The Biggest of Lies

By Kasuto of Kataan

Chapter 6: The Frozen Wasteland

      The king of Hyrule was sitting on his throne, waiting for Zelda to come home. It was almost noon; she should be home any minute now. Just as he'd finished that thought, Zelda came running into his throne room.  The king got off the throne and kneeled down with his arms open, waiting to catch his excited daughter.
      "Daddy! Daddy!" Zelda shouted gleefully as she ran into his arms.
      "Hi honey," the king said. "Did you have a good time at your little camp-out?" he asked.
      "Oh yes, Daddy; I had a great time!" Zelda said. "I had so much fun." Of course, Zelda was lying about her "camp out", but it was necessary. Besides, her father would never find out. "Did I miss anything after I left the party?" Zelda asked.
      "No, sweetie," answered the king. "It was all just grown-up talk." He looked past Zelda and saw Soral and Kayla. "Where did your little friend Link go?" the king asked Zelda.
      "Oh...Umm, he fell in some mud this morning and had to go home to get new clothes," Zelda answered. "Can he come over some other time?"
      "Oh sure. Link seems like a nice little boy, he can come over whenever he wants. Now why don't you go to your room and play with your toys; Daddy has to talk to these people." Zelda smiled and gave her father a kiss before she ran up to her room. Soral and Kayla approached the king's throne and tilted their heads respectfully. The king didn't usually like it when people bowed or kneeled or called him "your majesty." He didn't feel that he deserved any more respect than an ordinary person.
      "I hope she wasn't too much trouble for you," the king said to Soral and Kayla.
      "Oh no," Kayla answered, "She was just a little angel. She's so well behaved and respectful. And her little friend is great, too. Personally," she leaned forward and talked quietly, "I think Link and Zelda like each other."
      "Oh, that's so cute," the king remarked. It looked like Zelda had her first boyfriend. It's good that she picked such a nice person, instead of some punk. Of course, she was just ten; there would probably be other boys.
      "I think they're made for each other," Soral said. "We'd love to stay and chat, but we have work to do. We just wanted to take Zelda home and say 'hi'."
      "Okay, that's all right. You two go ahead and do whatever you need to do. Next time you get the chance, feel free to stop by." Soral and Zoya led themselves out of the castle. They truly did wish that they could stay and talk, but they had more pressing concerns at the moment.

       Link and Kasuto spent almost an hour haggling with a woman who sold winter clothes. It turned out that Kasuto had a knack for bargaining; he talked the woman down from five hundred to three hundred rupees. Link would've just paid the five hundred rupees because he didn't like trying to haggle. Link tried to do as little as possible, but still accomplish his goal. Link and Kasuto only bought what they needed, in spite of the lady constantly saying "you want buy this too." Link came out with a full assembly of winter gear: long underwear, a wool sweater, a coat with a fur lined hood, thick snow pants, gloves, a scarf, and heavy-duty boots. The lady even through in a free accessory: a bottle of waterproofing oil. If he applied this oil to the coat, pants, and gloves, they would become water repellent when the oil dried.
      The only thing Link hated was when they got back to Kasuto's house. Link had to try on all the clothes to make sure they were a good fit. By the time he'd put on everything, he was sweating like crazy. Link hoped that Takansuu would be cold enough so that he didn't sweat when he wore all that stuff.
      "Hoffs fiss?" Link mumbled through his scarf.
      "I can't understand you," Kasuto said. "Take off the scarf."
      Link pushed the scarf below his mouth and tried to speak again. "I said: how's this? Do I look as goofy as I feel?"
      "No, not really," Kasuto answered. Link didn't look as weird as Kasuto expected him to. The clothing was relatively thin and flexible. Link could move his limbs freely and easily.
      It was too hot. Link has to take these clothes off now. He quickly removed every bit of clothing except the long underwear. He then went into another room and changed back into his regular clothes.
      Link emerged from the bedroom in his usual garb. "So when am I leaving?" Link asked.
      "Tomorrow," Kasuto answered. "Today you're going to have to do a lot of studying. You'll need to familiarize yourself with the map. Also, are you hungry?" Link shrugged his shoulders. "Well, get hungry. Because you'll be eating all day. You need to load up on quick energy foods like cereal, fruit, vegetables, and sugary things. You'll also need to eat some fatty foods." Link didn't mind eating; it was one of his favorite pastimes.
      Link just had a disturbing thought. "Um, Kasuto?" Link asked. "What if when I'm in Takansuu, and it's really cold...what do I do if I have to, you know, um...go to the bathroom?"
