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Legend of Zelda: Interloper of Time

-Chapter 38-

-Last Time-

'What left them so shocked?' you may ask.

Well, it could have been due to the now empty scabbard on Naruto's back which not even five seconds ago held the powerful Master Sword, or perhaps the long golden chains lazily waving in the air slowly slinking back into his arms.

But without doubt, the most befuddling, shocking, and amazing thing of all, was the young lady sitting across from him.

Her hair was a soft looking fluffy turquoise, eyes of sparkling aqua that flittered about in confusion, and flawless fair skin. She held her slender hands up to her face, slowly flipping them over and over several times before cupping her own cheeks with a look of total disbelief as she turned her attention to Naruto.

"Master… what's happened to me?"

-And Now, Hyrule Field, A Day Later-

"Okay, easy there, one step at a time."

"This is really unnecessary Master, I'm sure I can manage a small hill by myseee-aah!"

"Whoa, I got ya."

"I can't tell if this is comical or just plain sad." Despite her words, Navi had a blatant smile on her lips while she watched from atop Saria's head as Naruto helped a certain recently humanized sword spirit stay on her own two legs with… varying degrees of success.

"I'd say both," Saria stated with a shrug as she carefully looked over the map in her hands, although if one looked closely they'd see her gaze frequently flickering over to the pair with narrowed eyes. On the most recent glance, a low grumble rose the back of her throat upon seeing the whiskered blonde practically hugging the blade spirit to his chest. "But you guys need to hurry up, we're getting nowhere at this rate."

"Hey, she's doing the best she can Saria, give her a break." Naruto shot back dryly while gently leading Fi down the slope she had been struggling with, only letting go once he was sure she had her bearings straight once more.

Wobbling a little bit at first, Fi soon managed to find a slow but steady rhythm for herself as she walked at Naruto's side, this time with only the occasional mild trip up. "I am sorry if I'm slowing you down Mistress, if you wish I'll return to my normal state so as we may continue unhindered."

"No, no it's fine Fi."

While they had yet to figure out the exact how or why Fi had transformed into her new state for the first time, the spirit of the Master Sword was at least able to figure out that she could in fact switch between it and her default form if needed.

…Although she admittedly did need a little help.

-Flashback-

"Oh goddesses this is sooooo weird." Saria muttered as she had almost half her arm literally inside of Fi's core crystal, the normally solid gem seemingly rippling like water as the greenette fished around inside of it.

"This sensation is most unpleasant indeed," Said sword spirit agreed as her face scrunched up in discomfort before gasping when Saria abruptly pulled her arm out with the Master Sword clasped tightly in her grip. The instant the blade of the weapon fully separated from Fi, her form was engulfed by a brief glow and reverting back to her original state, wobbling into the air slightly as she grasped her chest with her cloak arms. "Correction; THAT was unpleasant."

Wincing at the bluenette's obvious discomfort, Saria set the Master Sword aside and hurried over to Fi's side. "Sorry Fi, probably should have given you a heads-up first, I just figured it'd be best to get it over with quick instead of drawing it out. Are you okay?"

"There is no need for concern Mistress, I am unharmed," Fi stated after a moment, allowing her arms to drop back to her sides as she hovered in place. "That was just a bit more… disorientating than anticipated."

"Well, hopefully putting this back won't be as awkward." Naruto chipped in optimistically as he picked up the discarded Master Sword.

Spoilers, it was…

-Flashback End-

In the end, Fi decided to remain in her current state for the time being, under the reasoning that'd give her time to adapt to the new abilities and limitations that it came with. The most prevalent of which was her current difficulty walking, something she attributed to not being able to use her telekinesis to maintain a constant center of balance like she was used to.

Thankfully she had been improving quite quickly with Naruto and Saria's help, although it was admittedly mostly the former as the latter had been quite reluctant on being near the bluenette for prolonged periods of time.

*Clang*

"Not bad, now try to aim a bit more towards the center."

Snapping out of her thoughts at the sound of steel grinding against stone, Saria was greeted to the sight of five strange blades slowly twirling around Fi and Naruto. Roughly the size of the average dagger without a hilt, each blade was slim and elegantly designed in a purple and blue pattern similar to the sword spirit's cloak.

Making a small twisting motion with her hand, all the floating weapons abruptly mid air before zipping in front of Fi in a perfect line. The transformed Bluenette then flicked her wrist in the direction of a solitary boulder a couple yards away that had several gashes and gaps gouged out of it causing the blades to shoot at it at high speed.

