A hooded figure entered the stuffy room. A warm fire was lit in the hearth and four small children sat around it, talking amongst themselves. The figure's dark robes made its face a mystery. The door slammed closed behind them, the tumultuous winds pulling it shut. A storm raged outside, explaining why the figure appeared to be soaked.
"I," The figure said, "Am the Spinner. I weave the yarn of tales, of the legends of long ago. I come to make your story..." A long arm extended, a single drop of water falling off the sleeve of its cloak. The arm moved in a wide arc around the room, then rested upon the group of four children. They giggled a little. The figure started to pull its hood down.
She tossed her long, dark red hair out of her face, hazel eyes reflecting the firelight.
"I was trying to be dramatic!"
"Diannah! What in Hyrule's name drove you to come?" Diannah grinned, the tips of her long elfin ears touched red with cold.
"How could I not visit, mother? I have to come see my adoring brothers and sisters!" She smiled at her siblings.
"I'm glad you came, though."
"Why would that be?"
"Because," Diannah's mother paused briefly and coughed into her hands, "They're becoming unnerved by the storm. Maybe one of your stories would calm them down."
"Yeah! Tell us a story, Dia!" her eldest brother Aalan exclaimed.
"I'd be delighted to tell one! But which one have I not told..."
"You've layed down all the faerie tales you know, and a few other legends in Hyrule's history. What else could there be?"
"I've told all those already?" Diannah thought for a moment. "I've got it! One last legend..."
"A long one? Dia, we want to hear a long story!" the youngest child in the family, Danii, shouted above the wind's loud shrieks.
"Very long. I'll bet that you all will be asleep in no time," Diannah told him, smiling.
"But I'll stay awake. You're stories are the best, Diannah," her next-oldest sister Alia said.
"Thank you, Alia. Now, I'm sure you have not heard this one before." Diannah sat down on a stool in front of her siblings. They sat on their knees anxiously, their innocent faces begging for Diannah to stop stalling.
"Start the story already!" Aalan said with his best pouting face.
"I just have to gather my thoughts. Let's see...This story is about a young girl named Emerylle." She smiled over at her aging mother. The old woman smiled back, the markings of age increasing with her movement. They were both amused at the younger childrens' interest in a simple tale.
"Ages ago, before any of us had been born, the land of Hyrule was mostly field. Even Mother knew not of that landscape. Faeries still roamed the land, as did the mythical creatures I tell you about on my visits. And the races of Hyrule flourished. Long before the Gerudos disappeared, before the Gorons were extinct and the Kokiri all learned to grow up, there was a hero. His name, as I've told you, is Link."
"You've told this story before!" Aria, Alia's twin, exclaimed in an upset tone.
"Have I? I don't believe so. This girl I speak of, Emerylle, had a big part in this Link person's adventure. But it was against her own will."
"That sounds so exciting!" Aria sighed, wishing she could have been there in some way. Being the little historian she was, she always wished to know everything about her roots and the history of her country.
"Aye, it is."
"What does this have to do with the story?" Diannah looked to Danii and thought of a simple way to answer his question. She laughed a little. They were so...innocent. So easily excited by one of her infamous stories.
"Much, my young brother. But our tale really begins very long ago...
Today was almost like any other. Almost. The girl scribbled the words in a small journal that she had found earlier. Someone had probably dropped it carelessly and left it. I had to catch my food, as usual. But I came across an unusual boy when I was trying to grab that dratted Cucco again. I swear, I don't think anyone can catch the thing! No one can even touch it, in the least! She laughed to herself as she wrote.
Well, about this strange boy... He seemed a little...like me. All alone. He wore odd green clothes. I don't think he was from around here. Of course, no one who lives out there in the market would have a faerie tagging along behind them. But...he was kind of cute. Maybe a year or so younger than me. I don't know.
Well, it's late, I suppose. I haven't learned to tell time from the moon's position. Not yet. I'm lonely. It's cold out here at night. Did you know that? And even though I feel silly talking about this to a book, it still makes me feel comfortable. So I'm closing this entry with a happy note: a hope that tomorrow will be better than today.
The girl was an orphan. She did not know anything of her parents except that they gave her life and a name: Emerylle. They had probably given the name to her because of her bright green eyes. "Emerylle" wasn't a name fit for a street scavenger like her. She kept wishing that her parents would come back and find her. They must have abandoned her accidentally.
"For who would give up a child on purpose, except in death?" She would ask herself to clear away doubts that clouded her mind. The girl sighed and lay down on the cold stone. She wished for a home so badly...
Emerylle shivered in the chilly autumn wind. She looked around for a little while wistfully, pulled her ragged blanket almost over her head, and slowly fell asleep on the market's unwelcoming cobblestones.
"Lousy kid," The shopkeeper mumbled as the blue-haired girl slipped away just in time for him to catch a glimpse of her. "She's gonna run me out of business." It was the second time that day that she had come by and snatched some fruit with her grubby little hands.
"The Blue Bandit givin' you trouble again, eh?" his neighboring shop owner asked. The Blue Bandit had been Emerylle's nickname for several years, ever since she had begun stealing. It was partially given because of her odd blue hair. It clashed terribly with her forever-zealous green eyes. Although she never really had a chance to notice. Because of her blue hair and overall kind heart, she was also named Nayru's Child.
Emerylle smiled, remembering how she had kept the name. It had been a bright day when she had first earned it, after finding a few stray rupees in the street she had given them back to the owner. But it was a small accomplishment. Time after time, when sympathetic people had given her sums of rupees, she had given them to the shopkeepers that she had stolen food from. She would always keep the memories in her heart, even if the name faded.
The strange boy was in the market again. This time, though, Emerylle was going to go up and talk to him. Nothing prevented her from doing so. She had always been very inquisitive, and even though she was mildly shy, she wanted to know all about strangers. The boy was just standing there. Something was in his hand. He held it so defensively that she wondered what was so special about it.
"Maybe it's got some value..." Emerylle thought, letting her thieving side get the most of her.
"Yah! I'm starting to sound like...like a Gerudo," she said, distressed. She had often seen them wandering in and stealing what they needed, and often times even more than they needed. Some even went to the castle, rarely. Slowly, she walked towards the boy. She would have to be sly about this. After all, she didn't want to come across to any one as a little child. So she studied her fingers very carefully as she walked towards him and 'accidentally' bumped into the boy, causing him to drop whatever he was holding.
