Chapter 12: Separating Hearts
"Is there anything we can eat?" Malon asked the strange looking Goron. Saria rubbed her stomach, she was really hungry.
"I'm sorry-goro. But there isn't anything for Hylians to eat here."
Malon sighed. "It isn't fair, you'd think they'd have some food we can eat!"
Saria shook her head, Malon had been searching every Goron restaurant for some food. (She was surprised how many different ways there were to prepare rocks.) "Look on the bright side...well...there really isn't a bright side."
"Thanks," Malon muttered, giving her a half-lidded stare, "need food..."
-Saria! Get ready! They‘re coming!-
Saria recoiled from the force of Links message, it wasn't the normal way they spoke telepathically, with the cheerful tune of her song in the background. It was forceful, she could feel her body responding to the order. Adrenaline rushed through her system, her sight became sharper, more focused. All her instincts came to the front, as she looked around for a threat.
Malon couldn't help but notice her friends hyper-alert state. "Saria? What's wrong?" Saria saw a movement in the shadows, so small she wouldn't have noticed it if she hadn't been paying attention.
"Holy Oblivion!" Saria jumped foreword, slamming her fist into the shadows. A moment later, a ShadowBeast disintegrated at her touch. That same instant, hundreds of them leaped out, ready to kill. "Malon! It's time to put those weapons to use!"
Kasuto recognized it, even if Kalo hadn't announced it to the world.
Moldroms are also known as "War Worms," mainly due to the fact that their eating habits make them appear solely in times of war. As a battle is wages, more and more dead bodies appear. The Moldorm, awakened by the smell of death, emerges from the ground and enters a feeding frenzy. It devours everything, leaving nothing behind. Once there is nothing more to feed upon it burrows underground again, hibernating until there is food again. They are very hard to kill, their skins being resistant to normal weapons and magic. They only have two weak points, their tail which contains their energy stores, and the inside of their mouth, one is advised to aim for the tail. A Moldorm had not been seen in Hyrule since the War of the Southern Gods, and that one was killed.
"This is bad, this is very bad......" Kasuto whimpered. "Sheik, we should get back quickly!" Kasuto looked for Sheik, he was running straight towards the Moldorm! "Sheik! What are you doing!?" She shouted.
"Killing that thing!" Sheik shouted back
The ShadowBeasts circled Link, seeming to focus solely on him, which was good in Links view, it meant he didn't have to worry about bystanders getting hurt. Like the last time, the ShadowBeasts were silent, moving like liquid darkness. They were being careful this time, keeping their distance from Link, at the same time keeping close enough to attack at any time.
"What's the matter? Scared I'll cut you?" Link laughed as he waved his blade in front of the monsters. "Or are you just going to melt around me all day?" The ShadowBeasts didn't respond, they just inched closer. One of them suddenly lashed out! A whip extending from it's form, it tried to strike Link, Link would have none of that. He swung his magically charged sword, cutting off the attack. The magic spread through the ShadowBeast, killing it.
That now dead ShadowBeast seemed to have broken the standoff, because they all charged at once, eager for blood. "It's about time!" Link shouted, releasing a spin attack upon them.
It was hungry.
It felt the smelt the food, it saw the food, the food was hiding, trying to keep from being eaten. But they would not stay away for long.
It began to move.
But wait, there was some food coming towards it! What luck! It's first taste of meat in over a thousand years would be easy! It lunged at the food, mouth open, when it stopped. It stopped because of the burning pain it suddenly felt.
It roared in anger, something had attacked it! It saw the food that it had been chasing, it was throwing fire into the beasts mouth. How dare that little piece of meat do that! It would have to destroy it utterly now.
For it was now a threat.
Malon held the two rods in front of her. They were begging to be used, but Malon couldn't swing them at random, people might get hurt. She pulled back, unsure of herself. Why do I have to fight? She asked herself. Because you wanted to help your only friends. A voice inside herself replied.
