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Chapter One
Auralii stood on the balcony that overlooked the drawbridge. From here, she could see almost everyone who was coming to the Palace of Racona. There was a long, white strip of road that led up to the bridge. The smooth carriageway was tended to almost as much as the beautiful green lawns around it. Auralii liked the fact that the gardens were well cared for. She had been to other castles whose gardeners did not pay much attention to the brown patches of grass and the wilted flowers that caught the viewer’s eye as they entered the castle. Good landscaping made good impressions. Auralii was proud of the beauty of the flora surrounding her home.
At the present, however, Auralii was not concerned about the landscaping. Her green eyes rested impatiently on the road. Her sister should be home by now. Their mother was concerned that maybe she had been ambushed on the road, but Auralii knew that her sister’s husband could handle anything like that. She had seen him battle horrible monsters before. That was when Ganon’s minions had attacked the Palace. Her brother-in-law had fought courageously and had managed to take care of the worst enemies.
Auralii was also excited because her sister’s best friend and her husband were also coming. There was to be a grand feast and ball for the couples, and while she wasn’t too excited about that, she really wanted to sit and talk with all four of them. After all, she was sixteen, only a year younger than her sister, and so she was definitely old enough to be taken seriously by them. To add to that, these people were the only people her age in the entire Palace except for Jakob, and Auralii’s worst nightmare was spending the evening with him. Geez, she thought. What’s taking them so long?
Finally, the Palace Gate creaked open. Auralii’s first thought was, They have to get that fixed. It’s giving me a headache. Then, she realized that her sister was back.
As quickly as she could, she bolted down the stairs. Before long, she stood at the entrance to the Palace. Soon, the small white carriage drove up. It stopped right in front of Auralii. Normally, Auralii never got excited about much, but her sister was actually worth getting excited about. Auralii was practically jumping up and down as the footman opened the door and her sister stepped out.
“It’s about time you got here,” scolded Auralii. “Mother’s been worried sick, and I’ve been bored out of my mind.”
“Good afternoon to you, too, Auralii,” replied Kalunera. “I’m glad to know that you missed me.”
“Just thank Jakob. If he didn’t bother me so much, I wouldn’t miss you at all.”
“Good point. Maybe we should thank him by giving him your hand in marriage.”
“That’s not even funny,” said another voice. Sapphira stepped out of the carriage. “You shouldn’t threaten Lii like that, Kalunera.”
“Sorry, my bad.”
“So,” asked Auralii, “where are your boyfriends?”
“Husbands,” Sapphira corrected. Her face lightened as she said the word. Kalunera beamed as well. “They fell asleep about twenty minutes ago.”
“We were going to wake them up, but we thought we’d let Pixie do it,” added Kalunera. She turned towards the entrance of the Palace and gave a short whistle. A few seconds later, a small white blur raced towards them. It leapt into Kalunera’s arms and proceeded to lick her face. “No, Pixie. Down,” ordered Kalunera as she set Pixie down. When she was not in motion, Pixie was a small white dog with big black and brown spots all over her. Her tail wagged eagerly as she looked at the two new arrivals. Sapphira turned to the open carriage. Auralii could just make out two figures facing each other, slumped over in slumber. “In there, Pixie!” whispered Sapphira. “Go get them! Wake them up!” Pixie was only too happy to comply. She jumped into the carriage.
A few seconds later, male groans became audible. “Just five more minutes,” moaned a voice.
Another said, “Kalunera, it’s too early…”
Kalunera’s face turned bright red as Sapphira laughed out loud. Kalunera turned to her friend and her sister. “If you tell anyone what he just said…” She let her sentence trail off. Auralii knew that neither one of them would tell a soul, but it was still funny.
Soon, one of the men stepped out of the carriage. Auralii recognized him as Liam. He rubbed the sleep out of his eyes. “Thanks a lot everybody. We really appreciated it, but just waking us up yourselves would have been fine, too.”
“Shut up,” said Kalunera. “You know it was funny.”
“It would have been funnier if we had gotten one of our dogs to do that to you.”
“Or Kingly,” called Link from the carriage. Auralii knew it had to be him. Who else would it be?
Liam stretched and yawned. “Okay. So, what’s next on the agenda? Dinner? Tour?” He walked towards Kalunera as if to put his arm around her…and went past her. Auralii stared in astonishment as he put his arm around Sapphira instead. He looked around for a moment, and his eyes met Auralii’s. “Hi,” he said. “I don’t believe we’ve met yet.”
Excuse me? thought Auralii. I met you when you battled Ganon’s minions a few months ago! Man, your memory sucks. And get your arm around your own wife!
“Oh! If forgot,” cried Kalunera. “This is my younger sister Auralii. She’s only a year my junior. Auralii, this is Link, Sapphira’s husband. You know, the Hero of Time.”
“What?” cried Auralii. “I could have sworn that was –”
Just then, Liam stepped out of the carriage. He looked exactly the same as she remembered him. “Good morning, everyone,” he said groggily. “Oh, hi, Auralii. How’s it going?”
“But, you two…you’re the same!”
Link smiled. “Not quite. We’re not related, and our hair and eyes are different colors.”
“Oh, yeah, that really helps. Why didn’t someone tell me that they were practically twins? I thought that Link was Liam at first. I was about to slap him for putting his arm around Sapphy.”
Link stared at her for a moment, openmouthed. Sapphira blushed and looked at the ground. “Sapphy?” Link asked.
“Thanks a lot, Lii,” growled Sapphira. Link grinned evilly. “Link, if I ever hear you say that…” Link immediately put on a straight face.
“Say what?” he asked, innocently.
“Sorry,” said Auralii. “I’m trying to break the habit.”
“It’s okay. I know that you’re trying to stop. I’m concerned about my husband. I have a feeling that he’ll make an effort to remember it.”
“So anyways,” cut in Kalunera, “first, we have to see my parents. They were unable to come to the wedding, and they’ve never even met Link before.”
“Follow me,” said Auralii. “They’re in the throne room.”
Auralii led the way, with both married couples behind her, and Pixie brought up the rear.

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