The sun that filtered through the library's windows let his rays shine upon a red-haired elf. The elf was wearing a long green tunic, with embroidered on its chest the symbol of the Kingdom of Hyrule. The man was slightly snoring, one side of his face pressed against the wooden surface of the desk he was on. The silence that surrounded him seemed to be nearly unreal, as not even a whisper was heard, but, after all, the library was empty most of the time. It wasn't the sun's feeling on the skin that woke Artos Basileus up, though. His green eyes looked in shock around him, at the source of the sudden noise that jerked him up from his sleeping position. No, to be truthful, it was the library's door crashing open, a set of loud giggles and cries, and the entrance of the princess of the kingdom who was, obviously, running away from her caretaker.
"Princess Zelda!" the voice of the Sheikah, Impa, one of the shadow folks and the personal caretaker of the princess of the kingdom of Hyrule, was the reason Artos Basileus, Hylian wizard, or better yet, apprentice wizard, was awoken from his slumber.
The opening of the door, the exclamation and the sudden tug that sent him on the floor, the marble floor of the grandiose library of the palace of Hyrule, that, however, was also hard and clearly not the best place to drop half-dead because of an overly excited princess all completed their purpose in fully waking up the wizard.
"Arty! I dreamed of him again!" The princess said with a giggle, her blond bubbly hair shaking as the young girl let out a nice heartwarming smile with her perfect white teeth.
The familiarity of the motion did nothing to soothe the headache that usually accompanied being woken up with a sudden shock. It hadn't been the first time the wizard was suddenly awakened in such a way, but usually, he did get some sort of warning, in the form of guards screaming that the princess had disappeared. It had all started a couple of years prior, with an utterly bored princess escaping, for maybe the first time, from her sewing lessons.
The only safe and silent place had been the library, and that was where Artos had first met the blond girl that now spent her time making him lose his hair under stress, and nerves. To say the princess was energetic was to just see the tip of the iceberg. She was energetic, but also cunning, knowing perfectly well how to act well-behaved, in order to fool the guards, and when to act mischievous, in order to open the window from within, walk carefully through the ledger outside the palace, and enter from the library's windows…she didn't do it again, however. Something about Impa and her terrible punishments with extra sewing seemed to convince her otherwise.
"Good to know that, your highness…" Artos groaned, as he slowly managed to get to his feet, holding the side of his head with his right hand, the scenario a bit twirling around.
The *Him* that the princess spoke of was probably, to the librarian's mind, nothing more than an imaginary friend. The girl was always around people more than double her age, and really, out of the entire castle, there was no-one younger than Artos, and Artos was twenty-two.
The *Him* was a blond boy dressed in green, and, likewise, wearing a green tunic with brown boots and a green hat, that seemingly was prolonged into some sort of cone-like appendage: really bizarre, but harmless, at least to the librarian's mind.
"Princess Zelda, you should apologize to the Master Librarian," Impa pointed out, as the girl simply spun to face Artos, before making a polite bow and, in a sort of clearly joking tone, said with a gruff tone.
"I apologize as the Princess of the Kingdom of Hyrule, Zelda, and I demand that you accept it, or I'll chop your head off!" Motioning with her right hand in an overly dramatic way, as her blue eyes cast sparkles of happiness all around.
With a sigh, Artos nodded. It was useless to even be angry at the princess. It would have been easier to actually be angry at the door: he was sure he had locked it. Nobody usually entered the library, at all.
Well, except for the typhoon of a princess and her caretaker, that was.
The princess seemed to be wearing a white and purple dress, with the golden symbol of the triforce, a mystical power from the goddesses, embedded onto her cowl. Her caretaker, instead, had one dark blue and light blue leather armor, with the crying red eye, the symbol of the Sheikah people, the shadow folk.
"Ehi, Arty…" the princess spoke quietly, "Can I ask you a question?" at that, the librarian simply nodded, as Impa shook her head slightly behind the princess' back, but it was too late now, the question had to be asked.
"Do you think Impa needs a husband?" at that, the caretaker did her best to keep her blush about her. Artos simply turned around musing it over for a moment, before slumping his shoulders and replying after having turned once more to face the two: all of said motions taking a couple of minutes to give emphasis to his following words.
"I don't know," saying that, with a clear nod on his face, Zelda couldn't help but pout.
"Hey! You meanie! I thought you were going to say something important!"
"And get hit by your caretaker? Thanks but…no thanks," at that, Impa raised an eyebrow.
"Are you perhaps implying I'm a violent person?" at the innocent question of the Sheikah woman, Artos coughed slightly.
"I think I'm being called, I should probably head over to the forbidden section of the library and hid…I mean, look for which book is whining, right now," as Artos made to leave, Zelda spoke quietly.
"Artos…you're always going to be here, right?" at that question, the librarian stopped on his tracks, a puzzled expression standing on his face, before he turned around, his best smile on his face.
"Where else would I go, princess?" and with that, he bowed slightly, before actually going over to check the forbidden books. He had heard one of them whine…this time for real.