Suddenly, a ShadowBeast leapt at her! Malon, purely on reflex, swung the Fire Rod, it hit the monster. An instant later it burst into flames, burning into nothingness. "Well, that works." She commented. Two more jumped her, she took them out the same way. "Alright Malon S. Lon, you know what to do, let's hope you do it right." She launched fire at a group of them.
Darunia saw the battle, the few Gorons that could use magic effectively in combat were doing their best. But it still wasn't enough, they were vastly outnumbered. "I won't let this force take my people!" He summoned the power he had within, of all the Gorons he seemed to be the best at magic and other things, he was stronger, smarter, (let's face it, Gorons aren't the brightest race.) and all together a superior example to what the Goron ideal is. His arms burst into flame, a useful spell that only Gorons could really use.
Gorons are capable of crushing steel with their bare hands, Darunia was stronger then the average Goron. Combine that with his magical talents, and you have one of the deadliest people in Hyrule.
The ShadowBeasts never stood a chance.
Shadow sat back in the void, watching the battle on Death Mountain. It was going well, with Darunia finally joining it, all he would have to do was wait for the perfect moment. Then the Fire Sages power would be his. Of course, Nabooru had not arrived at the battle in Gerudo Valley yet, so he would have to wait a little longer. "Let's just see how the Time Sage is doing." He turned his sight towards Sheik. He stumbled back.
"A Moldorm!" He cursed in all the languages he knew. "Why does this have to happen!?" Moldorms are to focused on their hunger to control, he knew if it was not stopped people would die the most horrible death he could imagine. But, he couldn't reveal himself yet. "Hurry up Sprit Sage, I don't want this to all fall apart."
Sheik grinned, the Moldorm was focusing all it's attention on him. "All right ugly, let's see you fight me!" The huge worm didn't under stand his taunts, but it charged anyway, moving at a speed that seemed impossible for it's size. Sheik barely jumped out of the way, that thing was fast! He began preparing a spell, one of his most powerful, he began to chant, to provide the needed focus for this spell. "Darkness that lies in the hearts of men. Let my power control you. Banish my foes beyond the veil! Soul Breaker!" Pure Shadow magic formed in his hands, launching out in the form of a skull. It slammed into the Moldorm, causing it to be knocked back, a huge burn forming on the spot Sheik hit. It spun back towards the young warrior, letting out another load roar, it charged again. This time Sheik jumped upwards, throwing a knife where the burn was. The knife, of course, had a powerful poison covering the blade. Sheik didn't know it would work or not, but at the very least it should slow the War Worm down.
The knife pierced the weakened part of the Moldorms armor. It didn't even notice. It merely turned to Sheik once more. Letting out another roar. It began moving around Sheik, not charging blindly like the last two times.
"Sheik!" It was Kasuto, she ran behind him "Are you insane?!" This is a Moldorm! They can kill you in a second! We have to hide!" She grabbed his arms.
"I'm sorry Kasuto," Sheik looked at the young girl, she was clearly terrified, but why? "But I have no problem with death. It's all futile anyway, I've been through more then you can imagine. The one thing which really kept me sane is gone." He laughed bitterly "I might as well go out saving people, right?"
"Man, your messed up." Kalo muttered from on top Kasutos head. "Kasuto, hit him on the head and drag him away before he gets himself killed. Man I'm dizzy..." The fairy fell asleep.
"Kalo?" Kasuto poked the fairy on her head.
"He's asleep, Magic Fatigue, he'll be fine, just try not to let him fall onto the ground." She turned back to the Moldorm, it was charging again. "Run!" Sheik launched another spell at it.
Nabooru entered the valley, a small troop of soldiers were waiting for her. "Well, what's the situation?" She demanded.
"Ma'am, animals and monsters attacked the valley, but those aren't a concern now." One of them said quickly.
Nabooru sighed in relief, "Does that mean the threat is over?"
"Err, no, what we're worried about now is the giant worm-like beast that emerged from the ground and is now devouring everything that gets in its way." She said weakly.
