Condemned Soul by Hyperlink
Summary: When a sudden conflicts erupting in Hyrule threatens its way of life, Link gets caught up in sudden events of war and conspiracy that threatens to destroy the entire world. Swinging to desperate measures to stop the growing shadow that is slowly destroying his world, he becomes willing to sacrifice any thing, even his soul...




Warnings:Violence, Gore, Frightening Scenes;

Genres: Action/Martial/Fantasy
Categories: Fan Fiction Characters: Impa, Link (OoT & MM), Zelda
Genres: None
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 7 Completed: No Word count: 11092 Read: 55152 Published: Nov 08, 2004 Updated: May 06, 2007

1. Extraction by Hyperlink

2. Tremors and Shadow by Hyperlink

3. Contempted Contentment by Hyperlink

4. Body and Mind by Hyperlink

5. Soulmates? by Hyperlink

6. Assassin? by Hyperlink

7. Treasonous Whispers by Hyperlink

Extraction by Hyperlink

Chapter One: Extraction

“Easy there… try to hold still Link.”
Link cried out in a sudden spasm of pain.
He was in a private hospital bed in Hyrule Castle. Although he knew the importance of this operation, he wasn’t sure if he would have accepted it if he had known that the procedure was so painful.
It was a few months since his return to his timeline. After explaining to Zelda what had happened to Ganondorf, she agreed that he would be able to escape with his control over the Triforce Piece of Power. After hours of pouring over dusty Triforce volumes, with Impa, they discovered a way to neutralize his attempts. If they transferred the location of their Triforce pieces to the Sacred Realm, the power emitting from theirs would be able to subdue and control Ganondorf’s attempts with his Triforce. Their connection would still remain, only not nearly as effective and they could never obtain its full potential. Deciding it was for the best, both Link and Zelda agreed to allow Impa to attempt the method of extraction on them. Zelda had gone first, and had no problems.
Link’s, however, was turning horrendous.
His vision suddenly exploded from Impa’s concerned face to fire; great waves pummeling into his mind. He was screaming, but the torrents of fires extinguished all sounds. Then out of the flames came Ganondorf, hands out stretched and flexing as if he was imaging crushing the boy’s skull.
“YOU FOOL, BOY! I KNOW YOU HAVE SOMETHING I WANT!” Roared the evil abomination, his voice echoing through his mind; Triforce blazing brighter then the flames. His arms widened out around him, threatening to engulf Link. Ganondorf laughed in triumph and Link was powerless to do anything.
Just as his hands grasped Link, a blast of light struck out at him, pushing the former Gerudo King back. Link watched, amazed, as the Triforce of Courage materialized from him and constructed a cage around the Dark Warlord.
Ganondorf growled and intensified his power, but all was in vain when Zelda’s Triforce of Wisdom joined the battle. Together the two holy relics pushed Ganondorf farther away, only his cries of rage escaping his prison. Link began falling into darkness, conscience ebbing.
“Zelda! Catch him!” Impa shouted.
The Princess of Destiny dove under Link’s body from her chair as he fell from his bed; her hand catching his head before it smashed against the stone floor.
“It’s okay now, Link,” she said soothingly, cradling his limp body. “It’s all over now.”
Link’s vision returned to see her small face smiling back at him. He gave a final sigh, and let unconsciousness take him.
-------------------------------------------------
Only a week later, Link was finally ready to be up on his feet again. Ten year-olds recover fast, apparently, for Impa was certain most adults would have been out for at least a month, and continued bedding him.
“I’m fine; let me stretch my legs for a bit. I’m not still sick!” Link complained as she fluffed his pillow. “You try staying in some small room for a week. I need fresh air, I need some sun, and I need-”
Link’s words were cut off as Impa picked him up by the back of the shirt and carried him off to the bathroom. She slammed the door shut and locked it.
“Fine, go out. Zelda will accompany you, but above all others, you really need a bath.” Ignoring Link’s wails of distress, she went off to file some important papers.
“Don’t worry Link. That soap makes you smell, uh, good,” Zelda confirmed as she walked with Link in the Castle grounds, trying to hide her smirk of his herbal essence perfume soap smell. She almost fell as he adjusted his wait on her as he tried to look at her. A week in bed weakens the muscles quite a bit for a while and he needed Zelda as a sort of crutch.
He snarled, “Don’t try to fool me! This stuff makes me feel feminine. No hero should have to face this sort of ridicule!”
She glanced around. There had been a storm during the past week, and much of the ground was still muddy. A sudden sinister idea crept into her mind.
“Fine, have it your way. If you don’t want to smell like a nice, normal, girl, you better smell like a normal, disgusting, boy.” She heaved him off her shoulder.
Thunk! Splat! Link rolled onto his back, surveying the damage. He glared up at his mocker, spewing a fountain of mud from his mouth.
“You want to play rough, huh? Well let this be a lesson; never try to beat a guy at his own game.” His arm swung up, firing a fist full of mud at her face. She shrieked, diving into the mud and picking up her own pile, splattering more at him.
A near by guard watched their antics uneasily, wondering if he should arrest the boy on the charge of assaulting the princess. He relented, deciding that mud was a non-lethal weapon, and it was probably her idea anyway. He continued to watch them nonetheless.
After a while, the combatants both lade back, utterly exhausted. Resembling mud monsters more then children, they slowly peeled themselves up, mud still dripping off them. Link was already much stronger on his feet, but still excepted Zelda’s hand for support.
“Oh, you can expect Impa will love this, huh?” said Zelda casually.
Link groaned; he knew what that meant.
Another bath.
-------------------------------------------------
The funny part was, he didn’t even like the reptilian creatures. But if his plan was to work, the Warlord knew he would need to rely on an outside force. This were the perfect specimen for the job; quick, agile, warlike and with enough anger and hate towards the Hyrule nations to do what ever it took to accomplish their goals.
After weeks of bitter negotiations and forceful “persuasions”, Ignatius, King of Brakius and Warlord of the Living Scourge met face to face with the tyrannical last War-Chief, Rizakis of the Reptalfos in his shadowy throne room. He had the largest clan, and none of the other chieftains were willing to join without Rizakis’ support as well.
He glared his contact right into the pair of flaming orange eyes. As if trying to taste the human’s fear, Rizakis’ tongue slowly slithered in and out of his mouth while lounging in his human skin laden throne. Ignatius was not impressed, but tried to stay courteous.
“Hail, War-Chief Rizakis. I hope time has found you well,” Ignatius recited, giving a low bow. “For I call upon you for a grand act, a devious act, a heroic act.”
“Do not takess me for a fool, sssilly humanzy,” The War-Chief growled in his thick reptilian tongue. “If it was anything left, I wouldz havse my sssoldiers eat you alivse on my doorstepze. I would of not have wazted my time hearingz a fool sspeak of war.” His face loomed eerily in the torchlight. “Why ssshould we helpze you?”
Ignatius grew an equally large scowl on his face. “And I did not come here to listen to debates I have already discussed with dozens of your diplomats. As I have already said, you shall be able to live anywhere in my new lands under my rule so you can leave these vile mountain ranges of smog and famine, and sink your teeth into fresh, fertile soils. I only ask for your armies to aid me, and a small portion of about 10 percent of your mineral mines.”
The Reptalfos had been living in a desolate land of dead rocky areas for centuries, digging into the voluptuous mountains in search of metals and engaging in constant warfare with each other over tribal disputes and limited resources. Some ventured out into the surrounding world as skilled mercenaries, but that was as far as their communication went.
The Reptalfos’ eyes narrowed in consideration, as if this was the first time he had been told these terms. Ignatius waited patiently on his knee, knowing that if he got to impatient with their ruler, Rizakis’ guards would attempt to tear him to pieces. Attempt to do so, anyways, but the seriousness was that the contract would be exterminated and Ignatius would still have to get out of the fortress. This had to be taken care of delicately and seriously.
Finally, after what seemed to be eternity, Rizakis rose. He snapped his scaly claws in impatient orders.
“Risk! Find me my swordz. Thenz clean it thzoughly. Hiache, find the Knife of Binding. Kiache! Assemblze my armour andz clean itz. Iz’fahn, bringz me thee Itemz of Rightz!”
These servants quickly rose from their kneeling positions and hastened to their duties, not wanted to stretch their War-Chief’s temper. Unfortunately for one, he tripped upon getting up.
Rizakis growled lowly in contempt, and faster then the eye could perceive, whipped out a throwing crescent, nailing the luckless servant fatally in the back. Several guards rose and carried the body to a compost centre. Nodding his head dismissively, the rest of the occupants quickly left.
Soon, the dusky throne room was empty. Rizakis slowly stalked over to where Ignatius was still kneeling. A sharp claw rested on his shoulder.
“Show me your planz, and the Alliance shall be madez. My troops canz be ready for extraction in the nextis few weekz.”
“Weeks!” Ignatius said incredulously, a small, sinister, smile escaping. Perceiving Rizakis’ motives, he replied, “No need to be hasty, my Lord. In fact, I was thinking about years…”
Slowly he slid his file of notes and preparations to the Reptalfos, stretching the brilliance of his ambitious mind to a psychotic maniac, and beginning one of the most great, but terrible events the world would ever encounter.

