It had been given to him as part of his station as a knight in royal guard – the little house in Hateno. He was the youngest to gain the station of a knight, let alone the status of being a royal guard and the land-privialges that came with it. Link had requested a modest house built upon the modest parcel of property (a knight he was, but not exactly a noble) and his mother and father did not mind that he no longer resided in their province even though he was still a teenager. It was wholly appropriate for him to have his own place to live upon becoming a man, even if his departure upon adulthood had happened sooner than they’d anticipated.
Link had developed a great liking for Hateno Village. It was near enough to the place in Lanaryu Province where he had grown up to allow frequent visits and it was within a couple of days’ ride to Hyrule Castle. When he wasn’t to be stationed in Castletown or following the crown princess all over the kingdom and beyond, he would be working at Fort Hateno, anyway, shoring up the defense-walls and working with the Sheikah technicians on military technology. It was a quiet village with friendly people who were most pleased and excited to have a knight of great renown living among them. Link’s presence there became bragging rights for the citizens. For his part, he enjoyed the pastures, the hunting-forest and the beach and how no one seemed to mind the slight Zora accent he’d gained from his childhood close to the Zora’s Domain. Some of the elder knights in Castletown who’d grown up in Central Hyrule made fun of him for that, not that he spoke much, anyway.
It was this little house in Hateno where the Hero’s parents lived for many years after fleeing Lanayru after the Calamity. They’d both fought to defend the walls guarding the village their son had chosen as his new hometown when the Guardians had turned upon Hyrule’s people. It was also in Hateno where they’d learned that their son had fallen in battle, yet still lived, beyond their reach.
“So, I was thinking…maybe a rack here for that ceremonial shield they gave me that I’m probably never going to use or… stuffed animal heads.”
Link stood upon the bare concrete of what was to become the floor of his new house as he stared at one of the freshly-erected walls beneath the framing for a roof that wasn’t built yet. He gazed up at the blue sky, noting the puffy clouds, hoping they wouldn’t build up to rain before his little tour was over for the day. It did not rain in Hateno nearly as much as it did in Lanayru. Zora’s Domain was wet almost all the time. It had been a small factor in Link’s decision regarding housing. Growing up under nearly constant cloud-cover and drenched in fog from the river, he did not like rain much. His childhood had given him enough to last a lifetime. He’d occasionally joked that the only reason why he hadn’t gone with claiming land in the perpetually dry Gerudo Desert was that he liked heat even less than rain.
“It’s shapin’ up pretty nice,” his father said, clapping him in the back. “You’re mighty lucky to be doing this so young. I’m tempted to call you a spoiled brat, but I know how your ma and I raised you.”
“It’s still awfully small,” his mother said, “and there’s no fireplace.”
“The cookpot is outside,” Link noted. “If I had a fire pit, there’d be too many trapped smells and too much risk of burning the place down.”
“Won’t it get cold in here?” she insisted.
“Nah,” her son assured her. “The weather stays pretty warm in Hateno most of the time and it’s a cozy size.” He knocked lightly on a wall for emphasis. “See? Nice, thick walls…good for insulation. Besides, I probably won’t be spending most of my time here, anyway. I stand to be stuck at the barracks for weeks at a time, or in camp.”
“You’ll want bigger when you have kids,” his father murmured.
“The old homestead isn’t much bigger than this, Dad,” Link said, “but we made do.
The young man’s mother looked thoughtful for a moment as her gaze met the unfinished upper floor that was to become the bedding area. “Besides, he’ll probably forget all about this place and come back to the Domain when that Zora girl-”
“Mother!” Link yelped.
“He is young, Elanor,” his father said with a laugh. “No need to lay fate out before him. Besides, with the hunting skills you taught him, I can imagine each of these walls just lined with trophies. A stag’s head here… a boar there… Provided he can find a good taxidermist in this town.”
“I already know a guy,” Link said. “He’s out near Retsam Forest.”
