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The Essence of Life

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“I say, little boy? Hello?”

Link glances up from petting his favorite ewe, Dolly, and tosses a glance around the field. The rest of his flock mills about, chewing the wild Hyrule Field back down to a respectable height. A steep hill lies to his left, and he’d thought the voice rang from that way. But he sits a moment with Dolly mouthing at his palm and listens.

“The young master with the sheep, yes!”

Shaking his head, Link gently nudges Dolly away and stands from the stump he’d squatted on. A glance over the crest of the steep hill to his left finds the source of the voice. An odd looking… man has collapsed on the ground. Link cocks his head one way and then the other, trying to make sense of it. Sat on his ass, the odd man shoots a sheepish grin up at him. One leg splays beside him, the other… is sunk into the ground up to his mid-thigh. Link shakes his head again and shoos Dolly away from carefully head-butting his hip. She’s rather displeased he’d only given her a little bit of the alfalfa she knows he has in his pocket. Her white snout bumps the hidden cache, and he keeps turning her head away while staring at the odd fellow below.

Link has never seen hair quite so red before or eyes so electric even from this distance. It almost hurts to look at the man directly, like a bright light surrounds him. His state of dress is odd, too, in some aristocrat clothes. He can't make out details this far away, but the maroon overcoat suits him. However, the road is far from this field and Castle Town farther still… No wagon or horse tracks lead anywhere near the fallen man.

The staff in Link’s hand whines a bit as his fist tightens around it. He should be kind to any stranger, yes, but this one is a bit too odd. Link glances at the forest that eats up the field and meadow down below. Could he be a faerie of some sort? Or a demon? Link thins his lips in a line and motions to turn away, but the mellow voice below cries out for him again.

“Oh, little lamb, please help me! I’ve caught my leg down a mole hole, and I can’t quite get it out. I mean you no harm, I promise! I have no weapon, no tricks!”

Link brings his right hand up to his mouth and whistles for Nanny, his sheep dog. She comes bounding up from another hill, sheep dodging out of the way. He pets her a few times and then dismisses her. She’ll stick closer to the flock while he’s gone. He thinks for two seconds about bringing Nanny with him instead, but if the man below is some sort of snobby aristocrat, then he’s outmatched at this point. Link will make sure to eye the man up and down for a sword or a flimsy gun. He’s only ever dealt with the rifle at home, but he knows gentlemen often carry around dueling pistols. And they’re usually quick to show it off, like they’re not afraid to take the shot. Despite the odd glow around the man, Link keeps his eyes on the stranger’s hands as he slowly makes his way down the hill. Once he’s on flat ground, but still out of an accurate shooting range, Link stops again.

This close, Link spies that the man’s hair is braided down his back, although some strands escape to frame his face. It’s not a style of cut he’s ever seen, especially the odd flop of hair over his forehead. Link avoids meeting those bright eyes, dashes his gaze over the friendly grin below them, and then gives the man’s waist a once over. There’s no bulge of a pistol anywhere, no handle to a sword. The man doesn’t even appear dirty or disheveled, hair almost perfect without a strand out of place.

Link flinches when the stranger lifts a hand, but it’s only so that he can wave Link closer. The friendly smile is still there, but it does little to soothe Link’s nerves. Nothing about this situation makes sense to the poor farm boy, but he shuffles closer anyway. Again, Link eyes the tree line and squints to see any sort of ambush—human or otherwise—waiting to leap out and attack him. The bottom of the hill is quiet and still, though. Birds sing nearby, which is a good sign. Link holds tightly to his staff while finally taking the last steps towards the fallen man. He’s as radiant as the sun, so Link avoids looking at him. His face heats up under that penetrating stare, but he refuses to meet it.

“See? No harm, no tricks. I did promise you,” the man says with a little laugh in his voice. Link stares at the backs of his brown hands, waiting for anything. “Little lamb, will you give me a hand and help me up? I honestly tried to extract myself first, but as you can see, was quite unsuccessful.”