She needed to work on her aim still as only four of the blades actually struck true, the fifth going wide and vanishing into the grassy terrain, and only two of those struck anywhere close to the center. However, considering that she'd only been practicing for a few hours using self-taught techniques it could be considered impressive progress.

"Alright! Great job Fi!" At least that's what Naruto thought as he ruffled the bluenette's hair, making her blush with a shy smile on her lips.

"You're going to break a tooth if you clench your jaw any tighter, you know that right?" Elia asked rhetorically as she fluttered down from Saria's head onto her shoulder, gently jabbing at the larger greenette's cheek to emphasize her point.

Grunting in response, Saria snapped her gaze away from the pair in favor of glowering at her map, earning a soft *tsk* of disapproval from her guardian fairy.

"Oh no you don't, ignoring the problem is not going to make it any better," The tiny greenette grabbed the former forest child's earlobe as she spoke and gave it a sharp tug. "You should just talk to him if this is bothering you so much."

"And say what exactly? 'Hey Naruto, I never want you to talk to Fi again since she stuck her tongue down your throat twice'." Saria retorted in a sarcastic, albeit quiet, tone as she finally turned to look at Elia, her eyes knit together as she scowled at the fairy.

"I wouldn't word it quite like that but yeah," Taking to the air again, Elia flew up to and perched right onto Saria's nose so they were eye to eye. "Look, it's obvious that Fi has a crush on Naruto, one that is only getting stronger by the day."

"Now that's the understatement of the century right there, she's got it so bad I'm honestly amazed our lovely lady in blue has only gone for a kiss so far." Navi threw her own two cents in as she peeked down from atop Saria's noggin.

"Probably because she has no idea what she's doing, which is even more reason for you to get this out in the air sooner rather than later," Elia stated as she leaned in closer to one of Saria's eyes, her expression suddenly softening as she rested a hand on the larger greenette's cheek. "I've been your protector for decades Saria, you know that I wouldn't push this unless I felt it necessary. So please, just trust me on this, alright?"

"…Fiiiine," A deep sigh escaped Saria's lips and her shoulders slumped as she finally caved, making Elia smile softly. "I'll talk to him after we make camp for the night, alright?"

"That's my girl." The emerald-tinted fairy said as she patted her partner's cheek before flying back up onto the former Kokiri's head to retake her usual perch.

"Best to wait anyway, Naruto's practicing again." Navi once more decided to chip in while giving a quick tug on Saria's hair, causing the girl to turn her head towards Naruto and Fi again.

Instead of the former helping the latter with her aim though, the trio were greeted to the sight of the whiskered blonde hoisting up an old log further along the trail with a pair of golden chains extending from his arm. Sweat was quickly starting to pour down from his brow as he brought it closer, the chains gradually wobbling a bit as the distance shrank.

"HAH!" And then with a sudden swishing motion of his hand he sent the log flying away at high speed, soaring away into the distance until it collided with a tree and shattering into rotten splinters. "Phew, not bad, that's gotta be a hundred yards at least."

"A hundred and two yards, seven inches to be precise."

"Sweet! New record!"

"He has been having way too much fun with those." Saria muttered in exasperation with a shake of her head, although her apparent annoyance was belied by the amused smirk that formed on her lips.

Yet another mystery that had yet to be solved, ever since his… trip inside Fi's mind Naruto ability to use chakra chains had skyrocketed inexplicably. Where the whiskered teen once struggled to create even a single tiny little chain from his palm, he could now create up to three at a time and stretch them over several yards with general ease.

*Thwack* "OW!" "Master?!"

…Although it seemed he still need to work on his fine control.

Unable to help herself, snickers slipped past Saria's lips as she watched Naruto slowly getting up after one of the chains accidentally knocked him across the back of the head.

"Hey Naruto, I don't think that's what they meant by using your head," Navi said with a smirk which only grew bigger when the whiskered blonde simply responded by flipping her the bird while rubbing the top of his noggin. In his distracted state though, the blonde didn't notice as the little bluenette flew over until she landed on the newly forming welt and started working her magic. "You're lucky to have me around otherwise you'd have run out of brain cells to kill already."

"Hey, I'm not that bad."

Finishing healing the lump, Navi hopped into the air and floated in front of him with a deadpan expression on her face, arms crossed and eyebrow cocked in a manner that clearly stated 'Yes you are'. For several moments the pair stared intensely at each-other, before Naruto finally adverted his gaze with a quiet grumble.

