Lurking along the edge of the Zora River was a suspicious lump with swiveling eyes which were keeping track of two oblivious Hyrule Bass swimming beneath the water’s surface.
When the fish came within striking distance, the lump leaped into the water with a squawk, golden scales gleaming in the sunlight.
The Lizalfos splashed into the water, hands grasping both fish before they could swim away and tossing them onto land.
Jumping out of the water, the golden Lizalfos shook off with a chirp before picking up the flopping fish. Once it had acquired its catch, the Lizalfos made its way up a small ridge, a limp in its gait.
The Lizalfos was also missing its tail and unlike its brethren, donned no armor to cover its back.
Ducking into a cave carved into the side of the hills of Zodobon Highlands, near Tabahl Woods, the Lizalfos approached a small fire that was crackling and dropped its catch near the flames.
Sitting in front of the fire was a black Bokoblin that was scarred all over and missing half a left ear that appeared to have been ripped off rather than cut off.
The Bokoblin observed the two sizeable fish before nodding. “Good job, Amber.”
Amber puffed up proudly at her matriarch’s praise. “Thanks, Onyx! We Lizalfos are good at swimming, after all.”
“So we’re aware,” Onyx sighed, scratching under her arms and picking out any parasites that were latched on.
The Zodobon Tribe was well aware of the Lizalfos’ ability to swim without drowning. Especially when Amber always mentioned it.
Amber crouched down in front of the fire, licking her lips with her blue tongue. She hoped Boulder and Talus would return with their catch soon; she was starving.
She stared longingly at her catch but didn’t take one. If she ate before the other two returned, Onyx would scold her for impatience and probably deny her dinner.
Just as Amber was about to risk punishment for sneaking food early, two blue Moblins rushed in.
The two were identical but were easily told apart.
Boulder’s left eye was scarred and his horn was completely missing, lost in a battle. He had brown bandages covering his arms and wore a simple loincloth.
His brother Talus had a scarred right eye and half his horn missing, broken off when he picked a fight with a Talus. He lacked bandages on his arms and wore a loincloth as well as a deerskin cloth that covered his back and chest.
Both Moblins carried a boar in each hand which they each tugged on insistently, apparently arguing over who got to lay claim on it.
“I got a boar!” Talus stated proudly, holding the boar up a bit.
“No, I did!” Boulder snapped, yanking on the boar. “Stop lying!"
Onyx sighed. “Boys, that boar is enough for all of us. You both caught it together.”
The Moblin brothers glared at each other before they dropped the boar.
“Let’s prepare everything to cook,” Onyx said.
Onyx sighed as she watched her sleeping tribe.
Talus and Boulder were sleeping against each other, occasionally kicking the other in their sleep.
Amber was curled up a ways from the fire, chirping quietly in her sleep.
With a groan, Onyx stood up and shuffled to the cave entrance.
She was old in Bokoblin standards and had survived her fair share of battles. She knew they wouldn’t be her last.
Squinting towards the glowing structure of the land-walking Zora, Onyx made her way down the hill towards the river below.
So far the Zora hadn’t found their hideout and Onyx hoped they wouldn’t. They lived a good life and Onyx had made a pact with not only the black Hinox that lazed about in Tabahl Woods but also the red Lynel that patrolled the area leading up to Shatterback Point. They were good allies to have if something went south.
Kneeling by the river’s edge, Onyx scooped up some water into her hands before sipping it until it was gone. She did it two more times before shaking her hands to dry them.
A faint cry drifted on the wind and Onyx perked her ears up in order to get a better location of the noise.
Dragging herself to her feet, Onyx followed the noise until she reached Lanaryu Wetlands. Entering the Wetlands Pack’s territory was dangerous, especially at night, but the noise pulled at something in Onyx.
She had to find out what it was.
Sparing a cursory glance around, Onyx crept forward, feet splashing in the ankle-deep water as quietly as possible.
The noise was gradually becoming louder and Onyx recognized it as the cry of a Hylian baby.