Link wishes he could see the humor in all of this. He’d feel infinitely better if the man’s horse were standing around, waiting for him. There’s nothing at the bottom of the hill. Just this man. The grass around him is immaculate—no scuffs, no torn blades. It’s perfect. Link passes his staff to his right hand before offering his left. Link flicks up an eyebrow when the stranger also offers his left. That strikes Link as odd, since he’s the only person he knows who is left handed. His family and the other farms around are all right-handed people. He’d been teased by grandparents and other elders for being wicked for this. That just adds another mark to Link’s suspicions about this man. The hand that captures his is warm and soft, like the stranger has never worked a day in his life.

Link plants his feet into the grass, but before he throws any strength into them, the man pops right up. The change in their positions startles Link, and he staggers on his feet. The soft smile on the man’s face persists as he holds Link by his right arm and gently tugs with his left. That prevents Link from falling on his ass, but he instead tips forward and leans on the man’s chest. Perfume like fresh flowers and crystal clear water, earth fertile and dark wafts into Link’s nose. It surrounds him like a sparkling haze, and Link winces at the intense pressure behind his eyes. It springs up with the cloud of the gentleman’s perfume, but the pressure is not unpleasant. Link’s head fogs, and he must hold onto the man to keep his knees under him.

“Thank you, little lamb,” the man says into Link’s hair, breaths playing with the strands tossed about by the wind. “You’ve done me such a kindness. Can I repay you in some way?”

He should never accept offers of favors from strangers. His grandparents had taught him that rather firmly.

“N-No, sir, no thank you,” Link stutters out. Why does his head swim on his shoulders so? What’s happening?

The warm hand cradling Link’s upper arm slips up to catch his chin. The grip is not rough, but it is absolute in its desires. The man tilts Link’s head up with no resistance from him until their eyes meet. It still hurts to look directly at the stranger, and Link pinches his eyes shut. A little hum vibrates under Link’s free hand splayed on the man’s chest. The fingers curled around Link’s chin twitch, and then that hand rises up to cup his cheek instead. Link shakes on his knees at the intimate gesture. He should step out of this embrace, chastise the man for acting so familiarly with him. But all Link can do is focus on his breathing and how each inhale drags more of the man’s perfume into him.

“Might I have your name, sweet lamb? At least give me that.”

There is power in names, and Link chokes back the sounds of his before they escape. He’d almost said it once asked. Link tries to shake his head to clear it, but he barely twitches in the stranger’s hand.

“I must… get back to my flock, sir.”

The palm cradling his cheek shifts once more to blanket his forehead. That blocks the sun—or perhaps the glow of the man—from Link’s eyes. Under that gentle caress, Link finally tunes in to how warm his skin is. A strong breeze rolls over Hyrule Fields above where the flock is, and he’d actually wished for a scarf or a robe. Now, he sweats and shivers in this man’s grip like a terrible fever grips him. What is this madness?

“Oh dear, you’re quite warm. Let’s take shelter in the shade of a tree for a moment until this passes, yes? I’d hate to see you fall or hurt yourself.”

Link tries to take his hand back, but the larger one wrapped around his won’t budge. The hand blanketing his forehead falls away, allowing the slighter breeze in this valley to cool the sweat on Link’s skin. Link has a moment of still wonder before his world shifts. The gentleman releases Link’s hand only to loop both arms around Link and pick him up. One curls under Link’s knees. The other supports Link behind his shoulders. It hurts to open his eyes, so Link slumps against the gentleman’s chest and wiggles to resist. The man just chuckles above him and carries them easily, like Link weighs nothing.

