Chapter 16: Things Fall Apart
The beauty of Hyrule Castle City had never ceased to amaze Malon, it was a beautiful city. Placed on an island in between two branches of the Zora River, they formed a natural moat. The city was covered by huge walls, only breached three times in history. All in all, it was an impressive city, about half of all the Hylians in Hyrule lived in the city alone. Passing over the bridge, the three entered the city.
"So this is the new capital..." Makan muttered, appearing over them. "I knew that things had gone bad, but this?"
"What do you mean!" Malon snapped at the ghost, did he always have to irritate her?
"Miss Malon, when I was alive and the Forest Sage, the Hylian Capital was three times this size, a lot cleaner, and much more advanced. Civilization has gone into decline, it's sad."
Saria looked around the large buildings, "If this is declining, that I'd love to see flourishing!" she laughed, "It's so amazing, so different! I like it here!" Saria looked like she needed to be restrained from running around.
"Bah, stupid crowds, I'll never get why Hylians like to shove themselves into small places like this." Link muttered.
Four different people, four different reactions to the city, one was cautious and nervous, one was eager and excited, one was irritated, and one was irritated.
"Come on, let's have some fun!" Malon shouted.
They rode towards their destination, the ride, compared to yesterdays, was quiet and somber.
Well, Sheik was pretty sure it was somber.
It was strange, but, it was almost like he couldn't feel anything. All emotions were turned off, he hadn't felt anything since the anger at himself this morning.
Kasuto, like last time, was the one actually riding BrightFire, she wasn't, however, focusing totally on their destination. "Sheik, I was wondering, Kalo...he told me that Shadow took advantage of you liking someone, could you tell me who about it?"
"Oh, that." Sheik hadn't even thought about it, then again, he hadn't thought of anything. "Well, I guess I could tell you about it." He really didn't think of any reason not too, there wasn't even any emotion going with the thoughts, like everything else, his memories were plain, he could remember what he was feeling, but he couldn't remember what it was like. "Well, his name is Link."
"His?" Kasuto asked, confused.
"Yeah, apparently I like both boys and girls." Sheik laughed again, he laughed because it felt like something he should do, not because he felt any humor in the situation. "Anyway, yeah, I liked him. Shadow took advantage of that. He used me, and now I'll kill Shadow." He said this very matter-of-factly, it was just another job to do. Nothing more. "Link is a nice guy, but he's hopelessly in love with Saria, the Kokiri girl Kalo watches over, you know?" It was strange, nothing he said or thought awakened any feeling, that emptiness was still there. It was relaxing, the nothingness.
"Um, right." Kasuto said, "Sheik, um, oh never mind." she muttered. "Hey Kalo, you alright? You haven't talked in a while."
"Me? Oh, I've just been thinking, I'm fine." Kalo distractedly answered. "I'll talk to you about it later, alright?"
"That's fine." Kasuto said.
"Whatever..." Sheik quietly spoke.
He didn't want to do it. But he did. Shadow was confused and unsure now. Was what he was doing right? Was ending the world really the best answer? Did he really consider himself wiser then Goddesses?
"It does not matter." He told himself. "I have walked to far down this path to turn around now."
So why did he want to?
Saria was amazed at the amount of things one could find in the market. From food to clothing to jewelry. She noticed there were people of all shapes and sizes and races. It was an amazing thing.
"Hey, Saria!" Malon called out, "Come on, I bet you don't know how to shop right!" She giggled, "So come with me, Link you stay, this it girl stuff."
"Oh fine." Link said, "You two spend my funds on fancy clothing and shiny things." He shook his head, "Have fun." Link walked off to do something else.
"Thanks!" Malon grabbed a bag from Links belt. "Come on let's go have some fun!" Malon grabbed her hand, "Link has a lot of money, I'm sure we'll find something nice!" She dragged Saria towards the stands. Wow, Malon is strong... Saris thought.
They moved through the stands, browsing the clothing, Saria noticed that "shopping" seemed to mean looking at everything, buying nothing.