 

Tremors and Shadow by Hyperlink
Link strolled through the Kokiri forest, the morning dew clinging to his boots. Walking hand in hand with him was his Kokiri-ish friend, Saria.
He sighed. Everything was so wonderfully the same here. Even the Kokiri hadn’t changed; only he had. Oh well, it made no difference now. Link had a whole world to still explore, one where everything was always changing. He couldn’t care less if the others bugged him now, even though they never did anymore. They certainly were happy to see him come home again, especially once the Deku Sprout started growing that same day.
Something wet and sticky dropped from the trees and landed on his head. Reflexively, his hand flew up there to brush of the tree sap or what ever it was off his head. He glanced at it and suddenly knew something was wrong.
It was blood.
Another drop hit him. Then another. Torrents of this unholy rain began to fall down, transforming the forest’s beauty into something horrifying. Link, shaking with a look of horror on his face, looked up.
The trees were bleeding, all of them. And they began to sway, and give unearthly moans that crept into his soul and bit at it. A strangling scream dribbling from his mouth, he turned to Saria, only to find a Lizalfos holding a jagged sword instead. Link suddenly noticed that many more seemed to materialize out of the forest behind the first. Moving as one they all started towards him.
Link felt no fear, only a wretched sense of rage. His sword suddenly in his hand, he leapt at the nearest one swiftly decapitating it before it could move. His next blow was blocked by a sword, but then with a sudden charge of energy powered into his first like he had with his sword so many times, punched a hole right through the Lizalfos. It fell back with a keening scream, blood flowing from the hole onto the ground and some onto Link, though he didn’t waver. He turned to the next combatant.
Soon they were all slain, there remains strewn across the forest and covering Link, making him look like a ReDead Zombie, but the worst part was yet to come.
All the Kokiri were dead. He hadn’t killed deadly enemies, but his friends and neighbors. The landscape dripped with their blood, he saw a head slowly roll towards him…
Awaking suddenly sometime around midnight, Link rolled out of his bed, puking and hurling out all the food and guilt in his stomach. He gave a hysterical sob, crying out to the whole forest.
“I DIDN’T MEAN TO KILL THEM! I LOVED THEM! WHY! WHY MUST THEY SUFFER SO! AND WHY THEM! THEY WERE ALL INNOCENT! WHY!” He broke off, giving another wretch and was over come with sobbing.
Feet could be heard quickly clambering up his ladder. It was Saria. Her fairy was still slumped on her shoulder, her light a bit dim due to her fatigue, but still had no problem illuminating the surroundings in a comforting light.
“Link! Its okay! It was just a dream! You didn’t hurt anyone.” Saria said softly, embracing his huddled, sobbing form. “It was only a bad dream, don’t worry about it.” With some difficultly, she hefted him up into his bed and replaced his covers. His sobbing stopped, but his whole body continued to shake and convulse. He slowly moved his head to look at Saria, who had started to clean up the mess on the floor with some rags from his dresser.
“Sa-a-aria?” Link whispered, his voice stuttering from his shaking. His usually calm blue eyes were haunted with fear and despair. “You shou-ouldn’t be around me. No-oh bo-dy should. I-I’ll just hu-urt them.” Tears were welling up in his eyes.
Saria looked up from her work, compassionate pools of green stared back at him. She calmly lifted her hand and lightly brushed at his now sweaty locks.
The gentle light of her fairy illuminated the room as she spoke warmly and soothingly, “Don’t speak like that. I’ve known you longer then any one. You would never hurt any one you loved. Never. Including me.”
“I ki-illed ev-er-y-one. All th-the Kokiri, even you and Mido. And th-he trees, they were all dy-ying, bleed-ding to death. I des-destroyed everything.”
“Strange things happen in dreams, you know that. And I’m sure there’s more to it then you need to say. Dreams don’t mean anything.”
“Bu-ut what if it’s ana-another premonition? Tha-at one was re-real.”
Saria smiled softly. The first thing Link had told her when he got home yesterday was the rest of his travels seven years in the future. Many extraordinary things had happened, but she deemed them all plausible, but this she knew was impossible.
“Link; under the pain of death and eternal suffering, you would never, ever hurt someone you loved. I know this much is true.” She gave him another warm hug.
Link stopped shivering and gave his friend a weak smile amid his tears.
“Now you just try to get some sleep. Don’t worry, I’ll stay right here and keep you safe. Her fairy rested on her shoulder and gave a small nod of agreement.
Link finally closed his eyes and slumbered into a deeper, restful sleep.
Saria pulled up a chair. There were still quite a few hours left until morning, and in the state he was in right now, nothing could pull her away from completely fulfilling her promise. Not for the entire world.
-------------------------------------------------
An elderly man stumbled out of his house, surveying his beloved home village of Fisdanik during the evening twilight. He took in a deep breath of the brisk air, hoping that this short walk would help ease his tensions, hopefully helping him get some sleep. Though the world was a picture of serenity, he could not disregard the dark feeling that something bad was in the works. He looked up at the shimmering moon, dazzling the world in a tranquil light. Then . . . he heard something.
He cupped a hand to his ear, searching for the sound. He suddenly heard it again, and all his hopes of simply having hearing problems vanished like a bubble on a needle.
Hundreds of feet were rushing towards them, and he knew it wasn’t a traveling band. He hurried as quickly as his aged legs could carry him through the sleeping village, screaming hoarsely.
“Attack! We’re under attack! Awake! We are under attack.”
But it was already too late. It always had been.
The town guard hastily assembled outside the town centre, many still wearing their nightshirts and hooded eyes. Many looked warily at the gate, which was shaking and buckling under tremendous pressure. Captain Jensen Karthly barked out his orders.
“All right men, the enemy is breeching the gate. I want every one over there ready to charge when the gate falls.” He turned to eye a group of men staring mesmerized at the moon. Roughly, he addressed them. “Rank One! I’m issuing you the longbows. Set yourselves up on the roof and fire down on them. Don’t leave until you run out of arrows.
