Arrow conducted himself into the inn. He spoke to the clerk, Chessica, who kindly gave him one of their most comfortable beds. He went to the back of the place, folded his tunic and placed it aside. He laid down on the bed and proceeded to check his slate. He looked at some recipes to make a menu for the next time Albi was woken up from his recovery. Salmon Meunière, Mushroom Skewers, Fried Wild Greens, Meat-Stuffed Pumpkin and more went through his mind. Slowly, the images on the slate became blurred and distant. The warm light beside him had finally tempted the last of his senses to sleep. She Sheikah Slate swung up and down in top of his tummy, and so also fluttered his mind into the land of his imagination.
Arrow dreamed if himself feeding his horses. However, something appeared odd. Sidon, the Prince of the zora, was there, too. Apparently he wanted to eat his horses’ carrots. They tussled over a basket of these vegetables, and suddenly, Sidon tried to convince him of giving him the carrots with a kiss. Link called out his name, and uncomfortably enough for him, he did so not only in his dream, but he whispered it in real life.
A couple of hours had gone by. Albi and Ravio were already back from their walk and would not wake him up because, why would they? They were enjoying watching him sleep. After a few minutes, they decided to finally relieve him of the image of his slumber.
· Arrow—whispered Albi—Arrow, this was supposed to be my nap time. Arrow!
He was fast asleep.
· Arrow, Sidon is here!
· What!?—he screamed violently, as the Sheikah Slate was pushed off the bed by his sudden sitting—where is he!?
· He is not here. You kept saying his name in your sleep, though—explained Albi.
· Oh, Albi—he said having realized where he was.
· You’re hard, Arrow.
· What?!—he looked instinctively between his legs.
· I was joking. You’re fine, heh-heh!—he giggled.
· You’re right, he blushes and his eyes look bigger—said Ravio.
· Why are you two teasing me?
· Because of Sidon—said Albi as he elongated Sidon’s name in a bothersome manner—is he the man you are in love with?
· Why would you assume that!?
· You actually thought your body was reactive.
Arrow returned both Albi and Ravio a stern look.
· I won’t be there next time Ravio mentions something about your body—he got off bed, picked up Albi, and placed him on it.
· Thank you. And sorry about all that.
He did not reply.
· Oh, are you truly upset? I am sorry—said Albi genuinely.
· Ah—Arrow resigned—I cannot get mad with you. If anything, I’m glad you’re in a good mood.
· He’s in a good mood—said Ravio—but he’s tired now. That’s why we came back.
· Is that so, Albi?
· Yes. It feels almost as if I’m going back to being sick.
· I think it’s going to be time to return him, Arrow—said Ravio.
· I understand. Keep him company while he falls asleep. I’ll take it from there.
Arrow stepped outside. At the same time, he changed back into his blue tunic. He sat on the wooden steps which led into the inn. There, he waited for Ravio. He remained thoughtful of his own relationships, realizing how his busy schedule as Zelda’s appointed knight had left him with poor life of his own. He did not resent it in any way. However, it was a sudden discovery that kept transiting his mind. He was interrupted by the wood squeaking behind him. He knew it was the person he awaited.
· How did it go?—he asked.
· Everything went better than expected. He’s asleep, and I don’t think he’ll wake up today.
· I’ll make sure to take him back.
· I know, but you need this—he gave him his forgotten slate—it fell off when Albi woke you up.
· How could I let it go unnoticed?—he took the device and put it back in its place.
· If anything, I want to thank you for everything you are doing.
· It’s not a problem.
· I know that when you humans are friends, specially a race as kind as the Hylian, you prefer not to make business. That doesn’t work for me. Tell me how I can repay you.
· Repay me? Ravio, I don’t need you to repay me.
· And this is what my brothers hate about your people. I need you to give me a quantity, expenses. I need to know how you price these services. Certainly, you were paid as Zelda’s knight, were you not?
· Sure, but I’m doing this because I want to help Albi and you. I’m not someone you hired as a nurse or something.
Ravio stared it Arrow, displeased.
· Ugh, fine… Make me an offer.
· I would think it fair for me to cover any expenses you make. Plus, the time these require. If you have to travel, I’ll pay you for the distance. Whatever you buy, I’ll pay for it, too. I can keep track of everything through the slate you carry.
· If that makes you comfortable, I’m in.
· I’d advice that you make wise decisions when using meat in your cooking. I know hunting is cheaper, but if Albi is ever in need of things being faster, purchase.
