Link's quiet life in Ordon Village changes when he and his friends find some odd fruit.
|"Hey, Link!" a male voice yelled.
Having been woken from his peaceful sleep, the young Hylian turned onto his back and rubbed his eyes, allowing them to finally open. He arose from his bed and walked over to the window to greet the man who was standing at the foot of the ladder leading up to Link's home.
"Sleeping in again, huh?" said Fado with a grin, which Link bashfully returned. "It's nice to see you haven't lost your old quirks, but we've got a lot of work to do and I'm really gonna need your help at the ranch today! So let's get going!'"
Link smiled and nodded, then retreated back into his dwelling to get dressed.
It had been a couple months since Link had completed his quest. With the children back in Ordon Village and peace restored to the kingdom of Hyrule, things in Link's life had really settled down. Sure, he missed fighting evil alongside Midna and exploring the vast land of Hyrule, but Link was very happy to return to his quiet life in Ordon Village where he continued to shepherd the goats down at the Ordon Ranch with Fado, which actually took up more time than Link had remembered.
Whenever he had some spare time, Link would play around with Talo and Colin. Since Malo still had to keep Malo Mart in good business (which his parents couldn't be more proud of) and Beth made extensive visits to Kakariko Village to play with Luda, the two boys got a little bored with each other's company. Luckily, whenever Link agreed to play with them, their spirits would sky-rocket with excitement. They'd often reenact moments from Link's past battles, adding their own little twists to each play-through. Link would also sometimes show the boys how to sword-fight, teaching them some of the techniques he had learned on his travels from that mysterious yet somewhat familiar spirit. Of course, they used sizable sticks rather than actual swords, and they would each take turns whacking the scare-crow outside of Link's house.
Link's relationship with Ilia was also becoming much stronger. Now that things had calmed down, the two had more time to build up a relationship. The young couple could be found frequently strolling around the village or forest groves in the warm twilight hours, smiling and talking with each other. They also seemed to take to visiting the Ordon Spring on occasion just to unwind and let their bare feet soak in the refreshingly lukewarm waters. If both of them had a particularly taxing day, they would simply immerse themselves in the small pool and let the water soothe them. Link rather enjoyed spending these moments alone with her.
But things weren't completely without fault. Shortly after everything had begun to return to normal, a plague of ravenous locusts had drastically reduced Ordon's food supply by damaging the crop fields and infecting several of the goats. Thankfully, most of the infestation had migrated, but food-stock in the village was at an all-time low. It would be several weeks before the new pumpkin seeds would sprout and the goats weren't giving as much milk as they had used to. Many of the villagers' meals had to be carefully rationed, or else skipped all together, forcing many to go hungry.
But despite that inconvenience, Link continued to make the best of the things. He quickly got dressed and headed toward Ordon's ranch in the brisk morning air.
The goats seemed rather lethargic on this particular day, which made rallying them back into barn somewhat of a challenge for Link and Epona. In fact, Link even had to dismount Epona a few times and push the goats back in one by one. All the physical strain soon took its toll on Link; no sooner had he finish corralling the goats into the barn that his stomach let out a loud growl.
"Getting hungry?" a soft voice said behind him.
Link turned around and saw Ilia standing on the other side of the farm gate, her green eyes staring affectionately at him. Link rubbed the back of neck with embarrassment, having no idea his belly was that loud.
"I'm pretty hungry myself," Ilia said. "But we may have to skip dinner again today. It's just awful that this all had to happen. I heard Father say we may even have to sell more of our furniture and tools just so we won't starve."
Ever since they came back from Kakariko Village, Ilia had developed a more vigorous appetite. Whether it was due to her lack of full meals during all the action or her taking after her dad, Ilia had become much less refined when she ate; often eating seconds or even thirds and fiercely eating her food almost like she was a starved wolf. But Link didn't mind this at all; he was just happy that she was safe and with him.
Link walked over to the gate and placed his hand gingerly on top of Ilia's.
"At least we have each other," he said softly.
Ilia let out an unexpected snort, stifling a laugh, with a smile spreading across her face. But she soon returned Link's humbly passionate gaze.
"I guess we do have that to be thankful for…" Ilia replied quietly, moving her head closer to Link's.
Before they could continue admiring each other, Link and Ilia realized Talo and Colin were running toward the ranch. A beaming look was on both their faces as they quickly ran through the village road.
"Hey, Link! Ilia!" Talo shouted, his fists clenched tight with excitement. "You never gonna guess what we…"
"Hey…" Colin interjected quietly. "I…I thought you said I could tell them."
"Okay, fine," said Talo. "YOU tell them."
"We…uh…" Colin started. " We were playing just outside the village, and we…we found a bush filled with fruit!"
"Really?" gasped Ilia. "What kind of fruit?"
"We don't know," said Talo. "But they look delicious, and they’re HUGE!" He spread his arms out to emphasize his point.
"C'mon, we'll show you!" Colin said.
And without another word, Talo grabbed Ilia's arm and all three of them took off down the path. After being briefly stunned by all the sudden liveliness, Link quickly opened the gate and chased after them.
