Chapter 17: The Song of Destruction
Everything was gray.
Time itself seemed to stopped. Even the air was frozen. Above all, there was the silence, the total, pure silence.
"What...what happened?" Kasuto asked, finally bringing an end to the terrible silence. "Why is everything...gray?"
"Link...do you know what happened?" Malon said.
"Shadow." Link snarled. "You know what's happened, don't you?"
Shadow smirked, that Goddess-cursed smirk Link hated so much, "Link, we are beyond the world now. Because it's ended! Time is the first to go, but soon the other six shall follow!"
"What are you talking about?" Malon shouted, "The world can't be over!"
"It is." Shadow said calmly. "You don't even know how I did it, do you? Then again, it doesn't surprise me, to discover what I know I had to search records not seen for eons. Including some hidden deep in the Lost Lands. Anyway, tell me, what are the Sages of Hyrule?"
"They are the guardians of Hyrule." Link scoffed. "But what does that have to do with what you've done?"
Shadow laughed. "Link, my dear friend, while yes, the Sages are the guardians of Hyrule, they have a much more important role."
"What's that?" Kasuto couldn't help but sound curious.
"The Sages are what keep this world alive." Shadow chuckled, "Allow me to explain, this world isn't everlasting. The elements that form the world are constantly being drained. From Water to Time, it's all finite and would end eventually. The Goddesses knew this, and prepared a way for the world to replenish it's supply of elements. Namely, the Sages.
"Each Sage is constantly converting chaos and non-existence into an element. Why else do you think Sages seem to produce magic on the currents? It's because they do.
"The Hero of Time serves a role as well, in fact, Hero of Time isn't even your true title Link! It is a secondary one, given when evil began growing in the world and the Sages took on their role as protectors. Your true title is simply the Sages Key. Because that is what you are, the Key to their power, you focus it, bring it out. The Master Sword serves as an aid, but it is not truly needed for you to carry out your duties.
As the Key, you can control their powers utterly, you can make it so that they stop making new elements, increase the speed in which new elements are made, and so forth.
Right now, the Sages are doing the exact opposite, converting elements into Chaos and Non-Existence! Time is the first one in which the effects are noticeable, the Present is gone, soon the Past and Future will be gone as well, and all of existence will tumble away." Shadow laughed again. "And with it, suffering shall tumble away!"
"That's terrible!" Malon screamed, "You're going to destroy...everything? That's insane!"
"Wait...Link, you're the Hero of Time?" Kasuto said.
"Yes," Link said through gritted teeth, why was she bringing this up now?
"Then, how could Shadow reverse what the Sages were doing? He said only you could do such a thing. So how could he?"
Malon looked at Kasuto. "You know, you have a point there, how could he?"
Shadow smirked again, "Very clever Gerudo! What was your name, Kasuto? Anyways, yes, you are right, only Link could do this. But you see, me and Link are...close." Shadow laughed slightly.
"What are you talking about! I've never met you in my life!" Link snapped, how dare this...thing claim to know him!
"Link, we've met before." Shadow laughed, "If it weren't for you, I wouldn't be here today!" he stopped laughing, "Let me show you my face! Maybe then you'll remember me!" Shadow pulled away his cloak.
All three stumbled back in shock.
Link couldn't believe it, how was it possible, who, what was Shadow!?
Shadow looked just like Link. His eyes were the same orange-red Link had seen shining out from under the hood. His skin, it was a sickly pale, almost white, his hair was a deep silver, reflecting light like the metal itself. He was wearing an outfit like Links, only it was pure black, he had on black gloves and boots. His cloak spilled around him, no longer covering his body, revealing his secret to them.
"Who...what are you!?" Malon shrieked, there was something about Shadow that terrified her now.
"I am a creature called a Soul Wraith. I'm sure the Shadow and Sprit Sages know what I am. We are created from the shadow of a persons soul, we have no soul of our own, we merely exist. Until the soul whose shadow we are made from leaves this mortal plane. Then we fade away, never to return. The Evil King, Ganondorf, made me after a Soul Wraith he made from his shadow was defeated in the Forest Temple. I was sent to the Water Temple, to wait for Link, to kill him. I failed, but unlike Phantom Ganon, I was not banished to the void, I escaped Ganons wrath. So when Link was sent back, I went with him. That is all you need to know. The rest is my own business, and I will carry it until I no longer exist."
The three stood there, the shock of what had just been told them immobilizing them for a moment. "You are completely insane, you know that Shadow?" Link said.
"Why are you doing this!" Malon demanded. "Why are you trying to kill us all!"
