The night was beautiful, in spite of its cold. Link noticed this as he lay on his back, hands behind his head, looking up at the stars. The fire had long since died down, leaving nothing but glowing embers and ash.
Thinking about what Zelda had told him, Link lay awake. She had told him that Ganon was planning to capture him, and he had the uneasy feeling it would not be long now.
He had never told Anna or Istas, who lay asleep not far away. Why worry them? Ganon was after him, not them. Link knew he could easily elude Ganon should he come to capture him, so there was nothing to worry about....or was there? Link noticed that Ganon's army was bigger and stronger since the last time they fought; this could mean that Ganon himself was also stronger.
Sitting up, Link took a branch and stirred the dying embers with it. They crackled and flared a little, and a stream of smoke rose slowly into the night sky. He sighed, laying the stick down and putting his head in his hands. After a few minutes, he stood up. He felt like walking. Maybe it would put his fears to rest and help him sleep.
He started off, away from the safety of the fire, and away from where Anna and Istas lay asleep. He did not take his sword, since it would be a short walk. He walked up the dirt path, then off onto one of the paths that led into the trees. Brushing some tree leaves aside, he thought he heard something in the undergrowth. He tensed for a moment. Suddenly, a rabbit came running out from a patch of bushes off to his left. He let out the breath he'd been holding. Stop being so paranoid, he scolded himself mentally. He continued to walk forward, unaware of the danger nearby....
The Dark Faerie had led the army deep into the Lost Woods. Hovering above them, she returned to her normal appearance. She then flew upward, above the leafy green treetops. Flying around a bit, she hoped she could see the glow of a campfire or a clearing where she might find her targets. She saw nothing at first, and was about to give up when she saw what looked like a small clearing. Near a dying fire lay two figures. She was too high up to discern who they were, but that didn't matter. She would capture those two first, then go after the third one.
Descending, she addressed the army. "They aren't far from here. We will approach slowly and attack when I give the signal. Start forth, vermin." At this, the stalfos and moblins at the head of the group lowered their weapons and began to thread their way through the numerous trees that were in their paths.
The Dark Faerie flew above the trees again, watching the two figures by the fire. She wondered where the third one was. No matter, they would find whoever it was. A small, wicked smile curved the Dark Faerie's lips as the army drew still closer to the two sleeping people....
Link continued to walk up the path. He had a growing feeling of apprehension; perhaps he should go back to the fire. He turned back and began to walk. Suddenly, he heard a low growl, and the rustling of bushes. It sounded far off to his right. This was followed by a voice above his head shrieking an order. His heart froze. It was the Dark Faerie and her army! He could hear the sound of undergrowth crashing. They were not far away. He began to run in the direction of the campfire then. His only hope was to get there and retrieve his weapons before they attacked.
The Dark Faerie peered down through the leaves. The dark night made it hard to see what was going on down there. Off to one side, she could see something running, could hear the snapping of twigs and the sound of leaves rustling as they were hit by the running figure. She could see a flash of green clothing. It was that meddlesome boy, Link! Quickly, she tried to get the army over in his direction. If he was able to reach the fire, he would be able to get his sword, as well as warn the other two. She was too close to victory to have anything ruin it now. Soaring down between the trees, she began to shout orders.
"Split up! I've just spotted our main target! Some of you follow me and be quick about it!" She said half of this as she flew in Link's direction. A dozen moblins and stalfos broke away from the rest of the army and began to run behind her, yelling war cries and waving their weapons around.
Link's breathing grew ragged. His side began to hurt, and he was forced to slow down from the sharp pain. He could hear the Dark Faerie and some moblins and stalfos getting closer; he couldn't give up now. He sped up a little, but the pain only grew worse. So he was forced to slow down again. Suddenly, the undergrowth was ripped apart by the swords and spears of the moblins and stalfos. He emitted a cry of pain as a spear was jabbed into his back by a moblin.
The Dark Faerie appeared above them. "Well, well. I see that Hyrule's brave 'Hero' is really no match for the King of Evil. You're coming with us, boy." Link struggled as two moblins held his arms behind him, then tied them with thick rope. "Master Ganon will be quite pleased when he sees I've brought you back. And he'll be twice as happy when he sees that I've retrieved your sister and that boy as well," she laughed. Link continued to struggle against his bonds, and the Dark Faerie started to laugh again. "It's useless. You'll never escape, and neither will your precious sister or the boy, once the army gets ahold of them." Link said nothing, but glared at the Dark Faerie, eyes filled with hatred. The Dark Faerie smiled sweetly at him, then flew off to see what the rest of the army was doing. "Keep him there; don't let him escape," she ordered over her shoulder to the two moblins, who grunted in reply.
The Dark Faerie found the rest of the army just mere feet from where the girl and boy slept. They still hadn't awakened. The army drew still closer, eager to capture them. They won't have a chance, what a shame, the Dark Faerie thought, grinning wickedly. She watched with delight as the army got close; they were only about three feet from where the two slept on, oblivious.
Anna thought she could hear something above her, a wicked cackling. Thinking it to be simply a dream, she slept on. Suddenly, she heard a growl, low in pitch, and the snapping of a twig just a few feet off. She opened her eyes and sat up. The eyes of the moblins and stalfos glowed evilly at her as she struggled to stand. Her heart began to pound. The moblins drew closer, and she ran for her bow and arrows. Suddenly, a voice cried, "Don't just stand there! Attack them now!" The Dark Faerie! Anna thought in alarm. She could see the Dark Faerie now, floating just above the trees.
