Summary: A short, detailed account of two boys in a village with many secrets.
Categories: Fan Fiction Characters: None
Chapters: 3 Completed: Yes
Word count: 17255 Read: 22461
Published: Apr 13, 2008 Updated: Jul 31, 2008
1. Pt. 1 by ZeldaFreak701
2. Pt. 2 by ZeldaFreak701
3. Chapter 3 by ZeldaFreak701
It always rained when they went…
This particular story takes place in a village called Kakariko. It was a young village built for the people less fortunate than those that lived in the nearby castle. The castle itself was young as well. The people of the castle and the village did not usually interact…that is, of course…when someone had sinned….
James brushed his hair silently. It was light and golden with a tint of red. Most people would tell this boy of fourteen years that he didn’t deserve such gorgeous hair. But he would disregard it and go about his business. He knew it wasn’t because of him but because of his mother. He hated to think of such things.
His twin brother, Daniel, played with his dirty brown hair as he watched James look at himself in the cracked mirror. Both of them were inside their humble house as the rain fell upon the small village. Like everyone, they stayed indoors in such weather. Not so much to stay dry as they were afraid to go outside when it rained. For when it did, people they tended to see about the village would end up gone after such a storm.
Their mother, however, was not to be found. Both boys, like everyone else in the village, suspected she was out drinking herself, and her sons, out of house and board.
“I think it’s letting up,” said Daniel, almost as if he cared.
James put his grimy brush down. The entire house was run down even though the village was fairly young. The walls were eroding, there were a few holes in the roof, and there were two filthy beds; one of which the boys shared even though their mother wasn’t even home most nights.
Finally, the rain ceased and the sun bled through the clouds. Soon, the entire village was about and doing their daily rituals. James and Daniel also left their house even though they had no such thing to do. “I’m going to go to the Graveyard,” said Daniel.
“What are you going to do there?” asked James.
“I don’t know. Whatever there is to do.”
Daniel went off. His feet made a squishy noise as he walked on the wet grass. James saw reason in what he was saying. The entire village was basically built around that graveyard. The residents of the nearby castle buried their most prominent soldiers there. It wasn’t even that big either. But James didn’t want to succumb to boredom, so he decided to follow them there.
He saw a few people by the well getting their water after the rain. That was the first thing they did when the rain stopped. He caught up with Daniel who was about to enter. To both of them, they could feel some strange feeling emitting from that place. Like someone was trying to say something they couldn’t get out.
They both looked to their left and saw the young grave keeper’s home. It was a tiny shack and neither of them wanted to know what went on in there. Suddenly, their mother stumbled out. She was inebriated as usual.
She saw both of her boys. She stumbled and leaned on the wooden pole on the short porch. They looked at eachother silently for a while. Then their mother spoke. “You both will do well to not cause any trouble.” She bent over and threw up. Then she wiped her mouth and stumbled off to their house.
“I know she’s our mother and all…” said Daniel. “But I honestly hate her…”
James didn’t say anything. He walked up the lonely graves and put a few flowers in front of them.
He brushed off the dirt of a few of them to reveal the covered names. James walked further into the small field. For some reason, every time he reached the back, it began to rain. When he looked behind him, the sky was an eerie brown color and the sun, although visible, was a changed color.
He stood in front of the largest grave honoring the men that served the kingdom. He looked up and saw a cliff that was fenced off. As if anyone would want to go up there anyway James thought. He looked below his feet and saw a patch of dirt in the patter of three triangles.
Before he could asses what it really was, he heard a voice behind him. “Hey kid! Don’t mess with the graves!” He looked behind him, in the place where it was still sunny, and saw the young grave keeper limp over to Daniel.
“I’m not messing with the graves. I’m honoring them,” said Daniel.
“You can do that on your own time,” he said.
“Dampe’, it’s not a problem. I’m not doing anything wrong.”
The young grave keeper glared at him. “What’s yer brother doin’?” He turned his attention to James.
“Nothing. Probably just looking at the graves.”
“I don’ like ‘em over there. It’s not a place fer a kid like ‘em to be at.”
“And why is that?”
“Don’ get mixed up in matters that don’ concern you. My father took every one of these dead soldiers and buried dem ‘emself to honor dem. But beyond these plots…that does just the opposite.” He smiled a crooked, missing-teeth, smile.
“You’re getting to be crazy, Dampe’. Crazy like an old man.”
His smile vanished. “Well I gots a few ‘ears before I’ll be an old man. Now tell yer brother it’s time fer both of ya to leave. And tell yer mum that she can come back anytime she likes.” He smiled again and limped back to his house.
“James!” Daniel called, “Let’s go!”
James shrugged and ran off. The rain stopped when he left the back of the graveyard. He followed Daniel when he was turning to leave as well. Both walked beside eachother. Their family of three was hated by everyone in the village.
Their mother was a drunk and would do special favors for some of the village men to keep herself in more alcohol. Their rundown house was all they had to their name and everyone assumed that her kids were just as bad as she was.
However, she didn’t want her children to be away from their father, whom she figured lived in the village anyway but had no clue as to who he was. But she didn’t care to look.
The secrets of the village puzzled the two however. They go inside when it rains and after it did, someone from the village would have vanished. James came the conclusion that before they disappeared, they had done something bad before.
That is why both took it upon themselves not to do anything bad and do whatever they could for the village to help clear their names. They would pull weeds and help with some of the new houses being built. When they were done, they never got a thank you. But not getting an insult from the carpenters at the end of a hard day’s work was enough for them.
At the end of the day, both retired to their home. James settled on reading an old, torn book while Daniel went straight to bed. The village was also empty at night.
But not this night.
Daniel and James’ mother was about, stumbling over rocks and other houses in her intoxicated state. She was disoriented and didn’t know what to do. She was bored and exhausted but didn’t want to go to bed.
She looked at one of the houses James and Daniel helped build. Inside was one of the men she had slept of with. He was reading his children a story before they went to sleep with his unknowing wife sitting beside him.
It sickened her. She was just as beautiful as any of the women. All of the men wanted her, and most of them already had her. She was furious that she was being used constantly. She saw him blow out the candle. She clenched the bottle in her hand.
She looked at it closely. She poured what contents were left in front of the door and looked around for some sticks. She rubbed them together and, after many intoxicated tries, was able to get a small flame burning and put it by the puddle she had just made.
She watched the fire slowly grow. She smiled a wicked smile. Then she saw it grow ever larger. Then she heard screaming on the inside. Then she started to panic. She looked at the bottle in her hand and put it where her house was, her sleeping boys inside.
She then darted off. She ran out of the village and didn’t even look back.
James awoke to rain falling upon the house. Water had seeped through a hole in the roof and fell upon his forehead. Their mother, of course, was not found inside their home. He sat up and wiped his forehead dry. He looked around and found many empty bottles about. It did not surprise him. They were always there.
Daniel, however, was not to be found. James stood up. No note or anything was about. James was worried. He went outside to get James to get him out of the rain. He made sure he wouldn’t be seen by anyone even though no one was about.
He saw some movement from the corner of his eye and went to the side of the house. He poked his head out from the side and saw hooded men carrying Daniel’s limp body! James did his best not to lose control and go after them. He stayed hidden and decided to see where they were taking him.
They moved toward the well. James cocked an eyebrow and wondered why they were going there. All the well was was a place to get water. They had Daniel over one of their shoulders’s and then went down, as if they were going down a ladder.
James came so close to just forgetting about it, but he couldn’t. Daniel was all he had and he was going to get to the bottom of whatever was going on. Once the last hooded person disappeared, he ran toward the well.
When he reached the edge, he looked down. It was dark, but he grabbed hold of the metal bars and climbed down. He made it half way down when he felt the well shake. He went the rest of the way down as fast as he could. As soon as he felt his feet touch solid ground, he saw that water was rising to his knees, and quickly.
Then he looked up and saw a long, dark corridor and a metal door-like thing shutting his way off. He quickly ran under it when a large wave of water washed him out to the other side. The door closed behind him and he was on all four, coughing and wiping his face.
He was soaked, but he was able to steady himself and stand up. Before him was a narrow hole. He wondered how the hooded people were able to all crawl through it. And so quickly at that. He was able to squeeze through. If he were just a year older, he’d be too big and it would be impossible.
He made it to the other side and got up. He was in a room with grates on the wall. He walked to the ledge and saw that the floor looked like it was on fire or was made of lava. It was glowing and it frightened James. But he didn’t stop, he had to see what they were doing to Daniel, or else he was certain he’d never see him again.
He climbed down the grate below him and the floor was just fine. It must’ve been an illusion. In front of him sat a skeleton. It made James’ heart jump. He felt his heart beat quickly. There was a wall before him. Where did those people go with Daniel?
Then, for some reason he couldn’t explain, he heard the skeleton speak to him. Its mouth didn’t more or anything, but it was like he could hear him. “Look for the eye of truth! The eye of truth!”
James was scared, but he had to think about what he said. Was what he was seeing deceiving him? Uncertain, he picked up some dirt and threw it at the wall. Just he thought, the dirt didn’t splatter on the wall. It was a false wall. He pressed his hands in front of him and walked right through the wall that way.
