The heavy trees of the forest blocked out most of the light, turning the place dark. Along with the whispers of the siblings, the elevated forest served as the perfect hiding place. Dark places for dark secrets.

"1345, 1346, 1347. That's all." Aryll placed the final green rupee into the wallet bag. She and Link had spent the past month working tirelessly to earn money. Now, on the eve of Beedle's arrival, they were taking the beginning steps to ensure that everything would be ready.

"Link, we have way more money than we needed. Let's go buy some food for your trip."

"That's great, but I don't think we'll find any extra food on this island to buy in the first place."

Aryll rubbed her flushed cheeks in thought. "Um, we could hunt like Orca does. We'll need equipment, thought. If we borrow it, it's raise questions. If we steal.. I don't want to resort to that."

"Aryll, we don't know how to hunt. Besides, if we kill something, what do we do? Build a fire up here and cook it? Then let it rot when I bring it with me?"

"It's either that or you starve!" Aryll cried.

"I can stand hunger," said her brother softly, "for a little while, at least. I'm sure I'll be fine. If I really need food I can just dock at a random island and buy something with our extra food. Beedle is going to give me a map, remember?"

"I guess that sounds alright," said Aryll passively, not wanting to argue.

They heard the faint sound of clapping in the background. Aryll looked at her older brother with a panicked expression. Their Grandma was calling them at the most inconvenient time imaginable. They were currently located in the forest on top of the island – the one place they were forbidden to go. Aryll was frantically thinking of a way to get to their grandmother without revealing that they were up here. Maybe they could make a run for it? No, she thought. Even though they were far away, Grandma would still be able to see them running across the bridge.

"What are we going to do?"

Link smiled mischievously as he grabbed her by the arm. "Let's go for a little swim." Before Aryll could ask what he meant by that, Link nearly dragged her out to the ledge in front of the bridge. There, it all made sense to her.

"Have you lost your mind? If we jump, she'll see us!" she yelled with a harsh whisper.

"Not if we go from this side!" announced Link as he walked across the grass platform towards the side of the bridge that oversaw the empty horizon rather than their humble village. "And now, we jump." Link quickly dropped from the side, not letting go of his sister's arm so that she would go down with him. Link knew she was not much of a swimmer, so as they fell he held her close to her. He positioned himself so they neither he nor his sister would be hurt upon impact of the water. The siblings became one with he sea, for a moment, as the warm air suddenly turned into cool water. Before Aryll could get the feel of the water, her brother pulled up so that she was tasting air again. "Are you alright? Can you swim back on your own?"

Aryll nodded and swam as best as she could back to the shore. Her brother swam behind her to make sure that she was able to reach the shore. When they did, together, they returned to their Grandmother, who looked angry with them. "Where were you two, and why are you soaking wet?"

Aryll pointed to the bridge that spanned the two sides of the island (not the one that led to the forest). "Do you see all of those rocks around the bridge? I was jumping around on them when you called. I tried to go to the last one, but it was too far away and I fell in. Brother jumped in and swam me to shore." She licked her lips, hoping her grandmother would buy the lie. It seemed to be a pretty good lie. The rocks that Aryll was referring to were out of view from where they were standing, so there was no way Grandma would have been able to see them and prove that they were not actually there.

Grandma frowned and raised her voice. "Aryll, you should know better to be doing that when you can't swim well! You are lucky your brother was there to help you!"

She lowered her eyes to the ground. "Yes, Grandma; I'm sorry." Link felt guilty that he sister was taking the blame for all of this, but he knew she'd get angry if he tried to object. Such was Aryll's nature; she always put her loved ones before herself. Much like himself.

"Don't set your heart to it, child. It's over and you are okay; there's no sense in worrying. Just come inside and eat your lunch. I made tomato paste and pita bread." The children sullenly walked inside. "Oh, and Link, Orca told me that he wanted to see you." Link turned to go and see the aforementioned person but his grandmother grasped him by the shoulder and stopped him. "After lunch, of course."

He appeared calm on the outside, but on the inside, he was writhing from uneasiness. All he could think about was Orca and what he could possibly want with him. His mind was so wrapped up with the thoughts that nothing else existed anymore; he couldn't even taste his own lunch.

"I'm going out to see Orca now," announced Link after he finished his meal in record time. He tried not to look overly excited as he struggled to keep a normal pace on the way in. Link walked up the doorsteps and raised a hand to knock when he heard Orca's voice say "enter".

