Sunday, August 22, 2010

Chapter 25: Kingdom of the River

Because Link had no idea where ground was, he wasn’t fully prepared when he struck it. The moment his feet touched something solid, he lost his balance and fell backwards, landing on his tailbone. Thankfully, the uncomfortable feeling that followed didn’t last too long. He managed to stand up almost immediately, albeit to caress and soothe the point of impact.

The guiding light of the moon was for the most part gone, but the glistening of the curtain of water outside helped Link to see where he was exactly. It was a tunnel, and a very big one at that. The walls and ceiling were conjoined to form a polished, close-to-perfect arc-shaped passageway, and the ground felt as smooth as a tree leaf covered in morning dew. Even the darkness that devoured the tunnel up ahead couldn’t hide the magnificent softness of the passageway. Whoever had built it had obviously put a lot of time and energy, as well as heart and soul, into it.

The new question, now, was who built it?

Before he could consider the question, a familiar pink light fluttered in front of his face. “You okay?” Navi asked.

“Yeah, I guess…”

“Great! Then let’s go! You’re not going to believe what’s on the other end of this tunnel! Just follow me…”

“Hey!” Link yelled so loudly that the tunnel echoed several times.

Navi quickly fell silent, and then mumbled a soft, “Yes?”

“Would it be possible for you to act calmly just a little bit? Even for a little while?”

Navi hovered in the air for a few minutes, as if giving the question serious thought, before she finally answered, “No.”

Link sighed. “Fine. Then just show me this ‘thing’ you’re so excited about before I turn around and leave to continue searching for the source of the river…”

“Link, we don’t have to do that. We’ve already found it.”

Link’s eyes grew in surprise. “We’ve what? Already found it? How…?”

“Just follow me and I’ll explain everything!” Before Link could ask anything else, Navi turned and disappeared down the dark tunnel, releasing a girlish cry of glee as she did.

Link, confused but intrigued, shrugged his shoulders before heading down the passageway after his fairy…


“Thank the gods!” Kaepora Gaebora thought loudly, his neck feathers ruffling in relief and satisfaction. “I finally found you, Link!”

But his joy was quickly snuffed when he realized that his finding of Link was too little, too late.

After days upon days of searching the land and trying to get his magic to work, he finally managed use his power to find the Child of Destiny. Although his view into the future was limited, he could clearly see that Link and Navi were at Zora’s Domain, the home of the Zoras. At first, he wondered why the Kokiri and fairy were there to begin with, but he then quickly realized why.

“ ‘Tears of heaven!’ Of course! You foolish old coot! Of course the Spiritual Stone would be with the Zoras! Why didn’t you think of this before?”

But he stopped thinking about his lack of common sense when his magic reminded him of the impending deadline he had to change the course of Hyrule’s future. And now his powers revealed something else about deadline: along with Ganondorf, it had to do with Princess Zelda.

That only made things worse. If Zelda was involved, then his involvement was critical. He didn’t know what was going to happen, but the possibility that the King of Thieves might harm Zelda was inconceivable. The Owl didn’t like the idea of leaving Link, a young Mage-Bound, alone any longer, but with the choices he had, he might have to do just that.

When was the deadline again…?

“Four days, almost exactly,” he cooed to himself.

At the moment, he was perched upon a branch overlooking the glassy waters of Lake Hyrule – he guessed that his magic was “jolted” by the sight of the water so he could find Link. The Hyrule Castle New City was a two to three day’s flight away, while a trip to Zora’s Domain and then to Hyrule Castle would take four to five days. He couldn’t take any chances.

“Link,” he thought sadly to himself, “I’m sorry, but I must find the princess and warn her. I’ll come to you straight afterwards. Just please try to stay alive until then.”

But even as he spread his wings so he could begin his long journey to Hyrule Castle, he had a strange feeling he would never see Link the Kokiri again…


Ironically, that was the only word to describe Zora’s Domain…well, maybe it could be described, but as he gaped in amazement, Link knew any description wouldn’t do it justice.

Like Goron City, Zora’s Domain was situated within the very mountain, but Zora’s Domain possesses a certain elegance and purity that Goron City couldn’t achieve. The Kokiri was standing upon a ledge of a giant “bowl,” and this bowl was filled with crystal-clear water. Unlike the step-structured basin of Goron City, the edges of this enormous lake were smooth…so smooth, in fact, that it made the lake look deeper than it really was. All around the basin, spectacular waterfalls flowed from unknown sources above and into the lagoon, and at one end of the cavern Link could see a small river snaking its way from the bowl into a tunnel.

