Link ran until he was out of the village and stopped. If he charged ahead blindly, he was going to miss the trail.
Unfortunately, there was not much, although Saria had trained him well in tracking, and Moblins were well-known for being clumsy. That was part of the problem; there were so many Moblin tracks in that part of the island that to find Marin’s tracks among them was extraordinarily difficult.
He headed in the direction of the mountains when the trail grew so hard to find that there was basically nothing.
And all the time his heart was full of fear.
He came to the mountains and paused. If he was a fat lumbering Moblin, burdened with a light, slim girl, how would he get up?
That posed a problem for him, as there was only one way to go up into the mountains, but many ways to go after that. Link wrinkled his forehead in frustration and anxiety and ran again. There was a tower on the eastern horizon.
Through tunnels, not forsaking the darkest corner, and to the most remote plateaus, he jogged along. Already he was getting tired, and the day was almost gone. The caves were dark enough, and he had no lantern.
He came to the tower and sprang in.
It was a long, hard trudge through the most difficult puzzles he had faced on the island so far. The first three-quarters were easy, but finding the dungeon’s master was almost impossible.
The boss was a robed skeleton, riding on a gigantic vulture-like bird. Content with hurling insults and threats at the young Hylian, he paid no heed to Link’s repeated and insistent questions. Questions like: “If you don’t tell me where Marin is I’ll stuff that bird down your bony throat!!”
Using his bow and his sword, Link finally brought the bird down.
“The girl… is not here…” wheezed the skeleton. “If you… touch the Instrument… we’ll kill her…”
Link stabbed the skeleton, shattering the skull. “Instrument’d just slow me down, anyway.”
He got out of the tower the fastest way he could, and headed back west. He looked at the Instrument before he left, and shook his head – it was a miniature pipe organ. There was no way he was carrying that all the way back to Marin’s house. It could definitely wait – it wasn’t going anywhere.
It was pitch dark, and while he wanted to keep going, his body was making demands of his attention he could not ignore. It was exhausted, and if he was going in any more holes, he might not see the pitfalls until too late.
Defeated by this logic, Link slumped down on a flat-ish rock and tried to sleep.
His mind was keeping him awake.
It seemed hours before he finally slept.
The next morning, he was woken by the sun on his face and a distant voice, it seemed. When he sat up and rubbed his head, he didn’t hear the voice anymore.
Tiredly, he travelled west again.
Then, suddenly, he heard the voice again. It was Marin’s voice! She was calling for help, almost crying, it sounded.
“Hang on, I’m coming!” he shouted and dashed off in the direction of the sound.
He came around the side of a cliff and saw her. She was kneeling on a few boards suspended above a deep ravine by old, worn ropes.
“Oh, Link! Please, help me! I’m scared of heights!”
“I’m here.” Link was almost smiling with relief. “Can you stand? It would make it a little bit easier.”
“I-I’ll try,” Marin quavered, trembling. She wobbled and sat down again. “No, no, I can’t do that.” She made a valiant effort not to cry.
“That’s all right,” Link said, soothingly. “I can get you off like this. Hold still.” He re-aimed his hookshot and fired it.
He flew over the chasm and caught the girl in his right arm, landing safely on the ledge on the other side.
“Are you all right?” he asked, looking down at her.
She glanced up at him shyly, then looked down again. “Uh-huh…”
“Thank goodness.” He put his hookshot away and hugged her. “I – we were so worried…”
“I’m sorry… I… I shouldn’t have…”
She tensed up and blurted out. “I… I went to sing the Ballad in front of the Wind Fish’s Egg so that he could wake up before you get hurt trying to get those silly instruments!”
Link stared at her wonderingly. “Y-you really did that?”
Finally she looked at him, half-defiantly. “Yes!”
Link almost laughed out loud and gave her another big hug. “Thanks for the thought, but I don’t know if that works…”
“It didn’t,” Marin said sadly, putting her arms around him and giving him a small hug back. “And that’s when the monsters grabbed me, when I was coming back.”
She looked him directly in the eyes. “Thank you…”
“I’m glad,” he replied softly.
Link didn’t realize he was leaning forward until he heard someone else shouting, somewhere in the distance. Tarin was calling Marin’s name.
Marin, her lips only millimetres from Link’s, jumped and whirled around. Link jumped, too, and both of them blushed.
Tarin appeared at the base of the cliff; he couldn’t have seen the young couple. “Marin! Thank goodness you’re all right!”