The light behind Link’s eyelids dims like the man has indeed walked them into a shady spot. Link trembles to think this demon, this faerie has stepped into the woods and secreted him away forever. But when Link risks pain by cracking open an eye, he finds them under a lone tree near the mole hole. The man sits with Link still in his arms, without a shake in them or a grunt. Legs crossed, the gentleman settles Link astride his lap and holds Link loosely around his waist. It is cooler under the shade of the tree, but Link’s head perhaps swims even worse than before. Strength leaves him, and Link slumps in the crook of the man’s arm. Distantly, Link’s long ears pick up the calls of his sheep. He’d forgotten about them.

Long fingers pet Link’s bangs off his forehead before the man asks, “Is this better? It’s nice and quiet over here, better in the shade. It’s a beautiful day… I do wish you’d give me your name, young one. There’s no harm in that, is there?”

Hmm… What is his name? Link presses his forehead to the firm body hidden beneath the gentleman’s perfectly pressed overcoat. He gives a little hum too as the pressure decreases some in his head. He can think for a moment, but not think about why it’s a bad idea to give his name. Why had he hesitated in the first place? The stranger seems gentle and kind enough. Yes, what is the harm in giving his name?

“Mmm, it’s Link, sir.”

One arm unwinds from Link’s waist, and a hand sinks into his hair. The strands are probably dusty and a little slick from grease, but the gentleman pays that no mind. The caress relaxes Link further, and he practically melts in the man’s lap.

“Link hmm?” The mellow voice purrs in his ear. “What a pretty name. Thank you for giving it to me.”

Link’s eyebrows come together in the center at those words. They should rub him the wrong way, especially with the kiss to his hair that follows. This stranger shouldn’t hold him so intimately, shouldn’t kiss him. It’s inappropriate! In his state, though, Link cannot manage more than an odd sense of discomfort. That discomfort manifests in his stomach, and Link squirms in the gentleman’s lap. The chest against his shoulder vibrates with a laugh. The man holds him a bit tighter and kisses the top of his head again. He must find all this amusing, because a laugh twinkles in his voice when he speaks next.

“Yes, it’s a lovely name. You may call me Sidon, if you wish.”

That’s an odd way to introduce oneself. Link frowns against the overcoat smashed to his cheek. He can’t coordinate his mouth enough to question that or anything else this “Sidon” has done so far. Nothing makes sense, but the fog in Link’s head is pleasant. Everything is warm and fuzzy, his skin alive with extra sensation. He wants to run a hand over his arm, but none of his limbs are attached. Nothing responds. The only thing preventing him from toppling onto his side and into the grass is Sidon around him. Link blinks straight ahead at the rolling grass beyond their shady spot as a large hand drifts up from his waist. Long fingers pluck at the strings holding the neck of Link’s linen shirt closed.

“You’re still terribly warm, my little lamb. Can I undo this?” Sidon gives a little tug on one of the strings. “You’ll feel better with a bit of wind on your neck.”

That makes sense to Link. Link gives a tiny hum and rolls his head back, thinking Sidon needs the space. Another laugh tickles his ear, and quick, long fingers do away with the string crisscrossed through Link’s shirt. The neckline opens in a V, ending a bit below where his collarbones meet. A breeze instantly blows over them, and yes, it does feel nice as Sidon had said. Link gives a feeble jump in Sidon’s lap when fingers slip in through the opening to pet at his dusty skin. Link’s hands are useless, curled up on his thighs. He… He doesn’t think he would reach up and stop the gentle caress along his collarbones, but… Link’s head rolls forward, and the skin of Sidon’s thumb touches his chin. Link shivers and cranes his head forward more to pin the hand touching him. It wiggles under the point of his chin and frees itself. Those fingers then turn on Link’s chin, grab it, and angle Link’s head up. It hurts a bit less to look at Sidon, now, but it still upsets Link’s stomach.

“Poor Link,” he sighs like he doesn’t think this is unfortunate at all. “Your temperature just keeps climbing. Let’s remove your shirt entirely, perhaps. If we lay you out on the cool grass, that might help, too.”

