Shadow Hunters
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“Shadow Hunters”

Shadow Hunters

By: Maj Wrath 2000

Summary: It is four years since Link saved Terminia from the ancient evil of Majora's Mask. He has returned to Hyrule, believing all is at peace. But when someone, or something attempts to kill Link, the Hylian realizes he is wrong. Now, in the middle of a sweeping drought across the land, Link must uncover just who... or what.... is after him.

Part One: Back Alleys

Link kept his head up as he walked into Hyrule castle town. This was important.

He shifted his attention to the sparkly ruby in his hand. Somone wanted it badly, for they threatened to kill Princess Zelda for it. Zelda instructed Link to hand it over calmly.

He walked down back alleys to the address. This was the section Hyrule town hated showing; the poor part.

He knocked at the rusted door. "Hello?"  A big Moblin opened it. It grunted. "Uh...Hi." Link gestured. "I've been called."

The Moblin pointed to a door. Link walked in and saw a cloaked man at a desk. "Hello Link," the man mock-greeted.

"Enough Borgo," Link warned. "Your threats let you escape police this time. Not every gangster threatens to poison Princess Zelda for a ruby."

"Ho ho ho," Borgo chuckled. "I know, I did a lot to get it. So hand it over." Link gave the red ruby to the gangster. "Ahh,"Borgo exhaled. "Entik's Sapphire. At last."

Link nodded. "Well, as long you're happy, I'll go.."

Borgo looked up at Link. "HO HO HO HO," he laughed "I think not!!"

Link spun around. Two Moblins had spears pointed at him. Link drew his sword instantly. One Moblin charged, aimed for Link's chest. The teen lifted his shield to avoid a skewering, and slashed through the beast's vulnurable side. It fell with a thud. The second Moblin reacted in fury, bringing his spear down savagely. Link cut the weapon in half and hacked the pig mutant down.

He sighed. This is going great, he thought. He didn't expect to have to resort to violence this early!! Link turned. Borgo was getting away!" No!!!" Link gritted. He took out an ocarina and played a song. Moments later, his horse Epona trotted to him. "Let's go!!" He commanded. Link got on and chased Borgo through the alley streets.

The gangleader was heading for a sewer hole.Link took out his bow and freeze arrow...he aimed...fired. And missed by a mile. Link's foe vanished into the sewer. Link sighed in major frustration.

Part Two: More than Meets the Eye

"Well Link, that is interesting," Zelda remarked. "I really didn't expect Borgo to try to kill you."

Link sat with Princess Zelda in the castle courtyard. The fourteen year old princess had known Link for four years. Link, who was Zelda's age, had accomplished a lot for Hyrule, including the demise of Ganon, the king of evil. Most villians knew to fear him. Yet the latest development concerned Zelda.

"Im keeping my eyes open," she spoke. "But anyways, did you notice the recent drought?"

"Hard not to," Link answered, wiping sweat off his forhead. "How long has it lasted, three weeks?" Zelda nodded.

"It's very unusaul for this time of the year, and it's hurting crops and livestock. It doesn't seem natural."

Link sighed."Well, I gotta pick up my sword from the smithy. See you later."

Borgo the gang leader was wishing he was miles away right now. Nothing was worse than reporting failure to his master.

On the throne in front of him was a frightening figure. Over 10 feet tall, it's head was a hairless skull like form. A horned eyeball was adorned on top. Ritual patterns covered its body, and the muscular arms were long tentacle whips.

"You have failed Borgo," Majora's icy voice spoke.

"Master...." Borgo pleaded. "The boy was clever and fast...we could never outf-"

"SILENCE!!" Majora hissed. "You must be punished Borgo. Hand me your treasure." Borgo looked pitifully at his master. "NOW," the demon commanded.

Borgo sighed and handed Majora the stone. Majora took it by a tentacle...and shattered it. "NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" Borgo wailed. "My fortune!"

"Enough Borgo," Majora boomed. "Fame and fortune is pathetic when it comes to...revenge."

Borgo stared at his evil master."Forgive me ...I will not fail again."

The demon lord replied in a toxic whisper. "I hope so... for your sake... now go and track the boy." Borgo left in a hurry. Majora watched his crony exit the cavernous dungeon. "Or Ill be devouring your soul and Link's."

