Link raised his head, facing the ominous breach looming over his head from high in the darkened sky.
It had opened a few months after Ganon’s final defeat, at first only a small dash in the clear sky, nothing to be really wary of (they’d thought it was just one of those tempests Hyrule witnessed from time to time).
Now, though, the breach had grown to a massive hole, as if someone had taken a huge sword and slashed through the clouds. Its very presence was threatening, but even Link couldn’t find it in himself to investigate.
They’d just recovered from Hyrule’s greatest disaster so far, and if Link had to be true to himself, he was starting to be very, very tired at the fact that every new disaster seemed to be the newest greatest disaster so far.
Having at least a month to rest before a new one came up would have been nice, but soon enough, the monsters started to fall from the sky, and people didn’t dare get out of their homes.
Leaving it for the Great Hero Of Hyrule to uncover who was behind it all this time.
Link sighed and took his sword out. The monsters before him didn’t move.
Honestly, if he wasn’t pressured by the villagers, he wouldn’t even bother; the creatures seemed peaceful enough, if a bit scary sometimes. Alright, so maybe a sort of very big bear had fallen on a house there or a massive dragon was floating in the air sometimes, but was it really so different from what they experienced everyday?
He took a while to detail the strange creatures before him.
Tiny purple rats, uh. They looked a mix between angry and wary, and Link couldn’t help but feel sorry at them. Really, the villagers’ distrust was misplaced. These wouldn’t harm anyone.
Maybe if he played the ocarina instead and led them away from the village, they would…
Suddenly, a way bigger and menacing rat jumped in front of him, as if to protect the tiny others. Link almost lost his composure, but he tightened his grip on his sword and got ready to dash at the threatening monster, letting the usual energy rush through him—he had had over a hundred years of practice after all, he wouldn’t lose face to a big rat.
Link jumped and let his guard down long enough for the big rat to catch his weapon in its teeth and lay it on the ground.
Behind him, steps got closer.
“Don’t hurt them!”
The big rat dashed towards the origin of the call.
Finally, two girls appeared before him, followed by the big rat. The other, smaller rats gathered around them, and Link just picked back his sword and confusedly tried to assess the situation.
The two girls—young women—he wasn’t sure, they definitely didn’t look Hylian, one with bright red hair and bright yellow clothes, another one with braided hair, a hat and what seemed to be a hand-sewn dress—were crouched before the creatures and giggling as they cooed at them.
Link just sheathed back his sword, as the yellow-clad woman stood up again and looked at him with piercing eyes before pointing.
Well, she was definitely the one who shouted earlier—she had quite the voice.
He pointed at his chest. Him?
“Are you the Hero of Hyrule?”
“Are you the Link everyone told us about?”
His confidence grew a bit.
“I sure am.”
The face of the yellow-clad girl brightened up all at once and she joined her hands in happiness.
“Fantastic! Do you have any idea how confused we were when we arrived and everyone told us to look for a link? Talk about a confounding name…”
Link frowned at the jab. Definitely not Hylian. No Hylian would make fun of his name.
“And you are…?”
“Oh, sorry! I’m Athena, and this is Juniper. We’re…”
She striked a pose.
“Interdimensional Pokemon Rangers!”
The girl behind her—Juniper—stopped taking care of the creatures and stood in turn, the shadow of a giggle on her face.
“You’re such a show-off, Thena! Remember it’s not your first true calling.”
Athena looked embarrassed.
“Aha, yeah… Actually, we’re lawyers in real life. But, you see… Well. It’s a long story. ”
Lawyers? What even was that? It made even less sense than Interdimensional Pokemon Ranger. At least he understood what ranger meant.
So it turned out the creatures were Pokémon.
That didn’t make things much clearer for Link, who tried to make sense of Athena’s explanations—how could anyone speak so fast—and Juniper’s attempts to translate the weird language she was using.
It took the two girls getting Rotom and Sunflora out of their Pokéballs for Link to admit that—okay, there was a lot to learn, but these monsters definitely weren’t dangerous.
Maybe Sunflora was even a little bit cute. You could see Juniper radiating love for it.
“But… Where do they come from?”
Athena made a face.
“That’s a good question. I wish we had the answer. Apparently, someone made one experiment too many in the Pokémon world and opened a breach to other dimensions ? And then Pokémon started jumping through it, and they appointed Interdimensional Rangers to try and visit other worlds to explain the situation? I’m not too sure. I just know the basics of recognizing Pokémon and catching them. When they fell in our world, it was quite a mess. I will never get over the Judge’s face when an Exeggcute fell on his head mid-trial.”
