• Published 31st Jul 2012
  • 15,365 Views, 623 Comments

A Link to Equestria - Wandering Quill

The Hero of Time's arrival to Equestria bears more consequence than anyone expected: the discovery of a common History... and of common enemies.

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Trouble in your Wake

'In the land of Hyrule, there echoes a legend. A legend held dearly by the Royal Family that tells of a boy...

A boy who, after battling evil and saving Hyrule, crept away from the land that had made him a legend...

Done with the battles he once waged across time, he embarked on a journey. A secret and personal journey...

A journey in search of a beloved and invaluable friend...

A friend with whom he parted ways when he finally fulfilled his heroic destiny and took his place among legends...

But as he would soon come to realize, such a place is not always desirable, for when one enemy falls, two more rise in their place...

And for harmony to be kept, the fall of one hero must bring forth the birth of seven more...’

~-~-~-~-~-~▲ ▲~-~-~-~-~-~

Head hung low, the boy clad in green shuddered.

He needn't hold on to the steed that carried him across the ever-thickening haze. The layer of clouds granted the woods where the people do not wander the rightful adjective that was its namesake: the Lost Woods. Trees sprouted from the ground in a sort of organized chaos, as if their owner had simply scattered their seeds across the land without the least of concerns for where they would fall.

Man and horse, neither one had a destination, and neither one knew for how long they had been journeying. Days, weeks, months… it didn’t seem to matter. Step by step, the filly continued to trek through the overgrown vegetation, the slightest breeze agitating unseen foliage high above.

Why had they ventured into this forest, forsaken by the Hylian and feared by the Kokiri, to begin with?

'They say that when non-fairy folk enter the Lost Woods, they become monsters!’

The melodious whisper of a song echoed in the back of his mind, drawn from memories of a place gone by. Memories of the hollow tree his house had been built on. Memories of the deity who, prior to his death, kept safe the forest they inhabited. But above all, memories of… her.

The gentle wind that caressed the woods suddenly stopped. An eerie stillness flooded the atmosphere around them. They had stopped. Something was moving under the cover of the mist.

Then a chime to which the boy had grown attached: the signature sound of a fairy's flight.

“HEEAH!” the boy swiftly cried, prompting the horse forward with a quick whip of his legs. Epona complied and galloped into the heart of the haze without a moment’s hesitation.

Certainty, however, was not in the rider’s mind. Should he draw his sword and confront this potential danger? He would be utterly unguarded if this concealed enemy were to ambush him. He had learned throughout his life that this was not something he could afford.

Eyes set on the path ahead, he unsheathed the weapon. Its golden hilt shimmered faintly under the little light that shone through the treetops.

The Kokiri Sword had been by his side through all sorts of dangers, and had been his weapon of choice when he forced the swordsmen at a Hylian training ground to swallow their scorn. He had defeated them one by one, thus obtaining the title of knight he so desired from Hyrule's court. If he could take on these mighty warriors and still rise victorious, then surely he would be able to defeat anything that crossed his path.

He had, after all, been dubbed ‘The Hero of Time’.

“Easy, Epona,” he muttered, lowering his head towards his steed’s mane. The filly slowed down, eventually coming to a complete halt just a step away from what appeared to be the abrupt end of the path. A quick hop later, he was walking towards what he was tempted to call the edge of the world.

He couldn’t judge just how steep the cliff he stood upon was – the same persistent layer of clouds that had surrounded him now blocked his sight to the bottom of the lengthy fall. He didn’t plan to find out either.

Taking a step away from the unstable edge, he began to analyze his surroundings. He no longer felt the presence of the unidentified sprite, but on the other hand, he had been driven off-course.

Was I even following a course? he paused to ponder.

The familiar buzzing of a fairy's was the answer of the woods. His eyes hastily shifted from one end of the foggy barrier to the other. He scanned it for any trace of the sprite, be it the glittering trail it always left behind or the tiny orb of light that was its body.

