Chapter 4: The Frames of Life of a Hylian Familiar.
"How old are you?"
Professor Jean Colbert asked what could be the main point for a conversation that will be remembered for the rest of the life of every participant. After all that was the pivotal question of this entire talk. The answer itself while important wasn't the problem. The relevance of the inquiry was what it implied.
Osmond and Louise were struck speechless; the both to them realized what the question meant. The principal and the girl wondered… Was his age, or more accurately his 'lifespan' what made Sir Link believe that he was not an Elf?
"I am almost exactly eighteen years old, yesterday was my birthday." Link said with a small smile meant to be disarming. Louise first thought was, so that's why he said yesterday was a big day…
Now it should be said that Link's age is not a complete truth. The reason is not so simple; first it could be told that his body is 'mostly' at that age. Interestingly, going by the Hylian calendar Link truly is eighteen years and a day old. That is true as long you take his birth date as the one he celebrated with the Kokiri as child. Link later found out that this was his real birth date; it was one the very few things his mother managed to tell the Great Deku Tree before passing away besides his own name… sadly his mother's name was not part of that information… more than once Link had thought it would have been nice it were.
The reason for the inaccuracy of his age is that Link himself has lived around year longer, give or take two months. It had to do with the 'time' he spent in his pair of time traveling adventures. Most of it was rewind, removed from existence while some of it was not, but regardless he lived through those days as any other. Also if you want to get more rigorous, you can count and add the seven years Link was sleeping in the Temple of Light located into sacred realm. Estimating his age in that way will tell you that Link already is in the later part of his twenties, just a bit over twenty six years old; again give or take two months. Link doesn't really have any memories of those seven years though; what his mind and soul holds of that time can only be described as vague glimpses of hazy dreams… and some music, oddly enough.
So yes, Link's exact age was a somewhat confusing problem. It was because of those reasons that this was one of the few lies or half-truths Link felt no discomfort telling it. It was just too much of a hassle to try to explain… and seriously, it was truly an unbelievable matter for most people… sometimes even for himself, but as things stand his age wouldn't have troubled the Tristanians any less even if his circumstances were different and his age exact.
"Th-That's …" Colbert was expecting that sort answer yet he couldn't believe it now that it was given, he just didn't know how to reply at Link's revelation. Louise did think she knew how, though.
"T-That doesn't mean anything! Not at all! If you think you are not an Elf just because you aren't centuries old yet…yet… still…" It seems she didn't know how to answer completely, because she realized something while speaking. Louise clutched the book Link had asked her to try burning tighter. Her familiar realized something too… because that last bit of information about being 'centuries' old was all Link needed to be sure without fearing doubts or misunderstandings that he was not an Elf. The posture of Link relaxed unconsciously as the fact was registered in his mind.
"I will never be hundreds of year old Louise, perhaps a single century, if I am very lucky, but no more than that." Link spoke in soft voice that seemed the heaviest he had ever used to Colbert and Osmond.
"Let me explain, yesterday when talking to Siesta, the maid with the black hair, she explained quite a bit about Elves." Link glanced between Osmond, Colbert and Louise in sequence; for he needed to see they were following and understating what he said, their distant expressions where not a good indicator but he continued regardless.
"While I did not show her anything underneath my hat, I told her that I had seen people with ears like mine and she assumed that I came from a city called … Roba Ar-something located at the east, and then the explaining began. Among the characteristics she listed, the fact that 'Elves have much longer lifespans than a human' stuck out to me." Looking at the humans and seeing he did have their attention the Hylian looked at Louise.
"The reason was that yesterday after the summoning my master and I were…" Link looked unsure how to put it.
"Talking." The boy decided to go with that.
"And I remarked that a girl of thirteen like her was too young to be at a boarding school like this." Even if some of the most basic knowledge of his world was being challenged before him, the headmaster still gave a wry smile to the boy at his declaration; the senior man could easily imagine how that talk went.
"Let's just say she corrected my guess." Link said with a half-smile that turned into a neutral expression as he continued.
"I mean no offense to you Louise, but this was my reasoning." Link noted that everyone seemed to be thinking deeply, perhaps not even paying full attention to his explanation… so mentally shrugging he continued anyway.
"When Siesta told me the lifespan fact, I could only think that you were upset by my mistake in guessing your age because your appearance is considered too youthful for someone already sixteen." Link looked directly at Louise trying to convey with his eyes that the comment wasn't mean to upset or bother her. At the very least I didn't said underdeveloped. And a wise decision it was, it also was an unnecessary gesture. Louise was way too immersed in the facts of his story to be too concerned about it as she was indeed paying attention, like everyone else in the office.
"That very same situation will still happen if Louise were of my race." Link said seriously. "Her appearance will be considered a bit too youthful to be sixteen… and that's what made me believe that Human lifespan is about the same as my own people, of course all of that was a conjecture… until now that Louise mentioned the 'being hundreds of years old' part." Link finished his tale. When thinking about it, Link figured that his reasoning had some flaws like for example Elves could grow at the same rate humans did and stay as young adults for much longer, but that wasn't an issue to think about at the present time.
A few tense moments passed and Colbert spoke.
"You say… your kind doesn't live beyond a full hundred years?" The question while definitive didn't carry much impact because it had been previously answered. The teacher was just seeking confirmation.
"Mmm… it is not unheard of some people to live that much, the oldest people I know or have heard of, lived a little over one hundred thirty years, but... very few persons ever get to live an entire century in the first place. In average I would say my kind has a 'life expectancy' of around sixty to ninety years. Any more than that is simply unusual." Truthfully speaking, this was another half-lie; Link knew of a few persons much older than that, like the witches Koume and Kotake who were four hundred years old. At the very least the witches from Hyrule were that old. The age of the ones from Termina was a mystery Link didn't want to solve.
There existed other similar cases of Hylians and other people extending their natural lifespans but almost all are using some form of Dark Magic, so they were in fact an affront to nature, something definitely not normal.
Louise opened and closed her mouth, but no sound came out and she looked like a lost child. Both teachers looked at the floor their eyes drifting. Surely this was the point the Elf boy … No … the not-elf was trying to make in the whole conversation.
Silence was the uncrowned king of the office for a few minutes.
"Well that's it, isn't it?" Link asked anticlimactically after a few moments deciding to break the uncomfortable mood, he had literally been to funerals much more cheerful than this.
"I well… yes, I suppose that is, it's just that… it is hard to believe without more proof than your words." Osmond said softly and then he added. "Not that I think you are lying to us, it is just… a lot to take in Sir Link." Link nodded at him.
"No offense taken Headmaster." Link replied easily, he knew that it is a difficult matter to accept.
"The only definite proof about my people's lifespan that I will able to show you would be dying in some decades later… but I doubt you or Mr. Colbert would be around to see it, principal." Link said that particular remark more in line with his casual tone. Although I won't just sit still waiting for that to happen, I will find a way back to Hyrule.
"Well growing older and looking my age will be a more immediate proof, but it is still a decade away before any truly notable change appears." Link grinned a bit but when he glanced at Louise she still appeared very affected and conflicted, unfortunately. The other men in the room were likewise silent if a bit less distressed than her. The air of uncertainty present in the office didn't sit well with Link.
A decision of some importance was made.
Guess I gotta show them, don't I? Link took a small breath; he was going to smash any uncertainty about his words into nonexistence using a (metaphorical) Megaton Hammer. Honestly speaking he thought it necessary, now that he had come this far it would only for the best that these people fully believed what he had just told them. Link took out from his pouch a wooden square box, it had a lens made of glass and the edges were of some golden metal. By the way it was not the Megaton Hammer, metaphorical or otherwise. The old model Link had of this particular item had gray metal edges. The men who were a part of the school looked curious about it.
"Headmaster, would you please look directly at the glass circle in this box?" Link pointed at the circular part. "Just a moment will do." Osmond nodded and looked at the strange object without masking his curiosity while crossing his hands. Link with expertise born out of doing it over a thousand times operated the artifact quickly pointing it at the headmaster.
Snap. A low and quick sound was heard in the office.
Old Osmond tilted his head slightly, while Prof. Colbert stared at the source of the sound with some interest, even Louise in her mildly dazed state of mind focused on the odd square shaped object. Apparently, affairs were better than Link expected because no one believed for a moment that the action was hostile in nature.
"What is that Sir Link?" Colbert asked and Link just gave him a bit of a cryptic answer.
"Right now, a demonstration… in a few moments, proof of my words." The humans observed Link move his hand on the side on the box facing him. From a slot on the lower part of the box he took out a yellowish paper. The paper in question was around eight inches wide. Walking over to Osmond's desk he placed said paper on it.
"Look at this, please."
"Huh?" A notable amount of wonder mixed with a small measure of surprise was written on the face of every human present.
Resting over the sequoia desktop was a pictograph. A sepia-toned likeness of Old Osmond, arms crossed with his elbows on the surface of the desk, the pictured headmaster was wearing an expression of interest and curiosity, his depiction was perfectly centered on the piece of rather rigid paper. The image of the principal was flawless; no artist could reproduce every fold of his robe, wrinkle of skin and the detail of his hair on such short amount of time over such a small canvas… and using countless shades of the same color. The image was truly a small wonder in itself.
"This is … me Sir Link." Old Osmond was a man that seen many things in his long life, so this particular occurrence didn't rank that high on his list of shocking surprises, particularly after the present talk about another world, another race of elflike people, another society, etc. Yet, it still was something worth of amazement that he had never seen before. Considered the rich life he has led, this feat was not to be disregarded.
"Yes headmaster, it is how you looked like a second ago. This portrait is called a 'Pictograph' and this is the device that took it a Pictograph Box." Link held his upgraded Pictograph box in front of him to show it better. "This little thing can take a portrait of everything you can aim the Pictograph Box at: people, trees, animals, objects, landscapes, the sky… Anyone and anything really… As long as there is enough light." Link waved his right hand in small circles as he explained.
Colbert demonstrated that even in situations of some stress Humans can put all their troubles aside and enjoy simple things, although he was not the only one curious about the artifact.
"A magical box that can take pictures in an instant? It would be invaluable for a researcher, especially for a biologist." Colbert observed in admiration thinking about the subject that held a great interest in him. Only the fact that they were discussing a most serious topic, and maybe some manners he held as noble, prevented the curious teacher from asking Link to let him take a good look at the device right there.
"Is that box a magical object from your country, Sir Link?" The headmaster said while looking intently at the piece of paper that depicted his person. "It is pretty interesting…"Osmond stated before his eyes widened in an expression of utter shock. The headmaster rose from his seat with a speed unlike anything expected from a man his age, his hands slamming against the surface of the desk as he stood up.
"Y-you can take pictures of girls with this, can't you?!" Nothing prevented Old Osmond about asking regarding the subject that held the greatest interest in his whole life. It was done with a hope so great and pure, the kind you can only find it in a man lost in the desert when he is in front of an oasis.