“Very good, then,” his father concluded. “Now that the tour of the construction-thus-far is done for the day, perhaps we should get some lunch at the inn and you can tell us about that trip your company is taking to the woods up north.”
“Oh, it’s just a routine patrol… complaints about monster-activity,” Link said, brushing him off with a small shake of his head. “You’re a knight – well, retired now…You know this stuff.”
“Yes, but there are a lot of spooky tales about those woods. I know the monster-numbers have gotten worse of late, particularly around there, but it is said that even they do not enter those woods. Believe it or not, I have never been inside that forest. King Rhoam is surely not asking you and your company to enter sacred…or cursed…lands is he?”
“Well,” Link sighed, “The king thinks that there is something important lying in the forest’s heart and he wants us to investigate it – some old legend. I’m not too worried about it. Mom taught me woodcraft and she’s one of the best there is. I promise you two I won’t get lost. Now, you said something about food?”
The people of Hateno gathered in a huddled mass in the muddy main street. The rain, which had been coming down in sheets, was beginning to lighten. The scared civilians who had huddled within the walls of the town-proper and the weary, wounded warriors who had newly joined them had one question on their minds.
Where was the Princess and where was the Hero?
A pair of Sheikah ran and jumped with deft footing into the town center, rain-soaked with patches of red showing on their light clothing where the wet had diluted it into the fabric, but could not wash it away. Faces bruised and knuckles scraped, they bowed before the populace.
And they received a clamor of questions cries all at once.
“Where are they?”
“Where is Zelda?”
“What happened to the Divine Beasts?”
“Where are the Champions?”
“What happened to the Guardians?”
“The fields are on fire!”
“I thought I saw the castle in the distance covered in black fire and smoke!”
“The one who holds the Master Sword? Where is he? Why didn’t he stop this?”
“Is he going to stop this?”
“We were at the wall holding the Guardians at bay when they suddenly…just…stopped! What is going on?”
“Peace! Peace!” One of the Sheikah patrolmen said. “Give us time! We are trying to figure out matters for ourselves!”
The other Sheikah, a woman, asked cautiously, “Is Sir Leverett and Lady Elanor among you?”
“Yes, yes, here,” said a man edging his way between bodies to the front of the crowd, his wife behind him, holding him by the wrist. His face was pale, his skin filled with a cold that couldn’t be blamed upon the rain. Reading the faces of the Sheikah, he anticipated no good news.
“What of our son?” Elanor asked.
“Sir Link,” the Sheikah woman said, a shiver of sorrow lacing her voice, “He…he’s alive…”
Elanor and Leverett breathed a tandem sigh of relief, yet shared a shiver.
“He is alive,” the woman continued while the male she was with tried to calm the crowd. “However, he did fall in battle. His wounds were grave – even fatal, but we have placed him in a place of healing – a medical facility that we have been preparing for just such a situation – for the royal family, or for the Champions. I am saddened to say that it was needed for the Hylian Champion – your poor, brave son.”
“Will he be-?” the stricken mother began.
“We do not know,” the Sheikah answered. “Robbie and I put him under ourselves. As top physicians, we have done our best and only time will tell. For what is worth, Princess Zelda reports that he was courageous to the end and was vital to her present status among the living.”
Leverett hugged his wife. He knew that from the day his child found the Master Sword that his life would be hounded by a great destiny and a terrible curse.
“Fishing with Mom is boring,” young Link complained as he followed his father along a forest trail. “She won’t teach me how to use her fancy pole yet and dance the line in the air. I am not too young! I’m almost a teenager!”
Father and son were walking along a forest trail on the edge of the Lanayru Wetlands, one they’d been down many times, doing a little wild gathering for the family meals for the week. Link did this more often with his mother, but his father was home for the time being and they decided to do this together today – just the two of them.
“Well, she took great pains and a long time to craft that pole. She fears breaking it and doesn’t even let me touch it! It also takes some skill to fly fish. You should watch her a little more. She’ll teach you, eventually. A tip? Keep bothering her about it. She’ll break down.”
