Link Meets His Darkness
Book 4 - Hero's Legacy

By Joran


            He walked the courtyard with content. The boy had an air of adventure and heroism about him. He was a lot like his father. When his thoughts turned to his father, he felt a strong sense of admiration and pride at his father's great legacy. He hoped to carry on that legacy and make it live forever. He felt like he had some high expectations to live up to, and pushed himself very hard to achieve them. He may only be ten years old, but he acted like a man of thirty. He then had a sudden strange feeling. A Hylian's sense of foreboding was greater even than their five basic senses, even their hearing, and Marcus had that sudden sense. He felt that something was coming. Something that threatened his father's life, and his place as King of Hyrule. He began pacing in the courtyard, trying to think of what it could be. A thought occurred to him and his eyes opened wide. That very same evil he himself had just vanquished is what was coming. He paused, horrified at the thought, then raced off to find his father.

            "I'm glad you all could join me" the king said, addressing all who were there. He had called a council of the leaders of each race across Hyrule. I was there as well. Seated across from me were, Link, the Goron patriarch, Ruto, the Zora Queen, Rhan, the newly appointed Sheikah leader, Nabooru of the Gerudos and Kiriko, the leader of the Kokiri. Seated near me were three Knights, Liam, Gral and Ron. Next to me, the Lieutenant of the Hylian Knights was an empty seat, reserved for Captain Orlin. He was absent, yet again, and I was growing suspicious. Orlin had been a fine captain when he was appointed twelve years ago, but in these last 3 months, he had become a man of excuses and was frequently absent from the king's council. I had to fulfill his duties within the council. Link had tried to make me captain numerous times, but I refused every time, being that I believe that there are much more worthy men. I used to believe Orlin was quite worthy, but he began giving me my doubts. Seated next to the king was Queen Zelda. She rounded out the people at this council meeting. The king continued. "As has been noted, most of your races were attacked and lost your leaders to assassination. Queen Ruto has brought to my attention the perpetrators of these crimes. Now, under normal circumstances, they would be punished. But, as has been explained, they were not responsible. In body, yes, but they had no control over their minds and did these things against their will."

"But, King Link" said Queen Ruto as the king paused "how do you know this? Were you inside their minds? How do you know they won't do it again?"

"Queen Ruto, I assure you, I know what happened. Now, for reasons I cannot explain, I cannot reveal to you exactly what happened nor who is responsible, only that the one that is responsible has been brought to justice."

"Wait" said Link, the Goron, "only one person is responsible? How is that possible?" Link looked up to see Rhan and Nabooru looking back at him with eyes that knew the truth. Apart from myself, Link, Nabooru, and Rhan, no one knew the truth of what had transpired in the preceding weeks. Not even Zelda knew the whole truth, only that Dark Link was somehow responsible. "It was a person of great evil. He has been seen to, and there is nothing to worry about now. You will notice that Rapho and Noro are their normal selves again, are they not? As are Nalquiz and Zarandorf."

"Gerudo scum" I heard Ron say under his breath. Luckily, Nabooru had not heard this. I turned to him with a sharp look, and he quickly returned to attention. "Yes, King Link" said Queen Ruto "but, what if this is some sort of act? What if they are planning on attacking again?"

"I agree with Queen Ruto" said Link, the Goron "Noro is acting like himself again, but who knows what he is capable of? No, he must be either punished or exiled." Ruto nodded in agreement with this. Both of them had lost their fathers, and weren't about to let their killers remain unpunished. "Queen Ruto, Patriarch Link" Zelda said, addressing them both courteously "I know the pain which you are suffering, but Rapho and Noro are not responsible. The real criminal is gone, and we needn't worry about it anymore. Your people are safe. I have seen to Nalquiz, he killed not one, but two people. However, I can tell when someone is lying, and he swears to me that he cannot remember anything of that time, and he also denies wanting to kill either of the people he killed. Nalquiz is not lying to me. He is an honest man, with a good heart. Rapho and Noro are the same. Please, do not condemn them. It was not their fault." This seemed to have swayed Link the Goron but Ruto was immovable. "No" she said. "Unfortunately, I do not have the same feeling as you, Queen Zelda. Your compassion is admirable, but I must see to it that Rapho be punished." It was clear that she could not be swayed in her position. King Link sighed, but then he relented. "Very well, Queen Ruto. Rapho shall be exiled from Zora's Domain. Send him to live in Lake Hylia, and let anyone who wishes to go with him to do so. Or, do you have something else you would rather do?"

