Chapter 4: The Hidden Paradise
Link and Zelda took in everything they had heard. It was almost unbelievable. How could the Triforce Link had fought so hard to protect be fake? He had felt its power and knew it was real...at least, he thought he knew. These revelations had totally changed their perspective on the world. What was the most important thing to them a day ago had become insignificant today. Link and Zelda were relieved, if that was the right word for it, that they found out what the dreams meant. Now they have to figure out how to solve this new problem before them.
Another thought jarred Zelda back into reality: she'd totally forgotten that she escaped from the castle. She had been gone for several hours now, and her father was probably worried sick. He most likely started a kingdom-wide manhunt by now. When she got home, she would be in big trouble. How could she prevent a worldwide catastrophe if she was grounded and locked in her room?
"Uh, Mr. Kasuto?" Zelda said sheepishly. "What am I going to tell my father? I've been gone for quite a while now. A missing princess won't go unnoticed."
"Don't worry," Kasuto answered. "It's being taken care of as we speak." Zelda quickly looked and saw that Dejaren and Zoya had left. Rather than asking Kasuto what he meant by "it's being taken care of", she decided to just take his word for it. "Now you must see for yourselves what I've been talking about."
Kasuto stood and walked to the glowing blue square on the ground. He beckoned Link and Zelda to come over to him. They went over to the square and gazed at its brilliant glow. "This is the gateway to the true Sacred Realm," Kasuto said. "When you step on it, it will take us to the place where the true Triforce resides." They all stepped onto the square. Link and Zelda saw blue point of light form directly in front of them. The point quickly enlarged into a ball. The ball seemed to open into some kind of vortex. The vortex floated over to them, and all of a sudden, they were in a glowing tunnel. They could no longer see or feel their bodies; only their consciousnesses were there. They flew through the wormhole at an unbelievable speed. They jetted through hundreds of twists and turns. After what seemed like an eternity, they came to a straightaway in the tunnel, and could see a bright light at the end of it. At an ever-increasing speed, they flew towards the light.
It was two hours before anyone had noticed that Zelda was gone. The king was frantic when he found out that Zelda was gone. He didn't let anyone leave the castle until she was found. Was it that friend of hers that took her? No, it couldn't be that little boy. He could tell that Link was a good person; he would never kidnap a princess. The king was a pretty good judge of character. It was probably Zelda's idea, she was surprisingly rebellious for a ten year old. Zelda had escaped from the castle once before when she was eight. She only went into the town to look for some kids to play with. She didn't get hurt or anything. But still, the king had to be cautious. He was usually a worrywart, anyways. Zelda would be okay.
The king was pacing back and forth in the ballroom, which hours earlier was festive and filled with music. Now it was silent. He saw two people enter, Dejaren and Zoya. He wondered what they were doing here; maybe they'd found out where Zelda was. He hurried over to them. "What are you doing here?" the king asked. "Did you know that Zelda's missing?" They nodded.
"Yes, we heard," Zoya answered.
The king was a little confused. He'd kept this problem under wraps. "How did you know?" he asked. "Except for some guards who are out searching, I've kept everyone here. I'm trying to keep this quiet until we find Zelda. How did you find out?"
"We have our ways," Dejaren answered. The king wasn't surprised. These people seemed to know things that no one else did. That's why they were among his top advisers. "How many guards did you send out to find her?" he asked.
"Twenty-five," the king answered.
"They should be returning any minute now," Zoya said. She turned around and saw the guards file into the ballroom. The king saw all his guards returning. Zelda wasn't with them; why would they come back?
"Your Majesty," Dejaren said. "We need everyone who knows about Zelda's disappearance to gather in this room." Without hesitation, the king ordered everyone to gather around him. All of the guards, servants and partygoers huddled in the middle of the ballroom. Dejaren and Zoya stepped back so they could see everyone. The people all faced them, and some had confused looks on their faces. It was time to do their work.
"Everyone, may I please have your attention," Zoya declared. They all looked at her. "As a birthday present, Princess Zelda decided to go to Lake Hylia. She wanted to go swimming and have an outing with her friends. She's with some guards and is safe there. Because it was her birthday, the king allowed her to go. All of you know about this and thought it was a good idea. Even though Zelda's not here, you still decided to continue the party. In a little while you'll all leave. However, Zelda won't be coming back tonight because she also wants to camp out at the lake. She'll be back tomorrow morning."