"Oh, I'm sorry! I guess I wasn't paying attention!" She looked at the ground and she saw a small glittering red stone lying there. She leaned down and began to pick it up. But the boy hastily grabbed it from under her fingers and held it tightly to his chest. His blue eyes narrowed slightly. Emerylle looked at him, a hurt expression on her face, and said in false astonishment, "What? It's not like I was going to steal it or anything!" The boy looked at her suspiciously. Emerylle opened her mouth to speak but was quickly silenced by a clucking noise. A small white Cucco, the one she tried to catch all the time, ran between her and the boy.
"You wouldn't believe how many times I tried to catch that thing," Emerylle said, almost as much to say something as to start a conversation. A young child trotted after the Cucco, giggling.
The boy laughed. Emerylle grinned and said, "My name's Emerylle. But you can call me Ryllie. What's your name?"
"I'm Link," The boy said. He shoved a stray piece of blond hair behind his ear.
"Strange name. You're not from around here are you?"
"Uh...actually, I live in the forest. You stay here?"
"Kind of. I mean, I don't really have anywhere else to go, and here's where everyone comes with their goods so I can help myself." She cocked her head to the side and smirked slightly. "Guess I'm what people would call a 'street rat.'" Link laughed. Emerylle laughed with him. She came to the conclusion that she liked it when he laughed with her. Then, looking at the red stone in his hand, Link's eyes widened.
"Oh, I almost forgot... Sorry Ryllie, I've got to go!" And with that, he ran off, his faerie bobbing behind him. Emerylle watched as he dashed away, for the first time noticing the sword and sheath strapped to his back. He was prepared for a battle.
"Bye," Emerylle said, but Link was too far from her to hear it.
After gaining her lunch from a nearby merchant, Emerylle noticed clouds gathering in the sky. She watched everything and she assumed something awful was about to happen, because big storms only come around when terrible things were going to take place. She bit the apron of her dirty, torn dress as she watched the clouds grow thicker in the normally blue Hyrule sky.
"It doesn't seem like Hyrule with clouds overhead," she whispered. She felt and heard her heart beating against her chest. Feeling that other people might be able to hear it, she crossed her arms. "This has to be bad. Very bad." Then she noticed Link standing outside the gates of the market.
A blazing flash of lightning illuminated the sky, which was getting darker and more clouded by the minute. Emerylle closed her eyes and whimpered. She could feel droplets of the cold rain on her head and bare arms. The wind was picking up, and she knew that any minute the clouds would burst. Upon opening her eyes, she saw a perfectly white horse galloping swiftly by. It carried two people, one of which she recognized to be the princess of Hyrule. A sense of terror overwhelmed her. Everyone parted from the middle of the streets, leaving a wide path for the horse. The horse dashed through the streets and towards Link, who gaped in shock.
Emerylle took a deep breath in relief, but it was short-lived. The clanking of heavier hoof beats sounded from behind her. Whirling around, she saw another horse, carrying a much different rider. On the ebony horse, he was in pursuit of the princess. His red hair flamed the dark environment, causing distress between the widely distorted colors. Emerylle's eyes widened in both shock and surprise.
"Oh...what's going on?" She asked herself. Her hair whipped around her face sharply, stinging her eyes and getting in her way. She roughly shoved it behind her Hylian ears. She let out a gasp in realizing that Link hadn't budged. She wondered if he was aware of the princess's frightening pursuer. She wished badly to call out in warning to him, but her lips wouldn't -or couldn't- move.
The dark rider stopped, right in front of Link. Unable to watch, Emerylle turned away and ran to her corner of the market, colder and darker than any other place there. She couldn't bear to see the death of someone whom she thought of as a friend.
The commotion was over. The dark clouds that shielded the sun were slowly dissipating into the blue sky that Emerylle loved so much. She dashed back out to the market, hopping over shallow puddles of water left by the storm, only to find that Link wasn't there as she expected. She feared the worst.
As she was about to leave the market, she heard a deep growl in the pit of her stomach. With a sigh she quietly walked to the nearest stand where fruit could be seen. She put on an angelic face and looked around at all of the apples and fruits for a while. A woman passed by and saw her. Emerylle turned and, seeing the woman, smiled broadly. The owner of the small fruit stand looked away for a minute to clean one of the smudged pears.
Emerylle grinned mischievously and grabbed two apples, running away as she heard the distressed yells of the shopkeeper. Taking a guilty bite out of the smaller apple she had taken, she hastily walked out of Hyrule Castle Town.
She saw no sign of a skirmish. The grass was still as green as ever, if not just damp. The river was as still as glass. Looking closer, she could see bits of turned-up dirt and trampled hoof prints. But she saw no Link. Worriedly she took another bite out of her apple. But she saw nothing else.
Emerylle looked around one last time, preparing to give up. She noticed that the angle of the hoof prints veered sharply, right back to the marketplace.
"What? But I didn't see a horse coming back! Maybe...maybe I fell asleep. That's it! I fell asleep and either the princess or the other rider headed back to the castle. Oooh, this could have disastrous consequences but..." She turned on her heel and ran back into the market.
"Where could they have gone?" Emerylle asked despairingly. With a small sigh she looked around for more hoof prints. The market was back to its usual commotion. She ran to the other half of town, searching for those revealing hoof prints. But she saw none. Then she heard a low rustling noise and turned in the direction of the noise. She faced an old tower.
Coming closer, she could see that it was not a tower at all but a temple. She started running towards it to see a black horse tethered outside. She thought that if the black horse was there, then the rider was surely there was well. Which meant that Link could be there as well. Hurriedly, she hopped up the stairs two at a time and burst through the temple's main doors.
She stood in the temple awkwardly, feeling that she was out of her place in the elegant building. Inside, she saw Link. He stood there playing a wind instrument, presumably an ocarina or a flute. He played an eerie set of notes and a bright light shined over him. Emerylle shielded her eyes with her arm and when she looked back, one of the walls in front of both of them was gone. She gasped quietly in sheer amazement.
Link's little faerie bobbed up and down, then whispered in the boy's ear. He nodded slightly and began approaching the place where the wall had been. To Emerylle, he seemed almost hesitant. But then he began to run and soon arrived at what Emerylle could see was a pedestal...with a sword in it!
The sword seemed to shine with its own natural glow. It stood proudly, guarding the temple with its power. Emerylle restrained herself from coming closer. She wondered if this sword, from whom such power radiated, would choose its master. She felt sure that the sword would choose a person brave and strong. The sword, she imagined, would choose someone like Link.
