3 - Memories of Hyrule
It was indeed Hyrule castle. The market place was still the same as it was when Link walked down its road. The many market counters among the buildings still had the same feeling as it did when Link first passed by them those many years ago. The buildings themselves had not changed. The stone hedges and pottery nearby the Happy Mask shop was still there. The Temple of Time still lit the area with a feeling of pride as Hyrule's history still stood among them.
Now Mido, of course, never had walked through the castle before. To him, this was a whole new chapter in his life. He had never seen buildings or towers this big before. And he and the Kokiri had lived in some pretty big trees.
"This is awesome." He said as Link and he walked alongside the market place. "So this is how the castle looked. Man you have been to some of the coolest places around."
"Huh... oh yeah I have." Link said in shock.
He put his head down and his minor joyous expression return back to confusion. Mido continued to look around the area, never missing the slightest detail of the whole castle. He was most fascinated with all the stuff that was at the market place. Many of the precious stones to the well crafted arrows and bows that stood around.
"This is great man!" He said. "Why didn't we go here earlier?"
"Well…you see…I don't know…" Link said as he gripped the Gilded sword.
"Man, you seem down in the dumps." Mido said as he walked back. "What's eating at ya?"
"Mido…did you ever stop to wonder why or how we got here?" Link said.
"Well…yeah." Mido said. "But then I got to look at all of this neat stuff the castle has."
"Mido; focus!" Link said. "This is way too weird right now to get all fascinated with the sights. We need to figure out how we got here! I mean, what if we were sent back to Hyrule castle!? We made that whole trip then to find Saria for nothing. Not to mention we left Epona back at the entrance. God if we lose her, Malon is gonna kill me!"
"So what; it's not like you like the girl." Mido said. "You came all this way to find Saria so you can love her."
"What!?" Link said. "No I didn't! I came to find here because she was my friend."
Link was lying to himself. Saria and he had a very strong friendship. Lately all he could think about was her. If your only friend back then was a girl who always hung with you and the two of you grew up together, you would too become attracted to her.
"And…and…besides…" Link said. "This place is creepy."
"Why is that?" Mido said, putting his arms behind his back.
"Well for two…" Link said, remembering the earlier comment on how they got there. "If you paid attention, there's no one around."
Mido looked around the market place. Indeed, not a soul other than them moved around. Not even the shop keepers we're there.
"It's midday by now." Link said, looking up at the sun. "Probably three or four o clock. This place would be full of people by now. It'd be hard getting from where we were earlier to where we are now because of the number of people. Yet I don't see a soul moving around. Even the soldiers aren't at their paths."
"Yeah your right." Mido said as he looked around more deeply.
"Okay this is really creepy." Link said. "Where is everyone?"
"Well…I hope that counts as someone." Mido said pointing at something.
Link looked behind him where Mido was. Forming in front of Mido was a large black thing. It bore two feet in height, had the ears of a rabbit; except more floppy and more downward. The being was solid dark black, having no other color on its being other than two yellow glowing eyes. It formed from the stone itself. It popped out of the ground and stood there.
"What is that?" Link said as he went to Mido's side, sword drawn.
The being began to shake violently and leaped at the two. Mido ducked for cover and put his hands to his face. Link however showed no fear and swung the gilded sword at the thing, slashing it. The being leaped back, but Link swung vertically and slashed it. The being burst into a dark cloud and vanished from existence.
"Got ya." Link said.
When Link had said that, five more shadows appeared on the ground. A few seconds later, four more. Each one of these shadows formed into being the same thing as Link had just fought earlier.
"Correction; they got us." Link said.
Each one of the creatures moved about and created a circular surrounding tactic around Link and Mido.
"Mido, man get up." Link said. "I can't be the one always fighting."
"I don't wanna die; I don't wanna die. I don't wanna die." Mido kept saying to himself.
"Mido get up!" Link said as he felled two of the creatures that attacked him.
One of the shadows got his back and slashed at his skin. It tore open rather easy and Link gritted his teeth to fight back the pain. He turned around and slashed at the being three times to kill it. Another one leaped at Link and tried to pin him to the ground. Link threw it off and slashed at it to push it back.
"Damn it Mido; don't leave me hanging here." Link said as he drew his shield from his back to deflect blow.
