"I suppose this is the end of the road," Zelda quietly spoke up as the Company of Champions slowed to a stop, her voice a distant, ringing tenor, as if in silent mourning.
Urbosa gave a gentle frown of her own at the timbre of Zelda's voice, having already been in the process of recollecting the young woman's journey; how she's been but a mere child, her attention torn away by the slightest, wavering interest. Now, recalling those moments where this girl had shown sure streaks of being not just a woman, but a Queen, Urbosa couldn't help a pang of regret that she imagined must follow all mothers after rearing their children to be their best, only to send them off into the world.
Still, she couldn't help but be taken by the idea that this woman- this princess- couldn't ever possibly be described as somebody who did things 'by the book', having already quietly chuckled to herself in thought of Zelda being so full of unpredictability, yet so eager to rise to the occasion. Such was the future: unpredictable. Yet here this young woman stood, so prepared to move mountainous Beasts to defend it from an enemy entirely unknown.
"Yes," Urbosa nodded with a dour tone as she spun toward the others, "It appears that is the case."
They'd come to the outer edges of Tabantha, just within sight of the expanse known as Tanagar Canyon, where they had, just a few days ago, so hastily crossed the newest iteration of the once great Bridge of Tabantha, leaving Zelda to plead fretfully, "Can't you stay just a little longer? I mean, surely you could tag along until-"
"Pah, and leave behind my home once again?" Revali spat with a fierce tongue before turning his head with a shrug, "Besides, I do have business to attend to, not least of which being my newest duty as the pilot of Vah Medoh."
Urbosa patted Zelda's shoulder, "He's right; we all now have work to do, child."
"To put it mildly," Link noted, throwing his shoulders up to better orient the rucksack hanging from there, "To put in incredibly mildly. Like taking Death Mountain and saying it's akin to moving a pebble. As if-"
Zelda shot him a critical glance, speaking with a haughty breah, "So easy is it for you to critique such an idea when you can wield your destiny in your hand."
She broke a grin before giggling, "I'd quite like to see Daruk moving a mountain, though, I will admit."
"Let me bury some craggy lavaflow down my gullet and I'll tell you all of my secrets while boasting of such insane might," Daruk chortled loudly, clapping his hands in delight at the thought.
Link's brow jumped in sarcastic realization, "Still seems wrong that Gorons can get drunk."
"Hey now," Daruk posed generously, "Were we not initially created by the goddesses, I'd say life finds a way. In our case, inebriation finds a way!"
"Goddess…" Urbosa complained aloud, running her hand along her face.
Revali gave a haughty upturn of his neck, "Tch. If you all could cease your inane grumblings. Am I to believe only one of you understand's the work that is ahead of us?"
With a remorseful bow of her head, Zelda complied, "I mean, as insurmountable a task as rearing the Divine Beasts seems to be, I-"
"I didn't mean that," Revali interrupted quizzically, his brow twisting in furrowed inquiry, "I was referring to the Lowland Rito. As pressing an issue as the Beasts are, I do believe that matter takes president over that. I am to be one of those to fascilitate what might come of them."
"Such a clinical tone," Mipha spoke up warily.
Daruk shrugged, "I'll say. You make it sound as though they're to be sent to the slaughter!"
"Hardly," Revali scoffed, "While a certain event has charged the whole of the Rito people with a new path forward, I-"
He paused, his chest puffing up in dramatic antici-
"Goddess… He wishes us to preen his ego for him," Link groaned.
"Oh! Oh! I'll do it!" Zelda excitedly shouted, skedaddling closer to the Rito with clasped hands, "He was so cute last time!"
"Why, Revali, what event is it that you speak of?" Zelda asked in tempered expectation.
The Rito grinned beneath shut eyes, throwing his arms out to his sides as if wrapping them around the whole of Hyrule, "If you must know-"
"Oh, gag," Urbosa complained, wretching at the fabricated pantomime taking place before her.
