A True End

by Megan O'Shea

AN: Wow, it's been a good long while since I contributed a fic. Been having some fun in the original writing department, and typed this out. Maybe the ending to The Tempest, maybe not; at this point I have no idea. Either way, enjoy :)

"Don't hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky.
It slips away and all your money won't another minute buy.
Dust in the wind.
All we are is dust in the wind.
Dust in the wind.
Everything is dust in the wind."

~Sarah Brightman


In the near hellish darkness, she rose from the velvet backed chair, a mere darker shadow in a world composed solely of it. Her cape had rustled slightly to follow her movements, swirling behind her lithe body like the black currents of eternal death itself. As she moved, the shining prism about her neck swung slightly on its gilded chain, filling the space between them with a violet illumination.

"So, Hero," she began, her voice smooth as velvet, "you wish to challenge me, Tempest? Surely you're joking." The smirk that accompanied the taunt had sent violent heat surging through his red veins, causing his twitching hand to fly to sudden action, gripping the hilt of the Master Sword in white fisted wrath.

"Yes, Tempest," he answered quietly, although underneath his seeming calm there had been no mistaking the anger, simmering just below his cool façade.

The sorceress smirked, her own sword suddenly produced from beneath the mass of her flowing cape. It was thin, stained with the rust of blood long ago shed, made for the gristly task of killing. Her smile grew, mocking, as her sea-colored orbs burned deeply into his own. "I see. Very well, then. I guess I shall give you the fight that will bring you again to the side of that harlot sister of yours."

In response, he withdrew the shimmering Master Sword from its sheath, its whisper echoing in the stillness around them. Although he knew well that Princess Zelda, Mira, and Istas hovered behind him, ready to defend him if need be, for a moment in time they did not exist. It was just he and his bitterly hated enemy, facing off, ready to begin a dance that would end only when one was sent to death's cold embrace.

Tempest wasted no further words; her abrupt movement was too swift for his eyes to follow. Moments later, he staggered as her blurred form flitted past him with all the grace of a huntress, his tunic slashed open to reveal the paler skin beneath, a burning line of bleeding red displayed to show he had taken the punishment of her weapon.

"Don't tell me that's the best you can do, Hero, standing there dumb as a wounded animal. You're making this far too easy for me." The voice of the sorceress came from behind him, flavored with deep scorn and sarcasm, nearly as biting as the injury she had inflicted. He turned, swinging his sword outward in a wild swing, which she avoided with a measure of unholy grace.

Her laugh rang in the dim chamber, inviting him to make yet another foolish error. He was weary from the previous struggles he and his comrades had endured, forcing their way to Tempest's very room, and he was well aware of the clear droplets of sweat running down his forehead to meet the coldness of the floor beside his boots. Her giggle enraged him, and he flew blindly in her direction, slashing desperately at her shifting, racing form. Try as he might, he could not capture her, stab her, wound her. Shed her blood as she had his…His teeth clenched in rage as he made another attempt to cut her.

His sword sliced through empty air, whistling as it went, and her voice chilled his mortal liquid as it intruded upon his thoughts.

'Very nice, Hero…I'd have thought someone from a bloodline such as yours wouldn't give in to his temper.'

He paused, taken aback by the admonishment, feeling his screaming muscles beg for an ounce of mercy. His breath came in short, pained spurts through his half parted lips, and he nearly screamed for his frustration.

Moments later, however, it was the princess herself who emitted a screech of fear, of pain. He turned, her name tearing from his lips, as he caught sight of Tempest, a fluid shadow, wrapping itself about Zelda's standing, trembling form. Crimson bloomed brightly on the princess's neck where the blade had marked her with its cruelty; her skin had gone parchment white in contrast. It lived in her eyes, a bright flame, the sapphire irises inundated with dread.

"Well, what have we here?" murmured the sorceress with great pleasure, running her tongue across her cherry colored lips as she greedily eyed the thin, agonized line she had created. "It seems Princess Zelda has a bit of a cut here, hmmm?" The sorceress's fingers ran across the other woman's neck, causing her to shiver and cry as a few bright drops spattered across them. "Such power in this blood…With it, the Triforce is all the closer to my waiting fingers…" Tempest said softly, speaking seemingly to herself as she raised her stained fingers to her lips to taste the ensanguined fluid.

