The Legend of Hilda and the Lost Pendants – Part Two: The Wisdom to See the Truth

This is a fanfiction. The Legend of Zelda and all of the worlds and characters within it are the intellectual property of Nintendo. I am simply writing an original story in their world.

This story is rated Everyone 10+ for cartoon violence and mild thematic elements.

Thieves’ Town rested on the western edge of Lorule, quite a distance from the castle. Luckily travel was safer than what it used to be. Before the Triforce was restored, monsters of all sorts roamed the road. Moblins with their shields and tridents, giant cyclops throwing powerful explosives, beasts whose gaping maws made up the majority of their body; no one was safe with such beasts running free. Now, the roads were clear, and Ravio’s journey to Thieves’ Town went quite smoothly.

At least, until he reached the blacksmith.

The blacksmith of Thieves’ Town lived in a small cottage separate from the rest of community. Many towns observed this practice, mostly because smiths made their neighbors cranky. The clanking of metal long into the night, the stink of tanning leathers, smoke pouring from the chimney as the forges burned; no one wanted to live near a blacksmith. It certainly didn’t help that the local smith was a rude man.

Yet none of these unattractive features made Ravio’s arrival at the blacksmith unpleasant. Rather, it was the creature standing outside. At least seven feet tall and rippling with muscle, the creature had the fat, disturbing face of a pig. Its body was roughly humanoid, although Ravio had seen very few humans that could match the sheer size and ferocity of this creature. It carried a thick wooden shield rimmed in metal in its off hand and a massive spear in the other.

“Moblin,” Ravio muttered. “Blast! I thought we were rid of these things.”

Ravio positioned himself behind some shrubs, staying low to keep out of sight. Sheerow perched on his shoulder nervously. The moblin stood on the small ramp leading up the hill towards the blacksmith’s house. It slowly approached the blacksmith’s front door, looking as if it had every intention of breaking it down. The merchant felt compelled to move, to stop the moblin, despite his trembling sword hand and nervous heartbeat.

“Man, I hate being the good guy sometimes,” Ravio sighed. He then began to shout at the moblin. “Hey, ugly! You better not go in there. If you see yourself in the mirror you’ll die of fright!”

The pig-man turned towards Ravio’s shrub and started moving towards him. The merchant scurried quickly to a nearby tree, pressing his back against the sturdy trunk for comfort. He could hear the moblin grunting, and nearly gasped when the creature began jabbing the shrubbery with its spear.

“Close buddy, but I already moved. You keep stabbing that bush, though, someone sure needs to teach it a lesson.”

The moblin roared and Ravio took off, running to the next tree while handing off his sword to Sheerow. Surprisingly strong for his small size, the blue bird carried the wooden blade up into the tree while the merchant began to scramble up the branches. Climbing always freaked Ravio out, but years of using trees to run away had taught him a few tricks. He kept his eyes ahead, plotting out his course as he moved, and he stayed in motion. Stopping allowed fear to settle in. Once he reached the top he reclaimed his sword from Sheerow, watching as the furious Moblin reached the base of the tree. It flung its head this way and that, trying to see where its tormentor might have gone.

“Up here, doofus!” Ravio called. “If you want to turn me into a bunny kebab, you’re gonna have to move that fat tush and climb!”

The moblin looked up at Ravio, who gave a smile and a wave. Roaring with anger, the beast dropped back a couple of steps and let fly with his spear hand, the merchant barely ducking underneath the sharp blade. Bracing itself behind its shield, the moblin smashed against the trunk of the tree, striking it with enough force to shake all the branches. Ravio just managed to steady himself before the tree shook again, and he could already hear the trunk cracking under the moblin’s blows.

The merchant braced himself and waited until the moblin reared back for his next blow. As it charged forward to hit the tree again, Ravio jumped, falling through the air as the tree trunk snapped. He hit the ground and used his falling momentum to roll, cushioning some of the blow. Behind him, he heard the leaves whistling through the air followed by a crash as the tree slammed into the ground. The moblin was temporarily dazed by the fall of the tree, giving Ravio an opening. He readied his sword, moving up behind the moblin and giving it a sturdy bonk on the head with his blade.

The moblin grunted and turned to face the merchant, roaring into his face. Ravio just barely managed to jump back before the pig-man swung his heavy shield, the whoosh of air sending the young man stumbling back. He feinted left and ran right, moving past the moblin towards a small clearing where the monster’s spear had landed. The pig-man made to pursue him, but got tripped up on the tree he’d felled just a moment ago.