“Rank four! I want you to find any able-bodied citizens out there and bring them back here. Tell the others to hide. There’s only one way out of this village, and the enemy is in the way. The rest of you, follow me to the gate. Now move!”
The militia all moved, rushing to their tasks while drawing their swords, trying to brush away the feelings of fear and sorrow for their village. Many had heard word of the size of the reptilian enemy they were facing, and it was not at all promising.
The Captain regrouped his men at the gate and directed a practiced eye towards the shuttering doors. Another hard blow slammed into the doors, creating a hail of wood to fly off, down on all below. After a quick description from an archer on a vantage point, Jensen knew the type of battering ram it was, and guessed it would be another two hits before it collapsed. He raised his arm, readying his men. The doors shook again, the wearied hinges almost falling off. He gritted his teeth in nervous anticipation and tensed his body. This is it, he thought grimly. Oh Holy Mother Din, give us strength. He waited for the final blow.
It never happened.
Jensen suddenly heard streams of pain and terror from the other side of town. Horrified, the Captain realized that the ram party had been a diversion, while the rest of the force scaled the walls.
Screaming his war cry, he called out to his men. “Charge! To the west wall! Charge!”
The small brigade dutifully answered with a cry of his or her own. Running as one, they hurried to where the enemy was, redirecting and arming the new recruits along the way.
The Reptilians were ready. The front rank had all drawn longbows to their full extent, and with a sharp order from an officer, rained a devastating volley of death to the defenders. Many fell dead or wounded, cries of death mixing with the cries of sadistic pleasure from the reptilians.
The first rank dropped, and the second rank sent another volley of sleek headed arrows at the still coming defenders. The untrained and inexperienced militia began to fall back as their friends died before their eyes and their numbers dwindled more and more from the constant volleys of arrows.
The reptilian commander, sensing a weakness from the demoralized troops, ordered a sudden and ferocious charge. A few of the archers managed to pick off or wound a reptilian or two during the rush, and then they were upon them.
The two sides clashing with a burst of ferocity, Captain Karthly suddenly found himself dueling with three Lizalfos at once. Blocking the first attack, his sword delivered a two cut combo on the largest and finished off with a thrust to the neck. It was dead before it hit the ground, blood mixing with the blood of Captain’s dead comrades. The other two forced him back against an old building, their curved swords flicking at him as fast as their tongues.
Suddenly, fortunate to not be wearing armour, he made a quick dexterous roll out of harms way and grabbed a headless soldier’s lance. Readying himself with a practiced stance, he waited until one of his adversaries jumped into the air before stabbing its heart out. He let it go, leaving the dying Lizalfos propped up on the broken lance. The third let out a screech of vengeance and made as to jump at him, but instead quickly sidestepping, dodging the captain’s thrust. It swung back, narrowing missing the nimble Captain’s arm, throwing it off step.
The Captain felt no remorse as he acquired the initiative, taking time to unleash a slice that cleaved the reptile nearly in half. Its eyes fogging into death, Karthly wasted no time with respects as he ran over the dead body and beheading another about to skewer a wounded militia. He extended a grimy hand to the fallen soldier, but then to his shock realized that he had just died. He backed up into an alley to regain his positioning, also looking out for remnants of his army.
I am the only one left, he thought miserably after a fruitless search. Not willing to throw away his life too soon, he stayed in the shadows and watched as the Lizalfos army moved out to the rest of the village, cries of pain and despair following.
At last, the cries stopped and the army moved out to leave. He saw two particularly large ones in more intricate armour immerse themselves in reports.
“Allz dead, Drazus?” Asked the bigger one.
Yez, we sweptz though zee streets into everyz house. We have also pillaged everyzing of value, as you asked Commander. No one waz eaten.”
“And haz you replacez zee bodies?” Drazus nodded affirmatively. The Commander suddenly stiffened and crinkled his nostrils, as if catching whiff of a repugnant garbage pile. "But therze is one morezy leftes, I can smellz hime.”
Karthly shook with a sudden sense of surprise and fear.
“Move outz zee army. I vill dealz with him.”
The giant Lizalfos-no, Dinolfos, Karthly realized. The Dinolfos moved out towards Karthly’s hiding place as the rest retreated into the night. He watched fascinated as those large, pulsating nostrils led his enemy through the dark more skillfully then radar. He slowly stepped out of the shadows, sword in hand, calling to his enemy.
“I am Captain Jensen Karthly, and I fear no living thing! Come and fight me, you beast,” He snarled
Laughing in a chilling cackle, the Dinolfos moved towards him, slowly drawing a curved blade. “And Iz am Commander Skali of the West-Point Clan, you puny little human. Ssso come and meetz me. Come and meetz your death.”
Needing no more incentive to do so, he rushed towards his opponent, swinging madly. At the last second he switched into a forward stance, releasing a powerful swipe threatening to incise the reptile in half. But he was no longer there.
With a powerful bound of his back legs, Skali flipped over behind his adversary and bit deeply into his unarmored neck ripping off a large chunk of flesh and much of Karthly’s right shoulder.
Screaming in the sudden swell of pain, he dropped to the muddy ground, adding his blood to the filth. He looked up with tear filled eyes as the Dinolfos surveyed his work, chewing on his flesh hunk.
“Wellz, not afraidz of any livingz thing, eh? Wellz, I’ll gives youze an enemyz to fearz,” He gave a horrible smile, his maw ridden with blood and flesh from his last prey. “I givez you… Deathz!” With that said, he leapt on the valiant captain, biting into his abdomen.
Another scream followed as the Captain watched his body fluids drip out of his body. The world spinning black, the last thing Captain Jensen Karthly saw was the putrid reptilian mouth lunge for his face.
Skali wiped his bloodied mouth as he looked for any remains of the human. Disappointed, he contently listened to his stomach rumble as it digested Jensen and the bloodied nightshirt he had been wearing. Getting up and retrieving his fallen sword, he swept off to rejoin his army.