"That is a reasonable compromise, King Link. However, I shall decree it that he is not to set a fin within the domain ever again, lest his life be forfeit." Link did not want to agree to that, but he had to. Ruto was the Zora queen, after all. "Very well, then let it be so. Link, what shall you do?" Link the Goron looked up at the king, and shook his head. "The queen's words ring of truth. I know Noro did not murder my father under his own will. He shall be forgiven and allowed to live freely among the Gorons." The king smiled at this, and then turned to address everyone in council. "That shall be all, for now. I thank you all for creating time to be here at council today. This meeting is adjourned." At that point, everyone got up to leave. I turned to Ron and said "Sir Ron, a word if you please." The knight turned to me and said "what would you discuss, Lieutenant?"

"You know very well, Ron. You will hold your tongue whilst sitting in council. Even if you believe it, the Gerudo are not scum. Just because one turned rogue, and they are notorious as thieves, we have made peace with them, and they are to be treated with respect. If I hear you say something like that again, I'll have your knighthood. Understood?"

"Perfectly, sir."

"Good. Now, come with me. You're to help me find Captain Orlin." With that, we turned to leave the room, but I nearly collided with the prince, who came running into the room. "Joran! Where is my father?"

"What is the matter, Prince Marcus?"

"I need to speak to him! Something bad is coming!"

"Whatever do you mean?"

"It's Dark Link! I feel his presence once more! He has come back!" My eyes widened at this. "What? How can you be certain?"

"I can sense his evil again. His power has left him, but his evil is as strong as ever. Where is my father?" he said, repeating his question. "He has gone back to his quarters, Prince Marcus." Marcus took off like a shot to his father's room. Ron looked at me, quizzically. "Who is Dark Link, sir?"

"Never mind that, now. Come. Let us find the Captain." I believed what Marcus had told me, and I grew worried. I had to inform Captain Orlin and get his assistance. Marcus had already reached Link's room. When he heard his son's words, he nearly fell over from the shock of it. Link hurriedly grabbed his weapons and headed out of his room. With Marcus in tow, he ran off to the Temple of Time. Rauru, the wise old sage could help him figure this all out. With that, another chapter had begun.




            A breeze came by, fluttering his red cape and tossing his strawberry-blonde hair. He looked majestic and proud, and held a strong dignity about him. However, his eyes told of his real self. They were steely grey, cold, and corrupted. He waited outside a small dwelling hidden in a secluded area of Hyrule. His patience was wearing thin. Where was he? Suddenly, he heard a voice behind him. "Good of you to come, Captain." He turned around and saw the dark figure there. "You're late" he said, coldly.

"Be careful, Captain. Do not cross me, or our alliance will turn into a rivalry. And trust me; you do not want to be against me. Just ask your Lieutenant." The Captain grunted. "Shall we begin, Captain?"

"Very well, Dark Link. Get on with it."

"Good. Now, as we discussed, a payment is in order."

"I have your pay, Dark Link. Get on with what you're planning."

"As you wish. You will remain as Captain of the Hylian Knights, will you not?"
"Of course I will. That fool of a Lieutenant could easily be the Captain, the King has offered it to him, but he continues to refuse it. If he did accept it, though, everything we are planning could be in jeopardy."

"Don't worry, I know him well. He won't take it. Now, since you will remain the Captain, here is my proposal. You will steal into the castle at night, and while he sleeps, you capture the prince. We will use him as a bargaining tool, so that the King may bend to our will. At that point, we will demand that the throne of Hyrule be turned over to us, and that he and the rest be exiled out of Hyrule."

"Why would you want to be king?"
"I will finally achieve my master's goal, that's why. I may not be able to bring him back anymore, but I can make everything he dreamed of a reality. And, while I'm at it, finally get my vengeance. Now, my part in this shall be to deal with the prince. That is why I require payment." He smiled coldly when he said this.

"But Dark Link, you will enjoy it. Why do you need payment?"

