“I can’t believe you did all of those things, Link,” said Andim. Link told her the whole story down to the last detail.
“You sure did have your hands full while I was gone too, huh?” asked Link.
“Oh no. There wasn’t hardly any work done while you were gone. Everyone was worrying about your safety.”
“Well, I had my hands full out there too…..Andim?”
“Can you keep a secret?”
“Of course Link. What’s going on?”
Link reached into his tunic and pulled out the two stones. They could both fit in his hand, with room to spare. Andim gasped.
“What are those?” she asked in amazement.
“The green stone is called the Kokiri’s Emerald. That was what I was delivering to Hyrule City. And the blue stone is called Goron’s Ruby.”
“Kokiri? Goron’s? What are those?”
“Old races that inhabited Hyrule long ago. The King insisted that I keep them and protect them.” Link was silent for a moment. He put the stones on the ground, not wanting to look at them. “He said that I was their protector.”
“And you just learned this now? Why weren’t you told eailer?”
“He said I’m more than I think I am. Maybe there was something he didn’t tell me.”
Andim saw the depressed look in Link’s eyes. She tired to change the subject, but Link spoke before she could. “There’s something else. He said his daughter, Princess Zelda, was kidnapped a while back. Which is why she was never heard of for some time. I’m supposed to save her, and find the last Spiritual Stone.”
“You mean there’s another one?”
“A sapphire. I don’t know where it is. But I will find it. I have to if I can ever hope to save the princess. It shouldn’t be too hard. If it senses the presence of the other two stones, the power of the sapphire will awaken.”
“You know what Link, I’m going to help you. I learned a lot of magic from my books while you were gone. I learned how to form an invisible wall, to make small objects float, I can help you!”
“Andim, I appreciate your enthusiasm, but you are a human. A mortal. Mortals don’t have powers. Sure you can do those things, but it’s unstable and weak. I just don’t want you to get hurt.”
Link expected Andim to argue, or frown at him, but she didn’t. She nodded slowly. “But I can still do those things. Watch!” Andim stepped over to a leaf. She concentrated on it, Link could see that easily. Slowly, a few leaves were lifted into the air. Link half expected she wouldn’t be able to do it. Link stood up. She put the leaves down.
“Andim, that’s amazing!” Link walked over to her, but ran into what felt like a wall. He was pushed back and put his hand over his nose.
“My invisible wall. It takes a little extra magic to invisible, but you’d be able to tell if you look really close. The light bends around the edges. I used to not be able to do that,” said Andim.
“That was a great display, but I still don’t want you to get hurt. Rest your magic for a while.” He went to pick up the stones.
“You need to prepare for your journey. All of that training with the kids should keep them sleeping. Let’s go to the pond where Ilia is tending to Epona.”
Link and Andim stepped over the children sleeping on the grass. The pond was pretty far away. But Andim and Link knew a shortcut through a wooden tunnel. Andim was small enough to fit through, but Link had a hard time. In a few years, it would be near impossible.
Ilia was still there with Epona. “Ah, you’re here,” she said.
“I need Epona again,” said Link.
“Yeah, he’s going out again,” said Andim.
There was a rumble. It made the water in the pond ripple, like a small earthquake.
“What was that?” asked Ilia. There was silence for a long moment.
Then, suddenly, a huge band of things on boars burst in. The knocked Link and Ilia out with a club. Just before losing conscience, Link heard Andim screaming, but was soon silenced. Then, he fell into the shallow pond. The bottom half of his body lay in the water. His eyes closed, he screamed in his head, “Andim!”
A moment later, Link awoke and felt the rumbling again. It wasn’t too far. He leapt onto Epona. He followed the trail that the monsters took. He was thankful he still had his sword and shield on him.
He reached the monster that had taken Andim. It was the same ogre that ambushed him in Hyrule Field! Behind him was A dark void, swirling like a vortex. Andim’s lifeless body hung un either side of the boar as the ogre plunged into the vortex.
Without a moment of hesitation, he rode in after him. As the darkness pulled back at Link, he still moved forward. Then, he found himself in Hyrule Field. But at the same time, it wasn’t.
It was darker. And what was supposed to smell like fresh, smelled of the pain and suffering of people. The ogre posse was waiting for him. The leader held Andim. She was tied to the ogre’s club. If Link got close, he might hurt her. But if her let him be, he would hurt her.
Besides, there was a swarm of ogres surrounding him anyway. Link charged at one of them. He knocked him off easily. That aggravated the others. The leader was riding away from him. Link followed hot on his tail, but there were still more surrounding him.
He did the same routine as he did last time: Get as many out of your way as you can, then take down the leader. He put most of them down, but when it came to attacking the leader, he came deathly close to hurting Andim.
“Enough!” The ogre leader called out in a deep, gruff voice. “If you want her back, give us the stones!”
“Never! Give me back Andim and I won’t kill you!” yelled Link.
Link scowled and growled at him with pure hatred. “Let her go!”
The ogre turned around and jetted toward the dark version of Hyrule Castle. Link charged toward him, killing any ogre that came up to his side. When the ogre crossed the moat, a wall of fire came up behind him.
Link panicked and yelled, “Jump! Jump! Jump!” They both still approached the wall with great speed. “Jump!” Link screamed one last time. In one huge leap, Epona jumped over the wall. Link breathed a sigh of relief and patted Epona on her mane. “Good girl…”
Beyond the castle gate was an aisle-like pillar. On both sides was an infinite drop to the ground. Now that Link wasn’t distracted, he saw that the ogre had no armor on. His boar moved his left hind leg back and forth, as if ready to charge. Epona did the same. Link was going to joust….
