This is a continuing novel i have been writing based on the Zelda games from nintendo.
|Riku opened his eyes to see a blurred image in the dark mist in front of him. It appeared to be a man in a long, waterproofed coat bending down over him. The stranger grabbed his cheek and pushed his head to one side, staring into his wincing eye.
“The lad’s half dead, I dunno what use he’ll be. Chuck ‘im on anyways,” a stern old voice said.
Before he could even send the message to his limp body to escape, Riku was hoisted up and thrown into a barrel, the lid shut behind him. Dripping wet and freezing cold, he cuddled himself to keep warm. As he felt the barrel being lifted and taken away, he tried to recall where he was and what had happened to him.
He could remember his name was Riku Katichi and he was born in Opela. Ever since he was 2 (he was now 10), he had been under the watch of ‘The Stockman’, the leader of a large rebellion group against the Catalian government. It was Riku’s job to listen in on meetings of the rival factions within the city. Catalia was in turmoil as the nation was constantly under threat from the neighbouring country of Tanol. It was, simply put, no place for a young boy to grow up. He never really did understand what he was doing or why he was doing it, but he did know he didn’t want to do it. That’s the reason for the night before’s happenings. He vaguely remembered speaking up to The Stockman about a job he had wanted him to do. He had not been impressed with the boy and had told him he was ‘incompetent’ and had claimed he ‘should never have taken him in’. Everything from there was a blank.
Riku felt the barrel being placed down against a timber floor and the gentle rocking of a ship. Shivering with a mix of fear and cold, he pushed weakly against the lid. It wasn’t going to move no matter how hard he tried. Realising it was futile, he rested his head between his knees and tried to sleep.
“Hey, is that someone new I hear?” a female voice whispered from somewhere around the room. Riku mustered the energy to use his underdeveloped vocabulary.
“Uh, yes. I am here,” he replied
“What’s your name?” the juvenile voice asked.
“R…R…Riku. Wh…what’s your name?” he questioned
“Samantha, but you can call me Sam. Do you want to know what this place is Riku?” Sam asked.
“Yes…” Riku replied, getting better at getting words out on the first go.
“This is a ship that travels back and forward across the sea between Catalia and Hyrule,” she began, “We will be in these barrels until morning, when we will be summoned to clean the decks and help in the kitchen.” She stopped, and Riku heard her squirming around in her barrel.
“Except tomorrow morning is special. Do you know why?”
“Because I have a plan. Tomorrow night, I will use this dagger I stole to break open the barrel, then I will take one of the lifeboats and leave unnoticed. Would you like to come with me?” After listening to the story of the everyday life on board this ship, Riku thought it best to follow Sam out.
“Yes, I would like to come with you,” he said finally.
“Great. We had better sleep now, we have got to act as if nothing is wrong tomorrow.”
The next morning, they had been released and spent an entire day on their hands and knees in the blistering sun scrubbing the deck under the watchful eye of the crew. Riku’s previous job has been less humiliating. By the time night came, he couldn’t wait to be locked in his barrel. He had only been working one day and already he felt he could take no more.
The ship was swaying less now, as they were docked in Saria in West Hyrule.
“Are you ready?” asked Sam through the cracks in her barrel.
“Yeah,” Riku replied, turning to squint through the cracks in his barrel. He saw her barrel wobble around for a moment, then a blade stuck out of the rim of the lid. That then shook, until the lid popped open. She then climbed out and walked towards him. In a moment or two, he was free also.
“Quickly, follow me,” she whispered. She ran towards up the stairs and creaked open the supply room door. Outside, they could see no one in the dim moonlight. They moved together slowly into the open. When they reached the edge, they both realised they were not going to need a boat. It would almost be as simple as jumping off the edge and onto the land. They looked at each other and jumped. Riku hit the ground and rolled. Suddenly, from behind them they heard a man yell “Hey!” They had been seen. “Riku,” said Sam, turning to him
“We best head in our separate ways. I have a family to go home to. You go to the Old Dragon Inn, they are good people they will protect you there. We will meet again some day!” and with that, she took off to the east. Riku looked towards the ship and saw three guards running at him. He turned towards the town and ran. He ran past many buildings till he came to a back ally. He crawled into an all to familiar barrel and watched through a gap as the guards ran past. Finally, for the first time since he could remember, he was free.
He knew no one and his mind was completely blank of what to do next apart from what Sam had said. The Old Dragon was where he was heading. As he walked out onto the path, he saw a light coming from a hut window. He walked up and looked in. He saw a family sitting around a table eating. When the father saw him, he got up and told him to ‘shoe!’ Riku ran down the path, looking behind him. He ran into a man and tried to run but the man grabbed him. He bent down and held him firmly by his shoulders.
“Wow their boy. By the look oh ya, no one owns ya. Where was ya headin’ anyways?” he inquired, scanning the boy in his tattered clothing. Riku replied with the only thing on his mind.
