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The Rings of the Goddesses: A Hero's Return

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Legend

 

Of

 

ZELDA:

 

The Rings of the Goddesses

 

By: Blake Seeger

Book 1:

 

A Hero’s Return

 

 

 

 

 

 

PLEASE READ FIRST!

Notice:

 

This is a work of fan fiction. I do not claim this or any characters relating to the series as my own. In no way should this be considered a part of the main series. The Legend of Zelda and all its characters and locations are copyright of Nintendo and this work is free for anyone to enjoy. If you paid for this work, please notify the site you obtained this eBook from as it is illegal to sell anything relating to copyrighted works without their logo and written permission. With that said, I hope you enjoy this book along with any others I have planned for this series or any others.

 

You can find more info on my works at http://ganonzeldalink.wix.com/blake-seeger

Table of Contents

 

 

Prologue

 

Chapter 1: The Hero’s Call

 

Chapter 2: The Tree’s Wisdom and a Tragic Tale

Chapter 3: The Barren Fields and a Chance Encounter

Chapter 4: A New Companion

 

Chapter 5: A Race against Time

Chapter 6: The Great Fairy

Chapter 7: The Heart of Hyrule

Chapter 8: The Poisonous Queen

Chapter 9: The Ring of Courage

Chapter 10: Sword and Shadow

Chapter 11: Beast around the Bush

Chapter 12: The Puppeteers’ Game

Chapter 13: A Hero’s Return

Chapter 14: A Key to Darkness

 

Chapter 15: A Light in the Ever Darkness

 

Epilogue: A Hero’s New Determination

Prologue

Deep in a forest just outside of Hyrule, a young Link lay passed out just outside of a large tree with a hole twice his size, while an ominous, deep voice called out from seemingly nowhere.

“Link…You have to get up now Link…” Hearing this voice, the young boy snapped awake and shakily got to his feet, slightly disoriented. He looked around, finding he was actually surprisingly aware of his surroundings as if he had been here before, yet he had no memory of it. The trees around him were extremely tall, so tall, in fact, that he could not see the top, and their towering leaves blocked out the majority of the noonday sun, leaving the woods in a sort of dappled semidarkness. A thick fog blanketed the ground; twisting around his feet, and around the endless tree trunks. He searched around him in the clearing of pine trees that surrounded him, yet however long he looked; he still saw no origin of the voice that had woken him moments earlier. It was as though he was all alone, though he could sense he was not.

All he could remember was his name, home, and friends. He had no clue of how he got there and why. Still feeling a little disoriented, as well as slightly weak, he headed for home, whichever that way was. Not knowing which way to walk, he looked for any sign of a possible trail, to lead outside of the forest. All he could find was a narrow, scarcely walked path that he doubted led anywhere, but it was his best bet, so he began walking along the thin, twisting trail through the dense forest.

 

 

After stumbling along the trail for what must have been hours, it began to widen, and finally, Link found something worth noting. He had come upon a large, hollow log that was right in the center of the path and seemed to lead to either an exit or another part of the forest. Either could help him, so thinking of his friends and home, he walked through. On the other side, he recognized where he was. He wasn’t home, but he wasn’t far from it. He was back in the Lost Woods. Ahead of him was a kid sitting on a tall stump, his back to Link, seemingly staring into space.

“Who are you?” Link asked, walking up to the stump, eyes fixed on the kid who seemed to be dressed in clothing that was made of leaves and the bark of the trees. The boy turned his head to link, and link stifled a gasp. His face was the shape of a skull.

“You can call me Skull Kid,” the boy stated simply, leaping from his perch and landing lightly on the ground

“So what brings you here, child of the forest? Not many of your kind venture this far into my sacred haven.” The Skull Kid asked, tilting his head in a curious manner. Link moved back. Something didn’t feel right. It was as though he met this Skull Kid before, yet didn’t remember, much like the mysterious forest he had just come out of. Nevertheless, knowing that he wasn’t far from home, he started to talk to the boy. He figured that if the strange kid wanted to harm him, he would have done it by now, and he seemed to have an idea about what was going on. “I had woken up in a strange forest with no memory of how I got there or what I was doing there.”

The kid straightened out his head, a strange look on his face.

“So you are the on chosen to bear the burden of time.” He pulled out an ocarina from an unseen pocket and played a single, short note on it.

 ”The Goddesses really know how to pick the least qualified and equipped, huh.” He played another note then continued.

“You have a long journey ahead of you. In time, you will forget this whole encounter, not to mention even the few things you still do remember about your past. You will gain a new identity, yet you will retain your old one as well. Let my words be warning to you, though you will not remember them. “

“What are you talking about? What were you doing here anyways?” link had wanted to ask more questions, but couldn’t, due to the fact that the kid vanished into thin air right in front of his eyes. What did he mean by a long journey? Moreover, how could he forget something as random, and seemingly as important as this? Yet because this Skull Kid made absolutely no sense, and because he had a now faint idea where he was going, he could not afford to dwell here, on these thoughts. He proceeded towards his home and friends, walking through the familiar maze of clearings and groves, feeling like he hadn’t been there in years, then realizing, chances are, he hadn’t.

 

 

Many minutes later, he walked through the final log that led into the village he was remembering less and less of as the minutes passed. He had finally made it. He was home. He walked out of Lost Woods into the quaint village, now thoroughly exhausted. Everyone was working as if his arrival was nonexistent, with the exception of a single Kokiri, with green hair, who was smiling at him from the window of her tree cottage. Sadly, he was too weak to make it there and he collapsed on the ground, his vision blackening slowly. The last thing he saw was Saria, running out of her tree towards him, then the blackness overtook him and he sank into an icy abyss

 

 

Link slowly blinked awake. He was lying on a soft bed, Saria sitting next to him.

“How are you feeling?” She said, tenderly touching his head to make sure he wasn’t running a fever. ”What happened to you, anyways? I saw you faint as I came out of my house. You didn’t wake up for two days and the other Kokiri were beginning to believe you never would” Link could only sit up and slowly shook his head. He didn’t know what to tell her but somehow managed to formulate words.

“I have no idea. All I remember is waking up with you sitting next to me. I don’t remember anything else before that.” He held his palms to his temples as he tried to remember, but it was fruitless. Nothing helped. Nothing ever helped.

 

 

In the days, weeks and years following, link began to re-learn his life, piece by piece; each of the Kokiris, as well as the Deku Tree, played their part, doing what they could to help him remember. Soon, he began to fall in love with the forest, making it once again his home. Seven years have passed since then, and the land of Hyrule is once again in desperate need of help. This is where the journey begins; or in a sense, continues.

Chapter 1

The Hero’s Call

It was an ordinary day in the Lost Woods as Link had set out to meet Saria at their usual spot. After so many years playing in the Lost Woods as a kid, Link had no trouble traversing the tricky maze. A wrong turn in that part of the forest could either have you falling into a bottomless pit or have you walking for what seems forever, while you’re really not going anywhere. However, for yet unknown reasons, as Link rounded a corner he found himself face to face with a Deku Scrub. Normally these creatures are docile and like to do business with travelers. This one, however, was different. The scrub popped up and shot a seed straight towards Link. Almost instinctively, he grabbed the nearest stick, swung at it, and sent it flying right back at his foe. It hit so hard that it knocked the scrub over and it disintegrated before his eyes. Something about this seemed familiar. Not wanting to waste any more time and risking being chewed out by Saria, he dashed past its burrow and continued on.

The woods were normally quiet, only changing to protect the Sanctuary that sat deep within. He pondered as to what could have caused the Scrub to attack. As he got deeper, he found that more and more Scrubs were acting funny. It didn’t matter how many times he asked himself, he could not think of anything that could cause them to act that way, to go completely against their nature. He had finally reached the entrance to the Sanctuary. The path ahead was not clear as he had hoped. He was ambushed by three Deku Scrubs this time. Yet again, this all felt familiar. He ducked and dodged every seed as he looked for the perfect opportunity to run in and knock them off balance. When he was finally able to make his attack, he had also somehow managed to hit and knock all three back. Luckily, the Sanctuary was just ahead so he didn’t have to worry about any more enemies.

Finally reaching his destination, he walked up the long steps and found Saria sitting on a small stump playing her ocarina and playing with the spirits of the forest. Not wanting to disturb her and wanting her to finish playing, he crept up to her making as little noise as possible.

“It took you long enough.”

She lowered the instrument and the music stopped. This made all the dancing spirits scatter.

“If you’re going to try and sneak up on me, don’t do it when I’m playing with the spirits. They can see you and I can understand them.”

Link stopped his sneaking and walked the rest of the way up to her.

“I don’t know how you got here without any trouble but almost every turn had me fighting.”

Saria got up off her seat and looked into his eyes with concern. No words were spoken for quite some time. With Saria and her look of fear and concern and Link trying to figure out what she was thinking, the only noise was from birds in the trees and bugs flying around. Link finally took a step back and broke the silence.

“So, would you have any idea why the Deku Scrubs have been acting up?”

Saria finally snapped out of her little trance and shook her head.

“How would I know? I know I can speak with the spirits of the forest, but they would have told me when something odd was happening and I would have found a way to warn you.”

The day seemed to pass like nothing as they talked about the troubles brewing. They tried to figure out why it happened as Link was traveling to the Sanctuary and not when Saria had made her journey. The sun began to set and they decided to head home. On their way back, Saria finally saw what he was talking about as she kept seeing the burrows they inhabited.

Later that evening, as Link lay sleeping soundly, Saria could be seen sitting atop her home playing her cherished ocarina. Not meaning to, Link awakens to her beautiful musical score and joins her onto of her roof.

“What’s wrong?”

Link proceeded to wipe his eyes, erasing any signs of sleeping. He then became fully aware of his surroundings.

“Why are you up so late?”

All Saria could do was look him in the eyes with the same look of concern on her face as before.

“I had an awful dream, and I think you should see the Great Deku Tree. The forest is changing and I have a feeling you’ll have to leave because of it.”

She put her ocarina down, grabbed Link and held him tightly in her arms.

“If you have to leave, I don’t know what I’ll do.”

Link sat beside her and she proceeded to lay her head in his lap. She then began to doze off.

“Besides, who else would I play with? Mido is a fool and a klutz.”

Link gave a smile before he too fell asleep.

Morning came and Link awoke to find himself on Saria’s roof. He looked around and found that Saria had left. He decided that after his morning routines, he would do as Saria wished and would make the journey to see The Great Deku Tree. Before he had set off on his journey, however, Link decided to stop by her place to see if she was there. He knew she wouldn’t but he told himself that it never hurts to check. The only other place she could possibly be was their usual spot.

He wondered why she would be there when the forest was acting up. Nevertheless, he set out anyways. He needed to let Saria know he was going to take her advice and see the old tree. He also wanted to ask her if she would join him, seeing as how she might be right and he wanted to spend as much time with her as possible in case he did have to leave.

He decided that he would trek through the Lost Woods before heading to the Deku Tree. Amazingly, not one Scrub was to be found. Not even the burrows from yesterday were there. He finally came upon a gloomy Saria sitting on her stump holding her legs in her hands. She heard Link as he approached

“I don’t think I can. I don’t think I could handle the news if I am right.”

A tear began to run down her face. Link saw this, approached her, and lightly brushed it away.

“Don’t worry. If it comes to that, I’ll make sure I’ll come back safely.”

She got up and walked away without saying anything else. Link just stood there. He wanted to cry with her but he needed to be strong right now. He needed to be able to show her that nothing will be able to stop him.

Link returned to his home to grab all of his traveling gear; a knife, some food and his life savings in rupees (which was only 300), and set out to get his or rather Saria’s questions answered. As he walked past Saria’s house, he considered whether or not to check in on her. Deciding it would be best not to, he walked on. The path ahead of him was long, and depending on what happens, could be even longer. He didn’t know what to expect but he made a promise that he had to keep no matter what.

Chapter 2

The Tree’s Wisdom and a Tragic Tale

As Link set out to see the Great Deku Tree, Mido, the most arrogant of the Kokiris walks up and kicked him square in his rear end.

“OUCH! What was that for?”

With a menacing glare, Mido laughs with full force.

“You must think that you’re so special because the Deku Tree lets you see him anytime you want? Well look here mister special, you may be able to do whatever you want, but you’ll never be one of us!”

As usual, Link just looks away and continues his journey as he hears nothing but ramblings behind him. Although he had not gotten far, Link began to think a lot about what would happen if Saria were right and how he would react if he ever had to leave his childhood friend. Link then heard a familiar voice. It was a deep and guttural tone.

“You have journeyed here to ask many questions and seek answers. Sadly I can only answer three.”

As our Hero looks up to greet the tree, he notices something wrong. A large mark, possibly from a sword, is etched into the side of the Deku tree.

“What is that…?”

Link was quickly interrupted.

“Think before you ask your question boy. You get only three questions and three answers.”

Deku tree had a bit of an angry look on his face at this point.

“I know I raised you to be smarter than that.”

With that said Link sat down and proceeded to think about his questions. He needed to think about how to ask them so that he could get the answers he is looking for.

Finished with his thoughts, Link finally stood up and asked his first question.

“Great Deku Tree, why am I different from the others?”

The talking tree closed his eyes and sighed. He knew that question was bound to surface.

“It is not a matter of why you’re different, but where you come from. You and the Kokiri are essentially the same. You just come from different realms. You, my dear boy, are a noble Hylian, protectors of the land of Hyrule, while the Kokiri are protectors of the forest. Same can be said about the Gorons being the protectors of the mountains and the Zoras protect the waters. We may look different but we are all children of the three Great Goddesses. Your People play a big role in the life of this land. Hylians may be protectors of the entire land of Hyrule and very skilled in battle, but they can’t do everything. The Kokiri, with their small bodies, can get through the forests easier, making it possible for stealth attacks. Gorons have their rock hard bodies to withstand the harsh conditions up on Death Mountain. The Zoras have their flippers and gills to travel through the lake and rivers. And finally, the Gerudo, although thieves; are skilled at weaponry. They fashioned the weapons and armor your people used in battle. We may all have our own realms but we all have important roles to play. We work together to protect this land. Now, what is your second question child?”

There was no hesitation after the Deku Tree finished speaking. Link was prepared for any answer he was about to receive.

“What happened to my parents and why was I left to be raised in this forest?”

With an eager ear, Link sat down again to ready himself for the tragic tale of his upbringing.

“Many years ago, a vile man named Ganondorf pulled an army together from the underbelly of this world and set them loose. As we were bombarded with their relentless attacks, your parents thought it best that you be raised in the forest. We could hide you away from the evils that lurked in the shadows and when the time was right, like now, tell you your past and what you as a Hylian are capable of. Sadly your parents did not make it. Your father died while protecting you and your mother. Your mother had perished soon after she took an injury while getting you here. She willed herself to ask for my assistance by caring for you and telling me this tragic tale. You are destined for great things boy and although perilous, you will succeed.”

With his and Saria’s fears realized, Link rose up and proceeded to ask his final question.

“Why am I the Destined one?”

“Sorry but I am not allowed to answer that question. You must figure that out on your own. Now enter my body Link. Inside you will find the armor and weapon that was left to you by your mother. Although old, they should last you until you get to the next village.”

With a disappointed look on his face, mostly from not knowing where he had to go next and not being able to ask, Link marched on and entered the Deku Tree with a bit of fear and curiosity.

Inside he sees a pedestal with his new garb, an old partially rusted shield, a map, a sheathed sword, and hiding behind the garb a bag filled with 500 rupees and a note.

Link; if we are not around to see you grow up, just know that we did all we could to keep this land beautiful for you. The quest you are now about to embark on is going to be long and very dangerous. Please be safe my child. I know you will make the Great Goddesses and us proud.

After a bit of mourning, our hero finally emerges from the tree. “Now go child and make this land peaceful once more.”

With a fire in his eyes and an ache in his heart, Link set out to Saria’s house to tell her what the Great Deku Tree had told him.

On the way to her place, he thought long and hard about the easiest way to tell her. He knew whatever he was to say, it was going to end in tears. The future held much for him and whether he was ready or not he was going to have to face it.

With a knot in his throat, Link lightly knocked on Saria’s door. With sweat running down his forehead, he began to think telling her would be a bad idea. Before he could walk away, however, the door opened and a scared and lonely face appeared. Right away he knew that there wouldn’t be much to say seeing as how from her looks, she already knew.

“Saria look…”

He was quickly cut off by Saria.

“I knew my fears were true. You don’t need to say anything. I think it would be best if we did not talk about this and you just leave in the morning.”

As she slammed the door, Link could see a tear forming in the corner of her eye. Seeing as how there was nothing else he could do, Link went back to his place, washed up and tried to get some rest.

Chapter 3

The Barren Fields and a Chance Encounter

A new day has dawned and Link, with his old rusty shield and sword, is ready to tackle this quest head on. With the way, Saria acted last night,

I think it would be best if we did not talk about this and you just leave in the morning,

Link was unsure whether he should try to comfort her before he leaves and say his goodbyes. As if averting his thoughts, he grabbed the rest of his gear. With his knife and now 800 rupees firmly attached to his garb he set out to face this quest and finish it so he could return to his childhood friend. Well, she was his only friend really, Saria.

Without wanting to make her feel worse, he sets off towards Hyrule field. While walking he decides to look at the map and determine where he should head next. Not halfway across the bridge, he hears a familiar voice.

“So you’re not going to say goodbye?”

He looks up to find Saria standing there and she didn’t look too happy either.

“Sorry, I didn’t think you would have wanted to be disturbed”

Link was trying to redeem himself.

“From the reaction you had last night, I thought it best to do as you said and leave in the Morning.”

Saria was now up in his face at this point.

“It doesn’t mean you couldn’t at least hope that I would be here to see you off.”

She stepped back a bit but had a puzzled look on her face.

“It feels like this has happened before. Oh well.”

Not even paying attention to what she said Link continued.

“From the way you acted last night, I wasn’t sure that you would see me off. It seemed like you didn’t want to say goodbye and that you were scared of something.”

Saria became a little angry at that thought.

“I may fear for your life but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t say goodbye when I need to. You can be so thick headed sometimes!”

For some reason, Link thought he heard a little chuckle underneath all that anger.

“Anyways, I want you to have this amulet. It may look like just a normal Kokiri pendant, but I can assure you that it has a bit of magic and will come in handy during your journey.”

“Thank you, Saria. You are the only friend I’ve ever had. When I’m with you, although I’m not the same size as you, you make me feel like I am indeed a Kokiri. You make me feel accepted.”

As Link was revealing his feelings, he started to blush. In the distance, they both could hear cheering. The whole village, excluding Mido, had come to see Link off as well. Neither Link nor Saria expected this.

“Looks like they see you as a Kokiri as well Link”

Saria had cracked the biggest smile Link had ever seen on her.

“Now go and save Hyrule. You are the only one that can destroy whoever or whatever is behind this.”

With goodbyes and best wishes done, Link proceeded to walk off to Hyrule field.

Upon arrival, Link knew right away that what he saw was not the way Hyrule field should be. The trees and fields were dead. Nobody was found to be traveling on any roads. Our hero was beginning to understand why he was needed. Now he needed to know why he was chosen.

“It looks like it is time for the chosen hero of destiny to start his journey.”

“Who said that?”

Link looked around and finally happened upon a giant owl attempting to perch on an old dead branch.

“What are you?”

“I shall answer your questions. To start off, my name is Kaepora Gaebora. I am the watcher of these lands and messenger to the Goddesses. When I see evil that is getting too large to handle, I send a message to the Goddesses and in turn, a vessel is chosen to bear the soul of the hero.”

“Why was I chosen?”

Link looked at Kaepora with a grin hoping he could finally get his question answered.

“That my dear boy is something only you and the goddesses know.”

Link scowled. He was neither pleased nor surprised with this answer.

“If I’m supposed to know, then why do I ask the question?”

“All questions are answered upon learning the truth. Most answers do not come upon a person unless they have searched for the answer. Shall I repeat myself?”

“No. That’s fine. Where should I head to from here? I have no idea what to do.”

“North of here is a small town known as Kakariko Village and there you will find a woman named Impa. She will fill you in on what has happened and tell you what you need to do.”

With his message complete, Kaepora flew off before Link could ask any more questions. Although confused Link proceeded north to find the village that, he was told to find. What am I supposed to do? Who is my enemy? What am I going to use to defeat this nameless enemy? These questions ran through his head as he walked to his destination.

Link deep in thought stopped and took another look around. He could feel something strange happening to him. He kept getting a grim feeling as if everything was hopeless. This feeling coursed through his whole body. Thinking it was just a reaction to his first time in Hyrule field, he marched on unaware of the true and disastrous nature of those feelings.

Yet again, he was careless and without paying attention, he ran into a young woman in a ragged hood, knocking her over.

“Sorry about that. I was deep in thought.”

As Link helped this young maiden up, he got a look at her more clearly. She had distinctively bright red hair and a beautiful and nearly flawless face.

“I’m fine. Thank you.”

The young maiden grabbed Links outreached hand.

“By the way, my name is Malon, nice to meet you”

Although he had never left the forest, this woman looked somehow familiar to him.

“By those clothes, you’re wearing I’d say you came from the forest?”

“Yes, I do. This is the first time I ever ventured out. I was raised in those woods. However, for some reason, you look familiar to me.”

Link then started to feel dizzy and passed out before the conversation could finish.

“[_ Link, now that ********* is destroyed, I have to send you back to your own time now. You can finally live your own life. Goodbye Link.” _]

“Hey Mister, hey Mister Forest man, wake up.”

“Huh? What?”

Not knowing where he was, Link shot up in fear.

“Where am I? How did I get here?”

“You passed out so I called my horse Epona and brought you to Lon-Lon Ranch.”

“Where is all my gear? What about my sword and shield?”

Link the checked his neck for the amulet that Saria gave him, which was still hanging there safely.

“Don’t worry I didn’t take anything. Besides, Hyrule may be dying and corrupted, but I’m no Gerudo.”

She giggled as she brought his sword and shield from another room.

“What’s your name? You passed out before you got a chance to tell me it.”

“It’s Link. I’ve been sent by the Deku Tree to save Hyrule. Apparently, I’m this chosen Hero.”

Link laughed at this silly yet obviously true idea.

“Apparently I’m strong enough to stop some great evil plaguing this land?”

“Don’t say that. You may have just started and you may see yourself weak, but strength is earned through many hardships. I know you will become the hero you’re destined to be.”

“With this rusted sword and shield, I highly doubt I’ll get very far.”

Malon didn’t even get the chance to hand him his gear before he smacked them out of her hands.

Why couldn’t my mother have left me gear that wouldn’t rust as quickly as these did? Link kept thinking that to himself as he stared at the wall in front of him.

Seeing as how Malon just met him, she really had no clue how to cheer him up. To have an excuse to walk out of the room for a bit she offered him some of their product.

“I’ll go bring you some of our famous Lon-Lon Milk. That can cheer anyone up.”

After she left, his precious amulet began to glow.

“Link, can you hear me Link?”

Link nearly fell off the bed as he was surprised to hear Saria’s voice again.

“Saria, is that you?”

“I bet you’ve already gotten into trouble, haven’t you? I can also bet that right about now you feel that you can’t do anything, am I right?”

The silence told her that she was right.

“I’ve known you all your life and you weren’t always like that. I thought you’d be scared but not feeling despair. What happened?”

“I don’t know. As I got deeper into Hyrule field, I felt woozy and passed out. I started having doubts about myself when I accidentally bumped into this woman. Once I saw her face, I felt something strange. Although that was obviously the first time I met her, it was as if I already knew her. That feeling plus the growing feeling of despair, I couldn’t handle it and passed out. Luckily she had a horse to drag me over to her place.”

Link heard nothing but silence for the next few seconds.

“What’s wrong?”

Saria finally spoke up.

“You’re at another woman’s house?”

“I passed out. What was I supposed to do?”

“Sorry to interrupt”

Malon finally came back into the room with her famous milk.

“That feeling of despair is caused by the evil that plagues the land. It’s seeping out from the underworld. Anyone who walks on the land will be affected. Animals, for some reason, are immune.”

Link glared with a confused look on his face.

“But why weren’t you affected by the evil?”

She pulled the cloak off the coat rack.

“You see the hooded cloak? It’s made with the skin of a Moblin, and no, I did not make it. You can buy these in Castle town. They’re guaranteed to block out all types of evil, excluding attacks.”

“Ok then, do you mind if I borrow your horse until I get what I need?”

Link was a little disappointed to have to make a detour before heading to Kakariko but it was necessary to continue his journey.

“Sure, but Epona is picky about her riders. Here, do you know how to play an Ocarina?”

“Of course I do. I come from the woods. We’re the makers of the ocarinas.”

Link took the milk from Malon, gulped it down and jumped out of bed with anticipation.

“Let’s see if I can get this horse to like me. Shall we?”

“I’ll talk to you later Link. Good luck on your quest.”

Link had nearly forgotten she was speaking to him through the amulet. Everything went silent and the amulet then stopped glowing.

“Ok let’s go see if I can tame that horse of yours.”

Chapter 4

A New Companion

Out by the barn Link was getting nervous. He never learned how to tame a horse let alone ride one. They have many creatures in the forest and horses are not on that list.

“It’s not hard to ride a horse, right?”

While completely ignoring Link she continued.

“Are you ready to become friends with Epona?”

Without waiting for an answer from Link, Malon opened her stall and let Epona out into the training area.

“Don’t worry, it’s not that hard to tame her, and riding a horse is as easy as walking.”

For hours, Link was wasting precious energy chasing the wild horse. His limit was drawing closer and he was about to call it quits.

