Things had finally returned to something akin to normalcy on the Lon Lon Ranch. Ingo, Malon, and Lina all pitched in to care for the animals, while Talon slept amongst the chickens.
Malon took a breather as she wiped off the sweat on her brow. The ranch had both changed and stayed the same the past few years. The animals grew, but the ranch itself still stood.
Out of the corner of her eye, she could see Lina tending to Epona. The two women had now probably fully matured by this point; to the average man their bodies were now like those of any other women. But to Malon, something about Lina was striking.
Malon could remember vividly meeting Link in Hyrule Castle Town when he was still a he. She remembered distinctly asking Link to try and figure out why his delivery was taking so long. At the time, she thought the ‘fairy boy’ would probably grow up to be a muscular swordsman, perhaps a member of the King’s Guard.
But that had gotten swept aside when she met Lina. Those moments also stuck in her mind, mainly for how many shocking developments there had been. The Triforce, monsters, Link’s future exploits... and the strange tale of how the ‘fairy boy’ had become just an ordinary girl.
But ordinary had never been an apt description of Lina, at least not to Malon. Something had changed about Malon’s feelings about Lina or Link or whatever s/he was. It was a difficult concept for her to grasp; she felt both at ease and nervous.
The nervousness was something she had just begun to notice, something that had only come up after her rescue from the Gerudo Valley. Or perhaps she was fooling herself and it was older than she thought, originating from Talon’s off-handed comment about marriage back when Lina was starting out on the ranch. Or maybe even before that, when the two had met as fairy boy and girl.
Back then, she had daydreamed about riding off into the sunset with some knight clad in shining armor, just like the stories her father had told her when she was in bed. But it seemed that life had seemed to kill that dream, and her only chance at having anything remotely like that had already been a hero and transformed into something opposite the paragon of masculinity she had dreamed of.
But the simple charm Link had once possessed was still something Lina emanated. Lina was still Link, though the years he had spent as a she had obviously taken a toll on her mind. A thought briefly crossed Malon’s mind, a daydream that she had continuously over the past few years. She was riding Epona, enjoying the feeling of the wind through her hair. And right behind her was a fully grown Link, still wearing the green tunic that she remembered him wearing. But her imagination took a turn for the strange as the sun seemingly got in her eyes. When she could see again, Link was gone. In his place rode Lina, who was wearing subtle makeup and her kimono. “What’s wrong?” Malon blinked again and saw Lina’s arms wrapped around her. “Are we going too fast?”
Malon blinked once more, and found herself returned to the ranch. Her imagination had played tricks with her once more. But she noticed that this time, she was not altogether put off by what had happened.
In the land of Holodrum, thunder and lightning rent the sky asunder as Rosa and Maple stared at a dragon’s corpse. “So falls General Onox's minions,” Rosa sighed, “enemies of the people and thieves of prosperity.”
The general had left behind a vast number of his army to continue his campaign of evil over Holodrum. However, the combined tag-team of Rosa and Maple proved too much for the General of Darkness’s army. Rosa retrieved her sword from the jewel between Onox’s eyes and shook it for a moment. “You think the seasons will finally fall back in line?” Maple asked.
Rosa stared at the sky, which still boomed with the sound of thunder. “Maybe. Din’s safe, but the Temple of Seasons is still gone.” She took out the Rod of Seasons and stared at it. “Only time will tell.” She walked next to Rosa and said, “Your new broom working out for you?”
“Sort of,” Maple sheepishly grinned. A snap of her fingers summoned a vacuum cleaner, which both women took a seat on. “I’m working on something a bit less... anachronistic.” They both chuckled nervously as the vacuum turned on and flew into the air, leaving the remains of Onox’s army behind. “Ralph says that things in Labrynna are settling back to normal.”
“Still hasn’t told Nayru?”
“Nope.” Maple shook her head. “I swear, he needs to say something. Nayru may be the Oracle of Ages, but she’s not all-knowing.”
Rosa nodded her head in agreement. “Any word from Veran?”
Maple shook her head once more. “For all I know, she’s living her life hundreds of years in the past as Ambi’s consort. Ralph’s not exactly happy about what Veran... is, but he’s calmed down a bit.”
“From Sorceress of Shadows to one of his ancestors,” Rosa said. “Talk about a Bombchu...” The cleaner slowed down and landed in the woods north of Horon Village. “I can make it back home from here,” she told the witch. Maple shrugged as she lifted off once more, this time in the direction Rosa perceived Labrynna as being. Once she was certain that no living soul was around to watch her, she walked into the woods at a lively pace.
