Legend turned to Hyrule, who was looking at an old billboard in the outskirts of his time’s Castletown―
“Isn’t this wanted poster…” Hyrule began, frowning as his eyes drifted between Legend and the poster, and widening his eyes almost comically as he caught a glimpse of the bounty on it, “for you…?”
Legend froze. Slowly, he turned his head to look at the poster in its entirety, proceeded to spend fifteen good seconds staring at what was definitely a younger version of him drawn on there, and winced.
“Well,” he began, before hesitating. “I can explain—”
And, with that, Legend explained everything; and Hyrule was the first to know.
“So,” Hyrule said. “You’re a criminal.”
“I mean, when you put it that way—”
Hyrule choked out a laugh, tearing the poster off the wall and using his magic to burn the poor sheet of paper into ash. As the ashes fell to the ground, so too did Legend’s slight and definitely not irrational fear of being outed to the soldiers… again. (It wasn’t his fault that even long after Yuga’s and Agahnim’s defeats, their dark magic still ran strong in the minds of the soldiers—!). “Goddesses, the hero admired so much in my time is a criminal—”
Legend groaned. “No, don’t pull that card—”
“—The guy that I look up to is a wanted criminal,” Hyrule continued, completely ignoring Legend’s mortification as he barked out another laugh. “I’m going to tell this to the Zeldas and ruin the credibility of every single story that called you honourable—”
Legend sighed. “I hate you.”
“No you don’t,” Hyrule corrected.
“…No, I don’t,” he conceded.
A projectile whooshed through the air—
—Legend, on an instinct built from years of being shot at with arrows, moved to block the projectile with his shield knowing that he wouldn’t have enough time to physically dodge it—
—And something crashed into him, Twilight crashed into him, sending him stumbling back far enough to completely avoid the projectile’s path. A short thud echoed as the arrow buried itself into the tree.
As quickly as Twilight had pushed him out the way, he was pulling them both back up and drawing his sword to face off against the—
Legend resisted the urge to sigh as Twilight quickly dealt with the soldier, all readiness for an actual fight draining out of his body, because the lack of any decent training meant that these guys didn’t give proper fights.
“You alright?” Twilight asked after all was said and done—that was, literally forty seconds after the arrow had been shot.
Legend rolled his eyes. “He didn’t touch me,” he said, staring down at the soldier with faint disdain. “And… thanks for the save.”
Twilight nodded as means of acknowledgement. His gaze shifted down to the soldier, lying prone in the dirt, bow thrown haphazardly to the side.
“So, why was a soldier trying to kill you…?” Twilight asked, light amusement in his voice.
Then—Twilight became the second to know.
“Link!” some old lady—Wind’s grandma?—called, running over to the two of them as quickly as she could… which was not that quickly, in Legend’s possibly rude opinion.
Wind’s face contorted in evident horror, and he immediately rushed over to try and stop the poor woman from running. “Oh Goddesses, Grandma, don’t strain yourself—”
His grandma rolled his eyes. “Don’t fuss over this old coot,” she said. “No, where have you been? Off adventuring again, without warning…? Aryll has missed you terribly—”
Wind winced. “Please tell her I’m sorry, we didn’t really… mean to go on another adventure.”
His grandma reached up to ruffle his hair playfully, making not much notice of how Wind immediately burst out into a huge grin and tried to get himself away from her grip. “You can tell her yourself,” she said firmly, before turning to Legend. “And who is this fine man with you?”
Wind’s face brightened. “Oh! Grandma, meet… er…”
Legend extended a hand. “Link.”
Wind’s Grandma blinked. “Link? You must be from off-island, then,”—she turned to Wind—“this isn’t another criminal from the seas like that Tetra and Linebeck, is he?”
—Legend choked, because had she really seen through him that easily and also Wind knew other criminals?—
Wind spluttered. “Grandma, they’re pirates, not criminals—”
“Same meaning, dear.”
“—And you like them, both of them! You have tea with Linebeck every Thursday—!”
“Yes, I do, but I also wish that for once you would go adventuring with people who aren’t criminals, my dear,” she finished.
“But you aren’t a criminal, are you, Link?” Wind’s Grandma asked cautiously, as if to confirm, and well—
“Um,” Legend said, already hating how unconvincing he sounded (in his defence, it was extremely hard to lie to sweet old grandmas, and no, he was not a softy), “no…?”
Two extremely disbelieving faces stared back at him. In that moment, Wind became the third person to know.
“Okay, in my defence—”
“Vet, I don’t care that you’re a criminal,” Wind said. “Most of my friends are thieves—”
Legend blinked, because Wind still did not seem like the type of kid to— “Sorry, your friends are what—?”
“—So no, I don’t care about that, I care that you lied to my grandma about being a criminal,” Wind finished, sounding more horrified than Legend had ever heard him. “You don’t lie to my grandma. Goddesses, nobody lies to my grandma. You’re probably the least moral person I’ve ever met.”
