Over the decades it stood.
The Master Sword.
Time passed, as it tends to do, and the seasons passed from spring to summer to fall to winter and back to spring again, each season accentuating the beauty of the magnificent device in it's own way. As the decades passed, as old rulers died and new rulers came into power, it overlooked the kingdom of Hyrule with unrelenting stoicness. Mounted on a marble pedestal in the vast courtyard of Hyrule Castle, it presided over parades of harvest feasts, funerals of beloved leaders, and the crowning of new monarchs. It remained the life and soul of Hyrule's tradition, a symbol of heroism that withstood the test of time.
It was custom in Hyrule to make an annual pilgrimage to the Sword. The courtyard in which it was centrally located was open to all Hylians. It was referred to as the Garden of Link. Of course, all Hylians, from the youngest children to the oldest grandmothers, knew of the tales of Link. Link was a model, they said, a vision of what all citizens should be. Everyone knew of what happened every hundred years since the Cursed Event had happened three centuries ago.
Everyone knew of Him.
The cursed man who had been born Gannondorf Dragmire three hundred years ago in the Gerudo Desert, who as the one man born every fifty years there was destined to be king of the Gerudo people. The man who had ventured into the plains of Hyrule, pretending negotiation of trade with then-king Gerator, but had in fact come to find his way into the Sacred Realm, the land of light where the Triforce resided.
Many centuries ago, there existed the Goddesses of Creation: Naryu, the Goddess of Wisdom, Din the Goddess of Power, and Foraore, the Goddess of Courage. Din created the earth. Naryu created law and balance. Foraore created life. Before the three Goddesses returned to the heavens, they left behind the Triforce, a symbol of the work. It was divided into three equal parts for the three Goddesses: the Triforce of Wisdom, the Triforce of Power, and the Triforce of Courage.
Any who could control all three parts of the Triforce could control life itself. But Gannondorf had evil in mind.
But it was not to be. For at that time, there existed a young boy who had the power to stop Gannondorf. His name was Link.
The tale is recounted regularly, as parents draw their children by the fire to tell them of how Link embarked on a quest to find three Spiritual Stones, of how he met Princess Zelda. Zelda could see visions in her dreams, and it was her predictions that exposed Gannondorf's treachery. The tale is epic: Link drew the Master Sword from it's Pedestal, which was then in the Temple of Time, and traveled seven years into the future to find a future Hyrule dirtied by Gannondorf's legacy. He had united the Sages of the Sacred Realm, and together with Zelda, he defeated Gannondorf's legacy.
All was not perfect, however. Gannondorf had invaded the Sacred Realm and taken control of the Triforce. But he was only able to control the Triforce of Power, for he had neither wisdom nor courage. Zelda took control of the Triforce of Wisdom, and Link discovered that he had the power of the Triforce of Courage with him all along.
And so Gannondorf had been banished to Sacred Realm, but he absorbed the Triforce of Power and had become Ganon, Prince of Darkness.
And so the world had been restored back to peace and prosperity. The Triforce of Wisdom had been put in Hyrule Castle, and the Triforce of Courage had remained in Link's heart. Link and Zelda had died, decades later, as heroes.
But the legacy of Link, Zelda, and Ganon was to continue. Exactly one hundred years after Ganon was defeated, another boy named Link was awakened one night by telepathic emanations from the Princess, who had been named Zelda. A grand adventure began, with Link unraveling a plot involving Ganon trying to return to Hyrule and retake the Triforce. It was said that this Link had been born with the Triforce of Courage within him, too. He had drawn the Master Sword from it's pedestal and used it to beat back Ganon. He triumphed over Ganon, and the peace of Hyrule continued. Once again, Link and Zelda died as heroes, and once again, the land was secure.
When the hundred-year mark had begun approaching again, people had begun to grow worried. And sure enough, Ganon invaded the kingdom with his Army of Darkness. The princess of that time had been named Zelda, as had become tradition (the firstborn daughter of each king was named Zelda) and she scattered the Triforce of Wisdom throughout the land so Ganon could not get it. Ganon, infuriated, had imprisoned her.
