A World of my Own~ Book 1- My Beginning by Underdog Ash
Summary: Ashley Brandt is a twelve year old girl who is thrown into the dimension of Ninten. Under the ruling of Princess Toadstool of the Mushroom Kingdom, Ashley is asked to help a child named Link in the kingdom of Hyrule. Ash is thrown into a whole new world and must learn to fight evil with the Blade of Evil's Bane, while juggling friendships, her mental disorder, and saving those in distress. Join Ash in this first person point of view fanfiction of the not-so-much novelization of The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time  *R/R please
Categories: Fan Fiction Characters: Darunia, Ganondorf Dragmire, Impa, Link, Link (OoT & MM), Malon, Nabooru, Princess Zelda, Rauru, Ruto, Saria, Zelda
Genres: None
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: A World of My Own
Chapters: 38 Completed: Yes Word count: 178038 Read: 92846 Published: Apr 05, 2010 Updated: Aug 15, 2011

1. Chapter 1- Starting Point by Underdog Ash

2. Chapter 2- Fairy Boy by Underdog Ash

3. Chapter 3- Gettin' Inside the Great Deku Tree by Underdog Ash

4. Chapter 4- Castle Town by Underdog Ash

5. Chapter 5-The Princess of Destiny by Underdog Ash

6. Chapter 6- Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? by Underdog Ash

7. Chapter 7- Horse Play by Underdog Ash

8. Chapter 8- The Gorons by Underdog Ash

9. Chapter 9- Saria's Song by Underdog Ash

10. Chapter 10- Gerudo Valley by Underdog Ash

11. Chapter 11- The Great Boob Fairy by Underdog Ash

12. Chapter 12- Flooding the Domain by Underdog Ash

13. Chapter 13- The Temple of Time by Underdog Ash

14. Chapter 14- All Grown Up by Underdog Ash

15. Chapter 15- The Kingdom of the Damned by Underdog Ash

16. Chapter 16- Finding My Way in the Lost Woods by Underdog Ash

17. Chapter 17- Forest Wars by Underdog Ash

18. Chapter 18- Who We Really Are by Underdog Ash

19. Chapter 19- A Day at the Races by Underdog Ash

20. Chapter 20- Great Ball of Fire by Underdog Ash

21. Chapter 21- Seven Years of Change by Underdog Ash

22. Chapter 22- The Weakest Link and I by Underdog Ash

23. Chapter 23- Heart Pieces by Underdog Ash

24. Chapter 24- Knights of Hyrule by Underdog Ash

25. Chapter 25- Winter Wonderland by Underdog Ash

26. Chapter 26- Thawing the Domain by Underdog Ash

27. Chapter 27- The Darkness Within by Underdog Ash

28. Chapter 28- Scary Stories by Underdog Ash

29. Chapter 29- The Way of the Ling-Sheng Su by Underdog Ash

30. Chapter 30- Gerudo Desert by Underdog Ash

31. Chapter 31- Gettin' Down with my Bad Self by Underdog Ash

32. Chapter 32- The Evil King's Mommies by Underdog Ash

33. Chapter 33- The Hylian Rebellion by Underdog Ash

34. Chapter 34- Taking Back Hyrule by Underdog Ash

35. Chapter 35- Dancing in the Rain by Underdog Ash

36. Chapter 36- Moment of Truth by Underdog Ash

37. Chapter 37- Lord Ganon by Underdog Ash

38. Chapter 38- My Departure by Underdog Ash

Chapter 1- Starting Point by Underdog Ash
Chapter 1
Starting Point

I find it funny where I can end up sometimes. In second grade, I ended up face to face with the biggest bully, Hugo. He was in fifth grade and practically had a moustache. There was even a rumor that he had two kids already with some girl up at my city’s high school. Hugo beat the crap out of me and why? Because I decided to play The Hero and stand up for my friend.
Once at the zoo, I tried to save a kid’s balloon and ended up in the monkey pit because I broke through the net. I got tons of poo thrown at my face and a broken wrist from the fall. Then there was that one time I found a deer that actually let me pet it and I got shot in the leg by an arrow from my father’s crossbow.
I have always ended up in the most bizarre, painful situations, whether by pain it was emotional or physical. However, this story I am about to tell you, reader, puts me in a situation that I never thought I would be in.
And it all starts out with a man with a big nose, a moustache, overalls, and a funny red hat…

I was on this marble floor. Don’t ask me how I got there, but all I could remember was my name. It was Ashley, but I liked to be called Ash. Why? It was shorter, easier to write, and since every friggin’ girl in elementary school was named Ashley, I had to find an alternative to my name.
I stood up slowly. I wasn’t hurt or anything, but I was entirely confused. I looked around for a second and then saw this man with a clipboard. He was a short, chubby man. He had a big, bushy moustache and these huge blue eyes. This hat he had on his head was red and had a big M in the middle. I recognized him, but I was so disoriented that I couldn’t recall who he was.
“Excuse me, sir,” I said.
“Ah, yes, you’re Ashley, Ashley Brandt, right?” he asked. He had this thick accent. I knew I had heard it before, but where?
“Um, yeah, actually I am,” I said. “My head hurts so much, though.”
“That’s expected,” the man said. “Switching dimensions and all is quite a doozy.”
“Switching dimensions?” I said, trailing off into thought.
“Why yes. You’re from an entirely different place, ya know.”
I suddenly remembered my home in Ohio and my family and, well, everything. However, my reader, I didn’t know quite yet, but that stuff would no longer matter where I was at.
“Where am I now?”
“Well, you’re technically in the Mushroom kingdom, but you won’t be here for long.”
“Wait, where!” I shouted.
“The Mushroom kingdom,” this guy repeated. “I thought you would’ve at least recognized me enough to guess where you were.”
“Who are you,” I asked, backing up slowly, eventually finding myself against a stone walls.
“I’m Mario, from the Super Mario Brothers video game you might’ve played,” he said.
“Mario,” I said softly, but added assertively, “Why am I here?”
“Well, we’re short of heroes here in what is called the Ninten Dimension. You’re dimension, called the Second Dimension, had some great candidates and, due to your name being drawn out of my hat, you were the chosen hero. Congrats!”
“Most heroes that were the “Chosen ones” because they were born that way, but I’m chosen one just because my stupid name was in a hat with a bunch of other stupid people?” I said. “What the hell is wrong with you?”
“Hey, don’t blame me, Ash,” Mario said, pointing at me with a pencil. “All the candidates from your dimension were chosen by a special board of individuals.”
“But I’m only twelve, and I definitely didn’t sign up for something like this!” I thundered.
“Trust me, there were others much younger than you whose names were in my hat. Some of those names were one year old babies. You should be thankful.”
“I should be thankful that I’ll get myself killed?”
“Momma mia, child! You don’t even know what you were chosen to do. Maybe you were chosen to be the hero of pansies!”
“I have a feeling I wasn’t chosen for that, you son of a-”
“Please, I’ll have none of that nonsense fighting in my castle,” I gentle, but stern voice called out.
At the top of the staircase was a beautiful woman in a huge pink dress. Her blonde hair went a little below her shoulders and her blue eyes sparkled in the sunlight that seeped through an opening on the ceiling.
“Now, will you give me the pleasure to tell you my name, Ms. Ashley, or would you like to keep arguing with Mario here.”
I crossed my arms and said, “Go ahead, say what you want.”
“My name is Princess Toadstool, but you can call me Peach,” she said. “I was on the committee that chose whose names would be placed in the hat from your dimension. I, personally, is the one who nominated you.”
“But why?” I asked. “I’m young.”
“Ashley, we need a young, ambitious person to save this dimension,” Princess Peach said. “You were a perfect choice.”
“What am I suppose to do, though? What about my family and my education and my friends?”
“In your world, unfortunately, you are considered dead,” Mario said calmly. “I would advise you to forget about all of that.”
I was extremely upset and wanted to cry, but at the same time, I was happy to be gone. I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression in my past. I had trouble fitting in at school and talking to even my family. I began to feel like this would be a new beginning.
“Are you okay, Ashley?” Princess Peach asked.
“Yes,” I said. “What needs to be done?”
“Your first destination is not too far off,” Princess Peach said. “It’s in a neighboring kingdom, the kingdom of Hyrule. You will be working with a boy of the same age as you. His name is Link.”
“Interesting,” I said. “How will I get there?”
“Even though it is neighboring, Hyrule is across an ocean,” Mario said. “Our very own James McCloud of the Star Fox team is volunteering to give you a ride there in his spacecraft. They do a bunch of space fighting and what not, which is something you shouldn’t have to worry about.”
“Okay, well, where is this Link kid?” I asked.
“Unfortunately, all we know is that he is living in Kokiri Forest,” Princess Peach said. “He is being mistaken for a child of the Kokiri race. The Kokiri children never grow up and are not allowed to ever leave the forest due to a fear that they will die. This is not true, but for their safety, don’t tell them that the myth is false.”
“Understood,” I said.
Then a small voice announced, “Princess Peach, Mr. James McCloud is here upon your special request.”
“Oh yes, Toad, please let him in,” Princess Peach said.
I turned around to see two tiny men with mushroom caps on their heads. They were rather cute. Oddly enough, I noticed that the doors in Peach’s castle had two doorknobs: one for regular sized people and another one down to the little guy’s height.
The doors opened to reveal James McCloud. Surprisingly, he was a fox, but he stood up like a human and his body was shaped like a human, too, besides his hair and his muzzle. He took off his helmet and his ears flopped up. Even though he took off his helmet as a sign of respect, he didn’t remove his sunglasses.
“Good evening Princess,” James said and gave her a short bow, “long time no see.”
“Hello James,” Princess Peach said. “Thank you so much for helping us transport Ms. Ashley Brandt to Hyrule.”
“No problem,” James said, bringing his sunglasses down a bit so he could look at me. “She seems very young.”
“That was intended, James,” Peach said. “She may seem young and innocent now, but I think she will do just fine once she gets the hang of things.”
“Yes, well, I hope you’re right,” James said and he turned around. “C’mon, Ms. Brandt, we have a long flight under our tails.”
I nodded and walked over to James.
“Oh, Ashley,” Princess Peach called out and I turned around. “Have you ever had any experience with a sword before?”
“Uh, no,” I said.
“Good. Neither has Link. You two will grow together, I do suppose.”
Great, I thought and I followed James outside.
“My Arwing is in the back,” James said. “It’s a bit weird to get into at first, but I’ll help you. Do you get motion sickness?”
“Not that I know of,” I said.
“That works then, kiddo,” James said.
We reach the back of the castle and I was amazed at his Arwing. It was a fighter pilot and reminded me of something from the movie Star Wars, a huge hit back at home. The Arwing had a symbol on it that looked like a fox with a wing.
“Beautiful, isn’t she?” he said.
“Yeah,” I said.
“When I retire from the Star Fox team, I am going to give it to my son, Fox,” James said. “You’d like him. He’s an ambitious, confident young pup, but I hope he chooses a different career path than mine. My life is terribly dangerous.”
“I’m sorry,” I said. “Hopefully, you and I can make things better here.”
James laughed a bit and then pulled out a small remote. He pressed a button and the Arwing’s wings spread and the cock pit was revealed underneath a moving windshield.
James suddenly picked me up and sat me in the back saying, “Let’s hope so.”
I got comfortable as James started up the Arwing. The windshield came down as James pressed multiple buttons.
“I’ll make this an easy ride for you, Ashley,” James said.
“You can call me Ash, if you want to, “ I said rather quickly.
“Alright Ash. I like that.”
We started to hover in the air a bit but took off towards the sky.
“So Ash, are you nervous?” James asked.
“Well, yes, a little,” I said.
“It’s okay to be nervous. I know I was the first time I stepped into this thing. I thought I was going to die on my first day. I remember screaming my head of and just firing the lasers. There wasn’t much fighting back then, though. Everything was different. I was part of the Saturn Wings back then. It was me and my buddy Wolf O’Donnell. We were crazy pups.”
“What happened to the Saturn Wings?” I asked.
“Well, Wolf became the leader and I was his ace pilot,” James said. “But, Wolf became power hungry and killed the whole team, besides me, of course. I got into a huge fight with him in space, but it eventually became a hand to hand combat on a nearby planet. It was a scary time, I’ll tell you.”
“Wow,” I said. “What happened next?”
“Well, I barely made it back home to the planet Corneria. My wife, Vixy, wanted me to retire after that, but I was asked by the Cornerian army to take up my own group and thus I formed the Star Fox group. With me is Peppy Hare, Pigma Dengar, and this new kid named Falco Lombardi. Falco’s quite the pilot for a new guy.”
“Where’s Wolf?” I asked.
“I don’t know. Last I heard, I killed him off. Either that, or I scared the crap out of him. But, I highly doubt that. Even when we were young, Wolf was a rather solid guy.”
“So, do you know anything about this Hyrule place?” I asked. “I just wanted to get some information before I get there and all.”
“Sorry Ash, but I’ve never been there,” James said. “I usually stay up in space, but Mario called me and asked if I would take you to Hyrule because if you went by boat, it would take you at least a week to get there. I heard it’s a real nice place, though. It’s ruled by this guy named Daphnes. I would never name my kid that. The king sounds like a chick, doesn’t he?”
“Yeah,” I said and smiled a bit. I really liked this guy.
I suddenly heard a beeping noise and James pressed a button.
“James McCloud of the Star Fox team here,” James said.
“James, this is General Pepper,” said a voice from the speakers up front. “There’s been some trouble here in the Lylat System. Are you done there in the Mushroom kingdom?”
“Not yet, sir, I’m almost to Hyrule to transport Ms. Ashley Brandt, but I will be done right after that. Do you need something?”
“Well, we’ve been told of some strange activity at the planet Venom,” General Pepper said. “We’re convinced that Andross is up to no good.”
“Ah, Andross,” James said. “Well, I shall fly straight to headquarters and gather my team.”
“By any chance, James, are you bringing that Falco guy with you?” General Pepper asked.
“Yeah, why?”
“He just seems rather shady to me is all,” Pepper said. “Promise me you’ll keep your eyes open and head up with this guy.”
“Whatever you say, sir,” James said.
“Alright, Pepper out,” General Pepper said and then the speakers beeped.
“I feel awfully bad for Falco, but I don’t blame General Pepper,” James said to me. “He has a rather bad past, which might just be because of certain conditions, but I don’t know.”
“I’d give him a shot,” I said.
“I like you, kiddo,” James said. “I’ll tell you what, you save this whole Hyrule junk and then I’ll let you fly with my team a bit. You’d be a very good part to the team, ya know?”
I smiled as we began to land.
“We’re there already?” I said.
“Why yes we are,” James said.
We landed safely on a hill. Luckily, no one noticed. I jumped out of the cockpit and turned to James.
“Thanks,” I said.
“No prob,” James said, shifting his glasses down. “Don’t forget to call once all this mess is done.”
“I will,” I shouted as James prepared to leave. I watched as he soared in the sky and took off.
I turned around to face the village. It smelled of forest and I could hear a small waterfall to my left. I decided to walk down the hill and get a better look at things. I saw all of these kids dressed in ugly, green tunics.
This was going to be a nasty adventure, I could already tell.



Chapter 2- Fairy Boy by Underdog Ash

I felt awkward among the Kokiri kids as I walked around a bit and these stupid flying things kept making me sneeze. They were yellow and floated in the air whenever I stood still. It got real annoying rather quickly. I was starting to dread this mission and decided that I would definitely punch Mario the next time I saw him.
But it suddenly came to mind that I might never see him again.
This feeling suddenly became heavy on my chest and I started to panic. It was probably my anxiety doing so, but I suddenly had no idea how this was going to work, how I was going to save a whole kingdom from whatever it was I needed to save it from.
Oh God, I don’t even know who I’m suppose to be fighting with, I thought suddenly.
I collapsed and began to cry in place. Or rather, I was crying and sneezing because those damn yellow balls were going in my nose again. But that didn’t matter because I was pathetic enough. I was the chosen one who ended up failing. I’d never read a story about a kid that was a chosen hero and failed for what they were born to do.
And guess what.
When I looked up, all the Kokiris were standing in place, smiling and playing with the little flying yellow balls.
Pathetic, I thought and I just kept crying.
“My dear, why are you crying?” a deep voice asked.
I felt a hand on my shoulder and dried my eyes. That hand belonged to a very big man who was kneeling behind me. He had dark green skin and bright red hair. His skin was so green that I thought he was a zombie or something, but I was too upset to freak out. After I have a breakdown, I would become numb and lethargic, so I felt nothing.
“I’m lost,” I said like a baby.
“Humph, we are all, my dear,” he said. “What is your name?”
“Ash,” I said.
“That’s a rather weird name for a child here in Hyrule,” the man said. He lifted me up and brushed off my clothes. He reach for my face and dried any remaining tears. “You’re also dressed weird too. Are you from around here?”
“I’m from Ohio,” I said.
“Where’s Ohio?” he asked. He had this confused look on his face.
“In the U.S.A.”
“Yousa? I have never heard of such a place.”
“Forget…Yousa,” I said. “What’s your name?”
The man stood up proudly and boasted, “My name is Ganondorf Dragmire, king of the Gerudo thieves.”
“Sounds cool, I guess. Anyway, what are you doing here?”
Ganondorf messed with his gloves and said, “I had some unfinished business to attend to is all. And speaking of unfinished business, I need to get out of here really quick. It’s been nice meeting you, my dear. If you ever need anything, I’m sure I’ll be at the Hyrule castle.” He smirked at me and started to walk away.
I watched him walk, the green skinned freak. Something told me I would meet him again, but I wasn’t sure if it would be a nice meeting or a really bad one. It seemed like a nice guy, honestly, but he was very big and very hairy. My younger brother would always play video games that had big and hairy people in it and that was usually a big red flag for being some evil jerk.
As I pondered this, I suddenly got smacked in the face by some big, glowing ball. This ball thing fell to the ground. I picked it up and held it in my hand. One of those Kokiri kids were going to get it.
“Hey, let go of me,” some squeaking voice said.
I dropped that little ball. I had no idea what it was, but I knew it had just talked to me. I thought I was going crazy, which would be a proper hypothesis, seeing as I suddenly lived in a world of video games, had conversations with a fox in a fighter spaceship thing, and met Mario, with whom I almost fought with.
The ball flew up and got right in my face, saying, “Look here, you jerk, I’m a fairy and I have just as many rights as you humans do. Maybe I’m a bit bad at flying, but-”
I picked her up by one of her wings and she started to shout, “Hey, let go of me! I have a really big job to do and if I don’t find this kid, Hyrule’s fate will be at stake.”
I stopped walking and asked, “What kid, because I’m looking for one, too.”
“This lost kid named Link. He’s never had a fairy and I’ve been asked to assist him.”
“Where is he?” I asked.
“I can’t tell you, I’ll get in trouble,” the fairy cried.
“I’m suppose to assist him as well,” I said. “My name is Ash Brandt, and I’m suppose to help Link save Hyrule from, well…something.”
“Well, let go of me and I’ll show you were he is,” the fairy snapped.
I let go of it and it flied in my face, sputtering out, “Now, let’s get him. And by the way, my name is Navi.”
“Well, alright then, let’s get to Link, pronto,” I said rather harshly. I wasn’t going to play games with a flying ball of glowing fluff.
We walked to this rather big tree house that had a little drawing on it. I found it cute and wanted to look a little longer, but Navi was one step ahead of me. It already flew up into the house.
In front of me was a ladder. I never liked ladders, in fact I was extremely scared of them. I touched one of the steps and felt my palms sweating. It wasn’t climbing up the ladder that was my problem, it was getting of the ladder and onto the platform that was the huge problem. I wasn’t sure what went were or what foot to use first.
I decided I would figure that out when I got to the top of the thing. I was never good at climbing things back at home. I never climbed walls or trees solely because, once I would get to the top, I wouldn’t know how to get down. Like when I was in first grade, this girl in fourth grade in the bathroom stall beside me told me to stand on the toilet and then stand on the toilet paper dispenser. She was up there, guiding me, and I actually got up there, but I didn’t know how to get down, so I started crying until a teacher came to get me.
I couldn’t do that here, though, because I knew no one would help me down. Or, well, maybe that Ganondorf man would’ve helped, seeing as he was quite possibly one of the most decent people I had seen; shady, but still decent.
Suddenly I found myself there: the top of the ladder. I lifted my left foot slowly, but decided that wasn’t the right foot. I then tried my right foot and realized that wasn’t right, either. I held on tightly to the two planks of wood at the top. I decided to go down, so I used my left foot, but I decided that was a bad move, so I used my right foot instead. Definitely, the right foot was no the way to go.
I stared at the opening to the tree house. I had to get up there to help Link. I decided to use my left foot to get on the platform and didn’t stop, even though it didn’t feel right. The next thing I know is I tripped and my face landed on a soft, leathery surface.
“Um, excuse me,” a voice above me said. “I’m rather glad that you like my boot, but I need to use it to walk and all.”
I stood up quickly and right in front of me was this weird boy, wearing the weird green tunic and a floppy, green hat that resembled a nightcap. That fairy was floating comfortably around him. This kid had these piercing blue eyes and blonde hair under his floppy hat.
Even though I was taught to use proper manners, the only thing I could find myself to say was this: “Jesus dude, what the heck are you wearing?”
His face changed to looking angry and he snapped, “Well, you should be saying that to yourself.”
This kid was right. I was wearing blue jeans and an orange polo shirt. My black Converse shoes didn’t help, either.
“That doesn’t matter right now,” I said quickly. “Your name’s Link, right?”
“How do you know my name?” he asked, his face looking at me like he was trying to figure out if I was a good guy or a bad guy.
“Well, I was sent here by Princess Toadstool of the Mushroom kingdom to help you save this place,” I said.
“The Mushroom kingdom,” Link said. “That place all the way across the ocean?”
“Yeah, actually. I’m glad you know your geography. Anyway, my name is Ashley, but you can call me Ash if you want to. I suppose to help you do stuff, I guess.”
“Do what?” Link asked.
“Might I interject here,” said Navi. “Link and Ash, you have been called upon by the Great Deku Tree. Once we get there, he will tell you two of your fates.”
“Oh, good morning, Link,” a voice called from below.
I turned around and Link stepped to the side of me to see who it was.
“Oh, morning Saria,” Link called out.
Saria was dressed in a better looking, but still rather ugly green tunic. She had lime green hair and, even from below, I could see her sparkling blue eyes. That made me realize that about everyone I had met, besides James and Ganondorf, had blue eyes. There was probably no connection whatsoever, but I just thought that to be rather bizarre.
“Oh, Link, you finally got yourself a fairy!” Saria said gleefully. “You can now be a true Kokiri child. How about you and your friend come down here and we can chat more. Maybe we should celebrate, too!”
This girl was too peppy for me, but I needed to get down the ladder.
“Ladies first,” Link said politely.
“How, uh, sweet,” I said.
Hesitantly, I turned around and put my right foot down on the first plank below. I started to panic. I didn’t want to move my left foot, but I closed my eyes and did it anyway. I almost forgot to grab onto the wooden tip of the ladder and almost fell off of it. Fortunately, the ladder was tied to the platform, so I knew it wouldn’t fall.
I got the hang of the whole ladder thing, though, and I was able to reach the ground safely.
“Hi, my name is Saria,” Saria said to me as soon as I jumped off the ladder.
“My name’s Ash,” I said and I held out my hand. Saria just looked at it for awhile, so I slowly put my hand back to my side.
“Those clothes you’re wearing, I’ve never seen them before,” Saria said. “They must be extremely uncomfortable.”
“Yeah, they are a little,” I lied. I just wanted to get clothes that matched everyone else. I started to get nervous looking entirely different from everyone.
“Well, I’ll take you shopping for some clothes,” Saria said with a bright smile on her face. “If Link doesn’t mind, of course.”
“Ah,, well, I have to buy stuff, anyway, to see the Great Deku Tree,” Link said. “Every time I tried to see him, Mido stops me and tells me only one with a sword and shield can see the Great Deku. Thing is, he goes in there all the time and he never has a sword or shield.”
“Aw, Link, you know Mido. He’s just trying to protect our Great Deku Tree. After all, the Great Deku watches over us, so Mido just feels it’s proper to watch over the Great Deku.”
“Yeah, if you say so,” Link said and then he sighed.
I didn’t know who this Mido guy was, but it seemed to me that Link didn’t like him. I’m not one to judge and all, but I would keep on my toes if I saw Mido.
“Whoa, watch out!” we heard a voice. It was a tiny voice, but still rather loud. “Navi, Navi, I am so sorry that I’m late!”
All of a sudden, a fairy showed up. This fairy was glowing, just like Navi, but had an orange tint to it. It came straight to Navi.
“Maximus, you’re extremely late,” Navi scolded.
“Yeah, I know, but I over slept,” Maximus said.
Navi looked toward me, or at least I think she looked at me, and said, “Ash, this is your own guardian fairy, Maximus.”
“Heya,” Maximus said. “You can call me Max.”
“Nice to meet you,” I said. I had a weird feeling that Max was not going to be a good guardian fairy, but I couldn’t complain. At least I knew that this Deku tree thing was expecting me, seeing as I was sent my very own fairy.
“Wow, you are a true Kokiri too, Ash,” Saria said. “To celebrate, I’ll pull my rupees together and buy you a new tunic myself.”
“Rupees?” I said.
“They’re the Hyrulian currency,” Link stated.
“Great,” I said.
The three of us didn’t have much more to say, so Link and Saria started to walk down a path and I followed. There was a lot of water in this village and it all came from a small waterfall, the one I heard when I first got there. For some reason, none of the Kokiri kids played in the water. They must have been really mature for their age. A lot of them waved to Link and Saria and when they saw me, they still kept their huge smiles. They knew I was an outsider, but they didn’t judge me for that.
We reach a big, round house and some girl was sitting on top of it.
“Hey Saria and Link,” she shouted.
“Hi,” the two said in unison.
“What kind of kid sits on top of a roof,” I heard Max mumble.
We walked into the house which was actually the Kokiri store. It smelled rather musty, but there was a polite girl to our left that greeted us.
“Hey guys, and welcome to the Kokiri store,” the lady said. “If you’re here for items, please go to the front counter. If you’re here for apparel, let me know and I’ll show you the various tunics we have in stock.”
“We’re here for a girls’ tunic for Ashley here,” said Saria.
Link went to the front counter as the shop girl pulled out a wooden rack that had tons of clothes hanging from it.
“Ashley, would you prefer a skirt or shorts?” the shop girl asked.
“A skirt,” I said.
“Would you like that skirt in green, light green, lighter green, olive green, light olive green, dark green, forest green, dark light green, darker light green, dark lighter green, or olive dark lighter green?”
I stared at her for the longest time until I snapped back to reality and said, “Um, light olive green.”
“Good choice!” she said, enthused. “Now then, what kind of top would you like. There’s a various choice for women.”
The shop lady pulled out a bunch of tops that were on a nearby rack. There were v-neck tops and some turtle necks. But, there was one in particular that I really liked. It was a sleeveless v-neck with two straps that would go just above my elbows.
“I like this one,” I said and I took it off the rack.
“Well, if you would like, how about you go to one of our dressing rooms and try it on,” the shop girl said with a bright smile.
I took my new clothes to a dressing room in the back. It smelled of trees when I walked in, but that was only because the whole shop was made of trees and leaves. The tunic, however, was made of a really comfortable fabric. It was actually a lot more comfortable than my jeans and my polo, despite being really ugly.
But, after I put the tunic on, I started to like it. I looked really nice in the olive color. I looked in the mirror and realized it almost matched my hazel eyes and definitely went with my ashy, brown hair. But, my Converse shoes were still an issue and I was afraid I would have to get one of those floppy, green hats.
I opened the dressing room and walked out. Link was waiting for me with the shop girl, but Saria wasn’t there anymore.
“Wow,” Link said, “you look really, uh, nice.” He started blushing a bit.
“Shut up,” I snapped. I wasn’t here for a date, I just really wanted to get back to the Mushroom kingdom and call up James. Maybe, in his world, they had decent clothes even, seeing as it seemed James’ place was more technologically advanced than that Hyrule dump.
“Well, Saria left me some rupees to buy those clothes, a pair of boots, and a traditional Kokiri hat,” Link said. “I bought you a shield, just to be nice.”
The shop girl already had boots ready for me in her right hand. In her left was that stupid floppy hat.
“To be even extra nice,” Link started, “I went ahead and picked out your boots and your hat so we look similar.”
The shop girl handed me the hat and I just stared at it, saying rather harshly, “Well, Link, if I have to wear this ridiculous hat, you have to wear the same tunic I have on.”
The shop girl smiled and said, “You’re funny. But, to let you know, you bought the last style of tunic you’re wearing.”
Link had a smile on his face and nodded, then adding, “Now, Ash, put on your boots so we can find a sword.”
“Before we do that, I need to put my clothes in your house,” I said.
“Whatever you say, Ashley,” Link said and he started to walk out of the store.
Asshole, I thought.

Once I put my clothes in Link’s home, we set out to a little spot for a little lunch. We had this thing called a deku nut, which we roasted over a fire in this house where these stupid ‘Know-it-All’ brothers lived. We had a nice salad, too. The fairies didn’t eat for some reason, but I wasn’t even sure if they could eat.
We had lunch in this area called the training area. There was some kid punching air in the corner. I watched him, but after awhile, it just got depressing. I wasn’t sure if he just didn’t have friends or what.
I started to pick those dumb yellow balls out of my salad and didn’t notice that Link was watching me.
“Is your food bad?” he asked.
I looked up and said, “Nah.” I looked back down and continued picking the balls out of my salad.
“You look bothered,” Link said and I saw him set his deku nut on his wooden plate. “Is something wrong?”
“Not really,” I said, “but it’s so different here, ya know?”
“Sorry, but I don’t…know,” Link said. “I’ve lived here all my life and I’ll live here forever. Everyone here can’t leave this forest, or we’ll get sick and die.”
No you won’t, I thought, but I wasn’t suppose to tell him that, so I said this instead: “That must suck.”
“Nah, it’s quite enjoyable here. Everyone’s really nice.”
I felt bad for this kid. He was going to be a kid forever. Link would never get married or have kids or go through puberty…not that missing out on puberty was a drag, but Link would miss out on a lot of stuff.
“So, where are we suppose to get swords?” I asked.
“Well, see that hole in the wall over there,” Link said and then he pointed at the hole, “There’s suppose to be a treasure chest in there and it’s magical, so only certain people can open it. Since the Great Deku Tree sent out for us, we must be the ones who can open it. Now, finish your salad.”
“There’s yellow stuff in it,” I whined.
“Aw, those things are harmless.”
“What are they?”
“Well, no one really knows, but they’re little, glowing particles that like to get cuddly with people. Us Kokiris call them Love Bugs.”
I stood up and said, “Well, they make me sneeze. But anyway, let’s get those swords and get this adventure rolling.”
Link stood up and shrugged, adding, “If you say so.” Link stood up, pulled up his shorts a little, and grabbed my plate. He threw the salad into a corner and toss the plate like a disc.
We climbed on some fences for fun and made our way to the hole that was in the wall. Fortunately, we could both fit in it rather well and were able to move forward. I went in last because I didn’t want Link looking at my butt and all.
At the end of the hole, Link grabbed my wrists and pulled me up. Yeah, it hurt, but before I could hit him, he took off running…right in front a gigantic rock. I’m not usually good at thinking too quickly, but I rushed and grabbed his wrist. I was sprinting as we turned corners. Absent mindedly, I ran past the treasure chest, so we had to make the round, or rather square, trip again.
This time, I didn’t miss the chest and I ran into the opening, throwing Link in front of me and turning around to watch the huge rock pass. I turned and shouted, “You could’ve gotten killed, you idiot!”
Link put his hand on his hip and said, “C’mon, let’s just open this treasure chest. Get off my back, you jerk.”
I ignored him when he said that last sentence. I decided to let him have the last word, but that would be the only time. This damn fairy boy was getting on my nerves. Next time we were close to a cliff, I would definitely push him off it.
We walked up to the treasure chest in front of us and looked at each other.
“You ready?” Link asked.
“Heck yes,” I said with a smile. I’d forgive him for the argument before, but I knew there would be another one soon.
We both lifted the lid at the same time and an odd light came from inside the treasure chest. Inside, there was a blue cushion and two small swords. Link took the sword with a brown hilt and a ruby imbedded in the hilt. I took the last sword, which had an orange hilt and a sapphire in the middle.
As we set up our sheaths, I noticed that Link was left handed. On, on the other hand, was right handed. I don’t know why, but it just amused me. I thought it would be cool, us being a duo and use different hands for our swords.
Anyway, we crawled out of this place through that hole in the wall and made our way towards the entrance that lead to the Great Deku Tree. I was nervous, but probably not as nervous as Link. This was his first time meeting the being that created him and kept him safe all the years he lived in the Kokiri Forest. We jumped on a couple patches of land that kept us from having to walk in the water and I saw him…
“Mido,” Link whispered, stopping me in my own tracks. “Ash, I cannot stress this enough. You have a short fuse and you’re extremely opinionated. Mido is the same way, but he also is very, very full of himself. If you get into an argument with him, we will never get past him, even if we had a million swords and shields.”
“Aw, Link, don’t be so dumb,” I said. “I can actually behave myself. Mido can be the biggest jerk on the planet, but I’m strong enough to just ignore the little bastard.”
“Woah, and don’t cuss either,” Link said, “you’ll get in big trouble.”
“Oh darn,” I stated and I continued on with Link following closely behind me.
We reach the entrance and there stood Mido with his hands on his hips, tapping his foot like he was impatient with us.
“Oh, well look who we have here,” Mido said. His voice was whiney sounding. He had that voice that made you want to punch him in the face whenever he said something, whether he was whining or just making a statement.
“I have been called to see the Great Deku Tree and so has Ashley here,” Link said. “Could you let us through?”
“We have a sword and shield,” I said. “Both of us do.”
“Well, aren’t you two special then?” Mido said “How about I let everyone with a sword and shield go in and see the Great Deku Tree? I wonder how that would go? Before you know it, I’ll start letting people who wield almighty sticks see the Great Deku.”
This guy started to make me extremely angry, but I promised Link that I wouldn’t say anything so I kept my mouth shut.
“Mido, just let us through, please,” Link begged.
“Why should I?” Mido teased.
“Because I was sent to tell Link to see the Great Deku Tree,” Navi said. I hadn’t noticed, but she was hidden in Link’s hat. I touched mine and felt Max at the tip. He was probably sleeping, so I didn’t bother him.
“Oh look, Link the Loser finally got himself a fairy,” Mido said. “Even so, don’t expect me to treat you like you’re a true blooded Kokiri, because I know you aren’t.”
“And how?” I asked rather harshly. Link shot me a look, so I just gave him a look of distress. Link rolled his eyes and returned his sight to Mido.
“How about you shut your mouth,” Mido said. “You cannot talk to the Great Mido like that. I am your superior. Anyway, Link here, is so different from all of us. If he was a true Kokiri, his fairy would’ve come much sooner.”
“Alright Mido, you’ve said enough, just let us through please,” Link said. He was getting tired, I could hear it in his voice.
“Hah, I won’t move, not in a million years!” Mido boasted and then he erupted into the best evil laugh I had ever heard.
Even if it was the best evil laugh I had ever heard, my reader, I wouldn’t savor it. It got old real quick, so I took out my sword and put it up to Mido’s throat. He definitely shut up then. I backed him against the wall.
“Oh please, please don’t kill me,” Mido pleaded.
“Ashley, don’t,” Link snapped.
I looked back for a second at Link, smirked, and then pressed the blade of my sword against Mido’s throat a bit harder.
Suddenly, Mido’s eyes rolled to the back of his head and he fainted.
“Now we go, Link,” I said.
“You’re a terrible person,” Link said, but I couldn’t tell if he was serious or if he was joking.
I smirked.
“Oh sir, you haven’t seen terrible from me yet.”









Chapter 3- Gettin' Inside the Great Deku Tree by Underdog Ash

Link and I went down the entrance when he suddenly stopped me and said, "That was some crap that you pulled back there.  Don't you realize that you might get in huge trouble for threatening Mido?"

        "Well yeah, duh," I snapped.  "We needed to get passed him so we can see this damn tree."

        "What did I say about cussing?"

        "Oh Link, bite my ass."

        I walked passed him and he followed.  I felt bad for him for a little while, but Link needed to have more faith in me.  I didn't plan on killing Mido, just scaring him and then the kid had to go and pass out.  What kind of leader does that?

        Anyway, at the end of this path was this huge tree.  It looked like it had a moustache or something, but it was fairly obvious that he was a tree.

        "Link, Ashley, is that you?" the tree boomed.

        "Yes," Link said.

        "Is Navi and Maximus still with you?" the Deku Tree asked.

        "Yes sir," said Navi.

        "Oh, yeah, I'm here!" shouted Max.  He pulled off my hat trying to fly and speak to the Deku Tree.  He started shouting, "But oh no, Deku Tree, it seems I have gone blind.  What should I do!"

        Seriously, I thought.  I grabbed the end of my floating hat and reach inside to pull out Max.

        "Oh, wait," Max said.  "I can see...again."

        The Deku Tree laughed at the situation, but stared to cough violent...or at least I think he did.  I had never heard a tree cough before, so I guess I can't say he coughed, but at least, for your sake my reader, I can guess.

        "Forgive me, my children," the Deku Tree said.  "I have become fairly ill."

        "Why, sir?" Link asked.

        "I have been befallen by a curse of mass proportions," the Deku Tree said.  "Inside of me, there is a monster and it has caused me much harm."

        "Well, what can we do?" I asked gently.  "We can't let you die."

        "Dear child, my end is close, I will not lie to you," the Deku Tree stated sadly.  "However, I need to test the courage of you two before I give you my most prized possession."

        "What is it?" Link asked.

        "You'll figure out in due time," the Deku Tree said, "but for now, I need you to face the evil inside of me."

        The Great Deku Tree opened up his mouth.  It creaked as it went down.  I could tell that this tree was extremely old.  Link and I would have to work fast to save him from the curse inside of him.  But, the two of us had never used a sword or shield before, so I knew that this was going to be an interesting mission.

        "Navi and Max, please guide these children," the Deku Tree said.  "Link and Ash, listen to what Navi and Max have to say.  They are full of much wisdom, even if they seem...childish."

        Max sighed, embarrassed from his ‘blind' situation.

        "Good luck, my children," the Deku Tree said.  "The fate of Hyrule lies now in your hands."

        Thanks for letting us know, I thought.

        Link and I looked at each other and nodded.  We started to walk forward.  I hadn't seen any enemies, but I knew that there had to be some in the Deku Tree otherwise, whomever laid that curse was pretty bad at doing it.

        I unsheathed my sword as we walked in, preparing for the worst.

 

        The Great Deku Tree was huge, but the inside looked even bigger.  It was extremely overwhelming for Link and I.  Of course, there were enemies around.  These jerk flowers called Deku Babas were popping out of there buds and trying to bite us.  When I was little, I could never get by those dumb piranha plants in Super Mario and these things were definitely much uglier.  So, I decided to get my bottled plant anger and used it to open a can of wup-ass on the things.

        Luckily for my inner child, after a couple of seconds, another Deku Baba would sprout from the same bud, so I would get to kill them over and over again.

        Link, however, didn't see this as being too amusing, so he started to climb up some vines.  I didn't noticed until I felt a seed hit my head.  I looked up and there was Link wielding a slingshot.  He waited just until I noticed him to fire another one that hit me right one the forehead.

        "Hey, what the heck is wrong with you?" I shouted.  He showered me with more seeds.  Instead of just packing the pouch in the middle with one seed, he started to pack four or five.  I was swatting them like an idiot while that little bastard just kept laughing and shooting more.

        He stopped, falling to the ground laughing.

        "All right you inattentive little asshole," I snapped, "go ahead and shoot one more of those things.  I dare you."

        After a couple of seconds, I shouted, "Yeah, that's what I thought, you coward."

        Link stood up, still smiling and said, "It's not that I'm a coward, it's just that I ran out of seeds."

        "Alright, well, I'm coming up there," I said, "I'll let this incident slide, but this is the only time.  Next time, I will totally kick your butt."

        I didn't want to climb up the vines, so I climbed up the ladder as carefully as possible.  I realized that I started to get rather good at the whole ladder climbing business.  I had no time to celebrate, however, for I had to jump over to a platform, which I had never done before.  I started to feel my heart race as I looked below me.  A Deku Baba was looking right up to me.  I bet he was waiting for me to fall and become his lunch.

        "C'mon Ash!" Link shouted across the dungeon.  "We don't have all day here."

        "Um, just give me a second," I said.

        "Alright, well, I'm going to go ahead and go in this door back here," Link said, pointing to a door as he walked backwards.  "I emptied out a treasure chest on this floor and it had two slingshots in it, so meet me up in the next room and I'll give it to you."

        I nodded as he went in the door.  I took a deep breath and looked back down at the Deku Baba.  He was licking his lips now and drool was hanging from his mouth.

        "You know Ash, you're going to have to face your fears," said Max, flying out of my hat.  He flew over to the platform and said, "Here, just try to jump over here.  It's not as hard as you think."

        I looked at my feet.  My legs were rather wobbly.  I took a deep breath and jumped.  I closed my eyes as I went in the air and felt my feet land firmly on the ground.  I opened my eyes and saw Max right in my face.

        "Good job," Max said.  "Now, let's go catch up with Link and Navi."

        I ran passed some vines and went straight to the door.  I wanted to be one step ahead of Link, not him be ahead of me.  I just would rather have me be over confident and get hurt rather than he be over confident and get hurt.  Link seemed like a nice kid. 

        I reach the door which, oddly enough, didn't have a doorknob.  But, as I got close to it, the door automatically opened. 

        Wow, this place is technologically advanced, I thought.

        I entered this empty room where a dead plant had was laying.

        "That's a Deku Scrub," Max said and he flew over to it.  "By the looks of it, I'd say that Link killed it."

        I nodded and went to the door on the other side of the room.  It was also an automatic door.  That room ended up being a rather medium sized room.  There was a huge dip in it, however, so when I entered, I had to sit down and then jump off the ledge.  But, I didn't check for Link at all while I was up there.

        That was no biggy though, because there was a ladder in front of me that led up to another platform.  Before I climbed it, I found two slingshots on the floor.  I started to get scared and shouted hoarsely, "Link, where are you?"

        I heard a sharp, "Hey," above my head and looked up at the ceiling.  Intertwined in a huge spider web was Link and Navi, but Link seemed to be unconscious.

        "Navi, what can I do?" I asked.

        "Get a slingshot and destroy the Skulltula over there," she said.

        "What's a Skulltula?" I asked, and before Navi could answer, Max yelled, "Ashley, hurry!  Get the slingshot and kill that thing."

        Crawling down the wall where that ladder was came a huge spider, but it's opisthosoma had a shell on it that resembled a skull.  Out of everything in the world, reader, my biggest fear are spiders especially big spiders.  No where back in Ohio were there huge, mutant spiders and if there were, they definitely didn't have the image of a skull on their opisthosoma. 

        (But, pardon me, reader, for I suppose you might not know what an opisthosoma is...it's the fancy word for a spider's abdomen.  Why didn't I just use the word abdomen, you might ask.  Well, that's only because I've never used that word in my life before and this will probably be the last time I will use it, too.  At least I could use a bit of my useless education for something...and also use it to be a total smart ass.)

        I froze.  There was no way I could kill that thing, let alone look at it.  It crept me out way too much, and maybe you might think I am a baby, reader, but spiders make me freeze up, no matter what kind they are or what size.

        Navi's sharp voice brought me back to reality, though, and the next thing I know is that this Skulltula  was on it's back two legs and the other six were spread wide.  I could see it's fangs ready to dig into me.  I had no time to grab one of the slingshots on the ground, so I quickly unsheathed my sword and shoved it into the Skulltula's soft, underbelly.  Blood went everywhere and the Skulltula let out a horrible noise.  It went backwards and shriveled up.

        What did I do next?  I screamed extremely loud and started to cry.  I curled into a ball, too, hiding my face from the terrible, skull backed spider.  I didn't like it inside the Deku Tree and as far as I knew, Link was either unconscious up in that web or stone cold dead.

        "Hey, Ashley," Navi yelled.

        "What?" I said through my hunched up legs.

        "C'mon, you need to get Link and I out of this junk," she said.

        "Is that thing dead?" I asked.

        "What thing?" Navi said.

        "That damn, son of a bitch, shitty spider!" I shouted at the top of my lungs, through my legs, of course.

        "Yes, he's dead," Max said.  "Calm down, he's dead."

        "He?" I said, looking right at Max.  "You know his gender?"

        "Well, no, but you need to be courageous, for the fate of Hyrule," Max said calmly.  "It might be hard, even if it's conquering a fear of spiders, but you were chosen to do this out of everyone in your dimension.  You're good at this."

        "They drew my name out of a hat," I mumbled, but I stood up.

        "What?" Navi and Max both said.

        I grabbed the slingshots and climbed up the ladder.  The huge Skulltula was still shriveled beside it, but I ignored it the best I could.  Then I said, "My name, and the names of other worthy nominees, were put in Mario's hat and then someone just pulled a name.  I wasn't chosen because of my abilities, I was chosen because my name was just coincidently close to whomever pulled the name."

        Max and Navi seemed disheartened when I told them this, so I added, "Just please, don't tell anyone, especially Link.  I feel like I've cheated the ‘fate of Hyrule' as you call it, but I still have to try and fix it."

        "I understand," Navi said.

        I picked up a seed that was lying on the ground and stood behind a lit torch.  I shot the seed, which caught on fire and hit the web.  The web burned up because of the fire and Link fell.  Navi flew down to him as soon as she was released.

        "Ash," Max said, "you should shoot this down."

        Max was flying by a ladder that was randomly hooked to the wall.  I gathered some more seeds and shot the two hooks at the top and the ladder fell, staying perfectly vertical when it landed.

        "Nice," I whispered aloud.

        I climbed down the ladder quickly to the bottom, which was where Link was.  Navi and Max were there trying to wake Link up.  Link had some dirt on him from the fall and some scratches on his arm.

        "Navi, what happened?" I asked.

        "Well, we walked in here and everything was fine, then that Skulltula fell on me and Link," Navi said.  "I guess the weight of the Skulltula made Link pass out when it fell on him.  I just got caught in the web."

        "I'm glad I decided to catch up," I said.  Link was lying on his side, so I turned him over so he was on his back.  I brushed off some dirt that was on his face and stood up.  I walked away a bit and then filled the pouch of my slingshot with five seeds and shot them at Link's face.

        "Whoa, get off me, get off me!" Link shouted, wiggling around like a fish out of water.

        "Aw Link, you're fine," I said.

        Link stopped wiggling and shot a look at me and shouted, "You jerk!"

        "Hey, if it wasn't for me, you'd be dead right now," I said.  "You would've been spider food, my friend."

        "Spider food," Link said.  He took off his floppy hat and scratched his head asking, "What happened to me?"
        "A Skulltula fell on you and it made you pass out," Navi said.  "It scared me half to death!"
        "Ashley, you saved...me?" Link said, emphasizing the me in his statement.

        I gave him a weird look and said, "Should that even be a question?  Of course I saved you.  What, did you think I was going to just leave you up there to die?"

        Link looked to the side and I rolled my eyes.

        "C'mon, let's just wrap up this whole thing," I said.  "I'm tired of the stupid spiders already.  We better not run into anymore."

 

        "Oh my God, I hate this place so much!" I shouted.

        Link and I had left the room and were climbing up vines to reach the third floor of the Great Deku Tree.  I didn't particularly like the dumb vines and I had lost footing twice so I was sweating really bad.  The thing was, the damn Skulltulas liked to climb on vines and just spin around there, making these dumb sounds.  I had been thrown off twice already and there was one just right above my head.

        Link, of course, was already on the third floor.  He was looking down at me as I struggled.

        "How's it going?" he teased.

        "Aw, shut up," I said.  "You try being terribly afraid of spiders and climbing vines and have to be with them both at once."

        "I swear something is wrong with you, Ash," Link said.

        I waited for the right moment to take off because if that Skulltula saw me, I was dead.  The dumb thing didn't spin like the rest of them, so I assumed I was safe.

        "Well, Link, I have what you call severe anxiety," I said. 

        "Severe anxiety?"

        "Yeah, it's when you're scared of everything, or well, rather let me rephrase that...it's when you're nervous about everything."

        "This must be terrible for you then," Link said.

        I made it passed the stupid Skulltula and got my feet planted safely on the third floor.  This was the last floor in the Deku Tree and you could see the tip up on the ceiling.  Unlike the second floor, this floor went around in a circle and there was a huge opening in the middle of floor.  If Link or I fell down the opening, we'd be dead, seeing as we'd land right on the first floor.  Around the edges, however, were spider webs, so we'd be safe even if we walked close to the edge.

        There was a room down that hallway, which I won't even bother describing because it had really nothing in it, just a stupid compass.  We explored all the floors and didn't know what to do at that point.

        "So, what now?" I asked.  I was rather bothered.  I just wanted to get out of that hell hole.

        "I'm not sure," Link said, "but we need to hurry.  The Deku Tree could die at anytime."

        I turned to face him, "Well, maybe if someone didn't get caught by a spider, this would've been wrapped up already."  I started to walk backwards a bit.  I knew that there were little platforms along the side that overlooked the first floor, so I wanted to look all cool.

        But...there was something I didn't notice...

        "Hey, it's not my fault, you're the one that's afraid of everything," Link snapped.  "Maybe if you looked behind you, you would pee your pants, seeing how high up we are."

        "I know how high up we are," I said.  "I just walked backwards to get away from you.  You're screwing this whole adventure up."

        "Oh whatever, you were the one sent to help me," Link said.  "Therefore, you should do as I say and keep your mouth shut."

        "Over my dead body," I said and I held out my arms.  C'mon, get some, I thought. 

        Remember, my reader, that I said I forgot to look at one thing.  Well, that one thing was right above me; waiting for the opportune moment to come falling on me.  That thing was a Skulltula and the split second I was think: C'mon, get some, this thing ran into me, doing that annoying spinning stuff.

        Because the thing spun, I was propelled off the platform and I started to feel myself fall.

        "Ashley!" Link shouted.  I don't know what he did, but he killed the Skulltula and I saw him looking down the platform.

        Great, I thought, the last face I get to see is his ugly mug.

        Why was I thinking this at such an intense moment, I would have no idea.  I'm scared of spiders, ladder, walking down stairs, and rubber bands, but death?  Death never scared me.  I closed my eyes and decided to take it all in.  I felt myself go through a bunch of string like things and the next thing I knew was I had just fallen into water.

        The worst thing to fall into and not know it was water.  I took in a lungful of that stuff and dreaded it.  I floated back to the surface and swam to a thing of land.  I laid there, coughing up my lungs.  I even puked water, which was extremely disgusting.

        After I was done with the water, I stood up and, at that exact moment, I got covered in more water because Link decided to jump from the third floor down to where I was at.  He, of course, was ready for the water and dove like one of those swimmers in the Olympics back at home.

        I took off my hat and rung the water out of it as Link swam over to me.

        "That was close," Link said.  "I thought you were a goner."

        "Yeah, yeah, yeah," I said, rolling my eyes.  "C'mon, get out of that kiddy pool and let's go.  As you said up there, we need to hurry."

        I decided to turn my hat one more time, this time really hard to get the water out of the fabric.  Then I heard this squeal.

        "Oh, shoot," I said, "sorry Max, I didn't know you were in there."

        Max flew out, soaking wet.

        "Yeah, whatever, let's just go," Max said.  "I'm really tired."

        "Me too, buddy, me too," I said.

 

        That day, my reader, I realized that these ‘temples,' as they were called, were the most boring things in the world.  Every room we walked in had something to do with a puzzle and it left Link dumbfounded.  There was one room we walked in that had these pink eggs hanging from the ceiling.  Lucky me, they decided to hatch while I was standing right under them so I got slime all over my brand new tunic.

        The eggs had these annoying creatures in them that just jumped out at you just to knock you over.  I used my shield to knock them back and then slice their butts and Link started to do the same.

        It wasn't long before we got to the final basement in that place.  There were three of those Deku Scrubs in front of us and they were pelting us with nuts.  There was one anxious Deku Scrub in a previous room who spouted out this: "Twenty-three is number one."  And the thing just kept yelling that until we eventually left the room.

        Link, as usual, went in full force and just started to kill the suckers, but they kept coming back.  I mulled the ‘Twenty-three is number one' sentence over and over in my mind and finally got it.

        "Link, stop!" I shouted.  He looked at me and got shot in the face by a Deku Nut.  "Get back here so you don't get hurt again."

        Link walked backwards to me, repelling more Deku Nuts with his shield.  The Deku Scrubs quit shooting once he got back with me and stared at us.

        "Alright, remember that one, crazyass Deku Scrub?" I asked.

        "Um, don't cuss place, but anyway, yes," Link said.

        I shot him an are-you-serious look and continued, "Well he kept shouting twenty-three is number one."

        "I thought it was twenty-one is number three," Link said.

        "Well, that's just ‘cause you're dumb," I said.  "Here, I'll try this."

        I kept my slingshot in the back pocket of my tunic's skirt.  I pulled it out and reach in a little pouch around my waist and got some seeds.  I packed some seeds in my slingshot and shot the second Deku Scrub, then the third and finally, the first.  The first guy started to run around like a little pansy.

        Link decided to grab him, so he ran forward and grabbed the thing by the leaf on his head.  The Deku Scrub was wiggling around, trying to escape Link's grasp.  He looked terrified.

        "Please, if you promise to let me go, I'll tell you a secret," the Deku Scrub said.

        I walked up to where Link was and looked at him.  He was smiling so I said, "Alright, Mr. Scrub, shoot."

        "Well, to administer the coupe de grace to the Queenie, paralyze her by shooting seeds at her, then slash her eye with your sword," the Deku Scrub said quickly. 

        I nodded at Link and he let the Deku Scrub go.  It returned to it's bud and burrowed inside it.

        "The ‘Queenie'? Navi said.

        The bars on the door in front of us disappeared so we could enter.

        "I bet that the Queenie is in that room," I said, "and I have a feeling she won't be as nice as she sounds."

        "Well, I guess this is it," Link said and he walked towards the door.  "Let's get this show on the road."

        We both walked in together, unsure about what would happen next.

 

        Reader, I wasn't sure how all this happened, because it happened rather fast.  The ‘Queenie' was actually a big spider like thing named Queen Gohma.  It had armor and everything, though.  Only her eye was left open for us cut.  We figured out that if we shot a seed in her eye, she ended up paralyzed and that gave us an opening attack.

        Sounds easy, right?

        Well, after we hit her eye the first time, she collapsed on the ground.  I turned to Link and smiled and, surprisingly, he hugged me.  What we didn't know was that ‘ol Queenie actually had a trick up her sleeve.  She waited for the right moment and then grabbed me by the waist and pulled me away from Link.  Then, the old bat decided to climb up a wall and hang on the ceiling right above Link.

        Link looked up at me like I was stupid, so I said, "I'm glad that you're mesmerized by the warm embrace you just shared with me, but can you get my ass down from this bitch?"

        "Uh, yeah," Link said and he took out his slingshot and started rapid-firing those damn seeds again.  But the Queen was covered in armor, so the seeds were just bouncing off of the armor, either that or they were hitting me instead.

        "Hey genius, I don't think it's working," I shouted.

        The Queen was getting angry I guess, because she started laying eggs all over Link.  He was getting slimed by stuff coming out of the Queen while she was giving birth all over the place.  Then the eggs started hatching and Link was screwed, the poor guy.  I was trying to get out of the Queen's claw, but it wasn't working.

        "Ash, what should I do?" Link shouted.

        "I don't know, hit her uterus!" I shouted.

        "What's a uterus?" Link asked.

        "Nothing, just get me down from here, please!"

        After the Queen ran out of eggs or whatever, she stopped birthing her babies all over Link and decided to just go back on the ground.  Thankfully, she left her eye open wide just for Link and he shot it.

        Laying there paralyzed, I broke free and Link decided to run toward me, so I yelled, "What are you doing stupid?  Hit the Queen while she's paralyzed."

        It was too late though.  The Queen had recovered and started to climb up the damn wall again.

        "Great, here we got with the eggs again," I said.  Being the genius that I am, though, an idea popped in my head.  I took a rock by my feet and packed it in the pouch on my slingshot.  It was a lot bigger than the little seeds we had been using.

        "When the Queen gives birth, her eye glows!" Link said.  "Good job for coming up with the idea of hitting her eye while she's up there."

        "Oh sir, I am not aiming for her eye," I said.

        I decided to aim for...well, her baby dispenser...I had a lot better aim than Link did at shooting stuff with slingshots, so I got the rock right up in...dat, I guess...and, well, I think I plugged up her ovaries because, after awhile, the Queen exploded into a thousand pieces.  Of course, all of her guts and slime covered me and Link, but it was worth it.

        "That was disgusting," Max said.  "You would've saved my appetite if you would've just shot her eyeball and killed her the right way..."

        "Well, I'm just a bit more creative than you are, is all," I said.

        This glowing light appeared out of no where in the middle of the floor.  It was a light blue tint and made a really pretty sound.  The dungeon had been locked when we entered and it was still locked, so I assumed that that was our way out.  Link and I approached the light, looked at one another, and entered it.  It was really bright, but it lifted us up.  There was a suddenly spark and I suddenly felt my feet touch a pad of grass.

        My sight returned and I saw the Great Deku Tree.  Link landed safely beside me.

        "Welcome back, my children," the Deku Tree said.  "I hope my curse wasn't too much of a burden."

        "It very much was," I mumbled, but Link nudged me.

        "Dear children, please sit down, for I have a story to tell you before I go," the Deku Tree said.

        "Where are you going?" I asked.

        "Child, my end is near," the Deku Tree said.  "I will soon be dead.  Now, sit down so I can give you the last bit of my wisdom."

        Link and I sat down.  I was a bit pissed that I saved this Deku Tree just so it could still die, but I knew I'd get over it.  The Great Deku Tree seemed extremely wise, so I was all ears for him.

        "What I tell you is very important," the Deku Tree said.  "The land of Hyrule was created by three goddesses, Din, Farore, and Nayru.  These three appeared when Hyrule was nothing but chaos and made it to the land it is today. With her flaming arms, Din created what is now the red of the earth.  With her rich soul, Farore created the life of those that would uphold the law in Hyrule.  With her wisdom, Nayru created the spirit of law that would keep this world from going into chaos.

        "Before they all departed, they made a plan.  They would create a Sacred Realm and in that Sacred Realm would be the true form to govern all.  That form is the Triforce, made of the Triforce of Power, Triforce of Wisdom, and the Triforce of Courage.  The Triforce can be obtainable, but the fate of Hyrule depends on who has the Triforce.  If one with a righteous mind has hold of the Triforce then Hyrule will live in peace but if one with an evil heart obtains the Triforce, all will be lost."

        "So, what does that have to do with us?" I asked.

        "Link here has been a child I have always kept my eye on," the Deku Tree said.  "It is said that the Goddesses had a back up plan for the matter if one with evil intentions got a hold of the Triforce.  It says in ancient scriptures that a hero will be born, whether it be before or during or after the chaos, a hero will be born that will save Hyrule and restore to it peace.  Ashley, I am glad you are here to accompany Link, but I don't know if you will be allowed to go as far as Link will.  I have faith that Link is the hero and if he is, you might have to step back and let things happen."

        I trusted Link and all, but I felt bad that I would be left out of the mix, especially since I didn't choose to be there in Hyrule, or away from my own home for that matter.

        "Is someone evil after the Triforce?" Link asked.

        "Yes," said the Deku Tree.  "His name is Ganondorf Dragmire and he is the one who plagued me with this curse."

        I suddenly remembered Ganondorf.  He was the one who comforted me back before I met Link and got wrapped up in the mess. 

        "Ganondorf possess the power of horrible black magic and causes chaos where he goes," the Deku Tree said.  "I think that you two can stop him.  You both have a lot of courage and for that, I feel I can trust you with what Ganondorf tried to get from me before he laid this curse upon my branches.  Take this, the Kokiri Emerald."

        The Deku Tree wiggled his branches and a stone came from his leaves.  Link and I stood up and actually caught it at the same time.

        "Never lose sight of this stone, my children," the Deku Tree said.  "This stone will be one of three stones that you will need to unlock the key to destroying Ganondorf.  Before you get the next two stones, however, you need to go to Hyrule Castle and see the princess of destiny.  She will guide you further."

        "We won't let you down," I said.

        "I have faith in you both," the Deku Tree said, "but I will not be able to see you succeed.  I can feel my life slipping away as we speak.  I am almost dead.  Please fulfill my wish and be the guiding light of Hyrule."

        "Great Deku Tree," said Max, "don't go."

        "I have to my fairy child," the Deku Tree said.  "Max and Navi, never give up on these two and never let these two give up.  You will navigate the future of Hyrule just as much as these two will.  Don't let me down, my children."

        The two fairies nodded and then we began to hear a creaking noise.  The Great Deku Tree turned a light blue.  Death had crept upon him.  The two fairies huddled close as a way to comfort each other and I looked at Link.

        "We should go," he whispered.

        "Yeah, guys, c'mon, let's fulfill the Great Deku Tree's wish," I said.

        The fairies followed us.  Even though the Deku Tree was just a tree, I felt extremely bad and I bet Link felt the same.  He put his arm around my shoulder because, I'll admit, I started to get tears in my eyes.

        We had to fulfill the Deku Tree's wish and I would personally take that Ganondorf man down for doing what he did.

 

        I promised myself I would...

 

       

Chapter 4- Castle Town by Underdog Ash

We left the area where the Great Deku Tree had just died.  I couldn’t believe he was gone. He was an idol to all of the forest children, especially Link.  But, for some reason I thought Link was concerned with helping me mourn than mourning the Deku Tree himself.       It was pretty dark out when we got out, so we decided to crash at his place for the night.  There was no reason to go to the castle so late.  The Princess was probably asleep, anyway.

        I decided to bathe, or at least partially bathe, under the waterfall that was by the shop. No one was out, anyway, but I still kept my clothes on.  My clothes needed washed anyway because it still had guts and egg junk on it.  I had no soap because it didn’t even seem to exist in Hyrule, but I just wanted to at least wash away the dirty feeling.
        I took off my boots and dipped my feet in the pool of water.  Since it was dark, the water was cold, so I hesitated before getting in.  I took off my hat before dipping my head in the water.  Surprisingly, Max was not sleeping in my hat.  He and Navi seemed really upset after the Great Deku Tree had passed and I think they went out together to just talk for a second.
        I desperately wanted shampoo and conditioner for my hair, but I knew I would never find any.  I had no choice, so I just put random mud in my hair and lathered it.  The mud probably didn’t do anything for my hair, but it still felt like it was doing something.  My hair did feel smoother, though.
        While I was bathing, I felt a little awkward.  It felt like someone was watching me.  That thought was confirmed by some rustling that I heard in the bushes.  It made me angry so I shouted, “Alright you perv, you can come out of the bushes now.”
        The bushes still moved around, but no one came out.
        “I’m not mad at you or anything,” I said calmly to try and fish the ass out.  “I just don’t like to be stared at, especially when I’m trying to wash myself…sort of.”
        There was still rustling in the bushes, but I couldn’t tell what was going on.  I got out of the water and went towards the bush.  It was in front of Saria’s house, so I didn’t bother putting my boots back on. The grass felt soft on my feet, which were really sore from being inside the Great Deku Tree.
        “Hello,” I said. “Who’s there?  It’s okay to come out.  I won’t hurt you.”
        I got close to the bush and a zigzagged tail popped out.  It was a bright yellow.  The tail was wiggling around and I made the mistake of grabbing it.  Why was that a mistake, you might ask.  Well, the next thing I knew, a jolt of electricity surged through my body. For some reason, it didn’t hurt too much.  I mean, it didn’t even hurt a little bit, but I felt it. 
        I pulled the tail out of the bushes and a whole body came out.  It was a rodent like body with pointing ears, small eyes, and tiny legs.  It must have been terrified because it just kept releasing electricity out of these red, circle pouches on its cheeks.  It was saying something every time it released the jolts too, but it definitely wasn’t in English.
        “C’mon little guy,” I said, “quit shocking me, you’re going to wake people up.”  It was making an awful lot of noise for such a small, rodent like thing. 
        “Ash, what is that?” I heard Link shout.  I looked over and he was standing outside of his tree house wiping his eyes.
        “I don’t know, but this thing keeps shocking me,” I said.  “Weird thing is that it’s not hurting me at all.”
        Link climbed down the ladder to get a look.  He was wearing these light green, footsie pajamas and a floppy hat similar to his typical one, but with a fuzzy ball on the end of it.
        Link got over to me and I looked up and down at him. He looked so ridiculous, so I said, “You’re not serious, right?”
        “About what?” he asked.
        “Your pajamas are stupid, dude,” I said, “but I’m sure I’m not the first one to tell you that.”
        “Saria said they were cute…” Link said and he trailed off.
        The poor little creature I was holding was panting and its jolt of electricity started to get weaker.  Not only could I tell by feeling the jolts, but I could tell by how much light the electricity was producing.  The light the electricity generated dimmed even more as it went on.
        “Wow, let me hold it,” Link said.
        “First, let’s go inside of your house, I don’t want this thing to get away.”
        I decided to leave my boots by the waterfall and climbed up the ladder to Link’s home. I was good enough at the whole ladder climbing thing to now climb with one hand, seeing as I would have to lug the creature around by its tail.
        We entered Link’s home.  Despite getting up to see what I was doing, Link’s bed was freshly made.  He seemed to be a fairly tidy person and I hated tidy people.  But, it made me smile when I looked over at his couch thing, which he put a big cushion on and made me a place to sleep.  He even gave me one of his pillows and a stuffed ball with wings which must have been his “fairy” when he didn’t have one.
        “Alright, let me hold this thing now,” Link said and he held out his arms eagerly.  I really didn’t understand why he had the desire to hold such a dangerous thing.
        I just shrugged and handed him the thing.  Link held it by its underarms, looking at it square in the face.  The thing was still looking pretty angry and, as I predicted, it shot out surges electricity.  Link, who was like a missile, shot back and hit the wall above his couch. Luckily for him, he landed on the big, fluffy cushion.
        I quickly grabbed the little thing and held it.  I stared into its black eyes and it blinked. It decided to shock me again, but I didn’t fly back like Link did.  I thought it was odd, especially since I had previously taken a dip in water and the electricity wasn’t affecting me at all.  I didn’t feel the slightest bit of pain.
        The little guy must have gotten tired because it put its ears down.  I could see the look of defeat in its eyes so I sat down on my couch cushion, where Link laid unconscious.  I laid the thing down and it went straight to sleep by the stuffed fairy.  I tried to wake Link up, but he wouldn’t budge so I was forced to sleep on the couch with him and the thing, whatever it was.

        Later that night, I felt something shuffling around.  I woke up in an instant to see Link beside me.  His face was all distressed, but he was still asleep.  He must’ve been having a bad dream.  I watched him as his nightmare kept going.  It must have been intense too, because I could see all his muscles getting tense.  I didn’t know what to do, so I shook him and tried to get him to wake up.
        Link awoke in a cold sweat.
        “Oh, thank god that was just a dream,” Link said quietly and placed his hand on his chest.
        “Are you okay?” I asked.
        “Yeah, I just had a nightmare is all,” he said.
        “What was it about?”
        He just looked at me for a second, but said, “It doesn’t matter.  I’m just glad you were here to wake me up.”  Link smiled and lay back down and I noticed that the creature was still asleep between Link and I.  I pet its pointy, yellow ears.  I was so interested in finding out what this creature was, but I decided not to rile my brain up thinking what it was.  If I lingered on the thought too long, I would never be able to return to sleep.
        I would just wait until morning to figure out what it was.

        That morning I woke up and saw Link packing a bag, the creature smelling my head, and the fairies were swimming in a cup of coffee.  Or rather the liquid looked like coffee.  I figured it was nasty Hyrule water or something.
        I sat up and the creature jumped right on my lap and sat there.  Link turned around and smiled brightly.  “Good morning,” he said.  “I hope the couch was comfortable enough for you.  I found you a cushion so you wouldn’t have to sleep on the wood.”
        “It was fine, thanks,” I said.
        I wasn’t sure what to do.  It was weird waking up in a medieval setting.  I could bet that Hyrule didn’t know a thing about dental hygiene, so I didn’t need to brush my teeth.  I hadn’t been hungry since I got to this dump, so I didn’t need to eat breakfast or anything.  I felt awkward in Link’s house, though.  I felt uncomfortable that we both slept on the same thing and I felt uneasy that he was the first thing I saw that morning.  I was so used to seeing my parents…
        I decided to go out and get some fresh air for a bit and the creature followed me. I climbed down the ladder, but the creature just tilted its head and said something like this: “Pika.”
        “Pika?” I said.  “Like Topeka?”
        The creature looked dumbfounded and shook its head.  I held out my hands and said, “C’mon, I’ll catch you.”
        The thing jumped into my arms.  It was actually light and very cuddly.  As I walked on, the thing went from my arms to my shoulder and sat there.  It kept looking around rapidly and sometimes climbed on my head to see things better.  Once we got to the pool of water, I put on my boots and put back on my floppy hat.  The creature leapt off my shoulder and started to eat the grass.
        “You’re really cute,” I said, petting it as it ate.  I started to scratch behind its pointy yellow ears and it cooed, “Pikachu.” Its foot started to move too, like a dog’s would when you got their sweet spot on their bellies.
        “Can I ask you some questions?” I said.
        “Pika,” it said and it smiled.  It must have understood what I was saying.
        “Alright then. Are you a girl?”
        “Pikachu,” it said in a deep voice and it shook its head.
        “So you’re a boy?”
        “Pika!” it shouted in delight.
        “Are you from around here?”
        The thing shook his head no.
        “Well, do you have a name?”
        He shook his head again.
        “Would you like me to give you a name?”
        “Pik-Pikachu!” he said and he nodded.
        “How about Lemon for your name?”
        He shrugged his shoulders and I read his mind.  He didn’t care too much for that one.
        “Yeah, that’s not that creative I suppose. So how about Pineapple?”
        This things expression said no.
        “Percy?”
        Nope.
        “Uh, Lime?”
        Nope.
        “Squash?”
        The expression I got from him was total disgust.
        “Cheese?”
        Nope.
        “Milo?”
        No.
        “Lux?”
        That one took a while.  The creature looked to the side and crossed its little arms.  His ears twitched a couple times before he grinned and nodded to me.
        “Lux it is then,” I said.  I thought he would like that one.  It meant light in Latin, but it had that sting to it, like electricity does.
        We made our way back to Link’s home and I was looked down at Lux who was walking beside me at my feet.  He smiled and it seemed he was really happy to be with me, which I was extremely happy with.  I still wasn’t sure what he was, but he was awful cute.  His yellow fur shined in the light of the morning sun as we made our way towards Link’s home.
        Before I looked ahead of me, I saw a foot tapping furiously on the ground.  I looked up and there was Mido.  He looked angry, which I understood, but I didn’t want to deal with anything at that moment.  I was still a bit tired from being woken up the previous night before so I could be grumpy.
        “Ash, get out of my forest,” Mido said rashly.
        “Well, the Great Deku Tree told me and Link to leave anyway, so let me just get him and we’ll be on our way,” I said.  I put my hand on the fourth step of the ladder and Mido grabbed my wrist.
        “The Great Deku Tree is now dead!”  Mido shouted.  “I knew you would cause trouble, just like that green guy did when he walked in.  I saw you talking to him. You both planned on killing the Great Deku Tree, didn’t you?  Now you plan on befriending and using Link to cause this forest chaos.”
        “No,” I said.  He was glaring at me.  His eyes would not leave mine.
        “Get out of my forest,” he repeated and his voice became more hostile.  “Link is not leaving; he can’t.  The Great Deku Tree would never put one of his children in danger.  You’re going to kill Link, too.  I honestly don’t see anything special about him, but the Great Deku Tree thought he was special, so I have to protect him now.”
        “Let go of me,” I said.
        “No,” Mido snapped.
        “You’re just going to have to trust me on this.  I did not kill the Deku Tree, nor will I kill Link.  That green guy is named Ganondorf Dragmire.  He’s the one who laid a curse on the Deku Tree.  Link and I busted our butts to try and save the Deku Tree, but he died.  You might not believe me, but I have a job to do and so does Link.  You’re not the boss of us, even if you think you are.  Now let go of me and get out of my way.”
        “No,” Mido said again.
        Mido suddenly took out a knife and put it to my throat.  He then said, “Do as I say and you will be fine.  I don’t care about Hyrule, you can help that green man and take it out, but you will not get my forest.”
        This kid then pressed the blade further on my throat and said, “Prepare to die, my friend.”
        Suddenly, Lux used his electricity on Mido.  Mido fell over from the pain and Lux jumped on him, yelling at him.  Link came out to see the commotion and jumped off the balcony of his home.
        Mido broke some skin when the blade of his knife was on my neck, so a little bit of blood dripped from the thin cut.  Link saw it and then looked at Mido who was pinned on the ground by Lux with his knife beside his hand.  Link walked forward and kneeled so he could talk to Mido.
        “I know that this girl pushed her blade to your throat,” Link said, “but you were acting like a five year old not letting us pass anyway.  Ash never broke the skin on your neck though, but you did on hers, which tells me that you were planning on killing her.  I have to leave with her now, but if we do come back, you better not lay a hand on her, or I’ll take care of you.”
        Link stood up and Lux jumped off of Mido.  Link shouted for Navi and Max and they flew down to us.  In an instance, my heart felt warm.  I had never had someone stand up for me like Link did.  Just watching him stand up for me made me think about him and it made me smile.  I didn’t know what I was feeling, but I was breathless.
        “Let’s get on our way,” Link said, smiling.  He held out his hand and I placed mine on his palm.  He wrapped his fingers around my hand and squeezed it.  His eyes were sparkling in the sunlight and I couldn’t tear my eyes around from the sight.  He let go of my hand and gestured me to follow him.  He started to walk towards the exit.
        “Sounds good,” I said and it took me awhile to remember how to breathe.  I snapped back to reality and touched my neck which was barely bleeding.  I really could’ve been dead, but Lux saved me.  I looked down at the little guy who was walking beside me.
        It was then that I realized that he would be my partner until the end.

        We were on a bridge between the fields of Hyrule and the forest.  It was scary for me to leave the forest, but I had to go outside of the forest at some point to help its fate.  However, it was probably even scarier for Link seeing as the Kokiri thought that if they left the forest, they would get sick and die.
        We stood at the bridge for a bit and Link looked out towards the woods.  He walked closer to the bridge’s edge, which was cut off by rope so no one would fall down.  Link leaned over and looked out at the trees.  They were called the Lost Woods or something, but I hadn’t really explored it yet.  I was just waiting for Link to be ready to leave these woods, but I wouldn’t rush him.  After all, he had lived there his whole life.
        “Are you going to be okay?” I asked him.  I was really worried that leaving the forest would be hard on him. 
        “Yeah,” Link said, “I just can’t believe I’m leaving, you know?”
        “Yeah, it must seem pretty wild.”  I hesitated for a second, but I walked up beside him and leaned on the rope with him. 
        “Or scary…”
        I sighed and looked out. “We have to leave sometime.”  I think he took that the wrong because he looked slowly to the side.  “But,” I started, trying to make him feel better, “I’ll be here for you when we leave.  I won’t abandon you.”
        “Yeah, I know.”  Link paused for a few seconds and then he looked at me.  There was some sadness and uncertainty in his eyes.  “I think I’m ready to go.”
        “Are you sure?” I asked.
        “I’m as sure as I’ll ever be.”  He smiled and we started to walk away.
        “Link, Ashley, wait,” a soft voice said.  I turned around and saw Saria standing there.  “Ashley, I’m going to give you and Link something, but I want to say a few words to Link before he leaves.”
        “Well sure, you can say what you want to,” I said.
        Saria grabbed Link’s hand and took him over to the edge of the bridge.  I waited for a couple minutes as they began to talk.  Saria had on a concerned expression and kept looking over at me for some reason.  Link and Saria then hugged and she handed him two things. They both looked like potatoes.
        Saria left with a tear or two in her eye and Link looked at me and handed me the potatoes.  She turned around to give Link one last wave before she disappeared into the forest.
        “Yum, food,” I said, even though I thought it was weird to give someone potatoes as a parting gift.
        “No, these are ocarinas,” Link said.  “Saria must have made them for us both.  She loves to play them.  She’s played on ever since I could remember.”
        “Wow,” I said and blew into the tip of it.  It produced a horrible sounding note.
        “We’ll work on your playing later,” Link said, “let’s get out of here now.”
        Link quickly left and I followed.  Something was wrong, but I didn’t know what, so to keep myself from bothering him any further, I decided to not say anything.  I knew we probably had a big adventure ahead of us and I didn’t want to stress him anymore than I had been.
        When we passed through the log that led us to Hyrule, the morning sun showed right as soon as we reached the other side.  It must have been scary for Link to see the sun because you could barely see it beyond the thick leaves of the forest trees.  We followed the path, which led us through a small wave of trees.  I was a little scared that Hyrule was all forest but I was proven wrong when we got to the end of the path. 
        “Wow,” I said.  It was beautiful.  What greeted us at the end of the path was a huge, open field.  There were hardly any trees and this wall that I really wanted to climb on, just to look over some things.  I walked a bit further, mesmerized by the view. Even at home I had never seen anything that beautiful.
        “Well, we better keep going,” Link said. “I would sure like to see the princess as soon as we can.”
        “Yeah, I guess you’re right,” I said.  I came back to earth and started to walk with Link.
        The further we walked, the more we got to see.  The field opened up to us a whole new look of things.  I had never seen a field like this and Link had never seen anything beyond the forest.  It seemed amazing to the both of us, but we had to keep walking.  I was sure there would be plenty of time later to explore the vast world of Hyrule.
        We soon came to a draw bridge which was down.
        “This must be the castle,” Navi said.  “We should find the princess soon.”
        Link and I walked over the bridge and into what seemed to be the castle square.  According to a sign above us, the square was known as the Market Place.  It must have been the place to shop, seeing as throngs of people were carrying bags and rushing to stores.  I thought of buying some clothes to replace the stupid tunic, but as I looked at the clothes that the women were wearing, I decided that my tunic was just fine.
        Link and I decided to split up for a little while.  Link was in an odd mood so I didn’t want to mess with him.  He just needed some alone time because whatever Saria told him must have really beat him up.
        I walked around a bit and found a potion shop. There was only one shop in Kokiri so I needed to see what other types of shops were around. There might have been something really important that Link and I had been missing out on.
        I entered the potion shop to find a younger man tending to the various bottles on the shelves.  I was a little concerned when I walked in because he seemed to be shoving a glowing, pink ball into this teeny tiny bottle with a pestle.  Max immediately flew behind my head which gave me the notion that he didn’t want to see this guy pound the crap out of this little fairy.  The shop keeper really seemed to enjoy it, however.

        After a few uncomfortable seconds I finally said, “Uh, excuse me.”

        My words seemed to scare the shop keeper and he dropped the glass bottle and the pestle.  I saw the fairy spring up from behind the counter and fly with a limp wing.  That didn’t deter it from escaping. 

        “I’m free!” it shouted with its tiny, shrill voice.  I stepped out of its way and it flew right out of the shop.

        “Why’d you let him go?” the guy shouted, holding out his hands.  “It took me forever to get one of those things.  I had to go to that damn forest and all those kids followed me around like they’d never seen a human being before.”

        “I’m, er, sorry,” I said to him and he just sighed.

        “That’s-that’s quite alright,” the guy said and leaned against the counter.  He rested his head on his arm and looked outside.  “It’s not your fault.  I shouldn’t have been so…careless.”

        “Is there any way I can make it up to you?” I asked.  I actually felt bad for the guy, even though he was basically killing that fairy when he shoved it in the bottle.

        “Just buy something, I guess,” the guy said.

        I walked up to the counter and felt Max wriggle into my hat.  He was probably afraid that I would give him to the shop keeper, seeing as I let the other fairy go. 

        Greeting me behind the counter were several different potions and objects.  There were green, red, and blue liquids floating in bottles, a blue flame in a lantern, a purple blob in a bottle, and a fish swimming around in a plastic baggy. 

        “Uh, what are the colored potions for?” I asked awkwardly.  I wanted to make some sort of conversation with this guy.  He looked pretty bummed.

        “The green refills magic,” he said, “the red refills energy, and the blue refills both.  Unfortunately, I’m afraid that your little baby wallet doesn’t hold enough rupees to buy yourself a bottle of blue potion.”

        I looked over at my waist which had the wallet around it.  It was basically a satchel and just hung there, much like my seed pouch did.  I opened it up to find a couple of rupees, but he was right.  I bet I could only fit ninety or so in there.

        “So, this is a potion shop then?” I asked him, just to make sure.    

        “Yeah, duh,” he said and rolled his eyes.

        I would have jumped all over his ass, but I decided to keep it civil.  “Then what is that bagged fish for?”

        He looked over at it and then back at me.  He looked around like he was fishing in his mind for an answer but just said, “Are you going to buy something or not?”

        “Yeah, sure,” I said and I rolled my eyes.  This guy was an ass.  “Um, give me one red and one green potion, please.”

        “That will be thirty rupees each,” the guy said and he went to the back.  I watched as he took a ladle and sampled the green and red potions; putting them in separate bottles.  He then threw them on the counter and I handed him the rupees. 

        “Thanks,” he said with absolutely no enthusiasm.  “Come again…not.” 
        I didn’t want to deal with this guy so I left quickly.  I put the bottles away, had Lux get on my shoulder, and continued to look around.  I decided to go to the shooting range.  They said, or rather the sign said, if someone broke the record, they would get some sort of prize.  I was all over that, of course.  It would at least kill some time, anyway.
        I walked in to find a rather big, hairy, and ugly dude at the counter.
        “Aren’t you a little young to be in here?” he asked.  I could smell alcohol on his breath.
        “I bet I can shoot a lot better then you,” I said to him.

        He just nodded and said, “Yeah, you could, seeing how I’m drunk all day, every day.”

