A/N: '... and in time, the legend of the Hero faded to be all but myth, the Princess becoming an idol of the people, all looking to her enshrined image...'

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... HI ALL!

[crickets chirp in the distance]

... I deserve that, to be honest. But look! A new chapter!

cricket: of something hardly anyone is reading.

... Shut up, okay?! I missed writing!

SO, chapter three of this has been written up for a while, so I decided to come out of my hiatus/funk with this. Plus, it's getting close to holiday time again anyway, and that is what this story was intended for; Christmas. I felt it fitting to start off with this. I'm hoping OD is next on that list of what's to be updated. Plus with Hawk getting me in to a Twilight Princess let's play, and A Link Between Worlds coming out soon (I think that dropped today, actually), I've been in a Zelda mood.

I haven't done alot of proof reading for this in a LONG time, so if you catch any mistakes I'm sorry. I'm trying to read through it and add the bold texts and line breaks as they were on Google Docx, but I may miss a few of the punctuation or spelling mistakes littered here and there. It's been a while since I've used a computer!


▲Δ - Act I - Δ▲

.; oo3 - Welcome to Kokiri Forest - oo3 ;.


Walking through the last tunnel, Zelda and the Nutcracker came out into a large space. Looking forwards Zelda saw that they were on a cliff of sorts, so she decided to walk further. Her eyes widened and she let out a soft sound of awe, her violate gaze roaming over the forest community. She noticed a few houses scattered about, areas of tall grass spread about the forest, and a hill that led up to a fenced area. With a smile, she walked closer to the edge and looked down, scanning the cliff wall for anything she and the Nutcracker could use to climb down into Kokiri.

"What are you doing?" He commented, walking over to the wall and bending to look at the grass in hopes of seeing what Zelda was looking for. She waved him off, continuing to scan the area until she heard a soft 'thud' and her gaze shifted back down to the grass.

"... How did you get down there?"

"I jumped, love." He smiled up at her, moving backwards a few steps before holding his arms out. "Don't worry, I'll catch you."

"... Yeah, I think I'd rather try and find a vine or something." She waved him off, resuming her search for a natural ladder of sorts to aid in getting her to the lower-level of the forest. Her eyebrow twitched slightly when she heard the Nutcracker begin to laugh, causing her to turn her head around slowly to glare down at him.

"Fine," she sighed, moving so that she was standing at the edge of the cliff. Crouching, she leapt off and shut her eyes tightly, until she felt like she had landed on something warm. Blinking an eye open, she scanned the area and saw that he indeed had caught her, and with a sigh at his soft chuckles, he helped her down to her feet.

"Thanks," Zelda responded, smoothing out her t-shirt before her hands slowly came to a stop. Looking herself up and down, she noticed that she was still wearing her pajamas, and her hands hesitantly moved upwards, and to her back.

"... Crap."

"What's the matter, love?" The Nutcracker questioned, looking down at the blonde with a worried expression. She waved him off quickly before stepping a few inches away, looking up at him with a forced smile and soft, awkward laugh.

"Nothing..." she stated weakly, before turning away and taking in their immediate vicinity. She glanced around the space for a few moments before making her way over to a path that wasn't too far from their current spot. The Nutcracker followed behind her silently, looking up to the higher points of interest before his blue gaze hardened as he stared at the top of a large tree stump. The sign above what looked to be a door read something about a shop, but his gaze was focused on the little yellow ball that was bouncing around slowly higher above.

"Take aim!"

Both of the adventurer's heads snapped up at the sound of someone yelling, their eyes widening at the small, green-clad Hylian children appearing out of nowhere with slingshots ready to be fired. One of the children held a wooden sword, and seemed to be the leader of the little gang who was glaring angrily at Zelda and the Nutcracker.

"Uh..." The Nutcracker raised his hands quickly in surrender, before Zelda decided to walk closer to the blonde boy with the sword. The Nutcracker's eyes widened at the teen before he went to grab ahold of her arm, only to be knocked down by a rock.

"Stay where you are!" A girl's voice called, causing Zelda to stop walking and search her out in the crowd.

"Don't worry," She started, holding her hands up in a gesture of peace, looking between all of the children. "We don't mean you any harm. We were sent here in search of the Kokiri."