"-I have wrangled and wrested control of the mighty Vah Medoh, offering my people, of all lines of ancestry, an opportunity to unite beneath a single banner, fighting as a whole for the glorious future of the Rito tribes!"
His triumphant posed evaporating into a shrug, Revali finally assured, "OF course I would not suggest those Lowlanders be sent to the slaughter. Nor would I wish for those more belligerent to come to such a fate, either. Thankfully, Elder Olen agrees with me. We will offer them every opportunity to return to the lands of their forsaken ancestors; and while I predict a great many of them will agree to do so, they've seemed to have sprouted a rather admirable sense of pride. So long as they have those who may choose to lead them off onto their own, I would not be surprised to find a portion of them lost to the winds of time as they strike out on their own."
"In any case," Revali completed, "The Lowland Rito are no more. In fact, given the work of Vah Medoh, there isn't much of a Tabanthan lowland, anyway."
Mipha's head fell forward, hiding a bittersweet smirk as she muttered weakly, "If only we all had been able to extend such an offer."
Before Link could console her, Revali piped up in a near rage, "Goddess! Zora, please, you quelled an uprising. Were those foreign Zora of similar ilk, you might have right to harbor such feelings. But there's a natural order to this world. The Ocean Zora have made their place, and your people, their own. It just happened that the Rito were fighting for what size of their plot belonged to whom."
Mipha nearly jumped in shock as a giant Rito's paw came to her shoulder, her head lifting up to find Revali's course eyes staring back at her, "We both faced quite different circumstances. You handled your work as best as a Zora Princess ever could, I assure you."
"Wait," Link suddenly sputtered awake, "When did Revali become the most mature one? Shouldn't Urbosa have-"
The Gerudo replied without waiting her turn, "I mean, I couldn't have done much better, I don't think."
"Because you have yet to demonstrate the strength that allows cohesion with a Divine Beast!" Revali declared wryly, smirking before reaching up his other arm to embrace Mipha, whose eyes went wide in shock at what was occurring, much in time with the others of the Company, though Revali instinctively felt the need to explain aloud, "I don't normally do hugs."
"You don't say," Mipha giggled, breaking free from her shock now that it had worn off, instructing with every manner of courtesy, "You're usually suppose to squeeze your arms, not just stand there with your arms propped up."
Revali curled his brow in processing, muttering to himself as Mipha laughed politely behind her own closed lips, "But, I mean, this is nice, regardless."
Reaching out her arms receptively, Urbosa smirked, "Looks like he might need some practice."
"Pah! Not if my life depended on it," Revali fired back, still hugging Mipha until finally breaking free as the air cleared of his outburst.
He stepped back before bowing low, a motion which Mipha returned once she recognized his respectful gesture, before speaking up, "Thank you for your hospitality. I fear I might have degraded myself to a common fowl had you not been here to quell tensions. I appreciate your kindness. even if it wasn't always rewarded."
"Oh, Revali…" Mipha smiled with a knowing warmth, quickly hopping over to embrace him through her own volition this time, causing the man to wince, his eyes narrowing, biting back the urge to flee right then and then.
"I had begged the Goddess that such a ritual only occurred once at a time…" he muttered in restrained complaint.
Mipha giggled at, both, his reply as well as the plumage that tickled her face, "Nah. They can happen however often you like, for as long as you'd like."
"Such imprisoning rituals- no wonder you're all comfortable with being bound to the earth beneath your feet," Revali wretched, though his stubborn resistance to outright refuse Mipha's gesture kept her heart feeling light and airy.
In reward, she broke away, still smiling at the demonstration of this one irritable Rito's transformation into the man she now knew to be like a brother, if only in arms. Revali nevertheless took a moment to fix his plumage before turning toward Urbosa, not daring to step any closer now that her arms were outstretched toward him.
"I do believe our many conflicts were arrived at by rather negative means," he muttered forcefully, biting his tongue as his eyes spun away, "Perhaps in the future, we can do battle on friendlier terms."