        I rolled my eyes and sat some rupees on the table and went to the platform ahead where one had to stand to shoot at the targets.
        “Alright girlie, here we go,” the man said and I heard a ring.
        This game, unfortunately, was rather easy so I knocked out all of the rupees, which were the targets.  Once I hit the last one right on, the rupee burst into shiny, little pieces.
        “Congrats, girlie,” the man yelled.  “You won our greatest prize!”
        The man handed me a bigger pouch, so I could hold more seeds.  I took off the one I had around my waist and replaced it with the bigger one.
        “Thank you,” I said and I left.  I swear his breath was making me tipsy, so I needed some fresh air.
        When I walked out, I heard some singing.  I looked over to see a girl standing there; swaying back and forth to her own melody.  She had shiny, red hair and looked to be about my age.  This girl was actually pretty good at singing, so I walked up to her and listened.  She opened her eyes after she sang the ending note of her song and said, “Oh, you must be a child from the forest! I love your clothes.”
        “Thanks,” I said.
        “I saw a boy dressed up just like you.  Are you guys siblings, or better yet, are you married?”
        “Well, no, we’re, um, friends, I guess.”
        “This guy seemed sort of upset though.  Did you make him angry?”
        “No, he’s just irritated.”
        “Well, my name’s Malon,” she said and held out her hand.  I hesitated at first, seeing how dirty it was, but I wanted to be polite.  I shook her hand, which made her smile brighten a bit.  “Do you know the Lon Lon ranch?”
        “I’m new here, so no,” I said.
        “Well, it’s this beautiful ranch right in the middle of Hyrule field.  We have horses, cows, and chickens, but my favorite are the horses.”
        “Why are you here?” I asked.
        “Well, my father went into the gates of the castle this morning, but as you can see the sun is setting.  He has this terrible habit of dozing off, so I’m afraid he’s asleep somewhere on the castle grounds.  I’m really scared to leave him, so I just stay here and sing.” 

        “I, uh, have to enter the castle anyway, so I could look out for him.  What does he look like?”
        “He’s rather chubby and has a big, round nose. Oh, and he’s wearing overalls.”
        “Is his name Mario?” I asked.
        “No silly, his name’s Talon.  What kind of name is Mario?”
        “I’m not sure, a pretty dumb one, I guess.”
        “Ooh, what’s that cutie pie?” Malon asked.  She was looking at my feet and pointed at Lux.
        “This is my, uh, shrew, Lux,” I said faintly.  I really had no idea what it was and I was a little embarrassed about that.
        “He is so cute! Where can I get one?”

        “They’re extremely rare.  Just look in some bushes and you might find one.”

        “Alright!” Malon said and she started to look around.  I figured she was looking for some bushes.
        “Uh…I’m going to go and find your father after I find my friend, so wait here.  Or at least wait around here, and I’ll bring him here to you.”
        “Alright, but I need to give you this egg first.”
        Malon suddenly pulled out an object and handed me an egg.  “Since you technically can’t get into the castle until the morning, I want you to have this,” she said.  “I’ve been taking really good care of this egg, so it should hatch in the morning.  My father only wakes up to the sound of a chicken, so you will need to find a place to at least crash for the night.”
        “Do you have somewhere to go for the night?” I asked Malon.  I didn’t just want to leave her by herself, especially in a town at night.
        “Oh yeah, I can stay somewhere tonight,” Malon said.  “I’m friends with a woman here. This isn’t the first time my father has fallen asleep in the castle.”
        “Alright, well I will see you tomorrow. Thank you for the egg.”      

        “You’re welcome!” Malon said and waved childishly.  I watched as she hopped along and looked in various bushes.
        One thing I knew was that I had to find Link before it became dark.  I didn’t know what to do or where Link was, but I walked around everywhere.  Once it officially became nighttime, I had searched everywhere and still had no success.
        I wondered if Link had gone outside of the town and out to the field, so I went back to the entrance.  The draw bridge was up however, so I sat down with my back towards the draw bridge.  I was so tired and just wanted to find that kid so I could sleep.
        “Link, where the hell are you?” I shouted to the sky.
        “I’m over here!” I heard a voice shout.  I then heard something banging on the other side of the draw bridge.
        “Link?” I said.
        “This is him, now hurry.  There are skeletons all over the place!” he yelled.
        “Skeletons?” I asked. “What the heck do you mean by skeletons?”
        “These things just started to dig out from under the ground!  Now get that draw bridge down and get me away from these things!”
        “Well, I don’t know if I can do that exactly.”
        “Hey, try to see if Lux can do something,” Navi shouted.
        I looked down at Lux who had something in his mouth.
        “Spit that out,” I whispered and Lux spit out Max.  “Now Lux, can you climb up walls?”
        “Pika?” he said and tilted his head.  I assumed he was confused.
        “Up there,” I said and pointed up to the top of the wall.  “Climb this wall and save Link and Navi.”
        “Pikachu,” Lux seemed to say with determination.  He looked up the wall and then looked at his surroundings.  He suddenly jumped on a tree and then a roof.  In no time Lux was on the edge of the wall surrounding the castle town, probably trying to find the lever to pull the thing.
        It wasn’t too long when the draw bridge started to go down.  Link and Navi rushed in and I took out my sword and started to cut down the skeletons.  They burst into dust and didn’t come back.  After you took down three of them, though, three more decided to dig itself up.
        “Why won’t these things just rest?” I said aloud.
        Link and I found ourselves back to back and surrounded by these damn skeletons.  They just kept coming and coming.  After a while, they decided that more than three should come out and fight us.
        “So, what should we do now?” I asked.  Link and I were surrounded by at least forty of the things.
        “I don’t really know what we should do,” Link said, “but I’m getting really tired right now.  I’ve been out here for a while and now that you showed up, everything is even worse.”
        Where’s Lux? I thought.
        I was scared Lux had gotten caught or lost up on that wall.  I didn’t want to lose him. But, my reader, I should’ve been the one worried about getting caught because soon the soldiers of Hyrule’s Royal Family came down to see why their draw bridge was down.
        They quickly destroyed the skeletons around us.
        “Well, thank you!” I said excitedly.
        “By order of the King of Hyrule, you two are now under arrest,” a soldier said.     He grabbed my arm and I shouted, “Hey, what the hell’s wrong with you?”
        “Sergeant Harold, please remove the weapons from these two,” the head soldier said. “Put them in cell 26.  We’ll discuss later whether these two should be killed or tortured for their crimes.”
        “I’d rather be killed,” I said.
        “Soldier, shut this dame up,” the head guy said again.
        Then, I felt something big hit the back of my head and all I remember was passing out.



Chapter 5-The Princess of Destiny by Underdog Ash


I woke up to the glare of the morning sun shining in from a window. I was laying down, so I sat up and felt my a pile of hay beneath me. I had a terrible headache and couldn’t remember a thing. I looked beside me and there was Link, laying down and looking at the ceiling.
“Hey Link,” I said, “what happened?”
“Well, Ashley, you decided to run your mouth when some guard arrested us and they gave you what you deserved,” Link said harshly.
It sort of came back to me. I remembered the skeleton things and Link asking me to get the draw bridge down for him. We were in a dungeon cell.
“Alright, well Link, if it wasn’t for me, you would be seriously hurt,” I said.
“Ash, just shut up. Your mouth has gotten us in enough trouble and we haven’t even met the princess yet.”
Link was right, my mouth had gotten both of us into some big trouble. The problem with me was that I didn’t know when to keep my mouth shut and I always make things fair for everyone. If I can’t do that, I run my mouth. In the last situation, I was trying to save Link from these walking skeletons on then the soldiers came and arrested us.
I didn’t know what to say, so I just asked this: “Well, where’s Lux, Max, and Navi?”
“I don’t know, and it definitely doesn’t matter right now. We can’t get out there to help them and we’re either going to be tortured or killed at this point.”
“Don’t you think that killing us just because we made the draw bridge go down is a bit harsh?”
“I’ll tell you this Ashley, because Navi told me this earlier. The soldiers here have a zero tolerance policy on everything. Navi told me to watch you, but I wanted to be by myself for awhile. I really did think it would be okay to leave you by yourself, but look where we are now!”
“But Link, I saved-”
“Who stinkin’ cares? I saved the Deku Tree and didn’t run my mouth to the point where I was thrown in jail. You’re lucky Mido didn’t kill you because of that mouth of yours. All you ever do if run your mouth and I’m tired of it. I’m tired of being around you, having to baby sit you, and most of all, having to work with you. You’re a pain in my ass!”
I felt some tears in my eyes, reader, but I fought them back. There was a pause and Link just looked at me. I looked at my knees; wishing he wasn’t there.
“Pika!” we both suddenly heard. It came from outside the window and I looked around and saw Lux’s smiling, fuzzy face.
“Lux!” I shouted, “I missed you buddy.”
Shortly after, Navi and Max flew up to our view.
“Hey, we’ll get you out of here, okay,” Navi said.
“But how?” Link asked.
“We’ll figure that one out ourselves,” Max said, “but with Lux here, we should have no worries on getting caught by guards.”
“Pikachu,” Lux said in delight. I still had no idea what that meant, but I could tell BY Lux’s facial features that he was happy.
Lux and Navi disappeared quickly and Max said, “See you soon!”
I turned around and saw Link. He was staring at a wall so I walked quietly back to the hay pile and watched him for about thirty seconds. I had to say something.
“Link,” I began, “how about you come and sit down beside me to try and calm your nerves.”
“I can’t” Link said and he put his head in one hand.
“Why?”
“I can’t get too close to you as a partner or friend because I know your deal. I’m just someone that you’re suppose to be on a mission with and once this mission is over, you’ll leave and I’ll never see you again.”
I had no idea what he was talking about, so I quickly said, “Where did you here that from?”
“You don’t have to play dumb. It won’t make me feel better.”
“I’m not playing dumb,” I said. I stood up quickly and added, “Who told you this?”
“Saria,” Link said. “The Great Deku Tree wanted to tell me that I shouldn’t become close friends with you because after you’re done here, it’ll be like you never met me or had never been in Hyrule.”
“Link, I hope that’s not true,” I said and I grabbed his shoulder and turned him to face me. “Look, I just started this whole ‘mission’ thing for Mario and Princess Toadstool. I was dragged into this mess without too many details. If that is true, I’ll have to talk to Mario. Hyrule is too beautiful to leave behind and, as of right now, you’re the only best friend I have in this world. Yeah, we fight a lot, but I’m glad that I get to help you. I don’t consider you a client or whatever. I consider you a friend for life.”
Link looked at me for a little while and then suddenly hugged me. I didn’t know what to do, so I just wrapped my arms around him, but didn’t squeeze or anything. This whole friendship between Link and I was weird. I noticed something weird, though. Link’s shield and sword wasn’t on his back.
“Link, where’s our weapons?” I asked, which probably broke the warm embrace or whatever, but I didn’t care. I was afraid of hugs, especially hugs from those of the opposite sex.
Link backed off a bit, but only a little, and said, “Well, I’m guessing that the guards confiscated them. I remember one of them taking my stuff away, but I didn’t see what they did to yours.”
“Hmm, that’s weird,” I said and I turned my head so I could quit looking at this kid. Link made me uncomfortable and nervous, so I didn’t know what to do.
Lux came to my rescue, however. Link and I heard these loud crashes and Max and Navi entered our cell. Lux appeared shortly after with a key in his mouth.
“Good boy, my Lux!” I shouted.
Lux smiled, or at least tried to, but the key in his mouth made it quite awkward. Lux removed the key and jumped up to get it in the key hole. He then jumped up again to turn it. As soon as I heard a click, I opened the cell.
I patted Lux on the head and slanted my shoulder down. Lux jumped right on his shoulder and got to his position. I took the key out of the key hole because you never knew when you would need something.
“Alright, before we do anything else, we need to find our weapons,” Link said.
“Well duh,” I said and I gave him a little smile. “Let’s get this party started, sir.”
We ran to the end of the dungeon, passing few cells. There weren’t really any prisoners in the dungeons and I wasn’t going to see if there were any prisoners being tortured. We all came to a door and I was getting ready to open it when Navi shouted, “Hey!”
Her voice pierced my ears and I yelled, “What the hell do you want! Why do you have to yell so loud?”
“I just wanted to say that Lux took out a lot of guards on our way here,” she said, “there’s bound to be guards on call to find us.”
“You’re right,” I said.
I still opened the door quickly and got against the nearest wall. Link, amusingly, did the same. I pointed forward like they did in those serious, war movies and we went down this hallway where there were two steps of stairs; one going down and the other going up.
Back at home, there were movies about fairy tale castles like the Hyrule castle. If I took the downstairs, I would be led to the basement of the castle which was definitely where the torture chambers had to be. Upstairs would be the kitchen where cooks would prepare meals for the prisoners. This, reader, was just my assumption, but I also knew that, seeing as the window in our cell was rather small and up high, it probably meant we were partially underground at the moment.
“Let’s go upstairs,” I said quietly.
We moved upstairs and came to a wooden door. I turned the door knob and thrust open the door, screaming like an idiot. It was a kitchen, but no one was in it. I expected someone to be in the room and that was why I screamed. Now I just felt like an idiot.
“Yum, smells good up here,” Max said and he flew over to a pot of stew. Max decided to fly over it and eventually land in it. I didn’t know if he was eating or relaxing.
“Max, get out of there this instant,” Navi scolded.
Max quickly got out of the stew and hovered around Lux’s ears. There was a door to the right of us, so I went to that door and opened it as quick as I could. It led us to a huge, open loft with couches and tables and a huge fireplace.
“This must be where the guards hang out when they’re off duty,” I said.
“Great, but we can’t stop and rest,” Link said.
“Aw, calm down,” I said and I plopped onto a nice, red couch. “I’m sure there will be no guards in here since they’re looking for us pesky kids.” I took a glass of a red liquid off the table and drank it.
“Yuck,” I said quietly, “this stuff tastes like shampoo.” I decided to test it out and blow bubbles out of my mouth since I had the liquid in contact with my saliva. Surely enough, I was able to blow bubbles.
“Oh my God, I found shampoo!” I shouted. “Link, I found-”
I would’ve continued to tell Link about my discovery, but when I jumped up to see him, I saw Ganondorf, who was holding Link up in the air by his throat.
I dropped my glass and jumped after Ganondorf. I jumped up and grabbed the arm he had stretched out, the arm that was attached to the hand that was wrapped around Link’s small neck.
I had no sword, so I bit this guy’s arm as hard as I could. It was leathery and tough but I was still able to break the skin somehow. Between me biting him and the fairies pounding him on the head, we weren’t enough. Ganondorf released Link by throwing him against a wall. The guy even swatted the fairies away. Ganondorf just looked at me and he looked at the bite I gave him.
“I knew when I saw you, you would end up being a huge pest,” Ganondorf said. “I knew you’d meddle in my business. I should’ve left you alone to cry, maybe you would’ve done Hyrule a favor and killed yourself, you miserable scum.”
“Alright asshole,” I snapped, “keep talking, keep talking.”
“Humph, you’re not worth my time,” he said and he held out his hand, his palm facing mine. The next thing I knew was this misty, purple light seemed to build in his palm and this guy shot me. The blast was terrible and it shot me all the way back and into the fireplace which, luckily for me, was not lit.
“I knew it wouldn’t take much to take both of you down,” Ganondorf said. I went in and out of consciousness, but I was able to hear all Ganondorf had to say.
“Shut up,” I said. I meant to yell it, but it didn’t come out that way. I was really beat up and I ached everywhere. I wanted to just pass out, but I knew I couldn’t, otherwise I might not wake up again.
“That’s funny,” I heard Ganondorf say, “your mouth is still running, even when you have clearly been defeated.”
I opened my eyes and saw Ganondorf much closer to me now. He had a sword in his hand and it was pointed at my throat.
“Maybe, I remove your vocal chords, you’d shut up, but you’re just enough of an idiot to try to talk anyway. Maybe this will help you learn your place.” Ganondorf slashed one of my cheeks just a little bit, but it hurt like hell. It stung like a really deep paper cut.
“Hmm, but I still don’t feel that I’ve done enough to you,” Ganondorf said. “How about I just kill you, so I will have one less piece of scum in my kingdom.” Ganondorf brought his sword to his side and added, “But don’t tell King Daphnes I said that. If you did, I might get in trouble.”
To make my torture worse, this jerk decided to let out the biggest and longest laugh I have ever heard. It hurt my ears and reader, for that moment, I wanted him to just kill me.
The best thing happened next, though. Lux jumped out of no where and jumped right on Ganondorf and started to shock the crap out of him. Ganondorf yelled and thrashed around and eventually knocked Lux off his head.
“You rotten pest,” Ganondorf yelled and he started to shoot Lux. But, my boy started running all around the room and dodged every shot fired at him. While this was going on, Link rose from the spot he landed. He jumped on Ganondorf and covered his head.
Out of nowhere, this stone fell out of Ganondorf’s pocket. I got up and held my aching head, but I went over and grabbed the stone as quick as I could. It was a sea green stone with a lightning bolt in the middle. I had no time to looked at it, however, so I shoved it in my pocket.
Ganondorf was too disoriented to do anything at that moment, but he ended up releasing this terrible power that threw all of us back. For some reason, when I hit the wall I noticed Ganondorf checking his pockets for something.
“Damn,” he said and mumbled something. “Alright children, due to a little issue in my schedule, I have to leave you here for a bit. But, I will be back later, and next time, I won’t be as nice.”
There was a big blast of purple smoke and when it cleared, Ganondorf was gone. I slowly got up and I felt my right cheek bleeding. It dripped off of my chin and fell to my lap. I was way too tired to get up. I felt beat up and tired and just worn down. Link came over to me, or rather crawled to me, because he wanted to make sure I was okay.
“Are you, are you alright?” he asked.
“Besides the splinters in my back from the fireplace, I guess you could say that I’m fine,” I said softly. There was blood coming from my mouth and I had trouble breathing.
Link brushed off my tunic because it had ash all over it. Lux came over to me, too, and sat right on my lap.
“Oh yeah, before I forget,” I said quietly, “when you were on Ganondorf, you made him drop this. It came from one of his pockets, I guess.”
I took the stone out of my pocket and let Link see it. He examined it and said, “I wonder if it means something.”
Lux, I noticed, was staring at it intensely.
“What’s wrong, Lux?” I asked and Lux looked at me, determined for some reason. He pointed at the stone in Link’s hands and then pointed at me and finally, at himself.
“You want me to put that stone on you?” I asked.
“Pika!” he exclaimed.
I felt too tired to reach out my arm so I asked Link to do it. Lux started shaking his head, but Link had already put the stone on his body. Nothing happened, however.
Lux then started to point at me intensely so Link handed me the stone. I noticed closely that the stone started to glow a bit. It went from sea green to a teal color. I stared at it deeply, trying to figure out what it was.
“It matches your eye color now,” said Link, but he quickly recovered and said, “Not that I know the exact tint of your eyes, but I just made an observation.”
Lux pointed at himself, jumping up and down and it caught my attention. I didn’t see what the big deal was, so I put the stone against his body.
What I saw at that split second was a bright, golden light. A light so powerful that it shot me backwards and put me right back in the fireplace. I felt this power surge through my body, but it was overwhelming and I passed out.

I woke up to the sight of Link and the fairies. They kept repeating my name and shook my entire body, even after I had gained consciousness.
“Whoa,” I said, “how long have I been out.”
“For five minutes,” Link said. “That stone did something weird and you flew backwards.”
“I swear there were sparks coming out of that fireplace,” Max said.
“No, you’re just imagining things, silly boy,” Navi said.
“Um, beside the sparks though,” Link said, “Lux is a bit, well, different.”
I sat up and held my head. It hurt so bad, more than it ever had before in my life. I looked at my fingertips and noticed that my hand was shaking really bad.
“What happened to Lux?” I asked while I watched my hand.
“Well, something bizarre happened,” Link said. “That stone made him, well, transform.”
“Rai,” I heard and looked to my side.
“Damn, what the heck is this?” I asked.
“Raichu,” this thing said quietly.
“Ash, this is Lux,” Link said. “Right after that bright light cleared up, he was standing there.”
Lux now had large, brown feet and his body was more of a golden yellow rather than bright yellow. His ears were now bigger and had rings on the end. He had also grown bigger and had a long, whip-like tail with a lightning bolt looking formation on the end. I touched his face and scratched his floppy, new ears.
“So, you’ve grown,” I said and as I scratched, Lux’s foot went berserk.
Suddenly, it seemed that I gained friction from scratching him and my hands became engulfed by electricity. I quickly drew my hand back, but the electricity was still all around it.
“What the hell,” I said and I stood up in panic. I was too weak, however, and I stumbled back down. I shook my hand really fast and this electricity flew off my hand and on the rug I was sitting on and it left a burn there.
“Ash, Ash,” Link said trying to grab me, “calm down, please calm down.”
I stopped and stared at my hand again. I tensed my muscles and electricity came out of my palm. It went everywhere because it was so hard to control, but I felt no pain at all. I did lose control but Lux rushed over and put his tail in my palm, which stopped the electric flow.
“Raichu,” Lux said and he put my hand down by my side.
I stared at Lux and then looked at Link. I was horrified and didn’t know what to do, but then we heard a door open and Link quickly stood up.
“Oh, hello,” said a sweet voice. I looked up and saw a girl in a dress. She had on this really ugly headdress as well. Her big blue eyes were really striking, though.
Link stood up slowly and I noticed that he couldn’t take his eyes off her. “Hi, uh, Princess?” he said with a tone of confusion in his voice.
“Why yes, I am Princess Zelda of Hyrule,” she said and walked towards us slowly. Link walked towards her slowly too, and once they became close, Zelda walked right passed him and lifted me up. She saw Lux and said, “Oh, what a cute little Raichu. I’ve been seeing Pikachus around Hyrule lately, but not Raichus?”
“What are those?” I asked as she helped me to the red couch.
“Well, they’re Pokemon, from the Kanto region way up north from here,” Zelda said and she helped me sit down. “They’re electric mice. I personally think they’re rats, however.”
Link came and waited to see where Zelda said. She ended up sitting in a single chair so Link put on a face of discontent and sat by me. Lux hopped up with me, too, and Max and Navi flew behind him.
“Oh joy, you two have fairies,” Zelda said. “Is it okay if I tell you a little secret, if you don’t mind of course. It might seem dumb, but-”
“No, tell us,” said Link. I looked at him and he had a beaming look on his face. He was going to listen to everything she had to say.
“Well, you, boy, look like the one in my dream,” Zelda said and that made Link extremely happy.
“Was it a love dream?” he asked desperately.
“You’re silly,” Zelda said and she giggled a little. “Well, in this dream, the sky was dark and I was lost. There was fire all around me, but I looked forward towards the forest and you appeared. What’s you’re name?”
“Link,” he said.
“Well, you had this green stone and a fairy. You were the light in front of me. I think my dream was trying to tell me something, but my father thought I was nuts.” Zelda’s face soon turned dark and she said, “But, there was one more person in my dream.”
“Who?” Link asked cheerily.
“Ganondorf Dragmire?” I said as a joke.
“Yes, how did you know?” she said. “Oh, and what’s your name.”
“Ashley, but you can call me Ash,” I said.
“Nice to meet you both, but how do you know about Mr. Dragmire.”
“Uh, well, he beat the crap outta me,” I said. “Look at how messy this room is and how worn out I am.”
“I am dreadfully sorry,” Zelda said.
“Well, I was also arrested for trying to save this kid here from a bunch of skeletons, so you, or your father, owe me a lot of stuff.”
“Here, how about I give you and Link here one full day in the castle,” Zelda said cheerfully. “You both look extremely tired and I’ll calm down the guards for you. I’m sure my attendant, Impa, will be able to find you rooms. We have dinner at six, so you can come and meet father as well.”
Zelda hopped from the couch and went out of the room. Impa came in the loft without Zelda.
“I am terribly sorry for your injuries, Ash and Link,” this girl said. She had white hair and a tattoo on her both her eyes. She barely had clothes on and the clothes she had on were extremely skin tight. “If you’ll come with me, I should be able to get you a nice room for the night.”
Link, who was out of his Zelda daze, helped me get up. I still couldn’t walk very well, so I counted on Link’s support to get through the castle. We both left the loft and followed Impa through the castle. I didn’t know what to expect next, but I was hungry and tired and it seemed like rest and food was next on my schedule, however, I barely made it out of the loft and I passed out on the floor.









Chapter 6- Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? by Underdog Ash


When I was unconscious, I had a weird dream. In this dream, Lux and I found a piece of the Triforce ourselves, but the triangle was upside down, compared to how the other two were on the Triforce. I decided to touch this piece, which exploded into a surge of electricity and all that electricity went into me. I looked down at my right hand and the full Triforce was on it, but only the middle was glowing.
Suddenly, Zelda and Link appeared and their hands, Zelda’s right and Link’s left, were glowing and they also had the Triforce on their hands. We suddenly heard this huge laugh, however, and behind me was Ganondorf. He replaced the piece of Triforce that was behind me. He shot me with this terrible power and I woke up all of the sudden.
I had sat up extremely quick. I found myself laying in a nice, soft bed. I looked at the table to my right and there was my hat. I looked behind me and noticed there was a small line of blood on my pillow. I felt my right cheek, which stung a little. The bleeding had stopped, but I still felt a stinging feeling on that cheek.
I sat on the edge of the bed. A window was open and it smelled to me like a nice, spring afternoon. Because of this nice weather, I decided to get up. I was a bit sore, or rather extremely sore, but I would get over it. I grabbed my hat and underneath it I found the Thunderstone and a note.

I thought you would like this back, Thunderstones can only be used once, but I think that this item will always be important for you and Lux. I will be honest, there’s a mysterious aura from that Thunderstone and I think that is why Ganondorf had this stone. I do not know why he had it exactly, but I would stay on your toes.
Now, get some rest and join us at dinner at 6:30. My father is excited to meet you. There should be a wardrobe in this room, so pick out a dress that you would like and be proper for dinner.

Sincerely,
Princess Zelda


I put the stone and the note down on the end table. I had to get dressed so I represented myself well in front of the King of Hyrule. There was a wardrobe across from me, so I peeked inside. It was filled with gorgeous dresses of almost every color. They were all rather long, but that was fine. Back on home, I’d always see older girls wearing short skirted dresses.
I picked out my favorite dress. It was a dark yellow, almost like a goldenrod color. There were even long, golden gloves that came with the dress. When I was little, I remember wanting those kinds of gloves, for princesses always wore them. After I put on the dress, I slipped the gloves on.
Under all the dresses in the wardrobe, there were several pairs of dress shoes. I chose the black ones only because I didn’t want to look too yellow. I slipped the shoes on. I never really wore dress shoes, and I discovered how uncomfortable they were. They were hard to walk in and I could feel the leather rub against my feet. I knew I would have terrible blisters, but I needed to look decent. My boots definitely weren’t the pair of shoes to wear with the dress I had on.
I decided to take a stroll around the castle a bit. I left the room and stepped out into a huge hallway. It had a high ceiling and everything. The floor was a black marble and the walls were actually smooth and they were a white color. My footsteps echoed as I walked. The hall way was empty, so that was understandable.
I had never been in an actual castle before, which I guess was alright. As far as I knew, there were no castles in Ohio, or at least there weren’t any castles in my town. I was excited to actually walk around. I had to find Link anyway and sitting in my room wouldn’t help me find him.

I walked for about an hour and still couldn’t find Link. The castle was beautiful, but I was having trouble soaking it in. My feet hurt so badly. I had to find a seat and take the shoes off. I cam to these two double doors and opened one of them. They were extremely heavy and the pressure I put on my feet to move the doors made the shoes cut into my skin a little.
The room I entered was a huge chapel. There were several rows of pews and a huge organ. It wasn’t being played at the time which was because there was no service that evening. There was a huge stain glass window on the other side of the church. I expected Jesus to be on it or something, but it was a huge Triforce. Flying around it were three women. They were colored for one was blue, one was green, and the last was red.
Sitting at a pew was Zelda’s attendant, Impa. She turned around and motioned for me to sit with her. I didn’t want to be rude, so I sat down with her. I still wanted to be proper, so I kept my shoes on, despite the fact that it felt like a thousand mice were chewing on my poor feet.
“Hello, child,” Impa said, “what brings you hear?”
“Ah, I was just looking around,” I said.
“It’s rather a coincidence that you made your way here, I suppose,” Impa said. “This is a chapel that honors the Goddess of the Triforce.”
“Is that the triangle on the window?” I asked and I pointed to it.
“Yes, child. It’s the sacred symbol of our kingdom. However, this sacred symbol had caused terrible wars to befall this kingdom.”
“Wars?”
“Why yes. Hyrule is one of the most purest and desirable kingdoms around this world. We’ve had several people try to take it from us. But usually, they’re only after one thing.”
“The Triforce?”
“Correct,” Impa said, and she smiled. “Unfortunately, our symbol had caused many wars, even several civil wars.”
“Between whom?” I asked.
Impa’s face seemed to darken and she replied, “The Gerudos.”
“Who are the ’Gerudos?’”
“They’re a human race that live in the desert. It’s a barren, wasteland, now full of criminals. The Gerudos use to be peaceful and offered to help our kingdom. Someone got a hold of the Triforce of Power, and went mad. That was over one hundred years ago, however.”
“Where’s the Triforce of Power now?” I asked.
“No one knows. I have heard that it was destroyed years ago by an ancestor to our current king, because that one piece seemed to drive people mad, unlike the other two pieces. I’ve also heard that Din, the Goddess of Power, came down to Hyrule for a short second and took the Triforce of Power, so law would return to this kingdom.”
“Wow,” I said.
“I know where you got that cut,” Impa said. “Ganon attacked you, didn’t he?”
“Yeah,” I said and I touched my right cheek. The blood had dried quite well.
“I suspected that was why you were so wounded. Ganon is very questionable, but the King of Hyrule trusts him. I am very disappointed in my king, honestly, for he has been ignoring the nightmares that Zelda has had that showed this man as an enemy.”
I suddenly remembered the dream I had. Ganondorf was in mine and Zelda’s dream. I also remembered that a couple days ago, Link had a nightmare that he didn’t tell me about. I began to wonder if all of our dreams had some sort of connection, but I wasn’t sure why or how the dreams were happening.
“Are you okay, Ashley?” Impa asked and I suddenly snapped back to reality.
“Oh, yeah, I’m fine,” I said quickly.
There was a small pause and then Impa said, “Did you get your Thunderstone back?”
“Oh, yeah,” I said.
“Now, I want to talk to you about that stone. I’m not quite sure why Ganon had it, but I think that it is extremely important to his demise. I think there’s a great reason for why you were sent here. You’re not just an assistant, I think you too, are a hero that will go down in all the legends.”
“I just feel that there’s something…unique about this stone,” I said.
“I feel the same way as well,” Impa said. “Zelda told me that she felt a certain aura from that stone. She said it was an electric kind of aura, which may only be because it’s a Thunderstone, but there’s just something about it. It must be unique if Ganon had it, but I’m not sure why yet.”
“Well, when I put the stone on Lux, my Raichu, it blasted out this electric power and blew my backwards. Afterwards, I started shooting bolts of lightning out of my hand. There was no pain at all and it was extremely hard to control.”
Impa looked impressed and said, “Can you use this power?”
“I can try, but I don’t know if I can really control it yet.”
I stretched out my arm and thought hard about what I wanted to do. I wanted to harness this power and make it my own. I felt the power start to happen in my palm and saw a light. Instead of playing it cool however, I became extremely anxious and panicked. The lightning bolted from my hand and hit a metal stand and bounced back.
Impa and I ducked between pews quickly and I heard a lot of static above my head, but it passed extremely quick. I stood up and saw that the bolt hit a stone pillar. The pillar was fine, but the bolt had burnt it a little and a black circle was on it now.
“Damn,” I mumbled.
Impa’s face was blank. I don’t know what she was thinking, but I bet she was terribly shocked. I wasn’t sure what she was going to do next, but I would be patient to hear what she had to say. The sight of my lightning stuff must have been quite the surprise.
“That must be why Ganon had that stone,” she said. Impa then grabbed my wrists and held them up. “I can’t tell you anything right now, for it’s not my place, but you will play an extremely important role in not only saving Hyrule, but in saving this dimension as well.”
“What do you mean?” I asked. I was eager to hear what I was suppose to do. Even though my name was just randomly drawn out of Mario’s hat, something about me was different. At home, I was a regular, old kid, but here, there was something peculiar.
“Ms. Brandt, it is not my place to tell you anything,” Impa said seriously. “All of that information will come in due time, but right now I am afraid you’re too young to bear it.”
“I can bear. I can bear anything!”
“You are an ambitious child, but that also makes you foolish. I cannot tell you because it is not my place to do so.”
I admitted defeat and sat back down on the pew. I turned my hand around so the palm was facing me. I held out my pointing finger and watched as a little spark of electricity came from it.
“I would practice your special ability by yourself once you leave this castle,” Impa said. “Don’t use your powers in front of the King tonight. It is almost time for dinner, so try not to be late. The dining hall is down a hall way to your right. There you reach the lobby of the castle. In between the double staircase should be another hall wall which leads to the ball room. On the right in this room is a huge double door. Enter that door and you will have entered the dining hall.”
Impa started to walk down the aisle of pews and opened the huge double doors to exit the chapel. Then she said, “Oh, and Ash. Try to not be late to this dinner.”
I rolled my eyes, but I knew that I got ready at the last second and barely made it to the destination. Unfortunately, my feet would get no rest, but the bleeding had stopped on my foot. I would wrap it in a bandage after dinner for I didn’t want a huge bandage around my foot. That just wasn’t proper.
I stood up and stretched a bit. After straightening myself up to leave, I realized that I had heard snoring. Suddenly, my mind flashed a vision of Malon.
“Oh crap,” I said and I ran towards the source of the snoring. On one of the pews laid a fat, bushy looking man. He had a big nose and a moustache. He looked a bit like Mario, except not as short.
I nudged the man a little bit, but he still laid there. For fun, I decided to go behind the pew and lift it a bit. It was extremely heavy with Talon on it, but I was able to lift it just enough for him to slide off.
“Whoa,” I heard him yell right after I heard him plop on the floor. “What in tar nation?”
“Talon?” I asked.
The man turned and saw me. He quickly stood up and brushed himself off. He held out his hand and said, “Yes, I’m Talon, the owner of the glorious Lon Lon Ranch.”
I shook his hand which was quite dirty and got dry dirt on my gloves.
“Well, can I just say that your daughter, Malon, has been waiting in the castle market for you?” I said.
“Oh no, my baby girl,” Talon said quickly. He took off running and started to yell at himself: “Oh, she’s gonna kill me!”
I’ll admit my dear reader, I was amused. I wiped the dirt from my glove on the fabric of the pew in front of me and decided it was time to arrive for dinner. I hadn’t seen Link, Lux, or the two fairies for quite awhile. Though the fairies and Lux probably couldn’t have dinner with us, I at least wanted to see Link and see that he was okay.
I also wanted to see if he actually dressed up.

I would have to say my reader that one of the most awkward parts of my life would take part at that dinner table, the one I just arrived to. Link was sitting about six chairs down to where the King of Hyrule would sit.
Link was actually dressed up nicely. He wore a forest green top that reminded me of what an old, Renaissance kind of poet would wear. He actually had on nice fitting pants and the ends of each pant leg were tucked into these nice, black leather boots. Since he didn’t wear that ridiculous, floppy hat, I could see his blonde hair, which made his blue eyes pop even more.
Link saw me and stood up and bowed or something.
“Uh, you don’t need to do that, sir,” I said.
“Well, I was told that men have to bow to nice ladies,” Link said.
“Well, we’re only twelve,” I stated.
Link nodded and pulled out the chair on his right and I sat down. He actually pushed it back for me. This surprised me, seeing as he was a fairy boy and probably hadn’t learned proper table etiquette. I mean, I really hadn’t either, but I knew some of it.
As expected, we weren’t the only ones at dinner. Most of the seats filled up, except for the King and Queen’s seat, two seats beside the Queen that were probably Zelda and Impa’s seats, and the seat right in front of me.
The huge double doors opened and someone announced the entering of the King, Queen, Princess, and Royal Attendant. Everyone around me stood up and bowed. I sat there looking awkward for a second, but quickly stood up to bow myself, knocking over my chair in the process. The King noticed but said no words. He just raised his hands.
The King of Hyrule, or Daphnes, was a rather big man with a nicely trimmed, white beard. He didn’t look that old and I guess he was maybe in his forties or so. He had these furry looking white eye brows and brown, beady eyes.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” his big voice boomed and echoed through the dining hall, “we have a guest for dinner this evening so please remain standing to welcome our Royal Guest.”
Oh shit, I thought. Link glanced at me and I gave him a look of distress. He seemed to know what I was thinking and whispered, “Nah, it’s not him, Ashley.”
If you see my connection reader, I was extremely scared that this ‘Royal Guest’ was none other than Ganondorf. Link seemed to beg to differ it was him, but I just had this idea…
“Please welcome our guest, Mr. Ganondorf Dragmire,” the King boomed.
I gave Link an irritated glance and all of the people around us bowed. Link began to bow, but I just stood straight. Ganondorf saw this and glared at me. He gave me a snotty looking smirk and nodded to the people. I had a fixed stare on him and watched his every step. He mad his way around the table and sat at the only seat available.
The one across from me…
“Oh, yes,” the King said suddenly, “I would also like to introduce my daughter’s Royal Guests, Link and Ashley.”
We didn’t get bowed to, but we got some warm applause. The King smiled warmly at us and motioned for all of us to sit down. I sat down in the nice, cushioned chair and then faced Ganondorf…but only at a dinner table…
These servants brought out a lot of food. It was really only a salad with beets and what not in it, but I knew this would be a formal dinner, so meals would be split up. Link, I knew, had no idea what a salad was because he ate leaves in that dump of a forest his whole life.
I will tell you, Ganondorf was getting really annoying. He did that thing where he stared at you while he ate. He put on his angry, but eating face and I could tell because he wrinkled his brow, which was where those two orange looking caterpillar eyebrows sat.
I decided that two could play that game, so I wielded my fork in my hand and began to eat, staring directly at Ganondorf. I didn’t practice doing such as much as he must have, because I kept missing my mouth and lettuce kept falling on my dress.
Unfortunately for me, Ganondorf was unable to laugh quietly to himself, so that monkey headed freak belted out this huge boom of laughter, which caused everyone to stop eating and look directly at both of us.
“Oh, pardon me, this young lady here is a funny little thing,” Ganondorf said quickly.
I sat my fork down and looked over at Link. I didn’t think it was possible, but it seemed Link had never used a fork before. He was holding it upside down, trying to poke the lettuce with the wrong side of the thing. Then he began to sniff the lettuce like a dog would.
“Link, it’s fine,” I said.
Link’s face bolted up when I said that and I continued, “Link, you’re also holding the fork wrong.” I grabbed the fork from his right hand and placed it right side up in his left hand. I then motioned the fork down and got Link some lettuce.
“Now, I’m not feeding you, so you can figure out the rest,” I said and I turned to face Ganondorf, who was drinking wine and staring at me.
“You know, dude,” I began, “it seems that you eyes are blood shot. Do you think it might be because, well, you’re always staring at people. I think you have, ya know, dry eyes.”
“Well, I think you have an ugly face,” Ganondorf said.
I was appalled. I expected this Ganondorf guy to have much better comebacks then that. I expected him to punch me in the face or something, but after what he said, he then said this: “Boooyah! I just got you so bad.”
Suddenly, I had realized something. The only reason why Ganondorf wouldn’t get violent was only because he was in front of the King. (or at least I hoped that was the reason, otherwise he was really bad at this evil thing) He couldn’t touch me, no matter what I did to him.
Ganondorf started back on his lettuce, and he was smirking while he ate it. I looked down at mine and picked up a beet with my hand and then threw it right at his wine glass. I played the game basketball back at home, so I had a decent shot. I heard the beet plop and some wine spill over the glass.
“Boooyah,” I said quietly.
Ganondorf became tense. I could make him angry; I seemed to be doing great at that in Hyrule.
Even though I had to be all proper and stuff, I still had some tricks up my sleeve. I kept my slingshot under my dress. It was held on by a harness on my leg, like those badass women do in movies with their guns. I took it out and grabbed a beet from my salad. It was the biggest beet in the salad, too.
I loaded it up in my slingshot and pulled the string back. It was under the table, so I didn’t know where I would hit, but I was trying to hit Ganondorf’s crotch. My father at home always told me that if I got into a fight to always hit a boy in the crotch area and I would win.
I let go of the string and watched as Ganondorf crumpled up for a second. Bulls eye, I thought.
“You rotten piece of crap,” he said and I just smiled.
The servants came just in time and took our salads away. I was excited because I now got more ammo for the dinner. It seemed Ganondorf had already been defeated, but I knew better. I wouldn’t let my defenses down.
The next course was an appetizer sort of deal. It was fried potatoes or something. I didn’t really have time to check out what Hylian food was like and all, but this course looked like potatoes to me.
Ganondorf seemed to have fully recovered from the beet I shot him with, so I knew that more stuff was coming my way. He, too, had more ammo to use with the appetizer. Anyone could just throw food, but it took inventive minds to find better ways at utilizing food as an ammo, so I put my brain to work.
“You know, my dear,” Ganondorf said quietly, “I have powers that are deadly.” He held up his hand and pointed his finger upwards. A little purple ball thing floated on top. “This here is a dark type of power. I would bet it’s the most powerful of every type known to man.”
I didn’t know what that ‘type’ mumojumbo meant, but Ganondorf didn’t know that I had electric powers. I held up my hand and pointed my finger. A ball of lightning floated at the tip of my finger. I was all tensed up because I still didn’t have full control of the power.
Ganondorf had a shocked look on his face but he quickly recovered and said, “So you have my Thunderstone.”
“Why yes sir,” I said,
“You brat, I was given permission from King Bowser to keep that from you,” Ganondorf said.
“King Bowser?” I said. I was confused. Just who was I suppose to fight against here?
Ganondorf’s face grew dark and a smirk formed on his lips. “You’ll meet him soon, child.”
Even though I was listening to Ganondorf, I still had an intense lock on my electric power that rested on my finger. Then, childishly, Ganondorf pointed out of no where and shouted, “Whoa, what’s that?”
I quickly looked behind me and saw there was nothing there. I looked forward and looked at my finger. The ball of lightning was gone. I heard a nasty, cracking sound up above me and looked. On the ceiling, there was a huge chandelier that was hit by my electric attack. The chandelier’s chain was slowly breaking so I started to yell at everyone to run.
Fortunately, ol’ Daphnes saw the chandelier too, and he yelled for everyone to run as well. I pushed back my chair and stood up quickly. Link and Ganondorf had already taken off with everyone else that was seated at the table. I just looked up at the chandelier. I didn’t know what to do, but I spread my legs shoulder width apart and put my left foot back a little. I held out my hand, closed my eyes, and shot out an electric shock.
I paused and waited to hear a crash, but I heard no such thing. I opened my eyes and looked up. My electricity didn’t shoot the chandelier, but it created a yellow net around it. The net sparked as I gazed at it. I tightened my grip, bringing my pinky and ring finger closer to my palm. The chandelier moved a bit and I pulled it down softly. I laid it beside me and released my power, which slipped right back into the palm of my hand.
I paused; amazed at what had just happened. About a second or so passed and then I was engulfed in a bunch of applause from the surrounding people.
Ganondorf made his way through the crowd and stood by King Daphnes who said, “I have never witnessed such an amazing power.”
I turned to face everyone who were clumped up in a corner. They had looks of being in total awe on their faces. Except, of course, Ganondorf, who glared at me.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” the King said, “unfortunately, I do suppose our dinner will be canceled for tonight. You may all return to your respected quarters, except for Ms. Ashley. I would like to have a chat with you.”
I walked over to the King who put his arm around my shoulder and lead me to a door.
“Ashley,” the King said, “I would personally like to talk to you.”
The King had two guards open these huge double doors and behind those doors was a rather large throne room. The guards entered the room with us. I looked behind me before they shut the doors and waved to Link who was looking rather confused.
I walked on a blue carpet and stood and watched as King Daphnes sat down on his throne. He adjusted his crown a bit and got comfortable and then said, “So, what I just witness was very impressive.”
“Thank you, sir,” I said. I was actually being recognized by this dude and It made me feel really good.
“Now, after witnessing your power, I have a favor to ask of you.”
“Whatever do you need?” I asked.
“My friend you sat across from, Ganondorf Dragmire. He said that he is having trouble in the desert where his people live. They’re called the Gerudos. Could you please go and investigate what these people are up to?”
“Um, I guess so,” I said. I was a bit confused, but I would help the King.
“Alright,” the King said, “but reaching this destination will be no easy feat. I would like for you to go to Lon Lon Ranch and get yourself a horse. I’m sure that Talon, the owner, would have a pony for you and that fairy boy to use.”
“I’m sure they do.”
“Now, I just want you to go to the Gerudo’s fortress and talk to the leader, Nabooru. I guess she has been creating trouble for Ganondorf and he needs some help. He’s a very honorable guest to me and may help me solve some conflicts that are going on in other countries. He’s already planned my army to take over a nearby evil kingdom.”
The King was taking suggestions from Ganondorf? That was a scary mess, my reader. I wasn’t sure what to think, but I knew I had to do something, even if it went against the King’s orders.
“Alright, thank you Ms. Brandt. You are dismissed.”
I nodded and went for the double doors and the guards opened the doors for me. Link was waiting outside of them, chatting with Zelda.
“Oh, hello Ashley dear,” Zelda said cheerfully. “What did Father talk to you about, may I ask?”
“He wants me to help Ganondorf,” I said. “Your father believes that Ganondorf will help Hyrule progress as a kingdom.”
Zelda gasped and said, “You’re not serious!”
“I am,” I said. “Link, you and I have to go to Lon Lon Ranch tomorrow. Get your stuff ready for the morning and get some sleep.”
I was a bit disappointed, so I walked out of the room. All I heard was a faint ‘Ashley’ from Link, but I wasn’t in the mood to talk. I made it to my room, however and took off my black dress shoes. Lux was lying at the end of the bed, taking a nap.
I laid down and woke Lux, but he just sighed and got comfortable again. I put my head on the soft pillow and pulled the covers over my head. I then drifted into a worried and uncomfortable sleep.
Chapter 7- Horse Play by Underdog Ash

 

        I woke up the next morning feeling a bit weird.  I was still upset that the King put his trust in Ganondorf.  That just made my mission even more harder.  I also needed to figure out who that King Bowser guy was.  I began to become suspicious that maybe there was a bit more going on outside of Hyrule, something a bit more evil.  As far as I knew, Ganondorf could have over a million people on his side.

        I was still in my dress, but it was really comfortable when I slept.  Link, Lux, the fairies, and I had to leave.  My next destination was Lon Lon Ranch to get a pony or something.  I didn't know what to do about the Gerudos, but I would wait to see what Link and I ran into next.  If he was given a job to do, I would go with him.  There was no way I would leave that boy alone again.

        I stood up and felt my feet touch the rug.  They hurt from the dress shoes yesterday so I knew that I would need to find some sort of bandage first.  I looked up to see Lux on top of the wardrobe.  He jumped on my shoulder and actually landed right on.

        "Rai!" he said.  He sounded enthusiastic which filled me with motivation.  I was just so worried about what Ganondorf had told me.

        King Bowser, I thought.

        I noticed that my tunic had been folded neatly on the other side of the room.  It was on a nice little table and underneath it was my sword, shield, and a bottle of that red liquid I had received from the cute potion shop dude, Matthew.  On top of my tunic was a note:

 

                Please meet me before you leave.  I need to discuss some things with you and Link first.  They are extremely important    matters and I feel only you and Link can handle this.  Meet me       in the lobby of the castle.

Impa

 

            Impa had really scratchy handwriting and it took me awhile to actually read the damn note, but I read it about three times and started to realize what words were on the paper.

        I undressed myself and slipped on my tunic.  It was extremely soft so I assumed that someone had washed it.  I was actually treated really nice at the castle, so I knew I would miss the hospitality on the road.  I buckled my sheath to my back and hung my shield there as well.  I tied my seed pouch around my waste and put my slingshot in my back pocket of my tunic's skirt. 

        The Thunderstone and my hat were still on the table, so I grabbed them both.  I fitted my hat on my head and stuck the Thunderstone in my pocket.  It was suppose to be a dead stone, but I wasn't going to take any chances.  I didn't know if someone could use it and get my powers, even though Link had tried to use it when Lux was smaller and it did nothing.

        Lux was waiting patiently on my bed.  He seemed ready to leave the castle and do something fun.  I tightened the belt on my skirt just a little bit and said to him, "Let's go, Lux!"

        "Raichu!" he shouted with excitement.  He hopped off the bed and followed me at my feet.  Lucky for us, Link and the fairies had already woken up.  They were walking down the hall to, I assumed, wake me and Lux up.

        "Hey Ash," Link said and he waved, "ready to go?"

        "Yeah," I said, "but first we need to meet Impa.  She left me this note."

        Link smiled and ran down the hall to my, the fairies flying behind him.

        "Finally, my own bed!" Max said and he flew right under my hat.

        "That's great," Navi said and she sighed.  "It's great to be a team again, I suppose."

        Link and I went down to the lobby.  Impa was there holding a flute of some kind.  She smiled at our arrival, but she still had a look of seriousness on her face.

        "Hello, children," she said, "I hope you had a nice sleep."

        "Yeah, we did," Link said, "and thanks for the nice, warm beds."

        "You're welcome, my boy," Impa said.  "Now then, I have something to tell you, so come closer please."

        We walked toward her and suddenly a bright light surrounded us and I went blind for a second.  It was scary, but I felt my feet touch the ground which was a soft grass.  I looked around and realized we were right outside of the drawbridge.  Link was beside me, Lux was on the ground totally confused, and Impa was standing in front of us.

        "Now, what I am about to tell you, please do not take lightly," Impa said.  "That green stone that you have is called the Kokiri Emerald, as you probably know.  It's part of a series of three stones called the Spiritual Stones.  That emerald is also known as the Spiritual Stone of the Forest.  The last two stones are called the Goron's Ruby and the Zora's Sapphire.  The Goron's Ruby is called the Spiritual Stone of Fire."

        "What do these stones do exactly?" I asked.

        "They open the Door of Time, child," Impa said.  "Behind that Door of Time is the blade of evil's bane.  You need all three stones to open it.  The Temple of Time is just outside of the castle town.  In front of the door will be a pedestal and on that will be three notches, which is where the stones will need to go."

        "Is there only one sword?" I asked hesitantly. 

        "Unfortunately, that is what legends say," Impa said, "but this sword just cannot be pulled by anyone.  The chosen one has to be able to pull the sword.  No one else can pull it."

        "Cool," I said.  I became a bit depressed because I didn't think I would get a chance to be important in this journey.  Really all I was good for was running my mouth and cracking jokes.  I mean, I was always the one to challenge Ganondorf, but that wasn't because I was more courageous than Link, it was because I was more foolish than he was.

        "Now, the next place you will both need to go is right behind me," Impa said.  Behind her was an entrance to a village and, if one looked up, there was a huge mountain.  "The Goron race lives on that mountain."

        "What's the mountain called?" Link asked.

        "Death Mountain," Impa said quickly.

        "Sounds like a perfect place to have a picnic," I mumbled.

        "Do not be afraid, children," Impa said.  "The Goron race are a very kind sort of people.  That mountain is only called Death Mountain because, years ago, there was a big battle on it and people died.  I would be careful, however, for Ganon has caused chaos on that mountain and it has upset the Goron race quite a bit."

        "What did he do now?" I asked, rolling my eyes.  This dude was starting to become a pain in my ass...

        "Well, he locked up the Goron's main source of food in Dodongo's Cavern by putting a rock over the entrance," Impa stated.

        "Pssh, that'll be a cake walk," I said swiping my hand in the air.  "All we have to do is blow up the rock and it'll all be good."

        "Not exactly," Impa said.  "Ganondorf has placed an evil Dodongo king inside, along with multiple enemies.  If you let the Gorons go into the cavern, you will endanger their lives."

        "Alright, alright," I said.  I was not thrilled to go into a new dungeon, but I still had to visit Lon Lon Ranch, which would give Link, Lux, the fairies, and I some more downtime.

        "Before I leave you two, I need to teach you a melody," Impa said.

        Great, I thought.  I had no idea how to play that ocarina, so I let Link handle it.  I played the trumpet back at home, but that was just about all the music I had in me.

        "This is the royal melody, Zelda's Lullaby," Impa said.  "It will be useful to you for only a messenger of the Royal Family knows this song.  When you play it, all around you will know that you have ties to the Royal Family."

        Impa raised her flute and Link raised his ocarina.  I stood and watched as they both played a melody.  Impa, of course, played it first and then Link copied what he heard.  The dude had remarkable perfect pitch for some kid that was stuck up in a forest.

        "Now children, do not be afraid to come back to the castle to see me, if you have any questions," Impa said.  "I must go now.  Good luck and don't let Hyrule down."

        A huge flash of light appeared and when I regained my sight, Impa was gone.

        "Alright, let's get this adventure started," Link said.

        "Well, first we need to go to Lon Lon Ranch," I said and I grabbed Link's wrist so he wouldn't argue.  Navi stayed behind and yelled a bit, but she eventually got fed up and caught up with us.

        Lon Lon Ranch wasn't a long walk or anything because it was right in the middle of Hyrule field.  It was rather circular and it seemed to be elevated.  Around it was a great wall thing, but there was a nice little up hill path.  I assumed that was the entrance, so I had everyone follow me.

        "We need to help the Gorons," Link whined.

        "Well, they can wait," I snapped.  "We need to get ourselves horses if we plan on walking all the time."
        We entered the ranch, but instead of all happy and what not, there were a mass of chickens, horses, and cows running around.  I heard Malon yelling and I saw Talon running in the center of this ranch.  This tall, skinny dude was laughing at them.  He had a rather ugly face and was holding a pitch fork for some reason.

        I walked up to him and said, "Why don't you do something useful and help them?"

        "Ah, shut your trap, woman," this guy said, "you have no business being here."

        I suddenly saw the thing causing all the issues.  It was a green looking thing with a pointy face. It had wings on its back and it's arms had these sword looking things on it.  Lux got all hot and bothered and sparks started to come from his cheeks.

        "Whoa, what's wrong boy?" Link asked.

        "Raichu!" he yelled.

        That thing noticed Lux and had a look of anger spread on his face.  It took it arms and had the blade looking things hit each other and then got into a fighting stance.  Lux whipped his tail around and got on all fours.  The fur on the back of his neck was sticking up like they did with dogs when they felt angry.

        "Scyther," this things said rather harshly.  It charged after Lux. 

        I was quick about it, so I took out my shield and jumped in front of Lux.  This thing got its blade arms caught in my wooden shield.  Lux saw and an opening and he showered this thing in lightning bolts.

        The thing was able to release itself from my shield, so Lux got really frisky and started to rush into the thing and bash himself against it.  Lux was so fast when he was fighting.  I had never really seen Lux take part in a fight before, besides the one he had against Ganondorf.

        This thing slashed Lux's face and he started to bleed.  Lux wasn't able to recover quick enough so the thing started to shower him with these pin like missiles.  I had to help Lux, so I unsheathed my sword and started to go after the thing.

        It was extremely quick, but I was able to keep up.  Our blades made these sharp clinging noises and they sometimes swiped against each other.  At the end, we were both tired and it had both it's arm blades on my tiny sword.

        "Scyther," it said .  I could tell it was tired.  It had bruises and dirt all over its body, probably just like mine had.

        While we were locked, a thought popped in my mind.  I released electric energy from my palms which went up through my sword's hilt, then to the blade, and finally it went through this thing's blades which went through its body.

        The thing collapsed rather quickly after that and its head landed on my feet.  I crouched down and discovered that the thing wasn't dead, it was close to fainting.  I tried to pick it up, but it was really heavy, so Link rushed to help. 

        Malon lead us to a stable and I sat the thing in a pile of hay.  It was breathing heavily, so I got a rag and water and wiped it down.

        "Scy," it said hoarsely. 

        "It's alright," I said calmly and Lux walked beside me and laid in the hay, too.  I wiped him down as well.

        Lux had trouble getting comfortable, so he started kicking.  There was something underneath him which rolled away from the hay and onto my foot.  It was a sort of ball.  On top it was red and on the bottom it was white.  The thing got uncomfortable for some reason and started moving violently.  I quickly handed Link the ball and tried to calm it down.

        Shortly after, a red laser appeared out of no where and engulfed the thing.  It disappeared entirely and I fell into the hay.  I glanced quickly at Link who was holding the ball.  It shook three times and suddenly it made a click sound.

        "Whoa," I said.  I got up quickly and took the ball from Link.  I sat down in the hay and looked at it.  That thing must have been inside it, but I didn't know how to get it out, or if I could get it out.  I didn't know what to do, but I got angry and when I would get angry, I would usually feel the need to throw something.  Throwing that ball probably wouldn't help the situation, so I sat it back down.

        Lux decided to grab it however, and then he flung it across the room.  Lux didn't really seem angry, just tired, so I didn't get why he threw the damn thing.  But, I quickly realized why he threw the ball.

        Suddenly, there was a flash of red light and that thing showed up from the ball.  The ball bounced back and actually went straight to Link, but he wasn't paying attention so the ball hit him square in the face.

        I cracked up laughing as Link scrambled to compose himself.  I could tell he had the hots for Malon, so I knew he didn't want to make a fool out of himself in front of her.  But, this kid's nose suddenly spouted out blood, so I knew he'd pretty much made himself look dumb.

        Link rushed over to get the rag I had dampened and put it right over his nose.  The thing got up slowly and then started to follow him.  It had the ball in its mouth, which it dropped in Link's lap.

        "Whoa, I don't want this," Link said, which he sounded all funky since he was pinching his nose.  He threw it at me and I held it in my hand, but the thing frisked it away and put it right back in Link's lap.

        "Why won't you leave me alone?" Link said.

        "Scyther," the thing said and it cuddled up with Link.

        "Hey, hey, hey," I said, "look who has a new buddy."

        "We need to get that bug some medical care," said Malon.  "It looks so tired and sick."

        "Bug?" I mumbled and I observed the thing.  It reminded me of a praying mantis.  Back at home, when I was in elementary school I always played by myself in a big field.  I found what I thought was a grasshopper and started to play with it, but the mantis spit right in my eye.  I sure hoped that thing didn't spit because it seemed Link and I would be stuck with it.

        "What is this thing?" Link asked.

        "Well, I still don't know what Lux is, so who knows?" I said.

        "Well kids, I know," Talon said suddenly.  He had been out gathering the horses and must have just popped into the barn.  "That thing, son, is a Scyther.  Girl, what you have is a Raichu."

        "What are they?" I asked.  I understood why the creatures said bizarre things now.  Lux had said Pikachu before he changed, so I guessed his last form was that of a Pikachu.

        "That Raichu must've been a Pikachu at one point," Talon said.  "That Scyther there doesn't evolve at all, basically."

        "Evolve?" Link asked.

        "When these things change their form, they evolve," Talon said.  "They're all different species, but they're called Pokemon and that ball there is a Pokeball.  That Scyther must like you boy, because you caught it in that there Pokeball."

        Link held up the Pokeball and stared at it intensely.  He didn't know what to do with it.

        "You can call your Pokemon back and return it to the Pokeball for storage," Talon said.  "Now, if you two get into any tournaments that involve Pokemon battles, you can only have six Pokeballs on you, or less than six if you choose.  There aren't any tournaments in Hyrule, so you're okay here."

        Pokemon tournaments sounded pretty intense, but I probably wouldn't bother with them.  Lux was more of a partner to me than anything and I didn't want him to get hurt.  However, if he wanted to compete, I'd let him.  I just thought it was weird that we became partners despite the fact that I didn't catch him with a Pokeball.

        "Oh yes also, to give you and that Scyther a bit more of a better friendship, you should give him a nickname," Talon said,

        "Wait, how do you know it's a boy?" I asked.

        Talon got closer to us and crouched down to where the Scyther was.  He touched its abdomen and then said, "Well, judging on the size of its abdomen, I would say it's a boy.  Congrats, son."

        "Thanks," Link said.

        "Well, I'll leave you two alone," Talon said.  "Make sure you let that Scyther get plenty of rest, otherwise he might get tuckered out."

        "Alright, thank you," I said.

        "C'mon Malon, help me with the other animals," Talon said.  Malon smiled at the both of us and chased after her father.    

        "Alright, let's nickname this thang," I said.

        "I have no creativity whatsoever," Link said.  He still sounded weird.

        "Here," I said and I grabbed his head, "tilt your head back."  I gently tilted it back.  "It'll stop the blood flow."

        "What name suggestions do you have?" Link asked with his head still tilted upwards.

        "Hmm," I said and I thought a bit.  "How about Broccoli?"

        "What's Broccoli?" Link asked, but he didn't keep his head tilted, so I grabbed it again, not so gently this time, and tilted it back.

        "Um, well, how about," I said, but I trailed off.

        "Zucchini," Max blurted out from inside my hat.

        "Hey, I like that," I said.  "Hey, Scyther, do you like the name Zucchini?"

        The Scyther lifted his head and nodded.  It seemed he had a little smile on his face, but he was still extremely tired so I didn't expect him to be energetic.

        "Zucchini sounds dumb though," Link said, untilting his damn head again, so I pushed it back.

        "Well, you think the name Link isn't dumb?" I asked.  "Who is named Link?  It's the dumbest name I have ever heard of."  That was truly what I thought too, reader.  I had never met someone in my life actually named Link.

        "Oh, be quiet," Link said.  He took the rag off his nose which had a spot of blood on it.  He tilted his head forward and touched his nose.  It had stopped bleeding, which was unfortunate for me because I wanted to tilt his head backwards again, but I'd be a bit rough.

 

        We cleaned up Lux and Zucchini in the barn and walked outside.  The ranch looked fairly decent now that there weren't animals running around.  The horses were all in a circular fence that was right in the middle of the ranch.  I could hear Malon singing as we entered the fenced area.  She had a really good voice for a girl that was about my age.

        Link and I walked into the horse ring.  The horses were just running around all free and occasionally one would get out of the ring.  Malon paid no mind however, and looked rather cheerful when one horse celebrated when it exited the ring and ran around the ranch.

        "Oh, hello you two," Malon said.  "Ash, who's this fairy boy here?"

        "His name is Link," I said.  "We're both on a huge adventure and have come here to see if you would have any ponies available?

        "Oh, yes," Malon said cheerfully, "but we'll donate you two ponies, since you saved our ranch and all."

        I felt extremely grateful for the ranch's kindness.  I didn't expect for them to give Link and I our own horses.  Before I could get a horse however, I needed to learn how to ride one.  Back at home, I had always wanted to ride a horse but never got around to it.  I was thrilled but at the same time I knew that Link and I didn't really have enough time for me to learn how to ride a horse.

        "We only have two ponies available for you two," Malon said and she started to walk around the horse ring.  Link and I followed as full grown horses began to run passed us.

        We saw these two ponies, one was brown and the other was solid black.  I knew then and there that I wanted the black horse.  I just liked it better, even though most evil people rode those types of horses.

        "Now, these ponies are really shy," Malon said, "so just going up to them will startled them."

        "How do you get them to not be startled by someone?" Link asked.

        "Well, you have to learn a song," Malon said.

        Great, another fricken song, I thought.  I didn't want songs to be the biggest part of this mission.  If it was, I would have to learn how to play that damn ocarina that I had.  Ocarinas, in my opinion, sounded really stupid.  They just didn't produce a sound that made me happy.  The sound was annoying, like a screaming baby.

        "I can sing this song for you and these two should gallop right over here," Malon said.  "Do you have any instruments to learn this song with?"

        Link smiled and pulled out his ocarina and then he looked at me.  I just stood there and gave him an annoyed stare, but the kid didn't take the hint. 

        "How about you just learn this song by yourself," I said.  "I still can't play that potato with holes in it."

        Link shrugged his shoulders and got ready for Malon to start singing.  Her voice filled the atmosphere with this really nice song.  It was actually the song she was singing earlier.  She sang it twice and then Link got his perfect pitch on and repeated the melody.  All of a sudden, the two ponies trotted towards us.  The brown one went to Link and the black one went to me.

        "Wow fairy boy," Malon said amazed, "these ponies must really like you and Ash."

        I smiled as the black pony got all cuddly with me.  What I found bizarre was that it had a white spot on its head that looked like a lightning bolt.

        "The brown horse is named Epona and the black horse is named Lightning," Malon said.  "Epona is a girl and Lightning is a boy."

        I petted Lightning and Lux decided to jump on him.  Surprisingly, Lightning didn't care so Lux had some fun.  He probably felt like he was a cowboy or something, because he was whipping his tail around like it was a lasso.  He looked rather cute and I wished I had a camera, but I didn't think those existed here in Hyrule, at least to my knowledge.

       

Chapter 8- The Gorons by Underdog Ash

 

        Link had actually waited for me at the ranch's entrance, which really didn't surprise me.  He had ‘impressed' Malon, but he knew that if he left me, I would kill him.  Link was still on his horse and he greeted me with a smile.

        "Wasn't that cool?" he asked.

        "It was pretty stupid if you ask me," I snapped.  "Not only did you leave me behind, you also left Scyther behind as well.  That was a dumbass move, sir."

        "I bet I impressed Malon," Link mumbled.

        "You know, for a fairy boy who's been locked up in a forest your whole life, you sure do know how to woo your women," I said.  "It's pathetic."

        Link frowned and started to trot forward on Epona.  He went towards Death Mountain, so I followed close behind.  Zucchini followed Link while Lux stayed on my shoulder.  He was enjoying the ride, Lux, and he loved to feel some wind breeze back his ears.  We made it to the entrance of a place, which had a sign beside it.

        "Kakariko Village," I read aloud.  "It sounds peaceful, I guess."

        I had Lightning move forward, but he became distressed.  He turned around automatically.

        "Here, Epona is not a wimp," Link said with a nasty little smirk on his face.  He kicked her sides to make her go forward, but she too would not go up the entrance.

        I dismounted Lightning and noticed that the way to get into Kakariko Village was by walking up a set of stairs.  Since I discovered this, I said: "It seems that the horses are afraid of stairs."

        Link dismounted Epona and walked beside me.  He shook his head, "Why did the ranch give us pansy horses?"

        "Aw, shut your mouth.  They're only afraid of stairs."  I looked over and saw a tree.  "Let's just tie them up on that tree and they should be fine."

        Link and I tied up our horses and went towards the stairs to the village.  Lux and Zucchini followed right behind us.  When we got all the way up to the stairs, we saw the front of the village.

        Kakariko was a tiny looking village.  We passed the entrance and saw a bunch of workers running around, some with tools and planks of wood.  There was some old guy in front of a tree who kept yelling for some reason.  He talked to himself, saying that his son was really lazy and would never make something out of himself.  Link and I just decided to ignore that man. 

        We walked around for a bit, but there wasn't really anything exciting.  There was a lot of construction going on around the village.  Kakariko must've just been a village in progress.  The people seemed really nice there, but most of them were old people.  There were three guards in this village and there was one blocking the Death Mountain path.

        Link stopped me before we got any closer to the Death Mountain gate.

        "Do you think we should try and talk to that guy?" he asked.

        "Well yeah, why?" I asked.

        "He just looks really, well, mean," Link said.

        "Aw, hell, they are all suppose to look like that, Link.  Otherwise people would take them for granted or something."

        I walked up to the guy confidently and he just stood there.  The gate was wide open, so I started to walk through it.

        "'Ey!" the sharp voice of the guard said.  "Who the heck do you think you are?  Get back ‘ere."

        I walked backwards rather sly and he continued, "You needa stay outta that mountain.  It's dangerous, ya know?"

        "Well, I need to go there and help the, um, Goron tribe up there," I said.  I used my best professional voice and hand gesture to make him know that I meant business.  I wanted to look and sound like I knew what I was doing.

        "I can't let ya do that, missy," the guard said.

        "Why not?" I asked and I asked a bit harsh, actually.

        "Because, only certain people are allowed up there.  Otherwise they'll needa consent from the Royal Family, or at least some sort of document that lets me know that yer a friend of the Royal Family."

        Link and I were at a dilemma at that one, but it was getting late and I didn't want to go back into the castle just to get a measly letter.  I knew I had to have something that was signed by someone of the Royal Family.  I started to dig in my pockets to see if there was anything I could use, when I started to hear a noise coming from Link's direction.

        Link started to play the lullaby that Impa taught us.  It sounded really pretty when Link played it and the song actually made me a bit tired.  I suddenly wished that I could play one of those potato things because, if they were played right, they actually sounded beautiful.

        The guard looked amazed, or well, I guess his mouth did since that was the only part of his face that I could see.

        "Well muh boy," the guard said, "that song there tells me that you two are friends of the Royal Family.  I'll let cha two go."

        The guard let us pass him without yelling at us and we started up this mountain.  As we got farther from the village, the grass started to disappear and more dirt began to show up.  I knew that this would be an uncomfortable place for me because I didn't like hiking, nor did I like tons of dirt.  All I hoped was that Death Mountain wasn't an active volcano, because it had an opening right at the top of the thing.

        We walked a bit farther and then these red spider things started to jump out of no where.  They just kept jumping on us and it got really annoying real quick.  I pulled out my sword and chased after it, but it kept jumping around.  It was attracted to Link's head for some reason and kept jumping right on his head.  Thankfully, Zucchini was fast enough to slice the thing in half.

        Right when we turned the corner however, one of those spiders jumped at us again.  I just shouted at Link to run because we had no time to chase the little jumper.  After awhile, I noticed that the spider would stop and turn around and around.  It made these annoying scratching sounds too, but that wasn't quite as annoying as it was having the thing jump on your head.

        However, our misfortune wasn't over just yet.  As soon as we turned the corner again, a huge ball came rolling down.  It looked like a rock of some sort, but Link didn't see it at all.  I had to jump into him as Lux and Zucchini jumped out of the way themselves.  While I pinned Link on the ground, I heard the rock roll by us and a small explosion a second later.

        "What the heck?" I said and I got up as quick as I could.  The rock stretched out or something and revealed to me that it really wasn't a rock at all.  It was a rather fat, human looking thing, but it had a garlic kind of shaped head and was build rather strong.  On its back were rocks, which is why I mistaken it for such.  I rushed over to it, assuming that it was a Goron.

        "Dang," I heard the thing mumbled.  He had a rather nasally voice for a well built guy.  "I can't believe I didn't make it."

        "Didn't make it where?" I asked and I looked back at Link for a second and he was a bit confused.

        "Well, I was trying to get one of these bomb plants down to that big rock," the guy said.  "Anyway, the big rock is covering the way to Dodongo's Cavern."

        I remembered what Impa had said and I listened to what this guy had to say.

        "The brothers in the city dared me to first blow up that rock and then go inside and defeat the King Dodongo.  I'm known to be the coward of all the Goron brothers here, but I figured I'd give the dare a shot.  It would be cool to be a hero and all."

        "Where is your city, by any chance?" I asked.

        "It's all the way up there," the Goron said.  "But if you're a tourist, I just have to tell you that the Goron's Ruby isn't in its usual spot right now."

        "Well, where is it?"

        "Darunia, our leader brother, became angry when the cavern was blocked, so he grabbed the ruby and shut himself in his throne room.  He said that he was going to eat the ruby if no one would bow up the rock.  That ruby has been the pride of the Goron's tribe for centuries.  It would be a shame to see it eaten."

        "Well, thank you," I said gratefully.  "I need to go now.  Good luck with that boulder thing and blowing it up."

        I walked away and joined Link who was on the ground holding his head.  Lux and Zucchini were with him.  I helped him up and brushed him off.

        "What happened?" he asked.

        "Nothing, I just saved your life, now let's go," I said. 

        I grabbed Link's wrist and led him the rest of the way up the mountain.  There was an entrance and a sign that said Goron City.  We walked inside and I was amazed.

        Goron City wasn't really much of a city.  Back at home, a city to me was a concrete jungle with huge skyscrapers, a lot of people, and a Starbucks on every corner.  In Goron City it was basically a huge hollowed out spot in the mountain with four floors.  It was rather round and you could basically jump down to whichever floor you wanted to be on, even though it could hurt a bit.

        In the middle of this city, there was a pedestal and you could only reach it by walking on a fairly thin rope.  Being ambitious as I always was, I decided to walk across this rope.  It was a really thin rope and I had to be extremely careful.  While walking, Lux decided to walk too, so to get passed me, he jumped right on my head and then continued forward while I tried to regain my composure. 

        I reach the other side and got a better look at the pedestal.  A Goron was standing there, licking his lips for some reason.  The pedestal said something about the Goron's Ruby but, as the Goron did say outside, the leader, Darunia, had snatched it away.  I didn't know where I could find this Darunia guy, so I asked the Goron beside me where he was.

        "He locked himself in his throne room," the Goron said.

        "But where's the throne room?" I asked.

        "It's on the first floor, but not just anyone can get into it.  You have to have the melody of a Royal Family messenger."

        Zelda's Lullaby, I thought.  I thanked the Goron and had Lux get on my shoulder so we could walk across the rope together that time.  We made it across and went back to Link, who was waiting for us with Zucchini.

        "You should definitely get that potato thing out again," I said, "because we're going to need it to play that damn lullaby again."

        "You mean the ocarina?" Link asked.  He was getting really annoyed when I called the ocarina a potato...and I loved it.

        "Yeah, whatever," I said and I actually jumped off the top floor and onto the third.  "Are you coming?"

        Link rolled his eyes and jumped down beside me.  He wasn't as graceful as I was at the whole ledge jumping thing, but that might have been because, back at home, I would jump off the equipment during recess.  I would do it every day just for no reason, but it came in handy here in Hyrule.

        Link and I walked around the third floor and found an opening which had stairs in it.  One the second floor, there was a path, but it had some rocks in front of it.  I could faintly hear an ocarina sound, but I ignored it.  It was probably nothing out of the ordinary.

        We found the stairs to the first floor and in the middle of this floor was a huge vase with the face of a Goron on it.  It was spinning around on its own, which confused the heck out of me.  But anyway, on the other side was a nice rug and a wall that was shut extremely tight.  Navi and Max started to shine around this rug.

        "What's up, guys?" I asked.

        "This rug is a gift to the Gorons from the Royal Family," Navi said.  "I think if Link plays Zelda's Lullaby, the doors will open.  I think it will prove that you two are messengers of the Royal Family."

        "Alright Link, play that thang," I said.

        Link got out his ocarina and he played the lullaby for the thousandth time.  The door opened suddenly and Link stopped playing.  He had a satisfied look on his face.

        "Good job, kid," I said, "now let's go meet this Darunia guy."

        We walked into the throne room.  There was a little hallway and after a few steps we saw Darunia.  He looked different than the other Gorons.  He had side burn things and some wild hair.  He also looked extremely stronger, even stronger than all the Gorons I had seen.  I would bet that he was stronger than Ganondorf, too, minus the magic powers of course.

        Darunia stood proud and tall and said, "What brings you here, messengers of the King?  Has my Sworn Brother decided to apologize, or will he let my people and I suffer more?  We're starving because he decided to bring a green guy here and he blocked the Dodongo's Cavern because I wouldn't give up the Goron's Ruby."

        "Oh, we're looking-" I started but Link nudged me.  I shouldn't have said anything about looking for the stone because then Darunia would have thought Link and I were going attempt to take it, like Ganondorf did.

        "We're here as the messenger from the Royal Family," Link said.

        "Yes, we are," I added enthusiastically.

        "Is what you're telling me the truth, children?" Darunia asked.

        "Well, yeah, we played that lullaby at your door, sir," I said.

        Darunia then looked angry and said, "So my Sworn Brother, the King of Hyrule, sent me some puny boy and a loud mouthed girl to take care of my problem?  What has he been thinking?"

        I got angry and said, "Hey dude, we're just here to help and if you want to run your mouth and insult us, go ahead, but we're here to help you and we will help you."

        "How will you blow up the rock at Dodongo's Cavern, my dear?" Darunia asked.

        "Um, with a bomb, duh," I said.

        "Well that's funny, because the Gorons have eaten all the bombs were had stored here and guess what?  We are the leading supplier of bombs in Hyrule, so I don't think you'll find any bombs."

        I then remembered the Goron outside that tried to roll a bomb down the mountain and on the rock blocking the cavern.  He said he had tried to use bomb plants, but they seemed to explode too fast for him to actually reach the cavern.

        "How about those bomb plants?" I asked.  I had actually never seen one, but it was just a guess.

        "You couldn't possibly pull one of those bombs, you silly girl," Darunia said.  "You would need the Goron secret treasure to lift those bombs."

        "Where can we get the treasure," Link asked.

        "From me, you fool," Darunia said.  "But, I will tell you what, if you can play me a song that will make me relax and be rather happy, the Goron's treasure shall be yours."

        "Alright, we'll find it," I said.  "C'mon Link."  I grabbed his wrist and had him follow.  I led him out of the throne room and the door shut behind us.  The problem was, we couldn't find Lux or Zucchini.

        Link and I looked around the city, but they were no where to be found.  There was a huge dance party or something going on with the Gorons, so I went to see what was going on.

        A huge group of Gorons had gathered around this hallway and were dancing wildly.  I had to see what was going on, so I sifted through the crowd.  At the front of this crowd was Lux and Zucchini.  They were dancing with the Gorons.  I stood and watched, amazed at this huge group and shortly after, Link made his was through the crowd.

        "What's going on?" Link asked.

        "I have no idea," I said.

        Link listened for a second and then said, "They're dancing to Saria's Song."

        "Saria's Song?" I said.  "That girl in the forest?"

        "Yeah," Link said.  "Ashley, we need to go see her!  We need to go right now."

        "But Link, it's getting late," I whined, but he grabbed my wrist and took me through the crowd.

        "Lux, Zucchini, we have to go!" I shouted to the two and they snapped back to reality and chased after Link.

       

       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 9- Saria's Song by Underdog Ash

 

       Link wasted no time getting out of Goron City after he realized what song was making the Gorons happy.  The song must have been a song that Saria had played on the ocarina when she and Link were younger.  We hadn't been to the forest for a couple of days now, so I knew it would be hard on Link to leave his hometown.  Luckily for him though, he had a home to return to.  I couldn't go back home at all, or at least to my knowledge I couldn't.

        It was getting rather dark outside so I assumed we would crash at Link's house again, like we did after we got the Kokiri's Emerald from the Great Deku Tree.  I just wasn't sure if Link, Lux, Zucchini, and I would actually fit in Link's little tree house.  It would be a tight fit for sure, but we could make it happen.

        Link and I untied the horses and Link decided to take off ahead of me.  I didn't get why, but he sure was eager to get back to Kokiri forest.  The sun was slowly going down as we made our way across Hyrule field.  Since the sun was going down, it also became a bit more chillier and riding Lightning and having wind blowing was no help at all.

        It didn't take long for us to reach the entrance to the Kokiri Forest.  It wasn't really that far.  We entered on our horses and all the kids just stared at us in wonder.  Link was leading, so I just followed him.  I had no idea what he was up to, so I decided to just sit back and watch a bit. 

        Link stopped right by his house and dismounted Epona.

        "Saria's house is right here," he said as he walked towards a grounded house on the left of his.  It looked like to have been made from a rather large tree, or at least the tree's stump for the roof was flat. 

        I dismounted Lightning and followed Link.  Zucchini and Lux followed closely behind.  I entered the house and Link stood in the middle.  Saria wasn't there.  Instead standing in the middle was Mido.

        Great, I thought.  Here we go again.  I looked down at Lux whose fur started to get all ruffled like it had when Mido threatened me a couple days ago. 

        "Oh, well look who decided to show up," Mido said harshly.

        "Alright Mido, you can stop," I snapped.  "We're just here to find Saria and then we'll be on our way."

        "What, are you going to go see her and then kill her, like you did with the Great Deku Tree?" Mido said.

        "I'm not arguing with you," I said.

        "Mido, where's Saria?" Link asked.

        "Why would you want to know?" Mido said.

        "I need to see Saria right now," Link said.  "She can help us and then we'll leave the forest, okay?"

        Mido started to tap his foot rather fast, like he was annoyed of something.  "I don't care what you need on your dumb adventure.  You might just be planning on killing someone else, like you did the Great Deku Tree."

        "Alright Mido," I said harshly, "you're starting to get on my nerves.  Listen to what he's saying, or I'm going to get annoyed real quick."

        "You think I'm scared of you?" Mido asked.

        "Well, I didn't ask you that," I said.  "Nor do I care if you're scared of me.  I just want you to tell us where Saria is so Link and I can get on our way."

        "Why should I?" Mido asked and he held his head up high.

        "Okay buddy," I snapped, "Link and I will find Saria ourselves.  It won't be that hard."  I grabbed Link's wrist and he followed me.  When we got outside, I said, "So where does she usually, ya know, hang out?"

        "There's this forest up on that hill," Link said and he pointed up towards the tip of the hill.  "The forest is called the Lost Woods and it's really confusing.  If you go in the wrong direction, you're led right back to the entrance.  I remember that Saria use to grab my hand and take me through the Lost Woods.  She had a sanctuary somewhere in those woods where she would go and clear her head."

        "Do you go there often?" I asked.

        "Well, I can only go there if Saria's there," Link said and we started to walk towards our destination.

        "Why's that?"

        "I've never actually memorized the path to get to Saria's sanctuary.  The only way I got there was by listening?"

        "Listening," I said, "you listen to things.  What the hell do you listen to, birds?"

        "No.  When Saria goes to her sanctuary, she usually goes there to practice her ocarina.  I just listen closely and the louder the sound, the closer I must be to her."

        It didn't surprise me that Link just had to listen.  It seemed he was good at listening, seeing as he could hear a song once and play it perfectly.  We had reached the tip of the hill and I could smell the small waterfall to our right.  Zucchini walked over to the small waterfall and looked like he was about to jump, but Lux grabbed a hold of him and shook his head.

        The entrance to the Lost Woods was basically a hollowed out stump.  I poked my head in and felt disgusted.  Why would a bunch of kids settle to walk through a crusty, hollowed out tree stump?  I definitely would not walk through that thing, but Link walked right passed me and it looked like he didn't mind the crusty stump.  Following him were Lux and Zucchini, so I started to feel a bit awkward.