"Well, of cour- W-Wait what!?" The question catched Link off-guard if only by the vehement and sudden way Osmond asked him, the boy stammered realizing just what the old man in front him had just asked, and in what tone… Link was wondering if he misjudged the headmaster, perhaps this Osmond is a man you may have to be careful about… regarding topics of a certain kind. After all it took a certain Hylian pictographer until puberty to reach the conclusion that you could use the picto box like that. That particular conclusion came with the overdue realization of what the picture of a rather unfortunate Gerudo pirate may have been used for… You know by the fisherman at the Great Bay Coast… Well at least Link got a guide to Pinnacle Rock and reunited two aquatic friends, seahorses perhaps but they cared for each other, so it wasn't all that bad... Unlike this old man here.
"Old Osmond that is… Please just ignore his last question, Sir Link." Colbert sighed as he said this; by his expression Link could tell this behavior was not an unusual occurrence on the principal. Osmond just grumbled something and seated down. Link decided to just follow the bald teacher's advice. It may save him a small headache.
"Okay I will… then about if this is a magical artifact from my country… yes and no… mostly no." Link replied before explaining about Pictography.
"First, there is amazingly nothing magical about this machine. It is like a common clock, made purely from mundane non-magical pieces. The pictograph box is product of technology and science." Link said with a friendly expression.
"From my understanding of it, the glass at the front called the 'Lens' captures light and by a series of mechanisms activated when you press the switch at the top, it end ups 'Printing' the image into the paper, creating an almost perfect replica of what is in front of it." Link summarized it the best it could.
"According to researchers the part about a Lens that absorbs light is alike in nature at the way our eyes allows us to see." The boy added. Colbert heard Link's explanation paying the same kind of attention he hoped his students had in class.
Unknown to most people, the life at Hyrule castle had left the young Hero with an interest in the sciences, arts and all kinds of knowledge. It definitely was nowhere near as great as Zelda's, nobody was, but it was still enough to make him spent hours reading and asking about every subject that caught his attention. This was something he truly liked about his upbringing… along with other luxuries he could afford by being at the palace; he was only Hylian after all, even if sometimes the commodities given were just too opulent for him.
"I can't believe something like this doesn't use magic." Louise commented fairly surprised.
"Truthfully? Your race should be as advanced as the Elves are, at the very least, to able to create something like this without magic." Colbert was a bit excited about the chance of learning from a more advanced culture. After all besides a mage, or perhaps before a mage, he was a researcher and an inventor.
"I wouldn't know about that, but while you can find this artifact in my country now, it originally came from a faraway land… so far that you call even call it another world." Link said with a hint of hesitation in his voice. The boy didn't know just how much he should reveal about Termina, and the existence of many worlds. They were having enough trouble as it is accepting just one world more.
The concept of multiple worlds was something Link had thought about a long time ago, but it was also an idea he was just beginning to truly grasp. The spark that ignited such theory was when he thought about how you needed magic, or an unnatural portal of some kind, to travel to some places, and how those places were impossible to reach just by moving on land, sea or air… Also it was how different the night sky was in those places. Labrynna and Holodrum while they were far had very similar night skies to Hyrule… and the same moon as far as he could tell.
"Anyway that's not really the point I am showing this to all of you. Like I said this is going to be proof." Link wanted to make his point sooner rather than later, so he hurried speaking before something could change the topic.
"Louise, give me the book please." The boy extended his hand towards Louise, after putting away magically his portrait taking artifact. Extending her arms Louise presented him the book she had been holding on to. The humans saw Link browsing the book from the back side. When he found the page he was looking for he put the open book on top of the desk for everyone to see.
"Huh? These are the twin moons…" Osmond managed to whisper. Louise and Colbert barely opened their mouths.
An uncounted amount of seconds passed.
The opened page showed a pictograph of the moons of Halkeginia exactly how they were yesterday night. The picture was somehow affixed to page of the book, below it there were a lot written symbols unknown to any of the humans, the way they were placed seemed like a description. This book was Link's personal journal/pictograph album, and just to say it clearly, Link will swear it was no diary, as he had never even once wrote that word in his dia-Journal. A very heroic and doubtlessly manly travel log if the Kokiri boy was to be believed.
After a little while Louise reacted.
"They are painted!" Louise exclaimed. "And the paper it's not the same it is white, not yellowish. This one is different to the single colored of the principal!" Louise exclaimed, before any of her teacher acknowledged the fact. Link mentally complimented her on her attention of the last detail… although even if it was a bit of a bias, Link thought that girls always seemed to be keener at both taking, and criticizing pictographs than most men.
"Yes Louise, my Pictograph Box in particular can take pictures in color. You need more time to take them and, like you observed, a special kind of rather expensive paper. Still, the colors are little less vivid than they are in reality, but as you can see they can still make very beautiful images." Louise nodded at Link's words. This particular picture showed the images of the moons in all their glory, accompanied and adorned by lots of multicolored stars.
While Louise admired the pictograph, her mind began considering about how Link must be really confident in his skill with the fire spell he cast, to use this precious item in the demonstration of his magic.
Osmond instead came to the realization of what was most likely inside the pages of this book. He looked at the fire mage next to him in the exact moment Colbert removed his gaze from the picture of the moons. The two exchanged looks and they knew the both of them had come to the same guess.
"So Sir Link in this book here…?" Colbert asked with evident hesitation and more than little resignation.
"I think I told you that I am an adventurer or traveler of sorts, right?" The boy received nods from the teachers.
"Well this book here is the records from my life and travels… ever since I was eleven." Link pointed with his right at the book as he said this.
"I began writing on it at basically the same time I got my first Pictograph Box, so they are many pictographs that can illustrate a lot of what I have just told you… Like I said this is proof." Link told his small audience.
Louise was about to turn a page when Link gently stopped her. After all this was his private travel log, while he doubted they could read the Hylian language there were many pictographs that he would rather not show to them… and some he just won't show to anyone, period. Truth to be told not showing the journal would have been preferred but even Link had to concede that it was very solid proof of his words.
"Mmm… There are some things in here I would rather not put on display to everyone about my life, this is after all a private journal. I have only showed this to my most trusted friends." Link said to Louise's moderately pouting face. Well… at the very least she didn't get angry, that's an improvement. I will even call it personal growth… or she acknowledges me as a peer now.
Moving his mind to think about his travel book, Link coyly thought about how he had only allowed a handful of persons to see his journal without many restraints and all of them in his presence… It was personal, for a reason.
The list was composed of Saria who had unrestricted access to what Link has called 'non-classified information'. Zelda and Malon were also counted in the list, the two were allowed to see most of the pictures and read some of the writings, the both of them being a level below Saria in how much Link was comfortable showing them. Darunia was another one; he also had full access like Saria but had only seen it three times and was strongly interested in the way the Gorons from Termina lived, so in his second visit to Termina Link took lots of pictures and observations. Impa had seen it just once in a moment of curiosity, taking great care to not read his annotations in respect to his privacy… And Ruto… Well Link would rather die fighting Ganon and Majora together than showing it to Ruto.
Mido was interesting case as he had seen most of the pictographs that depicted monsters, even the ones that were labeled as classified information. Yet if truth was to be told, the self-proclaimed Kokiri boss had been quite intrigued about 'how prudent' it was to take pictographs while under attack of said monsters... Regardless of that fact, the Hylian swordsman taught Mido about the best way to fight the creatures in the frames; although Link was almost sure there existed no chance Mido will ever find most of them inside the Kokiri forest… fortunately.
Link had also displayed some pictographs to Romani and Cremia in his last visit to Termina, as he stayed in the ranch for a few days… that had been interesting.
His visit to the land of masks concurred once again with the Carnival of Time so he stayed to help the sisters protect their cattle against 'them' like so many years ago, it should be say that during his stay at the ranch Romani did not give Link her bed. Why are talking about sleeping arrangements? Well…The teasing boy distinctly recalled that Romani offered to lend it on the last cycle, the one where he finally confronted the Skull Kid and the one they should all remember. Although the memories of the Teminians about the Cycle were more complicated than that as Link later found out… Regardless, the blush Romani sported after he mentioned it was worth the slightly derogatory nickname Romani gave him and the attempt at assault Romani did because Romani was quite flustered, which by the way, was accompanied by a small scolding with a cute little lecture on 'appropriate behavior' that he got from Cremia later.
Continuing in the present and talking about Link's journal, there were some pages that Link would not ever show to anyone, regardless if they had only words and not pictographs… although there were also some of those kind of 'show no one while you live' pictographs, but even then he did consent to let someone else see them... Well she sort of had a right to see them, all things considered. Link thought laughing sneakily inside his mind.
"And there is stuff there that I simply don't want other people to see while I live." Link proclaimed with finality. With that out of the way he boy glanced towards Colbert and Osmond silently asking if they were ready to see.
Sighing deeply, both teachers told him to go on without using words.
"Well… let's start at the beginning." Link flipped open the book at the very start. Written on Hylian were the words 'Link's Travel Journal' underlined. Below the tittle written in characters that almost no person on Halkeginia could read was a Pictograph.
"This first picture here was when I eleven and visiting the land where the Picto Box came from…"
The first pictograph on this album was one of the oldest. It was taken around the middle part of Link's adventure in Termina after a suggestion from Tatl. The boy still remembered how he put the Pictograph Box over the fallen trunk of a tree and Tatl directed him so he and Epona appeared centered. More amazingly still, it was the little yellow fairy the one that took the picture by bodily slamming against the switch. Shortly after the event the book was bought in clock town and the travel journal was formally established by Link.
The picture itself was of a young Link wearing only the clothes of the Kokiri and sporting a mischievous smile with both hands on his hips. Epona was behind him; she still was a very pretty filly and focused on munching the grass at her hoofs. A forest could be seen on the background. Nowadays, Link was actually a bit embarrassed of the pictograph, but even he couldn't deny the way the shadows appeared on the picture was a bit on the cool side, after all he looked like that because Talt emitted the light source.
"This one here is my mare Epona. She is one of the smartest horses and without doubt the bravest, truthfully... she is the best girl there is. She is quite the sight now, all grown up and proud… and you will see I am not lying as there are some color pictographs of her later in here."
Lifeless nods and quiet one word replies were given to Link's animated explanation. The boy tried to ignore it… He still hasn't reached the part where their beliefs will be put to test.
"Ok, now on to some more conclusive proof."
Louise saw how Link 'the apparently not Elf' turned various pages before leaving the book open once again. The young man from Hyrule was a little hesitant about showing the next picture, as it will require a little bit lying, or dodging the truth, to keep things at a place where he is comfortable, but it is evidence of two facts from his story.
"This here is from my true homeland and is proof that we do have royalty."
The pictograph that greeted them was a sepia likeness of a man and his daughter. Of course they weren't just any man and any daughter. Depicted in the picture was a tall and imposing man that even in the monochromatic image couldn't be mistaken for anything but for what he exactly was, a King. That man was dressed in regal clothes and over them sported a cape trimmed with fur; he was wearing a crown adorned with many sizeable gems but the biggest of them was at the forefront the crown and on his right hand was a scepter. His expression was serious and solemn. The king of Hyrule, that was man displayed on the pictograph.
There was also someone else next to the King, the Royal Princess of Hyrule… Zelda.
Zelda was twelve at the time and the white habit like headpiece, normally wore at all times was no longer in use by the princess. Link liked her better without it, which is sort of funny because Link never got rid of his own green headwear and the princess (and some others) liked him better without said hat (His hat-sense had told him about the last part). The absence of said piece of cloth allowed her slightly over shoulder length hair to be seen, along with other parts of her head important to Link's current purpose of identifying her as a Hylian. Despite her young age she was also a great example of elegance, back straight and a serene smile on her lips. A Tiara with a single gem graced her head.
