Hello, my dear readers! I just need to give you a head start that the chapter you’re reading is going to sound a little "noobish." The next chapter will tell more description on what’s going on.
The Hyrulean sun rises from the east from the dreadful night, showering the land in a blanket of warmth, bringing life from the miserable darkness. The Hylian Summer Birds awakened, cheerfully singing from the treetops near the small waterfall that glistered from the magnificence of the sunlight.
The footsteps of leather boots (along with the hoof beats of a horse) banged on the old Razzet Bridge that crossed above the eastern part of the Zora River. Even though the bridge is ages old and dangerously rickety, it still is as strong and sturdy for groups of tens to walk on without danger.
It is the third day of spring, the day of life after the season of death. The seasonal storm clouds are thundering in through the south from Lake Hylia, the great lake of Hyrule. This is a great joy to the Hylians, with there being warmth erasing the ravenous snow and the beginning of the harvest. Crowds cheered after the long reign of ice, for which it meant that they survived another year of life.
Even though it is early, the plants are already growing. The life green leaves of the Hylian cypress trees bursted with life, the flowers blooming in perfection. The best of all is the harvest food growing with trading increasing.
Daily harvesting is, and all ways will be important in the Razzet village, along with the rest of the villages in the south-eastern part of Hyrule. Near the end of the season of harvesting, they load up on their food supplies to last them through the winter. Now, that the time of warmth has come, with some villages running out of supplies, trading becomes more active. Fresh food and water, usually containing rice, dairy, meat, and more, now becomes the main items in trade in those parts.
The Razzet village had retrieved news from their neighboring village of Odin that they are in dire need of food supplies, proven unsurprising since the village’s crop field was flooded. A lazy job well done by Farore, as most empathetic religionist would say.
In response to this dire need, the mayor of the Razzet village sent two of the town’s best and most trusted villagers to travel to their neighbors and deliver enough fruit and goat meat (since the Odin Villagers are accustomed to it) to last them until the next harvest is done for only a few red rupees.
They left as heroes. Heroes of today. Heroes of tomorrow. But not heroes of the next day, for the village would forget it when the next harvest comes. Even though a corpse feeds voracious vultures, the body will soon become one of the earth, leaving the bones to be buried in the sands.
A trip from the Razzet village to the Odin village usually takes about a day and a half, and if you’re going back, then that sometimes takes three days if you’re not keeping a fast paste. Along with all this, taking a winding trip through the old abandoned Kokiri Forest twice is pretty muggy at these times, so expect to be worn out and grungy when returning in a situation like this!
These two farmers were just that when returning to their own land from this aggravating journey; filthy and tired. Dirt stained their clothing and leather boots. They left their buggy with the Odin villagers since they had no use for it, and Alogo, their horse, already had his share of labor before hearing the news. All they wanted was a hot bath and some shut-eye.
As they walked across the bridge, which swayed more then it froed, the younger man, with waved hair over his Hylian pointed ears and having staring brown eyes that would match a Deku Tree, looked up at the wooden sign at the end of the bridge. Written in the Hylian Language, with trademark angled, boxed letters, it said "Entrance to the Razzet Village less than half a mile away." The man smiled gratefully. He was finally home.
The boy always enjoyed the warm springs here in the valleys. The meat filled his belly and the fruit tasted so good on his tongue, and no matter if there are storms or lightning or floods, the world always seemed bright in his eyes.
Beyond the bridge lies a rock-surrounded gorge. Cypress trees grew on top of the stones and engulfed everything behind it. Dirt trails lead through the gorge to the village. Grass surrounded the trails like bees in a hive. Right of the bridge, water descends from the sacred waterfall of all the villages here, forming a small pool that shines in the sunlight.
They finally landed on solid ground and stoped, relieved of being off that forsaken bridge. No matter who it is (Especially Gorons for the matter, with their incredible weight), it never felt like walking across twenty feet; it felt like crossing twenty miles.
The older traveler was exhausted, bending to catch his breath. His bald head shimmered in the sunlight. His brown goatee and mustache drenched with sweat. His green, cut sleeved working shirt torn. His black trousers stained with dirt. Needless to say, to him, it wasn't his best trip he had.
After rubbing the bridge of the nose of Agolo, hearing his rough breathing and his hoof beats pounding on the grass-field ground to halt, the younger traveler walked to the older one, patted him calmly on his back.
