“Okay, fine, stop me when you think I’m lying.”
Four grins at Legend, whose face is tinged a faint rosy color that has everything to do with the tankard in his hand. Four is blessedly sober, definitely of his own volition and not because the innkeeper “doesn’t serve children,” but it’s been slowly paying off as his traveling companions get increasingly drunk around him. Joining him in sobriety are Wind, and Sky, and the only other of them making an attempt is Time, who has water now instead of ale.
“Fine,” says Legend, tripping over the one syllable word. At his side, Wind giggles into his milk (of the non-alcoholic variety). Legend tosses a few rupees onto the table, expression smug. “It’s a bet. Good luck, I’ve seen everything .” Seated across from him, Warriors just rolls his eyes, and Time makes a soft sound of amusement. Four doesn’t know what the bet is , exactly, but he’s game.
“It was on my first adventure,” He begins, and he has most of the group’s attention right away. None of them talk very much about their own time as the Hero, and any story from one of their pasts is bound to make for an interesting conversation. “I was making my way through the cloud tops, on my way to the Palace of Winds.”
He glances around; Twilight and Sky are nodding like they’re following, while the others look dubious already.
“There was a treasure chest right across the way, and I figured it probably had the golden kinstone that I needed to fuse with the last cloud to open the way forward.” He touches the chain of kinstones hanging from his tunic as he says it, to remind them what he’s talking about. No one in any of the versions of Hyrule they’ve visited have any idea what he’s talking about when he asks to fuse kinstones with them. Somehow, the Minish keep finding a way to bring the things to him, so Four has an excess right now.
“So I jumped-”
Wind gasps theatrically. “But you don’t have a deku leaf or a sailcloth!”
Four laughs. “Not now, no. I used to, though. Anyway, as soon as I jumped I realized that I didn’t have the height to make it to the other side. There was nothing beneath us, so we glided right through the gap in the clouds. Ezlo had my ear off about it.”
“Who’s Ezlo?” Chirps Wind obligingly, when no one else does. Four mentally high fives him for helping out.
“My sailcloth,” He says, with a sidelong glance at Legend, who looks unimpressed.
“So what, a talking sailcloth. We’ve all had weird…” Legend waves his hand vaguely, “-weird magical shit. He talks to his sword all the time.” Sky nods happily.
“Well, okay,” Four amends. “Ezlo wasn’t really a sailcloth. He was actually my hat.”
“Oh, come on,” mutters Warriors, shaking his head, as Hyrule laughs. Legend’s eyes dart between him and the rupees on the table, apparently weighing his odds of winning the bet if he calls a bluff on Four now.
“Sure,” he says slowly.
“I couldn’t let go, obviously, and we had to drift all the way back to the ground because Ezlo wouldn’t agree to fall a few hundred feet at a time to go faster. We were in the air so long that the sun started setting over Veil Falls.” Four smiles at the memory. “It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen, even though my arms were killing me by then. Every lake in the kingdom reflected the colors, and I could see all the way to my grandpa’s house. It even made Mount Crenel look pretty. Ezlo wanted to try the clouds again, but we ended up drifting all the way back to Hyrule Town. I wanted to stay at an inn after all that.”
Wild is nodding enthusiastically in agreement, like he’s had the exact same experience.
“Ezlo never let me jump off of anything without his permission ever again. He said ‘Link, if Hylians and Minish were meant to fly, the Goddesses would have given us wings!’ He said that almost every time he had to be a parachute for the rest of our adventure.” He pauses expectantly.
“Hold up,” says Twilight after a short delay, a little louder than he maybe normally would have. “I thought Ezlo was your hat. Did you just say he was a Minish?”
They all know what a Minish looks like, because Four has shown Wind and Twi, and drawn a picture for the others. Watching them trying to reconcile that image with ‘hat’ and ‘sailcloth’ is a journey in and of itself. Time contemplates in silence before shaking his head slightly and shrugging. Wild gives up a moment later, though he doesn’t look as distressed about not getting it as Hyrule does. Legend’s eyes are narrowed so tightly that Four would almost think they were closed if not for the scrunched furrow of his brow.
Sky looks a little confused, like he’s wondering why Four is doing this to their poor drunk friends, but Wind, like Four, is just grinning at their expressions. Now this is the kind of thing he doesn’t mind staying sober for. He gives them a full thirty seconds, then adds, like it’s an afterthought:
“Oh, he was also a bird.”
Legend’s red rupee hits him square on the forehead.
It’s worth it for the look on his face.