“Well,” Link began, “The other day…I got tired of the fish not going for my bait-line, so I just jumped into the water and chased them. I scared them all away! Mom was so mad!”
Leverett laughed as he patted his boy on the back. “Where did you learn how to fish like that?”
“Mipha and Kodah fish like that! All the Zora do!”
“So, you’re learning to fish like a Zora now?”
“Yep! It’s so much better! They catch so many fish just by chasing them and grabbing them right out of the water! I’m not good at it yet…”
“I don’t imagine most Hylians would be. Zora are as quick in the water as the fishes themselves. We Hylians are more… creatures of the land.”
“Dad, don’t pick that mushroom. The ones like that are poison.”
Leverett hesitated, his deft fingers, ready to snatch up a small treasure from the forest, were left hovering over a bright red-capped fungus. “Are you sure, son?” he asked. “It looks like a common Hylian Shroom to me.”
“No! No, no, no!” Link insisted. “It’s too bright… and that orange tinge here? Mom says those are the poison ones. The regular ones are more of a dull red and have a bit of brown at the edges. It’s really hard to see. You gotta look closely.”
“I’ll believe you. She is the expert.”
“She says I need to teach you better. You’re supposed to be a knight, Dad. Aren’t you supposed to know about this stuff? Don’t you need to know how to survive behind battle-lines and things like that?”
“Yes, but most of the training is in arms and weapons. Your mother is the food-expert – The better hunter, too.”
“Can we get some beef or lamb in Hateno Village sometime next week?” Link asked, a small hint of complaint in his voice. “I’m getting a bit tired of venison and pigeon. Ooh, can we get cuccoo?”
“You know that stuff is expensive, especially the cuccoo, because they have to kill it special – If you don’t kill them one at a time in a shed where their flock can’t see them, the flock gets all riled up.”
Link let out a somewhat disturbing laugh. “At least they’re so dumb they don’t notice when one of their own is missing after the fact.”
They walked along in silence for a while. Link could be a chatterbox sometimes, but he’d also learned to appreciate being quiet and to listen to the sounds of nature. In fact, his mother taught him how vital it was for hunting to not frighten prey and to listen for the sounds of their vocalizations and footsteps. His father had never been prouder of him than the day he’d taken down his first wild boar with a bow and arrow. Link had graduated, as far as his archery, to the use of knight’s bows that his father would smuggle home illegally from the castle armory.
Silence was also vital, as his father had taught him, for listening for one’s enemies. Hyrule had not been at war with another nation for some time, but its military was not soft. The kingdom was a land where negative energies from a dead god manifested as physical beings. The monsters of the land fed on the darkness in people’s hearts, but had a base-origin in an ancient entity that could be beaten back, but could never truly die. The knights of Hyrule existed as a force to protect the common people from these monsters as well as to protect the royal family from both monsters and malicious men within the kingdom. Unfortunately, just because Hyrule had its monsters did not mean that it was devoid of criminals. The most noted of these was the Yiga Clan, a rogue group within Hyrule, an offshoot of the Sheikah people, who held an ancient grudge against all of Hyrule’s affiliated peoples, but particularly the Hylian royal line.
The Clan had been mostly quiet of late, as had been the monsters. Link had enjoyed a childhood in a time of peace, but it seemed that more beasts had been popping up of late. Greater numbers were sighted in the land and his father had been in many fights.
Link’s favorite story from his father’s travels was the tale of his squadron facing down a Lynel. Leverett had brought back a horn for him, which the boy kept in his room as a cherished treasure.
“When do I get to enlist?” Link suddenly queried, breaking the relative quiet. Birds chirped softly in the trees above them.
“In the knights. I want to train to be a knight like you. I’ve always wanted that. You know that. I’m going to be of age to go to the academy to try to become a soldier next year, aren’t I?”
“Yes. But are you sure? I was of the thought that you might choose another path. You must finish your basic education first. Didn’t you want to be a musician last year?”