        I took a deep inhale of the nice clean air and put my left foot in the tree stump.  The moss that was in the stump felt like wet sand under my boots, but it didn't feel as good and relaxing as it would with I was walking through wet sand on the beach.  It felt creepy so I quickened my pace.  I was smacked in the face by the moss that was hanging from the ceiling and they felt like spider webs, so my heart rate quickened.

        Once I got to the end of the stump, I began to shake wildly; trying to remove the moist moss that was on my body.  I don't really know why I was crept out by the moss, but it just smelled weird and felt extremely awkward.  While I did this, I only assume that Lux, Link, and Zucchini were watching me like I was insane.

        "Hey, stop all the jumping will you?" I heard a little voice shout from the back of my head.  "Can't a fairy get some sleep around here?"

        I didn't realize that Max was in my hat because I was really freaked out.  I took off my hat and threw it on the ground.  I got on the ground and started to shake really badly.  I didn't know what had come over me for I knew that the moss was completely off, but I was still freaking out.

        Link got on the ground and grabbed me.  He kept screaming my name and kept telling me to calm down.  All of a sudden, I felt a surge go through my body that seemed to paralyze me.  Lux had used some sort of electric power that made me lose control of my body.  I lay on the ground flat and looked at the sky.  Above me was Link and Lux's face.

        "Ash, what's wrong?" Link asked.

        "I don't know," I mumbled.  I really couldn't move my lips, but I could at least form some words.

        I suddenly remembered my mental health issue back at home.  I had significant anxiety and major depression.  I was medicated heavily back at home, but I hadn't taken my medication for about three days.  I was beginning to relapse, but I didn't know how to explain that to Link, or really anyone for that matter.  I didn't think they had depression meds in Hyrule and I couldn't go back home to get them, so I was screwed.

        I was paralyzed for about ten minutes or so.  Link sat down with Lux and Zucchini and watched me and to also make sure I was alive.  They all looked worried and I really didn't blame them.  I must've given them all a huge scare.  Even Max, who never came out of my hat, was floating above me and occasionally asked if I was okay.

        Every minute or so that I was paralyzed, I could feel myself regain some composure.  My toes started to wiggle and soon my ankles could move.  I stayed down until I was sure that my neck was moveable, otherwise I could've broke my neck, being unable to control it and all.

        When I felt I had control of my whole body, I got up slowly.  Link helped me up so I was standing straight.  He let go, but I realized that my legs were rather shaky so I had to grab onto him to keep myself from collapsing.

        "Ashley, I think you should go back to my house," Link said.  "I can find Saria all by myself and when I'm done, I'll come back to get you."

        "No, no," I said and I let go of Link with some hesitance, just so I could get use to standing again.  "We need to do this together and my being all weird won't make a difference in what we both need to do."  I walked forward to another hollowed stump and said, "Now, I need your ears.  Let's find Saria."

        Link and I went through this stump.  I shut my eyes tight and prepared myself for gross moss so that I wouldn't have another anxiety fit, or at least one that wouldn't get out of control.  I glanced back here and there to see Link watching me intently.  It was creepy, but he was probably just watching me to make sure I didn't go nuts again. 

        I began to feel the relapse getting worse.  I became really tired all of a sudden and my stomach was in knots.  I felt like I had to puke every five minutes or so which made me feel extremely lightheaded.  I had to keep going though for I knew relapses would pass eventually.

        I was listening as well as Link must've been for we came to what seemed like our last tree stump.  In front of us was two hedges and an opening in the middle, but there was a gate blocking our path.

 

        I walked closer and examined the gate.  It was a really tough metal so I didn't know what to do.  Lux jumped right up however, and made his way passed the gate.  He didn't jump down or anything.  I saw him jumping from one hedge to the other without taking the path below.  I peeked through the gates as much as I could and found out that there was a chance that Link and I were going to have to go through a hedge maze.

        I suddenly heard this sharp howl and turned to see a wolf looking creature appear out of nowhere.  It was a black color and stood on its hind legs.  It went right after Link, but Link thought quickly and drew his sword.  I heard a huge clang sound as the wolf tried to smack Link with his huge paws but he was blocked by Link's blade.

        I unsheathed my sword and got into the action.  This wolf thing was really awkward.  Whenever he curled into a ball, we couldn't wound him at all.  Even Zucchini joined in and he couldn't get passed this wolf's fur.  Being surrounded by all three of us must have been overwhelming to the wolf, but he was holding up pretty well.  I realized that this wolf had a really fluffy tail though, so I decided to slash the tail, which must have done the trick because the wolf disappeared into green fire and was gone.

        "What the hell was that thing?" I asked and I wiped the blood off of my sword in the grass.

        "That was a wolfos," Navi said.  "They have a shield on their backs that is disguised with fur."

        As soon as she said that, the gate blocking our entrance to the hedge maze disappeared.  I, without looking first, entered this maze and got showered with Deku seeds.  Some damn Deku scrub decided it was a good idea to start shooting at me.  Since I hadn't taken my medication for awhile, this guy made me extremely angry so I just attacked him furiously, even after he died.

        "Ashley, Ashley!" Link shouted and he carefully grabbed me as I swung my sword around.  Luckily, I didn't actually hit him and I was able to calm down...after I punched him in the face.

        Link's nose started to spout a bunch of blood so I had to find a way to plug it and keep it from bleeding.  This was the second time his nose had bled, so I felt really bad for him.  I picked up a leaf and gave it to him and he covered his nose up.  We still needed to move along though, so I pulled his head back and put my hand on his back to lead him forward through the maze.  There were more Deku scrubs ahead, but Zucchini went ahead and took care of all of them.

        As we went on, I heard Lux above us.  He had been hopping on top of the hedges instead of going through the crap that Link and I were going through, but I really didn't blame him.  Fortunately for the both of us, Zucchini was nice enough to help us through the maze and also clear the way for us as I helped Link with his bloody nose.

        We got to what seemed like the end of the maze and walked up a bunch of stairs which must have been a trial for Link, seeing as his head had to be tilted back.  I helped him up as much as I could and met Lux at the top of those stairs.  Zucchini was killing a couple more Deku scrubs in front of us.

        There was a clearing and more stairs a bit farther ahead of us, but we were on flat ground, so I took the leaf off Link's nose and let him look forward.  His nose was beet red and his eyes were watery.  He took his fingers and checked his nose, which had stopped bleeding completely.  After wiping his eyes, we went forward towards the next set of stairs.  The ocarina sound was actually getting louder.

        "She should be just up those stairs," Link said and he started to jog up the stairs.  I watched him.  He must have really missed Saria, seeing as they were childhood friends.  I just walked slowly behind with Lux.  I didn't really think Saria cared too much for me, so I didn't want to ruin some friendly moment between her and Link.

        I heard the ocarina sound end when I was midway up the stairs and Saria shouted Link's name.  I got up to the top of the stairs and saw Saria sitting on a stump with the ocarina in her lap and Link standing up.  He was talking to her about Princess Zelda and how gorgeous she was. 

        I looked at Saria and we made eye contact.  At first she looked uneasy, like she thought I would be gone from Link's adventure.  However, Link motioned me over and Saria looked less tense.  Maybe she was just a little curious about me, seeing as she knew that I had never been to Hyrule and that I would probably leave after the mission with Link would be over.

        "Why hello, Ashley," Saria said cheerfully.  Her big, blue eyes looked happy, so I was glad that she seemed alright with me still being with Link.

        "Hey, Saria," I said and I smiled.  Maybe she wasn't so bad.  When she told Link about what she had heard about me, she was probably just looking out for him as a friend and I completely understood that.

        "So, why are you two back?" Saria asked.

        "Well Saria," Link began, "we've ran into a road block in our journey."

        She tilted her head and said, "How so?"

        "Well, we're collecting these stones called the Spiritual Stone," I said.  "Anyway, there are three of these stones and they belong to each race here in Hyrule which are the Kokiris, the Gorons, and the third one, well, we don't know about them yet."

        "Anyway, the next stone we need is the Goron's Ruby," Link said.  "The Gorons are really ticked off right now because this guy decided to block their cavern and they can't eat.  The guy shut a bunch of monsters in the cavern and blocked it with this huge boulder."

        "Yeah, and the boss of the Gorons, Darunia, won't let us have the ruby until we defeat the monsters inside this cavern," I said.

        "Well, I'm sure that Darunia has something that can get you inside of the cavern," Saria said, "seeing are you're both willing to help his people."

        "Actually, he does have something that can get us into the cavern," Link said, "but he refuses to give it to us.  He says he's really angry, but I think I know how to cheer him up."

        "How?" Saria and I said simultaneously. 

        "Saria, that song you always play," Link said, "what's it called?"

        Saria looked a bit startled, but said, "Well, I wrote it myself, so I just call it Saria's song."

        "Well, believe it or not, but the Gorons dance to this song," Link said.  "They really love it and I think if you let me learn that song, he'll lighten up enough to let Ash and I help him."

        Saria put a huge smile on her face and picked up her ocarina.  "Do you really want to learn it?" she asked and she put the ocarina up to her chest.

        "Why yes," Link said sweetly and he pulled his ocarina out of his pocket.  I knew the drill, so I just stood and watched.  Saria put the ocarina's mouthpiece up to her lips and started to play a really nice tune.  Link played it right back and then they started a cute little duet thing.  Once it was finished, I decided to give them a round of applause.  Lux and Zucchini joined in, even though Zucchini didn't really have any hands to clap with.

        "Thank you Saria," Link said and he put his ocarina back in his pocket.  Navi came out of his hat real quick and said this: "Now, I don't know if you are aware Saria, but that song has a mysterious power."

        "I wasn't aware at all," Saria said and she had a shocked looked on her face.  "I created a magic song?"

        "Yes," Navi said and she floated around Saria's head when she talked to her.  "If Link or Ash plays this song, they can speak to you for a short amount of time.  If you play this song, Link and Ash will also be able to talk to you."

        "Wow," Saria said and she looked down at her ocarina.

        "You, just like Ash and Link, have a duty to help save this kingdom," Navi said.  "You are very wise Saria, and Link and Ash may need some of that wisdom from time to time."

        Saria looked down at the ground and sighed.  Something seemed wrong, but I didn't know what and I don't think Link knew, either.

        "When your time comes to make sacrifices for this kingdom, I'm sure you will make them," Navi said.  "The goddesses are counting on you."

        Saria did look a bit sad, but Link and I knew we had to get on our way.  We hugged Saria and parted.  She looked like she was about to cry, so it broke my heart to leave her all alone.

        When we got a bit farther down the stairs to exit her area, Link asked: "Navi, what were you walking to her about?"

        "What?" Navi asked.  She was playing dumb, I could tell.

        "You know that whole sacrifice spiel," I asked.  "What was that all about?  It looked like she was about to cry."

        "I was just saying that she needs to help her kingdom," Navi said.  "No matter what she wants in life, sometimes people are destined to give their lives to their kingdom."

        "Aw Navi, you didn't need to scare Saria like that," Link said.  "She's probably scared to death now.  I feel bad for leaving her like that."  Link looked behind him with a worried look on his face.

        "She'll be fine," Navi said.  "She knows what needs to be done."

        Navi was a jerk, but I had no time to tell her that.  Link and I needed to get some rest and then head out to Goron City to play that boss guy Saria's song so he'd quit being mean.

        At the end of the path was the reentrance to the maze, but Lux showed us a ladder in which we climbed up.  We were now on top of the hedges which were actually sturdy enough to have all of us on top of.

        Lux and Zucchini jumped from hedge to hedge and Link began to jump too.  I just stood there.  I was too scared to jump or move, so I just stood there like a stone.  Link turned around to see me and looked puzzled.

        "C'mon Ash, it's not that much of a jump," Link said.  He had a huge smile on his face, but it faded as I just stood stiff in that one spot.  "Ash, what's wrong?"

        I didn't really know what happened at that moment because I couldn't control what was going on in my head seeing as it was all up to my brain chemicals to let me feel better.  The only reasonable thing to do at that time, or at least I thought it was, was for me to burst into tears.  So reader, I started to cry and if I was off my medication and I would started to cry, I would have a full fledge breakdown, which is what I preceded to have.

        "Ash," Link said and he jumped back over.  "Ash, what's wrong?"

        I collapsed to the ground and just started to bawl.  Link jumped over and sat down with me.  He tried to calm me down by grabbed my hand, which was shaking badly.  I wanted to calm down, but my mind wouldn't let me.  I became really scared and I felt lonely, even though Link was right there with me.  In front of me, Lux and Zucchini started to jump back to us.  They looked worried and Lux rushed to my side.  He started to lick my arm.

        "Ash, what's wrong with you?" Link asked.  "Are you sick or something, because you've been acting really weird recently?"

        I was shaking so bad, but I was able to say, "I guess you could say that I'm sick."

        Link touched my forehead to see if it was hot and shook his head.  "You don't have a fever."

        "I'm not that kind of sick," I said weakly.

        "Then what kind of sick are you?"

        "I'm mentally ill, Link," I said.

        "Mentally ill?" Link said.  "What is ‘mentally ill'?"

        "It's when your brain doesn't produce certain chemicals that make you act like a normal person," I said. 

        "The brain has chemicals?" Link asked.  This medical mumbo-jumbo was way out of his time era, so I didn't know how to explain it to him.

        "It's hard to explain, but I had to take medicine for it and you don't have that kind of medicine here."

        "Are you sure?" Link asked.  "I mean, there's plenty of potions and herbs around-"

        "Link, those won't help," I said and I grabbed his shirt.  "All I need you to do right now is listen."

        Link watched me intently, so I began.  "Now, when someone takes medication, they become dependent on that medication.  I became dependent on my medication to make me feel better.  I took it every day since I was ten, but now I don't have it.  I'm going through something called a relapse, which is when my body goes through a lot of stuff to become independent off that medication."

        "So, you'll be sick for a little while?" Link asked.

        "Unfortunately, I'll be sick for the rest of my life," I said.  "I have this disorder that makes me sad and also makes me extremely paranoid.  Without my medicine, I have nothing to balance it, or at least keep it in check, so I will be a wreck from time to time."

        "Here," Link said and he picked me up, "I need to get you back to my place.  You need to relax."

        I didn't want to stay behind, but I knew I needed to.  Link was a pretty strong kid and I was fairly light, so I let him carry me out of the Lost Woods.  I was exhausted and hungry, but I knew that if I ate, I would probably throw up. 

        Once we got to Link's tree house, he sat me on my feet and we went up the ladder.  I wanted to go last because I didn't want him looking up my skirt, but he made me go first so he could catch me in case I fell.  Once inside, I laid on the bed.  I didn't feel good at all so I got comfortable.

        "Now Ash," Link said, "I am going to go ahead and go to the cavern."

        "Please don't," I said weakly.  "I don't want you to get hurt and all."

        "I'll be fine Ash," Link said and he sat a glass of water on the table by the bed.  "Just rest and I'll be back tomorrow afternoon."  He closed a couple windows so that the morning sunlight wouldn't bombard me in the morning.  He walked over to the bed and kissed my forehead which I thought was terribly disgusting, but I just wanted to get some rest.

        "Alright Lux," Link said, "I need you to stay here and comfort Ashley, okay?"

        "Rai," Lux said sadly and he got on the bed. 

        I saw Link set my sword and shield on the couch and he blew out a small candle. 

        "Get better Ash," Link said.

        I cuddled up with Lux and my eyelids started to droop and I fell into a very sound sleep.

       

        I awoke in a cold sweat about an hour after I had went to bed.  I got up and put my feet on the cold, wooden floor.  I was shaking really bad and just wanted to get out of the house.  I put on my boots and grabbed my sword and shield.  Lux woke up with me and he followed me.  He tried to pull me back to bed, but it didn't work.

        "Let's just get some air, Lux," I said and Lux sighed.  He followed me and watched me close as I went down the ladder.  I was a bit dizzy, so I got on Lightning.  Lux got right behind me and we just sat there.

        The damn yellow ball things started to fly around me and it pissed me off, so I decided to ditch the forest and left.  Lux became a bit uneasy as we rode out of the forest.  I wanted to go out to the field and trot around a bit.  I wasn't suppose to leave the house, but what Link didn't know wouldn't hurt him.

        I stopped by this river that was draining from the castle.  It sounded so peaceful, so I sat under a tree and took in the clean Hyrule air.  Back at home, I lived in the city which had loud, nasty cars.  It was nice to hear some peace and quiet.

        Something broke that silence however so I looked up and saw a black horse trotting in the distance.  I couldn't really see the horse that well, but I recognized its rider in the moonlight.  It was Ganondorf.  Lux looked up and got a bit tense.

        "Lux," I whispered, "this might seem dumb, but we need to follow him."

        Lux looked uneasy, but he followed me.  We mounted Lightning and took off in the moonlight, creeping behind Ganondorf like a shadow.

        Something was up with this guy and I needed to figure it all out.  Where ever he was going, I would find out why he was so compelled to destroy Hyrule.  I carefully followed him, not worried about my relapse or what kind of mess I would get into next.  I had to find out who Ganondorf was...even if it would kill me.

 

       

       

Chapter 10- Gerudo Valley by Underdog Ash

 

                I knew that I was supposed to stay at Link's house, but I had to follow Ganondorf.  Link wouldn't be back until that afternoon and it was about midnight.  I had plenty of time to follow Ganondorf and get back to Link's house.  I knew that medically I would be risking my sanity, but I had to help save the kingdom, even if it was in my pajamas and without weapons, seeing how that was all I had.

        I was taken on the other side of Hyrule and the surrounding area seemed to be a canyon or a desert of some sort.  Since it was nighttime, the area was rather cold, but I couldn't let that stop me.  I followed Ganondorf the whole way and was about fifty feet behind him, just so he wouldn't suspect anyone was following him.  I tried to keep rather quiet, but once we reach a wooden bridge I knew I wouldn't be able to get across it quietly so I just waited for Ganondorf to keep going. 

        There was an entranceway that Ganondorf had gone into and I didn't hear anything else, so I decided to leave Lightning by himself and take Lux to where Ganondorf was headed.  I left Lightning underneath an area where there was a log serving as a bridge.  I felt bad for leaving him alone, but I had to do so.

        I walked across the log slowly and Lux followed me.  We walked forward to the bridge that I was afraid to cross with Lightning.  There was actually no one in sight, so Lux and I didn't really have to be too careful with worrying about noise.  I looked below the bridge and saw this huge river.  It was flowing rather quickly and then I realized how high up I was.  What if I fell?  What if Lux fell?

        The worst possible conclusion of crossing that bridge came to mind and I freaked.  I wouldn't take my eyes off the river and my eye sight became really blurry.  I started to feel dizzy and felt like my heart was beating a billion times a second.  I couldn't believe how far up I was and how far down the river was from the bridge.  It was overwhelming.

        Lux bit my leg all of a sudden and I snapped back into reality.

        "Raichu," he scolded.

        "Yeah, sorry buddy," I said and we began to walk further across this bridge. 

        On the other side of the land there was a hitched tent and some soft firelight was shining through the opening.  I had no idea what or who was in that tent, so I passed it as quickly as possible.  I didn't want to get caught by anyone because I had to return home as soon as I could.

        Lux and I took the same path that Ganondorf had on his horse and we entered what looked like a clear out area.  Beside me all I could see was a wall, but I heard voices, so I decided to investigate.  As I walked further, I noticed that there was stairs, but I didn't bother with the stairs because I could get caught if I walked up them.  I took the back way instead, which was a slope of some sort. 

        Upwards, I saw a flag whipping in the wind.  It was only a small, rectangular strip that had been ripped on the ends, but it still looked like a flag to me.  It was a blood red color.  As I walked a little bit up this slope, I realized that this wasn't a flag pole.  It was a post for hanging someone.

        I was terrified.  No one was being hung yet, but there was a noose ready.  I ran back towards this closed gate that seemed to be closing off a desert of some sort.  Beside it was a ladder that went to a lookout spot.  I climbed it and Lux held onto my back.  Once I got up there safely, I was relieved to find that no one was actually up there.

        I could see the gallows clearly now and standing beside the pole was Ganondorf.  He was standing up straight and tall with that evil expression on his face; his caterpillar eyebrows balled up.  He had his arms folded and he stared at the crowd of, what seemed like, his people, in front of him. 

        The people in front of him were all girls and they were all dressed in purple.  These girls had spears and they wore a purple looking handkerchief over their face.  They girls were really tan and they were tall and skinny as well.  They also had long, red hair, a color red that was similar to Ganondorf's hair.

After a couple seconds though, different looking girls came out and they had on huge, puffy white pants.  They had shorter red hair and were actually a tad bit shorter than the other girls.  With them walked out a taller woman with a sharp face.  She had really long red hair and she looked annoyed.  She bowed to Ganondorf, but kept a disgusted look on her face.

"Is he here?" Ganondorf asked.

"No, my lord," the girl said.  "King Koopa said that he had another conflict come up."

"Humph, no matter," Ganondorf said.  "I'll just have to teach you rats a lesson myself.  Bring out the girl!"

The crowd moved over a bit and I saw two guards and a girl sift through the crowd.  The girl looked like all of the others, but she had cuts and bruises on her.  She looked down as she was shoved through the crowd.  Everyone looked sad for some reason as they watched her get on the gallows.  Ganondorf looked rather satisfied however.

"Now ladies," Ganondorf began, "Ms. Dragmire here, my baby sister," while he said this, he pinched the girl's cheek, "has dishonored my rule.  Do you want to know how?"

The crowd of girls remained silent as Ganondorf put his hands behind his back.  He looked proudly over the girls and said, "Well, my little sister here decided to disobey my commands by not carrying out the duty of killing two annoying pests that will get in our way.  She returned from the Kokiri forest, empty handed.  When I asked her why, she said she just couldn't kill two children."

The sister was crying.  I was guessing that the ‘two little bugs' were Link and I.  I had no idea that there was a girl following us, but I was glad that she felt guilty and decided not to kill Link and I off.  I wanted to do something to save this girl, but I didn't know what to do.  If I would do something, I would've been bombarded with guards, but I also knew I could do something up in that tower. 

My electric powers could be used to save the girl, but also not get caught.  I was just really nervous to use them, seeing as I had trouble controlling it.  I didn't have any time to practice those powers, but I knew I had to take a shot in the dark. 

"Now, baby sister," Ganondorf said as he slid the noose down her neck, "since you have disobeyed your big brother, you must be punished."

I became pissed off.  How could Ganondorf do that to his own family members?  The girl started to cry as Ganondorf went and stood by the pole, which had a lever on the side.  All was silent during this moment, except for the red flag whipping in the wind.  The only smile that I could see was Ganondorf's, which was a big, toothy smile.  He put his green, meaty hand on the lever and waited for a second.

After a couple of seconds, I heard a thud.  Ganondorf had pulled the lever.  His sister was struggling with the rope and the crowds of girls were crying.  It was a terrible sight, my reader, and I didn't care how crazy my powers were, I had to do something.

I pointed my finger right at the rope and aimed it in the center as carefully, but as quickly as I could.  I looked at Lux who was a bit uneasy, but I knew that he was aware that someone had to save this girl.  I got my finger ready and concentrated hard on what I wanted my powers to do.  I tensed the muscles in my arm and I felt the surge started from my chest, to my right shoulder, down my arm, and finally it shot though my finger.

This thin, blue bolt of lightning shot out of my finger and hit the rope right on.  I crouched down behind one of the lookout walls and listened.  I heard the girl's body hit the ground and the all of the girls started to scream.  The lookout walls were wooden so I put my finger on the wall and used my power to burn a small peep hole into the wood.  I looked through and saw Ganondorf looking terribly angry and that one girl, the one that seemed second in charge.  She seemed very calm, but I could see a small smirk on her face.

"Where ever you are, show your face!" I saw Ganondorf yelled.  After I stayed silent, I saw him grab a hold of the odd woman and pull her up.  He had a hold of her thin, tan neck and started to shout: "Where ever that came from, I want you to find out.  Someone is here that shouldn't be here."  He threw the girl on the ground and said, "Get my sister back into her cell.  We'll dispose of her once that intruder is found."

Ganondorf left the scene, stomping loudly as he walked into the fortress.  The odd girl got up from where Ganondorf threw her and brushed herself off.  She walked back up to the gallows and put her hand down where Ganondorf's sister had fallen.  She pulled the sister up and gave her a huge hug.  She started to cry a bit too, but she had to send her away with guards to go back to her cell.  She faced the rest of the crowd and crossed her arms.

"Ladies," she said, "before you all look for the intruder, I want you to get some lunch.  I will talk to Ganondorf as soon as I can, but just relax for a little while.  Now go eat."

The girls all went into the fortress.  The leader girl stood behind and waited for them to clear out.  She looked up at the lookout and I swear we made eye contact, or at least she saw my eye through the peep hole I created.  I felt a nervous surge go through my body, so I got away from the hole and laid on the floor.  I waited a couple of seconds and looked back and saw her go into the fortress.

The coast seemed clear, so I started to climb down the ladder.  Lux was still uneasy, but he knew he couldn't leave me alone.  He followed me down the ladder and up the slope where the crowd of girls were standing.  We crept as quietly as we could to the front of the fortress. 

There were several entrances in the middle of this brick, but rather old looking fortress.  I at least wanted to spy on Ganondorf, and possibly find his sister, too.  Even if she was evil, I would still help her escape.  It was only fair, seeing how her brother had treated her.  I wasn't sure what to do, or even where to go, so I just went into the center entrance and wished for some sort of luck.

In the center entrance was a long hallway with a bend to it.  Lux and I walked quietly because we heard voices.  They were soft and sounded full of sorrow.  I could hear the clanging of silverware and the crackle for fire with the audible bubbles popping in a stew or some sort.  I saw this by looking over a crate.  This place was like a cafeteria because a lot of girls were sitting there and they were eating.

I decided to go back to where Lux was, instead of pressing my luck and walking in on the girls eating.  Lux was waiting back at the entrance keeping watch for somebody.  We exited that side of the fortress and decided to take the right entrance. 

In that entrance we ran into yet another hallway.  This hallway was actually straight and led us to an unoccupied jail cell.

"I'm guessing she's not in this cell, Lux," I said and he looked up with a sad expression on his face.  He seemed worried, like something could go bad in any second, which was technically true, but I tried to not worry about stuff like that, especially since, with my relapsing, it wouldn't take much to freak me out.

We decided to walk on the other side of the cell area and came upon another hallway.  This one had a bend towards the end and I could see the light of the exit.  When we left that area, I became rather disappointed.  We both ended up back outside and at the front of the fortress.

"Damn it," I muttered and Lux had a tired look on his face.  "Uh, let's go over here.  I'm sure there's another entrance somewhere on the other side of this thing."

So I had to drag Lux to the other side of the fortress, which did indeed have another entrance.  I was able to get him to follow me inside and we were at another hallway.  This hallway's path was sloped upward and once we got to the top we came to what seemed like a throne room.

Lux and I knelt behind a crate as we watched a scene go down in the throne room.  Ganondorf was sitting lazily on his throne as two girls came in from the other hallway, across from where Lux and I were hiding.  One was carrying what looked like a small ball.  I suddenly remembered what kind of ball she was holding.

This woman had a Pokeball in her left hand.  Lux became a bit tense himself.  All I wanted to see was what kind of creature was in that ball.  I hadn't really been able to look into this whole Pokemon business, but I hadn't really seen any other Pokemon besides Lux and Zucchini.

The woman with the Pokeball bowed to Ganondorf who just waved his hand.  He laid his head on his fist and looked terribly bored.

"This had better be good," Ganondorf said.

"I assure you, Lord Dragmire, that this will be worth your time," the woman said.  "Do you, by any chance, know what kind of ball lies in my palm?"  She tilted her hand back and let him see the ball.

"I wouldn't have the slightest idea," he muttered.

The woman started to look nervous, so she cleared her throat and continued on saying, "Well, this is a Pokeball and inside of this Pokeball is a powerful, hideous creature."

Ganondorf perked up a bit and became interested.  "What kind of creature?" he asked.

"This creature is called a Pokemon, and it has yet to be released to the Kanto region," the woman said.  "The Kanto region is the main region of the Pokemon world sir, and if Kanto doesn't have it, you have a novelty Pokemon on your hands."

Ganondorf sat up straight and rested both arms on both of his arm rests and said, "Well, show me this hideous creature."

"As you wish," the woman said and she clicked a button on the Pokeball that made it increase in size.  The woman threw the ball and a flash of red light came from it.  The red light started to take the form of the Pokemon that occupied the Pokeball.  It formed the outline of a small dog and in another second, it formed the dog itself.

The dog was actually a small, cute little puppy.  This puppy had pointy teeth and what looked shrew skull on its head.  On its back was a pair of small ribs that wrapped around it.  The ankles of this dog had small, skeletal rings around it.  It was actually quite cute.

"Houndour," it growled.

Ganondorf's expression was everything but impressed.  He balled up his fist and hit the arm rest on his throne.

"What the hell is this?" he asked.  "Where's the hideous creature?"

The woman cringed and said weakly, "King Koopa said that you'd like it."

"You're giving me King Koopa's sloppy leftovers!" Ganondorf thundered.  "You seriously think I would like to have some mutt helping me take over this kingdom.  Do you realize how much of a joke I would be?"

"I just thought-"the woman began.

"Well, you thought wrong!" Ganondorf shouted.  "Get this woman out of my sight." 

The girl was taken quickly underneath her arms by two guards.  Ganondorf stood up and picked up the puppy by its back neck. 

"Humph, you're pathetic," he said and he threw the puppy against the wall.  It yipped and cowered in a corner.  Ganondorf stood up tall and sniffed for some reason.  He looked around and I saw him look towards my direction.  I heart rate increased suddenly and my throat became dry.  We were done if he spotted us. 

Instead, Ganondorf cleared his throat and shook his head.  He walked towards the hallway across from us and kicked the Pokeball right into the little puppy.  It yipped again and ran towards another corner.  Two guards left the room with Ganondorf, so I decided it was okay to come from behind the crate.

I went straight for the dog.  It was huddled up in the corner and it had a sad expression on its face.  I crouched down next to it and Lux was on my right side.  Lux wanted to see this dog.

I picked the dog up and it yipped.  It didn't wiggle around or anything, but I assumed that it was extremely sore, seeing as it was kicked across the room by a huge ass foot.  One of the bones it had on the outside was cracked a bit, but those bones protected its body.  I checked the gender of this dog and figured out that it was actually a girl.

The odd thing about this dog was that it had these piercing green eyes.  The eyes looked rather pained however.  She was panting quickly, which tore my heart to pieces.  I didn't know what to do, so I carried her in my arms.  There was the option of putting her away in the Pokeball the woman left behind, but I wasn't sure how comfortable that would be.

I picked up the Pokeball and put it in my pocket for the time being.  I carried this dog back to where Lux and I had entered because I was afraid to take the hallway on the other side and run into Ganondorf.  I had to save the dog and Ganondorf's sister, plus I still needed to get some dirt on that asshole.

Once outside, I began to notice that the sun was starting to rise.  I had to work quickly if I wanted to get back to Link's house in time.  I was feeling rather sluggish however, so I knew it would be tough to do all of the stuff I needed to do and then get back home before Link.

I took Lux on the right side of the fortress and found an entrance that was around the corner.  We entered the opening and came upon a really large jail cell.  The odd lady was in front of the bars and it seemed she was talking to Ganondorf's sister.

"Um, hello,?" I said quietly.

The odd girl turned around and glared at me for a second.  Then she asked, "Who are you?"

"I've come here to help this girl escape," I said hesitantly.

The girl walked up to me.  She was taller than I thought and I could see up the big, pointy nose of hers.  I wasn't sure what to do, so I stared at her like I wasn't scared of her.  I wanted to appear brave, like all heroes do, but I really couldn't stare right into her eyes because she was so tall.

"A puny girl like you has decided to save this girl here?" the girl asked.

"Well, I can try, I guess," I said.  She was scaring the crap out of me and I looked down at Lux who was shaking.  He must have been scared, so I panicked.  If he was scared and I was scared, who would save us?

The girl bent down to my level so she could look at me straight in the face.  She glared at me and just stayed there for the longest time.  After a couple of seconds, this girl smiled and started to giggle.  She stood straight up and turned around.  After a couple steps, she looked back at us and said, "You want to save this girl, correct?"

"I'd like to," I said.

This girl looked at Ganondorf's sister and asked, "Do you know this kid?"

The sister shook her head.

"What is your name, kid?" the odd girl asked.

"Um, Ashley Brandt," I stammered. 

"Do you work for Ganondorf?" she asked.

"Ew, no," I said quickly.

The girl laughed and said, "You seem decent."

"Uh, thanks, I guess."

The girl turned around and said, "Alright.  My name is Nabooru and this girl here is Ganondorf's sister, Aurora.  She was almost killed this morning.  Suddenly, some bolt of lightning came and saved her."

"Well, I am the one who saved her," I said quietly.

Nabooru's face brightened and she said, "You have electric powers?"

I nodded and she continued: "Could you show me those powers?"

I sat down the puppy who laid on the ground panting.  I held up my pointer finger and let some of my electric power ball up at the tip.  The light from that ball of electricity lit up Nabooru's sharp facial features.  I could see the reflection of that ball in her eyes.  I became a bit scared because her face seemed to be lit up with greed.

"Wow," Nabooru said.  "Ashley, you could really do a lot with that power."

"Yeah, I guess," I said and I sucked the power back into my finger.  I picked up the puppy that was still by my feet and faced Nabooru.  "Now, can we get Aurora out of here without getting caught?"  I definitely did not want to meet up with Ganondorf again.  I was in his territory now, reader, so he knew this land a lot more than I did.  He also had his little army of girls with him and I was no match for them.

"Have you ever met Ganondorf, Ashley?" Aurora asked from her cell.

I walked toward her cell and asked, "Why?"

Aurora looked a bit nervous and said, "My brother sent me out to kill you and another boy about your age.  You guys were so young that I just couldn't do it."  Aurora broke into tears.  She seemed a lot softer than her brother.

"Yes, I have had some altercations with your brother," I said.  "He has been an enemy of mine for a couple of days, I suppose."

Aurora put on an angry expression and said, "My brother is getting way out of control.  He's dragging the Gerudo name through the mud.  All he ever talks about is getting a hold of this Triforce of something and taking over Hyrule."

"Whoa," I said quickly, "what about the Triforce?"

"My brother always talked about this Triforce of some sort.  I guess there are three pieces.  He talks about this sword, too and these damn stone things."

"Can you at least tell me why he tried to kill Link and I?" I asked.

"He said he wanted to kill Link for he's destined to be some sort of hero.  The reason he wanted me to kill you is because you're Link's partner and you provide great protection to him.  Without you, my brother said Link would've been easy to capture."

So, what I gathered was that the only reason I was a bounty for Ganondorf was solely because I was Link's ‘protector' for the moment.  For me reader, this was a bit of a slap in the face.  I hoped that the goddesses would have had some sort of special job for me, like a hero as Link must have been, but instead I became a bit depressed and was close to crying.

"Are you okay?" Aurora asked.

"Yeah," I said and I pressed my face to the puppy's soft fur.  She smelled like my old dog back at home and I became nostalgic for where I use to live.  There was no time to play with a dog or lay down for a short nap.  I hated it here in Hyrule for goddesses controlled who a person was.  I didn't seem to be destined for anything but following some blonde kid around that wore stupid, green clothes.

"Ashley," Nabooru said behind me, "we should be able to help Aurora escape, but we might have to wait until nightfall."

"Uh, I can't wait that long," I said quickly.  "Is there any way to get her out now?"

Nabooru stood and looked like she was deep in thought.  She rubbed the area of her nose that was between her eyes.  Finally she looked up and said, "The girls are all eating lunch right now, so we should have time to help her escape, but we'll have to move quickly."

"Alright," I said.

Nabooru nodded and came by the cell.  She had a key so she unlocked the cell door and slowly opened it.  Aurora rushed out, but Nabooru grabbed her.

"Not too fast," she said.

Nabooru reach in her pocket and grabbed a veil to put over Aurora's face.  I didn't need it for, even with the veil on, I would still stand out from the crowd of girls.

"Ashley, you have no way of disguising yourself," Nabooru said, "but it would help if you put that dog and that shrew away."

I looked at the puppy in my hand and reach in my pocket to get the Pokeball.  I pressed the button on the middle of the ball and it enlarged in my palm.

"Return," I whispered and a laser came out from the ball and suck the puppy up.  I pressed the middle button again, which made the ball become smaller, and I shoved it back in my pocket.

"Unfortunately, Lux here doesn't have a ball," I said to Nabooru.

Nabooru shrugged her shoulders and started to move out.  I followed the two and had Lux jump on my shoulders, just so he wouldn't stray into another direction.

We exited the room where the cell was and Nabooru took us up another slope which was actually rather long.  At the top of this slope was a tent with two horses.  Nabooru helped Aurora up to one of the horses and she mounted one herself. 

"We'll leave a space in between both the horses for you to walk with us," Nabooru said.  "That way, of someone is outside and they are on our left or right, they would have to look below both of us to see your feet."

It sounded like a dumb idea, but no one was outside of the fortress so our cover wasn't blown.  We came to the exit and Nabooru dismounted her house.

"Aurora, you need to get out of this place," Nabooru said.  "Take the horse and just ride as far away as you can from Hyrule.  I'm afraid that if you return, you're brother would've already killed the Gerudo thieves and we would be long gone.  I'd advise you to start a new life.  You've been a great part of this fortress and I want you to always believe that." 

"Thank you, Nabooru," Aurora said and she looked at me and nodded.  She suddenly took off towards the exit and disappeared from our eye sight.

Nabooru turned towards me and said, "Ashley, you need to get out of here as fast as you can."

"Too bad you've already been caught," a voice boomed from above.

We looked up and saw Ganondorf on a ledge above us.  A bunch of those guard girls surrounded us and I felt a spear at my throat.  I gulped as Ganondorf jumped from the ledge and landed right in front of Nabooru and me.

Ganondorf grabbed Nabooru's chin and titled it back so that her terrified eyes were staring right at his.

"You thought you could get away with letting my sister go?" Ganondorf asked softly and he laughed a deep but short laugh.  "My dear, you must have mistaken me for some kind of idiot, haven't you?  Well, unfortunately for you, I will have to exile you to the desert so you can live being hungry, thirsty, and lost forever in that sandstorm.  Guards, get this disgusting bag of filth out of my sight."

These two girls came up and seized Nabooru.  I stood straight up with my head up high, which was only because I coincidently had a spear pressing against my neck.  Ganondorf looked pleasantly at the guards man-handling Nabooru, but focused his attention on me shortly after.

"Now, let's get to your set of punishment," Ganondorf said.  He put his hand up to his chin and began to stroke it.  "Since you're not a member of my thieves here, I'm afraid that I would not be able to exile you."

"That would appear so," I mumbled.

"You've recently become a huge pest in all of my plans and you're a complete smartass, which I hate entirely."

"Well, I hate evil people that decide to take over a kingdom that they don't deserve," I said sharply.

In a split second, I felt a sharp pain on my face.  Ganondorf had smacked me and it caused me to fall on the hot sand.  Ganondorf was able to break skin on my face and I felt the warm blood drip down my cheek and watched it stain the sand I was sitting on.

"While you're here, I would suggest that you keep your damn mouth shut," Ganondorf snapped.  "I have never met someone who was enough of an idiot to insult the person who captured them."

I stood up weakly.  Lux had rushed by my side to help me but he seemed scared of all the people surrounding us.  I wiped off the blood on my check and stared at Ganondorf.

He smirked and said, "I just got a great idea for your punishment.  Since I assume that you're the one who ruined my sister's hanging this evening you owe me.  Therefore, you will provide the entertainment tomorrow morning by suffering the punishment that my sister should have suffered.  Guards, take Ms. Brandt to the prisoner cell and don't feed her or this damn rat of hers.  The lighter she is, the easier it will be to hang her.  Take her away."

The guards grabbed me and Lux.  These girls had rubber gloves on so that Lux and I couldn't shock them.  With my hands behind my back and my pajamas covered in sand, I walked away defeated and had no hope at all.

 

The cell I was thrown into wasn't inside.  It was rather up high in a hallowed out in a part of the canyon.  There was a small opening, but it was almost up to the ceiling and even if I could reach it, jumping out of the window will cause me to break my legs.  I sat in the corner of this dank, dark cell and Lux huddled up with me.  I started to cough because it was getting extremely cold outside.

I didn't have a fairy for he was back at Link's home and in my floppy, green hat.  All I had in my pockets were the Pokeball and the ocarina that Saria had given me.  I grabbed it before I left for some reason.  I was just going to be prepared if I met someone at the fortress who was to teach me a new song.  I didn't know how to play the damn potato with holes, but I could figure it out.

My stomach began to get upset.  I grabbed my stomach and felt my throat become solid feeling.  I started to puke wildly and, through the dim moonlight, I saw small traces of blood.  I curled in a ball and shook wildly.  Lux must have decided to stay in the corner because he didn't come over to me.

Pathetically, I took out the ocarina and started to play notes that sounded airy and not as good as Link's notes sounded.  I needed to play Saria's song and contact her in any way, so that Link knew where I was.  I was afraid he would be too busy to save me, but I wanted him to at least know where I was.

I played something that sounded like Saria's song, even though the song was still airy and pathetic sounding.  I was shaking wildly while playing the ocarina, but the song sounded right, but I wasn't sure how to contact Saria after playing the song.  I just started to cry and scream to the ceiling of where I was, hoping, just hoping, that Saria or Link or Zelda heard my scream and would come to my rescue, but I knew that would never happen.  I was as good as dead.

 

"Wake up, you pathetic pile of shit," a girl said and she kicked me in the side.

I opened my eyes to a bright, hot sun and turned over to see a girl above me.  I slowly got up, but the guard kicked me again and I fell to the ground.

"Get up faster," the girl snapped at me.

I got up quicker this time, but fell back against the wall.  I felt terrible and depressed.  Seeing as I'd been wearing my pajamas in the dirt that night, I also felt dirty.  I was going to die in my pajamas...

I climbed up a ladder with a spear constantly poking my back.  I felt like collapsing and just giving up, but I would have enough time to do so later with a noose around my neck.

My hands were tied behind my back as I got to the top of the ladder.  Down below I could see Ganondorf standing on the gallows and a huge crowd around it.  Lux was placed in a cage and was brought up separately.  He looked at me with a sad expression.  I didn't know what to do at that point because I had no sword, my electricity wouldn't work on the guards with the rubber gloves, and Ganondorf was going to get his way.

I had surrendered to Ganondorf and he could tell as I walked up the gallows.  He had a smile on his face as he grabbed my arm.  He had on the rubber gloves as well.

"We even made you a specialty noose," Ganondorf said and he pointed at a noose that was covered in rubber.  "But, look at the bright side.  The rubber on the side of the noose is probably more comfortable than the dry, itchy rope."

Ganondorf placed the noose delicately around my neck, like I was a guest of honor.  He fitted it perfectly around my neck and he then touched my cheek. 

"It's such a shame that someone as pretty as you has to die," Ganondorf said.

I looked down at my feet.  My boots were rather dirty, but that was the least of my worries.  I heard Ganondorf's feet make the wooden floor of the gallows creek as he took each step towards the lever that would determine when I would die.

"Ladies, we have here this afternoon a special guest entertainer," Ganondorf said.  "Straight from the Kokiri Forest is Ashley Brandt, ‘hero'."

Ganondorf looked at me and smiled.  He put his hand on the lever and decided to just lay it there.  It made my heart race because I had no idea when he was going to pull the lever and every second made me freak out even more.

"Bye bye, Ash," Ganondorf said and he pulled the lever down.

Now reader, it's hard to describe the feeling of being hanged, but I felt the floor collapse underneath my feet and my body drop instantly.  I swung around as I gasped for air, but I couldn't get any kind of air to enter my wind pipe.  I felt helpless as I swung around and around and I became dizzier and dizzier.  I was going to die reader.

However, I suddenly heard the rope break and I came crashing to the ground, underneath the floor.  I could see Ganondorf's shocked expression through the cracks of wood when I looked up. 

I quickly loosen the noose and ripped it off my neck.  There was an opening underneath the floor boards, so I crouched and ran towards the opening.  As soon as I got out, I saw Zucchini and Link fighting off a bunch of guards.  On Link's back was my sheath and it had my sword in it.

I would have asked Link to toss me my sword, but my hands were still tied behind my back, so it was impossible for me to find away to defend myself.  There were guards coming at me, so I rushed over to Link and had him slash the rope that was bounded tightly around my wrists.  Link didn't slice it perfectly though, so I had a cut on the side of my hand.  It stung a bit, but it wasn't too bad.

I grabbed my sword out of my sheath that was still tied to Link's back.  As soon as I got my sword out, all hell broke loose.  I first needed to save Lux, so I jumped back on the platform of the gallows and started to slice my way through some guards.  It didn't take me very long to reach Lux, but there was a different sort of guard waiting for me.  In front of Lux's encasement was a girl that had two swords.  She looked extremely mean, so I had to be careful.

This girl was terribly quick and she jumped right towards me.  I put my sword in front of my face and tried to block her two swords from slashing my skin.  My blade was placed between the two blades of the guard.  I panicked as she looked at me.  Underneath her veil it looked like she was smiling.  I pulled my sword away from hers and started to attack as furious as I could.  I had to be quicker than she was, otherwise I wouldn't get passed her defenses.

All that I could hear was the clinging of our swords and that sound really hurt my teeth.  It sounds worse than nails on a chalk board and it felt like the sound of the clinging were entering my ears, going down my jaws, and made a home under my gums and started to push my teeth up.

I had to ignore this feeling and fight for Lux's life.  I needed to save him, even if there were noises bothering me and my poor teeth.  I started to fight a lot quicker and even tried to trick her.  Back at home I played basketball and I would always do what we called a fake.  That's when you pretend you're going one way or passing the ball to one person, but you quickly do something else.  I tricked the guard pretty well, which was surprising.

I knew she was quick, but I also knew that people had to get tired eventually.  Yeah, I had to wrestle around with her a bit, but it really only took five minutes to have her get tired and slip up.  I didn't really care for killing actual people, so I hit the girl on the head with the hilt of my sword, just so she'd pass out and leave me alone.

I ran over to Lux's cage and unlocked it.  Lux jumped right out and hopped onto my shoulder and I turned around as quick as I could to start fighting the rush of guards that were heading for me.  I was assuming they didn't expect me to defeat their tougher guard because they were waiting for something or someone while I fought the guard with two swords.

Lux suddenly leapt off my shoulder and showered the guards in bolts of lightning.  They screamed as the jolts of lightning surged through their bodies.  I felt a bit bad for them as I watched them collapse, but I had no time to feel sympathetic because I felt a terrible power hit me in the back.  I soared over the guards and hit the brick wall of the fortress.

I slid onto the sand and opened my eyes.  My vision was terribly blurry, but I could see a green man running towards me with his fist ready.  I moved out of the way quickly and heard Ganondorf's fist pound against the wall.  I turned around to face him and he quickly removed his fist from the dent that he had created in the fortress wall.  Ganondorf started back at me again and had his fist ready, but I was able to use my electric powers to create a bubble around him and put him in the air.  I slammed him against the wall and relieved my power.

Ganondorf jumped up and used his evil power.  He created a purple ball in his palm and shot it at me.  I thought quick and created an electric ball in my palm and shot it straight forward.  It collided directly with Ganondorf's power and created a small, but powerful explosion.  A powerful wind blew me back and some of the guards that were watching.  Even Link and Zucchini, who had been fighting the whole time, fell over from the power.

The sand in the air cleared and I saw a shadow move quickly through it.  Ganondorf emerged from this shield of sand and punched me right in the face.  I flew backwards and ran into a guard of girls.  I dropped my sword as I flew backwards, but Lux rushed over to keep it safe. 

Lux released this huge power of lightning that engulfed the greater part of the fortress.  A lot of guards became injured and passed out from the surge of electricity.  Some of the guards went into a sort of seizure state.

Once things calmed down, I could see Lux breathing rather hard.  He had black marks and cuts all over his body.  I looked over and saw Link and Zucchini.  Link was on the ground and had probably passed out, but Zucchini was standing, which he was barely standing, but he was still standing.

I got up slowly, but my body was aching so I by slowly I mean I barely moved.  I limped over to Link and started to shake his shoulder to wake him up.  It took half a minute, but the kid opened his crystal blue eyes and looked at the sky.

"Link, I think we should go," I said quietly.

"Where's Ganondorf?" he asked as he made a small attempt to get up.

I looked around and saw only guards and Lux.  Ganondorf had probably teleported or something like that.  The bad guys always seemed to leave when they were about to get their asses kicked, but I needed to get all of us out of the fortress before the guards woke up.

"It doesn't matter right now," I said.  "Zucchini, Lux, let's go."

I grabbed Link's hand and helped him up.  He was sore, so I needed to help him slowly.  After a bit of pain for the both of us, we grabbed our Pokemon and headed out of the fortress.

 

 

Chapter 11- The Great Boob Fairy by Underdog Ash

 

 

 

        It was extremely difficult for Link and I to get out of Gerudo Valley.  Instead of travelling across Hyrule to get to the Kokiri Forest, we decided to go to Lon Lon Ranch.  It was early morning, so the ranch was open.  We were on Lightning and Epona when we entered the ranch.  Fortunately for us, Talon was at the entrance washing a cow.  Link and I got off our horses and just collapsed on the ground.

 

        I woke up in a nice, fluffy bed, but there was a smell of chickens lingering in the air.  I sat up slowly and all the aches and pains surged through my body.  I lay back down, slamming my body against the bouncy mattress.

        I tried to sit up again, but moved with caution.  I was able to get up after a lot of pain and looked around.  I was in a small room which had a small, round coffee table in it.  I looked at my feet and saw Lux sleeping soundly.  To my left was another bed and there was Link.  At Link's feet was Zucchini, who was curled in a small ball.

        I suddenly remembered what had happened.  The whole battle that took place in Gerudo Valley and helping Ganondorf's sister escape; I remembered all of that.  I had some trouble breathing for my lungs felt sore.  I lifted up my shirt just a little and saw that I had bruises on my ribs.  On my arms were bruises and cuts.  I decided to lay back down a bit and just relax.

        I lay on my side, but became uncomfortable.  There was something in my pocket, so I reach under the covers and retrieved the object.  It was a Pokeball and I started to remember what was inside.  There was that puppy that Ganondorf had kicked.  I pressed the middle button of the Pokeball and it grew.  I threw the ball and the puppy came out.  She was limping as she walked around the room.

        I got up from the bed slowly and moved my legs out from under the covers.  My naked feet touched the cold, wooden floor which creaked as I put pressure on it.  The puppy sat still and watched with heavy eyes as I came to see her.

        "Her girl," I whispered.

        The puppy actually came right to me for it was probably looking for some sort of comfort.  I petted it's short, black fur and touched the bones that it wore on the side of its body.  The muzzle of the dog was an orange color and so was its underbelly.  I touched its dry nose with my other hand and moved my way up to her ears and started to scratch them.  She seemed to like it.

        After I stopped petting her, she began to whine.  I asked her what was wrong, but she just began to howl and cry.  She sounded like a puppy that had lost its mother, but I had no idea how to help it in that way.  I tried to calm her down, but her cries eventually caused a stir in the room.  Zucchini shot right up and stared at the dog while Lux just lazily walked over.

        "Houndour," It whined.

        "What was that?" I asked.

        "Houndour," it cried again.

        Lux had always said Raichu when he talked and Zucchini always said Scyther, so this puppy's Pokemon name must have been Houndour.

        "Where did you get that thing?" Link asked harshly.  It was rather bizarre that he had an attitude despite the fact that he just woke up.

        "Well, Ganondorf was offered this puppy," I said, "but he turned it away and actually kicked it."

        "Ash, we have too many of these things following us around," Link said as he got himself out of the bed.  He walked over to the small coffee table which had his floppy green hat on it. 

        His hat reminded me of Max, and I started to panic.  "Where's Max?" I asked quickly.

        "He's alright," Link said.  "You didn't bring your hat to Gerudo Valley, so he's at my house.  Navi decided to go over and check on him, but he should be okay."

        I let out a sigh of relief and looked down at the puppy.  Her black eyes looked sad and lost as she stared at the ceiling.

        "What should I name you?" I asked her and she looked up.  I wasn't sure if she understood me, but it seemed that she did.  "How about licorice?"  I suddenly thought of this medicine that was produced back at home that smelled and tasted like black licorice and it made you fall asleep or whatever.  It was nasty and I rejected the name licorice just so that medicine would never plague my mind again.

        "Let's scratch that one," I said.

        "How about coffee bean?" Link asked. 

        "'Eh, there ya go," I said.  "See, you can do this whole naming spiel."

        Link smiled as he got his sword and shield ready.

        "Alright, you want the name Coffee Bean?" I asked the puppy.

        "Houndour," she said weakly, but she was nodding her head.

        "Coffee Bean it is," I said playfully.  I was desperately trying to perk her up, but my attempts seemed to fail.

        "So, are you ready to continue one with the journey?" Link asked.

        "Yeah," I said, "let's go to Dodongo's Cavern."

        "No need," Link said and he pulled out the Goron's Ruby.  The new born sunlight that flooded through the window made the ruby shine in Link's hand.  I couldn't take my eyes off of it because it was so beautiful.

        Link put the ruby away and said, "Now, the Gorons told me of this fairy that lives in the Death Mountain.  They said she has some very useful things to give us or whatever.  I think we should climb up the trail and find her."

        "Okay," I said and I slowly rose up.  My back hurt since Ganondorf decided to slam me against a wall. 

        Link started to gather all his stuff and said, "We'll stop by my house to get your clothes and stuff and get back with Navi and Max."

        I got back into my pajama pocket and got Coffee Bean's Pokeball.  She was still rather weak and upset, so I decided that she needed to go back in the Pokeball for I had no idea what was going to happen next.  But with Link and Zucchini back with Lux and I, I really wasn't too worried.  The whole fortress event would have been a lot easier to handle if Link was there. 

        I had Coffee Bean return and I grabbed my sword off the table.  The rest of my outfit, like my shield and tunic, were at Link's home.  As I gathered my stuff, Link put on his boots.  He equipped his sword and shield and handed me my sheath, which I slung on my back and took the two ends and buckled it securely on the front of me.

        "Ready to go?" Link asked with a small smile on his face.

        "Yes sir," I said and I smiled.  We walked out of the bedroom and were in the main room of the Lon Lon Ranch home.  Talon was sitting on the floor, drinking a bottle of milk and petting chickens.  Link and I walked down the creaky wooden stairs, which caught Talon's attention.

        "Well hey, I was worried about you two," Talon said.  "You came here practically dead.  It's almost time for supper here, would you like some?"

        "Uh, no thank you," I said.  "Link and I have a lot to do today, right?"  I looked over at Link for approval and he nodded.  It wasn't that I didn't want to eat at the ranch, but Talon was a very disgusting, hairy looking man, so I wasn't quite sure how sanitary this guy actually was.  I mean, the man was down there petting chickens, so something wasn't right.

        Link and I grabbed our horses that were in the stables and we mounted them once we led them outside.  Lux jumped in front of me while I was on the horse and got comfy and that was my cue to take off.

        I hadn't really had anytime to just ride Lightning without rushing to go somewhere.  As I rode and heard Lightning's hooves pound against the Hyrule Field grass, I had an urge to just keep riding, but Link kept me on course to his home.  The breeze smelled nice, like the beginning of spring time, but I had other things to take care of. 

        That's what I always hated about video games.  Why couldn't you just stop and smell flowers, rather than go on the next mission as soon as possible?  Hyrule was so different than the world back at home and I just wanted to soak it in, but I had no time to do that since fricken Zelda was having Link and I to do this crap.

        We got to Link's home and we got in his house as quickly as we could.  We didn't want to run into Mido at all during our visit, so we hurried.  I changed my clothes as Link stepped outside so that he didn't ruin my privacy.  Inside, I made Navi and Max leave because I wasn't sure if fairies could see, but if they could I sure didn't want them to look at my stuff.

        Once I was changed, I equipped my weapons and shield and stepped outside.  Link was on the balcony and I smiled as I put on my floppy, green hat.

        "Ready?" Link asked.

        "I was born ready," I said.

        "Alright, then let's go to Death Mountain," Link said triumphantly.

        Link and I moved out of the woods and rode across Hyrule's vast field.  It was around five o'clock, or at least the sky looked like it was five.  It didn't take us that long to get ourselves to the stairs that would lead up to Kakariko Village.  We walked up them, Link on my left and Lux on my right and Zucchini was on Link's left.  I could see Max's glow of orange light hovering around my head.  We were all back together again and I realized how much I missed everyone.

        Having been practically hanged, I had a different look on everything.  If it wasn't for Link, I wouldn't be alive.  I would've been hanged in front of Ganondorf and his peers and I wouldn't go down in Hyrule's history books as a hero...that is if Hyrule had history books.

        We walked through the village and saw the same carpenters running around while the same fat guy stood and just screamed random nonsense.  Link and I ignored them while covering our ears.  It sounded to me like the fat guy was screaming louder than usual for some of his sound leaked through my hands that covered my ears.

        Once we got to the Death Mountain gate, the same guard was standing there.  I saw him smile beneath his helmet and he said, "Well, ‘allo there.  What er my two favorite heroes up ta?"

        "Well, we're going to see a fairy or something," I said and I continued on my way passed the gate and Link followed.

        "'Ave fun, you damn, crazy kids," the guard shouted.

        I rolled my eyes and continued on with Lux on my right shoulder.  I remembered that there were these creepy spider things and they were a major pain in my ass.  As soon as one of those damn things started to hop our way, I used my electric powers to shock them backwards.  There were at least three spiders trying to block our path, so I took them all out.  I turned back and saw Link staring at me with a look of awe on his face.

        "Um, Link," I said, "are you okay?"

        Link shook his head and said, "Oh, nothing.  I'm just not use to seeing you use those powers, you know?  They're remarkable."

        I looked at the palm of my hand.  I couldn't even believe I had learned to control the electric powers I was given.  At first, the powers were rather unmanageable, but I was actually getting use to them now.  I looked up at Lux on my right shoulder and he had a huge smile on his face.  Lux looked like he was proud of me or something.

        We continued on up the mountain, our boots kicking up the dry mud with each step.  Once we reach up to a flat area, Link pointed at a ledge.

        "If we get up there, we can go to the top of the mountain and see this fairy," Link explained.  "The Gorons kept saying something about this mountain erupting randomly though, so we need to keep on our toes I guess."

        The problem was that there were two rocks blocking the path.  There was a ramp that seemed to have been carved in the mountain that would help us get up this ledge, but it was corroded and there were gaps in it, which could be jumpable, but there was on rather big rock in the way.

        "Well Link, what do we do about that?" I asked and I pointed at the big, gray rock.

        "Good point," Link said but with a smile on his face.  "However, I am one step ahead of you."

        "How?" I asked.

        "Well, when I was doing that whole Dodongo's Cavern thing, I got a new type of weapon," Link said smartly.  Link then pulled out a small, round object.  It was round and black and had a string on the top of it.  I immediately realized that it was a bomb.

        "Whoa," I said in a small panic, "you need to be careful with that thing!"

        "Oh, I'm not that clumsy," Link said as he lit a match by scraping it on the bottom of his boot.  Link lit the bomb with the match and I watched as the flame began to travel down towards the bomb, which probably had a lot of gun powder and other explosives inside.  Link rushed to the corroded ledge with the bomb in hand and threw it up towards the rock.

        Impressively, the bomb went off at the right time while in the air and it made the rock explode into a lot of pieces.  Link turned and faced me with a huge smile on his face.  He motioned me to follow him with his hand, so I followed him. 

        Up the ramp we went, jumping over the gap where the rock once stood.  Lux had no problem jumping between the gaps for his hind legs were rather long, like a rabbits, so he had a lot of power in his feet.  Zucchini, seeing as he was a grasshopper/praying mantis thing, could just fly over the gaps for a short period of time. 

        We reach the ledge using a small effort, but I had to stop.  My legs hurt badly with all the jumping.  I wasn't really a jumper because it hurt my legs and feet too much.  I sat on the ground as my knees were aching.  I started to feel sick again because I was still having issues with my relapsing.  Link sat right beside me and his eye sight was directed toward the top of the mountain.

        "Why do they call it Death Mountain?" I said after a little pause.  "I mean, it's obviously a volcano."

        "I guess Death Volcano is just sort of, well, uncreative," Link said.  "It's quite obvious that volcanoes cause people to die, so maybe the creators of the kingdom just didn't want to be obvious jerks."

        "But mountains can cause death too," I said.

        "You're the one that was complaining about the damn thing being called Death Mountain," Link said. 

        I coughed nervously.  There was more silence and things felt tense, or at least they felt tense to me.  I wanted to cry so badly because it seemed like Link was angry, but in the back of my mind, I knew he wasn't, but the reasoning didn't reach my emotions, which were going crazy.

        My crying was interrupted by the most random thing, however.  All of a sudden, a loud moo burst through the silence and Link and I shot looks at each other.

        "Where the hell did that come from?" I said.

        Link stood up and walked over to a rock that was just sitting there on our right.  He put his ear up to the rock and I could hear another faint moo.

        "It sounds like it's coming from this rock," Link said.

        "What?" I asked harshly as Link lit another bomb.  "If the cow's in the rock, you're going to kill it by blowing the rock up."

        Link ignored me as he set his bomb on top of the rock.  He grabbed my wrist and pulled me up and got me away from the bomb so I didn't get blown up.  The rock crumbled when the bomb exploded and a couple of the pieces fell into a small hole in the ground.  There was a rather loud, distressed sounding moo that came from the hole.  The blast must have scared the cow underground but what definitely puzzled me was the fact that there was a cow underground.

        "Here, let's hop down this hole," Link said.

        "Are you crazy!" I snapped.  "What if that's just a random black hole or something or what if you break your ankle?"

        Link rolled his eyes and said, "Well, are you coming or not?"

        I walked over beside him and looked down the hole.  I could see a patch of grass through the hole because the sunlight bled through it.  I was too scared to just jump down, so I insisted Link to go first.

        "Aw, alright," Link said

        Link jumped down the hole and I peeked my head over to see if he made it in there safe.  Sure enough, Link was looking up at me and waving.

        "C'mon," he said playfully, "it's pretty safe."

        I looked over at Lux and Zucchini who heard what Link had said and came to stand beside me.  Lux cheered and jumped down the hole and into Link's arms.  Zucchini looked to the side and sighed.  I wasn't sure he would have actually fit in the hole, seeing how he had those long, mantis arms.  The sharp, tough wings on his back would also be a problem.

        "Be careful down there!" Navi shouted and she was floating beside me with Max.

        I surely didn't want to hang out with Navi, so I sat on the ground and dangled my feet through the hole.  Link cleared the way and I jumped down.  When I hit the ground, I had to touch the soft, green grass otherwise I would've lost my balance.  I stood up and brushed off my skirt that had been exposed to the speckles of dust that rustled when I landed.  Max decided to float down the hole.  Navi must have already been bothering him, which really didn't surprise me.

        I looked over and surely there was a cow standing there.  The inside of this hole was completely hollow and it smelled extremely moist.  I was afraid for the cow because eventually the hole might cave in on her.  The cow just looked at Link and I, chewing on her grass and mooing occasionally. 

        "She must be so lonely," I cried as Lux went and checked out this strange creature.

        Link walked over and petted her.  He had a sympathetic look on his face and said, "Do you think maybe she belongs to Lon Lon Ranch?"

        "I don't know, but we need to get her out of here," I said.  "No body's here to take care of her or milk her or brush her."  The tears began to leak out of my eyes as I said this reader.  They were the hot tears; the ones that made you extra tired when you cried.  I just wanted to nap all of a sudden.

        "Aw, calm down," Link said.  "You don't need to cry.  Jeez, you cry like every five minutes now."

        "I can't help it," I said and I began to bawl. 

        "Quit being a baby," Link scolded and he walked over to me. 

        Seeing as my hormones were all out of whack, I suddenly got angry and punched Link in the face.  Thus, his nose started to bleed again.

        "Hey, what did you do that for?" he pleaded as he held his nose and tried to stop the bleeding.

        "Oh my God," I said and I started to cry and hug him.  "Link, I am so sorry.  I'm such a terrible person.  Oh, I deserve to die!"  

        This was a terrible mess, my reader, and if anyone had jumped down the hole and saw that scene, they would think all of us were nuts.  I mean, there was a mentally unstable teenager, a weird asshole in a floppy, green hat with a bleeding nose, a ball of glowing stuff floating around, a damn shrew thing with a long tail, and a cow in a hole.

        Navi shot down the hole and started to yell at both of us to get out acts together.  There was a lot of silence after Navi had pierced our eardrums with her sharp voice.  A small moo broke the silence and the cow picked up another patch of grass and started to chew loudly, smacking its lips.

        "C'mon Ash, let's go," Link said after a short pause.  I wiped my eyes and followed him.  For some reason, the sunlight that leaked through the opening lifted Link up and he ended up above ground.  I motioned Lux to get on my shoulder and once he was secure I walked into the light.  I felt a small lift and watched the cow eat as I went up.  The cow was completely oblivious to everything.

        I landed right outside of the hole and Link was standing there with one hand on his hip.

        "Can we go see that fairy now?" he asked.

        I nodded as Max flew out of the hole and shouted, "Hurry!  I want to see the Great Fairy!"

        "Why's that?" I asked.

        Navi made a weird tinkle sound and snapped, "I know why.  Max, you're a sick freak."

        I looked at Link with a confused expression on my face and he just shrugged and started to walk towards the mountain so I started to follow as well.  Lux jumped off my shoulder and walked alongside Zucchini as the two fairies quarreled about something.  All I heard was something about big hooters and then I subconsciously left the conversation.

        Suddenly, a huge, flaming boulder landed right beside me.  When it landed, there was a big boom and the ground shook a bit.  Link looked over with a shocked look and then we heard some whistling above.  I looked up and saw tons of flaming rocks falling from the sky.

        "Holy shit!" I shouted and I grabbed Lux and started to sprint.  Zucchini and Link followed both of us and Navi and Max flew in front of me.  At the end of the path was a wall of thick vines and a small overhang that we could get under.  We rushed towards this and got under it. 

        The overhang was made from the mountain so it was fairly sturdy.  Some of the flaming rocks hit the overhang, but it held up.  We watched patiently for the rocks to stop falling.  I was expecting maybe some lava to spew out of the volcano in the mountain, but I guess it just liked to spew annoying, flaming rocks.

        It was about a minute and the rock storm stopped.  I peeked my head out from under the overhang and saw a clear sky above.  The coast seemed to be clear, so all of us got out from underneath the overhang.  I touched the vines on the wall to check how sturdy they were and found them to be fairly strong. 

        Skulltulas were climbing all up on the vines, so I took out my slingshot and started to fire pebbles at them.  The pebbles must have really hurt because they fell straight to the ground and shriveled up.  The wall seemed to be clear, so Link and I decided to climb it.

        The vines would actually rather dry, which was surprising.  Usually, dry vines would have cracked and broke right in our hands.  I mean, I came across some vines that fell apart in my palms, but I just wiped the brown vine dust off my hands and continued forward.  The wall was rather long, but we successfully scaled it.

        Zucchini was the only one that couldn't climb the wall, so Link reach in his pocket and got his Pokeball.  He told Zucchini to return and the red laser shot out of the Pokeball and engulfed Zucchini.  The laser returned into the ball and Link decided to keep Zucchini inside it for the time being.  It was rather hard for Zucchini to follow us around seeing that he had no arms and was rather big.  Zucchini was great with sword fights however, seeing as he had blades for arms.

        There were two openings at this flat ground close to the mountain's peak.  One led to the inside of the volcano and the other was totally black.  Max flew straight into the dark entrance so we rushed after him.  His glowing, orange body provided us with some guidance as to where we were going. 

        The dirt path beneath our feet turned into stone for our footsteps echoed quite loudly with each step we took.  I wasn't aware of a small step that was ahead of us, so I fell onto the cold and rather wet stone floor.  Light suddenly flooded the room when I made contact with the floor.  I got up and saw that the walls had waterfalls on them and tiny pink and blue lights caused the waterfalls to be a different color.  Ahead of us was a small pool made of stone with crystal clear water in it. 

        The stone path continued forward, but on the side of this path was this pure, white sand that looked like sugar.  I knew it wasn't sugar however because when my face met the stone path, some sand on this path went into my mouth.  A bit farther up this path was a small step and, since Link and I could see now, we were able to step up without tripping over.  Beside each of us was a small pillar made of white stone which held at the tip a reddish orange flame.

        I looked at my feet and saw a Triforce etched in gold on the floor.  I looked at Link, who started to take out his ocarina and stopped him.

        "Let me try to play this thing," I said.  Back at the fortress, I must have played Saria's Song right, so I wanted to take a stab at Zelda's Lullaby.  When I got out my ocarina, Max rushed close to the middle of the fountain and waited patiently.  His little ball body was shaking and it seemed like he was nervous.

        I put the ocarina up to my lips and started to play Zelda's Lullaby.  It basically had two of the same notes that Saria's Song, but my only issue was finding the middle note.  I fiddled around with it for about two minutes until I found the definite note.  The sound coming from my ocarina was pretty disgusting, but as long as I played the damn lullaby, something good would happen.  It wasn't quality that counted in that situation...or at least that is what I thought.

        The reason I thought wrong was because this disfigured woman popped out of the fountain.  Her head was shaped like a pear and her jaw appeared to be broken because it was stuck to the left side of her face.  Her eyes were also rather lopsided and she had legs for arms and arms for legs, but she had no torso at all, so I was confused to whether she actually had leg-arms and arm-legs.

        "Oh my, God!" Max yelled and he flew behind my head.

        "I played the song right," I said and I held the ocarina up to my face.  "I bet this thing really is a potato.  Saria gave me a goddamn potato!"

        "Here, let me play it," Link said and he grabbed the ocarina from my hands.  He began to play the lullaby and from my ocarina came a very nice, soft sound.  I rolled my eyes as he finished.

        The disfigured fairy suddenly turned into an orange light and all of a sudden a rather big woman was revealed and man she had the most annoying laugh in the world.  She had terrible red colored hair, a mole thing, hooker-red lipstick and horrible eye shadow, long plastic nails, bushy red eye brows, and, to top it all off, she was wearing thin vines for clothes.  However, I will admit, I really didn't pay much attention to her detail the first time I met her because protruding from her vines were these mammoth sized chesticles. 

        "Thank you, dear boy, for saving me after that girl played that disgusting song," the fairy said.

        "Boobs," I said, but then I quickly realized what just came out of my mouth and I said quickly, "-uh, I mean, um, oops.  I'm sorry that I played the wrong norks-or well, I mean notes..."

        "I forgive you, young girl," the fairy said kindly.

        "I am sorry too for Ash here is a big rack-er I mean, wreck at the moment," Link said.

        "Yeah, I have had a couple of yahoos-or wait I mean issues lately," I said quietly.  "That's why my speech is all in jubblies-wait my speech is all in jumbles." 

        Something was wrong with my speech.  I kept saying things that I didn't mean to say and I had no idea why, but subconsciously my mind was replacing words with slang words for breasts.  I didn't get it at all.

        "You're fine, children," the fairy said.  "Now, I am the Great Fairy of Death Mountain and I am here to offer you some of my magic.  It's not much, but it will aid you."

        "That sounds pretty boobies-or wait, I mean groovy," I said and I did a little peace sign with my hand.  I knew that the Great Fairy probably didn't know what groovy meant or what a peace sign was, but I had to find some way to cover up my bad language.

        "Well, my young heroes, I will let you receive my powers now," the Great Fairy said and she stretched out her arms and then her legs, which I would have to say that the lower part of her torso was not covered by vines very well.

        "Are you panty hamster-er I mean, uh, pretty damn sure that you want to give us your magic?" I asked.

        "Yeah, are you sure you want to give us your mud flaps-or rather your magic...uh stuff?" Link said.

        "Yes children, now close your eyes," the Great Fairy said.

        I shut my eyes tight because I didn't want to see much more of this fairy lady.  Thankfully, since she was called the Great Fairy, she must've been the only one in Hyrule, so we wouldn't have to see her much more.  I felt myself be lifted off the ground for a couple of seconds, but my feet safely returned to the stone floor.

        "Now children, take out your swords and focus all of your power being in your blade," the Great Fairy said.  "Once you feel that all of your power is in that blade, spin around and magic will do its worst to your enemies."

        Link and I walked towards the middle and onto the sand to try out our new power.  It took me a couple tries to get all of my focus together and actually get the magic to come out of my blade, but it worked.  Link had a harder time concentrating and he was still trying it when I went back to the Great Fairy.

        "Why is the boy having trouble?" the Great Fairy asked.

        "Ah, he's just having trouble with his headlights-or, um, I mean he's having trouble with his head, um, the inside of his head...where uh, people...think," I said slowly.  "See we humans think with our heads.  He just has to work on his sweater muffins.  Or wait!  I mean his focus spins..."

        There was an awkward pause between me and the Great Fairy so I said, "Hey Link, we can work on that later.  How about we speak with the Great Fairy here, so we aren't nude chests-er rude guests I mean."

        Link looked a bit disappointed so I said, "The trick to using that power is using your flapdoodles, or your noodle is what I meant to say."

        "Well, whatever," Link said all gloomy like.  "We should probably schlobes, or well...go."

        "Yes, you look tired my children," the Great Fairy said.  "Go and get some rest, okay?  You look awfully tired."

        "Yeah, we need to go find dairy pillows," I said, but I quickly rebounded, "I mean fluffy pillows.  So we can lay our heads on them so we can count some bearded clams-er I mean, we could count free range lambs."

        "Yes, that's what we humans do when we go to sleep," Link said.  "It helps us get to sleep faster and all."

        "Well, do enjoy yourselves and remember, don't let us down," the Great Fairy said.

        "We'll make you monkey mound," Link said.

        "Yes, very proud," I said to cover up Link's slip.

        Link and I turned around and started to walk down the path when the Great Fairy said, "Oh by the way, I have a couple of sisters all around Hyrule that want to help you two.  I can't tell you where all of them are exactly, but I know that one lives right by Hyrule castle.  She always loved that royal atmosphere."

        "There's more of you!" Max shouted with glee.  I had completely forgotten about Max who had been floating in one place; staring at the Great Fairy.

        "Why yes," the Great Fairy said.  "They each have things to offer to you heroes."

        "Thanks for telling us," I said enthused, but I was everything but enthused.  Hopefully her sister weren't as ‘developed' as she was.  "Let's go Max."

        Max flew quickly to me and was shaking with excitement.  "More Great Fairies means more funbags for Max," I heard Navi whisper.  She seemed a bit pissed off, but I would be too.

        We were almost to off of the stone path and onto the dirt path when Link turned around and said, "Thank you for the big, fantastic wopbopaloobops!"

        I sighed loudly as Link tried to find a word that could cover that slip up.  "Uh, thanks for the big...uh, well...thanks for...um...er...things."

        I grabbed Link by the shoulder and dragged him out before the Great Fairy used some of her powers on our asses.

Chapter 12- Flooding the Domain by Underdog Ash

 

       

        I had had enough.

        I had enough with water, ocarinas, boob fairies, princesses, rules, missions, swords, and assholes.  But what I was the most done with was water.

        ‘But Ash, the place you left us off at was at the top of Death Mountain,' you might be whining you damn reader.  Well, I've had enough of you too!  While I was desperately holding onto a rubber duck floater whilst rushing down the river in Hyrule you are sitting in bed or on a couch, completely dry and happy; laughing at my misfortune. 

        So, reader, if you want to complain well I'm the one telling the damn story.  If I decide to hop from one scene to a year later, I could do that.  However I am not that mean, so I will tell you what happened between Death Mountain and the whole floating down a rapid river with a rubber ducky floater.

 

        After the whole Boob Fairy happened, Link and I decided to head for this place called Zora River.  We had no idea where this river was, so we went and talked to Darunia.  Luckily for me, I wasn't there after Link had defeated the evil in Dodongo's Cavern, but if I was I probably would've gotten my guts hugged out by the big, rock like Goron.  Link, however, was a sworn brother or something, so he got a huge hug which looked rather painful.

        "What can I do for my Sworn Brother and his lady?" Darunia asked.  He seemed a lot more cheerful than he was the last time I saw him.

        "Do you know anything about the Zoras and the Zora River?" Link asked.

        "Ooh la la, you must be thinking about getting engaged to your lady here," Darunia said and he put his arm around me.  "Link's a fine, young man.  He'd be a great husband.  I know that if I had a daughter right now, I'd marry her off to Link in a wink."

        "Get away from me," I said through my teeth.  I wanted nothing to do with Link.

        Darunia looked at me and said, "Quite the rude one you have here.  Anyway, the Zoras are an aquatic race and they are also rather protective and territorial.  But I wouldn't blame them, seeing that every couple would like to go and steal their treasure."

        "What makes you think that I'm going to propose to Ash by going to Zora's River?"  Link asked quickly.

        "The King of the Zoras has this sapphire and it is suppose to be rare," Darunia said.  "That stone is the most wanted stone in Hyrule only for the fact that it's said to magically bond two individuals together as husband and wife."

        "Aw, that's bull crap," I said.

        "Oh, no it isn't," Darunia said, shaking his head at me.  "I have had many Gorons go and try to fetch the sapphire for their lovers, but they never came back successful.  All Gorons sink in water though, so you might have an advantage my boy."      

        "So how do we get it?" Link asked.

        "Well, I'd take you and your lady to King Zora," Darunia said.  "He lives in Zora's Domain."

        "Where's that?" I asked.  I didn't get the whole engagement stone thing, but Link and I needed to get that stone, so if I had to pretend to be in love with that jerk, it had to happen.

        "Zora's Domain is behind this raging waterfall called the Sleepless Waterfall.  I have heard that it takes a special song to make the waterfall calm down enough for someone to enter the domain.  To get the waterfall, you will need to go left after leaving Kakariko Village"

        I wasn't sure what song that was exactly, but I took a guess on Zelda's Lullaby, seeing as it opened a lot of stuff for Link and I anyway.  I just wasn't sure about this domain and all.  I cringed at the idea of acting like I really liked Link.  I glanced at him for one second and looked at his dirty hands.  I looked at mine, which were a bit dirty, but Link's just looked disgusting.    

        "Thank you, Darunia," Link said and he looked at me and smiled.  "My lady and I were very curious to where we could find these Zoras and you provided us with the answers that we needed."

        "Anything for my Sworn Brother," Darunia said, but then he looked at me and said, "and of course for my Sworn Sister-in-Law."

        I gave him a nervous smile and looked at Link who held out his elbow and said, "Let us go, my love."

        I wrapped my arm around his elbow and he led me out.  Once we had gotten out of Darunia's throne room, I jerked my arm away from Link.

        "Alright you asshole," I snapped, "we're not doing this-this love thing for very long."

        Link smiled and said all sexy like, "You know you want me."

        I assumed that he was teasing for he had a cheesy look on his face and he did that thing with his eye brows where he raised them up and down.  I pulled his floppy hat down over his face and continued on.

        "Aw, c'mon Ash, being with me isn't that bad," Link said chasing after me.  "I'm sure there are a lot of girls that would like to be in your shoes right now."

        I stopped abruptly and glared at Link.  "Oh yes, because I forgot that I am graced every waking moment by your presence, right?"

        "Well, since you put it that way..." Link said in a sly tone.  I just sighed angrily and walked off.  "Oh c'mon now Ash," Link shouted.  "I was just kidding."

        I turned around and looked at Link who was standing there with his shoulders slouched.  I actually felt a little bad for the kid, so I walked over to him.  "Link, I'll pretend to be in love with you," I mumbled.  Link's face lit up, so I added, "But once this is over with, there is no more love between you and I, got it?"

        Link had a confused look on his face, but he nodded.  I looked at him straight in the eyes for a couple seconds so he would know I meant business.  I quickly jerked my head away from him and started to walk.

        "Now let's go," I said harshly.  "We have to get to that domain before a cuter couple gets there."

        Link ran up behind me and grabbed my hand, interlacing his fingers with mine.  I just shoved the kid and he fell on the dirty path down Death Mountain.

        "Don't press your luck," I said as I stood over him. 

        "Rai," Lux said and he slapped Link in the face with his tail.

        I smiled at Lux who grinned back at me.  We started to walk away as Link brushed himself off.  He got back up and jogged to catch up with us.  It was quite pathetic in my opinion, so I decided not to tease him anymore.  I let him catch up, but I kept my hands behind my back.  We didn't need to pretend to be a happy couple until we got to the domain.

        We passed through Kakariko Village as quickly as we could so that we wouldn't have to listen to the old man yell about his workers again.  We came to the stairs at the exit and began to walk down them.  Our horses were resting on the grass, underneath the cool shade of the tree.

        We mounted our horses and rode across a small bridge.  After crossing the bridge, we followed a small river to the left.  There was a small opening not too far off from that, but our horses could not cross the river.  There was a small cliff not too far from us that overlooked the stairs to Kakariko Village, so we tied our horses to the fence.

        We had to cross the river ourselves to get to the other side, so we approached the water.  Link went right in and crossed over nicely.  I didn't really know how to swim, so I just stood there like an idiot.

        "What's the matter?" Link called from across the river.

        "Oh, nothing," I said and I put my foot in the water. The water soaked through my tough, leather boot and my feet started to get wet.  The river's flow wasn't too bad, but I could feel it against my feet.  Back at home, there were these rides at water parks called lazy rivers and that was always my favorite part.  The water in those rides weren't as deep as this river was, so I was nervous about crossing.  There were no inner tubes in Hyrule, or at least there weren't to my knowledge, so I was screwed to that part.

        "Well, what are you waiting for then?" Link asked.

        I stared at the water as my boot became wetter.  I knew I had to go, so I basically jumped in the river.  The current made me panic for I started to float down the river, but I did that whole doggie paddle thing and I was able to get to the other side.  When I got close to the shore, I grabbed onto the grass and dug my fingers into the ground.  I used the grass and the mud to pull myself up out of the river.  While I was doing this, Link just sat there and watched instead of helping me.