Link entered slowly and respectfully, but it did nothing for him as he was greeted with a wooden pole in the side, sending him flying across the room. Link pulled himself off of the ground and backed away from Orca, his senses on full alert and body bursting with adrenaline. "I know what you and your sister are planning," said Orca, quickly and sharply, sending Link a piercing glare along with the statement.

For a moment, Link forgot how to breathe.

"Don't worry; your secret is safe with me," Orca added.

Air found a way to work itself back into Link's system.

"How long have you been planning this?"

"Nearly a month now, but If you don't mind me asking, how did you find out?"

"I was in the woods hunting four days ago when I hear yours and your sister's voices discussing it." Link mentally cursed himself for the lapse in judgment that could have cost him everything. "I hope you've put a lot of thought into this. Where are you planning on going?"

Link fought with himself to stay calm despite not having a proper answer. "I'm getting a map of the country when Beedle arrives. I'll decide where I'll go from there."

"Foolish," muttered Orca. In three graceful strides, he walked across the one-room house, dove into a drawer, and grabbed an old, worn piece of parchment. He then moved in front of his burnt-out makeshift fireplace in the center of the room and sat down. Link awkwardly shuffled over to where Orca was.

The old man grabbed a thin piece of coal from the pit. "This is where we are now." He circled a small island hat was in the bottom left corner of the map. He traced his finger across the map and made a new circle. It was on a big island on the middle-north part of the chart. "If you're going to travel anywhere, go here."

"You want me to travel across the country!" Link nearly screamed.

Orca, ever disciplined, ignored the outburst. "The island here is called Windfall Island. My great-niece, Sue-Belle, lives there. Find her, and tell you are a friend of Orca. She'll take you in."

Link processed the information. "I... I don't understand. Why are you helping me?"

"You've been sitting on this for a month now. That means you must be pretty hell-bent on leaving this island. And if you are that dedicated to leaving, nothing will stop you. You'll do whatever it takes, no matter how dangerous. I might as well help you and let you leave in the safest way possible rather than ignoring this and setting you sail out of this island to your own demise."

"Funny, Aryll told me that same thing. I refused to let her come with me. If it becomes dangerous, I don't want to drag my little sister into this. I'm just worried how she'll be. I'm also worried about how Grandma will take this."

"Link, I swear on my life I will do whatever it takes to keep them safe and healthy."

Link bowed deeply. "I'm grateful. Thank you, so much."

"Let me share with you a little story." Orca stood up. "I've met someone like you once. When I was middle-aged, still fresh in my years of retirement, a young woman washed up on these beaches. She was young, not much older than you. I can tell she'd been living a life of adventure. Her blonde hair, paled from the sun, was a matted mess. Her skin was very dark, though I could see from tan lines that she had a naturally pale complexion. Her eyes, dark like the ocean, had a spark at them that was clouded by a recent trauma." He shook his head. "Yes, I can never forget what she looked like."

"Where are you going with this?"

Orca blinked. "Sorry, I was getting lost in a memory. Anyway, the girl was injured and ended up staying with me for a month. Then, one day, she left. I never even learned her name. I tried to talk her out of it, but she wouldn't listen. Finally, I knew there would be no stopping her so I let her go. I left her with nothing but these words: 'The Outset will always be a haven for you.'" Orca sighed sadly. "Her injuries were severe; I imagine she died. I won't let the same thing happen to you."

"Well... I'm not injured," reassured Link. He wasn't sure why the old man was telling him this. Orca slapped his hand to his face.

"What I'm trying to say is, if the world does not work out for you, the Outset will always be a haven. Oh, and one more thing." Orca handed the boy a yellow rupee. "It's not much, but it'll help."

Link tucked it away. It didn't matter that it was only worth ten rupees. What mattered is that this old man, who had close to nothing, was giving him this. "Orca, you're doing so much for my family. How can I ever repay you?"

Orca grabbed Link by the shoulders and looked him square in the eyes. Link never noticed until now how dead the man's eyes looked. Like he was alive in a different place, in a different time. It pained him. "Just promise me you'll live life to the fullest, and with no regrets."

All Link could do was nod. His mind was in overdrive, frantically trying to store every aspect of the encounter into the deepest folds of his memory. With the marked map stored at his breast, Link continued the day as he normally would: working himself to the bone for a few extra rupees to add to his collection. His sister worked alongside him, too, but her work was different from his due to her age, size and gender. It wasn't discrimination, not in the least; it was putting the two of them on equal playing fields.

