• Looks like y'all haven't had a fanfic posted in a while. I hope you don't mind if I change that. :saint:

    Pitch: The battle for good and evil rages in Lila’s heart. What does courage mean, she wonders as she fights her way through various monster-filled dungeons. Was she really born to be a hero, or did the prince of Hyrule place his faith in the wrong person?

    Chapter One: The Trial (Part 1 of 2)

    “Gear up! Shadow Chieftess Ganondra will be watching your practice today!”

    Lila sat up in bed a hair slower than the other women in the barracks. She had never been fond of waking up. It was just one of the many differences that kept her apart from the others. They were all strong, native Gerudo. She was the weak, adopted Hylian. She was smaller than them, too. Even though she was almost fully grown, she was shorter than the average Gerudo woman.

    Still, the average Gerudo woman wasn’t anything compared to Shadow Chieftess Ganondra, who was sometimes called the Dragon of the Desert. With the help of the Triforce of Power, Lady Ganondra had grown far stronger than any other person in the tribe. She was a fierce leader who wasn’t afraid of getting her hands dirty to make sure things were done her way. Things were always done her way.

    Today, her way was to watch the practice of young warriors. Lila couldn’t help but wonder if the reason had anything to do with herself. Sure, Lila wasn’t a Gerudo woman, but Lady Ganondra treated her as something more. She always pushed Lila to be the best in her class. Lila even had extra fighting lessons while the others learned about subjects such as wooing men and how to make a profitable trade. She learned how to be a spy, how to use various weapons, and even had solo wilderness training. The special treatment was another thing that separated her from her classmates.

    Lila could hear the others whispering the same thoughts as they all hurried to put on their gear. Once everyone had dressed, they lined up at the foot of their beds for inspection. The leader, Dalni, scrutinized every little detail, making sure they were all presentable for the Chieftess. They could expect punishment if something was wrong. Running laps for a missing button. Cleaning the bathrooms if they weren’t fully dressed on time. Today, Lila expected Dalni to be extra strict, but no one got called out for anything. Maybe everyone else wanted to look their best for the Dragon of the Desert.

    The twelve trainees, Lila included, filed out of their barracks room and to the training ground. On the way, Dalni gave them instructions. They paired off and grabbed their weapons once reaching the training ground. Today, they worked with swords and shields. This was unusual for the Gerudo–spears and scimitars were more common–but Lila was glad for the change. Swords were her best weapon. She and her partner were the first to start practicing the forms.

    As usual, time slipped away from Lila’s awareness. All she knew was the blade and her shield. Her heart pulsed in time with her footwork. Lila moved through the forms faster and faster, pushing her partner to the edge of her ability. Knowing what would happen if they fell out of synch, Lila slowed her pace to match her partner’s. It pained her to have to slow down, but it was worth not getting in trouble.

    Eventually, they switched to actual combat. Finally, Lila could let loose. Her partner didn’t stand a chance, and she knew it. Lila was a blur of steel. She expertly blocked her opponent’s attacks and quickly parried them with her own. It only took her a few steps to knock her partner to the ground. Each time, her partner became wilder. Lila kept her cool, gaining victory after victory.

    She had no idea how much time had passed when Dalni called for a stop. The twelve trainees lined up to face her, panting with the effort of practice.

    “Excellent work,” Dalni lauded. “It’s time for lunch. Dismissed.”

    The women broke formation and put their weapons away, ready for a hearty meal. Lila swung her sword around a little more, lingering behind. Now that it was break time, she could feel her muscles straining, and she was breathing just as heavily as everyone else. She avoided eye contact with her partner, who was fuming at being stuck with the prodigy. Lila wished she could eat alone, but Dalni didn’t want any of them to leave her sight during breaks. Except to use the bathroom, of course. No, Lila would have to eat at the same table as the rest of her training mates, as always.

    “Did you see her?” said someone at the table. At first, Lila thought Trifni was talking about her, but then Sala replied.

    “Yes! Can you believe Lady Ganondra herself was actually watching us?”

    Lila got her food and sat at the edge of the table. She hadn’t noticed Lady Ganondra watching, or anyone else for that matter.

    “She’s so amazing,” Urwa crooned.

    “She’s terrifying!” Feli countered.

    “That too,” Urwa said, and everyone laughed, except Lila.

    Lila was content to be ignored like any other day, but Trifni asked, “Lila, she was watching you the most.”

    Lila let that information sink in. The room had gone silent. Everyone was looking at her. She sighed and said, “What do you expect? I’m like her pet. Of course, she was watching me.”

    The others nodded and went back to eating. They left her out of the conversation after that.

    Lila sighed to herself again as she at her food. She wasn’t a person. She was a pet, and the others agreed. It really didn’t surprise her that Lady Ganondra was watching her. It was what she anticipated, after all. Maybe that’s why they practiced with swords today. She finished her food quickly and tried to prepare herself for what might happen next.

    Someone came in and whispered something to Dalni and then left. After everyone finished eating, Dalni addressed them again.

    “Lila, a special challenge awaits you,” she said unexpectedly. Everyone swiveled to look at Lila. Dalni continued, “The rest of you will watch from the upper level.”

    The room broke into excited whispers.

    “That’s where Lady Ganondra was!”

    “What kind of challenge?”

    “Why does Lila always get special treatment?”

    No one spoke to Lila. She stood by herself by the door. After a moment, the whispers got to be too much for her, and she headed out to the training ground. She grabbed a sword and shield and waited, looking up at the upper level. At first, no one was there. Then her comrades filed in to watch what would happen. They still spoke excitedly to one another. Dalni wasn’t with them.

    Lila waited for a few minutes, growing impatient. She swung her sword around to help ease the wriggling in her stomach. What was going on? Was she there just to be mocked? Then Lady Ganondra herself appeared on the upper level, a servant close to her side. Lady Ganondra had one other companion with her: a black ball with leathery wings and one yellow eye, known as a keese. Lila’s training mates hushed each other and watched with awe. Likely, they had never been so close to the Shadow Chieftess.

    The Legend of Zelda: Real Courage :grinning:

    The battle for good and evil rages in Lila’s heart. What does courage mean, she wonders as she fights her way through various monster-filled dungeons. Was she really born to be a hero, or did the prince of Hyrule place his faith in the wrong person?

  • Chapter One: The Trial (Part 2 of 2)

    Lady Ganondra glared at the shushing girls across from her, then turned her gaze upon Lila. Lila felt a shiver run through her whole body. Most of her extra training had been supervised by Lady Ganondra’s servant, Nabooru. Lila had never actually been near Lady Ganondra. Now, they were staring eye to eye, and Lila sensed something… well, cold about the Shadow Chieftess. Lila couldn’t help but clench her teeth and gulp. She quickly turned her eyes away and found herself staring at the ground. In fear.

    This was the power of the Dragon of the Desert.

    Finally, Dalni appeared and approached Lila.

    “Are you ready?” Dalni asked, looking nervous for once.

    “For what?” Lila questioned.

    “You are to fight… Gohma.”

    Lila’s mouth dropped. “You mean the giant spider that wanders the desert?”

    Dalni nodded. She turned and waved at some unknown persons, and then left to join the other trainees. From the desert, a group of Gerudo women led a large creature toward the training ground. The creature had six sturdy legs, two pincers, and one giant eye. Four horns crowned its body. Lila had heard tales of this creature while growing up. It was said that girls who didn’t obey would be left to the mercy of Gohma. Now Lila had to fight it? She could see the women struggling to keep the creature under control. How was she supposed to fight that thing by herself when several Gerudo women were needed to lead it?

    Eventually, the women got Gohma into the training arena and set it free. They took up positions around the arena to keep it from escaping. They used their spears to guide its attention to Lila.

    Lila gulped again. “Okay,” she said to herself, “I guess I’m doing this.” She twirled the sword around her hand one more time and raised her shield. Then she yelled, “Attack me, you great beast!”

    The creature heeded her words and sprang. Lila jumped to the side, somersaulted, and came up behind the creature, slashing her sword at its rounded back. It squealed in pain and turned around. Her sword didn’t seem to do much damage. She figured she would have to get in close and pierce the eye. That seemed to be the only weak point. But how could she get close enough without getting pinched by the pincers?

    Experimentally, Lila waved her sword toward one of the legs. Gohma lifted that leg toward her. Lila quickly raised her shield. The leg came down with so much force that it made her shield quiver and she had to take a couple of steps back. Another leg slammed into her back knocking the air out of her. She fell forward onto the ground. Anticipating another strike, Lila rolled onto her back and kicked up, pushing herself to a standing position. She kept her shield raised and surveyed her situation.