The aisles that harbored said books were made of metal, and shackles stood loosely guarding both sides, the books behind them dripping with various fluids, ranging from blood to melted flesh, to even worst things. It was the forbidden section, after all, but the basic was always the same: Don't touch the damn books and make sure nobody touches them.
"I think I'm losing some stitches! Please have a look at it!" one whined, a burly violet covered book that seemed to have been made with scaled flesh.
"No," Artos replied, shaking his red hair, that arrived at his shoulders, his green eyes looking towards the book, "You aren't even stitched together, Nasb, Necromantic Arts for Stupid Baboons, so, do avoid trying to break free," as the book silenced himself, another one began weeping.
"Oh stop it you! You are *not* convincing me you're just a three year old child who was transformed into a book by a corrupted laamasu!" as Artos snarled that, the book wept back.
"But I'm so cute! And Innocent! And the title is wrong!"
"Demons for Believers. That's your title, and it stays like that," snapping the discussion to a close, Artos moved towards the magic section, where, on a desk, his wizard book, together with a couple of scrolls, stood. He grabbed it, chaining it to his belt, just as, from within the desk, a small ferret, with white and brown fur, came out, jumping onto the man's shoulder.
"There you are, Guendaline," at that, the ferret simply let his cheek nuzzle against the man's one, as both turned to leave…they had some duties to do.
As they neared, once more, the main area, Artos raised a puzzled eyebrow at the sight of both the princess and Impa still there, and both engaged in a sort of vivid battle of wits, with words that Artos didn't catch, and that grew silent when he neared them.
"Was there anything you needed me for?" at the question, Impa looked at the princess, who, nodding, gave her best smile to Artos…the type of smile she had when she had asked him to lend her for *indefinite* time the story books of the library…and he had yet to see those back.
"Arty…" she started, with a pleading tone, "Would you join us for lunch?"
Once, he had done precisely that. The result had been a one-sided cake battle, with the princess throwing the cake, Impa dodging it, and Artos taking it straight in the face, and he had obviously washed the cake remains off the entirety of the library, since Zelda did not have a good aim.
"I already had an appointment, your grace…" Artos replied, hesitantly, he was sure that he could be forgiven by Nastor, one of the guards of the palace and his friend, if he said he had been *forced* by circumstances to hang him off, but…
"Fine," Zelda pouted, "But this just means you'll come with us to dinner," and with that, she turned around and left, before Artos could say anything.
As Impa turned to leave, the red-haired man simply asked.
"Isn't tonight the night the Gerudo ambassador comes to the palace?" at the question, the grey-haired Sheikah simply grinned.
"Well…for once *I* won't be the one forced between a rock and a hard place," and with that, the caretaker moved to follow the princess, turning around just one last moment, to wink and say, "Please, dress suitably for the occasion."
As Artos was left there, alone, he scratched his head, his shoulders lowering down.
"What did I actually do? What in the name of the three goddesses did I actually do!?" and then he stormed off towards his room at the top of one of the castle's towers. Albeit a badly paying job, that of master librarian was still a highly respectable position, which came with many privileges. One was a private room that didn't have to be shared with other servants. Another was that once the hours of the library were over, he could quite actually go wherever he wanted to. The problem was that technically, should the king need something, he'd have to be present within the next three minutes or have his head lopped off.
The fact nobody actually had his head ever chopped off didn't mean that the king was a good person. It meant more simply that he actually never visited the library at ungodly hours. Well, once he did...he was looking for the bathrooms though, and he had mistaken the floor of the palace.
Five minutes later, he was wearing a normal and plain brown robe, with the royal symbol on the right wrist. He knew Nastor was going to be the death of him. He was sure that the royal palace guard that had the undoubted honor of being his friend, no, scratch that, best friend, would arrive late, ask him to wait while he grabbed the money for the lunch food, and probably end up having Artos pay for his share.
Just outside, in the castle's courtyard, before reaching for the portcullis and from there towards the city's bustling streets, Artos stood in wait for a couple of minutes, his right foot tapping rhythmically against the pressed dirt. His wizard staff, nothing more than a gnarled and strangely shaped overgrown root, had the head nestled within the man's armpit, using it as a sorry excuse of a walking stick. It took him all of his patience to not yell at the man that came to him running, spouting excuses about shifts and evil turkeys. What did the turkeys do to him was a mystery, but Nastor was prone to give the fault of everything to said…avian animal.
"I tell you! The turkey ghosts wanted me to be late and…"
"And he possessed the guard that was meant to wake you up? Come on Nastor, that's just bullshit."
"And here comes the good old Arty," the other elf sported a smile, his dark raven hair tied in a ponytail behind him, as his green eyes scanned around for a suitable stall or inn to eat in. Nastor was stocky, wearing plate mail armor, courtesy of being an honor guard of the king, and a sword loosely tied to his waist. Artos and Nastor had known each other since they were teenagers, and neither of the two had come from a normal background. For one, Nastor was the bastard son of some low grade noble and an innkeeper, for second, Artos' past was shrouded in mystery, but he did have a truly horrendous vocabulary. Meaning many thought he had been a sailor, before actually entering the library and starting to climb ranks.