“The Old Dragon Inn”
“Why you be headin’ there me lad?” the man asked. When he got no reply, he continued “Well, I suppose I best take you there. Ain’t got nothin’ better to do and there are some strange ones on these streets. What’s your name boy?”
“Riku? That’s a name I haven’t heard since me dad told me stories by da fire. But I spose you get enough of that aye?”
Riku had no idea what this man was talking about and blocked out what he was saying as they walked. He began to take the look of the town in. Very quiet and peaceful. There was no foreboding feeling in the air like in Opelia. He felt much warmer than usual here.
They approached a building with a green dragon on the door and walked in. They went up to the bar and the man began to speak.
“This lad ‘ere wanted to see you.”
“And who is ‘this lad’,” the man replied, looking down at Riku.
“Riku sir,” Riku replied, speaking of his own accord for the first time in ages.
“Sam sent me.”
“Sam? As in Samantha Eken?” Riku wasn’t sure, but he nodded anyway.
“Well, in that case, I will have to help you out. There is a room upstairs for people of your height, ill get one of the ladies to take you up…”
Link got up from the table he was sitting at and went to fetch his new companion, Regi, another pint On his way over, he noticed a small boy being taken up the stairs by a woman, but didn’t take much notice.
“I’ll have another two thanks chief!” he said cheerfully to the man at the bar.
“Sure Link,” he replied, refilling his mugs. “Anything for the fella who has kept me in business all these years!”
“Ahh… you would still be going without me,” Link stated with a wink as he turned to head back to the table with his mugs. The bar tender just shook his head smiling and went back to cleaning.
“Cheers Link!” Regi said, taking her mug.
“No worries Reg. But don’t you dare let me get another, I gotta head back to the castle soon. The triforce needs my supervision”
“Awww… But we were just getting to know each other…” she replied flirtatiously, leaning over towards him. Link smiled and downed a bit of his pint. He was beginning to feel it and he knew he would do something he would regret if he hung around…
Suddenly, the door burst open and a huge man black man walked in through the door. He wore no shirt and tattered jeans. In his right hand he had a double-handed sword. Link leapt from his table and nearly tripped over as he was feeling very light headed. He drew his sword and looked at the man expecting him to make some kind of statement.
“The Boy! He is here isn’t he!” he screamed. There was silence.
“Tell me where the boy is or you will all die! If it not by my hand, it will be by his!”
The bartender spoke up “There was a boy…”
The large man turned to him and he winced back under the bar. “Where!” he boomed out, shaking the glasses on the counter. Link could sense that he needed to intervene here.
“Hey! How about you leave or ill cut you to bits!” he yelled courageously. When the man turned to him, he thought maybe it was a bad idea. That was the last time he was drinking!
“You! Link, legendary protector of Hyrule, dare to challenge me?”
Link shook his head trying to clear it. His reputation was defiantly preceding him.
“Uhh… yeah, that’s it!” he yelled back, somewhat dopily.
“So be it,” the man said, walking right at him. Link cursed to himself for his stupidity as he raised his sword. The man lunged at his table. Link dodged, but Regi was thrown onto the floor by the table. Link turned back from her and swung his sword towards the man. He cut into his flesh on his side. The man winced in pain and Link smiled at his minor victory. The man flung round suddenly with his left hand, belting link across the room and into the wall. Now that the blood had been moving through his body, he was spinning majorly. He rolled his head sideways from his sitting position against the wall and saw his sword over towards the bar. He turned back to the wounded man advancing on him. He raised his sword high in the air and screamed “Now I shall enter the history books!” Link tore his hand from behind his back and stabbed the man in the neck with his dagger and rolled out from under him. The man dropped to the floor in a pool of blood. The now drunk Link turned to the now crowded room and yelled “Let’s hear it for me!” The people clapped and applauded him. Regi put his arm over her shoulder and took him to her room.
Link awoke the next morning feeling like crap. He rubbed his eyes, wondering what happened to him the previous night. He rolled over and saw Regi lying in the sheets. He silently cursed himself and vowed again never to drink. While she was attractive, his heart was elsewhere. He crept out of bed and got dressed into his usual green tunic. He began walking down stairs and was about to leave for his horse when a voice called to him.
“Wait,” Link turned to see the bartender standing behind him.
“Link, you defended a boy last night. I don’t know why you did it, but he now owes you his life,” Link looked down to the boy standing by the bartender’s side.
“Uhhh… I don’t want his life…”
“Link, the boy has no one. His name is Riku and he has never had a real family.”
Link stood thoughtfully for a moment, then looked into the lad’s eyes.
“Would you like to come with me Riku? If you do, I will take you in as my apprentice and you can learn the ways of the sword. It is hard work but you will have a family.”
Riku just nodded.
“Well, get your things, lets go,” Link finished with a smile. Riku owned nothing, so he walked under Links arm and they left…