1 Day Later

The sun shone brightly across Hyrule Field's green hills, pure beauty radiating from the many flowers scattered about. The trees seemed to sing as a gentle wind whooshed through their branches, rustling the leaves, some breaking free and blowing away.

Zorn marveled at the simple joy the landscape brought him, washing away whatever traces of sadness he had suffered with just a glance at the world. It was a mystery to him, as to why so many people took all of this for granted, brushing it all away in an instant as they did with everything in their lives.

The Ex-Sage wasn't like them though, oh no, he knew what it was like to fall to death. He had experienced it in the past, only to be dragged out at the last second. It had taught him how to truly appreciate the world, and the gifts that it had to offer.

As he merrily skipped along, he kept a grin plastered on his face, looking this way and that, not once letting it slip. Little animals trailed behind him, watching him with curiosity from a safe distance. He began to whistle along with the birds that fluttered up in the trees and sky, his cheery tune echoing across the plain.

Link and Ganon had parted to train after the three of them had ventured the temple, leaving him to himself. He was almost glad to be rid of their company for awhile, it had been a long time since he had time to himself like this. It was just so exhilarating to be free once again!

For the time being anyways. After Link finished training, they would have some more work to do, but that didn't bring down his mood in the slightest.

Since the age of ten, he had served day after day, keeping peace in the realm as best he could alongside the other sages, until discharge. After that though, he had been put into a deep sleep, waiting until the day Link had come to The Hero's Grounds.

It brought a question to his mind, how old was he now? From the way the land looked, he had been away longer then he had anticipated. Trees he had personally planted with Saria had sprouted to absurd heights, rocks he had placed with Darunia lay in pieces, and the river he had made was now just a pool, nothing what it used to be.

The last one brought down his grin, that river had taken some time to carve out, now look at it... It could barely even be considered a pond now! His skipping halted, scaring the animals that had followed him, away.

Zorn closed his eyes, and connected himself to the world around him. The network of life immediately accepted his request for access, the roots in the ground becoming his nerves, the earth becoming his skin. The landscape was now his to control, but that was not what he was here for.

The Ex-Sage was here to see what had changed to be rid of his river. The rock that had once been split, water pouring from deep within, was now covered in thick sediment built up over many years. It would be a simple snap of his fingers to remove it, however, the land was now covered in roads. To open his river now would mean to destroy these paths.

He disconnected from the land with a sigh, it would be selfish to breathe life back into what he had created. It wouldn't be right to do something so childish. Wiping away his disappointment, he brought back the grin worn earlier and continued skipping.

After nearly an hour or so, he had happily gone several miles past the point in which he connected with the land, whistling along with the avian wild life as he went. He had come to a crossroads about a half hour ago, deciding to take the long way around, he had turned right.

Zorn was now above Lake Hylia, the sun breaking into twilight. The man decided it was time for a quick break, his legs feeling slightly numb from the extensive travel. He moved to the side of the bridge and hopped up onto the side, swinging his legs over the edge.

This was the place where everything had really changed, his whole life taking a very sharp turn, downward to be specific. He silently chuckled at the small joke, keeping his eyes glued to the lake. It was very tempting to push himself off the edge and go for a swim, but there was a small building floating on the water's surface now, and probably many Zora under the water.

Then again, people were going to know about him soon anyways, what would it hurt to let a few know now? He frowned; no they weren't going to know. The plan was to tell the princess what Link was up to, and then go into hiding until he returned. The water looked so inviting though... no, he wouldn't swim now, it was not the time.

There was suddenly a ripple as he felt the fabric of the realm being forced apart to create a portal. He could feel the world scream in agony around him, the voices of the plants, the earth, the water, everything cried out in pain.

The ripples blew through his body, sending shock waves deep into his soul, bringing upon literal pain. Zorn clenched his jaw in agony, his veins feeling as though they had been dipped in acid and then dragged through salt. His entire being burned with each wave of energy that crashed into him.

