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A Familiar Ballad

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Perhaps it was pure selfishness that lead Link to the champions trials, wanting to relive those old memories for just a moment. Or maybe it was his bullheadedness (as Zelda had many times referred to it) of wanting to take a challenge no other could handle. Whatever it was, it didn’t matter, for the trial was begun and half completed.

 

Two shrines down, two to go.

 

Link had to sit on the elevator on its way back up to the mouth of Rohta Chigah Shrine, he felt so utterly drained. Usually, lifting large metal plates and climbing over hurdles presented little challenge to the Hylian, but now everything felt as if each movement would be his last. The One Hit Obliterator, strapped time his back beneath a kite shield emblazoned with the kingdoms insignia, constantly drained his energy until he could barely stand. No matter what he ate, or how long he sat down for a breath, it always felt like the next one was being choked.

 

The surprise Link felt from hearing the jaunty tune of a familiar accordion was a brief relief from the exhaustion. Link wasn’t expecting to see anyone in this trial, nonetheless the minstrel. Dragging himself up the small hillside, he could barely make out the words Kass was saying before the piece suddenly stopped.

 

“My! I wasn’t expecting to see you here.” The Rito exclaimed, earning a quiet nod from Link. The feeling was mutual. “The sky looks so doleful, don’t you agree?” Kass asked, his own voice taking a more somber tone as he looked towards the heavens. Link looked up as well, only then realizing the sky had stayed its same dark, ashy purple since he had taken hold of the draining weapon. How long had it been? In his exhaustion, the Hylian only assumed that it was the same night that he took on the trial... but upon looking at his Sheikah Slate, realized it was about 11 in the morning. Goddess, how long had he been doing this for?

 

“You look quite drained yourself, if you don’t mind me saying.” Kass spoke, earning the return of Link’s gaze. Hooking the slate back on his hip he could only let out a long sigh in reply, and this brought a chuckle to the others beak. “Well then, perhaps a song will cheer you up? Strange as it may seem, I can’t shake the feeling that we were destined to meet here.” He asked, the feathers around his neck fluffing up a bit in excitement, knowing Link was never one to reject an offer of one of his songs.

 

The Hylian nodded, and took a seat in the long grass beside Kass as he started to play.

 

“The flames crawl... the waters rise... the lightning strikes, the wind sighs...” Link took in a deep breath and sighed through his nose, eyes feeling heavy as he listened to the song, likely penned by Kass’s ‘old master’. Whoever that was.

 

“A beast beyond the divine four awaits a hero forevermore. Let not the sound leave horses riled...” Oh— right, his horse. He had left Epona waiting so diligently at the mouth of the Shrine of Resurrection. She was probably better of than him... Link breathed in to sigh again, but instead let out a quiet yawn. He could rest here a bit, right? That would be fine, after all, Kass’ singing was so nice, and the tune he played was so soothing and familiar. The blonde was already nodding off by the time the Rito sang his last line.

 

“Breathe in the breath of the wild... Oh!” Kass looked down in surprise as he felt a sudden weight against his thigh. The traveler who he had seen in countless places all across Hyrule had... fallen asleep. He couldn’t even find it in him to have his feathers ruffled up about it, for the Hylian had looked to be hanging by a thread. Perhaps he needed this more than Kass knew. With a small shake of his head, the minstrel reached down to give the blonde a gentle pet, feathers gliding along golden locks. The Hylian only gave another soft yawn in reply, eyes closed and fingers loosely curled. Kass let out a soft chuckle, reminded of how his chicks used to do the same when they were tuckered out from a day of singing and playing.

 

Well, Kass supposed that he could stay there and play one more song.