Twilight Descent

By Stephen Stephano

Summary - Two average teenage kids living in Hyrule Castle Town have their lives turned upside down when their city is invaded by creatures from the Twilight Realm. In an act of savagery, their father is killed and their mother captured by members of the Bulblin clan. Now the two teenagers, a brother and sister team, must travel around the land of Hyrule in order to save their mother and avenge their father's murder. But what they do not realize is that their adventure is one of many, and that the fate of the country is at stake. Will Hyrule survive the Twilight Descent?

Chapter 1: Twilight Arrival


“How much do you want for these?”


“5 rupees.  2 for the watermelon and 3 for the cantaloupe.”


“Great, I’ll take them.  Here Shira, help me with the watermelon will you?”


“Whatever Soren.  Just be sure that you don’t drop yours.”


Soren looked at Shira, and just sighed.  As the older brother, he always had to deal with Shira’s attempts to annoy him.  She had always been an immature person in his eyes.  The worst part about it was, on this particular issue she had a point.  Last week when the two of them were in the square, Soren had been startled by a stray cat in the middle of the road, and he dropped his watermelon.  It squished in the middle of the road to much commotion from the passers-by.  The event was utterly embarrassing to Soren, a strong young adult who figured to join the Hylian Knights soon.  A strong supporter of the Hyrulian Royal Family, Soren got to meet Princess Zelda a few years ago near the city’s fountain.


It was a beautiful sunny day in southern Hyrule Castle Town, just a great day for walking through the square.  Their shopping chores finished up, the two siblings made the short trip back to their home, a second floor, single-room residence southwest of downtown.  There, their mother, Kaylee, was waiting for them.


“Where have you two been?”  Kaylee asked them.  “You didn’t waste your time playing at the bombchu alley again did you?”


“No mother,” Shira said.  “We were simply enjoying the weather while we were out.  It is a beautiful sunny day is it not?”


“Okay, that’s fine.  I just don’t want you two getting too lazy.  You know how it is when you get all your free time anymore.  Soren dropped forty rupees in one night there!”


“Will you please stop with that forty rupee thing mom?”  Soren asked, almost whining.  That had to be six darn months ago.”


Before anybody could respond, Canso, Shira and Soren’s father, walked into the building with a big hunk of cucco meat.  “I think its time we had your favorite for dinner.” He said.


Shira threw her arms around her dad.  “Oh daddy, thank you so much.  It’s been so long since we’ve had cucco, o thank you thank you!”


At around 17:45, the four sat down to dinner.  Between the cucco and the two fruits, it was the most food that they had put on the table in quite a while.  While Canso held a good-paying job working in transportation, and Kaylee worked as an assistant in the local medical office, the family was far from wealthy.  Hard economic times had hit the outlying regions of Hyrule, especially in Eldin Province where a feud between the Gorons of Death Mountain and the Hylians in Kakariko Village set the local economy into a tailspin.  Since Canso’s main work was on the highways between Hyrule Castle and Kakariko, income had fallen in recent weeks from lack of travel on the roads.  The extra food was a gift, after Canso made a surprise discovery of rupees in some bushes west of Hyrule Castle Town.


The meal was a joyous time, a time where all four of them could forget about the problems surrounding them in their lives and spend time as a family.  However, at around 18:00, Soren noticed a bunch of people making a commotion down in the streets below.  It was normal for the streets of the city to experience a large amount of noise during the daytime, but even for Hyrule Castle Town this was excessive. 


“Hey, will you keep it down out there?!”  Soren yelled.  We can hardly hear ourselves talk up here!”


Soren turned back around to talk to Shira about the cucco left on her plate when somebody from below yelled, “Hey, who is that?  Wait aaah!!!”


Canso and Soren immediately looked out the balcony, and noticed several weird creatures wearing black on the street below them.  In between the creatures stood a masked warrior of some kind.  He was holding an innocent person by the neck, threatening to kill him.  From his vantage point Soren heard some words mumbled before the masked person severed the innocent’s neck, killing him.  A minute later, somebody confronted the mysterious masked individual, only to suffer the same fate.  At this point, the Hylian Knights were called into the square, but the killer drew his blades.  He started hacking through the men assembled against him with the help of his black creature buddies. 


“What in the heck is going on?” Shira asked Soren. 


“There’s a crazy person in the main square of town!” Soren replied.  “He’s attacking anybody near him, including a few Hylian Knights.  It looks like he’s heading toward Hyrule Castle.”



Chapter 2: Neverending Dusk


“What?!”  Shira exclaimed.  “He can’t just kill people in the streets!  Who does he think he is?!”


Soren shoved his hands over Shira’s mouth.  “Not so loud, he could hear us up here and come after us,” he said sternly.


Canso noticed that the man was approaching the castle from the front side.  With another flick of his wrists, he was past the guards at the front of the castle and through the drawbridge.  By this time, everybody in Hyrule Castle Town knew what was going on.  Several began to gather in the square of the city just in awe of what was happening.  Who was this insane person breaking into the castle?


All of a sudden, more of the black monsters that had accompanied the masked man began dropping from the sky all around Hyrule Castle Town.  These monsters, called twilight messengers, moved into the streets and began randomly attacking and grabbing people.  Within a few minutes, people were running all over the place, knocking over fruit stands, trampling over carts of manufactured goods, and trampling cats and dogs trying to avoid the scary monsters.  The messengers emitted high pitched screams that made the villagers feel sick.  When they grabbed people, they stared into their eyes so much so that the kidnapped person would go insane from their evil power.


Watching the carnage in the street, Canso knew that he had to protect his family any way he could.  He took the family sword off of the wall above the cauldron stove, and instructed Shira and Soren to take refuge in the corner of the room, far away from the window.  Their mother attempted to console Shira, who was beginning to go insane from what she was hearing and seeing.


“Be very quiet.  I think I hear one on the roof.”  Canso said.


A twilight messenger stuck its head inside the window way from above, and as soon as it did, Canso struck hard with the sword, slashing its head.  It fell to the street below, dead.  Unfortunately, another jumped off of the roof from behind.  It emitted a shriek in Canso’s direction and grabbed him by the throat.  Instantly, Soren grabbed a sharp knife from the kitchen table, jumped up and attacked the messenger from behind, tackling him to the floor.  Before the messenger knew what hit him, he stabbed its neck with the knife, causing massive bleeding.  It continued to struggle for about a minute before it bled to death and died, right there on the kitchen floor. 


Soren rushed to his dad’s side.  He was experiencing headaches but was otherwise okay.  “What, are these things?” Canso asked Soren.


Soren didn’t have a response.  He had never seen anything like them in his entire life.  And now the whole city was under siege by these creatures.


“Board up the window way.” Canso told Soren.  Get your mother to help you.  Shira, barricade the door with the cauldron and the chairs.”


“I’m not crawling out the corner.” Shira said meekly.  “I’m scared, you can’t make me.”

Meanwhile, inside Hyrule Castle, the Hylian Knights fought against the masked warrior and his men, with little success.


“Oh, yes. A question for all the land and people of Hyrule, Life... or Death?!”  The masked warrior said to the Princess as he gazed into her eyes.


The Princess looked at the masked invader, then to the fallen Hylian Knights on both sides of the throne room.  Resistance was hopeless.  The question was whether she would fight to the death in defense of her country.  But they had already taken over the city and the castle, so what good would resistance be?  The Princess knew one thing at this bleak moment; she was no good to her country dead.


She dropped her sword before her feet.


The next morning, all was quiet in Hyrule Castle Town.  It was so quiet it was eerie, with no civilian or invader roaming the streets.  Something strange was going on in the heavens and the atmosphere.  The sun was supposed to come up at 07:10 that morning, but it never did.  Instead, there was only a little bit of light that peaked over the horizon, very similar to that of sunset or sunrise.  Additionally, there were black specs of darkness rising into the skies all over the city.  The strange light conditions in the area served as a melancholy blanket for all residents of the city, many of whom were not at all over the destruction and suffering of the previous day.


In light of the situation, Canso did not bother to report to work that day.  In fact, he instructed everybody in the family to not go outside.  The four of them just sat quietly and talked amongst themselves over what they had seen.  The day passed, and the next few days rolled monotonously by in the same fashion.  Finally, after about three days, Soren had had enough. 


“Mom, Dad,” Soren started, “When are we going to start living our lives again?”


“What do you mean son?”  Kaylee asked.


“I mean, are we just going to be scared for the rest of our lives?  Or are we actually going to do what we’ve always done and live life to the fullest despite the danger at hand?  We can’t stay camped in like this forever.  We’ll go crazy.”


“He does have a point.”


Shira’s comment drew interest for several reasons.  First, she was backing her brother up, something she very rarely ever did.  Secondly, she was the easily scared person in the family.  And yet she supported her brother.  Canso walked over to the barricaded window way and knocked down the boards barricading the way.  It was strange outside with little bustle in the streets and with the pinkish-orange light of twilight blanketing the city.


Despite occasional attacks by the twilight messengers over the next week, things gradually returned to normal in Hyrule Castle Town.  People roamed through the shops and the markets as they always did.  Normalcy was the idea on the minds of the people, including Shira and Soren.  That’s why one day, when their mother and father left for the marketplace to buy some cucco meat and a cake for Shira’s birthday party that night, they didn’t think anything of it. 


They had no idea of the impending disaster in the square.


Chapter 3: Attack of the Wildebeest


“Hey honey, do you think you could spare me a few rupees?  I need to buy a new pair of spectacles.”


“Why do you need those?”


“Mine shattered the other day when I was passing through the square.  Somebody ran into my face carrying a watermelon.”  Canso was a bit embarrassed describing this event to Kaylee because of his tough guy image.


“Whatever dear.  Just don’t break this pair before you get home.”


Canso headed across the street to a shop that sold new spectacles.  It had just opened recently, just before the attack, and specialized in the selling of cutting-edge telescopes, spectacles, really anything that could help people better view their world.  He was in the process of looking through the different selections when he heard a loud noise from across the street, followed by a loud scream.  He instantly ran out of the shop to find his wide surrounded by three miscreants.  Without thinking, he rushed across the street to help Kaylee, not giving any notice to the wildebeest running straight at him.


Back at home, Soren and Shira awaited the return of their parents.  But when morning became noontime, and noontime became afternoon, they began to get worried.  Their worries were confirmed when at around 15:00, a young woman showed up at their door.  Her name was Ashei.  A brave young woman, she was a member of the Adventurers Guild, a secret society of freedom fighters based in Hyrule Castle Town.  Soren knew her because they had met one another inside a bar a few years ago.  Their fathers used to be good friends from their time in the Hylian Knights.


“Ashei, what a pleasant surprise.”  Soren said.  “Come on in.”


“Actually, I think I’ll decline, for Telma has sent me here to deliver some grim news.  I don’t think it is my place to tell you this, but, Soren, Shira, your father is dead.


“Wait, what?  How?!”


“They were in the square of the city, buying supplies I think, when they were attacked by a pack of wildebeest-riding enemies.  Your father was speared and trampled by two wildebeest while attempting to help save your mother from a pack of twilight messengers.”  My comrade Auru and I were able to defeat the enemies that trampled your father and subdue the wildebeests, but by the time we were able to reach your father he had already suffered severe head trauma.  There was nothing we could do.”


Shira began to cry.  Soren’s heart was now in his throat.  He could not believe what he was hearing.


“What happened to my mother?”


“She was abducted by the pack of twilight messengers.  We do not know where they took her or what they have done with her.”  Ashei said.


Soren was enraged.  “What do you mean you don’t know what they did with her?!”  He shouted.  “That’s my mother!  I want to know where she is, and now!”


“What do you want me to do Soren?  It’s not like I was going to go and attack three twilight messengers on my lonesome.”


“Where were the Hylian Knights?!  Why didn’t they help my mother and father?!  Why didn’t they help you fight the messengers?”


“They…were scared.”  Ashei said.  “They were too weak to fight.”


“So you mean to tell me that the Knights were nothing but lame figurehead people that didn’t do anything to protect my parents or anybody else there?!”  Now Soren was losing it, he wanted answers, and would do anything to get them.  “Where did this happen Ashei?” he asked as he grabbed the family sword off the wall.


“It happened in the lower south road between the spectacle shop and the cucco shop.  Soren, what are you going to do with that sword?”


“I’m going to find my mother.”


“You’re crazy, you’ll never find her, and if you do you’ll be in grave danger!  Soren!”


Ashei’s words fell on deaf ears, for Soren was already gone.  He ran as fast as he could through the twilight blanket over the city to the spot that Ashei talked about.  He immediately noticed several Hylian Knights and the local paramedic crouched around a fallen man in the street.  Sure enough, it was his father.  Soren rushed in toward the Knights and drew his sword.


“What happened to him?!” shouted Soren to one of the Knights.  Tell me you didn’t just stand there and watch him die!”


Instantly three Knights got up and noticed Soren with his sword drawn.  They drew their weapons.  “Listen kid, you don’t want to be starting anything with us.”


“Me, start something with YOU?!  You all just watched my father get trampled by a damn wildebeest!  You heartless dogs have no code of honor!” Soren yelled.


“Now you listen here young man, we did everything we could!” The Knight shouted.


“When my father fought as one of the Knights, he would take on three enemies at once and do things that none of you would even think of doing because you are all nothing but cowards afraid of getting hurt!  What do you think you’re doing pretending to defend the land of Hyrule and its people?  You’re completely worthless!  I bet I could fight better than all of you put together!”  Soren yelled.


Before the Knights could respond, there was a scream from down near Telma’s Bar.  Four young children playing down in the corner alley ran screaming out of the alley.


“There’s a giant bug back there!  It’s really scary!  Somebody kill it!”


About a minute later, a creepy purplish insect crawled out from the alley.  The Knights instantly drew their weapons, only to sheath them again when the insect gave off electric sparks.  One could tell that they were scared, just like everybody else in the street.


Under normal circumstances, Soren would be a bit creped out, because he didn’t like bugs.  But with all the rage and hurt feelings inside of him, it didn’t matter.  Ignoring the Knights, he drew his sword and ran right after the purple insect.  The insect jumped after him in an attempt to latch onto him and suck his blood, but Soren dodged to the right, and slashed it while it was still in midair.  He then stepped forward and slashed it mercilessly until it was dead.  Then as a final show of his prowess and state of insanity, he sunk his teeth into the insect and bit off part of its back, causing it to explode.  As the tear of light held by the insect fell into Soren’s hands, he let out a yell that echoed through the streets.



Chapter 4: Canso’s Burial


With the help of Ashei and her comrades in the Adventurers Guild Auru and Shad, Soren and Shira rode to Kakariko Village in a horse drawn carriage.  Up ahead inside another carriage was the body of their father.  Leaving Hyrule Castle Town, they were shocked to find that the bridge leading out of town to the west had been destroyed by the twilight messengers.  They had no choice but to travel south out of town toward Faron Province and then turn west and north toward Kakariko Village.  Their ultimate destination was Kakariko Graveyard, the biggest burial ground in Hyrule.  The final resting place of the Hyrulian Royal Family, Kakariko Graveyard was where most former Hyrulian military members and important public figures went to rest.


As Soren and Shira’s carriage crossed the border separating Lucayna and Faron Provinces, they noticed that it got really dark all around them.  It was so dark in fact, that they could not see the carriage only a few hundred yards in front of them.  The darkness hung on for several minutes, and then all of a sudden, it broke.  Behind it stood a bright sunshine that draped over Hyrule Field.


Shira became excited.  This was the first time in over a week either of them had seen the light of the day.  “Soren, where did this light come from?”  It’s so beautiful.” She said.


Soren turned around, and he saw the giant wall of twilit darkness stretching up into the heavens behind him.  “Well this is unusual.  There’s a giant wall of darkness at the border of Faron and Lucayna.  For some reason, the darkness doesn’t reach down this far.  I guess those evil creatures never got down this far.”


“Well that’s a good thing.” Shira said.  “I’m sick of it only being dark all the time back home.  It’s so depressing.”


Later on that afternoon, they came to another wall of darkness near the border to Eldin Province, the province containing Kakariko Village. 


“Oh great, Kakariko is covered in the twilight too.”  Shira said.


“Yeah, looks like we’ll have to reenter the twilight.  But what are we gonna do?  We’ve got to go there.  Hopefully we don’t run anything too dangerous there.” Said Soren.


As it turned out, Kakariko Village was deserted.  There were no people roaming the streets, all the shops were closed up and boarded, and it was deathly quiet.  The area was WAY too calm for Soren and Shira.  They were used to the hustle and bustle of the city, so to see another town so silent was disquieting. 


Suddenly, just as they pulled into the center of town, there was a huge explosion up in the hills surrounding the city.  Several mini-explosions followed the big explosion as huge amounts of ash and debris filled the sky over the village.


“What was that?” Shira asked Soren.


“I don’t know.  It sounded like a building exploding several times over.” Soren said. 


Ashei concurred with Soren.  “I bet there some miscreants up in the hills around this area.  We’ll have to be careful.”


They pulled into the graveyard.  Ashei and the others left Soren and Shira to their business, and the two siblings went about the burial of their father.  There was a burial plot on the second terrace of the graveyard, and they laid Canso in the ground there.  Then they turned to each other and cried for what seemed forever. 


Shira barely had the strength to talk, “Father, your death was unfair.  It was horrible, something that you did not deserve.  I know that you are somewhere looking down at us right now, and wherever it is I know that it is a better place than this darkness covered land.  We have become very scared.  The one thing that you taught me from the time I was very young was to always be strong.  You always told me of the ways to stick up for myself and for others, and to never let people make you do things you do not want to do.  You did anything to protect us and our mother.  For all the good times we spent together, I am distraught that we will not see any more memories together.  These people who killed you in the streets, oh, I hope they die!” Shira began to cry again as she finished.


Soren comforted Shira for a while, and then stood forward to speak.  Father, you have raised me well.  I have seen the way that this world works, and the way that I am to live my life, as a strong willed man that will love and protect the weak and the suffering.  You taught me everything I know, from how to ride a horse to string a bow, to making a serious batch of boiled cucco.  You, my mother, my sister beside me, we were family.  You all were the world to me.  And now that you and mom are gone, I swear upon your grave that I will find those responsible for your death and for Kaylee’s capture and make those people pay with every inch of their lives.  Now is not the time to be weak.  Now is the time to be strong and to fight these people that have worked to break down the world in which we live.  Father, wherever you are, that is my promise to you, and I will not rest until I achieve this.”


Soren and Shira stood and hugged each other in the twilight of the graveyard.  Then they started to fill in the burial plot.  As they shoveled in the earth, Shira noticed some strange creatures moving toward them.  They appeared to be dogs of some kind, only that they were skeleton-like and did not have hardly any meat on them.


“Hey Soren, what are these things coming toward us?” she asked.


Soren turned around, and noticed about twenty of these skeleton dogs coming toward them.  At first he thought that they smelt the smell of dead flesh, and were looking to scavenge Canso’s body.  But then he noticed that they were growling at the two of them, they were under attack!


“Stand back Shira, this could get messy.”  He drew his sword, and one of the dogs attacked Soren.  Soren stuck his sword right into its skull, killing it instantly.  The other skeleton dogs backed off.  They looked to turn around and leave until a wolf appeared from behind their ranks.  The wolf came to the front of the formation and growled at the two siblings.  A smallish black humanoid rode on the wolf’s back.


Soren’s confidence evaporated.  “Oh this is bad.  A wolf?” he said to himself. 


“Soren, if this is how we’re going to die, I hope we see father again soon.” Shira said.


“Shira, we’re not going to die.  I can take him out!” Soren yelled.  He growled back at the wolf.  He had his sword drawn, waiting for the wolf to strike at him.  But to Soren’s great surprise, the wolf suddenly turned around and started attacking the skeleton dogs.  He bit their heads off, tail whipped their bones, and with the help of his humanoid companion, attacked and killed several of them at a time.  Before long, all of the skeleton creatures were dead. 


The wolf walked up to Soren.  He lowered his head, and Soren reached his hand out to pet him.  “Thanks a lot little doggy.  I thought you were going to attack us, but you helped us instead.”  Suddenly, Soren’s hand started throbbing uncontrollably.  Before he could grab it to stop the pulsating, the tear of light he had gained from the bug in Hyrule Castle Town emerged from his hand.  It floated through the air over to the humanoid riding on the wolf.  She was holding a vessel filled with similar tears of light, and there was only one tear missing.  Soren’s tear entered the vessel, and within seconds, the atmosphere around the graveyard started changing rapidly.  A giant burst of wind filled up the skies of Kakariko, and within less than a minute, the pall of darkness that hung over the land was gone.  The twilight was driven away!


The wolf turned around, and within the blink of an eye, was gone.  Shira and Soren stood there delirious, just stunned over what had happened.  What was this wolf creature, and who was the humanoid riding it?  And what happened to the twilight surrounding Kakariko?  Soren was determined to find the answers, for they just might be the keys to finding his mother.



Chapter 5:  Soren Joins the Guild


After the burial, Soren and Shira traveled back to Hyrule Castle Town.  Without their parents to guide them and care for them, they knew that they were traveling into a whole different life.  As they snacked on a bunch of Faron grapes, they discussed their situation.  Soren was serious about his desire to help his mother, but Shira wasn’t so sure.


“It’s going to be tough for us with mom and dad gone.”  Shira told her brother.


“Not as tough as you think Shira.  We’re old enough.  We can take care of ourselves.”


“Are you sure?  It’s a lot of work to support a family.  All the working and cooking and cleaning and chores around the house.”


“Shira, that’s not what concerns me. I’m not just going to move back into our house and hide away from these enemies.  We owe too much to our parents not to do that.  I intend to take the fight to those that attacked us.”


“Soren, trying to support the two of us is one thing, trying to do so while leading a fight against creatures we know nothing about is completely different.  Are you sure you want to get caught up in this dangerous battle?”  Shira asked him.


“The question is not whether or not I want to get involved.  It’s not my choice.  The question is what will I do to save mom!  She’s been captured by miscreants.  The situation might seem hopeless, but what am I going to do, just leave her to be tortured and possibly killed by these monsters?!  No way!  She was responsible for bringing me into this world, and I’ll be darned if I’m going to let her suffer like that!”  Soren roared.


“Soren, listen to yourself.  You may think you’re a skilled fighter and swordsman, but you’re not even of adult age yet.  These creatures were too much even for our Knights.  They are using powers beyond our comprehension.  How are you supposed to even deal with these enemies when our sworn protectors cannot defeat them?”


Soren answered with disdain.  “The Hylian Knights are wimps.”


Shira was stunned.  “Wimps?  How could you say such a thing?”


“I was on the south road of the city a little after Ashei told me of father’s death.  I went down there out of desperation to find mother.  She wasn’t there, but in the streets there was another twilight creature attacking a bunch of kids in a back alley.  I was arguing with a few knights standing over father’s body at the time, and these kids asked the knights to deal with a nasty insect in the alley.  But they were scared!  They wouldn’t even approach the thing even as it crawled across fruit stands and wheelbarrows in the street!  So I went up to it with my sword and killed it.” Soren said.


