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Chapter 1: Early to Rise

In pitch darkness, a boy stood. His bright blue eyes glanced around, not sure as to where he was. Then, he saw the huge monster-like creature in front of him. As black as the darkness around it, it opened its maw, revealing several rows of sharp teeth, each as easily as tall as the boy. It let out a roar that shook the entire area.

The boy gasped loudly. Then he shielded his eyes, as a bright purplish light began to glow. A glowing orb appeared above the monster's head, and a voice began to speak.

Rise, Link… The time has come for you to awaken… You are fated to have a hand in a great destiny, and it will soon find you… The time has come for you to awaken…

Link…

The light vanished, and the monster let out another roar. Link cringed, closing his eyes. After a moment, it became silent. Then a strange noise was heard, almost like distant chirping. Link warily opened his eyes and looked around. When he turned back to the front, a large indigo colored bird stood, wide eyes staring at him.

Link let out a shriek. Then THUMP. He opened his weary eyes to find himself on the floor of a small room. He had had that dream again.

The bird hadn't been a dream, however. Its head poked through the small open window, rays of morning sunlight peeking in from behind it. It opened its mouth and spit a white rectangular object at Link, squawked, then left in a flurry of feathers.

Link slowly got up, rubbing the back of his neck. He picked up the damp envelope from the bird, which had the words To Link written in neat cursive on the front. He opened it up and after rubbing his eyes he began to read.

Hey, sleepyhead. I know how much you like to sleep in, so I'm guessing this letter will be your alarm clock this morning. Did I guess right?
Rise and shine, Link! Today's the Wing Ceremony! You promised to meet me before it starts, remember?
You'd better not keep me waiting.
- Zelda


Link sleepily smiled. Leave it to Zelda to wake him up.

Zelda was Link's best friend. They had known each other ever since they were little. Now they were older, and both students at the Knight Academy, a school where young adults trained to become honorary knights to protect the people of Skyloft, the small city in which they lived.

Today was very special, as it was the day of the annual Wing Ceremony, held in honor of the goddess of old. Students would compete for the right to rise up in rank at the academy, and the right to be a part of the traditional ritual preformed afterward. Zelda had insisted that Link wake up early so they could train beforehand.

Link pushed the nightmare to the back of his mind, even though it was the fourth time he had had it in the last week. After stretching and somewhat straightening the blanket on his bed, he walked past his small wooden desk and bookshelf, opened up his wardrobe, and got dressed. He put on a cream colored shirt with a red middle and fastened a brown belt around his waist. He zipped up his dark green pants and pulled on his gray boots. After quickly running a brush through his tangled golden hair, he opened his door and stepped into the hallway.

Light streamed in from the windows as he walked towards the other end of the hall. He walked past the dining hall, completely used to getting up too late to eat breakfast. He was never really hungry when he got up in the morning anyway, or really, in the afternoon. Lunch was always his first meal of the day.

He happened to glance through the open doorway to the dining hall, and he saw a boy around his age, wiping down tables. He must've felt Link's gaze on him, as he looked up, a bit startled at first. But then he relaxed and smiled.

"Good morning, Link!" said the boy. "Today's the big Wing Ceremony, right? I wanted to fly too, but I… I didn't make the cut, so I'm stuck back at the academy doing chores. I was hoping to be able to at least cheer you on, Link, but… I guess that's just the way it goes. Go out there and wow them, buddy!"

Link smiled as he turned away. He felt a bit sorry for the boy, Fledge, who was very shy and not the strongest. He always tried very hard though, but sometimes that just wasn't enough. He was often picked on by other students at the academy.

Link pushed these thoughts out of his mind as he walked outside. The sun felt warm on his face as it shone brightly down on Skyloft, with small scattered clouds around it. He could see the silhouettes of birds flying in the sky, and hear their distant chirps.

Skyloft is a rather large outcrop of earth suspended in the great sky. Other smaller outcrops were located throughout the sky, but Skyloft was the biggest by far. It was said that the great goddess herself created these floating islands, which were crafted from the hard earth, said to be located far below the clouds.