The older traveler looked up at him. "We're here, lad," said the man lowly with his kind and gentle but war-veteran like voice, painstakingly bending back up, The younger man just nodded. He tiredly returned back to Agolo. Never before has the boy seen his mentor this worn out. Maybe it's his age? Maybe not or so.
While checking the pockets on the harness upon Agolo, he pondered on how anyone could find anything in this slab of leather and silk and items. Still, it was a small thing to notice. He shooked his head pokily and continued on trying to find the rupee pouch.
The older one had no intention of waiting. Reaching the pool, he set down, fleetly removing his boots, clearing the outside calls of the boy from his mind, not even bothering to hear his voice.
"Come on, Rusl. We’re almost there," said the younger man, not bothering to look back. Rusl still ignored him, too focused on removing his boots and raising his pant-legs.
Rusl raised his right cuff when he stopped. He looked at the end of the cuff with squinted eyes, elevating it to be above the water, as if checking each single strand of silk with the eyes of a hawk. Finally, he raised them, slowly plucked his feet in the water, stopping a few times, until they reached the peak of their reach. The spring water felt warm enough to keep the visitor content, but cold enough to relax the visitor. He wasn't planning on going anywhere soon.
The man turned his head back after strapping the last pouch, tired and confused of what his mentor was performing. What is he doing? He wondered.
"Rusl?" he said curiously, turning his body to face him. He wasn't sure if he was either cleaning his face, or planning on bathing there.
Rusl finished watering his face, removing the sweat off his forehead and erased the dirt on his mustache and goatee from a dark brown to a light brown with some grey, then just sat there for a moment. Judging by his expressions, the boy thought, he must have had water shot up his nose.
"Young man," said Rusl with a soft voice, gesturing his hand to come forward, "come here."
The boy protested, "But we need to hurry. We're almost--"
"Nonsense!" Rusl anticipated, putting his hands on his knees, "We have all the time in the world! Besides, we would not want to come early on our own party now, would we?" He smiled a bright smile, able to cheer a depression patient.
The young man gave back a smile, but it was an impatient and quick smile, a smile that could sadden a man. Rusl chuckled at this rebound.
Taking a few steps towards the pool next to Rusl, he stopped, thinking of what he was doing. "But this is a sacred landmark!" he protested, rightly so, "Only officials can--"
"And I am an official, am I not?" Rusl corrected, giving a quick frown to a long smug, "Now get your butt over here before I force it." He patted down on the ground next to his left side, seeing the satisfying look on the young man's disappointed face.
The boy's white, puffed-sleeve shirt was in shambles. His brown breaches were covered with mud. Having second thoughts, he thought a little water could help him take a breath for once.
Sighing, he began to sit goron style with his legs wrapped around the other. Rusl is anticipating something, the young man realized, for he was staring with his eyebrow up with a few nods. The games up, the young man thought. He impatiently removed his boots, dipping them into the crystal-clear pool that cleared his mind. Now he knows why Rusl brought him here, or so he thought.
He sighed. His mind was clearing, calming down, forgetting everything. He heard Rusl silently laughing; so silent, a fox couldn't hear. Looking at Rusl, the boy glared at him. Rusl's face was too focused on the waterfall, hearing the crashing and the splashing.
"You know," said Rusl, "People have a tendency to stay here for a while, and I plan on being the longest." The boy turned his head towards Rusl.
Yes, the young man said to himself, and I have a tendency to sleep after one of our adventures, which I'm feeling right now. I better think of something quick...
"Unfortunately, the sun's almost up. We will be leaving, soon," the boy said from the top of his head.
Rusl was caught surprised, his eyes shot up so quick that he started seeing stars. He lost track of what time it was during the day.
"Oh, yes! I forgot! Must have lost my focus on the sun," Rusl glanced at the young man, "Still, there is next time to be the longest..." He stared more closely at his face, his eyes looking so hard that they felt like they're dialating, "It looks like you have some mud stuck on your face. By the cheek. We would not want to be looking like pigs when we reach the village."
"Oh." He forgot about the cold liquid on his cheek that he reckoned to be mud. His mind was off track that day.
Rubbing the dirt off his face, he let the mud fall into the water. Staring down at it, he saw the power of the spring with awe.
