Link found himself standing just inside the drawbridge at Hyrule Castle late at night, all alone. What in the world was he doing here, when he should be at Zelda's side? He had his sword drawn, and felt an eerie presence close by but could not see it. His palms were sweaty, his heart racing as he looked around him in all directions to see if he could find the root of this disturbing feeling welling inside of him. Everything looked normal. Then he saw a Hylian guard standing there...but when Link approached him and tried to talk to him, he would not answer.
Then he heard a frighteningly familiar noise and he quickly turned around.
Several Redeads were suddenly closing in on him, and he was trapped. He swung his sword in quick desperation and hit two of them but the other three grabbed him by the arms and throat, slowly choking the life out of him. He could feel his life draining away....slowly...his health meter fading fast....
He sat up quickly, grabbing his throat and taking in deep breaths. He'd had another horrible nightmare. Thank goodness it wasn't real. He looked around his bedroom and rubbed his eyes. All was normal.
He looked over. There lay Zelda sleeping peacefully. Whew.
He lay back down, covering his eyes with his hands, his racing heartbeat finally returning to normal.
It was still dark outside. He wondered what time it was.
He glanced over at his pocket watch he kept by his bedside.
He was glad he hadn't woken Zelda up.
He got out of bed quietly so he wouldn't disturb her and tiptoed into the bedroom where his two beautiful babies were sleeping.
He knew it was crazy, but he wanted to make sure they were alright.
He tiptoed quietly into their nursery, where they both lay sleeping soundly in their own cribs.
They were just a few months old now, and they were as sweet as they could be.
Link could never tire of watching them sleep, keeping watch over them like the fiercely protective husband and father that he was.
He tucked their little blankets around them, placed his finger to his lips and touched each of their little noses, then crept out quietly, leaving the door open just a bit.
Getting back into bed, he slowly snuggled up to Zelda and went back to sleep. Maybe he could catch 2 or 3 more hours before the Cuccos would wake him back up.
Inside the Evil Realm, where Ganondorf was still imprisoned, he laughed his slow evil laugh.
"You won't have a peaceful night's sleep ever again, Link...not as long as I'm inside this Evil Realm. I'll figure out a way to get out of here, and when I do...I will make you and Zelda pay dearly...Ha Ha Ha!!"
The darkness slowly began to fade...and Hyrule would soon come to life for another day. The sun's rays had not yet begun to filter in through the bedroom window, and Link was still hard asleep, like a rock.
Zelda stirred slowly and rolled over to look at him. Wow...he'd been out as soon as he hit that pillow last night. It seemed like he hadn't moved an inch. It was so warm in this bed lying here next to him. She leaned over and tickled his nose with her own. Her face was the first thing she wanted him to see when he awoke.
"Wake up"... she sweetly murmured into his ear, kissing his cheek.
He slowly opened his eyes and looked up at her and smiled.
"Hello beautiful...." he said sleepily as he kissed her.
"The sun's not quite up yet,"...she yawned, rolling over on her stomach, hugging her pillow close, looking at him with her sweet eyes.
"Is it still dark outside?" he asked as he sleepily glanced over his shoulder at the window, then let his head drop again like a rock.
"Good," he said as he stretched and put his arm around his wife. He lay there for a minute, not moving, stroking Zelda's hair.
"I'm a little thirsty," he finally said, scratching his throat. "I think I'll go get some water. Would you like some, sweetheart?"
He started to get out of the bed again. He didn't even get his feet on the floor when he felt her tugging on the back of his tunic, pulling him back into the bed with her. He let out a startled giggle.
"Where do you think you're going," she said in a low voice, her eyes teasing him with their playfulness. He knew exactly what was on her mind.
"Like you said...it's still dark outside, Link. Nobody but you and I are awake, let's make this time ours, my darling husband, that water can wait"....
Suddenly he wasn't thirsty anymore.
With one swift dashing move, he cradled her against him and lowered them back onto the bed, his face above hers. She wrapped her arms around his neck tightly and smiled lovingly up at him, running her fingers through his silky blond hair.
He said nothing, but not taking his eyes off of hers, laced his fingers around the delicate bow that held her white nightgown in place, and slowly began to pull it loose, teasing her. Her curves had gotten a bit more accentuated since she'd given birth, and his eyes could never seem to get enough. Suddenly his thoughts of his nightmare drifted away as he looked down at her sweet face. His heart raced. Link still couldn't believe, even after just over a year, that this beautiful woman in his bed was his wife, that she still made his heart beat like it was beating now. It had been his greatest fantasy come true, to become her husband and her protector. He almost felt the same as he did the first time they did this together, that night in their secret hiding place, only now he was a much more experienced lover. He knew now, almost by instinct, what pleased her. And there was nothing he loved doing more than making her long for his touch.
"Zelda..." he murmured softly into her ear, his whisper fading....
She could feel his lips against her neck, his warm gentle hands caressing her. She responded by stretching her body out fully on the bed, moving her arms like a snow angel, then curling her fingers in his hair, watching him kiss her body, his eyes lost in her. As her own eyes fell upon the gold wedding band on his finger, it increased her feelings of safety and warmth being under his spell. Visions of him fighting an enemy with his sword....protecting her with his shield danced through her head. The strong hands that had once killed Ganondorf were now as soft as silk when he laid them upon her, making her feel enveloped in a safe cocoon. She truly was in heaven.
She closed her eyes, took a deep breath, arched her head back and sighed.
They had few precious moments alone together like this these days. With two small babies, they knew it would only be a matter of time before they would hear their cries coming from the nursery. They wanted to steal every private moment together that they could.About an hour later, around 7:30, they heard their babies' soft cries calling them. The sun was shining softly through the window.
Zelda was resting peacefully against Link's shoulder, his arm cradling her against him, and she stirred from her dreamy state.
"I'll go get them," she whispered sweetly to him.
She lifted the covers, and, sitting up on the side of the bed, reached for her robe, the red one with the black dragon on it. She threw it over her shoulders and started to stand up.
"Wait a minute," he said softly as he sat up, grabbing her arm, pulling her face towards him.
She leaned back into his shoulder as he gave her a very deep, long and sensual kiss, one that could almost make her stay with him just a little longer....
When she finally stood up she felt a pat on her rear. She jumped.
"Link...you naughty boy"...she whispered, backing away from him, letting go of his hand, giggling softly.
He leaned over on one elbow and eyed her as she walked out of the room. He loved to watch the way she moved when she walked, so graceful, so regal. So womanly. He stretched out and lay his head against the crook of his arm, feeling particularly lazy this morning.
She returned a few minutes later with their son, Damien.
Link sat up in the bed, beaming at them.
"Look who's here!" she said excitedly as she handed him to Link.
"Well good morning, little man"... he said softly to his son as he cuddled him close. He started to cry a little and Link put him against his shoulder, rocking him.
"Oh...what's the matter? Are you hungry?"
Damien's cries subsided a little, and Link held him in his arms and rocked him, looking down at him lovingly. He had Link's distinct features, the deep blue eyes, high cheekbones, blond hair, and it looked like he would most likely have the same upper body build as his handsome father. Only he was a little crankier in the morning than Link had been as a baby. Why this was Link wasn't sure, but he knew he couldn't bear to see either one of these beautiful babies cry. It just tugged at his heartstrings. He may feel differently, however, once they would be older and would be getting into mischief, like all children do, and he would have to take disciplinary action. But he didn't want to think of that just now. He just wanted to enjoy them all he could, and give them whatever they wanted.
Damien cooed a little and tried to reach up to grab Link's nose.
"What are you doing, little guy," Link asked him, lifting up his nightshirt and blowing on his tummy.
They both laughed out loud.
Zelda returned to their bedroom with their daughter Danielle.
They stayed in their room for several hours, just cuddling their little babies in their bed with them, interacting with them, feeding them, fascinated by every little thing they did.
They really did live the life of Hylian royalty. Before these children had gotten here, Zelda enjoyed doing a lot of things herself. She was a great cook, but since she was a new mother now, and of twins at that, she wanted to have as much time with them and Link as possible. So she let her staff at the Castle take care of a lot of the things she would normally have done. Just for a while, anyway. When these babies got bigger, she would return to her normal routine once again. She and Link decided, that even though they had hired two nursemaids to watch them only at times when they couldn't be there, they were not going to have a full-time nanny like other royal couples did. They wanted to be with these children every waking minute of the day. No way would somebody else raise their children.
They loved both of them equally, and were bound and determined to give them the best of everything that they possibly could, and prayed that neither one of them would ever see the evilness that had surrounded Hyrule in recent years.
Link was a wonderful father to them. He helped feed them, rock them to sleep, and even helped change diapers without one word of complaint. He loved these babies. They were everything to him.Zelda got up from the bed to brush her hair and get dressed. As she passed by the full-length mirror Link saw her frown at herself.
"What's the matter?" he asked, smiling at his cooing babies, who lay stretched out on the bed in front of him.
She stood to the side and rubbed her stomach.
"Oh....nothing...I just feel....fat," she said, sticking out her bottom lip half-jokingly, running the brush through her hair..
Link moved the babies to the middle of the bed for a moment so they wouldn't fall off, then walked to Zelda and stood behind her, looking at her face in the mirror, his arms around her.
"Don't you dare say there's more of me to love," she joked, pointing her finger and squinting at him.
"No".....he said as he just gazed at her and rocked her back and forth in his arms, smiling.