“N-Navi?” he stuttered, daring to take a step towards the dimly lit maze. “Is that you?”

He could feel the fairy closing in at an almost frustratingly slow pace. It was barely noticeable, but he could see the powder they emanated from their tiny, glowing bodies flutter away, carried by a light waft of air. He remained still, carefully prodding the mist for any source of light he could use as a hint.

The tiniest flicker of radiance in the dark of the woods was enough to spur the boy back on his saddle. Epona was once more racing past the immeasurably tall trees, hurdling over their exposed roots and the pits they concealed in a wild pursuit.

Please, don’t go away again.

With every crack of the whip, the incandescent dot in the distance grew bigger and brighter. His heart skipped a beat as the realization that he would finally be together with his friend struck.

Why are you going away?

Epona’s nearly deafening neighs went completely unnoticed. The fairy owned his undivided attention. It had stopped less than a second’s gallop away from them, idly floating up and down. He knew this was his only chance.

Then suddenly, propelled by a powerful force beneath him, he soared through the air. His arms were outstretched. It was an insane attempt to reach the fairy, grab her and drag her down with him.

But he didn't make it.

It was in the peak of this ascent, when he was inches away from her, that he managed to properly observe the fairy. His young heart was shattered into a thousand pieces when he found that this sprite had nothing to do with the one he had been searching.

There was no silver core to a blue radiance in its body - only a faded green color that grew darker towards its center. What should be a pure white to azure gradient in her wings was not but a constant, glass-like cerulean.

He struggled for words. Time had stopped. Whether to help or to further torture him, Link couldn't tell. “Who…”

“Wait... You're... Link," the thing spoke. Time resumed its flow. He was falling.

All it took was a moment before everything faded to the deepest shade of black. He didn't dare to look down. His only wish was that this fall did not have an end.

~-~-~-~-~-~▲ ▲~-~-~-~-~-~

It was as if the world bent and distorted itself in the oddest of ways. That was possibly the best description Link could offer of his current location, despite not being able to see anything beyond the pit's veil of darkness.

Though his sight was of no obvious use, it still felt like he could see all the ways in which the world contorted and became something entirely new, something completely strange to him.

As if it was the work of a foe mighty enough to destroy the Goddesses. It was, after all, destroying their work. No weapon could defeat this enemy; no shield could defend him from this fall.

A foe… in the midst of the darkness fluttered white little specks of dust. There was a multitude of them, just like the ones that dotted the skies in the clearest nights.

Unlike the starry night sky, this pattern of lights had nothing remotely soothing about it. Such was the hostility that was patent in this collection of scintillating dots that Link could almost touch it.

I’ll get to you… in time…’ its ominous voice seemed to threaten, preparing to fade into the sinister nothingness of the fall once again and leave the boy to his own devises.

The demise of the Hero of Time would be a depressing pit that ridiculed him. Because of his lack of attention to his faithful steed’s pleas. Yes, this would be a suitable end. To disappear without a trace in a forest, whereabouts unknown to everyone in Hyrule.

Everyone… save for that fairy.

But he had seen her. When one shares as much time as he did with a person – or, in this case, a fairy – one becomes fairly able to recognize them. And when it came to a fairy like Navi, Link knew he could recognize her a mile away.

Then why had he chased this fairy? Why had her color not been a telltale sign that this was not his former companion?

Questions began to flood his mind, but he disregarded them. As long as he was plunging to his death, he had all the time in the world. He was surprisingly aware: he could feel the weight of the Ocarina in his pocket, the comfort of the handmade scabbard that held his sword, the cold metal of the shield strapped against his back.

On that note, the temperature was dropping. Was the center of the world an icy cavern? He had no good memories of ice and caves – the time when Zora’s Domain froze over was enough to imprint a lasting hatred of cold in his mind.

No, that couldn’t be it. Though the air was definitely growing colder the longer he fell, it definitely didn't feel like there was ice down below.