Legend winced. “Including Ganon…?”
“Ganondorf wouldn’t have lied to my grandma.”
Legend frowned, a reply to that on the tip of his tongue, until he saw the flash of blonde in the corner of his eye accompanied by muffled snickers—
—And, a moment later, it was gone just as quickly as it had appeared.
...Probably his imagination.
“Okay, well,” Legend instead said, trying to salvage the morality of his actions, “I mean, I’m only half a criminal...?”
Wind stared blankly at him. “You lied to my grandma. That makes you a whole criminal—”
The snickers from before turned into full-blown laughter, and from behind the couch of the inn they were staying at on Outset Island (with the exception of Wind, of course, who would stay at home) Four appeared.
“You lied to his grandma…?” Four asked incredulously. “About being a criminal?”
Legend sighed. “Well—”
“What the hell did you even do to become a criminal?” Wind asked.
Legend winced, accepted his fate, and began to explain everything; and in that moment, Four became the fourth to know.
Princess Zelda took one look at Legend casually strolling down the corridor, Sky at his side, and immediately her entire face shifted into horror.
“Link!” she cried, and in that moment Legend realised that she was going to spill everything with Sky right there, and his own face contorted in horror, “by Din, what are you doing here—?!”
“—Um, Zelda,” Legend tried to interject, despite him knowing fine well that one she began to rant she would not stop ranting—
“—You know that it’s dangerous for you in Hyrule, you know that your face is on a wanted poster on every single billboard in this kingdom, and you know that—”
In the corner of his eye, Legend could see Sky’s face slowly shift between confusion, and realisation, and shock, and then confusion once again; and internally he begged that Zelda would just stop berating him for a single second so that he could, oh he didn’t know, salvage something of this situation and break everything to Sky lightly.
“Zelda,” Legend tried to interrupt, once again, “please, leave me be for one minute—”
Zelda rolled her eyes. In the corner of his eye, Legend could see Sky fail to hide a grin, and he spared a moment to send a glare his way. “I wouldn’t have to leave you be if you would just stay with Ravio, like I have suggested time and time again, or even just have some common sense—”
Oh, that was bold—!
“—I wouldn’t have to have common sense if someone just undid all the mind-magic on those soldiers already, because it’s been, what, a year since Yuga messed with them all again and, what, three or four since Agahnim did it in the first place—!”
“Undoing the magic on thousands of soldiers when you are the only person who can while trying to rebuild an entire kingdom and deal with constant invasion is a little harder than you would think, Link,” she retorted, before sighing. “I told you, I will sort everything out, but it doesn’t help when you ignore everything I say—”
In that moment, she seemed to just notice Sky, and her words slowed to a halt. Sky gave an awkward wave.
“Oh,” Zelda said under her breath, sheepishly drawing back. “Um. Hello. Are you a friend of Link’s…?”
Sky opened and closed his mouth a few times, evidently trying to think of something to say after all of that, and eventually settled on… “Yeah,” he said, lamely.
“Ah,” Zelda said with a wince. “That’s… nice.”
An awkward silence descended upon them for a solid few seconds that seemed to stretch into an hour, until Zelda finally gave in and broke it.
“I’m sorry, I see this idiot,”—she gestured to Legend, and he sent her an extremely affronted glare in return—“doing idiotic stuff and I can’t help but just tell him he’s an idiot, and Goddesses, I’ve been so discourteous—”
Legend rolled his eyes and poked her in the shoulder. “Don’t worry about it, you’re fine. Just… please show us to a room where I can explain…”—he glanced at Sky, dreading the oncoming explanation—“everything.”
And, with that, Sky became the fifth to know.
“Whose turn is it?” Wind asked, yawning, but unwilling to go to sleep even though it was late enough at night that dawn was beginning on the horizon, and literally every other person except he, Legend, and Warriors had gone to bed already.
The reason? They were far too invested in a stupid game of two truths and a lie, and none of the three of them were willing to let the chance to find out each other's dirty secrets slip.
“Uh,” Warriors said, frowning. “Vet’s, I think.”
Legend yawned, and felt fatigue creep up in the corners of his mind. “Alright. Uh,” he said, taking a moment to think, “One, I can play the saxophone, two, I am not a criminal, and three, Ravio always calls me a lizard because I—” hoard shit like a dragon, but he refuses to let me forget that I’m an inch shorter than him so calls me a lizard instead—
“You are not a criminal,” Warriors said instantly, not even having the audacity to let him finish, “that’s the lie. There’s no way you are a law-abiding citizen, no way—”
Wind wheezed, and Legend didn’t know whether to glare at him for it; glare at Warriors for having so little trust in him; or berate himself internally for letting his criminal status slip due to a lack of forethinking at 5AM. Probably all of them. Yeah.
So Legend decided to just sigh and plant his head into his hand, resisting the sleep that naturally came when he shut his eyes.