Urbosa smirked, dropping a hand to, instead, offer a fist, "Sounds like a plan, you big birdbrain. It doesn't behoove a Cheiftan such as I to hold onto resentment for too long, anyway."
"Likewise," Revali clunking replied, though Urbosa grinned at the implication that the Rito now thought himself an authority.
He eyed her outstretched fist with curiosity, forcing Urbosa to instruct with a laugh, "It's a fist bump, dummy."
"Rather uncivilized, don't you think?" Revali complained as he did as the name suggested, bumping his enclosed fist into her own, "There's no telling how filthy your hands are at any given time."
"What, you think we plod around on all fours like beasts?" Urbosa chuckled.
Revali narrowed his stare as he turned away, "I've seen a few…"
Rolling her eyes, Urbosa allowed Revali his leave, the Rite coming to Daruk, whose lips ran rampant into a boisterous smile, reaching out his arms in a sudden flash that compelled Revali to recoil in fright.
"G-Gah! Don't you dare!" he warned with a blithering tone, leaving Daruk to laugh aloud while surrendering his own embrace.
Revali sighed, smoothing out his mantle before continuing, "Goddess, you do posses a monstrous ability to frighten all others."
Chuckling, Daruk proudly rested his hands at his hips, "Well, thank you!"
Sneering in reply at the Goron's positive understanding of the critique, Revali bit his lip to center his mind once more before speaking, "Your thought process continues to elude me. However, I must admit that I misjudged you when we first were acquainted. You may be a bother, but when the chips are down, as they say- you have a warrior's spirit that rivals even the most fierce of Rito soldiers. Too many of my people would rather flee and create an unwinnable confrontation instead of allowing risk to come to their plumage. Had you not immediately allowed your body to wear the marks of battle- I fear I might not be alive, today."
"Ah, well," Daruk murmured lowly, scratching the back of his head as he looked away, grinning in embarrassment, "The things we do for our fellow Champions."
Revali's eyes jumped toward Link, "Indeed."
The soldier returned a curious glance of his own, unsure of the Rito's insinuation. Link's hands dove into his pockets as Revali approached, the two sharing stares that still appeared to be the two of them sizing up the other despite having largely been within the presence of one another for weeks now. It said much about just how much the two had grown, especially in the last few days; there was always a steady need for one to size up the other simply due to such gradual revelations of character.
"Speaking of what we must do for our fellow Champions," Revali started, "Part of my recommendation to allow the Lowlanders as much freedom to decide their future was an understanding that, should trouble arrive, I had fellows to call upon."
His eyes narrowed mischievously, "I trust one such as you would be up for the challenge?"
Link's eyes rolled while he grinned, "Asking for help, again, already?"
"Let's call it me getting a second, professional, opinion," Revali shrugged, "Like you're a contractor."
"Ah," Link nodded, "Pays well?"
Revali smirked, "Not hardly. I said a contractor, not a mercenary."
Shrugging, Link's smile remained playful, "Guess you have nothing more than my own good will to rely on."
"I'm sure you would wish to spend as much time as possible between now and the next time I show you up, Hylian."
Link raised his hand in offering, much to Revali's sudden confusion.
"You met me halfway last time," Link muttered, as if still tender at the thought of bridging such a gap between himself and this man, "I ought to take the initiative this time."
He cocked a grin, "Revali."
The Rito's brow, raised as it had been, fell in time with his smirking lips, taking Link's hand into a shake, their grips simultaneously as firm as they could be as if in battle, even now.
"Link," Revali surrendered.
The two mutually parted before taking a breath to nod at one another, leaving Revali to sidle closer toward Zelda, who had been rather enchanted by the previous exchange. Her starry eyes quickly returned to earth as Revali spoke up, leaving her heart full of wonderment at the man before her.
"And we Rito know to save the best for last," Revali explained with a gentlemanly nod toward Zelda, "You have a tremendous zeal, Princess, but you've time to grow into your spirit. Don't be discouraged. As Witwa says, time passes, if not now, then later. You'll meet your destiny soon enough."