The murmur of a roar reached his ears, causing his curiosity to peak. The possibility that there was a waterfall at the bottom of the pit rekindled the flame of hope in his heart. It was his only chance of survival.

Light was starting to tear through the haze that surrounded him, and he welcomed it with open arms. This confirmed his suspicions: he was getting close to the end. Not long after the first hint of radiance appeared, the pit was flooded with a pale blue light. The sound was growing louder. His face was pelted by droplets of cold water, cueing him to get ready.

A quick adjustment to his position was enough to guarantee the perfect dive. He could only pray to the Goddesses that the massive lake beneath him was deep enough to safely cushion his fall.

He broke straight through the lake's serene waters.

His mind had barely had time to recover when his lungs begged for air. Several powerful kicks and arm strokes later, he breached the surface and gasped loudly. Only then did the water's cold temperature get to him.

Not wasting a moment, he paddled towards the closest shore he could find. Link still tried to stand once he reached land, but found himself unable to. With an exhausted sigh, he fell on the rocky floor on his back, slowly taking in the view of the immense cave while the echo of his shield's metallic clang faded away. It was indeed an immense cave. An immensely desolate cave.

“Ep-Epona?” he called between wheezes. He tried again, then one more time, just to make sure.

His calls remained unanswered. It was time for a new plan.

He took the deep blue ocarina out of a pocket and shakily raised it to his mouth. Merely three blows escaped his mouth, ones barely resembling his steed's summoning tune. Giving up altogether, he brought the instrument close his chest and grasped it as tightly as he could.

There has to be a way out of here… I need to go, and I need to do it now.

It only took an attempt at rising to his feet to discover that he was still too tired. He managed nothing but a poorly executed sit-up before his back hit the rocky floor like a dead weight. The shield cushioned the fall for what it was worth. The resulting clank of steel against stone echoed throughout the cavern.

Okay… I’ll take five…

~-~-~-~-~-~▲ ▲~-~-~-~-~-~

As soon as time for resting elapsed, Link continued his trip. The Goddesses had smiled on him, this time around. He had found a path to follow.

It was an uphill tunnel that dug into the cave. Navy blue crystals sprouted from the walls in an disorganized fashion, illuminating his way with their pale glow. Mining equipment was strewn across the ground here and there, often bundled with piles of boulders. Just looking at the place made memories of Hyrule's own ice caves surface.

Link shivered at the thought and grasped the sword's hilt tighter. His green tunic and hat were still partially damp from his earlier dive into the lake.

His ears twitched at the sound of a pebble that rolled down its pile. A quick look around revealed there weren't any threats.

Good thing, too, he thought. At this point, the sword weighed more than a sledgehammer. An enemy to fight was the last thing he needed.

His mind drifted back to Epona and her well being. Play her favorite tune though he might, she would not answer. The possibility that the fairy, the root of all of his problems, could be behind her disappearance crossed his mind. He started to grind his teeth. There would be hell to pay. There was a thousand and one ways to torture a fairy, and he'd resort to all of them. His frown became a devious grimace.

The bubble that contained his machinations burst when a gust of freshness snapped him back to reality. It felt different. It didn't smell like coal or rust. It was a breeze that carried pure, breathable air. A smile was already tugging at his lips.

I must be getting close! He thought, barely containing an excited squeal as he broke into a frenzied run. Voices began to reverberate across the tunnels, even the air appeared to be hinting at how close he was.

After rounding a corner, he spotted a weak source of light. One last trek up this new slanted tunnel, alongside the rails that sprouted from the ground, was all he needed to do.

Or so he thought. As soon as he arrived to the top, he found that a crisscrossed barricade of wooden planks covered the exit. Very little light made it through the gaps. Peeking through them, he caught a glimpse of a staircase, and beyond that, the sun, the sky and the rooftops of a town.

Motivated by this discovery, he unsheathed his sword and lashed out at the obstacle. Just as he had predicted, the old, musty boards didn't stand a chance against the might of his blade. With several satisfying cracks, they were reduced to splinters.