"I would never say that....I know your body has been through some changes, and I know you're bothered a little bit by it, but it doesn't bother me. Not in the least."
His hands firmly glided down her body, stopping at her hips.
"You were the most beautiful pregnant woman in the world, and now you're the most beautiful mother in the world. That's all that matters to me."
He took the brush from her, and gently worked the tangles out of her hair, brushing it smooth. Zelda loved it when he did that, because he did a better job than she herself did. His touch could relax her, make her sleep....
So caring, so loving was this man she married.
He took her hair in his hands and smelled it, closing his eyes.
"Your hair is like spun gold, please don't ever cut it, or else I would never have this beautiful mane to run my fingers through"....He turned her around to face him and eyed her from top to bottom.
"If those babies weren't in here right now....the things I would do"...he whispered in her ear.
She circled her arms around his waist and looked up at him.
"You always know the right things to say to make me feel better, Link, I love you so much." she said.
Zelda knew she was and always would be Link's Hylian goddess, and she felt like the luckiest woman in the world. There weren't many men like Link out there. She remembered her father telling her one day long ago that he'd hoped she would marry another prince from a neighboring kingdom someday and Hyrule could rule jointly with another land, becoming even more prosperous.
Well, she never gave that remark another thought after Link had proposed to her the way he did after he defeated Ganondorf.
She had her true prince and he was the most romantic and loving husband and father in the entire world. She could never be happy with another.Zelda's being down about her appearance gave Link an idea. That afternoon he sneaked out of the castle while she was napping and went to the market to get something special for her, something he'd seen her admiring in the store window. He wanted to do it as a gesture, to assure her that even after having two babies recently, she still had the most beautiful body. He planned on surprising her when she least expected it.While they dined that night by candlelight, after putting their babies to sleep, Zelda could sense that something was troubling her husband. He was staring off into space, with that faraway look in his eyes, and he didn't do that unless he was worried about something.
She laid her fork down quietly on the table, and wiped her mouth with her napkin.
Eyeing him through the crystal goblet that held her wine as she sipped it, she finally decided to break his trance.
She swallowed and set it down on the table. You could have heard a pin drop in this room...it was so quiet.
"Link," she asked, "What's the matter?"
Link could never fool his wife. She knew him too well.
His eyes had been fixed on nothing in particular. In fact, there was no expression on his face tonight. He'd hardly touched his dinner. He sat there, running his thumb and forefinger along the stem of his wine goblet, his head full of images from his nightmares, trying to sort them all out.
"Link," she asked again.
He figured he'd better tell her now, lest he possibly shake her awake in the middle of the night and terrify her half to death.
He finally broke his trance and looked at her.
"I'm sorry," he said, shaking his head.
Their dark mahogany dining table was way too long. It was more suited for large parties and formal dinners, not for an intimate dinner for two. He didn't like sitting this far away from Zelda. He picked up his plate and wine and moved to the other end and pulled up a chair next to her. He took her hand in his.
"Zelda...I do have something on my mind. I've been having horrible nightmares again...last night was number five....I fear there may be more."
He knew she could tell a lot from dreams....she'd always been able to.
She moved towards him, sitting in the chair sideways, giving him her full attention.
His eyes fell to her wedding ring, and he glided his fingers gently across her beautiful hand.
"I haven't wanted to worry you with them...but I had that horrible nightmare so long ago when I lived in the forest...calling me to my destiny...I just wonder if there's something even more frightening out there just waiting for me again. But this time, I have you and our children to protect...things are a lot different now...I just wonder what it all could mean."
She reached up and moved a lock of his blond hair away from his eyes.
He looked up at her, and she saw a sadness in his eyes that suddenly overtook her.
"Oh, Link, you should have told me. I would have listened, you know I would have."
"I know...I know," he said, kissing her hand.
She leaned her head on his shoulder and he put his arm around her, her face against his chest.
"Nothing is ever going to tear this family apart, I swear it," Link said very seriously.Zelda feared that something dreadful might be lurking around the corner. If this was the fifth nightmare in a row Link was having, then it must mean something.
She decided she would be more observant of him when he slept tonight so maybe she could figure out a way to help him.
He told her in detail about the last five dreams he'd had. The first one was when Saria had been attacked by moblins and he couldn't get to her in time, the second one was when there was no water in Lake Hylia, but this time it was even more desolate than the last time it had actually happened.
The third one was when he was on his way to Zora's River, and suddenly hundreds of octoroks appeared and wouldn't let him pass.
And the fourth one was when he'd gone out to Lon Lon Ranch, and there were no more cattle, no more milk, no more food.
Then the fifth one was last night when he dreamed of the Redeads grabbing him just inside the castle drawbridge.
"It seems like each one places me closer to the castle," he said, "and that scares me."
Zelda warned him that it had to be Ganondorf. She suspected him immediately, and if they didn't do something fast, something really horrible might happen.
"I'll watch you tonight, while you sleep. my love, and see if you have another nightmare," she said sweetly, as she laid her finger against his cheek.
"I'll try to help you if I can."
They decided to wait and see what tonight's dream might bring before they told anybody else about them.About 3am, Link shook violently in his sleep. Zelda awoke instantly and leaned over him.
She watched his eyes dart back and forth under his eyelids.
"No....no."...he said, his face full of terror.
She tried to shake him awake but could not do it.
She quickly sat up, and concentrating all her energy, laid her fingers against her temples.
Suddenly she found herself standing in a room with Link.It was pitch black. She knew it was her husband standing next to her by his scent and the way he felt when she touched him.
"Where are we?" Zelda asked.
"I don't know," Link said, his voice shaking.
He looked at her, puzzled.
"How did you get here?" he asked.
"I made myself concentrate hard enough so I could come here with you. You're having another nightmare again, Link. I couldn't wake you."
She squeezed his arm.
"Zelda...I don't think you should be here...it's dangerous."
"I want to help you, Link. I'm not going back, not without you."
Zelda suddenly felt a familiar presence appear in front of them.
It was the images of Nayru, Din and Farore.
The glowing light from their faces was almost too bright to look directly at them.
Zelda remembered their presence from the last time they had appeared to her, that awful day long ago when she thought Link was gone forever.
"Help us, please," Link said. "Where are we?"
"In the Hall of Infinity, the place just between consciousness and deep sleep," they said.
"Ganondorf has been taunting you. He has caused these awful dreams, and if you do not conquer him in this dimension, he will escape the Evil Realm, and all of those prophecies will come true. We sense that his powers are growing stronger. You must work together to bring an end to all of this. He cannot speak to you when we are here with you. You must try to draw him here while you are dreaming, for the strength of the Triforce is stronger here than anywhere else. If you can draw him here, we can help you. Hurry, before he escapes the Evil Realm!"
Then they faded away into the darkness.
Link sat up in bed, and so did Zelda.
"Are you alright?" he asked as he caressed her face."Yes."
They looked around them. They were back in their bedroom again.
"That was really weird," Link said, his hands pushing on the bed to make sure he wasn't dreaming anymore.
"No kidding," Zelda said.
"You can come into my dreams with me?" Link asked.
"Yes, I can. I can if I concentrate hard enough."
He pursed his lips together, and made a strange face, almost frowning."I'm not sure if I want you to do that," he said. "I don't like what the consequences could bring."
"Link, please let me help you. Remember what we promised each other when we married? That we would stand by one another no matter what."
"I know, I know," he whispered to her, holding her face in his hands, "I know you are capable of helping me. I would never, ever question that. It's just that....you're the most precious thing in my life next to those babies and I don't like it when you are frightened or scared at all. I want so fiercely to protect you from harm it hurts."
She smiled and thought about that day long ago when he faced Dark Link and had to avenge her from his evil hand. He had almost died for good that day protecting her. No. She wasn't going to let him go through this battle alone. She just wasn't."Link," she said, taking his hand, "You make me melt when you look at me with your eyes, you stir my heart when I watch you with our children, and I cannot even begin to tell you what you do to me when I'm in your passionate embrace. You've been the best thing that's ever happened to me, and the last thing I would ever want to do is make you angry with me. But I cannot lay here by your side and watch you have these horrible nightmares and not help you when I have the ability to do it. I just can't, Link. I love you too much."
He smiled and brought her head to his lips and kissed it, then held her close to him.
"I guess I can't argue with you, can I?" he said jokingly.He knew she was right. And it wasn't that Link didn't feel that Zelda was capable of battle. She'd had to go into hiding as a Sheikah for heaven sakes, and he'd seen her fight with a sword. She was very tough when she had to be. He wanted her to get even better. But what for, he asked himself, if she'd never even have the opportunity to really use her skills? What an idiot he was, he told himself. His manly pride was getting in the way of what mattered most, getting rid of Ganondorf, so he couldn't get to his family, even if it was only in their dreams.
But if anything happened to his beloved, if she was wounded, or worse, he'd never be able to forgive himself. But what if he did this alone and something happened to him? Then that would leave her alone with their two children, and he couldn't even bear to think of that.
"Okay," he said to her, surrendering.
He just couldn't say no to her.
"Okay," she said, her arms tightening around him.
"Until death do we part," she whispered.They went back to sleep and nothing further happened.The next night, however, was very interesting.Link grabbed Zelda's arm at about the same time, 3am in the morning.
She knew he needed her but couldn't wake himself up. His eyes were violently moving underneath his eyelids.
