Crowns of Deception

By Forlorn Rain

Chapter XXVI - Torture

I did not know if it was day or night for I could only see blackness. I could hear water dripping from all around and the faint scent of candle wax lingered in the air. My entire body ached, my head pounding audibly as I recalled how I came to be here.

I was escaping from the stables in Sunset Bay… to warn—


I shot up from where I lay, but chains forced me back against a wooden surface. Despite pulling against them with all my strength, they would not give. I cursed aloud, desperate to return to Zelda's side. Ganondorf had deceived her, conspired against her; he was the one who haunted her dreams, the one who desired her death!

"You bloody traitor!"


The thought of Zelda at the mercy of his hand compelled me to continue fighting. The chains cut into my skin, and soon, blood began to run from my wrists.

Then I heard a chuckle. "Don't even think about trying to escape, the chains are far too thick; I've been trying for days now." The voice came from my left, followed by the clinking of metal.

"You are prisoner as well?" I asked hoarsely; I was in desperate need of water.

"My comrade and I." As this unknown prisoner spoke, I recognized his voice; there was no mistaking the accent.


There was a pause, then another chuckle. "Can it be? The masked man?" I scoffed yet he continued on. "I don't understand, you were killed by that hooded bastard!"

"I know not how I survived, but when I came to, he had vanished. After dispatching the thief, Zelda an—the princess and I escaped."

"...You killed Sakon?"

"Nay, but I wished for his death."

Igos laughed. "We underestimated her. Nevertheless, it is in my favor. How did you come to be here?"

"The one you know as the hooded man overtook me in Sunset Bay—"

"You know who he is, this man who murdered my father?"

"He is called Agahnim."

"Agahnim?" Igos shouted. "The Haladian count?"


"All these years in search of vengeance… now in vain!" he lamented.

"It is a cruel fate," another voice spoke. It was Igos' comrade, the goron Darmani.

"Why were you taken here?" I questioned.

"Our involvement with Sakon and the princess I assume." Igos answered. "Agahnim must have brought us after we were attacked; we woke here."

I sighed heavily. "I see. So we are here till we die…"

"Or until we are killed. We've been given little water and meager scraps. I suspect we are being kept alive to be broken for his pleasure."

"But there must be a way to escape… I must warn Zelda before it's too late," I whispered mostly to myself.

"Is the princess safe?" Darmani asked in concern.

"…No." Again, I tried to pry myself from the chains, ignoring the burns on my skin from twisting. "Agahnim is at the command of Haladin's prince."

"Prince Ganondorf?"

"He intends to kill Zelda and take over Hyrule, raging war across all the kingdoms. His sorcerous powers are formidable, but I believe—"

Just then, there was a peculiar howl of wind, and the room grew colder. The sound of footsteps echoed throughout the chamber… and he spoke.

"A touching reunion," Agahnim chuckled.

A shudder of rage moved through me, spurring me to spit curses at him.

"Coward!" Igos bellowed. "Release us and fight like a man, you murderous cad!"

Candles suddenly lit up about the room, illuminating jagged stone walls; we were trapped inside a cavern. Igos and Darmani were chained to a wall some distance away, while I lay upon a wooden table in the middle of the chamber.

"Silence, filthy Ikanan, I am more than a man could ever be." Agahnim twisted his hand towards Igos and Igos' words died in his throat, glaring at Agahnim with silent hatred.

"Better, now…" he turned back to me and smirked. "Until your princess is wed, you are charged in my care... then you shall join her in death. Unfortunately for you, I am an expert in the art of torture."

I looked away, biting my teeth, lips twitching.

Agahnim bent over and whispered, "You think you know pain? Are you prepared, little guardian?"

"Rot in hell," I hissed.

He simply laughed. "Your spite will not last long; soon you shall be begging for death." He grabbed my arm, his nails digging into my skin. Powerful shocks darted from his fingers and into my body, numbing my extremities. He then took vials and needles from his robe and laid them out on another table beside me.

"Let us see how much a Hylian knight can endure." Drenching a needle in a clear liquid, he stabbed it into my arm, numbness moving through the rest of me. I fought to keep my senses, but I began to fall into a dreamlike state.

I was suddenly in the confines of a forest. I looked about in bewilderment; what manner of magic was this? I was garbed in traditional knight attire, and felt the familiar weight of steel upon my back. I drew the sword, and hesitantly started forward.

"Show yourself, Agahnim, you cannot fool me with dreams and visions!"


My heart leapt within me. I turned slowly, finding Zelda running towards me.