It’s not a request for permission. Link groans and squeaks out tiny whines as the world shifts once again. The earth is cool against Link’s back as Sidon maneuvers him down. He isn’t down for long before warm hands pluck the hem of Link’s shirt and draw it up his body. Sidon wraps an arm around Link in order to free the back of his shirt and remove it easier. Link’s arms tangle while his heart gives a little kick inside him.

He should stop this, shouldn’t he? He wouldn’t normally submit to something like this. Sidon is handsome, yes, but a stranger. Link shivers again when his body crushes the grass under him. Head rolled to the side, Link blinks at the grass in the sunlight beyond the shade of the tree. The blades dance in the wind, creating waves. When his shirt comes free of his head, not even tangled by his ears, Link hiccups and turns his head to stare up.

Sidon kneels in the grass between his legs, carefully folding Link’s shirt. Once it’s in a neat square, he scoops Link’s head up and places the garment under him. He offers Link a soft smile when he catches Link’s big, hazy eyes watching him. Sidon says nothing while sitting on his knees between Link’s legs. He doesn’t seem to care about the grass rubbing into his trousers, probably staining them. Link blinks down the line of his body and watches those hands hover over his bare stomach. When they touch down, just the barest graze of skin on his, Link arches off the ground and into that caress.

His head is caught in a tornado of haze and sweet smell, now. It’s more sweet that the perfume he’d smelled earlier. A wild, hard shiver runs through Link as warm hands slide up his stomach, over his flat chest, and then dance across his clavicle. Link’s hands lie useless and limp in the grass by his head. Sidon’s hands leave the valleys and peaks of his collarbones—one flattens to the ground, lacing their fingers, while the other pets his cheeks.

“This is much better. You must feel cooler now, yes?”

Link tries to shake his head, but he doesn’t even manage a twitch. He blinks up at wild, golden eyes instead. Whereas once Link could barely look Sidon’s way, now those eyes possess him. He can’t look away.

A little smile ticks up under those eyes as Sidon says softly, “Please, let me repay you for your kindness. You’re in no state to return to your flock anyway.”

The curl of knuckles caressing Link’s cheek slip down his jaw until a thumb flicks across his lips. Link lips peel apart, sticking together a bit because they’re dry, and a hitched breath blows over Sidon’s thumb. That hand lets him go, and Link almost protests, thinking Sidon will stand and vanish. The dirt between his knees grinds as Sidon shifts. Hands fall into the grass on either side of Link’s head, and then warmth billows over him from Sidon’s body. They don’t touch anywhere, but Sidon hovers close enough for body heat to roll off him.

Link still teeters between boiling hot and shivering from a chill, so Sidon’s warmth is a blessing and a burden. The back of Link’s head is flat in the dirt and grass beneath him, gaze angled straight above him to meet Sidon’s electric eyes. Link’s face heats up even more. Link’s eyes almost cross as Sidon lowers himself, slowly and carefully. His eyes are trained solely on Link’s lips, and Link’s head clears enough for him to recognize what’s about to happen.

“W-wait, wait,” Link wheezes. Warm breath blows across a cheek, and Link thins his lips into a line. When Sidon doesn’t sink any closer, Link peeks an eye open and confesses, “If you m-mean to kiss me, sir, you should ask first. I’ve not kissed anyone before.”

Rather than surprise, interest flicks up Sidon’s eyebrows and widens his eyes. He cocks his head while watching Link and murmurs, “Curious. You can still speak quite well… If that’s the case, should I let you up? I’d intended to kiss you a great deal, amongst other things.”

Link’s face blushes all the way to his hairline. It extends to his ears when Sidon smirks at him from above. His brain is too busy imagining what “amongst other things” is to wonder why Sidon had seemed puzzled over him speaking. The fog in his head wavers long enough for him to shake his head. He shouldn’t permit this. He knows that. Sidon is a stranger, and an odd, suspicious one at that. If the man had wanted to kill him or something nefarious… wouldn’t he have done it already?

