The Legend of Zelda: The Fabric of Time
Part Two – From Despair Rises Hope
“Come on, Jacob! If we don’t get there soon, all the good seats will be taken!” She grabbed the boy’s arm and hurried over in the direction of the Town Center, her long, auburn hair flowing in the wind. Jacob didn’t know why she was so persistent on seeing this performance. It wasn’t really anything special, just another concert by the town band. As the two neared the Town Center, they could see a small crowd gather in front by the entrance.
The Town Center was a circular structure that could hold a few thousand people inside it. It wasn’t nearly the biggest structure in all of Hyrule, but it was big enough for this small town. The Center had no roof, thereby giving it the atmosphere of being outdoors. In fact, the walls were just there to limit the amount of people that could see the performances. Just a ploy to make more money, Jacob thought as he paid for his admission.
He was once again being pulled by his arm. The girl had a strong grip, he had to admit. The sun was almost directly above them, shining down into the Center. Not a cloud could be seen in the sky. Finally they reached seats that she felt were ideal for the performance. She would have like to be front and center, but the front two rows were already filled. As they sat down in their third row seats, she saw two more of her friends looking for a place to sit.
“Hey… hey John, Chris! Over here!” She was waving her arms frantically until the two noticed her. They walked over to the seats next to her and sat down.
“Hi, Liz,” Chris said cheerfully. “Are you as excited as I am?” Chris could barely control herself.
“Oh, you bet I am! This is going to be great!” Jacob looked over at John. They obviously weren’t as excited to be here, but they had no choice. If you brought it up to them, they would say that they weren’t whipped, but it was clear that they were.
“Hey, John. How’ve you been?”
“Not bad, not bad. Just want to get this over with though.” Jacob laughed.
“Yeah, me too.”
A hush fell over the crowd as the curtains were pulled, revealing the band. The twenty-person band included guitarists, drummers, a few bassists, as well as some trumpets and ocarinas. When they started playing, Jacob realized why Liz desperately wanted to come to this performance. The band was playing all new material. Then he remembered that they had just gotten a new conductor. Apparently, he was famous throughout all of Hyrule for his music. It was very unique, indeed. Jacob looked over at John and they both gave each other a gesture that said This isn’t too bad. They both sat back and enjoyed the music.
The music soothed Jacob and he began to drift into sleep. He could feel the beats of the drum through his body. He realized that the drums seemed to be getting louder and his body was vibrating more. This caused him to bolt upright in his seat. He looked over at the drummers and noticed that they weren’t playing, but the rumbling continued. Standing up, Jacob looked around for the source of the rumbling. It no longer sounded like the rhythmic beating of drums, but more like a stampede. But no animals were that big… unless…
Screams and cries filled the air as the band stopped playing. Outside the Town Center, they could hear fighting and could see smoke rising from the houses. All inside the Center panicked and ran for the exits. Jacob grabbed Liz and ran for the exit as well, followed by John with Chris. They fought their way through the crowd, pushing some people aside and knocking some others onto the ground. When they finally made it through one of the exits, they stopped dead in their tracks as they laid their eyes on the horror that was unraveling in front of them. Moblins were running through the town, engaging in battle with any man that it met. No one was being spared as Jacob saw a Moblin stab a child in the back, then go after his mother. Overhead, two dragons were laying waste to the houses, breathing fire onto the rooftops, causing them to flare up immediately.
Tears of fear came to the four friends’ eyes as they stood there. The town didn’t stand a chance against two dragons and a bunch of Moblins. After they stood there for what seemed like hours, Jacob snapped out of his trance of fear and turned to the others.
“Come on! We have to get to the horses and get out of here!” Liz pulled on his shirt.
“But… w…what about… my f…family?” she managed to get out between sobs. Jacob looked into her eyes.
“They’ll be alright. The best thing we can do is get the hell out of here now!” She reluctantly nodded. The four ran as fast as they could for the town stables. Thankfully, it was on the side of town that was not yet hit. Jacob grabbed a brown horse while John grabbed a white one. The four quickly mounted the horses and ran off with Jacob and Liz in front followed by John and Chris.
When they were a safe distance from the town, they all looked back at the disaster. Almost every building was on fire, if not yet burned to the ground. The Moblins were still running around, killing anything that moved. After they had had enough, they looked away and headed further away from the town.
* * * *
“En guard!” shouted Charles as he swung his sword at William.
The two were sparring in the courtyard, keeping their skills sharp for when the time comes. It had been almost a month since Ganondorf was released. They had been expecting an attack, and they already got one. Right after the funeral for Richard and Ian, some of Ganondorf’s minions had attacked the town of Salenne. Their numbers were not very large, though, and the knights of Hyrule were able to fend them off with little damage to the town. Since then, the country has been quiet.
As the two battled, Link and Nick watched on while sitting against one of the walls of the castle. They had just finished their sparring and were quite exhausted.
“So, how’s your boy feeling?” Nick decided to finally break the silence.
“He’s feeling a lot better. It was just a case of the flu, but it seemed to hit him hard. I’m just glad that he’s pretty much back to his old self again.”
“Yeah, I remember when Celes had a small case of the flu. I had to practically wait on her, hand and foot.”
“Oh, I heard she was pregnant. Is it true?” Nick could do nothing but smile, his face turning a slight red. “Well, congratulations! It’s about time you joined the club!” Link patted his friend on the back. They turned up to see William and Charles still sparring.
Charles successfully disarmed William with one quick move and placed his sword at William’s chest.
“Looks like I win, Bill!”
Instead of surrendering, William made a quick roll move and grabbed a firm hold of his sword. Before Charles could do anything, William brought his sword up and knocked Charles’ sword from his hand. He placed his sword inches from his neck, smiling.
“I told you not to call me Bill! Now surrender, Chuck!”
Charles performed a similar move. He grabbed his sword and once again disarmed William. He stood close to William, laying his sword across William’s neck.
“And I told you not to call me Chuck!”
The two stood there in silence for a few more seconds, then burst out laughing. They gave each other a quick embrace.
“Ah, that was a good battle, Charles.”
“Yes it was. But I would like it to be on the record that I beat you this time! That makes it… 21-19 me!”
William laughed. “I think not, my good man! I believe that it’s 21-19 in my favor!”
“I’m not too sure about that! Maybe we should check the books! Link!”
Link couldn’t help but laugh at his two friends. “Seriously, you guys! I think you take this competition thing a little too far!”
Charles and William turned to look at each other, then turned back to face Link.
“Nah!” they yelled in unison.
“I just want him to know that I’m a better swordsman!” Charles shouted. This resulted into a quick jab in the ribs from William.
“You wish!” Link thought about it for a minute of two, then came up with his answer.
“Hmm… let’s think about this. If my memory serves me, then… I believe I’m the better swordsman!” he proclaimed while standing up and taking a bow. “Thank you, thank you.” He blew kisses to the “crowd” and sat back down.
“Well, a lot of help you are!” William shot back. “Maybe Nick will tell us who is the better swordsman?”
“Trust me, you don’t want to hear my opinion on the matter.” Charles took this to mean that he was the winner.
“Oh yeah! Told you I was better!” He began to dance around William, gloating like a little kid. He was interrupted by a pretty voice.
“Oh, how childish!” Diana called out. “But cute.”
Charles immediately stopped his celebrating. The last thing he wanted to do was have Diana flirting with him. He would much rather declare William the better swordsman. Following behind Diana were Celes, Sarah, and Adriana. They never seemed to be apart from each other. Link laughed to himself when he realized he was almost never apart from Nick, Charles, William, or Aaron for long amounts of time, either. Adriana was still a little depressed after the events of a month ago. She had fallen for Ian, whom she though was a good, honest man. But ever since that night when she found out his secret, she began to doubt any feelings she ever had for anybody. Link hoped that she would be able to let it all behind her soon. She was such a pretty woman, and besides, he knew that Charles had a thing for her.
“Hey, Adriana,” Link began, “How are you feeling today?”
“Alright, I guess.” Her response was in an almost uncaring tone. Link wanted her to smile and get back to her old cheery self, but he didn’t know what to do. He felt like it was up to Charles to do something. Sarah came up beside Adriana and glanced at Link.
“Link, have you seen Aaron recently?” Link smiled. It seemed as though Aaron had finally found someone who wasn’t throwing herself down at his feet.
“No, I haven’t seen him since last night.”
“Oh.” She tried to hide her disappointment, but was doing a horrible job at it. She walked over to the fountain in the middle of the courtyard and sat on the small stone wall surrounding it. Nick leaned over to Link.
“When the hell did it get so depressing around here?”
“Beats the hell out of me. But hopefully something comes along to lift the mood,” Link said as he saw another group of people walk in. “Looks like that something just got here.”
Across the courtyard, Aaron, Robert, Zelda, and Evan were walking toward the group. Link smiled as Evan began to run toward him, arms up in the air with a big happy smile on his face. Link couldn’t get enough of his son, or Zelda. He lifted Evan up high in the air and placed him on his shoulders. Zelda walked up, her bright smile across her face, her long, blonde hair blowing gently in the wind. What an angel Link thought. She met up with him with a kiss.
“Hello, handsome,” she said between kisses. “Did you miss me?”
“Absolutely. Hey, did you hear about Celes and Nick?” Link looked over at Nick and Celes, who were locked in an embrace themselves.
“Of course, I have, Hero. Now, let’s go inside, it’s time for lunch.” Link’s eyes widened at the mention of food and he was quickly on his way to the dining hall. Nick and Celes followed him in. Sarah had run over to Aaron the minute he walked into the courtyard and couldn’t care less for lunch. However, Aaron was persistent and they headed in. This left William, Charles, Robert, Adriana, and Diana in the courtyard. Robert spoke first.
“I think I will go for a walk around the castle. I’m not very hungry, and can do without the food for now.” He quietly and slowly left the courtyard. Charles saw his chance and made way for Adriana. She was still depressed, but he hoped he could change that.
“Adriana, would you care to join me for lunch?” She looked up at his smiling face and into his eyes. He has such beautiful eyes she thought to herself. She nodded her approval and Charles reached out his hand for hers. He gently wrapped his arm around hers and they walked toward the dining hall. Charles could barely contain his happiness. He had a deep affection for Adriana for as long as he could remember, but he was just too shy to do anything about it until now.
William soon realized that he was in a position that he never ever wanted to be in: alone in the courtyard with Diana. He looked over at her and gave a fake smile. He didn’t much like the girl; she was too annoying and self-centered. She always had to get her way. What a snob he thought while still giving his fake smile.
Unfortunately for him, she giggled and ran over to him. Oh well, might as well get this over with. He took her by the arm and led her to the dining hall.
The rest of the day was pretty uneventful at Hyrule Castle. Just about everyone had turned in for the night. That is, everyone except Link and Zelda. They stood out on their balcony, looking up at the stars that hung in the darkness of night. Link stood behind Zelda, with his arms wrapped around her stomach and his head on her shoulders. They stood there in silence for quite some time.
“It really is a beautiful night, isn’t it?” Zelda decided to break the silence.
“Not as beautiful as the woman in my arms,” Link said seductively while kissing her neck. Zelda turned a slight red, but he wasn’t able to see it in the dark.
“Oh, you,” she teased. “I love you.”
“I love you too,” he said with a smile. “I couldn’t be any more happy than I already am. You as my wife, a son, and a beautiful country.”
She decided that it was finally time to tell him something she had kept from him for the past couple of weeks.
“Link, honey,” she started.
“Are you sure you couldn’t be any happier?” She turned around to look him in the face.
At first, Link didn’t know what she was talking about. Of course I couldn’t be happier. The only thing that could possibly do that would be… Then it hit him. He held back any feelings of joy before she confirmed it. No use getting his hopes up over nothing.
“You mean…” He didn’t finish the sentence. He didn’t need to. Instead, he simply moved his hands over her stomach again, but this time, it was more of a cradling hold rather than a hug.
She smiled brightly back at him. No words were necessary. His feelings of joy erupted from him and were met with her feelings of joy. The two embraced in a long, passionate kiss. Then they just stood there in silence at the sky again, her head resting on his shoulders, and his head resting on top of her head.
“Absolutely nothing could spoil this moment,” he said to her while still looking up at the stars. Perfect. That’s the word he used to describe his life just then. The moment was perfect, and he felt invincible. The thoughts of Ganondorf, the dangers of the world, and ruling the country all faded away into the back of his mind. He didn’t want to think about them right now.
While they stood there a while longer, Link thought he could here something in the cool, calm night. They almost sounded like the footsteps of a horse, galloping as fast as it could, going wherever it was directed. Then, as quickly as it appeared, it was gone. All was quiet. He continued to look around for the source of the noise.
“Link, what is it?”
“I thought I heard something.”
“Oh, don’t be ridiculous! It’s the middle of the night, who would be out at this time?” She yawned and walked into their room. “Come on, come to bed.”
“In a minute.” He stood there in silence for a little longer, still trying to figure out what he had heard. He finally gave up and blamed it all on his imagination. He turned around and walked into his room and changed his clothes. As he got to his side of the bed, he couldn’t help but laugh to himself. There, in bed, was Zelda, fast asleep. She couldn’t have been lying there for more than a few minutes, but she was completely out. He smiled, pulled the covers back and got into bed.
* * * *
“You must let us see the Princess! It’s an emergency!” Jacob was getting furious with the castle guard.
“I’m sorry, sir, but we are under strict orders not to let anyone through the gates until morning!” The guard was getting mad as well.
“Our town was attacked yesterday! My p… parents were…” Liz couldn’t say anymore. She once again began to cry. Jacob pulled her close to him and tried his best to comfort her, but in light of the recent events, he didn’t think it was possible.
John still had his head on straight and cut in for Jacob. John whispered into Jacob’s ear to take Liz with him and sit over on one of the benches. Jacob nodded and slowly, he and Liz walked toward the benches. John turned to the guard.
“I’m sorry for my friends’ attitude, but we were just attacked yesterday and we may have very well lost our entire families.”
“I understand that, sir,” replied the guard. He was relieved to be talking to someone who seemed to be able to control his emotions. “However, due to the release of Ganondorf, we cannot allow anyone to pass. No exceptions.”
John nodded his understanding. Chris wasn’t satisfied, though. “Well, what are we supposed to do? Our whole world has been turned upside down, yet you just stand there and don’t do anything!” She was face-to-face with the guard and very angry. John quickly pulled her back away from the guard.
“Is there anything we can do right now?” he politely asked the guard.
“You will have to wait until morning to get into the castle. There are plenty of inns in town that would gladly accommodate you. That is, if you have the money.”
John nodded that he did. “Thank you, sir. We shall be back in the morning.” He grabbed Chris by the arm and headed over to where Jacob and Liz were sitting.
“Come on, let’s get some rest. We can go to the castle in the morning.” The four walked away from the castle, back into the sleeping town, hoping that they could find a place to sleep.
* * * *
Link found himself in Hyrule Field again. The now familiar tower standing in the middle, reaching upwards to the sky. He looked around him, but the dead bodies he seemed to remember were no longer there. He was alone. The sound of Ganondorf’s laugh was echoing throughout the skies and in his head. He desperately wanted to scream, but realized he couldn’t. The only thing he could do was walk to the tower. So he did, and along the way, he noticed the sky getting darker. Not because of time, but because of Evil. He easily reached the tower and stopped just five feet short of it. From here, he could see that it was surrounded by some sort of magic barrier, kind of like Nayru’s Love. He reached out his hand and began to slowly step closer to the barrier. As his hand came into contact with it, sparks flew and he was thrown back almost twenty feet. The pain was unbearable, but he got up off the ground anyway. This time, he pulled the Master Sword from its sheath and approached the magic barrier. A little more cautious this time, he edged closer and closer. The Master Sword touched the barrier and a blue light traveled down the blade and into the hilt, sending the Hero into the air once again. As he lay there, he could hear three words repeating over and over in his head: Find the Amulets. Finally, he opened his eyes and found himself face-to-face with Ganondorf. He tried to move, but some force was holding him down. He looked up in horror as he saw Ganondorf raise his sword. Silently, but quickly, the King of Evil thrust his sword through the Hero’s chest.
