After The Twilight
Part Three- Halting Darkness's Advance

By Holly Janda


Chapter nine: When the Winner Loses


“SO NOW WE KNOW WHAT EMPEROR DARKKNIGHT IS DOING. He’s trying to refuel the Triforce of Power, but why would he want to bring Ganondorf back, especially if he wants to be the evil ruler?” Link said as Zelda paced.

“He may not want to be a ruler of any kind; he may just be a servant of Ganondorf’s that is trying to resurrect him. But what he does not realise is that by making the Triforce of Power stronger, he is doing the same to those of Courage and Wisdom  as well, but the question is how,” she paused and looked at him with a smile spreading slowly over her features. “We may be at an advantage here.” Link sat pensive for a moment and then frowned.

“Princess, that’s not necessarily true, you know. What if, yes, his plan is to bring Ganondorf back, but then, if he somehow gets a hold of the other two parts of the Triforce, or even one for that matter, he’ll be completely unstoppable due to their combined strength! Is it possible?”

“Have you the Triforce of Wisdom all of a sudden? I never even thought of that. If that is in fact the case, then we must stop DarkKnight before he succeeds. But the barrier…perhaps our combined magic can break it. It’s best to wait, however. Maybe it will fall of its own accord. Link, thank you for all your help,” said Zelda with a small smile. In Link’s opinion, she looked very tired.

“No worries, princess. Remember, if you ever need me, just call and I’ll be there.” Though her smile grew, a small tear rolled down Zelda’s cheek. She reached out and gently laid a hand on Link’s face, and he covered it with his own. They stood like that for awhile, staring at each other, until Link removed her hand, kissing it as he bowed, and then left. Only after he had disappeared from the room did Zelda say,

“Be careful…my hero.”


So, what’s the news? Deku said to Link as they flew toward Ordon.

“Aah, we figured out why, well speculated actually, that evil’s afoot,” he replied. They flew high over the fields and finally reached Faron Woods. Looking over Deku’s shoulder, Link could see that many of the forest’s trees had died from lack of water, but those in the Sacred Grove were as vibrant and healthy as ever.

“Down there! See that really tiny clearing? That’s where I live,” Link told Deku, who then angled his wings and landed in front of Link’s small house. He vaulted off of the dragon’s shoulders onto the ladder affixed to the ledge at the base of the tree house and then climbed up. Behind him, Deku glowed a dull green for a moment and then flew over to him, now the size of a hawk.

“How the hell do you do that?” Link asked the dragon.

Easily, replied Deku, flashing a fanged grin. Link smirked back at his reptilian friend and went inside.

“It’s…it’s like I never left,” he said quietly. Sighing, he lit a fire in the woodstove opposite the entrance and looked through his cupboards, all of which were completely devoid of any food. However, there was a fresh loaf of bread in the bread box and a small wheel of goat cheese on the cutting board along with a note. “‘For in case you come back,’” he read aloud. He recognized Uli’s handwriting on the card.

Link sat down on a stool in front of the counter and cut two slices of the read off the loaf and a chunk of goat cheese and then quietly and swiftly ate. He offered some to Deku, but the dragon promptly refused. By the time he’d finished, night had fallen. Link extinguished the fire in the hearth before he went to leave.

Won’t you need that? Deku asked with concern.

“Nope; I don’t plan on staying. I only came to see if Colin was alright. I’ll say a few ‘hellos’, then I’m on the road again. It seems that Destiny’s not through with me quite yet,” Link replied. He took a long look at the inside of his home, his eyes roving over the loft above him; the smouldering woodstove; the saddle repair table; the blue and white striped curtain that could be pulled over the entrance to the alcove that had the opening to his pit-like cellar in the floor; his writing desk in the corner; and the shelves that held some of his childhood belongings.

He walked over to the shelf and picked up as battered stuffed wolf that he had played with when he was a small boy. Upon touching the soft toy, a wave of nostalgia washed over him. “Howler. We sure had some good times, eh buddy?” Link replaced the plush wolf on its shelf and left.

In his yard, he surveyed the targets tacked up in the trees and his home made scarecrow with a pumpkin serving as a head; a bottomless wooden pail as a torso and two broken brooms as arms. He had a flashback to the day they’d been put up.

It was the first day off he’d had in weeks, and he had planned to spend it preparing for his journey the Hyrule Castle the following morning. He remembered Talo, Malo and Beth calling to him from the base of his tree house, eagerly shouting for him to come out and play. Later that day he had bought a slingshot, and had returned home to find the targets in the trees.

Link and Deku made their way down into the village and over to Rusl’s house. He knocked on the door and it swung inward to reveal Uli.

“God gods, Link is that you? Come in, please!” she said breathlessly. Once inside, she gestured for Link to sit. “I haven’t seen you for so long! How are you…who is this little, um, creature?”

“He’s called Deku, and he’s a dragon, but not always so little, trust me,” Link paused, and his pause turned into a long, drawn out silence. “Ah, listen, Uli, is Colin around?” Uli shook her head.

“No, he’s at Hanch and Sera’s having a visit. Beth’s in town for the weekend. You should go visit! I’m sure they’d love to see you.”

“Thanks, Uli. Tell Rusl I said hello when he comes in, will you?” said Link as he left. True to his word, Link went to Hanch and Sera’s house by the pond. Knocking on the door, he told Deku that he could leave if he waned to.

I’d like to see your nest-mates, so I’ll stick around, replied Deku.

Hanch, who looked dejected as ever, opened the door. His eyes widened in shock as he saw Link standing there.

“Link!” he practically shouted. In the house behind him, Link heard numerous footsteps thundering down the stairs and from in the sitting room move toward the door. Colin, Beth, and Sera burst into the hall. Sera squeezed past her husband and enveloped Link in a bone-crushing hug.

“It’s so good to see you again, Link! How have you been?” she said once she had relinquished him from her grip.

“I’ve been fine,” he wheezed. “Been travelling a lot. Listen, can I talk to Colin?” The young squire walked outside to face Link, shutting the door behind him.

“What’s up, man? Everything okay?” he asked.

“I was about to ask you that question. I heard that you’re a squire, Colin. Now, before you argue or try to explain,” Link said as Colin was about to open his mouth in protest, “I’m not criticizing you for it. I know you’ve been dispatched into the desert before, and I want to know what’s going on there.” Colin frowned thoughtfully.

“Well, I haven’t been there of late, so I really don’t know. The last time I was there, nothing out of the ordinary was happening. I’ve been doing guard duty for the past two and a half weeks, and let me tell you, it’s not fun,” he said. “You know, things have been really dull around here without you. Things have been really tough, especially for Mayor Bo. I think you should go and see him.”

“I’ll do that. I hope to see you around soon, Colin. Be careful, alright? Don’t do anything stupid that might get you hurt. See you later,” Link said, waving farewell. He took a deep breath and then exhaled as he ran his fingers through his hair. Time to go visit the wounded bear, he thought.

Link walked forward to Mayor Bo’s house, but the short distance felt closer to that of a mile. He knocked thrice on the big wooden door, and then stepped back and waited. He heard voices inside, so he knew that someone was home, but that someone who opened the door was a complete surprise.