The princess gave another strangled moan as the woman's fingers brushed against her neck a second time—how cold they were! This frigidness was nothing, however, compared to the blade the sorceress held to her throat mere seconds later. "It seems you're in a bit of a bind now," Tempest said to Link, her tone loud, close to Zelda's ears as the blade pressed in a bit more tightly, causing her to gasp.

Zelda could see the young man's features become taught in deep hatred from across the dark room. "Let her go, Tempest," he commanded, and again there was that callousness in his order that caused her to shudder in Tempest's embrace. Such impassion…

Without conscious thought behind her efforts, the princess dug her fingernails into Tempest's arms, suddenly beginning to kick and thrash with all her power. If she had to die, she would do it fighting. The sorceress's arms tightened about her person, an oath working its way from her mouth as she sought to contain the wriggling princess. At that moment, Mira's voice reverberated, loud and clear, from an indeterminate space behind her.

"We didn't come to play head games, you wench. Instead of taking a hostage, fight fairly!" The sorceress turned, a moment too late, as the young Sheikah woman's spear imbedded itself in her hip, falling dramatically short of Mira's aim, her chest. Hissing in discomforted anger, Tempest released the wildly thrashing Zelda, her attentions now solely focused on the one that had managed to hurt her. Grasping the shaft to the weapon, she removed it cleanly, the garment she wore becoming stained with the darkness of her vitality.

"You!" she snarled in Mira's direction, eyes cold and narrow with deep dislike. The young woman held her ground, despite the fact she was now without defense, her molten orbs burning with desire to fulfill the fight she had longed for.

"I suppose you also wish to die, then? So be it!" Before Mira could react, a stinging, blinding flash had barreled from the sorceress's outstretched hand and into her body. Tears overflowed from the embankments of her eyelids, flowing down her paled cheeks as she smelled the sick sweetness her own severely seared flesh. As the glow that filled the small chamber, born from the use of magic, faded, she collapsed, her flaming hair billowing, flowing out from her still form as a shuddering breath left her.

"Mira!" Istas's cry was imbued with great sorrow, commingled with disbelief and horrification. His own spear nearly slipped from his fist from the slickness of his perspiration and sheer incredulity; yet he brought it up to a position of attack, his training and instincts taking place of the chill dread that flowed as copiously through his veins as his own blood.

Without words he charged the sorceress, and without so much as a snicker she let a savage blow sing across his chest, knocking him back and away. His eyes were wide, full of grief and rage, agony and a numb shock, as he flew on wings of defeat, backward, to join his friend on the emotionless floor. He, after her fashion, did not move, to all appearances nothing now but a corpse.

Link, who watched the whole onslaught occur within less then two minutes time, chose his opportunity then to make a fresh attack against the turned back of the sorceress.

His weapon, a glimmering streak of light against the gloom, came to make its fatal connection, when she turned in his direction partially, his footfall betraying his movement. She twisted in such a way that the cusp of his weapon pierced first her glittering prism, followed directly thereafter by the blackness of her heart. As she fell, the metallic, gleaming sword falling from her hand, the prism's remains burst apart suddenly in a flash of illumination, small stars falling in the ebony of the artificial night surrounding them.

Despite the gathering blood on the floorboards from the corpse so near him, the young hero sank to his knees, gathering what small, crystalline shards he could in his hand, his shoulders heaving in mute grief. The sorceress's life, unnatural and prolonged, was over, but at the same time, Anna's was as well.


Her sobs awoke him deep in the blackened night, full of sorrow and loneliness, born from a profound well of coalesced grief. She was inconsolable, though the loss had been none of her doing. Mourners that had heard of what had transpired in that dark room miles away out to sea had offered their condolences to them both, especially to him, but he had grown tired of hearing the outpouring of public mourning. He had instead shut himself away in his room of the castle, refusing to see anyone with the exception of Zelda, and as the days had passed even she had stopped her visits, preferring instead to be alone in her own room with her thoughts and self-created guilt. A night had not passed since their return a few days before when she was awake and crying in the parlor downstairs.

Again and again, his mind relived what it could not alter. He was bathed, drenched, in his own sweat despite the intrinsically chill evenings that Hyrule always brought. Thrusting aside with a violent motion the silken covers that had encased his body, he sat for a time, seeking to gather his scampering thoughts and still his quickly hammering core. She was gone, dead, yet he could not forget…He shuddered, trying to force the memories, images, of her shining jade eyes, her sun-blond hair, even the scolding in her tone, away. A letter from the King of Hyrule and his uncle had informed both he and the princess that their ship, on its way home from its foreign business transaction, had been delayed in an unexpected squall. That provided him some comfort. At least they would not know for a few more days, at least, of his failure.