"What!?" Nabooru shouted, "A giant worm?" She set her horse running again, moving to the village behind the fortress, it took just a few minutes, but sure enough, a giant worm was rampaging in it, demolishing most of the homes. Cursing in Ancient Gerudo, she drew her sword. She saw two small specks (Children?) in front of the monsters path. "Let's see it handle this!" She began to chant, it was necessary for a summoning spell, a specialty of Sprit Magic. "Sprits of Death, I with for your aid. Bring me power, bring your gift to those who I hate. Let them obtain Dins Judgment! Thentes Wrath!"Her sword glowed as the Shadow Sprit formed, the dark shape moved, flying into the worm. It recoiled, but it still lived. What is that thing!? She thought, nothing should have lived through that spell.
She rode foreword, hoping to save those two children before it was too late.
"So the Sprit Sage is here, how fortunate." Shadow opened a portal to Gerudo Valley, "Let's deal with that wretched beast first."
Most of the ShadowBeasts seemed to be heading outside the city, Link had noticed that after killing about two hundred of them. "I guess they want more open space." Link said aloud.
"Link!" It was Saria. She and Malon ran over towards him. "Are you alright?" She asked him.
"I'm fine Saria, Red doesn't look to good though." Link looked at Malon, she was really tired looking, her right hand had minor burns on them, her left hand was covered with frost. "I think you need some Red Potion on your hands, warm the left on up before you get frostbite, at least."
"I'm fine Link," she hissed "I'll just switch hands." She moved the Fire Rod to her left hand and the Ice Rod to her right. "There, now my burns will cool off, and my frozen hand will warm up." She snapped.
Link shook his head, she was being stubborn again. "Right, anyway, I don't think there are any more ShadowBeasts around here, they must all be outside the city."
Saria slumped against a wall. "Well, at least we get a rest." Malon soon joined her. "Link, come on, sit down, don't tell me you aren't tired."
Link groaned. "It's kind of funny really, no I'm not tired, I gained insane amounts of stamina a while ago. It takes a lot to get me tired now."
Both girls groaned loudly. "You're not human Fairy Boy, I have concluded that" Malon whimpered
"I agree with Malon, nobody can hike up a mountain, fight a big battle, and not even be tired." Saria pulled herself up. "Come on, we have to continue fighting." Malon reluctantly got up as well.
Link frowned, Saria was unarmed. He reached for the Gilded Sword. "Saria, take this." He held it out in front of her. "Just remember how to hold it properly, you never know when it will come in handy, plus it makes a great magical focus."
Saria looked at the blade for a moment, before grasping the hilt uneasily. "Um, thanks." She held it properly this time. (After the sixteenth time she managed to figure out how to hold it correctly.) "Link, just curious, whatever happened to the Kokiri Sword? Because this sword has the same sort of faint power the Kokiri Sword did."
"Um, power?" Link gulped "The Kokiri Sword had power? I thought it was just a sword."
"Let me see. I can feel magic." Malon placed her hands on the blade, "I don't feel anything, sorry."
"Link, don't dodge the question, what happened to the Kokiri Sword?" Saria was giving Link a Look now. (Look #3: I know you did something stupid, now fess up before it gets worse.)
"Well," Link stepped out of hitting range, "your holding it."
"Excuse me?" Saria narrowed her eyes. "What do you mean by that."
"Well," Link knew he was a dead man now, "you see, there was this blacksmith, I paid him 200 rupees and some Goron Gold Dust to sharpen and strengthen the Kokiri Sword." He wasn't going to admit that, through clever use of time travel, he had gotten it for free. "So um, is that a problem?"
Malon stepped back, getting out of the blast radius, smart girl.
"You what? You took a Scared Weapon of the Forest had it heated up, hammered, impurities mixed in, and reshaped to the point where I didn't recognize it!" Saria gave Link another Look (Look #6: If I didn't love you your innards would be spread across Existence.) "What were you thinking!?"
