The Darkness Within

By Kasuto of Kataan

Chapter 4: Self Destruction

      Everything was working perfectly. Daimanius's plan to destroy Link was going exactly the way he thought it would. Link is sealing his own fate. He no longer trusts himself, and he no longer loves himself. Link's dark side has come out into the open. Now Daimanius won't have to do a thing, Link would do that for him. Link was going to kill himself. And then his soul would belong to Daimanius; it would be his to do with as he pleased. He could torture Link's soul for all eternity, the boy who destroyed him.

      Zelda was completely hysterical when she read Link's note. She didn't know what to do now. She decided that she had to tell Saria. With tears streaming down her face, Zelda ran through the still dark forest to Saria's house. Zelda ran into Saria's house; she was still sound asleep. "Saria!" Zelda yelled. Saria moaned and rolled on her side. "Saria! Wake up!" Zelda yelled again, shaking Saria violently. Saria waved her arms around and sat up.
      "What, what? I'm up!" Saria said, frustrated. She saw Zelda. "What's wrong?" Zelda tried to tell Saria what was wrong, but she couldn't speak. She was so upset, that no words would come out.
      "It's…it's Link…" she stammered. "He's…" she sniffled, "He's going to…"
      "What? What's wrong?" Saria asked, now very concerned. Zelda was having a breakdown and couldn't even talk. Zelda handed Saria a piece of paper. Saria read the note, and thought she was going to have a heart attack. "No! This isn't true! Is this some kind of sick joke?" Saria couldn't believe what she was reading. Link would never try to kill himself.
      "He's gone," Zelda managed to say. "He's not here. We have…to find him." Saria immediately jumped out of bed and changed out of her pajamas and into her regular clothes.
      "He's going to Death Mountain, right?" said Saria. Zelda nodded. "Follow me, I know a shortcut." Zelda followed Saria as she took her through the forest and into the Lost Woods. They could both feel the adrenaline coursing through their bodies; they had never run so fast in their lives. Saria was leading Zelda to the warp that led to Goron City. As they ran through the Lost Woods, Zelda prayed that Link wouldn't kill himself. She knew he was still alive, but for how much longer?

      Link was sitting on one of the many ledges on Death Mountain. This particular ledge faced east, and was a seven hundred foot sheer drop to the base of the mountain. The perfect place to jump. He dangled his legs over the edge, watching the coming sunrise. What a beautiful way to end it all. He would watch one last sunrise, then he would jump.
      Link couldn't stand to live anymore. He didn't deserve to live. What if his next violent outburst was against Saria? Or Zelda? He couldn't let himself hurt Zelda, the girl he loved so much. What was the point of loving her, anyways? She didn't love him back. Sure, she said that she loved him, but he didn't feel it. Link was giving his whole heart to her, but she didn't give him anything back. What was the point in living if the only thing that mattered to you didn't care? No, I don't deserve Zelda. She deserves someone better. Why would she want to be with someone like me? She doesn't want to be with a failure like me. She's too good for me; I'm not worthy to be with her.
      That's right, the voice said. You're not good enough for her. What did I tell you before? I told you that you wouldn't amount to anything. I told you that you were a failure. I offered you the chance to have anything you could ever dream of, the chance to be somebody. But you refused. Now look at you. You're worthless. You tried to be someone, but you failed. Just like everything else you've ever tried. And to think, you thought you were good enough for Zelda. Why would she want to be with someone like you? A princess, who will someday rule all of Hyrule, wouldn't want to be with a worthless runt like you. Can't you see that she doesn't really love you? You've given all your heart to her, and what has she given back? Nothing. Some empathic connection you have. She can feel your emotions, but can you feel her? Of course not. She doesn't want you to. If she loved you, she would let you no how she feels. But she doesn't love you. That's why you can't feel her emotions. Now you're going to end it all, you'll enter into the sweet embrace of death. You're not meant to live in this world. No one wants you here. Everyone is a lot better off without you burdening them.
      The voice was right. Link didn't need to be here. He had no reason to live in this world. He gazed at the horizon. It glowed with beautiful shades of red, orange, and violet. A tiny portion of the Sun peeked over the horizon. This would be a beautiful sunrise. This was the first time that Link had actually sat and watched one. He should've done this before. It was so beautiful. Oh well, it would all be over soon.
      The glowing orange orb that was the Sun was fully visible now. The Sun had risen. It was time. Link stood up and looked over the edge of the cliff. It was a long fall, seven hundred feet. At least it wouldn't hurt when he hit the ground. Link looked at the spectacular view from this mountain vista. At least his last moments of life would be peaceful, and serene. He would count to a hundred. Then he would jump. Yes, he needed to have a countdown. He held out his arms, like a bird. His broken arm hurt unbelievably. It didn't matter; the pain would be gone soon. Link took one last look at the sunrise, and closed his eyes. One…two…three…