She appeared beside him, again, and this time she could feel intense heat surrounding them.
They were in the Fire Temple about to fall into a fiery pit below them.
Link was hanging onto a pole suspended above the pit, and he was slowly slipping from underneath her grasp.
"I can't hold on much longer, Zelda!""I've got you, Link...hang on!"
Since she was awake, she was able to close her eyes and concentrate hard enough to bring them in front of a closed door, but it had a lock on it, and there was no key to enter it.
But at least now they weren't about to fall into that fiery pit.
They looked at one another with wide eyes. Link was relieved.
All was quiet.
"This must be the door to the Hall of Infinity the goddesses spoke of," he said, slowly reaching his hand out to touch it.
"It's different from all the doors I've ever seen."
Just as his hand was about to touch the door, an evil presence dropped down from above, causing Link and Zelda to jump back suddenly in sheer terror.
She screamed and Link darted quickly in front of her, raising his shield, and drew his sword.
It was a massive white ghost, with huge black eyes, a creature more frightening than either one of them had ever seen. It must have towered about eight or ten feet high.
It spoke to them in the most evil voice either one of them had ever heard."YOU WILL NOT ENTER...THIS WORLD IS MINE!!! YOU WILL NOT ENTER...THIS WORLD IS MINE!!!"
It shook its huge fist at them, and opened its mouth to expose rows of razor sharp teeth, and something slimy was glistening and dripping from them.
It started to move even closer, threateningly closer, and Link raised his shield up, and screamed, "Zelda...get us out of here!! I can't wake up!!"They saw a huge white flash, felt a strong force pull them away, and then they were back in their bed again, safe and sound.Link was sweating and his heart was racing. He pulled Zelda close to him and rocked her back and forth in his arms. Her arms were wound tightly around his neck, their breathing heavy from the horrible thing they'd just seen.They shook silently for a long time...then finally calmed down. This was turning about to be more of a real-life nightmare than either one of them had ever expected."Link, " Zelda asked, her voice trembling, "What was that?""I don't know...I don't know. But it's the scariest thing I've ever seen in my life.""Me too," she said.They couldn't even go back to sleep, they were so frightened.
What if that thing came after their children in their sleep?
Link suddenly remembered what Ganondorf had said as he was being banished into the Evil Realm.
"I will come back to exterminate your descendants!"
What an awful way to do this thing.
"Link, I'm scared," Zelda whispered.
"We must find a way to open that Hall of Infinity...and fast."
"Don't worry," Link said sternly.
"That son of Gohma isn't going to get near our babies, I swear it."The next morning Link went out riding on Epona to clear his head. The bright sun against his back and the blue sky over Hyrule Field made him feel more alive again. Finally, something tangible, something wonderful to look at, and not those horrible images from his dreams.
He was making the wide circle close to Kokiri Forest and about to turn back when he heard something whirling around him nearby. He grabbed his bow and arrow and sharply turned around.
It was a huge Poe, only it didn't move around him in a circle like Poes usually did.
It wouldn't be standing there just looking at him for a reason, he thought, so he lowered his bow and urged Epona to approach the Poe....but slowly. Link remained on his guard. He anticipated that thing throwing fire at him any moment. He looked up at it...it seemed....friendly....
It began to speak to him, in a female voice that Link knew he'd heard before, but couldn't place it. Although it was comforting, it had an uneasy familiarity to it, like it was someone he knew from a long, long time ago..."Link"...it began, changing from purple to green to blue, its eyes wide, its long lashes dancing across its pupils....
The Hero of Time....and the keeper of the legendary Master Sword.....you and your bride the Princess Zelda seek the key to the Hall of Infinity.....you shall find it buried in a place where the sun never appears.....go there together and find it, look for the music written in stone, then enter the Hall of Infinity so that you may thwart the evil that lurks in your sleep"......
Then it disappeared as magically as it had appeared.
As Link turned his horse to go back to Hyrule Castle, he could have sworn he heard its soft voice speak to him again.
He turned around quickly. The Poe was gone.
Was that...his mother?
Or another one of Ganondorf's evil tricks, messing with his head?He would never forget that voice. Not as long as he lived.When Link returned to the castle, he told Zelda of his encounter with the large Poe. He was a bit shaken up by the experience, because if that really was his mother talking to him, she looked really lonely. How awful to be a Poe. How lonely she must feel. The whole experience was making his heart bleed. He never knew....never really knew how she died...
He was so young when she left him with the great Deku Tree.
He didn't remember anything, except her sweet voice.
He'd tucked it away in the distant chambers of his childhood memories, only for it to be lurched forward now.
Tears streamed from his eyes as he recalled his memories.
A horse running swiftly through Hyrule field, trying to escape, a woman's struggle to breathe.
Being cradled in a blanket, not knowing what was happening.
Then, the woman's voice desperately begging for his protection.
"Please...great Deku Tree...please watch over my son....my death is near....I cannot care for him any longer...he is the chosen one...please hide him here until the time comes for his destiny to be revealed to him."
Then he felt a sweet kiss on his forehead, and he left her arms.
Her voice was gone.
This was too much for Link. He just couldn't think about this now. So many other things had to be done first.
Zelda held him close to her, silently praying that his emotional strength would hold out.
She could identify with his loneliness at no longer having parents. When her mother died, that left her father alone to raise her. When he was killed a few years ago, that only left her to carry forth the legacy of her family, and the crown of Hyrule.
But she and Link would always have each other. Of this they were certain.
They were always destined to be together, even before birth.
He was destined to be the Hero of Time, the holder of the Triforce of courage, and the sworn protector of Princess Zelda and her crown.
She was destined to be the holder of the Triforce of Wisdom, and to be by his side, helping him destroy evil, and rule her kingdom peacefully.
There could never, ever have been a more perfect match for two people in the world.
And they were so passionately in love with one another.Zelda and Link both knew, even if it was not spoken between them, where the key to the Hall of the Infinity lie. The Poe had given them their clue.
The musical composing brothers' graves were the only stones with music written into them. This meant they would have to go to the graveyard, at night.
So, at dusk, they left the children in the hands of their nursemaid and headed to the graveyard.
When they got there, it was storming hard. The winds beat against their faces like wet sheets, a most unwelcoming atmosphere. Lightning struck all around them.
The deafening thunder almost made them want to turn back.
But they weren't about to give up. Not now.
They made their way to the back of the graveyard slowly, fighting the fierce winds, fighting through the tall grass that surrounded the gravestones, the light from Kakariko Village fading away from them fast. This was where Zelda's parents were buried. She never came here...it was too spooky. But she was with Link now, and they would pull through this together...just like everything else before now.
The air suddenly turned cold when they reached the back of the cemetery. Zelda was shivering by Link's side as he slowly moved the stone over, opening a hole large enough for only one person to crawl in at a time.
"Zelda...I'll go down first, then you follow me...ok? Stay right behind me!"
Down he went.
She waited a few seconds, then jumped down after him.
Stepping out of the tunnel of light from above, they found themselves in a very dark and unfriendly place.
The wind had stopped of course, but the cold remained. Water dripped from all directions. They could hear the distant echoes of the thunder above them. Zelda looked around her, and the walls were wet and slimy.
In the distance, they could hear the sleeping Fire Keese stirring.
Link readied his bow and arrow and handed it to her.
"Stay behind me, Zelda," he whispered, not wanting to wake the Fire Keese.
She held onto his shoulders as they slowly made their way down into the darkness.
Underneath their feet they could feel movement, and heard tiny crunchy noises underneath them as they walked.
"Link! What are we stepping on? Are those...bugs?"Link's eyes darted around him nervously.
"I think so," he whispered.
"Yuk," she said, carefully placing her feet down with each step, grimacing.
Suddenly a Fire Keese appeared out of nowhere, threatening to attack Link. Zelda quickly took it out with an arrow.
As it fell to the ground, the glow from its body was just enough light to show Link and Zelda the place where the key had to be.
The strong cold draft told them they were at the entrance of a very large room.
They could see a small chest a few feet away.
However, the path to it lay treacherous.
Not only were they surrounded by hundreds of fire Keese, but the sleeping Redeads posed another dangerous threat.
There was some kind of green goo all over the floor, and it glowed a little.
Link recognized that stuff from the Shadow Temple.
It was some nasty stuff. This was going to be quite challenging.
Suddenly a pungent odor filled the cold damp air, and the Redeads all came alive, and began to move in on the two of them.
They backed against one another, preparing to fight these awful things off of them, praying they would have enough bottled fairies to last them, just in case they were needed.
Link swung at them with his sword. He killed two of them.
Zelda managed to get a couple off with some bows.
But more were closing in, and fast.Link swirled his sword, and charged it with enough magic to knock down some more.
Zelda continued killing until she was out of Arrows.
Then...two Floormasters fell to the floor in front of them, just between them and the chest holding the key.
"Zelda! Get behind me!"
He swung his shield up in front of them, dodging the first one with it when it turned green. When it returned to its normal color, Link rushed in with his sword, slashing it.
It broke off into the three tiny hands, and they could hear them creeping on the floor around them, but they couldn't see them.
The second Floormaster moved in.
Link did the same with that one, and as he did, Zelda felt one of the small hands grab her foot, and taking hold of her, slowly began crawling up her dress.
"Link! It's on me! Help!"
