The Great Desert

By Shadsie & Sailor Lilith-chan

Chapter 13: Overthrow Cecelia!




“Make sure he rests.” 


Link blinked his eyes open to see stars over the desert.  He was laying down on his bedroll.  He could hear the crackling and feel the warmth of a fire nearby.  By the scent of the smoke from it, he guessed it was being fed, at least partially, with mesquite wood.  He looked down at is right hand – it was a hand.  He was back in his native form.  It, along with his left hand, was bandaged.  He dimly registered the feel of bandaging upon his feet, too.  He heard Rhiannon whicker nearby.  It was amazing that she hadn’t run off into the desert while he’d spent all that time in the Abode of the Goddesses.  If she had, Midna was apparently good at recapturing horses.  Perhaps it was simply that Rhiannon had always been a loyal horse who could find him wherever he went.  He was her “father,” after all.       


“Oh, we definitely will, Miss Sheik!”  Navi’s voice this time, it was answering the voice he’d heard before. 


“He’s as reckless as ever – in any lifetime,” Midna’s voice groused. 


Link stirred, trying to get up.  He wasn’t as thirsty as he was before, but his stomach growled and he felt groggy and distant. Immediately, a large orange mass came over him and he felt himself being pushed down.  Midna glowered down at him, her hair free and formed into a hand that was firmly planted upon his chest. 


“Cecelia…” Link groaned. 


“No,” Midna said, “Not yet, Mr. Important Hero. You gave us a scare again.”


Suddenly, Sheik was over him, brushing his hair back and wiping his forehead with a damp cloth.  “You ran yourself into exhaustion,” she said.  “Very foolish, no matter how eager you are to defeat evil.” 


Midna let her hair-hand up and offered him a bowl of some unidentifiable food.  “Here, eat,” she commanded.  Link sat up and did so.  It was some kind of stew, though he could not identify the meat he was chewing.  It was very gamey, but he was so hungry he did not care.  Link knew that stew was not the best of travel-food unless it came from a tin because it was time-consuming to make - for his companions to have the time to make this meant that he must have been out of it for a long time. 


“What is this?” he asked, “I know the vegetables, but what kind of meat is this?”


“Rabbit,” Midna said simply, “or maybe hare.  Sheik caught it and dealt with it. She told us that you could use the protein.”


Sheik touched him on the shoulder.  “You eat and rest,” she ordered.  “I won’t always be around to bail you out when you do something stupid.  When you are done with your other duties, meet me in Castle Town. I will be waiting there.” 


With that, she vanished in a swirl of smoke, leaving Link to stare as he finished his stew. 





Link awoke in depths of the night.  The campfire had burned down to ashes and embers.  Midna was asleep nearby and he could see Navi flitting around in the night, guarding the perimeter of the campsite.  No doubt, she was watching for monsters.  He sat up and put his hat on.  He thought that maybe he’d like to walk about and stretch his legs, as he was feeling quite a bit better. His feet were sore, but he didn’t think they’d give him too much trouble.  He wasn’t going to leave again.  He was going to take his friends’ concern for him – and the advice he’d received from his last vision – seriously.


He did not rise to his feet and just stayed sitting up, noting the little line of fire over the hills on the horizon.  Dawn would come soon, so he might as well relax and wait for everyone to be up and ready to go. 


Movement caught his eye.  He went for his gun only to realize that it had been taken off his hip to make him comfortable.  His holster was resting in the sand beside him, along with his sword and shield.  Navi had apparently not seen the creature.  Link narrowed his eyes and got a better look.  He breathed a sigh of relief.  It was not a monster, just a lanky jackrabbit.  It moved from outside the camp toward him.  It struck him as very strange, as jackrabbits were timid creatures.  It came close to him and regarded him with its large eyes.  It craned itself up tall, its forelegs held close to its chest – in this position; it appeared to be as large as a medium-sized dog.  Its ears were broad and long.  Its whiskers were twitchy.  Perhaps it was a trick of the early morning light, but the animal’s fur glistened and appeared to take upon a pinkish cast. 