    Gohma didn’t give her much time. The creature revealed a new trick by blasting green fire. If Lila didn’t have her shield, she would have been roasted. She braced herself, waiting for the fire to abate. Surely, it couldn’t last forever. After a few seconds, the fire ended, and Lila came in swinging. Her quick move worked as she chopped off part of a leg. The creature howled and stood on its hind legs, the other legs writhing in pain. Lila immediately thrust her sword forward and pierced the belly, drawing a trickle of green ichor. She sliced down and spun out of the way as Gohma came back down. She narrowly avoided getting hit by a leg.

    A bout of more flames burned Lila. She lifted her shield, fighting the pain and patting her side to put out the fire. She wondered if her trick would work a second time, cutting off another leg. Or maybe she should try aiming for the eye this time. After the barrage of flames ended, Lila thrust her sword toward the source of the fire, hoping to stab the eye. Her plan worked! Her sword penetrated deep, and the creature crumpled, screaming. Gohma shriveled and shrank, turning pure black. Then the blackness burst into particles and faded away.

    A cheer rose from the surrounding onlookers. Lila had forgotten they were there. She was panting with effort and pain, and she was ready to put her sword away. The women who had brought Gohma to the arena swirled around her and raised her on their shoulders. She had never before received such joyous treatment. She held her sword and shield high as they bounced her around in triumph, and a smile broke across her face. Even her training mates were cheering, she saw. Then she remembered that Shadow Chieftess Ganondra had seen the whole thing.

    The chieftess held the same expression as before the fight began. There was no evidence that anything spectacular had occurred. Her eyes met Lila’s for a brief moment, and then she turned around to leave, the keese close behind. Nabooru stole a quick glance at Lila before following. Was that worry on her face?

    The Legend of Zelda: Real Courage :grinning:

    The battle for good and evil rages in Lila’s heart. What does courage mean, she wonders as she fights her way through various monster-filled dungeons. Was she really born to be a hero, or did the prince of Hyrule place his faith in the wrong person?

  • Chapter Two: Shadow Chieftess Ganondra (Part 1 of 2)

    Lila was ushered away from the training ground and into the city proper, leaving the sword and shield behind. The Gerudo women filtered away until only Dalni was left leading the way. Lila’s training mates were nowhere to be seen. Maybe they went back to practice. She didn’t really care. She was more concerned about what was going to happen to her next. She tried asking Dalni, but the leader didn’t have any idea, either. All she knew was that they were going to see Lady Ganondra.

    The thought terrified Lila. After her brief encounter with the chieftess, Lila wanted nothing more to do with her. But she knew that wasn’t going to happen. The attention was on Lila, now, if it wasn’t already before. She felt that her life was about to change dramatically. Maybe she would finally find out what all of her special training was about.

    The two walked through the streets toward the palace. It seemed to take forever and no time at all. Before long, they entered the grand doors of the palace. They went down a few corridors until they reached the throne room. There, they walked to the center of the room and knelt. Sweat trickled from Lila’s forehead as she followed Dalni’s example. They kept their heads down and waited for the chieftess to say something.

    Lady Ganondra sat with her legs crossed on the jewel-encrusted throne. In one hand she held a trident made of gold. Lila knew this was the trident she used to take control from the previous leader, Nabooru. The same Nabooru who now served under her and supervised Lila’s lessons. Nabooru stood slightly behind the chieftess, her arms at her side, ready to defend her leader if the need arise.

    There were three others in the room. One was the keese Lila had seen before. The other two were ancient, shriveled ladies. They had green skin, beady yellow eyes, and floated on broomsticks. One had a red gem on her forehead, and the other had a blue gem. They wore matching attire, except for accents in the color of their gems. Kotake and Koume, sister witches who watched over Lady Ganondra. No one knew how old they really were. It was said they had been around for hundreds of years.

    Lila had met the crazy witches a few times before, but they visited less and less often. Koume, the red one, always complained they didn't visit enough, but Kotake, the blue one, was always cold with Lila. Probably because Kotake controlled ice while Koume controlled fire.

    “Lila.” That was the silky smooth voice of Lady Ganondra. “Your time has come. Are you ready to prove your loyalty to me?”

    Lila blinked in surprise, glad that she was looking downward. This was a ceremony usually done in groups, as the trainees graduated. Why was she singled out? Unsure, she replied with the required, “Yes, my lady. I will always be loyal to you.”

    “You had better be,” Lady Ganondra said. That wasn’t part of the ceremonial words. “In order to be a most effective servant, I have prepared special tasks for you to complete. You are to retrieve certain items that will help you serve me. The first you will find near Lake Hylia.”

    There was a pause. Dalni nudged Lila, who said, “Yes, my lady.”

    Lady Ganondra continued, “To help you with your tasks is this keese, Mori. I have given him the ability to find magical objects. He will be your guide and companion.”

    With those words, the keese flew to Lila’s side.

    “Rise, now, and go about your first task.”

    Lila stood slowly. That wasn’t how the ceremony was supposed to go at all. She felt incomplete. She hadn’t been made a full member of the Gerudo Warriors. Maybe she first had to finish the tasks of which Lady Ganondra spoke. What kind of tasks were they? And why did she need an enchanted keese to guide her toward magical objects?

    Lila stole a glance at Lady Ganondra before turning around and leaving. Nothing had changed about the chieftess since the fight with Gohma. She was as imposing and formidable as ever. Lila fought a shiver running down her spine, not wanting to show any weakness. She stood up straight and tall as she marched out of the throne room. Once out of sight, she shook all over, vigorous from head to toe. It felt like she had just jumped into a frozen pool of water.

    She hurried out of the palace and back through the streets of the city to get back to the barracks. Her head was racing with questions and fears. Why her? She wasn’t even a Gerudo! Why did she receive so much special training? And now this? What was special about her? Maybe Lady Ganondra didn’t trust her. Maybe that’s why she had to perform extra tasks.

    The Legend of Zelda: Real Courage :grinning:

    The battle for good and evil rages in Lila’s heart. What does courage mean, she wonders as she fights her way through various monster-filled dungeons. Was she really born to be a hero, or did the prince of Hyrule place his faith in the wrong person?

  • Chapter Two: Shadow Chieftess Ganondra (Part 2 of 2)

    It took her a while to realize the keese was talking to her.


    I said, where are you going?

    Lila stopped in her tracks. “You can talk?”

    Of course, I can,” Mori replied. “Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to help you.

    Lila shook her head. There was too much going on for her to fully comprehend. “What did you say?”

    Mori sighed. “Where are you going?

    “To the barracks,” Lila answered. “I need to prepare for the trip to the lake.”

    Mori bobbed up and down. “Good idea. You should get some rest, too. It’s getting late.

    Lila finally noticed that it was dusk. If she left the city now, she would freeze before getting too far.

    “Alright,” Lila said, “I’ll wait until morning. Are you going to follow me?”

    Mori nodded in his way. “Yup. Don’t want you to leave without me.

    Lila sighed. “Okay, I guess.”

    When Lila got back to the barracks, the others were eating dinner. Her stomach growled, but she didn’t know if she could face them. Knowing she would have to sooner or later, she stepped into the mess hall, with Mori close behind. The room went quiet upon her entrance. Everyone looked at her expectantly.

    At first, she didn’t know what to say. She was still reeling from the encounter. Then she shrugged and said, “I’m leaving tomorrow.”

    There were gasps.

    “Lady Ganondra has assigned special tasks for me. This is my new companion, Mori.” Lila motioned to the keese, who dipped in a sort of bow.

    Finished talking, she grabbed a plate of food and sat at her usual spot at the end of the table. They still stared at her, but she ignored them until they stopped. One by one, they all went back to eating their own food. But no one resumed talking. The others finished eating long before Lila and went to bed. She could hear them talking as they left. Let them gossip. It’s not like it would be the first time. Lila was sure they talked whenever she had her individual training courses. This trip would be similar.

    After eating, Lila went to the barracks. A surprise waited for her on her bed. A set of unusual clothes and a note reading, “This is to help you look like a Hylian. Do not wear your Gerudo garb outside of the city.” It wasn’t signed, but it didn’t need to be. It was instructions from Lady Ganondra, of course. It may not have been written by her, but she definitely sent it. Lila put the clothes aside and got into bed. She’d worry about it in the morning. She fell asleep to the sounds of her fellow trainees whispering.

    Dalni woke the trainees in the morning as usual. Lila lingered in bed with the knowledge that she wasn’t one of them anymore. She pulled the covers over her head. She had never really been one of them in the first place. She was always an outcast. She had no friends. Sure, they might interact with her from time to time, but she never felt the sisterhood the others exhibited.

    None of that mattered, now.

    Lila waited until the trainees left the barracks to begin her own preparations. She dressed in the provided attire. It consisted of a simple beige tunic, a brown cloak, and green leggings, as well as a belt with numerous pouches. There was enough room on the belt for a frog to hold a sword. A pair of dark brown boots completed the ensemble. There wasn’t any armor, so Lila went to the armory to gear up. She picked out brown armbands that would match her outfit, then went over to the weapons. She felt a sword would be appropriate–since that was her best weapon–and attached a plain one to her belt. She wondered about a shield. If she was supposed to look like a Hylian, she shouldn’t carry a Gerudo shield. With their jewels and gold plating, a Gerudo shield would stick out like a sore thumb. After looking for a less ornate shield and finding none, she decided to go without it.