Link charged his sword again, and took out all the little hands except for the one on Zelda's body. She tried to move it off of her, but it was too strong. It crept up her quickly, its fingers closing around her throat and squeezing tight.
She grabbed it, trying to pry it loose, but it just tightened around her even more.
Her face was turning purple, her eyes wide with horror, her hands flailing about.
Link took the tip of his sword and sliced its knuckle. It fell to the ground, oozing that same green goo, making a shrill high-pitched screaming sound.
Link stabbed it in the middle and angrily dug the blade in, twisting it, until its fingers quit moving.
Then he kicked it away.
Zelda managed to catch her breath once again, but held her throat and reached around to her neck.
She coughed and breathed in deep, so thankful that thing was gone.
"Are you alright?" Link asked, his hand on her shoulder..
"Yes," she whispered. "Thank goodness you got it before it got me."
There wasn't much time left. The path in front of him now free, Link quickly ran across the river of green goo and opened the chest.
Grabbing the key in one hand and clutching Zelda in his arm on his way back, they didn't stop, but headed straight to the tunnel of light and safety, but not before more Floormasters and Redeads began chasing them.
Luckily, they made it out in time.
Breathing a sigh of relief, they started back toward the castle, when a ghastly image appeared in the night sky above them.It was Ganondorf, only they could see right through him, like it was a ghost of him.
"HA HA HA HA!!!! His evil voice thundered throughout the graveyard.
They stopped, their blood running cold.
Link stood protectively in front of Zelda.
"What do you want, Ganondorf?" he yelled at the evil ghost.
"HA HA HA HA!!!!
"YOU'LL NEVER BE RID OF ME...YOUNG LINK AND ZELDA...I SHALL HAUNT YOU FOREVER...AND I SHALL HAUNT YOUR CHILDREN TOO! I SHALL EXTERMINATE YOUR DESCENDANTS!!"
Link yelled back at him, "You'll never get near my children!"
Ganondorf angrily pointed an evil finger down at them, then pounded his fist into the ground, releasing an earthquake punch. It knocked Link and Zelda both to the ground.
"HA HA HA HA!!"Then he faded away into the blackness above.
"Come on!" Link yelled, a frightened urgency in his voice.
The fierce storm hovering over the graveyard was slowly headed for the castle.
Taking Zelda's hand, they headed for it as fast as they could.
Link ordered to the castle staff that any door open be locked immediately, if it moved, bolt it down, if wind came through it, plug it. If it looked suspicious, kill it.Zelda used her magic to seal the castle from Ganondorf's interfering evilness.
She was determined not to let him get anywhere inside this castle.
Nothing would penetrate these walls tonight.
Link wasn't about to take any chances.
He went into the nursery and watched over his babies fiercely, and made the decision that he was not going to sleep tonight. He would stay up all night if need be to be at Zelda's side. He suddenly felt a very strong need to be very close and protective of her. No, he wanted more than that. He needed to feel all of her tonight. He ached for it. Maybe it was the earlier events from today, seeing that Poe, and the possibility that it could have been his real mother speaking to him, that caused him to feel this way. Whatever it was, he needed her loving arms around him, to provide him a place of solitude away from this raging mess.
His son Damien was sleeping soundly. He chuckled to himself. Just like me, he thought.
Seeing that his daughter was awake, he leaned down into the crib and caressed her head, feeling the beginning of a beautiful long mane of blond hair, just like her mother's. Her blue eyes stared up at him in wide amazement, and she smiled at him, melting her father's heart. He placed the tip of his finger on her mouth, and she grabbed it with her tiny fist and shook it. She cooed loudly, so happy.
"Ouch, you've got quite a grip there, cutie pie," he teased as he tickled her tummy, smiling back down at her. She kicked her feet a little. Such a happy baby.
"Daddy loves you so much," he whispered.
This beautiful little girl would be stealing hearts someday, and Link knew it.
She'd already stolen his.
He felt a presence behind him, and he turned around. It was Zelda. She had two bottles in her hand, shaking them. She was smiling very proudly as she looked at them together.
"Do you want to feed her?" she asked.
"Sure," he replied. He loved watching them eat and fall asleep.
Making cute faces, he lowered Danielle's bottle down into her crib, and she took it, and held onto it tightly as she drank.
He leaned over to his son's crib and saw that he was still asleep.
Zelda gazed at him lovingly.
"He is going to be a spitten image of you, Link. Look at the way he sleeps," she whispered.
"I know, I was just thinking that," he whispered back in agreement.
She reached underneath him quietly so as not to wake him, and felt around his little diaper, breathing a sigh of relief.
"Good, he's not wet or anything." Damien was prone to being quite cranky when awoken to be changed, and Zelda was certainly glad of that.Link could see that Danielle was starting to fall fast asleep.
"Look at this, Zelda," Link said, smiling..
Her tiny eyes were closing and she'd stopped sucking on the bottle.
Link pulled it out carefully.
Zelda smiled. "It's your voice, Link. I really think that's it."
They'd save Damien's bottle for him later. He would probably wake up in the middle of the night. That's what he usually did.
Zelda stood over Danielle's crib and Link moved behind her. He lifted up her hair so he could see if the Floormaster had left any of its marks on her beautiful neck.
There were some marks where its fingers had gripped her, but nothing too serious.
He kissed the back of her neck lightly, then reached up to her shoulders and began to massage them.
"You are so tense," he said in a low soft voice.
"You were pretty frightened back there, weren't you?"
She felt his lips against her neck again.
The hairs on the back of her neck stood up and she shivered underneath his touch.
His voice sounded so comforting, so wonderful.
"I knew you would kill that awful thing, but it was so strong, it nearly sucked the life out of me, Link."
She tilted her head down and closed her eyes. Link's wonderful hands could work miracles.
"That feels so good," she murmured, "I really needed that more than I thought."
He didn't stop until he had worked every knot out of her neck and shoulders.
"Relax," he whispered. "Let me take the tension away from you."
After a few minutes, Link was satisfied that he had loosened her tense muscles.
The nursemaid that usually watched the nursery during the night came in and Link and Zelda knew they could leave their babies in capable hands, at least until they were needed again.
When they reached their bedroom Link told Zelda not to go to bed just yet.
"You need a long hot soak in the bathtub, so you just wait out here for a minute."
"Oh Link, you don't have to do that," she said.
"But I want to. I want to pamper you. After today, you deserve a little pampering."
He didn't have to twist her arm.
She collapsed back on her bed, ready to say goodbye to this horrible day.
She could hear the water running, and then he came back out into the bedroom.
"Okay, come here."
He held out his hand to her.
She got up from the bed and walked to him, and let him lead her to her waiting bath.
He had lit a couple of candles and scattered rose petals in the water.
It smelled wonderful, and the rising steam looked so inviting.
"Oh Link, that looks absolutely marvelous," she said sweetly. "Thank you."
He kissed the top of her head.
"Now you just take your time, ok?" he said, "Take as long as you want.".
"Where are you going?" she asked.
"I'll just be out here. I'll see you...in a little while," he said as he closed the door behind him, with a mischievous grin on his face that she didn't see.
She stepped into the bath, one foot at a time, and relaxed in the water, letting it soak all the fear and tension away, the rose petals softening her skin and filling her with its sweet scent.
She almost fell asleep, lying there like that.
Once she was finished, and had dried off, looking forward to her husband's arms around her as they drifted off to sleep together, her eyes caught sight of something over on the bed.
She approached it slowly, drying her hair with the towel.
When she realized what it was, a big smile spread across her face.
It was a beautiful cream-colored silk nightgown and the most gorgeous deep burgundy robe made of velvet, with rich gold embroidery along the collar, just like the one she had admired a long time ago in that store in town.
The gown was simple, yet so beautiful. It had tiny straps on it, with a cowl neckline, almost scallop-shaped, and it would hug her body just perfectly. It tied in the back.
She picked it up and felt the silk between her fingers, letting its luxurious drape fall across her hand.
She put it on, then took the robe and felt its intricate embroidery. How gorgeous...
It had an empire waist, one button, and it flowed openly to the floor. It had a little bit of a stretch to it, and was such a deep burgundy it was almost black.
She put it around her and it made her feel like a queen.
Then she noticed the red rose and note nearby.
Hmmmm...what was this? That little devil.
What was he up to now?She saw a flash of lightning in the window and the thunder came right behind it.
That storm must be moving closer.
She jumped...startled...reaching for the note and the rose, her fingers shaking.
Suddenly she was filled with fear again. Her body stiffened.
She brought the rose to her and took in its sweet scent as she opened the note."My darling Zelda, I am in the library...alone.
Please wear this and come to me, for I need you...all of you.
I want to make this night unforgettable for both of us.
You are forever my queen"...Signed,
Your awaiting lover...CRASH!!
She jumped again. How she hated storms.
Excitement and fear swept through her body. There was the anticipation of what was waiting for her downstairs, but there was also the fear of the raging storm outside.
So much was happening now that frightened her. There were these dreams of Link's, the horrible images she herself had seen in them, Ganondorf's presence in the graveyard, that Floormaster grabbing her, nearly choking her to death, and the fear of what might happen to her babies, so much fear that she'd had to seal the castle from the inside to prevent anything evil from entering it. It was too much.
Her heart raced as she thought about Link. She needed and wanted him desperately. Her body began aching for his arms around her. And he was in the library...waiting right now for her...wanting her....