Link exited the smithy shop, staring at his improved weapon. The gilded sword was made of hyper gold, one of the strongest materials on earth. Link knew he would use it in satisfaction.

As Link headed down the street, he had the strangest feeling he was being followed. For some reason, his mind told him to walk faster....

A sudden instinct told him 'DUCK!!' A hooded poncho cloaked warrior jumped over him, daggers blazing. Link recognized the assasin as a Garo Master. He drew his sword. Time for a test-drive!! he thought. The Garo tried a stab. Link sidestepped the blow and tried a vertical slash. But the Garo had backflipped a meter ahead. The ninja was quick. It came in for a jump hack. Link tried to dodge it, but he stumbled on a rock. He felt one of the Garo's daggers go deep into his right arm.

Seething in pain, Link hit the Garo with his shield when it attacked again, stunning it. Not slowing for a second, he slashed the Garo in the chest. The warrior hollered in pain as its chest ripped open in bloody fire. Link withdrew his weapons, gasping for air.

Part Three: Undercover

"Well Link..." Zelda sighed. "I've come to the conclusion someone is trying to kill you." Zelda was awfully worried when Link came back and said what happened. "There was a Garo seen with Borgo's gang..." she added. "Maybe they're trying to get you."

Link shook his head. "They wouldn't dare. It's too risky for them. And they already got their ruby..."

"Maybe someone hired them to kill you," Zelda suggested. "Do you know any villians who'd want to?"

Link laughed. "You wanna three page list?"

Later, Link considered the possibilities. Ganon would definitly want to kill him. "But he's in the dark world..." Link reminded himself. And it didn't seem likely his followers would attempt it, for they were in major disarray.  There was also Majora....but Link was sure he finished off the demon back in Termina four years ago.So, Link concluded, perhaps there were just gangsters that didn't like him. He hoped that was the case.

Majora sat motionless on its throne. It was sucking up any trace of bad feelings it could find. For a demon, hate is power. And one human Majora hated was Link.

Majora originated from an ancient hex mask over a thousand years ago. Hate surrounded the mask at start, and that evil is what created Majora. The mask possessed its wearer, and natural disasters would follow. The ancient wise ones had sealed Majora's Mask in shadow, preventing its use for a millenium.
But four years ago, it was taken by a skullkid in the forest. Majora awoke and had possessed the imp. But its plans of destruction were Link.

Majora's veins bulged at the remembrance of the boy. Link had defeated it, and the demon was seperated from its mask. Weak and blinded at first, Majora searched for anything evil to regain its power. It had taken four years to grow its incarnation. And now, Majora was ready for revenge on Link.

"Master," Borgo strode in, bowing.

"What is it?" Majora asked impatiently.

"Our Garo was slain by Link," Borgo reported nervously. "We believe that he has a feeling that he's being stalked."

Majora replied, "We knew a single garo couldn't harm the boy. Continue tracking him Borgo."

"Yes, as you wish."

Link and Zelda walked through the castle gardens. "Link," Zelda spoke. "Im going to have to send you to the Lake Hylia lab. The professor there has important papers about the drought."

Link yawned. "Ah, another chore for the brave hero."

"Oh please," Zelda moaned. "Anyway ,I want you to spend the night at Lon Lon Ranch."

"Oh really?" Link said with a sly grin. "Kicking me out to Malon's, huh?"

Zelda glared at him. "Im sending you there for... safety. I don't want those assassins to know where you are."

Link nodded. "Okay, I'm on my way then. Ill be back in a day or so."

Link rode Epona through the town and into Hyrule field. In many ways, Malon was the only girl Link liked as much as Zelda. And while Zelda could seem bossy and was somewhat serious, Malon was casual and liked to joke around.

Link had thought about these things before. He knew both girls liked him, and that neither really liked eachother. Link sighed. He had more important things to worry about.

Epona strode up a hill, and they entered Lon Lon Ranch. Lon Lon Ranch was runned by Talon, the lazy father of Malon. Link figured he was probably asleep. "Hi, Link!"

Link turned and saw Malon exiting the stable. The red headed ranch girl was carrying some bags of birdseed. "Ill take some," Link offered, getting off of Epona.

They headed for the barn."So," Malon asked. "What's up?"