He awoke and found it to be morning already, though he didn’t feel very rested. This was his first nightmare in almost a month. Last time, he had it when something evil was about to happen, which it did. Ganondorf had been released. But this was the same dream, well, kind of. What the hell is that tower anyway? And what Amulets? His mind was spinning around in circles and he decided that it would be best to just leave it be for now.
He got up out of bed and noticed that Zelda was not in the room. She always was a light sleeper he thought. He reached his hands in the air and stretched. When he got to his closet, he put on his favorite clothes: a green tunic that always reminded him of the forest, his childhood home. He still visited the Kokiri a lot, but he never felt like that was enough. Who knows what could have happened during those seven years of his life that were lost, never to be regained. Once dressed, he headed out the door and down the stairs to breakfast.
As he walked in the dining hall, he noticed that the same people were there as the day before: Nick, Aaron, Charles, William, and Robert as well as some others who worked in the castle. All his friends were always welcome to eat with his family and often did. He sat down in his usual seat between Zelda and Evan, and waited for the food to come out. He wasn’t much of a morning person, but neither were most of his friends. Most times, they would sit through breakfast without saying a word. Any important matters were usually left to after breakfast when everyone was finally ready to face the day. However, on this occasion, matters came up before breakfast.
“The guards at the gate informed me of four teenagers that arrived here late last night.” Nick told everyone. “They were turned away, but said they would be back this morning.”
“Ah, so that’s what I heard last night. I could’ve sworn I heard galloping horses.” Link figured those four must have rode in just as he was going to bed.
As the food came in, Zelda turned to Nick. “Did they say why they wanted in?”
“Apparently they wanted to see you, Princess. Something urgent, but the guards would not let them pass.” Zelda was deep in thought. What could they want with me? She let out a silent “Hmmm” which only Link could hear.
He leaned over. “Something wrong?”
“Hm? Oh, no. I was just wondering what they could possibly want.”
They began to eat there food in silence, back to the normal way they ate breakfast. A good time through, a castle guard approached Zelda and waited patiently to be acknowledged. She finished her mouthful of food and looked up at the man.
“Your Highness, four teenagers here to see you. They are the same ones that approached last night. Shall I send them in?”
“Yes, by all means. I should like to know what they want.”
“Yes, Your Highness.” The guard bowed and went back out the door he came in. Everyone at the table stopped eating, waiting for these mystery guests to enter. After a few moments, the door opened once again and the same guard appeared. He held the door open as the four guests walked single file into the room. Once in the room, they dared not approach anyone, for fear of being mistaken. Instead, they all stood next to each other in line with Jacob on the right, Liz next to him, then John, and finally Chris.
Almost immediately after the four entered the room and stood there, Charles shot up from his chair with a big smile on his face.
“Jacob!” He walked around the table and made his way over to Jacob. Once there, he gave him a firm handshake and then examined the rest of the teenagers. He had never seen Chris before, but he vaguely remembered John and Liz. “You two I have met. But I apologize, I can’t seem to remember your names.”
Jacob answered for the rest of them. “Sir Charles, this is John and Liz, whom you have indeed met once. But the girl on the end is new in town. She arrived after you left a few months back. Her name is Chris.”
“A pleasure to meet you all, even if it is a second time for some,” he said as he shook hands with John and kissed Liz and Chris on the back of their hands. They both blushed slightly, for they were not used to such treatment, especially from a Knight. Charles suddenly realized that they had come here for a reason. “So, tell me Jacob, what is so important that you four rode away from town and came to see us in the middle of the night?”
“It’s very bad news, I’m afraid.” Zelda motioned for the group to come closer to the table.
“Be not afraid of us, young man. Any friend of Charles is a friend of ours.” Jacob bowed politely to the Princess before he made his way over.
“Two days ago, our town of Baru was attacked.” Link jumped out of his chair. Any higher and he might have leaped clear over the table.
“Attacked?! By who?”
“More like by what. There were two dragons in the sky and a great amount of Moblins in the streets. They were killing everyone and burning everything that they could. No one was spared, not even small children.”
Link needed no more information. He already knew who was behind the attack. “Ganondorf. So he finally strikes.”
Charles couldn’t believe it. The town he grew up in, his friends, his family, all burned to the ground. I wonder how they got out? He needed to find out.
“So, how in the world were you able to get out of there? Surely, you should have been killed with all the rest.”
Jacob continued with the story. “We were inside the Town Center when the attack started. When we got outside, we could see the creatures throughout the town. I knew we had to get out of there, so we headed over to the stables. Luckily, they weren’t hit yet and there were a few horses left. So we took two and rode out of town. It took us a day and half to get here, but we arrived late last night. But I fear that everyone else is dead.” Tears had welled up inside the boy’s eyes as he recollected that horrible day.
The Knights stood, or sat, stunned. The room fell completely silent for the next few moments as each individual tried to come to terms with the story the young man had just told them. Aaron was the first person to say something.
“My deepest condolences to you all. This is a tragedy that no one should ever have to live through. But we must not sit idly by. Ganondorf may be planning raids on other towns, so I believe we should begin planning right away.”
“Aaron’s right,” Robert said, standing up. “Ganondorf will pay this time, I’ll make sure of it! I came here for a vacation, but it looks like that’s gotten cancelled! I will help out in any way.”
Link nodded. “Looks like breakfast is ending early. Let’s head to the conference room to discuss our plans.” And with that, he walked out of the room. The rest of the Knights soon followed. After sending Evan up to his room, Zelda walked over to the four teenagers.
“You are welcome to join in on the planning. Since you lived there, you will know the layout better and from which way they attacked. If you don’t feel up to it, you can go in the courtyard and wait for us there. The guards won’t bother you.” She walked through the same door as the others.
Without saying a word, the four knew what they were going to do. Jacob and John went to join the planning, while the two girls agreed that going outside was their best bet. They departed from the dining hall, hoping that all would be well once again.
The meeting lasted about two hours, and they all agreed on a simple plan. It wasn’t going to be a mission of attack, for they had no clue where Ganondorf was hiding. Instead, it would be a reconnaissance mission, with teams of soldiers going to every town and every habitat to find out anything about the evil man’s whereabouts. Of course, Link and his Knight friends were headed to Baru, the site of the recent attack by Ganondorf’s minions. Twenty soldiers were sent to each of the towns of Salenne, Oceana, and Dolsena, while another fifteen or so were being sent to Zora’s Domain, Death Mountain, Kakariko Village, and the Gerudo Desert. Shortly after the conclusion of the meeting, the Hylian soldiers were ready to depart for their respective destinations. Soon, they were all on their way.
Accompanying Link were the usual: Nick, Charles, Aaron, William, and Robert. He also brought along ten soldiers, just in case. Zelda stayed back at Hyrule Castle with a fairly large army in the event that Ganondorf struck there next. She highly doubted it, but Link would not have it any other way. When he needed to be, he could be just as stubborn as she, thus, she was left in the Castle, upset that she was not with him.
The four teenaged refugees from Baru were invited to stay at Hyrule Castle for the time being. They gladly accepted the offer, since they had no other place to go. Unused to the Royal environment, they decided that they would meander about the town for the most part, going back to the castle only when necessary. But for now, they stood with the Princess and her son behind the castle gates, watching the brave Knights ride away on their horses.
Charles looked back with a solemn expression on his face. “Poor lads, they lost all they’ve known in a matter of minutes.” A look of pain came across his face as he remembered that day seventeen years ago, when his parents were killed by Ganondorf. He had been forced to hide from sight, but he could still hear the screams of his parents as the evil man marched through the town.
Aaron caught sight of Charles’ face, and instantly felt sorry for him. He guided his horse over to Charles and placed a comforting hand on his friend’s shoulder.
“Don’t worry about them, Charles. It may take some time, but they’ll learn to live with it. They’ll take comfort in knowing that they are not alone in this world. You can see to that.” Charles nodded while holding back the tears in his eyes. Over the years, he learned to not let his parents’ death take over his emotions. But now, seeing those young kids, he was struggling to keep himself in check.
Without another word, the group headed over the drawbridge and into Hyrule Field. Once out in the field, they stopped momentarily to scan the horizon, searching for anything out of the ordinary. Seeing none, they continued onward toward Lake Hylia.
“I should like to go to Lon Lon Ranch before we get to Baru,” Link said suddenly.
Nick wasn’t too excited about taking longer than necessary to do this mission, but he sensed something in Link’s voice that told him that he would go whether the rest of them did or not. “Very well. We will stop there and make sure that everything is alright.”
Nothing more was said as they made their way to Lon Lon Ranch. Almost all were affected by the attack on Baru, whether they had families there or not. The army’s morale was not low, and it never would be as long as the Hero lived. But there was an unspoken rule that they would remain silent for the time being, while they mourned and prayed for the people lost in the attack. They only sound was the beating of the horses’ hooves and the chirping of birds.
After a few hours, they were at the entrance to Lon Lon Ranch. They trotted their horses in single file until Link called them all to a halt. He dismounted his horse and motioned for everyone else to sit still. He walked toward the pasture and could here someone humming a song. There was no doubt in his mind of who it was.
Malon was in the middle of the pasture, her horses running around her playfully. Her auburn hair shone brightly from the sun, blowing freely in the wind. Her eyes were closed and she seemed lost in her own thoughts. For this reason, Link made it next to her without her ever knowing it. He let her be for the moment. Throughout the years, she still looked very much the same, in looks and temperament. She was almost always cheerful, and it looked like today would be no different. Finally, he cleared his throat to get her attention.
Her eyes flew open when she heard the noise, a little bit frightened by the person who had snuck up on her. When she realized who it was, a big smile appeared on her.
“Fairy boy!” He hated it when she called him that, and she knew it. She had called him that ever since she met him, which, of course, was when he had a fairy companion. “I haven’t seen you in awhile! What brings you here?”
His smile disappeared when she asked him that. The dead giveaway made her very worried. Link usually put a good spin on everything, but this time, she sensed that there was no possible way.
“Baru was attacked two days ago. We believe by Ganondorf.” He gave no emotion.
“Oh no! Was anybody hurt?”
“Lots of people got hurt, but most were probably killed. We’re headed there right now, but I wanted to make sure that you, Talon, and Ingo were alright.”
“Yes, yes we are.”
“Well, just be careful. We don’t have any information on his whereabouts as of yet, so he could strike anywhere.”
She nodded her understanding. “Thank you for the warning, Link.” A long time ago, she had a crush on the Hero, but since he was now married to the Princess, she had to try hard to hide it.
In the distance, five figures were walking through the pasture, toward them. Apparently, they had gotten impatient and went to get Link. When they were all standing next to Link, he figured he should introduce them. One by one he went through, each kissing Malon on the back of her hand. She especially noticed William and felt shivers up her spine when he touched her. She tried to hide her blushing cheeks, but to no avail.
“We’d better get going, Link,” Robert said.
“Yeah, you’re right. Let’s go! Malon, promise me you’ll be alright.”
“Good. We’ll be back to check on you. We have to be prepared for an attack anywhere.” They turned around and headed back to their horses and to Baru.
* * * *
Ganondorf watched over Hyrule from his hideout, deep in the Gerudo Desert. He watched as Link and the rest of his pesky friends went to the town of Baru.
“Ah, fooling you is too easy, Link! You leave yourself open to attack from anywhere. What makes you think I would be hiding out near there?” He lets out an evil laugh. “Now I will make you and your precious land suffer my wrath! Nothing will stop me this time! Generals!”
Leaders from each creatures army come through the door and stand at attention in front of the Evil King. Among them are a Stalfos, a Deeler, a Goriya, a Moblin, a Lizalfos, and a Dinolfos.
“Our time has come! Prepare your men for an attack! Tonight, I will take Lon Lon Ranch and use it to strike at the heart of Hyrule!”
The Generals saluted him, and quickly ran back to their armies to prepare for when Ganondorf needed them. After they had gone, the Evil King himself walked from his throne room and headed for Lon Lon Ranch.
* * * *
Evening was upon them when they finally reached the outskirts of Baru. They had stopped seldom, not wanting to waste any time just in case Ganondorf tried anything else. Almost all of the town was dark, but just outside the town could be seen numerous candles. The group headed in the direction of the light and came upon a makeshift town that the survivors had constructed in two short days.
Nick leaned over to Link. “Well, at least there were survivors.” Link agreed.
Aaron, riding slightly behind the two, overheard the comment. “Yeah, but how long do you think they can survive the way they are? Who knows if they have enough food or water?”
“Good point, my friend,” Charles added. “Perhaps we should send some soldiers back to the Castle to inform the Princess of their needs?”
“We will do that, but we must wait until at least morning. We need to know how much they need and of what,” Link replied as he turned in his horse to face the men.
“They’ll need rest, anyway,” Robert pointed out. “We all do. It’s been a long day.” There was a murmur of agreement from the soldiers behind.
As they approached, a young boy of perhaps fifteen spotted them.
“Hurray! They have arrived! The Knights have arrived!” He began to wail his arms around in the air, all the while running through the makeshift town. As he made his way through, people began to emerge from their tents, some very old, some young, most in-between. The Knights and their soldier companions made their way to what they believed was the center of the town. It contained a large fire, used for warmth and to cook food. The tents formed a circle around it, each with a candle in front of it. The men dismounted from their horses inside the circle.
“Fellow Hylians,” Link called out to them. “We have received word of the evil doing in your town. We will not tolerate such actions from Ganondorf! We have come to aid you in any way possible, and to find where the evil is hiding.”
A middle-aged man stepped into the circle. Link figured that the man was the town’s representative.
“We thank you, Knights! We have awaited your arrival for the past two days. Anything you need will be at your disposal. But, if I am not mistaken, you have ridden long and without break! Please, rest for the night and we will talk in the morning.”
“Thank you. We indeed do need some rest. In the morning, we shall go through your grievances and do whatever we can,” Link replied to the man.
He gestured for the Knights and soldiers to follow him, where several tents were put up just for the purpose of their arrival. Their horses were placed next to the tents, for there was no longer a stable in the town. Link was happy that people had survived the attack, but he knew that once they went into the town, they would see more death than any of them had ever imagined. As he drifted off to sleep, he prayed to the Goddesses for the people of Hyrule.
* * * *
Malon was fast asleep in her room, dreaming pleasant dreams. Talon, of course, had been asleep even longer. He was a deep sleeper, and it always took a great effort for his daughter to wake him up. She, on the other hand, was a fairly light sleeper. The animals very rarely made any noise at night, but when they did, Malon knew that there was something wrong. She could wake up at the sound of a pin drop.
But on this night, the sound was greater than a pin drop. The horses began to neigh wildly, the pigs squealing, the cows mooing, and the Cuccos clucking. She jumped out of her bed and ran down the stairs to see what was the matter. As she opened the door to the outside, she was hit hard. She fell onto the floor with a thud, and tried to look at her attacker. Above her stood Ganondorf, his evil grin visible in the faint light. She instinctively screamed.
“Link! Link! Help!”
Ganondorf laughed. “He can’t help you! He is too far away, worried about one little town when he should be worried for the entire country!” He reached down and easily picked her up, placing her over his shoulder. She continued to kick and scream until she was hit once again. The blow to her head knocked her instantly unconscious.