But the most awe-inspiring sight of Zora’s Domain had to be the Zoras themselves. Although Link had never seen a Zora before, he knew the creatures swimming in the lake were they. As smooth and crystal-colored as the water itself, the Zoras seemed to be roughly as tall, or long, as a fully-grown Hylian. They wore no clothing of any kind, thus showing off a powerful muscle structure that obviously aided in their swimming. Attached to their arms and the sides of their hips were what appeared to be flippers of some kind, and behind their heads grew a long, fish-like tail. This race was clearly adapted to live in water, and Link couldn’t help but wonder at such a bizarre lifestyle.

“I told you, you won’t believe it,” Navi said with a smirk.

Link raised his eyebrows in response. “Okay, okay, you’re right. I don’t believe it. So this is really it? Zora’s Domain?”

“It can’t be anything else. Now all we have to do is find the third Spiritual Stone, and unless this race has strange traditions, it should be in the hands of the people’s leader or leaders. We just have to find them.”

“Should be simple enough,” Link said before he glanced at the deep basin of water and quickly added, “If we don’t have to swim, that is. But do you think the king of this place, or whatever, is asleep right now? It is the middle of the night, after all.”

Navi hovered in midair for a moment before answering, “That is true, but it is a well-known fact that fish don’t sleep. Maybe the Zoras possess that same trait. Why else are there Zoras still awake right now?”

Link had to admit Navi was right. He returned his gaze back to the basin. When he had first looked, he had seen Zoras moving around, talking, and playing as if it were broad daylight. He had even seen several perform acrobatic feats of impossible dynamics. The Zoras apparently enjoyed their aquatic lifestyle, and he couldn’t help but envy them a little.

Upon this instance of looking at the basin, he quickly realized how much attention he and Navi were getting. A small crowd had started to develop near the edge of the lake near the two newcomers, and all the long, pointy faces of the Zoras were staring directly at them. A few were whispering to each other frantically, as if fearing something life threatening had made its way into their domain.

“I think we’re starting to draw attention to ourselves, Link,” Navi commented.

Link rolled his eyes at the fey. “You think?”

Just then, one of the taller Zoras in the group swam to the edge and climbed his way onto the edge of the basin. He straightened himself before shuffling –he couldn’t walk very well with his webbed feet – his way to the Kokiri and fairy. When he was within arm’s length of the two, he placed his hands on his hips, as if to appear aggressive and menacing.

“Travelers or emissaries?” he said in a surprisingly gentle voice.

Link was immediately puzzled. “Excuse me? Travelers or emissaries?”

“Are you emissaries from the King of Hyrule, or are you simple travelers who happened to find our domain by mistake? One of these is allowed to stay, while the other has to leave, and judging by what happened outside, I can’t help believe you’re just travelers.”

“Travelers or emissaries, huh?” Link pondered. “Pretty limited choice, isn’t it? Well, I don’t make the rules, so…wait a minute. Happened outside? Isn’t that…?”

Suddenly, Link understood. “Hey, you’re the one who threw that stone at me, aren’t you?”

The Zora smiled. “Yes, that’s right.”

“I knew it!” Navi exclaimed suddenly. “I knew a Zora had thrown that stone! I didn’t know it was you, but when I saw those flippers I guessed it had been a Zora, so…”

Link held up a hand. “Navi, now is not the time to jump for joy about me being knocked unconscious by a pebble, okay?”

Link’s tone was very mundane and a little frustrated, but it was enough to get the fairy to quiet down sheepishly. Link then stroked his forehead. The mark had long gone, but he could still visualize the stone embedded within his skull. The Kokiri gave the Zora a soft yet firm glare. “I think you owe me an apology, because it’s not very polite to just throw sharp rocks at someone like that…”

“Hey, I do what I do to keep the Zora River as pure as possible,” the Zora snapped, albeit quietly. “Our people are bound by a sacred pact with the King of Hyrule to keep the sacred river clean, and I take that oath seriously. And because you threw a dirty rock in the river, I had to teach you a little lesson. Understand?”

Link gaped in astonishment. “You mean…you keep the river clean?”

The Zora nodded. “Yes, that’s right.”

But that wasn’t what had astonished Link. “And you throw out stones? Even stones as small as the one you threw at me?”

The Zora nodded again. “Yes, that’s right.”