“How am I supposed to tame her if I can’t catch her? Tips would be nice!”

“I didn’t tell you to chase after her silly.”

“Then why did you allow me to waste time running around?”

“Because I like watching you run around.”

Malon finally caught up with the tired soon-to-be hero.

“Here, take this ocarina. I’ll teach you a song that my mother taught me. It’s Epona’s favorite.”

The song was simple but pleasing to any ear that had been lucky enough to pass through. If it wasn’t’ for Malon speaking again, Link would have still been lost in the song.

“Anytime you play that, Epona will come to you.”

Epona eventually acknowledged that Link knew the song and calmly trotted over to him.

“That’s enough for today. You can learn how to ride tomorrow. Sorry for making you run around for nothing.”

At this point, the sun was setting and the sound of Link’s stomach filled the air as a clear sign that he was hungry.

“Malon I’m back.”

A new voice could be heard off in the distance.

“Who is this that you brought home with you? Is he going to be your husband?”

Both Link and Malon blushed at the notion.

“Don’t say such things, father.”

She was having trouble looking at Link directly. Her embarrassment was pretty obvious.

“Link, this is my father Talon.”

Link turned around to see a portly man with an oddly thick mustache that was somewhat disturbing.

“Nice to meet you, I’m Link. I come from Kokiri forest.”

Link shook Talon’s hand as he continued.

“I’m supposed to be this chosen Hero destined to save Hyrule.”

“You’re the Chosen Hero? What do you think you’ll be able to do to stop the darkness from spreading?”

Talon eyed Link as if he was studying him.

“Do you know where you need to go? What about tools you’ll need for your journey?”

Now he was circling Link, studying his physique and stature.

“Enough questions, let’s go inside and eat.”

Just as everyone headed inside, Link quickly turned towards the barn.

“What’s wrong? Did you hear something?”

Malon’s hand was gently touching his shoulder.

“Yeah, I could have sworn I heard some voices coming from behind your barn.”

“It was probably the cuccos.”

Talon was already sitting at the table ready to eat.

“Come and sit so you can tell me your story before we eat.”

Because Malon was busy training Link on how to tame Epona, the table was bare. This allowed a little more time for Talon to hear the hero’s tale. Not five seconds after Link sat down, a crash followed by the sound of the horses neighing in horror could clearly be heard from where he had just heard voices. Link rushed upstairs to grab his Kokiri knife and, although useless, his rusted-out- shield. He quickly made his way back down and rushed out the door.

Outside smoke could be seen billowing up from the burning barn. Luckily, all the horses were running, although frantically, around the ranch. Moblins could be seen rummaging through the barn but for what? Moblins are normally stupid creatures that only like to fight. What could they be searching for in a place like this? All questions aside, he drew his knife, readied his shield, and proceeded to battle the dimwitted creatures.

There were only five but they seemed unusually strong. Not strong enough to defeat him but still, something was off. With one last bash to the head with the shield, which then broke, and a quick stab to the side, the last enemy fell to the ground and nothing but the roar of the fire could be heard. Luckily, as if by magic, clouds formed over the whole ranch and with a roaring crash of thunder, rain started pouring down. Both Malon and Talon stood there astonished. Talon was the first to break the silence.

“It seems you are indeed the chosen hero destined to free us from whoever, or whatever has been plaguing these lands.”

All three just stood there in the rain for a bit, just staring at each other.

Back inside Malon couldn’t keep her eyes off Link. He looked at her and saw her blush a little before looking away.

“So what do you reckon where those things looking for?”

Talon was now entering the room.

“We run a simple ranch. There is nothing of value to them here.”

“Moblins are simple yet vicious creatures. They follow the orders of whoever is stronger. For them to go against their nature and focus on searching for one item, the orders must be coming from someone with immense strength.”

Link was now looking at his battered shield.

“I hate to say this but I need to return to the forest consult in the Great Deku tree once more. Only he would have a clue as to who could be behind this. Tomorrow I will leave before sunrise.”

The father and her daughter both looked at Link and nodded in approval. That was the last word spoken that evening. All three walked upstairs and went their separate ways.

[_ With all the pieces of the ******** within my grasp, I can finally become King. _]

“Link, it’s time to get up sleepy head.”

With a face full of hair, Link opened his eyes to the sight of Malon staring him straight in the face.

“The sun is about to rise. Can you help me with something before you head out?”

Link nodded his approval and slowly rolled off the bed.

“Give me a few minutes.”

With the approval she wanted, Malon turned and skipped out the door. Looking at his shield, Link was reminded of last night. How did he know how to fight so well? What was up with that weird storm? What is with the visions? He hoped that he could get answers once he returned home.

Downstairs Malon was leaning against the front door waiting patiently for him.

“So what do you need help with?”

“I just need help milking the cows. Plus, once you help me, I’ll give you a couple bottles for your journey.”

With nothing else to speak about, they both headed outside. Although burned, the barn didn’t look that bad. The horses returned to the stables themselves during the night so that’s one less thing Malon had to worry about. She led him to a mill hidden all the way at the back of the ranch. It was a small rundown place, but it was still useable. Inside it looked as if the roof would collapse.

“Don’t worry. It’s been like that for years. It will hold, trust me.”

Link gave a concerned look but considering that they wouldn’t be long he proceeded towards the cow in the corner. Seeing as how he was raised in the forest around animals, milking a cow should be a piece of cake, or so he thought.

As soon as he touched the cows utter, it went wild and knocked Link back a few feet. He looked up to see Malon trying to contain her composure.

“Why don’t you go grab a few bottles from the crate while I take care of the milking process?”

Link grimaced at the fact that he, a child of the forest, couldn’t milk a cow. Without uttering another word, he turned in shame and walked over to the giant crate.

Inside he noticed that all the bottles were filled.

“Where are the empty bottles?”

Without lifting her head, she pointed to the crate and simply said “behind”. Now he had to pull this large and heavy crate to get to the smaller crate just behind it. He felt he had to prove himself since he failed at his last task. With that in mind, he grabbed each side and began to pull. He pulled and he pulled until he was red in the face.

“Having trouble?”

“I’ve got this.”

The crate then started moving.

“How do you get these on the cart?”

“It’s a secret. Besides, you moved the box all on your own. You proved yourself enough.”

Behind the large crate, just above the smaller one, Link saw something glimmering through a small hole.

“What’s through this hole? It looks like something inside is glowing.”

Disregarding the glow as nothing, he opened the crate, grabbed a few bottles and returned to the cow.

The rest of the “milking” was uneventful, well that was until Talon crashed through the door.

“There’s no time. You have to leave NOW!”

He was out of breath at this point.

“There’s an army of those things coming this way”

Without saying any goodbyes, Link grabbed two bottles, rounded up Epona and left through the rear entrance.

Just as Link reached the pathway, he heard Malon.

“Wait! Don’t forget your Sword and Shield!”

“Thanks!”

The army had now entered the Ranch. Without thinking, Link pulled Malon up onto Epona with him and they galloped off.

“Make sure you take good care…”

Talon’s voice was drowned out by the screaming herd. Malon looked back in horror as she watched her father being surrounded.

“Don’t worry. Your father will be fine.”

Behind them, yet again, smoke could be seen billowing from the ranch.

“How do you know he’ll be safe? Can you promise me that he will be unharmed?”

Epona stopped and Link just stared into her eyes for a while before reassuring her that there was no need to worry.

“Yes, no harm will come to him. Whoever is behind this wants both of you, to ask you where the item they are searching for is. They have reason to believe that you know where it is. Whatever it is, it’s obviously very dangerous and we need to find it before they do. Questions can come later. I need to re-arm myself first.”

He turned Epona around and quickly headed towards Castle Town.

In town, there were games and shops filled with all the necessary items for an adventurer. For now, the only things he could afford were either a new sword or shield, so no unnecessary spending. There were many blacksmiths but most were too expensive.

“Don’t go wandering off. This place is new to me and I don’t want to get lost.”

Malon just looked at him and shook her head. Turning a corner, they finally found a shop cheap enough for him. The door looked unkempt and the windows were dirty. Nevertheless, he needed to prepare himself. Who knows what has happened to the forest while he was gone. He needed to be able to help his home and protect Malon at the same time. They walked inside and found it to be even dirtier.

“Is this shop even open?”

Suddenly he heard some rustling and a man as bulky as a Goron came through a doorway from behind the counter.

“Welcome to Jugo’s (Hue-go) shop. First-time adventures Shop and Blacksmith. How may I help you?”

It didn’t take long for him to notice the sword and shield.

“You seem a little young to be a Hylian soldier.”

“I’m not. My equipment was left to me by my mother.”

The man’s eyes went wide as if he had seen a ghost.

“You can’t be. Are you by any chance Link?”

Link’s head tilted a little, curious as to how this stranger knew him. Could he have known his parents? If so, would he be able to answer his questions?

“It is you. My, have you grown. The last time I saw you, you were just born.”

Can you tell me more about that day? I want to know more about the day my mother and father died.”

“Come, let’s go into the back.”

Malon was hesitant at first but eventually followed suit. All three sat at the table that sat in the back but Jugo didn’t even offer any drinks.

“Before I start, what I am about to tell you should in no way affect whatever mission you’re on. Got it?”

Link nodded in agreement and the man began to tell the tale of the last day of peace.

Back before you were born, a man named Ganon came to Castle Town looking for help. The King, goddesses rest his soul, was generous and let him recover in the Castle. I didn’t trust that man. Nothing good can come from a man from the desert. Anyways, he became close to the King and one day an errand soldier returned from an errand that Ganon sent him on and something was off. He looked battered and weak. He stopped in the middle of town and with his last breath screamed, “The darkness is coming! An army of vile creatures approaches!” The next thing that happened is the reason you are here now. Your mother, Catherine, came to me for special order equipment. She originally intended to give you those when you were old enough to enter the Academy. Not sure how your mother died but she was perfectly fine when she left with you.

Your father was James. He was a proud Captain of the Hylian Guards. He was a great man. Sadly, he died in the first battle. He was a brave warrior. He was struck down while holding off those creatures while your mother escaped with you. The streets were filled with fire and dead bodies. Some say Ganon was behind the raid. He came out the Hero, acting as if he was the one that drove them out. Because of that, he earned a seat next to the King. I find it odd how someone could do so much good in so little time. Anyways, not too long after they left, peace returned to Hyrule and everything seemed normal. Well, that was until Ganon just disappeared. Everyone acts as if he never existed, but how else could the war have happened? I can tell you got your love and kindness from your mother and courage from your father. They would have been so proud of the way you turned out.

“I will provide you with a new shield but you will need to find yourself a new sword.”

He reached behind him into a dusty old trunk and grabbed a new yet somehow clean shield.

“This is the same model as your old one but lower quality so you must be careful. Next time you’re in town, stop by and I’ll have a new one ready for you.”

Just then, Links pendant started glowing and Saria’s screaming voice could be heard.

“Link, you must return. We need your help. We’re under attack. We aren’t strong enough to defend ourselves from these enemies. You must hurry!”

Just as quickly as it started, her voice stopped and silence filled the room. Malon was the first to speak up.

“What do you plan on doing now?”

Before Jugo could butt in Link was nearly out the door.

“Wait up! Don’t think about leaving me behind.”

All she could see was the mass of people yelling at Link for pushing them aside.

“Why are you in a hurry?”

She screamed and he turned almost making her run into him.

“The Kokiri aren’t built for heavy battle. They are forest folk. If we don’t hurry, I fear my friends will be lost. Link turned and continued on towards Epona who was tied up at the gate, waiting for their return.

As quickly as they arrived, they were already speeding off to their next destination.

“Well so much for Kakariko Village.”

Chapter 5

A Race against Time

“So why would the forest be under attack?”

Malon was trying her best to hold on as Epona was galloping at full speed.

“I mean, it’s just a bunch of trees right?”

“It’s more than a forest. It’s a crucial part of Hyrule. If it wasn’t for the Kokiri, you wouldn’t have wood for your houses, or fuel for your fire.”

Malon looked up and swore she saw a tear form in the corner of his eye. Gripping him tighter, she continued on.

“They must mean a lot to you? They raised you from a baby right?”

“Yes. Without them, I would have died alongside my mother.”

Tears were beginning to pour down Link’s face.

“Why choose me? Why take away my real family and then tell me to destroy an enemy I know nothing about?”

Link pulled on the reigns and Epona slid to a halt. He pulled himself together and got off the horse.

“Stay here.”

Before Malon could speak her mind, he was already through the entrance and halfway across the bridge. As he entered his home village, he noticed a person resembling himself standing just ahead of him. The only difference was he looked almost like a shadow. You could almost see right through him.

“It took you long enough.”

The mysterious figure turned and with a sinister smile.

“Let’s play a game.”

“Who are you and why do you look exactly like me?”

“I am you; only, I’m not a goodie-two-shoe like you. I was created from the darkness from your heart.”

He pulled out what seemed to be a sword out of nowhere.

“If you can beat me in a one on one battle and find your friends before all of the sand hits the bottom”

As if by magic, an hourglass appeared in his free hand.

“I will leave your pathetic village and never return.”

“And what if I lose?”

Link pulled out his knife and prepared his shield.

“If you lose, you lose your life.”

The Dark Link rushed towards our hero and kicked him, hitting his shield, and knocking him over.

“Come on, you can do better than that.”

Link strengthened his grip on the knife, struggled to his feet and proceeded to charge towards his darker self. He swung the small blade in a downward motion hoping to hit his opponent in his chest. Sadly this was not meant to be. Instead of dodging to the side or back, he seemed to disappear. However, before Link could realize this, his dark counterpart appeared behind him, leaned in and gently whispered.

“How does it feel to have lost your whole family, to have been abandoned in the woods by your own mother?”

Hearing that, Link stepped forward out of fear and anger.

“How dare you speak of my mother like that?”

Once again, he tried to rush towards his enemy but yet again, he disappeared right before the blade hit him. This time though, he didn’t reveal himself. Link scrambled to find a real weapon but he forgot that his knife is indeed a sword in the hands of the Kokiri. He went into his old neighbor’s house to see if he could find anything useful. “Nothing”, he told himself. Just then he could faintly hear a voice.

“It doesn’t matter where you go. I will find you.”

Outside, Dark Link could be heard kicking doors in one by one.

“And it seems you are running out of time. I expected so much more from the one destined to destroy the future King and save Hyrule.”

By this point, he was only two doors away from finding Link. “Think,” He told himself, “How can I defeat an enemy that can’t be harmed by normal weapons and can disappear quickly?” He had no more time to think as once again, Dark Link rose up from behind him and kicked the middle of his back. The force was so great, that he was knocked all the way back outside. He then rolled and landed flat on his back. Now his foe was standing right above him.

“Because I’m such a generous person, I’ll lend you my sword and give you a free shot.”

Dark Link shoved the dark and frightening blade into the ground. It stopped at half of a foot deep. Link rolled over and reached for the sword’s hilt.

“Come on. Time is running out. Although there’s no way you’ll defeat me.”

The hourglass reappeared and there was barely any sand in the top half. Link grasped the hilt and shakily pulled himself up. As he pulled the sword out of the earth, it seemed to change. The darkness looked as if it was melting away. Dark Link noticed and scoffed at what he was witnessing.

“So you have the ability to cut darkness? You’re still not powerful enough to defeat me.”

A smirk now ran across Dark Links face as Link was finally able to stand upright. With all the injuries he had sustained, he struggled to speak.

“I have no idea what this ability is, but I will stop you.”

With his last bit of strength, he lunged at the dark counterpart, pointing the sword forward. Sadly, just before the blade could enter his dark form, Dark Link grabbed the tip with his bare hands and pulled the sword from Links weak grasp.

“Looks like you’re out of time.”

Like a flash of lightning, and as the last grain of sand fell, the blade was flipped and forced straight through Link’s torso. He fell back and the last thing he saw before losing consciousness was Dark Link making his way towards The Great Deku tree.

Outside the Village Malon was getting worried. She noticed what looked like the trees leading into the forest, dying.

“What in Hyrule is going on?”

She began to worry. She jumped off of Epona and darted towards the bridge. She came to an abrupt halt as she noticed that the bridge was broken.

“I guess the bridge was connected to the forest.”

Quickly thinking she climbed down the half that was still attached on her side. Luckily, she only had to drop a few feet when she reached the end.

“I hope I don’t get lost.”

Only thinking of Link, she nervously marched on.

Deep in the forest, in the Sacred Meadow, Saria and all the surviving Kokiri were huddled together hoping the danger would eventually pass.

“I hope Link get there in time.”

Saria was taking a quick head count to ensure no one was left behind. It didn’t take long for her to notice just one missing.

“Where’s Mido?”

She looked around and he was nowhere to be seen. A little Kokiri girl spoke up and told her that she saw Mido heading back towards the village.

“Ugh! Does he ever listen?”

She stormed back off towards the village. It wasn’t necessary but she felt it would calm her a little so she gave everyone specific instructions before leaving.

“Everyone stay here, and stay quiet.”
p.

Back at the entrance, Malon was deciding what to do. The other side of the bridge was low enough to grab but looked weaker than the side she climbed down. She eyed the ladder that scaled the cliff just to her left.

“I have to see what’s going on, but I don’t want to risk getting lost in the woods.”

She headed to the ladder thinking if something happened there’s bound to be someone roaming the forest for protection. She immediately found that she was right. The second she got to the top of the ladder, she saw a small Kokiri boy staring at the broken bridge.

“This can’t be true. The Deku tree can’t be dead.”

The boy paced around in shock. He finally stopped and noticed Malon. He looked up and gave a puzzled look.

“What’s the Deku tree and how can you tell it is dead?”

The boys look turned from puzzled to anger.

“The Deku Tree is the guardian of the forest. I noticed the forest dying and came here to check on the bridge. It’s rotting because the Deku tree is dying.”

He turned and headed back in the direction in which he came. Not really having a choice, he decided to help the woman whom he only just met.

“The bridge was made from his branches. He connected us to the rest of Hyrule. If you follow me I’ll lead you to safety.”

He led the confused Malon through the deadly maze of trees.

“Many have entered and some have never returned. One wrong turn in this place and you could be lost forever.”

They eventually reached the sanctuary. This place was untouched by the hands of death. Everything was flourishing. Bushes rose as high as she could see. Trees blooming fruits without end and what looked like a church in the back.

“What is this place?”

“It’s a safe haven for us.”

Mido walked in front of her and pointed out interest points as if he was a tour guide.

“Nothing can get in here. Technically you shouldn’t even be able to step foot here. The Goddesses must favor you.”

He continued forward but at a quicker pace. They finally reached the heart of the little sanctuary.

“Where is Link?”

She grabbed the little boy and the worry on her face returned.

“If the forest is dying then it must mean something has gone wrong with him as well”

“Get off me woman!”

He smacked her arms away without any trouble.

“If he’s not here, then that idiot is in the village.”

“Then take me to him.”

She began pulling him towards the entrance. Mido, however, showed resistance.

“Are you mad? It’s too dangerous. Saria can speak with the spirits of the forest; she’ll give you an update on Link.”

He looked around in search for her but she was nowhere to be found.

“She must have gone out to search for me”

He shook his head and giggled a little.

“Why in goddesses name is she so thick-headed?”
p.

Saria had nearly made it to the entrance when what seemed like a little blue bug smacked her in the face.

“What the…”

A closer look revealed it to be a fairy. She shook her head before flying away. Saria yelled after her hoping to find out who it was.

“Excuse me. Where are you going?”

The fairy turned back around and flew up to Saria’s face

“I need to find someone named Saria. Link is in danger.”

She immediately pushed the fairy aside like a fly and rushed into the village. It didn’t take long for her to spot Link lying in a pool of blood. She could see he was still breathing but she needed to hurry if she wanted to save his life. She ran to him and kneeled at his side.

“Link, don’t worry, I’ll save you.”

With a heavy breath, he told her to go right outside just past the bridge and get the bottle of milk out of the saddlebag on the horse.

“I’ll be right back.”

She was gone only a couple minutes before she returned with a look of dread on her face.

“The bridge is gone and there’s no way else across.”

The little fairy had caught up and flown right up to Saria’s face once more.

“He was injured by a man that looked exactly like him.”

She looked down at Link’s wound with the sword still sticking out.

“There is only one way to heal a wound this bad. You must ask the Great Fairy hidden somewhere in Lost Woods to help.”

Saria leaped up and started heading off to find the Fairy

“I’ll find her, but could you go and grab the bottle from the hoses satchel right outside? He believes it may help. Oh and I never got your name?”

“It’s Navi.”

No more words were traded between the two and they went their separate ways. It didn’t take Navi long to get to the horse but she had the problem of carrying the bottle. She got herself in the satchel and rummaged around to see if she saw anything useful. All she saw were what looked link a robe, three bottles, some other sorts of clothing, and a bag of rupees.

“That’s it! I’ll pour out the rupees and push the bottle into the bag. Goddesses I’m smart.”

It was easier said than done. She had to push over a bag bigger and heavier than her, and push a bottle just a tad smaller over and into the bag.

“Wait a minute. What if I run the bag over to the bottle?”

She didn’t feel so smart now. All that was left was to find an easier way to dump the rupees.

“There isn’t much”

She thought about pulling them out one by one. Going ahead with that idea, she removed all the rupees and swung the bag over a bottle. It had a string on it so it would be easier to carry. She flew as carefully as possible as not to drop the bag. It took her longer to return than it did to get to the horse.

“Link, I got the bottle. I have no idea how this will help you though.”

She gently placed the bag next to him.

“It won’t heal me, but it will give me enough strength until Saria gets back. Anyways, did you see a girl out there? Is she ok?”

The little fairy looked bewildered.

“There was no one out there.”

Link struggled to sit up but he was eventually able to.

“If she’s not there then she must have entered the forest. I have to go after her.”

He grabbed the blade and slowly pulled it out of his abdomen. He screamed in agony as the tip of the blade reached the end of the wound. He sighed as it left his body and he tossed it to the side. He then grabbed the bag with the milk, pulled the bottle out and chugged the whole bottle. With bloody hands, he attempted to stand up. He couldn’t even get up off of his knees before falling over.

“Let Saria get the Great Fairy first.”

Navi flew up and landed on his left shoulder.

“Besides I have a feeling she’ll be just fine.”

Link looked over at Navi who had a reassuring smile on her little face.

“Fine, I can’t get up anyways.”

He may not have been able to get up, but he was still able to crawl so he found a nice log to lean against and fell asleep.

“Just hold on there big guy. You’ll be back up and fighting soon enough.

“I never got your name.”

Malon was sitting on what looked like a bench but was actually a bush that was strong enough to hold anyone’s weight.

“It’s Mido. I hope you understand it’s too dangerous out there at the moment.”

He looked straight into her eyes in the hopes of calming her down.

“I know Link isn’t one of us but he is strong. He won’t be defeated so easily.”

“Please. He saved my life and I owe it to him.”

Everyone stopped what they were doing and turned to a now weeping Malon.

“If you won’t help me, then I’ll go myself.”

She pushed Mido out of the way and ran out into the forest.

“Women”

He didn’t want to but he ran off to catch up with her. Malon didn’t get a chance to get far before Mido stopped her.

“If you want to get to Link then you have to do exactly as I say. That means no wandering off.”

She simply nodded her head and then they were off with Mido leading the way. The forest looked different then when they were walking through it before.

“If you’re not careful, you can get lost. The paths change every once in a while but something seems a bit off.”

And he was right. The trees seemed to move and new paths would open and others would close. Without proper knowledge of these woods, one could get lost forever.

“Don’t worry. I’m too freaked out now to wander off on my own.”

She grabbed a hold of Mido’s arm as they rounded a corner. They eventually ran into Saria. She seemed out of breath, which was unusual. She was very fit and could run great distances if needed.

“What are…you doing here? And…who is…that?”

She had to sit down before finishing. She looked up at the taller farm girl.

“I’m Malon. I was traveling with Link. Is he alright?”

Saria turned her head.

“He was run through with a sword. He’s alive but he needs the Great Fairy’s aid.”

She stood back up as she finished catching her breath. “Now we have to run. Those creatures that attacked the village are now in these woods.”

At that exact moment, a rustling and growling noise was heard in the distance. To Malon, it was a nastier growl than that of, what Link called, a Moblin. All three darted off just as they got in sight. They were green, scaly, and wore a thick armor. There were only two of them, but they were not to be messed with. Mido was the first to ask such an obvious question.

“What do you suppose we do now? How do you suppose we lose those guys?”

Straight, right, left, and then straight again. They just couldn’t lose them.

“The only way to lose them is to find the Fairy. She’s protected by a barrier. So only we can see where she is.”

Saria knew exactly what they had to do but they had a couple obstacles deterring their focus. They stopped for a few minutes and were relieved to hear nothing but their own heavy breathing.

“How can you know where the Fairy is? I’ve never been able to find her myself.”

Mido was angry at the fact that Saria was able to find her while the self-proclaimed leader of the Kokiri could barely get through the Lost Woods himself.

“And on top of that, what about the farm girl? What if she’s not able to enter her lair?”

“Then as a man, you will stand guard and protect her.” He gave her a look of agreement.

“Now let’s go before the uglies decide to catch up.”
p.

“Link”

Navi flew around his head in an attempt to get his attention.

“Link, wake up.”

Dark Link was returning from whatever he had planned. Navi whizzed behind Link’s head to hide as Dark Link came into view.

“What am I going to do? I hope they return soon.”

“So you survived?”

His shadow was kneeling in front of him. He just stared at Link for a few minutes before getting back up. He walked over, took the sword in his hand and walked back over to his counterpart.