“I’m sure the knights had a good reason to not approach it.” Shira said.


“Shira, the situation is simple.  We can either sit back as the land and peoples around us are overrun by these creatures, until eventually we too succumb to their evil reign, just like father and mother.  Or we can fight back.  I’ve made my choice.  I’m going to stand up and fight and you’re going to help me!”


Shira was flabbergasted.  “Me?!  I’m not going with you on this crazy adventure!”


Soren calmed his voice.  “Look, your whole life you have been giving yourself reasons why you cannot do things.  The first time you tried to ride a horse, you told yourself the horse was too big and you couldn’t get on.  But you did it.  The first time father brought home broiled cucco, you said you couldn’t eat it because you thought it looked nasty.  But you ate it, and now it’s your favorite food in the whole world.”


“What does this have to do with anything?” Shira asked.


Soren ignored her.  “Remember the time we went to Lake Hylia on vacation and you wouldn’t go swimming because you thought you’d melt?  You were so scared that we practically had to throw you into the lake.  Within hours you were swimming halfway around the lake and trying to dive all the way to Lakebed Temple!  The point is, the moment you tell yourself you can do something, you tend to not only achieve it, but it becomes one of your favorite things.  Now I’m not saying that you have to take up sword fighting to help mother and father, you can help in other ways.  I’m not good with maps, or with compasses.  You are excellent as deciphering these things.  You are an excellent archer; I can’t string a bow any better than the postman!  Shira, you’re a stronger person than you give yourself credit for, and your talents will prove invaluable.  Don’t you want to help mother?  Please, I’m begging you to come with me.  Please Shira.”


Shira considered everything Soren had said for what seemed like forever.  Then she replied.  “Soren, you’ve got yourself an ally.  Just promise me that we won’t be doing this alone by ourselves.”


Shira and Soren hugged each other, and shared some tears.  They then walked into the city through the south gate.  A few minutes later, they were inside a bar on the southern side of town.  The bar was owned by a woman named Telma.  While the building might have looked like any other bar to an outsider, Telma’s Bar was actually the official base of operations for the Adventurers Guild.  Soren knew that if he was to help save his mother, the members of the guild would be of much help.


Soren and Shira grabbed some glasses of water and Ordon Milk, and sat down at a table in the back of the bar.  On the table sat a map of the land of Hyrule.  It had many markings on it.  They didn’t have much time to look at it before Telma came over to talk.


“Soren.” Telma said.  “I have some information that could be of use to you.  The other day while the two of you were in Kakariko, a group of Bulblin archers came attacking random people in the west side of the city.  They then escaped the city to the west bypassing the downed bridge by fording Zora’s River on their wildebeests.  I’ve heard reports from Ashei and Shad that a large number of these creatures are operating out in the plains of Eldin Province.  They are out there now trying to gather any information they can about what these archers are up to and where their base is located.”


Soren replied. “Telma, if my father was killed by a group riding a bunch of wildebeests, that probably means that these Bulbin people, or whatever they are called are responsible for his death and my mother’s capture.”


“Exactly.” Telma said.  “If you follow these miscreants, you might find her.  I’ve sent word to Ashei and Shad that you will meet them in Eldin Plain about five miles west of here.  That is, if you are willing to take up the task of hunting down the archers.”


Soren went to speak, but Shira cut him off.  “We are willing to track down these archers, and if necessary, fight them.”  Soren was surprised at Shira’s sudden audacity.  He nodded his compliance.


“Okay then.” Telma said to her.  “You and your brother take my horse; he’s all ready for you in the alley.  Hurry to the west, you’ll rendezvous with Ashei and Shad in the field.”


Soren turned around before Telma stopped him.  “Oh, and Soren, one more thing.” She said.  “I saw your little episode in the streets the day your father was killed.  Consider yourself a member of the Adventurers’ Guild.”    



Chapter 6: Bulbin Battle


Soren and Shira mounted Telma’s horse outside of the bar, and trudged through Zora’s River just west of town.  Both being experienced riders from their days out on the dirt paths of Eldin; they were skilled in the art of horseback riding.  Not only that, but they were very familiar with the area.  It was their father’s old stomping grounds during his work in transportation.  They started down the wide dirt path running through Eldin Plain.  They rode the winding trail in a southwesterly direction for about fifteen minutes before they turned off on another trail heading northbound toward their rendezvous point with Ashei and Shad. 


A few minutes later, the two siblings linked up with their Adventurers Guild compatriots. 


“Soren, Shira.  It is good to see you again.” Shad said.  “We’ve been awaiting your arrival.”


“Yes.” Soren said.  “Telma told us all about it.  You have found some information about the evildoers that have taken my mother prisoner?”


Shad spoke calmly.  “We aren’t sure exactly where their center of operations is located.  But we have a feeling that it is somewhere in these plains of Eldin.  The Bulblin Warriors, as these miscreants call themselves, make a living off of preying on unsuspecting people.  They either shoot them with an arrow, rendering them helpless, or they trample them with their wildebeest companions.  Then they take everything of value off of the person that they attack.”


Ashei weighed in.  “They attack with stealth because when placed in direct combat they are not that strong.  A few shots at close range are enough to take them down because they don’t have much of any armor and most of the Bulblin are physically weak by nature.  Most of their targets are weak individuals who are physically weak like them.  Personally, I think these people are dirt.  They are cowards in every sense of the word.  The way they act, the way they fight, the way they live, all of it, yeah?”


Shira smiled.  “These Bulblin guys don’t sound like much.  I bet I could take on and beat some of these guys.”


Soren chuckled.  “Shira, you just might be right about that.”  He turned to Ashei and Shad.  “So, I suppose our best course of action is to search the field for their base, and if any resistance comes we should probably get physical with them up close.”


Shad nodded.  “I suppose.  However, we don’t want them to get off any arrow shots at close range.  You get hit by a speeding arrow from close distance and you might not get up again.”


Ashei disagreed with Shad.  “Shad, I think Soren’s right.  These enemies are physically weak; we’ve got to take the fight to them.  If they shoot a bunch of arrows at us, its still going to hurt just as much at one thousand yards as it would at one hundred yards.  It doesn’t matter to me anyway.  Soren, I agree with you.  We’ve got swords, and I for one am not afraid to use them.  We’ll slash them off horseback if we have to!”


Shad looked incredulously at Ashei.  Ashei was truly a warrior, something he was not.  He was more of a student, an intellectual type that figured things out with his brain, not his fists.  He didn’t like the idea of throwing Soren and Shira into the fire like this.  But he was outnumbered.  Into the fire they went.


Soren took charge of Telma’s horse, while Ashei whipped her steed into a sharp galloping pace.  Riding to the northwest, away from the twilight barrier covering Lanayru Province, they found no trace of their adversaries for almost an hour.  They were about to stop to rest when out of the corner of her eye, Shira spotted a bunch of wildebeest appearing from the left. 


“Hey Soren.” Shira said, tugging at his clothes, “Do you see them.  There to the left!”


Soren turned his horse to the left and noticed the enemies coming in.  As he turned back to Ashei, her face was beat red.


“They are coming in from all directions!” She shouted.  “It’s a trap!”  Shad and Shira were both beginning to feel nervous as the heat of battle approached.


Not waiting from an order from Ashei, Soren turned to the left.  “Let’s head south at full speed and get out of the loop!  Then we move back around to the backside and attack!”


Ashei was about to announce her displeasure with that particular course of action, but Soren was already riding off at full speed to the south.  Ashei quickly turned her horse to run after Soren.  Meanwhile, Soren watched as he approached the group of Bulblin archers.  There were maybe about five of them, maybe six, strung out in a row before him.  With each passing second the hooves got louder and louder.


“Shira, pull out your bow.  Take aim and fire on my command.”  Shira pulled out her bow and cocked an arrow, aiming it at the middle of the Bulblin group.  “Shoot!” Soren yelled.  Shira fired her arrow.  A few seconds after it left it her bow, it connected with one of the Bulblins, knocking him off of his wildebeest.  Soren noticed the other Bulbins reaching for their bows. 


“Duck!” Soren yelled.  They both got down as a volley of arrows whizzed by their ears.  Shira readied another arrow and let it fly.  Once again her aim was perfect, as she took down another Bulblin in the center of the formation.  By now, a gap had been opened in the center, and Soren whipped his horse attempting to get through it.  “Hold on to me and get low Shira, this could get rough!” Soren said.


Soren pulled out his sword and readied himself to swing.  Only a few seconds remained until they reached the Bulblins.  He noticed the two sides of the formation attempting to squeeze him in at the last minute.  That was fine by him; they were making a big mistake.  He swung with all his might.  Clang!  His sword made a metallic noise against the equipment of the Bulblins.  The aftershock sent Soren backward on his horse, but he hung on with relative ease.  He looked back and found several Bulblin archers down on the ground.  Ashei, riding behind Soren, trampled right over one of the fallen archers, perhaps intentionally.


“Turn around!” Ashei yelled to Soren.  Soren turned his horse around and noticed that there were many Bulblin archers in the plain just northeast of them.  But it appeared that they were disorganized.  They traveled in all different directions, not as a whole unified formation.  It was as if the sudden attack by Soren and Shira had left them in a tizzy.


“Now is where we take them!” Soren yelled.


“And so the battle begins.” Shad said. 



Chapter 7: Joust on Eldin Bridge


“Let’s move back to the north!  Their formation is coming apart!” Soren yelled.  He turned and started to gallop ferociously back toward the pack of Bulblin archers in the midfield.  Ashei turned her horse and followed right beside Soren.  Shira readied her bow and Shad primed his slingshot-like weapon. 


On Soren’s command, Shira fired her bow, knocking out another Bulblin.  Shad fired his weapon and nailed one of the archers in the face with a rock.  It went down like a stone.  The Bulblin archers reorganized, and just before the horses reached them they fired off another volley of arrows toward them.  This time Soren got hit with an arrow in his left arm and fell off the horse.  He emitted a loud yell as he fell to the ground.  He tumbled several times before coming to a stop.  Shira, who was lucky enough to hang on and steady the horse, rode through the line of Bulblins and trampled several. She hollered back toward her fallen brother as she looked to turn around.


That’s when out of the corner of her eye, Shira saw Soren get up.  He gave a hand signal to his sister, signifying that he was okay. 


“Shira, we’ve got to turn back to help Soren!”  Shad yelled to her.  “He could be gravely injured!”


Shira was undeterred.  “My brother is fine, he’s up, and he’s fighting on.  I’ll try to loop back to him!” She yelled out.


Soren put his right hand on the arrow, keeping his arm still.  Then with force, he yanked the arrow out of his arm, screaming as he did it.  The pain had caused his right arm to essentially lose all of its feeling.  He was about to reach for his bottle of red potion when two Bulblins attempted to attack him from behind.  He heard them come behind him and he charged, tackling both of them to the ground.  He quickly got up and ran to the right about thirty yards to retrieve his sword, which had flown off when he fell off the horse.  By the time he did so, the two archers were taking aim at him again, this time with flaming arrows.  He rolled on the ground and evaded their shots by several feet, and sprinted full out towards them with his sword.  Using his weaker right arm, he slashed and sliced his adversaries until they fell dead on the field.  Another Bulblin came over to help his fallen comrades, but Soren was too tough for him.  Several more attempted to help but again suffered the same fate.  Finally, one of the Bulblins got smart and snuck far behind Soren, looking to take him down with an arrow.  Soren was vulnerable for he never even saw him.


However, a big gust of wind came across Eldin Plain, causing the Bulblin to miss badly, actually connecting with one of his comrades about fifty yards past Soren.  By now, Shira had made her way back toward her brother on horseback.  Noticing the solitary Bulblin taking aim at her brother, Shira’s face tensed up.  She was mad.  Without thinking she notched an arrow from the saddle and fired.  It hit the Bulblin right in the heart.  He staggered for a brief moment before falling over dead. 


“Soren!  I’m coming around to get you, be ready!”  Shira yelled.


Soren readied himself, and he hopped onto the horse using his good arm.  They were prepared to ride back into the now-smaller pack of Bulblins when Soren noticed something interesting.  Coming from the south of Eldin Plain was a solitary horse.  It was being followed by several attackers on wildebeests.  A minute or so later, Soren noticed a young man in green battling with the attackers from horseback as he attempted to ride north.  The attackers appeared to be aligned with the Bulblins.


“Shira!” Soren yelled.  Turn around to the west!  There’s somebody out there that needs our help!”


Shira signaled to Ashei to turn to the west, and within seconds that was the direction they were traveling.  The remaining Bulblins attempted to shoot them as they ran away, but their shots never came close.  With each passing stride, Shira and Ashei pushed their horses harder, hoping that they would not tire out at this critical point in the battle.  After a few minutes of hard riding, they were approaching the line of intersection between them and the pack of wildebeest following the man in green. 


Soren and Shira switched positions on the horse, a difficult thing to do midst ride if you are not experienced at horseback riding.  His arm was killing him, and a nasty patch of blood and tissue resided at the spot where the arrow hit him.  Yet he was not going to give up.  Using his off hand once again to hold his sword, he readied himself and his sister for a possible impact with the wildebeest pack.


Their line of entry was perfect.  The man in green opened up a slight gap on his adversaries, and Soren came in sideways from the right, straight through the gap.  With a nasty backhand slice, he knocked off two of the enemies with his sword’s broadside.  In a split second, Shira managed to pilot the horse between two charging wildebeest, hooking the horse’s front leg into the back of a third wildebeest.  This caused it to fall to the ground with its rider.  In one fell swoop they had taken out three of the pursuers.  The man in green continued to ride north. 


“Soren!” Ashei called out.  “Let’s follow the man in green!  He could lead us to something important!” 


Soren headed Ashei’s call, and the two turned their horses to the north.  Before very long, they reached the northern end of Eldin Plain.  For those of you not familiar with Hyrulian geography, at the northern frontier of Eldin Plain stands a large, wide chasm that has never been successfully navigated.  The Bridge of Eldin, a stone arch causeway, provides the only route of traffic across the chasm.  They watched as the man in green led his horse onto the bridge.  Soren and Shira followed behind him but stopped short of the bridge as they noticed a really large Bulblin riding a wildebeest on the other side of the bridge.  This brute was the King of the Bulblin clan.  Next to him, Shira noticed something hanging from a pole.


“Hey Soren, is that a little kid tied up to that pole?”  Shira asked.


“What are you talking about?  I don’t see any pole with any…wait, there it is.  Good gracious!” he suddenly yelled.  “That IS a little kid tied on the pole!”


“Soren.  Telma was right!”  Shira’s eyes were beaming.  “The Bulblins were the ones that killed father and captured mother!  If they’ve captured this kid, they must have done it!”


“I’m not ready to jump to that conclusion just yet.  But this is damning evidence.” Soren said as he pulled out his sword, preparing to fight in case the man in green suffered.


The King Bulblin and the man in green charged after each other riding their respective animals, like that of a medieval joust.  They rode head on toward one another, until the final second when the man in green nudged his horse rightward and stabbed his sword into the heart of King Bulblin.  He fell off his wildebeest down into the chasm, emitting a muffled yell as he fell.


Within seconds of King Bulblin’s fall, Ashei, Shad, and the two siblings rushed onto the bridge to rescue the young boy tied to the pole.  Thankfully, he was uninjured and was in good spirits.  The man in green mentioned that his name was Colin, and he had been captured by King Bulblin in the streets of Kakariko Village.  He needed to return him to the village as quickly as possible.


Soren responded, “What would he want with this young boy?  And who are you?”


The man in green replied, “My name is Link.”



Chapter 8:  Three Attacks


“It looks like your arm is hurt.” Said the Shaman.


“Yes, I was struck by a Bulblin archer.  It caused me more pain than I’ve ever experienced in my life.” Soren said. 


Renado looked over the scabbed wound left behind on Soren’s arm.  “I know an advanced healing technique that will make this go away in no time at all.”


“It’s okay.” Soren said.  “I don’t feel much pain anymore.  I took a bunch of red potion and that made me feel better.”


“You’re sure?  It doesn’t look good.”


“Absolutely.  My arm feels good as new.”


“Okay then.  At least let me bandage this wound up for you.” Renado said as he pulled out his surgical bandages from a corner of the Kakariko Sanctuary, a building on the south end of town that doubled as his home.  A descendant of the Sheikah, the race of people that founded Kakariko Village many years ago, Renado was regarded by many as the leader of Kakariko.


“So what exactly do you do here?” Shira asked Renado.


“I am the guardian shaman of Kakariko Village.  In short, I am the protector of peace and sanctity in the village.  The spring to the south of this sanctuary is actually the sacred spring of the light deity Eldin.  Together with the other deities, Eldin provides the light of our world, and I help serve the deity.”


“That’s very cool.  So you are a sort of provider of everything good?”


“I tend to think of it that way.  I help out people who are in need whenever I can.  Just within the past month, when Eldin was covered in the twilight, a pack of dastardly insects and a wolf came through the village wreaking havoc.  I allowed everybody to stay in the sanctuary until the danger had passed.  More recently, we’ve been having difficulties with the Gorons on Death Mountain.  A few villagers have been attacked, and I have helped heal them.”  Renado turned back to Soren.  “There, your arm should be fine so long as you don’t take any more arrows.”


The conversation between Shira and Renado had perked Soren’s interest.  “Renado,” Soren asked, “Exactly what problems are you having with the Gorons?”


Renado answered with strain.  “There’s something going on inside the mountain.  I can’t tell if it’s something with the Gorons’ leadership, or if it’s an issue with us down here, but they’ve been acting very hostile toward us lately.  They won’t allow us to enter their Death Mountain, and they’ve ceased all trade with our villagers.  A few weeks back there was an instance of a goron attacking several of us near the bomb shop.  Mutual disdain is one thing, but when disagreement balloons into violence, that’s where I draw the line.  I’ve sent Link up to Death Mountain to find out exactly what the problem is and relay the information to me and the other villagers, so that we may correct the situation.”


“How long has Link been gone?”  Shira asked.


“About twelve hours.” Renado said.


“Renado,” Shira said, “My brother and I are in your village today because of a tragic event that occurred near our home in Hyrule Castle Town about a week ago.  Our father was killed and our mother was captured in an attack by the Bulblin Clan.  They killed him by trampling him with their wildebeests.”  Shira was getting choked up just talking about it, and had to pause for a minute.  Soren whispered something into her ear, and she shook her head in agreement.


“What Soren means is, we noticed a similarity between our tragedy and an event that occurred in Kakariko yesterday.  We were out at the Bridge of Eldin, and watched Link as he defeated King Bulblin.  During this battle, we noticed a young boy tied up on a pole carried by the enemy.  We heard from Link after the battle that the boy’s name was Colin, and he was captured from the streets of Kakariko in a very similar manner as our mother.  If you don’t mind, I would really like to speak to Colin about it.”


Renado paused for a minute.  “Colin is lying over on one of the beds over there.  But I warn you, he’s still a bit quiet and scared.  You might not get much out of him.”


Soren and Shira walked over to Colin.  He was lying on his back on a bed along the wall of the sanctuary.


“Hello Colin.  My name is Soren, and I would like to talk to you.”


Colin turned his head toward Soren.  “What is it?” he asked.


“Are you feeling okay?”


“Uhh…they took me away.”


“Who took you away?”


“I, I don’t know.  Really mean people did.” Colin said.


“Who’s your friend?” Shira asked, pointing at the girl standing along the far wall.


“Oh, her name is Beth.  She’s a friend of mine.  We come from the village of Ordon.”


“Ordon?” Shira asked.  “I’ve never heard of that place.”


Soren interjected.  “Ordon.  That’s in the far south of Hyrule, down past Faron Woods.  Isn’t it?  What are you doing here?”


Colin had a pained look on his face.  He refused to speak.


“Colin, we’re here to help you.” Shira said.  “Tell us, did something happen to you in Ordon that made you come to Kakariko?”


Colin was silent for a minute, and then he spoke.  “They came from Faron.  They attacked and captured Link and brainwashed Ilia, another girl from Ordon.  Her memory is still lost today.  The rest of the village was going to be next.”


“And then what?” Shira asked.


“We moved out of Ordon to escape their attacks.  But they followed us here.  They came after my sister.  Their leader was going to trample her with his animal, and I pushed her out of the way.  Then they took me away.” Colin said, his voice trembling.


Soren thought about Colin’s report.  It was very similar to the account of his mother’s capture.  “Colin, do you remember anything about the capture, what they told you, what you heard, anything?”


“The only thing I remember was, they took me to their king.  He stood before me and told his helpers to take me through the tunnels to the hidden village.  That’s the last I remember before Link and your friends saved me.”


“The hidden village?” Shira asked.  Soren spoke.  “Thank you Colin, your information has been of great help to us.


Soren and Shira conferred between Colin and Ilia.  “Shira, there have been three separate attacks by the Bulblins.  There was the attack on our parents, there was the attack in Ordon in which Link was captured, and there was the attack in Kakariko in which they took Colin.  For some reason, they have some affliction with capturing people.  And who knows, there may have been many more attacks that we don’t even know about.”


“Soren.” Shira said hurriedly.  “Didn’t Colin mention something about a hidden village?  Maybe this hidden village is the Bulblin hideout.  Maybe if we find this hidden village then we’ll find mother!”


“I’m willing to try anything.  Maybe Renado knows about a hidden village?”


Soren walked back to Renado.  “Renado, do you know anything about a hidden village?”


Renado turned his head and glared at Soren.  “Where did you hear that?”


“Colin told me that the Bulblins were going to take him to a hidden village.”


“Soren, there is a mostly abandoned village far to the north of here, across the Bridge of Eldin near the border of Eldin and Lanayru.  But at present, there are giant boulders blocking the path, you’ll never get through to the village without the help of the Gorons.  And they don’t seem intent on helping any of us right now.” Renado sighed.


“Colin mentioned something about a tunnel leading there.” Shira said.


Renado’s head turned up.  “In that case, I have just what you need.”



Chapter 9: Into the Underground


Soren and Shira stayed over the night inside Renado’s home along with several of the children from Ordon Village.  Their intention was to wait for Link to return from the mountains and travel with him northward to the hidden village, but time was of the essence.  If he did not return within the next day or so, they would have to go it alone.


The next morning, the two siblings were walking down the dirt roads of the village.


“Soren, this is a neat lantern.  Look at it, its got four sturdy sides.  There’s not a person in the world that would break this thing apart.”  Shira said.


“And the best part is that we got it for free.” Soren said.  “We mention something about a tunnel, and Renado gives us the lantern for no charge, no questions asked.  I have to respect that man; he really helped us out today.”


“And he’s so nice too.  For somebody who makes a living out of helping others, he seems to be doing just fine.” Shira said.


“Shira, I’ve been meaning to ask you this for a while now, but I figured you would cry if I asked it.  Now you seem to be getting stronger, so I’ll ask.  Do you think that mother is alright?  What I mean is, do you think we will find her in good spirit?”  Soren asked.


