"Somehow, I think I knew it all along," Maarei said. "That there was ice making me sick. I don't know how. But...as soon as we find out how Ganondorf resurrected himself, we have to go back to Melanthos." She rubbed her arms together, trying to warm herself. It was just too cold for her, even inside. Well, the vault was cool to begin with, after all.
"Where is it?...where is it?..." Zelda paged through the book quickly before placing it aside. "Not this one." A few minutes later, she finally had it.
"Resurrection," she read triumphantly. "I'll read it first, then you can, because this one's in Common Tongue." She read through it slowly, and Maarei watched her face, trying to read it. After a while, Zelda's brow furrowed into a frown, and she chewed on her lip, looking distressed.
"What?" Maarei asked.
"Hang on." Zelda read for a few more minutes, then handed the book over to Maarei. Link was upstairs, so they were alone in the vault. "Read this." She pointed to the page. Maarei read silently to herself.
Resurrection--the act of bringing themselves or someone else back to life. If one resurrects themselves, it could be one of two things. They are (1) very strong powers, or (2) immortality. It also can be both. See, IMMORTALITY.
"So, you think that..." Maarei started. Zelda nodded.
"I'm positive now. I remember reading the section on immortality a while ago and he exactly fits the description."
"But he was actually born, and aged. So--"
"There is a spell, Maarei...it's very rare and hard to cast though. You can cast an immortality spell, but you need very strange ingredients, like a flower that blooms only once every millenium. And strong powers too. I'm positive now, he did it."
"If what you say is true, than there's no...hope...for anyone at all. And we're all dead."
"There is one way, I think, but it needs equally rare ingredients. A counterspell to it. A counterspell is a spell that undoes another spell, or a spell placed on something that prevents other certain forms of magic. Like my magic shield. That was a type of counterspell. If we can get those ingredients, then there is hope after all. We have to do it, or we'll never ever be able to kill him, and he will end up ruling the world. If he can't die, he'll just keep trying and trying, until everyone else gives up. We have to try. I'll get the books out, with the spell. Immortality is in a very old book, so it'll take a while to find." Zelda shoved the magic encyclopaedias out of the way and started searching for some spell books. Maarei sighed. It was going to be a long day.
Link raced down to the vault. When he ran in, Maarei and Zelda looked up.
"What?" Zelda questioned.
"I just received word from Rauru. He says that Ganondorf was after Saria, trying to kill her so the Sages couldn't untite, and Rauru had to take Saria's spirit out of her body so that she would appear dead to Ganondorf. It's in a crystal, at the chamber of Sages now, and her body is inside another crystal. They kept them separate because if they were together, Ganondorf would sense it, without a doubt."
"So Saria is safe, for the time being. Good. Now let's go back to Melanthos and get my crown back. He's exploited my country for it's wealth, and he'll do much more if we don't stop him quickly." Maarei said, and then remembered what she had to tell him, though somehow she found it difficult to get the words out of her mouth. "We have awful news," she said slowly. "Ganondorf is...immortal." She watched the expessions on his face change before saying something else. "But, there's one way to defeat him, make him mortal again. There's a counterspell, and Zelda's looking for it now." He looked a bit relieved, but not much, it would seem.
Zelda was gingerly turning the yellowing pages of a leather-bound spell book. The silence lay heavy on them.
"I guess I'll go upstairs," Maarei said to no one in particular. She didn't know what she was going to do, but the cold felt like it was going bone deep.
She trudged up the stone steps, feeling pain shoot up her through every angle. Maarei was shivering violently, she tried to ignore it. Suddenly, a pain shot through her lungs. When she kept on walking, it happened again, with so much pain it made her gasp. She squeezed her eyes shut, then put her hand on the wall to steady herself. She felt so dizzy. She sat down on the stairs to catch her breath, wheezing heavily.
"Hey, are you okay?" Link asked, looking out from the doorway. Maarei felt another pang through her chest. She was beginning to fade away. She clutched her side and gasped in pain, worse than she'd ever felt. Gods, I hate being so weak here, she thought, and blacked out.
* * * *
She was lying down somewhere when she could remember again. Maarei was still cold, and she could faintly feel. She felt far away, floating apart from the rest of the world. Then she faintly heard voices:
"How long can we stay there? It isn't safe here for her, or any of us."
"True. He's a shapeshifter, he could be anywhere."
"But isn't there another place? It's so...risky."
"There isn't another place. Look at her, see?"
"Yes, yes, but couldn't we cure her another way?"
"No. Blankets and fires, even medicines or spells won't help. They just don't."
"Do you have the book?"
"Yes, I'm sure this is the right one, finally. The spell's in here."
"Look! I saw her move!"
There was silence.
I'm here, right here, I'm still alive! Maarei wanted to scream, but her tongue lay heavy in her mouth and her eyelids seemed to be made of lead. She struggled to make a noise or move, but she felt like she was made of ice. Oh, help, she thought, panicking for a moment. I'm dying. Help. Even breathing was an effort. They started talking again. She knew it was Link and Zelda. They were sounding a little clearer.
"Are you sure? I didn't see anything."
"Well, give her air, fan her with your book or something."
Maarei could almost feel little gushes of air coming at her, and she started unfreezing. She used all of her effort to make a sound. It was deep inside her throat, kind of a squeak, and she could barely hear it herself.
"See, I told you!"
She heard Zelda's voice, clearer and closer.
"Maarei, Maarei? Wake up! Can you hear me? If you can, do something."
Maarei strained and struggled, then forced an eyelid open, but closed it again, exhausted. Then she either fell asleep or blacked out; she was to weak to tell.