"Oh Saria! We have to buy this! Think about Links face when he sees you in this!" Malon exclaimed, running over to a small store. Saria followed the farm girl. "Look! Look!" It was a dark blue sleeveless dress. "It matches your eyes."
"But Malon, it's...kind of big." It was an adults dress. How could she get it?
"Duh, follow me." Malon entered the shop.
The owner looked at the two girls entering his store. "Well, hello there, is there something I can do for you?"
"Yes, you see that dress in the window? I want you to make something like it for my friend." Malon pointed to her, "She needs it to impress a boy."
Saria blushed, Malon was so embarrassing! "Um, well, err..."
The tailor laughed, "I see, well, that dress is rather expensive. Though I'm sure a pretty little girl like you has all the boys after you." He teased her, making her blush even further.
"Yeah, I know it's pricey." Malon took out the bag she took from Link, pulling out three silver stones. "Will three hundred be enough?"
"Wow, aren't you a rich little girl." the owner said, "I think that would be enough." He grinned, "Well, little girl, what's your name?"
"Saria." she muttered, cheeks flaming.
"Well, Saria. Why don't you come with me, I'll get your measurements. I'm sure the boy your looking at will be stunned speechless!"
"Darn you Malon." Saria muttered. Following the tailor.
"I'll be waiting for Link." Malon said cheerfully, "He won't know what hit him."
"Behold, Hyrule Castle City." Sheik said. "The capital of the Hylians of Hyrule."
"Wow." Kasuto was awestruck, "This is huge! Really different then Gerudo life."
"First time in the city miss?" a solider said. "Well, I hope you enjoy it."
"Oh, I will." Kasuto said cheerfully, looking at Sheik, she hoped that he would let her see his feelings, like last night. She blushed faintly remembering it, she knew he cared about her, all Kasuto wanted was to be able to help him, like he had helped her. "Hey Sheik? Are we going to look around?"
"Sure, I see no reason why you can't go on a tour. I just want to get us a room at an inn first." Sheik sounded like he didn't care, like he had sounded all day, he wouldn't tell her what's wrong.
"That's fine." She sighed, but Sheik clearly didn't want to talk about it, she would respect that for the time, if it continued, she'd get involved.
"Hey, Kasuto, I want to talk to you for a minute, privately, is that OK?" Kalo asked.
"Sure that's fine with me, Sheik can you wait a minute?" Kasuto replied.
"Whatever..." Sheik said so (un)caringly. "I'll go get a room at the SunLight Inn."
"Fine by us." Kalo said, "I'll be able to find it."
They walked a short distance away, out of Sheiks hearing range. "So," Kalo began, "I take it that I'm not the only one worried about Sheik?"
Kasuto barely kept herself from sobbing, "Yes! I'm so worried about him! He's been acting weird all day, I don't know what's wrong with him!" Kasuto held her hand over her eyes, keeping tears from coming through. "Do you have any idea what's wrong?"
Kalo sounded mournful, a sad, violet glow was being emitted from him. "I'm afraid I do know the problem. You see, I know quite a bit about human emotions and conditions. However, I have never seen something like what Sheik is going through, only heard about it. You see, Sheik has lived a hard life, I'm afraid the stress finally got to him. You see, well, we fairies have a word for it, it translates to ‘Breathing Corpse.' Well, the truth is...Sheik has lost the will to live. I'm afraid he's lost to us now." A small tear fell to the ground from the fairy.
"No..." Kasuto whispered "How could he? Things can't be that bad!" Kasuto couldn't believe it, what was so bad that he would just stop caring?
"Kasuto," Kalo sounded like he felt sorry for her.. "I understand that you're worried, and I know that you care-"
"I love him." Kasuto stopped Kalo from talking any more. " It isn't a crush, I don't just like him a lot. I. Love. Him! So don't think I'll stand for any crap!" She stopped screaming, Kasuto took a few deep breaths. "I won't let you try to tell me it's hopeless, nothing is hopeless."