Her face was one of fear. "Link!"

Then suddenly from behind her, a wolfo appeared in pursuit.

Overwhelming dread filled me; I was reliving a memory. I rushed towards her, shouting her name in warning. She tripped, and coiled into herself as the wolfo bounded closer. I was at her side in moments, raising my sword to the wolfo for I knew its course of attack.

Yet it did not stop as it had before. It dove for my leg, and I quickly blocked, slicing the sword across its mane. It growled, snapping its jaws in a mad frenzy.

The wolfo sprung up, sinking its teeth into my arm. I cried out and heard Zelda gasp from behind me. Blood seeped into my clothing, streaming down my skin. As I raised my sword to thrust it into the wolfo's face, it used my weight against me and snatched my wrist. My sword fell from my hand and we toppled to the ground, the wind knocking from my chest. Rolling away, the wolfo then leapt towards Zelda. As it dove upon her, Zelda grabbed a fallen branch in attempt to protect herself, yet it simply bit her foot, dragging her across the dirt as she screamed in terror. I scrambled forward and tackled it away, its body twisting within my arms. Freeing itself, the wolfo began to tear away at my shoulder. My flesh became raw and I felt a sharp sting begin to course through my veins.

"Zelda, run!" Just as she got to her feet, the wolfo turned its attention back to her. I moved as quickly as my injured body was able, reaching for my sword amongst the fallen leaves.

I then heard a gasp and a sickening crack.

Whipping around, the wolfo had Zelda by the neck, shaking her like a rag doll.

Everything turned cold. I could not move. No, this was a dream… a memory twisted by dark magic.

It ripped at her clothing, biting and clawing her flesh as it pleased.

I would wake any moment… this was nothing… Zelda was not dead.

A whimper of my name.

I bounded forward, feeling as though I would purge with every step.

"Get away from her!"

The wolfo reared its head, its muzzle stained crimson, dripping with Zelda's blood.

Poison from the wolfo's bite moved through the rest of me. I fell to my knees.


I dropped to the ground, crying out for her hopelessly, wanting to die as I witnessed the wolfo tear her apart.

"This is only the beginning."

The icy cavern engulfed me as the vision faded.

My eyes were wet.

"How pathetic you are; knowing it was nothing more than magic, yet still you weep."

I calmed my ragged breath and spit in his face.

His glared, his nostrils flaring as he wiped the spittle away. "Insolent whelp." He then slapped me and stuck another needle into my arm and the surroundings changed once again.

I was chained to a wall. The smell of salt and mold permeated the air.

The Great Sea.

I closed my eyes, trying to wake myself.

But then I heard footsteps just beyond the door, followed by another.

"You swore you would not harm him!" Zelda shouted crossly.

I hit my head on the wood behind me; no… not again.

"Princess Zelda, I cannot allow this."

I clenched my jaw to keep from speaking, feeling my skin crawl from the sound of Ganondorf's voice.

"He is a dangerous man, this Raven, you must not consort with him."

"I will not stand for this unjust treatment."

I heard the click of the door but it did not open.

"…You will let me pass," Zelda said slowly.

"His Highness instructed me to rule in his stead whilst he recovers and would agree this man is untrustworthy."

"Raven saved my life; a hero does not deserve to be locked up!" Zelda continued to fumble with the latch.

"Why does a former knight mean so much to you, even one so disloyal to the crown? He is nothing more than a deserter, fortunate enough to come across you. He is using you to win back his honor, do you not see? He deceives us all," Ganondorf growled.

"My word is enough to pardon any crime; do not be so quick to judge matters of which you know nothing," Zelda said, barely above a whisper.

As I tried to shut out their voices, words of a prayer tugged at the back of my mind.

"I act only out of concern for Her Highness; will you not listen to your betrothed?"

I shook the prayer from my thoughts.

"I would ask the same of you."

"I will not risk your safety. Now please, return to your quarters."

"… Do not think this shall be forgotten."

Ganondorf let out a quiet laugh. "Your threats are that of a child."

"You are a fiend; nothing more than a jealous tyrant."

"…I would not say such things if I were you," Ganondorf said in a low voice.

"To imagine Prince Ganondorf envious of a former stable boy—"

The door to the brig suddenly burst open. Zelda stood in the doorway, wide-eyed.

"My patience for your impudence is at an end." He stepped forward, and Zelda stepped back, glancing at me with shining eyes. Ganondorf slammed the door shut, stalking towards her with a smirk.

