Link has returned to Hyrule. But all is not well. Zelda is dead, and the land is under the control of Ganondorf. With the help of his new ally Sarason, can he ever hope to defeat this evil, even without the famed Master Sword? And what of these "Shadow Warriors"? And why does Link sense himself falling into darkness?
Prologue: Where was the Hero now?
Link had returned to Hyrule and defeated Ganondorf once again, the same way he had when Princess Zelda sent him back to his childhood. He left Hyrule in search of new lands, making new allies on the way. He returned to Hyrule a year later, and was saddenned and frightened by what he saw. The fields were charred red, houses were burning and the sky had turned a ghastly dark red. He walked forward until he came across a gravestone with flowers beside it. He read the inscription: Here lies Princess Zelda. "Where was the Hero now?"
He knelt beside the grave and wept silently. A maniacal laughter rang in his head. This could only mean one thing, Ganondorf had returned.
Chapter One: Gerudo patrol
Link moved on from Zelda's grave, looking for any sign of other people. He saw the entrance to
, burnt round the outside. He reluctantly went in, afraid of what he would see. Some of the houses had been burned down. None of the Kokiri seemed to be outside. He saw two women walking around one of the houses. He lay down in some long grass, letting them pass. They were Gerudos. Link saw Mido creep up behind one of them, Kokiri Sword in hand. Both Gerudos turned round and pointed their staffs at Mido. Link then got up, drew his sword and charged, striking one Gerudo down. He shielded a jab from the other Gerudo and rolled round to her side, and executed a fierce uppercut. Both Gerudos both lay dead on the ground. Mido seemed to recognize something about Link. He said, "Is that you? Is that really you, Link?" Kokiri Forest
"How did you know?"
"Saria told me, before they took her. She told me everything about you."
"What? Where have they taken her?"
Mido let out a strained reply, "They've taken her to Ganon's Palace, she'll die there unless you save her."
Mido ran away, and Link turned round to see a Gerudo guard standing next to him.
"You will come with me," the Gerudo said.
Link tried fighting her, but she used some kind of magic, knocking him unconscious.
Link awoke, his pupils hurt as they adjusted to the dark lighting,his head throbbed, he thought it would explode.He looked around, he was in a small square tower, made of dark concrete, a small door was on his left, it looked like it had been designed for a dwarf
" I have been here before ",he thought to himself
.His gaze was pulled upwards by a stream of light, shining upon his golden hair. A small rectangular window lay close to the roof of the structure. The wooden shutter was half open, allowing clean air in.His memory returned.
" Grappling hook ", he reminded himself.
Link reached around his back, looking for the hook.It wasnt there.He turned his head and looked.
"****", he said aloud "Gerudo scum!"
That’s when he noticed him. Links battle hardened instincts kicked in, his right hand shot to his sword of legend, only to grasp thin air. damn it , he thought.
"It would not have worked anyway", a deep voice boomed from the darkest corner of the enclosed cell.
"Who’s there?", Link inquired, "Show yourself".
The dark figure rose from the cold concrete floor, his fiery red hair shone in the moonlight, as if dancing. He was young but his face was drawn and worn, like one who has aged before his time.
"I am Sarason"
"Greetings Sarason, I am L...."
"I know who you are Hero", he interrupted.
Sarason emerged from his dank corner, revealing torn robes and pointed ribs, his muscles worn away by lack of food.Link had never seen such a scranny creature.
"Are you a Magician,Sarason?"
He smirked, "No Hero...no, I am no Magician"
Link did not like this unknown man.
" I must be cautious ", he thought to himself.
"Then why would my Sword not have worked?",Link replied
"I was not speaking of your Legendary Sword, Hero",Sarason said, mockingly."I meant your Grapple"
Link was confused.
Sarason saw this and said: "I speak of your escape plan Hero"
Link was still confused.
This time Sarason openly mocked him
"Hahaha, you are quiet dull for a hero", he said with his deep raspy voice, " I know of how you escaped the last time you were trapped here....the gerudos know too, they have made this prison near impossible to escape"
"but it can be done?", Link asked
A smirk appeared on Sarason's face.
"Nothing is impossible"
"Drop the riddles!!", Link shouted, irriated at the red haired devil before him "Do you or don't you know how to escape?"
"Well, would I be here if i did?", he retorted, still smirking
Link turned away from the prisoner, hoping he could contain his anger. He gazed back up at the half-open window, and let out a long sigh.
" Don’t give up ", a voice whispered in his head. " He knows something which he isn't telling "
Link turned back towards Sarason. The young scrawny man lay cross legged on the floor, staring at Link,a smirk on his face.
The two prisoners locked gazes for several minutes. Link knew he would pay a price for his freedom. He lay down, he felt well and truly trapped..........
Chapter 3: the escape
Sarason threw Link against the wall.
"What are you.....?"
The Gerudo Guards heard the noise and went in to break them up. Sarason knocked one to the ground and Link finally got his plan, kicking the other Gerudo into a wall. The pair then ran out of the door, ducking behind a wall.
"Well, we're almost free, Hero," Sarason said.
Link checked round and saw a Gerudo wielding twin blades. Sarason seemed to recogize them.
"Those are my blades."
"What should we do?" Link asked.
"We can't fight her, but...."
Sarason looked to the other building and saw a coil of rope.
"There," he said, pointing to the rope, "we can capture her."
Sarason handed Link the rope.
"I'll distract her, you come in behind and tie her up."
Link crept round the outside of the plaza, while Sarason approached the Gerudo. He couldn't make out what they were saying. He saw his chance soon, and tackled the Gerudo, binding her entire body with the rope. Sarason had already taken his weapons, and used the Gerudo's veil as a gag.
2You won't get your weapon back, but now we have a hostage. She is the commander of all the Gerudo around here. We should take her to the others now."
Link and Sarason found a pair of horses and rode out of the valley with their prisoner.
Chapter 4: Ganon's reign
Link and Sarason rode away from
with the captive Gerudo general. Soon they came upon Sarason's camp of rebels. Gerudo Valley
"Here, Hero. This is my band of rebels. It's not much, I know but we have to keep seperate. Our main base of all rebel operations is up
, with the Gorons. That is the easiest position to defend." Death Mountain
Link looked round, there were three four-person tents pinned to the ground around a fire beside a pile of swords, shields, spears and bows. It was getting dark, yet there was a woman sitting outside the tents, sharpenimng the weapons and some horses were tethered to a pole.
The woman looked up.
"Sarason, it's you! I thought they'd killed you for sure."
The pair hugged, and Link noticed a ring on the woman's finger, apparently, they were either engaged or married.
"Hero, meet Olivia, my fiancee."
Link and Olivia shook hands and Link could see a deep scar across her face now.
"Anyway, from the looks of you, you don't know what's going on, do you? Olivia asked.
"No, not really."
"Well we'll have to start from last year. The Hero of Time left the
in search of new lands, with Ganondorf locked in the Sacred Realm. Yet somehow, when the Hero left, Ganon lured Zelda to the landof Hyrule and killed her, using her death as a gateway to open the Sacred Realm. He then went to Templeof Time , and killed all of the guards there. He turned it back into his tower and brainwashed the people of Hyrule into obeying him. He made the Gerudos his new army, and sent them to kill anyone who tried to oppose his authority. They kidnapped each of the Sages and imprisoned them in his tower. He hoped to destroy any hope of defeating him again. Those who opposed him joined together to form a rebellion, always on the move with a defendable base. We still believe that the Hero will come again and defeat Ganondorf." Hyrule Castle
"Olivia...bring a torch over here."
Olivia brought a flaming torch over and almost fainted at the sight of Link's face.
"Could it be? Show me your left hand."
Link held out the back of his left hand and the Triforce of Courage glowed in the dark, awakening everyone.
"PEOPLE, WE RIDE AT
! THE HERO HAS RETURNED!!!" DAWN FOR GORON CITY
The whole camp erupted into cheering, drowning out the Gerudo's moans.
>Chapter 5: To
The dawn came, silent and red, the sun a patch of light on the blood-red sky. The horses were untethered and saddled, the whole camp was ready to ride.link had been introduced to the entire band the night before. Now was the time to ride.
Sarason addressed the rebels.
"People, let's get together here. We have to ride to
now ! burn all the tents and spare clothes, make it look likeb we were killed. Someone secure the prisoner to the back of my horse. Then we move. You know the routine, don't look back, don't turn around and, most of all, don't fall behind. If you're caught back there we can't risk turning back round to get you. LET'S MOVE PEOPLE!" Death Mountain
Everyone set to the task of destroying the camp. The tents and clothes blazed high into the air. Someone tied the Gerudo General to the back of Sarason's horse, still struggling to break free and mumbling throught the gag.
Soon everyone was mounted, and without hesitation, sped off, riding towards
Kakariko Village, the only access point to . Death Mountain
They reached Kakariko without harm, and sped dangerously on their horses through
, moving past the gates and defending archers, who kept any of Ganon's patrols at bay. The horses slowed down to begin their ascent. Kakariko Village
"Well, Link," one of the riders, called William, said, "I take it Sarason was speaking in riddles again. Don't worry, you don't have to understand them, it only means you're about to get hurt. Although, he hasn't been himself lately..."
Link felt the back of his head throbbing, now understanding the saying, "that's gonna hurt in the morning".
Soon, they came upon
's entrance. Goron City
Strange Sarason thought to himself, there were usually guards at the entrance, unless...
"The City has been breached, we must move quickly!"
Then Link remembered the feminine eyes of the archers.
Chapter six: Death on
The whole group armed themselves with whichever weapons they could get. Some with swords, others with spears and the rest with bows. Link had one of the Gerudo katanas that Sarason stole and was now in combat with a spear-armed Gerudo. The two Gerudo archers had been taken out at the start of the skirmish.
The Gerudo in battle with Link was very skilled with her spear. Whenever Link tried to break aroud the spear, she spun it round and knocked him to the ground. Then he saw his chance. He executed a perfect roundhouse to her legs, knocking her off balance, then got up and cleaved her in two.
Sarason was doing better. He had two bandits equipped with swords, a man and a woman. they led the attack on the Gerudo general and her katana wielding guards. The two guards came down rather easily when the three attacked together, although the general retreaded after taking down the man.
Then there were multiple shrieks and cries of pain. The Gerudo spear-wielders had broken through the bandits' spear wielders. The archers were left to defend the prisoner Gerudo, and had taken out two of the Gerudos, although all but two archers fell. Then there came a Gerudo arrow, piercing through the sky like a terrible bolt of lightning. A scream. A woman's scream. The female archer had fallen.
The Gerudos kicked the remaining archer down, and rescued there General. The Gerudo spear-wielders were about to attack the remaining forces. The two Generals signalled them to stop and led them out of
. Death Mountain
Sarason leapt over to the female archer who had fallen. It was Olivia. She had an arrow right through her heart and was breathing her last breaths with difficulty. Sarason held her right hand and bowed his head, kneeling on one knee. Tears were dripping from his eyes. Then Olivia's hand fell. She was dead.
As Link surveyed the battlefield, a thin slope on
, he saw that it kept its namesake. Only three sword-wielders, including Sarason, two spear-wielders, one archer and himself were alive. The remaining force bowed themselves in respect for their fallen comrades. Death Mountain
Chapter seven: Reunion
The seven remaining carried on up
, too stunned for tears or mourning. The sky was bright and clear, mocking them with it's happiness. None of the horses had survived the fight either. The ones that had ran away in terror. Bruised and bloodied, they heaved onwards without talking. Death Mountain
Soon they reached the top of the mountain, at the Great Fairy's Fountain. It had been the unanymous decision to go to the Great Fairy for guidance. They would need it.
Link entered, yet none of the other's followed. He didn't ask why. In his heart, he knew why. This was his job, his destiny, his responsibility to restore peace in Hyrule.
"Welcome, young warrior," a familiar voice echoed. Link looked up to see the Great Fairy, hovering in the air above the water, in al her glory.
"I see you come again for my assistance. I am sad to sa there is none I can offer." Link was taken aback by this remark.
"My power grows weaker each day because of Ganon's power. Although there is one who can help you defeat him, even without the Master Sword. There is also only one suited to guide you to them. You split up with her, and she returned to me, bringing news of your triumph. I knew she would come in useful at the end of Hyrule, and so I kept her from you. Link, meet your guide."
A blue light with wings flew down beside Link with a familiar cry of "Link!" He had finally found Navi again.