She checked herself in the mirror, gazing at herself, marveling at how beautiful this ensemble made her look.
Then she quickly smoothed her hair down and headed to the stairs.Link was waiting for her, in the library, in the shadows. He couldn't wait to see his beloved, to hold her in his arms, to make her feel like she'd never felt before. He imagined her in the silk nightgown, hugging her curves, seeing her body through it, and his heart began racing. The events from the last few days had made them both nervous and tense, and they needed each other's comforting embrace tonight, more than ever. He had sensed her mounting fears, and he was going to take them all away...Zelda ran down the huge spiral staircase, the velvet robe flowing behind her, her blond hair dancing in the light of the torches, the lightning illuminating the windows of the castle, bouncing off the polished suits of armor.
The silk felt wonderful against her skin.
She heard another rumble of thunder, this time quieter.
She stopped, her heart beating uncontrollably, her breathing heavy.
Her eyes gazed up at the ceiling and slowly looked around the castle foyer, as she grabbed the rail for security and walked down, slowly.
Her bare feet sunk into the bright red carpet with each step she took.
The robe indeed made her look like a queen as she came down those stairs. So appropriate for her. Because she was.
When she reached the library door, she stopped and approached it slowly. It was barely open.
She pushed it open a little, that big heavy door, and it creaked.All she could see in the distance was a roaring fire and the shadows from the swords on the walls above her dancing in the firelight, reflecting back on the romantic portrait of herself and Link that hung over the fireplace.
She looked from left to right, scanning the huge bookcases slowly. It was so dark in here.
"Link, where are you? Where are you?" she whispered loudly, clutching her robe to her.
She spun around the room in all directions, looking for him.Then she heard the door close behind her....slowly.
She turned around quickly, and could see Link's handsome body against the door, in the shadows.
She could make out the outline of his broad shoulders, his powerful legs, and he'd unbuttoned his tunic down just enough to expose part of his muscular chest.
The blade of his sword glistened in the dark, and she could feel his deep blue eyes on her.
He was her ultimate fantasy.
Link leaned back against the door, his hand on the doorknob, watching her, with excited anticipation. The gown fit her exquisitely, hugging every curve on her body.
The firelight danced behind her, and he could almost see right through the silk.
He closed his eyes, clenched his jaw, and a quiet groan escaped his throat.
Zelda held onto a chair behind her tightly with both hands, breathing deeply, her heart beating so fast she could hear it, looking at him with wide eyes.
They sensed each other's fiery passion building within their bodies, even though they were several feet apart from one another.
This was the magic that held them together. They knew each other's instincts, feelings, and desires.
She knew what he desired. He knew what she desired.
Link stepped out of the shadows slowly, removing his sword and placing it on the table nearby, then unhooked his thick leather belt and laid it beside the sword. His eyes glanced down at the table, then slowly...slowly met Zelda's again, burning through her. Her heart began racing faster. She swallowed hard.
He then walked to her in long, slow strides, his boots echoing his footsteps on the marble floor.
He reached out, took her face in his hands, and whispered urgently against her lips, "Do you know what you do to me".... then kissed her with a wild passionate fire that she immediately returned. Her hands grasped the chair behind her tighter.
His arms encircled her tiny waist and pulled her closer to him. Her arms reached up in answer and wound around his neck.
Then she felt his strong arms pull her into the shadows by one of the bookcases, into a very dark corner, her back against it. He continued kissing her with fiery passion.
She couldn't speak, only arched her head back in surrender to his lips, which he took delight in as he devoured her neck with hot kisses. Her neck and shoulders were quite relaxed by now. No wonder he had rubbed all the tension out of them upstairs, drawn that hot bath for her....he wanted her totally relaxed, so she would enjoy this all the more. There was no more soreness from the Floormaster's tight grip, only the sensuousness of his burning kisses against her. His body pushed her back against the corner even more. He wasn't letting her go anywhere. She curled her hands around his neck and pulled his lips even closer, grabbing his back.
She felt him against her, his body burning with desire.
She sighed deeply against him as he undid the one button of her robe that held it together, his hands moving up to her shoulders, slowly gliding it away from her, cradling her gently, feeling the silky smoothness of her arms.
"I've been waiting for you," he whispered passionately to her, "Waiting to see you in this, you look so gorgeous"...
His hands moved across her entire body, his fingers caressing her.
Suddenly she threw her head back and gasped, reaching up to tightly grab the shelf above her, to brace on to something, for she felt fire shooting throughout her entire body from his touch. Some of the books above her tumbled to the floor.
She felt him embrace her tighter and let out a low, sensual laugh against her neck, pleased with the reaction he was getting from her.
"Do you like that, honey?".... he whispered to her slowly, passionately, not stopping.He could see the passion in her face as he looked up at her.
"Yes," she answered, her eyes begging him for more, "Yes."
"Good"....he whispered, enjoying what he was doing to her.
"If this is the last night I ever love you like this, I'm going to make it last forever...you feel so good"....Lightning flashed through the window again.
The thunder made her shudder in fear.
Link immediately sensed this, and his arms tightened around her waist. He pulled back, looked down into her eyes, and placed his finger against her lips.
"Shhh"....he rocked her back and forth then covered her lips with his again.
What they were doing seemed so...forbidden.
Everything was swirling around her, this passion, this intensity. It was all overtaking her. She was powerless against him, and she liked it.
Even though she and Link were married now, and what they were doing down here was absolutely the most beautiful and sacred thing they ever shared together, what if somebody in the castle caught them down here? What if they were seen?
It was terribly exciting.
The raging storm outside suddenly couldn't hold a candle to the storm that was raging here.
She curled her hands around him again began to murmur his name to him softly.
He reached down and picked her up, and carried her in his arms to the fireplace, where he lay her down on the plush white rug in front of it like a precious china doll.
His lips were still on hers, covering them with soft, soft kisses.
She wound her arms around his neck, returning each kiss.
They could both feel the fire's warmth enveloping them, somehow sealing them from the outside world.
"You taste so good," he murmured. "I love you"....
She sighed against his lips.
"I love you...Link"...
Then she felt his hand along her body, inching up the white silk...slowly...
All she wanted was him, this handsome warrior, to love her forever, like he was doing now.
She could feel him against her, his body so warm above hers.
The raging storm between them was moving closer...closer...
She didn't want to wait any longer.
"Link...make me yours, now...please," she begged him, encircling his waist, pulling him closer to her, stretching out her body.
He couldn't wait any longer either.
Taking her in his most intimate embrace, they surrendered to one another, taking each other away into that most private world they shared together as one...as husband and wife...as lovers for all eternity...
He made sure to make it last as close to forever for her as he promised.Later, as the storm subsided, they lay together in each other's arms, with only the sounds of the fading thunder, soft rain, and the crackling fire surrounding them. They were cuddled up comfortably on the rug underneath warm blankets. It was surprisingly comfortable. He kissed her head as she cradled it against him, listening to his heartbeat.
"What time is it?" she whispered, tracing his chest with her fingers.
"I don't know...I was so wrapped up in thoughts of you that I didn't think to bring my watch down here with me...oops," he joked.
"I don't care....it doesn't matter anyway," she smiled and looked up at him.
"I just hope we're not discovered."
"So what if we are?" he asked mischievously. "It's our library...this is our castle. I'm just glad nobody came in here last night or they would have gotten a real eyeful."
He rolled his eyes at her and smiled.
"This was one of the most beautiful experiences I've ever had with you, next to our wedding night. You were more exciting and passionate than ever. I so enjoy being your lover," he said as he took her hand and kissed it.
Zelda knew that this experience had brought them even closer together.
"Link...you made me feel absolutely fantastic."
She ran through the events in her head and sighed deeply against him, smiling, hugging him.
He rocked her in his arms and stroked her hair.
"Zelda, I take one look at you and I lose control."
She leaned up into his ear, smiled, and whispered very softly, "You seemed to have pretty good control to me," then she kissed it tenderly.
He tilted his head back and laughed, blushing a little.
"Hmmm"...he said, taking her hand and intertwining their fingers together.
He suddenly burst out laughing hysterically.
"What?" she asked.
He covered his mouth with his hand as he continued to laugh, rolling over and starting to turn a little red.
"What is it?" she began to giggle too, wondering what was making him laugh so hard.
He leaned over into her ear and whispered very quietly into it, still laughing, "I thought we were going to wake up the entire castle."
She started laughing too.
"Do you think we did?" she asked.
"Well, if we did, it probably was the best wake up call anybody around here's ever had."
She rolled on her back and laughed harder, her hand on her forehead.
They sighed, laughed a little more, then fell asleep.
They both felt at peace, relieved from all of the fear and tension that had surrounded them before.
It felt so good to laugh in each other's arms.
Zelda suddenly felt something cold against her lips.
She slowly opened her eyes to see a big beautiful strawberry in front of her. Link was teasing her with it.
"Lookie here," he said." Look what I've got. Open your mouth."
She did as he said, and rolled out her tongue slowly. He jerked the strawberry away.
"What are you doing? Give me that," she said, pushing against his chest. "That's not fair."
"Okay," he said, laughing. "You're right. I'm sorry." He tried to make his face look serious.
She opened her mouth. He did it again.
She pulled his fingers down to her mouth, and took the strawberry out of them with her teeth.
"Don't you dare tease me like that," she said, pointing at him with her finger. "You know I love strawberries."
He grinned at her.