    Lila thought about what else she might need for her mysterious journey. Food would be a good idea to bring, so she went to the kitchen to stock up. After filling her pockets with easy-to-eat foods, she asked Mori what he suggested. He had nothing to add, so she went on her way.

    The Legend of Zelda: Real Courage :grinning:

    The battle for good and evil rages in Lila’s heart. What does courage mean, she wonders as she fights her way through various monster-filled dungeons. Was she really born to be a hero, or did the prince of Hyrule place his faith in the wrong person?

  • Chapter Three: The Water Dungeon (Part 1 of 2)

    The journey to Lake Hylia was uneventful. They had arrived at the lake, a vast pool of water a deeper blue than the sky. She marveled at the sight; she had never seen anything so huge nor so bright. Leaving the desert for Hyrule Field was one thing, with the yellow sand giving way to richly green grass. Now, though, a whole new world lay in front of her.

    The lake was nestled among a set of mountains. They were brown and green, quite unlike the black peaks surrounding the desert. A few islands dotted the lake, as well as something that looked like a viewing platform grown right out of the rock. A waterfall flowed in from the east, and a tributary took water out to the south.

    Lila regained her senses and asked, “Now, Mori, where do we go?"

    The keese flew off to the northern side of the lake. "It's hidden in a cavern over here."

    Lila hurried to keep up with him. "A cavern?" she asked. "Okay, you know best." He led her to the edge of a marsh. Across the swamp, set right into the rock wall of the mountain, was the cavern she sought. "I just need to cross this marsh, right?"

    Mori bobbed up and down. "Exactly."

    "Okay. Good thing I have boots." Lila started carefully picking her way through the muck. Bugs swarmed around her, probably checking to see if she was food. A few even bit her, and she slapped them away.

    "Blasted things," she muttered.

    Inside the cavern, the cave walls were slick with dripping water. The downward-sloping ground was bumpy with rocks and things, but at least it didn't pull her feet in like the marsh had. The light was quickly swallowed by darkness, and all Lila could see in front of her was black.

    "This way, Lila," Mori prompted. "Not afraid of the dark, are you?"

    "Of course not!" she retorted. "I just like to see where I'm going. This might be a little difficult if I keep stumbling on rocks."

    "I don't know what your problem is," Mori joked.

    "That's because you have that sound thingy that lets you see in the dark."

    "It's called echolocation, deary."

    "Don't act all superior just because you know a big word!" Lila waved a fist at the keese, but he flapped quickly to get out of her reach. "Do you know of something to light the way?"

    Mori thought for a moment. "There's a torch a little further in. No need to get mad." He made a giggling sound.

    "You're just messing with me!"

    "No, I wouldn't do that to you."

    Lila continued blindly into the mountain, hoping she would recognize the lantern when she got to it. Her eyes were adjusting to the darkness, so it wasn't as bad. After a few seconds, the keese flew to an object on the ground.

    The Legend of Zelda: Real Courage :grinning:

    The battle for good and evil rages in Lila’s heart. What does courage mean, she wonders as she fights her way through various monster-filled dungeons. Was she really born to be a hero, or did the prince of Hyrule place his faith in the wrong person?

  • Chapter Three: The Water Dungeon (Part 2 of 2)

    "Here it is," he said.

    Lila knelt to examine the object. It was made from bronze, but it had been tarnished from the years of resting in the cave. She gingerly lifted it from the dirt floor. "This thing isn't enchanted, is it?"

    "No. What put that silly notion in your head?"

    Lila closed her eyes to contain her anger. "Lady Ganondra said you had the ability to find magical objects."

    "That doesn't mean every object I show you is enchanted."

    "Whatever. How do I light it?"

    "You're so dependent! How will you get on in the world if you keep asking me for the answers?"

    "Just give me a straight answer for once!" Lila pulled her sword out and slashed at her companion, who flew away again.

    "There's probably a torch ahead," he said frantically. "I'll go look!"

    And he was gone. Lila slowly sheathed her sword again, straining to regain control.

    "Are you coming?"

    "Yeah." She continued down the tunnel. Eventually, she saw a dim light ahead, slowly growing larger. The tunnel was getting wider and wider until finally, she couldn't see the walls or ceiling anymore. The only thing she saw was Mori circling a single torch, as though he had found the greatest treasure in the world.

    "See, told ya'."

    Lila held the lantern up to the light, trying to understand it better. She moved it closer to the flame, and suddenly it sprang to life.

    "Woah!" she exclaimed and almost dropped it. "You said this wasn't enchanted!"

    "It's not. The oil must have lit. Or wick. I never really understood lanterns."

    "That makes two of us," Lila said. "Well, might as well explore this place, right?"

    "Yeah," Mori agreed. "I can sense something in this direction."

    He flew off to the right and Lila hurried to follow him. The lantern didn't give much light, but there was enough that she was able to keep from falling. Every now and then she passed an unlit torch and waved her lantern near it. Soon the whole right side of the cavern was lit.

    "Wait a moment, Mori," she said, examining the room. The edge, which Lila had been following, was about wide enough for a carriage to pass safely through. Inside it was a moat, just as wide. Then in the center, larger than both the ledge and water was a sparkling blue castle.

    "What is this?" she asked. She had never seen anything like it.

    "I'm not certain," Mori replied. "It could be the realm of the Zoras, but I thought they were further east."

    "Don't tell me there will be fish people here," Lila muttered, looking into the water. It flowed slowly away from the cave's entrance, but she could see nothing beyond the surface. She touched the water experimentally. "It's cold!"

    "Hm. That would explain the ice."

    "That castle is made out of ice?"

    "It appears that way. Let's move on. The sooner we get the chainmail the better."

    "Agreed. Let me just finish lighting the torches."

    Mori asked, "What for? I thought you weren't afraid of the dark."

    "I'm not. I just want to get a better look." She continued along the path. It led to a bridge over the flowing water, which continued into a gaping hole. It sounded like there was a waterfall there. She decided it best to not fall into the water. She crossed the bridge and kept lighting torches. Soon she was back at the entrance, and she could see almost everything at about her height. She examined the castle a little longer, a little smile playing on her lips.


    "I'm just thinking," Lila replied dreamily. "Doesn't this castle look wonderful? Look at how it sparkles."

    Mori stared at her. He couldn't believe he heard her say that.

    When Lila realized he had gone silent, it was her turn to ask, "What?"

    "Um, nothing. I didn’t know you were... sentimental."

    "What does that mean?"

    "Nothing. Doesn't matter. Let's just continue."

    Lila glared at him. "Are you making fun of me?"

    "This time, I'm not," he answered simply. She didn't quite know what to make of that, so she just decided to follow him to their initial destination.

    Next to the castle entrance was a small wooden chest. Curious, Lila opened it without hesitation. Inside was a red rupee.

    “Yes, twenty rupees!”

    "Why do you get all the money?" Mori complained.

    "Because I'm doing all the work. I lit those torches, remember? That’s got to count for something.”

    Yeah, sure. Such hard work.

    “Let’s just get inside.”

    The Legend of Zelda: Real Courage :grinning:

    The battle for good and evil rages in Lila’s heart. What does courage mean, she wonders as she fights her way through various monster-filled dungeons. Was she really born to be a hero, or did the prince of Hyrule place his faith in the wrong person?

  • Chapter Four: Swimming (Part 1 of 2)

    The temperature dropped rapidly as Lila and Mori entered the castle. A gentle breeze tried to push them back. She walked in slowly, Mori flapping by her side, as she looked around at their surroundings. The ice walls seemed to glow of their own accord, so she blew out the flame of her lantern. There were also a few blue torches along the walls. She wondered if it was a real fire but thought not because the ice wasn't melting. The lights were probably enchanted. She was in a room with a balcony leading to three doorways. Two others were to her right and left; only the left one was open. The middle door was much larger than the others and had a giant lock with four holes in it. The rest had bars blocking the way.

    "I guess we go to the left," Lila said. Her breath turned into a cloud in front of her.

    "There's probably traps all over this place," Mori informed her. "The chainmail is through the middle door, but you're right, we have to go through the left one first. In fact, we probably have to go through all of the other doors before we can go through the middle one. Looks like there are four keys."

    "Great. This will take a while. Well, let's get started."

    Lila put her lantern away and pulled out her sword. She walked through the first doorway to a small room, about the size of a walk-in closet. It had another door, this one made out of wood, and a couple of pots. She tried the door first and found it locked.