      Kasuto smiled. "Well..." Kasuto murmured.
      "'Cause you said it was really cold down there, and I don't want to have to take all my clothes off to, um, go. And you said that spit will freeze before it hits the ground, and what if it freezes while I'm, you know, going?"
      "You might not like the solution," Kasuto said. Kasuto went into the bedroom and rummaged around for a few minutes. He emerged holding a strange looking pair of underpants.
      "Oh no," Link mumbled.
      "The inside of this is made of thick cotton and is very, um, absorbent. The outside is made of a latex-type material that will prevent leakage," Kasuto tried to keep a straight face while he presented the undergarment to Link.
      "You mean I have to wear a diaper? Like a baby?" Link said with an exasperated expression.
      "Well, it's better than freezing to death," Kasuto said. "Remember: this place is so cold that you would freeze to death in less than a minute with your regular clothes on."
      Link thought about the idea, and realized that it was better than the alternative. He decided that he would try to hold it if he had to go to the bathroom. He would only use the diaper if it were an emergency. The very thought of this made his face flush. Kasuto handed the diaper to Link. He held the diaper, stared at it for a moment, and finally placed it on top of the pile of winter clothes.
      Kasuto motioned for Link to sit down at the dining table. He walked to the kitchen and brought out smoked sausage for Link to start feasting on. "This thing has so much fat, it'll burn like a candle," Kasuto remarked. Link took a bite out of the sausage and found it very palatable. In fact, it was good.
      Kasuto unrolled the scroll and placed it before Link. He listened to Kasuto's instructions as he ate. "This is the map of the cavern where the Orbs lie. First of all, the entrance is about two miles from the warp point; so you'll have some walking to do. Lucky for you it's mostly flat land, so the hiking shouldn't be too hard."
      "Mostly flat land?" Link asked in a smart-alecky tone.
      "Well, there's a small hill, a hundred feet or so, right before the cave entrance. The hill's actually beneficial because it's a landmark that will guide you. It's the only hill in sight, so you'll know exactly which way to go. You can't walk around the hill because a canyon extends from  both sides.
      "Once you're inside it, you'll have a lot of twists and turns to deal with. The cave itself is just a maze of interconnected tunnels.
      "Now, the Evil Force does not want you to succeed in your mission. It will try everything in its power to stop you. Luck is on your side, though. Since the Evil Force is split between two worlds, its power here is severely limited. It'll most likely manifest itself in the form of small monsters or animals. You should probably take a sword with you."
      "But I don't have my sword with me," Link said. "I'd have to go back to the forest and get the Kokiri Sword."
      "Don't worry about that," Kasuto said. "I have a sword you can use. The Kokiri Sword is too small, anyway. You need something bigger. It shouldn't be too big for you. I'll go get it."
      Kasuto walked to the wall and removed a sword that was mounted there. Link never noticed that the sword was hanging on the wall. Kasuto handed the sword to Link. The blade was almost three feet long, but the sword was surprisingly light. The blade had a gold tint to it, and had delicate engravings on it. Link placed the sword onto the table.
      "This sword has been passed down by the Guardians for thousands of years. This sword is incredibly strong; it's practically unbreakable. Even the edges will stay razor sharp no matter what you do to them.
      "Okay, back to the cave. The maze of tunnels will probably take you a while to navigate. Be careful for weak floors, some of the tunnels may collapse. If you follow the map, it will be easier. You'll know when you've found the Orbs. They're in a huge chamber deep inside the cave. Both of the Orbs are floating above a pedestal in the middle of the chamber. Grab them and put them in your backpack.
      After you get the Orbs, get out of the cave as fast as you can. Their power is what kept the cave intact for so long. Once they're removed, the cave will begin to disintegrate. You'll probably have twenty minutes before the entire cavern comes crashing down." Link scared himself by thinking about the cavern collapsing. He didn't want to be buried alive. And if he were, there would be no one there to help him.
      "I'll give you a roll of string to take with you. You can trail the string behind you so it'll be easier to trace your way out. Hopefully the string will guide you so you can make it out of the cave in time.
      "We should get some equipment together for you now. I've got a whole list of things you need to take with you." Kasuto started to read from a list, "Rope, a pick for climbing ice walls, enough food for a week, a canteen with water in it, a small oil stove, extra oil, extra wicks,  a cup for melting water, some flints and kindling, some assorted tools, and a blanket."
      "Isn't that a bit excessive?" Link asked.
