The floor of Vah Ruta shook as the Blight of the Divine Beast dissipated, Link having landed the final shot with a shock arrow. The boy in question collapsed to the ground, trousers and now sleeves soaked from the shallow layer of water coating the room. Every muscle in his body seemed to scream at him, and his scars ached with their own dull pain. He barely noticed as the light of the main terminal faded to a softly pulsating orange. But what he did notice was the shining, holy light of the Heart Container. He pulled himself towards it, supporting himself on his spear. The healing warmth flowing across his skin made him sigh, and as he pulled himself up, healed, he felt a bit stronger, he thought.
Now, he would address the terminal. He approached it with some apprehension- he had thought he had finished the first time he had attempted to activate it. He shivered- he had no intention of facing a Blight again anytime soon if he didn’t have to. Of course, if there had been one here, the same probably went for the other Divine Beasts. Oof. Pushing that aside for now, he crossed the room and pressed his slate to the final terminal.
For a moment, nothing. Then the slate chirped, and the terminal lit up with a new, blue toned light. He took a deep breath and allowed himself a soft smile and quiet cheer in celebration. He had taken back his first Divine Beast! Now, to leave…
“Hello, Link…” A voice echoed from behind the terminal. Link jumped back, his spear in his hands. “Because of you, my spirit is now free…” Hesitantly, he lowered his weapon as his eyes finally landed on the ghostly figure standing in the water. Red scales, amber eyes, teal light reflecting across the glossy scales and over the water.
“Mipha?” His hands moved in gestures familiar to his body but still new to Link. “Are you..?” The Zora’s eyes were sad as she spoke again.
“Yes, Link. I am dead. But know, my Link, that it is no fault of yours. Thank you, Link. For I am now allowed by this freedom to be with you once again.” A tear trickled down Link’s cheek, and he blinked at the feeling of the wetness on his face. He hadn’t even realized he had been crying.
“As I am now a spirit,” Mipha crossed the water- floating slightly above it, Link realized- to stand a few feet in front of him. “My healing power would be wasted on me. I have no need of it. So therefore… I would like you to have it.” Link stared at the Zoran Princess, her words sinking in slowly, then all at once.
“ Me? ” His hands shook as he signed, and the princess let out a small giggle.
“Yes, you, Link. Goddesses know that you are reckless enough to need it.” Link looked away from Mipha sheepishly, to the sound of another quiet giggle. “Link… please accept…” She raised her hands, clasping them together under her chin. As she opened them, a glowing sphere formed, pulsing blue- more like the waves then the Sheikah technology surrounding them. The sphere collided with his chest, sending ribbons of light around him as it was absorbed, much like a Spirit Orb.
“Mipha’s Grace,” she finished, as Link felt himself rise off the ground, the cool sensation of Mipha’s healing powers washing over him in a wave. He dropped back to the ground, the gentle magic fading. His boots splashed in the ankle-deep water.
“Yesterday, I was awash in a pool of tears. I had nearly given up hope, and resigned myself to being trapped here as a spirit for the rest of eternity. But now you’re here,” she said, her signature small smile on her face. “All this time, my hope was to see you once more. Promise me you will not hesitate to call upon my power if you ever find yourself in need.” Link blinked away tears as he raised trembling hands.
“I promise.” Her smile widened into the one he had only seen a few times throughout his entire life. It was bright and wide and looked almost like Sidon’s, but still more toned down. More calm. More like Mipha.
“Knowing that will let my spirit rest in peace. I must go now, Link. Ruta and I have our roles to fulfill. We are both honored to play the role of support. I am so proud of you, my Link.” She held her hands to her heart, a sad smile dancing across her face. “Farewell. Link, you must save her. The princess. And, also? If you could, please… tell my father and Sidon I love them.” As his vision darkened, bright sparks of light surrounding him, the last thing he saw was Mipha’s face, illuminated in the teal fire.
His vision returned as he found himself standing near the center of Zora’s Domain. The guards cast him a curious look as he walked past, pulling his hood tighter around his head to protect from the-wait.
The eternal rain had stopped at last, letting Link get a clear view of the Domain for the first time. Luminous stone floors and pillars sparkled in the moonlight, even emitting a faint light of their own. Far above, the stars twinkled in the night sky. He breathed in the cool air, rubbed the last of his tears away, and started up the stairs to talk to King Dorephan.
Link stepped into the throne room to see Sidon standing to the side of the King’s throne, Muzu at his other side, and a group of Zora clustered around them. They parted to allow Link to step forward, facing the King.
King Dorephan congratulated him on surviving Vah Ruta, and thanked him for saving the Domain. As he finished, though, someone Link didn’t expect stepped up.
“Link… I must sincerely apologize for my harsh treatment of you.” Muzu’s tone was regretful, and Link stood in shock as the old Zora apologized and thanked him. “That being said, I would be overjoyed if you could find it in your heart to forgive me. If not now, someday.” Link nodded before turning back to the King.
“I have noticed, Link, that you are without your trusty blade. The sword that seals the darkness. Did you perhaps lose it when you lost your memory?” Link tilted his head.
“Hmmm… so you have forgotten that as well. The sword that seals the darkness is a legendary blade that only you can wield. It is no doubt resting somewhere in Hyrule, waiting for its master to return.” The king moved on, thanking Link once again. He then turned to Sidon.
“And Sidon- thank you for assisting Link. You have grown so much recently, and I am sure you will be a great leader when the time comes.” Sidon stared at his father for a second before nodding.
“Father… I- thank you! And Link! Thank you as well, my most trusted friend!” He grinned, and Link grinned back. Then, remembering what Mipha had asked him, he raised his hands.
“Mipha says she loves you.” Sidon’s grin dropped, and he seemed to go into shock.
“Mipha? You… talked to her?” Link nodded.
“She’s proud of you. She loves you a lot.” Sidon seemed torn, as did the king.
“I see. Thank you, Link,” the prince choked out. “Thank you for saving my sister.” Link blinked back tears, not wanting to cry in front of most of the Domain’s residents. The king called attention back to himself.
“Link.. in thanks for freeing my daughter’s spirit, I would like to offer you one of her most treasured possessions. The Lightscale Trident.” Link moved to protest, but the king waved him off. “No, no, she would want you to have it, Link. She loved you, as well.” He was unable to hold back a few tears as he opened the chest, lifting up the silver, beautifully light trident. He held it to his chest as he bowed, only putting it away so he could thank the king and Sidon profusely.
The moon shone bright as he descended the stairs to the inn, pressing a couple of red rupees to the counter before collapsing into a bed, not even taking off his hood. Almost immediately, he fell asleep, breathing evening out and muscles relaxing.
The next morning, he would leave the domain with the Lightscale Trident on his back, reflecting the light of the early morning sun. He would go to Hateno, maybe, to stock up on supplies before taking on the next Divine Beast. But for now, he would rest knowing that Mipha’s spirit was free at last, after one-hundred years.