      Zelda climbed the rocky slope as fast as she could. She looked behind her and saw Saria sitting on the ground, Saria couldn't go any further. But Zelda didn't care about Saria, she had to find Link. She knew where he was, she could feel him. They had decided that the eastern face of Death Mountain would be the most likely place Link would go. It had a sheer cliff face, the perfect place to jump. The southern side of the mountain was not steep at all, making this place easily accessible. Zelda knew Link was here, but she didn't have much time. Zelda could feel that Link was eerily calm, she needed to hurry.
      Zelda was almost to the top of the mountain. She climbed faster, tripping over rocks while she tried to run. Her knees and ankles were bruised and bloody from scraping them on rocks. Her hands were scraped, gashed, and bleeding from falling onto sharp rocks. On the climb up, one of Zelda's shoes had fallen off, and she decided to removed the other one two. Her feet ached from walking on bare rocks. She was almost there. She felt a sharp pain in her left foot as she stepped on a razor-sharp rock. It was lodged in the arch of her foot, the pain was almost unbearable. But she kept going. The top of the slope was near. Just a few more steps. When Zelda's head was above the slope, she saw Link. He was standing up with his arms outstretched. He looked as if he were about to jump. Ninety-six…ninety-seven…ninety-eight…ninety-nine…
      "Stop!" Zelda yelled, running towards Link. "Don't jump!" He turned around and saw Zelda running towards him. In the blink of an eye, she tackled him and pulled him away from the edge of the cliff. He opened his eyes and saw Zelda pinning him to the ground. "Please don't jump," she cried, tears flowing from her sparkling eyes. Link had never seen that look in her face before. "I love you. Don't jump. Don't listen to him. I need you here. I can't live without you. I'm sorry I didn't let you know that I loved you. But you know now. Feel it. Know it."
      Link pushed Zelda away and stood up. "Why are you here?" he shouted. "You weren't supposed to come until after I was gone. You don't need to be here. I don't want you to see this. Why do you even care? I'm nothing! And I'll never be anything! You deserve better than me!"
      "No!" Zelda said. "You are the one I deserve, you are the one I love. You're the only person that matters to me anymore. Don't take that away from me," she pleaded. "Don't leave me alone. I need you…and you need me. Please…I'll die without you." Link turned his back on Zelda. Lies. They were all lies. But Link still loved her. Link couldn't let her watch him die. He would have to do it somewhere else. He had to run away from her.
      Link ran towards the same slope he'd climbed up. He would have to kill himself somewhere else. He ran down the slope. Then a rock slipped. His feet slipped out from under him and he began to roll down the hill, déjà vu. He rolled for a few seconds until he hit a large rock. The side of his head impacted on the rock, he felt the shock through his whole body. The pain in his head was tremendous, and he could feel warm blood soaking into his hair. It wasn't exactly self-inflicted, but it would have to do. He felt tired. The world was spinning. Yes, it would be over in a few seconds. As his vision blurred, he saw Zelda running towards him. He didn't want her to see him die. But it looked like that's the way it would be. It was her fault if she saw this. Link couldn't feel his body anymore, everything was numb. Then the darkness came as he fell into the sweet embrace of death; it was over.
      Zelda ran to Link and kneeled by his side. She looked at his battered body. His head was nestled atop a rock, with blood soaking his hair around a huge gash. She leaned over and embraced his lifeless body. "I love you," she said. "Please don't leave me." Link's head flopped loosely as she embraced him. His eyes were closed, and he wasn't breathing. She put her ear to his chest, she couldn't hear a heartbeat. He can't be dead. This isn't supposed to happen. I love him. She held him again, and prayed that he would come back. Then Zelda cried out as loud as she could, so the whole world could hear, her scream echoing through the mountains.

