~Author’s Note~ Yeah, it’s me, the Link Worshiper again. Same deal as before. Any music I ripped from somewhere else isn’t mine yadda, yadda, yadda. Anyways, I hope you like Part II... and don’t be stupid. Read Part I before you begin this one or else nothing will make sense to you. Let me hear your thoughts/gripes etc.
When dreamin’ I’m guided through another world,
Time and time again
At sunrise I fight to stay asleep
Cause I don’t wanna leave the comfort of this place,
Cause there’s a hunger, a longing to escape,
From the life I live when I’m awake
So let’s go there
Let’s make our escape
Come on, let’s go there,
Let’s ask can we stay?
Can you take me higher?
To a place where blind men see
Can you take me higher?
To a place with golden streets
Although I would like the world to change
It helps me to appreciate
Those nights and those dreams
But, my friend, I’d sacrifice all those nights
If I could make the earth and my dreams the same
The only difference is
To let love replace all our hate
So let’s go there
Let’s make our escape
Come on, let’s go there
Let’s ask can we stay?
Can you take me higher?
To a place where blind men see
Can you take me higher?
To a place with golden streets
So let’s go there
So let’s go there
Come on let’s go there
Let’s ask can we stay?
Up high I feel like I’m alive for the very first time
Up high I’m strong enough to take these dreams
And make them mine
Said up high I’m strong enough to take these dreams
And make them mine
Can you take me higher?
To a place where blind men see
Can you take me higher?
To a place with golden streets
“Owyn!!!” Zelda called her son’s name from the gardens, “Owyn! I’m not calling you again! Come here!”
Owyn sat high up in the uppermost branches and foliage of a tall Hylian elm. On his shoulder sat his pet falcon, Strife. Owyn was a tall seven-year-old boy with golden blond hair and deep blue eyes. He wore a blue shirt underneath a white tunic and tall knee-high leather boots. Strapped to his back, was a golden harp.
“Owyn, perhaps you should abide by your mother’s wishes and go to her,” Strife squawked into Owyn’s pointed ear. Strife was no ordinary bird. She had a sleek blue body and a creamy white breast. Her beak was sharp and golden and her eyes were mysterious black pools of intrigue. The bird could speak, and Owyn and she were the best of friends.
“No, no,” Owyn hissed back, “Not yet. I wanna see if she can find us here.”
“Why do you insist on tormenting your poor mother like that?” Strife protested.
“Shut up, Strife!” Owyn clamped the bird’s beak together with his thumb and forefinger, “You’ll blow our cover if you keep carrying on like that!”
“OWYN!!!” Zelda called his name again, “If you don’t come out now, I shall have to give your lunch to Safter! And you know it won’t last long if I do!”
“Aw, I’m coming Mother,” Owyn gave in as he began to climb down the branches of the sturdy elm. Strife fluttered off Owyn’s shoulder and glided down to where Zelda stood at the bottom. His mother knew well that food was one of her son’s weaknesses. He wouldn’t forsake his lunch for the world, and Zelda knew it.
Zelda was now the Queen of Hyrule. She had grown more beautiful and strong of heart since she had been crowned with the honor. Her father had her married to Dimitri, who was now Hyrule’s King, for her father had died about six years before. But Zelda had never loved Dimitri. Not after what he had done to her friends… her lover…. All the years she had been stuck with the man, Zelda still loved Link with all her heart.
“I am here Mother,” Owyn said as he stood before Zelda, his face dirty and his hands scratched from the bark of the tree.
“Oh, look at you, sweetheart,” Zelda knelt down and dusted Owyn off with her sleeve, “There, now. You go run along inside and eat lunch. Kossin and Safter are waiting for you.”
“Alright, Mother,” Owyn said, his stomach growling as he ran toward the tall glass doors that led into the castle.
“Oh and Owyn,” Zelda called after the young prince.
“Yeah?” Owyn called back as Strife settled on Owyn’s head. Owyn swatted at her and the falcon moved down to his shoulder.
Zelda came over and knelt at his side, whispering in his ear, “If you play your cards right, you might get Kossin and Safter to take you to The Dragon’s Chalice to see Arutho and the boys. That means no monkey business, got it?”
“Got it!” Owyn shook his head vigorously, wanting with all his heart to go out with Safter and Kossin. To Owyn, it was a privilege to be allowed outside the castle, especially to go with Kossin and Safter to the pub.
Zelda couldn’t help but think of Link as Owyn turned around again to scamper into the castle. So much like his father when he was a boy….
“So, Owyn, what were you doin’ to get yourself so darn messy?” Safter asked as he refilled Owyn’s bowl for the eighth time.
“Tree climbing,” Owyn said as he started to shovel his creamy soup down his throat greedily. He, Safter, and Kossin were sitting around a long oblong table in the kitchen, taking their lunch and waiting for Zelda to join them. It was quite necessary for them to eat in the kitchen, for Safter and Owyn could together eat as much as a small group of soldiers.
“Whoa Owyn!” Kossin chuckled, “Save some for me and your Mother!”
“Well, I just can’t stop,” he said as he poured another spoonful of soup into his mouth. He took a prophetic pose and said, “As they say, ‘You can’t put a door on someone’s mouth!’”
“I don’t believe that’s what they meant,” Kossin said with a smile as he put his head in his hands.
“Knowing the boy, you should have asked for a larger serving,” Strife said as she lapped up some soup Safter had poured into a saucer for her.
“Yes, well…” Kossin began.
“Hello, boys,” Zelda said as she entered the kitchen and sat down on one of the oak benches next to her son, “Save anything for me?”
“We tried our best,” Kossin said apologetically.
“Yeah… but certain people had to go and hog it all,” Strife crowed with a glint of sarcasm as she eyed Safter and Owyn.
“You looking at me?” Safter said innocently as he reached to pour himself another helping. Kossin slapped his hand and Safter dropped the spoon and howled in pain.
“No need to be rude, Strife,” Owyn said as he gave the bird a playful kick under the table.
“Who’s being rude, hog?” Strife nipped Owyn’s bare foot.
Zelda laughed, “Now what were we talking about before, Owyn?”
“Oh, right,” Owyn immediately snapped into a straight position, his hands folded neatly in his lap, “See how perfectly still and well mannered I sit here, Mother?”
“What an entertaining fellow he is,” Kossin said to Zelda, “He will make a fine king someday.”
“Yes, I agree,” Zelda said as she put an arm around Owyn’s shoulders, “A wonderful king!”
“Aw man, Mother, do I have to be King?” Owyn groaned.
“I used to say the same when my Father told me that I had to be Queen,” Zelda said as she reached for a helping of soup, “But it is an honor and a responsibility.”
“I don’t like responsibilities,” Owyn complained.
“That is only because you don’t have enough of them,” Zelda said bluntly.
“So harsh Mother,” Owyn grumbled.
Zelda smiled at her son proudly and went back to her lunch, Kossin, Safter and herself making idle chit chat here and there. Meanwhile, Owyn sat staring at his hands, which were neatly folded in his lap. He had no idea how long he had been sitting there when Karmi came to clear the table. All he knew was that as nice as his life was, there always seemed to be complications, such as why his parents did not seem to get along… or why he of all people had to be the next ruler… why everything that was done was either an honor or a responsibility…. The list just seemed to go on and on. It bothered him a bit sometimes, and he wished that he could have a more carefree and less hassle life.
He was just beginning to ponder these thoughts to their deepest when Kossin interrupted his daydreams, “Owyn, let’s go! I thought you were going to come along!”
“Don’t worry, Kossin,” he said as he slid off the bench, “I’m coming as fast as I can.”
Zelda smiled as she watched the trio go, and then went to help Karmi with the dishes; an act that had never been heard of from a queen until Zelda.
“Zelda,” Karmi said as she brought another heaping pile of dishes from the table, “Where is your husband?”
“I do not know,” Zelda frowned a bit, “Nor do I care.”
“Yes, but don’t you find it odd that he never seems to be around during the day?” Karmi had a perplexed look on her face as she lowered some plates into the basin of sudsy water.
“Yes, that is a bit awkward,” Zelda, agreed, “but don’t you find it better for the rest of us that he has such habits?”
Karmi nodded sheepishly, “Not to offend anyone, but yes, I do. He is frightening to me.”
“Don’t be ashamed to say it. Everyone, including myself, is terrified of the man… if you could call him one.”
And it was true. Not a soul in Hyrule was able to look Dimitri in the eyes. He was a strange individual, never really seeming to be around save a few times. He seemed to just melt from the shadows, scaring the weaker of heart to near death. Zelda found his odd schedule rather convenient though, and she didn’t mind that he never seemed to be nearby.
“But you don’t seem to fear him as everyone else does, Zelda,” Karmi had been saying.
“Because when I see him I have no room in my heart for fear. All that lives there is the fire of revenge and a burning hate so strong it could destroy a more fragile soul. That man I am wedded to is naught more than a man. I will one day destroy him and get revenge for what he did to all that was dear to me.”
And Karmi knew Zelda meant every word she said.
“Dat’s ‘im?” a young man sitting at the bar whispered as he threw a glance at Owyn who was sitting down at a table with Kossin and Safter, taking his harp off his back and beginning to play as he did. Gono, who was serving drinks, began to listen in on the conversation.
“Yeah,” said the black haired man to the right, “That un’s the prince.”
“You know what I ‘eard?” another hissed. The other two looked his way with questioning eyes.
The third, pleased he had a crowd to pass rumors to, went on in a quiet shady manner, “I ‘eard me sister’s ‘usband talkin’ ‘bout it. ‘Ee sez that the prince ain’t really the prince an’ that kin’ o’ ours ‘as been tryin’ wi’ our queen fer years ta get a proper ‘eir to da throne.”
“An’ alls this times I wuz on th’ ‘pression that ‘ee was a good ‘n’ prop’r loik lil’ prince,” the first man said with amazement.
“’Ow d’we know you ain’t makin’ that all up?” the black haired man doubted.
“I ‘ent making up a word! I swears it! Me sister’s ‘usband is a soldier. ’Ee’s got a father who’s been servin’ the army fer years now an’ ‘ee waz ‘round yon castle when it all ‘appened.”
“An’ what’s dat?” the first queried, a hint of disbelieving still on his tongue.
The man dropped his voice so low, it was barely there at all, “When Zelda ‘ad a rouge loik feller fer a lover. Ya kinda git my jest? So’s ya two knuckle ‘eads see it now? That boy ‘ent the blood of the kin’ even thoughs dat’s what theys tryin’ to git ev’ry un ta believe… but there’s just some o’ us who knows better.”
“An’ the likkle bastard’s gonna be our nex’ monarch? Tch,” the black haired one frowned darkly in Owyn’s direction.
Suddenly, Gono pounded his fist brutally on the countertop so hard, there was the sound of splintering wood, and the whole pub grew silent, “You all shut up now! ‘Ow could I let such ‘orrible thing be let said ‘bout uns that is dear to me ‘eart!?”
“So’s it’s true?”
Gono pounded his fist again, the wood cracking this time, “Mayhaps it is, an’ then again, mayhaps it ‘ent. But I ‘ent gonna let you three dumb shits speak that way ‘bout friends, be it true or not. So’s go on an’ git yer sorry asses outta me tavern. What you waitin’ for? Go!”
The three men didn’t need to be told twice. They were out the door before another word could be spoken.
“Tol’ you dat ‘twas true,” the third man said as they walked off in search of another pub, “Tol’ you.”
“Oh dear, this will take some fixing,” Malon said as she examined the large crack that ran across the bar-top from Gono’s strong fist.
“Yeah, but if you coulda ‘eard what those hoodlums were sayin’ ‘bout poor Link, youda thrown a hissy fit ye’self,” Gono snapped back, his mood still rotten due to earlier events. Malon let out a sigh and sat down next to him. She and Gono had been married for a few years and had a set of twins, crazy as their father. They were great friends with Owyn, and they three could be a boatload of trouble.
“Don’t wanna start worrying the boy,” Arutho hissed in a hushed voice as he threw a look at Owyn, who was spinning himself silly on a nearby stool.
“Miss Zelda isn’t going to tell him, is she?” Malon said, looking over at Owyn as well.
“He seems so happy,” Arutho said, “She told me she doesn’t want him to worry. He’s fine believing Dimitri to be his father.”
“He’ll find out someday,” Kossin said as he leaned on a large keg behind the bar.
“With you guys whisperin’ so loud, I bet you he will,” Malon snapped.
“Find out what?” Owyn asked as he slid off the stool and walked dizzily over to where the adults were huddled.
“Nothing dear,” Malon crooned softly as she shoved Owyn toward the stairs, “Maybe you should go look for Avery and Gabriel. I think they’re upstairs.”
Avery and Gabriel were the two twin children who were Owyn’s best friends. Avery had blond hair with streaks of red running through, and her brother, Gabriel, had curly blond hair too, a red forelock hanging over his eyes.
Owyn sighed, a bit upset that the grownups wouldn’t share their gossip with him and went up the wood stairs to find his friends. As soon as Owyn had gone, the group of adults went on reminiscing about younger days when Link was alive.
Meanwhile, Owyn had found Avery and Gabriel playing in the loft room of the tavern. It was an interesting place, with slanted ceilings and large windows that flung open unto the town, lit by sunny rays of light. Swords and shields hung from the walls and ceilings and the whole placed smelled of spices and adventure.
“Hi Owyn,” Gabriel said as he saw Owyn emerge from the small attic staircase.
“Hey guys,” Owyn said as he plopped down on the floor next to Avery, who was playing with a small wooden dove.
“Owyn,” Avery looked up from her toy and said to him in a perplexed voice, “Is there something wrong? I can tell by the look in your eyes that you’re thinking of something.”
“Well, it’s nothing really,” Owyn began, “but the adults shooed me out of the room when I started listening to their conversation. I get the feeling they are trying to hid something.”
“Everyone has secrets,” Avery said with a smile, “Everyone has something to hid. So don’t worry! I’m sure there’s something you hide from them!”
“But my mother tells me everything,” Owyn said as he rested his head in his hand, “She says there’s nothing that she could hide from me.”
“Maybe not,” Gabriel said as he took his toy wolf and attacked Avery’s dove.
“Did you just notice this?” Avery went on.
“Actually, no, now that I think of it,” Owyn said as he took Avery’s dove and knocked over the wolf with it, which Gabriel had left standing in the middle of the floor, “they seem to like to get rid of me whenever the subject of some guy called Link comes up.”
“That’s just weird,” said Gabriel as he picked up his wolf and pocketed it.
“Yes well, I want to find out what they can tell each other but can’t tell me,” Owyn frowned.
“If that’s what you want, we’ll help ya out!” Gabriel said happily as he lay down on the floor.
“Alright,” Owyn nodded, “It’s good to have friends like you…. I’ll ask my mother about Link when I get home!”
The sun was setting fast as Zelda made her way down a lonely corridor, her only companion a single glowing candlestick. Empty iron sconces and forlorn statues of angels lined the walls, interrupted by an occasional window or door, tall and arched. Zelda had never been fond of this corridor, but in the past years, it had become more of a haven for strange happenings then ever. The statues seemed to watch with a sad agony, as though they were begging for help from the gods. Once, Zelda could have sworn she remembered these statues giving off a happy and peaceful aura, quite unlike the terrorized grimaces that their hardened faces carried now. Light seemed to avoid the hall at all costs, and Zelda was surprised that her own candle hadn’t snuffed yet. Perhaps it had something to do with Dimitri; his quarters were along this way, but many people were just too afraid to look into it too much and generally avoided the place.
Zelda wasn’t exactly sure why she had chosen to come down this way in the first place. She usually tried to avoid any chance of getting caught up with Dimitri but she had just felt the urge to come and gaze at the statues. There was something about them, for all their sorrow, that Zelda loved. Lately, she had taken to examining each one, as though they had a soul, as though a person lived beneath the stone exterior.
As she was tracing a long granite wing, she felt a cool chill behind her, and she turned. With a jump, her eyes fell upon Dimitri, standing there with a darkly voluptuous look on his face. Her candle cast weird shadows on his sallow skull like face and it seemed as though he was avoiding its dancing light.
“Well, what is it?” she snapped as she jerked the candle away from him, throwing him back into the dark shadows.
“How convenient it is to see you along this way, my dear Princess,” he said silkily. He seemed as though he was glad to be away from the glowing candlelight, his red eyes glowing from the darkness.
“For what?” she growled, “Hurry up, dammit. I have things to do.”
“You shouldn’t treat your king that way,” he almost purred, his smile springing into a sneer.
“You are not my superior, but my equal,” Zelda barked back irritably, “You will treat me as such.”
“You are mine to do with as I please,” he muttered darkly, “I thought you would have learned that years ago.”
Zelda was too appalled to retort. She seethed with anger that he dared to consider himself above her, especially because of what he had done to Link.
“Why don’t you forget it then,” he said softly, his voice melted back into the unreal murmur he had been using before, “Come back to my room with me, hmmm?”
“I know what you want,” Zelda snarled, “And my answer shall remain as it has for the past seven years.”
“Still saving a place in your bed for the rogue?” Dimitri licked his long pearl canines, “Give it up. You know he will not return to you. Get over it and come with me.”
“Never,” Zelda hated having this argument with him. It was one that occurred rather often, “I will wait for him until the day I die and find him in the arms of the angels.”
“That day might come sooner then you think,” Dimitri purred back at her indignantly.
Zelda fingered Link’s ring gingerly as she replied, her ire growing to its peek, “Don’t make idle threats. It won’t go unnoticed.”
Dimitri saw her fingers playing across the silver band and he snarled ferociously, “And how is it that you wear that ring on your hand instead of the one I gave you on our wedding day? You belong to me. When will you understand that?”
“I value my bond with him over that which I have with you,” she rejoined.
Dimitri’s face twisted into a gruesome contusion as he smacked Zelda hard across the face, “Are you stupid, woman? I said you belong to me! Learn it… and abide by it.”
And with those haunting words, he melted back into the shadows, leaving Zelda alone in the darkness.
It was very late. Past midnight Owyn had supposed as he crept out of his bedroom. Stealthily as he could, he tiptoed down the candlelit hallway to his mother’s room, his footsteps muffled by the loud winds outside. He had wanted to see if she had anything about the man called Link amongst her things. Owyn was used to doing this kind of thing. He tended to creep out at night to explore the castle or look for things that had aroused his curiosity.
Silently, he opened her bedroom door and slid in. The moonlight played happily across the lush carpets. Zelda’s sleeping form was illuminated by the dim glow of a dying fire in the hearth nearby. She slept with her arms wrapped around a fat pillow, her legs curled up against her breast.
Owyn went about hunting for something that might lend a clue to who Link was. He had absolutely no idea why he felt that it was absolutely necessary for him to look for information on the man; his intuition simply told him that he should… and his intuition was something that he never ignored.
A sudden harsh gale of wind blew in and the tall glass balcony doors swung open, the wind rustling the light translucent curtains. Owyn jumped at this, but then calmed down when he realized it was only nature at work. He went over to close the doors and as he was pushing them together, he noticed Strife, who strutted right between his legs and into the room before Owyn could breath a word.
As soon as he had shut and latched the doors, the young prince went about looking through every drawer, trunk and cupboard he could lay his hands on. Strife just looked on in a bemused sort of wonder until Owyn emerged from a chest with a small leather-bound book in his hands.
“Think this might help out a bit,” Owyn mused as he turned the diary over in his hands.
Strife nipped his foot angrily, “Why are you going through your mother’s personal things? That is none of your business to read.”
“I’ll make it my business,” Owyn said airily as he pocketed the little book in the large white shirt he used as pajamas.
“Your poor mother’s got her whole life in there,” Strife went on, “And trust me, it’s not something nosey little boys need to worry themselves with.”
“So you know some stuff about mom yourself, don’t you, Strife?” Owyn deduced after a moment of pondering, “Tell me, just how old are you again?”
“Why should I say?” Strife said haughtily as she preened herself, “You’d probably figure it out yourself, you nosey little prat.”