He seemed to be hovering in the sky, above Hyrule Field. He was looking down on Lon Lon Ranch. Even though everything seemed peaceful, he could sense the evil in the air, seemingly very near. He turned around and faced the desert when he saw what he feared. Ganondorf was marching a small army out of the desert and into Hyrule Field. He tried to call out to Malon, but he had no voice. All he could do was watch as Ganondorf made his way toward the ranch, unstoppable. He could hear the screams of Malon and the shouting of Talon, as Ganondorf took them prisoner. Malon was crying out to Link, but he was unable to do anything. In his mind, he heard the same three words again: Find the Amulets! He tried to call out “Where?” but he couldn’t. Seeming to know what he had wanted to ask, the voice called out again in his mind: Go to the Great Deku Tree! When he brought his attention back to Lon Lon Ranch, he gasped as he no longer saw it. In its place was the menacing tower he had come to known. In front of the tower, he could see a tiny green speck. He was able to float down to the ground for a closer look, but when he got there, he wished he hadn’t. On the ground, with a sword in his chest, was himself.
The sun had not yet risen, but Link could no longer sleep. The dreams were starting to make him worry. He remembered the last time he had dreams like this, before he was the Hero of Time. He sat up in his shoddy bed and his thoughts turned to Zelda and Evan. He hadn’t wanted to leave them at Hyrule Castle, but he felt it was safer than coming with him. He then thought about his dreams again. What did they mean? Was he destined to fall in battle? He hated when dreams and people spoke in cryptic ways. Just get to the point! Finally, he gave up on trying to figure it out and tried to go back to sleep.
* * * *
As the sun appeared over the horizon, the makeshift town seemed to come to life. Link awoke from his unpleasant sleep and gladly rose up out of bed. He was quite hungry, but knew he could wait. There were more important matters to be dealt with. When he was about to leave, he glanced down at his hand and saw that the Triforce mark on his hand had begun to glow. Without another though, he exited his tent and found his friends and the leading townsfolk. On his way over, he never noticed the tall, black structure to the far north of the town, positioned right where Lon Lon Ranch was.
The Knights and soldiers slowly walked into the remains of what was once Baru. Just about every building had been burned to the ground, and those that weren’t looked like they would collapse under the weight of a feather. Dead bodies littered the streets and the group had to be careful where they stepped. From what they could tell, there had been no looting, just killing and destroying. No longer able to face more death, they turned back toward the encampment.
William looked to the north, wondering when they were going to get back to Hyrule Castle. He didn’t like the feel of the atmosphere here. There was too much death and destruction for his liking. As he looked at the horizon, he noticed a structure that he hadn’t seen before. It seemed to be a tower of some kind, tall, and black, stretching into the sky. He never remembered passing it on the way here, but of course, he really wasn’t paying attention to anything. He urged his horse to go faster until he had caught up with Link and Nick.
“Hey, guys. What is that tower over there?” He pointed in the direction of Lon Lon Ranch.
“What tower?” came Nick’s reply. Then he looked where William was pointing and stopped dead in his tracks. “Link, what the hell is that?”
William was in shock. “You mean, you don’t know what it is?” Nick shook his head.
“Not only that, I don’t know where it is.”
Both men turned to Link, who looked at the tower with no emotion. Without looking at his friends, he calmly said, “I know the answer to both those questions.” He continued to ride toward the encampment, not acknowledging his friends’ faces of wonder.
William and Nick stared at each other with confused looks on their faces. At the same time, they both made their horses catch back up to Link.
“What do you mean you know what it is?” Nick questioned the Hero.
“I’ve seen it before.”
“How could you? It just appeared there!”
“I’ve seen it in my dreams.”
William was confused, as he had never heard of Link’s prophetic dreams in times of danger. But with one look at Link, he knew he was telling the truth, so he decided against protesting.
Nick continued his interrogation. “Well, then, do you know where it is?”
“Yes.” He didn’t saw where, however. He just stared ahead in silence again. Nick, expecting an answer, raised his voice.
“Where? Damn it, tell me!”
Link turned to his friend, his face devoid of all emotion, “Lon Lon Ranch is gone.”
* * * *
After leaving the remains of Baru and its people, the small army of men started back to Hyrule Castle. In front of them, on the backdrop of a blue midday sky, was the mysterious tower. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind of who put the tower there. But the fact that it seemed to pop up overnight startled almost all of them. Nothing ever surprised Link anymore. He had grown used to weird events brought about by Ganondorf. All he could think of at the moment was the reality of the dream. Am I destined to fail? What will become of Hyrule if I do? Once again, there was very little talking as the group made their way back across Hyrule Field.
As they got nearer to the tower, a feeling of uneasiness swept through the ranks. Even Link was starting to get worried about the menacing structure. He could feel the evil emanating from it, and he had no clue as to what would happen when they finally came upon it. There was no activity in the vicinity of the tower, as far as anyone could tell, but they were ready for anything.
Finally, they were next to the tower. It seemed to be made out of some sort of black rock, which reflected light almost like a mirror. Instead, the images were twisted and seemed evil themselves. The surface of each stone was perfectly smooth. There wasn’t a crack or break anywhere. They walked around to the north side of it, so that they were between it and Hyrule Castle. There, they all stopped to look upon the mysterious tower, each one trying to figure out anything they could about it.
Link remembered being thrown back when he touched the tower in his dream, as if there was a barrier around it. He thought it best to not make the same mistake in the real world. “Do not touch the tower! It has been magically sealed!”
No one responded to him vocally, they were all still in awe of the giant skyscraper in front of them. The only way Link knew that they had heard him was their subtle nods of understanding, but their gaze never shifted. Fearing some magical spell was being cast on them, he quickly rode up to each and jarred them from their hypnotic trance.
“We must get back to the Castle as soon as we can. It seems that we will have to prepare for war.” He turned his horse around and sent it in a gallop toward Hyrule Castle.
* * * *
“Evan, go to your room,” Zelda instructed her child when Link and the others finally returned. The boy figured something important and dangerous was going on, so without hesitation, he ran toward the stairs that led up to his room.
The Triforce emblem on her hand had been glowing for some time now. She didn’t know it yet, but it began to glow the same time that the tower appeared. She sat anxiously in the throne room as the Knights entered.
“Link! What did you find?”
“The town of Baru is in ruins. The survivors have built up a small tent city next to it.”
Nick added, “Your Highness, they need food and protection. We should send them anything we can right away.”
“Of course. Have the necessary food and soldiers ready as soon as possible,” Zelda ordered to a nearby guard. “Anything else?”
When it seemed that Link was going to say no more, Charles took it upon himself to tell her of the tower. “There is one more thing, Your Highness. There seems to be some sort of tower in the middle of Hyrule Field.”
“Yes. It is situated where Lon Lon Ranch used to be.”
“Used to be? You mean it’s gone?” Charles simply nodded his answer. Aaron chimed in.
“We should prepare for war, Your Highness. I could gather many men from Dellenia and have them brought here at your service.”
“Thank you, Aaron. William, Robert, can your countries offer the same support?”
“Without a doubt, Princess,” William responded.
“No questions asked. My men would fight for Hyrule as if it were their own country,” Robert said.
“Very well. Send for them at once, and then we will meet to discuss strategy.”
The foreign Knights left the room to make contact with their home countries, leaving just Zelda, Link, Nick, and Charles in the room. Link turned to Nick.
“Nick, I’m handing over control of the Hylian army to you.”
“I have seen this tower in my dreams and know that it is impenetrable.”
“Then how are we going to get through?”
“I’m going to go see the Great Deku Tree. He should be able to give us advice on how to get through it.”
“Then I will come with you!”
“No, I need someone with your skill back here in charge of the army. No one is better than you, Nick. Well, besides me, no one is better than you.” Even with danger looming, he still could joke around.
“Then I shall come with you,” Zelda stated.
“Zel, I can’t let you do that.”
“Oh, and why not? You’re going to need help in whatever you’re going to need to do.”
“Don’t but me! I’m going with you! Besides, having two Triforce parts together is better than one.”
Link could see that he wasn’t going to win this battle, so he let it go. “Alright, Zel, you can come along.” He turned to face Nick and Charles. “You two will be in charge when we’re gone. All actions will go through you, and nothing will be done without your permission.”
“Very will, Link. I will led the army into battle, although it won’t be the same without you there,” Nick conceded.
“Don’t worry, Nick. I have a feeling that I’ll be back in plenty of time to join in the fighting! Good luck, you two.”
“Thanks, we’ll need it! And good luck to you Link, Zelda. Do whatever it is you’ve got to do, then get back here double time!” exclaimed Charles.
“Thanks. Now, go get yourselves ready. I leave the strategy, and the fate of Hyrule in your hands.” The two friends walked out of the room, already thinking about what they were going to do. Now that they were gone, Zelda wanted to get more information out of Link.
“So why are we going to see the Great Deku Tree?”
“I don’t know, but a voice in my dreams told me to go to him.”
“A voice in your dreams?”
“Yeah. That’s not all it told me either. It also said to find the Amulets. What Amulets, I don’t yet know. Perhaps the Great Deku Tree will now.”
Zelda nodded. “Let’s rest for now and head out for the Kokiri Forest in the morning.”
By the time the full circle of the sun had risen into the sky, Link and Zelda were already on horseback, headed for the Kokiri Forest. For the first time, Zelda saw the tower and was taken back by its shear size. The sun shone eerily off the walls of the tower. It seemed as if some of the light was actually absorbed by the black substance. The route that they were going to take was not the most direct one, but they had no desire to come close to the menacing structure. In the distance to the west, they could see a large crowd of creatures making their way across Hyrule Field. Zelda only hoped that Hyrule’s allies would get here soon.
* * * *
Nick and the other Knights were trying to devise a strategy as fast as they could. Having control of the entire Hylian army was something that Nick had never done before, although he had longed dreamed of it. And in this case, he would also have control over the armies of Dellenia, Malaank, and Larosia.
“So,” Nick started, “When can we expect the reinforcements?” He looked in the direction of Aaron, William, and Robert.
“The forces of Malaank should be here within a day or two, depending on the seas,” William informed him.
“My fellow countrymen should be here by nightfall, for they are already on their way here,” Aaron said.
Robert looked at Nick and gave his response, “As you know, Larosia is the furthest away, so it will be a few days before they get here.”
Nick wasn’t thrilled with their responses, but he knew that there was no other choice. “Good enough, I guess. It’ll have to be. As for now, we will divide the Hylian army among us and take position right outside Hyrule Castle. I just pray that your men arrive soon.”
Just then, one of the Hylian soldiers ran into the room. “Sir, important message from the scouts!” He gave Nick a small piece of paper. After reading it, Nick turned to the others.
“An army of creatures has begun the trek to the tower. We must prepare ourselves for an attack. We will not attack them, we must defend the Castle until your men arrive.” He turned back to the soldier. “Alert the army of the possibility of attack at any time.” The soldier saluted him and left.
“Let’s just hope that Link and Zelda find what they are looking for before it’s too late.”
* * * *
By late afternoon, they had reached the entrance of the forest. The hollowed out tree trunk looked the same now as it had when Link began his first quest. They dismounted their horses, took their equipment, and entered the forest. Once inside, Link was at home once again with the familiar surroundings. Link went to the forest numerous times a year to visit with his old friends and the Great Deku Tree. He and Zelda were the only two outsiders welcomed into the forest, although Link was hardly an outsider.
Their arrival usually was met with a lot of happy Kokiri, but something was amiss this time. None of the children were outside, which was very strange. Usually the Kokiri would be out for as long as possible. To them, indoors was a boring place, its only purpose being a place to eat and sleep. The weather was extremely nice, which worried Link more. If the weather was good, and the sun in the sky, where were they?
“Hello?” he called out. Nothing, just the sound of the forest. Zelda tried her luck as well.
“Hello?” Still nothing responded. Curious, they made their way through the little village, and upon further inspection, they found that none of the Kokiri were in their homes, either. Zelda was obviously confused by the recent turn of events. Link turned to face her and immediately saw the look on her face, and smiled.
“Don’t worry. I know where they are.”
“How could you know? What if something terrible happened to them?” She was beginning to panic a little.
“They’re in no danger. Just follow me.” He gestured to her with his hand, and started to make his way through the village. She ran just enough to catch up with him, then slowed to his pace. He seemed confident of their whereabouts, but she still felt like there was something wrong. Then again, anything that didn’t make sense to her made her feel that way. She continued to follow him through the forest until they were about to pass through the other end of the village. She now knew where he was taking her, but in all the times she had been here, she never ventured this far. They walked down a small corridor of trees and stepped into the Great Deku Tree Meadow.
Zelda’s craned her neck upwards to see the top of the tree, but she sensed that something wasn’t right about it. She continued to stare at the topmost point of the tree, almost like she was waiting for something to happen. Link caught her stare and looked in the same direction. With a smile and a small laugh, he put his hand on the top of her head and tilted it down. At first, she was surprised. She had been lost in her staring that she never saw him move. She then realized why he was doing it. There before her was the Great Deku Tree Sprout, a lot smaller than its predecessor, but it had only been growing for ten years. Making a half-circle in front of it were the Kokiri, sitting cross-legged on the ground.
“Children, leave us for now,” commanded the Deku Tree. Without even a word, the Kokiri jumped up and ran past Link and Zelda, back into the village. “Link, Zelda, please sit.” They both walked closer to the tree and sat onto the ground in front of it.
“Hello, Deku Tree,” Link said cheerfully. He didn’t know why, but every time he talked with the Deku Tree, his spirits would rise.
“Hello, Link. I have been expecting you two. You are on a quest, am I right?”
“We don’t even know yet. The reason we came here was because Link’s dream told him to.” She looked at him with a face of disbelief, as if his dream was nonsense.
“That it did, and the dream told you something else, did it not?”
“Yes, yes it did. It told me to search for the Amulets,” Link recalled. “But what Amulets?”
“The Amulets of the Goddesses. With these three Amulets, you will be able to dissipate the magic barrier that surrounds Ganondorf’s tower.”
Zelda was surprised. “How did you know about Ganondorf’s tower?”
The Deku Tree let out a small laugh. “Princess, just because I’m rooted here does not mean that I can’t see the world beyond the forests.” Zelda seemed almost ashamed at her shallow thinking, but she never really knew that much about the Deku Tree.
“What are the Amulets?” Link asked, yearning to get on with the quest so he could get rid of Ganondorf again.
“The Amulets are ancient relics, made shortly after the Triforce took form. Ancient craftsmen formed the Amulets out of pure gold. They were beautifully crafted and were very valuable. The craftsmen offered them to the Goddesses and the Amulets were blessed with their essences. Great power became present in the Amulets, though not as nearly as powerful as the Triforce. The craftsmen couldn’t let an evil person possess the Amulets, so they hid them away in separate areas of what is now Hyrule.”
Link’s curiosity was awakened at the prospects of finding three ancient Amulets blessed by the Goddesses. “Do you know where they are?”
Zelda spoke, with a little bit of frustration in her voice, “What do you mean, vaguely?”
“I mean, Princess, that I know the general area where you two can find the Amulets, but their exact position, I am unsure of. Farore’s Bracer of Courage is located somewhere in the Lost Woods, Nayru’s Necklace of Wisdom lies underneath Lake Hylia, and Din’s Ring of Power lies in the depths of Death Mountain.”
Link stood up, and Zelda followed suit. “Thank you, Deku Tree.”
“Don’t thank me, Link. It is all I can do to help you rid this land of that evil man. Good luck!”
The two travelers walked back into the village, where all the Kokiri were back to their normal morning activities. Some were fishing, some playing, some cooking, while others were doing some hard labor. As they walked by each one, Link waved and smiled, and each time, they waved and smiled back. Some of them still couldn’t get used to the fact that this was the same Link that grew up in the forest, but one look into his eyes was all they needed to convince them. Finally, Link and Zelda came upon the entrance of the Lost Woods. As they stood there, Link only hoped that he remembered all the twists and turns of the Enchanted Forest, and hopefully, they would find the Amulet.