“Tarin, what are you doing here?” Link demanded. “It’s dangerous!”
Tarin grinned sheepishly. “Well, now, I’m not worried for myself. Right, then? Shall we go?”
“Yes, I’ll take you home.” Link helped Marin down the steep slope. “And you know, Marin, dungeon crawling is sort of a hobby for me now, so if it’s so dangerous that I might get hurt – which doesn’t happen often – I stop. Except that usually by that point I’m addicted to that particular puzzle, and if I can’t figure it out I get annoyed…”
Marin giggled in relief. “I’m just glad that you’re all right this time. Did you find any more instruments?”
“Oh, right. The Organ of Evening Calm is in a tower somewhere back there. I’ll get it later.”
“Oh, no, go and get it now! No point in waiting.”
“I-it’s too dangerous!” Link protested. “You’ve got miles to go to get home!”
“I made it here,” Tarin pointed out. “You can leave Marin with her own daddy, can’t you?”
Link’s forehead scrunched up in indecision. “The Moblins are pretty powerful, and you don’t even have a weapon…”
“Oh, is that all!” Tarin picked up a pretty big stick and smiled at Link. “I’ll show ‘em. Go get that Organ, lad.”
Link sighed. “I really think this is a bad idea…”
He left them and travelled quickly back to the tower.
Inside the tower, he got lost, and it was nearly night before he reached the top and found the Organ of Evening Calm again.
He slept before returning to Mabe. He was ragingly hungry, as he hadn’t eaten for almost two days.
When he appeared, trudging out of the shades of the forest with the Organ under his arm, one of the quadruplets ran up to him.
“Hey, Link! Have you seen Marin and Tarin?”
“Why, what about them?”
“No, I mean, have you seen them recently?”
Link’s insides went cold. “I saw them yesterday. Haven’t they gotten back yet?”
Link grew tense. Suddenly, turning, he flung his sword at a tree. The blade embedded itself halfway, quivering. Link let out a long, shaking breath as he tried to calm himself.
The small boy’s eyes were huge, and he said with trembling voice: “I think they must just have taken longer than you did… Tarin’s not an adventurer, you know…”
Link dropped the Instrument on the ground beside the boy. “Take this to their house. I’m going to find them.”
After only a few paces, he stopped and ran back. “Wait. I’ll take it. I need something to eat, or else I’ll drop dead. Please stay in the village.”
Link set the Organ down on the table in Tarin’s house, grabbed a loaf of bread out of the kitchen, and ran out again, wolfing down a chunk of the bread as best he could.
In the forest, he called the owl. “Owl! Owl, I need to talk to you!” His voice cracked twice, and after that he grew hoarse.
After several minutes, with a flap, the owl alighted in a nearby tree. “Calm yourself, young hero.”
“Please! Tell me – if you can,” he added with a frown, “- where Marin and Tarin are.”
“I saw them yesterday in the northwest corner of the island. Where they are now, I cannot tell you. Be calm, or else in your recklessness, you may lose more than your friends.”
Link paced back and forth frantically. “I just can’t stop thinking about what the Moblin said the other day. If I got any more Instruments, they would kill Marin. And I didn’t want to tell her, so I let them talk me into going and getting the next one, and now they’ve vanished.” He turned back to the owl. “Do you see where I’m going with this?”
The owl peered down its beak at the distraught Hylian. “I do. Indeed, your logic is as clear as crystal, so your question was unnecessary. Please calm yourself before I decide discussion with you is pointless.”
Link plunked himself on the ground and took deep breaths, trying to put himself into meditation the way Saria had shown him once.
“Now,” continued the owl. “There is still a small chance that they were merely delayed on their journey. I shall scout out the land. If you would return to Mabe Village this evening, I might be able to give you news.”
“All right.” Link stood up again. “I’ll look to the northwest. Thank you.”
He ran off, this time with firmer purpose in his heart.
The northwest part of Koholint Island is just as mountainous as the northeast part, and Link, after he had scoured the foothills, found himself wasting precious hours trying to enter the sheer walls of the mountains.
At the top of one cliff, he was attacked and almost knocked off by something large and scaly. After wobbling for a bit and finally regaining his balance, not to mention fighting off a pair of black birds, Link found himself facing a large and irate turtle head.
Link had never fought a giant hostile turtle before, but hitting it in the eyes killed it, and it exploded, leaving a large hole in the mountainside behind it.
The Hylian left it there for a while, searching the rest of the mountain, but no answer came to his calls, and so he entered the tunnel.
