Chapter 27

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"Alright, here we are." The Zora said, gesturing to the cell on the right side of the hall.

Buddar ran over to the door, a feeling of worry in the pit of her stomach. She sighed in relief when she saw Shadow huddled in the corner of the cell, along with Navy. Shadow looked up when he heard her sigh, his red eyes glowed faintly in the darkness. The light from his eyes became a bit brighter when he saw her. "Buddar...?" He asked, standing up with the help of Navy.

"Shadow, are you alright?" She asked as he walked over to her.

Shadow nodded. "Yeah, I'm fine." He said, gripping the coral bars of the cell for support. "But I don't think you'll be able to get me out of here..."

She felt her heart sink. "What do you mean?" She asked.

He reached through the bars and gently brushed Buddar's bangs out of her face. "I mean that they won't let me go." He said. "But I think it's for the best. You can find the ingredients faster without having to drag me with you."

Buddar's eyes widened. "B-But I... I-"

"I know," Shadow cut her off. "You feel guilty, and you want to make it up to me. And I'm telling you that if you really want to help... You should just leave me here."

Buddar opened her mouth to object, but Navy cut her off. "I'll take care of him for you." She promised.

Buddar glanced over at Navy, then back at Shadow. She sighed in defeat, closing her eyes. "Alright," She said regretfully. "But I will be back as soon as possible."

Shadow smiled weakly. "Thank you." He murmured. "Now, go."

***

Buddar and Link gasped for air as they resurfaced. Lyra quickly zipped out of Buddar's cap, shaking water droplets off of her wings as she did.

"Next stop: Lake Hylia!" Lyra said enthusiastically. "Which is actually right next door to the Zora realm!"

Buddar and Link climbed out of the river, then stood up. Buddar took off her cap and wrung it out, a stream of crystal clear water poured from the yellow fabric. She then proceeded to wring out her hair as well, then shook her head to remove any remaining water droplets. She brushed her bangs out of her face and looked up, only to see Link staring at her. He quickly looked away as their eyes met, a bright pink tint on his cheeks.

Buddar frowned slightly, but shrugged her shoulders and slipped her cap back on. She reached into the tote bag that was slung over her shoulder and pulled out a glossy blue scale. She had obtained the scale by politely asking one of the guards. She slipped it back into the bag, then slung it back over her shoulder. She then turned to Link, who was wringing out his cap. "Ready?" She asked.

Link nodded, slipped on his cap, then walked over to her. "Let's go." He said.

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