I stood quickly, shaking my head in denial, knowing his cruel intentions.

"Do not touch her."

Ganondorf ignored me, keeping eyes upon Zelda. She continued to move away from him until her back hit the lone table in the middle of the room. The candle upon it rocked, sending their shadows flickering across the room. Startled, Zelda ran towards me, but Ganondorf snatched her arm and flung her onto the table. He leaned over her, holding her arms down.

"Get your filthy hands off her!" I struggled against the chains, shouting profanities at him. I felt my wrist dislocate, yet still I could not escape. "Zelda!"

She cried out in objection as Ganondorf began to tear at her clothing.

I bowed my head, closing my eyes, trying to remember it was nothing more than a twisted memory. But through the sounds of her struggles and screams, the ripping of fabric and scrapping of wood… my blood seethed.

"Cease this defilement, I beg you!"

Ganondorf simply laughed, pressing his lips to her exposed skin.

Never had a felt such a strong urge to kill, yet I was helpless. No matter how much I broke my body apart to be rid of the chains, I could do nothing.

Zelda then whispered my name and I met her eyes; they were devoid of life.

I pleaded for forgiveness… brokenly.

"Goddess… save her… please..."

Suddenly I woke from the memory, staring into the blackness of the cavern. I could not catch my breath and heaved twice. Agahnim was no longer at my side, but far against the wall at my feet. He held his hand delicately as if injured, glowering at me.

Blinking tears away, I turned away from him and closed my eyes.

The strange howl of wind sounded once again, and he was gone.

"Oy… masked man, are you are alright?" Igos asked hesitantly, his voice returned now that Agahnim had disappeared.

I hardly possessed the strength to open my lids. As I tried to move, I felt my muscles tighten; it was as if they were trying to snap my bones. The needles Agahnim had pierced me with must have been doused in strange concoctions that caused me to hallucinate and sap all my energy; poisons from Haladin no doubt.

I did not try to recall what I had seen.

"Do you live? Oy!"


Igos sighed in relief. "I have never seen anyone tortured so."

"I can cope with torture," I whispered.

"So you say. Are you really a Hylian knight?"


"Masked man, you remind me of a legend," Darmani then spoke, "about a Hylian who saved Snowhead and all of Termina. If it's true, then surely you can save the princess."

I inhaled slowly; it ached terribly to even breathe. The vision of Zelda's lifeless eyes flashed in my mind. "I… but I…" Remembering my pleading words to the Goddesses, I fell silent. Why had I called upon them? I felt ashamed for I had told myself I would believe in them no more. Could I not be rid of this part of me that relied on them, nay, clung to them?

You believe they can save her.

Igos cleared his throat uncomfortably. "Why did you rescue the princess? Agahnim calls you 'knight' yet you met us as a pirate…"

I paused for a moment, gathering strength to continue speaking. "In another life… I was her guardian. Four years ago, I was captured during a siege… and became Pirate Raven's successor—"

"The Dread Pirate Raven?" Igos and Darmani stammered.

"I am Raven no longer. I swore to return to her."

"For love," Darmani finished.

I said nothing.

Igos then sighed. "Masked man… I have committed many crimes and have no right to ask for forgiveness… but your plight has instilled something within me. You must know I regret my involvement with the princess's capture."

"And I as well," Darmani added quietly.

I was slightly stunned, knowing not what to reply. "I am grateful for your gesture; I bear you no ill will."

"Before we die… tell me your name, guardian," Igos jested.

"Guardian! Ah, forgive me… Link…"

I managed a chuckle. "I am Link of Ordon, Royal Guardian to Her Highness, Princess Zelda." Continuing, I repeated my words to them upon the Scarlet Crag. "I escaped death once. Perhaps I can a second time."

Igos laughed in turn, as did Darmani.

"You mean, 'we'?"

Time was of no relevance. Whether it had been days or hours since Agahnim had left, I did not know.

But he returned. With Ganondorf.

"My Lord, you are certain now is the time—"

"I will not be mocked, that little scamp has made it clear the vermin must be taken care of now."

"Yes, My Lord."

Their voices echoed off the cavern walls, their footsteps growing louder each passing second.

I knew why they had come and I ignored the voice within me that wished to pray for salvation.

Entering the chamber, Ganondorf's eyes seeming to light the room with his fury. "Even in your absence, do you interfere!" he bellowed, stalking towards me. "You shall regret your defiance for no man will ever suffer as greatly as you will."

A paralyzing shock suddenly shot from his hand and into my body.