He wandered for a while, sweating profusely as the temperature rose the further he travelled. The light was dim, and reddish, but it was there, guiding his feet around the pits in the floor. The caves at the end of the tunnel were more spacious, but almost suffocating with heat. Lava bubbled out of cracks in the ground now, and Link’s adrenaline began to rise. This was another dungeon, he was sure of it.
Chasing some flying monsters into another room, he heard something ahead of him. A low grumbling and moaning.
Prepared to fight redead, Link dispatched the winged menace, steeled himself, and smashed in the locked door ahead of him.
Three Moblins were slumped around the corners of the room, laughing lazily. One had its eye on the door in a suspicious fashion, and Link recalled sarcastically that he had been rather noisy coming in.
Suspended over a pool of lava by chains on his wrists was Tarin, looking dazed and only half-conscious.
Link sprang forward and stabbed a Moblin before it could do much else than grunt in surprise, and then leapt past it to get at one scrambling to pull a switch. Link had no doubt it would drop Tarin into the lava, and with almost inhuman speed pinned the monster to the wall.
After the battle was over, Link frowned mightily at the dangling Tarin. The lever did not drop Tarin in the lava, but it didn’t do much in that room either.
“Tarin!” shouted Link.
The man woke with a start. “Link? Oh, I’m glad to see you! Where’s Marin?”
“I don’t know. Do you know how I can release you?”
“No… oh, boy, I’m sorry… you were right…”
“Don’t think about that,” Link said. “There must be some way to get you out of this.”
After a few moments, “Look, I’ll go get some water – I saw some big jugs of it back a little – and then I’ll cut the chains.”
“How will that work?” moaned Tarin.
“I think it will,” said Link, already back with the jug. He heaved it into the lava, and it melted, evaporated, and formed a small floating lump of rock.
Link made an incredible jump and severed both chains with his sword. Tarin dropped neatly onto the lump of rock.
“Jump! Quick!” Link shouted. Tarin hopped unsteadily onto firm ground.
Both men breathed a sigh of relief.
“All right, now,” Link said authoritively. “I don’t know where Marin is, but the owl is looking for her, too, and I need to get back to Mabe to hear what he has to say.”
“Did you get the Organ?”
“Yes. But that’s one thing that makes me especially worried…”
“I don’t want to tell you… oh, I guess you need to know. When they told me they had kidnapped Marin, they also said they would kill her if I retrieved any more Instruments…”
“We need to hurry!” Tarin exclaimed. “We shouldn’t go home. I don’t know where they’ve taken her, but it can’t be far…”
“No,” Link said firmly. “I will be back as soon as I can, but I can’t risk you, too. Please understand.”
Tarin was quiet for a few minutes, and then nodded. “You know best.”
Link looked very upset at that. “Unfortunately, I don’t know that.”
“Tarin, I’m sorry. If I had never come here, or if I had been less careless, this wouldn’t have happened.”
“That’s not tr-“
“Somewhere in my definition of a hero is the idea that… a hero fights to preserve peace and justice, and so… That someone I’m trying to protect is exposed to what I’m trying to protect them from means that I failed. At least you’re still alive so I can do better next time. Not like… not like one of my friends…”
Tarin was very quiet as they hurried back to Mabe in the lengthening twilight. Link was angry with himself more than ever. Still, he kept a small hope that if Marin were rescued, they would both emerge from this unscathed, emotionally and mentally as well as physically, if it were impossible they should be unchanged wholly.
The owl and, surprisingly, Richard, were waiting for them at Tarin’s house. The owl’s face was unchanged, but his mood seemed to lighten a bit as he saw Tarin was with Link.
“I have to say that I found no trace of Marin on the rest of the island. I brought Richard here for safety. He must not be alone in his hut.”
“And also!” cried Richard. “I wish to aid you in your valiant quest to rescue the fair maiden!”
Link stared at him.
“My sword is at your disposal, great warrior.”
“Did you bring your Golden Leaves?” Link asked. “Because you would help me more by defending the village. And, that being said, you might as well move here permanently.”
“I do see your logic,” Richard said, nodding sagely. “While before I might have doubted your skill, the tales I heard of you from Lady Marin have conquered my scepticism completely. You wish for me, and of course Tarin here, to relieve your mind of at least one pressing worry.”
“Yes, certainly,” Link said. “Thank you, Richard. Goodbye.”
“Where are you going?” Tarin demanded. “You haven’t eaten anything, and you need to rest.”
Link looked distressed, but stayed.