      "Always be prepared," Kasuto responded. "You never know what might happen. This stuff will all pack nicely into a backpack. It should only weigh about fifteen pounds, you can handle that." Link nodded. He's carried heavier things, a fifteen-pound pack should be easy to carry.
      "There's something I'd like to do today, before we have to start working," said Link..
      "Sure what do you want to do?" Kasuto asked.
      "Well, I've haven't been home for more than a day...and Saria is probably worried sick. Can you take me back to Kokiri Forest so I can tell her that I'm okay?"
      "Oh sure, why didn't you say something before? I'll teleport you there now. Just remember: you cannot tell her what you've learned in the past day, and what you're going to do tomorrow," Kasuto warned.
      "I know," replied Link. "I just need to tell her that I'm okay and that I'll be gone for a while. Besides, I go places all the time, so she won't suspect anything."
      "Okay, let's go now," Kasuto said. "You can do your thing, and we can come back and finish preparing for tomorrow." Link agreed and got ready for Kasuto to teleport him to the Kokiri Forest. Link held Kasuto's hand, closed his eyes, and they vanished.

       When Link and Kasuto appeared, they were standing at the entrance to Kokiri Forest. "I'll wait here," Kasuto said.
      "No, no," Link said. "Come with me, I want you to see where I live. You can meet my friends."
      "Well, okay," Kasuto responded. Link grasped Kasuto's hand and pulled him through the entrance to the forest. Kasuto knew that all the Kokiri people were children, but he'd never actually seen them for himself. Kasuto just never had a reason to go here. The children eyed Kasuto like he was some kind of weirdo.
      Then Link saw Mido. Mido saw them, and now they couldn't avoid him. The only thing Link could do was ignore him.
      "Hello Link," Mido said smugly. "So who's this?" Mido glared at Kasuto.
      "Oh, he's just a friend," Link answered. "Just ignore him," Link whispered to Kasuto. "He's always like this."
      "You know the rules. You have to get permission before you can bring visitors in."
      Kasuto looked into Mido's eyes. "I have permission to come here," Kasuto said in a flat, declarative voice. "You will leave us alone and go about your business."
      Mido stared blankly for a moment and then looked at Link and Kasuto. "Oh, is this your friend, Link?" Mido asked cheerfully. Link nodded. "Oh, okay. I've got things to do, you guys just do whatever you want." Mido walked away and Link gave an inquisitive look to Kasuto.
      "What did you do to him?" Link asked.
      "Just a little mind control," Kasuto answered. "He'll be fine."
      "Uh-huh. My house is over there," Link said, pointing to his tree house in the distance. "You can see that later. I'm going to Saria's house and her house is over there." Kasuto followed Link until they reached the house that Saria lived in. Link walked inside followed by Kasuto. The moment that Saria saw Link, she ran and embraced him.
      "Where have you been?" Saria asked. "I thought you were going to Zelda's birthday party. Where were you all night? I was worried about you!" Saria hugged Link again and looked at Kasuto. "Who's this?" she asked.
      "This is my new friend: Kasuto," Link answered. "He's the reason I was gone all night. I met him at Zelda's party." Saria stared at Kasuto.
      Kasuto felt uncomfortable, he wanted to leave these two alone. "Umm, I'll just go outside," Kasuto mumbled as he backed out the door.
      "What did he do that kept you out all night?" Saria asked.
      "Well, he', a...he has this..." Link stammered.
      "Never mind," Saria said. "I don't wanna know." Saria was used to Link always going away and doing strange things; this was nothing new. "I'm just glad you're back."
      "Well..." Link stammered. "That's what I came here about. I wanted to tell you that I'm going to be gone for a few more days."
      "Oh," Saria said.
      "Kasuto and I need to do some things, and I won't be back for a few days.
      "Well, how was the party?" she asked.
      "It was great!" Link replied. "You wouldn't believe the food they had there!" He's always thinking of his stomach, Saria thought. Link was jabbering again, "and the cake was huge! It had seventeen layers and was covered in pink frosting. I've never tasted anything that good. And the king was really cool, you would've never guessed he was a king because he was so nice and casual. And Zelda said she likes me and I think I like her too and..."
      "Okay, okay," Saria interrupted, "I understand. You can be quiet now." Link shut his mouth. He never realized that he was babbling until someone told him to shut up.
      "Oh, sorry," Link said. "Well, I have to go now. But I'll be back in a couple days, so don't worry."
      "I won't worry," Saria said. "I know how you enjoy going on your crazy adventures." Link smiled and Saria gave him another hug. "When you come back, can we have that dinner we planned?" Link had totally forgotten that he was supposed to meet Saria for dinner yesterday.