Link considered telling Malon about being stalked by assassins, but thought the better of it. He didn't want to worry her. "Uhhh...not much." He shrugged. "Listen, do you mind if I spend the night?"

"You're always welcome here," she said with a grin. "Where are you headed?"

"I'm going to Lake Hylia to pick up some papers tommorow," Link replied. He turned to look at her and noticed a glimpse of worry on her face. She knows something, Link thought.

"Well," Malon said. "Why don't we have dinner?"

Borgo approached his master. "Yes Borgo. Report," Majora ordered.

Borgo hesitated, and said, "The drought is having its effects. Many companies have gone bankrupt. Lon Lon Ranch seems to be nex-"

"Good," Majora interrupted. "What about Link?"

Borgo's stomach lurched at the question he had been dreading. "..We've lost track of him my lord... h-he doesn't seem to be in the c-castle town.."

"You've lost him?!" Majora hissed.

"H-he w-was gone t-today...." Borgo whimpered.

"BORGO!!!" Majora thundered. "YOU'VE FAILED FOR THE LAST TIME!!!!"

"NO MASTER!!" Borgo pleaded. "We'll find him... I swear!"

"You had your chance," the demon hissed. "Goodbye, weakling." Majora's tentacles flew around Borgo's neck. And then they contracted, breaking the windpipe...and bone. Borgo dropped dead. Majora gave him no second thoughts. "Come to me, Dark Link."

A figure appeared in front of Majora. It was identical to Link, but with blaring red eyes and an evil mind. "Yes Master?" Dark Link spoke.

"Kill your good ego," Majora said.

Link sat with Malon at the dinner table. Once again, he couldn't put a finger on it, but it seemed Malon was worried sick about something. And it was obvious she was hiding it from him.

Link cleared his throat. "Is something bothering you, Malon?"

Malon quickly replied, " What gave you that idea?"

"Nothing," Link answered. But even a Goron could see Malon was acting strange.

Dark Link moved swiftly across Hyrule Field. By questioning townsfolk, it was child's play for him to learn Link's location. The evil clone spotted the ranch. He stealthily moved in.

Link lay in the pasture field. He enjoyed looking up at the stars and connecting dots. Malon came over. Once again, Link saw a face of concern sweep over her.

"Malon, what's wrong?"

Malon cried softly. "The ranch might go out of buisness."

Link was stunned. This was worse than he'd expected. "Oh Malon...why?"

She pointed at the crops and cow pastures. "The droughts taken away alot of are water the crops rot and the cows produce spoiled milk...and without our two biggest money producers..." She couldn't finish that sentence and started crying.

Link stood up and tried to comfort her. "I bet the drought will end soon..." He offered. Malon shook her head. "Reports say it could last months...and by then.. we'll be gone!" She broke down again. Link sighed and embraced Malon.

Part Four: Ambush!!

Link paced back and forth around the pasture. He felt really bad for Malon. He wished he could do something.

Malon had gone to bed. Link figured he would stay out a little longer. It does look bad, Link thought as he stared at the shriveled corn and tomatoes. I wish- Link's thoughts were cut off as a blurring sword swept over his head. He ducked and drew his own blade.

It looked like a mirrored image of himself, but with blazing red eyes. The clone attacked again. Link parried it and retaliated with a vertical slash. The Dark attacker rolled under the swing and went for Link's legs. He jumped over the foot severer and kicked the foe down. But before Link could stab him, Dark Link rolled away. Up at his feet in seconds, he slashed through Link's side.

Then everything went black.

Part Five: Lake Hylia

"O my gosh!!! Are you all right?"

Link opened his eyes. He was in Malon's room. Rays of light were coming out of the windows, so it must of been daytime. "What happened?" He asked.

"You almost died!" Malon cried. Link looked and saw his side was completly bandaged."Link," Malon hesitated. "Princess Zelda...she told me how someone's trying to kill you."

"She did?"

"Uh huh,"Malon sobbed. "And I just left you out there to get mauled last night because I was too busy worrying about my own problems..."

"Hey, Malon," Link replied. "I'm alive, aren't I?"

Malon smiled weakly and sighed.

The next day, Link felt able enough to head out to Lake Hylia. Malon pleaded to come with him. It wasn't much fun being with Malon when she was so worried about him. Still, he loved her company and decided to let her tag along.