    "Whoever made this castle is obsessed with locks!" Lila shouted in frustration. She swung her sword around angrily, breaking both of the pots. A blue rupee fell out of one of them, and a simple silver key fell out of the other.

    "Look, money!" Mori shouted, swooping down to the rupee. "I'll just hold on to that for ya."

    "No way, that's mine," Lila argued. "I broke the pot, so I get it fair and square." She grabbed the gem before Mori could get to it and stashed it in a leather purse at her hip. She smiled and said, "This castle isn't so bad if I get paid five rupees a pot."

    "No fair. Just 'cause you have arms..."

    Lila ignored him and picked up the key. She tried it in the lock, and it worked. "Too simple," she sighed, then stepped through.

    "Wait, you don't know what's on the other side!"

    Woosh! Too late, Lila realized the room was a trap. Bars came down in front of the door, blocking their exit. She quickly readied herself for battle, familiarizing herself with the chamber.

    She was standing on a bridge over a room filled with water. The bridge used to cross in the middle of the room, so there were four parts, but the path on the left had broken or melted. There was a small treasure chest to the left, a sort of shrine straight ahead, and a second – barred – door to the right. In the middle stood a goblin-looking creature wearing leather armor and holding a wooden shield. When it noticed Lila and Mori, it turned to them and pulled out a double-bladed ax.

    "Looks like it's time for a fight," Lila said, excited.

    "You go ahead. I'll just fly near the ceiling," Mori said and did just that.

    "Wimp!" Lila called after him. The moblin was getting closer, so Lila ran forward to meet it. "Hyaaaaa!" She watched the shield because it took up half of the bridge. It's a wonder the moblin itself didn't make the bridge break, it was so big. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the ax swinging down toward her, and she jumped back out of the way.

    "Dang it, not fair!" she shouted. She wished she had a shield.

    The ax slid into the ice and slid out just as easily. One hit from that thing would kill her.

    "Find a way to get around it," Mori advised. "It's exposed in the back."

    "Yeah, I figured as much!" Lila retorted. "Shut up and let me fight!" She bit her lip, thinking of how to get around the monster. She wondered if she could run up the shield. She took a deep breath and muttered, "Here goes."

    Her boots gave her traction on the ice as she took a running start. They also held well on the wood. She did a flip at the top of the shield, landing on her feet and bending her knees to take the force. Then she spun on her toes, slashing at the backside of the moblin.

    The monster roared and staggered forward. Lila continued hacking at its back, all rubbery flesh, and light clothing. The monster started turning around and used the side of its shield to knock Lila away. She landed on the ice with a thud, inches from the break in the bridge. By the time she got up, the moblin was facing her again.

    The Legend of Zelda: Real Courage :grinning:

    The battle for good and evil rages in Lila’s heart. What does courage mean, she wonders as she fights her way through various monster-filled dungeons. Was she really born to be a hero, or did the prince of Hyrule place his faith in the wrong person?

  • Oh, man. I love reading fanfics. it's been a good while since I sat through one and my high school mess of a fanfic is still somewhere. This got me thinking about our blog area that might be cool to add some fanfic related categories there.

    Anyway, I'm really eager to start reading your fanfic, Laxy!! :grinning:


  • Thanks for your interest! I hope you like it!

    Chapter Four: Swimming (Part 2 of 2)

    "You're kidding!" she cried. "How are you still alive?"

    The moblin only grunted in reply and brought down the ax. Lila narrowly jumped out of the way.

    "Again!" Mori encouraged. "Jump over it again!"

    "Yeah, I know," Lila growled.

    This time the moblin kept its shield tilted to the side and led with its ax. It attacked her again and again until her back was almost to the alter thing.

    "Not good," she muttered. She kept looking for an opening, but the monster and its weapon were just too large.

    Sensing its victory, the moblin raised its ax above its head for the final blow. This was her chance, and she acted before it was too late. Lila dove between the monster's legs and somersaulted to a stand, once again behind the monster. She attacked it with all her might, and this time it fell for good.

    "Nicely done!" Mori said, flying down to her side.

    "Like you were any help," Lila muttered, panting. She wiped the sweat from her forehead.

    "Of course I was. I told you where its weak spot was."

    "I was going to try that anyway. Let's just get the treasure and move on."

    "Um, how? The bridge is broken."

    "Okay. Fine. We'll skip the treasure." Lila turned to the next door to find the bars gone. Weary, she went through.

    "But I like treasure," Mori said as he followed her.

    This next room was also tiny and simply held a switch.

    "That monster was guarding this?" Lila wondered. She shrugged and flipped the switch. There was a loud rumbling and the sound of rushing water.

    "You broke the castle!"

    "What? No, I didn't!" Though she denied it, she was scared. She rushed through the door into the previous room to find the water level had risen. Now she was able to swim to the treasure. "See, it's fine, and now we can get the treasure."

    Mori sighed in relief and Lila couldn't help feeling the same way. Ignoring the shaky feeling, she swam across to the treasure. Inside was a shield.

    "Yes!” Lila said.



    "Don't forget the key."

    "What key?"

    "This one."

    Lila turned around to see him flapping by the shrine. During the fight, she hadn't noticed an ornate key sitting on light blue silk. It was completely round on one end and an intricate triangle on the other. A thin rod connected them. When she picked it up, it felt warm.

    "What a weird key," she said. She pocketed it and turned back to the door. "Now can we leave this room?"

    "Yeah. Why're you asking me?"

    Lila sighed. "Because you're the one who told me to wait."

    The Legend of Zelda: Real Courage :grinning:

    The battle for good and evil rages in Lila’s heart. What does courage mean, she wonders as she fights her way through various monster-filled dungeons. Was she really born to be a hero, or did the prince of Hyrule place his faith in the wrong person?

  • Chapter Five: Gyorg (Part 1 of 2)

    The rest of the rooms held similar challenges. Mori identified the additional enemies she encountered as Bari, White Wolfos, Ice Chu, Pengators, and Bokoblins. Though each challenge got harder and harder, Lila got bored quickly. To make matters worse, she had to keep running around the castle flipping switches so the water level would be just right. The only thing that made it worth her trouble was the money. Well, and the fact that Lady Ganondra had sent her on the mission. If it weren't for her, she would have turned around and left.

    Once they had collected the four keys–which all looked the same–Mori and Lila stood in front of the giant door with the lock. She placed each key in the holes. The lock undid itself and dropped to the floor, landing on Lila's toes.

    "Ow!" she shouted, hopping on one foot.

    "Quit complaining. At least you have feet," Mori chided.

    "That's just stupid," Lila said, ignoring the pain. "Let's go. I hope there's some sort of boss battle ahead."

    "What's a boss battle?"

    Lila shrugged. "I dunno, but it sounds cool."

    Without waiting any longer, Lila pushed the heavy door open. It led to dark stairs leading down, which she entered without hesitating. At the end of the stairs, her eyes started adjusting to the dim light. Once again, the light seemed to come from the walls themselves, but they were so far away, they couldn't light up the whole room. The room was so large, it seemed to be the size of the entire castle.

    She was standing on a balcony, which ran around the edge of the room, just like the entrance to the castle. In the center was a giant pool of water. Something was glowing deep in the middle. Lila stepped to the edge of the pool to get a better look, and the door slammed closed behind her.

    "Not again!" Mori whined. "Why does this keep happening?"

    Lila answered, "Obviously it means something important is in here. Maybe it's the chainmail."

    "But where is it?"

    "Can't you sense it?"

    Mori thought for a moment. "Wait, yes I can. It's in the water, where the light is coming from."

    Lila sighed. "I don't want to have to go swimming in that freezing water anymore. You go get it."

    "What? Me? How am I supposed to get it?"

    "I dunno," she sighed again and sat on the edge of the balcony, her legs crossed. She touched the water with her fingertips, sending light ripples through the pool. Just a touch sent shivers down her spine. "Yeah, I'm not going in there again."

    The ripples in the center of the pool were getting bigger. Lila looked up, hearing a rumbling sound. The light was growing closer, brighter, and larger. It came toward the surface at an amazing speed.

    "What's that?" Lila wondered, backing away.

    The Legend of Zelda: Real Courage :grinning:

    The battle for good and evil rages in Lila’s heart. What does courage mean, she wonders as she fights her way through various monster-filled dungeons. Was she really born to be a hero, or did the prince of Hyrule place his faith in the wrong person?

  • Chapter Five: Gyorg (Part 2 of 2)

    There was a giant splash as the fish jumped out of the water. It was purplish red with glowing scales and fins. Its mouth was a gaping hole with millions of teeth, some massive and some tiny. Two horns protruded from its face, and its eyes glowed an angry blue.


    "Wh-what?" Lila asked. Her mind went blank with fear.

    "He works for Lady Ganondra!"


    "Yes, I said that. The chainmail is inside him. Looks like you have to fight."

    "F-fight?" Lila stuttered. "That thing? But... but it's huge!"

