A World Cloaked in Shadow

By Lyxie

Chapter Two: Enlightenment



Link, wake up…


Awaken, chosen one, hero of time.

"Go away, Sheik," mumbled Link stupidly, rolling over, only to be splashed very rudely by what felt like water.

"AAH! IT'S MORPHA!" Link yelled, scrambling back up onto the platform in terror. He heard a chuckle.

"Morpha is long dead, Link," said a deep male voice. "Thanks to you."

"Who was Morpha?" Link asked. The voice chuckled, and Link looked for the source- a fat old man in golden robes. "And who are you?"

"I am Raru, sage of light," said the fat guy. Link nodded, cleaning one of his molars with his tongue. "uh huh."

"Morpha was the giant water beast that kept the sage of water captive in her temple," said Raru. Link nodded again.

"Right," said the young warrior. "So, where am I?"

"You're in the temple of the sages, in the middle of the evil realm."

"Evil realm?" blubbered Link. "I thought it was the sacred realm!"

"It was the sacred realm, until the great king of evil, Ganondorf, was sealed away inside."

"Ganondorf…" Link said, turning the name over on his tongue. It made him seethe with anger, and, subconsciously, he clenched his fists.

"I see you retain subconscious memory of your past, Link," said Raru. Link shrugged.

"I suppose. There's about a month gap that's missing from my memory, but all these people keep telling me about things that I've done. How could I do so much in a month?"

"It's not humanly possible," said Raru. "It wasn't all in a month. Link, you have a seven year gap missing from your memory."

"How?" gasped Link. "I'm only eighteen, and I have physical proof of each of those eighteen years of existence…"

"It's complicated," said Raru. He tossed Link a small, leather bound book.

"This is your journal through that time. Your memories will return to you as you read it." Link turned over the journal- he remembered, Saria had given it to him for his tenth birthday, and he'd only realized it was missing once he arrived in Termina, so long ago. Link placed it within his tunic and looked up at Raru.

"There are things left unexplained in your journal," said the old sage. "Things you must discover for yourself again. Return to Hyrule, hero, and learn your own story, the story only myself and seven others know, and even then, only in pieces."

"Thank you, Raru," said Link as he was engulfed by the blue light. The old sage smiled and bowed his head.

"Nil est- it is nothing. Go, hero. Hyrule needs you once again."

Link was surrounded by blue, and was suddenly left, standing unsteadily on his feet, clutching to the master sword. He inspected himself, then, satisfied and assured that he had NOT been hallucinating, he removed the sword from the pedestal and left the chamber, the doors grinding shut behind him. Link walked past the altar of time and out the doors, which had magically unlocked upon his return.

"Hero," came a distinctive voice, a voice Link would know anywhere. Link whirled. Sheik was standing above the altar of time, almost as though he had been waiting there.

"To return to this temple again, play the Prelude of Light." Sheik pulled a harp out of nowhere, and plucked out a simple melody. Link pulled out his ocarina and fumbled along, finally getting the melody and playing along with Sheik, creating a lovely duet.

"Sheik, how did you know…"

"Never underestimate the Mei," he said, then pulled out a deku nut, flung it at Link's feet, and vanished in a flash of light. Link shook his head at the Sheikiah's strange behavior, but took no note of it and instead made his way out of the temple and down into the village, across the drawbridge and towards his horse.

"Epona!" he whistled, and his horse came running. He mounted her and they set off at a gallop towards the woods- Link was eager to learn, to remember, to start on his journal. However, there was a part of his mind that nagged at him.

If my memories were sealed away for so long, weren't they sealed away for a reason? Maybe this is all some giant mistake. Maybe I shouldn't read. Maybe I should just sleep. Maybe I should leave Hyrule, Link thought to himself.

No, he contradicted. Leaving Hyrule is a horrible idea- you are Hyrule's hope.

