To my most treasured friend of all time, Link.
I must acknowledge it has been quite some time since I last wrote. And you had been so swift in your reply, I do apologize.
I have sent along a gift however, I recall you speaking of it in one of your past letters. I pray it still bears use to you. That opal was in the depths of the east reservoir, it has the most usual shape does it not? Reminded me of a Bright-Eyed Crab, the battle claw of the males particularly. You've seen them around my home before, correct? One claw bigger than the other? Ah well, nonetheless, thought it was just leftovers of another creatures meal until I swam past. An empty shell would have been swept away from my swift swimming, yet it remained unhindered. I must declare, I was a tad hesitant in touching it at first.
See, I was pinched by one when I was a mere child, both a painful and shameful moment I won't soon forget. I had been taunting the poor creature in a means of showing my bravery to the other children as none of the dare cross its path. It started off with a stick, though as with most things I did as a child I got too brash and I began to poke at it with my fingers in spots that it was unable to reach easily. I even got close enough to blow in its face. That was to be my downfall, as I turned my head to boost yet again to the other children, with its mighty claw it struck my left ear flipper. Then it was a chorus of screaming children running away in all directions from the first screaming child. I can't even recall how long it took for adults to catch me, let alone remove the crab's unrelenting grip. I feared my ear flipper would be ripped from my head. To say the least, the memory has left me scarred.
You're probably laughing the whole time you read that, weren't you...
I think the next time you don't know what to write, you should tell me a tale from your childhood. An embarrassing one too, we will have to set the score even.
Until next time,
The pathway to the domain has finally been restored to its former glory as it was all those years ago. I am safe to say that you could ride your loyal companion all the way to the palace.
The Hylian smiled as he carefully folded the letter, slid it inside its fancy, navy coloured envelope and slipped the item back into his hip pouch. It was a funny picture to paint of a tiny Sidon prince running around with a crab strapped to his ear flap, no matter how many times he re-read the letter.
“Captain, if I may?” Link looked to the man sitting across the table from him. Lounging as he sat with the chair backwards, stripped down to his gambeson, not even boots on his feet. Madas, figures, he hasn't had anything to distract him since the mob of Bokoblins they took care of five hours ago. When Link didn't give any sort of response, he took making eye contact as a sign he had permission to speak. “What gives with the letters? I mean, it's not like you're on the council committee or anythin'.”
His sudden drop of respectful tone earned him a swift kick to the shin from Senza next to him. “Mind your tone when speaking to the Captain.” She scolded, but otherwise remained indifferent and continued on with writing in her log.
“Yowch! That fuckn' hurts you-! Arg!” Madas cursed and grasped his afflicted leg with both hands. “You still have your fuckn' metal plated boots on too, ya moron!”
“Then perhaps you should have kept your own boots on?” Ingo offered, but still couldn't help chuckling at his companion's suffering.
“Like I need a greenhorn lecturin' me.” Madas spat and crossed his sore leg over so it would be out of range from another attack from the woman next to him.
Link sighs softly, he had hoped that this mission would have given them all a chance to bond more closely as a team. But they didn't really seem to change after all their adrenalin wore off. During the battle they had supported each others weakness and blind spots. No major wounds came of it either, nothing a little salve and light bandages couldn't fix. It was the platoon's first large run with monsters, Bokoblins yes, though greatly outnumbered and on horseback.
Close amidst the battle, yet fight like children off the field. Looking around the table as they continued to bicker and mock one another. He decided that he too should start writing a report on the day’s events. Opening the book next to him and picking up the fountain quill, he began his log.
Date and time: xx month, xx day, xxxx year, 8:- He checked the Sheikah slate. -37pm.
Location: Lake Hylia
The mission was a success, the team preformed well under pressure. The Bokoblin mob that had over taken Hylia Bridge and blockaded themselves in was eliminated within an hour. Travel should resume without further problems.
Personal evaluation for each member- Pausing to glace up at the crew, whom to start with... Link’s eyes falling upon the only silent member. Shad, the defender equipped with a halberd and the least experienced of the group had fallen asleep at the table after filling his belly. He was about Link's height, long black hair in a braid, lightly tanned skin and was older than Link too.