She heard him walking up the steps and whispering, "The Master Sword." It echoed softly throughout the temple.
Link's face set. He grabbed the sword by its hilt. For a moment, he stood still, holding it. Then Emerylle witnessed a moment that would be etched in time forever. Link wrenched the sword of power free. Then she heard a cackling behind her and she turned with a gasp. Behind her stood the dark rider from the market!
"I knew that you would lead me to the Sacred Realm..." he muttered, laughing in a deep, threatening tone. His voice created such a sense of terror in Emerylle that she ran for Link and the pedestal where he stood, hoping beyond hope that she could somehow warn him.
"Link! Watch-" She was cut off by a blast of energy hitting her side. With a piercing scream, she fell to the ground.
"Ryllie!" Link cried. Link ran to help her, but the Sacred Realm was pulling him away. Dazed, Emerylle faded from consciousness.
When Emerylle awoke, she could tell that something was wrong. A roar and then a booming laugh reached her ears. She sat up and rubbed her head, then her side. She looked at her dress and saw a large hole in the side of her body that ached so terribly.
"Unh... What happened?" She asked herself. After standing up and grabbing onto the wall, fearing that her legs wouldn't hold her, she looked around. She couldn't remember anything that had happened since... She looked towards the pedestal where she had last seen Link. "He's gone!" she yelled in a panicked tone. She tried to remember what happened after she had seen Link disappear, but she simply couldn't.
Emerylle thought she remembered seeing a man...but she wasn't sure. Unsure of her wobbly legs, she traced the walls of the old temple as she walked around in search of answers. She reached the pedestal with the sword in it only to realize that the sword had disappeared, as had Link.
"Something funny's going on here," She mumbled, hearing the words echo off the walls.
"Who are you?!" A voice cried. Emerylle looked all around her but could find no source. It was everywhere, inside and out of her. It made the temple shake and stilled it at the same time.
The menacing voice echoed around Emerylle until she thought her head would explode. She covered her ears and whined softly. This was all too much for such a young girl to bear...
Dark shadows in the corners and crevices of the temple gathered together in one big sphere, then formed the shape of a man. He stood tall and threatening, and the small girl stared up at him not knowing what to do. She trembled uncontrollably, feeling a great presence of darkness within him.
Taking a closer look, Emerylle found him to be the same man who had persued Princess Zelda on her horse. And he was the one that Emerylle believed was responsible for the disappearance of Link.
"Who are you?!" The man demanded, in the same voice that had frozen Emerylle's heart and soul.
"Uh...um...I'm...I...mmmh," Emerylle stuttered.
"I am losing patience!" he yelled menacingly. Emerylle winced and ducked to her knees, clutching them to her chest and laying her chin on them. Emerylle couldn't stop shaking. She looked like an even smaller child than she was. But at the moment, she didn't have time to think about how she looked in the eyes of this man.
"Enough of this!" the man shouted, with no pity within his black heart. He pointed a lone finger at Emerylle's forehead and growled, "If you do not tell me who you are, then I will kill you!" She looked up at him timidly, unable to force herself to speak.
Presently, though, the man lowered his hand. He stalked towards Emerylle and laid a hand on her cool forehead. Almost immediately, Emerylle froze.
"What is this? Why can't I move?" She asked herself silently.
"Tell me your name, child."
"Emerylle," she whispered, not able to control her own actions.
"And did you see the boy?"
"Good, good." He looked at her in a new way now, thinking that she might become a student, or even an accomplice. "I sense a great amount of power within you, young Emerylle. Are you aware of this power?" The young girl shook her head. Her eyes were vacant, unblinking. The man grinned and kneeled down to Emerylle's height.
"She's perfect. So much power in such a young body! Where did she get this energy?" He asked himself. Then he waved his hand in front of the girl's face and she 'woke up.'
"Can you tell me what happened?" She asked.
"You ran to the Door of Time. Your friend Link was pulling out the sacred Master Sword, a relic not to be touched by mortal hands. Apparently realizing your presence, he unleashed energy from the sword and knocked you down so he wouldn't get caught. Realizing that you were out and that he might be blamed, he acted as if concerned – what an actor!" the man snorted disdainfully, "and he ran to supposedly help you. But the Sacred Realm caught him, and he was trapped inside," the man lied.
"Why were you here?" Emerylle asked slowly, half in belief and half in disbelief of this man's story.
"Because I knew Link wanted the Master Sword for evil purposes, and I tried to stop him. But I was too late, and as I tried to get to him, I was drawn into the Sacred Realm too. There was the treasured relic, the Triforce. Right in front of me. When I reached out to touch it, thinking it would help me catch and restrain Link, it split apart and I only had time to get one part of it."
Part of Emerylle sensed that this man was evil. But...
Before she could have any thoughts on his story, the man flashed his hand before her eyes. She descended into a trance.
"You have lived in the market all your life, but always knew that you had an unlimited amount of power. Knowing this, you came across Link who was up to no good. He works for an evil power. You believe the story that I told you because it's all true, and Link with his Master Sword must be stopped. So you sided with your true master, Ganondorf, to learn control and use of your powers. And some day, you will defeat the evil child Link and restore Hyrule to your master, the country's true master."
Emerylle nodded slightly. The man, Ganondorf, passed his hand over her face again and she was under his control.
With a wicked laugh the veiled girl set fire to Hyrule Castle Town. It had been only two years since she had begun her magic training, and already she matched her master's power. She heard the screams of the panicking townspeople as they attempted to flee. She grinned, making a mockery of the citizens by shooting magic rocks at their feet. They scrambled like ants in the rain.
"We are having fun, no?" She asked, her high-pitched voice ringing clear. With hatred in her heart she burned the very people who had hated her since she was a child.
Some of her years came up as a mystery. But she could imagine them: full of neglect and cold, bitter winds. She had been in the street all her life, and nowhere in her twenty years of age had she ever seen anyone who cared about her.
"Maybe what I'm doing is wrong. Maybe he lied to me," she thought. The doubts had always haunted her mind, but had never once interfered with her work as now, when she destroyed her own home.
Wind whipped around her face, blowing her shoulder-length bright blue hair all around her. Her green eyes narrowed in hatred as she buried those doubts again and re-declared her loyalty to the one she served so enthusiastically.