Link rode on through the falling night to the woods, his thoughts in turmoil as he reached his humble cabin. He removed Epona's gear and let her run off through the clearing, neighing happily. Link entered his cabin and lit a fire in his fireplace, grabbed some random plants he'd stashed in his rafters and ate quickly. He pulled his journal out of his tunic and opened it up- something gold slid to the floor. Link picked it up and turned it over in his hands, hearing Raru's voice in his head.

Link, this is the medallion of light that I grant to you. I believe it may be useful in your upcoming quest. Keep it safe- this is no worldly object, and we cannot allow it to become victim to theft.

Link tucked it away behind a mask hanging upon his wall, understanding the words of the old sage. He grabbed his journal and opened it to the first page, and began to read.

"Dear Journal, you'll never guess what! Today, I got a fairy. A real fairy! Her name's Navi, and she says she's come to guide me. She says I need to go see the great deku tree right away, so I'm going to have to go. I hope I'm going on an adventure! Maybe now, all the other Kokiri will recognize me as somebody important."

Link smiled sadly, and flipped the page.

"Dear Journal, the great deku tree died. I couldn't do anything to save it… I feel so bad. I beat the giant spider living inside it and everything, but…

"Now all the other children hate me. I want to die, journal, but Navi says we have to take the shiny stone that the great deku tree gave me to the princess. I hope the princess isn't too snooty.

"Dear Journal…

"Wow, you'll never guess what…

"Dear journal…

"Today was the worst…"

Link read through the journal, memories flooding him as he took in the childish scrawl. Then, there was suddenly a new scrawl, something with the semblance of the script of an aristocrat whose hand cramped with disuse.

"Well, you'll never believe it. I ripped the stinking sword out of the pedestal, and that jerk, Ganondorf, appeared and stole the Triforce. I woke up in this room filled with water, with this crazy old bald coot blabbering on about something or other. I'm not sure. But the thing is… I grew up. Seven years have elapsed! I slept so long… and what's worse, Saria is supposedly trapped in the forest temple. I left the sacred realm on my way to save her, but the strangest person in weird blue clothes appeared on the pedestal of time. He says his name is Sheik. He told me to go to Kakariko graveyard, that there's a tool there that I need to obtain. There's something very odd about this Sheik… I suppose I have nothing to do but trust him, though.

"Hyrule is in total ruin. If only I had prevented Ganondorf from getting the Triforce! If only I had gone to the Temple of Time sooner… but right now, there's no time for "if only"s. My goal is to rid Hyrule of the plague of evil called Ganondorf Dragmire, and I will not let a thing stop me."

Link read on, totally engrossed in learning his past. The battles came back to him, the annoying chirping of Navi at the most inconvenient times, the dungeons, the pungent stench of his own blood that he grew to know so well. He read on into the early hours of the morning, when it finally came to an abrupt stop.

"I defeated those stupid witch sisters. They're gone now- no worries. I've cleaned out the last of the seven temples, and Nabooro has become a sage. She granted me the medallion of spirit. That makes the seventh and final medallion, and all the sages awakened. I've paused to write down the events in the journal because after I warp to the temple of time, I'll engage in what could very well be the last battle of my life. My only regrets are that I never did get to tell Zelda how beautiful I think she is, or how much I adore her. I know she is alive, but I will probably not see her before I go engage in the final battle with Ganondorf. Shame, really… it's her that has kept me going, her and the constant reassurance from Sheik.

"Navi is bothering me. I'm nervous. I don't want to die. However, I've sworn that I… I will rid the earth of the plague of Ganondorf. So, to anybody who might read my journal, farewell. If I die, I will die with the honor of the knowledge that I protected Hyrule with the last of my life. I can only hope that the next page contains details of my defeat of the king of darkness, but for now, I must go battle. Wish me luck."

There was no entry on the next page.

