4- Castle Oblivion Floor II
Ganondorf was right. They we're watching him. Well…at least one was. He stayed within the library of Castle Oblivion, constantly having his mind in thought, always deep in the innumerable amounts of books that lied in the library. He was standing there, clothed in black, his hair bluish silver; and pointed mostly downwards, concealing his eyes quite a bit of the time.
He didn't know Link had entered the Castle. Well not until recently. Link's presence was compromised to him as soon as Link destroyed the Guard Armor with the Keyblade. This was a surprise. Zexion, as he was called, nearly jumped when he felt it. He was very confused at the whole thing. Sora was supposed to be the only one with a Keyblade. Since when we're there two in the castle? Sora was already losing his memories and had already made it to floor three. Riku who had shown unexpectly was in the basement level twelve. But Riku didn't have a Keyblade. And this source came from the first floor.
So who was the third?
Zexion stood there for a few minutes puzzled. Behind him a pool of darkness formed and covered a small section of the room; about large enough to fit one human. When the darkness cleared, a single man stood there. His outfit was exactly the same as Zexion's, but his face was different. His hair was pinkish and disheveled. He carried a scythe in his hand with designs representing Lotus flowers.
"Zexion." He called out.
"Marluxia." He said, turning around.
"I have felt something." He said. "Report to me what you know.
"Yes." He said. "It seems we have an uninvited guest. He just destroyed a massive Heartless on the first floor.
"Another?" Marluxia asked.
"Yes." Zeixon said. "He was at the first floor and is on his way to the second."
Marluxia began to think for a few minutes.
"Ahh…" Marluxia muttered. "So he has come at last."
"Who has come?" Zexion asked.
"I have been expecting this boy for some time now." Marluxia said. "The Organization ordered me to deliver Sora to them after his memories have been deluded. But I figured…capturing two of these fine young warriors, would be an excellent gain."
"You really want to win the organization's favor that bad?" Zexion said.
"I only wish to please the master." Marluxia said. "A little extra effort never hurt anyone."
"So was using that girl to draw him here the only reason we kidnapped her?" Zexion asked. "What happens to her now?"
"Nothing." Marluxia said. "She's no danger. Not after what we did to her anyway. If you'll excuse me, I must greet our guest."
Marluxia was incased in a portal of darkness and vanished off.
Link and Mido opened the door in Hyrule Castle. Only after they did, they found themselves on the white tiled floors on the castle they we're in earlier. Link and Mido walked in the room with both confused expressions as they walked a little further. With the confusion, they turned around to see Hyrule. Only to find that wherever they came out of earlier was no longer there. Just an endless hall of blackness. The door closed behind them automatically and made no movement to open afterwards. Link and Mido looked at each other, eyes wider than the sun. Never before had they been more confused (even with Link's knowledge of dungeons) or scared in their lives.
"I'm starting to think this was a bad idea." Mido said.
"Umm…" Link began. "This was never a good idea to begin with."
Link and Mido walked a bit forward as they continued to head to where the next pair of stair cases we're. As they approached the area, a pool of darkness appeared on the ground. Mido leapt from he was and ran behind Link. Link drew the Master Sword and kept in his hands. The pool grew to a cloud which filled a small portion of the area. Link maintained his eyes on the one spot as it grew in intensity and eventually revealed a man who stood still. Marluxia looked at Link intently as Link kept his sword out.
"Greetings; Link of Hyrule." Marluxia said as he stretched his hand out towards him. "I am Marluxia. I have been expecting you for some time?"
Link continued to hold his sword in his hands. Though seeing Marluxia reach his hand out in an act of kindness was sort of calming. However, he didn't trust Marluxia and kept the Master Sword out. Mido stayed close behind him. Link lowered the sword and began to walk over to Marluxia.
"How do you know my name?" Link asked. "And where are we?"
"I know many things." Marluxia said. "Many things that you do not even know."
