The Darkness Within

By Kasuto of Kataan

Chapter 3: Open Your Mind

      It was part of him now. Daimanius had successfully taken over Link. But Link was still fighting. Perhaps he underestimated Link. Destroying this boy's soul would be harder than he thought. It would take more than rage to change this child. Daimanius had to turn Link against himself. Still, Link's display of rage against Mido was promising. If he could make Link attempt to kill another person, killing himself wouldn't be much more difficult. Daimanius would turn this pure, loving child into his own evil pawn.

      Zelda was frantic after Link had run off. She didn't know where Link went, but she knew something was desperately wrong with him. Link was a kind, peaceful person. He would never snap and try to kill someone like that. All of the children in the forest had gathered around Mido. They were completely flabbergasted when they found out that Link had done that to Mido. No one had ever thought that Link would snap and turn into some kind of maniac.
      "I have to find him!" Zelda cried. She didn't know what to do.
      "I'll help you," Saria said. Mido had gotten up and was as dumfounded about Link as everyone else. Some of the other Kokiri were going to take care of Mido, now Saria had to find Link. Saria took Zelda to her house so she could calm down for a moment. "Tell me exactly what happened." Zelda was playing the whole scene over and over in her mind. What had possessed Link to do something like that? It had all happened so fast. In the blink of an eye, Link went from standing by Zelda's side to beating the life out of Mido.
      "Mido came over and asked who I was," Zelda sniffled. "And Link said it was Zelda. And then Mido said that I didn't look much like a princess and then he commented on the dress I was wearing. He told Link that I was 'a poor excuse for a Kokiri, just like you.' And then Link…he snapped and said 'I'm going to kill you' and then he started beating up Mido." Zelda sniffled again, trying not to cry. She was so worried about Link. She prayed that he was okay.
      "Mido has said worse things to Link, and he's never done anything before," Saria said. She remembered the many times Mido had picked on Link and driven him to tears. But Link had never tried to hurt him before. "Do you have any idea what drove him to go berserk like that?" Zelda shook her head. "Well, we have to find him. Do you remember which way he went?" Zelda nodded and pointed in the direction Link ran to. Saria and Zelda walked past the still stunned Kokiri children and into the dense trees of the forest.
      "Let's split up," said Saria. "That way we can cover more ground. You that way and I'll go this way." Saria and Zelda separated and walked off in different directions. Zelda walked slowly trying to think of where Link would go. She concentrated on him; Zelda could feel how upset Link was. He had never been this bad. Link's terrible emotions were starting to affect Zelda, too. She wasn't making any progress. It was so hard to find someone in these woods. The ground was covered in thick brush and dead leaves, so there would be no footprints. Zelda had to follow her feelings.
      Zelda had been searching for what seemed like an eternity, and still hadn't found any sign of Link. She sat down on a log and tried to think. She looked around at the seemingly endless forest. It was so vast, Link could be anywhere by now. Then Zelda thought she heard something. She listened and concentrated. It sounded almost like somebody was crying. She tried to figure out where the sound was coming from. She saw a large fallen tree; the sound was coming from there. She walked slowly towards the fallen tree, the sound of crying growing ever louder.
      Zelda climbed on top of the huge log and looked down at the other side. There, lying on the cold ground, she saw Link. He was lying on his side, curled up in a fetal position. Link was sobbing, and tears were running down his cheeks. Zelda climbed off the log and sat on the ground next to Link. She gently stroked Link's hair and tried to calm him down.
      "Leave me alone," he mumbled. "Just go away and leave me here. I don't deserve your compassion."
      "I want to help you," Zelda said. "What happened to you? You've never done anything like this before."
      "Don't you know?" Link said with a disturbing smile. "He's inside of me. There's nothing I can do now."
      "Who's inside of you? What are you talking about?" Zelda was even more worried about him. Was Link really going crazy? He didn't seem very sane right now.
      "The Evil One. The one we thought we destroyed. He's in me now. It's Daimanius."
      "That's impossible," Zelda said. "He's gone. We destroyed him."
      "Not all of him. It's my fault. I let him in."
      "What do you mean?"
      "I let him in," Link repeated. "When I was in that cave at the South Pole…he talked to me. He told me he would give me anything I wanted if I followed him. But I told him 'no.' But he didn't leave me alone. He came to me again...when we were destroying him. The goddesses told us not to let him in, not to listen to him. But I did."
      "How did you let him in? I would've felt it, too," Zelda said.
      "For a split second I thought of what it would be like if I believed in him. That's when he got me." Link could think clearly now. He knew exactly what happened.
      "But the goddesses said you had to accept him with your own free will. Daimanius couldn't just invade you like that."
      "Don't you see?" Link shouted. "I did let him in with my own free will. But I didn't mean to." Link started sobbing again. "It was an accident. Now he's inside of me. He's trying to control me."
      "But how could Daimanius be inside of you?" Zelda asked. "We destroyed him, forever."
      "We didn't destroy all of him. Part of him went into me...the rest was destroyed. He's trying to take me, I can feel it."
      "Come on. Let's go home. You need to rest for a while. We can figure out what to do later."
      "Okay," Link said. He slowly sat up and wiped the tears off his face. Zelda hugged him and told him that everything was going to be all right. She helped him stand up and began to walk him out of the woods. She kept thinking about what Link had said. He wasn't going out of his mind, was he? Link sounded like he was serious; he wasn't ranting like a lunatic. What if Daimanius really was trying to possess Link? What could she possibly do to help him? The Guardians had never said anything about the possibility of this happening.
      Link and Zelda slowly approached the clearing where all the houses were. The commotion seemed to have died down. Mido was back in his house and everyone else had gone back to their daily routines. Link didn't look like he was in the right condition to climb the ladder to his tree house, so Zelda walked him to Saria's house. No one was home when they entered. Saria must still be looking for Link. Zelda didn't want to leave Link alone to go look for Saria; Zelda would just wait until she came home on her own.
      Zelda warmed up some water and moistened a washcloth. She gently wiped the dirt and blood off Link's face. It looked like he'd gotten a bloody nose in the fight, but that was nothing compared to what he did to Mido. Link was still obviously upset, but he had calmed down significantly. "How are we going to explain this to Saria?" Zelda said. "How are we going to tell her why you did this?"
      "We have to tell her the truth," Link replied in a flat voice. "How else can we explain it?"
      "I don't know," Zelda mumbled. She tried to think of something they could tell Saria, but she couldn't come up with any ideas. "But can we really tell her the truth? We promised that we wouldn't tell anyone what we learned. Can we trust her?"
      "Yes, we can trust her," Link said. "She never reveals secrets to anyone. We can trust her."
      "What about everyone else? What do we tell them?"
      "What does it matter? They don't care about me. Who cares what they think, they can figure it out for themselves." Link was right; the rest of the Kokiri children couldn't care less about why he beat up Mido. Nobody really liked Mido, and they would probably forget about it in a few days, anyway.
      Saria walked into her house with a gloomy look on her face. But when she saw Link sitting there, she ran and hugged him. "Oh you came back!" Saria exclaimed. "I was so worried about you. Why did you run off like that? Why did you attack Mido like that?"
      "It's a long story," Link said.
      "We have a lot to tell you," Zelda added. Saria looked at them both. What were they going to tell her? "We haven't been totally honest with you. There's a lot we need to tell you. You might want to sit down for this." Zelda remembered when Kasuto had told her and Link the truth about the Triforce. Now they had to tell Saria. Zelda thought of telling Saria only part of the truth, but then she wouldn't fully understand what was happening to Link. They had to tell her everything, Saria would understand. "We promised we wouldn't tell this to anyone," Zelda said, "but we have to tell you. But first, you have to promise not to reveal what we're about to tell you to anyone. You can tell this secret to no one."
      "Okay, I promise," Saria said. "I won't tell anyone." Link and Zelda then told Saria the entire story of what happened to them. About the Guardians, the false Triforce, and about Daimanius.