His fingers, placed to his temples to soothe the throbbing, were shaking without his conscious knowledge. His ragged breathing made his chest light with fire, made his head spin in a fit of nausea. He was keenly aware of the flow of his blood, the oxygen that ran through his frame, aware that he lived.

Yet, the simple act in itself brought countless needles of pain to assault his being, his shortcoming, accidental though it was, a haunting wraith with his sibling's face that would not leave his side. He let out a sigh, tears prickling the backs of his clouded oculars. He'd had such faith, such hope that he could rescue her, bring her back…

The reality was still battering him, cruelly refusing to be ignored. The sword in its scabbard beside his bed, even the tunic that bore Zelda's precise, tidy stitches, all seemed a distant dream to him, objects that belonged to someone other than he. The shadows swayed and danced in the silvery moonlight, causing his reality to shift for a moment into a surreal portrait of abstract distraction.

It was then she arrived, out of the purity of the moonshine itself, her flowing white gown edged in deep blue, sparkling in small points, shining as though with faerie tears. Her golden hair rested upon her shoulders, the azure trails of fabric that trailed from the garb she wore pooling on the floor, sweeping upwards as she moved toward him, liquid pity for him in her emerald irises. The barely discernable rustling of her gown was what caused him to look up from the floor he had fixed his attention on; his breath caught in his throat, rendering him incapable of speech, as he beheld her.

Her question was a simple one, asked of him as she tilted her head to one side, curious in her sorrow. "Why do you blame yourself, Link? You tried, that's what counts, is it not?"

"A-Anna, I'm sorry…I failed you. I promised you I'd bring you back, and…" A sob caught in his throat, and he finally permitted his tears to spill over. Through their blur, however, their warm prickle on his cheeks, he saw her shake her head, giving a slight smile despite her own dripping lament, iced tears on her visage.

"No, no, that's where you're mistaken, Link. You never failed me. You tried, my brother. That's all I wanted from all of you. That's all I could hope for or expect. You attempted it."

"Anna…" he whispered, "I…" Again, she shook her head, her ethereal body trembling with its own contained disappointment. "It's all right, Link. I've been watching over you all this whole time. I saw everything you all did. I know you all cared for me. I'm content in that."

"What of the Tetraforce?" he asked next, suddenly curious to know its fate. She smiled slightly, a great weariness to it, as she replied softly, "It no longer matters, Link. It's sealed away from anyone's use. My pendant was the last piece of it to remain in this world. That too, is gone." As he glanced up in befuddlement, she nodded, her rueful smile becoming bigger. "Yes, if you looked now, you'll see it's crumbled to pieces, the Tetraforce piece inside gone."

He began to weep then in full earnest, his innards reeling from the fresh blow it had been dealt. The embrace she gave him next was as gentle as falling snow, as insubstantial as a breath of summer breeze.

"Stop crying. Din knows enough have done so on my account, and none of it will bring me back. Go, now, to where Zelda is. Comfort her. She needs you now." Her airy digit graced his chin briefly; already he could see her form was fading, returning to the world belonging to the spirits.

As she took her leave of him, she smiled. "Remember your dreams. I live in them." As he watched, her figure again blended with the moonlight, then was gone.

He blinked, then, surrounded by darkness, the moonlight having vanished suddenly, and what he reasoned to be a waking dream. For several minutes, he sat quietly, trying to make sense of what he had seen. From down below, Zelda's grief was still audible. Silently, he rose, then sought the parlor where her sobs emanated from.



The room was alight with a fiery glow as he entered, clad in a long night shirt made of rough linen. The princess herself was properly attired for the rest she had denied herself for the past few evenings, the golden firelight highlighting her hair in coppery hues and touching her silken garments in gold. The rings she wore upon her pale fingers, the circlet she wore upon her head, shone in a lucent fashion, the halo of an angel.

"Link," she whispered quietly, looking away from the blaze in the stone hollow before her, a melancholy smile touching her features as she lifted one delicate, perfectly shaped hand from the arm of the chair she occupied to accost him.