Zelda smiled at his words, nodding with enthusiasm before bowing her head in reverence if his surprisingly sage wisdom, "I know. Thank you, Revali."
"Pah," he spat, bringing shock to Zelda's face, "It is I who should be thankful. Had you not the foresight, or the stupidity, to entrust me with this cause, I fear I would still be lost to the blustery winds of time! Either by your genius, luck, or idiocy, you've nevertheless changed my life. Because of that, you've earned far more than my thanks."
He nodded, "Should you need anything, you have my bow. And my wits. And my warrior's spirit."
"And his humility," Urbosa chuckled.
The Rito twisted his face in peevish retort, though remained focused on the young woman before him, "You've won my respect, Princess Zelda. Pray that you don't- GAH!"
In a blistering second, Zelda had leapt into Revali's midsection, wrapping her arms around as best she could in embrace, leaving the man stuttering, "You-! Gah! Wha- I'm not a hug person!"
"It appears the princesses of Hyrule are dedicated to changing that," Mipha giggled with bemusement.
"I-! I was going to warn you not to work to diminish my respect!" Revali cried, resting his hands of Zelda's shoulders, but stopping short of outright pushing her away.
Daruk chuckled, "Was risking your very plumage the mark of a Rito warrior?"
His eyes darting drolly in Daruk's direction, Revali frowned in simultaneous form with his hands backing away, allowing Zelda the full breath of her hold on him, though he still complained under his breath, "I did not sign up for this…"
All he felt was Zelda's jittery body as she giggled against him. Still, he could not ever forget what this woman had done, and what she was certain to do in the future. He recalled the pact made between him, Urbosa, and Link, his mind whirring at how insignificant his works were to become within the shadow of this young woman, who was so unconcerned with the decorum Revali had come to prize above most else. And, yet, he didn't much mind. He had found somebody whose own future he knew he wouldn't ever surmount, a rather pleasant feeling filling his lungs as he took a restricted breath within Zelda's arms.
"Alright," he finally huffed, earning him Zelda's regretful parting, though her smile remained as the two locked eyes while Revali went on, "We both have work to do."
Zelda nodded, "That we do."
Revali stepped backward, raising his hand to his forehead in salute, "Farewell, then. Until we meet again."
He crouched down for but a brief moment before launching himself straight into the air, breaking past the very force of air pressure that all other creatures seemed bound by. A gusty breeze flew past the Champions as Revali burst through the sky, making boastful pirouettes while darting in the direction of his home, leaving the Company sort one of their members.
"Welp, I hate the sappy stuff, but," Daruk chuckled, aiming a thumb toward his chest, "I figured I'd make my way through the northernmost passage of Hebra. See the snow for myself while I'm out this far."
Zelda smiled, "Hugs aren't sappy, are they?"
"BWAH HA HA!" Daruk laughed with a hearty rumbling of the ground below, hurrying to Zelda's side before wrapping his gigantic hands around her, "Of course not! We always partake in just jubilant behavior with our-"
His eyes suddenly jolting upward, Link curled his brow as Daruk eyed him with a mischievous look about him, "…what?"
"Oh, get over here, Brother!" Daruk cajoled, nary awaiting a reply before reaching out to take Link's entire torso, the Hylian crying out in shock as he was carried over top the soil and into the Goron's embrace, jostled right against Zelda, all while Daruk cackled happily, "Bah ha! C'mere, you two!"
Mipha's eyes flew wide open as Daruk's arm drew near, while Urbosa raised her arms in expectant joy, yelling in excitement as the Goron's arms drew the two of them closer toward the squashed Hylians, "Wheee!"
"AH HA HA! See?! Urbosa knows a good hug!" Daruk exclaimed.