Link’s eyes squeeze shut as the fog builds between his ears again. Thinking grows sluggish and murky. He’s so caught up in it that he jumps hard at plush lips kissing his cheek. They peck him a few times with a smile in them, following the curve of his jaw down to his chin. They pay no mind to the dust sparkling his skin or the salty taste of him. Link’s whine at the first brush of those lips on his tickles them. The smile pressed to his mouth widens a bit.

Sidon’s hand on the other side of Link’s face holds Link steady as he brushes kiss after kiss to Link’s mouth. Link relaxes more and more after each one. The fog between his ears teeters on the verge of drowning him, and he almost suffocates under the sweetness of Sidon’s perfume. They’re nowhere near flowers. He doesn’t understand why every breath he takes is full of sweetness. Sidon’s hair, collected into a braid Link barely recalls, slips over his shoulder and dangles by Link’s head. All of the strange man reeks of the perfume Link had smelled earlier. But with each kiss, with Sidon adding his little noises to Link’s, the sweet scent of flowers overtakes the other notes.

Link is almost a puddle in the grass, completely relaxed. A warm tongue petting over the seam of his lips has Link jumping under Sidon again. Opening his mouth seems like a good idea, if only to tell Sidon to slow down, to ask what he’s doing. He’s never felt the warm, wet slide of a kiss like this. Link startles again, but he keeps his lips barely parted for Sidon. When they separate, just far enough to breathe, Link licks at the buzzing sensation caught in his lips.

Link expects Sidon to come at him again, to seal their mouths together and try again. Instead, he kisses a path from under one of Link’s eyes to his jaw and then his neck. There’s no shirt to block these kisses, and Link sucks in a loud gulp of air as teeth nibble at him, too. He wants to pick his hands up and hold on to Sidon somehow, but they’re limp like the rest of him. Well, almost like the rest of him.

The seat of his pants brushes Sidon’s clothes as the man shifts above him, and Link tunes in to how warm he is between his legs. It’s a shameful sort of thing, something he’s not supposed to talk about or act on. He’s as curious as any other young man his age, although he would never admit to such things. Until just now, he’d never kissed anyone, let alone… anything having to do with that! Link blushes harder and harder until he’s dizzy. He doesn’t feel Sidon’s fingers slip from between his where they’d held hands in the grass.

“Ah!” Link gasps, sound tiny and nearly muffled in his mouth. The long fingers that had laced with his tickle over his stomach and sweep up to pet across his chest. He squirms under Sidon’s foreign weight and warmth when that caress nears a nipple. “M-mmm…”

“You’re so quiet,” Sidon purrs into his neck. “No one is out here, little lamb. No one will hear you if you moan. It’s all right.”

When Link bites himself to keep quiet, Sidon drags a dull nail across Link’s nipple to firm it up. He jerks hard again and finally lets go of his lip to whimper. Why does that feel so good? Why do fingers plucking and pinch him shoot a white-hot arrow straight behind his navel? Everything within Link tightens at such attention paid to such a small area. Sidon doesn’t touch him anywhere else besides there and the hand he uses to pin Link’s hips to the ground. He needs it especially when he’s done nibbling across Link’s neck and turns those wicked lips to Link’s other nipple. Link’s hips try to rock off the ground as he flinches and lets out a cry. With the powerful grip at his hip, though, he doesn’t get far. Sidon smirks against his chest and mouths at his poor nipple, tongue flicking across the nub before sealing around it to suck. Link’s eyes roll back in his head, and his lips stay parted to let free the stream of moans bubbling out of him.

The fingers rolling his other nipple finally let go to make a swift trip down Link’s body. His skin comes alive even at such a light caress. Link’s hips wiggle and struggle in Sidon’s grasp, but they do not lift off like before. The warmth of a palm setting on top of one thigh strangles Link’s next breath. He chokes on it and then chokes on a moan when Sidon slides his palm over and fondles him through his trousers. They’re itchy and made of thick wool, but they protect him from the strong wind of Hyrule Fields. They offer some shielding from barbed plants and snake strikes, too.

