Chapter 31

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Buddar and Link attempted to get to the forest before dawn, but that proved to be a bad idea. Monsters kept popping up, and the constant sword swinging and dodging was starting to wear them down, but it was mostly Buddar who was growing weary. By the time Link suggested that they should probably find shelter for the night, Buddar looked as though she was about to collapse into a puddle on the ground. Her sword was dragging on the ground because she hardly had the strength to carry it anymore, her feet were dragging when she walked, and her normally straight posture had turned into a slouch.

"It's about time you suggested that we settle down for the night," Buddar said, panting softly.

"I know, I'm sorry," Link apologized. "I had just been hoping we would have been able to reach the forest before dawn. But to be honest, traveling at night through an open field was a bad idea. Come on, there should be a large den around the edge of those trees somewhere."

They had stuck close to the edge of the unnamed forest that they had been traveling through with Shadow and Navy previously, so that they could find shelter when needed. The two of them quickly made their way over to the trees, then began searching for a den. After about a half an hour of scraping aside debris and searching beneath trees, Link and Buddar finally found an unoccupied den that was large enough for the two of them.

Once they had cleaned out the debris and made it suitable for sleeping, Buddar and Link crawled into the den. With a relieved sigh, Buddar took off the belt that had her sword, which was sheathed. She set it off to the side, and Link did the same.

"Ahh, it's nice to finally be able to lie down," Buddar sighed happily as she curled up on the floor of the den.

"Agreed," Link said, laying down on his side beside her. He suddenly tensed up a bit when Buddar rolled over and curled up against him, but he relaxed a moment later.

"I hope you don't mind this," Buddar said quietly as she closed her eyes. "I'm cold."

Link laughed softly with amusement, then wrapped his arms around her and pulled her closer against him. "I don't mind at all," he whispered quietly.

It was a strange feeling to have her this close to him, he could feel his heart beating rapidly, and he could feel a bit of heat rush to his cheeks. He knew that Buddar might be able to feel his rapid heartbeat through his chest, and he wished he didn't react to her in such an obvious way. He wanted to be able to tell her about these feelings he had for her, but he couldn't seem to find the courage to do so. Which, of course, was ironic considering the fact that he carried the triforce of courage.

He let out a soft sigh as he closed his eyes, deciding that he should get to sleep instead of worrying about this. But only moments after he closed his eyes, Buddar opened hers. She could feel Link's pounding heartbeat, which was faster than usual. She glanced up at him, a soft smile on her lips. She had never really admitted or realized it before, but she was quite attracted to him. There was something about him that gave her a strange feeling in her chest at times. It didn't happen very often, but it did happen. Her soft smile widened a bit, and she gently rested her head against his chest, her eyes fluttering closed as she drifted off to sleep.

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