"I have to get something out of this more than satisfaction. Now go, Captain Orlin. Bring me back the prince. It is time we made our alliance useful." The Captain said nothing more. He turned back to his horse. He climbed into the saddle of his graceful white stallion, and dug his heels into its sides. The horse took off. Headed off to Kakariko. Dark Link turned and went back into his temporary home. He sat down in his chair, and picked up a book lying on the table. It's cover was lined with dust and he wiped it away. It's title read "A History of Torture" on its cover. He began flipping through it, thoroughly enjoying the graphic depictions within. This book covered what Dungeon Masters did to their prisoners in times of old. No such things were done now, but he would ensure that that would change. He closed the book, and stood up. At that point, he couldn't help himself. He laughed. Relishing the fact and already looking forward to his time with the prince. Only a mistake from Orlin could prevent it, now.




            Within the Temple of Time, Link and Marcus speak to the temple's keeper, Rauru. "It can't be, Rauru" said Link "the Master Sword cut right through him. He should be gone."

"I understand it's hard to believe, King Link, but he was always very powerful. However, now he lives as a mortal man." Marcus didn't seem to believe him. "How do you know all this?" he asked.

"Well, young one, I have knowledge of many things. I can see things beyond these walls without being there." Marcus still didn't believe him. He was very skeptical about magic, the goddesses, and the like. However, he couldn't explain his feeling about Dark Link. He just assumed that it was instinct, but knew in his heart that it was something more. "Does he have anyone helping him?" Link asked the wise old sage. Rauru, the ageless sage that he was, looked the same age as when Link had first met him in the Chamber of the Sages. Back then he couldn't have been younger than sixty, so now he had to be pushing into his nineties. "I sense someone who has agreed to do some sort of deed for him, but this stranger is blocking me out, as if knowing that I can reach his mind. He seems to know how to keep me out of his mind. Keep an eye out amongst your knights, King Link."

"You mean we have a traitor?"
"Precisely. Hang on. I sense someone else. She is his back up for the other. She is completely blocking me, as well. However, I sense the magic of a Sheikah at work, here. Warn Rhan of this treachery. Tell him to keep a sharp eye out."

"I will, Rauru. Thank you for your help."

"It was nothing, King Link. Be careful, Hero of Time. Your place as king may be threatened by this."

"Yes, Rauru. Thank you again." With that, Link and Marcus left the temple and Rauru behind and made their way back to the castle. Meanwhile, Sir Ron and I were in Kakariko Village, where the captain made his residence. We climbed off our horses and walked up to his house. I knocked on the door and found no response. Sir Ron tried and got the same. We tried looking in the windows to see if he was there, to no avail. I tried to open the door to find it unlocked. I opened it slowly, and peered inside. I saw nothing out of the ordinary, but went inside anyway. I looked all through his house and found nothing. I suddenly heard Ron call from outside. I ran outside and said "What is it?"

"The Captain approaches, Lieutenant Joran." I quickly stepped outside and shut the door. I looked out at the gates to the village and indeed did see Captain Orlin approaching. I caught his gaze as he neared, and the look he wore chilled me to the bone. He dismounted his horse and walked straight over to the two of us. We saluted as he approached, and he did not return the favour. "Sir Ron, Lieutenant Joran, this is highly irregular. What are you doing here at my place of living?"
"Forgive us, Captain" I said, respectfully "but we have urgent news that we will need your assistance with."

"And what is that?" he said, irritably. I furrowed my brow at his tone, but chose to ignore it.

"Well, we have a report from the prince of the return of a great evil, Dark Link. Do you remember me telling you of him?"

"Of course I do, Joran. What does that matter?"

"What do you mean, Captain Orlin? Dark Link is an incredibly dangerous individual that we-"
"Enough!" Orlin shouted. "I'll have no more of this Dark Link nonsense. You two are to return to the castle and stand guard at the Temple of Time. Relieve the knights who are there now, and remain there until after nightfall. Do not bother me again with this and never come to my residence again. Are we clear?" The two of us stood there, stunned. What had become of our captain? We still hadn't spoken. Orlin repeated his question, in a borderline furious tone. "Are we clear?"

"Yes sir, Captain Orlin" I said, in a sharp tone.

"Yes, sir" repeated Sir Ron.

"We'd better be. Now, go! You've wasted enough of my time!" He then opened the door to his house and slammed it shut as he entered. I turned to Ron and said "Come on, Ron. We're going to the castle."