"We're the Kokiri!" A redheaded boy shouted, to which the other children shouted in agreement. Zelda's eyebrows raised at this as he quickly went over her Hylian Folklore studies in her head - she remembered a tale of the race of Korok's to be descendants of the Kokiri, but nothing concerning the Kokiri being... so small.

"O...kay," she let out a sigh, pinching the bridge of her nose lightly before turning back to the group and crossing her arms over her chest. "We were sent here by a friend to seek out a green-haired Kokiri named Saria. Is she here?"

The group broke off into hushed murmurs, conversing with each other in low voices that Zelda and the Nutcracker couldn't hear what they were saying. After a while, a blonde girl walked forward and addressed the two. "She is not here."

"Well, where can we find her?" Zelda questioned, looking at the girl as she began to fidget. Her violet gaze crossed over each of the Kokiri's faces, noticing how they all were coming off as secretive and quiet now. With a sigh, her posture slumped before she plopped down onto the ground and continued speaking to the 'children'. "Please, if you know anything let us know. I really need her help in finding my way back home."

"Who sent you here?" The redheaded boy spoke up, glaring over at Zelda with his arms crossed over his chest. She let out another sigh before meeting his gaze with a straight face and responding. "An owl."

The Kokiri broke off into hushed murmurs once more, all looking between each other while occasionally taking a glance at Zelda. The Nutcracker was laying down on his stomach still, watching the odd exchange with amusement. The girl who had thrown the rock at him was glaring at his back, another rock at the ready should he get up. After a while they ceased their conversations, and a different blonde-haired girl walked forward, with a yellow fairy floating by her head.

"If the owl you speak of is Master Kaepora, then I shall lead you to Saria's home." She spoke softly, extending her hand out for Zelda. She took ahold of it gently, rising to her feet before looking over at the Nutcracker, who was still being held to the ground at rock-point. "Can my friend come with me?"

"No!" The rock-throwing girl shouted, glaring at the wooden man's back. "The strange man must stay here, we do not trust him. His clothes are reminiscent of our own garb."

The Nutcracker let out a soft sigh before looking back up at Zelda, shooting her a toothy grin. "I'll be fine here, love. So long as no more rocks are thrown at my back. Go on and meet with the Forest Girl. And don't forget to ask her about a sword for me!"

"Alright," she digressed, waving him off as the blonde Kokiri guided Zelda farther away from the group. It seemed she was being lead to a small house that looked to have a spiral walkway going up around it. That or the treehouse not too far away from there. The blonde Kokiri let go of Zelda's hand and jogged over to the spiral-house's door, where she gently knocked on it.

"Saria it's me, Lydia. I brought the female intruder. She has questions," she spoke softly, turning her head to glance at Zelda before backing away from the door. After a few moments it pulled open, and a green-haired Kokiri girl walked outside, looking up to Zelda with a soft smile. "Welcome to Kokiri Forest, intruder."


"Would you like some peppermint tea?" Saria questioned softly, turning her head to glance over her shoulder at Zelda and the Nutcracker. He shook his head softly while Zelda nodded, and the green-haired girl began to brew over in the little kitchen-area of her house. After a few minutes she walked over to the stump in the center of her house and placed a small tray down, before grabbing one of the small mugs and handing it to Zelda. "Now, what questions do you have?"

"Where can I get a sword?" The Nutcracker blurted out, before shrinking slightly at the glare Zelda shot him. He smiled at her apologetically, rubbing the back of his neck before they both turned back to Saria. "That and any information you have on the legendary Triforce."

Saria took a sip from her own mug before placing it back down onto the tray, folding her hands in her lap and looking up at the pair seriously. "None whatsoever."

Zelda and the Nutcracker both deadpanned at this, letting out soft sighs of defeat.

"I do, however," Saria continued, drawing the pair's attention back up to her. "know of someone who does. Our patron deity, the Great Deku Tree, knows all of the answers to our questions. He may be able to help you, but you will indeed need a sword to pass through his meadow. Deku Babas have begun to grow down the once clear path."

"The owl had told us you also know of where we can get a sword," The Nutcracker responded, looking up at the Kokiri girl with excitement in his eyes. "We had been using a stick against the Babas we had come across on our way here, but... it broke."