* * * *
“Sir, I would like to help out in any way I can.” Jacob had a look of revenge in his eyes.
“And I will gladly accept your offer,” Charles answered. “We sure need all the help we can get.”
“Well, Sir, John and myself would like to join the Hylian army and defend the land against the evil,” he requested back.
Charles balked for a moment upon hearing this. “But Jacob, John, you two are only sixteen. Surely there are other ways you are willing to help us?”
Jacob shook his head. “This is the only way we know how to avenge the deaths of our families, townspeople, and the destruction of our homes.”
“Please, let us do this,” John pleaded.
Charles thought about it, then called Nick over. “Nick, what do you think? They went to join the army and help us defeat Ganondorf’s forces.”
Nick’s initial response was no, but as he looked at the two teenaged boys standing in front of him, he could sense a real desire within them. Letting out an audible sigh, he said, “Yeah, alright. Seeing that it means so much to you. Charles, bring them to the armory and get them prepared for battle.”
“Right away, Nick.” Charles led the two boys down the hall and toward the armory. Nick stood there alone for a moment, but was soon joined by Aaron.
“Something bothering you, Nick?”
He sighed again. “It just seems that today’s youth are too eager to arm themselves and fight.” Aaron nodded. “They shouldn’t be exposed to this. I always felt that the fathers should protect their sons by way of battle, not the other way around.”
“It seems as if many young boys are taking up fighting now, more than ever. They try to compare themselves to Link. He was only ten when he went out to save the world, and they feel they can do the same.” Aaron’s explanation made some sense to Nick, but he was still uncomfortable with the idea of sending them off to war, possibly death. “I’m sure they’ll be fine.”
“I pray that you’re right, my friend. I pray that you’re right.”
* * * *
They made their way through the Lost Woods, rarely coming across an enemy or a dead end. Link feared getting lost in the Woods, but something told him that they were headed in the right direction. A short while ago, Zelda had spotted a strange green glow coming from deeper in the Woods. Since that time, they had tried to approach the light, which seemed to bend around trees and corners of the forest. They had made steady progress, and the light was becoming larger and larger.
They were in an area of the Woods that Link had never traveled. In fact, shortly after leaving the Kokiri Forest, he discovered that the part of the Lost Woods he was familiar with was just a fraction of the whole. This new region seemed even more dangerous to him, as each meadow and break in the trees seemed to be exactly the same. They were very lucky that Zelda had spotted the light, otherwise, they may have never gotten this far. He turned the corner down another path and suddenly found himself surrounded by the green light. The brightness caught up on them so quickly that they were momentarily blind.
“Link? Link, where are you?”
“I’m right here,” he replied as he swung his arm wildly behind him, trying to find Zelda. “Grab on to my hand!” Upon hearing this, Zelda began to swing her arm blindly. By fate, or just pure luck, their arms contacted and they quickly grabbed a hold of each other’s hand. The light was still blinding, and they continued to stand in place, afraid to move.
Slowly, the light died down and they could see again. They were in another meadow, but this one was more beautiful than the rest. The trees surrounding the small meadow were almost perfect in every way. Their bark was a perfect brown, their leaves beautifully green. Along the edges of the meadow seemed to be some sort of garden. How it got there and who kept it in shape was a complete mystery to them. The flowers gave off an array of many colors, from purple to red, yellow to orange. But what caught their attention the most was the object standing in the exact middle of the meadow. It was a shrine of some kind, small, yet beautiful. The base of it was a white, cylindrical column with groves along its side. On top of the column stood what appeared to be a fairy, also completely white. As they moved closer to the statue, they could feel the power coming from it. The fairy’s hands were stretched above its head, holding the Amulet. The golden bracer seemed to glow on its own. Set in the bracer was a green stone. The stone was unfamiliar to both Link and Zelda. It didn’t seem like it was of this world, rather that the Goddesses created it just for this purpose. Standing next to the statue, Link slowly raised his hands and grabbed a hold of the bracer. He could feel the power of it through his hands and realized that this was why no evil person could be allowed to obtain it. He was lost in the beauty of the object when he heard a faint rumbling. He stepped back from the statue just as it collapsed onto the ground. They stared at the remains of the statue, wondering what was going on. They turned toward each other when they heard another noise: the howling of six large Wolfos. The Wolfos encircled the Hero and the Princess and snarled threateningly at them. Link placed the Amulet into his satchel and drew the Master Sword.
The first Wolfos made a jump for Link, but he smoothly stepped aside from the attack and scored a hit across the beast’s side. Infuriated, the Wolfos ran at him again, this time making no mistake as it landed on top of Link, his shield protecting his face from the Wolfos’ sharp teeth. Zelda quickly notched an arrow and aimed at the heart of the large beast and let the arrow fly. The arrow hit true, and the Wolfos howled in pain before becoming limp and falling off of Link. The Hero jumped up and smiled at his wife, then turned to face the next attacker. This time, two Wolfos attacked him at once, and Zelda once again notched an arrow. But before she could fire, a third Wolfos jumped onto her back, pinning her to the ground. Link was completely unaware that Zelda was on the ground as he was defending himself.
Lying there, Zelda could feel the hot breath of the Wolfos on the back of her neck and she cringed with disgust. Calling upon the magic of the Triforce, she let loose a magic attack that hurled the Wolfos from her back, slamming it into a tree, killing it instantly. The two remaining Wolfos attacked her.
Link was still desperately trying to defend himself against the two attacking monsters. After battling for a few minutes, he decided on a course of action. As one of the Wolfos leaped forward at him, he swung with his shield arm. The shield caught the Wolfos squarely in the face, causing it to run back from its prey. It stood stunned about ten feet away, but Link had his sights set on the other Wolfos. Almost instantly, the second Wolfos jumped at him, teeth ready to tear his skin from his bones. He performed a front flip over it and landed directly behind it. Without a moment of hesitation, Link brought the Master Sword down on the still confused Wolfos, breaking its neck. The beast fell without a sound. The remaining Wolfos was no longer stunned and attacked Link from behind. The claws of the beast tore four gashes into his back. Although not fatal, the injury was very painful, causing Link to stagger some. The Wolfos made another leap at Link, but he jumped out of the way in time. As he tried to circle around the monster, Link’s foot got tangled up with some underbrush, and he fell flat on his back, the pain increasing to the point of agony. The Wolfos turned in its tracks and stared at its fallen prey. Confidently, the beast jumped into the air once again, ready to sink its teeth into Link. Reacting on instincts, Link raised his sword into the air, impaling the large creature as it was coming down on him. The two enemies sat there, face-to-snout, and Link could see the fear in its eyes. Finally, the Wolfos stopped breathing and Link pushed it off.
Zelda used her magic to defend herself from her attackers, but she couldn’t find the time she needed to cast an attack spell again. The two Wolfos were taking turns jumping at her, wearing her down so that they could finish her off. Though stupid, these creatures knew some tactics of their own, and this one was working. Steadily, her magic was draining and she was becoming very exhausted as the battle went on. She wasn’t sure how much more of the beating she could take before her defenses were worn out and she was thrown at the mercy of the two beasts. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw movement and knew that it was Link. He had taken out his bow and aimed a fire arrow at one of the beasts. He let the arrow fly and it hit the unsuspected Wolfos right in the face. Its fur immediately caught on fire as it tried to free itself of the intense pain. Finally, the creature slumped over onto its side, flesh and fur still burning. The beast breathed its last. The lone remaining Wolfos turned on Link and prepared to take out its new enemy. It hesitated slightly, as if it wasn’t sure if it should leave Zelda there. The beast’s hesitation was all Zelda needed to draw another magic attack. Before the Wolfos could get to Link, it was sent flying into a tree, stunned. Still alive, it got back up and headed for Zelda. She didn’t wait for it to come down on her, instead she attacked it as it ran at her. The second wave of magic hit the Wolfos, so powerful that it actually disintegrated it on the spot.
Zelda fell to her knees, exhausted from battle. She wasn’t used to it like Link was, but she felt that she fared quite well. Link walked over to her and laid down beside her.
“Yeah. Just need to rest for awhile,” she said, breathing hard at the same time. He simply nodded and they both relaxed on the ground of the meadow.
They woke up some few hours later, still on the ground of the ancient meadow. Link stood up first, stretching as he did, and wincing in pain from the wounds on his back. Zelda sat up on the ground, still basking in the warm sun. Link held his hand out and she took it. Quickly, but carefully, he pulled her up. They stood there for a few more minutes, reflecting back on the battle they had fought. It was Zelda’s first real taste of battle, and although she still didn’t like it, she knew she could handle it. Link, of course, had been in numerous battles before, and this one was not that different. Whenever he fought any beast of Ganondorf’s creation, he felt nothing for it, killing it in cold-blood. He wasn’t particularly proud of that fact, but it had to be done.
“So where do we go next?” Zelda inquired, finally breaking the silence.
“We could either go to Death Mountain or Lake Hylia,” he responded as he reached into his pack for the Bracer of Courage.
“Well, I would much rather go to Lake Hylia than to Death Mountain.”
“That’s fine with me. We can take the short cut to Zora’s Domain, then head to Lake Hylia from there.” He placed the Bracer onto his wrist, a sense of power washing over him. At first it sent shivers down his spine, but then it became just a slight tingling. He seemed to enjoy the sensation and smiled at Zelda. “I can’t wait to see what I can do now!”
Zelda marveled at the beautiful Amulet sitting on his wrist. Once he put it one, the strange green light had glowed again, but not nearly as bright as it was when they entered the meadow. The light began to die down again and she released her gaze.
“Let’s go then!” She grabbed his arm and pulled him back through the Lost Woods.
* * * *
As the sun peeked over the horizon the next morning, almost all of the army of Dellenia had arrived at Hyrule Castle. The Hylian army had already been split up into divisions, most surrounding the town, while others were sent to protect the remaining towns from a surprise attack.
“My men are here, Nick,” Aaron informed him as soon as he spotted Nick. “Should we split them up like the Hylian army?”
“Yes, split them up, but don’t mix them with the Hylians. Your men know how to work well together, as do our men. But who knows how they will do fighting side by side? Instead, your men will cover the right flank of the town. Go there and instruct the Hylian men to fortify the left flank and the middle lines.”
“Good idea. What do we do when the other armies show up?”
“We may have to use them as a second wave. But it won’t come down to that.” Nick tried to convince his friend, but was having a hard time convincing himself. The armies of Ganondorf were sure to be large and deadly. He walked over to the window and looked out across Hyrule Field. Standing in front of the evil tower were swarms of creatures, all facing toward the north – toward Hyrule Castle. Nick knew the time had come.
* * * *
The water reflected the sun’s rays back into the sky, its small waves crashing onto the shore. All was peaceful at Lake Hylia. It had been left undisturbed for the past ten years, ever since it had been refilled by the Hero. Even now, with a war brewing in the fields that were northeast of it, the lake was still. Schools of fish were swimming freely through the water as they had done for many years. On one side of the lake, at the bottom of its shallow area was an opening. It was through this opening that Link and Zelda appeared. They swam to the surface, and once they broke the water, they gasped for air. They swam to shore and pulled themselves onto land.
“Ok,” Zelda started as she began to wring her clothes, “now where do we go?”
Link thought about it. The Deku Tree had said something about underneath the lake. But how? He knew there were no passages on the bottom of the lake except for the Water Temple. That was for sure, he had checked quite extensively.
“I’m not sure.” He looked across the water, his eyes falling on the island in the middle of the lake that represented the Water Temple. “Let’s go over there.”
They walked across the first wooden bridge and came upon a small island, just big enough for a stone marker. Link remembered that he had been able to pull the marker from its place and jump down into a secret chamber. But all that had been there was a deku shrub selling something. Without giving it a second thought, they continued across the second bridge to the bigger island.
Once there, they found another stone marker, this one with an inscription on it. Zelda had never seen it before and kneeled beside it to read what it said. Link already knew what the inscription read. It was how he got the fire arrow during his quest: when the lake is full, shoot an arrow into the rising sun. He had done just that and was promptly rewarded. Zelda read it out loud.
“Enter the earth and you shall find,
a treasure worthy of wisdom’s mind.”
Link was very confused. Had not that been the same stone marker he saw ten years ago? He walked up to, standing almost directly on top of it. It indeed was the same stone, but the inscription was changed. How in the world did that happen? He glanced from the marker to the island where he got the fire arrow, then back at the marker.
“I think I know where we go.”
Zelda looked up at him, shielding her eyes from the sun with her hand. “Where?”
He didn’t say a word, just pointed. She followed his outstretched finger and saw the solitary island. She didn’t see any bridge that led across to it.
“And how do we get there, o wise one?” she asked with a sarcastic tone in her voice.
He answered matter-of-factly, “Swim.”
Before she could even move, he had already dived into the water. She let out a sigh, not wanting to go back in the cold water. Reluctantly, she jumped in and swam after him. The swim took them a few minutes, and they were both quite exhausted when they got back on dry land. Although they had wanted to rest, both knew that they had to recover the other two Amulets quickly, else Hyrule should fall into Ganondorf’s evil hands.
“Get back in the water,” Link said to her.
“What? Why?” He answered this question by pulling out a bomb and lighting it. She soon got the picture and quickly jumped back into the water, just ahead of Link. They dove under the water to protect themselves from the explosion. When they heard the muffled sounds of the bomb going off, they resurfaced and climbed back onto land. There, in the middle of the small island, was now a hole large enough for them to jump down. Link casually walked up to it and jumped through, without so much as a hesitation. Zelda jumped after him and disappeared into the depth of the darkness.
* * * *
On the fields of Hyrule, two forces were set to wage battle on one another. One force of men of the highest honor, from this land and the next. The other consisted of vile creatures, those of the likes of Moblins, Dinolfos, Stalfos, and many others. In the setting sun, the armor and weapons of both shined brightly, and from above was a beautiful sight. But for the men down on the field, the sight meant only death. Both sides would fight for what they believed in, whether they were forced to or not. When the battle begins, it would be a hellish scene. But for now, the two opposing sides just stared at each other, trying to intimidate their enemies.
In front of the army of men, stood their leaders on top of their horses. Aaron was in charge of the right flank and was thus on the right side, William was in charge of the left. Nick led the army in the direct middle, with Charles to his right and Robert to his left. Behind them, on hills or anything that gave them more height, stood the archers, bows poised and ready. They all stood silent, waiting for the enemy to attack. They would take a defensive position for now, until at least some more troops arrived from Malaank and Larosia. Nick sensed the attack would begin shortly, so he held his sword high above his head. At that sight, all the men readied themselves for the signal. Away in the distance could be seen the first movements of the army of creatures. Their front lines slowly began to pick up speed and close the gap between the two sides. Nick waited a few more seconds.
“Charge!” he yelled as loud as he could, and at the same time pointing his sword forward at the oncoming enemy. Legions of soldiers began running, line by line, until all the foot soldiers and cavalry were running full speed. The archers held back, waiting for the enemy to come closer, so they could have a better shot. Somewhere near what could be called the “center” of the battlefield, the two armies met, sword to sword, spear to shield. The battle was extremely fast paced and many fell, men and creatures. Most of the men battled the Moblins, while the cavalry attacked the Lizalfos, Dinolfos, and some of the Stalfos.
About fifteen minutes after the battle had begun, the fields were littered with bodies and pools of blood began to form on the open fields. During the battle, no one noticed the oncoming, unnatural storm clouds. They became quite aware, though, when the rain began to come down in sheets of water. Lightning crashed into a tree not far from where some archers were firing upon the army of creatures. The blast killed three men in the direct vicinity of the tree. The remaining archers in the area became slightly confused, not knowing what had happened to the men behind them. The short amount of time that lapsed from their hesitation allowed the opposing army to gain some more ground on the Hylians and Dellenians.