The girl traveled all over Hyrule in search of ways to help her master rule the country.
"Rillia, you have been loyal these past years," He had told her. She smiled, knowing that Ganondorf's rule would be much better than that of the king, who let people starve on the streets while he lived in that castle of his.
Rillia looked at herself in her handheld mirror, the one with a frame that appeared as a vine engulfing the circular glass. Her hair was getting long. With a snap of her fingers it returned to its barely-under-her-ears style.
"Better," She said. Then she continued on her task, to destroy Zora's Domain with the help of her powers and those of her master.
She arrived at the gates of the domain shortly thereafter.
"So unsuspecting... This will be too easy!" She looked at the gap between her and the domain's entrance. Then she looked at the waterfall. She wouldn't be able to jump it. For a moment she disappeared, then reappeared on the other side of the falls.
"Who are you?!" The Zora guards asked as she entered their home. She shoved them aside and walked towards the edge of the crystal clear blue water. With a wave of her hand ice engulfed the Zoras. She extended her hands, letting the ice that covered her heart trap the Zoras in their own home.
She walked up stairs and corridors, trying to find the place where she knew King Zora lived. Finally, after almost getting lost once or twice, she found him. And with a flick of her wrist he was as doomed as the rest of his people, suffering an icy fate.
Ganondorf watched all of this in pleasure. His livelihood was watching the suffering of others.
"She is a powerful ally, but she would make a terrible enemy," The King of Evil thought with confidence. He realized that the time would come when that meddlesome boy, Link, would come back and try to defeat him. But with Rillia at his side, nothing would be able to withstand their power.
"He has not returned yet," Impa whispered to Princess Zelda, who was sitting by the window of their small cottage as usual. She watched as her home, the castle, came crashing down and a monstrosity erected in its place.
"Someday he will, Impa. Someday," the fifteen-year-old whispered to herself and her nursemaid, seemingly to boost her own confidence in the boy rather than Impa's.
"Yes, he will come back. He will be the Hero of Time. But until then, we must endure this fate."
"But we will do so with hope."
Link awoke with a start. How long had he been asleep? He thought he had heard someone -or something- coaxing him awake some time before. But it was his imagination. It had to have been a dream. This couldn't have been real.
He looked around. This wasn't his home. This was...where was he? He was surrounded in light and darkness, both at the same time. He felt as if he was in a prison, waiting to be executed.
But then the walls around him fell. He stepped out of his fallen shelter and was face to face with an old man, from whom virtuous power radiated.
Link looked down for a moment to the circular step he stood on. The Triforce symbol was proudly emblazoned on it. There were other steps surrounding him in a circle, with strange markings etched on them. And all around him, there were walls that had to be made of water or air, or some other weightless substance.
Link opened his mouth to speak but the old man held up his hand.
"I know you have many questions about what has happened in the last seven years," the man said, his voice deep and powerful. "But soon, all will be answered."
"Seven years? I've been here for seven years?" he asked himself. Looking around, he realized that the floor was not so close to him as it used to be. He could look the old man right in the eye.
"I've grown? But how? Kokiris aren't supposed to grow older," he thought to himself.
"I am Rauru, the Sage of Light. I am here to tell you of your quest..."
"Rillia! The boy will return some day. You and I must be prepared to defeat him and restore Hyrule to me!"
"Have you done all I asked of you?"
"Yes, Milord. I have destroyed Hyrule Castle Town and the domain of the Zoras. I have sealed the six Sages in their temples, and put them to sleep. I have awakened the monsters and sent out the Poes. I drained Lake Hylia and forced the Gorons into their beloved Fire Temple in your name. Is that all you wished, Milord?"
"You have done well, Rillia. And you will be rewarded."
"Thank you, Milord."
"We will prepare to face the boy. We must be ready for him to return at any time."
"Oh, I am ready. Very ready..."
The princess dressed in the attire of a Shiekah. She smiled, knowing that Link wouldn't tell that she was Zelda. To him, she would be Shiek.
Impa taught the young princess many of the Shiekah tricks: disappearing with a flash, playing the harp, making legend into rhyme... among other things that she would need.
"Princess, Ganondorf may be watching you and Link at any given time. You must not reveal yourself except in here, where Ganondorf cannot see from our magic spell."
Then came the day when she knew Link must be summoned. The day that Impa disappeared.
"The time's come, Zelda. Link must come back from wherever he is, and Impa must be awakened with his courage," She told herself in determination. Then, boldness in heart, she stepped out of the cottage that she had resided in for the last seven years---possibly for the last time.
The young Shiekah male waited at the Pedestal of Time with anticipation. He tapped his foot upon the chill stones as blue light engulfed his vision and the young Hero of Time appeared as if by magic. Maybe it was magic.
Link looked around for a little while, then at the sword he held in his hands. The Shiekah's eyes widened. He was watching one of the prophecies of Hyrule coming true.
Link slowly stepped down from the pedestal, looking all around him. He felt eyes on him and whipped around, unsheathing his sword and brandishing it in one agile movement.
"I knew it; you really are the Hero of Time," The Shiekah said, with a little too much enthusiasm in his voice.
"Who are you?"
"I am Shiek..."
Ganondorf watched the two converse and he laughed. Rillia joined him in it. She had grown by two years since she burned the homes and businesses of Hyrule Castle Town. Now, she was twenty-seven and at the height of her tremendous power.
With a mysterious grin, Rillia looked at the boy in the looking glass, her eyes full of hatred.
"He lied to you, why would you feel regrettable?" she asked herself.
"I don't know. I have never taken a life..." she replied. It made her laugh. She had ruined countless lives. But she had never taken one.
"Now, my dear, is the time. We must destroy that boy at any cost. He must not live to awaken the Sages!" Ganondorf roared, his voice echoing throughout the walls of his castle, the one he and Rillia had built. He was proud of her accomplishments.
But he couldn't deny an attraction to the girl. She was tall and slim, her clothes hung loosely around her. Her chin-length dark blue hair was exotically brilliant, though it dimmed the beauty of her emerald green eyes.
He had taken years away from her, just as the Sacred Realm had taken years from the Hero of Time. Ganondorf knew that someday, either he would have to tell her who she really was or give her back those years. He hoped to do the latter. Even if she was her earlier age, he didn't want to lose her as an ally.
"Milord?" Rillia asked, her musical voice filled to the brim with concern. Ganondorf turned to her, almost ruefully, and shook his head.
