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Breath of life

Chapter Text

Open your eyes.

 

There was a faint light, warm and kind, dancing between her eyelashes. Like a blue flame. For the first time, she felt conscious of her body, of the coldness lingering in her limbs.

 

Momo...

 

The voice was familiar, in some way. The name too. But she was so tired that she couldn't remember where she had heard it before, nore who it was. She felt like she should have. It felt like a dream, a dream that had been important, once upon a time, but couldn’t get much senses now that she was getting pulled out of her slumbering mind. A dream that was all and well, warm and kind, beautiful and peaceful, because it had no senses. Because she had no sense of herself. because she didn’t exist anymore.

 

Open your eyes !

 

She awoke, slowly. Half expecting to meet the owner of the voice next to her, looking as pissed as he sounds. But she found nothing but coldness and blue haze, her body still drifting in a pond of water. That’s why she had been so cold ; she guessed.

 

That was her first thought, as she managed to seat down and stare, her mind still foggy and her eyelids feeling so heavy. Black spots filled her vision field, and it took her sometimes to realize that it wasn’t the hunger taking a toll on her body or the sleepiness taking over, but  her own raven hair. She stared at her own body : almost naked ; her own hands, full of wrinkle because of her long stay in hr water bed, her own pale skin. Nothing rang a bell. It felt old : unfamiliar. Gross even. She felt dirty, as if she hadn’t bath in so long )when she just got out of one. Even her own scent was of a stranger. She hiccuped. And motivated by the sudden disgust of herself she knelt and tried to get a glimpse of her face in the remaining water still. Surely she had to be something there : something stuck that made her feel this way.

 

A stranger stared back at her : almond eyes, as black as the night, matching her still dripping wet raven hair. She was beautiful ; she was clean. She was…

 

Who was she ?

 

The blue light above her, or maybe her movement as she tried to get a better view of herself, frowning and trying to recognize her own reflection, made her notice one faint scar on her torso. It was still glowing from the same blue sparkles dancing all around her. She had mistaken this for light dust, sparkles of her tiredness, but she couldn’t ignore it anymore. She ran her finger through the scar, mapping it, analyzing it, her brain focusing on what she made sense, what she still knew.

 

That should have killed me, she realized.

 

The thought resonned within her body, like the remnant of an old dream, a certitude that had been lost to the time, the cold cribbling in her bones, the fear still hidden in her heart. And suddenly, she knew why she felt so disgusted.

 

I should have been dead !

 

It pilled with everything else.

 

I should know where i am ! I should recognize my face ! I should know that voice ! I should know that name ! I should have done better ! I should have…

 

She curled up in a ball but couldn’t let out a scream, all she heard was her erratic breath, a voice that was her but was as unfamiliar than everything else.

 

She should know her voice too. But she didn’t. and it frightened her to no end. She tried to gather what she still had ; what still made sense, as she lied back in her watery bed. But all that came to her mind were chemical equation, atoms, knowledge she couldn’t quite figure out the purpose yet. Was she some kind of scientist ?

 

She remembered the contact of a sword in her hand, and as she rubbed her palm, she noticed old traces of countless blisters. It was as pale as the faint scar in her torso, but still there. Still something. Somehow, it comforted her : she didn’t pop in existence here. Alone. She existed before. She was someone before.

 

There had to be something else. Someone, someone who knew her. The voice from before. The man’s voice ! He couldn’t be far off. He had to know what she had forgotten. He had…

 

He had to be someone important to her.

 

She stood up, and for the first time looked around. Aware of her surrounding, and awake.

 

The place was old, yet had the eerie aura of of a secret garden. It had no flower wall, but old decoration carved in the rock wall, as beautiful as roses. It reminded her more of constellations. Maybe she was in some kind of heavenly field, waiting before the after life ? Was there an afterlife ? She couldn’t remember her beliefs about it. Veins seemed to go trough there, phosphorescent and blue, and maybe it was an illusion but it seemed to pulse in the rythm of her heartbeat. If her heart was beating ; she had to be alive, right ?

 

No one was there - but the disappointment didn’t strike her, on the contrary she felt reassured no one witnessed being so lost. She had time to gather herself and put up a good front. She had...to find back her composure.