The sword returned to its scabbard once there was enough space for the boy to crawl through. His naked knees left the soft sand of the cave and entered the coldness of a stone floor. Still gasping, he ran up the stairs, eager to bathe in the sunlight.

The feeling had been as glorious as he had imagined. The touch of the sun's rays on his skin was a blessing from above. He basked at the top of the stairs, arms wide open so as to collect as much heat as possible. The clamor of the crowd was reduced to an imperceptible buzz in his ears. A broad, toothy smile spread across his features.

He heard hooves clopping on stone. Finally prying his eyes from the circle of light, Link looked around with a hopeful gaze.

His smile died right then.

There was not one man or woman, child or otherwise, to be seen in those streets. Amidst the elegant gray buildings strolled not humans, but equines. Ponies with coats and manes dyed with every color he could imagine. They talked, they wore clothes, they sat at tables and sipped drinks from porcelain cups. They behaved exactly like human beings.

Surely, not being with Epona was getting the better of him. His mind replaced anything resembling a human with a horse. Yes, that would explain why they behaved just like humans!

He had subconsciously stepped away from the stairs. His step was slow, befitting the awestruck expression he wore. The ponies that took notice of him raised their eyebrows as they passed, sometimes dropping a comment in a language he couldn't understand.

A pony in particular approached him. The way its eyes were half-lidded made him realize how expressive they were. Something told him this was a mare. If anything, because of the way she flicked her tail at his face as they came across each other. It had a strange fragrance, like the morning mist mixed with sweat's revolting scent. He jerked his head back. The mare winked before disappearing back into the crowd.

Link pondered briefly if he was still asleep. He touched the side of his face with a hand, where the tail had hit him hardest. The slap had felt very real. The fleeting sting had, too.

Someone was calling him. Or so it felt to him. He spun on one foot to find that a pony at a stall's door was, indeed, eyeing him with a mischievous smile. It was rubbing its hooves together, and ushering him closer to its store. While an aged sign was hung above the door, a curtain concealed the shop's window display.

All sorts of trinkets decorated the walls of the shady building. Paintings, little statuettes and paintings of ponies in dramatic poses, the sorts of items nobody wanted.

A little bell announced the door's closing. The pony scooted behind the dusty counter as soon as Link entered. It said something and tapped its hoof. Getting nothing of the equine's blabber, Link pointed at an old-looking armor.

He hadn't thought it through, but now that he thought about it, the armor was the perfect size for Epona. The shopkeeper laughed. It retrieved an abacus from under the counter and began to fiddle with its beads. Once it was finished, it announced the result and extended a hoof for Link to place his money.

The boy reached into the bag of Rupees that was strapped to his... belt...

His hand was grasping at nothing. The bag of Rupees wasn't there. His whole wallet was gone. He could feel his heartbeat increasing its pace. How could he have been so careless?

With a glimmer of hope in his eyes, he remembered he still had one last hope. Taking off his hat, Link felt inside it and pulled his hand out as soon as he found what he was looking for. A purple Rupee, one much bigger than his hand. Fifty Rupees, right there.

The shopkeeper just laughed again, leaving Link frowning in confusion. A hoof pushed his hand away, and a golden coin fell on the counter with a few clinks. Link didn't need a translation to know what this meant.

As he put his money away, the pony pointed at his shield, and then raised a bag full of the golden coins. It spoke a few words, and then flashed the mischievous smirk Link had become used to seeing in the past minutes.

The boy instinctively glanced back and placed a hand on the shield, as though the pony was about to steal it. Not much time was needed to come up with an answer. After offering a curt shake of his head, Link turned to exit the shop.

There was a shout, and something very nearly struck the back of the boy's head. The shield ended up taking the damage with a loud clatter.

That was all Link needed to know that he had to go away. He didn't look back as he stormed out of the store. The little bell almost flew out of its place when the door underneath it was shut close.

He found himself lost again in the chaotic mess that was the city of equines. It began to feel the same as tying a rope around his neck. He was struggling for air, spinning wildly on his feet in search of a way out.