    The fish swam to her and snapped its jaw at her. She jumped back against the wall, narrowly avoiding being eaten.

    "Come on," Mori encouraged as he flew to the ceiling. "You can beat this guy easy!"

    Lila gulped. "Yeah, uh-huh. I can do this." With trembling fingers, she reached for the sword at her hip. Gyorg had dived back into the water and was getting ready for another charge. An idea came to her then. She stepped forward, leading with her new shield. Then when the fish jumped out of the water, she thrust her sword up at it, catching it by surprise. The monster roared and dived back underwater, luminescent blue blood trickling behind it.

    "Nice one! But I don't think that trick will work twice."

    "Got it. If only there were a way to get it on land..." Lila pondered the problem as she waited for the fish to resurface. It lifted its eyes above the water, clear across the room, examining her. Both opponents were working out their next move.

    Gyorg moved first, charging at Lila with only its horns out of the water. She didn't think her shield could defend from such sharp points, so she backed away from the edge. Because Gyorg's eyes were pointed down, it didn't see the wall when it crashed into it. Lila took this opportunity to attack from above, ignoring her shield and just swinging her sword left and right.

    Eventually, the fish recovered. It spun around and slapped Lila with its tail, sending her flying to the outer wall. This time it was her turn to be dazed. The fish used strong arms Lila hadn't noticed before to drag itself to land. It reached out for her leg and started pulling her toward the water.

    "Lila, get up!"

    She shook her head to clear it and slashed Gyorg's arm, cutting it clean off. The monster howled in pain and flopped around.

    Lila smirked. "Fish out of water." She got to her feet, but she was shorter than the monster now that it was at her level. Its size threw her off for a moment, but she pushed past the fear and attacked the fish again. She aimed for the glowing areas, which seemed to be weaker flesh than the scales. With one final stab, the fish exploded, spraying guts everywhere.

    "Ew!" Lila shouted, turning from the sight. She could feel warm flesh covering her, making her gag. All around her was the sound of something sizzling.

    "Don't worry, Lila," Mori said, flying to her side. "The body is dissolving. You'll be fine in no time."

    Lila kept her arm over her eyes. "That's just gross," she muttered.

    "On the bright side, I can see the chainmail."

    "I don't think I want it anymore."

    "Oh, and there's a heart-shaped jewel floating next to it," Mori added. "Come on, just look."

    Lila gulped. "Fine." She dropped her arm slowly. The sizzling noise was almost gone, and so was the flesh. The only thing left was an entirely clean chainmail shirt, and the jewel Mori had talked about. Lila was drawn to the heart. It was about two feet tall and wide and floated two inches off the ground as it rotated. The center looked to be made out of perfectly cut ruby, and it had a gold border around it.

    "Wow, that's... beautiful," Lila breathed.

    "What? It's just steel links."

    "Not that, stupid! The heart."

    "Oh, yeah. I guess that is kinda pretty."

    "You're making fun of me."

    Mori giggled in reply, so Lila took a swipe at him. As always, he flew out of her reach.

    "Whatever, I'm keeping it," she said. When she reached out for it, it spun faster and disappeared in a bunch of sparkles. She instantly felt revived.

    "Guess you're not keeping it."

    Lila smiled. "No, I still have it."


    "You wouldn't understand. Let's just get what we came here for and go."

    "Now you're talking."

    The Legend of Zelda: Real Courage :grinning:

    The battle for good and evil rages in Lila’s heart. What does courage mean, she wonders as she fights her way through various monster-filled dungeons. Was she really born to be a hero, or did the prince of Hyrule place his faith in the wrong person?

  • Happy Easter, everyone!

    Chapter Six: Meeting Him (Part 1 of 2)

    It was dusk by the time Lila left the dungeon. She finished off her food and then headed back to the desert. She marveled at the beauty of the sunset but kept her eyes low, watching for the monsters that came out at night. Hyrule could never seem to rid itself of nighttime monsters, but none of them were a match for Lila’s skill. She made it back to Gerudo Town without a scratch, no thanks to Mori.

    Once back in the city, Lila was unsure of what to do. Should she report her progress right away, or was it too late at night to bother the chieftess? She decided to seek out Dalni for advice. The trainees would be in bed already, so Lila went straight to Dalni’s quarters.

    Knocking on the door, Lila said, “Hello, Dalni, are you awake?”

    It took a moment for Dalni to answer. “Yes, I’m up. Who is it?”

    “It’s Lila. I completed my task for Lady Ganondra.”

    There was some noise behind the door that Lila couldn’t make out, and then the door opened and Dalni slipped out, fully dressed.

    “Already?” she asked, her face showing her astonishment.

    Lila nodded. “I have the chainmail right here.” She lifted her prize to show Dalni.

    “Fantastic! The Shadow Chieftess will want to know right away. Let’s go!”

    Dalni headed toward the palace excitedly, and Lila followed her. The idea of meeting with the chieftess still sent her head spinning. Once again, a chill ran through Lila’s body just thinking about her eyes. Would she ever get over the apparent fear that Lady Ganondra provoked?

    Before she knew it, they were standing just outside of the throne room. Dalni turned to Lila and said, “Time to shine, Lila. Show her what you’re made of!”

    The sentiment surprised Lila. Dalni had never been so kind to her before. After a moment’s hesitation, she nodded and smiled back. Then they entered the throne room. They again went to the center of the room and knelt.

    “What’s this?” Lady Ganondra asked. She had been discussing with the witch sisters, Kotake and Koume, though what about, Lila couldn’t fathom.

    “Lila has returned triumphant from her quest,” Dalni boasted.

    “So she has,” Lady Ganondra said. “Good. The chainmail you just acquired should help protect you against the flames. You see, the next item you are to obtain is within Volvagia’s domain.”

    Lila suppressed a gasp. “Death Mountain?” she asked, shaking.

    "Yes, you are correct. This time you are looking for gauntlets."

    Lila was confused. "Um, you want me to look for... cups?"

    Lady Ganondra's smile dropped. "Gauntlets, not goblets, you foolish girl. Gloves! They're said to increase one's strength. I tire of speaking with you. Leave my sight!"

    Lila and Dalni hurried out. Mori met them outside of the throne room.

    "Where are we going this time?" he asked.

    "Death Mountain," Lila answered gravely. "I swear, Lady Ganondra wants to kill me."

    "She's sending you to find items that will help you be stronger," Mori said. "That suggests she wants you to live."

    "Yeah?" Lila argued. "For how long? No way can I fight Volvagia and win."

    "You beat Gyorg."

    "Gyorg is tiny compared to Volvagia."

    "Lady Ganondra wouldn't send you if she thought you would fail."

    "I wouldn't count on that..."

    "Why do you think she waited all these years to send you on these missions?"

    Lila didn't have an answer for that. She wondered if Mori was right, but couldn't help but worry that she wasn't safe with her Lady. Her missions might just send her to the grave.

    The Legend of Zelda: Real Courage :grinning:

    The battle for good and evil rages in Lila’s heart. What does courage mean, she wonders as she fights her way through various monster-filled dungeons. Was she really born to be a hero, or did the prince of Hyrule place his faith in the wrong person?

  • No fools here!

    Chapter Six: Meeting Him (Part 2 of 2)

    "So, where in Death Mountain are we going?" Lila asked her flying friend the next day. They had arrived on the outskirts of a mountain village called Kakariko. Though it was practically dried up except for the sacred spring in the south, the place was bustling with energy. Buildings made of haphazard materials climbed the sides of the gorge, with the smallest of paths leading to each doorway. Some doors even opened on the roofs of other buildings. The narrow street was filled with merchants and natives, bargaining for the best prices the Kakarikans had to offer.

    Most in the village were Hylian, but some were Goron. After all, Death Mountain could only be inhabited by the rock-like creatures because only they could withstand the heat. Lila imagined some of the women were Gerudo. The women would be in Kakariko Valley because the Gerudo Desert wasn't too far to the north, making it the closest merchant town for the desert dwellers.

    "The mines are huge," Lila continued, "and I don't want to have to bother with Gorons."

    "Don't worry," Mori answered. "I'm sure you'll be able to go through side tunnels and all that. Once we get to Volvagia's domain, it'll be a different story."

    "What's that supposed to mean?" They hadn't moved yet. Lila wanted to know exactly what to do before she stepped foot among the locals.

    "It means you won't run into Gorons, but you might have to do more fighting once in Volvagia's domain. Get it?"

    "Yeah, yeah, I get it," Lila replied with a sigh. "I'm guessing we're going to need bombs?"

    "That's a good assumption," Mori said.

    Lila sighed again. "Okay. I'll use the rupees I got in the last dungeon to stock up. I hate people," she added with a grumble as she moved toward the shops. She looked for the one the village was most known for: the bomb shop. She hoped she wouldn't have to climb and was in luck. About halfway through the gorge, Lila spotted the sign depicting a bomb. Not sure whether Mori was still following her, she stepped into the shop.