* "I know this much is true" is a novel title by Wally Lamb
* "like a bubble on a needle" is an exert from the Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening.
Contempted Contentment by Hyperlink
Saria was getting seriously worried. It had been a week since Link had woken her up with his horrific scream, and things weren’t getting any better. He wouldn’t really wake up; only during the day would his eyes remain open for any length of time. During that time, she attempted to force feed him anything he wouldn’t cough back up, and pumped in as much water as she could muster.
In his vacant state she wondered if it was worth the effort since he seemed unable to get out of bed for even going to the bathroom, which forced her to constantly wash and change his bed sheets; sometimes even with hers, when she ran out. Even when she moved him to her house so he wouldn’t have to worry of falling off his balcony, he remained oblivious to the outside world, and remained unmoved.
None of the other Kokiri would even come near him, fearing he had caught a deadly illness from the outside world that was more contagious then the cooties. Saria had to admit that she feared something of the like too—not something absurd like it being creating out of contact from the outside world. It seemed to be something dangerous nonetheless, but those thoughts never kept her from continuing to nurse him.
She gently pressed his forehead with her hand; his eyes didn’t even flicker to her touch. She grabbed a cloth and gently dabbed his sweaty face, lip bitten in anxiousness. He didn’t seem to have a fever, nor was he coughing, unless she tried to feed him something. It was almost as if he no longer had a body and that he was only living in his mind. If so, he was beyond her help. In fact the only really comforting thing about his condition was he was still breathing, although a little faint.
"Why haven't you brought him to the Great Deku Tree yet?" Piped up Ceresia; Saria’s fairy, who was spinning anxiously around her head. "I mean, I can see at first, it didn’t seem to be anything different from his other nightmare wakeups, but the days without him waking, it was obvious things weren't getting better..." She trailed off and slowly drifted to her companion’s shoulder, sighing at Saria's lack of recognition. "He is our Guardian, even if he isn't the old one, but if anything can be done, he still can do it, just the same."
Saria gently cupped her friend off her shoulder and held her up to her face.
Ceresia then could see the partially dried tears. She hadn't known Saria had cried, the lines of worry she hadn't know she carried; the bags of sleep depravity she had be oblivious to. She also noticed for the first time the expression of defeat, a trait she never knew Saria possessed.
"That's exactly why I haven't gone to him yet. I'm afraid that he won't be able to help, that Link..." She broke off, a gasp of grief escaping. "I'm afraid he'll say there’s no hope."
"Father, it is I, Saria. I have come to ask for aid." Saria was kneeling amide the dew soaked grass of the early morn.
She was in the clearing of the Great Deku Tree, Link's limp form embraced before her. She found him surprisingly light; she hadn't thought she would have been able to carry him all the way from her house. Apparently, the lack of food consumption had taken a greater toll then the appearance he had given in his bed.
The immense tree plotting the area's centre stood erect, unmoving. Saria tried again.
"Great Deku Tree, Father of the Forest. Please, I beseech your aid. Link has fallen ill, and I know not his ailment, please help him in this dire need." She released a small sob. "Please, he's my best friend."
Suddenly the wind started to pick up. The trees nearby all cried out as their leaves were torn away into the abyss of the air, the roots pulled to their limits. Saria crouched down, clinging onto the ground in the feral hope of evading being blown away.
But the great tree was changing.
The bark began to snap and crinkle as a great mass began to surface from the trunk's depth. Soon, it took form as a great nose, and further features protruded; such as large dark eyes and a long drawn out mouth. It opened with a sudden yawn, and spoke out in a strange language amid its exhale. The wind seemed to recognize it as a command, and slowed down to a dull whisper. The trees settled back down with a groan of compliance, retuning the grove to its tranquil atmosphere. Slowly the face focused on the small huddled form crouched on the forest floor. In a tremulous low voice, the tree replied to her.
"Saria, child of the Kokiri, I have listened to thou cries of grief for the last week. Yet not did I answer. I watched through your eyes as you performed your gracious acts towards your friend, but not did I help. Link has succumbed to the plague of his deeds, the tasks that none his age should of endured. He lives in agony for the sins he committed, though they helped others. Most of all, he resides in the fear that he will create pain for those he loves most.
“He is living in his mind, the one state he can cause no physical damage in. I cannot bring him out, he is not of my brethren and he is not of the forest. Such is only where my power resides. I can drift through his mind, but I am unable to call to him, or aid him for that matter. It was for those reasons “He Who Was Before Me” sent Link a fairy, to guide him in ways he could not. It remained fortunate when he ended up passing anyway. Those of his own kind can only help him. It is also their responsibility, for they have brought this burden upon him."
"But how can we find one who can help?" Saria cried out, in both pain and anger. "We Kokiri cannot go, you forbid it, and apparently you cannot speak to those outside the Forest either.
“What I am supposed to do, run around the Lost Woods, hoping to find one wandering about?! Or I am supposed to dump him out on the Forest boundaries, hoping someone will find him?! Or will you actually let me brave the Outside world, and go looking myself?! It's the best option for Link's survival, unless you don't really care about him!
“Just because he's an outsider, doesn't mean he's not as good as your precious Kokiri!" She was boiling now, raging out her emotions in a torrent downpour to the passive face of the Tree. “You just try to stop me, I'm not afraid!
“What are you hiding anyway? I bet it's a better place then here; you just don’t want us to all leave you to rot alone in this cursed forest, this forest of everlasting beauty, this forest of everlasting pain. No matter what good it brings, it still remains the same thing—a prison!" She brushed a dangling lock of hair that had fallen over her eyes, revealing the anger within them. "If this is contentment, then ha, I contempt it."
The Great Tree seemed to slump in his position, and in a voice that quavered with sorrow, he spoke out gently.
"I can send a messenger fairy out; I still have connections with some free ones. They will get Zelda; for if she knows not what to do, then there is no hope. I assume we can trust her to not betray our secret." He closed his eyes; he had not gotten to the worst part yet. "And if he shalt awaken from his mind's prison, he must leave the forest, forever."
"WHY!" Saria shrieked, the anger she felt before now unmatched like a stream to an overrun river. "HE RISKED HIS LIFE FOR US, YOU ARROGANT FOOL! HE PUT HIMSELF IN THIS CONDITION TO SAVE US, NOT HYRULE, US, AND YOU HAVE NO REASON TO BANISH HIM FOREVER! CAST HIM AWAY FROM THE PEOPLE HE HAS KNOWN EVER SINCE HIS BIRTH! TO TAKE HIM AWAY FROM ME!
“LET YOU BURN, TREE, UNDER THE WRATH OF THE GODDESSES!"
Saria, reddened by her fury, chilled down with a sudden frost, leaving her devoid of all emotion. She picked up Link's huddled form and slung him over her shoulder. With one colder phrase, she turned to leave.
"May you burn for a long time, in a world of suffering."
"It is for this very reason he must leave," Began the anguished moan from the Great Deku Tree. "His purity is lost and he is affecting all of you; creating anger unfit for my children. Without the purity of the Children, this forest will fall."
"And what matter does that make? it doesn’t seem to be doing much right now!" Saria shot back venomously as she continued to leave.
"It protects the land of Hyrule from the greater evils, most of all the Realm of Demons. That is why the Demon possessing Ganondorf could not walk in his true form upon Hyrule. He needed another of a lesser form to carry him. The reason why the Kokiri cannot leave the forest is that they will become corrupt with the lingering petty evils of Men, such as lying and dishonoring among others.
“They will not necessarily become bad, but as your young friend has become, unfit for the forest's tranquility. They are forced to live outside for the rest of their lives, among the misery of the real world. They will grow old and die in pain. Link's mother could enter this Forbidden land only because of her love to her son, and even then—had she not died—she would have had to eventually leave, before the heightened emotion wore off. Similarly, Zelda should be able to enter, if she really does hold affection to her friend."
Saria's anger had slowly melted away, leaving her with the air of a frightened child, wreathed with sorrow and pain.
"Wi-ill I e-e-ever see him again?" Saria spoke in a small voice, her eyes shedding tears in the likes of the day's past.
With the loving care of a dutiful father, the Great Deku Tree gently parted her hair with a trickle of wind. His spoke compassionately, and tried to sound strong, but a careful observer might have spotted the stream of golden sap leaking from the carved eyes.
"Only in our dreams, Saria, only in our dreams."
Body and Mind by Hyperlink
Darkness . . . fire . . . screams . . . pain . . . darkness again . . . The mind shudders, hoping to take refuge in the nothing; to hide in the nothing, to shield away from the horrors of substance. The pains of life . . . love . . . and loss . . . The demons of the past, the fears of the future, the contempt of the present, the mind is nothing now, just a piece of scrap in the maelstrom of nothingness . . . fading from existence.