They rode Epona southwards towards the lake. It had got absurdly hot, and Link was very worried about the drought now. He hoped the lab's report was a good one.

When they got there, Link was horrified to see Lake Hylia was bone dry for twenty feet. "It hasn't looked this bad since Ganon drained it," he whispered.

Link went inside the lab.Malon stayed out with Epona. She was worried about so many things at the moment it was hard to stay calm. The ranch was likely going out of buisness....and Link was someone's target for killing....

She absoulutely adored Link. His bright eyes and blond hair.....his cool personality and adventurous mind...if someone did ...kill...him,she'd probally kill
herself. Malon shook her head. She had to stay focused. That was the important thing.

Link came out a few moments later. Malon didn't even need to ask Link; the seriousness on his face told the story. "Bad...huh?"

Link exhaled heavily. "I won't lie...things look grim."

They started to head back silently, neither sure what to say. Epona was starting to pick up speed, when they skidded to a halt.

Dark Link appeared suddenly fifty yards ahead. He seemed to be riding a Dark clone of Epona. About a dozen Moblins were on foot behind him.

The Evil one spoke with a voice much rougher than Link's, "Surrender, and all shall die quickly."

Link strutted Epona to the right.The attackers were on their heels. He pulled out his Bow and handed it to Malon. "You know how to use one, right?"

Malon took it, nodding. Archery was a hobby of hers. Aiming on a horse going thirty-five miles an hour at moving targets that fought back was tricky, but not impossible. She aimed at a Moblin and fired. It pierced through the beast's chest, killing it utterly. She had two more down in a few seconds. "Not bad..." she mused. Suddenly, a Moblin grabbed onto Epona's legs. The horse stumbled and lost a lot of speed. Malon turned and saw the monster was almost upon her....until its head dissapeared in a blur. She turned back to see Link with his sword, which was covered in blood, say, "Figured I had to get one of them."

With the Moblin beheaded, Epona picked up speed again. They went through a gap in the roadside fence. Malon saw Dark Link gaining on them. Without a thought, she took a lasso she carried with her and flung it around a post at the end of one fence. Than she knotted the other side of the Lasso on an arrow. "Hurry..."

Just as Dark Link was about to come through the gap, Malon fired the arrow into the other fence. His horse tripped over the rope and flung into the ground, throwing Dark Link a good twenty feet into a tree.

"Let's go!!!" Malon cried.

They darted away from the scene. "Hey, not bad," Link told Malon, impressed. "You sh-" Link stopped at the sight.

Lon Lon Ranch was seemingly being closed up. Windows were being boarded and items were being packed. Link and Malon got of Epona. Malon's dad, Talon, came up. "Uh...honey?" Talon said wearily. "We're closing up.."

Malon acted as if a Moblin skewered her through the chest. She seemed stunned for a few seconds, then ran away. "Malon wait!" Link cried. He followed
her into the field. "Malon..." he began.

"It's okay Link," Malon sobbed. "I'll just take a walk."

"Want some company?"

"Nah, thanks anyways," she sighed.

"I'll see you later." Malon strode off, leaving Link in uncertainty.

Okay...Chapter...uh...6: Sages' Warning

Link had been expecting open arms as he returned from his mission. He expected the king's whismical welcoming voice. He expected a warm hug from Zelda, the way she always gave Link one after returned from a dangerous journey. None of this happened. All the senators were off with the king to discuss the drought update. And Zelda, well...she was angry about a different issue.

She had been furious with him for what Link thought was the dumbest reason ever: Staying an extra day at Malon's. "You had to... spend time with her, huh?!!" Zelda shot at him.

Link frowned. "If someone ripped your stomach open, you'd want to relax a day."

Zelda fumed in a fury Link had never seen her like. She glared, she snapped, she even pounded her fist.

"...She should have taken you to the Hylian hospital," she said, trying a new accusation.

"There wasn't enough time," Link pointed out. "I was pretty much dead on the scene."

Zelda shot back, "Still, very irresponsible to leave you out there in the first place!! Too busy worrying about herself..."

Link felt a ting of anger from Zelda's comment. "Her father lost the ranch!!! She was right to be upset. Zelda, you're the one who sent me there in the first place. So get over it!!!"