Not counting the hundred year sleep that is...
The man had joined the guard as a means of supporting his newly growing family, already having a daughter and a soon to be newborn in a few weeks. While the least experienced he may be, he was certainly stepping up to the plate, with only having been under the champion's wing for less than a year. Shad had proven a swift learner and determined to show his worth as a knight.
Shad needs to continue training his stamina. Still tends to burn out rather quickly after a fight has ended and takes time to fully recover.
Next will be... Senza, specializing in short blades, rods and explosives. The only woman on the team, she had wavy ginger hair with the sides of her head shaved, emerald eyes and freckles absolutely everywhere. She was about a foot shorter than Link himself and certainly the smallest of them all. What she lacked however in size she made up in speed and ferocity. She could find the weak points on a target and strike with surprising might. But...
Senza still holds too tightly to her Sheikah training. Scolding her teammates for strategy and ability often after the fight, bringing down team's reliability in each other.
Now for Ingo, the youngest and bearer of swords. He had dark skin from living in the Southren Oasis of the desert all of his life, shaggy blond hair with four blue dyed stripes on his right side. Apparently having something to do with his past job as a monster hunter, possibly some sort of tradition as he touches it up every new moon. Link never sought to ask the details as it never interfered with his training to become a knight. Ingo's years of hunting down monsters since he was thirteen is undeniable and certainly supports his team with his knowledge.
Ingo has much to offer his team, but still lacks maturity. His inability to take things seriously outside of monster hunting leaves his team treating him like a child, alienating him from team decisions.
Last was Madas, the archer. It took great effort not to groan in irritation as he looked up at the brunette, the eldest of the team. Link seldom wondered if this was what it felt like to have an elder brother. Obnoxious, quick tempered and short attention span aside. Madas looked out for everyone, knew how to prioritize his shots and the situation, even tending to his teams wounds. He had every making of a fine leader, to easily earn both respect and trust of his companions. Yet, due to pride or something, he ruined almost every opportunity by gloating his skill and worth. Honestly, Link thought that Madas was Revali's reincarnation some days.
Madas is still not ready. He quickly wrote and concluded his report of the day. With a yawn he stood up from the table, did a light stretch of his arms and then began to gather his belongings. Quickly noticing that his log was suddenly gone, but this wasn't the first time.
“Whadya mean I'm 'still not ready'? Ready for what, Cap? I work my freakn' butt off to keep ya all out of trouble, is that not good enough?” Madas asked bitterly as he tossed the book to the side, but was eagerly caught by Ingo. “All you write about is bad, unsatisfactory results and wanting us to train on more stupid things. Why not write about how precise my aim was today and how I covered Shad as he valiantly saved Ingo from being thrown off the bridge? Or how Senza's fatal strike to Bokoblin leader broke up the ranks when we were surrounded, we'd have more problems if not for her. Even Ingo's monster insight that aided in that very strategy!? Come on, Cap! We did an astounding job out there, just admit it already, we're the best team you've trained yet.”
There was silence for a moment as all four sets of eyes were on Madas. Link chuckled with a smile and signed, [I couldn't have said it better myself.] Then proceeded to reclaim his log and left the team enjoy the odd moment. Perhaps Madas was closer than he originally thought.
“You think that highly of me...?” Senza clearly uncertain if she had heard that right, she had received praise of her efforts right?
“I thought I was just getting in everyone’s way... Thanks Madas, I think that’s the nicest thing I've ever heard you speak of me in a fight.” The sleepy Shad all but grinned bashfully.
“You mean you trusted me on the Bokoblin markings!? You weren't ignoring me?” Ingo was practically bouncing in his seat.
“I, uh, that's-” Madas was in a recoil of shock of what he just blurted out loud. “I didn't mean it like that! Don't get so full of yourselves! I’m just saying that to get that cocky punk to stop acting all high an' mighty!!”