"Why? Because this world is corrupt! This world does nothing but let innocent souls suffer and be corrupted! And then once they leave this horrible place, they are punished with the damnation of Hell because of the suffering they went through in the world! The Goddesses are nothing more then beings who like seeing us suffer! Like a boy who stomps on ants and laughs! Why shouldn't end the sadistic cycle! Why?" Shadow screamed, "Why shouldn't I?"
For a long time, there was silence once more, then, Link spoke.
"Because you are wrong, I was wrong. People are imperfect, yes, they make mistakes. And there are people who are just plain evil. But that is what the world is for, to see if we can live the right way. To see if we can truly be good. But you, Shadow, to take away our choice, to take away the world, to take away out ability to choose right from wrong. That is sick! You are wrong Shadow! I won't let you take the choice away from everybody! I won't let you end suffering, because it is needed! Without it, there is no happiness, with out it, I never would have realized how much I love Saria, without it none of us would be who we are today." Link drew his sword. "I will stop you!"
"Tell me Link, how are you going to stop me?" Shadow mockingly asked. "The process has started, I will not undo it, even if you somehow kill yourself, removing me from existence, it will still go on. It can not be stopped."
Link stopped in his tracks, could Shadow be right? Is what he did truly irreversible? No, it can't be...I can reverse it. Shadow, he's just my shadow. I can fix it, but how?
"And so he realizes that there is nothing he can do." Shadow mocked.
It hit Link, he knew what to do. "I'm sorry Shadow, but you really shouldn't have told me how you did it." Link reached out, feeling for his bond with Saria. Can you hear me? Saria?
She remembered blacking out when Shadow had attacked her, but then, she had became aware again. Only this time, she was in blackness, and all she felt was pain, like her soul had been turned inside out. It hurt, badly.
Kalo? Makan? She couldn't talk either, her thoughts echoed through the void though, I guess they are still unconscious...
-Can you hear me? Saria?-
Link! What's going on!
-Thank Farore! Saria, do you feel strange?-
I...I hurt Link, something's wrong with me... Saria would have cried if she could.
-It's alright, Saria, I'm going to help you- Saria felt a warm feeling overcome her, it was Link. She felt the pain begin to fade. -Is anything happening?-
Your helping me Link! Saria was so happy, Link was doing it!
-Yes! I did it! Saria, can you reach out and talk to the other Sages?-
Other Sages? They were with her? Might as well try. Saria reached out, trying to hear anyone else. She heard them.
...I failed my people...
...why did he do this to me? I hope Saria is safe...
...Zelda, I guess you couldn't let our memories sleep after all...
...This is the strangest thing I've experienced in my lifetime as a Sage...
...I swear, when I get out, that Shadow is paying!...
...Kasuto, I'm sorry Kasuto...
I hear them Link! Saria called out mentally.
-Good, Saria, now can you spread what I'm doing to the others?-
I'll try. Saria focused on the warm feeling coming from Link, spreading it around.
Hey, who's doing that? Saria? You're here too? Great, I guess he got you too. Man, I remember Ganons rule now, that stinks. It was Ruto.
Ruto? All the other Sages are here, help me spread this to them.
Sure, it seems like it's getting rid of the pain I'm feeling.
Link had entered a strange trance. A faint green glow had formed around him. His eyes were closed, and he seemed to be focusing on something.
"What is he doing?" Kasuto whispered. The crystals that held the Sages, they began to slow down, their orbit decreasing, a pure white light began to surround them.
Shadows eyes widened. "No!" He shouted, rushing toward Link, a sword drawn. Link jumped away at the last minute, however, it seemed to stop whatever he was doing, the green light around him faded, and black energy began coming out of the sword that the Sage Crystals were orbiting around.
Saria felt Links presence suddenly fade, had he been attacked? Most likely.
She felt something evil coming, it was bringing with it more of the pain. They had to fight it. Focus! She mentally shouted. Don't let that evil thing come near us!
Instantly the evil force started being held back by the strength of the Seven Sages.
Shadow held out his sword, "So you figured it out, I guess I shouldn't be surprised. But all you managed to do was slow it down for a while, even now, it's starting to go back to the way it was."
"I guess I'll just have to keep working on it." Link said arrogantly.
"Do you think I'll let you? I guess we'll fight again Link, this time, however, it will be until the end!" Shadow got ready to attack.
But he had to move when Kasuto swung her sword at his back, then he deflected some blasts of magic. "What the?" he asked.
"Take this!" Kasuto moved against Shadow, who was blocking her blows, but then he also had to jump out of the way of blasts of Fire and Ice.