He leaned down, his face contorted in rage and amusement, speaking from his teeth. "Once I pry your Triforce from your ragged body, I'll throw your corpse at her feet, and as she weeps in horror, I'll slit her throat and claim her Triforce!"

My stomach churned, the vision of Zelda at his hands flashing before my eyes. "If you dare touch her—"

He grinned mirthlessly. "I hold her father's very life in my hands… amusing how she agreed so readily to marry on the morrow out of love for him."

Sweat dripped down the side of my face. "You lie."

Ganondorf then laughed outright. "Your eyes betray you; fear not, you shall meet your precious princess in death." He whipped around and snapped his fingers. "Agahnim."

Igos began screaming at them, Darmani pounding away at the rock and chains as Agahnim came forward with a long, crude dagger. I began to shout incoherently, my voice raw and cracking.

No, I cannot die now!

Agahnim snatched my throat, severing my breath. Ganondorf then reached for me from the other side of the table, his clawed hand hovering above my heart before digging his fingers into my skin.

The paralyzing shock struck me once again, and my body rose from the table of its own accord. The strain of the chains against Ganondorf's magic stole the air from my lungs and a wave of sickness told hold.

Suddenly I felt a searing pain beneath me; Agahnim was drawing the dagger at my back. Black spots clouded my vision and my eyes rolled back.

"He must suffer, Agahnim, wake him."

He pressed the blade deeper into my flesh and I cried out, spitting blood from my mouth. The pressure from both side of my body was excruciating.

… Ze… Zelda…


A fresh cut on my abdomen.

My heart raced beneath Ganondorf's hand, blood gushing freely.


He then lifted his hand from me, and I fell back against the table with a painful thud.

"Such insolence…" he growled. "If you won't give it willingly, I shall drain it from you." Easily, he broke the chain that held my hand with the markings. It began to convulse within his grasp as he dragged a fingernail across the back of it, speaking in a strange, dark tongue. I fought weakly against him but it was to no avail; Agahnim was more than eager to cuff me about the head and irritate my wounds.

I forced a laugh over his mutterings. "You will gain nothing… I have not what you seek."

Ganondorf's lips curled, letting out a bellow of anger before slamming his fist down upon my chest. Black and crimson smoke slithered from his hand, snaking across my body. It permeated into my skin, setting my flesh and bones aflame.

I deafened myself with the sound of my own screams.

My wounds tore open.

I choked on my own blood, feeling it run from my eyes, seep from my ears.


I writhed upon the table, my back arching towards Ganondorf's hand.

This pain was nothing I had ever known.

Ganondorf's black speech filled the chamber once more and my eyes shot open.

I felt as if I was being torn in two.

"Now Agahnim!"

Agahnim raised the dagger, aiming for my heart.

The echoes of their laughter began to fade, I closed my eyes, waiting for death to take me.

"Link, please!"

Goddesses… my life for hers. Forgive me… Zelda…

Suddenly a familiar warmth enshrouded me, pushing back the icy flame of Ganondorf's dark magic. Weakly I opened my eyes, seeing only a blinding green light descend upon me. Agahnim was thrown back, but Ganondorf shielded himself. The chains about me disintegrated, the table beneath me becoming nothing more than dust.

I fell to the ground… and my body ceased to move.

Ganondorf laughed madly, his hands outstretched in triumph. He knelt beside me, and took my marked hand, draining the blood into a cup.

Agahnim then appeared, clearly shaken. "It is the same strange light the princess conjured! What if he, too—"

"These breaths are his last." Ganondorf then drank from the cup and a pale light formed at my chest. He grinned, taking it into his hand, enclosing it until it was gone.

My breath slowed, my heart stuttered… my eyes fell closed.

I had been severed from my body.

"Igos… Igos!"

A voice echoed faintly.

"Igos, wake up!"

I could not recall to whom the voice belonged.

Then I heard a groan. "Wha… what? Where am I?"

What was happening? Why did my eyes not open?

"We were brought to a cave, remember? The hooded man—"

"Ah, yes, yes; Agahnim."

"You have blood on your head, are you alright?"

"I'm fine… what happened?"

"The masked man—Link—he was being tortured when a green light appeared and knocked me out. But look, our chains, they are gone!"

Suddenly I remembered everything and just whom these two voices belonged to. Once again I tried to move but my body would not listen.

I heard the shuffling of feet and a sigh from Igos. "I see. We must leave quickly before those damn sorcerers come back."

"…I don't think they will."

"And why is that?"

"The masked—Link… he's dead," Darmani said softly.


