Final Chapter: True Confrontation
"Impa! Impa! Wake up damn you!"
Edward pounded at Impa's bedroom door again and again. Unlike him, Impa lived at the Castle.
This meant that she had likely soundproofed her room. And Edward had never been that good at common magic. "Impa Abbar! Please open the damn door!"
The door slowly opened. Impa peered out sleepily at him. She was wearing nothing but a large blue t-shirt that dropped down to her knees. Her hair was messy and tangled. She yawned before speaking.
"What is it?" She asked sleepily, "Do you have any idea what time it is?"
"Yes." Edward said flatly, "Though, I have a problem."
"What?" Impa yawned. Edward held up the Memory Orb that Zelda had given him. Impa glanced at it, "So? Is it so important that you'd wake a woman up?"
"Zelda gave it to me just half an hour ago. She said it was important." Edward shivered, "The look on her face... I've never seen such despair on one so young."
Impa rubbed her eyes, "OK... so Zelda thinks it's important. Then it probably is. That still doesn't explain why you woke me up."
Edward grinned sheepishly, "I don't know how to use these things."
"..." Impa sighed, "Oh fine. Let me get dressed."
Kasuto was staring up at the ceiling. After delivering the Memory Orb, Zelda had just rushed upstairs into her room. Jumping on the bed and staying there. Kasuto was pretty sure she was asleep. So she was stuck lying on a couch, Malon was sitting in a large chair, already asleep.
"What a life I live." She said to herself, "Wonder what's coming next?" For all she knew, they had still screwed up somewhere along the way. "Heh. Not like I'd be much of a loss. The only person who'd miss me is Zelda."
"I like my shoes fried..." Malon muttered in her sleep.
"OK... maybe her too." Kasuto pondered just what Malon could be dreaming about for a moment. "It's not like I'm that important, in the grand scheme of things." She paused, "Sure... Zel would miss me... but time heals all wounds. She has so much ahead of her. What do I have? Not bloody much."
Kasuto sat up, pondering the quiet. Somehow she had expected things to be louder, more pronounced. Instead, this night was no different then any other. Strange... life didn't feel that much different to her. Sure, she now knew that she had some worth. At least people will miss her when she's gone.
"Don't feel that different." She suddenly shivered, "Well..." Kasuto smirked, "Other then the very powerful urge to reproduce now." She laughed quietly, "Have to keep things in control." She didn't want to rush Zelda or anything.
"Get out of my shop!" A faint voice from downstairs said.
"Huh?" Kasuto stood up, "Who's down there?" She walked quietly down the stairs. Suddenly very aware of every step she took. She pushed open the door a crack, peering into the front room of the shop. Her boss was standing there, glaring at a young girl that appeared to be about Kasuto's age.
She was about a head shorter then Kasuto. White hair dropped down over her neck. She was wearing a black shirt patterned with white stars. Her left shoulder and arm were bare, while her right was covered by a long sleeve that ended just before her wrist. She was wearing short white skirt with black stars that barely covered her thighs. Her left arm had bracelets, two silver and two gold, with various charms on them. Her right hand had a strange pattern tattooed on it; Kasuto couldn't get a good look at it. Large, high heeled, boots went up to her knees. The boot on her left leg was black, while the boot on her right was white. At the moment her hands were on her waist, in a provocative pose.
"Now now... is that any way to treat a guest?"
Her boss had a look of anger that Kasuto had never seen before. Normally her boss was a calm and pleasant person...
"You are not a guest." He said with quiet anger. "You are not supposed to be here."
"Ha!" The girl laughed, "As if you're one to follow the rules. What a hypocrite. You yell at Thente for helping the Forest Sage, but you have the new Seer in your employ. Under your care, you've been giving her food, water, a place to stay. If that isn't interference, then I don't know what is."
What's she talking about... he knows about me? How? Who is this woman? Kasuto tried to adjust herself, to get a better view of the girl... trying to see her face.