"That's what I thought." The fairy said, her grin returning two-fold as she flew back to her previous perch amongst the blonde's hair.

Not much else happened for the next few hours after that as the group trudged along towards their destination aside from Saria eventually taking over on teaching Fi how to aim her spectral daggers after almost getting a haircut from a ricochet. By the time they finally decided to set camp and settle in for the night though the terrain around them had changed dramatically as they neared the border of the Gerudo Desert.

The once lush verdant plains with occasional foliage had been replaced by dry ground sparsely covered in patches of tough abrasive grass that scratched up their shoes like little daggers. At the same time the temperature had risen to an almost unbearable degree which had only just started to lower as the sun slowly set, leaving the whole group sweaty and feeling lethargic.

And the worst part of all…

"Damn dust," Naruto swore softly under his breath while setting the last stake for their new tent, a much-needed upgrade which was almost five times larger than the old one they used to use, the impact of steel versus dry earth kicking up a cloud of dust that he fruitlessly tried to waft away with squinted eyes. Once it finally did clear up though, the blonde gave the anchor a few test tugs before nodding in satisfaction when it held steady and got back up. "Not even one day and I already hate this place."

"Ugh, and to think we aren't even in the actual desert yet." Saria grumbled in agreement as she popped up on the other side of the tent, splotches of dust caked on all over her body that she tried and failed to shake off with a grimace.

"Oh the joy that'll be."

"Oi, quite the whining already and hurry up will ya," Navi shouted at the pair from where she, Elia, and Fi were setting up the fire pit… well she set up the fire pit. Elia was helping Fi with a couple thorns she'd gotten from accidentally grabbing a cactus while trying to collect some stones for said pit. "If you think the day was bad just wait till night sets in and we're freezing our asses off."

"Yeah, yeah, we heard you the first ten times Navi, no need to be such a nag."

Taking out their sleeping bags next as they stepped into the tent as Naruto spoke, the blonde and green duo unrolled them on one side. Saria then pulled out an extra that she set on the other side while Naruto hooked up the hammocks for the fairies.

"Hey Naruto, you think Navi's exaggerating about how cold its gonna get?" Saria idly asked as she straightened out her sleeping bag, getting a non-committal shrug from the whiskered blonde..

"I doubt it, she definitely seemed pretty worried and Fi did agree with that whole no moisture babble Navi was going on about," He said while tying off said fairy's hammock and stuffing it with several rag sized blankets plus equally tiny pillow. "Plus it is getting kinda chilly already."

"I just thought that was from all the sweat." To emphasize her point Saria pulled on the collar of her shirt to show off the sweat stain that stretched almost all the way to her midriff.

"Well better to be safe than sorry anyway, last thing any of us need is to catch a cold just because we were careless," Naruto said with a shrug before flopping onto his bedroll and patting the empty roll beside him with a grin. "I'm not worried though, because you're hot enough for the both of us."

"…You've been asking Navi for dating advice again, haven't you?" The former forest child asked after a long pause, her shoulders shaking slightly and her lips wobbling as she just managed to keep herself from laughing at the corny pick-up line with little success as more than a few giggles managed to slip past her lips.

"Guilty as charged," Instead of getting embarrassed at her laughing though, Naruto simply grinned wider with a chuckle of his own while sinking further into his bedding. "Is it working at all?"

Deciding to play along, Saria just managed to stuff down her laughter and don on a sultry smirk as she laid down beside the blonde, cuddling right up to his side as she rested her head on his chest. "Maybe just a little bit~."

"Good to know." Naruto mock whispered while kissing her on the forehead, making her sigh happily with a gentle smile before nuzzling her face into the crook of his neck. A comfortable silence settled between the pair after that, both simply enjoying each-other's company as they waited for the girls to finish up outside.

Sadly though, the good mood was not to last when Saria saw Elia discretely float into the tent behind Naruto, quietly landing in her hammock with a supportive look on her face as she motioned for the larger greenette to start talking. Knowing exactly what she wanted her to say, the smile on the former Kokiri's lips vanished and replaced with a deep frown as she pulled away slightly much to Naruto's confusion.

"Saria? Is something wrong?" He asked in concern when he noticed the look on her face, which only grew when she refused to make eye contact. Cupping her cheek, the blonde gently lifted it so they were face to face before offering a supportive smile. "Hey, whatever's bothering you I'm sure it-"

"Fi loves you and I hate it."

"…Huh?"

-End Chapter-