"You are sure?"

"He doesn't breathe... there's no heartbeat."

Another heavy sigh. "We cannot leave his body here. Are you strong enough, Darmani?

"I can carry him."

"Let us hurry, but first, I must find my father's sword."

I heard them rummaging about the cavern, and soon enough, Igos let out a quiet sound of victory. Darmani lifted my body from the floor and began to carry me up a set of stairs. His steps seemed to shake the foundation.

"Where do you think we are, Igos?"

"In the mountains somewhere."


They said nothing more as they made their way from the cavern. I had given up trying to move, and simply listened, wondering what Ganondorf and Agahnim had done to me. He had taken my blood from my marking and partook of it, but why? For the Triforce essence I supposedly possessed?

My thoughts wandered to Zelda, fearing they would torture her just as they did me.

Darmani's words then came to the forefront of my mind.

"He's dead."

I did not understand; if I did not breathe and my heart did not beat, then perhaps… I was. Was this the afterlife: nothing but infinite blackness, with only the sounds of the world to keep company?

"Igos… are we lost?" Darmani asked quietly.

"No, the air is changing; we must be close to a way out." Minutes later, the stone steps disappeared, the sound of creaking wood taking their place.

"Ah, Darmani, look!" Their pace quickened and I heard the opening of a door.

"What is this place?" Darmani questioned in a hushed voice.

"… A deserted village…" Igos' voice was monotonous, broken. "Put him down, Darmani; it is too dark to go further."


"I have not the strength to continue; there is no help for us."

"Don't say that," Darmani encouraged. "We escaped, luck must be on our side now."

Igos simply chuckled and I heard the unsheathing of a sword. "This is the end, father. Please forgive my lowly self… I could not avenge you." He stabbed the ground, letting out a cry of anger, of shame… of sorrow.

The wind whipped through us, lulling Igos' faint moans to silence.

I cursed Ganondorf; he had taken everything from me. I was dead and would never see Zelda again. Tears prickled beneath my lids yet they escaped not.

Goddess… if you are there…

I sighed inwardly, humbling myself to swallow my pride.

Protect her.

"Who goes there?"

Do not let Ganondorf take her, nor Hyrule.

"Show yourself, come out!"

"Igos," Darmani called to him. "Igos, it's a man."

Suddenly I heard the footsteps of the mysterious man in the distance. "Who are you, what do you want?" The man sounded aged… weak.

"Old man," Igos whispered. "Can you help us?"

"Help you?"

"Please, we have been kept prisoner for many days, I beg you…"

The old man paused. "How did you come to be here? This Hidden Village is known to few."

"We were captured and tortured, old man, so please—"

"Who are you?"

"Igos Du Ikana, ruler of the Ikanan border in Termina, and this is my comrade, Darmani of Snowhead in Termina."

"And the other?"

"He is dead."

The old man laughed outright. "Are you blind?" He moved closer and continued, "perhaps I should take pity on you; a pathetic Ikanan, Goron, and Hylian are no threat to me."

"Old man—"

"Enough of that; do not let my age fool you. I am Shikashi of the Sheikah."

A Sheikah? I felt a small hope ignite within me; perhaps he knew of Impa.

"Follow me; I shall give you food and water."

"Thank you," Igos and Darmani said in unison. Darmani picked me up and followed Shikashi at a slow pace. Opening the door to his home, the smell of herbs and spices wafted from inside.

"Put him on the table."

"But sir—"

"Do as I say."

Darmani lay me down upon the table and I heard the pouring of water and the setting out of plates and cups.

"I have little to spare, but this should give you enough strength to get to Kakariko Village."

Igos and Darmani then began to eat ravenously.

"What is this place?" Igos asked with a mouth full of food. "Why do you dwell here alone?"

"This Hidden Village was once home to my people. We were charged by the royal family of Hyrule to guard the secret mountain pass to Haladin."

"I hate to say it, but you've failed in your duty if you knew not we were here."

"Do not offend me; my senses are just as sharp as ever."

"… Even against magic?" Igos grunted.

Shikashi paused. "Of what do you speak?"

"We were hidden in a cavern beneath this village by Agahnim and Ganondorf, surely you would have sensed their powers…?"

"Who are these supposed necromancers?"

"The prince of Haladin and his count; Agahnim killed my father when I was a boy and now they have tortured and killed this man for some Triforce—"

"Triforce?" Shikashi interjected in a hushed voice. "You are certain of this?"