The mud dropped into the pool, rippling the water. It flowed, descended, spewed like ink in holy water. The mud then slowly dissipated, cleansed itself until the water was as clear as the sunlight.
He watched with an opened mouth, impressed by the awe inspiring power, with Rusl's apparent joy at watching his expressions. Winning over his apprentice three times seemed a blast for him, and he wasn't finished yet.
"That is the thing about the Sages' Springs - They cleanse just about anything that is considered darkness, whether that be dirt, blood, sweat, or anything that is... dark. That's about what I can say," said Rusl.
" 'Sages' Springs?' " asked the boy, looking curiously back at Rusl.
Rusl positioned his body to where he can feel comfortable. "Why, yes. The springs that the Hero of Trials created by saving the Six Sages," started Rusl, leveraging his arm on his knee and putting his knuckle under his chin, "Have you not heard of our legends?"
"I have..." The young man said, partly answering. Rusl's right eyebrow shot up, foreshadowing half his face, as if expecting more, "Well, I heard bits and pieces... Why?"
Rusl grinned. He very well expected this. He never explained the legends early in his life, what, with the military training and the Hylian Civil War that was caused by the so-called "Interlopers" that ended seventeen years ago.
"Well, would you like to hear?" asked Rusl.
The boy just turned his face from him, his face showing the feeling of being beaten yet again. But it would still be an honor to hear a story passed down by generations, especially from his mentor.
"Long ago - before you and I were born - the universe was in chaos. Nothing was in order. But descending from a place far too long for our eyes to see, the goddesses created this land, our world that exist today; Din cultivated the land and gave birth to this red earth. Nayru poured her wisdom and gave the spirit of law to the world. Farore gave life to this world to uphold that law.
"Their deeds done, they returned to their realm and left behind the sacred relic that is the only way to contact the goddesses, known today – and forever will be known as – the Triforce. You know this part of the legend so far, right?"
The young man answered by a slow, single nod.
"By the end of that time, there was one colossal problem from there and today…"
The boy pressed his head closer to understand.
Rusl gestured up. "The skies. Your kind, the Hylians, along with some of the other races, lived up above the clouds, safe and placed with light. Your kind’s way of life was truly blessed in those islands, while my kind suffered in the Great Flood, the land of evil on continents of the blue seas. Our lands and yours were disconnected, however, and it seemed that way for some time…
"Until one Hylian found the Skyward Sword and connected the link between us. The Hero of the Skies, they called him. After battles after battles, the lands were connected, destroying the darkness of the world. Soon, the sacred sword evolved, strengthened into the Sword of Evil’s Bane – the Master Sword.
"But the peace of the new lands was not but long. Soon, the races skirmished over who would be in control, declaring war on each other. The Hyrule Civil War began. Some races prospered, others extinct. In the end, the Hylians established their kingdom and won. And now, Hyrule was born.
"Peace endured for centuries. No race dared to threaten the other, including the Gerudos. Harmony was in place…"
Rusl’s eyed darkened with fear.
"… Until the Lord of Evil appeared…"
He tried to ragain himself after a long pause, thinking, "After the entrence to the Sacred Realm was open, he entered to gain the Triforce of Power, Din’s greatest weapon. With these powers, the sorcerer caused the Great Cataclysm, leaving behind the ruins of the old Hyrule Castle in the Sacred Grove, where the Master Sword still rests in its pedestal. The sorcerer’s name was and is and forever more will be…"
"Ganon," the young man answered with a dark look. It seemed as if seeing the name as Ganon himself.
"All hope seemed lost back then," Rusl continued, "And it seemed it would stay that way. Never have we fought such an onslaught of darkness. The ancient princess escaped with the Triforce of Wisdom, but not for long. Soon, everything seemed hopeless for Hyrule…
"Until the sun finally broke from the clouds, shinning on a warrior from out of nowhere, who held a piece of the Triforce himself. One by one, he saved each sage: one of Light, one of the Forest, one of Fire, one of Water, one of the Spirit, and one of the Shadows. Not much was known about him, but one of these sages held a very special place in his heart. A Kokiri," He pointed to the ground, "Who made this very pool. That is why the six springs around Hyrule are called the ‘Sages’ Springs."