To help get around to the islands, each person on Skyloft had their own Loftwing, or a large guardian bird on which to ride upon. A person and their Loftwing were brought together at a young age, a symbol of the goddess's divine protection, and they grew to become inseparable over time.

Link headed off in the direction of the Statue of the Goddess, a large stone statue built in honor of the goddess. He had promised to meet Zelda there to practice.

He ran up the steps to the small courtyard which had the statue in it. He smiled as he saw Zelda standing in the center of the courtyard, facing the other direction. She held a strange golden object with strings, foreign to anything he had ever seen. She was strumming it, and it was creating music. She sang along to it.

"Oh youth, guided by the servant of the goddess… Unite earth and sky… Bring light to the land…"

She turned around, hearing Link's footsteps. "Hey! Good morning, Link!" she smiled. "I'm glad to see my Loftwing got you out of bed. I was pretty sure you'd sleep in and forget to meet me this morning."

Link smiled sheepishly as he approached her.

She held the strange golden object out to him. "But look at this instrument! And look at this outfit! They're mine to use today in the ceremony, since I'll be playing the role of the goddess."

Link looked at the instrument, the sunlight flashing off its gold surface, and then he looked to her dress, which was pink with a blue apron, the top part covered by a white cloth around her neck. He tried to hide his face. He always thought Zelda looked pretty, but this… this was astonishing.

"Aren't they beautiful?" Zelda asked, still smiling. "Especially this instrument! They tell me it's just like the one the goddess was said to have in the legends. It sounds gorgeous too. I asked Father about it, and he says it's called a harp."

Link looked to the instrument again. A harp. It had a nice ring to it.

"And look at these clothes! I made this wrap myself, and we get to use it in today's ceremony!" She fingered the material of the cloth. "Between the harp and this outfit, I'm going to make a great goddess today!"

All Link could do was smile. Her beauty stunned him; the way her blonde hair fell upon her shoulders, her dazzling bright blue eyes which sparkled in the sunlight…

"I got you up early this morning because I wanted you to be the first to see me like this, Link!" Zelda's voice interrupted his thoughts. She spun in a quick circle. "So… how do I look?"

Link managed to look at her and stammer something out about the fact that she looked really great.

"Hah, I think so too! But it's nice to know you agree. Thanks, Link." She smiled once more.

"Ah, there you are, Zelda. Are you all prepared for today's ceremony?"

"Oh, hello, Father," Zelda said as a man approached her and Link. He was Headmaster Gaepora, headmaster of the Knight Academy, and Zelda's father.

"Ah, Link, you're here too. Outstanding," he said. "It's encouraging to see you up so early, given your capacity for sleep. No doubt today's ceremony had kept you too excited to close your eyes for once!"

Link kept quiet as the thoughts about the nightmare resurfaced. He pushed them to the back of his mind again.

"If you win today's ceremonial race, you'll get to participate in the postrace ritual with Zelda, so give it your best out there," Gaepora continued, and Link nodded earnestly.

"Yes. About that… Father, I don't know if he can do it!" Zelda cried. "Recently Link hasn't been practicing much at all for the ceremony! And even when he's out riding his Loftwing, he's just lazily gliding around. Probably daydreaming! I don't know what he's thinking. He's going to have to be in perfect control of his bird to win today."

Link looked sheepishly at the ground while Zelda chewed him out. It was true, he hadn't been practicing much. But he already thought himself to be rather proficient at riding his bird, and he saw no purpose at working any harder. Why train at something you were already good at? He thought this way about many of the classes at the Knight Academy, much to the annoyance of the other students, earning him many of their scornful looks and remarks.

"No need to worry yourself, Zelda," Gaepora said reassuringly. "Though you may have a point. Today's Wing Ceremony tests the skill of the rider as well as his bond to his bird. Victory will not come easily. And, as you pointed out, I haven't seen Link practicing as hard as some of the other students. But you've known him since you were both very little. You should know better than to fret about him!"

Gaepora paused and looked to the sky. "You see, Link and his Loftwing share a special connection. I've never see anything quite like it."