~~~~~~ ҉ ~~~~~~
“Pardon me, but you're part of the Hylian guard, correct?” Link hears a man ask, though it wasn't directed at him. Looking up from adjusting his saddle, noticing that it was Shad that was being spoken to.
“I am, what seems to be the matter?” Shad asked with a warm smile.
“I, well, my companion and I were wondering if we might request your assistance? We're doing an ecological study on the wild animals in the area.”
To which the smile fell. “I'm sorry sir, we can't just except any request. We mainly handle monster extermination.”
“If you insist on the matter, speak with the captain. I cannot help you.”
Link took the cue and approached, giving a light wave in greeting before speaking. [I am the captain and I've heard everything. What my soldier stated is true, but you sought us out instead of the others. I will hear what you have to say.]
However Shad ended up being a translator, as the man did not speak hands.
“O-oh, thank you very much. The name is Straia, we have come all this way to investigate a rare species spotted in the area northwest of here. However, with all the monsters roaming around, we simply can't go any farther. To be so close to discovery...” Words trailing off as he muttered something to do with research.
[Monsters? If you mean the Bokoblins, they have been taken care of as of yesterday.]
“That's right... But there was even a monster that looked quite a lot like a horse. Is it still out there?”
Both Link and Shad shared a glace. Lynel. That was definitely something that the Hylian guard would be sent to handle. While it was not what they were sent for, Link wasn't just going to ignore such a powerful monster roaming the area that was common for travellers. [Understood. I will take care of the monster. For the time being remain here.]
“Bless Hylia, thank you kind sir! I can't express how excited I am for this opportunity!” Straia grasped Link's hand to shake it vigorously, much to his discomfort. But Link forced a smile and politely waited for his hand to be released.
“What exactly are you researching out there anyway? Bugs?” Shad enquired out of sheer curiosity.
“We'd heard that there was a giant horse living in the region. Apparently it can't be found anywhere else, likely part of a rare, local species.”
[Where might we find the monster?] Bringing the conversion back to its original purpose. While odd the creature may sound, it wasn't their goal.
“Hm? Oh, head out towards Taobab Grassland. You can't miss it.”
~~~~~~ ҉ ~~~~~~
“Oi, Captain!” Madas came running up as Link mounted his horse. “What's this I hear about you goin’ to fight a Lynel by yourself!?”
“You don't need to worry about the Captain, Madas.” Shad came up behind and gave the man a friendly pat on the shoulder. “He's done this a hundred times, he'll be just fine.”
“That's not the point!” Shoving his teammate away. “I know the Cap can handle just about anything the monsters can throw at him, but that's not why we're here! He's been training us personally for a reason! ”
[A Lynel is no Bokoblin. Nor Moblin, this is a mighty creature of intelligence. It is best that you all stay here, I'll handle this and be back soon.]
“Captain, as much as I do not like to admit this. I agree with Madas, somewhat...” Senza spoke up. “One Lynel should be something we can handle.”
“Please, Captain.” Madas' fierce gaze meeting Link's calm, till Madas bowed his head. “Please let us prove ourselves.”
Then Link whistled to gather everyone’s attention. [For all those wanting to face the Lynel. You are to follow my directions to the fullest. If at any point in time I signal a retreat, you are to get out immediately. Am I clear?]
“Yes, Sir!” All four saluted simultaneously and then mounted up.
~~~~~~ ҉ ~~~~~~
Looking down from a hill top into the canyon did not prove to provide a better view point. There were turns and inconveniently placed thick trees up ahead, enough to hide a Lynel. Darbon Plains was clear, as was the Nautelle Wetlands. It was starting to feel like something was off. There had yet to be any indication of the beast, there were still herds of wild horses roaming, goats grazing and climbing the cliff sides. There was even the odd coyote. Nature didn't seem out of balance with the presence of a massive, bow wielding, fire breathing monster setting up home.
Scouting still not bearing fruit, Link gently pulled on the reins to turn around and regroup. Not far off from his position, but out of sight.
“Still no sign of it yet?” Ingo questioned, leaning over his mare's plated neck with a bored expression. “That man said it was out this way right? I hope we're not getting a prank played on us. I was really looking forward to this.”