Before he realized it, he was screaming along with the elements, his voice making their pain visible to those with ears. The Ex-Sage could feel the blood hammering in his head as his heart quickened. He slowly lost control of his muscles and began to slide forward.

Black waves broke through as the screams of the elements faded into a whimper. Zorn's breathing came out as short gasps and he began to see spots as his vision shifted downward and he began falling. "No..." He murmured. "Not you..." The spots in his vision continued to dance as the surface of the water grew closer until they completely took over his sight.

Zorn plunged deep into the water as the world faded, and he knew no more.

Nabooru sighed as she walked through Hyrule Castle, going nowhere in particular at the time. How Zelda could deal with such a drab environment was a mystery. There was no excitement here, it was perfectly boring. She could see why so many people wanted to visit though.

There were many decorations scattered throughout the castle, many being a luxury she would love to see in the Gerudo's home. After a time however, such exquisite sights lost their meaning, becoming as dull as the stones of the establishment.

The time that Link had given to Ganon had passed, leaving more than a few individuals worried. She wasn't in the slightest bothered by him being late; he was a male after all. He probably was just taking his time, not caring where the sun lay in the sky. He could have always just taken the long route as well, and visited some friends.

Midna had been the worst one to calm down; it was obvious her feelings towards Ganondorf were not even partially joyful unless the subject was of his death. Nabooru had seen many people react to things the way she had before, it was no surprise really.

The Gerudo continued walking and decided to head upwards. She followed one hallway until she was on the external walkway of the castle and followed a pathway sloping towards to a double door. She entered and climbed her way up the rest of the castle until she stood outside the throne room, gazing at the horizon.

Her mind drifted back to the conversation she had shared with the province leaders and the two Twili. It deeply unnerved her to hear that Kabalstin was still among the living. That man had caused more pain than any one person should be allowed to. Why the Goddesses hadn't just decided to strike him down was beyond her knowledge.

If Nabooru had the power to rip him a new one when he was still just starting out, she would have done so, and then some. Why the bastard had even been brought into existence, she was unable to fathom. She could hear footsteps behind her now and she looked back. "Good evening, princess."

Zelda nodded in response and walked up beside her. "That it is."

Nabooru looked back out towards the deep blue sky. "How are things?"

The Princess shook her head with closed eyes. "Terrible, a riot broke out in the market earlier because a vendor upped his prices, saying that he was short on supply even though he had a store room full of goods. Three people were killed, the vendor being one of them, and his store room was raided then burnt to the ground. Why must things be so difficult, why can't we all just work together and throw aside greed?"

She looked at her and shrugged. "In all honesty, if I had what people wanted and in great abundance, I would sell it for less. My people all work together however, and there aren't as many of us as there are of you, so I personally haven't had to deal with that problem yet."

Zelda looked over at her, a skeptical mask upon her features. "Haven't you been ruling for who knows how long?"

Nabooru smiled. "We are a family; we work together for the better of each person. It has been that way long since before my reign"

She looked forward once again and sighed. "I wish things were that simple for Hyrule. It seems that only the smaller provinces work like that, but as soon as someone comes into the city, they lose all compassion and go straight for riches. I'm sometimes ashamed to be called princess of this land."

"I know how you feel... well actually, no I don't, but it's nice to be nice." The Gerudo smiled at her, trying to soften the mood.

The princess smiled back, somewhat comforted by the dull humor. "Link sure is taking awhile, isn't he?"

"I'm sure he has a good reason, the boy doesn't seem the type to be taken down easily or forget what others have asked of him. He seems to be very strong willed and loyal, and I'm sure that he is simply side tracked at the moment." She said.

Zelda nodded thoughtfully before turning towards the Gerudo. "Would you like to join me for a picnic by the lake? I have been thinking about taking a few hours to myself all day and would be honored if you joined me."