Link continued to look at Marluxia with curiosity. Link lowered his sword even further allowing Marluxia to speak.
"In this place, to find is to lose; and to lose is to find." He continued. "That is the way of things here in Castle Oblivion."
"Castle Oblivion?" Link asked.
"Aye, the very castle you now wander through." He said. "And I: Marluxia; the Graceful Assassin, am it's keeper. Here you will meet people you know; people you miss."
"People I know…" Link began. "People I miss…YOU MEAN SARIA!?"
"Do you want to see her?" Marluxia asked.
"Did she come by here?" Link said.
"I do not know." He said. "If you treasure her that much…"
Marluxia turned slightly transparent and then charged at Link. Mido leaped to the side and ducked on the ground. Link pulled up his shield to deflect any possible blow that would be coming his way. However it didn't help. Fierce winds through Link off and Marluxia passed straight through him. Link quickly reacted by charging behind him and slashed at Marluxia. Marluxia dodged the vertical stroke and leaped behind Link. Link put the Master Sword back into position, along with his shield (which he should have had out to begin with).
"The hell did you do to me?" Link shouted.
"Yeah; what the hell?" Mido shouted getting up and drawing the Gilded Sword.
"I sampled your memory." Marluxia said as he stroked his hair. "And with it, I created these."
Marluxia held a deck of nine cards in his hand and threw them to Link. Link easily caught the nine strips of paper and looked at what they we're. Link looked at them. Each one was a section of Hyrule that he remembered crossing before: The Gerudo valley, the Shadow temple, Death Mountain, Snowhead, etc.
"I recognize all these places." Link said. "And this card looks similar to the one that was created back at the first floor."
"Cards determine everything in Castle Oblivion." Marluxia said. "In this castle, memories used to create these cards. These cards then create an illusion of the place that you have gone to in the past. Then you can walk the avenues of memories in the past as you find your way to the next floor."
"Oh I get it!" Mido said. "That wasn't Hyrule castle we we're at; but an illusion created by Link's memories."
"You catch on quick." Marluxia said. "It is indeed as you have said it is."
"Okay then." Link said. "I revisit these memories that I have seen before. And then I can see Saria?"
"Who knows?" Marluxia said. "You'll simply have to visit those memories. Perhaps if you do, she will see you. Or maybe not. There is a bit of luck involved with this."
Link looked at him angrily.
"Oh do not be so mad." Marluxia said. "There is another wandering this Castle right now. He is going through the same thing you will be; though it is taking a much larger toll on him than it is you. But that can change very easily."
Link looked at the cards and looked at Marluxia. Mido looked convinced at what Marluxia was saying, and although skeptical, was fine with the words Marluxia had spoken. Link however was no fool: He knew this man had no look of an honest face. He kept eyeing him, his elf eyes staring at him for the slightest slip up. He looked for anything among the lines of his eyes moving or his eyebrow standing up. He knew he wanted Link to proceed further. He did. Link continued to eye the card. He knew it would be better for him to turn around.
But the calling of Saria that echoed throughout the place made him stay.
"I'll play your game!" Link said, putting the cards in his pocket and sheathing his sword.
"Very good Link." Marluxia said. "Now go Link. Search for your lost friend."
A pool of darkness energized around Marluxia and then consumed him. Marluxia vanished in an instant. Link continued to stare at the cards that we're in his hands.
"Dude." Mido said. "What are waiting for? Let's go revisit your memories and then find Saria."
"Yeah." He said.
He wasn't convinced. Saria was here. At least he believed she was. But it was something about Marluxia. He didn't like him. He knew he was up to no good. He didn't have any real ability to rationalize this other than what he felt. But Link taught himself to trust his instincts. Tim and time before had that saved his life. He continued to think of what was going on as he climbed up the stairs. They eventually came to the top of the stairs and reached the Second floor. It looked very similar to that of the first floor. It held the same door and same designs. The exception was for this area was that there was no massive door behind them.