"Here is the Royal Family as it was around five years ago, when I came back to my homeland from my longest travel, some people found out about my portrait taking device and by a series of events the King ended up taking notice of it, a couple of weeks later this was the result, I took the pictograph myself. This is also my country's most common pictograph it was copied and placed at various parts on the capital." The explanation was true, but it omitted some key parts like that 'some people' actually was Impa and Zelda when he was taking a picture of the courtyard, and the 'Series of events' that made her father took notice was when the King was passing by said place on the way to the Royal Library. The monarch stopped to have a few words with Zelda when he noticed what the small hero was doing and inquired about it. Not really a lie though, he also gave an unnecessary piece of truth, the fact Link had indeed took that pictograph, something he hoped they wouldn't ask about even if he will reluctantly answer.
Unsurprisingly they didn't ask if he had any relation to the royals, because it should be noted that it wasn't his on the spot explanation that held the most attention from the humans in the room. Louise, Colbert and Osmond were all looking intently at the faithfully represented elflike ears the Princess and the King had in the pictograph.
This appeared to be all that was needed to convince Link's audience.
The first reaction came from the female present.
"But I thought… if you aren't an Elf… Then…" Louise said dejected. Her expression was the one of a lost child while her eyes couldn't focus on anything.
Link sighed deeply, his throat making a sound very much like a growl.
The young swordsman believed that she would react like this yes, but it didn't mean it wasn't uncomfortable for him. Looking around Osmond's office, before settling his eyes on Louise again, Link decided something had to be done. It may be said he was a man of action.
"Louise." Link got to arm's length of the female magi when he spoke her name. Louise looked up to Link at this distance she could see the spots of violet in his blue eyes. Interestingly Link also took note that Louise's eyes looked pinkish rather than red in the right Light.
"Listen during this day you have been displeased, angered, afraid, amazed and now disappointed of the kind of familiar you have summoned." Louise opened her eyes at this declaration trying to think of a retort. It was difficult because she couldn't deny what he was saying. The headmaster crossed his hands under his chin observing the pair.
"Well here is some news Louise, you have had the very same familiar during the whole day: Me." Link crossed his arms as he said this.
Louise stiffened at this declaration. The girl wondered about how she can respond, it is not like he is mistaken. More and more it became evident to Louise that Link's bluntness (brutal sincerity) was going to be a point of grief for her.
"It, it is just that… even I believed you were an Elf…" Pitiful, that's how her voice sounded.
"It doesn't matter if I am an Elf, a human or just a dog; just look at the headmaster his familiar is a mouse and he is still the boss around here. You are who are because of yourself not because of something like a familiar." Link once again didn't sugarcoat his words.
Osmond decided to behave like a proper principal (for once) and helped the student in front of him. The little bit of praise he received courtesy of Link was very welcome though.
"Well, well Sir Link isn't that being a little harsh, you know… a man has to patient with a woman to get what he wants, and you kept your unique heritage a secret, hardly her fault not knowing who you truly are… or a part of who you are at least." Old Osmond said the last part softer than the rest but it only served to accentuate his statement. As the principal was taking a smoke from his pipe Link pondered if his connection with royalty had truly been missed. Well it wasn't like he will deny it if asked, he just didn't want to mention it in detail as this was a society where tittles like 'Noble' were so important. Also Link figured the commentary about patience wasn't really about their situation; still the principal words lifted the mood a bit, something really needed by this point. Link was beginning to wonder if he was just going to keep talking without any real response on the others part to his pictograph exposition.
"Though there is some truth to your words, young one. A mage is the mage he is, and his familiar is that, his familiar."
"Heh, Right isn't it…? Well about why I lied it was because it appeared to be necessary… I mean if I truly was a normal commoner like you all thought… I certainly doubt we will be having this conversation even if I did end up the winner of a duel against a mage." Link replied and when he saw no objection to his words added "Besides… even though I am not an Elf it doesn't mean I will be going around telling people that, even if I don't like lying."
"Huh…? What?!" Louise said obviously confused. Osmond and Colbert raised their eyebrows instead waiting to hear his reasoning. Levelheaded isn't he? Osmond thought as he continued to inhale the contents of his pipe.
"Well just look how much time and honest effort it took me to get you to accept I am not an Elf and I think we are still two pictographs away from truly reaching that point… and as feared as Elves seem to be at the very least people will have a name to call my kind, which I think is better than to be an unknown being." Louise saw that Link looked equal parts tired and bored.
"Not by much in this case mind you, but I will go with that… I have seen how the unknown tend to be let's say… distinctly feared." There wasn't really any other choice in his mind. Stopping to talk to a few individuals was good and feasible but trying to convince the students, staff at the academy or anyone that looked at his ears, simply put, was not doable. Not on his own at least.
"I can tell that both Professor Colbert and the Headmaster are reasonable persons. Competent people in authority tend to be… And you Louise are 'my master' for better or worse we are stuck with each other in the meantime, but you were the most skeptical." It was a nice summarization of his position, Louise decided to concede and give her familiar the reason this time, something that she honestly didn't imagine doing this morning. It was interesting how much could change in the span of day.
"Okay, okay I admit it… it is unbecoming of mage to be so distrustful of her familiar." What a troublesome familiar he is, isn't he? But he is my familiar at least… I just... I was so sure he was just confused about not being an Elf, because how everything was so different in Tristain compared to his wherever he comes fro-…Hmmm… Huh? Just how was his home called?
"Well I guess I will be telling the truth to the persons I come to trust during my stay in this continent, but I don't see myself greeting everyone I meet like 'Hello! I am Link~ Listen! I am not an Elf it is just a common misunderstanding.' don't you think?" Link said his false greeting with a very special brand of very fake cheer (Blue fairy brand) and the last part with a flat and bored voice. The changes in his expression could be thought as amusing to the people that knew Link.
A few seconds of soothing silence passed…
"Eeeehh… it would be hardly appropriate…?" Louise replied flatly, but looking much less distressed. Link's small and short laugh filled the room for an instant, enjoying the little private joke.
"Yeah… let's go with hardly appropriate."
"That is acceptable for the time being, right? Keeping my identity and related stuff a secret, at the very least I myself will, both of you just do what you have to." Link said more animatedly to Osmond who had already stopped filling his lungs with Tabaco. The Hylian had no illusions that Osmond and/or Colbert would not have to tell some other people eventually so he left the door open for them. They were grateful for the concession.
"It is Sir Link; I will let you know when that changes, if it does." The headmaster replied with his eyes closed. The principal of the Academy of Magic was thinking of the many scenarios that could happen if the full information discussed in here was revealed at this point. Short summary: most of them were quite unpleasant or at least very troublesome.
Keeping things quiet at large and informing just certain key subjects was preferable for now.
"Ok then, let me show you something else."
Link once again browsed the book from the back indicating he was looking for a recent picture.
"Here in full color you will see the other part of a kingdom, its towns and inhabitants." Link declared serenely as he put on the book in the appropriate page.
The pictograph on display was one taken barely three days ago. It displayed one of the most prominent Hylian settlements, Kakariko Village. Second to only Castle Town itself, the cozy and peaceful village lay at the foot of Death Mountain. The picture was taken near the entrance, white and gray houses with red roofs were depicted in the picture. A Windmill and a well could be seen in the distance. Once again those details were secondary to the humans as they favored observing the people that appeared in the pictograph.
Link had taken this particular pictograph mid-morning and on it he captured a few moments of city life.
The conspicuously wealthy beggar had come from Castle Town and he was asking a passing man if he had bottled items for sale, looking in the picture like a genuine beggar, and in anywhere else the beggar will actually beg for money, not in Hyrule though. The profile of Mutoh the carpenters' boss looked at the scene with an annoyed scowl from under the shade of a tree. Anju aka the Cucco Lady of Hyrule was passing by holding a couple of pocket cuccos in her hands her destination unknown. A few other villagers were gathered near the well, by the way when this small congregation saw him they informed Link about the Moblin problem they had, he was more than a bit famous as a swordsman; like some people say, if you want to know where you are or where you are headed, all you have to do is look at where you had been.
While every person looked quite small, it was easy to spot the pointed ears everyone sported in the picture. This was the legitimate proof that another world, the people Halkeginia didn't know about, existed. It was a reality that by now the humans present had already accepted.
"This looks barely looks any different than some of residential areas of Tristania..." Colbert observed fascinated. The meaning of this discovery was amazing, incalculable even. To think that there exists a race so alike to both humans and elves it's just so... The bespectacled teacher glanced at Link. What the young man has brought before them was so earthshattering and eye-opening that even a man like him could felt overwhelmed... No it wasn't that… the teacher was feeling such great anticipation because he was a man like him, because he could grasp the true importance and significance this matter represented.
"They just look like regular people ... commoners even ... but they are like you." Louise was astonished. The persons in the frame were just so different to how Elves were usually seen; they just looked so remarkably ordinary… unlike Link, the spontaneous thought was like a flash of inspiration as it helped Louise to finally realize why she so adamantly believed Link was an Elf… Her familiar's appearance and 'feel' was basically a textbook example of elves that being: A light colored hair blonde most commonly, fair skinned and… as some text described 'Good Looking' with a notable presence, or a special air of sorts, of course sporting the mandatory pointy ears, although Louise hadn't really heard if Elves were all so… so… well-built.
Now that the mental label Louise had given Link had changed from 'Uncouth Commoner Familiar' to something along the lines of 'Elf-like Magic Knight Familiar' which had the free bonus of adding 'Person' to his list of qualities, the girl could only frown mentally as she no longer could help but to notice that her familiar was more than just 'Sort of Handsome' as she thought right when they met. It was easy to guess the shape of what was underneath those white clothes Link wears under his tunic; The sixteen years old girl could observe and see the outline of muscles that were just very 'Aesthetically Pleasing' and complimented rather well his eyes and face-That's absolutely unimportant right now! Mentally reprimanding herself for her inopportune thoughts, Louise focused once again upon the painted paper on the desk and the other not-elves depicted in it. The myriad of hair colors, from red to dark brown, old people with gray hair, two bald men, a few shades of blond here and there…
All of them can use magic? She was truly seeing it; there were no one that looked like a noble in sight. No high bearing, mantles, poise… it was impossible. This image painted a reality so utterly alien to her… It is truly another world, isn't it? I-I thought he was just messing with me yesterday! It may not have been the best time but it occurred to Louise's brain that Link might not have told her a single lie since meeting her… The thought was much more deeply unsettling than she believed possible when Louise remembered some of the most outstanding comments her summoned being had said, and rather offhandedly at that.
The headmaster remained silent and contemplative. His thoughts were a whirlwind of activity that ended in a shrug and a silent reflection… Perhaps this boy is related to him, the one that saved me.
"That is enough proof of your words Sir Link; you don't have to show us more if you don't want to." Old Osmond crossed his arms and placed his hand on his desk as he said this.
"Okay just two or three more pictures, first this one… A picture of the Royal Family like it was around a year and a half ago." Link moved the pages finding the correct one with ease. Well this is it.
