The Legend of Zelda: Return to Koholint (Part 3)

The Reunion

Even as he ran towards Marin, for a single instant, Link doubted in his heart that this was real. For a single instant, he thought he was dreaming again. But that doubt quickly left as he got caught up in his reunion with Marin. He caught her as she dove into his arms, lifted and spun with her once, and then finally embraced her. No, he told himself in his mind. This is real.

"Link..." Marin breathed, quickly breaking down and sobbing into his shoulder. "You kept your promise..." He did, and was eternally thankful that he had. One thing Link never did was forget about those who were important to him. What kind of Hero would he be if he willfully pushed his loved ones from his mind? A vain Hero, to be sure, for no Hero of Hylian prophecy relied solely on his own abilities.

"Come on," said Marin after she had spent several minutes regaining her composure. "Everyone in the village will want to see you again. Especially BowWow. Poor mutt has been miserable ever since you left for Mount Tamaranch and never returned."

Yet another detail Link remembered about Koholint as Marin walked hand in hand with him to Mabe Village. BowWow had been the kidnapped victim of a Moblin raid on the village, and Link alone was brave enough to rescue him. When Link had first met the huge dog, he had actually been intimidated by him. The rescue seemed to change BowWow's attitude towards Link, because the colossal hound had ripped out several Moblin throats in the Mysterious Forest. And now, as Link and Marin strolled the small streets of Mabe Village, Link's scent was picked up by BowWow, and the air immediately filled with almost thunderous barks of joy. Around a single corner, and there was the small but cozy home of the plucky Madame Meow-meow, with BowWow chained to the post.

BowWow was as big as Link remembered, too. The tremendous girth of the black wolfhound kept most people away, but not Link or Marin. Both walked right up to the beast, and Link suddenly found himself pinned down and being licked half to death, while Madame Meow-meow struggled to pull her dog off the Hero. After several long minutes of laughing and trying to stand up, Link finally returned to his feet, brushed the thick grass from his tunic, and wiped his face with a cloth Marin had provided.

"It's great to be back," Link said at last, unhooking BowWow after getting permission from his owner. As they walked the dog around, Link explained to Marin everything that had transpired since the last time he left the village, including everything the Wind Fish had told him about Koholint. And he also told her of his return to Hyrule and his wish to the Triforce.

"Oh, Link..." choked Marin, struggling now to not break down again. "You loved this island so much...that you would make such a wish just to return..."

"Not just the island," Link replied, his heart leaping both nervously and excitedly. And as Marin turned to face him, surprise and expectation shining on her face, he summoned every bit of courage to finish what he intended to say. "The island's greatest treasure. And I'm standing right next to her."

That right there stopped both of them, right in the middle of the main road that wound through the village. Passersby noticed and decided to go about their business. Apparently, Link had become so well known by them all that they knew this was a tender moment for him, because before long, he and Marin were actually alone there in the street, the latter staring deep into his eyes. She seemed to struggle with processing what he had just said to her, as if she was the one dreaming now.

The moment lasted even longer than when they first reunited earlier. Time itself would have stopped if it could have, and Link wished it did, because this was one that would be worth remembering. They started to lean closer to each other, and the closer he got to Marin's lips, the harder his heart pounded. This was it. He was about to kiss the woman he loved, and there was nothing there that would interrupt them. No Nightmares, no monsters, not even BowWow would come between Link and Marin.

But a raiding party of bloodthirsty Moblins did, and an explosion on the outskirts made that very clear.

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