It was not long before Rosa came across a rock that was roughly her size. She smiled as she rubbed the Power Bracelets that she had found during her own adventures. With a strained groan, Rosa managed to lift the rock over her head. Underneath where the rock had stood was a swirling blue vortex, a portal. Rosa slowly made her way into the portal, trying not to hurt herself as she did so. After a few seconds, she finally made it, and closed her eyes in anticipation. As she began to disappear from the land of Holodrum, the rock she had been carrying acted upon the laws of gravity and covered the portal as it had before.
When Rosa opened her eyes once more, she felt a wave of heat wash over her, followed by one of nostalgia. All around her were stalactites and stalagmites, waterfalls of lava, and the sound of flutes and horns. She had finally returned home, for this was Subrosia, a land hidden deep beneath the surface of Holodrum.
Despite being familiar with her home, she noticed at least one thing had changed: the stairwell linking the portal she had entered from and the Dance Hall was being renovated by some of her peers. Rosa smiled under her hood as she took out a blue, feathery cape and tied it around her neck. She then reached into one of her bags, pulled out a small seed that was shaped like a wing, and began to chew it.
Almost instantly, a rush of adrenaline came over her legs. Rosa began to run, running straight towards the construction workers. The workers paused, not entirely sure what Rosa was doing as she jumped into the air. These same workers then stared in amazement as Rosa seemed to glide past them, her cape flapping in the heated air.
It was some time before the effects of the Pegasus Seed expired, and Rosa finally landed on the ground, thankful for the Roc’s Cape. She took in a deep breath as she entered the nearby Dance Hall. There was already a dance session going on, but two of the dancers were not natives. One she recognized as Din, a talented dancer and the Oracle of Seasons. The other was more of a surprise: Farore, the Oracle of Secrets and Mysteries.
The dance came to a screeching halt as everyone looked at the newcomer and realized who it was. The dance leader managed to approach Rosa first, asking, “Rosa! Have you finally come home for good?”
Rosa nodded her head. “For now, at least.” There was much rejoicing in the hall; Rosa seemed to be a celebrity in Subrosia. The Subrosians welcomed her back, shook her hand, a few were daring enough to hug her. Din and Farore made their way through the crowd, following Rosa out and down another flight of stairs, down to the nearby town. “It’s done. Onox is dead.”
A look of relief came over both Farore and Din, and there was much cheering “Finally,” the Oracle of Seasons breathed. “No offense Rosa, but I think we’d both prefer baths that filled with boiling hot lava.”
“It was interesting though,” conceded Farore. “Kind of relaxing.”
Din shrugged as she began to walk out the door. “Well, I don’t know about you all, but I’m going back up. There’s a certain Sheikah I’ve been dying to see again.”
As the crowd began to disperse, Farore began to leave as well, but was stopped outside by Rosa. “There’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you,” the Subrosian said. “About the whole hood thing.”
“Oh? I remember you saying only the wearer could remove it.” Farore playfully tried to flip the hood back, and was surprised when she succeeded. Underneath the hood was a woman with dark red hair and large eyes with yellow pupils. “Couldn’t do that before.”
Rosa sighed in relief as she played with her hair. “No, you never tried before. The only other person who can take off the hood...” She stopped, hesitant to say anything. “Is the person we’re destined to spend eternity with.”
Farore bit her lower lip. “What?” Her voice was a bit higher pitched, but not screechingly so.
“It’s magic, Farore.” Rosa was blushing now. “It’s destiny. You can’t change what’s supposed to be, no matter how badly either of us wants to.”
“Believe me, if you’d have told me this would happen a year ago, I’d have laughed. But with all the things that happened since that festival, with all the adventure and the sleeping in trees, you get a lot of time to think.” Rosa looked at the dirt on her robes, not daring to meet Farore’s eyes. “I’m sorry.”
As she continued to stare, Rosa heard the sound of quick footsteps, running away. When she looked up, she watched Farore run away. And it was then Rosa knew a pain that no sword could replicate and no bandage could cover.
Saria stared out across the Sacred Forest Meadow, a sense of melancholy pervading her mind. She had come to understand why the Kokiri claimed that death awaited them outside the confines of the Forest.
The considerable amount of time she had spent beyond the Forest had done what she had once thought impossible: it had aged her, made her older. She had noticed changes to her body after the Milk Festival. Ruto had told her the truth about what was happening, but time seemed to play strange tricks on her body. When she had returned to the forest, her body reverted back to that which she had been accustomed to as long as she could remember. But upon leaving, it grew and shifted into a budding woman.