The next day, Aryll and Link did nothing but sit up on the lookout and watch the horizon. Their young and innocent eyes fixed themselves upon the horizon as if were their saving grace that would be sailing on the waters rather than a simple merchant ship.

When they ship did peak over the horizon, its reddish brown color shining through the blue ocean, the two siblings looked at each other happily. The second long glance might have been a hundred page contract for the amount of words that floated between them. The siblings walked a silent walk, side by side, to the dock. They stood there in wordless excitement as the ship pulled into the dock. Aryll nervously scanned the ship for any signs of the boat her brother would be using.

The boat pulled in, and the pair rushed inside. Link immediately placed a bag of rupees on the counter. "Hello, Beedle. 903 rupees, as promised."

Beedle opened the bag and poured the rupees on the table. Sparkles flew as purple, red, yellow, green and blue gems poured onto the table. "I believe you." He stood up from his knees-crossed sitting position and smiled. "Now I know you are serious about this. But tell me, where shall you go?" Link wordlessly handed him the marked map. "Windfall? You shall find one of my brothers there."

"Where's the boat at?" asked Aryll.

"In the back, hidden just like you wanted, right? I shall take you to it." Beedle let them to the back of the ship and showed them a bundle of cloth. He moved his hand to show them the boat, but before he could move it Link grabbed his hand and stopped him.

"Aryll," said Link in a low voice, "go make sure Grandma isn't watching from the window. Give the signal when it's clear. I'm going to quickly hide the boat under our balcony." Aryll nodded and disappeared in a flash. Link could hear her shrill voice yelling for their Grandma's attention from inside the house. Beedle heard it as well and chuckled a little.

When Aryll's glowing face appeared at the window and smiled, Beedle's hand flicked, throwing the cloth off of the boat. Link gasped at the sight of the boat. It looked just like it did in the pictograph, except for one thing. The gray pictograph could not show the burning bright red hue of the boat. The color was so dreadfully noticeable it seemed to scream: "Look! A runaway!"

"You can stare at the boat all day, or you can hurry and hide it before someone sees it."

Link's face turned as red as the boat out of embarrassment. "Oh. Right. Yes."

In one smooth movement, Link dove off of the edge of the ship. In another smooth motion, Beedle slipped the boat onto the water. Link linked his left arm over the right side of the boat and paddled to shore. When the bottom of the boat hit the sandbar, Link climbed out of the water and started to drag the boat up the beach. It was a very tedious task; the boat seemed to sink into the sand rather than slide across it. Link ran to the back of the boat, pressed his body against it, and pushed forward. The boat hardly budged and the blonde boy groaned in annoyance.

"Need help?" Just like that, his sister was there when he needed her. She dug away the sand at the ship's bow while her brother pushed at the stern. He was much more successful this time with the help of Aryll; the boat was easily concealed under the shade of the balcony. They stood in admiration of the bright red boat with the face of a sleeping dragon at the bow.

" Come on, let's go see Beedle and get the rest of our affairs settled," said Link after some moments.

Beedle gave Link a second map in case he needed it as well as a large waterproof sail. The siblings ended up having 460 rupees left over. Link spent 20 on a spoils bag for his trip, 40 on a compass, 50 on preserved food, and another 20 on Hyoi Pears should he need them. Then he thanked Beedle profusely, but before they could leave, Beedle handed Link a letter.

"What's this for?"

"This will give you a discount if you would ever need anything from my brother at Windfall Island. He's there almost every day in a boat just like this one."

Aryll took the letter and started to read it as they returned home. Their spirits rose when they discovered that their grandmother made Elixir soup for them. Link felt sadness rise in his chest when he realized that this would be the last meal he'd eat with Grandma and sister for a very long time. Aryll realized this as well because she ate her food very slowly and made pleasant conversation with her brother and grandmother.

Much to Grandma's surprise, Link and Aryll offered to clean up after the meal. She allowed them too, and paid them each a yellow rupee for their efforts. They refused to accept the money. When they were done, they sat down and chatted with their dear grandmother about anything and everything. Link wanted to cherish every moment before their separation. He felt guilty that he was about to hurt his grandmother by running away, but his desire to leave far outweighed any negative feelings.