"I indeed know of the location of one of the Kokiri's precious treasures, the Kokiri Sword." Saria replied with a smile, causing both the Nutcracker and Zelda to look at each other with happiness. "However with your larger, wooden body, you might not be able to fit through the tunnel needed to get to the sword's location. You, Miss Zelda, however... just might be able to fit."

"Oh, joy..." she remarked dryly, drinking the last of her mug's contents before placing it down onto the dray with Saria's. "So... where do we go?"

"To the training grounds," she responded softly, rising from her seat and making her way over to the door of her home. Zelda and the Nutcracker followed a few feet behind her, coming back out into the Forest and seeing the Kokiri in what they assumed to be their usual places. The Nutcracker tried to shrink behind Zelda as they passed by the rock-throwing girl and began going up a hill, to where Zelda remembered their being a fenced area.

"Over there on that wall," Saria commented, pointing over to the opposite side of the training grounds. "there's a tunnel down there. It'll lead to a mini-maze of some kind, where large boulders will try to crush you."

"Oh, joy..." Zelda replied sarcastic, flopping against the Nutcracker's side as he merely chuckled and rubbed her shoulder soothingly.

"On the other side there should be a chest, which houses the Kokiri Sword. Good luck, Zelda."

"Thanks..." she responded weakly, walking into the grounds and through the fences, making her way over to the opposite side. She looked over at a Kokiri boy who was training with a wooden sword, then over to a sign next to the tunnel on the ground. Letting out another sigh, she got down onto her knees and began crawling into the hole, where she surprisingly was able to fit. With a soft sigh, she continued crawling for a few meters, until she came out onto the other side of the tunnel, where she could clearly hear what sounded like large, rolling boulders.

"Meep."

Taking a few hesitant steps forward, Zelda peeked her head around the corner, just in time to see a boulder begin to roll around a corner not too far from where she was standing. she backed up and waited as it slowly passed by, before she slid out from her spot and began to jog after it. A few feet or so and she found a place to avoid the next boulder that was sure to come, with a large patch of tall grass in it. She quickly slid into the grass, jogging over to the other side where she peered out once more to check for boulders. She didn't see any immediately, but her gaze shifted to what looked to be another enclosement.

"Please let it not be too much farther," she muttered to herself, jogging up to the same area quickly when a boulder rolled passed the opposite side of her hiding place. Sliding into the new hiding spot, she turned around and was met with the sight of another patch of grass, and a boulder rolling by. Quickly, she ran through and followed the boulder, until she came up to a new area, with a large stump.

That had a large, wooden trunk on top of it.

"Please let this be it..." Zelda muttered to herself again, running over to the truck and gently tugging the lid open. She pushed up up and off before leaning her body over to peer inside. With a wide smile, she reached inside and pulled out a sheathed sword, before hopping into the grass and doing a quick victory dance.

"And now... I have to find my way back," she deadpanned, looking out at the path she had come from. Her gaze shifted to a boulder that was rolling by, then an eyebrow raised as she watched it continue down. Hurrying, she followed the boulder down the slanted pathway, coming up onto another small grove. Continuing down this path she found herself back at her original starting point, in front of the inlet that housed the tunnel.

"... Why did I not just go this way originally?" With a sigh, Zelda got back down onto her knees and quickly scurried through the hole, coming out on the other side in front of the Nutcracker and Saria.

"Awesome! You didn't die, love!"

"Thanks for having faith in me," she deadpanned, thrusting the sheathed sword into the Nutcracker's chest, causing him to make an 'oof' sound. Saria chuckled at the pair as Zelda continued to stalk off, crossing her arms over her chest as she grumbled something the Kokiri girl couldn't hear. With a shake of her head, she began to follow the blonde, leaving the Nutcracker to rub at his sore chest as he stared after them with a frown.

"Now that you have the sword," Saria began, drawing Zelda's attention back over to her as the Nutcracker jogged over to them, trying to fasten the sheath to his back, "all you'll need now is a shield, and you can enter the Deku Tree's Meadow."

"Sounds easy enough," the Nutcracker responded, after successfully strapping the sword to his back. "Where do we find one."

"You can purchase one in the shop," Saria replied, pointing a small finger over at the large tree stump with a door carved into the front that they were coming up to. "I believe we don't have enough wood to craft one, though... but the Deku Tree might be able to grant you one."