The contents of the well were quite odd. It was like he was in a hallway that led in two directions: forward and left. He had no clue where to find Daniel, however. He didn’t hear anything and he walked forward.
He heard splashing and looked down. The whole floor was flooded. It didn’t surprise. Being underneath a well, you’d expect that. But the water made noise so he had to make sure that no one would be able to hear him.
He went back to the corner where he came and rolled up his baggy, ragged brown pants. He rolled up his long-sleeves and pinned them up. He tightened his vest so his shirt wouldn’t sag either. He took off his boots as well. Although they were crude, they were the nicest things he owned.
He stood up and saw the pool of water in front of him. He figured there was another part of the well under there too. He didn’t have time to look, so he walked to his left as fast as he could without making much noise.
He saw various corridors and to his left, he saw a place to go. He didn’t know where it led, but he had to try everything. He already made it this far. He opened the steel door and went inside. What was in there made his heart stop.
Coffins. Six of them. They were all closed. In horror, and panic, he went over to all the graves. He took of the top of one. There was a wrapped up dead body inside. He became intoxicated and heaved right by the grave. The body was too big to be Daniel’s.
He moved to the others. Gaining his composure more with each one. Two of the coffins were empty; the other three were the bodies of the villagers that wound up missing. None of them were Daniel’s, he was certain.
He ran out of the room as fast as he could until he was in the main hall again. He went to his left and saw a purple face high on the wall he was going towards. “Danger Above” it seemed to call out. Then, suddenly, a huge spider came from the ceiling.
James fell back on his bottom. He felt the blood drain from his face. He stood up, shaking, then the spider went above to the ceiling again. James tried again, but it came down again. This time, James wasn’t afraid. He was angry.
He took his hand and drove it through its mouth. The green blood spilled on his hands but he didn’t care. He took his hand out and looked to his right. He found the source of the water. He ran up in front of it. It was a strange lizard-like head having water poured from its mouth.
He looked down by his bare feet. The same symbol he saw the day before in the graveyard was painted in yellow. He could see it through the water. Then he heard something behind him.
He turned around. There was another wall. “Well it worked once before,” James thought. He poked only his head through. Thankfully, although there were people in there, no one saw him. There were two wooden stakes in the shape of an “X” in the center of the room with chains on it. There were two cells on either side of him, and two rooms on the other side of the room.
The hooded people were taking someone off. It wasn’t Daniel, but whoever it was, he was stripped naked and appeared to be beaten. They carried him to one of the cells that was on James’ side, so he had to pull back to make sure he wasn’t seen.
He heard them say, “You’re next, young one,” to someone. He didn’t know who, but he heard a steel door slam. With great risk, he poked his head through the hollow wall again, and saw that everyone was gone.
He stepped in completely. “J-James…” he heard Daniel’s voice moan to his right. In shock he ran around to him. The cell wasn’t even closed off. There was a part that was left off so someone could just go right in.
He ran up beside Daniel. He knelt near him. “Daniel…are you okay? What did they do to you?”
Daniel leaned up. A small line of blood leaked from the left corner of his mouth. James wiped it away. “James, listen carefully. We don’t have much time. The well is a prison. This is the room where they torture them. They think that I set a house on fire. They took me right from our house while you were sleeping and then they knocked me out and threw me in here.”
“What sort of things are they doing?” asked James.
“Remember that man that was accused of beating his wife and children?” James nodded. “Well that was him just now on the cross. They were beating him with rocks.” Daniel pointed to the ground just under the cross. “That’s his blood right there.” Daniel choked on his words. “I don’t think he made it…”
Daniel pointed to the cell on the other side. “There is a false bottom in that cell. They threw him down there like they did with the other dead bodies,” he said.
“But I just saw coffins in another room with bodies wrapped up. Why would they throw them down there?” asked James.
“I don’t know…but James…” Daniel clutched the collar of James’ shirt. “They said I’m next…I…I don’t want to die James…” Daniel started to tear. “Don’t let them kill me.”
“I won’t, Daniel,” said James, tearing up himself. “I promise.” James tried to pull Daniel up. “Can you stand?”
Daniel did so. He wasn’t badly injured, but he was noticeably in pain. “We have to get out of here, now!” said Daniel. They were making their way to the false door when they heard the steel door open again.
Both of the boy’s heart stopped. They turned to see the hooded people looking at them. “Oh, there are two that will be punished now…” One of them said, eerily calm.
“Come with me!” said Daniel, taking James’ hand and taking him to the other cell. As soon as they both stepped in, they plunged to the bottom. Both fell on the hard ground. They could hear the tormentors above them scramble about.
They came up to their feet and looked around. It was like a cave of some sort. There were four different small caves. In the center of the place was a puddle of some odd greenish blue water. There were some wooden poles in there as well.
To both of the boys’ horror, they saw the man’s body that was just thrown down there, disintegrating in the water. “Don’t touch the water,” said Daniel.
“Smart move,” said James. But how are we going to get out of here?”
They looked around. “Look, there’s a ladder on the other side,” said Daniel. “We can cross by staying on the pieces of wood.”
“Let’s hurry then!” said James, urging Daniel forward. They both made it very careful not to touch the water. Daniel made it to the ladder first and began to climb up it. James followed. He almost stumbled into the puddle, but gained his balance and made it to the other side.
He followed Daniel up the ladder. When both were at the top, they went through the steel door. They found themselves in a room that seemed to be closed off. Daniel and James looked for the false wall. They found it and went through.
James knew the place slightly better than Daniel did, so he led the way. Keeping quiet was useless now. They ran down the corridor. Their feet splashed as they did. To their right, James recognized the place he came in. His boots were still there. He slipped them on.
“This way!” said James as he put the last one on.
“Not so fast!” said a hooded tormentor. “Escaping will not be so easy!”
James looked at a frightened Daniel. “Daniel, I need you to go through this hole and find the way out! It’s straight ahead, you mustn’t hesitate. I’ll hold them off!” James shoved Daniel to the crawlspace. Daniel reluctantly went ahead.
James lunged at the hooded people. He beat as many as he could. But he didn’t hold them off for long. But he managed to slow them down enough so that Daniel could get through safely.
They bound James up with chains. Blood ran from his mouth and some from his arms and chest. “What should we do with him?” said one of the guards.
“His punishment must be more than what we can give him here. He has seen too much and we will make sure he has remorse for stumbling upon a place that no villager of Kakariko should ever see…”
“Surely you can’t mean…” said one of the tormentors in horror.
“Yes…take him to the temple…”
"But...he's just a boy-"
"Do as I say!"
"Yes sir." The man bowed and reached for James.
Daniel’s feet met with more water below he soles. He climbed up a grate in front of him. He looked back behind to make sure he wasn’t being followed. He saw a skeleton there and wondered how James passed that without showing fear when he found him.
In front of him was a metal wall. He looked to his right side and saw a lever with a few chains dangling from it. He pulled it down and suddenly torrents of water gushed from behind the opening wall. He held on the lever for dear life as the bottom part of his body swayed with the current.
When the flow ended, he was saw rain coming down into the well and a ladder leading up. He quickly climbed up. He could only pray James was going to be okay.
It always stormed in that place…
Daniel’s head poked out from below the well. He looked around. The drenched village was deserted, as it always was when it rained. He heard water rushing beneath him and saw that the well was filling up again. He jerked his head back forward and climbed up before the water could touch his feet.
He leapt out from the horrid place and looked around. What now? The people would soon follow and going back to his home would be the first place they’d look for him. No one else in the village would take him, so he made the easy decision to leave.
He ran for the gate that led to the unknown. He knew the castle was nearby. Surely there was someone there that would be willing to help him. He went down the stairs and was instantly greeted by a large, beautiful field. It was not raining.
He looked to his left and saw the huge castle. It was positively gorgeous. He shook his head, not wanting to get too caught up in seeing the world around him for the first time. He went towards the caste. The drawbridge was open. A lone guard stood there. He did not speak. He didn’t even try to stop him from entering.
Daniel smelled a familiar scent coming from the door near him. “It can’t be,” he thought. He opened the door to a room full of uniforms and small brown pots. It was barely lit from the small square windows on the right wall.
There she was.
His mother, passed out on the floor.
Daniel didn’t know what to do first. The only thing that came to mind was to kick her, roughly. And he did. She coughed up some of that vile drink she always carried around. She looked up with glazed eyes and saw her son.
“What’re you doin’ here?” she asked, propped up on her arm.
“I know it was you!” he yelled. He kicked her again, knocking her off her balance. “How could you? The only thing you have well to your name and you use it to save yourself!”
“Shut up!” she said lazily. “You two are nothing.”
“No…you’re nothing. You set that house on fire and blamed it on James!”
“I did no such thing. It’s that damned village that is so quick to suspect the most likely deviant.”
Daniel didn’t even feel the sting on his hand until a second after he was certain he had slapped his own mother. She put her hand on her face. But she merely snickered. “At least one of you has the heart to reach out.”