Chapter 8: Hero No More
Navi led them back down the mountain, without incident. No-one had asked Link anything. To them, he was the Hero, the one who'd be their saviour, who'd save Hyrule. Link thought differently. Link knew differently. Ever since he'd left Termina he'd known he would lose. Not to Ganondorf, to himself. To the darkness etched in his heart. The only person who would ever be able to save him was dead. It was his fault. His fault these people would all die. He saw the way they looked at him, the hope in their eyes. He always knew that his being there was false hope. He couldn't be a hero anymore.
"Link, we have arrived!"
Link looked up, there, was the entrance to
, it's festive nature mocking him. Mocking everyone. They entered, not knoeing what awaited. Link looked up and almost fled. Dead Gorons, of all ages, lay around as if sleeping, the walls torched, the devastation apparent. Proof that Ganon had to be stopped. Yet he knew he wouldn't be able to. If he did, he would do worse. He was prepared to do worse. He would have no mercy on any of Ganon's followers. He would no longer be a hero, he would have power. Then something startled him. He heard a voice inside his head. One he hadn't heard in years. A girl, screaming, in pain. Saria, and he remembered his mission. Goron City
Then the City went dark. The end of freedom began.
Chapter 9: Darkness of the Soul
Link. The Hero of Time. The Saviour of Hyrule. The slaughterer of Evil. He was none of these things, he realized now. He was to young to be the Hero of Time. Even now. He wasn't strong enough, in his heart. He never saved Hyrule, he destroyed it by leaving. He was just a boy. A boy with a magical triangle that meant nothing truly valuable. He was evil, he also realized, Termina had corrupted him. He knew all these things as he stared into the darkness.
Then, the darkness changed. It took on a shape, a scene, soon with colour and sound. It was as if Link was standing there, in Hyrule Castle Market. It was raining, not a pleasant rain, a cold rain, that sent chills to the very bone. There was a platform ahead, no not a platform, gallows. And a woman, beside it. No, a teenage girl. A farmgirl, with long brown hair. Malon, her hands tied behind her back. She was about to be executed, then Link looked away and saw a sight far more terrifying, and he knew this was going to happen. A tall young man, still in his teens, in a suit of black armour, te mark of the Triforce emblazoned on it. Then he looked directly at Link. He had deep blue eyes and dark blonde hair,and earrings. He was looking at himself.
His roar seemed to be heard by his other self, who reached out his left hand, and the symbol of the entire Triforce appeared and wrapped itself round Link, slowly crushing him.
"Link, we've made it!" A voice came out of the darkness, and a warm hand gripped Link's shoulders, and he turned round to look in Sarason's eyes. Then he remembered his duty, to help these people. To save Hyrule. To avenge Zelda's death. The City was once more lit, yet Link still felt darkness. In his soul. Stronger than it was before.
Chapter Ten: Through the City of the Dead
Sarason moved out ahead of Link, the rest of the band walked behind them. Sarason was beginning to have doubts about this quest. Link was now looking unsure about himself, as if he thought he would die or worse. The battle on
had been disheartening, but Sarason did not believe that the Hero of Time could be afraid now. According to the rumours, he held the Triforce of Courage. He had defeated Ganon. He had saved Hyrule. Yet that was now undone. Death Mountain
He has to believe in himself, or we will not win this war. I doubt taking us through this place could be good for anyone’s esteem, he thought to himself.
Then he stood on something and looked down. A dead Goron. A child. This was a City of the Dead, a timely reminder of what evil could do. Why he needed to help Link. The Master Sword could not defeat this atrocity. No single thing could.
As they continued round, Sarason looked into the huge pit-shape of
and saw peaceful Gorons, savagely attacked and killed. Some had put up a fight as there were a few dead Gerudos, although they paled in comparison to the number of Gorons dead. This was no battle, but a slaughter. Goron City
Then he looked behind, at Link, and saw no emotion whatsoever. He was just staring forwards, into the air, blankly. Taking no note of the dead around him. Except a hint of a smile, not a warm smile, but a cold, shallow smile. Almost maniacal.
Then he looked at the fairy, who was now right in his face. Navi, her name was, Link’s old fairy. Then she nudged Sarason forwards, forcing him to walk through piles of bodies, all Gorons.
Soon, they reached the opening to
, and pressed onwards, although a huge boulder blocked the way. The only place to find bombs was on the bottom floor, through ranks of dead Gorons. Kokiri Forest
Then Sarason realized something. There were far too many Gorons to have been taken out by Gerudo. And there were burn marks. And skeletons.
Then a mighty roar resonated from outside. A dragon’s roar.
“Wait here!” Sarason shouted, “I’m going to get bombs, hold this position, and wait for me to return!”
He unsheathed his katana, charging down the levels with great speed and agility, shoving aside bodies.
When he reached the bottom, a rushing sound came from above, with a huge crash. Then he looked up. There, streaming down towards him, with rubble behind, was a huge snake-like dragon. It plunged at him.
“Hello, beastie,” he said, stabbing forward with the katana.
Chapter Eleven: Escape to the
“AAAARRRRGGGGGHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!” the cry pierced throughout the city.
The archer, Julia, woke up to it. It was midnight, and Sarason had still not returned.
“I’m going down there,” she said, almost to herself. The others had been startled by the cry but none of them were alert, except for Link, who was staring into the night, devoid of emotion.
She rushed down to the lower level, bow ready to become taut, and froze with fear as she saw the sight, one level from the bottom. The huge dragon, Volvagia, according to myth, circled over a smashed huge jar, broken pots and several pieces of rubble. There, in the middle, clothes bloodstained, was Sarason. Motionless.
Is he…? Julia thought to herself, until she saw his hand pick up his katana, and fall again as the dragon breathed fire downwards. Then she readied her bow, and aimed for the fierce beast’s head.
Several moments later, she fired. Volvagia rose upwards in anger, giving Julia a chance to run over and support Sarason out of the chaos.
“Ugh…..Yaaarrgh!” Sarason cried, holding his side and katana, and Julia saw the huge tooth, sticking right into him.
“Come on, we have to get you out of here, did you get the bombs?”
Sarason pointed to a bag on his side. The bombs.
“Come on!” Julia shouted, forcing Sarason to the top level of the city without incident.
Then she heard something as they reached the others. Footsteps. Female Gerudo footsteps.
“GERUDOS!!!!!!!!!!!!” she shouted to the rest of the bandits. They were all alert and armed within seconds, while Link took the bombs and planted them by the boulder.
“It’s no use, they’re gonna take a while,” he said, finally focusing on something.
Everyone, except Sarason, were holding their ground against the oncoming wave, Link trying to light the bombs.
Focus, Julia, focus, Julia thought to herself. Just a little time before we’re out. Gotta hold them.. “thwip” went one of her arrows as she aimed another and fired. Two of the advancing Gerudo were down.
The two spear-wielders advanced, crushing back many Geurudos, freeing the sword-wielders to handle those who got through.
“Everybody through!” Link shouted, as the whole band ran through to the forest, Julia carrying Sarason on her back, being the most light-footed. Soon the Gerudos fell off, and they were inside the Lost Woods.
Chapter Twelve: A Brief Rest
Later on, in the afternoon, the travelers had their rest at long last. Link had now met every one of them, and could tell who they were. Sarason was known to him well, with his red hair and light trousers and boots, always shirtless. Julia, the archer, had blonde hair, with boots, trousers and a corseted vest. Ricardo, or “Ricky”, one of the spear-wielders, had a tussle of black hair, wore a chain mail shirt and cloth trousers with sandals. The other spear wielder, Lucius had brown, medium length hair and a tendency to wear black, with armoured gloves. One of the sword-wielders, Kiara, was a girl just a bit younger than Link, with mousy hair and a leather overall, with a tendency to laugh. Finally, there was Julius, Julia’s older brother, the oldest of them all and an expert swordsman. He, like Sarason,, chose not to wear a shirt and wore loose trousers and sandals. There was an aura of mystery about him too.
They all sat down in a clearing in he Lost Woods, Julius unpacked a bag that Link hadn’t noticed and opened it to reveal an exquisite array of sandwiches and water. They all tucked in, not realizing the troubles around them. Not even Link noticed, but his eyes were becoming distorted, his face warped. Then he threw water over himself and it stopped.
Later, when they had all had their fill and dusk was approaching, they built a campfire, then planned their next move, listening to Navi intently.
“Now,” the fairy started, “There is a swordsman and tactician on the other side of these woods. He’ll teach us how to beat Ganon without the Master Sword, or anything like that. He also knows all of the Gerudo strategies. We need to find him tomorrow, or he’ll have left for Termina. As you can imagine, that would cause unnecessary complications. We also need to traverse a risky patch of swamp, riddled with all manner of monsters and other fiends. Also, he only lets those with swords enter his home, so it would be wise for the rest of you to wait behind and cover the sword-wielders as they cross the swamp. Do you all understand?”
Everyone nodded their heads and got some rest, finally able to sleep. In the morning they made it to the swamp without incident, although something was amiss. The house was burned down, apparently by Ganon’s minions.
They would have to search Termina, for if the swordsman was not there, Hyrule was doomed.
They arrived in the clock tower without incident. It hadn’t taken them long to navigate the woods and find the exit to Termina. Just before they entered the door to
, they planned on what to do next. Clock Town
“I say we stock up on supplies while we’re here, and have a day off,” started Julius, “Ganon doesn’t control this area and we ate all our food yesterday. Also, we need local Intel if we’re going to find the swordsman. Anyone else?”
“I need arrows,” Julia added.
“And I believe we could brush up on our sword skills,” Kiara said.
“And I haven’t had a good pint of anything for years,” Ricky stated.
Lucius had already crept out into the town, yet Sarason and Link were still talking between themselves.
“Sarason! Link!” Julius yelled, “What about you two?”
“We’re fine. We’re gonna find out about the swordsman,” Sarason started. “Everyone be back here by dawn tomorrow, then we can plan what to do next OK?”
Everyone agreed and one by one they set out into the town. It was festive outside, with a cheery atmosphere like at the Festival of the Moon. In fact, it was. As soon as Link stepped outside he was greeted by a small, blue-haired boy. Or at least who seemed to be a boy.
“Kafei!” Link yelled in relief, “you know how glad I am to see someone I know here? How’s Anju?”
“She’s…not well,” Kafei replied, bowing his head.
“What’s wrong, kid, your girlfriend sick?” Sarason asked, unknowingly.
Kafei seemed offended and yelled, “I am not a kid and Anju is my wife!”
“Kafei, he didn’t know,” Link said, “I thought you were just a kid too, what,… eight years ago?”
“Well, why don’t you two come to my house? We can discuss this over a nice cup of hot liquid.”
Link and Sarason followed Kafei. In the background, Julius and Kiara were practicing swordfighting techniques as Julia went to the bazaar and Ricky proceeded towards the Milk Bar. There was no sign of Lucius however yet no-one took any note of it.
Chapter Fourteen: The Shadow Man
Lucius entered the room, lit only by two dim torches. He approached the water and knelt on one knee, bowing his head.
“Master…” he said.
The water distorted, and a man made entirely of shadow, appeared in the room.
“Yes, Julius, my apprentice” the Shadow Man said, “ Have you succeeded in destroying the Evil One yet?”
“No, master, he still lives, our rival, Ganondorf’s forces failed to kill him in the trap I set. Although I have weakened Sarason’s heart. I made sure his fiancée died. That will make it easier for us to kill the Evil One.”
“And what of our prisoner?”
“The Evil One thinks her dead,” said Lucius.
“Technically speaking she is,” the Shadow Man said.
“Of Course, Master.”
“You gave him the vision of the future then?” the Shadow Man asked.
“Yes, Master, as you asked, in the City of the Dead. And Volvagia has awakened.”
“Good, my apprentice. Soon the Evil One, once a Hero, will die and the Fallen will take their revenge on Ganondorf.”
“I will make sure Link dies by my own spear,” Lucius said.
The Shadow Man disappeared and Lucius walked back into
, unaware that Hyrule was being destroyed, before the Revenge of the Fallen. Before it could end. Before Link had died. Clock Town
Chapter Fifteen: Death and Betrayal
The three watched as Anju quietly slipped away in her bed. The illness had finally taken her. Kafei held his hands to his face, evidently crying. Link was preoccupied by something on the wall.
It was a mask looking like Link, with white hair and blue markings.
The Fierce Deity’s Mask.
“Kafei, when did she become ill?” Link asked, taken aback.
Kafei managed to stop crying long enough to say, “after I obtained this mask.”
“You can’t possibly hope to control its power,” Link said. It is as powerful as the Master Sword, maybe more. And it’s evil.”
