The Oracle of Earth

By Pata Hikari

There is nothing more precious then a friend.

Chapter 8: Echoes of the Past

"Navi?" Maple blinked, "Who's that?"

"Her!" Link pointed to the unconsious fairy in her hands, "Come on! We need to get out of here!" He grabbed her arm and began dashing forwards

Maple peered down at the small creature in her hands... what was it about this Navi that inspired such panic in a person who she had previously seen only anger and irritation? She winced as Link pulled her arm in an attempt to get her to move faster.The group dashed straight past Rosa, much to the irritation of the Subrosian. Who shouted at them, demanding to know where they were going.

They ignored her.

Maple couldn't help but be slightly impressed, Link and Saria had an excelent sence of direction. They were easily navigating through Subrosia, even though to Maple it all looked the same. Maple couldn't help but be annoyed that she wasn't able to cast magic in this place, because that meant she was stuck being dragged by Link who, like Saria, seemed to have no problem running like maniacs.

It took them about half an hour to reach the strange warp that had taken them to Subrosia in the first place. Finally Link stopped pulling her around. Maple glared at him, "Well, that was rude." She snapped at him.

"Save it when lives aren't in danger." Link growled, for a second returning to what Maple expected of him. Then he pushed her into the warp.

"Daaaaaaaaammmmmmmmmmnnnnnnnn yooooooooooouuuuu!" Maple shouted as she went through the slightly unpleasent experance of going through a rip in reality.

Theevil feeling was quickly spreading throughout his entire body. Shadow had felt like this once before... he was begining to lose track of his thoughts. All his intellegence was being surpressed...


"That's right... give in." Agahnim whispered, "Let it all go..."

No... I don't want...

"Soon you shall help bring about the end of this world!" Agahnim laughed.

I will not! Shadow suddenly found the strength he needed. "No!" he shouted, letting loose a burst of power. Agahnim was blasted back weith the force of his strike. "You willnot take me!" He spat, holding up his sword. "Do you undertand that?"

Agahnim responded by blasting Shadow with a bolt of lighting. "You just don't get it, do you?" He growled.

"Urk!" Shadow recoiled from the blast, yet he still managed to stand his ground. "I understand things better then you!"

Agahnim held up his hand, Shadow suddenly was pulled forward. Angahnim wrapped his hand around Shadow's neck. "You think this is a game?" He growled, "You think you can just suddenly find the strength you need?" Angahnim suddenly sent a wave of pain through Shadow. "This isn't a tale told to children before they sleep!" He grinned visously as Shadow screamed from in agony. "This is reality. Here in reality..." Angahnim threw Shadow to the ground, " can't win."

"Mmmnnnaa?" She struggled to open her eyes, "Where am I?" The last thing she remembered was passing out in that horrible place. "What?" Navi looked around. She appeared to be in a small room at some inn. She was sitting on a cushion with a small cloth over her.

"Well?" A voice from outside the room said, "Why aren't you watching her?"

"I..." another voice said, "Just shut up. She'll be fine with just him."

Who... is that... Link? Navi's eyes widened, "I've got to get out of here!" She jumped up and started to hover in the air. She didn't know what she was doing. All she knew was that she needed to run away... escape her fear...

"Going somewhere?" Kalo flew in front of her, a annoyed look on his face.

"Gah!" Navi stumbled back, she was still very weak. She couldn't overpower Kalo... besides, she didn't want to. She just wanted to ge away from the pain. She tried turning the other way, but he just dashed in front of her again. No matter which way she turned, he wouldn't let her go.Finally she glared at him, "Move." She croaked out, trying to sound as commanding as possible.

Kalo just looked at her. "No." He answered, "Not until I get some answers."

"What do you want to know?" Navi snapped.

"I want to know why you abandoned Link." Kalo said coolly.

Navi didn't say anything for a moment... "Just leave me alone." Navi whispered.

"No. I want to know. And don't think of blocking my memory this time." Kalo folded his arms, still showing no real emotions.

"How..." Navi gasped, "did... you figure it out?" She couldn't beleive it...

"You just told me, that's how." Kalo gave her a smirk.