But for now, they just trap all the heat and sweat between his legs. Sidon palming him through the front of his trousers doesn’t help, and Link accidentally rubs himself into Sidon’s hand while squirming away. Sidon hums around his nipple, and Link stops trying to get away. He rolls his body as best he can into Sidon’s hand like he knows what he's doing or what he wants. No one has ever touched him before, and nerves churn in his stomach despite the pleasant fog of sweetness pouring off Sidon’s skin and hair. Sidon must pick up on it somehow—either by Link going still or going quiet, maybe both.

Sidon squeezes the firmness in his hand as asks, “Sweet lamb, should I stop? You were making such pretty noises, but I’ll stop if I’ve scared you…”

Link’s shoulders hunch up around his drooped ears as he stutters, “I don’t-I haven’t, I mean…”

Sidon rocks forward on his knees to brush his lips across Link’s burning cheek and murmur, “Shhh now, it’s all right. Little one, you’re in no danger with me. I won’t hurt you, I promise.”

Link blinks haze out of his eyes in order to meet Sidon’s gaze. It beckons him even with Link’s eyes closed. Link has since forgotten all about his reservations of fraternizing with a stranger. Sidon feels like an old friend at this point, like he’s always known the man. Link frowns at the thought, like it isn’t right, but another wave of sweetness chases his frown away.

‘His lips are soft and pliant when Sidon angles them together. Link knows a bit more now, knows to breathe through his nose and keep his jaw relaxed as they bob in and out of kisses. Link’s head drops back to the grass when he’s had enough. He’d remembered to breathe, but his head swims anyway. The warm palm rubbing him through his pants hasn’t dropped away, and Sidon gives him a squeeze to wrangle a noise out of him.

“Little lamb,” he says in a sing-song voice. “Won’t you be mine? I realize you’re a virgin, sweet Link, and I will be gentle. You’ll feel no pain, only pleasure. Let me show you?”

Each word sends Link spiraling deeper into the haze that invades his head. The ties of his trousers go slack, and then cool air from the shade licks at the sweat where his thigh meets his torso. Link’s eyes flutter as his head rolls back. He squirms in Sidon hands, but does not reach to stop him, does not collect his voice to protest. Sidon hums and calls him sweet things while undressing him. The ground feels like it softens under him and cradles him, draws out the remaining nerves in him. A dopey smile draws Link’s lips up, and he feels it when Sidon kisses him again.

Sidon gathers him up, and the world shifts again. Sidon guides Link’s arms around his neck, and the poor boy holds on as Sidon moves them how he wants them. The ground does not pinch Link’s knees when Sidon settles Link onto them. The wind blowing through the field cools the sweat on Link’s back, the little trickles of it that follow his spine. He’s hotter to the touch than ever before, but his skin buzzes so hard he worries it might fly off him. The only places he has true sensation are where Sidon’s hands are on him.

One keeps his hips still while the other scoops under him. Link jumps and whimpers into thick, red hair at the gentle petting of his entrance. More sweetness soaks the air he breathes, and Link doesn’t feel the oily press of fingers inside him. It doesn’t hurt, not like how he expects burning, searing pain like an ember falling on his hand. Link moves on his knees without a prompt from Sidon and moans in his ear at the light fullness inside him. Sometimes, Link forgets it’s his body filled with so much pleasure and sensation. He has to come back to himself and tighten his muscles around Sidon’s fingers to remember it’s him, his body being caressed and penetrated. Sidon brushes across something inside him, and Link’s voice rings through Hyrule Fields. It startles his sheep far away and up the hill, but he’ll never know.

“Yes, just like that. That feels good, doesn’t it, sweet lamb?”

Sidon’s fingers slam into him particularly hard, and Link belts out a moan that sounds like, “Yes!”

