The Legend of Zelda: Return to Koholint (Part 1)
Link let out a bittersweet sigh as he finally stepped off the ship and onto the pier that stretched out an oak tree's length from the Hylian shore. It had been almost two weeks since the cargo ship had found him stranded out in the middle of the sea, amidst the ruin of his own ship. He had been strangely fortunate; he was adrift for only an hour after waking up when the ship had been seen sailing up. The gods had favored him that day.
He had lost everything that stormy night, when the lightning bolt struck his ship and caused it to explode. His sword, his shield, and even the precious ocarina that an old friend had given to him. All of it was gone, now somewhere on the bottom of the sea, and not even a miracle from the gods would help him recover his precious possessions. He would have to start over from scratch now that he was back in Hyrule, and as he stepped onto solid ground for the first time in over a month, he knew exactly where he would start - Hyrule Castle. He would go straight to his old friend, Princess Zelda herself, and tell her everything that had happened.
Or would he? Would he tell her about the dream world he had entered, thanks to the Wind Fish? Would he tell her about the mysterious Koholint Island, about the Animal Village that had so enjoyed his company? Would he tell her about the Nightmares he had to destroy in order to assist the Wind Fish in waking up? And most of all...would he tell her about Marin, the young woman whom he had grown so close to, close enough that he might have fallen in love with her?
No, that would not do. As much as he trusted Zelda, he did not want to bore her with whatever went on inside his head. Right now, he had more important matters at hand. Among them were excited villagers who were now trying to offer him drinks or lunch as he strolled through the streets of the seaside city. He politely turned them all down, confessing that he had to meet with the princess, and every time he used that excuse, they actually let him be, to his relief. Finally, he found a soldier, who saluted him as, "Hero!" Link asked for escort to Hyrule Castle, that it was urgent. Without question, the soldier called for some of his comrades and relayed Link's request. Before he knew it, a chariot was presented to him, and he was on his way.
It is good to be home..., thought Link as the chariot left the city for Castle Town. He watched as the trees and animal pastures went by the window, lost in thought. Lost in his memories. Lost in the dream world that had vanished from existence. He didn't know why, but he found himself wishing, to some extent, that Koholint had been more than just an illusion, as the Southern Face Shrine had stated in its deepest and darkest chamber. He found himself wishing, just once, that he could actually return to a very real Koholint Island. He recalled in the dream that he had started to actually enjoy the island - until he also recalled Marin's hope to leave Koholint and see the outside world.
Due to being so lost in thought, the trip to Hyrule Castle felt brief to him, and he was relieved to see the grand castle so soon. And, thanks to quick and motivated messengers, there was Princess Zelda, in all her beauty and splendor, waiting for him at the main gate with her escort. Link stepped out of the chariot before it had even stopped, and immediately Zelda's face showed signs of worry. It was as if she knew something was bothering him, as if she knew something had happened to him while he was gone.
At her urging, Link told her everything he had done during his absence from Hyrule - his quests throughout Holodrum and Labrynna, and the storm that had annihilated his ship. He told her nothing about the dream he had - but the princess, wise as she was, knew better. He did not want to spill the beans, but ultimately, Link gave in and told her about the Wind Fish and the dream world of Koholint Island, and everything that had "happened" while he was unconscious.
"You miss Marin..." Zelda finally said after a few minutes of silence following Link's tale. Zelda would not be kept from detail, no matter how much Link wanted to respectfully keep it to himself. Though she was the princess, she cared about him and his well being. "I can see it in your heart, Link. You wish Koholint were real, not a dream."
Not at all surprised that Zelda had caught on, Link slowly nodded. Tears wanted to well up in his bright blue eyes, but he would have none of that in front of Zelda. He restrained them.
"Tell me about Marin," Zelda suddenly requested, curiosity taking hold of her. Link's pointed Hylian ears turned a slight shade of red, but he gave in. He told her of just how much Marin resembled her - the thick and wavy hair, the lovely blue eyes, the slender and shapely form, and the closeness in age that she was to Link. And the more detail Link went into, the more he longed for Koholint to be a reality. For Marin to be a reality. And upon realizing this, he brought his description to a dead halt in its tracks and looked away, red-faced with embarrassment.
Zelda couldn't resist a giggle. "It's all right, Link," she assured him. And then she took his hand, an action she often did whenever they conversed. "I will always be your friend, and I will always have your best interests in mind. You are our land's Hero, after all, and I am the most indebted to your courage. So, by royal decree, Link...go to the Triforce. Make another wish. And then go back to Koholint and rejoice with Marin. And when the time comes, I should very much like to meet her myself."
The Triforce! That was it! Link had completely forgotten about that in his depression. But even if he had thought about he, he would have been certain that such a thing would be foolish. Yet here was Zelda, not asking but encouraging him to go to the Triforce and wish before the gods that Koholint, and everything about it, be made into a complete reality. It was pure genius, and he scolded himself for not thinking of it sooner. Leave it to Princess Zelda to have the wisdom in the land, he thought, chuckling to himself as he thanked her and sought the Great Hylian Temple into which the Triforce had been moved.
At first, the Temple guards refused him entrance under penalty of death, even giving apologies and quoting the decree that the king of Hyrule had made over it. But when Link presented a scroll of express permission from Zelda, the guards let him in, giving him a salute of respect. Down the great hall he walked, staring in awe at the architecture. He'd only been in here twice, and that was years ago, when he had saved Zelda from the clutches of Agahnim the wizard, and again when he rushed and failed to save her again from this very building. But a new room had been added behind the altar. A secret room that contained the Triforce.
The spinning golden triangles hovered high above, near the ceiling of the circular room. Link slowly and nervously walked up the steps to the stone pedestal, silently repented of any sin he might have committed, and did his best to purify his conscience. But then a familiar voice stopped all thought he had in his mind.
"Welcome back, Link," echoed that divine voice that was the essence of the Triforce itself. "It has been seven years since you last touched me, and you were but a boy. But no longer, for here you stand, a man and accomplished warrior." Slowly, the Triforce descended from its place near the ceiling, until it was level with Link. The divine relic was almost as large as he was. "What would you desire of the gods? For the Triforce still recognizes you as its master, and shall grant whatever your wish may be."
Link almost burst out immediately regarding Koholint, but his discipline helped to keep himself under control. He closed his eyes, relaxed, and imagined the island with all its beauty and inhabitants. Marin, her father Tarin, BowWow, the beach, Martha's Bay, the Animal Village, and even the inquisitive Camera Shop in the Tal Tal Heights. Yes, he was absoutely certain that this was his wish.
Link put forth his hand, let it rest on the Triforce, and made his wish known. "My wish is for Koholint Island and everything on it to no longer be a dream, but a reality. Except for the Nightmares that were destroyed. And please...let the inhabitants have full memory of me."
At once, the Triforce glowed with a blinding golden light. It was so bright, Link had to completely shield his eyes lest he be subject to blindness for a while. Amidst the light, the Triforce spoke again. "Your wish is the gods' command, Link. Even the Wind Fish will be pleased to know your work. Go now, and let us meet again someday." Its words finished, the glow faded and the Triforce rose again to its place high above the floor.
Excitement immediately welled up in Link. No more dream land, but a very real island that he will see in full consciousness! He bowed before the Triforce, then dashed out of the Temple. There was much preparation that had to be done!