      Saria sat at her table, almost in disbelief. Was what Zelda and Link told them true? No, they would never lie. "Wow," Saria said. That was the only thing she could think of to say.
      "It was hard for us to believe it when we first heard it," Zelda said. "But it's true, we saw it with our own eyes."
      "So…" Saria said, mulling over all the information she'd just heard. "Link is being possessed…by that evil thing."
      "Yes," Link said. "He's inside of me. And I don't know what to do."
      "This is so hard to believe," Saria continued. "But it explains why Link did that. You would never attack anyone like that, not even Mido. What's it like? What is he doing to you?"
      "I can feel him," Link said with a shudder. "I can feel him in my mind. He's trying to take over my mind, and I don't know why. I'm trying to resist, but it's getting harder. He broke through when I beat up Mido. I don't know what will happen if I let him control me again."
      "What are you going to do about him, about Daimanius?" asked Saria.
      "I don't know," Link said, starting to cry again. "I don't know what to do! I can't get him out of my head! I don't want him to take my soul, I don't want this to happen to me." Zelda hugged Link again and tried to comfort him. He couldn't hold his emotions anymore, and Link began to wail. Why was this happening to him? What did he do to deserve this? Link was so upset, he was crying for every single thing that had happened to him in his entire life. As upset as he was, Link was glad his friends were here. He didn't want to cry alone this time, like he had on so many other nights.
      "There's nothing we can do right now," Saria said after Link had calmed down. "You need some sleep. But first, you need to get into some clean, dry clothes." Link looked down at his clothes. They were splotched with mud and were still damp. He didn't realize that his clothes were still wet; he was too busy with other things.
      "Oh," Link said. "I guess is should change into some clean clothes. I'll be back in a minute." Link stood up and walked back to his house. He slowly climbed the ladder and walked inside. Link took off his wet clothes and put them into a basket. He opened a drawer and removed a set of clean clothing that he quickly put on. He felt better now that he'd gotten into some dry clothes. Link climbed back of his tree house and walked back to Saria's house.
      "Much better," Saria said.
      "Zelda, you can go change now," Link said. "Your bag and your clothes are at my house."
      "Oh don't worry, I already changed," Zelda said. Link gave her a quizzical look. "I just borrowed some of Saria's clothes. We're the same size."
      "Oh," Link said.
      "Are you hungry?" Saria asked. "You should probably eat something."
      "No, I'm not really that hungry. I just want to go to sleep."
      "Okay," Zelda said. "You definitely need your rest." Link turned around and prepared to walk back home. But before he could, Zelda ran to his side and stopped him for a second.
      "I love you," she whispered, and kissed him on the cheek. Link smiled and walked back to his house. Zelda went back to Saria's table and sat down. "I hope he'll be okay," Zelda said to Saria.
      "Me too," replied Saria. "I think you should go with him. He needs you." Zelda thought about that. Saria was right, Link did need her. She had to be at his side. Zelda nodded and walked out to Link's house. She ran to his house and climbed up the ladder. Link had just gotten into bed, and he saw Zelda standing in his doorway. He started to get up.
      "No, don't get up," Zelda said, motioning for him to lie back down.
      "What are you doing here?" Link asked.
      "I want to be here with you, you need me. You can sleep on the bed; I'll sleep on the floor. You need the bed more than me."
      "Are you sure?" Link said. "You don't have to sleep on the floor. You can have the bed." Link tried to get up again, but Zelda pushed him back down.
      "Take the bed," Zelda insisted. Link decided not to argue and he lay back down. She bent over and kissed him on the forehead. Zelda looked around Link's house to try to find out where he kept extra blankets and pillows. She wished she'd brought one of her blankets with. Maybe Link didn't have extra blankets; how often did he have visitors anyway?
      "In the drawer under my bed," Link mumbled. Zelda kneeled down and open the drawers at the base of Link's bed. Ah-hah, she thought, this is where he keeps them. The drawer had a thick, down comforter and a thinner blanket, and the other drawer had an extra pillow. Zelda rolled out the comforter onto the floor and lay down on top of it. She pulled the thinner blanket over her body and put her head on the pillow. This isn't so bad, she thought. The floor isn't very hard, and this comforter makes it feel softer. She heard various snorting and rumbling noises coming from Link. Oh great, he snores.  Zelda rolled onto her side and tried to rest. For an hour, Zelda lay there thinking about what had happened earlier that day. She really hoped she could help Link. Finally, her thoughts calmed, and she fell asleep.