"This is good proof how we grow up and … grow old."
This pictograph showed again the King and the Princess.
The princess, closer to seventeen than sixteen at the time, had fully matured into the beautiful woman she is today. She was using the garbs Link associated with her. A white and pink dress adorned with pieces of gold at the waist, and armor like spaulders at her shoulders also made of gold. Her head displaying an ornate tiara fashioned in the likeness of leaves, below it Zelda's golden hair reached to her waist. You couldn't tell the exact color of anything in the sepia portrait but to Link it wasn't needed, he could see her just fine inside his mind.
Link sees amuzed how Colbert and Osmond opened their mouths a bit while staring at the princess. Link's own mouth curls upwards at the professors' reactions. Quite the stunner as always, don't you Zelda? I almost wish to have a color pictograph of you. Link thought slyly while mentally smirking, Zelda would have looked much more 'impressive' in full color, not like she was his to show though, not now… Who says she ever was? His darker side muttered sarcastically.
Louise also stared at the princess.
She is so beautiful, like someone out of a fairy tale. Now, Louise was not unfamiliar with royalty and grandeur, on the contrary in fact, but the person portrayed on the pictograph had an air that no even she could help but to notice it. Of course there were no such stories of beautiful Elven princesses passed down among the human population of Halkeginia, None that I have heard at least… But if she ignored the ears the elflike princess fit the mold of a princess of legends almost perfectly… Appropriate don't you think? Still Louise will always favor her childhood friend as the perfect model of a princess; for all of Louise's defects and faults both acknowledged by her and not, it is undeniable that her loyalty came from her heart.
"Hmm, she became quite stunning and beautiful your princess…" Osmond said demonstrating he could appreciate the beauty of woman with actual respect if only for a little while. Even if Osmond hadn't been so courteous Link wouldn't have begrudged him… too much. Zelda had become quite lovely. It wasn't really a surprise for Link since he had seen how she will turn out in the other future before he lay the Master Sword to rest but… not being on the run from Ganondorf for seven years hiding every day to just survive, not really living; and also not having to disguise herself as a Sheikah learning the arts of the people of the shadows all the while… Well, all that had made a few small differences between this Zelda and that Zelda, considering how her beauty wasn't affected by that harsh environment, well now that it was nurtured and cared for, it became that much obvious to see just blessed with physical fairness the Bearer of Wisdom truly was.
"No I mean… she is your people's Queen now, isn't she?" Osmond inquired of Link, proving he had a good memory even in his old age. Of course it could also be argued that he just carefully observed the picture of the man standing next to Zelda as he said those words while looking at the image of the King.
The king… Link would have liked to feel the pang of annoyance he usually experiences whenever he remembers him… but Link's face made a melancholic expression as he observed the picture… I should have acted bit differently…
While Zelda could be said to be blooming with radiance like life does in its spring, her father honestly appeared to be… withering.
Approximately four years had passed between this picture of the King and the last Link had showed to the humans but in that period of time the Monarch of Hyrule seemed to have aged almost fifteen years. Even if his expression wasn't much different than in the other pictograph there was a marked difference in his visage that not even his determined bearing could mask. He looked weary, his face had more wrinkles and expression lines, the man's hair looked of a lighter shade than in the last picture even if both images had no color, and even his royal robes couldn't hide the weight he had lost.
The bald teacher didn't miss most of these details either.
"With all due respect… He looks diminished from what he was in the other portrait Sir Link." The bald professor commented.
"He does." Link voice dropped a bit he then remarked. "You could it was already showing…" Link said without meaning to be heard but not minding if he was.
"I take it he didn't get to live much longer than this." Colbert inquired in a careful tone.
"Yes." Link half smiled while closing his eyes, briefly but he did.
This change in behavior didn't go unnoticed by the people present. This kind of reaction wasn't typical of the loss of a ruler no matter how good or great he had been. The boy in front of them showed something genuine. It had more in common with the usual reactions one have to the memory of someone personally knew. Louise saw it clearly too.
This wasn't the way a person that had seen or even spoken to his King once or twice would feel about his monarch death over year after the event… or was it? The third daughter of Duke de la Vallière truthfully asked herself. Just who have I called?
The sentiment was shared among the round eared people in attendance. Who is this person in front of them? A boy from another world, an adventurous traveler, a peerless warrior, an untalented but proficient mage which was paradoxical in itself, and... Related to royalty? A noble perhaps? A trusted vassal? Or a special kind of caretaker maybe?
There were just so many questions… and it was scary because that was after he was willingly revealing his past to them. This boy was truly quite something else.
"He died nearly… three months after this picture was taken, if I remember correctly, it may have been less than that though." Link stated in a clear voice.
"Did you take this 'Pictograph' too, Sir Link?" The principal phrased it like a question but it was more of a statement. Either way Link saw no meaning in denying it.
"I see." There were no further comments about this topic from the headmaster or anyone else.
Acting without neither pause nor haste Link took his journal from the desk and the sound of flipped pages filled the office for a moment, afterwards Link put another picture this one displayed Hyrule Castle at dawn.
"That is the Royal Palace." Link said pointing at picture.
Simple nods answered him while everyone took some time looking at the picture of the castle admiring its architecture and comparing it to the palaces of Tristain, Galia and Germania. They weren't all that different, though this looked quite grand to the nobles. The way the light and shadows were represented in the sepia colored paper made it quite an interesting piece at the very least.
After a bit of time passed, Link also put on display a couple of pages that both held a pictograph of a horse, the two images were very recent ones and in color, both inside Lon Lon Ranch.
"And here like I told you before: my horse in this day and age." Link said proudly, presenting the image of Epona, his beautiful flaxen horse. She appeared with her bright brown coat and white mane for all to admire.
In the picture in the left page was an image of Link stroking Epona's face affectingly, this portrait was taken by Malon. The one to the right was a solo shot of the horse; in both instances Epona was unsaddled.
"She really is a beautiful mare." Colbert said, appreciating the fine specimen of equine beauty.
"She is." Link smiled fondly as he said that his softening as he remembered his most close companion in the last year of travels. "Thankfully I left her with a friend before I got called here so she is well cared for in my absence, although she is feral enough to survive on her own just fine." Link continued to smile pleasantly, ignoring the fact he couldn't get back to Hyrule yet to ride with her. The horseless rider left Epona in Malon's care because he wanted to give her a break for a year of continuous travels, a decision he presently didn't know how to feel about, because while he truly believes Epona deserved the rest and any new adventure has its risks, Link couldn't help but to want her to be here with him. He was stranded in an unknown world with no idea how to get back to Hyrule, somehow it was fitting that Epona was with him like the first time in Termina, even if she wasn't at song's length in the first Cycle or two.
"Hmm that one… It's a rather artistic picture Sir Link." Osmond commented looking at the pictograph on the right page.
"Mmm i-is your horse…? Posing for the portrait?" Louise was the one that had the valor to ask what was passing through everyone else's minds, a courageous young girl she was.
"Hehe, you bet she is." Link answered with a full on grin that did not affect Louise in slightest, not at all.
The Epona in the left pictograph was doing a bow; a common trick taught to horses nothing quite unusual, and Epona was executing it gracefully. Still what seemed out of place was the fact that the mare was looking directly at them from the portrait. Also there was no one instructing the horse to perform the trick as it usually happens.
In both pictures the mare mare's blue eyes were fixed with a glance that held appreciable intelligence, like if she knew she was the star of a play or the center of attention of the image. This was especially notorious in the one to the left because the single eye that could be seen from that angle wasn't looking at Link, even if the boy was touching her face directly.
"Yeah, like I told you she is very smart, Epona knows that if I or someone else aims my Picto Box at her; we are trying to take her portrait and over time she chose to look her best for the pictures." The rider explained animatedly about his mount, and then with a wide smile that came from the bottom of his sense of humor, the boy added.
"Like any other girl really." And Link talked from personal experiences here.
While many paints had some details 'fixed' by the artist in traditional portraits, or like some women say painters bring out the inner beauty of the portrayed, in a pictograph you appeared as you are, so any girl or woman Link had met always tried to look her very best for the pictures, much more so than men in general. Although some people did tend to look worse or better in pictographs, than they did in person.
"Heh, Women." Link said looking to the side with an incipient half-smile that was filled with smugness.
"Women." Osmond agreed with the blonde, while holding an odd gleam in his eyes that was certainly misplaced in an old man like him.
"Ah, Women." Prof. Colbert said dejected being completely swept in the mood… because like he always thinks whenever women become a theme of conversation… even at this age, I am still not married…
After all, women are interesting for Heroes, Teachers and Old men alike… remember that for it is wisdom.
"Hey! What you are all saying!" Louise yelled her complain, perceiving something amiss. She composed herself immediately though. It was a rather unsound idea to scream to the school staff in normal circumstances and so much more so in the current one.
"We are talking about my mare of course." Link answered flawlessly, maybe a bit too flawlessly.
"Yeah right." Louise replied, instantaneously. She didn't need an ounce of feminine intuition to figure this excuse out.
"Well is this all you want to show us Sir Link?" Colbert asked, before Louise could give them more than her severe expression in answer to their small laugh, although internally he is hoping to see more of the pictures the young man has in his travel journal. From what the professor had seen, a man like Link ought to have many interesting things and stories to show and tell.
"This is enough right?" Link replied with a question. He considered he could still reveal some more if they wanted to see, but these people are already convinced and while there is truly much more he can show them, a sizeable part of it falls in the personal category… Or in the 'what-the-hell-are-you-doing-taking-a-picture-of-a -monster- trying-to-kill-you?!' category as Malon once put it in nice terms, speaking directly to his ears in a voice whose volume she swore wasn't her maximum limit.
"I believe it so Sir Link; you didn't have to show us the last couple of those." The principal informed the not elf as he took another deep breath… with his pipe on his mouth.
"I see." The bald teacher tried not to let his disappointment appear on his face. He was moderately successful.
"If that is all, then can we retire for the evening?" Link asked while taking a glance at the setting sun that peered through the window. Just long had we been in here?
"There are still many matters we would like to discuss with you like but they can wait until the morning I suppose. It has been eventful enough as it is." Osmond declared while looking directly at Link, a carefree expression on his face.
"Meet me tomorrow in here before classes, to speak about the details of a thing or two. It has been an odd pleasure to meet you to say the least young man… Until tomorrow Miss Valliere, Sir Link." The principal informed and said his goodbyes to the mage and familiar duo which they accepted gratefully.
"Thanks headmaster, likewise it has been a notable affair I guess… and a long afternoon too." Link reflected while not hiding the fact that he was a little tired by the discussion.
"My thanks for your help and understanding, Principal." Louise bowed respectfully treating Old Osmond formally, she was one of the females more inclined to do so as he had never ogled or spoke to her improperly… and she wisely decided to take as a compliment. It is one thing to desire that your peers look at you as something besides a Zero, and another very different to desire a man older than your grandparents to look at you with any kind of interest.
"Prof. Colbert." Link glanced at the balding teacher and nodded to him respectfully with the barest of smiles. The professor responded likewise, although a bit more hesitantly as the gesture had more than bit of an edge to it, it was more like a warrior's acknowledgment. I am really going to regret my actions at the Vestri court, don't I? The fire mage didn't think Link will try to take revenge or do anything petty like that, but rather it appears the label the boy will be using to classify him will be along the lines of a man of battle… And then it popped in his mind that he had done that in full view of many of his students.