In a fit of uncontrollable rage, he leaned down and grabbed his mother by the collar of her shirt. He held her close to his face. He could smell the vomit and alcohol coming from her mouth but he didn’t care. “Where…is…my…brother?” He made every word clear; intensifying the one more before the last.
“Hell if I know. I don’t care.”
Daniel groaned as he threw her back down to the ground. She wasn’t going to do anything for him. With a swift kick to her again, he left as fast as he could. When he rushed out of the door, the guard stopped him this time.
“Wait kid, where do you think you’re going?” he asked as he held his shoulder.
“You had no trouble with me before,” said Daniel. “What is the problem now?”
“I heard screaming. What happened?”
“Nothing. It was just a little confrontation-”
“I think you should leave,” the guard cut him off. “We don’t want trouble makers like you hanging around here.”
Daniel didn’t want any trouble. He scoffed and left. He didn’t want even more people hating him. He thought a moment. The only lead he had was most likely still back in the village. With a quick thought, Dampe’ first came to mind. He was hinting about something sinister that happened in the blind of eyes of the people.
When Daniel made it back up to the stairs, he saw that it was still raining. They were probably bringing James out of the well. As he thought, the village was still empty but he looked around just to make sure.
In a quick dash, he ran up to the Graveyard. It was raining even then. By now, Daniel was already soaked. His brown hair was hanging in his face and his large clothes were drooping on him. But he was determined. He had to find his brother.
When he reached the plots, he saw Dampe’ about to go into his house after a days work of maintenance. In a fury, he dashed towards him until he was under the porch with him. He pushed him in the back. “Dampe’! I need you to tell me of the well. What can you tell me of the well?” Daniel asked, getting increasingly hysterical.
“What’re you talkin’ about?”
“I was taken down that well and my brother had to get down there and save me!” he grabbed Dampe’s collar. “There’s something you’re not telling me! To anyone!”
Dampe’ shoved Daniel back and he tripped on his bottom and into the rain. Drops dripped off of the tip of his nose and strands of his long brown hair. He leaned back on his hands and looked at Dampe’ approaching him.
He put his foot to Daniel’s chest and knocked him flat on his back. “What did I tell you ‘bout matters that don’ concern you?”
Daniel dug his hand into the soft, wet ground and pulled out a chunk of dirt. He threw it into Dampe’s face, causing him to cover his eyes and step back. Daniel got up and pushed him up against the front of his shack so that they were under the porch roof. He grabbed his collar again. Water dripped from his face. He was looking straight at him. He looked normal. He may have been on the older side but his face didn’t show much trace of age.
“They took my brother! What are they going to do to my brother?” he screamed.
“Listen, kid, I don’t know nothin’ bout what goes on down there,” said Dampe’. “Honest I don’t.”
“This is my brother I’m talking about! He’s all I have! Now tell me what you know!”
“All they do is come ‘round here when someone has done something real terrible and I grant ‘em access to…” he paused.
“…to where?” asked Daniel.
“The temple,” he said hesitantly.
“What temple? There’s no temple around here.”
Dampe’ nodded. “I wouldn’t doubt a moment that if yer brother interfered with something in the well that they’d be bringing him there.”
They both heard an approaching crowd. “Now you’ve done it,” said Dampe’. “Get in the house and keep quiet. I’ll take care of this.” Daniel went inside the tiny shack. To his left was a small wooden desk with a bed next to it. It was quite dank and dark. A tiny crack allowed some light from the outside in. It was a slanted piece of wood that allowed Daniel to see outside.
He saw the hooded people with a limp James hanging from one of their shoulders. They were talking to Dampe’. “We’ve had some trouble with this one,” said the one holding James.
“Oh really? What’d he do?” asked Dampe’.
“It wasn’t really what he did; it was what his little friend did. He set a house on fire and this one came and got him out.”
“You have any clue where he is?”
“Unfortunately no. We checked his home for clues but all we could find was garbage.” The guard searched Dampe’s eyes. “Unless….you may know something we don’t…”
Dampe’ caught on real quick. “What’re you gettin’ at? Do ya not see its pouring? How am I ‘sposed to know where some kid is?”
The guard scoffed. “I suppose so. Well, we’re taking this one to the temple for his execution.”
Daniel, before he could stop himself, gasped really loud. When he realized he had done so, he covered his mouth quickly. The guards’ eyes were averted to Dampe’s shack. “Now hold on, fellas. You wanna git rid of him that quick? Don’t you want ‘em to suffer a bit? I mean, he did interfere with you guys.”
“I like the way you think but that’s hardly any of your concern. Just let us in the temple.”
“Very well.” Dampe’ went into his house. As he was inside, he moved as if no one else was in there. He reached for an instrument. As he did, he quietly said to Daniel without even looking at him, “Stay put. I’ll be right back and don’t you go making any noise.”
Daniel sat in the corner, hugging his knees. At least now he had help in getting his brother back. He looked back out of his peep hole and saw Dampe’ with some odd seven guards from the well. Dampe’ pulled out an instrument that looked like something of a harp. He played a melody and some sort of matter came below all of their feet and carried them up to a fenced off area that Daniel never seemed to notice.
It took some time, but eventually, Dampe’ returned. As soon as he did, Daniel said, “So that’s where they’re taking him.” Daniel was starting to stand up. “Take me there, I’m going to go get him-” Dampe’ shoved him right back down.
“Yer not goin’ anywhere just out of determination. That temple is loaded with tricks of the mind and such. You wouldn’t survive a minute without the Eye of Truth.”
“What’s the Eye of Truth?”
“It allows you to see more than meets the eye. You were in that well yourself. You know there are things down there that don’t meet the eye.”
“So that Eye of Truth will help me see?”
“Yes. But it’s in the Well. So yer gonna have to go back an’ get it.”
“I’m not going back there. I barely survived the first time.”
“Then I’m goin’ with you.” Dampe’ grabbed a shovel. “Le’s go.”
Dampe’ and Daniel emerged from the shack. “What’s that for?” Daniel inquired about the shovel.
“I don’ go anywhere without it.”
It was still raining. The two took their soaked bodies up to the well that was still drained of water. “People are going to wonder why the rains are going for this long,” said Daniel.
“Don’ worry ‘bout it. As long as it’s fallin’ no one is comin’ out of their house,” said Dampe’ as he inched his way down the well. Daniel followed behind. Once they walked inside the well, the gate shut behind them.
“Take me to the room where they torture ‘em,” said Dampe’.
“I…I can’t remember well. All I remember was leaving,” said Daniel.
They took the exact same path as James had. They went through the wall and then Daniel found himself in the same hallway as he did not long before. The water was soaking their feet.
“Do you think there’s anyone down here?” asked Daniel.
“Keep quiet,” Dampe’ hissed. “’Spose there are. You don’ want ‘em to hear you.”
Daniel reluctantly nodded. “I think it was over here,” said Daniel. He pointed to the wall.
“Over where? There’s nothing but a wall there,” said Dampe’.
“This part of the wall looks different than the walls around it.” Daniel thought, “Is this wall fake too?”
He put his hand up against it. He pushed forward slightly and looked in horror that his hand was going through the wall! He yanked his hand back. He could feel his heart pounded. Dampe’ came up next to him. “I told you there’s more than meets the eyes,”
Daniel poked his head though. Sure enough, he saw the X in the middle of the room. There were the cages on either side of him and two doors on the other side of the room in front of the cages.
“It’s in one of those rooms,” said Dampe’. “You take the left, I’ll git the right.”
Daniel nodded in agreement. He had a direction to go now and he planned on following through. He put his hand on the knob of the door. Thankfully, it was unlocked. Before he opened it, Dampe’s voice came.
“’ere kid, take this,” Dampe’ said as he tossed his shovel to him. Daniel caught it with ease and nodded. He inched the door open with ease, trying to be quiet. But as soon as it moved, the door made an unnaturally loud squeak. He knew if anyone was in there, they’d hear him by now anyway.
He swung the door open forcefully and there was a man, not cloaked, heading towards him. In a fit of surprise and anger, he swung the shovel on his head. Some blood sprayed on Daniel’s face. He didn’t even wipe it off as he looked around the room. He didn’t know what this lens even looked like. So he just stood there, holding the bloody shovel.
He felt someone’s rough hand on his shoulder. He felt his heart leap until he heard Dampe’s voice come from behind him. “I see ya took care of him,” said Dampe’ almost humorously. “Anyway, I got the lens right ‘ere. There was no one in the other room.”
Dampe’ had in his hands a purple lens with red horns on the top. It was an attractive looking artifact. Daniel questioned how it was able to be used.
“They must all be in the temple,” said Daniel, catching his breath. “Let’s get out of here.” On their way out, Daniel put the lens up to his eye and saw all of the pitfalls the well had been masking. It frightened him to think that one misstep could’ve sent him and his brother deeper into the horrid place. When he took the lens away, he felt a little drained. He leaned on the shovel for support.
“That there lens takes energy to use. So don’ use it too much at once now,” said Dampe’. “Or you’ll find yerself passed out wit no help.”
Daniel nodded and handed the bloody shovel back to Dampe’ and followed him out.