"It was Tatls idea! Don't blame me!" Link was searching for a way out, grasping at straws, as it were.
"And who is Tatl?" Saria demanded.
"A Fairy I know, traveled with me for a while before hooking back up with her brother." Link answered. "She's really impulsive, when she saw I could sharpen my sword, well you know how Fairies can be. She wouldn't shut up about it! I finally gave in!" Sorry Tatl, but better you then me.
"Link, if you think I'll buy that excuse for one minute, you need help." Saria examined the Gilded Sword. "Yes, this is the Kokiri Sword, I can recognize it now." She suddenly looked to the right, towards the main entrance to the city, a ShadowBeast crawled through it. I'll talk with you later, I think we should check outside first." She placed the sheathe on her belt, sliding the sword inside. "Come on Link." She was still ticked at him but he could deal with it later, hopefully she'll be calmer then.
Kasuto had seen the Shadow Sprit attack the Moldorm, it had hurt the beast, but still not enough to reduce it's threat. She clutched Kalo in her hands, taking care not to crush the Fairy. Sheik was standing in front of them both, magic ready. Nabooru (Who else could summon a Shadow Sprit?) was moving towards them she would be close enough to talk within a few minutes. Kasuto wished she had some magic left, but she was drained, like Kalo.
Then it happened.
A shape formed form nothing, a blackness unlike any she had ever seen before, it wasn't pure black, it was just...different. From it formed a person she recognized, that boy that had been arrested! No wonder he escaped.
Sheik turned around, recognition lit up in his eyes. "Shadow..." he whispered. "What are you doing here?"
"You should not be here." Shadow said, ignoring Sheik, he stepped in front of the Moldorms path. "You are a danger, nothing more." He held out his hand. "Your life offends all else." He was chanting a spell! "You are a burden on Existence. Oblivion is a blessing for you. You shall suffer the Silent Embrace." For a moment nothing happened. Then a pure white light formed around the Moldorm. It struggled against the light, earth was torn up around it, it shattered around the monster. Yet no sound was made. Finally the light faded.
The Moldorm was a gray, colorless husk. Clearly dead, it disintegrated in the wind. Shadow put his hand down. He stood there, watching as Nabooru arrived. "Greetings Sprit Sage." he said. "It is a pleasure meeting you at last."
"Shadow, how?" Sheik was trying to find the right words. "What did you do?"
"The Silent Embrace is Light and Shadow Magic. It is used to destroy magically resistant creatures, against a Kokiri or a Sheikah, it would do little." Shadow answered calmly. "Now I have business with the Sprit Sage.
Nabooru stopped. "What just happened? Did I miss something? Who killed that thing?"
"That would be me, Sprit Sage." Shadow bowed slightly. "I am called Shadow."
Nabooru got off her horse. "Well, Shadow, thank you for your help."
"Huh...what happened..." Kalo stirred awake. "Shadow!" He whispered.
"No, thank you." Shadow said calmly.
"Look out!" Kalo flew out of Kasutos grip, moving towards Shadow and Nabooru.
Shadow thrust out his hand, it flashed for a moment. Then an amber crystal formed around Nabooru! "For you shall help me bring about the end of all suffering."
"No!" Kalo stopped, hovering around Sheik. "Why didn't you stop him! Didn't, no you wouldn't know."
"Fairy, what a pleasure meeting you here. I can see you've been busy. Tell me, did anyone die today?" Shadow reached into his cloak, he was searching for something.
"What?" Sheik whispered.
"You..." Kasuto drew her sword, "tell me what you did to her!" She pressed the sword against his back. "Undo it, now!"
"Or what? You'll stab me with that over sized knife? Gerudo, I do not fear you, I could kill you before you could even blink, but I won't. Instead..." there was a blur of motion, Kasutos sword flew out of her hand, she was face to face with Shadow, himself holding a sword. "I'll merely disarm you." He held up the sword, "now, let's finish this." The two crystals in the sword flashed, the crystal that Nabooru was trapped in shrunk, until it clicked into a slot on the blade.