Suddenly, the prospect of drinking was beginning to appear as viable career alternative to the bald magical teacher, or at the very least like an acceptable hobby.
Link put away his journal into his right pouch and then made his way towards the table at the middle of the vase the one where a wooden box, a lantern and a few deku sticks all part of his property. He stored them into his pouches magically just by tapping or passing his hand above each object. After putting every one of his belongings into his bags Link walked to Louise who was waiting for him by the door.
"Headmaster, you may keep the pictograph of your person if you wish, take it as a gift."
And with one final glance the duo exited the office.
The sounds heard in the office were of a tired professor sighing while contemplating if he should create a hole to crawl into and those made by a smoking headmaster thinking about his secretary's panties… among other matters of lesser importance.
"Mr. Colbert did you just noticed how he revealed so much but didn't even told us the name of his homeland or how his people call themselves? Sir Link didn't give us any other name but his mare's." Osmond inquired of the balding teacher while putting away his pipe for good or at least for the rest of day.
"What? No he told us…" The bald teacher was going to say that Sir Link had explained it, until he found out that his memories of the last few hours fitted the principal's observations there were no name as to what his race was called.
"I …I didn't." Answered the professor bewildered about how such an important fact had escaped his notice. He began to try to recall if another name was said or if any other detail like that became evident in the past dialogue.
"An interesting fellow don't you think professor."
"Certainly." Colbert replied simply. Before making his own remarks about what he did noted about Sir Link.
"Headmaster did you noticed it? A child traveling alone is not normal. There were never any parents or guardian figures in his story." Colbert though the boy was truly an enigma… and very likely and orphan too.
"At eleven I think my mother was trying to teach me, how to behave properly while playing, playing old Osmond, and my father was getting me to perfect my fireball spell as I had shown some promising skills in the field… Not traveling alone to another far away country." Just the implications of that fact alone made Colbert feel like a pit was forming in the middle of his stomach. Wisely he decided to stop thinking about it.
"And he was already armed at that age…" Colbert commented aloud, while he was uneasy and didn't respond when Sir Link showed them the first picture of his journal, the professor did note that the little kid in the portrait already had a sword and shield, both pieces of metal perfectly made for his small size.
"Indeed, I certainly wasn't exploring on my own at that age that came later… Hehehe, Professor, wouldn't you say Miss Vallière's spells always end up in an explosion of some kind, failure or not?" Colbert seeing how Osmond was referring to the contrast between Louise normal results and her current, and let's say extraordinary, feat couldn't help but to slightly laugh.
"Hahaha, you said it Old Osmond."
Louise Françoise le Blanc de la Vallière was tired in spirit and body. Today had been a hectic day with enough surprises, world shattering revelations and realizations to last her until her thirties, maybe even her forties if her assumptions were correct. Considering that she realized there were still many things she simply didn't know about her familiar, the petite girl was wondering if there was going to be anything left to be surprised about before she turns into a grandmother. Of course she also realized that this was just the surface of the matter, the tip of the iceberg or so they say. Seriously, it was troublesome.
After a silent walk, and a rather… jovial exchange between Link and Mr. Osmond's secretary, the girl found herself opening the door to her room. Louise didn't know what she wanted more, to sleep and deal with this in the morning or the get as much information as she could about her familiar before calling the day off.
"Ah, we forgot to ask for a mattress or a cot." Link observed simply, while looking at the pile of hay below the window as they entered the room. The remark pulled Louise out of her musings.
"Y-you are right!" Immediately she decided to go back to get one. "Let me go ask for one to the headmaster." It will give her more time to sort her thoughts.
"There is no need Louise, it is rather late and I am positive you may have some questions for me." Link replied while making his way toward the window. And there went her plan to get more time; amazing how her familiar has a tendency to put Louise out of her preferred course with ease, quite unfair really.
"But then… W-where are you going to sleep?" Louise asked while not so subtly eyeing her bed, the only bed in her room. Last night she had no problems with it, thinking that as a familiar she should not feel any different about him than if she had gotten a more normal animal like a dog. Now, well… she was in fact very aware that not only he was a person but also a male, a teenage male in fact. Funny how some facts become obvious at inconvenient times.
Louise's glance towards her bed did not escape Link.
"Ohh? Just where are you looking at…?" Here Link smiled dangerously, or more like teasingly, as he remembered being in a similar situation like Louise is now, but with a very forward Gerudo no less, Time to see if I learned the fine art of embarrassing the innocent from them. "You see, I have always preferred a little more subtlety when flirting, I don't know why it just seems more enjoyable that way; but I guess absolutely blatant advances are nice once in a while." Link stood while looking at Louise directly in her eyes, his smile exhibiting more of the white of his teeth.
"Wh-What?!" Louise went red in the face but Link wasn't done yet as he began approaching her. Link's mouth was making a defined upwards line.
"Do not worry you are not the first nor the second girl to offer me her bed." If only Louise knew that both cases were innocent tales of childhood with Romani and Malon. In a related matter he had also slept in Zelda's bed once or twice when he was a child.
"And I hope you are not the last either, my dear Master." The emphasis put in the word 'master' was just wrong or just right; it depends on your point of view.
Even though it was getting dark, Louise's face was so obviously red it may be seen from a mile away.
"I-I-I did not! Gh Ahhh! Y—Y-Yo-You! M-My bed! I haven't! Au-aah!" Louise couldn't really articulate a proper response and her body was nervously shaking. Normally Link would have stopped there but he just couldn't resist teasing her, she was way too vulnerable to these kinds of attacks and as a man of battle it was in his instincts to take advantage of an opening when he saw one. And seriously speaking, it may do Louise some good in being more mindful of her actions.
"Ah, but you see there nothing for you to be embarrassed about after all…" Link's expression turned kind of evil here, he still smiled and his eyes seemed to gleam in the faint light of the room. "Didn't you strip for me last night, Louise?" All we can say is that Link's smile became too bright, almost like a star.
Louise's brain short-circuited. Even if was impossible Link could have sworn that steam and sparks came out of Louise's head before she went still as a stone, only for a little while though.
"Heh, I honestly thought that if someone was going to try hitting on me it would be Kirche, not you, Guess life is full surprises like that." Link nodded at his declaration, the combined effect his words and his slight smug expression managed to reboot Louise.
"Y-You! Perverted familiar!" the teased girl yelled with righteous fury. The irate Vallière moved to her bed grabbing the first pillow she could find. "I am not like t-that, L-L-like that, like that Zerbst!" She hit Link square on the face with a two handed pillow strike. Heh, it was telegraphed. The warrior observed amusedly.
When she prepared another swing Louise saw why she had managed to hit him today, unlike with her ranged attacks on the morning. Like if her smacking cushion were a theater's curtain Link revealed a much wider smirk when she removed it, the expression was pictograph worthy and it made Louise's heart beat faster... in anger but it did. She tried another swing of her fluffy weapon. It ended in the same result, Link was now grinning with a hand under his chin. The enraged master persevered and this time she connected with a downward left to right diagonal. Result: Link had moved the hand under his chin to his hair, running his hand through it a manner that seemed to remind Louise vaguely of a playboy like Guiche, but had much more attacking power of a certain kind.
Even in her upset state, Louise managed to get that Link was enjoying getting a rise out her. "Ghaaahh!" Infuriated even more she tried to hit him again, she just didn't know any better way to vent her emotional outburst caused by his shameless teasing, this time he grabbed the pillow mid-strike with his left hand and effectively the assault stopped.
"Ok, the last one hurt a bit, don't get too rowdy." The teasing boy said flatly like reprimanding a child throwing a tantrum. "I only let you hit me because I was being kind of a jerk to you, don't get used to it."
Hearing Link's comment, Louise gripped the pillow with both hands and squeezed hard, her body trembling while she inclined her head in a way that her flowing hair hid her face from Link's view. Link objectively observed that she looked quite upset. Guess I overdid it…
"I was just joking you know." Link tried defending himself verbally, rather lamely at first, but then putting more substance in his argument. "And it may show you just how out order your actions were yesterday even if I was a non-magical commoner, there weren't much stopping any guy in my place from taking advantage you, you know? if not when you were naked then later when you were asleep and your wand out of reach, whether you thought of me like a boy or not it wouldn't have mattered."
"I am a noble, a mage! I could have managed against commoner." Louise exclaimed defensively, even if she couldn't really deny the logic her familiar used, a very cold one by the observation of her vulnerability while sleeping with a male in her room. Truly, her own defense felt weak even to her ears, she was less than a stellar as a magus after all… and magic could only protect a noble as long as he could wield it, even a proper mage would find himself reduced to nothing more than an ordinary man without a wand to cast his magic.
It made her feel uncomfortable, but worse was that she had already figured situations like these one, where Link pointed out her perceived faults, were going to repeat themselves because the kind of upbringing he seemed to have. They were very different people she and Link. Well she knew this was going to present difficulties.
"Really? Well perhaps you truly are right; maybe these runes may have also prevented it." Link raised his globed right hand while making his point.
Louise frowned; this wasn't going nearly as smoothly as she liked. "Well sorry for that." Said the mage girl while looking to side, just how many times had she apologized to her familiar today? Not a lot but she did and she meant it, and here he was still calling her out on the effects the contract could have had on him. It truly wasn't her intention to alter his mind and even if it were, her colder side told her, she would have failed.
After a second of silence passed Link resumed talking her expression haven't gone unnoticed.
"Sorry for mentioning the runes, it was out place Louise. I know it wasn't your fault." And it appears once more that Link is gentler and more mature than Louise gave him credit for. Really her familiar just complicated matters on his own.
"Hmp." Answered Louise as she looked to the side, she tried to appear offended but to Link she only looked like someone acting the part without much intent behind it. "As long as you know it." The sweet and sour girl accepted the apology.
"Um, how about … let me demonstrate you how I made my bed yesterday night, to show you I won't be doing anything improper or disrespectful, and that I really don't need a cot for the time being." The boy moved next to and then crouched before the hay. By placing his hand over the bundles of straw, little by little the hay was put away magically into his bags until there was none. And then with the wave his hands, the sound of a rustle of clothes resonated in the room, and the hay materialized on the ground, it was distributed evenly over the floor and had the shape of an ellipse. Done with that, Link took a thick piece of brown cloth out of one his pouches and set it over the hay. The piece of fabric was padded, at least two inches thick. It looked like a very passable mattress.
Louise watched the process. In some ways it was incredible, it was just single spell and yet he could do so much with it.
Sitting in his makeshift bed Link looked up Louise and the girl saw how the boy extended his hands towards her, a pillow blinked into existence his in left hand and thin white blanked appeared in his right hand in an instant. Another fully functional sleeping place was now in her room. He really doesn't need me or any else to live, does he?
"As you see I can stay like this for a while, this is actually quite comfy for something that takes less than half a minute. Much more if you take into account that you can't always have a proper bed while traveling. The hay gives it that extra touch." Louise nodded timidly at his words, the last part of her previous agitation leaving her.
Link looked expectantly Louise for a few seconds.
It stretched into a minute or two.