Kalo was taken aback, "Kasuto, please, I understand that you, want more then friendship from Sheik, but it won't hap-"
"He kissed me." Kasuto interpreted him again. "He kissed me last night, so don't think he doesn't care about me!" Her face paled, she slapped her hand over her mouth, "Oh! Forget I said that, please, don't tell Sheik I told you, please don't! I didn't mean to say that please..." Kasuto blushed, she looked down at her feet, unable to face Kalo anymore.
"Wait...he what?" Kalo asked.
"Last night..." Kasuto blushed even more now, "We were talking...and well...it ending up with us kissing. He...he was nice...but he seemed worried when he went to sleep...I was sure that he needed just some time alone. But this? We need to help him, before it's too late."
"I...Kasuto, we need to find some people first People who I'm sure can help him, until then, we can wait." Kalo whispered, "Please Kasuto, we can wait."
Kasuto stared at the fairy, he was right, Kasuto didn't know what the cause of Sheiks problems, Kasuto needed, "I understand, who do we need to find?"
"Well, I think Link is the most important..."
Link wandered through the maze that was the Market. It was hard to believe that just a few days ago everything had been different, he felt happier, he felt like he belonged. The person he had loved as long as he could remember, was there for him, never to allow him to be alone again. No longer did he feel angry, no longer did his thoughts carry a hint of sadness.
Yet, of course, this was all brought on by a psycho that wanted to bring doom upon the world.
Somehow that fit into Links life. It scared him, in a way, how normal that was.
"Well, at least I know I'll win in the end." Why wouldn't he? After all, in the end Shadow would have to stand his ground, and Link would beat him. He was the Hero of Time, he could not lose.
At least, that's what he hoped.
Link decided to get a room at an inn, after all, they were probably going to spend the night here. "Now how many rooms to get..." Link could get one room per person, but that would be a bit more expensive then he would like. He could get two rooms, one for him and Saria, one for Malon. (Though, knowing Malon, she'd demand that Link take the lone room, and the girls take the shared room. Hylians could be strange sometimes, why would them sharing a room matter?)
Link strolled over to the inns, when he saw a familiar face. "Hey, Sheik!" Link smiled, it was nice that he could talk to him, Link was somewhat worried about the boy. He hoped he could straighten things out between them.
Sheik noticed Link, he didn't react to his presence though. "Hello Link," he said blankly, "I was curious when we'd meet again." Something was wrong, Link could tell.
"How you doing Sheik?" Link smiled, trying to reassure both him and the Sheikah, "Is everything OK?"
"Oh Link, everything is fine. There is no need to worry, I just realized something about myself." Link was sure about it, Sheik always wore his heart on his sleeve, showing his emotions as clear as day, but now, he was dead sounding.
"That's a load of crap and you know it." Link said calmly, "So don't think you can pull that crap over my eyes. I'm worried about you, something's wrong."
"You're worried about me?" Sheik asked, "Why would you care about me?" Link was feeling scared now, the way Sheik was talking, it wasn't natural for anybody.
"Right, listen bub, you're my friend, one of the better ones I have. So don't think I'll stop bugging you until you fess up." Link gave Sheik a smirk he knew irritated his Semi-Sheikah friend.
"Whatever, just don't get your underclothes in a twist." Sheik dismissed Links concern, walking inside the inn.
Link seethed for a minute, what was that boy thinking! He had just brushed off Links concern like it was an irritant!
"What in the name of the Three got into him?" he muttered.
"Link?" a familiar voice shouted.
Link spun around to look at the source. Standing there was a Gerudo, she was rather tall, though still young looking. Hovering above her, was a fairy he recognized. "Kalo? Is that you?" he asked.
"Yes! It's me. It's good to find you! Where is Saria?" Kalo was desperate, Link would understand why, Kalo probably wanted to see Saria again.
"She's buying some stuff, she'll be here soon." Link answered, "Until then, how about you introduce your friend here?"