He lost track of himself. Talking about all this was drying his throat. Watering his lips, he looked back at the boy. "Finally, in the very last battle, it showed the fate of our kingdom. Banishing Ganon to the Sacred Realm, the Hero conquered the shadows and saved our land. From that day on, he was known as the Hero of Trials. But the next day, he was nowhere to be found.
"Through ten and a half generations, Hyrule rebuilt itself. Hyrule Castle was moved to where it is today, standing strong and proud. It turned into the Golden Age of Hyrule. Through decades after decades, light all ways shinned. But, yet again, a war was spreading.
"Nineteen years ago, the Bulblins, the Dinolfos, the Moblins, the Gerudos, and other beings that were once Ganon’s minnions were summoned by three beings of darkness, so dark that they were clouded, known as the Interlopers. They wielded dark magic never seen in this world. From bodies torn apart to the summoning of wicked creatures, they were nothing this land has seen. This was the time of the second Hyrulian Civil War.
"For three long years, they have been in war with our Knights of Hyrule. Battle after battle, both armies won and lost. But at last, the final battle came to the doorsteps of Hyrule Castle itself. Castle Town Market was in ruins, but the war ended with the banishment of the Interlopers. This was not without a price, however. The four leaders of the Knights of Hyrule sacrificed their lives to seal the Interlopers away in a realm that shall forvever be their punishment. I was there in those three years of war.
"It was night when I returned home. My wife Uli kissed me in joy once I entered the door. She never felt such joy since I returned, neither did it. Tears fell from both of our eyes. Resting, we let the hours away from the rainy storm…"
"And that is when I heard the cry of a newborn. I jumped out of our bed and pulled the door open, only to find a child helpless on the steps. I inspected the youth to find it was a Hylian. The village searched high and low for the mother. No trace was found from her. That day, I found you."
He stalled, thought of all the times they were as mentor and apprentice. If he chose a being to be in a war, he would choose him.
"For seventeen long years, I watched over you," Rusl continued, gesturing his hands in truth, "For seventeen long years, I trained you. For seventeen long years, you have become our village’s best citizen, and you have not disappointed me. None of us were disappointed." He rested his hands on his lap. The atmosphere turned to a near-evening clear, making the boy’s hair shine and removing the shadows on his cresses, "You still have that handsome from the day I first meet you."
The young man was surprised to hear this. He felt he never deserved such praise. He was wild when he was younger, daring and bold. One day, he thought back at his times and soon understands what life is much more like. He revised himself to a calm, patient type of person, the way he was today.
"But... But Rusl," the boy uttered, "I should not be praised by such words. I cause more—"
"That’s the thing about you!" Rusl interrupted with a pure, strong voice, "You’re a natural born leader! You learn quick, you make right and quick decisions, you think straight, you’re confident, you’re even a great follower! The problem is that if one thing of trouble happens, you focus too much on it. You used to be bold and confident when you were younger, but now you focus too much on your past and now it effects you! Am I right?"
The young man closed his eyes. He was beaten again, but it was not in agitation. It was a quirky, but relaxing feeling.
"Am I right, Link?" Rusl asked, showing a half-smile with his lips glimmered in the light.
Link opened his eyes, nodding once to show him he’s right. These words would mean a lot for him later in his life. Much more then what it would seem right now.
Agolo whined. He was anxious of returning home, but the long wait made him tired. It has been a long two days for him, just as long as the Link and Rusl.
Link looked back at Agolo, while Rusl stared up at the orange eye in the east.
"The sun is up," Rusl said with haste, looking back at Link, "We have better get going." After getting his feet out of the water and putting his boots on, he attempted to get up, but the back pain from sitting to long caught up to him, but, slowly, he rised. Reaching Agolo, he rubbed the bridge of his nose, calming him to a still.
Link was lost in his own relaxing world. The warmth of the spring travelled across his body. Usually, people call this "Spring Fever" because of how the mystical and captivating the powers of the springs can do to one. Who could ever resist something that is more powerful then a full cup of Zoranic wine?
It took a couple of calls from Rusl to get his attention. Finally getting out of the spring, he strapped his boots and followed them through a large trail.
When the last hoof beats stopped, all that was left was the whisperingwind and the thundering of crashing water.
I wouldn’t call this my best piece of work, but I will try to fix anything that doesn’t seem right. Thank you, everyone!
© Copyright 2016 Bellator. All rights reserved.
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