“I thought about it and… I went back to wanting to be a Hylian knight.” Link answered. It’s weird being the only Hylian in the Zora school,” he complained. “And when you and Mom send me to the schoolhouse in Hateno in the spring, I always feel weird there because I’m the only one who gets boarded.”
“Get used to being boarded if you’re going to be a knight, then, son,” Leverett told him, giving his hair a rub. “You’ll be spending a full two years living out of the barracks – and that’s after initial boarding at the academy and if you make it through the first months of training. Not many do.”
“So am I!”
“That you are.”
“Just watch, Dad. I’m gonna be a legend.”
The boy looked around, scanning the forest floor for mushrooms and edible plants before bringing up another subject. “Is it really true that there’s a sword that can seal all evil out there somewhere?”
“Well, it is guaranteed, if the histories are correct. Though it’s hard to pick out history from legend sometimes.”
“Is it true that one of the heroes of the past could turn into a wolf?”
“That story is a legend… A lot of the scholars think it was made up,” Leverett mumbled, scratching his sandy beard. “Some pin that on one of the past queens – one who had visions of another world.”
“What about the hero who traveled through time? Or the one who rode a giant bird?”
“Legends, all, and all with some truth to them.”
“They teach the Hero of Time lesson in the Zora school, I mean, though they focus a lot on Princess Ruto, and then on Ruto’s time as Empress of the Domain after that. They teach it as fact.”
“The Sheikah have been rediscovering some of their lost technology out in the ruins and dig sites – items that they think date from ten-thousand years ago. King Rhoam thinks that we might be called into limited service on some of the archeological digs.”
“Really? Oh, Dad, if you get to do that, get them to take me with you!”
“I don’t know if they’ll allow that,” Leverett laughed, “but I’ll try.”
The Calamity’s survivors huddled in small enclaves and shored up their defenses. They also cooperated with one another, which was the key to their survival.
Elanor had managed to save some of her books in it all. She’d once had a formidable library. She kept books on science, history, legend and fiction of many varieties as well as a cookbook or two, though she had taken to being on the writing-end of those as a self-styled chef of inventive tastes. In fact, with the fields of Central Hyrule and the farmlands of Necluda burning, she felt suddenly vital. Her family had done a lot of living off the land while her husband was stationed in Lanayru Province due to the issues of travel involved in procuring agricultural products for conventional cooking. She herself had grown up in a poor family and taken those skills with her when she’d “married up.”
She knew which plants and mushrooms wouldn’t kill people. She knew how to break down a deer. She had developed the cooking of wild gathered dishes into an art. She was not alone in this, but she was somewhat rare. In the years after the Calamity, she would pen books that would help the next generation survive. In the immediate aftermath, she taught those around her what she knew until they could get their fields back in order – just as she had taught her son.
As she placed one of her water-damaged, but still readable salvaged books upon a stack she’d piled in a corner of Link’s house in Hateno – some old, unrealistic story about life during an apocalypse – something that felt painful now – she couldn’t help but think about how surprisingly common apocalypses were. The histories of Hyrule were full of tales of narrowly-averted disaster and dark times that were resolved by the royal family and heroes that had been raised from among the common people or the knights’ houses.
She sighed deeply. The common people were rarely addressed in the old stories – just the Hero, the Princess and the Power. Elanor had never thought that her family would ever be caught up in one of these times. The day she’d birthed the boy who had turned out to be her only child (not for lack of trying, just for the lack of the Goddess’ blessing; apparently), she’d never had any aspirations for him to become the Hero.
In fact, when the news hit, she was stricken with dread.
Life was not kind to Hyrule’s heroes in the stories, during the quest or in their lives afterward. “Happily ever after” was an illusion tacked onto many Faerie Tales, but the stories of Hyrule’s heroes were legends, not Faerie stories, and where bits and pieces of actual history were known, bards tended to be honest.