Navi sighed... "Whatever." She turned away, "I don't want to talk."

"Why?" Kalo said, "Do you feel guilty?"

"Why do you care!" Navi suddenly screamed, "It's not your business!"

Kalo seemed undetured, though irritation flashed across his face, "It is my business."

"No." Navi growled, "You are Saria's gaurdian Fairy. What I do is none of your concern."

"Wrong." Kalo said, trying to keep the anger hidden, "You hurt Link." He flew close to her, looking at her straight in the eye. "You left him! That concerns me!"

"He has nothing to do with your duty." Navi's voice was weavering...

"Duty? No. I care about him because he is like family." Kalo said, his voice growing more heated, "I've known him his whole life! And let me tell you something, I have only seen him truely miserable once in all those years." Kalo paused, letting Navi absorb his words, "The only time I saw him suffering like no other time was when he cried at night... wishing you were there to confort him."

"Th-that wasn't my j-j-job..." Navi choked out... "I was to g-guide him to his destiny..."

"And you succeded!" Kalo shouted, "He's a warrior like no other! He's powerful in the sword arts! No emeny of the gods can stand against him!" He was begining to rant, "Yet for all that he's still a child." He glared at her, "For all that he needs others, to stand by his side, to give him confort when he's hurt."

"I..." Navi couldn't find anything other to say...

"Was it all just another job for you?" Kalo hissed.

"Yes!" Navi sobbed out.

"Liar!" Kalo yelled, "If that was true, you would still be in Hyrule, instead of hiding out here, afraid to show your face!"

Navi just sat there, whimpering. She looked up at the younger fairy... "I can't go back..." she said quietly.

"Why?" Kalo asked.

"He'll hate me..." Navi shivered with fear at the thought of it.

"How do you know?" Kalo shook his head, "For all you know he wants you back. But you'll never know if you don't take action!"

"What...?" Navi closed her eyes and shook her head.

"Now... make your choise." Kalo placed a hand on her shoulder, "Will you run away again? Or will you confront your fear?"

Navi didn't have anything to say to that.

He couldn't escape.

Agahnim was somehow keeping him from releasing his form... from vanishing into the Void. All he could feel was pain.

"Is fighting worth it?" Agahnim hissed, "Did you win anything?"

"Urr..." Shadow stood up, sword held out... "I won't..."

-Geez, you're just like your brother. Stubborn as an ass.- A voice suddenly said.

"Huh?" Shadow muttered as he struggled to stand, "Who's there?" He whispered quietly.

-I'm a hallucination caused by stress!- the voice said cheerfully.

-Kidding, kidding, geez, lighten up, will ya?- The voice chuckled. -Look, I'm here to help, so don't worry, K?-

"Talking to yourself, are we?" Agahnim jeered.

"Shut up." Shadow growled

-Were you talkin' to me? Or ugly over there?- The voice said lightly.

"Ugly..." Shadow took some steps back, Agahnim seemed to be enjoying the sight of him struggling.

-Got it.- The voice sounded like... she?... was amused by the whole thing. -By the way, you can call me Akime.-

"Pretentious, aren't we?" Shadow would have been amused in any other situation that someone's name was apperently "Friend."

-I'm told that- Akime said, -But anyway, I'm here help you, but I'll need your help too.-

"Whatever..." Shadow wheezed, "I don't think I can take much more of this..." He jumped to the side, barely dodging a fireball.

"You bore me ShadowBeast..." Agahnim snapped, "Lets finish this now!" He started hurling bolts of magic at Shadow, one of them hit him, sending him back down to the ground.

-Woah there! Those look nasty!- Akime exclaimed, -Listen up Shady, I'll restore you to full strength, I can do that you know, and in exchange you help me deal with this bozo and his buddies.-

"Deal..." Shadow whispered, then suddenly, he no longer felt weak. No pain, no aching, nothing.He felt stronger then he could remember ever being"Wow..." He whispered, quickly standing up.