A family of Hylians traveling through Lanaryu Wetlands at night? That was not only dangerous, but stupid. Not only did the Wetlands Pack live there but at night, Stals came out of the ground to attack unsuspecting travelers that didn’t know any better.
The noise originated from Linebeck Island and Onyx spotted two felled Hylians, blood turning the water red.
Onyx frowned at the sight, but it was nothing new.
They didn’t kill Hylians or other races for fun or sport; they killed to defend themselves. Hylians and their ilk had killed thousands of monsters, unaware of their intelligence. It was kill or be killed.
Onyx didn’t blame them for not trying to become friends with monster kind. They didn’t even speak the same language.
The crying was louder now and Onyx located the Hylian child easily. It lay in a patch of grass nearby, haphazardly covered by a dark cloak. Had the Hylians tried to hide their child?
Picking up the cloak, Onyx stared at the child which slowly stopped crying to stare back at her.
It didn’t appear frightened of the Bokoblin, only curious, staring at her with wide blue eyes.
Glancing back at the child’s dead parents, Onyx wondered if she should leave the child where it was.
If she did, it was sure to die of exposure. Or be eaten by wolves. Or be killed by the Wetlands Pack. The Hylian child was innocent and deserved no such death.
Wrapping the child in the cloak that had covered it, Onyx made her way back to the cave.
The child cooed and wriggled in her arms the entire time until it managed to free its arms which then proceeded to bat at Onyx’s face.
Onyx smiled at the action.
The child was surely no older than a few months, but Onyx wasn’t sure how Hylians aged.
Amber was awake when Onyx returned to the cave and the Lizalfos gasped when she saw Onyx, rushing over to the Bokoblin only to stop at the sight of the child in the leader’s arms.
“Where did you get that?”
“I found it in the Wetlands. Its parents had been killed.”
“It’s a Hylian. They grow up to kill us.”
“Not if we raise it.”
Amber quietly mocked Onyx’s words, eyeing the child warily. “I say we drown it.”
“It’s innocent, Amber. The killing is a learned behavior. We could teach it differently.”
Amber grunted, crossing her arms.
The child stared at Amber intently before laughing, waving its arms at the Lizalfos.
“What’s it want?” Amber grumbled, pointing at the child. “Why is it doing that?”
“It wants you to hold it. Children need to be held almost constantly from what I’ve seen.”
Amber sniffed. “I am not holding it.”
Onyx shook her head before shoving the child into Amber’s arms before she could protest.
“Ugh.” Amber held the child at arm’s length, tongue flicking out.
The child cooed, hands flailing at Amber.
After a few seconds of cautious staring, Amber moved her head closer to the child.
Onyx could see the exact moment Amber melted when the child’s hand grasped her horn. She smiled as Amber held the child properly.
“I suppose we could keep it until it can fend for itself.”
“Keep what?” Talus mumbled sleepily as he and Boulder woke up. He stared at the child. “What’s that?"
"A child?” Boulder asked.
“A Hylian child?” Talus questioned.
“We’re going to raise it,” Onyx announced. “We’ll teach it to hunt and fight.”
“And swim?” Amber asked hopefully.
Boulder and Talus kneeled down to stare at the child.
“What’s its name?” Talus asked.
“Is it a boy or a girl?” Boulder questioned.
The four stared at the child as they wondered how to properly go about checking the sex of a Hylian.
“Perhaps it’s both?” Amber suggested.
“How do we know?” Boulder asked impatiently.
“We’ll name it,” Onyx said. “Them. When they get older, we should be able to tell.”
“What will we name it?” Talus asked.
Amber nodded. “Yeah, they need a name.”
Onyx gave a hum, staring at the Hylian child. After a bit, she nodded. “Link.”
“What’s a Link?” Talus asked.
“They’re a Link,” Boulder said, pointing to the child.
“A link between the Hylians and the Monsters,” Onyx said. “He may grow up to help us all.”