 

As she made her first step. Her feet left a trace in the dust, and it danced a moment before fading in a blue sparkles. She was surprised by the strenght in her legs : she couldn’t shake the feeling that she should have been more tired, hungry and weak. But maybe she should stop to worry about what she should feel, and focus more and what she could do.

 

The room seeming to be in some kind of underground structure : she found no window around, and she couldn’t find any secret level in the carving. The whole purpose of the place seemed to be the watery bed she had been sleeping on, and was now empty.

 

What a strange bedroom, she thought, if it was her, then it didn’t fit her now-taste. It was too solitary. It wasn’t scary, but she couldn’t shake off the feeling that its atmosphere was more fit for a cemetary. Solennel and silent. Was it her tomb ?

 

Again she asked herself : was she dead ? Did people built this for her ?

 

She put a hand on her chest and tried to calm down, listening to her heartbeat. She wasn’t dead. It wasn’t her tomb. There had to ba a way out. People waited for her outside. It had to. because if it wasn’t...she didn’t know what to do.

 

She suddenly noticed a pedestal near what might be a door -but looked so much as the other carving decoration around that it wasn’t so obvious in the first glance. As she walked to it, the pedestal started glowing and working. Gears put into motion and clicking revealed a strange slate with a blue eye printed on it.

 

The voice rang again in her ears.

 

This is the sheikah slate. Take it, it will guide your way after your long slumber.

 

A shiver ran down her spine, as the voice, resounded from thin air, without a body incaring it. She looked everywhere, trying to spot a figure, anyone, hidding in the shadow ; but nothing.

 

-Where are you ?

 

Her own voice sounded raspy and more desperate that she had wanted to. In comparison, the man’s tone sounded more familiar than her own, and it hurt so much.

 

-Please show yourself ! Do you know where am i ? What am i doing here ? How long did i sleep ?

 

And finally the question that she cared the most came out of her lips :

 

-Do you know who i am ?

 

No one answered. She felt like crying, but she didn’t. She breathed back her tears, and turned to the pedestal. She couldn’t afford to break down right now. She needed answers. She needed to get out of here. Maybe, maybe everything would make sense later. Maybe if she followed his instruction, everything would put into place. She looked around one last time, and the truth hit her at full force : what else could she do after all? She had no other plan.

 

So she took the mysterious tablet with a glowing center, the Sheikah plate.  She had never held it before -at least as far as she knew- the contact was as cold and unfamiliar as her own skin. Yet she felt nostalgic as she held it. As if she had found an old treasure she thought she had lost.

 

The tablet emitted a sound, and the gear reacted to it, the whole room started to shake, as a whole part of the wall rolled away, opening a path.

 

Well, so far so good. At least now, she wasn’t trapped anymore, she supposed.

 

She kept the tablet in her hand, as the clothes she was wearing had not such thing as pocket. It looked like a red swimsuit ; but it was trashed and teared open, leaving her torso nude and supporting in no way her chest. She would have to find another outfit, eventually, she realized. She tried not to think that maybe the piece of cloth were torn apart the day she received her scar.

 

The next room was an old corridor, as dusty and abandonned as the last one. But there were two chests. She didn’t know if it was her property, but she supposed that if there was once upon a time an owner to these two, it was long gone. So she took a look.

 

The first was full of old clothes, but in such a state that it had probably been left rotting here for years. All that was still salvageable was an old cape. She felt a bit gross about taking it -it was not dirty and full of hole- but it offered better protection than what she was wearing. So she fought the disgusted feeling and did what she had to.

 

It felt strange on her skin -like everything did, even her own scent. It amplified the feeling of guilt and disgust she already had about her own body. It itched. Everywhere.

 

The other chest didn’t want to open, until she hit it with her feet -and hurt herself in the process. She found boots, belt full of pocket and even an accessory she used to tie up her hair into a ponytail. It was too long and wet, she couldn’t afford to get bothered by it as she was looking for a way out.

 

Another pedestal was there, on the back of the room, under strange glowing lamp she couldn’t reach. She tried to climb but the wall was unaturally slippery, even with the wooden carve she couldn’t find a good grip on it. So she held the Sheikah slate in front of her to glow up her path. At least it was useful for that. And she found some sort of clip on the belt where she could probably hung it off -she would try to do it once she had more light.