-I'm just that good.- Akime giggled, -Now don't go all "RAR! I KILL!" on him. I have a plan, first you pretend to surrender...-

Link was pacing around the room, his face clearly showed the distraction and mixed emotions he was feeling. The fact that a huge rainstorm had started within a minute (with no clouds in the sky) after performing some treatments for Magic Fatague (a nearly fatal problem for Faries) on Navi merely highlighted his mood.

Maple glared at him, "Can you please stop pacing around?" She asked, "It's not going to make the fairy-girl deside to speak to you any faster."

Saria slanced at Maple, "Don't you have any idea what he's feeling?" She whispered.

"Yeah." Maple whispered back loudly, "The fairy girl ditched Psycho-boy over there, cause he's, you know, a psycho. And now Psycho-Boy is pacing because the fairy girl is sick and he thinks he's his fault." She smirked at Saria, "Your boyfriend really needs some therapy. He has all these issues and crap. I'm surprised you put up with him."

Saira's eyes widened... before narrowing... "Excuse me." She said angryly, "But you don't know Link at all. If you did you'd realize that he's a good and kind person. He just has some temperment issues."

"Hah!" Maple shook her head, "He's crazy!" She looked Saria over, "Then again, I doubt you have the brains to realize it."

"What?" Saria recoiled... "I'll... I'll have you know that I'm one of the most repected consultants back at my home village!" She countered.

"A village of fools." Maple said dryly, "Sometimes I wonder about people like you." She gave Link a sideways glance, "Those who coast though life... never having to do anything. Never suffering, people like you disgust me."

Saria's eyes widened, "But, I never did anything to you... how could...why..."

"Exactly!" Maple shouted, "You just expect everyone to fall over and worship you!" She stood up and glared at Saria straight in the eye, "You, who has never done anything of worth, and never will, just expect life to hand you everything! And the sad part is... it does! Your a worthless little-"


Maple recoiled from the slap Saria had given her. "Why you-" She stopped when she saw the cold fury in Saria's eyes.

"How dare you..." Saria whispered, "You think my life has been easy? Hah! I wish!" It was Saria's turn to glare at Maple... and she did the intimidation job a lot better. "Let me tell you something, the Goddesses never give away anything. If they give you a gift, they expet something in return. And beleive me, the price they demand is high." Saria glanced at Link, silently telling him to leave this to her, "Tell me, Maple, have you ever seen your home decay ever so slowly, until it is nothing more then a twisted mockery of what it once was? Have you ever had to see evil creep over everything, until you have to fight for your life? Have you ever seen the one person you care about more then anything else nearly slip away not once, but twice? Have you ever been an stranger among your own people? Have you ever lost everything that makes you who you are, with only mocking shadows of memories remaining? Until then... do not say that I have had an easy life."

Maple stood there for a moment... before the faint traces of tears appeared in her eyes, with that she turned and ran outside.

Saria stood there for a moment... "I feel horrible..." She whispered, yet at the same time she knew it had to be done.

Link shook his head, "Don't worry about it, if she comes back, she comes back." He said tiredy.

Agahnim laughed as he struck down Shadow, wrapping his spell around him. To his great amusment, he didn't even attempt to struggle. For a moment there was silence... then he pulled the spell off, confident that he had won.

"Rise, Slave." He commanded, smiling as Shadow stood up quickly. It had been difficult... but it seemed he had finally broken the Lune Perin's will. "Now, aid me in breaking the protection on this artifact." He turned and started examing the strange disk again... "This is going to be tricky..." He shook his head, "It's going to take all of us to break it."

"So, you and all of your companions would be needed to break the protection?" Shadow asked in monotone.

"Yes..." Agahnim said in annoyance, why was he questioning him?

"So.. if something were to happen to you or one of your companions... the protection could not be broken?" Shadow asked again.

"Yes! Now speak no more!" He snapped.

"Thanks for the info... sucker." Shadow then said, sarcasticly.

"What?" Agahnim spun around... just in time for Shadows sword to plunge through his chest.

"You really are an arrogant fool." Shadow commented, "I told you I would beat you."

"You... you!" Agahnim coughed, raising his hand, ready to cast a spell.

"Din's Fire." Shadow hissed, and then the fires of the gods rushed through Agahnims body. For a moment he felt nothing but blinding pain... then Shadow removed the blade, and he collasped to the ground.