The next thing she knew, her eyelids were opened and she was breathing easily. Maarei blinked and rubbed her eyes. Where were they? The air smelled of moisture, like it had just rained. And...it was warmer too. Melanthos? Was it a dream?
"No, it isn't, Maar." Zelda was looking over her. Maarei was a bit startled, but she remembered that Hylians had telepathy. It was something no one of her race could ever do, and she really envied it. When she was little, she had learned to read people's faces, and in some cases their eyes, but that was only because she wanted to be like Zelda.
"What...?" Maarei began.
"Drink this first...it'll make you feel better." Zelda gave her some kind of a red potion. She drank deep. "You are back in Melanthos. We had to take you back; you almost died. We were planning to take you back the next day, but you wouldn't have lasted that long."
"How many days has it been?"
"Three. You were unconcious for most of the time. But you look better now."
"Where in Melanthos are we?" Maarei sat up.
"We're south, next to the Red Pass, and the Amethyst's Castle. What do you call it again? Castle Jynx. Sounds unlucky," Zelda joked.
"It's named after the pixie, Jynx. With a "Y" not an "I". And you know that." Maarei looked around.
"We're in a cave, you can see. We'll go to Castle Jynx soon, after you get more energy back. The Amethysts, they'll be helpful, and you can stay with them, maybe."
Sure, and lead Ganondorf straight to them, Maarei thought. "We have to stay together, Zelda. If we get split up, we'll definitely be lost, because we all have different qualities, you know? Besides, I know where we could stay..."
* * * *
"Who's the king now, Aetta?"
Aetta Amethyst looked down at her little sister, Renii, who asked the innocent question. Renii was playing with dolls, and waiting for her to answer. Aetta frowned and turned back to the book she was reading. Ganondorf was just a pretender, a usurper.
"There isn't a king, there's a queen, and she's coming back soon," Aetta mumbled.
"But there has to be a king. You don't understand! You're messing up my story. See the king has to go get his queen of the ship but the storm blows her off the boat and then mermaids save her and she turns into a mermaid and he can't find her and...I don't know what happens then." Renii giggled. She was eight. Brendane, sitting in the corner, also reading, was ten. Aetta herself was eighteen, and the Lady of the castle, currently. Her parents were north, at a council, discussing plans. She'd told them it was stupid to leave a castle unguarded, but they pointed out that it wasn't unguarded, but surrounded by troops. Aetta had rolled her eyes and told them that was probably just what the Opals had been thinking, but they told her she knew the escape route if anything happened. True.
She twirled the amethyst talisman on her finger, then held it still. It was huge, and the polished jewel took up the space of her palm. She had long hands, being descended from the Melanthian pixies and all. The talisman had been given to them by the pixie Jynx, when the castle was being built, so they named it after her. The jewel possessed the power of the pixies. Unfortunately, when the Amethyst's ancestors had evolved bigger than any other pixies, they started mixing with humans, and it weakened the bloodlines. None of them knew how to use the talisman to gain power, though many had tried.
The violet jewel was surrounded by little stones of all colors, imbedded in gold. The chain was long and made of tiny gold links. Aetta loved holding it, it was so smooth and beautiful, and the color of it was the same as her big, tilted eyes. She looked like her parents said Jynx would, with a dark complexion and pale blond hair that was big and thick, always causing her trouble. Renii had red hair and blue eyes, like their mother, a Wynne, and Brendane looked like Aetta, but with a lighter complexion. And they all were always feisty like a pixie would be.
Brendane got tired of his book soon, and started playing with Renii. It looked like they were having fun and would be fine for a while, so she left. The nursemaid wasn't there; Aetta liked her siblings well enough and was lonely anyway, so she watched them herself.
She needed to put the talisman back into its case. If her parents knew she was taking it out, they'd be mad at her for sure. Her parents couldn't accept the fact that she was grown up. They were always treating her like a ten-year-old. Aetta walked along the stone corridors, to the secret room for it. She saw the door at the end of the long hallway, stone covered with carvings. She put the talisman in her pocket, and moved towards the room.
Suddenly a tall figure stepped before her. Appeared out of thin air was more like it. Aetta took a step back, startled. A few others appeared behind him.
"W-what? Who are you--?" She couldn't make out the face, but she could guess who it was, sort of. Ignoring her question, the tall one simply laughed.
"Search for it," he commanded, turning around. The people behind him scattered. Aetta frowned at him. Did he want the talisman? She turned and hurried away, to the nursery, to protect her siblings.
"Not so fast, Lady," said a deep voice behind her. He grabbed onto her shoulder, hard, and whirled her around. Yes, she was right, it was Ganondorf.
"What?" she said asked.
"You know what. Where is it?"
"I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about! What ever it is, I don't have it!" She told him angrily. She tried to pull away, but he was too strong.
"You really expect me to believe that?" he sneered. "The jewel, girl. Where is it?" Why would he want the jewel? He's going to do something horrible with it, use it's magic backwards, for evil, Aetta thought, answering her own question.
"If you're so interested, just go find it yourself, because you'll get nothing out of me!" I have to get back, I can take Brendane and Renii out through the secret passage, she thought franticly.
He grabbed her by the front of her dress and wrenched her off her feet. She kicked at him, but her feet just met cold armor. "Tell me, you stupid wench!" Ganondorf roared. She squirmed, half in annoyance, and said nothing.
"Master, I think we found it," A Cyreenian said. "Over there." He pointed to the door with the carvings. Ganondorf dropped her to the floor and turned over to it. Aetta stumbled up and ran straight in the other direction as fast as she could. She needed to get away before he realized the talisman wasn't there.
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