"So…no." Eating in an inn? Fine, eating at a stall? Fine. Eating in a brothel? Oh hell no.
"Come on! The Squirrel on the stick is…"
"It's a pole dancing whorehouse," the reply made Nastor stop, trying to make…
"You're twenty-six for the goddesses' sakes! Puppy eyes don't work anymore! You have a beard damn it!"
"Ehi! I was planning on shaving eventually!"
"The fun thing is that you actually added the 'eventually'." Artos mused, before rolling his eyes and grabbing a couple of pastries from a stall, paying with a bunch of copper coins. Nastor followed suite, mostly because he did have a sweet tooth too.
"So, now that we have managed to get on the bad side of our teeth," Nastor retorted, "How's it going between you and Im…"
"For the love of…there's nothing! She's a Sheikah, I'm a Hylian! It doesn't work. Some tried, and got hurt from it: really, stop it."
"Just saying, there are really few Sheikahs around…Kakariko village is basically nearly deserted."
Artos did the only thing he could do to avoid the degeneration of the discussion: he kept quiet and moved towards the park, sitting down on a bench near a duck's pond.
"I mean, that's just a guaranteed…"
"Why do I not know 'Silence' as a spell?" Artos mumbled, "Maybe I should practice Ray of Frost on him? Nah, Magic missile? Maybe Burning hands…"
Nastor gulped, before sighing.
"I'm just saying, the war's over and all Artos, you could try and make…I dunno, bonds with others?"
"I've got few friends, and I'm fine with that." The wizard retorted shortly.
"Few? You've got one. Me."
Artos closed his eyes. He knew it, of course. There was just no turning around the point. He was a wizard, to get where he was he had studied for years. A warrior just needed to grab a sword and start muscle training. A wizard needed time, concentration and silence. Wizards usually were lonely people to begin with.
"I get it: I'll try and make…friends." The fact that he mock-shivered at the end of the sentence only made Nastor's grin widen even more, albeit the narrowed look of scorn of Artos was all too familiar with the honor guard.
"Good! By the way, the king was furious a couple of hours ago, something about…"
And then a loud crashing sound was heard, as the duck pond, a mere basin for rainwater with ducks in it, was utterly destroyed.
The ducks were included in the carnage, as their feathers flew in the wind all around the two who had just passed a brush with death. Nastor was the first to snap out of the shock, grabbing his sword and shield and preparing for whatever monstrosity had done that. Artos took a moment, heard a sharp…kind of feminine shriek and waited. He was a wizard: first questions, then bashing.
"WATERRRRR I HATE WATER! I'm going to drown! HELP HELP HELP MEEEEEE!" the loud shrieks came from a sort of moving rock stone, with a pair of squinted eyes and a truly broad and large complexion. A Goron had just 'crashed' straight into the duck pond.
"Nastor…It's a Goron." Three words, that meant everything behind them on the situation at hand.
"That's still property damage." The guard retorted, but he did put the sword back in the scabbard. Gorons were…kindhearted, but also incredibly naïve. It was like watching children with enormous bodies: accidents were bound to happen, but you couldn't actually fault them.
"So…why do you think he's trashing about?" Nastor added, now completely unfazed by the shivering, trembling and crying Goron.
"He's feet deep in water," Artos replied, "You know how they are: they see lava they don't care. They see water they start running like hell was on their heels."
"What is he saying?" The raven haired elf queried, pointing at the mumbling mass.
"Oh, he's speaking in Goron...wait, let me ask."
Artos neared the rock man looking with a mixture of perplexity and curiosity at the giant rock creature that however was shivering like a three years old child.
"Hey, you." He guttered out of his throat in his best Goron accent, "Out of there."
"I'm going to DROWN! Help me out!"
"You can't drown in there. The water's at your feet…doesn't get any deeper than that."
The Goron blinked for a moment, before slowly getting back on his feet from his shivering and fetal position. Quietly, the rock man lifted himself out of the pond, and once his feet were on solid ground, he turned to stare at the wizard.
The water of the crystal clear lakes stood placid, in front of his eyes.
His prayers to the great Jabun, god of the Zora, were answered as always, and his divine powers seared through his very own soul, marking him as one of his faithful, his chosen, his destined evangelists. The Zora stood up, his dark blue skin mostly covered by the scale mail he wore, a flickering of multiple colors, resembling fish-scales, as he moved towards the messenger of his king.
Probably the fellow Zora had waited for him to finish praying, or maybe he had joined in the prayer too, both were acceptable thoughts, but not much important, as, with a light bow, Jab Jav Javrel delivered to his older brother, Jab Jav Javrun, the letter.
"Stay," Javrun spoke quietly, like the water flowing through a powerful stream, as he read through the letter with a sad glint, "To send a child…if such is his will, then so shall it be done," he added.
Javrel stood silently, waiting for his older brother's words, usually he would have already gone with a reply, or would have cleaned the altar, placed within the sacred waters, in wait for more orders, but yet, here he was, in wait.