“Well, well, well. If it isn’t the Hero of Light himself. What can I do for you, besides asking what your business might be,” said Conrad Jackson.

“I’m here to see the mayor,” Link replied curtly.

“Alright then.” As Link made his way past Jackson, Deku bared his tiny fangs at the knight and hissed. “Little beast,” he heard Jackson whisper. Mayor Bo was sitting at the kitchen table, and across from him was Ilia.

“Good evening, Mayor Bo,” Link said to the aging man. The mayor straightened his specs and peered at him.

“By the gods, boy, is that you? C’mere!” he said, hugging the young man whom he cherished like his own son. Laughing, the mayor released him. “Never thought I’d see the day when I’d have to look up at you! You’ve sure grown, are you over six feet yet?”

“Just about,” replied Link with a warm smile.

“And what’s this, a beard? Ha, ha! Good on you, son! Sit down and tell me how you’ve been. Sure has been a long time,” said the mayor in good humour. The young Hylian sat at the table beside the mayor and across from Ilia. He looked at his hands as he spoke, and Deku crawled down his arm and perched on the table.

“It has been too long, I agree. Well, I’ve actually been trying to explore the desert but,” he paused and gave Jackson a meaningful look, “certain obstacles have been preventing me from doing so. On the bright side, I’ve got myself a new partner. Bo, Ilia…Jackson…meet Deku.” The little dragon gave a small bow. Before Link could continue, Mayor Bo said,

“Hey, Link, how do you know Conrad?” Link twisted the gold band on his finger as he thought. How do you know him is what I’d like to ask. Is he perhaps…? He thought.

“Ah, we’ve talked once or twice at the castle, nothing special, really. Tell me your answer to that very same question, my god mayor. Hold on a sec, Jackson, is Colin your squire?” Jackson nodded sharply. However, it was not Bo who answered, but Ilia.

“Conrad is my fiancé, Link.”

Link did not stop the surprise from showing on his face. “Really? Well, congratulations! I, uh, guess my invitation got lost in the mail, then, eh?” he said, forcing a smile. He did not approve of Ilia’s choice.

“Sorry, mate. Guess you’re right. Looks like you’ve neglected to invite us to your own, though,” said Jackson, gesturing the Link’s ring.

“What? Oh, no, you’ve got the wrong idea. I’m not…no, it’s just a seal, see?” Link replied, taking it off and showing his professional rival the embossed eagle. “Well, it was nice seeing you all. I’d best be off.” He scooped up Deku (who hissed at Jackson again) and left the house. He had walked up to the dried up creek when he heard someone call his name. He turned around to see Ilia run up after him.

“Link, wait!” she called.

“What’s up?” Link replied.

“What happened to the Ranger? No one has heard from him for awhile.”

“He’s been, ah, put to rest. It seems that things that are going down now are a little out of his league. What Hyrule needs now is its hero, and, here I am,” Link chuckled, holding his arms akimbo to himself. “This time, I’ve got a new faithful steed.”

“What, why? Where’s Epona?”

“Don’t worry about her. She’s in the Hyrule Castle stables. She’s getting old, you know. I don’t know how much time she’s got left, so I’m going to rest her until I really need her help.”

“Well, wasn’t that considerate of you. Link, I’m sorry if your visit was a little awkward…I would have told you sooner….” Ilia said quietly. Link folded his arms and turned away from his friend.

“Sooner? Ilia, you couldn’t have told me soon enough. So, how long have you two been together?”

“About three years and two moons,” she replied.


“‘Hm, ok’? That’s it?” Ilia asked incredulously. Link whirled around to face her with an indignant expression.

“What do you mean, ‘that’s it’? What do you want me to say? How about, ‘oh, hi, Ilia! I see you aren’t too picky. Did you know that I spent five years virtually alone, travelling from realm to realm where I was a stranger to everyone? And that I’ve had many, many offers, but I turned them all down, no matter how tempted I was, because I was worried about your approval?’ Does that sound about right?  Or how about ‘by the way, your fiancé’s a total treasonous jerk who could ditch you at a moment’s notice’?” he exclaimed, his voice rising with his temper.


“Forget it, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have yelled at you like that…it’s not my decision to make. Just because Jackson and I aren’t the best of friends doesn’t mean he isn’t a good guy. It’s just with the whole new villain and the whole deal with the desert…. Too much stress, you know? I’m happy for you, I really am. I can see how Jackson cares for you, and I think he’ll be around for you. Besides, I must admit, I’m a little jealous. I haven’t exactly found Miss Right yet. What with my high-risk job, you never know what may happen. You’re my best friend, Ilia, and you’ll always be. Family has to stick together, right?” Link said, fully meaning every word. As much as he and Jackson hated each other, Ilia brought out the best in the knight. 

“Thank you for this…blessing…. I knew you’d understand. Do you really think that Conrad loves me like that?”

“Sure he does, the same as a wolf loves howling at the harvest moon. Believe me, I should know,” Link replied with a wink. Ilia laughed.

“I’ll see you after I save the world…again,” he said. “Right, Deku, are you ready to go?” the gold dragon leapt off Link’s shoulder and became full size. He had to duck down because his emerald horns nearly got stuck in the branches of the tree above him. Link climbed upon his dragon familiar and waved as they flew away.

Nice girl, said Deku.

“Yep, that’s my best friend, my sister. Alright, back to Hyrule Castle we go!”


When Link and Deku arrived at the Castle, quite a ruckus was in action. Knights and servants alike were running about, and some of the court’s Ladies were screaming.

“What in the name of—” Link said and then grabbed hold of someone who ran by him. “What happened here?”

“Swordsman! Run! You’ve got to escape!” the man said hysterically.

“Ok, why?”

“There were monsters—giant ones—in the throne room!”

Link pushed the man out of his way and bolted into the castle. Once inside, he fired his Clawshot onto a chandelier in the main room, then up to another, and then dropped onto a ledge with a door on it. He went in the door and then ran down the corridor behind it, and then through another at the end.  He didn’t bother to shut the door behind him as he dashed across the Grand Ballroom. Through his travels, he encountered no one.

Link ran up twelve flights of stairs to reach the corridor that had three doors in it. If he remembered correctly, the door to his left led out to the topmost battlements, and then up to the throne room. Trusting his memory, Link seized the door handle and threw the heavy door open wide, and then ran through it for about thirteen paces until he slammed into a magical barrier, falling afterward. He stood up slowly, rubbing the part of himself that came into contact with the barrier hardest: his forehead. Through his pain and the roaring wind, he could hear a woman’s screams.

“Damn! Come on, let me through!” Link roared as he pounded on the barrier. Suddenly, an idea hit him. The Hylian hero placed his palms together in front of his face, closed his eyes and focussed his mind and energy. His shape blurred and became larger; when it cleared, Sacred Wolf Link stood in his place.

With a mighty roar, Sacred Wolf Link slashed his knifelike claws through the barrier, which then shattered. Giving a triumphant howl, he loped up the stairs with tiny Deku flying beside him.

Nice moves, he said with a fanged grin.

Thanks. Fly up to the roof, and I’ll howl for you when, if, I need backup, got it?