"It's not the first I've heard of it. My comrade and I were charged to start a war between Hyrule and Calatia. We captured Hyrule's Princess and brought her to Calatia but… we knew not she was going to be killed. Agahnim appeared before us from thin air, claiming she possessed this Triforce and tried to take it from her."

"… You captured the future sovereign of Hyrule?" Shikashi repeated, his voice on the verge of anger.

"Sir, we regret our involvement I assure you."

"And her Triforce—"

"She escaped him."

Shikashi then seemed to fall deep into thought. "Haladians possess knowledge of Triforce… no good can come from this."

Igos and Darmani continuing eating and after a few minutes of silence, my wrist was lifted in the air and let go just as quickly, my arm dropping to the table to a dull thud.

"You claimed this man was killed because of the Triforce… I must find out his connection to it. Fortunately, I've seen worse." Shikashi commented. Fingers then jabbed into my chest. "What happened to you?"

"…Sir…" Igos mumbled.

Shikashi ignored him, jabbing me once again.



"He's dead, he can't talk."

"We told you, he was tortured to death," Darmani answered in my stead.

"Tortured, yes certainly, but—"

"Enough, his heart beats not and his breath is still!" Igos said.

"You witnessed his death?"

Igos sighed impatiently. "No… the last thing I saw was a strange green light."

"How was he tortured, pray tell?"

"Magic," Darmani replied.

"Hm… not by any magic I have seen... no doubt the work of dark magic."

"Yes we already—"

"Your friend is only mostly dead."


My mind was wheeling.

"I don't understand." Igos said quietly.

"Of course not. There is a difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, there is no hope. His lifeforce has been drained from him yet… his spirit lingers. Something is keeping him here…" Shikashi then flicked my cheek. "Why do you linger, Hylian?" he inquired. "What is so important here that's worth living for?"

He pushed down upon my chest hard and the remaining air brought my thoughts to my lips. "Zelda."

Igos and Darmani gasped and Shikashi's hands left me.

"He spoke!" Darmani cried.

"Princess Zelda?" Shikashi questioned.

"He is her guardian." Igos explained. "And her lover."

Shikashi chuckled. "Ah yes, love is it? A noble cause indeed but there is something more than that…" My left hand was then lifted from the table and I heard a small gasp from Shikashi. "It cannot be… this mark upon his hand…"

"What, what is it?" Darmani asked eagerly.

"This body houses an essence of… the Triforce!"

"But what does it mean, what is this Triforce?"

"You Terminians would not understand," Shikashi said, gently placing my hand back on the table. "Though it has passed into disbelief among the Hylians, it is sacred to us Sheikah,"

"Try us."

Shikashi paused thoughtfully. "Do you intend to help this man?"

"…I do." Igos answered. "He is connected to the man who killed my father."

"He told us he would save the princess," Darmani said softly.

Shikashi sighed. "Very well, we Sheikah are servants of the Goddesses and have protected knowledge of the Triforce since the beginning; you must promise to speak of it to no one."

"We swear it."

Shikashi took a deep breath. "The Triforce is an ancient power, left here by the Golden Goddesses themselves. Long ago, a thief broke into the sacred realm, the resting place of the Triforce. Laying his hands upon it, the Triforce split into three pieces: power, wisdom, and courage. Power remained with the thief, for that is what his heart most believed in. Chosen by the Goddesses, the bearers of wisdom and courage defeated the evil thief, but the Triforce was never made whole. Many legends in Hyrule's history tell of those chosen by the Goddesses to wield the essences of the Triforce and now… we see one before our very eyes."

A moment of silence passed.

Did this man speak the truth? His words were the same as Zelda's yet…

Was I truly chosen by the Goddesses?

Why else do you live when you should be dead?

"Given all this trouble from those bastards to attain it… I am inclined to believe it," Igos muttered. "But I care not for it. I only wish to right the wrongs I have done to Link and the princess… and avenge my father."

"I agree with Igos," Darmani said meekly. "Can Link be saved, can you heal him?"

Shikashi paused. "You have a kind heart, goron, but regretfully, I can do nothing for him."

Igos slammed his fist upon the table. "Then why did you ask—"

"Ah-ah, but I know someone who can and fortunately, she too is a Sheikah and dwells in the castle with the princess."

Hope began to burn brighter within me. Perhaps it wasn't too late…

"If this man is truly chosen by the Goddesses, then I am obligated to aid you. I will send word to her by bird to meet us in Kakariko Village on the morrow. Now quickly, drink this red potion; it will take the reminder of the night to reach Kakariko by daybreak."

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