"The boy will be heading to the Forest Temple to rescue his bratty Kokiri friend. Send all the monsters you can gather, tell them not to let him through!"
"Yes, Milord." Rillia left the room with a quick bow to summon the biggest enemies that she could concoct.
Rillia couldn't help but pity Link; he had been her friend. Now, after seven years, he would feel the pain of her long-brewing anger. She could not stand being lied to, why should she give him special treatment?
She went to the bestiary to pick out appropriate enemies for a temple of forest.
"How about...the botanical enemies? Perfect. And...Phantom Ganon! Ganondorf will love this..." She was pleased with herself after she had planted the proper enemies. She dashed back to the throne room of the Evil King to stand at his side as a second-in-command.
"I chose Phantom Ganon for when he thinks he's through the temple. If he makes it that far," She said smugly. So they combined their powers to track Link's venture through the temple, knowing it would make some fine entertainment.
Ganondorf nearly had smoke billowing from his ears.
"He defeated Phantom Ganon. Rillia, how could he have defeated it? How?!" Ganondorf screamed, enraged.
"He...he will not get through the next temple!"
"See that he doesn't."
"How could this have happened?!" Rillia shrieked.
"He's defeated all of the monsters in the five temples, awakened the Sages, and he's on his way here?!" Ganondorf demanded. "How did this happen, Rillia?"
"Well he...I mean, I...I underestimated him, sir," She said.
"I see. You underestimated the strength of this...this boy, even with your power. You sent five demonic creatures at him -all of which he defeated without a scratch on him- and even with their power he killed them. How can you ever underestimate someone?! Haven't I taught you better?"
"I...I'm sorry, Milord."
"Well, he's on his way here now. NO MORE games! I will kill Link ON MY OWN! He will NEVER leave my castle ALIVE!" Rillia stepped back at the roar of Ganondorf's voice, shaking like a mouse. "I want you to follow him. Observe his every move. Witness his weaknesses. GOT IT?!" Rillia nodded, wide-eyed, and dashed from the castle.
Link walked the path through the charred streets of the market. He wondered why anyone would want to destroy a place such as this, which used to be so full of life but was now haunted by the ReDeads.
He barely noticed the scuffling of feet behind him, shaking it off as the ReDeads that he kept at bay.
"Where do I need to go now?" Link asked himself. Remembering the words of his Shiekah companion, he turned not to Ganondorf's castle but to the Temple of Time, where he ran in and awaited the return of Shiek.
Rillia followed him into the temple. She remembered a place like this. But...from where? She wrinkled her nose at the dust that Link stirred with his feet. Few people had been to the temple in the last few years. The carpet of dust almost gave Rillia's presence away, but she knew better than to sneeze in a silent temple.
She heard the whole conversation between Link and Shiek. Even the part about the Triforce of Courage.
"So that's it! He's had the dratted Triforce in him all along! No wonder he could defeat those beasts..." She thought. She started to pay more attention to the conversation at hand, feeling something important was about to arise.
"The holder of the other Triforce piece was..." Shiek held up his left wrist and a symbol of three triangles appeared.
"WHAAAT?! I've never seen him before in my life before Link came along! How could he..." A flash of light cleared and Shiek was gone, in his place...
"Princess Zelda!" Link cried, releasing the thought Rillia was having.
"Of course! How could I have been so foolish?!"
"Correct. It is I, Zelda, princess of Hyrule and holder of the Triforce of Wisdom. And you, Hero of Time, have had a long journey. When you were locked in the Sacred Realm...I did not realize that you would be trapped there for the last seven years."
"It hasn't just been seven years. It's been longer. It has to have been more that a mere seven years!" Rillia exclaimed silently.
A laughing noise filled the temple. Pieces of rock fell from the ancient ceiling.
"I knew that if I followed this boy he would lead me to you, princess! You were foolish to reveal yourself to me!" Ganondorf's loud voice boomed. Rillia's eyes widened as Zelda was locked in a crystal prison and taken to Ganondorf's castle. "I would advise that if you want to see your princess again, you come to my castle and confront me!"
"Link! Help!" Zelda's cries echoed throughout the temple.
"Zelda! Ganondorf, you monster! Let her go!" Link demanded, his voice full of rage. Rillia chuckled as the temple went silent. She couldn't help herself any longer.
"Who's there?!" Link demanded. Still laughing, Rillia walked out of the shadows.
"Ryllie?" Link asked in astonishment. She looked almost identical to the girl he remembered from seven years ago, only much older. Rillia laughed again, shaking her head. "Who are you?"
"My, my, my, you sure do fool easily! Ganondorf caught you and your princess in the act, and you didn't even notice! He had a little help, don't you think?"
"I'll ask again: who are you?!"
"Fine, fine! You're so touchy! I'm Rillia. But really, do names matter at an urgent time like this? I would be more worried about my princess, if I were you." Link growled and lunged at her. But in an instant, Rillia disappeared and reappeared behind our young hero.
"Go away! I have work to do!" Link turned and looked at Rillia.
"You're a pawn!" Rillia suddenly realized.
"What? What do you mean?"
"You're a pawn! Zelda's using you to get what she wants, don't you see?!"
"NO! You lie!"
"You really had no part in this until she dragged you out of your safe home in the Kokiri Forest, made you get her three stones, and got yourself trapped in the Sacred Realm. And now you go and get these six pendants for her! You're not the one holding the cards here, she is!"
"It's my destiny! You liar! You're only trying to get me to leave the princess so you and Ganondorf can take over Hyrule!"
"No, you're lying, so-called hero. Lying to yourself. Deny it, but you can't help but wonder if it's true! Look inside and you'll see that I'm right." Link couldn't think of anything to say. He almost believed this...this fiend, this enemy. This ally of the treacherous Ganondorf.
"What am I talking about?! I'm betraying my country with thoughts like that!" Link thought, shaking his head. Rillia looked into his eyes to find...something. She didn't know what, though. She narrowed her eyes as she dug deep into his mind.
"You're alone," She whispered. Link just stared at her. "Your parents died, didn't they? When you were very young. You were given to the forest to be raised there. You were lied to. They told you that you were one of them. But they don't get older like you did, did they? They'll be little children long after you've passed on. So will your friend...Saria, I think."
"Stop it!" Link demanded, his voice wavering as she revealed his most painful memories. Rillia just laughed.
"You agreed to this quest because you want something different. Something more. You wanted to show those children that you were...better than them?"