“I hope the next time we meet you put up a better fight. You still won’t be able to defeat me but it would still be entertaining.”

He took the sword and thrust it deep into the ground between Link’s feet.

“Consider this a gift from me.”

Dark Link, with his goal accomplished, set off for his next destination.

“Until next we meet.”

With Dark Link gone Navi returned to waking Link.

“Come on. Get up.”

She tried everything. Even kicking him in the face. After a bit of back and forth of kicking and yelling in his ear, she was finally able to rouse him.

“You must stay awake.”

“I…need…to…save…my…energy. So…let…me…rest.”

His head went limp and he passed out again.

“I hope you’re right.”

Chapter 6

The Great Fairy

“We’re here.”

Saria stopped in front of a normal looking tree.

“Now let’s hope that the Great Fairy will help us.”

“But that’s just a tree.”

Malon finally caught up with Mido just behind her.

“I thought we would be looking for a cave.”

Mido began to laugh at this.

“Ha ha, we told you that she was protected. Why would she hide in an easily accessible cave?”

“Mido, you know she’s not a part of the forest. So leave her alone.”

She turned her attention back to the tree.

“Now let’s hope that we can all pass through.”

Malon looked more confused that she ever had “Pass through?” They lined up together in a straight line. “Well here’s hoping I see you on the other side.” They grabbed each other’s hands, closed their eyes and walked forward. Inside was a crystal fountain with two large fairy statues facing in towards each other. They were holding up a replica of the Triforce. The walls were made of a smooth stone unfamiliar to them and it reflected every bit of light that touched its surface. The water in the fountain was as clear as day.

“Is everyone here?”

All seemed ok until they noticed Malon’s hands missing.

“I thought that might happen.”

Mido looked to Saria and told her to hurry.

“Those things may find us soon so don’t take too long.”

Mido turned and headed back outside but she was nowhere to be found. He stepped back through the mirage.

“Umm… She’s not out there.”

“Who do you think you are to enter my realm?”

The voice was feminine yet deep with a harsh tone. Smoke billowed from the water and a large Fairy appeared in front of them. She was even bigger than a Goron and her hair was as green as the leaves that grew on the trees.

“Well?”

“I am Saria and this is Mido.”

Although she was nervous, Saria stepped forward.

“We have come to ask you for your assistance. We would also like to know what happened to the other girl that was with us.”

The Fairy looked down at them both.

“I sent the girl to the village. She has no reason to be here.”

She crossed her arms and sat in mid air.

“And what sort of assistance do you need from me?”

Mido spoke up before Sari could think of what to say.

“Our friend is in the village about to die. We need you to heal him. I know he’s not Kokiri but he was raised as one.”

Saria just stared in amazement.

“Wow. I’ve never known you could be so nice.”

Mido just turned his head in embarrassment. As usual, he didn’t want to show the real Mido.

“If I help him, one of you must give up your life in return.”

Both looked at each other and Saria spoke just before Mido could.

“I’ll do it.”

Mido shook in disagreement but before they knew it, they along with the fairy had appeared back in Kokiri Village. There they say Malon clutching Link.

“Let him be. I will heal him.”

She brought her hands together in a praying position and Links body began to glow. They watched as the wound completely closed. Though the blood was still stained on his shirt and smeared where the hole used to be he was fully healed.

“Now the matter of your life”

She pointed at Saria.

“What?”

Malon jumped up in protest.

“You can’t.”

Saria stopped Malon from saying anything else.

“This is what has to be done.”

The Fairy pointed at Saria and she started to glow herself. There a flash of light and the Fairy disappeared. Saria was left standing there. Everyone was staring and confused.

“I have given you my power so that you may aid the destined one. By giving up your daily life, you shall have a new adventure filled one. Now go. Go and help save Hyrule. Time is of the essence.”

Silence filled their home once more. They looked back and forth at one another while wondering if what had happened was real.

“So…Is anyone going to help me up?”

Everyone snapped out of their shock and looked at Link.

“I may be healed but I can still feel some pain.”

Malon reached out a hand and helped him stand.

“So what happened to you Saria?”

He retrieved the sword that was still stuck in the ground and put it in the sheath that magically appeared around his shoulders.

“Do you feel any different?”

“Well, I feel a surge of magic coursing through my veins. So that’s new.”

Link took his knife out and cut his palm open.

“So let’s test it.”

All at once, almost in unison, they yelled.

“Are you crazy?”

Saria just shook her head and went along with it. She put her hands over his open hand. Nothing happened.

“Just concentrate.”

She heard the Great Fairy’s voice. She took a minute to concentrate and Links hand was glowing. The wound closed right up.

“I did it!”

She was jumping around joyfully.

“Aren’t you forgetting something?”

A little voice sprang out of nowhere.

“While you guys were off on your little adventure, I had to stay here and protect Link.”

A blue light appeared from behind him.

“I’m pretty sure some of you met but this is Navi. She was sent by the Deku tree. Why don’t you tell them what you told me?”

Everyone gathered around the little blue fairy as she started to tell her tale.

“As the Kokiri and Link know, we Fairies are born from the essence of the Deku tree. He saw danger approaching and gave birth to me. I stayed high in his branches and listened to their conversation.”

“Where is the ring?”

Dark Link approached the tree and touched his bases. A shadow started to rise up and cover him. The Great Deku tree began to scream in pain.

“Tell me where to find it.”

“You shall never obtain it. No amount of evil shall ever be able to touch it.”

Sap sprang from his eyes, which symbolized tears.

His screaming continued as the darkness rose further.

“You can avoid all this pain if you just tell me where it is?”

He pulled his hand away to give the tree a chance to speak.

“Even if you somehow got a hold of it, you would never be able to use it.”

Dark Link returned his hand.

“Stop wasting time and tell me.”

“Before I tell you, I must know why.”

The darkness receded again and Dar Link just laughed.

“Ha! The greatest enemy that Hyrule has ever seen needs the ring to become unstoppable. He has the princess. Now all he needs are the three rings.”

“Like I said, you would never be able to use them. The rings will do nothing without the final piece.”

The tree gave a quick smile at that thought.

“Oh, he already knows. He has known since his creation.”

For the final time Dark Link placed his hand upon the tree’s base and with one last scream, he told him where to find it.

“It’s hidden where those that do not belong, will inevitably perish.”

“With his last bit of energy, he whispered to me. He told me to tell Link what happened, and to find Saria. He then gave me a seed from the branch above and told me to plant it in the Sanctuary found deep in Lost Woods.”

“So he really is dead?”

Mido, the last one you’d expect to, began to cry.

“What are we supposed to do now?”

Navi flew right up to his face.

“Are you that stupid?”

She flew away and returned with the seed.

“Were you even paying attention when I told you that he gave me a seed and told me to plant it?”

Feeling stupid and a bit embarrassed, he dried up his tears.

“Now let’s figure out what we’re going to do.”

Link stepped into the middle of the group.

“Saria and Mido, you two can go plant the seed and tell everyone it’s safe to return. Malon and I will build temporary ladders until wood from the new Deku tree can be harvested. Navi, well you can…hmmm…not sure what you can do.”

Everyone once again went their separate ways and set off to do their tasks. Since Link was raised a Kokiri, constructing was his specialty and he finished two in record time. Mido and Saria made it to the sanctuary with no trouble. Everyone greeted them as if they were heroes. They planted the seed in the back of the sanctuary and with everyone else, returned to the village.

They decided to sleep that night. Link, Malon, Saria, and Navi would then leave in the morning. Malon stayed with Saria, which Saria was pretty resistant. Navi for some odd reason had slept in a tree. Link that night, however, had nightmares about this new enemy. He was for once in his life, scared. He almost died with his first encounter. How was he supposed to defeat an enemy that he could not cut? He hoped that heading to Kakariko would yield some answers. It seemed he was asking more questions than those that were being answered.

In the morning, they all gathered just outside the village. They tried figuring out who would ride Epona and who would walk with while wearing the robe.

“Seeing as how the robe is too big for Saria, she’ll have to ride until we can get her one. And that leaves us with me and Malon.” He looked at Malon.

“For now, I want to test something so you can either walk or ride Epona with her.”

He unsheathed his new sword.

“This sword was born of darkness and even though I cleansed most of it, I want to see if I can pass through the fields unharmed.”

“Are you stupid?”

Saria walked up to him and nearly slapped him. Malon caught her hand just before it hit.

“I think a little trial and error never hurt. Besides, we need to get a better understanding of that sword. Why would he have left it with Link? I’ll ride Epona with you and if something goes wrong, we can just toss the robe over top of him.”

Saria wasn’t happy but she agreed nonetheless. Both got up on the horse, Link grabbed the reigns and started walking. He stopped right where Hyrule field started and looked back. Mido was there waving goodbye.

“Well, here goes nothing.”

He walked out onto the barren land and to his surprise, he was right. He was perfectly fine.

“Wait. Where’s Navi?”

Just then, a tiny voice could be heard.

“Don’t forget about me!”

She rounded the corner and almost flew right into Link. Saria just laughed

“It serves you right for sleeping in and deciding to sleep alone.”

The blue fairy stuck her tongue out at Saria and proceeded to rest on Links’ shoulder. With everyone finally assembled, they could get back to heading to his original intended destination, Kakariko.

Chapter 7

The Heart of Hyrule

The fields were looking worse off than before. They were gone only a short time but the scene had changed drastically.

“This is ridiculous. We need to figure out what we need to do to fix this.”

With her small stature, Saria was trying to get comfortable on Epona.

“Is that why we are heading to Kakariko? To learn more about what’s going on and how we can stop it?”

“No, we’re going there just for fun.”

Malon stared right into Saria’s eyes and she stared right back.

“Why did the Great Fairy choose you to have her powers?”

Saria quickly returned her insult with one of her own.

“Well, why are you with Link when you have no abilities to contribute?”

Link had to step in between the two to lighten the mood.

“Look, Malon is with me because the Moblins want her and they kidnapped her father and Saria was most likely chosen to carry on her power because she was one of only a few to know where The Great Fairy resided.”

Link pulled himself from between the women hoping that everything was resolved.

“Now can we get back to what we were doing?”

Both just gave each other a smug look and turned their heads the other way.

“Why in Hylia’s name am I stuck with these two?”

It didn’t take long for them to reach Kakariko. Surprisingly, the roads were clear and no monsters were waiting for them.

“That was too easy. There has been nothing but trouble since I started this journey.”

Link looked behind him to make sure they weren’t being followed.

“I hope this peace will last for a while longer.”

Just ahead of them was a large gate and two guards holding spears, blocked the entrance.

“And where do you think you’re going?”

One of the guards lowered his spear to block their path.

“State your business.”

Link backed up a bit out of caution.

“I am here to see a woman named Impa.”

He looked back at his friends unsure of what was going to happen. He turned back around and continued.

“We were sent by the Deku Tree, the Guardian of the forest.”

“She is already seeing someone. You’ll just have to come back later.”

The other guard whispered to his companion.

“Doesn’t that look like the last guy?”

They then aimed their spears at Link.

“Again, who are you? The last guy looked exactly like you and came for the exact same reason. How do we know that you’re not a monster in disguise?”

“Umm…”

Link had pointed to all of his friends who were just behind him.

“As you can see, I have some company with me that can back me up.”

He turned back to the guards in the hopes that they would believe him. They raised their weapons and approached Link. Not in a kind matter either. They grabbed him by the arms and started to drag him away.

“Hey, what are you doing?”

Until you can prove to us that you’re who you say you are, you will be held in a cell.”

As they dragged him down the entrance, he looked over and saw an old woman up on a hill with what seemed to be an exact copy of him. He wasn’t sure but he had begun to think that it might actually be Dark Link. This guy wasn’t dark nor was he see-through. He knew it couldn’t be anyone else. The guards took him to, not a real cell, but a windmill. They tossed him in and locked the door.

“You are to remain here until your other self, leaves.”

“What do we do now?”

Navi sprang up from his shoulder and flew the whole way around the room.

“There is no other way out.”

Link leaned against the wall and sat down.

“We simply wait until the girls find us. Besides, if I was really being held captive, they would have taken my weapons.”

Navi found a brick slightly sticking out of the wall to sit on.

“Fair enough”

Out at the entrance, Saria and Malon were just staring at each other trying to figure out what happened. Malon was the first to speak up.

“I say we just go in.”

They looked to make sure the guards were not back before passing through the gate.

“You should also leave Epona out here. We don’t want to draw any attention.”

Saria laughed at the notion.

“Yes, because a farm girl and a child of the forest traveling together isn’t weird enough.”

“Fair enough”

The village was eerily quiet. No one was outside except for a few guards. Only one shop, three homes, a windmill and a graveyard could be found.

“Now where would they take Link? I say we start at the big building on top of the hill.”

Saria pointed to a huge white building with a red roof and a chicken coop in the back.

“It’s the only place that makes sense to have a makeshift jail.”

As they reached the home, they could hear voices coming from inside. They took a peek in the window and saw what looked to them like Link speaking to an older woman. She wasn’t old enough to need a cane but old enough to notice her age. Malon started towards the door when Saria grabbed her by the arm.

“That’s not our Link. No Navi and no sword.”

She was right. He had no weapon and the little blue fairy could be found.

“We might as well listen to their conversation before we look for Link.”

“And what of the Rings, where can they be found?”

The imposter tried his best not to force an answer.

“First you must prove yourself by befriending the Gorons and saving them from a terrible fate.”

She began to tell him a story of a dragon named Volvagia, born of rock and fire. The darkness spreading through Hyrule released the creature and is now terrorizing their city.

“If you can bring back the skull and the symbol of the Gorons friendship, I will reveal the location to you.”

The imposter became impatient and started to leave. Saria and Malon quickly snuck away before being seen as the door swung open. Making sure no one could see him; he became a shadow and disappeared into thin air. The two girls ran and hid behind the house just below and saw the whole thing.

“How did Dark Link know to come here? What is he trying to do?”

Impa was the one that came out of the door this time.

“When are you two going to come out of hiding?”

“How did you know we were here?” The woman waved her hand to motion the girls inside. They may have been curious about where Link was but they were more interested in what has been happening. The woman turned as she entered the door.

“And don’t worry about your friend the guards should be bringing him here soon.”

Inside was a simple layout, a small den on the main floor, and a small set of stairs leading up to a sleeping area, which was clearly visible. There was a huge bookshelf filled with Hyrule’s History on the main floor. The strangest thing in there was a cage with a cow inside.

“Oh, I keep a cow for fresher milk. This old woman just can’t make that trip to the shop as easily anymore.”

The door opened once again and Link appeared in the doorway with the guard just behind now.

“Why in Hyrule did you need to lock me up? If I was told what was going on, then I would have hidden.”

He slammed the door shut accidentally hitting the guard in the face.

“I mean, that makeshift “jail” was no picnic. The least you could have done was put me somewhere more comfortable.”

“Are you quite finished?”

Link didn’t even get a chance to utter a single word before she continued.

“Now, if you would be so kind as to sit and stay quiet, I can tell you why you are here and what you need to do.”

They all did what they were told and sat at the oversized table in the middle of the room. Navi flew up and sat on top of the bookshelf behind them.

“The legend begins with a Goddess named Hylia and a time of a great war. She saved the land that is now known as Hyrule from being born of pure hatred and darkness named Demise. She saved the people by plunging a patch of land high into the sky and sealed the darkness in a realm of her own design to try and get him to reflect on his wrong doings. This only made him desperate for revenge. She eventually passed and was reborn into one of noble blood. Feeling her return, he eventually was able to break free from his prison. But once again he was defeated. Not by the Goddess, but by a hero clothed in a green garb such as what you are wearing. While everyone thought that he was defeated, the newly reborn Hylia passed some of her powers to three chosen women to help protect and govern the new land; Din, Nayru, and Farore.

Din, with the strength of 100 Gorons, cultivated the lands and made them fertile. Nayru, with her great wisdom, gave a law that would keep peace in this new land. And Farore, with her gift of life, created the forests, crops, and lakes that the people would need to live on the land. Before departing, not only did they create the Triforce to hold their power while they rested, they created three rings to help anyone that needed to protect the land in their absence. One in the forest that none can enter without consequence, one in the heart of the land, and one in the desert of lost souls. Alone, the rings are nothing. To be able to tap into their powers, you must find the book of Hylia. That. I cannot help you with, as the knowledge of its location was lost centuries ago. But the King of the Zoras may know. He has lived far longer than most.”

“So one of the rings is in the lost woods?”

Link looked happy that at least one ring would be easy to find.

“I say we go for that one first.”

Saria suddenly decided to butt in.

“Think about it first. Which sounds closer? I assume the “Heart of the Land” refers to Castle town.”

She looked to Impa to see if she was correct. She just shrugged and gave a puzzled look.

“Well, I say we head to Castle Town first.”

Malon and Navi agreed to this.

“We can go back home next. Ok?”

“Fine. Whatever. Let’s just hurry.”

They got up from the table and were about to leave when Link wanted to ask one last question.

“So the other me…Was he of pure darkness?”

Impa only nodded.

“I wonder how he was able to look exactly like me. I mean, when I first encountered him, he was nearly see through and very dark, but when I saw him this time, he was solid.”

The four walked back out to the gate followed by the old woman. “Just one more thing children, be careful of who you trust. Not everyone these days are as kind as they used to be.”

Link played Epona’s favorite melody and not ten seconds later, she was galloping up the path leading to the village.

“Well, if we need any more info, we know who to come to.”

It took them no time at all to get to the town. This time though, the place seemed to be deserted. Only a few people were roaming the nearly barren streets.

“So, now what do we do now? Where do we go? Who do we ask about the ring?”

Every place they passed, the owners were shutting their windows and doors. The only place that seemed to still be open was Jugo’s. Link and Malon had nearly forgotten about him. Something seemed different though. It looked as though someone trashed the place. Shelves were tipped over and what little stock he had, was strewn across the floor. Jugo was nowhere to be found either. All four made their way to the back to check if anyone was there.

When they reached the back, everything was upturned like the front. What could have happened while he was gone, and so quickly at that? He kept asking himself those questions as they rummaged through the mess looking for any clues as to what happened.

Out of the corner of his eye, Link saw a blade shining as bright as the lake. But looking down at the blade, he quickly noticed what appeared to be blood on the hilt. He reached for the sword and saw a note lying underneath some splintered pieces of wood, most likely from the now non-existent table they sat at together the last time the were there.

“Link; if you get this, then that means I have either been captured or worse. The darkness is returning and it is up to you to return Hyrule to its former glory. I’m sure by now that you have seen Old Lady Impa, so I will skip the story and get straight to the point. Back when your mother first came into my shop, not only did she ask for her special order but she gave me a ring and told me to protect it at all costs. I have no idea what is so special about a ring, but I would do anything she asked. With that, I will take it out to Lon-Lon Ranch. I’m sorry but I cannot reveal its exact location as no one else can know. I have complete faith in you. So make your mother and father proud.”

Just as he finished reading, they heard noises from the front of the store. Three Lizalfos had found them. Link grabbed the sword from his sheath and with the other sword he picked up, he ran out to face his seemingly stronger foes. With a few slashes with both swords, they were taken out quite easily.

“That seemed a bit too easy.”

He kneeled down next to one of the bodies to catch his breath. Right before his eyes it turned to ash but left the armor it wore.

“I guess we have no choice but to head out to the Ranch.”

Just before they got back to Epona Link had another vision. This one was more gruesome and terrifying. He saw himself in The Great Deku Tree as a Child battling what looked like a giant spider. Seeing this gave him a feeling of dread. Fearing for his friend’s safety, he decided to head out to the Ranch himself. He hoped on Epona and left a trail of dust in his wake.

As he approached his destination, a flash of lightning and a crash of thunder brought nearly blinding rain. Inside he dismounted and looked around. From what he could see, everything looked destroyed. The barn was burnt to the ground. The horse pen looked as if it was swallowed by the earth, and their home, it looked like it had never existed.

“What could have happened here?” 

Suddenly the ground shook beneath him. He unsheathed his sword ready to face whatever was out there. He walked out to the middle of the field to try and find this invisible enemy. With a clash of lightning, everything around him lit up and with a large screech, the giant enemy revealed itself.

Chapter 8

The Poisonous Queen

The rain was coming down so hard that Link could barely see. If not for the lightning, he would not have seen the giant leg swinging towards him. The monster stood from what he could see thirty feet tall. It had eight legs, and as it tried to bite him, and one giant eye right above its fangs. Link knew right away that he was in trouble but he knew that this thing must be stopped here and now. Dodging was doing nothing but he wasn’t sure what else to do. He whistled to Epona and hopped on her back. With this much speed, he could get around to the back of his enemy to see what he was really up against. The creature had what looked like eight legs and tail. The legs looked like a spider but the tail was strange. He was dodging the legs now as the creature was spinning around trying to attack him. He readied his sword and as he passed another leg, he attempted to slice it. No luck. It was as hard as iron.

He was too into trying to figure out his enemy when out of nowhere, he was caught off guard and knocked clean off of Epona. Both Link and the horse went flying. Luckily neither were seriously hurt. Epona just ran away while he was trying to regain his footing. He finally stood up and saw that the rain and slowed down quite a bit. He saw that what he was facing was indeed a spider-like creature but the tail was still throwing him off.

With a hiss, it lowered its tail and laid a few eggs. Within seconds they hatched and mini versions of it popped out. He looked around to look for his sword. He couldn’t see it anywhere. What a time to lose it. With Epona gone, his sword lost, and the fact that he left his friends back at Kakariko, the only thing he had was his shield. “Oh great!” he thought to himself. He took the shield and started swinging at the baby spiders as they drew close. Eventually, they had him cornered. He had no idea how to defeat these things without a sword.

Just as they jumped on top of Link, an arrow seemed to appear out of nowhere and hit one and that in turn knocked another off. He watched as another flew straight into the Huge spider’s eye. It hissed and backed away for a bit. He turned to where both had come from and saw both Saria and Malon carrying bows and quivers.

“Did you really think you could leave us?”

Saria knocked another arrow and knocked the last one off.

“It seems to me that we’re doing more saving than you are.”

She ran over to help Link up.

“Hurry up you two, it’s coming back.”

Malon was preparing another arrow as she was hit with some sort of gunk. It didn’t take long to figure out that it was poison. She fell over and passed out before she could utter another word. Link didn’t even get the chance to thank them as Saria turned and shot another arrow at the creature’s eye. It backed away again and both rushed towards Malon.

Saria checked to make sure she was still alive.

“She’s still breathing”

She sighed with a bit of relief.

“You go distract it while also looking for your sword. I’ll get to healing her.”

Link didn’t even hesitate. He grabbed the bow and quiver from Malon.

“Oh and take my arrows as well.”

He had never shot a bow before but he had to learn quickly. It was rushing towards them once again but this time it had started to speak

“How dare you kill my babies and take my food.”

Its fangs clicked as it spoke.

“Do you not know who I am? I am the Queen of all arachnids. I am Queen Gohma. How dare you treat me with such disrespect?”

“Disrespect, you were the one that attacked me.”

He walked away from Saria and Malon and led the “Queen” away. “Besides, why are you here? This was an innocent little ranch. What is here that you could possibly want?”

“Don’t act like you don’t know, child.”

She started inching towards link now.

“There is a great power lying beneath these grounds and I was sent to search and retrieve it by any means necessary.”

Back at Malon, Saria was trying her best to heal her but hadn’t had time to get used to her abilities. But she knew she had to concentrate. A light started to emanate from her hands and she began to hope that it would work. She looked up to see that Link hadn’t yet found his sword. Just then as the rain stopped and the clouds started to clear, she saw a glare come not too far from where he stood. She stopped what she was doing, grabbed her bow and shot an arrow between Link and Gohma so he would get her message.

Link saw and looked over to where the arrow landed and not two feet away, his sword way lying in the grass. He ran over to grab it and the spider followed suit. She didn’t get far as another arrow hit one of her front leg segments, knocking her over. Link obtained his sword and returned to the spider as she struggled to get up. He took the sword and lunged straight into her eye. She wriggled a bit and then everything stopped. Link took his sword and walked back over to his friends.

Saria got back to healing Malon and it took a while but she was completely healed. She sat up to see that the spider looked dead.

“Are you sure she’s dead?”

Just as she had said that they started to hear a cracking noise. All three looked over to see the spider queen shedding. What was coming out looked even more gruesome than the last. Link just had a thought.

“The last time I was here, I saw something glowing in a hole in the mill in the back.”

He looked and saw that it was still somehow intact.

“Maybe it leads to a secret passage under the ranch.”

They rushed around the spider. Luckily the molting process took a while.

Inside they saw the hole he was referring too. They had no arrows left but then they all had the same thought.

“NAVI!”

They had completely forgotten about her. She was nowhere to be found so she must have been hiding in Epona’s side satchel.

Link walked back out and saw that the molting process was almost complete. He played the song that the horse loved so much. And like a mouse to cheese, she came. He looked in the satchel and sure enough, she was hiding in there the whole time. Without hesitation, he grabbed her, smacked Epona so she would run away from the danger, and ran back inside.

“What is the meaning of this?”

Navi looked a little more than angry at this point.

“You have to be gentle.”

“We don’t have time.”

Saria interrupted

“We need you to go into this hole and see if that’s a switch. If it is, just press it.”

Navi did as she was told. She flew into the hole and all the way in the back was indeed a switch. She pressed it and the wall outside began to recede to show a long set of stairs leading down.

“Well, I guess this is the only way we can go.”

They all proceeded down the stairs and on the wall torches began to light as they went further down.