Mido slowly moved his head up to see the fight. Link used his sword and slashed at another, destroying it. But then two of the remaining six attacked Link from behind. Two red marks appeared on his back as he swung his sword behind him to damage the other two. Link turned around and performed the Helm Splitter on one of them, killing it. The other tried to attack him from behind, but Link back-flipped over it and destroyed it with another slash.
One of the remaining four jumped at Link, aiming for his head. Link didn't see it as he was fighting another one. Mido sprung into action. He grabbed a rock from the ground and hurled it at the being. The being was knocked cold onto the cement. Link had just turned after he destroyed the other he had been fighting. Mido charged at the one on the floor and sent the Kokiri sword into its heart, destroying it. Mido began to fight one of the last two while Link took the other. The two fought for only a few more seconds as the creatures fell back into black dust and disappeared from sight.
"Hey Link!" Mido called out. "You okay?"
"Just some flesh wounds." Link said. "I've had worse. In fact, these aren't nearly as bad as some of the others I had. How's my back?"
"Well…" Mido said, looking at his back. "It doesn't look too bad either. Just got to patch it up."
More shadows peered from the ground. And three spheres of darkness appeared from the air. Each one of the spheres formed a small creature. Each looked human shaped, wore a small knight helmet. The body of these things were dark blue, had red claws for hands and toenails. And on their chest had the symbol of a heart like object. Each one of these things charged at Mido and Link.
Link deflected a blow from a lesser shadow and one of the soldiers being. He made a stroke at the soldier one at its head, destroying it. Mido took out three lesser shadows. One of the soldier beings tried spin attacking into Link. Link guarded the blow and jump attacked it, killing it. But more pressed on against the two. Even as Mido took out two more shadows, more poured in from the ground.
"This isn't working." Mido said.
"C'mon, give me a break." Link said as he held the Gilded sword in his hand.
"Now's the good time for a plan Link." Mido said as Link slashed at another.
"You want a plan?" Link said. "You got one!"
Link reached into his pocket and grabbed a Deku nut. He slashed at two more beings of darkness before throwing it. Link threw the nut on the floor and caused a flash of brightness to appear around the area. Each one of the creatures were blinded by the blast and held their eyes in pain. Link grabbed Mido's hand to signal their retreat. Link and Mido slashed at four more that we're in their way and destroyed them before running into the castle storage house that was nearby the Castle entrance. Link shut and locked the door. After which, they waited.
The creatures began to slowly grow in number as more began to wander the castle market. Soon they we're all over.
"Well, this is perfectly good turn for luck." Link said as he leaped off a box in the storage.
"Man, look at all these pots." Mido said as he gazed at the number.
Link made a small smile. This storage room did have an excessive number of pots. Link didn't complain much though. These pots usually had quite a bit of money in them.
"What do we do now?" Mido asked as he got back on task.
"I don't know." Link said. "Those things are all over now."
"How many are out there?" Mido asked.
"I'm not sure." Link said. "I counted about thirty. Could be more around the whole area."
"Oh this is perfect." Mido said. "You know, something told me not to go on this quest with ya. My sub-conscious told me that this was a no-no. But no! I had to be the nice guy and help you; knowing that wherever you go, bad guys follow."
"I don't ask for this crap Mido; it comes to me." Link said. "But sitting around here and arguing isn't going to make a lick of difference."
"So do you suggest mister hero?" Mido asked.
Link sat down on a box. He put his arm to his chin and began to think. He stood there for a few minutes.
"Damn." He said. "This isn't something I can think on my own with. I'll need to go and talk to Zelda."
"Who's Zelda?" Mido asked as Link got up.
"Nobody much; the princess." Link said.
"WHAT THE?" Mido shouted. "YOU MET THE PRINCESS!?"
"More than once." Link responded. "We're good friends."
"Okay…" Mido said. "You have got to be kidding me. How many people do you know?"
"A lot." Link said with a large smirk on his face.
Link went over to the door and drew his sword.
"You ready?" Link said. "We're going out there and fighting one way or another. I'd rather get this over with now than wait for their numbers to grow any larger."
"Well I am ready; but my question is do you have a plan?" Mido responded and asked.
"Well I do." Link said. "Not a very good one mind you."
"What is it?" Mido asked.