“I…I don’t know.” Shira said.  “I’m the one that’s supposed to be asking you the questions big brother.”


“What’s your gut instinct?” he asked her.


“I’m not sure where she is.  But wherever she is, I think our mother is fine, and we will find her one of these days.” Shira said.


Soren wanted to believe her, but he had his doubts.  After all, it had been well over a week since the attack in Hyrule Castle Town that left their father dead and their mother captured.  He worried that she might be have killed, or possibly left to die out in the middle of nowhere by the notorious Bulblins.  One thing was certain to him, the sooner they uncovered the Bulblin base, the sooner they would find their mother.  He was going over plans in his head when a solitary figure came running down the Death Mountain Trail.  It was Link.


Soren ran over to Link.  “Link!  What’s the word from the mountains?” he asked.


“It’s quite a story.” Link replied.  “But everything is back to normal up there.  We should not have any more problems with the Gorons.  If you will excuse me, I need to tell Renado of this news.”


Link spent the next hour or so talking with the Kakariko shaman, then tending to his horse Epona.  Soren and Shira both waited patiently for him as he appeared to be in no hurry to leave.  The truth was that Link was tired.  He had just fought several Gorons to gain entrance to their mines located inside Death Mountain.  After working his way through the mines, Link worked hard to free the Goron elder from an evil curse by tripping him up on his own steel chains.  To a lesser man, the day would have been so tough that the next day would have been spent almost exclusively recovering from the previous day’s exploits.  But Link was different.  He lived for adventure, and had enough stamina to run a marathon three times over.  He barely acknowledged his lack of sleep as he chatted with Shira and Soren before their departure.


In the late morning, Link, Shira, and Soren departed Kakariko Village.  They headed northbound across Eldin Plain toward the Bridge of Eldin.  The trip across Eldin Plain was about twenty miles, maybe about a forty or fifty minute trip on horseback.  Expecting some Bulblin resistance remaining from the first battle, Soren and Shira noticed that there was none in the area.  Either they had retreated or they were trying to lure them into a trap.


As soon as they got across the Bridge of Eldin, a gaping hole appeared in the sky over the bridge.  It sucked up part of the bridge, destroying it and rendering the canyon impassible.  Out of the same hole in the sky came several twilight messengers.  Soren was prepared to fight again but he did not have to, for Link was truly awesome with a sword.  He dismounted Epona, and with a few quick moves and sudden slashes, he defeated the messengers. 


A few minutes later, they continued northward.  The trail turned much more rocky and barren as they pressed forward.  Despite it being noontime, the skies began to get dark as they neared the border of light and twilight at Lanayru Province. After about ten more minutes of riding up the rocky terrain, Link stopped by a boulder.  Soren and Shira slowed up behind him.


“I have to continue on to the north and east into Lanayru Province.  I trust that Renado has directed you to the point where you have to go?” Link asked.


Soren replied quickly.  “Yes.  We will just fine from here.  You go on with your business in Lanayru.”


Link and Soren gazed into each other’s eyes for a second, and then Link turned Epona around and rode away.  Soren looked at Link and knew that he was a warrior that earned respect from the people, something he always hoped to be.  He turned back to Shira.


“Let’s see if we can find this tunnel.” He said.


The two siblings looked around for about an hour without any success.  There was nothing but rocky, high terrain surrounding the trail in all directions.  Just when it appeared that they had reached an impasse in their search, Soren noticed something interesting about a quarter mile northeast of the giant boulder. 


“Take a look at this little sister.  There’s a lot of moisture running down the rocks on this face.  I think I have a good idea why.” Soren said.  He took two steps forward to feel the rocks, and indeed they were dripping wet.  That was strange because the area was mostly arid and there was no visible water in the area.


“There’s an underground spring in this area.  Shira, give me one of those bombs from the shop, I’m going to bomb this out.”


“Soren, you might trigger a flood if you do that!”  Think about what you’re doing!” 


“I don’t see what other choice I have.  Besides, why do you care?  You can swim better than anybody in Hyrule; a flood would suit you just fine.” Soren said.  He took a bomb out of their travel pouch, lit it, and placed it on the ground near the soaked rocks.  The bomb exploded, and once the smoke and ash cleared, a nine-foot hole in the ground was exposed with water hissing out of it.  Better yet, a gaping hole leading into the mountainous wall was exposed. 


“Soren, you are amazing!” Shira shouted.  “Now we can get into the underground.”


Shira’s enthusiasm went south as soon as she walked inside the 6-by-6 foot tunnel.  It was dark, slimy, and very wet inside.  In parts of the tunnel, the water was at least two to three feet deep, making it difficult to slosh through.  Shira carried the lantern that Renado had given them, while Soren moved with his sword in front of him in case of sudden attack.  Luckily for both of them, the tunnel appeared to be devoid of all creatures.


After walking through the narrow tunnel for about twenty minutes, they came to a very large room, at least the size of a ballroom.  There were several torches at the entrances on both sides of the room so it was well lit, but the rocky ground was very wet and slippery. 


A few seconds after Soren and Shira walked into the room, a metal door sprang shut behind them.  They were trapped inside.  Worse yet, they began to here noises bouncing off the walls inside the room.


“Soren, I’m starting to feel scared.” Shira said.



Chapter 10:  The Hidden Village


Soren turned toward the front of the room.  Out of a metal door on the other side emerged several Bulblins.  They had their bows aimed straight at the two siblings, with arrows that were lighted on fire.  Soren instantly shouted to hit the deck.  The Bulblins took their shots and missed horribly, their arrows falling far short of their targets.  Shira drew her bow while Soren unsheathed his sword and moved in on the Bulblins.  They got their bows and took aim at Soren again, but failed to get their shots off before Soren pulled off a Link-esque spin attack, knocking all three of the enemies to the ground.  Soren then instantly stuck his blade into the two Bulblins that had fallen to the right, while Shira took out the one on the left with an arrow as it was trying to get up. 


Suddenly Shira felt something tug her arm.  Her neck snapped back as a Bulblin wielding a sword grabbed her from behind and laid its cool blade against her neck. 


“Now listen here young lady, you aren’t going to move a muscle.  I’m going to make you and your brother pay for the murder of our King!”  The Bulblin said.


By this time Soren noticed what was going on.  He was shocked by what he saw.  How did a fourth Bulblin get inside the room?  And how did he manage to go undetected and sneak up on Shira like that. 


“Let her go!” Soren demanded.  “Or it’s your head!”


“Don’t come any closer!” It yelled to Soren.  “Soren, just do what he says!” Shira yelled.


“Lay down your weapon!” The Bulblin demanded. 


Soren looked at his sister, then the Bulblin.  This was a bad situation to be sure, worse than they had experienced all adventure.  Soren laid down his blade on the ground.


The Bulblin laughed.  “So this is where the story of the siblings concludes.  You thought that you could save your mother and foil our plans to take over Hyrule!  But you see, we are a much more advanced kind that people give us credit.  We think things through, and get what we want.  I’m going to make an example out of you so that all who doubt the power of the Bulblin Clan will doubt us no more!  My little sweetie, any last words before I plunge this blade into your neck?”


Shira looked to Soren for a cue.  Summoning all her inner strength, she went for the only course of action that could save her life.


“I’m taller than you.” Shira told the Bulblin.


“What? You’re taller than m…”  Before the Bulblin could finish his sentence, Shira leaned backward, giving herself the leverage to free her right hand.  Before he could react she elbowed him hard in the stomach and sent her right leg backward into his crotch area.  The Bulblin yelled in pain.  By this time Soren was up in the Bulblin’s grill and kicked him hard in the face.  The force of the kick sent the sword flying.  Shira then picked the Bulblin up and tackled him to the ground.  She started to flail, claw, and rip his flesh in a very feminine sort of way. 


“Soren, hand me your sword.” Shira yelled.  By now Shira had absolutely snapped, and Soren knew it.


“Hold on Shira!” Soren yelled.  He walked over and kicked the Bulblin in the face again.  His eyes rattled in the back of his head.  “How do we open that door over there?” Soren asked the downed Bulblin as he pointed to the metal door in front of them.  “Answer me before I take your life!” Soren yelled.


“The way through the door, the torches, there are four.” The Bulblin said.  He then fell limp, dead.


“The torches there are four.  What is that supposed to mean?” Shira asked.


“Well, I think it has something to do with the four torches in the corners of the room.” Soren said.  “Maybe we have to light them on fire just like the ones near the doorways.” Soren started walking toward one of the corners when he tripped and fell.  He clothes were roughed up and his knees were warm as he got up.  As he did so, he noticed a design on the floor.  Four points in the shape of a square, and a line connecting the four points in a Z formation.


“Maybe we need to light them in this order to get the door to open?” Shira said.


Soren took the lantern and went to the top left corner of the room.  He lit the torch, and then went to the top right, and then bottom left, before finishing in the bottom right.  Sure enough, as soon as he lit the final torch, the metal door at the top of the room began to open up.  They had figured out the riddle of the room.


They went through the door.  Past the doorway was long, wide tunnel, with a beam of light showing from the end of the corridor.  About a minute later, the tunnel turned up toward the surface.  They emerged from the tunnel on a dry and dusty landscape.  In front of them stood what looked like the ruins of a once bustling town.  Soren noticed that the area was heavily guarded by Bulblin archers. 


“Is this the hidden village?” Shira asked.


“Looks like it.  Not much here, I would have expected something a little more, civilized.” Soren said as he looked around the premises.  “It certainly appears to be the Bulblin center of operations though.  Just look at all of them in there.”


“Do you think mother is here?”


“I don’t really know, but I have a feeling that she is somewhere in this area.  Let’s look around a bit.  We need to be careful though, we can’t have any sudden attacks from behind like we had in the tunnel.”


Soren and Shira went under the entranceway into the Hidden Village.



Chapter 11:  The Twilight Teleportation


Soren looked into the village from just in front of the entranceway.  He noticed Bulblin archers guarding almost the entirety of the village’s area, despite the fact that there was nothing obvious of value in the burned and windswept ghost town. 


“There must be something of value here.  Even though it looks abandoned.  Why else would there be so many of the Bulblins defending the area?” Soren said.


“I think we can hide out in the buildings to avoid them.” Shira said convincingly.


“Negative.” Soren said.  “There might be several of them inside the buildings as well.  If we get caught inside, we’ll be arrowed to death for sure.”


“What if mother is being held inside one of the buildings?” Shira asked. 


“I doubt that she is being held directly inside the buildings.  There’s not enough cover in the buildings, they’re practically falling down.  However, it wouldn’t surprise me if there was a passageway from one of the buildings leading somewhere.  That’s where we would probably find her.”


Soren didn’t have to wait long for his theory to come true.  He noticed that there was a tower of some kind at the back of the village.  Just to the right of that was a rocky outcropping of some kind poking out from behind the buildings.  Several Bulblins emerged from out of this building, one of whom Soren noticed was carrying a key.  They appeared to be chit-chatting about something.


“Shira, do you that Bulblin over there?!  He’s got a key of some kind.” Soren said.


“Yeah, but they’re on the other side of the village.  How are we supposed to cross the village to reach them?” Shira asked.


“We run for it.” Soren said.


“What, no!  Are you crazy?!” Shira said in a shocked voice.  “We’re sure to get arrowed if we go running down the main street like that!”


“Shira, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but these Bulblin characters are pretty bad shots.  I got hit once, but that was all luck.  None of the others have even come close to hitting us yet.  They’ve had an exceptionally hard time hitting moving targets.  If we run for it and surprise the Bulblin carrying the key, we could be inside the key building before any of them could get us.”


Shira stared at her other brother incredulously.  This was not going to be fun.


With a furious burst of steam, Soren burst into the main street.  The Bulblins were surprised by his emergence, and began to cock their arrows.  However, as soon as they were about to shoot, Shira appeared from the same area as Soren had come from seconds earlier.  Now they were confused.  Just how many of these people were there?  The archers ignored both of them and focused their attention on the front of the village, thinking that they were under full scale attack.  By the time they realized that the two Hylians were working on their own, they were both past the main street and behind the buildings on the right side of the village.


Soren crashed into the bulblin carrying the key, laying him out with a vicious clothesline.  Shira followed from behind and smacked the other bulblin in the face with a rock.  They both fell quickly without much of a sound.  Soren quickly picked up the key and used it to enter the building on the far right side of the village.  He quickly disposed of the lone bulblin inside the building with his sword, and then went to work on a trap door that was in the center of the room.  With the help of his sword, he unlatched the bolt on the door, and lifted the thing open.  A staircase leading back to the underground emerged in front of them.  By this point, the other bulblins outside realized what was going on, and were moving in to attack.  Soren and Shira quickly got inside the door and locked the bolt behind them to separate themselves from the advancing attackers.


It was pitch dark on the staircase.  Twice Shira had to clutch the slippery metal railings in order to stop herself from falling down the stairs.  They reached the bottom of the stairs and began to work into a tunnel when they noticed something interesting.  There was a large amount of light coming from a room on the right of the tunnel.  On the left, there was a separate area that was darker. 


Suddenly, Soren heard a shriek coming from the room on the right.  He and Shira quickly moved into the room to investigate the matter.  What they saw shook them all the way to their very core.  The room was well lit, and several bulblins stood on both sides of the doorway behind them.  They paid no attention to Soren and Shira as they entered the room, instead focusing on the two people crouched near the center of the room.  One person was a middle-aged woman in a dress.


“Mother!” Shira cried out.  She moved forward only to get held back by Soren, who tackled her to the ground.


“Are you crazy?!” Soren said.  “It’s a trap, somebody’s behind her!”


The other person, who stood behind Kaylee with one hand firmly on her neck, turned to face Shira and Soren.  He was hooded, either that or he was wearing a mask of some kind, they couldn’t exactly tell.  Either way he was quite ominous looking. 


The man gripped his hand hard around Kaylee’s neck.  She slumped over the ground, as if she couldn’t breathe.  The two children shouted for the man to stop choking their mother.  In response the man made a high-pitched shrieking noise that hurt the ears of both Soren and Shira.  Shira was freaked out, while Soren was straddling his emotions between anger and scared.  He was scared for his mother, for his sister, and for him.


Then the man finally spoke.  “I’ve been waiting for you two.”


The man waived his arms and in an instant, Soren and Shira were swept off of their feet.  They floated in midair for several seconds before crashing back to the ground.  Shira landed on her head and was dizzy as got she up clutching her ponytail.  Soren’s right arm hurt as he got back on his feet.  Both of them noticed the man laughing as they stood up.  Now Soren had had enough of the man’s antics.  He was ready to rumble.


“Remember where you are, and what you see.  My name is Zant.  I am the leader of the twilight realm, and the supreme ruler of Hyrule.  Your mother is now a pawn of my master plan.”


Zant raised his arms again, and Kaylee’s body began to disintegrate into black pieces.  The pieces went up through a portal on the ceiling, straight up into the twilight realm.  Soon there was nothing left of Kaylee, she was gone. 


Zant began to laugh again.  Shira ran from the room screaming at the top of her lungs, scarred from what she had just seen.  Soren didn’t know whether to attack Zant or help his younger sister.  He was lucky, for his fear overtook him.  He turned and ran with all his might.



Chapter 12:  Uncovering Zant’s Plan


Shira continued running down the dark tunnel.  She had never been so scared in her life.  Labeled by many in Hyrule Castle Town as lacking courage at times, Shira refused to believe what she had just seen.  Had Zant really taken her mother apart piece by piece like that?  How could somebody have such powers?  These thoughts were all rolling through her head as she ran at full speed in the dark.


Crash!  Without warning, Shira ran head-first into a wall.  She fell to the floor with a thud.  Her head throbbed with pain as she attempted to stand up.  When she did so, she realized that it was not a wall, but rather an interlocking cage of metal bars.  Indeed, she had crashed into a jail cell. 


“Who’s there?” Somebody inside asked.


Shira jumped backward.  A chill ran down her spine.  “Who are you?” She asked.


“I am an enemy of the shadow demon.  He has imprisoned me here.”


Soren ran through the tunnel away from Zant’s room.  A whole slew of emotions were running through his mind, anger, anxiety, frustration, and most of all, shock.  Did he really just see his mother get decomposed in front of his very eyes?  He kept telling himself he was dreaming. 


Amid the darkness and his panting breath, he heard voices, voices from all around him.  These voices filled the tunnel with cries of anxiety and hopelessness. 


“Help us.  We are your friends.  Help us leave this place.  Please.”


“Who is there?” Soren asked.  He slowed his stride, and was now at a near standstill.


“We are the people of Hyrule Field.  We have been captured by the Bulblin Clan.  Please help us!”


“I cannot see you.” Soren said.  “I do not know which direction you lie.”


“We are chained and bound by the power of evil within this chamber.  He who has imprisoned us intends to turn our spirit upon ourselves for his evil plans.  We need the powers of the light to survive.”


“What is it that you want from me?” Soren asked.


Suddenly Soren felt the presence of somebody very near him, as if somebody was breathing heavily behind him.  He drew his sword and turned around quickly.


“Gah! Please don’t hurt me!” a girl’s voice said.


“What in the heck?  Oh Shira, it’s you.  You really scared me.” Soren said.


Just then, another voice began to speak to them. 


“Children who have been attacked.  You must hear about the demon’s evil plan to tarnish this great country and its people.  I am a prisoner of the shadow demon himself, and wish to pass on these important prophecies.”


“Speak…we’re listening.” Soren said nervously.  He and Shira held hands tightly, for they were very nervous and scared.


“The demon of shadows has used his evil powers to take over Hyrule Castle.  He has placed this land of Hyrule under a dense blanket of darkness.  The royal family has proven powerless to stop his ruthless aggression against our country.  The Princess has gone into hiding, and the Knights are insufficient to fight against even his weakest warriors.  Now the demon is hoping to inflict punishment on the people of this land so severe that death would be a more admirable option.  As of this very moment, we Hylians are being captured by the minions of the Bulblin Clan and brought to the demon himself inside these tunnels.  He is using his evil powers to send us to the Twilight Realm.  A realm of darkness and despair.  A kingdom of lust and greed, an utter wasteland.  There we will work a lifetime of servitude to his horrifying majesty.”


Soren looked at Shira, their eyes beginning to readjust to the darkness again.  “That must mean that Zant sent mother to this Twilight Realm.  She’s not dead!”


“Yes, Kaylee, she goes by.” The voice said.  “She was held in these very cells.  Until the day when Zant decided that it was her time to go.  Now she finds herself very near the Palace of Twilight, forever to labor at the demon’s every command.”


“How do we reach this Palace of Twilight?” Soren asked.


“If you free us, we will tell you.” The voice said.  “The key to the cells is in the room just ahead.  If you are quick, the demon will not notice your advance.”


Soren and Shira heeded the voice’s command and traveled forward.  They walked for a few minutes before they came to a door.  The door was rusted, and it creaked as they opened the door.  This room was very dark, yet not very large.  In the center of the room, there was a crucifix with chains hanging off of it.  Already freaked out by mother’s disappearance and the voices in the tunnel, they hardly even noticed it.  They spent less than thirty seconds looking for the key before Zant appeared at the entrance of the room.


“The prisoners told you about this place, did they not?” Zant asked.


“I know everything.  I know what you did to mother.  You think that you can just take advantage of all of us like this?!” Soren yelled back.  He was a caged animal backed into a very large corner, and he knew it.  There was no use holding back now.


“You have seen too much of my plan to remain alive.” Zant said to them.  “I will have you suffer the same fate as your father.”


“What did we ever do to you?!” Shira demanded.


“You live…in a world of light.” Zant said.  “That is indictment enough for you two to meet your end.  So long.  Part now we must.”


Zant disappeared, and as he did so, a number of huge bombs fell from the ceiling of the room.  They blocked the entrance to the room.  Shira and Soren were now trapped inside.  Zant reappeared, and cast a magical spell to light the bombs, and then he turned to speak to them again.


“You have two minutes before this cavern explodes with such force that nobody will ever find your remains.”  Zant then disappeared again.


Soren took out his sword and started hacking at the floor, hoping for some way to get through the ground.  Shira just sat on the ground, perhaps delirious at the fact that she was about to die.  About a minute passed.  Soren was about to admit defeat, when he noticed something on the ground.  When his sword hit the ground around the crucifix, it made a strange noise and the ground shook.  He suspected that the foundation of the room was weak.


“Shira!  Take two of the water bombs, give them to me!  Take two more for yourself!”  He handed them out to her.  “Light them with the fuse from the big bombs!  We’re going to lay them down around the four sides of the crucifix 6 feet away from the center!  The blast should send us through the floor!  Hurry, we don’t have much time left!”


Shira immediately got up, and grabbed the bombs and lit them using the other fuse.  She hurried and put down two bombs around the left side of the crucifix, while Soren placed two more bombs on the right side.  They then got to the center and held the crucifix as tight as they could.  The bombs went off, and a hole opened in the middle of the floor.  Soren and Shira dropped right through the opening.  They were now skidding down the steep side of a mountain on the platform anchored by the crucifix.  About ten seconds later, the massive bombs inside the room exploded, causing the mountain to shake and large quantities of rock to slide down the cliff.  Luckily, none of the rocks struck the siblings as they splashed down into Zora’s River.   



Chapter 13: Down on the Lake


The current in Zora’s River was fierce.  Luckily for the two shattered siblings, when the rocky platform splashed into the river, the wooden crucifix broke off.  The rocks continued their plunge to the bottom of Zora’s River, while the crucifix floated atop the watery surface.


Soren made his way over through the current to the makeshift raft.  Shira was already holding onto it.  Despite Soren’s status as the more physically gifted of the two, when it came to swimming or moving around in the water, Shira was far superior.  They had once had a swimming race while on vacation at Lake Hylia.  They settled on swimming the length of the Great Hyrulian Bridge, and while Soren got out to a lead early on, he got tired and his form fell apart.  Shira zoomed past him like a shark passing a lobster.


“The canyon sure is vast here.” Soren said.


“Yeah, it sure looks huge from down below.” Shira concurred.


A few months back, they had gone on a camping trip in East Hyrule Field, and they had set up camp not far from Zora’s River.  Now Zora’s River is not at the same elevation as the land around it, oh no.  Over thousands of years, the river had carved out a very large canyon at least a few hundred feet deep.  The cliffs on both sides of the canyons were quite steep, and from what they could see, had quite a bit of construction on their sides.  Shira looked up and noticed several Bulblins standing on scaffolding far above the river’s surface.


“Those Bulblins sure like digging underground.” Shira said as they rode through a rapid.


“Those little maggots sure are pretty advanced in construction.  How did they manage to build these bridges and tunnels over the river?”  Soren wondered.


“Maybe if they weren’t so caught up in the destruction of other societies they would be able to actually contribute their talents in a positive way.  Not kidnapping innocent people in return for a kickback from somebody from another world!  Screw the Bulblins!  I hope they die, every last one of them!” Shira yelled, suddenly extremely upset.  “I don’t care if they all die in a massive cave-in tomorrow!”


“I would agree to a certain point, but gees!  Cool it a little will you sis?” Soren asked.