[Just because we haven't seen it yet, doesn't mean it hasn't seen us.]
“Then we best go over our plan for both cases, attack and defence.” Madas groaned as he began stretching his shoulders out. They had hoped to find it first and then plan the attack knowing what land they could use to their advantage. But that was no longer an option.
The plan of attack is to hinder its movement by Madas' arrows to its knees and shoulders. Senza is to use her ice rod to prevent any potential fire attacks and support Madas' for the first phase. Link and Ingo will act as distractions out of swinging range to discourage the Lynel from using a bow if it has one. Shad will stay out of line of sight for now, as his horse isn't fast enough to act as part of the distraction.
Second phase, with the Lynel hindered, everyone should be able to pick it off at close range. The aim is to attack one after another to overwhelm or confuse it and hopefully prevent any direct hits against them.
At any point the beast drops its arms to the ground, they are to get the heck out of the way. Next to nothing will stop a Lynel's charge.
The plan of defence if they get ambushed instead is relatively the same, but with more looking out for Shad, supplying him with cover if needed and with Link also using his bow.
“Everyone good to go?” Madas checking to make sure the team was ready. “Anyone getting cold feet should turn back while they still can.”
“That can be arranged.” Senza tapped her ice rod to Madas' boot, freezing it to the stirrup. The shiver that ran through his body rattled his armour plating and it took everything not to yell.
“Fff-! Are you kiddin' me, Senza!?” He growled and tried to shake his foot free, while Ingo stifled his laugh. The woman didn't even seem to care, until she noticed Link's annoyed look.
Snapping his fingers, Link signalled them to move forward.
~~~~~~ ҉ ~~~~~~
Now past the Oseira plains, the Taobab Grassland was within sight. Yet still no Lynel and they had just entered a small clearing in the narrow path of the canyon. With Madas and Ingo to Link’s rear, Senza behind them and at the end of the formation was Shad. Link didn't like this one bit and the rest of the platoon also seemed on edge.
But just as Link rounded the corner to leave the pass, an arrow whizzed by, skimming across his horse's neck armour. Link held on as the horse cried out in shock and tried to turn her around quickly, the next arrow wouldn't miss.
“Lynel!” Shad urgently shouted. “It's behind us!” They had been ambushed indeed, Shad was still in the clearing, and he hadn't even seen initiated attack on Link.
“Bad news, Shad, we've got two! Don't get lose focus now.” Madas rushed past Shad, as he was stilled with unknowing what to do with these odds. They were trapped, there was no escape, the only choice they had was to fight. “Senza, you think you can distract this one for me? I believe the Captain and Ingo got the first one.”
“Just don't shot me in the process! Hah!” She swung her rod, sending a blast of ice at the Red-Maned Lynel, hitting it square in the chest. It roared in response as it began to swing at her with its battered blade.
Meanwhile, Link was pelting the other big red like a pin cushion and Ingo was running circles around it, mocking the beast for giving its tail a trim.
So far so good, despite not having the element of surprise. As the Lynel reared to stomp down on the swift spotted mare, Link took the opportunity to strike at the tender underbelly. It bellowed in pain, perhaps Link had struck a lung. But he had been distracted by the opening, it was too late to notice that the beast had swapped its blade out for a bow. And it was already taking aim. Madas!
Link gave a fast sharp whistle of warning and the team glanced to find out what their captain was trying to tell them. All eyes quickly locking onto the arrow being drawn in the Lynel's paws.
Acting quickly, Ingo leaped from his horse and drove his claymore into the large flank of the beast. But was he fast enough to throw off their aim?
The arrow was sent flying, striking Madas's horse just shy of their breastplate, sending them both barrelling to the ground in a cloud of dust. Link felt time stop, that kind of fall was enough to break something, potentially killing them in the process.
But, his gaze snapping back to his target, Ingo was now the one in a really bad spot. The boy's blade was stuck and the Lynel just need reach back to grab him after it finished thrashing from shock. That ended in many possibilities that all could also mean death.