Zelda seemed to be snarling. "NO!!" she steamed."...You like her, don't you Link? And don't give me that friend crud!!!"

Link's mouth suddenly became bone dry. No words would come out. "Well, I..."

"I KNOW YOU DO!!!" Zelda roared. "SPIT IT OUT!!!"

Link's brain clicked back on in fury. "What's it to you, anyways??!!" he snapped in anger. "Jealousy, huh?!"

Zelda stomped her foot."OOOOOOHH!" she screamed and stormed away.

Link fumed out of the castle. Angry was far too subtle for how he felt. He felt furious.... it was almost to much to bear. It was time to focus.

Dark Link felt anger from his master ventilate straight at him. "I do not tolerate failure well, Link," it hissed. "But under the present circumstances...I'll let you live." The demon continued, "They're digging a new sewer here. We will move to our new location soon."

"Is it time to kill Link?" the dark one asked.

"No," Majora soothed menacingly. "We're going to bring Link to us."

Link meditated in the Temple of Time. So much happened here, Link reflected. Recieving the Triforce of courage...Ganon getting the Triforce of power.... He suddenly felt his body lift from the temple. As the sensation stopped, Link looked around and saw beatiful fountains and statues. He was in the Chamber of Sages.

"Link," a voice called. Link turned and saw it was the light sage, Rauru. "Hello, hero," the old man spoke. "It is good to see you again."

Link nodded and asked, "Why did you teleport me here?"

Rauru sighed, and Link saw he looked more wisened and old as ever. "The drought Link. Surely you have felt it."

"Yes," Link replied.

Rauru breathed wearily. "I believe this weather is unearthly," he exhaled. "I sense great evil around it....and it has been weakining my power.... I.... fear that
it is weakining the dark world seal as well."

Link gasped. "So I bet it's Ganon!" he stated.

"No....." Rauru whispered. "We would've felt his's something darker.... more insidious than him...but we can not rule out it's the force trying to kill you." Rauru saw the suprise on Link's face and smiled."Yes....Zelda told me your little dilemma."

At the sound of Zelda's name, Link felt a surge of anger. He soon realized that was bad. Rauru vanished, along with the rest of the chamber. Link looked around in horror.  A three meter high figure walked his way. It had a piggish face and a muscled body. A long wand was in its hands. Laughing, Ganon swung it at Link..

Link awoke in the temple with a start. Could it be?! he thought. The seal is so weak my anger almost broke it??! Link knew he had to do something.
He strolled out the temple and back into town to see Talon in an upset state. "LINK!!" he cried. "Have you seen Malon?"

"No," Link swallowed. "Why?"


Part Seven: Corpses Tell the Story

Link trudged across Lon Lon Ranch. He figured he might find clues there, as Malon was last seen around the barn. He didn't find her, although he figured he wouldn't. Something told him this was all leading up to one chaotic surprise.

Link tried the cow shed. The sight was horrifying. A cow, gut ripped open, lay on the ground. It looked like its neck was broken, judging from the irregular position. Trying not to gag, Link looked around. On the wall, written with the cow's blood, read, "Come to me to get the girl by midnight. If you hesitate, she will die."

"But who?" Link hissed. Obviously the thing that wanted him dead, but who?

"Your completley lost, huh?" Link turned and saw Zelda in the door way. Except she wasn't wearing her 'royal garments'. She wore the outfit of a Sheikahn warrior. She always called her little alter ego Shiek.

"What are you doing here?" Link asked. Sheik took out a paper. "When some Hylian workers were digging new sewer pipes, they found the remains of Borgo the gangster. This was in his pocket. It appears to be instructions." She handed it to Link.

As he read it, his eyes glowed with realization. "Majora!!"

Part Eight: Majora's Lair

Majora stood motionless on top of the observation tower. Behind him, tied to a post, was Malon. Majora's demonic mind could not grasp the concept of risking your life for someone you love. Love, afterall, was also not a concept in Majora. But it did know Link had these concepts, and he was foolish enough to come here for that reason. So the demon kidnapped Malon and took her bait.

Majora's evil aura made most ordinary beings collapse at sight. But Malon was resisting the effects somehow, something that facinated it. She was semi-conscious, but Majora needed only to probe the girl's mind to talk.