James had been conscious when the hooded guards took him to the temple. But they had put a cloth over his eyes and bound his wrists so they could not see. He was instructed not to make a sound, so he did not. He did not struggle or try to talk his way out. He merely stayed calm and awaited his fate.
They finally ripped the cloth off of his eyes. He was standing in a large room. It was cold and James could smell the death. There were torches in the shape of skulls spouting blue flames. They were aligned in a circle with a crow statue in the middle.
On the other side of the room, there was what appeared to be an abyss. There was a menacing lizard face, like the one he saw in the well, with his long tongue sticking out. It was dark and he couldn’t make out much else.
There were whispers among the group that brought him there. Finally, one of them came out of the small crowd. He seemed shorter than the others but he took James by the shoulder and moved him towards a room to their left. The leader accompanied them and the others were dismissed. As they stepped away, James noticed something strange about all of the men. Their boots had some odd padding underneath them. He wondered what they were.
James stumbled toward the door. The smaller guard held onto James’ shoulder while the leader opened the door. They walked through and it closed with an ear-shattering clang behind them. At least that’s how it was to James.
The walked down a small hallway. The room’s walls were oddly designed. They were brown with a sort of skull with glowing teal eyes all about. Without the slightest doubt on where to go, the two led James through a wall. The ground was made of dirt and it was cold. There weren’t any chains of the sort in there, but the whole place seemed be of dirt.
The man holding him let him go gently. But the head of the operators of the temple shook his head to the man and shoved James to the ground. Since his hands were bound he fell flat on his face. It made his nose bleed a little.
“You must not show any mercy,” said the leader.
“I know. It just…he’s so young,” by his voice, the shorter man sounded timid.
“You were appointed by the head personally to be an operator here. You must not show doubt or compassion for what you’re doing here. I want you to stay here and guard him. We’ll return shortly to commence the rituals.”
The shorter man bowed as the leader left with the timid man. He stayed on the outside of the door, leaving James on the inside. He looked around. He knew the man was on the outside and the door was locked anyway. He had to think of a way out.
Thankfully, he broke free of the binds after some time. His wrists were raw and some of the flesh had been rubbed of, but he was alright. He took the rope and tried to think of a way to use it. He thought a moment. But tore a long strip off of vest and kept the rope next to him. His plan had to go perfectly or he’d be in big trouble.
James knocked on the door that led outside. “Excuse me,” he said, “there are bats in here, is that supposed to be normal?”
He stepped aside as the door opened. The man walked a step inside when James tripped him. As he was falling over, James mounted on his back. The man landed on his front side on the floor with James on top of his back. He took the rope and tied his writs behind him. Then he took the cloth he had torn from his clothing and gagged the man. The man kicked and struggled.
“I’m sorry, but I will not fall victim to this place,” he said. He searched the man and found the key he was holding. He took it and also the cloak he was wearing. Underneath, the man wasn’t that much older than James. He wore a black tunic with a white under shirt and pants with those strange boots.
James draped the cloak over him to hide his face. He took the keys and left the room and locked the door behind him. It wasn’t until he was out that he felt how fast his heart was pounding. He had no clue where he was going however. The walls certainly did hold many secrets.
He paced around, trying to find the way out. It was too dark to remember the steps he did to get in. He felt the walls with his hands as he walked. As he did, he felt his had be relieved from the cold brick. It was another false wall. He looked inside. It was a small room-like opening.
There was nothing in there but the boots with the odd padding the temple operators wore and some bloody chains. James shuddered at the thought of how those chains were used to draw blood. He figured the boots would come into use however; seeing as how everyone else in there was wearing them. He took off his own and put them on. They were a little big, but he was able to walk comfortably.
When he stepped out of the hidden room, he slid a little. What were under these boots? He heard banging come from the direction he did. The man he tied up must’ve been trying to signal for help.
James didn’t have time to think things through; he ran with the sliding boots and tried his best to backtrack his steps. He came up to another steel door. With great apprehension, he opened the door. Thankfully, he found himself in the same room as before. The crow statue was still perched on its block and the torches were still about him.
He let out his sigh of relief. He was almost there! He went into the direction he came from when he first entered the temple. He was almost there! As he lifted his leg to make that first step to freedom, he heard a commotion come from that direction. His heart stopped. What could he do?
He already stopped that first guard, so he couldn’t go back that way. And if there were more operators there, they’d easily stop him and his punishment would be far more severe. Even with his disguise, close up they’d see this “operator” was too short. He heard the sound of clangs coming closer.
He looked into the direction of the abyss with the lizard-like animal on the other side. It was too far to jump. In desperation, he looked at a chain dangling from the center of the ceiling. If he could jump to that, he might be able to swing himself over. It was a long shot, but he had to try.
He walked back as far as he could, and then dashed as fast as his feet would carry him. He neared the edge and closed his eyes tight. He was going to jump when he felt the ground below him end, but it didn’t. He continued to run.
In confusion, he opened his eyes and looked down. He was walking on the air! Impossible! He looked up and ahead of him. The lizard’s tongue was an extended walkway. Suddenly, the “ground” below James vanished. And gravity pulled him down. He managed to grab onto the ledge. He dangled by one hand above an endless pit. Catching his breath, he took his other hand and pulled himself up with great effort.
He sat on the edge of the tongue and looked down at his boots as he breathed heavily. Things just seemed to be getting stranger. He turned around and ran through the opening; going deeper into the temple.
“Did you hear that?” asked Daniel.
“Hear what?” asked Dampe’, as they walked down the steps into the entrance to the temple.
“It was very faint, but I thought heard something.”
“Probably from in there.”
“You don’t think its James….do you?”
“Possibly. That’s why we got to get in there.”
“How do we get in there?”
The room they were in was dark and they could hear the rain clattering outside. There were unlit torches surrounding a platform with a flame insignia. There was white writing around it. Daniel couldn’t understand it. Before them was a large stone door with the same symbol on it as the Lens of Truth.
“Use that lens thing. It might help you decipher it,” suggested Dampe’ as if reading his thoughts.
Daniel held it up to his eyes. Beyond the glass, the lettering was changed into a language he could understand! The lens was truly remarkable. It seemed to be written in riddles, the writing. “The flames of death this temple fed, all at once will guide you ahead…” Daniel read. “I don’t know what it means.”
“Yer a slow one,” said Dampe’. “It means you gotta light all them torches at once.”
“And just how are we supposed to do that?”
“Hell if I know. If you’re smart enough to read you should be smart enough to figure this out.”
Daniel looked at the brick platform with the flame insignia on it. He felt the rough surface with his hands. “Whatever you do, it’s supposed to happen right here,” he said.
Dampe’ approached him and looked at the platform as well. “Looks like you need to put a bomb or somethin’ here.”
“We don’t have any bombs,” said Daniel.
Dampe’ shrugged. “Well then yer gonna have to think of somethin’ else.”
“Alright, we’ll try it your way. Do you have any bombs on you?”
“No I don’. I dig graves, not blow ‘em up.”
“Then why would you suggest that stupid idea?”
“Its not like you got anythin’ better.”
Suddenly, the torches around them all flared up at once and they both looked up to see the door opening! Someone was coming out. Daniel turned to try and hide, but Dampe’ grabbed him by his sleeve. “There’s only one of em’. We can take em,” he said.
Daniel and Dampe’ charged at the hooded person emerging. As soon as he saw them, the person took out a dagger and readied himself. Dampe’ used his shovel to block his swings while Daniel picked up a stick and started beating him with it.
Dampe’ did well to keep up with the man, but Daniel knew he would others would soon hear and come to their comrades aid. He looked up and saw the door closing! Daniel was behind the hooded person and grabbed for the collar around his neck.
He pulled the man back from Dampe’ and knocked the dagger out of his hand. It skidded onto the floor. Quickly, Dampe’ swung his shovel over his head and knocked him out. He drew a little blood on his temple. It stained the hood.
Daniel wanted to grab the dagger so he’d be armed with something, but the door was almost shut. Dampe’ took Daniel’s hand and led him into the temple just before stone door closed behind them. “We should’ve taken his cloak for disguise,” said Daniel, catching his breath.
“Well then you’d still be out there,” Dampe’ said disgustingly.
They walked forward through the short hallway. When they reached to where they needed to turn, there was a large gap between them. Across was the purple face like the ones Daniel remembered seeing in the well. He didn’t need his lens to know it wasn’t a real wall. How else would people get in?
“How do we get across?” asked Daniel.
Dampe’ looked as confused as he did. “Beats me,” he said.
Daniel looked around. He noticed a chain hanging from the ceiling. It dangled there over the center of the abyss. “If we can jump and reach that chain, maybe we can swing over to the other side.”
“It just might work.”
Daniel went as far back as he could, then he dashed forward and jumped from the ledge and grabbed the chain. He swung forward once, then back once. Then as he approached the other side, he let go and landed perfectly on the other side.
“Ain’t you the brave one?” asked Dampe’ with a laugh. “If yer brother is as smart as you, I don’ think he’d be in much trouble.”
“Alright, your turn.”
Dampe’ told Daniel to duck. When he did, he tossed the shovel on the other side. With his hands free, he walked back as Daniel did, and ran over the edge. He grasped the chain and he began to swing. As he was making his way to the ledge, the chain snapped.