    Inside, if such a thing was possible, was even louder than on the street. People were standing around, talking about who knows what. The shop was much too small for its business. Lila couldn't even see where to buy the wares. It would be so easy to pick up a bag without anyone noticing. For a moment, she even considered the idea. Then the crowd parted enough for her to shove through to the counter.

    "What can I get you?" said a young man about her age. He had yellow-blonde hair and a skinny frame, though his arms seemed somewhat muscled. When he smiled, it made his grayish-blue eyes twinkle, throwing Lila off guard. For a moment she forgot she was surrounded by people. Then her staring got awkward, and the boy's smile started to falter.

    "Oh... oh, sorry. I-I just need one bag, please." Lila couldn't believe how ridiculous she was acting. The boy pulled out a bag from under the counter and made a tick on a tally sheet.

    "That'll cost you fifty rupees," he said, smiling again. Lila couldn't help but think he was teasing her now.

    Grateful for a reason to look away, she fished the necessary coin out of her wallet and handed it over. When she reached for the bag, the boy put his hand on hers.

    "There's a great hot spring just above the shop," he said. "It's said to heal any injury, and is absolutely lovely at night."

    Was he messing with her? His smile looked kind of... soft. It wasn't something Lila was used to seeing.

    She blushed and said, "I-I have to go. Got a job to do." Before the boy behind the counter could reply, she pulled the bag and her hand from his grasp and left the shop.

    The Legend of Zelda: Real Courage :grinning:

    The battle for good and evil rages in Lila’s heart. What does courage mean, she wonders as she fights her way through various monster-filled dungeons. Was she really born to be a hero, or did the prince of Hyrule place his faith in the wrong person?

  • Chapter Seven: A Fight (Part 1 of 2)

    "Stupid, stupid, stupid!" Lila muttered to herself. "He was just a boy. You've seen boys before." She was so frustrated, she didn't notice the people she ran into as she hurried toward the mine's entrance. Most lost her in the crowd, but then she walked headlong into a stocky form.

    "Sorry," Lila muttered. She moved to get out of the way, but the person grabbed her shoulders. He got in her face, squeezing her.

    "What was that? I didn't quite catch it," he said, a smirk playing on his lips.

    "I said I'm sorry for running into you," Lila answered in a monotone. The massive flow of people continued around them, no one fully noticing what was happening.

    The guy smiled. "That's better, girly. How about you and me spend some time alone?"

    For the first time, Lila looked into his brown eyes that matched his shaggy hair. Her nose twitched, showing her annoyance. "Not interested."

    "You dare talk back to me?"

    "Yeah, I do."

    The guy's smirk dropped. "You're gonna pay for that, girly."

    "You wanna bet?"

    Before Lila could react, the guy hauled her over his massive shoulder. She gasped as the breath was pushed out of her lungs. She struggled, but his strong arms kept her from escaping or reaching her weapons.

    "Not so tough now, are ya?" he boasted.

    "Put me down!" Lila shouted. People were starting to notice now, but the guy walked out of the village without resistance.

    "Let's get a few things straight," he said. "My name is Ruggy, and you're in my territory. You do anything to make me mad, and I make sure you regret it."

    "You're the one who's going to regret this," Lila growled. Ruggy patted her on the butt, sending a disgusted chill along her spine.

    "I like 'em feisty," he said with a chuckle.

    The Legend of Zelda: Real Courage :grinning:

    The battle for good and evil rages in Lila’s heart. What does courage mean, she wonders as she fights her way through various monster-filled dungeons. Was she really born to be a hero, or did the prince of Hyrule place his faith in the wrong person?

  • Chapter Seven: A Fight (Part 2 of 2)

    Once they broke free of the crowd, they went inside a small shack a bit away from the town. Ruggy dropped Lila to the ground so forcefully, she was stunned for a moment. He rummaged for something in the piles of what looked like trash. He came back with a coil of rope.

    "You going to do this willingly," Ruggy sneered, "or do you prefer to be bound?"

    Lila kicked him in the groin and leaped to her feet. He staggered back, dropping the rope. Just in case, she readied her sword and leveled it at him.

    “Neither,” she said in answer to his question. “I’m leaving now.”

    Before she could, though, the door banged open. Her eyes widened when she saw who it was.

    “Let her go,” the boy said without a hint of fear in his voice. It was the skinny boy from the bomb shop.

    "Lila, there you are!" Mori flew inside the shack to her side, completely ignoring the men. “Are you okay?

    “I have everything under control,” Lila said to both Mori and the boy.

    The boy lowered his guard. “Yeah, I guess you do,” he said sheepishly, eyeing her sword.

    There was an awkward silence broken only by Ruggy’s pained groans.

    “Um,” Lila said cautiously, “you’re blocking the door.”

    “Oh! Sorry.” The boy stepped aside and gestured with his hands. “After you.”

    With eyebrows raised, Lila left the shack with Mori following. Ruggy tried to reach out to her, but he was in too much pain to be a bother. The boy followed Mori out of the shack as well.

    “Thanks,” Lila said when the door closed.

    “What for?” the boy asked.

    “For trying,” Lila answered. She held out her hand to shake. “My name’s Lila. What’s yours?”

    “Zale,” the boy said. His blue eyes sparkled as he smiled. “Nice to meet you, Lila.” Mori was looking nervously between Zale and Lila but didn't say anything, and Lila didn't ask.

    "I gotta get back to the shop," Zale said, ignorant of the keese's fretting. "You won't get yourself into any more trouble, will you?"

    Lila smirked. "Oh, I will. Trust me."

    Zale looked at her funny, not sure if she was joking. "Well, if you feel the need to rest tonight, you know where to find me."

    Lila felt the blush returning. "Oh, right. The hot spring."

    "But only tonight, I leave tomorrow."

    "You don't live here?"

    Zale shook his head. "Nah, just passing through on my rounds. I help the family that runs the bomb shop every now and then, and they give me a place to stay."

    "I see," Lila said slowly. "I can't promise I'll be there, but I'll definitely try." For the first time, she gave him a sincere smile.

    Zale smiled back and gave a small wave. "That's all that matters. I hope to see you again, Lila."

    "Goodbye, Zale," Lila replied, backing away toward the mine. After three steps, she spun on her toes and took off in a brisk walk. She glanced back to see Zale watching her leave and smiled to herself.

    "What do you think you're doing?" Mori asked, breaking Lila's bliss.

    "Just talking to someone, obviously," Lila replied.

    "Do you know who that is?"

    "A traveler named Zale. What's the big deal?"

    "A traveler named Prince Zale."

    Lila stopped in her tracks. "Wait, what? You're not serious!"

    "Yes, serious."

    "No wonder his name sounded familiar! How can he walk around Kakariko Village without anyone saying anything?"

    "Well, most of Hyrule doesn't know he exists. When the queen bore a male child, the king was disgraced and denied his existence."

    "Because of the legends," Lila said for him.

    "Yes. Only queens can rule Hyrule." Mori giggled, momentarily interrupting his story.

    "What's so funny?"

    "'Rule Hyrule.' It rhymes."

    Lila swiped at him with her fist. "Get on with it."

    "Fine. Well, the queen died in childbirth with Prince Zale, so the king searched for a new bride. He found one a few years ago, but she also died. The reason we know about the Prince is that he was born—"

    "Exactly the same time as me, I know," Lila finished. "I just forgot, okay? Let's go get those stupid goblets."



    The Legend of Zelda: Real Courage :grinning:

    The battle for good and evil rages in Lila’s heart. What does courage mean, she wonders as she fights her way through various monster-filled dungeons. Was she really born to be a hero, or did the prince of Hyrule place his faith in the wrong person?

  • Chapter Eight: Avoiding Rocks (Part 1 of 2)

    Lila tried to keep herself from thinking about the traveling prince from the bomb shop, at least for a short while. She followed her keese friend into the mines, a rocky path marked by a wooden arch. The entrance to the mines was open above with tall rock walls winding this way and that. The walls weren't nearly as high as in the village, but only because the ground sloped upward as it got closer to the mountain. Eventually, the two came to a narrow cliff face, which had been dug out of the rock.

    Mori flew up to the next level, then turned back to Lila.

    "You're so short!" he joked.

    Lila glared at the creature. "Stop bragging just because you have wings!" She looked around for a way up, but the only thing she saw was the iron grating used to hold up the rock.

    Before Mori could say anything more, the two heard a rumbling sound, coming from behind the keese. Mori turned around and uttered, "Uh-oh..."

    "What?" Lila asked, furious.

    "Incoming!" Mori shouted, flying higher.

    A boulder flew off the cliff, soaring right over Lila's head before continuing down the path. Soon the rumbling went away.

    Lila felt shaky and tried to brush it off. She turned her fear into anger towards Mori by yelling, "Give me more warning next time!"

