"I dislike the title that has spread thanks to Sheik. 'King of Evil' is so… childish. It says that my goals are not in the right. If people like him stopped rebelling, I would surely stop having the need to press my finger down on the populace. Then they would realize that such concepts like 'good' and 'evil' are not needed in this day and age."
-From Ganondorf of the Locust Clan's journal.
Chapter 9: A Subtle Look
The castle without windows. Without an entrance, without an exit.
Filled with rooms that had no point. Doors that lead to nowhere. Hallways that seemed to stretch on forever, never ending.
This was Diran’s prison, it seemed. She had long since given up on trying to find a way out. For there was no way out. The despair that washed over her, from the sheer wrongness of this place overwhelmed her. She had run out of tears ages ago, so now all she did was sit on the floor, staring into nothing.
Sometimes she tried to call for her other half. She had only spoken to her once, when she realized who and what she was. But when her other half had spoken, it was as if all the problems in the world were no more. Yet, she was denied that luxury as well. She was truly alone, for the first time in her life.
“Well, well.” A sultry voice said, “It’s our little guest.”
Diran looked up; towering over her was a tall woman. She was wearing very tight dark purple clothing that left nothing to the imagination. Her soft curves and perfect form contrasted with the cold look in her multicolored eyes. Short white hair framed her icy face. Hanging from her neck was a small mirror in a silver frame that reflected the room, but not the people in it.
“Hello there little goddess-child.” She laughed quietly, “Enjoying your stay in this humble house?”
“Who are you?” Diran glanced at the woman.
“I am The Foreteller.” The woman placed a graceful hand on her shoulder, “But you, my dear, can call me Lunel.” She slowly pulled Diran up, “I’m sorry for the deplorable condition that Onox has kept this place.” She said softly.
“I want to leave.” Diran said calmly.
“My dear, I assure you that you will be able to leave as soon as I can make it possible.” Lunel smiled, brushing Diran’s cheek.
Diran took a gasping breath; there was something unnerving about this woman.
“Would you like me to help you out?” Lunel asked. “I’d like to help you.”
Diran shivered, what was with this girl? She couldn’t help but feel strange around her. She seemed so inviting…
There was a flash of light, and a faint popping sound. A moment later an exasperated voice said, “By Nayru. Are you trying to seduce the Oracle?”
“Wait, what?” Diran recoiled from Lunel.
“I see you’re back Seilta. You brought Agahnim too?” Lunel said with some annoyance.
“Don’t change the subject. What the hell were you doing?” The girl, which Diran guessed was Seilta, shouted. She turned to Diran, “I’m sorry for Lunal’s behavior. She’s a nymphomaniac who has no thoughts of control.”
Lunel folded her arms, “Well, unlike you, I’m not ashamed of my body and sexuality.”
“Wait,” Diran waved her arms in front of Lunel, ”Were you trying to seduce me?”
“Well, yes.” Lunel winked, “Maybe I’ll do better next time goddess-child.” Diran suddenly felt slightly sick.
“Whore.” Seilta muttered.
“Bitch.” Lunel hissed back. The two girls glared at each other for a moment.
“Girls! Girls!” The other person, a man named Agahnim she guessed, stepped in-between the two. “Can you please not fight this time?” He coughed and clutched his chest, “I don’t have the energy to keep you two from killing each other this time.” That’s when Diran noticed the nasty wound on his chest. To top it off he looked burned.
“What the hell happened to you?” Lunel asked.
“He had a run in with the Lune Perin.” Seilta answered. “It didn’t go well.”
“I’ll be fine. He didn’t damage my pendant.” Agahnim muttered.
“You poor thing.” Lunel said, “I’ll take you to your room.” She said softly.
“The answer is no, Foreteller.” Agahnim said with a weak smile.
“Nuts.” Lunel took him by the arm, “I’ll still take you to a place where you can rest.” She said with some actual warmth.
Seilta sighed, “Sorry about that.” She looked at Diran, “Are you OK, Oracle?”
Diran sighed, “I’m fine, but who are you?”
Seilta nodded, “I’m The Warbringer. Though you can just call me Seilta.” She giggled, “I bet you’re kinda confused.” Diran just nodded slowly. “Well, while I am The Warbringer, my name is Seilta. Just like how you’re The Oracle of Earth, The Guardian of Darkness, The Holder of Death and Destruction. The Avatar of the Goddess Din.”