      "Of course," Link answered. "I'm sorry I missed it yesterday. Do you forgive me?"
      "Well, I guess I'll see you later. I have to go," Link said. He waved as he walked out of the house. Kasuto saw Link and followed him towards the exit of the forest.
      "So, how did it go?" Kasuto asked.
      "Fine," Link answered. "She didn't want to know why I was gone. I just told her about the party."
      "That's good. I know you'll be able to handle your task tomorrow. I have faith in you, Link. I know you can do it." It cheered up Link to hear that. He was glad that people trusted in his abilities.
      They quickly arrived at the exit to the forest and prepared to leave. Link looked back into the forest and saw Saria standing outside her house. He waved at her and left. Kasuto waited until they were out of the forest to grab Link's hand. Kasuto focused his mind on the cottage and teleported Link and himself there.

      "So you really like Link, huh?" Impa asked Zelda. It was really more of a statement than a question.
      "Yes I do," Zelda said. She was sitting on her bed and Impa was sitting backwards in a chair across from her. Zelda always felt comfortable telling Impa her secrets; she was like the mother Zelda never had. Impa was a friend and a confidante.
      "But it's more than that," Zelda insisted. "I don't just 'like' him. It's more than that. I think I really love him." Impa could sense that Zelda was sincere about this. Something inside Impa told her that this was more than a simple childhood crush.
      "Did you ever tell him that?" Impa asked.
      "Yes, and he kept blushing. I thought that was cute. He said he loves me, too."
      "I think it's great that you found somebody you love. You're too young to figure this out now, but I still think you should follow your feelings. Maybe this'll turn out to be real."
      "I already know this is real," Zelda said seriously. "You can't understand why, but this is for real. I know we're going to spend the rest of our lives together. And I think he knows it too."

       Link had trouble sleeping that night. He kept thinking about what Kasuto had said about the cave collapsing. What if he didn't make it out in time? What if it collapsed before he collected the Orbs? These thoughts had plagued Link all night. After hours of staring at the ceiling, Link finally fell asleep.
      The morning of his journey wasn't as hectic as Link thought it would be. They had done all of the needed preparation the night before. All Link had to do was put his garments on and step onto the warp tile. But before he could do that, Kasuto insisted that Link meditate. It turned out that meditation made Link feel better. It really helped to clear his mind and focus on the task at hand.
      "Are you ready to go?" Kasuto asked. They were standing near the warp tile that led to Takansuu.
      "I guess so," Link answered. He wanted to leave as soon as possible. He was hot and starting to sweat in the bulky winter clothes. Link was wearing his backpack filled with all the gear he needed. He also wore a sheath on his belt that contained Kasuto's sword.
      "Does okay?" Kasuto asked, trying not to chuckle. Link knew what he was talking about.
      "I'm fine," Link replied. "Are you going to bring Zelda here while I'm gone?"
      "Yes," Kasuto answered. "I'll go get her in a few hours. I'm sure I'll think of some excuse to tell the king." Link smiled and turned to step on the tile. "Oh, Link. Good luck, I have faith in you."
      Link smiled and stepped on the glowing red tile.

       This tunnel was different than the one that led to the Sacred Realm. Instead of a maze of twists and turns, this wormhole was straight. In what seemed liked only a few seconds, Link had reached the end of the tunnel. He materialized inside a small stone building. It was relatively unadorned, the only decoration was a plaque embossed with the Guardians' symbol, and two torches on either side of the warp tile.
      It's not that cold in here, Link thought. The only way out of this building was a large wooden door directly in front of him. Link approached the door and pulled on the handle. It was stuck. He pulled harder and noticed that the door was locked. It figures, he thought. Link disengaged the lock and pulled on the handle. With a loud creak, the door budged open.
      Link shielded his eyes from the blinding light on the other side. When Link's eyes finally adjusted, he gazed at the barren landscape before him. In every direction was nothing but blindingly white snow and ice strewn with patches of black rocks and boulders. Link saw a hill a couple miles in the distance. It too was composed of black stones. He saw patches of ice on the hill glaring in the sunlight. That must be the hill he has to climb. Link started to walked towards it.
      Kasuto was right about the climate here. It was colder than anything he'd ever experienced before. Link remembered when he was in that ice cavern in the alternate timeline. That place was sweltering compared to here. Link recalled Kasuto's statement about spit freezing before it hit the ground. Link decided to try it. He removed his scarf and spat onto the ground. He saw a small crystal of ice land on one of the many black rocks. Wow, he thought, Kasuto was right.