When the sun began to dip into the horizon, Link and Aryll retired for the night. Link explained it was because he was working all day. He was really trying to get sleep in before his long journey. It was the first of many lies he would tell to his precious Grandma."

"You children, you both work so hard. I'm proud. I love the both of you."

"I love you too," whispered Link, fighting any feelings of regret. He closed his eyes, imaging he was at sea already. A tug on his shirt brought him back to the real world, and he turned his body. He saw his little sister staring up at him, her eyes wide and filled with tears. He could chase his sentimental feelings away, but she could not. Because of that, she suffered.

Even with his nerves firing, Link managed to get nine hours of sleep. When he awoke, the sky was beginning to light up although dawn was about an hour away. He rose gradually and carefully out of the bed and quietly urged Aryll to rise as well. They moved quickly yet stealthily through the house and shut the door softly. They crept through the grass and trudged over the sand to reach the boat. With them working as a team, they were able to push the boat back into the water relatively easily. Link climbed in and lifted the sailing rod out of the floor compartment in the front of the boat. As he did so, Aryll peeked into the compartment. "There's hardly any room in here, Link. How will you store your stuff?"

"I guess I'll make room," Link muttered distractedly as he set up the sail. He gave it a firm tug. "There, it's complete." He looked his sister, who was standing knee deep in the water next to him. Her eyes were sparkling in the moonlight and he could see the tears threatening to fall. She was biting her lip in attempt to hold them back. She was fighting to be strong like him.

"Promise me you'll come back," she whispered, her voice cracking.

"Of course I'll come back," answered Link, somewhat offended. "You think I'd leave you?"

"That's not what I meant." The first tear fell. "Promise me you won't die."

Link almost laughed. "I won't die, I promise. Why would I die?"

"The sea's dangerous."

"Who told you that? Grandma?"

"No. You did. That's why you're standing on that boat alone." A second tear fell. Link wanted to slap himself for his own ignorance. He told her it was safe, yet he told her it was dangerous by not letting her come. So stupid, he thought.

"I promise I'll come back as soon as I can, and I'll take you to see everything I saw. Okay?" Aryll nodded. Link reached in his pocket and handed Aryll the wallet bag. "This is 300 rupees," he explained.

"Brother, you need this."

"I have everything I bought plus 30 rupees. I'll be fine. You need this more, in case..." He couldn't bring himself to say it.

But Aryll could. "In case you don't come back."

"Yeah," he responded gently.

"But you will come back, because you would never break a promise to your little sister."

All Link could do was nod as Aryll walked up towards the boat and wrapped her brother in a tight hug. Link leaned lower and hugged her back as an unspoken goodbye. Aryll squeezed her brother to her tightly, not wanting to let go. But if this was the price for her eventual freedom, she was willing to pay it. Aryll found it within herself to let go of her brother and let him leave, because in the end, this is what they wanted.

Aryll moved to ankle deep water and Link adjusted his sail so that the wind would hit it perfectly. The wind wrapped around the boat, sending his loose shirt and hair flying everywhere. He could barely make out the details of the island as he turned to get a last look at the home he was leaving behind for the first time.

When the Outset Island faded to a mere silhouette, Link allowed his excitement to take over. He couldn't see anything but water and ocean, but his other senses told a different story. The smell of the salty sea was stronger and more potent than he ever imagined. The crashing of the waves was music to his ears and rhythm to his body. He loved each tiny feeling of it all.

Sailing was easier than he imagine it would be. The only thing he had to do was adjust the lever behind him so that the sail was hitting the wind so that he'd travel north as his map suggested to him. The hardest part was dealing with the burning sensation he got from the salty air being thrown into his eyes.

As the day sped by, Link noticed his boat picking up speed. At first he blamed this on his faulty perception, but when the sky grew dark, he realized a storm was coming. "Great," he muttered.

The rain that fell was colder and harder than any rain he has ever experienced. Each water droplet felt like chunks of ice falling on him. After a few minutes the waves grew and size, causing Link to stumble about the boat. Time passed, and the waves grew to dangerous heights. The boat came close to flipping over many times, and Link became very afraid when he saw no end to the gray sky. Link found himself using all of his strength to hold the sail in position, and regretted ever considering sailing easy.

"What did I get myself into," he screamed to the sky as he struggled to stay on the boat. Wave after wave struck until he finally met his match and was tossed into the violent ocean.

As he lost consciousness, Link swore he heard a deep voice answer: "The path to your destiny."