Chapter 5: The Eighth Sage
Link drowsily made his way along the towering corridors of Hyrule Castle, light from the large windows stinging his eyes.
His tousled mane of hair, unshaved face, and hastily put on clothes were the antithesis to his usual appearance of order and cleanliness.
He had barely slept three hours before a made burst into his room and said that Zelda had summoned him to the library for important news. How could the woman bear sleeping for only a limited amount of time? By the Gods, Link hadn't even fully recuperated his mind back from the shock of the vow he had made.
Oh, by the Goddesses, it was the crummy vow that had blown his planned life out of order! Now everyone in Hyrule would suffer from the little vow that they had innocently made as children. Was the Holy Trio purposely making his life a living hell for their amusement?
Shoving his hands into the pockets of his trousers, Link muttered curses under his breath as he made his way through several wings, unaware of which way he was going. Several times he had stopped in mid-thought to see servants, nobles, and knights looking at him as though he were some sort of pestilence. His only response was to bark at them to mind their noses and then grouchily make his way past them in hast.
His foul temper only increased when he finally realized that he was going the wrong way to the library, and in his anger he kicked a marble wall full force, ending with him yowling aloud in pain and cursing even louder than before.
When the pain in his foot had finally subsided, he went on his way to the library, muttering curses and limping on the way.
Zelda looked up from the tattered book she was reading as the door to the library was wrenched open violently.
Link stumbled in, his face dark with annoyance as he limped over to the table, shoved back a chair, and then sat down, crossing his arms in an impatient fashion.
"Sir Link, are you alright?" Zelda asked, taking in the young Knight's shaggy appearance. "You seem… angry."
Link turned his fierce blue eyes upon Zelda, lips tightened into a straight line of frustration. Curse her, she looked as though she'd slept easily through the night.
The Princess, unflinching under the warrior's gaze, continued to peer at him, waiting for an answer.
"No, Highness," he replied in a tired tone. "I am quite alright."
Zelda narrowed her eyes, sighing. "Liar."
"What did you say?" Link asked, his mood still surly.
Zelda smiled sweetly. "Nothing, nothing at all." Turning her gaze back upon the book, she read a few more lines before speaking up.
"I awoke a bit early this morning, since my curiosity got the better of me. As you know, the vow we made contains powerful magicks, the likes of which the Goddesses themselves can never break," Zelda said softly, nodding toward the large and tattered blue book that they had read from the other night. "It is stated in the vow itself that 'no person or force' may break the vow. However, that is not entirely true, I would think."
Link raised in eyebrow in expectation, waving a hand for the Princess to continue.
"Sir Link, have you studied magick in your time away from the castle?" Zeld asked, looking at the barely conscious warrior.
Link nodded, chewing the side of his mouth thoughtfully. Where was this leading?
"Then tell me, where does magick come from?" Zelda asked, inclining back in the large oaken chair, waiting for the soldier's answer.
"Magick is the power of nature itself," Link replied, recalling it from a book he had read four years ago, "Hylians can simply bend or twist it to their will or liking using the words of our ancestors, the Ancient Hylians."
"Yes, you are partially correct," Zelda replied, smiling approvingly. "Yes, magick is from nature… It dwells in us, and in every living thing. But say, if it were to come from a source other than nature… perhaps, emotions?"
Link furrowed his brow, confused as to what Zelda was implying. "Emotions, my Lady?"
Zelda pointed to the book she was currently reading from, her fingers sliding delicately on the yellowed pages. "Emotions are not part of nature, Sir Link, they are our desires. And say, if the emotion was strong enough, and that you could draw the power of magick from emotions, would you not have a powerful spell?"
"You would have an almost unbreakable spell," Link replied. "But wouldn't it not also draw from your strength?"
Zelda nodded. "Yes it would, though your emotions are powerful, you can still not avoid using some physical strength in the spell. To cast this spell, you would have to be incredibly powerful…"
Link swallowed as he remembered the vow's words. "But if we were but children when we cast the spell, why would it work?"
Zelda smiled bitterly. "Emotional energy, Sir Link. Do you not remember it? After we spoke the vow, we kissed… the emotion from that moment powered the spell, and then it took a little bit of our strength from us. I remember feeling slightly dazed after you left, and I assure you, it wasn't from the kiss."
