Just in case you haven’t heard, Netflix is working on a Legend of Zelda series. We figured, what better way to celebrate than with some good ole fashioned fan fiction? So here it is, a Legend of Zelda fan fiction from our very own Brendon Templin. Enjoy!
And so he galloped off into the dark of the forest, past the fireflies and away from the rising sun. Barely entering adolescence, Link could feel the years catching up with him.
Having saved the Hyrulian kingdom, Link had stumbled into the lands of Termina in a foolhardy escape from a childhood he never wished to relive. He knew he could never bear to see what would happen to his kingdom in the years of Ganon’s uprising, or the consequences of the bloody warfare suppressing it, so he escaped into the only place in which a hero could not be found: his own backyard of the Lost Woods.
But here he was again leaving a land salvaged by his deeds, yet with no imminent bloodshed or stolen childhood, he found himself once again questing off. For what? The question was forever present in his mind, but with little gravity in the world which he lived, forever submerged in the vastness of sweeping fields and subterranean temples.
Epona’s hooves slowed from rolling clops to a churn of patters. Link patted her, brushing the long white mane and course red fur. He knew she was tired. He stretched around to dig through his leather sack, past the arrows and hookshot, bombchus and potions, and found a single, stiff carrot. He broke it in half and leaned down onto Epona’s neck, reaching the piece into her mouth.
Epona, he considered as a muted smile inched across his lips, the only woman to stay in my life. There was Saria, Princess Ruto, the Gerudo thief Nabooru, and then there was Zelda. All of them had been destined for the Sacred Realm in the timeline following the seven years that Ganon had gained the Triforce of Power; he knew little fortune awaited them all in the surmounting years, as they would each safeguard their kingdoms or flee them.
No, Link thought as his tight smile loosened into something else, Epona is the only woman I’ll ever need. Slapping his boots against her startled ribcage, Link reminisced of his first encounter with her, how she ran so free across Lon Lon Ranch, and how Link, for all his life, couldn’t catch her until Malon taught him the song to- Malon!
Dear Goddesses, he had almost forgotten Malon! How could he ever forget those round blue eyes and fiery red hair, or that sweet lulling voice with the central Hylian drawl? Dear Goddesses, Malon. Would she be there for him when he returned to Hyrule? Would he even return at all?
As Link began to tally how many times he had needed to reset the three day countdown before the moon crashed into Termina, his head began to spin. Time distortion, apocalyptic panic, and the countless fusion of dead souls with his own; it was too much for such a young frame, Triforce of Courage or no.
Epona sensed his shifting weight and slowed once again, or at least soon enough to dampen the speed upon which Link’s body toppled over into the mossy floor.
In a brief moment which lasted forever, Link was beneath the sea, inside of the greenery, and atop the mountains within every corner of Termina. Is this death, Link wondered to himself? More than likely, for his undead allies stood before him: the abandoned Deku, the champion Goron, and the rockstar Zora. And for a moment, he shared a moment of bereaved agony for the living world- for the Deku’s joyless father to never find his son, for a the Goron village to continue without a champion, and for the seven tadpoles to grow without a father. Link saw the moment end as a massive bejeweled whale so familiar to him swallowed them from behind, it’s colossal lips finally enveloping the boy’s body.
Wetness. Wetness is all Link felt. Was this death? No, it was the slick lapping of Epona’s tongue. As his nerve endings flooded with life, a smile spread across Link’s raising face, which was quickly knocked off by an impact to the back of his skull. Epona neighed hostilely as Link clawed into his bag adeptly and spun backwards, setting an arrow into his bow.
A Deku child glared back at him, another nut stowed in cheek, ready to be launched. A bush of yellowing leaves trembled atop its bouncing wood-gloss body, and for seconds, Link’s gaze met the creature’s autumn orange eyes. While he would have shot the child in his campaign through Hyrule, dashing forth to finish the slay, Link had changed since.
He had seen their palaces in the Southern Swamps of Termina, lived within their walls as one of them, and ventured into their sacred Woodfall Temple. He knew now that they were intelligent creatures with hopes and dreams, and could not even grasp an era where he slaughtered them with the Moblin and the Keese.
His elbows relaxed as the arrow slid out onto a soft patch of grass. The Deku stood steadfast, before swallowing its nut and jittering into a nearby shrub. Smart boy, Link thought to himself. He brushed away the dirt on his back preparing to hop onto Epona’s back, but then stopped. He reached into his sack, brushing aside arsenal and aide, and found finally a sleek, aqua panel of wood: the Zora mask.
He braced his legs, and slid the mask onto his face, ready for transformation. As he feared and hoped, nothing. Removing the mask, he looked down at it, incredulous now that it could be merely just that. Knowing now that he was most surely no longer within the lands of Termina, he tossed the mask before the shrub, hoping that the Deku child was still hiding, awaiting it’s new prize.
Letting loose a deep sigh, Link hiked up upon his steed, rejuvenated by unnatural forces. Epona pounded a hoof into the dirt and neighed, as if to ask, “Where to?” and Link jabbed a heel into her rib in reply and barked, in what she understood as, “Onward!”