Without thinking, Daniel grabbed it barely while in midair. Dampe’ hit the wall with a thud as Daniel was on his stomach. Half of his body was over the edge holding Dampe’s lifeline.
“Good catch, kid,” said Dampe’, not even seeming concerned.
“You’re…very heavy,” Daniel struggled to say. Daniel got to his feet with the chain in his hands. He stepped back slowly as he pulled the chain with all of his strength. After a few paces, Dampe’s head emerged from over the ledge. When Dampe’ pulled himself up, Daniel fell on his back, exhausted.
“Yer one strong little guy,” Dampe’s said, helping Daniel up. “Now lets go get yer brother.”
Both went through the false wall and found themselves in a room with a stone crow statue surround by blue-flamed skull torches. Across a black abyss was a lizard head. It was eerie. “If yer brother was just taken here, he wouldn’t be over there just yet,” said Dampe’. But knowing him, he’s probably over there right now.” Dampe’ couldn’t help but chuckle.
“What should we do then?” asked Daniel. “Go over there or go over there,” Daniel pointed towards a hallway that was on their side of the pit. There was a faint sound coming from that direction.
“I hear it too,” said Dampe’.
“Maybe it’s James!” Daniel said excitedly, running towards the door. He and Dampe’ went through, following the sound. It came louder to their right. Finally they came up to the door where it was coming from. Someone was kicking on the other side.
Almost certain it was James, Daniel reached for the knob. It was locked. “Stand back, kid,” said Dampe’. Daniel did so. Dampe’ took his shovel down on the knob and broke it off. It bounced on the floor.
“Now who’s the smart one?” said Daniel jokingly as he opened the door. He was greeted with a two-footed kick to his stomach. He flew back against the wall. Dampe’ knocked easily with his shovel. He didn’t kill him or draw blood, but he was out cold.
“Just as I thought,” said Dampe’. “This isn’t yer brother. He’s probably on the other side.” Daniel clutched his stomach and staggered over to the door. “Look at his boots.”
“What’s that under them?” Daniel asked.
“Don’ know. But maybe they’ll be of use in ‘ere.”
Daniel slipped them off the man and put them on. When he stood, he slipped as if he were on ice. “Just how are slippery boots of any use?” He kicked them off in anger. Looking around, he took the rope off of the man’s wrists. “Let’s go.”
As they walked through the hallway, Daniel looked at the rope. It was certainly long for just binding someone. “Maybe we can use this to get across,” said Daniel. “It looks long enough to be able to reach over.”
“What are you gonna use to keep it from fallin’?” asked Dampe’.
“Hmm…your shovel might work. If I tie one end to it, maybe we can find a hook or something on the other side and throw it over there. When they found themselves in the same room as before, Daniel had already tied the rope to the shovel.
What they weren’t expecting was a group of operators holding the body of the one they fought before to be in their path. They were at the entrance, dumbstruck that the intruders were right in front of them, plain as day. Dampe’ ran to the edge of the black pit and chucked the shovel with the rope to the other side.
It was a miracle that the shovel was on two prongs with the rope going in between. “Run kid!” yelled Dampe’, handing Daniel the rope. “I’ll take care of ‘em here.” Dampe’ pushed Daniel off of the edge. The long rope swung him over. He heard Dampe’ fighting the operators. He used all of his strength to climb up.
As Daniel was climbing up, Dampe’ prevented the others from going over there. He pushed all of them back near the statue. One of the men yelled, “Stop him!”
One of the men got to his feet and pushed a square slab of stone near the crow statue. He managed to get it to budge. The rest of the men tried to stop him all at once. Dampe’ used this chance to get back. He glanced back at Daniel who was already at the top. When the slab was moved to face another torch, the ground beneath them opened up, plunging all of them down into a bottomless pit.
Then a gate came down behind Daniel. He made it! He looked back behind him and saw Dampe’ on the other side of the pit. He yelled to him. “Are you okay?” he aked.
“I’m alright, kid,” he yelled back. “You go and find yer brother! I’ll head back to the village!”
Daniel nodded. He picked up the shovel and dashed down the long corridor. He was alone now.
Chapter 3 by ZeldaFreak701
Deep inside, the bells rang.
James’ thoughts were preoccupied despite the dark atmosphere around him. Like outside the temple, it was slightly more difficult to breathe in such a place. The cloak he wore was far too big for him. It hung on his body. He had to lift it around his hips to keep him from tripping over it.
After heading through the stone corridor, he was greeted with a junction of three possible doors he could go through. He heard screaming coming from the door on his left. He wasn’t going in there. He tried the door to his right. It was locked. At the end of the corridor, he could hear a commotion.
He swung his head around quickly and decided to go through the door that was in front of him when he entered. Thankfully, there was no one on the other side. It was a long hallway. He lifted the cloak and pressed onward with caution. He stepped in the gray stone corridor.
He hadn’t seen many operators for a while so he knew they were bound to show up somewhere. As he made his way down the winding corridor, he wasn’t disappointed. He came up to a ledge that suddenly led down to about eight feet below him. There was a group of three operators holding another naked prisoner. He was bound and he had a tear-streaked face. He had clearly been begging for mercy.
A guillotine blade was swinging up and down in the air. The man was forced to get on his knees. It was then James noticed that he had strange markings on his back. They were blood. It was an odd design like the ones he had seen in the well. It was a large triangle with three smaller triangles encircling it around the top. It liked the paw of an animal. It was the same insignia that was on his cloak. Was that what they did to prisoners?
He watched the whole thing from the ledge. He got on his stomach and looked over. He didn’t want them to see him. It didn’t seem they were paying attention to much else. He slowly placed his hands on the end. Then he slowly brought his head forward so that he could see beyond the ledge.
One of the operators had a scroll while the other two held each of the man’s arms. Despite the man’s pleas, the operator read the scroll indifferently and kept the same, eerie calm voice throughout the whole thing. From James could gather, the man’s chargers were conspiracy of treason, possible leaking of diplomatic procedures, and suspicion of theft. James didn’t understand what most of those meant, but what he could get was that none of them said that his “crimes” were definite! He wasn’t proven to have done anything wrong!
But James couldn’t just leap up and say it. After his chargers were read, the man, crying and begging, was placed under the guillotine. It seemed like forever for it to come down, but when it did, James jerked his head away and tightly shut his eyes. The man’s screaming ceased and all James could hear was the thumping noise after it had fallen. The sound of the blade cutting through flesh; it sounded like slicing an orange. He’d never think of eating fruit the same way again.
Slowly he opened his eyes and turned his head back forward, not looking down. He could see the guillotine’s blade lifted up again. It was covered in blood. James suppressed the bile he could feel coming up his throat.
“Hey! Operator!” called one of them from below. James immediately regained his composure and stood up. Luckily, no one looking up at him can tell how much shorter than him he was.
“Yes?” James said, forcibly making his voice deeper. James knew this was it. He would be discovered. His heart was racing and it seemed like forever for the operator to answer him.
“We’re done here. You can pass through.”
To James’ enormous relief, he let out a long sigh. He eased his way off the ledge and fell the eight feet down below him. “Thank you.” He gave the slightest nod. One of the operators held the chain, keeping the blade from falling. James kept his head forward, obviously trying to keep his gaze from the headless body to his left.
There was another blade in front of him. It was also coming up and down. He gave an uneasy look back at the other three. They were all too busy getting the body. He turned his head forward. When the blade was in the air again, he dashed forward and was on the other side before it fell again. He slid a little, but that was because of the boots he’d used to get across.
He ran off from the others lest he be noticed that he wasn’t near tall enough to be an operator. There was only one more corner he went around. He finally came up to an enormous room. He was on beige bricks that formed square pillars. Under his feet lie another abyss, he assumed.
Head of him was another guillotine. Everything in this temple seemed to be made for death or torture. At least the Well had a designated room for such deeds. But in this place, even the hallway could serve as someone’s final resting place. The lingering sound of that final slice of the man’s head echoed through his mind.
Walking over to the next pillar was an easy task with the boots. It was like walking on a floor. He easily went under the blade with the aid of the hover boots. He was up to a large square floor against the wall. To his left, there was a platform far away. He wondered how anyone could reach that. He supposed that, like the walls in the well, there were invisible floors in here too, but he didn’t dare test out that theory.
To his right, there was a large square platform suspended by four chains. It was rising up and down in a rhythmic motion. Once it was all the way up, it would drop down. It looked safe enough. James waited until it was all the way down before he ran off the ledge. The boots suspended him long enough for him to land safely on the platform as it was coming up.
James didn’t know how he managed to summon up all of that courage, but with his disguise, he seemed to be more at ease. He waited for the platform to be as close to the other ledge as possible before he jumped over. He was able to land just right on the other side. He was about to approach the hall far in front of him. But he saw shadows of more operators coming through.
He looked behind him and noticed that the platform would not get to him in time for him to go unnoticed. So he looked to his immediate left and saw a small path leading up to another place. But it was in vain.
“Operator!” a voice called behind him. James turned around. “Where is your lens?” Again, James was befuddled at why they didn’t inquire about his height. Not one of the seven operators that stood there. “Do you not know where you’re going?”