There were tales of at least one failure-Hero and of a long dark night over Hyrule. It was said that the time was so bad that people were reduced to living in caves or in holes beneath trees – and that was a time when the Calamity Ganon was in a state prior to Calamity, a time when the dark powers of the dead god were still tied to something mortal that was limited to the common mortal wants of territory and influence.
According to the prophecy given by the spirit-seekers this time around, if Princess Zelda had not awakened the Sacred Power when she had, the Thing that she’d managed to seal up within the ruins of Hyrule Castle would have left not just burning fields and a fraction of survivors – it would have taken all life: Men, beasts, even monsters, leaving the land – perhaps even the world entire - as a barren waste.
As it was, it was Elanor’s time now – the time of the common people to pick up and survive. Anyone with any useful skills among them, no matter how small such skills seemed in the world before, was well-needed.
They were surviving and, as she was told, so was her son.
“When your wounds are healed, Link, and you come back to us,” she said to the empty air in the little house, “I’ll have a feast waiting for you.”
She put another salvaged book upon the pile. When she and her husband got the chance, they would build a proper bookshelf.
They had both noticed how quiet Link had become after he’d become a soldier. Leverett retired the year before he graduated from training and the parents couldn’t be prouder to see their boy taking up the family-honor, although they had become concerned for his personal state. From what they could get out of Link when he did talk of his experiences, it had been drilled into him by his superiors that “It was better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”
During his first tours in greater Hyrule, the monsters were becoming thicker in the land and Link had experienced combat early on. He’d watched a good friend he’d made in training get killed by a Moblin. He’d managed to save others from similar fates.
Link had been the top of his class of young soldiers. After that, he quickly graduated to official knight-class for his prowess and for acts of courage in saving his fellows on the field. The land rights he’d staked being a firm symbol of the new status he’d gained despite his tender age.
It was not long after his little house in Hateno was completed that he had been given a new title and a new duty – one that would drive his increasing quietude into a near-complete silence, one broken seldom, even for his family.
“Here, Link, stir the pot for me,” Elanor said to him during his first leave to visit his family’s Lanayru home.
Link obediently sat himself down at a cookpot full of herbed rice, slivers of mushroom and the dark half-cooked flesh of a plump wild duck. As the aromas wafted before his face, he smiled. Elanor and Leverett knew that if they were lucky, they’d get half the large pot to themselves, all that they needed, with the rest going to their always “growing boy.”
“So, they’ve elevated you to the Princess’ guard now?” Leverett inquired. “That’s quite an honor.”
“Hm-hm,” Link grunted.
“I would have never guessed that the Sword of Legend would be found in our lifetimes,” Elanor added. “And you’re been named a Champion!”
“He will use it well,” Leverett assured – though he was trying to assure himself. When he and his wife had heard the rumors of what had happened on Link’s trip into the mysterious woods on a routine patrol into Central Hyrule and the Woodland Province, they were both proud and grim.
“I don’t really know how it happened,” Link said quietly, his eyes on the meal preparation. “I just saw this sword there, stuck in the ground in the mists… I thought some idiot had left it there and had gotten lost in the forest or forgot about it. I wanted to add it to my collection.”
Leverett nodded and smiled. His son’s house in Hateno had some weapon racks – the walls building quite a collection of ceremonial swords and spears as well as a few random things that Link had found while traveling and thought looked interesting, regardless of whether or not he planned to use them.
“I also,” Link continued hesitantly as a bit of meat hissed and he was quick to stir the pot to keep things from burning and sticking, “It’s hard to explain… I kind of ‘felt’ the sword calling to me. There weren’t voices in my head or anything, but I just ‘felt’ drawn toward her. I don’t know if that makes any sense at all.”
“Of course it does,” Elanor assured him. “If the old stories are true, that’s how the Hero finds the Sword.”
Link smiled. “Dinner’s done,” he said, grabbing a bowl and ladling out some of the mixed-rice dish in the pot. “It was strange… how everyone in my squadron stared at me and took to their knees before me.”
“Don’t put the world on your shoulders too much, son,” Leverett said, taking the proffered bowl. “Put some of it on us. You might have a destiny, but Hyrule is upon – and is… all of its people.”