"STOP IT!" He shouted again.
"Now you've become attached. You're not doing this for yourself anymore, are you? You've fallen for the princess. You've fallen too far to get up. And now..."
"LEAVE ME ALONE!"
"Now you are alone." She saw Link's face turning red with anger. "There were other friends in your life, too. A farm girl. Malon? Yes, she's pretty. Just for if the princess rejects you. Then there's..." She drifted off. The memories of his she saw...were ones that she shared.
Link slowly nodded. A small smile began to appear on his face.
"Emerylle..." The blue-haired maiden before him whispered.
"You know who she is." Rillia gave him a shocked look. "She's still alive, isn't she?" Link smiled a little now. He knew this girl's weakness.
"NO! That...that pathetic excuse for a human being...she's gone now! I destroyed her!" Still, Rillia looked farther into the memory of the 'Blue Bandit' that she used to know. She watched Link walk into the Temple of Time for what was to be the last time for several years. And he saw, from the corner of his eye, this girl that he had once met in the market.
As he pulled the Master Sword from its sleep, he saw Ganondorf rip a hole in the side of her body. Link had watched as she toppled to the floor, unable to run to her. The Sacred Realm was locking him into it.
Rillia licked a tear from the side of her mouth, unaware that it had been there before. As she pulled more from this young man's startling blue eyes, she began to recall more about who she used to be. But still...some years came up blank.
The twenty-seven-year-old woman sniffled and stepped away from the Hero of Time, the mind link between them dissipating.
"You see the truth," Link suggested.
"But...he lied to me?"
"Ganondorf always lies. I'll bet anything he lied to his mother to her face." Rillia laughed, a timid, stifled laugh. Then she gasped in pain as Ganondorf's spell over her broke completely, and she toppled to the floor. Whether it was her head hitting the rock underfoot or something else that dimmed her consciousness, she didn't know.
"What should I do? I can't just leave her here! But then...what about the princess?" Link asked himself. He wished that there were two of him. One to go in both directions.
He heard a groan from behind him and turned around. The 'Blue Bandit', as people called her long ago, was standing up. But she looked different, younger.
"What happened?" She asked groggily.
"You collapsed. Only for about ten minutes," Link told her. "Now..." He thought for a minute. Maybe she was herself again. "Who are you?"
"Can you remember?" he asked softly.
"Emerylle!" She cried out. From far away, an angered yell could be heard. They turned in its direction and then back to one another.
"What's the last thing you remember?" Emerylle shook her head and shrugged. Together they walked out of the Temple of Time and into the market.
"I remember...oh, oh no. No, no no! May the Goddesses save me! Did I do all this?!" She demanded of Link, looking around at the ruins of the market with tears in her eyes. She ran around frantically, looking for a sign of life.
"Emerylle, it wasn't your fault..."
"How can it not be my fault?! I believed Ganondorf! I burned down the town, my home! I did it! It was my fault! All my fault...and they're all dead! I'm a murderer! I killed those people who were here!" Link shook his head. But he was amazed at the power it must have taken to do such a thing.
"They didn't die! They escaped and most fled to Kakariko Village."
"The Zoras! I froze them to death, too! Link, what am I going to do?! The Zoras are gone now, too! And the Gorons! All of them, gone!" She wailed.
"Emerylle, the Zoras are still alive. Just...under the ice. Princess Ruto escaped and I unfroze her father. The Gorons are okay too. I set them free from the Temple of Fire." Emerylle let out an almost undetectable sigh of relief. But the horrible memories still lingered. She leaned closer to Link and buried her head in his chest, sobbing. In surprise, he put his arms around her in comfort.
"Looks like your hero's found another girl," Ganondorf sneered to Zelda, who was still in her cage.
"Let me out of here! I swear, when I'm free, you'll really feel it!" the princess threatened. Ganondorf laughed.
"You? A spoiled little brat like you against ME?! Now that wouldn't be fair, would it?"
"How about we make it two on one?" a voice called from the open door of the palace. Ganondorf spun around from his seat at the organ and gaped. It was Link!
"Where's your new friend?"
"I didn't think it'd be fair if I joined. Although I would like to teach you some lessons in manners!" Emerylle shouted from behind Link.
"Oh, my dear Rillia's turned against me?"
"My name is Emerylle, you evil son of a-"
"Ryllie, calm down."
"Let me out of here!" Zelda cried from her prison high above the ground.
"Zelda! Don't worry! You'll be out of there in no time at all!"
"Ganondorf, you'll pay for this!" Emerylle shouted.
"For what? It was your choice to come to me." Link gasped, turning to Emerylle. The girl's jaw dropped.
"Lies! That's a lie, Ganondorf! So is everything else you told me!"
"But you agreed to help me in the defeat of this scoundrel!" Ganondorf grinned. He could feel the rage building up inside of Link and Emerylle. They would both fight and kill the other. He wouldn't have to do anything.
"Emerylle, is this true?" Link asked, his voice a little too calm for the situation.
"Link, he had me fooled. He brainwashed me into thinking that you were the villain!"
"Ganondorf!" Link yelled.
"Why don't you have it out, hmm? You know you want to hurt her for what she's done to Hyrule, Link. She's the one who destroyed the castle that used to stand here," Ganondorf sneered.
"Ganondorf is lying! It's all lies, Link! Don't believe him! His word is worth nothing! You know that! You told me that!" Link looked from Ganondorf to Emerylle.
"She tried to destroy you!" Link turned to Emerylle and narrowed his threatening blue eyes. The girl shrieked and cringed, awaiting to be run through by the Master Sword.
"Stop it!" All three turned at the surprising demand from Zelda, who had shattered her prison with the cry. "Link, Emerylle isn't your problem right now! Ganondorf is! I can't do anything, but you can destroy him! Emerylle, Ganondorf is using you against yourself. I believe that you did this not knowing the truth, and let's leave things there."
"A wonderful speech, princess, but a little too boring. Let's liven things up a little..." Ganondorf thrust his hands upward and both Zelda and Emerylle were imprisoned, out of view of Link and Ganondorf.
"Let's just get this over with..." Link mumbled, grabbing the Master Sword.
Zelda and Emerylle had cheered the Hero of Time on through the whole fight. Though he couldn't hear them, it made the two young women feel better.
"Zelda, I'm so sorry..." Emerylle said. Zelda turned to the girl.