Diran’s eyes widened, very few people even knew that she was an Oracle. Even fewer knew her full title and existence. For this person to know who she was, what she was, was an impressive feat.
“But you prefer to be called Diran, am I correct?” Seilta smiled warmly. “I can understand why, it’s a lot easier to say. It’s also less intimidating to the humans.”
Diran felt slightly uncomfortable with the way Seilta said “humans” but decided not to bring it up. “Yeah. Most just know me as Diran the Dancer. The rest know me as The Oracle of Earth…”
“I’m not surprised.” Seilta yawned, “Humans don’t like to focus on the things that they find uncomfortable. Then again, neither do I, but at least I’m honest about it.” She laughed, “They tend to ignore the fact that while all Three of the Sisters create, only Din destroys.”
Diran shook her head, “I guess so…”
“I destroy too…” Seilta said with a sad smile, “But we destroy different things.” She turned away, “For you see, Oracle, we are enemies.”
-Coward.- Akime said gleefully.
“Oh shut up.” Shadow muttered.
-Look at me! I’m the great and powerful Shadow! I’m scared of a little Kokiri girl!- Akime cheerfully mocked him with phrases such as that.
For half an hour.
“Are you quite done?” Shadow asked finally.
-Maybe.- Akime laughed, -So, now what?-
Shadow paused, “Um… I don’t know.” He rubbed the back of his head sheepishly.
-Wait… you have no idea?- Akime sounded confused. –What were you doing earlier?-
“Um, making it up as I go along, to tell the truth.” Shadow said.
-…- Akime was silent for a moment, -Oh boy…- She said exasperatedly, -Listen here Shady; I thought you were one to plan things out?-
Shadow really wished there was a face to look at right now, “Well, normally… but I haven’t had time to think things over. It’s all happening so quickly.”
-Well don’t worry Shady! I have it all worked out!- Akime cheered, -The main thing you need to do is team up with Hero-boy. After that, things will go a lot smoother.- She paused, -Look, this is bigger then you know. This conflict has been eons in the making, and as much as I hate to say it we’re the underdogs here. The other guys have all the advantages. So it’s important you get over your phobia and get to work!-
“Are you ordering me around?” Shadow folded his arms.
-Hey, we have a deal here. You can’t stop the Heralds without Hero-boy’s help.- Akime said flatly.
Shadow sighed, he really didn’t like this… how could he reconcile with Link? There was a lot of anger and aggression between them.
“I have an idea… ‘Friend.’” Shadow grinned, “Can you lead me to one of those strange artifacts? Preferably the one which Link will reach next?”
-OK! That’s my Shady!- Akime giggled, -The Noble Sword will lead Hero-Boy to the Gift of Time next. Which is… that way.-
“…” Shadow glared at what he thought might be the point where Akime was looking at him, “I can’t see where you’re pointing.” He said dully.
-Oops! Well, head east for about thirty letoe…- She then gave Shadow detailed instructions on how to reach his destination.
“What?” Diran gasped, “What do you mean by that?”
Seilta shook her head, “Never mind.” She turned away, “Just remember this Oracle. Do not trust any of us.” She walked away quickly. Leaving Diran alone once more.
Well, I’m glad that’s over. Seilta thought as she headed towards the meeting room. Diran was a pleasant person to talk too, a change of pace after dealing with her siblings for so long. But still, they were on opposing sides, even if Diran didn’t realize it. She reached her destination. It was a large circular room, Sitting around a round table were four other people.
The Heralds of Ragnarök
“So, what happened to you?” Navi sat down on Link’s shoulder. She looked over her charge. “You’ve changed a lot.”
Link sighed, “I really don’t know everything that happened to me. A lot of memories are fuzzy.” He looked at her, “Well, what I do know is this:
“After you left I spent about three months doing nothing. I split my time between the Kokiri, Red, and Zelda. But eventually I decided to find you. I borrowed Epona from Red, while Zelda lent me the Ocarina of Time. (I need to return that) However, as I searched for you in a little explored section of the Forest, I ran into a Skull Kid that was possessed by a Demonic God. It was called Majora; I ended up chasing him to a strange part of the Forest. It turned out it was a gate to another world.”
Navi’s eyes widened, “You went into another world?”
Link nodded sadly, “Yeah, it was called Termina. I don’t know what Majora had against the world, but he wanted to destroy it. I stopped him, however. Then, using Farore’s and some other beings power, I killed him and sealed what was left of his soul in Hell.”