Nick saw the danger that was about to strike his army. If some of the Moblins or Stalfos broke through their lines, they would be quickly surrounded and would stand no chance against the onslaught. Again, he raised his sword in the air, and ordered the retreat. The men complied thankfully, and turned back toward the Castle. Soon, almost all of the remaining men were out of harm’s way and turned to form a new line of defense. Their enemies were charging at them in a disorderly way, trying to route the men as far as they could. But the defense of the Hylians and Dellenians was too much for the creatures to overcome, and they were soon sent back themselves.
On Nick’s command, the army walked forward once again, this time remaining in formation. Their enemies still running, they were easily able to advance on the tower. Fearing that another frontal assault at this time would be deadly, and perhaps destroy their chances of victory, Nick ordered the army to stop where they were and to take defensive positions. He would wait.
Soon after halting, the five leaders of the men meet at the center of the army.
“So what now, Nick?” Aaron asked.
“We stay here for now.”
“What? Why don’t we just run them back further and completely wipe them out?” Charles was intent on killing each and every last one of them.
“Because, Charles, we don’t have enough men to do that right now,” he coolly responded. “We must wait for reinforcements before we begin our own attack.”
“I agree with Nick,” Robert added. “Besides, it shouldn’t be too long for the reinforcements to arrive. My men will be here by late tomorrow.”
“And mine will be here by dawn. We shall not have to wait long for them. I say we assign watches and let the men rest, one legion at a time.” William’s suggestion made perfectly good sense to Nick.
“Sounds like a good plan to me. If they attack, we should be able to repel them one more time before our lines break. Let’s just hope that your men get here before that happens.” They all showed their agreement with nods and slight murmurs, after which, each leading officer headed back to their respective commands.
* * * *
After falling through the hole in the ground, Link and Zelda had wandered around the underground caverns unsuccessfully for some time. It seemed like one giant maze, one which had them walking in circles over and over again. The cavern was only lit by dim torches that hung from the walls. Link and Zelda had each taken one from its resting place, trying to use the small amount of light. Somewhere off in the distance, Link swore he could here water, and he was desperately trying to find a way to it.
“This way,” he called back to Zelda. She was almost on top of him, fearing that if she fell even a few feet behind him, she would be lost in the maze. She gave a slight nod, even though she knew he couldn’t see it. Holding onto her hand, Link walked down the corridor on the left.
Almost immediately, he knew that they had never been down this way before. The sound of water was slightly louder, and the smell of the saltiness of the water hung in the air. Slowly, they made their way down the narrow corridor. Upon reaching the end of it, they noticed two more corridors, one going right, the other left.
“Ok, which way now?” Link though out loud. He began to turn left again, but was pulled back by Zelda.
“I think we should go right.”
“I don’t know. I just feel like we should go that way.” Link looked down the corridor on the right, then down the one on the left. Both seemed exactly the same to him. He looked into her face with an expression of doubt.
“Please? I have a good feeling about it,” she pleaded with him. He looked down the two corridors again, and decided that if she had a feeling about this way, then it was worth a shot. He nodded his approval and they began down the corridor.
They slowly came to the end of the corridor. But instead of just a wall in front of them, a pool of water covered the area from their feet to the wall. Zelda was visibly disappointed for having brought them in the wrong direction. Link turned to console her, but before he could do a thing, two Octoroks jumped out of the water in front of them. Reacting quickly, Link grabbed Zelda, pulled her close, and used his shield to protect them. This isn’t too bad, he thought. Maybe we are on the right track after all. He was drawn from his thoughts by Zelda’s scream. At first, he feared that one of the rocks had hit her, but he soon saw what she was afraid of. Behind them, fangs ready to attack, stood five Deelers. Of course!
He withdrew his arm from his shield and handed it to Zelda. “Hold on to this and try to deflect the rocks back at them!” he instructed her as he pulled out the Master Sword.
“What are you going to do?”
He looked back with a smile, “I’m going to have a friendly chat with the Deelers. Be back soon.” He ran straight at the spider-like creatures, choosing to kill the one in front first. He came at it with such amazing speed that the Deeler never knew what happened. Link swung down through its body, easily slicing it in half. He whirled around in place, now facing the one to his right. With a forward thrust, he sent the creature back several feet, but it came right back at him. He was prepared for it and when it came close enough, he did a horizontal swing, his sword tearing through the Deeler’s head. What he wasn’t prepared for, though, was the sudden attack of another Deeler from behind him. He slid across the ground and jumped back up, almost in one fluid motion. Realizing that he was now surrounded by the three remaining Deelers, he tried to think of a way out. Remembering one of his stronger techniques, he kneeled down on one knee with his sword pointed behind him. It began to glow by itself, and when it was fully charged, he released a circular attack of magic. The blue wave caught each Deeler and promptly killed it. Link breathed hard after his successful attack and he thought about resting then and there, but he remembered Zelda’s situation. He turned to help her, but when he did, he saw her direct a rock directly back at the final Octorok.
“Impressive, my love,” he said as he took his shield back.
“Thanks,” was her only reply. Appearing right next to the pool of water was a treasure chest. Link was eager to find out what was inside it. I hope it’s a new weapon! He walked up to the wooden box and lifted the lid. Reaching into the chest with eager anticipation, he felt their reward. To his disappointment, the prize was nothing more than a Zora’s Tunic.
“Damn! I already have one of these!”
“Yeah, but I don’t!” Zelda was pleased with the prize as she took it from Link’s hands. “Besides, I think it’s a clue.”
“How so?” He didn’t think that she could ever outsmart him. I’ve solved more puzzles than she’ll ever see!
“I think we go underwater and swim past that wall,” she said as she pointed to the pool of water. His heart sank in his chest as he realized that she was absolutely right. That was the reason the tunic was there. Why didn’t I think of that? Upset with himself, he reached into his pack for his own Zora Tunic and proceeded to put it on.
Zelda made the move to remove her top clothing to put the tunic on and Link politely turned around. She looked at him with a puzzled face.
“What the hell are you doing?”
“Um… averting my eyes, Zel.”
“Why? I mean, it’s not like you’ve never seen me naked before. We are married.”
He smiled to himself. Even after all those years, he still kept his modesty about seeing her naked. He had no clue why, but he just did. She found it cute. Finally, she was dressed and ready to go. They walked up to the edge of the pool and jumped in. The water was cool and clear. Quickly, they dove down into the depths of the water and swam forward to where the wall was located. As she suspected, there was a large opening in the wall for them to swim through. Once on the other side of the wall, they noticed that the water seemed to be illuminated by something. They looked up and saw the surface of the water, and possibly the source of the glow. Running out of air, they swam to the top as fast as they could. They resurfaced, breathing heavily, and swam over to the bank of the small interior lake. Link climbed out first and stopped dead in his tracks as his eyes came upon the object sitting at the other end of the small room. He continued to stare at it even as Zelda stepped up beside him. She, too, was staring intently at the glowing object, almost in a trance.
“We’ve found it!” Zelda was delighted and relieved upon seeing the Necklace of Wisdom. But something seemed strange about the immediate surroundings of the Amulet. The light-blue glow seemed to form some sort of wall around it and she wondered if anyone could get through it. “I don’t like the looks of that barrier around it,” she said to Link.
He was still lost in the glow of the Amulet, not fully hearing what Zelda had said. He had seen the barrier around it, but he couldn’t find any reason that they should fear it. Surely it was placed there to thwart evil ones from acquiring it, but not the Hero of Time. He slowly approached the barrier.
Leaving him in his almost hypnotic state, Zelda began to search around the walls of the dimly lit room. Along one surface, she caught a glimpse of some writing carved into the stone itself. Leaning in for a closer look, she could see that the message was a warning to anyone who came for the Amulet.
ONLY ONE CAN PASS THE BARRIER, THE ONE WHOSE MIND IS WISE,
IF ANOTHER TRIES TO CROSS IT, IT WILL LEAD TO THEIR DEMISE.
She didn’t like the sound of those words. She looked toward the barrier and saw Link within several feet of it. He continued to walk ever closer to it, getting ready to break through.
“Link! No!” She ran as fast as she could at him, but he never even acknowledged that he had heard her. Desperate, Zelda reached out with her hand, trying to grab a hold of her husband before it was too late. She felt the fabric of his tunic in her hand, and pulled back as hard as she could. The sudden jolt caused Link to fall backwards, as well as Zelda. Both landed hard on the ground with a slight moan of pain.
“What the hell was that for?” He was almost to the point of yelling at her.
“You were almost killed!”
“I was getting the Amulet! There was no harm in that!”
She didn’t respond to his remark with an answer, but she did with an action. Nearby lay a small rock which she reached for and picked up. Watching her curiously, Link tried to figure out what she was planning to do. She stood up and faced the barrier.
“Watch,” she said as she tossed the stone at the barrier. Link’s eyes widened as the stone hit the barrier, instantly disintegrating into nothing.
“My Goddess! That was almost me!”
“I know. Only I can walk through.”
“And how, pray tell, do you know that?” She grabbed his hand and led him over to the inscription. Upon reading it, Link understood fully the situation that presented itself. Of course! Zelda has the Triforce of Wisdom, so only she can cross the barrier! I’ve been such a fool thinking that I could do everything! He nodded to Zelda.
She walked cautiously toward the barrier, still unsure if she was the one that could cross it. There’s only one way to find out, she thought as she neared it. She turned her upper body to look at Link one last time before crossing the barrier. She gave a faint smile of confidence, then turned to face the barrier once more. Taking in one last breath, she stepped forward.
As she walked through the barrier with her eyes closed, Link looked on in worried anticipation. He was astonished when the barrier seemed to suddenly disappear, just as Zelda walked through it. The room was no longer filled with the eerie glow of the Amulet. Zelda kept her eyes closed and stopped where she was.
“Link? Did I get through?”
“Yes you did. You can go get the Amulet now. Don’t worry, it’s over. Just grab it.”
She nodded slightly and moved next to the small alcove that held the Amulet. She reached out and grabbed the necklace by the chain, all the while gazing intently at the unfamiliar blue stone set in the charm. Slowly, she lifted her hands over her head, and placed the necklace on herself. There was a slight tingling sensation throughout her body. After it receded, she let out her breath and walked back to Link.
“Got it. Now we just need one more,” she said as he embraced her. “I hope we can succeed.”
“It’s not us I’m worried about,” he replied as he let go of her, “I just hope that the rest are able to hold off Ganondorf’s army long enough for us to matter.”
“I’m sure they will. We do have the best army in all of Hyrule!”
He sighed slightly and as she hugged him once more, he said under his breath, “I just hope that’s enough.”
Morning came to Hyrule Field without incident. Both sides were rethinking strategy and resting their tired forces. Off in the distance, a lone horse carrying a rider could be seen heading toward the Hylian camp. Nick stepped out of his tent and waited for the messenger.
“Do you think our reinforcements have arrived?” Charles asked Nick.
“Possibly. But there’s also a chance that the enemy has received reinforcements. In that case, may the Goddesses have mercy on us all.”
The rider approached swiftly. As soon as he came upon Nick, he dismounted and saluted.
“Sir Nick, urgent message from the Castle.” The messenger held out a piece of parchment. Nick took it from his hand and began to read it.
“The army of Malaank has arrived at the Castle and will be here soon. We shall ready our forces at once for an attack. You are dismissed.” The messenger saluted one last time before mounting and returning to the Castle.
“We attack in two hours,” Nick informed Charles, “Get the others ready.”
* * * *
They awoke on one of the hard floors of Goron City. After obtaining the Necklace of Wisdom, they had taken the shortcuts to arrive in Goron City in a few hours. Exhausted from their adventure, they had fallen asleep almost as soon as they got there. Link yawned and stood up.
“Good morning, Zel,” he said as he gave her a quick kiss.
“Morning,” she simply replied. “What do we do now?”
“We’re going to have to get you a Goron Tunic so that you can be protected from the heat in Death Mountain. We need to go see Darunia.” He reached down and helped his wife up onto her feet. After some stretching, they headed down the stairs to Darunia’s Chamber. Most of the Goron were still asleep on the city floors, but Darunia would be up. His door was open and the two walked in.
“Darunia?” Link called out. “Darunia, are you there?”
“Yes, Brother, I am here!” the big Goron answered. When Link approached and was standing in front of him, Darunia gave the Hylian two pounds on the shoulder.
“Ah! Darunia! I told you to stop that! It hurts!”
“Oh, sorry Brother. What brings you here? Is it that tower?”
“Yeah, we need to find one more Amulet of the Goddesses before we can destroy the barrier that’s protecting it. But first, we need another Goron Tunic, for Zel.”
Darunia glanced over at Zelda and looked her up and down. Slightly embarrassed by the sudden attention from the Sage of Fire, Zelda looked away.
“We should have something that would fit her. Follow me, Princess.” He headed out of his room, Zelda not far behind him.
Link quickly changed into his Goron Tunic and took the liberty of sitting in Darunia’s chair. He didn’t think that the big guy would mind it. He was his sworn Brother, after all. As he sat there waiting for Zelda to get back, he began to drift off. Before he knew it, he was fast asleep.
He walked through the tower with ease, battling various enemies on his way to the top. He didn’t know where his friends were, or even Zelda, but he knew what he had to do. At the top was sure to be Ganondorf. He would kill the Evil King once and for all. He steadily climbed the stairs to the final room and opened the door. He had to take a step back as he saw the horror in front of him. Everyone he ever loved or cared for, was hanging on the wall, prisoners of Ganondorf. In the middle of it all stood the Gerudo, ready for battle with the Hero. He stood still as the Hero charged toward him, Master Sword out in front. Just as he got there, the Gerudo stepped aside and out of reach of his foe. The Hero turned around in time to see the evil man’s sword pierce through his chest. A look of shock fell upon his face as he fell to his knees, sword still in his chest. He fell over backwards, looking up toward the ceiling, disappointed in himself. As the world became dark, he could hear Zelda’s cries. “Link! Link! Link…”
“Link!” The Princess was shaking him awake. “Link! Wake up! Link!”
“You fell asleep. Come on, get up. We need to get going!” She helped him to his feet.
“Oh, ok. Sorry, must’ve dozed off there. I’m fine now, though.”
“You sure, Brother?”
“Of course I’m sure. But now we have to go. Thank you, Darunia,” he smiled as he waved goodbye to the Goron.
“Good luck, Brother! Come back in one piece!”
Link and Zelda walked through the passageway in the back of Darunia’s Chamber into the Death Mountain Crater. He had forgotten how hot it was in there, but he was immediately thankful for the Goron Tunic. Even with it on, he was sweating. He looked over at Zelda, who seemed to be in the same level of discomfort as himself.
“You alright, Zel?”
“Yeah, I’m fine. It’s just really hot in here.”
“Tell me about it. Let’s just try to find the Ring of Power quickly and get the hell out of here.” She nodded. “We head over that way, toward the Fire Temple,” he said as he pointed across the broken bridge. They walked up to the ledge and Link pulled out his hookshot. Grabbing a hold of Zelda around the waist, he fired it at the wood over the remaining bridge. Safely across, they headed for the entrance to the Fire Temple. But as they got to the ladder that goes down to the entrance, they realized that it was blocked up.
“Darunia must’ve done that. I don’t know why. Maybe to stop intruders?” Zelda didn’t respond to the question. She just stared at the sealed opening, wondering where they needed to go to find the Amulet.
“There must be a secret entrance somewhere around here. What do you think, Link?”