"So… still not done processing everything that just happened? You know about me, you, my race, this whole thing." Link asked Louise and rose to his feet just carelessly dropping the pillow and blanket over his temporary bed. Moving over to the table in the room Link sit down.
"It's not just that." Louise answered softly. Really this familiar was proving to be a handful even when he was cooperating. Still Louise breathed deeply, calming herself. What am I so hesitant about? Louise decided to just ask what came to her mind it's not like Link bites or something. She sat in front of him.
"I see… Are you hungry, perhaps?" The boy spoke with a casual tone of voice. To Louise that sentence really came out of nowhere.
"What? No." And Louise wondered… what this familiar is thinking? Asking about food in a time like this.
"Really? I am… somewhat. Would you mind if we eat now?" Maybe not out of nowhere but Louise was about to ask what they were going to eat when he pulled out of the bag at his left the white bundle of fruit, bread, and chicken she had prepared for him before everything went to Not-Elfland.
Soon the tristanian found herself looking at a big bowl filled with rice, onions rings and lots of meat strips with some other vegetables as toppings it was more than enough for two people by itself. And not only a meal graced her table, Link also pulled shining silver cutlery and clean porcelain dishes that had engraved a golden likeness of a bird in their center, a symbol called the Hylian Crest even if Louise didn't know that, It looks like the one in the middle his shield. The quasi-mage observed, also the dishes had golden trimmings in their perimeter, they were of triangles of all things, and so well-crafted that Louise didn't doubt they were genuine gold. Everything was set over finely woven tablecloth.
The rather fancy tableware was gift from an aristocrat from Hyrule. Link knew the man had good intentions but since Link never had a house of his own where he used normal dishes, Hyrule Castle didn't count as they had their own, the young Hylian had never found an use for them. They were a part of the big collection of 'Junk' Link had into his Kokiri magical pouches.
It was good that as noble Louise really had no natural envy for worldly possessions, not for the dishes, but for the magical bag, it truly looked just a bit too convenient. For all I know he may have buckets full of gems and gold ingots in those bags of him. If only the third daughter of Duke de la Vallière knew how close to the truth she was in that moment. Adventuring through the Temples found in Hyrule, Termina as well as some ruins in Holodrum, Labrynna and the lands in between had proven to be very profitable to Link in this timeline. Link (still) couldn't buy a palace but the more pressing money problems he had were along the lines of 'Storage' and easily taken care of, by a couple of wallets from the royal palace and Links own magical bags.
"Well…" Louise glanced down at prepared meal. "I guess we can have dinner." Muttering under her breath she added. "Cold though."
"Good, but…" Link looked at the set table and nodded while smiling, if he had heard Louise or not was a personal guess. "Just let me heat it up." Putting both his hands on the bowl of rice and meat he prepared to cast the spell of fire he was most familiar with. He only knew three.
This time Link formed the image clearly, the boy pictured a beautiful crystal with an orange core of flame inside his body, one he had seen materialize only for a moment when the Great Fairy of Magic taught him the spell yet he will never forget it, as Link can feel it just fine not on anywhere on his person but somewhere in his soul, Link simply let his magic flow into it controlling the input and output of his power. That was the main trick to do something more with the three spells he learned from the Great Fairies, and Din's Fire was the most receptive to it. A small sphere of flames was conjured between Links palms encasing the bowl for a small instant before disappearing lightly heating the meal up.
"It's useful for cooking." Link sly expression was somewhat annoying to Louise yet she was still losing the full inside joke. The Hylian mage had long ago stopped pretending that he wasn't using a very advanced spell of divine origin to conveniently heat his food. After all this was the main way Link trained and got better at using this particular spell. The impulse to not eat ashes was a powerful drive.
The impromptu waiter Link began setting everything properly before serving each one a portion of their dinner. With food served and people seated the boy and the girl were looking at each other from across the table. No one was speaking a word for a minute or two.
"So don't have any questions? Not even one?" Link was actually surprised about her silence, he expected at the very least some inquiries about his past… hey he may might have been joking when he said it, but he is a legendary Hero chosen by fate, surely his life deserve some interest, the only reason he could think of for Louise hesitance is that perhaps she was still uneasy about his presence.
"I do have… many, but I don't know where to begin." So she wasn't actually that uneasy just a bit overwhelmed, that is fine with Link.
"I see…" Link replied, before continuing. "Let me help you with that then." The boy knew what he had to do; it was simple matter of breaking the ice.
"Hylian." Link spoke in a firm tone of voice. "I am a Hylian, that's how my people call themselves, Hylians."
A slight widening of the eyes and opening of her mouth was the reaction that got out of Louise.
"Hy-lian." She parroted the word. Louise tried to intone perfectly the name of Link's brethren.
"…I see… I don't quite remember getting that in the office… you didn't say it then, right?" The last sentence was a statement disguised as a question.
"No I believed someone will ask me about it but it didn't happen." The informative Hylian shrugged. He did feel a bit foolish about allowing such a situation to occur, Osmond and Colbert surely thought that he was trying some mind games when he truly wasn't… or that he had a strange sense of humor, the latter was kind of right though, sometimes Link's jokes only make sense inside his head.
"So you ended telling everyone about your past, your home, your people but you didn't mention the name of any of them? Where is your dislike for lying in this? Feels like it conveniently comes and goes." Pleasantly, the master enjoyed being in the position to rightly criticize her familiar's behavior. "Reproachable." She hoped a repeat of such a novel experience.
"Er… I said my horse's name?" Louise lips began to curl up at Link's shaky defense, absolutely enjoyable. She was already wearing a full smile inside her head and small one in her exterior.
"Funny how some things work out, right?" Link scratched his temple with his right hand, some embarrassment tinting his features.
"Indeed it is a marvel sometimes… So tell me, how is the country of the Hylians called? The name of your homeland." She had been curious about it. Ultimately though, she understood why no one had asked about it in the principal's office, they could always ask later.
"Oh, it's called Hyrule, that's the place where I come from Hyrule; it's very beautiful and peaceful." I made sure of it… Link added mentally as he smiled in response to Louise's improving mood.
"Oh, really? When was the last war they had there?"
"Formally, almost two decades ago, around nineteen years ago to be more exact. It was an internal affair; wars with other kingdoms are almost unheard of, it is because traveling into and outside of Hyrule is quite difficult even for a small group." Link noted how this topic was close to him after all one of the more direct results of the war was him living his childhood as a Kokiri. A bit of surprise was written in Louise's face at that answer.
"I can barely believe it; here in Halkeginia we have wars almost every year, there are things like border issues, commoners uprising, feuds between nobles, civil wars…" Louise talked in a small voice, she had never participated in a war directly, as it wasn't expected of noble girls unless she was part of the military, mages were always welcome there regardless of gender, nor had she been around near the consequences of a war but she had heard enough to know this wasn't something to be happy about even if wars presented some of the better opportunities to nobles to gain better positions, titles and favor with the crown.
"Mmm… Now is my turn to say I can barely believe it, that's a difficult situation." Link frowned, he could wrap his head around such idea but he didn't like it, the last war in Hyrule in the end helped ensure all races were under one banner, something that now he as an adult could understand was needed. Such frequent conflicts instead only spoke of general discontent.
"Well there was a try for a coup d'état eight years ago, but it was exposed before it could do real damage…" This time at least… Link's ironic mind reminded him sourly. "So a large conflict was avoided."
"That's fortunate." Louise appeared genuinely relieved to hear about it and unknowingly improved Link's mood. So Link decided to go through with his planned course of action and reveal just a bit more to Louise about him.
"It is… that in fact is the reason why I know the King and the Princess." The tone was casual like if remarking something about an everyday fact. It took a second to Louise to process that another surprising truth about her familiar was being told. Seriously, it was getting old, what was next? Perhaps her familiar had fought an ancient dragon resurrected by an evil sorcerer?
"Is that so? How?" Louise believed that explained a lot.
"I found out about what was happening who the head of the rebellion was and had a rough estimate when they were going to strike." Link summarized, he just didn't tell her that the knowledge came from a small trip through the fabric of time.
"But you were a child eight years ago right?! Forget about someone believing a child of ten! How you even managed to even get close to someone that could tell the royal family." Louise was a little upset about what was being told, but by now she knew better that just dismiss what Link was saying as a lie.
"I didn't." Link voice held just enough dryness to tip Louise that he was going to say something outrageous again. She was right. "I snuck into the castle and told the princess directly."
"What did you say?!" Louise didn't raise her voice but her tone was one of open disbelief.
"Well I was always a bit crafty and I had a very ingenious partner at the time that gave me a couple of suggestions." Amusedly Link continued his tale. "After telling the princess she confessed to me that she had suspicions of her own."
"Wait! She actually believed you…" Louise interjected.
"Yeah, not only her though. We managed to convince her father because I had proof with me. They weren't pictographs but in this case it was better, so even if both I and the princess were just kids they had no option to believe us and take our words seriously." And it indeed was a great proof Link held.
The young Hero of Time will always remember the look of simple and utter disbelief Zelda's father held when he showed the King the back of his very own left hand and the golden mark of the Triforce gleaming lightly on it. That was the only time Link was sure the King truly lost his calm. Of course the fact that Link knew many secrets like the location of the Master Sword, its exact aspect, the method to enter the Sacred Realm using the three Spiritual Stones, the notes for Zelda's lullaby, the many songs to warp across Hyrule, what lied inside the Royal Family's Tomb in Kakariko, that Impa was a Sheikah, the existence of the Ocarina of Time, the Song of Time… Among other facts, well it may have helped to aggravate the monarch. Heck, even Zelda was surprised about how much he knew, as he hadn't got the time to tell her everything yet, as she didn't remembered it, for that time he came to her courtyard was also the first she had ever seen him. Zelda believed him all the same something which he will always be grateful.
To add more icing on the cake was the fact that when Link touched Zelda's hand the Triforce of Wisdom materialized on the princess, giving her a similar mark on the back of her right hand, something the royals knew Zelda didn't have before that day... But that fact also brought a sense of urgency and danger, because if Ganondorf ever came close to the princess or Link the Triforce of Power could potentially resonate with the other pieces and manifest on the Gerudo King giving him the power needed to conquer Hyrule once more.
"It's quite the history."
"Indeed." Link couldn't help but to smile wryly at that. He reached into one of his pouches and took out his journal. Opening it Link showed her a pictograph that looked a lot like the first one with the King and the Princess. There was one addition depicting his twelve year old (nearing thirteen) self. Link took the pictograph from the page, undoing whatever method he had used to stick it to the paper, flipped a page of the book and then put it next to the first one of Zelda and her father for comparison.
"Oh." Was Louise's eloquent answer. This picture, instead of the solemn air the other held, looked incredibly informal.