“Fine.  But the fact is that mother has been sent to the world of twilight, all because these miscreants have an affliction with causing pain.  I’m not going to just let them off; they’re just as responsible as Zant.  They are the ones who killed father and kidnapped mother.  Now maybe Zant told them to do it, but we don’t know that with certainty.”  Shira said.


“I just hope that there isn’t anybody else in on this whole alliance.  I think about the Gorons a lot.” Soren said.  “Renado said that they were not getting along with the people in Kakariko when we were there.  It sounds crazy, but what if the Gorons were secretly aligned with Zant and the Bulblins?  If we had to fight Gorons, it would make it next to impossible to save mother.”


“You’re not kidding!  I’m not fighting any Gorons!  They’re so big and scary.” Shira responded with a fairly obvious analysis.


“I really wish this thing doesn’t run any deeper.” Soren said.


“I wish I had my swim clothes.  I’m all wet.” Shira said in a suddenly cheerful tone.


Soren looked back at his sister.  With this one comment she had completely turned the mood upside down.  He laughed. 


Several hours passed.  They continued to ride their makeshift raft down Zora’s River, until eventually, the canyon began to level off a bit.  The Great Hyrulian Bridge could now be seen in the distance, and below it laid Lake Hylia, the southern terminus of the river.  Shira noticed that they were about to go over a waterfall.


“Soren, grab the front end of the wood, we’re going to ride it over the falls.  Just be sure you don’t sit on it!”


They braced themselves heading into the falls, which wasn’t that big a drop in elevation, maybe about fifteen feet or so.  They splashed down into the lake and emerged on the surface.  Shira spotted an outcropping on the side of the lake and swam to it.  As she pulled herself out of the water, she attempted to ring out her clothes of all the water. 


The something strange happened.  As Soren was pulling himself out of the water, they noticed a flickering of light from the west.  Then a few seconds later, the light in the area suddenly grew much dimmer. 


“What was that?” Shira asked, bewildered. 


“I don’t know.” Soren said.  “But I’ve got a good idea what it is.  We need to get to the Cave of Lanayru.”


They jumped into the lake and started swimming to the east, toward Lanayru Cave, the home of the guardian deity of Lanayru Province.  The swim was fairly long, but the lake surface was very calm and easy to navigate.  Shira, being the expert swimmer, made it across to the cave first.  As she got out of the water, she noticed that once again, the twilight had ceased over the area and the light had returned.  Something strange had occurred between now and when she started swimming. 


While she was waiting for her older brother to reach the shore near the cave, a wolf jumped out of the cave entranceway.  She was initially scared by its presence, but quickly noticed the blackish imp riding on its back and discerned it as the wolf that had helped her survive the attack in Kakariko Graveyard.  Only this time, the imp looked as if she was gravely injured.  Her body was scarred and she lay limp on the wolf’s back.


“Hey big brother, the wolf is back!” Shira said.


“Yeah, and so is Zant!” Said Soren rapidly.


Shira turned around and noticed the shadow leader standing inside the entrance of the cave.  He raised his arms to shoot an energy ball at her.  Shira flopped to the ground, and the shot went over her head.  Soren raced forward toward Zant, and he retreated back into the cave.  Soren continued after him only to be stopped by Shira.


“Soren, you can’t just run after him, it might be a trap!” She yelled.


“I don’t care!” Soren yelled.  “He may be messing with our guardian deity in there.  If he is, forget about mother and father, our entire city might be in danger!”


Shira sighed as she followed Soren into the cave.  Sure enough, Zant was there, waiting for them. 


For a while, Zant didn’t say anything.  Then with a wave of his hands, a bunch of twilight messengers appeared behind them, blocking them into the cave.


“I told you it was a trap!” Shira yelled. 


Soren looked to Zant with a fierce scowl.  “What do you want from us?  Your henchmen have already killed our father, you’ve taken our mother prisoner and you’ve already attempted to kill us once!  If you want my sister and me for your evil plans, you’ll have to take us dead!  We’re not going to your little twilight palace!”


Zant turned around.  “There is something you must know about the realm of twilight.”



Chapter 14: Twilight Tussle


Soren and Shira were quiet.  They did not know what Zant intended to do, or what he wanted out of them.  They dared not move or turn around to look back at the messengers behind them.  Soren had his sword drawn; Shira had two hands on her bow.  If anything physical happened on either side, there would be no turning back.


Zant was calm, yet calculated, as he spoke.  “Yours is a world of light.  Mine is a world of twilight.  Although we come from different worlds of differing amounts of light and darkness, that alone is not the reason for our mutual discord.”


“Then what is the reason?” Shira asked firmly yet calmly.  Although she had run from Zant once, this time she was not scared.  She stood tall awaiting Zant’s answer.


“In the land of twilight, there is a world of lush creation.  My people, the Twili, have resided within the twilight realm for eons.  And for an abominable length of time, my people have been held back, held down by the horrid and vile rule of the royal family.  The Twili have languished and withered in the strange powers exhibited by the wretched who call themselves ruler of the twilight realm!  I could not bear to watch the proud people of twilight fall any deeper into despair.  So I sought to gain the crown of the Twili, and become their leader.  By deposing the terrible monarchy that had ruined our kingdom, I have become the King of Twilight.”


Soren interrupted.  “So you thought that just because you became the ruler of the twilight people that you could just enter our world and wreak havoc on the lives of our people?!”


“Be quiet, young one.” Zant said sternly.  “It was never about your precious world of light.  I never cared about the world of light, not at all.  It was the Twili royal family and the people of the Twilight Realm that have forced this upon you!”


Soren’s anger continued to increase.  Shira was feeling the heat as well, but held it for the time being.


“The people of the Twilight Realm never believed me to be their next true ruler.  As such, I was not deemed worthy of having the powers usually bestowed upon the supreme rulers of the Twilight Realm.  These powers are strong, and would allow any living being to take unquestioned control of the kingdom.  These powers have been deemed by the Twili to only be attainable by the members of the royal family’s bloodline.  Thus, I have set forth a search to claim the powers that are rightfully mine that have been denied to me.  That search has led me to Hyrule.”


“So you’ve come to ruin the lives of people in our land because your own people are denying you some powers?” Shira asked.  “That does not make sense.  How would you be able to obtain your twilight powers in the light-filled Hyrule?  And what does this have to do with mother?”


“Your mother is a descendant of the creators of a great Hyrulian relic.  The relic is the Mirror of Twilight.  It connects this world with the world of twilight.  Her descendant creator knew everything about the powers of the Twili, knowledge that has been passed down from generation to generation.  One by one, I have collected the descendants of the ancient creators, and have made them labor in order to uncover the true secrets of the powers of twilight.  People like your mother are helping me to gain the power that is rightfully mine.  And when the time comes, I will go after the traitor, and you’re your mother’s help, become the true ruler of the entire world!” 


Zant paused a moment, then continued.  “Months ago, I banished the last remaining member of the Twili royal family to this realm.  Her name is Midna.  Midna was the individual responsible for holding back the true powers of the Twili from its true ruler.  So pathetic is Midna, she now lives as an imp, always parading around the world of light with her friendly wolf companion.  She is no help to me here.  But inside the world of twilight, she will help me succeed.”


Soren and Shira both gasped.  They now knew why the wolf had helped them in the graveyard at their father’s burial.  Midna was with the wolf, and had instructed it to save them? But who was this wolf?  Soren had a strong, sudden suspicion that the wolf might not originally be an animal at all.


“Zant.” Soren said.  “What will you do if your plan does not work?”


Zant looked blank for a minute, then responded.  “Let us just say, I have the power of a god on my side.”


By this time, Soren had had enough.  “Zant, we’ve listened to your story of lust, power, and greed.  Now you will listen to mine.  I have lived through our city being attacked by your minions.  My sister and I have watched your Bulblin friends kill our father.  They ruthlessly trampled him to death in the streets.  We have watched you kidnap our mother and take her to the Twilight Realm, right in front of our own eyes!  And then, you tried to kill us by blowing us up! You cannot even begin to imagine the pain that you have inflicted on me, my sister, and our family.  And for what?  Because you are being persecuted inside your realm and aren’t getting the true power of the Twili?  As far as I’m concerned, it’s time to fight.  Me and my sister, against you, 2 versus 1.  None of these minions or friends of yours.  This conflict is going to end in somebody dead, let’s just get it over with now!  Right now, let’s do this!”  He stepped forward toward Zant wielding his sword, his sister right beside him.


Zant started to laugh, but abruptly stopped.  Soren began to advance with his weapon when he noticed the spirit of Lanayru rising up out of the spring behind Zant.  Lanayru looked as if it was going to attack Zant from behind.  Zant must have realized this, because he pointed his right hand at Soren, then at Shira, before raising both hands into the air frantically.  Within seconds, Soren felt woozy.  Shira became overcome with dizziness, and blacked out.


The next thing they knew, they were standing on a street in Hyrule Castle Town, right next to their house.



Chapter 15: Home Sweet Home


“But, but how are we back home?  And why?”


Soren looked around the area, and then felt the buildings with his hand, just to make sure it wasn’t some kind of illusion.  It was nighttime, so the capital city of Hyrule was deathly quiet, and nobody save for a few stray cats and dogs roamed the streets.  He went inside the house just to see what kind of condition it was in.  Everything inside was just the way it was when they had set off on the adventure.


“I don’t get it.  This doesn’t make any sense.”  He thought to himself.


“Hey Soren!” Shira shouted.  “Come quick, you have to see this!”


Soren ran out of the house and saw Shira a little ways up the street, standing in an intersection on the southwest end of the city. 


“What is it sis?” he asked.


“That!” Shira pointed up to the north.  There was a strange force field of some sort in the sky above Hyrule Castle.


“Let’s move toward the center of town, maybe we can get a better view of it away from these buildings.” Shira said.


During the short walk into the center of Hyrule Castle Town, they noticed that the sun was beginning to come up over the horizon.  It must have been daybreak.  The sun rising to a crystal clear sky could mean only one thing, that the twilight that had been covering the city at the outset of their journey was gone.  As they approached the center of town, the force field appeared to get bigger and more sinister.


The siblings walked into the main square and sat down on the edge of the fountain that marked the exact midpoint of the city.


“Well, that thing looks impressive.” Shira said as she sighed.


“It’s covering the whole castle.” Soren said.  “Whatever that thing is, the castle has been completely immersed in it.  But why would anybody want to seal the castle?”


“It’s like a giant diamond.  Too bad it’s that horrible yellowish-black color, it could be so much prettier in a pink or blue color.  Whoever created that thing doesn’t have a good sense of color and fashion.” Shira said.


“True that.” Soren said.  “But in all seriousness, who was it that created that thing, and for what reason?  I can only think of two people in all of Hyrule powerful enough to create such a barrier.”


“And Princess Zelda wouldn’t create a barrier unless the city was under attack, which I suppose could have happened while we were gone.  But she wouldn’t have made it so ominous looking, at least not in that horrifying color scheme.  The powers of the Triforce wouldn’t permit that.  That means it has to have been Zant that did this.” Shira said.


“He must have sealed Zelda inside, along with anyone else who wasn’t killed in the initial attack of the castle.  But why would he do that?  Maybe he felt threatened by her as a challenge to his power?  That’s what I say.” Soren asked.


“I do not know the answer to that question.  Soren, are you finding it hard to follow Zant’s thinking?  He took mother to the Twilight Realm, and had the same opportunity to send us there, but he teleported us here instead.  Do you think he is afraid of us big brother?”


“I don’t think afraid is the right word.  He could be intimidated by us, but I definitely don’t think he is afraid.  However, one thing is certain.  He doesn’t want us to get inside the Twilight Realm.  If he did, he would have sent us there along with mother.  There has to be a good reason for why Zant doesn’t want us to reach the Realm of Twilight.  Maybe we’ll ask the Adventurers’ Guild about that.”  Soren said.


“Maybe tomorrow, I’m tired.  I have hardly slept for days.” Shira said.  “Let’s go home.”


They got up later that morning to the bustle of the business taking place down in the streets.  Aside from a few disquieting looks toward the giant barrier around Hyrule Castle, there was no noticeable difference in the way the people roamed the streets.  It was just another day in the Hyrulian capital.  Soren and Shira made their way through the streets to Telma’s Bar.  Inside the bar, they noticed that Ashei and Auru were gone, and Shad was the only one sitting at the map table in the corner. 


“Where are Ashei and Auru?”  Soren asked Shad.


Shad replied, “Ashei has traveled up into the mountains of northern Hyrule.  She’s helping Link reach the Mansion of the Yetis at Snowpeak Mountain.  Auru is down in Faron Woods, presumably training his golden cucco as he awaits Link’s arrival there.”


“So all of you are helping Link out?” Shira asked.


“Yes.  None of us personally have the strength to make this land rise up again, but between all of us, we can all do our part.”


“What book are you reading?” Soren asked Shad.


“This is a book of the Oocca.  They are a race that lives in the skies high above Hyrule.”


“Oh, so a fiction book, those are always fun to read.” Shira said.


“No.  This is serious.  Long ago, the Oocca had a channel of communication with the royal family.  But somehow over the years, this link was lost.  It is said that a person who carries an artifact called the Dominion Rod might have the ability to unlock the mystery of the sky.  I have been trying to figure out this riddle for a long time now, with little success.”  Shad said.


“It seems to me that you’re chasing something that doesn’t exist.” Soren said.


“It does exist!” Shad shouted.  “It’s been recorded!  Haven’t you ever read a book on Hyrulian history?!”


Shad cleared his throat a second, realizing that he had just raised his voice to his comrades in a flammable manner.  “I’m sorry.  I did not mean to yell.  Ahem, there are many legends of this land that most would find unbelievable, and are yet true.  Imagine this legend of the hero.  It is said that in the darkest hour, one chosen by the gods will become a beast, and fight back all the evil that plagues this land.  Now this one, I don’t believe has ever come true before, but it could someday.


Soren turned to Shira.  “A beast?  Could that mean?”  They nodded.


“Hey Shad.  Do you suppose that a wolf could be considered a beast?” Soren asked.


“A wolf?  Why, yes I suppose a wolf is a beast.”


Then Shira and Soren thought about Midna, and the conversation that they had with Zant inside Lanayru’s Cavern.  Could it be that Midna and Link were working together against Zant?  But, that would mean that Link had the ability to change his form.  How was that even possible?  It seemed so unbelievable to them, yet after all that they had seen, Soren and Shira were not about to discard anything. 


“Shad, do you know anything about the Mirror of Twilight?” Soren asked him.


“Actually, when Link came here yesterday, he was talking about a dungeon in the desert, with a giant mirror on top of it.  He said that the mirror was used to travel between Hyrule and the Twilight Realm.  I have a feeling that this is the mirror you speak of.”


Now it was official.  They needed answers, and Link was the one who had them.


“Shad,” Shira said.  “You mentioned that Link may be headed to Faron Woods.  Where is that on this map?”


“Faron Woods is down here,” Shad said, pointing at the map.  “His home is in Ordon Village, down in this area.  You’ll be sure to find him in either location within the next day or so.”


Soren and Shira turned and walked out of the bar.  Their objective was to find the hero.



Chapter 16: The Identity of the Hero


Southern Hyrule Field is so nice isn’t it?  There are so many wild flowers, trees; everything is just so beautiful down here.” Shira said.


“Yeah, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less dangerous.  Look over there.”


The two siblings looked over to the right where several Bulblin warriors were in a pack.  They appeared to be moving in for an attack.  They had swords drawn and looked to be quite agitated.


“Sis, get out your bow.  I’ll get my sword in case this gets too close for comfort.”


Soren’s sword was not needed, for Shira strung her bow and fired an arrow right into the heart of the pack’s leader.  Then seconds later, with all of them staring in wonderment, she took down another with a shot to the head.  That got their attention, and they immediately disbanded into the grassy wilderness. 


“Well, that was easy.  You have to admit, even if the Bulblins specialize in pillaging innocent people, they aren’t very bright.” Shira said.


“Indeed.” Soren said.  “Let’s just hope that they don’t swarm us too badly before we reach Faron Woods.  We should be there in an hour or so.”


The trip from Hyrule Castle Town to Faron Woods was initially delayed due to poor weather.  A massive rainstorm swept into Central Hyrule just before noon, resulting in high winds, torrential rains, and lots of lightning.  Luckily for Soren and Shira, the cloudy and blustery conditions faded into sunny skies and warm temperatures as they headed south through Hyrule Field.  After stopping to feed their horse they entered North Faron Woods in the late afternoon.  After traveling past a few log cabins, they entered a tunnel leading to the east that Telma had told them about.  According to Telma the tunnel led to their rendezvous point with Rusl and Link.  It was very dark in the tunnel, dark enough that Soren pulled out their lantern to light the way.


“Ewe, was that a rat over there?” Shira asked as she moved through the tunnel.  “I don’t like rats in the least bit.”


“I know sis, but they’re probably afraid of us too.  Don’t worry about it; they won’t bother us as long as we don’t step on them.” Soren said.  “Besides, I think I see the end of the tunnel.  We’re going to emerge from here soon.”


The two did emerge from the tunnel a few minutes, only to find that the heavily wooded area ahead was shrouded in a mist-like haze.  Soren moved close to the foggy clouds before noticing that they gave off a very strange smell.  It smelt something like really bad eggs.  He took out the lantern again in an attempt to see through the fog, and much to his surprise, the clouds parted about 5 feet all around the lantern.  It was as if the lantern’s heat and energy disrupted the condensation on the ground area.  Using the lantern to guide the way through the clouds, Soren and Shira made their way across the grove to the easternmost end of Faron Woods. 


“Darn, we’re out of lantern oil.” Soren said. 


“That’s not good.” Shira responded.  “How are we going to get back to the other side of that clouded grove?  It smells awful and we won’t be able to see anything.”


Just as Shira finished her sentence, they heard a bird’s voice from the right.  “Brroock!  Get your potion and lantern oil right here.  Broock!”  She turned that direction and saw a bird perched in a tree, with two cauldrons on the ground to the right of the bird.  One was red and had red life potion inside it, the other was yellow and contained lantern oil.


“Well isn’t this convenient.” Soren said.  “The bird is running some kind of business over here.  And we could use these items right about now.”  Soren dipped several bottles into the cauldrons and then used the lantern oil to refill the supply inside the lantern.  Shira talked to the bird for a minute before leaving 50 rupees in the box below where the bird was perched.  “Brroock, thank you, come again any time!” The bird replied back.


Upon leaving the bird shop, Soren spotted Rusl.  He was standing near a series of stumps on the ground overlooking a chasm of some sort.  “Rusl!  Is that you?” Soren asked.


Rusl turned around, shocked to see the adventurers there.  “Well if it isn’t the son and daughter of Canso the street builder!  I’ve heard so much about you two.  What is it that brings you two to Faron Woods?”


“It’s a long story.  But we need to find Link.” Soren said.  “Telma told us that you helped him down in this region not too long ago.”


“Ahh Link, the resident swordsman of Ordon Village.  He’s been off all over the country helping to solve the ongoing problems of this land.  I’m not sure about everything he’s seen and done, but I do know that Link came down here a few hours ago.  He needed some help to reach a grove on the other side of this chasm.” Rusl said.


“This chasm?”  Shira asked.  “That’s really far!  How was he able to get across?”


“He utilized the help of my golden cucco.  He’s quite the animal, and very strong too.  Link grabbed on to his talons, and there he went flying across the gap.  I never saw him since.  However, he did tell me that he was going to head back to his place in Ordon as soon as he was done over here.” 


“When do you suppose that will be?” Soren asked.


“I’m not really certain.  But Link has been away for quite a while now, so I think it won’t take too much longer.”


Soren thanked Rusl for his information, and they headed back through the foggy grove to the south of the Forest Temple.  They moved quickly through the grove, then through the tunnel leading back to southern Faron Woods.  This time, instead of turning to the right and heading toward Hyrule Field, they turned slightly left and continued the forest trail down toward the Faron-Ordon border.  Just past the border the siblings came up on a wooden bridge overlooking another giant chasm.  The wind was gusting hard, hard enough to make them think twice about the crossing.  It was dangerous enough that they left their horse behind tied to a tree.


“What is with all these blasted chasms?” Shira asked to nobody in particular as she worked her way across the bridge.  It’s like there are random cracks in the earth spread all throughout the land.”


Soren didn’t respond immediately.  He was focused on what exactly to ask Link once he found him.  They had talked briefly in Kakariko Village, and on their trip to the Hidden Village, but for some reason Soren was still a bit shy around Link.  He found his stature to be quite strong, almost as if he had an aura about him.


After crossing the bridge, they passed a spring on the left side of the trail.  The sun was going down, and the afternoon was fading into evening.  The sudden lack of wind made for a very dead feeling in the air.  About twenty minutes after going over the bridge, they came up on a tree house with several targets on trees surrounding it. As luck would have it, they didn’t have much time to wonder if they were at the right place, because they noticed a man dressed in green approaching them from down the trail. 


“I was wondering what you two were doing down here.” Link said.  “I see you’re looking for me.”


“Link; there are some things that we need to discuss with you.  The person who has caused us our undying pain is the same person who attacked Hyrule Castle.” Soren said.


Link put his sword away, and cleared his throat.  Truthfully, Link wasn’t very comfortable in situations like these.  He was not a very good speaker, and didn’t like talking to crowds.  However, his ability to help other people was unmatched.


“So you two are victims of Zant too?”  Link asked.


Shira responded.  “Yes.  He’s been the one behind the attack that killed our father and kidnapped our mother.  Not only that, but after an encounter in the Hidden Village, he tried to kill us.  There’s a secret base underneath the village that he has been using to teleport people to the Twilight Realm.”


“Hidden Village?” Link seemed puzzled by what Shira told him.  “I don’t know of any hidden villages out there.”


Soren continued.  “After our escape, we sailed down Zora’s River, and ran into Zant again at Lake Hylia.  He told us all about his struggle for control of the Twilight Realm, how a descendant of the royal family named Midna was feuding with him for power.  And then we heard about something else.”


“What was this?” Link asked.  His playful demeanor was very odd to both of them.


“We were told by a member of the Adventurers’ Guild of an ancient legend by which the hero selected by fate harbored the ability to become a beast and fight the evils plaguing this world.  In our travels we have had contact with a wolf with an imp on its back, similar to the one that Zant had described for us at Lake Hylia.  And then…”


Shira interrupted.  “We were told of an ancient relic called the Twilight Mirror, a mirror out in the desert that allows us to reach the Twilight Realm where our mother has been sent by Zant.  So…”


Soren re-interrupted.  “Based on what we have heard and what we know, I ask you this.  Are you the beast of legend, and is Midna working with you right now?”


Link was stunned by how quickly Soren and Shira had come at him.  At first he didn’t know what to say.  Then he turned around and seemed to speak to the air behind him.  “They’ve figured us out, you can come out now.”


Nothing happened for a few seconds, and Link spoke again.  “Just come out, they are our allies, we don’t have anything to fear.”