Who would care? What was the loss? With everything to lose and nothing to gain, what was the point? What is the purpose?

To be reaped and scarred and marred, or to receive worse when one suffers the consequences, the consequences created by a desire, a desire that should be put down, destroyed, before it harms everything else, the areas of passion and compassion . . . They don't deserve the mind, they don't need another thing to endanger them . . . It is the best the mind can do for them. . . . Rid them of himself . . . to hide forever in the darkness . . .

Life is fickle, only death can be trusted . . . The one thing that everybody fears, the one thing that is inevitable . . .

Why run?

The mind slowly opens his eyes, searching for the messenger . . . but only finds the horrors of emotions gone wrong; the pain the mind created, the consequences that will follow . . . The mind screams. . . . The forbidden answers . . . flames burst . . . The mind closes his eyes, but the light burns right through . . . the eyelids are gone!

There is no hiding from the inevitable . . . This must be death . . . in its own glorious fashion. Not with the cold solitude of uncertainty and mistrust of life, but an unmistaken quench of eternity. . . . The eternity where nothing changes, where all will remain the same . . . No longer alone, no longer with the worry of consequences . . .

The mind has found his messenger . . . he opens his arms, waves for the burning spectral to see his plight . . . but it fades away, rejecting his efforts. The fires fall away, leaving him alone in the darkness, leaving him alone to himself . . . The body and the mind . . . the mind and the body . . .

What was the difference?

One will inflict wounds, and the other will capture them forever . . . they both must be gone . . . by what ever means possible!

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...
Soulmates? by Hyperlink
Cerisa was actually glad to leave the forest. It seemed so drab lately; cold. The trees seemed to of list their vitality, the Forest Children their songs and play, and the Great Deku Tree his cheerfulness, was it really all because of that boy? Link, wasn't it? She did have to feel sorry for him, but the plague he seemed to be creating in the Forest wallowed up most of her compassion.

"Hopefully," She muttered out loud, “these Hylians up in the Castle could help, otherwise I'll have to find a new home, and my wings don't seem to be as energetic lately. Mother always said it was a sign. . . ."

Finally approaching the Castle, she slowed down to a hover, searching carefully for her quarry . . . a girl who’s actually the princess of Hyrule, but won't look like one . . . and a nursemaid that won't probably be seen unless she has to beat the senses out of someone. Things were so encouraging . . . she better be at the right castle.

Cerisa yawned suddenly, realizing that the speedy journey here without stops had exhausted her. She fluttered down towards the east wall of the castle and nestled upon a soft wooden crate, closing her eyes and peacefully taking in the tranquil trickling of the moat.

After a few moments though she realized she wasn’t the only one taken advantage of the situation. Loud, guttural snores were emanating from the other side of the crate. She crossly shook herself up and peeked over the side and wrinkled her nose in disgust.

A large, smelly, obese Hylian was sprawled across the ground, bearing a badge on his shirt similar to the design of the crate, it looked like a deer or something, and this man was probably supposed to deliver it to the castle, but fell asleep upon arrival.

Cerisa wanted to scream at him . . . The door was only a few feet away! Couldn't he of waited? Instead of getting flustered, she calmed herself down in knowing that she was doing the same thing.

"Maybe we're soul mates, hee hee!" She thought sleepily. She nestled down atop the rounded mountain that was his stomach, the rhythmic motion almost blotting out his snores . . . almost. . . .

Had she not been so close to such a noise maker, she might have heard the quiet shuffles of someone else approaching, the noise of a glass bottle being relieved of its topper, the sudden swishing movement of her hands when she swept the bottle over the fatigued fairy and screwing it shut, capturing her with horrid and cruel efficiency.

Of course, there isn't much hope of hearing anything when one tries resting upon a man like Talon, or evading the tricky Malon, who always so much wanted a fairy friend. . . .

Feel pity for Cerisa. She really could have used that nap.
Assassin? by Hyperlink
Chapter 6: Assassin?