James, again, made his voice deeper. “I’m going to the room…” he said, not knowing what to do.
“Which room?” asked the man. “The torture room? The burning room? The decapitating room? The Vessel? The-”
“The Vessel!” he blurted out, not wanting to hear the others.
“Alright. Then you’re going the right way. What is your business there?”
“They…uh…sent for me.”
“Ah, I see. They probably wanted you to deliver something to the entrance. Don’t forget to use the whistle. Did you lose your Lens of Truth?”
James had no idea what he was talking about, but decided to play along. He seemed to be doing a good job so far. “I did.”
“Anno, give him yours,” said the man. Another operator handed him his lens without hesitation. This action led James to believe he was a high ranking operator, or at least very intimidating. He handed the lens to James. He bowed in gratitude and walked onward.
He looked behind him and saw the operators making their way onto the platform. He wasn’t able to see any of their faces. But their voices, although well meaning, were cold from what he came to understand.
He looked at the odd lens. It was purple and had that same red insignia as he saw on the naked man not too long ago. It looked like an ordinary lens and he wondered why it was given to him. He flipped it over. Still nothing out of the ordinary. He took another glance back at the operators that were now out of sight.
He looked back at the lens. He put it up to his eye, unsure of why it was so special. Instantly, he saw floating platforms behind another guillotine. Shocked, he almost threw it away from him. But he did, fearing it would fall down the abyss and he wouldn’t be able to get it back. He eased the lens back up to his eye again.
Really all he needed was a place to rest and regain his complete composure. There was a door on the other side of the abyss. He was going to make his way there. Hopefully, there wasn’t another torture session going on the other side of that door.
With more anxiety, he made it under the guillotine. He didn’t fully believe that the platform was there, but he had been fooled before. He had already guessed that there were invisible floors in this temple, but never thought he’d be able to see them. He shut his eyes tight and fell onto the platform. He slid a bit, but he remained on something solid.
He was on all four and he looked down. He wasn’t using the lens so all he could see was deep into the abyss. James was scared beyond belief when his eyes saw no ground to stand upon. With shaking knees, he stood up straight. He seemed out of breath, but not from fear.
He breathed heavily and looked at the lens. Did it require energy to use? That was a small price to pay for being able to see in this dreaded temple. He looked before him and saw two creature-like statures holding a chain. He used his lens again and saw another platform moving along the chain. Making it quick, before he ran out of energy, he walked to it with the help of the hover boots. Once on there, he immediately took the lens away.
Just then, he heard a scream. He looked up on a higher ledge; the very one he walked on when he first entered the place and saw another naked man with the bloody mark on his back like the one he’d seen before. He was also begging for mercy. He was louder than the last. James didn’t even hear his grounds for punishment.
Only this time, he didn’t have time to turn his head away. They didn’t take off his head but his legs. The blade came crashing down and James, at once, saw the man’s legs fall and small spots of blood hit his face; his mouth was agape. The man’s cries filled the enormous room.
The operators took what was left of his body and kicked it down into the abyss as his screams still echoed in the room. He was dropped off on the side opposite of James, but he could still hear him. His voice gradually faded. James would have preferred to at least hear a thud. At least then he’d know his suffering would be over. But he knew that wouldn’t happen. He had to hear his echoing screams all the way down…until he was too far away to be heard…
Daniel was feeling the pressures of the temple now. Without Dampe’ there to guide him, he felt so lost. He clutched the shovel tight. Even though he didn’t know much more than Daniel, he always seemed to know what he was doing. And he seemed to care much about Daniel and his brother even though he didn’t show it that much. He’d imagined he took quite a beating back there.
But he couldn’t be concerned about that now. He was in a long stone corridor. Fear was taking him, just like in the well, but he had to press onward. James was somewhere in this temple, he was sure. He was most likely alone now. The guard that Dampe’ and him took out wasn’t wearing a cloak like the others, so he assumed James must’ve taken it as a disguise.
He came up to an opening with three door options. He didn’t hear anything coming from beyond either of the doors, so he went to the one on his left. He didn’t have any trouble getting in, but wished he hadn’t when he saw what was on the other side. It was a slowly spinning statue in the center of the room with large protruding blades that nearly reached the walls. The statues resembled the cloaked operators of the place.
Among the gray stone floor lay blocks of wood with black metal bands wrapped around the ends and in the middle. They were the same blocks used to make the “X” in the Well. Something in the air didn’t smell right. Aversely, he turned his head in the direction of the smell. A dead body, cut in half at the torso, lay on the floor!
It was face down. It was contorted as if the person was pushed. But unlike the other victims, this one wasn’t naked. He had on a uniform that resembled the one he saw the guard wear at Hyrule Castle. Only this one had far much less. He had on just the under garments but not the helmet, the boots, or even the breastplates.
Daniel looked closely. It was as if the man was in the middle of torture (he had the blood streaks on his back) and he managed to escape, only to be balked in his path. He was just barely in the range of the statue. By his foot was a wooden block. He had tripped. The whole thing reminded him of his ordeal in the Well. The bloody streaks on the man’s back formed the same shape that was on the Lens of Truth. He also recognized the markings from the first man he saw in the Well.
The bastard operators didn’t even move him. They probably laughed at his foolish attempt. Daniel clutched the shovel even harder. He bared his teeth. He took in a sigh. He forced himself to turn away. There wasn’t anything for him to find in there. He went for the door and shut it behind him. He walked forward. His Lens of Truth was dangling on his belt.
He then set his sights on the next door. It was a long winding hallway. He stopped cold in his tracks at the sight of the guillotines. He didn’t want to believe they were really there; especially when he saw blood on the one in the front.
He swallowed hard. There wasn’t anyone about. He began to grow suspicious at the eerie quiet that followed him. He approached the ledge. He was eye level with the blade in front of him. He looked down and saw where the wall stopped. It didn’t look too far down. He easily leapt down to the bottom.
The guillotine’s blades were falling and retracting in a rhythmic motion. Although they were moving slow enough, Daniel was very hesitant to make a move. Still no one was about. He held Dampe’s shovel close to him as he waited for the blade to rise up again. Before it hit its highest point, he ran under it and made it.
It seemed simple enough. He let out the deep breath he was holding. He felt his forehead under his long, straight brown hair. He was sweating from anxiety. But he couldn’t let that slow him down. He ignored the blood that was on the blade behind him. He knew that under his feet was a fresh puddle of blood, but he didn’t dare look down to check.
He took out the Eye of truth, his Lens of Truth, and held it up to his eyes to make sure there weren’t any traps. There weren’t any. Relieved he put the lens back on his side. He couldn’t use it too much. He braced himself and ran under the next guillotine. It was surprisingly simple. After making it through that, he seemed to be feeling more confident.
Around the corner, he found himself in a vast room filled with more guillotines. He looked ahead and saw a large square platform on the other side. He made his way under the guillotines. He looked to his left and saw a door far away. He knew there were invisible platforms there, but he didn’t want to use them.
To his right, he saw a platform hanging by chains. He decided he’d go that way. After quickly making sure there were not traps or other means of getting across, he ran back as far as he could, then he jumped on the platform. He bent his knees upon his impact. Shakily, he lifted himself, up. The platform was going up and down, so he waited until it was at its highest peak before he jumped to the other side.
When he safely made it, he looked to his right. He saw more guillotines and, by using his Lens of Truth, he saw that there were more invisible platforms there. He saw an operator go in there and decided that he’d go there later.
There was a hallway in front of him. He went in there. He approached it with caution. He held the shovel close time. There didn’t seem to be any activity coming from the hallway. He went inside. He followed the corridor and came upon a group of operators. This was the largest group he’d seen. They had six uniformed men with them.
Looking at them, Daniel recognized that they weren’t the same as the Hylian he saw back at the castle. These men must’ve been from another kingdom. But, why then were they being executed? They didn’t seem harmful. They looked more like messengers.
All of them had their backs to Daniel, so they didn’t see him come in. There were two square platforms in front of him. But these weren’t for taking someone up and down. These were suspended by chains in the very center. They had spikes on the bottom. Daniel’s heart sank. He knew what they were for.
An operator took the shoulder of one of the victims. As he was pushing to his fate, the man said, “I die proudly!” Those were his last words.
Even though he wasn’t able to him get pushed, he saw his body when the platform was raised up again. His body was impaled numerous times and the spikes refused to release him. Daniel saw one of the operators take a long stick and literally just pick him off. It sickened Daniel that, even in death, they defiled those poor people. To think that they killed the one so the others could watch!
He turned and fled before they could spot him. It wasn’t until he made it back to the huge area that he realized his heart was racing. He took one step toward the rising and falling platform, but he stopped himself when he looked up and saw a few operators congregating on the high up platform. Going up there would be a bad idea, so he reluctantly made his say to the path with the guillotine. He raced past it.
He used his Lens of Truth to see the invisible platforms. Like he guessed, they were there and he landed on the invisible one floating in the air. Ahead of him, there was a visible chain held by two demon-like gargoyles. He used the lens one more time to see it moving back and forth. He jumped safely on the platform and took the Lens from his eyes.
