It didn’t take him long to find the girls, as they were waiting for him right outside of the stadium, their excitement visibly bubbling over. “Hey girls!” He said happily before getting tackled by them.
“You Won!” They shouted joyfully as they hugged him.
“Yeah, but I was close to losing.” He said as he lifted them effortlessly thanks to his new gloves. “But I came out on top again!”
“Just like the legendary hero!” Ruto replied happily with a pirouette.
“Yeah, you must have the same ability the hero had to figure out problems in battle.” Ruju deduced as she patted Link on the back. “Not bad, hero, not bad.”
“Thanks girls, but it honestly feels more like luck than anything,” He replied with a hint of embarrassment due to all their praise. “Anyways, I need to get something to eat, that potion they gave me tasted terrible!” He said as he stuck out his tongue in disgust.
“OH, I know where we can eat for free!” Ruto said as she pulled Link and Ruju along. A short trip later, they three arrived at an expensive looking restaurant that appeared to be rather busy. “Welcome to, “Royal Poisson!”
“Great call princess, this place is packed,” Ruju stated as she motioned to the line at the entrance. “So much for your free meal.”
“Oh yee of little faith,” Ruto replied in a smug way as she strutted up to the podium with her royal heir of confidence. “Garcon, table for three please!” She said sweetly with a clap of her hands.
“Right away Princess Ruto,” A refined waiter with a French accent replied as he grabbed three menus. The staff as well as the customers all took a bow to the princess upon her arrival. “If you’ll please follow me.” He said as he parted the velvet rope for Ruto, Link, and Ruju to enter.
“Wow, this is different.” Link stated as he took note of all the people bowing.
“You should be used to people showing respect as a noble, it’s even more grander when you’re with royalty.” Ruto explained as she and Ruju winked to one another.
When they were seated, they were immediately served appetizers as well as brought a variety of drinks, all non-alcoholic, as they were obviously still minors.
“Is there anything I can get you and your guest your highness,” The waiter asked kindly as he held the menu open for her. “We shall make sure it is prepared right away.”
“I’ll be having the usual if that’s okay, but as for my guests, I’m sure they’ll need some time to decide.” Ruto explained as she waved the menu away.
“Pasta please,” Ruju replied as she pointed at the list. “And make sure there’s plenty of meat in it.”
“Of course m’lady.” The waiter replied with a nod of confirmation. “And what will the young master be having?”
“I love seafood,” Link replied as he looked over the menu. “Fish, crab, shrimp, calamari, oysters, mussels, anything aquatic!” He said as he noticed a large variety of seafood choices available. “I rarely get to eat it, but it’s my favorite!”
“Very good sir,” The waiter said with a pleased smile. “As you are guests of the Royal Zora Family, you will not be disappointed with our dishes, would you like to try a sample platter of our finest choices?”
“I’d love to, but can I also get an order of crab legs too please?” Link asked hopefully with an excited smile.
“Why of course m’lord.” He replied with a bow before leaving.
“My family provides this restaurant with all it’s fish and other sea based ingredients, so we get to eat for free whenever we come,” Ruto explained with a proud smile. “We even have this special table reserved for royals!”
“That’s so awesome!” Link replied happily, before he took notice of the people watching them. “But I do feel a little bad that they are putting everyone else on hold just to serve us.”
“It’s okay, I’ll make it up to them.” Ruto replied with a wave of her hand. She then stood up, ringing her glass with a spoon. “I would like to make a toast!” She said, getting everyone’s attention. “On this day the people of the Zora Nation have found their one true Representative, and I couldn’t be happier with the hero that the Goddess has presented to me. I would like everyone to give a round of applause to the wonderful, amazing, astounding, the heroic, the-”
“Can you get on with it.” Ruju whispered with her hand up to her mouth.
“Oh, right,” She replied with a sweatdrop. “Anyway, I would like for everyone to give a round of applause to my representative, Link!” She said as she pulled Link up beside her. There was an overwhelming response to this as everyone, staff and patrons alike, began applauding joyously. “And to celebrate, I welcome all current patrons, the soon to be patrons, as well as the staff to join me in a drink, courtesy of the royal family!” She added, eliciting a mighty cheer of delight from everyone. All guests were served a drink befitting their age group as they all stood to join the princess and her guest’s in the toast. Link could tell that this made Ruto very popular at the moment.
“To Link!” Everyone said before taking a drink.
“That was pretty cool of you Ruto.” The young man said with a joyful smile on his face. “I bet everyone really appreciates it too.”
“Yes, well, what can I say, I have excellent charisma!” She replied before leaning in with a clever look. “But I must say that I am very excited as well, to learn that you love Fish is quite interesting.” She said, giving the word fish a little more emphasis. “Any particular kind you prefer the most?” She asked in a sultry way.
Before Link could answer, Ruju slammed her hands on the table. “Okay pond scum, I’ve had just about enough, I know you’re doing all this to make me look bad while making yourself look good, and it’s not fair!” She said as she pointed an accusing finger at her rival. “Link is also the representative of the Gerudo Tribe and it’s every bit as important as him being your representative.”