Link's face had turned horribly red as Zelda spoke. Each and every word seemed to pound the memory of that day back into his head. The groaning and complaining as he played with Zelda, the words of the vow coming freely from their lips as their stared deep into each other's eyes, and the alien feeling that he had felt as he kissed Zelda. The same feeling he felt right now as he remembered every agonizing moment from his past.
"If our emotions were so powerful at the moment, Highness, then there is little we can do to remove the spell," Link replied, crossing his arms. "And from our little look through the books last night didn't tell us anything about how to remove such a spell."
Zelda held up the heavy book before her, the fading green cover blocking the light from the windows.
"Heroes and Sages: Legends of Hyrule? My Lady, how is a book of children's stories going to help us solve our problem?" Link asked.
"Are you familiar with the Legend of the Hero of Time, Sir Link?" Zelda asked, setting the book down, the weight causing the table to rumble with a dull 'thunk.'
"Everyone knows the tales of the Hero of Time," Link said, sighing, "It is the story that every child knows by heart."
"This book dates back to the time of the Hero of Time," Zelda said, then smiled as she continued, "Unknown to most people but the Royal family, the Hero of Time shared your name."
"And this has to do with the vow, how…?" Link asked, rolling his eyes.
"I'm getting there, Sir Link," Zelda snapped, "The Seven Sages of Hyrule, as you know, were all dear friends of the Hero of Time, as you know. The Hero even had a short romance with the Princess of Destiny, my distant ancestor, before he left Hyrule without another trace."
Link waited patiently, looking directly into Zelda's eyes as she continued.
"The Sages were great in powerful, skilled in the arts of magicks beyond our imagination," Zelda said, "They could each control elements of nature, and acted as the guardians of Hyrule."
"Are you saying that we should go look for the Sages and get them to break our vow?" Link asked, sighing.
"The Sages were taken into the Sacred Realm long ago," Zelda said, "'It would be impossible to reach them. But there is something that the Legend does not speak of."
"And what does the Legend not speak of, Highness?" Link asked, genuinely interested.
"There was an eighth Sage, the Sage of Cosmos," Zelda said, crossing her hands neatly, "Her name was erased from the history of Hyrule, since all races were terrified of her."
"Why would they be terrified of a Sage?" Link wondered aloud, "They are the ancient keepers of wisdom and the guardians of Hyrule. Simply put, the knights of the Goddesses themselves."
Zelda sighed, and then looked down at the book. "From what I have read, they feared her power. The Sage of Cosmos was a fearsome warrior, rarely having any mercy upon those she slayed. She was skilled in all arts of magick, and was said to know spells powerful enough to raise the dead. She was also the closest to the Goddesses, and the most powerful of the sages."
"She sounds like a terrifying person, who could blame the races for fearing her?" Link said, shivering at the description, "Yet, if she's a sage, then she should be in the Sacred Realm with the others, correct Highness?"
Zelda shook her head, blonde hair moving to and fro. "She and Rauru, the Sage of Light, were the only two Sages to remain in Hyrule. Rauru to look after the Temple of Time, and the Sage of Cosmos to look after the whole of Hyrule."
Link blinked, and then slowly understood what Zelda wanted. "So you're saying that we should go and look for the Sage of Cosmos, who might not even exist, and whose name we don't even know."
"I never said I did not know her name, Sir Link," Zelda said, shaking her head, "And it is better to go and search than to sit around idly and wait for Edward's forces to attack us."
Link sighed in resignation. He knew that Zelda was right. This was their only chance to set things as there were supposed to be. If the Sage of Cosmos really did exist and her power was as it was rumored, them she could be the only one to help them break the vow.
"Very well, we will search for the Sage of Cosmos," Link said softly, "We had better speak to Master Rauru then, shouldn't we?"
"I'm sorry, but I cannot go with you, Sir Link," Zelda said, looking down at the table in shame. "I must deal with Edward… He is threatening to ally with Vandellus and stretch out his arm against us."
Link nodded and smiled. "I understand, Highness. Do not worry, I will go see Master Rauru immediately."
Standing from his chair, Link stood from his chair and bowed to Zelda. He suddenly stopped at the door, his hand already on the brass knob. "Highness?"
Zelda looked up, eyes on the back of the blonde soldier's head. "Yes, Sir Link?"
"What is her name?" Link asked softly. "I might need it to convince Master Rauru."
There was a moment of silence before Zelda finally spoke up, the name of the powerful sage drifting off her tongue with ease. "Artemis. The Sage of Cosmos' name is Artemis."
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