"Javrel, my dear brother, I'm afraid dark tidings force me to part ways with you… You need to travel North, towards the castle of Hyrule, and bring word of dark events…" as the elder Zora spoke with a serious tone, the younger one immediately raised his right hand, pointing out without faulting.
"You used *Dark* two times in the sentence, brother," as the elder one narrowed his gaze in annoyance, the dark scales shimmered in the light, before a playful smack echoed through the area.
"Hey! Mother said you shouldn't hit me on the head!" Javrel pointed out, gently massaging his head fin.
"Just shut up, will you?" Javrun replied, tapping slightly with his right leg on the ground, "Go and get a horse ready, grab some rations, some rope, and then head off to the palace. Give this report of the Poe's increase in numbers to the king himself, Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule, and no matter what, be wary of the night, for it is…"
"Stop trying to sound melodramatic, brother," Javrel replied, shaking his head, letting the *dolphin tail* that protruded from his back mistakenly *slap* his elder's brother face. As he did that, however, he swiftly grabbed the reports of the Zora domains.
"I think you did that intentionally," Javrun said, narrowing his gaze.
"Did not," Javrel replied, taking a step back.
"I have to go!" and with that, Javrel turned around swiftly, one last *slap* sound echoing through the clear crystal lakes, as the youngest of the two Zora brother simply ran towards the horses.
Normally, Zora didn't leave their domains, and usually, only those of royal blood from the Hylian population could enter theirs. Though, occasionally, some could leave because of urgent missions, those who did were to have equipped themselves with the special amphibious scale-mail.
With it, while still being uncomfortable out of the water, they wouldn't outright choke or die, nor would they shrivel, like those who didn't possess such equipment would, after five days out of a water source. Still, one thing did make it embarrassing to be worn: it glittered to the sunlight, because of the colorful scales used to produce it, and to the touch it always seemed wet.
It wouldn't take him much to reach the city, maybe a good day of horse travel.
The sun in the meantime was now beginning to get slightly covered by the clouds in that part of Hyrule. Just as Javrel kicked the horse's sides, springing the animal into a gallop, leaving his home for his mission, a slightly cooler than normal breeze began blowing in the Zora domains.
*Hyrule castle, afternoon*
Artos Basileus rarely suffered from headaches. When he actually did suffer from them, he usually closed himself in the library, ignored the possible remarks of being lazy, and grabbed a quick nap. That was the normal routine that nearly everyone, king barred, knew. It was easily understandable, considering that many guards did practically the same, albeit they tended to go and grab a power nap in the barracks, asking for someone else to cover their shifts.
Everyone had their moments and their headaches, and while the princess was definitively a charming young lady, she was also the principal source of headaches for the entirety of the castle.
Usually, therefore, when the librarian had a headache, the guards merely left the hallway outside the library unguarded, because, after all, there were but books and a grumpy Hylian…and nobody wanted to face the latter to get to the first.
The Goron had been 'dropped' in the care of the guards, or the ambassador, or whoever was there to deal with such a creature. The fact he had tried to spring up conversation with him wasn't something he was used to, and thus he had kept to his silence.
Nastor had no trouble covering for him though…indeed, his friend had always been some sort of chatterbox once words got him going.
It was thus just as Artos was finally plunging deep into the embrace of sleep, that someone just had to make a noisy racket outside the library, quickly followed by the cussing and swearing of the guards, by the swift opening of the library door, and then its immediate closing.
Somebody had just entered the library, and the wizard, with all of his dignified glory, slowly opened one of his eyes wide enough to see who had the gall to try that.
He was rewarded with a sight of green and blond. The boy was wearing a green tunic, brown boots, a green conical shaped hat, and seemed to have hair the color of grain. His eyes turned for a brief moment to look around, and then fixed themselves upon the figure of the wizard, who was now wide awake.
Artos yawned, and then he made a mere gesture for the boy to move closer. The boy's expression was diffident, but he did move closer. His eyes were a deep blue, the color of the sky, and his features were vastly familiar, at least to the wizard…but he didn't know where he had already seen them.
Probably his headache had mutated into something else, maybe hallucinations. Still, the dirt that the boy's boots were leaving on the marble floor seemed real enough. Likewise the details of the boy's belt that held a sort of…slingshot, while on his back stood a small sword and a wooden shield.
The red haired wizard took a moment to stand up, and eying the boy from his height, he could come but to a conclusion: yes, he felt a headache coming.
"So," Artos drawled out, his eyes betraying nothing as the gears in his mind began to turn, "who are you?"
The boy eyed him warily, before looking around worriedly.
"Who, are, you?" He asked again, in Hylian tongue this time.
Still, when he got no reply, he tried once more.
"Who. Are. You?" In Goron.
Then he moved to the Zora's language, the Sheikah's one, the Gerudo's, the Draconic, the Elemental, and finally, with a deep, silent, afterthought, he tried the Kokiri language.
"Who are you?"
"Huh? Hey! You speak my language!" The boy exclaimed out loud, eying the strange adult that had, till then, spouted nonsense upon nonsense.
"Yes, fascinating…and you speak the Kokiri," Artos deadpanned, "So the natural question is what's a Kokiri doing outside the forest?"
