As the moon began to hang lower on the horizon, we knew we had to move while it was still dark. We didn't know if the lords were going to chase us or not, but we weren't willing to take any more risks. Edward looked up at the sky, nodding a little.
"Looks like we won't have any more storms tonight. It should be an easy ride back." Link and I walked up next to him, looking for what he was watching.
"That's good, I don't want to put Iva or Blaze under any more pressure. We still haven't even seen Iva's wounds, so I don't want to take any risks." I rubbed the back of my arm a little, still feeling a little uneasy.
"You two make sure everyone is ready to depart. We need to get moving before the sun rises." They nodded, running back to the cave. As I stood alone, I closed my eyes, calling out in my mind.
"Hylia, why didn't you save me from this fate?" Her voice echoed back, confusing me.
"It was necessary." My anger instantly swelled.
"What do you mean it was necessary! I am a monster!" The Goddess's response was clear.
"You are my chosen." I opened my eyes sighing a little. I spoke out loud, unable to contain my thoughts any longer.
"I know it wasn't your plan, but please, don't let me hurt them." The silence filled my ears, and my mind relaxed its thoughts. I sighed, getting to work. I found two large tree limbs and some palm leaves, creating a stretcher to carry Blaze home in. I grabbed the sling under one arm and ran back to the cave. Everyone was waiting outside of the cave for me, except Silver and Blaze. Blaze was too weak to stand, and Silver wouldn't leave Blaze by herself. I spoke with confidence, regardless of what I had become.
"Shadow, come with me, I need you to help Silver carry Blaze back to the boat." Shadow nodded, following me back into the cave. I left the stretcher outside with the others. Silver sat quietly next to Blaze. She seemed confused, yet calm and collected.
"Silver, carry Blaze outside. Shadow, make sure they don't fall. I will be down there in a minute. Help Link and Edward get the boat ready to depart, it's time to head home." They both nodded and followed my instructions. Yet as Silver picked out Blaze, she looked at me with curiosity. I could only smile, knowing that she was finally safe where she belonged. Although she had been missing for over a year, I still considered her to be an important part of the team. I took a moment to get my mind settled, yet I knew we didn't have much time. The sun was already starting to rise, destroying any chance of stealth that we had. I grabbed my weapons and the machines that were attached to Blaze, quickly leaving the cave, and making it down the rocks. Yet as soon as I did, the sun began to appear in the sky, setting a creepy glow over the landscape. I was stopped in my tracks, pulled to the ground with misery.
Link turned back as soon as he heard my screams, sprinting back into the forest. Everyone turned to see where he was going, quickly hearing my screams as well. Silver looked at Edward.
"Go help Link, we can make it back to the boat just fine!" Edward nodded, quickly following Link back towards the waterfall. Yet by the time they got to me, I was already on my hand and knees, my body transforming back.
"Link what do we do!" Edward's words fell on deaf ears, as Link wasn't sure what to do himself. Yet as the final moments of my transformation ended, I fell forward. Almost unable to keep myself up, I gasped for air. My body was shaking violently from my traumatic transformation back to my normal body. I tried to stand up but found it impossible. I then noticed that Edward and Link were standing there.
"Did you two see all of that?" Link ran to me, knowing that I wouldn't be able to move very well.
"Don't worry about that, for now let me help you." Link began inspecting me, looking for any injuries. I had injuries from my battle a few days prior, including the large gash on my left leg that I had managed to hide very well. Yet when Link looked at my back, he almost had to look away. My back had sustained just as much damage as it had before, overlaying the old scars with new ones, and destroying more of my back. I looked back at him, still struggling to breathe.
"I know, it's really bad isn't it." Edward walked behind Link to see the damage, only to be shocked. The number of new wounds and scars on my back would have killed anyone else. Link sighed a little, standing up.
"It isn't great, that's for sure. How's your pain?" I tried getting up again, only to fail.
"I was able to hide it from you before, but now? I can't even describe it to you Link. It's a lot like…" I trailed off, Link finishing my sentence.
"It's a lot like what happened a year ago. I know." Link offered me his hand and I took it.
"Come on Iva, let get you back to the boat. You have another long road of recovery ahead of you." As I leaned on Link, I reached up and tugged on his ear a little.
"I know, but as long as I have you guys, I don't mind." I walked ahead a little, finally finding my stride. Link rubbed his ear, scoffing a little.
"Damn it all, I hate when she does that." Edward chuckled a little.