      Link continued trudging through ankle-deep snow and patches of rocky landscape. It didn't seem so cold here anymore. All this walking really warmed Link up. He wasn't so hot that he was sweating, but he was actually comfortable. Link was thankful that he was no longer shivering. He looked ahead at the hill; it would take a while for him to get there.
      Link tried to think about other things while he walked through the snow. He thought about the things Zelda had told him the other night. He was so surprised to her Zelda say that she loved him. Link had felt the same way about her all along. He was glad that Zelda made the first move; Link was never good at telling people how he felt. Now that Zelda had gotten the ball rolling, it would be easier for Link to admit his true feelings to Zelda.
      Link's mind wandered back into reality, and he noticed that he was about one-third of the way to the hill. That didn't take nearly as long as Link thought it would. At least it didn't seem that long. If he kept his mind wandering, the trip wouldn't seem as grueling. Link's daydreaming was interrupted by his foot coming in contact with a rock. He tripped and almost landed on his face. He had to pay more attention to his surroundings. Link tried to pay attention to where he was going, and daydream at the same time.

       A guard waved Kasuto through the familiar gates of Hyrule Castle. It seemed like he was visiting the castle everyday now that he met Link and Zelda. When he reached the entrance to the castle, Kasuto was surprised to see Zelda standing there. She was smiling and holding a knapsack.
      "I figured you would come today," Zelda said.
      "Oh, really?" said Kasuto.
      "Yeah. I told Daddy that you I wanted to go to Link's house for the night. He said that was fine because he liked Link."
      "And what about the guards escorting you there?" Kasuto asked.
      "I told him you would be here to take me today," Zelda responded. Kasuto had to admit, she was pretty resourceful for a ten-year-old. Kasuto was also surprised that she had correctly predicted that it would be he who would come to get her.
      "Well, I guess I should tell your father I'm here." Kasuto followed Zelda into the castle, and then into the throne room where the king was waiting.
      "Oh good, you're here Kasuto," said the king. "Zelda just begged me to let her spend the night in Kokiri Forest. She said she didn't want the guards with her, and that you would take her. Besides, Kokiri Forest is probably the safest place in Hyrule. You know, I wasn't aware that Zelda even knew you."
      "Oh," Kasuto said, "I met her when she was at lake Hylia the other day. She's so well behaved. And I also noticed how much Link and Zelda liked each other so I suggested that Zelda go over to his place some time. I was planning on coming over here to ask you myself, but apparently she did that already."
      "Well, she could never stand going more than five minutes without knowing for sure if she could do something," the king said. "It looks like she didn't want to wait until you came over to ask." He gave Zelda a look and she smiled innocently. "You can go ahead and get going." Zelda gave her father a kiss and darted out of the throne room. Kasuto followed the gleeful child out of the castle. When they were out of earshot of everyone, Kasuto talked to Zelda.
      "How did you know it would be me who would come and get you?" asked Kasuto.
      "Lucky guess," Zelda answered. "So where's Link?"
      "He already left for Takansuu this morning," replied Kasuto.
      "Oh, I wanted to see him off," Zelda pouted.
      "Well, you can be the first person to greet him when he gets back. We'll go back to my house where we need to prepare for what's ahead. When Link gets back with the Orbs, you two will have a lot to do."

       After two hours of walking, Link finally arrived at the hill. This would be a good time to take a break. Link sat down on a flat rock at the base of the hill. He opened his coat and pulled out his canteen and a piece of dried beef for a snack. He kept some of his food and water under his coat to make sure it didn't freeze. Link ate part of the meat; it wasn't as tough as he thought it would be. It was a little salty, though. He put the food back into his pocket and drank some of the water.
      Link sat on the rock for a few minutes until he caught his breath. Link looked at the hill. It looked at lot taller up close. It wasn't very steep, so it wouldn't be too hard to climb. Link stood up, stretched, and prepared to climb the hill. He started to walk up the rocky slope, trying not to lose his footing. Occasionally, some rocks would come loose and Link would trip. Fortunately, this wasn't a sheer wall, so he wasn't worried about a few rocks slipping.
      Climbing this hill was a lot more strenuous than he thought it would be. Link saw an outcropping and sat on it. As he was catching his breath, Link took another drink from his canteen. He dangled his feet from the outcropping and gazed at the beautiful view. He was almost halfway up the hill, about fifty feet, but there was quite a vista to look at. Link looked up at the sky. There wasn't a single cloud in sight; he'd never seen the sky so blue before. The Sun didn't seem to have moved at all, either. Link knew that he had been here for a few hours, but the Sun didn't give even a hint that there was any passage of time. It seemed to be stationary in the clear sky.