"Ha! I'm here on a mission!" He yelled out loud.
"Wonderful," the wizard muttered, his eyes rolling, "A loud, obnoxious rump of a Kokiri. Couldn't have been one who knew the meaning of the word library, huh? No, it had to be…"
"Hey, what are you mumbling about!?" The boy queried.
"Nothing," the Wizard replied in Kokiri, "Just thinking out loud…what is your mission here, by the way?"
The boy obviously narrowed his eyes, staring at those of Artos, who, however, seemed to merely not care at all.
"I don't know…The Deku tree told me not to trust anyone with the objective of my mission."
Artos merely rolled his eyes, moving towards the door of the library, only for the boy to quickly unsheathe his sword.
"Wait! If you warn the guards then they'll throw me out! I need to find her first!"
The wizard merely repressed the chuckle that seemed to be willing to escape his lips, and his eyes moved to the blade.
"This is barely a knife, and what are you going to do with it, huh?" Artos queried, "You're a kid, one that can't even wield a sword properly."
"I'm not a kid! I'm a fully-fledged Kokiri now that I've got a fairy!" The boy's exclamation was met with a small, but high pitched squeak.
A blue orb flew straight out of the boy's hat, ruffling his hair in the meantime, and indignantly yelling.
"Link! You moron! You were supposed to keep yours and mine identity a secret!"
"But Navi! HE insulted me!" The boy whined back.
"Don't care! You should listen to what I say, you got that!?"
"Yeah, yeah," the boy mumbled, as the fairy decided to forego hiding in the boy's hat, since she had been 'busted' by then.
"So…A fairy," Artos deadpanned again, quietly eying the fairy and then the boy, "And a Kokiri. Good…In my library…Damn. I need a drink."
"I'm thirsty too," the boy, now with the name 'Link' commented, placing the sword back in the scabbard that seemed to be on his back, alongside a wooden shield.
"I doubt you'd drink what I intend to drink," Artos replied, before moving once more towards the door.
"Ehi, you're not going to have me thrown out, right?" The boy asked, a hint of worry in his voice, "I mean, I'd have to get here all over again and really, it's a mess and…"
"Just follow me," the librarian retorted, rolling his eyes, "I swear, the things I do for karma."
Link, worriedly, decided maybe on a fit of inspiration to actually follow the strange red haired man that seemed less likely to have him thrown out. He wasn't quite sure if the man in question was sound of mind or not, but he did know he certainly didn't look an evil guy. Maybe a bit on the mad side, but that didn't make him as arrogant as some stuck-up jerks out in the town. The galls of asking him money, whatever those rupees were, for a couple of fruits…
In the forest fruits were free to pick and eat!
The guards, actually, were already running towards the two of them, when Artos gestured for them to stand down.
"Now, now, gentlemen, everything's fine: he's with me." Then, without another word, he strolled past the two dumbstruck guards, with Link following the man in a mixture of surprise and…awe?
"So, you're here to meet with her, right?" Artos queried once more, as he realized the fairy had disappeared within the boy's hat again.
"Yeah, I've got this strange dream repeatedly, about a girl that wanted help with some big black cloud coming, and then there was this giant beast that was harming the Deku tree! But I saved him, you know: defeat the yucky thing and I got this gem to prove it!" As the boy showed straight into the face of Artos a gem the size of a punch, a bright green emerald the wizard merely sucked in air sharply.
"That's…nice, I suppose."
"Hey! That's the Kokiri emerald! Link you shouldn't be showing it around, you don't even have an idea what this man wants…you don't even know his name!" The muffled voice within Link's cap was made clear to Artos' ears, now that he knew there was someone whispering, he could concentrate to try and hear it too.
Link's face actually scrunched for a moment, before the emerald was quickly put away.
"I didn't catch your name," the boy asked a moment later, a grin plastered on his face.
"I did not say it," Artos replied, starting to whistle, "I believe that trust is something that must be gathered carefully."
"Eh?" The boy was clearly perplexed, probably with no idea whatsoever of what the Hylian in front of him wanted to bring across with his words.
"What I meant is: you're here to meet with the princess, but I don't know whether I should trust you or not. Thus, I'm bringing you close to her, to gauge your reaction and hers. Depending on the circumstance, know that I need but a word, to kill you." The tone was cold, dreadfully so, and for a moment the slightly 'mad' red haired wizard was replaced with a cold and calculative Hylian, with his eyes narrowed down and a clear look that made the boy shiver. Yeah, he didn't like the guy one bit.
The two walked in silence the rest of the way, the guards letting them go as long as the Wizard raised a hand saying it was fine.
Soon, they reached the inner gardens of the palace, where the princess was trying his best to spy upon something that just so casually seemed to be happening on the other side of a window. A window that Artos knew gave to the throne room.
As Link actually began to dash, the wizard harshly spoke a couple of guttural words, and the soft green grass covered itself in a slimy brownish substance, that made the boy slip, fall face first, and then end his sliding motion at the feet of the princess, that had turned hearing the commotion.