Outside Gohma had finished molting. She was smaller but had a harder shell. Her tail was gone and she had a more pronounced thorax. She was grey in color and her fangs were much larger than the last. Coming to her senses, she noticed that her prey had vanished. Sensing the power lying beneath, she headed towards the mill. With great force she destroyed its walls, only leaving the floor and now open passageway. With her new body, she was now able to pull her legs in and squeeze through very tight spaces. She pushed herself down the stairway crushing anything attached to the walls.

At the bottom, all four stood in front of a giant door. Link, Saria, and Malon pushed together to open it. It just would not budge. That’s when Saria noticed something written on the wall to her right.

“Hold on guys.”

She walked over and dusted off the little message.

“To enter this sanctuary, one must cast aside any darkness.”

Just then they heard screeching coming from the stairs.

“You have got to be kidding me.”

Although overly large, the spider was catching up to them pretty quickly.

“Well, we don’t deal with the dark. So how are we going to open the door?”

Then it hit him. The sword he got from his dark counterpart. It was born from the shadows. He took the sword and jammed it into the wall just under the message. His idea worked. The doors began to open inward. They rushed inside and attempted to close the doors behind them. Just as they got it shut all four got a glimpse the hideous face of the new Gohma. It banged on the door to try to enter. Luckily it was in vain.

They took a breather before really taking a look at what was under the ranch. They had reached a large room with pillars placed up and down each side of the room. Each pillar had vines beautifully carved into them. The floor was clear except for the Triforce symbol etched into the stone. The only one colored in was the bottom right. At the end of the room was a statue of what appeared to be a rendition of the goddess Farore. The statue seemed to be in a praying position with her head held low and her hands held outward holding a miniature completed Triforce.

He stepped forward to get a closer look at the statue. As he started to walk over the Triforce symbol, it along with the statue began to glow. He was engulfed by a white light and the scenery before him vanished. The last thing he saw was Malon, Saria, and Navi just staring in amazement.

The wall of light finally lowered and then he was in the same place but everything looked new and not broken. The carved vines were now real. And the girls were nowhere to be found. He looked to see that in the statue’s place was now a throne and sitting in it was who had to be none other than Farore herself. She was average height with brown hair. She wore a beautiful green dress and above her sitting on the top of the throne was a replica of the Triforce.

“Where am I? Why was I brought here?”

She rose from her seat and walked towards him slowly.

“Hero of time, it is your duty to protect this land and save it from a great evil that is soon to escape a realm, not even we understand.”

She caressed his face and took a closer look at him.

“Sadly you are not as strong as you once were, Hero of Time. Although you need help with this task, you need to become stronger as well.”

She walked back over to her throne and sat back down.

“We are in a spirit realm. But do not fear, as your body is protected by my power. Nothing can touch you so long as my power still holds.”

“Why bring me here?”

Link tried walking up to her but was unable to move. She was able to touch him and move freely but he was stuck within the mark on the floor.

“You may already know that me, Nayru and Din placed a good portion of our powers in three rings and scattered them across the land. But to obtain them you have to overcome many trials and become as you once were.”

She conjured a box from out of thin air and opened it.

“As this is just the spirit realm, I can only show you what you are looking for.”

Inside was a light blue earring.

“My ring is in the sanctuary that you entered before you got here but it is up to you to figure out where it is hidden.”

She waved her hand and the wall of light had reappeared. As everything in front of him was changing again he could hear her utter one last thing.

“Though you may find the Rings, they will be useless without the Book of Hylia.”

He was back where he started. Something wasn’t right though. The girls were missing and the door was open. He looked around but still nothing. Then as he looked towards the statue, Navi came from behind it and quickly flew up to him. By the way, she was out of breath; he could tell something was wrong.

“She took them. She wrapped them up in her web and took them back outside.”

He rushed out the doors and grabbed the sword that was now on the ground. Luckily it wasn’t damaged. He rushed back up in the dark and as soon as he reached the top he could see Gohma in the distance running towards Kokiri forest. He quickly called upon Epona, hopped on and pushed her to her limits. As he drew closer he could see two sacs sitting on top of her back. They must be Saria and Malon. He whipped the reigns and pushed her harder. He got close enough that he was able to stand on the horses back and jump on the running spider when he was able to.

On her back, Link took the sword and cut the girls out of the sacs.

“Who’s doing the saving now?”

Neither of the girls bothered to laugh.

“Now hop on Epona and I’ll take care of the rest.”

As soon as they got away, he walked to her head and was about to slice her head off when she came to an abrupt halt, sending Link forward. He rolled a few times but was able to catch himself and recover. He readied his shield as well. He had no idea what the Queen was capable of now.

“Why must you spoil my food yet again?”

She hissed and took a swipe at Link.

“I thought you were here for the power hiding underneath the ground?” She seemed a little faster than before but he managed to dodge her attacks.

“Why didn’t you look for it while I was incapacitated?”

This time she spat poison at him.

“Being asleep for hundreds of years can make you hungry. Eating those tasty morsels would have given me the energy necessary to defeat you and get what I’m after.”

Though he was able to dodge the poison, he watched as it hit a tree and melted it before his eyes.

“Now be a good boy and give up. You can’t cut me with that little toy of yours.”

She let out a creepy hysterical laugh. Without realizing it, the blade began to glow and he could feel the last bit of darkness vanish.

“So you think you can defeat me with a glowing blade?”

He had no idea how he did it but he knew that he now had the means to defeat the queen. He drew the courage he needed and rushed towards her, raising the sword. She swung a leg at him and he didn’t even bother to dodge this time. He swung the sword and off came her leg. Like a knife through butter. She backed away in pain but he was still coming. He got underneath and started lobbing off each leg. She eventually fell and Link hopped right up onto her back yet again. But this time, there was no way he would be thrown off. He raised his sword high into the air and pointed it towards her neck.

“You will never defeat the King of Darkness.”

That was the last words he heard before he thrust the sword deep into her neck. The light traveled from the blade and sliced the head clean off. This time, there was no getting back up. The dead queen turned to ash before his eyes and he landed back on the ground. With both the light and darkness gone from the sword, he was now vulnerable to the land. Just as he passed out he saw the girls on Epona coming towards him.

Chapter 9

The Ring of Courage

“How is he doing?”

Malon was pacing the floor of the Sanctuary while keeping her eyes on Link. He had no visible wounds but the darkness seeping from the land did a number on him.

Saria was kneeling next to Link with her hands, palm side down, and held them over his heart

“This is only the third time I’ve had to use my new ability, but this is the first I’ve had to use it in a case like this.”

Malon stopped and looked at Saria with the saddest of eyes.

“Come on now, all I meant is that I have no idea how long it will take…”

Just as she started explaining herself, she saw Malon’s expression change. She then felt pressure on her hand. Link had finally woken up.

“What happened? How long was I out?”

Malon immediately jumped on him and held him in her arms. Seeing this Saria just got up and stormed off jealousy.

“You were out for a few hours. We saw a light emanating from your direction and we went to check on you. Luckily we got there when we did.”

Link pushed Malon and forced himself to stand.

“We have to find Farore’s ring.”

He walked over to the statue to look for a hint.

“While I was in that light, I guess you can say my soul was transported to anther realm.”

He looked behind for a switch; Nothing!

“She told me that the ring is here but it was up to me alone to find it. She didn’t even give me any clues.”

He looked at the palms ant the Triforce it was holding. The same piece was glowing.

“She also mentioned something about the Book of Hylia. Oh, and where is Navi? I don’t see her. Last I saw her I had left her here?”

“We sent her to confide in the Great Deku Tree about this matter.”

She looked back at the barely open door.

“She should be back soon.”

Link turned his attention back to the glowing piece of the Triforce. He went to touch it with his right hand. The replica began to glow harder and it appeared on his hand as well.

“I almost forgot to mention that she called me the Hero of Time.”

The whole room shook and Link backed away as the statue began to move backward; revealing another set of stairs. These were different as they went in a circle and spiraled downward. They couldn’t tell how far.

“I have a feeling I have to do this on my own.”

He walked back to where he was laying, grabbed his sword and shield, and walked back to the top of the spiraling stairs.

“If Navi returns before I do; don’t let her follow me.”

Both watched as he set off into the darkness. Down and down he went. He could barely see anything. Just as he thought that it would never end, he saw a light at what he hoped was the bottom. He could also hear chains and gears as he drew closer. He eventually reached a door. When he tried the knob, however, it was locked. He then heard stone slabs moving and a strange rumbling noise. Not wanting to find out what it is, he drew his sword and lodged it between the wall and door. He then used as much of the energy he regained to try and pry the door open. It did nothing. He then decided to try to cut the latch inside. The rumbling sound was getting closer now.

He took the sword, placed it near the top of the door and yet again jammed it between the wall and door. This time he pulled down with all his might; still nothing. He was sweating bullets at this point, as he heard the sound get louder. He looked around and within the light that was showing from the door, he saw a crevice in the wall next to him. He felt stupid and if either of the girls were there, embarrassed. He quickly squeezed in and watched as a boulder of steel smashed the door off its hinges and kept going down the long hallway until it fell off the edge of the cliff that separated him and the next door. Luckily, this room was high and had torches lining the walls.

Up top, Navi could be seen flying through the crack in the double doors.

“How is Link?”

She then noticed that he was gone.

“Wait, where did he go?”

She was zigzagging around looking for him when she happened upon the spiral stairs.

“He went down there alone.”

Saria stepped in front of her, barring the fairy’s view and from any attempts to follow.

“He told us not to follow. He said that it’s something he must do alone.”

They looked at each other and Navi knew it was true. She turned around and flew back to the middle of the room.

“Anyways what did The Great Deku Tree have to say? How is he?”

“Well, he’s still just a sprout so information was a little tough to get out of him. Even the Forest Sanctuary is being affected by all this darkness.”

She landed on the floor and just sat down. Malon and Saria got closer as she told them what happened.

“He mentioned about the Hero of Time having to take up the Master Sword once again. He said that he must first go the royal grave and obtain its secrets. Then he shall take what he finds to the Cathedral located in Castle Town. He didn’t really say much else except that a new evil shall arise from the ashes of the old.”

The little fairy got up and flew up to Saria’s shoulder.

“Let’s hope he gets back soon. It seems that every time we catch a break, something else arises. I also want to go back to the woods after all this. I’m eager to find the ring in the Lost Woods.”

Back below the Sanctuary, Link was still trying to figure out how to reach the door. Just by it being so far away, there’s no way it would need to be locked. He went back to the doorway to gather some of the broken door. He then broke those into smaller pieces. With his smaller pieces, he tossed them over the cliff to see if there was a hidden path; nothing but air and darkness. He went back to the doorway but this time stepped through it to see if he could see any clues as to what he needed to do. That’s when he felt his foot lower a stone.

“So it wasn’t the knob. Figures that I’m unobservant to the smaller details”

Hearing the rumbling again, he got back in the little crevice. After it passed, he watched it go over the edge and paid closer attention to how close to the other side it got. It didn’t even get halfway. He had nothing else to try.

Before hitting the switch again, he looked down the hallway to see if there was any way he could raise himself high enough to jump on. The walls were too smooth but there was a little overhang on top of the doorway. He jumped up to see if he could reach it and pull himself up. He could just barely reach it. Pulling himself up was the easy part.

“It’s now or never.”

He barely touched the switch and as soon as he heard the slabs moving, he went for the overhang. He told himself to count to three and then jump. One, it was still a little bit off. Two, it was closer, THREE! He swung his arms and just as it passed he jumped on to the rolling steel. He nearly lost his balance but he got it pretty quick. He had little difficulty keeping up with its speed. As he drew closer to the edge, he prepared himself for the jump.

Over, the ball went. As it hit the point of descent, he leaped towards the other ledge. He just barely caught it. Again, pulling himself up was the easy part. He walked up to the door, grabbed the knob and took a deep breath. He turned it and to his enjoyment, it opened. He was right. The fact that it was difficult to get to meant that the door would be unlocked. After he opened the door and walked through, he heard another set of gears and chains. He knew where this one was coming from. Opening the door had activated a mechanism to raise a bridge from the chasm. At least he knew how he was going to get back. Ahead of him was another hallway. It sort of snaked its way to the next room.

Both Malon and Saria were pacing the room out of fear and worry. Malon had stopped to look back at the last place she saw him.

“I hope he’s doing ok. What if he’s hurt?”

Saria couldn’t help but think the same. Navi did her best to reassure them.

“Look, if he was able to take down that giant spider, then I’m sure he can get through any trials set by the Goddesses themselves.”

That really didn’t seem to help as the girls started to quicken their pace.

Back in the trials, the noises he originally heard were coming from the room just ahead of him. He walked out to a small platform. Splayed around the room were pillars that were moving. Some were moving up and down and others left to right.

“This is going to be easy.”

At least he thought it would be. Jumping from platform to platform was indeed easy. He got to the door pretty quickly, but what he failed to consider was whether or not the door would be locked. He turned the knob to find that it was indeed locked. He turned around and tried to look for the key. He saw nowhere that it could be hiding. Suddenly, he saw a glare from his left, all the way in the corner of the room. The key was dangling from what looked to be a very thin string. He thought it was another easy task, but nothing is ever that easy.

Hoping from one pillar to the next, he could start to see that it wasn’t a piece of string but in fact a spider’s webbing.

“Now what do I do? If I pull on that, I’ll get the attention of whatever spider is lurking in the shadows.”

All he had on him were his sword, knife, and shield. It was too far up to try to cut it down. Again he looked around the room to see if there was anything to help him; nothing. That’s when he noticed a small notch in the wall next to the pillar that stood under the key. It would only give him enough of a boost to grab the key. Without thinking the worst, he jumped over there, propped his feet in the little hole and grabbed the key. Nothing happened yet. Thinking that the spider might have died long ago, he returned to the door.

As he inserted the key into the keyhole and started to turn it, he heard the gears stop. He turned around to see that the pillars had stopped moving and more pillars were rising to complete the floor. He turned to open the door thinking that this was just another easy way to get back. He then realized that the door wouldn’t budge. The wall to his right opened up to release a Skulltula. A spider-like creature with a white skull-shaped shell on its back. He had memories of smaller Skulltulas but never anything this big. It was just a bit bigger than he was. He raised his sword and shield and prepared to battle.

Down in the Underworld, All sorts of monsters and creatures could be found. Dark Link was walking down a long hallway. He approached a crack in reality that sat just under an altar. A shadowy figure could be seen tracing about.

“I have grim news, sir, Queen Gohma has been destroyed and that so-called Hero of Time has entered Farore’s sanctuary.”

The shadowy figure growled and in a deep tone.

“Then go and destroy him once he returns to the surface.”

He turned and disappeared in anger.”Yes, oh high lord of darkness”

With orders given, Dark Link returned to the surface. He got to the ranch and decided to sit and wait for Link and the girls to return.

Link was standing in the middle of the room overtop the spider that was now dead and lying on its back. He huffed and puffed as it turned to ash. It wasn’t over yet. Two more skulltulas came out of the wall. Both were the same size as the last.

“I should have grabbed my bottle of milk before sending Epona off.”

As one jumped to attack him from above, he raised his shield and knocked it back. He quickly jumped and ran it through like the last. As that one turned to ash, the other skulltula jumped on him and had him in its grasp. He struggled but it was no use. He was too worn out to fight back. He then remembered that he still had his Kokiri knife. He tried to reach for it.

“Almost there.”

He was barely able to grab the end. Just as the spider was about to bite, he turned the knife up and stabbed it where he could. It worked. It hopped off, freeing Link and gave him enough time to grab his sword. Like the last two, he ran it through and it turned to ash. With all three defeated, he heard the door unlock. Just before leaving this room, he had an idea. He grabbed two the spiders back plates so that he could get them turned into shields for the girls. They weren’t that heavy but they were pretty sturdy.

Again, he was walking down a winding hallway. It was too quiet. He was used to the sounds of the gears before. He suddenly came upon a split. Both directions were labeled. The left read “Final Trial” while the right read “Fairy Spring”. Tired from all of the fighting, walking and daunting tasks he had to complete thus far, he headed to the spring. It wasn’t far off. The spring was beautiful. It was a round room with a little spring in the middle. Just above the water, little fairies could be found flying around. One of the little fairies saw him and flew up to his face.

“Let me heal your wounds, young traveler.”

She flew down to his feet and worked her way back up, and around him in a spiral fashion. He could feel an energy surge through him. All his cuts and bruises were healing and he felt like he had just woken up from a good night’s sleep. With her work finished, the fairy returned to her friends in the middle of the room.

With this newfound energy, he was ready to tackle anything that was ahead of him. He walked back and turned down the next hallway. This way was short as well. He had already reached a door. This one had words written on it.

To obtain the ring, you have faced two challenges that tested your courage. The test ahead is nothing like you have faced before. You must now face your greatest fear and show that you have the courage to face anything that stands before you. So open the door Hero for only you can face the great evils that lie ahead in your travels.

Not sure what to expect, he opened the door with a little hesitation. Inside was a large room with fog covering the floor and nothing but a mirror in the middle. He walked in and the door slowly closed and locked behind him. He walked up to the mirror and only saw his reflection. He put his hand on the glass and his image did the same. As he stared at himself, his double started turning dark and moved on his own. He reached out, grabbed Links arm and pulled him into the mirror.

Inside looked dark. There was nothing around; no walls or ceiling. His dark image was standing in front of him ready to fight.

“Is this what that message meant by greatest fear?”

He didn’t feel afraid of him. In fact, he wanted to face him the last time he saw him in Kakariko. Without noticing his image snuck up from behind him and ran him through in the same exact spot the real Dark Link had stabbed him. His eyes went wide and realized that this is what he feared. He feared defeat, and that he was indeed defeated by that shadow. He fell over in pain with the sword still inside. He had no clue what to do. The fight had just begun and he was already on his knees about to fall over. Blood was pooling below him. He could see his reflection in his blood and noticed that the sword was not there. He had then realized that this was a world of illusions. Nothing was real; not even himself. That’s when he woke up to find that he never went anywhere. He was still in the room he started from but the only difference is that his image was standing in place of the mirror.

“Now the real test begins”

The fake Dark Link took a few steps back to allow Link to stand up and ready himself.

“Now that you know your greatest fear, show me that you are ready to face it.”

Link got to his feet and drew his sword and shield. Without thinking ahead, he charged his enemy only to be knocked back easily.

“Courage is nothing without knowledge. You must know your enemy.”

Link got back up and this time took a minute to think about the last time he faced Dark Link. He started mumbling to himself all of his abilities.

“Normal weapons don’t work. He can dodge any attack…”

“Good. You are using your experiences to learn.”

He melted into the ground and reappeared behind Link. “Don’t forget he can disappear and move anywhere he wishes.”

He kicked Link, sending him flying forward quite a distance.

“And remember that you only have little time to think.”

Again, Link rose to his feet. He was beginning to lose his temper. He got back up and charged again, swinging his sword frantically hoping to land a blow. The Dark Link copy was parrying every attack.

“Losing your temper could eventually cost you your life.” He pushed Link back with his shield nearly knocking him over. “Now take a second to cool off and come at me with all your might.”

He knelt down to calm himself down as well as his mind. As soon as he was ready, he got back up, pointed his sword straight out to his right and focused. His sword began to glow. He started towards the copy, slowly picking up speed. The two swords clashed and caused a shower of sparks.

“That’s it, kid. Now use this power to defeat me and obtain that which will aid you in your quest.”

The battle started to heat up as they dodged and parried each other’s attacks. Just when the copy least expected it Link attacked with one more downward slash which released the light from his sword in a long arc. It hit the copy and nearly sliced him in two. He turned to glass and shattered. In the middle of the shattered glass, he saw the earring he was looking for. He picked it up and put it through his right ear. He then heard a door unlock and a voice speaking to him out of nowhere.

“Though I may have copied his abilities and strength from your memories, the shadowy figure you will face again once you exit this place will be much stronger than before. Take what you have learned to heart and you will come out on top. Now go into the next room. The goddess of this Sanctuary has a message for you. I shall see you again when you reach the next sanctuary. I will be in a different form so be prepared. Your next two trials won’t be so easy.”

He did as he was told, and opened the door to the next room. There was no hallway. This room looked similar to the entrance but smaller. He knew exactly what to do. He stood in the middle of the Triforce on the floor, which then began to glow. Next thing he knew he was standing back in Farore’s presence.

“Good to see that you made it.”

She gave a smile and rose up from her seat.

“Those were actually easy compared to the other two you will have to face.”

Link noticed something different. This time he was able to move about.

“How come I couldn’t move the last time I was here?”

They walked towards each other and met half way.

“If you remember, you were about to be attacked.” Link nodded in agreement and eager to hear the rest of the explanation.

“Well, the field I put up protected your physical body. Moreover, this realm is similar to that of yours. So while the field was up in your realm, it was also up here.”

She caressed his face again, inching hers closer to his like she was going to kiss him. Link wasn’t sure to be happy or disappointed but she backed away.

“And before you say anything else, I am the only one that could pass through as I was the one who evoked the spell.”

She let go of his chin and walked past him.

“I forgot to ask this, but what of the message I got from Jugo? The ring was obviously here before even he was born.”

He turned around and she was gone. She seemed to have vanished.

“Why does someone so young have so many questions? Look, if you weren’t able to tell, it was fake.”

He turned around and saw that she had returned to her throne.

“Jugo was and is real but the message you found was left by me. I needed to guide you here.”

He waved her hand and an image appeared in a rippling circle. He saw Jugo in a prison cell. He was sitting in a corner of the cell a looked as if he was about to weep.

“Do not worry. Your friend will be just fine.”

She waved her hand again and his image vanished.

“Now the Ring I have given to you has small powers in itself. It sharpens your senses, making it easier to fight quick enemies.”

She waved her hand once again and a vine from one of the pillars unwrapped itself and made its way to Link stopping right in front of him.

“Now close your eyes and concentrate. I will make three buds bloom and you must tell me what they are.”

Only two of the three had bloomed. She intended to try to hit Link with the vine as he got to the supposed third flower. He inched towards the first.

“Hmm…this one smells like Hydrangea.”

She motioned the end of the vine to pull back a little.

“Correct.”

Without peeking, he moved over to number two.

“This one is a Rose. Wait, a Midnight Rose. They only bloom under a full moon in the middle of the night.”

She motioned the vine to pull back again.

“Correct again. That’s two out of three, only one to go.”

She had to force herself to hold back a giggle as he approached the final bud.

“Hmm, I can’t smell anything”

Just then, the vine pulled back further, and it whipped forward towards Link. His reflexes were as quick as a bullet as he caught the vine only inches from his face.

“Very good, you have passed the test and are ready to face the next set of trials.”

She got back up and walked towards him. She started to push him back to the middle of the room.

“Now go, you must hurry back home. A message is waiting for you there as well as someone of great importance. Sending you back to the entrance is well within what powers of mine remain.”

The Triforce on the floor began to glow and everything was disappearing again.

“You must stop the complete destruction of Hyrule.”

As she said, he was back at the entrance. He saw all three girls sitting by the stairs eagerly awaiting his return. It seems that they didn’t hear him or see the wall of light. They finally noticed him as he walked towards them.

“So how did it go?”

Saria calmly stood up but Malon and Navi flung them self at Link.

“Once you get them off of you, you should tell us what happened.”

“There’s something I need to do first.”

He pushed the two girls away and headed towards the door.

“Now, stay here and whatever you hear, do not open the door.”

With little difficulty, he pulled the doors shut behind him and walked back up the long staircase.

“I wonder what’s going on.”

Navi flew up to the door to see if she could find a crack just large enough that she could fly through. It was tightly sealed. For an old door, not one crack could be found.

“Let’s hope he’s able to accomplish what it is he needs to do.”

Up top, Link could be seen coming out of the darkness. He stopped at the top and right in front of him Dark Link was sitting on a Lon-Lon crate.

“So you survived the trials?”

His dark counterpart jumped from the crate. He had gone back to his original form since he last saw him in Kakariko.

“So where are your little friends? Did they help you out?”

Link didn’t have time to answer when Dark Link vanished and reappeared right behind him but this time he was prepared. With his new ability, he could sense the attack and duck just as his twins elbow passed over his head.

“So you learned some new tricks?”

Both pulled out their swords, ready for an invigorating battle.

“Well no matter, you’re still not even close to as powerful as I am.”

They charged at one another and swung their swords down. They clashed and the two bounced back. Sparks flew as their swords scraped one another. Both were giving it their all. If not for his new ability, he would have been defeated before the fight even started.

Not wanting to draw out the battle, Link tried to remember how he was able to draw energy into his sword. The last time he was able to access that power, he was angry but that couldn’t have been the only thing that caused that power. The battle continued as he tried to remember his fight with the mirror. Besides the fear of defeat, he had felt the uncontrollable need protect those close to him no matter the cost. Thinking about the girls in danger was just what he needed. He stopped and started to laugh.

“What are you laughing about?”

Dark Link prepared for a final attack.

“Stop that laughing! There is no way you can defeat me.”

He had a look of anger and determination. Link continued to laugh as his sword began to glow once more.

“You think you may be stronger but you forget that the darkness can be purified by the light.”

Dark Link raised his sword and Link stayed right where he was. Closer he got, but Link still did not budge. Dark Link didn’t even get a chance to swing before Link swung his. Link sliced his arm clean off. The arm disappeared and the sword fell straight to the ground.

Dark Link knelt to the ground, not in pain but shock. He never expected his opponent to gain so much strength in such little time.

“You may have beaten me now, but next time you won’t be so lucky.”