      Link was standing in some kind of open space. It was all white here, everywhere. It was like his experience with the Triforce; only his body was here also. He heard footsteps echoing behind him. He turned around to see a small figure cloaked in black. The figure slowly approached, his face shadowed by a hood. As the figure grew closer, the face came into view. It was a boy, with fire-red eyes and a disturbing smile. He looked like Link. "Well done," said the boy in a low, evil-sounding voice. "I didn't think you would do it. But I guess I'm more powerful than you thought. I have to say, I couldn't have done it without his help." Link knew who the boy was talking about, the Evil One. The force that had possessed him. Link could think clearly now. He knew that this wasn't right. This was wrong. He wasn't supposed to be here.
      "Who are you?" Link said.
      "I am you," the boy answered. "More specifically, I'm the evil you. I'm your dark side."
      "I have no dark side!" Link said defensively. The boy cackled.
      "Oh, come now. Of course you have a dark side. Everyone does, even you. You locked me away for so long. I thought I would never get out. I couldn't without his help. I sat in that cold prison inside your soul, waiting for your guard to come down. Now it has finally happened. It's so much better this way; you should've let me take over long ago. We're quite alike, you and I."
      "No! I'm nothing like you!" Link shouted.
      "Don't be so naïve. You wanted me to come out. You just couldn't do it by yourself. You had to wait until Daimanius showed you the way. There's no turning back now. Embrace your dark side, come with me and him. You can spend eternity with us."
      "I don't want to spend eternity with you! I won't let you take me to hell!"
      "It's a little late for that," the boy cackled. "You're gone now. Don't you know? You're dead. Don't reject your dark side, embrace it. It's so much better here. Forget about the world of the living, you have no place there. It's too late to change your mind, follow the path you have chosen…come."
      "No! No, no, no, no, no, no!!" Link screamed. With an astounded look on his face, the boy disappeared.
      Link was somewhere else now. It looked the same, but it felt different. Out of the whiteness, he saw the figures of people materialize from the air. He knew them all, but he'd never seen some of the faces before. It was peaceful here, he wanted to stay. A kind looking woman approached Link and hugged him. She had blonde hair and blue eyes; she bore a striking resemblance to Link. "It's okay," the woman said. "You're safe here…my son."
      Tears welled in Link's eyes. "Mother…" he whispered. She kissed him on the forehead. Link opened his mouth to speak, but she put her finger on his lips.
      "Shhh," she said soothingly. "Don't worry. I love you, I always have. That is why I took you to the Kokiri forest." The people gathered around vanished suddenly, leaving only Link and the woman. "I remember the day I brought you there. It was so sad for me. I had to give you up, to save you. So I gave you to the only one I could trust, the Great Deku Tree. He took care of you. I remember the last time I saw you. Mido was holding you, because I was too weak. Mido is so mean to you, but that's not the way he really is. He loves you, he took care of you like his own child."
      "He…took care of me?" Link said. The woman nodded. "But I hurt him…I almost killed him."
      "That wasn't you who attacked him. Mido knew that. He doesn't hate you." She looked into Link's eyes and ran her hand through his hair. "I was so proud of you, watching you grow up. You've accomplished so much in your short life, but you're not done. There's more you have to do. You just rejected your dark side, and by doing so, you have purified your soul. Daimanius is gone now. All you had to do was say 'no.'"
      "I want to stay here," Link said. It was so peaceful here.
      "I know. It's beautiful here, but you have to go back. You have something better waiting for you back home." The whiteness vanished, and they were standing in a beautiful meadow. There were birds and beautiful flowers everywhere. He felt love here…more than he had ever felt before. "This is what's waiting for you," the woman continued. "You know what this is."
      "It's…love," Link said. He could feel it here. He knew it was Zelda, he could feel that she loved him.
      "It's Zelda's love, for you. You can feel her love for you now. That is what you wanted, that is what you always wanted."
      "I loved her, but she never gave it back. She never let me have any hint of her emotions…even when I gave everything to her."
      "But you can feel it now," the woman said. "She made a mistake, and she has paid dearly for it. She is giving her heart to you now, don't leave her alone. Go to her, my son. She'll die without you. You have so much ahead of you. You still have a whole life to live. But don't listen to me; you have to make your own decision. It is your choice, and yours alone. Please, don't stay here. It's not your time." The woman turned around and vanished along with the meadow.