Link’s tongue nearly drooped in disbelief. “By the Three Goddesses, these guys are either truly dedicated or completely daft! Keeping an entire river that clean…it’s almost unheard of…”

“Of course, we only keep a portion of it clean,” the Zora added, as if reading Link’s mind through the Kokiri’s eyes, “so don’t think we maintain the entire river, just the initial stretch of river near the source. Even we have our limits. There, now you know a little bit about us. Now again, are you travelers or emissaries? Answer before I’m forced to throw you out myself.”

Link, still unable to believe that the Zora threw the stone at him because it dirtied the Zora River, managed to stutter, “We…we’re emissaries, I guess. Of course, we’re a lot more than that, but since you’ve only given us two choices, we’ll call ourselves emissaries.”

The Zora bowed down and glared at the Kokiri suspiciously with his deep-set eyes. “And I suppose you have proof that you’re emissaries?”

Luckily, Link snapped out of incredulity with that question and nodded. “Yes, I do. I suppose you’ve heard this before?”

With that, Link reached into his pouch and pulled out his ocarina. He put the mouthpiece to his lips and started to play Zelda’s Lullaby. By now, he was playing the instrument with such ease that it felt like second nature to him. The notes of the Royal Family song sounded so clean, so perfect, that they didn’t even create an echo in the cavern. All that came from the ocarina was what everyone considered the most beautiful song in all of Hyrule.

When the Zora towering over Link heard that song, his gruffness softened and the tension in the air lessened. All he did was listen. Several of the other Zoras also felt the effect of the song. Some even climbed out of the water to get a better listen. By the time Link finished playing, he had quite a small audience for his mini-concert.

As he put his ocarina away, the Zora that had thrown the stone at him remained silent for a moment before finally saying, “The Lullaby of the Royal Family. Only a few are allowed to learn such forbidden notes, and such people are either the Royal Family itself or emissaries. By playing that song, you have proven yourself to be an emissary and not a traveler.”

“Emissaries! Travelers! Travelers! Emissaries! Don’t you have something else in your vocabulary?”

But Navi’s squeamish voice quickly interrupted Link’s thoughts. “Hey, what about me? Am I an emissary as well?”

The Zora smiled. “Of course. You are the companion of the emissary, and therefore are an emissary as well and not a traveler.”

Navi squealed with gentle glee. Link clenched his fist. “One more time!” he thought agitatedly. “Say those words one more time, and I’m going to scream so loud you’ll wish I was a traveler!”

The Zora then cleared his throat. “Forgive my earlier behavior, but I do what I must for the good of the Zoras. My name is Lizel, one of the Cleansers of the Zora River. I am at your service. How may I help you?”

Link blinked in surprise. “What, you’re not going to take me to your leader or something? You people really are strange.”

“I’d like to speak with your leader, if I may,” Link said. “That is, if you have a leader. If not, then…”

“You wish to speak to King Zora?” Lizel interrupted, his face suddenly jerking back in reservation. The other Zoras displayed a similar reaction. “Are you sure you wish to do that? If it’s an emergency, then I guess you can speak with him, but other than that I don’t recommend doing such a thing.”

“Yes, this is an emergency,” Link said. And he wasn’t lying. He needed to find the third Spiritual Stone before Ganondorf tried to claim it, and judging from what he had experienced at Death Mountain, Ganondorf had probably been here as well. Link only hoped the King of Thieves hadn’t resurrected some kind of water snakes with three heads and fifteen claws on each fin…

“Oh, stop imagining things! You don’t have time!”

“Really, it’s an emergency,” Link continued. “I have to speak with King Zora soon…now, if possible. Please, I really need to see him.”

Lizel remained quiet for a while before he sighed deeply and uttered, “Very well, you may speak with him.” He then pointed to the ground surrounding the basin of water behind the Kokiri and fairy. “Follow this path until you get to a flight of stairs on your right. Follow that flight of stairs to the throne room, where you shall find King Zora. When you speak with him, remember to stand upon the pedestal before his throne as a sign of respect for him. And when you reach the throne room, do not go past there to the Shrine of Lord Jabu-Jabu unless King Zora gives you permission. That is all.”

Link nodded, although he couldn’t help but wonder who or what this Lord Jabu-Jabu was. Ah, well. He didn’t have the time to find out. All he needed to do was talk to King Zora, get the third Spiritual Stone from him, and head back for the palace to Princess Zelda.

“Thank you,” Link said before turning around and beginning his journey to the throne room. But he hadn’t taken a few steps when Lizel suddenly passed him and walked a little ahead and along side him. “What are you doing?” Link asked.