"Impressive." Shadow commented, "You're clearly not human, no human could surive that."

"Damn you..." Agahnim was furious with himself, how could he have let himself be fooled so easily!

"Well, time to end this." Shadow raised his sword, with a swift motion he thrust it down, ready to finish off Agahnim...

But then a dagger blocked the sword, the air raing with the sound of the steel clashing.

"Huh?" Shadow jumped back and turned towards the owner of the blade, "Who are you?" He snapped.

Agahnim turned to look at the person, it was a powerful looking woman, a loose blue shirt with gold patterns draped loosely over her, while her pants were a dark red color, jet black hair tired back into a ponytail dropped to her shoulder. She had three swords, one on each side and one on her back. Her multicolored eyes flashed with fury. "Ah... Seilta... I'm glad you're here." Agahnim coughed.

"I'm glad I was able to get here in time." Seilta said, before turning to Shadow, "It's obvious you underestimated your foe... it's the Lune Perin, is it not?"

"I am." Shadow growled, "So, who are you?"

"I am Seilta, The Warbringer. One of the five Heralds of Ragnarök." She glared at Shadow, "As much as I enjoy the idea of tearing you apart, I am more concerned with my friend." She grasped Agahnim's hand, "The next time we meet, you shall pay."

With that the two teleported away.

"Link," Kalo suddenly came out from the room, "Someone wants to see you..."

"Huh?" Link walked towards him... some dark feeling welled up within him.

"Um, er, hi." Navi floated out... she looked up at him.

For a moment the two stared at each other... "Why?" Link asked, "Was it something I did? Did I screw up somehow...?"

Tears welled up in Navi's eyes. "Oh you big dummy!" She cried out, dashing forward and clinging to his shirt... "You didn't do anything!"

"Wha...?" Link felt tears coming to his eyes...

"I'm sorry!" Navi sobbed, "Please don't hate me."

Link's eyes widened... "No! Why would I..."

"I'm sorry... I'm sorry..." Navi whispered, "I'll never abandon you again."

Link struggled not to cry... not now, not when he needed to be strong. "Don't worry, I don't hate you. We're part of a family, remember?" He smiled.

Navi sniffled, a faint smile appearing, "Right... I like the idea of having a family... I haven't had one since my parents left this world."

"Well, you have one now." Link smiled even as tears ran down his face.

"I like that." Navi said.

-Whoo! You kicked his butt! Go Shady! It's your birthday! Go Shady! It's your birthday!- Akime cheered.

"OK..." Shadow said slowly, "Now, can you tell me who those people were? And who you are?"

-Oh, that.- Akime sighed, -Well, I'm here to help you. Mostly give you advice and crap like that. Those two... they were two of the Heralds of Ragnarök. They, as you might have guessed, want to bring about Ragnarök.-

"And that is?" Shadow was starting to wish that there was a face to talk to.

-I'm not allowed to tell you much, it isn't time, but to put it simply, Ragnarök is a very very very very very bad thing.- Akime replied.

"You still haven't told me who you are. If you're as powerful as you seem, you should be able to do a lot more then just give me hints." Shadow folded his arms.

-Well, you see, there are rules I have to follow most of the time. While I can break them if needed, I perfer to bend the rules. You know, go through loopholes and crap like that. I did a lot of rule-bending to heal you.- Akime shighed, -I'd do more if I could.-

Shadow nodded, "OK, I'll trust you, seeing as you've done nothing to give me cause to not. But be warned, if you betray me, I will find you."

-Geez, lighten up will ya? Don't worry, we'll meet face to face some day.- Akime muttered.- Come on, lets get out of this cave, there's nothing more we can do here. Though I think there's someone who could use some help from you.-

"Really?" Shadow blinked, "Where?"

-Horon Village, someone you know could use a friend right now. Well, go!-

Shadow shrugged, he really didn't know what was going on... but he had no reason not to listen to her. He vanished into the void.

-So, this is how you travel! Cool! You must save a bundle!-

Maple wasn't paying attention to the pouring rain. She really didn't care if she was wet or not. And her wide brimmed hat kept the rain out of her eyes.