"But Lieutenant, the Captain said-"
"I'm well aware of what the Captain said. We are going to warn the King of today's meeting. I am suspicious that our Captain may be a traitor." Ron looked at me as if I had just spit in the face of Din herself. "Lieutenant Joran! How can you even think that?"

"I have a feeling, Ron." I climbed on my horse to see that Ron was not following. "Sir Ron, what are you waiting for?"
"I fear disobeying the Captain's orders, Lieutenant. He is acting strange lately, and I fear that he may be rash if he were to punish us." I turned to him and said "Very well, Ron. Go to the temple. I will send Liam to be there with you."

"But, what about you, Joran?"

"Don't worry about me, Ron. Just go to the temple, and you won't get in any trouble. I will make sure of it."

Ron looked reassured and climbed aboard his horse. We then rode out at a full gallop.




            At Lon Lon Ranch, Rilon stands out in the pasture, watching as the sun sets. He has a strange feeling. A feeling he couldn't explain. As he stood there, he heard a young voice behind him. "Rilon" said the voice. He turned around to see young Kila there, the adopted child of our family. "Kila. What is it?"

"Rilon, what's wrong? You've been out here all day."

"You can call me uncle, you know. And there is nothing wrong, Kila. I just enjoy the sunset. Why don't you watch it with me?" Kila stepped forward and stood next to him. She suddenly spoke up again. "I know I can call you uncle, Rilon, but I don't feel right. I feel like I'm not worthy enough being part of your family."

"Kila, don't talk like that. You deserve everything you have here. You are kind, smart, and mature and make our lives better every day. I may not actually be your uncle by blood, but I am here for you. I will do everything it takes to make you comfortable here. I know it's been hard since the loss of your parents, but things will come around for you." Kila nodded slowly at Rilon's kind, gentle words. Malon looked out the window at Rilon and Kila standing together. She sat at the table with Laya, as they worked on sewing a quilt together. It was apparently for me. My birthday was only a day away and they were planning something. I didn't know exactly what they were doing, but they couldn't stop smiling when they were talking about it. "That poor thing. She must feel so alone. I hope we can change that."

"We can, mother. I will do what I can to help that."

"I know, Laya. You're right. We certainly can." They both turned their attention back to the quilt. Laya then brought up the subject at hand. "I hope father likes this."

"Of course he will, dear. I bet you he'll cry when he sees what's on it."
"Don't be silly, mother. Father never cries."

"You may be surprised, Laya." They said nothing more after that and continued with their work. The sun finally sank into the horizon. Rilon and Kila then turned and walked back into the house together. Just outside the castle walls, someone else had viewed that same sunset. Only he was not watching it out of enjoyment. He watched it as a signal of when he was to carry out his deed. His cold grey eyes watched the sun all the way until nothing but darkness was left. He then started walking toward the drawbridge to the castle. Just as it was about to close, he called up above. "Wait there! I have business with the king! Bring the bridge back down!"

"Hey, Ervin! Captain Orlin's down there! Open up the bridge for him!" The man called Ervin looked down and saw Orlin there. He then began to turn the crank that controlled the chains holding the bridge the opposite direction until the bridge reached the ground. Orlin strode across the bridge and entered. As he crossed to the pathway leading to the Castle Town Market, he saluted the guards standing watch there. "Evening, Captain" said one of them. Orlin said nothing and continued on his way. He walked straight through the market and toward Hyrule Castle's gates. The guards there stopped him, and he became instantly furious. "Have you no idea who I am, soldier? I am Captain Orlin, you stupid fool! How dare you bar my entrance to the castle!" The young guard was clearly shaken by this, but did manage to defend his action. "But sir, it is standard procedure. I have to see who is approaching the castle before they enter so I may allow or deny their entrance. I am sorry, but you are supposed to know that."

"Of course. Silly me. Good work, soldier." The guard stepped aside and opened the gate to let the Captain through. He continued on, saluting the guards at their posts, but then remembered something. He had forgotten to check the Temple of Time to see if Ron and I had followed his orders. He asked a nearby guard. "You there, soldier. May I ask you something?"

"Certainly, Captain. What would you ask?"

"Well, I was wondering who it is that is guarding the Temple of Time at the present?"

"Well sir, I remember earlier today talking to two men there named Jon and Verne. But, Jon came over here to talk to me, saying they were replaced by two others. He said one was Ron and the other was Liam, I believe." Orlin's eyes burned with fury. He knew I had disobeyed his orders. "Well, then that means Lieutenant Joran disobeyed a direct order. I shall have to deal with him later. Ron, too. Thank you, soldier. You have done your kingdom a great service by exposing these traitors."