“I’m escorting you to the throne room, of course,” Lizel answered.

Link jerked his head back in surprise. “But…you just gave me directions…”

“Yes, we always give emissaries directions before we lead them around. That way, they don’t get lost if they’re separated from their escorts.”

Link started to pray he didn’t have to stay here longer than he needed to…

“Come on, dance! Dance for me! Dance!”

The only reason Ganondorf yelled as loud as he could in his room at the palace was so that anyone passing his door could hear him. The Gerudo guard he had sent for didn’t need anything but the King of Thieves’ baneful glare to do what he wanted. She performed every kind of dance she knew, from the wild Dance of Setting Suns to the seductive Dance of the Crescent Moon, and anyone who might’ve watched her would clearly see she knew what she was doing.

But that didn’t mean Ganondorf appreciated it. “Come on, you wench, dance! Entertain me! Dance! For the love of the Three Goddesses, dance!”

The guard tried to appease the King of Thieves by improvising, but in the end her efforts were fruitless. In frustration, Ganondorf took the jug of wine he was holding in his hand and threw it right at the woman. Luckily, the jug didn’t strike the Gerudo dead on target. It only struck her left cheek, but the blow was enough to throw the young girl off balance and send her crashing to the ground. She landed with a soft thud and almost immediately felt the cold chill of the wine soak her hair, her skin, and her clothing. But she didn’t say a single word or make a single move in retaliation. She was a Gerudo, and she knew her king far too well to know when and when not to do something.

She remained motionless, allowing Ganondorf to march up to her and loom over her soaking form. “Useless wench!” he spat, although this time a lot softer. “I finally know where what I’m looking for is, and you ruin my celebration by dancing like a first-time harlot.”

“Forgive me, my king,” the woman asked, although the plea was obviously not sincere. Why should it be, when she already knew Ganondorf would never forgive anyone?

“Shut up,” Ganondorf ordered. The Gerudo, who was looking at the floor and not at the King of Thieves, waited to feel the back of her king’s hand strike her face, but it never came. Instead, Ganondorf started to walk around the woman, as if inspecting her for some unknown purpose.

“Do you know why I summoned you here?” Ganondorf asked.

“No, my king.”

“I summoned you here to take a message to the other Gerudo waiting outside the city. Listen well, because I will not repeat myself, and you had better memorize every word I’m about to say. Tell my Gerudo to prepare for an attack on the city in four days time, and I want every available soldier prepared. I shall personally lead the attack. I’ll arrive the day of the attack the moment the sun goes down, and the attack will begin very soon afterwards. Do I make myself clear, wench?”

“Yes, my king.”

“Then repeat what I just said.”

The Gerudo, albeit nervously, repeated almost exactly everything Ganondorf had said; she even left his words in the first-person perspective. It was enough to satisfy the cruel Gerudo king.

“Very good. And should anyone in this palace ask you who you are, tell them you are a servant of the King of the Gerudo. Now, get out of my sight and carry out this message before I decide to make you one of my personal harlots. Go!”

Without a word, the young Gerudo girl stood up and shuffled her way quickly to the door. The amount of pain and fear within her was vast, but she refused to release it in the form of tears. The big reason was because Ganondorf would punish her, but another reason was because she was a Gerudo. The Gerudo never cry, especially when it concerns their king. Despite the fact he was a cruel, spiteful man, he was still their king, and she would serve him faithfully until the end of her days.

As the woman closed the door behind her, Ganondorf sighed in bliss and satisfaction, satisfaction that the object he had been searching for, the Ocarina of Time, was nearly in his grasp. All he had to do was find that little brat and take it from her. And that he would do when the invasion began.

He turned to the spilt wine on the ground. He spat into the liquid before he mumbled to himself, “I should get some servant in here to lick this stuff up.”

“They call these stairs?”

Link almost wished he were a fairy like Navi so he could fly over this so-called “flight of stairs.” It was actually a ramp with small groves cut into the sides, and it was covered with a slick layer of water. Lizel obviously had no trouble walking up the ramp – he was a Zora, after all – and of course Navi had the convenience of flying over the thing. But Link had lost count of the number of times he nearly slipped and fell flat on his face; the number of times he actually had done that so far was three.

He didn’t know how long the “climb” up the stairs took, but when he reached finally found a level stretch of ground beneath his feet he didn’t care. He simply sighed with relief and almost fell to his knees in exhaustion.

”What a trip!” he thought to himself. “I found Death Mountain easier than this!”