Just then, from underneath Link’s feet, Midna emerged.  However, she wasn’t the imp creature that they had seen before; she was a shadowy figure, very ghostlike. 


“Should we show them everything?” Midna asked Link.


“Yes, we should.  They have been victims of Zant’s power, just like you and me.” Said Link.


Midna turned back to Soren and Shira.  “Come over here with Link.  We’re going to explain everything, but not in this place.  Come with us.”


Soren and Shira held Link’s hands, and Midna instructed them to look up into the sky.  She turned around in a circular motion, and before they knew anything, everything went dark.  The next thing they knew, they were standing in a heavily wooded grove.  The ruins of an ancient Hyrulian temple stood before them.



Chapter 17: Mystery of the Mirror


“Where are we?” Shira asked.


“I think we’re in a heavy woods area, with some kind of temple in front.” Soren said.


Midna turned to the two of them.  “Take a look inside this stone door.” She said to them.


Soren stepped forward to a stone door that overlooked a ledge leading down toward the ruins.  He opened the door up, then jumped backward quickly, stunned to see a black and white building inside the door.  He turned around and looked back toward the ruins without using the door, and saw the ruins were still there. 


“You’re surprised aren’t you?” Link said to Soren.  “I was too.  This door acts as a gateway into the past.  It shows the past splendor of this temple, the Temple of Time, in a different period of time.  By passing into the past through this door, I was able to enter the temple.  It really is quite a grand spectacle of the past.  While inside the temple, I found this.”


Midna brought forth a large piece of glass.  “A shard of the Mirror of Twilight!” she said.


There was a hush of silence for several seconds.  “The Mirror of Twilight?” Shira asked.  “But that’s the gateway between this world and the world of twilight.  If you’re holding onto a piece of it, that means it was destroyed!  Who would have done that?”


“Zant.” Replied Midna.


“Zant?  But he told us that the Mirror of Twilight is the key to him unlocking the true power of the twilight!  If that is the case, then why would he destroy the mirror?” Shira wondered.


“Zant did not actually destroy the mirror.” Link said.  “It’s just broken.”


“Link, I don’t mean to interrupt, but I must know something.” Midna turned to Shira.  “What exactly did Zant tell you about his battles with me?” she asked her.


Soren interjected.  “He said that you were inept, the heiress to the throne of the Twilight Realm.  He said that you were of a royal family that was corrupt, spineless, and dedicated to the vegetation of the Twili.” He said.  “He told us that the Mirror of Twilight is the key to unlocking the true power of the Twilight Realm, and that our mother is a descendant of the creators of the Twilight Mirror.  He has enslaved her, and made her work on the secrets of the Mirror.”


“I think it is about time you heard my half of the story.” Midna said.


“The Twilight Realm is seen by the people of this world as that of a dark, dreary, and horrid universe.  But it really isn’t the bad place that people make it out to be.  It is a land of beauty, of natural splendor, and of loyal citizenry.  For many, many years, the royal family of the Twili has guided our brethren to create a hardworking, yet peaceful society.  Yet one day came, and Zant arrived.”


“Then what happened?” Soren asked.


Midna continued.  “Zant was a power hungry individual.  He was a person that was blinded by his aspirations for power, and as such he attempted at all costs to become powerful in the name of advancing the Twili race.  He thought that by force, he could guide the Twilight Realm into a new era of greatness.  But what he failed to realize is that in this world there is a balance between light and darkness.  The balance is decided by inches, inches that are all around us.  They are in the sunset, the sunrise, the clouds, the air and space.  And when this balance is upset, the peace and sanctity of the Twilight Realm is compromised.”


Midna stopped a minute to clear her throat.  She was choking up, and Link consoled her for a minute.  Then she spoke again.


“Zant’s aim was not just to rule the Twilight Realm.  He had a manifest destiny, that the Twili were of the strength to conquer the world of light as well.  Doing so would upset the balance between light and darkness, and as such I was not interested in performing such an invasion.  That’s when he and I came to blows.  He used his evil powers to drive me out and banish me from the Twilight Realm.  He also inflicted a curse upon me that remains to this day.  Over time, Zant warped my people into doing his bidding, and his control reached over into the world of light.  That’s when I found Link.  He was getting dragged away by several Twili inside Faron Woods.  I followed him to the castle dungeon and we’ve been together ever since, working against Zant’s every move.”


“Midna, are you working to save Hyrule with Link?” Shira asked.


“No!” Midna shouted.  Shira and Soren were taken aback by the sudden scream.


“I mean, I don’t care about the world of light, not at all.  My concern is driving Zant away from the throne of the Twilight Realm.”


“What Midna means is, as we’ve worked to reach Zant and blunt his power, we have driven his evil twilight powers from the land of Hyrule.  By doing so, we are coming close to his main point of power inside the Twilight Realm.”


“Perhaps anticipating our arrival, Zant attempted to destroy the Twilight Mirror.  But only the True Ruler of the Twili can destroy the mirror, so his efforts only resulted in the mirror getting chopped into pieces.” Midna said.


“We have since recovered two pieces of the mirror, and the third piece is sitting atop the Arbiter’s Dungeon in Gerudo Desert.” Link said.  “According to what we know, the fourth piece is somewhere in the sky.”


“The sky?!” Soren asked him, stunned.


“Yes, the sky.  We don’t know how or where to go to reach the sky, yet.  But between Midna and me, we will find the way.”


Soren and Shira looked back at each other.  Shad wasn’t lying about the sky and the sky creatures.  He was telling the truth all along, there really was a city in the sky! 


“Midna, perhaps you might know this better than me since you are from the Twilight Realm,” Shira said.  “Why might Zant be kidnapping people from the world of light to work for his evil plans involving the Twilight Mirror?”


Midna responded.  “The Twilight Mirror is not just a transporter from one world to another.  It is an instrument that can be used for good and evil purposes alike.  The powers of the light and the twilight contained in the mirror can warp people’s minds, brainwashing them into performing tasks of good or evil depending on that person’s strength of heart.  In short, the mirror can either be a healing instrument or a weapon.  And with the weapon at his disposal, Zant would be unstoppable.  The only people who know how to utilize the mirror in this fashion are the descendants of its creators.  Your mother is one of these descendants.  Even I do not know of the mirror’s capabilities.  One legend of the mirror is that it could shoot a beam of light so powerful it could vaporize a human on contact.  Now that is just a legend, I don’t think it is true but--”


“Wait!”  Shira exclaimed.  Midna stopped dead and turned her attention toward Shira.  “What?!” She asked with a bit of sass.


“If Zant was intending to use the mirror as a weapon, and he teleported all these people, including mother to the Twilight Realm, then why did he attempt to destroy the mirror?”


Nobody had an answer for this.  While they were thinking, several twilight messengers suddenly dropped from a hole in the sky.  They surrounded the four of them and prepared to attack.  One of them caught Shira in the back with a nasty punch, and she fell to the ground, stunned.  Soren turned around and whipped out his sword.  With a nasty sword spin attack he dropped three of the messengers at once.  However, with bad luck, Link had just knocked down the fourth messenger in the corner.  Since there were five in all, the last remaining messenger called his mates back to life.  Upon getting back on their feet, two of the messengers grabbed Soren and tossed him to the ground.  Two more snuck up behind Shira again and started to strangle her.  She was brutally choked by one while the other started to beat at her stomach area.  She struggled and struggled, but could not break free; the grip of the messenger was almost that of a tight wrench around a bolt.  Shira could feel the life slipping out of her body as she went without air.


Link turned into a wolf, and began to attack the messengers one by one.  He bit off the head of the first two messengers holding Soren on the ground, freeing him up to go after the two that were attacking his sister.  With a big sword smash against the head of the messenger strangling Shira, he freed his sister.  Then he confronted the other messenger as Link looked to take down the last remaining enemy in the corner.  Then something strange happened.  Midna created a force field around the area, and Wolf Link quickly took down both remaining messengers at once.  Their bodies quickly disintegrated into their twilight parts and returned to the hole from which they came.


Link changed back into his human form.  He appeared to be ticked off.  “Midna, since when were twilight messengers able to appear from any twilight holes at any time?”


“I don’t know Link.” Midna said.  “I have a bad feeling about it though.”


“We need to reach the sky, and soon.” Link said.


“Yes we must.  We must leave now.” Midna said.


“But what about these two over here?  We cannot just leave them here.  Especially since the young woman appears to be injured.  We must help her!” Link said.


Link turned to Soren, who continued to check on Shira.  She was hardly breathing, and was in a comatose state from the attack.  Link then turned back to Midna, almost as if to plead with her.


Midna responded.  “Very well then, we shall take her to Renado.  But we have a job to do.”



Chapter 18: Messenger Aftermath


“Shira, sister, are you okay?”


“Shira, please answer me, say something, anything at all.  How are you feeling?  Do you need a blanket, some food, something to drink?  Are you in any pain?”


“Why doesn’t she respond to anything I say?”


“She seems to have lost her memory.”


“How did this happen?”


“It’s, strange.  I’m not really sure what caused it.”

Soren was standing inside Renado’s house in Kakariko Village.  The two men were engaged in deep conversation about Soren’s little sister.


“What exactly happened?” Renado asked Soren.


“We were inside a forest.  Standing in front of us was the remains of an ancient temple.  We were doing some exploration in the area along with Link when all of a sudden; a bunch of twilight messengers dropped from the sky and surrounded us.  We don’t know where they came from.”


“Twilight messengers?  You mean the evil monsters that come to wreak havoc on our bodies, our emotions, and our actions?” Renado asked.


“Yes, they are the ones.  Two of them got behind Shira and knocked her to the ground.  Link and I fought against them and we thought that we had defeated them, but out of nowhere, they came back to life.  I got knocked down, and they strangled her.  From the corner of my eye, I could see one of them staring right into her face while the other attempted to choke the life out of her.  It killed me to see her suffer like that knowing that I was pinned and couldn’t move to help her.  Without Link, we would have been in a world of hurt.”


“Soren, you tell me that the messengers strangled her and stared at her.  If that is the case, then it is likely that your sister is going through a similar trauma as this lady over here.”  Renado walks over to the other side of the room.  “This girl here is from Ordon Village.  Her name is Ilia.  She was abducted by twilight messengers near her hometown, and was taken prisoner for an extended period of time.  She was nearly completely brainwashed by their unknown powers, and has yet to recover her memory.  For the last few days I have been working very hard to help her recover from her malicious experience.”


“Oh, that’s just wonderful.  So what you are saying is that my sister has lost her memory and won’t be getting it back anytime soon?” Soren said in disgust.


“Well, I do not know about that.  Your sister was not subjected to their strange powers for as long as this girl was.  My thinking is that she just needs some rest and her brain will begin to figure things out.  I will work with her at every hour until she is better.  You two have been adventuring almost nonstop for quite some time now, haven’t you?”


“Well, we won’t be doing any of that now!” Soren yelled.  Renado attempted to calm him but Soren left the house before anything could be done.  He was disgusted.  After everything they had been through, the twilight monsters had taken his sister’s memory away from her.  Everything had been lining up perfectly for them.  They had figured out the key to reaching the Twilight Realm and rescuing their mother, and were now unable to reach their destination because of a mental injury sustained in battle.


“Why do these things happen to us?!” Soren shouted to nobody in particular as he walked the streets of Kakariko Village.  He passed the General Store, then the Bomb Shop, then worked his way past a food stand.  Nothing seemed to matter anymore.  For so long, he had been the strong, leader figure for his younger sister.  Never had that been truer since the death and kidnapping of their parents.  And yet now, Soren was forced into a situation over which he had no control.  It was not like he had a magic switch with which to restore his sister’s memory.


Just then, he saw Link riding back into the village from the north.  He dismounted Epona just outside of the bomb shop, and Soren noticed that Link was carrying a ceramic whistle of some kind.  He let Link go through his business in the shop before approaching him as he came out.


“What is that thing you’re carrying?” Soren asked him.


Link responded, “It’s an artifact that belongs to Ilia.  The elder inside the Hidden Village tells me that it might help Ilia regain her lost memory.  This instrument was used by Ilia many times to call Epona from the distant fields of Ordona Province.”


Soren thought back to his situation with Shira.  He decided that he was willing to do anything to help her regain her senses, and if this happened to work for Ilia, then a similar action might work for Shira.  He followed Link back to Renado’s House, and stayed at the window while Link went in to talk to Ilia.  From what he saw, Link raised the artifact in his left hand and presented it to Ilia.  It didn’t happen immediately, but over the next few minutes Ilia and Link began to converse with each other.  Eventually Ilia reached out to Link and touched his face.  Her facial expressions were beginning to change from that of bewilderment to that of certainty and joy.  Soren could see that Ilia was definitely responding to the artifact that Link had brought her.


Suddenly Soren felt a sharp tug on his right arm.  He fell onto one knee and turned around to find a young child named Malo looking at him with disgust. 


“Don’t be snooping in on their business.” Malo yelled at him.


Soren acknowledged the annoying brat, but was too excited by what he had just seen to really care about his rudeness.  If Ilia was able to remember things through her personal items, then maybe Soren could help Shira by bringing her artifacts of her own life.  To do this, he would have to return to his house in Hyrule Castle Town.  However, due to the teleportation utilized by Link and Midna, his horse was still back in Faron Woods.  He would have to traverse the treacherous fields of Western Hyrule on foot, much of the trek at night.


He left Kakariko Village that afternoon, and alternated walking and running on the dirt trail that winded through the plains between Kakariko and Hyrule Castle Town.  The field was dry, dusty, and barren with the exception of a few passing travelers every few miles.  There were reports of Bulblin warriors in the area, but for the first few hours, Soren found no semblance of the Bulblin resistance he faced in the Eldin plains over a week ago.  The hours passed, and the afternoon drifted into twilight.  A big storm began to develop to the northwest of Soren’s location.  Lightning came down from the clouds and lit up the sky, while thunder crackled with seemingly endless intensity.  Not prepared for heavy weather in any shape or form, Soren continued to move toward the northeast.  Luckily for him, the storm ended up skirting past him to the north.  A few minutes later, it dissipated completely, and a moonlit starry sky filled the heavens.  The stars set ablaze the Hyrulian fields in a glow of endless light.    


Soren reached the outskirts of the city a little bit before midnight, but before he could get inside the city, a barrier fell from the sky all around him.  He was trapped.  Without thinking, he drew his sword as several twilight messengers fell from the sky.  There had to have been three, maybe four of them as Soren swiped at one of them, stabbing him in the arm.  With one messenger down, the others swarmed around Soren, swinging their arms at him.  He ducked, evaded to the right, and then delivered a jumping sword smash to the head of the second messenger.  After he did this, he turned to face the remaining messengers, only to find one standing to his right.  He quickly turned back around just in time to get tackled by the other remaining messenger.  Startled by the attack, Soren lost his sword.  It flew out of his hands and flew to the turf.  Frantically he grabbed the messenger before it could swing at him and flipped it over on its back.  Soren punched it in the face several times before remembering what happened in Faron Woods.  If he knocked out the third messenger, the fourth one would call all the others back to life, which could be a potentially disastrous situation. 


By this time, the other remaining messenger had come over to help his comrade.  It swung and hit Soren in the back of the head.  Before the pain even had time to sink in, Soren turned around and kicked it in the gut.  Then he did it again, before he ran over to the left to retrieve his sword.  With one last lunge of power, he ran straight toward his adversaries, jumped, struck one messenger in the stomach before turning around in midair and ramming his sword into the second messenger’s throat.  They both fell to the ground instantly and all four vanished along with the barrier. 


After taking a minute to refresh his aching head, Soren entered Hyrule Castle Town and proceeded to his home.  “Now what could I bring back to Shira that would help her regain her thoughts?” Soren thought to himself as he walked down his street.  He decided on two things in particular, Shira’s Zora flippers, and her stuffed cucco doll.  These things would no doubt remind Shira of her favorite activities, such as playing with the cuccos in the street and swimming around Lake Hylia.  He entered the house and proceeded to the back, where their personal items were gathered.  He grabbed the items and made his way toward the exit when he noticed that there was somebody standing in the entranceway of the building.  Without warning, the person fired a bag containing a powder of some kind at Soren.  Completely unprepared, Soren got hit right in the chest and the powder went everywhere.  Within seconds, he was feeling woozy, and he collapsed to the ground.


“It’s time to end this battle.” The man said.



Chapter 19: Zerobaum Attacks


Soren dreamt of pain and suffering.  He woke up in a cold sweat, and noticed that he was upon a cold, hard floor of marble.  His feet were chained, which made it very difficult if not pointless to get on his feet.  The area was very dark as well.  Reaching through his clothes, he noticed that his sword and the items he had brought for Shira were missing. 


“Where am I?” Soren asked himself. 


No sooner did he ask himself that question than a strange light filled the room.  Across the chamber stood the same man who had knocked Soren unconscious inside his house.  The man appeared to be of twilight descent, but was wearing Bulblin garb.  


“Release the chains!” He bellowed.


Several Bulblins came out of the door on the left of the chamber.  They worked with the chains and released Soren from their grasp.  By this point, Soren was completely bewildered.  He knew he was in trouble, but he wasn’t sure just how badly. 


“You are quite the fighter.” The man told Soren.


“Who are you?” Soren asked.  “What have you done to me? And what have you done with my things?”


“Heh heh.  Allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Zerobaum.  I am the Twili ambassador to the Bulblin Clan.  Of course, that’s what I used to be, before your band of evildoers killed King Bulblin last week.  Now I’m filling in as the leader of the Bulblin Clan until a suitable replacement is found.  During my times with the Bulblin legion, I developed a fond understanding of the Bulblin way of life.  It was around this time that there was an upheaval in the Twilight Realm, and the Great Zant deposed Princess Midna from the throne of the Twili.  Ever since then, it has been my job to keep the operations of the Twili and the Bulblin on the same plane.”


“And now, you have destroyed the leader of this great people.” 


Soren knew Zerobaum was serious, but he couldn’t help but laugh at the thought of the Bulblins being a great people of Hyrule.  He chuckled loud enough for Zerobaum to hear him. 


“You think that’s funny?” Zerobaum asked him.


“Actually, yes I do.  That’s one of the funniest damn things I’ve ever heard.”  Several of the Bulblins in the room became incensed at Soren’s statement, and reared their weapons.  Soren continued.  “All the Bulblins are is a nomadic band of classless and ruthless pillagers that raid on the peace-loving people of Hyrule.  And that’s all they’ll ever be, because the only thing that Bulblins care about is destruction.  What they have never asked themselves is why destroy and ransack when you can build and create?  The Bulblin leadership never built anything on their own because they were so bent on destroying the lives of others, others like me and my sister!  And you still haven’t answered my question.  What have you done with me?!” Soren yelled.


Zerobaum shook his head.  “You will get what is coming to you Soren!  You think that you sister and you are embarking on some kind of historic quest.  What you fail to understand is that you have thrown yourself into a scheme too complex for you to comprehend.  You’ve already seen too much of our plan to be left alive.”  Zerobaum commanded the Bulblin brigade in the room to move in toward Soren.  They were flanked by several twilight messengers and twilight hawks.  “Your sword is against the back wall behind you, and I wish you luck.”


Zerobaum beamed out of the room, confirming to Soren that Zerobaum was a disciple of Zant’s.  He went back to the wall and retrieved his sword.  He was prepared to fight it out to the death.   


No sooner had he reclaimed his sword than two Bulblins attacked him from behind.  One attempted to slash him in the neck.  Soren ducked and whipped out his right leg, tripping it to the floor.  The other Bulblin fell right over his partner, and Soren slashed both in the backside.  By the time he did that, two more were on his right side.  Soren swung hard with a circular swordspin, knocking one off its feet.  The other held on though, and charged.  Their swords clanged for several seconds before the Bulblin got in a cheap shot to Soren’s lower extremities.  Hunched over, he fought hard to keep the Bulblin from slashing him silly.  While this was going on, several twilight messengers appeared from the rear.  Soren jogged away from the lone Bulblin toward the messengers, still feeling the aftereffects of the low blow. 


He met the messengers head on and clotheslined both of them.  They quickly got back up, but Soren looped back around and speared one of them to the ground.  Without thinking, he stuck his sword right between its eyes, killing it.  The other messenger grabbed his neck area, but Soren pulled his weight downward and flipped the messenger over his head.  Unfortunately, as he did this, he lost his sword, and it was picked up by a Bulblin to his left.  The Bulblin approached Soren with both blades as the messenger got to his feet.  The situation was getting out of control. 


Soren ran quickly back to the wall and picked up a pot on the ground.  With a quick motion, he chucked the pot straight at the Bulblin, nailing him in the face.  He went down with a thud, dropping both Soren’s sword and his own blade.  Soren ran over and picked both of them up.  By this time there were multiple Bulblins and twilight messengers approaching him on all sides.  There were also some skeleton dog-like creatures accompanying them.  Soren wielded both swords and swung them in a furious manner, attempting to keep all of his pursuers off of him.  It worked for a short while, but eventually the skeleton dogs began to attack in groups.  While many of them got caught by his sword slashes, many more were able to attack with their paws, claws, and teeth.  Soren began to bleed in several spots on his arms and legs from their attacks.  Soren turned and moved back into a dark corner of the room.


He waited until the army of enemies got close to him, and then he exploded out from the wall with a furious roar in his voice.  He swung his blades as violently as he could, hacking away at anything that moved.  This continued for several minutes and the room began to run red with Bulblin blood.  As the minutes passed, Soren began to get tired; his arms began to feel very heavy.  He began to look for a possible escape out of the room.  He looked up at the wall on the right, and saw an extremely narrow opening that could have been an escape route.  Then, without warning, as he spun to attack a small pack of skeleton dogs blocking the wall, a twilight messenger came from behind, grabbed his neck and threw him to the ground.  Soren remembered nothing as his head slammed hard against the rocky floor of the chamber.


When he came to, he was tied up to the wall, with Zerobaum staring straight at him from not that far a distance.  He was bleeding from the back of the head, and had a tremendous headache from getting thrown to the ground.


Zerobaum laughed.  “I was not mistaken.  What a brave warrior you are.  However, your intention to bring good to this world is not without flaw, and not without grave trespassing of simple values.  What makes you think that you have the right to simply terrorize, injure, and kill innocent Bulblin and Twili in such a setting as this?  Look at what you have done.  You’ve slashed the throats of my dogs, and gravely injured several of my Bulblin friends without mercy.  You are a cold-blooded mercenary, whether you believe it or not.  And for that, you must pay the ultimate sacrifice.” 


Zerobaum took out a sword that had been polished with the evil magic of Zant.  It was long and sharp, one that could do a lot of damage to be sure.  “Do you fear your doom, Soren?” Zerobaum asked him.


Soren did not answer him.  He could only cringe as he watched Zerobaum prepare to attack.  He was helpless.


“Goodbye Soren.” Zerobaum said.  He moved forward and prepared to slash Soren with the twilight sword.  But before he could swing, another sword suddenly appeared from behind and flew right into Zerobaum’s back.  Zerobaum staggered on his feet for several seconds before falling to the ground, sword still sticking out of him.  Soren had no idea what happened, but noticed a solitary figure approaching from far away.  Whoever it was, it was female.