Richard left, muttering something about a tower, and the owl flew north. Link didn’t ask where he was going, but after eating, collapsed on the couch and fell into an uneasy sleep.
The next morning, after telling Tarin to stay put and no excuses, Link headed back to the eighth dungeon.
He entered it and searched for a long time. The day was passing, and the heat was getting to him. It was nearly nighttime already.
“Liiiink!” came a scream nearby. He whirled, and found that there was a door open just wide enough for someone to see him.
“Marin!” he shouted back, flinging open the door and running to her – and all the lights went out.
His hand brushed soft cloth and tight ropes. “Marin, is that you?”
He heard a wimper.
“Hold still.” He sliced through the ropes tying her slim body to a wooden pole, and felt her arms slip around his waist like a drowning person. She laid her head against his shoulder and her smooth hair brushed his arm.
Link flipped out his new Fire Rod and sent a bolt of flame jetting to the other end of the room.
Several creatures sneaking up on him were caught in the ensuing blaze, but it also showed him something else. Several huge Moblins were stomping towards him.
Link pulled away from Marin, ran to the door, and made sure it was shut firmly. Then he turned to the Moblins, took his sword in his left hand and the Fire Rod in his right, and engaged them.
They fought fiercely, surrounding him, and Link was hard pressed from the start. Marin had sunk to the floor and hid her face in her hands.
Link was having flashbacks to his fight with Shadow Link by the time he finally gained the upper hand and slashed the last Moblin’s head off.
He cleaned his sword and sheathed it, and ran back to Marin’s prone form.
Abruptly, she stood and flung her arms around his neck, resting her head on his shoulder again. “Link…”
He held her close. “You shouldn’t have done that. You’ll get blood on your dress.”
“Oh!” Marin said at about the same time. “You’re hurt!” The shoulder she was leaning on had an ugly jagged cut in it.
“Don’t worry about it, please. You’re unhurt?”
“Yes.” Her large brown eyes glittered in the fading firelight with unshed tears. “Oh, Link, I’m…”
His lips brushed hers…
Late, very late that night, and only halfway home, they stopped beside a stream. Marin, who seemed to be almost completely recovered, was not recovered at all physically.
She yawned. “Are you tired, Link?”
Link smiled. “Not really… I think…”
“You are, you are,” she teased him. “Can we stop here?”
“Sure, that’s fine. I wish I still had some food with me. You must be hungry.”
“It’s all right. Tomorrow, I will make a really big dinner, to celebrate.”
“Link, I-I am very grateful for what you have done for me…”
“I told you, I can’t leave you in the hands of enemies. That would just be wrong. As for my injuries, it’s better that I get injured than you.” Her eyes were so bewitching.
“Still… thank you…”
“Well, I do have one thing to say to you… You can’t be a bird if you’re afraid of heights.”
She laughed. “It’s not actually the heights I’m afraid of, but falling from them!”
She laughed again, lay down and fell asleep in a patch of long grass.
Link looked down at her as he sat against a tree. Her face was peaceful, as well as he could see it in the starlight. The moon was not yet risen.
Suddenly, he felt very tired too. If Navi had been there, he would have lain down and gone to sleep as well, but he had to keep watch… had to…
His eyes closed, and unconsciously he slumped over beside the girl, putting an arm around her protectively.
Nothing attacked them that night.
Tarin was almost crying with joy the next day, and Link smiled for the rest of the day just to know that the world was back to normal.
Life did go on as normal, and Link stayed away from the dungeon. And yet –
The Moblins occasionally showed up, and Link always fought them off. But something was wrong with that, he knew. Allowing evil to exist, perhaps to flourish where he could not see, was against his principles.
He was not afraid of them, or even of what they might do to his friends – he knew that much. Mabe Village was perfectly safe as long as he was there, and once when he visited Animal Village, he found that the bear was an equally competent guardian.
But Link was getting restless again already. Although the quiet life of Mabe was a wonderful change from almost his entire life, and Marin’s songs left him with nothing to wish for, he felt… dull. The Moblin raids did little to lift the monotony that assailed him after the second week of normal life. Link was furious with himself, but that did nothing to change his restiveness.
So why, he asked himself one day, did he wait in the village? The last dungeon remained as yet a refuge of monsters, and with everyone safe, there was no reason to not go and defeat it.
So Link went, one day, giving everyone full notice of his mission.