“Are you okay?” the voice of Lizel suddenly asked. Link looked up to find the Zora standing over him and staring at him curiously. “You look a little flushed…”

“Who, me?” Link abruptly erected his posture and tried to look as strong as he could. “I’m perfectly fine. Don’t worry about me.”

Lizel smiled, although Link didn’t know why. “That’s good.” Lizel pointed behind him. The tunnel that surrounded the wet ramp-like staircase curved a little to the right before it seemed to open up into a larger cavern. “Over there is the throne room and King Zora. All that I ask is that when you see him, you be courteous and respectful. He’s going through a lot right now, and an annoying emissary is the last thing he needs.”


“Okay,” Link agreed almost immediately. “I’ll do just that. I won’t be rude at all.”

“Very well then. I’ll leave you to your business. Good luck to you, my friend and dear emissary.”


With those words, Lizel headed back down the staircase back toward the basin. As he watched the Zora leave, Link thanked the Three Goddesses he didn’t have to listen that accused word again. He didn’t know why he was so crabby about it; maybe it was because Lizel was the one who had knocked him unconscious with a small stone, or maybe the stress of the quest was finally getting to him.

Either way, he just wanted to get the third Spiritual Stone and leave Zora’s Domain as quickly as possible…

“Hey, Link!” Navi suddenly cooed into his ear. “Come on, let’s go. We don’t want to keep King Zora waiting, do we?”

The first thing Link noticed about the room was the water. It was almost everywhere. Thankfully, the tunnel led to solid ground for the Kokiri to stand upon, but the majority of the room’s floor was covered in water. The liquid apparently came from a small, low waterfall from the opposite side of the room, and it flowed into two tunnels on either side. The waterfall itself was fed by an unknown source from behind a grate covering the tunnel that supplied the cascade. Link was willing to bet that this small waterfall was the source of the magnificent falls he saw feeding the basin.

Upon the ledge of the small waterfall was what Link first thought was a large block of melting ice, but he quickly realized it was a living thing. Roughly twice Link’s size and obviously well stocked in weight, the creature wore a transparent yet noticeably red cape upon its shoulders. It had no visible flippers of any kind, just regular arms and legs. Its eyes were enormous and affixed on either side of its bloated head. The mouth was closed very tightly, but Link was sure it could swallow him whole. Upon the crown of its head was a headpiece of some kind, probably signifying some kind of royal status. Despite its size, it was easy to see that this creature couldn’t move very easily without help.

Link didn’t know how or why, but this puffy organism was King Zora of Zora’s Domain.

It took the Kokiri a minute to realize the Zora hadn’t even noticed Link’s entrance into the room. The king of the Zoras seemed to be lost in some sort of daze, and his floppy mouth was mumbling something Link couldn’t hear. The king was also shifting around his seat upon the waterfall, almost uncomfortably, as if sitting still might cause some great tragedy.

Link quickly suspected something was wrong. He didn’t know why, but he knew something was wrong. And he had a good idea of who was behind it all…

“Link,” Navi suddenly whispered into his ear. She obviously noticed the king’s uneasiness as well. “Don’t you think you should talk to him?”

“I guess.”

Taking a deep breath, Link looked for the pedestal Lizel had mentioned. He found it and shuffled slowly towards it. The steps leading up to the small platform were more of those Zora-suited ramps, but thankfully Link didn’t slip this time. When he was securely upon the stage of the pedestal, he politely cleared his throat to get King’s Zora’s attention.

“Ahem…excuse me, King Zora?”

The Zora didn’t notice anything, so Link tried again, this time louder. “King Zora, pardon me, please. I really need to speak with you.”

This time, King Zora directed his dilated gaze to the Kokiri. He blinked in genuine surprise when he saw Link. “Well, well, well, what do we have here? I do believe we have ourselves a Hylian. When last has a Hylian visited our beloved domain? Let me see…oh, I can’t remember for the love of me. But this certainly is remarkable.”

King Zora then shifted his weight until he was comfortable – apparently, at least – and continued, “Forgive me, my dear boy. I am King Zora. And what is your name?”

“My name is Link,” Link answered. He decided not to mention he was Kokiri and not a Hylian so as not to create unnecessary confusion. He then pointed to Navi. “And this is my fairy, Navi.”

“Pleased to meet you,” Navi uttered.

King Zora kicked his legs in glee. “My, my, this is remarkable, indeed. A Hylian and a fairy. Who will show up next, I wonder? Remarkable, indeed. Are you here on behalf of the King of Hyrule, my dear boy?”