      Zelda was walking through a village, trying to find someone. This was strange, it was past noon, and this place should've been bustling with people. But it looked deserted. There were houses and various carts where merchants displayed their wares, but there were no people. It was as if everyone had just left without taking anything with them. Then she saw someone out of the corner of her eye. She turned and saw what looked like a child standing between two houses. "Hey, you there!" Zelda shouted.
      The child looked at her. "Come here!" the child answered. It was a young girl, wearing long, flowing robes with a hood over her head. Zelda approached her. The girls face was covered by a thin scarf, only her eyes were visible. This girl was the same size as Zelda, and probably the same age.
      "Who are you?" Zelda asked.
      "Your friend needs you," the girl answered.
      "Who? Link?" Zelda asked. The girl nodded. "I know he needs me."
      "Daimanius is trying to steal his soul," the girl said. "You can't let that happen."
      "How did you know that?" Zelda asked. How could this girl, whom she didn't even know, know what was happening to Link.
      "I know a lot of things," the girl answered cryptically. "And I also know that you are the only one who can help Link. You, and only you, are the one who has the power to save him."
      "How? How do I save him?" Zelda pleaded.
      "Daimanius is pure evil, and pure hatred. This hatred is trying to infect Link's soul. Only hatred's exact opposite can destroy it: love. Only love can reverse the damage Daimanius is doing to Link's soul. More specifically, only your love can save him."
      "But I do love him. Why isn't he getting better?"
      "Does he know that you love him?"
      "Of course," Zelda said. "I tell him that all the time. He knows I love him."
      "Are you sure? You tell him that you love him, but is it enough? You have an empathic connection with him, do you use it?" Zelda thought for a moment. Link and Zelda could feel each other's emotions if they wanted to. But they could only feel them if the other person allowed it freely. The girl continued, "You feel Link's emotions because he lets you feel them, because he loves you. But are you letting him feel your emotions?"
      Then it hit Zelda like a ton of bricks. Link didn't feel her emotions. Zelda realized that she had kept herself closed to Link. Link let Zelda feel his emotions freely. But Zelda didn't let Link feel her emotions.
      "You've kept yourself closed to him," the girl said. "You won't let Link feel your emotions because you're afraid. You're afraid he'll reject you." It was true. "You're afraid that if you let him feel your emotions, he won't love you anymore."
      "I never realized that until you said it," Zelda said.
      "You tell him that you love him, but that's not enough. You have to let him feel it. Open your mind to him, and let him know how you feel. That is how you will help him. That is the only way. He needs to know that you love him. That will give him the strength to fight Daimanius." The girl turned around and started to walk away. Zelda walked after the girl, and grabbed her shoulder. The girl stopped, her back still towards Zelda.
      "Who are you?" Zelda asked. The girl removed the scarf that covered her face, and turned around. Zelda was stunned; it was like looking into a mirror.
      "Who'd you think I was?" the girl said. "I'm you."