“Bet I will,” Owyn grumbled, “Ya hooting old bag of worry.”
Strife pretended not to hear as she tossed her head about, ruffling her deep blue feathers. Zelda let out a groan in her sleep and she muttered something that sounded like ‘ink’ as she rolled over, the fat pillow still in her arms.
“Let’s go,” Owyn said as he started for the door.
“You nosey little prat!!!” Strife complained as they left, Zelda all the while smiling in her sleep, dreaming of heroes and swords.
Just as the shinning oak door eased closed with a faint ‘click’ behind Owyn and his falcon as they crept out of the large master bedroom, the silvery lucent curtains began to flutter once more, though all the windows and the tall glass balcony doors were firmly latched. The drapes swirled about for a few moments more and then a hooded figure stepped out from amid the whirling material. He looked to be some kind of divinity. His body was draped with long flowing white robes and great, long, white, feathered wings that nearly brushed the floor adorned his muscular back. His hood shadowed his chiseled face and his bare feet were just visible from beneath the hems of his silken garments. A silver dagger, sheathed in a black leather case, hung at his waist from a thin cord that was wrapped about his waist like a belt.
The figure looked about him, and let out a small sigh of contentment. Soon his soft gaze found its way to the bed where Zelda lay, still sleeping innocently on, like a small child. He made his way to her bedside and sat down, leaning over the sleeping form of Hyrule’s queen. He supported himself up with his sinewy arms, which rested on either side of Zelda’s body, his wings falling over both their bodies, and then smiled at her from under his hood.
“Are you sleeping this well every night, my princess?” the angel murmured, “… Without me?”
And Zelda’s sleeping form murmured back to him, her voice sweet and dreamy, “Hmmm? No, never. The night no longer holds the same zeal without… you.”
She wasn’t awake. As far as the princess knew, it was simply a magnificent dream, her words mumbled from her subconscious as the angel whispered to her through the moonlit shadows. And much to the mysterious visitor’s dismay, this was all she would remember it as, a dream.
“Would you still snatch me into your arms as you had so long ago?” the god whispered as he lowered his head closer to Zelda, his lips grazing her cheek as her mouth sprouted a contented smile in her deep, peaceful slumber.
“Uh huh,” she murmured back, “You know I would.”
“God, how I miss the way you used to whisper to me like that,” the angel said softly as he buried his face into the silky tangle of Zelda’s hair that streamed across the pillows.
“Let me whisper to you throughout the whole night,” she sounded so enticing, even in her sleep, “Stay with me, for I missed having you, here in bed with me. I have saved this place for only you.”
The angel sighed again, but this time it was a sigh of regret, “I wish I could, but I can only be with you so long….”
“It doesn’t matter, please, stay,” she whispered back. The seraph collapsed, unable to hold himself above her any longer, his mere craving to hold her becoming to great.
“I wish to stay with you,” he muttered into her ear, “I will stay as long as the gods will allow.”
He said no more, and he wrapped his arms around the princess, pulling her close to his warm body and letting his long wings fall around them both. Zelda let go of the pillow and, all in her subconscious, let her arms meander around the angel’s waist.
The few moments they had together were like magic, just sleeping in each other’s arms before another hooded angel, a tall muscular female, materialized from the moonlight and gently pulled the queen from the other angel’s arms. She motioned for the male angel to arise from the comfort of the large bed, and with a bit of reluctance, he did.
“Must I?” he said ruefully as he flexed his wings out and let his eyes fall on Zelda once more.
“Yes,” the female nodded, “But do not worry, warrior, your time for vengeance and reunion draws ever nearer. You shall return to her side soon… I promise you.”
He nodded, and slowly followed the female as she returned to the sacred realm from which they came. The warrior lingered for one last moment on the princess, and as he was about to leave, he heard Zelda whisper into the cool night air as she curled the hand she wore her ring on, “Come back to me soon… you promised you’d always be at my side….”
“I am… I always have been,” he promised as he left, his last few words lingering in the moonlight, “I swear it.”
“Mother,” Owyn called as he entered the largest armory, “Mother, you here?”
Last night, Owyn had begun to read the diary. It started off by beginning to recount the rein of terror in which Ganondorf plagued the peaceful kingdom of Hyrule. It was mostly history, things Owyn had already learned from Kossin, his tutor. There were also rundowns of the people of Hyrule… but Karmi had told him most everything about the Sheikans as well as other races like the Gerudo and the Kokiri. Owyn had decided to just ask Zelda herself, but at the time, she was nowhere to be found.
“Oh, god, ouch,” Owyn cursed under his breath as he tripped over a stray battle-axe and onto a large pile of longbows and quivers. The pile of weapons came crashing down under his weight, with a few sounds of splintering wood and snapping bowstrings.
“Need some help there?” a voice from behind him said softly.
Owyn didn’t even look up as he scrambled to lean all the bows against the wall as they had been before, “Lord, I’m really sorry Safter. I really didn’t mean to make a mess of your nice and neat armory….”
The person behind him chuckled. Owyn didn’t see what was so funny to him, and turned around a bit sheepishly, and then realized that the person wasn’t Safter at all. Far from him, actually. The man that stood there couldn’t be less then a god. He was the same mysterious angel who had visited Zelda’s bedside the night before.
“I didn’t think I resembled Safter too much,” the angel chuckled as he put his hands on his hips.
“N-no, you most certainly don’t,” Owyn managed to choke out. He was completely taken with awe at this splendid creature before him.
“Pretty nice harp you got there,” the angel pointed to the golden instrument strapped to Owyn’s back.
“Y-yeah. It belonged to my friend Jalk,” Owyn stammered, “He’s teachin’ me how to play it.”
“You a talented little musician?” the angel knelt down to meet Owyn’s eyes better.
Owyn nodded his head vigorously.
“I would love to hear you play sometime,” he cocked his head, “We’ll have a little music lesson together, hmmm?”
Owyn couldn’t think of a reason to say no, so he nodded again. He was still overcome with awe and a bit of fear. Why me? Why would the gods send a messenger to me of all people? What makes me so special? Above my Mother even?
When Owyn looked up after brooding these thoughts, he saw to his dismay that the angel had already disappeared.
“The heck is going on around here? Why are such weird things always happening to me? Better add it to my list of stuff to ask mom….” Owyn mused, “How… strange… though. How very strange….”
“Ma-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a” Owyn screamed up the marble staircase, the orange sunset bathing the white stone in an unreal topaz color, “Ma, I need you!!!”
The voice that returned his calls were not his mother’s, but Karmi’s… which was close enough to his mom to suit him, “Owyn, what do you need? Stop hollering all over the place. The echoes are simply dreadful. It’s enough to break windows, dear!”
“Karmi, could you come down here,” Owyn called up one last time, “Please?”
“Hold on a second. I’m coming dear,” Karmi called back from the halls above. Karmi had served as a sort of nursemaid for Owyn. She had helped Zelda raise him since he was born, and had actually been the midwife who helped with his birth as well. Besides his mother, Owyn felt closest to Karmi above all other castle inhabitants. She played with him often enough, and took care of him when Zelda was not available to her son.
“It’s okay, I’m here Owyn. What is it?” Karmi asked as she came down the large marble staircase. She had grown in to a beautiful young woman, her purple hair darker and longer then ever. She still wore it in that loose working braid when she was doing chores, just as she had for so many years. When she let it out though, it her long waves of violet hair would tumble down past her waist in ripples of amethyst splendor.
“Karmi… I saw a ghost,” Owyn said as-a-matter-of-factly to his nursemaid as she reached the bottom of the stairs. Karmi went a bit pale and then sat down, tightening the knot of the yellow scarf about her shoulders in a bit of nervous habit.
“A-are you sure about that?” Karmi asked as she toyed with the hem of her red dress, “This isn’t something to joke about.”
“Isn’t a joke,” Owyn wailed, “I really saw him. He had wings and wore a hooded robe and, and….”
“I really don’t doubt this old castle is haunted Owyn,” Karmi took his hand, “But I don’t think what you saw was a ghost. Are you sure it wasn’t a figment of your imagination?”
“I didn’t make it up! He was there! I spoke to him!” Owyn said quietly as he crawled into Karmi’s lap.
“Owyn, a ghost can’t find rest. They are troubled sprits that walk the earth in search of peace,” Karmi said as she gave Owyn a squeeze, “From what you say… if it was anything, it was… an… angel… I daresay.”
“A what? You think an angel would visit me?” Owyn asked.
Kossin came up from the castle cellars just in time to hear those last few words. He came over and sat next to Karmi, his face vexed at the thought of archangels wandering the palace grounds as well as flushed from the site of Karmi. It was common knowledge that Kossin was smitten with Karmi. For the past few years, Kossin had been trying to win Karmi over, but she just didn’t seemed to be interested. It hurt Kossin to think all his efforts were in vain, but he never lost hope. It took more then mere heartbreak to break Kossin’s spirit.
“It could be,” Zelda’s strong, regal voice echoed down the grand staircase, “I had a dream about one. My dreams never lie.”
“Really?” Kossin asked, his face suddenly bright with interest and curiosity.
“Yes… but,” she stopped, eyeing Owyn, “I… I’ll tell you about it later.”
“Why not now?” Owyn said impatiently.
Zelda simply ignored him, and went on her way down the halls that led towards the kitchens.
“Mother, wait!” Owyn leapt from Karmi’s lap and dashed after his mother down the hallway, “I need to ask you a question!”
She had gone though, and soon, Owyn wasn’t really sure where she had disappeared to. He began to just wander around aimlessly, hoping he might offhandedly find her. She seems to be avoiding me for some reason…. Well, Strife did say she had a lot on her mind but…. Is that enough to take her mind off her only son? She’s always been a bit distant about things that might remotely involve me learning about her past but now she just seems ridiculously jumpy about it. I think it’s about darn time I figure my poor mum out.
He had been so deep in thought that he hadn’t realized that he had wandered down the dark corridor that led to his father’s rooms. That was another thing that mystified Owyn; why his parents didn’t share a room. When he suddenly realized where he was, he became anxious. Like just about everyone else, Owyn wasn’t fond of this passage. He had explored it one time before at midnight, and the things he saw had scarred his out of his wits. All the angel statues had looked as though they were crying blood and the place had smelled strangely foul, like rotting flesh. A thick mist had also seemed to follow his throughout the whole time and the moon had glowed an odd reddish color. He didn’t see any of these things this time, much to his relief, and Owyn found it much easier to travel the hall without the feeling of impending danger at his heels the whole way.
Even though the sun still hadn’t set completely, and there was still much light in the sky, the hallway was still pitch black. He knew his father had a thing for darkness, but it was so strange how light seemed to frighten the man off. The simple flickering tongue of fire that would dance upon the top of a candle was like an evil hex that warded his father away.
Owyn was actually quite jealous of Gabrielle and Avery. They had a father who loved them both very much and spent countless hours with them both. His father, on the other hand, was a cold man who kept to himself, never indulging in family gatherings. In fact, Owyn had hardly seen him at all. Much as Owyn loved his mother too, she just wasn’t the patriarchal figure that Owyn so desperately wanted to look up to.
Just as Owyn was pondering these thoughts, a cool chill behind him made him spin about on his heel, but all that he saw was a heavy mist hanging in the dark shadows of the hall. The statue directly opposite Owyn, barely visible through the thick misty shadows, looked as though it were screaming in immense pain and agony, and soon Owyn noticed tiny pools of blood well up in the angel’s stone eyes, trickling down in a red stream of pain. This statue portrayed the angel trampling the crumpled form of a devil, and Owyn could have sworn for a moment that the devil’s eyes had flickered red.
What am I saying? I am just letting simple things scare me. Father will be around somewhere and he’ll be able to find Mother for me.
Just as Owyn played this thought through his head, his father’s thin figure materialized out of the murky shadows. He didn’t look as pale and sickly as he usually did. His skin was pinker and his hair retained a dark healthy chocolate color, not a pale ashen brown tone as it usually did.
“Father,” Owyn smiled and grabbed the king about the middle in a tight embrace. Dimitri grimaced and slowly pulled Owyn from him.
“Yes boy? What is it you want?’ Dimitri said in as sweet a voice as he could muster to the child.
“Mother. Where is she?” Owyn asked.
Dimitri’s eyes flashed in a fashion Owyn found shockingly like that of the devil, “I haven’t seen her all day. I do not know. Leave me, boy. I have things I must do.”
And with that he disappeared, leaving Owyn grimacing right after him.
Owyn sat outside on a big green-checkered blanket with his tutor, Kossin. Kossin was giving Owyn his lessons for the day. He had Owyn drawing a picture of a human skeleton as he lectured about anatomy, science and evolution.
“Kossin, I have a question,” Owyn put down his drawing charcoal and held up his sketch, “What are shoulder blades for?”
“I am really not sure, but,” Kossin smiled and went on, “My mother used to tell Safter and I that the shoulder blade was where your wings were when you were an angel.”
“Is that true?” Owyn asked as he eyed the picture again, “Sure it isn’t a silly fairy tale for children?”
“Who knows? It’s just a story my mother told me. Maybe it is, maybe no,” Kossin shrugged, “Keep drawing.”
Owyn shrugged as well and took up his charcoal again.
“Kossin?” he said after a while.
“Yes, what is it now?”
“Was I an angel?” he asked, his big blue eyes wandering up to the lazily drifting clouds above.
“Of course you were,” Kossin smiled, “A boy like you must have been. Just have to take one look!”
“Yes,” Kossin smiled and also let his eyes wander up to the blue heavens, “the most radiant of all.”
Owyn paused a moment before going on, “…. Father too?”
“Now that…” Kossin fumbled the scroll he was holding, “… that is a story for another day.”
They sat in silence for a while, until Karmi came happily across the gardens, her purple mane billowing in the breeze.
“You boys are working so hard, I brought you lunch to eat outside,” Karmi’s voice echoed across the courtyard. She was holding a large tray, covered with a vast array of foods. There were damson cream covered cakes, and honeyed fruits. A huge loaf of bread and three large wedges of cheese stood amid it all, flanked by two tall flasks of cider. She set the tray between the two boys and sat down.
“Where’s mother?” Owyn asked as he reached for a slice of the cake.
“She went out for a walk,” Karmi said as she buttered herself a large hunk of soft white bread.
“Oh,” Owyn said as he began to devour the cake, “Well can she join us?”
“She seemed as though she could’ve really used the time alone, dear,” Karmi said as she sipped from one of the flasks, “She has a lot on her mind lately, and I think she just wants some time alone to think.”
“Mother seems so sad,” Owyn mused, “Is it something I did?”
“No, dear. She’s just… just… lost a lot in life,” Karmi hung her head, and she worried she might have even said too much.
Strife, who had been perched in a nearby tree, glided down to where they all gathered, and waddled over to where Owyn sat, with his cake. The sleek blue falcon grabbed the cake in her golden beak and scuttled off with it.
“Get back here with my cake!” Owyn cried as he shook an angry fist at the bird as he got to his knees.
Strife swallowed the cake morsel and clicked her tongue as she gobbled down the rest of the stolen pastry, reprimanding Owyn all the while, “You’ll get fat as a real hog if you keep up your current eating habits, Owyn.”
“I know, hush, hush,” Owyn waved her off as he reached for more food. Kossin shook his head. It just seemed no matter how much the boy inhaled, he was still lank and thin as a rail. Safter was like that too.
“I think it’s nice how you and Strife have such a tight bond,” Karmi suddenly said with a smile, “I always thought birds were magical… like they understood people for who they were.”
“This old squawking ball of feathers?” Owyn pointed at Strife, crumbs of cake falling onto his clean white tunic, as he spoke, “She doesn’t get me at all. Can’t even let a poor boy have a decent meal.”
“Just don’t want another fat king,” Strife grumbled.
“Yes, but, she still loves you, and is your friend, just as you love her, and are a friend to her,” Karmi smiled, “I think that’s really beautiful. It’s a special thing you won’t get anywhere else, a friend. Treasure every one you make, for one can’t have too many.”
She smiled, but then she doubled over, dropping her bread. Kossin reached out to grab her as she slumped over, and he pulled her back up into sitting position. She looked considerably paler then before, in a rather sickly and unhealthy way.
“Better get her inside and lay her down,” Strife said, pecking Kossin’s foot.
“Yeah,” Owyn nodded as he stood to help Kossin carry the suddenly weak girl inside.
Zelda was riding her horse along the seashore. It was the same place she and Link had spent one of their last intimate moments together. And it was also the place where Dimitri had destroyed her life by taking Link away from her.
She dismounted the horse and tied it to a nearby tree. Then, hiking up her skirts and petticoats, she walked through the tall wheat shoots toward the water’s edge. She took off her shoes and let the cool water splash on her feet as it gently rolled in and out with the waves. And she smiled, for the first time that day.
A voice suddenly floated up behind her, as though on wings. Only one person can sing as beautifully as that…. Zelda spun around, digging her heal in the soft wet sand, anxious as to whom she might see. It wasn’t the one she had expected at all though. Sitting on the large rock that sat in the exact place all of those memories Link generated form, was a singing minstrel. He wore nothing but a short white tunic embroidered with tiny swirling patterns. On his head was a floppy white hat that covered his eyes and shadowed his face.
When he caught sight of Zelda, he stopped singing, and looked her up and down. Hopping off the boulder, he strode through the wheat fields to the beach, where the queen stood, wondering what to make of the stranger.
He bowed slightly, and said with a laugh, “Good day, fair lady. You enjoy my singing?”
Zelda just nodded. His voice sounds just like… no… it can’t be….
“I am called Pan,” the minstrel went on, “And what’s your name, fair lady?”
“Z-Zelda,” she choked out. He was so… familiar. But she knew the person she associated with him was dead. No, there’s no way this could be… my Link.
Pan was still smiling at her, “Zelda. Lovely name. Why the long face? Chin up now! What’s wrong, fair lady?”
“Just thinking,” Zelda said quickly. It wasn’t a lie; she just hoped he wouldn’t ask just what was troubling her. She didn’t want to tell anyone her life story, and bring back so many sorrowful and angry memories.
“Ah,” Pan put his hands on his hips and said with another hearty laugh, “I get it. You’re thinking about someone, aren’t you?”
Zelda went pale, “Yeah, you guessed it,” she said in a quiet voice.
“Hmmm,” Pan crossed one foot over the other and put his hands behind his head, “Let me guess. You’re some kind of girl whose father is some bloke high in social status and you’re the type of lass who likes to run off with your friends who happen to all be chaps of lesser class, and of course your father won’t take it. Next thing you know, you’ve fallen in love with one of your poorer friends and your dad wants you marry some jolly spiffin’ prince from who knows where. So whatta ya do? Well…” he trailed off.
“Damn, you’re good,” Zelda said with an awkward smile.
“Wow, you mean I’m right?” Pan jumped at least a foot into the air, “Whoo-hooo! My genius strikes again!”
Zelda laughed, “You’re funny, I like you. You remind me of….”
Pan cocked his head to the side, “Of…?”
“Of…of no one important,” Zelda shook her head and looked off at the sea, “Never mind.”
“Well it’s gotta be someone who means something to you,” Pan said, crossing his arms over his chest now.
Zelda smiled at the thought of Link, “Maybe…”
“…And I reckon he’s someone special?” Pan cocked his head more, so it was nearly upside down, “After all, he’s like me.”
That sarcasm… oh god, the likeness in personality is… uncanny….
“You don’t wanna hear my stories about my…”
“Lover?” Pan interrupted.
“Yeah,” Zelda nodded sheepishly, “It’d bore you to death. Guys don’t care about girl problems.”
“Wow, I guessed right again?” Pan looked proud of himself. Then he dropped his cynical attitude, and said in a soft voice, “But Zelda…”
“No… it would just bring back unhappy memories,” she mused, “I don’t want to burden myself anymore then I have to.”