Artos was upon Link in a second, his hand shot out to grab the boy from the neck, and then holding him upwards.
"Princess…is this…the boy?" Zelda actually stood quiet for a moment, before quickly nodding.
In a single huff, Artos dropped Link, who nimbly fell on the ground in a crouched position, and was already moving to extract his sword when the dead-eye from the wizard told him otherwise.
The princess too was looking at him with a mixture of worry and yet also relief, and thus Link stopped, deciding to take this up later…maybe with a prank or two.
"Arty!" Zelda exclaimed, turning to stare at the librarian, "That was just mean of you!"
"Your Highness…I did tell the boy not to make any wrong moves…" The wizard retorted.
"You did not!" Link exclaimed.
"I said, and I quote, 'Depending on the circumstances', you should have understood I would have reacted that way, seeing an armed boy running towards the royal princess of Hyrule."
"Arty! He's the boy from my dreams!" Zelda's exclamation was met with Artos' quiet silence, as he turned to look through the window, where the Gerudo Ambassador, a strange man with dark orange-red hair, stood walking towards the throne room.
"Anyway, the Deku tree told me to come here!" Link said swiftly, eying the princess. Probably he was waiting for her to say something, but the fact that even she was fidgeting meant that she had no idea what to say. At least, until she eyed Artos, who swiftly understood what she was actually waiting for: him leaving.
Artos merely sighed, before shaking his head. Why did he feel out of place right there and then? Yet he couldn't just leave the princess with that boy there!
Zelda merely looked at him with pleading eyes, but Artos held strong, not even the pout would manage to get him to leave the princess' side, not without Impa nearby.
With a sigh, the blond haired princess finally began to talk.
"You see, Link…we need to bring the Triforce to safety. I fear that a bad man is coming to steal it, but to do so we need the other two jewels. The Goron's ruby and the Zora's Sapphire, and then we have to keep them safe from him."
"Your Highness," Artos whispered, at which point he suddenly understood why the princess seemed so fidgety of having him there, or why there wasn't Impa around: the girl was looking at him with her eyes downcast, like she expected him to berate her, or to simply play off her words with childish fantasies…it didn't take a genius to understand that, though.
"Arty, I know what I know, alright?" The girl pleaded, "I know it seems childish, but it's true: we need to get the jewels to safety and in my dreams it's a boy dressed in green that helps the kingdom and the world, saving it from the bad guys."
"So…he's kind of the chosen of the goddesses?" Artos queried, eying Link, for a moment.
"What? Really?" The boy's awestruck face was suddenly replaced with contempt, when Artos rolled his eyes.
"Him? Really?" The wizard asked once more, as Zelda merely nodded, slightly frightened on what the court's wizard might say to her. Just as her lips were already beginning to tremble, just as she was imagining the man shooting down her words and dreams just like her father had, the red haired Hylian merely sighed.
"Fine," and then the wizard shrugged, "I doubt he's going to pull through, dumb as a brick wall as he is, but hey, who am I to shot down dreams and hopes?"
The princess ended up hugging the wizard, her face burying in the man's stomach, since he was quite a bit taller than her, as she whispered her thanks for believing in her words.
"Ehm…princess, you're welcomed, but really…you should let go now," Artos squirmed. He wasn't used to hugs. He wasn't used to male hugs, or female hugs and children hugs were frankly far worse.
The princess did let go a moment afterwards, her face flushing red, as Link stood a bit perplexed.
"Well, I suppose we should speak with calm about what you're going to end up doing," Artos pointed out to the Kokiri boy, "I'll bring you back to the library, then, after dinner, I'll give you pointers on what you should do…while I research where the Goron's Ruby and Zora's Sapphire are held within the two races respective domains."
As Link nodded eagerly, the princess flashed a smile to both of them.
*Jab Jav Javrel*
The fact that he had arrived late, and it was already dinner time, meant nothing when he was greeted with the sight of two men looking at each other with promise of murder in their eyes.
On one side, a red haired Hylian, wielding a crooked wooden staff, was staring with fury in his eyes another man, of tanned skin and dark orange hair, the latter which was merely returning said murderous gazes with a smirk on his lips.
The dinner could actually wait, seeing how the conversation the two were holding could prove to be quite interesting.
"Burning down books claiming they had been ill-written is barbarism."
"Those books were wrong on our Gerudo's ways, I merely decided to correct them."
"I still have them in my memory."
"Then get to rewriting them, although, wouldn't you rather check your facts beforehand, before doing so?"
The Hylian's voice was cold and murderous, the Gerudo's instead was light, and seemingly expressed like he was making some sort of joke.
"You should just be thankful you're under ambassador privileges, Lord Ganondorf," Artos deadpanned.
"I am King of the Gerudos, librarian," the man retorted, this time however his voice was quite actually angrier than before.
"Then get the hell out of my head, and maybe we might have a better start off," the wizard replied.
The Gerudo snickered, before entering the door that led to the dining room. The man had arrived late just to bring everyone else discomfort, probably. That was a dinner to commemorate the peace finally made and the end of the Hylian civil war, as well as that of the entire continent.