“Link, do you realize what this means?” Sarason inquired.
Before Link could reply someone burst the door down. There, in the doorframe, was a blonde man with black armour and a spear. The spear was black and gold, with a sharp tip on both ends, engraved with scriptures. It was Lucius. He seemed demented.
“Hero of Time,” he said, “betrayer of Hyrule, prepare to die. The fallen will have their revenge and the Shadow Ones shall rise once more.”
Link and Sarason drew their katanas while Kafei stood in the back ground. Lucius brought the spear above his head and brought it down. Link and Sarason threw it back with all their might, knocking them off balance. Then Sarason charged and Lucius flicked him away like a fly. Link readied his weapon as Lucius brought the sharp tip of the spear down onto his blade. They locked.
“You don’t have to do this,” Link said.
“It is my destiny,” Lucius replied as he broke off. Link backflipped out of the way of a double horizontal slash with both ends of the spear. He managed to push Lucius back out into the daylight, while Sarason staggered to his feet behind them.
Link blocked two attacks to his sides as Lucius parried ever slash and stab he could think of.
Then Sarason came in from behind. He raised his sword and brought it down, but Lucius was too quick and blocked it with the double-ended spear. His cape flew up behind him as he kicked Link into a wall.
Lucius came over and raised his spear. He stabbed it down, towards Link’s chest.
Chapter Sixteen: The Master Swordsman
The bottom end of the spear was tipped into the ground directly in front of him. The top end struck the wall above his head, held there by Sarason’s katana. Link kicked Lucius in the gut, who then stumbled backwards.
“Thanks for the save,” Link said weakly. The fight had so far been short but Sarason and himself were fatigued. Lucius was relentlessly powerful.
“You fools!” he shouted at them, “Nothing can defeat the Shadow Spear!”
Sarason and Link charged again regardless, both swiping their katanas at either end of Lucius’ block. He swept them both to their left in one fell swoop. Link got back up and slashed horizontally, then swept the katana in a low arc. Lucius deflected the maneuver at all points of it. He then went into a frenzied attack, as if he held a hundred speas, driving Link back fast. Soon he was driven to the wall again. The black and gold part of Lucius’ spear was pinning him to the wall.
Sarason knocked him down with the katana, but was unable to get through Lucius’ armour. Link got back up and went round the back of Lucius, Sarason at the front. They both slashed horizontally, at angles the spear wouldn’t be able to reach, at Lucius’ bare neck.
Then Lucius jumped.
He roared high into the air before crashing back down on one knee beside Link and Sarason, his spear held horizontally I front of him with one hand.
Sarason and Link’s blades clashed, knocking each other off balance.
“I warned you fools, not to underestimate my power,” Lucius said coldly. “My Shadow Spirit gives me strength. She I powerful, and will never let me succumb to you!”
“What are you talking about?” Saras9on said disbelievingly as he and Link steeled themselves. “The Shadow Spirits don’t exist, they’re just a fairy tale.”
Lucius brought the spear up again, this time charging it both ways with his full might. Link and Sarason were thrown back as their katanas flew out of their hands.
Lucius pointed the spear tip at Link’s throat.
“Now, you die,” he said coldly.
Suddenly someone stopped walking past. A man. He wore a green cloak and brown clothes and boots. He drew a sword and rushed towards Lucius. As he deflected Lucius’ spear away from Link’s throat, he took his hood down, readying himself for Lucius’ onslaught. Lucius brought his spear in another swipe. The man parried the attack, leaving Lucius open. He stabbed forward, knocking Lucius’ block out of the way and raising his sword. Lucius stepped backward to avoid the oncoming stab. He struck forward again. The man blocked again. Then Lucius brought the spear down low, at the man’s legs. The man jumped over the attack, and forward. At the same time, he struck backwards with enough force to break Luius’ armour. Lucius reeled round.
“ENOUGH!” he shouted, “SHADOW SPIRIT, COME FORTH!”
A tall beautiful woman almost entirely made of shadow with wings appeared beside Lucius. She turned to face him.
“IN THE SPEAR!” he yelled at her. Then she put herself in the spear, almost as if it were absorbing her. The spear glowed dark black, with immense power.
“No!” the man shouted, before adding with a sigh, “you’re not the only ones who can do that, Shadow One,” he said. Then a faint woman, in an elegant dress with blue hair, appeared beside him.
“You killed my sister!” he shouted, “Now she’s gonna kill one of you!”
The ghost woman entered his sword in much the same way as the Shadow Spirit. It glowed with a soft blue hue.
They locked weapons, this time with far greater power. They blocked and parried much the same as before, but the swordsman was determined now.
“Tell me,” he started, “How many have you killed, Lucius?” As he deflected another spear attack.
Lucius broke back long enough to say, “I’ve killed today, he was just a boy. Eight before him, I knew them all. I killed them all to save my own.”
The swordsman had had enough and plunged his sword into the ground, releasing a huge explosion of blue, knocking back Lucius, and separating the Shadow Spirit form the spear.
“Now, begone,” the swordsman said, “For I am the Master Swordsman, and I decree that never again shall you harm these two.”
Lucius staggered to his feet and left, defeated.
Chapter Seventeen: Training
The three of them watched Lucius leave, his shoulders slumped in defeat. Thre swordsman’s weapon turned silver again as he turned round, and the ghost woman appeared beside him again.
“So,” Sarason began, “they are real…”
Link staggered to his fee, still in awe at the battle that had transpired. He looked at his chest. His clothes were ripped and he was bleeding, he could feel it trickling down his face, he felt the sweat pouring off him. Then he saw his katana, over beside the wall, useless against Lucius.
“Do not be afraid,” the swordsman said, “none can defeat a Shadow One at first. I was almost killed the first time. Two years ago, when I was your age. When they murdered my sister.”
“How do you do that thing, with the glowing sword and ghost stuff?” Link asked, still too awestruck for grammar.
“I will teach you,” the swordsman said, “when you can defeat me in a duel. For it is only then that you will be skilled enough.”
Sarason stood up and weakly brought his katana up.
“Why don’t we fight now?” he replied.
“Fine,” the swordsman replied, “consider this the start of your training. This will last until my sister stops the fight. You and I only. Ready?”
Sarason nodded his head and brought his katana forward. The swordsman did the same.
Link only noticed now that the swordsman was indeed young, only a little older than him, and his short brown hair blew in the wind, as if it were long, He had piercing green eyes and a determined mouth.
“DUEL!” they both shouted.
Sarason was the first to attack. His right foot left the ground as he drew a horizontal slash with his katana. The swordsman stepped back as he blocked. Sarason continued charging forward, the swordsman blocking each and stepping back till he was against the wall.
“Fool,” he muttered, “Now you can’t drive me anywhere.”
He brought his sword up and sent it clashing down on Sarason’s katana. He struck high and low and left and right, all the while driving Sarason into the center of the square.
They started to strafe round each other. Sarason ran forward again, faster than before. The swordsman leapt into the air and somersaulted over him, bringing his sword round to meet Sarason’s katana.
“Good block,” the swordsman said as he brought his sword round again. This time he knocked Sarason onto his back, putting his foot on Sarason’s sword arm and pointing the sword at his neck.
“But not good enough,” he continued, “Yield!”
Sarason yielded and then got up, defeated.
Now Link stepped forward, Navi sitting on his shoulder and held his katana.
The swordsman was the first to charge this time. Link deflected the blow with his katana, driving the sword away. Then he held it above his head and brought it down.
He was too late. The swordsman was already standing behind him.
He turned round with the katana but the swordsman drove him back. He tried hitting high, low and to every possible angle but the swordsman kept blocking them. Then the swordsman threw Link into the wall with a powerful blow.
“Navi,” he said, through aggravated pants, “is there any way we can beat him?”
Navi slowly floated beside him.
“I think,” she said, “I know how to put myself into your sword, like his sister.”
“Do it then,” Link said weakly.
Then he watched as navi pressed her hands against the katana and absorbed herself into it.
The swordsman charged, his eyes narrowed.
Link readied his sword for a spin attack, glowing blue.
The swordsman put his sword above hi head, his eyes even narrower.
Link’s katana had a blue hue encircling it.
As the swordsman was about to bring his sword down, his eyes widened.
“Sister, help…” he whispered.
The katana now had a red hue about it. Then Link unleashed the ultimate spin attack.
The swordsman was sent flying, skidding along the ground at the end of his fall, his sword in the ground keeping him crouched. Sarason had been knocked back into the wall.
The swordsman stood up, his sword now glowing blue.
They charged forwards, clashing blades with so much might it sent sparks into the sky. Their blades locked, but Link had one last move.
He brought his katana round again, Navi giving it the extra strength to knock the swordsman’s sword away.
“Yield,” Link said, holding the blue glowing katana at the swordsman’s throat.
“Very well,” the swordsman said, “I will assist you. But first you shall need new clothes.”
A crowd had gathered round them, containing all of the other bandits except Lucius.
Chapter Eighteen: A New Ally
“What do you mean, I don’t look old enough?” screamed Julia at the bazaar owner. “I just saw a kid two years younger than me walk in the streets with a sword! FROM YOUR SHOP!”
“Sorry, kid, eighteen and over, it’s the law, and that kid probably got it from someone else, I do not supply to those without proof of age!”
“Stop giving me crap!” Julia yelled again, “See this?,” she continued, holding up the bow, “This is what I use every day and I never had any trouble buying arrows in Hyrule.”
“Sorry,” the shopkeeper said, “never been to Hyrule and I’m sure it’s full of scum and treachery and all that.”
“Excuse me, ma’am, but is this guy causing you trouble?” came a voice behind Julia.
She turned round and saw a tall man in a dark cloak, he looked like a traveller.
“Maybe you’ll listen to this,” he said as he plopped a huge bag of rupees onto the counter.
The shopkeeper’s eyes glistened.
“You can take them all,” he said as he hugged the bag to his chest.
“Thanks,” Julia said to the traveller as she held two full quivers. “So what’s your name?”
“Name?” the man said, “I don’t bother with names, they separate people too much. Although if you want you can call me Matt.”
A loud sound, like that of two gods fighting, came from outside. They both rushed into the main square outside the Clock Tower, and saw Lucius and a swordsman locked in fierce combat.
Who’s he? She wondered about the mystery swordsman, and why is he fighting Lucius?
She saw Link and Sarason on the ground, panting.
Did he do that too?
Then the swordsman plunged the glowing sword into the ground and a huge explosion of blue came from it. The whole crowd was pressed against the wall by it, and something seemed to leave Lucius’ spear.
Then Lucius walked away in the direction of the crowd, shoving Julia into the wall when she tried to talk.
“Who was that guy?” Matt asked.
“Someone I thought I knew,” was Julia’s reply.
Then they watched as the swordsman out powered Sarason and forced him to yield.
Then they watched as Link fought the swordsman and seemed to be on more equal ground, but then he did something. It looked like he put his fairy into his sword and executed his famed Spin Attack, once again knocking everyone back. Julia hadn’t noticed the ghost woman, nor her disappearance.
flew into the air as the two’s blades locked. Then it was over. Sparks
Link, Sarason and the swordsman walked towards them.
Julia noticed Julius, Kiara and Ricky waving at her. She waved back, weakly.
So that guy’s our friend? She thought hazily, before deciding to walk over to the others with Matt.
Chapter Nineteen: The Wandering Angel
It was raining, and the night was drawing in, a cold blanket around Lucius. He walked on, despite the cold. His armour was defending him from the wet. He had recovered his strength now and walked with the Shadow Spear on his back, ready to be drawn. His Shadow Spirit walked beside him. He hadn’t yet learned her name, but had been told by the Shadow Man that he would learn her name when he was ready.
On the horizon, he saw something. A hooded figure. From the way they walked, Lucius assumed it was a man.
He could see something shining under the man’s cloak. A weapon of some sort. He drew the Shadow Spear, readying to fight the traveller.
The man looked up, and met Lucius’ gaze.
The man stopped, and drew out his hand. A chain was wrapped around his clenched fist, and he looked unfazed still, even though the rain was soaking through his cloak, and his simple chain-whip wouldn’t put up much of a fight against a Shadow Spear.
Lucius readied the Spear, with his Shadow Spirit. He had no time for games. He drew the spear over his head and charged at the man, screaming into the wind. He kept running against the cold, towards distant lightning and the man.