"Does she do that a lot?" Link looked up at Edward, still holding his ear a little as they walked.
"You have no idea." They walked in silence as they kept an eye on me, finally able to see the shore. As we reached the shore, the others greeted me warmly. They were happy to see me back to normal. Edward and Link stayed back a little, just observing the situation from afar. Yet as they stood there, Link got a terrible idea. He transformed into a wolf, getting down into a pounce. Edward was instantly alarmed, speaking in a whisper.
"What the hell are you doing?" Link grinned a little.
"You will see." I turned around a little, catching the transformed Link in the corner of my eye. I knew what kind of game he was playing at. I transformed just as Link was about to pounce on me, avoiding his attack. I sprinted off with Link chasing me down. Yet as we chased and wrestled each other in the cool morning dew covered grass, Edward was utterly confused.
"Iva is injured, so why did he start fighting with her?" Amy walked up, chuckling a little.
"You think that's a fight? Wait till you see a real fight between those two. That is, if you plan on sticking around. Edward thought for a moment, wondering if the TCR Rebellion squad had what he was looking for. He was originally looking for revenge, but as he watched Link and I wrestle, he knew he had found something more. He smiled a little, Amy beside him as they watched.
"I think I will stick around Amy." I jumped on top of Link, pushing him over and sending us rolling into the grass. We laughed together, regardless of the calls coming from Shadow.
"Come on you guys we have to go! The Lords could catch us any time now." Link and I looked at each other, transforming back as we stood up. Mario threw my boot at my feet, grinning a little.
"Wouldn't want you to get splinters." I grinned a little, picking up my boots.
"Please, like a splinter would hurt any more than my current wound arsenal." As I put on my boots, Link kept watch over me. He knew that our strange game of tag had improved my mood, but not my wounds and pain. In fact, it had made my pain worse, but I hardly cared. What stopped our fun was Shadow, calling for us so we could leave. We placed Blaze on the stretcher I had made, Silver and Shadow carrying Blaze onto the boat. One by one, we boarded, Sonic, Edward, and Link pushing the boat back into the water. As Edward pulled down the sail and the waves of the sea began beating against the front of the boat, I closed my eyes. I was ready to go home. Yet as Link sat down next to me, I sighed. I knew he wanted to get a good look at my wounds.
"So, is it time for my torment?" Link sighed, grabbing his medical supplies.
"If you mean stitches, then yes." I grumbled a little in annoyance.
"Why can't I just heal my own wounds." I spoke as I took off what was left of my white, bloodstained undershirt. The binding on my chest was hardly holding together. I knew that I was too weak to even heal Blaze, so I didn't know why I was complaining. Link got up, bringing some familiar items to me.
"Maybe this will help." Link had brought all my gear and my overshirt. I smiled, taking my gear from him. As he sat down behind me again, beginning to clean my back, I removed my sword from its scabbard. It was in pristine condition, almost as if it had been cared for. I knew Link had cleaned my weapons, making me smile a little.
"Thank you, I am so glad you found my gear." Link smiled a little.
"Anytime, now hold still. You know the drill." I scoffed as I prepared myself.
"Yeah, yeah, you know I wont move." I winced as Link started stitching my wounds. It had always been the thing I loathed. Edward fixed the sail again, looking down and noticing how uncomfortable I was. He made sure that the sail wasn't going to move, directing Shadow to take the rudder for a bit. Shadow agreed, already knowing what Edward was trying to do. Edward sat down in front of me, seemingly curious.
"Are you in pain?" I winced again as Link began closing an exceedingly deep and painful wound on my back.
"Yeah, you could say that." Yet as I looked up at Edward, I was shocked at what I was. The man looked worried about me, shocking me. Edward was so confusing to me. The fact that he had gone on a crazy journey across Hyrule just to save a woman he had just met was insane. Yet as I looked away for one moment, I was alarmed when Edward grabbed my hand. I quickly looked back at him.
"Am I making you uncomfortable, Iva?" I sighed a little, trying to accept his kindness.
"No, I know you are just trying to help." Link smiled, trying to focus on his work as he spoke.
"Let the man hold your hand. Zelda isn't here to help. He isn't going to hurt you." I looked back at Link in annoyance.
"I know that!" I winced a little, accidentally half crushing Edward's hand. Yet he did not stir, allowing himself to be there for me regardless of how strong my grip strength was. So as the duo cared for me, I allowed the smell of the sea to ease my troubled mind. In the end, as much as I was hurting, I was happy.