The Gerudo smiled, "Hello Link. I'm Kasuto Lilia. Pleased to meet you." She held out both her hands, a Gerudo greeting gesture, Link responded, grasping them both for a brief moment before letting go. "So, Kalo and Sheik have told me a bit about you, it's nice to meet you." She smiled gently, she seemed like a nice girl.
"Well, it's a pleasure to meet you miss." Link said politely, "So, how did you meet Kalo by any chance? Do you not live in the Valley? Or were you just not there?"
"Um, no, I met Kalo at my home in the Valley, why do you ask?" Kasuto sounded a little confused.
"Well, Kalo is a Forest Fairy, I didn't think he'd enter the desert willingly." Link answered.
Kalo muttered something that sounded like "I didn't..."
"Oh, that makes sense." Kasuto said.
"Anyway," Kalo spoke up again, "Link, please tell me how Saria is doing." Kalo sounded so sad when he mentioned Saria, Link wondered what had happened to the poor fairy.
"She's fine, well, there is one problem." Link prepared himself to tell a very protective fairy about the state of his charge, "There was an accident, and she lost her memory, she's gaining it back. Just don't be surprised if she doesn't remember anything about you."
Kalo dimmed, he dropped down, landing on Kasutos head, "I see..." he whispered. "Kalo you idiot, you never should have..." he muttered.
"Kalo? Don't worry, things will get better." Kasuto compassionately spoke. "After all, he said she's getting her memory back."
Kalo brightened up a little, "I guess your right...Goddesses, Kasuto, your optimism is contagious."
"Yeah, thanks." Kasuto softly laughed.
"That's good." Link said, "Hey, you guys said you know Sheik?"
"Well, can you tell me what's wrong with him? I'm kind of worried." Link answered.
"Oh, where to begin," Kalo muttered.
Malon and Saria walked out of the clothing shop with a new dress for the Kokiri. Of course, Saria didn't appreciate all the effort Malon had put into getting her it, she was complaining about the process, of all things.
"...and then, he measured me in ways I didn't think I could be measured! Of course, when he..."
It goes on like that for a while.
"Alright, Saria, I get it. But can you at least tell me if you like the dress?" Malon finally said something. By Din, aren't I normally the talkative one?
"Sorry, yes, I do think the dress is nice. It's just that I wish that there could have been-"
"I get it Saria, no more tailors for you." Malon groaned, "Though look on the bright side, once Link sees you in that dress, he'll be drooling I tell you! Drooling!" Malon tried hard not to laugh at Sarias blush, she failed. Miserably.
"Very funny." Saria groaned. "Come on, let's just head over to the inn Link told us we'd be staying at." Malon then heard Saria mutter something that sounded like "Before you think up a new way to torture me."
Malon grinned wickedly, "Saria, I'm hurt, I'm wounded, how could my friend think so low of me? Oh woe unto I! Will-"
"Stop the dramatics." Saria said, "I sometimes wonder what goes on in that little head of yours."
"Mostly the mooing of cows." Was Malons cheerful reply.
Saria placed her head in between her hands, trying not to scream. "Just, stop talking Malon, the world will be a better place because of it."
"Then I wouldn't be the Malon you know and love."
Saria sighed, Malon knew she had given up (Another win for her!), "Right, come on, let's go."
"Right behind you Saria!"
He was ecstatic!
He never would have thought it would have gone this well! To think, they were gathering in one spot so soon!
He quickly pushed away any second thoughts, no time for regrets. It was time for Shadow to make his move.
Kasuto and Kalo explained everything to Link, by the time they were done, he looked shocked and somewhat angry.
"What is he thinking?! Why I'm going to go in there-"
"Link! There you are!"
Kasuto saw the source of the voice. It was a very pretty young girl, she smiled brightly as she saw Link. Who is she?
"Saria!" Kalo, however, recognized her. "Saria, I found you!" he flew into the girl, laughing with joy.
Saria, however, seemed somewhat confused. "I...I know you! I'm sorry, but I'm having trouble with my memory, I'm sure I'll remember you though!" She sounded so cheerful for one who had lost her memory.