Link shifted his body, sitting up just a little bit more to watch the jackrabbit.  He wondered if it was of the same kind that he’d eaten earlier.  There were a few different kinds of rabbit-kin roaming the various parts of the desert in Hyrule.  There were the small, soft cottontails that were very common, the domestic creatures that people raised for meat and as pets – then there were a few varieties of jackrabbits, and though “rabbit” was part of their name, they were technically hares.    


“You’re just magnificent, aren’t you?” Link whispered.  More light appeared on the horizon and the creature’s fur became pinker.  Link shook his head as he saw a green, belted tunic appear upon the hare’s body and a floppy cap appear upon his head, its tail resting between its ears. 


“Oh, no, no, no,” Link protested.  “I just had a vision.  Don’t you guys get some kind of downtime? A waiting period?” 


The jackrabbit craned its neck toward him and preened its whiskers.  “Don’t tell me that you’re afraid of a little pink bunny?” it said.  It wriggled its head beneath Link’s hand and let him pet it.  Link suddenly found himself standing in the shade of an apple orchard.  He could see ripe fruit dangling from the branches of all the trees.  The nip of early autumn was in the air.  Link had lived all his life in a desert, but he still knew what an autumn-winter nip was.


He was startled when, suddenly, a young man vaulted down from one of the branches to land right in front of him.  The boy’s appearance was not surprising.  He was a teenager with strawberry-blond hair wearing a green tunic and the floppy hat that seemed to be traditional for Link’s ancestors and former incarnations.  It still looked silly to him, but he was really getting to feel like the odd-man out for wearing something wide-brimmed and shady.  There was one thing that Link noticed about the youth, however, that he could not ignore.


“You aren’t wearing pants.”


The boy gave him a sour look. “So what?” he said. 


“Don’t your legs get cold?”


“Nope!  I find it more comfortable, I like the freedom.  I am wearing under-britches. I’m not that free.”    


“So, where are we? This is so different than anything I’ve seen so far, except maybe the Hero of Time’s forest.”


“We are in my uncle’s apple orchard,” the boy said.  “I was supposed to inherit it, but… you know how adventures and fate go.”


Link nodded. “Yes.  I would have taken over my uncle’s ranch had the Goddesses’ game not caught up with me.”


“It’s what happens,” Link’s predecessor said, jumping up into the branches of the tree he’d just come down from to grab and apple and come back down.  He handed the fruit to Link.  “Try it.  Sweetest apples in all of Hyrule.”


Link bit into it, letting juice run down his chin.  “That is good.”


“You do know it is merely an illusion.”


“As are you.  You’re me now.”


“That’s right.  Sometimes it is difficult to tell between illusion and reality.  I had no formal title, ‘Sir,’ perhaps, as I was a Royal Hylian Knight for a while, before I left on my sea journey.  I suppose you could call me the Hero of Dreams.”


“Hero of Dreams?”


“I will teach you a trick with your mystic energy that will allow you to see past the enemy’s trickery.  It will be stronger when you are in your animal form, but if you concentrate very well, you can make it work for you anytime.”


“You had an animal form in your lifetime - beyond what I saw? I thought it was just symbolic.”


“Yes,” the Hero of Dreams answered.  “The Hero of Twilight – he really did transform into a wolf in his lifetime – you’ve long known this.  Your friend has enabled you to become a coyote… We don’t always have actual beast-forms, but I am one of those that did, although mine was in no way voluntary.”


“You became a rabbit?” 

“It was embarrassing! In my lifetime, Hyrule was split into the normal world and into the Dark World – a nightmare landscape that Ganon was trying to pull all of Hyrule into…”


“Ganon? You mean Ganondorf?”


“Yes. He has a beast-form, himself and usually calls himself Ganon when in that form. Everyone in the Dark World became beasts of one kind or another, whether monsters or mere animals – reflecting things buried deep within their hearts.  I was pulled into the Dark World briefly before I acquired a sacred treasure that allowed me to stay myself. I became a rabbit – I don’t know whether the Goddesses were just having a laugh at my expense or if the form truly reflected me.  I guess I was kind, free and wild.” At this, the Hero of Dreams shrugged.


