Chapter Six: Last Dance
The next morning found Zelda and Link were packing their things, preparing for their next adventure after their very brief rest.
"The spirit temple," said Zelda. "I always wondered what was inside…"
"The coolest temple, in my opinion," said Link. "Though also a very dangerous temple as well."
"All of the temples are dangerous," Zelda pointed out, polishing her mirror shield with a towel she had stolen from Impa's bathroom. "That's a given."
"Cursed pots flying at you, magical elevators, mirrors, statues that come to life to knock your brains out," grunted Link as he shoved random masks into his bag. He was about to put in the Deku mask when Zelda stopped him.
"Wait, Link," she said. "You told me I could try on a mask."
"After we defeat the spirit temple," he said, pushing it in. "Masks hurt."
"I can imagine," said Zelda, recalling the shrieks of pain that Link always let out when putting on a mask. She scrubbed roughly at a particularly stubborn smudge on the polished surface of the mirror shield, willing it to come off.
"Morning all," said Toyl sleepily, bobbing tiredly into the room.
"Glad to see you're awake," commented Zelda, adjusting her disguise as Sheik. The little fairy nearly fell out of the air for a moment as she heaved a great yawn, then bobbed back up.
"I'm tired," she said. "That's the first time I've done something that strenuous."
"You'll get used to it," said Link, stashing a few vials of potion in his bag. "Now come on- we need to defeat the spirit temple so that we can get out of this realm."
"It's almost pure," commented Zelda, giving up on the smudge when she realized it was part of the screaming face on the mirror. "We've almost purged the evil from it."
"With the exception of Ganondorf," muttered Link. Zelda shrugged her shoulders and grabbed her 'pink sword of doom', as Toyl had termed it.
"Yes," said the princess, drawing the sword and inspecting it, "but we can't fight him here. It's too easy for him to manipulate this realm. Even if we defeat the temples, if we try and fight him here…." Zelda rammed the sword back into the sheath for emphasis, her words stopping. "Well, I'm sure you can guess."
"Yeah," said Link, and looked out the window at the sky, which was pure blue. "I wonder what's going on back home?"
"I don't know," said the princess, slinging the sword across her back with the mirror shield. "Are we ready to go, Link?"
"Yeah," he said, poking Toyl awake from where she'd fallen asleep on the hero of time's shoulder.
"Eh?" asked the little fairy sleepily. She flew up towards Link's head and crawled under his green hat, murmuring a faint "wake me when we get there."
"Well," said Link with a grin, slinging his pack on his shoulder, "let's go then."
"Right," said Zelda. They both pulled out their instruments and played the inverted Requiem of Spirit, their songs blending together in sweet harmony, like their souls.
The two soul mates were swept away to the Gerudo valley in a blaze of red light, and when they landed….
"By Faore, it's hot."
"What do you expect in a desert?" Link asked, shielding his eyes from the sun with his forearm and looking around. Zelda copied the movement with her bound upper arm, and squinted in the direction of the temple.
"We'll have to dash it," said Toyl suddenly, popping out from under Link's hat. "Or else, enemies will pop out of the sand and we're done for."
"Ish," shuddered Zelda. Link grimaced.
"Ze- er, I mean, Sheik, how fast can you run?"
"Fast enough," said Zelda, tightening the bandages around her upper shins. "Ready?"
"Ready," said Link, adjusting his pack. "…and RUN!"
Almost the second that their feet touched the sand, gruesome enemies began to spring from below the earth- spinning, thorny green monsters dripping with blood and sand. Link took Zelda's hand, pulling her onwards, and safely up the stairs to the temple.
"Vile little buggers," Zelda muttered, stabbing one trying to make its way up onto the stairs they were standing at the top of with her sword. Link nodded as it combusted into flames.
"If you keep killing them long enough, a giant one pops out of the ground."
"Yeesh," shuddered Zelda. She sheathed her sword over her back and straightened up her tunic.
"Shall we go in, then?" she asked. Link nodded, and Toyl bubbled around his head in excitement.
"I can't wait!" squeaked the little fairy, causing the companions to smile.
