The man on the horse, his eyes not as red but just as evil as the beast’s, raised a hand towards Link seemingly without even seeing him. The raising of the hand didn’t seem to serve any purpose, but Link knew that it did…and he was about to find out!
Link’s face froze with horror as he waited for something, anything, to end his life. He couldn’t move and he couldn’t run; fear had taken control of his entire body. He stood like a cornered hare realizing and awaiting its inevitable death…
Just then, the fairy hovering over his right shoulder did something he for some reason didn’t expect. It spoke. "Run, Link! Run! Get away! Come on! Come on! Go! Come on! Come on…!"
The impact of Link’s face on the floor wasn’t too painful, but it was enough to hurt Link’s pride. He groaned as he strained to lift himself from the floor, although the task proved to be quite a challenge because his legs somehow had managed to remain in his bed. But despite his struggle to get up, his didn’t forget the reason he had fallout out of his bed.
"Who’s there?" he weakly called out to answer the strange voice. He looked around as he placed himself back on his bed, but couldn’t see anyone. "Where are you?"
"Up here!" the voice declared from above.
Link massaged his stiff neck momentarily before glancing up. He was surprised to find a fairy burning a pink light flitting not too far above his head. Of course, he had seen many fairies before, including the free ones in the Lost Woods and the guardian ones of the other Kokiri. He had even talked to some free fairies several times. So he normally wouldn’t be too surprised to find a fairy flying in his house, speaking to him.
But there was one thing about this fairy that did surprise Link a great deal. Although vaguely, the fairy looked like the one from his dream...
"Who are you?" Link uttered, unable to say anything else.
"Well, that’s rude," the fairy squeaked, its glow growing brighter, a sign of intense emotion for fairies. "I don’t give my name to rude Kokiri unless they apologize."
Realizing that the fairy was obviously not in the mood for politeness, Link decided not to anger the fairy any further. Giving a delicate smile upon his lips, he scratched the back of his head and said, "You’re right, I’m sorry. I guess I was just a little…surprised at you. I didn’t mean to be rude."
The fairy’s glow remained bright for a moment before it dimmed a little and the fairy said, "Apology accepted. Now that that’s cleared up, my name’s Navi. You’re Link, right?"
Link’s eyes widened. "Yes. How did you know that?"
The fairy seemed to smile. "Every fairy in the forest knows about the boy without a fairy, wondering why the Great Deku Tree didn’t give you one."
Link blushed, dropping his eyes to the ground. He didn’t realize that every fairy in the forest knew about his "handicap", as Mido liked to call it, of not having a fairy. If all the fairies knew about it, why didn’t one offer itself as his guardian? It would’ve probably saved him a great deal of discomfort…
"…as your fairy. Hey, are you listening? What’s wrong?"
Navi’s voice brought him back to his senses, and he looked up again at the fay. "I’m sorry. I didn’t catch everything you said."
Navi’s glow intensified again. "Well, if I must, I’ll repeat myself. The Great Deku Tree wanted me to come here and tell you he has summoned you for a private audience with him. He has also assigned me as your fairy. Are you happy now?"
Despite Navi’s apparent agitation, Link couldn’t help but silently gasp. "Did you say what I think you said?" he managed.
"And what’s that?"
"That you’re to be my fairy?"
"Yes, that’s what I said," Navi replied, her wings beginning to flutter rapidly. "But if you continue to act so rudely, I’ll have to reconsider…"
"No, no, I’m sorry," Link uttered as he stood up, keeping his eyes on Navi. "It’s just that…well, I’ve always wanted a fairy because…I’ve been…well, picked on because I…didn’t have one. I’m not usually like this, but…well, I just…"
In spite of Link’s stuttering, Navi’s glow dulled slightly and her voice softened. "I understand. I’m sure it hasn’t been very pleasant to be without a fairy. But I’ll help you overcome that. Unfortunately, we’ll have to bond later. The Great Deku Tree has summoned you, and I don’t want to keep him waiting."