“It was pretty refreshing to be a wolf in a different lifetime, actually, in hindsight.”  He laughed. 


“Is that why you call yourself the Hero of Dreams?” Link asked, “Because you saved Hyrule from a nightmare world?”


“That and…something else,” the boy replied.  He immediately looked to the earth, his expression filled with shame and sorrow.  “I feared that Ganon could return, so I left on a journey over the sea to visit other lands and to learn new combat techniques and the wisdom of other cultures.  I was shipwrecked on this charming little island that needed a Hero.  As it turns out, I destroyed that island…and the people that lived there.”


“What? How?” Link gasped, “If you were a Hero, then…why?”


“Illusion,” the Hero of Dreams replied.  “There was a dreaming creature that I had to awaken and set free.  I awakened after that, in the ocean, dying from exposure on a piece of flotsam. I hit land eventually.  I went to my grave not knowing whether it was all somehow real or just an illusion.  Perhaps all of existence is just an illusion.”


“I’m sorry,” Link said, putting his hand on the boy’s shoulder.  “This isn’t anything I’ve been able to remember, so I haven’t been able to find the answer.”


“It’s okay,” the Hero of Dreams said with a smile.  “Now let me teach you that trick I told you about.”





The western streets of Castle Town were grimy.  They were not merely dusty, they were grimy.  They were filled with ramshackle vendor’s stalls and roving gangs of young and old men that wore their guns proudly.  The prices on ordinary goods were exorbitant and many people walked about dressed in ragged and faded clothing.  There were many more bars here than Link had expected.  Some men and women hung about the alleys smoking long pipes filled with a clearly intoxicating substance.  There were political signs and posters everywhere, all one-sided – in praise of the new King and Queen.  There were wanted posters of Link and a few of Zelda: No longer was she the precious youngest princess to be returned to the keeping of the Royal Family – she was a dead or alive bounty, too, wanted, supposedly, for high treason against her sister.  


Link supposed that Zelda’s position was true.  He strode through the streets quite blatantly.  Of course, he was doing so upon four paws with a leash around his neck.  Midna, dressed in a heavy cloak, walked him and did her best impression of a dignitary on business who had decided to bring along her pet. She carried herself perfectly – after all, she’d had several centuries of practice in being a queen.  Navi stayed under her cloak, nestled unhappily in her hair. 


“It’s so sweaty!  And orange!” the fairy complained, “How come your hair isn’t soft like Link’s?”


“Keep it down, bug!” Midna hissed.  “I ought to cork you in a bottle and shake it.”


They, of course, had left Link’s horse outside the town gates.  Rhiannon had been taken by a Gerudo groom.  She recognized Link at the gate, before Midna transformed him.  She was one of Givanna’s women and was on their side.  She assured the party that the horse would be well cared for while they were in the city. 


Link yipped, hoping that he got his message across, though he knew he probably didn’t.  “Did you have to put a bow on my head?”


As if she understood him, she cooed.  “Oh, isn’t Mister Yappy sooo handsome with a green silk ribbon by his ear? Such a good puppy…”


Link growled. He wondered if one of the bars would be willing to serve a poor coyote a nip of whiskey.  He sniffed around the area and he used his newfound mystic sight to try to find any useful clues.  He picked up the distinct sweaty and flowery scent of Sheik and led his companions to a lonely, broken old cemetery outside the palace grounds, well beyond the vendors, the gangs, the bars and the opium addicts.  He began digging into the earth furiously.


“What? Are you hunting for bones?” Midna quipped. 


Link wriggled into the hole he’d dug, pulling his leash behind him.


Navi flitted out of Midna’s cloak.  “I think he wants you to follow him.”


Midna crouched low beside the fresh tunnel.  “I can’t squeeze into a place that small.”


Link thrust his head out and yipped. 


“He wants you to change him,” Navi said.


Midna reached down and restored his form.  “It’s not very safe for you out here with that face,” she said to the dirt-covered young man smiling up at her. 