“Well, neither of the other two Amulets were actually in the Temple, but nearby them. So maybe…”
“Maybe? Maybe what?” She looked at Link quizzically, wondering as to what he was getting at. He pulled out the Master Sword and began hitting it against each section of wall.
“What are you doing?”
“Checking for a false wall, what else?” He continued to hit each section, getting nothing except a solid sound. Finally, he hit a wall that sounded different from the rest, almost hollow. Making sure he heard it correctly, he hit it again. The same hollow sound could be heard. He pulled out a bomb, placed it next to the wall, and stepped back. The bomb exploded, bringing the wall down with it. Beyond the new entrance lay another ladder. He slowly walked up to it and glanced down.
“It’s a long way down, Zel. Much longer than the one for the Temple.”
“It’ll take more than that to stop us. We need to find that Amulet.”
Link smiled at his wife’s courageousness. He couldn’t help but think once again that he was the luckiest guy in the world. Still delighted by his wife, he stepped onto the ladder and began the journey downward. Zelda soon followed.
* * * *
Jacob and John stood near the front of the Hylian army. They had survived the first skirmish in the Fields, but the oncoming battle looked to be more deadly than the last. The army of men had nearly doubled with the arrival of the army from Malaank. But it seemed that the opposition’s numbers had risen quite a bit as well. The two armies faced each other in the light of day, the sun high above in its noon position.
“How you doing, Jacob? Holding up?”
“Yeah, John. But I have a bad feeling about this.”
“Join the club. I’ve had nothing but bad thoughts and fear. Let’s just get this over with and go home.”
The two teenagers spoke no more and readied themselves for the inevitable. The silence of the fields was remarkable considering the amount of people, and creatures, that were currently on it. All heads turned toward the enemy when Sir Nick shouted out orders to prepare. Each man had a look of determination, mixed with fear. As Nick gave the final order, they charged as fast as they could toward the tower.
* * * *
Link was relieved when his foot finally came into contact with a hard floor. They had been climbing down that ladder for the last five minutes. He let go of the rungs and stepped back, allowing Zelda to finish the descent.
He could feel the intense heat of the place already, even with the Goron Tunic on. They were in a large, empty room, lit by the glow of lava far below. The room consisted of one walkway about 10 feet wide, suspended over the lava. At the far end of the room was a door with iron bars over it. Link had seen plenty of these doors throughout his previous quest and knew that there must be some puzzle to solve, or some giant creature to beat. He prayed for a puzzle.
Zelda joined him at the start of the mysterious bridge. It seemed like it was just floating there; he couldn’t find any supports for it at all. He turned to face Zelda and saw that she was just as confused as he was.
“Link… what’s holding this up?”
“I have no idea, Zel. But we need that Amulet, so we must try to cross. I hope it’s strong.”
Carefully, he lifted one foot into the air and closed his eyes. Zelda looked on with a sense of fear. Fear that her beloved husband, the Hero of Time, would plummet to his death if the bridge gave way. Unable to take it anymore, she turned away from him and covered her eyes. Link slowly lurched forward until his foot fell onto the bridge. He let out a laugh of relief when the bridge held its ground. Hearing this, Zelda whirled around with a big smile across her face. She joined him once again and they began to walk across the mysterious bridge.
Halfway across the bridge, they both stopped dead in their tracks. From the depths below, they could hear a horrible sound, though they couldn’t place their fingers on it. The sound seemed all too familiar to Link, yet he still couldn’t quite remember. The sound grew louder and louder in the large room and Link forced himself to look down into the depths. He swore he could see the lava moving in waves, but he had no clue what the source could be. Zelda moved beside him, also gazing down. The lava remained still for a minute or so and Link had given up on it. As he turned to make his way to the door, Zelda screamed.
“What? What is it?” He grabbed her by the shoulders and looked her straight in the face. Unable to say a word, Zelda simply pointed down in the direction of the pool of lava below. Quickly, he laid his body on the bridge once more and peered over the edge. At first, there was nothing, just like he thought. When he was about to get up, something caught his eye. A tail, he thought. Oh no…
He jumped up just in time as a large dragon leaped from the lava in their direction. It flew steadily upwards, right toward the middle of the mysterious bridge. The dragon came crashing through it, sending Link and Zelda in opposite directions. Link landed with a thud near the ladder they had come down, while Zelda landed next to the door. The middle of the bridge was completely gone, shattered by the dragon. It flew around the top of the room, breathing fire at its two victims. Link threw his shield up in the way of the flames, saving himself from a fiery death. Zelda had placed a protective barrier around herself, deflected all the flames in every direction.
It all came back to Link: his fight with Volvagia and the Megaton Hammer. I wish I had it right now! he thought, but it was much to heavy for him to drag around if he wasn’t even sure he was going to need it. Hindsight is both a blessing and a curse.
The dragon continued its onslaughts of the two heroes. Its flames were hotter than the rest of the room, guaranteeing that its meals would be well cooked. Desperately, Link tried to come up with a plan. One hit him and he reached for his bow… then realized that Zelda had it.
“Zel!” he yelled over the loudness of the dragon, “Use the bow and arrows!”
Faintly, he could hear her respond from across the way. “Now what?”
“Shoot!” He saw her place an arrow onto the bow and release. The arrow flew true and hit the dragon square in its chest and stuck in. The dragon didn’t even flinch. She reached into the quiver and fired several more arrows with the same effect. Link could feel the room becoming hotter and realized that if they didn’t stop this dragon soon, they would be killed by the heat alone. Heat… too hot… need something cold… cold…COLD!
“Use the Ice Arrows!” he yelled across to her. He didn’t get a response back, but soon he could see the cool blue glow of the Ice Arrows. She let one go, and it too hit the dragon on the mark. The dragon staggered some under the pain of the cold Ice Arrow. Its path became lower, closer to the bridge, closer to Link.
“Keep firing!” And she did, and each time the dragon was hit, its height above them fell. It also began to move closer to Link, fearing Zelda and the Ice Arrows. Cold, blue spots could be seen on the dragon around the arrows. It shot out its flames less often, trying to take a defensive position instead. Link moved slowly toward the edge of the bridge and drew out the Master Sword. He stood there, waiting for the dragon to get close enough. Waiting… waiting… When the dragon was within reach, he held the Sword high in the air and brought the blade down on the dragon’s head, instantly beheading it. The carcass of the dragon fell back into the lava below and was consumed by it. The iron bars on the door rose up.
Link and Zelda both nearly fell over in exhaustion, but realizing that their goal was behind the door, they fought it off. Link tried to figure out a way to get across the gap in the middle of the bridge and soon found what he needed. On the far wall, next to the door, was a single tall torch. Link didn’t know why a torch would even be in here, but he also didn’t care. He aimed his hookshot at it and was pulled over the gap and landed next to Zelda.
“Shall we?” He held out his arm as if they were prepared to go out on the dance floor.
“I would be delighted,” she replied, placing her arm in his. They walked over to the door and walked through.
This room was significantly smaller than the last, but was well lit. In the center of the room was the object that they had come for: the final Amulet of the Goddesses. Din’s Ring of Power radiated its reddish light over the entire room. Knowing that one could not hold Power without having Wisdom, Link stopped and let Zelda approach the pedestal.
She lifted the Ring from the pedestal and looked in wonder at it. It too was made of the purest gold they had ever seen, and the gem in the middle of it seemed to be of another world. Its beauty, and the beauty of the other two Amulets, could only be surpassed by the Triforce and the Goddesses themselves. She turned around to Link and smiled. Their search for the three Amulets was over.
It was now time to face Ganondorf.
The army of men continually advanced on Ganondorf’s tower. With reinforcements from Malaank, the army had nearly doubled in size. The increased size and skill of the army was proving too much for the creatures guarding the tower. But when they were driven back to nearly 400 yards of the tower, they held fast. As if some unimaginable force was aiding them in their defense of the evil structure behind them. Attack after attack from the Hylians was repelled back, suffering heavy losses.
“Halt! Do not attack!” Nick shouted as loud as he could, hoping that everyone would hear him before they did something foolish.
He heard the message relay itself through the ranks of the men, and all stood still and silent. It was now well into the afternoon and all of the men were exhausted from hours of fighting. But not one of them dared to let their guard down, giving the opposition any advantage at all was the worst thing they could do. The five leaders of the army rode together behind their lines.
“So what do we do now?” Charles asked nervously. “They’re not even budging when we attack them.”
“Yeah, we need to find out another way around,” Aaron suggested. William shook his head.
“I don’t see any other way around. We need a new strategy altogether.”
Nick sighed. “What we really need is Link and Zelda to come back from where ever they went. Maybe then we could stand a chance of breaking their defense.”
“We could also use more men,” Aaron interjected. Everyone simply nodded.
“My army from Larosia will be here any minute now, so don’t you guys worry,” Robert informed them. “As a matter of fact, I think I see them now.”
Sure enough, off in the distance to the east, came the Larosian army. Their numbers were great, but Nick still felt that no matter how many men they had, they could never break the defenses of Ganondorf’s creatures. His spirits rose, however, when he saw two figures also coming out of the east, but directly from Death Mountain itself.
“Look!” he shouted, “Link and Zelda have come back!” He pointed over in the direction of the Hero and the Princess, and the men from Hyrule cheered as they recognized them.
A shout from the army could be heard, “We are saved! The Hero has returned!”
* * * *
Link and Zelda rode as fast as they could toward Hyrule Castle. They were not headed to the front of the battle lines yet. Zelda had a vision during the journey about the Amulets and how to use them. They needed a third person, one strong in Power, but also Wisdom. Without Wisdom, Power would corrupt the soul and turn it into evil, much like Ganondorf. There was only one person they could think of that could carry these traits. Evan.
They rode right past Nick and the others, leaving them stunned and confused. Deciding that what Link was doing was probably what needed to be done, Nick didn’t question him. He knew Link would be back. The two riders continued toward the castle as the army from Larosia arrived at the battlefield, ready to attack. The drawbridge was up due to the battle raging in the fields before it. Hyrule Castle Town had been put on full lockdown. No one in, no one out. For the first time in days, the drawbridge was lowered to let in its two most loved inhabitants. Link and Zelda rode hard and fast to the Castle, without even so much as a wave to the cheering pedestrians in the streets.
As they arrived in front of the Castle, Link dismounted and ran as fast as he could up through the castle to Evan’s room. Zelda remained where she was, anxious to get back out there and defeat Ganondorf once and for all. Soon, Link came to Evan’s room and quickly opened the door, startling the boy. He had been reading about his father and the Imprisoning War that took place ten years ago. Link ran up to his son.
“Come on, Evan. Mommy and Daddy need your help.” He grabbed the boy’s hand and began to pull him out of his room.
“Yippee! I get to help!” The boy was ecstatic that he would actually have the chance to be a hero, although he knew that his father would do all the hard stuff. They quickly ran down the stairs and out of the castle, Zelda still atop her horse, waiting. Link put Evan on Epona and climbed up behind him. And as quickly as they had arrived, they left.
As they rode back to the front line, the skies opened up with an evil rain. The rain drops pelted down on the riders and the army, but they paid it no heed. Finally, Link, Zelda, and Even stopped and dismounted right where Nick and the others were.
“Link! So glad you’re back!” Nick exclaimed. But then he noticed Evan with him and got concerned. “Why did you bring Evan here?”
“Because we need him.” His reasoning reminded Nick of his mother’s reasoning, Because I said so. But in this case, he wasn’t about to argue with it.
Link jumped back on Epona and rode in front of the entire army and turned to face them. “My fellow Hylians and our allies, we will attack this barricade and win the day! I have been told that their defenses now seem to be impenetrable, but I know that you men are strong and capable of toppling them! So raise your swords high and prepare to attack!” He rode back to his friends and dismounted Epona. “We just need to break through and then we can get started on the tower.”
“We will fight beside you, Link,” Charles stated.
“No, all of you are needed elsewhere. We need you to defend Hyrule.”
“But, Link,” Aaron began, “Aiding you and Zelda is defending Hyrule. For if you should fall, so would the land. I, for one, cannot let that happen.”
“Neither would I. We must make sure you live, Link, so that this great land will continue to prosper,” Robert said.
Nick raised his sword in the air. “For Hyrule!”
“For Hyrule!” they all responded, swords pointing toward the sky.
“Very well,” Link said, “You shall all ride with me and rid this country of evil!”
And with that, the army of men raced into battle for the final time. Zelda remained back with Evan, waiting for Link to return so that they could begin what they needed to do. The sounds of the battle echoed far into the fields of Hyrule. Terrible screams of agony and defeat could be heard above the clashing of swords. Evan put his hands over his ears, unused to the horrible sounds of battle. Zelda looked on with hope and pride upon the people of her land and its allies.
Ganondorf’s defenses were beginning to falter and Link knew it. “We need to break through somewhere!” he called to his companions. He pointed toward an area that was particularly weak, and the six of them focused their efforts on that region. Within a short time, they had broken a hole through the line of evil. Link called out to his friends once again.
“I must get Zelda and Evan now! I will return shortly! Hold the area open!” Without even waiting for a response, he rushed back to his wife and son.
* * * *
John and Jacob were not close to where Link and the other leaders had been fighting, and they too were doing an excellent job. When it was apparent that the Knights were going to fight with Link, Jacob assumed control over the remaining army on his side. At first, it was met with scrutiny. Most of the men didn’t want to follow a teenager into battle. But as they advanced on the creatures’ defense, their confidence in him skyrocketed and they were willing to do anything he commanded. With bravery and courage he never knew he had, Jacob led the men through the line of defense. Up in the distance, he could see the lead group make its way through the enemy and decided to join up with them. They ran as fast as they could, slashing, cutting, and killing any enemies that were in the way. They would soon be there.
* * * *
Link returned with Zelda and Evan as quick as he could and led them through the fighting to where Nick and the others were beating back some of the enemy. The three family members ran up next to the tower’s barrier and looked up at it in unison. The tall structure rising high into the sky seemed to be impenetrable, but with the Amulets of the Goddesses in their hands, it would soon fall.
They stood in a triangle, the base of which faced the tower. On the right side of the base stood Link, Bracer of Courage ready. Zelda stood at the left corner of the base with the Necklace of Wisdom. At the top point of the triangle stood little Evan with the Ring of Power on his finger. He had no clue what he was supposed to do, but he was eager to do whatever it took to help his mother and father.
“To unlock the powers of the Amulets, we must concentrate our energies onto the barrier,” Link shouted to his family. Zelda nodded her understanding, while Evan gazed up at the tower and started to stare.
“Evan!” Zelda yelled to him, “Evan, you must concentrate! Evan!”
The boy finally broke out of his trance. He felt funny, as if something inside the tower was pulling at his soul, trying to release the evil within. Evan shook off the feeling and concentrated on the task at hand. He nodded and smiled toward his mother, and she returned it. All three turned to face the tower and began to focus their energies into the Amulets, and dispelling the barrier.
Almost instantly, the three began to glow in bright colors: Link in green, Zelda in blue, and Evan in red. Soon, their bodies were no longer visible to the surrounding soldiers. Some of them, both man and creature, stopped fighting altogether to look upon the spectacle that was taking place. Realizing that if the three succeeded they would be defeated, a pack of twenty Moblins rushed the glowing triangle. The Knights were being kept occupied by another pack of Moblins and had no chance to stop the rushing pack.
The lead Moblin ran forward even faster, spear held out in front of him. His target was Link, who he figured would be the greatest kill. He came closer and closer to the triangle without them even knowing. He leapt into the air, spear high above his head, victory in his eyes. As he was about to come down on Link, he was hit hard from the side and was tackled onto the ground. Above him stood Jacob, sword in hand, tip resting on the Moblin’s chest. Without hesitation, or even so much as sympathy, Jacob thrust his sword through the leader, and twisted his sword. The Moblin squealed in agony as its life was taken from it. Jacob removed his blade.