Squirming his shoulders to free up some semblance of sovereignty, Link quietly breathed, "Geeeh! She's not- a fifteenth your size…"
Daruk released another tempered laugh before quickly acquiescing, allowing the others to free themselves from his grasp, leaving the tiniest three amongst them rubbing their shoulders to alleviate the distress that had just been unleashed upon them, "It's just I'm gonna miss you all, you know…"
"Here's the sappy stuff," Urbosa frowned.
Quickly turning loose a chuckle her way, Daruk shook his head, "No, no. We'll be meeting once again soon enough. Next month, correct?"
"Correct," Zelda nodded slowly, wiping away a tear.
"Aww, child," Daruk smiled adoring, as a father might.
Zelda immediately waved him away as she catered to her opposite eye's sudden burst of tears, "Please, no; I'll cry even more."
A laugh broke past her sorrowful demeanor, a crack of a smile, "A Queen shouldn't be crying, you know."
"Whatever do you mean, little bird?" Urbosa replied instinctively, taking a soothing grasp of Zelda's shoulder, "Your mother cried every time we ever parted. But she knew we would meet again soon enough. and she could share tears of happiness, then."
Zelda bowed her head, "Until there wasn't a next time…"
Frowning at her reply, Urbosa dropped head shoulders in defeat, though it was Mipha who took the reigns, reaching up to stroke Zelda's hair, causing the Hylian to jump in surprise all while Mipha gave a sweet smile, "I've followed you, once, nearly unto my own death. and I would gladly do so again. It would be an honor to perish at the behest of one so fantastic a Princess as you. So don't worry about there not being next times. If there isn't, know it wasn't because of your actions, but because of ours, choosing to fight for Hyrule instead of our own little swathes of this land."
"We fight for you," Mipha smiled.
Zelda's face fell into a tearful curl of happiness, marked best by her widening smile, "You guys…"
"GAH! This is why I could never be a queen!" Daruk cried out, turning away to shield his face, "Just- I've gotta go. before- sniff."
He began stamping northward, leaving the others to shout out their goodbyes, allowing Daruk to escape with however flimsy a veneer he usually managed when it came to his perceived inability to show emotion.
"Well, it's down to four," Urbosa noted, her arm wrapped around Zelda's shoulders, still comforting the princess with her tender motion, "Before we completely dwindle, I suppose Zelda and I should reveal what we had been discussing yesterday."
"Without the others?" Link wondered aloud, "The quickest way back to the Kingdom would largely be the way we came, but I wouldn't want to keep Mipha hindered by Zelda and my progress, so as soon as we arrived within Kingdom grounds, I was going to have an envoy escort her safely back to her Domain."
Urbosa smirked, her voice a massive scoff, "Pfft. Boy."
Rolling his eyes, Link explained further, "I didn't forget you, but you make up ground like a fiend; I figured you'd be best left to your own devices so far as returning home."
"Boy," Urbosa chided once again, shaking her head, "You're not about to saddle me with such a stupid plan."
Rather perturbed by the insult, Link's brow furrowed in confusion as Zelda picked up the slack left by Urbosa's words, "Well, that is to say- Such trifling matters such as escorting guests should be left to our Knights, don't you think? I supposed, as long as Urbosa didn't mind, and she doesn't, she and I could return to the Castle ourselves- I wouldn't mind traveling alone, but father would have me drawn and quartered were I to do so."
Link's brow relaxed as he realized what was being proposed, turning toward Mipha to find an embarrassing expression upon her face, having concluded the same.
"You've been saddled with watching over me for long enough, anyway," Zelda concluded with a wry grin, "Perhaps a leave should be considered once you've escorted Mipha to her home; that way, should anybody decide that they ought to tarry along with such an escort, nobody would be the wiser, I figure."
Urbosa grinned evilly, "Or, you know, we could go with your plan."
Link and Mipha's shone at one another, leaving the Zora Princess to speak up all while lost in those eyes that peered back at her, "I quite like Zelda's course of action."
"Well of course," Zelda grinned with a furtive pride, "Urbosa agreed that trading one princess for another might be right up Link's wheelhouse, anyway."