Her boss scoffed, "As if I'd ever care about your opinion, in fact, I'd be more inclined to do everything in my power- urk!" His winced as the woman suddenly struck her left arm out, grabbing him by the neck. She had black fingernails.
"Aww... you're so cute when you actually have a spine, Nameless." The girl said in a sweet tone, "I guess arranging for Link to send my big brother to Hell gave you a bit more self confidence." She let her boss go, "Not that I care much... he was a bit of a jerk. Had no sense of style. It was all ‘Rar! I kill!' or ‘Puny mortals! Feel my wrath!' Dull." She shrugged and stepped back.
Her boss rubbed his neck, "You have no control over your temper, you know that?"
"Heh. You're one to talk." The girl said with a dismissive wave of her tattooed hand. "Well, I have to go. Let's see if our little Princess passes the Trial of Heart and Soul. I think I'll give it the proper atmosphere." She spun around rapidly, giving Kasuto a slight glance of her face. It was soft, very innocent looking. With large eyes that Kasuto felt drawn to within that single second. Before she had turned back towards the front door, her back to Kasuto. She swiftly opened the door, taking a step out. Then she slowly turned around, giving Kasuto a long look at her gentle face. Black bangs framed her face, as a soft smile formed her expression.
"See ya later, cutie pie." She winked. Before vanishing into the darkness.
Kasuto quickly shut the door, her heart beating quicker then it had ever before.
With a thunderclap, it started to rain.
"OK." Impa set the Memory Orb down on a table. "I'm going to cast the spell that will cause the orb to project the memory into this room.
They were in an empty, unused room in the castle basement. Impa had begun using paint to mark the room with various runes. Meanwhile Edward had been forced to move a heavy wooden table from her bedroom to the cold room. The table had an indentation in it the same size as the memory orb. It also had many runes engraved into it.
"OK..." Impa smiled, "Once I activate the spell, the Orb will project the memory into this room. It will become a perfect simulation of the memory. It'll be like we're actually there."
"Pretty complex..." Edward looked around, "Does one have to do this every time?"
"Actually, this is the easier way." Impa said casually, setting the Orb into the slot on the table. "The quicker way is to just have the memory inserted into your mind. But that's pretty stressful, and this is a very heavy memory..." She set her hand on the table, "You ready?"
"Yeah." Edward nodded.
"Good." Impa's eyes lost focus in that way people do when they cast magic. " Wisdom contained in matter. Knowledge stored in tangible form. Reveal unto me your secrets! Memorial Projection!"
The room suddenly became very dark. Before an image faded into being. A street in the city. Zelda was standing in front of a small building, knocking at the door.
"We are now seeing the Zelda's memory." Impa said, standing behind him, "It will move along with her. All we have to do is stand and watch."
The hunters had found their prey.
Yet, he proved too tricky. He slipped past them, using those around him to distract the hunters. He escaped to freedom. Vowing to take vengeance against those who had hunted him.
Zelda opened her eyes.
"Great... a vision." She sighed. Of course, like all her visions, it had been cryptic. "Why can't I have something straight forward like Kas?"
Of course, Zelda could easily guess what it meant. Nayru had sent her a message. Andire would get away, and strike back later.
Unless, of course, Zelda stopped him.
There were three ways out of Castle City. The first was the drawbridge that went out to Hyrule Plains. That closed at night. The second was a ferry that took you off via the Zora River. But that was appointment only...
That left the third way. A gate that connected to the Great Road. A massive paved road that stretched all across the continent. Castle City had been built along the road. None knew who had built the road... it had always been there.
It was also enchanted against beasts, as well as the undead Stalchildren that liked to come out at night. Making it perfectly safe to leave open at most times.
That was the way Andire was most likely to try to escape.
Zelda would stop him... no matter what.
Kasuto walked slowly up to her room. She didn't know what was going on... but she just wanted to go to bed. She didn't even care that Zelda would probably be in it. "I doubt she'll mind." She giggled.