"But sir, I know Joran and Ron. They would never betray us!"

"It seems they have, soldier. Now, I'm off to meet with the king. I have news for him. Thank you again." The soldier stood there, speechless as Orlin continued on into the castle. His eyes spoke of his true intention. There was no meeting with the king. He was here for the prince. He strode through the halls, looking for Marcus' quarters. He reached the door and was about to open it when he stopped. Something of his old self had appeared. What am I doing? he thought. How could I even think about doing something like this? Especially to a child?. He shook off the feeling and looked around to ensure no one was watching him. No guards lined the hall as they were not assigned to do so, yet. He reached forward and grabbed the doorknob. He turned it silently and opened the door slowly. There he saw the prince asleep. He would have to move fast. He moved toward the bed slowly. As he got to the bedside, Marcus opened his eyes and saw the Captain there. "Captain Orlin" he said, groggily. "What are you doing here?"

"Prince Marcus" he hadn't anticipated this, so he had to think fast. As he stood there thinking, he did not notice a pair of eyes watching him. I was waiting. "We have to go. You are in terrible danger. Someone has threatened the lives of your family, including you. I have direct orders from the king to take you away to a safe place."

"I haven't heard anything. My father is in bed. Go see for yourself. How is that possible?" Orlin knew Marcus saw right through his lie and now he had no other choice. He might wake the king and have the guards come after him, but he knew how to get out of the castle. He pulled out a dagger and suddenly rushed toward the prince, reaching for him. Before he got there, I came from out of the shadows and grabbed hold of Orlin's arm. He looked at me in shock and tried to throw a punch to my face, but I blocked this with my other hand. I wrestled the dagger from his grip and threw it away. It slid under Marcus' bed. We separated and he drew his sword. I drew mine and tried to reason with him. "Captain, stop this. Give it up now. You have nowhere else to go." He said nothing, and shouted as he ran towards me, sword raised. Marcus had gotten out of his bed and was gawking in horror at the scene playing out before him. Orlin's sword hit mine with a crash as we met once again. He swung back and struck again. I blocked him a second time. He threw out his fist again. I ducked out of the way and thrust my sword forward. He jumped back and kicked out, sending my sword flying toward the door. I was now defenceless. I rushed him and grabbed hold of his sword. The Captain and I pushed against each other with all our strength. I would not let go of his sword. My right hand had hold of the blade and had been cut badly. I continued to hold on with as much strength as I could. We continued grappling and moving throughout the room, knocking over tables, breaking lanterns and causing quite the ruckus. I knew Link must have heard us fighting, so he would be there soon. Orlin finally got full control of his sword back and struck out at me. I ducked underneath his first strike, a horizontal slice at my head, and rolled away from his second strike. I got up from that but by the time I did, Orlin rushed me and knocked me to the ground. I was finished. I had no way of defending against this. I saw a candle stick not too far away lying next to a knocked over table. I reached for it and grabbed it just as Orlin raised his sword. I held it up and blocked his sword from my path. He pressed downward, in an effort to make me drop the candlestick, but I wouldn't let it go. I was only holding it with one hand, though, and was going to let up soon. I then noticed how close we were to Marcus' bed. I looked underneath and saw Orlin's dagger lying there. As I fought back I reached for it. It was just beyond my reach. Orlin realized what I was reaching for, and pressed down even harder. I managed to shuffle sideways and get the dagger within my reach. His sword was only inches from my face. I reached for the dagger, grabbed hold of it with my free hand and thrust it forward into Orlin's shoulder. He shouted in pain, but it bought me enough time to get up and grab his sword again. We began grappling again but, again, he managed to wrestle the sword from my grasp. This time, as he struck forward, his blade was met with the blade of a beautiful orange sword with a green handle. Link stood there with defiant, furious eyes. He looked to Orlin with a fury I had never seen before. Orlin stopped and was about to strike out again when he finally noticed the pain in his shoulder. He dropped his sword and pulled the dagger from his shoulder. He went to pick up his sword but saw the tip of Greenfire in his face. He stood up and looked at Link. I stepped up next to him after retrieving my sword. I spoke to the Captain. "Orlin. It's over. Give it up." Orlin looked to us with his cold eyes and then slumped his shoulders in defeat. "I have just one question for you, Joran. How did you know?"