Aye, aye, Captain!

Sacred Wolf Link slashed and bit through yet another barrier that blocked off the entrance to the throne room and then galloped up the long, red carpet.

“So good of you to join us, you foul beast, you,” said a figure clad in black gilded armour that currently held a knife to Zelda’s throat. It was Emperor DarkKnight. “Even so much as step one paw forward and she dies! Well, she’s going to die anyway, so you may as well.”

The Divine Beast crouched low as if to spring, flattening his ears, and growled like thunder.

“Ooh, impressive! Yes, I’m quaking in my boots. I suppose I shall have to flee in terror,” sneered Emperor DarkKnight. Ignoring the threat from before, the giant golden furred wolf leapt at the Emperor, his jaws open wide. However, when he clamped them shut where the villain’s head was, all he bit was a mouthful of air.

The evil sorcerer had vanished and had taken Zelda with him. Sacred Wolf Link threw back his massive head and howled.





Chapter ten: Even Kings are Mortal


LINK COULDN’T BELIEVE HIS EYES. He stood thunderstruck, staring at the spot where Emperor DarkKnight had just been. He heard the soft rustling of wings as Deku flew in behind him, but he didn’t turn. It was as if something had paralyzed him.

Link? What happened? Where is the princess? The dragon hobbled over and stood in front of him. Flaring his wings and flapping them, he continued, hello? Are you there? Hyrule to Link! The dragon’s telepathy seemed to snap Link out of his stupor.

“Deku…they’re gone…I failed…,” the Hylian seized the dragon by his scaly shoulders, tears flowing freely from his sapphire blue eyes. “He’s going to kill her, Deku, and it’s entirely my fault! We have to get to the desert now!

Right on, mate! Let’s ride! Link hopped onto Deku’s shoulders and they began their long flight to the Gerudo Desert to save Zelda…again.


            Meanwhile, at Telma’s Bar, Auru slammed the door open and rushed inside.

            “Telma…is…the…Group…here?” he panted. Telma fixed him with a look of deep concern.

            “Breathe, old man!” she said. “Of course they are; what in the Dark World happened?” Auru sat heavily in a spindle chair.

            “Zelda’s…been captured! Hyrule Castle was breached! Link’s on the move to the desert, I saw him flying there—”

            “—flying? On a dragon, you mean?” Shad said as he came in the open door. “Indeed, old boy, I saw him too. Does this mean we’re moving out?” Auru nodded.

            “Alrighty, men, and Ashei! Gather up the artillery and the Warp Stone. It’s time to help our hero!”


            It was not but half an hour later that Deku and Link landed in the desert. They had flown right over Lake Hylia with no trouble. The barrier had fallen.

            The heat in the desert was so intense that even Deku, a cold blooded dragon, was sweating profusely. Rolling up his pant legs and pulling his tunic over his head, Link said,

            “Good gods in the Sacred Realm! What is that?”

            What is…aiyeh! That wasn’t there before, Deku replied, spotting the pillar of fire n the horizon.

            “I guess that’s where our villain’s lair is, then,” said a voice from behind Link. He whirled around to find himself standing face to face with Auru, Ashei, Shad and Rusl.

            “What are you guys doing here?!” Link exclaimed.

            “Helping you, duh,” Ashei replied bluntly. Link shook his head and smiled.

            “Look, guys, I appreciate your concern, but I don’t think that—”

            “—we’re coming whether you like it or not, so deal with it!” retorted Ashei.

            “Too right, old boy!” came from Shad.

            “You need us, Link,” replied Rusl.

            “We’re at your disposal, young warrior,” finished Auru. Link drew two swords, SunFire and the Master Sword, and then raised them high.

            “Right then, let’s go kick some evil ass!” he cried, and the Group responded collectively by cheering.

            Slowly but surely, Link, Deku, and the Group made their way across the scorching hot desert sands late into the night, until they stopped about half a kilometre from the raging inferno that blocked the entrance to Emperor DarkKnight’s fortress. The fortress wasn’t much to behold in itself, but the three metre wide chasm that marooned it from the rest of the desert was. Rusl gave a low whistle.

            “Man, that’s one big hole,” he said. “What’s more impressive is what we’re going to have to pull off to get by that fire.” Link stepped forward and tied his tunic around his head.

            “Leave that to me. I think I’ve got a way. I’m going to try and freeze it,” he said as he nocked an arrow to his bow.

            “How are you going to do that?” Ashei scoffed.

            “Just watch,” Link replied. He took careful aim at the very center of the blaze and began to focus his energy. The Triforce mark on his left hand shone brightly in the dark, and its light traveled from Link’s hand to the arrow. The light concentrated in the arrowhead and then turned a bright blue. Then, Link let the arrow loose. The magic infused projectile travelled in a graceful arc and struck the middle of the fire where Link had been aiming. The pillar began to crystallize, and then it shattered, revealing the entrance to the lair.

            “And there you have it. Now, listen up. We have to hurry. Every second counts, for all we know, Zelda may be dead,” Link said as they jumped across the chasm. One by one, the Group walked cautiously into the lair.

            “Well, it seems that someone’s a little too concerned about Miss Princess,” Ashei said amusedly to him with a small wink as she passed by. Link glared heatedly at her. Do not, he thought. However, Link had to admit (although reluctantly) that he felt the warrior woman’s words did have a grain of truth to them. It is my job to protect her; I’m the hero, aren’t I? So that’s why I care, I just don’t want to fail…again.

            Are you sure about that? Deku said to him, grinning.

            Stay out of my thoughts, you! Link retorted.

            The inside of Emperor DarkKnight’s lair was far more elaborate (and hot) than the outside, which looked simply like a gargantuan mound of sand. There were many carved statues of strange gods in the first room; just as many obelisks etched with ancient runes in the second. This room was twice as high vaulted and as long as Hyrule Castle’s Great Hall. At the far end was a massive arched doorway topped by a pediment that was adorned with the same alien gods as the statues.

            Link took a step forward, motioning for his friends to follow. They walked carefully across the sandy limestone floor, their weapons always at the ready. When they reached the middle of the cavernous room, the door at the end of the hall suddenly grated shut.

            “What’s going on here?” Shad yelled.

            “I think we’re in for quite the fracas,” Auru responded as scores of Lizalfos1, Bublin, Stalhounds2, and Stalfoses3 materialized out of nowhere. The monsters stood watching them for a moment, and then they all rushed forward at once.

            Link raised the Master Sword and yelled as he charged forward to meet them, the Group following suit with their own weapons. He hacked, sliced, slashed, dodged, and parried in the fight, his blade of evil’s bane cleaving through more than one horrible creature at once until he cut a clear path through the throng and made his way toward the door. He was six paces from the closed gateway when a Darknut4 materialised before him. It raised its huge broadsword and swiped at him, but Link back flipped just in time.

            Panting in fatigue due to the extreme heat and effort from his previous fight, Link faced the Darknut, planning his next move. Ok, routine procedure. Back slice manoeuvre until he falls, he thought, raising his sword again.