Nabooru grinned at the other woman and turned away from the skyline. "I would love to."

Midna sat in the garden of Hyrule Castle, silently experiencing a mental breakdown from the stress the world seemed to revolve around. Link wasn't here when he said he would be, leaving her in complete shambles, and was almost an entire day late now. She knew that he wasn't the type to just disappear; he was a much better man than that. He was the kind of man who would buy a carrier pigeon just so he could set it free.

He was a strong willed fighter that held loyalty and honor in high regard, whom always kept his word. Even if something kept him from completing a task, he would at the very least send a message of some sort, just so people wouldn't have to worry... right?

The Twilight Princess had mused over this for hours on end, silently of course, not wanting to attract any more attention to her instability. What if he was a different kind of person then who she had known, just playing the part? But that didn't make sense, same as all the other scenarios that she had thought up while trying to find a reason for him being late.

The dizzying rate at which her mind went in circles was beginning to make her physically nauseous. Midna realized at that moment that she hadn't eaten anything today, spending most of her time doing what she was now; which was attempting to reason with too many blank slates.

She was brought out of her thoughts by the sound of Zelda calling her. Looking back, her eyes caught hold of Zelda, and Nabooru. They had three horses with them as well, carrying small packs on their saddles. Nabooru waved her over and Midna quickly moved over to them.

"Zelda and I are going on a picnic down by the lake, and we want you to join us." The Gerudo woman stated.

Midna looked at the ground in consideration. "I don't know, what if Li-"

"I don't think you quite understand." She interrupted. "We are not asking you to come."

The princess looked up, confusion spread across her face. "Then why did you call me over here?"

Zelda smiled. "Because, you are coming with us, whether you want to or not."

Midna couldn't help but smile, regardless of her mood. There was nothing really wrong with a picnic, and it would be good for her to get out for awhile. Besides, what's the worst that could happen? "Alright, lead the way.

The three monarchs now sat at the edge of the lake, making jokes and telling stories as the water gently lapped at their feet. Though they left somewhat early, twilight was beginning to form on the edge of the horizon, being about twenty minutes away.

Zelda was the one telling a story at the moment, her face set in a genuine smile. "When I was younger, my father and I used to play a game he called 'pretty princess'. It's not really a game, it's more of dress up, and when I say that, I mean he dressed up."

Midna chuckled as she continued. "I would get out my mother's dresses and I would make him go and put them on. When he would come back out, I would tell him to spin around and make 'The Lady Face'. He would do little curtsies and would dance around until I was laughing so hard that I couldn't breathe.

Then we would sit down together and do our make-up, telling each other what pretty princesses we were. We were never seen doing this until one day, mother needed him to sign something. She walked in the room and burst out laughing the second he turned around, and so did the few guards that were following her."

Nabooru smiled and lay back in the grass, looking up at the bridge over head as Midna rolled around gasping for air. It was good to see the Twilight Princess in a better mood, instead of that depressing sulk sort of thing... She shrugged, it didn't matter anyways, she was in a better mood now.

Midna slowly sat up, wiping a tear away as she went. "Oh, Zelda, that's hilarious!"

"I know it is," She smirked. "I was laughing along with everyone else."

Nabooru suddenly bolted up, shushing them. "What's wrong?" Zelda asked.

"Quiet! I need to listen." She knitted her brow together, several seconds going by before the feeling finally hit her. Waves of energy slammed into her body, stinging her entire being. She immediately slammed her eyes shut and held her head in pain, her mouth agape in a silent scream.

The other two jumped up and rushed over to her, continually asking what was wrong. Their voices were muffled and distant, growing in between each wave, but quickly disappearing into silence as each one hit her.

The waves grew more powerful and she felt herself fall back onto the ground. Her two companions staring in shock as Nabooru writhed in pain. She suddenly began screaming and shaking uncontrollably. The pain was unbearable, choking her, but at the same time, letting enough air escape to scream.