Blushing, Link replied, "I- That is-…"
"Oh, hush," Urbosa waved him off, "Don't think I won't have fun realizing just how simple your job has been this year when it comes to escorting my little bird."
Zelda giggled, "Perhaps I ought to leave you for dead a time or two, then."
"You little devil!" Urbosa teased with elated joy, bending joy to wrap an arm around Zelda's torso, lifting the princess over her shoulder as easy as could be, "This will ensure she doesn't cause any trouble!"
"S- Stop!" Zelda laughed from her perch atop the Gerudo's shoulder, though her plea went unheeded as Urbosa turned to leave, turning her head only to nod toward the remaining two Champions in sending.
Link and Mipha stood there, watching the dramatic show taking place as Urbosa easily pressed on until the two were out of earshot, simply a wandering blip along the Tabantha landscape. Lowering his head nervously, scratching at his neck, Link turned toward Mipha like a teenage boy avoiding their crushes stare, lifting his eyes only just to see her chin.
"So, uh-" was all he managed.
Mipha smiled warmly, "Then there were two."
"That's- I mean-" Link bit his lip, taking a quiet moment to calm himself before muttering coolly, "Two's all I need."
Her soft smile turning into a sneaky sort of smirk, Mipha reached out to take Link's hand into her own, taking the two steps needed to close the distance between them. She pulled his arm low, allowing her to leave a kiss upon his cheek, catching his attention before he turned his face to match her own, where another kiss, meant for his lips, was levied upon him. This, while Mipha's grip gradually tightened at Link's hand, his touch having returned to her after a much-too-long absence. Then again, she was coming to realize that any time apart was much too long.
"Shall we?" arose Link's gallant questioning, "Where should my Princess have me take her?"
Mipha smiled, "Take me home."
"Alright. Then we ought to-"
Link's advance was halted by Mipha's grip, she having refused to move. Her head fell forward, shielding a mischievous grin as she thought of her next words.
"Take me into your arms," she confided in a mesmerizing silence., "Into your heart."
Link watched her with adoring eyes.
"Just hold me," she instructed, "and I'll be home."
Sighing at her rather charming demeanor, Link smiled as he followed her instruction, embracing her with a tender clutch, feeling her chilling, sucking skin pressed against his own, finding it so enamoring.
"Then what would Zora's Domain be?" Link wondered aloud, "If not your home."
Mipha smiled, restful as she was against his chest, "I don't know. but it's no longer home to me."
"I suppose we ought to find something else for your neck than those jewels," Link chuckled.
"I'll wear your kisses," Mipha spoke up quietly, rendering Link speechless, "Just as you'll wear mine. Everybody will know that we belong to one another in our longing stares, our tender kisses- In our holding hands."
Link smiled, "A lot more efficient than jewelry, I'd say."
"And plenty more romantic," Mipha teased.
Sighing, Link commented, "I'm gonna need to further amend that journal, you know."
"I'd rather you show me, rather than tell," teased the Princess with wildly sultry insinuation.
"Well," Link began as he broke free of their hug, his hand remaining firmly encased within her own, "Perhaps instead of an escort- May I have this stroll, Lady Mipha?"
She grinned with a gentle nod, "You may."
They strode along the earthen path that trailed along Tabantha, hand and hand, taking a few moments of silence simply to appreciate the other, taking in how complete they felt within those held hands.
"I ought to get a whole other journal, though."
Mipha quipped, "Hmm? What for?"
"To tell the tale of these Champions. of a collection of people that probably shouldn't have worked, but did," Link supposed with a winkle at his chin, "I mean, who else will tell the story of Revali the Boneheaded, or of the inscrutable Princess Zelda-"
He turned to Mipha, "Or of those two people who crossed stars and boundaries to grow into lovers. Who will tell of love surviving all that we've had to endure- how even death failed to conquer it?"
"I quite like that idea," she quipped with a solemn air.