“It’s okay!” Link responded.  “I found a cave down here… looks like whole cave system! I think it connects to the palace underground!”  He handed Midna back her leash, having taken it off his neck.  He pulled the irritating little bow out of his hair and gave that to her, too.   He disappeared down the hole.  A moment later, he thrust his arm out of it, holding a small wine bottle.  “Haha! Looks like I found the wine cellar!” he laughed. 


“Hey! Don’t drink any of that!” Navi warned, “You need to keep your head clear!”


“We’ll save it for the victory party.”


Navi flitted down into the hole with him.  Everything was difficult to see.  The walls were lit in gloom from pale magical torches that burned silver flames.  She squeaked as a figure leapt out of the shadows toward them. Since this was close quarters, Link drew the Master Sword.


“No, Link!” Navi shouted, “It’s just Sheik.” 


Link breathed a sigh of relief and sheathed his sacred blade.


“Good, you have come as planned.  I take it that you took care of your other tasks?”


“The remaining spring spirits?” Link asked, “Yes, I did.  Finding them was the difficult part, but we found Faron and Eldin and they, along with Ordona, are now at the spring of Lanayru.”


“Good. I am sure that they have imparted you their strength.  The danger is much greater here than any you have ever faced.  I will come with you, but that holy sword of yours is the only thing that can cleave Cecelia right now.  Your bullets will be useless and I cannot help you.  She is in the throne room.  You will have to strike her down quickly.  Now, follow me.  The cellars and the dungeons are filled with traps both magical and mundane.” 


“Isn’t Ganondorf somewhere around here?” 


Link’s question went unanswered.  He stopped walking suddenly when Navi’s flitting gently tinkled beside his right ear.  “Navi?” he asked, “Could you go back to the surface, please?”


“Why, Link?” she inquired, “I’m here to look out for you.”


“I trust Sheik,” he said.  “I sense something….divided about her, but my senses tell me that she’s a true ally.  I’m afraid for Midna. I’d really like it if you could go watch out for her for the time being.”


“She’s strong, Link” Navi said, “But okay, if it will make you happy.  You just be careful, alright?”


Link nodded and watched the fairy go.  He followed the mysterious shadow-woman through the corridors, past the wine cellar and past a magically-created false wall into the castle dungeon.  Rusty iron-barred doors squealed on their hinges. 


“There are no prisoners here,” Link observed.


Sheik nodded and grunted. “I freed them earlier.  They were all unjustly imprisoned.  Most of them were awaiting execution.”


“This hasn’t been noticed?”


“Are we being noticed?  Right now, the queen is rather absorbed in her own business.”


“Absorbed in her own business…”


“It’s my polite way of saying she’s gone off the rails.  She’s sealed up the throne room and hasn’t been out of it in two days.  She is taking little notice of what transpires in Hyrule right now.” 


Immediately, Link pushed her, whipping his sword and shield off his back in one fluid motion.  A stalfos swept his wicked, waved blade at his middle.  He danced and parried.  Sheik took care of a second creature, using a clawshot to rip its skull from its spinal column with a loud yet sinewy crack.  Link would have asked her if hers and his were once part of a set, but there wasn’t any time. 


When broken bones and armor lay at their feet, Link caught his breath and asked “Are you alright?”


“Yes, thank you,” Sheik replied.  “It is amazing how someone born in a world of guns can become such a wonderful swordsman.  You were magnificent.”


“It wasn’t anything, really.  I hate those things.  I don’t think the dead like their bones being magicked into things like that.”


“Who is to know that they are not souls that have returned?”


“I don’t think so,” Link replied.  “I don’t sense that from them, anyway.”


“We’ve put the dead at peace, either way.  The throne room is up ahead, right past this chasm. There’s invisible platforms somewhere…”


Link narrowed his eyes and concentrated.  “I see them! Follow me.”


As they leapt from platform to platform over a bed of spikes – security for the dungeon, Link suspected, he asked Sheik a very important question.  “How do you know so much about the castle?”


Sheik hesitated before answering.  “My people were the traditional protectors of Hyrule’s Royal Family,” she said.  Link sensed that it wasn’t a full answer.  They wandered through hallways that winded and took them up. 


The dangers became fewer – only a few rats and cockroaches that skittered around their feet.  “Ugh,” Link said, shaking a few offending insects off his boots, “I never knew a grand royal palace could have such a pest problem.”