She raised up on her elbow, and looked behind the pillow. There they were, in a big bowl.
"Okay, smartie pants, you want to play that game, I can play too," she said teasingly.
She took one out of the bowl, shook her long hair back behind her, and holding it up over her head, not taking her eyes off of Link's, slowly rolled her tongue around the tip of it, closing her eyes, making an erotic sound with her voice.
"Come and get it, loverboy," she teased, placing it between her teeth, raising her eyebrows flirtingly.
Link reached for hungrily, taking the strawberry from her, kissing her, both of them laughing.
Then he rolled her on top of him, stroking her face, not saying a word, just looking into her eyes.
She slowly lowered her lips onto his, and then they took each other away again.
It must have been about 2 or 3am.
They did get some sleep that night, though not much.They decided that the following night would be the night that they would go to the Hall of Infinity together and try to lure Ganondorf there. But the first thing they would have to conquer would be that huge terrifying ghost that lay between them and the door. Now that they had the key, how would they ever defeat that horrible monster?
Zelda had an idea. Maybe they could bottle it, just like Link had bottled all those evil Poes around Hyrule Field when he was on his quest.
But how?For her answer, Zelda decided to consult the ancient book of Hylian magic, the one her father kept hidden in a vault buried deep within the castle.
It was kept under lock and key in the event that Hyrule ever be sacked by an enemy King.
It was to always remain a secret. Not even Link was supposed to know it existed, but Zelda had no choice but to allow him access to it.
He was her husband, and someday he would rule Hyrule as King, when he came of age.
She would keep no secrets from him.
"I had no idea this place was down here," Link said as they walked down the basement stairs that led to the secret vault.
It was damp and musty.
It had been a long time since Zelda had been down here.
Was she sure she even knew the way?
She opened a large metal door that had been rusted with time, and grabbing a Deku Stick, lit it with the fire from the nearby torch, and through the tunnel they went.
"My father hid this book in many different places during his life," she said, Link behind her.
"It was rumored that King Kaunas from Pavlodar wanted my father's throne so badly that he tried to infiltrate spies into these tunnels to find that secret book. But my father was one step ahead of him."
"What did he do?" Link asked curiously.
Zelda looked behind at him then kept going, her eyes unwavering.
"When the guards found them, my father had every one of them hanged."
Link raised his eyebrows. He knew King Harkinian was not someone to be messed with, that he did whatever was necessary to destroy an enemy, to take them down.
He was a man after Link's own heart.
"Boy...I'm glad I didn't sneak into this castle to get a peek at you, or else I would have hanged for sure,"
he said, laughing a little.A few turns later down the dark passageway, and they found themselves at the entrance of a great wooden door, covered with cobwebs.
Would the key even fit in the lock?
Zelda unhooked the large ring holding the key from her waist, and eyed the lock suspiciously.
Link cleared the cobwebs away for her.
"Well, here goes nothing," she said.
Inserting the key into the lock, she turned it to the left.
It was stiff, and rusty, but it finally moved and the click told Zelda it had worked.
"Whew," she said, smiling.
She stood back as Link opened the door.
The entrance was dark, but they fought their way through the cobwebs to middle of a large room where there was nothing there but a large golden box.
Zelda reached for the other key in her possession and turned the lock on it.
She lifted the lid up slowly and blew the dust off the book and rubbed it with her hand.
In ancient Hylian symbols it read "Ancient Sages Book of Magic for the Royal family of Hyrule"
She lifted it slowly out of the box.
"Link, I think we should find a new hiding place for this...I don't think I want to come down here anymore."
"Well I don't blame you one bit.""Come on, let's take this back and we will look at it in better light."
He grabbed the box, and with Zelda clutching the book in her arms, they left quietly, locking the door behind them.
Once they made it back to their chambers, Zelda closed the door quickly.
She didn't want anyone to see her with it.
She trusted nobody but Link.
They sat down on their bed and Zelda began to thumb through the stiff pages carefully, some stuck together."Look, Link! Here it is!"
She pointed to a passage that referred to the banishing of evil spirits from the underworld.
Her eyes widened excitedly as she read it.
She had taught Link some ancient Hylian a long time ago, but he had forgotten a lot of it.
He leaned over her shoulder, moving her hair away as they read the book together.
Her finger ran along the words feverishly.
"It says here that we must bottle the evil spirit and banish it into the fire that never sleeps."
They looked at each other at the same time.
"The Fire Temple," they both said.
"To bottle it, we must make it afraid of the one thing that it fears most, which is"....
she kept reading, silent.
She mouthed words to herself, her fingers still scanning the pages, turning them...
"Where is it, where is it?"
"Here," Link said, pointing to the small symbol at the bottom of the page.
"I recognize that...what is it?"
He looked closer at it.
It was a small lantern...the very things that Poes carried with them..
Zelda looked at him, puzzled.
"Why would it be afraid of becoming a Poe?"
"Because it would have to leave where it has attached itself to, the door to the Hall of Infinity," he said.
"If it becomes a Poe, then it has to leave that place, and live somewhere else. Evidently this spirit, whomever it belonged to, was so evil that it separated itself from the other Poes at death and found its home in front of that door, not letting anybody in, because it knows that goodness is inside the Hall of Infinity."
Then he paused for a moment.
"I'm just glad it isn't anywhere near....my mother."
His voice had an overtone of sadness to it when he said that.
Zelda leaned over to kiss his cheek and squeeze his hand.
"We're going to face it...together, my darling. You and me."
She caressed his cheek.
He looked at her, took her hand and kissed it.
"I love you."
She leaned forward and kissed the top of his head, smoothing his hair.
Looking over him, Zelda said, "We'll have to go catch a Poe tonight to take with us. We can release it and maybe...just maybe...that will do it."
Link put his arm around her and held on to her like that for awhile, not saying anything.
She stroked his hair softly and cuddled him gently to her.
"That feels so nice"...he whispered, just before he fell asleep like that in her lap.
Zelda continued reading from the book.
She came upon some other magic spells that would be of great use. She decided not to tell Link what she was planning to do.
She wanted him to trust her.
She leaned back against the headboard and smiled. Ganondorf's spirit would not have a chance against them tonight when they traveled tonight to face him in Link's dreams.
Not a chance.
Her eyes grew heavy, then she drifted off into a deep sleep.When the sun went down, and all of Hyrule had turned in for the evening, Link and Zelda went to Rauru, the Sage of Light, to tell him what they were planning to do.
He had suspected that Ganondorf was disturbing the peace again in Hyrule, but hadn't wanted to step in and say anything because of his loyal vow to Zelda's father long ago that he would be sought out should help be needed, not the other way around.
Zelda apologized to him for not coming to him sooner, but she told him that she felt it best for she and her husband to try to deal with these things alone before consulting an outside party. After all, if she and Link were to be King and Queen of Hyrule someday, they would have to learn to weather these storms out together. She felt it would only strengthen the bond between them.Rauru was impressed with the young princess' maturity and wisdom. He knew she hadn't been chosen to be the holder of the Triforce of Wisdom for nothing.
But he did offer his assistance, should it be needed.
He planned to summon the other Sages and warn them of what lay ahead, just in case.
Zelda didn't argue with him, because she knew that would be the right thing to do.
Link stood by her side as she told Rauru about the nightmares, and what the three goddesses said to them in the Hall of Infinity.
Rauru knew that place existed but had never spoken to anyone who'd actually seen it or been there.
He listened with great interest as they told him about the awful ghost guarding it, and what they were planning to do.After a couple of hours, Link and Zelda decided to take their leave of Rauru and head back to the castle to spend some time with their babies before they set out on their quest.
When they reached the castle, something evil was looming over it
Zelda sensed it as soon as they came in the door.
They rushed upstairs, their hearts racing, and when they entered, their faces went white with horror.
There was Ganondorf's ghost, looming over their babies' cribs.
"No!!!" Link screamed, angrily drawing his sword. "You get away from them, you evil bastard!!!"
He looked at Ganondorf with hot, angry eyes.
Zelda was crying uncontrollably.
"No! Please! Put them back, Ganondorf! Don't take my babies!" she covered her face with her hands.
Ganondorf had them both in his hands, and they were crying helplessly for their parents.
"YOU TOOK MY LIFELINE AWAY FROM ME, AND NOW I SHALL TAKE YOURS AWAY FROM YOU, LINK AND ZELDA!!"
Ganondorf of course had no real intention of hurting these innocent babies. But he did want to get Link and Zelda where it hurt them the most.
Why should they be happy when he was miserable?
No, he was only going to "borrow" Damien and Danielle for awhile as a bargaining tool, just long enough to get him out of the Evil Realm, and then of course fulfill all the evil prophecies from Link's dreams.
"RELEASE ME FROM THE EVIL REALM, AND THEY SHALL BE RETURNED TO YOU!! HA HA HA!!!
Then he backed away from the window, disappearing into the night sky with their beautiful children.
Link ran from window to window down the long hallway, frantically searching for any sign of them.
They were gone.
Zelda stood there with her hand at the doorway, staring into the nursery, her eyes blank.
The wind from the window rushed past her, blowing her hair away from her face.
Link came back to her side, looking at her, she was so filled with sadness.
He slowly turned her to face him.
The glassy-eyed look on her face told Link she had gone into shock.
His eyes filled with deep concern.
"Oh no, please, Zelda, snap out of it...I need you. I need you now more than anything. Please, sweetheart, look at me."