They had managed to convince Purah to do a kindness for them and they embarked upon a journey even though the path was dangerous. Sheikah soldiers comprised the scientist’s guard and the escort of the two grieving Hylian parents as they made their way to the Hylian Plateau and up its steep crags. Leverett knew that for his part, this would probably be the only time he’d make it up here due to his aging body. His younger wife had a better time with the ropes and climbing equipment than he did when the party had to abandon their horses.
“He sleeps here,” Purah said as she approached a cave with smooth stone etched in the ancient Sheikah glyphs that the people of Hyrule had come to recognize within the last decade as the old technology was being uncovered. She danced her fingers along a strange device that she carried with her. Leverett and Elanor had seen Link carrying a similar device once – though it was a bit different, more “advanced” according to Purah and it belonged to Princess Zelda.
The shrine sighed as it opened, a series of slats falling away from one another, making up the strangest parting-gate the Hylian couple had ever seen. Symbols along the slats glowed as they vanished into the walls.
“Watch your step,” the young Sheikah said as she descended a ladder rested over a large, square stone, leading to the cavern floor. Her guardsmen stayed outside, cloaking themselves against wind-blown ash and dust. They were to watch for errant Guardians – a noted danger as some of them still skittered among the Temple of Time and the outlying abbey that rested upon this once-sacred ground.
The cave was cool and dry. Elanor shivered and wrapped her cloak around herself. Leverett barely noticed the temperature change as he was clad in his old knight’s armor, complete with the wool undercoat. He had insisted upon dressing in it despite knowing about the climb he’d have to make, bent upon protecting his wife from monsters along the road. To his surprise, they had not run into many and those that did try to waylay them were taken care of swiftly by Purahs’ guard before his sword could even have a say in it.
“Why is it so blue in here?” Elanor asked.
“Just the machines,” Purah answered. “They work, in part, upon holy blue flame. I do not think I can give a satisfactory explanation to anyone not at work in my field. It’s a calming color, I think, good for a medical facility.”
She walked on ahead and gestured to a large platform in the backmost “room” of the cave. “Link is here. You… probably do not want to let your gaze linger upon his wounds too much. I assure you that all readings thus far are in the clear and he is healing.”
The parents leaned cautiously over the stone bed and its glimmering, blue-tinged waters. Elanor put her hand to her mouth and cringed back. Her husband put an arm around her.
“I can see him breathing,” he said softly to calm her and himself. “It’s subtle, but it’s there.”
“Uh, huh!” Purah said, putting her index finger up in the air. “He’s actually doing just fine…. Considering the state he came to us in.” She paused for a moment. “The stitches… do look ugly. They will dissolve in time. The suspension-fluid, itself, is healing him.”
“Thank you for leaving him some dignity,” Leverett sighed.
“Oh! The underwear,” Purah understood. “Normally, we would remove that on a patient, but there was no need to in his case.”
“How long do you think he will be like this?” Elanor asked, her eyes shining in the blue light with desperation.
“We… do not know,” Purah hesitated. “We think it could be at least a year… maybe a decade or more.”
She suddenly started as Leverett reached his hand toward Link’s cheek.
“No! No! You mustn’t touch him! I’m so sorry, but his state is delicate and so is the state of the fluid. It is not compatible with two different, conflicting life-signatures.”
“Huh?” the man asked, his fingers hovering over his son’s face like they might have hovered over a dubious mushroom he’d found in the woods.
“It would start to heal you of anything you may have – any scratch or minor bruise… or age. It would take the healing away from him. I’m sorry, but if you try to touch him right now, he could die.”
Elanor cleaved to Leverett’s’ side in a sob. “Easy,” he sighed bitterly. “He… he’s still alive. He’ll come out of this. Remember… he’s Link. If all of those times he made us worry as a child falling out of trees and off rocks busting up and bruising things didn’t kill him, this won’t either.”