            Next, Link jumped up and brought the Master Sword down upon the Darknut, breaking off pieces of its armour as was his common tactic. The monster knight roared in fury as Link unleashed a flurry of slashes upon it, breaking off more armour. The Hylian leapt nimbly to his left and then rolled on his shoulders until he was behind the monster, and then hacked away at its back, peeling off the rest of its armour.

            The Darknut fell to the sandy floor, now completely devoid of metallic protection. It got up quickly and then hurled its heavy sword at Link, who dodged it, but winced in pain as its edge sliced into his shoulder. Just a scratch, he thought as he quickly tied a ragged strip of his tunic around the wound to stem the flow of warm crimson blood that had begun to drip down his arm.

            From the thin scabbard at its hip, the monster drew a slender sword and then jumped back as Link thrust his own weapon at it. Link executed a series of horizontal slashes, attacks that the Darknut deftly blocked. It raised the rapier and then brought it down, but its attack was blocked by Link’s shield with a resounding clatter. His arm quivered with the force of the mighty blow. Time to end this!

            Link feinted to the right, then quickly smacked the monster with the flat of his blade on the side of its horribly grotesque face, and then cut its head off with one clean swipe. Its green blood spattered Link’s chest and face. He used the rest of his tunic to wipe himself clean, and then discarded it on the stone floor, wrenched open the door he faced, and then walked through it.


            As the battle raged on in the desert, the six sages of Hyrule5 convened in the Sacred Grove. One Sage waved his hand and opened the Temple of Time. When the heavy iron doors swung inward, the Sage found that something didn’t feel quite right. Even so, we motioned for his fellows to follow him.

            After they had traveled to the innermost shrine of the Temple, a horror met their eyes. Lying in front of the altar was the body of Ganondorf.

            “What is the meaning of this…?” one of the Sages said in his ghostly voice.

            “How could this come to pass?” intoned another.

            “There can only be one reason: a sacrifice is about to be made.”


            Colin and Beth were sitting in the Great Tree in Ordon village. It was their last day of visiting before Colin had to return to Hyrule Castle with his senior officer and lord, Conrad Jackson, and the day before Beth was to leave for her new home in Castle Town. They sat side by side, their legs swinging from the branch.

            “Listen, Beth…” Colin said after a long silence. “Do you ever miss Ordon?”

            “Sometimes,” she replied, squeezing his hand. “But…I miss you most of all, Colin. You were always the most level-headed of us all, besides Link of course.” The young squire smiled lightly as his friend lay her head on his shoulder, but his expression of contentment faded as he saw a dark cloud form over Faron Woods. It didn’t look like any normal storm cloud, either. There was something unnatural about it, and also something vaguely familiar as well. His eyes widened in shock as he realized what it was: a cloud of the same darkness, Link had called it Twilight, which had covered Eldin Province six years ago.

            “Beth, we have to get inside, quick. No time to explain, come on!” he suddenly yelled as he jumped from the branch. When Beth had followed his action, he grabbed hold of her hand and then ran for his house.      

            Once inside, he bolted shut the door. His mother looked at him with deep concern.

            “Colin, honey, what’s the matter?” she asked.

            “Mom…it’s coming,” he replied. His little sister, Abbigail, heard the dark and panicked tone of his voice and began to whimper in fear.

            “Colin, you’re scaring your sister,” Uli scolded. “Now tell me what’s coming.”

            “The Twilight.”


            Meanwhile, Noctris, the King of the Twilight Realm and Midna’s father was in conference with his Council of Tribes. They were discussing adding their portal to the River of Realms in order to establish alliances and trade agreements with other realms. In Midna’s opinion, the talks were going quite well; and she secretly wished that there would be a means for the Twili to interact with the people living in the Light world. Just as her father and the Tribal Elders were about to shake hands, and explosion rocked the palace.

            “What the…?” her father growled. He ran out of the Conference room, his long black cloak and bright orange hair fanning out behind him. Midna and four Twiliwarriors6 followed hot on his heels.

Outside on the battlements, three Twiliwarriors lay dead; two of them disembowelled brutally, and the other pegged to a wall by his own spear, his dark blue blood dripping silently in a pool beneath him.

So good of you to show your pallid face, my King, boomed a voice from high above them. Midna looked up and saw a fiery orb with a man’s face in it, and then gasped.

“How are you back?! I thought Link destroyed you!” she yelled. The fiery Ganondorf org cackled evilly.

My magic has increased thanks to one of your beloved Light warders, a man who will be richly rewarded once I return, he sneered.

“Midna, what is the—!” the Twili king said, but his words ended in a choking gurgle.

It had all happened almost in slow motion. Midna watched helplessly as a tongue of flame shot out from Ganondorf and then wrapped itself around a fallen Twiliwarrior’s spear. The flame reared back and thrust the already bloody spear at her father, impaling him through the chest in a spray of dark blood.

“FATHER! Nooo!” Midna cried in anguish, dropping to her knees before her fallen parent. He coughed once, blood flecking his greying lips. Midna cradled his head in her lap with tears flowing freely from her blazing red eyes.

“Find…the…Divine…Beast….You…need…him…to save…both…our worlds,” her father coughed, and then let out his last breath and died.

How touching, Ganondorf boomed. Once the sacrifice is made, your so called hero will die, at my hands! And with that, the fiery orb disappeared.

All at once, the Twilight Princess was filled with deep sorrow, burning hatred, and blind, unrelenting fury. She gently laid her father’s head on the stone floor as she stood up. With her shoulders thrust back and her head held high, she addressed the remaining Twiliwarriors.

“Gather the Tribe Elders. We have to establish a portal. Now,” she commanded.

“Right away, Lady Midna!” the warriors chorused, saluting her.

A few minutes later, Midna and the Tribe Elders met on the Ethereal Plateau. She and they joined hands in a ring around the Sol Spheres7 and then began to chant. Their chanting grew louder, their voices stronger as the sols began to levitate. The two bright spheres rose higher and higher until they became one, and in a blinding flash, formed a Warp Portal. Staring at the portal with solemn eyes, Midna said:

“We must prepare for battle.”


Link walked into the next room and surveyed his dark surroundings with dilated pupils. There were only two torches lit, and they at the far end of the room on either side of a large stone table. He squinted against the darkness to make out what was resting atop the table. He gasped audibly when he discovered that it was Zelda’s prone form.

Link ran forward to the altar as fast as his legs could carry him. Once there, he gently turned the unconscious princess over onto her back. The hero’s cerulean eyes scanned her for open wounds while he felt her neck for a pulse, and then rejoiced as he found one, as weak as it was.

“Princess…you’ve got to wake up,” he whispered fervently. Despite his words, she did not stir.

“I’m afraid it’s too late for her,” said a voice from behind him. Link turned to face Emperor DarkKnight as he stepped out of the shadows. Link drew SunFire.

“It’s never too late,” he retorted. “Your petty magic can’t kill her; she’s got the Triforce of Wisdom! You can’t possibly compete with the gods.” DarkKnight laughed menacingly.

“True she has, but not for long,” he sneered, snapping his fingers. One by one, many torches lit up the room and then a section of the floor sunk, exposing a pool of magma. The evil sorcerer made a fist, as if he were holding a sword, and then threw his arm back. SunFire was wrenched from Link’s grip and was thrown into the molten rock. The blade hissed and bubbled as it melted. Link moved to draw the Master Sword, but decided against it.