Hyrule Castle is very, very old,” Sheik answered, “Any structure built by mankind that remains for long becomes a haven for undesirable creatures.  Nature does its best to reclaim everything.  The main floors and living quarters do not have this problem.” 


As they opened a cellar door and emerged in a tiny, dark room on the first floor, Sheik pressed a large, gilded key into Link’s hand.  “This will open one of the doors to the throne room,” she said.


“What? How did you get this, Sheik?”


She pushed him forward.  “I have my methods. Just go.”


Link crept along a corridor and found an ornate door covered in beautiful carvings overlaid in gold.  He opened the door slowly and looked inside.  A tall woman was pacing back and forth before the throne.  Link recognized her and grit his teeth.  He crept into the room unnoticed, keeping to the shadows.  He drew the Master Sword. 


“Ungrateful pig!” the usurper queen growled to herself, flinging her hands.  “I killed my own mother to bring him back… Got too big for his britches.  I’m in charge here; I am the sovereign Queen of Hyrule!  Can’t even find my little sister… I’ll hunt him down and take what’s mine! I’ll have it all! I’ll have it all! I will be the Supreme Goddess of this land… they’ll pay for defying me… they’ll all suffer!” 


Link crept upon her slowly, easing his way close to her, keeping at her back.  A knot formed in his gut.  She was evil.  She was responsible for destroying the country.  She had taken from him and she had taken from Zelda… he had watched her kill his uncle – who had been, for all purposes save biological, his father - with his own eyes…According to Mr. Bladebringer, she was behind the deaths of his parents, too… He had been waiting for this moment…


A large part of him wanted to be splattered with her blood – it told him to strike and to strike now!  However, his conscience was being a pest.  The other part of him told him that it was dishonorable to run someone through from behind – it is what he was thinking about doing, as Cecelia was too tall for him to decapitate.  It was that cold blood again… it didn’t matter who or what she was, there was that problem with killing in cold blood. It was something cowardly. As much of a monster as she was, Cecelia was still, at least in some small way, a person and a person deserved a chance to fight off their death. Link grit his teeth and swallowed.  He had to strike, and he had to strike soon or…


Cecelia whipped around and glared at him.  She smiled a broad, crooked smile.  “Why, hello there,” she said. “Tried to strike me down and lost your courage?


Link danced out of the way of a beam of ice shot from her fingers.


“Or is it a matter of too much honor?” she laughed.  “That kind of honor is for the weak.”   


At least that problem was taken care of.  She was on the attack now.  Link could now tell his conscience to shove it.  She was fighting her death and he had to fight his.  The ice-sorceress formed long spears of ice and flung them at him at high velocity.  He dodged and backflipped, remembering the Hero of Time’s lessons.  He slipped on a patch of ice on the floor and a small ice-dagger caught him in the right shoulder. 


Cecelia laughed.  “Give it up, boy!” she cackled.  “Why don’t you tell me where my sister is?  I just might let you live.  I’ll have to take your left hand, of course, but life as a cripple is better than no life at all!”


“I don’t believe you!” Link huffed.  “You’ll kill her and me both.  You’re a tyrant. You’ve taken a coward’s path.  You don’t deserve the blessing of Courage.  You are unworthy of Power and Wisdom laughs at you!”


As he dodged another volley, Link slipped on a patch of ice on the floor again.  This time, he used it to his advantage, leaning into it.  He slid forward, toward Cecelia and swung his sword in the spin move he’d learned from the Hero of Twilight.  The Master Sword slammed into the upper portion of Cecelia’s arm and sliced it clean off.  It fell to the floor without a mess.  Only when it had fallen did Cecelia begin to bleed.  Something bright and blue pulsed beneath the sliced flesh of the severed limb.   


Cecelia shrieked and the entirety of the throne room began shaking.  Her hair blew out behind her as if caught up in a wind. Snow crystals formed within it.  Trails of ice and frost snaked up her body.  The veins on her face on the visible skin of her shoulders became very blue and pronounced.  “I still have power!” she screamed desperately, “I still have enough power…. To make sure you die with me!” 


