Chapter Twenty-Three: A Tunic

The Legend of Zelda: Real Courage

Early the next morning, the sun accosted Lila as soon as it peeked over the horizon. The cloak shielded her from only a tiny bit of light. Reluctantly she pulled herself to a sitting position.

Because she had forgotten to put away her equipment before sleeping, she was very sweaty and still sore. With deliberate slowness, she gathered what fell off in the night and stood tall. Her stomach growled mercilessly. She dug through her pack for some food as she descended into the dungeon.

Making her way back through the dungeon took a lot of work. It was almost more tiring than fighting the flying octorok. She had to continue switching between either her Boots of Sturdiness or hurling herself across chasms with her hookshot. Once she had reached the entrance tunnel, she had taken several rests. She stopped on the beach after almost being hurled into the ocean by the wind.

After her frayed nerves had a chance to settle, she slowly made her way back to the mainland.

Dusk hung heavily when Lila entered Gerudo Town. Though she saw few people, she could feel energy crackle around her. It felt unlike anything she had experienced before in the village. She wondered what was going on.

Lila knew Lady Ganondra would want her to report her success, but the strange mood made her worried. She opted instead to have a servant deliver the message of her arrival, after stopping by the kitchen. With fresh food, she scurried to the barracks.

More than ever, Lila wished Mori were with her. She needed someone to help her figure out what the fuss was about. Since having entered the castle, she had seen even more activity. In her worn state, she dared not ask anyone about it.

Lila ate her meal slowly and then went to take a bath. When she returned to the barracks, the door was open.

Lady Ganondra was there.

"My Lady Ganondra," Lila greeted, catching her breath.

"Ah, there you are, child. You have the Cloak?" Lady Ganondra smiled her wicked smile. She seemed... excited.

Lila nodded and said, "Yes, ma’am."

The chieftess clapped her hands together, making Lila jump. "Perfect! We are almost ready for the invasion."

"Invasion?" Lila squeaked.

Lady Ganondra ignored her. Pulling something out of her inner pocket, she said, "There is only one thing left for you to do. Put this on."

Lady Ganondra handed Lila a bundle of green fabric. Her breath caught in . By the color alone, she recognized the outfit from her history lessons.

This is what Zale was talking about, she realized.

Lady Ganondra chuckled slightly to herself. She enjoyed watching the struggle in Lila’s mind.

"I will wait outside," she said, and then left Lila alone.

Lila's knees buckled as soon as the door closed. She stared at the clothes in her hands. So her Lady Ganondra knew all along. She knew what Zale had guessed. What Lila had refused to believe.

Lila was the Hero of Courage.

With shaking hands, she slowly laid out each piece on her bed. Her heart thudded as she dressed. Once done, though she didn't want to do it, Lila opened the door for Lady Ganondra to enter. Lila backed up until she touched her bed.

Lady Ganondra's smile grew, or maybe it was the vileness in her eyes. She ordered, "Show me your hand."

Puzzled, Lila offered her right hand.

"No, the other one."

Lila brought up her left hand. She noticed she could feel something burning on the back of her hand. Suddenly she knew what the chieftess was looking for. On the back of her hand glowed three golden triangles, the bottom right one more than the others. Lila was surprised; she thought because of the strength of the burning the mark would be brighter. However, the glow was only barely apparent.

"It's not possible," Lila whispered.

Lady Ganondra laughed and released Lila’s hand. She crumpled to the ground. She couldn't look at the chieftess. Tears stung her eyes, and her breath came slowly.

"You are my perfect little pet," Lady Ganondra mocked. "Now we are ready. You must leave now. Take your things. You are going to find Zale, and you are going to hold him until I get to you. We are taking the castle tonight!"

Now Lila understood. She felt faint as Lady Ganondra’s plan revealed itself to her. That's why she let her talk with Zale. That's why she had her visit Castle Town. That's why she sent her on quest after quest, each leading up to the Cloak of Shadows.

Finally, something else struck her.

"She's going to kill Zale," she said aloud. Worried, she looked up, but Lady Ganondra had left without her noticing. Lila knew what she had to do, but did she have the courage?

"...heroes who show courage."

"Have courage."


Zale's serene face floated in her vision. He was laughing playfully without a care in the world.

Lila set her jaw. "I have to save him."

With new fire, she forced herself into action. She gathered a few supplies, took one last look at the place she grew up, and then left.

She couldn't let Ganondra win.

She wouldn't

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