“But… I’m sure there are happy memories too. It can’t be all bad!” Pan smiled again and offered his hand. As she took it, he sat down, wrenching her down on the sandy beach too, “Now you have to talk. You aren’t gonna leave ‘till you do!”
Zelda laughed, blushing a little, “Maybe another day….”
“No, now!” Pan seemed like a little boy; he seemed like… Link.
“Oh, all right,” Zelda said. She looked out at the sea, “Well, a long time ago… ‘bout seven years or so, I had a friend. And he was my best friend; just the most wonderful person anyone could hope to spend time with…”
“Why’s that?” Pan asked. He was reclining on his elbows, quite ready for a good long story indeed.
“He was funny, and courageous. His heart was pure. No evil could penetrate him. I don’t think he’s ever done a single thing wrong. He was just, amazing…. And one day… I-I fell in love with him.”
“O-oh,” Pan said with a big grin, “Getting go-o-od.”
“Do you wanna hear or not,” Zelda said in a abrasive voice, “Hush up!”
Pan nodded vigorously, an innocent smile once again on his shadowed face.
“A-and it seemed that the moment I found him, I lost him, just like that,” Zelda snapped her fingers for effect, “He meant everything to me… a friend, lover, everything I ever needed in a person… and even though it was… so long ago… he still does... mean the world to me.”
“So your all married with kids now?” Pan said casually.
“Married, yes, to an evil son of a bitch, evil and vile. He treats my son with such cruelty… me too. I hate it. I wish the boy’s real father were here. He’d know what to do.”
“Your lover-friend,” Pan cut in again.
Zelda sighed, a smile on her face, “Yeah…”
“Don’t worry, Zel. You will see him again,” Pan said in a hushed voice as he suddenly stood.
“What? Are you mad? He is dead,” Zelda let her eyes wander to the ground.
“But you are wrong! He lives!” Pan said in a prophetic voiced.
Zelda turned to look up at him, bewildered, but he was gone.
“Is it… true?” she whispered to herself, “Does Link walk the earth?”
Karmi lay on her bed, swaddled in warm blankets, coughing and breathing harshly, the Hylian sky painted orange and purple. She was rapidly growing paler and weaker by the second, and even Kossin couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the ailing girl.
“Karmi, what happened?” he asked for what seemed to be the thousandth time.
“D-dunno,” Karmi sputtered out, “Just became really, really weak all of a sudden. Just like that… dunno… why….”
Kossin shook his head sadly and held her hand, not knowing what to do. Owyn sat in a chair off in the corner, Strife settled in his lap as he stroked her affectionately.
“Damn! I hate this!” Kossin buried his head in his hands, “I-I just don’t know what to do! It came so quickly. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with her, but now…. Oh what kind of evil is this?!”
“Kossin?” Karmi whispered, “Am I gonna die?”
Kossin looked over at her, his eyes filled with tears, “I don’t know, Karmi, dear. Please just hold on ‘till I figure out the problem. Please.”
“Okay,” Karmi smiled, “I’ll wait for you. I will stay alive for you… so you can figure it out and heal me.”
Kossin nodded his head, “Yes, yes, do that. For me, live, Karmi.”
Zelda came to see Karmi a little later. Kossin still sat by her bedside, holding her hand, and watching her labored breathing.
“What is it? What’s wrong with her?” Zelda cried as she flung herself at Karmi’s side.
“We don’t know,” Kossin said, trying to choke back his tears, “She seemed so healthy… until she just toppled over a few hours ago. Been like this ever since.”
“Don’t worry, Karmi,” Zelda consoled her soothingly, “It’ll be okay. Kossin’ll make it better. He’s the best physician I know. He will make you better, I swear.”
“But what if he can’t?” Karmi choked out softly, “Will I die?”
Zelda averted Karmi’s large questioning eyes, and then said quietly, “He has to be able to. He just has to.”
The door creaked open as another visitor entered the tiny room. But Zelda was none too glad to see the man who had arrived. It was her godforsaken husband, Dimitri, his face rosy and his lips gleaming red.
“What are you doing here?” Zelda snapped.
“I wish to see the girl. To give her my hopes for… for the best,” he said in a sugared voice.
“Since when did you care about those inferior to you?” Zelda frowned, “Leave the poor girl be.”
“Actually, it is in her best interests I see her. I am her only hope,” Dimitri retorted coldly, “Her life is in my hands… as is all of yours. I control the fate of every puny soul in the world.”
“Awfully self-centered,” Zelda said with a snigger.
“Get out,” he shouted suddenly at Zelda, “All of you. Leave me with her.”
Zelda looked at Karmi with forgiving eyes and she and Kossin hurried out of the room before Dimitri’s awful temper blew out of proportion.
“Tell me, Zelda,” Kossin mused, sitting down in a high-backed mahogany chair outside of the room, “What is this dream of an angel you say you’ve been having? Owyn think he saw one.”
“It is quite… strange,” she muttered, “He would materialize out of the moonlight and stay with me through the night, and whisper to me. It’s peaceful… almost like… it were Link….”
“Link, eh?” Kossin smiled, “There is a good chance it might be. Do you see his face?”
“He is hooded,” Zelda replied.
“Oh. Well, if you pray, he might appear to you. Zelda, both you and I know that Link is the Chosen Hero because he has a pure heart. He must be an angel. I know it.”
“Do you… think so?”
“Honestly, Zelda, I believe it,” Kossin said as he let his eyes wander out the window.
“I don’t like to leave her alone with him,” Zelda said angrily with a nod towards the door, as she changed the subject to Karmi.
“Nor do I,” muttered Kossin.
“Do you still think…?” Zelda fingered the door handle.
“Remember what you told me a really long time ago?” Zelda stared at the floor now, “It was quite some time ago. About that wretched husband?”
“Oh, yes. What about it?” he looked puzzled.
“Perhaps…” Zelda began, but then she stopped, tears welling up in her eyes, “No… no, it can’t be. I refuse to believe he could’ve gotten to her… that he could truly be… a Vampire. I-I refuse to believe it.”
“But it’s a good point, Zelda,” Kossin said, trying to meet her gaze, “Maybe he did. Oh, but there is almost no hope if it is so. I pray it is not true but… there is a good chance… it is.”
“No…” Zelda still refused to listen to the logic of he own reason. She began to cry and slowly turned to leave, “No…”
She took off down the hall, tripping on her petticoats as she went, and fraying the fabric on her heals as she stumbled over the floor. Tears streamed form her eyes as she ran off to a place where she could be alone. Bursting through the oak door of the servant’s entrance, she dashed down a stone pathway to the foot of a huge tree.
Oh, how she loved this place, longed for this place. So many memories were here… memories of Link. She could almost hear their voices as the memories came flooding back to her.
“Zel, don’t worry, I’ll come back here!”
“Huh? Link what do you mean?”
“If you ever need me, come here, to this place, and I’ll be here, waiting for you so…”
“For what? Link, you can’t be there for me all the time.”
“Trust me. If you come here, you’ll find me. I shall find a way to come to you.”
Zelda remembered that day. He had promised that he’d always be there for her. Can he find a way even in death? Could Pan have been telling the truth? Does Link really live again? I don’t want to lose yet another person dear to me. Why must it be I who loses those most precious to me? Will I lose…Owyn too?
The wind blew, rustling her hair and the yellowing autumn leaves of the tree. It became still, so quiet, one could hear the very breath of the angels in his ear.
“And I’d give up forever to touch you,
‘Cause I know that you feel me somehow,
You’re the closest heaven that I’ll ever be,
And I don’t wanna go home right now.”
A beautiful male voice floated on the breeze. Hearing it, Zelda became wide eyed with amazement and looked around for the source of the beautiful song.
A figure emerged form behind the tree, none other then Pan, the strange minstrel she had met earlier that day.
“What are you doing here?” Zelda said, her eyes wide with wonder. She felt herself frozen to the spot, her eyes unable to leave him. He said nothing, but walked forward, still singing.
“And all I can taste is this moment,
And all I can breathe is your love,
And sooner or later, it’s over,
I just don’t wanna miss you tonight.”
She could feel his eyes on her, watching her with lust. As he approached, his short white tunic, as though by divine magic, grew longer, becoming a long hooded white garment with long baggy sleeves and flowing robe that fell over his sandaled feet. His face was still shadowed, although now by the hood of his robe instead of the floppy cap. And then, the most phenomenal thing Zelda had ever seen happened; from Pan’s back, sprouted huge white feathered wings, unfurling behind him with a soft glow of light. There he was, the figure from her dreams.
“Who are you?” Zelda asked, her voice quiet with awe.
And I don’t want the whole world to see me,
‘Cause I don’t think that they’d understand,
When everything’s made to be broken,
I just want you to know who I am.”
“Who… what are you?” Zelda choked out.
He came closer, winding his arms around her waist. Zelda broke from his grasp in fright. She didn’t want to betray Link. She had sworn she would let no man touch her unless he was Link.
“Why do you fear me, Zelda?” he whispered, his voice was soft, like the low sensual growls of a cat, “Have you forgotten me?”
“Pan? What did you do to Pan? You can’t be him! What do you want from me?” Zelda didn’t care if the being before her was indeed a creature of good or evil; she would not let him have her! She backed closer to the tree, soon, her back pressed against the hard bark of the tree’s strong trunk.
“You are right, I am not Pan,” the angel glided closer to her, pressing his body against hers, and pinning her to the tree, “Pan is but a figment of your imagination. I am the true embodiment of the one called Pan.”
“DO NOT TOUCH ME!” she cried out in her strongest voice, “I shall let only one man hold me and he is dead!”
“As am I, yet I live,” the angel whispered, “I come to be with you. So why do you shun me?”
“Prove to me you are one I can trust,” Zelda commanded.
“You have not changed, my princess,” the angel suddenly scooped her up into his arms and took flight, flying up to the sturdy limbs of the old tree.
“Let me go!” Zelda slapped the angel across the face as he set her down on a branch. He faltered and reached up to touch his cheek, where she had smacked him.
“Violent still,” the angel chuckled as he straddled the branch so he was sitting opposite Zelda, “You always were a feisty one.”
“I will ask you again,” Zelda sucked in her breath and said calmly, “What do you want from me? Why are you trying to hold me? If you knew me, you would know I would allow only one to touch me, and he is called Link.”
The angel slowly reached for his hood, drawing it back with a flick of his wrist, and the sight Zelda beheld left her speechless. Thick blonde locks tumbled over the chiseled features of a beautiful youth. His calm blue eyes glimmered with a spark Zelda had seen in only one man. Here he was, before her, an angel, her lover, Link.
“I… I cannot believe my eyes!” Zelda gasped and reached out with curious fingers, exploring his hard face, “Is it really… you?”
A single tear fell down Link’s cheek as he took her hand and pressed it against his face, “Yeah… it’s me. I’ve wanted to hold you for so long!”
“I just can’t believe it. It was you who protected me in the night. All this time, you were at my side… just like you promised…”
“Have I ever lied to you?” he asked her as he took her hand in his and stroked her knuckles, just as he had done in the wine cellar, years ago.
She shook her head ‘no,’ and then she flung her arms around his neck, burying her face in the folds of his collar.
Then he said with a smile, “You still wear my ring. You always liked that thing.”
She pulled sat up and said with a grin, “Of course I kept it. It’s the only thing I have that reminds me of you, you inane hero.”
“You’re saying that you would have forgotten me otherwise?” he pretended to look hurt, “How is that possible? I’m your oldest friend!”
“No!” she laughed, pulling herself closer against his neck, “I could never forget you. Never. How could I forget my… lover?”
He smiled, “I figured as much.”
Zelda nodded, her eyes beginning to water as well. She nearly fell out of the tree as she flung herself onto Link’s muscular body again. He slid his arms around her tiny waist and whispered, “I have come to avenge everyone dear to me. You, Owyn, Kossin and Safter, Karmi, Arutho and the others… all of them have suffered so much because of one man. And I shall kill him.”
Zelda’s eyes grew wide as she heard his mission, “We shall help you with your quest. We shall protect you, love.”
“Mmmm, will you now?” he muttered as he pulled her closer.
“Yeah,” she whispered.
They held each other in mutual embrace for a while, savoring each other in silence, when Link felt her crying. Her tears were so many in number, they soaked through his robes and wet his skin, “What is it, Zel? Why are you crying?”
“I was just thinking of Karmi, Link,” she said softly, “She’s really ill and Kossin doesn’t know what to do. He’s tearing himself to shreds over it and I’m afraid… I’m afraid Karmi might die.”
“You are aware she has become victim of the Vampire?” Link said solemnly.
“So it’s true, then?” Zelda sat up.
Link nodded gravely, “That evil creature will destroy so much by taking her life. It not only destroys the life of that lovely girl, but the lives of all those who hold her dear and those dear to her. And he won’t stop until he has plagued all the people of Hyrule in the same manner. It has truly begun, and it is beginning with, you, love.”
“What do we do?” Zelda shook Link franticly, “I can’t bear to lose any more people who I love!”
“I don’t know yet, Zelda,” Link looked down past his dangling feet at the ground far below, “I’ll think of something, don’t worry. I always seem to figure these things out somehow.”
“I believe in you, Link,” Zelda smiled at him, “I trust you’ll find a way to defeat this Evil. You always do.”
“Yeah,” he said quietly. Then he looked up at her and said, “Zelda….”
“Go to her. Console her. Her as well as my son and my friends,” Link held her chin in his hand, “Her time runs short. Comfort her while I think of a way to save her soul.”
Zelda nodded, “Will I see you again?”
“No doubt,” he smiled, “You will be mine once more.”
And with those words, he brought her back to the garden soil and then took flight once more on his beautiful white wings, leaving Zelda to fight the evils consuming the world around her with a new Hope.
Owyn stealthily followed behind his mother as she made her way to Karmi’s room. Kossin had forbidden him to see Karmi, for fear that the prince might fall ill too. Owyn, quite distraught over Karmi’s condition, wanted to hear if there had been any progress in her recovery at all. He had reasoned that his mother might say something that would lift his spirits and soothe his raging heart.
As the door closed behind his mother, Owyn crept up and pressed his eye against the keyhole. Peering through, he beheld his mother taking a seat next to Karmi’s bed. She took her hand and held it. Then she began to speak to her in a voice so hushed and gentle, Owyn had to strain his ears to hear her properly.
“Feeling better, dear?” Zelda said quietly as she ran her fingers through Karmi’s thick tresses of hair. The purple color was beginning to wan, as was the rosy hue in her skin.
“I suppose so,” Karmi replied quietly, averting Zelda’s eyes and letting her eyes wander out the window to the deep blue night sky. A great harvest moon hung in the sky, a cloud floating in front of it.
“Oh,” Zelda let her gaze wander out the window as well.
“Princess?” Karmi said suddenly.
“Yes?” Zelda looked back down at her.
“I was watching out the window today. Outside, it was beautiful today,” Karmi began.
“Yes, yes it was,” Zelda held the poor girl’s hand tighter. Is she going mad? Rambling?
“And I watched the leaves fall off the trees, and the wind play with the flowers,” she went on, “And I saw the city light up when the sun went down, and I heard the happy people enjoying the beautiful day…”
“It sounds lovely,” Zelda said in a comforting voice, “I’m sure you want to get better so you can laugh with all those people too.”
“Yes, and I will make Kossin a big meal, so he could eat with me, and enjoy the many beautiful days in this land.”
“I think Kossin would like that very much,” Zelda said with a smile, “He likes to spend time with you alone, did you know?”
“No, it wouldn’t be only us. Owyn and Safter could come, because we couldn’t eat it all by ourselves,” Karmi blathered on, her blank eyes glimmering a bit, giving her complexion her happy glow back for a brief time.
Outside the door, Owyn licked his lips at the thought of Karmi’s exquisite cooking.
“… And you would come. And you would bring Link with you,” Karmi looked Zelda straight in the eye for the first time since she had began speaking.
“…Would I?” Zelda said shakily.
Owyn suddenly stopped thinking about his stomach and listened more intently. Here was another chance to learn about Link. He would then have to go and read more of his mother’s diary. All that he knew so far from his mother’s writings was that Link was a hero who had saved Hyrule countless times over, as well as a dear close friend.
“Yeah,” Karmi smiled weakly, “And we would all be as happy as you were today, when you saw him again.”
Zelda’s eyes grew wide, “How did you know…. He did come. He’s an angel, now.”
Owyn’s eyes grew wide, his jaw hanging open. He made a mental note to ask Kossin about angels too. Then he remembered the angel that had visited him that once a few days ago. Was he Link? He had an ocarina. Maybe he was. What if he was? So many questions flooded Owyn’s mind as he continued to listen on.
Karmi nodded slightly, “I know, princess. I saw him too. He held you close. I smiled too. I was happy to see him. He’ll know what to do to save me.”
“He said he would. He swore it,” Zelda smiled as she ran her hand through Karmi’s hair again.
“Uh huh,” Karmi smiled, then paused for moment before speaking again, “I’m tired now. Can I sleep now?”
“Yes, yes,” Zelda nodded, “You should get some rest. Close your eyes, and we’ll see you in the morning.”
“Bring Owyn?” Karmi asked.
“Yes, I’ll… I’ll bring Owyn,” Zelda said as she stood. She headed for the door. Owyn quickly stood up and ran down the hall, making a sharp right and streaking into his room before his mother could see he had been spying.
Now to answer some of those questions…. he thought as he sat down at his writing table, yanking out his mother’s diary and leafed through till he got to the part where he left off last.
“Last night, oh, how could I begin to describe it? It was the most magnificent night of my life. I shall not forget the night nor the way Link loved me for the rest of the days I walk this earth. It was the night of my engagement to that damn prince, Dimitri. Father had thrown an extravagant ball, and I could swear, just about every noble and lady was there. There was a huge feast with the finest of foods and a marvelous dance in the ballroom afterwards. I am sure this is how just about everyone who was there described it as. But that is not why it was wonderful for me. Actually, for most of the celebration, I was miserable. I hated what the festivities stood for, and I hated the votes of good luck and such that I got form nearly every person I walked by. During the dancing, I took a breath of fresh air, and stood out on the balcony. I heard his voice before I saw him. And when I did, I was elated. I knew that he’d make the night worthwhile, because he was always the entertaining type, funny and kind. He had come dressed in waistcoat and a bunch of lace at his neck. I had never seen him dressed so nicely, though he still looked ‘roughish,’ as my father would have put it. He climbed the vines up the balcony and hopped over the fence, and we danced for a while until we became bored of the party and we left. Soon, we found ourselves in my room, me sitting on my bed, and he, stretched out on a wood chair. He looked adorable. He sang to me and soon I fell asleep in his arms. I dreamt a dream, and its meanings are still unclear to me, but when I awoke, I was in my bed, and he was sleeping next to me his arms encircling me warmly. And he told me, that he loved me. I guess it was then I realized it for sure. I loved him too. And that night, we made love until our bodies were too weak to love each other anymore. I pray I shall have him on his back like that again, because it is that way I feel I can express my feelings best.”
“Oh my dear Faore,” Owyn slowly closed the book, “I had no idea this thing was so scandalous! I guess that’s why mother never speaks of Link. Maybe when I’m older, she will. I hope she does, because I want my mother to be happy, and not to have any trouble. She doesn’t deserve that.”
“I told you to keep your nose out of your mother’s life!” Strife snapped as she pecked Owyn sharply on the foot.
“Shut up Strife!” Owyn put the book down, “So he was her lover, huh?”
“Yeah,” Strife whispered, “And that’s as far as you’ll learn, Owyn.”
Zelda closed the door of her room with a heavy sigh. She was quite worried about Karmi. But the ailing child had been correct about one thing, that Link would know how to save her. Zelda believed it with all her heart.