Malon felt the demon's dark presence enter her mind. "Go away!" she cried dully.

Majora found what it wanted. "Your faith in Link..." it soothed. "Clever, but futile. I'm afraid I will be killing him tonight."

Malon found enough power to enter consciousness. "He will kill you," she spat. "If he could defeat Ganon, he could kill you!"

Majora hissed in reply, "Ganon had overconfidence as a weakness. I do not." It paused. "I also have a little suprise, but why spoil that just yet?" The demon hit Malon's head with his tentacle whips, putting her back in to unconsciousness. It
turned....and kept waiting.

Link and Sheik rode Epona quickly across Hyrule field. According to Borgo's paper, Majora's hideout was in an abandoned lookout tower in the plains. It had been deserted a couple years ago for one of those new fangled steel built towers with souvenir shops and overpriced binocular stands.

They got to the tower just as the moon appeared above the mountains. It looked like a giant Lighthouse, except there was no roof.

"Come on," Link said in a hurry.

"Wait!" Shiek hesitated. "Maybe we should get reinforcements."

"There's not enough time!!" Link rejected. "I'm not gonna leave Malon to that monster!!"

"But Link," Sheik pleaded."There's only two of us! Isn't Majora dangerous?"

"Dangerous?" Link repeated. "Of course Majora is dangerous. It's one of the darkest things ever to exist. Now let's go!!"

Link entered the fort. Sheik sighed and followed. She was still angry at Link, but given the present situation, she really didn't have time to think about it.
Jealousy, she reflected. She could admit, barely to herself, that's why she was mad. Jealousy. Sheik pushed it away. Now was not the time for that. They climbed up stairs until they reached a door. Link opened it, and they saw it was the mid level section. A rough voice filled the air.


Dark Link appeared at the other side of the room, sword drawn. Link drew his own. Sheik took out a wand. "Two against one," Link murmured. Sheik nodded. This would be an easy battle.

Another figure appeared behind Dark Link. "Dark Sheik?" Link mused. The groups stared at each other, and then attacked.

Link was impressed with his evil ego's fighting skills. They were pretty much all of his own, and that gave Link an advantage. Even so, Dark Link seemed stronger, and that was pushing him into the defensive.

They continued to swordfight along the room. Sheik and her clone were somewhere behind them. Link ducked from a horizontal blow that would've severed his head, then stabbed foward. Dark Link cartwheeled away from it, hacking at Link's back. Link deflected it with his shield and lunged at his copy again. But the mimicking terror had stepped away, readying for another strike.

Link knew he could not keep this up forever. He suddenly noticed his nemesis was standing under a crate attatched to mere rope. He instantly took out his bow and arrow and fired it into the rope. The crate landed on Dark Link's head, knocking him out.

Link ran over to go help Sheik. Sheik could not get a blow at her clone. Dark Sheik knocked her over. Savagely grinning, she was about to inflict a final blow when she paused. Stains of blood slowly grew on her garb. She fell to the ground. Link was behind her, sword outstretched.

"I could've handled it," Sheik said gruffly.

"Sure," Link replied. "Come on, let's get moving."

Link stopped at Dark Link's unconsious body. "Hey, Sheik. Can you mind control people?"

"Fairly well," she awnsered. "Why?"

"I think," Link said. "We have a plan."

Malon was somewhat awake. She could see Majora some distance away, waiting. She hoped Link was coming. She hoped she'd be rescued. She hoped, for it was all she could do.

Link saw the entrance to the roof straight ahead. He could make out Malon, Lifelessly tied to a post.

"You really care about her, don't you? More than just as a friend," Sheik suddenly spoke.

Link turned to Sheik. "....Yes," he said queitly. "I do."

Sheik seemed stunned for a few moments, then nodded. "I-it's okay, Link. You and Malon were really ment for eachother, and-"

"Zelda," Link interrupted. "I care about you too, you know." Sheik seemed amazed for a few seconds, than threw her arms around Link. "Now as much as I'd enjoy to keep discussing my love life," Link continued. "I think we have more pressing matters to deal with."

"Oh, right," Sheik agreed, obviously a little embarrased."Let's get to it."

Majora felt the intrusion. At last...

Link came in, sword in hand. "Release Malon, Majora," he spoke.