He cradled her against him, rocking her back and forth, stroking her hair. She went stiff in his embrace.
Link fought hard to keep back the angry tears that were welling inside of him.
Then he felt her floating away from him into the darkness.
His body followed hers, and he tried to speak to her, but no sound would come out of his throat.Link touched the air around him, and it rippled, like water, turning several different colors.
He saw many scenes in front of his eyes....the castle, Zelda in her wedding dress, Dark Link, the Great Deku Tree, Saria, Darunia and the Gorons, Impa...
Then his feet landed on the ground, right in front of the door to the Hall of Infinity.
He looked to his left. There stood Zelda, but he couldn't speak to her. She was still in her trance, unable to look at him, unable to speak.
Then the evil creature they both feared dropped down from above, looking even more menacing than before."KEEP AWAY!!! KEEP AWAY!! It yelled.
Link searched around his body. He pulled out....a bottled Poe? Where did this come from?
The creature moved toward Zelda.
She didn't do anything.
Link ran for her, more frightened than ever.
"No!! Don't you touch her!!"
He started to draw his sword as its evil mouth with the sharp teeth was about to close over her, then she suddenly reached up with her hand and yelled, "Stop!"
The creature backed away, frightened, as a golden ray of light brighter than a thousand suns emanated from her hand and struck it right in its eyes.
Link opened the bottled Poe and released it at the same time.
When the Poe floated out of the bottle and saw the creature, its eyes became angry, as if it knew who that evil ghost was, and it shrieked at it with a high-pitched voice.
The creature writhed in pain as the Poe grabbed it and began choking it, draining its life away.
Link never knew Poes could get this angry, but obviously something dark existed between these two, and he knew not to interfere.
The screaming was so loud Link and Zelda had to cover their ears.
The Poe managed to squeeze the evil creature down into the bottle.
Link quickly capped it so it would not escape.
Then the Poe turned its back to them, and slowly disappeared into thin air, without one look at Link and Zelda, just like that.
Link hurled the bottled ghost into the fire pit nearby. It melted immediately, sending a wisp of white smoke upward. The evil ghost was gone.This was WEIRD.
Zelda finally looked at Link, and handed him the key to the door, and curled her hand around his arm.
"Open the door, Link, hurry," she said.
Link put the key in the keyhole, and it turned without any trouble.
They entered through the dark doorway, and found themselves in a big dark room, with gold columns surrounding them in a huge circle. Rippling reflections formed at the edges of the circle.
It seemed...peaceful, like a Great Fairy's Fountain.
Then the familiar glow of Nayru, Din and Farore appeared before them again.
"He is near, young Link," they said. "He watches you. Be prepared."
Then they disappeared.
Link turned to Zelda.
"I shall wait for you...Hero of Time"...she said, pulling away from him.
"Where...where are you going?" he asked.
He couldn't see her anymore.
He heard her voice echoing all around him.
"You shall emerge victorious."
He looked all around him. It was too quiet in here.
Then he felt a breeze blow through his soul.
It was Zelda. It smelled like her. It tasted like her.
Link smelled his hands, took in a deep breath and smiled.
He drew his sword up in the air and yelled, "Come and get me, Ganondorf!"
Then......he heard a rumbling sound.
It started out quiet at first, then got louder and louder.
Suddenly Ganondorf burst through the floor, with such force it knocked Link down.
He stood up and saw that he had taken on the menacingly familiar form of Ganon again.
This time Link didn't have his Megaton Hammer, or the Light Arrows he'd used to defeat him before.
Ganon held Damien and Danielle in his hands high above Link, and they were crying.
"IF YOU WANT THESE CHILDREN BACK, YOU MUST DEFEAT ME. LOSE TODAY, AND I SHALL RAISE THEM AS MINE AND FULFILL EVERY EVIL PROPHECY FROM YOUR NIGHTMARES! HA HA HA HA!!!
He laid the babies high up on a ledge, in a safe place, away from he and Link.Link couldn't stand this. They were out of his reach.
"Don't you dare hurt them!" he yelled.
Ganon looked down at him with those menacing yellow eyes, and swung his blade down at him unexpectedly.
"YOU'RE NOT IN THE POSITION TO DEMAND ANYTHING!!"
Link yelled as he fell back from the sting of the blade.
Dazed, he got up to attack, but with what?
Bombs wouldn't work, deku nuts wouldn't even stun him, the bow and arrow would be useless without the Light Arrows, he didn't have his Megaton Hammer or the Master Sword anymore...what would he do?
He felt Ganon closing in on him, backing him into a corner, and fast.
The lives of his children depended on his bravery, but his bravery depended on the skill with which he used his weapons.
Link suddenly feared all might be lost.
What he didn't know was that his wife was inside here with him, calling up the magic spell she decided to use but didn't tell him about.
She concentrated hard, clasping her hands together, eyes closed.
Then she opened her arms wide and looked up toward the sky.
Just as Ganon was about to swing the final deathblow at Link, several voices rang out at the same time, all which sounded too familiar to Link.
Ganon stopped and looked all around him.
Stepping out of the shadows, were an infinite number of warriors that all looked exactly like Link!
Link shook his head, not sure he'd seen right.
"Huh?" he asked, dazed.
"You think you can take us, come on and try"....they all said, all of their arms folded across their chests, challenging Ganon.
Link was stunned. How did this happen?
Ganon spun around the room, not believing what he was seeing.
"Chicken," they all cackled. "Brak, brak, brak brak"...they taunted, flapping their arms.
His yellow eyes grew angry again, and he started to charge at them.
The sound of an infinite number of swords and shields being drawn at the same time must have been awesome, because Princess Zelda smiled and she had goose bumps all over her. Even though these men weren't really real, they all resembled the hero that was her husband, and she folded her arms in satisfaction, watching the real Link's reaction.
The warriors were ready, in attack position, staring Ganon down, ready to take him down.
Yes, her magic had worked. Ganon didn't have a chance now.
Angry, Ganon went from warrior to warrior, trying to kill each one, only for them to disappear and reappear again, over and over.
Then he began swinging his blades mercilessly, and growling, because he had no idea which one of them was the real Link.
"Hey Ganon, think fast"...one of them said, sailing an arrow effortlessly into his arm, running by him.
"Yo, Ganon...over here," another one taunted, flipping his sword around in his hand and nailing him in the chest with it, skipping away.
"Nyah nyah nyah nyah...nyah."
Ganon screamed in pain, looking all around him, in agony and in fear, swinging his blades.
"Ouch," another one said, "Tsk, tsk, tsk," shaking his head, walking away, cocking his head to the side and smiling.
He felt arrow after arrow being pummeled into his skin. Sword after sword was thrown at him, making him weaker and weaker.
He started swaying back and forth, slowly at first, then he felt the ground spinning.
Before he knew it, he was on his back, face to face with the real Link, standing above him, his Sword of Truth drawn over Ganons' heart.
He gritted his teeth as he showed the foul beast no mercy.
"This is for haunting me in my dreams, this is for Hyrule, the goddesses, the Sages, Zelda, for taking my babies, but mostly...this is FOR ME!!"And, standing over him, he angrily thrust that sword deep down into Ganon's heart, and twisted it angrily, deeper and deeper, and Ganon's body writhed underneath it uncontrollably, screaming in pain, his blood squirting everywhere.
"You will never escape the Evil Realm now!" Never! Never again will you hurt me, my wife, or my children!"
He screamed in victory as Ganon's body finally went limp.
When Ganon's body stopped moving, Zelda ran to Link's side, and hugged him tightly.
"You did it! You did it!"
She smothered him with kisses, and he took her hands in his.
"Where are our babies?" he asked her.
Nayru, Din and Farore told them they were in their cribs, sound asleep, and would not remember any of this.
Link looked around the room at his clones, and they all bowed to him at the same time.
He turned to Zelda and asked, "Did you do that?"
"Yes, Link. I did. I wanted to make sure the magic would work before I told you about it."
"Thank you"...he said, bowing back to his clones.
They backed away into the darkness...gone.
Ganon's body disappeared, and then Link and Zelda were alone.
He stood there and caressed her face gently, just looking deeply into her eyes.
"It's over," he said. "It's finally over."
She placed a finger against lips.
"I love you," he said.
Suddenly a soft glow came from one end of the room, and a pleasant sound, almost like a babbling brook, surrounded them..
They slowly turned toward it.
A woman was approaching them, her silhouette surrounded by white light.
Link held his hand up over his eyes to shield them from the brightness.
He pulled away from Zelda and walked toward her.
When he got closer, he suddenly knew who she was.
She held her hand out to him.
"Link," she said, "You have become the courageous man you were always destined to be."
He took it, unable to speak.
All he could do was collapse on his knees in front of her, draw his sword and hold it in the ground while holding her other hand in his.
Tears began streaming down his face, and he spoke to her in a cracked, emotional voice.
Her face was so beautiful, surrounded by this peaceful light, her eyes beautiful pools of deep blue, just like Link's.
She was dressed in a light blue gown, flowing all around her.
Her long brown hair smelled so pretty, like her.
Link could just look at her...forever.
He didn't move. He stayed there, bowed to her, the beautiful queen that she was.
His memories of her scent, her sweet voice, even though he'd been just a baby when they saw each other last, came flooding back.