"Thought you might," Link teased, screwing his eyes up toward the sky as a knowing grin marked his enduring happiness at the thought of the woman beside him.
"I do believe I have fallen in love with you."
Welp, there it is. After two years, it's a relief, but at the same time I do have a tremendous sense of bittersweet loss. When I write, I'm /always/ writing- even when text isn't being left anywhere, my head is in near-constant exploration of characters, stories, and scenes; and after such a long while, these characters sort of manifest themselves as legitimate beings to me, if only within my psyche. Especially since the characters within this story are so devoid of character within their canon content (I haven't played Age of Calamity, but from the tutorial, those are Champions in an alternate universe, so far as I understand, so not the ones from /our/ BotW) that I've have to largely construct them from the ground up-
Daruk's humor masking his insecurities that his great race of people have never been able to rear a Hero of their own to protect Hyrule, Urbosa's traumatic overshadowing of her entire life by, one day, being the vessel for which Evil will once again enter the world, Revali's everything (xD) or his haughty, sneering nature protecting him from the fear of abandonment, Mipha's inferiority complex, brought on by (what we find out in 'Scales') sexual harassment, which is a phenomenon I'd imagine most Zora would experience if Hyrule were ever more realistic. You have Zelda's social struggles as a life-long shut-in now tasked with exploring the world to discover her powers, before attempting to manage this motley crew of Champions, and finally Link, who's first bound by duty at the expense of his own life and happiness.
These characters have all meant so much to me- in fact, just about all of my characters, from any story, mean a tremendous deal to me. Even when I'm not literally writing, I'm experiencing their voices, their conversations, struggles- for the life of a crippled-introvert such as myself, somebody who's introversion is so ingrained and calcified that I largely don't, or can't, socialize much at all, these characters have become friends to me, and in completing this story, I'm saying farewell to them- although, I did bother to leave a few months' time between this story's ending and the start of the Calamity, sooo I suppose there could be more stories to be told as Champions :p
But even if Nintendo does their thing in the sequel, and my iterations of these characters turn out to be wildly inaccurate with their vision, I'll have my stories, I'll have the characters I know and love safely in my head, and I can't be any more appreciative of fan-fiction for allowing me such cherished relationships. For all the warring they do with online content creators who draw from Nintendo's properties, I'm thankful that they, to my knowledge, allow fan-fiction to emerge unabated; probably not if anybody were trying to make money from it :p
So thank you, reader, for sharing in this with me. I'm a very insecure person, so validation in the form of comments and views truly help me, as shallow as that sounds; what isn't as shallow is that one of my favorite past times is recognizing commenters as they post on every chapter and being able to join them as they travel through my stories themselves- for somebody who's still amazed that anybody would give me the time of day, this phenomenon absolutely blows my mind, and I appreciate you -yes, you, reader- for humoring me, and, if you've enjoyed yourselves, I do enjoy that you've had an entertaining time in doing so :)
Were I ever to rewrite Champions' Tale, there's certainly a lot that I would change, but as it stands now, I'm quite proud of what's been constructed, and I have no regrets of how much time in the last two years I've dedicated to this project. I do feel bad about how massive the gaps in chapters became later on- I know 2020 was a banner year in terms of misery, especially as I, myself, am currently on anxiety medication, and I can only imagine how many people flock to fan-fiction to escape the rigors of daily life. Hopefully I wasn't relied upon to update by somebody desperate to escape such a year, but I do regret not being there more, in terms of uploads. Back to the validation thing, if it weren't for you guys, I might not be writing at all, so I very much love the time you offer me to come into your lives, and I certainly want to be consistent and timely in return when it comes to getting stuff out to you guys. So I apologize that that wasn't always the case.
But thank you all for joining me on this wild-ass wild. I'll see you all next time :)
Keep your heads up. One more day of life is always better than the alternative. Put some music on, watch a funny movie, and find some way, any way, to find beauty in this existence that we're living, hopefully for not much longer.
Have a good one.