Link smiled modestly and rubbed the back of his neck. He remembered when he met his Loftwing, who he had named Ethan so long ago, as though it were yesterday.

Ethan was a Crimson Loftwing, a breed so rare it was thought to have gone extinct for a time. When they first saw each other, Link remembered how he had hopped onto the bird's back and, after proclaiming he would call it Ethan, flew off into the sky, without any instruction on how to fly whatsoever.

Zelda nodded to her father, remembering how jealous she had been of Link on that day. She was rather close to her own Loftwing, Chloe, but it couldn't even compare to the connection between Link and Ethan. As her father had told her, they were meant for each other.

Link smiled at the memory, looking up to the sky, knowing Ethan was out there somewhere, waiting to be called. But suddenly he had a dark feeling sink though him, and he somehow knew that Ethan wasn't in the sky. He frowned and searched the area above, willing him to appear.

Zelda sighed and then looked sternly at her father. "This contest is nothing to wistfully think about, Father! This ceremony is part of the final test for those training to become knights of Skyloft!" She looked to the ground. "If Link doesn't fly fast enough during the race…"

She quickly shook her head and looked back up to her father. "What if he messes up his big chance… What if he's not allowed to become a knight?" She whispered this as she closed her eyes, using all her willpower to keep back the rising tears.

"Calm down my dear. It will be fine," Gaepora reassured her. "Honestly, it's almost like you become a completely different person when you worry about Link," he muttered.

Zelda turned slowly away and then looked at Link. "Listen, Link, you'd better fly your heart out today. At the very least, you need to squeeze in a little practice time before the race!"

Link had been a little zoned out during Zelda and Gaepora's exchange, as he was worried about Ethan. So he stumbled along behind Zelda as she grabbed him roughly by the hand and led him to the nearby wooden bridge. "Come on! You'll thank me later!" She said sternly and pulled him harder.

"Here we are. Go on now, jump off the edge and call Ethan," she said. She was behind him, pushing him to the very edge of the bridge, which was used to jump into the sky and call one's bird to catch them. "It's almost time for the ceremony, so try to practice seriously for once!"

As he flailed his arms to keep his balance, Link tried to explain the strange feeling he had that Ethan wasn't in the sky, and wouldn't be able to catch him when he jumped.

"Hmm? Oh yeah? You can't 'sense' your bird out there?" Zelda crossed her arms. "Oh, I get it. You're trying to weasel out of having to practice! Nice try, but you're not fooling me."

He shook his head, and was about to say he was 100% serious, but with a quick "Off you go!" Zelda gave him a sharp push in the back, and he lost his balance and fell off the bridge.

With no other options at this point, he whistled loudly, the way he always called for Ethan to come to him. He waited for the blur of red to appear beneath him, safely catching him in its soft feathers.

But nothing happened.

Just as he'd feared.

Gaepora glanced nervously at the form of Link, getting smaller as he plummeted. "Hmm… His bird sure is taking a long time to get here…"

Zelda gasped. "Something's wrong!"

She leapt from the bridge, whistling as she did. Her Cobalt Loftwing Chloe appeared and she grabbed onto its back.

"Hang in there, Link! I've got you!" Zelda sent Chloe down in a dive, and Chloe hooked the plummeting Link by the back of his shirt with her talons. She flew back up to the bridge, out of alignment, and with an anguished cry, crash landed on the grass in a flurry of feathers.

"Are you two all right?" Gaepora asked anxiously.

Link was recovering from shock, and all he could do was lay there and stare straight forward, panting loudly. He had almost died. Zelda was stroking Chloe's neck, who was making small anguished cries and she lay in the grass.

"I'm sorry, Chloe. I didn't meant to push you so hard. You didn't sprain your wing, did you?" Zelda murmured to her bird.

"This is very odd, Link. What could have possibly happened to your Loftwing?" Gaepora asked. "For a bird to ignore the call of his master… It's unheard of!"

Link slowly and sadly got to his feet. Poor Ethan. Where could he be?

"And you still can't sense Ethan nearby, eh, Link?" Gaepora asked.

Link slowly shook his head, the strange dark feeling still very much in his chest.