The tale when on to talk about Zelda's nursemaid, Impa. (All of the royal nursemaids born since the first Zelda had been named Impa.) This Impa was sent on a search to find the Link of this time. It was said that she had been cornered by Ganon's henchmen when suddenly a young boy appeared from the shadows and saved her.
Of course, this boy was Link.
Armed with the Triforce of Courage, he collected all the pieces of the Triforce of wisdom and once again drove back Ganon from the land of Hyrule. Of course, the legendary Master Sword had been the instrument with which this had been achieved.
This Link had embarked on further quests, but Ganon had been averted.
Of course, Link and Zelda had died and had been put to rest in the same legendary graveyard that had been the resting place of their predecessors. The Triforce of Wisdom had been placed victoriously inside Hyrule Castle. And the Master Sword had been placed serenely on it's present-day pedestal, and no one has dared touch it since.
But as the centennial grew closer, people began to worry. Would it happen again, as it has happened three times before? Would Ganon once again find his way into Hyrule to work his evil deeds and steal the rest of the Triforce? The populace was uneasy, and although people thought in their hearts that Link would be reborn once again, they were restless nonetheless.
They knew that the true Link would be born with the Triforce of Courage in his heart, but you could not simply name your child Link. Such a thing would be frivolous and useless. No, the true Link would be hidden and discover his destiny only when he was meant to. Of course, all parents entertained a notion in their head that perhaps it would be their son who would grow up to save the world! However, those who entertained such notions knew that the chances were slim.
There were, of course, traditional defining physical characteristics of Link: bright red hair, most notably. But see as how most Hylians had one shade or another of red in their hair, this narrowed it down little.
But the age, however, did. The previous Links had embarked on their quests at approximately the age of twelve. So all sons born twelve years before the centennial were regarded carefully, those with bright red hair even more so. Some fathers even trained their sons born at this time in the arts of swordplay and archery. Of course, it was well known that the previous Links had had no training of any kind. Nonetheless, people wanted to feel safe.
The king at this time was Hadmel Grewer, and he had three daughters - the first, as tradition dictated, having been named Zelda. This king, of course, knew of the approaching time and awaited it with steadfast vigor.
One day, a week before the centennial, he made a speech to the citizens of Hyrule in the vast courtyard of Hyrule Castle. Everyone in the kingdom who could make it to this event attended it eagerly, knowing that an important time was to commence. People of all trades filed their way through the gleaming castle gates: blacksmiths, carpenters, farmers, merchants, housewives, innkeepers, and more, as well as their children. A casual glance at the throng would reveal many different reactions: worry, fear, hope, anticipation.
When the courtyard was completely packed, the castle guards closed the gates. As a silence fell over the crowd, the king emerged from the castle. A deafening applause erupted as he made his way steadily up the marble step to take a position on the platform just in front of the Master Sword's resting place.
The king raised his hand slightly, and a hush once again fell over the crowd. Carefully, he began to speak:
"Citizens of Hyrule. I know that, as the one hundred year anniversary of Ganon's last attack approaches, one has a tendency to grow uneasy. But I ask you to remain confident, my friends, for we are strong. We Hylians have the ability to stand up to what opposes us. And, I'm sure, that a young man exists out there today, perhaps even in this audience, who will be born with the power to conquer Ganon. That boy, my friends, will be Link."
At this, the crowd erupted in a deafening cheer. This continued for several minutes until the king raised his hand again.
"But, my friends, we must not become complacent. Ganon's power to destroy is very real. So we must stand tall with renewed vigor-"
"But what if Link doesn't exist this time?" someone from the crowd shouted.
The person next to him whispered, "Shut up," but the guards were already moving toward him.
However, the king raised his hand, and the guards backed off. The king said calmly, "That, my friends, is a risk we are going to have to take."
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