"I'm sure," deadpanned Link with a light smirk as they entered the temple. They took two steps forward, and Link's eyes widened in memory.
"Duck!" he yelled, running forward and tackling Zelda to the ground, rolling along the floor with her.
"Wha?" asked the princess in disguise, infinitely confused. She heard the whoosh of something flying over her head, then the distinctive crash of the destruction of clay pots. She tried to get up, but Link's arms held her tight to the floor.
"No," he said. "There's two. Give it another minute."
The hero and the princess shakily stood up, brushing themselves off.
"One thing I must say about this temple," bubbled Toyl optimistically, lightly descending from her hiding place somewhere near the ceiling. Zelda and Link both looked at her, rattled, raising their eyebrows. "It certainly does keep you on your toes."
"Ch, yeah," said Zelda. Link nodded, his hand straying to the hilt of his sword, and he made his way to what looked to be a spiraling staircase on the right side of the room.
"Well…" he said, checking behind him for Zelda, "up we go. You ready?"
"You bet," affirmed Zelda, blowing some short blonde hair out of her red eyes. She adjusted her collar, grinning below it. "Let's kick this temple's behind."
"Left a little," said Toyl, and Link and Zelda grunted as they moved the mirror, one on either side, pushing and pulling with all their might.
"No, right," said the little fairy thoughtfully. "Now back.. no, that's too far, just an inch forward…. You need to move it more to the left again… perfect!" exclaimed the little fairy as the mirror caught the sunbeam descending from the ceiling. "Next mirror!"
"How many times do we have to do this?" Zelda asked Link. He grimaced.
"Um…" asked Zelda, whirling around, "is it just me or do you guys hear that?"
"Hear what?" Link asked, turning around to face the princess. She was looking left and right, the single red eye that was visible squinting to find the source of the strange sound.
"Hear…" but Zelda didn't finish her statement as she vanished into thin air.
"Zelda!" Link yelled, pulling out his lens of truth and looking at the air where Zelda had vanished- into a disgusting, bile-colored like-like.
"Ugh, get me out of here!" Zelda yelled. Link seized his sword and began to carefully chop at the Like-like, doing his best to keep from damaging the precious cargo it held within. It finally screamed and melted, leaving Zelda standing covered head-to-toe in digestive enzymes.
"Ugh, yuck," said the princess with a shudder. "This was NOT in the job description."
"Oh well," sighed Link. "I suggest you clean those juices off you before they start to dissolve your skin," he offered. Zelda shuddered and sat on the ground, rubbing the juices off as best she could.
"Hey, you!" Link addressed Toyl, who was off inspecting one wall. "Aren't you supposed to be alerting us of this sort of stuff?" he asked.
"No," caroled the little fairy. "You can deal with that stuff fine on your own. I'm actually working here, you know."
"Oh really," said Link sarcastically, ignoring Zelda's mutterings of "disgusting" and "absolutely nasty". "What, pray tell, are you doing?"
"I'm looking for a switch," said the little fairy, inspecting the individual bricks. "I hope you're adept with a bombchu, Link, because if it's this hard for me to find, it's going to be a hundred times harder for you to hit.
"Lovely," deadpanned Link.
"I personally think she's rather lovely," said Zelda, easily ducking a flying pot aimed for her head as she studied the great statue before her. "Severe looking, but lovely all the same."
"I personally think you're crazy," remarked the little red fairy sitting upon the princess' blue-clad shoulder. "She looks angry."
"But she's lovely in her anger," retaliated Zelda.
"Say what you want," tinkled the little fairy. "I don't agree."
"Everybody's entitled to their own opinion," said Zelda. "Doesn't mean it's right, but you're entitled to it all the same."
"Hey!" squeaked the little fairy, making a dive at Zelda's head. The princess laughed lightly, but was interrupted.
"You two," muttered the hero of time. "Are you going to help me, or must I do this on my own?" he asked from below them where he was shifting around blocks.
"You're fine on your own," called down Zelda, earning a tinkle of chime-like laughter from little Toyl. "In fact, we're quite enjoying ourselves watching you."
"Women," muttered Link.
"What's with this statue thing?" Toyl asked.