"Princess," he replied in hushed kind, taking her hand and placing it against where his heart beat beneath the folds of cloth. She sighed softly, pleased to see him, but saddened by the grief the sight of him reminded her of.

For a brief span, he did not stir, enjoying the feel of her hand in his. The fire filled the silence between them, popping and cracking, throwing its warm and forgiving light out upon them both. Slowly, she leaned up to kiss him, and he lowered his head, his lips brushing against hers, flooding his body with syrupy desire. Her arms went about his shoulders, pulling him closer to her…

They did not notice the parlor door ajar; nor did they hear the approaching footsteps. A voice, filled with banter, said just audibly enough to make itself heard,

"I see the two of you are certainly enjoying each other's company." Link glanced up, the embrace broken, the kiss abandoned, to see both Mira and Istas standing in the doorframe to the room. Istas was a practical somnambulist, leaning his sagging body against his companion's for support, his hair tousled and his eyes bleary. He yawned, blinking fuzzily into the firelight as though dazzled by it, squinting and dim-sighted. He, of the four, was the most deeply affected by their collective loss; he had not slept in days, rarely speaking, eating very little until Impa, who supplied them all with food, swore that he was going to skin and bones and would starve before long. It was Mira who forced food into his mouth whether he liked it or no, made him drink when he refused to, and berated him night after night for not getting the proper sleep.

Even Mira herself seemed somewhat downcast in comparison to her normal, bitter self; Link noted that even now, despite the shine of the firelight to mask it, she was dreadfully pale. Like Istas, she ate little, drank even less, and always seemed to be in a state of deep pondering.

In response to Mira's statement, Zelda smiled wanly, not at all offended. The journey had brought them all together, making them understand one another better, work together more efficiently, and have a sharper sense of tolerance.

"Well," began Mira, breaking the thick strands to yet another prolonged silence, "I guess Istas and I better go back to bed and leave you two alone. Come on, Istas." Istas, who looked as though any time now would be the perfect one to fall asleep standing against the doorframe, shuddered as Mira's hand clamped down on his shoulder. He was still in obvious discomfort from the injuries that had been inflicted on him in the battle they had all endured; Mira, too, was also pained, but tried her best to conceal it from the watchful eyes of others, especially Impa, who had taken to watching her like a hawk guarding its young. Unlike Istas or even Link himself, Mira would quietly forebear any discomfort her injuries caused her. It was quite a struggle for the princess's nursemaid to have the Sheikah allow her to see the burned skin for any sign of infection or other ill humors, especially since it required the removal of any upper garment Mira had on at the time. The shouting that ensued from the young woman's room from day to day had servants turn their heads in the midst of their chores, and the elderly nursemaid in a flustered state by the time it was through with. "She carries on as though I've never seen a woman's chest!" she huffed one day to Link, who had been overhearing the latest barrage of cries and indignant screeches that had issued from the day's inspection. He had laughed then, the first genuine chuckle he had uttered in a seeming eternity. It felt wonderful, yet so foreign while mourning's benumbing mantle was upon his shoulders, sinking powerfully into his innards.

Now as he settled himself on the floor beside the chair of the grieving princess, he noted that she, too, was changed inexorably by their adventure. Her eyes were hollow in their snowy sockets, tinged with pink and swollen from weeping; the hand that rested upon the chair's elaborately carved wooden arm trembled of its own volition. It also appeared as though Zelda looked through, rather than at, the world that surrounded her, a dream that would evaporate with a never-arriving dawn. As the two Sheikah turned to leave, she raised her shaking digits from their perch and said softly, "No, no, stay, please. It's all right." Mira turned in their direction and nodded, guiding her weary companion in the direction of the parlor's warmth. Silently, two wraiths from a silent underworld of bereavement, they entered a second time, sitting quietly as one body in front of the fireplace, mute. As they settled, Istas leaned his body against Mira's, his shoulders shaking as he recalled the well of his grief and tasted again of its sordid water. The female Shiekah's arm went about his shoulders, her head leaning against his so that coppered strands of her hair drifted about his own, blood and chocolate commingled.