Then he watched helplessly as the man drew up the chain whip and struck forwards, far longer than its range should have been. Lucius was knocked back ten feet with the blow. He got baack up from his crouched position, the spear now binding itself to his hands. This time he knocked the chain-whip away, but it coiled itself around the spear. Lucius used the Shadow Spirit’s energy to channel a dark blast along the chain-whip. He watched as the shadow energy advanced towards his opponent.
Fool! He thought as the blast was mere metres away from its target. None can survive the shadow being directed into their very body!
However, the man still seemed unfazed. He drew the chain-whip towards him, and instead of being engulfed by the shadow energy, he released a burst of some kind of bright energy, which headed straight for Lucius.
Lucius Held the Shadow Spear in front of him, a dark shield against the approaching light. The Shadow Spirit produced a barrier around him. The light energy still knocked him back, and some of it shattered the barrier.
He got up from his crouch and raised the spear once more. The man threw his chain-whip forward again, but this time Lucius was ready. He released his left hand from the spear and caught the chain in his hand, twisting it round his fist. He yanked on it, leaping forward with increased momentum. The man was sent into the air as he was kneed upwards by Lucius, who then let go of the chain-whip.
Then the man threw off his cloak, revealing his flowing electric blue hair. Still high in the air, he curled into a ball as two ridges erupted through his clothes. As he unfolded himself, they stretched out and became huge feathery wings. He brought the chain-whip back to him as his wings flapped. He looked down on Lucius, uttering, “Foolish mortal.”
Lucius held the spear high again as the man thrust the chain-whip towards him. This time it wrapped itself round his outstretched wrist, before yanking him off the ground. He was yanked high above the flying man, and the chain-whip released him, sending him further. He turned around in mid air to face his opponent, who was now flapping powerfully up towards him, readying the chain-whip. This time he was ready and struck the Shadow Spear down at the approaching chain-whip. However, now he was going down towards the ground, and the chain-whip while still above him, was directly below him. He couldn’t do anything as it wrapped around his neck, choking him. The man was now diving towards him, coiling up the chain so he wouldn’t hang just yet.
“You cannot kill me, Shadow One,” the man whispered into Lucius’ ears as they fell, evr faster, “I am an angel. One who serves higher than your shadow gods and the Godesses of Hyrule. Now die!”
He released the chain again and Lucius went down as the angel went up. The chain released itself until it was straight, and Lucius was once again choking, this time high above the ground.
He called on the shadow spirit again, to form a shield around him, for he had seen the approaching bolt of lightning. The chain-whip acted as a conductor. It rushed along to both ends. The angel screamed and let go of the chain-whip as the electricity entered him, but Lucius was safe.
He held the chain as he fell towards the dark soil, then using it to latch onto the angel’s foot. Yet the angel didn’t go down, making him an excellent balance point for Lucius to land safely. He stared up at the angel, his opponent. The angel drew back the chain-whip to himself as he charged up a huge ball of light energy, spinning the chain-whip above his head.
Then Lucius remembered something his master did, that destroyed many foes. A huge tornado of Shadow energy, followed by a huge strike down on the foes. It was spectacular to watch. The Shadow Strike.
He held the spear above him once again, this time calling on all his Shadow Spirit’s might. The spear started spinning above his hands. Lines of shadow energy spun high around it, sucking in the air around. The angel released his energy, muttering an incantation. The lines of shadow were now a solid tornado, above Lucius’ hands. The angel’s energy was sucked into the spear, before the angel himself came crashing down to the ground. The spear stopped spinning, fully charged with s dark, glowing energy. He held the spear high above his head, the angel crouching beneath it, bringing the chain-whip up once again.
Then Lucius did it. The Shadow Strike. It broke through the angel’s chain and burst on him with a torrent of dark energy. The angel lay down, defeated.
“Please, forgive me,” he said weakly as he started to fade.
“Only five of the Great Dragon’s Guardians remain. I have failed.”
And with that, the angel vanished, his soul absorbed into Lucius’ spear. Then the Shadow Spirit came out and faced him.
“It is time you learned my name,” she said to him.
Chapter Twenty: The Festival
They sat just outside of
, the few Hylians that were left and the Master Swordsman and Matt. The night felt warm as the campfire’s glow lit them. It was almost midnight. They chatted merrily and forgot all about their troubles and tragedies. This was a night of rest. A night of momentary peace. The calm between the storms. Clock Town
The huge Clock Tower struck midnight. They all hurriedly ran into the town. The top of the Clock Tower was tipping over, revealing the way into the tower. Someone excitedly ran in, soon appearing at the new flat circle on top. They set up fireworks, whilst someone else came to light them.
The first one exploded high in the air with a fiery red glow. The next was a green one which had two explosions, showering the dark with sparks. Many fireworks went at the same time, creating a near deafening din.
They moved away towards the milk bar, ready for the Indigo-Go’s to play. They managed to take front-row seats and waited quietly while more people arrived. Soon the Zora band were on the stage, ready to play. It was a song Link hadn’t heard before, “The Clock Tower Curse-reprise”.
During the whole concert, Link was troubled by something. He couldn’t quite place it, but it seemed like he had met someone he knew yet had forgotten. He ran out of the milk bar, and out of
. Fireworks turned night into day as he ran, sure he would find something. Clock Town
He found it.
A tall, dark figure, walking on the horizon. As he approached, the fireworks began to stop, and it started raining. He walked passed the corpse of a man with wings, freshly slain. The figure stopped, and his hair shimmered golden in the light of a huge firework. He turned around.
“Lucius…” Link began.
“Is it no surprise, Link, that I should walk this path? It was meant for one of us.”
“One of us? You can’t mean…” Link paused, open-mouthed.
“I should have thought you’d figured it out. Do you not remember your visions? The blonde hair, the black armour, the eyes? Did you not notice there was another who looked that way in your little troupe?” Lucius said confidently.
“No. You’re lying! I know you are! That was me in those visions!”
“Have not you figured out why you saw yourself? It shocks me that the Hero of Time is so naïve as to believe he had power, that he would have power. You were always weak. That is why you had to be killed.”
“You. You planned all this from the start! When you joined them, you knew I would come. You knew they would die. You murderer!” Link bellowed.
“Murderer? Why, I didn’t kill them myself, the Gerudos did.”
“You’re working with Ganondorf, aren’t you?” Link yelled again.
“Lucius tutted. “I’m surprised you hadn’t figured out. I am working against Ganondorf. He destroyed my life. He destroyed both our lives. That’s why you must join me, Link. We can defeat Ganondorf!” he said, holding out his right hand.
“No. I won’t join you. I never will. They need me back there.”
“Link, no-one needs you. You need them. In time you will learn the truth. You and I are higher beings. These mere mortals cannot hope to ally with you. They’re holding you back.”
Link drew his katana.
“I’ll kill you where you stand!” he yelled through thunder. His torn clothes were clinging to his flesh now.
“No, now, Link. Let us not get hasty. Surely you remember in
. I would have killed you.” Clock Town
I know how to defeat you now. Navi!”
“Your fairy cannot help you. Only I can help you. Now, put the sword away.” Lucius held out his hand and yanked the katana into the ground.
“Consider my offer Link. Next time we meet, on opposite sides, I will not hesitate to kill you. There can only be one of us.”
With that Lucius turned and left.
What does he mean, one of us? I have nothing to do with him, Link thought. He pulled the katana out of the ground and headed towards the distant fireworks and merriment. Sarason was waiting for him at the town gates.
Chapter Twenty-one: A New Hero
“Link, it is time you became one anew. The Hero of Time, you no longer are. It is time for you to become a New Hero, the Hero of Shadows. Wake up, Link. It is time to meet your destiny!”
Link shot u from the bed in surprise. He looked around, still dizzy and confused. Some light was pouring in through the window.
Then something grabbed his arm and he jumped. He looked round, and saw a familiar-looking woman lying in the bed next to him, grinning. He screamed and rushed out of the bed, still only in his underwear.
How in Din’s name does that happen? He thought to himself.
“Last night was fun,” he woman said, light-headedly. Link now recognized her as Julia.
“If this were one of Saria’s stories, your brother would walk through the door right now,” Link said to himself, almost blushing.
He put on his familiar green clothes and ran out into the daylight, without his hat. He knew already he was late for the swordsman’s class. He ran right out to the center of the town, bowing down in respect.
“I am sorry, master…” he began.
Around him, a small class of children and adults, all with different varieties of sword, were staring at him. The Master Swordsman was still looking at the ground.
“I knew you would be late,” he began, “that is why I prohibit my students from drinking alcohol. However, this has allowed me to review your clothing choice. You stand out too much with those forest clothes. I have more…suitable garments for you. Wear them always, no matter what, and I will teach you.”
Link was pointed in the direction of a small cabin down by the stream. Inside, he found some black clothes. He picked up the trousers, and held them to his skin. They were rough, and were unpleasant to the touch. Regardless, he put them on. They felt different inside. They clung to his skin, yet still sagged. He noticed the patterns writhing up them like snakes, all in black. He looked over to the long-sleeved top. On the back, it had a Sheika emblem on it, above the red phoenix carrying the mythical fourth Tri-Force.
On the sleeves, it held the same twisting coils of the trouser legs. It felt rough on the skin when Link wore it, yet felt more flexible for combat. A pair of black gauntlets lay on the floor as well. They were much the same as Link’s old brown gauntlets, yet felt harder and stonger. Finally, two shin-high, black laced boots lay imposingly. They had no markings, and were quite heavy. They were hard, unlike his old boots.
He stepped out of the cabin, uneasily treading into the daylight. He felt completely unnatural, with these new clothes. As he approached the Master Swordsman’s class, he saw the rest of th bandits standing there. Julia smiled and waved at him. He grinned nervously.
The Master Swordsman smiled.
“Now you are ready for your final challenge,” he said, standing up.
“My final challenge? Didn’t you say…” Link began.
“Link, if you need taught, then Hyrule will fall. Then the world.”
Link was about to reply when something appeared in front of him. A familiar outline. Of himself.
“No, I killed you!” he yelled.
Shadow Link drew his sword. Then Link realized he’d left his katana in the room at the inn. He cursed himself as Shadow Link leaped into the air. Something flew into Link’s hand. His katana. At least Julia had done something right.
He brought up the blade to block Shadow Link’s down thrust, before rolling to the side and readying for another strike. Shadow Link swung his dark sword round, but Link managed to knock it back the way it came, before running for Shadow Link, katana just behind him, ready to stab. As soon as he thrust forward, Shadow Link brought up his shield and knocked him back.
Then Shadow Link disappeared. Link back-flipped as he appeared again right in front of him. Shadow Link lunged forward, hitting the ground as Link jumped past him, and started running all the way to a wall on the other side of the street. He leapt up and bounced off the wall, turning to face Shadow Link, bringing his katana down fats and hard. Shadow Link brought his sword up to block, but Link’s attack was too strong, and it knocked the sword far away, where it vanished. Shadow Link was forced down to the ground, Link standing victorious.
Then Shadow Link touched him. The patterns on his new clothes began to glow as Shadow Link was absorbed into him. He screamed as the pain shot through his whole body, becoming one with the Shadow.
Then he saw something. He looked around as Hyrule lay scorched and dying around him. He watched as someone was struck down by an armored soldier. He looked and saw the forest ablaze, the rivers swelling. He looked into the face of the man who had haunted him since he was a child. Then he remembered. He remembered why he was on this quest. He remembered he had to save the Sages. He remembered Zelda was gone. And he knew what to do.
It was over in a few moments. He glowed with a dark aura around him, his hair turned darker and his pupils became red. His ear-ring glowed black and he felt at home in his new garments. He felt powerful.
“Welcome, Hero of Shadows,” said the Master Swordsman, bowing.
Link walked away. Sarason tried to stop him.
“No,” he said, “I must return to Hyrule. I had forgotten my duty.”
“I understand,” Sarason said, “I will come when I can, but right now, we must stop Lucius.”
With that, Link walked back into the Clock Tower, back through to the Lost Woods.
Chapter Twenty-Two: Unequalled Power
They headed out across Termina field, in pursuit of Lucius. Sarason and Julius headed, with Ricardo, Julia and Kiara following closely behind. It had been three days since Link had left them, and they had finally found Lucius’ trail.
Up ahead, a tall black figure stood against the rising sun, facing the oncoming bandits.
Sarason stopped about a hundred feet across from him. Everyone else skidded to a halt along side him. Everyone readied their weapons. Julia had already knocked an arrow and aimed her bow.
“Just give me the word, I’ll end him right now,” she said, coldly.