· I’ll also pay you an extra fee every time you take your shirt off.
· Why?—asked Arrow, slightly surprised.
· He likes it!—replied Ravio—and I’m not jealous. Just make him happy.
· Fine, fine.
· So, it’s a deal?—Ravio extended his hand at Arrow.
· Um, deal.
They both shook hands. The deal was made.
· Why do I feel like I just signed a contract?
· Because you did. However, you are my creditor. I’d be the one at a loss here if the contract was not fulfilled.
· I see.
· Here—Ravio handed out Arrow 2000 rupees.
· What are these for?
· You’ve taken care of him for 3 days now. It’s called a retroactive payment.
· I see.
· And here—he handed out another 1000.
· And these?
· That’s an advancement. Just trust me, Link.
· Thank you.
· Just make sure Albi knows you wanted this. I don’t want him to think I’m doing it for the gold. I’m doing it because I care—said Arrow, anxiously.
· Don’t worry about it. He knows how I work. He’ll understand.
Sky found himself looking into the void that had become his wander across the illusion of the Dark World. He sat at the ledge of Skyloft, swinging his legs back and forth with his gaze following the clouds. He wondered if it all had been a dream, but he refused to let go of the memory. He knew somewhere out there his friends needed him, but it was as true the fact of him unable to escape the fantasy.
He walked uptown to the Statue of the Goddess, Hylia. However, the Master Sword echoed no glow, nor words of wisdom.
· Blondie, what’s wrong?—asked Pipit as he met Sky within the statue.
· Everything is wrong. And please, don’t call me names. You’re not real either.
· Link, really. You are worrying me.
· Am I?
· Are you sure these people you talk about really exist?
· What I think is my own problem.
Sky walked away from the man who resembled his future husband. He clawed through the soil just to realize it, too, appeared real. With no answers, yet hopeful, he sat cross-legged on the grass.
· Hylia, I know no matter my dwelling here, your power is greater and holier than darkness itself. Please, listen, and grant me some of your wisdom.
He meditated. He listened as the wind blew by. The breeze tickled the branches of the trees, but no birds where there to be heard.
· The birds, they’re gone—realized Sky—Why would they ignore the illusion of Loftwings?
He ran back to the edge of the floating island. He whistled. No one came.
· There is no illusion of Red, or any of the patrol.
A chime echoed below the clouds.
· Hylia, I hope this is your calling.
Sky jumped down the island. Hylia had guided him safely to the surface before, and surely, he believed that she would do him no wrong now. As he approached the lower sky, he noticed he was not feeling dizzy. Like paper, the illusion began to break with the weight of his body pressed against it. It ripped open. Sky landed back into the Dark World. He was not unharmed, however. The crash had placed the weight of his body over his right arm, slamming it against the the floor. In pain, he got up and stared back at the bubble where the illusion was held. Rapidly, it banished.
Sky looked around and noticed neither Twi or Time were there. He tested his arm only to render it useless. The engagement ornament he had concealed within his garbs began to glow with major strength. He pulled it out, concerned about other creatures figuring his whereabouts. To his surprise, the beaming golden light from within it banished the darkness around his feet.
· Nobody would have found us—he held the feather closely—everything in this world would have evaded us—he sled the necklace off his neck and wrapped it around his wounded arm—Oh, Hylia. You knew it all along. Now, I need to find at least one of them.
Aware of his disadvantages, Sky ran across the land with no clear direction. As the shadows around him banished, he expected either Time or Twi to be revealed before him somehow. His wandering led him not to one of them, but to the discovery of the kniL they had met before. It was Eclipse, Albi’s third iteration. Sky hid himself behind a wall and covered his lit arm in an attempt to listen to the boy in a big, Victorian-styled dress. Soon, he remembered how the kniL speak an inverted form of the Hylian tongue. Words would do him no good, but observing the scene would. He saw in Eclipse’s grasp a glass heart container filled with Glow. He then noticed Murk, Engi’s reflection, take it from him as he received instructions. The heart was almost filled to the brim, and the presence of the warm light appeared to appease the kniL. The heart was taken into a large dark replica of the train Engi conducted. Eclipse was left behind, but he seemed to be still carrying on with a plan. Sky kept looking until the boy banished. He ran to the opposite side, trying to reengage in vision with the train. He was able to catch a glimpse of its backside. However, he realized he would not be able to reach it.