“Good boy. Now, why don’t you just hang out­­—” Link was thrown against a wall and then his arms were shackled to it by bands of luminous magic, “—and enjoy the show. I do hope you’re a fan of blood sport.”

As Link struggled against his bonds, Emperor DarkKnight drew a wickedly curved jewel encrusted dagger. He balanced the knife on his hand as he prowled around the table where Zelda lay, taking in the sight of her with hungry eyes.

“So beautiful…so enchanting…such a shame that you must die,” he said softly, tracing her jaw with the point of the blade. The sorcerer cut out a portion of the bodice of Zelda’s dress, exposing where her heart laid beating weakly in her chest. Link roared in outrage.

“How dare you defile her so!” he exploded, focusing his anger and his magic as he fought to free himself from the magical chains that strapped him to the wall. He could feel the muscles in his arms being imbued with supernatural strength. However, he also found himself changing, his face lengthening into a snout; his ears migrating to the top of his head; and his tailbone protruding from his lower back. With a how, Link ripped the chains from the wall and freed himself. He checked his reflection in the face of a chrome shield, and discovered himself to be a werewolf-type creature, complete with thumbs.

Just as Emperor DarkKnight was about to stab his sacrificial dagger into Zelda’s heart, Werewolf Link grabbed hold of the sorcerer by the throat and pinned him against the wall. He thrust his snout into DarkKnight’s face, his nose just inches from the man’s.

“In trying to kill her, so you have chosen to die,” he snarled.

“Let…me…uh…go!” DarkKnight choked.

“If that’s what you want,” Link growled, and then heaved the sorcerer with all of his might. Emperor DarkKnight flew across the room and fell to the floor. He didn’t rise. Link then hurled the dagger into the pool of lava, where it bubbled and melted like SunFire did. Using his new found strength, he ripped the manacles off his furry wrists with some effort, and then turned his attention back to Zelda.

“Wake up, Zelda! We have to get out of here!” he whispered, shaking her gently. His huge clawed hands completely covered her slender shoulders. “Come on, wake up!” As he continued to nudge the princess, Link’s acute hearing picked up the sound of something moving. Turning around, he saw Emperor DarkKnight slowly stagger to his feet.

“You have made a grave mistake, foolish man-beast, if you thought suck a simple blow could kill me,” he said, drawing two onyx swords. “A sacrifice will still be made!” the sorcerer leapt toward him with fury in his dark eyes. Link met his rush by slamming his fist into his stomach. When DarkKnight doubled over, Link picked up the man and impaled him on his own swords, and then let him drop to the floor.

“Ha, ha! The joke’s on you, fool! My Master will rise again! Master…I offer you…my soul….” Emperor DarkKnight said, a bubble of blood bursting at the corner of his mouth. He began to cackle hysterically until he died. When his laughter faded, a sphere of red light rose above his chest and floated through the air toward the altar, where it disappeared.

Sighing with exhaustion, Link became human once more and then returned to where Zelda still lay. As he moved, a sharp pain erupted across his chest. Link looked down and discovered a long bloody gash across it. Groaning in pain, he picked the princess up and cradled her like a child, and then walked out of the chamber to where the Group waited. They all ran to him when they saw him emerge carrying the limp princess; their battle was over.

“Link! Are you okay…? Is she okay? What happened?” Auru asked. Link nodded.

“She’s not dead, if that’s what you mean, and I don’t think it’s a mortal wound; I’ll survive,” he croaked past the lump in his throat. “We have to get her back to Hyrule Castle, quick. Do you still have that Warp Stone?”

“Indeed,” the older man said, fishing it out of his pocket. Each person put a hand (and a wing, in Deku’s case) on the stone, and then left the desert behind.






Chapter Eleven: The Most Loyal Knight


IT HAD BEEN THREE DAYS SINCE THE BATTLE IN the desert, and still Zelda had not awoken. She lay in a bed in the infirmary with nurses attending to her in shifts. Only one person stayed by her side round the clock: Link.

He retained his vigil, only leaving his post to relieve himself. He did not sleep—at all—for the entire three days lest she wake. Night had fallen on the fourth day when a nurse addressed him.

“Sir Link, you must sleep. We shall wake you if she stirs,” the elderly woman told him gently.

“No! I must not. If she dies…it’ll be my fault. I can’t let that happen. Leave me be,” he replied, waving her off. “There must be some way to wake her….”

 “And there is, I believe,” said a new voice; a man’s. Link looked up to see a venerable man dressed in a white robe standing beside him. “My name is Aramis; I am the castle’s mage. You are Link, correct?”

“I am. How can we wake her, if she won’t rouse to someone’s voice, or touch?”

“Link, you possess the Triforce of Courage, and so you can communicate telepathically with her. Even though her body is still, you can reach her mind,” Aramis said to Link, instructing him to place his left hand on Zelda’s brow.

“Are there any magic words I have to say in order to initiate this…conversation?”

“No. Simply extend your mind to find hers. Don’t you worry, it is there.”

Link nodded his understanding and closed his eyes. In the same way he focussed his energy to make magic, he relaxed his mind and slowed his heart; found an orb of shimmering light and then fell into a trance.

Link was immersed into a dreamlike world, where there was no background. He walked around in this world for a while until he saw someone in the distance.

“Zelda, is that you?” he called out. The figure turned to him and he discovered that it was indeed she.

“Link…? How did you figure out how to do this? Usually it takes years of training,” she replied, taking hold of his hands.

“I didn’t. Aramis told me how. You’ve bee out of it for four days, Zelda, and you haven’t moved even once.” Zelda frowned.

“Is that all? Being in here felt like an eternity…the spell is so strong, I couldn’t break it on my own…. Link, what happened in the desert? Where is Emperor DarkKnight?”

Link scratched at his beard and then proceeded to narrate on the events of four days past, but he left out his werewolf form and his wounds. He described DarkKnight’s death and the mysterious red orb in great detail.

“I’ve thought about it a lot, and I can’t say I know what it was,” he finished, shrugging. Zelda’s frown deepened as she racked her brains trying to figure out the orb’s identity. Her frown turned to a look of horror as she came up with an answer.

“Link, I think it was his soul.” She turned and fixed him with a frightened stare. “By killing him, you may have….” Zelda bit her lip and turned away.

“Have what? What have I done now?”

“Link, you may have completed the ritual by mistake.”

What!? You mean to say that if Ganondorf comes back to destroy the world, it’s my fault! Good gods in the Sacred Realm have mercy,” Link moaned. He put his face in his hands and growled in frustration. Good going, goat brain! He thought. You just handed Hyrule its doom on a silver platter! “But I digress,” he continued, running his fingers through his hair. “Do you know how I can help you out of your…coma? If Ganondorf’s coming back, I’m going to need you.”

Zelda raised a thin eyebrow.

“I mean your help, you know, in the fight,” Link said hurriedly. Laughing, Zelda replied,

“I know, Link. I also know how to break the spell.”

“How? Tell me and I’ll break it.”