She stood before her full-length mirror and began to slowly undress, contemplating Karmi’s health all the while as well as the other events of the day. As she pulled the dark green velvet off of her shoulders, she noticed something in her mirror. The bodice of the dress fell from her hands and the garment hung from her waist, as she looked deeper into the mirror. Beyond her own refection, was that of the huge bed. And lying in the bed was the form of a person. Zelda turned around, and sure enough, he was really there. She let the dress fall completely off her, and she slowly made her way to the bedside. The sleeping form was none other then Link who rested on his side, his head cradled in one arm. His hand was curled slightly, resting on the pillow and his other arm fell lazily over his side. One of his soft white feathered wings was draped over his body, the other trailing out behind him over the rest of the bed. He was naked, the sheets thrown over his beautiful body, although they didn’t cover much, and left most of him exposed.
“Hello there, cutie,” she murmured as she sat down, tracing his muscled arm. She leaned over and kissed his neck, and he stirred slightly under her lips. As she sat back up, his eyes fluttered open, and he smiled up at her.
“How is she?” he murmured as he rolled onto his back, the sheets falling completely off his divine body, reveling all of him at last. She had almost forgotten just how beautiful he truly was. After all these years, her eyes were finally able to gaze upon his glorious body.
“She says she feels the same, but I think she looks even worse. She’s lost all her coloring. It’s almost like she were Death,” Zelda said sadly as she lay down on his hard muscular chest.
He pulled her down next to him on the bed, “Remember, the Vampire is like Death. He brings it with ease.”
“Yeah,” she sighed as she looped her arms around his torso.
“But, princess,” he went on.
“Hmm? What is it baby,” she said, her mind finding serenity.
“I want you to try not to think about it right now,” he said softly, “Tonight I want you to only think of me.”
“Naughty boy,” she crawled on top of him, “That’s what you’re after, huh? Well I suppose if that’s what makes you happy, we’ll just have to abide by your wish.”
“Shhh, darling,” he touched her lips to silence her, “That’s better.”
She held his fingers on her mouth, pressing them against her lips, kissing the tips gently, “You know, it’s hard to imagine that these hands that are loving me now, are the very same that destroyed Ganondorf, and are the very same that shall smite the Evils roaming Hyrule now.”
He said nothing, but let his mouth crack into a pleased smile, and allowed her to love his hands more. She kissed his palms and then let her tongue fly between each of his fingers, taking each one into her mouth and sucking each one with gentle love.
“God, how I missed having you like this,” he purred as she slowly laid his hand back on the pillow and then take the other, loving it as she had the first, “I’d watch you every night and I’d have to restrain myself from waking you so I could have you once more.”
She laced her own fingers through his when she was done kissing his hand and pinned it down to the bed, letting her lips find his and whispered before she laid a passionate kiss upon his mouth, “Did you, now? But you at least crawled into bed with me and slept here, did you not?”
“Uh huh,” he admitted, “But I would always wish I could do more then simply sleep at your side. I wanted to kiss you and love you… but I couldn’t. The Three Goddesses forbade it until I would come to seek revenge for my death. I had tow wait seven long years for it, and now…” he trailed off and pulled her closer to him.
“Yes… now?” she urged him to continue.
“Now I have returned to avenge all those dear to me, though tonight… I shall not let my mind worry about anyone but you,” he smiled devilishly.
“Is that so, Hero?”
“Yes, ‘tis so,” he closed his eyes, savoring the feeling of being with his love once again, “Now I can love you with the body of a god.”
“You always had a godly body, Link,” she grinned at him, her smile just as devilish as his.
He let his fingers creep around her, and he pinned her down against him, holding her as close as he could get her and whispered lovingly into her ears.
“Mmmm, now that I am here, let me have you,” he said.
“Do your worst, love,” she replied in a teasing voice.
“Oh, I shall. You can be assured of that,” and as he said those words, he rolled her on her back and pinned her at the shoulders, just as he had done so long ago, the first time they had made love.
They kissed again and again, rolling all over the bed, becoming entwined with the sheets. Link wrapped his soft wings around them both, and pressed her against him with his powerful strength. Pretty soon, Link and his princess found themselves exchanging their most intimate love with each other. Throughout the night, they groaned, crying out each other’s names into the cool night, until the day broke.
Dimitri closed the door to Karmi’s room behind him. It was midnight, and the castle had fallen asleep. It was during these hours of darkness that Dimitri felt most alive. He roamed through the palace during the dead of the night, feasting on whatever he had missed during the day. As he gazed upon Karmi’s pale and weak body spread out on the bed, he licked his lips. He would have her again, and she wouldn’t live for long. Soon she would take her place among the others who had fallen victim to his nightly visits.
Over the years, there had been a great deal of mysterious deaths in the kingdom. Corpses with slashed throats turned up all over the kingdom with no trace of any killer. And now, he would soon have completed yet another murder, “I think it is amusing to see the way that damn Zelda frets over her like this. It causes much pain to her and everyone around her. I hope they are all miserable.”
“A delicious meal,” he sighed as he approached the bed. He sat on the mattress and ran his cold white fingers through Karmi’s violet locks. He smiled, baring his shinning dagger-like fangs between deep red lips. Leaning over her, he brushed her hair from her neck, and then pressed his sharp canines against her snowy flesh. Sinking into her, he found himself enjoying the taste of her warm blood. When he had taken his fill, he drew back, pulling her hair back over her neck to cover the two tiny wounds on her neck. He smiled as he chuckled to himself, “Yet another worthless soul soon to be under my command.”
He continued to chuckle as he raised his wrist to his mouth. Then with one swift movement, he slashed his flesh open with his sharp fangs. The blood poured out over his palm in hot rivulets of crimson as he raised Karmi up into a sitting position. “Drink,” he hissed as he shoved his wrist to her lips.
Barely awake, Karmi’s mouth sought the blood. She latched her hands onto his arm and pressed the wound against her lips, her tongue lapping back up the blood that had moments ago flowed through her own body. Dimitri had a cold smile as she drank the tainted blood greedily.
He wrenched his hand away. Karmi reached out for it, trying in vain to take more blood from him. He smiled, “Not yet, fledgling. When you rise again, you shall drink again. Enjoy your last night alive. By tomorrow, you’ll have died.”
Zelda awoke the next morning, kissed Link’s brow as he slept on, and crawled out of bed. She threw on a dressing gown and went to ready herself for the day in her bathroom. She hadn’t wished to disturb Link as he slumbered. He looked so innocent and beautiful sleeping there, surrounded by pillows and blankets. His body sank a bit into the mattress, as did his head into the huge pillow he rested it on. He was the very portrait of a lover. In all her years of romantic dreaming, Zelda had never hoped for a lover as magnificent as he.
She averted her eyes from him at last and continued to dress. Just as she was tightening her girdle, the door opened, and she froze. Listening, she heard light quick footsteps, and she knew that the intruder was Owyn. He’ll see Link!
Zelda crept to the door, which was ajar, and peered through into the bedroom. Sure enough, Owyn, who had apparently just noticed Link, was making his way to the bedside, Strife sitting on his head. The boy ran his fingers along Link’s wings, which rose and fells lightly with his every breath. She just heard him mutter, “An angel… Is this… him?
“Is this why you’re here? To see this guy? How’d ya know he was even here?”
“I… um… didn’t,” Owyn muttered.
“Sure,” Strife tossed her head sarcastically.
“Mother?” Owyn hissed quietly into the empty room as he slid off the bed, shaking his head so Strife would get off. Zelda was wrestling greatly with herself as to whether to reveal herself or not.
Hearing no one, Owyn took out the diary he had stolen from his mother and cracked it open. Reading to himself for a moment, and then looking up, he made his way out to the balcony. From there, he had a open view of all of Hyrule as the sun rose and poured his strong powerful rays over the land, slowly rousing its inhabitants. Unstrapping his harp, he slowly began to pluck the strings, and the sound of Zelda’s Lullaby floated to the princess’ ears.
“Didn’t work,” Owyn whispered loudly to Strife.
“The hell are you doing now?” Strife snapped back.
“I read in mom’s diary that she’d speak with the spirits from here by playing the melody her nursemaid Impa played for her. That’s why she taught it to the hero Link, so he could summon their power when he needed their help.”
“That tune was a secret song of friendship between those two. No one else could play it,” her eyes wandered to Link’s sleeping body, “Impa taught it to Link and no other under Zelda’s order.”
“Who?” Owyn had to know.
Strife ignored the question and went on, “Owyn, the song isn’t going to get the spirits to talk right our loud to you. You have to listen carefully for them, when your mind is clear. Only one with a pure heart can hear them anyway. I don’t know if you fall in that category.”
“Shut up,” Owyn retorted.
Zelda chose then to make her appearance, “Ahem.”
Just as she did so, Link roused and sat up. He shook his head, his golden locks tumbling about, and said in a sleepy seductive voice, “Good morning love. Sleep well?”
Zelda shot him a stare that told him to keep quiet. Then she turned her attention to Owyn again, “The hell are you doing in my room!? And why the hell do you have my diary!? You had better have a pretty damn good excuse boy,” she was very angry.
“I… oh boy,” Owyn looked crestfallen. Strife squawked triumphantly now that Owyn was in trouble and Link still looked half asleep and confused.
“That’s right boy, you had better worry,” Zelda stomped right up to him and snatched the little book from his hands, “How the hell far did you read?”
“Dunno,” Owyn said with a shrug, looking beyond Zelda to the angel on the bed. He had decided to deny knowing anything at all.
“Like hell you do,” she muttered angrily as she leafed through the book, “Now I will ask you calmly. What did you read, and why did you take this without asking me?”
“I took it ‘cause I knew if I asked you, you’d say no,” he put his hands on his hips, “And I read enough to know that you…” he couldn’t continue. He couldn’t accuse his mother like that. He just couldn’t bring himself to do so.
“That I what?” she snapped. Zelda was having trouble calming down. He might have learned all her secrets. Everything she hadn’t wanted him to know for years yet. He might he even know the true essence of Link.
“I… I just don’t want you to be unhappy, Mother,” he said, tracing the floor with his toe.
“Nor do I wish for you to be, but it bothers me that you would lie like that and steal something of mine just because you knew I wouldn’t let you see it. Did it ever occur to you that I might have a reason for not letting you do something?”
“I… I never thought of it like that,” then he suddenly thought of something, “Well, if that is the case, then Grandfather must have had reasons for keeping you away from certain people.”
“He had no reason. Perhaps in his mind, it seemed like the right thing to do, but not for me was it right. It wasn’t right of him to keep me from my friends, who were all good people. They just didn’t rank in the social status, so he did not approve of them.”
“So that’s his reason!” Owyn retorted.
“But it was a stupid one. My reasons for keeping you out of my past are just and complicated,” she glowered at him, “If you dare to deceive me again, there will be consequences. Owyn, I want the best for you, and the path you are taking is a dishonest one. A King cannot have such qualities.”
“But I don’t wanna be the King!!! Don’t you understand, Mother?”
“Do I look like I want to be Queen? It’s because of this wretched life I lost all that was dear to me,” she sent a quick glance at Link, who was leaning on one arm, listening intently with amusement, “But I am Queen because I have to be. Besides, I see it as a way to shape this kingdom into a great place…. Well, I did….”
“What do you…?” Owyn didn’t even have time to say his entire question, for Zelda cut him off right away and snapped, “None of your business! Go run along! I have things to do.”
“Like sleeping with angels,” Owyn muttered on his way out the door. From the whole incident, Owyn had managed to learn one thing
When he was gone, Zelda turned around to face Link. He smiled at her and motioned to her that he wished for her to sit with him, “Come here Zelda. Let’s talk.”
She sat, her eyes on him the entire time. His eyes were pools of deep sapphire blue and obsidian black, shinning with compassion. He lay back into the large array of pillows and took her hand, pulling her into the plush down with him.
“Zelda? Aren’t you going to tell him?” he whispered.
“I don’t think he’s ready yet,” she whispered back, her voice soft and romantic again. There was something about the ay Link looked at her that drained her soul of all her anger and anxieties.
He nodded, “I understand. Yes, I suppose you are correct about that.”
She could only smile at him, this beautiful young god laying before her in all his glory.
“He reminds me of you, Zelda,” he said in his soft seducing voice after a moment of silence.
“He… does?” she said with a bit of surprise.
“Of course! Can’t you see it? He has that fiery passion and strength about him.”
“I would always think of you…. He’s like an embodiment of you. Carefree and childish,” she said with a soft chuckle.
“Well, he is after all, our son,” he said with a smile as he crept on top of her, “Isn’t that right?”
She giggled with a mischievous smile, “Yeah.”
“Ever made love first thing in the morning?” he asked as he unlaced her dressing gown, his delicate wings quivering with anticipation.
“Never,” she said with that same smile, full of waywardness.
“Today’s your lucky day then,” he whispered in his enticing voice.
She wrapped her arms around his muscled body, “Is it now?”
“Uh huh,” he muttered back, “God, I missed you.”
And with that said, she pulled him away from the crisp morning air, under the covers, warm from their bodies, and made love to him once again, and wishing that she could live in this sweet bliss with her love forever, void of evil and interruptions.
Owyn flopped on the plush, supple cushions of rosewood-framed loveseat that sat beneath a huge arched window in the hall. Strife perched on the bench’s smoothly arched back, clicking her beak and stretching her wings out and then folding them again, over and over.
“Yeah?” the bird paused, her wings spread akimbo.
“What do you think mother and the angel are talking about now?” Owyn folded his arms behind his head and swung his legs over one of the padded arms of the loveseat.
“Whatever it is, it’s none of your business,” Strife snapped back, perhaps a bit to haughtily for her own good.
“Do think they might be having sex?” Owyn played with a tassel on a pillow there to distract him form gazing into Strife’s eyes. He didn’t have to see. He knew she was appalled at the question.
He was correct in thinking so as she squawked at him with a flourish of blue and cream feathers, “Well I never thought you were so sick!!! Is it my right to know or even care?”
“Well I was just wondering ‘cause he-”
“Look, Owyn, I don’t even want to know what thought process you endeavored to come up with such a question,” she turned her head away, “So drop it, alright? I refuse to say anything more.”
“’Cause you wanna know what I think?”
“Well I’ll tell you anyway,” Owyn sat up, combed his fingers through his thick blond hair and then went on to say, “After reading as much of Mother’s diary as I did, I’ve come to understand that Link was Mother’s lover a long, long time ago. Am I right, Strife?”
She let out a sigh, “You always were a clever boy, Owyn. Yes, it’s true. Your mother did indeed have an affair with the Hero. But between you, me and all of Zelda’s personal friends, Link is a far better man then that Dimitri man shall ever be.”
“Ah, now,” Owyn rubbed his hands together maniacally as he stood and paced back and forth before the bench, “So if you don’t like him, it’s pretty damn-”
“Don’t swear Owyn.”
“Damn obvious,” he swore again just to bother his companion, “that Mother isn’t fond of my Father either. Then, I am correct in thinking that Mother is married to my father because of some agreement formed by Grandfather?”
“Yes,” Strife sighed. She shifted her weight form foot to foot, as though she were growing impatient with the young prince, “What’s your point?”
“The point is this: That angel is the one who visited me a few weeks ago, for what reason, we dunno, BUT…” he trailed off after his big ‘but.’
“Uh huh,” Strife had her head in such a way that said sarcastically that she wished for him to go on, her eyes widened as far as bird could widen them.
“But the angel never came back, like he said he would. Maybe this was his idea of returning….” Owyn grabbed the sides of his head and tugged his hair, stopping in the middle of his pacing, “Oh I dunno what the heck I’m saying!”
“No, I am curious to hear your thoughts. What are you implying about the angel.”
“Okay, okay,” Owyn spat the whole idea out almost to quickly for Strife to understand, “I think that that guy in there is the incarnation of the fallen hero Link and that he is here on unfinished business for God knows what,” he paused to suck in a breath of air, “A-a-a-a-a-and, that he’s here to see my mother and maybe destroy my father for marring her and taking her away.”
“Really now?” Strife look a bit intrigued.
“So that’s why Mother never shares a bed with Father,” Strife could see the admiration for his mother there in his big blue eyes, “Strife, don’t you see? My mother was loyal to her love for all this time.”
Strife nodded, “That is pretty much the story.”
“But then it just doesn’t make sense. Where the hell did I come from then?”
“What did I say about cursing?”
“Shut up,” he snapped, “Are you blind? Can’t you see I’m thinking?”
“The answer isn’t that hard.”
“I’ve got it!” he exclaimed suddenly, slapping his fist into the palm of his other hand, “Grandfather must have made sure that Father had gotten Mother pregnant at least once! So that means she had to sleep with him once, which means she must feel awful for having betrayed her lover, which means that-”
“Oh god, just be quiet Owyn!” Strife made more feathers fly around as she flapped her wings, “For all the deducing you’ve just done, you can’t see the obvious? “
“You just read a damn excerpt from the diary about it last night!”
“Now Strife, what were we saying about using cuss words?” Owyn chided in a provocative manner, waving a finger about in front of Strife’s beak.
“I’m old as dirt, I think I can swear here and there!” Strife nipped his fingers.
“Touchy are we?” Owyn skipped off down the hall and swung round on the column at the top of the back stairs.
Strife took off after him as he jumped down steps to the kitchen below, squawking playfully as he led her all over the castle grounds in pursuit, the conversation about Link forgotten.
Owyn sat with his friends Gabriel and Avery on the roof of The Dragon’s Chalice. They had climbed up by means of a water-draining pipe that ran up by the attic window of Link’s old room. The slate shingles of the stucco tavern were warm from the sun, which danced across the sky in with fiery fanfare. Owyn played his harp as Avery and her brother sat at his side, listening to the delicate strains echo across the busy city.
“Look, look, here comes another!” Avery said excitedly as she pointed down to a young man strolling down the road below. He wore a short white tunic and had shining golden hair.
“My turn then!” Owyn stopped playing and crept as far as he dared to the edge of the slanted roof. He carefully shimmied down the drainpipe and sat on the windowsill where a pail of water sat. As the man passed below the window, Owyn dumped the bucket of icy water over the sill, dousing the man completely.
“Score!” he heard Gabriel shout with glee as the water nailed the target.
Avery giggled, “Now you gotta go fill the bucket again, Owyn!”
“I know, I know,” Owyn called back up with a smile. He slid off the windowsill and into the room, the pail in his clutches. He ran down the stairs, to the bar where Arutho stood, serving customers.
“Hello there Owyn,” Arutho greeted, “Staying out of trouble?”
“Of course!” Owyn smiled back at him, “More water?”
“More? What are you kids doing up there? Sure you’re staying out of trouble?”
“Positive. Would we ever do anything wrong?”
“ Yeah, knowing you three. I reckon you would,” Arutho took the bucket. Just as he was about to fill it up, the door swung open, and the wet man from Owyn’s joke stood in the door, shivering. A few stifled laughs came form the customers as he strode in, right up to the bar.
“Where’s the kid who got me wet?” he said to Arutho. Arutho was taken aback, and glared at Owyn.
“Um, here?” Owyn squeaked.
“So you’re the one?” the man suddenly smiled, “A fine joke indeed. I asked your friends on the roof which of them did it, but they told me you had gone back inside for more, ‘supplies,’ they called it.”
“Oh,” Owyn looked up at the man. He looked vaguely familiar, “So you aren’t angry?”
“At a fine trick such as that?” he asked, “No! I would do the same thing!”
“You’re an adult,” Owyn said sarcastically, “Adults dunno how to have fun.”
“In your eyes I am an adult, but at heart, I never grew up,” he said as he placed his fingers over his heart.
Owyn laughed. He liked this man, “What’s your name? I think I’ve seen you before.”
“Me? Call me….” He hesitated, and then said finally, “…Pan”
“Pan, huh?” Owyn stuck out his hand, “Okay then, Pan! I’m Owyn! Nice t’meet you!”
Pan nodded in acknowledgment. Arutho was staring at Pan strangely. He couldn’t help but think he had seen this man somewhere else before as well.
“Come this way!” Owyn took the pail and dashed up the stairs, “You needa meet Gabriel and Avery!”
Pan followed him up the stairs and to the attic. Owyn set the pail down on the windowsill and then climbed up the drainpipe. Pan followed with ease.