His gaze fell upon a particularly nasty wound in the young man’s chest – one that looked like a deep, penetrative burn just over where his heart and one lung would be.
“We are monitoring him,” Purah said softly. “Well, me and my colleague, Robbie. We are settling upon different sides of the kingdom for the sake of keeping our information safe, but we have…” she hesitated to explain, “a magic-network. We can check on Link’s progress remotely, to a degree, and as much as we can - and I will be making trips here if he doesn’t awaken soon. I will be in Hateno, so we can check up on him together. I’ll keep you in the know!”
“Thank you,” Leverett said. “May the Goddess bless you.”
“May the Goddess bless him,” Purah added with a nod to Link. “We do not know how long Princess Zelda’s seal on the Calamity will last, either. She cannot conquer it alone. We will need him.”
The Sheikah guard made camp at the Shrine of Resurrection’s entrance as Link’s parents stayed within it during an entire night, talking to their comatose son, trying to pull him back and wishing him sweet dreams.
As it turns out, the first visit to the Shrine was not Leverett’s only visit. He went with Purah the next time she did a personal checkup. She said that they could not risk opening the seal often as it was vital that Link remain protected and that the location of his sickbed remain a secret.
Monsters may have been wild and too dumb to find it if it was not right in front of them (and there were monsters populating the Plateau), but Yiga still existed in hidden enclaves and they were skilled assassins, which wasn’t even a necessary skill when their sworn enemy lay prone. The Shrine of Resurrection was classified information.
It was five years since Link’s family got to see him once more. Leverett and Elanor entered the blue-bathed cavern again, breathing the dry, sterile air. They laid eyes upon their son once again.
The wounds were healing. The stitches that held deep cuts together had vanished as the skin had mended. Scars remained, bright pale and raised against an otherwise smooth body. However, that body itself had not aged.
Link remained sixteen. No growth spurts or aging in the face – he had not even grown any facial hair or leg hair. Aside from the healing of the wounds, he was trapped in time. He was still asleep and still.
Not so much a corpse, his mother had decided – but like a doll.
“There is no change,” Elanor said as she entered the house in Hateno.
Leverett sat up from his chair beneath the trophies on the wall – his son’s old weapons and his wife’s hunted animal heads and skins. They had made the place their own even as they kept it for their son’s eventual return. The aging retired knight could no longer make the climb up to the Plateau. Elanor had gone alone with Purah on the latest checkup. It had been ten years since that last one.
“Nothing at all?” came the query.
Elanor shook her head. “No change. No change.”
Link’s mother was alone on her final visit to the tomb of her son. Even Purah was not there as she sat outside the sealed door of the Shrine of Resurrection. She had determined herself for one last visit.
Leverett had gone out a hero years ago when a Lynel had been sighted outside of Fort Hateno. He had given his life to keep the thing from breaching the gate and heading into the village. Purah had aged too much to make the Plateau climb. The old scientist had said that she was working on a “de-aging rune” or some such thing but had yet to make the breakthrough.
Elanor thought that she might perish upon the climb, but had determined herself to do it. She had to at least say goodbye to her son, even if he would not hear her. She traced her right hand – beginning to show wrinkles and prominent veins – over the smooth door. If she hadn’t known any better, she would have thought it a single, uncut piece. Only Purah could work the technology to open the gate, so she was left outside of it.
The grass was growing here. The land had begun to green again. Flowers sprouted among ruins.
She knew that, inside, her son was still sixteen. He hadn’t grown an inch or a year the last time she’d been able to see him. Purah said that he would not, even if his healing took one-hundred years.
Elanor left a pale blue flower at the seal of the Shrine.
“I am sorry, Link,” she said, closing her eyes and putting her forehead to the smooth stone. “I doubt I’ll be around when you wake up. If I am, I will be waiting at the house in Hateno, just as your father is waiting in the graveyard. Please, please wake up soon.”
She sat down upon a stray stone, resting her weary knees.
“Link, whenever you do wake up… at the very least, I hope that you will remember us.”