The rest of the men that had come with Jacob and John were fending off any enemies that tried to get even close to Link and his family. As they ran their swords through creature after creature, the glowing triangle began brighter and brighter. The three colored lights rose into the air, higher and higher until they were above the tower itself. Link, Zelda, and Evan lay weak on the ground, their energies being used by the Amulets. Link could barely lift his head up enough to be able to see the Amulets form a triangle, surrounding the tower. Suddenly, the three orbs of light sent out a beam of energy toward the tower, coming to a point at the highest point of the barrier. The intensity of the light grew until it was unbearable to look at it. The light consumed the entire battlefield, halting all battles. Then, as suddenly as it appeared, the light was gone.
Link was finally able to open his eyes again. He looked up at the tower. It looked almost the same as it did before, except for one thing. The hazy glow of the barrier was completely gone. He smiled to himself, happy that they had accomplished the task. He heard Zelda and Evan move, and realized that all the fighting had ceased. He slowly stood up and glanced around the field. All around, the army of men from Hyrule, Dellenia, Malaank, and Larosia stood in bewilderment, while looking around themselves. All the creatures that they had been fighting, even the ones they had killed, were gone. The light simply made them vanish away.
“Link!” Nick rushed over to his friend. “What happened?”
He smiled to his friend. “We won the battle. The Goddesses swept the fields clean of the evil that infested them.”
“Then its over!”
Link shook his head. “Not quite, my friend. I still have to defeat Ganondorf.” He gestured with his head to the tower, and Nick understood instantly.
Aaron and William rushed over to Zelda and helped her onto her feet. “Princess, are you alright?” a concerned Aaron asked.
“Yes, Aaron, I’m fine. Thank you.” As they made their way over to Link, William spotted something glittering on the ground. He reached down and picked it up.
“Your Highness? Does this belong to you?”
“Oh! The Necklace of Wisdom! I would’ve hated myself if I had lost that!” She quickly grabbed the necklace from William’s outstretched hand and placed it gently around her neck again. “Come on… this battle isn’t over yet.”
Robert helped Evan up and walked over to Link and Zelda.
“What shall we do with him? Surely, you won’t let him go into the tower.”
“Of course not, Robert,” Zelda said, “he needs to get back to the castle where its safe. Could you bring him back?”
“With all due respect, Your Highness, I would much prefer to stay here to protect the Royal Family.”
“I know that, Robert. But if something should go wrong in there, I need someone strong to protect my baby. I would be honored if you would accept that task.”
“I cannot say no to you, Princess. I shall do as you please. The boy will never be left unguarded.” Robert bowed respectfully.
“Thank you, Robert.” She turned and kneeled next to her son. “Now, Evan, I want you to go back to the castle with Sir Robert.”
“But I don’t want to go! I want to stay here with you!”
“I know you do, sweetheart, but it’s going to be very dangerous in there, and I don’t want anything bad to happen to you.”
“But I want to help!”
Zelda smiled at her son. He was so courageous, just like his father. “But you already have, Evan. More than you’ll ever know. Now do what mommy says and go back to the castle.”
Evan sighed, but smiled at the same time. “Alright, I’ll go.”
“That’s my boy,” she said as she hugged him tightly. “Don’t worry, me and your father will be back before you know we’re gone.” Robert took hold of Evan’s hand and they began the walk back to the castle. She continued on her way toward Link, and as she got there, so did Charles and two other soldiers from the Hylian army.
“Link, you remember John and Jacob?” Charles asked.
“I do. You were able to escape from Baru and send word of the attack.”
“Yes, that’s us, Sir Link,” Jacob replied.
“These two led a group of men through the enemy’s defenses and saved you from an ambush,” Charles informed him.
“An ambush?” Confusion and surprise spread across Link’s face. “When?”
“When you were dispelling the barrier, Sir,” John replied. “The Knights could not get to you, but we came to your aid.”
“Then I owe you both. If we were slain, evil would have roamed free over Hyrule.”
“No need to thank us, Sir. We just did what we had to do,” John answered.
“We did it for Baru… our friends… our… parents…” Jacob bowed his head.
“I understand. We shall mourn the losses soon enough, but now we must finish the job. You two are welcome to join us in the tower, if you’d like. We could always use two more good fighters.”
“We would be honored, Sir,” they replied in unison, bowing at the same time.
“Well, then,” Nick interjected, “enough with the talk. Let’s go topple this tower.”
Link, Zelda, Nick, Charles, Aaron, William, Jacob, and John entered Ganondorf’s Tower and prepared for the worst.
The inside of the tower was almost as dark as the outside was. It was dimly lit by torches placed along the walls and the shadows seemed to be alive. The room they were standing in was nothing but big and empty. At the far end of the room, they could see stairs leading up to the next floor.
“Everyone stick together,” Link called back.
“I hope that Light penetrated in here too,” Charles smirked. “It would make our job a lot easier.”
“Amen to that,” Aaron quipped back.
Nick wasn’t about to let his guard down. “If I were you, I’d keep my eyes open for anything.”
When they were all silent, the room fell eerily quiet. Even the sounds of their footsteps seemed to be far away, as if this place wasn’t real. Zelda noticed this little fact rather quickly, and it caused her to shudder.
“I don’t like the feel of this place.”
“That makes two of us,” Charles called from the back.
Link ignored the comments being made by the group and concentrated on his surroundings. He was expecting a surprise attack at any moment. He listened intently for any sounds, but found none. I don’t like this at all, either. I’d much rather they come out and fight me. He shrugged off the thought and continued walking.
They were all surprised when they reached the stairs without incident. Link stopped before going up and looked around one last time. Everyone else was just as uneasy as Link was, and none of them dared make a sound. The absolute silence was almost too much for him. Just as he felt himself going crazy, he heard a faint noise.
“Did you hear that?” Nick asked.
“Shhh!” Link snapped back. The group stood there in silence as Link listened. Again, the silence was broken by a faint noise… almost like… crying… he thought to himself.
“I think it’s coming from up there,” Aaron said as he pointed up the stairs. Link simply nodded and started up the flight of stairs. The rest of the group stayed where they were for a second longer, unsure whether or not they should follow their hero. Then, without any doubt, they climbed the stairs.
* * * *
“Father… are you alright? Father?”
She could hear his heavy breathing and was getting worried. In fact, it almost sounded as if he was crying. Crying from pain. He had just come back from being tortured again and she still couldn’t figure out why. Was it because of her friends? Or was it just because he liked to torture helpless people? She figured it was the latter. The evil in that man surpassed anything she had ever known, or even think of. She began to cry once again.
“I’m alright… Malon… just as long… as he doesn’t hurt you…”
“Link will come… he won’t let us suffer like this… I know he’ll come…”
“Don’t you think he would’ve been here by now?” Ingo was always the cynical one. “He’s not coming, he will never come.”
“Yes, he will. I know it!” she shouted back at him.
Just then, she could hear the rustling of footsteps and froze in fear. It was much too early for Ganondorf to come back, wasn’t it? And what happened to all the guards that were constantly checking on them? She became very afraid and tried to be as silent as she could.
“Malon?” She heard the familiar voice and almost screamed in delight. “Talon?”
“Link!” she yelled as loud as she dared. “Over here!”
Link ran over to where he figured Malon was from the sound of her voice. This room was a lot darker than the previous room and his eyes had not yet grown accustomed to it yet. He fumbled around until he ended up next to her.
“I knew you would come.”
“You didn’t expect me to leave you here, did you?” His eyes were beginning to adjust to the dark and he could make out the shackles that bounded her. “Now, I want you to stay still. I’m going to cut you loose.” He unsheathed the Master Sword and brought it above his head. He brought it down quickly, slicing the first set of shackles clean in half. Once again, he brought the Master Sword up and broke the chains that bound her ankles. Finally free from the bindings, she jumped up and gave him a big hug.
“Oh, it’s no problem. Really. Let me go and free your father and Ingo.” He walked over to each of them and cut off their chains as well.
Unfortunately, unlike Malon, the two men were badly hurt and could barely stand, let alone get out of the tower to safety.
“Looks like we’re going to have to send two of us with them to make sure they make it to safety,” Nick said as he held up Talon.
“I will go,” Aaron offered. “I don’t think that I will be needed that much. We’re all great fighters, I have confidence in all of you.”
“I shall join you, Aaron,” William said. “Being from another country makes this a battle that I don’t belong in. The fate of Hyrule will rest in the hands of the Hylians themselves.”
Link nodded, although he would have liked to have Aaron and William beside him in battle. Reluctantly, he accepted their offers.
“Very well, you two bring them to safety and wait for us at the castle. We will not be long.”
The two Knights nodded. They picked up Talon and Ingo and began to make their way out of the tower. Before they descended the stairs, Aaron turned back to his friends.
“Good luck, my friends. May the Triforce guide you to victory.” He turned back around, and he, with Talon, William, with Ingo, and Malon left the tower.
“So it’s down to us, huh?” Nick asked rhetorically. “Just the six of us… and all Hylians.”
“This is our time to shine,” Charles said.
Link looked over the bunch and felt confident in them. He was ready to take on almost anything that Ganondorf threw at him. Without saying a word, he turned toward the next flight of stairs, anxious to fight the Evil King.
* * * *
When they expected to have been to another room, they were surprised. Instead, the stairs kept on going up, higher and higher. It was now possible to see that these stairs no doubt would bring them right in front of Ganondorf himself. It would seem that he felt he needed no protection from the Hylians. Your overconfidence is always your undoing, Ganondorf Link thought. They continued the long climb.
About five minutes later, John and Jacob fell back out of earshot of the others.
“Hey Jacob, are we sure about this?”
“Of course we are, John. We have to avenge our town. This is the man that did this to us! He must pay!”
“But what if one of us… dies…?”
“So be it. If I die protecting the land of Hyrule and the people I care about, then I will have died in the highest honor. I will die without regret. None of that ‘I could have… I should have… I would have…’ stuff for me.”
“Yeah, you’re right.” John sighed. “I just have a very bad feeling about this.”
“Hey, don’t worry!” Jacob patted his friend on the back. “We have the Hero of Time with us! And the Princess! I’m sure those two can handle most of the dirty work anyway. We’re just here to help in whatever way we can.”
“Yeah, I guess so…”
“That’s the spirit! Now, come on! We’re falling too far behind. We have to catch up!” The two teenagers climbed the stairs faster.
John and Jacob caught up to the rest of the Knights as they reached the top of the long stairway. In front of them stood an unbelievably large door. John and Jacob lifted their heads slowly, taking in the sight of the magnificent, but terrifying, doorway.
“I’ve never seen a door this big,” John said.
“Neither have I,” Nick agreed. “This door makes the ones in Hyrule Castle seem small.”
“Well, how do we open it?” Jacob asked as he stepped up to the door, feeling the surface of the door for a knob. Link and Charles took a closer look at the door as well, while Zelda, Nick, and John checked the walls on either side of it. For several minutes, they searched and searched, but to no avail. They couldn’t find anything that even resembled a doorknob. There didn’t seem to be a single thing that could possibly open it. Defeated, they all stood back and gazed intently at the door, hoping that the answer would present itself.
“What if we try to push it open?” Charles suggested. Without answering, all but Zelda leaned against the door. They pushed with all their might, but the door didn’t even budge. They tried again, but got the same result.
“It’s no use!” Zelda complained. “And we came so close!”
“There must be a way! I, for one, am not turning around. I don’t care if it takes us weeks to get through this door!” Nick raised his voice, as if he was yelling at the door itself.
Link racked his brain for the answer. He had overcome many obstacles in his adventures, surely he could get through this one. Then an idea hit him and his face lit up.
“Magic? Of course!” Zelda turned to face the door. “I can’t believe we didn’t think of that!”
Concentrating her power, Zelda tried to open the door. The Knights, John, and Jacob all looked on nervously, as if everything counted on Zelda coming through. Slowly, a blue aura surrounded the Princess. Concentrating on the door, she visualized it opening. To the amazement of the onlookers, the door began to shine blue as well. A small rumbling could be heard and felt all around them as the door began to rise from the ground. Slowly it opened, until it got to a point where its resistance gave way and Zelda was able to open it much faster. With a loud bang, the doorway was completely open.
Without any hesitation, they all ran through the opening. They stepped into another room, this one much larger than the others they had been in. Unlike the other rooms, this one was well lit. They all stopped dead in their tracks when they saw the figure on the other side of the room.
“Welcome, Link,” Ganondorf said calmly. “I see you’ve brought along some friends for our little party.”
“I will defeat you, Ganondorf,” Link said back with a cool confidence, “Right here and now!”
Ganondorf laughed, but it didn’t faze Link. He had grown used to the man’s laugh and didn’t think much of it anymore. But behind him, Jacob’s skin was crawling with rage. Here stood the man that attacked his town, killed his family and friends, and hurt so many others. The anger welled up inside of him until he could barely hold back.
“You insolent fool! You cannot defeat me! I will crush you and then destroy your precious land!”
Jacob could handle no more. With an angry battle cry, he leaped forward, sword drawn and pointed at Ganondorf. The evil man looked at the boy and smiled. This gesture made Jacob’s blood boil even more, and he raced toward the Evil King, ready to strike him down. Link reached out and tried to grab him before it was too late.
“Jacob! No!” His fingertips brushed up against the back of Jacob’s clothes, but he couldn’t get a grip on the boy. Instead, he was forced to watch.
Jacob lunged forward with his sword, but Ganondorf easily moved out of the way. Jacob’s momentum caused him to run right past the Gerudo, his back to him. The Evil King raised his own sword and aimed for the defenseless boy. With one quick thrust, he put his sword through Jacob’s back and out his chest.
Jacob felt the warm feeling in his torso and placed his hand over his chest. Pulling it away again, he could see that it was covered in blood, his blood. Stunned at the turn of events, he dropped his sword from his right hand and staggered over to the closest wall. He leaned his back against it and slid down.
“Jacob!” John screamed. He and Charles ran over to the dying boy and tried to comfort him. Link, Zelda, and Nick stood with their eyes focused on Ganondorf.
“Worthless boy! He dared to challenge me and he got what he deserved!” Still Link, Zelda, and Nick remained where they were, intent on killing the Evil King. But Charles was infuriated and vowed that he would kill Ganondorf himself.
“I’ll kill you, you monster!” he yelled as he brandished his sword and charged for the Evil King.
Before he could even reach him, Ganondorf sent a ball of energy at the charging Knight. Unable to avoid it, Charles ran head on into the oncoming ball. The power of the energy ball sent Charles back across the room. He lay motionless on the ground. Ganondorf turned to Link.
“Now before anyone else interferes…” He raised his hands in the air, and all but Link were thrown back against the walls, unable to move. “There, that’s much better, don’t you think?”
Link looked over at Zelda with a look of concern on his face. “Don’t worry about me, Link! Just beat him so all this can be over with!” With a slight nod, Link turned to face the Evil King.
“I will end this once and for all, Ganondorf. You will never again spread terror in the land of Hyrule.”
“Big words. Can you back it up?”
Link simply pulled out the Master Sword and braced himself for battle. Ganondorf made his blade reappear in his hand, and the two squared off. There was a momentary silence as the two warriors stared each other down, trying to intimidate the other. Then, with a quick move, Link jumped at Ganondorf. The Evil King easily defended himself against the attack and countered with a thrust. Link knocked it away and tried a horizontal swing. The two men fought, but neither was able to gain any ground on the other. Each move was met with a block, and each counterattack was turned away. Ganondorf came down with a vertical cut, but Link raised his shield to block it. With a counterattack, Link shoved Ganondorf’s sword out of the way, leaving the Evil King open to attack. He swung his sword horizontally, but the Evil King somehow managed to block the attack with his sword.