Zelda's hand guided Link's head to the pillow of her skirts, her digits already absently drifting through the waves of his hair. The sweet scent of her lavender perfume filled his nose and soothed his mind as he closed his eyes for a second, wishing this moment would never end. His feelings were beginning to subside; rest wanted its dark way. Yet, he struggled away from it to unclose his orbs; his head shifted with a rustling of the princess's silken skirts to look into the oculars that held so much wisdom, guilt, melancholy. "Zelda," he murmured softly, his tone muffled partially by the folds of her clothing, "I saw Anna again…She was so…radiant. I don't know whether or not I was dreaming or if she was really there, but she said we shouldn't feel guilty anymore, and I sensed she's at peace." This last was not entirely in truth; although he felt the serenity that Anna lent to calm him, he could not tell whether she herself was tranquil. Zelda's fingers in his hair quit their movements for a moment, and she breathed, barely above a whisper, "I'm so glad…I feel as though I could have done more for her, so much more…" Again, Link perceived the tears in her vociferation, and sought the hand that rested in the field of his head. "It's all right now, Zelda…We didn't intend for it to be this way, but it all ended how the goddesses saw fit." He felt her fingers lock into his own; for a moment he felt the shudder that rocked her frame in its entirety. He sensed the attentions of Mira and Istas focused upon them; they had overheard every syllable. Quietly, Link reluctantly removed his head from Zelda's lap, hearing the protest of his joints and feeling the burn of his own wound as he righted himself, causing him to wince.

"She mentioned her pendant, what became of it," he mumbled as he began his exit, "and I want to see if it's true, just to confirm it with my own eyes…" Those at his back said nothing as he left to discover again the stone staircase whose maw led him to the womb of death, wherein his sister lay. He absently grabbed a lantern and lit it with some fluid, rather than use some of his own depleted magic energies, then commenced the descent. His shadow mingled with the rest that rose up, throwing themselves against him as he brushed cobwebs away from an overhanging doorway, coating his hand in filth. Already, he could hear the scratch of tiny rat claws, see the shine of vermin eyes as he moved to where the door that led to the charnel chamber itself waited. It had required the help of another the last time he had been there; his blood filled with ice and his heart was in his throat as he stooped to pull at the metal ring that served as the last obstacle.

The trap door came up with ease; so much so that he nearly fell backward by exerting too much force. The smell of death greeted him with uninhibited clarity as the door came away; he nearly choked on it as his feet sought the first of the stairs that led in a small flight to where the bodies of the long deceased rested. The cold of them bit into his bare feet, their roughness a testimony to poor craftsmanship as he made his way down, the lantern before him to keep the darkness at bay.

As he appeared in the very heart of the chamber, he saw the rats rush away to hide from his light. The luminescence touched every bier, shining through the thin shrouds that covered the decomposed bodies of some members of the royal family. His eyes were fast becoming used to the dimness, his nose the stench; he found her stone bed without much difficulty.

There Anna lay, looking as though she had merely fallen asleep in a house not intended for such a mundane purpose. She had not been spoiled by the ravages of time; although shroud less, her frame seemed to be lost in the wrinkles and folds of the nightgown she had been clothed in at the time of her death. Her hair caught the shine of his light source and came alive in an array of golden shimmer. Her clasped hands rested over her bosom, the golden line of the chain she wore about her neck a thread of color among the whiteness of her garb as he drew closer.

With reluctant hands, he reached out and slowly parted her stiff fingers. Beneath them lay the evidence that her spirit had spoken true; beneath her chill hands lay what remained of her pendant, now shattered in cyanic shards, tiny glittering crystals that glowed in his palm as he picked them up. The golden Tetraforce, once the jewelry's crowning attraction, was indeed gone, as though it had never existed.

With a whispered prayer to her soul, Link reached for the dagger he kept at his side at all times since her death, even when in sleep. Without tears, he reached for a tendril of golden tresses and pulled one vine of it short. With a precise movement, he cut away a bit, curling it between his fingers as he unlaced the neckline to his nightshirt, taking the thick ribbon of material and tying it into a secure knot around the knot. For a time, he paused before his sister's deathbed, in deep contemplation. At last, he turned, waiting until he had reached the mouth of the trapdoor before murmuring his last words to her.

"Good-bye, Anna."




Through the darkness, she could already see the fire the hamlet had prepared especially for the sake of her coming. 'Word must spread quickly when I'm about,' she thought to herself, then muttered in annoyance as she pushed threads of red that had escaped her plait behind her ears. The sounds of shouting children, berating mothers, and anxious fathers were already apparent as she drew closer to the small village. Reaching into the purse at her belt where she carried her few worldly items, she felt for the pointed shard of the pendant Link had given her a few years before. She had traveled all throughout Hyrule to tell of their stories; those that were ignorant to her role in them merely assumed she was embroidering events and asked questions. She had answered them all true; then the points of young fingers, the hushed murmurs of awe, would accost her; what she spoke of was true, all of it!