She opened the door to her bedroom.
To see Zelda... with no shirt on. The two stared at each other, eyes wide.
"Gah!" Kasuto turned around, "Sorry! I didn't know you... erm... arrg..."
A few minutes passed, "Kas, it's OK, you can turn around now."
Kasuto slowly rotated, making sure she wouldn't get another glance...
"Sorry..." Zelda's face was flushed. She had changed clothing. She was now wearing a skin tight blue bodysuit. A white sleeveless tunic was over her chest, held in place by a rope. The red eye of the Sheikah was printed on the front. Zelda was now wrapping white strips of cloth around her arms.
Kasuto stared for a moment. Zelda was wearing the exact same outfit she had worn when they had first met. It was amazing how different it looked on a girl's body. The shirt was looser, no longer showing every muscle. It also looked softer, as if made from silk instead of cotton.
"Um..." Zelda smiled weakly, "You OK?"
Kasuto shook her head, "I'm fine." She waved her hand in front of Zelda, "It's just... where did you get that?"
"My holding sack." Zelda answered with a shrug, "I always keep a few spare pieces of clothing and food there."
Kasuto frowned, "I need to get one of those..."
"I'll ask Link or Saria to make you one..." Zelda finished wrapping the cloth around her arms. "Impa gave me this one..."
"Oh..." Kasuto walked to her bed, sitting down beside Zelda. "Um," She blushed, "Can I see your arm?"
"OK... why?" Zelda sat down alongside Kasuto, holding out her right arm.
Kasuto grabbed Zelda's arm, giving it a squeeze. "By Din," her eyes widened, "You're as hard as a rock!"
Zelda blushed, "Kas... what's this about?"
"I mean it." Kasuto let go of Zelda, looking over her body, "You don't have any fat anywhere on you." She smiled, "You must be in perfect shape."
Zelda smiled weakly at the attention, "But... you have a better figure then me." She laughed, "I on the other hand... if I didn't wear dresses sometimes people would think I'm a boy even as I am now. Guess it comes with the whole gender-switching thing." She poked her chest, "I mean. You can hardly tell that I have these." She grinned evilly, poking Kasuto in the chest, "You on the other hand are clearly a woman."
"Heh..." Kasuto blushed faintly, "Thanks... I guess." She then leveled her gaze, "So, Zelda, where are you going?"
Zelda's eyes widened, "What... what do you mean?"
Kasuto rolled her eyes, "I'm not stupid. I can tell you're going off somewhere."
Zelda sighed, "I... I just need to take care of something. OK Kas? I'll be back before morning."
"Got it." Kasuto smiled softly, "See you later." She leaned in, giving Zelda a soft kiss on the lips. "Give ‘em hell for me."
"Have I ever not?" Zelda grinned wildly, before jumping up, opening Kasuto's window. Leaping out into the rain.
The memory faded. The room returned to the state it had once been. Even the runes Impa had painted on the walls were burned off.
Impa and Edward hadn't said anything. There were no words that could describe the emotions they were feeling.
"High Treason." Impa said quietly, "What we have here... is Treason."
"I saw some of my soldiers in there." Edward shook his head, "They... they were people I thought I could trust."
"Andire..." Impa muttered... "Damn you! You bastard! You aren't satisfied with it... are you? You can't just accept things! You have to try and twist and ruin things... you damn you..." She threw her fist against the stone wall.
In her youth Impa would have shattered it. Yet, she was no longer in her prime. So she merely cracked the wall... injuring her hand as well.
"You weren't just satisfied with me... you weren't satisfied with Marial... you have to try and take everything. You will not take my family away!" Impa shot up, her red eyes glowing with a dark rage. "I'll kill him..."
Edward grabbed Impa, "No! We have to do this the right way!" He held her as she struggled against him. "Remember! You are a hero! You can't throw this all away..."
Impa shuddered, and she just stopped. She suddenly collapsed, nearly knocking down Edward. A moment later she recovered, and Edward let her go.