Impa had the intruder in her hands and was about to snap its neck when she realized it was just an owl. The unfortunate creature squirmed and hooted haplessly in her grasp, glaring at her with highly affronted amber eyes. She sighed and aptly released her prisoner, watching it spurt off into the dying sun's blood-red sky. She was getting way too paranoid lately, even with the news of a complete massacre in a small village barely anyone had heard of. There was no reason to expect assassins in every corner of the castle's grounds.

The owl certainly had been a shocker. Its soft, careful rustle through the surrounding foliage reminder her exactly of her old mentor when he personally ambushed students to check on there casual awareness. She was at least proud her reflexes hadn't failed with her age; not many people could have so efficiently snared a concealed enemy in a death grip. It was simply unfortunate that it wasn't an enemy.

She bent down and carefully picked up one of the feathers the owl had dropped in their escapade. It was very long, with a softened tuff the resembled a fledglings feather. Quite pretty to be honest; it'd make a nice quill. She pocketed and headed back to the castle door, her ears still scanning for any irregular activity. Arriving without incident, she pushed through and made her way through the exquisite ballroom of the castle——all finely primped and decorated. She dimly remembered the King telling her that there was some sort of Board meeting later this evening, but under no circumstances could she understand why so much effort was put into the appearance; they were there to eat and talk, not appraise artwork.

Staying to the shadows of the room, she neatly avoided the multitudes of servants as she made her way to an ugly portrait of a gnome grinning at a fallen queen. There was no need to wonder why it was pushed out of eyesight, but this ironically better suited her purpose. Soundlessly removing the frame off the wall, she revealed a hidden passage and squeezed herself through, replacing the picture after her. Carefully she crawled through the tunnel——pausing only briefly to disarm traps such as cleaving blades, gas releases, and poison bolts——then resetting them as she passed. Finally she made it to the end, which was blocked off by another portrait. Cautiously, she soundlessly removed the frame, vigilantly making sure not to dislodge any of the pins that would evoke another falling cleaver. Finally her work was finished and she pushed though, finding herself in another corner of a much smaller, but still lavish, room.

Quickly replacing the portrait, she immediately made a survey upon the room to check for any assassins that may of found their way to such quarters. She was relieved to only find a jumble of intricate ornaments and toys strewn all across the floor——a large pile of stuffed animals in the adjacent corner——and one young girl lounging on high pile of clothes that probably used to be her bed. She raised her head in Impa’s direction as she continued towards her.

“Really, Impa. Daddy put doors in the castle for a reason. There’s no need to go through every single hidden passage in order to visit little old me.”

“Practice, Princess Zelda, is what I need a lot of. Especially now. With my growing age, I can only afford to be perfect in my activities if I can’t do them quickly anymore.” She had a point. Nearing fifty-six, she was passed the age of average fitness by many years. It was time to start expecting changes.

“Admit it; you just want to show off so you can discourage me out of my Sheikan training. I really am starting to progress.”

Impa recently started enrolling her secretly in a private training of the Sheikan Arts in such categories as stealth, disguise, heightened awareness and martial fighting. Being no instructor herself, she knew the program would be rubbish compared to what she had learned, but felt that even a little would be worth it. Being a princess was no cakewalk. She should be prepared for anything.

Regardless, Impa rolled her eyes. “But I am training you, right this instant. I suppose you didn’t actually hear me come up her did you?”

Zelda sighed. “No, I doubt anything could have. You were completely silent. How am I supposed to keep with you? Can’t you set an easier challenge?”

“So you believe that you would have heard people entering the passage, had they not been me?”

“Yes.”

“We’ll see about that.” Impa turned away to resurvey her quarters. “And what have you been doing today?! I told you to clean up your room hours ago. If you aren’t going to except common expectations for responsibilities, there’s no need to have them. Mind you, I doubt even a cleaner would come in here! This mess is inhumane!”

“Oh give me a break; it’s just a bit cluttered. I’m sure lots of people have rooms like this!” Zelda replied hotly.

“Yes, but that’s because they don’t have the optional luxury of servants. And look at yourself. You look like you just got out of bed!”

“Who said I didn’t?” Zelda said smugly. It was true. She was still wearing her nightgown, and her hair was strewn in every direction. Somewhere amid the clothes pile was the book she had been reading. “What’s the rush anyways? There’s nothing else to do.”


“Perhaps the board meeting tonight?”

“Damn it! Don’t tell me I have to go again!” Zelda wailed, her smugness replaced by horror and annoyance.

“The board requires your presence, my Lady. It could not commence without you. Anyway, I believe they might be discussing the important events surrounding the village mishap.” Impa was actually intrigued upon what they would say.

“Then you go. I have no ear for there riff-raff.”

“You’d better get one then. A day will come when you must be a head of such discussions.”

“Well, its not now, why do I have to suffer pre-maturely?”

“Because you need the practice, and they politically require your presence. You also know I can’t attend such an event anymore. I was quite involved when I was your father’s guardian, but when he changed my post over to you, he wished there to be nothing that will hinder my ability to protect you.”

Impa really didn’t miss the power. The only good thing she had done in her opinion was opening up a village around the local graveyard. Kakariko Village was now one of the fasted growing small towns in Northern Hyrule.

She watched as Zelda began to haphazardly burrow into her clothes piles in a moronically futile effort to hide from her nursemaid. Her eyes once again facing the ceiling, she reached over with one hand and unearthed the struggling Princess of Hyrule and sat her down. She tried to squirm away but Impa’s strong grip held her firm.

“Listen Zelda, not everything in life is how we wish it. You might hate your responsibilities as a princess, but you still have them, nothing can take them away. You are the only princess of Hyrule, if something happens to you, there will be no others to carry on the greater half of Hyrule. I do not always wish to be a bodyguard. It is a lonely life, full of danger and discipline. Again, if something should happen to me, there is no one to fill my place. You would live unprotected, and I cannot allow that. Likewise, you cannot leave your country’s side, or they would be unprotected by greedy politicians who care nothing for the people and only themselves. Would you shirk your task despite the damage you would do? If so, you can leave now.” Impa abruptly stood up and opened Zelda’s door.

A single tear slowly leaked out, hanging suspended before finally breaking off and journeying down to the floor. Its quiet splash seemed to resonate through Zelda’s ears, filling it with sounds off pain and suffering. The tear had actually found itself to a cleared part of stone, leaving it to glisten in the dying sun’s glow, giving it the appearance of a drop of blood.

Zelda was surprised to notice the shuttering breath she let out as she slowly returned her vision to Impa. She spoke softly, as if wishing not to break the sudden silence of the world.

“Do I really have such a responsibility to Hyrule?”

