Lost Beyond the Domain (Part 1)

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"That's it Mipha! Remember to bend your body to the will of the water! Imagine yourself a gentle, graceful stream!" Muzu yelled at the top of his lungs, though I could barely hear him through the oncoming waves. Focusing on my own thoughts proved to be much easier in the end.

However, I took his encouraging words to heart and closed my eyes, concentrating on my body's movement. Just breathe. You aren't swimming against the waterfall and you aren't swimming along with the waterfall. You are the waterfall. Let your body flow like the current....

With a powerful burst of my two feet, I dove under the raging torrents and shot out again several lengths higher. Up and down... up and down... the rhythm kept on repeating as if it were all a never ending dream. It felt relaxing... peaceful... surprisingly, my shoulder didn't ache one bit.

Suddenly, I found myself exploding out of the waterfall's crest and landing on its edge with a soft splash. Opening my eyes, I was met with the sun's gentle rays which shined brightly on me, the light reflecting off my skin like a mirror. The cool breeze up here felt pleasant and soothing, a satisfying gift for my efforts.

Looking down over the head of the waterfall, I could spot Muzu's tiny figure clapping energetically and motioning for me to dive back down.

I rolled over my eyes, laughing at myself. Of course, I nearly forgot. The finishing move always completed the feat with a nice, glamorous bow. There is no grade if the exercise doesn't have an end. Not giving it a second thought, I retraced a half step and instead jumped off backwards, my head dipping towards the bottom end with my eyes shut tight to stop any air from blasting against them. Just as envisioned before, I landed at a perfect angle in the water, leaving behind only a barely visible splash; the ending was always my favorite part.

I guess all those months of grinding and practice finally paid off in full. As my head bobbed to the surface, Muzu's familiar applause welcomed me, a usual sight these days.

"Wonderful Mipha! Absolutely beautiful! That was your best one yet!" He exclaimed cheerfully, a rare sight, and quickly jotted down pointers in his notepad. "Now... do you remember," he continued as I got out of the shallow bank, "when I promised that if you master the art of climbing waterfalls, I will let you swim up the professional ones at the Domain?"

My eyes instantly brightened in response to his words and I jumped up and down in excitement.

"W-Would you... ah, um.. actually let me?" I said, mixing up my words like a young child.

"Of course, without a doubt! You've proven yourself a worthy swimmer!" He replied and patted me playfully on the head. In return, I hugged him as hard as I could, which was easier to do now that I had grown much taller.

"Oh thank you thank you thank you!" I smiled and skipped towards the Domain gleefully, everything else suddenly becoming irrelevant. Muzu offered a hearty chuckle at this and followed from behind as well.

How exciting! At long last I can swim up the same waterfalls that the adults practice on! I've dreamed of this moment for years! In fact, it was my main goal that kept me going in training, besides fathers and Muzu's continued persistence and discipline in my lessons.

Although to some, this transition might seem meaningless or confusing, in our Zora culture, it is like taking the first step from childhood to adulthood. It's pretty much an ongoing process until you reach the age of ninety years, which is when a Zora is then considered an adult... well, most of them. Right now, I'm only thirty... I've still got two thirds of the way to go. Very soon, I will finally be embraced as an equal in the Domain.

Not long passed before I made my way into the bustling activity of the main plaza. Today was a good day. The sun was out shining brilliantly and everyone was in a good mood. A few nearby Zoras noticed me and nodded respectfully, a usual thing for royalty, though a simple smile would be sufficient enough for me.

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