Once he was already on the platform he didn’t need to use it to see the door he needed to jump to. He leapt to the door. He was hesitant to open it since he saw the operator go through this very door not long before. But He had a mission to find his brother and knew time was wasting away just standing there, wondering.
He was in the room. It was rather empty but large. There was a door to his left and one in front of him that seemed to be on another level. He took one step, but stopped. Someone else was in the room. The operator must’ve not heard him come in for he had his back to him. Daniel clutched the shovel close to him once again. He was surprised he kept hold of it that long. Since the operator was alone, he could probably subdue him easily.
He made three slow, quiet steps toward the operator. Suddenly, he felt a sharp pain go into his right shin. A huge cry was lumped in his throat as he restrained it from coming out. He looked down. Blood was gushing from his leg and making a puddle by his foot. With shaking hands, he put the Eye of Truth, his Lens of truth, up to his eyes and saw a heap of white spikes going in all directions. One was a good two or three inches deep into his shin.
He couldn’t hold it in anymore. “AHHH!” he yelled as loud as any animal he’s ever heard. The operator turned around. His hood covered his face. Daniel knew this was it. After all of that, he’d be captured and be forced to endure the tortures and atrocities in this place.
“D-Daniel!” yelled the operator.
Daniel’s head shot up. “J-James? James, is that you?” he asked in a quivering voice. He didn’t forget about the scorching pain surging through his body.
The operator took off his hood, revealing the face of the most beautiful person in the world to Daniel. He let go of the shovel, letting it clang on the ground. James picked up the robe so he wouldn’t trip and ran over to his brother. He put Daniel’s right shoulder on his own to help him keep his balance.
“James, I finally found you…” said Daniel in a quivering voice.
“Daniel, you’re injured,” said James. “We have to get that spike out of you.” He positioned himself next to Daniel’s ankle. He placed both hands on his leg; his left behind his shin above the wound, and his left on front below it. Daniel placed his right hand on James’ shoulder to keep balance. He winced as James eased his leg off of the spike. The blood continued to gush out as it covered his hand. Slowly, James removed the spike from his leg. The blood dripped and pooled under his foot.
When he finally got it off, James took Daniel on his shoulder again. He then used his free hand to pick up the shovel. Daniel limped over to the wall and sat down up against it. “There are spikes in here,” said James. “They have them concealed. I think they let victims run around in here and let them impale themselves one by one. I was able to use my Lens of Truth and spot them.”
“You have the Eye of Truth too?” asked Daniel. “How did you get it?”
“An operator thought I was one too and gave it to me. I told him that I lost mine. How did you get yours?”
Daniel adjusted himself, wincing in the process. “Dampe’ and I went back into the Well. We-”
“You went back there? How could you? Why did you even come after me?”
“I couldn’t leave you like that. You did it for me…”
James sighed. “I did it for you risking my life. I don’t care if I live or die; I just wanted to make sure you were okay.”
“Well, my thoughts exactly for you. And now I’ve found you.” Daniel hugged James closely. He was, after all, all he had in the world. “I’m so glad I found you.”
James slowly withdrew. “We have to get out of here. I’ve spent this whole time trying to find a way out. The entrance was occupied with some sort of fight, so I went deeper into the temple.”
“How were you able to make it across the abyss?”
James smiled. He stood up and lifted his cloak, revealing those strange boots again. “These boots allow you to walk on air for a short period of time. I was able to simply walk across.”
Daniel was shocked. He had an opportunity to have those boots, but thought them to be useless. He pushed the thought aside. Right now, they had to concentrate on getting out. Daniel remembered something else. He smiled. “Were you the one that tied up that guard near the entrance?”
James chucked as he used some cloth from the robe to dress up Daniel’s wound. “Yes I did.”
“Your victim kicked me in the stomach.”
James laughed. “I’d imagine he was pretty mad.” James finished up. “Can you stand?”
James assisted Daniel onto his feet. He was noticeably in pain, but he managed to stand. James had Daniel on his shoulder again. “Try not to walk on it; it’ll make it bleed more.” Daniel nodded in understanding. The blood loss he experienced was making him dizzy.
“Where do we go now?” asked Daniel.
James looked around. “Let’s try that door,” he pointed to the one on the left. Even with Daniel’s weight on him, he was able to walk at a normal pace. He carried the shovel in his free hand. He opened the steel door easily. There wasn’t anyone inside. But before them was an enormous skull with blue flame coming out of the top.
It frightened the two, but they regained their composure quickly lest some operators come out of the shadow and discover them. There were two stairways on either side of the skull leading up behind it. James recalled what the other operator said. This was the burning room, he was sure of it.
Going up the stairs proved to be more difficult than walking on a flat surface. He was exhausted by the time they got to the top. He put Daniel’s body up against the wall. It was like he was saving him all over again. Daniel shook his head to shake the dazed cloud over his sight.
“How’re we going to get out of here?” asked Daniel. He was breathing heavily. He too saw that it was somehow a little harder to breathe in such an atmosphere.
James thought a moment. “No doubt they already know we’re in here,” he said. “Going out the way we came in is out of the question. There has to be another way.” He looked back at James, wearing an uneasy expression.
Daniel had never seen him wear one before. James was always sure of himself. He hated to think that the one with the brilliant ideas had finally met his match. “You’ve wandered around here haven’t you? There must be something you know.”
James thought harder. “Well…it may sound silly, but one of the operators mentioned a vessel. I don’t know what he meant; it could’ve been something else. He also said something about a whistle. I guess its something that activates it.”
“Then we need to find it and hurry.” Daniel used the shovel to help himself onto his feet.
“Hey! Don’t stand on your injured leg, it’ll bleed again!” said James. He looked down at Daniel’s shin. The piece of robe he used to dress the wound was already soaked in blood.
“It’s fine. I think it’s stopped bleeding.”
“It doesn’t matter. You must rest.”
“And do what? Stay here and let them corner us so we can’t escape? We’ve made it this far, we have to keep going.”
James reluctantly nodded. He put Daniel on his shoulder again. He took the shovel in his free hand and walked down the steps. When they were back in the spike room, Daniel used the Eye of Truth. There were only a few heaps of spikes in there.
James knew he didn’t want to go back into the large room he came from to get to this room. He looked to his left and saw the door that seemed to be on another level. There was an old ladder there. “Daniel, I don’t think it can support us both at the same time,” he said.
Daniel swallowed hard. “It’ll be fine. We’ll just go one at a time,” he said.
“Will you be able to? Maybe we can find another way out…”
“No, I’ll be fine.” He pushed himself off James’ shoulder. He went up to the ladder and put the shovel down. He clutched the first rung and used his good leg to go up. He never put weight on his bad leg, so he had to dangle on his two hands before going up another rung. He finally made it to the top.
James took off his robe. He wouldn’t be able to climb in it. He left it there and took the shovel in his hands. He quickly went up the ladder. But on the second to last rung at the top, it broke under his weight! The ladder fell down behind him as he held onto the ledge. It was a good thing Daniel had gone first. He was able to pull him up with ease.
They went through the door and found themselves in another one of those blue corridors. Turning the corner, they saw two moving spikes on the ground. They were easily avoided but the two wanted to know why it was so easy. A large wall of wind hit them dead on. It almost blew them back onto the spikes. James saw Daniel start to fall back, but he yanked him forward so they were on their stomachs. He used his hand to put Daniel’s head down along with his own. The wind subsided and they were unmoved.
James lifted his head up and helped Daniel up as well. He hopped on his good leg and leaned on his brother for support. The dashed around the corner to find another fan at the end, but there weren’t any spikes. Once a few steps into the empty hallway, James brought Daniel down on the ground so they could dodge the wind. Once it stopped they got up again and took a few more steps.
A large spider fell down upon them. Daniel was able to move his head in time, but James was hit in the face with one of its legs. Its legs were like knives. It made a small cute on his cheek. It was hair-thin but it stung badly. He put his hand up to it. Daniel clutched the shovel and threw it right at its mouth. It went right through it and disappeared.
Another wind blew and the boys easily dodged it. Around the corner, there was a small pit in front of them along with another fan on the other side. Daniel and James held on to the corner closely so the fan on the other side wouldn’t blow them away. James bit his lip. How were they going to cross this? There weren’t any chains for them to swing on like they did the last time.
He looked down and saw that he was still wearing the hover boots. It was a risk but they were already this far. He told Daniel to get on his back and hold on tight. He did so and clenched the shovel around his neck. James wasn’t sure the boots would hold out the whole way across, but he didn’t dare let that onto Daniel.
He held his brother’s legs firmly and dashed across. He wasn’t sure how, but they managed to sustain them the whole way across. James’ heart was pounding loud but he caught his breath. There was another fan right in front of them. There was also a way leading down, so they both gripped the edge of the floor they were on for the next wind to blow.
They dropped down and there was a catwalk sprawled out in front of them. There were two fans on both sides on the far walls separated by bottomless pits. The fans were spaced out so there were places they could stand without getting blown off. James and Daniel readied themselves.
