The Legend of Ilia
Link was walking toward the village when he heard Colin calling his name.
‘Link! Wait for me!’
Link halted and turned towards Colin. Colin was a thin, blond-haired 20-year-old who, despite being several years younger than Link, was one of Link's best friends.
‘Hey, Link, where are you going?’ Colin asked, running to catch up with Link.
‘The mayor's house. He invited me over for supper.’
‘Why do you think you were invited?’ Colin asked. ‘I mean, the mayor doesn't just invite anyone, he's always got a reason.’
‘I don't know.’
‘Think Ilia had anything to do with it?’
Link laughed. ‘Ilia? She barely knows me! We were great friends before, but then she lost her memory. Haven't seen her since, not counting that time I helped save that kid.’
Colin spoke in a high-pitched imitation of Ilia's voice. ‘I'll never forget this, Link! You are so kind.’
Link laughed again. ‘You know how long ago that was? Twelve years. I doubt if she even remembers my name.’
Colin reverted to his normal voice. ‘Well, unless you've done something heroic recently, I can't see why else you'd be invited. No offence meant, of course.’
‘None taken. Anyway, it doesn't matter. If you'll excuse me, I've go to get to the mayor's house.’ Link headed down the path, stopped and waved to Colin, and continued on his way.
Link knocked three times. The door was opened by Ilia. She glanced momentarily at his outfit then looked him in the eyes.
‘Link! You look nice.’
‘You too.’ And she did. As the mayor's daughter, her dress was nice. But her clothes weren't all. She had a kind, soft expression and beautiful green eyes…
‘Come in. The dining room is in the back.’ Ilia moved her head slightly in the direction of the dining room.
Link nodded his thanks then headed down the hall in the right direction.
The dining room was perfect. A table was set for four though it could easily have fitted eight. The back wall was covered in windows, showing a spectacular view of the small hills surrounding the town. Link walked over to the windows and gazed out, one hand pressed to the cold pane of glass, the other hanging at his side.
‘Beautiful view, isn't it?’
Link turned around to see the mayor. ‘Yes, it is.’
‘Supper's ready. Best eat it before it cools.’ The mayor motioned towards the table.
Link walked over to the table, sat down, and began to eat…
Nearly an hour later, everyone was done.
‘Now for the reason I called you here,’ the mayor said, putting down his fork. ‘Twelve years ago, Link, you saved this town. As mayor, I meant to award you, but you had gone. Then, four years later, you returned, but I couldn't think of anything to give you. It was only a week ago that I finally found something to present to you.’ The mayor reached behind him and pulled out a beautiful white shield, with Link's symbol painted in its center in blue.
Link blinked in amazement, then spoke, his voice almost a whisper. ‘Wow. Thanks. This is… amazing. I owe you.’ Link took the shield and gazed at it in wonder. ‘I owe you so much.’
As Link examined the shield, a sudden weariness overtook him. He glanced out the window and saw a setting sun. ‘It's getting late; I'd better go. But thanks, the dinner was great. The shield… is more than I could ask. I owe you.’
Link stood up, walked to the door, and left the mayor's house.
Colin was waiting for Link outside.
‘She kept staring at you,’ Colin said, as they walked home.
‘What? Who?’ asked Link, a little confused.
‘Ilia. She almost never stopped looking at you. I saw her through the window.’
‘You did what?’
‘Saw her through the window. Congrats on the shield, by the way.’
‘Who invited you?’
‘Who said I was invited? And why do you care? I've seen you eat plenty of times, and you didn't mind then.’
‘Yeah, but then I knew about it. You could've told me.’
‘You would have said no. Listen to yourself. You sound like my mom.’
‘She does get on your nerves, doesn't she?’
‘No kidding. So, what're you gonna do?’
‘Am I supposed to do something?’
Colin chuckled. ‘Not if you don't want to. She's awfully pretty, though.’
‘Shut up,’ Link said, but he was smiling.
‘Shut up? Now why would I do that?’
‘Because if you don't, I'll shoot you with my slingshot.’
‘Are you threatening me?’
‘Maybe I am.’
‘And maybe you aren't.’