Believing himself safe, he left the hiding spot to continue the journey. He was unsure of the kniL’s behavior towards the light on his arm, so he would rather avoid them than engage in a possibly fatal encounter. Not so many steps ahead, he was found by a large fat black pig wearing a little crown. Surprisingly, he did not shun the light. Sky concluded the pig was not a dark creature, but rather something from his own side of the world. The pig sniffed him a noticed on him a familiar scent. The huge blob pushed him away repeatedly. A voice was heard from a distance. It was Shadow. Link, the pig, ran rapidly to the source of said voice, distracting the boy so he would not encounter the man he had just met.
· I must be near the kniL’s gathering—concluded Sky—with as many as them, I may be meeting my demise here.
Sky had now become anxious. He was worried for his own sake and the one of his fellow Link. He had walked too far within the depths of the Dark World into the kniLs’ home. Either heading back or proceeding would prove hazardous.
· I can smell thy fear from miles away.
He was found.
· What were thy thoughts coming all the way here on thy own? Wherefore should thou have gotten?—asked Dusk.
· I am lost.
· Well, that being the case, what is the plan? If thou remain here any further, surely my kin shall find thee and deliver thy fate.
· I understand.
No words were exchanged.
· Thou are not only lost, thou have also lost.
· Some time ago—Sky began—Gloom encountered me and Windy. He asked for some of my Glow. If any of it is within thee, thou shall do me no harm.
Dusk became uneasy.
· Please, help me away from this place.
· Kh’! Asking for my help? Help enough is my mercifulness.
· Please, Dusk. Or at least telleth me of my own. Where are Twi and Time?
· Wait, they came with thee?—he was clearly surprised.
· We got lost almost as soon as we stepped in here. We walked for a while, and then they were gone.
· I am afraid thy walk was not a short one. In this land, time is relative. Certainly, thou and thine wandered into the forest. If so, how dids’t thou escape the illusion?
· Hylia guided me here.
· Thou were lucky. If truly Time and Twi became lost there, thy pendulum is swinging short. Findeth them and freeth them from the illusion. If not, they shall perish consumed by the void.
Dusk then noticed Sky’s defeated semblance.
· I am afraid my arm is not fit for battle. I must seek further help.
· Become my prisoner. In being so, the others will not suspect of thee, and I shall find thee the way back to the World of Light. But remembereth, beeth back soon.
On the other side of the looking glass, Green and his colored forms read through the books they had acquired. The Hyrule Historia, although filled with interesting information, did not offer enough on Glow, the kniL, the Aurora, or beyond. They switched The Interpreter between their hands continuously and made notes, although most of them were questions. One of them, Red, in the lacy dress, was distracted by the image before him. From the mirror, emerged Sky, violently crashing against the floor. Clearly, he was hurt.
· Holy Four Sword! Guys, gather—said Green and became one.
He ran towards Sky, helped him up, and laid him on the couch. He checked the multiple bruises on his face, then he noticed the way he held his arm. Green let go of his Violet side, who rapidly called Lieb from the room above. Steps were heard coming downstairs, they approached Sky. The prince sat by Sky’s side as Vio pulled off the man’s gauntlet and folded up his sleeve. As many times before, Lieb used his only hand to massage his healing into the wounded’s arm. Sky felt relieved of his pain.
· You are lucky it did not break. Vhat vas ze problem?
· I landed on it. All my body pushed it against the ground.
· I don’t recommend swinging any sords in this condition, not today.
· I am sorry, but I cannot allow that suggestion.
· Vhy is zat?
Sky placed both hands over his face as his body hunched down.
· Time and Twi, they’re not viss you. Vhere are zey?
· What do you mean lost!?—shouted Green—Oh, no. This isn’t good. Windy’s gone, and now them, too?
· Kinder, calm yourself—said Lieb—Sky, vhat proceeds?
· I need help. I need Ravio. Can we call him?
· Well, you see, he came here before and took the power from the Bubble—said Green as the held up the crystal ball in his hand.
· Not now—Sky resigned.
· It appears to be a real problem—added Lieb—vhere are zey?
· I’m not sure, but they will be eaten by darkness if they wandered in to the same place I did. I am running out of time—said Sky clearly frustrated.
He got up, pulled down his sleeve, put on back his gauntlet, and secured in the sword he carried.
· I am leaving. I thank thy healing, Lieb.
· Sky, at least take the child.
· I do not wish to lose someone else in there, let alone four children.