    Mori flew lower so that he was level with her. "I don't know if you noticed, but there wasn't much time to give you more warning than I had."

    Lila glared at him for a few seconds. She could tell he was holding back a laugh. She turned away with a grunt. "I thought we wouldn't run into any Gorons."

    "Oh, yeah, about that..."

    Lila spun around to face him again. "What?"

    "There's a secret path I forgot to show you."

    She closed her eyes and took a slow breath. "Where?"

    "Not far," Mori answered teasingly. "Just a bit back down the path. Follow me."

    Lila opened her eyes to glare at him, but he was already flying away. She sighed, giving up. Then she walked after him. A moment later, they were standing in front of a small dip in the wall. Everything looked the same, but upon closer inspection, Lila found a hole. It was just big enough for her to crawl through but much too small for a Goron.

    "That's it?" she asked.

    "Yeah," Mori answered. "It opens up so you can stand. You're not scared, are you?"

    "Nah," Lila replied. "I've been in tighter spots." With that, she got on her hands and knees and crawled into the gap. She crawled out of the short tunnel to find herself standing in a larger hall. She pulled out her lantern to help her see the way. The hall continued in one direction, almost parallel to the normal mine path, and the two followed it.

    "This brings back memories," Mori sighed.

    Lila glanced at him in confusion. Since when was he so nostalgic? She asked, "What kind of memories?"

    "For starters, this is where I grew up."

    "Really?" Lila wondered, "I've never heard about your childhood." The last word seemed kind of strange to her. Did animals have childhoods? The whole concept of Mori "growing up" was weird.

    "Well, it wasn't long," Mori answered, "but it was fun. I had lots of siblings. I remember us all going out for a hunt at night."He sighed again. "Those were the good days."

    Lila tried to keep herself from laughing. "What made things change?"

    "Hm? Oh. The Gorons smoked us out. My family flew north, though I was the only one who went as far as Lady Gaonondras castle."

    Lila stopped to look at him. "Seriously? That's how you came to be my guide?"

    "Yup, pretty much."

    She continued walking, deciding to let the topic drop. Though she couldn't admit it to herself, she was scared of asking more questions. She worried Mori would be mad at her. She couldn't help but feel guilty, knowing he was separated from his family.

    Then again, so was she. As far back as she could remember, Lady Ganondra was the only constant in her life. She had Mori and Dalni now, but no mother and no father. Just servants and a trainer. Just training and quests.

    Over the years, Lila hadn't let herself dwell on the questions of her family. This time, she turned her thoughts to the prince. Zale. What did he mean that he was making his "rounds"? Did he pass through Kakariko often? Did he work for other stores in other towns? Where did he live? Surely he had a place to call home. Even Lila had that.

    Too many questions. Lila didn't like thinking about such weighty topics. She'd much rather be battling a monster at that moment. Her pace quickened until she was running.

    The Legend of Zelda: Real Courage :grinning:

    The battle for good and evil rages in Lila’s heart. What does courage mean, she wonders as she fights her way through various monster-filled dungeons. Was she really born to be a hero, or did the prince of Hyrule place his faith in the wrong person?

  • Chapter Eight: Avoiding Rocks (Part 2 of 2)

    "What's the hurry?"

    Lila didn't answer him. She wanted her mind to clear of everything, even Mori's nagging. Of course, by definition, Mori would never stop nagging.

    "Hey, are you listening to me?"

    The tunnel opened up, and ahead was a faint light. Lila decided to give Mori an answer.

    "I just wanted to get here quickly. Is that a crime?" She didn't mean to snap, but she couldn't help the words coming out of her. She decided right then and there that she should never think again. Action was much better.

    "No, it's not," Mori said. "I was just wondering. Looks like we're almost there."

    "I hope there are monsters for me to beat up."

    "If the ice castle was any indication, there will be."

    As they were talking, they came upon the source of light. Two torches stood about two arms' length apart from each other. Between them was a doorway, but rocks were blocking the path.

    "It's a good thing I bought those bombs," Lila said, reaching for her pack.

    "What if you bring down the whole cave?"

    Lila almost dropped the bomb back into the bag at the thought. As always, she hid her fear.

    "I'm not going to bring down the whole cave. These rocks are weaker than the walls and ceiling. The bomb should just blow them up."

    "I don't believe you," Mori said, fluttering away.

    Lila crouched and placed the bomb on the ground, exactly between the torches. Then, after a few tries, she lit it with flint and steel. She backed away quickly, wondering how big the blast radius would be.

    "This will work," she muttered, a quiver in her voice.

    After a few seconds, the wick burned down. Lila shielded her face with her arm.


    The bomb went off with a smaller explosion than Lila expected, but it got the job done. The fallen rocks were cleared... as well as the torches. Coughing from the dust, Lila pulled out her lantern again. Mori came in for a closer look.

    "Hey, it actually worked!"

    "I told you," Lila replied with a smug look.

    "You were scared. I know it!"

    "Was not! Do you see me running away from the cave because I was too scared to light a bomb? No! If it weren't for me, we would have to backtrack again."

    Lila stepped over the hole left by the explosion and continued on. The tunnel branched into two paths, one of which was lit in the distance and a lot warmer. Before Mori could launch another insult, she asked, "Lava or darkness?"

    "Um, what?"

    "Which path should we take: Lava or darkness?"

    "How should I know?"

    Lila growled, "You're supposed to sense what we're searching for, remember?"

    "Oh. In that case, we have to go left."

    Left was the way of darkness, which probably meant there weren't any monsters to fight. Lila sighed and said, "Fine. Let's get going." She continued down the left fork with Mori following faithfully.

    The path continued parallel to the mine's path for a short while, and then it was blocked by an ancient-looking wall with green decorations weaving all over its face. After emptying her bomb bag in an attempt to remove the obstacle, Lila decided to turn back and take the lava path. There she met with the monsters she was dying to fight. After a while, she found a trigger. She and Mori went back to the ancient wall to find it had slid into the wall. The path continued the length of the lava room, then turned right, where there was a hint of light. After a few more minutes, they came upon a room with three tunnels, all blocked off by the loose rocks from the tunnel's entrance.

    "Well now we have to go back to town because someone used all our bombs," Mori mocked.

    Lila was tired from fighting all afternoon, and the thought of the busy streets of Kakariko made her cringe. Then she remembered Zale's offer.

    "Yup, we have to go back to town," Lila said, wiping the sweat from her forehead. She turned around and started jogging back to the entrance.

    "What's got you so excited?" Mori asked.

    "Nothing," Lila said lightly. "Hey, when we get to Kakariko, you should... stay away from me. We don't want to draw attention."

    "You didn't say anything last time."

    "Well, I didn't think of it last time. You don't want to get in trouble with Lady Ganondra, do you?"

    "No, but why would—"

    "Great! It's settled then. You'll leave me alone while I stay the night in Kakariko."

    "Stay the night? Are you serious?"

    "It won’t hurt anything."

    "Lady Ganondra might get mad at you for taking so long..."

    "She'll understand."

    "What about Volvagia?"

    "I can deal with him, too."

    "Okay... if you think so..."

    The Legend of Zelda: Real Courage :grinning:

    The battle for good and evil rages in Lila’s heart. What does courage mean, she wonders as she fights her way through various monster-filled dungeons. Was she really born to be a hero, or did the prince of Hyrule place his faith in the wrong person?

  • Chapter Nine: Prince Zale at the Hot Spring (Part 1 of 2)

    Mori stayed in the cave when Lila returned to Kakariko. It was a lot later than she expected, so she went straight to the hot spring. It wasn't hard to find; there were signs everywhere pointing in the right direction. She wondered if there would be a lot of people in the spring, but soon realized most people would be in bed. Then she wondered if Zale was still there. She hoped he was. Lady Ganondra would like to know as much about the prince as possible. At least, that's what she told herself.

    The climb to the hot spring took a lot of effort. If Lila hadn't been fighting monsters all day, it would have been easy. For her. With sweat gathered in uncomfortable places, a dip in a spring, hot or cold, was a welcoming thought. As she neared the summit, she heard voices.

    "Prince Zale, I believe it is time for you to retire for the night."

    "I'm not a prince out here," came the familiar voice of Zale. "How many times do I have to remind you?"

    Lila moved closer but stayed out of sight. Zale sat at the edge of the pool with his toes skimming the water. He looked somewhat behind him to a man wearing too much clothing for such a warm place. The outfit seemed to be made of fine materials, and the man waved a matching fan in his face. Zale, on the other hand, wore dark shorts and a drying white tunic. The tunic stuck to his body in places and flowed freely in others.

    "No one is around," the older man continued. "Surely your identity is safe."

    "You never know who is in the shadows," Zale countered with a scowl. Funny, Lila was thinking the same thing.

