The Legend of Zelda: Return to Koholint (Part 2)
The Journey Begins
Sunset drew near on the western ocean horizon as Link sailed out to open sea. He had been all too excited over the past two weeks to get out and search for Koholint, and now he was finally under way. The scent of the ocean spray had become natural to him by now, having spent almost the equivalent to a year out on the vast and seemingly endless waters of the world.
His ship was small, designed only for about four people at the most. Zelda had graciously provided it for him at her own expense, along with enough food and supplies to last three voyages. She had even granted him full access to the castle armory so that he could get new weapons, which he had selected very carefully. Now, kept near his bed, were a new sword, a new shield, and a new bow and quiver of arrows. He'd also stopped by the bazaar and bought a bottle of the famous red potion that the Potion Witch distributed throughout the land. More than once had the red juice saved his life when he had battled to liberate Hyrule from Agahnim and Ganon, and because of that, he wanted to be prepared in case he ran into some sort of sea monster.
Kept close to him, however, was Princess Zelda's most treasured possession of all - a blue ocarina with the Triforce symbol engraved on the mouthpiece. It was the secret treasure of the Hylian Royal Family, Zelda had explained to him, and now he was entrusted with it to not only remember Hyrule, but the woman and childhood friend whom had given it to him. Truth be told, he was closer to no one else in the world. Except for Marin.
Another memory came to Link's mind. A memory of all the time he and Marin had spent together in the dream world. She had found him washed up on the Toronbo Beach, the only one on the island that monsters hadn't plagued. She had taken him back to her home and nursed him to full health. When she sang her hypnotic "Ballad of the Wind Fish," he had played along on his ocarina. He had escorted her to the Animal Village, where she sang for a colossal walrus and roused the creature from its sleep so that Link could proceed to the unforgiving Yarna Desert. He had even saved her life from a rickety bridge high in the mountains, when Moblins had captured and left her there. And just before he left Mabe Village for the last time, he and Marin had shared a moment in which he had almost confessed feelings for her. When he saw her again this time, he would make sure she knew that he had kept his promise to never forget about her.
Link couldn't sleep that night. He kept getting up and about to stare at the horizon. He knew in his heart that Koholint was now real, but he was still frustrated that it wasn't on any maps. The most he was able to do was retrace the path he originally took when he had been rescued by the merchant ship. But then he recalled that it was only the first night on his journey, and accosted himself for getting so worked up. With a heavy sigh, Link left his cabin and went out onto the deck to stare at the clear and starry sky.
He and Marin had done this once too, in the dream world. Together, they had gazed up at the night sky and inquisitively pondered what was so far out there, beyond their own world. "Tarin says there is nothing beyond the sea," Marin had said more than once during the time Link had spent with her. "But if there isn't, then there really shouldn't be so many stars in the sky."
Link had used himself as an example to prove to the old timer who raised Marin that there are indeed other places in the world that Koholint has no view of. Silenced, Tarin had simply nodded and accepted his own limited understanding. And during their star gazing, Link had explained to Marin some of the lands that were out beyond Koholint's field of vision - Hyrule, his own homeland; Holodrum, the realm in which dwelt the Oracle of Seasons; and Labrynna, where the Oracle of Ages resided. Even the alternate world Termina was out there, directly connected to Hyrule through the Lost Woods. All this knowledge had thoroughly fascinated Marin, much to Link's pleasure.
Days passed. There was still no sign of Koholint anywhere. Link was now tired and extremely bored, and sick of seeing open ocean all around him. He began to wish that he had asked a fellow swordsman or even a couple of soldiers to to accompany him just so he would have someone to talk to and spar with. But Link was never the kind of person to just give up. After all, he was the Hero of Hyrule, and the Hero from all the ancient texts never gave up. To pass the time, Link pulled the ocarina from his belt pouch and began to think about what song he would play. His thoughts wandered from various tunes he had picked up in Hyrule to the one song that kept a place in his heart. Taking a quick breath, he began to play Marin's "Ballad of the Wind Fish."
He was only finished with a single round of the song when a familiar braying sound interrupted him completely. His hopes suddenly raised, and curiosity seizing control, he climbed to the highest point of the ship that he could and looked all around. And from that point, what he saw next almost made him plummet back to the deck below, both out of shock and joy. There, in the distance, just ten leagues away, flying above the surface of the ocean, was a winged whale covered in symbolic tattoos of all colors. The Wind Fish.
Link knew what to do. He descended back to the deck, dug into the stash of emergency flares, and then set one off out into the open air, hoping to get the Wind Fish's attention. If he could get the Wind Fish to lead the way to Koholint Island, Link's quest would be over. He would draw Koholint on his maps so that if he ever had to leave the island, he would know exactly where to find it. This was it.
The flare worked. The Wind Fish began to fly over, hovering about a hundred feet away from the ship so that the god and Link could properly communicate. It was as big as Link had remembered from the dream.
"Link..." said the Wind Fish. "The gods bring us together again. Wherefore dost thou venture so far into the sea gain? Surely thou knowest the truth of Koholint, and seeketh not the island in vain?"
But Link said otherwise, and explained to the Wind Fish what had transpired in Hyrule nearly a month prior. Though surprised, the Wind Fish did not show signs of wrath or anger. Rather, it simply blinked.
"The Triforce verily grants the wishes of its mater," said the Wind Fish. "Thou hast wished Koholint to be truth, and not vanity, and the gods have heard thee. Behold, I shall lead thee to where Koholint was in our dream, and there, thou shalt surely find that which thou seeketh."
Link couldn't believe what he was hearing. Even the Wind Fish knew Koholint was real! And not only that, it knew the way to the island! Link immediately adjusted the ship to tail the Wind Fish, following its massive form. And then, just three days later, as Link was peering watchfully through his telescope, he saw the Wind Fish leading him to a lone island. At long last, Link had found Koholint, and this time, he was fully awake and conscious.
It was nearing sunset when Link finally set foot on the familiar beach. The Wind Fish had gone by then, its task completed. Keeping his weapons and shield slung on his back, he set off in search of the road that would lead into Mabe Village. But as he walked, an all too familiar and beautiful voice reached his pointed ears. A voice that sang the "Ballad of the Wind Fish" with all its heart. Link rounded the nearest bend, and there, walking down the road towards the beach, was Marin. Thinking fast, Link whipped his ocarina out and responded to her singing by playing the next verse from where she was in the song.
Marin froze in her tracks. There was only one person she had ever known to play an ocarina alongside her singing. And that person stepped out from around the bend to the beach, dressed in a green tunic and stocking cap, with knee-length leather boots, thick blonde hair, bright blue eyes, and pointy Hylian ears, armed with a sword, a shield, and a bow and quiver full of arrows. Her heart seemed to stop as her eyes locked with Link's, and there they stared at each other for what felt like an eternity.