"Hello Saria, my name is Kasuto, pleased to meet you." Kasuto introduced herself to the girl.
Saria looked at her for a second, before smiling. "I guess I don't know you, that's good, it's confusing knowing someone but not remembering them." She giggled slightly.
"Saria! Don't run ahead of me!" another girl, ran over to the growing group of people. "Oh hi! You people talking to Saria? My names Malon, what's yours?"
Kasuto blinked, "Um, my name's Kasuto, the fairy is Kalo."
"Nice to meet you both." Malon said cheerfully, really cheerfully.
"Red, don't torture them until they know you better." Link groaned. "Come on, we all might as well go inside, I need to get a room and talk to Sheik."
Link walked inside, Kasuto followed him, she needed to talk to Sheik too. In fact, the whole group followed. "So," Kasuto began. "What do you think of Sheik?" she asked him.
"Huh? Well, he's a good friend, I really am a little worried about him." Link answered, "Though, you seem really concerned about him, you a friend of his I don't know about?"
"Yes, you might say that."
The inn was empty, apparently the business was slow for some reason.
Sheik was talking to the man at the counter, the only one there, trying to negotiate a room. He turned around when he noticed the whole group of people. "Oh, hi Kasuto, hi Kalo, hi Link." he said in that same, dead, voice.
"Hey Sheik," Link said dryly, "guess what? I'm going to knock some sense into you."
"What? Link I'm fine. Oh, hello Saria." Sheik answered. Saria shivered when Sheik spoke to her.
"Um, hello, I know you, but I have amnesia, so I can't remember you, but I have a feeling that something's wrong with you." Saria spoke up, she sounded somewhat sad.
"Why does everyone keep asking me that? I'm fine." Sheik said without emotion.
"You're not fine!" Kasuto shouted, she couldn't take it anymore, "How can you be ‘fine' when you've been like this all day! Stop it! Some people are worried about you!" Tears began to flow from Kasutos eyes, "I thought you said you wouldn't let me be alone anymore.
Well, I'm alone again." Kasuto turned away, still crying.
"K-K-Kasuto..." Sheik said quietly, "I just can't be...you can..."
"I can what?" she snapped.
"You...can be happy. I can't."
"Can somebody explain what in the name of Nayru is going on?" Link muttered.
"I don't think it really matters Link."
A new voice walked into the room, it was Shadow. "Don't worry Time Sage, soon your suffering will end." he said gently. "Just wait a little longer."
"I don't know what you're talking about." Link growled. "But don't think you'll live through this!"
"I have no intention of living after my plan is complete." Shadow answered, and he moved.
He moved at impossible speeds. Appearing behind Link, in front of Kalo...and Saria.
"I won't let you hurt her." Kalo growled.
"Fairy, I do not wish to hurt her, I shall end her pain." Shadow started the spell, Kalo tried to push Saria away.
"No! Help me! Link!" Saria began to bring magic around her, trying to start a spell. But it was too late. Both her and Kalo were incased in a green crystal, which shrunk into Shadows sword.
"Saria!" Link shouted.
But before he could move, Sheik struck, leaping into the air, he thrust a knife large enough to be called a small sword into Shadows back.
Shadow looked at the steel that stuck out through his front. He calmly pulled the knife out, setting it onto the ground.
There was no blood.
"Catch me, if you can, Time Sage." and Shadow started running, and Sheik went after him.
It was funny.
Sheik had felt only two emotions today.
The first one was guilt, brought on by Kasuto.
The second one, the one he was feeling right now, was anger, pure burning rage. Shadow...
"I'm going to kill you!" he shouted, not caring that they were in the streets and that people could hear him.
"I dare you to try!" Shadow shouted back.
Sheik continued to chase Shadow, he didn't even notice where Shadow was going.
Malon listened as Link cursed in more mutable languages. "How could I let him take her! I'm so stupid!" he hit his fist against a table.
"Wait..." Kasuto muttered, "Why did Shadow run? He can just seem to vanish, so why did he run?"
