe that Link is the legendary Hero of Time and that Kage is squared away to

also be a hero of some kind?" Mizuu asked.

"I think Link has what it takes to be the Hero of Time, but Kage needs some work. He was too

easily frightened by that Ingo guy back there." Navi replied.

"You can't really blame Kage, though. This is his and Link's first time away from home, so

naturally one of them is going to be a little more jumpy than the other. I think Kage will

eventually overcome his fear and become as brave as Link." Mizuu said, determinedly.

Link awoke in a cold sweat. He'd had the same nightmare again, but, this time, the images were

much more clear. A few moments later, Kage also awoke, trembling and shaking all over.

"You saw too, then?" Link asked. Kage nodded. They both shivered as a chill wind blew around

them. Link looked up and tried to guess what time it was by the moon and stars. From what he

could tell, it had to be around four or five in the morning.

"We might as well get up. We're not going to get any more sleep tonight." Link said, as he got up

and stretched. Kage nodded, and also stood up. Navi and Mizuu, who had been watching over the

two boys the whole time that they had been asleep, followed closely after them. Just when the sun

had started to peek over the mountains, Link, Kage, Mizuu and Navi arrived in a town. This town,

affectionately called 'Hyrule Castletown' by its inhabitants, was bustling with activity and no one

noticed when two young boys and their guardian fairies walked into the marketplace, their young

eyes wide with wonder and awe. There were so many people!

"Link! Link! Pay attention! Keep your focus on what we came here for!" Navi shouted, going

right up against Link's ear to be sure that he had heard her.

"Yeowch! All right, all right, Navi! Sheesh! You don't have to yell in my ear! I'm not deaf!" Link

said, impatiently.

"But you might be now." Kage said, getting a playful shove from his friend. Navi and Mizuu both

shook their heads as they watched the two boys cut up and carry on.

"But they are, after all, only kids." Navi said, reiterating what Mizuu had said earlier about the

two would be heroes.

"That's the truth." Mizuu agreed, as Link and Kage got involved in a quick game with some of

the local children, letting some of their earlier tensions go. Afterwards it was straight to business.

"How are we s'posed to get past those guards? There's gotta be at least ten or twenty of 'em at

the front gate alone!" Kage whispered, nervously eyeing the guards that stood between them and

the inside of the castle.

"We could try scaling the walls. We have the equipment now." Link suggested, as he got a good

look at the castle wall that they were crouched near.

"Or someone could provide us with a distraction so we can slip in through the gate. Hmmm."

Kage said, glancing at the fairies with a look of sly cunning in his ruby eyes.

"Oh no, don't even consider it! We're not going to do it! You can forget that!" Navi said,

knowing exactly what was going to happen because Link now had that mischievous look in his

eyes. Moments later, Navi and Mizuu were sent over to the guards that stood at the gate.

"I can't believe they actually talked us into this." Navi grumbled. Mizuu shrugged.

"I'm sorta used to this sort of thing from Kage." Mizuu said, as they stopped in front of a guard's

nose. Then the insults began.

"Your nose hairs need trimming!" Mizuu shouted, getting an abrupt 'huh?' from the guard.

"You guys are so fat that you need to have extra pieces of metal welded on to your armor in order

to have them fit!" Navi accompanied.

"You really need to take a 'knight' class on weight loss, buddy!" Mizuu cried, laughing as one

man swatted at her.

"I'll bet you guys are real 'mama's boys' aren't you?" Navi asked. That cut it. The leader of the

guards that had been on duty suddenly let out an angry bellow and the whole group started

chasing the two fairies. Snickering and laughing, Kage and Link dashed through the gate,

knowing that the guards would return at any moment. They quickly sobered up when they

reached the inner courtyard, becoming aware that another group of guards was coming their way.

"You down there!" a girl's voice called from overhead.

"Huh?" Link and Kage asked, in unison.

"Up here!" the voice called again. The two boys looked up. On a balcony above them stood a girl

that was about their age. Kage looked nervously at the guards that were getting closer to their

location.

"Do you have a hookshot?" the girl asked, keeping her voice as low as possible so she wouldn't

get the boys into trouble.

"Yes! We do! Two of them, as a matter of fact." Link replied, beginning to look a little concerned

that the guards were getting closer to where he and Kage were standing.

"Then use them to climb up! Be careful, though, the guards are almost here." The girl said,

watching the guards with worry in her eyes.