The sorceress put fort her left hand.  A thick ice beam shot out from it and hit Link in the stomach.  He yelped in despair as he felt the cold burn of ice form all around his legs, his delicates, his middle… all the way up to his chest where it squeezed the breath from his lungs.  He watched the clear-blue substance form over his face.  He could see his left hand sticking out of it, gripping the bloodstained Master Sword tightly.  He could feel his limbs and his skin going hard, which was a strange combination of general numbness and excruciating pain.  He spared a thought for his Uncle Russell, whom he was sure he’d be seeing again momentarily. 


A blurry Cecelia was flailing around, screaming and cursing in modern Hylian, ancient Hylian, and in a few languages Link had never heard before.  She passed near and blood splashed upon his ice-tomb.  Chunks of the palace’s second floor were falling down.  Link saw another blur through the ice, which he guessed might have been Sheik. 


“Too late to save me this time,” he thought, though he could feel his brain slowing, in time with the slowing beat of his heart, “I’m sorry.”


Suddenly, a warm sensation shot through him.  It began in his right arm and passed down.  Link became very warm, even hot, and he saw orange flames lick about him.  The next thing he knew, he was on the floor, crouched down in a puddle of cold, melted water.  His skin tingled and the flames retreated.  “Din’s Fire?” he choked, catching his breath.  “It protected me.” 


Sheik grabbed the collar of his shirt.  “We have to get out of here!” she commanded, helping him to his feet.  She cradled a grisly prize in her other arm – Cecelia’s severed right arm.  “This room is collapsing; she wants to trap us in it.  Let’s go! Move! Move! Move!”


Link began to run. “Is there anybody else in here we need to evacuate?” He asked breathlessly.


Cecelia’s body contorted in a spasm as she screamed at them.  “No! You will die! You will die!” she howled.  She flung out her left arm, throwing ice-spears. 


Sheik grabbed Link and spun him around.  His eyes went wide as she gasped and choked, blood issuing from her mouth.  “Sheik!” he screamed.


The woman grabbed at the red-stained shard of ice that had pierced through her back and out her middle. “Go,” she said. “Just go. You’re important… you have to leave this place.”  She pressed the cold severed arm into his arms.  “Take the Crystal of Ice…find the Aether… save the world.”


Instead, Link grabbed Sheik, held her close, closed his eyes and concentrated.  “Kaze no Farore.” 


Link found himself in the middle of the desert with Sheik splayed on top of him.  Both of them were bleeding – him from the shoulder and her from the middle.  She was bleeding more profoundly now, since the spear of ice that had been in her had melted.  Link quickly registered the scene.  He could see Castle Town’s towers in the distance on the eastern horizon. 


“Sheik! Sheik!” He cried.  Before he could grab her and press his hands to her entry and exit wounds, she stood.  Her legs shook and her form appeared to flicker.  Link looked on slack-jawed. 


“Maybe…” she said slowly, “You’ll get to outlive me this time.” 


She held up her right hand.  Fabric fell away from it revealing a Triforce mark.  One of the triangles glowed pale blue and flickered.  Sheik’s hair turned from blond to black and her eyes from crimson to azure.  The fabric covering her face fell away.




She fell to the ground.  Her clothing disappeared, replaced by Zelda’s usual attire – the riding pants and riding boots and the button-up blue coat.  Strangely, she was also wearing a light silver crown upon her head that looked like delicately layered leaves. 


Immediately, Link went to her and pressed his hands over her bloody stomach.  “Zelda,” he gasped, “It was you all this time?”


“Yes,” she answered, wincing with pain. 


Link reached into one of his vest pockets and pulled out bandages.  They expanded, responding to the spell put upon them.  Without giving much thought to the fact that he was disrobing her, he unbuttoned her coat up to her bra and began winding bandages around her. Sweat poured from his forehead.  He was frantic.  His shoulder ached but he paid it no mind. 