"We'll distract him Link!" Malon shouted, "You just keep doing what you were doing!"
Saria felt the warmth come back, Link had returned.
-Whew, Shadow attacked me there for a second.-
I knew you'd be alright. Saria was sure she'd be smiling if she could.
Red and that Kasuto girl are distracting Shadow, so lets get this done fast.-
Kasuto? it was Zelda... Oh Goddesses... Suddenly something changed in Zelda. Come on people! We have to get out of here! We need to stop whatever Shadows doing! Saria remembered something then, this was the Zelda she had first met.
The strong leader, who gave hope to everybody, never giving up.
She's right! Saria agreed. Let's win this fight!
Shadow took out his Mirror Shield, now he could defend against Malons strikes better.
Kasuto struck at Shadow, using random, rapid blows that he couldn't predict. But his reflexes managed to keep any of them from hitting. "I'm a much better swordfighter then you, how are you going to hurt me?"
Kasuto didn't say anything, she just suddenly thrust her hand forward, the hand with no weapon. "Soul Lance!" the magical blast hit Shadow in the chest, stunning him for a moment. It was all Malon needed, multiple shots of Fire and Ice magic hit him, combining to create huge explosions. Shadow was blown back, slamming into the fading stone wall of the Temple. "That's how." Kasuto answered.
Link continued to reverse the damage Shadow had done.
"Clever...but you pushed me out of your range!" Shadow dashed to attack Link, only to slip on the ice Malon made on the floor.
"Did I forget to tell you about that?" Malon said sweetly.
Shadow burned with rage, how dare they! "I didn't want to do this." He hissed, "But you leave me no choice!" He held out his hand, pointing at Kasuto. "I'm afraid, Gerudo, that your interference is at an end! Silent Embrace!"
Kasutos eyes widened, she remembered that spell, it was what he had used to beat the Moldorm. He had said it was best used against magically resistant things.
Gerudo are very magically resistant.
And Kasuto suddenly knew why, and how the Silent Embrace worked.
She, like all Gerudo, was surrounded by a barrier of magic. It was like a thick shell on a turtle. It acted as a natural armor, not only against magic, but against the heat of the desert, and weapons.
The Silent Embrace made the barrier collapse upon itself. Resulting in either death or serious injury. Kasuto felt the burning white light surround her, it hurt like nothing else she had experienced. She tried to scream, but no sound came from her mouth. There was nothing. It hurts so badly... She could feel her body being torn apart by her own magic. She closed her eyes, but the light still shone through. I'm going to die... And something came to her then, the reason she could see things, why she was good at magic and study. Why do I have to have an empathy now?
Suddenly, it stopped.
Kasuto opened her eyes, a blue diamond surrounded her, Nayrus Love, she looked around, Malon was the source of the spell, Kasuto could see the magic flowing from her to the shield.
"Thanks..." Kasuto said simply.
"Don't mention it." Malon said, she sounded weak, the spell had taken a lot out of her.
Kasuto looked up, at the pink crystal, in there was Sheik, or whatever his(Her?) name was. The Time Sage. Kasuto grinned. She knew how to win. "I call upon the gift given to me by the Sage of Time..."
"You're chanting a spell now?" That's pretty stupid." Shadow said, only to find a blast of fire hitting him. "Arrg! You really want to get in my way, don't you?"
"Glad to be of service." Malon said.
"I call upon Nayru, Goddess of what I seek..."
Shadow blocked some more shots with his shield. "This won't last much longer you know..."
"Bring down your wrath... A pink light formed in between Kasutos hands.
"What?" Shadow looked at Kasuto. "I'm-impossible! Time Magic is lost! Even I couldn't find any!"
"Remove this fool from History!"
"No!" Shadow raised his shield, only to be knocked down by Malons ice, the shield hit the ground. "A Seer! You must be a Seer!"
"Dark Paradox!" Kasuto shouted. For an instant, Time started up again. Then it stopped, pink light formed waves, causing ripples to form around Kasuto. The distortion focused into a beam, slamming into Shadow.
Shadow didn't scream, no, he was in too much pain to scream. Time itself attacked him. He was finally blown back, he didn't move.
"Thank you...Sheik..." Kasuto fainted.
It ended there.
The sword, the copy of the Master Sword, used by Shadow for his plan, shattered. In an instant, the seven crystals shattered as well. Color shot out of the point where the evil sword had been. And the Seven Sages of Hyrule, all awakened, floated to the ground.
"We won..." Link said quietly.
"You beat me..." Shadow spoke weakly, "...thank you."
And the world began once more.
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