"Okay, step back." Kage said, as he and Link made ready to use their hookshots. The girl did as

she was told and watched as the grappling hooks of the hookshots grabbed onto the stonework of

the balcony's ledge and held her breath when the two boys started climbing. Thankfully enough,

the guards didn't even bother to look up and the girl breathed an inward sigh of relief. When they

were safely on solid ground again, the girl took a good look at the two boys. They were as

different as night and day. One had dark skin and dark hair, with ruby colored eyes and the other

had fair skin and blond hair, with dark blue eyes that reminded her of sapphires.

"You two sure are brave. What are your names?" the girl asked, as the two boys stood tensely

before her.

"My name is Link, and this is my friend Kage. We came here because some dreams led us here."

Link said, not really expecting the girl to believe him.

"Oh, really? What kind of dreams?" the girl asked, her curiosity piqued.

"They couldn't be called dreams, really. The more appropriate name for them would be

nightmares. Every night we see the same thing; an evil presence taking over Hyrule, the people

dying because of that, and then the world itself being enveloped in a darkness that is darker than a

moonless night." Kage said, shuddering at the memories of the nightmare.

"I see. So you are the ones." The girl said, her statement turning grim.

"Huh? What do you mean?" Kage asked. The girl looked at them both directly.

"You do not yet realize who I am. I am Princess Zelda, heir apparent to the throne of Hyrule. You

two both have a tremendous destiny to fulfill. Link, you have been chosen to become the Hero of

Time. Kage, your destiny is to become the Hero of Memories. Will you fulfill your destiny and

help us fight against Ganondorf, the evil that threatens us?" the girl asked. At first, the two boys

were too stunned to speak, but then they looked at one another, shared a look of determination,

looked back at her, and nodded.

"We may not be much to look at right now, but we sure will try our best." Kage said, with one of

his reassuring smiles. Zelda let out a sigh of relief and smiled at the two boys. She now had faith

in these two ragamuffins that had come from the depths of the Lost Woods.

"Now, take this letter. I will have Impa escort you outside the castle. I bid you good luck in the

days to come." Zelda said, as she pulled on a bell pull, thus summoning Impa to her side.

Moments later, a tall woman wearing black leather appeared. Kage shrank back away from her,

vague memories from before he'd come to live with the Kokiri coming back to haunt him. He

remembered that people in black leather had attacked his village while the inhabitants slept,

killing all but him. He'd run into the forest, eventually ending up in the Kokiri Village.

"What's wrong, Kage?" Link asked, noticing the innate look of fear on his friend's face. Kage

didn't answer him, but Link could tell that the appearance of the woman had triggered some kind

of horrible memory inside of him. He had never seen that kind of look on Kage's face before.

"You called Princess?" Impa asked, before becoming aware of the youths before her.

"Yes. I would like for you to escort them back outside please." Zelda said, oblivious to the fear

that was on Kage's face.

"As you wish. Step this way please." Impa said, softly. Even though she didn't pose a threat to

him, Kage kept his guard up. The three walked in silence until they reached the gate.

"Hold on for one moment, you two. I need to teach you something before you leave from here."

Impa said, as she took out an old ocarina from her pocket. Link and Kage froze and faced her.

Impa inwardly smiled. The two boys may have been nervous, scared even, but they still had that

incessant resolve that had appeared when Zelda had told them of their destinies. The shadow elf,

so aptly named Kage, knew what she was from first glance, and even though he was frightened of

her, he followed her without incident, without so much as a whimper of fright. He had shrunk

back from her when she appeared, but, that was an expected response from him. He was still a

child, after all. But then again, so was Link.

"What is it that you want to teach us?" Link asked, genuinely curious.

"I need to teach you how to play 'Zelda's Lullaby' on your ocarinas. This song will be important

if you wish to get an audience from any of the upper class folk. It will prove your connection to

the Royal Family." Impa said, then started playing the melody for them. They listened carefully

the first time she played it, then they tried it on theirs. She chuckled when one of them played the

wrong note and scowled at his ocarina, but was pleased when he went right back to playing it,

picking up from where he'd made his mistake. Soon the two were playing in unison. Then she got

a surprise. They started harmonizing their ocarinas! When they had finished playing, some

clapping startled them. They were getting applause for their performance! The guards they had

seen earlier were standing there; along with two bedraggled looking fairies.

"That was very impressive! It is not often that I hear ocarina playing like that! That could very

well save your lives. Now, head to Kakariko Village; show the palisade guards there the letter,

then go to Death Mountain. You still have a long way to go before you can become heroes." Impa

said, the two youths looked at one another, then nodded, knowing that they had to go to the

dreaded Death Mountain in order to help fulfill their destiny. As they left the castle, a dark cloud

gathered in the horizon, hinting at the darkness that was to come.