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A Bird of Prey

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Normally, he never fought without his bow. 

Revali was no idiot—he knew times were dangerous—but sometimes he just had to get away. Traveling with the princess was all well and good until her entourage of that Sheikah scientist duo and soldiers who weren’t Link got too loud. 

At least, he reasoned, they’ll be too busy conserving heat to speak once we reach the tundra. 

But until that point, it seemed Revali would have to deal with it. No one said he had to deal with it while sticking with the rest, though. 

“I’ll be back,” he said gruffly, not bothering to wait for the princess’ response. “Try not to let your knight burn down the forest while I get water.”

To his credit, Revali did not leave his bow at camp. He flew off and found a nice river with his bow’s familiar weight strapped to his back, and made sure to keep it close at wing while he refilled his small waterskin. The serenity of the forest notwithstanding, Revali wasn’t about to be blindsided. 

He took a deep breath, reveling in the chill air that came as the sun began to set. Soon, his visibility would be dangerously low—but for now, he could appreciate the atmosphere. 

A gentle breeze ruffled his feathers slightly. Water burbled over smooth riverbed rocks, occasionally disturbed by fish. A leaf or two dislodged from the trees and spiraled gracefully to the ground. 

Snap. 

Revali had his bow in wing and an arrow nocked in less than a second, his sharp eyes trained on the motionless trees. For a moment, when nothing happened, he almost thought it was a false alarm. 

He leapt straight up a moment later, clearing the Yiga arrows by the width of a single feather. 

“Your mistake!” 

Three assailants instantly fell to his arrows, their last-second shots going wide as Revali struck true. Two Yiga arrows missed by a mile, as expected of their shoddy archers. 

One didn’t. 

It only stung a little physically, but Revali would die before he let anyone know that he got disarmed and knocked from the air in one hit. A glancing hit, no less. 

They would pay, he decided, leaping to his feet and watching an approaching blademaster warily. Faint laughter told Revali that he was already outnumbered. 

Well. They’re making it a fair fight, I see. 

“We were looking for the princess,” rumbled the blademaster, hefting his sword. “I suppose a grounded songbird is a good star— hrrk!”

Revali didn’t use his beak in battle often, but when he did, it cut deep—and Yiga blood tasted bitter. 

“Grounded songbird, am I?” he snarled, flicking red off of his beak as his enemy toppled. A low kek-kek-kek made its way from his throat in an involuntary threat. “We’ll see about that.”

Leaving the blademaster to wheeze on the forest floor, Revali tore into the other soldiers attempting to sneak up on him like a storm unleashed. He didn’t need his bow to end them. 

All his bow did was make the job more elegant.

Revali hissed in displeasure once it seemed that the battle was over, eyeing the copious amounts of blood on his talons with distaste. He’d have to clean that off before it started to stain and the princess asked questions. 

On a sudden whim, he checked the sky. It hadn’t even been three minutes yet. Some grounded songbird. All that bravado and they fell in seconds—it’s ridiculous that they’re our main barrier to defeating Ganon. 

A wheeze drew his attention to the riverbank. The fallen blademaster was still alive—whether it was out of spite or Revali had somehow missed a major artery was a mystery, but there he lay, reaching for the fallen sword. 

“Don’t think so,” said Revali, swooping over and landing with one taloned foot on the blademaster’s arm. Blood welled when he pushed down, effectively preventing retrieval of the sword. “Was I an easy fight, then? You won’t be reaching the princess today, Yiga.”

The blademaster did not respond—perhaps unable to, given that Revali had gone for the throat. It was truly a miracle that he hadn’t died already. Revali shifted his grip, resting his other foot over the blademaster’s heart. 

“You know,” said Revali, his voice so slow and level that it bordered on eerie, “I don’t like when people underestimate me. I do understand it, though...”

He tightened his grip, pinning the blademaster with unrelenting pressure. 

“We Rito are quite civilized nowadays. People tend to forget that we still have the talons of predators.”

One quick squeeze was all it took. Revali was nothing if not efficient.