Link nodded. "Okay. Let me just get my things."
As Navi waited, Link strode to the table to retrieve his things. As he put his boots on and placed his long cap comfortably over his head, he eyed his new fairy and guardian several times. He noticed that she had strengthened her glow yet again. But Link didn’t think this was a glow of annoyance or impatience. This looked like a different glow, like one of worry and anxiety. Navi was obviously concerned for something, like…the Great Deku Tree…?
Something told Link to hurry up…
The Eye of Din greeted him warmly as he stepped out onto his balcony, scurried down the ladder, and headed down the path towards the Deku Tree’s meadow. As he passed by several of his friends, he managed to overhear some remarks about him. He knew it was because Navi was hovering over his shoulder…because he now had his own guardian fairy just like they did.
As he continued down the path through the village, he was about to ask Navi a question when he heard a familiar voice behind him. "Link! Hey, wait up!"
Blushing for some inexplicable reason, Link turned around to face Saria, who was running straight towards him. When she stopped a few feet shy of Link, she looked panted for only a minute before starting to speak. She didn’t even give Link a chance to say hello.
"I heard from Lilia that you’ve got your own fairy. Is this true…?"
It was then that she saw Navi, who had fluttered innocently in front of Link’s face. Saria fell silent immediately, but her face did all the talking. Her eyes lit up, her smile widened, and her cheeks changed color. Her right hand reached for her own cheek in an odd, feminine gesture.
"So it’s true," Saria said after a minute of silence of staring at Navi. "You do have a fairy. Link, I’m so happy for you. Now you’re a true Kokiri, no matter what anyone says."
Although the remark would’ve ordinarily hurt him, Link wasn’t offended by it at all. In fact, the thought made him smile. He really was a true Kokiri now, and not even Mido can say otherwise. He locked eyes with the ground to hide his deepening blush.
"Thanks…" he started when Navi interrupted, her glow quite bright now.
"I’m sorry to interrupt this happy moment, but we need to get going, Link. We can’t keep the Great Deku Tree waiting."
"You’ve been summoned by the Great Deku Tree?" Saria asked. "That’s incredible! It’s such an honor to be summoned, Link. Your fairy’s right. You shouldn’t keep the Great Deku Tree waiting."
"But what about our plans?" Link asked, suddenly recollecting their idea for the afternoon.
"They can be rescheduled," Saria answered. "You’d better get going. When you’re finished, please come to my house afterwards so you can tell me all about it, okay?"
"Sure thing," Link replied. He then turned to Navi and said, "Come on, Navi, let’s go."
"About time," Navi declared before Link suddenly continued down the path, forcing her to rush to catch up.
The Deku Tree dwelled within an area of the Lost Woods surrounded by towering and rocky hills, a large meadow cut off from the rest of the forest. Ironically, the meadow was the highest point in the forest, thus metaphorically making the hills the walls to a stronghold protecting the Lost Wood’s monarch and greatest treasure, the Deku Tree. The only entrance to the meadow was a snake-like passage carved out by Kokiri of ages past, and it was treated like a sacred gateway.
Only invited Kokiri ever stepped between its walls.
The field lay not too far from the outskirts of Kokiri Village, so Link and Navi didn’t have to go too far to get to it. As Link approached it, he began to feel nervous all over. To his knowledge, the only Kokiri who had entered the Deku Tree’s meadow in his lifetime was Saria. Now he would also enter it, and live to actually witness the creator of the forests.
But as he approached open passageway, Link was suddenly struck hard by something to his right. He went sprawling to the ground without even seeing what had hit him. When he managed to get up and turn to see, he wished he hadn’t. There, standing in his haughty and imperialistic manner, was Mido.
Anyone who lay eyes on Mido would immediately wonder why he was the alleged chief of the Kokiri. He wasn’t the tallest Kokiri, or even the strongest; in fact, he possessed no special traits except for a short and heated temper. But any Kokiri can say that the reason Mido was the chief was because he managed to manipulate others into convincing them he was superior in everything and anything.