“Madas!” Link could hear Shad behind him, no doubt charging in to find out the condition of his companion. But there was no time for Link to check. No time to make sure Senza was handling things on her end. No time for Ingo.
Swapping for an ice arrow, Link kicked his horse into a gallop straight for the Lynel. He pulled and pulled till the bow would curve no more, holding till he could feel the burn in his shoulders. Waiting. Waiting for the moment the beast stilled, when it stopped flailing.
Then the arrow was set free, whistling as it cut the air and striking deep into the creature’s right eye. Howling in agony as ice blossomed from the socket, cracking its skull, temporarily blinding it as frost crawled across its cat-like face. But the ice would only last so long in this heat so close to the desert.
Link reclaimed the reins and made for Ingo, the young man swiftly took his outstretched hand and hopped on as the horse raced by the Lynel. “T-thanks Captain... I didn't think I could hold on any longer, my arms feel like a Chuchu.” Ingo then whistled for his horse to follow.
Link gave only a nod in reply as they rounded the beast and rushed towards the rest of the group. Noting that his own horse growing tired. We have to finish this quickly.
Much to the pair’s relief, Madas was now standing next to Shad, injured by the way he was holding his chest, but standing. It didn't seem like his stallion was doing as well though, hopefully they could still save him after the battle. Looking forward, Senza was holding the other's attention for now, but he could see her struggling. Link brought his horse to a stop, whistled for attention.
Once Ingo hopped off, Link then addressed Madas first. [Can you still shoot?]
“Ya, I'm good to go Cap.”
Pointing to Ingo, [Mount up with him and then help her.] then looking to Shad. [Get ready to bring the hurt.]
“Yes sir, Captain!” Shad mounted up and got into position following at a distance behind Link. While Ingo helped the injured Madas climb on his mare and then they were off as well.
The first Lynel had finally cleared the ice from what vision it had left, spotting the pair quickly approaching. Unleashing its rage, the Lynel took in a breath and blasted a giant flaming towards them. Then another and another after another.
Blinded by its own rage, it did not notice that Link had rounded him till the sting of a blade struck the back of his front leg. Bringing the mighty beast to a knee, but before it could get back up once more. A fiercer blade impaled right through its very heart, strength fading fast as it raised a paw to crush the Hylian holding the shaft of the halberd. Blood rushed out as Shad retreated from any possible blow and watched as the Lynel slowly fell.
A cry of victory caught Shad’s attention, looking back Shad witnessed Madas holding his bow above his head with both hands. Oh yes, they definitely won if Madas was performing his victory pose. Possibly having just landed a killing blow as Link had yet to reach them.
Link state however surprised the Shad, his captain's armour was blackened along the left side. It was clear that he had taken some of the blast of a fireball and he was fairly certain that was blood staining his gambeson. Hopefully it was the Lynel’s.
“Um, Captain? Are you alright?” Even when Link nodded, it wasn't reassuring.
[Come, we need to regroup.]
Upon seeing the rest of the troop, Link wasn't the only one Shad was worried about. With armour being removed, wounds seemed to be on everyone but himself. Madas had a few cracked ribs, purple bruising blossoming over his skin. He was very lucky that his horse didn't fall on him or it would have pushed them into breaking and snap up into his lungs.
Ingo was in the process of having his right shoulder set by Senza, having been dislodged from holding on for dear life. But Ingo admitted that this was much nicer than the thought of being trampled beneath the giant's hooves.
Though Senza injuries were minimal; she had strained muscles from overuse of the rod, which ended up breaking in the process and earned few nicks the across her cheeks from the blast.
Shad felt a little useless, he had only dealt one blow and was completely unscathed. “I'm sorry I wasn't of more use everyone...”
“Shad...” Madas huffed and checked over his own horse, trying to find out just how bad he had been hurt in the fall. The arrow already removed, not looking fatal, but nothing was certain yet. The stallion remained still where they lay. “Ya did fine, we never had to worry about you getting caught in crossfire an' you gave the son-of-a-bitch what he deserved. So stop your whimpering already.”