"Awesome," the Nutcracker boasted, grinning at Saria and Zelda before the three came across a large opening, that the green-haired Kokiri held out her arm to stop the other two from continuing. Walking a few inches ahead, she turned around to face them while crossing her arms behind her back.

"It's not that far a walk," she started, motioning to the opening behind her. "But do be careful. All we know that is through here are Babas, but there may be other creatures that could harm you."

"We'll be careful," Zelda responded, moving over to the Kokiri to give her a gentle hug. "Thank you for all of your help, Saria. You and the other Kokiri, as well."

"Don't mention it," she giggled, hugging Zelda back before their embrace ended and the blonde turned to the Nutcracker. "Ready?"

"Always love," he teased, shooting her a crooked smile before walking up to stand at her side. With a quick wave each to Saria, the pair of adventurers turned to face the opening that would lead them to the answers they were looking for. The thought of that made Zelda smile as he walked ahead, the Nutcracker following after her while drawing the Kokiri Sword.


'HSSSSSSSKKKK!'

The Nutcracker ran up to the next Deku Baba and quickly ran the Kokiri's Sword through it's stem. It let out another hiss as it fell to the ground, before shriveling up into an eerie, purple smoke and disappearing. With a sigh, he turned around to face the rest of the way down the crooked path to the meadow, finding Zelda bashing another Baba with a stick they had found.

"It. Won't. Die!"

"Let me at it, love." He chuckled to himself, walking over to the disoriented Baba where he stabbed it in the head. It too let out a hiss of pain before evaporating into the purple smoke, leaving a clear path for the adventurers to continue through.

"These things are annoying," Zelda huffed, tossing the now broken stick away before crossing her arms over her chest. The Nutcracker chuckled at this, keeping his sword drawn as they continued down the path in case there were any other Babas lurking around. Or other monsters.

"Woah..." Zelda's eyes widened as they turned another corner, coming face-to-face with a wide opening, that revealed a pathway into a wide, open space. But that hadn't been what drew her attention from jump - it had been the large, face-like appearance that was the entirety of the Deku Tree's front side. With a hesitant step forward, the blonde teenager began to descend the hill-like path that was leading over to the front of the Deku Tree, with the Nutcracker following behind her slowly. After another few meters, the duo came to a stop and craned their heads back slightly to look up to where they assumed the Deku Tree's eyes to be - or at least the things that looked like big, gray eyebrows.

"Welcome," a low, echoing voice spoke gently, drawing the heroes' attention to the outlines of what appeared to be the Deku Tree's mouth, yet it was not moving.

"Hello, Great Deku Tree. I'd introduce myself but I have a feeling you already know who we are and our purpose for visiting you," Zelda started, returning her violet gaze to the tree's 'eyes'. A low, gentle chuckle seemed to fill the space around them, which for some reason calmed the nerves she had been feeling. The Nutcracker raised an eyebrow at the teen when she glanced over his way, before sheathing his sword and taking a seat in the grass.

"Indeed," He continued, as Zelda made her way over to the Nutcracker and took a seat as well. "I do know thee to be Zelda Harkinian, a young maiden from our sister land of Termina. You, however..." both Zelda and the Nutcracker looked between each other before back up at the Deku Tree, as he continued, "I know not of ye' past, young wooden warrior."

"Bummer," He sighed out, leaning back against the grass. "I was hoping you'd know my name, at least."

"I apologize for being unable to help thee with that question," He responded in a somewhat weaker voice, before what sounded to be him clearing his throat before continuing. "I do, however, have the knowledge of how you are able to access the Sacred Realm, where the mythic Triforce lay."

"That's great!" Zelda replied excitedly, looking over to the Nutcracker with a large smile, which he returned. "How are we to get there?"

A low, grumbling series of coughs began to echo in the meadow's space, drawing both adventurers' eyes to the Deku Tree. Zelda opened her mouth to question what was going on, but instead let out a soft gasp as the roots of the great tree began to emit an eerie, purple glow, and similar smoke to what the Babas disappeared into seemed to rise from him. She and the Nutcracker quickly rose to their feet, the Nutcracker drawing his sword as he readied to attack whatever was planning to make an appearance in the meadow.

"Stay behind me," he spoke sternly, to which she nodded. After a few more moments time, there was a low skittering sound, and both adventurer's eyes were drawn to a corner of the Deku Tree's roots, where these small, one-eyed arachnid-esque creatures began to crawl out from underneath him. Zelda's hands flew to her mouth in shock, as the Nutcracker ran forward and lowered his sword to run one of the monsters through.