“No, Julia, he’s too strong. We need some kind of plan to stop him. Otherwise we’ll all die in ten seconds flat.” Sarason then held his katana high in the air, ready to charge.
“Okay, people!” he shouted, “Here’s where we stop him! Julia, stay back and cover us. Julius, head out behind him and attack quickly, I’ll be with you. Ricky, you and Kiara charge him from the front! Is everyone ready?”
They all nodded in agreement. Lucius still looked unfazed, even though he was against five people. He readied the Shadow Spear, fusing it with his Shadow Spirit.
“CHARGE!” Sarason yelled as the four who were charging ran off. Julia fired her arrow, yet Lucius blocked it. She fired another, at his legs. He cleaved it in two.
Julius and Sarason reached him. They both swung round with their blades, driving them round into Lucius. Neither one hit him, he blocked them both on the long spear before turning round to split Ricky’s spear in two along its length and shove Kiara’s sword to the side.
Ricky went in and grabbed the long hilt of Lucius’ double-ended spear. He struggled against Lucius’ force for a few moments, trying to prise the Shadow Spear from his hands. Soon he was struck down to the ground as Lucius raised his spear. Kiara rushed in to block the down-thrust and Sarason and Julius saw this as the perfect opportunity to strike at Lucius’ back. He flicked down Kiara’s sword and in a powerful roundhouse, kicked the two oncoming bandits.
Julia readied another arrow as Julius got up and tried to attack Lucius’ side.
As she fired an arrow for his leg, he swept down Julius so his head was in the oncoming arrow’s path. It entered his head with a sickening crunch as blood spattered across Lucius’ armour.
Then Lucius brought down his spear on Ricky, plunging it deep into his chest. Kiara and Saraon got up again, readying their weapons. Julia grabbed her bow and an arrow in her other hand and started running towards Lucius. Sarason and Kiara brought down their katanas on either side of Lucius’ spear. He swung round in a torrent of dark energy and sent them flying in opposite directions. When Julia had readied her bow right with the tip of the arrow at Lucius’ face, she was already impaled on his spear. She released the arrow, but Lucius twisted his head and it went straight into Kiara’s heart instead. She slipped off the spear in a puddle of blood.
Sarason was the only one left now. He brought down the katana in a few furious swipes, but Lucius blocked them all. He subsequently blocked Lucius’ next few swipes, driving him back. Then Lucius brought the Shadow Spear right above his head. He span it, sapping the strength of the dead, and the Shadow Spear started glowing with a dark energy.
“Even you cannot survive this!” he yelled.
Then an arrow went through his right arm and he dropped the spear. On a hill behind Sarason, his newest ally, Matt, stood with another arrow readied. Lucius turned and fled without a word. Sarason only now noticed the huge gash in his chest, running down into the pools of blood of his comrades.
As Matt came over to him, the rain started and turned the blood into a small river. Lucius had won this battle.
Chapter Twenty-Three: Return To Hyrule
Link stood tall on the ledge above
at the entrance to the Lost Woods. He looked first to the sky, red and soot-covered by the smoke drifting up from the small village. He looked around him, houses carved with trees were burning down to the ground, any sign of youth and innocence was being erased. No-one roamed about the ground, now with the grass burnt away, yet the footprints of Gerudo soldiers were evident. Much smoke was billowing from where the Great Deku Tree once stood, and so did the Deku Sprout. Link’s house lay smashed on the ground, a flaming wreck. Ganondorf’s movement was evident. Kokiri Forest
He ducked down as the first arrow flew into the wood behind him. He jumped over the cliff face to avoid another two arrows, landing in a crouch behind one of the burning houses. He knew instinctively his attacker was not a Gerudo. Gerudo’s did not normally use stealth.
He drew his katana and crept round the back, to the left of the house from the front, and stood on something-a child’s hand-with a sickening crunch. He stumbled forward, hugging himself to the ground to avoid being a target. He was more worried about himself dying than the Kokiri.
He picked up a rock and threw it in the direction the arrows came from. When he heard it hit flesh and draw blood, he took the opportunity to run towards the assassin, katana drawn high in the air. He brought it down on the cowering man dressed in black with a black cloak. Blood spattered on his new clothes.
He ripped the cloak from the man’s body. It was still intact, so he could definitely use it. He put it on, matching perfectly with his new clothes, and providing him with a hood to conceal his identity.
Link ran forward to the exit to Hyrule Field, not pausing for anything. He ran through the small clearing of woods to the dark night on the field. He ran out to where he had passed Zelda’s grave before. The gravestone was demolished, in its place a sword.
A black horse rode past and clipped him to the ground. He heard a familiar laughter and drew his katana. The rider of the horse jumped off and turned to face Link.
“You cannot hope to defeat me now, you little brat,” came Ganondorf’s voice through the night.
Link trust forward the katana. Ganondorf drew his broadsword and cleaved it in two before charging at Link. He brought up the sword above Link, who was forced to the ground by the first shot, and was knocked back by Link’s powerful kick to his stomach. Navi entered the fight.
“Not this time,” Ganondorf said as he crushed the small fairy in his hand, instantly killing her. Then he held out his hand and Link felt as if he were being ripped apart from within. He sluped on the ground as Ganondorf turned and mounted his horse.
“One chance, Link, that’s all you’ll get. I won’t kill you right now. At the end, when my power is great enough, I will.”
Ganondorf fled on his horse.
Link noticed something, the sword on Zelda’s grave was still there. He grabbed the hilt. It was a medium-length, dark blade. About the same weight and size as the Master Sword. In its hilt, a row of red jewels encased in a pattern of gold.
Then something happened to Link. He felt the sword take over his body and voice. He felt it’s raw power. And he shouted to the night as a storm drew in around him.
Then he yelled into the night.
“When the light fails the shadows prevail!
“In each one’s heart, a darkness will start!
“The only thing to conquer true darkness is shadow!
“In the end, only darkness,
“And a Shadow Warrior will prevail!”
Clouds started twirling around him as he unwillingly raised the sword into the air.
“Shadow Spirits, rise!”
He staggered as he regained control of his body and hundreds of dark spirits and demons materialized around him, blocking out all light.
Chapter Twenty-Four: The Lost Child
Ten years ago.
The blonde boy staggered through the forest. He didn’t know where he was, although he knew this was not where he was from. He had heard where he was from called “Hyrule” once, although that name meant nothing to him. He was tired, and he’d run out of food. It was getting dark, and the trees blocked out all but some of the light. He didn’t sleep, for fear the creatures on the forest would attack him. His rags were starting to tear and his sandals were getting too small for his feet.
The creatures in this place were strange. They were dark, terrifying beasts, which the boy didn’t know how to describe. All he knew was that they frightened him. They were huge, and fast. He’d watched them killing some wild deer in front of his eyes the night before. Of course, worst of all were the human bones. The ones with armour and swords and shields scattered about them. The dark creatures were always near them. The boy could feel them now, even though they were nowhere near him. Or at least, he couldn’t see them.
Then he saw something up ahead. A man, sitting, panting by a tree. He had huge scars which the boy could see from where he was standing. The man had a sword beside him, and wore black armour which was sliced through, probably why the boy could see the wounds. The wounded man was staring at something behind the boy. He knew what it was instantly and lunged out of the way of the huge shadowy creature.
He got a chance to look at it properly now, from behind the tree. It was at least three times the size of a horse, it had two strong looking hind-legs and two front arms with huge claws which it ran on. It had no tail, and its head was huge, but without ears. It engulfed the wounded man in its huge maw, and a pile of bones scattered on the ground. The boy realised that this creature was made entirely of shadow, with red eyes and golden lines around it. Two more approached it from different directions. They seemed to smell into the new night, looking for more food. The two who had now joined scattered, but the first one turned round, and its deep piercing red eyes met the boy’s gaze.
The boy turned and ran as fast as his legs could carry him away from the huge monster. He watched in horror as it merged with the shadows and moved swiftly along them, appearing as a red blur, before rematerializing in front of the boy. He turned and ran the other way. He tried climbing up the trees, but the shadow creature advanced through the shadows cast by them, and it could move from branch to branch weightlessly. The boy tried swinging higher as he jumped along, trying to reach what little light was left.
The boy fell down the huge trees, the branches breaking scratching and cutting him as his spiral downwards quickened. He managed to catch one of the low branches as the two other shadow beasts tried frantically to grab him.
He saw something in the distance. A large town, which looked well defended by its high walls and catapults. He started running towards it as fast as he could, the shadow creatures gaining on him.
He noticed in the air, flying towards him, a long, snake-like dragon creature, made from the shadows like these beasts. It was at least twenty feet long, and breathed a cloud of darkness as it headed over the plains and the forest towards where the boy was.
All the light went out as the boy entered the cloud of shadow. It seemed huge in here, like a vast ocean of darkness. His breathing echoed throughout it, increasingly quickening as long shadow creatures swam in the dark ocean.
Then something strange happened. A tall woman, made of shadows, stood in front of the boy. She held up her hands and all of the shadow creatures entered a ball in between them, growing in size as the light returned. Then the shadow woman absorbed the ball into herself with a strange, dark glow. Then someone tapped the boy on the shoulder. He turned round, and saw clearly a man’s face, his clothes were dark and he had the red eyes of the shadow creatures. He puffed into a form like that of the shadow beings and re-materialized behind the boy, who turned round in time to avoid a fierce down thrust.
Something materialized in the man’s hand. A long, double-ended, black hilted, spear with gold markings and inscriptions. He took some of the shadow energy from the shadow woman and put it into the spear.
The boy picked up the nearest weapon he could find, a long stick, and wielded it like a combat staff, mush the same way the man was using the spear. The boy blocked the hilt of the spear with the stick, trying to avoid the blades. The man brought the spear down vertically, but the boy managed to block it with the stick, being pushed back considerably. Then the man, in one fell swoop, managed to break the stick in two.
The boy turned and ran, but the man chased after him, running in his human form. Soon the boy reached the pile of bones and sword he had seen be created. He brought up the sword and blocked as the man lunged at him. They blocked and parried for a while, until the boy had an idea.
He leapt up into the branches, using their cover as the man lost track of him. Then he saw his chance. He leapt from the branch and brought down the sword, cleaving the man in two from behind.
When the boy was about to celebrate, the man reformed into shadow before taking a bit longer to turn back into human form.
“Well done, young warrior,” he began, “you have passed the test.”
The boy didn’t know what the man was talking about. He wasn’t a warrior, and he certainly wasn’t aware of any “test”.
“Do you have a name?” the man asked.
The boy shook his head.
The man stood up straight and turned to face the boy.
“Your name is Lucius. You have been accepted to train as a Shadow Warrior and vanquish the foes others cannot. You shall be granted a shadow spirit now. One whom you have already met. The fact that you met her alone makes you worthy, for she deals with the worst of Shadow Beasts. I think you were born to be one of us, although you are no one of this land. Shadow Spirit, come forth!”
The woman from earlier, made of shadows, appeared in front of Lucius. She now had four long, thick leathery wings protruding from her back.
“It is time,” the shadow man said, “to begin your training, Lucius.”
Chapter Twenty-Five: The Untold Tale
One tale was lost in the telling of the tale of the Hero Of Time. It was merely hinted at, never fully explained. No-one has heard the tale. None speak of it. They take it merely as an unimportant factor in the history of Hyrule. Yet they are wrong. It was the most important part to the life of the Hero of Time. Those who had heard of it then were discounted as mere fools and ignorant. This is the most important tale in the whole history of Hyrule.
This is the tale of how the Hero of Time’s parents died.
“Stop! Stop in the name of Hyrule!”
The woman did not stop riding her horse onwards. The Hylian soldiers still charged on. Their spears and swords and arrows were all trained on them. Her and the man riding beside her. He wasn’t her husband, but he was the father of her children. That alone was a crime in Hyrule then. That combined with the fact they had been blamed of conspirating with the enemy, and the Hylian magicians sensed a great evil from the two and the babies they each carried.
A sickening pierce was heard as an arrow went through the back of the man. His horse stumbled as he fell to one side, trying to regain control of it. Another went through his neck and his limp body dragged the wounded horse to the ground. The bundle in his arms, a baby wrapped in rags, rolled across the ground.
The horse the woman was on stopped, and kicked her off. Her long, blonde hair flew out of her hood. She got up, the other baby still in her arms. She headed towards the one that had fallen, yet a magician who was present cast a spell, knocking her back from her path.
She fell to the ground, holding the baby in her right hand, close to her chest, as she held up her left hand to defend against the soldiers, now approaching on foot.