"You lied to me...." Sheik whispered.
"Actually I didn't, Time Sage. I told you I had seen the future-that-shall-not-be. And I have, it is not my fault that you assumed I was a Seer. Everything I've told you has been true. So do not try that with me."
"You...used me!" Sheik shouted.
"Get used to it." Shadow replied. "Ask your little fairy friend here, he can tell you much."
"You...you...I'll kill you!" Sheik charged, launching an attack at Shadow. He deflected it easily. "I'll tear you to shreds! Soul Breaker!" The spell never hit it's target, Shadow just faded. He repapered behind Sheik.
"Your usefulness in my plan is almost at it's end. Soon you shall meet the Forest Sage again, then you shall bring about her end. And once that is done, my plan shall be complete." he faded once more, this time he didn't reappear.
"Don't think this is over Shadow! I'll kill you!" Sheik shouted into the air. "You'll pay..." he fell to the ground. "I'll...I'm..." He didn't speak any more, he just started crying.
Outside Death Mountain, the situation was slightly bad. ShadowBeasts crawled around everywhere. Forming a layer of black around the hillside. They crawled and moved, focusing on a point.
A point in which ShadowBeasts were flying everywhere.
Out of the mass emerged Darunia. He stopped fighting for a moment to speak to Link. "Brother! I'm glad your able to provide reinforcement! These monsters are falling quickly, but there are still so many!"
"It's alright, we'll beat them" Link said calmly.
"Link, why are the ShadowBeasts running?" Malon asked. Sure enough, they were all moving away from the battle ground. Towards a cliff, where they stopped, gathering, for something.
"What are they doing?" Darunia wondered aloud.
The ShadowBeasts moved together, out of the mass, came the cause of all this.
"Shadow." Link hissed, holding his sword in front of him. "I knew you were the type of jerk to make flashy entrances like that."
Malon was confused, this was the same person who gave her the Rods. What was he doing here?
"Link, it is good to see you again." The ShadowBeasts circled around him. "But I do believe my children have no reason to be here anymore." He held up his hand, instantly the ShadowBeasts blurred together, fading away. "There, no need to worry about them anymore." Shadow smirked. "Forest Sage, I hope you have been healthy. You had a pretty bad case of Magic Fatigue last time I saw you."
"Touch her again and I will send you to the Void." Link hissed. "Don't think you'll get away this time Shadow, this ends now!"
"My dear, dear Link." Shadow reached into his cloak. "It won't end until I end it." He pulled out a sword of a familiar design, with three crystals imbedded in its blade "Look familiar Link?"
Malon could feel the power radiating from that sword, who knew what Saria or Link could feel.
"So," Link said, his voice shaking with rage. "What accursed god did you gain a favor from to copy the Master Sword? At least I know what you did with Impa now." He reached into his bag, pulling something out. "Light, Shadow, Sprit. I take it your after Fire now?"
"I assume you are familiar with Majora?" Shadow replied, Links face paled at his answer. "And yes, I am after the Fire Sage, pity you discovered my plot." he said mockingly "Oh woe is me, I have been discovered by the Hero. Whatever shall I do? I know, win!"
"Run Darunia!" Link shouted, just before slashing his sword at Shadow, he blocked it with his own. "If you think I'll let you win, your sadly mistaken!" Link slashed again and again.
"Link, I must admire your determination, it is a pity your efforts are for naught." Shadow was deflecting the attacks easily, however, though Malon couldn't se it, he made a mistake. Link saw that mistake.
"You lose!" Link struck, cutting clear through Shadows arm! "Guess that's a little bit of an obstacle." He said as Shadows weapon clattered to the ground. "You were saying?" Link pressed his sword against Shadows neck. He didn't even notice something, something Malon did notice.
"There's no blood." Malon had seen lots of blood in her life time, living on a ranch, and she knew that with his arm cut off, Shadow should be bleeding to death. It hit her. "Link no! He's tricking you!" But it was too late.