      Link quit his daydreaming and continued to climb the hill. It was hard work, but it kept him warm. Link didn't like the idea of freezing to death in this wasteland. This place gave him the creeps. It was like he was on another world. Link had never seen a place so devoid of life. There were no plants or animals anywhere; not one sign that anything had ever lived here.
      After another half-hour of climbing, Link finally reached the hill's summit. He looked to his left and saw the canyon that Kasuto had spoken of. This hill was just a pile of rocks in the middle of a chasm that stretched as far as the eye could see in both directions. In the distance, past the other side of the hill, Link saw a hole in the ground. That must be the entrance to the cavern, he thought.
      Now that his goal was in sight, Link was more motivated to climb down the hill as quickly as he could. The trip down turned out to be much easier than the climb up. The side was even less steep than the other one. It was also less rocky: there were no large boulders or outcroppings to contend with. Link could almost walk down this side of the hill. Link thought of running down the hill, but he decided not to push his luck. It only took ten minutes for Link to reach the base of the hill. He stepped onto a patch of snow and looked at the hole in the ground ahead of him. The entrance to the cave was only about two hundred feet away.
      Link walked briskly towards the cavern entrance. The hole was part of a mound of rock that stuck out of the flat landscape. Link was startled when he heard a loud cracking sound. He stopped and looked around him; there was nothing there. He continued to slowly approach the cave entrance, he was only thirty feet away. Link stopped again because of another sound. This one was a deep rumbling noise. All of a sudden, Link heard a loud snap! as he saw cracks form in the ice before him. The rumbling became a deafening roar as the ground in front of him collapsed. He was engulfed in total whiteness as he slid down an icy slope. Link's sliding was finally stopped by a pile of snow that had landed at the bottom of the slope.
      Link looked around and realized that he was inside the cave. The slope he just slid down was sandwiched between to sheer rock walls. He must've stepped on a thin ice shelf that covered the entrance to the cave. That slope wasn't very steep; Link felt that he could climb it when he needed to get out. The picks Kasuto gave Link would enable him to climb his way out.
      Link turned around and climbed over the pile of ice and snow. He saw a rocky tunnel that curved to the left. Link removed the map from his pocket and looked at it. The map showed a tunnel at the entrance that curved to the left. This was definitely the place.
      Link took off his backpack and rummaged through it to find the roll of yellow string. He also extracted a metal spike from the backpack, and tied the end of the string to it. Link grabbed a large rock and hammered the spike into the ground with it. He tugged at the string to make sure it was secure. When he was satisfied, Link trailed the string behind him as he navigated the tunnel.
      Kasuto was right: this place was a maze of tunnels. The map was helpful, but Link often found himself trying to decide which road to take.The tunnels were so eerie. Everything was dimly illuminated by bluish light, which diffused through the glacier above him. Kasuto said that there might be monsters in here, but so far, Link didn't see any.
      Link stopped when he hear a noise. It sounded like some kind of squeak. Link unsheathed his sword and prepared for an attack. He heard a rushing sound as a flock of huge bats flew through the tunnel he was in. Link dropped to the ground, trying to avoid the hoard of flying rodents. The bats tried to dive bomb him and he rolled, trying to avoid them. Link started to swing his sword, hoping that he could down a few of the bats. Link saw one of the bats fly directly towards his face. Link held up the sword and waited for the bat to come into range. Just before the bat reached him, Link swung the sword in a vertical arc. He looked at his feet and saw what was left of the bat. The sword had sliced the bat cleanly in half. Link didn't even feel it; this sword was sharp.
      The bats disappeared as suddenly as they had come. Link sheathed his sword and continued through the tunnel. He hoped that those bats would be the worst of his troubles.

       Link had been navigating the tunnels for nearly an hour, and he felt like he was going in circles. Suddenly, Link heard a voice. You will fail, it said. Did he hear that, or was he going crazy? Why are you even trying? You know you will not succeed. I am more powerful than you. The goddesses couldn't destroy me, what makes you think you can?
      Link knew he was getting close. The Evil Force was scared, and knew that Link could destroy it. "I'm not afraid of you!" Link shouted. He continued to follow the tunnels to his goal. According to the map, he was close. Link tried to ignore the voice.
