Forever - Part 10

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“Maybe she got it from someone else, who knows? It might not even be what you think it is, maybe…maybe she found it, or…or bought it somewhere!”
The female voice echoed through the circular, glowing room. The floor seemed almost holographic as the blue light shone from it, and six circular pedestals, each with their own design, circled the rim of it. Once the blue ended, it was a seemingly endless world of blackness, and on the very rim of the blue laid a bed that the Sages had prepared on which the princess was sleeping.
“Nabooru,” The old woman snapped, standing with her legs apart and her hands on her hips, “you are very foolish.”
A redheaded girl with her hair tied behind her in a long ponytail looked back at her from across the room, irritated. She was dressed all in white, and the clothes themselves resembled those of a genie. “How can you be so sure?”
“Yeah, Impa! Why do you keep assuming things like that!” A girl who looked about ten with light green hair tied in a bun added, her dark green dress giving her face a strange color.
“Saria and Nabooru are right, so she had a ring, big deal!” This time a pure blue woman with fish fins coming from her arms--a Zora--stepped forward.
Nabooru and Saria nodded in agreement, “At least you know what you're talking about, Ruto, unlike her.” The girls looked at Impa haughtily for a moment.
“You ladies don't know what you're talking about,” A rather large man who was made of rock--a Goron--stepped up beside Impa, his steps shaking the ground, “what she thinks is an extremely likely possibility.”
“I agree, Darunia.” An old, hefty, bearded man stepped up beside Impa as well, his orange robes dragging on the floor behind him. “You are young and foolish, you refuse to realize how indeed likely what Impa says is true. She is wiser then us, young ones, we should listen to her.”
“Thank you, Rauru, Darunia.” Impa turned to them, bowing. “Regardless, we're stuck here in the Chamber of the Sages for awhile, so I guess I'll kill some time by showing you the facts.”
She stood back up, pulling the ring from her jumpsuit, everyone beginning to gather around her.
“You took it from her?” Saria gasped.
“It was for the best.” The old woman replied simply. Now look. She turned it in the blue lighting, stopping and pointing to the words engraved in it. “That,” she said as the others looked on, “proves that this is indeed an engagement ring. If she purchased the ring herself, chances are she wouldn't have had that engraved in it…or be wearing it on her left hand. And I think we can all agree; if Zelda found this somewhere, she would never have kept it for herself.” The onlookers nodded in agreement.
“But there's still no proof of who gave it to her,” Saria pointed out.
“True,” the old woman agreed, “but I think we can all make a pretty safe assumption.”

The five looked on at Impa, their eyes silently agreeing. “As her nursemaid, I can certainly confirm, as well as all of you, I'm sure, that that girl is still very much in love with the Hero of Time.” They all nodded again, solemnly.
“He could have given it to her before he left this world.” Ruto suggested, not wanting to believe what she knew they were getting at.
“That is a possibility,” Rauru choked, “but if you think about it, what Impa is saying makes perfect sense. Ganon could not have returned to this world if the Door of Time had been properly sealed.”
“So…Link,” Saria looked shocked that her childhood friend would do such a thing, “left the Door of Time open on purpose so that he could still see Zelda?”
The others nodded, Rauru speaking again, “It must have been only a crack, but nevertheless it was enough for the Dark Lord to find his way through. Love makes even the most intelligent of us stupid.”
“What are we going to do, then? Our people are down there killing each other!”
“We must tell the King!” Darunia yelled suddenly in his deep voice.
The others once again nodded. “You go, Impa. You tell him what we have discovered.” Rauru spoke once more, the five Sages looking at their sixth comrade.
“Very well,” She said, placing the ring back into her jumpsuit, “I will return soon.” With that she lunged toward the ground, throwing an invisible object to the floor. There was a quick snap, and she was gone.
The soldier coughed, consciousness returning to him. His lungs were on fire, his limbs ached, but neither compared to the stabbing pain in his head. His memory was fuzzy, but he seemed to recall bits and pieces of the experience. He painfully reached an arm out, blindly attempting to push at the blocks of wood and stone that covered him. How long had he been lying there?

The thought flashed through his mind as he managed to shove aside a few of the obstacles trapping him. Then his aching mind fell to the shaky memories of how he ended up like this. He remembered the pain, the nausea, the heat of the master sword…and, the next thing he knew, the taste of the princess's succulent lips. Wait, Zelda, where was she? Was she all right? He shoved at the debris once more, feeling it fall away and taking a welcome deep breath of the cool night air.

He sat up, slowly climbing his way out of the ruins. “Zelda, where are you?” His voice was hoarse, and his mouth was filled with the chalky substance. He coughed once more, attempting to spit out whatever he could of it. Raising a hand to his aching head, he knelt down near the pile of rubble once more. It looked to have already been dug in, perhaps she had already escaped? Perhaps someone had found her? Regardless, he lowered his hand from his throbbing head to dig, noticing as he did so that it was stained with blood. He had to do something about that injury, he knew, but he wouldn't leave her behind.
He scoured the pile for what seemed like hours, teetering on the edge of unconsciousness. Finally, he came to the conclusion that she must not be there once he had checked under every square inch of rubble. Weakly making his way to his feet, he thought for some place to go, some place where someone would help him. His mind was still clouded, but he eventually thought of the only place he had ever called home: Kokiri Forest. He could convince the children there to aid him. They had to. They were his friends…or at least they were seven years ago.
At that he began stumbling toward the exit of Castle Town. 

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