Mira rarely saw Link himself nowadays, although there had been a few instances where, in their separate travels, their paths had crossed. Conversation would keep their more pressing matters away for a time, then each would be again alone in an individual quest. Mira often asked him to recall memories of what he and Anna and the princess had done before meeting her; although he told the stories easily, his eyes bore a deep pain. Princess Zelda herself was an even more rare a sight for Mira; she did not take her travels in the direction of Hyrule Castle very frequently. Even Istas, for whom Mira's heart still longed, was someone her eyes only beheld from time to time; he had thrown himself without reserve into the tasks Hagen had set out for him to become one of their village guards. He had never given his heart to another, and seemed far removed from the coherent world itself; all of life was about his work now. Her latest letter enquiring after his well-being was tucked safely away in her purse; she would head back in the direction of Death Mountain and give it to another of her people to give to him.

Now, however, there were more pressing matters to be seen after. As she drew closer to the cluster of small huts the village contained, her cloak fanning out like the wings of a raven in the slight autumn breeze, several grimy-faced children dressed in ragged clothes rushed up, welcoming her in a babble of excitement. She smiled to them and walked closer to the fire's warmth, the village's elder hobbling to accost her with cane in hand. In his other rested a flask of wine, which he offered as a gift to her. She accepted it with grace, then allowed herself to be lead to the log the elder indicated before the fire. The villagers gathered around, their cries, murmurs, shouts, dying away as she opened the flask and drank deeply of its contents. The fine wine burned its way down her throat as she drew in a breath to begin her tale; anxious eyes and waiting faces pressed in closer to the fire as she spoke.

"I thank you all for welcoming me with such ardency. I'm a storyteller, although it wasn't always that way." As she talked, Mira's hand, the one she had scarred in an accidental encounter with a sparring partner's spear, curled beneath the flap of her flowing cloak, so as to be hidden from sight. "I was once a soldier for the Sheikah guard. They are a very secretive people, so I won't speak much of them. However, the story I'll be telling tonight happens within their village, or rather, mine." Pausing, she reveled in the utter silence before taking another sip of the scalding wine. "Outsiders came into our village, once so protected from outside influences. I didn't realize it at the time, but these were no ordinary outsiders. They were none other than the hero of legend, Link, and his sister, Anna, may the goddesses preserve her memory. If I recall correctly, last I came to this village, I told the story of how Link and Anna rediscovered one another." Nods and mutters of prayer went to accompany this; respect for the dead was widely observed, especially in smaller villages and when the dead mentioned bore kinship to the Legendary Hero.

"Now, a friend of mine, by the name of Istas, fell in love with Anna. Those who saw them together say that he never looked happier as when he was with her. Theirs was the purest romance I've personally ever laid eyes on, but it was fated not to be." More murmurs greeted this, and she continued on through them. "Anna had a pendant that was as precious as the rarest rupee, and a shard of it was given to us all by Link after she died." Mira reached into her purse and produced the shard, allowing it to wink and shine in the firelight. Tucking it away again after a brief pause, she picked up her narrative again. "Now, allow me to tell you of the hated sorceress, Tempest, may she forever burn in agony…"

The hours drew on as the Shiekah continued her tale. As with the other villages she had told the tale in, Tempest's name was cursed, Anna's pitied and praised, and Link's and Zelda's exalted as though they were the very gods. She was seen as a living legend, the rupees that were pressed into her hand near the coming of dawn done so with reverence. Silently, Mira stood, the flask of wine still in hand, her mind pleasant from its influences as she began to journey again to yet another village, to where the tale would be repeated.

As she reached the cover of a nearby forest, Mira unfolded the letter to Istas, a pang of the old longing sweeping over her. Crumpling it suddenly in her fist, she vowed she would go see him in person this time. Perhaps this day would be the one in which she would finally reveal her true feelings for him, and she would tell him that she was planning, when the opportunity for some idle time presented itself, to record in writing their adventures.

Feeling as though a great weight had been lifted from her shoulders, Mira let out a breath as pure joy filled her. Without a sound, she vanished into the green undergrowth and shadows of the forest, and was gone.

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