But any Kokiri can also say that one person and one person alone can stand up to Mido: Saria. It wasn’t unknown throughout the Village that Mido had an enormous crush on Saria, and that he tried in every way to impress her, including showing off his "strength" through bullying. Of course, Saria shrugged off his boasts, and this only made Mido bully everyone more to release his frustration.
Link wished that Saria were here now, because he didn’t feel like standing up to Mido. But he knew he had to if he were going to see the Great Deku Tree. Standing up, Link tried to look brave as he uttered, "What is it, Mido?"
"You’re it, Mr. No Fairy," Mido mocked, the freckles on his face seemingly twitching with each movement of his mouth. "What do you think you’re doing, visiting the Great Deku Tree? You’re not even a Kokiri, so…"
"Get out of the way, Mido!" Navi suddenly burst out, her light now so bright that it was practically white.
Mido sneered at the small fay. "And who might you be?"
"She’s my fairy, Mido," Link answered, anticipating any reaction from the bully. He expected Mido not to believe him and laugh as hard as he could. Instead, Mido’s eyes widened with surprise and his movements grew rigid.
"Are you serious?" Mido asked.
"Yes," Navi chirped in a hot tone, "and he’s been summoned by the Great Deku Tree himself, so you’d better get out of our way before you keep the Great Deku Tree waiting for too long."
That piece of news didn’t necessarily surprise Mido. Instead, it made him furious. "What? You? Summoned? By the Great Deku Tree? Impossible! I don’t believe it!"
"Believe it!" Link cried. "Fairies don’t lie, so you can’t ignore it. Now get out of our way, Mido."
Mido’s face grew red with anger, so red that it nearly hid his freckles and blended with his short red hair. Just then, a new voice was heard. It was Dakt, Mido’s fairy, who was known to be almost as much of a rascal as Mido.
"But you can’t get in now," Dakt twittered, his purple light shimmering.
"And why not?" Navi asked.
"You need a sword and shield, of course," Dakt answered with a laugh. "After all, you’ve been summoned by the Great Deku Tree, and you’ll need to be prepared for any emergency. So you can’t go in unless you have a sword and shield!"
Mido’s anger suddenly seemed to dissipate as he smiled at Dakt’s words. "Yes, you’re right. He does need a sword and shield. Okay, Mr. No Fairy, those are the words of your chief. You shall not pass unless you have a sword and shield."
Link nearly cried. Even with Navi as his guardian, Mido still called him Mr. No Fairy. And now, on top of it all, Mido wouldn’t even let them pass unless they completed a set of stupid qualifications! He wanted to say something to protest, but Navi beat him to it.
"How dare you!" she cried, flying right in front of Mido’s face. "How dare you try to keep the Great Deku Tree waiting! Let us past now or…"
Suddenly, without warning, Mido reached out and grabbed Navi in his hand. He then threw the poor fairy with all his might in the opposite direction of the meadow. Link, surprised at this turn of events, ran after Navi, leaving Mido and Dakt to laugh in his wake.
He found Navi lying in a small growth of yellow flowers, he pink light very dim. "Navi, are you okay?"
"Yes, thank you," the fay answered as she tried to fly again, although here wings were somewhat bent by Mido’s grip. But this didn’t drop her voice in the least. "Come on, let’s go get that bully! I’m going to show him a thing or two about respect…"
"No, wait!" Link said as he looked back to still see the two laughing. "I’ve got a better idea. Follow me." He then headed back into the village.
"Hey, where are we going?" Navi asked as she tried desperately to follow Link.
"He really did that?" Saria asked Link when he reached the part about Mido throwing Navi. Link could only nod in response.
"Luckily, Navi wasn’t hurt," Link continued, "but that doesn’t help us. Saria, I need you to help me get past Mido. He’ll listen to you, I know. Please?"
Saria stared at him for seemingly a long while before she cracked a devious smile. "Let’s do something better," she said as she stood up. "Let’s give Mido what he asked for: a sword and a shield."