"We move forward and keep going forward." Link said. "I'll lead the way. Don't bother with all of them. Cut the ones that matter and run."
"Umm…" Mido said. "Couldn't we think of a better plan?"
"We don't have any options we can choose Mido." Link said as he turned the lock to the door. "We might as well take this problem head first."
"You're crazy!" Mido said as he got to the door with the Kokiri sword drawn. "Whatever; just watch my ass.
"Got it." Link said. "Try to keep up."
Link kicked down the door. It flung wide open as Link and Mido charged forward. Some of the beings turned and looked at the two Kokiri boys as they made a mad dash back to the market. Some of the soldier like beings got in their way. Link and Mido slashed at them and destroyed them. Link turned around to kill two shadows behind him before continuing. The two began to advance along the sides, turning around once in awhile to fight. Many of the beings attacked them. Time and time again were the beings pushed back by Link and Mido. When fifteen of their number had been downed, some of the beings retreated. Others remained behind. Link and Mido ignored those behind them and pushed forward the Castle pathway, repelling seven of the number that chased them. Link and Midos attacks were fierce and elegant. One wouldn't expect Mido to be so good with the Kokiri sword. But one must also then guess how Mido was the leader of the Kokiri in the first place. Eventually Link and Mido made it towards the entrance of the castle.
The entrance of the castle was big and elegant. Vegetation was around the area: Trees and bushes; the bushes firmly trimmed. Flowers growing all around the area. The place looked like that of the Kokiri Forest, except for the massive castle and the sufficient lack of large trees. Link and Mido ran up the hill that led to the entrance of the castle. The monsters pursued them, until they made it to the hill before disappearing off.
Link began to sit on the ground for a second to catch his breath. Mido hugged the wall and caught his.
"I think…I think…I think we lost them." Link said.
"Yeah." Mido said.
"C'mon." Link said as he got up. "The quicker we get to Zelda, the better."
Link and Mido sheathed their swords and went to the entrance where the drawbridge was to the castle. To Link's surprise, the bridge was down. But he didn't care. He wanted to find out what was going on. And he knew that Zelda would not really care if she saw him. Mido was a friend too so he was sure he she wouldn't mind. Link walked down the hallways of the castle until they made it to the outside garden of the castle.
"Zelda!" Link said. "Zelda, where are you!?"
Link and Mido walked forward into the garden, moving carefully to avoid stepping on the beautiful flowers. They searched around the area, but Zelda was not to be seen. Link and Mido looked around the area in confusion and terror.
"OKAY!" Mido said. "Earlier I was fine with the whole alone thing. But this is getting scary! I mean how do we get out of this mess?"
"Beats me." Link said.
"Link?" Somebody asked behind Link.
Link and Mido redrew both swords from their sheathes, turned around and pointed it behind them. The loud sound of metal grinding up against metal was heard. However, their fears soon turned back into a feeling of calmness.
"Zelda!?" Link said. "Thank goodness we found you."
There she was; in the flesh. The crown princess of Hyrule: Zelda. She wore a dress of fine white linen, a pink cloth around her waist and body. Most of her upper garments held symbols of Hyrule on it. She wore a headdress and had dazzling blue eyes. She had jumped back in terror at the sight of the two swords drawn. Link and Mido sheathed both swords after they saw her.
"I'm sorry milady." Link said after making a small bow. "You know I would never have hurt you; but we have been attacked relentlessly and I needed to keep my guard up."
"Who has attacked you?" She said. "And who is this?"
"I am not sure." Link said. "Oh. This is Mido. He is from the Kokiri woods; where I was first raised. We we're on an adventure together and somehow found our way here."
"Strange." Zelda said.
"Not nearly as strange as what I have seen so far." Link said. "Do you know there is not a soul around Hyrule right now? Even the guards are missing."
"Really!?" Zelda said. "What could be going on here?"
"I don't know." Link said. "I figured that you would be the best to go to; with your knowledge of the light and all. Do you think you can help us out?"
"Of course I will." She said. "Lead me to the market! I wish to investigate this matter personally."
"Yes mam!" Link said.
Link and Zelda began to run down the steps and towards the door. Mido just stood there stupefied at all he had heard.
"They like spoke another language." He said. "I never saw Link so…sophisticated before either. Either way though, they have the right idea."