“Typical Zerobaum.  He never watches his back, yeah.” Ashei said.  “Shad, Auru, secure the area.  Telma, I’m going to need your help.  Soren’s in bad shape.”



Chapter 20: Princess Zelda?!


“Soren, can you hear me?  Can you see my hand?”  Ashei asked Soren as she held up her hand in front of his eyes. 


“You were in quite a predicament.” Telma said convincingly.  “That Twili nearly had his way with you, and not in a good way either.  It’s a good thing Auru tracked his location down to this cavern, or who knows what could have happened.”


“Uhhh, yes.” Soren said, his speech a bit slurred.


“Soren, what did Zerobaum say to you before he attacked?  Did he say anything that we could use against the Bulblins or the Twili?” Ashei asked him.


“Uhh, not really.” Soren said, still a bit out of it.  “He was just obsessed with killing me.  He uttered some horrifying things, such as the Bulblins being a great Hyrulian race, and of me being some savage monster for helping to overthrow and kill their king.  He acted as if I was the aggressor in this whole incident when it was the stupid Bulblins who came through the streets of town to kill my father.”


Ashei and Shira helped Soren back onto his feet.  As they did so, he asked, “Where are the items for Shira?”


“What items Soren?” Telma asked. 


“The Zora flippers and the stuffed cucco doll.  I went back to my home to get these items for Shira.  She is in dire need of them.”


“Why is this?” Ashei asked inquisitively. 


Soren turned around.  He sensed that Ashei and the others in the Adventurers’ Guild did not know about the situation in Kakariko.  He looked Ashei straight in the eye.  “Shira lost her memory.”


“Lost her memory?” Ashei asked.  “But, how could that happen?”


“We were down in Faron Woods with Link and his helper Midna.  Suddenly we were swarmed by multiple Twilight Messengers.  They came right out of the sky!  We were completely surrounded, and I got knocked to the ground and pinned.”


“Link has a helper?” Telma interrupted.


“Shhh!” Ashei coerced Telma.  “Soren, please continue.”


“Shira got hit in the face and was strangled.  One of them gazed straight into her eyes, almost as if to pierce straight into her soul.  They came close to choking her to death before Link was able to help her.  By then I was free and came to her aid as well, but it was too late.  With Link and Midna’s help we were able to get her to Renado, and he gave us the news.”


Just as Soren finished his sentence, Shad and Auru re-emerged from the other end of the dark cavern.  “The coast is clear; there is no sign of any enemy activity in this area.” Auru said.  “There might be a few Bulblins still remaining in this cavern, but they have likely taken refuge in fear.  Even so, we’ll have to be careful in case of a sneak attack.”


“Good Auru.” Telma said.  They began to walk forward through the dark cavern.  “Soren, it sounds to me like what happened to Shira is very similar to what happened to Ilia a few weeks ago.  She and Link got ambushed by several Bulblins and Twilight Messengers down in Ordon and she ended up losing her memory too.  Something must happen when the messengers gaze into the eyes of their prey; it is almost as if their consciousness is lost.”


“Ilia’s memory is back.” Soren told her.


“It is?  Renado must have performed some strong healing methods to revive her senses.”


“I’m not sure if it was that, or if it was Link bringing her an artifact of hers from Ordon.  It looked to be a whistle of some kind, probably crafted by Ilia herself.  He brought it into Renado’s house one day and Ilia perked right up when she saw it.  She started to talk coherently about past events.  That is why I left Kakariko to retrieve her two most sacred items, her Zora flippers and her stuffed cucco doll.  If I can just return these items to Kakariko, she might recognize them and regain her sense of reality.”


As Soren was finishing his sentence, the five of them reached a fork in the tunnel.  Writing was scratched on the wall, which was lit by a torch.  The writing appeared to be in two languages, one that was indecipherable, and one that looked like that of the ancient hylia.  Shad took out his book and examined the letters on the wall.  He was highly skilled at decoding languages, and only took about a minute.


“This way to the left leads to Hyrule Field.  Let’s go this way.” He said.


“Where does the other path lead, the one to the right?” Soren asked him.


Hyrule Castle.” Shad replied.


Just as Shad finished his sentence, he heard a loud creak come from down the path on the right.  Everyone assembled froze in their tracks.  Ashei and Soren drew their weapons.  They were prepared to fight, but much to their surprise, a solitary figure emerged from the darkness.  From what they could see, it was a slender female, shrouded in a black cloak-like piece of clothing. 


“Uhh, hello there.” Telma said as she greeted the woman.  “Who are you and what are you doing down here in this awful cavern?”


The woman stood up straight and looked Telma directly in the eye.  “I am running away from my home for fear of my survival.  My home has been overrun by a great evil power far more massive than any I have come to know.  I am in this cavern for a great dome of energy has risen up to surround my home in a shroud of darkness and this way through the underground is the only means of escape.”  The woman tugged at the hood of her cloak, and revealed her facial features.  Soren and the members of the Adventurers’ Guild gasped as they realized who it was.


“I am Zelda, Princess of Hyrule.”



Chapter 21: Rumble in the Tunnel

They were stunned.

Within seconds, all four of them dropped to their knees in front of Zelda out of respect. They weren't expecting anybody to find them in the underground, certainly not the Princess of Hyrule. Neither Soren nor the three Adventurers' Guild members knew why Zelda was in front of them in such a dreadful place. She mentioned that she was running away, but from where? And from what?

"Your majesty." Soren asked. "What is it that you are fleeing?"

Zelda replied. "There is a great evil that has moved over Hyrule Castle. A few days ago, a giant barrier of psychic power fell upon the Castle, trapping it within its mellowing light. I thought surely that this barrier was a by-product of the power of Zant, the one who took the Castle by force months ago. But this, this was different." Zelda stopped for a moment to clear her throat. She was clearly rattled emotionally as she spoke.

"Please, do continue." Ashei said. "We are members of the Adventurers' Guild, and we are working to restore Hyrule's greatness. Your information could greatly help us, your majesty."

"When Zant's forces moved in, he told me that I could surrender the Castle and spare the lives of everybody in the kingdom, or I could choose to fight, and send everybody to their graves." Zelda said with a dark tone of voice. "It was the toughest decision I have ever had to make. I wanted to fight. But given that I knew nothing about the powers of the Twili, or about the evil ones who were about to plague our world, to fight would have meant utter destruction. So I surrendered the Castle, and agreed to place myself under captivity inside the castle. In accordance with the deal, Zant decided that no physical harm would come to me or anybody in the Hyrulian kingdom."

"But now Zant is breaking that deal we made. He has used his powers to entrap the Castle, and fill it with his evil brothers, the Bulblin. The energy within the Castle, I feel it wherever I go. It is a feeling of destruction and death. I feel as if every second of each passing day, I am being followed and chased. Zant intends to kill me, just like he has done to so many of my Hyrulian brothers and sisters, of that I am sure."

"Where are you going to run to?" Shad asked Zelda. "Is there a place you plan to take refuge?"

"I will go to wherever my heart and mind take me. I will view this country through a new light, one of crystal clarity. For so long I have sat idly as the kingdom of Hyrule has been overrun by miscreants of all kinds. Many have died, many have suffered physically, and many have had their lives uprooted. And now that Zant is coming for me, I realize that now is no longer the time to stand still. Now is the time for action. Now is the time for this kingdom to rise up and deal with the task at hand. We must beat back these twilight invaders. I will go and spearhead the resistance. I will find the strong people of this great land just like the four of you, and in time, we will take back the Castle. We will take back the land, the buildings, the fruits of our creation. Now is the time."

Zelda stopped for a second, and pulled out several items from underneath her black cloak. She told Soren to rise. He stood up, his legs a bit wobbly still out of surprise at Zelda's presence.

"I have heard of your exploits." Zelda told Soren. "I know about your father and mother, and what Zant and his evil brothers have done. You are a noble and brave young warrior. But I fear that as strong as you are, without your sister you are not whole. I fear that you will not be able to save your mother from Zant's clutches without her. These items I found in the back of the tunnel near the Castle, these belong to your sister do they not?" Zelda held out a pair of Zora flippers and a stuffed cucco doll.

"Why, yes these belong to Shira. They are the items I claimed at my house before Zerobaum ambushed me. She lost her memory, and I need to..."

Zelda interrupted him. "She lost her memory, I know." Soren was beginning to wonder how exactly Zelda seemed to know everything about his family. He was actually a bit freaked by it. Zelda continued. "You are a good brother to her. You are the light of her world in these troubling times of yours. Please, for your sake and for all of us, please give these to your sister."

"Thank you, Princess." Soren responded as he reclaimed her sister's prized possessions.

A few seconds later, there was a loud noise that came from the right of the underground cavern.

"What was that?" Ashei asked. Soren wondered the same thing.

A few seconds later, they heard another bang. Then another. Soon the banging became so repetitive that it didn't seem like banging anymore. It was more like a constant rumble, almost like a runaway stampede. Zelda's face became flushed. "Go, now, out that tunnel to the left!" She said quickly. It'll take you out to Hyrule Field! I'll create a diversion for you!" She ripped off her cloak, revealing her gorgeous white and purple dress, and her gleaming long sword. She quickly wielded it with her left hand.

"Is something bad coming?!" Ashei asked frantically, scared for Zelda.

"Let us help you!" Soren yelled to her as she walked to the right.

"No!" Zelda yelled back. "Leave this place as quickly as you can!"

The rumbling was really intense now. Ashei, Shad, and Telma ran as quickly as they could to the left and around the bend leading to the path to Hyrule Field. Soren was right behind them, but he stopped at the corner bend and turned around toward Zelda. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a giant beast, almost pig-like or boar-like in shape, tearing down the tunnel directly at Zelda. Zelda waited until the last possible second, then ran forward and swung her sword right at the beast's head. There was a high-pitched clang as steel met flesh.



Chapter 22: The Reunion

Soren and the members of the Adventurer's Guild took the tunnel out of the underground, where about half an hour after their encounter with Princess Zelda, they reemerged in Hyrule Field, about two miles south of Hyrule Castle Town. The entrance to the tunnel from the field was secluded thanks to a high bramble that was encircled by rocky terrain on all sides. Upon reaching Hyrule Field, they immediately returned to Telma's Bar, where they retired for the night. In the early morning, Ashei and Soren gathered up supplies for the impending trip to Kakariko Village. Along the way, they talked about what they had seen in the underground tunnel.

"What in the heck was that giant animal that came after the Princess?" Soren wondered.

"You said it was a giant boar of some kind, yeah?" Ashei asked him.

"Yes. It was about the size of one of the tunnels, it was so big I don't know how it ran as fast as it did without getting stuck." Soren said.

"What was the last thing you saw before you tore down the hallway out toward the field?" Telma asked him.

"It's hard to explain. I saw the boar move to attack the Princess, and she just took a swing at it with her sword. I'm not sure what happened after that, although I did here a lot of banging as I sprinted in the other direction. What I don't understand is that Zelda didn't want us to help her when the beast came after her. She seemed pretty certain that something was coming, and yet she told us to flee."

"Telma, the Princess seemed quite certain that something was coming after her inside Hyrule Castle." Ashei said. "She mentioned Zant and his evildoers, but I don't recall her saying anything about a giant beast. I really have to wonder if this animal is related to Zant, or if it might be a result of a separate evil power that has descended upon Hyrule Castle."

"I'm not really sure Ashei." Telma responded. "But whatever the case, Princess Zelda is probably either dead or gravely injured as a result of this attack. We're going to need to go back down there and find out if she's okay."

"No way!" Ashei said sternly. "It's far too dangerous to face such a creature in a dark and cramped environment such as the underground beneath Hyrule Castle. We've got to find a way to break into the Castle itself and attack from behind. I'm going to go talk to Auru and see if we can't get his new invention weapon to help us break through the barrier yeah? Soren, you can use my horse to reach Kakariko, he's tied up just down the street." Ashei departed the bar, and Soren was left with Telma.

"Telma, I know that there is a lot of danger here, and that our Princess is either deceased or injured, but I have important issues to attend to in Kakariko."

"Yes Soren. Just remember one thing." Telma said.

"What's that?" Soren asked.

"Your sister is a wonderful young lady. Treat her well."

The trip back to Kakariko was not nearly as arduous on horseback as it was on foot. Soren made strong time, departing in the morning and reaching the town by noontime. There was the usual bustle in the center of town, with people exchanging certain items at the various shops, but certainly nothing like the enormous traffic of Hyrule Castle Town that Soren was used to. By comparison, Kakariko was a downright pedestrian experience. His parents always told him he was a quintessential city boy.

He made his way down to Renado's house on the southern end of town, just north of Eldin Spring. When he walked in the doorway, he noticed Renado tending with a cauldron of food in the middle of the room. He turned to the right and saw Shira. She was sitting on one of the many beds that lay along the outer wall of the room. She had a very content look on her face, one that seemed quite peaceful and relaxed. Her demeanor was not surprising to Soren considering that she had likely forgotten about most of the things she had seen on their journey.

"Hello." Soren said to her as he walked up to her bed.

"Hello there." Shira said back. "Who might you be?"

"I am your brother. My name is Soren. You are my sister, your name is Shira."

"Soren?" Shira wondered. "Funny, the name sounds somehow, familiar." she said.

"It is familiar because we have lived together for a long, long time. Our family lived in the middle of Hyrule Castle Town. Our home was on a busy street in town." Soren said.

"Hyrule, Castle, I, I'm not sure I understand that place. Is the castle beautiful?" Shira replied.

"Yes, it is very beautiful, more so than you could ever imagine." Soren reached into his bag and produced Shira's stuffed cucco doll. "It was outside of this castle that you first received this. It is your cucco doll. This was your favorite toy as a child, and is your favorite keepsake item."

Shira took the item and held it in her hands. "I got this from my mother. We were walking, and I saw it inside a building of some kind, I think it may have been a tent. I was so happy upon seeing it that I knew I must have it. When I brought it home for the first time, father tried to cook and eat it for dinner, and I had to protect it."

By the way his sister spoke; Soren knew that his intervention was working. He turned back toward Renado, who was watching intently what he was doing. Renado's facial expression was that of encouragement, so Soren continued on.

"Shira, this doll not only represents a toy of your childhood, it also presents your favorite food, your excellent cooking, and your everlasting desire to fly through the skies of Hyrule. You like cucco, you like it boiled, steamed, dried, any way possible. You like to experiment with different methods of cucco preparation, and work hard in the kitchen of our home on your ideas. These exploits of yours prove that you are an extremely dedicated and intelligent individual. But there is another item that shows your dedication even more."

Soren produced Shira's Zora fins. "One day, father and mother got these for you and took you down to a giant lake of water."

Shira's head nodded. "These things, they were used to explore the watery depths. I dived into the lake, and went down very far, as far as I could see. There was a clearing down there, and an entranceway, I think. There were people, fish people, that were surrounding it."

Soren was beginning to get excited, for Shira was remembering the details of certain events in her life. "Shira, you are a champion of the waters. You can traverse a body of water faster and deeper than anybody I know. One day while we were at Lake Hylia, you dived down very deep, so deep that you nearly reached the Lakebed Temple. The Zora people didn't want you to..."

Renado tapped Soren on the shoulder mid sentence, and beckoned to him to leave. Soren rose and moved out of Renado's way. He noticed that Renado was carrying another of Shira's items, her bow.

"Shira, this man is your brother. He has loved and cared for you ever since you were brought into this world by your mother and father. He has come to help you. He has come to help you because he needs your help."

"He, needs my help." Shira repeated.

"Yes. For the past two weeks, you and your brother have been on a quest to find your mother."

"Find, my mother?" Shira asked.

"Your mother was captured by an evil sorcerer named Zant. You two have put your lives on the line and traveled all over the country in an effort to save her from his clutches. This is your bow. With your bow and your brother's blade, you have banded together to defeat any enemy that has crossed your path." Soren took out his sword and held it firmly as Renado said this.

Shira looked at the bow held by Renado, and then at the sword held by Soren. She then picked up the bow from Renado's hands and walked toward Soren. "With this bow, I have helped defeat the evil ones cast from the realm of twilight. With your sword, you have worked to destroy the evil that has plagued our family's existence. My name is Shira, your name is Soren, and together, we are on a mission to save mother."

Soren immediately threw his arms around her and picked her up. "It's good to have you back sis!" he shouted.

"It is good to see you again, big brother." Shira said.



Chapter 23: Riding Horses and Cuccos

"Hey everybody, take a look at this."

The statue had moved. He had no idea how or why, or what had moved it, but it had moved. In its place, there now stood a path that led to an underground chamber deep in the basement of Renado's house.

"It was Link. He somehow managed to move this statue." Shad said. "I don't know how he did it, but it leads down here to this cavern. Inside here stood a giant cannon, but now it’s gone. Maybe he did something with it, but the thing was gigantic. I don't see how he could have gotten it out of here without our help."

"Do you think that the riddle of the sky you have been talking about is solved?" Soren asked him.

Shad responded, "I'm not really sure what to think right now. We were able to decode the message of the statues, but it led us to the cannon underneath the ground. And now the cannon is missing. I did hear something about the thing being busted up and broken though. In either case, I'm not sure that the cannon is able to bridge the communication link between Hyrule and the world above."

"There was once a land in the sky, with actual people?" Shira asked. "You told us about a sky world before, but you never said anything about people living there."

"Long ago." Shad said. "There was a land in the sky inhabited by a bird-like race called the Oocca. The royal family of Hyrule had a path of communication with the Oocca for quite some time, but it was eventually lost. Nobody knows for sure if the Oocca are still up there or how to reach them, but I am determined to figure out the riddle."

By this point in time, Shira and Soren were done listening to Shad. They already knew something that he didn't, that Link was on his way to the sky to retrieve the last piece of the Twilight Mirror. As soon as he did that, the Mirror would be restored, and the link between Hyrule and the Twilight Realm would be opened. Once that happened, they would be able to enter and find mother. The only problem was that they did not know how long it would take before Link and Midna located the last mirror shard. They had a feeling that it would be soon.

"Hey big brother," Shira asked Soren, "Where exactly is the Twilight Mirror located?"

"I am not exactly sure, but I remember when we were back in Faron Woods, Link said something about an arbiter's prison deep in the eastern desert. He said that a shard of the mirror was waiting for them atop the prison. Knowing what I know about Hyrulian history, the prison was built in the middle of the ancient Gerudo country, and the worst offenders in Hyrule went there. The leader of the Gerudo, Ganondorf, was sent there after being deposed from the throne. The sages later sealed him away within the Twilight Mirror. It would stand to reason that the mirror is there at the prison."

"So does this mean we're going to have to cross the desert big brother?" Shira asked.

Soren didn't answer immediately. He immediately went back to talk to Shad. "Shad," Soren asked. "Did you say that Auru has a friend down in Lake Hylia, a guy who is big into quick transportation?"

"Yes, his name is Fyer. Auru and he have been good friends since the day Auru saved his life. You'll find him in a cottage on the shores of Lake Hylia beneath the Great Hyrulian Bridge."

"Thank you very much Shad." Soren turned to Shira. "We've got to go through Lake Hylia to reach the desert anyway, so we might as well see if he can help us."

Within a few minutes, Soren and Shira had mounted Telma's horse and had raced out of Kakariko Village, heading westbound through southern Hyrule Field. It was a sweltering hot afternoon, so hot in fact that the two were sweating fairly hard about an hour in to the journey. Luckily, they had let the horse drink up plenty of water and filled their bottles at Eldin Spring a few hours earlier. Thanks to this preventative measure, they were able to fend off the effects of dehydration; however the sun continued to beat down on them. In the very late afternoon though, the weather began to change. While they rode just northeast of Faron Woods, clouds began to gather behind them. Thunder began to crackle over the dry and dusty land of south Hyrule Field. The clouds began to turn dark and black, and began to push their way. Soren pushed the horse harder, but the storms continued to gain on them as they moved to the east.

Shira turned to her left to see the giant spires of Hyrule Castle out in the distance. She shook her head. It was her suggestion that they head back through Hyrule Castle Town and maybe crash for the day if they were too tired to continue. But no, big brother had to have his way. He said it was too dangerous there, and they had to ride through the vacant countryside far to the south. Never one who liked storms very much, Shira had never been inside one before, and was not looking forward to the deluge that was to come.

"Thanks a lot, big brother." she thought to herself.

The storm broke hard and fast over them. The rain pounded against them, so much so that it hurt because of their forward motion on the horse. The lightning continued to strike closer and closer to them. The wind whipped hard against them, enough that Soren nearly lost control of the horse and fell off several times. Finally, he decided that it was too dangerous to continue, and slowed the horse to a very slow gallop once they reached a rocky alcove southwest of Lake Hylia. The storm continued to pound the area for about another ten minutes, then the rain began to let up and the lightning began to hit farther away. It had moved on. The two siblings sat on the horse wallowed in their soaked clothes and a pungent bath of humidity.

"Way to nearly get us killed." Shira told Soren, not masking her displeasure any longer.

"What did you want me to do?" Soren asked her. "The storm hit us so fast that there wasn't anything that could be done."

"We could have gone back into town! Then the storm would have missed us entirely, and even if it didn't, we would have been able to take refuge!" Shira boomed in a very annoyed tone.

Soren turned around and looked his sister straight in the eye, as seriously as he could. Shira noticed the anger in Soren's eyes and was instantly silent.

"Do you know why we didn't go back into town? Do you know what happened to me the last time I was there?" he asked her.

"No." Shira said meekly.

"I got knocked unconscious by a Twili soldier that was waiting for me at our house. I had gone there to recover your cucco doll and your Zora flippers, and he attacked me when I wasn't expecting it. I got dragged down to an underground chamber. If it wasn't for the Ashei, Telma and the rest of the Adventurers' Guild, the soldier would have killed me!" he yelled.

Shira was stunned at the anger being thrown in her direction. It wasn't like Soren to just yell at her like that, even though prior to the adventure they were never the best of friends.

"That's, why we didn't go back through town. I couldn't afford to have anything happen to you." Soren said, his voice back under control.

"Why don't I remember any of this? I don't remember you ever getting captured." Shira wondered.

"Because," Soren paused. He had to explain it in a way she would understand. "You were injured. A twilight messenger attacked you and you had to be nursed back to health. You stayed in Kakariko while I went back to Hyrule Castle Town."

"Oh." Shira said.

With this hatchet buried, the two continued on through the rocky terrain of southeast Hyrule Field. It was about half an hour later when they reached the Great Hyrulian Bridge, the bridge that spans high above Lake Hylia. A marble causeway that stood about two hundred feet above the lake surface, the Great Hyrulian Bridge was a landmark achievement in Hyrulian engineering. On the far east side of the bridge, they could see the entrance to the desert. It was high above a cliff surrounding Lake Hylia on all sides.

"Now how do you suppose we get there?" Shira asked Soren.