Juniper giggled at the memory, then explained further:
“Our job is to protect the Pokémon. Make sure people in the other worlds don’t hurt them, and try to catch them so we can gather them back in their original world. Since everyone seems to trust you in this world, you should probably become the Pokémon Ranger here. Here, you’ll need this.”
She dived in her back and dug a red notebook-sized device and some balls.
“This is a Pokédex, and a Pokéballs. You’ll need them to catch the Pokémon around. We’ll contact you to send more once you catch the first ones.”
They explained some more things in that weird, unfamiliar lingo they used, before bidding farewell and leaving to disappear back into the breach.
Left lost in his thoughts (and in a massive load of confusion), Link threw a dubious look at the red and white balls in his hand.
Weirdly enough, he wasn’t as sure as the two girls seemed to be about the whole “not attacking but protecting the monsters” situation.
His sword weighted heavily on his back. He was pretty sure if it was sentient, it would make fun of him.
As it turned out, Link was not good at catching creatures.
He did his best, really. He trained. He threw balls after balls, trying to find if maybe there was a specific way.
Zelda had been kind enough not to leave him alone in this situation, but hearing her constantly making fun of him grew on his nerves.
So maybe he wasn’t made for this.
When he found Rapidash, at least, things finally became familiar.
It was like a breath of fresh air after hours in apnea.
It was a horse.
Alright, so maybe it was a firey horse, but he still could do it. Surely the flame couldn’t hurt that much, could it? The fire came from the horse and yet it seemed to be tolerating it.
Link was pretty sure he was good at taming horses at least. He was used to it. He could do it.
After about a hour of struggling and running and seeing blisters form on his hand (okay, it did hurt a little, bless his fire-proofed equipment), and his beloved Epona throwing a fit in jealousy, he finally managed to tame the Rapidash.
His first Pokémon!
Link was getting the hang of it. He could manage.
Now if only that Rapidash agreed to get in a Pokéball…
Link sighed dejectedly as he threw an apple to the Rapidash, who happily munched on it.
Oh, well. Never mind catching, taming would do for now.
Why did Hyrule's Pokémon have to be so difficult?
Link sighed and picked up the Pokéball that had just fallen on the ground, in a heap of other, molested, unusable balls that he would have to go back and try to repair so as to use later.
The Torchic in front of him merely tilted its head.
Link threw the Pokéball again, this time more forcefully. It bounced on the Pokémon’s head, who let out a distress cry.
In the back, other cries seemed to answer, and Link’s blood froze in his veins all at once.
Out of nowhere, Cuccos suddenly appeared, as if falling from the sky, their aim way better than his.
Soon enough, Link had to run to Rapidash and retreat to the closest house to fly from the relentless attacks of the birds who’d come to help their newfound cousin.
Link slammed the door shut behind him and heaved out a long-suffering sigh.
Damn these stupid chickens. No matter the dimension they came from, they would be the end of him.
Well it wasn’t like he needed a damn Torchic or anything anyway. It seemed to fit in very well with the Cuccos and he was not getting back.
He already had a fire-type Pokémon anyway.
“So Rapidash ran out of PPs and I couldn’t use Fire Blast anymore.”
“And Zelda won.”
Link let out a frustrated sigh.
“Of course Princess Zelda won. Stupid Aegislash.”
“And you didn’t think that maybe you could do something else aside from trying to burn everything around?”
“Listen, I—you’re finding it all way too funny. This is frustrating, okay?”
“It’s not that often that I get to see the Hero of Hyrule himself looking so down. Let me have it.”
“That’s bullying,” Link sighed, before letting himself fall on the green grass of the dock, beside the tall prince.
“And it’s not even the worst. After getting humiliated, I went to the spring to get healed. And the thing that was there…”
“And I thought fairies had grown scary, but this… Jynx…”
Link repressed a frustrated sob.
“I’m so tired, Sid. I’m not made for this. I swear things were so much easier at the time when people were fighting with swords.”
“Yeah, or bows and arrows. Or boomerangs. Or hooks, or bombs, or… well. Whatever. Just… Just not weirdly sentient creatures.”
Link let his head hit the grass with a long-suffering whine.
Sidon laid back behind him and brought a huge hand to delicately caress the Hylian’s cheek.
“Being the Hero doesn’t mean you have to be the very best like no one ever was, Link.”
Link sighed again and let the Zora wrap him in a comforting embrace.
Yeah, maybe this time he could let someone do the job in his stead. Staying there sounded way more enjoyable.
Maybe Zelda could do it.
Surely she would.
Just this once.