Saria could feel the wood's pain. The army had charred through the trees, tearing about plants as they went. Fortunately, they hadn't been able to find the Kokiri Village; the Deku Tree had wrapped the place of the child-elves with the protective clasp of the green forest. The army would be lost in the Lost Woods for eternity before finding Saria and Link's home.
Link pushed passed Zelda and Tellikah so he stood next to his best friend. Though he was Hylian and didn't have the birth connection the elves shared with the forest, he was shocked to speechlessness. He gritted his teeth, unsheathed his sword, and dashed into the dark.
"Wait! Link, wait for me!" Saria scrambled after him, leaving Zelda and Tellikah alone.
Zelda inhaled deeply and pushed her long hair back. "Let's think this through," she started slowly. "If the army can't find the village, what other place would they try to capture?"
Tellikah frowned in thought as Zelda silently went over the sacred places of the forest. Together, they jumped up. "The Temple!"
Link followed the trail of ashes easily. Before long, he sighted the back soldier of the army. Moblins. He narrowed his eyes into icy blue strips. Taking out his bow and arrows, he took aim and fired. The first Moblin fell silently. The second made a startled gurgle before collapsing. The gurgle was enough to warn the others. A dozen spun around and ran to their fallen comrades.
"I is telling yous to spread out!" One yelled to his men. "It is being one of those cursed elves!"
Link grinned to himself. Bumbling idiots. He shot more times, and each arrow found its mark with deadly accuracy. The Moblins left were just standing, aimlessly, in a circle, knowing, and fearing, their fate. But they didn't for long. Link stepped out of his hiding place and walked past the bodies without a second glance.
Saria stumbled over a body. She fell back a step as she stared at the corpse in horror. Gagging, she leaned against a tree and forced herself to calm down. She had killed too, when she was first brought to the Temple, but the monster had disappeared, not bled on the ground like these did. She opened her green eyes slowly. She had to find Link. There was no way he could beat a whole army, not by himself. Walking away from the bodies, she let the powers she had as a Sage soothe her. As she walked softly in the woods, Saria tried to contact the spirits of the trees. When no response came, she stomped her small foot in anger. The burning had scared away the life of the forest. She would have to locate Link on her own.
Tellikah followed the Princess into the heart of the grove. She had never entered the Lost Woods before, so she stayed close to Zelda, careful of not losing her. The walked in silence, too worried to speak. Tellikah thought of her home. What if this had never happened? Would she and the Sheikah ever had returned to Hyrule? And what if they lost this war? What would happen then? Shaking her head to rid her mind of the thoughts, Tellikah tried to focus on the path they were making. She needed to memorize it in case she got lost.
Zelda used her gifts from the Triforce lead them. She could here the murmur of the Temple in her head. As they got close, the hum grew more urgent. As soon as she and Tellikah saw the top of the Forest Temple peak over the trees, the sound stopped, leaving Zelda feeling strangely empty. "Come on," she whispered to the girl next to her, "We need to climb the walls."
"Why over the walls?" Tellikah asked, her eyes narrowing into purple slits as she surveyed the stone boundary.
"So we don't get noticed." Zelda answered without looking up. "We need some rope. Do you have any?"
"Of course." Tellikah pulled out a coil of rope attached to her belt. "This is the best around." She added proudly. "Light weight, but strong. Rumor has it that it was made with hairs from Volvagaina."
Zelda nodded and took it. Tying it to form a lasso, she aimed for one of the posts at the top of the Temple. She missed. She tried again, with her tongue sticking her mouth in concentration. This time it landed right. Zelda pulled to tighten it. Casting a glance at Tellikah, she started to ascend. "I hope you can climb."
Tellikah sniffed in mock insult. "I am a Sheikah. I can do anything you do, only better." Tucking her long raven black hair behind her pointed ears, she took a deep breath and began to scale the wall behind the princess.
They hadn't gone more than halfway up when Zelda started to feel the pain. Her hands burned and her arms ached. She paused for a moment, allowing herself to catch her breath. She looked around her, then down. Stunned at their height, Zelda panicked. Her blue eyes opened wide in fear. Below her, the ground seemed to spiral in a dizzying circle. The trees melted together and spun widely, allowing her fear to grasp control. "Tellikah…" she managed to squeak out. "I… I…"
"Put one hand in front of the other." Tellikah interrupted. "Don't look down. Look at the top. We're almost there, just keep moving," she instructed the princess strongly as she followed behind, "You can do it."
Zelda gulped and squeezed her eyes shut. If only she was as brave as Link. He probably did this daily. Get a grip! A voice commanded. You're a Sage! Just do it! Zelda pried her eyes open. Setting her mind, she listened to Tellikah's orders and slowly pulled herself higher and higher.
It seemed like time had stopped, Zelda couldn't hear any noise, all she could do was feel the burning in her hands and stare at the peak of the wall. Finally, her tired fingers curled around the stone top. With all her might, the Princess forced herself up and over. She fell to her knees on the hard, solid stone, and gasped for breath, almost crying in joy. She had done it!
The Sheikah girl had been swallowing her own fear, too proud to allow Zelda to see her weakness. Straining to keep her own wits together, Tellikah pulled herself higher. When she reached the pinnacle of the Temple, she flung herself up and stood next to Zelda. "Come on." She said when she had calmed herself; "We have to get inside."
Zelda brushed her matted hair away from her flushed face and walked in front of Tellikah. "We're on the roof. If we can find the courtyard, we can get inside. That is, if there aren't any guards to stop us."
"Lead on." Tellikah dipped into a bow and let the Sage Princess guide them across the canopy.