“Do not fear it Zelda, but embrace it, knowing you have the ability to make the world a better place. The responsibility is great, but I know of none other that I would trust more to fulfill the task.” She crept closer and whispered mischievously into Zelda’s ear. “Besides, the food will be good. I saw the menu for it; roast duck, rosehip pudding, cord au bleu, candied yams, custard cream, veil cutlet, the list goes on and on. Just eat slowly and see if you can get the meal to last the whole meeting.”

Zelda managed a weak smile as she gave a reply. “That’s all you bodyguards think about isn’t it. The next meal?”

“That, and the next idiot we have to pulverize. Be glad you’re not one.”

Zelda carefully tried to discreetly wipe the sweet sauce of the cuff of her dress with an already dirty napkin. Failing that, she tried not to look inconspicuous as she licked of her stained fingers, inadvertently knocking her unused fork onto the rich carpeted dining carpet. Cursing silently, she slowly put weight on her chair and leaned back, careful to keep a solid grip on the table edge. It was still out of her reach! Giving up yet a second challenge, she swung her weight back to the table, regaining her spot. Unfortunately, she miscalculated the velocity of her switch and made a loud disconcerting clunk as the front legs rejoined with the floor.

Wincing rather noticeably, she slowly raised her head, expecting the entire dining table occupants to be staring rigidly at her obvious disrespect and disregard to ethics and etiquette. Instead however, everyone was thoroughly immersed in their dinner and quiet conversations with their neighbors. She sighed. As much as she’d hate to be caught performing such barbaric deeds, she found it nearly as frustrating when nobody took any notice of her completely.

Oh, she’s still just a little girl, she has no idea what she’s talking about, just ignore her, she knows no better.

These comments that she swore the adults at every board meeting discussed in there mumble jumble banter, that’s why they talked so quiet. They didn’t want to hurt the poor princess’s feelings, even though she’s probably lacking the intelligence to understand what we’re saying, hee ha. . . .

Absorbed in her angry feelings, she seemed to forget to release pressure on her delicate glass goblet. Everyone noticed that time, but the sudden noise of glass shattering and a handful of imported wine splashing you in the face were hard to ignore. Zelda got the worst of it. The substance’s deep red color ran deep into the front of her opaque dress and more into her golden blond hair. The bits that landed in her face where partly camouflaged with the red hue of her blushed skin, but unfortunately it was still rather noticeable due to its different texture.

The guests nearby her were relatively better, but in their minds even a small splash of wine ruined their exquisite robes, many which were pearly white. At least they were spared the indignity of being hit in the face, and wouldn’t need to see their barbers as soon. Regardless, they were furious. Even less encouraging, the man sitting across from her even had an expression of triumph in his eyes, as if he had been waiting for the “stupid princess” to do something such as this.

Eyes burning, as they dully pieced at their stained clothes, they followed Zelda’s sudden retreat from the dining hall with a heavy line of fiery glares. If looks could kill, Zelda wouldn’t have made it from her chair. The King however, looked longing at his child, knowing this was one of the few opportunities they could have actually shared together, as far as one could do that at a board meeting anyway. He was the only one to notice Zelda’s quiet apology of “Sorry!” before she disappeared.

Her face still burning with a fire to rival the glares of the diners, she sped down a now darkened hallway vacant of occupants. Finally spotting an empty room with its door open, she flung herself in and slammed the door shut, and fastened on its lock. She didn’t want anyone one to find her anymore, especially Impa or her father. She hadn’t thought she was squeezing the stupid glass hard, in fact, she didn’t really remember picking it up. To have thought it would have been so explosive too! The glass had only been about half full, and wasn’t very big to begin with. And that insensitive idiot who thought it was funny! She could see his gleam now, probably mocking her right now.

“Stupid girl, never trust a woman with anything, especially your imported wine!” And they would all laugh with him, for they were all men. No one would find the insult very offensive. In fact it was only she could think of right now. The fact that she now remembered he was staring at her even before she broke it, as if he knew the incident would occur. His eyes actually seeming to glow in the candlelight, sparkling almost, and if thinking absurdly, glowing with their own light! What a joke!

Maybe she was actually drunk, the few sips she had actually taken earlier on had actually intoxicated her. She tried to think back to when she had, if their had been a sudden rush of numbness, a blackout even, but all she could remember was that man’s smile, his eyes, and his look of triumph. . . .

Then she heard someone approaching the door. The footsteps were so soft and careful and could be led by only one person: Impa! She didn’t want to see her right now, to hear her speech about personal dignity and respect, which she should have been calm and remained seated; that she should have at least seen her first instead of running through the empty parts of the castle. She didn’t want to hear her rants about paranoia and assassins. She was sure everyone in the world simply regarded her as an object of amusement; no one really regarded her as a threat; especially since she was simply a princess.

Then she realized there were actually a few people gathered outside the door, all with the same stealthy movement. In that instant she started towards the other exit. It was too late. A man adjourned in black jumpsuit kicked right through the door, the lock falling uselessly to the floor. He dashed towards her, and was closely followed by four other men. She screamed and bolted through the exit, and flew down another empty hallway.
She could feel the man close behind her, his breath ripping at her neck, his hands groping for her back.

She lunged through another pathway and found herself in yet another empty hallway, this one absent of any side rooms, just a multitude of tapestries and a doorway at the far end. She had a hunch that this led back to the dining hall; she had started her journey from it in a similar one. Her heart pounded in her chest so hard with fear and exhaustion she feared it would burst right through, her head burning, her adrenaline almost used up; she was only a few steps from the door. Then it opened up, revealing yet another man of similar status.

There was no escape.

Zelda simply crumpled to the ground, wailing out; hoping that someone would hear, though being that it wasn’t the dining hall, but most likely another barren corridor, there was no chance. She closed her eyes as the man approached her, hoping for the Goddesses to be merciful. She heard the sudden scrap of steel as the man ahead of her drew a dagger. She hung her head and waited for the end. She felt the cold steel find itself against her neck, and slowly cut, releasing trickles of liquid that did not need the sun to look like blood. . . .
Treasonous Whispers by Hyperlink
Chapter 7: Treasonous Whispers


Crack!
Crack!
Crack… snap!

Alone in his private tent, Skali was furiously hacking away at a large barrel sized chuck of sturdy wood, steadily making larger and uneven gouges all over the surface. Thin curved blades in both hands, saliva flying from his open maw, eyes rolling madly in a frenzied battle state, the Dinolfos continued to beat upon the defenseless quarry until one of his blades finally gave in an ear-wrenching snap. Not to be defeated, he surreptitiously snarled at his foe, and pounced upon it, his thick claws on his feet and hands digging deeply into the wood, and snapped his jaw shut upon one corner.

Nothing defied the bite of any Reptalfos.