Malon realized that Kasuto was right, there was something funny about that. "Yeah, why would he run? He's never done that before, it's almost like..."
"...he wants Sheik to chase him." Link finished, cursing in more languages. "Alright! I know where he's going! Anybody who wants to stop him, stay close to me!"
Malon quickly ran over to Link, moment later Kasuto did the same. "Good." he said, as he took out his Ocarina. Oh, he's going to warp again!
Link played a song, and a golden light engulfed them.
The golden light settled over a pedestal, forming into three shapes.
They were in the central chamber of the Temple of Time.
"Was that..." Kasuto murmured.
"It was Times Prelude to Light." Link answered. "The song of the Light and Time temples. Now all we have to do is wait."
Malon nodded, "Won't Shadow be in for a surprise!"
A minute later, Shadow ran into the chamber, Sheik not far behind him, Shadow stopped when he saw Link, but instead of being shocked, he smirked. "So, the Hero of Time is here, trying to continue being the puppet of those sadistic beings you call gods."
"I've got you! There's no escape Shadow!" Sheik shouted, "I'll kill you right here!"
"Who is trapped Time Sage? Think about it, what spell have I been using to capture your fellows? Where are you now?" Shadow was confident he would win, Link could tell.
Sheiks eyes widened as it dawned onto him, Link knew Shadow could cast the spell faster then Sheik could run, Link would have to attack now.
Before Link could do anything, Sheik started to laugh.
"So it is! I was tricked, now your going to put me in a crystal and use me for whatever plan you have!" Sheik continued to laugh, but at the same time he started crying. "Sorry, but I don't think so!" Sheik pulled out the knife he had stabbed Shadow with.
And stabbed himself with it, through the heart.
"You lose, Shadow." he hissed, and Sheik slumped to the ground.
"No!" Kasuto ran off the pedestal, trying to get to Sheik, but Shadow blew her back with a wave of magic.
Shadow calmly walked over to Sheik, pulling out the knife. "For the holder of the Triforce of Wisdom, you are such a fool."
"Link, why aren't you doing anything!" Malon hissed.
Sheik opened his eyes. "I'm...alive?" he asked.
"Of course you are alive, you hold the Triforce of Wisdom, did you think a holder of the Triforce could die? You are immortal Time Sage, and that suits me just fine. Let the darkness recover your strength. It shall grow inside you, making you great. Dark Recovery!"
Black light formed around Sheik, healing him. And Link attacked, trying to stop Shadow before anything else happened.
But before he could reach him, a ShadowBeast appeared, blocking Links way.
"Did you really think I let all my ShadowBeasts get destroyed when I attacked here? I let this one stay here, just in case."
"Now let us finish this!" Shadow held out his hand, a pink glow formed around Sheik.
"No!" Kasuto ran foreword again, trying to stop Shadow.
Sheik struggled against the spell, however, something was wrong.
Zelda is the Time Sage.
Sheik is not, he merely borrows power from Zelda.
The spell cast aside Sheik, bringing Zelda out.
A Sheikah boy became a Hylian girl.
Kasuto stopped in her tracks, staring at Zelda. "Sheik?"
"Kasuto, I'm sor-" Zelda couldn't say anymore, she was trapped in the crystal. Shadow took it.
The ShadowBeast burst into flames thanks to Malons Fire Rod. But they were too late.
"It is done..." Shadow said with glee. "I did it, I did it!" He held his mockery of the Master Sword in the air. "It is done!" The sword began to glow seven colors. The crystals, the Sages, flew off it, and began orbiting around the sword. The whole twisted thing began to float into the air.
"What is he doing?" Link wondered, not even noticing the Triforce appearing on his hand.
"What happened?" Kasuto whispered, standing close to Malon and Link.
"The end is here!" Shadow shouted with joy. "Finally suffering can end!" He laughed with glee.
"Awaken Sages of Hyrule!" The crystals began to glow, "Take back what you gave to the world!" They began to spin faster and faster. "Let the world end!"
And the world ended.
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