Link nodded, while he would not have used that choice of words, he agreed.
Undoing the straps of his armour and letting it fall to the ground, the metal blackened with ash and the surcoat almost completely singed. Now for the part Link was really not looking forward to. Grabbing the end of his thick padded shirt and began to pull it over his head. Grimacing at the feeling of the gambeson peel off his skin. Then dropping the offensive garment on top of the pile of armour, Link looked over his injured left shoulder.
His whole arm and left side were bright pink in irritation. Shoulder blustering, pealing and swelling from the heat of the blast. The metal pauldrons might as well have been an oven. He lightly poked at it, just testing how bad it was. The shock rippling through his body was a clear indication, it was painful. Yet not the worse burn he has had to endure.
Quickly he took note that everyone was looking at him. [I'm fine.]
But no one showed any sign that they believed him and were likely to bombard him at any moment. So Link ignored the looks and approached his horse, flipping open his saddle bag. Retrieving bandages, ointment and a light shirt, putting back on his armour was not going to happen. Just as he was about to close the bag, he quickly grabbed an apple and carrot. His horse had more than earned it and she was more than happy to take the reward.
Cleaning and dressing his wound did not take long and looking about it seemed that everyone was feeling much better. Wounded and sore, but still going strong.
“Listen, Cap... about what happened.” Madas started, his head hanging in shame before looking up at Link. “I shouldn't have pressed you into letting us come along. You were right... and I'm sorry for being so stubborn. I nearly got us killed.”
Link chuckled and grinned as he signed, [You did great. All of you. I'm proud of how you as a team handled the situation and I believe that you would have been able to handle the lone Lynel.]
“Captain-” When it seemed like Madas was going to argue, Link cut him off.
[Rest up, we'll leave in a bit after the horses are good to go.]
“Madas horse won't be carrying anything for a while. The wound from the arrow is going to make it very painful for him to move until it fully heals. But pushing him could make it worse.” Shad spoke up.
[He can take mine then, she's steady enough not to jar his ribs and won't throw him either.]
“I don't think sharing a horse will be any less pleasant either...” Madas grumbled as he gently rubbed his sore ribs.
[We won't. I'm going to go catch one, at least until we return to the stables to buy another.] Then he turned to head towards the grasslands up ahead. Finding a horse shouldn't be too hard.
“I'll help!” Ingo jumped up from the grass and tailed happily along behind Link.
~~~~~~ ҉ ~~~~~~
“Don't do it!” Ingo hissed next to Link in the tall grass, he could tell that the caption was going to attempt it. “There are plenty of normal sized horses to pick from. Just grab one of those and let’s get out of here- ARE YOU EVEN LISTENING TO ME!?” Ingo was starting to panic as Link crept forward.
Course he heard, honestly he was amazed that the horse hadn't heard him. The closer Link got the more he was certain that this would work. Pausing when the horse raised its head to look about, its ash black coat shining in the sunlight with a bright orange mane and matching tail.
It was beautiful.
It was massive.
Back to grazing, Link closed the distance and put everything he had into his jump. But he still ended up scrambling to grab on as the horse cried out in fright and tried to throw him off. The first buck threw him forward and did not miss the opportunity to grab a hand full of that fiery mane. Trashed side to side many times before he finally got his legs wrapped around the horse or as much as he could, it wasn't much for grip but it was something.
Secured and ready for the real fight, Link began to try and sooth the horse. Petting their neck as calmly as he could as they thrashed and thrashed, nearly throwing Link. The horse bolted and stopped to try and throw him over, but still he remained. It was back to thrashing after that, pain was beginning to shoot through his hips and up his spine. But still he tried to calm the frightened creature.
The fight was longer than Link had ever experienced, the stamina and power this horse was challenging him with was incredible. The kicks alone were probably enough to topple trees or dent a metal shield.
The Hylian was starting to lose strength and grip. Just when he thought that it was finally coming to an end, that he was going to win the power struggle. The horse thrusts itself forward one last time, rolling to the ground in a final attempt to free itself from Link and then lay in the dirt wheezing from exhaustion.