She reached out and touched his face. He took her hand and held it against him, closing his eyes, wanting this moment to last forever.
"What a handsome man you have become. You have truly fulfilled your destiny. I am so proud of you."
She looked over at Zelda and smiled at her.
"What a beautiful princess you have as your wife."
Zelda couldn't breathe. Link's mother truly was beautiful. She joined Link at his side, on her knees, clutching him, looking up at her.
"Mother," he said, choking up, "please...come see my babies, they are so beautiful"...
Zelda's heart bled for Link so, because he really was overtaken by emotion, more than she'd ever seen him before.
She held onto him tightly.
His mother shook her head.
"I cannot. I must go. You have released me from the lonely life I led. I was banished after the war long ago. I knew of your destiny, and I knew that someday you would release me. I just want to say...thank you."
Link couldn't absorb what she had just said.
"But...there's so much I want to know, please...don't go"...he cried, standing up.
Zelda stood with him.
"Someday, my son, you will know everything, but for now, know that I love you...and I will always watch over you. You and your beautiful wife must now return to your life with your children, and know that you shall sleep peacefully from now on."
Link and Zelda could see the glow getting brighter, and spirits were surrounding her, wanting to take her with them.
Then she leaned forward, and gave Link a kiss on the cheek.
"I love you, my son."
Link tried to reach out for her.
"I love you...mother."
She held out her hand, and blew both of them a kiss.
Something wonderful, like a magic dust, scattered softly across both of their faces.
Then she began to back away from them, the glow growing dimmer, her voice fading.
"Wake up....now".......she said.They felt themselves swirling in a vortex, pulling them gently away...
The sun's rays were filtering into the bedroom once again, and the Cuccos were making their noises to awaken the day.
Link stirred from his sleep and awoke to find himself still in Zelda's lap, his arms around her, and she was sleeping against the headboard.
The book of magic still lay there open on the bed, on the same page.
He sat up and rubbed his eyes.
Zelda stirred from her sleep also.
"What....what happened?" she asked, sitting up more.
"Zelda...I think it's all over," he said nervously.
He embraced her in his arms, rocking her back and forth.
"Did you see her?" he asked, his voice breaking up against her shoulder.
"Yes, Link...I did."
He cried against her for a long time.
But he was truly glad he'd finally gotten to see his mother in all of her beauty.
So she was indeed the Poe that spoke to him that day.
He was so relieved to have Zelda's shoulder to cry on. He knew he could always trust her with his feelings.
He pulled back from her, and she dried his tears.
They rushed into the nursery, to find their babies still asleep, untouched.
It truly was all over.
The conversation with Rauru hadn't even taken place, they realized.Zelda decided that she was going to do something long overdue for this brave husband of hers that had risked his life for her so many times, and now he'd risked it for their children. It was something he'd wanted for a very long time, and had dreamed about it, but had never asked her for it, because of the man he was. This experience was something that had brought her even closer to Link, and made her see him as more of a hero than ever before. He truly was her Prince of all Princes.
Even though according to Hylian custom, they weren't of age to be named King and Queen of Hyrule just yet, Zelda was going to give Link the next best thing she could offer him, something nobody could ever take away from him, something of true honor for this man of all men.
She called a meeting with the Sages and told them of her decision. They were all in agreement and nobody dared contradict Princess Zelda in this biggest decision of her young lifetime. She would not tell Link of this until the last possible moment, and had fiercely ordered that it be kept a secret until then.All of Hyrule were invited to the castle to witness something very spectacular, something not done since Zelda's father was alive.
The Great Hall was decorated lavishly, in preparation for something very grand.
The people of Hyrule weren't quite sure what to expect. Was it a wedding? A baby christening? A grand ball?Link didn't know what was up. All he knew was that he was given a royal tunic to wear, with the same boots, cape and gauntlets he'd worn on his wedding day, and told to wear it to the Great Hall and await further instruction.
No matter how many questions he asked, nobody would tell him what was going on.On the day of the event, Link stood at the back of the Great Hall, nervous. More nervous than he'd ever been since his wedding day.
He wasn't allowed to see Zelda.
She stood at her father's throne, wearing a regal empire-waist dress made of red satin, its waist lined with tiny diamonds. She wore white elbow-length gloves, and her hair was piled high on her head with her tiara placed delicately upon her beautiful mane.
She looked more like the beautiful queen she would someday become, and possessed many of the necessary qualities she would need to carry out that responsibility, when she came of age.
The Sages knew that day was fast approaching. They could see it in her leadership abilities.
With a bow of her head to Rauru, that was the signal for the ceremony to begin.Link walked out of the corridor into the Great Hall.
When he saw Zelda standing at the throne looking so beautiful, he was taken aback.
What was this? All of Hyrule's eyes were upon him.
All of the Sages smiled at him as he made his way to his wife's side.
He certainly looked handsome this day.
His sword at his hip, he walked with long strides, his cape flowing behind him.
What was going on?
When he reached Zelda, she looked at him with a pride that told him something was definitely up.
They stood there together, her hands folded regally in front of her, looking like the true lady and princess that she was.
Over in the corner, Link could see the nursemaids with his babies. They were cooing loudly and smiling.Rauru stood before him, and nodded to Zelda.
"Link, the Hero of Time, you have demonstrated the utmost in courage and bravery, and you have risked your life protecting the Princess Zelda, Prince Damien and Princess Danielle, and the royal crown of Hyrule at all costs. You have succeeded every time your courage and bravery were needed, you have never questioned your honor, or that of your wife, you have simply given it, as a symbol of your faith and devotion to her. You have never questioned the reasons for which you have been asked to protect, you simply have protected, because of your devotion to her. You have respected her and loved her, not because these things were asked of you, you simply do it because you are a man of honor, a man of your word, and a man of courage.
Your leadership and bravery have not gone unnoticed here today, and it is here and now in front of these witnesses that Princess Zelda and the Sages wish to recognize you for it, with the highest honor possible for you, Link."
Zelda turned around behind her, and gave the signal for Darunia to come forth. She turned back to face Link, and cleared her throat.
She was about to give him an order, something she'd never done before.
"Link...please stand before me," she said softly, smiling at him, trying to maintain her regal authority.
Link smiled back and obeyed her, and knelt down in front of her on one knee.Darunia handed her a long and beautiful sword, and she slowly placed the tip of it on Link's left shoulder.
Link's heart raced, his palms turned sweaty, his knees were weak. He was being knighted by her!
Was he dreaming? He couldn't catch his breath.
Zelda's voice cracked a little as she looked down at him, kneeling before her.
"It is my wish today...Link....my husband and my prince....in front of all of these witnesses, to knight thee Sir Link of the Knights of the Hylian Order. You shall serve and protect the Royal Crown as long as you live, do you accept this?"
He felt the blade tap his right shoulder.
He looked up at her, and she could see the emotion in his eyes. He wasn't paying attention to anything else now.
Not even the hush that was falling over the entire crowd.
He could still hear his babies cooing in the background, and he closed his eyes for a moment, trying to soak it all in.
This was absolutely the best gift she could have ever given him, next to accepting his marriage proposal, and bearing him two beautiful children.
Not taking his intense gaze off of her, he took her hand in his and before he laid his lips upon it, mouthed the words "I love you" before he pressed his lips against it tenderly and closed his eyes.
The feel of his lips against her gloved hand sent chills up and down her spine.
"Yes, I accept this most gracious honor....Your Majesty," he said, looking up at her tenderly.
On his right hand she placed the signet ring he would wear from now on as a symbol of his commitment.
She ordered him to rise, then laid the sword across her hands, presenting it to him.
"I give thee the sword of my father, the late King Harkinian. Carry it and use it with honor and bravery.
From now on, I order that everyone in this kingdom refer to thee as...Sir Link."
He dropped to his knees in gratitude and held the sword down with both hands in front of him, his head down.
This was the most awesome thing in the world.
Not only to be knighted, but to be given the late King's treasured sword too?
He was entering the next stage of his life as a man, as the protector of the crown, as the husband of the most beautiful Princess that ever lived, and as the father of the next heir to the throne of Hyrule.
Zelda took his hand and he finally stood up, looking at her with his deep eyes, the expression in them telling her all she needed to know.When the ceremony was complete, Zelda announced that a great ball be held in his honor this day.
Before they headed to the festivities, however, Link took her outside on the terrace, alone, to talk to her.
He took her hand in his and kissed it tenderly.
"You have done the ultimate thing for me, Zelda. I had no idea that this was what you were up to. I...don't know what to say...except that I love you...so much."
She caressed his face.
"Link, this was long overdue, I should have done this for you so long ago. Can you ever forgive me for waiting so long?"
He took both of her hands and held them to his heart, clutching the sword against his breast.
"I never imagined anything so wonderful being bestowed upon me. I shall hold my duty as high as my love and devotion to you. This knight will always protect you, will always protect our children. You will always be safe with me. I swear it to you, now and forever.
I shall take you upon my horse and carry you away with me wherever you wish to go, my beautiful princess."
Zelda felt butterflies in her stomach at what she was hearing. Just like the day he proposed to her. His eyes captivated her once again.
He pulled the sword away from his breast, and slowly sheathed it against his hip.
Placing his hands on the small of her back, he pulled her close to him, and kissed her softly.
Then he drew back slowly, gazing down at her deeply with those blue eyes.
"You just wait until later tonight," he whispered.
"I intend to make you mine all over again."
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