      Zelda held Link's body tight, her head buried in his chest. She was crying, crying more than she ever had in her life. Link's eyes opened and he gasped loudly. Air, he needed air. He took a deep breath, and saw Zelda kneeling beside him. Her face was streaked with tears, and her eyes were focused on his. Her face glowed with happiness. She embraced him. "You're alive!," she said with tears of joy. "I didn't want to lose you." Her head was on his chest again, her words muffled by his clothing. "You're the only thing that matters to me. I love you, don't leave me alone. I'm sorry I never let you feel that I loved you. You can feel it now. I'm sorry," she cried. "I love you more than anything."
      "I know," Link whispered. "I know that now. I'm the one who should apologize, I was wrong to do what I did. But…I had no control. I couldn't help it…"
      "It's okay now," Zelda said. Link looked down at her foot. He saw a rock lodged in the arch of her foot, with blood oozing around it.
      "You're hurt!" he said. Zelda looked at her foot, she didn't even notice the injury. Link unwrapped the bandages that held the wooden splint to his broken right arm. Zelda's looked worried but Link reassured her. "My arm will be fine." He removed the rock from Zelda's foot and wrapped the bandage tightly around the bleeding wound.
      "Thank you," she said. Link wondered where her shoes went. He couldn't let her walk barefoot. He removed his boots and gave them to Zelda.
      "Put these on," Link said. "I don't want you to get hurt any more." Zelda gently slipped the boots over her bloody feet. The boots fit fairly well. Link's feet weren't much bigger than hers. "Let's get down from here, I don't like this place." Zelda agreed, she had to take him home. Link stood up, grimaced, and held his head.
      "No, don't," Zelda said. "You're hurt. Let me help you."
      "I'll be fine," Link insisted. He tried to get up again and felt dizzy. The world spun in circles again, and Link passed put and fell onto the ground. Zelda quickly checked to make sure he was okay. He was still breathing, he probably needed the sleep. There was only one thing she could do. Zelda bent over and placed her arms underneath Link. She pulled him towards her chest and picked him up. Link wasn't very heavy. Zelda could carry him. She slowly walked down the slope, carrying the unconscious Link.

      Link awoke and looked at his surroundings. He was home, in his bed. Zelda was sitting on a chair next to him. "He's awake," Zelda said. Saria walked over and peered at Link. Now they were both hovering over him. Link tried to sit up, but the pain and dizziness combined with Zelda's hand pushed him back down. "You're not going anywhere," Zelda said.
      "How did I get here?" Link asked. He had no idea how he'd gotten from Death Mountain back to his house.
      "Zelda carried you after you passed out," Saria said. Link never thought that Zelda was strong enough to carry him.
      "You got a really bad bump on the head," said Zelda. That was an understatement. His head hurt like hell. It felt liked he'd cracked his skull. Link couldn't move his head without igniting a wave of pain. "I bandaged it up for you. And we put a new splint on your arm." Link could feel the bandage wrapped around his head. Then Link thought about Zelda, she was hurt, too.
      "What about you?" Link asked, concerned. "Your foot, are you okay?" Link hated himself for causing harm to come to Zelda.
      "I'll be fine," she said. "You're the one that's hurt. You won't be moving for a while. You need to stay in bed and rest." Link didn't like being told what to do, but he knew Zelda was right. He didn't want to get up. "You're lucky you're alive," Zelda said.
      "I know," Link said. "But…I was dead." Zelda knew that. She remembered holding his lifeless body, praying for him to come back.
      "Why did you want to kill yourself in the first place?" asked Saria.
      "I don't know…I let him take over. I let my dark side make my decision. It was the wrong decision. I felt like no one in this world wanted me, I didn't see any reason to live. But then, I saw…my mother. She was there. She told me that I had to go back, because Zelda needed me. Then I felt you there, Zelda. I knew I couldn't leave you. I couldn't leave you alone."
      "Thank you," Zelda said. "Thank you for coming back to me. I couldn't live without you. But please…promise me one thing."
      "What?" Link asked.
      "Don't ever do anything like that again!" Zelda scolded. "Do you know how worried I was?" Link knew he deserved to be yelled at. He deserved a lot worse, but he was happy to get by with just a scolding.
      "I promise," Link said, trying to smile.
      "That's better," Zelda said. "Now, no more talking. You need to rest. You just close your eyes and go to sleep." She bent over and kissed him on the forehead. "I love you." Link smiled and closed his eyes. For the first time in days, he could sleep peacefully. He no longer had to worry about Daimanius, and being possessed by him. He could relax now; no more worries, no more pain.

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