by Brendan McGrath

Chapter Twenty


Link chopped through the two pillars with the axe. "Let's go!" he said.

They found a clearing in the middle of the forest. "Wait!" called Nasia as she shot an arrow to finish off a Mushboom. "I'm out of arrows! Let me stop and make some more.

"With what?" Lilak asked.

"The thorns. That's what these are made of, anyway." There were many thorn bushes around that the Chobins used as a defense.

"All right," Link agreed.

"Come here, little rabbit," coaxed Nasia, "I won't hurt you!" She was kneeling next to a thorn bush. A rabbit had been caught on a thorn, and was bleeding.

"What are you doing?" called a voice from behind Nasia. She turned to see Link.

"Come over here! Quick!" she called. He dashed over.

"What's wrong?" inquired Link.

"A rabbit is hurt!" said Nasia softly. Nasia reached in and picked up the rabbit. Her hand was bleeding, but the rabbit was safe. She cradled it in her arms.

"Look closer, Link. Look inside that bush. See the other rabbit? That's this baby's mother. She got caught in those branches and..." her voice trailed off, and a tear fell down her cheek.

Nasia cared for animals. Like her, they were closely tied to Mana. She had memories of her elders communing with animals, seeing the world from their view.

Link then noticed the rabbit. He was snuggling against Nasia's cut from the thorns, licking it. Nasia patted him, and smiled contentedly.

"How can you... two... understand each other?" stammered Link.

"Animals and sprites are different than humans. We are a part of Mana. It keeps us close. That's why. Humans have Mana as the power of life, but not as deeply as we do. Over time, you grew distant from Mana... Luka told you of the clash of the gods and the ancients. Since then, humans have seen Mana as power, and a possession... not a protector of the world."

She walked away with the rabbit. Link started to think about what she said. It seemed clear that Nasia also had Mana's power, like he and Lilak. Was she also destined to have the power? Were all three of them meant to be together?

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