He grabbed the stub where his arm was cut off and not bothering to look back, a dark circle appeared around him and then he disappeared. Realizing he won, Link dropped to the ground feeling exhausted. He barely had time to recover from his last trial. Facing Dark Link this time made him realize that as he grows stronger, so does his opponent. After catching his breath, he went back down to tell the girls what had happened while he was taking the trials and the battle he just faced.

Chapter 10

Sword and Shadow

“So you’re telling me that you let him get away again?”

Saria just shook her head in disappointment.

“Since you can’t finish him off, we need to go to the Lost Woods and seek out the Great Deku Tree’s guidance.”

She went on to tell them what Navi was told when she went to see him herself. Link sat down to hear her story. Malon was walking around the pillars, deep in thought wondering why she was still traveling with them. Link noticed her look and interrupted Saria’s story to ask her why she was so gloomy.

“I have done nothing while traveling with you. You are the chosen Hero to save this land and Saria was chosen to house part of Farore’s power. Me…well, I have done nothing and have nothing to offer. What can I do?”

She started to cry as she brought these thoughts to light”

Without realizing, Link had gotten up and walked right over to her. He gently placed his hand on her shoulder and reassured her

“If it wasn’t for you, I would not have made it this far without your help. If you weren’t there to pick me up when my life was being drained from the fields, I would have died.”

Malon, with teary eyes, looked up into Link’s eyes.

“Do you really mean it?”

She wiped her eyes as Link continued.

“Of course I do. And if you weren’t there to keep that queen spider busy, then Saria wouldn’t have had time to get her little minions off of me.”

With dried eyes, she looked away almost in a shy manner.

“Even so, I think staying here for awhile would be for the best.”

She turned, Link’s hand falling back to his side in shock.

“I mean, I might as well clean up a bit. The whole ranch is trashed and I don’t want my father to come home to all this.”

Saria got up after hearing this.

“Why don’t we get the rest of our tribe to help her out with the cleanup, we have to go there anyway.”

Link snapped out of his shock and finally registered Saria’s question.

“Well, how would they get here if Hyrule field is covered in a darkness that drains almost every living creature? If it took holding Dark Link’s Sword which was still covered in his shadow, how would we get them across the field?”

Both Saria and Link pondered this little setback. Malon finally spoke up with her idea.

“Well, the horses are scattered around Hyrule field. If you can help me round up a few, three or four can fit on one and they can ride them here. The horses know to return here if no one is directing them, so they should be fine.”

Link agreed to help and they went out to do a little roundup. The sun was shining brightly and he could clearly see three not too far outside the Ranches perimeter. He called upon Epona and then they were off.

Down below Navi was flying around, anxious for Link to return so they can travel back to Kokiri Village.

“I hope we get there in time. The Lost Woods has lost its ability to move around.”

She flew up to Saria in a panic

“Even though The Great Deku Tree is alive and thriving, the forest around him is dying. The sanctuary can only hold out for so long.”

That’s when it hit her.

“The sanctuary, one of the Goddesses sanctuaries must be there.”

Saria looked at Navi in shock. She never thought about it but she was right.

“That would explain why evil could never touch that place. And that must be why The Deku Tree asked us to bury him there.”

Saria remembered that she brought her pendant with her. Now she just hoped Link still had his.

Link was on Epona rounding up the last horse while Malon was on another wrangling one as well. Link still had his Pendant hanging around his neck. It started to glow and shake, nearly to the point of scaring him off the horse.

“Link, can you hear me?”

After catching the reigns of the horse in front of him and stopping, he responded.

“We have two horses, and Malon is working on the last. What’s wrong? Did something happen?”

She began telling him how the next Sanctuary is in their ‘Sanctuary’.

“That would explain why nothing has touched the Lost Woods and the Sanctuary.”

She continued to tell him how the forest is dying and Lost Woods can no longer hide the Sanctuary and The Deku Tree.

“All right, well we both are coming in now. Come back up and be prepared to leave immediately.”

Link cut the connection and caught up to Malon to tell her what was going on. Although she was staying, he was sure she would want to know what was happening. They finally arrived back at the Ranch and, as they were told, Saria and Navi were waiting for them. As he approached he saw that Saria was sitting on a crate and Navi was watching out for Link. Finally noticing him, Navi flew up to him as fast as she could.

“Hurry up! Let’s go!”

She flew around him, to get him to quicken his pace.

“We have to hook up the horses first. Then we can leave.”

When he got close enough, he jumped off Epona, still holding the reigns, and proceeded to tie it to the side satchel. It was too short. Luckily he brought some rope along with him. He tied one end to the satchel and a loop at the other so he could tie the other two with it. After Malon got back, He took the horse she was on and the one she brought in and tied them to the loop as well.

“We’ll worry about the rest later.”

Link remounted Epona and Saria hopped on right after. Link tugged on the rope to start the three horses moving and then Epona began to move. Navi sat on top of Epona’s head and then the rode off towards home. Malon just stood there and watched as they slowly disappeared into the horizon.

The way to the forest was uneventful. Link considered that luck as he was still exhausted from his last battle. He’d get Saria to heal him once they got in the village. They tied the three horses to the tree just outside and proceeded to the forest.

They entered the village and to their surprise, nothing had changed. Navi acted as if there was destruction everywhere.

“I said the Lost Woods was dying. I never said anything about home.”

She zipped up in front of both of them to plead her case.

“Besides, we don’t have time to worry about everyone right now. We need to get to the Deku Tree.”

She flew away and started heading towards the entrance of Lost Woods. Lying just outside the entrance was a male Zora that looked to be in his teens. Not even considering why no one had bothered to help him, Saria and Link lifted him up and decided to take him with them and heal him when they reached the Sanctuary.

They walked through the entrance and instead of entering the Woods; they had already reached their intended destination. Navi flew back out but didn’t return. Link started to put the Zora down at this point. “Go and find Navi. I’ll talk to the tree and find out what Navi was freaking out about. After Saria left, he was finally able to notice the difference since the last time he was there. She was right, the protection had weakened and he saw as the roots that covered the walls and ground were drying up and turning grey. Luckily it hadn’t reached the Deku Tree yet. He followed the roots and found that the protector of the forest was no longer a sprout but had yet to become a full grown tree. Although bare, he had branches sprouting high in the air. Everything was quiet. So quiet that he wondered if the Deku Tree was even conscious.

“I see you have returned.”

He was weak but still able to speak clearly.

“By now you have figured out that this is the next sanctuary you seek.”

The roots and vines that covered the place had begun to recede

“I have given much of my life to hold off the evil that threatens this place. But do not weep for me. As time changes so too does Hyrule.”

New, stronger roots now replaced the dead ones.

“Now before you enter the sanctuary behind me, you must head back to Castle Town and enter the Cathedral. Inside, you will find a wall with the image of the three Goddesses holding their piece of the Triforce. As the Hero of time, you still hold your piece. Present that to the mural and the path to the blade that can cut through the darkness, The Master Sword, will open to you.”

Link heard panting and looked back and to his surprise, saw Saria again but she was beaten and battered. She walked over and dropped down and started to heal the Zora. Not caring what else the Deku tree had to say, he rushed over to Saria, nearly tripping over himself.

“What happened? Are you OK?”

Saria stayed quiet and tried to concentrate on healing the boy.

“Where’s Navi?”

There was still no answer. He decided to sit next to her and wait for her to finish. As soon as she was finished, without warning, she passed out. The Zora began to wake up. As he sat up, he looked at Link. When he finally came to his senses, he jumped back in shock.

“What happened? Where am I? Who are you?”

He turned his head back and forth to take in his surroundings.

“You are in the sanctuary deep in Kokiri forest. I’m Link and we found you passed out just outside the Lost Woods.”

For some reason, he felt comfortable around Link.

“My name is Zad by the way.”

He stood up and wiped himself off.

“I was sent by King Zora to confide in the Deku tree. Our water has almost all dried up and we are slowly dying off. I was already a little weak when I started my travels.”

He started to walk towards the tree. He was quickly stopped by Link.

“I have to warn you that he’s not doing well himself.”

Curious as to what was going on He pushed Link out of the way and proceeded forward. He was right. The tree was slowly dying. He was breathing heavily at this point.

“Link, I will place my knowledge into one last fairy. There is no need of an immobile talking tree in Hyrule’s future.”

A bud appeared and bloomed on the highest branch. In it was a green fairy. It woke up, flew down in front of its creator and waited for him to speak.

“You are the last of your kind to be born. I have given you my memory and a little bit of my power. As time passes, that power will grow.”

One last breath and he was dead yet again. But something strange happened this time. He began to glow and he broke into little balls of light and scattered amongst the trees. This was the final sign that he was really gone. The fairy turned around and saw Link, Zad, and Saria, who must have woken up while Great Deku tree was speaking his last words, crying. The loss of a Great Spirit and protector is felt throughout the whole land. The little fairy knew that it was now up to him to protect the forest. Having the knowledge of his Creator, he must help Link in his travels.

“I know you probably want to grieve a little more but we don’t have that kind of time. My name is Pip. Link and I must travel alone to get the sword. Saria must stay here and protect the sanctuary. I know that she has the ability to heal as well as protect.”

He flew up to Saria.

“All you have to do is believe in yourself and you can do almost anything.”

Her tears stopped and she wiped her face.

“By the way, the Lost Woods are acting up. It’s too erratic. The paths change too much too quickly. I wasn’t able to find Navi either.”

She got up and walked over to Link.

“As soon as you return with the sword and go through the Goddesses trial, we can figure out what’s wrong with the forest and save Navi.”

“How are we supposed to get out if it keeps changing?” he walked towards the entrance and started down the path. “I mean we got lucky when we both came through, but you had trouble.” That’s when Pip started laughing.

“Are you forgetting that I have the knowledge of the Deku tree?”

He flew to the middle of the open are they were in and he flew around in a circle flying down to the ground. Doing this created a portal. “This will take us to the last dead Deku tree. After that I can take you guys anywhere I myself have been.”

“What about me?”

Zad was confused as to what he needed to do. He came to ask the Deku tree some questions but the tree died and the only other person was the fairy that created the portal and he was about to leave as well.

“You will get the info you need when I return. Right now, we need to do this. Time is running short. The forest needs to be saved.”

Link pulled himself together and stepped into the light. Before he knew it, they appeared in front of the last Deku tree. As he looked at the lifeless tree, he got a pain deep in his stomach. He just couldn’t believe that he was gone.

“Come on we can’t waste any time.”

Pip started flying off towards the village. Link said his final goodbye and followed. Before they left the village, Link stopped off at Mido’s house to see if he could get a few other Kokiri together and take the horses just outside back to the ranch and help rebuild. He told him that they wouldn’t need to worry about where it was at. The horses would know. Mido didn’t like the idea but he went with it anyways. He felt that if Saria found out he refused to do a request from Link, that she would have his head. Outside the village, Link untied the Horses and tied the tree horses to the same tree Epona was tied to. He hopped up on Epona and Pip got on his shoulder and they headed off to Castle Town.

Back in the Sanctuary, Saria was trying her best to put up a force field. Zad was keeping his distance. He may have trusted Link right away for some reason, but he didn’t feel the same way about her.

“So I’m guessing that you’re friends with that Link?”

He sat down against a tree. He still couldn’t believe what had just transpired. He just watched as Saria ignored him and concentrated on what she needed to do. She placed her hands straight out in front of herself, She closed her eyes and pushed everything out of her thoughts except what she needed to do. She felt a surge of energy begin to flow through her arms. She opened her eyes to see a small, what was almost transparent, bubble. Sadly it had popped two seconds after she opened her eyes. Knowing what she needed to do now, she closed her eyes once again and concentrated even harder. Again she felt the energy flow through her. She decided to wait a bit to see if it would get bigger. The next time she opened her eyes she didn’t see anything in front of her. She looked around to see if it had moved and saw Zad standing under the tree looking up. She did the same and saw the sky was a little wavy. She did it. She put up a field around the Sanctuary. Now she hoped it would hold until Link and Pip returned.

“Oh and to answer earlier, yes we’re childhood friends.”

She began to tell him a little of their past and Zad started to trust her as well. He still had no idea why he trusted them so easily but they have shown that they aren’t so bad. He had nothing to be scared of.

Link and Pip had eventually reached Castle Town but yet again, it was deserted.

“What could be going on?”

They both thought the same thing to themselves. Pip may have just been born but he was pretty sure that any town wouldn’t be this deserted. They looked around to find someone they could ask directions to the Cathedral. Eventually, they came upon a small shop in a back alley. It looked shady but they had no other choice. Inside they found an old creepy looking woman holding a cat behind a counter.

“Hmm…You smell of the forest but you are not a Kokiri. How strange”

She stroked the cats back as she continued

“What business do you have young traveler?”

Link slowly walked up to the woman and told her how he came to be there.

“So in short, I need to know how to get to the Cathedral.”

She let out a high-pitched laugh.

“If that’s all you need, then just go back to the main street and head almost all the way to the end. It will be on your right. You really can’t miss it.”

Link and Pip were just about to leave when that creepy woman stopped them.

“How about buying a bottle of my special potion before heading out? One hundred rupees and I’ll throw in the bottle for free?”

Wanting to get out Link threw the rupees to her and she threw him the bottle of potion. They got to the main street and headed in the direction they were told, and just as she said, it was on their right. Ahead of them was a long stairway leading to a large set of double doors. Link, being a little tired, walked up while Pip was lazy and sat on the sheath of his sword. On the doors was a giant image of the Goddess Hylia. They were thick and heavy. Link pushed with the last bit of his strength. As they began to open, he could feel the purifying effects. He could feel his strength returning and it was as if the door became as light as air.

Inside they saw two rows of benches that lined the left and right. The ceiling was incredibly high with three chandeliers that lined the middle aisle. Link looked up and saw that they had the Triforce designed into it so that when the light had shown through it, you could see it on the floor. Just as the Deku Tree had said, the Mural was at the back and it was much larger than he had imagined. He looked at his right hand and didn’t see any marks on him proving himself as the Hero of Time. He put his hand up regardless and faced the back of his hands towards the slab. The bottom right Triforce piece glowed symbolizing it recognized the Triforce of courage residing in Link and on his hand, the same happened to him. The Triforce appeared and his piece began to glow. Behind him, a bright light shown from the middle chandelier and a portal appeared on the floor below. Link turned and walked into the light without any hesitation. Pip immediately followed after.

The next thing they knew they were in a long hallway. On the walls were pictures of what looked like him facing strange enemies? Pip decided to cut the awkward silence “So this must be the gate of time. To whoever enters that holds a piece of the Triforce, shall see their past.” Link walked slowly and saw his, what’s supposed to be his past selves fighting a wide range of enemies. The one that drew most of his attention was one of the first portraits. It stuck out more so than the rest. He was fighting a slightly taller man with greenish skin and a diamond in his forehead. He felt as if he knew this one. He got closer and the image changed the man to a horrific beast that could not be from this world. Pip was pretty far ahead when he came to his senses.

“Hey wait up!”

The hallway seemed to go on forever. And he also though how long of life his soul had gone through. The number of different creatures was shocking. He never knew that there could be so much evil in the world to cause all this. He grew up in the forest and only knew what he saw in the woods. Eventually, they reached a large room. In the middle was a pedestal and in it was the Master Sword. Something seemed off about it though. No power was emanating from it.

“It was locked away between time itself so evil may never obtain it.”

Pip flew up to it to get a closer look. It is sleeping. It’s waiting for the one with the courage to banish the darkness to come and claim it. He then returned to Link

“And that person is you. Now pull it out of its slumber and Let us get back to the forest.”

Link slowly drew closer to the sword. He felt that it was too easy. As he went to grab the hilt, he heard that familiar laugh. He turned around and saw nothing until his shadow rose out of the ground. His arm had grown back.

“So this sword is the key to defeating me?”

Dark Link unsheathed his sword.

“If I obtain it, you’ll be powerless.”

Before Link knew it, he was knocked back and Dark Link was standing where he stood and he was sliding against the floor. He quickly caught himself and jumped back up. He rushed towards the sword as Dark Link went to draw it. Both hands touched and they both drew the sword at the same time. The next thing that happened, none of them expected. Dark and light lightning came from the sword and then it exploded, knocking both Link and Dark Link back to opposite sides of the room. When they woke up, they noticed that they both had the Master Sword. Links was normal while Dark Links was a darker version. The blade was almost black and the hilt was a flat black. Pip had no idea what just happened but knew that it wasn’t good. Dark Link stood up first.

“This is possibly the best thing that could happen. HAHA! Next time you see me, the lord of darkness shall be right by my side. With this power, I can shatter the last piece holding him in his prison.”

He snapped his fingers and the light that covered the room left. It was replaced with darkness.

“So until then, have fun with facing your worst nightmare.”

Dark Link melted into the floor and left once again. Pip flew over to Link, prepared to face whatever he had planned. It kept getting darker. Eventually, they couldn’t see or hear anything. Pip was calm but Link was getting nervous. Before he knew it, he felt a giant hand grab him and Pip and drag them down. As Link was dragged down further, he felt himself lose consciousness.

They finally awoke in a room that seemed to go on forever. They were on a large circular platform. He still had the sword in hand and the fairy was right next to him. There was no floor aside from what they were on. If they fall, who knows how long they would fall. Suddenly Link heard something falling. A giant hand, possibly the one that had grabbed them, was coming from above to try and squash them. Link quickly grabbed the still unconscious Pip and just barely dodged. The creature had two large floating hands and an equally large body. There were no legs or feet and instead of a head, there was a giant eye sticking out of what looked like a neck. Another peculiar point was the fact that the hands weren’t attached to anything. He put Pip in his pocket for now as he dodged another attack from above. He readied the Master Sword and his shield and prepared for a long battle.

Down in the underworld, Dark Link approached the rift and knelt before it.

“Good news Lord. Somehow, the Master Sword split and I have obtained its power as well.”

He stayed down waiting for a response.

“You fool. The sword is nothing without the light it carries. The darkness is but only half of its power. Obtain it and you may redeem yourself.”

“Yes my lord.”

Dark Link was about to leave when he got one final response “Though you have only half of its power, it is a power that you already control. Remember this and you will not fail.”

Dark Link took in that advice and readied himself for his next battle with Link. He decided to round up a small army just to be safe. He knew that if he waited, Link would find him. So instead of searching for him, he went searching for another ring.

Link was getting tired of all this dodging. He couldn’t find any weak points. Its attacks were relentless too. That’s when he got an idea. The next time it tried to squash him from above, he pointed the sword upward. As soon as the hand hit it, it pulled away in pain. The next hand was attacking with a fist. So hoping for the best, he stuck the sword straight out in front and held it as tight as he could. His plan worked but he was knocked back a bit. The thing got angry and charged at him to try and knock him off. He stuck his sword out like before but this time charged towards it as well. As soon as they were about to clash, he pulled the sword back a bit and stabbed its eye. The creature flailed about in pain for a bit and then finally dropped and dissolved. It didn’t turn to dust like the others. His sword dropped to the ground and as he leaned over to pick it up he heard a new voice.

“Well, that wasn’t much fun.”

A man in a black suit and a top hat seemed to appear out of nowhere.

“You couldn’t let it kill you?”

Link turned around and readied his sword again.

“Who are you?”

The man just laughed a bit before finally answering.

“You can call me the Puppet Master. I am the taker of life and manipulator of death. The dead are mine to control.”

He waved his hands in an upward motion and three ReDeads arose from the ground.

“You just destroyed one of my favorite creations. Poor Bongo-Bongo had a long life of killing ahead of him.”

He pointed towards Link, which gave the command to attack.

“Now you must pay”

“Pip”

Link grabbed the fairy from his pocket but he was still unconscious.

“Oh great”

He thought to himself. The zombie-like creatures were getting closer and all he could do was back away. He knew nothing about these creatures but had a feeling that they aren’t that easy to kill. And after that last battle and little confrontation with Dark Link, he barely had any energy left. Just as he hit the edge, vines appeared out of nowhere and wrapped around the ReDeads and the Master.

“What is this?”

The Master struggled but the vines were just too tight. Link then looked down and saw Pip making motions with his hands. He was controlling the vines. Pip looked up at Link to see if everything was alright. He put his arms down and began to make a portal to get them out of there.

“Come on. I don’t know how long the vines will hold them.”

Although shocked at what just happened, Link knew he was right and ran for the portal. The last thing he saw was the Puppet Master breaking the vines and yelling in anger.

The next thing they knew they reappeared in front of the dead Deku Tree. He didn’t feel as sad this time around but he still felt a little ache. They started to head back to the village to see if everyone was ok. When they traveled as far as it should have taken them Link noticed that somehow they had ended up in the Lost Woods. Something wasn’t right. He urged Pip to create another portal but when he slowed down those enemies, he drained too much of his magic. The forest is a mess and the village and Navi are lost.

“What else could go wrong?”

He thought this as he kept on running, hoping to run into either.

Chapter 11

Beast around the Bush

“So what do you think is taking them so long?”

Zad was pacing back and forth quite a bit. He couldn’t help but worry. Saria was too busy on concentrating, to keep the field up. Instead of waiting, he decided to try and get through the force field. In his mind, anything pure would be able to pass through. Not bothering to think ahead, he started to walk through. It looked as if he was past the field’s wall, but something was off. His view was blurred, which could only mean the force field had stretched in that one point.

“So it looks as though I can’t get out.”

Saria quickly broke her concentration to watch him get angry over the fact that he can’t leave.

“Nothing can get in or out. So deal with it. Besides, Link will be just fine.”

The forest was getting worse. Link had Pip had been traveling for hours with no sign of either Navi or his home. Link couldn’t stop thinking about how bad things have gotten

“How could it have gotten so bad?”

That’s when Pip stopped.

“There is something that you must know.”

He flew over to a branch slightly higher than Link and sat down. “Not even the Deku Tree expected this.”

His face turned to shock as he remembered what the tree knew. Link sat down against the same tree that the branch was attached to. He figured he might as well rest while Pip tells his, or rather the Deku Tree’s, story. Pip leaned over to look at Link and took a deep breath before telling him what he knew.

“Long ago, before peace covered this land, four Elemental Dragons were free to roam this land; Volvagia; the Dragon of fire, Graviskiss; the Dragon of the Forest, Veragon; the Dragon of Earth, and Aegaeon; the Dragon of water. With their powers, they wreaked havoc in ways you couldn’t imagine. Volvagia burned villages just by flying overhead, Graviskiss drained life from the trees, Aegaeon flooded the lands and Veragon shattered the Earth. If not for the persistence of Hylians, Zoras, Gerudo and the Deku tree, they would have destroyed everything.”

Pip checked to make sure Link was still awake before continuing with the second half of his story.

“The Deku tree used his ability to command the trees to lure and trap Graviskiss. King Zora; back in those days known only as Prince Zora, battled it out with Aegaeon at Lake Hylia and eventually came out on top. He buried the dragon’s bones in the deepest depths of the lake in the hopes that none would be able to or even attempt to revive it. The method the Gerudo used to seal Veragon is unknown. Your ancestors, the Hylians, after much turmoil and many deaths, were able to subdue Volvagia and drag him up the mountain. They sealed him in a temple in the hopes that one day they would be able to use him to their advantage one day.”

Just then, a rustling could be heard from deeper in the forest. Before Link could get up to get a better look, a huge snake like creature slithered past them on the forest floor.

“THAT’S HIM!”

Pip screamed and flew down to Link, who was getting up to prepare himself. It wasn’t just large, it was quite long. He pulled out the Master Sword and attempted to cut his foe. No good. He was as hard as steel. If not for his strong grip, the sword would have been knocked clean out of his hand. Although it didn’t even scratch it, it had still felt the blade. It sped up and eventually disappeared. Link tried to collect himself before it decided to return. It was too late. The dragon was coming back with his jaw wide open. Link didn’t even have enough time to prepare himself or dodge before it turned sideways and scooped Link up from his side and flew upwards. Horrified, Pip followed behind but it was too fast. He had no other choice but to try to search for the Sanctuary to get help.

High in the air, Link barely managed to hold on to his sword. If it wasn’t being held down by the Dragons mouth, he would stab it. He then remembered that he had his Kokiri knife. Luckily his other arm was free, but the knife was on his other side. He had to lean into the Dragons teeth to be able to reach it. Seeing this as nowhere near the pain he had endured the first time he fought Dark Link, he pushed past the pain and unsheathed his knife. As his blood dripped down its gullet and out of his mouth, Link faced the knife upwards and stabbed the top of its mouth. The pain caused Graviskiss to swing its head back and forth and eventually release Link. He quickly dropped the knife and clung to its mouth. He swung himself so that he was able to get on top of its head. He held on as the Dragon twisted and rolled to try and push him off. As soon as it stopped Link tried to stand up. He looked out to see if he could see the end of the forest but it seemed to go on forever. He took the sword and got that glowing energy once again. He attempted to strike the neck.

The scales cracked. This had to be the strongest enemy he’s faced thus far. But now that he knew what he needed to do, the rest should be easy. Or so he thought because just as was about to set himself for another strike, Graviskiss twisted; knocking Link off and making him drop the Master Sword. As he was falling, he was quickly grabbed by his enemy once again. This time the pain was worse and he began to bleed worse.

“Fight through it”

He told himself. The jaws had begun crushing his bones. With his knife and sword gone, he had to figure out another way of getting free.

