Link stirred quietly as he slowly registered that his name was being called, letting out a small, pained yelp as the gentle shaking aggravated one of the gashes the Deity had given him. He opened his eyes and looked around, the events of the battle gradually coming back to him.
After a moment he tried to sit up, struggling for a few moments before the severe pain in his head, coupled with his exhaustion and the wounds he’d received, forced him to give up and fall back to the ground. He closed his eyes, placing a hand on his head. ‘It’s over, isn’t it? For the love of Nayru, tell me we won.’
After a moment he let his hand fall back to the ground, looking around once more are trying to make sense of what little he could see from his position. There was concern in his eyes by the time they settled on Midna. ‘You’re alright, right? Is everyone okay?’
Din stood patiently, waiting for Ruto to catch up with her. “If you don’t know the significance of our role, and why we did not fight on the front lines after this, then I don’t know what would convince you.” She said, sounding considerably serious. “And in the future..I don’t care if the Hero has an axe through his skull and is whistling showtunes, you don’t state for a second he’s going to die, or get himself killed. You certainly don’t yell it at a tense time where we have to put all of our trust in the Hero. The next time we gather, you need to remember to have a bit more tact than today. Do you understand?” She continued sternly, arms folded across her chest.
“I understand this is new for you, and I can’t recall if you remembered the Majora war or not so..I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt. But if you ever pull what you did today, I am going to give you a Salesman hello.” She warned, scowling more than a little.
Waving a hand dismissively with his head still bowed, trying to gain control of his body, the Salesman shook his head as if to say “no thanks are necessary”. After a couple more minutes of taking slow, deep breaths, he looked up and saw the look of relief on Midna’s face as Link opened his eyes.
“Woah, woah, woah,” the Salesman chided as the Hero attempted to sit up. “Easy does it… You’re in no condition to move around yet.”
After Link had settled back into the sand, the Salesman grinned a bit at his determination. When he asked if it was all over, the man’s expression dimmed a bit.
“Yes,” he said simply. “It’s over. You did very well, Link.”
Adjusting himself so he was sitting with his legs crossed in the sand, the Salesman looked around for everyone. Din and Ruto had moved away from the Sages and Vaati, who all looked to be doing alright. He looked back to Midna, who also appeared to be fine, but he figured he should let her speak for herself.
“Din, Ruto, Vaati and the Sages are all fine,” he said, smiling tiredly.
Midna stopped shaking him when he cried out. She held up her hands.
“Sorry, sorry!” she said quickly, and brushed them off on her sides.
Link settled back down, and at his question she gave him a wry smile.
“Of course we did,” she replied easily. “You—…We won.”
She looked up at the Salesman’s status report, and gazed around for herself. Aack, she should have paid more attention to the fact that Din and Ruto wandered off alone. Midna hoped they would be fine, in any case. But, yes. True to the Salesman’s words, everyone else looked okay.
“I’m fine. All I did was stand behind my barrier.”
Midna stood and turned to survey the desert. The rain was a welcome change from the glaring noonday sun, and she hadn’t gotten a proper look at the terrain yet.
“The question is are you alright to tr—”
She stopped midsentence and mid-sweep of the horizon. Shielding her eyes from the soft rain drops, she leaned forward with her other hand on her hip. At first she thought it was the wind kicking up dust, or an illusion, but…the threat was unmistakable. Something large…something dark…and something fast was definitely heading in their direction.
Midna inhaled sharply.
“And what,” she called out loud enough for their trio to hear, “is that?!” For some reason, the thought popped into her head that she was glad she was standing where she was. If another shield was necessary, she would be ready.
Ruto listened patiently as Din drilled her about her shortcomings today. Multiple times Ruto had to use all her power to keep her mouth closed and not snap in a rude manner at Din. Closing her eyes, Ruto held her breath as Din finally finished. She sighed and opened her eyes, thinking of where to start first.
“For one, I wasn’t the only one saying Link was going to get himself killed, so why in all the Sacred Realm is she drilling me? Secondly I’m not a child, I’m a princess and a leader of my race for Goddesses sakes.” But Ruto swallowed these angry thoughts and decided to let herself be truly heard for once.
“I’m really beginning to see that this isn’t my place to be anymore,” Ruto said firmly. ”I understand why we have to be on the sidelines, but it’s just difficult to do so, being a Zora. It’s true, Zoras are very headstrong and like to take care of things our way, but we’re not stupid either. I feel like I was meant for something more than just the sidelines, something has been telling me that someday, I’ll be needed at the frontlines. And I feel like that time will be coming soon. But apparently that place is not here, so I wish to return home, once everything here has been completely settled. Oh and before you call a Zora out on her fears, how about you take a dip in some ‘deep water.’ if you know what I mean.”
Without another word, Ruto turned away from Din and decided to join the others from a distance. “It’s better to not get attached before leaving,” Ruto sighed sadly. Watching the group with Link made her feel lonelier than she ever had, as her thoughts trailed to the horse ride through the desert and the talks she had with Link. No one had ever talked to her before with such kindness and interest. Truly this was not meant to be.
Quietly she trudged to the edge of the grounds and made herself comfortable as she watched the ever shifting desert sands before her. Ruto squinted her eyes as she noticed a large amount of sand getting kicked up in the distance, like something was charging here at a very fast pace.
“What is that?” Ruto gasped.
Vaati brushed himself off and caught his breath. That was quite a strain on him. He needed to stop wasting time and get the cap back. He saw Din and the fish yelling about something, the interesting imp and the boy, and then the salesman caught his eye. Little did he know but the mage had known the salesman from before and perhaps, he would be in Vaati’s future. And then he felt it. “The wind,” he said to himself. “Something’s wrong with the wind.” He raced to the oracle. The imp saw it and the fish saw it. “Prepare yourselves!” he shouted to all concerned.