Feb 03, 2023 7:54 AM
my boy, this peace is what all true warriors strive for
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Lightning flashes, illuminating a pale horse with two riders, charging towards him over a reinforced drawbridge. He leaps to the side, and as it passes him the riders are revealed as a grim-faced woman and a girl his own size who is furious and terrified in equal measure, clutching something precious in her hand. She sees him even as he sees her, and the idea strikes her - she flings her cargo over the side of the bridge, and it sinks into the rushing water, and the horse is vanishing over the hills carrying her with it.

And then there's another horse, a black stallion, leaping over the gap of the drawbridge as it rises, and it nearly kicks his head in and he rolls away, lands on his elbows, looks up at the horse rearing to a halt, and its rider, the man who will ruin everything -

Farro wakes up with a face burning in his mind's eye.

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Farro wakes up instantly, his heart racing, his breath quick. He tries to be as silent as possible, though, and pretend to be asleep, as he opens his eyes just a little bit.

That little bit is enough to remind him that he is not in danger and that he is in fact in his room and nothing bad is happening. It was just a dream. ...an incredibly vivid, detailed dream. Which left him with an incredibly vivid, detailed face in his brain. His visual imagination is nowhere near this good, he does not remember people's faces with this much detail, what right does a dream have to be more vivid than that?

He sits up and looks around. What time even is it?

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It's not heinously early, the sky is starting to lighten outside his window, but no one else is likely to be awake. Except the Great Deku Tree, of course.

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...yeah, okay. He slips into his tunic and gingerly steps outside, quietly, following the path he knows in large part by muscle memory by now to the Great Deku Tree.

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Sometimes Mido stands at the entrance to the little valley that leads into the Tree's domain, and challenges anyone with the temerity to... want to talk to the Tree, even though that honestly doesn't seem very temorous to anyone else. Mostly it's just Mido being kind of a dick and wanting an excuse to wrestle people. This early in the morning, though, Mido isn't up, so the path in is clear.

The Great Deku Tree stands, grand and towering, in a meadow within a crater so vast that even his own massive roots do not reach the sides. No one knows what made that crater; some of the Kokiri have asked the Tree, but he says that some things are the remit of the old, that eternal children shouldn't worry themselves with this grim thing. (It's one of the only things he flatly refuses to discuss, and most of the Kokiri agree that he's probably got his reasons.)

"Ah, Farro," he creaks. "It is good of you to visit, in the dull hours when this old mind wanders... though you are not often the earliest of your compatriots to rise, are you?"

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"No."

...he scoots over to the tree, looks around to make sure there are no other kokiri watching, then sits on the ground and hugs his knees. "I had a bad dream."

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"Ah." A low branch droops to stroke through Farro's hair. "It must have been very terrible to frighten you, Farro; you have your namesake's courage in such abundance."

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"...it's... It just felt so real. There was this girl, and this horse, and this - flute - I don't know - and this man - and now I can think of - I know what he looks like. More than I know what I look like."

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The Great Deku Tree is silent for a moment.

"Some say," he creaks, "that every dream has a grain of truth. I do not believe it to be so, not for every dream; but some dreams are sent by the gods, and I know this to be so. And such dreams are never easy to forget..."

There's a rustling in the branches above, and a flute like the one he saw in the dream drops from the Tree's canopy. (It's not the one from the dream. That one was carved from blue stone, patches of it glossy and other parts matte with heavy use; this is wood-carved, polished to an even shine. But they are the same instrument.)

"I have long thought that you should learn to make music," he says, a blatant non sequitur. "Would you play a few notes on that ocarina, and tell me if the sound of it pleases you?"

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He blinks, and reaches out to grab it. "Ocarina," he repeats. "The one from the dream was blue and stone." He closes his eyes and brings it up to his lips to try to figure out what each hole... does. Even as he kind of feels like he already knows.

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There's a song his fingertips reach for. It's a simple enough tune, one-two-three one-two-three, the kind you might hum to put a baby to sleep; as the tones emerge, he imagines the girl from his dream.

(She's walking with him through a garden, talking back and forth, and they pass by a rill that trickles over the edge of the island and spills into the clouds below. She's crying on his shoulder, miserable and helpless and so furious about it she can't hold the tears back. He's holding a sword, and there's blue fire in her hands, and they have each other's backs as the monsters close in.)

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He gasps and drops the flute, then stares at it, blinking rapidly.

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The Tree rustles. "A soothing tune. But not one that comforts you?"

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"I... saw the girl again. In my head." He grabs the ocarina once more and tries playing the tune again.

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Similar memories rise to the surface. They're very specific, each of them a moment in time, but none of them holds the information he really wants. He doesn't remember what they spoke of along the riverbank, or where they were when she cried, or for that matter her name - but he remembers her laugh, bright and sweet, he remembers the wicked smile when they planned a petty revenge on Groose (who Groose is he does not recall), and he remembers the ferocity with which she demanded his oath to keep fighting alongside her, no matter how long it took them to make things right.

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He doesn't drop the flute this time, and keeps playing it and... watching. Watching the not-memories, the images in his head, trying to make sense of them. This is freaky shit but it's cool freaky shit and without the terrifying dude in armour it is a lot more enjoyable to experience.

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The Deku Tree doesn't interrupt him for a good several minutes of his song. It's long enough that he starts feeling tired, though - he's not sleepy, he just woke up, but either playing the flute is harder work than he thought or whatever magic he's doing is the kind that takes sustained effort. Not a ton of it. Just, enough to leave him out of breath. Which is really inconvenient when you're playing a wind instrument, as it turns out?

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