The people stared blankly for a moment. Then they started talking and going about their business as if nothing happened. The king saw Dejaren and Zoya and walked over to them. "Dejaren, Zoya, how are you guys doing?" he asked.
"We're fine," answered Dejaren. "This looks like a fun party. Where's the birthday girl?" he asked. Dejaren knew very well where Zelda really was, but he had to ask in order to keep with the plan.
"Oh, you came too late," the king answered. "She went off to Lake Hylia for a camping trip with her friends."
"I guess we'll have to go there to wish her a happy birthday," Zoya said. With that, Dejaren and Zoya turned and began to walk out of the castle. Their mind-altering techniques had worked. It had been such a long time since they'd had to change people's memories like that. They'd almost forgotten how to do it. Now they could tell Kasuto that everything went off without a hitch.
Zelda, Link, and Kasuto approached the end of the tunnel. As they approached the light, there was a blinding flash and they were out of the wormhole. Link and Zelda both looked down at themselves; their bodies were there. Zelda was jumping up and down excitedly. "Wow, that was fun!" Zelda exclaimed. "Let's do it again!" She stopped jumping and looked at Link and Kasuto.
Kasuto outstretched his arms and turned slowly. "This...is the true Sacred Realm," Kasuto said. Link and Zelda looked around them. They could feel the power here; it was everywhere. It was in the air, in the ground, and they could feel it inside themselves. Link looked down at his feet and noticed that he had no shadow; nothing here had shadows. Everything was evenly illuminated on all sides by the gold-tinted sky. The thing that really caught Link and Zelda's attention was that there was nothing here. As far as they could see, there was nothing. The whole world was completely barren. There were no trees, grass, water, hills, or animals. It was all a perfectly flat desert. The only thing that stood out was a Triforce symbol on the ground next to the blue warp tile.
"We have to go this way," Kasuto said, pointing in the direction of the Triforce symbol. Link and Zelda followed Kasuto as he walked past the Triforce symbol. They kept walking for about two minutes until Kasuto stopped. "The Triforce is just behind this barrier," he said pointing to the air in front of him.
"What barrier?" Zelda asked. "There's nothing here." She looked around her and didn't see anything except for flat, open land.
"Watch this," Kasuto said. He took a step forward and outstretched his arm. As his hand moved through the air it suddenly disappeared. They could see his arm, but his wrist and hand weren't there. "This is an invisible barrier," Kasuto said. "Follow me." He walked through the invisible barrier and disappeared. Link and Zelda looked at each other and hesitantly followed. As they walked through the barrier, they felt a strange tingling sensation. The other side was amazing. The saw a huge blue lake in front of them. At the center of the lake, about two miles out, was a flat island. There was a vast forest as far as they could see, with gigantic trees hundreds of feet tall. There were cliffs along the sides of the lake. These cliffs were sheer stone walls a thousand feet high. The cliff faces were dotted with small tufts of green plants growing in the cracks. The cliff to their left was a roaring waterfall; they could see more trees at the top of the waterfall. Link and Zelda looked behind themselves and saw where they'd walked into this paradise. All they could see now was a circular opening surrounded by vines.
"What is this place?" Link asked, awestruck.
"This is the Sacred Realm," Kasuto answered.
"What's with that desert outside?" Zelda asked.
"That's just an illusion," Kasuto said. "The first Guardians created that desert out there in addition to the false Triforce."
"But why?" Zelda said.
"As a security device," Kasuto answered. "If someone discovered the truth about the false Triforce, they might come looking for the real one. We created that desert outside to throw people off the trail. All of what you saw out there," he pointed to the desert outside, "was merely an illusion. No one except those chosen by the Triforce can penetrate that barrier. Anyone else is doomed to walk in circles in that barren wasteland."
"Well, if no one can enter this place, then how come you guys went through all that trouble creating a false Triforce?" Link asked. "And why did you go through all that trouble to keep the lie going?"