“Have you done this before? You’re good at climbing,” Owyn said as he scuttled onto the roof.
“Just really liked to climb trees when I was young,” Pan muttered. What Owyn hadn’t realized was that the so-called Pan was actually a seraph pretending to be a regular person. And Owyn had no idea that climbing onto the roof this way was something that he had done before years ago.
“Who’s that?” Gabriel asked as Pan swung gracefully onto the roof.
“The one we drenched,” Owyn said with a smile as he struck up his harp again. He was playing Zelda’s Lullaby once more.
“O-o-oh, it was an accident,” Avery said with an innocent smile as she tossed her red streaked hair.
“No, no, it’s fine,” the stranger said as he reclined on the warm shingles of the roof.
They all sat in silence for a while, the only sound being Owyn’s harp and the hustle and bustle in the city before them, birds screeching all the while.
“This kingdom is beautiful,” Pan remarked after a while.
“Yeah,” Gabriel sighed, “Too bad I’ll never see it all. It’s way too big and Mother’d never let me become a knight. I always wanted to roam about and see this place.”
“I have seen most of it,” Pan replied, “It is truly grand.”
“Really? What’s it like out of the city?” Avery asked.
“Well, there are rolling hills, lush green grass and tall strong Hylian elms. Rivers with the iciest clearest, most crystalline waters in the entire world and many, many towns. When I was younger, a boy of about, you’re age perhaps, and well into my manhood, I explored this kingdom and watched it grow.”
“Wow,” the three children chorused, not quite sure how to imagine a place so big and wonderful so close by.
Pan then pulled out a shinning instrument, an ocarina, and began to play with Owyn. Its tones were clear and whimsical; Pan played the thing with immense skill.
“That’s a funny looking flute,” Gabriel said as he crouched by Pan to get a good look at the ocarina.
Pan stopped playing, “It looks a lot like a flute, doesn’t it? But, it’s not a flute. It’s called an ocarina.”
“Well, I like it,” Owyn said, he too taking a break from his instrument, “My mother loves the ocarina. She once told me that she had a friend who could play one really well.”
“Really?” Pan said, his eyebrows raised, “What was his name?”
“She never said. But I think he was called Link or something like that,” Owyn didn’t notice the look of amused surprise on Pan’s face.
“The hero Link?” Pan asked.
“Well, yeah,” Owyn nodded.
“Oh, so you found out about him?” Gabriel inquired.
“See, Pan, he used to live here and Owyn was curious. He found out from his mother,” Avery said with a smile.
“Yeah, sort of,” Owyn balled his hands together.
“Link, huh. Your mother was friends with him?” Pan chuckled, “Is your mother the queen or something? ‘Cause while I was traveling in a town near here, I heard a rumor that their relationship progressed rather… ah… intimately even after their adventures.”
“Oh a love story!” Avery said happily, “I adore stories like that! And about your very own mother Owyn! Wouldn’t it be neat to hear that story? Please tell us Pan.”
“Well I don’t know much about it,” Pan lied. Of course he knew plenty about it, but in respect to what Zelda wanted for Owyn, he said nothing of his true relationship with the queen.
“Oh,” Avery looked crestfallen.
“Then at least tell us about Link. I wanna hear a good adventure story!” Gabriel said suddenly, “Was he a knight? Did he fight pirates and monsters?”
“Yeah!” Owyn said with a shout of glee, “I wanna hear about knights and pirates!”
“Oh god no,” Avery buried her head in her lap, “I wanna hear about the queen.”
Pan laughed, “There are too many stories to tell! Perhaps another time. I have to leave anyway.”
“You are leaving?”
“There is somewhere I have to be,” Pan looked down, “A friend is dying. I want to be near her if she leaves us. I don’t want her to be alone. Thank you for your kindness. These few minutes were nice. We should get together and play our instruments again? It was a lovely session. Good conversation too!”
“I understand,” Owyn said, putting a hand on Pan’s shoulder, “I also have a friend who is fatefully sick. Not even our best physician can even figure out what is wrong with her, and it hurts him, because he loves her. More then she’ll ever know. So I empathize with you. If you must go on to be with your dying friend, then go to her.”
Pan smiled, “You are wise beyond your years, Owyn. I thank you for your friendship.”
Then he rose, and leapt off the roof. Avery screamed, thinking he had hurled himself to his death. But then, rising up from the streets, a figure wearing a long white robe flew up into the clear blue sky on huge powerful white wings. Feathers fell down onto the roof among the three children as they watched him fly away.
“Pan?” Gabriel placed a hand over his eyes to block the sun as he looked up after the figure, “All this time he was... an angel?”
After a moment of silence, Owyn screamed up at the diminishing figure, waving his arms, “Goodbye Link! We’ll meet again!”
“Yeah, that was Link,” Owyn looked at his friends, “My mother’s lover.”
Karmi rolled over in her bed, coughing weakly. Kossin sat on a wooden stool by her bed, her cold hand clasped in his. Her illness was driving him mad, knowing there was nothing he could do to heal her. His grief was blocking his sense of logic and reason, and he was unable to think properly to deduce the problem. If he had been thinking clearly, he would probably been able to figure out what demonic poison ran through the veins of the only girl he had ever loved.
Karmi coughed and then she began to whisper in her sleep, Kossin strained to hear her faint sighs, “Kossin? Is that you?”
“Yes, yes, it’s me dear,” Kossin rubbed his other hand over her cool flesh.
“I think I…” she coughed, “I think I’m gonna die.”
“No, don’t say…” he began to say.
“Hmm, death… I greet it with arms wide open,” she seemed to smile faintly.
“…Don’t say that,” Kossin finished his sentence.
“Huh, will you still be able to save my pitiful soul?” her voice grew weaker and fainter. Kossin feared she might leave him soon. Tears began to well in his eyes.
“Your soul is beautiful,” he murmured, “It needs to prayer of salvation.”
“No, you don’t understand,” she sucked in a huge breath of air, her tiny body straining at this exhausting task, “My heart has been touched by the devil. He has left an evil scar of hatred upon my breast. Oh, I have no hope for peace. I shall become a creature of Hell. Never again shall I breath the clean air of dawn, or feel the tingle of the stars on my back. Never. That devil has consumed my life. I shall become a slave of his dark power very soon…”
“Karmi, where did you hear stories of such ghastly horror?” Kossin had become very tense and his brow was dripping of sweat.
“That Vampire told me as he robbed me of life,” she reached for the scarf around her neck, and untied it slowly. As the yellow cloth fell away, Kossin gasped at the sight he beheld. On her long white fluid neck, were two dark punctures, swelled up and bruised.
“Oh…dear sweet Nayru….” Kossin couldn’t believe it; he ran his fingers delicately over the putrid scars. But now he knew for sure the true horror of the monster that lurked in the dark corridors of the north wing of the castle. Dimitri was a Vampire for sure, and Kossin couldn’t wait to tell Zelda. But first, he had to fulfill a promise he had made to Karmi: A promise to save her soul. And he refused to leave her side until that promise had been kept.
“Kossin?” she breathed.
“Yes, what is it, Karmi?” he whispered back.
“I think that I…” she reached up to his face, and then trailed off, “Goodbye, Kossin.”
“What are you saying? Don’t leave me!” the tears couldn’t be held back anymore, and he cried freely as he held Karmi up in a sitting position, shaking her, “No, no, you can’t go!”
She smiled at him one last time, whispering the words, ‘I love you. Thank you.’ Then her beautiful aqua eyes rolled back into her skull, and her chest stopped rising and falling with the gift of breath. Kossin touched her face, not daring to believe she was truly gone. Her hand, limb with the burden of death, fell dumbly to her side. Kossin had to accept it now, and he pulled her close to his body, crying. Then he closed her eyes for the last time, never to open again and laid her on her final bed.
He rose from the stool, and looked at her, and then blew out the candle on the little bedside table before leaving and locking the door behind him, the stain of his tears on the linins of the tiny bedroom.
“Zelda, Zelda!” Safter burst into the kitchen where Zelda sat at the long table, taking lunch.
“Yes? What is it Safter?” Zelda looked up from her steaming meal of quail and pork.
“You’ll never… I mean, Kossin, he’s…” Safter was frantic, and since he was spitting out his words so fast, Zelda had trouble understanding what he was trying to tell her. When she had calmed him, and gotten him to sit with her at the table, she looked into his eyes, which she realized were filled with tears as she asked him in a soothing voice, “What? What happened to Kossin?”
“An hour or so ago, I felt this… this twang in my heart, and I knew right away that something had happened to my brother. And when I found him, he was in his room, on the ground, broken and weeping, his arms clamped around a pillow. I sat with him and asked him what was wrong. You’ll never believe it… Karmi… she… she just died.”
Zelda dropped her fork, her mouth wide open, “What?”
Safter nodded, “And, before she died, Kossin discovered for sure that it had been a Vampire, Dimitri of course, that had poisoned her. We have to destroy that devil before he kills us all!”
“I know, I know,” Zelda put her elbows on the table, her head in her hands, “I thought we had more time then that though. Oh, Link will have to work quicker if he hopes to save us all! I just hope that he’ll have enough time…”
“He is a hero and a god. He will win, I know that.”
“How can you be positive? Even an angel can die.”
“Yes, yes, but Kossin was reading the stars the other day. He predicted Link would win, though the details are shaky. The boy will be involved, that is for sure.”
“Owyn? Will he be hurt?”
“I have no idea. Kossin was just looking for comfort in the heavens, and he saw that prophecy among the stars. It is fate, though the Gods do not want to know exactly what is to come yet. No one should know his or her future until it becomes the present, of course. You know that.”
Zelda could only nod. She was too busy thinking of Link. Where is he? He has been gone all day!
“Then again, the future is never determined by a throw of the dice, but by the choices made by you and I today. That is what really chooses the outcome of a journey,” Safter was less tense now, his body in a more relaxed position.
Zelda nodded once more, her mind still elsewhere, only taking in about half of what Safter was saying.
“Oh, sorry,” she snapped out of her fantasy.
They sat in silence for a few minutes, Zelda quietly picking at her now cold meal, and Safter idly whistling a marching tune he had learned when he was a squire. Zelda was lost in thought, when she felt a soft caress on her arm. She turned, and seeing nothing, she looked at the empty space next to her on the bench. There lay a lone feather. It was long and of the most pure white. Zelda knew it to be one of the feathers from Link’s elegant wings. Before she knew it, he was sitting beside her on the bench, smiling at her. She could not meet his smile though, and she looked down at her feet.
“What… is it Zelda?” he asked curiously.
“Karmi died today,” Zelda whispered quietly. She could feel the tears in her eyes now.
“She what? She is really… gone?” Link frowned, “This is not a good turn of events. She was killed by Him, correct?”
Safter nodded assent.
“Ah, well, then her fate is grave. She will rise again. She will do the same evil that wretched Vampire does. We will have to save her.”
“The rite will have to be preformed after she is buried, by the one who loved her best.”
“One of these next few nights?”
“You’ll protect my brother?”
“Then I believe in you. We all do. Save us Link. You are our only Hope.”
The next day, the heavens ripped open and let loose a torrent of hard rain upon the earth. Lightning cracked across the sky and thunder boomed through the mountains of Hyrule. Most people were inside except for a few people who were running urgent daily errands in town.
There was another small group out in this horrid weather. In the corner of a local graveyard, an open tomb lay with a mahogany coffin inlaid with silver before it, and a cluster of mourners under a shelter of umbrellas around it. They consisted of Princess Zelda, who wore a black gown with a tall stiff collar and a low cut revealing a fair amount of her cleavage. Her hair was kept dry by one of Link’s outstretched wings. He wore his usual white robes, but he managed to carry a black rose in his hand as a symbol of his mourning. Kossin and Safter stood together beneath a huge black and white umbrella belonging to Kossin. Kossin wore a pair of black pants for a change and Safter, who wore black usually, kept his regular garb on for the funeral. A few other servants were present, but no Dimitri. Zelda had coolly asked him if he wanted to attend, but he rudely brushed her off saying he had more important things to do than attend servant girl funerals.
Owyn clutched to Zelda’s hip, his face buried in her black skirts and petticoats. He was partially kept dry from Link’s wing. He had grown used to seeing him around, but he hadn’t revealed to his mother that he knew whom the angel was, nor had he confirmed with Link himself that he knew the true identity of the divine being. Strife’s head poked out from beneath Zelda’s skirt, barely noticeable.
The monk, who was conducting the funeral rites, was saying the final chants as four other monks lowered the casket into the earth’s open arms. Beneath the ground, was a tomb of granite. The headstone was dedicated to the servants of the Royal Family, from soldier to serving girl. The soft thud from the coffin as it his the stone floor signaled that it had finished it’s decent to it’s final resting place. A monk lowered himself down on a rope to push the coffin up next to others that had come down before it. Then, when the monk had returned to the land of the living, they closed the tomb, and the mourners returned home.
Link sat on an oak bench that sat inside a large wooden gazebo in the royal gardens. The rain drummed loudly on the roof of the place. Beds of vividly colored flowers, their shades even more brilliant in the wetness outside, grew in tangled bunches all around him, vines creeping up and around the delicate gingerbread framework of the domed building. His elbows rested on his thighs, his hands dangling between his legs.
He let out a sigh, “What do we do now?” he said to a little brown wren that perched on the rail, seeking refuge from the rain. The wren simply chirruped and ruffled its feathers. Link smiled and held out his hand. The wren fluttered off the banister and onto Link’s finger.
A beautiful voice, like the wren’s light gentle little tones, wafted over the garden and to Link’s pierced elfin ears. He sat up, erect, his sudden movement scaring the bird into a terrified flight to the safety of the eves of the gazebo. Link looked over his shoulder, and standing amongst the rosebushes, was his princess, still wearing her black petticoats from the funeral, “I have no idea. All I have is regret,” the rain drenched her, her long wet tresses of golden hair becoming slightly wavier in the moisture. The water had soaked her to the bone, and he could see every detail and curve of her body underneath the dress.
“Here,” he patted the spot on the bench beside him, “Sit here, darling. Let’s talk, okay?”
She just walked over to him without a word. She looked at the spot on the bench, and then just as she was about to sit down, she changed her mind, and swung up onto his lap, winding her arms around his neck. Link buried his face between her jaw and her shoulder, her wet hair sticking to his cheek.
“Even I couldn’t save her. Now we must cause Kossin even more pain by burdening him with the task of killing the evil spirit in her body,” Link whispered against her neck. Her flesh had become hot and moist from his own body heat.
“It’s not your fault. Don’t hurt yourself by saying that it was. There was nothing you could do,” she whispered back, her lips grazing his shoulder, bare because his robes has slid from his wet body in the rain.
“I wasn’t there for her. I didn’t soothe her,” he protested. Zelda felt a warm drop on her neck as he spoke, and she realized that it wasn’t the rain she felt, but his tears.
“Kossin did,” she consoled her lover, “Kossin was there to hold her hand. Just like you were there to hold mine.”
“No I wasn’t. I couldn’t protect you. I couldn’t protect any of you. Not a single one,” he wept bitterly now.
“That is not true,” she tightened her grip around his neck, his wings flexing slightly as she did, “You were always there. You always were at my side, if not in body, then in spirit. Link, you saved us all many a time before. You can do it just this once more.”
“I can if you believe in me,” he whispered, “I need the strength of your dreams and your courage, your wisdom… your… love. Zelda, I can’t do it alone I need you to be able to fulfill my quest.”
She chuckled quietly, “Now that’s a first. Mr. Ego has finally broken down, saying he needs the love of a measly rotten queen to help him be a hero again.”
“I always did. When I was at my wits end, every time, I’d think of you, and remember that you said you believed in me. And then I could go on. Without you, I was nothing.”
“Liar,” she choked out, her throat clogged with emotion, “You had no idea when Hyrule was saved, they praised me. They looked up to me as their savior. Oh Link, it must have been cold there, standing in my shadow, never having the warmth of their sunlit faces on your back. Very few knew it was you who came to our rescue so many times. That first time, you were just, there, and without a question, you risked your life for us. And then, your did so again, and again, and so our legend unfolds.”
“I was contented to let you shine. You are so much better then me. You deserve so much more. I can’t give you any of what you deserve. How is it you see anything in me?”
“You are simple and pure. That is just so beautiful. The goddesses favor you and so do I. Link, you are a god. I love you,” she kissed his neck, “I believe in you. Mmm, do you believe in me sweetheart?”
“Of course,” he pulled away from her neck and pressed his lips harshly against her mouth. He wasn’t trying to be cruel; he was just so full of lust and determination to show her that he adored her. Link’s lips had become hot and swollen against hers, and he kissed her again and again, wanting more kisses, perhaps even more then simply kisses. He began to kiss her neck, and her shoulder, all the while whispering, “Believe this, and this, and this.”
“Oh god, how could I have doubted you? With kisses like yours… darling, you are my best believer.”
“’Course I am,” he murmured against her wet skin.
They were to busy indulging in each other, whispering to each other to notice Owyn stroll down the garden path, a glass of a frosty concoction Safter had whipped up in one hand and a huge blue and gold umbrella in the other. He was about to turn the corner, when he saw his mother in the gazebo, curled up against the angel, Link. He had known they were lovers once, long ago, but still…. Still after he had died? She loved him that much that even though she was married, be it a forced marriage or not, she loved him? Owyn shook his head in denial, figuring he must be jumping to conclusions, but as he cam closer, he saw more, heard more, and realized more.
“Mother?” Owyn called. It was time to settle this once and for all. He watched his mother push Link off her, snap up straight, and look about, her beautiful blue eyes finally settling on him.
“Owyn. Come here,” she beckoned him closer. He came into the gazebo, dropping the large dripping umbrella near the steps and placing the empty cup on the rail.
“Mother, I want the truth. I am gonna sit here, and you are gonna tell me about this man. I have accepted him around. I know he was a friend, but I wanna know more. I don’t want you to have to keep secrets form me, mother. I wanna be able to tell anything to you. But if I wanna do that, you gotta be able to tell any and everything to me. Okay?” he looked at the couple almost pleadingly.
She sighed, “Alright. I suppose you’ll find out one day. Might as well be this one.”
“Right, let’s hear the tale,” Owyn cuddled up in Zelda’s lap.
“Oh, here it goes,” she began, and with those words, told her son the tale of her younger days. How she and Link had fallen in love and the nights they shared. About things that happened with her father and Dimitri. She told of Link’s death and finally, she told of Link’s son…. Her son…. A boy called Owyn.
“You mean that… Father isn’t my… father?” Owyn clutched Zelda’s dress, “Are you saying that I am the son of… this man? Of Link?”
Link nodded with a smile, “You’re my boy.”
“So that is why, when you would tell me stories of the hero Link who delivered Hyrule from evil, you refused to go much into your emotions about it all. Why you never said much about Link himself. Because he was my father? Mother, you lied to me! Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Yes, but don’t be angry at your mother,” Link put a hand on Owyn’s shoulder, “She didn’t want you to suffer. You seemed so happy just living the life you had. Now, Owyn, do you accept your origins? Are you ready to accept your destiny?”
“Yes, but wait,” Owyn looked intently at Link, “I see why Mother loved you. You are noble. I can feel it. And Fath—I mean, the King, killed you Link?”
“So you want revenge and your family,” Owyn concluded.
“Of course,” Link said, “We must stop Dimitri before he really begins! I know there are some he has killed and they we cannot save. But we will at least save Karmi! It isn’t too late for her.”
“Oh,” an excited smile danced across Owyn’s face, “Then I shall help you! You are brave, and I want to brave with you. I really admire you for your honor and courage, Link.”
And then Owyn flung his arms around his father, not believing that he was finally with his family at last, and they were all at peace.