"Don't be. It wasn't your fault that this happened. It was Ganondorf's. And partially mine." Zelda hung her head.
"I didn't realize that Link wasn't old enough yet to wield the Master sword. Hyrule paid the price for my mistake."
"Now I should be giving the speech?" Both of the girls laughed nervously as the battles raged elsewhere...
"How can this be?! No one has ever defeated the King of Evil!" Ganondorf cried as Link struck a final blow to the Gerudo king.
"Yeah, well, there's a first time for everything!" Ganondorf let out an earth-shattering cry as he fell to the ground, beaten.
Zelda and Emerylle appeared. The castle underneath them began to rumble. Zelda turned to Link and said, "With his last bit of power. Ganondorf's trying to make the castle collapse on us! We've got to hurry!" They both looked at each other and then to Emerylle.
"You two go on. I can get out myself." They looked at the path laid out for them, then back at Emerylle, then they ran. Emerylle took a look at the body of Ganondorf. She picked up a stray rock and hurled it at the dead King.
"That is for my life." And she ran frantically after Link and Zelda.
"Link, we made it out! And you want to go back in?!"
"But...Emerylle's still in there!" Link yelled.
"She'll be fine! She can take care of herself!"
"Come on!" Zelda dragged Link over the magic-made bridge that connected the land around the castle to its entrance. Link turned back one last time as they cleared the bridge and cried out; the castle was collapsing.
"No!" Zelda screamed. They both gasped as a cloud of dust and dirt arose and engulfed the mess. When it cleared, almost nothing remained. Not even enough to prove that someone was still inside.
"She's...gone." Link couldn't believe that Emerylle would have been trapped in the mess of rubble. A thundering noise shook them.
"What was that?" Zelda asked breathlessly.
"I don't know," Link mumbled, pushing ahead of the princess to make sure that everything was okay. "But I'll go check it out." He walked into a clearing where debris and rocks had been pushed aside. He was about to turn and explain to Zelda that nothing was there when a wall of fire separated them.
From in front of Link a dark shadow burst forth. It was Ganondorf. He held up the symbol of the Triforce of Power and a cloud of smoke surrounded him. When it parted, Ganondorf was no more. In his place stood the strangest enemy Link had ever encountered: Ganon.
With one final clash of beast and sword, Ganon fell. The fire wall between Link and the world beyond Ganon's castle collapsed. Zelda ran to Link and threw her arms around him.
"I'm so glad you're safe!" She exclaimed. Then she drew herself away and hit him on the shoulder. "Don't you ever do that to me again! I thought I would die from the suspense!"
"But ya did good, Link," His Faerie, Navi, said. He looked up at the little sprite and smiled.
"We're not done yet!" Zelda said. Ganon stirred once. Link hit the creature on the head with the flat side of the Biggoron Sword, knocking him out. Zelda threw up her arms and cried, "Six Sages! Now!"
The six beings of power -Rauru, Ruto, Saria, Nabooru, Impa, and Darunia- appeared and lent their power to the Princess of Destiny. With all of her strength, Zelda sealed Ganondorf's spirit in the Sacred Realm -now named the Dark World, for evil has touched it- forever.
None of them paid attention to the vain curses that Ganondorf spat carelessly. All they cared about was that he was gone.
Zelda fell to her knees. She had spent all of her energy. Link helped her up. The Sages one by one, whispering words of encouragement to the two Hylians, went back to the Realm of Sages.
Link and Zelda faced each other in a place where no being should have been able to walk. They both stood on what looked like a cloud, but was as sturdy as a rock. Zelda explained to the Hero that she had made a terrible mistake by drawing Link into the whole problem.
"If you hadn't gotten the Master Sword, none of this might have happened." Link looked at her imploringly, wondering what this was leading to.
"What do you mean?" He finally asked.
"What I mean is that I've made a mistake that has to be righted. Link...I'm sorry that your life was taken away from you. Please, give me the Ocarina of Time," Zelda said, tears in her eyes. She didn't want him to go back. Never, ever again. She wanted them both to stay here, in this time, forever.
The princess couldn't raise her eyes to look at his face, but he lifted her chin and looked into her eyes. She sighed and extended her hand. With a heavy heart, Zelda took the Ocarina of Time from him and was about to play the bittersweet tones of her lullaby...
"WAIT!" A female voice cried out from behind them. They both turned to see...
"Emerylle?!" Zelda exclaimed. Indeed, there stood the sapphire-headed girl. She was hurt and dirty, and her clothes were ripped, but she was alive.
"You can't send Link back!" Emerylle shouted.
"Because none of this will have happened," She explained, her voice barely above a whisper.
"That's kind of the point, Emerylle!"
"You don't get it! You'll have never defeated Ganondorf if you supposedly 'set things right'! All of this," She motioned towards the whole of Hyrule, which lay beneath their feet, "Will happen again. And again, because you'll keep doing the same thing!" She sat down, drifting on a small cloud, and took a deep breath. Zelda looked from Emerylle to Link and back to the girl.
"You're right," She whispered, feeling just slightly embarrassed about the mistake she almost made. Then, slowly, Zelda handed the Ocarina of Time back to Link. "I'd like for you to protect this," She said. Link smiled. He didn't say so, but he was glad that he wouldn't have to go back to his child self.
"We'll have a lot of work to do," Emerylle pointed out.
"But we'll do things the right way from now on."
So they set about gathering Hylian citizens to build and repair. They also did work themselves. Link helped the workers to rebuild Hyrule's Castle Town. Zelda and Emerylle dedicated the next two years to restoring the castle to its former state.
Many things were to happen. But for the time being, Hyrule was at peace.
"Is that the end?" Danii asked.
"Well? Is it the end?" Danii demanded again. Diannah looked over at the other children. Alia and Aalan were both asleep, Aria not far from them. Danii, their youngest brother, seemed to be the liveliest that evening.
"I don't know. Maybe we should end the story for tonight..." Diannah yawned, smiling slightly at the sleeping children.
"No, please no! I want to hear the rest!" Danii begged.
"Tomorrow, Danii. It's late now, and I think it's time for you to go to bed. Same for the others." Danii stood up and, after looking back once more at his older sister, fled to the room that he shared with Aalan.
Diannah looked over at her mother and smiled. They each took a sleeping child and put them to bed. Aria, barely awake, crawled into the bed beside her twin's and fell fast asleep, still in her day clothes.
"Was that the end of your story?" Her mother asked.