He stared coldly into the ogre’s eyes. He clenched the hilt of his sword so hard, his hands nearly bled. The both charged at each other head on. Link veered slightly to the left, on Andim’s side.
Just before the ogre was close enough, Link slashed the bottom of the club. It went cleanly through the wood, and made a huge gash in the ogre’s stomach. Almost through his whole body.
Andim, on the pole and still unconscious, fell the ground. The ogre staggered to the left of his horse until he leaned off. He fell in the cataclysm below. Link could hear him scream as he plummeted to the bottom. He continued to scream until he fell so far, his voice faded out. Link did not hear him hit the bottom.
Link sliced through the ropes that bound Andim to the pole. Link felt on her chest for her heart beat. She was still alive, thankfully. He carried her back to Toaru on Epona through the portal.
Andim was in a deep sleep for three days. Link was by her side for most of the long wait, but asked Mayor Doran some questions.
“Why were they after Andim?” asked Link. He sat in the Mayor’s office. He was silent for a moment.
“I don’t know. You’ve encountered them before, yes?” asked Mayor Doran.
Link nodded. “But if I was the one that defeated them, then how come they took Andim instead of me?”
“…..Link, you returned with tow spiritual stones right?”
“Yes. How did you know?”
“I think I know why they took Andim then. The king and I made a pact that you were the protector of the stones. However, one is still not found. Perhaps the key to finding the last stone rests in Andim.”
“Why do you say that?”
Mayor Doran took a deep breath. “Andim is the a descendant of the Zoras.”
“She’s a Zora?”
“Not exactly. She does have Zora blood in her. But not really a full-fledged Zora. The whereabouts of the final stone might be in her family. Do you know if she has any relatives?”
“No. She came to live here because she had no family.”
“You must protect her. Even though she may not know it, other monsters, such as the ones that ambushed you, might think she does. Keep her safe.”
Link nodded and said goodbye. The two other stones were also the key to finding the last stone. If only he got close enough to it, the power will awaken.
When Link returned to the place Andim was resting, he had discovered that she was gone. “Where’s Andim?” asked Link.
“She woke up. She’s at the edge of the woods I think,” said Ilia.
“Oh no, that place is dangerous!” Link yelled as he ran into the forest.
He found Andim minutes later reading her books. She sat lazily against a tree while eating an apple.
“Andim, why did you come here?” asked Link.
“Oh hey, Link. I can’t believe I slept so late. Did I pass out at the pond?” asked Andim.
‘She doesn’t remember a thing,’ thought Link. “Uh, sure. You were too tired from training all day so you just collapsed.”
“Oh, well I feel better now.”
“What are you doing?”
“Reading more of my books. I want to learn how to make an illusion. I almost have it.”
Andim stepped over to a clearing and said, “Illusion Delusion!” She conjured up an image of a dragon. It looked so real to Link, he felt his heart pound. “That’s amazing. It’s so life-like.”
“Thanks. Hey, where are those stones of yours?”
“I have something about it in my books.”
Link did need to know all he could about the spiritual stones. It wouldn’t hurt to see. “Ok, they’re right here.” He pulled out the Kokiri’s Emerald and the Goron’s Ruby.
Andim flipped through the pages of her book. “Ah, here it is. Goron’s Ruby. It says here a race of Gorons used to live on a mountain called Death Mountain. Hm…that’s sounds like a nice place to live. Anyway, this was their “precious stone” that they protected…..”
“That’s it. Now lets see…..Kokiri’s Emerald. The Kokiris were a forest race that never aged. The Great Deku Tree protected the Emerald until he died one day. He entrusted it to a young lad to take to Hyrule Castle for a greater purpose….That’s all it says.”
The sound of a bird swooping down was sounded overhead. It was a cross between a griffin and a crow. It took Andim’s book right from her hands and flew deeper into the woods.
“My book!” yelled Andim as she ran after it. Link grabbed her to keep her from running into danger.
“Don’t Worry Andim, we’ll get it back. But we’re not allowed in the woods. We have to wait until tonight before we go to get it.” Link always liked to break the rules. But now when it came to Andim’s safety, he wanted to delay her time in the dangerous woods as possible.
“My mother left me with that book. I just to get it back, I just have to.”
Link and Andim spent the rest of the time preparing for the departure. Link only took his sword and shield, the stones, and a lantern. Andim didn’t take anything, because she already had her spells.
At midnight, Link met Andim at the edge of the forest. Andim was eagerly waiting for him to arrive. And when she did, she insisted that she walk ahead. The forest wasn’t as thick as Link had thought.
Even thought it was midnight, the forest seemed to be getting darker and darker the deeper they walked. The trees stopped and everything seemed to have a black and white color. They were both now at a trench.
Andim walked cautiously. She felt something drop behind her. She turned around. It was Link on his knees. He clenched his chest with his right hand and the dirt with his left. He seemed to be in pain, as if straining himself from screaming.
“Link, are you ok?” asked Andim. She tried to put her hand on his shoulder, but murmured something to keep her.
“Get away….” he said. His eyes were closed so tightly that tears began to form.
“Link what’s going on?”
Link’s eyes flew open. His head moved from side to side. Hair grew from his back and face. His eyes as pale as their brightest moon. His nose grew….it was clear to see what he had become….a wolf.
When the transformation was complete, Link went into a predator stance. “….Link….” Andim managed to speak out. Link teeth were showing. He pounced, scratched her face, her chest and left marks all over her back. It all happened so fast, Andim didn’t feel the pain until Link ran away into the trench.
A cool black rain fell on Andim. Weather it was just the rain or if it was her tears that stung her eyes, one thing was certain to her: her friend betrayed her.