“There’s gotta be something here I can use,” the merchant said. Suddenly, he heard a chirp from Sheerow. The bird was flying by a bee hive hanging from a low branch. The moblin’s wild charge would take it directly under the tree. Ravio smirked and took a step back, gripping the spear and lining up his shot. With as much strength as he could muster, he threw the spear into the bee hive. His throw went a little low, only managing to tear the base off of the hive. The spear continued on and thudded into the moblin’s shield. From the opening at the bottom of the hive, bees poured forth to try and find what was attacking them. The moblin stood directly underneath, and so the small creatures descended upon him. As the stinging began, the beast began to run trying to escape the swarm of bees now harassing it. Ravio and Sheerow took the opportunity to head back to the blacksmith’s house.

The blacksmith was standing outside when they arrived. He was a grizzled, middle-aged fellow with dark skin and hair. Standing with his arms crossed, he cocked his head to one side to look at Ravio. Apparently he was unused to seeing kids running around in purple rabbit costumes.

“You gotta be the weirdest looking kid I’ve ever seen,” the man said. “But I’m grateful to you for stopping that moblin. I couldn’t help but notice that your sword didn’t help you out too much.”

“Yeah,” Ravio shrugged. “It’s just an apprentice sword. It’s for training.”

The blacksmith made a gesture as if wanting to see the weapon, so Ravio handed it to him. Taking the wooden sword by the blade, the smith expertly twirled it so the hilt was in his hand. He took a couple of experimental swings and frowned.

“You’re basically swinging a club around,” the smith said. “It’s alright for training, I suppose, but you’re definitely not doing any damage with this. I could whittle it down so you actually have an edge, then fire-harden the edges so that it actually has a bit of sharpness to it. Consider it payment for stopping that beast.”

“Oh, you don’t owe me anything,” Ravio said with a wave of his hand. “But, uh, I probably could use a sharper sword.”

The blacksmith nodded. “Not probably. Definitely. You headed to Thieves’ Town? I can work on your blade while you’re in town and then bring it to you later.”

“That sounds great!” the young man smiled. “I really appreciate you doing this.”

“It’s really no trouble,” the smith shrugged. “The last weapon I worked on was for that Link kid. He brought me the best ore I’ve ever seen, and the most glorious and well-balanced sword. It was perfect. My masterwork. But after forging something so difficult and valuable, it’ll be nice to do something simple.”

“Well I’m glad I can help you out, I guess,” Ravio said. Going from the legendary Master Sword down to an apprentice sword, the blade of a hero to the blade of a trainee, must be rather humbling.

“I’m gonna get to work,” the blacksmith said. “I’ll bring the new sword to town later.”

He turned and went inside his house with the apprentice sword in tow. Meanwhile, the merchant headed back down the hill and down the path into Thieves’ Town.

Much like Lorule Castle, Thieves’ Town was undergoing serious reconstruction. During Lorule’s dark age, many of the buildings had become dilapidated, some falling apart entirely and leaving only a foundation or one wall behind. These mostly-undone buildings were now being destroyed to make room for all new structures, restoring the majority of the town from the ground up. During this process, the townspeople were sleeping in a massive dungeon-like structure called the Thieves’ Hideout. It certainly wasn’t ideal, but it did the trick while they waited for their village to be restored.

As Ravio entered the town, he noticed an unusual lack of townsfolk. All the nearby buildings were surrounded by hammers, bricks, mortar, and all the tools necessary for the reconstruction. Yet no one was there to put the tools to use.

“Where are all the villagers?” Ravio questioned. Sheerow gave an anxious chirp – something didn’t seem right here. The merchant now wished he’d held onto his sword.

“Let’s go see what we can find out, and we’ll run and come back later if we need to,” Ravio said. Sheerow seemed alright with that plan, so they began moving through the ruined buildings and abandoned tools. It took a few minutes of wandering before they found the villagers. Everyone was gathered together on the opposite side of town. Each and every villager was wearing some sort of elaborate mask, making them all look like monsters. Standing in the center of the gathered masses was an older fellow in a bird mask wearing a cloak of feathers. He was shouting at the crowd and waving around a staff to punctuate his words.

“The princess would have all of you believe that Lorule is restored,” the man declared. “That our nation is pure now because we have the Triforce again. But we all know that true strength does not come from the Triforce! Only monsters have true strength. Only by giving our fealty to those monsters that remain will we be spared the horrors of the coming age.”

“Hilda’s a liar, the kingdom has fallen!” the crowd chanted. Ravio furrowed his brow. What were these people doing? Did the monster cult still exist here in Thieves’ Town? With the Triforce restored, these goons should have disbanded. The merchant pushed his way through the crowd to occupy the open center along with the bird-masked elder.