“No matter what the method is?” Link gave her a suspicious look.

“I don’t have to make another sacrifice, do I?” he asked hesitantly.

“No, you harebrained hero. You have to find the one person I trust most, other than my father since he is away, and get him to kiss me.” Link gaped at her.

“Should have seen that coming,” he said with a chuckle. Folding his arms, he continued, “alright, who is this poor sap?”

“When I tell you, I’m going to break the connection, got it?”

“Yes okay, who is it?” Zelda looked him straight in the eyes. Good gods, she’s gorgeous! Link thought.

“He’s my most loyal knight. He goes by the name of Link.” And with that, Link woke from the trance.

When Link opened his eyes, he discovered that Aramis and the nurse were staring at him. The nurse was called out of the room and so bustled out into the corridor beyond the room. Link yawned hugely; his lips peeling back to reveal slightly elongated canine teeth. He blinked and rubbed his eyes.

“Well, now, our hero decides to rejoin us after four hours!” Aramis said, clapping him on the shoulder.

“What…four hours? Seriously?” Link yawned. He blinked sleepily again and then looked up at the old mage, who folded his arms and cleared his throat impatiently.

“Well? How do we revive the princess?” he demanded.

“Huh?” Link replied. It was as if his brain had been frozen and was beginning to thaw.

“The princess? Is her condition reversible?”

Suddenly, Link became wide awake. “Ay! Almost forgot about that,” he said, clearing his throat. “I talked with her, and she said there is one way to break the spell DarkKnight put on her.”

“And, what is it?” said Aramis. Link pulled on the collar of his tunic which seemed to be too tight all of a sudden.

“Well…I…have to…um…I have to kiss her!” he blurted. He fully expected the old, benevolent mage to laugh, but he did not.

“We really should have seen that coming,” he mused.

“I know!” Link exclaimed, shaking his head. Aramis laughed at his response, but his mirth quickly died and he then became very serious,

“Well, what are you stalling for? Hurry up and wake her!” he snapped.

“Alright, already! I just don’t see why it has to be me,” Link retorted. He swallowed his nerve, then leaned over in his chair and pecked the incapacitated princess lightly on the lips. Aramis and Link waited with bated breath for her to open her eyes, and then exhaled when she did not.

“Try again, Link. But this time, like you mean it,” instructed Aramis. Link scowled darkly at him.

“What in the Dark World is that supposed to mean?!” he retorted angrily.

“It means precisely what I said. Now, carry on,” the old mage replied, urging him on. Gritting his teeth, Link thought, man, Ganondorf’s going to get a full barrel of whoop-ass for this! He shifted his chair slightly closer to the cot and then rubbed his sweaty palms on his knees. Aramis said ‘like you mean it,’ so it’s not like this is for real, He told himself. For some strange reason, his self-reassurance caused him to feel a bit disappointed. Gah! Don’t think that way, idiot! Even if it was for real, nothing would become of the two of you. You are beneath her…ah…I’m looking for love in all the wrong places…

After an encouraging push from Aramis, Link lowered his head to Zelda’s and tenderly kissed her. Just as he was pulling away, he felt the princess put a hand behind his neck and eagerly return his kiss. Alarm bells rang inside of Link’s head, but he found himself unable to pull away. Move, Link, now! Not real, not real! It’s just a response…like a reflex! Moe it, goat brain!

“I see the spell has been broken, but it seems another has been cast,” he heard Aramis mutter to a nurse with an amused tone of voice. Not! Link mentally objected, but a part of him strongly wished that it was true. When Zelda released him, she smiled up at him with sparkling blue eyes.

“Look who’s awake,” he said weakly. “Now I guess I can sleep….” And with that, the Hylian hero’s head fell back and he was sound asleep.


The Sages had been watching Ganondorf’s corpse with unblinking eyes for the past while, and decided that, because there was no change, the sacrifice must have been stopped. They turned to leave the Temple of Time, and were almost out when they heard a quiet rumbling from behind.

They turned around and collectively gasped. Dark shards were shooting into the Gerudo man’s body, infusing him with powerful magic and life. This continued for a good five minutes until a Sae rushed forward to try and stop the situation, but Ganondorf stood up quickly and met the attack with a powerful thrust of his fist. The Sage dissolved in a mist of light. This was the second Sage that the evil man had killed.

Ganondorf lurched forward, but this instance of his return changed his physical appearance. His body was taller than before; his shoulders broader. He had thumbed paws for hands and feet; and a long red mane and tail swinging gracefully behind him. His face had been elongated into a boar’s snout, complete with sharp tusks as log as a man’s fully outstretched arm; and had pupil less eyes which peered out from a hairy brow that jutted out from his forehead. It was like his reborn form was a fusion between Dark Beast Ganon and of his human form.

Were Boar Ganon roared fiercely at the remaining sages, seeming incapable of forming any coherent speech. He wasn’t incapable of using a weapon, however. He drew a blade made from obsidian-fused metal and then swiped at the sages, killing another. He roared in triumph and then sheathed the blade. He dropped on all fours and galloped out of the Temple.

The remaining four Sages moaned in their grief. Somehow, they had to warn the Hero of Light so that he could destroy Ganon once and for all. They joined their individually enfeebled magic in order to send him a vision of the coming danger.


Link woke with a start; he’d had a terrible nightmare about Ganon’s return. In his dream, the sorcerer looked like a man-boar, just as Link had looked like a man-wolf in Emperor DarkKnight’s lair. He rubbed the sleep form his eyes and then wiped the saliva from the corner of his mouth. He was still in the same chair he’d originally fell asleep in, but he was alone in the infirmary. He stood up and stretched, but winced in pain as the stitches in his chest pulled.

Link transformed into the small black and white wolf and than padded out of the large room on silent paws. He loped down the stairs past a few servants who all called out, ‘one of the hounds got loose again!’ Wolf Link continued in this fashion until Deku caught up with him.

“Hi, Deku,” said the wolf as he sat down on the stone floor.

“Why do you look like that? Doesn’t matter. You are needed in the throne room, so consider yourself summoned,” the dragon said, puffing out his tiny chest upon which a gold medallion on a red silk ribbon rested. Wolf Link raised his furry eyebrows.

“Where did you get that?” he asked.

“I’ve been officially named a hero,” he explained. “Now come on! It’s important!” Deku settled on the wolf’s back, and the two of them made their way up the twelve flights of stairs and outside to the throne room.

Link became human and then walked into the large room. Deku curled his long whip like tail around his arm and said; maybe they’ll give you a medal too, just so you don’t have to be jealous.  The Hylian hero ignored him and continued walking. Several tall and heavily built knights with long, sharp spears in black and green gilded armour stood near the throne where Zelda was in deep conversation with a tall woman in a black robe. Link could see their burning orange eyes staring at him through the slats in their helmets as he walked by. As he got closer to the throne, he saw that the stranger was Midna.

Midna!?” he exclaimed incredulously. The Twilight Princess turned to face him. She did not tower over him as she had done the last time he saw her six years ago.

“Ah, Link. You’re looking as stunned as ever, but of that I’m not surprised,” she said amiably.