Talo and Colin lead them back through the village, out past Ordon's gate, and into a shaded forest past the outskirts. The afternoon sun casted beams of light through the rich green leaves onto the soft earth, which all made for a peaceful atmosphere.
They soon came to a small alcove away from the trees. A small hill circled the area, and in the center was a thick patch of vines. Growing from them were about twenty bright purple berries that were the size of watermelons.
"See? Told you!" smirked Talo.
"Incredible," gaped Ilia. "But what are they?"
"Like we said…" Colin answered. "…we're…uh…not quite sure."
"But who cares? Let's eat! I'm starving!" said Talo.
"Wait!" cried Ilia before Talo could grab one. "Do you know if they're safe to eat? What if they're poisonous?"
"I don't think so," said Talo. "How could something this big be so dangerous to eat? I mean look at it!" He plucked one of the berries from the patch. "It's practically begging to be eaten!"
Talo then tossed it toward Colin, who just barely caught it before it fell to the ground. The timid boy then heaved it up to his face with both hands to further examine it.
"They look okay to me," Colin said, glancing up at Ilia.
"But…but what if…" Ilia stammered, trying to think of a good reason not to eat them, which wasn't easy to do on an empty stomach, especially since the berries did look rather good.
"Well, I'm eating one!" said Talo, patting his gurgling stomach.
"Uhh…me too!" said Colin.
Once Talo had gotten another one off the vine, both boys each took one big bite of their fruit. Purple juices oozed from their mouths as they chewed. Almost instantly after they swallowed, both of them froze for moment, their eyes glazed with a shocked expression.
The silence soon shattered when they both yelled out-loud: "YUUUMMY!"
Without another hesitation, Talo and Colin began devouring the fruits they were holding with rapid force; filling their cheeks with as much as they could, chewing for a few seconds before swallowing, desperate to fill their mouths with more fruit.
"Link, Ilia! You've got to try these!" said Talo, his words muffled with the fruit that filled his mouth.
"So…good!" moaned Colin, before taking another huge bite.
"I…I don't know," said Ilia. "What you think, Link? Should we try them?"
"I guess," Link replied, shrugging slightly.
"Well…" said Ilia. "Very well. If you think it's okay, then let's try them."
And with that, both Link and Ilia grabbed their own berries from the vine.
Holding it up to his head with both hands, Link carefully examined the berry. It was definitely heavy like a pumpkin, but at the same time it felt soft and squishy, almost like a water balloon. But its rich color and ripe texture soon made Link's mouth salivate. He then closed his eyes, opened his mouth as wide as he could, and took a big bite out of the fruit.
In the very instant that the fruit touched his tongue, Link's eyes opened wide. The taste was unlike anything Link had ever eaten before. Every part of his tongue was delightfully filled with an explosion of sweet flavors. Hardly anything else seemed to matter to him in that moment.
When he finally snapped out of his trance, Link glanced back at Ilia. Only to see that she had already finished her first berry and was plucking another one off the vine and shoving as much as she could into her mouth. The fruit's juice was spilling messily onto her hands and her tunic.
Link himself also resumed eating his fruit, eager to relish the taste of another flood of sweetness. The fruit itself was much like giant grape; it had no pit or seeds, so within seconds, Link had reduced the delicious fruit to a purple stain around his lips.
The four of them continued to eat away at the over-sized fruit, noisily chewing and gulping each blissful mouthful. Another unique thing they discovered about this odd fruit was that with every berry they took from the vine, caused another one to grow right in its place, so they could eat as much as they want without ever running out.
The feeding frenzy continued until the sun began to set, casting the forest into a golden twilight.
Link, Ilia, Talo, and Colin had all eaten more than their fill of the strange but rapturous fruits and were laying completely stuffed on their backs. Their lips completely coated in purple juice and their stomachs had all grown considerably large as a result.
Colin moaned contently with his eyes peacefully closed as he rubbed his full tummy. Talo was thoroughly licking his fingers and the corners of his mouth; making sure he ate all of the leftover bits of the fruit with his protruding stomach bulging onto the air.
Ilia could feel her round stomach pressing tightly against the fabric her tunic, testing the limits of the stitching.
Link was quite glad he decided to wear a loose-fitting shirt today, as there would be no way his traditional Ordon clothes would fit him now. His belly had become so large, that about an inch of skin could be seen sticking out from under his shirt. He softly rubbed his sore belly as it quietly gurgled with content.
"I've never eaten until I was this full before…" said Colin, letting out a small burp.
"Me neither," said Talo, rubbing his gut and letting out a bigger burp.
Everyone was startled when Ilia let out an ever bigger belch.
"That was the best!" she muttered. "We'll have to tell everyone back in the village about this."
"Yeah…" agreed Colin. "This might be the solution to all our problems!"
"We might never go hungry again!" said Talo, sitting up.
"I don't know about any of you…" said Ilia, before letting out a sizable yawn. "…but I'm ready for some sleep." She turned onto her side to look at the over-stuffed Link laying right beside her.
When Link caught sight of this, he slowly smiled back to show that he agreed.
Eventually, they all got to their feet and began making their way slowly back to Ordon Village through the forest with their full stomachs sloshing around with each step they took.