    The man sighed, realizing his defeat. "If you think so, Zale, but need I remind you to go to bed?"

    "I'll be asleep in an hour. Now leave me alone." Zale waved a hand and turned his back on the man. With a harrumph, the man began walking away. Unfortunately, the only exit was past Lila. She scrambled to find a more secure place to hide, moving out of sight just in time. The man grumbled as he passed her, completely ignorant of her presence.

    When she was sure he was gone, she revealed herself to Zale.

    "You're up late," she greeted with a smile.

    Zale looked up at her with alarm, which he quickly hid with a blank expression. "I could say the same for you. You... ah... didn't hear any of that, did you?"

    Lila began to remove some of her armor, starting with her boots, as she mulled over what to tell him.

    "Actually, I already knew who you were," she said without looking up.

    "You did?" Zale asked. She could hear the worry in his voice.

    She took off her robe and chainmail while thinking again. Her next response took a little more time to figure out. She heard water splash and looked up to see Zale standing, a new scowl on his face.

    "What do you want?" he demanded.

    Lila put down her sword and other weapons, rolling her eyes. "I don't want anything from you. I just... know. Okay?"

    Zale crossed his arms. "No, that's not okay. What are you doing anyway?"

    "I'm undressing so I can get in the water."

    Zale stepped back. "You're what!"

    It was Lila's turn to scowl. "Not all the way! Look, I'm done. Sheesh." She eased herself into the water, generating an involuntary sigh of comfort. The warm water soothed her aching joints and made the slimy feeling of sweat wash away. She tilted her head back, closed her eyes, and let her body sink. Zale was silent the whole time.

    "Come back in," Lila joked. "The water's great."

    "Who are you?"

    "Really? Didn't I tell you already?" She opened one eye to give him a quick look worthy of her words.

    "A name doesn't tell me much about you."

    "It does for me, Prince Zale."

    "Quiet! How do you know who I am?"

    Lila heard the shiiink of a sword being removed from its sheath. Her sword. As soon as she heard it, she turned to face Zale and stood in the pool, all nerves ready to defend.

    "Put that down," she warned him.

    "Or what?" Zale asked. "You took off all your armor, and you're in no position to fight."

    He was somewhat right. Lila was on the low ground, always a weak spot, with no way to escape. She had to admit he was smart.

    "I'm not here to hurt you if that's what you're worried about," she said.

    "Then why are you here?"

    "To fight Volvagia."

    The answer made Zale pause. His angry face turned into a confused one. "You?"

    Even though she was up to her shoulders in water, Lila placed her fists on her hips. "Hey, just because I'm a girl doesn't mean I'm weak!"

    "Oh... right."

    "And here I thought you were smart," Lila teased. "Guess we're both wrong."

    "You think I'm smart?"

    "You fight smart."

    "Now that I'm looking at you, you look quite strong."

    Lila smiled. "I am."

    "Strong enough to fight Volvagia?"

    "You bet."

    The Legend of Zelda: Real Courage :grinning:

    The battle for good and evil rages in Lila’s heart. What does courage mean, she wonders as she fights her way through various monster-filled dungeons. Was she really born to be a hero, or did the prince of Hyrule place his faith in the wrong person?

  • Chapter Nine: Prince Zale at the Hot Spring (Part 2 of 2)

    Zale lowered the sword. "Huh. Okay. You're not going to reveal my secret, are you?"

    Lila sighed and shook her head like it was a stupid question, but inside she just didn't want to lie.

    "Okay, okay, I deserved that," Zale said as he put her sword away. Then he got into the hot spring. "So is that why you're so dirty?"

    "What?" Lila remarked, insulted.

    "I mean your face."

    "Are you serious?"

    Zale shook his head. "No, no, I mean, you have soot all over your face. Is that from fighting Volvagia?"

    "Oh, that," Lila said, feeling her cheeks reddening. "Actually I haven't fought him yet."

    "Oh," Zale mocked, "the big strong girl is too scared to fight?"

    "No! I just haven't blasted through the tunnels yet. Remember how I bought bombs from you?"


    "I wasted them on a wall that didn't lead anywhere."

    Zale laughed, floating onto his back.

    "Cut it out! I got enough of that from Mori," Lila grumbled.

    He quieted and moved closer. "Sorry. Is Mori that bird you were with earlier?"

    "Yeah..." Lila said slowly. "He's a keese, not a bird."

    "They're similar."

    "Yeah, I suppose. Anyway, I turned back to Kakariko because I need to get more bombs. Then I remembered your offer and here I am."

    Zale moved in closer and lowered his voice. "I've heard there are certain plants that actually grow bombs."

    "Really? Nu-uh!"

    "Yup. It's a legend passed down from bomb seller to bomb seller. I haven't seen one myself, though. Plus, they're bad for business if they do exist."

    "Well if I see one, I'll be sure to let you know," Lila said.

    "If we see each other again, that is."

    "Oh yeah, you're leaving tomorrow, aren't you?"

    "That's the plan, but..."

    "But what?"

    Zale looked down, suddenly shy. "This is silly, but... I feel like I know you."

    Lila blinked. "Um... what?"

    "Yeah, I know, crazy." He tried to brush it off and looked at her with a charming, crooked smile.

    "No, it's not!" Lila countered before she could stop herself. "I felt the same way!"

    They were both silent. Lila's breath came in short gasps, and she realized she needed to get some cold air. "I'm going," she said, pulling herself out of the spring. As she gathered her things, Zale came after her.

    "Wait! I'm sorry. Don't leave yet."

    Lila stopped but didn't turn to him. Her breathing hadn't calmed down. "What does this mean?" she asked quietly.

    Zale's answer came slowly. "I'm not sure yet, but I'd like to find out."

    "You never told me why you might stay longer." Lila could read between the lines, too.

    "I'd like to spend more time with you."

    She closed her eyes; she knew that was going to be his answer. "It's late. I gotta go. Big day tomorrow."

    "Will I ever see you again?"

    After pulling on her boots, she turned to face Zale. "You will."

    The Legend of Zelda: Real Courage :grinning:

    The battle for good and evil rages in Lila’s heart. What does courage mean, she wonders as she fights her way through various monster-filled dungeons. Was she really born to be a hero, or did the prince of Hyrule place his faith in the wrong person?

  • Chapter Ten: Mori and Zale (Part 1 of 2)

    Lila woke with a pounding in her head that rippled through her whole body. Mori definitely wasn't any help.

    "Lila, we have to go! The sun's already up!"

    "What do you mean 'already'?" she groaned, rolling over.

    "How late were you out last night?" Mori chided. "Much too late, I assume."

    "I had to relax my muscles from all the fighting."

    "Oh, yeah, like that's all you were doing. You saw that Prince didn't you!"

    "Only to gather information for Lady Ganondra."

    "Uh-huh, sure. Don't think I don't know a thing or two about romantic midnight meetings."

    "What are you talking about?" Lila moaned. "Just let me sleep a few more hours! Besides, I thought you were staying in the cave."

    "If you wait too long, Volvagia will be here."

    "I don't care. I already told you I can take him on."

    "You still need to get out of bed."

    "Be quiet!"

    A knock at the door stopped Mori's next retort. Lila groaned, "What now?"

    "I can take a guess."

    The thought of Zale ran through her like a jolt of lightning. It wasn't comfortable, but it woke her up to the point where she wouldn't be able to go back to sleep for hours. She pulled the covers off herself and sat up. The motion sent a dizzy wave through her.

    "I am not meant to be awake right now."

    She stood on weak legs, feeling the burn from yesterday. The knock came again.

    "Coming!" she shouted, making her own ears ring. She walked over to the door as fast as she could. Her knees, feet, and ankles burned with every step.

    As expected, Zale stood at the door. When he saw Lila, with her hair in a tangled mess, he smiled.

    "Good, I caught you," he lilted.

    "What do you want at this hour," Lila grumbled.

    "You don't like mornings, do you."

    "Not when I've been fighting all the day before and had a late night followed by a rude awakening." The last bit she directed with a fist to Mori. This time he wasn't even within range of her erratic punch.

    "Calm yourself, young grasshopper."

    Both Zale and Lila looked at him funny and asked, "Grasshopper?"

    "Don't ask me."

    "Right then..." Zale said slowly, looking back at Lila. Lila's beady eyes were still trained on the keese. "Would you join me for breakfast?"

    Lila sighed. "Yeah, I guess I could go for some food. Lead the way."

    "Um, don't you need to..."

    "Take a shower? You reek!"

    Lila's eyes went wide. "Oh my gosh! You let me stand here all gross and smelly without saying anything? You two, out. A girl needs her privacy."

    The Legend of Zelda: Real Courage :grinning:

    The battle for good and evil rages in Lila’s heart. What does courage mean, she wonders as she fights her way through various monster-filled dungeons. Was she really born to be a hero, or did the prince of Hyrule place his faith in the wrong person?