"Because people will never find the real Triforce. As far as the rest of the world knows, the false Triforce is the real Triforce. You have to understand that people need something to believe in. It is in our nature as intelligent beings to look for a source of power greater than ourselves. Before the first Guardians found the Triforce, people didn't have any religious beliefs. No one believed in any higher power or supreme beings. Because of this, there was no civilization. People only lived in small nomadic tribes of hunter-gatherers. There was no art or literature; there weren't kingdoms and castles.
"When the Guardians found the Triforce they realized that they couldn't just hide it and forget about it. They had to create something for the people to believe in. The false Triforce finally gave people a purpose. They started to band together for the first time. People began to create music; the first written language appeared; kingdoms and countries came together; they created the sciences to study their world. Without the Triforce to believe in, the people would have never found a reason to better themselves; we'd still just focus on surviving our day-to-day lives. By creating the false Triforce, we not only prevented the escape of the Evil Force, but we also started a new stage in our evolution.
"Of course, not everything that came from the false Triforce was good. The Triforce is the reason for people to make peace and better themselves; unfortunately, it is also the reason for people to start wars and for evil people to try to conquer the world. But we think the good that's come from this has far outweighed the bad. Do you understand now?"
"Yes," Link answered. "Until you mentioned it, I never realized how much of a role the Triforce plays in our everyday lives." Link thought about that for a moment and realized that it's true, the Triforce does play a prominent role in their lives. Everywhere he goes in Hyrule, he sees a symbol of the Triforce somewhere. It's on buildings, clothes, books, weapons...everything.
Zelda decided to but in. "Speaking of the Triforce..." she said. "Where is it?" She outstretched her arms to emphasize that she didn't see anything. If this was the real Sacred Realm, the where was the Triforce? Zelda continued, "You said this was the Sacred Realm, so where is it?"
Kasuto smiled to himself. This girl had a lot of spunk; destiny couldn't have picked a better person. "It's on that island in the middle of the lake," Kasuto said, pointing to the empty island.
"But there's nothing there," Zelda said. "Oh, wait...let me guess. The Triforce is hidden behind some kind of invisible barrier too, right?"
"Yep," Kasuto said. "Another security device...you can never be too careful."
"How do we get across that lake?" Link asked. "I don't see a boat, and that island's pretty far out...I don't think we can swim that far."
"It's a good thing you asked," said Kasuto. "We don't need a boat, and you don't need to swim, either." Kasuto walked to the shore of the lake. He bent over and picked up a handful of sand. He tossed the sand out towards the water. To Link and Zelda's surprise, the sand didn't fall into the water. Instead, it landed atop an invisible platform that was about five feet above the water. "Follow me," Kasuto said.
Before Link stepped onto the invisible bridge, he bent over and placed his hand on it. It seemed fairly solid, it should be safe to walk on. He looked up and saw that Kasuto and Zelda had already walked fifty feet away from him; he must've zoned out for a few seconds. Hurrying to catch up with them, Link ran straight across the invisible bridge towards Zelda and Kasuto. As Link came within ten feet of them, the solid surface beneath his feet disappeared. With a stunned look on his face, Link plunged into the cool water of the lake. He floundered for a moment and finally stabilized himself in the water. Zelda spun around when she heard the splash and giggled when she saw Link floating in the water. "Oh, I probably should've told you," Kasuto said, "the bridge isn't a straight line. It twists and turns all over the place."
"A lot of good that does me now," Link huffed. Zelda snickered again. Link swam around trying to find the edge of the bridge. He felt around and found the edge. When he had pulled himself halfway out of the water, his hands slipped and he fell back in. Why me? He thought. Kasuto walked to the edge and extended his arm to Link. Link grasped Kasuto's hand, and Kasuto pulled him out of the water. Link looked down at his soaked clothes and absently wiped his hands on his chest.
"Maybe you should pay more attention next time," Zelda said, trying not to laugh again. Link scowled at her.
"Maybe this should help," Kasuto said. He extended his left arm and Link saw the platform he was standing on slowly become visible; it was a milky-white translucent color. Link now saw how crooked the bridge was, it twisted and turned in every direction. This certainly turned a relatively quick, straight-line journey into a maze of twists and turns.
"We have to walk across all that?" Link complained. He was tired, he didn't want to walk more than he had too. Kasuto gave Link an affirmative nod. Great, Link thought, just what I wanted. Why do I have to always be the one who saves the world? "Can't you just teleport us over there, or something?" Link asked.
