Revalink WIP: "The Longest Night" Ch.7

Revalink WIP: "The Longest Night" Ch.7

Apr 09, 2022

Link didn’t know why he had shared that.

Beyond avoiding the Hinox and the area where a stable was -- possibly no longer, and all the reason to avoid it -- the pair traveled by the river, finally stopping for a late lunch in the forest south of Rebonae Bridge. Rather, Link sat with Epona while Revali, grumbling under his breath, stalked off to hunt food. Still, his grumbles sounded half-distracted: his sharp eyes were distant and thoughtful when he left, feathers dancing restlessly over his bow.

Link felt guilty for Revali hunting and felt relieved that Revali had left and guilty that he felt relieved. It was exhausting.

Truly, everything was exhausting. His thoughts ran in circles like a feral horse before running themselves into the ground, leaving him numb and worn and empty. Why couldn’t Revali just let him go?

Epona huffed and wandered a little away. Curled on the rocky river bank, Link watched her raise her head and snatch an apple from a low-hanging tree. Nothing held her there but her own loyalty. He needed to remember to free her: to remove her saddle and let her run wild again. She deserved it.

At least one guilt alleviated, Link shifted to the river. From this angle, there were only the trees and water, and he was so grateful his stomach ached from it. There was no path where travelers could stumble upon them, no view of the broken castle, no view of burned stables or villages. With Revali gone in the woods, it was simply Link and Epona and…

Leaning down, Link stared into the water. Here, the current was slow, pooling against the rocky bank before being dragged downstream. The clear pool acted as a far better mirror than so many of the decorative mirrors in Hyrule Castle.

His hand trembled as he raised it to his cheek. The scar by his eye looked gruesome in the serene light of day. Much of the battle was a blur, but Link remembered the splash of blood, the sharp pain, the cold realization that he was probably blind in that eye. Blindness was less of a concern than the handicap in battle. It wasn’t like he expected to survive.

Except Link had, and his new scars ached as Princess Zelda dismissed him from service. The first Knight in generations to be so.

Neither of his parents succeeded in their duties, but at least the Goddesses granted them the honor of dying in the attempt. 

Link loved Mipha, but touching that scar and knowing it was nothing compared to what waited under his tunic, he hated her, too.

“It’s a good thing you didn’t lose that eye: your aim is awful as it is.”

Link exhaled sharply and let his hand drop, his rough fingertips scraping smooth scar tissue as his hand fell.

If Revali had any idea of his thoughts, it didn’t show. He knelt beside Link and proudly gestured behind him. Link looked and raised an eyebrow. The buck was twice Revali’s size. How had he brought it back? “Lunch,” he announced smugly.

Chewing the inside of his cheek, Link considered the deer. He had no idea why Revali was doing all of this but… He enjoyed traveling with Revali and spending time with him. Perhaps he was greedy or perhaps this was a final farewell from Hylia. Perhaps…

“Can you find some vegetables for me?” Link asked, thinking about the remaining supplies in his bag. Certain spices and other items kept well, and he tended to have them even when he ran out of everything else. He could offer Revali some semblance of thanks.

Revali’s eyes lit up. He stood with the barest fluff of his feathers. “I hunt down our lunch, and you want me to go dig in the earth from plants as well,” he drawled. Link bit his cheek harder to keep from smiling. “I will return home a Master, and here I am treated like a servant.”

Even as he complained, Revali turned and stalked back into the trees. Link heard his voice long after he lost sight of him. Allowing his small smile to escape, he started putting a fire together for their lunch.


Why in the name of Nayru’s blue skies did a Knight and a Champion know how to cook so well?

Not that Revali was complaining. At all. 

Well, he could complain about how their long lunch extended their journey and kept them from getting back on the road in a timely fashion, but he would allow Link his indulgences and also allow Link the opportunity to treat Revali like he deserved.

Link said nothing more as they ate, but Revali could tell he was pleased. Truly, Revali thought he should sheathe his sword forever and focus on cooking. He also had no idea why Link didn’t cook more. The meat, seasoned with salt and herb, melted in Revali’s mouth. When they returned to Rito Village, Revali would teach him how to be a true archer and Link could repay him by cooking his meals. It would be an excellent relation… partnership. Excellent partnership.

Though it was odd. During the times they traveled with the other Champions, Link never cooked like this. The only reason Revali had any clue was because Link cooked for them when Revali taught him archery in the mountains.

Perhaps he didn’t like cooking for groups? Or perhaps he only viewed it as a type of thank you?

Hylians were confused as a group. Link was simply baffling.

Revali refused to go as far as actually complimenting Link for the meal, but he made sure to hum his enjoyment. Quietly. Link’s lips remained subtly curved. There was a faint flush in his pale cheeks which looked dramatic with his red scar. He almost looked like a warrior.