Link, Zelda, and Mido continued to walk forward a little bit. All of a sudden, a hand of black darkness appeared from the sky and grabbed Zelda. It slowly began to pull Zelda away.
"EEEEKKKK!!!" She screamed. "GET AWAY FROM ME!! LINK; HELP!!!"
"Zelda!" Link shouted.
Link looked up at the top of the castle to see where the hand was coming from. There he saw him. A man with blackish skin, sickly looking gray armor, a red flowing cape on his back. The same accursed jewel on his head. The red hair and gleaming eyes. Ganondorf, the King of Evil. The hand was his own, powered by his magic. He grabbed her and then looked down at Link.
"Ganondorf!?" Link shouted, drawing the Gilded sword.
"No Ganondorf!" Link shouted. "This is the man who killed the Deku Tree!"
"WHAT!?" Mido shouted, and then pointed at Ganondorf. "YOU DID THAT!?"
"Ahhh…" Ganondorf said as he stared at Link. "Long time no see Link. And a Kokiri from the Forest. Enjoying your new found freedom since I slayed your little guardian?"
"YOU BASTARD!" He shouted. "How could do such a thing?"
"Oh." Ganondorf said as he gripped tightly onto Zelda's mouth, preventing her from speaking. "The boy expects that I give a damn. How pathetic. I am evil you thick headed nimrod. I do not care about the repercussions of my actions. All I care about is what I gain in the end. The Deku tree's death was a necessity in my plans. All of which worked in the end."
"Why you!" Mido said. "All this time I thought Link did it by accident!"
"You thought Link could kill a massive tree of that size with just a little dagger!?" Ganondorf said humorsly. Ganondorf forced a laugh into his voice. "How pathetic! Leader of the Kokiri. You're nothing more than a impudent whelp! It's no wonder Saria choose Link over you, or so she said."
"WHAT!?" Mido shouted.
"Wait…" Link interrupted. "So she said. She never said that."
"Well, not until a few days ago she did when she passed by here." Ganondorf said.
"You know where she is!?" Link shouted. "I swear to God Ganondorf if you touched her!"
"I have no time for this!" He said. "Why don't we talk about this on a more personal level? Meet me by the entrance to this castle…if you can survive the Heartless."
Ganondorf snapped his fingers as multitudes of the Heartless began to appear around the castle. Ganondorf then faded out of the area along with Zelda. Mido and Link watched as the Heartless shadows moved towards them along the walls. Several of them attacked Link and Mido. Link and Mido pushed them back with their weapons. They swung and slashed. Many of the Heartless fell to their blades. But more pushed at them. New Heartless appeared too. Red and blue cloaked ones that were no more than two feet tall, had bug like legs, and wore mage hats. The blue ones fired spheres of ice at them while the red ones shot fire. Link used his mirror shield to deflect the blasts at other monsters. The ones who had their own spells deflected back at them simply healed. The ones with a different element were destroyed. Link and Mido once again ran out of the castle and proceeded towards the entrance. The Heartless continued to fight them, until the very last one was destroyed and no more we're left.
"Can't believe that bastard is back." Link shouted.
"What do you mean back!?" Mido shouted.
"I killed him." Link said. "I killed him. There's no way he's back. He's trapped in the Evil Realm."
"You killed him!?" Mido shouted. "So…does that mean he's a…gh...gh...ghost!?"
"Yeah." Link said. "It's possible."
"Oh god!" Mido shouted. "How do we win!? We can't kill something that's already dead!?"
"I don't fear ghosts." Link said. "Ganondorf though is unexpected. I'll have to bring out the big boys now."
"Huh?" Mido said.
Link withdrew the Gilded sword and put it back on their pack. Link grabbed another sword sheath with a blade in it. The blade held a blue hilt and had the Triforce symbol embed in the middle of it. Link drew the blade to reveal it crafted with a well fine silver. Link touched the sides of the blade and ran his fingers on it.
"The Master Sword." Link said. "The legendary blade of evil's bane. The blade given to my bloodline. The blade or any offspring that I have in the future can grip. The power of this blade flows through my blood as it does this steel and silver. This blade is the only known weapon that can pierce Ganondorf's dark soul."
"You waited until now to use that!?" Mido asked.