Deep in the forest, a kid with a skull for a face was wandering around. Hearing a roar, he looked up to see Link dangling almost lifeless and bleeding. Recognizing him as the little boy he saw seven years ago, he decided to help him. He chased the Dragon down. He may not have had wings but he was still quicker. He grew up wandering these woods. It was his backyard. He eventually found the perfect tree to jump up on and launch him high into the air. He jumped from limb to limb, gaining speed as he got higher. On the last branch, he put all his strength into his legs and jumped as high as he could. As he hit the highest point of his jump, he pulled out a blowgun and shot a poisonous dart at Graviskiss. His aim was spot on as it twisted and cut the air. It hit just inside its mouth on his gums. It wasn’t deadly but it was potent enough to tranquilize it. It released Link and dropped to the ground with a loud crash; knocking over any tree in its path. Link landed not too far away. Skull kid landed, jumped back to the ground. Somehow the Lost woods weren’t so lost while the Dragon was knocked out. He hurried over to Links mangled body. He was barely breathing but he was still alive. He pulled Link away and hid from the sleeping beast and propped him up against a tree just out of its view. He pulled out a makeshift container made from bark and leaves. He opened it and a fairy popped out. It wiped its eyes as it was blinded by the light. The container it was in was completely dark. It began the heal Skull kid when he pointed to Link. Understanding his gesture, it moved over to Link and began to work its magic. His wounds had healed but he didn’t wake up. He thought he might just be regaining his strength. He left him his knife in the holster for his old knife. With his good deed done, walked off.

Pip had been traveling for some time now when without noticing, he ended up back in the Sanctuary. He ran right into Saria’s field and fell to the ground exhausted. Saria saw Pip and broke her concentration to go help him. “What happened?” She picked him up gently with one hand “Where’s Link?” Hearing Saria freak out, Zad; who was sleeping under a tree just moments ago, got up and ran over to see what was going on. Pip shakily got to his feet before telling them the short version of what they had gone through.

“So, Link is out there fighting a huge Dragon by himself. We need to go and help him.”

Zad, without any hesitation, ran out to find Link and help him. The fairy sat back down still exhausted.

“You must stay here and keep the barrier up. I believe that whoever is behind all of this intentionally set the Forest Dragon Graviskiss free as a distraction; all to get to the Sanctuary. And the decaying land and forest must be them sucking the life and magic.” Pip began to lie down to try to rest.

“Now get that barrier up before it’s too late.”

Saria rushed over to the tree Zad was lying under and gently placed him down underneath. She quickly got back to concentrating and the place was protected once again.

Just outside the Sanctuary, Zad was running around frantically searching for Link. Around him was nothing but trees until he noticed a line of them were uprooted and knocked over. He followed this path. He didn’t have to go far though. He eventually came upon a giant serpent-like creature

“So this must be Graviskiss.”

His eyes went wide at the sheer size of it.

“How could Link face such a thing by himself?”

Luckily, it was knocked out. He took a chance and ran over to see if Link was around. He checked on all sides of the beast but he couldn’t find him. He then heard a cough coming from the forest off in the distance. He was sure that had to be Link.

He was right. He eventually came upon a wide tree and just on the other side was Link propped right up against it. His clothes were tattered and he was covered in blood.

“What happened to you?”

He tried to lift Link up so they could get back to the Sanctuary. Link was hardly conscious.

“Aside from that, who helped you?”

He just pieced together the fact that he had been healed. He was sure that he didn’t see a bottled fairy on them before they left. Graviskiss was still knocked out as they made their way back.

Not long after he had found Link, and began to carry him back, Link had begun to wake up. He pushed the Zora off to the side; stumbling and nearly knocking himself over.

“I have to find the sword.”

He repeated this as he turned and walked deeper into the woods. Zad could do nothing to persuade him to have Saria heal him before looking for it. Every time he tried, he would repeat the same thing, “I have to find the sword.”

Zad eventually just gave up and followed. He prepared himself to fight if he needed to. Zoras are not only exceptional swimmers; they are great warriors as well. On their lower arms, they have fins that help them swim at great speeds in the water. But outside of the water, they use these fins as weapons. When protruded; they can be as sharp as a sword and some are even gifted with those that will be as hard as a Gorons shell; the faster the Zora, the stronger the fin. Zad was one of the fastest Zoras in Zoras Domain, making him a skilled fighter as well.

Eventually, Link stopped and turned around as if he was about to give up. His face looked as if he could have been a ReDead. He finally started to speak “If I don’t find that sword, I can’t enter the Sanctuary or defeat Graviskiss” Just then, they had heard rustling in the tops of the trees. Zad pushed himself in front of Link and held him back.

“Whatever this is, I’ve got it.”

He raised his arms and his special fins protruded; ready to face anything that came at them. The rustling stopped and a figure dropped from the tree just above them. Zad was just about to attack when Link grabbed him.

“Where you the one that healed me?”

The figure then waddled up to him.

“I didn’t think you’d have this much trouble”

He walked up to Link, pulled a sword from behind him and presented it to Link. It was the Master sword.

“I went out and looked for it while you were still out. A hero is nothing without the sword he is destined to carry.”

Link shakily grasped the hilt and took it back. He somehow felt complete. He felt more energized. He felt….connected. It was as though he and the Master Sword were as one being. That is when he heard a voice in his head

“Hello, master. It has been many generations since last we met. Sadly I can no longer show you a more physical form.”

Link jumped back in shock and the other two looked at him in confusion.

“Sorry master but the speaking I am doing now is only temporary.”

For some reason, tears began to leave his eyes.

“It was that surge of energy from our first true connection that made this possible. As the Hero of time, you are only destined to remember what you encounter, so you will not remember me. But before I leave, I must warn you that though you are now considerably stronger, you must not let any form of darkness touch me. If you do, the power of darkness that is held within will escape any whoever obtains it can do unspeakable things.”

The voice began to fizzle.

“Remember, wherever there is light, there is darkness.”

The voice had stopped and everything was quiet. Zad had then started to shake Link to snap him out of his trance.

“Link, snap out of it.”

To Zad and Skull Kid, Link had just been standing there in a daze.

“I guess I was the only one that could hear that voice?”

They both shook their heads in agreement.

“Well anyways, the sword had spoken to me.”

He remembered the voice’s warning and that Dark Link had already touched the sword. Why would it not remember? Who was that voice? He was tired of all these questions popping up.

“Enough about what happened, how did you find the sword?”

He faced Skull kid and knelt down to his height.

“It doesn’t matter how I found it. You must hurry and strike the final blow before Graviskiss wakes. If he does, we are in trouble.”

After his little warning, he turned and walked off. Link didn’t even get the chance to ask why. He turned to look at Zad to see if he knew anything. Zad just shrugged.

“I’m just as confused as you are.”

They headed back to the Dragon; which was still out cold. Link climbed on the monstrous serpent. He had a clear shot of the crack he had first made. He prepared the sword and it was glowing once again. But it was different. It was brighter than last he held it. Not caring and only wanting to defeat the beast, he raised his sword and pointed it downwards. Without any hesitation, he jammed it as hard as he could in the crack. Cracks were appearing all over, and the lights showed bright from them. Not expecting it, the hard scales that had covered it had exploded, sending Link flying backward. Graviskiss was wobbling in pain. Underneath his hard leaf-like scales was a body of branches that twisted around and were tangled. Link looked up and down to get a good look when he saw that near the middle, caught up, was Navi. How did she get there? Was it really possible that it had swallowed her while she was lost? He didn’t know the answers but he knew he had to her and stop it. He got up and grabbed the sword. He ran over and tried to cut her free. Even his body was too hard. Zad came over to see if he could help bus as he drew closer; the Dragon awoke in a rage and started flying off. Part of his torn shirt got caught on a passing branch and Zad was close enough that he grabbed the Zora and dragged him along with him.

As they were lifted off the ground, Link lifted Zad up just enough that he was able to grab a hold and pull himself up. Link quickly did the same before his shirt torn anymore. Link was where he didn’t want to be right now; back up in the air. Because the body was nothing but branches, and you could see through him, there was no place they stand and get a good hit in.

“Why did you drag me with you?”

Zad crawled his way towards Link. They had to come up with a plan.

“As long as the fairy is glowing, they are still alive.”

Navi was still pretty bright but she was unconscious. As for injuries, Link didn’t see anything noticeable. Link looked down through Graviskiss at the ground and noticed that the trees were dying like the life must have been drained from them. He looked up and saw that brownish scales were forming around him. He then realized that he was using the life from the forest to regenerate. With this much power, it’s no wonder the Deku tree could only seal it. They were now able to stand. He took the knife he had found in his holster and used that to see if he could cut through the skin. It went through like a hot knife through butter. He thought that maybe he was still regenerating and if he was quick enough, he could finish him off. He also thought that the only reason the insides were hard was that it was old and near death. He had no choice but to trust his instincts.

“Stay here and hold on to something.”

He took the knife and ran back up to the head. He shoved the knife as deep as he could in its head. This angered the Dragon and he flung Link up into the air. He held his breath as he caught and quickly swallowed. Outside, Zad was freaking out as Link disappeared from sight.

Back inside Graviskiss, the inner walls were damp and fleshy. His theory was correct. Link started maneuvering himself so that he could pull his sword up in front of himself. Light emanated from the blade and he slowly began to slice it from the inside out. Luckily he was facing up. Otherwise, he would eventually be falling to the ground and most likely his death. He finally cut a large enough so he could get up. Zad just looked at him in horror. Link was covered in blood and goo that lined the dragons’ insides. Thankfully, Graviskiss was too worried about regenerating and closing up the wound to care about his lost meal. He quickly drew power to his blade once more. He raised it high in the air and swung it straight down; releasing a beam of light. It traveled straight down its back; just barely missing Zad who of which didn’t even bother to move except to fall into. The beam split it clean open but it was still moving. Not even caring about being covered in blood and guts himself, Zad began slashing at the insides in the hopes that it kept busy by healing the fresher wounds. Link was just standing there thinking about what to try next. Zad stopped for a second to tell him his idea.

“Just lob his head off.”

Link felt stupid for not thinking of it. If he can now cut the scales and flesh, he can cut his head off. He jumped out of Graviskiss and walked back up to its head. He turned sideways, raised his sword high and that great power once again filled its blade. He swung down and the head was already falling to the ground. And now they were falling as well. The flesh cushioned most of the blow when they landed. When Link and Zad stepped out of the lifeless carcass the body was limp but the head was still hopping around. Link just walked up to the head stabbed it one last time. Everything went still and instead of turning to dust, it melted. It made no sense to Link but he was glad it was over. He ran to the point where Navi was and noticed she was still unconscious. Maybe it was for the best. He wiped the blood off of his hands, scooped her up and placed her in one of his pockets. “Let’s hurry and get back. Who knows how Saria and Pip are doing. Little did they know that while Link and Zad were facing Graviskiss, Saria was facing a force far greater than that of Dark Link and Graviskiss put together.

Everything in the Sanctuary had turned dark. It was pitch black; all except the glow from Pip whom of which was sleeping and still recovering. Saria stopped what she was doing and instinctively ran over to Pip and put up a shield to protect them from whatever was in the darkness. That’s when an evil cackle came from deep in the shadows.

“If this Hero thinks he can get away from me, he’s clearly mistaken.”

A bunch of ReDeads was then seen surrounding them. She screamed in terror as faces of the dead hovered just above. This was too much for her. She never had to really deal with a dead body before; let alone walking corpse. She covered her face and then there was silence. She looked up and the shadows had gone. She quickly got back to putting up the barrier. However, before she could do what she had planned she noticed a man in a top hat just out of the corner of her eyes.

“You shall be my plaything until your Hero returns.”

“How did you do that?”

Zad was pointing to Links sword.

“I mean with the light. That was pretty awesome.”

Link unsheathed his sword and told him how he had been chosen by the Goddesses to take on the task of freeing the land of Hyrule from the darkness.

“So, in short, I have been given special abilities to take on my enemies. And I will gain more while taking trials to obtain a new ability that is needed to face this new unknown threat.”

He swung the sword around and sheathed it once more.

“I have to admit, I was nowhere near as strong as this before I got the Master Sword.”

He looked down at his open hands. He could feel the strength surging through him. It was amazing to him. He had never felt so good. He knew he had a long way to go but he no longer felt useless. He balled his fists, lifted his head high and went to face Saria as a new and stronger friend. He felt it was his turn to protect her. He was done feeling sorry for himself. They eventually came to the entrance to the Sanctuary but he knew something was off. Link rushed in ahead of Zad. Inside he found the barrier down; Saria was gone and Pip lying under the tree. Link rushed over to check on Pip. He was still unconscious.

“Um…Link?”

Zad was staring at the ground in the middle of the Sanctuary. Link put Pip back down and looked where Zad was looking. Burned into the grass was a clear message.

COME TO THE ROYAL FAMILIES CEMETERY AND FACE ME PROPERLY, NO FAIRY OR FOLLOWERS.

Chapter 12

The Puppeteers’ Game

“What do we do now?”

Zad stared at the message that was burned into the ground. It wasn’t until Pip woke up and freaked out that Link snapped out of his shock.

“WE do nothing. It seems I am needed alone.”

Link immediately took Navi and placed her when Pip had just been lying. He checked all of his gear before setting off. As he was about to enter Lost woods once more, he was stopped by a beautiful voice.

“If you face this enemy as you are now, you will only fail.”

What he thought was in his head was actually right behind him. He turned around to see an image of a beautiful woman in a gorgeous blue dress. Her hair was a beautiful brown. She floated in the middle of where the message sat.

“There is no time to explain. That will have to wait until you return.”

An image of the Triforce appeared beneath her.

“Now place your sword in the middle. What I am about to do may be painful, but it is needed if you are to help your friend.”

The look she gave Link was of sadness and fear. He saw that she was serious and he did what he was told. He shoved the blade down into the ground in the middle of the Triforce. Each piece began to glow; First the Triforce of power, then wisdom, and lastly courage. The blade then began to react to this.

“Now draw the blade once more. The blade was glowing brighter than normal. This is only temporary, but as long as you hold that blade, memories from your first timeline shall be revealed.”

Link was hesitant. With her telling him that it would be painful, he wasn’t sure what was going to happen. He felt invincible yet something was stopping him.

“We do not have time to hold back. Your skills now are nothing compared to what they once were.”

With shaky hands, he grasped the sword. His head began to feel like it was on fire. He had a bunch of memories flood through him; none of which he recognized. He saw himself facing some pretty fierce and sometimes, large foes. He saw himself facing the undead, heavily armored knights, and even gelatinous creatures in places he’s never seen before.

“These are but some of the creatures you have faced in another time.”

She pointed towards the exit.

“Now use this little bit of knowledge and go forth Hero of Time. Do not make us regret our decision.”

Lifting his head, he turned and stumbled his way out of site.

“We are very sorry young one, but your timelines must merge very soon.”

While stumbling through Lost Woods, He was trying his best to deal with the pain. He had to get used to it before he reached Epona. Who knows what the Puppet Master sent to ‘play’ with him. On top of that, he needed to figure out where the Royal Graveyard was. Just as he said that he saw himself what he now remembered as Poes. They were ghostly beings. Not undead, just souls. But the good point of remembering this was that he saw exactly where he was. It was located in the back of Kakariko Village. As he got closer to the end of Lost Woods, the burning trickled down to a minor irritation. So now that he was able to deal with the pain, the trip would be easier. He sheathed his sword and pushed on. No matter what, he needed to save Saria. He felt he owed it to her for being there for him when he really needed it.

The Lost Woods were no longer ‘lost’. It was pretty much a straight shot back home. He figured he should stop at home to change his shirt before heading out. Everyone in the village was working as if nothing had happened. No time to bother with talking to everyone, he went to his home; which sat just off to the right of the main entrance. He quickly changed. I’ll wear a second layer just in case.” He was about to head out when he noticed a small package on his bed. No note was attached but he felt he knew who it was from. The packaging was made of leaves and twigs and tied with a bit of rope. He opened it to find a nice set of chainmail. How could she have made or even bought something like this? He barely had time to think. He then remembered that he left Saria and Malon at Castle town when he rushed off to try to face Gohma alone. Saria must have bought it or the materials when they got the bows. He pulled off his top shirt and threw the protective piece on and returned the shirt. He felt a little heavier but not so much that he couldn’t handle it. Climbing down the ladder that led up to his home, he started thinking about all Saria had done for him. She was always there. He just hoped that he could return the favor. He had barely managed to escape the Puppet Master. And that was only with the help of Pip. The power he had now was indeed great, but he wondered if it was enough to face this guy.

Before he knew it, he was already grabbing for Epona; who was still tied to the tree they left her at. Clouds were rolling in as if a storm was brewing. He hopped on and whipped the reigns. She turned and they were both heading towards Hyrule field. It was still as dark and grey as ever. At least it’s not any worse, he thought to himself. He was also thinking of all the things that could be waiting for him. He tried to remember what he could be facing but for some reason, he couldn’t. He pulled out his sword again and that burning sensation returned. He then remembered what he was trying to remember.

“Oh yeah, that’s right. For now, I’ll only be able to remember things while holding the sword.”

He returned the blade to its sheath and rode on. He whipped the reigns harder and kicked to urge Epona to go faster. He needed to get to Kakariko as quickly as he could.

“I hope he’ll be fine on his own”

Zad was now pacing back and forth. The thought of facing an enemy far worse than a dragon scared him. Although he didn’t do much, just remembering how battered he had found Link while Graviskiss was nearly dead, sent shivers down his scales. Navi was eaten and was still recovering and Pip was still freaking out. He felt that he had to do something but was afraid of what could possibly happen if he was found following Link. He didn’t want to cause any more trouble than there already was.

“Do not follow the words of an enemy.”

He forgot the figure was still there.

“If he wanted to harm or kill her, he would have done so and left her.”

She pointed to Pip and noticing this, he stopped.

“Both you and the Zora should transport over to Castle town and meet with Link.”

“I haven’t enough to do that.”

Pip did what he normally did to create a portal and nothing happened. As he finished he heard a giggle.

“Do you not know who I am?”

He looked a bit angry. “Yes in fact.”

He got up in the woman’s face.

“You are none other than the Goddess of Wisdom; Nayru.”

He immediately felt stupid after saying that. She would heal him. He placed his hand on his face and just shook his head. Nayru just laughed again.

“Do not worry, though you may have the knowledge of the Deku tree, the wisdom may take some time to surface.”

She cupped her hands together and scooped him up. He immediately felt his strength returning. He still felt embarrassed about forgetting about her abilities but he thanked her and created a portal.

“Let’s hurry Zad! We need to catch up to Link. We should come out in front of Castle town.”

The Zora slowly stepped into the swirling vortex and just before they began to disappear, Zad had just realized what he said.

“Wait! What do you mean ‘should’?”

Next thing he knew, he was falling while Pip was just hovering.

“Sorry?”

That was all he heard as he fell into the moat just outside the town. Luckily he landed in the water. Although a small amount, it was just enough to cushion his fall and help him recover.

After hitting the water, he came back up and met Pip at the surface.

“Sorry.”

Yet again, he looked embarrassed.

“Now we must get out and meet up with Link.”

Zad just shook his head.

“Not until I regain enough strength.”

He laid back and just floated there.

“Relax. While I’m healing, why don’t you be the lookout?”

Pip didn’t like the idea but he had no other choice. There was no way he’d be able to move someone much larger than him without wasting his energy. He flew up just high enough to see the field while keeping watch on Zad. Little did Navi know; Link had already passed Castle town before they got there.

Link was heading up the path that led to the village entrance. He left Epona just outside at the beginning of the path. Just at the gate, a small army of ReDeads were waiting for him. They were lined up like a blockade. Just standing there like dolls. He could only assume that they were waiting for an order from their creator. He grabbed the Master Sword and searched his memories for a way to dispatch his enemies. He began to grin as he placed one foot outwards and crouched just a little bit. He faced the blade in the back of him. It began to shine brightly with that unstoppable energy once again. He inched forward just far enough that he was only a few feet away and as they began to move, he swung in a circular motion. The force caused the energy to create a circle and push outwards, all the while growing. This knocked them all back. Knowing that it was only enough to knock them over, he rushed past them before they got back up.

Inside, what he saw shocked him beyond belief. Buildings were collapsing, the undead was everywhere, and there was no one to be found. Although Impa’s place was still intact, the door had been busted down. He watched as one of those things slowly limped out.

“Is there nowhere safe from destruction?”

He rushed passed every one of the undead and headed straight towards the Cemetery in the back. He couldn’t waste any time trying to save a village with no villagers. He reached the Cemetery and was surprised to see the Puppet Master with a Gibdo. He took a look and saw that it was holding Saria tightly.

“Let her go!”

His voice was so loud that it could be heard all the way back in the village. He didn’t even care if they heard him. His friend was in danger and he would do anything to get her back.

“It’s so nice of you to join us.”

The Master took his head off and bowed.

“Now shall we get back to what we started?”

He motioned the Gibdo away and it fell backward into a grave and the disappeared. He ran to try to get to her but it was useless.

“Don’t worry child, she’s perfectly fine.”

With a grin, he tossed his hat to the side and a Poe caught it and flew off in a random direction. He then took his jacket off, folded it over his arm and walked over to Link.

“Here, do you mind holding my jacket for me?”

He handed his jacket to Link then proceeded to loosen his tie.

“I really hate the process but I haven’t played in so long; especially with one with so much power.”

He licked his lips and stood back. Something began to happen. He arched over as if in pain and then he began to grow. Not only was he growing but his form was changing. As his clothes began to tear, his flesh began to ooze and turn white. His neck got longer and his head grew thinner. His groan was loud. He was sure that he was in pain now. But the change wasn’t over yet. Next, his jaw slacked. He knew this enemy as a Dead Hand. But he looked different. He was much larger and hands didn’t pop out of the ground. He looked up at the disgusting heap in front of him.

“What did you do?”

He knew that he had to have been a normal human and alive at one point.

The Puppet Master laughed and his breath could be seen in the chilly air. Link didn’t even notice but the day had passed by while he traveled to get there.

“Oh; what great timing, I do best at night.”

He brought his head down to Link; whom of which, to his surprise, wasn’t trembling in fear.

“Could you be so kind as to put my jacket in that cottage over there? It’s nice and I don’t want to dirty it.”

Link grinned and held the jacket out with one hand.

“What are you doing?”

He raised the sword and placed it right up against the side “You better not!”

However, he did. He pulled the sword back a bit and ran it through; cutting it clean in half. As the bottom half dropped to the ground, the Master let out a gigantic roar. The stench of rotting flesh filled Links nostrils; nearly making him vomit. He shoved the sword in one of his eyes. The disfigured monster moved back a bit; knocking over any headstones in his path. This only made him angrier. But Link was determined to defeat this mess and save Saria.

Zad woke up out of his healing daze as a loud roar pierced his ears. It nearly caused him to go deaf. He jumped up out of the moat and both saw as Epona came galloping towards them. They knew that if a horse was spooked, then something was happening. Zad darted off before Pip had a chance to really take in what was going on. The Zora didn’t care about himself at that moment. He only worried about helping his new friends. Pip immediately followed after.

Although dark, Zad and the fairy could see quite clearly. They eventually ran into the same army of ReDeads that Link had passed. As before, they were just standing there like dolls.

“I’ll take care of this.”

Pip was just about to finish them off with one move; when he saw Zad zip right past him. The speed in which he was running caused a gust of wind that pushed the fairy back. Zad stuck his arms up and his sharp fins protruded. At this speed, they would be able to cut through anything. He crossed his arms so the two fins touched and just as he got inches close, he pushed outwards; this caused every ReDead in his wake to be sliced in half. He finally stopped and slid a few feet past the bodies.

“Are you coming?”

His fins retracted and Pip headed through the gate.

“That was way too easy.”

However, little did they know, that their battle had just begun for as soon as Pip passed the threshold, a few of the bodies began to pull themselves together. Zad quickly turned and was about to run when he noticed that a line of them waited just behind them. They were also to the left and right of them.

“What in Goddesses name are we supposed to do now?”

Zad got his arms ready if needed. But Pip had other plans. He summoned a large tree that grew right in front of them. Vines grew from the tree and grabbed a majority as they drew close. With an opening, they took the opportunity and ran to the house at the highest point; which was to the right as you entered the village. Inside, the place was turned upside down. A giant bookshelf lay, covering most of the floor and books scattered about.

“Let’s figure out where the Graveyard is so we can go help Link.”

Zad had begun to rummage through the mess. He had just found a partial map of the village when Pip had told him that he had just remembered that not only did Nayru heal him, she had also imprinted the location of where Link would be found. Zad just placed his hands on his face and began to shake his head.

“And you’re telling me this now?”

The little fairy just smiled and shrugged. They didn’t even have time to argue as ReDeads began to enter the front door. Zad grabbed Pip and headed out a hole in the back of the building that sat behind a cage. The cow was already gone and the door was already open. This gave Zad an idea. He shut the door and latched it. He then bent the latch to make sure that they couldn’t get through. With the door secured he lured those that roamed into the home, over to the cage. Once they began to reach in to try to grab them, he ran out the back and Pip quickly followed.

Just outside Zad had immediately stopped. It was quite a drop. Just below was an empty chicken pen. He didn’t want to risk jumping and landing on the fence. He needed to keep himself ready for battle. He didn’t have time to think. More of the dead were approaching and surrounding the house. He took a few steps back, closed his eyes, started to run and just as he hit the edge, he leaped out as far as he could. Navi summoned up a small bush to cushion his fall. Navi quickly headed up the path that was just ahead of them and Zad got up and followed. Behind them was a large army of the undead; so large that the whole village was almost full of them. They had no time to wonder how their numbers grew so quickly, as they needed to get to Link.