"It wasn't hard, Orlin. The way you dismissed the news of Dark Link and ordered me to be out of the way come nightfall sealed it."

Link looked at me with guilt. "I'm sorry, Joran. I'm sorry I wasn't here earlier to help you. Thank you for saving my son's life."

"Don't be sorry, Link. I should be thanking you for coming when you did." Marcus stepped forward and hugged his father. "Father, I was so scared."

"It's all right now, son. We'll see to it the former Captain gets what's coming to him." We both grabbed him by the arms and led him away. We went downstairs to the dungeon and threw him into one of the cells. "We'll see to your punishment later" Link said, holding back his rage. As we walked back, Link and I began to discuss the situation. "What will we do with him?" I asked.

"I don't know yet. I want to kill him, but I can't. That would be wrong. I'll have to think of something else. Rauru was right."

"This isn't the end, either. He was working with Dark Link. And knowing him, he will try something else. Be ready, Link."

"Rauru mentioned a Sheikah. I'll have to warn Rhan to keep an eye out amongst his people. Well Joran, I suppose we'll also have to name a new captain." I knew what he wanted to do next. "Very well, Link. I suppose I shall have to accept."

"Very good. Within the week we will greet your knights and present them their new leader. Congratulations, Captain Joran." I beamed when he called me Captain. I loved the sound of it. 'Thank you, King Link. I think it would be best that we turn in for the night."

"Yes, Joran. Have a good night, Captain."

"Thank you, your highness." He looked at me with a look of discontent. "Joran?"

"Sorry. Thanks, Link. Have a good night as well." I turned and walked toward the entrance to the castle. One of the guards outside stopped me. The one who had spoken to Orlin. His name was Philip. "Lieutenant" he said "what's going on?"

"Well, I'm afraid our Captain was trying to kidnap the young prince. It seems he has betrayed us."

"But, he told me that you and Ron betrayed us."

"He would say that. Ask the king if you want to verify that I am telling the truth. He was there. We managed to stop him. He is in the dungeon now, and is awaiting punishment."

"I suppose that means he is no longer the Captain?"

"You're right, Philip. He isn't anymore. There is now going to be a new Captain. He will address you all later on in the week."

"Who is it, Joran? Is it you?"

"You'll have to wait a few days for that, Philip. Good night."

"Good night, Captain." I continued on until I reached my horse at the castle stables. I climbed aboard Eldina and rode out for home.     





            He sat in the dwelling, waiting. Waiting and still waiting. Where was he? His patience grew thin as he sat there. A female voice suddenly spoke to him. "He isn't coming. I know it."

"Jyla, you may be right. I knew I couldn't trust him to get the job done. I'm sure Joran had something to do with it."

"What will we do now, Dark Link?" His blazing red eyes met hers when he turned around. When he did so, he had a strange feeling within his soul. It was a strange confusion. The closest he could come to loving something. "Our new plan shall be carried out, Jyla. You will have to win the favour of Rhan. That's how you will become a Sheikah protector of the Royal Family. Once you have achieved this, study the queen. Her behaviours, her emotional reactions, her appearance, everything."

"Why, Dark Link? Why should I do this?"

"Have you not noticed? Take a look in the mirror over there." She walked over to a mirror on the nearby wall. She looked into it and saw her own face staring back at her. "Well? What am I supposed to be looking for?"

"Think of Zelda, and look again." She did as she was told and looked back at the mirror. What she saw was shocking. She saw, not herself, but the beautiful queen of Hyrule staring back at her. Only it wasn't Zelda. This was Jyla.  "How.... how have I never noticed this before?"

"That doesn't matter. What matters is that you look almost identical to the queen and I am the king's twin brother." When Dark Link said this, an evil grin crept across her face. "I see. How interesting. What a key tool this will be in our plans." Dark Link grinned evilly as well. They didn't even have to say it. It was clear what their plan was. "Very well, Dark Link. I will set out now. I'm certain Rhan has noticed that I have left. Tomorrow evening I shall begin to work with Rhan and gain his favour." Dark Link nodded and she left the small dwelling on the outskirts of Hyrule. Dark Link then thought yes. I shall have to pay Orlin a visit. He then got up from his chair and strolled over to the bed in the corner. It was a simple mat of hay spread across the floor. He lay down and took off his shirt. That is what he would use for a blanket. Mortality certainly has its drawbacks Olan thought. He pulled his shirt over himself and rolled over, facing the wall. He closed his eyes and soon drifted off to sleep.