"What? Are you serious?" Link asked. Swords and shields were practically unknown in the Kokiri Village except by a few Kokiri who had happened to hear or read stories by the Outsiders of the Lost Woods. Shields were rare, having been seen only several times in a Kokiri’s generation. But swords were even rarer, having been seen only several times in the Kokiri’s existence!
"Are you serious?" Link repeated as Saria walked across the room. "Where are we going to get a sword and shield?"
Saria remained quiet as she reached a small chest hidden underneath some clothing at the far end of the room. She dusted it off before opening it and reaching inside. When she pulled out something in her hand, she displayed it to Link and uttered, "Right here."
Link couldn’t believe what he was seeing. There, in Saria’s hand, was a magnificent sword! The blade extended roughly the size of a Kokiri’s arm, and it glistened with a brilliant radiance in the faint sunlight. The hilt was brown and dull yet surprisingly fresh-looking and centered right in the middle of it was a beautiful red jewel that seemed to wink back at him.
"I found this in the woods several years ago," Saria explained as she walked up to Link, "beside some remains of an Outsider. It didn’t look like a sword for him because it was too small for his hand to be a sword, but for us Kokiri it makes a perfect sword. I kept it hidden because I didn’t want to attract attention because of it. Here, you can use it."
She then gave the weapon to Link, who accepted it hesitantly. But he didn’t have time to thank her before Saria walked to another part of the room and reached for…a shield hanging on a wall? All the times he was at her house and he had never noticed it! Unlike the sword, it was made of wood instead of steel. As Saria brought it closer to Link, he noticed that it looked like it was made from old Deku bark, bark straight from the Deku Tree, meaning it was very durable.
One thing Link noticed about the shield was the strange pattern carved on it. It was obviously carelessly carved into the bark, for Link couldn’t find any discernable significance for the symbol’s meaning. Some of the mark’s scratches barely grazed the surface, while others were deep enough to expose the dried red sap underneath the bark.
As Saria gave the shield to Link, who couldn’t find anything to say, she explained, "Behold the work of Mido." She then sighed. "He tried to impress me by carving a shield from a piece of Deku bark, but as you can see he didn’t do a very good job. Even so, Deku bark is durable so it’ll do as a shield."
Link looked at the two new items in his grasp for a moment longer before looking up at Saria and asked, "Why are you doing this, Saria? Why are you giving me these items…particularly this sword? Couldn’t you just come with me to Mido and…"
"Don’t you see?" Saria interrupted. "Mido is only denying you access to the Great Deku Tree because he wants to make your life miserable. He knows that you were coming to me to make him stop, and that would’ve been a silent victory for him. But if you show him these, you’ll be the victorious one."
Link thought about the idea. It did sound enticing. Mido would, after all, have to accept these things in response to his challenge. With a devious smirk, Link said, "Okay, I’ll do it."
"Great," Saria uttered in response.
Along with the sword, Saria also gave Link the leather scabbard that had been found with it. Saria explained the scabbard was found strapped across the dead Outsider’s waist, but for Link it was big enough to wrap around his shoulder, just like a real sword’s sheath. The shield also fitted nicely across his back, as if it had been made specifically for him.
When he was finally fully equipped, Link said to Saria, "Thank you, Saria, for everything you’ve done."
As he spoke, he noticed Saria faintly blushing in her cheeks. He found this odd, because there was no obvious reason to blush…was there?
"Come on, Link," Navi suddenly declared. "Let’s get going. I don’t want to keep the Great Deku Tree waiting any longer."
"Right," Link responded. He then said goodbye to Saria and left her house, with Navi trailing not too far behind.
As she watched him go, Saria’s face suddenly put on a morose expression. Katl, who had remained quiet the entire time, noticed this and said, "What’s wrong, Saria? Is something the matter?"
"I don’t know," Saria answered. "But I have the strange feeling that…I’m not going to see him again…for a long, long time."
"And what makes you say that?" Katl inquired.
Saria remained quiet for a long time before she finally answered, "Destiny…"