“What happened next?” Navi was leaning forward, worry in her eyes, “The fact that you single handedly sealed away a Demon God…”
Link smiled weakly, “Well, I became a treasure hunter for a while. Looking for rare and valuable artifacts in Termina. Because the gate I had used to get there was one way. I couldn’t get back to Torre the same way. So while I searched for treasure, I also tried to find a way back.”
“What happened next?” Navi asked wide-eyed.
Link chuckled, not even Saria showed this much interest in his stories. “Well, remember that Mask Salesman in Castle City? He’s not normal. He’s actually a servant of the Three in charge of guiding people of Destiny. That’s why he gave me the Mask of Truth. He came to me after a month of searching; he said there was a Mask of Power that might help me… after that things get blurry. I have flashes of battles and wars, times and peoples. Years of experience somehow compacted into only a few weeks here in Torre. The next clear memory I have is being in Southern Hyrule. I was angry, really angry and hateful for some reason.” Link sighed, “For the next while I was very unstable… I still am, to an extent. But it wasn’t until a month ago that I got any better.”
“You poor child…” Navi whispered, “I’m sorry.” She pressed herself against Link in a hug.
“Don’t worry about it.” Link patted Navi on the head, “I’m fine now, it’s not like you to mope. Where’s the tough as nails, ‘I am who I am and to hell with the rest of you’ Navi I remember?”
Navi sniffled, “I’m still here Kid. I’m just letting my sensitive side show through for a while.” She laughed, “Don’t think I’ll go easy on you from now on.”
“Heh, you, go easy on someone? That’s a laugh!” Link smiled.
“Aww… isn’t this sweet. Makes me wish I had a Picto Box.”
Link and Navi turned to see Maple standing in the doorway, an amused look on her face. “Hey there.” Maple waved to Navi, “The name’s Maple Relom. Remember it, cuz one day I’ll be rich and famous!” She winked, “By the way, I have decided that the weather is officially insane. Gale force winds are blowing cheerfully outside.”
Navi nodded, “Pleased to meet you Maple, you’re a Witch, aren’t you?”
“Yup!” Maple smirked, “You’re pretty smart. Was it my incredible magic power that told you this?”
“No it was the outfit. Only the Witch Clans wear that.” Navi smirked back.
Maple sighed, “So much for impressing her.”
“You can’t impress Navi. She is impossible to satisfy.” Link winked.
“I heard that Kid.” Navi mock-growled.
“Glad to see you two are getting along!” Saria walked in, a joyful look on her face.
“Hi Saria…” Navi examined her, “Now, can somebody tell me why the hell you’re here instead of the Forest?”
“Long story.” Link, Saria, and Kalo said at the same time.
“Glad to see you’re here.” Agahnim gestured to Seilta’s seat, “We were waiting for you.”
“What took you so long?” Lunel jeered.
“Oh shut up.” Seilta sat down, she looked around for a moment, “Do we have to meet in this castle? It’s disturbing.”
“Scared are we, Warbringer?” A thin and raspy man said. He seemed dangerously undernourished, with stringy red hair on a skull like face. His tattered clothing only seemed to make him seem even more ghoulish.
“No living being other the Onox and his monsters could possibly like this place Vira.” Seilta growled.
“Please! No bickering now!” Agahnim made a bright flash of light to catch their attention. “There are more important matters to discuss. Like what are we going to do now that I’m… disabled for the time being.” The look on his face told them that he wasn’t going to say anymore.
“Well,” Lunel folded her arms and glanced around, “We can’t just take the Essences of Earth now, can we? The protection on them is too strong. With Agahnim down we won’t be able to break it.”
“Why do we even have to do anything?” Vira wheezed, “The Oracle is sealed away. The Flame of Decay will light within the month at the rate things are going.”
“Because, we do not want the risk of the Hero of Time gathering the Essences, storming the castle, and rescuing the Oracle before the flame can be lit!” Agahnim snapped.
“To top it off,” Lunel added, “Already the decay of the planet has slowed. The seal on Selcian has been broken, you see.”
Vira was taken aback by this new information. “Well then, what are we to do? If the Hero comes here to quickly…”
“Then it’s all done for.” Agahnim finished, “We’ve only got one chance to light each flame… if we screw up once then we have nothing.”
“We know that Deceiver.” Lunel whispered, “The question is how do we keep from screwing up?”