"I'm not really sure." Soren said. "Why don't we ask those people in the cottage over there?" He pointed to a cottage atop the cliff just little bit east of the bridge.

They crossed the bridge and went down a meandering trail along the cliff to reach the cottage. Inside the cottage were a bunch of cuccos, and a flamboyant named Falbi. Dressed only in a half shirt and baggy pants, Falbi looked like a true free spirit.

"Um, do you know how to reach the desert from here? We're looking for a man named Fyer that could help us." Shira asked Falbi.

"Fyer? You mean the man down there?" Falbi said. They leaned over to look down into the lake. "Do you see that man next to the house in the lake? That's him. But the only way to reach him from here is to pay me twenty rupees and ride one of my cuccos down there."

"They don't look strong enough to support our weight." Soren told Falbi. "I'm not that trusting, that's a long way down."

"Young man." Falbi said. "I've been running this business for many years. I've never had anybody fall because my cuccos couldn't hold them. Take your pick; they'll all get you down safely."

Shira, who was always the braver of the two when it came to the air and skies, became very excited at the prospect of flying through the air on a cucco. She immediately picked a brown-feathered cucco and plunked down a red rupee worth twenty. She took her place along the back opening of the cottage and jumped off. The cucco's wings began to flap relentlessly, and Shira floated in the air out over Lake Hylia. An audible shout of hers could be heard back inside the cottage.

"See, I told you so." Falbi told Soren.

Soren still had a lump in his throat as he picked up a white-feathered cucco and prepared to jump.



Chapter 24: Bombs Away!

Soren let go of the Cucco's talons. He fell about ten feet down into the crystal clear waters of Lake Hylia. It had been a surprisingly easy flight down to the lake surface, with the exception of the occasional crosswind that came his way.

"Big brother." Shira said to him as she emerged from behind a bridge on the right. "I think that house over there is where we need to go."

To their right stood a two story house on an island in the middle of the lake. There was a man outside the front of the house. He was short, and his clothes had some sort of black insignia on the right arm sleeve. It was just the person that Shad had described to them, it was Fyer.

Soren pulled himself out of the lake onto the island. "Lake water is cooler than I remember it." he said.

"Yep." Shira said. "Must've been the rain we got earlier." she said as they walked the short path over to where Fyer was standing.

Fyer stood with a slouch. By the pall look on his face and his nonverbal gestures, it appeared that he was having a bad day. Soren walked up to him and spoke. "Hello, I'm Soren, and this is my sister Shira. You must be Fyer."

Fyer turned his head up at Soren. "How do you know my name?" he asked.

"We've heard about you from the members of the Adventurer's Guild in Hyrule Castle Town. I heard one of them is a close associate of yours, his name is Auru. We came here because we have a problem that I think you can help us with." Soren said.

Fyer was surprised that Soren knew Auru. "So Auru sent you here? Fine. Anything you want from me, go ahead." he said glumly.

"How do we get to the desert from here?" Soren asked.

"The desert?" Fyer asked incredulously.

"Yes, the desert." Shira said. "There is an ancient prison out in the desert that we need to reach. We need to reach a relic that sits high atop the prison."

"A prison? Oh, you mean the old Arbiter's Grounds?" Fyer asked. "It's in the desert way out to the east of here. I could give you lift there, but it'll cost you. Plus, I don't think you would reach the top of the prison by climbing it. It's made out of sandstone and is built straight up, you'd never be able to make it."

"We'll just find a way up from the inside." Soren told him.

"No." Fyer said with disdain. "You don't want to go inside the Arbiter's Grounds. It's a haunted wasteland of Hyrule's past criminals and thieves. Few people who have ever ventured inside have ever come out alive. Trust me when I say that you do not wish to pass inside the prison."

"Then what do you suggest we do?" Shira asked Fyer.

Fyer turned around. "Look out there, on that bluff across the bridge. Do you see that cannon there?" Shira and Soren nodded. "A man named Link brought that down here just little while back. He asked me to work on it and just a few hours ago he shot the thing off. That thing's got way more power than my little old banger does, enough to probably send you into the heavens."

"Wow." Soren said. "That's amazing." Shira immediately thought to herself about what Shad had told her about the Oocca. Suddenly her mind began to whir at about a hundred miles an hour.

"I reckon that you could use that cannon to shoot yourself high above the pri--"

Shira cut off Fyer. "That's it! Don't you see?!" Shira started running toward the cannon. Soren yelled to her but she kept running. Soren forced himself to run after her, convinced that she had gone crazy.

Shira stopped in front of the cannon. "Big brother, this cannon, this is the final key to the Oocca!"

"What are you talking about sis?" Soren asked incredulously.

"Link figured it out! He moved the statue beneath Renado's house, found the cannon, used Midna to transport it here, and had Fyer fix it. And now he's used it to reach the City in the Sky! That's where this cannon leads! If we get inside the cannon, it will shoot us up there, and we can find a way down to the prison from high above!"

"Shira, you're crazy." Soren said. "Even if this thing were to shoot up high enough to reach the sky, you'd end up a pancake on a street in the Oocca city. This isn't a good idea."

"You said you'd do anything to save mother. Now we have our chance, and you won't take it just because you're afraid of heights!" Shira yelled.

"You can't be serious." Soren said frantically. "That thing's a death trap. If you even think about climbing inside, why I'll--"

Before Soren could finish his sentence, Shira was already climbing up the legs of the cannon into the barrel. Soren tried to stop her, but he was too late. Once Shira was loaded in, the cannon sprung up from the ground, bent backward and charged up energy, then fired high into the twilit Hyrulian sky.

"Bombs Away!!" Shira yelled as she hurtled through the air.


"I just hope somebody finds me soon, before the mirror is ready to fire."

"Hey, you! Get back to work!" The twilight soldier told her.

She thought to herself for a second, and then made her decision. "No."


"I've had enough. I shouldn't be here, in this awful place. That's it. I will no longer endanger the lives of many for your little plan of destruction. I'm leaving this place."

"You can't leave, and you will get back to work!" The twilight soldier moved to grab her, but she ducked and punched him right in the groin. She got him again in the face as he was going down for good measure.


Shira continued to hurtle through the air. She had been flying for almost three minutes. She had watched as the clouds grew nearer and nearer, while the buildings and physical features on the ground shrank beneath her. Then she flew into a very thick cloud, thick enough that she could not see anything. She could feel herself losing momentum in the cloud. Before long she was pretty sure that she was no longer traveling upward, but was now falling. For the first time in her cannon-induced flight, Shira was beginning to really get nervous. What if the cannon's flight path wasn't true and she fell thousands of feet back to the Hyrulian earth below?

And then, as if a sudden burst of wind had busted through the clouds, the sky became clearer, and directly beneath her was a large pool of water. She splashed down into the pool feet first. Her momentum carried her to the pool bottom, where she pushed off the bottom and back to the surface. When she emerged, she immediately noticed her surroundings. Large buildings surrounded her in most all directions.

Soren mulled over his options. His sister had just made a decision that seemed to him downright suicidal. On blind faith alone, she actually believed that the cannon would shoot her directly to the City in the Sky. Could it really be that simple? Was the cannon really the key to dropping in on Zant and defeating him?

He walked back to Fyer. "Fyer, you said that a man named Link brought this cannon down here?"

"Yes. Link was his name. He was dressed in a green tunic, with brown boots and carried a sword and shield on him."

"And he shot the thing off a few hours ago?"


After hearing what Fyer said, Soren walked back to the cannon. Although he still didn't trust his sister's crazy mind, he did trust Link. "He must know something that we don't." Soren concluded. "I'll just close my eyes and pray that I come out of this alive, I guess."

The cannon arched backward as Soren entered the barrel.



Chapter 25: Heavenly Battle

"So, you're an Oocca?"

"Yep, that's right. We're an avian race living up here in the clouds. This is my home; I've been living here for many years."

"How many of your kind live here?" she asked.

"We're about forty or fifty strong. I can't remember the exact number, but it’s around there." the Oocca said. "By the way, the name's Ooccoo. Do you care to talk inside my shop over there?" The oocca pointed to a small building with its wing. The two entered the building.

"We don't get many visitors from down below here. Certainly not any ladies. "Tell me strange visitor, what is your name?"

Shira bent down on her knees to pet the bird. "My name is Shira." She said.

"Shira." Ooccoo said. "That name sounds strangely familiar. Anyway, Shira, where do you come from?"

"I hail from Hyrule Castle Town." Shira said. "I grew up just a few blocks away from Hyrule Castle."

Ooccoo was in a state of sudden shock. Hyrule Castle Town? A few blocks away from Hyrule Castle? Did this mean that the royal family of Hyrule was seeking to regain diplomatic contact with the Oocca? He did not know the answer, but he did know that Shira was not the first Hylian that he had seen today. Earlier in the day, Link had shown up in the city, presumably searching for the final piece of the Twilight Mirror.

"Shira, what brings you to the City of the Oocca?" Ooccoo asked her.

"I am on a quest to free my mother from the rule of the evil twilight creatures." she told Ooccoo. "My father was killed in an attack by the Bulblin clan. My mother tried to save him, but she was captured by the twilight messengers that had swarmed the city during the attack. She is being held captive in the Twilight Realm. I intend to reach the Twilight Realm through the Twilight Mirror and save her. My best course of reaching the Twilight Mirror is through this city." Shira said.

"The Twilight Mirror?" Ooccoo wondered. But the mirror is broken. Until Link claims the shattered fragments of the mirror, you won't be able to reach the Twilight Realm. Nobody will be able to pass through."

As soon as Ooccoo finished his sentence, the door to the shop's entrance opened up. Shira and Ooccoo turned around quickly as they weren't expecting anybody. Into the doorway stepped Soren.

Shira was stunned to see Soren. "Big brother!" she yelled. "I thought you'd never jump into that cannon!"

"Everybody, there's something going on atop the highest tower of the city. I think Link is battling a giant bird of some kind!" Soren said hurriedly.

"It's not a bird. It's a dragon." Ooccoo said. "Come, there's no time to lose."

They rushed out onto the plain surrounding the Oocca Shop, and they noticed that the winds were howling and the rain had kicked up. There was a lot of screeching and noise from the top tower of the City in the Sky, right in the center. From their far away vantage point, Soren and Shira noticed a giant dragon flying around the top of the tower. It was about thirty minutes past sunset, so nightfall was setting in on the city. The conditions made it very tough to see what exactly was going on, but they were still able to see Link. He was latched onto a steel girder sticking up from the tower.

"I sure hope it doesn't start to storm. He'll get struck by lightning holding onto that girder." Ooccoo said.

"What is that instrument that Link has in his hand?" Shira asked.

"It looks like a grapple of some kind. It looks like he has two of them." Sure enough, as Soren said this, Link used his double clawshot weapons to move from one steel girder to another, avoiding the dragon's fiery breath. This went on for what seemed like several minutes. Then, in the blink of an eye, Link grappled onto the back of the dragon. He slashed his sword into the dragon's back. The dragon flapped violently, and eventually fell to the ground. As it got its wings back underneath itself, Link reclaimed his spot on the steel girder. The cat and mouse game began again until, about a minute later, Link found his way to the dragon's back again. This time, Link didn't let up his attack until the dragon had collapsed once and for all. As the evil creature breathed his last, the fourth and final piece of the Twilight Mirror appeared high in the sky above the tower, casting a light bright enough to turn the night back into day temporarily.

A few minutes later, Link arrived back down at the base of the floating city. Shira immediately swarmed him.

"You were amazing!" Shira said. "Now we've got the mirror in our possession, we're going to take the Twilight Realm for all its worth!"

Link was a bit taken aback at Shira's attitude. Midna scolded her. "The battle has only just begun. The Twilight Realm will not yield easily to our coming invasion. Zant is a treacherous individual, we do not know about his plans for us once we get there, or what he might be capable of once threatened. He is bad enough when in a state of power; I do not wish to see him in a state of weakness."

"Midna, that's quite enough." Link said. "I agree that it is good that the mirror shards have been found. However, we have not accomplished anything yet. Zant is still a threat, and until he is dealt with, our world is still in danger."

"Link." Ooccoo asked. "How exactly do you intend to reach the Mirror of Twilight?"

"We have our ways. But we must return to the world below first, do we not Midna?"

"Yes. It is the only way." Midna said. She pointed to the cannon standing to the south of the pool of water on the entrance plains of the city. Link began to walk toward the cannon.

Soren began to freak out again. "Link, no. Think about what you're doing. You're going to jump into that cannon, and hurl yourself at high speed downward to the surface of Hyrule? You'll end up a gob of chu jelly!"

Shira was livid at Soren. "Big brother, this is Link you're talking to. This is the man that is going to help us save mother and the other captives in the Twilight Realm and defeat Zant. He knows all about the legend of the Oocca and how these cannons work. We were fine on the way up here; we'll be fine on the way down. Just once in your life get over your fear of heights, please!"

Soren was stunned. It wasn't like Shira had much of a right to scold him for not overcoming his fears. But with Link and Midna present, it was not worth it to get into a sibling squabble, certainly not with the trip to the Twilight Realm only a short time away. "Fine." Soren said. "You jump into that thing and shoot yourself off. I'm riding to the Arbiter's Prison with Ooccoo. See you there."

Ooccoo was stunned. "Hey, just what are you talking about?" Before Ooccoo could finish his sentence, Soren had grabbed him hard by his talons. "You can reach the Arbiter's Prison without getting tired can't you?" Soren asked Ooccoo.

"Oocca never get tired." Ooccoo said.

And so it was. Shira got another cannon ride, and Soren got a free glide through the skies above the deserts of eastern Hyrule. Upon splashing down in Lake Hylia, Midna, Link, and Shira teleported to the top of the Arbiter's Prison. The Twilight Mirror was ready to be pieced back together.



Chapter 26: Melee at Twilight Palace

Soren flew through the air, holding on for dear life by Ooccoo's talons. Far below him, he could see the Eastern deserts of Hyrule fanned out as far as the eye could see. The night sky was clear; the clouds had dissipated about ten miles out from the City in the Sky. Soren continued to look around for any semblance of a building or structure, anything that resembled civilization. A few minutes later, he caught sight of a tall building on the ground about five miles to the northeast. There was nothing else in sight for miles outside of maybe a few rocks and a lot of sand. He knew that it had to be what he was looking for.

"Ooccoo." Soren said. "Head toward that building and start circling around."

The big boulder rose up from the ground and shook off the chains. The light flashed from the mirror. In an instant, a blinding flash consumed the area. Shira covered her eyes. When she opened them again there stood a strange gateway, shone by the light, right through the boulder. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see Midna clenching her fists. Link was looking straight ahead with the glaring eyes of a hawk about to swoop down on its prey. Shira knew in that moment that this was what they had journeyed so long and hard for.

They stepped into the portal atop the makeshift staircase. The light of the Twilight Mirror shone upon them, and they were whisked away.

The next thing she knew, Shira was standing in a world of darkness, with a giant castle-like building straight in front of them. Almost immediately, a trio of twilight messengers came after them. Link produced his sword and swung hard, knocking the first one to the ground. Shira moved behind the second messenger and tripped it from behind, allowing Link to push the third one on top of it and kill both with a deadly stab through the heart. A few twilight birds descended upon them after this, but Link was able to take them out fairly easily.

"Wait here Shira." Link said. "I'm going to find out where everybody is, and then we'll make our move."

Midna chided Link. "It's probably best if she comes with us. It's too dangerous here for her to stay by herself. There will be more of them."

Link and Midna were about to get into a squabble when Soren stepped through the twilight portal behind them. He took a second to feel around, making sure all his limbs were there. Then he turned around and spoke. "Where do we go to beat these dastardly beasts?" he asked.

But before he could say anything, Link and Midna were gone. They had disappeared inside the Twilight Palace via a room on the right side of the outer foyer. Soren and Shira didn't have to wait long for Link to return, within a few minutes he was carrying a glowing orb-like object. He set it down on the ground inside what appeared to be a placeholder in the center of the outer foyer. There was a second placeholder just to the left.

"It looks like we need the other glowing orb to get inside this place." Soren said as Link headed toward a room on the left.

About a minute later, there was a boom from beneath their feet. Then there was another, and another. It was like a constant pounding coming from beneath the rocky surface. Immediately, they both noticed a small crack in the ground in front of them where the pounding was coming from.

"Big brother, there's somebody down there!" Shira yelled frantically.

"Yes there is. And I'm going to find them." Soren reached for his sword, and took a mighty stab into the crack in the rock. He did this several more times, and he noticed that the rock was sifting apart the more he did it. Another pounding sound came from below their feet as Link reappeared with the second shining orb from the room on the left.

"Shira, drop a bomb into that crack! Now!" Soren yelled.

"Shira lit a bomb and placed it into the cucco-sized wedge in the ground. Soren grabbed the orb that Link had put on the ground previously to protect it as the bomb went off. The explosion blew away a six foot wide piece of rock on the ground, revealing an underground basement cavern. To their horror, they noticed a dead lady on the ground beneath where the blast had gone off.

"What's going on here?!" Link asked the two. "I need to get these two orbs to their positions and you two are blowing stuff up?!"

"Link," Shira said. "Look down there." He turned around and saw the dead lady in the ground. He noticed several twilight messengers in the hole just behind her.

"That hole is going to be very hostile." Link said. Midna chided him again. "Link, you shouldn't go down there, Zant's room is just up ahead past that wall of darkness. You've got to go after him."

"Midna, this might be more important." Link said.

"I'm going on without you if you go down there. I've waited for you to come for so long; it's time to finish Zant off!" Midna was losing it. One could tell that she wasn't going to fight Zant alone, but that she was distraught to defeat him immediately.

Link acknowledged his tough position. He turned back to Midna. "Fine then, we shall proceed to Zant with due haste. Soren, I trust that you are well with a sword. You'll need to fight hard to clear out any resistance down here. I must proceed to the top of the palace where Zant resides. I wish you and your sister well."

Link left the area, and Soren, without thinking, jumped down into the hole. He swung his sword hard against the two messengers, chopping one messengers' arms off. Shira fired and arrow and connected with the other, piercing it through the heart. "Take out the lamp!" Soren yelled to Shira. She brandished it and moved closely in front of her brother as they went down a dark tunnel. Screams and cries filled the area all around them, enough to thoroughly creep them out. At the end of the tunnel stood a heavy door, which Soren forced open with a forceful push. What stood inside the dim, circular room horrified them. There was an awful stench of death and rotting flesh all over the room. Limp bodies lay on the wooden planks along the outside walls. A giant crucifix stood in the middle of the room with chains hanging off of it. And jail cells were strewn around the back part of the chamber, with many people incarcerated inside. Some of them were bruised, battered, and some were crying for help. It was a sight similar to that of the jail tunnel beneath the hidden village.

Just then, two women moved into the room from what appeared to be a back door. Shira and Soren immediately noticed one of them as their mother! Kaylee was holding a giant hammer and looked as if she had put on about twenty pounds of muscle since her disappearance. She immediately ran over to her children and picked them up as best she could to hug them.

"Oh my gosh what are you two doing here?!" Kaylee shouted. "It's so great to see you again, thank heavens you're alright!" she yelled.

"Mom, we're just happy that you're alive! We've crossed the entire land to get to you!" Shira said wildly, her emotions just flailing. "We've made it!" Soren yelled as glee overcame him for one of the few times in his life.

"Ah, what a heartfelt reunion." said a dark voice.

The three swung around quickly and noticed a dark, masked individual standing by the entrance through which Shira and Soren came in. Soren instantly noticed the man. "Zerobaum! You heartless fiend! I thought I finished you off beneath the castle!" Shira turned to ask Soren what was going on but Soren quickly rebuffed her, saying he'd explain it later.

"Ah, true. But you see, the Twili die hard. What brings death to others does not so easily take us to our graves young warrior. We're the strongest race that has ever been contrived." As Zerobaum said this, a large amount of Twili soldiers appeared behind him, a very large amount, maybe about fifty or sixty. "And this time, you and the rest of your pathetic family will find out just what I am talking about."

"Not if I can help it you won't!" Kaylee yelled to Zerobaum. She turned around and slammed her hammer against the jail cage behind her, smashing the door in. Three hylians ran out of the cage quickly with stone weapons. Kaylee smashed another door and three more prisoners emerged. Zerobaum could see what was happening and he sent his soldiers in to attack. Soren and the other hylians rushed right at them, and the battle was on.

Shira shot two arrows into the line of Twili soldiers, piercing one through the heart and getting another square on the leg. They fell down and others tripped over them as they approached. Soren swung his sword hard and fast at the line of soldiers. Many of the imprisoned hylians helped him take on the enemy right in the middle of the line. He swung and tripped a soldier, then pivoted and ducked underneath the blade of an oncoming attacker. He turned back around and stabbed his pursuer in the back. It fell to the ground. Shira continued to fire her arrows as quickly as she could but was having a hard time finding open targets because the enemy and the allies were intermixing very quickly on the underground battlefield. Worse yet, the attackers were noticing her fighting style, and began to approach her directly. Kaylee fought off several with her hammer, but was eventually overcome. Shira ran quickly toward the middle of the room, into the heaviest of the fighting where her brother was, evading several swings at her by enemies.

Soren continued to fight hard. His hylian allies were taking losses, and the attackers were gaining the upper hand. He dodged two messengers to the backside, and then swung into the head of one of them, causing it to fall limp to the ground. Another soldier came up quickly and punched him in the gut. He flinched for a split second, and the soldier when for an uppercut. But before he could get it off, Shira pounced on him from behind and smashed in the face with her lamp. The clang rocked the soldier's head and he lost consciousness instantaneously.

Zerobaum kept watch on the battle, but was getting nervous. He was ready to enter the fight.



Chapter 27: The Sword in the Stone

"For years I had watched idly as an incompetent royal family allowed the Twili race to degenerate into worthlessness."

"My power is vested inside my god."

Link and Midna looked ahead as Zant continued to rant about the supposed failings of the Twili royal family and of his subsequent conquest. With each passing sentence their rage grew. Finally Zant rose from his throne and attacked, shooting a bunch of energy beams at Link. He dodged his energy beams and drew his sword. Before he could move, Zant cast a magic spell over the area. The room's shape and contents were changing! When the room reset itself, Link stood on a patch of grassy turf. He instantly recognized it as the boss room of the Forest Temple. He pulled out his Gale Boomerang and threw it at Zant, hoping to snatch him off of the pillar in the center of the grassy room.

"Thanks a lot sis!" Soren shouted as he recovered from the vicious hit to the stomach. Shira pivoted around and smacked another soldier in the head with her lantern. Soren moved forward behind her and attacked two soldiers moving in from the left. He rolled underneath one soldier's punch attack and slashed it with his sword from below. He then gave the soldier a leg sweep, knocking it to the ground. Kaylee came over and smashed him in the face with her hammer, killing it instantly.

"You better keep fighting hard now! Direct these scum to me!" Kaylee yelled out to her children.