"No, Toyl, don't touch it!" yelled Link and Zelda in unison. The little fairy recoiled an inch away from the metal.
"Why not?" she asked. "Not like it'll come to life or anything if I do…"
Creak, clank clank…
"Blast," muttered Zelda, drawing her sword. Link sighed grimly.
"Toyl…" he threatened, ducking away from a deadly swipe as Zelda stabbed the Iron Knuckle from behind.
"Meep," said the little fairy.
"Another mirror room?" groaned Link, pushing his sweaty bangs out of his face. "We should be near the end of the temple, though," he said.
"Goddesses, I hope so," grunted Zelda, making her way over to a mirror. "Shall we?"
"Of course," said Link, joining her. His hand lightly brushed hers behind the mirror, and Zelda smiled softly below her collar.
"Hey, Toyl?" Link called. "Could you help us?"
"Of course!" chirped the little fairy. "Okay, move to your left….."
"Holy goddesses," muttered Zelda as a diamond in the center of the lovely statue crumbled away when hit with the light of the sun, revealing a grate. She and Link stood together on an elevator, Toyl floating around their heads as they directed the mirror forward. "That's not something I would have expected."
"Took me quite a bit of trouble to find it the first time around," said Link, hopping nimbly from the elevator to the passage. Zelda jumped across as well, Toyl floating tranquilly along behind them. They made their way to a boss door, and Link stopped.
"Alright," he said. "Rest time. These two are particularly obnoxious bosses," stated Link simply. "Though I've met them outside the arena and, I must say, they're quite cool when they're not trying to blast my head off."
"Uh huh," said Zelda, sliding down to the ground across from Link. She pulled down the collar of her sheikiah garb and smiled at her hero.
"It must be confusing for you," said Zelda to Link. "Me in the body of a man."
"Ah, it's not too bad," said Link. "I know you're still the same Zelly inside." In response to this, Zelda scowled.
"Zelly?" she asked. Link's face split into a wide grin.
"Come on, you know you like it," he teased. "Zelly, zelly…"
"Hey, hey now, Linkiekins," retorted Zelda, a sly smile spreading across her face. Link placed his hand over his heart and faked sighed, faking pain.
"You're so cruel," he said.
"You know you like it," cackled Zelda.
"Enough, you two," laughed Toyl. "We both know that Link is mine."
"Oh yes," deadpanned Link. "How on earth could I ever resist you?"
"It's my feminine charm," laughed the little fairy. Zelda snickered as well, reaching into her bag for a vial of red potion. She took a swig herself, and then tossed it to Link.
"Drink up," she said to her hero, suddenly grave. "Let's get this over with. The sooner we get back to Hyrule, the better."
"I agree," nodded Link, upending the bottle into his mouth like a liquor shot. He tossed it back to Zelda, and, eyes sparkling, stood.
"You ready, Zelda?" he asked. Zelda nodded.
"You ready, Link?" she asked him. He nodded in return.
"You take ice, okay? I'll take fire."
"What?" asked Zelda in confusion as he unlocked the chains to the boss door with the large, sparkling key. Zelda vowed that once the whole mess was over, she would drag Link back to the castle, and the key to his chambers would be made in the shape of a boss key. It just might satisfy his quirky sense of humor.
Then again, maybe not.
"Zelda? Are you listening?" Link asked, jarring her out of her thoughts.
"Wh- yes," said Zelda. Link raised his eyebrows.
"Right. Like I said. You take the icy sister. I'll take the fire one. When they combine, we can work together."
"Sounds good," said Zelda, and they entered the chamber, to find…
…Two little old ladies.
"Huh?" asked Zelda. The two little ladies rose into the air on brooms, cackling, and strange music filled the air.
"They're a little odd," whispered Link to her. She nodded.
The battle began.
"Holy Nayru," muttered Zelda to herself, ducking behind her shield as the little old, blue-haired lady fired a nasty ice spell at her. She deflected it to the fire sister (Koume or Kotake, she couldn't keep their names straight to save her life) and knew it had hit its mark. "They're crazy," she muttered. Link dashed by, the fire sister in hot (no pun intended) pursuit. He dropped a quick kiss on Zelda's cheek in passing, and the princess smiled lightly as she heard little Toyl squeaking at him about a burnt wing or somesuch.
