The Perfect Summer Blossom

Chapter I – The Great Sea

There was a gentle breeze that morning.

Link stood on the deck of the ship, taking in the cool morning air. It had been some time since he was last able to enjoy something this simple. If there was a tranquility to match the breeze, it'd be a slice of heaven to the young Hylian.

Behind him, he could hear the coarse voice of the ship's captain barking out orders. Adding to the cacophony was the crew, as well as a hundred different thuds and clacks and splashes that would be found aboard a ship. For a moment, Link wondered how nice it would be to have a ship of his own. Nothing too large; small enough for one young man to sail the Great Sea on his own.

"A red one." Link whispered to himself, imagining what the ship would look like. In his mind's eye, he could see the vessel clear as day. The bright red paint of the hull would look well against a sail as white as fresh snow.

Link wiped his brow with the back of his hand. What he wouldn't give for a sudden chill. The summer months were brutal in Hyrule, and he was headed home in the middle of the season. It was an unexpected adventure of sorts that found the young man in a distant province of Hyrule, but all that was behind him now. Memories of time travel and changing seasons were all that remained.

That, and a few items. Growing tired of the repetitive waves on the ocean surface, Link rested his back against the ship's mast. In his hands were his trusted shield, a gift from his uncle back in Hyrule. The Goddesses had been kind enough to transport the shield with him to far-off lands. And alongside that shield his sword, which was strapped to his back. The worn blade had seen more action than any weapon ever should. And with it its wielder. More than anything, Link was looking forward to some well-deserved rest.

The last item in his possession was a gift. Not just any gift either; this was a prized possession of Hyrule's own Royal Family. Setting his shield aside, Link took the ocarina in hand and examined it briefly. The blue instrument only had one noticeable feature to distinguish it from other instruments, that being a crest on one side of the Triforce. The ocarina was an ancient artifact from a time long before Link; a time of legend where a hero rose from the forests of Hyrule to vanquish a king of evil.

Over the ages, the ocarina was lost to the Royal Family, and fell into the care of a young musician and resident of Kakariko Village. When the young lad was cursed during Link's first adventure, he entrusted the magical instrument to Link. After the completion of his quest, the Princess Zelda, ruler of Hyrule following her father's death, revealed the ocarina's true heritage. She was the one who offered it to Link as a parting gift, and as thanks for his valiant efforts in saving Hyrule from the clutches of the wizard Agahnim.

The magical energies of the ocarina had long since disappeared, but Link kept it close so that he could always play familiar tunes from his youth.

"Link!" A voice called out to him from afar. The young man garbed in green looked over in that direction, seeing the captain of the ship signaling for him. Wasting no time, he leapt to his feet and ran over to the captain's side.

"There's a storm coming." The captain informed him, pointing out to the horizon. Sure enough, there were so many dark clouds in that direction, it was as if night had fallen before its time.

"Looks big," Link commented.

"I don't think there's any avoiding this one. I'll slow our speed, try and wait it out."

The captain barked orders at the crew, informing them of both the storm and his plans. Meanwhile, Link looked ahead at the clouds.

Even if they waited for a whole day, he had a feeling the storm wouldn't clear up. If they wanted to return to Hyrule, they'd have to sail straight through it. And it wasn't going to be easy.

A flash of lightning illuminated the night for a moment, while a crack of thunder deafened the ears of whatever shipmates could still hear well. The captain's hope of waiting out the storm hadn't panned out, and now they were trapped in the middle. The waves crashed against the ship from all sides, while rain came down on the ship so thickly it was as if a second ocean were on top of them. The moon was no where to be seen, making it impossible to see anything until a bolt of lightning flashed through the sky.

Along with every other crew member, Link was trying desperately to keep the ship's sail from coming undone in the wind. However, the downpour made it hard for the men to hold onto the ropes, and one by one they were forced to let go as waves spilled over the deck and washed men away. Link stood his ground, helped along by the added weight of his sword and shield. As another wave crashes onto the ship, another few men lost their grip and the sail went free.

"Secure the sail!" The captain's voice echoed through the darkness. Another bolt of lightning gave Link a brief view of the deck, and he saw no one else nearby. The storm had claimed everyone in sight. It was up to him to secure the sail.

He pulled on the rope, using it to guide himself through the darkness to the mast. Once there, he began his ascent. This time, the added weight of his equipment was making it difficult to climb, but he dared not try and remove it now. The longer it took him to reach the sail and secure it, the more likely it was they'd lose the whole mast.

Two more lightning bolts resounded through the night. The gusts which were hardly felt on the deck were much stronger up on the mast. The storm seemed to be intensifying rather than calming. When another bolt illuminated the ocean below, Link caught a glimpse of an incoming wave larger than any that had struck the ship before. The young man braced himself for the impact, but it struck with such a force that he was flung from the mast. Holding onto a rope for dear life, Link dangled above the deck, thrashing about in the wind and rain.

That's when another bolt of lightning flashed through the sky. This one struck something: the mast of the ship. Link watched the spectacular sight as long as he could before the impact of the event sent him flying into the distance. The heavenly catastrophe shattered the vessel's mast into a million pieces, and set the rest of the ship on fire. As the rain doused the flames, a great billow of smoke rose into the sky, further obscuring the view in the night.

Link managed to grab hold of a piece of driftwood from the ship after he landed in the water. He watched in silence as the ship disappeared from view, and tried his best to remain awake as the waves pummeled his small body. Eventually, there was nothing he could do but let his eyes close as fatigue and seawater overpowered his senses. The storm slowly and finally vanished from his senses.

An unusually cool breeze swept in from the ocean. Marin took notice of it immediately. For there to be such a chill wind in the middle of summer was a bit of an omen for the young woman. Still, she paid it no more than a moment's thought when something on the beach caught her eye. Jutting out from the sand was a strange blue stone. She approached it, and tried to pry it from the sand. It proved difficult, and she was forced to use both her hands. With a couple tugs, it slowly revealed itself to be a lot larger than Marin initially thought.

"A shield?" Marin said softly, inspecting the object closely. There was a red design of some sort on the shield, resembling a bird. Above it was a yellow symbol, three golden triangles in perfect formation. It was a symbol the young Marin didn't recognize.

"What could it mean?" She asked, stroking the golden triangles. As she hoped to infer their meaning, she took a tumble when something else washed ashore and bumped into her.

It was a body! With a shriek she scurried away from it, watching as the tide pulled the body back into the water for a moment. When it returned the body to the shore, it had turned it over to reveal a young man garbed in green. Curious, Marin crawled back to the body. Somehow, he was still drawing breath.

"Father! Come quick! I've found something!" Marin called out to the other side of the beach. In the distance, a stout man came running.

Marin picked the young man's head up and rested it upon her lap. There was movement under his eyelids, as though he were having a nightmare. Marin stroked the young man's golden hair, hoping the contact would calm him. She looked over at the shield she had discovered first, finding it had been turned over in her panic. Etched into the wood on this side were letters familiar to Marin. They formed a name, most likely that of its owner.

"Shhh..." Marin cooed, stroking the young man's face. She leaned in close to his ear.

"It's okay. It's just a nightmare. I'm here, now. Please wake up, Link." She whispered into his ear.

Link's face calmed, and his breathing became normal. The nightmare seemed to be receding.