Without a moment's notice, the Gerudo stilled her fearful movements and lay motionless, softly sobbing. The energy stopped but the trauma of such an unexpected event was still present. She slowly sat up, tears streaming down her face, and looked up at her friends, their eyes wide. A splash caught the trio's attention and they each looked out onto the lake, seeing only a ripple on the surface.

"Stay here with her." Midna said as she began to float out across the lake. Zelda, though not fond of being told what to do, nodded before moving to check on Nabooru. "What happened?"

Nabooru shook her head in response, not really all that sure herself. "I don't know, I just felt waves of dark magic pulsing through everything, and then there was so much pain." The Princess gently rubbed her arm, as comfortingly as possible, not sure how to handle the situation.

Midna peered through the water in the area from which the ripples seemed to originate from, her eyes straining to focus through the water that continued to warp at the surface. Her eyes caught the faint outline of a Hylian and she gasped. Acting quickly, she took a deep breath and dove in the water. She swam as hard as she could towards the Hylian using her magic to speed her up ever so slightly.

The figure began falling faster as larger bubbles slipped free from the Hylian's mouth at an alarming rate. The princess cursed inwardly as the burning desire for breath nagged at her. Just before turning away, she saw two Zoran guards, most likely those from the Lake Bed Temple, grab the Hylian. They began swimming upwards towards her, and she swam back towards the surface alongside them.

She broke free a few moments later, gasping for air as the Zora began to swim towards shore. Midna pulled herself out of the water with her magic and hovered above its surface. She continued her levitation until they reach the shore, where she slowly dropped back into the water where it was knee deep, to make the Zora think she had swam behind them should they have looked back.

The man they dragged out wore a dark blue tunic, a deep red trim tracing around the seams. He also wore matching leggings with a faded green trim. He was well armed, a sword and shield on his back, a quiver strapped to his right leg, and a holster on his left leg, though she was not yet sure what it held yet.

He wore standard, brown boots; however they were slightly customized with a small emblem where his ankles would be. She looked up to his face and was surprised to sleek, black hair. She had never seen anyone here with such dark hair, it was rather unnerving.

The Zora were fast at work trying to revive him, but as one moved to begin CPR, he gasped. The man was breathing at a steady pace. Midna felt her jaw drop, surprise obvious on her face. Nabooru and Zelda were soon upon them, slightly out of breath with shoes in hand. She could see a smile forming upon the formers face, bringing up many questions. Did she know who he was?

"Thank you for assisting this man, but I ask that you leave us now that he has been returned to shore." The Gerudo requested, a commanding sort of tone in her voice, though there was a hint of compassion there as well.

"Y-yes, of course." One Zora stammered, still staring at the Hylian as they re-submerged themselves in the lake, but of course, not before eyeing the Twili princess.

Zelda was just as confused as Midna was at the moment, the two of them not understanding exactly what had occurred. "I don't understand," The Twilight Princess started. "He was down there for a long time, longer then I was, and he is breathing fine."

Nabooru nodded. "Yes, he most certainly was. His name is Zorn, he too is an Ex-Sage. He is a bit more sensitive to the world around him then I am. Actually, that is an understatement. He is so well attuned to the land and it's magic, that he can reshape it in any way he wants without even lifting a finger. He is almost always connected, whether it be consciously or sub-consciously, to his surroundings, which is probably why he is out right now."

"That doesn't exactly answer my question. I saw the air leave his body, how is he still breathing on his own? And what do you mean that's why he's out?" She crossed her arms.

"Well, I know this sounds weird, but... He's not entirely Hylian. And he is out for the same reason I was in pain."

Zelda's eyes lit up and she began looking over him. "Midna, look closely at him."

She did as she was told and after a few seconds, she began smiling, completely forgetting to ask what exactly Nabooru was talking about. She could see the blue tint in his skin and hair now, the same tint that Kaiden had spoken of.