“Wait,” Warriors said, “I said that as a joke. Was I right—?!”
Wind once again wheezed in laughter, and Legend got the feeling that were everyone else not asleep he would be full-out laughing at him.
“Yes,” Legend emphasised, regretting everything. “I’m a criminal, I kidnapped a princess and have been at war with the royal guard and entire Hyrulean army for years, I have an entire bounty on my head for my alive capture—”
He blinked sleep out of his eyes for a few seconds, absentmindedly wondering whether alive capture was a valid way to phrase it.
“Goddesses, I need sleep. Goodnight.”
With that, Warriors was left as the sixth person to know; and Legend went to bed.
“Ravio’s Shop…?” Time read, as Legend fumbled with the key while looking over his shoulder for the soldiers he knew would come around on patrol any second.
“It’s nothing important,” Legend said. What was important was the fact that both of them were injured, however minorly, and needed something like shelter before they went back out to find the rest of the group. After what seemed an eternity the key finally clicked —and Legend wasted no time in dragging Time inside his home.
...To see that Ravio had been here again. “Bastard,” Legend cursed under his breath, “cleaning my house like he owns the place—”
“—Except I do basically own this place!” Ravio exclaimed, appearing from the doorway with a grin on his face despite the bite of his words, “Since you’re never here, and my name is on the door, and my name is also on the legal ownership papers since you can’t legally own it without—”
Legend stared at Ravio, deadpan, because if he spoke another word he was going to out everything—
Ravio saw Time in the corner (and Legend cursed the fact that the extremely tall man in full armour could blend into the background so easily ) and recoiled. “Oh, a friend! I didn’t know you had those—!”
Legend wasted no time in showing the middle finger to Ravio. Ravio, the bastard, just laughed it off.
“And you are…?” Time asked.
Ravio grinned. “Ravio, the merchant—“
“—The thief,” Legend interjected—
“—You bought my overpriced items willingly, Link. And this community up here in Hyrule sees me as a perfectly honourable and trustworthy merchant, which is why you can even hide out here in the first place.”
Legend winced. For once, just once, would the people in his life stop outing his secrets?!
Time slowly turned to Legend, suspicion more than evident in his face. “Hide…? From what?”
“Nayru damn you, Ravio,” Legend said beneath his breath, making sure to speak loud enough for Ravio to hear, before turning to Time. “Simple explanation. Pretty much every single soldier in this kingdom is still affected by dark magic from Agahnim and Yuga, and they believe that I’m out there trying to kidnap more people like I supposedly did to Zelda, and that I’m trying to attack more people like I actually did do to the soldiers because they attacked me first.”
Time’s eyes widened, and for a solid second, nothing was said.
Just like that, Time became the seventh to know.
“Never have I ever…” Wind started, looking thoughtful for a second before a sick look of viciousness took over his face, and he turned to Legend, a smirk on his lips. “Broken the law.”
Oh, that little shit—
In the corner of his eye, Legend saw Time reach for the glass before hesitating—
—“It’s fruit juice,” Wild had said, pouring out small glasses for each of them, “but these ones paired together is the worst thing you will ever taste.”—
—“Does it count if you were pardoned…?” Time wondered aloud.
Twilight also reached for his glass, making a face as he downed it, and Legend wondered for a second what sort of laws he had broken before remembering that one story about property damage in Kakariko… or something. Four reached for one too—arson, Legend remembered from one of Four’s grandfather’s stories.
Had anyone else—?
Legend looked around the group, but before he had the chance to get a good look at anyone, he saw Wind staring at him expectedly.
“Damn you,” he cursed, reaching for that glass of his without stopping his glare at Wind. Wind, the little bastard, did nothing but laugh at him. He downed it in a single go, barely managing to keep it all down because what in the Goddesses was in this thing, it was disgusting —
—He looked up, and saw Wild making a similar face of disgust, and for a moment satisfaction rushed through him at the thought of Wild suffering by his own murderous concoction.
“Vet?” Wild asked, surprised. “How’d you break the law?”
Legend blinked, looked around the group, and realised that… literally everybody except Wild knew it all already. Honestly, he expected Wild’s own law-breaking to follow a similar sort of vein to his own, considering that Wild gave in to most of his impulses and didn’t give much of a damn about what anyone else thought (not that this was a criticism, because Legend considered himself much the same)—
“Well,” Legend began, “uh, I broke into Hyrule Castle, attacked pretty much every soldier in there, ‘kidnapped’ the princess, broke into a bunch of sacred temples,”—which every other person in this group had done, and yet nobody else seemed to ever be called out on it—“attacked even more soldiers, er, actively fled the country several times to avoid being caught, and did all of the aforementioned things for a second time several years later.”
“Have you not done the same...?” Legend asked.
Wild frowned. “Vet, I crossdressed.”
And then marked Wild as becoming the eighth person to know—and the final.