“The kingdom has not fallen!” Ravio declared. “It has been restored. The Triforce is back, our land is whole again, and we finally can leave this dark age that has tormented Lorule for so long! We just have to embrace it, and work hard to rebuild what we lost.”

“This lad is a fool,” the elder countered. “We are all fools, if we trust in the Triforce. This child thinks that our Triforce is as theirs in Hyrule, a holy representation of courage, wisdom, and power. But Lorule and Hyrule are opposites. Our Triforce represents opposite values. Our people – our creators – are cowards, fools, and weaklings. Putting our trust in the Triforce means putting our trust in broken gods with useless traits.”

The crowd cheered while Ravio countered the elder’s argument. “Our Triforce may be upside down compared to Hyrule’s, but that does not make it opposite. Our kingdom is still built on courage, wisdom, and power. We as a nation can have those things. We just have to embrace it. We have to stop letting our actions be driven by fear and self-preservation.”

“Why stop?” the elder asked. “That’s how the monsters live, and look how mighty they are. Look how much we fear them! The only way not to fear the monsters of the world is to become like them, to raise them up as idols and to worship their images and their qualities. When monsters are our gods, we will become as them and finally be able to stop fearing them.”

Ravio shook his head. “Your argument makes no sense. One minute you’re telling us to embrace fear, and the next to bring an end to it. I understand that you feel lost and confused. I understand that it’s hard to believe this world can be a good place after all the suffering you endured. And I understand that it’s hard to believe that our Triforce can magically fix everything. But we have to stop being foolish if we ever want to see Lorule made whole again. Worshipping monsters, wanting to be like them, can bring no good. A world built on the values you admire, on fear and self-preservation, is a world devoid of civilization. That is what our kingdom has been for years. Now we don’t have to live that way any more. Now we can make a different choice. We just need to be wise enough to see the right path.”

“Ours is a kingdom of fools, and our princess a monarch of fools,” the elder said. “There is no wisdom here. But if we become as the monsters, we can at least have strength. And that will make our kingdom great.”

The crowd cheered raucously, Ravio deciding to leave the villagers before the rally decided to rip him to pieces. First the guards in the castle, now the villagers in Thieves’ Town – everyone in Lorule was so focused on becoming a powerful nation that they were letting culture fall to pieces. Although the country was restored, although the Triforce was back, no one cared about becoming a good nation – just a strong one. They were revising history, worshiping false gods, doing whatever they had to in order to make themselves feel powerful. The people of the nation had lived so long in fear, thinking only of survival, that they were still in that mindset despite the fact that the dark age was over.

Ravio found a sturdy wall and climbed up to the top, sitting on the edge with his feet dangling over. Sheerow landed beside him, giving a half-hearted chirp.

“I don’t know what’s happening, Sheerow,” the merchant frowned. “When Link restored the Triforce, everything was supposed to get better. He’s the hero, and he defeated the villain. So why is everything still so messed up? Why is our world still upside-down?”

He hadn’t intended anything philosophical with that statement, but hearing it aloud got him thinking. The Triforce of Lorule was indeed the opposite of Hyrule’s. In Hyrule, the element of power was built upon a solid foundation of courage and wisdom. Here in Lorule, there was only one piece at the base of the Triforce, not two, and that foundational piece was power. Perhaps the people of Lorule were so obsessed with becoming a strong nation because power is what the kingdom was built upon. Without power, courage was simply recklessness and wisdom just theory.

“Is this really the right way of doing things?” Ravio questioned. “Does Lorule have to be powerful before it can be anything more than that?”

Even as he said it out loud, the very idea disgusted Ravio. The young man felt in his heart that this simply was not right. Hadn’t the pursuit of power been the thing that nearly undid Lorule? Yuga and Hilda wanted power more than anything, thought that power could restore their Triforce, but that proved to be false. The desire for power made the guards forget that it was mercy, not conquest, that restored the Triforce of Lorule. The desire for power made the villagers worship the murderous creatures that had tormented them for years. Ravio didn’t have all the answers yet, but he could say with confidence that this was wrong.

Sheerow snuggled up to Ravio and gave an encouraging chirp. The merchant patted his little bird on the head and looked out over the village. In the distance, he could see the cave where the pendants had been lost. Reclaiming them could help the kingdom progress in the right direction.

“We’re gonna get those pendants, Sheerow,” Ravio said. “I don’t know yet how it will make a difference. But I know we have to do something. Last time Lorule was in danger, it needed a different hero. It needed Link. But this problem…maybe, just maybe, I can be the hero that Lorule needs. At the very least, I know I’m the only one who’s going to try.”

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