Along the streets, however, there was far more partying and feasts than what he had ever seen in a lifetime, and the Zora actually found himself wishing he didn't have to attend said party as a political guest.
Yet there he was, being beckoned to enter next by the 'librarian' who didn't seem to be giving him even a gaze.
Just how rude could someone be?
The fact that upon entering he was met with a completely different scene than expected made him actually stop thinking.
There was a Goron, of all things, eating in a corner of the room! He was eating rocks, and was doing so without care that the others had yet to eat.
As Jab moved closer to where the King was seated, he made a gentle bowing of his body, before bringing towards the table the reports of the poe's activity alongside the borders.
The king merely grabbed the report and pushed it aside, all the while talking.
"Please, ambassador, have a seat at my table. There's one chair more free..."
Just like that, the Zora found himself seated at the spot in question, barely hiding his disdain for the king who hadn't even read the report.
The door opened one last time, to reveal the princess of the castle, her caretaker, and the nervous looking librarian of a couple of minutes ago.
It didn't take much however for the librarian to stop midway, and seemingly perplexing both the princess and her caretaker, moving closer to a guard at the side of the hall.
Jab's eyes moved to the man's hands that seemed to be showing a three, and then a two. That was when he realized that the only free chairs had been precisely three, and now with him seated…there were only two.
Had he stolen the seat of the man? Maybe he should have come announced, but still, the king had offered him the seat. So after a brief glance over him, the caretaker of the princess understood, and gave back an awry smile to the man who merely shrugged.
A couple of words later, just to make it seem the librarian had come in but to talk with the guard in question, who answered back quietly and quickly, and then the red haired Hylian was out.
When the caretaker, a Sheikah, sat next to the Zora, the princess on the other hand moved to sit down next to the king.
"Father." The tone didn't hold any sort of filial love, in truth it was far more disdain than a ten years old could muster or should actually muster.
"Daughter," the king's reply was curt, as on the other side the Gerudo ambassador seemed to be smiling.
"I was thinking that, maybe, I could have a look at the Ocarina of Time of the princess, that is said to be a cherished treasure of the royal family…I have always been curious about said instrument."
The sickeningly sweet tone of the man did nothing to ease the tension in the air, as the first trays of food seemed to be coming in.
"I don't have it with me." The princess retorted hotly, her eyes drifting to the side that didn't hold her father's figure.
"Zelda, you are a princess, you should reply with grace to our guests." The king's snarky comment was meant to be but a mere warning, nothing more, yet he hadn't expected the blond girl to actually retort.
"I'm taking your own example, father: if a king treats my guest like that, then shouldn't I treat his like he does too?"
The next moment, a slap was heard throughout the room, as the King's furious eyes settled on the trembling frame of his daughter.
"I thought you had been taught better by your caretaker. Maybe I should have her removed, shouldn't I? But no, she isn't to fault, is she? It's always in the library that you're found after you skip your lessons, after all. I suspect it's the librarian that is a thorn on your education. I should have him removed, maybe? Would that make you finally respect your king like you are meant to be?"
The girl bit her lips, she wouldn't cry there: not in front of all those dignitaries and nobles. It was then that the Zora ambassador decided to enter the conversation.
"My King, acting like this in front of the nobles of your royal court is ill-advised…the princess will surely reflect upon her actions now. A peasant is after all but a peasant, your highness did the right thing giving the seat to me, ambassador of the Zora, rather than to the man in question." Jab would have more likely wanted to point out how he wasn't actually the ambassador of the Zora domain, but he had kind of 'lied' to get his way through the castle to report directly to the king and thus…he had to keep his part.
The look that the princess gave him, however, wasn't one of understanding. He did actually offend this 'librarian' of sorts that seemed to be held in high regards by the princess. For some sort of reason he couldn't comprehend, though. The man didn't seem that much of a powerful wizard.
Maybe he hid it very well.
"You are right, Ambassador Jab, we should resume our dinner, but your words actually made me think: a peasant is, after all, just a peasant. I will have lord Pentleton take the place of that man as master librarian, as soon as the morning comes."
The princess, this time, whipped her head to stare at her father with shock in her face. He wouldn't…
And another slap, followed swiftly by yet one more, reached the princess' cheeks, this time making her fall on the ground.
"You know," the King spoke, in a low murmur, "maybe I have been a bit too lenient with your education, Zelda. Maybe I should have acted sooner, if you have the gall to reply to me! Impa, take the princess to her rooms, and then make sure she doesn't try to leave. Meanwhile, you may send the notice to the master librarian that he has to pack his things and leave in the night."
Impa, already crouched next to the princess, merely bit her own lip, before helping the princess to stand, and exiting.
Jab mentally would have wanted to hit with his head a wall. He didn't actually want it to end like that! Maybe that was what his brother always used to tell him: 'one should think before acting'.
"I think I will excuse myself, your majesty: my hunger has abated."
Then, the Zora left composedly, at least until he was outside the dining room. Once he was out of sight, he broke into a dash for the princess or her caretaker. He simply had to beg for forgiveness. He should probably apologize to the librarian too, if he caught up with him.