        I climbed out of the water like a slug and left a trail of water behind me for my clothes were soaked.  I got off of my hands and knees and stood up straight.  The only thing dry on me was my hat, which I made sure I kept dry since Max was sleeping inside.  I faced Link and then turned around to see Lux swimming.  He was able to stay strong against the current and he eventually made it over.  Once he was jumped out of the water, he shook like a dog and splashed water all over Link and I.

        After Lux and I caught our breath, we all headed forward.  Around the river's bend, there were two pillars that seemed to serve as a gate, but the gate was made of three brown rocks.  I looked over at Link who had already started to light up a bomb.  I grabbed Lux and walked back a little bit as Link threw the bomb.  I covered my eyes from the intense explosion of the bomb.

        When I uncovered my eyes, I saw the rocks broken and its chunks on the ground.  Behind those rocks was a clear path and oddly enough, there were two chickens just walking around towards a corner.  We walked over the rock chunks and walked past the pillars.  The chickens were making their noise and just hopping around like Link and I didn't exist.

        I looked at the river, which was flowing a bit faster than it was out at Hyrule Field.  "How do we get passed this?" I asked and I looked at Link who was also staring at the river.  He had a blank, defeated expression on his face.

        "Eeeh, you need to get across?" a voice said.

        I turned my head towards the direction this voice was coming from and saw a rather fat, bulging man sitting on a fairly tattered old blanket.  In between his corpulent legs were what seemed like a bag of potato chips and he was grinding whatever was in there into dust of flavor and he was swallowing them.  This was all, reader, at a fast pace.

        "Uh, yes sir, we do," I responded, which caught Link's attention so he turned to see this man.

        "I'll tell you a secret if you buy one of my seeds here," the man said lazily.  "Actually, you two look young, so I'll give you a seed for free."

        "Uh, no thank you," Link said.  "Can we just give you money for the secret and all?"

        "Eeeh?" the man said rather harshly.  "You two don't know what you're missing here.  You're the same as that green man and his girlfriend."

        "Green man and his girlfriend?" I said.  "What are you talking about?"

        The man burped a loud, bubbly sounding burp and said, "Well, there was this couple.  The man had a green hue as his skin and the lady was especially skinny and her skin was really tan.  She had this hooked nose too.  I thought she was very unattractive.  I wouldn't court that witch for one billion rupees."

        "Mmhmm," Link said.  This fat guy complained a lot for someone who was sitting by a quiet, peaceful river.  "Anyway, can you tell us how to get across this river please?"

        "Well, wait a damn minute," the guy said right before he shoved more of his snacks in his mouth.  "I want you two to have one of my seeds here." 

        We watched as the man reach into his bag and handed Link a pod.  In this pod were three seeds, one blue, one red, and one yellow.  I poked the exposed seeds and they felt very hard.  The pod surrounding them was green and squishy.

        "What do we do with these?" I asked.  I was confused on what the seeds did exactly.  I picked up the red seed and was getting ready to eat it, but the fat man shrieked before the seed even touched my lips.

        "Don't eat them!" he thundered.  "Put it back in the pod!"

        I quickly put the seed back in its original spot and turned to the fat guy.  "But, you're eating them too, aren't you?" I shouted.

        "Why yes, but they're my seeds, aren't they?" the guy yelled.  "I can do whatever I want with them.  Your seeds were just a small gift and I don't want you to abuse them."

        "Then what the hell do we do with them then?" I snapped.

        The fat guy lifted his bulging arms, which wobbled when he moved.  His sausage like pointer finger pointed at a light brown plot of dirt.  Link and I walked toward it and noticed that it had a small hole in the center.

        "Drop the pod in the hole, lad," the guy said.  Link followed the vague instruction and tossed the pod, seeds and all, into the small hole.  We watched intently, waiting for something to happen.

        "What now?" I asked.

        "Shut up, you annoying little shit!" the fat guy bellowed.  "Give it a couple seconds."

        I was about to snap back with a shrewd remark, but there was this sudden noise coming from the dirt.  Some of the dirt particles moved around, as if something was rumbling them from below.  Suddenly, a small, cute sound filled the air and a tiny sprout appeared from the earth.  It was a light green color and looked like a pig's tail protruding from the earth.

        "Now what?" I asked cautiously.

        "Nothing," the fat guy said, "that's it for right now."

        "What do you mean ‘right now?" I asked harshly.

        "Well, this plant needs to grow," the guy said.  "You can't just expect a plant to just grow in a few seconds."

        "It sure sprouted in a few seconds," I snapped.  "Anyway, why didn't you just plant the damn thing yourself, so you wouldn't have wasted anyone's time?"

        The guy popped another pod into his mouth and chewed audibly.  "I was just too lazy to get up.  It's hard for a fat guy to walk, you know."

        "Oh, whatever," I said.  "Now, can you tell us how to get across this damn river?"

        "Oh yeah, I almost forgot," the guy said.  Once again, he raised his flabby arm and used his meat finger to point Link and I to a right direction.  He pointed at the two chickens that were carelessly pecking at the ground.  "Those chickens there," he continued, "just pick ‘em up and lay them on your heads.  Just hop off this ledge here and they should fly ya across."

        Really? I thought.  I didn't say anything out loud because I knew I would just cause more trouble if I spoke my mind.  I just walked over to the chickens with Link and, to my surprise; the little things actually let us pick them up.

        As I lifted one over my head, it started to pick gently at my bangs that were poking out of my floppy hat.  I looked down at Lux who was watching the chicken.  It looked like he was terribly jealous.  He put his nose in the air and jumped to the other side of river. 

        "Rai," he said impatiently.

        Link looked at me, puzzled with Lux's tone and I just shrugged my shoulders.  I was the first to take the jump over to the other side.  The chicken flapped its wings furiously to get me over.  Once I felt my boots touch the soft, mushy grass of the other side, I sighed with relief.  Then, to make Lux happy, I threw the chicken and it flew itself over back to where it was.

        Seeing me succeed, Link jumped right off the ledge with absolute confidence.  The chickened carried him over with a little more stress than my chicken, because Link was heavier, but only by a small bit.  Once he got over, he gently sat the chicken down and looked at me.

        "So, I'm assuming that Ganondorf already beat us to the sapphire," Link said and he began to walk, so I followed.

        "Well, it seems like it," I said as we hopped over another gap.  In the middle of this valley, the river branched off.  There was a small pond in the middle with stones that created a safe path for Link and I, so that we didn't have to go into the water.

        After a couple of steps, we came to a bridge that seemed rather sturdy.  Below us was this purple, raison looking creature that tried to desperately throw rocks at us from its tube like mouth.  It was too far down there though, so Link and I were rock free.

        After crossing the bridge, we came upon this beautiful area.  A waterfall was the source of the flowing river behind us.  This area's land had been masterfully carved, creating a path from the earth that led us up to the waterfall.  As we walked up, we felt the cool, small sprinkles coming from the waterfall.  It dampened my clothes a little bit, but not enough to get them soak and wet.  Lux began to sneeze which I assumed was only because the small sprinkles were going up his nose.

        We got to the middle of the path and faced the waterfall.  The water was extremely thick, so we knew there was no way we could jump over and go through the waterfall.  However, below our feet was a square slab which had the Triforce carved into it.  Link took out his ocarina automatically and began to play Zelda's Lullaby. 

        When he was finished, he removed the ocarina from his lips and watched the waterfall intently.  Nothing was happening and there was an awkward silence between him and I.  However, the waterfall began to quiet itself and the water flow wasn't as intense.  The atmosphere was a little bit quieter and the waterfall wasn't spraying anymore.  Only a small flow of water remained.  Link looked at me with a nice smile on his face.

        "Shall we?" he asked and he held out his elbow, thinking I was going to wrap my arm around it.

        "Uh, well, I will," I said and I rolled my eyes and jumped over.  I felt a small, quick splash when I crossed through the waterfall, but I reach solid ground.  I turned to Link and Lux.  Link had a defeated look on his face while Lux just looked upset.  He must have been bummed about having to cross through the waterfall for it seemed water was his biggest annoyance.

        "Well, what are you two waiting for?" I asked and I took of my floppy hat and shook Max out of it so I could wring it out.  Max fell straight to the ground however, and began to freak out.

        "I can't move!" he shouted.  "Oh no, I can't move.  I'm dead!  I've been killed!  Nooooooo!"

        I nudged him with the tip of my boot and he started to scream his goddamn head off.  When Link jumped to my side, he almost jumped on Max and, of course, Max started to freak out again.

        I picked Max up by his small, veiny wings.  "Why am I wet?" he shouted at me.  "Fairies can't fly when they're wet."

        "Oh, shut up," I said and I shoved the bugger back into my hat.  I could feel him rolling around in my hat; throwing a temper tantrum. 

        Lux finally had the courage to jump over.  He hopped over with no problem, but shook all of the water off of his body, which sprayed Link and I. 

        "Oh, c'mon," Link said.

        I got over that event pretty quickly and walked into the Zora Domain.  Link must have not noticed because I heard him jog up behind me a couple of seconds later.  I didn't say anything to him about being slow because this place mesmerized me.

        This place was full of water, which was understandable since the Zora race were aquatic fish people.  I could see a three down below us on a small platform and they had their legs in the water as they sat and had a chat.  The water was a crystal blue color and in the center was a beautiful and quiet waterfall.  The domain was basically just a hollowed out mountain, much like Goron City was, but the water made it more majestic. 

        I took in a breath of fresh air.  It smelled peaceful which, unfortunately reader, I cannot describe to you.  The smell of peace is a rather relaxing scent and, if you do come across it, I would just give you the advice to take it all in.  That's just what I did and all the stress seemed to melt from my body.  All I could hear was the waterfall and the only word that kept popping up in my head was ‘paradise.'

        However, one word pushed that word out of my head and it was the sharp bitching of the word, "Hey!"

        I came back to Earth and saw Navi in my face.  She was yelling hey over and over again so I just grabbed her two, small wings and screamed, "What?"

        The thing about screaming in a nice, peaceful place is that what you say is amplified, especially in Zora's Domain, for my shrill, heated voice bounced off the solid walls and spread throughout the place.  I looked around awkwardly and saw the Zoras in the domain all looking at me.

        "Uh, sorry," I shouted.  "Now, um, Navi...what did you want?"

        "Well, I was just going to say that maybe we should try to find the king," she said and I could feel her little ball body shaking because her wings were vibrating on my fingertips.  "I mean, you know, Ganondorf might be around."

        "Um, yeah yeah, you're right," I said and I let go of her little wings.  She rushed back into Link's hat and I could see it shaking at the end.  I felt like shit, but I knew I had to shake it off.  The fat guy who gave us the useless beans said that he saw someone that sounded like Ganondorf.

        We followed the path in front of us and eventually reach some stairs.  In front of those stairs was a Zora man.  He was tall and wore small, round glasses and he had his nose stuck in a list of some sort.  He was rather tall and his scales were an ocean green sort of color, rather than a light blue as most of the other Zoras were.

        Being tall, when I approached him I had to look up.  "Um, excuse me," I said.

        The Zora moved his parchment from his face and looked straight ahead.  He slowly moved his head down to look at me once he realized I was fairly short.

        "Oh, you two must be from the king," the Zora said.  "King Zora has been waiting for you two, but we didn't expect him to send us small midgets."

        "What?" I snapped.  "The king sent us?"

        "Well the only way you can get in here is by playing the Royal melody, which is only taught to the Royal Messengers," the Zora said smartly.  "I know that and I'm not even Hylian.  We just assumed he'd send daring knights, not puny girls."  As he said this, he grabbed Link's skinny arm and flopped it around.

        "I'm not a girl," he said, but his voice cracked a little, so he had officially lost all manliness that he had.

        "And this thing," the Zora said and he began to reach for Lux.

        "Uh, don't touch him," I said and I pulled him away.  The Zoras were aquatic and what I learned was that electricity and water didn't go together.  "Lux here has a short fuse and he definitely hates when people touch him."

        "Well, pardon me then," the Zora said sharply.  "The King Zora is currently seeing a couple from the desert, but I think he will be okay if you two messengers dropped in."  The Zora turned around and began to walk up the stairs, so Link and I followed.

        "Royal messengers," Link whispered, "why would King Zora need those?"

        "Something's not right here," I said.  "Once we get up there, I'm sure your question will be answered.  Just play along that we were sent here by the King of Hyrule, otherwise we might be in trouble."

        Once we reach the top of the stairs, we entered what seemed to be a throne room.  In front of us was a small pillar of which Ganondorf and a girl were standing on.

        "Um, sire, excuse me," the Zora said.  "There are two Royal Messengers here.  King Daphnes must have gotten your letter."

        The girl next to Ganondorf turned around, but Ganon himself just stood still.  He knew it was Link and I, but he didn't want to create a scene.  After all, he had to act as a gentleman to convince the Zora king that he and that girl he was with were going to get married.

        "Oh thank the Goddesses," a voice said.  The voice was rather deep and blubbery.  "Mr. and Mrs. Dragmire, I am awfully sorry, but can you please move from the podium for a few minutes.  I would like to speak to these two.  Reginald, can you please set these two outside while I speak with these messengers."

        "Yes sire," the Zora said.  He must have been the Reginald that the Zora king addressed. 

        Ganondorf and his fake fiancée stepped down from the pillar.  Ganondorf's eyes met mine and they locked for a minute.  After it got uncomfortable to turn my head so we could stare at each other, I looked forward and saw the Zora king.

        The King of the Zoras was a very, very fat individual.  He sat on his wall thing and it looked like his blubber was melting down the walls.  His small, skimpy legs were dangling on the edge and he had small, nubbly arms.

        Link and I walked up to the podium and I just stared at him.  It was amazing to see an obese fish thing because, looking at the other Zoras, they seemed extremely fit.  This dude was a goddamn train wreck. 

        "I am so thankful that King Daphnes has sent you," the Zora king said.  "My daughter has been missing for two days now and I don't know what to do."

        "Your daughter?" Link asked.

        Who would want to reproduce with this guy? I thought and the King began to cough.  This fat ass wouldn't stop coughing and it looked like he coughed up a lung or something.  However he actually coughed up a small fish which flopped away with the flow of the water. 

        "Excuse me," King Zora said.  "Anyway, yes.  My daughter is missing.  She took off when I told her that I thought I found a suitable couple to receive the Zora Sapphire.  It's one of the most wanted engagement stones in Hyrule."

        "Ooh la la," I said suddenly and in a cute voice.  "Well, this boy and I, we're looking to get married soon."

        King Zora suddenly looked disappointed and said, "So you're not messengers for the King of Hyrule then?"

        "Oh, well I am," Link said quickly.  "This is just my fiancée.  It's, uh-"

        "Take your beautiful fiancée to work day," I spouted.  I wrapped my arm around Link's elbow and put on a cute, girly smile.  However, it was killing me on the inside.

        "Oh, I wasn't aware," King Zora said awkwardly.  "I will tell you what, young sir.  If you find my daughter and return her safely to me, I shall give you the engagement stone.  The couple that would've received it will be apologized to, but if you find my daughter, I will be forever grateful and I will give you the stone."

        "Why thank you, sire," Link said and he bowed.  "My fiancée and I are grateful.  I will try my best to find your daughter."

        "I would check for my daughter to be somewhere here in the domain, back in the area behind me, or down at Lake Hylia.  There's an entrance to the lake right here in the domain under the water.  To use the entrance under the water, I will need to give you a silver scale.  It will help you dive deeper in the water."

        "How?" I asked.

        King Zora took out the silver scale.  The scale was surrounded by a blue aura and the scale itself was a white color, like the scale of a Zora.  However, it was shinier than a Zora scale, which was how it got its silver name.

        "This scale has some magical power around it," said King Zora.  "This power grants humans the ability to dive deeper, and hold their breath under water a bit longer."

        "Cool," I said.  Back at home, I always loved to swim.  I loved the cool rush water gave you when you jumped into a pool during the summer.  I wouldn't mind taking a swim, so I decided to suggest to Link later that we should both split up and I would take the scale to Lake Hylia and leave Lux with him.  It would be fun to swim around, but I would still look for King Zora's daughter of course.

        King Zora handed the silver scale to a Zora guard and that guard handed it to Link.  He put it in his pocket and thanked King Zora.

        "We won't let you down," Link said all heroically.  "Come now, dear, let us part."  Link grabbed my hand and led me carefully down the small stairs that led off the podium.  Reginald led us down the flight of stairs and back to the main floor of the domain.  At the bottom stood Ganondorf and his girl, who looked like the generic guards he had running around at the fortress.  She was standing there with a depressed look on his face and Ganondorf looked rather pissed off.  He had his arms crossed and he was looking at the ground, but once he was aware that Link and I were walking down the stairs, his eye sight shot up to the two of us.  He curled his lip and stared at us intently, probably waiting for one of us to trip or something.

        "You two may return to the throne room," Reginald said.

        "About damn time," Ganondorf snapped.  "We've been waiting forever."

        Reginald put on an annoyed expression, but said nothing. He probably didn't want to start anything with the young, bitchy couples that came to the domain every day, just so they could get some dumb engagement stone thing.

        Ganondorf and his girl started to go up the stairs and Link and I began to leave.

        "Good luck, children," Reginald said and he was waving.

        "Thank you," Link said.

        After we had gotten a little bit farther, I ended up wiggling my hand free from his.  He held on tight for some reason, so it took a bit of a fight. 

        "So, can I go to the lake?" I asked after a couple of seconds.

        "By yourself?" Link asked.

        "Yeah," I said.  "I mean, I can take that scale and-"

        "Uh, I want the scale," Link said.

        "But why?" I whined. 

        "Because, I don't know what kind of water I will get into down here.  I mean, it's only a quick horse ride across Hyrule without the scale.  I might have to do some serious diving in that fountain thing behind King Zora.  That's where the water for Sleepless Waterfall comes from and, seeing as the river is fast, there might be tons of water up there."

        "There might be," I said, "but Lake Hylia is a lake.  That means there will definitely be tons of water there, so I should get the scale by default."

        "No," Link said sternly.  "I'm sure you'll be fine without it."

        I stared at him with a mean face on, but I knew I was defeated.  After a couple of intense staring seconds, I turned around and said, "Well, can you take care of Lux?  I don't think he'll want to go to a lake.  I mean, he hates water."

        "But it's everywhere!" Link shouted.

        "Yeah yeah yeah," I said and I walked away looking as badass as I could look. 

 

       

        It was an annoying, long journey to Lake Hylia.  Those raison looking things shot rocks at me the whole way down the river path.  I ended up falling in and had to just follow the flow of the river because I wasn't able to grab onto any piece of land.  After that adventure, I was able to get back to my horse and ride over to the lake.  Of course there were these orange, pineapple looking things that had to try and cut me up with their butt blade things, but I did make it to the lake and that was all that mattered.

        Lake Hylia was actually pretty big and in the middle was a small island with a big tree.  There was a little scarecrow garden to the left and a small house to the right.  I walked towards the shore area and took my foot out of my boot.  I took off my sock and dipped my big toe in the cool, blue lake water.  It felt peaceful and I was about to soak my whole foot in the water when an annoying voice broke the silence.

        "'ey, ‘ey you, with the ugly green clothes," this voice shouted.  "Get over ‘ere."

        I turned around to see two scarecrows in the garden rustling around.  I wasn't sure which one was yelling, but I put my sock and boot back on and walked over to the two.  They moved around faster as I started to get closer.

        "She's coming over here Steve," the one of the left said.  That scarecrow's voice was terribly annoying.  "She can hear us."

        "Well yeah, Larry," Steve said.  "Everyone can hear us."  His voice was a bit deeper and not as sharp, but it was still annoying. 

        "You shouldn't have said that her clothes were ugly," Larry said.  "Girls are very mean when it comes to their look.  She gonna burn us."

        "I'm not going to burn you," I said.

        "Holy smokes, she can speak!" Larry said and he began to shake even more.

        "Well yeah, you dumb face, she's a human," Steve said.  "You would expect a human to speak a helluva lot more than you would expect a scarecrow to speak."

        "I didn't know!" Larry shouted.

        "It's okay Larry, you can calm down," I said.

        "Oh my God, she knows my name!" Larry shouted.  "She can read our minds.  Quick Steve, don't think of anything."

        A couple of awkward seconds passed by as Larry shut his eyes, but then he yelled at the top of his lungs, "I can't do it!  We're dead.  Both of us!"

        "Sorry about him," Steve said and I looked at him.  "Larry hasn't been the same since this giant guay stole a small piece of his arm."

        "What's a guay?" I asked.

        "Look above that house," Steve said.  "Those black birds up there are guays.  One day, out of nowhere, this gigantic one came out of the sky and took off some of Larry's arm here.  Look, it's just a little stub now."

        "No, don't show her," Larry yelled, "it's embarrassing."  Larry then stuck out his arms in a way to protect himself, but then he realized that he exposed his stubby arm.  It looked like the small nub tail that these dogs back at home had.

        "But, aren't you guys supposed to scare the guays away from this garden?" I asked.

        "Yeah," Steve said.  "It's an easy job, but there are some injuries involved.  I had one of my eyes pecked out two years ago.  I mean, it was a good view, ‘cause I got to see where my eyeball went.  I was stuck in a nest for a couple ‘o weeks, then one of them baby guays finally at my eyeball."

        "Well, Steve," I said, "this might be a bad time and I'm sorry if I don't seem concerned, but I'm searching for someone."

        "We see a lot of people here," Steve said.  "Who are you lookin' for?"

        "She's the Princess of the Zora race," I said.  "I don't know her name or what she looks like, but I really need to find her."

        "I have no idea what you're talking about," Steve said.  "Sorry though."

        "Steve, it's talking to me again!" Larry shouted.  "The radish is talking to me again! What do I do?!?"

        "My father will have you executed for this," I heard a strident voice say.

        I looked over and saw a blue and white head protruding from the earth.  It was the head of a Zora and by the sound of its voice, it was a girl.  I walked over to it and the face stared at me for a second, but then the mouth on that head went nuts.

        "I command you, by the royal decree, that you get me away from these straw bodied killers," the Zora yelled.  "Afterwards, I demand that you burn these two for burying royalty."

        "Are you the Zora princess thing?" I asked.

        "My name is Princess Ruto and yes, I am the princess of the Zoras," the head said.  "Now, get me from this place at once."

        "Yeah, hold on," I said.     

        "You shall call me Princess," she shouted.

        I got angry and snapped, "Well you can quit yelling in my ear.    

        "Yeah, quit yelling in ‘er ear," Steve said.

        "Why is everyone shouting!" Larry shouted out loud and he pulled his straw hat over his eyes and whimpered in fear.

        "I demand that you get me out of here at once," Ruto yelled at me.  "I want to see my father so I can tell him of your terrible acts."

        "Well, do you want me to just leave you here then?" I asked. 

        "No," Ruto said and she put on a pouty face.

        "Alright then, let's get you out," I said and I got on my hands and knees and started to move the dirt away from her head.  She must not have been there for very long because the dirt felt fresh and easy to move.  I wasn't quite sure who buried her, but if the two scarecrows did then I had no idea how they were able to do so.

        "Hurry up," Ruto shouted.  "This place is so disgusting and I just want to get back home."

        "Oh, be quiet," Steve snapped.  "Maybe if you wouldn't have been so rude, we wouldn't have buried you under there."

        "What!" Larry shouted.  "You told me she was a radish that needed to be replanted.  I didn't know she was a living being!  Now I feel terrible."

        I was able to get Ruto's arms out from under the dirt.  I began to pull on them and she actually began to slide out fairly easily.  After I was able to get most off her body out, she pushed me away and pulled herself up from the earth.  She brushed herself off and then put her hand on her hip.

        "Thank you," she muttered under her breath. 

        "You're welcome," I said and then added: "Your father was really worried about you."

        "Humph, don't speak of my father," Ruto said.  "He is thinking that he will take my mother's engagement stone and give it to some random couple in Hyrule that think they're fit enough to receive the precious stone.  Ever since my mom passed and he married that new lady, he's forgotten how special my mother use to be to him."

        "Look," I said, "I'm not here to listen to your sob stories.  We need to get you back to Zora's Domain.  Your father has everyone looking for you."

        Ruto had an annoyed expression on her face and said, "Well, you're not going to get me to follow you."

        "C'mon, just help me out here," I said. 

        "Well, I'll tell you what," Ruto said.  "You can get me to the domain, but I am not moving from this spot."  Ruto then sat down and crossed her arms.  "You won't get me to walk or budge or anything."

        Where's Link when I need him? I thought.  The only option I had was to pick this girl up and carry her all across Hyrule, which also meant that I needed take the reins of my horse and have him follow, too.  I stretched out my arms rather quickly and picked the princess up.    

        "What are you doing?" she shouted and she began to flail around.

        "I'm doing just as you said I could do," I snapped.  "You said that I could take you back, but you would not move from that spot yourself.  Therefore I have to pick you up and carry you all the way there.  Now, do as you said and cooperate."

        She quit flailing around and sat still.  I was able to get her to sit right on the top of my head so she wouldn't cause any discomfort to me.  She wasn't as heavy as I thought she would be, which was a plus.

        Now reader, I would like to spare you of the rather long details of how this all worked out, because it was a long, tedious job and the sun was going down as I reach the Zora River.  I can say that I was able to get Lightning safely back to where Epona was and that Princess Ruto was also safely back to the entrance to the Zora Domain. 

        I just forgot one thing...

        To get in, I had to play the ocarina, which was no big deal really.  Zelda's Lullaby wasn't all that hard, but the problem was getting for it to sound decent.  I played Zelda's Lullaby in front of this waterfall, but for about ten seconds nothing happened. 

        "Wow, you're horrible at that thing," Ruto said smartly.

        "Oh, shut up," I snapped back and I put the ocarina back to my lips for the waterfall was not slowing down.

        Then the unthinkable happened.  The waterfall began to flow much more quickly and a burst of water pelted Ruto and I.  All I was aware of was that I was quickly being rushed down a river and beside me were a bunch of Zoras from the domain.  I grabbed on to a random rubber ducky floaty that went by and hung on for dear life.

 

        Getting the Spiritual Stone of Water was going to be a bit harder than I expected...

Chapter 13- The Temple of Time by Underdog Ash

What ended up happening to me and the other Zoras that were flushed away from my terrible ocarina playing was this: We were washed out through the river and ended up in a moat that went around the castle.  There were bars that kept us from going down to Gerudo Valley's river, so that made us all sprawled out.  Fortunately, I was able to stay with Ruto for she grabbed onto my floating device.

        I glanced over and saw Ganondorf in the whole mess, so I grabbed Ruto and helped her climb out of the moat.  I threw the floating ducky into the moat behind us, which must have caught Ganondorf's attention because he yelled my name.  I turned around and just waved to him, then I grabbed Ruto's wrist and went through a huge door.

        We were in a small opening and there were a bunch of guards outside scratching their heads.  They had no idea why the moat was overflowing and why there were a bunch of Zoras floating around and acting disoriented.  The water was slowly overflowing this opening and I glanced over and saw my rubber ducky floating device just bobbing around and confusing the guards even more.  Unfortunately, it seemed that the guards of Hyrule weren't the brightest crayons in the box.

        "Where are we going?" Ruto whined.

        "I need to find Princess Zelda," I said and I pushed passed all the guards and came to the entrance to the castle lobby.  Thankfully, to get to this door, I had to go up a long flight of stairs, so that meant that it would take a long time for the castle to actually get flooded.

        I burst through the door and entered the lobby, which was where the double staircase was.  The King of Hyrule, Zelda, and Impa were out in the lobby.

        "Ash, good to see you again," the King said.  "Do you know what all the commotion outside is all about?"

        "Uh, nothing, just a small leak somewhere," I said quickly.  "Zelda, I need to talk to you for a second please."

        Zelda nodded and she took me to the loft that I had fought Ganondorf in previously.  We sat down on the nice sofa.  I looked over at Ruto who was mesmerized to be meeting Princess Zelda.

        "You're the Princess of Hyrule?" Ruto asked breathlessly.

        "Yes," Zelda said with a smile, "and you must be Princess Ruto, the Zora princess, correct?"

        "Oh yes!" Ruto said.  "I didn't know the Princess of Hyrule knew my name!"

        "Please, call me Zelda," Zelda said gently.  "Now then, Ms. Brandt, what is it that ails you."

        "Zelda, this here is Ruto, as you know," I said.  "She is the one who holds the Spiritual Stone of Water.  In the Zora culture, it is known as the most wanted engagement stone in the world.  Unfortunately, Link and I don't want to get, well, married, so I brought Ruto here, or rather had to, because I need you to convince her to let this stone go."

        "Oh, is that so?" Zelda asked.  "I probably should've told you and Link that the sapphire is very well known as the most wanted engagement ring stone around this kingdom.  It would've saved you two a lot of trouble.  I'm glad you brought Ruto here though, for I've always wanted to converse with the other princesses here in Hyrule."

        "Really?" Ruto asked and she had a little sparkle in her eyes.

        "Why yes," Zelda said.  "I would love to show you around the castle, but Ash here needs that sapphire of yours for a rather important job."          

        "Zelda, Zelda," I heard a voice call and I recognized it.  The voice belonged to Link who entered the loft suddenly.  Lux was running beside him and he was panting while his ears dripped of water. 

        "Raichu!" Lux shouted with glee and he ran over to me and I gave him a hug.

        "Oh, Link," Zelda said, "do come and join us.  I'm about to get you the last stone."

        "We might have more to worry about," Link said and he didn't smile when he responded, so I stood up.  I could tell that something was extremely wrong.

        "Link?" I said.

        "Ganondorf has an army, Princess, and he's going to infiltrate this castle," Link said.

        I unsheathed my sword and said, "He's not getting passed those guards.  There are too many of them."

        "Zelda, Impa is getting an emergency horse ready for you to depart the kingdom," Link said seriously.  "Your father has taken his place among the ranks of soldiers.  Ruto, your father has also decided to fight alongside the King.  Ash, you and I have to get these stones to the Temple of Time as soon as we can."

        Zelda stood up, but kept a calm expression on her face.  Ruto was a bit scared, but she took the sapphire out from somewhere and held it in her lap.

        "Link, Ash," Zelda said, "before I depart, I have these two ocarinas to give you."  Zelda then reach in a pouch of hers and handed Link and I two blue ocarinas that had the Triforce symbol on them.  Mine, however, had been cracked down the middle of the Triforce which I assumed made it unplayable, and probably for a reason, since it was my terrible ocarina playing that got us all into a mess.

        "One of you two play the Song of Time, which is etched on a pedestal in the Temple of Time, once you have placed the three stones in their correct spots," Zelda said.  "This shall open the Door of Time and inside that door should be one, and only one, Master Sword.  Link, it's up to you to use that sword and kill Ganondorf."

        "Yes, Princess," Link said and he nodded strictly.

        Zelda smiled and leaned forward.  She kissed Link on the lips.  A little shock went through me, reader, one that sort of hurt, but I knew I couldn't let one little kiss get to me.  I had to fight for the kingdom, even though I wasn't the legendary hero that would wield the Master Sword and save the day.  I just had to know my place, and the quicker I got Link to that Master Sword, the quicker I could leave Hyrule and stop feeling disappointed.

        "Good luck," Zelda whispered and she left the loft.

        Ruto stood up and held the sapphire in her arms.  "So, you really need this, huh?" Ruto asked.

        "Yes," I said and I started to feel bad.  That stone was her deceased mother's engagement ring's stone.  "Unfortunately, we need it to save this kingdom."

        "Ruto, the King has set up a room upstairs for you to rest in," Link said.  "Two Zora maids are out in the lobby to assist you."

        "Yes," Ruto said and she handed me the stone.  "Please, Ash, just take good care of it."

        "I promise I will," I said.  "Once this is all said and done with, I will return it to you.  I promise."

        Ruto's eyes began to water, so she took off.  I waited for her to leave before I stuffed the stone into a satchel that I had at my side.  I looked at Link who had a very serious expression on his face.

        "Ash, I honestly don't know how we're going to be able to reach the Temple of Time," Link said.  "One of us may have to be left behind to distract Ganondorf."

        "That shall be me," I said. 

        "Wait, what?"

        "You're the chosen hero," I said.  "You need to get that Master Sword and save this kingdom once and for all."

        "But I don't want to leave you here," Link said.

        Suddenly, there was a loud bang and it sounded like a door.  The sound wasn't too far away, so I knew that someone bad was coming.  I looked around and found an open window.  I grabbed Link's wrist and showed it to him.

        "What's going to happen to you, Ash?" Link asked.  "I can't leave you here."

        "I will be fine," I said.  "You've been chosen for an important part in history and you need to do your duty."  I reach into my satchel and got out the sapphire.  I grabbed Link's hand and held onto it for a couple of seconds and then handed it to him.  "Go.  If I can, I will meet you at the Temple, but don't wait for me."

        Link nodded and he took off because the loft door flew open.  I looked down at Lux who was staring at the door.  His wet, damp fur started to stick up like little spikes.

        "Well well well," a voiced boomed in the loft.  "It seems I have you just where I want you, my dear.  But where's that little runt boyfriend of yours?"

        I turned around to face Ganondorf who had out a sword.  The tip of the blade was splattered with blooded.  Ganondorf smirked at me as he wiped it off with a small, silk rag he pulled out of his pocket.  I tightened the grip on my sword reader, for I was preparing to die.

        "I see you've gotten passed the Hyrule defenses already," I said as calmly as I could.

        "Yes yes, but it wasn't really that challenging, you know," Ganondorf said.  "I mean, for one, I have been studying this defense ever since I got here and for two, this damn castle didn't have that much of a defense anyway.  The castle here is guarded dumbasses."

        "So, what do you want?" I asked.

        "Well, I want those three, pretty little stones that you have seemed to slip from my fingers," Ganondorf said.

        "You can pry them from my cold, dead fingers, you bastard!" I shouted.

        Ganondorf just smiled and showed off his yellow, but strong looking teeth.  "That's precisely what I was hoping you would say," he said and he threw the silk rag like it was nothing and quickly charged at me with his sword.

        I didn't expect him to attack so quickly, but I dove out of the way and onto a couch, which I used to help me jump above Ganondorf's head.  From there I put my sword underneath me and tried to stab it directly on top of Ganondorf.  I missed however, and got my sword caught between the stone floor.  I desperately tried to pull it out, but Ganondorf was already coming for me, so I ran out of the way. 

        Ganondorf stopped right at my sword and stared at it for a bit.  He pulled it out with ease and looked at the blade.  "So, this is the piece of shit sword that the legendary heroes of Hyrule use," he said and then he sheathed his sword and gripped the blade of my sword with both hands.  He then broke it in half and dropped the pieces as blood flowed from the palms of both hands.

        I was amazed and my eyes were wide.  I wasn't sure what I would do now, especially since my sword was gone.  I raised my right hand up and looked at it.  I let sparks crawl around my hand and I looked at Ganondorf.

        "I guess you already have a backup plan," he said smartly.  "Smart girl."

        I got ready to use my electric power, but before I could I felt a darker, much scarier power pull me towards Ganondorf.  He had used his power to pull me close to him and I kept eye contact.  His red, bulging eyes were bloodshot as he breathed slowly, but heavily in my face.

        "I'm sorry to say this, but I think it's time for you to die," Ganondorf said and I felt a huge, sudden force push me backwards.  I shut my eyes, but I felt my back burst through glass.  I wire frame lodged into my shoulder and shards of glass pierced me in several areas of my body.  I landed on a hard, grassy surface.

        I sat up as quickly as I could and opened my eyes to see myself in a small but peaceful courtyard and in front of me was Ganondorf, who was charging at me.  I rolled out of the way and into a small stream.  I saw some of my blood leak into the stream as I got on my hands and knees to get back up.  Ganondorf wasted no time and he grabbed my small neck and held me up.  I squirmed around, but couldn't break free and that was when I realized I was done for.

        "Wait, what!" I heard Ganondorf yell.  He dropped me and then grabbed my right wrist and looked at the back of my hand.  I could see it glowing a bit and I looked to try and get a better look at my hand.  I saw the Triforce, but the middle of it was glowing the brightest.

        "It can't be," Ganondorf said breathlessly.  "This is supposed to only be a myth.  There are only supposed to be three pieces, not four."

        Ganondorf seemed to be stunned with the back of my hand and I saw an opening.  From my palm burst an electrical charge that knocked both Ganondorf and I backwards.  I just landed on the grass, but Ganondorf blew through a huge glass window and slammed his back into a stone wall.  I watched Ganondorf for a second and it looked like he was knocked out cold.

        I looked at my right hand which still had a Triforce on it.  I hadn't studied too much into the whole Triforce myth, but it was my understanding that there were three Goddesses who created the land of Hyrule and three Spiritual Stones that went with those Goddesses, so there must have only been three Triforce parts, but who had them, and why did my hand have a Triforce on it and with the middle glowing so brightly?  Something wasn't right.

        I needed to get to Link as fast as I could, but I knew that the castle was under attack, so I wasn't sure if Link actually made it to the Temple of Time.  I climbed through the window that I was thrown from and decided to leave the loft and see what was going on.  I got out into the lobby and there were Gerudo females fighting with Hyrule soldiers.  I didn't have my sword, so I couldn't join in.

        I was trying to make my way through the fighting crowd, but a Gerudo female saw me.  She was a generic guard with a staff that had a blade at the end.  They were called halberds are something, but that was the least of my worries.  I still had my electric powers, so I shot her with them as quickly as I could.  She became paralyzed, so I grabbed her halberd.  Now I had something to work with.

        Lux was beside me, sending out waves of electricity that surged through all in his path.  I wasn't really that good with new weapons, but the fighting that was going on around us was rather unorganized, so I didn't really need any skill to kick a few asses.  I tried to not kill the Gerudo females, for I didn't like to do that, so I hit them with the blunt end of the halberd so that they would be knocked out cold.

        The castle guards were total cowards, so most had already fled the scene.  I wasn't sure where the King of Hyrule was, or if he was still alive, but I became surrounded by Gerudos.  They circled around Lux and I and I held the halberd to my side.  From Lux's cheeks, sparks began to come out because he felt threatened.

        "Alright Lux," I said quietly, "let's open up a can ‘o whoop ass on these bitches."

        "Rai," Lux said harshly.

        I took the halberd and held the end and swung it around so that the blade spun like a fan.  Below me, Lux was firing off electricity.  I decided to try something, so I let electricity surge through my palms.  I couldn't see too well, but I saw the bolts climb up the halberd like thin snakes.  The bolts of lightning shot out from my halberd's blade and started to take all of the Gerudos out.  I spun around on the tip of my boots like a ballerina and once I was sure that all of the girls were down, I stopped and looked down at Lux who was smiling at me.

        "Good job, buddy," I said and I scratched behind his ear.

        "You're not done yet, my dear," I heard a deep voice say and, of course, that voice belonged to Ganondorf.  He was standing at the loft door and he had his sword out.

        I gripped the staff of the halberd and let the electricity surge through my arm.  I began to shoot Ganondorf with balls of lightning.  I didn't notice, but he shielded himself behind his cape and that kept my lightning from getting to him for some weird reasons.

        "Hah," Ganondorf boomed, "you're pathetic.  Why don't you give up?"

        "Because you don't know who you're dealing with," I snapped.

        "You're a thick headed little brat, aren't you?" Ganondorf said.  "That power you have, Ashley, you have no idea what it can do.  It can destroy things, many things.  People with powers like you are destined to be evil.  You can give up now and join my group and bow down to our leader, our lord."

        "I think not," I said.

        "You have some evil in you, I can tell.  You are the owner of the Triforce of Balance."

        "What's that?"

        "The middle of the Triforce," Ganondorf said, "has been debated for years and years.  Some say it doesn't exist while others say it does.  You have proven those who doubted the middle Triforce wrong.  As you should know, the original three Triforce pieces are the Triforces of Wisdom, Courage, and Power.  In the middle is the balance and whoever owns that middle is piece is a balance of all three pieces and that person can fade between good and evil.  You can evil, even if you don't want to and you can join our ranks and take over Hyrule."

        I was shocked.  I was told that I had no part in the whole legend thing in Hyrule, but I was being told that I owned a piece of the Triforce.  Something wasn't right.  I was supposed to keep the balance or something, but I hadn't been in Hyrule for all but a couple weeks.  My name was also randomly chosen from a hat, but my having the Triforce couldn't have just been a coincidence. 

        "It's your job to keep the balance," Ganondorf said.  "But, what kind of balance?  The balance of good, or the balance of evil?"

        "You lie," I shouted and I started to shoot Ganondorf with lightning.  After I was done, I felt breathless and lightheaded.  I looked over at Lux who had shied away from me and he looked extremely scared.  Once a bunch of smoke cleared, Ganondorf came to my sight.  He was still standing, but he had his cape over his body.  He pushed his cape back and smiled at me.

        "Now, I would hate to keep you," Ganondorf said.  "I do know that you need to get to your precious boy in the Temple of Time."

        "Don't let anyone touch him," I snapped.

        "I won't," Ganondorf said.  "At least, I won't yet."  Suddenly then, Ganondorf flew up and spun around.  He disappeared into thin air and I knew where he was headed. 

        "Lux, c'mon," I said quickly and I started to run out of the castle.  I jumped over a bunch of bodies; some dead, some just paralyzed.  I pushed passed the huge doors and went down to where the water was rising.  Zoras were sprawled around in the water and there was some blood floating around.  Gerudo thieves were also floating in the water.

        Lux and I tried to run as fast as we could to get to Link, but the water was still flowing and it was rising higher.  It took about five minutes for both of us to get to the Temple of Time.  I had never been in it before, but on the outside it looked huge.  It was on a higher ground, so the water wasn't inside it quite yet.

        The entrance to the Temple of Time was basically a big opening.  I walked in slowly, trying to be cautious, but Link came to my sight quickly.  I heard him playing the final notes of a certain song and then, above what looked like a door, a Triforce began to glow and the temple began to shake as a huge slab opened up a room.  I couldn't see much for I was at the entrance to the temple, but in the middle of that room seemed to be a bright, beam of light.

        "Link," I said and my voice echoed off the stone walls, the high ceiling, and the marble floor.  Link turned around and smiled and behind him were the three Spiritual Stones.  They had been set in the proper order and were spinning.

        Suddenly, out of nowhere, Link was punched.  He flung to the side and I heard his body hit the wall.  I looked at where Link once stood and there was Ganondorf.  He had on a huge grin and was looking right at me.  I went to unsheathe the sword on my back, but there was no sword because Ganondorf crushed it into pieces.

        "So, it looks like I won," Ganondorf said.

        "Not quite yet," I said.  I looked over at Link who seemed out of it.  The impact of the wall must have caused him to go in and out of consciousness.  He kept bobbing his head like he was trying to wake up, but it wasn't working out.

        "What do you mean I haven't won yet?" Ganondorf snapped.  "It seems to me that I have.  I mean, I'm only a couple steps away from the ‘Blade of Evil's Bane' as they call it and your friend, the real chosen one, is in a pathetic state, so there is no way he can pull the Master Sword from its pedestal."  Ganondorf paused for a second.  "Can I ask you a quick question?"

        "What?" I asked.

        "Would you like to be the chosen one?" Ganondorf asked.

        "What do you mean?" I asked carefully and I began to walk closer.  Lux tried to step in front of me, but I kept walking.

        "You were brought here without being asked.  You're being used, Ashley, because the chosen ones are too weak to fend for their own.  You're just a little punching bag who has to deal with the evil guys that the chosen ones couldn't fight.  You could be much more than what you're being used for.  You could command an army of minions and get a hold of powers that you could never imagine.  You will no longer be used, Ashley, and you will be free, as long as you follow certain orders and destroy certain things, you can move up in the world of evil.  How do you feel about that?"

        I was now about two feet away from Ganondorf and I stared at him straight in his red eyes.  "No thank you," I said and I quickly shot some lightning out of my hands. 

        Ganondorf was quick however and shot his power as well, which clashed against mine.  They just stayed there and they were balanced.  I used some more power and started to push mine towards his and Ganondorf's power began to get weaker.  My electricity was so close to him that I got careless and Ganon saw this.  He then used more of his power and I could feel myself letting go.

        Suddenly, a burst of lightning came from behind me and it helped push my power forward.  Ganondorf stood no chance now, so I added more surge and suddenly Ganondorf was shot backwards.  He hit the Triforce above the new opening in the temple and after he fell it was revealed that he cracked the middle of the Triforce.  I focused my power then and lifted Ganondorf up and shot him on the other side of the temple. 

        Lux ran up to me and smiled.  He had been the additional power added to mine.  But, I had to hurry and grab Link before Ganondorf woke up.  I grabbed Link by the ankles and dragged him up the marble stairs that led to the new room.  Lux pushed on Link's head and tried to help.

        "Damn you, Ashley!" I heard Ganondorf's voice boom and he rushed at me.  I didn't know what to do, but I used my electric power and shot it at the Spiritual Stone of Water.  I pulled it towards me quickly and the slab began to fall.  Ganondorf was almost at the door, so I was scared he would make it to us.  However, the slab closed in time, but on top of the Spiritual Stone of Water.

        The sapphire stones broke into a million pieces and the golden brackets that held the stones in place were all bent up.  I began to feel guilty, for I promised Ruto that I would get the stone back to her.  I had to move on however, so I started to pull Link farther into the room.

        This room was very dark, except for the beam of light in the middle.  I got Link and I closer and then turned around.

        "This isn't right," I whispered for in the middle of this room was a circular platform.  In the middle of that platform were two pedestals and in those pedestals were a sword.  I was told that there would only be one sword.

        There was a big Triforce on the floor where these pedestals were.  One was in the middle of the Triforce and the other was on the bottom left of the Triforce.  The one in the middle had a gray hilt but in the middle was an orange metal.  The blade was beautifully crafted, or at least what I could see, and there was a Triforce carved in the blade, but the middle was cracked and I noticed that the crack sort of looked like a lightning bolt.  At the end of the hilt and the beginning of the blade, there was a teal colored stone which had a small lightning bolt in the middle.  It looked like the Thunderstone I had received from Ganondorf, but in a smaller form.

        The sword on the bottom left looked just like the sword in the middle, but instead the hilt was completely purple.  The blade also had the Triforce carved into it, but no crack in the middle.  There was also a yellow stone on the hilt. 

        I decided that I liked the purple sword better, so I stood on the pedestal and began to pull it, but it wouldn't budge at all.  I wondered if it was because the sword was too big for me and too heavy.

        "Hey!" Navi shouted and she came out of Link's hat.  "Don't pull that sword!  It's only for the chosen one."

        "Then who is that sword for?" I asked her and I pointed at the sword in the middle.  Navi looked over at where I pointed and started to shake.

        "That's impossible," Navi said.  "In every book it said that..." and she sort of trailed off there.

        I pulled off my floppy hat and shook Max out of it.

        "What?" he asked sleepily.

        "Look at this," I said and I pointed to both of the swords.  Max flew up close to both of them and observed them.

        "Well, one of them are fake," Max said.  "I'm guessing that it would be the purple one here."

        "Why?" Navi asked.  "In all pictures, the Master Sword was depicted with a purple hilt and the gray one of there has a crack in it."

        "But the color purple isn't the kind of color I would think of when seeing a hero," Max said.  "Gray is less colorful and a bit more serious, which is why I think a hero would use that sword."

        "But the cracks," Navi snapped.

        "There is only one crack," Max said, "and that crack just shows that the sword has been used.  I mean, it's quite obvious, really."

        The two fairies argued back and forth and I looked at Lux who was annoyed by the arguing.  I shrugged my shoulders at him and I walked towards the gray hilted sword.  I touched the warm, stone hilt.  It was warm only because it was in the middle of the beam of light coming from a stain glass window up high on the wall.  I wrapped my right hand fingers around the hilt and I felt weird. 

        I got this static feeling in my hand, a feeling that I didn't get with the other sword.  The sword, like the other one, was too big for me, but it was still a bit smaller than the other one.  I put my two feet on the pedestal and felt the sword budge a little and I was filled with a surge of excitement.

        "Ashley, no," the two fairies shouted, but it was too late.

 

        All I remembered was a light blue beam surrounding us on the platform.

 

        The rest was well forgotten...

Chapter 14- All Grown Up by Underdog Ash

        Jeez, my back hurts, I thought.  At that moment, I had my eyes closed, but I heard drops of water and a flowing stream.  I would've gone to sleep, hearing how peaceful the noise was, but I wasn't sleepy at all.  I was actually wide awake, but I still wanted my ears to soak up the calming sound.  I sniffed the air and smelled fresh, clean water and I became thirsty.  Then I realized that I was extremely thirsty and terribly hungry, but I felt heavier for some weird reason.

        I opened my eyes and didn't recognize where I was at all.  I was going to look at the floor or whatever, but something big distracted me, or rather two big things distracted me.

        "Oh my God," I whispered, "I have huge boobs."  I was wearing a tunic, like I always wore, but it was a v-cut tunic, sort of like the one I always wore, but it was bigger.  I squashed my big jugs together and noticed that I was wearing brown, leather gloves and that my hands were considerably bigger.  I looked at my legs which were rather long and I straightened down my skirt. 

        "Ash?" I heard a voice speak out and I looked over to where I thought it was coming from.  I looked to my right and saw a tall, handsome man with these glowing crystal blue eyes.  He looked perfectly sculpted and finely chiseled.  All I wanted to do was touch his face, because he was too good looking to be real.

        ...then I realized this man was Link.

        "Oh, uh, hey Link," I said.  "Um, long time, no see, I guess."

        Link then looked down at my chest and I put my finger under his chin and lifted his head up.  "I think we have hit growth spurts, my friend," I said with a warm smile. 

        Link looked around awkwardly and then looked down his tunic bottoms and whistled.  "Yep, quite the growth spurts," Link said and his voice was considerably deeper.

        I then heard someone clear their throat and I turned my attention forward to see a very old man in a long, brown robe.  This man he wrinkles by his eyes, a great, white beard, and blue eyes.  At his side was a serious looking Pikachu. 

        "Whoa, where is Lux?" I asked and the man pointed behind me and on the floor at the back of my feet was Lux who was in a deep sleep.

        "Who are you?" Link asked.

        "I am Rauru," the old man said.  "Welcome to the Sacred Realm."

        "Where is that located?" I asked.

        "Um, well, I don't quite know the answer to that question," Rauru said.  "But, you two have obviously noticed the change in age."

        "Wait, what?" I asked.  "What's going on here?"

        "You two are the heroes of Time," Rauru said, "and as such, you have to travel across time to fix the chaos that has been laid upon this kingdom."

        "So wait, I'm..." I said and I started to count with my fingers, "Nineteen years old?"

        "Well yes, if you were twelve seven years ago," Rauru said and I could hint some annoyance in his voice.  "But, for you my dear, I'm sorry to let you know that you being here is a huge mistake."

        "What?" I snapped.  "What the hell do you mean by that, you crusty old fart?"

        "I'll have you know, my dear, that when you pulled that sword, you released a ton of negative, evil energy," Rauru roared.  "Therefore, Mr. Ganondorf Dragmire is now five times as powerful as he used to be.  And guess what?  With the absence of Princess Zelda and the death of our king, Ganondorf is now the self-proclaimed King of Hyrule and now he is terrorizing all that defied him in the past."

        "Oh," I said and I felt depressed.

        "You pulling that sword was a huge mistake," Rauru repeated.  "Link should be the only person standing here in this realm.  If you didn't push your way through everything, such as playing Zelda's Lullaby in front of that waterfall, then this job might have been a bit easier."

        "Well, I guess I will just hop in my DeLorean, rev up my Flux Capacitor, and go back in time to make sure I don't play the ocarina in front of that waterfall," I snapped.

        "You just want to be destined for something," Rauru said, "even though the fact is, you're not destined for anything."

        "How so?" I snapped and I took off the leather glove on my right hand and I saw the Triforce glowing on it, so I shoved it in his face.  "I must be destined for something sir, otherwise I wouldn't have this on my hand."

        Rauru looked shocked and said nothing.  I didn't want to shove the thing in his face and try to be a smartass, but I had to do something because I was being wrongly accused of screwing everything up.  He stared at the middle of the back of my hand and couldn't believe it.

        "This is impossible," he whispered.

        "Honestly, I wish it was," I said and sighed afterwards.

        "What?" Link asked and he grabbed my wrist and looked at my hand.  He looked around awkwardly for a minute and then took off his glove and revealed to us that he too had a glowing Triforce on his hand.  The lower left side of the Triforce however was glowing more than the other three pieces.

        "Being the Heroes of Time, you both own a piece of the legendary Triforce," Rauru said.    

        "Then where is it?" I asked and Rauru pointed at my heart.

        "It's in your heart and soul, Ashley," Rauru said.  "When two individual holders of the Triforce are together, the two pieces inside of them start to gain power.  If one of those two destroy the other holder however, the Triforce that the now deceased holder had will be passed on to the killer.  If you, Link, kill Ashley right now, you will get her Triforce piece and likewise if you, Ashley, kill Link."

        Link and I looked at each other and sort of made a silent promise not to kill each other.  Rauru seemed to sense that and said, "The Triforce pieces have been said to drive those who desire them go extremely mad.  But, it has been stated in legends that the Triforce have turned the tenderest of hearts into greedy, black holes.  That is what I assumed happened to Ganondorf."

        "So he'll be after Link and I?" I asked.

        "Yes, he probably will," Rauru said.  "Unfortunately, Ganondorf has already obtained a piece of the Triforce, the Triforce of Power."

        "Where did he get it from?" Link asked.

        "I do not know, but it is said that when one dies naturally, the Triforce piece is automatically sent to the closest soul, the closest kin of the holder."

        "Well, then who has the last piece?" I said.

        Rauru sighed and paused a bit, then continued, "Years ago, the now deceased King of Hyrule had a living wife and her name was Queen Zelda.  Queen Zelda died during childbirth so, to honor her, the King of Hyrule named the daughter she produced Zelda and that girl was the old Princess Zelda.  Being the daughter of Queen Zelda, the Triforce of Wisdom, as it is known, was passed down to Princess Zelda when she was just born."

        "Princess Zelda is still alive, right?" Link asked quickly.  He had a look of nervousness on his face.

        "We are not sure," Rauru said.  "Impa and Zelda took off shortly after the battle in Hyrule castle started.  She is not in Hyrule anymore and Ganondorf went out and searched for her for about a year, after he established his dominion.  If you ever see him again, look at his hand and try to see if he has one Triforce, or two, then you will get your answer."

        Link looked a little disappointed.  I tried to look hopeful.  We would just need to find Ganondorf, but I was sure getting to him would be difficult, seeing as he was now King of Hyrule and Link and I were probably on the top of his shit list, so we weren't getting in Hyrule castle anytime soon.

        "Well, what should we do to stop him?" I asked.

        "Because of Ganondorf's ruthless behavior, he has destroyed the protectors of this realm," Rauru said.  "The only one he has not gotten to is me.  The reason why he wanted to get into this realm was because of you two."

        "So you're saying he wanted us while we were...uh sleeping for seven years?" Link said.

        "Yes.  He knew that when one of you pulled the sword, us sages would prefer to keep you both in this realm, so he went crazy to try and get here by killing the sages.  They are dead, but they are all trapped within their respective temples.  Ganondorf has also invested their temples with terrible beasts."

        "That asshole," I whispered.  "Tell us what we need to do, because Ganondorf has gone too far."

        "First, you need calm down," Rauru said.  "The best way to defeat someone like Ganondorf is to stay level headed.  But, I will tell you that what you both now face is ten times as bad as what you faced seven years ago.  Not only do you have to get use to holding the two powerful Master Swords, but you will also need to get used to being young adults."

        He was right.  I hadn't been an adult for very long, but I was glad to be older.  I remembered the Master Swords being way too big for me and I was also some brat of a kid; withdrawing off of medicine that corrected my brain chemistry.  Now, as a developed adult, hopefully my brain juices were all settled and hopefully I also matured a little bit.

        "Do any of you have any more questions?" Rauru asked.

        I looked at Link who shook his head so I said, "No, not really."

        "Okay," Rauru started, "before you leave, I need to give you something."  Rauru reach in his big robe and held out this yellow, shiny medallion.  "This is the light medallion.  You need to collect five more of these to concentrate the power of all six sages so they can help you defeat Ganondorf.  I will stay here and guard the realm until you save the others.  I wish you luck."

        Suddenly, Link, Lux, and I were lifted off of our feet and watched as we hovered farther up in the air.  Rauru and his Pikachu looked up at us as we left and behind me, Lux woke up from his sleep.

        I wasn't sure where we were going, but we needed to defeat Ganondorf as fast as we could.

 

        We all landed softly back in the Temple of Time.  In front of us were the empty pedestals that once had the Master Swords in them.  Link and I just stood and stared for a minute; still shocked by what was going on.

        "So, we're really nineteen years old?" Link said, still looking forward.

        "I guess," I said.  "I mean, it feels like we're a bit older."

        "I like your hair the way it is now," Link said and I looked over to see him staring at me. 

        "What do you mean?" I asked but only because last time I looked, my hair was the same.  Of course the last time was seven years ago.

        "Yeah, it's actually a lot shorter and a little choppy.  Your hair fits perfectly in your hat, too, and your bangs look so cute."

        Cute?  I knew we were adults, but something had changed with Link.  I was confused at first, but I relaxed and gave him a warm smile.  "Thanks," I said, feeling a little embarrassed.

        "C'mon, we should get this thing on the road," Link said.

"Yeah," I said, and then I looked at Lux who was looking confused at the two that were standing in front of him.  "Aw Lux, it's just me and Link.  Now, we have a very important job to do today, so you should definitely come along."  I itched behind Lux's left ear, which was his favorite spot and that told him that I was indeed his owner.

        "Raichu," he said and I heard a bit of enthusiasm in his voice.

        Link and I started off on our adventure and behind us, Lux followed.  After we were almost out into the main room, I heard someone hit the ground behind us.  Link must have heard it too, because he was the first to unsheathe his sword.  He used his hand and pushed me forward from my back, gently moving me so he could turn around and keep me behind him, in case the sound was someone evil behind us.

        I turned around before Link and saw someone standing there.  They had on a really tight shirt and really tight pants.  The pants were a dark blue color and on their chest was a symbol of what looked like a bleeding eye.  You couldn't really see this guy's face, only his orangish colored eyes, which looked like a leaf in autumn.  His skin was also rather tan and protruding from a bandage wrapped around his head were his dark blonde bangs.

        Link turned around and said sternly, "Who are you?"

        "Please, do not be alarmed," this guy said and his voice was rather soft coming from a beat up looking guy.  "I am Sheik, the only remaining Sheikah found in Hyrule.  You may know a friend of mine named Impa, who fled years ago."

        "Yeah, I know her," I said.  "She ran away with Princess Zelda a while ago, right?"

        "By a while ago, I hope you mean seven years ago," Sheik muttered.  "But yes, she ran away, however Impa did return."

        "Where is she," Link said suddenly, "and where's Princess Zelda?"

        "You both will discover that in due time," Sheik said.  "I cannot release that information; for Ganondorf has dominion on this land and honestly, he can hear things you wouldn't expect him to hear.  He shall always being watching certain people, and I'm afraid that you two might be a point of interest."

        I nodded and looked over at Link.  Even though he understood the importance of Ganondorf not knowing where Zelda was, he was still tense with anger that he didn't know if she was okay or not.  I put my hand on Link's shoulder, but I couldn't get his attention.  His sharp eyes looked forward at Sheik, like Sheik would possibly pull off his rags and become Princess Zelda.

        "Now, the reason that I am here is to inform you of what you're to do next," Sheik said.  "As Rauru should have told you both, you need to collect five medallions and awaken all of the sages.  I will tell you that you all met these sages in a past life, and I will now tell you that they are all dead."

        Zelda, I thought.  Her name echoed through my mind and I was full of doubt that she was still alive.  I mean, I wasn't sure who these sages were yet, but seeing as Zelda was a pretty important person, most likely she would be one of those sages.

        "You must awaken them so that they will let you borrow some of their power," Sheik said.  "That power will flood into your swords and in the end help you defeat the King of Darkness."

        "Where are these sages?" Link asked.

        "They are in the following places," Sheik began, "The forest, your birth place, Link.  The mountain, fiery with power.  The lake, drained from past events.  The desert, full of thieves.  And finally, the tomb, where the long dead walk forever."

        "Alright, then we should get going," I stated quickly, eager to start our new adventure.  "Thanks for everything."

        "Wait," Sheik said.  "In the village, Kakariko Village, there is a treasure hidden beneath a tombstone.  Underneath that is a path and an old man, a ghost, will lead you two to a treasure that you will need to save the first sage.  Along the way, I would also recommend that you visit Lon Lon Ranch, for things have gone terribly wrong there."

        Link nodded and sheathed his sword.  "Thank you for everything, sir.  C'mon Ash, let's get on our way."

        I nodded and began to follow him.  We left the Temple of Time, not knowing the devastating scenes that awaited us.

 

 

 

 

Chapter 15- The Kingdom of the Damned by Underdog Ash

 

I will not lie to you, my reader, but I would rather not tell you the images of Hyrule that Link and I saw once we exited the Temple of Time.  It was extremely dark when we walked down the small, concrete stairs and, instead of being swallowed by the sound of others, my footsteps echoed throughout that little courtyard.  I looked up at the sky, which was completely black.  I couldn't tell whether it was night or day, but that wasn't what caught my attention.

        Link and I had a clear view of Death Mountain from this courtyard, but the Death Mountain we knew years ago wasn't quite the same Death Mountain we had left behind.  Around the mountain, instead of the usual circling of light gray clouds, there was an intense ring of fire around it.

        "What happened to this place?" I whispered and I looked down at Lux who was staring deeply up at Death Mountain.  Some of his fur began to stand up and from his cheeks surged little strands of electricity. 

        I looked over at Link who looked horrified.  My heart was broken, and I had no doubt that his was, too.  There was an awkward silence between us, but there was an eerie sound in the air, which I assumed was coming from Death Mountain. 

        "We should probably get moving now," Link said sternly and he started to walk in front of Lux and I.  As he walked, he began to unsheathe his sword, so I reach behind to unsheathe mine.

        My Master Sword was sort of heavy, but it was different than the tiny Kokiri sword that I use to use.  It was a stick compared to the Master Swords that Link and I now carried.  I felt a surge of power go up my arm as I gripped the hilt and I felt more powerful; not as helpless as I was as a child. 

        We walked down the small staircase that led to the Castle Town area and the scene there was so horrifying and I dropped my sword.  Before the sound of my sword falling flooded the atmosphere, time seemed to stop as I looked around.

        The fountain in the middle of the town was completely dried out and all that remained was a dark, black dirt left.  There had been a statue in the middle of a lady, but now her head and one of her arms had been torn off.  The buildings were now black with mold streaking down them and the windows of some shops had been busted out completely.  There were doors wide open that were creaking for they probably hadn't been oiled in years.  A balcony on one of the buildings had collapsed.

        However, the most surprising and terrifying thing had nothing to do with buildings or creaking doors.  These terrifying things were awakened when the blade of my sword hit the ground.  The sword sent a small, but very audible ping sound that bounced off the silent, black walls of the castle town.  As soon as that ping reach their ears, these zombie looking creatures stood up and came towards Link, Lux, and I.  They didn't move fast or anything, but they petrified me and I just stood there like an idiot.

        "Ash, don't look at them!" Link shouted and he began to shake me, but I couldn't break contact with one of the creatures.  It was just staring at me and walking towards me, making these moaning sounds and behind it were an army of zombies, all walking towards me.

        These zombies had no eyes, even though they kept me paralyzed by the two holes in their heads where the eyes would be.  The zombies were a crusty looking brown and their skin was peeling here and there.  They were all incredibly skinny and looked like they hadn't eaten in days and I was about to be their next meal.

        Suddenly, I snapped back to reality and saw Link destroying these things furiously.  Max, who had just woken from his seven year sleep, was throwing his soft, glowing body all over my face; trying to get me back to reality.  I felt extremely light headed as I watched Link fight these zombies, but he began to get weak amongst the group and had zombies climbing all over him, until he was engulfed in a pile of zombies.  I didn't move for some reason and just watched.

        After a couple of seconds, a yell filled the air as Link swung his sword in circles.  A bright, red light came from his sword and hit every single zombie that surrounded him.  They all flew backwards, their arms and legs flailing.  Some let out a gruesome moan and their bodies slammed against the walls.  They looked like puppets with no strings, being thrown every which way except blood did come from their bodies.

        Most of the zombies got up; their bodies moving upwards in contorted ways.  They all seemed to not have a care in the world; they just wanted to get to Link who was their new, fleshy target.  A few of the zombies didn't rise, and two or three zombies who did get back up walked slowly towards their fallen comrades.  They kneeled down and just watched over a fallen zombie; making these weird noises.

        Link stood still but his body was shaking violently.  He had blood dripping from his nose and a small stream of it going down his forehead.  His clothes were ripped here and there and his chested heaved up and down deeply.  He looked at me and ran towards me.

        "Ash, hurry," Link said quickly.  "Here, grab your sword."  Link got my sword off of the ground and placed the hilt in the palm of my hand.  I was still extremely lightheaded, so I was weak, but Link put his arm around me and led us to the path that led to the actual castle.

        The path ahead of us was long and dark.  It seemed, as we walked closer, that instead of the castle, we were walking up to a live volcano.  The air began to get more humid and ash was floating around in the air.  I had some trouble breathing and coughed violently, almost losing consciousness as the ash kept me from getting enough oxygen. 

        "Hold on, Ash" Link said and I heard Lux scurrying at my feet, and he was whining.

        Now Link was dragging me as I slowly began to lose consciousness.  I was sweating profusely and felt like I had to throw up.  I wasn't sure what to do, but I had to stay awake, at least to see the castle. 

        Even though the path was long, I was wavering out of consciousness and unconsciousness that when I finally felt strong enough to come to my senses, I found myself lying on the ground on my back.  Lux was looking over me, but I couldn't see Link.  I turned my head to the right and saw Link standing quite still.  He was looking up at something, so I got up slowly and saw what he was looking at.

        Floating above a crater of magma was a black, pointy castle.  The magma below was so hot that I couldn't get too near, but there was no bridge or anything that would let us enter the castle, so there was really no reason for either of us to approach it. 

        The castle looked completely different seven years before.  It was a bleached kind of white and now it was totally black with the magma below shining some red light on the walls.  I didn't know how the castle was floating on a tiny piece of land, but it was scary.  The castle was much taller and above it was a thick, black blanket of clouds, with the occasional lightning bolt flashing in the sky. 

The castle had obviously been moved from its old spot for the old path on the right that led up to the main gates of the castle was still present and so was the tiny arch that once had a gate keeping pesky people like Link and I from getting in.  However, this arch had been broken in two and the gate was nowhere in sight.  The arch itself was buried under thick rocks and mud and the rest of the path, at least from what I could see, was bombarded with huge rocks.  I wasn't sure if the path cut off, but I could wait to see that another day.

        "I can't believe this," Link whispered.  He then turned at me and said sternly, "Ash, we need to put these swords back and go back to seven years ago, so we can fix all of this."

        "Link," I said hesitantly, "I don't think it will be that easy...I mean, when we left seven years ago, on this very day, all of the bad stuff would've already happened.  Therefore, we can't fix the past in the past, so we'll have to do it now."

        Link looked heartbroken, but I put on a determined face and said, "The past is the past.  We need to quit moping and think about now, Link.  We have a chance to fix things now, instead of sitting around seven years and watching this kingdom go from wealthy and nice to the Kingdom of the Damned.  The worst has passed and we should both be thankful that we were asleep instead of becoming those damn zombie things back at the castle town.  We're the chosen ones or whatever, so now it's our job to fix this shit.  Now, are you with me?"

        Link looked at the ground, but then looked up with a smirk on his face.  "Yeah," he said, and inside I sighed with relief.  It was time for us to both personally kick Ganondorf's ass and whomever else stood in our way.

        ...or rather, that was my plan, until I was suddenly engulfed by this huge, pink crystal thing.

        "What the hell-" I said as I began to lift off of the ground.

        "Ashley," Link shouted and he reach up his hand like an idiot; like it would actually make a difference.  Lux began jumping up and down and then let out a wave of electricity, which did nothing to help the matter.

        I had to think quick, so I just shouted, "Link, I will find a way out of this!  You need to go to Kakariko Village and get that treasure Sheik was talking about or whatever.  Then, go to Kokiri Forest and wait for me.  If I'm not back in a couple days, go on without me!"

        I watched as Link's terrified face began to get blurry due to me not being able to see him from far away.  I looked below me and saw the magma.  I was going to tap the crystal, but I realized that if I broke the thing, I would be in some serious shit...or...magma...but anyway, I just tried to stay calm.  It was rather awkward standing in the crystal as the floor slanted inwards, since the end, on the outside anyway, was a point.

        I watched as the crystal went up to the top of the castle and saw a small hole open up mechanically in the middle of the roof.  It was big enough for the crystal to go through and as I entered the castle, I looked up and saw the hole in the ceiling now fill in.  I ended up being in this room that had a huge organ and sitting at the organ and playing it was no one other than Ganondorf.

        The crystal reached the floor and, with a swipe of Ganondorf's wrist, the crystal faded and my feet touched the ground softly.  Ganondorf didn't even turn around to acknowledge my presence.  I stood there for about two minutes, listening to this guy's lousy song, waiting for him to say something.

        "Hey asshole," I shouted, "you're the one who brought me here rather rudely, so how about you at least say hi or something."  And after that, Ganondorf slammed his hands on the keyboard and sent thousands of minor 2nds into the air, which made my ears feel like they were about to bleed.  "Or, you can just do that, I guess," I said.

        He stood up, so I said, "Finally!  Man, you'd think the Goddamn King of Hyrule would treat his own guests nicely.  You're slipping up, Ganondorf."

        "I am?" Ganondorf said smoothly.  "Why would you say that?"

        Suddenly I realized that the person speaking was not Ganondorf, for their voice wasn't booming at all.  It was actually rather smooth and the voice sounded like it belonged to a girl.

        "Damn," I said, "you finally got that sex change you always dreamt about, huh buddy?"

        The guy in front of me turned around quickly, batting their cape out of their way.  After the cape flowed to the back of this guy, it was suddenly revealed to me that this guy was a girl.  She had a very intense resemblance to Ganondorf however.  Her skin was the same green color that Ganondorf's was and her hair was red like his, except it was very long.  She had slender red eyes and more girlish lips, but she still had that huge honker like Ganondorf had.

        "Humph, my father told me you would be a pest," this girl said.

        "Who the hell are you?" I asked.  "How do you know me?"

        "My father is The Ganondorf Dragmire, The King of Hyrule," this girl said.  "I am The Shannon Dragmire, The Princess of Hyrule."

        "Funny," I said and I scratched the back of my head, "your father never mentioned you."

        "But Daddy always says he talks about me at work," Shannon said and she looked like she was tearing up, "especially to his enemies."  She rubbed her eyes and then said, "You are one of Daddy's enemies, aren't you?"

        "Uh," I said and I came up with a brilliant scheme.  "Actually, I'm a newspaper salesman.  I go door to door and stuff.  Unfortunately I was scooped up by some crystal thing."

        Shannon looked guilty for a second and said, "So you're not Ashley Brandt then, are you?"

        "Um, no," I said, "I'm Lexi Starr, head of The Hyrule Herald's advertising junk."

        "Oh gosh, I am so sorry," Shannon said and she got closer to me.  "Is there anything I can do to repay you?"

        "You can return me to the castle town if you'd like," I suggested.

        "Sure," Shannon said and she smiled.  She waved her wrist and a pink crystal surrounded me.  She started to lift it up towards the ceiling, but I noticed that she had an awfully evil smirk on her face.

        "Goodnight, Ms. Brandt," Shannon said and she flicked her wrist upwards which sent the crystal crashing into the ceiling.  All I remember is hearing the crystal crack and then I was out cold.

 

        I woke up on a stone floor, which was really cold.  I had no idea where I was, but when I stood up I saw bars, so I knew that I had to be in a jail cell somewhere in the castle.  There was no hay or anything for me to lie on, but there were some sticks lying around.  I felt too cold to budge, but I slowly walked over to the sticks and started to rub them together, like they did in the movies back home.  All I needed to do was create enough friction and the sticks would light on fire.

        Now reader, even though it happened in the movies rather quickly doesn't mean it would happen that quickly in real life.  I was doing that stuff for about two hours and my hands started to bleed from rubbing the sticks together so long.  I was so tired and cold and when the sticks continued to fail me, my hope began to freeze as much as my toes were.

        I lost all hope and sat on the cold stone; defeated and freezing.  However, from my belt suddenly came a small push and I saw a small ball come from my waist.  A red laser came out of this ball and in the form of a small dog.  The ball came straight back to me and I put it safely in place.  The dog in front of me was the dog I had rescued from Ganondorf in Gerudo Valley.  Her name was Coffee Bean.

        "Coffee Bean," I whispered enthusiastically.  "What are you doing out?"

        "Houndour," Coffee Bean said sternly and she looked at the sticks I had piled up.  From her mouth came red and orange flames that seared the sticks and created a small, but very warm fire.  I hugged her and she had a small smile forming on her muzzle.

        "Thanks Coffee Bean," I said.  "Now, we just need to figure out how to get out of here."

        "Dour," Coffee Bean said and she walked over to the bars of the jail cell.  She drew in a deep breath and from her mouth came a blaze of fire.  The bars began to melt under the fire's heat and all that remained was a molten mass, glowing red.  We waited a little while so the mass could cool down, so no one would get burnt walking over it.  Once the glow died down, Coffee Bean and I went through.

        "Alright, I've been here before," I whispered.  "But, this seems to be a different castle, so I'm not sure how quickly we'll escape."

        Coffee Bean looked up at me and smiled.  I could tell that she didn't care how long it took because she was going to stay by my side forever.  I felt the same loyalty oozing from her that Lux had for me.  I felt happy to have a friend in such a dark place.

        We walked as carefully around the castle as we could, but the place didn't seem to be heavily guarded by anything.  We were able to get out of the dungeon area and we ended up in a hallway instead of a kitchen, which was where the exit of the dungeon was in the old Hyrule castle.

        This hallway had lit torches and underneath my feet I could hear the soft, padding sounds of my foot stepping on a red carpet.  Above us, I could hear the small screeches of bats and I was afraid that they were flying fairly low, but I had to move on if I was going to get Coffee Bean and I out of the castle alive.

        There were several doors lined along the sides of the hallway, but I wanted to get to the end of the hallway before I led us through a door.  At the end of this hallway were two huge double doors, as I expected.  I pushed the door on the left open, but Coffee Bean saw I had some trouble so she began to push with the skull that was on her forehead. 

        Behind those doors was what seemed like a dancing hall because hanging from the ceiling was a huge chandelier.  There was a small balcony on the other side of the ballroom that had some tables, a bar, and some stools as well.  I walked across the dance floor, my boots making a noise with every step; a noise that echoed throughout the hall.  I was completely amazed and looked up at the chandelier.  Even though it was covered in dust, it was still a remarkable sight.

        "So, you like this room, huh?" I heard a voice say.  It was a smooth voice that slid off the walls.  It had to be Shannon.  "Father had this room built for some small parties we held in the beginning of his reign.  Unfortunately, you won't meet anyone who attended those parties for they all died right in this room."

        I turned and saw Shannon standing at the double doors that Coffee Bean and I had just came from.  I looked down at Coffee Bean who was growling. 

        "You will also be added to the deaths in this room, Ms. Brandt," Shannon said and she unsheathed this weird sword, but I remembered seeing pictures of that style sword back at home.  It was a rapier style sword and its hilt surrounded Shannon hand, as a protection.  Around the hilt was a light blue, tan, and orange cloth, a kind of cloth that could be found in Gerudo Valley.

        I hadn't really tried to use my Master Sword in combat, but I had no choice at that moment, so I unsheathed it anyway.  That weird power I felt when I first unsheathed it went up my arm again.  I held the sword at my side and held out my left hand and motioned Shannon to ‘bring it,' as we did back at home.

        Shannon smiled, but stayed still.  Her left hand was placed on her hip and her right had stayed by her waist with the rapier's blade slanted towards the ceiling.  I wasn't aware at that time, but along with different styles of swords came different styles of fighting.  I was too impatient to wait for her to attack me, so I charged straight at her.

        Those that use rapiers are supposed to be graceful fighters, as in quick on their toes.  I didn't know about that until later, or that fact that the rapier was primarily made for thrusting at the opponent rather than hacking away at them, like my style sword was made for.  That's why, as soon as I got close to Shannon, I felt a thin blade stab into my left shoulder. 

        This immense pain filled my shoulder and I retreated as fast as I could.  Shannon pulled the rapier's blade out of my shoulder and I felt the blade scratch against my left collarbone.  I was too preoccupied at that moment, but later I would realize that I was stabbed just below my collarbone, which isn't too far away from the heart.  But, as I was screaming in pain on the inside, I knew better than to submit so I tried to plan carefully.

        "I think you're spent there," Shannon said smartly.

        "Not yet," I said quietly.

        "Whatever," Shannon snapped and she moved quickly on the balls of her toes and came at me and it was a huge surprise.  I quickly held up my sword and her blade made a small noise as it hit mine.  She kept coming at me with these quick movements, but I was still getting use to the Master Sword's weight and the fact that I had just had a sword pulled out of my upper left body.

        I had an idea, but I would have to get behind Shannon.  I wanted to disarm her, but I couldn't do that if I was standing to the front of her for the hilt of her sword would block any strikes that I had at her hand.  If I could get behind her and if I could strike quickly and precisely, I would have a chance to get my blade underneath the protector on the hilt and I would be able to pull it out of her hand with my blade, or at least cause damage to her hand.

        Fortunately, I had Coffee Bean to assist me.  She bashed into Shannon's stomach all of a sudden and I find my opportunity to attack.  Instead of going behind her though, I used my electric powers and wrapped them around the hilt of her sword and pull it towards me.  With Shannon disarmed, it was now fair game for me.  I shocked Shannon myself and she laid on the ground with Coffee Bean on top of her.

        I place the tip of the Master Sword at her throat and stood above her and said, "Now you, Ms. Dragmire, are going to help me and my friend here out of this castle.  Since there is no bridge, you better get us across and now, before I kill you."

        "Alright, I'll do what you want," Shannon said defeated.  "Just leave me alone.  Please."

        I had Coffee Bean get off of Shannon and I rolled her on her back and then I grabbed her arms and pinned them behind her.  I grabbed her elbows and lifted her up so she could get on her feet.  Thankfully she cooperated, even though I knew she could have destroyed me right there, or rather her dad could have, but still.

        Shannon put us both in a pink crystal and Coffee Bean and I landed on the other side where we couldn't get to the castle.  I looked down at Coffee Bean who looked up at me and we both nodded and started to take off for Kokiri Forest.

Chapter 16- Finding My Way in the Lost Woods by Underdog Ash
 

 

It was really hard to get out of the castle town.  Just below my left shoulder, I had been stabbed by a rapier and my blood streamed down my torso.  In the castle town, Coffee Bean began to use her fire and started to burn the zombies that were sulking around.  Burning the zombies was an amazing tactic for they just coiled up and let the flames engulf their bodies.  Coffee Bean could look straight at these creatures and not become paralyzed with fear, so I knew right away that she was a very special Pokemon.

        I wasn't able to run or anything because I needed to apply pressure to my shoulder.  I would have run straight through the castle town if I could, but it just wasn't happening.  Thankfully, I had Coffee Bean by my side for we made it out of the town quickly.  It was in the area where the drawbridge was that Coffee Bean and I were stopped.

        "You," I heard a raspy voice say and I looked to my right and saw a dark alley and there was what looked like a body standing there, but it was too dark to see anything, so I couldn't tell who it was.

        "Um, yes?" I said and I heard Coffee Bean below me growling.

        "It's been a long time since anyone has crossed here," the voice said.  "I've been watching you."

        "Dour," Coffee Bean growled.

        "I saw you and that young man walk out of the Temple of Time," the voice continued.  "They say that only the chosen ones come out of that temple nowadays; since this castle town is very, well, dead."

        "Who are you?" I asked.

        This man came out from the alley way and the shadow left his body.  He was very tall and actually built like Ganondorf, but his eyeballs were a solid, glowing red color.  He had on what looked like a pirate hat and a long, white feather was attached to it.  His skin, I noticed, was an ashy gray color, and he had a combed and well groomed beard.  His outfit was that of a pirate and on both of his sides were a sheath with the hilts of a sword showing.  The sheath on his right, however, was a bit smaller.

        "My name is Cervantes," this man said. 

        "I've never heard of you before," I said.  "Where are you from?"

        "That doesn't matter, my child," Cervantes said with a smirk.  "What matters is what I need to tell you about your little friend Ganondorf."

        The pain in my left shoulder suddenly ran from my mind.  I wanted to get as much junk as I could about what Ganondorf was planning and what was going on.  He obviously had a plan for Link and I when we would both wake up and I had to figure it out so we could both take him down.

        "Okay," I said sternly, "I need as much dirt as I can get on Ganondorf right now."

        Cervantes smirked a little and said, "Wow, a bit desperate now, aren't we?  Anyway, I will tell you right now that your friend, Link, is in Kokiri Forest right now and he is about to get a big surprise."

        "What's going to happen?" I asked quickly.

        "Hyrule isn't quite what you remembered it to be," Cervantes said and his red eyes began to glow.  "Right now, Lon Lon Ranch is holding a huge horde of minions led by Ganondorf himself.  In about one hour, Ganondorf is going launch a huge attack on Kokiri Forest and attempt to get into the Forest Temple.  I would suggest that you get to that forest and create an army to try and protect that temple from Ganondorf and his minions."

        I suddenly remembered what Sheik had said about all of the sages needing to be awakened in a temple of some sort, because they were dead.  If they were woken up, they would give the waker some of their power and if Ganondorf woke a sage, things could get bad.

        "So, you know what to do, correct?" Cervantes said.

        "Yes," I said.  "But, why are you telling me this?"

        Cervantes laughed for a second of so and then his face became serious.  "The power that Ganondorf has is a power he obtained in a whole other dimension.  This was obtained from an evil sword that drives men crazy for the power it holds.  Ganondorf only has a little bit of this power, but he's angered a few people.  I am one of those people."

        "So you're from another dimension, huh?" I asked.  "Tell me, are you an advocate for good, or evil?"