The moblins and stalfos ran forth, and she fired an arrow. A moblin groaned in pain and was destroyed as the arrow found its mark, but there were too many of them to shoot at once. Istas had just opened his eyes at the warcries of the army. He struggled to grab the sword Link had given him. He ran to Anna's side, hoping to help her drive them off. However, he could see that there were too many, and their weapons wouldn't be effective against so many. Where was Link? he wondered.
Anna turned away and began to run into the deep darkness of the trees at her back, still holding her bow, the quiver of arrows slung over her shoulder. She had picked up the Master Sword as well. He began to run after her, taking the bag containing the uncomplete Tetraforce with him. The army was right on their heels, and Istas heard the Dark Faerie shriek, "Don't let them get away!" Istas could see Anna, a form slightly darker than the shadows themselves, running frantically before him. The army was still behind them, but were getting farther away now. His heart pounded, and he struggled to see where Anna was going in the dark. He ran faster, catching up to her. He ran alongside her, and she led them through paths that twisted and turned, winding their way through the thick bushes and trees that surrounded them.
Anna continued to run. It was almost like flying. She was beginning to feel light-headed from fear and adrenaline all coursing through her body at once. Still, she knew she had to keep running through the complicated paths before her. It would be their only chance of losing the army at their back. She knew almost all the forest paths; she had traveled on them often as a child with her aunt. She could hear Istas at her side, struggling to keep pace with her.
The cries of the confused army and the angry shouts of the Dark Faerie as they looked for them were growing much more faint now. Soon, they could hardly hear them. Anna slowed, as did Istas. Anna was breathing hard, and her whole body ached. Bending down, she put her hands on her knees and panted. Closing her eyes, she could feel the blood rush to her head. She was confident that they had lost the army, at least for a time. Her heartbeat began to slow, and she opened her eyes again, straightening up. Istas stood at her side, worry in his eyes.
" I'm pretty sure we've lost them. They won't find us for awhile," Anna said confidently. Istas nodded, then replied, "I didn't see Link anywhere when they attacked us. Wonder what happened to him?"
"Oh, Din, I didn't notice! I think they must have him!" Anna said, alarmed. "We'll try to get him later. Right now, we need to worry about ourselves," Istas replied, looking around the darkness that surrounded them. "I think I know where there's a cave somewhere around here. I used to walk around here when I was younger, so I'm pretty sure I know where we are," Anna said, then began to lead him down a path that was nearby.
They made their way down the path, nearly overcome with undergrowth. It was clear that the paths in this part of the forest had not been used for quite a long time. Yet, Anna made her way about in them with an air of confidence, as she knew them quite well. She remembered these same paths, although it had been ages since she had last walked down them. Most of them were nearly overgrown now, but she still remembered where the cave was. It was small and hidden, the perfect place to stay until they figured a way to get Link back.
Finally, she saw the mouth of the small cave. Vines and moss had crept up around it, and the tall trees around it made it hard to see from where they stood, but it was the cave they had been looking for. "Here," Anna said to Istas, and led him to the mouth of the cave. Brushing some leafy vines that hung over the entrance aside, she made her way into the interior, ducking low to avoid hitting her head. Istas followed her, bending low as he got in. He settled beside her, feeling a rush of weariness sweep over him.
Anna, too, was tired, but nervousness kept sleep at bay. She was worried about Link, as well as fearful the Dark Faerie would return to apprehend them as well. She turned to where she had lain the Master Sword, fingering its hilt, in spite of the fact she couldn't use it. Istas knew she was worried, and moved closer to her. "What's wrong?" he asked her. She turned to face him. "I know they'll be back for us. They have Link, and they want us. I don't know why, but they do, and they won't stop until they capture us and take us to Ganon." Worry made her voice quiver a little, and she struggled to control it. "And Link. What are they going to do to him?" she continued. Istas sighed; he truly didn't know the answer to that.
"Try not to worry too much. We'll stay here until dawn, then try to find out what they did with Link. Hey, if it makes you feel any better, I'll stay up and watch for the army while you sleep," Istas told her. Anna sighed. "I can't help but worry. And you don't have to stay up to watch for them. I can handle it." But her next action contradicted her words, as she yawned. Istas smiled at her. "More tired than you thought, huh?" he asked her. She shook her head. He put an arm around her shoulders and held her close to him. "You sleep, I'll watch," he said. "No, I can do it," Anna insisted, but already her voice was growing softer with the oncoming of sleep.
Soon, Anna was asleep, and Istas found himself looking out into the night, watchful for any sign of the army's return. He, too, was worried about Link. What were they planning to do with him?
"Master Ganon, we've returned." Ganon turned at the sound of the Dark Faerie's voice. She hovered above him. Two moblins stood before him. They held Link by the arms. Ganon laughed as he came closer to Link. "What do we have here? Could it be Hyrule's so-called 'Hero'?" he gloated. Link glared at Ganon in anger. "What have you done with Zelda, you pig?" he said, struggling against the moblins that held him. Ganon smiled wickedly. "Oh, she's safe, boy. You'll find out what's become of her, since the same thing is going to happen to you." Link continued to struggle as Ganon ordered the moblins to take Link to his chambers.
As soon as Zelda saw Link enter the chamber, she could feel her hope drain away. They had captured him as well. She watched as Ganon untied Link, then encased him in a crystal. Ganon made this crystal that contained Link float alongside hers. Then, the two of them watched as Ganon walked back and forth below them.
"This is a fine sight, indeed. When the princess inherits the power of Wisdom and Link the power of Courage, I will at last have complete control over the True Force!" He began to laugh evilly. Link sighed inside his crystal, knowing that the fate of Hyrule now rested on Anna and Istas's shoulders. But would they be able to do it? All he could do now was hope....
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