      I can give you anything you want. Stop where you are and I will give you the world. I can grant any wish you have, I will fulfill your every desire. Link didn't listen. This devil couldn't tempt him. Link was happy the way he was. Or was he? Maybe he could cooperate, and get what he wanted. Link thought about what it would be like to have anything he wanted.
      No! This thing was invading his thoughts. Link pushed the evil thoughts out of his head. Daimanius could not win. Link wouldn't let it take him over. He came to the end of a tunnel and saw a huge open space. It was a round chamber about three hundred feet wide and fifty feet high. Luckily, the tunnel was only five feet above the floor of the chamber. They he saw the Orbs of Power; they were floating above a pedestal at the center of the cavernous chamber. Link climbed down to the bottom of the chamber and walked towards the pedestal in the center.
      Link turned his head to a cracking noise. In the distance, he saw a three-toed, lizard-like footprint in the snowy floor. He squinted his eyes and saw a distortion in the air. It resembled the turbulent air that swirled above a fire. He saw the distortion quickly move to the other side of the chamber. Link drew his sword. He saw the distortion fade into a figure. It was some kind of hideous creature. It was a humanoid, almost ten feet tall. Its muscular frame was covered by gray, slimy skin. It had two long, slender legs and feet with three toes. It's arms were also disproportionately long. Each hand had five fingers tipped with foot-long, razor sharp claws. The creature's head was elongated and curved slightly backwards towards the top; it didn't seem to have any ears. It had large, shiny, black eyes that glared at Link. Instead of a nose, it had two thin slits that angle upwards. Its mouth was large and filled with hundreds of long, pointy teeth. Mucous dripped from one of its inscisors as it growled at Link.
      The creature let out a loud screech and charged Link. He leaped out of the way just before it hit him. This thing could run incredibly fast. It charged Link again and he jumped behind a large boulder. He heard the creature growl as it crept around, hunting for him. Link peeked his head over the boulder. With blinding speed, the creature turned around and slashed at Link's face with its razor-sharp claws. As Link drew his head back, he felt a searing pain travel from the side of his head down to his jaw. If he hadn't have pulled his head back, the claws would've cut his head off. He rolled across the ground, frantically searching for somewhere to hide. He saw a small hole in the wall of rock. Link bolted for the hole and crawled through it faster than he had ever moved in his life. He managed to squeeze into a small alcove where the creature could not get him. It heard it pacing back and forth as it tried to find him. It stuck its arm through the hole, but couldn't reach him.
      The right side of Link's hood was sliced into strips of cloth that were soaked in his blood. There were five gashes along the right side of Link's face, leading from behind his ear to the bottom of his jaw. Link grimaced as he dabbed his face with the back of his glove. The wounds weren't deep, but they were bleeding profusely. Link removed his backpack and took out the blanket. He used the sword to cut a small patch, and placed the patch on his bleeding face. He pressed it there for a few minutes to try and stop the bleeding. After a few minutes, he gently removed the cloth from his face. It was blood-soaked, but it had worked.
      The pain subsided a little, and Link tried to think of a way to kill the creature. The only thing he could do is attack it from behind. Link quietly wiggled out of the hole and stood up. He was facing the creature's back. Link quietly approached it. He held up his sword and prepared to attack it. The creature spun around and eyed Link. It raised its left arm and swiped at him. At the same moment, Link swiped his sword. The creature shrieked in pain and ran to the other side of the chamber. Link had cut off its right arm. The dead limb sat atop the ice in a pool of green blood.
      The creature prowled on the opposite side of the chamber, blood dripping from the remains of its right arm. Link stared  into the creature's eyes, and it stared back. With a sudden rush of blood lust, Link charged at the creature with his sword extended. Roaring, the creature charged him, too. Before they collided, Link lunged at the creature with his sword. He flew through the air until his sword pierced the creature's chest. It shrieked and collapsed onto the ground. Link removed his sword and stabbed it again. Link, with uncontrollable rage, slashed and stabbed and gouged the creature until it was nothing but an unrecognizable mass of blood and flesh.
      Link collapsed onto the ground and buried his face in his hands. What happened to him? He was taken over by some kind of primal rage. The only thing he could feel was wrath. Link never thought that he could be so vicious. Link put his sword away and walked back to the alcove he had hidden in. He retrieved his backpack and walked towards the center of the chamber. Being cautious, Link looked around him every few seconds to make sure there wasn't anything else there.
      When Link reached the center of the chamber, he stared at the brilliant glow of the Orbs. They were both blue spheres about the size of a man's fist. Link opened his backpack to make sure he had room for the Orbs. He reached for the first Orb and gently grasped it. He placed it into his backpack and repeated the process with the other Orb.