        "One day, you will figure that out," Cervantes said.  "Right now is not the time.  I need to get back to where I came from, but I want you to know that a lot of people are counting on you."  Then, this Cervantes guy turned around and walked back into the shadows of the alley.

        "Wait!" I shouted, but he didn't respond and I lost all sight of him.

        "Houndour," I heard and I looked down, but Coffee Bean wasn't at my feet.  She was actually a couple steps away from me; trying to get me to follow her so we could get to the forest.  I just felt so weak and light headed as blood trickled down my arm.  I tried to put pressure on it to slow down the blood flow when we first got out of the castle, but it wasn't working as well as I hoped.

        I followed Coffee Bean nonetheless and exited the castle town.  The draw bridge was down, but it must have been damaged during the flood seven years ago, for it had collapsed in the river.  The river itself contained a small amount of water that flowed rather slowly.  Carefully, Coffee Bean and I crossed the broken bridge, hopping from spot to spot and trying to avoid falling in the river and getting soaked, or falling and breaking a bone.

        I was a tad bit nervous for it remained dark the whole time we crossed this bridge, but not the nighttime kind of dark.  Dark clouds filled the sky above us, so if it was nighttime, the moon couldn't poke itself out and light our way.  I was afraid that Hyrule was covered completely in clouds and that the residents had to live in complete darkness everyday of their lives.

        Fortunately, after walking away from the castle the clouds began to clear and I could see the sun.  It startled me a bit that the clouds were as dark and thick as they were, but I was relieved to just be able to see the sun.  It was the brightest thing in my life at the moment; seeing as I had a huge stab wound in my upper left torso.

        I could feel the moist, green grass being squashed under my boots as I walked slowly towards the forest.  The pain was so unbearable that it was hard for me to keep walking, but Coffee Bean would occasionally grab my pant leg and pull me forward.  I knew it wasn't much of a long walk, but it felt to me that getting to the Kokiri Forest would take an eternity to reach.  My eye sight would sometimes fail me and make things seem farther away than they actually were.  It was a terrible feeling, like walking through a blurry, strange hallway that would never end. 

        I got to the small arch of trees that let me know I was close to the entrance of the forest.  If it wasn't for my memory, my deceiving eyesight would make me think that I still had a mile to go.  With the help of Coffee Bean, we reach the entrance and carefully crossed the small, wooden bridge that led to the area where the Kokiri homes were kept.  The wood that supported the bridge was now dry and, despite being careful, my foot made a board collapse and I received the shock of possibly falling off the bridge.  It wasn't that far of a drop, but because my eyesight was being weird, I thought the drop was a lot farther down.

        I screamed in terror and squirmed as Coffee Bean grabbed the collar of my tunic and tried to pull me up.  It took about ten minutes for me to calm down for all the screaming and panicking caused my heart to beat faster and my blood rushed through my veins, therefore I became more lightheaded.  Fortunately, Coffee Bean was able to help me and she dragged me the rest of the way across the bridge.  Once we went through the final hollow log that led us to the Kokiri Forest that was when my full attention turned to something other than my bleeding shoulder.

        "My God," I whispered and what stood before me was not the forest that Link and I had left behind seven years back. 

        The dark clouds that hung over Hyrule castle were up above the forest; making it even harder for me to see the damage that Ganondorf's rein had done.  Since I was on the ground, the once soft grass now scratched at my chin like tiny wires.  I stood up and sniffed the air that was once full of life and peace.  Now it ranked of death and despair.  I slowly looked around as I walked and saw that some of the small, cozy Kokiri houses had been destroyed.  The house that Mido owned was now totally caved in and the sign out in front was covered in moss.

        Chunks were missing from some homes, including Link's.  It even looked like part of the ladder had been torn off, but it must have been repaired for some of the wood looked newer.  The little chalk drawing that was on the side of his home was still there, but a little faded.  However, the small drawing of himself was splashed with blood.  Seeing the ladder repaired made me feel better because Link might have done it himself when he got here.

        As you know, reader, I do not like ladders and I definitely do not like ladders when I cannot use one of my arms.  All I could do was yell Link's name as loud as possible.  Fortunately, he was up in his house and he poked his head out and looked around warily.  I said his name again and he looked straight down and a smile beamed on his face.  Lux was at his feet; the curtain that served as Link's door covering some of his body.  Lux jumped right off the platform to see me but once he was aware of my wound, Lux became worried.

        Link had finally climbed down the ladder to see me.  I was slouched over while holding my left shoulder.  Navi and Max flew out of the house to see the commotion and flew straight towards me once they knew who was yelling.  Once Link saw my wound he just stood there with a blank expression on his face.

        "Oh no," Navi said and she flew up to my shoulder.  "Ashley, how long have you been like that?"

        "For about forty-five minutes," I said quietly and I sighed.  My shoulder was in pain and barely moveable and, in about an hour, Ganondorf would be heading this way with an evil horde put together.

        "Ash, you need to go and lay down," Link said and he touched my right shoulder and started to move me towards his home.

        "No," I said sternly and I turned over to Link.  "In about an hour, Ganondorf is going to attack the forest.  None of us can be resting at a time like this.  Ganondorf has a huge horde ready over at Lon Lon Ranch and they will launch an attack in a matter of minutes."

        "What?" Max shouted.  "What are we gonna do!"

        Max began to fly around fiercely and I said, "The thing is, I don't have the answer to that."

        After a block of silence and hopeless expressions, Navi finally burst in with an idea, which shocked me.

        "Max, you and I need to gather all of the forest fairies, even the ones without children," Navi said.  "Link, you need to gather all of the children, even the ones that are in different sectors of this forest.  Tell them to fashion all the wooden shields, sword, and slingshots that they can manage.  Ash, you take Lux and Coffee Bean with you to the Lost Woods.  Ganondorf is probably after Saria and the Forest Temple.  When you reach the Sacred Forest, go through the maze and climb up a ladder that you should find towards the end.  That ladder should lead you up to the top of the maze which will reveal a cleared area which should have a hole in the middle.  Climb down to the hole and fall through and down there should be a Great Fairy Fountain which has only healing fairies.  They should be able to heal your wounds."

        I noticed that Navi was glowing an even brighter blue than usual, which I assumed was just because she was heated up and determined.  She had quite the plan, rather than doing her usual whining.

        "C'mon Max," Navi said and they both took off as quickly as possible.  Only Link and I were left.

        "Where are all the kids?" I asked for they were usually out playing.

        "They're all inside," he replied.  "There were huge monsters here when Lux and I first got here, so we took them out for all the kids were too scared to come out of their homes.  They're still scared and all, but I can try to get them ready."

        There was an awkward silence but then I said: "Well, I better get going."

        "Oh yeah," Link said and he reach behind his back and pulled out this blue device that had a point at the end.  "I got this in Kakariko Village.  There were two of them.  I guess they're called hookshots and we can use them to grab onto objects and, once you release this button on the handle, it will pull you up."

        He handed this thing to me and I looked at it.  It was made of metal, but the point at the end wasn't much of a hook.  The only thing it would be good for would be trying to get up on trees or wooden junk.

        "Thanks," I said and I hung it on my belt and began to walk away.

        "Oh, and Ash," Link said and I turned slowly to find him close to me.  He hesitantly lifted his arm and had it hover for a second and then placed it on my right shoulder.  "I'm worried about you.  Don't get hurt, please.  Know that I'm always thinking of you and, well, good luck."

        We looked straight in each other's eyes for a moment.  I didn't know what was into this kid, but I couldn't tear away.  Something about him made me want to keep looking into his eyes, but then something about me wanted me to run away and not get close to him.  That part of me dominated that moment.

        "Uh, that's...that's nice," I said and I began to walk backwards.  "Link I-er-I'll be fine, just do your job."  Holding my shoulder, I scurried away as fast as I could; leaving Link behind.

 

        That hookshot device that Link gave me actually came in handy.  Since I was unable to use my right arm, I was able to use the hookshot to climb various vines and ladders that would come my way.  Lux and Coffee Bean were incredible jumpers, so they didn't need the aid of a climbing object.

        I hadn't been in the Lost Woods for a long time, so I didn't quite remember how to get to the Sacred Forest.  I remembered hearing Saria playing her ocarina, which guided Link and I, but I couldn't hear anything which also meant that I had absolutely no guidance.  As soon as we entered, three different paths were open to us.  I decided to take a right, but somehow I just ended up back at the damn entrance. 

I decided to go straight forward and we came to an actual opening.  However, Lux began to growl quickly and I looked down at him and then looked in the direction he was looking.  Standing to our left was a hollow log but guarding it was no one other than Mido.  He looked sharply at us and shouted, "Hey, what are you guys doing here!  This is a forest for Kokiri children only, not adults and their pets."

        "Alright Mido, cut the crap," I said.

        Mido stood up straight with a stern expression and said, "How do you know my name?"

        "I'm Ashley, that girl that ran around with Link seven years ago," I said.  "This here is Lux, the one that shocked you because you threatened me.  Do you remember him?"

        Mido gulped as he looked down at Lux whose fur was standing on end and small sparks were coming out of his cheeks.

        "Uh, yeah, I remember you," Mido said and he gulped, but he suddenly stood up straight for some reason.  "But I have to protect Saria and the Forest Temple, so any threat you give me I will have to ignore."

        I sighed and looked at the ground and said, "Mido, Saria went in that temple, correct?"

        "Yes, why?"

        "Mido, the reason Saria went into that temple was she felt that it was her job to save the forest and keep it safe.  She wanted to awaken a power that was inside of her.  Unfortunately, she is dead."

        Mido stared at me for a couple of seconds; his face showing the expression of one with a broken heart.  After some silence, he said, "So, what now?"

        "I need to get to that temple," I said.  "Once I'm there, I can reawaken Saria to her destiny.  Sadly, she will still be dead, but there is a reason for her being alive, and a reason for her feeling that she needed to fulfill her destiny all the sudden.  You, on the other hand have a different task.  The forest is currently being plotted against so it can be infiltrated.  An evil man wants to get to Saria so he can use her power for bad.  You and all of the Kokiri need to hold this horde off until I am done.  Understood?"

        "Well, this is a lot to handle," Mido said, "but I won't let you or Saria down."

        "Great," I said with a smile, "now go get ‘em."

        Mido nodded and ran towards the exit of the Lost Woods.  With him finally dealt with, I became concerned about my wellbeing.  I wouldn't last much longer so I needed to get to the Sacred Forest as fast as possible.  I went through the hollow log that Mido was guarding and became puzzled.  I became frustrated rather quickly however as three more hollow logs were in front of me.  Between being frustrated, I was also extremely tired so I sat down and leaned on a rock.

        "Raichu," Lux said and he had a worried tone in his voice.  Coffee Bean came over and started to nuzzle against me and her warm body provided some comfort. 

        Suddenly, I heard a weird voice and all it said was this, "Gloom."  Shortly after, a terrible stench burned and boiled in my nostrils and it must have done the same to Lux and Coffee Bean, for Coffee Bean was using her paws to smack her nose and Lux covered his small nose with his paw.

        "Glooooom," I heard again and this weird flower thing wobbled out from a hollow log and came to see me.  This thing had a small, stout body, but it had a flower on top of its head that had some sort of powder seeping from the middle. 

        This thing stared at me for the longest time and suddenly a big smile cracked on its face and drool started to seep out in what could have been gallons.  It started to wobble closer to me like a baby and I could smell its stench even stronger than before.  I didn't know if that flower thing was drooling saliva or some kind of chemical, but I didn't want to find out.

        This thing wobbled over to my right arm and Coffee Bean fled behind the rock I was on because the stink from this damn flower was way too powerful.  It started to stare at my hand and I suddenly noticed that the Triforce was glowing on it again.

        "Gloom gloom!" this thing shouted at me and it picked up my hand with its stubby, blue arms.  I thought it was just attracted by the glowing, but then it shoved my whole damn hand into its mouth.  The drool made me shiver and I felt like I was going to puke.  The thing looked up at me with a smile as it drooled all over my poor hand.  "Gloom," it said, but it was extremely muffled by my hand.

        I could see the top of its flower and looked in the middle.  Oddly enough, there was a symbol on the middle of this flower, which looked a lot like the Kokiri symbol.  I became intrigued and realized that this flower was probably a lot more important than I thought.  I felt my hand slide out of this thing's mouth and it held my hand with its stubby arms and just stared at it.  It looked up at me and then hopped away and reached one of the hollow logs and turned around.

        "Gloom gloom!" It shouted again and it waved its arm; signaling for us all to follow.  I took a quick sigh and got up.  Surprisingly this thing moved fast, so Lux and Coffee Bean took after it.  I ran as fast as I could, even though my arm kept me from going as fast as I wanted to go.

        But I was in no rush, honestly.  If this thing got ahead of me, all I would have to do is use my nose and follow its stench.  What I didn't know was that this chase would be crucial to finding Saria and would also be crucial to getting me into a hell of a lot of trouble.

       

Chapter 17- Forest Wars by Underdog Ash

Chapter 17

Forest Wars

 

        I followed that weird flower thing all the way to the Sacred Forest.  I was extremely surprised that thing ugly, smelly creature knew exactly where this hidden place was in the Lost Woods.  It might sound impossible, but this thing knew exactly where the Sacred Forest was and led us to the entrance of the maze.  Of course I knew that if I fell behind this flower, all I would have to do was smell to find it.  Lux and Coffee Bean made sure I stayed conscience however, so I had no worries about falling behind too far.

        The gate that Link and I unlocked to the maze in the Sacred Forest seven years ago was still unlocked, so going through this maze would be a breeze.  I started to make my way to the entrance when that flower stopped me in my tracks.  The flower had on a worried expression despite the fact that it was still drooling.  It shook its whole body, but I ignored it.

        I almost stepped through the entrance when this huge, muscular dog thing walked right in front of me and it just stood for a second.  He had this huge spear thing and held it tightly with his human looking hands.  His hands were huge and looked like they could wrap around my thin neck and snap it.  It stood up straight and like a stone and I was just petrified.  I started to breathe harder from being nervous, which caught this monster's attention.  His bulldog like face scrunched up and his big, brown blood shot eyes stared at me for a split second.  He let out this roar and charged towards me.

        Despite my fading conscious, I was able to jump out of the way from this monster's huge spear.  Lux and Coffee Bean wasted no time and began to surround it of a heated mix of electricity and fire.  The monster yelped in pain and burst into a light green flame and was gone.  I wasn't sure how we were going to get through the maze, but that thought left when I heard a bunch of cheering.

        "'ey ey ey," I heard this voice say and I turned around and looked up.  On top of one of the maze walls were the two scarecrows that were down at Lake Hylia seven years ago, just a couple hours before Link and I pulled our Master Swords.

        "Steve, is it?" I asked.

        "Steve, she knows our name!" the scarecrow on the left said and he was the forever anxious scarecrow named Larry.  I was a bit relieved to see them for they seemed to be the only things that hadn't changed in seven years.

        "I know yours too, Larry," I said with a small smile.

        Larry began to shake and yell and Steve looked right at me.  "Who do ya think you are?" he said with a stern face.

        "Well, seven years ago, when I was little, you two helped me find the Zora Princess because she was buried in the ground," I said to them and after a few seconds, Steve said:

        "Oh yes, I remember ya!  You have some two mighty friends there, but I wuldda really enjoyed seein' ya whup that things ass there."  He let out a deep laugh, but I suddenly felt really bad and grabbed my upper torso.  I was losing sight on what I needed to do, which was to get to that fountain and then get to work on finding and awakening Saria.  With the flower in my way, those dog guards, and now the scarecrows, I was way off to getting better.

        "Oh lass," Steve said, "what happen to yor shoulder there?"

        "I had a sword stabbed into shoulder is all," I said. 

        "Oh jeez, Steve!" Larry shouted.  "She's dying!"

        "I'm just fine, Larry," I said, "I just need to get to the fairy fountain that is supposed to be on the other side of this maze."

        "Hmm," Steve said and he looked towards the sky, which I assumed was him thinking thoroughly.  He paused like this for a second and then said, "Welp, I have an idear.  There exists some sorta device called a-uh...um...a book rock?  Or maybe it was a shook lock...maybe..."

        I remembered the device that Link had given me and said, "Do you mean the Hookshot?"

        "Yeah, that is what that thing-a-ma-jig is called," Steve said.  "Anyway, point that bugger at Larry over here and it should help you up here, so you can hop the walls of this Goddamn maze and get to that fountain quicker."

        "What!?!" Larry shouted and he began to shake.  "Point what at me!  What's the Hookshot!  Steve!"

        "Eh, shut the hell up," Steve said harshly.  "Now, my girl, aim that thing at Larry and you'll be shot right up ‘ere with the big dogs."

        While Larry was yelling a bunch of babble, I took out the Hookshot and held it as still as possible with my right hand.  My left had become numb and cold, at least the upper area, and I didn't want to strain it any farther.  I closed my right eye tightly so I could aim perfectly and pulled back the small trigger found inside the handle of the Hookshot.  Before I released trigger, I felt a small tug on my boot.  At my feet was the flower thing, and it had a look of dismay on its face.  I assumed it wanted help to get on the wall, so I wrapped my thin arm around the round, plushy body of this flower and aimed the Hookshot at Larry again.  In a split second, there was a sharp sound and a rather short chain propelled out and hooked right on to Larry's straw belly.

        "Ack!" Larry shouted as I pulled the trigger again, which shot me up to them.  Since Lux and Coffee Bean were rather stealthy, they were able to jump up shortly after I landed.  I needed to hurry, so I took the Hookshot and hung it back on my belt and smiled at Steve.

        "There's no time to thank us, lass," Steve said.  "Hurry and get to that fountain, and make sure you don't fall down in the maze anywhere.  If the fall don't get ya, the dogs will.  Good luck to ya."

        I nodded sternly and jumped over to the other wall of the maze.  I tripped a little bit, but the flower, who was still in the comforts of my right arm, cheered me on as Lux and Coffee Bean got on both sides of me as a support.  I was losing consciousness quickly, especially now that I was jumping and becoming breathless.  The dogs with their spears below didn't help me too much, either, as my nerves were on end.

        I reach the end and saw a hollow opening and down there in the middle was a hole in the ground.  I walked around to where the ladder down was and set down the flower.  I was getting ready to make my way down the ladder when I heard a sound and I turned around quickly, but it was too late.  On a set of stairs in the distance, there stood Ganondorf with his arm forward and his palm out, but the only reason I had seen that was because this long, purple and black beam had absorbed into my body and shot me backwards.  The fall seemed a lot farther than I expected and I opened my eyes painfully as my head ached.  A shot of pain hit my head as my eyes saw this beam of bright light.  I was dead, and Hyrule was doomed...

 

        I was out for a long time.  What woke me up was Lux trying to shock me back to life and Coffee Bean watching with her head down.  Since Lux's electricity didn't affect me anyway, it was no help to me and to bringing back my conscious, but poor Lux didn't know that.  I couldn't move, but I could still see that beam of light, which turned out to just be the light that hovered us out of these underground areas.

I turned over, which made Lux stop and Coffee Bean's head lift.  I was a little concerned because I couldn't see the flower, but what I could see was a soft, blue light in the distance.  It looked like a fairy fountain, but one that I could walk into.  I dreamed of feeling that cold water hit and replenish my worn body and maybe help the open wound on my upper shoulder.  I had to get to the fountain, but I didn't think Lux and Coffee Bean alone could help, so I dug my slim fingers in the sand and began to drag my body as I pulled my whole weight forward. 

Coffee Bean put her head under my left arm as I came to the concrete path that I couldn't dig into.  Lux took my right underarm and began to push.  I put the ends of my leather boots into any creases I could feel and pushed dragged my body against the hard, cold floor, which the cold didn't bother me at all.

The stairs in this fairy fountain went down rather than up, so I just needed to crawl slowly down the stairs and I felt the cool, crystal blue water hit my face.  Above the center of this circular fountain were about twenty pink fairies.  All I had to do was get in the middle of this fountain and I would be cured of all my ailments and wounds, so with the help of Lux and Coffee Bean, I was able to get my whole body into the water and all of the fairies flew around my body.

Pink lights went all around me and I was lifted up slowly.  All of my fatigue and pain disappeared from my body and I felt refreshed as my feet gently touched the water below.  The last fairy disappeared in thin area as I stood up tall.  I looked over at Lux and Coffee Bean who were thrilled and shocked to see my strength back.  I didn't feel wobbly or weak or anything and the wound in my arm had become a round, disgusting scar.  I had been in the water, as you know, but surprisingly, I wasn't wet.  I felt refreshed and cool, but none of my clothes were damp at all. 

With the sudden burst of energy, I unsheathed my sword and said to Lux and Coffee Bean, "Let's take down Ganondorf once and for all."

We walked quickly but confidently to the beam of light that slowly lifted us out of the hole and once my feet touched the soft, plushy grass, I headed for the wooden ladder in front of us.  I wasn't sure how long I had been out, but I would find out soon enough.

I went up the stairs and saw a huge club just sitting there and a huge helmet.  All I could guess was that either Ganondorf took out a monster or Link did, and my mind just hoped that it was Link.  If Ganondorf had gotten in that temple, things would be difficult on a whole new level.

There was another set of stairs and then the opening.  The temple entrance was too high for me to climb to, but a tree branch above it would provide as a target for my Hookshot, so I took it off my belt and aimed for it.  Once the hook was in, I pulled the trigger again and was pulled forward.  Lux and Coffee Bean, again, were nimble and were able to jump to the entrance, but barely.  There had been evidence of stairs that once led to this entrance, but they had been broken off, even seven years ago.

I walked in as confident as I could and the temple was very dark.  Lying on the ground were Kokiri children that had wooden swords and shields.  Unfortunately, there were some casualties, but I had to move on.  It was when I got to the other side of the room that I was given the shock of my life.

Slouched and shaking by the door was Mido, who had an actual steel sword and a nice shield.  The blade had blood stains on it and there were some on the sword, but there were also bruises and cuts on Mido and he was breathing heavily.  I rushed towards him as Lux kept his distance.  I crouched down to where Mido was and wiped off some of the blood that was running down his cheek.  He looked up with his tired eyes and whispered, "Ash?"

"Yeah, this is me," I said.  "What happened?"

"This big, green guy and his army took us down," Mido said, "of course we gave ‘em a hard time and Link asked me to protect the temple.  He's inside now dealing with that guy, but he's been in there for a while, so I'm a bit worried.  You need to get in there right now."

"But," I said, "do you think I'm ready?  I mean, I barely have any weapons and-"

"I have something that belongs to me," Mido said.  "There were these two bows carved for me and Saria.  I gave Link Saria's and I want you to have mine.  It's called the fairy bow."  And with that, he pulled a bow along with a quiver out from behind him.  There were arrows in the quiver and the bow appeared to be a tad used, but I could deal with it.

"Thank you," I said, and I put the quiver behind my sword and tied it to my body and the bow I tucked neatly behind that.

"Now, go," Mido said, "we're all counting on you."

I stood up and nodded to him and opened the door he was slouched beside.  I entered a short hallway to another door and went in that, which opened me to a huge lobby and there were four torches.  In the middle was an elevator looking thing, so I walked down the stairs and onto this elevator with Lux and Coffee Bean and we watched as it descended.

        This floor, which seemed to be the basement, had a wall that actually looked moveable, but that was the least of my problems.  In front of me was another hallway, which actually had a long blue carpet and at the end was a balcony and a huge door.  I assumed it was an important door, seeing that it was huge and even had its own; drawn out carpet leading up to it.

        I walked as slow as I could to this door and I started to sweat.  It seemed that the horde that Ganondorf had was nowhere to be found, but you never knew where they would end up.  If behind that door was a thousand members of Ganondorf's horde, I was screwed, but I still needed to be as strong as possible, so I pulled the lever on the door when I reached it and the door went up into the wall.  I let Lux and Coffee Bean enter first and then I entered, which caused the whole door to slam behind me.  There was no lever or knob on that side, so I knew I was trapped.  The only thing to my left was red ropes and to my right was a staircase that seemed to curve up to a platform.

        I climbed up the curved stairs and began to see what looked like an art gallery of some sort.  The platform that the stairs led to was round and once I got into the middle with Lux and Coffee Bean, I turned around and began to see the same painting over and over again.  It made me dizzy and also made me wonder why the hell someone would have a painting gallery with only one kind of painting in it.

        Soon enough, I heard a sharp sound and noticed that the exit to this platform was sealed by a small gate, which had spears at the top.  I knew something was wrong, but I didn't quite know yet, and I thought deeply as I watched Coffee Bean and Lux rush towards the gate to find the problem.  They were in a state of panic and I desperately wanted to join them, but those painting on the wall weren't there for entertainment or the beauty of art, but rather for something bad to come of them. 

        I walked closer towards one of the paintings and examined it.  The painting was dark and it looked like a path through a forest and to a mansion or castle of some sort.  It was set during nighttime and I assumed that it was created to scare the ones that would set their eyes upon it.  The building in the distance was all pointy and was pitch black, so I couldn't tell what it served for, but there was one window with a small light.

        After closer observation, I realized that something was moving in this painting and it was running towards me.  It looked like this thing was carrying an object of some sort and then another image appeared; a bigger, darker image.  The first image got closer and I suddenly realized that this person was no one other than Link and he was carrying that stupid flower.  Behind him, the dark image kept getting closer.  I began to hear Link's cries and a horse trotting and that's when I realized that the bigger image was on a horse.  They both got closer and I identified the bigger image to be Ganondorf.

        I didn't know what to do to help Link, but I wouldn't have to do anything.  Ganondorf had this huge staff thing and waved it right before he crashed into Link and a purple portal showed up in the painting.  Link crawled out as Ganondorf and his horse floated in the middle of the platform.  In his hand was some sort of stone and he was tossing it up and down in the air.

        "Humph, I thought my daughter took care of you, you rat," Ganondorf said to me.

        "Ah well, you know me," I said with a small smirk.  "I always find a way to get back into your life."

        "Whatever," he said.  "I'm just so glad to be reunited with my two favorite people.  My have you grown, even.  Too bad you probably won't get any older after I'm done with you."

And once he said that, he used his staff to shoot electricity, which came down upon Link and I.  As I have said, I am immune to electricity, so it didn't affect me, but man, did it affect Link.  He ended up dropping the flower who scurried over beside me and pointed upward at the stone Ganondorf had.

        I had a small hunch that that stone was important and there was a reason why Ganondorf was flaunting the damn thing.  I just had to figure out why, which would be hard, for Ganondorf quickly moved into another painting.  I was clueless on what would happen next, but I moved to the middle and saw that Ganondorf was coming out of two pictures at once.  The painting I focused on though, was the one that Ganondorf turned around on and beside that one, that purple portal showed back up and his horse leapt out and Ganondorf once again let out a bolt of lightning which hit Link.

        "Link," I said quickly, "get in the middle and get out your bow."

        "Why?" Link said as he limped over to me and still followed my orders.

        "He's tricking us.  He appears to come at us through two paintings, but he really only comes out of one.  If we can work together and follow one of the two images, one of us will have full aim at the real Ganondorf, then we'll shoot our arrows and weaken him."

        "What about this electricity?" Link asked as an image appeared at one of my paintings and one at his.

        "I'll figure that out somehow," I said, but I was completely distracted from my job of shooting my painting if it was Ganondorf.

        Link however, got the first hit and I could hear a painful moan from Ganondorf.  We just had to keep this up and it would all be fine.  It only took five hits and Link and I had trapped him.  To our surprise, Ganondorf retreated from the paintings and dismounted his horse and hovered in the air with that stupid staff of his.  I had never seen it before, but I had also never seen Ganondorf wield a weapon of any kind, so this must have been his most comfortable weapon.

        Out of this staff came electricity, which was what I could handle, so I had Link move out of the way.  I unsheathed my sword and decided to play a little game of baseball with him.  The electricity he threw out at us was in a perfect ball shape anyway, so why not have some fun?  The more back and forth hits we had, the faster the power went, but I knew that I could make that power my own if I became overwhelmed and then I could give Ganondorf a nice whooping.

        One of the balls engulfed his body and he fell to the ground, so Link saw that as his opportunity to swing his Master Sword at the fiend.  I sat back and waited for Ganondorf to rise again, for he always did.  I mean, I had fought the guy head to head in Gerudo Fortress, so I knew he was good at recovering.  All I needed to do was get that stupid stone that the flower was freaking out about.

        We thought it was over after getting him about five times, but he suddenly unsheathed a sword that was at his side.  This sword was a bit bizarre in a way, for the blade looked like a phantom because it was black and transparent.  I wasn't going to test whether or not it was an actual, solid blade, but something seemed odd about this whole thing.

        Ganondorf charged at me with a lot of force and his phantom blade hit mine and they clashed together.  Lux and Coffee Bean stood by to help as Link rushed in and the battle ensued.  Unfortunately for Link, he wasn't immune to electricity at all, so I kept a close eye on him to make sure he wouldn't get hit by any of Ganondorf's powers.

        Ganondorf decided to make things different, so he shot electricity out of his hands, but I thought fast and did the same.  Out beams of electricity hit each other and there was a balance of power, but I tried to push myself another one hundred percent and started to sweat as a stronger electrical current shot through my body.  For some reason, Ganondorf wasn't pushing back, so my power reached him and there was an awkward explosion that threw me back, along with everyone else.

        I landed roughly on the ground and pain swelled throughout my body.  I was lying on my back and looked behind me to see Link hunched against the wall; right below a painting.  Right in arms reach was the stone that Ganondorf had been tossing around.  From what I could see, it was a tan stone, unlike the Thunderstone, which was a glassy blue color.

        The stone was smooth when I picked it up and I noticed that there was a green leaf carved into it.  It seemed strange, but it had to be used for something.  I had no time to think when Ganondorf landed on top of my body and held me there.  He just stared at me with a smirk on his face.

        "Comfy?" he asked.

        "Get off me," I snapped and I began to squirm around.

        "Well, maybe if you give me that stone there," Ganondorf said, but I spit in his face.

        "In your dreams pal," I said as my spit dripped off that big honker of his.  He smacked me in the face however, and did so several times.  My mouth stung with pain as blood went down my cheek.

        "Hah, you look pathetic," Ganondorf said.  "You know, if you joined my side, you could be a lot more powerful.  You could be appreciated and part of a bigger, better team of people.  You could rule with an iron fist under the great Ganondorf."

        "Don't flatter yourself," I muttered.

        "Humph, who ever said I was Ganondorf?" he said and reach for his face and somehow, this green skin started to peel off this guy's face and underneath was my own face, except there was an evil glare in her eyes.  This guy, or girl, pushed off me and lifted me up with her electricity powers.

        "See my face!" she thundered.  "You could be just like me.  You could be more powerful!"  She took her powers and slammed me against a painting, but picked me back up again.  "And you can be a tyrant."  Bam! against another wall.  "You could be loved by some and feared by most!"  Bam!  "You could have anything you've ever wanted!"

        Bam!  Right into a painting, too.  Even through all of this, I still held on to that stone, and I didn't even know why I did.  This bitch would've kept going too, if it wasn't for Link, who said softly, "That's enough."

        That girl turned around and looked at Link, so she had her back turned to me.  I looked around quickly at what I could do to help, but the flower thing rushed over to me.  It had a serious expression on its face and it began to point at the stone I had in my hand.  I didn't know what to do, but I handed the stone to it, which caused a bright light to appear, but it wasn't bright enough to distract the girl, for she had Link up by his neck; chocking him.

        The flower turned into this huge flower, like one of the stinky flowers we had back at home.  I mean, I had never come into contact with them, but I had read and seen pictures of them.  Anyway, this flower started to yelled: "Vileplume!" and really for no reason at all, so I became a bit puzzle.  All of a sudden, right above the middle, a green light appeared and Saria was revealed; floating overhead of us.  She looked down at Link, who was being choked to death, and released this huge power of what seemed like leaves.  They hit the girl and she began to hold her head as she was engulfed by light blue flames.

        Link fell to the ground as Saria stopped her powers and smiled at me.  She and the flower then disappeared and all was calm.  That girl was gone, so there was no longer a threat, and right in the middle, a blue ring appeared. 

        I got up slowly and walked over to Link, who was gasping for air.  I helped him up as Lux and Coffee Bean woke up from the explosion that had knocked us all backwards.  Coffee Bean looked a little rough, so I took a Pokeball out of my pocket and had her return.  Lux just walked over and looked up at me with a hurt expression.  He was tired.

        "You okay?" I asked Link and he nodded.  On his face was a bunch of dirt from being in that painting.  The path looked like dirt, so he must have had a rough way to go.  "Well, let's get out of here."

        We walked to the middle, all three of us, and the blue ring became a diamond and inside that diamond, all seemed tranquil as our bodies and minds were being slipped away into the unknown.

 

        And honestly...I didn't care.

Chapter 18- Who We Really Are by Underdog Ash

 

        It's hard to describe what happened next, for most of it was a blur.  Link and I were transported to the Chamber of Sages and landed right in the middle, where the golden Triforce was.  I was dead in the middle of the Triforce and Link was on one of the triangles beside me.    In front of us were Saria and the flower that I had followed and they were standing on what looked like a green medallion.  I presumed that the medallion they were on was going to be the medallion that Link and I received next.

        "Long time no see," Saria said softly.  She had her hands behind her back and a shy look on her face; like she had never met us before.  "Welcome to the Chamber of Sages, I guess."

        "We've been here before," I muttered.  I just wanted to get this over with, you know?  All we needed were four more of these medallions and I could go back to being a kid again, and maybe get back to the Mushroom kingdom, so I could figure out what I was actually needed for.  Hyrule was nice and all, but I certainly didn't want to be there forever, and the quicker I took down Ganondorf, the better it would be for the citizens of Hyrule and for myself. 

        Saria ignored my statement and continued, saying: "Even though I will miss the real world, I think I may like it here."  She crouched down and skimmed her small hand over the water.  "It's so peaceful here and the water is beautiful."

        There was silence and I could hear the water dripping and the small waterfalls, which did fall from the dark abyss above us, and could hear it hitting a surface, even though there was another dark abyss below us.  Suddenly, Link said, "I'm sorry that you had to die...if I wasn't gone for seven years, I could have saved you."

        "No, no," Saria said and a stern look appeared on her face.  "Link, don't blame yourself.  If you two wouldn't have pulled those Master Swords, I wouldn't have been awakened to my destiny and it would be too late for Hyrule.  This was supposed to happen, and it was beyond everyone's control."

        I raised my hand suddenly, not wanting to interrupt and Saria looked at me with a smile.  Since she smiled, I felt more comfortable and said, "So, I have a question that may not be relevant to what is and will happen, but that flower there.  What does it have to do with this whole thing?"

        "That flower is a Pokemon that is known as a Vileplume," Saria said.  "Everyone, no matter who you are, has a partner that is of another species.  Vileplume here was once a Gloom that I had befriended shortly after you two went out on your adventure.  It was fate, even though we were both unaware of it at the time."

        "So, it was fate," I said, "but how?  I mean, what was with that girl having that stone?"

        "You mean, you?" Link said and I was hit by a rush of mixed feelings.

        "Oh, that wasn't her," Saria said.  "That person, or rather ghost, was a phantom and it killed me.  When it took my life however, it was in the form of you, Link.  That was all an act, trying to scare you, Ashley."

        The feelings inside me melted away and Saria continued on with my question, "Anyway, the stone is a way to awaken the powers of my friend here and through that my true powers are awakened and my life is reawakened.  Those powers I will lend to you in the form of a medallion so you can take down Ganondorf, the ultimate power.  You just need the power of us six sages to make it easier to talk down the ultimate evil."

        "So, for every sage, we will need to find a Pokemon and a stone for them?" I asked.

        "Precisely," Saria said, "and the stones that will be used will have some sort of connection to the sage that you need to reawaken.  The next, I assume, is someone that will have connection to the Firestone."

        "Wait!" I said suddenly.  "So, you have grass powers, like Vileplume, right?" And Saria nodded so I said, "My Raichu here was turned into a Raichu with a Thunderstone and from that Thunderstone, I ended up receiving powers of electricity.  Am I...a sage?"

        "That, I cannot tell you," Saria said, "and not because I have the answer, but rather because I do not know the answer.  You will have to figure that out for yourself."

        I became a bit disheartened.  Things were fishy, like how I was standing in the middle of that damn Triforce and how I had a Master Sword waiting for me.  I was supposed to be an add on; someone that was just there to help the Hero of Time become the Hero of Time.  The word hero wasn't plural unless it was heroes...could it have been a typo by the Goddesses or something, or was I set up for a little more than I thought I was?

        "So, there is a purpose for the medallions we are getting?" Link asked.

        "Yes," Saria said.  "With all these questions, I forgot that I needed to hand over mine.  It's a pretty thing, and I will hate parting from it," and she pulled out the medallion and continued, "but I have to do it, even though I just received it.  But, it's going in good hands, so I feel good giving it to you guys."

        Saria held out her head and I took the medallion.  I gave it to Link, who was carrying the Light medallion anyway and we faced Saria and her Pokemon for possibly the last time.

        "You two can still call me on your ocarinas, you know," Saria said.  "If you ever need guidance, I will be here.  Now, I need to send you off, alright?"

        I nodded and I felt myself floating and the last thing I could hear was Saria saying a soft "Goodbye," to Link and I.

 

        We landed in front of the dead Great Deku Tree for some reason.  I was confused and just looked around as Link walked up to the Great Deku Tree.

        "What a shame," Link said, "but he's still standing tall, you know?"

        I was going to comment, but something incredible happened before I could say a word.  The first thing that I was aware of was the fact that Link had shot back and landed hard on the ground and then I heard some giggling.  I mean, of course I started to laugh once I realized that Link was alright, but in front of me was a weird looking, huge onion thing with a face.  It was rooted in the ground however, so while it wiggled as it laugh, it wouldn't be able to come out of the ground or anything.

        "Ha, did I startle you?" the onion asked as Link recovered.

        "Yeah, just a little," Link said and he began to rub dirt off of his tunic. 

        "I was just waiting for someone to stand right above me so I could scare them," the onion said and it chuckled and wiggled.  "Anyway, you two must be the Heroes of Time, seeing that you both have Master Swords."

        "Who are you?" Link asked a bit harshly, which was probably because the onion made his first impression on Link by catapulting him into the air as a joke.

        "I am the Great Deku Tree Sprout," the onion said.  "It's a mouthful-"

        "So can we call you Onion?" I interrupted.

        The sprout looked at me with a smile and giggled again.  "How about the Great Onion?" he suggested.

        "Yeah, there we go," I said with a smile as the Great Onion giggled and jiggled.

        "Anyway," said the Great Onion, "I am the successor for the big guy behind me.  I mean, it took seven years, but I am a late bloomer so to speak."

        "So one day you'll grow to be as big as the old Great Deku Tree?" I asked.

        "Why yes I will," he said.  "I am now the protector of this forest.  In all seriousness, the only reason I couldn't bloom seven years ago was because of the curse Ganondorf had laid upon me.  Thanks to you two, that curse is gone and I can flourish."

        "So, how exactly do you, um, protect the forest, Onion?" I asked.  "I mean, won't you be rooted there forever?"

        "Don't question how I work?" Onion said with a stern face, but then he began to laugh.  "I can't tell ya that one.  It's a company secret.  But, I have the fairies in this forest help me oversee every child.  Right now they're helping heal the wounded Kokiri children.  They took quite a beating with this whole war thing."

        I suddenly remembered that Max and Navi split from Link and I to go and gather other fairies and children, and all that stuff.  I did miss Navi's nagging voice and Max's insane anxiety, but only by a tad bit.

        "Speaking of Kokiri children," Link said suddenly, "I have a question for you."

        "Well, what is it, Mr. Link?" the Great Onion asked.

        "This might seem dumb," Link said with a small sigh, "but here goes...When Ash and I pulled the Master Swords, we were asleep for seven years.  From what I understood, being a member of the Kokiri children meant that I was going to stay a Kokiri child forever.  I mean, did the Master Sword eliminate that whole deal, or what?"

        The smile that was on the Great Onion faded for the first time.  He sighed and looked at the ground for a little bit, then looked straight at Link.  "No, the Master Sword did not eliminate that factor," Onion said.  "Link, it's time that you knew who you really are."

        "Who I really am?" Link said.  "But, I was born and raised here by the Great Deku Tree.  There must be a mistake or something."  I could see the panic in Link's eyes as he sifted around nervously.  I could only assume that he had a thousand possibly outcomes for why he didn't stay young swimming in his head; drowning out the truth.  There was only one possible reason for why Link grew up, and I knew that the Great Onion was about to tell him the news.

        "Link," the Onion began, "from the memories of my predecessor, I have gathered as much of your story as I could.  Do you want me to tell you?"

        Link was silent, so I said, "Yes, he needs to know."  Link shot a glare at me, but I looked straight at the Onion and tried my best to ignore his gaze.

        "Alright," Onion began, "it all started about nineteen years ago, when you, Link, were just a newborn baby.  There was a terrible civil war going on in Hyrule over the Triforce.  All of the races, excluding the Kokiri children, were fighting to get this item, so they could rule supreme over Hyrule.  It's only assumed that your father was in this war, Link, but your father was able to escape it. 

        "Your mother found refuge in this forest.  Mido was in charge of escorting your mother to the Great Deku Tree so that she could ask for shelter.  That was when Mido realized that your mother was carrying a newborn baby and he didn't take too kindly to the situation and tried to boot you and your mother out, only because he didn't want a newborn baby plaguing the forever youthful Kokiris with dreams of growing up.  Saria however, convinced Mido to let you and your mother stay and helped him take you both to the Deku Tree.

        "Your mother had been covered in cuts, bruises, and terrible wounds.  Despite the pain though, she waged passed the civil war lines to get you to safety, and she explained this to the Great Deku Tree.  He was worried more so about your mother, who was getting deathly ill and could barely stand in front of him.  Saria was given the job of housing you and the Know-It-All Brothers were asked to heal and feed your mother.  Being escorted by Saria and Mido with you in Saria's arms, your mother didn't even make it to the Know-It-All Brother's home and died on the forest floor and in the rain.

        "The Great Deku Tree trusted Saria with you to look after you like a mother.  To mix you up as you got older, the Deku Tree had you moved from child to child to be handled, so that you wouldn't remember a mother or father figure in your life.  This whole village raised you into thinking that you were born in this forest, telling you that you sprouted from the bud of a flower one day, like all Kokiris which, of course, was a lie.

        "The reason the Great Deku Tree never told you anything about your roots is because he knew you were destined for some sort of greatness.  He waited to assign you a fairy and waited until you were fit to leave the forest.  Once you were, the Great Deku Tree contacted Princess Peach of the Mushroom Kingdom, who then did that hat drawing, which is when Ashley here came into play.  But, there you have it, Link.  Do you have any questions?"

        Link was silent, like I knew he would be.  He was usually pretty quiet anyway, but this was a bit overwhelming for him, or at least that is what I thought.  I thought it was peculiar that he grew up when we pulled the Master Swords, but that was how it worked.  I wondered if the Onion had a background story for me, but I was very shy to ask.

        "So, I have been living a lie?" Link said and he gritted his teeth.

        "Well...yes," the Onion said with a complexion full of regret.  "But, you were made to be a great hero, alongside Ashley, and that's why we kept you safe bother physically and mentally.  We didn't want you to know this until the right age, and I would say that nineteen is the best age, since you skipped the last seven."

        Link started to walk away and neither I nor the Great Onion said anything.  We both just watched him go slowly and Lux looked up at me with a concerned look on his little face.

        "Ash," I heard the Great Onion say and I looked towards him.  "Aren't you wondering what your background is?"

        "You've read my mind," I said with a small smile, but the Onion wasn't smiling at all, so I stood up straight and tried to be serious.  "What's my background?"

        "The whole part with you being born and all that, you already know," the Onion said, "for I don't, seeing as you lived in a whole other dimension.  However, I know why you're here and who you really are.  I will tell you that it is no accident that your name was drawn from that hat.  It was fate, because you have strong links here in Hyrule and even if you leave, they will always be here. Now, I suppose you have noticed that on your hand, a Triforce sometimes begins to glow.  The part that glows the most should be the middle, which should also tell you why your sword pedestal was in the middle of the Triforce on the floor in the Temple of Time.

        "You, Ashley, are the holder of the fourth, most sought after piece of the Triforce.  The three outside pieces are called the Triforce of Wisdom, Courage, and Power.  The one in the middle, which sometimes appears on relics with a crack in the middle, is the Triforce of Balance.  You have a balance of all three, which also means that you have a streak of evil in you.  You must never let that streak of evil take over the courage and wise balance that you possess; otherwise you may turn power hungry, like Ganondorf, and go through everything to get the Triforce pieces that you don't have.

        "The crack in the middle is actually a lightning bolt, so don't think the crack is a sign of wear and tear.  The power of electricity is a strong, quick, and overwhelming power and only true masters can handle it.  It is strong like the courageous, quick like the wise, and overwhelming with its power.  Never use it for evil; only use it to relinquish evil.  You have a much bigger part in this legend than what you think you have, and I haven't even told you the half of it."

        I became filled with pride and nervousness.  If I let my Triforce of Balance become unbalanced, things could go terribly wrong, but I had to do it.  I now knew that I had more of a part of this than I was told which was exciting and nerve wracking at the same time.  I would make it, though, I had to.

        "Now, I need you to keep your eyes on Ganondorf," the Great Onion said.  "Don't lose focus on what Hyrule needs you for, and definitely don't lose focus on what your destiny is."

        "I won't, sir," I said.

        "Good, now go make Hyrule proud," the Onion said and I nodded and began to walk away until I heard the Onion speak again.  "Oh, and give him hell, kid," he said with a smile on his face.

        I smiled as my head was swimming with questions.  I didn't get my full story, which was understandable, but I wanted to know exactly why I was here in Hyrule and why my name being pulled out of the hat wasn't just a coincidence.

 

        This was now a journey to discover who I really was...

Chapter 19- A Day at the Races by Underdog Ash

 

        After my talk with the Great Onion, I left and went to look for Link.  It must have hurt so bad receiving the news that he wasn't actually a Kokiri child, which was why he grew up.  He was raised in the forest, but wasn't a child of the forest, so I knew it must have been a bit heartbreaking.  I had never been in a situation quite like his, but as his friend and co-worker, I needed to help him.

        I assumed he was in his house, so I walked to his small tree house and walked up the ladder.  Lux followed behind me and got on my shoulder as I climbed the ladder.  As soon as I entered, I saw Link gathering up random things.  He had an angry look on his face as he shuffled around and he even ignored Max and Navi, who were flying around him furiously; spouting statements that were about Link and why he was leaving.

        "Link," Navi said, "you shouldn't just give up.  Hyrule needs you!"

        "I could care less," Link said and he began to walk towards the exit, but I was standing in his way.  "Get out of my way."

        "Get out of your way?"  I said.  "Where in the world are you going?  I mean, Ganondorf has this whole kingdom locked up, so you can't leave."

        "Who the hell said I was leaving the kingdom?" Link snapped.  "I've decided to piss on that whole ‘Hero of Time' junk and just live like a normal person."

        "Then where are you going in Hyrule?" I asked, raising my voice a little.

        "I've decided to work at Lon Lon Ranch," Link said. 

        "Do they know you're coming?"

        "No, they don't at all.  I wanna surprise them you know, with me."

        "But Link," Max said, "Hyrule has changed!  What if Lon Lon Ranch isn't the place you remember it being?"

        "Who cares?" Link said.  "I'm the Hero of Time, so I can take on anything."

        "Link, you're insane," Navi shouted, but I had a better idea than just arguing with him.  I stepped aside so Link and free reign for leaving.

        "Ah, guys," I said to the fairies, "just let him go."

        This remark even left Link looking dumbfounded, which made me doubt that he was planning on leaving the whole time.  Everyone was quiet, so I just held out my arm and showed in the door.  "So, you gonna leave or what?" I asked.

        Link recovered from my statement and said, "Why yes.  I am planning on leaving.  Navi and Max, you stay with Ash here.  She is going to need double the help to save Hyrule, seeing that I am no long helping."  He walked out the exit, but turned around to say, "Hopefully, I'll never be seeing any of you again."  And there he went, down the ladder and out of our sights.

        After a couple of seconds, Navi said, "Now what?"

        "We'll all go to Lon Lon Ranch tomorrow," I said.  "As of right now, since we worked so hard, we should sleep and in the morning, we'll head out."

        "But what if Link doesn't come back?" Navi whimpered. 

        "Oh, I'm sure he will," I said with a smirk.  "As Max said, Hyrule has changed in the last seven years, and for the worst.  I have a feeling that Link will be begging us to take him back."

        And with that, I lyed down on his bed and got all comfortable.  It was going to be a long night with my mind racing with thoughts and worries, but I needed rest for the next day for I was afraid that Link was going to get into something terrible.

 

        I woke up the next morning and felt refreshed.  It had been a long time since I had had a full night sleep and I wondered if Link had the same luck.  I mean, we could have been wrong, Link could have found refuge at Lon Lon Ranch and he could have already hung up his sword and shield and started to work under Talon.  It always seemed like he had a little crush on her anyway, so he could have been married to her by now even.

        I tidied myself up and wielded my weapons.  In a small mirror, I looked at myself and how dirty I was and, even after the sleep, I still looked exhausted.  I tried my best to make my hair look a little decent, but it just didn't happen.  I put on my floppy hat and sighed.  I was a bit nervous to go after Link, seeing as I wasn't even sure how much Hyrule had changed.

        I nudged Lux, who was still asleep, and I poked the two fairies which were asleep in teacups.  All of them knew it was time to go and I watched Lux stretch his long body and his long tail.  He let out a long yawn and small sparks came out of his cheeks.  Once Lux was done recovering from sleep, he hoped off the bed and followed me.  Once I was ready to leave, Navi and Max started to hover around me.

        I climbed down the ladder and became happy to see that the forest had returned to normal.  There were some Kokiri children running around and playing with their fairies.  I looked around for Mido, but he had seemed pretty bad wounds when I last saw him, so I knew he'd probably be receiving intense medical attention.  I decided to leave the forest be and come back later to see how everyone was doing.

        I went through the hollow log that served as the exit after crossing the small bridge and felt a rush of the Hyrule air.  It was much clearer than the forest, which smelled like trees, leaves, and moisture.  Hyrule field smelled like clear air and no smells were confined in the area, since the area had so much space.

        We eventually reached the end of the small forest path in Hyrule field and I saw something I didn't expect to see.  On the ground, which I stepped on, was Link's floppy green hat.  Since my boots were dirty, when I stepped on the hat, some dry mud rubbed on it.  I picked it up and Max and Navi hovered around in panic.

        "What if he's dead?" Max shouted in my ear, so I swatted him lightly.

        "He's not dead," I said sternly.  "He dropped this hat to get some sort of attention from us.  He's just being a little bitch."

        Navi looked a bit down, but I knew he was okay.  I mean, he was Link.  He was a quick thinking swordsman, while I was a smack talking, slow thinking, swords woman who got in trouble.  He would stay out of trouble and if he got into it, he would spend no time smack talking and get himself out. 

        There was a chilling breeze in the air which gave me goose bumps.  The chill was coming from the river, which was actually just a dry ditch now.  Because of the flood that occurred before Link and I pulled the Master Swords, most of the water supply was gone.  I just didn't understand why a cold breeze was coming from there, however.  It would be something I would have to deal with later, I just knew it.

        I could see the castle town in the distance and suddenly a bunch of horses left the walls.  The horse in the front was covered in dark grey armor and mounted on that horse was Ganondorf himself.  Behind him were maybe thirteen horses, all black, with random men on them.  I quickly hid behind the wall that was randomly placed in Hyrule field and peeked over the end of the wall, so I could still see where Ganondorf and his horde were going.

        They started to ride towards the desert path, but made a sharp turn and went towards Lon Lon Ranch.  There was a welcome sign to the ranch right in front of the entrance, but like the ass he was, Ganondorf unsheathed a sword at his side and sliced the sign off the post.  Once the whole horde made it in, I started to move.

        I was scared for Link, because I wasn't sure if Ganondorf was just going to Lon Lon Ranch on a random day, or that he was informed about Link trying to find work there.  He seemed to have a rather rowdy group of people with so I knew that something was going down.

        I wasn't quite sure how to approach the issue of sneaking in without Ganondorf noticing, but I had the fairies hide in my hat and Lux go first.  Seeing how nimble and quick he was, I knew he was more skilled in hiding and could reach heights that I could never reach.  Or at least heights I could never reach without causing a distraction.

        I waited a minute or so before I went through the entrance, but I stayed on my toes.  If Lux did slip up, someone needed to save him.  I walked up the entrance quietly and press my body against the side of the farm house.  I peeked over to see really no one.  The only person I could see was a scrawny man wearing an expensive looking outfit and a clown color of some sort.  I wasn't sure who he was, but I wouldn't take a chance, so I stuck out my finger and released a little bit of electricity; just enough to give them a shock, so they would turn around.

        I heard a small yelp and a grumble of some sort, but I was able to see the person.  That person was no other than Ingo, the worker at Lon Lon Ranch before Link and I pulled the swords.  What I wanted to know was where Malon and Talon were.  I also wouldn't mind finding Link.

        I waited for Ingo to turn back around and I quickly snuck over to the stables.  As quietly as possible, I opened the door and checked for noise.  There was none, so I crept inside.  To my surprise, standing there with a pitchfork and bucket was Malon.  Her face was sunken and distraught, but when she saw me, her face lit up.

        "Are you Ashley!" she said.

        "Yeah," I said back and she dropped her things and started to cry.

        "Ganondorf has turned this place over to Ingo," she explained without me asking.  "He comes here all the time now and rides all of the horses.  He kills them if he doesn't see the horse as fit.  I can't work here anymore, and Link showed up yesterday...he's the reason Ganondorf is here..."

        I knew it.  I couldn't waste any time in the stable.  I had to go and find Link before something bad happened.  I started to walk away when Malon said something else.

        "And Ash," she said to get my attention, "Ganondorf is planning on riding your horse, Lightning, and has already put the armor on him..."

        I was pissed off, reader, so I burst through the door and unsheathed my sword.  I didn't care about being noticed because I was going to kick the shit out of every one of those Goddamn men that were dragged here and then Ganondorf was mine.  Lux was on the roof of the stable, watching something on the other side, so I walked right passed Ingo and saw that the group was in the horse ring and they were harassing Link by poking him with swords and once Ganondorf used his powers to throw Link back, I lost my patience.

        "Ganondorf!" I thundered and it caught their attention.  Link was sprawled out under a small overhang and looked a bit out of it, so I didn't expect him to help much.  I walked quickly to the ring entrance and stood there and glared at Ganondorf and his friends.  I wasn't thinking much, but I against thirteen to fourteen other people wasn't a realistic battle.  Lux must have hopped off the stable roof, for he was beside me.

        The group with Ganondorf began to chuckle at how pathetic I must have looked.  Some had these huge looking weapons and I had a sword and a tiny shrew thing. 

        "So, you wanna play then?" Ganondorf said.  "Men, get her right now."

        These guys charged at me, but I held out my left hand and swiped it across my body, releasing a huge wave of electricity.  This wave threw these men backwards and they became paralyzed from the blast.  That just left Ganondorf and I to deck it out.

        "Wait, wait my lord," I heard a voice shout and hobbling over in a quick jog was Ingo.  "This property isn't really the best place to hold a battle in."

        "And why is that?" Ganondorf snapped.

        "Uh, well," Ingo said hesitantly.  He had reached Ganondorf and looked up at him.  Ingo was three times shorter than he was and all I could think about at that moment was how disgusting it was to look up Ganondorf's schnoze and see all his boogers. 

        "Well," Ganondorf said, and he seemed impatient with Ingo's nervous mumbling.

        "Lord Dragmire," Ingo began, "you did, or rather I did, a lot of work from the permission you gave me to better the ranch.  I mean, you gave me Rupees and horses and advertised and everything, sire.  Anyway, what I mean to say is, do you really think you should fight on a land that you built yourself.  It shall be destroyed."

        "I built it, therefore why can't I fight on it?" Ganondorf boomed.

        "Because you didn't build it, you stupid idiot," I snapped.  "Talon built it, you just added fancy signs, clothes, horses, and a stupid gate."

        Ganondorf shot ball of evil energy towards me and I quickly took my sword and batted it out of the way.  The ball went haywire and hit a part of the ring gate, which made a small part fall over.

        "My lord!" Ingo said and ran over to the fence with tears in his eyes.

        "See," I said with a smirk, "that cheap bastard is right.  This place will fall apart."

        Ganondorf glared at me and then said, "Then how else will I kill you, you rat?"

        "Perhaps," said Ingo with a dark tone, "you two can have a duel out in Hyrule field, but on horseback."

        I had never fought on horseback, and I didn't want Ganondorf to be my rival for my first experience, but that was something I couldn't control. 

        "Lord Dragmire," Ingo said, "shall I get out your new steed?"

        "Yes," Ganondorf said with a grin.  "I would like to use him."

        Ingo walked over to Link and kicked him hard, which brought him to his feet.  "Link," Ingo said harshly, "get Lord Dragmire his steed, now."

        I felt extremely sorry for Link.  He had dirt on his face and was dressed in rags.  I saw him flash to me an apologetic gaze as he stood up to go to get Ganondorf's new horse, which I expected to be Lightning.  Link went to a tall, brick building and started to pull out a horse clad in dark armor.  The only way I could tell that it was not Ganondorf's horse was that its mane was not yet a red color.  The mane was white, which led me to believe that it was my horse.

        Once in the ring, Link brought the horse in, but was tripped by Ingo before he could hand the reins to Ganondorf.

        "You little shit," Ingo said and he spit in Link's face.  However, when Ingo took the reins, the horse began to kick and demand to be let go.  Ingo was sent for a ride and held on to the reins as the horse rode around wildly.  Ganondorf and some of his men, who had recovered from paralysis, started to laugh.  I saw the perfect opportunity and I pulled out my ocarina and played the song Malon had taught Link and I long ago.  I mean, thankfully I had remembered it; otherwise I would be in trouble.

        Suddenly, the horse shook off Ingo and trotted towards me.  As soon as it reached me, I knew that the horse was Lightning.  As soon as I could, I began to tear the evil armor off of him and I rubbed the white, lightning bolt shaped spot on him.  He was much bigger now, since he used to be a pony and I a small girl, but he still remembered who I was.

        "Sorry Ganondorf," I said smartly.

        "No matter," he said deeply and he whistled, which beckoned his horse.  He jumped on it quickly and started off for the field.  "See you there, my dear."  His little posse also got on their horses and followed him out, except for two men, who were actually paralyzed at the moment.

        I walked over to Link and brought Lightning along.  Lux had settled nicely on the saddle of Lightning.  "How you holding up?" I asked Link.

        "Well," Link said quietly, "not exactly the best...but you know that."

        "It's alright buddy," I said, "we all make mistakes.  I'll get you out of this one."

        Link smiled, but I could see the sadness in his eyes.  I had Lux scoot back and then I mounted Lightning which, since he was so big, took a little bit more effort than it used to.  Once I was securely on top, I had him gallop towards the exit and we passed Ingo, who was hobbling ferociously to get to the field.

 

Once outside of the ranch, Ganondorf and his posse were waiting for me at the side, where that random stone wall was.  The posse had all dismounted their horses to cheer their friend on, while Ganondorf sat straight, tall, and proud on his horse.  I had Lightning trot lightly over to the group and I paraded past them and set myself right across from Ganondorf by about twenty feet.

It took about five minutes for Ingo to reach the group for something was wrong with his legs or something...but whatever, he still thought he was a hotshot, successful ranch owner.

"Now, there are a couple of rules for this duel," Ingo said once he reached the middle of Ganondorf and I.  "There will be no magic of any kind.  There will also be no partners, so girl, get rid of that disgusting, rat thing.  You two can go anywhere around this field, but nowhere else.  If you do, you will automatically be the loser."

"What do we get if we win?" I asked.

"Well, my dear," Ganondorf said, "if you win, you shall get the horse, but if you lose, I shall take your life."

"That seems like a fair compromise," I muttered sarcastically.  I looked back at Lux and motioned him to just sit on the wall while the duel went on.

"Swords and bows are the only weapons to be used, dear," Ganondorf said with a sly smile. 

"That's fine with me," I said and shrugged.  "Anyway, can we just get this over with?  I sort of have a kingdom to save, you know."

"Alright, to start this off, girl, you will go over by the entrance of Lake Hylia," Ingo instructed.  "Lord Dragmire, you will start over by the entrance to the Zora River.  When you hear me yell, that is when your battle will begin.  As said before, you have free rein of the whole field.  Now, go to your respective spots, please."

This was going to be interesting, I thought as I was shaking.  I had never done a horseback battle and I was scared shitless.  However, I needed to conquer my fear and be as courageous as possible, so I gave Ganondorf a little wink and went on my way to my side.  I wasn't sure though if Ingo's yell would be that loud.

Surprisingly, about twenty seconds after I got to my spot, I heard this loud, but mildly annoying yell that must have been Ingo.  I unsheathed my sword and started off, but rather slowly.  My pulse was beating faster and faster each second as I listened for the gallops of Ganondorf's horse.  Out of all the battles I had had in Hyrule, this was the one I was the most worried about.

Of course, I heard the booming gallops of Ganondorf's horse rather quickly and over the small hill, I saw his horse jump over a gate with ease while he had out his sword.  On his face was a huge smile as I knew I must have looked pathetic.  My eyes were wide with fear and I was trembling nervously, but I kicked Lightning in the sides and he went faster.

When our swords clashed, the force almost knocked me off Lightning.  Ganondorf was a strong guy and I was a small twelve year old who only weighed one hundred ten pounds.  With a couple of clashes, Ganondorf started the opposite way of me and took off.  He did this to pick up speed and hit me again, for he must have seen how much of a shock our first encounter was to me.

I thought quickly however, and took out my bow and also took an arrow out of my quiver.  I took the arrow and put the end on my bow string, and then I pulled it back and aimed as carefully as possible.  Ganondorf might have been able to deflect it with his sword's blade, but I needed to think of something to throw him off.  I assumed that I would get weaker much more quickly than he did, so I needed to think fast.

Of course, my arrow didn't fly that fast, but I got Ganondorf right on.  The arrow was sticking in his shoulder, but I couldn't see any winces of pain.  Ganondorf just pulled out the damn thing and kept coming at me.  I put my bow back and unsheathed my sword again.  Lightning stood solid below me as I anticipated Ganondorf's next blow.

Our swords clashed with so much force, but I stayed strong.

"Don't you ever give up?" Ganondorf snapped after many hits.

"Nah," I said smartly, which caused Ganondorf to get angry, so he used his powers and threw me off my horse.  This caused me to go so far backwards that I hit a tree and hurt my head.  It was hard to see anything because my head hurt so badly, but I could see Ganondorf charging at me.  I was in some sort of shock, so I didn't move or anything.

All of a sudden, a blur came from my right.  This blur was a brown horse and on top of that horse was Link.  He was clothed in his green tunic and had his sword and shield on his back, but his sword was in his hand.  He caused Ganondorf quite a stir, but it didn't bother Ganon that much, for they went after each other furiously. 

It was weird just sitting there and watching the two fight, but heartwarming to see Link back to his old self.  Ganondorf took off one way and I expected Link to take off the opposite way, but instead he and Epona galloped towards me.  Link held out his hand and helped me up.  With my Master Sword still in my right hand, I used my left hand and sat behind Link on Epona and Link took off.  I assumed it was against the rules for anyone to interfere in me and Ganondorf's duel, but he had broken the rules already, so I could care less.

"Ashley," Link said, "I'm going to drop you off by the stone wall and I'll take care of Ganon."

"No," I said.  "I have a better idea.  Link, let me stay."

I couldn't see Link's face expression, but he nodded his head.  I held on to his body as Epona took off towards Ganondorf.  I sheathed my sword as soon as I could and watched Ganondorf carefully.  At the perfect time, I let go of Link and began to try and stand up.  Epona was really fast, about as fast as Lightning, and we were going down a small slope, so my legs began to wobble as I began to try and stand up straight.

Link looked back twice, and shouted, "Ashley, what the hell are you doing?"

        "Just hold on," I said.  "Keep going; I know what I'm doing!"  I think...I thought.

        When I found the right time, I stood as high as I could and jumped on Ganondorf's horse.  I grabbed his red hair and began to pull it and I pulled on his face.  I eventually grabbed his hand and disarmed him.  The asshole decided to then elbow me in the face, but I was holding on to his hair firm enough that I wasn't knocked backwards, but my nose hurt like hell and started to bleed.

        I moved my head left and right as Ganondorf kept trying to elbow me in the face more.  I had to do something before he ended up knocking my face off or something.  I unsheathed my sword with my right hand and took the hilt of my sword and began to hit Ganondorf on the head with it.  Of course I knew he wouldn't pass out, but I needed to do something to slow him down at least. 

        Link was there to save the day, as he and Epona pulled up beside us and started to attack Ganondorf.  With both of us, he didn't stand a chance...but of course I was wrong.

        Suddenly, Ganondorf let out this huge blast of his power.  It just came from his body and made me, Link, Epona, and even Lightning was hit by the power.  We were all knocked back, even Ganondorf's horse, and when I landed, I jumped right back up to see Ganondorf kneeling on the ground and breathing heavily.  He looked up and smirked.

        I wasn't able to hold on to my sword this time, so I looked around as quickly as I could to find it, but it was nowhere in sight.  Link then came from behind me, holding both swords, so I took mine and watched as Link quickly got his shield.  For one second, I thought of using my shield, but I thought it was a heavy burden, so I shrugged.  No need in using it right now.

        Link and I charged towards Ganondorf, who was still breathing heavily.  This time, Ganondorf unsheathed two swords, which were both the same, and began to clash with both Link and I's swords.  Despite being a tall, broad guy, Ganondorf was extremely quick and Link and I had trouble keeping up with him. 

        Pretty soon, we were all breathless, but I knew it would take a lot for Ganondorf to give in, so I couldn't give up.  Back and forth we went with much passion.  Link and I were fighting for Hyrule and the past while Ganondorf was fighting for power and the future.  It didn't take long before magic got involved.

        Link was using his shield to protect himself from Ganondorf's power, but I knew better.  Ganondorf's magic just absorbed into the shield, but I could use the blade of my sword to reflect the power.  By throwing Ganondorf's power at him and then using my other arm to release my electric powers, he was barely a match.

        After a couple of long minutes, Ganondorf fell to his knees and started to breathe extremely hard again.  Link was about to go for him, but I put my arm across his chest.

        "Ganondorf," I said, "you're obviously at the loss here, so if you surrender now, and surrender Hyrule to Link and I, we will leave you be.  If not, we will have to kill you."

        Ganondorf raised himself up and looked at us with a huge smile on his face.  I assumed that he wasn't going to surrender.  Of course reader, he didn't.  He held up his hand so that Link and I could see the glowing Triforce on it and he hovered in the air and spun around for a second and, before we knew it, he disappeared.  His horse, which was lying behind us, also disappeared.

        After a couple seconds, I heard Ingo yell and he came hobbling over to Link and I and said, "Lord Dragmire, your group has disappeared!"

        "Well, so has Ganondorf," I said.  "He used magic to disappear, therefore I guess I win the duel."

        Ingo stared at me for the longest time and then began to cry.  I found the perfect opportunity and grabbed his fluffy, annoying clown color and pulled him close to me.  He smelled of onions and chicken feces for some reason, and his moustache smelled like fish.

        "Now you listen, and you listen good," I said with my best mean voice.  "That ranch there is called Lon Lon Ranch, not Ingo Ranch, therefore you're going to give that ranch back to the rightful owner, you got that?"

        "But I don't know where Talon is," Ingo whined.

        "Then give the damn ranch to Malon," I said.  "Link and I will find Talon and let him know that you have stepped down as leader.  Do you got that?"

        Ingo kept crying and wouldn't say anything, so I shook him a little and, unfortunately, it caused snot to come from his nose to right on my face, but I ignored it to keep the right mood. 

        "Yes, I got it!" Ingo shouted

        "Good," I said and I pushed him away.  "Now change those flamboyant ass clothes, hand over the ranch to Malon, and clean that horse shit in the stables."

        "Yes sir!" Ingo said and he took off, hobbling all the way home.

 

 

 

Chapter 20- Great Ball of Fire by Underdog Ash

        We decided to go straight back to Lon Lon Ranch and help fix the fence that I had sort of broken.  I went over to Lightning to make sure he was fine and stroked his long head.  Besides some dirt and a cut here and there, Lightning seemed fine, so I guided him over to Link, who was propping Epona up on all fours.  I sheathed my sword and put my hand on my chest as I tried to breathe.  That battle had been a tough one and all I wanted was a good dinner, a shower, and a long nap.

        "Ash, are you okay?" Link asked.

        "Yeah, I guess so," I said and I saw that Link was missing his floppy hat.  I pulled it out of my pocket and smiled at him.  "You forgot this, by the way."  I reach up and placed the hat on top of his soft, blonde hair and a smile crept on his face as I made sure it was placed right.

        "Sorry about earlier," Link said.  "I was just a little confused and angry."  While he said this, I took off my hat and shook the fairies out of it.  They plopped in my hand and rose up once they saw that Link was alive and well.

        "Don't you ever do that again, Link!" Navi yelled and she started to take her little body and slam it against Link's face as some sort of punishment or something.  Link just took it with a small smile and looked at me.  He seemed happy to be back.

        We both gathered out horses and mounted them, but had them walk at a slow trot.  We had them side by side each other, so I said, "What exactly happened after you left, Link?"

        "Well, I went to Lon Lon Ranch like I said I would," Link said.  "However, when I got there, things were a bit...different and Ingo came to me and asked me why I was there so late in the evening.  I told him I was looking for work and he asked me if my name was Ashley or Link.  I didn't think of it at the time and said my name was Link and he put me straight to work.  It was just right before you showed that Ganondorf and his men came, and I thought I was dead.  Ingo must have had a strong connection with him and Ganondorf must have told him to watch out for us." 

        "Then I wonder how many people Ganondorf has said that to," I said silently.  If Ganondorf had more people lying around and waiting for Link and I to show up, we were in some deep trouble. 

        Up at the top of the hill, where the wall was, Lux was waiting for us.  He had an excited expression on his face and ran up to Lightning and suddenly jumped on him, settling right behind me.

        We reentered the ranch and found Ingo standing at the front with his old clothes on and a huge smile on his face.  He was holding his hands and he was moving around really weird.

        "Welcome to Lon Lon Ranch," Ingo said.  "I love it here, and you will, too. I'm Ingo and I am employed by the wonderful Talon.  He's so nice, you know.  You should definitely talk to him because he's so nice.  He's nice to me, so I don't mind if he doesn't pay me enough for my work and all.  He's so wonderful."

        "Yeah," I said awkwardly, "just, uh, be quiet."

        "I'll do that," Ingo said, "because you're so wonderful, too."

        I rolled my eyes and had Lightning keep going.  We went to the horse ring and passed some little chickens and saw Malon standing there; petting a horse.

        "Link, Ash!" she called to us with a big smile on her face.  "Come on over here."  Of course we did, but I stayed mounted on my horse.  I had missed him so much, honestly.

        "What's up?" Link asked.

        "Thank you two so much for getting this ranch back to me," she said to me with a huge smile.  "I was so worried when Link arrived here and then Ganondorf showed up.  We've lost a lot of animals because of Ganondorf, but at least our current ones will be safe."

        "You're welcome," I said.  "We would've helped sooner, but there are a lot of places that need help right now."

        "I know, everyone just seems to be turning evil," Malon said with a serious expression.  "I'm glad that you and Link stayed your good ‘ol selves.  I mean, besides growing up and everything."

        "Well, you've grown yourself," Link said.  "You've turned into a nice, beautiful young lady."

        Malon started to giggle and I rolled my eyes.  "Anyway," I said quickly, "Link and I came back to help rebuild the part of the fence that was destroyed.  I've noticed that the horses have taken a liking to be outside of the fence."

        "Well, yes," Malon said.  "However, you guys have already done so much, you know?"

        "Oh, we can never do enough for you," Link said so sweetly it made me want to puke.  "You deserve so much for all you've gone through."

        "Oh Link, you're so sweet," Malon said and she did that stupid eyelid flutter thing. 

        "Yeah, yeah," I said, "now, Link and I need to get started on this fence thing, so if you'll excuse us."

        I had Lightning go forward and pulled Link by his wrist.  Epona actually followed me, so there was no need to have Link get her or whatever.  When we got to the fence, I dismounted Lightning and looked at the damage.  It wasn't all that bad, but it would take some work.  All we needed was some lumber and some tools.  I knew the perfect helped to cut and slice the lumber.

        "Hey Link," I said, "can you let Zucchini out of his Pokeball?"

        "Sure thing, I guess," Link said and he took the small ball off of his belt and pressed the little button in the middle.  "Go, Zucchini," Link said and he threw the ball.  The little, red laser appeared and formed the body of Zucchini, who appeared in a split second.  I hadn't seen him in a while and he hadn't seen us in a while, so I wasn't sure how happy he would be cooped up in that dumb Pokeball for the last seven years.

        "Scy," I heard him say and then he turned to face all of us and a smile appeared on his think, green face.  His blue eyes filled with light as he rushed towards Link and gave him a huge hug.  "Scyther!" he said with glee as he squeezed Link with his arms, which were sharp so I felt a bit bad for Link.

        "Hey Zucchini," I said as enthusiastically as I possibly could, "would you like to help Link and I a little bit?"  Zucchini smiled, so I continued, "Well, Link here is going to gather some lumber and I need your help cutting it, so I can mend this fence.  Are you up for it?"

        "Scyther!" he shouted, so I smiled and looked at Link, who was already saddling Epona up for the job.  There was a small spot on the back of the saddle that he could use to place some of the lumber and Epona could help him transport it.  I rushed to the stables to get a couple of tools to put the stuff back together.  Lux decided to stay with Zucchini, so he could have some company.

        I passed Malon, who was rushing around to gather the horses and the chickens and Ingo, who was standing the same way as before.  I heard him say something about Malon being wonderful or something, but I didn't really want to stop and chitchat with the idiot.  I entered the stable and shut the door behind me, afraid that Ingo would follow me and tell me more about how wonderful everyone was.

        I had to go to a back area of the stable to grab the tools.  I grabbed a couple of nails and a hammer, but I set them down when I heard a small, shuffling noise.  In a couple stables down, I saw some hay moving around and heard some whimpers.  I decided to investigate and see what was up.

        I walked slowly down to the stable and tried to be quiet, but the wooden floors beneath my feet were very old and worn down, so every step I took made a squeak sound.  I think that the thing in the hay had become aware of the sounds, for the shuffling became faster and more sporadic. 

        I knelt down once I moved the small bar of the stable and suddenly fire burst out of the hay.  I was able to jump out of the way and once the smoke cleared, standing there was a dog.  The dog was an orange color and had some black strips on it.  On its head, tail, and chest was a puffy, cream coat of hair.  It was growling like a small puppy and had its front legs spread apart and forward.  Back at home, dogs did that when they wanted to play, so I smiled.

        "Growlithe!" it barked at me when I tried to approach it.

        "Uh, it's okay little guy," I said and I tried to stick my hand out a little farther, but the puppy suddenly turned into a blur and made this weird sound.  I looked around quickly to figure out where it went and saw it nowhere in sight.

        "Growl," I heard and I glanced behind me to see it standing there, in the same position as before, its eyes glaring, but I could see a gleam of fear in them.  It must have been using its natural defenses to keep me away.

        "Don't worry bud, I won't hurt you," I said as calmly as I could.  The pup just growled at me and barked.  I didn't think I was going anywhere with this dog, so I came up with a quick idea.  I reach down to my belt and unlatched the small Pokeball.  I pressed the middle button and then threw the Pokeball, which released Coffee Bean.  She was a puppy too, it looked like, so I thought that maybe she could calm this puppy down.

        Coffee Bean did the exact opposite that I wanted her to.  She began to growl and suddenly pounced on the puppy, which caused a little match to break out between the two.  I had never had to deal with two dogs fighting, especially two dogs that could breathe fire, so I stood completely dumbfounded and confused.  I was more so scared because the whole stable was made of wood and there was tons of straw lying around.  If anything caught on fire, that would be a whole new issue that we would have to deal with.

        Fortunately, this little brawl ended up being just like a dog fight as all the two did was exchange bites and smacks with their paws.  There were yips, barks, and growls filling the atmosphere, so I decided to intervene.  Before I could even do anything however, one of the dogs let out a blast of fire, which lit a pile of hay in flames. 

        The fire began to spread quickly, so I grabbed the two pups as fast as I could and got my ass out of there.  I threw the door open and ran as black smoke filled my nostrils.  Some smoke was already floating in the air, so I felt hopeful that someone had noticed and became aware of the problem.  When I got out, I dropped the pups, which stopped with their brawl immediately to watch the chaos they had caused.

        Malon came rushing by the stables and must have seen me standing there.  She looked at me and then I saw her gaze turn to what I was looking at.  She saw the thick, black smoke and must have been terrified, for the expression on her face was on of surprise.  She turned around suddenly and went into the farm house.

        Link came sprinting around the corner with Zucchini, who stopped in his tracks once he saw the smoke and flames.  Zucchini must have been scared of fire or something because I had never seen him that scared before.  I had no time to worry about that though, for I needed to figure out how to fix the horrible mess the two dogs had created.

        Before I knew it, Malon rushed out with about seven or eight Pokeballs.  She pressed all of the buttons quickly and then threw them all.  Once the Pokemon were out she shouted, "Guys, put out these flames, and do it quickly!"

        The Pokemon, which were all turtles of some sort, began to spray the stables with water that shot from their mouths.  Malon stood by and watched, just like we did, at how amazing it was to see the sight of these turtles getting into a straight line and releasing their wall of water. 

        Suddenly, I heard this loud roar and it came from the sky it seemed.  I looked up and saw what appeared to be a dragon of some sort.  It was an orange color and had these vast, orange wings with the underside being a blue color.  Its belly was also blue.  I couldn't really see much else, for it was up high in the sky. 

        Right after that, I heard a loud, screeching sound that was similar to a roar, but a lot different than the dragon's roar above.  It was a bit more muffled and a high pitch.  All of a sudden, this red, huge snake like thing shot through the entrance and knocked over Ingo.  It was a dragon, no doubt, but it was rather long.  It had flames on its back that looked like a mane.

        This thing was coming right for me, but quickly changed its course by making a sharp turn upwards.  It went for the orange dragon and crashed into it.  I heard a cry from the orange one fill the air as it began to try and fight back.  Back and forth these two went with scratching each other and burning each other. 

At one point, they flew dangerously close and I saw the orange dragon's underside.  I noticed at that point that the orange dragon had a string around its neck, and on that string was a stone of some sort.  I didn't have much of a chance to observe it, for the other dragon flew right above my head. 

Without thinking, I grabbed the end of this dragon's body and was lifted into the airborne battle.  Using its scales as a nice grip, I began to make my way up the spine of this dragon.  It was so absorbed in its battle with the other dragon that it must not have noticed me being on its back.  I tried to dodge this dragon's flame mane to try and get to its face, but that was a little easier said than done.

Of course during this whole battle, I was holding on for dear life as this dragon made sharp turns, quick dips, and would occasionally do a full turn, which caused me to be upset down.  I was a bit aware of the feeling for, back at home, there were these things called rollercoasters, which had loops that made you be upside down for a split second.  It put a lot of pressure on my neck, but I knew I couldn't let go, otherwise I would be an Ash pancake.

It wasn't long before I got caught in the whole battle mess as I moved around to dodge claws and flames.  At one point, I reach the head of the dragon I was on and grabbed its eyeball, which caused it to panic.  It began to swirl around until I had to let go.

I screamed as I began my final fall to the ground.  I could see below me and, when I landed, I would land right on a fence.  I closed my eyes and prepared for my death when I suddenly felt claws wrap around my body and me being lifted in the air again.  I opened my eyes to see that I was in the claws of the orange dragon and I looked into its eye, which was a deep, aquatic blue.

After a slight pause, I remembered the stone around this dragon's neck, so I looked up and saw it dangling above me from the string.  It was then that I realized that that stone was a yellow red color and a small flame could be seen inside.  It hit me that this stone would be needed to reawaken the next sage, so I reach for it.

The orange dragon didn't notice, but the snake-like one did, and it swooped into the orange one.  Before I knew it, I felt the brush of a small claw above my head and I heard the string break.  The orange dragon took quite the hit and began to fall to the ground as I watched the snake-like dragon fly off to my left, where Death Mountain was.

The orange dragon kept its wings out, so we didn't crash too hard on the ground.  It landed on its back so I wouldn't get hurt and I felt a slight bump when the dragon's body hit the ground.  It left a dent in the soil, the dragon's body, and as soon as it released me, I jumped to the ground to look this thing in the face and find out if it was okay.  The fire, though still going, was worn down to the point that it was tamable.  I looked over to see Link rushing towards me with the two pups and Lux behind him.  Zucchini was nowhere to be found.

"Ashley, why are you so stupid!" Link shouted as he rushed towards me, and I swear to you reader, that kid had tears in his eyes.

"Shhh, be quiet," I said with my finger on my lip.  The dragon had twitched a little when Link had yelled, so he must have been sensitive to sound.  Its eyes were closed as it breathed heavily and I saw the blood from some of its cuts ooze down its orange, scaly body.

Malon rushed over to where the dragon and I had landed.  Luckily, none of the horses were in the area and all, but the ground was pretty dented underneath the dragon.  Suddenly her scream pierced the atmosphere.

"Ash," she said, "get away from that Charizard!" 

"Charizard?" I whispered as Link came and grabbed me.  He pulled me away and I just watched the poor thing breathe.

"I can't believe that this thing is at my ranch," Malon said with a frantic tone.  "A Charizard flying above my ranch?  What is this kingdom coming to?"

I squirmed away from Link and stood there; watching this creature.  The orange puppy sprinted from behind all of us and ran towards the Charizard.  Once it reached the Charizard, it began to lick it and whimper.

"And there's also a Growlithe here?" Malon shouted again.  "Before you know it, this ranch will start to rain Firestones and that thing will turn into an Arcanine-"

"Wait, what?" I said suddenly.  "Does Growlithe change using a Firestone?"