No, th eonly thing she was thinking of was what Saria had said... and what her grandmother had said, years ago when she had fist started learning the Magical Arts.

"You are quick to judgement and anger! To make it worse, you are a stubborn fool who refuses to ever admit your wrong! You must defeat these these two enemies."

"Heh, I really screwed up there. Didn't I?" She sighed, "Now the future is screwed." Being the grandaughter of a Seer sucks. It meant that at random times she knew you were either going to do something, or you needed to do it. Of course, this made for some interesting conversations. Yet now she had screwwed up, she doubted that Link or Saria would put up with her after that...

"Maple?" A somewhat familer voice said.

"Huh?" Maple looked up, standing in front of her was Shadow. "Hi." She sniffled, "What's up?" A faint smiled appeared, here was someone she could get along with.

"Wondering why your standing out in the rain, mostly." Shadow shrugged, "You look depressed, want to tell me about it?"

"I just screwed up, nothing new." Maple sighed, she looked him over, "You look a lot better then when I last saw you."

Shadow smiled, "Thanks, I've finally managed to get over that bout of weakness."

Maple felt some heat form in her cheeks, "Um, yeah. Look, I'm fine... so, can you just..."

"No." Shadow smirked, "You're the first person I've met who I haven't managed to piss off and get them to hate me yet. And you look depressed, so I wanna help."

Maple quickly turned away, her face was beet red, "Um, it's nothing new, really. I just screwed up royally." What was wrong with her?

Shadow placed a hand on her shoulder, "What happened?"

Maple sighed, "You know those people I was looking for? Well, I found them. And I was a complete jerk to them. Now they don't want anything to do with me." She pasued, "Wait, that's pretty much the same problem you have!" She felt suddenly a lot better, knowing that someone else was going through something similer to her.

Shadow shook his head, "Sorry to hear that." He sat down next to her, "Well, it can't be as bad as mine. I'm sure they'll just acceptan apology from you."

"You think so?" Maple looked at him... why was she acting so strange around him?

"Sure." Shadow gave her a brief hug. "OK?"

Maple smiled, "OK..." She realized something "Goddeses, we're both soaked!" She giggled slightly, then Shadow chuckled as well, and before you know it the two were laughing their heads off.

"Oh..." Shadow groaned, "I don't think I've laughed like that, ever."

Maple sighed, "We're both way too stressed." She smirked, "Oh well, I guess we can deal with our problems. We'll help each other out!"

Shadow laughed, "I guess. Though you'll have to deal with yours first. I'll deal with mine afterwords."

"Maple! Maple!" Saria's voice called.

Maple sat up, "Huh?" She sighed, "Maybe they're willing to put up with me after all, eh Shady?"

"Err." Shadow suddenly looked very nervous, "Well, I have to go now."

"Huh? Why?" Maple looked at him, "Is something wrong?"

"I'll expain later." Shadow said quickly, before just... vanishing. One moment he was there, the next he wasn't. Maple stared at the blank spot for a moment... "What the hell?"

"There you are!" Saria ran over to her, an umbrella over her head, "You're soaked!"

"Oh, hi." Maple looked at Saria, "Look, I know we didn't get off to a great start... but we need to work together on this... so..."

"Apology accepted." Saria smiled.

Maple stared for a moment, "That's it?"

"Yup. Come on, Link and Navi are catching up. But we need to head back." Saria held out the umbrella. There was a faint smiled on her face, one that seemed to promise friendship... but why?

Maple shook her head, she didn't know quite what Saria wanted... but she would figure out why she was willing to put up with her after all that.

She just hoped it wasn't anything to drastic.

Author's Note: Ok, I have two requests to ask of my readers. The first one is to check out the site linked to in the "homepage" hection of my profile. It's called Story Forest and I think you'll like it. The second thing is this... I basicly want you to leave one review. I want to know exactly how many people are reading this story up to this point. So all I'm asking is that you leave a review for this chapter, you don't even have to say much, or ever review this story again. I just want to know if you're reading it.

Thank you.

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