Moonlight from the large moon streamed into the huge round window of Kossin’s study. The thick textured glass and intricate panes of the window made some strange patterns on the floor. A tree creaked in the harsh wind just outside. Kossin sat in his chair, collapsed over his desk in exhaustion. He snored lightly, his face almost completely buried in books and papers. His quill lay just out of reach form his ink- covered fingers. And if you looked hard enough, you could see that he had cried himself to sleep, for tearstains blanketed his scrolls and texts.
Link had come up to Kossin’s loft study to keep him company and to console him after the death of Karmi. After Kossin had dropped off into sleep, Link had found a large black quilt that had been stitched together and decorated with red thread. Throwing it over his body, the angel had curled up on the couch beneath the window and also fell asleep.
A thick mist had begun to seep through the keyhole in the door around midnight. Both men were deep in sleeping as the evil shadow crept across the floor toward Kossin’s desk. Slowly, it took the form of a person… a young girl. Soon the shadows had become a solid woman. She was enchanting and voluptuous. Her red eyes shone with wantonness and her ruby red lips glistened against long pearly canine teeth. The girl’s long deep purple hair hung long and wild, her dress tattered yet elegant.
She bared her cruel looking fangs and lifted herself onto the desk, laying an icy ivory white hand on Kossin’s golden neck. She traced her sharp nail over his flesh, drawing a little blood as she did so. Kossin let out a little groan and stirred in his sleep. She waited to make sure he was truly asleep and began to lower her red lips onto his neck, her cold teeth pressing against his neck.
And just as the vampire was about to drink his life fluid, there came a cry from beneath the window. Alarmed, the vampire threw herself from the sleeping man and turned quickly around. What she saw made her cringe back in fear though. Link sat up, his long white wings spread out behind him. The moonlight lit up his face and his muscular chest; the silvery beams made his wings seem to glow.
She screamed, her face twisted in a ghastly contortion.
“Stop Karmi,” Link stood, his holy body glowing with the power of the gods, “I knew you would become evil. And I knew you would try to make him your first victim. But I know that your soul does not truly wish to hurt Kossin in any way. I know because you love him, and that is why you wanted him to join the lowly ranks of the vampire so you could be with him again. Know this, oh black spirit of a friend, if you loved Kossin, or anyone else for that matter, as your pure good soul does, you will leave the people of this kingdom alone, and you shall die, and return to a peaceful rest.”
The demon snarled, “I shall never die. I will live for a thousand years more! Every wretched soul will die. My king, Dimitri, shall rule forever!”
Link shook his head, “Then if you believe that, you are truly lost. Goodbye, Karmi,” and he turned his back on her without another word. The real Karmi that was being consumed by the devil cried out in pain. She couldn’t stand to see one of her dearest comrades turn his back on her. That was her last thought, and the evil consumed her whole being.
“Leave now, and never return,” Link growled. His voice was harsh; the same voice he had used to challenge Ganondorf so many years before. As he said that, Karmi faded into a vapor, and wafted through a crack in the window. The only thing she left was a single teardrop on the carpet where she had once stood.
“I had the most horrid dream,” Kossin said over breakfast the next morning. The sun had still not yet risen, nor would it for a number of hours. However, normal crowd was up and about, sitting practically shoulder to shoulder at the kitchen table, eating breakfast. It wasn’t nearly as good as usual, for it was their first breakfast that Karmi hadn’t prepared. No one else could cook nearly as well as she did.
“What happened?” Zelda asked, curious.
“A vampire that looked like Karmi tried to kill me, but Link appeared and made the devil cower in his light,” he said as he took a second helping of ham.
“That really happened, Kossin,” Link said with a flex of his wings, “You are aware that tonight we will go to Karmi’s grave and banish that evil demon?”
“Yeah, but must we desecrate the grave? That’s a sin,” Kossin didn’t look to keen on the idea, “I want her to rest peacefully but…”
“If you love her, you’ll do it!” Safter snapped.
Kossin could only blush as he mumbled to his brother, “Well, why don’t you do it? You don’t mind breaking the law.”
“No, you must be the one to do it, or else we have done nothing more then mutilated her body, Kossin. Oh, can you not even save the girl you love?” Zelda felt so sorry for her friend. He was still having trouble accepting Karmi’s death, “The rite must be preformed by the one who loved her most. Kossin, we all know that was you.”
“I… I,” he couldn’t find the words.
“Kossin,” Owyn said through a mouthful of ham. He swallowed, washing it down with a swig of cold milk, and continued, “Please do it. If not for yourself, then for all of us. We all loved her, and we all miss her. Please do it. We can’t allow a demon that takes the shape of one of our own to plague the kingdom. That would be the sin… to let the demon live on.”
Kossin was obviously moved by Owyn’s words. He nodded and went about the rest of the meal in silent contemplation. Suddenly, the door swung open, and Dimitri sprang into the room.
“I knew it was true!” his cold red eyes laid on Link, “There is an angel lurking about. Here he is.”
“What the hell are you doing here?” Zelda snapped at her husband, “Why don’t you go crawl back beneath the rock you came from.”
“Shut your mouth, woman,” the awful creature strolled over to the table, violently shoving Zelda to the side, and grabbing Link about the neck, “What a fine animal he is. Must have been wonderful to touch him again, hmm, Zelda?”
“What are you doing to my father?” Owyn yelled at Dimitri as he threw a piece of bread at him.
“You told him, did you?” Dimitri purred into Link’s ear, squeezing tighter, “Don’t be afraid to express your pain, boy. I know I am hurting you. After all, if an angel can feel pleasure, certainly he can feel pain as well.”
“Why do you always show up out of nowhere at the worst times?” Link choked out, “You will die.”
Dimitri chuckled and applied more pressure, “Never. I have lived for thousands of years and I shall live for thousands more. You cannot win. You cannot kill me.”
Link smiled, “Nor can you kill me. So we are even then.”
“I have more power then you think. Even you, and angel, can die by my hand. And you shall.”
“Never,” he whispered back, a smile on his face, “I will never lose. Especially to you. Especially with so much at stake. Never would I dare to.”
The creature stopped, and let go of Link, “Very noble, angel. But nobility won’t be enough to save you. I shall prevail. I always do. Never have I lost, and it won’t begin now.”
“Funny,” Link turned at looked the devil in the eye with a look that made him wince a bit, “I have never lost either.”
“I will haunt your dreams and destroy your future,” Dimitri whispered as he faded into a mist and disappeared into the early hours of morning, “You all will die.”
That night, Kossin stood before the grave. In his trembling hand, he clutched a wrought iron lantern. Owyn stood next to him, a rucksack slung over his arm. It contained two spare candles, several stakes and a hammer as well as a coil of rope.
“How do we open it?” Owyn asked as Kossin knelt and set the lantern at his side. From the inside of his vest, he drew out a parchment with a rune inked upon it. The young sorcerer placed the rune on the stone slab that blocked the tomb and began to chant. The black lines of the rune began to glow an odd shade of neon blue, setting the two boys in an awkward light, and then, as the glow subsided, the rock had been moved, leaving the tomb unsealed.
“Oooh, nice,” Owyn clapped in approval. Kossin said not a word, but simply reached out for the rucksack, which Owyn gave over.
Kossin whacked a stake into the ground and tied a rope around the stake. He then climbed into the hole and slid down the rope into the grave. Owyn dropped the sack down the hole and with the lantern hanging form his wrist, he climbed down the rope too.
Inside the tomb, it was sinister and damp. Carvings of angels, faded with time, and columns covered with slim and moss decorated the dingy catacombs, and coffins lined the walls, tucked away on shelves.
“Which one belongs to her?” Kossin asked his comrade. Owyn simply shrugged.
“Maybe this one?” Owyn pointed to a coffin that looked newer then the others. It was mahogany and silver, just as Karmi’s had been. Kossin flung the coffin open, and sure enough, there lay Karmi. She looked even more beautiful in death, and Kossin could only gasp. But her beauty was tainted by the smear of blood around her mouth. It glistened in the lamplight, and Owyn couldn’t bear to look at the woman who had helped raise him like that.
“Give me the damn hammer,” Kossin held out his hand, not taking his eyes once from Karmi’s sleeping body. Owyn handed the hammer and a stake over without a word. He could see the fire of determination dancing in Kossin’s eyes.
“Why must you do this?” Owyn asked, “It seems unnecessary.
“I shall pin her body to this earth, and the demon will have to leave her because she will be unable to nourish it with blood anymore since she is held fast by the arms of the earth. She won’t rise again. To absolutely safe, we really should be cutting off her head, but I can’t bear to do that.”
“Oh, I see,” Owyn murmured as Kossin placed the stake over the place where Karmi’s heart was. He raised the hammer high over his head and with a quickly muttered prayer, he squinted his eyes shut and slammed the stake into her breast.
The moment the wood entered her flesh, Karmi’s eyes snapped open, and she let out a violent shriek. She screamed over and over, her sharp canine teeth digging into her lower lip, bringing forth a bloody foam-like substance that dribbled down her chin and on her neck. Kossin did not falter once though, despite the gore that was before him, and he struck the stake again with hammer, driving it deeper into the body. Blood spurted from the wound in her chest and her body twisted around in horrific contusions, tearing against the stake, widening the gash and making it bleed more. And then, with a final strike, the stake was in as deep as it could go, dug through her body and into the wood of the coffin. Karmi gave one final scream, and then she lay down, peaceful and calm at last.
“You killed the demon, Kossin,” Owyn said with a smile as he reached for the lantern, “You saved her!”
Kossin nodded, and he bent down and kissed her cold forehead, “Yeah. Well, now that that’s over with, let’s go home and see your mother.”
“Alright,” Owyn said as he looked at his nursemaid once last time and then let the coffin lid slam shut, making dust jump from the floor. Kossin jumped up onto the rope and began to shimmy back up to the earth above. Owyn strapped the lantern to his wrist once more and also began to climb up once Kossin had reached the graveyard.
Midway, Owyn’s fingers grew sweaty and burned from the rope, and he faltered. With quick reactions, he grabbed the rope again, but the strap the held the lantern to his wrist had become loose from his sudden movements, and the lamp fell from his arm to the ground below. It exploded with a shatter, and the fire jumped high in the air, catching the rope. Before Owyn had even realized what he had done, tongues of fire were licking the rope quickly to where Owyn hung. He climbed quicker, the tips of the flames singing his boots. He could feel the heat on his back, and he was truly terrified. Just above the roar of the flames, he heard Kossin shout to him, but his words were lost in the screams of the fire. He choked in the smoke, and it was becoming harder to breath. Owyn was at his wits end, when suddenly, out of nowhere, it began to rain. Taking advantage of this stroke of luck, Owyn scrambled out of the grave. By then, the fire had subsided because of the swift storm, and Kossin closed the tomb.
“How lucky was that?” Owyn said to Kossin, the only light to see each other by being the stars and the huge moon. He looked up, “But there is no storm cloud. Where did the rain come from?”
“The clouds came and went. Thank god I had this,” Kossin gestured to a silver medallion about his neck. In the center, amid tiny carvings, was a clear stone in which the heavens seemed to swirl about, “It’s an elemental stone. You can control the weather with it. Actually, Link had come across it on an adventure and gave it to me. I never thought I would ever come to own one.”
“It’s beautiful. And it saved my life,” Owyn said with a smile, “Thank you, Kossin.”
“Of course,” he smiled back, offering out his hand, “Now let’s go home.”
A demon leapt at Zelda, and she covered her face in fear. The satanic creature stretched out long sharp black claws covered with crimson blood, slashing at Zelda’s face as it growled at her, its cruel fangs glistening in the unreal light. Just as the devil was about to clamp its awful mouth onto her neck, ending her life, a bird flew out of nowhere, and frightened the demon. With the creature distracted, Zelda looked quickly at her savior, and was surprised to discover it to be her son’s very own falcon, Strife. But before Zelda could speak to her, the demon was preparing to spring once again. Zelda looked to Strife for assistance, but she was gone. There was only a woman with deep blue hair like the sea’s watery depths walking away from the place.
“Wait, Wait! Where are you going? Don’t leave me alone to die!” Zelda screamed out right before the demon’s accursed claws scraped at her face.
The woman turned and said in a voice almost like a whisper, “Call me. Set me free.”
Zelda awoke with a scream. Her brow was soaked with sweat; the dream had been so real! A thousand and one thoughts raced through Zelda’s head a mile a minute: Who was that woman? Where did Strife go? Is she Strife or does it mean she will come to kill the bird? Is that how Owyn will be affected? Was she a vampire too? Is that why she must be free?
Her screams had roused Link form his sleep. She hadn’t meant to wake her lover; he looked too beautiful when he was asleep to wake him up, yet it was too late. No matter, his beauty still was breathtaking when he was awake.
“What was that all about darling?” he murmured into her thick golden hair, his wings quivering with sensuality behind him; the fine feathers fell from his back in velvety cascades.
“A dream, Link,” she played with the edge of a thick blanket, “But, god, it scared me so!”
“Hush, hush,” he consoled her with his low seductive voice.
Hopefully, Dimitri hadn’t heard her screaming. Unfortunately, her fiancée was more then aware of her discomfort, and chose then to burst into the bedroom. He sent the door into a thousand splinters upon his arrival when he kicked the door open. Dimitri looked grotesquely handsome in the pale moonlight, his chocolate brown hair it hung in tiny tresses over his gleaming red eyes. His black tunic was torn and smeared with what looked to be dried blood. Zelda clung to Link’s naked chest, his soft wings enveloping them both.
“The hell do you think you’re doing?” Zelda snarled as she rubbed as close as she could to Link. She could feel his muscles tightening with tense rage under her arms.
“The hell do you think you’re doing?!” Dimitri growled at them with an unnaturally evil smile, “For god’s sake. My wife, here, in bed with another man. I thought we had settled this, Zelda.”
“Dammit Dimitri,” she let go of Link and straightened up, her body filled with the fire of determination, “This man loves me. He always has… since the very second our eyes first met; he’s always loved me. Why can’t you do that?”
“I cannot love,” Dimitri looked at her with eyes that almost made her pity him. And then, she did pity him, because he was unable to love. Because he would never know that feeling of having someone there for him and that he would never be able to give such a thing to another.
“So why must you destroy the happiness of those who can?” Link asked, his radiant blue eyes dancing with passion.
“Because I cannot. I will not allow others to possess what I cannot. So I shall possess the world, and all their happiness shall dance in the palm of my hand, where I can crush it if need be,” he seemed to be growing more angry.
“You are like a leech!” Link exclaimed, “You just show up out of the shadows of the night, sucking the life and joy out of everything. Unfortunately for you, I am stronger then that. Both of us are. In fact, all of us are! You can’t win. We are to great and too powerful.”
“Great and powerful?” he laughed. Then he laughed more, his voice somewhat nasal as he threw his head back and roared at the thought, “Ha, what is it that you have, that a creature like me, compelled by the greatest power in the world, doesn’t have? Love? Ha! Love is weak! Look at me. I virtually rule the world, and I have no love. Where has love gotten you, angel?”
“Courage has won me countless battles. Wisdom has guided me through countless temples filled with traps and mazes. Power has given me the ability to wield countless weapons. But love has given me the might to do all of these and so much more,” Link growled all of this from the depths of his throat, “So you tell me, you Child of the Night, where has your cold heart gotten you?”
“To the top. Look at where I am!” he was grinning devilishly now, but not in the mischievous sexual way Link and Zelda smiled at each other so often, but in a truly devilish way: an evil way, “For Din’s sake, I’m the king of your goddamned country! There’s nothing you can do, because it is over before it has even begun!”
“Get out,” Link roared, “Get out of my damn room.”
“Your room? Ha, you’re too damn poor,” Dimitri chuckled again, “Everything is mine. Your lover is mine, as is that bed and all those sheets on which you lie with each other on; those are mine. Your life is mine.”
He came over to the foot of the bed, pulling a knee up on the trunk there, and then making as though he were going to crawl onto the mattress with them. He hissed, his fangs bared, “Zelda, don’t you get in my way. You’ll regret it later when you’re wallowing in shame and horror.”
“Like hell you’ll have me,” she spat right back at him.
“I shall. For I am indeed like hell,” he straightened up, “So watch your back, lest you’re smitten in the night.”
As the sun rose, its warm rays danced into the tall windows of Zelda’s bedchambers. A single figure lay on the bed, his long white wings spread out over the whole mattress. Link breathed gently, his eyes almost closed as the sun warmed his bare chest. And as the sun rose that day, he contemplated the events that had taken place that night. With that… that Vampire, he shuddered at the thought.
“Link, get up,” Zelda came from her dressing room, “There’s no use in lying there thinking about it. You should talk to everyone downstairs, to take your mind of things. A visit to Arutho and the others wouldn’t hurt either. You haven’t seen them in ages!”
“Huh? Oh,” he sighed and stretched out his tired body on the bed, his muscles rippling and his wings trembling with his movements.
Zelda smiled, “Stop that Link.”
“What?” he had big questioning eyes, making him look unbelievably adorable.
“Stop being sexy. You’re making me want to jump right back in bed, and that’ll do no good,” she smiled as she sat on the edge of the mattress, throwing a small pillow at his head as she did.
“Is that what the issue really is?” he purred as he knocked the pillow away, rolling over on his side, supporting his weight on one elbow.
“Sorta,” she grinned.
He rested his head on her lap, burying his face against the folds of her dressing gown, “Zelda, this is so hard. It’s really trying my wits. God, I just wish this could end, and I could stay with you and love you with no interruptions but… things just aren’t that simple anymore. I almost don’t know what to do.”
She stroked his soft hair affectionately, “Link, you mustn’t get yourself so upset. There’s a way. I know it. And you’ll find it, because I… no we believe in you.”
“Yeah, but he’s so evil. He’s the only thing that truly frightens me,” he sighed heavily, “But for you and Owyn and Karmi and everyone… I’ll do it.”
“It would almost be better if I weren’t here,” Zelda whispered, “I’m distracting you form what you came back to do.”
“Zelda, I wouldn’t be here if you weren’t here. You’re the reason I live. Then and now,” he sat up, his wings drooping slightly with sadness, “But I’ll kill that man for you; because I’d do anything for you. Even die.”
“I know Link, I know,” she flung her arms around his neck, “You don’t need to prove that to me again. I could hardly bear the way you so gallantly put up your life for my pathetic kingdom over and over. Then you had to go and die for my love. Link, was that really necessary?”
“Of course it was Zelda,” he whispered back to her, his voice soft and gentle, “For you, it was.”
Dimitri sat on the ornate bed that rested in the center of his bedchambers. The heavy burgundy draperies covered the tall windows with their musty velvet shutting out the sun’s friendly rays. The only light came from an unearthly fire kindled in the hearth. Dust clung to almost every piece of furniture in the room from lack of attention; Dimitri cared not for those worldly positions though.
He rubbed his temples, “That wretch and her damned lover. They will ruin everything. I must kill that angel.”
He concentrated his dark powers, trying to come up with a way to destroy the light. When none came, Dimitri howled like a wolf in frustrated agony and flung a tiny statuette of glass against the wall, the little glass bird exploding into dozens of shards on the ground, “Damn those two. Damn them.”
He clenched his teeth, his sharp canines digging into his lower lip, drawing blood. As his anger rose, a black aura began to materialize around his body. He chuckled as he felt the power surge through his body. A voice rang through Dimitri’s voice: the evil commanding voice of the God of Darkness.
“Here is the power you crave my servant,” the voice hissed. Dimitri was in a trancelike state, his expression blank and his hands clamped onto the bedpost, his fingers covered with sweat, “Go, do my will. Kill the princess and her heir. You shall have all you desire.”
“Master, I will destroy them. You bestowed me the power to live even after death. I am in you debt,” Dimitri mumbled, his eyes still focused on nothing.
“Consume everything. Make this world a wasteland,” the demon god went on. And then it was gone, leaving Dimitri full of ambition to do the world evil.
Zelda sat on a swing, silently dangling beneath the boughs of one of the many trees of the gardens. The swing was old; Zelda had played upon it since she was a little girl. The thick ropes that held it to the mighty tree were old, but as enduring as Link himself.