“I never said it wasn’t, desert weed,” She replied with a smirk. “I just failed to mention it all, my apologies.”
Ruju was about to snap at this, but Link decided to jump in before that happened. “Now, now girls, can we please calm down. Let’s not fight about this. Both Races are equally important to me, and I think we should celebrate them both with equal respect, okay?” He added, trying to get the girl’s to come to a mutual understanding.
“Deal.” They said with a sigh.
“Very well,” Ruto stated before standing up once more. “I am sorry to disturb you further, but we would also like to extend this toast to my….partner as well,” She said with slight hesitation, trying to think of an adequate word to refer to Ruju, as she motioned for her rival to stand. “Princess Ruju of the Gerudo Tribe would like to share a few words.” She added before sitting down.
Ruju cleared her throat before starting. “Right, as my “Partner” has explained, I too would like to acknowledge The extraordinary heroism of Link, as he has been chosen to be the Representative of the Gerudo Tribe as well,” She stated, eliciting a collective gasp as well as whispered conversations that were almost immediately halted once she began speaking again. “Link has proven his worth as both a warrior and a man, and I, no-We are proud to have him as our Representative, Glory to Link, and may his Blade always shine with the Divine Light of the Goddess!” She declared proudly, getting everyone pumped.
“Here, Here!” They replied before all sharing in another toast.
“Wow, that was beautiful, I feel so honored!” Link said as he couldn’t help but smile from ear-to-ear. He really enjoyed the way things were going, but the moment was suddenly interrupted as they were visited by his last opponent, Falcon. He ignored the waiters and staff as he walked by everyone up to them. He had a stern look on his face as he now stood before them with his wings folded.
Ruto held her hand up to halt the staff from attempting to intrude. “I would assume that you would not be so rudely interrupting our meal unless you had a reason.”
Falcon wordlessly nodded in affirmation, before clearing his throat. “I would like to speak with the young noble,” He said as he motioned towards Link with his wing. “If I may?”
“What is it?” Link asked as he placed his drink down and rose to meet him.
“I want to congratulate you on your victory, you have bested me fairly in the arena,” He said, although sounding gravely disappointed by this fact. “However, with that being the case, I cannot simply accept this, so from today on I hereby dub you as my rival!” He declared in a dramatic fashion.
“What, but why?” Link asked, both shocked and confused by this.
“I have lost my honor, and until I can defeat you honorably and reclaim it, you will remain my sworn rival!” He said before holding out a bow and quiver full of arrows. “I present you with these as a reward for your skill, but know that I will challenge you again one day, and I will win.”
Link accepted the gifts that were practically forced into his arms, yet the situation still left him confused. The feathery archer then bowed before promptly taking his leave. “Is this normal?” Link whispered to the girls as they watched him exit the restaurant.
“I think I heard about something like this before,” Ruju replied as the Rito took to the sky and vanished behind the buildings. “The Rito warriors are very prideful when it comes to combat; the elites are known to consider those they lose to their rivals, and should they be unable to defeat them, or give up on beating their rival, they will be considered disgraced and will be labeled a failure as a warrior. It might have something to do with the fact that they believe rivals force them to get stronger or something.”
“That sounds like it’s going to cause me a lot of problems.” Link replied with a sigh. ‘Better not tell my parents about this, they’ll probably lose it.’
Before they could discuss this further the waiters returned with their meals. “Whoa, that was fast!” Ruju replied as they placed the plates down.
“Of course, we pride ourselves on our service!” The waiter replied with a bow. “Bon appetit!”
Link was blown away by his meal as well, all types of seafood he was both familiar and unfamiliar with were laid before him. “Whoa, I never knew there were so many types of choices!” He stated as he tried to decide where to start.
“Of course, the ocean is full of a wide variety of life forms, each with its distinct flavor and texture, and I can assure you that I will only serve you the best!” Ruto explained in a caring and sweet fashion.
“Thank you Ruto, this looks so amazing, I don't know where to begin.”
“I suggest the crab, they are quite delicious!” The Zora Princess suggested as she held up a sizable crab arm.
“Ooh, I love crab!” Ruju commented as she reached for one, only for her hand to be smacked away by Ruto’s wrist fin. “Ow, what's the big idea?”
“Hands off, this is Link’s meal, you have your own!” Ruto replied as she watched her rival nurse her hand.
“It's fine Ruto, really, besides, there's too much here for me to eat on my own; plus I really love to share with my friends!” He explained with a joyful smile. He looked down at the crab arm he had, ready to eat it, only to find the meat to be gone from one of the sides he was holding. ‘Huh, that's weird.’ He thought to himself as he brushed it off to eat what was still there.
“Thanks Link,” Ruju replied as she happily took one of the legs with a wink. “You're the best!”
As the ate both took turns trying to feed Link, much to his confusion as he was not familiar with the custom of girls feeding boys. By-and-by they finished their meals, and by the end they had found their appetite satisfied. As they prepared to leave Link could have sworn that he heard a familiar burp come from under the table, but when he looked below, he found no signs of anyone there. In the end he just let it go as he rushed to catch up with the girls as they made their way back.