She could do nothing as one of the swords plunged through her side, near her stomach. She was in agony now, as the soldiers seemed to be getting sickening ideas. She tried to kick one off who managed to grab onto her foot. As another pinned her to the ground, one tried to take the baby away from her. She thrust out with her left hand, now glowing with a strange golden light. The soldiers backed off in fear as she ran towards the forest, the one safe place in this war-torn land.
She ran through the forest, clutching her side. The children of the forest looked on as she stumbled through the clearing to the Great Dreku Tree, who she had heard of in legends. She stumbled and knelt in front of it, placing the baby in front of her.
“Oh, Great Deku Tree,” she began, “please save this boy. I beg of you.”
The Great Deku Tree waited a while then started to talk.
“I sense a great evil in this lad, yet also a great importance. However, I fear he will bring death to this land. I will make sure he stays in the forest as long as I can.”
“Thank you,” the woman said panting, “thank you so much…”
“Does this child have a name?” the Great Deku Tree asked.
“Link,” the woman said weakly, her strength fading quickly. The blade had definitely been poisoned.
“I sense there is another, although I cannot say how long he will live. Perhaps we shall never hear of him again. I cannot heal your wounds, though, young maid, I am truly sorry.”
The woman understood and walked out of the forest before being sliced down by an advancing soldier. The entrance to the forest closed.
Some who have heard this tale believe these two children’s positions could have been easily swapped. Others say they already had. Although all these people know one thing.
The name of the Hero’s brother, or at least as he would become known.
Chapter Twenty-Six: A New Development
Please, Master Swordsman, you must help us,” pleaded Sarason to the swordsman in
. Clock Town
“None can help you against such great power,” the swordsman said again.
“Come on, Sarason, this is useless!” Matt blasted in his ear.
“If you two are finished, I must leave for Hyrule, the Sages are calling for me. I sense grave danger,” the swordsman said finally before shoving past Mtt and Sarason an heading into the Clock Tower.
Sarason slammed his hands on the wall.
“Damnit, what’re we going to do now?” he asked helplessly, “There’s only two of us left.”
Matt turned to the sound of approaching footsteps.
“You’ve met a terrible fate, haven’t you?” said the man, carrying a huge rucksack and with a hint of menace in his smile.
Matt knocked an arrow and aimed it at the man’s head.
“Who are you?” he asked in a cold, calculating voice.
“Surely, you have heard of my wares? Why, your old companion retrieved one for me a while back. Terribly powerful, but maybe it could help you?” the man said again, with his mysterious, twisted voice.
“You speak of Majora’s Mask,” Sarason began, “No one in my company shall have any contact with a thing of such great evil while I live.”
“Yet if you do not take it before him, you will not have long to live, warrior,” the Happy Mask Man said, again with his eerie smile.
“Tell me where it is, or I’ll have your head,” Matt threatened, pulling the arrow back further, still aimed at the Happy Mask Man’s head.
“Then, you would rather not know its location, even though your enemy does?”
“No, your enemy above all others. Ganondorf, he holds the mask.”
Matt lowered the bow, “Then that would explain his power.”
Sarason turned to face him, “The swordsman cannot deal with this. We must trust the Terminans and go back to Hyrule. The others must be alerted.”
“I will follow you, Hylian,” Matt said, placing his hand on Sarason’s shoulder.
“Then it is time for us to leave this place, and destroy these great evils. Lucius will have to wait.”
The Happy Mask Man interrupted, “Of course, my companion owns a shop in Hyrule. Maybe his wares would suffice. I will give you this, he will give you what you need.”
Sarason took the note handed to him, and shoved it into his pocket. The Happy Mask Man walked off, with his eerie laugh.
Matt and Sarason stood in front of the Clock Tower, and after a few moments, they stepped inside, setting on the next phase of their dark journey.
Don’t worry, Link, Sarason thought, we’re coming!
Lucius stood ready as the oncoming herd of Shadow Beasts rushed through the dark path towards him. He held the Shadow Spear ready, horizontal above his head. The first ones eyes were trained on him, the shadow spilling out of its gaping mouth like saliva. He struck down when it was face to face with him, the spear plunging through its ghastly head, and it vanished in a dark cloud, the others still charging towards Lucius.
“Come out then, Shadow Tamer!” he yelled into the dark woods ahead, “these beasts are not even practice to me!”
He spun around with the spear facing around him, taking out another eight of the beasts, at least a hundred more still trying to kill him.
“These beasts are more dangerous in the wild, on heir own. Here they are just rich pickings for a Shadow Warrior, he told the Shadow Tamer who would not reveal themselves again.
He plunged one end of the spear behind him, straight through yet another of the beasts, trying to change their tactics.
“Your methods are tamer than these beasts, coward!” Lucius yelled again, the beasts now oblivious to him tearing up their ranks with spins and stabs and slashes, not one breaching his defence.
“To think that the people of this land are being over-run by these beasts makes them seem pathetic. But we both know how powerful these can be, you especially, tamer!” He shouted again, the Shadow Beasts parting as they got near him.
“Ah, you’re trying to flank me now. Yet these tamed beasts are not as agile as their counterparts, are they?”
The whole herd of Shadow Beasts charged at Lucius from all directions through the forest, trying to best him. He jumped when they were all but two feet away from him, into the branches above, and watched the chaos down below. The Shadow Beasts collided into each other in an uncontrollable, mighty rage, every one of them being torn apart till there was only one left. Lucius jumped from the branch and plunged the Shadow Spear through its head, his new black cape billowing behind him as the beast vanished. His black armour shone in the moonlight as the Shadow Tamer revealed themselves.
“Welcome back, Shadow Warrior,” the man walking towards Lucius said, “it has been too long since we had decent sparring partners.”
“Sparring partners? We are surely enemies, are we not?” Lucius asked, “after all, it is you Shadow Tamers who are trying to destroy this land, for over ten years. And we have protected the mere mortals against the hordes. Is that not what we do?”
“Know this, Lucius, there are far more powerful forces at work here. The Great Dragon will soon be released, and this land will cease to exist. It has been our leader’s goal from the start. To destroy these people, who oppose our way of life.”
“And who would this great leader be?” Lucius enquired.
“You will see in time. Should you not be returning to your homeland of Hyrule? The Revenge of the Fallen will soon take place, events we cannot possibly deny.”
“But still, you are my enemy, Shadow Tamer. Now, shall we have a real fight?”
The Shadow Tamer was cut down by a figure jumping from the trees above, the two pieces of him still with a surprised look as they fell.
The person stood up. It was a woman in a black leather combat suit, with a short sword drawn and her brown hair tied back.
“It can’t be…” Lucius whispered to himself.
“Hello, Lucius,” the woman said as she walked towards him, “Long time, no see.”
“I thought you were dead,” Lucius continued.
“No, not yet. But I still have that thing.”
“Listen, I need it now, so hand it over, Katrina.”
“I’ve not got it with me. First you’ll have to prove you deserve it. Why don’t we have a duel?”
“Fine, I accept your challenge.”
Chapter Twenty-Eight: Wrong Turn
“This isn’t Hyrule, this is definitely not Hyrule…” Sarason panted, after he and Matt had reached the bright forest. The trees were gold with Autumn leaves yet there was not any element of peace to be felt.
He rolled out of his crouch in surprise as some sort of wolf leapt at him, howling. Matt had already aimed an arrow at it.
“Matt! No!” Sarason yelled, lunging at Matt as he fired the arrow. It missed the wolf.
“What did you do that for?!” Matt yelled, shaking Sarason and some leaves off of him.
“Tell me, did you not sense the instincts of a warrior in that beast?” Sarason asked, slowly rising, “I tell you, that wolf should not be a wolf, and I must know why. I sense great evil afoot. Evil neither of us can possibly comprehend.”
Matt paced around the small clearing they had found themselves in, trying to decide which way to go next
“Matt,” Sarason said, in a shocked voice. Matt stopped and faced him, a fearful look in his eyes.
“Have you heard of one of the tales of Hyrule? The Sword of Evil’s Bane?”
“You mean the Master Sword?” Matt asked.
“It has been lost by the Hero, captured by the enemy.”
“Impossible. I fear for the safety of Hyrule now, no longer just that of my own people. In fact, not just Hyrule, but the world. I fear Link has lost his way, and evil is no longer banished by the Sword. I fear worse than death for the people.”
Matt seemed to realize something.
“Then you think…” he began.
“Yes, I think the wolf-that-should-not-be has something to do with this, and we must find out what.”
“Then there’s no time to waste,” Matt said excitedly, fie burning in his eyes, “we go after the wolf!”
They set off into the forest, unaware of the great dangers which lay around them, in the forest.
I am the wolf. I am the one they are pursuing. No, I am not the one conveying this story, merely a cog in a much greater machine. Yet I have not always been a wolf. No, I was once a warrior in this land, of Ardono. It is a land near Hyrule, but far vaster, far grander. And with a much darker, bloodier history. I was turned into this beast during the great war, a war of shadow against shadow. There were no victors in that war. Both of the causes still remain: The Shadow Tamers and the Shadow Warriors. I am one of the latter. Perhaps I shall tell you of the last battle I fought in, or perhaps you should hear of the Labyrinth. Either way, both stories will be conveyed sooner or later, I have ensured that this scriber will do so, even though I am not from his time. Which would you like to hear?
Chapter Twenty-Nine: The
Battlein the Forest.
It seems I should tell the tale of my last battle as a human. Five years ago, yet it may as well be five millennia. So long since I was a Shadow Warrior, that time in the forest. Surely you remember the place which Lucius saw? The city? Well, that city is known as Barad Untake (the fortress in the forest in the ancient language of Ardono.)
High up on the wall, I observed the scene around me. The forest was as ever silent with a peace which lied to the heart, made it feel easy, unprepared for what lurked around the corner. Around me men and women were preparing for battle, huge catapults and ballistas ready to fire. Beside me stood three other Shadow Warriors, the only ones kleft in this part of Ardono. Lucius, myself, the one known as “The Shadow Man” and Katrina, who seemed madly in love with Lucius. We all had our black armour of a Shadow Warrior and weapons, me with my katana, Katrina with her sword and Lucius wth the Shadow Spear. The Shadow Man used his own control over Shadow as a weapon, making him more powerful than the rest of us.
Down below, civilians armed themselves shoddily, children who were able to weild weapons did so, and the elderly and infirm stayed towards the centre of the city, in a safehouse. That would be the last place the Shadow Tamers and their army reached, from any side of the walled city.
“Here they come!” shouted a lookout mounted on a tall post. He held a longbow, ready to fire it down at the first wave, along with the other lookouts. The archers knocked their arrows from the front edge of the wall, the infantry standing at the gates below. The cavalry were waiting in the forest, ready to charge behind the enemy. Katrina stood forward, raising her sword high.
“They’ll pay for what happened at the bridge!” she yelled in a fierce battle cry, and I fully supported her. Even then, as the first wave of Shadow Beasts advanced towards the walls, I could smell the blood and fear feel the burns of the explosions and the crushing stampede of Shadow Beasts on the bridge. Yes, I thought to myself, they will pay.
The archers loosed their bows, and the frenzy of blood and Shadows began.
I lay there in the deserted streets, hours after the others had fled. I was a prisoner of the Shadow Tamers now, unsure of what unspeakable tortures they would use on me. Or if they would execute me. One of them, obviously the leader stepped towards me, my body still bleeding from numerous stabs. He was wearing a dark robe and a mask, which looked decidedly evil despite its wide yellow eyes and psychedelic colours. I could feel its power coursing through my body as the man held out his hand, initiating a spell from the mask. I felt myself slowly writhing about, as my features changed and new fangs dug into my lips, and hairs grew from my body. After an eternity of pain, the man was gone, and I had been banished to the forest, now a wolf, with the red eyes of a Shadow Warrior, yet no longer one. My old name no longer mattered. From then on, I was just a beast roaming the forest.
Chapter Thirty: The Sword of Shadows
Link rolled out of the way of yet another of the long snake-like shadow dragons. The new sword refused to be used left-handedly. This completely threw Link’s techniques out of the window. Nevertheless, he still managed to use it clumsily in two hands. He managed to scratch one of the huge boar-like beasts which had charged at him. Luckily, it knocked him out of the way of the Shadow Dragon that was just now taking a bite of the air he’d occupied moments before. The wall of shadow that had enclosed around him was getting thicker and he had to rely on the advanced hearing given to Hylians via their pointed ears. He heard it. A distortion of the air, right behind him, coming closer. He swung the sword round and sliced the head of one of the Shadow Dragons in two.