“Captain! Captain, oh goddess above, please let him be okay!” Ingo came running out of the brush, only to freeze in his tracks as the horse slowly rolled upright. There was Link still holding on, barely, but looking worse for wear than the horse. His bandages yanked loose, hair an absolute mess and some slight scraping along his temple from the fall just now.
[I won.] He said with a stupid grin on his face and breathing just as heavily as the dark horse, honestly he hadn't had that kind of fun in a long time.
“Y-you sure? You're practically trying to tame a monster!” Ingo gesturing as the sheer mass of the proposed horse, was it even a horse anymore?
Still panting, Link sat back, gave the horse a light kick and a gentle pull of their mane. The horse grunted in reply, but got up on its feet. [Let's go.]
“The others are going to flip!” Ingo's worry quickly changed to excitement. He followed with a bit of space between him and the horse, not wanting to be kicked. But even at this distance, he knew that he barely reached the belly of the beast.
Upon returning to the group, it was not surprising the way they all looked at them, eyes popping and jaws dropping. Link and Ingo no doubt still grinning like fools too. But Link still thought it best to warn them after awkwardly pulling the horse to a stop. [Careful, they’re a wild one.]
They didn't seem to be paying him any attention as they all surrounded the horse. Either to get a closer look or to touch, it didn't matter, the horse nickered and reared upwards with hooves flailing. “Woah!”
Everyone dived out of the way as Link again had to get a handle on the horse. Using whatever soft sounds his voice would allow him and soft pats, the horse calmed once more.
~~~~~~ ҉ ~~~~~~
The return trip to the stables was a long and rough ride, an injured horse and wild horse made things difficult. Link couldn't count the number of times that he had almost been thrown off. If not for the other horses travelling along offering some familiarity, it would have been much worse.
“That thing is dangerous, Captain. Surely you could have wrangled a friendlier horse?” Shad had his doubts about this, but it wouldn't be much longer until the thing would be set free once more. He'd just had to put up with it for now.
[I could.] He answered quickly before he made a fast grab for the orange mane. It was a little hard to keep his balance with how the lumbering giant moved under him. A saddle would make things much easier, he hoped, stirrups would be wonderful to at least ground himself in place. Not being able to hold on with legs alone with the barrel of a rib cage the horse had, was straining. His legs were already sore for a number of reasons and Link was pretty sure the stinging from his hands were cuts from holding so tightly on coarse hair.
“You're just doing this to show off aren't you?” Madas scowling up at Link, not liking this new change of view. But when the young captain shook his head, he scoffed under his breath. “Ya right. Fuckn liar…”
When the herd was brought to a stop just outside the stables, Link was honestly hesitant about dismounting. What if the moment he let go the horse would take off? He couldn't lose them now after all the fighting it took to get this far. If he could just get a bridle, even a make shift on from rope for the time being would certainly help.
While the others waited for the true departure and long journey home, Link gave a light kick to move closer to the stable owner. [I’d like to purchase any gear that could fit this horse.]
It took a few moments of silent gawking before the older man could respond. And a good twenty minutes later had in hand a lengthened form of the largest bridle they could muster, using scrap leather to fill the gaps. Taking a stepladder just to reach the horse’s head, Link finally had something to hold onto.
While the man left again, Straia had spotted the horse and quickly ran over to study the animal, again thanking Link for all his help. Not that he had planned on bringing the horse back with him, but once he saw it, Link had to have it. However with the stable owner's return, there wasn't much they could offer him in terms of a saddle. Link figured as much, but he had an idea how to at least make the trip a little more comfortable.
Dismounting was also strange and he knew the moment that his feet touched the ground that his thighs were going to be killing him after a day's ride. It's going to be like learning how to ride for the first time all over again...
Link paid for the horrible, patchwork looking bridle and the thickest saddle blanket available. He'll be sure to get some good custom gear ordered the moment they returned to Hyrule castle. Link mounted up, scrambling a little once more before he was once again atop the horse.
His platoon seemed a little late on the uptake as they all just realized what he intended to do all along. “You're keeping it!?”