The demon swung its whips in a fury. "You'll have to get through me first." Majora was suprised to see Link failed to dodge all the attacks. He fell to the ground. Majora was dissapointed.

Suddenly, Link's eyes glowed red. "Master," Dark Link whispered. "I have failed you...."

"A trick!!" Majora realized. The demon turned to see what appeared to be a Sheikah warrior untying Malon and leading her to safety. Before Majora could stop them, an icy feeling coursed over it.

Link had hit Majora with an ice arrow just in time. He followed Sheik back into the exit. Link first saw Malon. She was sitting against the wall and looked badly beaten.

"Malon!!" Link cried. "Are you all right?!"

Malon nodded. "I'm alive, aren't I?"

Link smiled, recalling his comment from earlier. "Come on," he said. "Lets go before Majora rec-"

The door suddenly shattered inward. Majora stood there, towering above them. "Too late Link.... too late..."

Part Nine: Oblivion and Beyond.

Link faced Majora with a determined look on his face. "Malon, go," he whispered. Malon hesitated. "Get help!" Link pleaded.

Malon nodded and ran off. Majora gestured, and Dark Link arose from the ground and followed the ranch girl.

"We meet again Link," Majora hissed. "At last...four years.... finally I am strong enough.... you really did beat me back in Termina." Its pitliess eyes shifted to Sheik. "And I see you brought a friend.... ah, Princess Zelda." Link saw Sheik jerk in shock."Yes..." Majora continued. "I can read your mind . You should feel frightened."

"Leave her alone!" Link cut in. "All you want is to kill me!!"

Majora leered at Link. "Yes.... mainly. But I have another suprise, Link. Perhaps you may remember... I never leave my trace somewhere without destroying the world around it."

It hit Link like a stone, "The drought! You started it!!"

"Precisely," Majora boomed. "It's caused quite a bit of trouble, has it not? The ranchgirl lost the farm... water supplies are low.... but now I think it's time for the final phase... oblivion." Majora slammed its tentacles in to the ground. A strange whirling sound echoed across the plain. Link looked up and saw clouds blocking out the stars.

A loud rumble of lightning hit nearby. More began hitting everywhere in a few seconds. Then it stopped. A crackling took its place...

"FIRE!!!" Link realized. This was true terror he couldn't help!

"Watch Hyrule die," Majora menaced. "If you're lucky, I'll let you live out the whole thing..."

At that, Sheik sprung into action, drawing two wands. Link drew his sword and shield, ready. Majora waved its right whip up and down, beckoning them to come closer. It stayed as that for a few long moments, until Sheik fired her wands in sudden fury.

Majora sidestepped the blows with ease. It then launched its tentacles at them.

And so the battle began.

Malon ran swiftly out of the tower to see the whole field was on fire! "Figures!" she sighed. She tried to get through it, but with all the mayhem, it was going to take time. Then she noticed a tall tree behind the fire. She took out her lasso and swung it around a branch. She carefully climbed into the tree and jumped out on the other side.

Malon was about to keep going when she heard cries for help. "Dad!!!" she realized and went to his aid.

Link and rolled foward, sword stabbing outward. But Majora had seen it coming and sidestepped Link, then batting the boy with its whips.

Link flung up, shield ready to deflect the next attack. Sheik attacked Majora from behind, wands blazing. Majora hit Sheik down, stopping her. Link tried to get a hit in, but a painful kick from the demon sent him twirling to the ground.

Link had never been in such a battle. Ganon was tough, but he didn't possess the agility and accuracy Majora unwielded at them. Even with Sheik fighting,
the battle had been pretty much even. Sheik once again jumped at Majora. It was a clumsy move; Majora grasped her with a tentacle and threw her across the room.

"You two work well together," Majora admitted. "But it makes no difference. I'm going to kill both of you." Link lunged foward, hoping that wasn't true.

Malon found her father with several other people, surrounded by fire. "DAD!!" she called out.

"Malon?" Talon said, suprised. "Honey, I was looking for you, when I guess I fell asleep.."

Malon rolled her eyes. "Come this way!" she ordered. They made it to Zora's river.If they could get across, they'd be safe. But the currents were too strong to swim in. Then she noticed another tree by the river on the other side. It looked like its roots were coming out...