It was in the midst of this action that he found a glorious sight. A castle that greatly overshadowed the town with both its complex architecture and sheer size. It was built into the mountain, which soared even higher than the palace itself, and made him realize just how far away from home he was.

This was not Hyrule, and this was not a dream. He had concluded that much.

Before he could process any of these thoughts, something - or some pony - bumped against his back. The boy fell to his knees, given how unexpected the push had been. Even more unexpected than that was the frightened shriek the pony that had pushed him gave. He barely had time to look at the guilty party, as he rolled to the side just in time to avoid being hit by a pair of hooves.

The crowd had stopped to watch. The pony was taller than him by at least a head. Its mane and tail were golden, with a lock of hair straying from the others to dangle over an eye.

What surprised Link the most was the horn on its forehead. Unicorns were the stuff of legend in Hyrule - though, admittedly, so had been the Master Sword. If said legends were to be trusted, then this pony could use magic. What was more, this was a white unicorn. The purest of breeds.

From the way it backpedaled away from him, however, Link questioned how much of a threat the pony really was. It kept yelling desperately, flicking its head from one side of the street to the other.

It was crying for help, Link soon realized.

To his great relief, the locals barely seemed to care. They simply laughed or traded quiet, snide remarks. Either way, they ended up turning to leave. Link breathed a relieved sigh; trouble was the last thing he needed at that moment.

Any and all hopes of peace were shattered the moment an imposing bellow sounded from both ends of the street. The crowd of ponies moved aside, revealing what Link didn't want to see: armored ponies running in his direction with weapons hoisted. He could guess what they were based on the heavy, gilded armors they sported.

For some reason, their step faltered when they saw the boy. Some of the bulkier stallions even smiled. The frightful unicorn behind him gave another demanding shout, and the guards' expressions changed completely. Their eyes were set on Link's sword.

Before the boy could react, the guards surrounded him. He caught a glimpse of the white unicorn's eyes as it stepped away. All he saw in them was lust. They bore the same look he'd seen so many times in the eyes of the Hylian nobles. Suddenly, he lost any semblance of fondness for this place.

One of the guards snarled something at him. His spear was suspended by magic, Link noticed. They did know how to use magic then.

He had no idea of what to do. The only punishment for getting caught by the watchmen of Hyrule Castle's courtyard was being thrown out of the castle grounds. In this unknown land, he could only imagine what they would do to him.

So he did what he knew best. He reached for his sword.

The guards reacted almost immediately. The end of a spear flew against him, forcing Link to block the strike with his own blade. Despite the events that had transpired, he managed to push the spear away, thus creating an opening in the guard's defense. He ducked under the spear and leaped at the guard, ready to strike the sturdiest point in its helmet. The last thing he wanted to do was blemish his record with murder.

The blow had the effect he intended: the stallion was stunned, allowing Link to jump over its head and begin his run down the street.

He didn't go far. Just steps away from his starting point, he felt his body grow lighter. Moments later, his feet left the ground. He was being manipulated by their magic.

Struggle though he might to escape, a force field held him in the air. The guards rushed to surround him again, aiming the sharp ends of their spears directly at the boy's face. Link still repelled some of these with his own weapon, but he was stripped of even that by the overpowering pull of magic.

By now, the ponies who had disregarded the scene had returned to admire their guardians' handiwork. He realized he was being held aloft like a prize, so all the ponies could see that he had been neutralized. There were gasps, curious gazes were cast upon him, ponies murmured among themselves. Even the guards were laughing at him, as if to pretend that he hadn't been that difficult to capture.

Then, when it seemed long enough, an incisive pain flooded the back of his head. The world stumbled to darkness shortly after.

Author's Note:

(20-12-12) Phew! Finally managed to rewrite this chapter! I didn't change it COMPLETELY, but I made sure to edit all of it, be it to modify how a scene carried out, or the flow of the scene itself. Hopefully, it's been changed for the better.