Did you ever just want to cook? Or was picking up that sword as natural and easy as the princess always thought of you?

Revali worked hard to master the bow, to master the skies. He wanted to tell Link that. Did he have any comparison with his sword? Did he have any comparison at all?

Yet that conversation topic was ridiculous. They may have broken bread together, but Revali refused to discuss such intimate things with him. Revali had his journal for such things, after all.

Revali finished his lunch with a smack of his beak. “Next time we stop by water,” he announced, “I expect you to find something satisfactory to make with fish.”

Link looked away, but Revali saw his lips curve a little more.

They left the remains of their food for the animals -- Revali hoped they appreciated their strange feast -- and continued their travel southward, following the river. By unspoken agreement, they remained on foot, Epona trotting beside them. Link walked between Epona and Revali while the pair stared suspiciously at each other.

If Link had no plans to ride the beast, then Revali didn’t understand why he dragged it along. Still, showing a restraint the Elder swore he didn’t have, he kept his beak shut. Link dragging the same animal around for miles upon miles hinted at a vulnerability the otherwise silent and stoic Knight refused to show. 

Of course, Link chose a vulnerability with four sharp hooves and a mouthful of blunt teeth.

They remained by the river, following its steady flow and rush, Revali not bothering to waste arrows on the octoroks which bobbed to the surface. He couldn’t shake the feeling that another danger stalked them, and he wanted to be prepared for it. 

Perhaps at another time, the silence around them would have been soothing. They startled a boar, which pretended to rush them before sprinting into the woods. Several hawks spiraled above, crying out. There was no other life around them. No voices. No other horses beyond Epona.

It was like they were alone in the world, and Revali hated it.

“Did you know that there were tasks assigned to becoming Vah Medoh’s Champion?” Revali asked abruptly.

Link started, that damned fog receding from his blue eyes. He shook his head.

Revali nodded once. He spoke louder than planned, startling some birds downriver into flight. He didn’t give a damn. “Indeed! No one told me, of course. Simply told me that I was the obvious choice for her pilot. There was never any doubt that I could pass the challenges, of course, but some warning would have been appreciated.”

A strange understanding lit Link’s face, and for some reason, he shook his left hand. “The Goddess gives you your duty,” he said quietly, “but never instructions or warning.”

Revali clicked his beak. “I didn’t think being the Hylian Champion came with tasks?”

The fog returned to Link’s eyes, and he stared sightlessly forward. His hand remained Epona like he was blind and reliant on her to lead him. “The Sword itself is the task. If you can pull it, you are Chosen.”

Revali cocked his head, studying Link’s scarred face. “What happens if you can’t?”

Link didn’t answer immediately. His left hand flexed against Revali’s wing, his fingers strangely cold. The crickets and rushing water filled the silence as if it was a void. From the trees, a doe watched them walk with endless black eyes.

When Link spoke again, it was so softly that Revali needed to strain to hear him. “The King knew that the Calamity was going to awaken. Their legends placed the Master Sword in the woods, and the Sheikah helped them find it. Seven of the King’s greatest Knights were sent. My father was one of them.”

The lively flush from their lunch was gone, leaving Link pale and worn looking. His scar looked vivid against his white skin. 

“My father was one of them. He was one of two to return, only because the Great Deku Tree yelled at him to stop and refused to let the last one try. The King didn’t send me to find the sword. I found it myself, and it still almost killed me.”

They walked and there was only crickets and water, leaving the staring doe behind. The late afternoon sun poured through the trees, but Revali still felt an odd chill.

“You pulled the sword,” Revali said eventually. “You won the Challenge when everyone else failed. You succeeded.”

Link looked at him but said nothing. Of course.

That same sense of danger lingered. Ruffling his feathers and adjusting his bow, Revali looked around but saw nothing. Even the damned boars were gone. He huffed. “I will be right back. Keep following the river. I know there have been some Lynels in these woods. I’ll look around and make sure our path is clear.”

Link glanced at him but remained silent. His talkative moment was gone.

Annoyed, Revali pulled away far enough to avoid a kick to the head and summoned his Gale. When he looked down, he noticed that Link had raised his head and watched him fly. That appeased the growing frustration thrumming in his chest. A little.

Of course it took this much to get that bastard’s eyes on him.

Grumbling to himself, Revali pushed himself further, higher, feeling the chill of the air and the freedom of the wind beneath his wings. He had spent too long on the ground, relying on his talons instead of his wings. If it kept up, he would end up as crazy as the Hylians.

Breathing in the icy winds, Revali soared to the heights, only then looking down again. He grinned when he saw Link still watching him. 

Then his grin immediately faded when he looked beyond Link and saw a dozen slender figures in a mix of familiar uniforms.

“Dammit,” Revali snarled.

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