"No," Kasuto answered, "we can't teleport here. The power from the Triforce prevents most of our magic from working here. The Triforce acts as a kind of dampener that prevents magic from working inside the Sacred Realm. We should keep walking, this is gonna take a while."
It took about two hours for them to finally make it to the island. When they set foot on it, Link saw the bridge fade back into invisibility. He turned to see Zelda sprawled on the ground trying to catch her breath. They had walked at a slightly faster-than-normal pace, but Link didn't think it was too bad. Zelda must've been out of shape; after all, how often did she get out? The think that bugged Link was the fact that they'd wasted all that time walking across a lake. When Link first met him, Kasuto acted as if they only had a very limited amount of time until the whole universe ended. Why was he wasting time here? Zelda finally sat up and looked around. She was tired from doing all that walked, and it annoyed her that she would have to walk all the way back in a little while. Link and Zelda looked at the island. It resembled the desert outside; it was barren and lifeless.
"Now it's time for you to finally see the Triforce for yourselves," Kasuto said. He began to lead them towards the center of the island. As Link and Zelda walked, they gazed at the far off hills and waterfalls on the other side of the lake. It was so beautiful, they wished that they could spend more time here. This would be such a beautiful place to live.
Link and Zelda looked ahead of them and saw that Kasuto was leading them to the center of the island. At the speed they were walking, they would be there in only a few minutes. As they grew closer to the center of the island, Link and Zelda felt increasingly apprehensive. They didn't know why they felt so nervous, emotionally they were fine. Their hearts began to race, and they broke into cold sweats. They knew that they were getting close.
Kasuto stopped and looked at Link and Zelda. "You guys feeling okay?" Kasuto asked. He understood how they felt; he'd felt the same way when he first came to see the Triforce.
"Now that you ask," Link began, "I do feel a little nervous."
"Me too," Zelda added.
"I don't know why," Link continued, "but my heart is beating really fast and I'm all sweaty even though I'm not even hot. Is it just us, or are we supposed to feel like this?"
"It's not you," Kasuto said. "The way you feel is a physical manifestation of the Evil Force. You're lucky, an ordinary person would've been crippled by it. But you two are more powerful than you might think, that's why you're not being affected by the Evil Force, save for some minor physical discomfort. Come, the Triforce is right ahead." Kasuto continued walking, and Link and Zelda followed. Just a moment later, he walked through the invisible barrier and disappeared from sight. Link and Zelda followed. They felt the tingling sensation again as they passed through the barrier.
When they entered the Triforce's domain, Link and Zelda immediately felt its power. They saw a raised stone platform about a hundred feet in front of them. Hovering above the platform was the Triforce. The beautiful, shining, golden triangles floated majestically above the ground.
"This is the true Triforce," Kasuto said. Link and Zelda stood in awe as they gazed at this holy relic. They knew inside of them that this was the real thing. "This is what we've protected for ten thousand years. Look up at the Triforce," Kasuto said pointing to the golden triangles. "Do you see the spot in the middle of the Triforce, where it's supposed to be empty?" he asked. Link and Zelda nodded. They saw the triangular space in between the three parts of the Triforce; they expected it to be empty, but it was not. In the center was another object. It was an upside-down triangle that resembled the pieces of the Triforce, only smaller. It was black, but somehow it glowed. "That is the Evil Force," Kasuto said. "It used to fill the space inside the Triforce, but over the centuries it has slowly escaped. When the Guardians made their wish, the three parts of the Triforce closed over the Evil Force. We thought this would be a permanent solution, but as you can see, it wasn't. The Evil Force has gradually escaped and turned into the black pyramid. But I've already told you that. Now...look at the Triforce. Look into it and you will understand everything; more than I could ever tell you." Link and Zelda did what Kasuto told them and looked at the Triforce. They understood now, they could feel the power emanating from the Triforce. Their bodies, soul, and minds became one with this power. Link and Zelda felt totally connected with the Triforce, like it was an extension of themselves. They also felt connected to each other, almost like they and the Triforce were a single object. Link and Zelda were connected telepathically, their thoughts were one. Even though all of their thoughts became known to each other, they didn't feel invaded. Privacy wasn't an issue, they both knew that this was the way they were supposed to be. They started to lose touch with the world, they could no longer see, hear, or feel the world they were standing in; there was only whiteness. Now all they could sense was the essence of the Triforce; it was the most amazing thing they'd ever felt.