"I don't rely on this power." Link said as he gripped the blade in his hand. "You don't know much about how magic works. It's only as powerful as how you use it. If you use it too much, you rely on it. Then you can't fight without it. If you use it as a dependant, you become addicted to it. Then you become like Ganondorf. I only told myself I would use this power if I needed it. Early on we could destroy those creatures with such ease. Now Ganondorf has appeared, I need this power in order to win."
Mido looked at Link with amazement.
"C'mon!" Link said as he took the Mirror shield.
Link and Mido ran out of the castle. More shadows appeared around them. Link and Mido began to fight them. Link noticed how easy it was to fight them now. The Master Sword destroyed each one of the Heartless in single hits. Link and Mido fought back outside the courtyard and got the entrance of the castle. They reached the Castle gate, where Ganondorf was waiting for them.
And Zelda with a blood stained neck, which was very still.
"Zelda!" Link shouted. "Are you alright!?"
Ganondorf stared at Link coldly. He then threw the girl by Link. She was revealed to have a slit throat by her.
"WHAT!?" Link shouted. "No way...no…way! You killed her! YOU BASTARD!"
Link charged at Ganondorf with the Master sword drawn. Ganondorf reached into his sheath and blocked Link's upper blow. As the two kept their blades at the top, Ganondorf kicked Link back down towards Mido. Mido charged at Link with the Kokiri sword. Ganondorf simply grabbed and threw him.
"Calm down boy!" Ganondorf said.
"Give me a damn reason why!" Link shouted. "You killed the princess."
"Take a look again boy!" Ganondorf said.
Link cleared his eyes of some small tears to see that Zelda was fading away before his eyes, until she no longer there.
"What?" Link said. "What sorcery is this?"
"Zelda was never here." Ganondorf said. "She never came to this place after all. This has been nothing more than a waste of time."
"Speak sense monster!" Link shouted.
"Yeah what do you mean!?" Mido said. "She was right there in front of us."
"Just an illusion." Ganondorf said. "Nothing more. Just like this whole damn castle! All of it!"
"What mockery do you bring us now!?" Link shouted. "First you claim that Zelda never lived the castle. Now you claim the castle itself doesn't exist. Your mad!"
"Use that intellect of yours brat!" Ganondorf shouted. "The castle and princess that you see before you is nothing more than an image. You never left the castle that you were in earlier."
"Huh!?" Link said.
"Castle Oblivion they called it." Ganondorf said. "A place where memories come to life. You have come to Hyrule castle as you claim. This that you see before you is nothing more than an image projecting from your memories."
"My memories?" Link said.
"Think back: That card you held in your hand had the castle on it." Ganondorf said. "That card was linked to your memories and the Keyblade. The Keyblade created the card, and the images came to life. You saw no one else here other than Zelda cause you didn't personally know any of the people at the castle when you came here. You may have saw the Happy Mask Salesman if you checked around a bit. Him and Zelda were the only ones around to see by your memories and mine. It's just the same with Saria."
"So she's here!?" Link shouted. "Where is she!?"
"Who knows?" Ganondorf said. "And who cares? The point is this! You two are alone now! And I can finish you here! Now I will take revenge for all that you did to me! Sealing me in that accursed realm! For three years you left me in that accursed blackness. Now I will do the same to you!"
Ganondorf snapped his fingers. The Earth around them back to shake. Mido and Link looked up to see a large armored Heartless appear in front of them. Its hands and legs floated away from the body, but never far away so it would abnormal. Its face and body were also cloaked.
Link wasted no time. He grabbed the Master Sword and began to attack the creature. Mido began to swing from the legs and arms that floated around the being. Link struck the body of the body of the Heartless a couple times, but was shaken off from a swift attack from the arm of the monster. Mido continued to strike the legs. One of them pulled up and kicked Mido. Link landed on his back, but was able to quickly get back up from the attack. Mido however looked pretty bad. Link attacked the leg that Mido was attacking and destroyed it in a few minutes. He was struck though seconds later from another attack from the arm. The Heartless punched Link into the ground. Link had a hard time getting back up as the Heartless approached him. Another fist charged at Link. Link used his shield. He blocked the attack, but the attack hurt his arm still.
