Chapter Seventeen: Strength

The Legend of Zelda: Real Courage

Lila stayed silent for a long time. She ran hard and fast, both to get home quickly and to avoid talking to Mori. She didn't quite understand what Zale had meant when he told her to have courage. Courage for what? Why did she need it? Why was he telling her she needed it? Why did the word give her so much warmth?

Once they reached Gerudo town, Lila went to the kitchen to get something to eat, then went straight to bed. Mori, however, wouldn't leave to let her get dressed.

"You told him a lot."

Lila faced away from him. She sighed, "Yeah. I couldn't help myself. But at least he told me a lot as well. Mori, do you know... was I kidnapped?"

Mori perched on the back of a chair at Lila's desk. "I don't know. Lady Ganondra tells me fewer secrets than she does you."

Lila had one other question, but she felt unable to ask. Mori might not even know the answer. She started with, "I think I was kidnapped. I can't imagine who would willingly give their child to Lady Ganondra."

"You're probably right about that as well."

"Where..." she sighed and looked down. "Where are my real parents?"

"I'm afraid I don't know the answer to that, either. I'm sorry, Lila." She thought he was done, but then he said, "I've never seen you so happy than when you were with Zale."

Neither of them spoke. Lila had no idea how to respond to that, and Mori seemed to be done talking finally. He watched her, her head down and eyes dark. He wondered what was going through her head.

When he got tired of waiting, he flew out with the last words, "Get some sleep."

Around noon, Lila woke up well-rested. She went to the dining hall for some lunch and then left for the next dungeon. The trip only took a little more than half an hour. She recognized the place because there was a giant boulder like an egg sitting on the ground. She could dimly make out the mountains on the other side of the valley.

"I hope the boots aren't under that."

"Actually, that's exactly it," Mori answered. She groaned, but he said, "That's what the Gauntlets of Strength are for."

Lila gave him a disbelieving look. "No way I can lift that."

"Dear, the gauntlets are magic."

She shook her head. "If you say so." She pulled on the gauntlets and walked up to the rock. She examined it doubtfully, then put her hands under it – which was easy. Just by using her fingers, she could make it wiggle enough to fit her hands. Then she lifted.

The boulder seemed to weigh nothing. She brought it right up above her head and saw a stairway. Then she dropped the rock off to the side.

"That was weird!" Lila said, not at all worried about her mount. "C'mon, let's go."

"You're not afraid someone will trap us inside?"

Lila took off the gauntlets and waved them in Mori's face. "Who could possibly do that?"

"Fair point."

The two went down the stairs. At the bottom was a sun-bleached door. "I wonder," Lila said, "how long that boulder has been here."

"Who knows."

"However long, this has been here longer."

"How do you know?"

She gestured to the door. "This has been aged by sunlight. I have a feeling there's no sunlight under a boulder."

"Well aren't you the smart one."

Lila ignored him and pushed the door open.

"Let's find us some footwear."

As the stairs continued down, the air became much colder, though not as cold as the ice castle. It was a relief after the blazing sun over the desert. Eventually, they came to another door. By then, Lila had to light her lantern.

"What do you think is on the other side?" Mori asked, remembering the trap in the ice castle.

"Let's find out," Lila replied while opening the door.

"What if it's another trap?"

She didn't even hesitate. "This isn't a trap. C'mon, scardey!" She didn't look back; she was too interested in the massive cavern in front of her. It appeared to be lit by sunlight, but she honestly couldn't tell if there was a ceiling. It seemed like magical sunlight.

The cavern spiraled downward like a mining facility. At the bottom, a lone building stood among old wood and other ruins. The place looked ancient.

Mori had finally entered. "What is this place?"

"Big," Lila replied. "Let's see what's down there." She took off running.


She didn't. "Are you scared?"

"No... This doesn't seem right."

"We'll be fine. Don't be so paranoid."

When she reached the building, something shuffled out. It was human in form, wearing destroyed armor, carrying a round, spiked shield, and wielding a broadsword. Whatever monster it was, it didn't move very fast so it would be easy to kill. Lila readied her sword.

"Let's duel," she challenged.

"Lila, wait! That's a—"

When the knight saw her, it screamed. Lila was instantly paralyzed. Her muscles all tensed and her ears rang. The knight continued to shamble toward her slowly, so slowly. If only she could move! The wait was agonizing. It was almost to her when she felt her body relax, though every part of her tingled. She lunged.

Her sword somehow hit the shield. She pulled back to strike again, but the scream came first. This time the knight would get to her before its paralyzing effects wore off. Her heart raced, and sweat gathered on her forehead.

The knight's sword hurt when it hit her undefended arm. The knight struck right below the sleeve of her chainmail. It was strong enough to push her back several feet, and she fell to the ground. The sword was rusty and blunt. If she didn't get it cleaned, the wound would get infected.

Though it was hard, she could move again. The knight was closing in, so she had to get up. She used her elbow to get herself on her feet and then bolted away from the knight. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw that Mori was also frozen.

Lila managed to get quite a way before the screamer let out another wail. Her next run, she hoped, would get her out of its range. Her bones felt jarred and rattled; her muscles rigid and sore; her nerves taut and frayed. She wanted to get away from the knight and never see another.

And then she was free. Lila hightailed it to the next tier of the cavern without hearing another screech. Looking back, the knight had turned around and headed to the shack. Mori also managed to get away and joined her. She was glad the helpless keese hadn't become a target.

Lila dropped to the ground, letting her sword and shield fall. She put her sword hand to the wound, trying to hold back all of the blood. Her arm felt useless. It was times like these she wished she had a companion with opposable thumbs.

"I tried to warn you," Mori said, winded. "That's a ReDead Knight. I guess now you know what's bad about it..."

"Yeah, thanks for the wisdom," Lila snapped. "I don't suppose you can stitch up wounds!"

Mori backed away. "I tried..." he repeated.

"Sorry," Lila managed.

She pulled out a bottle of water and poured it over her injury. It made a big bloody mess that didn't look much better, but it was something. She felt lightheaded as she picked up her sword and used it to cut some cloth from her tunic. With a shaking hand and her teeth, she tied it as tight as she could around her arm above the cut. The blood flow slowed a bit, but her vision blurred. "Mori, I think I'm in trouble."

There was no reply. Lila looked up. Her sight was rimmed with darkness as she glanced around.


Her keese friend was nowhere to be found. Lila blinked a few times and fell back. Her breathing was hard and ragged.

"Get back here..."

Everything around her faded until she couldn't think anymore

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culoapaperella #1
oooh a loz work,, gonna be amazing to ti read !!