Saria slipped into her Temple unnoticed by the legions mulling about her. Moblins, she observed, her small lip turning up in disgust. Apparently, the Dark Commander hadn't thought this mission important enough to send any real warriors. Cursed Moblins, Saria thought as she watched them kick holes in the sacred building's ancient walls, they were stupid animals with a head used only for butting each other. Sighing, she continued through the hall. Her petite figure allowed the young Sage to hide in the shadows, safe from the horrid monsters. She dashed down the long hallways, searching for Link. Saria paused for a moment, warily eyeing a group of Moblin soldiers grumbling at the entrance to the basement. One spat, barely missing Saria's boot clad foot. Her emerald eyes sparked deep green fire. Stepping away from the pillar she had been hiding behind, Saria began her chant.
Link carefully knelt on top of a tree. He had been through this path before, fighting to save his friend from the then accursed Forest Temple. Below him stood about a dozen Moblin guards. All grunting their complaints about not having the Kokiri yet. Sure, Link thought as he observed the Moblins, like they had the brains to find their way to the village. He sat back, surveying the situation. He needed to save his arrows, maybe a bomb? No, too loud. A plan coiled in his brain. They bigger they are, the harder they fall, Navi's voice echoed in his mind. Reaching into his pocket, he grabbed a small stone. Good thing the Kokiri were always giving him little rocks as "magical" presents. He chucked it at a Moblin head and stifled a chuckle as the plot was put into work.
"Hey! Yous been throwin' rocks at me noggin'?" The Moblin turned angrily at the younger Moblin behind him. His helmet had a nick in it now. His new helmet! Choking back a sob, the Moblin gently touched the indent. Whoever did this would pay! "What yous thinks yous doin'? I is your leader!"
"Nah, it isn't me who is throwin' dem rocks at yous." The smaller monster stammered nervously. He had just been picking his nose, not throwing rocks! Throwing stones was not allowed in the Temple. The huge, scary human had said that before. "No rocks over here."
"Den who is throwin' rocks?"
"Not me." The Moblin trembled under the shadow of the bigger one. He searched the others for an answer; maybe he could blame someone else... "I sees who throwin' rocks! It be him over thar!"
The first Moblin rubbed his sore head. "If yous is throwin' rocks, yous better be sorry!"
"Is you addressin' me?" The accused Moblin asked, puffing his chest out in an attempt to scare of his leader. "Is that who yous is addressin'?"
The Moblin leader puffed out his own chest. "Yous a smart one, yous is. I think you throwin' rocks at me."
"What, do you see me throwin' rocks at yous now? Cause I isn't seeing me throwin' rocks at you."
The Moblin leader growled in anger. "I is your leader! I be thinkin' that you owes me a new helmet! What is you thinkin' about that?"
The accused Moblin sniffed with an impression of fading interest in the situation. A long pause hushed the courtyard before he smiled slyly and resumed his taunting. "I is thinking that you isn't needing a new helmet. 'Cause everyone is knowing that dead Moblins isn't needin' helmets anymore. And yous is dead cause I will be making yous dead!"
"You is being the dead one!" The Moblin leader jumped the other, punching wildly with all his might.
"Yeah! I is wanting a piece of you!" The other guards joined the fight, each kicking and biting in a furious rage, none really understanding the fight, but all wanting a portion of the battle.
Link sprung from his place in the tree to take advantage of the quarrel. Taking out his sword, Link slashed through the pile, killing them all before they had realized what happened.
He took a step back, looking at the motionless heap before him. A pang of guilt flew through him, but he banished it immediately. They disserved it; they were the enemy. He sheathed his sword and cautiously entered the dark hall leading into the heart of the Forest Temple.
He hadn't gone more than five steps when he heard Saria's usually quiet voice ring through the dark building. Rushing past startled Moblins, Link dove into the room where the small Sage stood.
"Power of the Sacred Forest,
Deep eternal forces of the Tree of Life,
To change Destiny,
One must fight the flow.
And so I call.
I summon you to save the Temple,
Ancient spirits of the Night
Lightening the sky with your might!"
Saria swayed her body to the song she sang. Around her green streaks of light gathered until she was surrounded by the wisps of color. Then with a burst, waves of the power crashed around her before they blasted over the Moblin. The monsters screamed in fear before they were silenced, bodies crumbled into piles of dust.
Link raised his arms around his head, expecting the worst. Instead, a warm wind gently rustled his hair. Surprised, he opened one eye. The before crowded room was empty, and down the halls, he could hear the scrambling of the surviving Moblins as they fled the Temple.
She lowered her arms slowly, amazed at what had happened. She had simply opened her mouth, and a spell had formed. Saria didn't exactly know what had happened, only that she now had a spark inside her somewhere that she could feel burning. Still, shock, she fell back, leaning against the cool wall as she tripped to the ground.
The young hero rushed to capture the forest sage in his arms. Pressing her quivering form against his chest, he murmured soothing words, smiling down at her as she stared at him. Link brushed her dark green hair back out of her face and pulled her closer, fearing she would somehow escape his embrace.
"I'm so sleepy." She said in a whisper. "Did you see me Link? Did you see what I did?"
"Yeah." Link whispered back. "You saved the Temple."
They sat there for an infinity of time, Link kneeling on the hard floor with the petit elf shaking slightly in the cradle of his arms.
Suddenly the sanctuary was broken. Link stood, his sage still in his arms, his eyes scanning the black hallway. Smoke. The smell of fire floated around the hero like a deadly perfume, enticing his senses. "Saria?" He gently shook the small figure. When she mumbled in response, he continued. "They're burning the Temple."
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