"I hate to admit it..." Impa sighed, "But you're right. I'll go wake up Harikan. He needs to know. You assemble a team of soldiers to capture him." She glared at him, "But... I will be there." Impa then turned and went upstairs.
"..." Edward looked at the Memory Orb, "Life is never fair. Is it?"
Andire woke up to a strange sound.
"Who's there?" He asked, sitting up. He got out of his bed, "Who could be..."
A small explosion was heard.
"Huh?" Andire shot up; he quickly cleared his mind, calling forth the defensive spells he had taught himself to use on reflex long ago. "Who's there?" He called out, "Show yourselves..." He marched out of his room.
He sensed something; he quickly jumped to the side, spinning around. "Impa?" He asked in shock.
Sure enough, the Sheikah was standing in front of him. A look of pure rage on her face. "Traitor..." She hissed.
"What are to talking about Sheikah...?" Andire stepped back, just as the lights turned on.
All around him were about a dozen soldiers. They all had weapons drawn; they were also gathering power for spells. One of them stepped forward; it was Edward Lilla, Captain of the Hylian Army. He glanced at him.
"Andire Alexander Hyrule." He spoke seriously, "You are under arrest for the crime of High Treason against the Confederacy. If you do not surrender quietly, we have been authorized to use force."
Andire froze... it had happened. Somehow, some traitor had revealed his plans. Now... he had no choice. He needed to escape.
"I don't know what you are talking about, Sir Lilla." Andire said smoothly, desperately trying to figure out what had happened. "What is this about a charge of treason? Is opposing the policies of the ruling bodies illegal now?"
"No." Impa snarled, "But plotting to kill them is." She grinned viscously, "We have a Memory Orb. It has every detail of your plans recorded. So don't try to bullshit your way out of this one!"
Andire froze... this was bad. "Well... then, in that case..." He stepped towards his bedroom door. "I must be going."
He pressed his hand against the door. Revealing a glowing magic circle hidden within the carvings. "Teleport!"
There was a flash of light, and he was gone.
Andire appeared in the northern end of Castle City.
"Damn it all..." He whispered, "Whoever did this will pay!" He looked around as the rain poured down on him.
That small teleporting circle had only taken him a short distance. But still, it was enough. He would escape to the north and wait. "Damn them." Andire whispered, "Why... it was almost complete!" He ran towards the northern gate. He dashed through the puddles for about twenty minutes.
"The gate!" He smiled, there it was. At least nothing else had gone wrong.
A line of fire formed in front of the gate. Blocking it from use. "What?" Andire skidded to a stop, "Who's there!" He looked around.
There was a flash of lightning, and a person was now standing in front of the fire.
Andire's eyes widened, "Zelda?"
Zelda stood there, shadowed against the flames. "Hello." She said coldly.
"Zelda..." Andire smiled weakly, "Glad to see you're here..." He took some steps towards his niece, "Listen. Some filthy traitor betrayed us... they know everything..."
"I know." Zelda said, still in that cold tone. "I was the one who told them."
Andire froze in his steps. "W-what?"
Zelda laughed a cold harsh laugh. "You heard me. I was the one." She regarded him with a cruel grin, "You really are a gullible bastard."
Andire stumbled back, falling down onto the ground, "You... you lied to me... how?"
"How?" Zelda rolled her eyes, "You ask how? All I did was say what you wanted to hear. That was enough to trick you and your whole damn group."
Andire's face twisted into anger. "How dare you!" He held out his hand, ready to cast a spell.
Zelda just laughed. There was a bright flash of green light, and she was gone. Andire then felt the cold feeling of sharp metal pressed against his neck.
"Hello again." Zelda leaned over his shoulder, her knife still pressed against his neck. "I wouldn't try anything funny." She bared her teeth like a wolfos. "After all... I would hate to kill you before I'm done talking to you."
Andire's shuddered, what was going on?