Well, at least he wasn’t calling Link an emissary. “Actually, I’m here on behalf of Princess Zelda, King Zora. I’m here because of a very urgent matter. I can’t go into detail about it, but it’s very important.”

“I see, I see,” King Zora said, almost giddily. He was obviously serious about whatever Link was talking about, but his mannerisms were bizarre, to say the least. “Yes, yes, I can understand that. I have never met Princess Zelda, but I heard many a tale about her. Her judgment I can and shall trust. Tell me, Link, what is it Princess Zelda wants?”

“It is the Spiritual Stone your people possess, King Zora.”

Almost immediately, King Zora’s gaiety stopped and his fishy face took on a more serious expression. “Spiritual Stone? You mean the Stone of Spirits? The Zora’s Sapphire? The heirloom of my family and people? That is what Princess Zelda sent you here for?”

“Yes,” Link uttered calmly. “As I said before, I can’t go into details about why, but it is vital that you give us your Spiritual Stone. Once we have finished with it, we will return it to your care. All we ask is that you allow us to take it for now.”

Actually, Link didn’t know why he had just told that lie. Zelda never mentioned anything about returning the Spiritual Stones, so promising that he’ll return the Spiritual Stone wasn’t exactly a promise he could keep. Still, he had to say something, because King Zora’s confidence in the request was evidently shallow.

Suddenly, without warning, King Zora did something Link never suspected.

He cried.

“Wha…?” Link gaped. He couldn’t believe it at first, but King Zora was really crying. Lizel had warned him about not being rude, but Link was sure he had been polite. What was going on?

“King Zora,” Link uttered, trying to calm the king down. “King Zora, please, stop crying. I’m sorry if the request offended or hurt you, but please consider…”

“I don’t have the stone.”

Those words sent a chill running down Link’s spine. King Zora didn’t have the Spiritual Stone? Did that mean…Ganondorf had been here and had taken it already? Or did King Zora not even have the stone in the first place?

“You mean…you gave it away?” Link stuttered nervously.

“No, my dear boy,” King Zora muttered through his tears. “I mean I don’t have the stone. My daughter Ruto has it…but she’s been missing for the past several days now, and we can’t seem to find her. I would give up a thousand Stones of Spirits if I can just have my beloved daughter back. Oh, where is she? Ruto, where are you?”

Link sighed with relief when he heard that King Zora hadn’t given the stone away, but a new sense of dread filled him when he learned about Ruto and her possession of the stone.

“Navi, this isn’t good,” he whispered to the fairy.

“No kidding,” the fey whispered back.

“Do you have any idea where she might be?” Link asked. Although he was mainly concerned with the stone, he couldn’t ignore the safety of King Zora’s daughter. Besides, asking about the stone and not Ruto would’ve most likely angered the Zora.

“No, I don’t,” King Zora answered. He had quit sobbing uncontrollably by now, but tears were still dripping from his eyes. “And my people have looked everywhere. Some have even ventured as far as Hyrule Castle New City in search of her, but they’ve found nothing. We’ve prayed many prayers to our Lord Jabu-Jabu, but since our god is sick he cannot answer them.”

“A sick deity?” Link thought uncomfortably. “Sounds very familiar…”

“Do you know someone called Ganondorf, King Zora?” the Kokiri suddenly asked.

The king’s eyes grew in unpleasant surprise before they tightened in disdain. “If you’re referring to that wretched man who calls himself the King of Thieves, then yes, I unfortunately know him. He arrived in my kingdom some time ago – it’s been so long, I can’t remember – and demanded that I’d give him the Stone of Spirits. He was a rude and vulgar man, so I refused. He left peacefully but bitter. Not long afterwards, Lord Jabu-Jabu grew ill, and then my precious Ruto disappeared. I believe it was that man who cursed our god, with his foul and evil presence.”

“Or magic,” Link added in a whisper to himself.

Now things really weren’t looking good. Ganondorf had been here, and he had apparently done something to these strange yet peaceful people. But something didn’t make sense. Why would Ganondorf make this Lord-Jabu-Jabu sick? He had killed the Great Deku Tree to get the Kokiri Emerald and revived the Dodongos to exterminate the Gorons and get to the Gorn’s Ruby. How would making a deity sick help him at all…?

“How is it that you know of this man?” King Zora suddenly asked. “Are you a friend of his?”

“No, King Zora, I…”

Just then, Link noticed something glisten behind King Zora…

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