A new arm burst out of Shadows wound, it flew outwards at high speeds.
Straight through Link.
"Link!" Saria ran to the young hero, Shadows arm had gone clear through him, there was now a hole in Links chest. "By the Light of the Forest-" she began to chant.
"No Saria..." Link interpreted her. "Save your strength." he gagged out, as blood poured out of his wound. "I've had worse. I'll be fine, just keep him from hurting me any more..." he slumped down against the ground.
"He's right you know, he has had worse." Shadow said casually. "Now that I have disabled Link for the time being, shall we finish this? It seems that the Fire Sage has stood his ground." He turned to Darunia. "Shall we finish this?" He picked up his sword with his bloodied arm.
"You'll pay for your attack against the Gorons, Monster" Darunia growled. "Your trick won't work against me!" He charged foreword, arms ablaze. Only to be incased in a red crystal.
"Your right, but that trick will." Shadow quipped, as the crystal shrunk into his sword. "Now, I believe I'm done here."
"No, your not."
Saria spoke, drawing the sword Link gave her.
"I won't let you get away!" She charged, sword facing foreword. Shadow blocked the blow. Saria slashed again, Shadow blocked. And so it continued, it became obvious who had the upper hand, Shadow was much better at swordplay then Saria.
"Forest Sage, do you really think you, who can barely hold your sword right, can fight me, who could slaughter an army?" Shadow sounded irritated.
"You hurt Link." Was all Saria said, her sword began to glow. "I won't let you hurt anyone else!" The Gilded Sword flashed, a green light formed around it, extending the length of it. It hit Shadow in the side, smoke billowed from the wound. He hissed in pain.
The battle turned.
Saria began moving faster and faster, Shadow was barely deflecting them. He jumped over her slash, just slightly burning his boots. "What is this? How are you doing this? The Kokiri Sword doesn't have this power!" He pulled back, before launching another series of strikes. "But it actually works to my advantage." he grinned "I guess I don't need an excuse to do this! Rapid Gust!" Shadow flung a blast of magical wind at Saria, she dropped the sword, and was blown back, off the edge of the cliff!
"No!" Malon felt something rise within her, she needed to save Saria! It bubbled out, growing within her. "I'll save you!" Malon let the power go, green light swirled around her, moving over to Saria.
"Yes! I knew you had a use!" Shadow launched another spell, this one touching Malons, combining with it, changing it. "Thank you Malon! You just fulfilled your part in my plan!" Shadow then faded away.
"...what happened..." Link pulled himself up, and to Malons great surprise, he wasn't injured! All he had was a hole in his shirt. "Red, where's Saria?"
"I...I don't know." Malon whispered. "I'm sorry."
Link cursed. "No, I failed..." he whimpered.
"Link, I think she's safe. Shadow..." She still couldn't believe she had been manipulated. "Shadow isn't finished with her.
"You have a point Red." he sighed. "I guess I'll just have to find her."
"Um, Link." Malon felt slightly uneasy. "Can you explain how you survived that?"
"Oh, that." Link looked at the hole in his shirt. "Well, the simplest explanation is that I'm basically immortal."
"Immortal? Link what do you-" Malon was interrupted before she could finish.
"Excuse me, but can somebody explain what in the name of the Deku Tree is going on?"
Both Malon and Link turned to the source of the voice.
It was a Kokiri, transparent, hovering over the Gilded Sword.
"Just where is the Forest Sage? And why do I have a headache?" he said.
"Um..." Malon and Link said in unison.
She woke up.
"What happened?" she wondered aloud.
"You were found in the fountain, unconscious." a female voice said.
She opened her eyes.
"What the?" It was a person, but her skin was blue, her head was shaped weird, and she was naked.
"Hello, you should thank the Goddesses I found you. My name is Princess Ruto Arial Zora. Can you tell me yours?"
"My name...." What was her name? Sa..sa...
"Saria!" She remembered "My name is Saria...why can't I remember anything else?"
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