She let out a heavy sigh. Her kingdom was near collapse; she could almost feel the impending doom drawing near, “There is no way even Link can save us now.”
She felt a hand on her knee. Looking down, she saw her son with his fingers entwined in the skirts of her dress, “Mother, don’t lose hope yet. Not while there’s still hope and faith to go ‘round!”
Zelda looked away from Owyn. She couldn’t feel the warm fire of her dreams kindling in her heart anymore. She was afraid, if anything. She was afraid of losing Link again as well as losing Owyn and all her other friends as well, “I just can’t anymore.”
“Mother,” Owyn took her hand now and looked at her with big blue eyes, “You never gave up waiting for Link. Now he is here. Don’t give up hope that he can win. If no one believes in him, he will have no power.”
Zelda looked up at the overhanging canopy above her, “He always used to say that the only reason he’d press through the gloom of Hyrule’s dark ages was… for me…”
“Like now, Mother,” Owyn squeezed Zelda’s hands, his fingers pressing the silver ring into her flesh, “Here is Hyrule at its most dark hour. Link will go on for you, so you can’t give up yet. He just needs to gather his power and find his courage. Then… then it will be different.”
“You’re pretty wise for a little squirt that can hardly buckle his own boots,” Zelda smiled as she affectionately ruffled his blond hair, “Yes, yes, you are right. I must keep my mind clear and my heart pure. He’s the Light, and the Light always penetrates through the void of darkness.”
“Well hello Mother!” Owyn said sarcastically, a grin plastered on his face, “He’s only Hyrule’s destined!”
“Shut up you little wisecracker,” she laughed for the first time in hours, “Let’s… let’s go out, alright? Just you, me… and your father. Does that sound good boy?”
Owyn shook his head vigorously in agreement, “To the Dragon’s Chalice? Please?”
“If you wish it, it will be so,” Zelda smiled, sliding off the swing, “God, I haven’t felt this good in a great while. Thanks Owyn. Let’s go find your father.”
Link frowned as he peered closer at the sign hanging on the door of his former home. Painted in quick crude letters was the simple word, ‘Closed.’ Owyn stood with Zelda, a few paces back as they watched the angel knock hard on the door once more. The place looked as though it had been suffering from lack of care for days and the street seemed deserted.
“Go away,” a voice muffled from the barrier of the walls called harshly from inside, “We have enough troubles here. We don’t need anyone to bring in any more heartache.”
“Gono?” Link rattled the brass doorknob, “Gono, is that you? Let me in man! It’s me.”
The door suddenly swung open before Link could say another word. A wide eyed, open mouthed Gono stood in the door frame, his golden curls falling in a disarray over his wide green eyes, “Goddesses, is that really you? Is that really our Link?”
“Yeah,” A tear trickled down Link’s cheek as he shook his head, his mouth smiling wide, “Yeah, it’s me, Gono.”
“But you, I mean, well, I mean, just look at you! An angel! Back from the dead! Oh god maybe there is hope. Maybe the Three haven’t turned their backs on us just yet. God Link, come in, and bring your family with you!” Gono’s expression could be seen as nothing other then joyous relief.
Link stepped over the threshold, followed closely by his lady and his son. Gono was already behind the bar, covered with layers of dust left by simple neglect, pulling out ale and tankards. Slamming the three large mugs on a nearby table, he invited his friends to sit. Before he sat down with them, he brought out a tall glass of apple cider for the boy and set it before him.
“These are ‘ard times, Link,” Gono sighed in his usual drawl, “Th’ past weeks ‘ave been like hell. I can feel it will get stead’ly worse if somthin’ ain’t done soon.”
Zelda, who sat to the right of the young bartender, placed her hand sympathetically on his, “Don’t fret Gono. Link is here for revenge. He’ll bring you up from this abyss of darkness soon.”
“Then can you save the one close to m’ ‘eart?” Gono said quietly as he clutched his tankard of barely touched ale, “Can you save me Malon from th’ demon that drank ‘er life away?”
“Oh my god, you don’t mean that…” Zelda covered her mouth in horror, “Here too? That devil had plagued the city too?”
Gono nodded solemnly, “First it was the street urchins an’ the beggars. Next thing y’ know, thieves an’ street ped’lers alike are getting’ sick an’ droppin’ dead all over town. Now us merchants an’ business folk are becomin’ ill with the Devil’s Kiss. That’s what th’ folks ‘round ‘ere ‘ave taken t’ callin’ this curse.
“But th’ most awful thing is that there’ve been reports all over town that dead folks are walkin’ ‘bout once again,” Gono was making the sign against evil as he spoke, “An’ they visit ‘ealthy folk an’ they give ‘em that Devil’s Kiss plague. An’ now m’ poor dear Malon lies sick an’ dyin’ in my bed.”
“And the children?” Link questioned, his eyes filled with remorse as he bowed his head and folded his wings, “Are they, alright?”
“They’re jest scared. Jest like m’ brothers. They’re all scared,” Gono looked away, “I’m scared too I think.”
“But why?” Owyn piped up. Zelda glared at him harshly, but Gono waved it off and went on.
“’Cause we’re all afraid o’ dyin’ boy. Ain’t y’ afraid o’ dyin’ too?”
“I don’t know,” Owyn sat back in his chair, sipping his cider quietly, “Never paid it much thought.”
“Yer young an’ full o’ life. Ain’t got nothin’ t’ be afraid of yet. Not yet, boy,” Gono smiled, “Everything’s dyin’ here. From trees t’ pigs an’ cattle. Ain’t got too much water an’ such. We’re in dire straights, m’ friends.”
“Soon you shall see your trees burst into bloom and your pigs fat,” Link smiled, “I shall see to it. Where is your wife? Where is your family?”
“This way,” Gono muttered quietly as he stood and led the three visitors up the stairs to one of the bedrooms. He opened the door to reveal Arutho sitting on a simple bench by his sister-in-law’s bedside. A candle flickered on the bedside table and Malon looked too much like Karmi had to be real.
Arutho looked up at the people in the doorway. He now had a trim beard, and though he still looked neat as ever, one could see the lines of age creeping over his face. But when he beheld Link, his brown eyes grew wide and he stood, stammering words of disbelief and happiness.
A soft whisper aroused from the frail figure in the bed, “Is that Link? Is he back from the dead?”
Link turned to see Malon lying in the bed, looked just as Karmi had before she died, “Yes, Malon it’s me. But I have not fallen victim to your plague. I shall not harm you.”
“Swear?” Malon looked slightly fearful of him.
“Don’t fear him, Malon. This is our Link,” Zelda came to the bed too, leaning on Link’s muscular shoulder, much to his surprise as her weight fell on his body, “Our same slightly overconfident joking Link. Don’t be afraid. There is nothing to fear.”
Malon smiled and settled back into her pillows, pulling the heavy blankets up to her chin. Her flesh was white as death and her eyes were dull and slightly glazed over as she let her eyelids slide slowly over them when sleep beckoned her.
A pull on Zelda’s skirts made her look down at her son, who’s eyes were filled with worry, “Mama, what’s gonna happen to Ms. Malon? Is she gonna be like Karmi?”
“No,” Link said defiantly as he turned to face his family and friends, “We have lost more then enough to that devil already. I shall not allow any more to fall prey to him.”
The door opened, and Jalk strode in, Avery and Gabriel hanging off each of his hands. The two children ran to Owyn and then, noticing Link, became filled with awe and curiosity, remembering him from the time he had visited them in disguise. Jalk was beside himself with joy as Arutho explained what was going on.
Gabriel reached up and gently stroked one of the long feathers of Link’s glorious wings. He smiled to himself, and felt a stirring in his heart that this man would be the one to save his mother. Link had felt the touch of Gabriel’s little fingers and knew what the boy was feeling now. He smiled, and found power in the faith of the child.
“Can y’ cure ‘er?” Gono’s great green eyes were filled with pleading.
Sadly, Link shook his head, “Not now. Nothing will be saved until Dimitri is dead. Soon, I shall face him, and save the ones you love.”
Owyn looked up at his father, his real father, and felt a pang of pride to the son of this man. All his life he had grown up believing his father was the cold man who lived in the oldest wing of the castle. But now he knew his true roots, and saw for once, that he was part of a real family.
Zelda touched Malon’s eyes, using her magic to give the woman peaceful dreams. Smoothing the girl’s thick red hair, Zelda sighed out a breath of forlorn and lost hope. Link heard her and knew immediately her feelings. Taking her into his muscled arms, he held her close and stroked her hair as he whispered, “Don’t cry Zelda. She’ll live. Dimitri doesn’t have long to crawl about your kingdom like this. Just don’t cry.”
“I won’t cry Link,” she buried her face into his robes, but couldn’t hold back the tears despite her whispers, “I’ll not cry.”
“We cannot wait much longer,” Safter mumbled a he flopped himself on his bed, “Everyone we love will die if we wait any more.”
Link was sitting in a large armchair in Safter’s room; Zelda curled up on his lap, asleep. Rain poured down outside as lightning lit the sky and thunder ripped the heavens. It was just past midnight, and Safter and Link sat together in the young soldier’s room, talking in low whispers.
Link stroked his sleeping lover’s hair, “I know. But I have no idea how to do this. When shall I strike, and how shall I do so?”
“I haven’t a clue either,” Safter admitted after a brief pause, “But when the time comes, the Goddesses will tell you what to do. Hell, they brought you from the land of the dead for this! They’ll have a plan for ya, don’t worry.”
Link cuddled Zelda against his chest, “Yeah I suppose you’re right lad, but I still am unsure of this.”
“Of course you are,” Safter agreed with a smile, “This is a big deal. Probably the most important quest you’ve ever undertaken. For goodness sake Link, you’re gonna kill the most evil creature in the world!”
Link said nothing and simply nodded. He let his beautiful blue eyes wander out the window, watching the rain fall in thick torrents on the earth. With a sigh, he leaned his head back and closed his eyes, contemplating the great task before him. The last sight he beheld before he fell asleep there was Zelda’s lovely face nestled against his breast.
“Strife!” Owyn called with a giggle after his bird companion, “Strife come back! Where are ya goin’?”
Strife squawked playfully as she zoomed through the countless halls of the palace. She veered quickly down a dark hall, hoping to lead Owyn in a false direction, but Owyn wasn’t about to play the fool, and followed her closely into the shadows.
“Ah, gotcha!” Owyn pounced on the bird, the wriggling ball of blue feathers locked in his grasp.
“Ouch, OUCH!” Strife fussed in Owyn’s tight hold, “Lemmie go! You’re hurting me lad!”
“Sorry you hooting bag of feathers,” Owyn grinned as he released Strife, “All that running after you had to induce some revenge upon ya!”
Strife snorted as she scuttled out of Owyn’s grasp and began to preen herself. And as she raised a wing and looked up to smooth the feathers beneath it, her eyes fell upon a horrific sight. Yelping in fear she hopped back towards her young master.
“What is it?” he asked, not seeing the thing that has scared his friend.
Strife motioned to a statue right before them. It was that of an angel on his knees in agony, a look of pain crossing the being’s face. A devil stood above it in a triumphant stance, its hand clutching the angel’s shoulder. But the most frightening thing about it was that there was really blood pouring from the wound in the angel’s shoulder where the demon seemed to be digging its claws. And like the times he had visited this hall long ago, blood seemed to pour like tears from the seraph’s eyes.
“I don’t remember that one being there,” Owyn commented, his face slightly twisted in disgust at the horror before him, “I remember it being the angel trampling the devil. Weird.”
“There is weird magic at work in the kingdom Owyn,” Strife reminded him, “And I am not surprised to find it here. Have you forgotten the essence of evil that lurks here?”
Owyn sighed in agreement.
Suddenly, foul hands crept around Owyn’s body and held him fast. An evil sounding voice hissed into his pointed ear, “What brings one so full of life down my way, hmmm? I didn’t think that Zelda would let her lover’s son be given up to die so easily.”
Owyn knew the voice immediately, “Dammit Dimitri, let me go.”
“Why, so you can go tattle to your mother? I don’t think so you little runt,” Dimitri snapped, his breath smelling heavily of fresh blood, “Your father has been nothing but trouble the moment he set foot in the palace grounds.”
“My mother has been fond of my father since the day they first met,” Owyn barked right back at him, kicking ferociously in all directions.
“Yes, a minor setback,” Dimitri said thoughtfully. His tone was calm now, and it frightened Owyn.
“Let me go dammit!” Owyn swore at the Vampire. The boy then proceeded to shout profanities he never remembered knowing.
“You have a foul mouth boy,” Dimitri went on calmly, his hands clamping tighter around Owyn’s middle, “Didn’t your mother teach you any better?”
Owyn looked franticly around for Strife, but he did not see her. Half of him sighed in relief that she had gotten away and was probably going to tell his mother of what was going on. But then, the other half cursed the bird for deserting him in his moment of need.
Dimitri chuckled, “Can’t find your companion. That winged pile of rotting flesh has more brains then I thought.”
He started to head down the hallway, further then Owyn had ever dared to go. More statues of angels being tormented by demons lined the halls, all of which Owyn could have sworn were originally the opposite with the angel destroying the demon. Presently, the Vampire reached his quarters, and he threw open the doors with a free hand and the savagely dropped Owyn on the floor.
A wanton grin crossed Dimitri’s face, “Your time has come upstart weakling.”
Owyn cowered on the floor, huddled in a ball, more frightened then he had ever been in his entire life. He was sickened at the thought of what this creature wanted to do to him, and even more sickening was the thought that he had once called this man ‘Father.’
Just as Owyn felt the hot breath of the Vampire on his neck, a flash of light glowed up behind Dimitri, and a thin beam of the light shot at his hands. The light burned at the Vampire’s flesh, and he dropped Owyn as he yelped with pain.
“How pathetic,” a powerful female voice rose up from behind Dimitri. Owyn strained to look over the man’s head and see who the speaker was. Standing in the doorway, was a seraph, tall and strong, but defiantly not Link. Besides being female, this angel had silver hair tied in a tight knot behind her head. Tears were tattooed in silver paint under her eyes and her mouth was wide with lips that were the color of blood. Her skin was a deep golden tan color and her eyes were like two steel orbs of mystery and strength.
“I am Impa,” the angel said in her powerful voice, “Warrior of the Sheikah clan and servant of the Royal Family. What the hell are you doing to the son of my mistress?”
Dimitri stood, his mouth in an evil grin and his awful vampirish teeth bared. He kicked Owyn away from his feet and spoke over the boy as he howled in pain, “I am Dimitri, ruler of the night and soon to be ruler of the world. I thought I had gotten rid of you years ago.”
“Just as you thought you had destroyed the hero, yet he lives as I do,” Impa’s mouth was in the form of a grim smile, “What now? You have no one to save you.”
Strife appeared out of nowhere and settled on Impa’s shoulder. With a squawk, she said to Owyn, “Boy! Get up! Get up and play your harp! Play the song to call the spirits out!”
Remembering the time he had tried to do so on the morning Zelda had taken her diary back, Owyn groped for the harp on his back and pulled it out. Gently, he plucked the strings in the familiar melody. As the delicate notes wafted out the door and into the gloomy hallway, the angel statues began to glow. And soon, an angel, almost completely transparent, stepped from the stony forms, and floated down to the room where the devil resided. The spirits flanked Impa and the bird and they soon began to enter the room, heading towards Dimitri, who stood defiantly with a smug grin on his face.
“I have the power to destroy even you and your army,” Dimitri said gruffly as the angels approached him. As they came closer, he held out his hand, and a black flame sprouted there, evil and full of dark magic. Some of the angels cowered back in fear; Impa raised a hand signaling them to stop.
“You think your toys will defeat us? They are simply a crutch bestowed upon you by the Dark God,” Impa snarled.
“I have the upper hand,” he shot back. He quickly pointed a finger at Owyn, and calling down his evil powers, he tied Owyn with enchanted ropes to a nearby bedpost, “With my so-called ‘toys’ I shall kill you all.”
As Dimitri and Impa continued to threaten each other, Strife fluttered amongst the spirits of the angels imprisoned it the statues. She ruffled her feathers and spoke out in a loud whisper to them all, “You were turned to stone by the power of the Dark God, and you came to reside in the halls of Hyrule’s palace. Do you feel as though your powers to save these people were stripped away the moment you became rock?”
A murmur of agreement came up form the congregation. Strife smiled inwardly, and then said, “I shall give you your powers back! Behold!” And with those words, Strife’s body began to change. Owyn couldn’t believe what was happening to his friend, but he liked it, for he felt the warm good power of it. Soon, Strife had lost her hawk form, and in her place, was one of the most beautiful women Owyn had ever seen. She had deep aqua hair, like that of the sea. Her eyes were amber her lips pink like coral. She wore a deep blue robe with silver runes upon it and a sash of gold.
“I am Circe!” the woman proclaimed to the angels. Dimitri looked beyond Impa at the woman and scowled. When Circe saw the look of disbelief on some faces, she went on, “Yes, it is I, the High Sister of the Circle of Witches.”
Any faces that were doubtful became relieved. Dimitri was too shocked to say a word (he had heard many legends of this witch) and Impa was beaming with victory at the Vampire. Owyn was still a bit shocked that his best friend was actually the greatest witch in all Hyrule.
“I have granted you all power,” the High Sister went on, “Go. Go and cleanse Hyrule of its foul stench.”
Soon the angels were fading, leaving to go cure the people of their curse. Circe smiled as she watched them go out to free the world from Hell’s grip.
Malon’s life was slipping away. Jalk could feel it in his fingertips as he mopped her brow with a wet rag. Gono knelt on the floor nearby, his body slumped over the bed in the exhaustion of sleep. Avery and Gabriel slept nestled in Arutho’s arms. He had fallen asleep in a large armchair with the two children curled on his lap against his chest.
“Don’t fear pretty one,” Jalk muttered under his breath as he pulled the covers up to her chin, “We are working as hard as we can to save you. Link is going to save you!”
A gentle breeze blew into the room through the open window. The curtains rustled as the wind gusted by, leaves being carried in the hands of the breeze. Malon coughed and Jalk hurried to the window to close it. Just as he was about to fasten the latch, a voice that belonged to no one he had ever heard before spoke, “Don’t fear. The Three have sent us to save you.”
Jalk turned. Standing by the bedside, was an angel, just visible in the dim candlelight. He wasn’t flesh and bone as Link had been, but translucent like a ghost. His long curls fell over his bare shoulders; his face beautiful like that of a classical painting.
“Do not worry,” he murmured, “She will live.”
“Who… what are you!?” Jalk exclaimed as he took a few steps closer.
“The spirit of an angel that once was,” he answered in his whimsical voice, “I have been resurrected for this last task. I have no name. Simply an angle that once… was.”
Jalk nodded and this was response enough for the angel. He bent over her sleeping form and kissed her gently. Malon’s body shone for a second and her eyes suddenly fluttered open. The angel sat up and pushed her red hair out of her eyes, “Rise. You live again.”
And with those words, he disappeared just as silently as he had come.
Malon looked around her, quite unsure of what had just happened, “Who was that?”
“No one,” Jalk shook his head as he came to the bed and knelt, “Go back to sleep. It will all be better in the morning.”
She smiled at him and placed a dainty hand on Gono’s head as she fell back into her pillow of dreams.
Dimitri cried out in anger at the witch. But soon, his angry scowl melted into a sinister smile. The fire was still glowing with dark power at his fingertips, setting him in an awful glow, “Heh, you think you’ve won? So you’ve cleaned Hyrule of my hex, but it is I who will have the last hurrah. It will be I who is laughing ant the end of all of this.”
And with that, he hurled the tongue of fire at Impa, whose feet became like stone and immobile. As the flames touched her, the magic began its work, and it started to eat away at her divine flesh, soon consuming her. Impa let out an agonizing cry. It was obvious that the magic hurt her greatly, and Owyn cried out, knowing this woman had been a friend of his parents, but he was unable to do anything form where he was bound to the bed. Impa soon disappeared in a blaze of white light, the black fire flickering on the ground where Impa had been. All that was left of the warrior, was a long angel’s feather tied by thick leather cord to a golden medallion bearing the symbol of the Sheikah. She was gone. From heaven and earth, forever.
