I hold Zelda's harp, silently crying. The world roars with fire and whistles with falling stars.
With shaking hands, I take the broken string. I pull it taught and mend it, just to do something...something normal. I hum aimlessly, cradling the last piece of her, the sound echoing painfully in my empty chest.
I touch the strings. They sob under my fingers. Fi hasn't spoken. The Master Sword remains cold and dead, the light having gone out.
I begin to play a forgotten song. It is solemn and pondering, like the gradual flow of time. I pause, fighting the tears welling up inside me. Angry I strum the tune backwards, marring it with every stroke. I throw the harp down and cover my face. I scream into them, long and hard until my ribs almost break from the pressure.
The wind breezes over my carcass. I am ready to die. The wind picks up suddenly, pushing me, tugging me. I look up. I wipe my eyes. The ash is rising into the sky, the falling stars streak backwards, and the wall of fire reseeds painting the sky blue again. I fall to my knees as I watch the sun fly from west to east, three times before it slows at the horizon of dawn. All is calm, all is new and fresh and bright. My wounds have been sealed. I am feeling alive and full of hope despite my terror.
"Fi?" I call.
"Master!" she flips out of the sword. It now glows with its former power. "Master, you reversed time! Zelda is no longer dead! We now have three days until the moon falls."
"I did what?" I ask.
"The harp." Fi points with her foot. "It is Hylia's creation instrument. You tapped into the song that controls the essence of time. In playing it backwards you reversed us back three days."
I remember, some time ago, playing a little Ocarina at the top of a tower, beneath the glaring eyes of Majora and the falling moon. That little instrument was a piece of the heavens too and its fibres connected directly to creation as did this harp. Hylia has given me a second chance without even knowing it.
"That's more than enough time to stop Vaati from kidnapping Zelda!" I say. "We can even steal the Majora's Mask from Ghirahim and prevent the moon from falling at all!" I am bright with relief and joy. I want to dance. But that would be weird.
"As much as I like that idea, we cannot do that." Fi says.
"Why not?" I ask.
"Because, if we return to Hyrule's shores there may be a chance that we could run into our past selves. We cannot risk such a thing because it could potentially unravel the universe. No, there is better way." Fi hovers close to me. "We must go to Termina and awaken the four giants. They will take care of the moon and help us save Zelda. As for Majora, you must wear the Fierce Deity Mask."
"So essentially you are asking me to abandon Zelda to go wake up some giants?" I ask.
"Believe me, Master, you will be thanking me soon." Fi says.
I look longingly in the direction of Hyrule. Instead I turn south in toward Termina.
I had to build a raft, but the voyage was short. I arrived at a lonely beach. The
is empty and quiet. The pirate fortress sits in a cove to the west. There is one house on this beach. It all seems very familiar. Of course it is. I was here many centuries ago, in another life. I pass a man, sitting under a hide covering, his wears out on display. I stop a moment. He is smiling at me. Masks of all colours and shapes are piled all round him neatly. There are three masks that catch my attention. One is the face of a Zora, another a Goron and the last a Deku. They are hanging in the back as if forgotten. Great Bay
"Come, come choose a mask, any mask!" the man beckons, beside himself with excitement. I don't exactly trust him. He makes me feel weird and he moves sporadically. "The Festival is near!"
"Master," comes Fi's voice in my head. "I'm detecting that these masks have transformation properties. I suggest we take them, they might be useful."
"Not the Deku." I mutter. Who would want to turn into an embarrassing little wooden creature with a trumpet snout?
"I never said take that one." Fi says. I snort.
"Yes?" the man leans forward, smiling brightly.
"Uh..." to be honest I'm a little appalled. Is his face stuck that way? "How much for the Zora and Goron masks?"
His eyes light up.
"Oh are you sure those are the ones you want? You may get more than you bargained for!"
"That I already have." I say, "How much?"
"They are already yours." he says in a low voice that chills me. With that he hands them to me.
I lift them, feeling a tingling in my fingers. I know these masks...and the people they once were. The Zora, died in my arms when I was a boy. And the Goron's ghost haunted me until I healed his soul with a song.
"Do you by any chance, own the Fierce Deity Mask?" I ask him. His face suddenly goes solemn.
"The one in the canyon swallowed its evil. Not you nor I will ever get our hands on its radiance."
I hurry away from the place. I feel the happy mask salesman's eyes on my back as I go. I step through a passage into a vast moor. It's strange recognizing a land that I have never been to. There is a city nestled in the center with a clock tower that reaches the sky:
. Clock Town
"So where are these giants?" I ask, my past life too far away to recall. Fi sighs.
"Let's ask around. I'm sure there are people that know the legend."
Inside the city, tents of all colours litter the streets. People trade furs, handcrafted weapons and food. It reminds me of my home. A pain rises in my throat and I swallow to keep it at bay.
"You there!" Calls a woman. "With the golden harp." I stop realizing that's me. I turn to see a woman under a pavilion, her face hidden with a scarf and her legs crossed. A crystal orb sits in front of her. "I sense a great destiny for you, come listen to your future. Ten rupees and your secrets will be revealed!"
I turn to leave.
"You received that harp from my mother." This stops me. "In Kakariko, my home village under the protection of Eldin." I turn to her. Her eyes are smiling.
"Who are you?" I ask.
"Impa." She raises her wrist. A purple wrist guard woven into a Celtic design around the Triforce, gleams with its own light. In another life, my Zelda wore this, and my Zelda gave it to her guardian.
"Impa!" I kneel before her. "Are you...? Did you-?"
She touches my hand.
"My name has been passed down through my family for centuries. It has been my family's fate to take care of the Goddess incarnate: Zelda and her chosen hero...which must be you."
I feel a little sadness, wishing this was that same Impa, just so that I would feel less alone in this strange world.
"I need your help." I say. "I am looking for the giants."
"The giants?" She sounds intrigued. "There is an old legend about the guardians of the four regions, built in the most ancient times to protect our land. It says there is a song that will call them to your aid, but they are sleeping. You must go to them and awaken them yourself." She says. "One lives in the northern mountain, one in the southern swamp, another in the western bay and the last in the eastern canyons. Find their hearts and activate them with sacrificial blood."
"Sounds morbid." I say.
"Their energy attracts many monsters, their blood will suffice." Impa says. I nod. I am ready.
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