Sky headed back to the mirror. Before he could cross, the door beside it opened. It was Engi.
· Geez—he noticed everyone’s look—what happened?
· Time and Twi are gone. Sky’s hurt. Windy’s not here either. Sky needs Ravio, but we lost contact. He´s basically walking to his death now.
· Green!—said Lieb.
· What?—Engi exclaimed—Sky, man, you’re not really going it alone, are you?
· I have been left with no other option.
· You say you need Ravio, right? I can call him.
Sky’s expression was converted into a smile.
· Oh, please do!
Engi pulled a card from his pocket. He flicked it onto the floor. The card depicted the same purple rabbit hood displayed in Arrow’s Sheikah Slate.
· Ravio, could you come, please?—asked Engi.
From the card rose the figure they knew as Ravio, followed by confetti, of course.
· What can I do for—Ravio sensed the tension in the room, and preferred to use his reading powers instead of finishing his question—I see. Sky, I’m not the fighting kind. If anything, I’d keep the kniL off you, but that’s it.
· That would give me time to find the others.
· I have a better idea! Wait here.
Ravio jumped back into the Calling Card. Lieb, Green, Engi and Sky exchanged confused looks. Sky began to become exasperated; a few minutes had gone by already. Then, from the card, exploded into the room a young man only Engi knew from before. Then, followed Ravio.
· Bam! I’m back. Here’s the best plan.
Arrow stood up and looked at Sky, then looked back. He stared at Green, and then at Lieb. Engi waved his hand at him. After, he looked back at Ravio and Sky.
· Ravio?—asked Arrow.
· Don’t worry, they’re harmless—said Ravio—Take him Sky.
· Dost thou carry a weapon with thee?
· Um, sure—he was distracted by Sky’s vocabulary—Many, actually.
· He comes with swords, shields, elixirs, and food included. He also carries bombs and arrows—said Ravio presenting Arrow as if he were a product—Plus, he can run pretty fast and climb almost any surface.
Arrow was simply embarrassed to be the center of attention.
· And—Ravio continued—he can call me, too. Plus, he carries the Sheikah Slate, a source of light. He won’t get lost.
· Ah—Sky sighed in relief—I thank thee, Hylia.
· If this is Hylia’s plan, I’m glad to help—responded Arrow.
Sky’s face became lit in excitement. None of the other Link knew or spoke about Hylia. Together, Arrow and Sky embarked into the dark.
· Oh, and by the way—said Ravio as he picked up the Calling Card—I’m so glad I gave this to you, Engi—he returned it.
· I just wanted to make sure I’d keep in touch with Albi and you. How is he?
· A lot better. He’s sleeping now, though.
· Of course you wanted to know about Albi. You have the biggest crush on him!—said Green.
Engi crossed his arms.
· I just care about him!
· What will you do when he’s all healthy and looking super cute?
Engi’s heart skipped and he blushed.
· He’s just my friend!
Green kept teasing the little engineer. Lieb sat cross-legged on the couch, and soon he was joined by his partner Peap, who was accompanied by their little bird. Being the older than the other boys, they found their “discussion” amusing.
· You just keep teasing me because you like Albi!
· Okay, you know what?
· Maybe I do; a little—confessed Green.
· Fine. I kind of like him, too.
Both boys stared at Ravio, who was still in the room.
· Oh, um… Sorry, Ravio. I mean, geez—he placed his hand over his forehead—why are we even having this conversation? Albi already has you.
· That’s true—added Green.
· Eh—he shrugged—I don’t mind if you both like him. Besides, even if he liked you back, he’s only ever mated with me. That makes me more special—Ravio smiled and returned home through a portal.
· Did you just hear that comeback?
· Sure did. Ravio is a savage, and he doesn’t even know it.
· He sure rubbed that Goddess state on our faces—said Engi as he sat on a backward chair—I mean, I’m assuming you’re the same.
· Sure thing. I’m younger than you are.
· Oh, kids, that’s not a bad thing—intruded Peap—you’ll find the right person one day.
· And Engi—continued Lieb—vere you not supposed to be taking care of ze train?
· Oh, that. Yeah.
· What happened, dude?
· Well, it’s stuck. A boulder fell on its side, and now it’s all ugly. I didn’t say anything because of you guys’ faces when I got here.
· Shoot!—expressed Green—Man, let’s hope Sky and the new guy get here soon with Time and Twi so we can take care of that other business.
Continues in part 7
Written by Kim-SukLey