Circe looked at the token of Impa’s being that lay in the center of the black magic. Then she shot an evil glare at Dimitri, who was casually leaning on the mantle of the fireplace, smoothing out his black tunic. She knelt and picked the medallion out of the fire without being scathed and then carefully tucked it amongst the folds of her robes.
The witch was about to retaliate with some magic of her own, when Link burst into the room, his shoulders heaving up and down and wings shaking as he gasped for breath after his dash to the place of combat. Zelda was not far behind, slipping into the room behind Circe.
“Finally decided to join us?” Dimitri cooed nonchalantly at the pair stepped further into the large bedroom, “Just a moment to late. You could have seen that masculine nursemaid of yours before I killed her.”
“Oh, god. Damn you! Damn you!” Zelda screamed with rage, “It was you the entire time! She never died by some dragon. It was you who killed her!”
“Very perceptive of you,” Dimitri responded coolly as he looked down at the floor with a chuckle, “A pity you’re figuring me out just a tad too late.”
When Dimitri looked up again, he found himself staring right into the angry eyes of Link, his feelings unreadable by simply looking at him, “How dare you,” he growled.
“So what are you going to do about it you weak peasant?” Dimitri rubbed his knuckles briskly on his tunic as though it were an everyday conversation, “There is nothing you can do. If I can kill her, I can kill you too. And to think she was a trained warrior, while you have only had the practice from your little ‘miss-adventures.’ You’ll fall in a second.”
“If you used magic on me, I do think I shall,” Link grimaced at the thought, “But let’s have us a little duel, hmm? My terms. We shall go until the death.”
“I’ll play,” Dimitri let out a heavy sigh as though he had no time for this, “As you wish, we shall do it your way.”
“Good,” Link grinned as he turned to grab a sword from the wall. He tested it and found it to be quite a lot like the make of swords he had used in the past. Dimitri produced a long deadly looking rapier like sword with a blade of black metal from nowhere and held it out before him.
“We shall begin then,” Dimitri smiled cruelly, his magnificent teeth glittering in the strange light. Link nodded with a sure smile on his face. Sword fighting was the one thing he knew he could best anyone at; even the likes of hell’s finest warriors. He stripped himself of his robes, leaving him wearing naught but his hoes and a silver dagger strapped to his hip.
“He can’t win,” Circe muttered beneath her breath, “The Vampire holds quite a few advantages over him.”
Zelda heard her anyway, and piped up quietly, “You have never seen Link fight have you? His sword techniques are unmatched!”
“In technique, perhaps he does have more skill, but the Vampire has astonishing speed and strength,” Circe whispered back as she watched Link and Dimitri circle each other warily.
Owyn had watched his father this whole time, his heart beaming with pride as he challenged Dimitri to this duel so courageously. Obviously, Link had great skills, and although Owyn had never seen Link fight, he felt that this match would be close. Perhaps even too close for his liking.
And just as Link was about to strike at his opponent, Dimitri thrust in at Link with his thin blade. Link just missed being wounded as he sidestepped quickly, the cold of the black steel on his waist.
Quickly recovering from this surprise of an opening, Link feinted to his left, and then swung his sword in a neat crescent at the devil. The blade grazed Dimitri’s shoulder, drawing a tiny trickle of blood.
Paying not a scrap of mind to the gash on his shoulder, Dimitri charged in at Link swinging his rapier at the angel’s unprotected chest. Link had barely enough time to block the whirlwind of onslaught, and the hero began to wonder if he was fast enough to overtake this enemy.
Their bodies were pressed together, Dimitri pressing downwards with his sword on Link’s shinning blade and Link pressing upwards with his to block himself from the danger of the other sword. Link was thinking quickly, and before he had decided whether the move he had in mind next was good idea or not, he was executing it. Breaking the moment of tension between the two blades, Link jumped backwards, and fell to the ground, brining his foot around in a smooth sweeping kick. Dimitri tripped over Link’s ankle as it swung beneath him, falling to his knees for one embarrassing moment.
This little trip-up gave Link enough time to swing his blade down at Dimitri. A triumphant smile crossed the angel’s lips and he actually thought this might be the end. But to Link’s dismay, Dimitri, it seemed, without even looking up, had his thin sword beneath Link’s, blocking the attack.
“Dammit,” Link backed off and frowned, “How does he do that?”
Circe frowned, “This isn’t looking well for Master Link, is it Zelda?”
“Shut up,” Zelda snapped defiantly, “He’ll win. I know he will.”
Dimitri swung at Link, his blade finding flesh and tearing it savagely. Blood poured freely down the gash in Link’s chest as he wiped his forehead of sweat.
Charging back at the Vampire in retaliation, Link swung, but found himself cutting through air and ripping a curtain to shreds instead of shredding Dimitri. He’s so fast! Link thought as his eyes darted about in search of the Vampire.
Suddenly, the creature was behind him, the sword point at Link’s back, “What do you do now, Hero?”
“I kill you,” Link muttered. He was pressed up against the wall with no means of escape.
“No you won’t, dammit!” the Vampire hissed back, pressing the blade into Link’s back, “No you won’t! I’ll kill you. All of you! Then I can truly be alone.”
“Why would you ever want that?” Link managed to retort, “Why would even one of the damned want to be alone?”
“I’ve always been alone,” Dimitri kept his position with the sword at Link’s back, threatening to press it right through his body, “No one has ever loved me! Now everyone will pay! They will all die, and they’ll all be alone. They’ll know what it’s like to live forever yet have no one there to love them!”
“Could you really bear to wish such a thing on another life?” Link whispered.
“Yes,” Dimitri hissed, “I could. You don’t understand. You have plenty of people who love you. That woman and your son and all your damn friends!”
“Poor creature,” Link could think of almost nothing but the blade at his back, “But I do understand.”
“How could you?” he snarled back coldly.
“I grew up alone,” Link whispered again, “I had one friend in the whole world. My destiny was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I saw the world, met people and then I was no longer alone.”
“That is another issue,” Dimitri went on, “That is different from me! Century upon century I wandered this miserable earth with no one.”
“But it is the…” Link began to say, but Dimitri snapped at him as he prodded the blade into Link’s flesh, “Enough! Just shut up and let me kill you!”
“Now you are crazy if you think my father will give up just like that,” a voice said from the bed. Owyn, who had remained silent and forgotten throughout the whole fight spoke now with a passion in his voice that could make even the fiercest beast calm and listen. Dimitri turned his head to see the boy.
“What?” Dimitri said fiercely to the child.
“I said, my father won’t just submit and die. You might, but not my father. Not him,” Owyn said in an equally fierce voice as he struggled in his bonds.
“He’s right,” Link muttered quietly with a laugh, “There’s no way in hell I’d ever give up. I’m too damn good for that. Just too damn good.”
“Why’s that?” Dimitri hissed.
Link forced backwards, despite the blade digging into his skin, his powerful momentum sending Dimitri staggering back a few steps, “Because I am the heart of this land. I carry its burdens and I carry its triumphs. I would never forsake that.”
“Would you forsake your lover and your son? Would you forsake your friends? Hmm, would you?” Dimitri threw his blade to the side with a quick flick of his wrist. The whirling sword just missed grazing Circe’s cheek as it sailed by, embedding itself into the doorframe.
“New game,” Dimitri growled, “My rules. And your death.”
Link turned to face his enemy. He was laughing, “Maybe so, but I shall kill you non the less. Your rules do not proclaim me dead. I’ll win, I can feel it.”
“Are you sure?” Dimitri held out his hand, and the bonds securing Owyn disappeared. But, before the boy could run, he lost control of his body and was unable to go anywhere. His body was slowly being dragged towards Dimitri’s awaiting hand. As soon as Owyn was within reaching distance, Dimitri snatched him from the air by the scruff of the neck.
“Go ahead,” Dimitri said coldly as he secured one arm around Owyn’s waist, hugging the child close, the other arm free and glowing with black magic, “Take a shot. See if you can destroy me with your son in the way.”
“You’re just a cheating son of a bitch,” Link snarled at the Vampire, his eyes dancing with an angry fire, “Only a coward would use a child as a shield.”
“Ever notice how it’s the coward who always wins?” Dimitri purred. Owyn was grimacing as the Vampire’s lips grazed his cheek.
“Not this time,” Link began to circle Dimitri warily. Zelda sucked in a breath as she watched. She realized what he was doing; it was just like that trick of his Gono loved so much. Slowly, Link began to twirl his blade, Dimitri watched, his red eyes and the magic on his fingertips following every sword swipe. Suddenly, with a yell, Link thrust forward, his sword sailing right by Owyn and gashing Dimitri across the chest.
Owyn was biting his lip, trying his best not to cry in fear. He was truly afraid. What if Father strikes me by mistake? Blood trickled down his chin as his teeth tore into the thin pink flesh of his lower lip.
Dimitri shook off the wound as if it were nothing. He smiled cruelly, “Mortal wounds cannot harm me. I am immortal!”
“Link!” Zelda called as he went on circling the Vampire. Dimitri was squeezing Owyn so tightly the boy thought he would be sick, “Link his body is simply a corpse! You must get rid of it to get rid of him!”
“How did you come to know so much about Vampires?” Circe said quietly to Zelda as she watched Link silently take in this information.
Zelda smiled, “I have friends who are fascinated with the occult. You aren’t the only magical being I’ve met in my life, dear witch.”
Dimitri smiled cruelly, “She is correct. Still, you must get around the boy to do it. Heh, would you rather forsake your son or Hyrule? Your choice, Hero.”
“Neither,” Link said form the pit of his throat as he continued to circle the Vampire.
“Choose, dammit!” Dimitri cried, shaking Owyn violently, “You must choose. Or else I shall choose for you. I doubt you want that.”
The Vampire raised his free hand and pointed his forefinger at Link. A tiny ball of black energy in the form of a tiny rosebud blossomed at the tip of the finger. With a cry and another violent shake of the boy, the magic sailed towards Link. As it touched the tip of the sword, Link could do nothing but watch as the evil consumed the blade. The hilt suddenly became to hot for him to hold, and he yelped in pain as he dropped the sword. The magic hissed and crackled around the blade as it lay on the floor, and soon it curled up and shriveled to nothing.
“Damn, missed,” Dimitri grimaced, “That could have been you Hero.”
“Why did you miss?” Owyn looked up at the Vampire. A smile was etched on his scratched and bloody face.
“Don’t ask foolish questions, boy!” Dimitri shook Owyn again as though to force him into silence, “I was simply careless. Shut up and keep your place.”
“Well I think you missed on purpose,” Owyn gasped, “Couldn’t bear to kill someone as beautiful as my father, could you, Dimitri?”
“I said shut the hell up!” Dimitri snapped, “You don’t know my motivations, boy.”
Link was groping behind him for his short sword. He quickly drew the silver blade. It hummed as it came out of its sheath. Link held it out before him, “Dimitri, I shall kill you now.”
The Vampire shook his head, the full bloody lips pillowing his fangs in a smile, “No, you cannot. I am an immortal.”
“That is what the Dark God told you,” Circe said. Dimitri whirled around to face her.
“What do you know of my father, lord and master?” Dimitri hissed at the witch.
Owyn wriggled in Dimitri’s arms, “The Black God is your father? Do you do this for loyalty to your kin?”
“What was I saying!? Quiet! I do what I do for my own honor. My father gives me the power to do it,” Dimitri cried at Owyn, shaking him more violently then ever.
“Your father told you that you are immortal. To a point, you are,” Circe went on, “But even you said it yourself: to lose your body is to lose your life.”
“It doesn’t matter. I’ll still kill you all. Because I am more powerful and I am the one who deserves to live. All of you should die,” he snapped, “And I think I’ll begin with this boy.”
“No!” Zelda cried as she started to dash for her son, but Circe held her back, “Don’t interfere with the games of the gods. The boy’s destiny is about to be complete.”
“Game!!!?” Zelda shrieked, “You call this a game? What did my people do to have the gods shun them like this? What did I do!?”
Circe said nothing but watched the Vampire, Link and Owyn with unblinking aqua eyes.
Dimitri hurled a ball of evil magic at Link in his anger at Circe and Zelda, in his anger at the universe. The magic didn’t even touch Link. Instead it broke and spread away in black tendrils into nothing.
“Silver is a metal of purity,” Link said with a grim smile. Dimitri cowered. He had seen the same smile on Impa’s face, “You cannot hurt me now. And now you shall hurt no other. Your flesh will rot when my holy blade touches your flesh.”
Dimitri said nothing; he could think of nothing to say. All he knew now was fear. Fear and anger.
“No father!” Owyn cried out, “Wait!”
Link looked at his son dumbfounded, as did Zelda and Circe, “Why Do you have compassion for him? Owyn he deserves none.”
“Yes!” Owyn nodded, “Yes he does!”
“Owyn, listen to what you say!” Zelda said to her son, “He’s a devil and he’s nearly killed you! Why do you pity him!?”
“You have goodness in you, Dimitri. I feel it!” Owyn said as he struggled in Dimitri’s vice like grip, “You might kill and plague Hyrule but you did it because you were lonely! You just wanted love! Well, if that’s all you desire at heart, then I love you Dimitri! There’s no need to be alone anymore!”
“Stop that!” Dimitri cuffed Owyn hard and clamped a hand over the boy’s mouth, “Shut up, shut up. I refuse charities.”
Owyn bit hard on Dimitri’s fingers, drawing blood, “It’s not a charity, and it’s the truth. You want it. I know it! I can feel your heart pulse with that desire for that love. I have it here for you! Why do you turn me away?”
“I am no weakling! I need not the love of a runt like you!” Dimitri struggled to quiet the child.
“If you refuse his love, the accept mine,” Link whispered, “If you want the love of another adult, then I give you mine. Just don’t hurt anyone anymore. Then you shall have the love of everyone.”
“Stop it!” Dimitri had bloody tears welling in his eyes, “What power is this that hurts my heart so? Stop it!”
“It’s love,” Zelda said quietly. The only sound under her voice was that of Dimitri’s heavy gasps of air, “It is the most beautiful power in the world. And we offer it to you.”
Owyn went on, “Yet you refuse it. How could you refuse such a gift?”
“Shut up!” Dimitri screamed at Owyn once more, “I just want to be alone. And even if it means I must kill every miserable soul on this rotten earth, I will! Everything must die.”
“How… could… you…” Owyn struggled in Dimitri’s arms again, “TURN YOUR BACK ON MY LOVE!!!!!” as he screamed these words, his body glowed a dark red color, and magical flames suddenly leapt forth. They consumed Owyn’s whole body, yet they did not injure him at all. They instead burnt at Dimitri’s flesh, scalding his body as the Vampire screeched in anguish.
Circe watched in awe. She could feel the immense power radiating from Owyn’s body. Zelda felt it too. She also watched her son with amazement as he roasted Dimitri alive with this fiery aura.
Link shielded his eyes. He was so close to the spectacle, he feared he might be burnt by the power of his son’s magic.
“Damn you all!” Dimitri gave one last cry as he crumpled to the ground. Owyn was now free of the Vampire’s iron like grip and he stepped back, the flames receding back into his body. The Vampire was burning with the fire still until he became no more then a pile of ash.
Link looked at his son and smiled. “Beautiful,” he whispered as he spread his arms wide. Owyn bounded into the angel’s arms and they held each other in a fierce embrace. For the first time, truly a father and a son.
A breeze seeped in through a window, stirring the ashes of the dead Vampire. Gently, the breeze lifted the ash and sent it swirling out the window to be scattered throughout Hyrule. The sound of wing beats echoed with the wind as it carried the remains of Hyrule’s greatest evil away from the land forever. A soft whisper came with the wing beats too. It sounded like a chorus of a thousand voices whispering, “Thank you. Thank you for saving us again.”
Zelda smiled too. She heard these voices, the voices of her people. She was pleased. In her joy, she dashed to where Link and Owyn still were hugging each other, and she took them both in her arms. She kissed them both many, many times, and just as the sun rose, she whispered, “We’re saved. We are free again.”
Circe stood at the ornate iron gates of the city. Zelda and Link and all their friends and family stood there too to see the High Witch off. The sun shone with a pink glow as it began it steady climb into the sky. Birds were beginning to chirp celebrating the dawn of a new day.
The blue haired woman smiled, “You all were so magnificent. Hyrule should never fear with you people to protect it.”
Owyn nodded. He looked a bit sad. A large tear was welling in his huge blue eyes. Circe saw this and she came to him and knelt before him. She lifted his chin, “Don’t cry. Why are you weeping? You are alive and safe. You have your father and your mother. What could make you cry on such a glorious day?”
“You,” he whimpered. His sobs were becoming more audible in the gentle breeze.
“What have I done?” she asked.
“You are leaving me!” he said sadly, “You were my friend all my life. So you had the body of a stupid ball of feathers. I was sometimes mean and rude to you but you were my best friend! How could you leave me now?”
Circe smiled, “I’m sorry, little one. You are my best friend too! But there is a whole wide world out there for me to see! You’re place is here. I’ll see you again. So don’t cry. Don’t cry, Owyn,” she kissed his forehead. Reaching into the folds of her robe, she produced the tiny Sheikah medallion Impa left behind when she died. Circe closed Owyn’s hand around it.
“Why do you give this to me?” he asked her.
“So you won’t… forget,” she said with a little smile, “Keep it with you. That angel shall be there for you always.”
“I could never forget you or that angel, Circe,” Owyn whispered to the witch, “Good will to you my friend.”
Link smiled. He flexed and folded his wings, “Good bye then, Circe. Thank you. You cleansed our land.”
“Hero,” she stood and came face to face with Link, “You’re triumphs are many, yet, this one belongs to the boy.” She smiled and threw her head back in a laugh.
Link chuckled too, “Yes, he follows my path. I have tread it many a time. Perhaps it is his turn now.”
“In time, Hero, he shall indeed take up your role when you return to the Gods once more,” Circe whispered. Without another word, she reached up and touched Link’s heart with her forefinger and began to chant. Her royal blue robes swept around her. Link found himself unfurling his huge wings. A warmth welled in his chest, spreading throughout his body with every heartbeat. And as she continued to chant, the wings exploded into a flurry of soft white feathers. Link felt the blood of a mortal coursing through his veins; no longer did his heart let the blood of the gods stream throughout his body. He was alive again.
He smiled and grabbed Zelda in a hug, kissing her passionately. She clamped her arms tightly around his waist as she kissed him too.
Arutho and his brothers, the two twins and Zelda and Owyn circled Link, embracing him and giggling with ecstasy. Circe stood a few paces outside the huddle of friends, watching their merriment. Silently, she then turned and began to wander down the road leaving them to rejoice in Link’s rebirth, not daring to look back lest they see the tears in her eyes. And as a falcon flew across the lush green landscape, she greeted the rebirth of the whole world, whispering to herself, “But not yet, Hero. Not yet.”
Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven
Would it be the same
If I saw you in heaven
I must be strong
And carry on
‘Cause I know
I don’t belong
Here in heaven
Would you hold my hand
If I saw you in heaven
Would you have this dance
If I saw you in heaven
I’ll find my way
Through night and day
‘Cause I know
I just can’t stay
Here in heaven
Time can bring you down
Time can bend your knees
Time can break your heart
Have you beggin’ please
Beyond the door
There’s peace, I’m sure
And I know
There’ll be no more
Tears in heaven
Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven
Would it be the same
If I saw you in heaven
I must be strong
And carry on
‘Cause I know
I don’t belong
Here in heaven
‘Cause I know I don’t belong
Here in heaven
Ok! It’s done! ‘Bout time too! Let me know what you think! My e-mail is PiccoloZ73@aol.com! Whoo thanks!
~The Twisted One
Back to Story Menu