Link whines when the pressure inside him lessens and then disappears completely. He blinks moisture out of his eyes and tries to sit back. Sidon’s arm around him is firm and doesn’t let him budge. Breathing hard, Link shuffles and wiggles on his knees to coax that delicious pleasure begin again. Link slumps against Sidon when something warm swipes across his buzzing entrance. He has to hide a squeaky whine when he realizes it’s not fingers but something else. Link pants in the safety of Sidon’s neck, not even sure if the man is still wearing clothes, and belts out another cry as Sidon urges him to sit. Link opens beautifully to the warmth and weight of something new inside him. It doesn’t hurt, again not like he expects, and he moves when Sidon’s hands squeeze his hips. Somehow, his body knows what to do, how to drop his weight down to get both of them moaning. Black spots appear at the edges of Link’s vision before Sidon slows him down.

“Gently, Link, gently. Don’t hurt yourself.” Sidon snaps up and into him, jolting Link on his knees. “We have plenty of time.”

They must, because the rest passes in a blur. It feels like hours and hours he spends on his knees, their bodies gliding together and touching him in places that make him see new colors. He’s too inexperienced to keep up and comes between them, pitiful and whimpering. Sidon just holds him and pets his trembling back through it all. They don’t stop, but it’s too good for Link to even think of asking. He can’t think of much other than the pleasure of the heavy pressure inside him moving and jerking him on his knees. Link hooks his chin over Sidon’s shoulder and just holds on, keeps his tongue away from his teeth as the powerful snap of hips under him has him shaking and bouncing around.

The heat and pressure inside him increases at one point, and Sidon holds him down by the hips while releasing his own stream of moans and cries. The fog in Link’s head becomes too much. He’d come once early on, but now comes again as a burst of molten metal fills up all the empty spaces in him and sets him ablaze everywhere. Link’s back lands on the grass once more. And with lights flashing on the edge of his vision and Sidon glowing brighter than ever, Link blinks up at the trees.

And then nothing.

And then the world comes back slowly. The sun is high in the sky, where Link remembers it. He’s propped against the trunk of the tree Sidon had carried them to. But his clothes are in order, staff lying on the ground parallel to his leg. Nanny snuffles and whines at him, licking the sweat on his face. Link’s eyebrows come together in the center as he glances around the valley. How had he ended up here? Where is the odd and bizarre looking man, Sidon?

Link ponders all this while reaching up to rest a hand on his stomach. Warmth lingers inside him somewhere, like a fever but in his belly. Other than that he is… well rested. Fully awake, body free of aches and ready to go. Link is sure his head had been full of bees before, and pressure behind his eyes had nearly made him cross-eyed. None of that lingers, now. He hasn’t felt this good since he was a child. The warmth behind his navel concerns him, and when Link stands on shaking legs, he pokes himself a little. Lifting his shirt provides few answers.

There is no mark where he’s warm inside. No insect bite, no snake strike. Link tucks his shirt under his chin and feels around with both hands. He’s not sore between his cheeks either, but he pushes those thoughts away with a blush on his face. No throb of pain ripples out from his knees, and surely they would be sore. He’d been on them, squirming and bouncing around for… How long had that moment lasted between them? Had it happened at all? Link shivers while feeling across his belly. A glance around proves he’s alone.

Link tugs his wool pants down a bit and feels the area between his navel and cock. He should be messy in a few places, but there’s nothing. His clothes are clean, his skin as dusty and sweaty as he remembers. Link’s fingers pet over the soft area above his cock and find it… different. Straining with his shirt bunched under his chin, Link looks down the line of his body. That little mound… is it bigger than before? To touch himself is a shameful thing, but he knows his body well. Link pokes and prods himself, feels for any firmness that shouldn’t be there. It’s not firm, just… bigger. A little fatter, like he’s lazed around the house and not tended to his chores. Link hums while pinching and feeling the extra softness. What in the realms has happened to him?