"Ha!" yelled Zelda, shooting a fire arrow at her own particular witch. She squawked and fired an icy blast at Zelda in retaliation- Zelda directed it to the witch, who was apparently giving Link quite a bit of trouble. Tendrils of cold air spiraled into Zelda's face, and the shield grew cold to the touch from the numerous ice blasts, but she supposed maybe she didn't have it quite so bad.
After all, at least her shield wasn't burning hot.
"Sister, we must combine!" squawked one sister to the other.
"Eck," grimaced Zelda. The two sisters whirled around each other, and in a flash of light, combined to make one very trashy, VERY ugly, half-and half woman floating in the air.
"And to think," muttered Link, making his way over to Zelda, "that THEY are the mothers of the Gerudo tribe."
"Ew," commented the princess.
The battle resumed, except with Link and Zelda working together to slay the wearisome witches. In what felt like forever and yet no time at all, the sisters had split apart and were rising to the heaven, halos adorning their heads, bickering about age or something stupid like that.
"Zelda!" Link rushed across the platform towards her and gave her a hug. She wrapped her arms around him, then grinned as Toyl bopped the hero on the head.
"Hey!" said the little fairy. "It's your fault my wing is burnt! Get me some red potion, you horrible shameless heathen," she squawked. Zelda smiled lightly below her collar, and then glanced over Link's shoulder.
"Look," she said. "Heart containers. Two of them."
"One apiece," said Link merrily, trotting over. Zelda followed suit, grabbing one and allowing the magic to infuse into her body.
"My potion!" protested Toyl. Zelda smiled lightly and reached into her pouch.
"Here," Zelda said, pulling out a small red vial and dabbing some potion onto her finger. "Come here." The fairy obliged and flew over, and Zelda lightly dabbed some potion onto Toyl's burnt wing. Instantly, it furled, unfurled, then sparkled, as good as new.
"Come on," I said, touching Link's hand lightly and indicating to the blue portal. "Chamber of sages."
"Chamber of sages," Link nodded, and together, we walked forward into the light and were pulled upwards in beautiful blue crystal.
"Well well well, if we don't have the hero and his little princess here."
"Good to see you, Nabby."
"Zelda, I told you not to call me Nabby."
"Oh, right, esteemed Gerudo queen and sage of spirit."
"Much better. Now, Link and Zelda, I need you two to take the spirit medallion. Got it?"
"Er… right, Nabby."
"It's Nabooro, hero. You should know better."
"Eh. Anyway, with this and the other medallions, you will be able to defeat Ganondorf in the final battle, which you must wage in Hyrule. Do you understand me?"
"Of course, Nabooro."
"Good, both of you."
"Thank you, Nabooro."
"Best of luck to you both. Hopefully, this time that little prick will be put in his place once and for all."
"I hope so."
"Good luck, Link. And good luck to you too, Zelda. You know what you have to do."
Zelda, Toyl, and Link found themselves landing in the center of Hyrule field.
"What the…" asked Link, and whirled around at the same time as Zelda did. Where Lon Lon ranch normally would have been was a huge temple, all consuming, whose spires rose so high into the sky that it was impossible to see the top.
"Wow…" murmured Zelda, feeling very small before the giant, pristine white temple. "It's huge. Even the entrance is three times as high as us, at least."
"That's crazy," mumbled Link.
"It's our rightful place," Zelda added. "How strange…"
"Well, come on," said Toyl, interrupting the moment. "We need to get back to Hyrule."
"Yeah," said Zelda, looking around the beautifully pure sacred realm. She brushed the short hair of her Sheik disguise out of her eyes, and looked at her hero with a smile.
"Ready to go?"
"Yeah," said Link reluctantly. "This place is beautiful. I hope we'll be able to come back someday.
"Of course," said Zelda, looking around with a blissful smile. "This is where everybody comes at the end."
"I… oh," said Link. "You mean we're dead?"
"No," said Zelda. "Because our bodies are physically present. If it was just our spirits, it would be a different story. But since we're actually physically here, like the sages, we aren't dead."