Link sighed and sat back, placing his journal on the table. He rubbed his eyes tiredly, and looked at the clock he had acquired in Termina. Four in the morning…

"I know I defeated Ganondorf," Link mumbled to himself, scratching the back of his neck, "but I wish I could remember how. I wish I could remember the princess, too. She really must be something…"

Link heard a rustle outside, but took the noise only as a nighttime creature. What happened next totally shocked him. Sheik staggered into Link's cabin with a throwing knife embedded in his side.

"He-ro…" Sheik groaned, and Link rushed forward to catch the Sheikiah.

"Sheik? Sheik, what happened?" asked Link, alarmed.

"Me and mo-ther… temple… attacked…" Link carried the bleeding boy over to his bed and removed the throwing knife and top of his tight blue garment, exposing a pale yet muscular stomach, covered in blood. Link went to a drawer and grabbed a roll of cloth, dashed outside and soaked a piece in cold water, and quickly cleaned up the blood, then bound Sheik's stomach.

"Here," said Link, handing him a bottle of red potion. "Drink this. It'll help." Link gently lifted Sheik's head and dribbled the potion into the wounded Sheikiah's mouth. Sheik's lips quirked up in a smile.

"Thanks, Hero," he said, seeming to regain energy. His red eyes were flashing. "My mother is fine- she managed to escape, and has taken up residence with the shadows, for the time being. There is no need for you to worry about her, Hero."

"So, what exactly happened?" Link asked, concerned. Sheik shook his head.

"Ganondorf's minions attacked us out of nowhere- we were ambushed. They just… came out of the ground. It was scary," coughed Sheik. "I must give you credit, Hero."

"Thanks," said Link, patting Sheik on the head. Sheik reached up and removed his turban, messy golden hair falling around his head. Link grinned and ruffled to the Sheikiah's hair, much to Sheik's disgust.

"Rest, Sheik," said Link. "You'll be better in the morning."

"Link?" croaked Sheik groggily. Link turned.

"Thanks," he said, smiling, an unidentifiable sparkle in his eyes. Link smiled.

"No problem," he said. "I owe you after that incident with Bongo Bongo so long ago." Sheik's eyes widened, and he shot up.

"How much do you remember?" he growled ferociously. Link moved forward and pressed Sheik back down onto the bed.

"What I read in there is of no concern to you," said Link. Sheik relaxed and nodded, though his red eyes were wide and jumpy.

"I'm sorry about that, hero. Thank you…" and he rolled over and was asleep. Link scrutinized the boy and shook his head, then grabbed some cushions out of a closet, curled up on the ground, and slept, journal in hand.

In the morning when Link awoke, Sheik was gone. There was only a note left on the table.

"Hero, I thank you for your kindness. However, urgent matters have come to my attention that I have to address. Do not, I repeat, do NOT engage yourself in these matters or with me in any way yet. It's best that you aren't killed before the war begins."

Link shook his head and set the letter down, then made his way over to the bed, sitting down heavily and wondering when the Sheikiah would next visit him- and if not Sheik, then who? Unfortunately, the last thing Link would expect was the fact that, as soon as night fell that evening, he would be paid a very unexpected visit from the last person he would recognize…

The Masked Mystique.


Link sat in bed that night, flipping through the pages of his journal once again, forwards, then backwards, then forwards, as though looking for some secret message, something he had missed.

"I don't get it," he said, straining his memory as hard as he could. It seemed as though there was something missing… Link could recall his acquisition of the spirit medallion, then sitting down on the temple steps to write what he feared would be his last entry, then standing and pulling out his ocarina and playing the prelude of light, and then a huge black gap until the princess presenting Link with the ocarina of time, and him riding away to Termina.

Frustrated, Link stood and pulled off his cap, anxiously running his hands through his wild golden hair. He rammed the cap back on to his head, picked up a sword, and decided to head outside to train. He made his way over to a scarecrow he had mounted and began to fight with it, perfecting various sword moves. He swooped off his tunic as his body heated up with the exercise.