Anxiously, Link was slashing frantically at the monster’s body but it was useless. As soon as he would make another cut, the last one would be healed. What else could he do? He only remembered enemies he had faced before. Moreover, although he was facing a giant Dead Hand, the attacks and movements were completely different. From what he remembered as he held the Master Sword, was facing a mindless being that would use hands from the dead that reached a few feet out from the ground to be used as bait for any curious wanderers. When a curious passerby would wander within its reach, it would grab the person’s or animal’s face and either hold them until the creature came to claim its victim or they would be pulled down into the ground until the Dead Hand was ready for its meal. But the Puppet Master was different. He didn’t have any hands spring up from the ground. He was even able to do more than attack with his head or simply swing his arms. Of which were now disproportionate to his body and way too short. Although short, they were still usable as they could spring from his body and stretch. He thought Graviskiss was tough but this guy was much worse.

Link was in the middle of coming up with a strategy when he heard someone coming up the path leading to the graveyard. He turned and had just enough time to see Zad and Pip come into view before he was knocked all the way back to the entrance. He hit the ground and slid back a few feet, almost hitting Zad as he approached. He stopped and quickly helped Link up and asked him what had happened.

“There is no time to explain right now.”

He picked up his sword and ran back to face the giant blob of dead bodies that stood straight ahead of them.

“Right now we need to get rid of this guy and save Saria.”

Zad didn’t even hesitate and he rushed in to help Link. Pip went back and put up a little wall of vines and branches to keep out and ReDeads that had decided to follow them. Before Pip could finish, he saw as an army of undead had rounded the corner. He hoped the wall would hold as he turned and went to help Link and Zad. With Link and Zad slicing and Pip trying to tie and hold the Dead Hand back, there still wasn’t enough power to make a dent. Link decided to pull out his Ocarina. Not only did the sword allow him to remember some enemies, he had also remembered a few songs that could help. He took a few seconds to try and permanently remember a certain song. He then called over to Zad who had been able to carve out giant chunks but it had no effect whatsoever. He tossed the Zora the Ocarina and told him to hold it for a second.

“Over here. You’re nothing but an overgrown pile of keese droppings!”

Link swung his sword and shield and began jumping to gain the Master’s attention, and he got it. The giant Dead Hand had lowered his head.

“What did you just call me?”

Before he could attack, Link shoved his sword straight into the monster’s forehead. Even with his ability to stretch his arms out, He still couldn’t quite grasp the sword. Zad saw all this and knew immediately what he was about to do. He tossed the Ocarina back to Link.

Link immediately caught it and began playing a pleasant tune. The effects weren’t so pleasant. The once clear night sky was now being filled with dark ominous clouds. Thunder began to roll and the rain began to come down in a sheet. The only time he was able to see, was when a flash of lightning would light up the sky. He saw that the Puppet Master was still struggling to get the sword out. Both Pip and Zad were just watching. They watched and hoped the same thing. Then it happened. A large bolt of lightning hit the sword. The force from the strike nearly cooked his insides. The Puppet Master began to scream in agony as he began to melt. Zad and Link stepped back not knowing the effects of stepping in the goo. Their victory was short lived however as the goo began to recede and disappear, taking Links sword along with it. That was when they heard a laugh come out of nowhere.

“So you think I could be defeated so easily?’

The storm lets up and a sword fell from the sky and landed right in front of Link. It was his old sword. He forgot that he had left it at the Cathedral.

“The fun has just begun.”

Everything went silent and a passageway in the back of the graveyard revealed itself. Only caring about actually having a useful weapon at this point, Link grabbed the old sword, looked at Zad and Pip, and all three, knowing what had to come next, proceeded to head into the pitch-black passage.

Inside, the only light that could be seen was coming from Pip. It wasn’t much but it was enough to see where they were walking. They eventually reached a large round room with torches that lined the walls. The torches were lit so they were able to see that there was no other exit except the way the entered. That’s when Link had realized that it was a trap, but it was too late. Before he could do anything about it the floor opened up beneath them and both Zad Link fell. Pip was left floating there. He just began flying down towards them.

They seemed to fall forever. Link wondered if there was even a bottom. He then felt something smack his face. He looked and saw nothing. He felt it again but this time heard Pips voice.

“Link, get up.”

He was dreaming that whole time. He woke up to find Zad still knocked out and they were surrounded. He quickly turned over and backhanded Zad until he woke up.

“Why are you…?”

He then noticed the ReDeads that encompassed them. They were still but that didn’t mean they couldn’t attack at any moment. He sprung to his feet and Link did the same. There were ReDeads as far as they could see. They heard a snap of someone’s fingers and the whole room lit up. Far in the distance, they saw the Puppet Master standing next to Saria, who was bound to the wall just high enough that the Gibdo and ReDeads on that side of the room could just barely touch her. In anger, Link began to run towards her; knocking the ReDeads out of his way in the process.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”

The Puppet Master put his fingers together as if he was going to snap them again.

“Just one snap and your little friend here will fall to her death.”

“Don’t listen to him Link”

She struggled as hard as she could “Just forget about me and stop him.”

Link stopped dead in his tracks. After all, Saria had done for him through the years; he wasn’t going to sacrifice her to stop someone. The Puppet Master started laughing as he slowly walked towards him and the army of his puppets just behind him.

“Now that I have you here, I can try one more thing.”

He made the Master Sword appear before him in his hands.

“But first, I think I’ll send your little toy to the underworld as a little gift for the new master of darkness.”

Just then, the sword evaporated.

“Now where was I? Oh yeah, you can be my new guinea pig for my newest experiment.”

He beckoned his toys over to him. They all began to jump on top of him.

“As a Dead Hand and the ability to transform, I have altered myself in a way that what I absorb as a Dead Hand, I can use what DNA I can to merge it with my own and become something completely new.”

The giant mass of flesh that now engulfed him had stopped moving completely. Everyone and everything, except for the undead that was still clawing at the hanging Saria, was silent. It was then that a giant skull had burst through the flesh. It began to grow and then the rest of him appeared from the mass. He was much larger than his last form, but this one was all bone. He had long sharp claws and his head was that of a dragon’s. He finally awakened and began to laugh at his newfound strength.

“I shall call this new form Stallord.”

All four stared in amazement at the sheer size of his new form.

“Do what you will, for nothing can stop me now.”

“Don’t worry Link. I think I have a plan.”

Zad had already come up with a plan while the Master was still transforming.

“I can already see his weak point.”

He pointed to Links shield and told him to kneel and face the giant beast.

“As soon as I jump and land on top, I want you to launch me as hard as you can.”

He immediately started sprinting towards Link. The moment Zad landed on Links shield, Link did what he was told, and pushed with all his strength. Now he just hoped he gave his new friend a big enough boost for whatever he was about to do. High in the air, Zad seemed to propel himself forward like magic. Link saw this and wondered if Zad did not tell him the whole story. Either way, they needed to win this, save Saria, and get back to the forest. As Zad pushed himself forward, he aimed right for Stallord’s spine. He prepared his fins and started to do a corkscrew. The speed at which he was spinning seemed impossible to stop and deadly to anything in its way.

“Do you really think you puny creatures can defeat me?”

Confident in his newfound powers, he allowed his foes to get in one last shot. Zad hit it dead center; shattering it like glass. The force sent his top half falling forward and his bottom was still standing. The Puppet Master was speechless. All he could do was watch as Link to this chance to cut down the ReDeads and Gibdos and rescued Saria. They were all getting ready to enter the portal Pip had made when the nearly defeated Master uttered a few last words.

“You may have incapacitated me at the moment but you forget that I am invincible.”

They didn’t care that they didn’t defeat him now that Saria was safe. Link knew that he could worry about defeating him after they got back to safety and he was able to obtain the second ring. All four entered the portal and reappeared just outside of the Sanctuary. All except Saria was exhausted so she proceeded to treat each of them, starting with Link. They decided not to talk the whole time. Saria was embarrassed that she wasn’t able to protect herself and that she allowed herself to be captured easily. Link was still fixated on what Zad had done. Between the quick thinking and his increasing combat abilities, Zad didn’t seem like what he was when they first met. Zad knew Link saw him but wondered if he should tell him the rest of his story and Pip was just too tired from that last teleportation that he just laid down to rest while he waited for his turn.

Chapter 13

A Hero’s Return

Though the fight was over and everyone was resting, Link knew that the worst was yet to come. Nobody realized it but Nayru was still hanging around. She was patiently waiting for everyone to recover enough, especially Link. What she would do next would take another toll on him and even his friends.

It was evening once again when everyone was fully rested and healed enough. Even Saria was able to regain most of her energy. Nayru stayed back and watched everyone but now she saw it was time for her to butt in. Using her ability to float, she raised high enough to gain everyone’s attention.

“Now that everyone has had time to rest, it is time to bring the Hero of Time back.”

Everyone gathered just below to listen to her words.

“This process will be painful both physically and mentally. Even a few of you will feel the effects. Do not worry as they will only be memories. They happened but will never happen again.”

The Goddess pointed to Link and instructed him to stand on the Triforce symbol that was still where it sat from before. Once Link was in place, he began to rise. Once he was high enough, he was suddenly encased in a clear crystal. Inside he tried to fight it off but eventually succumbed to sleep. Everyone outside watched as Link was spinning slowly in mid-air.

“This process will take the whole night to finish. I suggest someone be a lookout, preferably Zad. We have not seen the last of the Puppet Master and not even I can tell when he may show up.”

If it were anyone else, he would have questioned that decision but the fact that it was one of the great goddesses instructing him, he trusted her. While he walked out into the forest, the rest of the crew watched as Link in the crystal and waiting to see what would happen. They didn’t have to wait long as out of nowhere he started to squirm and scream as if in pain. Concerned they started attacking Nayru with questions. Not even bothering to answer them, she instead reassured that it was part of the process and that he will come out just fine.

Link was struggling, not only from the memories rushing back to him but the pain of loss as well. He knew the images before him were not real but he knew they once were. All the people he once came across on his last two journeys were gone; his friends from Termina and the Hyrule of another timeline. The emotional pain was far worse than the physical. He was seeing every battle he faced. He was re-experiencing the injuries he sustained. It was as if he was traveling through time.

The more he remembered, the more pain was felt. Years of a life once lived flowed through him, burning his head as a settled. Outside, however, Saria and Navi were having the same reaction. They were forced to the ground as the pain quickly became unbearable. Pip hovered and watched in horror at their reactions. He turned to Nayru for any answers but she just refused to reveal anything. All he could do was watch and hope it ended soon.

 

Out in the forest, Zad was sitting and hoping daybreak would come soon. He didn’t want to be out there but he couldn’t refuse a request from one of the great creators. He leaned back against the tree he was sitting in front of and looked up at the starry sky. Since that whole mess began, he never had time to appreciate the calm view of the night sky. He had trouble resisting sleep as he stared into the night. As his eyes were closing, it hit him that he had just rested from his last battle. He knew there was no reason to be this tired. He tried to force himself to move but found his attempts futile. As he was losing consciousness, he heard the ground shaking and saw the trees ahead of him swaying and falling. He also realized a peculiar fog blanketing the forest floor. Zad lost consciousness before he could see the beast that had caused his sudden fall.

The creature slowly walked along, knocking down everything in its path. The fog split as if it was avoiding him. As he drew closer to the Sanctuary, the more the creature laughed. Even the barrier that stood just in front of him didn’t deter it. With its massive arms, it swung with all its might. It kept on swinging while disregarding every futile attempt. Its determination overtook its common sense.

 

Inside the Sanctuary, screams of pain blocked any outside noise. The sound was so piercing that Pip had to cover his ears.

“When will this be done? It’s becoming too much”

Without looking his way, Nayru only whispered. She didn’t realize he couldn’t hear her but Pip was eventually able to read her lips.

“Till dawn, how could anyone survive that much pain?”

Again, she talked so low that he had to read her lips. Although he was an incarnation of the Deku Tree, he neither knew nor expected the answer he received. His draw dropped when he read the words connected souls. He knew that the Hero of Time was indeed connected to many others but for those connections to transcend time was unfathomable. Not able to say anything else on the matter, he turned back to watch the three struggling.

Not long after the Fairy falls silent, he noticed and eerie fog rolling in. It felt off. Even Nayru was showing concern. It was then that, above the screaming, they heard banging just outside of the entrance. When they heard a crash, they finally realized it was the barrier. Not sure, what to do, Pip flew down to transport Saria and Navi out of harm’s way. Since he couldn’t break the Link’s connection, Pip had no choice but to leave him out in the open. Without Pip knowing, Nayru disappeared and left the crisis to the little fairy.

Pip heard roar at the entrance and watched as a large skeletal beast emerged from the shadow. He knew right away who and what he was seeing. If it weren’t for their last encounter, he wouldn’t have believed it. The Puppet Master had found a way to regenerate, and make his way to them in record time. He noticed something different though. The Puppet Master’s reactions were not as strategic. It was if he had finally lost his mind and became a monster himself.

The Master found his target and made his attack with one of his large hands. The crystal didn’t sustain any damage but that didn’t stop him. Attack after attack, the large hand would strike and bounce back. Pip could only watch as the attacks grew fiercer. He knew that his attacks were no match for a monster of that strength.

It was small but Pip noticed a small crack in the crystal. Hoping it signaled the end of the memory restoring process, he continued watching. The attacks grew stronger and fiercer. The crack grew with each hit until the crystal was nearly covered.

“Oh great Goddess Nayru, where are you?”

The Master raised his arm high in the air for one last swing. Pip closed his eyes as the hand came down on Link, forcing him and the crystal to the ground. A puff of dirt rose from the force. The same force cleared nearly all of the fog that gathered. As the dirt cleared, Pip saw Link standing there blocking the hand from crushing him with his sword. He also then realized that Saria and Navi were no longer screaming. They were however passed out from the trauma but he figured that was going to happen.

Link pushed back with great force and knocked his enemy back. The Master Sword was glowing, not from charging an attack, but from the strength that emanated from him. As The Master, or what he called that form, Stallord attempted to get back up; Link took a good look at himself. He felt much stronger and wiser than he was before. He ran over to check on his friends before he got back to his battle. Stallord finally rose and seemed much angrier than before.

“Let’s see what I am capable of now that my strength has returned.”

He grinned and waited for Stallord to attack first. He expected the usual but this time he reared his head back and fire spewed from his monstrous mouth. Knowing he didn’t have his shield on him, Link dodged just in time. He quickly regained his balance and countered. He charged an attack and released a beam of light from his sword. In a diagonal arch, it headed straight for Stallord’s weak point. It cut him like a hot knife through butter, cutting him in half. The top portion fell forward while the bottom fell back. Before Stallord could react, Link took his sword and jammed it into his forehead. Everything fell silent as life left the body. Nayru finally reappeared and acted as if she never left.

“I never expected the process to be finished so early. I shall take care of this creature’s body. He is not yet dead but on the verge of death.”

She waved her hands and a large Triforce glowed beneath the top portion. Stallord became engulfed in a large crystal and disappeared before their eyes.

“I know exactly what we can do with him but for now I’ll get him out of the way.”

Once the top half was gone, the bottom half disintegrated. Link put his sword away and confronted the Goddess.

“I now know what I am capable of and what I need to do. Can we stop with these trials and get to wrapping things up?”

“You still have no idea what needs to happen child. You are but a key in something greater than saving and protecting a land. I was not supposed to reveal too much to you but you must know that your soul, the soul of the first hero, is not just a warrior. Only when the time comes will you find out what you can do and the reason your soul is protected so well by us.”

“Well whatever it is, the situation is growing worse and we have no time to spare.”

“You need to show patience child. I will not say it again.”

“You don’t understand. The Master sword is only at half strength. Dark Link and I both tried to obtain it at the exact same time and it split in two. Though I still retain all of the pure light, he has all the darkness the sword has consumed and locked away.”

Now realizing the severity of the situation, she understood why Link was in such a hurry. She thought about what she could do but was unable to come up with a solution. It was Navi that came up with a dangerous plan.

“We need to find Dark Link and I have a feeling he is in the underworld.”

Although it was a risk, it was the only plan they had. Link easily agreed and with Navi right behind him, they set off to find a way into the pits of shadow, the underworld. As they left, Nayru couldn’t believe how bad things have gotten. The Goddesses vowed never to interfere so long as the Hero’s soul wandered but this was something Nayru could not ignore. She disappeared once again and left Pip with Saria, who was still knocked out.

“What in Goddesses name is going on? Why am I the one left her?”

Chapter 14

A Key to Darkness

Link felt awkward at his return. He had a lot to think about but that would have to wait. His only priority now was to return the Master Sword to full strength. It was easier said than done as he had no idea how to actually reach the underworld. He had just made it outside of the Sanctuary when he noticed Zad lying against a nearby tree. He rushed over to check on him for only a second before making his way out of the woods.

“It seems he is only sleeping. He should wake in time.”

In Link’s determination, he didn’t realize Navi had awoken and followed him.

“Link, I can somehow remember things that I have not witnessed.”

“I think I have an idea why that is, but for now we need to get the other part of the sword back.”

Navi nodded and after confirming that Zad was fine, they headed out. Due to Lost Woods losing its ability to hide the Sanctuary, they were back out in Hyrule field in no time. The two had no idea where they needed to go but they walked out regardless.

Though the sun was beginning to rise, the field looked just as bad as the last time they passed through. There was one slight difference, however. Large plants had sprouted throughout. He knew right away what they were and how annoying they could be. He took his Ocarina and called for Epona. Without a clear direction, however, he wasn’t sure which direction to go. He thought long and hard before finally deciding to head to Gerudo Valley, he sped off leaving a trail of dust in his wake.

As the Sun was rising, he pushed Epona to her limits. He didn’t want to deal with dozens of Peahats following him. He needed to avoid as many fights as he could. The sun was just about high enough when the path to the valley was in sight. As if by luck he made it through. When he finally reached the entrance to the Valley, he noticed something was off. The sound of the waterfall was missing. He hopped off Epona and walked the rest of the way.

When he finally reached the bridge, he had a flashback. Though this one was normal and it didn’t come with a headache. The river below was dry and the bridge was broken. He immediately whistled for Epona once again and used her to cross the broken bridge. He ignored the tent with the Carpenter and moved on. He rushed into the Gerudo Fortress not thinking that he could be caught. However, when he entered, the place was barren. Not one soul guarding the place.

Though he saw it as odd, he took this opportunity to look around for any clues to a portal or entrance to the underworld. His memories helped him navigate through the maze. It was a pain as they only had dining areas, sleeping quarters, and a prison. As he explored more, he noticed that the place had been deserted for years. Or so he thought. He decided the last place he would check was the Gerudo training grounds. He walked inside and instead of finding three doors; he found a single room with a woman sleeping in the only bed. He attempted to sneak back out but it was too late. The thief woke up and saw Link standing there. It took her a second but her eyes widened and she jumped up.

“Link, I have been waiting for you.”

She rushed towards him and gave him a large hug. In his confusion, he couldn’t recognize who she was.

“Do I know you?”

“You disappoint me Link. How can you not remember the leader of the Gerudo?”

Link hopped back in shock. He didn’t know how she could have remembered him. She wasn’t from that timeline. Completely forgetting Navi had followed him again, the fairy appeared right in front of his face.

“Sorry, but I thought you would have known. Everyone, you had a connection to from that timeline, has awoken as well. Even Saria and I have gained memories of that time.”

“Fine, I have no time to question or have a chat. Nabooru, I need you to tell me if there is a way to the place the demos sleep. I need the entrance to the Underworld.”

The thief was saddened but she fully expected him to be on a journey.

“Yes, there is a way to the Underworld. Sadly it was sealed away along with an elemental dragon.”

Link shook his head. He didn’t care what it meant. He was prepared to face anything just to get there.

“You should know that I won’t take no for an answer. Now take me to where both the entrance and the dragon, Veragon are sealed.”

“Just as rebellious as ever I see. I only said that is was sealed and that it may be difficult.”

Nabooru grabbed a few things and walked out the door. Not having any choice, he followed after her. Though he was originally right behind her, she had already made it pretty far by the time he made his way out the door. He found her near a large gate. She was standing there waiting for him. He rushed over without any hesitation and as soon as he caught up, she climbed a ladder and pulled a lever. This made the large gate open. Instead of climbing back down, she just leaped. She easily caught herself when she landed.

“I’m sure you know that the haunted wasteland holds the secret of the Desert Colossus. What you don’t know is that it also holds the sealed Earth Dragon and the key to an entrance to the underworld, which also lies within the wasteland. These secrets are passed down only to the leaders of the Gerudo.”

Ahead of them lay an ocean of sand and winds fiercer than a hurricane. It was nearly impossible to see ten feet ahead of them. They had no other choice but to push on. Navi, who Link kept forgetting was around, found refuge inside one of his pockets.

The wind was harsh and the sand made it difficult to move but they pushed on with Nabooru leading the way. Link was barely able to keep his head up as they trudged through the sandy sea.

“Where exactly are we going?”

Due to the high winds, Link had to scream at the top of his lungs. If he hadn’t, his voice would have been blown away never to be heard.

“Surprisingly, the place Veragon is locked away isn’t that deep into the desert. However, to get to it, we need to go down into the sand.”

“How in Hylia do we do that?”

“You’ll find out when we get there.”

She pushed on and Link obediently followed. Though they could barely see, Nabooru knew exactly which direction they were heading in the whole time. Link figured that’s just one trait of the leader. It wasn’t long until they reached a large sinkhole. To Link, it looked like a death trap but Nabooru jumped right in. He hesitated only to watch as she completely disappeared and then he hopped in himself.

Below he landed in a large pile of sand in the middle of a much larger room. Nabooru had already recovered and was waiting for Link. The door ahead went from floor to ceiling. In the middle, an image of a dragon snaked its way the whole way down. The thief only needed to touch the door and it began to open.

Inside was a remarkable sight. It was a large circular room that was clear of any sand. It seemed to have been untouched by time itself. The walls were adorned with symbols that Link didn’t recognize and the middle of the floor contained a large trap door.

“Now before we step any further Link, you must know that the dragon named Veragon sleeps below. As he is tied to the underworld, the portal can only be opened with his defeat. As the leader of the Gerudo, I am the only one in this realm that can do this. However, only you, as the Hero of Time, can defeat him.”

She gave him a light kiss on the cheek that stunned him long enough for her to rush over to the trap door. Once there she knelt down to pray. The jewel on her forehead began to glow and the sound of invisible locks coming undone could be heard. The door the disappeared and a menacing growl could be heard coming from the now open hole. Nabooru quickly recovered herself and rushed to one side of the room.

Link, now recovered from the kiss walked closer to the middle of the room only to be knocked back slightly as Veragon rushed up and out from his prison. He was about the same size as Graviskiss but Veragon was covered in stone. He knew he was strong but he wasn’t sure if he was strong enough to cut through his hard shell. He only had one way to find out. He readied his sword and shield and drew power to his blade. Meanwhile, Veragon was just flying around high above him. He took a chance and aimed for any part of the body. He watched as it drew close but it was no good. As it hit, it bounced right off. It was then that the dragon came in for its first attack. It swooped down and attempted to bite Link. If it weren’t for the shield, he would have been gone in that instant. However, he didn’t think the shield could take another blow like that so he thought to be careful when defending.

Veragon flew around the room and watched its prey as Link just stood there thinking up a strategy to pierce the dragon’s impenetrable outer skin. Thoughts of purposefully being eaten came to mind but he remembered that Graviskiss was weak and newly revived when they fought. Veragon, on the other hand, had only been sleeping. This was going to be one of his hardest battles but Link had no fears. He knew what he needed to do and knew he could do it. He just lacked the how. As with his past adventures, he relied on many items that made things easier. However, all he had now were a battered shield and the light half of the Master sword. To battle, this creature with nearly nothing was going to be tricky.

Link was quickly snapped out of his thoughts as Veragon dove for another attack. Not wanting to waste his shield just yet, he waited for the right time and rolled to the side. Aside from being scratched by the rocks, Link barely managed. He then got the perfect idea. When Veragon made his way up to the ceiling again, he ran over to one of the walls. He then began to taunt the dragon. He wasn’t completely sure about his own plan but he needed to, or at least try.

Nabooru just stared and watched Link with fear as he fought the fearsome Dragon. She remembered him as a strong young man but he seemed much stronger now. She could only hope that he was just strong enough to defeat Veragon as he lunged for another attack.

The Dragon, unaware and uncaring of what its prey was up to, winded his mouth a bit more with his current attack in the hopes of catching him. Link had a feeling the Dragon would change up his attack slightly, but this change had no effect on his plans. As soon as Veragon drew close enough, Link rolled off to the side. This, in turn, left Veragon no room to turn and he hit the wall. However, instead of being knocked out like Link had hoped, the hard-shelled Dragon tore a hole right through the wall. It kept going until all that was left was sand pouring in from the outside.

Not knowing where or when he would attack, Link backed up and prepared his nearly broken shield just in case. He stood there watching every angle he could. The near silence was maddening. All that could be heard was the sand trickling from the hole and his own heavy breathing. It was as if an earthquake had begun. He then felt it right beneath his feet. The floor began to crack and he instinctively jumped out of the way. The ground opened up but nothing came out. A giant hole just sat there, deep, dark, and empty. This enemy reminded him how Volvagia would bury himself in the molten rock and attempt sneak attacks. Veragon however, was smarter.