I gave Link a look because I had a feeling that this Growlithe was going to be very important to get the next medallion.  I remembered that Sheik said that one of the medallions would be obtainable on a mountain, so I assumed the next medallion would have something to do with fire.

"Uh, does this dragon here change at all?" Link asked Malon.

"No, this guy is the last evolution of the Pokemon Charmander," she said.  "Charizard is very destructive and vicious, so please, just get him out of my ranch."

I looked over at Link who unsheathed his sword and walked towards Charizard.  He raised his sword above his head, like he was going to slash the poor thing, so I rushed over and grabbed his left wrist right before he swung down on to Charizard's neck.

"No Link," I said sternly.  "I'm serious here.  I think Charizard can help us.  It had a Firestone around its neck, which means it must be linked to this whole medallion thing in some way.  It can help us."

Link kept his sword up while I said this and looked at me deeply with it still up.  I stared back and kept on my stern expression.  Link slowly lifted his sword down and then sheathed it.  "We were warned by Malon about this thing," Link said.  "If it kills you or hurts you, I kill it."

"It won't kill me, Link," I said.  "Now Malon, is this a male or female Charizard?"

"It's a male because it has shorter arms," Malon said.  "Females have longer arms to take care of their young."

"And what about that Growlithe there?" I asked.

"It's a male," she said.

"How do you know that?"

"It has a wiener..."

And then there was a pause...

"Well anyway," I said after a twenty-five second gap, "do you have anything that can heal Charizard here?  He has a lot of cuts and seems very tired."

"We keep our potions in the storage building over there," she said and she pointed to the tall grey building on the other side of the ranch. 

I knew I wasn't going to be able to move Charizard myself, but I needed to get him somewhere that would provide him more comfort.  I nudged Charizard a little and he opened his eyes slowly.  I was able to at least get my arm under his wings to let him know that I needed him to walk himself.  Luckily, he abided and we walked slowly towards the grey building.  Link and the Pokemon followed behind us, except for Zucchini, who I hadn't seen since the fire broke out.

We were able to get Charizard through the small door, though it was a tight squeeze.  Inside were two cows, some tools, and boxes full of different potions and milks.  There was a carpeted area that was just big enough for Charizard to lie on, so I led him over there.  He laid down for me and waited for some treatment.

Link got into one of the boxes and took out a potion with an orange tint.  "Super potion?" he asked and he held up the bottle.

"Yeah," I said and he gave me the bottle and a cloth.

I sprayed some of the liquid on to the cloth and began to rub it on Charizard's wounds.  One each side of me were the pups and they watched with sad expressions on their faces.  They must have felt guilty at what had occurred that day.

"I wonder what sparked these two to come to the ranch," Link said about the two dragons.  "I mean, they just appeared out of nowhere, ya know?"

"Well, I think it might have been the stable fire," I said.  "Charizard seems to be a fire type Pokemon and that dragon seemed, well, to be used to fire.  They might have been battling before the fire broke out and once it did, maybe it was just an impulse for them to come here, even in the heat of battle."

"But what I am wondering is why a Pokemon decides to challenge a dragon," Link said. 

"That's why I think that this Charizard is linked to this whole thing," I said and I finished cleaning Charizard's wounds and he actually started to look better.  "If this Growlithe is as special as I think he is, that Charizard had the Firestone that belonged to this guy."

"A Firestone?" Link said.  "Charizard had a Firestone?"

"Yes, he did," I said realizing I hadn't told him anything about it.  "It was on a string that was wrapped around his neck, but that damn dragon took it.  I'm guessing that the dragon is linked to this whole thing as well, but it's on the opposing side."

"Did it fly away somewhere?"

"It did, actually.  It flew towards Death Mountain, which is probably our next stop."

"I'm not sure what's going on there, but I do remember that the summit of Death Mountain did look fairly frightening."

I stood up and helped Charizard stand and saw that in one of the boxes, there were Pokeballs, but they were a different color than the usual ones.  These were blue, red, and green and right above the button was the Triforce.  They must have been special Hyrule Pokeballs.

"Before I put you away," I said, "let's name you."

The Charizard still had some pain, but it smiled.  "Alright then," I began," you're an orange color, so how about Cheese?"

It shook its head.

"Uh, Pumpkin?"

Nope.

"Do we have to do this now?" Link asked, annoyed.  I kept going, however.

"Well, Lasagna?"

Nah.

"Pineapple?"

No.

"Pasta?"

Charizard began to nod his head rather sporadically.

"Pasta it is then," I said with a smile.  "Now Pasta, return."  I held out the Pokeball and the red laser came out and formed around Pasta.  He went into the ball and I put it safely on my belt.

"Alright, so now we're-?" Link said, cutting himself off so I could finish the sentence.

"-taking a little trip to Death Mountain," I said smartly, "to kick some dragon ass."

And reader, off we went to the mountain with two puppies and shrew, to take down the dragon, like real knights were supposed to do.

Chapter 21- Seven Years of Change by Underdog Ash

We left the ranch riding our horses.  Of course we didn't leave until we found Zucchini, who was hiding under a tree that was far away from the stables.  Malon also asked us to find her father for she says he was exiled from the ranch to Kakariko Village a long time ago.  We also promised to her that we would fix the stables and that damn fence.  However, Malon said that she sent Link and I a present for saving the ranch, which was sent directly to his tree house.  He, of course, wanted to rush there and see it, but we had work to do.

        Of course it didn't take us too long to reach Kakariko Village.  We tied our horses to the tree by the entrance and started up the flight of stairs.  Lux, Zucchini, Coffee Bean, and the Growlithe followed us up the stairs.  It was then that I noticed a different feeling in the atmosphere, like a dark feeling and I felt a chill go down my spine as the light of the sun disappeared quickly.  I looked above me and saw that, instead of a blue sky, dark grey clouds were in masses in the air.  There was no rain, however.

        We came to the entrance and saw what had become of Kakariko Village since we had last seen it seven years ago.  That annoying construction was over and there were no longer guys running around with lumber and yelling various things.  I couldn't see the buildings quite yet, so I walked forward a little, not paying attention to Link at all. 

        From what I could see, there was a new building that was made of bricks, but I couldn't see much more.  I knew that there would be time to explore the new Kakariko Village, so I didn't go too far forward.  The village was just so busy now with an abundance of people running around.  Some were older versions of the Castle Town folk.  This just made me rather happy that most of the citizens around the Castle Town made evacuated safely and didn't become one of those zombie creatures that Link and I had encountered when we came out of the Temple of Time.

        "What's wrong?" Link asked me and I looked back and smiled a little.

        "Oh nothing," I said, "but time sure does fly, you know?"

        Link let out a small, nervous smile and began to walk forward with me.  The grass was actually dry, so below us I could hear the crunching of each blade of grass.  Despite being so vibrant now, the village seemed a little depressing and I could see that emotion in the citizen's eyes.  Something had happened, or was happening, but both Link and I had to get up to Death Mountain as quickly as possible, after we found Talon of course.

        "So, where do you suppose Talon is?" Link asked.

        "Uh, probably sleeping somewhere," I said smartly as I looked at the buildings.  Instead of being a knight for Hyrule, I suddenly wished that I was a super hero, like the ones that were in comic books back at home.  That way I could have X-ray v ision and see inside the buildings, instead of going around and asking where this lazy guy was.

        Since the building was new, I had a hunch that Talon was sleeping in it or maybe it was his new home, so I directed Link over to the place.  However above the door was a sign that said something about a bazaar and some sort of archery competition.  Suddenly, a drunken man came out of the bazaar with a keg of beer.  He was hairy and dirty looking, but we knew for a fact that he wasn't Talon.

        "Must not be in there," I said, so I redirected Link and the gang towards the building beside it, which seemed like a quaint, little home.  We walked up a small set of stairs and I reach for the door knob and the door completely broke off the hinges.  I shrugged my shoulders and walked in to see a bunch of cobwebs.  Spiders, beside ladders, were my biggest fear, so I ran out and never looked back.

        "What was in there?" Link asked as I kicked the door and shook a little.  I felt like there were cobwebs all over me, but I didn't even walk in to the building.

        "Um, absolutely nothing," I said and I smiled.

        I went back down that small set of stairs and decided to go to a bigger looking house that was across from the bazaar.  I decided to knock, just to be polite and I heard some rather thick, heavy footsteps and a little voice say, "Coming!"

        The door came open rather quickly and standing there was an obese woman with very thick lips.  "Oh my," she said and she pinched my cheeks, "you're a cute young lady.  You must be here to help me find my doggie, Richard!"

        "Uh, who?" I asked hesitantly.

        The woman sighed and said, "Back before Lord Dragmire became out new king, there was a terrible flood and it swept my Richard away.  He was an amazing pooch and I miss him...so..." and then that fat lady started to cry.  These weren't just normal tears however; they were big, huge fat woman tears. If she cried the way she was now when she lost her dog, she probably contributed more to the flood than I did.

        "How old was Richard when he disappeared?" I asked.

        "He was-was...seven years old," the woman said, "but for an older dog, he sure was amazing."

        Seven years old? I thought to myself.  If the damn dog was seven at that time, it would mean, if he was still alive anyway, that he would be fourteen.  In this whole medieval setting that Hyrule was in, there was no way that dogs were taken care of the way they were back at home.  There was no way Richard would have survived to be fourteen, but I didn't have the heart to tell her that.

        "Well, I will be sure to keep an eye out for him," I said.  "I'm travelling all over Hyrule anyway.  I'll be sure to spot him somewhere."

        The woman then gave me a huge hug and her boobs squished my face.  I couldn't hear much but a couple of muffled ‘Thank yous' but I sure felt like I was suffocating.  When she dropped me, I began to breathe slowly to catch my breath, for I didn't want to breathe heavily and be rude and all. 

        I suddenly came up with a plan and said, "I'll help you find your pup if you help me find someone."

        "Why sure, sweetie," the woman said.  "What is it?"

        "Well, I have a friend and she's a girl about my age," I said.  "Her name is Malon and she is the co-owner of Lon Lon Ranch.  Her father, the main owner, was said to be banished here and his name is Talon."

        "Oh, Talon?" the woman said and her face brightened again.  "I know that man.  He came to me one night about four years ago.  He reminded me of Richard, so I took him in.  I even let him sleep in Richard's bed."

        "Wait," I said, "his bed?"

        "Yes, I gave my Richard his own full size bed.  Don't you know that beautiful dogs need their own bed?  You're silly."

        "Yeah, anyway, can you please let me see Talon?"

        The woman moved from the opening and showed me the way in.  I looked back at Link, Lux, Coffee Bean, and Growlithe, who just stood there.  Because Coffee Bean and Growlithe were dogs, I motioned Link to just stay outside.  I didn't want for those two to cause this obese lady to have a rush of emotions. 

        She led me into her small, but cozy home and in the corner, on a rather huge dog bed, was Talon, who was doing what he always did: sleeping.  He was curled up on this round dog bed like he was a dog himself and I noticed that he was even hairier than usual.  It looked like he hadn't shaved in ages.

        "I'll feel bad to see the little guy go," the woman said.  "It gets lonely here, sometimes.  I do know that I won't miss his eating habits and that dreadful smell he has.  My Richard never smelled as vile as this man does."

        Now that she mentioned it, Talon did have a terrible odor emitting from his body.  By the looks of it, he probably hadn't showered in a while either.  I didn't want to poke him with my naked finger, so I grabbed a shovel that was against the wall and poked him with the blunt, wooden end.  He dove right up and started to look around.

        "Now who did that?" he said and then his eyes met mine.  He looked angry for a second, but soon his face lightened up.  "Hey, I know you," he said and he gave me a huge hug.  During this hug, my lungs were being crushed while the body odor from this man's armpits burned my nostrils.

        He dropped me a minute or so later and actually started to cry.  "My ranch has been given to Ingo and Ganondorf has taken it over and I don't know what to do!"

        "Well Talon, Link and I already took care of it," I said.  "We came back here to tell you that Malon would really like you back to help out around the ranch."

        "Really?" Talon said with a brightened face.  "My gosh, I better go then.  Thanks!"

        Talon then took off, running faster than I had ever seen him run.  Usually he was sloth like and always sleeping, but I started to feel a little light hearted.  Maybe Ganondorf taking Lon Lon Ranch would help Talon realize just how lucky he was to have a nice ranch home with a well-known ranch, so maybe he would start to take care of the thing a little bit.  I smiled as I watched him run right out of Kakariko Village.

        "Thanks for the help," I said to the fat lady and I told her to take care and I walked out of the home. 

        Link was waiting outside and looked a little baffled.  "Was that Talon that I just saw running?" he asked.

        "Yeah actually," I said, "I told him to go back to the ranch because it was safe.  Anyway, we got some stuff to take care of right now, so let's get up to Death Mountain."

        Link nodded and we made our way up a set of stairs that were attached to some land.  Some girl in a green shirt was patting her knees and asking for items.  I would've helped her out, but we needed to move.  What we also noticed was that two new shops were in Kakariko Village.  Of course, they weren't entirely new for they were once located at the Castle Town area, but they were in new buildings.

        On the right of me was the potion shop that I had gone into seven years ago.  I flirted with a guy named Matt, who ran the store, and I wondered how he was and all.  I pondered on leaving Link outside and going in, but it might have hurt me a little seeing Matt after so long.  This whole seven years difference was pretty depressing anyway, I didn't want to make it even more of a downer.

        We passed the gate that lead to Death Mountain and the terrain went from grass to dirt and crag rather quickly.  Growlithe went a little ahead of the group and started to sniff.  He seemed to be smiling, which I could understand.  This must have been his home and must have missed it when he somehow ended up in Lon Lon Ranch.  Who even knew where he was before then?

        Unlike seven years ago, there weren't any random rocks rolling down the hills of Death Mountain.  They had created a smooth path over seven years, so the walk wasn't as rocky as before, but those annoying spider things were still jumping around like idiots.  I just slashed them with my, alongside Link.  They were terribly annoying, but not really that big of a deal.

        The rocks didn't slow us down like they had when we were kids, so we were able to reach the Goron Village quicker than usual.  The welcome gate was extremely beat up, so a sort of fear went through my head.  Something didn't seem right and I was afraid to walk in.  I thought it was a bit odd that Link and I didn't see any Gorons standing around on the Death Mountain path. 

        We walked in and it seemed quiet, but I heard a small yelp and heard a rolling sound immediately after.  I walked a little more towards the end of the third floor and saw a Goron all balled up and it was rolling around in a circle.  It looked like it was on the second floor and I was certain that it was the one that made the yelp sound.

        "Where are all the Gorons?" Link asked and I looked to see the Growlithe sniffing. 

        "I'm afraid that the only one left is that coward down there," I said and I pointed to the rolling Goron with the blade of my sword.  "I couldn't tell you how that guy survived but the others died..."

        "They're not dead..." Link said quietly.  "Do you think they're dead, Ashley?"

        "Nah, nothing could've taken out all of the Gorons that lived here," I said.  "Maybe most of ‘em are hiding somewhere."

        I didn't feel too strong about that statement, but I needed to say something to reassure Link and myself that everything was okay. 

        I wanted to figure out whom that lone Goron was down on the second floor, so I took the group down there.  This Goron was rolling really fast, so I wasn't quite sure how we were going to stop him.  Every time one of us tried to approach it, it would just turn around and roll the other way.

        We decided to team up and Link approach it one way and I approach it the other, just to throw him off.  Fortunately for me, the Goron came to me first and took off speeding towards Link and knocked him down on his ass.  The Goron rolled over him, which I swear it looked like Link was beaten up by a giant bread roll.  The Goron rolled on while Link sat up and scratched his head.  I felt a bit sympathetic, so I came and helped him up.  For some reason, Zucchini was watching the Goron intensely. 

        I dragged Link to a small indent in the wall so he wouldn't get ran over again.  I looked over at Zucchini and said, "Hey boy, what's wrong?"

        Zucchini glanced at me, but didn't move his head.  Something was wrong.  Growlithe even began to growl.  Suddenly, there was this rumbling that shook my whole body.  Growlithe started to bark and I looked back at Lux and saw sparks come out of his cheeks.  The rumbling grew louder and more furious and then, piercing my ears, was a loud screech, a screech that I had heard at Lon Lon Ranch. 

        "Watch out!" I heard and all of a sudden, I saw something and felt something different.  What I saw was the long, snake like dragon that I had run into on Lon Lon Ranch.  However, what I felt was an immense pain as that stupid Goron bowled over all of us and it had its arms out, which I had never seen before.  It used its arms to scoop all of us up and it kept going, making us run into packs of dirt.  The dirt was pretty touch, but we were able to burst through it.  He stopped and we ended up in a room, which had a fireplace and a table.  There were also scraps of metal.  This must have been a blacksmith area in the Goron Village.

        I stood up as soon as the Goron stopped.  It balled up though, and I noticed it was shaking badly.  I wanted to look out and see where that dragon was, but we went far downhill, so I couldn't see anything.  I quickly checked to make sure that the Goron scooped up all of us and it actually did.  I wondered who this Goron was, so I approached it.

        When I got close, it shouted, "Don't touch me!  I know you're here to take me.  Ganondorf might have gotten the whole village, but you won't take me you bastard."

        "Uh," I said and I was a bit speechless.  I didn't really know what to say.  "My name is, well, Ashley Brandt...I'm here to awaken the Sage of Fire or whatever you call it."

        "Ashley Brandt?" it said, its voice a bit muffled.  "Do you know the hero by the name of Link?"

        I looked back at Link, who was still a bit out of it and said, "Yeah, he's actually right here."

        The Goron sprung up and had this huge smile on his face.  "Are you two here to help me?" he asked.

        "Well, it depends on what you need help with," I said, "but most likely, yes."

        "I need help defeating Volvagia," the Goron said.

        "Who's Volvagia?" I asked.

        The Goron shivered and then said, "Volvagia is an ancient dragon that feeds on Gorons.  He was defeated many years ago by my great-great-great-great-great grandfather.  He was a great man, at least from what I heard.  Anyway, about a week or so ago, Ganondorf came to the village to see my father, Darunia because he wanted my father to step down and let Ganondorf use the Gorons for slave labor, which Ganondorf said we would be working to fill back up Lake Hylia to close off this temple from a group of people.  Gorons sink and die in water, though, but Ganondorf didn't care.  My father refused to release the village to him, so Ganondorf went to Death Mountain and awoke the great Volvagia and Volvagia came in and grabbed a bunch of Gorons at a time and now I'm the only one."

        "Where's Darunia?" I asked quickly.

        "Well, after Volvagia appeared, my father decided to do something rash.  He took the Megaton Hammer, which my ancestor used to kill Volvagia the first time, and went in the middle of Death Mountain to take him down...but that was two days ago and Volvagia is still alive.  I think my father is dead."

        Light bulb, I thought.  Darunia, I assumed, was the next sage I needed to reawaken.  I mean, there were tons of Gorons that were probably dead, but Darunia seems to be a tough, important guy and I also assumed that the Goddesses would pick reliable sages.  Darunia would be the best choice.

        "I think Link and I can help you," I said and the Goron's face brightened.  He started to tear up a bit while he told me his long story, so his brightened face made me feel a lot better.  "By the way, what's your name?"

        "Link," he said.

        "Wha-" Link moaned as he came back to earth.

        "Is that him?" Link the Goron asked and he looked rather excited and I nodded, which made him jump around and look like he was going to piss himself.  "Oh Mr. Link," he shouted and he actually ran over to Link, "I'm your biggest fan.  My Poppa told me all about you.  He said you saved the Goron race from famine."

        That was true, seeing that I was busy in Gerudo Valley at the time.  I was flying solo; trying to uncover more dirt about Ganondorf.  I probably wasn't remembered by anyone nor did I have any Goron girls or boys named after me.  It was a shame, but I would get over it.

        "What's your name?" Link said a bit wearily. 

        "My name is Link!" he yelled excitedly.  "My Poppa named me after you.  He said that you were a great hero!  I waited so long for you to return so I could meet you!  My Poppa said you would return someday and here you are!"

        Link had pretty much came to since Link the Goron pounced on him and how ‘famous' Link was.  This Goron seemed a little weird, like he wasn't very strong.  I had a feeling that he was a rather ‘special' Goron, like he didn't fit in.  Regardless, he was going to be oodles of help to Link and I.

        "Link," I said, which caused both to look at me, "er, I mean, Goron Link.  Where exactly does Volvagia come out?"

        "Volvagia comes out of two places sometimes," Link the Goron said.  "Sometimes, he enters the village by going through my Poppa's throne room.  Other times he will come straight out of the volcano in Death Mountain to try and find Gorons that may have left the village."

        "Interesting," I said and I became indulged in thought.  If Link and I could somehow lure this dragon to come out of his hiding place, we could benefit greatly.  I wanted to lure him out through the volcano, so if a battle took place, we would have more room to fight Volvagia.  Goron Village was rather dinky compared to the open space of Death Mountain. 

        "Do you have an idea?" Link asked.

        "Do I ever," I said with a smile.  "Here's what I have come up with as of now-" and I took a stick on the side and started to rub it in the dirt to create a visual for everybody.  "Now," I said and I drew a line, "at the opening of Death Mountain trail, before the entrance and where you can see that downhill area to Dodongo's Cavern, we will set up a little wall.  Then," I continued and I drew a small circle about 6 inches away from the wall, "one of us, whether it be Link, uh, Link the Goron, or I, will act as a Goron to lure Volvagia out of his  volcano.  Of course, we'll have to yell a lot, but if we can fish him out, we have a chance to get him outside of his area."

        "So we're going to fish him out by putting ourselves in danger by being the lure?" Link asked.

        "Yeah, basically?" I said and Link the Goron began to shake.

        "And since I'm the easiest one to be a Goron, I must be the bait," Link the Goron said and he started to tear up again.

        "Well, I'll automatically say that you're out," I said.  "I mean, you are the last heir to the Goron Village throne, so we can't put you in any danger.  And, by law, I am a girl, so that rules me out of being the bait, so that only leaves Link over here."

        "Wait, what laws says that," Link said and his eyes were wide.  "There's absolutely no law that says that."

        "Maybe there isn't," I said, "but it's the polite thing to do, you know?"

        "You're kidding?" Link said.

        "But Mr. Link," Link the Goron said, "I thought you were a brave hero.  You can't leave all of the hard work to a damsel.  You're supposed to be tough and strong."

        "Yeah Link," I said with a smile, "tough and strong."

        Link glared at me, but said, "Alright, I'll be the bait.  But you owe me one, Ash."

        I smirked and was going to tease Link a little, but Link the Goron said, "By the way, if you two are planning on going into the volcano or the Fire Temple and stuff, you're going to need a different set of clothes."

        "What do you mean?" I asked and I was a bit curious.  Despite being the tomboy I was, I absolutely loved to get new clothes, especially clothes that didn't include the green tunic and that annoying floppy hat, even though I wasn't sure where Max would go if I didn't have that dumb hat.

        "The volcano and the Fire Temple are extremely hot and you need a certain garb to stay alive," Link the Goron said.  "I can set you both up with a complementary pair of these clothes, but we first need to make sure that Volvagia isn't still out there, terrorizing the village."

        "I'm on that one," I said as I unsheathed my sword.  I walked slowly up the ramp and fortunately, Volvagia was nowhere to be found.  "All clear!" I yelled down the ramp and the group began to file out.

        Link the Goron led us down some stairs to the main floor, where the shop and the throne room were located.  There used to be a huge pot with a Goron face on it that rolled around, but that was gone.  Goron Village was much colder and lonelier than it was seven years ago.  I shivered as we walked into the empty shop, which never really had anything in it anyways, so I wasn't too upset about it.

        Link the Goron walked behind the counter and used a key to unlock a cabinet.  I peeked over Link to try and see what was in store for us in that cabinet, but he was too tall.  Link had a smile on his face though, so the stuff must have been good.

        Unfortunately, when Link the Goron held up these clothes, I realized that I wasn't really in for a big surprise.  These clothes looked just like our regular clothes, except they were red and the damn floppy hat was included with matching colors.

        "These are Goron tunics," Link the Goron said.  "I have one in men and one in women, so yay!"

        I took the tunic, but I made sure I slouched and looked upset.  I knew that wouldn't really help at all, but at least I had a legit reason to whine.  Well, maybe it wasn't so legit reason, but at least I had some sort of excuse.

        "Well, let's change," Link said to me, "and then we'll get ready to fight Volvagia."

        I nodded and began to search for a small room to change in.

 

        We walked out of Death Mountain with our brand new tunics.  Link, however, had a rock tied around his back so he looked like a Goron.  It was the best I could do in a place as redundant as Death Mountain.  Rock after rock after rock and everything was brown, which was alright seeing that Goron's were brown, but I couldn't use paper or anything to make a Goron mask because all there were to utilize were rocks.  I thought of hollowing a rock and making Link wear that to appear as a head or something, but that would have probably broken his neck.

        I had built the small wall out of rocks and had Link the Goron, Lux, Growlithe, Coffee Bean, and Zucchini slouch by it.  I helped Link lay on his stomach and curl up, so he appeared to be a Goron. 

        "Are you sure this is going to work?" Link asked as he laid down.

        "Um...yeah," I said.  "Just don't move and be extremely quiet."

        I ran behind the wall like Link was a bomb about to detonate and pointed at Link the Goron, who started to make Goron noises and yell.  He said something about being too weak to move or whatever.

        However, we waited there for about two hours and still, nothing happened.

        "Ashley, this isn't going to work!" Link shouted and I peeked over the wall to see Link taking off his Goron rock.  He stood up straight once it was off and stood there.  "I knew this wouldn't work, but nah, you have everything figured out, right?"

        Now, I was pretty pissed at Link, so I didn't notice the long, snake-like dragon coming out of the volcano.  As I was yelling at Link to put that damn rock back on, I also didn't notice that the dragon was coming towards Link with its stubbly arms spread as wide as they could go.  And, at the moment that I yelled the king of all cuss words, that dragon let out a loud screech and, instead of picking up the big rock, he scooped up Link.

        I stood there dumbfounded as Link was carried away. He was wobbling his legs and screaming, like he was on the rollercoaster machines that existed back at home, but unlike people who rode rollercoaster, it didn't look like he was having much fun.

 

        As Link flew away and I just watched it was then and there that this whole mission was going to be taken care of the weakest Link and I.

Chapter 22- The Weakest Link and I by Underdog Ash
It took me awhile to realize what had just happened, but with Link the Goron, it only took a second. He started to scream at the top of his lungs as Volvagia slowly disappeared in the distance. Zucchini went berserk as well, trying to fly up; forgetting that his wings were unable to take him very far up. I understood with Zucchini why he was freaking out, but I just became utterly annoyed with Link the Goron.
"Will you just cool down?" I shouted. "Jesus, do you want Volvagia to come back and grab you too?"
Link the Goron shivered and began to tear up, so I said: "Okay, don't start that shit again." Link the Goron then tensed up, which I assumed was his method of holding back the tears, but it looked like he was just terribly constipated.
I sighed and said, "Now listen. Your name is Link and you're the son of Darunia. You have double the courage that anyone should have. However, if you let that courage go to waste and just cry, you'll never be as strong as your father. So, I need you to stand up straight and be the Goron man that I know you can be."
Now reader, I did this all from scratch, so that shit up there wasn't rehearsed. I would have to say that that is pretty impressive, especially for me. I just felt that Link the Goron needed some help with his ego. Out of everyone around, I was probably the best person to help him inflate it, since I had a huge ego myself. This little speech did seem to lift his spirits, thankfully, and I saw him puff out his chest a little bit.
"Now, I'm going to need your help," I said. "I can easily get on a Pokemon I have and get into that volcano, but you know much more about Volvagia than I do."
"Before you do anything," Link the Goron said, "you need to get the Megaton Hammer."
I remember him saying something about that hammer before. So, I asked him this: "Where is the hammer?"
"My father kept it in his throne room," Link the Goron said, "but when he left, he took the hammer with him."
"Great," I said with a sigh. "Do you know exactly where he went?"
"He went into the Fire Temple, which lies in the volcano."
I smiled and reach down to my side. I unlatched the Pokeball at my side and released Pasta. He came out of the ball and was standing tall and proud. I then unlatched Coffee Bean's Pokeball and had her return. I looked over at Zucchini who was staring at the volcano.
"Hey Zucchini," I said to him, which caught his attention. "See that volcano up there? We'll be taking a trip inside of it, but I would like for you to stay in Goron Village. Link has your ball, so I can't return you. Would you mind staying out of this?"
Zucchini looked at me and didn't hesitate to nod his head and take off. He was extremely terrified of fire, and I didn't blame him. He was a bug Pokemon after all and I didn't think that bugs and fire went too well together. Once Zucchini was gone, I looked to Pasta.
"With you," I began, "I need you to get me and Link here up to that volcano because the other Link and Volvagia are currently up there, or rather in there. Can you do that?"
"Char," Pasta said and he nodded. He got down for Link the Goron, Lux, Growlithe, and I and we were all able to get on his scaly back. It was a tight fit of course, but we were able to do it. I had Lux in front of me, who gripped Pasta's horns and Growlithe sat in front of Link the Goron, and Link held onto Pasta's wings and had Growlithe comfortably fit between his big arms.
"Alright Pasta, let's go," I said with a smile and Pasta took off towards the sky.
While in the air and picking up speed, Link the Goron started to scream and he did so right in my ear. I yelled at him to stop, but with all his screaming and the wind knocking into our eardrums, he was unable to hear my shouting.
Pasta was going so fast that we reach the volcano in no time. The trip to the volcano wasn't as rough as the trip down to the volcano. I don't know why, but Pasta suddenly became more aggressive and he swooped down rather hard. I tightened my legs and arms around his think neck, but I was still barely able to hold on. The drop made my eyes water as Link the Goron's screams became higher as Pasta moved faster and the atmosphere became hotter.
I swore to the Goddesses that we were going to crash into the bottom, but Pasta quickly lifted his body up and we went straight. He went straight down another drop off, which ultimately led to a small room with yet another drop off. Pasta then went upright and started to slow the pattern of his wings so he could slow down himself and not hit the ground too hard. Link the Goron was still screaming when we landed and Pasta hit the poor Goron off his back with this long, orange tail. Link landed on the ground with Growlithe still in his arms.
"Hey now!" Link shouted and he let Growlithe go. "What was that for, man?"
I jumped down and held out my arms for Lux who landed in them and looked up at me. He had water stains on the sides of his face and he also looked a bit tired, but thankful as well. With Lux in my arms, I walked to see Pasta and he had a determined expression on his face. Something was wrong. I looked forward and saw a small set of stairs and further was some scary looking totem things with fire in their mouths.
"So this is the Fire Temple?" I asked Link the Goron as he got up.
"Why yes, it is," he said rather proudly. "This use to be a mine and the Gorons were forced to work underground here to excavate ores, gold, and silver. They even say that the Triforce's gold was taken from this temple."
The history of the Fire Temple seemed interesting, but I knew it wasn't time to ask about the history of this place. What I needed to do was find that damn hammer and then find Volvagia. "Do you know where the hammer is?" I asked Link the Goron on the subject of the hammer.
"All I know is that it's enclosed in a chest," Link said. "The chest is actually more like a casket, honestly."
"Alright," I said.
"Oh, and I also know that the door on the left there," Link said and he pointed at the door that was beyond the stairs, "is where Volvagia's old throne room lies and I definitely know that the hammer isn't in there."
So, we walked up the stairs to enter the door on the right, but there was a slight delay because Pasta couldn't exactly fit in the doors. I had to have him return for him to be able to follow us in the temple. It was a shame and he looked a little upset, but I couldn't have him wait in the lobby the whole time. Who knew where Volvagia and Link were, and I didn't want Pasta to split up from us if the event came that Volvagia wanted to challenge someone.
The room that we walked into made me sick to my stomach. I hated fire and intense heat almost as much as I hated spiders and ladders and below us was a huge pit of lava. What was also in front of us in this room was an old looking bridge and when I took one step on it, I heard the whole thing creak. I looked back at Link the Goron, who probably weighed five times as much as I did and started to panic. If he stepped on the bridge the same time I did, something would surely snap.
"Oh no, you just stay right there," I said quickly as Link the Goron looked like he was going to walk across the bridge.
"Why?" he asked and I just said that it was for our own good. I told him to stay put until I crossed. I let Lux and Growlithe cross with me because they looked just as terrified of the lava pit below as I did.
To make matters worse, there were these annoying bats flying around with fire around their stupid, small rat bodies. They decided it was the right time to chase us, but I used my electric powers to shock those things and cause them to burn in the lava pit of doom below. Once we reach the other side, I gave Link thumbs up and he crossed the bridge with ease despite the fact that the bridge was shaking the whole time.
We walked into the next door which led to an even bigger area. In the middle was this pillar or some sort with a giant block going through it. I saw the block as being utterly pointless, but I would definitely need it later on. At that time, I thought nothing of it and had everyone follow me to the right of the room. What was at the right of the room were a bunch of brown pillars that were sticking out of the ground. I wasn't sure what they were for, so I made the mistake of going towards them. This mistake caused me to be burned by a wall of fire. Luckily, it only burned my hand and a bit of my arm because I was holding it out to touch one of the pillars.
"What the hell?" I shouted and I grabbed my left wrist. The fingerless, leather glove I had on was actually alright, but my fingers were very red.
"Careful Ash," Link the Goron said. "I'm sure that Ganondorf or Volvagia have set up traps in this temple. Gorons are immune to fire, so these traps must have been set for you."
Wonderful, I thought as Link went between one of the pillars and flames engulfed his body. He showed no sign of pain as he stood there with a smile on his face. "I'll lead us through this maze so you don't suffer anymore burns," he said and he had me follow him.
So, we went through this small maze rather quickly and had to stop here and there because of fire and junk, but we got through it and came to a ledge that had a door. Of course, this ledge was being blocked off by a firewall.
"What now?" I asked Link the Goron and he looked around for a bit. He must have been trying to find something, because he knew I couldn't get through the wall. I would have used Pasta to fly over the thing, but the wall went all the way up to the ceiling.
"There we go," Link the Goron said and he smiled at me. "I see a switch over there. I'm going to go press it and then I need you cross on to the ledge. I can get through the wall pretty easily."
"What if the switch isn't to deactivating the damn wall?" I said.
"If not," Link the Goron said, "then you and I are screwed."
Thankfully, the switch was actually for the wall, so I crossed with Lux and Growlithe. After Link saw us clear, he hobbled over to us, going straight through the new firewall that sprung up.
We went through the metal door that was on the ledge and entered this small, square room. In the middle of this room was a block that I was getting ready to step on until this huge, flame sprung up. I withdrew as soon as I could and saw that the flame turned into a body of some sort and I heard a laugh. It started to dance and jumped off the block and actually began to dance around the whole room. It was going to fast that I couldn't follow it at all.
"What is this thing?" I said as I tried to follow its figure. Link the Goron just rolled into a ball and shook, so I took off my stupid hat and shook Max out of it. He was sleeping so I yelled his name really loud.
"What?!?" he shouted and hovered in front of my face.
"That thing," I said and I point at the moving flame.
"Oh, that's a Flaredancer," Max said and then he sprung up because the thing ran right in to me. My whole body ached and burned, but I got up as soon as I could to yell at Max.
"What do I do then?" I shouted.
"Um, well..."Max said, and he trailed off.
"Well what?" I snapped, dodging the Flaredancer.
"I'm trying to remember what Navi told me about these things," Max said.
I was tired of waiting, so I reach for my bomb bag on a whim and rubbed my two fingers together to make a spark, which lit the bomb. I then threw the bomb at the Flaredancer across the room. It exploded right on the thing and the flames disappeared.
"Where did it go?" I asked Max, who was still thinking. A second after I said that, a little black thing with stubbly legs was running in front of me. He noticed me and let out a yelp and quickly turned around. Growlithe and Lux took after it, so I chased it too. I made a huge, running jump to try and catch the thing, but before I landed on it, it jumped into the middle of the block. I hit the hard, stone ground and my face rubbed hard against it. A headache quickly came to me, but I had to get up.
In the middle of the block, the little black thing regained all of the flames that it had lost and jumped right back off. It continued to dance like it had before and just watching its moving body made my head hurt even more. I had to stop it, so I lit another bomb and threw it at the monster, which once again made the little black guy show up and run around. I took out my sword and began to chase it, and eventually stabbed it.
I held my sword's blade up to a small tilt and watched the little black thing slide down a little. It was screaming as its stubbly legs kicked back and forth in the air. I held my hand out to touch it, but fire surrounded its body as some sort of defense mechanism, so I drew my hand back as soon as I felt the warmth the fire emitted. The fire wasn't heating my blade or anything, so I didn't worry about the blade melting. I held my hand opened and shocked the bugger, which made him let out a loud yelp and disappear.
I sighed when the guy was gone and looked back at Link the Goron, who was still curled up. I took my sword and poked him a little, which made him jump up.
"Whoa, you scared me," Link said. "Is that Flaredancer gone?"
"Yeah, it is," I said and I put my sword back in its sheath. "C'mon, we've still got to find that hammer."
We walked up to the block in the middle of the room and we were lifted up to a small room. In that room was a metal door, so we went through it. We entered a huge room and in front of us was a long path that curved in the middle and went up to a balcony of sorts. I couldn't see what was on that balcony for it was above us, so I began to walk up the path. It was a steep climb and at one point I looked below us to see a hot pit of lava and a bridge, so I had an idea of where we were.
Once we reach the balcony, I noticed there was a large, solid rectangular box, which did actually look like a coffin. I tried to remove the lid, but it was made of rather heavy rock, so I had Link the Goron help me move it. He could barely move it, but we were actually able to push it aside, but slowly.
What was in this coffin looking box was the Megaton Hammer, but also the remains of what looked to be a deceased Goron and a lot of bugs.
"What the hell?" I snapped. "Link, you told me there wasn't going to be a body in this damn thing. What's wrong with you?"
He wasn't on my side, so I looked behind me to get his answer, but he was crying for some weird reason. I asked him what was wrong and he began to sob, but was able to get some words out.
"I-I can't b-believe that t-the hammer is there!" he cried.
"What do you mean?" I asked. "You said it was supposed to be there, right?"
"M-my father was supposed t-to take th-that hammer before h-he fought Volva-Volvagia!" he cried. "Since it's right th-there, he m-must have d-died before getting it. My father is dead!" And there cued the whole dramatic get on your hands and knees and cry thing, so I just stood by and watched. While I understood his grief, I guess I wasn't sad because I pretty much assumed that his father would be the fire sage and that his father would be dead.
"Uh, well," I said and I scrambled my brain to come up with something, "if we, uh, continue, we can avenge your father's death."
"Really?" Link the Goron said and he stood up and wiped the tears out of his eyes.
"Well, yeah," I said and I put on a smile, which was very forced, but it was still a smile.
"Alright then!" Link the Goron yelled and he looked excited. "Let's go avenge my poppa."
I reach in the coffin to pry the Megaton Hammer from the dead Goron inside and I've got to say, that damn hammer was really heavy. I could barely lift that thing out of the coffin and once I did manage to get it out, I had to drop it on the ground. I had no idea how I was going to be able to fight Volvagia with the hammer, but I would have to figure that out later. I grabbed the handle and tried to hoist it over my shoulder, but eventually gave up and started to drag it.
Link the Goron just stood and watched this whole thing so I said, "Hey, do you want to help me with this?"
"Oh yeah, sure," Link the Goron said and he smiled and took the hammer. He was able to hoist the thing over his shoulder so I didn't feel too guilty for making him carry it. He was actually smiling while carrying the hammer, which I assumed was because he felt as tough as his own father. Luckily for him, he would probably get to use that hammer a lot, since I could barely carry the thing.
I decided that the next best thing to do was backtrack and figure out what we needed to do next. So, we ended up back in that huge room with the fire maze and all and, after some annoying switch hitting and standing. We walked up the slanted path that led back to the room with the rickety bridge, but Link the Goron stopped me.
"Before we, well, move on," Link the Goron said, "I want to try this thing."
"What do you mean by ‘try this'?" I asked.
"Well, you see that pillar over there?" Link the Goron said and he pointed to the pillar I had noticed before. "Anyway, I want to hit that block in the middle. It looks unstable, you know? I just want to try this thing so bad."
I thought about it for a second, but didn't really care. I basically assumed that Link wouldn't be able to even move the block and, if he did, what harm could it do? "Sure," I said with a smile and watched him jump over to the pillar. Before he hit the block, he looked at me for a quick glance of approval. I gave him quick thumbs up and a smile and he went on to use that hammer. What I didn't know was that below that block was Volvagia, who had just tucked Link away in his lair.
At the moment that Link the Goron hit that block, there was a loud rumbling sound and the block fell down. I heard a loud boom and a screech and Link the Goron immediately curled into a ball. Out from the now hole in the ground came Volvagia who scooped up Link the Goron-ball and the Megaton Hammer. It didn't take me long to realize this and get Pasta out of his Pokeball. I quickly made sure that Lux and Growlithe were ready and hopped on to Pasta and held on around his neck. I also hugged Lux and Growlithe, to make sure they didn't fall off of Pasta.
"He's down that hole, Pasta," I said to him and he took off in a flash. The ride wasn't as bumpy as the ride was to the inside of the volcano, but it was still fairly rough. He took us to what seemed like Volvagia's throne room and a heavy door shut behind us. This was a trap.
In the middle of this lair was a round area that had little circles on the floor, which were filled with lava. Below was a pit of lava, just waiting for someone to fall into it. I dismounted Pasta and put down Growlithe, who immediately began to growl. The fur on his back was standing on end and his eyes were burning with hatred. Something was definitely about to happen.
In front of me, at the back of this round area was a brown wall. There were chains and stuff hanging from the wall and some actually had skeletons on them. It was then that I noticed a man was hanging from two of the chains and that man had to be Link. I couldn't see the face for the man's head was down, but I recognized him by the clothes. He didn't look so good, so I walked up to him.
"Link?" I said and that caused him to move his head up slowly. He had cuts and burns all over his body, but his eyes were the most devastating. It looked like he was a zombie or something and the bright blue had escaped from his eyes. He'd only been with Volvagia for a little while, so he must have gone through horrible treatment. "Link," I said again, "Link, wake up, buddy." I touched the side of his face and used my fingers to pull his head up a little so he could look straight at me.
"Link, what happened?" I asked. "What did Volvagia do to you?"
Link shook his head. I didn't know what that meant exactly, but someone else had to be in the volcano.
"Then Link, who did this?" and when I asked this, he lifted his head a little to motion me to look behind me. I turned around and there she was, Shannon.
"Well hey there," she said and she was throwing a stone up and down in the air; flaunting it. I could tell it was the Firestone that I needed to awaken Darunia. "It's been awhile, hasn't it?"
"It hasn't been long enough," I said. "What are you doing here? Was Papa too lazy to come here, or was he just too scared to fight me."
"Oh please," Shannon said and she rolled her eyes. "Father has much more important things to deal with than some bitch like you."
"Oh snap!" I heard the subconscious black, Maury audience man say in my mind.
"If you say so," I said and I took out my sword.
"You're going to need a lot more than that stupid sword to take me down, honey," Shannon said and she snapped her fingers. A loud screech then echoed through the lair and I heard a rumbling sound. Volvagia suddenly burst out of the top of the lair and came down behind Shannon. He floated there behind her, like he was her pet.
"Alright Pasta," I said aloud, "time to do some work." Pasta, who was behind Shannon and Volvagia, flew up and swoop down to me and I jumped on him.
"You're a brave girl," Shannon said, "brave, but utterly stupid." She then jumped on Volvagia's back and took off towards the top of the lair. I looked down at Lux and Growlithe and said, "You two stay here and make sure nothing happens to Link and also, keep an eye out for the other Link."
"Raichu," Lux said with some enthusiasm and I smiled.
"Alright Pasta," I said, "let's take down this bitch." And, without a second to pause, Pasta took off into the sky. I held on to the base of his wing with my Master Sword in my right hand. I could see Volvagia actually outside of the lair and that's when I noticed that the lair itself was a base of the volcano. We came out of the volcano and cool air hit my face as the colors around me went from red to dark blue, with some light from the moon here and there.
Shannon didn't give us any time to prepare to battle, for she sent Volvagia's snake like body right for us. I could see her rapier was already out, so I knew it was on. I gave Pasta a small kick on the sides and he shot upwards.
I was extremely scared, but once I heard the cling of Shannon's sword and my sword, I snapped into the reality of what was actually happening. Pasta and Volvagia just wrapped around each other in the air as Shannon tried to hack away at me. I was able to block most of her slashes, thankfully, but at one point she hit me with the hilt of her rapier square in the face, which made me fall off of Pasta.
I wasn't really out cold, but it was hard to see as I fell back down to the center of volcano. Thankfully, I was scooped up by Pasta's stubbly arms and my sword was still in hand. Shannon didn't give me any time to recover, however, so I was forced into battle immediately. Since I was being held on to by Pasta, I was at a different battle angle than before.
Pasta carried me over Volvagia and Shannon, so Shannon had to adjust to fight above her. What I noticed was that the hilt of her rapier was huge, which wasn't odd, but she had trouble fighting above her head because of that hilt. It must have been heavy and she had a lady wrist, which are usually thin, so it was hard for her to swing her sword around and actually hit me. I saw the perfect opportunity, so I sheathed my sword and said, "Pasta, drop me."
Pasta let go of me immediately and I pounced on Shannon's head, which was fairly big for a lady head. I grasped on to her long, red hair for some of support and tried to figure out what to do with her. She had now basically given up and was swishing her rapier in the air wildly. I let go of her for a second and just kicked her off Volvagia, who was busy fighting Pasta and didn't notice. Shannon started to scream as she fell and let go of her rapier and the Firestone. She let go of them rather early, so I was able to grab the Firestone.
Volvagia and Pasta were really getting into this battle, so shortly after I got the Firestone; I was knocked off of Volvagia as his long body made sharp turns. I was thankful to be off of Volvagia, but I was scared that Pasta wouldn't notice that I was falling to my death. I began to yell his name, which did catch his attention, so he came after me...but so did Volvagia.
Pasta grabbed me quickly and dove towards the lair again and so did Volvagia. I had the Firestone now, so I just needed to use it on Growlithe and things would be a lot easier. However, Volvagia pounded into Pasta, which made Pasta let out a screech of pain. Pasta stopped beating his wings and turned over. I was now able to see Volvagia, who was following us. I thought that Pasta was putting me towards Volvagia to save him from getting hurt, but I suddenly felt a huge force slam on Pasta's back, which is when I released that he turned over so he would hit the lair floor and not me.
Pasta let go of me, so I quickly jumped off of him. I checked him quickly, before Volvagia started to attack again. Pasta's eyes were closed, but he was still breathing. I moved him a little, but he was unresponsive, so I knew that he was done.
Volvagia landed down on the floor and looked at me and let out a loud screech. I took out my sword, but I just knew that there was nothing I could do now. Link the Goron had the Megaton Hammer, Pasta was unconscious, Link was chained up, and Lux and Growlithe were actually nowhere in sight. I was screwed, reader, but I tried to stand there and look as confident as I could.
Volvagia screeched again, but then I heard, "Aw, just shut up, you little bitch." I looked around for a second and I was terribly confused. Volvagia looked like he was as well, and he turned around and I saw Lux, Growlithe, and Link the Goron at the lair door and he was holding the Megaton Hammer.
"Lux," Link the Goron said, "paralyze this guy." And Lux let out many bolts of electricity and caused Volvagia to fall to the ground and he just laid there, screeching. It looked like he couldn't move. Growlithe ran over to Link, the human one, and began to use his Fire to melt the chains that wrapped around him. Link fell to the ground and I ran over to him.
Link the Goron was actually kicking the shit out of Volvagia as he was paralyzed. It was a fantastic sight, but I had to help Link and get Growlithe hooked up with the Firestone I had, before I lost it, because that always seemed to happen somehow.
"Link, please wake up," I said, trying to pat his cheeks and wake him up. He was extremely hurt and I needed to do something. He could be dead any second if I couldn't get him back to health. I couldn't lose him; it would break my heart. I dropped the Firestone while trying to wake him and I think that Growlithe went over to the stone, because I saw a bright light and Growlithe had grown ten times bigger than he was before. His fur was fluffier and long, his tail was huge, and his eyes were full of fiery motivation.
"Arcanine," he said and growled low. I looked on his back and saw Darunia seated there. He looked at me with a confident smile and said, "He'll be okay." Then Darunia kicked Growlithe in the sides and he pounced on Volvagia and let out a huge power, that blinded me. All I remember was seeing Darunia and his son give a high five, and I blacked out.
Chapter 23- Heart Pieces by Underdog Ash

I heard the sound of dripping water before I came to.  I was once again finding myself in the Chamber of Sages.  I got up and saw Darunia and Arcanine, but Link was nowhere to be found.  At that point, I must have had on a panicked expression because Darunia said this: "Don't panic."

        "B-but where's Link?" I asked and I felt tears coming on.

        "Aw now," Darunia said, "don't start crying.  Link was just very sick and very tired, so I asked my son, Link, to take Link to Kakariko Village and have someone take him in for a little while.  Lux is there also, and I put Pasta back into his Pokeball seeing as he was beat up as well.  He should be better in a couple of days."

        "But where did Shannon go?" I asked.

        "Oh, Ganondorf's daughter?" Darunia said.  "She and her father have this annoying ability to just disappear in thin air, so she probably bailed out on your duel."

        Stupid coward, I thought and I looked at Darunia.  "So, uh, are you okay?"  I asked.  "Sorry about your death and all..."

        "Yeah," Darunia said, "Volvagia basically destroyed me, and I knew that would happen, but I needed to protect my village."

        "Wait, are all the Gorons dead?" I asked.  I was bit disheartened back at the Goron Village for Link the Goron was the only Goron in sight.

        "No, they were all just locked up in the Fire Temple.  Luckily, you came before anything bad actually happened."

        "Good," I said.

        "Well, all is not good quite yet.  The Goron Village has been unkempt and Volvagia, when he came through, destroyed some things, so there will need to be some rebuilding.  I'm confident that my son will get the village in the right direction, though.  He's really changed since he teamed up with you."

        "Well, I tried to keep him motivated.  He was very timid when I first met him, but I honestly think that he toughened up when he met Link, seeing as he had never seen the man he was named after before."

        "That could be a factor, yes," Darunia said with a smile, "but you're not giving yourself enough credit."  I smiled at him and he continued, "He's not the one in the most need of your service around here, however," and Darunia's face became stern.

        "What do you mean?" I asked.

        "The Zoras are probably a lot worse off than the Gorons were," Darunia said.  "Since that flood seven years ago, the water levels have never been the same.  The flood kicked up a lot of rocks and dirt, so most of the river beds are filled with rocks that are blocking the water flow.  Lake Hylia is so dry right now that only a small bit of water remains.  Because of the water flow and some of Ganondorf's punishment, the Zora Domain has been stuck in a wintery state.  Most of them have been dead for years..."

        "Is the King Zora-"

        "I don't want to know," Darunia said.  "Unlike us, they have been waiting for rescue for about five years.  Last thing I had heard was that the Zora Princess, who tried to hold a rebellion against Ganondorf, has gone missing.  I'm afraid that she might be dead."

        I thought about that for a second.  If King Zora was dead, maybe he was the sage, but he was rather fat and lazy, so I wasn't sure.  Princess Ruto was actually very outspoken and maybe a little rude, so she seemed like a good fit.  But, then again, most of the Zoras were now dead, so there were so many different people that could be the next sage.

        "Now, before I give you this medallion, I do have some favors to ask of you," Darunia said.  "I need you to help my son and the rebuilding process of Goron Village.  It probably won't take long, but please, just watch over my son and help him.  You've gave him so much confidence, but I hope that confidence doesn't make him too cocky."

        "I'd be glad to help," I said.  I wanted to get that work done quickly however, because I needed to see if Link was okay.  That was my biggest priority at the moment.

        "Good," Darunia said, "now, don't lose this medallion.  This contains my power, you know."

        I smiled and said, "I'll take great care of it."

        "That's my girl," he said and he pulled a medallion out from behind his back.  He handed it to me.  It was red and had the Goron emblem on it and on the back was the Triforce.

        "Now, get outta here," he said and suddenly a beam of light surrounded me.  That last thing I heard him say was this:

        "I'm glad to say that you and I are now True Brother and Sister.  Good luck and sorry that I can't attend you and Link's wedding."

 

        The beam brought me down to the throne room in Goron Village.  I heard some commotion outside, so I jogged to see what was going on.  In the middle of the lobby floor was a rock stage and in front of that stage was about fifty Gorons.  On the stage was Link the Goron, speaking to everyone.

        "Today we have been freed from Volvagia's clutches," Link the Goron said.  "However, today is not a day for celebration.  Your king, my father, Darunia is dead.  But, we have to move forward, my fellow Gorons.  Volvagia shattered our world and even broke some things.  I understand that some of your caves in this village are in shambles.  We need to work together and build our new lifestyles, which won't really be different than before, but it's time to start anew.  I will take my father's throne and be the best, toughest leader that I can be.  I will not let you down and if I have, please tell me.  Now let's get to work."

        The Gorons jumped around and cheered, but soon got to work.  Link the Goron had motivated them and become the leader that his father was, or at least he was on the way to being so.  I waited for things to quiet down and then I approached Link the Goron and I bowed slightly.  I didn't really like to bow and all, but I had so much respect for him.

        "King Link," I said, which seemed to give him the shivers, but he held out his hand.

        "My Sworn Sister," Link the Goron said, "you can just call me Link.  You did so much to help me and, without you, I would probably still being cowering somewhere in this village.  And, I'm not quite King yet.  I still need to figure out how to grow my father's chops."  Saying that, Link the Goron rubbed the sides of his face, where his facial hair would one day be.

        I smiled and said, "Well, I can see you're doing a great job as King already.  Anyway, I would like to help you and the Gorons out before I go off and do other things."

        "Awesome," Link the Goron said.  "What I think you can start at is making torches to light the village.  Volvagia knocked most of them out, so there's no lighting in here, or there's very minimal to say the least.  Some Gorons have already gathered up some wood upstairs to be turned in to torches.  And actually, Link's Scyther is up there right now and helping to cut the wood."

        "Alright," I said with a smile and I took off to find Zucchini.  I didn't have to go very far, for Zucchini was on the second floor.  He cut the logs of wood with grace and it was fun to watch.  I walked over and greeted Zucchini once there was a small break.

        "Hey buddy," I said and then I noticed that Zucchini looked a little distressed and I immediately realized it was because Link was not with me.  I sighed and said, "It's okay, Zucchini.  Link is a little beat up right now.  We'll go see him later today.  Right now, I think we should help the Gorons.  I know that Link is in good care."

        "Scy," Zucchini said and he still looked distressed, but he soon snapped back for a Goron and brought over some more logs.  I cracked my knuckles and smiled at him, trying to cheer him up a little.

        I took a log and threw it over to Zucchini, who basically cut and smoothed it in the air.  The newly cut stick dropped to the ground and I prepared to throw the next log towards him.  This job didn't take too long and I sat around with some Gorons to make these torches.  I was given some small rope and the base of the burning area for the torch.  Every torch I finished, I laid beside me and another Goron came and took it, just so they could place the torch in an area.

        Once that was completely finished, I noticed that on the first floor, the stage had been dissembled and a couple Gorons were using strong clay to remake the pot that use to spin around in the middle of the lobby.  Volvagia must have shattered the other one during his rampages through the villages.  There was a lot of noise around me as Goron families began to move back into their old homes.  I felt so bad for these people, but they were working fast enough that everything would be in order soon.

        I went down to the lobby and then to the throne room to see Link the Goron who was surrounded by three Gorons who were taking notes.  I could see food items on the list, so I knew there would be a feast of some sort.

        "Oh, Ashley," Link the Goron said, "welcome back.  Gentlemen, this is Ashley Brandt, the girl that I helped save this village.  She did a lot more than I did, honestly."

        "Now, don't sell yourself short," I said with a smile.  "Anyway, what's happening?"

        "We wanted to hold a celebratory feast tomorrow evening.  It would be a nice event after we rebuild this village.  And actually, I would like for you and Link to be a guest of honor, if you don't mind."

        "I think that can happen," I said, "I just need to see how Link is doing."

        "Poor guy," Link the Goron said.  "I had some Gorons take him to Kakariko Village.  I think they put him into the Cucco Lady's home, or at least the new addition she has on her home."

        I had no idea who the Cucco Lady was, but I had an idea.  Seven years ago, there was always a lady outside yelling about her chickens or something and it seemed she lived in a rather big home.

        "Alright then," I said.  "I'm really worried about Link right now, so I think I will retire today and go and see him."

        "I understand.  It is getting late.  I don't know, but you worried me there after you disappeared.  You've been gone for almost twenty-four hours.  Anyway, I will see you later, Ms. Brandt.  The feast will start tomorrow at seven.  I can't wait to see you there."

        I smiled and waved goodbye and went on my journey to find Zucchini and then leave for Kakariko Village.  It didn't take long to find him, for he was helping cut some of the clay that would be used for the big pot. 

        "C'mon Zucchini," I said, "let's go see Link."

        "Scyther," he said gleefully and we were on our way out.

       

Link the Goron was right.  I had been gone for almost a day.  That meant that I could've seen Link and helped him recover earlier, so I was a bit upset.  The moonlight was rather bright that night as Zucchini and I made our walk to Kakariko Village.  It was sort of silent out, except for some birds that made noises above us.  It was a peaceful walk, nonetheless, and I became a little sad when we actually made it to the village.

I had an idea of what house the Cucco Lady was in, so I went to the house all the way on the other side of the village.  I had noticed that there was an addition, which was right where the cuccos used to be kept.  It was a big addition and must have held another room.

The front door to this house was off to the right side, so I walked up there with Zucchini and knocked lightly on the door.  After a second or two, a tall, skinny lady with red hair opened the door.  She had on a beautiful blue skirt, which matched her blue eyes.

"Hello?" she said, a little confused.

"Uh, hi," I said, "I'm Ashley.  I am Link's partner.  I was told that Link was being kept here."

"Oh yes, he is," she said with a smile.  "He's in the back here and your Raichu is in this room."

The living room was right in the door and, to my surprise; there was a small cage that had cows in them.  I thought it was a weird place to keep cows, but what did I know?  Zucchini, of course, followed behind me, but shot straight for the door at the back where Link was.

"Um, Scyther," the Cucco Lady said, "Link is sleeping right now...I don't think you should go in there."

Zucchini turned around and looked disheartened.  I, too, was a bit upset for I desperately wanted to go and see Link.  I needed to make sure that he was okay.  Before I could ask if I was allowed to go in, Lux shouted in glee and came after me.  He was in the cage with the cows, but was small enough to go in and out of it.  He had some food in his mouth, but he didn't care, and neither did I.  I scooped him up and gave him a huge hug.

"So, uh, is Link alright?" I asked after the big hug.

"Oh, yes.  He was just poisoned is all.  I have an antidote for the poison he had, however.  I think the poison was delivered to him by blade.  He did have slashes on him.  His stomach area is also a bit slashed up, so I wrapped it.  He's still a bit ill from the poison and I think all that he needs now is sleep."

Speaking of sleep, I was exhausted.  I wasn't going to be able to see Link, so I just wanted to sleep the anticipation away.

"Well, since you're going to sleep," the Cucco Lady said, "your bed is in the same room that Link's bed is in.  If you go to bed now, just try to be quiet.

I put down Lux who ran back into the cage to get some more food.  Zucchini couldn't get in the cage, so Lux began to bring some out to him.  I walked towards the door, which was under a set of stairs.  "Well, goodnight," I said awkwardly and I opened the door slowly and walked in just as slow.  I gently shut the door behind me and there he was.

There was a small window towards the ceiling, which let moonlight bleed through.  In front of me, below that window, was a bed and in that bed was Link.  He didn't have his hat on and I looked over at a table to see Navi asleep, so I gently took off my hat and grabbed Max, but not too firm.  I laid him on the table by Navi and watched while they slept.

"Ash?" Link said quietly.  His voice was hoarse.

"Yes?" I said and I walked towards the bed.  I got a better look at Link, who wasn't wearing a shirt.  Wrapped around his sides were a bandage and it had some blood stains on it.  I looked at his face and wanted to cry.  He looked like he was in so much pain.

"Are you okay?" Link asked.  "I was so worried that-"

"Worried about what?" I asked.  "Link, look at you...you're in more pain than I have ever been in."  I sat on the edge of his bed and watched him breathe slowly; his chest heaving up and down.

"You just had me worried," Link said and he smiled a little and placed his hand on my leg.  I looked down to see a Triforce glowing on it, but I dismissed that detail and just looked at his face and his body.  He had so many cuts and bruises, but he still looked so strong.  "You're always jumping up and going on to the next thing," Link continued.  "Someone has to be here to protect you, and I failed."

"If anyone failed, it was me," I said quietly and I placed my hand on his bare chest and I could feel his heart beating.  I didn't know what was going on, but his heart and my heart were both beating heavily.  There was a rather short pause at that moment.

"I'm really glad that you're here with me on this mission," Link said, "even though you can be a pain in my ass sometimes."
        "I'm glad that I'm here too," I said.  "I would have never met someone like you back at home."  I scooted a little bit closer to him.

Link smiled and actually pulled me down and I assumed he wanted me to lay with him.  I turned around and laid right beside him, his left arm around me.  I crossed my arm around his chest and laid my head on his shoulder.  I felt comfortable there with him and nervous at the same time.  I couldn't believe what was going on.

The moonlight was shining on us perfectly, or at least I thought so.  He was so warm, even with the bandages wrapped around him.  Suddenly he wrapped his hand around my chin and moved my face up and he kissed me and he kept kissing me.

Now, I'm not really for all that smooshy love junk, but reader, I cannot write what happened at this moment not because I don't want to, but because I couldn't find the words to describe it.  The kiss wasn't that long, I suppose, but it was amazing.

We slept with each other that night...and by sleep I mean just sleeping not...well...ya know...and he whispered this to me that night:

"It doesn't matter how many heart pieces I collect, you, Ash, make me feel more alive than ever."

 

And we slept with the moonlight making a blanket on us, forgetting the trouble of Hyrule, Ganondorf, and all else in our restless minds.

Chapter 24- Knights of Hyrule by Underdog Ash

The next morning was rather...awkward.  The first factor of awkwardness was that we had to move on and continue saving Hyrule, rather than snuggling and all that love stuff.  The second factor was that everything that had happened, at least for me, was completely unexpected.  I wasn't sure if what happened that night was an accident or what.  The third factor was that I didn't know if that meant Link and I were dating or if we just let off some steam.  We were adults now, and I thought that adults need that intimate feeling with someone else.  This whole thing was just terribly confusing.

        When I woke up, Link had already got up.  He was getting dressed when I opened my eyes.  He changed back to his green tunic, rather than his red one, which was understandable, seeing that his red tunic was most likely covered in blood and sweat.  He didn't know I was watching him as he stretched and put on his undershirt and then he out on his green shirt.  He walked over to a table to get his hat and I noticed that he was limping.

        I could hear him breathe and I could hear every footstep that he took.  I watched as he struggled to put on his shield and sword and watched as he tucked his hat onto his head; tucking the cloth behind his ears.  His sharp features were beautiful in the sunlight.  He turned around and noticed me looking at him and smiled.

        "Good morning," he said.

        "Morning," I said quietly and I got up.  I was still in my red tunic, but I actually liked the tunic more than the green one, so I decided to leave it on.

        "Are you going to change?" Link asked with a smile.

        "Nah," I said and I walked over to the table and grabbed my red hat.  "I think I like this tunic better.  Green just isn't really my thing."

        Link smiled and said, "You're so weird.  Weird, but cute."

        I smiled back, but it was a little forced.  I didn't know what to say to that.  I took my finger and poked both Navi and Max, who were still asleep.  "C'mon guys," I whispered, "wake up."

        The slowly started to hover around us as Link and I just looked at each other for a second.  I didn't know what to do or what to say.  The moment was just so breathtaking, until Navi shouted this: "Hey!  We need to keep moving!"

        "No shit," I snapped at her.

        Navi shot underneath Link's hat and Max was already going back to sleep in mine.  Link then suddenly kissed me and he held me afterwards.  "Unfortunately, Navi is right," Link said and he touched my face delicately.  "We should probably get moving."  He then kissed me again and I felt his blonde bangs brush against my forehead.  I wanted to melt, but our moment was shattered in a second.

        "Ow," Link suddenly shouted and he fell to the ground.  I kneeled down to see him holding his sides.

        "Link, what's wrong?" I asked quickly and I began to hold him as he winced in pain.  Something was wrong with him.  I didn't like to see him in pain at all, but I didn't know what to do.  "Link, please tell me."

        After a little while, he stopped wincing and making sounds of pain.  He stood up and pulled me up with him.

        "The poison isn't fully gone yet," he said with a stern face.  "I don't think we should get involved into any intense fighting just yet."

        "Well, the Gorons are throwing a feast today," I said.  "They invited us both to be honorable guests.  Link the Goron has done a great job of getting things back together.  The feast will be at seven tonight."

        Link smiled and said, "Well, I could use some good food right now.  We should go.  You look really hungry anyway.  We could both use some food."

        He hugged me and kissed my forehead and went to the door.  Before he opened it, he sighed.  "Unfortunately-"

        "We need to keep this under wraps?" I said.  I knew what he was going to say.  It depressed me a little bit, but we both knew it was for the best.  "If we get our emotions involved, Ganondorf will know what our weaknesses are and things would get complicated."

        "Exactly," Link said, "which will be hard, but I don't want Ganondorf to take you."

        I smiled and was probably blushing, but I didn't mind.  I had never felt this way before, the way I did with Link. 

        We walked out of the room and I decided to just pretend that nothing had happened.  I needed to act just as I had towards him before.  Everything returned to normal when we walked out in the Cucco Lady's living room.  Zucchini and Lux were eating yet again, but they were eating what I assumed was a breakfast sort of food.  I couldn't see the Cucco Lady anywhere.

        "Scyther!" I heard Zucchini shout and he ran right after Link and gave him a hug.  I smiled and walked over to Lux, who shot up and landed on my shoulder.  He was still really happy to see me back.  I would have let him sleep with me last night, but I didn't exactly sleep in my bed.

        I heard the front door open and saw the Cucco Lady who smiled and said, "Hey sleepy heads.  It's almost noon.  I don't really mind you sleeping in, though. I couldn't imagine how much sleep you two have lost."

        "We've lost quite a bit," I said with a smile.  "We both appreciate your hospitality."

        "Well, if you two ever need to stay anywhere, I'll be here," the Cucco Lady said.  "Thank you for all you have done and good luck.  Make us proud, knights of Hyrule."

        I grinned and headed for the door with Link and the gang following me.  I liked that little name, but that name also reminded me of the huge weight that Link and I had on our shoulders.  I walked out, saying a quick goodbye and stood still.

        "I guess we should go to Goron Village and see how they're handling that feast," I said.  "Maybe we'll get to try out some of the food beforehand.  I could really use some gourmet food right about now."

        "Rai," Lux said on my shoulder and he his eyes were sparkling.  He wouldn't mind food, either.

        We walked through Kakariko Village and heard some hubbub going on.  I heard one person shout, "The Lord is coming to town today."

        I looked over at Link and said, "Some shit is probably going to go down today."

        Link rolled his eyes.  "Yeah," he said, "we're slowly taking Ganondorf's plan and ruining it.  He's going to want to stop us as quickly as he can.  We best not stick around here and just go straight to Goron Village, like you said."

        He was right.  Ganondorf was probably looking for us.  I was sure that Ganondorf would come to Goron Village and try and get us out, but we'd be ready. 

        I just hoped that he decided to get us after the feast.  My fighting would be much better with some food in my belly.

 

        We got to Goron Village safely and walked around with Link the Goron.  That pot had already been made and there were gray chops on them now, which must have represented Darunia.  Basically, everything had been restored to the way it used to be, except one Goron was missing.  His name was Biggoron.  But, because he was gone, we were using his room to hold the feast.  From what I was told, Biggoron was a huge guy, so he had a huge room.

        Biggoron's room was actually the room that Link the Goron had took Link and I into when Volvagia was in the village.  Now there was a huge, wooden table and chairs made of stone.  This table was huge and so were the chairs, but there were two smaller chairs at the front, which were probably the chairs for Link and I; Link the human, of course.

        I rubbed my stomach as I imagined food neatly laid on this table.  Man, I couldn't wait to eat.  Link and I hadn't had a big dinner since seven years ago, when we ate across from Ganondorf at a royal feast, so this would be a filling experience.

        "Do you like it?" he asked.  "That table was freshly made this morning and so were all the chairs.  When we say special, we mean special," and he looked at me and gave me a small wink.

        Banners and decorations were being placed all throughout the village as Goron children rolled around; celebrating their freedom from Volvagia.  I enjoyed watching the little ones laugh and play.  It made my job seem like it had some sort of an impact. 

        With the anticipation that I had to eat, it made the day rather slow.  I felt like a president that was back home or something, for Link the Goron paraded us around, introduced us to the elderly, and had us kiss baby Gorons on the head.  There was a lot of standing and walking involved, but I just wanted to eat.  I never had time to just enjoy every bite I took of something.  Everything was rushed; changing clothes, eating, sleeping, walking, and etcetera.  I just wanted to cool down.

        It was when I heard the gong and a Goron voice shout," Thirty minutes ‘til the Grand Feast," that I knew I would be able to cool off and just eat my fill.  I just hoped that they had more than some measly rocks on the menu.

        To my dismay, there was a long line at the dining room, but Link the Goron just pushed us through, so we didn't need to sit and waste our time in line.  I felt like a celebrity as I skipped over everyone in line, but I also felt kind of bad.  While my feet would be satisfied, others would have to wait, and I knew I couldn't skip the line every day, if I lived in Goron Village, because it would make me feel extremely bad.

        Link the Goron sat us both in our respective seats.  Link sat across from me and beside him sat Zucchini.  Lux also got his own seat, though he had to stand on the tip of his back feet to actually be able to eat what would be put on the table.  As soon as we sat down, Link and I had two tea cups set in front of us with coffee in them and, because of the aroma of the coffee, I assume, Navi and Max came out of our hats and rested in them.  I wasn't really sure if they actually drank the coffee or just laid in it like it was some sort of bath, but they both seemed to enjoy it.

        I looked across the table at Link, who's bright, blue eyes were looking at me.  He had on a smile and winked, like he was some sort of stud.  I didn't care though, so I just flashed him a cute smile and looked around nervously.  Yes, Link made me nervous, especially right now.  I didn't like this ‘love' stuff.  It felt nice, of course, but I knew that it could also come back and bite you in the ass.

        It took a little while for everyone to get settled, but once they did, Link the Goron wasted no time to get the feast started.

        "My Sworn Brothers and Sisters," he began with his booming voice, "today is a day of grand celebration.  Though we have not suffered as much as our great friends, the Zoras, we were still under a threat.  We were all clenched in the sharp, stubbly grasp of Volvagia, the terrible dragon that, eons ago, haunted our very ancestors.  The village that our ancestors were apart of was rather big, as this was before the Great War, which depleted the Goron numbers.  We were all more helpless than they were.  But, with the help of two great young adults, we were able to escape the grasp of Volvagia and ultimately gain freedom."

        Link the Goron paused and let the Gorons give their applause.  I could tell he had got my motivational speaking methods, though mine were a little harsher with cuss words or whatever.  But, he wasn't done yet.

        "I am sure that there have been very few instances where the leader of the Goron Village has called a Hylian a sworn brother or sister, but there are two that may break that barrier.  Link, Ash, can you please stand."

        I smiled at Link and we both pushed out our chairs and stood up.  However, Link the Goron had to wait several seconds for me because I couldn't get the chair to move backwards and, after almost falling on my face, I was able to stand tall and proud and overlook the Gorons.

        "These, my Brothers and Sisters," Link the Goron said proudly, "are the two young adults that saved our village."  Then there was the applause thing again and Link the Goron held up his hand for silence.  "Ashley and Link have saved our village now twice.  Once from hunger and now from evil.  We owe them our lives; twice."

        "Ah, you don't owe us anything," I said and I guess Link the Goron decided to ignore me, because he went on.

        And on...

        And on...

        And then...off...but only because, out of the blue, a rapier came from the ceiling and sliced my plate and landed in the table.  Everyone was speechless as I just stared at the blade of the sword, which vibrated from impact.  I suddenly got angry and shouted, "Shannon, where are you, you bitch!"

        "Now now," I heard a smooth, male voice say.  "You're quite the rude one."

        Link suddenly shouted, "Show yourself, you coward."

        "Show myself?" the man said.  "Why would I do something like that?"

        "Where are you, bastard!" Link snapped.

        All of a sudden, a blur came from the ceiling and there was a sound.  It was the sound of someone landing rather hard on the table and some plates and glasses shook from the impact.  The rapier that was in the middle of my plate was brisked away and, in a split second, Link had a thin blade at his throat.  He was still sitting down and I was able to see the man behind him.

        This man had blonde hair, which wasn't a very bright blonde.  He also had a pointy chin goatee, which was also blonde. His eyes were a dark blue, unlike Link's, which were a lot lighter blue.  In this man's eyes, I could see rage, but calm rage.  He was different than Ganondorf or Shannon.  I realized then and there, that this guy would possibly be my match.

        "Who are you?" I asked.

        The man smirked and repeated, "Who am I?  Shouldn't you be a bit worried about your friend here, rather than knowing who I am?"

        I looked down at Link who had on a worried expression, so I stood up and cracked my fingers and, as I did that, I felt the static in my hands go crazy.  I held out my hand and had my bolts wrap around this man's right arm, the arm that held the rapier across Link's throat.  I then let out a jolt of lightning with my other hand and knocked the man backwards against the wall.  I jumped on the table and to get over on the other side just to see the man.  He was against the wall, his rapier still grasped in his hand, but he still had on a smirk.

        "Now then," I said, "who are you?"

        The man smiled, his hair covering his eyes.  He slowly stood up and flashed those eyes at me.

        "If you must know, my name is Leon Sorel," he said.  "I am from the Soul Dimension and hail from France on the continent of Eurasia.  I come from a long line of swordsmen and I am the oldest son of the present Sorel family.  I left that dimension to protect Ganondorf from some...others from my dimension and I also left to take Shannon Dragmire's hand in marriage.  I am also the head Knight of Hyrule."

        "What do you mean by others from your dimension?" I asked.  I was a bit startled that Ganondorf had ties with others outside of the Ninten Dimension.

        The man laughed, which seemed a bit forced, and said, "Now, why would I tell you that?  You're going to set a plot against Ganondorf, won't you?  I've heard about you, Ashley Brandt, so don't think you can slip past me."

        Ganondorf had more enemies than I thought and, with Leon here, I had to stay on my toes.  If I could utilize Ganondorf's enemies, maybe this whole thing could be easier.  Where ever this Soul Dimension was, I needed to find it, but I still needed to keep trying to stop Ganondorf.

        "So, why are you here, then?" I asked. 

        "Well, I knew that there would be a celebration today and Ganondorf knew that you two would most likely attend," Leon said.  "I was asked to come here and try and stop you brats once and for all."  He then pointed the blade of his rapier at me.  "Ms. Brandt, Link, I'm here to have a duel with each of you."

        "So, like a truel?" I asked.

        Leon put on a disgusted expression and said, "What?"

        "A truel," I said.  "The word duel and trio put together.  I duel between three people."

        Leon still kept on the same face and said, "I don't work that way.  The rules of a duel are kept sacred to me.  I will duel both of you, but at separate times.  Once I defeat the first, I will move to the other."

        "Now, don't get too cocky," I heard Link say behind me and I heard him walking towards us.  "Ash and I are both conditioned by the blade.  Don't underestimate us."

        "You, boy, have no idea who you're dealing with," Leon said with an evil tone.

        "But, on the contrary," I said smartly, "you technically don't know who Link and I are, so you too have no idea who you're dealing with."

        Leon's face suddenly became very stern and he said, "Shut up and fight."

        I went to unsheathe my sword when I realized that I had left my shield and my sword in Link the Goron's throne room.

        "Uh..." I said.  I was speechless.  "I have come unarmed." I looked down at the ground in defeat.

        "So did I," Link said.

        "Well, you're just in luck then," Leon said.  "One of the rules of dueling is: Live by the sword, die by the sword.  If you are unarmed, the opponent has to let you retrieve your blade, even if they are the one that disarmed you.  If you do not have your sword and your opponent kills you, they will have their sword taken from them and will be doomed to live a life without dignity."

        "Ashley," I heard Link the Goron say.  "I will have one of my Gorons go and get you and Link's swords and shield."  I then heard a deep clap and heard one of the Gorons leave.  I watched Leon closely, to make sure that he kept his word.  He was one of Ganondorf's minions, so I couldn't trust him, even if he talked all smooth as he did.  He was stroking that goatee of his while waiting; his rapier grasped in his other hand.

        It took a little while for the Goron to get back with Link stuff and my stuff.  Link began to put on his shield but I stopped him. 

        "I don't think you should put that on," I said as quietly as possible.  "Leon seems like a pretty quick guy and his sword style most likely matches.  That shield might weigh us down, which would be bad for us."

        Link smiled and said, "I think I'll be fine with the shield on.  You just worry about yourself right now.  I'll take this guy down first, so you don't have to duel with him."

        "But Link-"

        "No buts," he interrupted me.  "I can do this.  Just watch me."

        Link still put on his shield and unsheathed his sword.  I sighed as I watched him approach Leon, who just stood straight and smirked.

        "Are you ready, boy?" he asked Link.

        "Yes, I am," Link replied.

        "Well, this is exciting then," Leon said and he pointed his blade at Link.  "Let us duel then."

        Link and Leon's blade met as a salute in a way to start the duel and then they took three steps back.  "Let's begin now," Leon said and his feet started to move quickly as he got into his battle stance.  Link just decided to charge after the guy, which wasn't at all a good idea.  All Leon did was spin around Link and poke him in the back lightly, which was probably just to taunt him.

        Link thought fast and turned around and they had a little sword slashing fight, which lasted awhile, however Leon's agility began to tire Link and he slowed down a lot.  I knew that that would happen, seeing as Shannon had a similar style of swordplay.  However, Link had never dueled against Shannon, so he really didn't know what to expect from Leon.

        "I told you about that shield," I whispered as I watched Link struggle.

        I knew it was close to the end of their fight as Link was breathing heavily and attempting to take breaks while Leon ran towards him.  He held up for a while, but Leon did a swift kick to Link's head and he fell over.  Link was on his back when Leon put his boot on Link's chest and pointed his blade at Link's throat.

        "Now, time to die," Leon said and he pulled back his sword.

        I thought fast and ran to Leon and grabbed his right hand so he could shove his blade into Link's throat.  "Alright," I said, "you won, Link lost.  Now, it's my turn."

        "A duel is a fight to the death," Leon snapped and he jerked his hand out of my grasp. 

        "If you lose to me, then you can kill us both," I said, "but right now, this isn't fair."

        "It's part of the rules, you idiot," he snapped.  "You must follow the rules."

        "Screw the rules," I snapped, "I'm not letting you kill Link."

        "The boy deserves it."

        "No he doesn't."

        "Yes he does."

        And this went back and forth for a while, until I got tired of it and held out my hand and let out several bolts of lightning.  Leon was thrown backwards, so I quickly went over to Link and helped him up.  I asked him to walk over to the table and I watched as he limped and held his side.  Of course, the poison he received from Shannon had probably contributed to his defeat, but I had to ignore him for now and have my duel with Leon.

        I looked over at Leon who was getting slowly.  He glared at me as a small line of blood went down his face.  It dripped off his pointy, sculpted nose and plopped on the ground.  He had more rage in his eyes than before, so I knew I was in for a fight.

        "Link," I said, without even looking at him, "throw me my sword, if you will."

        I heard the blade come off the stone table looked over to see it being tossed at me.  In some sort of badass miracle, I was actually able to grab the hilt with my right hand and put on a badass smirk.  "You ready?" I asked Leon, who had now completely stood up.

        He said nothing and brushed his bangs to the side.  Since we were away from each other, we didn't need to do that whole three steps thing and I definitely would not salute this scumbag. 

        Leon didn't even say when to start; he just charged right at me.  I was caught off guard and slashed on my upper shoulder which stung like hell, so I jumped back as fast as I could.  I didn't get very far, but I saved myself a little time to recover.  I was able to prepare for another swipe from Leon and succeeded in repelling him.  I then gave him a quick kick to the torso and made him lose his balance.

        I gave him a quick slash to my right, which made my arm cross my body, but I was able to get his side.  There was a thin, but long wound on his side, but that didn't stop him, unfortunately.  With my arm still crossed, he slashed me on the side of my right arm, but I threw my right arm back to the right side and felt my heavy blade against his light, thin blade.  Our blades met several times after that as we both try to tire the other out.  My eyes were moving quick as I scanned Leon; trying to find an area that I could put a quick jab in and slow him down.  If he was hurt, he would have trouble fighting back.

        Finally, after many small cuts on both of us, I was able to have Leon slip up and keep himself unguarded.  I used a quick jab of my blade to his right side and pierced it a bit.  Unlike him, I wasn't bent on killing anyone, so I did another swift jab with my sword and hit the hilt of his rapier right out of his hands.  It slid across the floor and made a sharp sound, but I kept my eye on Leon, who was holding his right hand.  I noticed that blood was dripping from it.  He immediately began to limp over to his blade.

        "Leon," I said softly, but stern, "I do not intend to kill you this evening.  I also don't intend to duel much longer.  You're a great match and all, but I have stuff to do, rather than kill someone like you."

        "I'll never surrender to the likes of you," he said to me right before he reached down to pick up his sword.

        "Go home Leon," I said.  "Go home and tell Ganondorf that his time on Hyrule's throne is almost up.  Tell him that he had better take advantage of the time he has right now."

        "Never," Leon growled and he charged at me as quickly as he could, but I knew he was weak, so I thrust my sword forward and got Leon right in the shoulder.  My blade went pretty far in actually, and he just stood there and looked at me; the rage in his eyes gone, now replaced with an empty, painful look.

        I pulled out my sword and watched the red blood drip from it.  Leon retreated backwards, holding his shoulder in pain.  I didn't want to harm him any further, so I stayed put and just watched him struggle.  He collapsed on the ground beside his rapier so I walked up to him and crouched to his level.