"No, but I'll finish it the next time I come," Diannah said, whispering.
"Are you sure you want to go out in that mess? The storm's getting rough out there."
"Now that you mention it, I believe I could stay the night."
Diannah awoke in the guest bedroom to a whining sound from beside her bed.
"What...Danii, what are you doing?"
"Are you going to finish your story?" he asked eagerly.
"Story? Oh...could you have waited another hour or so?"
"I'm too excited! Please?"
"Well, okay." Her brother practically dragged her into the kitchen, where her younger siblings sat with anticipating eyes.
"So I guess I'm going to finish my story now. Where were we..."
"How did Ryllie escape the castle?" Danii asked impatiently.
"Oh yes...Ryllie's escape..."
Emerylle had followed behind Link and Zelda as they fled. She had watched as they escaped safely to the outer world. She enthusiastically ran to catch up to them.
"Almost out! Just a little longer..." She thought to herself, urging her legs to carry her up the steps and away from the dying castle. Rocks fell from the ceiling as the ground rumbled.
"Ganondorf...you...will pay for this!" she shouted, her voice vibrating in unison with the ground's rumbling. A large boulder crashed down from the air above her and landed in the doorway. She cursed under her breath. Stones fell all around her, engulfing her. She panicked as one came hurtling down, and fell right on top of her.
Emerylle lay on the quaking floor, dazed for a few seemingly meaningless moments. But every minute counted---her life rested upon each. Soon she became in contact with her body again, and the pain rushed in. She tried to pull herself to her feet unsuccessfully.
An acute ache ran up her left leg and through her back. Wincing, she nudged the rock on top of her and it rolled away. She carefully sat, then stood. She looked around, trying to find the way out. To her own surprise, she couldn't find it.
"I know this castle probably even better than Ganondorf does, and I can't find the entrance?!" Realization overcame her as her eyes focused on the boulder that prohibited her from leaving.
"Oh, no. This is very bad," She whispered. Painstakingly, she limped to where the boulder towered over her. She was small, small enough so that the boulder was almost one and a half times her size.
Emerylle began to walk around, waiting for her own death.
"If the castle doesn't collapse, I could starve," She thought to herself. The shaking around her stopped. An unbearably loud silence surrounded her. She anticipated something awful about to happen.
She moved her left arm up and down, realizing that it wouldn't move willingly. She also saw the swelling that had begun to appear near her elbow. It was bruised and probably broken.
"Another bad thing to add to this," She mumbled. The shaking that had left not five minutes earlier returned. Caught unawares, she was sent flying to the floor. Moaning, she lifted her dust-streaked face. A small ball of light hovered in front of her.
She gasped as the spectrum of light took on the shape of a human. One who looked very similar to her.
She remembered the name she held, Nayru's Child. Now, she stood in front of her namesake. She realized it was the Goddess, as blue hair and slightly blue tinted skin were not common among Hylians.
She was tall, probably taller than Emerylle. Her eyes spoke clearly of peace and justice, and it had been her vow, as Emerylle was told from legends, to protect the people of Hyrule.
Emerylle respectfully bowed her head. She felt herself rise to her feet. To her own amazement, they held and her knees didn't buckle as they had before. She looked up at Nayru, wondering why one of the great Goddesses would be here, before a thief and a traitor.
Nayru wordlessly spoke to the smaller girl. Her lips formed words and spoke them, but no voice pronounced them.
"I don't understand," Emerylle said. Nayru slowly nodded and directed Emerylle towards a large, flat stone. Limping towards it, Emerylle noticed a small dip underneath it. She nodded towards the Goddess and crawled into it.
As the castle collapsed around her, she made a silent prayer. The violent quaking intensified all over and rattled her. She pressed her back against the rock, which was her only means of protection against the falling debris.
Suddenly, it all stopped. She heard faint cries from outside and struggled to release herself from her shelter. Finding that the hole she planned to crawl out of had decreased in size, she let out a ragged gasp.
Thinking no more, she lay down and anticipated her death. Without warning, the rock underneath her gave way and she found herself to be falling into an endless hole.
Emerylle closed her eyes and prepared herself for a suicidal fall. Surely, she wouldn't survive it. Wind rushed by her face, stinging her eyes. She covered her face with her hands and squeezed her eyes shut.
The impact she had thought of was different from the actual one. She landed gently, feeling as if she had just stepped off of a small platform.
"Impossible! I was falling for longer than that!" But in her time, she had seen many impossible things. She opened her eyes and looked around. She didn't see the land of Hyrule like she should have, instead she saw blue sky above and clouds underfoot.
Letting out a frightened gasp, Emerylle looked below even the clouds and saw Hyrule. It was then that she realized that Hyrule wasn't near as big as she had imagined it to be from that high.
She also realized that the clouds, which looked like you could put your hands through them, were as sturdy as cobblestones. With a grin, Emerylle hopped up and down, from could to cloud, ignoring the shots of pain that went up her legs.
She soon heard the murmurs of conversation from nearby as she stepped onto another cloud-step. Without warning, it began to move towards the sound of the voices.
The cloud jerked to a stop in front of two figures. Straining her eyes, Emerylle found that it was none other than Link and Zelda!
Neither of them saw the girl as she slowly came closer.
"Link...give me the Ocarina of Time," Zelda was saying. Link handed it to her and she raised it, about to play a song that would send them all back to their former child selves. Emerylle considered the action of the princess for a minute and then had a realization.
"WAIT!" she shouted in warning. They both looked over at her in surprise.
"Emerylle?! You...you're alive!"
"You've heard the rest, that was the end of the story," Diannah said tiredly. She stood up and began to gather all of her belongings to make the long journey back to her home in Kakariko Village.
"You mean the story's over?" Aria asked in disappointment. Diannah nodded quietly. Her mother, who was just arising from sleep, walked into the kitchen to say good bye to her oldest child.
"Mother, I will see you later," She assured the old woman.
As Diannah walked out the door, the other children and their mother went to looking at an old photo album.
"Who's that, Mother?" Aria asked, pointing to a sketch of a woman with short hair.
"That would be your great-great-great-great grandmother, Emerylle."
Like it? I really hope it was at least a little better than previous stories. Yes, it interferes with the timeline of Zelda64. Maybe I'll write a sequel... We'll just see how things turn out with this story. So either e-mail your comments (and/or pleas for a sequel) to Starseeker__1@hotmail.com or review this story.
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