Then he heard a different thing behind him. Footsteps, rapidly approaching. He turned round, clumsily swinging the sword while apparently someone ducked.
“HEY! I’M TRYING TO HELP!” they screamed at Link, before thwacking every Shadow Creature, killing them.
“Who are you?” Link asked.
“Hurry up and finish this, Shadow Warrior!” they screamed, and Link recognixzed a high-pitched woman’s voice.
“How? I’m not…”
“Then why do you carry that blade?” the woman asked, and Link still could not see her.
“Use your eyes, damnit!” the woman shouted.
Link only just now realized that his eyes were shut. When he opened them, the world around him appeared glowing yet still black. He could see properly, though.
“What? What is this?”
“Do I have to do everything myself?” the woman whispered in annoyance before seemingly possessing herself in Link’s new sword. The shadow around him was drawn into it, and yet again he stood in Hyrule Field.
“What? What happened?” he whispered to himself, the sunset illuminating the field in a red glow.
The woman who had went into the sword materialized again and Link noticed she was made entirely of shadows. And she looked feisty and battle-hardened, a beauty only a fellow warrior could understand.
“Who are you?” Link asked, amazed at the new things he was discovering.
“ I am a Shadow Spirit,” the woman said suddenly changing her tone to add, “and I should think a Shadow Warrior such as yourself wouldn’t be SO STUPID!” the force of her shout was enough to bring Link back to reality.
“So, kid, you got a name?” she asked, taking a more relaxed tone. Link only just noticed that while her more intimate parts were not on full display, she didn’t seem to be wearing any clothes.
“Link,” he said finally.
“Link, eh? Stop staring. Now. It’s not as if they make Shadow Spirits clothes, now, is it? Besides, your fairies never wore a single thing, you never seemed to notice, pervert.”
“Pervert?” Link yelled, clumsily attacking with his sword. The Shadow Spirit vanished and reappeared behind him.
“That sword…” she began, “That’s the Sword of Shadows. Oh no, this means I’ve got to put up with you now, doesn’t it?” she finished.
“Huh?” Link asked.
“I’m the Shadow Spirit bound to that there sword, which means I’m now your new partner. Mind you, I’m certain I’m a helluva lot more useful than some dead fairy.”
“I don’t understand,” Link said, hanging his head in shame.
“Link, you’re now a Shadow Warrior,” the Shadow Spirit began, “that is the Sword of Shadows, which makes you the Hero of Shadows and we’ve got a war to fight.”
Link was taken aback at the last statement.
“Better get training then, hotshot,” the Shadow Spirit said, before merging with Link’s shadow.
Chapter Thirty-One: Ritual
“You, the Lord of Shadows? I have never heard of a greater blasphemy!”
The man in the black armour turned round, facing his captive. His eyes glowed with a burning malice, his hair red as the pits of Hell. And now, chained to the wall, the two most powerful people in Hyrule.
“Do you dare to deny the coming of your master, oh, Shadow Man?”
“No, Ganondorf, I serve none but the God of Light and Shadow!”
Ganondorf’s fingers ran along the hilt of the blade on the table in the chamber. It was a great, dark blade, far too heavy for any normal man.
“Yet this blade was granted to me by your God!” he yelled in the face of the Shadow Man, who, while still captive, remained unflinching in the face of such great evil.
“Your lust for this great power has blinded you. You cannot see those who stand in your way directly beneath your view. That is why you always fail, Ganondorf.”
“Silence!” Ganondorf yelled, thrusting his blade outwards, so it pointed at the throat of the Shadow Man.
“If I did not need you to revive the other one, you would already be dead!”
Both men stared at the adjacent wall. There hung from chains, was a blonde-haired woman, with grace and elegance as if one of the goddesses, even though her dress was torn, her face scarred, and her body but a corpse.
“I shall not revive Zelda,” the Shadow Man said, “for I know what you wish to do with her.”
“You think I needed you for a mere act of necromancy? No, you are far wrong. Now I shall take your power. Congratulations, you shall help the rise of the Shadow Lord!”
The Shadow Man gasped in horror as Ganondorf plunged the great blade straight through his heart, and he spat up blood at the same time. Tendrils of living shadow, which kept the Shadow Man alive, wrapped their way around Ganondorf’s sword, slowly creeping to him, entering his body, amidst his foul laughter. The sword glowed black as the last of the tendrils escaped directly into it, and the screams of the Shadow Man stopped, his body becoming a clear mass, his skeleton fully visible. And in an instant, the Shadow Man turned to dust.
“Now, princess,” he began, sheathing his sword, “welcome back to Hyrule!”
He stretched out his hand towards Zelda’s body, the shadows emanating around him, pulling her soul out from the grips of death. His cape flew wildly behind him, and candles blew over, and pages on books torn apart, with the great force. Then blue tendrils focused to a point at Ganondorf’s hand. He could feel the power residing in the orb he held there. This was definitely Zelda’s soul.
He thrust the orb into her chest, and the surges of power stopped, the moonlight which came in through the bars the only thing lighting the room. Then came the screams, as the effects of Zelda’s death became reversed, she flailed in agony, as the pain once again seared through her. Then her head dropped, and Ganondorf felt extremely drained, relieved to see Zelda’s chest pushing inwards and outwards with her breath.
“Guards!” Ganondorf called out, and two of the elite Gerudo came to him, fully armed, “make sure she does not escape, and that no harm comes to her. I shall need her conscious for our plan to work. I shall return in the morning, after I have had my rest.”
“It shall be done, my lord,” the right-hand Gerudo said, and they both bowed in salute, as the Lord of Shadows left the dungeon, safe in the knowledge that the assassins had been sent to dispose of his opposition. Soon, he would control all of Hyrule, instead of only those who obeyed him. Yes, soon he would have his revenge.
Chapter Thirty-Two: A Powerful Weapon
“NOW, TELL ME WHERE IT IS!” Lucius thundered at the battered, bleeding woman who was Katrina.
“You would kill…your..friend…for power?” she groaned weakly, barely ably to keep her eyes open.
Lucius held the Shadow Spear high in the air, ready to strike it through Katrina’s chest.
“That’s all I needed to know.”
Lucius raised his spear to the heavens and, with a mighty scream from Katrina, plunged it through her chest.
“But..” she cried, “I…loved…you. Didn’t you…love me?”
With those words, Katrina slipped away past the world of mortals, and Lucius felt a great grievance in his heart. For he did love Katrina, deeply. Now he’d let his will to kill Ganondorf consume him, and he had destroyed the one person he was truly fighting for. He knelt to the ground and cried loudly, his face drooped, casting a black shadow over the limp body of his love. His black armour contrasted with the brightly lit day as he swore to return to Hyrule with Katrina’s new weapon. She had died due to his want to stop Ganondorf. Now Ganondorf would pay the price.
For all those he had killed. They would come back to haunt him.
Lucius’ Shadow Spirit appeared behind him.
“Remember, Lucius, you know their names,” she told him.
“Hehehehehe, thank you, Cassandra,” he said, “soon, he shall meet the dead.”
The chains dug into Zelda’s wrists. The moonlight through the window awoke her, and she examined the dimly-lit room that was her prison. There was a wooden table, presumably for interrogation, and of course a most foul torture device, the rack. She knew Ganon would use that if she did not escape soon. Except for the two Gerudo guards at either side of her, their weapons far too close to her for comfort.
“Well, looks like we’ve got a princess to play with now,” the taller of the pair said, her katana digging into Zelda’s hip.
“Should we introduce her to the rack yet?” the other asked.
“Yes, let’s see if she can bear it,” the taller one replied again, licking her lips as she unhooked Zelda’s hands.
The other laughed as the Gerudo threw Zelda onto the device, quickly chaining her ankles to it. She was too weak to fight back right now, and prayed to the goddesses for help. The other seized her wrists, and chained them to the other end.
“Why are you doing this to me?” Zelda asked her captors.
“Why, this is how you treat your subjects, let’s see how you like it. But first, we shall have a bit of fun with you, before you feel the pain.
“Wait! No!” Zelda cried as the guards removed her shoes, and ran their long fingers up her tight-covered soles.
“Haha! Please, no!” she pleaded, laughing uncontrollably as her captors tickled her, while she writhed in her chains. One jumped onto her frantically-moving body, pinning her down, and began to tickle her underarms. She laughed uncontrollably now, as both guars attacked her in various ways, at one point even using feathers.
Neither guard expected their master to walk in at that particular moment in time.
“What are you doing?!” Ganondorf roared at them, “tickling the princess, when you should rather be making sure she does not move from the spot! You shall both face your punishment now. Go from this room, before I decide to kill you instead.”
The two Gerudo left the room, as Ganondorf approached Zelda.
“Now,” he began, “to business…”
Chapter Thirty-Three: Into the Dark Night
The Master Swordsman observed the darkened sky around
with great sorrow. The houses and shops beyond the drawbridge he knew were left in ruins. And the dead roamed the streets of the once cheerful, thriving town, their sorrowful cries enough to freeze the most hardened of men. Still, he knew the Six Sages were imprisoned within the walls of the looming black Hyrule Castle Town ’s Palace. His green, hooded cloak billowed behind his bloodied armour in the harsh wind, his sword sheathed on his hip. The path to towerof Ganon had been a treacherous one, but one he hoped would not be in vain. If his plan worked out, he could stop the prophesised war before it began. He turned and faced Hyrule Field, not sure whether he would ever see the rolling, green hills of this world again, or forever be closed in the darkness which had steadily taken over his life. The winds stopped, casing an eerie silence on the Master Swordsman’s first few steps beyond the gates into the eternal shroud of evil. His steps through the gates reminded him of one of the many tales he’s heard, and he recited the legend of the Labyrinth in his head. Castle Town
“Remember, child, whether fair or foul,
There is no refuge in this world,
For with good there must also be evil,
And with the light must be shadow,
And all things o come to an end,
Save for these two things,
And it was because of this balance,
That the gods of Shadow decreed,
That with the gods of light’s pure world,
There must be a world of pure evil,
With good and evil folks on both,
Women and children and all,
Hence we choose those who would walk,
Through the gates of evil,
And those who bide in purest light,
And grant them this great challenge towards them,
The ultimate place of sufferings and hardships,
Yet also of love and bravery,
Of Death and Life in greatest measures,
And monstrosities to deny both,
And we shall put them in a great maze,
From which there is no escape,
But for the greatest of kings and wickedest of men,
And it shall be bound to this pure world of freedom,
And bring out its wars to justify its peaces,
And it shall be called,
A thing of utmost fear,
Spreading rumours of no escape,
And fear of death into the littlest children,
Its name shall state what it is,
A maze of monsters and heroes and no escape,
When the Master Swordsman had recited the legend, he had arrived at the great gates which once led to
. The gates were blood-shod, and soldiers’ heads were impaled on them, their festering carcasses nearby. The Master Swordsman was able to merely push open one of the gates without challenge, and walked onwards to the blackened path, with great fires erupting either side of it, apparently burning bodies. But what deeply disturbed the swordsman was the fact that there were no guards to be seen. Surely, if this were the prison of the Sages, it would be heavily guarded. Yet the swordsman’s worries were dashed when he saw a figure beside one of the burning piles, lobbing things in. He drew his sword as he approached the figure, whom he could not see under the ashen sky. Hyrule Castle
“It’s hopeless you know,” said the person, with a coarse, old man’s voice.
“Pardon sir?” the Master Swordsman asked, stepping steadily closer.
“Surviving, it’s hopeless. No point in it either these days.”
“Why is it pointless?”
The old man turned so that the Master Swordsman could see his face. It was covered in old wounds and blackened by soot. Yet the man did not look to even be in his forties.
“It’s pointless because there’s no point.
’s the only safe place now, even Ganondorf dare not set foot here, after he abandoned the Sages here.” Castle Town
“Why did he abandon them?”
“Some unnameable power invaded his palace over there and anyone who tries to investigate never comes out again. Eventually, we were littered with corpses. The only way to stop the evil power from using them against us is to burn them.”
“You still haven’t said why surviving is pointless.”
“Because we have no bloody houses! Our wives fled, our children were slaughtered, and some of our best warriors went into the palace and haven’t retuned, not even their corpses.”
“What do you mean, “our”?” The Master Swordsman asked, sheathing his sword once more.”
“Those of us who thought we could survive here, and eradicate the curse of the palace. And that’s why we must stay here, the land would be covered by the dead if not for us.”
“Can you take me to the others?”
“Of course,” the man said, “That is, if you can rid us of our little ReDead problem first.”