        "Tell Ganondorf that the Real Knights of Hyrule are going to come and kick his ass," I said and I took the hilt of my sword and hit Leon on the head with it so he would pass out.  I looked over to the Gorons and said, "Before I send this jerk back to the castle, I need you to clean and dress his wounds."  I reach on my belt and grabbed Pasta's Pokeball and released him, instructing him to stand by until Leon was done, and then Pasta would fly him to the castle and leave as soon as he could.

        With that said, I walked to my sheath and put my sword back in its place and then sat down at my seat.  "Who's ready for some food now?" I asked with a smile.

Chapter 25- Winter Wonderland by Underdog Ash
The feast, though not as organized as before, was incredible. I certainly got my fill, but I couldn't stop to let my stomach digest. Link and I needed to get on our way and help the Zoras, which I hadn't told him about quite yet, but I was extremely worried. From what I had heard, the Zora Domain was completely frozen. I didn't want to see it all empty and without the life it once held.
Though I would have been alright with staying at the Goron Village a bit longer, I knew we needed to keep moving, so I told Link we needed to leave and we gathered up Lux and Zucchini. I had a Goron dress some of my wounds, though they weren't too drastic. Link was a bit bruised and in a lot worse shape than I was. He was not only treated for his wounds, but also given a potion to treat the ever flowing poison that still plagued his body.
I considered him staying behind for a while, so I could figure out what was going on with the Zoras, so I asked him to stay in Goron Village.
"No," Link said with a serious expression. "I can't let you go by yourself. We have no idea what's going on over there and I don't want you to run into Leon again by yourself."
"Eh, I can handle Leon," I said with a smile, but Link didn't smile back; he kept on his stern face.
"We need to go together," he said quietly and began to head for the exit of the village. I followed behind with Lux and Zucchini.
When we reach the village, it was extremely dark. It was nighttime in Hyrule, but the dark clouds that rested above the village added more darkness to the night. I looked up at Death Mountain as we walked through and could barely see the top. There was no longer a ring of fire orbiting at the peak, so that made me feel a bit better. I also noticed that the atmosphere of Kokiri Forest changed after we released Saria. That meant that Link and I had some unfinished business to attend to in Kakariko Village.
We exited the village to see our horses still tied to the tree that we left them by. They had eaten most of the grass around them and I felt a bit guilty. Link and I were so busy that we couldn't come down and take care of them. Someone had actually left a huge bowl with water in it for them, so we just left them there. Zora's Domain was right by Kakariko Village, so it wouldn't be that long of a journey.
We walked beside the Zora River before entering the valley and I jumped down into the river, which wasn't really a river anymore. The bed of the river still had a small stream, but it wasn't much of a stream. The sides of the bed were completely dry and it was a little depressing. I wasn't sure if this was because the domain was frozen or if it was because of the flood I caused years ago. Still, I felt guilty for all of it.
We got to the valley, which felt like a wasteland. The grass was still there, but it was all completely brown. It crunched beneath my feet and seemed to hurt Lux's and Zucchini's for they kept looking at the bottom of their feet and whined a little.
Link took a Pokeball from his belt and asked Zucchini to return and I patted my shoulder for Lux to jump onto. I would have stayed in the riverbed but it wasn't the easiest path to travel on, so I jumped out of it and joined Link.
Once we reach the bridge, things got a little nerve-wracking. The bridge was very dry and I was afraid that the wood of the bridge would break if someone stepped in it. I wasn't sure if anyone had actually used the bridge in seven years, but it must have been built shortly after the flood because there was no way that the small bridge that was there before would have survived that flood.
Link turned around and looked at me and said, "So, who's going to go first?"
We just stared at each other for a second, but not in that loving way, just in the way that we hoped the other would say: "Sure, I'll go across the bridge."
That didn't happen, unfortunately, but I got a little bored so I said, "How about we play Rock, Paper, Scissors?"
"What's that?"
I sighed and said, "Fine, I'll go." I had Lux jump off my shoulder so I didn't have any extra weight on me and took a huge breath in front of the bridge. I wasn't really worried about falling, but it would still piss me off. The fall wasn't that far, but I would rather walk and be safe than fall on my ass.
I took my first step with my right leg and barely put any weight on the board and heard a small squeak. My heart began to pound. I wasn't scared of the fall, as I said before, but it was the anticipation that was killing me. I wouldn't be ready for the fall, and as my palms began to sweat, my heart started to pound faster.
I put all my weight on the first board and smiled, but now it was time for the second foot. I put my left foot on the second floor and heard nothing. I felt a bit more at ease and started to walk forward, but rather slow. The bridge wasn't very long, so I walked forward as usual and made it to the other side in no time. Link followed, along with Lux, and they both made it across with no issues.
Once across, we walked forward to the area where the Sleepless Waterfall use to be, but alas reader, it was now a small, pencil thin stream, if you could even call it that. Link and I weren't showered by the mists of the waterfall as we were before and the serenity of the area was completely gone. I looked over at Link who looked devastated.
"What happened?" he whispered and I felt a sudden chill as I watched a snowflake land on Link's nose.
"Well, I would have to guess either the waterfall quit running because of the flood seven years ago," I said a bit quietly, "or because Zora's Domain is completely frozen over."
"What did you say!" Link shouted. "What do you mean frozen. You never said anything about frozen."
"Uh, well..."I said and trailed off. "Maybe I should've mentioned that beforehand."
Link frowned and walked off, which broke my heart a little. Leave it to me to ruin everything, I thought to myself and I followed him. Lux followed us both.
There was no need to play the ocarina and stop the Sleepless Waterfall since there wasn't much left of it. Link jumped right over and went straight into the domain without Lux and I. Lux looked up at me with an upset face and I just shrugged my shoulders and we continued behind Link.
As soon as I entered the domain, I noticed an extreme change in temperature. It suddenly became as cold as huge freezer, like the kinds they had back at home. My tunic wasn't exactly warm, so I was freezing. Link, who seemed a little tense, showed no discomfort at all but his face was in complete awe.
"Link?" I said quietly and I put my arm on his shoulder.
I looked forward to see what Link was seeing and saw the domain. The big waterfall that Zoras used to hold their jumping games was now completely frozen; it was a big mass of ice. The swimming area was also completely frozen and without the serene, blue color of the water, this place just seemed like a cave. There was absolutely no life left.
"Are they dead?" Link asked.
"I think so," I said quietly. Though we didn't really spend much time with the Zoras, it still hurt that they were all gone. A whole race was wiped out by cold weather and ice.
"Well," Link sighed, "let's get moving and see who were need to reawaken."
Link and I walked forward in the domain, not expecting to find anyone left alive. It was a little depressing when we got to the staircase because Reginald, the Royal Zora assistant from seven years ago, wasn't standing there anymore and the red rope that he used to keep others from going up the stairs was gone. It was probably lost in the flood.
The staircase was now a bit corroded, rather than the regal look and the red rug being spread on it. I walked carefully, skipping some steps that didn't have a reliable looking platform. The stairs hadn't been used for a while, so chunks of the steps came right off, which made our climb a bit difficult.
At the top of the stairs, I was met with a shock that broke my heart. I would have to say that I was relieved to see that King Zora was on his throne, however I wasn't relieved by King Zora's state. King Zora was stuck in a mass of red ice that reminded me of Jell-O.
I was shocked, so I just stood there and watched, but Link had different plans. He ran up to the throne, his sword unsheathed, and began to hack away at the Jell-O ice. He was really going at that thing and tired out after a while. Once he stopped, I was amazed to see that the mass of ice had absolutely no cuts or scratches in it.
"What the hell," Link said and he seemed a bit stressed.
I looked down at Lux, who immediately hopped up to the throne and he tried to shock the mass, which did absolutely nothing. I went around and walked up the small staircase that led up to the throne itself. I walked passed Link who just stood there looking at the ground, and I touched the Jell-O ice.
"It's not cold at all," I said. "That's weird." I knocked on the ice and heard a sound coming from the inside, like it was hollow or something. "This isn't ice..."
"Then what is it?" Link asked and there was a hint of aggression in his voice. Something was bothering him.
"You and I need to figure that out," I said and looked at him. I flashed a quick smile, but he looked away quickly. "What we need to do first is figure out where to go from here." I put my hand up to my face and thought for a second, but before too long, something shot in the air and flung around like a disc. It hit Link a couple of times and just spun in the air.
The thing came after me, but I knew better and ducked. It was a quick thing, so I was on my toes, jumping away as soon as it was a millisecond from me. It then decided to go back to smacking Link. I looked around quickly to find some way to stop this thing and I saw Lux, who had small sparks coming from the pouches on his cheeks.
"Lux, use some thunder or something on that thing," I shouted and Lux let out a huge bolt of lightning. This thing fell straight to the ground and landed on the hard ice. Link, who was on the ground with a bloody nose, didn't move, so I went down the small staircase and came to see what the hell that thing was.
The disc that was flying in the air was actually a star shaped creature. It was a light tan color and had a red jewel in the middle of its body. Lux really let the thing have it as its skin was darker in some spots from the burn of his lightning. I touched the creature and it said, "Staryu," very faintly.
"Staryu, huh?" I said and I assumed that this was another Pokemon. What I also assumed was that this Pokemon would be vital to helping Link and I figure out how to help the Zoras...or at least what was left of them.
"Don't touch that thing," Link said. "It seems wild."
"Eh, whatever," I said with a smile, "I think this thing can help us out, you know?"
"But it attacked us Ashley, it's no good," Link said. "Just leave it there."
I looked down at the star shaped Pokemon and picked it up. I held it under my arm pit and carried it around like it was a textbook or something.
"I think I'm going to give this guy a chance," I said. "It seems he was just scared. Anyways, this thing is the only sign of life in this giant refrigerator, so let's be thankful."
"What's a refrigerator?" Link asked.
I was a bit speechless, but I realized that I was in Hyrule, so I explained by saying this: "A refrigerator, or fridge for short, is a big, rectangular box that they had back at home, my home. Anyway, in this box were cooling vent things and it froze food to keep it fresh. Sometimes, it even dispenses ice cubes, but my family was never wealthy enough to get one of those buggers."
I began to walk back up to the throne and became intrigued with what was behind the throne. There seemed to be a path leading outside that I didn't notice seven years ago. Link saw me looking down the path and said, "That leads to the Zora's Fountain. I went there when we split up seven years ago."
"Well, I'm intrigued," I said. "We should definitely go check that out." I started to walk down the path and heard Link and Lux following me. It was a bit bright outside because of the snow, but once I got outside, I saw that some of the fountain was actually liquid.
In reality, the Zora's Fountain wasn't really much of a fountain, but a huge area with a lot of water. I noticed that the water was only frozen if it was shallow. There was a platform in the middle of this place and a big sign that said: RIP Lord Jabu-Jabu.
"Well, someone died," I said to Link, who walked over to the sign. "Who was this guy?"
"Lord Jabu-Jabu was this huge fish thing," Link said. "I actually entered his stomach for a short time to see if Princess Ruto was in there. Silly, right?"
Not silly, disgusting, I thought to myself, but I just nodded. I soon noticed that the Staryu under my arm was trying to break free. Of course, since I had scrawny arms, the Staryu did in fact break through my grasp and took off like a Frisbee.
"God dammit," I cursed and watched where the Staryu went. I chased after, going right up the platform and stopped. In front of me were ice blocks that seemed sturdy to me, so I jumped on it. I slipped and became extremely scared, so I tried to regain my balance while yelling a ton of cuss words. The ice was bitter on my skin and I regretted jumping on it. I was at least able to lay down to watch the Staryu and I saw it fly to the right and go into a cave. The problem was, there were actually two caves in this area, one to my right and one to my left.
Like the bitch he was, Link jumped on the ice block and landed with grace. There was no slipping or cursing, just him standing at my nose, looking down at me with a smug face. "You okay there?" he asked with a teasing tone.
"Oh, shut up," I snapped and I tried to get up, but became too scared and remained on my stomach. The ice was beginning to burn my arms.
"So, which way should we go?" he asked and held his hand down to help me up. I grabbed it and was amazed at how quickly he pulled me up. I slid a bit, but he grabbed my waist and helped me stand straight. And thus, my reader, the awkward silence and eye staring began.
He smiled at me with his blue eyes looking gently down at mine. They were soft and as blue as an ocean, which totally brought me back to what we were actually supposed to be doing.
"Uh, how about this," I said and I took his hands off my waist. "You take that left cave over there and I'll track down that Staryu. We should meet here when we're done."
Link rolled his eyes, which made me swear that he was bipolar. He jumped to the next block of ice towards the other cave and gave me a wave, which I didn't see for very long because the ice block I was on tilted and made me slip into the cold water. I heard Lux jumped on the ice beside me and immediately he jumped into the water and began to swim.
It wasn't that much of a swim to the cave I was going to, but damn it was extremely cold. I hated cold more than heat. The cold was just so bitter and seemed to make me act that way as well. It was so uncomfortable swimming in that water and I wasn't relieved when I got out. It was still terribly cold. I tried to hug my body to get some friction on my skin, but it wasn't working. Lux seemed fine and smiled up at me with that cute face of his.
When we walked into the cave, I soon realized that this wasn't just a cave. This was a Great Fairy's Fountain. I think Max knew it was too, because he came shooting out of my floppy hat and went straight to the middle of the fountain.
I took out my ocarina for I knew I would have to play it. I was feeling a bit confident with my playing, seeing as I was able to successfully call Lightning with that Epona Song thing. I put the ocarina up to my lips and began to play Zelda's Lullaby, which was a bit better than the last time I played it before the flood.
Once I finished playing the song, the Great Fairy popped right out of the middle of the fountain; her boobs flying in the air. Max was getting in on the action. The Great Fairy wasn't the only one that came out of the fountain, however. Out came that Staryu that had gotten away from me.
"Oh, child," the Great Fairy said. "Where is your companion?"
"The boy?" I said. "We split up to figure out what we both need to do."
"Well, where did he go?" she asked.
"Uh, there was a cave somewhere to the left of here," I explained. "He went to investigate and see what was in there. I came here to get that Staryu."
"For what?"
"Well, to reawaken the six sages, I need to evolve certain Pokemon with a stone. I was guessing that this Staryu here was my next target to awaken the water sage."
"You have a good eye, I suppose," the Great Fairy said, "which is why the gods must have chosen you to aid Link. This Staryu is needed to reawaken the next sage."
Then a light bulb popped in my head. If she knew that Staryu was important, then she must have known who the next sage would be. So, I asked her this: "So, since you know all of this, can you tell me who the water sage is?"
"Why won't you just go and figure that out yourself?" she said smartly.
"Because your help will make this job a lot easier," I said. "And besides, the fate of this land lies on my shoulders, so maybe you should be a bit considerate of me."
"You are right, I suppose," she said and the expression on her face was a thinking expression. "I guess I'll go ahead and tell you. That water sage is Princess Ruto."
That makes sense, I thought and I said, "So is she dead yet?"
"Actually, she survived. She has been trying to figure out what happened down at Lake Hylia with a scientist."
"Alright then," I said. "Thanks for the information; Link and I could really use it." And I was getting ready to step back and leave, but King Zora suddenly hit my mind. I needed to figure out how to melt the Jell-O ice. "Oh, and I have another question."
"Yes?" she said and I swear she rolled her eyes.
"King Zora is engulfed in red ice," I said. "How do we thaw that?"
"You need fire," she said, "but the flames of this fire must be blue."
"Well, where the hell do I get that?"
"I can help you with that. Do you have a small, fire type Pokemon?"
"I have Coffee Bean."
"What?"
"I mean, I have a Houndour," I said, a little embarrassed by the nickname I had given her. I put my hand on her Pokeball and unlatched it. I pressed the small button in the middle and let the ball extend my palm. "Go, Coffee Bean," I said, but quietly.
"If you could please step off the Triforce and let Coffee Bean stand on it," the Great Fairy said with a smile.
"What are you going to do to her?" I asked. I was a bit curious.
"I'm going to teach her the move Will-O Wisp," she said. "This move produces cool but hot blue flames. She can help you."
I didn't know what she meant by moves, but I didn't care. We needed to unfreeze King Zora and figure out what the hell needed to be done. Maybe he would have answers.
I watched as the Great Fairy held out her arms and a beam of light came down on Coffee Bean. She began to float which made her freak out a bit. She began to shake her legs and whine. It was over rather quickly however, as a bright light suddenly exploded. That light began to go back down to the ground as the Great Fairy smiled.
Once the light fled from Coffee Bean's body, I realized that she had changed. She was now bigger and much slimmer. She had horns now and a long tail with a point at the end.
"Well, would you look at that," the Great Fairy said enthusiastically. "It looks like Coffee Bean was ready to evolve, too."
"Houndoom," she said and she looked back at me and started to run. She jumped up to me and started to lick my face; her heavy body on top of mine.
"Coffee Bean!" I yelled. Her tongue had a lot of saliva on it.
"Just tell her to use Will-O Wisp when you're around any type of red ice," I heard the Great Fairy say. I then heard her whisper something to Staryu and then she just left. The Staryu floated over to us and landed right by my face.
I pushed Coffee Bean off of me gently and stood up. I looked down at Staryu to try and guess its emotion, but it had no face, so that was difficult to do.
"Alright you guys," I said to the Pokemon around me, "it's time to go unfreeze King Zora and figure out what the heck is going on."
They followed me as I walked out of the Fairy Fountain and, to my surprise; Link was just making it back out; trying to jump from ice block to ice block. He looked up and spotted me, waving two pairs of boots in the air with one hand and in the other hand; he propped up two blue items. "Hey, I found these!" he shouted to me. "I found two pairs of boots with iron on the bottom and two blue tunics."
"Well, I found this," I said and pointed down to Staryu. "Oh, and I also met the Great Fairy and her big jugs again."
He smiled at me and I flashed one back as I jumped into the cold water. Lux grabbed onto my shoulders so he didn't have to swim and Staryu just floated above me. Coffee Bean and I were the ones who received the short end of the stick.
I met Link over by the platform and he asked, "Wow, what happened to Coffee Bean? She's huge now."
"The Great Fairy gave her a move and she just evolved all of the sudden. I don't know why that happened, but I guess she's even stronger now."
"Cool. Now, what did the Great Fairy give Coffee Bean?"
"A move," I said. "It's called Will-O Wisp. I guess it has her blow out blue flames which are the only thing that can melt red ice."
"You mean, like the ice around King Zora?"
"Heck yes. Let's quit wasting time though, we need to hurry." So, Link and I ran into Zora's Domain, the splatter of water hitting the back of our legs.
The throne room hadn't changed much since then, which was expected since it was frozen. I looked down at Coffee Bean who looked up at me with a smile.
"Go thaw that thing," I said and smiled back.
I watched as Coffee Bean ran up to the Jell-O ice and used Will-O Wisp. The blue flames magically engulfed the ice and steam filled the air as the ice disappeared. During this time, I heard coughing which I assumed came from King Zora.
"What's going on here?" I heard him say. "And what happened to my domain?"
"Uh, King Zora," I said. Link and I were still behind the throne. The King turned his neck to see me and in doing so, his neck cracked.
"Wait, are you..." he began to say, but he trailed off.
"Ashley and Link?" Link said. "Why yes, we are."
King Zora smiled and said, "Well I'll be. How about you two come down to the platform where I can see you and we can talk face to face."
I began to walk down along with Link and the rest of the Pokemon. Link and I walked on the platform so we could talk to King Zora like we use to seven years ago.
"My have you two grown," the King said. "Last time I saw you, you two were kids. How have you been? Are you two married yet?"
"No," I said quickly. "Anyway, we can't really chat right now. If you haven't noticed, your domain is frozen and there are no more Zoras."
"Oh, well, I haven't quite noticed that yet..." the King said. "Well, I mean, I knew about the frozen part..."
"Not only that, but Hyrule is completely empty of water," I said. "The lake is dry because the water is blocked up in Zora Fountain. Something needs to be done, but there are no Zoras to help move the rocks that block the path."
"Really now?" the King said. "So are you saying that the water is shallow in Hyrule?"
"Yes," I said.
"Well, that is a great thing," the King said and I tilted my head. I assumed he was being sarcastic. "Since the water is shallow, I can call ‘ol Darunia and he can lend us some Gorons to move the rocks."
"Um, well," Link said, so I continued for him by saying: "Darunia's dead."
"My goodness," the King said. "Then who's running the village?"
"His son, Link," Link stated. "We helped him a day or so ago. The village was under the control of a dragon named Volvagia. That dragon killed Darunia."
"Are the Gorons alright?"
"Yeah," I said. "Do you think you could call Link to lend us some Gorons? Just tell him we're here."
"Yes, I can do that," King Zora said and he reach for a shell beside him. It seemed that he dialed a number. After he dialed, he put the shell up to his ear and began speaking to someone. "Oh, hello," he said. "Is this Link, Darunia's son? Yes, well, I'm here with Ashley and Link. I suppose you have met them? Good, good. Now, we are in need of some help. See, the Zora River has stopped running because there are rocks blocking the flow. Could you-wait, pardon? Oh, I've just be frozen for seven years is all. Anyway, could you send some Gorons to help us move the rocks? You can? Splendid. I'll tell the kids here and we'll prepare. Thank you. Yes, goodbye."
"So, I guess he said yes," I said.
"Pretty much," the King replied. "He said that a group will be over soon, so get ready for them outside. I don't really have any tools for you two to use, so maybe just kick at the rocks a little. Oh, and can you find my daughter...if she's still alive, that is."
"Oh, she's alive," I said with a smile. "We'll find her for you once this whole river mess is cleaned up."
"Thank you," the King said. "Please, don't let me down."
"We won't," I said and I smiled at Link. Maybe things would go smoothly for once.

 

Chapter 26- Thawing the Domain by Underdog Ash

It took an hour or two, but as promised, the Gorons showed up.  Link and I planned on staying to help the Gorons, but they told us that they would take care of it.  We wouldn't have been much help anyway, since we couldn't lift most of the rocks ourselves.

        So, Link and I left the Zora Fountain and followed the small Zora River stream back out to Hyrule Field.  We untied our horses and made our way to Lake Hylia, which Link had never actually seen before.  Seven years ago, I went by myself to try and find Princess Ruto who was actually buried in the ground by two scarecrows who thought she was a radish.

        As we rode, the sun was rising for the new day to begin.  My stomach growled as my eyes were heavy.  I was used to the feeling however, and Link seemed to be as well.  It had been a long journey for us both, but we knew we were far from being done.  We just had to push forward.

        When we got to the lake, I was petrified.  The lake only had a tiny bit of water left.  A small stream was coming from the Gerudo Valley's river, which also fed off the Zora River.  It was depressing to look at.  The land itself was depressing.  The grass was brown and dry and the garden where the scarecrows used to be was completely bare.

        On a ledge in front of us was a house, which was most likely the house of the scientist that the Great Fairy told me about.  It was tall and had an unsafe looking platform at the top which looked warped and poorly built.  The house looked old with mold growing down the side.  It leaned to the side a bit, which frightened me.  It looked like the house would collapse in the lake. 

        "That's where Ruto is, apparently," I said.

        "Are you sure?" Link said.  "This house seems rather...unsafe.  No one should be living in there."

        "I just heard this from the Great Fairy," I said and I looked back at Lux and motioned him to jump off Lightning.  I began to dismount my horse and said, "It wouldn't hurt to look.  I mean, it might be a couple hours and then the river might begin to flow again.  I'm afraid that there will be a shock from all the water and a flood here."

        "...again?" Link said and he sighed.

        "Yes, it will happen again.  However, the last time the flood happened was because of my ocarina playing, so I bet a lot of shit went wrong.  This time, we have a little more control."

        Link dismounted his horse and shook his head.  "Whatever happens, I know it won't be good.  Therefore, for now, you and I need to stay together."

        I nodded and we just looked at each other for a second.  Then I began to walk towards the lakeside house.  With Lux at my feet, Staryu floating above, and Link and Coffee Bean behind me, we entered the lakeside home.

        The building was dark inside.  The only light was a serene blue that came from several aquariums and test tubes filled with fish and plants.  The place even smelled alright and there was a small scent of salt water in the air.  There were lab desks and notebooks, but no one in sight.  To the left of us was a spiral staircase however, so I assumed that there were people up on the second floor.

        "Hello?" I asked and waited to hear any sort of response. 

        "Oh, yes," I heard a raspy, older sounding voice say from the second floor.  "I will be down soon." 

        After about five seconds, I saw figures coming down the stairs.  One was a short, disgusting looking guy.  His jaw seemed a little loose and he was missing tons of teeth.  Behind him was a tall Zora and once it reach the first floor, I recognized it in an instant.

        "Princess Ruto?" Link said and she looked at both of us.  She was taller now and skinnier.  She had the body of a female, but with fins added, since she was a Zora.  She stood proud and smiled at both of us.

        "Ashley and Link, is it?" she said and looked at Link.  "Why Link...you've grown into a very handsome man.  I guess it's expected, seeing as how you were as a boy."

        "Thank you, Princess," Link said and he winked. 

        "Yeah...he's quite the guy," I mumbled.

        "And I can see you still haven't lost that harsh tongue of yours," Ruto said, but she smiled, so I took it as a compliment.

        "You've grown yourself," I said back.  "Anyway, I was asked to find you by your father."

        "He's alive?" she gasped and it seemed that she had tears welling in her eyes.  "I thought the whole domain was dead.  Ever since Ganondorf came and-"

        I noticed that she began to get upset, so I said, "You can spare the details.  We've already seen the domain.  We'll just need your help to thaw it."

        "What do you need me to do?" she asked.

        We need to kill you, I thought and was about to say it, but I decided that probably wasn't a good idea.  "I don't know yet," I lied and smiled.  "I just feel you will be a vital key to helping us."

        "I will do anything for my kingdom," Princess Ruto said and that's when I realized that she really had grown up.  She used to be a spoiled brat, but now she was rather mature.

        There was some silence and Link said, "What have you guys been studying?"

        "Ooh, you want to know?" the creepy old scientist said.  "We've been studying the lake monster."

        "The lake monster?" I said.  It sounded like a conspiracy thing to me.  Back at home, a lot of people went crazy after this creature named Big Foot and then there was a Loch Ness monster.

        "Yes," the scientist said.  "This monster is responsible for the lack of water in Lake Hylia.  At least, it is according to my studies."

        "Well, what about that flood seven years ago?" I asked.

        "That's only a myth," the scientist said and chuckled.  "You're a silly girl."

        Only in Hyrule does a sea monster make more sense than a flood, I thought.  But, that also meant that I wouldn't be blamed for that flood, so I felt a bit more relaxed.

        "I don't think the monster exists," Link said bluntly.

        The scientist gasped and looked at Link like he was completely stupid.  "It does exist.  I have the evidence!"

        "Whether you have the evidence or not doesn't matter," I said.  "Link and I need to get the water back in the lake and figure out how to thaw the Zora's Domain.  Where is the monster at?"

        "Ruto and I believe that the monster is in the Water Temple, which is under the water that is left in the lake," the scientist said.  "To get under there, you will need a certain suit and certain boots."

        "Actually, we have those," Link said and pulled out a suit and a pair of boots out of nowhere.

        "Excellent," Ruto said.  "Professor, you should go up to the watch tower and look out for the monster.  I will get Ashley and Link ready to battle the lake monster."

        "Great," the scientist said and he walked towards the stairs and started to slowly walk up them.

        "So, I see you have the boots and the suit," Ruto said.  "Before we go to the Water Temple, we should try them out in this pool here.  You know, just so you two get the hang of it."

        She stood there and smiled and Link and I looked at each other.  "Uh," I said, "that means we'll need to change.  So...can we go into separate rooms or something?"

        "Oh, well..." Ruto said and she began to think.  "I know!  I'll turn around and you two face away from each other.  It looks like you both have under clothes on, anyway, so that seems safe, right?"  And, without getting an approval from us, she turned around.

        I looked at Link who held out another suit and a pair of boots for me.  I gave him a nervous look and he just shrugged and began to take his shirt off.  We did have white undershirts on underneath our tunics, so it wasn't that big of a deal, but it was still rather...intense, I suppose.

        It was awkward getting undressed in front of each other, though we were still clothed.  But, we were both still awkward around each other since we kissed a day or so ago.  Even though I avoided looking at him, I still glanced up to see him and he did the same for our eyes met once or twice and I swore, when that happened, a bolt of anxiety went through my body.

        After we were done, we just awkwardly smiled at each other and I said, "We're ready now." 

        "Okay," Ruto said with a smile, "but where are those fairies you two always had?"

        "They're in our hats," Link said.  "They tend to sleep quite a lot."

        "Good, because they can't go with us to the Water Temple," Ruto said.  "Neither can any of those Pokemon, except for the Staryu above you two.  Since it's a water Pokemon, it can dwell under water.  Anyway, follow me."  Then Princess Ruto dove into the pool of water at the back of the lab. 

        I took one step forward and almost fell on my face as Link was able to walk with those stupid boots.  "Jeez," I mumbled as I tried my hardest to keep up with Link, but it was difficult.  He turned around before he dove in to check on me, I assumed.

        "Are you alright?" Link asked.

        "Never been better," I said sarcastically.

        "Don't worry.  It'll be much easier to walk in the water."  Link then put on a warm smile, like he enjoyed watching me struggle to move.  He giggled a little, which I assumed was because he wanted to tease me and my skinny legs.

        I was able to reach it to the pool without breaking my ankles, so that was a plus.  The only thing I was nervous about was jumping into the pool, seeing as I first wasn't sure if I could breathe underwater and I wasn't sure if I could get the boots off underwater if there was a problem.  Link had no problem jumping in and, after a couple of seconds; I jumped in myself, seeing as he had no issues.

        I began to float down to the pool floor and could barely see.  The water irritated my eyes for a second, but after a while I was able to see clearly.  I could see Link and Ruto clearly at the bottom.  I took a huge breath as I drifted and it felt like I was breathing in a lung full of air.  The suit must have been able to help whoever wore it breathe, like the Goron tunic helped anyone withstand high temperatures. 

        I felt my feet hit the bottom of the water and saw Link to my right.  Ruto was in front of us both.

        "Can you hear me?" she asked.  Her voice was muffled by the water, but I could understand what she was saying.  "As you have probably noticed, you can breathe under here.  That will help you tremendously today.  I will be in charge of helping you find and kill the monster in the lake."

        But you'll die in the process, I thought and tried to picture a way that she would die.  I didn't want to kill her, but if it came to that, I guess one of us would have to do it.  I was looking around while she went on about something and something terrible caught my eye.

        "What the hell is that thing?" I asked and I pointed at what looked like a living shark behind a cage.

        "Oh, that's Jaws, the shark," Ruto said.  "We used him to try and fish out the lake monster, but he just ate a bunch of people."

        "People?" I shouted.  "He ate people?"

        "Well, yeah," Ruto said with a tone I had heard her use seven years ago, "he's a shark.  Anyway, most of the people he ate were some of Ganondorf's minions, so no harm done, really."

        "If he eats thing, I would stand close to him," Link said. 

        "Oh, I ride him all the time, Link," Ruto said.  "There's absolutely nothing to worry about."

        Unfortunately for Ruto, they must have forgotten to feed Jaws the shark, because he immediately opened his huge mouth and grabbed her arm.  He jerked it around and was able to pull her through the bars and Link and I got to watch a shark eat.  Blood filled the water as I lost the little bit of food that was left in my stomach.  Link pulled off my boots and then pulled off his and we began to float back to the surface.

        I grasped the ledge and pulled myself up to the lab floor.  Link tossed the boots over to the side and got out of the water.  Though he didn't puke, he looked extremely disgusted.  I laid on the floor and looked at the ceiling.

        "What the hell just happened?" I asked Link and he looked down at me; his face extremely pale.

        "I couldn't tell you," he said and I noticed that his knees were wobbly.  He collapsed on the ground besides me which caused Lux and Coffee Bean to come to our sides.

        "Well, on the bright side," I said, "at least she's dead now.  All we need to do is find that Waterstone and reawaken her."

        "I wouldn't mind her dying a little differently, though," Link said.  "What the hell was she thinking?"

        "She obviously wasn't.  Or she put too much trust in a pet shark."

        I stood up after a while and looked at the pool.  Chunks of flesh and chunks of my puke was just beginning to make its way up to the surface and I had to look away as soon as I could.  I didn't want to puke again and lose the rest of my food.

        "Okay, so I'm thinking that we need to now is go down into that temple that those two were talking about," Link said and he picked up the boots and handed me my pair.

        "That's what I'm thinking, too," I said and I looked down at Lux and Coffee Bean.  "You guys need to stay here, alright?  Link and I have some business to take care of.  Staryu, you'll need to come with us."

        Staryu nodded...at least it looked like he did and started to follow us out of the lab.  I held the door open for it and we made our way back outside.  That's when we realized that it was raining.

        "This isn't good," I said and sighed as I became soak and wet. 

        We both walked to the lake and my boots made it extremely difficult.  Since the lake was almost completely dry, we had to walk on basically mud, which was wet from the rain.  Therefore, my boots sunk deep into the mud and were hard to get out of the mud.  It made it even more difficult with the iron on the bottom of them.

        However, I was able to get my feet out of the mud and make it to the water, which was in the middle.  There was an island type deal in the middle of the lake, but I noticed that, underneath the water, there was an entrance of some sort.  Link and I started to float down to the floor of the lake and Staryu swam with us.  The entrance, oddly enough, was already open, so we just waltzed in without any problems.

        Inside, the temple was completely full of water.  I took off my boots to swim to the top and Link followed.  Once we got to the surface, we saw the temple.  It was big and beautiful.  There was more to the temple than we could know for the bottom of it was filled with water.  Thankfully, the top was completely free for Link and I.

        "So, I wonder where this ‘monster' is," Link said and I just shrugged.  It was then that Staryu took off.

        "Hey, wait!" I shouted, but it was too late.  Staryu wouldn't listen.  I quickly grabbed Link's wrist and jumped over to a platform that seemed to be a big, tall building.  There were a couple doors, but I just needed to get to Staryu.  It was taking off towards a door that we would be unable to reach so, before it was out of my reach, I jumped up and grabbed the small ring around one of its legs.  Link held on to my ankle as we soared in the air with Staryu.

        We were a bit heavy, so once we reach the other side, Staryu floated us back down.  It made some noises and pointed at a door.  It wanted us to go in there for some reason, so I rushed towards the door without giving Link a rest.  Inside of this door was a long, slanted hallway that had these razor like objects going back and forth.  They stayed at the same pace so I watched them carefully.

        "When I say go, we need to run up this hill and not stop," I said to Link who said something, but I shouted go and grabbed his wrist.  I pulled him up this hill and got all the way to the top just before one of the razors shot back.  If I didn't give Link a final tug, his ankles would have been cut off.  Staryu just met us at the top.

        "Are you insane?" Link asked, breathing rather hard.  "You could have killed us both!"

        "There's no time to explain that," I said smartly.  "C'mon, the Waterstone might be in this room."

        The door was huge, so I knew something was kept in there.  We opened the door and found a big pool and, in the middle, an object that was shining brightly.

        "There we go," I said and started to walk forward, but Link grabbed me.

        "Ash," he said, "what about that lake monster.  That water looks pretty peculiar."

        "It's just a stupid conspiracy, Link," I said.  "We had those all the time back at home.  We both know that I caused the lake to run dry because of that flood.  I mean, c'mon.  I thought you would be a bit smarter than that."

        "Well, suit yourself," Link said and he let me go.  "If you get in any kind of trouble though, don't expect me to come save you."

        "After all the times I've saved your ass?" I snapped back and continued to walk.  "Like Volvagia and that junk?"

        "Um, that was your fault," Link said.

        "Well, whatever," I snapped back and started to jump from pillar to pillar to get to the middle of the pool, where the object was.  "Oh hey, it's the Waterstone," I said to Link and reach down to pick it up.  "Isn't that convenient?"

        Link didn't say anything back.  I picked up the stone and looked at it.  It was pretty.  I then looked back up at Link to show him my treasure when I saw a terrified look on his face.  "What's wrong with you?" I asked and I turned around to see a long tube of water and, right at the tip, was a giant, veiny eyeball, looking right at me.

        "What the fuck are you?" I said, but it didn't want to talk, if it even could talk.  It grabbed me and I dropped the stone.  It swung me around and then I felt my body being thrown.  I landed on the ground right in front of Link who helped me up as quickly as he could.  I was this thing's main target, but Link pushed me out of the way.

        This monster grabbed Link and I saw its body morph around his figure.  It slammed him straight into the wall.  I could see Link through the monster's body, which was water.  His eyes were closed and his face scrunched in pain.  I didn't know what to do.  I held out my hand and sent out a bolt of electricity.  The blue lightning shot through the lake monster, but also got to Link.  Link shouted in pain as the lake monster let go of him and sunk back into the pool.  I saw the Waterstone go with it.

        "Link, are you alright?" I asked him quickly and ran to his side.

        "Sure," he said and he kissed me.  "C'mon, we need to get this guy."

        We both stood up at the same time and unsheathed our swords.  With some cool move that happened, our blades met each other's blade and we rushed to the edge of the pool.  The monster began to come from the water again and its eye was going up and down inside its body.  I had an idea, so I took out my hookshot and aimed it at the eyeball.  It came right out of the body and was exposed, so Link and I attacked it with our swords.  It was a quick and slippery bastard, so we chased it.

        The eyeball went right back to its body and the water demon began to swing around, trying to grab either Link or I.  I watched the monster intensely and saw that the Waterstone was going up and down the body of the monster.  Staryu was floating around above the monster.  I stood still and let the monster grab me and concentrated on its body.  I kicked the eye out of the way when it came towards me and reach to grab the stone when it got close.  I grabbed it and was soon thrown across the room.

        "Staryu!" I shouted and it came to me.  I put the stone on its star body and a bright light appeared.  I stood up to see Staryu transformed and Princess Ruto.  Thankfully, Ruto had all of her limbs.

        "Starmie, use Thunder," Ruto shouted and tons of lightning came from Starmie's body.  The lightning created a bright light that blinded me. 

        After that, I honestly don't know what happened.  I blacked out and the sound of dripping water filled my ears...

Chapter 27- The Darkness Within by Underdog Ash

        It had happened before, so I had an idea where Link and I were.  The Chamber of Sages just had this distinct feel and I knew where I was even with my eyes closed.  The dripping water wasn't the only thing that gave it away, however.  Just the smell and the calm feeling took over my body.  I felt like I was floating whenever I came to the chamber.

        I opened my eyes slowly to see Princess Ruto standing in front of me.  Link was on my left side.  Ruto wasn't smiling at all.

        "I can't believe that I was eaten by that shark," Ruto said sharply to herself.  "Why didn't one of you help me?"

        "Uh, you were long gone," I said.  "There was absolutely nothing that Link and I could do."

        "Well, whatever," Princess Ruto said in a mean tone.  "Anyway, I'm just glad that the lake will be back to normal soon."

        "And the domain will be thawed, right?" Link asked.

        "There's a little more to that scenario than you think," Ruto said.  "Filling the lake back up didn't help.  I don't even know what to do right now."

        "That's weird," I said and began to think, but I couldn't come up with anything.  The domain was still completely frozen, even though we killed the lake monster.  Ganondorf must have created a monster separate for the domain.  But, why was there nothing around when Link and I went the other day?

        "I suggest that you two go to Zora's Domain again and check on my father," Ruto said quietly.  "I'm very worried.  I think something's very wrong over there..."

        I nodded and said, "Rest assured, we'll thaw the domain and restore the Zora people.  Ganondorf must have laid down another curse."

        "Well, be careful, if you will," Ruto said with a smile.  "I'm just very worried.  You two should be getting to the end of your journey and Ganondorf is going to become harsher as time goes on."

        She was right.  Link and I only needed two more medallions and we would have enough power to take on Ganondorf.  It made me relieved, but at the same time depressed.  I would miss this lifestyle, even if it did leave me tired and hungry.  I would also miss going on adventures with Link.

        "We won't let him stop us," Link said to Ruto.  "We've come all this way."

        "You were also cute like that," Ruto said to him and winked.  "Speaking of cute, where did my sapphire go?  I probably won't need it since I'm dead and all, however."

        I looked at Link and sighed.  "Princess," I said, "Ganondorf had come after Link and I before we entered the room to pull our swords.  I needed to remove a stone, so I removed it with my lightning powers and the door shut right on top of it.  So, the stone was shattered."

        Ruto looked at the ground and her brow was wrinkled.  I didn't know what to say to her.  That stone was a Zora heirloom and I destroyed it. 

        "I suppose it was time for that thing to retire, anyway," Ruto said, but she didn't seem too happy about it.  "Once Ganondorf is defeated, those stones shouldn't need to be used ever again."

        "I'm terribly sorry about it, Ruto," I said.  "I know that I promised you that I would return it."

        "No, it's fine, really," she said.  "What we need to focus on is getting Hyrule back to the right time.  If anything, I'm the one that owes you something, and indeed I do."

        "The medallion?" Link asked

        "Yes, the medallion," Ruto said and she extended her arms up in the air.  A shining light appeared and from it came a blue medallion.  "Here is my power, in the form of the Water Medallion.  Use it well and please, do not lose or break it."

        "We won't break it," I said and the medallion floated to the palms of my hands.  I held it and saw what seemed to be the Zora's Sapphire carved in it.  "Thank you."

        "Now, you two need to get to my domain as soon as you can," Ruto said.  "I'm afraid that there's still more to be done to restore my people.  I will send you straight to the domain from here.  Please try and figure out what needs to be done further."

        Before I could say anything, I felt my body become weightless.  I felt my feet leave the ground and my body begin to float.  A light blinded my eyes and the last thing I heard was this:

        "By the way, Link, I'll take you up for that marriage proposal any day, whether I have the Zora's Sapphire or not."

 

        My eyes were shut tight as I felt my feet touch some sort of surface.  Even though my eyes were closed, I knew where I was.  There was a cold breeze that made my skin tingle, so I knew I was in Zora's Domain.  When I opened my eyes, I saw that the domain was still completely frozen.  Like Ruto said, something was still wrong, but no one knew.

        Link was right beside me when we landed.  He looked out and then looked at me.  "I guess we'll have to do some investigating," he said.

        "What's there to investigate?" I said.  "I mean, look at this place.  It's frozen solid.  There will be no clues here."

        "I'm sure there is somewhere," Link said with a small smile.  "I mean, last time we were here, we went straight to King Zora, rather than look around.  Maybe we overlooked something."

        "We might have," I said, "but I doubt it.  There's nothing here."

        Link shrugged and started to walk anyway.  I began to walk and almost fell on my ass since the Domain still had ice on it.  It was no surprise since Princess Ruto put us right in the middle of the water, or at least what used to be water.  I played it off the best I could, despite the fact that Link wasn't looking anyway. 

        I immediately made my way over to solid ground, where Link was.  We went through a small space and around the bend was a huge block of red ice.

        "Hey, I didn't see that before," Link said.  "How about you let out Coffee Bean?"

        I reached for my belt and grabbed her Pokeball and threw it, however the ball just opened and then closed; dropping to the ground.  "Wait a second," I said, "remember, we left Lux and Coffee Bean behind before we entered the Water Temple.  They're not here."

        Link walked closer to the block of ice and leaned on it.  "Don't you have Pasta with you?" Link asked.  "I'm sure he can do something."

        "I can try," I replied as I walked over to get Coffee Bean's Pokeball.  When I put her ball safely on my belt, I reach beside it and retrieved Pasta's ball. I tossed it and Pasta came out.

        "Charizard," he said sternly.  I assumed he was angry for me keeping him cooped up in that ball the whole time. 

        "Sorry, Pasta," I said, "but we need your help right now.  Do you think you can melt this ice for us?"

        "Char," Pasta said and he walked over to the ice and Link moved away as quickly as possible.  Pasta inhaled a lot of oxygen and then fire came blasting from his mouth.  The red flames engulfed the ice, but it didn't work.  The ice was still blocking our way.

        "What's behind here, anyway?" I said.  I got close to the ice and tried to look through it.  I saw an opening to something and stuck on the left side was a sign; frozen in time.  Zora's Shop, I read aloud in my mind.  "Hey Link, there's a shop behind here, I think."

        "Is there now?" Link said.  "Here, I'll go and talk to King Zora and see if he has anything to melt this ice."

        "Alright, I'll stay here," I said and brought my attention back to the red ice in front of me.  I tapped it and felt no bitterness of cold on my knuckle.  All I knew was that I really needed Coffee Bean.

        What I didn't know was that Link, King Zora, and I weren't the only ones in Zora Domain.  There were actually three other people, and two of those people were walking towards me.  One of them said something, and its voice was that of Link's.

        "Ashley, are you sure that's removable?" the Link voiced person asked.

        "Well, yeah," I said.  "You're back from talking to King Zora already?"  And as I said this, I turned to see a person and a blade in high in the air, coming at me.  I quickly drew my sword and our blades clashed.  I looked at this individual and realized that something was terribly wrong, but I didn't have enough time to think about that.  This person was extremely skilled at fighting and our blades met several times before he did a somersault backwards and stood beside a man I did recognize.

        "Leon," I snapped.  He was standing there with a smirk on his face and his nose in the air.  His rapier was sheathed.

        "Why yes, I'm so glad someone as noble as you remembered my name," Leon said.  "It makes me feel all giddy, you know?"

        As he spoke, I looked at the person who attacked me.  They wore black clothing similar to Link's and in fact, his face looked just like Link's, but the skin tone was a little darker.  His eyes were completely red as well and his hair was styled as Link's, but was a dark grey color.  The sword he wielded was a replica of the Master Sword, but the blade was made of black metal and, starting at the hilt and ending at the middle of the blade, a red line was present.  The shield he held in his right hand was also similar to the Hylian Shield, except the blue was a dark purple and the Triforce was completely black.

        "So, who's this loser?" I asked cockily, even though I was scared to death of him. 

        "This is Dark Link, you're new best friend," Leon said with a smile.

        "Dark Link, huh?  You could have thought of a better name than that."  I smirked at Leon and then said, "How did my friend Ganondorf come up with this guy?"

        "Oh, it didn't take long," Leon said.  "He just needed something from you and Link that would provide your DNA.  Then, all he needed to do was extract the purity and soul from your DNA and make a clone of you and Link.  Thus, your dark forms are created.  Yours was a bit easier to create, seeing as you already have dark matter in your DNA."

        "Wait," I thought for a second, "where's Dark Ashley?"

        "Oh, yes, I forgot all about her.  Let's just say she's paying your friend Link a visit right now."

        Oh shit, I thought and I tried to run through them, but Dark Link blocked me from doing so.

        "Where do you think you're going," Dark Link said with a smile.

        "Link, play with her a little while," Leon said and he turned around.  "I'll go and see how Ashley is doing."

        Thus, it was just Dark Link and I.  He had backed up a little and stopped to look at me.  "I hope that you're aware that you cannot beat me," Dark Link said.

        "I beg to differ there," I said.  "You're not as badass as you look, I'm sure."

        "What do you mean?" Dark Link snapped.

        "First of all, if you're a ‘clone' of Link, I'll have you know I'm a better swordsman than him," I said.  "Second of all, being as you are a clone of my dear friend Link, I also know your weaknesses.  Unfortunately for you, I think I'm on the winning side here."

        "As that is true," Dark Link said, "I would like to say that Ganondorf has added a little more to our skill.  You think him of a fool?"

        "You obviously speak better than Link, I suppose," I said.  "But anyway, yes, ‘I think him of a fool.'" 

        "Lord Ganon could defeat you any day."

        "Lord Ganon can kiss my white ass."

        "Don't speak that way about him," Dark Link shouted and he came at me with his sword.  He was quick, but I was quicker.  I was able to reflect his blade and come at him myself.  His damn shield was my only problem as he would push it forward when my blade hit it, to create an opening for him.  I was slashed several times, but it was nothing too deep.

        Dark Link did a quick jab to my right side, but I blocked it with my own blade and, from the pressure, I used it to pivot around Dark Link and get to his backside.  From there I jumped on him, like I was getting a piggy back ride.  While I was on Dark Link's back, I decided that my shield had to be good for something.  I quickly grabbed the handle of my shield with my left hand and began to bash Dark Link's head with the armored side.  Dark Link began to move his body wildly to try and get me off, but I was able to hold on.  For my final hit to him, I surged electricity through his body and kicked off him at once. 

        When I landed on the ground, I immediately threw my shield aside.  I couldn't take the chance of leaving myself open while putting my shield back on.  I rushed towards Dark Link who seemed a little out of it since I bashed him on the head several times, but he was able to think quickly nonetheless.  It seemed that he turned into a shadow and went under me because, in just a split second, I felt his cold, black blade pressed against my throat.

        "Now, I'm interested in knowing how you'll get out of this one, Ms. Brandt," Dark Link whispered in my ear as he took my sword from my own hands and flung it across the room.  I heard my blade hit the cold ground behind me. 

        "So am I," I replied back to Dark Link.  I wasn't sure at all how I would escape him, especially if I had a blade to my throat.  I had no idea where regular Link was, or where my dark side, but I was beginning to think I was in a galaxy far, far away, rather than Hyrule. 

        "I'm rather disappointed," Dark Link said.  "I thought you would be more challenging than you are.  At least, that's what Leon told me."

        "Well, I'm honored that Leon thinks that way," I said sarcastically and then I felt Dark Link put more pressure on my throat with his blade.

        "Now, what to do?  Should I kill you, or spare you?"

        "Whatever you wish to think is right, I'll support it," I said.  I was terribly afraid of gulping or moving my head because Dark Link's blade seemed cold and sharp against my throat. 

        "Well, I wish you would hold your tongue, you stupid girl," Dark Link said.  "You're very rude.  There was a short pause, but I then felt his hand on under my chin.  "However, I do love a girl with a sharp tongue."

        I felt disgusted, but I didn't squirm.  "Sorry, you're not my type," I snapped at him.

        "That hurts, Ms. Brandt, it really does," Dark Link whispered.  "I'm a bit disappointed, actually.  I thought girls like you would go for the bad boys like me."

        "Girls like me go for boys that fight for what's right," I said, "not for some asshole who makes himself king by tricking the public."

        "You were born to break the hearts of men, Ms. Brandt."

        "Well, I don't know about that one, but if you start to fight for a good cause, then maybe we'll talk."

        "Unfortunately for you," Dark Link said and I felt his blade put more pressure on my throat, "I can't let you control my job."

        I began to sweat and nervously said, "Yeah...that's something you can't let happen."  I shut my eyes tight and prepared to have my neck slit open, but instead I heard a voice; a female voice.

        "I thought we had a deal, Link," this voice said and I opened my eyes to only see myself, but with darker skin, black clothes, red eyes, and grey hair.  "I thought that I would get to take on myself, and you would get to take on yourself."

        "Yes, we did have a deal," Dark Link said to the Dark Ashley, "however, I suppose that I just got too carried away.  Your lighter side is a rather...challenging opponent."

        "Unfortunately, I can't say the same for your lighter side," the Dark me said and she used a bolt of lightning to wrap it around the limp, unconscious body of Link.  She slammed him unto the hard ground and I saw that he was bleeding profusely. 

        "Link," I shouted and tried to move to get to him, but Dark Link kept a hold of me.  He sheathed his sword quickly and then grabbed both of my arms.  I squirmed around to try and make him let go, but it was a loss and I fell on my knees.

        "This is a rather disgusting sight..." said the Dark me and she curled her upper lip in disgust.  I looked into her eyes, but she tried to avoid eye contact. 

        "Who do you two think you are?" I shouted at them both, keeping my eyes locked on Dark me.

        Dark Ash looked straight at me, her bloody red eyes piercing through mine.  She walked up to me and looked down upon me.  "I am you," she snapped, "the better you.  I'm someone that you can be easily, seeing as the thirst for power runs through your veins, but you choose to ignore it and focus on the courage and wisdom you have."

        "What are you talking about?" I said harshly.

        "You don't know?" she said to me.  "After all this time, you haven't taken the hint?  Fortunately, Lord Dragmire was able to keep me from having the insane amount of stupidity that you seem to possess.  Maybe you're not focusing on wisdom; you're barely focusing on anything, for that matter."

        "I don't know what you mean," I said and sighed.  I felt that all hope was lost, but then I remembered something.  If Dark Link was like my Link, he had something I didn't have.  So, I looked at the ground and concentrated on my body and I felt electricity begin to build up in my chest.  I had never let my power surge through my body and it hurt like total hell.  I concentrated as much as I could through the pain and, in one burst of energy, electricity discharged from my body and hit everyone around me; even myself.

        Dark Link let go of me as he flew backwards while Link, who was still unconscious, stayed in one spot.  He would probably feel the pain when he woke up.  I was shaking in pain, which came as a total surprise.  Usually, any type of electrical energy didn't affect me, but this time it did.  I stood up slowly and waited for some of the sparks to clear and saw Dark me standing there, holding what seemed to be my electrical power.  The difference between her power and mine was that her bolts of lightning were a dark purple and mine were a light blue.  I watched as my power intermixed with hers.

        "Desperate attempts like that will only lead to a horrible death," Dark me said and she glared at me.  "I can't believe that I was molded after a fool like you."  She held out the palm that was holding her power and mine and released it towards me.  I rolled out of the way as quickly as possible and, to my fortune, I rolled right by my sword.  I picked it up and came at Dark me.

        She thought extremely quick and unsheathed her own sword.  I jumped in the air to try to pounce on her, but she threw a ball of dark purple electricity at me and I flew backwards.  I felt my body hit the ice as it slid back towards the wall.  I got up as cautiously as I could since the ice was extremely thick.  I looked at where Dark Ash was, but she was gone.  Unbeknownst to me, she was behind me as a shadow.  I felt a blade slide across my back, like a long, thin paper cut.

        I turned around quickly, almost falling on my ass, and I started to wildly fling my sword, with hopes of getting some sort of slice in.  I failed miserably as Dark Ashley blocked all of my attacks with her blade.  I became tired, but I still tried to do something, but Dark me just yawned as she blocked everything I threw at her and, with one quick swoop, she used her power to knock me back.  This time, I landed on the ground by Link who was still down.  I couldn't see Dark Link anywhere.

        Dark Ash walked up to me with her sword still drawn.  "You're barely as much of a challenge as I thought you would be," she said and she looked at her blade and held it in her palm.  "It's a shame that you don't realize how much power you really hold.  If you would just let Lord Dragmire teach you how to harness that power...you could be a great fighter."

        "I'm not fighting for that fiend," I thundered and my voice echoed and bounced off the walls.  "I fight for good, not evil, and it will always be that way."

        Dark me just looked towards me with her eyes and smirked.  "I know you, Ms. Brandt; after all, you're just like me.  One day, you will give in.  One day you will give in and make this world your own.  People will suffer of course, but you won't care, because this world will be yours.  Just think: A World of Your Own where everyone goes by your rules.

        "A world of my own," I shouted at her and stood up, "will be a world where the laws and rights of people will be upheld.  My world will be a world where everyone fights to protect everyone from scum like you and that lord of yours.  My world will-"

        And before I could continue, Dark me threw a ball of electricity at me, which surged through my body and caused me to fall to the ground.

        "This talk of ‘your world' is rather ridiculous," I heard a voice behind me say and it sounded like Leon Sorel.  "Who are you, Ms. Brandt, my baby brother?  This world is under the control of those who have the most power.  Unfortunately, the likes of you will never take advantage of the power you hold.  I'm very disappointed in you.  Realize your place in this world, Ms. Brandt, and leave the leading to people like Ganondorf, Shannon, and I.  Now, to be honest, I'm quite annoyed.  Dark Link, Dark Ashley, let us go.  We have other things to attend to."

        I stayed on the ground and I could still feel the electricity of Dark Ashley surging through my body.  I couldn't move; I was paralyzed.  I was aware of what people were saying, so I was able to see Dark me lean down and say some last words.

        "If you want to challenge me again, go to the desert," she said.  "I'll be protecting the Spirit Temple from the likes of you."  Then I saw her stand and heard her footsteps as she walked away.  I closed my eyes and waited for the electricity in my body to wear off, which took a little while.  I slowly stood up and touched my back, which was still stinging from that slice.  I looked at my hand and saw blood and immediately wiped it on my blue tunic.  I looked back at Link who was in the same spot as before, but he was still unconscious.

        "I can see you two have had great difficulty fighting yourselves," I heard a voice say and I turned around to see Sheik.  "I was afraid that this would befall you."

        "What do we do, Sheik?" I asked. 

        "Unfortunately, you will both need to defeat yourselves," Sheik said and he walked towards Link and put his hand on his forehead.  Link's eyes opened slowly as Sheik looked down on him.  "Looks like you're coming around."

        Sheik helped Link stand and even after he regained his footing, Link and to slouch and hold his side.  He looked like he was in terrible pain.

        "Ganondorf isn't a fool," Sheik said sternly.  "He knows that you only need to awaken two more sages, and then his time will come to defeat you.  Therefore, I'm afraid that he has taken action.  The last two temples will be guarded by Dark Link and Dark Ashley.  Dark Link will be in the Shadow Temple and Dark Ashley will be in the Spirit Temple."

        "So, we just go to each and defeat them?" I said.  "That doesn't sound too bad."

        "Unfortunately, you two will have to split up," Sheik said.  "Link, and only Link, will be able to gain entrance to the Shadow Temple.  Link, you do have shadow in your soul, a depressing shadow that was created by missing a mother from your life.  You must fight that shadow and take it on by yourself.  Your grief and loss is how Dark Link was created."

        I looked over at Link who looked ill and he listened to Sheik intently. 

        "What about me?" I said, but I regretted saying anything.  It wasn't that I wanted to avoid facing Dark Ashley in battle; it was that I wanted to avoid what was really inside of me.

        "You are a bit more...difficult, Ash," Sheik said to me and he looked at the ground.  "Unlike Link, you have a lot of pain, and bitter pain at that, in your soul.  Dark Ashley is made up from that pain and releases it in a way that I hope you will never follow.  The only reason that you are unlike her is that you also have a lot of spirit in you.  Albeit, it's rather foolish ambition, but you never give up.  But unfortunately, neither does she.  To defeat yourself, you will need a different weapon than the Master Sword you have there.  The only way to effectively defeat yourself is to fight with a weapon that your dark side doesn't have."

        "Then what will I need?" I asked.

        "In Gerudo Valley, there lives a man who is named Edge Master," Sheik said.  "He is a powerful man who has the ability to travel from dimension to dimension.  One of the ways he follows is that of the Ling-Sheng Su Temple, which is located in another dimension.  That temple trains their students to wield the weapon called the staff.  Edge Master has trained many students there and he has come here.  He claims that he received a distress call from someone, but I don't know who that would be.  Anyway, you need to go to the Gerudo Fortress, where he is staying and teaching his weapon skills to other Gerudo.  There you will receive your new weapon, which is key to defeating Dark Ashley."

        I nodded and realized that I had a little more to take on than Link.  It seemed like my soul was a bit more complex than Link's, but I needed to conquer it, especially the dark side of it.

        "Now, I must leave," Sheik said.  "Just remember that you are almost done and Ganondorf will soon have his fate sealed.  Don't let me down, you two.  Things might seem confusing, but it will all become apparent in the end." 

And, with that said, Sheik threw a ball, which made me blinded for a couple of seconds.  It was when I got my sight back that I noticed that Lux and Coffee Bean were now in the domain.

I looked over at Link and said, "So, I suppose that we shall part ways?"

Link looked over at me in pain, so I took out a bottle, which had a red potion inside, and he drank it.  Though his wounds didn't disappear, he seemed to feel better as he stood up straight.  "Thank you," he said to me and I looked at his eyes.  Was his soul really in that much grief?  Back at home, I had a mother and a father, but it was miserable living in my household.  I couldn't image how bad it would be without having them.  "Now, I guess we need to split up." 

I nodded at Link and said, "Well, I will go to the Gerudo Valley and you will go to the graveyard in Kakariko, correct?"

"Yes," Link said and he began to walk away.  He seemed a little more serious than I did.  I just watched him walk away, but he did turn around.  "Ashley," he said.

"Yes?"

"Good luck."

"Yes, same to you."

And thus, dear reader, we parted ways, to fight the darkness that lied within ourselves.

Chapter 28- Scary Stories by Underdog Ash

Once Link left, I looked around and grabbed my shield and sword.  I decided to apologize to King Zora bedfore I left, because we still didn’t thaw the domain completely.  He accepted the apology and I explained to him that I needed to leave.  My heart was heavy with worry, and I was worried about King Zora as well.  He was all by himself.

        I put Coffee bean back into her Pokeball and Lux followed me out of the domain.  Once I got to Hyrule Field, I used my ocarina to call Lightning.  He came to me in about two minutes as I sat in the grass and waited for him.  I mounted him as soon as he came and Lux jumped up behind me and I had Lightning do a steady trot.  I was still really sore from the battle before, so I didn’t want to jump right into training.  Knowing the fortress though, I would most likely have to sneak my way in to do anything.

        The journey wasn’t really that long, despite taking my time to actually get to the Gerudo Valley.  When I got there, I noticed that the river had returned to its normal speed, which was in fact extremely fast.  The thing that puzzled me was that the bridge to cross over was out, so I wasn’t sure how I would get over to the other side.  I pondered for a second and decided that the best way was for Lightning to jump over. 

        I grabbed Lux and sat him in front of me and had Lightning walk backwards so, when he ran forward, he would get some momentum.  I held on to Lux tight as I kicked my feet into Lightning’s sides and he took off for the bride.  In one graceful, long jump, Lightning was able to reach to the other side of the broken bridge.  I was utterly impressed as my heart was pounding.  During the jump, I looked down to see the river, and it scared the shit out of me.

        “Well, look at you,” I heard a deep, manly voice say.  I looked over at where it came from and saw a man, the same man that yelled at the carpenters in Kakariko seven years ago.  “Why don’t you come and join me and some others in this tent.  It’s getting awful dark, ya know?”

        “Uh, sure,” I said and gave a nervous smile.  I dismounted Lightning and hung his reins up on a post.  The man showed me into the tent, which was actually rather big.  In the middle was a small fire and there were two other people.  One looked like one of the carpenters from seven years ago and the other I didn’t recognize.

        “Go on, sit down, girlie,” the man said.  “I was just about to get started on some dinner.”

        I sat Lux down beside me when I sat down.  I didn’t want to sit close to the strangers in the tent, so I found a comfy spot for myself.  The desert was getting colder as the day passed, so I was very comfortable around the warm flames.

        “So, how about you tell us about yourself,” the carpenter said.  “My name is Harold, by the way.”

        “Well, my name is Ashley,” I said.  “I’ve come here to enter the fortress and meet the Edge Master.”

        “The Edge Master, eh?” the other man said.  “I had to deliver a letter to him the other day.  I was only in his presence for a short time, but he had a powerful aura about him.”

        “Was he…nice?” I asked.

        “Yes, to some,” the postmaster said.  “He a very proud man and some people might take that as arrogance, but he’s done a lot.  Now he’s older and just wants to teach people that are willing to undergo his training.”

        “How about you tell the gal one of them stories you have about him,” the man said.  “This guy here can sure spin a tale.”

        The postmaster blushed and scratched the back of his head.  “I suppose I can humor you all.  Do you want to hear some stories, my dear?”

        “Yes, I would love to,” I said with enthusiasm.  I didn’t really get to sit down and talk to people since I began this whole adventure, but it would be too cold to go to the fortress right now, so I had time to kill.

        “Alright, well, then I will tell you the story of the Edge Master,” the postmaster said.  “The Edge Master was not born here in Hyrule, or even the Ninten Dimension.  He was born in the Animus Dimension on the continent of Eurasia.  No one knows which kingdom he was born into, but he was a brave warrior and had soul and spirit, which guided him through various battles.  He took on the greatest warriors of his time, just to see if he could defeat them.  His lone goal was to be the greatest warrior on the continent of Eurasia, but his goals soon changed.

        “While teaching students in the Ling-Sheng Su Temple, one of his students, his brightest, went insane and began to kill everyone.  There was much bloodshed, as this boy even killed his mentor.  After the boy passed out, Edge Master realized why he went crazy.  In the boy’s arm was a red shard that glowed red.  When Edge Master grasped the shard, he felt an evil energy go up his arm, so he immediately dropped it.  He knew that this shard alone contained enough evil energy to drive a man insane, so he wrapped it in a cloth and left the temple and the boy, keeping the shard in his pocket.

        “Intrigued by its power, Edge Master began to travel the continent of Eurasia to get more information about this shard.  He heard tales of an evil sword called Soul Edge, which drove men insane for its power and would consume the souls of men just so the blade itself could take over the man’s body and use it as a host to feed itself of other souls.  Edge Master realized the danger this sword posed, so he went to find the sword.  While trying to find it, he realized that other men had the same idea, but they all had their different goals.  Some wanted it for the power, others wanted to prove a point that they could tame the blade, and some wanted to destroy it to protect their families and friends.  Edge Master wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with this blade, but he knew he needed to find it before someone else did.

        “There are many different conclusions to what Edge Master did.  Some say he’s still searching for the blade, but in different dimensions.  Others say he found the blade, but was too late because it already took the soul of a young man.  I’ve also heard that the Edge Master buried the blade deep in a temple, so no one could find it.  I don’t know which is true, but all I know is that he is here today in the golden land of Hyrule, taking on our greatest warriors and teaching our noble people the ways of different weapons.”

        Harold and the man, who was now cooking, clapped and I joined in.  Lux was even clapping.  After a pause, I asked him this: “So, is this true?”

        “Well, I don’t know,” the postmaster said.  “As you can tell, there are a lot of different stories about the Edge Master, but it is true that he came from a different dimension and pursued the truth of Soul Edge.  Being a postmaster, I hear so many different stories from a lot of different people, however at least the beginning of Edge Master’s story has been consistent between tales I’ve heard.  It’s just the conclusion that differs between people.”

        “I’m sorry, Mr. Postmaster, but I didn’t quite get your name,” I said. 

        “Yes, my name is Dmitri,” he said. 

        “Oh, and mine is Lyle, girlie,” said the man who invited me into the tent.  “Here, come and get yer dinners.”

        I stood up as soon as he said something about food and sent over to him.  He cooked some fish over a fire.  I wasn’t really that into fish, but it was something to put in my stomach.  When I made myself a plate, I sat back down by the fire and shared some with Lux.

        “It’s starting to get dark outside,” Harold said.  “I reckon we should probably call it a night soon.”

        “You’re right,” Lyle said, “but, to set the mood for the night, I think that Dmitri here should tell us another story, one about Hyrule this time.”

        “After I finish eating,” Dmitri said and with that there was a long pause so we could eat.  The only sound you could hear was the fire crackling and silverware trying to get a piece of fish on the plates.  It didn’t take long for us to finish our food.  Lyle finished before all of us and watched for when we finished so he could take our plates.  Once all the plates were gathered, Lyle brought out some camping blankets and dimmed the fire a bit.  Then he went and blew out all the lamps and all that remained was an eerie light from the fire.

        “Now then, Dmitri,” Lyle said, “I’m curious about the story that you have about the bottom of the well in Kakariko Village.”

        “Oh, yes, that story,” Dmitri said.  “I’ve heard many different tales about that particular one, but there’s only been one story that I feel is what really happened in the past.  That tale was told to me by a woman who actually lives by the well.  I delivered some magic powder to her and she began to ramble about the bottom of the well.  It’s a rather frightening story, so are you sure that you want me to tell it in the dead of night?”

        “Yeah,” I said with a smile.  “I’d personally love to hear about it.”

        “Very well, then,” Dmitri said.  “Long ago, when the Shiekah inhabited Kakariko Village, there lived a musician named Bernard.  Bernard wasn’t a Shiekah, but his talent on the drums entertained the Shiekah, so he was the only Hylian allowed into Kakariko Village.  Bernard would play his drums every day and, as a pay for his performances, he would get a room, meals, and hospitality.  However, Bernard wasn’t only in Kakariko Village to play his drums.  What Bernard was interested in was the well that the Shiekah kept dry.  The well was kept dry because the Shiekah didn’t really feel that they needed to use it.  Bernard found a way for him to use it.

        “Deep down in the well were rooms.  They were huge rooms covered in gunk and moss because of the moisture.  A small stream of water still went through the well.  The Shiekahs couldn’t find any use for the well, so they never used it, therefore no one was ever down there to check on it.  As we were told, Bernard was a talented musician, but he wasn’t a very kind soul.  He had the thirst to torture people; torture them until they died.  The well was the perfect place to carry out his addiction, so he secretly set up torture devices in the different rooms.  At night, he would perform outside of Kakariko Village to attract attention and then ask a viewer to come back with him because as he said, ‘I’ve found something incredible.  You should come and see it with me.’ 

        “The people he took with him were chosen at random, regardless of gender or age.  Once he got them down to the well, he would torture them slowly, until they took their last breath.  He did this for about a year, but no one in Hyrule could sniff him out.  Kakariko Village was very distinct in who they let in, so no law enforcement of Hyrule could get into the village to investigate.  Bernard’s plan was perfect and he got to do his two favorite things every day: play music and kill innocent victims.

        “There was one night however that Bernard over looked his new victim.  He was unaware that his victim was still alive.  The victim that day was a child and the pain of torture made her pass out.  Bernard didn’t bother to check her pulse, so he left that night to go to his room above the surface. 

“The next morning, screams and yells could be heard from the well and the Shiekahs went to investigate.  There they found the girl, tied to a long poll.  She was bleeding profusely and was in so much pain, but she could speak and she described the man who took her to the well.  The Shiekahs, after getting the description, knew who was killing the innocent people of Hyrule.  The male Shiekahs immediately went up to the surface and grabbed Bernard.  They dragged the man down to the well and tied him to a post while the females of the village took the girl and nursed her back to health.

’What should we do with him?’ one man asked.

‘We should torture him, but use our magic to give him an immortal life,’ an older, wiser man said.  ‘We should make him a monster.  We shall put him in the Shadow Temple, so he can suffer forever.’

“The Shiekah men all agreed that that was the best thing to do.  The first thing they did to Bernard was cut off his legs.  Then they cut off his arms.  They waited to cut his head off last, so that Bernard could see what he did to everyone that he killed and, since Bernard was made immortal, he got to feel pain all over his body.  Finally, with a huge axe, the strongest man cut off the head of Bernard.  The wise, old man then used his black magic to make Bernard huge.  They transported him to the Shadow Temple and placed a huge drum in the room.  They also gave him floating hands, so he could forever play the drum while he suffered from being alone.”

There was a long pause and all I could think about was Link.  He would be going into the Shadow Temple and, if Dmitri’s story was correct, Link would have to fight Bernard.  “Wait, is Bernard still there?” I asked.  “In the Shadow Temple?”

“Yes, he is,” Dmitri said.  “However, he gained a new name: Bongo-Bongo for the Shiekah said that, if you listen real closely, you can hear Bernard pounding his drum and chanting an ancient language, singing to lure someone in so he can torture them.”

Oh boy, I thought.  I was definitely worried about Link, and I guess it was evident that I was nervous by the look of my face. 

“What’s the matter, girlie?” asked Lyle.  “You look a bit worried.”

“Oh, nothing’s wrong,” I said with a small smile. 

“It seems that these stories are making the girl worry,” Harold said.  “I think we ought to get to bed.”

I nodded and cuddled up with Lux who shared the camping blanket with me.  I closed my eyes and drifted into a good night’s sleep, which I hadn’t got for a long time.

 

The next morning, I woke up and smelled eggs and saw that Lyle and the boys were already up.  Dmitri was eating while checking his mailbag.  He would have to leave soon to deliver the mail all across Hyrule.

“Good morning, Ashley,” Dmitri said with a smile.  The other two looked back and repeated the same thing.

“How’s about you stay for breakfast and then get on yer way,” Lyle said.

“Yeah, sure,” I said with a smile.  I really wouldn’t mind staying there a couple of days.  I missed just sitting around and sleeping at night.  But, I knew I had a job to do, so I had to do it. 

“Oh, and before you leave, I have a favor to ask of ya,” Lyle said and the plopped some eggs on a plate and instructed Harold to hand it to me.  I took the plate and a fork and began to eat. 

“What do you need me to do?” I asked between bites.

“Well, there’s a reason why this bridge hasn’t been built,” Lyle said.  “In fact, it’s been out for a week now and Dmitri here hasn’t been able to mail a week of letters.”

“I’m no carpenter, unfortunately,” I said, assuming he needed help to build the bridge.

“That’s not what I need you for, actually,” Lyle said.  “I need your help to save my carpenters.  They’ve been captured because they decided to be idiots and hit on some Gerudo women.  I told them not to a thousand times, but now they’ve been locked up for a week now.  I can’t save them myself, but I think that a swordswoman like you would be able to do so.”

I didn’t really mind helping Lyle out, but I was a little hesitant.  I didn’t want to deal with perverted men, but that bridge needed to be built and I needed to sneak around anyway, so I had time.  I nodded my head and agreed and finished up my eggs.  After I was done, I gave Lyle my plate and began to suit myself up; buckling my sheath and sword across my front torso and then hooking my shield to that.  I picked up my hat and shook Max out, who was still sound asleep, so I just put him back in my hat and laid it on my head.

“Now, you be careful, you hear?” Lyle said as I walked out the door.  “Those women are real nasty bitches.”

I winked and said, “Don’t worry.  I’ve dealt with them before.”  And Lux followed me out of the tent.  I decided to keep Lightning where he was because bringing him into the fortress probably wasn’t the best idea.

I walked passed some canyons and saw the Gerudo symbol carved on a sign that was hanging from a rope.  I now knew that I was in Gerudo territory.  I looked down at Lux and put my finger up to my mouth.  It sounded like there was some heavy duty training going on at the fortress grounds, so I wasn’t too cautious.  I sauntered over to some boxes that were by the flag that served as gallows seven years ago and stayed crouched to watch the action.

It wasn’t very hard for me to figure out who Edge Master was.  In front of me, I saw several Gerudo women all bunched up in a line.  One woman was fighting the Edge Master with her naginata, which is a pole arm with a thin blade at the tip.  It didn’t take long for the Edge Master to pin her down.  He laughed as she laid on the ground below his foot.

“Now, who wants to take me on next?” he asked with his booming voice.  The Edge Master looked rather old, seeing as he had a white beard and wrinkles, but he looked extremely healthy for a man his age.  He wielded a red staff in his right hand as he awaited the next challenger.

Another woman stepped up and was taken down in less than a minute.  This happened several times before I became extremely bored and restless.  I didn’t want to blow my cover, but I didn’t want to stand there all day and watch a bunch of women get defeated by some old fart.  However, I waited for my chance.

“Now ladies,” Edge Master said with a stern face, “to save some of you the pain and trouble, I have to ask if there is anyone who believes they can beat me now?”

There was a long pause, and I found my chance, so in my best, boisterous voice, I said, “Mr. Edge Master, I’d like to take you on.”  I unsheathed my sword and pointed it at him and he looked over and put on a sly smile.  The Gerudo women weren’t too pleased.

“There’s an intruder,” one woman shouted, but Edge Master just put his hand up.

“Ladies, please, stay calm,” he said.  “Let this outsider have a chance.  After all, I am a legendary warrior.  She at least has the guts to challenge me.”

“Sir, I’m terribly sorry, but it’s against our code,” a Gerudo woman in a blue suit said.  “Girls, get her.”

A couple of the women started to walk towards me, but the Edge Master put his staff in front of them.  “It might be against the code, but maybe we can make some exceptions,” he said and he looked at me.  “Young lady, unfortunately you are not welcomed here, however, I say that if you beat the best Gerudo warrior here, you should be allowed to challenge me.”

“I can do that,” I said with a smug smile. 

“Well then, come to the battle area then, my dear,” Edge Master said and he turned around.  “Ms. Second-In-Command girl, please find your best warrior to go against this young lady.”

The Second-In-Command girl thought for a second and then said, “Very well.  Girls, one of you go and get Freda.”

“Now, young lady,” the Edge Master began, “if you would like a chance to back down, now is your time.”

“Nah, I think I’ll stick with this one,” I said with a smile and waited patiently for the Freda woman that I had to fight.  It didn’t take long for her to arrive and she wasn’t pretty.

Freda must have been a special kind of fighter for the Gerudo women.  She was a bit bigger and carried two thick swords.  She also had a veil over her face and she must have had breathing problems, because she was breathing rather hard.  To say the least, she was a bit bigger than the rest of the girls.

“Ah, well then,” Edge Master said and he smiled at me, “my dear, this is your opponent, Freda.”

“Yeah, I got that,” I mumbled and gulped.  This was going to be a doozy, I just knew it.

Edge Master had us set up about ten feet from each other.  I guess he wanted us to do a little staring contest first, because it felt like forever before he spoke again.  When he did speak, he said this: “Ladies, you will fight each other, but whether it’s to the death is up to you.  Once someone has given up or died, the battle is over and the victor will get special training from me.  And-“

“Uh, wait,” I said and Edge Master looked sharply at me, “uh, hold on one second.  The training is a nice…gift, however, I promised someone that I would come here today and retrieved four carpenters who are being held as prisoners here.  Can I have them if I win?”

Edge Master smiled and winked at me, “You can have both.”  And the ladies suddenly got angry, but the Edge Master just held up his hand.  “As the guest, I should be allowed to speak and, with her being a guest, she should be given whatever she asks for, especially since she has to go through trials to get the carpenters anyway.  Now, what was your name again, young lady?”

“Ash, Ash Brandt,” I said.

“Alright Ms. Brandt,” Edge Master said, “you two may begin.”  And with that, Edge Master stepped back to watch the action. 

As soon as I turned to face Freda, she was already coming at me with those two swords of hers.  She was quick, despite being a bit bigger, but I held the blade of my sword in front of me to shield myself from her attack.  That second sword threw me off, however, as I felt the blade around my hip for a split second.  I reacted and grabbed the right hand of Freda and then swung my blade around to hit her other sword and, with one swoop, I was able to get her sword away from me by slashing it outward. 

I jumped back to give myself room, but she was already in the air, ready to rain a huge blow down on me.  I rolled out of the way quickly and saw her back, so I kicked her and followed with a slash, but she but her sword behind her so my blade was unable to get her flesh.  She turned around quickly and came at me with several blows, but I was able to reflect every bit of them.  I then saw her go for my legs, but I quickly jumped in the air and felt my feet actually land on the blunt side of her blade.  For a millisecond I was on that blade, but I jumped off and I landed right on top of her head.

She collapsed below my feet, but she wasn’t done quite yet.  Since she was on the ground, she went for my feet again, but I didn’t notice, so I felt her blade slash me right above the ankle.  It stung and I fell back, but I knew I had to carry on, so I went at her again while she was beginning to stand and kicked her in the face.  She grasped her nose in pain and I kicked her backwards and then stepped on her chest to pin her down.  With my foot holding her down and her swords behind me, she had nowhere to go.

I heard the Gerudo girls gasp as I held the tip of my blade to her throat.  Her eyes were full of fear and were welling up as I stared her down. 

“Fortunately for you,” I said to her, “I’m not here to kill today.  If I took your life, it wouldn’t be justified.  Here, get up.” And after that, I removed my foot from her chest and helped her up.  The orange veil on her face was now turning red with blood, so I took it off and instructed her to hold it up to her nose to try and stop the bleeding.  I sheathed my sword and picked up both of her swords and gave it to the Second-In-Command.

“Very well done,” Edge Master said.  “One of you ladies, please retrieve the carpenters.”  One of the girls followed his command and went to get each of the carpenters.  After an awkward pause, he finally spoke up.  “For a young lady, you seem very skilled.”

“I suppose I am,” I said with a smile.

“You also seem very big headed,” Edge Master said sternly, “but where I come from, that’s the kind of attitude that most fighters take.  Especially young ones.”

“I can’t say I disagree with you,” I said smoothly, “I’ve been known to make some people angry with how I act.  But, it’s all just head games and it also helps me relax a little.”

“Just don’t let that attitude get to your head,” Edge Master said.  “Ah, it seems your carpenters are out.”

        I looked over to see four carpenters, each looked extremely terrified.  They were carried out in handcuffs and looked around nervously.

        “Alright you guys,” I said with a smile, “I need to take you back to Lyle.”  I looked over at Edge Master.

        “Once you return these men to their owner, stop by the Gerudo training hall and I will talk to you further.  I can teach you how to use any weapon.”

        “So I have heard,” I said but didn’t make eye contact because I was watching the carpenters being set free.  “I’m here on a mission, but I will discuss that with you before you train me.”

        “Aren’t we all?” Edge Master said.  “I’ll be waiting.”  And with that he walked away and entered the fortress on the right, into what was the training hall.

        The carpenters followed me, scared to death, as Lux followed me.  I was eager to get them back and start my training.  Not only would the Edge Master teach me how to use a weapon, he would teach me what was in my soul.

 

 

 

 

 

 

          

Chapter 29- The Way of the Ling-Sheng Su by Underdog Ash

I was able to get the carpenters back to Lyle’s tent and they had a nice little reunion with him by being scolded and being put straight to work.  I couldn’t blame him because Dmitri had a week of letters to catch up on and the carpenters probably had other things to work on after the bridge was finished.  Despite being angry towards the workers, Lyle was calm towards me and thanked me, offering lunch as a reward, but I declined.  I was very eager to start working with Edge Master so I could challenge my dark self.  Of course, I didn’t tell Lyle that, but he said he understood and I went on my way back to the fortress.

        I grabbed Lightning and walked with him as Lux sat in the saddle.  The noise of progress was echoing through the canyons, so it didn’t fade from our ears until we got to the fortress area itself.  Once we got there, I received some dirty looks from some of the guards, but the Second-In-Command was waiting for me.

        “Ashley, come here please,” she said with a smirk.  In her hand was what looked like a leather square that had the Gerudo symbol on it.  She held it out to me and said, “This is a Gerudo membership card.  If you ever need to come here for help or use our facilities, you will just need to show someone this.”

        I took the card from her and looked at it.  “So, uh, what can I use this for exactly?” I asked.

        “Well, our training hall, where Edge Master is, can only be entered with this card,” the Second-In-Command said to me.  “But, there’s also a dining hall, an archery practice area, and a free pottery class, which makes the pots to be broken for the archery area.  All of this can be utilized with your card there.”