"Oh," said Link.
"You guyssss…." Whined Toyl, bopping the lovers on their heads. "Come on, let's go already!"
"Alright," said Zelda, reluctantly pulling out her harp. Link pulled out his ocarina.
"Let's go destroy Ganon," Link said. "Once and for all."
Together, they played the inverted Prelude of Light, making their way to the Temple of Time and drawing the Master Sword one last time.
"Goddesses," breathed Zelda, looking out at Hyrule from where she and Link stood in the center of Hyrule Field, clutching Link's hand. "What… what happened?"
"Ganondorf," murmured Link as she squeezed his finger. There were dark storm clouds overhead, lightning, flames, and icy cold rain.
"We have to stop it," said Zelda with determination. She turned her eyes up to Link's, imploring his bright blue with her own masked red.
"Let me fight with you," she said. Link looked reluctant. "Please," she implored him. "I love this land as much as you do and have every bit as much of a right to fight for it as you do."
"I… I understand," said Link, softly kissing Zelda's temple. "Come on. Where do you think he is?"
"Right here," came an evil, menacing voice from behind Link and Zelda. They whirled, drawing their swords and shields in unison, and Toyl twinkled uncertainly, ducking behind Link's own shield.
"It's too bad to see that you're too cowardly to confront me on my own turf," declared the re-embodied king of evil. "So, I reincarnated and decided to fight you on yours. Scared?"
"Never," spat Link. Zelda nodded. Ganondorf sighed.
"As you'll have it," he said, floating into the air.
The battle begun.
Link and Zelda rushed at him in unison, swords drawn, screaming battle cries. Ganondorf deflected both attacks and sent the companions flying backwards, then summoned a great ball of energy to hurl at them. Zelda dove aside as one came flying at her. Link, however, stood his ground, and smacked the energy ball with his sword, sending it flying it back at the king of evil.
"Zelda, you have to deflect his attacks," yelled Link to her. She stood, and resumed a fighting stance. Toyl was buzzing around Ganondorf's head, helping the hero and heroine to get a better visualization of their target. Again, simultaneous attacks were thrown. Both Link and Zelda deflected, and began a dangerous game of 'ball'. Back and forth, back and forth flew various energy balls, some striking Ganondorf, some striking the ground as Link or Zelda dove away.
Zelda was swinging her sword to deflect the blast when it suddenly caught in her arms and threw her backwards, electricity sizzling through her every cell.
"Zelda!" Link yelled. Zelda hauled herself to her feet, dragging in deep breaths, when she suddenly felt a paralysis spell upon her.
"I end this now, wench," said Ganondorf, summoning a razor sharp pole and throwing it forward. Before the lovers had time to blink, Zelda had been pinned to the ground by the large silver pole going through her stomach. Blood seeped around her, and she looked shocked. She touched her middle tenderly, her face paling. She released her head with a groan, slumping back upon the ground.
"Zelda!" Link yelled, beginning to run towards her.
"Stop," commanded Ganondorf, his voice booming like thunder as he morphed into his deadly form of Ganon. "You must fight me first."
"So be it," uttered Link, his blue eyes blazing with angry fire. He reached into his bag and drew out the fierce deity's mask, transforming into the deadly warrior with a furious battle cry that was heard in every corner of the kingdom.
"What was that?" asked one of the Kokiri, looking spooked.
"The end is coming," said a Gerudo, sniffing the air, pungent with the smell of rain.
"Brother…" muttered Darunia, looking at the rock ceiling of Goron city.
"Let him be okay," prayed Ruto, sitting in Zora city, fidgeting nervously.
"Huh?" Asked Ganon, his eyes widening in shock as a ferocious warrior appeared before him.
"Ganon," thundered the fierce deity, Link, "I will cut you until you've given every drop of blood you've taken back to this world." So saying, he leapt at Ganon, cutting ferociously, slicing and dicing.
"No," yelled Ganondorf, retaliating with his lightning claws and fire breath. "I will not lose to you, a mere Hylian boy.