"Yes," thought Link. "Let me sweat out my anger." With a loud "YAH!" Link performed a complicated midair spin and plummeted towards the scarecrow, cleaving it neatly in two. He smiled at the satisfied "thunk-thunk" the straw head made as it landed, one half after another, on either side of the scarecrow. Link grabbed his tunic and wiped his forehead, congratulating himself on a technique well mastered, when something he saw made him stop completely.

Something was moving in his cabin.

Link dropped his tunic and crept forward, peering in the window of his cabin. A black cloaked figure was quietly checking around Link's cabin, obviously looking for something. A porcelain mask was the only thing showing, other than hands covered in bandages just barely showing from the arms of the cloak.

It was indubitably the Masked Mystique.

Quietly, the cloaked figure crept towards Link's table, obviously seeing what it wanted. His journal? The figure grabbed the small leather book and tucked it down their robes, then made their way towards the door. Link crept around the side of the house, and then stood beside the door, awaiting their exit.

"What do you think you're doing with my journal?" Link asked, hand on his sword. The figure gasped, then ran.

"Come back here! Give me back my journal!" Link yelled, chasing after them. Though they were swift, Link had become used to running long distances at a time, and quickly caught up once they began to lag from exhaustion. He gave a great yell and tackled them, rolling down a grassy slope in the woods, wrestling for his journal. Link drew his sword and pulled the figure to their feet, backing them up against a tree and pressing his sword against their neck.

"Who are you?" Link asked the cloaked figure. "Show yourself." He pressed the sword blade into the figure's throat, though they did not recoil. Chin held high, the figure moved two bound hands up to its masked face. Link held in his breath as fingers slid underneath the mud-stained plate. What would he see? A horrible disfigurement? A monster?

What Link saw when the figure peeled away the mask was so totally unexpected that it sent him gasping for air. The loveliest woman he had ever seen peered defiantly back at him from under the hood, her violently blue eyes sparkling with pride. Her cheeks were high and beautifully pink, her lips rose colored and plush. A strand of curling blonde hair fell into her eyes from under her hood, but she didn't seem to notice. Her eyes were fixated steadily on him.

"Who are you?" he asked in a whisper. "What is your name?" She did not speak, but Link saw a flicker of doubt behind her stubborn eyes. "Why won't you speak?" he asked in a whisper, reaching up to touch her face. In a whirl, the girl spun around and leapt into the branches of a tree high above.

"Wait!" called Link after her. "Come back here!" but she had vanished through the branches of the trees. Link looked down and noticed that she had dropped her mask. He picked it up, brushing the dirt and mud off of the white porcelain, and stroked the face of it with his finger. With a sigh, Link slumped onto a tree stump, burying his face in his leather-gauntleted hands. He yanked at a strand of blonde hair that fell into his blue eyes, then tucked it back into the green cap that permanently adorned his head.

"What does it mean?" he asked himself, sighing and dragging at his face with his hands, looking at the mask he'd placed in his lap. "What does it mean?" He stood, brushing off his white breeches, and grabbed the mask, stashing it within his green tunic. He whistled through his teeth to Epona, who came trotting up to him seemingly from out of nowhere. He hauled himself up into the saddle and rode off into the forest with a "yah!" It was not long before he reached his small, modest cabin. He let Epona loose and stooped at the small pond outside his home to splash his face, still shaking his head at the odd events that had just occurred. Who was that girl? Why had she taken his journal? He entered his cabin and sat on his bed, reclining against his pillow. He looked at his table, and noticed that his paper and ink were out. Confused, he stood and made his way to the table, meaning to clean up the mess. What he saw caused him to stop dead in his tracks. A letter sat neatly in the middle of the table, a roll of parchment and a bottle of ink with a brush sitting nearby. The elegant letters on the parchment were still wet, glistening in the fire that warmed the cold cabin. Shaking, Link bent before the letter.