"What is going on these days..." The blonde turned at the small voice, watching as Saria began to enter the tree's meadow with a small fairy bobbing by her head. The green-haired Kokiri continued walking forwards, before crouching down a few feet before Zelda and extending her arm out to the creatures.

"Leave."

A small ball of green light appeared in front of her palm, before shooting out at the creatures a moment later. It didn't harm any of them, instead causing the little bugs to retreat back underneath the tree's roots. The Nutcracker continued to kill a few more of them, until they had all disappeared and the glow around the Deku Tree's roots has lessened.

"What was all of that?" Zelda questioned frantic, running over to Saria, as the Nutcracker too made his way over to the Kokiri girl.

"Those are Gohma larvae," she replied softly, looking up at the blonde and the wooden man. "Gohma is an ancient, poisonous arachnoid that overruns areas by laying her eggs all around. When the eggs hatch, they release these larvae that run around and begin destroying whatever location they occupy." She'd look up sadly at the Deku Tree then, walking over to one of his large roots and resting a hand against it. "She's infected you, hasn't she?"

"Aye," he responded gently, with an air that seemed as if he were smiling faintly. "The Gerudo King had placed a curse on myself, for I would not relinquish the Emerald to him."

"That's horrible!" Zelda piped up, placing her hands angrily on her hips as she stared up at the Great Deku Tree. "How could he do such a thing?!"

"The Emerald he requested, is one of the keys needed to enter the Sacred Realm."

Zelda let out another gasp at that, moving a hand up to her mouth as her eyes widened. The Nutcracker's own widened as well, and he'd dropped the Kokiri Sword into the grass. Saria let out a soft sigh as she nodded, looking over at the pair before she'd continue for the Deku Tree. "The Deku Tree is the guardian of the forest, as well as the protector of the Kokiri's Emerald."

"Is there any way we can stop him from wreaking more havoc? Or at least help you?" The Nutcracker questioned, sheathing the Kokiri Sword before walking back over to where Zelda stood. She nodded in agreement, both adventurers looking up to the face of the tree. There was a low humming sound that echoed throughout the clearing, before Saria's eyes widened slightly and she'd walk away from the tree's roots. Looking down at her curiously, the pair opened both of their mouths to question what was going to happen, but instead shut them as the ground began to rumble. They shifted their gazes back over to the Great Deku Tree, watching as his 'mouth' slowly began to lower, revealing a dark pathway.

"Ye' may enter upon the dungeon that has been created of my trunk, in any attempt thee can to defeat Gohma." He'd respond softly, the rumbling dying down once the 'door' of his mouth had sunk into the earth with a soft 'thunk'. Zelda and the Nutcracker looked between each other, before nodding softly and staring back at the tree.

"We accept," they responded in unison, before the Nutcracker drew back out his sword, and began walking forwards. Zelda followed soon after, but halted her steps and turned to look at Saria. "We'll be back soon, don't worry. And we will defeat Gohma."

"I have faith in you," she responded with a smile, waving at the blonde, who smiled softly and returned the wave. Turning back away from the Kokiri girl, Zelda jogged her way over to the opening into the Deku Tree, and quickly followed after the Nutcracker inside.

"Good luck, young heroes. Ye' will need it, if the Gerudo King has left other tricks inside..."


Word Count: 4,133


A/N: [twidling thumbs] so... that's kinda it. For now.

By that I mean, Chapter 4 is a few paragraphs written from when I was last on a computer to write this story (the Google Drive app for my iPod lags like a mother), so this is probably gonna be a while. But we're about to embark on the First Dungeon so it should be a little quicker and easier to write (I was originally planning on using the Zelda Dungeon walkthrough to help me out but I might just watch a Let's Play because... well... yeah), so it might be up later in November or early December. Hopefully.

I need to work on my writing, badly. I'm scared to read this old chapter instead of just having skimmed through it because I'm assuming the writing is cluttered, the dialogue is iffy, and just all around my old writing needs work, badly.

sobs.

Well anyway I hope you guys enjoy this chapter! Hopefully OD will be updated soon, and then... I don't really know what's going to happen after that.

[poof'd]