Knowledge of aging, knowing the effects time could bring besides the changing of the leaves on the trees, it had changed her. Link and how different he had been had sparked her interest, and her time away from home had turned that spark into a fire that was consuming her mind and spirit.
And all the while, the words of her people rang through her head. To never leave, that they would die out there. While he was still alive, the Great Deku Tree had told them this. She had to wonder if the Tree had been trying to shield them, to have a community of people who could survive beyond the constraints of age.
She sighed. Why did this all have to be so complicated?
Rauru rose from his state of meditation as he watched events unfold from the relative safety in the Chamber of the Sages. Things were both as they should be and not as they would become... he knew something had changed. Time travel tended to muddy things up in the literature he’d read, but had Link’s endeavors clouded things already?
He double-checked once more. Link indeed would ultimately succeed at least getting to the King of Evil’s castle... but immediately afterward things became hazy. He checked the intermediate period, the span of time that was seeing the most fluctuation.
What he saw shocked him to no end.
He was there, outside the Chamber and in Hyrule proper. And he was there, in another world altogether, but that was impossible! He had been here the whole time, keeping the forces of darkness at bay! Clearly this needed investigation.
A sudden surge of magical power forced the visions of the past and future to disperse. “I suppose the third time is the charm,” an all too familiar voice claimed.
Rauru gasped in surprise. “How – but you’re me!”
“I was at one point,” the second Rauru spoke. “Just as someday you will be me.”
The present Rauru raised his hand, ready to cast a spell. “In the name of Nayru – And how do I know you speak the truth? That you aren’t some illusion cast by Ganondork?”
“Ganondorf,” the future Rauru corrected. “Search yourself. You know that what I say is the truth.”
There was some time before the present Rauru piped up again. “So I’ve been traveling through time as well then?”
“Correct. I am merely making sure that our ultimate goal remains our inevitable future.”
“Inevitable?” the present Rauru asked. “So Link will succeed, then?”
The future Rauru chose his next words carefully. “The changes time travel has caused have put strains of the flow of time. I have been requested by the other Sages and Nayru herself to ensure these changes do not alter the future that you will experience.”
“But you never answered my question. Will Link defeat Ganondorf?”
“It remains as distinct a possibility as Ganondorf’s ultimate victory.” The future Rauru had no choice but to lie at this point, he knew he could not tell himself anything more than he already had. “As long as you continue down the path we are going, Link has a fighting chance.”
That answer seemed to satisfy the present Rauru, if only for now. “I’m sure I did not come back in time just to encourage myself. So why did I come back?”
“I must ask you a favor,” the future Rauru told. “I must request that you stop trying to make sure everything will be alright, that you stop trying to see what is happening in Hyrule.”
The present Rauru looked shocked at this new development. “That’s all I have to entertain myself in here! What else am I supposed to do?”
The future Rauru stared at Link and chuckled. “Have you considered ear piercings?”
Vaati wrung his hands together as he paced the halls of Ganon’s Castle impatiently. He had become some sort of plaything for his new King, as well as a sort of apprentice. When things had all begun, he had been a young boy. Now he was approaching manhood a powerful mage. He had power, infamy... but he did not have what he desired most.
He smiled as thoughts of Malon came to his mind. The last time he had seen her, she had grown into a fine woman. His thoughts turned dirty for a moment before he was snapped out of it by a familiar set of footsteps. “My King!” Vaati turned and kneeled in greeting the King of Evil, Ganondorf.
“You may rise,” Ganondorf commanded. As his disciple did so, he continued, “I have been pondering, Vaati. And pondering well.”
“You have,” Vaati said as much as a question as he did a comment. “What about?”
“I have been thinking on certain things,” he continued. “I have grown powerful. All who have come against me have fallen. But there are still those who do not fear my name. Those who dare to rebel against my rule.” Vaati remained silent as his king mused, “The time is approaching to make a show of force. To prove why the name of Ganondork is one to be feared.”
“I thought your name was Ganondorf.”
“Oh.” Ganondorf shook his head. “Sorry. Lost my train of thought for a moment. But the time to assert my rule over the races of this world is coming.”
“I understand, my liege.”
“The Zora shall drown beneath the waves...”
“They have gills, sir.”
“Damn. You know what I mean. But first I have to look the part.”
Vaati stared at his master, confused. “You already look like an evil mastermind, sir.”
“But something’s missing...” Ganondorf pointed at his horse, which was nothing more than an animated skeleton. With a wave of his hand, the skeleton dissolved into nothingness. “I need a new horse.”
Vaati’s face brightened a little. “I think I know where to go.”
End of Year 5