Nevertheless, he was directed towards the library by one of the palace guards, and there he knew, just knew, that he'd pay…because Karma always works.
"I…understand," the librarian replied, placing his hand under his chin to muse for a moment. The fact that the princess was staring at him with tears in her eyes wasn't helping him. He didn't fault the girl, or the Zora, or the king. It was just a set of unfortunate events…at least unless one counted the Gerudo sitting next to the king. That maybe might have had something to do with it.
"Arty…I'm…" the princess' words were bawled out between sniffles, as the wizard merely smiled back at the young girl.
"It is not your fault, your Highness," he replied, "I'll be ready to leave in a bit, maybe I'll go around the world while I'm at it…" he shrugged, before turning to look at Link who was doing his best to appear interested in the library's structure rather than to eavesdrop on the conversation that held private meaning.
"You could still spend the night here, Artos," Impa muttered, "I'm sure the king will be outright drunk by the end of the night, and he wouldn't wake up until late morning tomorrow."
Artos shook his head once more, snapping his fingers towards the second floor of the library, from where a backpack flew down.
The pack was a bit worn and dusty, and yet seemed to have been patched up with the utmost care, considering there were no holes within it.
"I'm not going to risk it, Impa: don't want to give anyone any trouble," the wizard placed a couple of papers and ink bottles from his desk within the bag, removed from his neck the medallion that showed him as a member of the palace, and the ring of keys of the library and his private rooms.
He whistled a sharp sound, and a ferret ran from his hiding place atop one of the shelves to perch on the wizard's shoulder.
"Arty…I'll speak with father soon, and then you'll just have to wait and see: I'll get you your job back!" The princess, one she did actually stop bawling her eyes out, clenched her right fist and raised it towards the sky in a determined manner.
"In the meantime then, your highness," Artos replied with a light chuckle, "I'll help your young friend to reach the Gorons and the Zora…considering he doesn't know a word of…" And then he stopped for a second, and stared at Link.
"You knew Hylian-tongue and you lied to me," he hissed with a dire tone… a thing that did make the boy in question recoil slightly.
"Hey! I didn't trust you!" Link blurted out, only for his very own fairy to groan from her charge's stupidity.
"Oh you're so going to be in trouble young man…"
And then the door was opened, and a Goron entered swiftly followed by a Zora tucked under his arm.
"Me Luin!" The Goron exclaimed cheerfully, "Me heard of mission! Me repays Artos for saving my life from evil pond!"
Artos raised an eyebrow, while his hands began to twitch. The Goron had smashed the door of the library open! For all that was holy in the world, why smash down the door of the library!?
"Ehm…And I'm Jab," the Zora said, while trying to chuckle his way out of twin murderous stares coming from both Impa and the princess Zelda, "And I'm really, really sorry it came to this, mister Artos…so…we'd like to accompany you to the Zora domains too?"
"Well," Artos rolled his eyes, "You never know what the street may bring up, I'm fine with it…but I'm not travelling alone, you see," And with that, the wizard gestured to the boy clad in green, who had hidden behind a shelf to come out.
When Link did come out, Luin's smile brightened considerably.
"The man in green! Chief said he'd help! Luin got lucky yeahy!"
"Ehm…I'm…Link. It's a pleasure to meet you all?"
With those words, a tale begun.
A tale that would lead one to death.
A tale that would lead another to greatness.
A tale that would lead another to sacrifice.
A tale that would spring and break through the centuries.
A tale that would make the fourth one forgotten...and feared.
This is a Legend of Zelda (Ocarina of Time AND Wind Waker) crossover with Dungeons and Dragons.
Furthermore, this is an actual D&D campaign I played as my very first campaign setting, with someone else as a master. My character was Artos. Wizard. Jab was a cleric. Luin was a barbarian. Link was an Npc. We were actually in four, but the Sheikah that would have been the fourth belonged to a player that stopped playing. Thus the change to three.
While it did not actually go the way I will portray it, the reason I do portray it this way is because out of all, the two most active players were myself and the Zora (Jab).
The D&D sessions skipped much of the dungeons, and there were few, if little, battles. Mostly thus it was about the growth of the individuals alongside the world, and many times there were caustic remarks from the cleric and the wizard about how a 'mysterious force field' prevented the use of flying spells at higher levels, or things like that…which I have provided to not mention in what is to come.
Furthermore, once the Ocarina of time portion was finished, we moved on to the wind waker portion.
Meaning this story actually spans through two games, and not just one.
On another note, this story does contain violence, however. Since Ocarina of time actually does have a grim atmosphere: civil war just ended, peace, burning, stalfos, poes…etcetera.
I do also add that for those who have read 'A Demilich in Tristain', the concept of Artos is something they are familiar with because here is where it all started. Artos was my first character, wizard, in my first ever roleplaying session of D&D 3.5. Thus many who have read a Demilich in Tristain, and gotten to 'Artos' background, will notice the great similarities between the two, but also the great differences too.
That said, hope you'll enjoy the chapters to come, (when I'll get around doing them, because I'm still working on finishing the last chapter of the Harsh Truth)