World of Light > Gone Fishin'
"It's getting kind of late."
"We should probably head back."
"...just one more cast."
"Nothing's jumped all day, I doubt it's about to start now."
"I'm gonna get one this time. I can feel it."
"I think you're just feeling the deku beer."
"Shhh. I am the pole and the bait. Fishies can't resist me, can you fishies? Yeah whut."
"...I know that's the deku beer."
Two young men sat in a small boat on the southwestern edge of Lake Hylia, and then they burst into peals of laughter. One was a wiry, gangly Hylian boy of seventeen with a messy golden mop atop his head, and wide, clear blue eyes. The other was a tall and bulky Gerudo that was a couple of years his senior, with long, red hair pulled back tightly into a tail, and a small patch of hair on his chin. And despite the Gerudo's gentle mockery, the mason jar that sat beside them was not half emptied of its rich, amber contents by one boy's accord.
"Shhh," the Hylian slurred just slightly. "You're scaring the fishies."
"What 'fishies'?" the Gerudo said with a smirk and the faintest hint of a desert accent. "Unless you count that Zora girl that kept making eyes at you."
"I almost hooked her, though," the Hylian grinned broadly.
The older of the two laughed, a great bellowing sound, and began packing away their supplies. "Are you sure your father never mistook your head for an anvil as a small child? Sometimes I wonder about you, Link."
"You're so mean, Gan. Why're you so mean? You get sand up that fat ass of yers again?"
The Hylian could never understand how a man of his best friend's bulk could move so quickly, to his eternal chagrin. One would think he would have learned by then, but this was, after all, Link. Before he could even blink, he was unceremoniously tossed head over feet out of the boat and into the clear, still waters of the lake.
"There. Now you can meet all the fishies you want," Gan deadpanned. "Maybe even find another girl with a welcoming blowhole."
"H-HEY!" Link spluttered as he tread water. "Ya know, I dun think we can be friends anymore. You're a jerkface," he said matter-of-factly, and then blew a raspberry at him.
"If that's how you feel," Gan sighed in defeat. "Suppose I'll just take the boat back, then, with a heavy heart. Have fun swimming."
Link quickly scrambled up and back into the boat, to more bellowing laughter. Gan's laugh was a lot like the rumbling of a thunderstorm, Link thought. And he sort of looked like a big brown cat when he did. Link rather thought it was funny.
"We probably should get home, though. Father's going to kill me," Link said in all seriousness as he took up his oars with some urgency.
"I'm sort of motivated by self preservation, too," Gan concurred.
"...your aunties are kind of scary when they're angry," Link said with a shudder, and his friend nodded his agreement.
"Very much so. Let's hurry."
It was a peaceful, idyllic early evening in southern Hyrule, as always. The land itself had come alive, being late spring, and it seemed everything everywhere was in full bloom. Link especially loved being out on the lake during sundown; the sky turned such magnificent shades of red, orange, and violet, and colors so vivid and unusual that he didn't even have names for them. As they crossed the lake, the colors danced in the sky and finally darkened, as twilight descended upon them.
The young men quickly rowed back to the dock and tethered the boat, then mounted their horses and made off at a brisk pace toward the mountains to the south. Fear of being caught out at night in the fields was not concerning Link in the slightest. After all, he and Gan had played and camped outside in this area since they were small children. It was more his father that he was worried about. He couldn't afford to get in trouble again; Link was already on thin ice as it was, taking so long to complete the latest commission. Staying out so late fishing, the night before the big day, was bound to make him angry. He pouted a little at that. They didn't even have any fish to show for it. He shivered, his still-damp clothes clinging to him in the slight breeze. Link suddenly wanted very much to creep home and hoped nothing bad would happen.
It was about three-quarters of an hour later, when darkness had descended in full, that the not-so-triumphant heroes passed through the large grove of trees and the familiar, slightly dusty canyon which marked the entrance to their destination. A sleepy hamlet which lay in a pristine mountain valley at the edge of the Desert of Mystery, Arendal was about the smallest rag tag collection of cottages and shops that could legitimately be called a town--and even that was in dispute. It was the type of village that dotted this region of the Empire in spades: pastoral, hardworking, rustic, and the sort of place where tipping Old Lonnie's cows was considered the height of a good evening's entertainment for the local youth.
Not that Link knew anything about that.
They rode through the gates of the village--an old wooden fence, really--and followed the dim torchlight, past darkened windows and deserted porches, and stopped where the light did, on the far edge of town. There in the outskirts of Arendal, next to the forest at the bottom of the hill, and the field where only goats were raised and crops were grown, only two families lived. Only Link could manage to live in the sticks of the sticks, as Gan always teased him. Of course, as Link always countered, Gan lived out there too. It managed to be good for a laugh.
They halted and dismounted in front of a large tree, surrounded by a vegetable garden on one side, and a forge on the other. Link pointed up at the large, sturdy house nestled amongst its branches. "I guess this is my stop," Link said quietly.
"I guess so," Gan said with a nod. He glanced at the small cottage down the small dirt road, decidedly on the ground, with oddly colored smoke rising from its chimney, lamps still twinkling. "And there's mine."
Link smiled. "I had fun today. I hope you don't get into too much trouble, though."
"Same here." Gan returned the smile, but was stunned when Link suddenly launched himself at him, hugging him tightly--wet clothes and all.
"You smell like a wet dog, Link," he accused, crinkling his aquiline nose.
"And whose fault is that, huh Ganondork?"
Gan muffled his laughter in Link's hair, returning the impulsive hug, then playfully shoved him away with a characteristically lopsided grin. "Go home, idiot."
"I am home, horseface. You go home."
"Hehe. Good ni--"
"Ganondorf Dragmire!" a pair of high-pitched female voices yelled in perfect unison from across the way, their lilting accents cracking under the weight of sheer fury. A string of curses in the Gerudo tongue followed, some of which Link didn't even know were actual words. Gan winced, sheepishly--and briskly--walking his black stallion down the road. He waved back by way of goodbye.
"Good luck," Link whispered under his breath as he started up the ladder to his own home.
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