The adult in the picture, while still appearing quite regal with the scepter still in his hand, was not looking to his front but rather he was glancing at the children to his left with a slight smile. Link was in the middle of the parent and child, with the King to his right and the Princess to his left. The children were posing playfully, Link had his left hand raised, and showing the back his left and his forearm towards the point of view of the one taking the picture, next to him the little princess mirrored his pose but her right arm. The upper limbs of the children touched. Both kids wore wide smiles, like if they were doing some sort of mischief, right in front of the monarch of the land… Although no Golden insignia was shining on the hands they were displaying…
If only Louise knew the significance of such act…
Royalty may not behave so casually even with family members, much less with a stranger even if he had saved their lives, much less still they will left proof of such behavior in the hands of someone unrelated, that much Louise knew. She came from such a family, one many considered the next greatest besides the royal family in Tristain. The confusing situation also brought another matter to the forefront of Louise's mind. He was rather cute as child… All right it brought two things to the forefront of her mind. The other was a doubt not nearly as pleasant. She decided to just ask nicely and see.
"And… umm… About your parents? What they thought about all of this?" That came out great! Why don't ask him how they died in the first place! Louise though sarcastically. She is better than this, how could a Vallière woman be so tactless, when did she became a disrespecting Zerbst? Then again, there was no polite or proper way to ask if you were an orphan.
"Not much, I suppose. They died in the war I mentioned, I never met them." Link answered in a neutral tone.
"Sorry I …" Louise stuttered, but Link held his hand up to stop her.
"It really is alright Louise, it goes as follows: My mother was injured badly in the war, I don't know how, but she managed left me in the care of… others. There was no mention of a father in what she managed to tell the... ones that took care of me. For all I know, I could have been the result of one night of fickleness or a loving and beautiful relationship that began blossoming since their childhood, I don't nor will I ever know."
Link looped upwards before continuing it had more to do with his hiding some facts from Louise in his edited account of his origins, rather than with any apprehension about his ancestry.
"It doesn't really matter in the end; I was cared for and had a good childhood for the most part." Link just had to ignore the part where he had taken a sword when he was ten, and faced horrors that no other men could or should. Ah, and fail hard at it the first time around by allowing Ganondorf to take the Triforce, but he took responsibility and managed to correct his mistake, by defeating him.
"I won't say that I don't think about it sometimes, I would really like to know where I come from what my parents were; their names, if they knew each other, do I look like one of them? Well things like those… but it's nothing that causes me pain anymore." Link stopped his meticulous inspection of the ceiling. He looked at Louise with a small smile and no signs of distress on his face. "So you don't have to feel sorry for me."
Link would never know but this was the first time Louise felt true admiration for someone outside of her family and her childhood friend Henrietta.
"So what happened after the overthrow was prevented."
"Well, I stayed for a bit in the palace. My presence passed off, as a 'royal playmate' for the princess which I actually was." Link grinned.
"I even managed to rub some of my bad habits on her, though she will strangle herself before admitting it." Link crossed his arms looking immensely proud of this. Louise just raised an eyebrow both at his declaration and toward the similarities. Louise herself had been a playmate for a princess… And she had never addressed her highness so casually like Link is doing now, or misbehaved in front of her… all right there were their 'harmless' fights over who got to play the princess on some of their games… Okay, maybe not so harmless; yet she would be nothing but the perfect subject for her princess now.
"Well continuing with the tale: After a while I left without telling anybody, had things to do. Came back to Hyrule almost two years later, got a royal scolding from the King himself. Afterwards, I stayed there in the palace for a few years although I always took my time to just explore Hyrule on my own. Then I left for over a year and came back again, around three weeks ago, got summoned by no other than you and lo and behold here I am."
Unbelievable, that is the only way she could describe the kind of person Link was.
"Ummm… Why are you telling me all of this?" While she was grateful for it Louise knew she was asking about quite personal matters. He would have been in his right to not answer. She herself would have a very hard time being half as talkative about her life… if only because she fells ashamed of her shortcomings as a mage and she felt there was nothing 'remarkable' about her besides that.
"Ah, well you aren't the only that has to do an effort to get along and make things work between you and me. Besides I expect a full summary of your life in similar fashion, at least a thousand words by tomorrow night." Link was both serious and joking with Louise.
Louise giggled at his joke and smiled internally at his first declaration yet she couldn't bring her face to smile as she didn't feel like she could repay his honesty… but she should try at the very least.
In the end Louise considered that Link's history made sense. It explained many things, why her familiar could seem so rough at times and so polite at others. She imagined that after he was taken by the Royal family of his land, some education and good habits must have slipped somehow into his person making him the strange existence he today… She was half right; Louise only missed the part about sleeping for seven years to fight against an evil he helped unleash and preventing a moon from crashing in another world… which of course also involved time travel.
Hey, Link wasn't called the Hero of Time just for show.
A paradox that was what Link was to Louise, someone that possessed characteristics that were at odds with each other. Gentle and rough. Humble and proud. Human and Elf. Orphan yet not lonely. Rude and polite… She could even add warrior and mage, which while not mutually exclusive in combat proper, were at both sides of the path between commoners and nobles, someplace he must have walked on.
"Ah, Louise our dinner got cold." Link observed flatly. The once warn meal was again reduced to the temperature of the room. Louise blinked twice taking a moment to return from her contemplation before confirming the state of her plate. "You don't mind do you?" It was simple matter of reheating if she did.
At this moment, a welcome interruption made itself known.
Hylian and Human turned and looked at the door of the room. "Come in, is open." Louise allowed entrance. Link put away his Journal.
Entering the room was no other than Siesta in all of her maidenly glory pushing a silver cart.
"Good Night, I have brought you dinne-… Eeh?" Making a cute sound Siesta's introduction was cut short, when she saw the set table where Link and Miss Vallière were sitting with an almost full dinner in front of them. The maid blinked in confusion.
"D-Did they already send someone else?" Siesta wondered aloud. If they did, it was strange as she was asked by name to serve them dinner by a bald teacher on order of the headmaster. Somehow when Link was in the audience with the principal her name must have come up as someone unafraid of Elves… or Link more specifically.
Link expression relaxed at seeing her and noting his glance she nodded timidly in return braving a small smile. "No Siesta, this is actually mine." Link smiled easily to her while tapping one of his pouches. Siesta presence was calming to the Hylian and he saw that she grew a little more comfortable when he called her by name.
"Ah, I see." Siesta understood there was magic involved. "Sorry for the inconvenience then." It was bit disappointing, Siesta was actually looking forward to talking to Link for a bit more so she could apologize properly for being scared of him.
"It's no trouble in fact, I think Louise here would prefer a warn meal from her Homeland rather than what I put here. That way I get more for me." Link waved toward the finely placed Hylian tableware and the food served over it. Talking had opened his appetite, and now that he even got room service Link no longer needed to go hunting or ration his food.
"I don't have a problem with any of the meals provided; you may serve the one brought in the cart before leaving." Louise's tone while graceful held the indifferent air most nobles treat commoners with… when they aren't abusing their authority.
"As you wish milady." Siesta didn't let her dissatisfaction appear on her face even if Link is a very friendly Elf; it doesn't mean that Miss Vallière wouldn't be a normal noble, with all that it entails.
"You can also have dinner here with me before leaving, you know payback for lunch." Link offered completely disregarding his master's tone and maybe even a few rules of propriety.
"Huh?!" Siesta cheeks colored a bit. Link is asking her to dine with him; even her lively cousin from the capital would congratulate her for such a nice and swift development. In fact it was a little too fast for her not too much though.
"Wait I understand that you are kind of friends and that maybe you want to get along better with her but she is a maid-" What is this familiar thinking!? Inviting a girl over to her room and in her presence, did Link have death wish? Is he another playboy like Guiche just with no boundary issues when it comes to females of another species?! Even if things where going well Louise was definitely going to give that Link a piece of her mind-
"She is probably the one servant who we are going to see the most, and also one of the four persons that are no longer afraid of me. The others being Kirche, you, and as strange as it sounds the headmaster's secretary." Which she never truly was… Link pondered as he silenced Louise almost effortlessly with the power of simple logic.
"Besides…" Link turned to Siesta.
"I would like ask you a couple of things so even if you have already eaten please stay just a little."
"I-I would love to, but… I don't want to cause any trouble between you and Miss Vallière." Siesta said meekly glancing at Louise.
"It no real trouble, right Louise?" Link looked sideways to her and his gaze was seeking her approval. Yet she figured that even if she said no, Link will simply talk with the maid outside. In the end Siesta's presence didn't bother her personally it was just… the abrupt way Link had invited a commoner girl to her quarters and how it clashed with her customs, commoners and nobles just didn't eat at the same room, unless they were some of her personal staff...
"Right." Louise whispered and gave them a small nod.
And so the Zero's bizarre day continued with a dinner that could have come out of a joke. Something like an elf, a maid and noble enter in a bar… Well in the end Louise conceded that Link was right in inviting Siesta, they learned quite a bit.
Between friendly chat, good food, and some inquiries; Link managed to get a couple of facts from the maid. First, Siesta was asked to bring them dinner probably for the fact that she was seen with Link in Vestri Court and most likely would be bringing Link meals to Louise's room for the next few days, before everyone and everything calms down.
Link also got Siesta and Louise to tell him more about Halkeginia in general. The four land countries of Tristain, Germania, Galia and the Holy Empire of Romalia; the mention of the floating kingdom of Albion got a very excited response out of Link, he said he had seen masses of land floating but never had heard about whole kingdom in the skies… although when he thought about it, Link remembered reading about something along those lines in some of the books from the Royal Library of Hyrule, he didn't mention that to the girls though.
The other important matter they learned from the raven haired maid, was the general reaction to Link's elfin appearance from the people of the academy, the gossip Siesta heard came from all social circles, from the commoner servants to the noble teachers. Being part of the serving staff always gives one many ears to get information from. In general, the reaction was one of surprise and disbelief sadly mixed with some fear. But there were also some brighter spots it appeared the bunch of students that remained after Louise pulled Link's hat were spreading more favorable rumors on account of what had happened… also a few people were just openly curious about him and Elves in general…
Link already felt bad for the future lies he was going to tell to keep the charade up, and also for the fact that he still wasn't correcting Siesta about his race. There will a time for telling her, she deserves to know sooner rather than later.
The maid had also learned a bit from Link asking questions about topics like his tastes in food, clothing and (to Louise's surprise) reading. Louise also noted that some gestures from Link that could be taken as shyness and bashfulness were in reality cues that showed his discomfort with lying to Siesta. They always happened when Link stopped himself from telling something more that was related with the fact he wasn't an Elf. It baffled Louise; Link was having a harder time not telling Siesta about him than speaking to the headmaster.
"No it's the truth! Nobody in the kitchen can quite believe that the boy I was eating with at noon was an Elf!" Siesta was now at ease with Louise and was expressing herself in a less reserved manner. "I barely can myself!" The black haired girl looked at Link's ears every now then as they talked.
"Really… hope they aren't too scared of me…" Link scratched the back of his head nervously.
"Hehe, actually some other maids were following me when they heard I was going to serve you dinner, they are probably eavesdropping as we speak." Siesta laughed a bit nervously while pointing subtly to the door with her face. No sooner had she said that, the sound of people running hastily passed through the walls of the dorm.
"Oh! I was beginning to get worried about who were those people…" The Hylian boy also turned to look at the door.
"Well, I am sorry for the inconvenience Siesta, but you see, at the same I am honestly glad you are here." Link was cleaning and stacking the dishes used, Siesta had told him to give her his personal dishes along with the ones she brought to get them washed together. "So I guess that means you are my unofficial maid for now."
"Ah." Siesta blushed lightly at the comment.