"This is it." Mido said.
"Are you sure this is a good idea?" Link said. "I don't trust Marluxia. I expected you…geez…that usually means evil wizard."
"You said it yourself Link: we don't have much to go on." Mido said. "And you're feelings keep telling you to go forward right?"
"Yeah." Link said. "But now I wonder whose feelings are they?"
Link walked forward a bit. As he did, a flash of red crossed into his mind. Link felt a sharp pain pierce into his skull. It was intense and super fast. Link began to stumble within a few seconds after it did. He dropped the Master sword and the cards on the ground as he slowly began to fade. He grasped his head tightly, trying to seal off as much pain as possible. It did no true good though.
"ARGH!" He shouted with what bits of energy he had. "WHAT IS THIS!?"
"Link!?" Mido shouted.
Link made no answer. He continued to stumble forward and back as he continued to fell sicker and sicker. He remembered falling over and then disappearing into the darkness.
He awoke several minutes on the floor, with Mido right in his face. Mido looked shocked and worried. After Link started to ruse, he began to calm down silently. The pain was still in his head, but it had subsided. Mido calmed down and breathed a sigh of relief as he reached a hand out to Link.
"What the hell happened to you?" Mido asked. "Was it the visions again? Saria?"
"I don't know." Link said. "There's usually pain sometimes, but this time it was more intense than any I have felt before. I could barely think…how long was I out?"
"About one hour." Mido said. "It only took within twenty seconds for you to fall asleep."
"Anything I should know about while I was out?" Link said as he grabbed Mido's hand and pulled himself up.
"Other than being bored and scared as hell, nothing interesting." Mido said as he got Link up.
Link went into his pack. He took a large gulp of water from his canteen, and then dumped some of the water on his head. He felt hot in his head. Although he tried to deny it, he knew it was bearing down on him. He bit into some of the bread, which to his disgust was going stale. But he needed some form of staple foods to keep him going. Link went over to his sword and picked it up. He was holding the sword when he went down. He was glad then when went down, he did not land on the blade. He would have rather not woken up then. He placed the sword back into his back and went over to the cards. But as he examined the cards, he looked shocked.
"What the…" Link said.
"What is it?" Mido asked.
"The cards!" Link said. "The emblems have changed."
Mido went over to Link to see the cards. Link was right. The cards emblems have changed. They no longer bore symbols for his land, but of different places. The once dunes of the Gerudo desert we're replaced by an Arabian palace on the card. Lake Hylia had turned into a giant whale on the card. The land of the Eastern palace in Termina had become a massive coliseum. Many others had been completely replaced with symbols; none of which Link had recognized.
"What's going on?" Mido said.
"I don't know." Link said. "This place is getting weirder and weirder. I don't recognize any of these places. Or at least from the outer symbols."
Link continued to exam the cards more closely.
"And they're not fake either." Link said. "These are the originals. I can feel the texture on this. It's the same card. But the symbols seem to have been altered. What happened while I was out?!"
"Nothing!" Mido shouted. "I made sure that you we're fine. Nothing happened."
"Are you telling the truth?" Link asked.
"Absolutely!" Mido shouted.
Link looked at Mido angrily as he stared at the cards. He kept the cards and examined them further. Eventually Link gave up with figuring out what had happened, and just put all of them, except for one, in his pocket.
"What are we going to do?" Mido asked as Link walked up the stairs leading to the door.
"We make the best of this!" Link said.
Link held the card high in his hand as a bright light consumed both him and Mido. The door opened up with a bright light at the end of a long hallway.
"I don't like this Link." Mido said. "You know…it's not too late to turn around."
"No way." Link said. "We've searched all over the land for more than seven days and never got close to finding her. Now we have a lead. Am I going to possibly leave her behind because of a little danger? Forget it. I am continuing my search, until I make it to the end."
Link continued to walk forward and into the light. Mido scratched his head for a few seconds before running into the light after him."
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