“Of course,” the Master Swordsman bowed with his words.”
“Best get started then,” the man said, with a sinister laugh.
Chapter Thirty-Four: Holding the Wall
“Yeah, I see them. About twenty Moblins, coming in from the eastern field!”
The archer tautened his bow as the scout relayed the positions of the enemy horde at him. He was just one of the many archers stationed on top of the wall of Lon Lon Ranch, holding back the immense army of Ganon’s minions. They had been downing Moblins since the previous day, only stopping for sleep in shifts. Even as the archer managed to take down three armoured Moblins in quick succession, he still felt extremely weary.
Soon the front line of Moblins had been stopped, revealing masses more of the enemy’s army behind them, being led by lightly-armoured Gerudo women. Two of the Gerudos fell to the defenders’ arrows, while getting ready to charge.
“I should get down to the gate,” the scout told the archer, “they’ll need all the help they can get down there.”
Saying that, the scout leapt down the wall, ignoring the ladder and ran to the entrance of Lon Lon Ranch, where a great bulk wooden gate had been erected. There, many foot soldiers waited, fully armed, for the inevitable breakthrough. The arrows stopped firing in an awkward silence.
“Scum of Hyrule!” one of the Gerudos’ could be heard yelling, “prepare to die a traitor’s death!”
Huge flaming boulders were sent flying over the wall of Lon Lon Ranch, smearing the ground with flaming corpses of the foot soldiers. Many of the archers fell to the hordes of arrows launched by Ganon’s immense army.
This was not the main base of the resistance, but rather an advanced guard, with a defended outlook towards Hyrule’s major strategic parts. The real base was in the old Gerudo fortress, after Ganon’s army had been driven out in an immense battle.
“STEADY, MEN!” the Commanding Officer yelled as yet more fiery death was sent their way. All could hear the dying screams of the enemy army as they were torn down by archers.
This was the way things had been operating here for weeks, but the enemy had never breached the Ranch’s wall.
This was their job, for if the wall was to fall and they were to die, who would protect the main encampment?
Yet more arrows were fired, and yet more combatants died. This continued for many hours before dying down considerably.
Then came a sickening battle-cry, and every single archer died as a wave of lightning passed over them, which cased the ranch in a deadly cage. Now there was no escape, as the lightning began to descend.
Chapter Thirty-Five: The
Leon, the commander of the group of Hylians, began to address all of the warriors gathered in the ranch, all of them filling up the narrow corridor between the ranch buildings and spilling out into the field once used for horses.
The arrows had already stopped flying and the catapults no longer sent death their way. The enemy was obviously preparing for attack. The soldiers, men and women, young and old, stood in their dark leather armour, the Hylian Shields of old by their left hand side, long spears held in the right. Thy all wore their swords in scabbards by their side, and all were aiming toward the natural corridor which the enemy would be forced to take. The rear of the force pointed in every direction through the small horse-field, in case the enemy somehow broke through the wall.
turned to his most trusted friend, who had observed the enemy from the wall. His name was Matthias and his hair flew long and yellow without a helmet. Leon had fought many battles alongside him, and would gladly die by his side. Leon ’s own, dark brown, hair still was stained by the blood of the enemies he had faced for the past few days. He smiled to Karen, the red-haired woman by his side. She too was a fierce warrior who had devoted her life to protecting Hyrule and its sense of justice. Many more soldiers Leon knew, but these two flanked his side at the front of the forces, ready to greet Ganondorf’s armies with blade, spear and blood. Leon
“Who forgot to bring their helmets?!” one of the soldiers asked aloud, provoking a wave of dry humour through the ranks. The helmets had been left behind in the field in the mad dash to the ranch, meaning the defenders’ heads were vulnerable. Although some of the strongest soldiers in the resistance, they only numbered a hundred. And Ganondorf’s army consisted of thousands, many of which were inhuman monsters who could slay many men with one swoop. The rest consisted of Hylians who had turned to Ganondorf’s side and the female Gerudo, who had recently grown in number. Yet
could sense something else amidst the ranks of the evil army. He could feel the presence of a powerful warrior, a skill which he o so often wished he didn’t own. Leon
“Today we shall meet Hell,” he whispered into the ear of Matthias, careful that the other soldiers could not hear him. Matthias was the one for rousing speeches, not he.
“No, my friend,” Matthias replied, “today, Hell shall meet us!”
“Well said, Matthias, today shall be ours, no matter what the outcome. In fact, now would b the best time for a rousing speech.
Matthias stood forward, addressing the ranks of soldiers.
“HYRULE!” he bellowed, “TODAY WE SHALL MEET HELL! TODAY HELL SHALL MEET US! TODAY WE DIE!”
The soldiers began a fierce battle-cry. They had been awaiting deathj for so long, after witnessing countless others fall at the hands of Ganondorf’s army.
“BUT OUR DEATHS SHAL NOT BE IN VAIN! For today, we stand against a great evil. Today, we halt that evil. WE SHALL DINE WITNH THE GODESSES BY DUSK! WE SHALL BE HAILED THROUGH
HEROES, WHO ALLOWED HYRULE’S TRUE KING TO RETURN TO HIS ARMY! WE SHALL BE REMEMBERED AS THE ONES WHO ENSURED VICTORY! Not even Ganondorf can deny that!” HISTRY AS
The gathered soldiers let out a great cheer and began to ready themselves for battle.
“I should hope that our new ‘friends’ heard that speech of yours. When they know victory is certain for them, they will slip up. And we can take even more of them with us.”
,” replied Karen, pointing her own spear forward. Leon
“Indeed, the Hylians seem confident in their death,” the man in the black armour told the Gerudo general, “if it is their will to die, then let us grant them that.”
“Yews, my lord,” the General said, staring into the man’s face, covered by a black triangular grille, like the one on the armour of his new Darknuts. It was fashioned in such a way that only from his eyes round could his face be seen, and it only just covered his forehead. His red hair was cut short and could be seen clearly behind the faceplate. On his side, he wore his long, black blade, still in its scabbard.
His name, Gant. The son of Ganondorf.
Two huge armoured creatures stood behind him, with massive shields and battle-axes. They wore two layers of armour, one of chain and the top of plates. Their hauberks covered smaller, more cylindrical helmets. By their side were long, thin swords, used as backup weaponry. These were the Darknuts, the newest addition to Ganondorf’s forces.
The Gerudo general ordered the massive army onward.
“Kill them all! Crush this foolish crusade!”
Gant stood on a hilltop as the army marched on around him, his Darknut bodyguards leaving his side to join the battle.
Soon, when the time was right, Hyrule, nay, the world, would be his.
The lightning which caged in his prey evaporated as he began his slow walk forward.
Chapter Thirty-Six: Warriors’ Return
Sarason, Matt and the wolf barged their way through the many beasts of the woods, before finally arriving in the
, back in Hyrule. The forest was charred and burned as they set up a small encampment for themselves, unaware of what was happening elsewhere in Hyrule. Kokiri Forest
“Now we just have to solve the problem our new friend has,” Matt said, referring to the Shadow Warrior’s lupine disposition.
Sarason did not respond. Instead, he stretched his right arm out and placed his palm on the beast’s forehead. A golden glow radiated from his hand which spread through the wolf, until it morphed back into a human shape, still carrying a short, black sword.
“Thank you, Hylian. Surely, this power can only belong to the true king of Hyrule.”
Matt was taken aback at this remark.
“Sarason,” he remarked, “you are the King of this land?”
“No, the King is merely whom I serve.”
“Nevertheless,” the now standing Shadow Warrior spoke, “You are blessed with great power, and your destiny is a strong one. But perhaps we should rest first, before meeting with that destiny.”
Sarason lay down his katana beside their newly-started fire. Matt did the same with his bow, and the Shadow Warrior did the same with his sword. They sat in a circle round it, eating whatever fruit they had gathered.
“Surely,” the Shadow Warrior now said, “we must prepare ourselves for battle. I sense blood shall be spilled this day.”
“A wise idea, my friend,” Sarason said, before once more picking up his katana, “perhaps these Gerudo who have been watching us can provide us with that training.”
Matt picked up his bow, already drawn with an arrow, and aimed round the forest. Indeed, there were a few Gerudo thieves around them, all armed with swords, some with bows. Matt trained his arrow on one with a bow.
“This fight is yours, young warriors,” the Shadow Warrior said, playing around with his sword, “It is you who are preparing for battle, I have been fighting all my life.”
The Shadow Warrior bit into a golden apple, his stubble rubbing against it as he chewed.
Matt let loose the arrow, which impaled the Gerudo archer right between the eyes as she fell down to the ground. Sarason had already began his charge toward another, carrying a sword. Before she could respond, he shoved her sword out of the way with his own before kicking her to the ground, slitting her throat as she fell. He decapitated the archer right behind her as another Gerudo fell to one of Matt’s arrows. He turned to face a Gerudo charging at him with two scimitars. He stepped to his side, as the Gerudo got one of the swords stuck in the wood behind him. Sarason cut at her, but she blocked with her left hand scimitar. As their swords were locked, the Gerudo managed to kick herself free, bringing down both swords upon Sarason’s blade, knocking it out of his hands. He grabbed her wrists, shoving her backwards and giving him a chance to regain his blade. As the Gerudo span round, with her blades whirring like deadly scythes, Sarason ducked beneath them and spun round, his own sword cutting deep into the Gerudo’s flesh. She stumbled and her own sword flew through her neck, severing her head.
Matt took out another dual-sword-wielding Gerudo to Sarason’s side, for there were no archers left. Sarason looked over to him, giving him a thanking glance, before realising there was another behind Matt.
“Duck!” he yelled, charging forward.
The Gerudo’s two scimitars swept past the place that had previously been Matt’s torso, and she was thrown off balance. Sarason managed to step up onto Matt’s back, boosting him high into the air, katana ready to thrust forward.
The Gerudo threw out her swords to the side of her, ready to strike them forward. Sarason landed on their crossed blades as he struck straight through the Gerudo’s throat, an fell to the ground with her.
“Well done, lads,” the Shadow Warrior said, removing his hood to reveal an abundance of greying hair, a beard of stubble, and deep red eyes.
A huge crash was heard coming from the entrance to the forest by all three, and three greatly armoured foes ran in, one carrying a flail, the other a battleaxe, and the other a great broadsword. They all had huge circular shields.
“Darknuts,” the Shadow Warrior said, “this is where I come in.”
He called an unpronounceable name into his sword, and the black blade started glowing with an intense aura of shadow, giving the warrior a fierce glow about him as he ran forward. He raised it high as the lead Darknut raised its sword, and smashed it right against the Darknut’s helmet before it could strike down. It was greatly wounded but not yet dead, and kicked out. The Shadow Warrior rolled to the side, though and struck it straight through the immense chest plate, shattering it and blowing up the Darknut with a fierce black glow.
He spun his sword and sliced across the shield of the one now to his right, shattering it into a hundred pieces, before kicking off the one to his left, leaving it stumbling into a tree. He blocked the Darknut to the right’s battle-axe, sending them both reeling backwards. As he leapt high into the air, the Darknut had the sense to roll around the Shadow Warrior as he struck his sword into the ground. The ground rumbled and cracked, and the Darknut fell into a crater, still desperately clanging onto the side. It reached the top, just as one of Matt’s arrows went straight through the newly-opened gap in its helmet, sending it tumbling down, dying.
The Darknut with the mace had recovered, and smacked the Shadow Warrior into a wall with the flail, bleeding as he slammed against it.
Sarason ran forward now, as the Darknut shielded Matt’s three arrows before twisting around again to spin round the flail. Giving Sarason a chance to vertically slice the Darknut’s arm at the shoulder, which forced it to drop the flail. However, it shielded Sarason’s next blow, knocking him backwards, and giving the Darknut a chance to kick him to the ground. Matt noticed that, while the flail had fell, it had smashed a great hole in the Darknut’s helmet. He shot an arrow straight through it as it prepared to batter Sarason with its shield, killing it instantly as it too fell into the crater.
“It would seem Ganondorf has granted us a warrior’s return,” the Shadow Warrior said dryly, standing hunched over, clutching his wound.
“We need to get you to the resistance, fast,” Sarason said, “We need all the help we can get.”
“No,” the Shadow Warrior said, “you are already strong enough. Tell the Hero of Shadows to visit Ardono as soon as his task is done.”
With that, the Shadow Warrior fell to the ground, still bleeding heavily. After a few moments, his body stopped rising and falling.
Now Sarason had lost yet another ally.
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