"Not so unofficial, if it is true the headmaster called for her by name." Louise pointed out, as she was giving her empty plate to Siesta, the owner of the room was the last one to finish her meal but she was already done.
"True." The Hylian boy conceded, it just felt a bit off to him to have a personal servant, sure he had been served by the staff at Hyrule Castle but he had to consciously let do them do their job, like cleaning and laundry, in the beginning. He had after all cared for himself since he was a child. Kokiri were mature in that way.
"It will be my pleasure." Siesta replied sincerely.
The black haired girl looked at the window no doubt observing just how far into the night she already was. "I would like stay longer but it's getting late."
"Don't let us keep you any longer, thanks for everything and good night Siesta." Link told the maid, as he placed the last of the dishes and cutlery in the cart, he had insisted in helping her even if it was just that much. Louise nodded to her, but in a less indifferent way than she normally would have.
"Link, Miss Vallière many thanks for having me as a guest, good night to you both." Bowing respectfully she excused herself from Louise's room and left.
With appetites sated and the moons high on the sky, Link and Louise decided to call it day. There will be more time for talking in the days ahead. Many things had change in the span of this day Link reflected as he and Louise changed, the latter from inside the curtains of her bed. He likewise took off his belts, gloves, boots and tunic, putting them to side if his makeshift bed, this left him in the long sleeved shirt and quasi-pants he wore underneath. His hat was still on his head. The boy was also careful not to show his left hand as he still hasn't spoken to Louise about it.
Looking at his sorely empty scabbard Link could only think about getting a new blade. Guess I have to see where the nearest smith or weapon shop is… the sooner the better. While Link could defend himself just fine even with a wooden stick he is still a swordman at heart so he just didn't feel like himself without a blade.
The rustling of clothes in Louise's bed stopped signaling she was finished.
"Hey…" Link called softly to the mage girl.
"Louise, let's do this once more." Before Louise could ask 'Do what?' The pinkette opened her curtains only to see window framing Link from behind as he spoke in a bright and clear voice.
"I am Link, a Hylian traveler from Hyrule; it's a pleasure meeting you." Link bowed formally as a gentleman taking off his hat in greeting for the reintroduction to the person that summoned him to Halkeginia.
He does look better without his hat…
Louise at seeing this finally smiled fully to Link and responded in kind. Standing on her bed, she curtsied with her nightgown; the darkness of the night formed a veil that helped conceal her figure in the semitransparent fabric, and she introduced herself anew.
"I am Louise Françoise le Blanc de la Vallière, third daughter of Duke de la Vallière of Tristain. The pleasure is all mine, Link."
Who could have told? She can be cute if she wants to…
Mage and Familiar nodded one last time at each other. "Good night/Good night."
There were still many questions and unknowns for Link but for now he could honestly say he had accomplished something today and so with these thoughts the second day of Link, the Hero of Time, in Halkeginia came to a close.
Wow this chapter is finally done; these two days in the fic have taken almost a full year for… I don't have much to say except that it actually took me a while to write this. I had some free time that I used in something else (around January) and I finally found the phenomena called writer's block with a certain part of this chapter. OK maybe it wasn't as extreme as that but I did find difficult to narrow what I was going to show of Link's past.
Still like I said before, the biggest obstacle in bringing this update was once again my job, remember how a told you that people were fired before well… turns out my boss was fired too. It was truly surprising and we have a new one now… and he is someone I believe will be a bit pissed because I have used the nights to finish this chapter rather than advancing in my work.
Anyway l can only tell you that my job is going to be a bitch during the next few months because the things we didn't do to get moving that damn project I spoke about last chapter, piled up and are now catching up to us… I ignore if/when the workload will ever come down to what it was last year… it kinda sucks like it really really does suck, really Soooo let's forget about it and start anew.
Hello Everyone! You guys are Amazing! Over a Hundred Reviews! This is Awesome! It truly is! MANY thanks to everyone that reviewed you don't know how that motives me; I just wish I could reward all you with faster updates but that seems sort of impossible now… yet it is those same reviews that gave the encouragement needed to finish this chapter.
First, I know I only get that many reviews because the amount of time between chapters is soooo long but still it is very nice to see it, although when more than half of the reviews are from people asking for an update you must really stop to consider how to bring a more timely schedule... sadly nothing occurs to me as simply put, my free time now is much less than what it used to be and like many fanfic authors say real life always comes first; perhaps I will research writing techniques, who knows maybe it is worth a shot? As I do know I am disorganized when I write.
Now moving on and talking about the chapter itself, the travel journal Link shows here is going to be a show here and there through the history, and it will be mainly used for both the characters in the fic and us, to get to know Link a little better. Second Epona appeared all hail to her! She is not going to appear later so let's celebrate now.
As you can see this chapter is also full of foundation and character interactions, the thing is that if I want Louise and Link to get along they have to get to know each other first, but worry not! things begin to move forward in the next chapter.
By the way, Din's fire is the precursor of the microwave in The Legend of Zelda.
Also I want to ask something to all of you, since we didn't get a name for Zeda's father in the game proper what do you think I should name him between Gustaf or Daltus? You know like the Kings mentioned in The Minish Cap that according to Hyrule Historia (and my fic) happened before Ocarina of Time, please tell which one you prefer although I can just go without naming him in the story but I really want to name him as he has some relevance in Link's past.
And… Since we are talking about names, tell me this please, how many of you noticed that the names "Hyrule" and "Hylian" were never spoken by Link during the conversation in this and the last chapter, they were only mentioned in the narration.
Also form this chapter onwards I will answer signed reviews personally instead of doing it in the next chapter, someone brought to my attention that my slow update rhythm is not really compatible with doing it between updates, do give a few days I mostly logon only in weekends.
Now Review answering time:
drake202: He doesn't have the fairy bow but he does have the Hero Bow… so we do get magical arrows in due time. There coming clean in here but there is also going to more in the future stay tuned for than!
Shintouyu: Please update Fate Shirou! (Shameless pleading) For those who don't know this a very entertaining Fate/Stay Night history.
Nivek Beldo: You are right about time travel messing things up, and as you can see I do want to show a better Louise but it takes time to make it happen believably. As for the romance there is going to be some although I don't know if will be any good, I do like to tease though!
Poliamida: You can rest easy; Link is going to be followed by angry chickens in story that I promise. And yeah dekus are really small and Deku Link even more so.
Link-the-lightbringer: Thanks for your comments hope you like this chap, and thanks for all of the advice in the PMs.
LoveMadness: Derf and Link will have an odd friendship initially as he wasn't meant for a Windalfr. Frienfly banter may be involved.
PEJP Bengtzone V2: He will begin a small deku plantation in the future (hint: Vestri Court) but only after it dawns on him that a way to Hyrule will not be found easily.
cj1of4 : There will be some interactions with Matilda but whether those happen on screen or not is yet to be decided.
dragon-cloud16: Nice this got your interest, but Link is not a Gandalrf.
Lordrus: My first death threat! I am honestly honored and here you got so you don't get into a killing spree.
alanek2002: The length of the chapters appears to be my only saving grace at moment, but this chapter is actually shorter than chap3. To be honest I am somewhat happy to finally succeed in making a chapter that is not longer than the last.
Guest At 1/19/13: I am still updating it just going slow…
SaphireHeart: Many thanks for reviewing all the chapters. I see you like Link a lot hope he doesn't disappoint you.
The Azure Heart: It really nice as an author that someone thinks your work is good enough to recommend it, give my thanks to your friend and hope you enjoy this. Thanks for reviewing every chapter in one go, and you are right Link and Derf are going to get along with a healthy dose of jabs at each other.
Bookeater-otaku: First thanks for such a detailed review. You see I also think about how to best explain Link's inventory and how some things will work in my fic but as you said, finding the right time is tricky, because it is a pretty big info dump.
But let me answer a few things now that you have given me the opportunity.
-Light spoilers Ahead!-
Bottles? Nine. The full six he got from Termina plus the three Link can get as a child in Ocarina of Time. The other one was gift from the poe collector which never existed in this timeline. The contents are 2 red potions, 2 blue, 2 green ones, 2 XXX and 1 YYYY.
As I told before the Fierce Deity's Mask is in Links inventory but there are some very interesting restrictions on it that limit when he can use it. I don't know if anyone had taken the particular approach I have chosen for it, but it is one of the things I am personally proud to have thought of… although it is pretty unusual so I don't know if people will like it.
Rings? He has ring box inside his dimensional bags. Which rings? Just wait and see they may be harmless, humorous or maybe even have an interesting effect when used with something else.
The arrows count as a one time item that is also a spell… Explaining better what I meant, the arrows encased with a crystal head were a physical item that Link collected as the treasures of the dungeons of Termina, but they taught the spell permanently through the crystal as it dissolved in light that merged with Link when he did his trademark Item Get pose. The Fairy spells were learned in a similar manner, the crystals existed for a while before merging with our hero. Link now got good enough with those six magics that he could materialize the crystals or arrow heads gave them some else, and have them learn the spell if they are capable enough without losing his own ability to cast them… oh the possibilities.
And last but not least this Link did not had the adventures of the Oracle series, he did searched and explored ruins in those places and who knows what he found there…
Your idea is pretty good but I had pictured Farore's Wind differently, (Pegasus boots + Pegasus seeds, seems very doable though), and about the Mystical seed from Holodrum and Labrynna well… Links has a slingshot but who knows if he will end up using it as Link can use magical arrows instead…
-Light spoilers Ended!-
Sideray: Link's and Louise relationship… it will get better. How? Well let's find out and do remember what said before I do like to tease! About the canon Elves? it will be an interesting affair.
Arcane Valor: ask about anything you didn't understand and I will try to clear it up, Nice to see you ended up liking this! But don't kill yourself over it, I will continue it as long as I am able.
Lektorr: I see what you did with your username nice pun.
Insane Reader: updated.
Profezia di Morte: Thanks for reviewing everything and yeah I am updating when possible.
Knight of Athos: here it is another chap.
Soul Titan: Thanks for all the reviews! Link and Louise will get along just not immediately. And yeah I do want to portray something that is unusual in ZnT fics the desire for the familiar(s) to get back home in a somewhat realistic manner.
Also Colbert is not to be underestimated; he is quite the fighter in canon and also in here. The Goron Tunic will be used if/when Link faces a fire based foe but like in the game Link can be damaged by the impact of fire attacks, the damage is reduced significantly though, but like you said Link can actually walk on lava if only for a little while.
Guest at 3/31/13: Me agrada que te guste esta historia y si admito que la portada es bastante buena.
Time Masters: Another full reviewer! And yes I do plan for Link to eventually leave his mark in Halkeginian history… And here is the next chap sorry for the wait.
Review! Thanks for reading, hope you liked it and don't forget to tell me why did or why did not, review!
P.S: RIP Noboru Yamaguchi, Zero no Tsukaima will entertain many for years to come even if we can no longer find out how it was going to end.
Edit 2013/04/24: Hello, first thanks for the reviews second this revision to the chapter was done because it was needed to fix a lot of miskates, mostly missing words, typos and a few corrections to verb tenses and such. I published the chapter as soon as I finished it, rather than giving it the proper second reading I normally do... and it shows. (Sometimes I re-read them up to three times)