“But…I…how? I thought the Mirror of Twilight was destroyed!” Link frowned. “Something bad happened, didn’t it? I can tell, because why else would she be here?” he said, addressing Zelda, who nodded. “It’s Ganondorf, isn’t it?”

“Yes, it is. He’s back and has already killed,” Zelda replied gravely. She clasped her hands behind her back as she began to pace. “That’s not all, either. He’s turning the southern provinces into his dark fortress.”



Chapter Twelve: The Hero’s Frailty


“THAT EVIL SON OF A MOBLIN! HE’LL BURN IN the Dark World for this!” Link roared s he ripped his hat from his head and hurled it to the floor. In his fury, he had a strong desire to throw all caution to the wind and immediately go to the southern provinces and kill Ganondorf. His muscles screamed for a fight and his mind was begging for him to hurt someone. From the corner of his eye, he saw Midna and Zelda throw each other a worried look, which enraged him further.           

“Link, control yourself. Getting angry isn’t going to solve anything, but I shouldn’t have to tell you that,” Zelda told him. The furious Hylian hero rounded on her.

“Where do you get off telling me to calm down? Your friends aren’t in extreme danger!” he snapped. “Back off, alright?”

“Forget you, okay! Just because I didn’t live in Ordon for my entire life doesn’t mean that I don’t care! Despite the way you feel, Link, you can’t hold the entire world on your shoulders, or throw your life away in dome recklessly stupid attack,” she replied harshly. Link clenched and unclenched his fists while he gritted his teeth, exercising all of his self control in order to prevent himself from hitting either of his two friends.

“Whatever. So, who has this ugly bastard killed?” he asked, sitting on the steps and then resting his chin on his folded arms.

“Two more Sages,” Zelda replied quietly, avoiding looking him straight in the eye. Link leapt to his feet, drawing the Master Sword.

“WHAT!? How can you tell me not to bring the attack to that monster when he has already done so much damage? He must be stopped! Who knows what he’s done to the people in Ordon, or what he’s doing to them!” he growled angrily. “I’m going, and you can’t stop me.” He then ran out of the throne room.


Before he had even run a metre, Zelda made a motion to stop Link from running to his death, but was pulled back by Midna.

“Let him go, Zelda. Besides, he’ll be back. How far can he get when there’s a massive army of monsters surrounding the castle on all sides?” the Twilight Princess told her, gesturing to one of the high arched windows. Zelda walked over and then peered out into the fields below and beyond. Midna’s words proved true. Huge phalanxes of Dynalfoses led by two Darknuts apiece were stationed in the fields, the late afternoon sun glinting off of their burnished steel armour. Stalfoses stood waiting for the command to attack while dark Wolfoses prowled around the battalion’s borders restlessly.

“How long have they been there?” she asked of Midna.

“Since earlier today,” she replied, casually inspecting the ends of her bright orange hair. “I’m quite sure there’ll be more on the way, for that matter. I’ve got to ask you: how long do you think that Link would last if he decided to fight like a berserker down there? Personally, I’d give him ten minutes; less if he’s stuck through the eye with an arrow.”

Zelda turned back to her with a frown on her lips; and a look of induced panic and fear in her eyes.

“Don’t joke about that,” she said, some of her fright creeping into her voice. “You know well what would happen to us all if he died.”

“Yeah, yeah, the end of life as we know it.”


Link ran full tilt down the stairs and then bolted out the front doors of the castle. When he burst onto the grounds, he smacked into someone whose shoulders were twice as broad as his, and who was at least a full foot taller than him. As such, he nearly fell.

“Sorry,” he muttered. He squeezed by the giant of a man and then climbed one of the tall statues in the spacious yard. He cast his gaze around, and it looked as though all of Castle Town’s population was crammed into the grounds. What in the…? Link thought. He leapt nimbly down from the statue and then pushed his way through the massive crowd until he met the gate. He was about to open it when someone yanked his arm back.

“I wouldn’t do that, were I you,” the person said.

“Who’re you to say—! Telma! I’m sorry…just let me go, okay?” he said to the barmaid.

“No way, honey! Do you know that there is a whole city’s worth of monsters out in the fields?” Telma retorted.

“I—what? How many do you think?” Link asked her thoughtfully.

“You’re not weighing your odds, are you, beast-eyed boy?”

“Ah…sure, why not.” Telma snorted indignantly at his reply.

“Are you suicidal?” she asked. Link scowled darkly.

“Alright, point taken. See you later,” he said, and then ran back into the castle.

By the time he had reached the Grand Ballroom, Link decided to slow his pace. He crossed the vast, empty floor, imagining the merriment that would have taken place within the walls of the spectacular room. As his footsteps rang through, he could almost hear the notes of music once played. He imagined upbeat and jovial melodies to which young lords would whisk their ladies across the floor; soft and beautiful harp music that could soothe even the most savage beast; and even lively fiddle tunes accompanied by the rhythm of deep bass drums that echoed one’s heart beat, a pulsating cadence that a person could feel in their very soul.

Link soon became caught up in his own illusions. He imagined himself dancing gracefully with a fair and beautiful maiden across the floor, she following his lead and him matching the beats out perfectly. In his vision, all eyes were on the couple.

 In his daydream, he was wearing the scarlet and gold tunic, and his partner was dressed in a long and beautiful ball gown of like colours. The soft light emanating from the torches in their sconces around the room reflected in the shimmering golden hair of the woman he danced with. The firelight illuminated her smile and reflected in her blue eyes as she looked up at him as they waltzed around the dance floor.

He remained in the dreamlike trance as he stared out one of the large windows until the sound of footsteps approaching broke his train of thought.

“You see, I told you he’d return,” he heard Midna’s voice say. Link scowled to his reflection in the glass as he rested his elbows on the sill.

“Did you now?” he asked, turning to them, the irritable expression still etched on his features. “How many Rupees do you owe her, Zelda?”

“Link,” Zelda began in a warning tone. The Hylian hero shook his head and then pushed past the two women as he ascended the stairs behind them. I don’t need their help, or their advice, he thought. I can still get to Faron Woods.

Although he understood Midna’s and Zelda’s concern for him and for his home, Link could not help but feel that they were getting in his way.

Deku! He called out with his mind to the small dragon, who had, at some point left him in his mad rush to leave.

Yes, what do you need? Came the reply.

Come to me. We are going back to the woods, but we have to do it quickly. Link exited the stairwell and then stepped onto the battements. It was not long before he heard Deku’s wing beats in the air. The dragon flew to him and then hovered just below the barrier. Link hopped up onto the short stone wall and from there onto the dragon’s back.

Shouldn’t we wait for Zelda? Deku asked, craning his long neck to look at his rider and trusted friend, who shook his head solemnly. The dragon snorted fire indignantly. Alright, if you say so! He gave his wings a mighty flap and then lifted off into the fathomless blue sky.


Nobody in Ordon village had dared step outside their houses for five days; they were all too afraid of what they might find. However, the encroaching danger had not extended its dark tentacle past the bridge spanning the canyon beyond, nor had it stopped the postman from bringing the mail.