"Does it hurt?" Zelda whispered, "To see someone you had hopes for, had desires about, someone who you had invested into, turns out to be everything you hated?" She pressed the knife against his neck, just barely avoiding drawing blood. "Let me tell you something... it hurt me!" She pulled the knife away and kicked him in the back.
Andire scrambled up. Managing to stand up straight again. He looked at the girl... such a cold look. "What... how... why?" Andire asked her, "Why did you do this?"
"Why?" Zelda laughed harshly, "Oh Nayru! You wanted to plunge this country into civil war!" She gave him a sideways glance, "Countless people would have died."
Andire stepped back, his back against the flames. "Some sacrifices are needed for the greater good..."
"Perhaps." Zelda shrugged, "But what you wanted is not what the gods call ‘the greater good.'"
"What?" Andire stepped forward, "How dare you, a child, tell me such things!"
"Oh shut the fuck up." Zelda spat, "I know more about the Three then you ever could." She walked up to him, her face now an inch from his. "Do you know who I am?"
Andire shivered something about the look in Zelda's eyes...
"I am a truth and a lie." Zelda smiled. "I am the champion of the Lawgiver."
Andire's eyes widened, "What?"
"You heard me!" Zelda held up her left hand. A golden light formed on her hand. "I was chosen by Nayru to do Her will." Three triangles formed from the light. Three triangles, linked together to form a larger one. The triangle on the bottom right was brighter then the other two. "Do you need any more proof?" Zelda asked.
"What... what are you?" Andire was beginning to feel an emotion he hadn't felt in a long time. Fear.
"Heh." Zelda stepped back, "I'm a whole lot more then you'll ever be. I am Nayru's Champion. I am a warrior. I am the Time Sage." She laughed, "I'm so much more..." Before his eyes, she began to change. She grew, becoming larger. Her arms lengthened, while she became slightly shorter. Her hair became darker. Her whole body changed. To that of a boy. With red eyes.
"I am Sheikam." He grinned, "The lie that became truth." He struck out, grabbing him by the neck. "You hurt her." He snarled, "For that you can't be forgiven."
She's insane... Andire realized with horror, She's insane... what happened to her? Yet he couldn't do anything... Zelda... Sheikam... was holding him by the neck. Choking him.
Suddenly, his... her... eyes widened. "No... what am I doing?" There was a brief moment where he became fluid. And then Zelda stood in front of him again. "No... I won't take your life..." She let Andire go. He began gasping desperately for air.
"I'm... I..." Zelda shook her head, "I'm leaving now." She threw out her hand. Bands of darkness flew out and wrapped themselves around him. He was bound in place now. "Those can last three days. I'm pretty sure that you'll be found before then."
No... Andire couldn't... he wouldn't! He'd rather die then...
"I did it." Andire said quietly.
"Huh?" Zelda stopped, "You did what?"
"Marial... her death." Andire shuddered, "I arranged it. It's my fault. I was originally planning to take out both her and Harikan. Leaving you for me to raise." He looked up at her, "I killed your mother."
Zelda stared at him. Her eyes wide with a strange emotion.
"Well?" Andire asked, "Are you going to kill me? Do it! Avenge your mother! Kill me!"
Zelda stared at him... "I'm tired of death." She whispered. "I'm never going to be involved in it again." She sighed, "Andire... you believe in vengeance. I, however, believe in justice."
"What!" Andire shouted, "What are you saying?"
"I shall leave you... just as you left me." Zelda smiled weakly, "I'll always remember the uncle who spoiled me as a child. But I'll never forget who he turned out to be. You have dammed yourself Andire. I fear you may be beyond redemption." Her smile faded. "Farewell. We shall never meet again." With a flash of lightning, she was gone.
"Zelda?" Andire called, "Zelda! Please! I... I..." Tears streamed down his face. "I don't know any more..."
The line of fire died. Leaving Andire alone, in the darkness. With only the sounds of rain and his own sobs to keep him company.
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