Hole after hole, the floor, walls, and even ceiling opened up. Sand from the holes on both the ceiling and walls began to fill the room. If it weren’t for the holes on the floor, he would have been buried. While trying to stay on top of the sand, Link was trying to figure out what Veragon was up to. He looked around and saw Nabooru easily avoiding the incoming sand. He forgot that she too had to deal with whatever happens. He peered down a hole on the floor and only hesitated for a second before jumping into the pit. He fell for only a few seconds when he hit bottom. He drew power to his sword and the path instantly opened up to him. He only had one way to go so he courageously followed in the hopes of running into his foe.

On and on he walked. Not knowing which direction he was going, he still walked. He knew that they would eventually meet. Climbing and falling, he finally heard that familiar roar. Glowing eyes appeared ahead of him and he knew that this was going to be it. Veragon rushed forward and Link threw up his powered blade as to block. All the way back, he was pushed to the room where the fight began. Link was forced up to and against the ceiling. Nabooru could do nothing but watch as Link screamed from the heavy impact. Veragon made quickly made his way to the floor below Link so he could swallow the Hylian whole. Link, on the other hand, seized this opportunity. He drew power to his blade once more and raised it above his head. Just as he entered the Dragon’s mouth, a sharp light could be seen cutting down.

Veragon fell hard and lay motionless. Nabooru ran over to see if Link was still alive. It took a minute but Link finally emerged from the dead Dragon’s mouth. Nabooru was relieved as Link tried to wipe the mucus from his tunic.

“Now that the creature is destroyed, we must hurry to open the way to the underworld. I know you won’t listen but I must advise against it. I sense a trap waiting for you. Going alone is a bad idea.”

“I don’t care. If I can’t do this by myself then I have no right to call myself the chosen Hero, or the Hero of Legends.”

Knowing that there was nothing else to say, she made her way to the head of the Dragon and gently place her forehead on its own and concentrated. A large black gate emerged just behind it.

“All evil creatures have ties to the underworld. I have just tapped into its ability to travel there and I guess that portal is how they get to and from there.”

Link stared in shock as he walked over to the gigantic dark portal.

“I thought you said you had a portal.”

“No. I said the Dragon and the way were locked here. I never said we owned one. Through the years of loneliness, I had nothing but time to read and study more into the history of Hyrule and those that have lived here.”

She looked down as tears began to fall from her eyes.

“I am sorry about your parent’s Link. If it was not for Ganon’s plan to falsify his heroic deeds then they would still be alive.”

“Nothing could have been done. I now know and understand that it was destined to happen. It was destined that I be raised under the wisdom of the forest guardian. I was meant to suffer the hard truth to strengthen my spirit so I could rise as a Hero.”

Link sheathed his sword and with his cracked shield, walked around to the portal. It was between a blue and a black. The aura it gave off made him sick to his stomach. He was about to enter their territory and had no idea what to expect. Nevertheless, he pushed on. The portal rippled as he entered and Nabooru watched as he disappeared. Once she was sure he was through, she herself rushed in behind him. She didn’t care what he had to say. She was going to make sure he wasn’t going in alone.

Chapter 15

A Light in the Ever Darkness

A portal opened and two new beings of unknown origin stepped through. One wearing green and the other wore rags fashioned into a most revealing outfit. A small group of animals scattered in fear as the two emerged. When the portal vanished behind them, so too did most of the light that had just illuminated their entry.

“You do realize that there isn’t much you can do from here on right?”

Nabooru shook her head and attempted to explain herself as she had done the whole way through the portal.

“How do you expect to get back once you get you sword reunited with its other half? You will need help. Admit it. Just because you were chosen by the Goddesses, that doesn’t mean you need to be alone, besides, what about that annoying little fairy that you normally have following you.”

He had completely forgotten. Flipping through his tunic and pockets, he eventually happened upon a sleeping Navi. She had been asleep through that whole battle. Not sure how she could have, Link tried to rouse her from her nap. The tiny fairy awoke to just a little nudge. She slowly opened her eyes and spread her wings as she sat up.

“Where are we?”

She yawned and looked around at the unfamiliar surroundings. She flew around only to realize that everywhere was nearly pitch-black. Link drew power to his sword and pointed it just ahead of him. It was lucky that they hadn’t walked in any direction as there was only one small path against a wall and a long drop if one were to slip. They could see only a few feet in front of them as Nabooru and Link walked single file down the path. With each step, they both would look down and in back of them, though, there was no real point as it was too dark to see but it did put them somewhat at ease.

The three traveled along the wall for what seemed hours. It felt as if they were heading down but with limited visibility, it was too hard to tell. When they finally made it to an open area, they looked in the distance to see a small spec of light. They had nowhere else to go so they headed off in that direction. Seeing as how that was the only light, although small, it was their only option.

With minimal lighting, all they could tell from the land that there were random holes that just dropped who knows how far. From the ground, all three could tell it was a desolate landscape. The only creatures, if any, were rats that just scurried away as soon as the light touched them. They had no clue as to where or in what direction they were walking. All they knew was that they were heading towards a bright light in the distant.

“I don’t think we are really getting any closer.”

Nabooru noticed that as they were walking, the distance between them and the light did not change. It stayed the exact same and looked as if it was moving with them. Link, however, was unaware. He was too busy concentrating on his sword. He knew that if they lost light, then they would be in trouble. This new world already didn’t make any sense to them. Complete darkness and lands that could not produce any vegetation? They both questioned how anything could live here.

“We may not be getting closer to the light but we are still getting somewhere.”

Link could barely see it but he saw shapes forming in the distance. They looked like buildings but he couldn’t tell how big or how many there were. He just knew they would get there eventually. Though Navi was a fairy, the light that illuminated from her wasn’t close to enough. This made her feel a little useless. She was made for the sole purpose of helping Link and she couldn’t do a simple task as to light his way. The others were too busy concentrating on their new surroundings to notice that she had fallen a little behind. She had to look up quickly as she heard a faint yet familiar voice. She decided that if she weren’t of any use there, she would help in another way. She flew off towards the voice without saying a word or either Nabooru or Link noticing.

The two walked on in the darkness unaware of the scene ahead or the missing traveler. Ahead of them, the buildings came out of nowhere. A town covered in pitch black. No sound could be heard as they entered. No lights or people were found. At that moment, it seemed deserted. Link and Nabooru carefully traversed the streets while looking for any sign of anyone that could help Link in his quest. They eventually happened upon a home with its door wide open. As they drew closer, the light they saw before grew brighter and they were finally able to see a little more. Without wasting time, the two barged into the home.

“Sorry for intruding but we need some help.”

As Link looked around, he saw a family of three Moblins huddled up in a corner scared.

“We have no intention of harming anyone. I have only come here to get an item that was taken from me.”

The three shakily came out of hiding while still keeping their distance from the two intruders.

“What are you searching for? What need do you have to be in this wasteland, this home to the lowest species the Goddesses have forgotten?”

Link could only frown as he heard the mother speak of their entire race like that. He wanted to calm her but he had no time.

“I need to know if you know of a Dark Link and where he could be.”

“Yes. All of us fear him. He takes us and changes us. We are not like what you see on the surface. If you want to find him, just simply follow the path just outside our home and head up the large hill. You will then see a large castle. If he is not there when you first enter, he will be soon enough.”

“Thank you. I am sorry I have destroyed so many of your kind. I wish there was more I could do.”

“It is fine. One more thing before you go, there are heavily armored guards just out front. Be careful, they are heavily armed and are nearly impossible to beat.”

“Again, I thank you. We shall be going now.”

With that, the two left and were out the door in a matter of seconds. As Nabooru walked out last, she kindly shut the door. She nearly bumped into Link as she turned around. He was just starting at the now fully lit town. Dilapidated buildings surrounded them. Neither of them could believe the poor living conditions the Moblins had to deal with. Link looked up to see that they were in some sort of cave. This begged the question of where the light came from that illuminated the way? Though much less now, a small light could still be seen from where they first saw it. Nabooru was the first to point out that it was the castle.

“It must have to do with the decay of Hyrule. Whatever is going on in there is the reason the land is dying.”

Without hesitation, the two started the short trek to the hill. If it wasn’t for the short trip, the trek up the hill would have been much worse. It was large and very steep but not large enough to be called a mountain. Link began to worry as they reached the top. The journey seemed too easy. Although he wasn’t complaining, he expected more of a challenge.

Up top, his challenge awaited him; at the end of a winding trail; stood two Iron Knuckles. They were guarding a large set of double doors. One was in silver and the other in gold. Though he knew they saw him, they did not move. Link prepared his sword and shield as he walked down the path. Nabooru was close behind. They weren’t twenty yards away when both started to move. They lifted their large swords into the air. If it weren’t for his memories, he would have had a lot more trouble with these enemies.

“Watch what I do and then you attack the other.”

Nabooru watched as Link lead one away a bit and then as it attacked, he dodged. The force of the Iron Knuckle’s attack was so great that the sword became lodged in the ground. This gave Link just enough time to draw power to his blade and finish the guard off with one attack. The armor fell and a puff of smoke rose. The sword was still there and one Iron Knuckle was left. Nabooru quickly realized she had nearly forgotten about it. She was just barely able to dodge. She took only a moment to run over and grab the sword that was left behind. However, this sword only damaged it. Though extremely heavy, she was able to get a few hits in before the Iron Knuckle recovered. She baited another attack and with one last attack, the Iron Knuckle fell over and vanished in a puff of smoke while leaving behind its armor and weapon.

With that obstacle out of the way, the two walked up to the double doors and pushed them wide open. Inside was spacious. The first room they entered contained nothing; an open room with murals along the walls and three other doors, one on each side. The floor was stone and was cover in a large dark red rug. Not knowing which way to go, the two decided to split. Link was going to tell Navi to go in the last direction but realized she wasn’t there. Yet again, his memory told him just what he needed. From their past adventure, he knew she was going to be all right. Link took the path straight ahead and Nabooru took the one on the left. The decided that if they didn’t find anything, they would meet back at the entrance.

The path Link took wasn’t quite dark but it had an ominous feel. As he made it further down the hall, the ominous feeling grew. He was sure he was heading in the right direction. On the other hand, he may have feared that Nabooru had been in some kind of trouble. He had to grab the corner of a wall and shake his head to clear his head of those thoughts. He looked at his surroundings and saw that he only had two directions he could go, left or right, who knows what would be awaiting him if he chose the wrong path. He pushed on regardless of the consequences. He needed to return the Blade of Evil’s Bane back to its original form. He had no other choice.

Turning to his right he saw a large room at the end. On the way there, a small passage caught his eye. He peered inside to find that it led to a small staircase. Figuring that must be lead to where he needed to go, he pushed his way through and up the stairs. Up and up he went. It seemed there was no end. He would occasionally look out the tiny windows to see how high he was compared to the town below. When he finally made it up, he instinctively pulled out his sword and readied his shield. Though it was cracked, he thought it might still come in handy. Once he was fully in the large room at the top, he turned to see the one person he was hoping to see. Dead center stood Dark Link. Unlike the time in Kakariko Village, he was back to being a complete shadow.

“Like a moth to a flame. I knew you would eventually make your way here.”

The dark figure gave a giant grin as his lighter counterpart finished turning to face him.

“We all know what you came here to do. Too bad, it’s too late. The king of darkness shall be brought back to this realm and I will sit right by his side as he rules this land.”

“We all know you will fail. You did once and you will again.”

Link rushed towards his foe with his old strength returned. He had to get the sword back together and stop the return of the Dark Lord at all costs. Dark Link pulled out the shadow sword; the Master Sword’s other half and began his mad dash towards Link. The blades clashed and sparks flew as the battle for Hyrule began.

Darkness and light were giving it their all. It seemed there was no end. Link then felt a fire burning deep within. This was a familiar feeling. He had thought the Goddesses gifts were taken away when time was reset. His hand began to glow a fiery red and as he smashed his fist on the ground, Dark Link jumped back as a ring of fire formed around Link and expanded outward. The force of the blow cracked the floor. The two stood there in the hopes it would not crack. Dark Link then vanished in a puff of smoke and due to the quick shift in less weight, the floor began to break apart and fall. There was nothing Link could do as he was now falling down the tower with debris all around him.

He didn’t realize it at first but he was now covered in a blue diamond. The flooring just fell around him and never directly hit. He turned himself around and watched as a large hole that was once the bottom of the tower, grow closer. When he passed the open hole the passage was now pitch black. Though he took no physical damage, when he finally hit bottom, he passed out from the impact.

Nabooru was wondering where she was. To her, it felt like she was in a maze. She felt she was going in circles. She wasn’t even sure which way was back to the main room. She made one last turn and came across a long hall of cells. In the very last one, she saw a familiar face though she was in rags and her hair was matted and dirty.

“Princess, whatever are you doing here?”

The princess looked up and her eyes went wide. She got up from the corner she was huddled in and ran over to the bars.

“How in Hylia did you get here? I was expecting Link. Not the leader of the thieves.”

“Not a leader anymore. Anyway, Link went off in another direction. I’m pretty sure he found what he was looking for by now. I’ll get you out of this cell and we can escape. Also, how long have you been here? You look like a mess.”

They both looked at her unruly look. Zelda then began to cry out of both joy and sadness.

“Four years ago I was kidnapped. The figure that has evil intentions wanted to create chaos in Castle town as a distraction and thought my kidnapping would stir things up. He was furious when he found out that it backfired.”

“What is in Castle town that he needed a distraction for?”

The ragged princess looked down as she further explained Dark Link’s plan.

“It’s not in Castle town. What he is searching for is actually in Hyrule Castle. The Rings that are meant for the Hero were hidden. Two are in temples and the last is in the Castle with my father. I don’t know why he is searching for them but I do know that he is resurrecting someone from the past. Actually, it’s more like freeing him.”

“Whatever. I’ll set you free and then we can go look for Link.”

Without a warning, Nabooru backed up and slammed herself against the bars. There was no door so she didn’t know of anything else to do. Risking injury, she repeatedly rammed the bars.

“Nothing you do will work. To remove the bars, you need the aid of the Gate Keeper and I doubt he would be so willing to help.”

“Well, where is this Gate Keeper? I’ll simply force them to help.”

“I don’t know what you think you could do but”

Nabooru lifted up the sword she had kept from one of the guards outside.

“Don’t worry. I am more than capable of protecting myself. A thief is good at defending herself and as the once proud leader of the Gerudo tribe; I have an image to uphold.”

“Okay, whatever. Just hurry up so we can go find Link. I have a feeling that he will need our help soon. Now, just continue down the hallway. He should be in a small room at the end.”

Nabooru nodded and was about to run down the hall when she abruptly stopped. At the end of the hell was a much larger Iron Knuckle that wore gold and had an ax. The monstrosity was as wide as the hall and just as tall.

“Well, at least I don’t have to lure him out. I think he heard us talking.”

“You think? Just hurry up and destroy it, or do whatever you had planned to get me out of here.”

“Slight problem there, this guy is twice as large as the ones I and Link faced outside. We had ample amounts of room to work with. Can’t you use your magic to help? I mean you were gifted with the Goddess’s gift right. I know it wouldn’t help break you out but couldn’t you help me out?”

“Yeah about that, when I was kidnapped, my power was sealed so I wasn’t able to find a way to escape. Sorry.”

“Now you tell me. Fine, this sword is my only hope.”

She tossed the large sword slightly into the air and caught it by the blade.

“This will be my only shot as well.”

Nabooru carefully aimed the blade and tossed it like a spear. It flew through the air and within seconds, it hit. The Iron Knuckle didn’t even bother to move as it chipped its shoulder, knocking it off balance and forcing it over. The Gerudo leader rushed over to the fallen guard and got on top of it. As with the dragon, she placed her forehead on him and attempted to tap into its dark abilities. The jewel began to glow and not just her cell but also, all the cells slowly opened. Zelda was the only occupied cell so they had nothing else besides the maze to worry about. As soon as Zelda was out of her cell, she rushed over to Nabooru who was still concentrating on the unconscious Iron Knuckle. Zelda jerked her back to reality and instead of having a confused or worried look, she looked quite happy.

“I know the way out of here. I even know where Link might have headed and ended up eventually. I was able to get a map of this whole castle.”

She jumped up, grabbed the princess’s arm and pulled her along as they made their way down the right paths back to the main room.

Link awoke to a mostly dark room. Ahead of him sat an extremely large set of wood double doors. He got himself up, brushed himself off and walked his way up to them. He had to look up just to see that the doors were barred, or, they were until they somehow unlocked themselves. The ground began to shake as the doors began to open slowly. Dirt and rocks were kicked up and thrown towards him forcing him to pull out his shield. Inside, torches began to light up in a path that forced him to follow. When to torches were done and the end of the path was revealed, he was stopped at another door. This one was normal sized and round. He grabbed the door and rolled it out of the way. Inside this large room, he found a weird portal and Dark Link just beside it. He also noticed the dark half of the Master Sword sticking out of it.

“Now it’s time for the real show to begin.”

He pointed at Link at within seconds he was engulfed be a gelatinous creature.

This Like-Like will keep you busy until I get what I need. Now hold still. Dark Link calmly walked over, stuck a hand inside and grabbed the Sword out of Link’s hand. Sparks went flying and the pain was clear on Dark Link’s face.

“The pain shall be short and worth it as I join the two halves and use the power of the master swords to revive the new King of Evil.”

“What do you mean new? You’re not reviving Ganon?”

“Why would I revive Ganon or free him when I can serve under someone who was once his puppet and now has as much power as him? Besides Ganon was only sealed. He can never be completely destroyed.”

“What in Hyrule are you talking about?”

Link struggled as he Dark Link walked over to the Master Sword’s dark half.

“Just sit back and watch as Hyrule bows to its new Dark Lord.”

He shoved the blade in the exact same place as the dark half, which forced the tow to merge in a blinding light. This powerful merge forced the hole to open and create a passage to where it led. Link watched as the sword fell and a dark figure worked its way out. When the figure had fully emerged, Link immediately knew whom it was. The skull and body of Ganon gave it away.

“But how I thought I defeated you.”

“You only weakened me. After our first encounter, my creator merely banished me and sealed me in the gap between dimensions. The time I spent there was maddening. Seeing as how the Ganon from that timeline was sealed, any magic he placed was undone. As I was still too weak, as I still am now, I could not break open the rift between dimensions enough for me to get free. However, I knew that the only power that could was the blade of evil’s bane. I had my little minion here enacting two plans at the same time, to figure out how to obtain the sword and to find the power of the Goddesses.”

Phantom Ganon picked up the sword with no ill effects.

“It seems that I am much stronger than I thought.”

He snapped his fingers and a horse appeared before him. The phantom hopped on and looked down at the two Links.

“Now that I am free, I want you to kill the hero and prove that the Goddesses chose wrong. They must know that it is my time to rule and that nothing can stop me.”

He cackled and rode off into a puff of smoke. Dark Link made a sword appear before him. He walked over to the helpless Link. He lifted the sword into the air and held it for a few seconds. He swung down hard but the blade and parts of his arms were missing. He looked up and saw three women and a fairy.

“Looks like there’s a damsel in distress, and they need to be saved once again.”

Another arrow was fired, hit Dark Link in his chest, making him disappear. The Like-Like disappeared soon after. Link instantly turned to see Saria, Nabooru, and Navi and, he couldn’t believe his eyes, Zelda.

“How did you get here?”

Nabooru pointed to her head while she began walking over to Link.

“Let’s just say I had some forced help. As for our individual stories, I say we get out of here before anything else happens.”

Everyone agreed to this. Nabooru safely led them out of the caste and all five traveled back to where the portal they had come from appeared. Although Zelda was happy for a way out, Link was very distraught. Nabooru grabbed Link’s shoulder as comfort but it was no help.

“Whatever happened, just remember this. This is not the end of anyone’s journey. It only shows that things will get tougher from here on out. For now, though, we will head to Lon-Lon Ranch. Saria suggests we go there at once.”

Though it did not help him feel any better, Link shook his head as a sign of understanding and one by one, they walked back through the portal that Nabooru created again.

Epilogue

A Hero’s New Determination

Lon-Lon Ranch was as good as new. The Kokiri had done a wonderful job helping with the rebuild. To thank the forest children and to welcome her hero back, Malon prepared a large feast. The events took place outside but as Link was still recovering, he was unable to join in the festivities. While everyone was enjoying them self, all the ladies, including Zelda brought him something and tried to help his recovery.

“I’m sorry we all bombarded you like this. We just know how important it is for you to get better. At one point, you helped us all. You lived through a lot. One failure is nothing to mope about.”

Zelda looked around at everyone and knew that they all wanted to say the same thing as she just had.

“Yes, as a hero I must put my life at risk countless times to save a land in which I live in from the clutches of darkness. I cannot choose my life. It was decided for me at birth. I had high hopes but I slipped up once and failed.”

Four of the girls had nothing to say to that but Zelda refused to let Link sulk. The girls watched as she jumped on top of Link and start smacking him.

“You are the bearer of the Triforce of Courage. I will not allow you to mock the hard decision of the Goddesses. Now snap out of it and get better so we can go and stop this evil before things get any worse.”

All anyone could do was stare at Zelda as she smacked him back to himself. Even Link looked shocked. None of them expected a princess to act so harshly.

“You’re right. I have no idea what came over me. Maybe being down in the underworld for so long affected me.”

“Now that you’re done sulking, you can now eat all the food we all brought up. Even Navi brought you some food.”

“Actually, instead of eating in here, help me outside so I can enjoy this feast with everyone. With the soul of the Hero, and only having minor wounds, I will be good to go in the morning. Besides, I need to thank all the Kokiri for helping with the repairs.”

Everyone agreed and Nabooru offered to help carry him down to the party. Night had fallen and everyone had been dancing and having fun. They threw all their cares away for that one day. With what happened and what was to come, they needed that small reprieve. Link had decided to sit out in the middle of the ranch so that he could get a good view of the whole festivities.

“Isn’t it nice to see so many races come together instead of staying separated?”

Zelda knelt behind Link and placed her hands on his shoulders.

“I mean, it does make sense how we all have our homes where we feel comfortable, but we never have festivals or parties to celebrate life or the Goddesses. Being locked up for so long has given me time to think.”

Link turned to face the princess and attempted to listen as the crowd went wild with the festivities.

“We were created to learn and grow together, yet, besides the Zoras, we stay separated. Yes, we know a lot about each other, but we don’t know as much as we can. This land is cut and we need to change that. Please help me accomplish this goal of uniting us all in a way that some could only dream.”

Link stayed silent but only for a moment as he reached back and held one of her hands.

“Trust me when I say this that we were chosen for many reasons and I don’t think that protecting the land of Hyrule is the main one. I will stop the Phantom that I failed to destroy and I will help you bring everyone together. I promise to make that happen no matter what.”

In a matter of seconds, everyone seemed to vanish and the night grew silent. It was then that Nayru appeared in front of him. She had been floating before landing on the ground.

“Hero, you must continue your journey at first. Now that the evil has been released and you have regained your timeline, it is only a matter of time before the Ganon of this time will begin his rise. He is currently locked away but with his powers, he will eventually be able to escape.”

“I realized this as I was traveling through the underworld. Through the ages, I have been given guidance by you, Din, Farore, Zelda or anyone relating to the royal family. Sometimes, you need to put a little more faith in the Hero you have chosen. Anyways, I know to head back to the Forest Sanctuary tomorrow. However, before that, I need to make a stop back at Kakariko Village and speak with Impa. I need some serious questions answered.”

Nayru figured he should have a little time to be able to do what he needed. She gave him a look of concern and sadness. She had hoped none of the reincarnations had to experience any of their past selves but at this point, there was nothing to be done. The Hero of Time was destined to travel many timelines and all she could do was watch and guide him when needed. She rose into the air and disappeared. The sound of the party returned and Zelda had been in the same position as before. It was as if time had been stopped.

“Are you okay Link?”

Zelda looked concerned. Deep down she knew what had happened but she didn’t want to admit it. Having a connection to the Goddesses also gave her the ability to sense their presence.

“Yeah, I just have a lot on my mind. There is a lot I must do tomorrow and things are about to get a whole lot more difficult.”

He laid back and watched the stars twinkle in the clear night sky.

“At first light, I am leaving and I must go alone. I will take Navi but she is the only one I will allow. I need to challenge myself and this is the only way I can do it.”

“Well don’t push yourself too hard. Unlike Nayru, I have complete faith in you. You have silently protected the Royal family for ages and no one knows your tale. Only those connected know the truth. Link, if things get too difficult I urge you to come find us and ask for assistance. Even Zad wants to help.”

It was as though everyone could hear Zelda. The party had stopped and everyone gathered around Link in one giant circle.

“We are all here for you and you can stop trying to act like you should be the strongest.”

“Thank you everyone. Though that isn’t why I want to go alone, I appreciate everything. I assure you that I won’t push myself too hard. I will try and end things quickly so we can all have a party here again.”


The Rings of the Goddesses: A Hero's Return

The Hero of Time is needed once again! After battling Majora in an alternate Hyrule, Link awakens to find himself in a mysterious forest and his memory gone. Returning home to Kokiri forest, he finds that nothing has happened. It's as if he had never left. Seven years pass and Link has grown. Though the forest had yet to be touched, the rest of Hyrule was in a state of decay. Learning that the Goddesses left much of their power in three rings, he sets out on his journey. But this time he will be aided by many friends along the way. The foe that threatens the lands this time is no pushover; an unknown enemy locked within a crack in space and time. Can Link obtain these rings and stop him from escaping his prison? Along the way, he will come across new and old foes and gain memories of another timeline.

  • ISBN: 9781370500390
  • Author: Blake Seeger
  • Published: 2017-06-08 08:20:17
  • Words: 47997
The Rings of the Goddesses: A Hero's Return The Rings of the Goddesses: A Hero's Return