The dungeon was not difficult, even though the monsters inside it had devised new traps and reset the old ones. There were only a few moments where Link was puzzled momentarily. And, at last, he fought the boss of the dungeon, a withered little imp that lived in the lava.
“I will never allow you to play the Instruments of the Sirens! You cannot wake the Wind Fish!” it cried, throwing rock at him.
Link frowned and flung fire magic at the creature. Shortly thereafter, it was caught full-on in a magic fireball, and burnt for real. It choked and screeched.
“I’m done for… but so are you! Remember… you… are in the… dream too!”
Link took this all very calmly. He was not planning to discover whether he was living in a dream or not anytime soon.
The last Instrument of the Sirens was the Thunder Drum. It was a rather large side drum, with sticks included.
Link returned to Mabe Village for the last time, and waited.
The monster attacks were growing much more vicious, even though all eight dungeons were empty. The other villagers went about their tasks happily and innocently, unknowing that every night, the young hero would take up his patrol around the edge of the settlement, driving away each and every would-be invader.
Tarin began helping him to build a house for himself nearby. Richard had almost completed his own house, built in an empty field between the shops. Link was left without much choice, but chose to build his between the Ulriras’ house and one of the shops. It was a tiny little house, which suited Link fine. It reminded him a little of his home in Kokiri Forest. Marin adored it, and called it cute.
And this continued for months.
Summer was passing, and fall was beginning to redden the land. Link had plenty of time to think on his position. Although he was busy in the community, guarding them through the night, sleeping from dawn until noon, helping in the small fields, fishing sometimes, and taking Marin to Animal Village and to visit Martha sometimes, most of those activities he did by himself. Yet he had all night, every night, when he wasn’t actually fighting, to puzzle over his confusing feelings.
His first confusion was over Marin. He loved her, and she at least liked him a lot, but he had not said or done anything since he had rescued her from the Moblins in the mountains. In relation to his second dilemma, over whether the island was a dream, he hesitated to tell her anything.
He still had not decided if he should stay for the rest of his life, or leave. Mr. Write, who now lived in Animal Village, had told him that, when he was young, he had tried to sail away, but always found the island waiting for him after a few hours. Link, with no boat and no inclination to build one, decided not to repeat the other man’s experiment. So, he had to either wake the Wind Fish, or live his life out on Koholint.
As he pondered these things for weeks, he turned to the beach more and more often, wondering where Navi, Tael, Tatl, and Demon were. He imagined his friends, and decided their best course would be to go back to Hyrule. Demon would be an excellent substitute Hero in Link’s place. But, knowing Navi, that was not going to happen.
And one day, Marin came to find him, as he sat on a log with his chin on his hands, staring at the ever-changing waves.
“Link, what’s the matter?”
He started to use the words he had for months, but stopped. “I don’t wa-“
“Yes?” She sat beside him.
“I just have an awful feeling, all the time now. I’ll tell you… It’s that, once when I was collecting Instruments of the Sirens, I came across a shrine…” He told her about the carving on the wall. “I don’t know if it’s true… Marin? Are you all right?”
She had turned as white as paper, and sat very still.
He put his arms around her, and she was cold to the touch, although the day was hot. She yielded to his embrace, however, and turned and clung to him.
“I… I’m just so startled. And scared.”
“Me too. I don’t want to wake the Wind Fish if you are going to disappear. But things can’t go on like this.”
“Like what?” She looked up at him with frightened eyes.
“I’m sorry, Marin… I don’t want to cause you any more pain…”
“I want to know…”
“I know. You have a lot of spirit… that’s why I’m telling you… But every night, I go and patrol around the town… Monsters have attacked… Frequently.”
“Oh, I never knew! Why didn’t you tell someone?”
“I didn’t want you to know. I know Richard’s been making fun of me, but it doesn’t matter.”
“Link, you are the kindest boy I know… There’s a little selfish part of me that wants to make you stay here whether you want to or not…”
“I- Oh, Farore, I can’t go on…” He buried his face in his hands.
“I feel… trapped. Here. On Koholint. Not even your friendship and the duty of protecting Mabe lifts that feeling.” He waited for her to despise him.
Her arm went over his shoulders. “I know.”
She had nothing else to say. Neither did Link.
Until they stood, both their faces grave. Link was unused to Marin’s expression being grave, and impulsively took her hands.
“Marin, oh, Marin, I love you.”
She leaned away from him in surprise, and blushed redder than she had yet. “You… do? …Yes… you… do.”
“You say I’m the kindest person you know… but you are far more kind…”
“I… don’t… think so…”
He kissed her.