As soon as the closest one stopped blowing, they ran across to the gap between that one and the next one. They continued this until they were on the other side. The door there was not only locked, it was barred down. They wouldn’t budge. James pounded the adjacent wall once in frustration.
“It looks like a dead end…” Daniel said uneasily. “They’re probably after us now…”
“…No…There has to be something we overlooked…” said James. James took his Lens of Truth out and looked to his left. There was nothing. Then he looked to his right and saw an opening. “That’s our way out of here.”
Daniel was off of James’ shoulder and was leaning on the shovel for support. “Will the boots carry us that far?”
James chewed his lip. “We need some backing up…” He continued to think when he felt Daniel tap him on his shoulder. He looked up and saw James pointing to the fan on the left side. Then he saw him move his hand slowly towards the left at the false wall. Again, Daniel mounted James’ back again and waited for the wind to blow. They went forward without hesitation.
They were in a small corridor and even in there they could feel the wind hitting them. The door at the end was especially hard to open, but after some working on it, it finally opened up for them. What was on the other side of the door amazed the two boys.
There before them were large golden bells attached to an especially large ship. “This must’ve been the vessel the other operators were telling me about,” said James. Daniel got off of James’ back and leaned on the wall. He was slightly out of breath. James went down and saw that his wound had stopped bleeding but knew there was considerable loss.
“Come on, we have to get up there and get on,” said James, pulling his brother forward. There was a ladder leading up to what was probably the dock. Again, Daniel went up the ladder first. James was about to get on and saw a whistle-like object hanging on a nail by a string. That was probably the whistle the operator told him about. He yanked it off and went up the ladder. When James was halfway up, he heard the door they came in on open up. He jerked his head in that direction.
Three operators were coming in. With wide eyes, he kicked the rungs down hard so that they wouldn’t be able to follow easily. About half of it was on the floor when they came up beside them. “Let’s go!” said Daniel helping him up. They jumped on the vessel. He didn’t see the operators following.
He put the dazed Daniel down on the back of it and told him to stay calm. He looked at the whistle he held. It looked like a rusted bronze. He put it to his lips but paused when he saw three yellow triangles painted on the wood. Where did he see that before? He knew he saw it somewhere.
Suddenly, it hit him. In the graveyard was where he saw it. It was in the place where they honored the Royal Family. The tombstone before him was that of the Royal Composers. Maybe he had to play it on there. He walked over to it and blew into the whistle. Out of it came a beautiful tune. The bells rang and the vessel began to shake as it rose. It seemed to be going forward.
“Daniel, take the rudder and steer it upward!” called James. Daniel nodded and took the rudder. They were heading upward now. He heard a thud coming from the side and looked over. He saw the operators jumping up on the vessel!
“James!” Daniel called as he tossed the shovel up to him. James took hold of it and knocked one off of the side, plunging him to his death. But two others still got on. He even saw a few running on the walls up to them. He wasn’t sure on the exact number, but James was sure there were at least 8.
The vessel continued to rise up. James fought them up as best as he could. He did his best to make sure that they didn’t see Daniel. James did a large swing to two of the three’s heads. Both of them fell but the third one had a weapon of his own. It was a large sword and was about to have it come crashing down on his head but was suddenly knocked down by Daniel. He tackled him!
The force made him fall down as well. But now that Daniel wasn’t at the rudder anymore, the vessel began to tilt. The back side was leading it up while the front was pointing down. One of the operators toward the back fell forward and landed on the beak of the bird that sat at the front. He held on closely for dear life.
Daniel clawed his way up to the rudder again and was able to stabilize it. This time it was the front that was leading it up slightly. James took the shovel and knocked him off easily. He was at the very front but stared wide at the wall that was coming closer. He turned to Daniel and sat beside him and covered his head with his arms and hands.
“This is going to be loud!” said James.
He was right. The front end of the ship crashed into the wall and scraped up against it. Debris and wood pieces were going everywhere but the vessel still continued upward. He didn’t see the following operators, but he imagined they were trying to get them on all sides. He looked up and saw something coming into view. It seemed to be some sort of bridge-like object that stopped in the middle of whatever it was for to help you cross. Were they in that main room again?
When they were almost at the top, James was sure of it. He took Daniel’s hand and they both jumped off just before the vessel collapsed entirely. Daniel leaned on James for support as they both just stood there. They both laughed slightly when they saw they crashed the whole thing.
When the dust cleared, they could see the hallway across the abyss. There were some operators following them! They knew where they were going! James and Daniel ran toward the entrance. To cross the last pit, again James put Daniel on his back and crossed. They were almost there!
The sound of the operators was approaching. This time he was sure they brought weapons. Daniel got off James and limped beside him. They could see the door ahead of them opening! Suddenly, Daniel could feel the support gone from under him. He went ahead a few more steps before he looked back and saw that James had been shot in his leg by an arrow!
The operators were right behind James now. He saw them swarm around him. “NO!” Daniel screamed as he ran back to him. As soon as he stepped on his bad leg, he felt his wound open up again. He could feel the hot blood gush down his shin and onto his foot, but he didn’t care. All he knew was that not all of the blood on the floor was his.
He gripped the shovel and started swinging wildly. He was able to get a good number of them, but he knew he couldn’t take them all. He grabbed James’ arm and started to drag him out. He was finally out and he slammed the door slammed down behind him. He picked up the shovel and wedged it in the door. It wouldn’t hold them off for long, but it would buy them some time. He dragged James’ body farther away from the door.
He propped him up on the pedestal in the center. “Wake up, James! Please! Wake up!” said Daniel as he frantically shook his brother. He was getting no response. He shook him harder. He saw two streaks of blood running down his face from the top of his head. He made James lean forward on Daniel so that he could see he back. They had got him with that unholy mark.
He slowly put him back. Then he put his limp body on his shoulder and ran up the stairs and out of the awful place. They found themselves in the graveyard again. It may have been raining, but to Daniel, it was the most beautiful place he’d ever seen. He looked over the gate and saw Dampe’ tending to the graves. He hopped over the fence and down the small cliff with James still on his shoulder.
“Dampe’! Help me!” called Daniel as he ran toward Dampe’.
“You made it out? Yer one tough little guy,” said Dampe’.
“Dampe’, its James! He’s hurt, you have to help him!”
“Les take a look.” Daniel placed James, now unconscious, against the small shack on the ground. Dampe’ took one look at him and said, “I’m sorry kid…yer brother’s gone…”
“What? No! You’re lying!” Daniel pushed Dampe’ aside and began to shake his brother’s shoulders frantically. “James, you can’t die! You just can’t! Please! Open your eyes!”
James did not move.
Daniel felt a hand on his shoulder. “I’m sorry, kid,” said Dampe’. “Yer brother’s gone.”
Daniel’s body quivered. “So…all of that for nothing…”
Dampe’ made Daniel face him. He saw that Dampe’s face was horribly disfigured and scarred. Those operators must’ve done a lot worse than he thought to him. “This wasn’t fer nothin’ at all. You take your brother and to all the way up the stream. Place ‘em in the water and the current’ll carry him up to the castle. They’ll recognize these markings. When they see it’s a child, they’ll have to shut that place down.”
Daniel still shook. “What about me then? Where will I go?”
“Far away, kid. Jus’ keep runnin’. Go to the forest. They won’t look fer you there.”
Daniel looked up and smiled at him. “You’re a good person, Dampe’…” Before he left, Dampe’ dressed Daniel’s wound. He still limped when he walked, but he could still move. The operators were going to be too busy repairing that vessel to come after them now.
It was nightfall by the time Daniel made his way out of the village. There was no moon and the sound of crickets was loud in the air. It was far from silent, but Daniel did what he was told. He went to the end of the stream. Before he placed him in the water, he set him down first to say a few last words. The cricket noise was still loud.
“You know…I always wondered what our purpose in this world was…” Daniel said in a shaky voice. There were long pauses in between his phrases. “Even growing up I never thought we’d do anything for this world….like no one would know when we were gone.” His voice was cracking. “But we always had eachother…right?” He made a nervous smile. He looked down at James’ body. He looked so damn peaceful. Like he was asleep.
“But we did do something good for this world, James…” He continued. “We put an end to something that needed to be stopped…Your death…is the proof that we lived…You are the evidence of our lives…and I love you, James…I love you so much…” The tears were spilling down Daniel’s face now. “You’ll always be…my brother…and even in death…I will always love you…”
He picked him up and gently placed him in the stream. “Goodbye, James…” He watched until his body drift away from him and into the castle. He wiped the tears from his face and ran. He ran as fast as he could across the fields. His future was ahead of him and the determination of carrying on for his brother was coursing through him.
It took two years for the King to finally shut down the temple for good. The operators were banished from the kingdom and were never seen or heard from again. The vessel that resided in the temple was rebuilt but was never used again.
James, after he was discovered by the water source guard, was buried in the graveyard at Kakariko Village. He was honored for dying nobly in the Shadow Temple.
His brother, Daniel, was said to have survived and lived in the forest for many years until he set out to help the kingdom in any way he could. It was in disguise and in secret of course, but he helped anyone who needed. His true fate is unknown.
Thus concludes the story of James and Daniel.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.