      Zelda woke up, startled. That was the weirdest dream she'd ever had. It was still clear in her mind. She could still see the girl in the village. Zelda remembered her words. But it wasn't another person telling Zelda how to help Link, it was herself. Somehow, it was Zelda telling herself what to do. Zelda had always know, deep inside of her, what she needed to do. But she hadn't listened to that voice until now. Now she realized how she had treated Link. She hadn't let Link know how she really felt. She had to open her mind to him. She would do that, when Link got up. She would let him know how she felt; he wouldn't be alone anymore.
      Zelda sat up and rubbed her eyes. It was still dark, but she could see the sky brightening slightly in the east. The Sun would rise soon. She looked over at Link's bed. It was empty. Zelda stood up and walked over to his bed. She ruffled the blankets to make sure he wasn't there. Where did he go? Maybe he just had to go to the bathroom. He would be back in a minute. Zelda sat on Link's bed for ten minutes, but he didn't return. Zelda was worried. She could feel that Link was depressed. He was more than depressed, he was distraught. Where did he go? Zelda stood up and paced the room, trying to think of where Link could've gone. Then something caught her eye, a piece of paper. There was a piece of paper on Link's table. It wasn't there the night before. Zelda picked it up and looked at it. It was a note from Link. She read it. Zelda, I'm sorry. I left in the middle of the night so you wouldn't have to see me do this. I can't trust myself anymore. I don't want to hurt you or anyone else. There is only one way I can get this Evil Force out of me. The only way I can keep from hurting someone else is by killing myself. That is the only answer. I guess I'll go to Death Mountain; it has such a fitting name. I'm sorry. I love you Zelda, please forgive me. Link.

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