 

As she reached the pedestal, the voice rang again, and she started to think that maybe, it was disincarned pre-recorded message and not an human voice. Even if the thought made her sad.

 

Hold the sheikah slate up to the pedestal ; that will show you the way.

 

She did as she was told, again, the dread feeling setting inside her heart. Even if it was a pre-recorded message and not another human - or even if it was an earing hallucination, at least it guided her out. You had to see the whole situation under a positive light !

 

Again, the slate reacted to the structure, and the structure reacted to the slate  in another way than the last one. Way less gears moving and ground shaking, and more blue light pulse. This time she heard “authentificating…” and finally, after some times; “Sheikah slate confirmed”. It wasn’t the same voice as before. It didn’t sound like a voice, if felt as if she had read than rather than heard it. Synesthisia, her mind screamed. But she couldn’t think about it too long as another door opened.

 

This time, there was light. Not artificial blue light, sunlight. It blinded her a little and she put an hand to protect her eyes. After the cave so long, she wasn’t used to it anymore. Yet she felt wind on her skin, it blew off her mind and her tiredness away as the scent of nature, tree and flowers, blew away the dust. For the first time since she had woken up, she felt good.

 

She was free.

 

The voice resounded again, sending her chills, as warm and the ray.

 

Momo, you are the light -our light, my light- that must shine upon hyrule once again.

 

Momo. That was her name.

 

The words awakened some strange emotions inside her heart -contradictory- she suddenly felt more trapped than in the cave, minutes before, weight of an unknow responsabilty on her back ; yet ; she also felt needed. Truly needed. By this voice. By this man. Someone loved her enough to call her “his light”.

 

Please, be real, she couldn’t help but whisper, as she walked through the light.

 

Now go.

 

She could see the way out now. After a couple of stairs she had no trouble to climb up. At some point she face a tiny wall, that had absolutely no purpose on the path -maybe it had been another stair in the past, even though the absence of rumbles might go against this theory, there was only only a puddle of water and mud left. But at least wasn’t covered with the same slippery magic of the other. She had no problem to reach the top, and was even amazed by her own ability. It was easy, as if she had done that all her life -maybe she had, as far as she knew it was a possibility. She had been athletic in the past.

 

Smart, and athletic, she thought, suddenly feeling proud of her past self she didn’t know.

Before the feeling of guilt came back and reminded her : not enough, though, to this. Her finger curled on her scar. She decided to worry about that later, when she knew the full story, and gathered her courage once again.

 

As the exit came closer she couldn’t help but start running : as if it could still escape her grasp, as if it was an hallucination. But it wasn’t, and with one last step she was out of the cave. On the top a hill full of soft grass.

 

All her eyes fell upon she saw nothing but wildness. Nature went as far as she could see, filling the horizon with the sound of cheerful birds and the forever buzzing of insects. After the silent echo of her steps in the cave, it sounded as beautiful as piano and flute duet.

 

And for the first time since she was awake, she had a certitude : this is amazing

 

It didn’t matter at what time it was, as it was in the past, and it would still forever be in the future.

 

This is the great plateau, she read, like she had read rather than heard the sheikah authentification, her synesthesia, wasn’t doing better. Maybe she had hit her head a little bit too many times in the past.  

 

The neverending horizon made her fidget on her feets, and she felt like screaming and dancing. She had noticed the shadow of a volcano far away, and neared the shadow of a castle town : surely, someone would know her of she went there ! Surely, it was her destination. Surely, everything would made senses soon enough ! Relieved, she couldn’t help but kneel and touch the soft grass -barely resisting the need to lie in the daze, roll into the scent of the nature until it felt right, until it felt like herself once again. She found a rock, and as she wondered if she could sit there and enjoy the sunlight warming up her bones, she spotted a tiny figure far underneath the path.

 

An old man stood there, standing here, as if he had waited her since forever. As he caught her gaze on him, he turned his back and went to sit near a fire camp : as a silent invitation to join.

 

Maybe she wouldn’t have to wait to reach the town to know the truth.

 

Momo turned around, gazing one last time at the horizon, the wild nature underneath her feet, and, despite everything, despite not knowing one bit about this place and land, she felt at peace, as all that stood before her was yet to discover. The magic feeling of the the adventure chased away the fear of the unknown.