"Yes mother!" Shira and Soren yelled back as they lured two twilight messengers closer to their corner of the room. Shira went for an attack but got punched in the face. However, as she fell backward, her lantern flew out of her hands and landed on the messenger's foot. It began to grab at its foot quite wildly, suggesting that it had been either burned or injured by the falling lantern. Soren immediately took advantage and stuck his sword right into its chest twice in rapid succession. It fell to the ground quickly. The other messenger scraped at Soren's left side, and then grabbed him on the arm. Soren slashed at the messenger's side with his sword but it would not let go. It moved its head toward Soren's face. But before the messenger could unleash its attack, Kaylee came from behind and smashed its head with her hammer. It too, fell right to the ground.

By this time, the hylians in the chamber were clearly winning the fight. Zerobaum had had enough. He shot a big ball of energy at Soren, who had his back turned and did not expect it. It nailed him right underneath the backside of his left knee. His knee buckled and he fell to the ground, grabbing at his leg. Zerobaum charged in to attack, but Kaylee stood over her fallen son with her hammer, not letting Zerobaum get close. The two clashed for several seconds until Shira hit Zerobaum in the chest with an arrow. Kaylee took advantage and cracked Zerobaum's skull with the hammer. He went flying back across the dark floor of the room.

"Are you all right big brother?" Shira asked Soren. "Is your leg okay?"

"Yeah, I think its okay." Soren said as he staggered back to his feet. It feels a little funny when I walk on it though."

"You're lucky you didn't screw it up like dad did last year." Kaylee said.

Most of the remaining Twilight soldiers had left the area, leaving only the small group of hylians and Zerobaum in the room with Soren, Shira, and Kaylee. Zerobaum appeared to be out cold, but Soren didn't believe it. Drawing on experience from his earlier encounter with him, he figured he was just lying on the ground in an attempt to play dead and surprise them.

Suddenly, Soren began to feel sick. He was woozy as the room appeared to change shape and color on him. After a few more seconds, the scenery came into perfect view and Soren realized where he was. He was in Kakariko Graveyard.

Link, wearing his Zora Armor in the underwater lair, swam forward to attack with his clawshot. He had already bested Zant inside a forest setting and a fiery platform setting. Now Zant had used his powers to transport them into a watery environment similar to that of the boss lair of Lakebed Temple. Link wondered how much longer this battle would go on. He had already inflicted a great deal of punishment upon the Twili leader. Avoiding a laser shot from Zant, he launched his clawshot. It stuck right into Zant's side and reeled him straight to Link. Link slashed Zant with his sword as best he could underneath the water. His arms felt heavy as they swung back and forth. Between swings, Zant swung his arms, launching energy blasts in Link's direction. Several landed, forcing Link to back off his attack and recuperate.

Soren noticed that he was standing right on his father's burial site. His grave lay several feet behind him. Zerobaum was across the other side of the graveyard, still lifeless on the ground. Soren did not see who caused the teleportation, but figured it had to have been Zerobaum seeing as there were no other Twili in the area at the time of the scenery switch.

"Do you think he's awake? And how did we get here?" Soren heard a voice say behind him. Soren noticed that his mother and sister were standing behind him on the other side of the gravestone. He nodded to his family, and moved forward with determination.

"We don't know why you brought us here, what you want with us, or why your people wish to inflict pain on us. We do not care any longer. Get up Zerobaum! You wanted me, you've got me, so get up! You tried to defeat me down in the depths beneath the castle and failed. You will fail again here." By now Soren was standing on top of Zerobaum's body. "Get up now, or I stick this sword into your skull for eternity!"

With this, Zerobaum instantly arose from his slumber. Soren jumped backward, but was not surprised in the least by Zerobaum's sudden attention.

"This has gone on long enough!" Zerobaum yelled as he rose into the air. "I only seek the powers of the Twilight Mirror. Yet now your single-minded quest for justice has ruined me forever. You have led me to the brink of insanity. You and your family will now feel the wrath of the ruthless aggression that runs in my blood."

Zerobaum charged up an energy blast and shot it directly at Soren. He deflected it with his sword directly back at Zerobaum, who reflected it with the outside of his cloak back toward Soren. Soren deflected it back with his sword. This constant deflection went on about four more cycles before Kaylee threw her hammer at Zerobaum. It missed, but its flight distracted Zerobaum enough for Soren to deflect the energy blast right back into Zerobaum's chest. Zerobaum was stunned, but stayed airborne off the ground, high enough that Soren couldn't reach him with his sword. Soren was ready to throw his sword at Zerobaum when he heard a shout from behind.

"Move, I've got this guy!" Shira yelled as she notched an arrow, and then dipped it into the flame of her lantern. Two seconds later she launched a flaming arrow that landed straight in Zerobaum's chest. The arrow set him on fire and Zerobaum emitted a high-pitched shriek. He fell to the ground and Soren charged him with his sword. He struck Zerobaum quickly three or four times with his sword before Zerobaum was able to pat out the flames and return to his lofty perch. A few seconds later, Zerobaum swooped down to attack with what appeared to be a sharp knife-like object. Soren dodged his attack to the right and readied himself for another attack. Zerobaum swooped down again, and Soren dodged again. Zerobaum dived a third time, and this time Soren jumped right into Zerobaum. In the collision, Soren tackled Zerobaum to the ground, but Zerobaum's knife cut his right arm just below the elbow. Blood poured out of the wound as Soren punched and kicked at Zerobaum. Kaylee moved in for a shot at Zerobaum's head with her hammer, but Zerobaum swiped his knife at her, connecting near her pelvis. She fell down backward.

"Mom!" Shira yelled as she rushed toward Kaylee. Zerobaum quickly got up and tackled Shira before she could reach Kaylee. He pinned her to the ground and looked to slash her throat with his blade. Soren recovered just in time to grab Zerobaum by his arms and pull him off of Shira. Zerobaum turned and punched Soren in the face, then returned to his lofty perch above. He quickly charged up an energy blast hoping to catch Soren while impaired from the punch, but Soren deflected it with his sword back toward Zerobaum. The process of deflecting the energy back and forth resumed and went on for quite a while. Then Soren got an idea. He flashed a signal to Shira to get the lantern and move behind Zerobaum. Soren continued to deflect back and forth the energy blast, then without warning he hit the energy blast off target, right toward his sister. The energy blast ran straight into Shira's lantern, but it didn't hurt her. In fact, the blast was quelled by the lantern, which turned a purplish-pink color. Zerobaum looked around frantically trying to see what had happened. It was likely that he did not see what happened to the blast and was looking around for it.

"It's time for justice." Soren told Zerobaum.

With Zerobaum focused on Soren, Shira tossed the lantern as hard as she could, right through the air toward Zerobaum. The lantern hit Zerobaum and exploded with all the fury of a million fireworks. The combination of the Twili magic and the fire of the lantern sent Zerobaum flying through the air like a rag doll. He landed limp on top of Canso's gravestone.

"Do you think that destroyed him?" Soren asked his sister.

"I think so. Look at him, he's burned all over." Shira said.

Soren walked up to the gravestone. He stood in front of it and kneeled with his sword in the ground in front of him. His mother and sister stood close behind him.

"Father, on this very day we avenge your death and restore the name of our family to greatness in courage, wisdom, and power." he said. Upon saying these words, a strange light emitted from the gravestone. It began to glow. Then Soren's sword began to glow, followed by Zerobaum's body. Zerobaum's muscles squirmed, a sign that while he was yet not dead, it was only a matter of time. Soren was ready to drive in the finishing blow.

He held the sword high above his head, and then stabbed downward into Zerobaum's flesh. The sword went right through Zerobaum's body and down into the gravestone itself. Soren let go and within a second a giant beam of light shot from the stone into the sky above Kakariko Graveyard. Then everything was silent and the light faded. When Soren, Shira, and Kaylee opened their eyes again, the sword and Zerobaum's body had both changed to stone.

"Justice is served." Soren said.



Chapter 28: Soren the Hero, Shira the Heroine

"I owe it all to these kids. They came all this way to save me." Kaylee told Renado as she dined on a piece of boiled cucco. It was her first good food in weeks.

"When you say all this way, what exactly does that entail?" Renado asked her.

Shira responded. "It's...really a lot to remember. I know we started here in the graveyard, and that where the journey ended too. I know we went to the Hidden Village, and to Lake Hylia. Then we were back in town for a while, and we helped crack the riddle of the sky. From there, we traveled into the heavens into the land of the Oocca."

"The...Oocca?" Kaylee asked somewhat incredulously. "They don't even exist do they? You mean you two actually went up to the sky? But how?"

Soren interjected. "A brave man named Link found a cannon beneath Kakariko Village, and his friend helped him transport it to Lake Hylia. We found it sitting there along the shoreline. Initially we had no plans of using it because we had to go to the Eastern desert. The entrance to the Twilight Realm was on top of a giant prison in the desert. But since we couldn't climb the dungeon, and trying to go through it likely meant getting lost or death, we had no choice but to reach the entrance from high above."

Shira cut him off here. "Big brother, you make it sound like you made the decision to go to the land of the Oocca. You did everything you could to stop me from going inside that cannon. If it weren't for my fearless nature we'd have never found mother."

"Fearless nature?! Are you kidding? You were the one who didn't want to go on the journey in the first place!" Soren exclaimed.

Now now, there's no need to quibble." Renado said calmly. "This is a glorious day in the lives of you three, and I'd hate for it to be ruined by a meaningless truffle. Soren and Shira, you two have both shown incredible bravery on your journey. From my dealings with you I have seen a young boy and girl become a strong man and woman. But the most important thing of all is the sense of bond that you as a family share. I will send word to Telma and the Adventurer's Guild that you are all right."

"Wait! What about the others in the Twilight Palace?" Kaylee asked.

Shira answered. "Link and his friend will probably guide them through the Twilight Mirror after he is finished with Zant. They are probably back in Hyrule Castle Town now. We'd be there too, except Zerobaum decided to teleport us here."

"We should probably be getting home." Soren said to Renado.

A few minutes later, Soren, Shira, and Kaylee were on their way out of Kakariko Village heading toward Hyrule Castle Town. They traveled on the roads that their father had helped to build, and for them it seemed like a highly symbolic ending to the journey. The Hyrulian sun shown upon them as they rode at a steady pace through the plains of Eldin Province.

If only they knew that the journey wasn't quite over...yet.

About an hour passed, and the three stopped to give the horses a rest. They passed around some cucco meat and some milk that Renado had graciously given them back in the village. Soren made every effort not to eat it all. One thing he didn't really realize on his journey was just how hungry he was. Shira was never one to eat a lot of food, unless if it was cooked cucco, she always tended to nibble on her cuisines and be nourished. But Soren, as big and strong as he was, was really craving anything he could find that was edible.

"What a nice day. It feels like everything is back together again." Shira said.

Kaylee took a bite of her section of cucco meat. "Even with father gone, at least we have each other. Almost everything seems normal again. It's been so long since we've even seen the house; it's probably a ridiculous mess. You're both helping me clean it up when we get home."

"Yes mother." Shira and Soren said. They look at each other with a grin, knowing that yes, their mom was back.

A little while later, the three mounted their steeds and began riding again. But after a short while of riding, Shira began to notice a change in the conditions. The calm easterly breeze that had been blowing all day long had disappeared. In its place came a strong northerly wind. The wind was strong enough to create wind resistance for the horses as they galloped along. Then clouds began to gather on the northern horizon, in fact they gathered quickly. So quick in fact, that Hyrule Castle Town, which was visible from their vantage point twenty miles away just minutes earlier, appeared to vanish behind the growing grayish-black behemoth.

"Hey big brother." Shira said. "It looks like heavy weather up ahead."

"Yes. And it's headed right for us. It's probably a mess in town already."

"Are we going to be able to get around it some way?" Kaylee asked her son.

"Well," Soren responded. "There is a cave a few miles northeast of here that leads to an underground passage. I suppose we could batten down there until the storm passes."

"Let's do that." Kaylee told him.

But despite their best efforts, the storm was spreading quickly. Downdraft winds sent the warm temperatures downward. The black sky reduced the visibility to that of a dark, starless night, illuminated only by the flashes of lightning coming from the clouds above. With the visibility poor, they were unable to locate the underground cave entrance. The rains began, starting with a drizzle for about a minute before a pounding heavy deluge showered them.

"It's impossible to find in this darkness! We'll never see it!" Shira yelled to Soren.

"We might as well just run for it at this point! We're already wet!" Soren yelled back. Kaylee pleaded to Soren to travel slowly in the stormy weather, which Soren only half-heartedly agreed to do. Shira pulled her drenched hair behind her back and readied her horse to run.

And then, out of nowhere, Shira noticed two horses moving toward them in the darkness. They couldn't have been more than a hundred feet away, headed straight for her. "Move to the right!" She yelled as loud as she could as she pulled the reigns on her horse, steering it with a hard right. One horse whizzed by her left side, narrowly missing her. Another horse moved by about a second and a half later. As it did so, a giant flash consumed her vision.

"That was close! But what the heck was that flash?!" Shira yelled to Soren and Kaylee.

"I think that was a projectile of some kind." Kaylee told her. "The rider of that second horse that passed us fired it in the direction of the first horse."

"It looks like we have a fight on our hands. Turn around and follow them!" Soren yelled. Kaylee, once the peaceful one of the family but now stained by her experiences, nodded in agreement.

A few seconds later, another projectile was fired. This one connected with the first horse. It slowed down, and the rider on the second horse rode up close to the first horse and attacked. The rider of the first horse fell off and to the ground. Soren and Shira moved forward, riding behind the fight until they got within a close enough range that they could see who it was. They were shocked to find Link and Princess Zelda riding together on one horse, apparently fighting another man who lay sprawled out across the wet grass of Hyrule Field.

"What's going on big brother?" Shira asked.

"I don't have any idea. Zelda and Link must have a serious problem with that man over there. Don't get too close. Who is that?" Soren wondered.

Link dismounted and walked over to the man on the ground. He quickly got back on his feet, and out of nowhere a magical barrier of some kind surrounded the two men on the plain. Soren noticed that the rain had ceased to some degree, and the visibility was improving a bit, which allowed him to pick up a better glimpse of the man Link was fighting. He was of strong build, maybe about six foot three or four. He wore black and had a beard. Princess Zelda was standing right outside of the barrier, for some reason it had not enclosed her inside. She was looking straight at the man as he drew his weapon, almost as if to stare a hole right into his heart.

Suddenly Soren had a flashback to his encounter with Princess Zelda in the tunnel. She said that she felt a higher power of destruction from inside the castle, and that it was looking for her. A giant beast then came running after her. Could that beast be somehow related to this man? Soren wondered that as he watched Link and him trade blows with their weapons. For every time Link got in a swordslash attack, the other man would use his greater size to his advantage and knock Link to the ground. This went on for several minutes, with neither fighter gaining the upper hand. Soren decided that he needed to make his presence felt somehow. He moved forward wielding his mother's hammer.

He moved right up to the barrier with his hammer. In an attempt to distract the man, he slammed his hammer against the barrier. It was a bad decision. An energy field running within the barrier knocked Soren to the ground right on his head. His head hurt really badly, but luckily for Soren, the sound of the barrier energy had distracted the man. He turned around, long enough for Link to attack him directly. In this attack Link slashed the man's right leg pretty badly, limiting his mobility to the point where it was hard for him to move around. Link maintained the advantage for the next minute or so while Soren was on the ground. Just as he was getting up, Princess Zelda came over to him.

"Are you okay?" Zelda asked. "Who are you...oh; you're that man from the tunnel." She said hurriedly.

Soren could hardly think straight. "That man, who is that?"

Zelda spoke with frightful diction. "That, is Ganondorf. He is the one who attacked me in the tunnel, turned this world to evil with his deceitful power, and done so many horrible things I cannot dignify them all right now."

Just as Zelda finished her sentence, Ganondorf rocked back and delivered a nasty punch to Link's chest. He went flying backward into the barrier six feet away. The one-two shot of the punch and the barrier knocked Link's wind out. He struggled hard to get up while Ganondorf stalked him in the corner. He kicked him once while he was still in a crouch. Zelda screamed with horror just as she felt a tap on her left shoulder pad. It was Shira.

"Zelda, big brother, help me up!" She yelled.

"Help you up, inside the barrier?! You're insane! You'll get killed!" Soren yelled at her.

"See this red potion?!" Shira asked. "If Link doesn't get this within the next minute he could be dead! Now are you going to help me or not?!"

Ganondorf picked Link up and tossed him into the barrier again. He was dominating the battle.

Soren looked at Zelda, who looked back and Kaylee standing behind him. They all nodded in agreement. The three of them helped to pick Shira up and hold her over their shoulders. Shira jumped over the barrier and inside the barrier.

"Hey Ganondorf!" Shira yelled in an extremely annoying tone of voice. "You're too slow to catch me!"

Ganondorf turned around swiftly and moved in a stalking manner toward Shira. Soren did his best to distract Ganondorf on the outside of the barrier but it was no use. He was now completely fixated on Shira.

Shira swallowed her fear even more and became even bolder. "You're so pathetic, my big brother's a greater warrior than you'll ever be!" she yelled. As Ganondorf drew closer and began to draw his weapons to attack, Shira took out the bottle of red potion and threw it over Ganondorf's head, to a waiting Link. He quickly downed about half of the healing drink, got up, and started after Ganondorf from behind. Before Ganondorf could fully refocus on him, Link gave him a chop block to the back of the knee with the broad side of his sword. Ganondorf's leg buckled and Link did it again. The second time Ganondorf fell to one knee, and Link slashed him in the head. With Shira only yards away watching Link went on a massive flurry attack, eventually sticking his sword into Ganondorf's flesh. He fell to the mixed grass of Eldin Plain, never to get up again.

The barrier faded, and Link claimed victory.


Story Epilogue: The Dedication


A fairly large crowd of Hylians and a sizeable amount of Gorons had made their way into Kakariko Graveyard.  It was a gorgeous sunny day in Kakariko, one without a cloud anywhere in sight and the temperature warm.  Everybody was in a celebratory mood, for it had only been a week’s passing since Link and Zelda’s victory over Ganondorf in nearby Eldin Plain.  But what they had come to see was something that went beyond even what they were able to accomplish.  Before them, in the back center of the graveyard stood the stone gravestone of Soren and Shira’s father, with Zerobaum’s body and Soren’s sword pierced through it.


Renado stepped before the gravestone to speak to the crowd.  “Ladies and gentlemen, my Goron brothers and my Hylian brethren, we are gathered on this joyous occasion to celebrate two great warriors.  These people are responsible for some of the greatest feats of courage, bravery, and strength of this entire conflict.  I could go on for some time about what they’ve accomplished in the face of heavy resistance, but there is nobody more qualified to introduce them than their mother, Kaylee.”


Kaylee walked up in front of Renado as the people clapped and cheered.  Many of those gathered in the graveyard were people captured by the Twili invaders just like her, and they cheered loudly as Kaylee prepared to speak.  To them, she was an inspiration. 


“Let me just start by saying that I was a prisoner during much of this conflict.  I was captured in the streets of Hyrule Castle Town by Twili invaders.  During the time in which I was captured I was enslaved to work on an evil project involving the use of the Twilight Mirror as a deadly weapon.  Many more gathered here were also forced to work on this project with me, in fact if you were enslaved at the Twilight Palace, I wish for you to come up and stand next to me right now.”  A good group of people, maybe about twenty or thirty got up and stood in a line next to Kaylee.  “Things looked very bleak.  We weren’t sure what would happen to us.  We didn’t know if we would survive or die, or possibly end up doing horrible damage to our country by our very existence.  And then, just before the project was complete, two brave adventurers showed up to save all of us.  These adventurers traveled across the country, through the underground, and even into the sky lands of the Oocca in an effort to save me.  These people are my very children, Soren and Shira.”


Soren and Shira began to walk toward the gravestone as the entire crowd cheered them.  It was as if they were the most beloved people in all of Hyrule the way they were received.  They thanked the crowd, and then Shira spoke.


“On a day months ago, our land was attacked by invaders from the Twilight Realm.” Shira said.  “Around that time, our father was brutally killed by a rowdy clan of Bulblins.  In this same attack, my mother attempted to save my father, only to be captured and taken away.  Ever since the day that my brother and I learned of this dreadful and horrific event, we have stood united with the goal of restoring our family’s name, avenging our father’s death, and returning our lives to normalcy.  This quest lead us across the vast plains of Hyrule, to hidden villages, to hidden compounds in the underground, and even into the skies high above.”


Soren spoke next.  “In the end, we located the place of our mother’s prison, deep inside the Twilight Palace.  Not only was she located there, but so were all of these people that you see in front of us.  Our finding led us into a deep and dangerous final encounter with those who invaded our land, led by the evil Zerobaum.  That vile man is he who stands immortalized in stone behind me.  During the final encounter, I swung my sword down into the stone with him lying upon it and he became what you see here.  This victory…”


Soren suddenly stopped.


“What’s wrong big brother?” Shira asked.


“Over there.  There’s a carriage coming through.” Soren said.


Indeed, coming across the entrance was a carriage with two white horses drawing it from the front.  Inside were Link and Princess Zelda.  Many in the crowd were surprised at their presence as they walked toward the gravestone.  Everybody, including Soren and Shira, fell to their knees as they walked forward. 


Zelda stopped in front of the gravestone, motioning several people to move out of the way.  She raised her hands, and some light magic came out of her hands.  It moved through the air and went to the front of the gravestone.  After a few seconds, the magic cleared, and there were words engraved in hylian across the front.


“Soren…and Shira…the fruit of your bloodline avenges.  Canso…may you forever rest in peace.”  Princess Zelda said with only the dignity and grace of a princess.


Soren and Shira both rose to their feet as Zelda and Link approached them near the gravestone.  Zelda spoke.  “In honor of your sense of commitment to the ones you love, and for the undying sense of courage, honor, and valor that you two stand for, I hereby declare the two of you recipients of the Royal Medallion of Courage.”


Zelda took a gold medallion and slid it over Soren’s neck, while Link did the same for Shira.  The entire crowd went wild as Kaylee came from behind and hugged her children.  Soren and Shira knew this was a moment they would never forget.  Their journey was finally complete.


Soren and Shira both went on to living healthy and wealthy lives.  Soren was offered to join the Hylian Knights, but actually turned down what had once been a life’s dream of his.  After the adventure, he wasn’t really prepared for more fighting.  Instead, he settled down in a cottage down in Faron Woods, where he lived a more secluded life for several years after moving out.  Eventually he did move back to Hyrule Castle Town, where he opened a sword crafting business and met the love of his life.  Shira, after a short reverting back to her old shy self at home, began to adventure again.  She became great friends with Ashei, and helped her research the Yeti clan of the Snowpeak Mountains in Hyrule’s northeast.  Later in life she settled down in her favorite locale, Lake Hylia, building a lake house on the terraced greens just beneath the Great Hylian Bridge.  For years she lived as a fisherwoman and a diver, eventually one day performing a feat she said she would someday complete, reaching the insides of the Lakebed Temple.


Although their lives would go in separate directions, the memories of the adventure would keep them together in spirit, forever.



Back to Story Menu