"This is quite a problem, especially considering the Wing Ceremony is about to start…" Gaepora trailed off.

"Link, when you said you couldn't sense Ethan, well… I should have believed you," Zelda said quietly, still stroking Chloe. "…I'm sorry."

She looked up at him. "I need to tend to Chloe, so I'll catch up with you later. You'd better go on ahead and see if you can find where Ethan has gone!"

A bell rang in the distance. It was signaling the start of the Wing Ceremony. There was no time to search for Ethan now.

"My, how did it get to be so late?" Gaepora asked, looking at a watch he wasn't wearing. "If I recall correctly, this year Instructor Horwell is presiding over the ceremony. Link, you should go explain the situation to him and see if he's willing to delay the race a little so that you can find your bird."

Zelda smiled and let out a small giggle. "But, Father, you're the headmaster of the academy! If Link asks Instructor Horwell, he'll probably just come talk to you about it."

Gaepora chuckled. "Ah, quite true. As usual, you make an excellent point, my dear. Very well, I'll explain the situation to him myself. Link, run along and tell Instructor Horwell to see me in my quarters."

Link nodded, and with that, Gaepora walked away. Link began walking back towards the Knight Academy, wondering if he would ever see Ethan again.
The first chapter in my Skyward Sword novelization. It's gonna be a super long book, as so much happens in the game. I think it's turning out really well so far, though I'm nowhere near finishing it. I'll be uploading new chapters periodically, so keep an eye out for more soon. :)

And I realize that Ethan and Chloe aren't the most amazing names for Loftwings ever, but it's the best I could do. :P

Next chapter: [link]

This storyline is the copyright of :iconnintendoplz:
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:iconstephonika-w-kaye:
Stephonika-W-Kaye Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013
Right, so here goes trying to comment on my mobile.

First. I like it a lot. Good flow. Loved the transition between link waking and then seeing the loft wing and falling outta bed!

Don't be afraid to make skyloft bigger. Add in some npcs but don't detail them with names so you can build skyloft up a bit, unless you have reason not to. But even in the end when they all descend into hyrule to apparently "go forth and multiply" there aren't enough citizens to sustain a population.

I like that you changed fledges introduction. Works better for lit.

I like the dynamic between link and Zelda. You can feel their friendship.

I saw an "is." Don't switch tenses.

Blonde is a noun, a type of person. Blond is an adjective, and the word you're looking for when describing Zelda for the first time.

Don't use 100%. It looks shabby and isn't proper. Spell it out. Also "zoned" doesn't feel or read right. It makes your writing sound a little too casual, unless that's what you want.

Ok. Finished reading. (I commented as I read.) A final note: I'd spend more time describing people and settings. Not just in how a place looks, tap into all the senses. What does the courtyard smell like? Dies the grass crunch or swish softly underfoot? What pose is the statue on? Dies it exude any feeling or wonder? How does the light play with the setting, Zelda's hair, Link's mood? Describe the academy. do the floorboards creak? Expand on things like this, and you'll be surprised how it adds both quantity and quality to your writing.
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:iconslycooperrocks101:
SlyCooperRocks101 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Oh man, to know you're reading my work and you actually like it.... :iconcannotevenplz: It really means a lot. ^__^
And yeah, I know I rush super bad at times. Just wait until later, it gets worse. :P I'm gonna go back and fix it later, but for now I just want to get the whole thing done.
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:iconstephonika-w-kaye:
Stephonika-W-Kaye Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
Oh I figured you're just focused on finishing it for now. Thought I'd give you some things to consider for the revisions period. You're doing really well. And no problem. I hope to get the chance to read some more soon. But alas my break is over. Time to get back to work! Later! ^_^ keep it up!
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:iconslycooperrocks101:
SlyCooperRocks101 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you!! :aww:
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:iconthelegendofluigi:
TheLegendofLuigi Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
GROOSE!
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:iconslycooperrocks101:
SlyCooperRocks101 Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Don't worry, he's in the next chapter :D
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:iconthelegendofluigi:
TheLegendofLuigi Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
:)
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