I can’t believe it! He’s so fast! I thought I had him there. This is going to be a much tougher battle than I’ve ever fought!
Ganondorf swung his sword, but Link ducked and rolled out of the way just before it would’ve taken his head off. Jumping up quickly, he tried an upswing on the Gerudo, but that too was blocked. They continued to fight, all the while no hits were scored. Link began to tire, but he was not going to give up. The Master Sword was becoming heavier in his hand as the battle wore on, causing his offensive moves to slow down. Unlike the Hero of Time, Ganondorf still seemed to be fresh. It appeared that he was fighting with the same energy as when they started.
How can this be? He doesn’t even seem to be tired! I must do something, otherwise he’ll just wear me down. But what?
Link blocked another blow from the Gerudo, the force traveling through his shield, causing immense pain in his arm. He tried to deliver a blow, but Ganondorf knocked his sword astray. After blocking another swing from Ganondorf, Link decided he had to do something now. Gathering up all the energy he could, he charged up the Master Sword. He waited for the Gerudo to attack again, while he uses the spin attack as a counter. Just as he planned, Ganondorf attacked and Link defended it with his shield. Letting out a loud cry, Link executed the spin attack. Ganondorf reacted quickly and blocked the spin attack! The force of the spin attack collided with Ganondorf’s sword, causing the Master Sword to fly from Link’s hand. Link stood stunned.
How could he have possibly blocked that? His thoughts quickly turned to Zelda, Evan, and his friends as he realized the inevitable. He looked around the room at his fallen friends and the people that counted on him. To him, it all seemed to be passing by in slow motion. He saw Ganondorf bring his sword back, ready to deliver the final blow. Link’s eyes caught Zelda’s eyes, and there he stared as Ganondorf ran him through. With his eyes still on Zelda’s, he slowly fell to his knees, and then fell onto the ground.
“No!” Zelda screamed at the top of her lungs as Link’s lifeless body fell to the floor. She began to cry over the loss of her loved one, and Hyrule’s greatest hero. As she looked on from her confined area, Ganondorf grabbed Link and picked him up. “Don’t you touch him!”
Ganondorf just smiled at the Princess and turned his attention back to Link’s body. His body began to glow a bright green, filling the room. Zelda looked down at her hand and noticed the Triforce mark glowing. Realizing what Ganondorf was about to do, Zelda lost all hope. With two Triforce pieces, nothing would be able to stop him. It would only be a matter of time before he got her piece, and then he would rule the world. She closed her eyes and prepared for her death.
However, extracting the Triforce of Courage from Link’s body was a great strain on Ganondorf’s magic. In order to complete the extraction, he released his hold on the remaining Knights and Zelda. Realizing that they could move again, Zelda, Nick, and John ran as fast as they could to the stairs and out of the tower. None of them liked the fact that they left behind the bodies of Jacob and Charles, but this was their only chance.
Unconcerned that the others had gotten away, Ganondorf continued the extraction process. Soon, the Triforce of Courage floated out of Link’s body and hovered in the air above him. Ganondorf threw Link’s limp body to the floor and reached up for the Triforce. Reacting to the Triforce of Power, the Triforce of Courage allowed the Evil King to take it, and the two pieces fused together. A sensation of power worked its way through Ganondorf’s body.
“Ah yes! I now have two pieces of the Triforce. Soon the third will be mine, and the world will bow to me! Hahaha!” The Evil King walked toward the tower exit.
Link found himself in complete darkness. He raised his hand in front of his face, trying his best to at least see a glimpse of it. He started out with it at arm’s length away and slowly moved it closer. Even as he brought it in toward his face, he couldn’t see it. The absolute darkness didn’t shine even the faintest light, as Link found out when his hand touched his face, still unable to see it. He slowly pulled his hand away from his face, and looked left, then right. All that he could see, or rather couldn’t see, was darkness.
He remained where he was, not daring to move from his current position. There was no way he could know what lay in front of him, or behind. All his senses seemed to be dead, or perhaps the entire place was dead. There was no sound or smell. He was just there, but he had no clue where there was. The darkness was seemingly seeping into his body. He could feel the coldness overcoming him, and feared that for some reason, he would be damned to this place forever. The despair of his surroundings was too much for him, and he tried to cry. But no tears came. This place would not allow it.
Then, out of the darkness, came a faint sound. Link focused onto his surroundings once more, praying that he had not imagined the sound. A few tense moments later, the sound echoed once more throughout the eternal darkness. Not just a sound, he thought, a voice. The thought of contact with another person was very appealing to him, and he had to calm himself down, for fear of losing track of the mysterious voice. He waited for it to speak out again.
He heard it clearly. The voice was no longer just a faded out sound. It seemed as if it came from a live person, and very strong. He listened more.
“Link… Follow the trail… Link… Follow the trail…”
Follow the trail? he thought to himself. “What trail?” he yelled out to the unseen source.
“Follow where? I see no trail! Please tell me where to go!”
The voice began to drown out, but Link knew what it was saying. Follow the trail. He stood there still, unsure of where to find this trail that the voice spoke of. He turned right, then left. He checked behind him, and even below where he was standing. And what he saw then intrigued him.
Below him, still quite a distance away, was a point of light. As he watched it, he could tell that it was moving closer to him. The point became larger and larger as it came closer. Soon, it filled his entire view, and he realized what it was. Land and sky were rushing up to meet him, or he was falling down to them. This he couldn’t tell, but either way, he was prepared. The next moment, his feet came into contact with the ground of this mysterious place.
He stood on the edge of a large field. The grass was green and the dirt was brown, but the sky was golden. Trees surrounded him on all sides except for directly in front of him. Looking in that direction, he saw a small, beaten path that stretched out into the distance. He looked up at the golden sky and noticed that there was no sun, but it was as bright as midday. Fluffy, white clouds spotted the golden sky. As he stood there taking in his new surroundings, the voice returned.
“Link… Follow the trail…”
The voice seemed even clearer now that he was out of the eternal darkness. Strange, he thought, that voice sounds oddly familiar. Intrigued by the identity of the voice’s owner, Link felt even more compelled to walk down the path laid out for him. Taking one last quick look around him, he set off on his way.
* * * *
For many hours, he trudged along the dirt path. His true travel time he couldn’t tell. Time seemed to have no meaning here. It was just as bright out now as it was when he first arrived. And though he had been traveling for so long, he didn’t feel thirsty or hungry. There was no doubt in his mind that this place was a very magical one.
All around him were endless fields of grass, spotted with trees every now and then. The scenery seldom changed as he walked along the path, but he could feel that he was getting close to something. The path now led up a small hill, and he began the ascent. As he got close to the top, he could see over the hill into the fields below. But one thing caught his eye. Up in the distance, and seemingly right in the way of the path, was a bright light. He couldn’t tell what it was, but he knew that it was his destination. After a brief pause on the top of the hill, he began to descend it and continued his journey down the path.
* * * *
Again, he traveled for many hours. The bright light was very near, and he had to shield his eyes slightly to protect them from the intensity of the light. The fields began to give way to more trees, and he guessed that behind the light was a forest full of big, healthy trees. He continued his way down the path, never wandering astray from it.
Within another hour, or so he thought it to be, he was just over a hundred yards from the light. Its intensity now was too much for him, causing him to close and cover his eyes. Unsure of what to do next, he stood there.
“You have done well in coming this far, Link.”
He now knew the identity of the voice’s owner and wanted to get a glimpse of him. As he slowly opened his eyes, he noticed that the light had completely died down, and in its place stood a man that looked much healthier in death than he did in life. The man stood there, dressed in light brown pants and a white shirt. On top of his head was a dark brown hat that had a full brim that went around the entire hat, and his boots were pitch black. Link instinctively reached for his sword, but realized that it wasn’t there.
“You don’t need weapons here, Link. You should now that. And besides, I’m no threat to you.”
“Yeah, that’s what I thought the first time I met you, Ian. But we know how that turned out.”
Ian let out a small laugh. “Touché, Link. Although, I hope you don’t hold my actions in the former life against me. I was, after all, tricked by Ganondorf.”
“Even so,” retorted Link, “why should I trust you now?”
“Because I’m in the same boat as you, Link. I just got on board in a different way.”
“Oh?” Link was intrigued. “And what boat is that, exactly?”
“We are both stuck here in this place until we do what it is they want us to do,” Ian said while looking up to the sky. He turned to face Link again. “Sit down, my friend. We have much to discuss.” Ian walked over to a nearby boulder and sat upon it. Link followed the man and sat on an old log nearby. “Where shall we begin?”
“Let’s start with this place. Where are we?”
“Purgatory, my good friend.”
“Purgatory? Am I not good enough for the heavens?” A bit of shock and anger crept into his voice.
“Oh, yes. You are indeed worthy for the heavens. But they are not ready for you. It’s not your time yet.”
“They? Who are they?”
Ian looked at Link quizzically. “The Goddesses, of course. Who else would they be?”
The simplicity of the answer made Link feel childish. Of course it would be the Goddesses. They’re whom I’ve been fighting for all my life.
“So why are you here? You said you came onto this ‘boat’ in a different way.”
“Ah, yes. Yes I did. You see, even though I was not fully responsible for my actions in your kingdom, the Goddesses still held it against me.”
“So shouldn’t you be with the demons?”
Ian smiled. “Thanks for the support.” Link flushed from embarrassment as he realized he had just insulted the man.
“Sorry, Ian. It just slipped out.”
Ian smiled even wider. “It’s alright, Link. It’s understandable. But it is for those things I did in the latter part of my life that keep me trapped here. I said that the Goddesses didn’t hold me fully responsible for my deeds. But to get into the heavens, I must repent.”
“And how are you going to do that?”
“They have instructed me to aid you in your quest. Upon the successful completion of it, I will have done my deeds and they would allow me entrance into the heavens. But until that time, I have been stuck here, waiting for you.”
“You’ve been waiting for me? You mean, they knew I was going to be killed, yet did nothing about it?” He was greatly upset and disturbed at the thought of such a thing.
“No, that’s not what happened. They could not foresee your death because of the power of Ganondorf. His evil placed a shadow over the land which they could not see through.”
“They how is it that you were waiting for me?”
“Have you noticed that time flows differently here?” Link nodded. “Well, when they found out that you had been killed, they instructed me to wait for you. And so I have been for a good amount of time.”
“A good amount of time? I just died!”
“On the contrary. You have been dead for six months.”
“Six months?” Link’s voice rose to almost a scream and he jumped up off the log.
“Yes, six months. And unfortunately, a lot has happened in Hyrule over the last six months. And nothing good, I might add.”
“Well, when you were killed, Ganondorf obtained your piece of the Triforce. With Power and Courage, he easily took over the land of Hyrule, and even the surrounding lands. Most of the land is in ruin and the people are all scattered. They are hunted by his creatures and brought before him so he can torture them.”
“What about Zelda?” The concern in Link’s face was unmistakable.
“The Princess has not been captured yet, but her time is running out.”
“Then what are we waiting for! Send me back!”
“I know how you must feel, Link, but we can’t send you back to your Hyrule just yet.”
Link became irate. “What? You mean I can’t go back and save Zelda and Hyrule?”
“If they sent you back now, you would have no chance. Ganondorf easily defeated you before and he had only one piece of the Triforce. Now he has two. How could you possibly fight against him?”
Link was beginning to understand the situation. He regained his composure and sat back down on the log.
“Alright, fine. So how am I supposed to beat him if he has two pieces? Obviously they think that I will defeat him at some point, otherwise I wouldn’t be here. So what is it?”
Ian sighed. “Well, Link, you cannot and will not be able to defeat him by yourself.”
“Then why am I here?”
“Because you will find those who will help you in your battle against the Evil King. Then, and only then, will you and your companions be able to defeat Ganondorf.”
Link was puzzled. “I need to find help? Is that part of your deed? To help me defeat him?”
“In a way, yes.”
“What do you mean, ‘In a way’?”
“I will aid you in your quest to find those that will help you, but I will not fight Ganondorf.”
Link nodded in understanding. “So the ones I seek, they’re fighters?”
“Most definitely. They have come from a long line of fighters and are destined to be heroes.”
“Then how come I’ve never heard of them before? Surely, if they were that renowned, they would be quite famous.”
“Indeed they are, or rather, will be.”
“I’m missing something here. These heroes… are they in Purgatory as well?”
“No. They are far from it.”
“So they’re in the heavens? Or are they still alive?”
Link was thrown for a loop. Ian’s cryptic speech wasn’t much help either. “Do you mean to tell me that I will be asking the help of demons?”
“I am telling you that the ones you seek have not even been born yet.”
“Now that doesn’t make sense at all.”
Ian shifted his position on the boulder. “Doesn’t it? What is so hard to believe about it?”
Link felt like he was stating the obvious, “If they aren’t born yet, how can we bring them here?”
“Have you forgotten your first adventure in Hyrule already? Did you not travel back and forth through time?”
“So what if I did? It was only seven years.”
“Don’t you think the Goddesses have more control over time than that? They control everything. From the trees to the grass, the sun to the moon, the insects to man. Time is in their control. They can do with it as they please.”
Link began to accept the fact that extensive time travel was possible, though he still didn’t like it. Such power made him feel small and insignificant. But compared to the Goddesses, everything was small and insignificant.
“So who are these heroes that I, we, will be searching for?”
“Haven’t you figured it out already?” Ian looked at Link as though the answer were right in front of him. In a matter of speaking, it was.
“My descendants?” Link looked at Ian with a puzzled expression on his face. “You mean to tell me that my descendants will still be fighting?”
“Yes. The blood of the Hero flows through their bodies. It is their true calling.”
“But, won’t I have many descendants?”
“Of course you will. Why do you ask?”
“Well, how will we know which ones are the right ones?”
“Ah, I see. Well, the choice is rather simple. Even though all your descendants will be strong willed and able-bodied, two of them stand out above the rest, for they will save Hyrule from a familiar evil, just as you have.”
“You mean, they fought Ganondorf as well?”
“They each fought against his most evil form, Ganon.”
“Won’t we ever be at peace? To keep on fighting the same evil over and over and over again seems almost pointless.”
“That is true, but as long as your line continues, they people of Hyrule will be safe, for the most part. That’s why you must complete this quest. For if you fail, your line will end with the death of Evan at Ganondorf’s hands.”
The somber reality of it all hit Link like a ton of bricks. He had dreamed of peace for all his life, and it was here, staring at him in the face. The heavens were so close, yet he knew what he needed to do. For the sake of Zelda and Evan, and the sake of all the people of Hyrule. Overcome by a sudden feeling of bravery and courage he had seldom felt before, Link jumped up off the log and stood next to Ian.
“Well, then. If we’re going to finish the job, we’d better get going.” He reached down his hand and grabbed Ian’s. Pulling him up from the boulder, Link’s eyes were twinkling with renewed confidence. Ian too, was relieved that the Hero had a sudden change of mood. It was his ticket to the heavens.
“Very good! Now, before we begin, there is something you will need behind that boulder.” Ian pointed to the boulder he had just been sitting on.
Link walked behind it and found on the ground his precious items from Hyrule: the Master Sword and the Hylian Shield. Excitedly, he picked them up and slung them over his back. The familiar feel of the weapons on his back brought back many memories of victories against evil. He jogged back to where Ian was standing.
“Ready to go, Link?”
“Ready as I’ll ever be!”
“Then follow me. We still have further to go to get to our first destination.”
Ian picked up his bag of supplies and the two travelers walked down the path once more, Ian in front with Link two steps behind. They walked away from the field and sky into the enclosure of the nearby forest. Link stopped momentarily at the edge of the forest and looked back over the fields. It was such a beautiful place, but he was almost glad to see it go. There was much to do.
To be concluded in
Part Three- A Link Through Time