Zelda weakly pointed. “My…My sister’s arm…. Take the crystal…”


Link turned from her and found the bloody appendage on the ground.  As soon as he touched it, it shattered into thousands of tiny shards of ice. Link grunted in surprise at this. What was left behind was a small blue crystal with a cyan pulse of magic inside.  Link touched it, cautiously.  It vanished into his left arm.  He gulped and clutched his chest as he felt something moving into his heart.  A red-orange light glowed from his right arm. Blue glowed from his left.  There was a green glow in the center of his chest.  They vanished.  “L’amour d’ Nayru,” he uttered and a crystal of icy blue energy appeared around both him and Zelda.  He nodded and it disappeared. 


“You have them all now,” Zelda said weakly, smiling.  “You can bring the balance back now.  You’re gonna make a great king.”


“Great king? Zelda, no! Come on… you’re strong.  I can take you back to your Impa or… better yet, the fairy spring!” 


“Triforce…” Zelda whispered, “The Triforce of Wisdom is fading… I drew upon its power to become Sheik for you. Spent it… Yeeitch!”


Zelda hissed in pain as Link lifted her up in his arms.  “I know where I can take you.  It will drain me, but…”


“Link! Go to Kakariko, to the Temple of the Goddesses.  Unlock the temple.”


“Even better, princess,” Link said, his face close to hers.  “I’m taking you to see the Goddesses themselves. I’ve met them.  Try not to be too disappointed.”


Link closed his eyes and concentrated upon the Goddesses’ Abode on Apex Mountain. This was outside of the normal range of Farore’s Wind, but he inwardly reached, trying to extend the magic.  He could feel the wound in his shoulder growing larger and fresh blood running down his front.  He grit his teeth hard and could feel a sharp, painful pop in his sinuses.  Blood ran from his nose down his lip.  Cool wind and the smell of leaves and pine needles enveloped him. 


In less than a minute, he was standing before the open door of the ship.  He saw Farore approaching him and he collapsed.  “Please,” he whispered, “Zelda… help her… fading…” 


Din strode towards him and lifted Zelda into her strong dark arms.  Farore helped Link to his feet.  “Come inside, dear boy,” she said.  “You drained yourself, didn’t you?”


“Zelda…” He said, his vision blurring.  He felt himself being pulled back. 


“I need to treat you,” the voice of Farore droned. 


“Zelda first, please…” 


He heard the voice of Nayru.  “She’s pretty bad,” the Goddess said.  “We’re going to have to put her into stasis.  Farore, we need you.”


“But Link…”


“She needs you more.”


“Leave me,” Link said, collapsing.  “Take care of Zelda.” 



Link did not know how many hours or days he was in oblivion.  He woke up groggy in a bed, covered with a white sheet.  The first thing he saw was a big glass chamber beside him.  Tubes and wires flowed in and out of it.  The exterior had a fine film of frost on it. 


Link got up shakily.  He was wearing nothing but his undershorts and a tight bandage around his right shoulder.  He was curious about the chamber.  It looked just like the Zora chambers in the Steel Temple.  He recalled seeing this type of chamber on the Goddesses’ ship before, just not in use, as this one was, apparently.  He wiped the frost off the upper part of it.  He gasped. 


“Zelda? Zelda!” 


She looked like she was sleeping.  Her face was as pale as that of a porcelain doll.  There were snow flecks on her eyelashes.  Her lips were blue.  Link just stared at her in despair.  He heard footsteps enter the room. 


“You’re finally awake,” Farore said, “You drained your mystic energy out. You were drawing from your fragment of the Triforce.  It was starting to drain your physical energies. You nearly killed yourself.” 


“What did you do to her?” Link asked forlornly.


“Reversible death,” Farore answered.


“Death?” Link quailed.


“Well,” Farore said, “Technically, she is dead.”


Link began screaming and pounding on the top of the chamber.  “Zelda! Zelda!” He leaned over it and began sobbing. “No… no, no, no…”


“I did say that it was reversible death,” Farore added.  “She’s in stasis, like the last of the Zora.  Wisdom will not be as simple to retune as Courage was, and for both to shine brightly, the balance needs to be brought.  Do you understand, Link?”


Link nodded dumbly.  “You will take care of her, won’t you?”


“Of course.  Now let’s get you back into your clothes and on your way.” 



End Chapter 13


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