"I am no mere Hylian boy," shrieked Link as he attacked fiercely- Toyl had flown away in fright and was tending to Zelda, easing her pain. Link didn't know this, Link didn't know this. All he knew was the fierce anger pumping through his blood.
"Oh?" sneered Ganondorf, though he was hardly able to mask the fear behind his eyes. "Then what are you?"
"I am an Elvin man of many worlds," he thundered. "A god, some would say. I wield the Triforce of courage, and the sword of creation and destruction, the Master Sword. I saved a land from the demon lying within a long-forgotten mask, and brought peace to many fighting world. Moreover," Link hissed, cutting left and right furiously, inflicting wound after wound upon Ganon, the great towering black beast whose eyes were now filled with fear, "I am the love of the Princess of Hyrule, and the man destined by the goddesses to bring peace to this land once and for all!"
"Is... is that so?" asked Ganon nervously. "Doesn't sound so good to me."
"YAH!" Yelled Link, coming in for a fatal thrust, embedding his sword in the torso of the King of Evil.
"Shut it, you bastard," said Link. "I'm the Hero of Time." He twisted the blade, and Ganon screamed in pain. He removed the sword and neatly severed Ganondorf's left hand, his right hand, and then his head, which rolled uselessly to the ground in the expression of horror.
Light surrounded him as he picked up the left hand, the image of the Triforce still shining. The six sages surrounded him, their individual medallions rising from Link's body into the air above them.
"Link, we will combine our power to make a final seal for the Triforce," said Raru as the Triforce of power floated up from Ganon's disembodied hand. "You and Zelda will be forfeit of your Triforces as well."
"Whatever it takes," boomed deity Link. He felt a searing pain on the back of his hand, and the Triforce of courage floated up to join the Triforce of power- shortly joined by the Triforce of wisdom.
"Thank you, Link," said the sages. "Without you, we would have never been able
To defeat the child of the dark moon without you, resonated the Goddesses' voices within his ears. The master sword will be sealed away. The keys to the sacred realm will be taken by one goddess apiece. The world should never have this problem again, gifted child. Now, you must remember.
And Link remembered everything in the course of his life that had been lost- his meeting with Zelda, his battle with Ganondorf, the escape from the palace with the aid of the princes… "Wait!" Yelled Link. "What about Zelda?"
You must bring her to the sacred realm. Only then may she have a chance at life.
There was a white flash, and Link was alone. He removed his mask and threw it carelessly into his bag.
"Zelda," cried Link, tears coursing down his cheeks as he dropped his sword next to the hacked-up corpse of the dark king and ran over to the fading monarch. Zelda looked up at him, her face white as death. Toyl was nestled into her shoulder, twinkling softly, providing whatever support she could for the dying princess. Link winced at the gruesome metal pole sticking out from her body- it was covered in blood, and blood had soaked the grass around the princess.
"You did good, Link," she said softly, her hand coming weakly up to touch his face. "I'm sorry I couldn't help…"
"Zelda, Zelda, goddesses," Link said, inspecting the pole. "Hang on. I'm going to take you to the sacred realm." Carefully, Link removed the pole from Zelda's middle, amazed that she had even been able to hold on as long as she had. The princess winced, but did not cry out.
"I can't go any farther, Link," she said, her voice nearly inaudible. "You have to continue yourself."
"No, just hang on," wept Link. "Hang on a little longer." He drew her into his arms and began to sprint as smoothly and as quickly as he could across Hyrule field towards the temple of time. Little did he know that when he entered the temple, he would find his true love with her head slumped on her blood-covered chest, her long lashes resting gracefully upon her cheek, her hands dangling motionless, bloodless and limp.
Skin so cold
I knew you'd go away
and now I put you down to lay
nothing to feel for you
this was our last dance
Closer and closer, it's time to surrender
to the desire that you cannot mention
don't try to breathe
don't try to run away
But I'm reaching for the sky (going to fly)
won't you please stay
With a smile I watch you go
you'll never know I didn't cry
with a smile I saw you die
you'll never know I didn't cry
No more fear
they said you were so weak
and now I put you down to lay
nothing to feel for you
this was our last dance
~Cold, by Lacuna Coil
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