They walked home in silence, but Marin’s happy smile had lifted Link’s spirits again.
It was not a month later when Marin had told the village of what Link had done for them and organized their own patrol. Link began to have his nights back for sleeping in.
With Marin as his fiancé, he was happy and contented when he was with her. But she could not be with him always. Something was calling to him from beyond the horizon. He didn’t know what it was. He didn’t think it was Navi.
Marin saw it, and ignored it patiently. Link felt himself an ingrate when she put her head on his shoulder so trustingly.
Yet, bare weeks later, he felt he had to go.
“After all,” he said to Marin, “this may not be a dream. I want to know.”
“If we are a dream…”
“I’ll never forget you, I promise. Never, ever. You’re too dear to me for that…”
“Thank you. The Wind Fish will take care of us, anyway!”
The villagers gathered, even the ones from Animal Village, to see him off. No one made big speeches, and hardly anyone wept. Everyone had something to say to him; everyone wanted to shake his hand or hug him. Tarin called him ‘my son’, which almost made Link cry, but instead he gave him a bear hug.
Finally, Link kissed Marin one last time, and turned his face towards the central mountain.
The mountain was tall, but the path was smooth and straight. Though he had the eight Sirens’ Instruments, he hardly felt their weight. At the top was the huge, pearly egg that was visible from all over the Island. It towered over him when he came right up to it.
He pulled out his Ocarina, set it to his lips, and played the Ballad of the Wind Fish.
Even if he never saw Marin again, that song alone would keep her with him forever.
The Instruments floated into the air, sparkling, and began to play their own haunting melodies with his. He had never heard such music before.
A deep fissure appeared in the side of the egg in front of him, and the Instruments fell to the ground, useless.
Link looked in, but could see nothing. All was darkness, and there was no visible place to stand. Saying a quick prayer, he stepped in and let himself fall.
He landed heavily on a green, marble floor. Lights flared around him, and he looked around. It was like he was in an arena. Looking up, he saw distantly something blue and glittery.
Swishing noises from behind him alerted him, and he turned with drawn sword.
A threatening black shadow crouched on the floor, constantly shifting its shape.
“You are a fool, little hero. You are trapped here, and we shall kill you now. No one will ever wake the Wind Fish, and we shall control him.”
“You are the one who controls the monsters?”
“We are the Nightmare Creatures.” The shadow split into half a dozen smaller shadows and they crawled around the edges of the room around him. “There is no escape for you, and you have doomed your little friends. This dream will never end.”
“You will end, though,” countered Link, and plunged his sword into the shadow.
That did nothing. It took him several minutes for him to figure out their fighting style – one of them fought rather like Gohma, another like Morpha, another like Ganondorf – and several more to remember his most powerful weapon.
Dropping his sword, his shield, everything, he unslung his bow. Dodging a razor-sharp shadow claw, he drew an arrow, set it, and called on the power of light.
Shadow bone, flesh, and steel melted before the divine golden glow.
The blue shape far away at the top of the Egg stirred, shifted, twirled, and drifted lazily down to near the young Hero. Link put away his weapons and waited it.
It was a great blue whale, adorned with a jewelled headdress.
“You have done well, young Hero. I thank you for dispelling the creatures of darkness. Play the song of Awakening once more…”
“Wait one moment,” Link cried. “What will become of Koholint?”
“There is no way to know…”
Link stood still for a long moment, and then lifted the Ocarina to his lips.
The Instruments of the Sirens played again, and then fell and shattered into sparkling dust as Link felt himself blown upward on a geyser of water…
Link stirred groggily. His mind was made of fuzz, it seemed. He could feel it. An arm twitched, feeling for a missing rudder.
Where was Navi?
An eye cracked open, showing hot blue sky. He was lying on something hard and uncomfortable…
“Liiiiiink!” someone squealed, and something small and soft pelted his cheek. “He’s awake!”
His arm twitched and reached up to hug the happy little fairy mobbing his face. He blinked again at the sky, and sat up.
He was on a small raft. Demon sat nearby at a makeshift tiller, the two other fairies bobbing around his head. They too came to help ‘wake up’ Link, who held their attacks off, laughing.
He glanced around at the empty horizon and sighed quietly. No Koholint.
And then a shadow fell across him and he looked up. The Wind Fish was flying through the sky, singing a familiar song… the Ballad of the Wind Fish.
Link smiled gently.
Demon smiled at the distant-minded Hylian. “Welcome back, O strange dreamer.”