Muscles bulging, face contorted in grinding effort, Skali wrenched an entire side of the stump off with a sickening crack and spat it triumphantly to the side. Without his sturdy tail for balance, he surely would have fallen with it. However, there was nothing he could do about the awful lingering wood taste left in his mouth. Disgusted, he began to drool out lengthy amounts of saliva in attempt to distort the taste, for Reptalfos mouths are inadequately shaped for spitting. Really, it was a miracle that Dinolfos could speak in such fashion as they did, though not much could be said for the Lizalfos. Their slimmer jaws and tongues made anything more complex then a squawk completely indecipherable.

Not yet finished, he wiped the remaining saliva roughly off his jaw and resumed his work. Taking the broken blade from the earthy floor of his tent, he stabbed it through the heart of the bole, the keen edges cutting fine rivers of blood from his hands as it formed a rough splint along the center of the wood. Now grabbing the hilt and gripping one side with his less bloodied hand, he slowly began to pry the chuck apart, the hilt embedded in the splint acting as a lever. With a loud pop, the wood again gave way to its predator and snapped roughly into two halves, splints of wood and dust spaying into his already stinging hands.

Snarling, he brandished his tent’s pole torch and rammed the burning end into the smaller half, momentarily dismissing light from his quarters. It came back in a flash as the dry wood also quickly caught a flame. Foreseeing this, Skali had already rammed the pole back into the soft earth and hacked at the burning stump furiously. The now charred surface was much easier to hack through and crumbled to a pulp and distinguished almost instantly to the Reptalfo’s blows. He was about to repeat the demonstration with the remaining half when a sudden rustling at his tent’s entrance brought him spinning back to reality; his now blackened blade brandished and pointed threateningly to the sound.

It was only a Lizalfos, a most likely a messenger by the lack of armor or arms. It squawked offhandedly to make sure he was noticed. Skali swiftly silenced it with a threatening snarl. Of course, it might have just been his appearance that had yet not been recognized. Armor absent due to its hindermost in the former exercise, one could easily see the tight, scarred, muscular body that many a Dinolfos officers would envy, and a face of defiance to match it.

Which ever it was that had brought the lizard to his tent, it promptly reminded the Lizalfos of his duty and presented him with hastily scrawled note on a strip of bark. It was most likely that the Lizalfos could not read or write itself, but, of course, retained the intelligence to comprehend orders. It wasn’t that they were lacking any more brains, but the unfortunate incapability to speak forced the Lizalfos sub-nation into the lower rungs of the Reptalfos’ communities.

Quickly scanning the script, Skali suddenly groaned dejectedly and tossed the note into the torch flame, quickly consuming it. Growling, he sent the messenger scurrying off with his own message: “Sirrah, tell zee War-Chief that if he wantz to insult me again, to do it himszelf inztead of forzing zome incompetent idiot do to zee jobz!”

Sighing, he leisurely slipped back into his armor and headed out into the starlit camp of the Reptilian Horde.

The camp mostly dark and silent aside from the few officers still using their tent torches and the sentries around the camp’s perimeters; the Horde had retired for the night. With recent addition of Skali’s West-Point Clan, the Horde had finally reached its maximal force of over a million Reptalfos soldiers. Stalking temperedly towards the centermost and largest tent, he ignored the few lower ranked soldiers’ salutes as he swiftly stomped through their open aired resting grounds. Only officers were permitted tents.

Finally reaching his destination, he passed momentarily at the entrance to make way for an exiting guest. Bile rose in his throat as he recognized it as that foul idiot Warlord Ignatius. Being a human alone gave Skali reason to hate him, but the additional fact that he was actually considered more important then he gave further infuriation. Although he had only arrived at the encampment that morning, he had quickly been alerted of the man’s apparent importance.

“The time will come human!” he snarled to himself. “Not forever will your stock remain high, and when it drops I will be waiting for you.” Giving a last contemptuous glare at the retreated back of the Warlord, he skulked into War-Chief Rizakis’ headquarters.

Upon entrance, Skali received a quick smack in the face by the means of a wet cloth. Chocking back the anger of receiving the dishonor of an insubordinate officer, he settled into a shaking bow facing Rizakis.

“Hail, War-Chief Rizakis. I hope time has found you-”

His annunciation suddenly cut off by swift kick in the face, Skali sprawled across the dirt floor, mouth now bleeding in addition to his hands. Groggy and blinking blood specks from his eyes, he slowly rose from the floor, keeping a wary eye on Rizakis, who actually looked angrier than himself.

“Skali, you scrathiogramz, howz darez you disobeys my direct order of meetingz here at soonest speed possiblez? Givez meaningz to zis outragez!” Rizakis screeched, hands raising, promoting further violence. Skali, however, bared his hackles and started reaching for his remaining blade.

“Youz had no rightz to strikez me! Iz not yet underz your command whence receiving your letterz! It remained clearz to mez that I waz under full obligation to do az I pleased until arrivingz at your combined Horde.”

“Therze waz no reason in hell to attacks that humanz town and you know it! As I clearly stated to ‘avoid detection and attention’, as wellz az ‘Committing actz of uneszezzary violenze!’ ” Rizakis roared, spit flying from his mouth.

“Hylian and Goron populacez are by lawz to be exterminated when ever pozzible!” Skali countered, taking refuge on ceremonial oaths of Reptilian procedure on his obvious blunder.

“Uze your headz, for bloodied sakez! What zee hellz is morez
importantz!? Old laws or present progression!? Nowz zee Hylians vill know somethingz afoot!”

“Don’t takez me for a foolz. It waz made sure to bez a very thorough jobz, we evenz dropped some Gerudo bandit corpses in zee streets. There’z no reason of suspicion.” Skali dropped his gaze from Rizakis’ still fiery glare and took a quick survey of the quarters. He could see a jumble of maps and orders strewn across Rizakis’ sole desk, but the words were scribed in Hylian, and could not decipher them. Skali was again reminded of the human. They must be his, and the War-Chief is actually using them!

“Whatz in it for uz anywayz? Whatz the real reason for thiz human in our Horde? I’ve probably heard a thousand rumourz already!” Skali spat venomously, shaking with anger but also in anticipation for a possible real answer.

“Wouldn’ze zee likez of you like to know, eh?” Rizakis’ maw stretched into what appeared to be a malicious smile, but was hard to discern due to the absence of lips and too many teeth. “Now getz out of my sights you uselezz fool before I getz out my guards on youz!”

Strongly tempted to test his threat by stabbing him through the heart, Skali forced himself into a bow and quickly left; angrier if possible then before and realizing that he had been summoned just to be baited.

“Don’tz worries, Rizakis, you’ll bez singing my song soon. Youz just wait!” Skali muttered to himself treasonously as he stormed his way back to his tent, not caring if he trodden over any of the many sleepers obstructing his way.

So many fools, so little time to exploit them.