Their entire beings were now combined with the Triforce and each other. They no longer had bodies, only their essences were there. In this perfect state of bliss, they began to not hear, but sense a voice. It spoke to them:
Link...Zelda, you have come, welcome. We are the creators of the Triforce, we are Din, Nayru, and Farore. You are the ones we have chosen to do our work. You have been given a great power, the power to destroy the Evil Force forever. For an eternity before we created this world, there was a war in Heaven. We, the goddesses of righteousness, have fought against the god of evil; his name is Daimanius.
I've never heard of him before, Zelda thought.
If you were any other person, you wouldn't need to know. Daimanius's existence is something of which people should never know. No one could ever live a happy life if he knew of this evil. Daimanius wasn't always evil, however. He began his existence like us, a righteous, loving person. He loved his creations with all his heart, and so did we. For eons, we created life throughout the Universe. He adored and cared for each of his creations; he was the creator of countless trillions of lives. But one day, he changed. He no longer loved his creations, he began to thrive on death and destruction. After his transformation, evil infected all of the peaceful worlds that we had lovingly created. Then he took the things that were most dear to us: the souls of all the people we've created. He has taken the people that we loved and tortured their souls. When people die, they can't join us in Paradise. Instead, they are taken into Daimanius's realm and live in eternal agony. We cannot reclaim our children until he is stopped.
He also convinced many of our angels to follow him. For millions of years our forces of good battled his forces of evil; a war raged in heaven and the Universe. Then, our forces began to take the upper hand. One by one, his followers returned to our side. He had no more followers. We decided to try to contain his evil power. When we created this world, we left a part of ourselves here: the Triforce. Along with this world, we created the Sacred Realm, an offshoot of your world. We imprisoned Daimanius in your Sacred Realm, and included the Triforce to counteract his power. We knew that one day people would find the Triforce, and discover Daimanius as well. Unfortunately, the Triforce we created wasn't powerful enough to contain him forever. The protection of the Triforce by the Guardians, and the lie created to protect it, were part of our plan. We knew that his evil essence would gradually escape after the wish was made to contain him within the Triforce. After ten thousand years, his power was split between two worlds. This time, now, is when he is weakened. It is time for you two to fulfill your destinies. But first, you must understand that we cannot kill our own brother.
He's your brother? Link thought.
Yes. Because of our nature, we cannot destroy him ourselves. You are here because you are the ones who will put an end to Daimanius's evil reign, and allow us to retake the souls of our people. You, Link and Zelda, are the final pieces of the puzzle. We have given you the power to destroy him forever. You will never understand how much it saddens us to have to destroy our own brother. But it is for the good of our children, all the lives we've created, that this must be done. Our servant Kasuto will explain the details to you. You mustn't tell him what you've heard here today. He does not know of our plans. He knows only what he needs to know: that which you must do to destroy Daimanius. You must know that we love you, and we apologize for having to put you through this. You are destined to become the saviors of the Universe, and to save the souls of countless trillions from eternal damnation.
You must return to your world now; but before you do there is one more thing you must know. Because you have allowed your souls to come to this place, you will be forever changed. Link, Zelda: Your souls are one here, and when you return to your world they will remain as one. You two will be forever linked to each other. You are now two torches with one flame. You are independent of each other, yet you are one.
As much as I like Zelda, Link thought, I don't want her to know my thoughts, and I really don't want to know hers.
That's not what we mean. Your thoughts will always be your own, no one can read them. Your connection is emotional and spiritual, you won't be able to read each other's mind. You can feel each other's emotions, you will experience each other's happiness, and you will experience each other's sadness.
Why?, Zelda thought, Why do we have to be connected like this?
Because it is necessary for you to fulfill your destiny as heroes. Your powers come from inside of you, they are parts of your souls. In order for your powers to combine so you can destroy Daimanius, you must have a spiritual connection. You won't be able to fully understand why this is happening now, but someday you will. Someday you will understand, but now you need to have faith.... The time has come for you to return to your world.
Wait!, Zelda thought, What if we have more questions?
You must find the answers for yourselves, they will come to you in time. Have faith, our children, and you will succeed.
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