Seilta thought about it… “I have an idea.” She said quietly as all eyes turned to her, “We could slow the Hero of Time down. Fighting him whenever he reached an Essence. Not to the death mind you, just enough so that he’ll have to rest a while before he continues.”
The other Heralds thought about this, their eyes still focused on Seilta. “It’s not the best plan… but it’s the only one we have.” Lunel finally said.
“So that is what we are going to do?” Vira asked, “Be nothing more then petty distractions for the Hero and his little female?”
“It is all we have.” Agahnim muttered, “So, I am obviously out until I recover, so who wants to go first?”
“I will.” A harsh voice said, and everyone looked at the one who had not spoken the entire time, only listened. He was a massive man, he appeared to be nothing but solid muscle, even his bald head seemed to bulge with power. He was wearing nothing but a plain white robe that loosely draped over him. Strapped to his back was a massive ax with a pure black handle. His cruel face twisted in delight, “I want to see how strong this ‘Hero’ really is.”
Onox was alone in his chambers. This was normal for him, as he had been alone for a long time. Even before he became Onox, he had been alone. He remembered when he hadn’t been alone, when he had been happy. Back before Drian-
He forced the thoughts from his mind; they were unbecoming of the General of Decay. There was no point dwelling on the past, not when he was crafting a new future. Free of the lies and betrayal that had been s common before. Yet, Diran did not see this. She still believed the lies.
And then there was that liar who called himself a hero… Onox would crush the impudent child! Getting an idea, he called forth one of his solders.
“Yes, my lord?” A Darknut appeared before him, his sword held up in salute.
“I want you to gather twenty of your fellows and attack the Hero of Time!” Onox snapped. “I want him dead!”
“Very well, General.” The Darknut turned and marched out of the room.
Onox smiled and leaned back into his chair, surely they would take care of that problem…
“General Onox?” As that strange red robed man from before came in, “Are you available at the moment?”
“Ah yes!” Onox smiled, “Tell me, what did you and your comrades find out?”
“My name is Agahnim, General.” The man coughed, “What we found out is that the Hero of Time is gathering protected artifacts…”
“Oh yes. Him.” Onox growled, “I just sent twenty of my strongest Darknuts to take care of that bother.”
“Twenty Darknuts?” Agahnim raised an eyebrow, “May I make a suggestion?”
“Of course.” Onox decided he liked this man, very calm and collected.
“My fellows have agreed to guard the artifacts… may I direct your Darknuts?” Agahnim asked smoothly.
“Of course, if you feel it’s needed.” Onox sent the mental command to the Darknuts, “They will now obey your command. Though I doubt it will be needed, once the Hero of Time is dead.”
“Of course.” Agahnim bowed, “Thank you, General.” He disappeared then, just as suddenly as he came.
Diran was surprised to see Agahnim again, as well as a new person. She couldn’t help but be relived that more people were appearing in the castle.
“Oh, I can’t wait to see the Hero of Time reduce that fool into nothing more then a pile of rotting meat.” Agahnim snarled.
OK, so their conversation wasn’t pleasant… but they were still there.
“I know what you mean…” the frail man rasped out.
“Vira… why were we cursed with having to deal with him?” Agahnim asked, “I mean he honestly thinks that a group of twenty Darknuts is going to kill the Hero!”
“Are we even talking about the same Hero here?” Vira, apparently, asked, “Because I’m sure he could take on twenty of them in his sleep.”
“That’s why I ordered them to guard one of the Essences. They’ll be useful fodder. Plus it will give you guys a rest.” Agahnim said casually.
“Excuse me, but what are you talking about?” Diran asked the two.
Both men looked uncomfortable for a moment… “It is nothing, Oracle. I am Vira, by the way.” The gasping man said. Drian smiled, she had been right.
“Pleased to meet you both.” Diran nodded, “Can you tell me where to get some food? I’m pretty hungry, and I don’t want to eat with Onox.”
Agahnim shuddered, “There’s a fate I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Come, Diran, is it? I’ll take you to the kitchens.”
“Thank you.” Diran smiled, she could grow to like these people. They seemed nice enough. “By the way… what did Seilta mean when she said not to trust any of you?”
Agahnim paused for a moment, “Well, I am the Deceiver. So never play cards against me!” He joked.
Diran giggled, “That’s cute.”
“Warbringer is too serious.” Vira chuckled, “Come on, I’m famished as well. Let’s all get some lunch.”
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