But then Mido reappeared. He swung at the arm. Even as it rose into the air, Mido held onto the arm and continued to stab it. Link rested in the hole as he gripped his arm in pain. Mido eventually destroyed the arm. He fell from the air and landed on his back. He was in pain, but not enough to keep him down. He tried to get up, but the Heartless punched him away from Link. Mido landed and lay motionless.
Link stood there as he lay. A voice spread into his head.
"Use me." It said.
"Who are you?" Link asked.
"I am the Keyblade." He said. "I will help you."
"Why?" Link asked.
"The darkness is growing." It said. If it is not stopped, it will destroy the worlds. I have chosen you to stop their advance, before it is too late."
"Why me?" Link asked.
"Because you are one of the most powerful warriors around." The Keyblade said.
"You must use it with me!" The Master Sword said. "Only with the power of the Keyblade and myself will you be able to stop them."
Link stood there motionless as the Heartless prepared its fist for one last punch at Link. It brought its fist down on Link.
"Link!" Mido shouted.
But then the fist vanished. Mido looked up in the air to see Link high in the air. He had attacked and destroyed the hand that tried to stop him. The Heartless tried to back up and attack him with something, but Link aimed for the head with both the Keyblade and Master Sword. Link slashed at its head, creating an x shaped mark on the Heartless. The Heartless stood there for a second and began to fade out in blue energy. A large heart like object appeared over the head of the creature and flew away from the creature as it vanished. Link stood there for a few minutes as he caught his breath. Mido ran up to him to check how he was.
It is done. I will follow you from now on. We will fight together and never be apart. Where you go, I go.
"You alright?" He asked.
"I'm tired as hell." Link said.
"Superb!" Ganondorf called out.
Both warriors turned to look at Ganondorf.
"Oh." He said. "A Keyblade. How interesting. The Master choose your bloodline, and now a Keyblade has chosen you."
"How much do you know about this?" Link shouted.
"A lot." Ganondorf said. "I know many things about that weapon you hold. But I have no interest in this little game any longer. We will meet again."
Ganondorf turned away from Link and Mido and began to walk away.
"And here I thought Sora was the only one who could use that weapon." He said.
"Sora?" Link asked. "Who's tha…?"
Before Link could finish, a sharp pain penetrated his skull. Images once again appeared of the first vision he had before he had the Keyblade. The same kid with the unusual hair style and garments, holding the same blade. The images faded after a few seconds, allowing Link to get up.
"Your hearts are merging." Ganondorf said. "They are responding to each other. They knew you would come. You have fallen into their trap."
Ganondorf turned as Link and Mido stared at him on the hillside as he vanished from view.
Minutes later, Mido had helped Link to his feet and helped him move away from the area.
"Man." Mido said. "You just have to keep finding all the cool stuff."
"Hey I don't ask for this alright?" Link said. "This stuff just finds me."
Mido rested Link on the wall of the castle. He then began to take off Link's shirt. Using some bandages from their supply and medicine, he began to work with Link's wounds.
"It's like my destiny on Hyrule wasn't all that fate had intended." He said.
"Still," he said. "It just doesn't seem fair. All I got to defend myself with is this."
Mido showed Link the Kokiri sword.
"Brings back memories that blade." Link said. "I remember when I first used it; slaying the monster that killed the Deku tree. I suppose you are right."
Link got up and checked his body to be sure no permanent damage was on him. He then thought to himself for a few minutes as he let the medicine go to work on his body.
"Hey I got it!" Link said.
Link went to the bag that they had carried and pulled out the Gilded sword.
"You can have this then." Link said.
"Whoa!" Mido said as he gripped the sword in his hand. "Are you serious?"
"Mm hm." Link mumbled. "It's not fair that I'm using two powerful weapons and you are stuck with that little dagger."
"I thought you said you weren't going to use them." Mido said.
"Not with Ganondorf around." Link said. "I have to defend myself. Ganondorf can only be killed by the Master Sword. I have no choice but to use it. But you can use the Gilded sword. That way, you can defend yourself better than with your sword."
"Gosh Link," Mido said. "I don't know what to say. Thanks."
Mido gripped the hilt of the blade and drew it. He held the sword in his hand with both arms as he stared at the Sapphire and golden sword. After a few minutes, he sheathed it. Link allowed the Keyblade to meld out of his hand and sheathed the Master sword.
"My heart is merging with his?" Link asked himself. "What did he mean? Who's Sora?"
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