"I am the Mei, the seventh sage. Do not try to come into contact with me- you must stay away from me if you treasure your life. Someday, all that is foggy will be unveiled before your eyes, but for now, do not meddle in affairs that you are unconnected with." There was a smudge, as though the Mei had been meaning to write more, but had heard Link coming. The teenager whirled around, searching his cabin for any signs that anything was amiss. He noticed the window was open- that was how the Mei had made her quick escape without being detected by the young hero. Shaking his head in confusion, Link pulled the mask out from within his tunic, studying the mask that had covered the face of the beautiful warrior.

"Mei…" he said, running his finger along the edge of the faceplate. He set it down on the table, determined. "I'm connected in this- you've taken something that belongs to me. We will meet again, shadow warrior. I vow to learn who it is you truly are, Mei," he said, "with the goddesses as my witnesses. Strike me down if I don't learn the mind behind the face you mask."

As though this was the final straw in deciding Link's involvement with the war, he then set about to collecting his weapons from random corners of his cabin, making plans for his next great adventure. What he didn't see was the shuddering character sneaking away from his window, cloaked in black with only the tear and mud streaked face of a blonde beauty showing. Mei crawled through the woods until she could no longer see or smell the smoke rising from the chimney of Link's cabin, and collapsed against a tree, sobbing hysterically.

"No, Link, don't," she cried. "You'll only get yourself killed…"


Link, armed and totally ready the next morning, rode off into the sunset (sunrise, really, but he imagined it to be an epic sort of sunset) in a heroic, stubborn, and slightly foolish-looking way. Epona was completely loaded down with any equipment Link might have found useful; though some would call this excessive, Link was a hero and he knew exactly what he was doing. Each of the saddlebags was filled to the brim with "worthless junk" as Link was sure Navi or Tatl or any of his countless guides would call it- bombs and bombchus, deku sticks, masks, magical items, spells, compasses, maps, and pages after pages of various magical songs from different lands. Link led Epona to the sacred forest meadow, and dismounted. Monsters were running amuck in the maze once more. Link made his way through, eliminating the disgusting creatures in his way, until he reached the clearing in which the temple stood. Waiting for him, calm as anything, was the one person certain to be of the most help to Link.



There used to be a greying tower alone on the sea.
You became the light on the dark side of me.
Love remained a drug that's the high and not the pill.
But did you know,
That when it snows,
My eyes become large and,
The light that you shine can be seen.

I might compare you to a kiss from a rose on the grave.
The more I get of you
Stranger it feels, yeah.
And now that your rose is in bloom,
A light hits the gloom on the grave.

There is so much a man can tell you,
So much he can say.
You remain,
My power, my pleasure, my pain.
Baby, to me you're like a growing addiction that I can't deny
Won't you tell me is that healthy, baby?
But did you know,
That when it snows,
My eyes become large and the light that you shine can be seen.

I might compare you to a kiss from a rose on the grave.
Ooh, the more I get of you
stranger it feels, yeah.

Now that your rose is in bloom.
A light hits the gloom on the grave,
I've been kissed by a rose on the grave,
I've been kissed by a rose
...And if I should fall, at all
I've been kissed by a rose
There is so much a man can tell you,
So much he can say.
You remain
My power, my pleasure, my pain.
To me you're like a growing addiction that I can't deny
Won't you tell me is that healthy, baby.
But did you know,
That when it snows,
My eyes become large and,
the light that you shine can be seen.

I might compare you to a kiss from a rose on the grave,
Ooh, the more I get of you
Stranger it feels, yeah

Now that your rose is in bloom,
A light hits the gloom on the grave.
Yes I compare you to a kiss from a rose on the grave.
Ooh, the more I get of you
stranger it feels, yeah.

Now that your rose is in bloom.
A light hits the gloom on the grave,

Now that your rose is in bloom.
A light hits the gloom on the grave

~Kiss from a rose, by Seal

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