      Now he had to get out of this place. He heard a rumble as small rocks fell loose from the ceiling. Kasuto said he would have about twenty minutes before the place collapsed, he needed to get out fast. Link ran for the tunnel that he used to enter the Orbs' chamber. He saw the string that he trailed behind him laying on the ground. Link ran, following the string through the winding tunnels. Link heard more rumbling as sheets of ice fell from the ceiling. Link tripped and banged his knee against a rock. Sharp pains shot through Link's knee every time he moved it. He had to keep going, no matter how much it hurt. Link limped as fast as he could, continuing to follow the string.
      After an eternity of agonizing pain, Link reached the end of the string. He saw the familiar slope that he'd slid his way into the cave on. Link removed two climbing picks from his pack. He jammed them into the icy slope and pulled himself up. He was coming ever closer to the top. He finally jammed the pick into the ice for the last time. He pulled himself off the slope and onto the flat ground.
      Link rolled over and quickly limped towards the hill. He heard a deafening roar and limped even faster towards the hill. When he reached the base, Link crawled up it. When he was halfway up the hill link stopped and rolled onto his back. The roar grew even louder. A few hundred yards past the entrance to the cave, the ground began to fracture. Gigantic cracks radiated from a central point, growing ever larger. Then he saw a gap open where the cracks intersected. Colossal sheets of ice fell into an abyss as the hole grew larger. Like the shockwave of an explosion, the gap grew larger until it reached the base of the hill. When the cloud of debris cleared, there was a massive crater where there used to be flat land. The entire system of tunnels had collapsed into a large basin.
      Link wanted to rest so badly, but he had to get back home. He stood up and finished climbing to the top of the hill. His knee didn't hurt as much as before. He could limp easily without intense pain. Now it was time to climb down the other side of the hill. Link slowly and carefully descended the hill. He was halfway down when he stepped on a patch of black ice. His feet slipped out from underneath him, and Link began to roll down the hill. He tried to slow himself down, but he continued fall uncontrollably. His body was banged and bruised by rocks as he tumbled. Near the bottom, Link became airborne as he fell off one of the rocky outcroppings. Link saw himself falling towards a large boulder, and tried to shield his head. There was a loud snap and a surge of pain as the upper part of his right arm impacted the boulder. The agony was replaced by blackness as Link fell unconscious.

       When Link awoke, he was dazed and confused. What just happened? It started to come back to him. He had fallen down the hill and landed on some rock. The upper part of his right arm was in excruciating pain; it was definitely broken. He felt warmth running down the right side of his face, one of the gashes had reopened. Link's clothes were tattered and torn. Judging by the way the rest of his body felt, Link would be black and blue by the morning.
      Then he thought about the Orbs. Did they fall out when he was tumbling down the hill? He still had the backpack on. Link removed the backpack and opened it. Good, the Orbs were still there. Now he had to get home.
      Link tried to stand and screamed as pain shot through his knee. He had to walk, no matter how much it hurt. Link began to limp towards the small building two miles in the distance. This would take forever. Link wobbled with every other step; it was difficult to maintain his balance. Blood from the gash in his face dripped into his right eye. Link tried to wipe it away, but didn't succeed. His knee throbbed, his arm was excruciating, he was bleeding, and he could barely see. The journey home would take an eternity.
      When he was halfway there, Link collapsed onto the ground. The pain was too much. He couldn't walk anymore. He rolled onto his back and stared at the sky. It couldn't end like this. He had made it too far to quit now.
      I told you that you couldn't win, a voice said. It was him; the same one that had tormented Link earlier. You could've had anything you wanted. But now look at you. You're pathetic. You're going to die here. I can't believe those people trusted the whole Universe to a pitiful little runt like you.
      Link couldn't let this voice take away his will to live. He had to fight. Link stood up and continued to limp his way home. He had to ignore the pain. He thought of pleasant things while he wobbled his way to the building. Link tripped and fell to the ground. He lifted up his head and saw the building. It was only a few hundred yards away. He extended his left arm and began to crawl. He dragged his body ever closer to his gateway home. He was so close, but the pain was too much. He couldn't go any further. At least he had tried. It's so cold here. He wanted to sleep so badly.Link began to shiver uncontrollably.
      He looked towards the building and saw something. It looked like a person. Was this real? Or was he hallucinating? The person was running towards him. As the person came closer, Link closed his eyes and met with unconsciousness once more.

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