Conrad Jackson sat in a chair with his hand on the hilt of his sword and his head drooping by the front door of Mayor Bo’s house. Ever since his squire, Colin, had alerted the small town of the dark clouds of Twilight that were forming over Faron Woods he had sat in this very chair guarding the door. He was shocked into alertness when a knock at the door sounded. He stood up from his post and then peered through the spy hole.

“Who goes there?” he called. Behind him, he heard Ilia come down the stairs. Jackson put a finger to his lips to indicate that she should be silent.

“Mail for Conrad Jackson from the Crown!” said the shrill voice of Hyrule’s lone postman.

“Slip it under the door,” he instructed the exuberant courier. After he saw the beige envelope slide in at his feet, he picked it up and resumed his place in the chair.

“What does it say, Conrad?” Ilia asked, pulling up a chair beside him. He broke the wax seal stamped with the same emblem that had been on Link’s ring and then quickly read the letter that was inside it. When his eyes took in the last slanting scripted word, he replaced the letter in the envelope with shaking hands. His sword clattered to the floor. Looking at his wife-to-be, he said,

“I’ve been…summoned to a hearing.”


“My own. It appears that I’ve been charged with….” He trailed off ant then put his head in his hands. Ilia put a comforting arm around his shoulders.

“With what? Is it serious?” she asked concernedly.

“Oh, it’s serious alright. I’ve been charged with treason.”


After Link had run from the ballroom like an affronted child, Zelda had led Midna into her father’s study to discuss plans for war, but Midna found that their conversation was not very productive. In mid sentence, Zelda would trail off as if she’d lost her train of thought and allow her attention to wander as well as her gaze would travel to the window.

“Well, we’re going to need many, many knights, and we may even have to recruit any able bodied man that can wield so much as a scythe. After all, Link has said that the monsters aren’t all that bright, and I know from firsthand experience that the most of them attack without any type of strategy,” Midna said. However, her statement was half ignored by Zelda, whose worry filled eyes wandered to the window yet again.

“Uh-huh,” the princess mumbled. Midna shook her head.

“Zelda, are you listening to me at all? Hello! Where is your mind?” she asked. Though, I believe that goes unsaid, she silently added as an afterthought. Zelda shifted her gaze from the object of her perpetual stare to look at Midna.

“I’m sorry, Midna. It’s the monsters…,” she paused. Midna laughed inwardly. I hope you don’t expect me to believe that. “I know we’re discussing them, but I’m really racking my brains in order to figure out a solution, but I can’t. My focus is lost…. What it is that distracts me so, I cannot say.” Midna gave her sister-in-power a friendly smile and a gentle pat on the shoulder.

“I know what your problem is. You’re worried of failing your people,” she told her. Among other things, I might add. “I understand the feeling. But, trust in this: our Divine Beast, as irrational as he is right now, will bail us out. Now, let me work some of my own magic. We need reinforcements, correct? Well, let the Twiliwarriors come forth!”

The two princesses ran out onto the battlements closest to the fields. Midna raised her arms and then began to chant in a language that was alien to Zelda. A patch of the fading sunlit sky began to darken faster than the rest, as if it were condensing. It was then that Zelda understood what Midna was doing: creating a warp portal.

When Midna was finished her long-winded spell, dark shards of Twilit magic descended from the portal in the sky and then solidified in the section of the field that the monsters had not occupied. As quickly as the dark mass had formed, it lifted, exposing hundreds upon thousands of fierce Twiliwarriors. 

“Midna—! That’s excellent!” Zelda exclaimed enthusiastically.

“Yes, I know. Now it’s your turn to do your part in saving the world. Leave me here to command my spectacular army and go help out your hero! But of course, you’ll need a ride, won’t you?” Midna paused to think. “Aha! Let Obsidian be your guide.” She procured a silky black feather from a pouch at her waist. She blew into the quill and moments later, a large winged creature materialized beside her. “Zelda, meet Obsidian.” She said.

Obsidian was a truly beautiful sight to behold. She was a type of griffin, but instead of the head and front legs of an eagle and the hindquarters of a lion, she had the full body of a black panther and the wings of a dragon of the same shade. Two wickedly sharp fangs curled over her bottom jaw. The grifolyon roared and flexed her wings out wide.

Tentatively, Zelda swung a leg over the beast’s side and climbed on as though she would mount a horse. Obsidian then jumped into the air and flew in the direction of Southern Hyrule Field.


A horrible sight met the wyes of Link and Deku. They stood in the north part of Faron Woods facing the gargantuan tree that housed the Forest Temple. It was as if the tree had died, and all of the vegetation around it had as well.

What was once a magnificent elder tree was now a shrivelled stump of black and twisted charcoal. The vicinity looked as if a raging fire had swept through and decimated nearly half of the surrounding forest. Tall, mighty oaks ware snapped and burnt like matchsticks, and the ground at their roots was charred and littered with ash. A thick haze floated in the air that carried the scent of death.

Link felt tears well up in his eyes, and he was certain they had nothing to do with the burning scent.

“The forest…muh—my beautiful home!” he sobbed, falling to his knees. “The fiend!” he wailed as he beat the ashen ground with his fists.

Through his intense sorrow, he felt the rage of the gods themselves fill his chest; a rage that set his very blood on fire and boiled it in his veins. It was unlike any anger he had ever felt before; instead of clouding his thoughts and his vision, it opened his senses and blasted out the clutter in his mind. It was now that he saw his true purpose: he had to bring down Ganon a second time at any cost, including his life.

Link stood slowly with his head bowed. He drew the Master Sword, which shone brilliantly and cut through the haze, and then lifted his head. He had a determined look on his face as he stared up at the massive dead Temple tree. He raised the sword above his head and then howled his challenge to any and all who would oppose him. Only when the howl died on his lips did he and Deku rush toward the Temple.

They had nearly reached the path when a giant winged monstrosity landed directly in front of them. A woman wearing gleaming silver armour rested upon its back.

“Never fear, Hero,” she said, her voice ringing metallically beneath her helmet. “You are not without aid. Call to you your horse: you may need her yet.” As Link was about to follow the warrior woman’s advice, Epona came galloping toward them. The horse had a gleam in her eye that said to Link that she was ready to make the same sacrifice that he was in order to restore peace.

The strange armoured woman leapt nimbly off the panther-like griffin’s back, which promptly flew away, and then strode toward him.

“Who are you?” Link asked. “Are you one of the goddesses?” The woman laughed at his question.

“Not quite, but you may be on the right track,” she replied, raising her left hand upon which the Triforce symbol was illuminated.

“Zelda. I should have known,” Link said sourly. “Well, it’s all fine and dandy that you decided to come, but I have to ask you one thing: will you clear the path? You’re kind of in my road.” He didn’t wait for her to respond before he continued his march toward Ganon’s lair. He brushed past her and continued up the path until he disappeared into the dark entrance of the fortress. However, Deku remained behind him.

I am sorry for him, princess. He needs you but does not wish to acknowledge it. I now he does not want to give away his heart to any such emotions. He is afraid for your life, and such feelings make him frail, and so he has hardened his heart against them, the dragon said to her. He bowed low to the princess, and then flew off after his friend, leaving Zelda alone in the wasteland clearing.


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