        I smiled and was a bit impressed.  For savage thieves, they sure had a great operation in the desert.  Back at home, we had this thing called a YMCA, which you needed to membership to join to use their facilities, like a pool and all that junk.  The Gerudos seemed to create something similar to that without knowing it.

        I thanked her and went on my way to the training area, which was closed off by a metal gate.  The Gerudo watching the area welcomed me with a warm smile and then offered to take my horse to the stall up the hill.  I let her take Lightning and she opened the gate and let Lux and I in, then closed it behind us. 

        The path ahead of us was dark, but I could see a few torches in a chamber that was ahead.  It was actually rather quiet, except for a couple of drips of water, which echoed throughout the hall we were walking down.  Once in the chamber, I reunited with Edge Master who greeted me with a nod, but no smile.  I knew this was going to be some serious business.

        “Good evening, Ms. Brandt,” Edge Master said and he was stroking his beard.  “I hope you’re ready for hours upon hours of training.”

        “Oh, I’m more than ready,” I said with a smirk.

        “Now then, what did you want me to teach you?”

        “I want to learn how to use a staff,” I said.

        “Oh, the staff, huh?” Edge Master said and was thinking to himself, or at least it looked like he was thinking.  “I can teach you the staff, but I will warn you that it is a whole different weapon from the sword.”

        “I’m aware.”

        Edge Master paused and then asked, “If you don’t mind me asking, why do you want to learn how to use a staff?”

        I sighed and said, “It’s a very long story…”

        “Please, do tell.  I’ve seen that Hyrule is in some troubles, anyway, so I know that something is up.”

        “Well, if you insist,” I said and pondered where to start.  “Okay, so this other guy and I are working together to try and save Hyrule.  I guess we’re the chosen ones or something.  Anyway, we have to reawaken these sages of Hyrule so they can lend us their power and so we can defeat Ganondorf, this king of evil.  For the last two, my partner and I needed to split up, so I’m here in the desert and he’s in a village.  I’m also given the task of clearing the temple located in the desert.  But, for me to clear this temple, I need to get passed my dark self, who is guarding the final boss from me.  For me to defeat my dark self, I need to take a different approach to my fighting style, thus I need a different weapon to use against her.  I guess, somewhere in the temple, is a legendary staff called the Spirit Staff, which is my best option for beating dark me.  That’s why I have come to ask for your assistance.  I need to master this weapon as quickly as possible.”

        The Edge Master frowned.  “It takes a little longer than a day to master a weapon, Ashley.”

        “I know that,” I said, “but I need to challenge myself and awaken the new sage so Hyrule is saved.  I would love to take all the time in the world to learn how to use the staff, but there’s no way.  I can’t let Hyrule’s fate hang in the balance for several years just so I can master something.  I’m begging you, even if you are setting me up for failure, to let me learn from you.  I might not be your best student, but I bet I’m the most driven.”

        “You might be right about that,” Edge Master said and he stroked his beard and walked back and forth.  “Unfortunately, some people regard drive as being useless.”

        “Well, I don’t,” I said defiantly.  “I have to save Hyrule.”

        There was a long pause as the Edge Master just walked back and forth.  He finally stopped and looked at me. 

        “I will teach you, Ashley,” he said, “however, it will not be easy.  I don’t usually give people like you lessons, but you seem determined enough, so I think that I should help you out.  The staff is a very useful weapon, as it covers more ground than the blade does in some instances.  There are many different methods and ways of the staff, but the way that I know best and think is the best is the way of the Ling-Sheng Su.”

        “I’m not familiar with that one…” I said.

        “The Ling-Sheng Su is a temple that existed in the Animus Dimension,” Edge Master said.  “I taught at that temple for a short while, but all of my students were killed by a man that was driven by an evil force.  I was able to stop him, but I was too late; the whole temple was killed.  I was able to calm down the young man and he was full of grief for his friends.  His rampage wasn’t his fault, but I would rather not get into that.  But, I took him under my wing and trained him so he could destroy the evil that caused him to go insane.  He wielded a staff and was already a novice at the Ling-Sheng Su staff style.  It took me a year to make him a pro at it.”

        “I don’t have a year, unfortunately,” I said with a stern face.  It wouldn’t be easy, and Edge Master knew that, but I had to learn how to use a staff. 

        “That is right, which is why I will need to work you harder than I did Kilik, the young man that killed hundreds of people,” Edge Master said. 

        “I’m ready for anything you have to give me,” I said.

        Edge Master nodded, but still looked serious.  “Fine then,” he said.  “For your first part of training, I want you to work on your footwork.  Though the staff doesn’t use quick footwork like a rapier, I would still like you to be quick.  In the room to the left, there is an obstacle course.  I want you to collect all ten silver rupees in there before time is up.”

        I smiled and said, “Sounds easy enough.”

        “Oh but, Ms. Brandt, I’m not done yet,” Edge Master said.  “To make it a little more difficult, you will have this on your back.”  I waited for whatever ‘this’ was as the Edge Master walked to the back wall and took a staff off the wall.  I was finally going to handle one.  The Edge Master held it out to me and I grabbed it with one hand, but quickly held it with two.

        “What the hell is this thing?” I asked as I was forced to slouch because of the staff’s weight. 

        “That is called an Iron Rod,” Edge Master said and he cracked a smile.  “It’s made completely of iron, which is why it’s so heavy.  I use it for training purposes.  Now, I will holster this to your back.”

        I rolled my eyes as the Edge Master took my shield off my back.  “Unbuckle your sheath, if you will,” he said and I did what he said.

        “At least those are gone,” I said, relieved that I only had to carry the Iron Rod.

        “Don’t get ahead of yourself, Ms. Brandt,” Edge Master said.  “You’ll still have your sword and shield on for this task.  It’ll add on that extra weight, which should make you stronger quicker.”

        The belt that went around me to hold my sheath had another hook for the small, round holster that the Iron Rod could go on.  The hilt of my sword was usually a little over my right shoulder, so Edge Master put the holster so that the staff was diagonal, starting above my left shoulder.  My shield was then put right in the middle.  I felt like a damn camel with all that stuff on my back.

        “Now, if only I could get some Iron Boots,” Edge Master said.

        “No!” I shouted and then tried to play it off cool.  “They don’t make Iron Boots in Hyrule.”

        “I’m sure they do.”

        “They don’t and-er, regardless, I need to get started on training, like now,” I said quickly.  I tried to evade the mentioning of Iron Boots again. 

        “Well, that is a shame,” Edge Master said and he pointed me to the first door to my left.  I walked up to it and he said, “Now, you have five minutes to collect all of the rupees.”

        “Sounds easy enough,” I said and I walked through the door and turned around.  Edge Master was holding a lever, and then added, “Oh, yeah.  And did I mention there are giant rocks?”

        “Wait, what!” I shouted, but before I could do anything Edge Master had already pulled the lever and a door slammed down.  I walked a little farther and noticed that the room I was in was nothing like the room that Edge Master described to me.  What I saw was a room that had a lot of sand in the middle.

        “Oh, I did also forgot to mention one room,” the Edge Master said, but I looked up and saw a small speaker.  He was speaking through an intercom.  “Before you begin the initial task, I want to give you a warm up.  The room in front of you obviously has sand on it.  It’s not quick sand but it will deter your movements, especially since you have more weight on you than usual.  Anyway, enjoy.”

        I rolled my eyes and took one step on the sand and felt my foot sink a little.  I then put my other foot in the sand and my whole body sank a ton.  Before I could react, these lizard monsters came straight at me.  These guys were light and quick, so I was already in trouble.  There were three of them and they surrounded me.

        “Remember, utilize the staff,” I heard Edge Master say.  “It can cover more ground than the blade, even enemies behind you.”

        I grabbed the Iron Rod quickly and swung it around at the tip.  I felt it slam against the lizard monsters and heard them retreat.  They weren’t done yet however, as they started to jump at me.  I received a couple knicks from them, but nothing too serious.  To stop these guys, I did some fancy spinning moves above my head.  I heard them all cry in pain and saw that one of them wasn’t moving.  I looked around and saw that they were all down and out.

        I fought my way through the sand and was able to get to the other side when I heard Edge Master from above, “Very good.  “Now the next room is the rock room, I promise.”

        “Thanks for the tip, asshole,” I said, but he shot back with:  “I heard that!”

        I didn’t bother saying anything else and walked through the next door, which immediately shut behind me.  Bars also came down and locked me in so I couldn’t leave.  I walked down the first path of the obstacle course and noticed that, on a ledge in front of me, there was a silver rupee up against something.  I walked forward but immediately stopped when a rock rolled right in front of me.

        “You have the choice of either running, or fighting the rocks,” I heard Edge Master say.

        I chose to avoid the rocks and started to run.  I looked over at an opening that was on the wall and figured out where some of them were coming from.  There were a couple boulders behind me, so I knew that there must have been another opening somewhere.

        There were a lot of steep hills in this place, which made it even harder for me walk, since I had a lot of weight on my back.  It also made it easier for my rock friends to pick up speed and chase me across the damn place.  It was a good thing Link wasn’t there, or I would be hearing it.

        I was able to collect the goddamn rupees, but barely on time.  The last rupee was the worst.  It was just floating in the air, right above a ledge.  The problem was, rocks were making their way down to the ledge, so I had to think fast, which I did, however, I forgot about the enormous amount of weight on my back, so when I jumped to try and reach the last rupee, I ended up falling on my face.  The rock behind me launched off the ledge and was just under the rupee.  Seeing that, I knew what to do, but I didn’t have much time left.

        I ran up a path that lead me to the ledge, but I waited for a rock.  As soon a rock fell and began to roll, I jumped on the side of it and held on.  Once I was close to being on top, I stood up and ran with the rock.  Unfortunately, I forgot one detail which was the way the rock was rolling.  I planned on just running forward on the rock, but I actually ended up running backwards because of the way the rock was rolling.  A cold sweat broke out as I feared falling off, but I was able to concentrate and keep my balance.  Once at the end, I felt the rock lift off of the ledge and saw the rupee right in front of me.  I grabbed it and saw the door I came into unlock.  I rolled out of the way once I hit the ground and the huge rock I rode on hit the wall and broke into little pieces.

        “Congrats,” I heard the Edge Master say and I sighed.  Maybe I was done with training.  “Now, return to the lobby for more instructions, my dear.”

        I left the room and exited through the sand room where I fought those stupid lizard things.  Once I got into the lobby, I met the Edge Master once again.

        “How did I do?” I asked with a smirk.

        “It was impressive,” Edge Master said with a smile, “but not good enough.”

        “What do you mean by that?”

        “For a beginner, you did wonderful, but you do not have enough time to be a beginner.  Now, I will follow you on your next task.”

        “And what would that be?” I asked.

        “Shh, you will see,” Edge Master said and he grabbed a staff for himself.  I walked behind him and saw Lux on the ground sleeping.  Lux was probably more bored than tired.  I just hoped that the training would be done soon.  I just wanted to go and fight my dark self and then reawaken the next sage.

        Edge Master led me to a door and it opened at the touch of a button.  Suddenly, I felt intense heat coming from the room, but I had no choice but to continue in.  Edge Master turned around and looked at me with a smile.  The door slammed shut behind me.

        “Because we are so short on time, this will be your final test,” Edge Master said with a stern expression.  “I wish I could train you further for you do possess a rather determined soul.  However, our time is cut short.  The last part of training pushes you to use balance and concentration, while keeping style in mind.  If you forget these elements…I’m afraid you will fall to your death.”

        “Wait, what!?!” I shouted and Edge Master moved over.  I walked to the end of the ledge and saw pillars; some were thick and some were thin, and right below that was a lot of lava.  He wasn’t kidding; if I couldn’t pass this part of training, I would definitely die.

        Edge Master jumped backwards and landed right on a pillar.  I sort of wished that he had fallen in the lava, just so I didn’t need to do this ridiculous test.

        “Now Ashley,” Edge Master said, “you have the choice to leave and never come back.  If you choose to fight me, then step on the pillar in front of me.”

        I looked at the pillar and then turned and looked at the door.  This seemed a little extreme, but I had to do it.  If I wanted to save Hyrule and ultimately defeat my dark self, I needed to finish my training.  I reach back for the Iron Rod and took it off its holster.  With the rod in my left hand, I jumped on to the pillar in front of Edge Master.

        “Are you sure about this, my dear?” Edge Master asked and he still looked serious, but I could see some surprise in his eyes.

        “I’m sure,” I said and cracked a small smile.  I needed to keep cool, even though there was tons of lava below me.  I put the rod on my left side and placed my left hand on the bottom with my right hand in the middle of the rod.  I was ready to fight the Edge Master despite the fact that I knew I was only a beginner.

        The Edge Master sighed and said, “Very well.”  He bowed to me and got into his stance. 

        It was extremely quiet and tense.  I liked to give my opponent the first move; I just thought that was courteous.  Edge Master realized this and came at me, thrusting his staff forward.  I quickly jumped to the pillar beside me, but miscalculated how wide the pillar was and almost jumped right over it.  I felt a cold sweat as I realized my mistake, but I had no time to stop for the Edge Master took his staff and swung it at my ankles.

        I jumped over the staff and used my first attack against the Edge Master by trying to slam the end of the staff on the side of his head.  He jumped out of the way however and waited for me to attack again.  I thought too quickly and went after him, not realizing that I was setting myself in his trap.  He jumped over me and onto the pillar behind me and took his staff and slammed it against my back.  I almost lost balance, but I used his hit to catapult myself to the next pillar.

        I had to figure out a trap of my own, but I didn’t want to kill this guy, so I wasn’t sure what to do.  My own question was if he actually wanted to kill me.  There was no way that this guy was using his all during our fight.  I heard that the Edge Master was probably the best warrior anyone could ever encounter, but I just didn’t get that feeling from this guy.

        He came at me while I pondered this, but I was more than ready.  I just had to trap him and then pin him, rather than throw him into the lava.  He swung at me sideways, but I put my staff in the way so that his swing didn’t hit my side.  When he drew back his weapon, I heard his wooden staff scrap against my Iron Rod.  His staff was lighter, so it enabled him to be quicker, but I had sheer force with my staff and I needed to use that.

         I blocked several of his attacks and kicked him.  He did these really cool somersault things and landed on a pillar that was farthest from mine.  There was a pause, of course, and then he ran straight for me.  I put my staff over my head and swung it around like it was the propellers on a helicopter.  I did this at the right moment and the staff slammed against the Edge Master’s cranium several times before my wrist became tired and I had to stop.  The Edge Master jumped back to a pillar.  He dropped his staff and held his head with both hands and then collapsed.

        I smirked and jumped to the pillar he was on and took the end of my staff and put it right on his chest as a way to pin him down.  “Ha, gotcha,” I said smartly and the Edge Master just looked to the side in pain.  His head was bleeding and I felt a little guilty, so I definitely let my guard down.

        What I didn’t know was that Edge Master was just waiting for me to feel sorry for him and let up.  I didn’t expect him to grab his staff that was on the ground beside him and slam it into my head.  It hurt like hell and I immediately dropped the Iron Rod which fell off the pillar and landed in the lava.  I heard the hot lava engulf the rod as the iron bubbled and melted. 

        My head was pounding and I lost balance.  I tried to stay still and put one foot on the pillar, but my foot didn’t land on the pillar and I felt my body fall backwards towards the lava pit.  I prepared myself for the burning death I would face, but I actually felt a tug on the collar of my tunic and then a hand on my back.  I opened my eyes and saw double of the Edge Master.  I couldn’t help but crack a small smile. 

        He picked me up off my feet and jumped across several pillars to get us both back to solid ground.  He opened the door to the lobby of the training hall and sat me on a rug.  I began to regain my senses and sat up slowly.  My head still hurt like hell, but I could finally see straight again.

        “You did a lot better than I thought you would out there,” Edge Master said.  “You’re a worthy opponent, Ash.  You don’t deserve to be killed by something like lava.”

        “Speaking of lava,” I said, “I’m sorry about your Iron Rod…I think it’s gone.”

        “No, it’s fine,” Edge Master said.  “I have piles of those damn things lying around at home.  I always have them ready for someone to use for training.  I actually have three with me right now.”

        I stood up slowly, but still held my head as I saw little dots.  I breathed slowly and the little dots disappeared and I was able to see rather clearly.  “Well, I suppose I should go now,” I said.  “I have a lot of things to do.  But, thank you for all the training, even if it was short.”

        “Before you go, I would like to give you something,” Edge Master said and he walked over to a wall that had staves hanging on it.  He looked at several staves and then nodded.  He lifted up a staff that was a dark orange color and had a black jewel on the end, which was held by a grey claw.  He walked over to me and set it in my hands when I held them out.  The rod was a lot lighter than the Iron Rod and I felt a lot more comfortable holding it.

        “This is called the Ling Sheng Su Bo,” Edge Master said.  “This staff is from the Ling-Sheng Su Temple and there are only a few left in this world, since the temple was destroyed.  From what I have heard, only the most driven of warriors can handle this weapon and I think you’re a good choice.  Take what I have taught you, Ashley, and save this kingdom.  I wouldn’t like to see this place end up like my homeland.  I’ve heard of how the Triforce drives men made, like the current ruler here.  This Triforce thing reminds me of a sword from home called the Soul Edge, which drove many men mad, like the young man I had trained after he destroyed his family in the Ling Sheng Su Temple.  I hope you can overcome any madness that the Triforce might bring.”

        “Thank you, so much,” I said and I put the staff through the holster on my back, underneath my shield.  The load I was now carrying was extremely heavy.  “I do have a question, however.  The sword that you speak of, what is it called?”

        Edge Master looked at the ground and said, “I will only tell you if you promise me that you will not try to seek it.”

        “I promise,” I said with a smile. 

        “The sword is called Soul Edge,” Edge Master said.  “I wouldn’t really call it a weapon, despite the fact that it is in the form of a huge zanbato as we speak.”

        “What’s a zanbato?” I asked.  I had never heard of one before.

        “It’s sometimes called a horse-slaying sword,” Edge Master said.  “The blade is usually very thick and very long.  Only a skilled and large person can handle these swords.  The Soul Edge thought that this would be the best weapon to take over, seeing as it could break the thin blade of a rapier into pieces.  It’s a truly disgusting sight to see whenever Soul Edge takes over one’s weapon.  Unfortunately, if one holds the hilt of the weapon that Soul Edge uses as its host, they will become a host to Soul Edge as well.”

        “But, this sword is only in your dimension, right?” I asked.

        “Yes, and no.  As you get older and continue on your journey, you will realize that your soul is intertwined with people you haven’t even came across yet; people from a whole other dimension.  Or even people that are closer than you’d think.”

        Closer than I think? I thought to myself and I thought of people that I knew.  It was scary to think that someone like Link knew about this Soul Edge and, when I left Hyrule, what if he was driven mad and decided to pursue the sword?  He seemed a little smarter than that. 

        “Now, don’t worry about this sword,” Edge Master said.  “You have other things to worry about.  Just remember that people’s reasons for fighting may differ from yours and that people who seem like friends could be enemies and people who seem like enemies could be friends.”

        That didn’t really ease my mind at all, but I nodded anyway and smiled.  “I won’t let you down, sir.”

        “Good,” Edge Master said with a smile.  “Now, do what you need to do and save this kingdom from evil.  It needs someone like you to defend it.”

        There was really nothing more said.  I went over to Lux and woke him up and we basically got on our way.  The Edge Master and I exchanged our goodbyes and I walked out.

 

        Unfortunately, I would never see him again. 

Chapter 30- Gerudo Desert by Underdog Ash

When I left the training hall, the Gerudo that guarded the entrance closed the gate and smiled at me. 

        “How was it?” she asked me.

        “Uh, it was, um, good, I guess,” I said.  “I passed the training.”

        The Gerudo woman had wide eyes and said, “Really?”

        “Yeah,” I said and smirked. 

        “Where will you be heading off to now?” the Gerudo woman asked and I replied, “I need to go to the Spirit Temple next.”

        When I said that, the Gerudo woman put on a stern expression.  “I don’t think that’s a good idea, girl,” she said harshly.  “There hasn’t been a soul in that temple since Ganondorf was born.  Anyway, you have to cross the Gerudo Desert to get there.  Many go to the desert and many don’t return.”

        I was a little intrigued, so I asked her some questions.  “Why don’t people return?”

        “The Gerudo Desert is vast so many get lost there,” she told me.  “That’s not what will get you, though.  There’s a vicious storm that has blew for hundreds of years and claimed hundreds of lives.  I honestly don’t think that anyone has made it passed the desert and entered the Spirit Temple.  Well, actually, there was one person who went there and came back.”

        “Who was that?”

        “She’s our leader, or at least she was,” the girl said.  “Her name is Nabooru.  She made a journey to go there as a teen and came back with weapon that was said to be in the Spirit Temple as proof that she actually made it there.  However, things began to get bad for us quickly as Ganondorf became ruler and a foul storm brewed through the valley.  Nabooru decided that it was her fault that the events were taking place, so she decided to return the weapon to the Spirit Temple to please the gods.  She never returned, though the storm and Ganondorf both left.”

        “Well, technically, Ganondorf is still here,” I said.

        “You’re right,” the woman said, “but he’s no longer a threat to us in the meantime.”

        “Why do you have no compassion for the people of Hyrule?” I asked angrily. 

        “Do you think they have compassion for us?” she snapped.  “We sent many pleas to the King of Hyrule to help us, but he ignored them and became allies with Ganondorf.  It serves him right to be killed by that man.”

        I didn’t agree that he deserved to be killed, but I also didn’t agree with the King’s course of action.  It was then that I realized that the Gerudo race must have been driven to the desert like they were a bunch of savages.  The Gerudo people were angry, which led me to think for a split second that maybe Ganondorf was angry too.  However, Ganondorf caused chaos among the Gerudo people, so he must have had his own goals when he came to Hyrule.

        “Hyrule has been very unfair to you,” I said.  “I apologize for any offense you might have taken from me.”

        The woman smiled and said, “That’s fine.  A lot of people just misunderstand us.  I’m afraid that their opinions of us will continue to get worse however, seeing as Ganondorf is now ruling the land of Hyrule with an iron fist.  We may never find peace with the Hylian people.”

        “Well, I’ll make sure that Ganondorf’s reign is put to rest so that the Hylians may put their stereotypes aside,” I said.  “I’ll make it to that Spirit Temple, even if the desert makes it difficult for me.”

        “It won’t be easy,” the woman told me, “but good luck.”

        I nodded to her and continued on my way.  I wasn’t really sure what was up ahead, but I was extremely scared.  I was kind of missing Link a little bit.  Being scared was a lot easier to cope with when you had a partner.  I started to wonder how he was doing as Lux and I walked towards the entrance of the Gerudo Desert.  From what I had gathered, Link would be dealing with some darker stuff than I would be.  Link would probably be in some damp, dark place, which didn’t actually seem that bad as the hot Gerudo sun pounded down on my skin. 

        I had to wait for a couple of the Gerudo women to open the entrance to the desert.  To keep random people from going through, a huge, wooden gate was put up to separate the fortress from the desert.  If one wanted to enter the desert, they needed to have the gatekeepers pull ropes and put the gate up.  They gave me the okay to walk through and, as soon as I was clear, they dropped the gate.  A gatekeeper was always stationed there, so if I came in through the night, someone would surely help me.

        The Gerudo woman was right.  A windstorm was blowing violently through the desert, which caused sand to kick up and rush into anyone who walked through.  The beads of sand hit my body and made it so that I had trouble seeing in front of me.  I had to put my arm up to shield my eyes from the storm.  It wasn’t much help, but I was able to see a bit better.  Lux, on the other hand, was having trouble walking with me, as the wind was too strong for him.  His thin tail was blowing fiercely with the wind.

        As we walked farther into the desert, I started to see something in the distance.  I decided to investigate, so I walked closer to this object and discovered that it was a wooden pole and on that pole was a ripped flag, which I had seen all over Gerudo Fortress.  I looked out a bit further and saw another blurry object, but it seemed to look like another flag.  I found it odd that there were two flags close to each other.

        I shrugged and decided to continue on, dismissing the whole flag thing.  A couple steps later, I discovered why the flags were apart.  In just one step, I felt half of my leg sink into thick, wet sand that seemed to flow like a river.  Fortunately, I was able to jump backwards, which was strong enough to get my leg out of the quick sand.  I fell backwards right beside Lux. 

        “Raichu!” he shouted and sounded worried.

        “It’s alright Lux,” I said as I sat up.  I patted his head and he smiled, removing the worried expression from his face.  I stood up and tried to wipe the sand off my body, but realized that was pretty much useless. 

        I needed to figure out how to get across the river of quicksand.  Since the pole across was most likely made of wood like the one behind me, I could use my hookshot to get to the other side with no problem.  I lifted Lux up to my shoulder and asked him to hold onto the collar of my tunic.  I took the hookshot off my belt and held it steady, trying to aim straight for the pole without missing.  With one push of the trigger, a spear held on by a chain shot out and, in a split second, the spear at the end pierced the wooden pole. 

        “Hold on, Lux,” I said and, with my free hand, I held onto the top of my hat.  With another pull of the trigger, the chain went back into the hookshot and flung Lux and I forward, right across the quicksand.  Once we hit the ground, I pulled the trigger to stop the chain from going any further and walked to the pole.  The spear was in there rather deep but, with some wiggling, I was able to get the spear to come out and then let the chain go back into the hookshot completely.

        I looked forward and once again saw another pole, so I cautiously looked at the ground I was walking on to make sure that I didn’t walk right in to some more quicksand.  I was getting closer to the next pole so I anticipated running into some sort of quicksand, but I didn’t.  I was able to get to the next flag without any type of issues.  But, there was something else beside the flag.

        Covered in sand was a small, wooden sign.  I used my hand to clear most of the sand and found a message on the board.  On it was an arrow that pointed to the left and it said:  “Need help?  Come to Jose’s.  Keep left and don’t be scared if you don’t see a flag.”

        I pondered whether to follow the sign, but I did know that I needed help, so I decided to give Jose a visit just to see what kind of help he had to offer.  I honestly had no idea how to navigate through the stupid desert anyway, so I definitely could have used some insight.  So, I kept walking right and eventually found another sign.  It said:  “You’re getting closer and closer, my friend.  Keep at it to get help from Jose.” 

        Right after that statement, there was a nice smiley face, which made me feel better.  It was when I kept going that I began to feel a little ill.  In the distance, I could see a huge pit, which wasn’t too promising.  I continued on anyway, still having to shield my eyes from the ever growing sandstorm.

        As I got closer, I saw that there was a pier that extended over the pit.  Once I stepped on the pier, I began to see the figure of a rather hairy man.  As I got closer, I saw that the man was floating.  The actual sandstorm disappeared.

        “Eeeeh, do I see a womean out ‘dere?” I could hear the man say.  He had a thick Spanish accent, so he must have been Jose.  I decided it was safe to keep walking and when I got to a certain point I could a big pit of quicksand below me.  “Eeeeh, don’ be a-frayed,” the man said. 

        I took the guy’s word for it, or at least the words I could understand, and started to walk down the pier.  As I got closer, I realized that the man wasn’t floating all by himself.  This guy had a mammoth sized magic carpet.  That carpet must have been the help I was looking for.  With that thing, he could fly me over to the Spirit Temple in no time.  There was only one problem.  Once I reach the end of the pier, I realized that he was rather far away.

        “Um, could you scoot this rug up a bit,” I asked.  “I can’t really jump that far.”

        “No ken do,” Jose said. 

        “And why not?” I snapped.

        “Dis is just part of thee adveanture,” he said.  “You ken do eat.”

        “I don’t think so.  Just move this thing up a bit and-“

        “Whut are you, cheeeken?” he asked.

        “You mean chicken?”

        “No, cheeeken.”

        “No, I’m not ‘cheeeken,’ I’m just a realist.  There’s no way I can jump all the way over there without falling into that quicksand.”

        “I theenk you ken do eat.  Jus’ go fo eat.”

        Reader, this guy was stupid.  There was no way I could jump as far as he wanted me to, but I needed to do as he said so I could get on that stupid carpet and he could transport me to the stupid temple.  I looked down at Lux and said, “Go ahead and jump over.  I know that you can make it.”

        Lux looked puzzled, but did as I said anyway.  Once he made it over safely, I decided to back up.  If I could get a decent running start and then do some sort of roll, I could probably make it over.  Oh, and by make it over, I mean barely make it over.

        So, I did just that and, of course, I barely made it.  I didn’t actually land on the carpet, but I grabbed on to the end piece and made my way up from there.  When I was able to successfully stand up on the carpet, I looked over at Jose, who was sitting with his legs crossed.  From his long, hairy beard I could see his white toothed smile gleaming back at me.

        “See, I told you dat you ken doo eat,” he said. 

        “Yeah, yeah,” I said and tried to sound annoyed so maybe this guy would take a hint.  “Anyway, can you just take me to the temple?”

        “Whut?” he asked so I repeated my last statement and he just stared at me for like, twenty seconds.

        “Ya know, the Spirit Temple.  Your sign said that you would help me get there.”

        “Aktually, eat deedint,” he said.  “My sign wus an advotisement for my bissness.  I sell theengs.”

        “So, this flying carpet is just a store?”

        “Yeesh,” he said. 

        I looked to the side and sighed.  I wanted to cry.  I didn’t even think I would be able to find my way back to the right path again.  I would end up dying her all because of some hairy Spanish guy.  But, what the hell, I might as well have gotten the best of it.

        “Okay then,” I said, “what do you sell?”

        “I have a varieaty of wears,” he said.  “First, I ‘ave dis.”  And, he pulled from his beard what looked to be a mouse. 

        “What the hell is that?” I said, but I kept calm.  This guy obviously had some issues.

        “Dis eis a Bombchu,” he said.  “Eat ecplodes.”  The poor little mouse scurried in the air as Jose held him by his thin, little tail.

        “How does it explode, exactly?”

        “Weelll, to make ‘im ecplode, you neid a mini-boom.”  And, of course, Jose pulled a small device from his beard.  It was circular and had a harness on it.  “All you neid to do is tie dis on thee leattle guy.  Once eat is secure, let ‘im go.  ‘E will deen scurry and ecplode.”

        “What are these ‘mini-booms’ made out of?” I asked.

        “I maide thee concoction myself,” he said.  “Eat’s maide of my hair, a steeck, a tv remote, two gallons of appeeel cider, an’ ureane from my cat, Juabone.”

        “Juabone?”

        “Eat meens big balls een Hylian.  Thee balls make a lot of ureane.”

        “Yeah, sure,” I said and was very disappointed.  The beam of hope this Jose’s sign gave me was just dowsed in the urine of his big testicled cat.  “Anyway, I’ll tell you what.  If you fly me to the Spirit Temple, I’ll give you all of the rupees I have in my possession.”

        “I wuld do dat, but dere’s one problem,” he said.  “I don’t know ‘ow to drive dis theeng.”

        “Then how the hell did you get this carpet?”

        “I don’t know,” he said and he scratched his head.  “I don’t remeamber.”

        “Then let me try to drive it,” I said. 

        “I kent let you do dat,” he said.  “Dis is my shop.  Enyway, you ken meake it to thee tempeel from thee desert.  Jus follow thee flags.”

        “Well, I know that,” I snapped. 

        “You shuld go-“

        “I know where to go.  I can do this without you.”

        I turned around and was going to make an angry exit, but I realized that the pier was too far away.  “Wait a second,” I said, a little embarrassed.  I looked around for some way to move the stupid carpet, but couldn’t see anything.  I looked over at Jose who had a smile on his face and noticed there was something behind him.

        I walked around him and saw a steering wheel, a red stool, and two pedals.  “What the heck is this?” I asked him and he turned around.

        “I don’t know, amigo,” he said.  “Sumtimes, during thee weeenter, I use eat as a Christmass treeee.”

        I was on my last nerve with this guy, so I sat down at the stool and grabbed the steering wheel.  “Hold on tight, Jose,” I said.  “You too, Lux.”

        “Whut are you doooeng?” he asked.

        I decided to surprise him and just take off like the badass I was, so I put my foot on the left pedal and kicked it all the way down.  Instead of taking off, however, the carpet stopped floating and started to fall towards the pit.  I looked in front of me and saw Jose’s hair flying wildly in the air.

        “Other pedall,” he shouted.

        I pulled the steering wheel back and hit the other pedal, taking off at full speed in the air.  I pulled the steering wheel forward a little while still keeping my foot on the gas and we started going straight forward rather than up.  I turned the carpet around and started at full speed towards the flags.

        “Where are you takeng meee?” Jose asked.

        “The Spirit Temple, of course,” I said.  I looked forward and saw the first flag, so I began to look for the next.  Once I saw the next flag, I went towards it and then continued doing the same thing until I made it to the temple itself.

        The sandstorm just disappeared out of nowhere and I was able to see the temple clearly.  Above the entrance of the temple was a carving of a lady, who I assumed with a sand god or something.  I was a little confused as to why there was another goddess, seeing as there were only three, but I dismissed the thought.  Seeing as the Gerudo people were segregated from the rest of Hyrule, they must have created their own goddess.

        I pulled the wheel forward just a tad to have its nose go towards the ground.  Once I was close to crashing, I pulled the wheel back to level the carpet out.  I pressed the brake and held it and the carpet landed on the hot, golden sand.

        “Where are wee?” Jose asked.

        “The temple, of course,” I said and I took out my wallet.  “Here, I promised you all that I had.”  I handed him about seven hundred rupees and he smiled.

        “Weell, you ken have dis, dhen,” he said and handed me a rat and the mini-boom device.

        I hesitated, but grabbed the rat’s tail and then took the mini-boom.  “Uh, thanks, I guess.”

        “Now, I weel be on my way,” Jose said and he sat at the stool.  I jumped off with Lux and he started the thing up.

        “Wait, I thought you said you couldn’t drive this thing,” I said.

        “I deed,” he said, “but learning to drive a mageak carpet eis all part of thee adveanture.”  And with that, he took off in the sky.

        I looked down at Lux who looked up at the rat who was scurrying in the air.  I decided to keep him around, so I opened a pouch on my belt and put him in it, letting his little head stick out to see the action.  As for the mini-boom, I just threw that on the ground.

        We walked towards the temple, unsure of what awaited us as the hot sun beamed down upon us.  It wouldn’t be long before I would have to battle the dark me and awaken the next sage.  But the difference was that, this time, I would have to do this all by myself.

Chapter 31- Gettin' Down with my Bad Self by Underdog Ash

        I decided to look around before I went into the temple.  Though it looked like a barren desert, there could be something lying outside of the temple.  On the left, I found a pit that was made of sand, but the sand was wet, so it must have served as an oasis at one point in time.  Honestly, that was the biggest mystery in the desert.

        It was when I decided to go to the right that I felt my hat wiggle around.  Suddenly, Max woke up and shot out of my hat and started to shout.  He took off like a speeding bullet.

        “Hey, where are you going?” I asked.

        Max stopped and faced me, or at least I think he faced me.  “The Great Fairy!” he shouted and flew into a cave.  I looked down at Lux and shrugged at him.  We then began to walk towards the cave.

        When we walked in it was dark, but once the ground became white marble, I knew where we were.  Once I walked a couple more steps, light shown all around us and I was able to see the Fairy Fountain.  Floating above it was Max, who was placing himself for something.

        “Uh, why are you still?” I asked.  “Usually you freak out and shake a lot.”

        “If I place myself in just the right spot…” he said, but didn’t continue.  “Just play the song or whatever.”

“Okay,” I said and stood on the Triforce plate.  I took out my ocarina and began to play Zelda’s Lullaby.  Once I was finished, I heard a deep laugh and then some coughing. 

Out from the fountain came what seemed like a forty year old fat guy.  On his back was a pair of fake angel wings.  Unfortunately for my eyes, he was wrapped in weeds, like the Great Fairy usually was, and it was just as revealing as it was on the female Great Fairy.  Luckily, he wore striped boxers, so his junk didn’t burst out of the weeds.  He had five o’clock shadow and he had a cigarette in his mouth.  On his thick neck was a gold chain and, between his man boobs the size of bunnies, was Max, nuzzling between those moobies.

“Um, hi,” I said awkwardly and the guy looked at me.

“Whad do you want?” the guy asked.  He had a thick accent that reminded me of Boston, a city back at home.  I had never been there, but I heard their accents on television.  When Max heard his voice, he flew out of his moobs and went straight back into my hat.  I could feel it shaking.

“Uh, I’m here to see the Great Fairy,” I said.

“Well, unfortunately for you, I am da Great Fairy,” he said and he took a puff of his cigarette. 

“What happened to the regular Great Fairy?” I asked.

“Okay, I’m not really da Great Fairy,” he said.  “To be all, technically, I’m a stand-in.  I get paid for dis gig.”

“So, do you have something to give me?” I asked.

“Whad do ya mean, give you somethin’?” he snapped.  “Ya come in here and demand me to give you somethin’?  I’ll give ya somethin’.  A punch right in da face.”

“Well, uh, the Great Fairy usually gives me something when I visit her.  I guess they’re supposed to, because I’m one of the heroes of time.”

“Oh, you’re one of those brats.  Yeah, I was told to give ya somethin’, if I could remember what it was.  Ya took so long ta get here.  I’ve been waitin’ for five years for one of you brats to show up.”

“Well, I’m, uh, sorry about that.  I was asleep for all five of those years, you know.”

“Eh, whatever.  Excuses is all you got.  Anyway, what do ya want from me?”

I looked around nervously, trying to pull something useful from my brain, but it didn’t work.  Instead, I said: “Um, I guess some sort of power up or something.”

“Whaddya mean by a power up?” he snapped.  “Go train your lazy ass.  Then you’ll get yerself a power up.”

“Are you even going to help me, or should I just leave?” I asked and sighed.  I was a little tired of this guy already.

“Nah, don’t leave.  I’ll help ya.”

“Well, thank you, Great, uh, Fairy.”

“No no, call me tha Great Karl,” the guy said. 

“Alright, Great Karl,” I said and looked around nervously.  This guy was quite the character.  What I failed to notice was that the little rat that I had gotten from Jose escaped my little pocket and scurried towards the fountain.  Once it got towards the Great Karl, he held out his hand and made the guy float in the air.  It scurried violently, but didn’t get anywhere.

“The first way I’ll help ya is wit dis guy,” the Great Karl said and he snapped.  Suddenly, the rat transformed into a tiny, grey thing with big ears.  It had a rather long tail for being such a small rodent.

“Minccino!” it screamed.

“See?” the Great Karl said with a smile under his mustache.  “Things aren’t whut they seem sumtimes, ya know?  This here is a Pokemon named Minccino.  You’re quite the lucky lady, seeing as dis thing is pretty rare.  It evolves with dis thing called the Shiny Stone, which is in the Spirit Temple.  This guy is also the key to reawakening the next sage.”

“Wow,” I said and the Great Karl lowered the little guy into the palms of my hands.  He was a bit heavy even though he looked like he was barely over a foot tall.  He had these big grey eyes and a confused expression on. 

“Make sure you don’t lose the little guy,” the Great Karl said.  “Anyways, I don’ really have much for ya.  I can heal you, dough.  You’ll definitely need it wit whut’s in the temple.”

He was right, but I already knew what was in that temple.  It was me. 

“Wit that bein’ said,” he continued, “do you need anything?”

“Nah, I think I’ll just head out,” I said.  “I don’t really need anything.”

“Well, be careful and kick sum ass,” the Great Karl said and he did a stupid laugh and disappeared in the fountain.  I looked at my cupped hands and looked at the Minncino.

“Alright buddy, you should stay close to me, alright?” I said to him and he nodded.  I plopped him down by Lux and started out of the fountain.  The fountain’s atmosphere was both warm and cold, but when I stepped out into the desert, a blast of hot air hit me and I suddenly became uncomfortable.

I had wasted too much time with the Great Karl, so I didn’t take any more time to explore the place.  We went straight under an arch and then went up a small set of stairs to the entrance of the Spirit Temple.  I wielded the Ling Sheng Su Staff, just in case Dark Ash was waiting for me. 

When we entered the temple, it was surprisingly cool.  The inside was rather impressive in art and structure.  To my right and left were two statues that looked like cobras.  They seemed to have something written on them, so I decided it would most likely be in my best interest to read them.  I walked over to the one on the right, which read:  “If you want to travel to the future, you should return here with the power of silver from the past.”

“What the hell?” I said aloud.  I had no idea what this stupid statue was talking about, so I went over to the other one to read it.  This is what it said: “If you want to proceed to the past, you should return here with the pure heart of a child.”

I tilted my head a little and realized that I was royally screwed.  How the hell was I going to go back in time?  As far as I knew, that was totally impossible.  I didn’t even know what the power of silver was.

“Hello again, Ms. Brandt,” I suddenly heard a voice say.  I quickly turned around, ready to whoop some ass, but to my surprise, it was Sheik.

“Uh, hi, again,” I said awkwardly.  I’d never been alone with this dude. 

“I couldn’t help but over hear you say something,” he said and I could see a smile curl up from under the white cloth that hid his face.  “I can help you with your problem.  As you may have guessed, you need to go back in times to awaken the next sage.”

Back in time? I thought.  Screw that shit.  I didn’t want to go back.  Then, I said to him, “I think I’ll just stay in my time period for now.  Now, can you tell me what this ‘power of silver’ junk is?”

“Yes, I can,” Sheik said and he rolled his eyes like he was annoyed or something.  “The power of silver that you speak of is nothing other than the silver gauntlets, which can only be obtained by someone who can crawl through a very small hole.  That would be a child.  The goddesses set it up this way for the Hero of Time, or rather the Heroes of Time, I suppose.”

“Well, that’s dandy, but I don’t want to waste anymore, er, time,” I said.  “Anyway, what do those gauntlets do anyway?”

Sheik sighed and put his face in his palm and then rubbed his eyes which must have been another sign that he was completely annoyed, but I didn’t care; I was going to do things my way.  “Follow me, then,” he said and led me up a set of stairs.  There were two different openings on the temple.  The one on the left of the staircase was a hole which I definitely couldn’t fit through as an adult.  The one on the right was blocked by a huge, grey block which had a black crescent with a little star at the end of the tips carved into it.

“This block can only be picked up by one who wears the silver gauntlets,” Sheik said.

I looked at it and had an idea.  “While having enormous power is rather nice, I have a better idea,” I said to him and I took Pasta’s Pokeball off my belt.  I shouted his name and he came out from the ball and looked a lot better than he did a day or so ago, when Volvagia gave us both a run for our money. 

“Hey Pasta,” I said to him, “could you pick this thing up for me?”  Pasta smiled and picked up this huge square and threw it forward.  I looked at Sheik with a smirk.  “See, I have this covered.”

Sheik sighed and said, “Well, if you say so.”

There was a bit of a pause, so I decided to say something.  “Oh hey, have you seen Link lately?  I just want to know how he is.”

“Link’s mission involved him going back in time also,” Sheik said, “so he actually did what I told him to do.  He’s in the well thing in Kakariko Village.  I suggest, once you are done, to meet him up in Kakariko.  Seeing how he actually followed directions, he’ll probably be done before you.”

I could have gotten angry, but I just put on a nice smile for my friend there.  “You may be right, but I’ll get through this thing nonetheless.”

“If you say so,” Sheik said and we stared at each other for a while until things got awkward.  The one thing I noticed was that he had rather girly eyes for some guy.

“Uh, anyway, I’ll be seeing you around,” I said.  I waved to him and started to walk down the hall that Pasta had cleared for us.  I had this absolutely weird feeling that he was watching me which made me uncomfortable.  Those girly eyes could have been looking at my ass.

I didn’t bother to turn and see him because he was probably gone anyway.  He usually just did what he needed to and left.  Beyond that little hall was a room with sand in the middle.  There was really nothing of interest in that room, neither was there for a couple rooms, honestly.  It was when we got to a huge room that things did become interesting.

        This room was vast, but the most noticeable feature was a giant statue of a woman.  It seemed like she had a cobra that went up to her face and curled around her body.  She looked similar to the lady that was above the entrance to the temple, so she must have definitely been a goddess to the Gerudo people.  I looked around and in front of me was a long staircase that led to another floor.  On my left was a ladder which went down to where the base of the statue was a big floor.  I decided to go for the ladder just because I wanted to look at the statue.

        I had my three companions follow me down the ladder and once I landed on the floor, shit got real.

        “Well, hello there beautiful,” I heard a voice say.  I instantly recognized that voice as my own.  I looked towards the area that it came from, but I couldn’t see anyone.  I walked out to the middle of the room so I could hopefully spot myself easier.

        “Hey there,” I replied, “why don’t you come out so I can see you?”

        “I would,” she said, “but I’m a big fan of surprises.”

        I walked around and looked everywhere.  I couldn’t see her at all.  “Well, if you stay hidden, you do have the advantage to give me a surprise attack,” I said while walking.  “But, that also means you’re a coward and that you’re afraid to confront me.”

        “Ha, afraid of you?  You’re funny.”  Then, immediately after that was said, Dark Ash came from the shadows by the statue.  She was whistling and swung her sword around.  “I suppose I’ll play fair…for a little while, anyway.”

        Good, I thought.  At least she still has the sword.  That means I stand a bit of a chance. 

        I unsheathed my staff and put on a smile.  “Well look at you,” my dark self said.  “I wish I was as hip as you.  Oh wait, I am.”

        All of a sudden, a bunch of tiny shadow balls came from the shadows of the room and went up Dark Ashley’s arm.  The little balls began to form a stick and then, in just a matter of seconds, a staff was created. 

        “Shit,” I said out loud and Dark Ash just put on a smile that made me want to smack her on the face.  Little bitch.  I couldn’t believe she had the power to do that.

        “Now, now, there’s no reason to get like that,” my dark self said wagging her finger.  She got into a fighting stance and said, “Now, time to play, just like I promised.”

        Of course, she came at me first and without warning.  Her staff slammed the side of my head and knocked me to the side.  When I was able to see straight, I saw her in the air, ready to take the base of her staff and slam it into my body.  I rolled out of the way and looked over at Lux. 

        “Lux, get Minccino out of here,” I shouted to him in the little time I had.  Before he could even say anything, my dark self was after me in a heartbeat.  Unfortunately for me, it seemed like Dark Ashley had been studying her staff technic for years, rather than the couple hours I had to train.

        There was a lot of back and forth fighting going on.  It was so hard to keep up with my dark self, but I was actually able to deflect most of her attacks.  But, just like me, she liked to toy with her opponents, so an ass whipping was coming my way. 

        In a split second, my dark self suddenly became really good with the staff and started knocking me across the face with the damn thing.  She began to twirl the staff around hit me several times.  I realized that I had to grab that thing before I lost consciousness, so I grabbed her staff and held on with one arm.  She began to lift me up and swing me around wildly.  I took my staff and hit her on the side of the head, which fazed her for a little while, but not long enough.

        As the battle progressed, it became easier to block dark Ashley’s attacks.  That, of course, made her a bit angrier.  She didn’t have any trick left which surprised me seeing as she always seemed to be a thousand steps ahead of me.  She tried to step her game up a little more again, but both of us were tired.

        “Screw this shit,” she suddenly said and threw her staff to the side.  She immediately looked down at the ground and air began whipping her hair back and forth.  Her eyes started to glow even more red than before and I knew straight away that shit was about to go down.  But what could I do?

        All I could think of doing was twirling my staff in front of me just so it could maybe reflect whatever power my dark self would unleash.  I didn’t realize that sparks began to come from my finger tips and this huge ball of electricity began to form.  Of course, as the ball of electricity became bigger, I noticed that something peculiar was going, I just didn’t know what the hell was going on.  The ball itself began to push me backwards and made me tense.  I had to keep cool, so I relaxed all of the muscles in my body and, in a split second, the electricity ball shot from my staff and hit my dark self before she could release that power she was concentrating on.

        Dark Ash shot backwards and hit the statue of the sand goddess.  She fell to the floor and I noticed that she actually left a dent in the damn thing, despite the fact that it was made of stone.  She immediately got up and charged after me.  The next thing I knew was that she had me by the collar and threw me straight in the air.  I held on to my staff as I went up several floors and I came face to face with the statue of the sand goddess.  Right in front of me was a pillar that seemed to be held up by a chain but I was nowhere near the thing to get my footing and be on safe ground.

        But of course, Dark Ash knew what she was doing and jumped all the way up to the pillar.  I was still in the air, beginning to descend when she grabbed me and kicked me square in the middle of my legs which made me fly upwards.  She then proceeded to jump and follow me so she could kick me in the stomach and make me fly into a wall.  I ended up hitting a window and pulling down a ragged cloth that served as a curtain.  When the cloth came down with me, a small circle of light came into the room.  It was that window that possibly saved my life.

        The thing is, Dark Ash decided to totally ignore the window and the light.  All she did was step in the light when she came to confront me and she began to yell in pain.  I looked up wearily and noticed that the light was burning her dark skin which made her jump backwards to escape it.  I stood up quickly and tried to figure out where I was.

        It seemed Dark Ashley had thrown me into a whole other room which had what seemed to be a jail cell in it because there were bars isolating the room itself.  Then I noticed that someone must have escaped this room for, a little to the right, there was a huge hole in the wall.  I couldn’t see very well, but light shrouded the cell, so I knew I had to get in there.  I ran for it, but felt a thin hand grab my ankle and pull it.

        My body slammed to the ground and Dark Ashley began to drag me all across the room which caused my face to get many scratches and bruises.  I shot electricity out of my hand in desperation and it actually hurt her a lot.  The light must have not only hurt her physically, but it must have sucked the energy out of her. 

        In anger, she swung me around by my ankle and then threw me.  Fortunately, she threw me right through the hole in the wall.  As soon as my body hit the ground, I got up and ran into the cell.  I almost tripped over a skull or two, but I got to the treasure that this cell was actually holding.

        The middle of this cell contained a lot of sand, which probably came from the hole that was in the ceiling which actually produced the huge beam of light.  Stuck in the middle of this pile of sand was a crimson staff.  At the tip was a silver, pointed end which I could use to stab or cut someone, but that wasn’t the best part.  When I pulled this staff out of the sand it was revealed to me that there was actually a round mirror on the other tip which seemed to be made of a very strong and reflective glass as the light bounced right off of it when it came out of the sand.  When the light from the mirror hit the wall, I saw a crescent star symbol, which was that of the Gerudo people.  Conveniently, the mirror on the end could be tilted so that I could control where the light went to some degree.

        I thought quickly and turned the mirror so that light shined on my dark self through the cell bars.  The mirror wasn’t that big but the small beam of light it reflected caused my dark self a lot of pain.  Unfortunately for her, whenever she tried to move away I was able to move the staff and put the light back on her. Seconds later, she fell to her knees and began to cry it seemed.  I took the light off of her and rushed out to finish her.

        It was pathetic seeing her in that state.  She was crying and couldn’t get up off her knees.  I decided to end it for her and stabbed her torso with the sharp end of the staff which caused her to collapse in little black balls and they disappeared.

        I breathed a sigh of relief and wiped my bleeding nose.  That staff would come in handy but I couldn’t afford to carry the other one, so I left it be.  It was very well crafted it seemed.  The staff was made of some sort of crimson metal which gave the staff a nice shine to it.  It was also expertly designed as carved ivy went up and down the staff for a decorative touch.  It was a beauty, honestly, and I never felt so proud to carry that weapon. 

        I dusted it off a bit with my hat and sheathed the staff.  I the preceded to climb down the chain that led to the pillar in the middle of the room I was in previously and got mentally ready for whatever would be next.

Chapter 32- The Evil King's Mommies by Underdog Ash

Chapter 32

The Evil King’s

Mommies

 

        I climbed down the chain slowly and looked below the pillar to see Lux, Pasta, and Minncino looking up with concerned expressions.  I waved to them and Lux cried out. 

        “Pasta,” I said, “go ahead and bring them up, if you would.”

        The two Pokemon gladly jumped onto Pasta’s back and he flew them up to the platform.  Pasta wasn’t able to actually stand on the platform because of how small it was, but Lux and Minncino hopped right on board.  After a quick hug from Lux, I began to get back to work. 

        I noticed that a big beam of light was shining right down on us.  I didn’t really know what else to do, so I looked at the face of the statue and decided to shine light on it.  Surprisingly, the face actually broke into pieces, which stumped the hell out of me.  But, I just shrugged and jumped over for there was a small door behind that face.

        The room we entered was a rectangle shape and had some pillars standing tall in it.  In front of us was a big think, covered in huge armor.  It was sitting in a big, stone chair holding this huge axe.  I stood completely still for a minute or so, but the thing didn’t move.  Hell, I didn’t even think it was breathing.

        After a minute passing with nothing happening, I decided to approach the metal of junk.  It must have just been for show or something.  This whole temple was constructed rather well, so why wouldn’t someone want a cool, metal statue to sit as a decoration. 

        “I wonder what this thing is,” I said aloud.  I was really close to this statue and decided to tap on it.  That wasn’t a very good idea.

        In a split second, my neck was completely grasped by this thing’s hand.  I was thrown against a pillar, which crumbled to pieces.  I got up quickly and wiped some more blood off of my nose and unsheathed my sword.  With that huge axe and armor, this guy had to be extremely slow, so I knew my sword would do the trick.

        I rolled out of the way before this guy’s axe slammed down right on me.  I found an opening to attack, but the guy blocked it with the shaft of his axe.  He then swung it around and the hand part hit me square on the shoulder.  The guy kept moving this axe, so I tried to move, but the handle took me with it.  I slammed against the big stone chair he sat upon before the battle began.

        I crumbled to the ground with the chair and laid there for a second.  With a loud cling, I saw the huge blade of the axe land right by my face.  Thankfully, this guy didn’t have great aiming skills; otherwise I would’ve been done for.  I rolled out of the way quickly, desperate to never be that close to anyone’s axe again.  I ran over to the other side of the room and stopped by Lux, Pasta, and Minncino.  I didn’t want them to get involved, but Pasta may have been my only chance at winning against this guy.  However, I didn’t want to use him just yet.

        I slowly approached the armored fiend and took light steps.  I had to be light on my feet if I wanted to evade his attacks.  Even though he was slow, I knew his axe could do a lot of damage to me in the long run.  One hit with that axe and I would be down for an extremely long time.  With my sword out from me and my feet apart as I walked, I cautiously circled the armored man.

        The air was tense as I began to hear the man breath harder, as if he was becoming more annoyed by the second.  With a huge roar, the man lifted his axe above his head and prepared to slam it down upon me.  I rolled out of the way and saw my chance.  I rushed forward as the armored man tried to lift his heavy axe again and pierced through his armor.  I didn’t do much damage, but I heard a heavy metal plate hit the ground.  I jumped back and noticed that his left shoulder was now open for me to stab a way at.  Before I focused on his body however, I wanted to knock off more of his armor.

        Thankfully, this guy not only had a short fuse, but he was also not very bright.  We both went through the same thing; him trying to hit me, me dodging, and then me coming up on him and knocking another piece of his armor off.  Eventually, all the armor this guy had left on was his helmet.  Once he realized this, he dropped his axe and went for a sword sheathed on his side.  Now that he was free of all that armor, he started to quicken his fighting style, which was when things began to get interesting.

        It was a surprise to me how stealthy this guy was, but I was able to block his first attack.  Our swords met horizontally with a sharp cling sound and I was able to peek inside of this guy’s helmet.  I saw eyes, but they were closed.  I at least knew that this guy was human, but he must have had a major problem with sleep walking because this was ridiculous.  The way this guy was fighting now, he didn’t seem tired at all, so I was stumped as to what was going on.  I didn’t have much time to think for this guy was wasting no time with me.

        His sword, which seemed to be some sort of broadsword, enabled him to move faster than he did with the axe, but he was still severely slow.  His method of swinging his sword was more underhanded, which put a ton of pressure on my blade.  I was afraid that the ‘blade of evil’s bane’ was going to shatter right in front of me.  After I got the groove of things though, I realized that this guy left himself open between swings.  All I needed to do was stab him quickly in the side and then abort, otherwise I was have a broadsword in my skull.

        And the moment came.  I stabbed the armored man and quickly drew back.  Blood gushed from his side as he swung his blade around blindly.  I stepped all the way back towards Lux, Minncino, and Pasta to keep myself from being hit.  After swinging violently for ten seconds, the armored fiend fell to the ground on its hands and knees. 

        I expected nothing more, but I heard a small cling noise and looked down to see that the armored man had lost his helmet.  It was then that I realized that this enemy wasn’t a man at all; it was a woman.  I looked closer and recognized the face.  Her face was tan, but missing the make-up she had on seven years ago.  Her flowing red hair was pulled back, but was wet with sweat.  Her eyes were wide open as she struggled to breathe.

        “Nabooru?” I said quietly and she looked up at me.

        “Ashley,” she said slowly, “the stone…they have the Shiny Stone.”

        “Shiny Stone?” I said to myself and looked back at Minccino who actually had a worried expression on his face.  “Who’s they?”

        “Ganondorf’s mothers,” she said.

        “His mother?”

        “His mothers.”

        “Wait a minute,” I said, “this makes no sense.  You’re saying mothers, as in more than one?”

        Before she could say anything, I heard a rotten sounding laugh that pierced my ears and echoed through the room.  I then heard another laugh which sounded a bit different.  They sounded like female laughs. 

        “The mothers,” I whispered harshly.

        And, in an instant I saw two figures spinning around.  They stopped spinning and I saw that they were two women who had green tinted skin.  On the back of their head was, of course, their hair which was elevated like a bee-hive and held by a Gerudo style head band.  It had greyed with age, but looked pretty damn thick.  Like Ganondorf, on each of their foreheads was a jewel, though they were a bit larger than the jewel that Ganondorf toted on his face.  Seeing as they both looked alike, the jewels were different colors.  One had a red jewel on and the other had a blue one.  Their faces were hideous and I immediately realized where Ganondorf got his honker.  But the question still remained in my mind.  How the hell did Ganondorf have two moms?

        “Tsk, tsk,” the red jeweled one said.  “What a shame, Kotake.  She wasn’t that good at fighting, despite all the training.”

        “Yes, what a shame, dear sister,” the other said. 

        “Wait,” I said, “which one of you is Ganondorf’s mom?” 

        “I am,” they both said at the exact same time.

        “You’re both his mother?” I said.  I was so confused, but I wasn’t here for family crap.  “Regardless, who are you two and why is Nabooru dressed in heavy armor?” 

        “We are the twin sisters of this desert,” said the one with the blue jewel, who had been called Kotake by the other sister.  “I am Kotake and she is my sister, Koume.  We guard the Spirit Temple from pests like you.”

        “Well, great,” I said, “now can you just tell me why Nabooru was dressed in armor and what is going on here?”

        “Oh, Nabooru,” said Koume and she threw her head back and looked at the ceiling.  “Because of her persistent betrayal to our son, she needed to be taught a very hard lesson.  All she has done is cause the group trouble.  I think it is just because she is jealous of our boy for being such a strong leader, but who knows.  Now, she seems to be dead, which isn’t a pity at all.”

        “Not quite, dear Koume,” Kotake said.  “She’s still breathing, the pathetic thing.  I guess even one of the great Heroes of Time can’t kill this disgusting woman.”

        “I guess we will have to do it ourselves, Kotake,” Koume said and smiled.  Her teeth were yellow and crusty looking.

        “I’m afraid I can’t let you do that,” I said and I was all ready to protect Nabooru.

        “No,” I heard her say quietly.  “Let them kill me…they need to kill me.”

        “Huh?” I said.  I didn’t understand right away, but in a couple of seconds it finally got through to me.  Nabooru was the sage that I needed to awaken and, for her to actually need to be awakened, she needed to be dead.

        “You want us to kill you?” Koume said.  “Did you hear that, Kotake?”

        “I did, Koume.  Suit yourself, young lady.”  And then, both of the sisters looked at each other with a smile.  Koume began to glow red and Kotake began to glow blue and, in a burst of light, they shot Nabooru.  She let out a horrid scream and then completely collapsed on the floor.  Blood seeped in the cracks on the ground and I watched as Nabooru failed to take anymore breaths.

        “What a waste, dear sister,” Kotake said.

        “Yes, Kotake,” Koume said and she suddenly took out a stone.  The stone was a light yellow color and right in the middle looked like an orange sphere.  Unlike the other stones, this one was actually glowing brightly.  It seemed to me that the small sphere in the middle was a tiny sun.

        I assumed that the stone they had was the stone I needed to awaken Nabooru, which was confirmed by Minccino.  I felt him on my foot, gazing at the thing. 

        “I’ll go ahead and take that,” I said.  Maybe, for once, this whole awakening stuff would be a bit easier than usual. 

        “You want this stone?” Koume said with a smile.  “I suppose we can give this to her, right Kotake?”

        “You are right, Koume,” Kotake said.  “I mean, we have no use for the thing, anyway.  But, before we give it to her, let’s have fun with this Hero of Time.  Seeing as she’ll most likely try to take down our son, I think we should play with her.”

        “Great idea, Koume,” Kotake said with enthusiasm.

        Awesome, I thought.  Everything has to be so difficult. 

        “Alright then,” I said allowed to the two, “I’ll take you both on.  But, I do get that stone afterwards, right?”

        “We promise, girl,” Koume said and she put the stone in her thick head of hair.  “Now, let us go and get ready for this girl, Kotake.”  The two them took off on their broomsticks into a new room that was behind the now crumbled throne.  A huge door shut and echoed throughout the small room, leaving me alone with my Pokemon and the corpse of Nabooru.

        “Well you guys,” I said to Pasta, Lux, and Minccino, “it would probably be best for you all to stay here.”

        “Minccino,” Minccino said harshly.  He grabbed the top of my boot and tried to pull me forward.

        “Minccino, you’re too small to go in and-“ I said, but he kept yelling and I saw little tears wet the fur under his big eyes.  He was so ambitious and passionate that I couldn’t say no.  “Alright,” I said and caved, “all of you can come in with me if you so please.”

        “Char,” Pasta said and shook his head.  I took out his Pokeball and had him return.  I wasn’t sure why he didn’t want to help but he was a bit big and would have been in the way.

        “Okay, all set then?” I asked Lux and Minccino.  Lux smiled up at me and walked over to Minccino and picked him up.  Then Lux placed the little guy between his ears.  Minccino stood up straight on Lux’s head and still had tears strolling down his eyes, but he had so much drive in his eyes.  I felt so inspired by the little guy myself that I began to walk towards the huge door without hesitation.  Once I stood directly in front of it, the door began to rise automatically.  Dust floated in the air as the stone door slowly went up. 

        What was revealed to us was a big room with an elevated platform in the middle.  There were some other smaller platforms around this huge platform as well.  Leading up to the top of the platform was a ladder on the wall made out of metal.  I climbed it with Lux handing onto my shield.  On top of the platform was a flat service that had a round, red rug in the middle.  I unsheathed my sword and went to the center of the room. 

        “Whenever you’re ready guys,” I said after a few seconds.  Then, in a cruel, evil fashion, Koume and Kotake let out their stupid laughs which, once again, hurt my ears.  It was all cackly and crusty sounding and made me cringe. Then, there was a bright light of red and a bright light of blue on both sides of me and the two appeared.

        “Are you ready for this, Kotake?” Koume asked her sister.

        “Yes I am, Koume,” Kotake replied. “Are you ready, Hero of Time?”

        “Hell yeah,” I said and pointed my sword at Koume.  “Let’s do this.”

        “Such a terrible child you are,” Koume said and her hair turned into a hot, red flame..  “But, you’ll be a nice sacrifice to the great Ganondorf for sure.”  Then, this weird circle thing came from the butt end of Koume’s broomstick.  It contained weird looking patterns and was a dark orange color.  She seemed to be charging a beam of some sort because, after a couple of seconds, her broomstick caught on fire.  She put the broom end towards me and out shot this dark red beam.  I was able to get out of the way, but I could feel extreme heat emanating from this red beam. 

        Jeez, I thought and I looked up at the twins who were now floating around in the air.  If that beam hit my sword, the blade would melt for sure.  If I didn’t think fast, we’d all be roasted.  But then I wondered about Kotake.  Her hair seemed to be frozen by ice.

        After floating around a bit, Kotake then stepped up to the plate.  That weird circle came back again, but this time it was a light, icy blue color.  She charged the beam and then the end of her broomstick had a block of ice on the bristles.  I wasn’t really thinking, but couldn’t melt my Master Sword’s blade, so I decided to test it.  I held the sword in front of me with the blade completely horizontal to try and block Kotake’s attack; if I could, anyway.  To my surprise, the sword blocked the attack from hitting me.  Unfortunately, the sword became very heavy because the entire blade froze into a huge block of ice.  It stopped just a bit after the hilt began, but I had to drop the damn thing.

        When I dropped the sword, it landed on the soft carpet and the ice didn’t crack a bit.  It would take too long for the Master Sword’s blade to thaw on its own, so I used the next weapon I had.  I took the Spirit Staff off its holster behind my back and was ready for the next attack.  I wasn’t too confident on what to do, but the staff did seem to hold some sort of magnificent power, so it was worth a shot.  It would buy me time while I waited for the Master Sword to melt, anyway.

        Koume went next, as it was her turn, and started to charge up her fire beam again.  I wasn’t sure what was going to happen to the Spirit Staff, but I held it in front of me horizontally and closed my eyes.  I heard the beam shoot towards me and began to feel the hot flame.  It was then that I heard a weird noise, like the noise of a siren.  I opened my eyes to see the fire beam shoot off to the side from the mirror medallion of my staff.  Right in the way of the beam was Kotake herself and she yelled in pain as the beam burned her and surrounded her in smoke.  She recovered, unfortunately, and attacked back at me immediately.

        I put my staff up and saw that the beam of ice traveled up the handle of the staff and went right towards the medallion.  I maneuvered the medallion with my hand, pulling it upwards so that the beam would reflect directly on to Koume.  Though it seemed rather bizarre to me, Koume was actually injured by the beam of ice.  She yelled in a similar fashion as her sister and then attacked me for fun.  Of course, I just did the same as before and redirected her fire beam towards Kotake.

        I did this a few times and I was extremely excited about how easy this whole thing was.  Compared to everything I had encountered on my long adventure, these two were a piece of cake.  But, as my life goes, things got sour.

        The twins stopped floating for some reason and looked at each other.  “It’s time to get serious, Koume,” Kotake said to her sister.

        “You’re right, Kotake,” Koume replied and they started to spin above me.  Suddenly, they both disappeared in a flash of light, just to leave one younger, taller looking lady floating above.  She was much prettier than the sisters as individuals, that was for sure.  Her hair was like the sisters’ except like pigtails and one side was fiery while the other side was completely frozen.  In each of her hands were a wand, one which had fire on the tip and another that had ice on the tip.

        “Behold the power of Twinrova,” she said and then winked at me.  She floated backwards and stopped for a second to look at her wands.  Then she shot ice right at me.  I was able to get it with the medallion on my staff, but it didn’t reflect back.  Instead, the medallion just turned light blue and the siren sound kept going.  I was so confused at what was going on, but I just made sure to concentrate and try to get everyone of Twinrova’s shots on my staff’s medallion.  She released another beam of ice and the siren grew louder and went off quicker.  The medallion was blinking a bit faster as well.  Nothing was happening, however.  No beam of light shot out of my staff, so I waited for another shot from Twinrova.

        Twinrova got ready to shoot me again, but she used the other wand.  I wasn’t thinking very well, so I got my staff ready to take in the shot.  The red beam hit the medallion on my staff, but the siren noise went slower and the medallion went from blink light blue furiously to blinking red slowly.  It was then that I realized that my medallion could only hold one element at a time.  I just had to make sure that my medallion absorbed more fire.

        It only took two more fire beams for my medallion to release its own beam of fire.  The beam was so strong that it almost knocked me off my feet.  I quickly made it steady just in time to hit Twinrova.  She let out a yell, but recovered in a second of two.  Thus, the process repeated two more time and Twinrova fell to the ground from exhaustion.

        She was on her hands and knees when the stone fell from her hair.  “Minccino!” I shouted, “grab it!”

        Minccino jumped straight of Lux and ran after the stone, but Twinrova snatched it right up before Minccino even put a small paw on it.  “You think it would be that easy, you little rat?” she said and grabbed him by his tail.  He flailed in the air and screamed. 

        “Let go of him,” I shouted and used some of my electric power to shoot at Twinrova.  Lux even joined in.  It seemed he really cared about Minccino.

        Twinrova shot back ice, which actually stopped Lux and I’s power to a degree.  Most of it was absorbed inside of the beam of ice and shot back at us, but some actually hit Twinrova, who immediately dropped Minccino.  Lux and I hit the ground and I felt freezing cold from the beam.  I jumped up however, and ran towards Twinrova, who was still on the ground.  I dodged Minccino and took the sharp end of my staff and stabbed it right into the jewel in her head.

        The jewel shattered and the pieces fell to the ground.  I withdrew my staff and watched as Twinrova grabbed her forehead and started to scream.  She began to glow red, like she was going to explode, so I grabbed Minccino and ran over towards Lux.  I shielded them both and turned my back towards her.  I heard a loud blast and felt some heated wind which was followed by snowflakes gently floating in the air.  I heard something fall to the ground, so I stood up straight and turned around.

        “Rai,” Lux said and seemed to be fascinated by the snow falling.  It was actually falling rather quickly and thick, so the ground began to become glazed with the white, cold snow.  Lux and Minccino danced together while I put my staff back and walked over towards the Master Sword.  The blade was no longer covered in ice, which most likely melted from the blast.  Instead, it was lightly frosted with snow.  I picked it up and sheathed it. 

        I turned and saw Lux and Minccino on the ground making snow angels.  “Alright guys,” I said to them both, “it’s time to wrap this up and awaken Nabooru.”  I walked over to the stone which shined brightly in the white snow.  I picked it up and looked at Minccino who began to walk towards me.  I actually felt a little sad letting him go to the Sacred Realm, but it had to be done.

        “You ready, Minccino?” I asked him and he nodded.  I put the stone down to his little body and let it touch him.  A bright light came from him and faded shortly, revealing a similar looking Pokemon, but with a beautiful coat of white fur wrapped around its body.

        “Cinccino,” he said to me and pointed one of his tiny paws at a circle of blue light that just formed on the ground.  He walked into it himself and waited for Lux and I.  When we were all in the light, a sudden flash appeared and we were lifted off the ground.  I felt a bit sleepy and closed my eyes…

 

        I felt my feet land on the ground gently and opened my eyes slowly.  I could hear the soothing sounds of dripping water and looked up to see Nabooru with Cinccino by her feet.

        “We’re glad you could make it,” Nabooru said with a small smile.  “As you know, I am Nabooru, the sage and guardian of the Spirit Temple.”

        “Sorry I, uh, killed you back there,” I said awkwardly.

        “That’s quite alright.  I was brainwashed and trapped in my own body for seven years.  You did me a great favor.  I’m extremely grateful that Hyrule has someone like you protecting it.  Ganondorf needs to be stopped and now you’re one step closer to taking him down.”  She then took out a dark orange colored medallion and handed it to me.

        “Thank you,” I said.

        “Before you go,” Nabooru said, “I have some advice.  I know you’re a bit of a lone wolf.  I am a lone wolf as well, but I know that I can’t do everything alone.  When it comes to Ganondorf, you will need help.  You can’t face him alone, as he has allies that will do everything to stop you.  Remember that you are not the only angry one.  Hyrule is ready and willing to take this man down, especially if you or the other Hero of Time leads a rebellion.”

        “So, I should storm the castle with an army?” I said.

        “Yes,” Nabooru said, “that may be the best way.  But, the angriest of races in this kingdom may be the Gerudo tribe.  I know they may seem different and less cooperative, but they were affected most by Ganondorf.  If you feel that you will need help from the kingdom, do not forget my people.  They will be more willing and more driven to take down the Evil King.”

        “I won’t forget them,” I said.  “I promise.”

        “I would join the rebellion myself, but I can only do so in spirit, unfortunately,” Nabooru said with a frown.  “Just take him down.  We’re all in your corner.”

        “I’ll remember that,” I said with a smile and put the medallion in my pocket.  I felt myself begin to float in the air and closed my eyes again.

 

        “Remember my people,” I heard Nabooru say quietly.

Chapter 33- The Hylian Rebellion by Underdog Ash

        Unlike usual, I wasn’t teleported back to the entrance of the current temple after leaving the sacred realm.  I was actually taken to the Temple of Time.  I landed right in front of the entrance on a big Triforce that was engraved on the ground.

        “Ashley,” I heard a voice say enthusiastically.  I immediately recognized it as Link’s voice and felt my heart jump.  I turned around to see him sitting on the pedestal where we sat the three Spiritual Stones.  He hopped off it and ran towards me right away.  With open arms, he embraced me and I put my arms around him.  It had only been two days, but I felt that I was away from him for a month.  I missed his warm hugs and the way he held the back of my head.

        “I missed you,” I said quietly.  I just couldn’t help it; I had to say it.

        He let go of me and looked at me face to face.  “I missed you too,” he said with an affectionate smile that made my heart melt.  I then noticed that he had a gash on his cheek. 

        “Are you okay?” I asked and I touched it.  “What happened?”

        “I had a pretty heated battle with Dark Link,” he said and grabbed my hand.  “Don’t worry because you seemed to suffer more physical damage than I did.”  He pointed to several cuts and bruises on my arm and a couple of tears in my clothes which had cuts under them.  He kissed me softly and smiled.  “Did you get the Spirit Medallion?”

        “Yeah,” I said and reach for my tunic’s pocket.  I held out the dark orange circle and Link took it.

        “We finally have them all,” he said and then let out a sigh of relief.  “It’s almost over.  Now all we have to do is defeat Ganondorf.”

        “That will not be an easy task,” I heard a voice say.  Link let go of my hand quickly and I turned around to see Sheik standing before us.  “You have both done very well for the people of Hyrule.  The power of the Sages now belongs to both of you, but you will need more power than that to defeat the Evil King.”

        “What else could we possibly need?” I asked. 

        “I will get to that later,” Sheik said.  “First, I need to tell you both something.  As Ganondorf’s reign begins to end, he will be scrambling to try and capture both of you.  You see, though Ganondorf has the power of the King of Hyrule, he is missing one thing that he really wants.  Being the king of this golden kingdom is not enough for him.  He wants to be able to rule the universe and every dimension it includes.  Just being the king of Hyrule and having the Triforce of Power isn’t enough.  He needs all pieces of the Triforce.”

        “Like the Triforce of Wisdom and Courage?” Link asked.

        “Exactly,” Sheik said, “but you have forgotten one piece.”

        There was silence but then I remembered what the Deku Sprout told me.  “Do you mean the Triforce of Balance?” I said faintly.

        “Yes, the Triforce of Balance.  The goddesses of Hyrule gave out each piece of the Triforce to individuals that they saw fit to hold the different pieces.  The Triforce of Power was given to none other than a magician who, in the beginning had pure intentions.  However, their hunger for power overtook their sanity. The Triforce of Wisdom was given to one of royalty, who knew what was best for the kingdom and upheld justice to the people.  The Triforce of Courage was given to a sole hero who used his bravery to save the people of the golden land.  The Triforce of Balance would be given to one that held the characteristics of the other three Triforce holders.  That individual would uphold justice, save the people, but also be powerful and hungry for more. 

        “All one would have to do is bring each of these individuals together and either ask for the pieces or take them by force.  The only person that could take these pieces by force would be a powerful magician, which is what Ganondorf is.  He, if you’re unaware, is the holder of the Triforce of Power.  Unlike regular people who seek the each piece of the Triforce, the holders have a huge advantage.  If a chosen holder is close to another whom also carries a piece, a mark on the back of their hand will begin to glow.  That mark is the Triforce itself recognizing another piece.  If all four holders are together and someone takes their pieces by force, that person will be granted the ultimate power.  They will be in front of the Triforce itself and, when they touch it, they shall be granted a wish.  Ganondorf will do whatever it takes to get every holder of the Triforce pieces together, so that he will have ultimate control.”

        “But, who holds the other pieces?” Link asked. 

He seemed to be focused on Sheik and what he had to say.  While he wasn’t looking, I removed the glove from my right hand and saw that it had the marking of the Triforce.  The middle was glowing brightly.

“The holder of the Triforce of Power is, as I stated, Ganondorf,” Sheik said.  “The owner of the Triforce of Courage is none other than you, Link.”

        “Me?” he said and seemed to be a bit surprised.

        “Remove the gauntlet from your hand, and you shall see.”

        So, he did as he was told and removed the gauntlet from his right hand.  The bottom right Triforce piece was glowing on his hand.  He looked down in awe. 

        “And, Ashley, as you already know, you own the Triforce of Balance,” Sheik said to me.

        “But, uh, what about the Triforce of Wisdom?” I asked him.

        Sheik was silent and stepped back for some reason.  He unwrapped his right and held the back up for Link and I to see.  A sudden burst of bright, yellow light filled blinded my eyes and slowly faded away to reveal to us the holder of the Triforce of Wisdom.

        “Princess Zelda?” Link said breathlessly and he walked up to her looking mesmerized.  I stayed back awkwardly feeling uneasy.  Though I should have felt more focused on the task at hand, I felt my heart break in two as Link walked up to the Princess.

        Zelda put her hand down to her side and said, “Yes, I am Princess Zelda, the holder of the Triforce of Wisdom and the Seventh Sage of the Sacred Realm.”

        “You were Sheik all along then?” I said.  Maybe saying something would make Link realize that I was still there.

        “Yes,” Zelda said and she grabbed her arm and looked a little upset.  “I apologize for having to stay in disguise the whole time.  I had to stay away from the King of Evil.  If he knew that I was Sheik all along, you two would have had no guidance.”

        “That’s completely fine,” Link said and he was very close to Zelda.  I sort of just looked away.

        “So, you will still help me destroy Ganondorf then?”

        “As you wish, Princess,” Link said and he grabbed her hand.

        Oh, come the hell on, I thought.  What was Link doing?  “So, what do we need to do next?” I asked Zelda and she actually looked at me and spoke directly to me.

        “The three of us will enter the castle and stand up to Ganondorf,” Zelda said.  “We cannot let him take our power, but fighting him together should make us strong enough as one.  There is one thing that I need to give the both of you.”

        Link turned to her and asked, “What would that be, Princess?”

        “I will bestow upon you both the power of Light Arrows,” Princess Zelda said and she held her hands up high.  In a flash of light, two quivers lined in gold appeared.  They each came to Link and I.  “Switch them out with your regular quivers and, when your arrows come from them, they will be enchanted.  These arrows will attack the dark energy surrounding the Evil King and will weaken him, thus making it easier for you two to defeat him once and for all.”

        I quickly switched my quiver out, but Link was still mesmerized by the Princess and held it to his side.  “It’s almost over then?” Link said.  “Don’t worry.”  He then grabbed her hands and cupped them, staring right at her.  “I’ll defeat Ganon and restore your throne.”

        “Yeah, I will too,” I snapped.  This was getting ridiculous. 

        A second passed and I heard Lux begin to growl at my feet.  Before I could ask him what was wrong, the ground began to shake violently.  It was so bad that dust started to come off the walls and some stones began to break apart.

        “What the hell?” I said aloud and, before I knew it, Link and Zelda were both enclosed in a pink crystal.  The ground quit shaking and the crystal remained, so I went up to it and began banging on it, but the crystal was too hard to break.  It was practically stone.

        “Well, would you look at that?” I heard a voice echo through the temple.  It came from behind me, so I quickly turned around to see Ganondorf, Shannon, and Leon standing together.  Ganondorf had his arms crossed.

        “Let them go!” I shouted.

        “Why,” Ganondorf said with a nasty sneer, “they’ll look nice in my music room, right above the organ.  I can picture it now.”  He held his hands up and made a square with them, like the crystal was in a picture frame.  “I’ll call it Beauty and the Twat.” 

        “I’m not playing games, Ganondorf,” I shouted sternly.  “Let them go right now.”

        “And you think I’m playing games, Ms. Brandt?” Ganondorf said with a harsh tone.

        I said nothing and withdrew my Master Sword.  I felt a tingling sensation in my palm as I charged towards the King of Evil, but I came to a complete stop when he charged at me and grabbed me by the throat.  I looked into his eyes as he tightened his grip.  I had no choice but to drop my sword and try to grab his hand to ease his grip.

        He tightened it yet again and put on an even sinister face.  Lux came to my rescue however, and covered Ganondorf in his electricity.  Ganondorf dropped me and retreated backwards.  I sat on the ground and tried to recover the lost breath but I was extremely light headed.  I looked up to see Leon and Shannon coming towards me with their rapiers drawn. 

        “Stop you two,” Ganondorf said.  “Leave her alone.  She’s mine.”  He snapped his fingers and I heard Zelda yell. 

        I quickly turned to see the crystal float up towards the ceiling and disappear right before it hit the temple ceiling. When I turned to Ganondorf, he was already close to me.  I looked up and saw his huge nostrils and his stupid smile.

        “Unlike Link and the Princess,” he started to say, “you’re completely worthless to keep around.  I will kill you here and now and take that little Triforce.”

        I said nothing and released my electricity power from my hand, but Ganondorf shielded himself with his cape and it completely absorbed my power.  The next thing I knew, I had a punch to the face which knocked me back a couple of feet.  I heard Lux release some power, but he was immediately thrown back to where I was.

        My face felt swollen and my heart ached with pain.  I felt like giving up and, reader, I basically already did.  As I heard Ganondorf’s heavy boots approach me I also heard him unsheathe his long sword.  The blade was right over my head as tears began to roll down my eyes.  I couldn’t believe how rotten that day had become.  I prepared for the worst when I heard a bunch of shouts and saw spears fly over my head and hit Ganondorf.  Of course, the ass still managed to stab me like he planned but rather than doing so in the head, he stabbed me almost clean through my thigh.

        I yelled in pain and began to lose consciousness as a lady came to aid me.  I saw many feet run towards Ganondorf but heard them stop instantly.  “He got away,” I heard a woman yell.

        The lady that was standing over me was none other than Malon.  “It’ll all be okay Ashley.  Just close your eyes for a little while.”

        I closed my eyes and drifted into a heavy sleep.

 

        When I woke up, I was in a nice, comfy bed.  I sat up quickly and saw that I was in the Lon Lon Ranch house’s guest room.  Lux was at my feet, sleeping soundly.  The sun shone in the window and warmed me up, so I moved my leg out