Malon took out her lasso again and flung it around the tree's trunk. "PULL!!!" she cried. They all pulled the rope. The tree was slowly coming down.

Then she saw Dark Link coming across the river, drawing his sword. He ran towards her. "NOW!!!" The tree came down, making a bridge and crushing
Dark Link in the process. "GET ACROSS!!"

Sheik sprung foward, her wands firing. But Majora swung its tentacles out, nearly throwing her off the tower. She held on to the ledge by a hand. Link came in, trying to attack Majora in its moment of distraction. But it was a trap. Majora slammed a whip into Link's midsection. Sheik got up and saw the sight.

Link seemed utterly parylyzed. That was all Majora needed. It grabbed Link and flung him into the ground. "LINK!!!" Sheik cried.

Majora turned to her. "Don't worry... you'll be joining him soon enough."

Sheik ran at the demon, using power she never knew she had. Her movements and grace were perfect, her attacks were quick and precise. But it wasn't enough. Majora was the best fighter Sheik had ever seen. Its movements were dead on and accurate, its agility was surreal. But she couldn't give up.

Majora was impressed with Zelda's fighting skills. "Not bad for a princess," the demon mused. "But it's useless. Your hate towards me powers me, as does the destruction around us.... It won't be long now." It swished its whips foward, the better to seperate her head from her neck.

Sheik dodged the blow. She couldn't keep her grace for long. She focused deep in herself, trying to rid the hate.... and bring in justice. It was now or never. As Majora's tentacles came down, Sheik placed one of her wands down and got out of the way. Majora shattered it, light magic temporarily stunning the demon. Sheik grabbed Link's sword and, crying in triumph, slashed at Majora's chest, a fatal blow. And missed completly.

Majora, anticipating the last manuever, backflipped out of the way and kicked out at Sheik, sending her to the floor. Then it's whips came bearing down on Sheik's leg with a crunch. Sheik screamed in pain. Her leg was broken. She was immobolized. Then Majora hit her again and again. It was beyond pain and beyond feeling. She wanted it to end, she wanted to die. She tried to lift her other wand, but Majora hit it spinning over the tower.

"The next blow," Majora hissed. "Will be your last." Sheik accepted the truth and waited.

Malon climbed back up the tower. She couldn't get help, for all the soilders were off to stop the fire. Then she saw something that made her stop in her tracks. One of Zelda's wands lay on the ground. That couldn't be good.... She grabbed it and kept going.

Majora stood above Sheik, savoring the moment. To kill the princess of Hyrule would be a grand bonus to killing Link. It readied to inflict the final blow.

"HEY UGLY!!! OVER HERE!!!!" Majora turned and saw the ranch girl, wand aimed at it. Before Majora could react to this, a ball of light shot from the wand and into the demon's chest. Light magic coursing through its body, Majora lost its balance and fell off the platform. It screeched in terror as the flames engulfed its body in fury.

Part Ten: Epilogue

Link felt coldness splash about his face. He opened his eyes. It was raining. The fire had obviously stopped. "Sheik?" he called.

Sheik sat up next to him. "Ughhhh, my leg is broken." she flinched in pain. That suddenly reminded Link about the current situation...

"Majora!!" he recalled. "What-" Malon appeared from the stairwell. A wand was in her hand.

Link found it ironic that the girl they went to save ended up saving them. Link felt Majora probably survived its defeat, and that all should keep an eye out.

He was leaving that day to check on things in the forest. As he got on Epona, Zelda asked, "Link, what you said back at the tower.... is it true?"

"I guess so..." Link yawned.

"Guess?!" Zelda hissed. "Link, I want a straight answer from you!!"

Link laughed. "Wait a bit.... I'll see you later."

Talon had gotten the ranch back, and Link decided to spend the night. He and Malon layed out in the pasture, staring at the crinsom of stars above.

"Well," Link said. "I owe you."

"Oh please," Malon replied. "You've saved me tons of times." She paused. "But can I ask you something.  Link nodded. "Was Zelda angry at me for something?"

"Uh huh," Link answered. A grin was slowly spreading on his face.

"Why?" She questioned.

"Well," Link said thoughtfully. "She's jealous of something you love."

"Jealous?" Malon repeated, puzzled. "She's a princess! What do I have she'd possibly want?" She stared at Link. He just smiled.