            A few days later, I awoke that morning to see my daughter's smiling face above me. "Happy Birthday, Father!" I looked up at her, groggily. I reached forward and put my hand on her cheek. "Thank you, my girl." She continued smiling as I sat up. I grunted in pain from my previous excursion. The fight with Orlin had taken quite a toll on me. "Mother has something for you downstairs. Come and see."

"I will, dear. Just let me get dressed."

"Father! Come with me!"

"Just a minute, Laya. As soon as I am dressed I will see what you two have kept from me for so long." I walked over to my old red tunic and reached for it with my bandaged hands. I pulled my hand back and smiled as I realized that I was not a teenager anymore. And hadn't been for many years. Force of habit I thought. I then reached for my knight's tunic and realized it was the only clean laundry I had (my tunic from the previous night still had blood on it and was torn from the battle). I felt silly wearing the beautiful white tunic, lined with black with a golden phoenix on the chest within my own home, with no real occasion. I then realized that there was an occasion to wear this tunic. I was to be introduced as the new Captain of the Hylian Knights today. I put it on and followed Laya down the stairs. She led me to the kitchen table. There stood Malon. I walked over to her. "Good Morning, my love. What would you like to show to me?"

"Happy Birthday, Joran. Laya and I made this for you." She handed me a soft object wrapped in cloth. I removed the cloth and saw a quilt there, folded several times. I unfolded it and looked to it with awe. In the right corner, a wonderfully embroidered picture of Malon could be seen. I could tell that Laya had sewn this section. Next to that, on the left quadrant was a picture of Laya, sewn by Malon. In the bottom right, my brother Rilon, with his typical scowl, could be seen. In the bottom left, was Kila. She had her usual look of maturity and determination. In between them, slightly larger than the rest, a picture of what looked like me, only somehow different. I suddenly realized that they must have tried to make this look like my father. Then, in the centre, the largest picture of them all was Kiel. He was riding his old horse, Farona, carrying his sword and wearing his blue helmet. Farona was reared on her hind legs, and Kiel held his sword aloft, in a heroic pose. Just below him, I saw words. They read "We all love you, Joran. Happy Birthday. Here is everyone who loves you and who all owe you thanks for your courage and strength." Below that, more words. When I read it, tears began to well up in my eyes. I had told Malon about something Kiel had once told me as a young boy, on my 13th birthday. This was the quote that was now there. It read "Joran, you are courageous. On this day, you have proven to me what a true man you have become. You do proud the name of Delmire. Gralan would be filled with pride at seeing you on this day. Happy Birthday." Those words had such meaning for me because it was the first time Kiel had ever told me about my father. That was his gift to me that year. I tried to speak, but words would not come. A few tears fell down my cheeks and I turned away from Malon and Laya. I wiped my face and turned back to them. "Thank you both very much. I love you."

"I love you too, father" Laya said.

"I love you, my husband" said Malon. I stepped forward and kissed her after she spoke. I folded the quilt once again and set it on the table. "We shall have to find some place to hang it" I said. I heard the door open and turned around. Rilon and Kila had walked into the house. "Hello, brother. Kila and I have something for you. Happy Birthday." He gently put his hand on her shoulder and encouraged her to step forward. She walked towards me, holding something. It was in a small box. She held out her hands and said "Happy Birthday, Joran."

"Thank you, Kila. Thank you as well, Rilon." I took the box and opened it. What sat inside was an emerald that Kila had had around her neck when we saved her in Kakariko. She had told me that her father gave it to her. I looked at her and said "Kila, are you sure you want to give me this?"

"Yes, Joran. I'd be proud to call you my father." I smiled at her and gave her a hug. "Very good, Kila. You deserve a family. I'm proud of you for finally accepting yourself as a member of our family." As we parted once again, she looked at me. I finally saw a look of happiness in her eyes. I stood up and addressed everyone in the room. "Thank you, my family. This is the best birthday I've ever had. You all make it complete. I also must announce something that I have yet to tell you. Today, the king is to announce the appointment of a new captain of the Hylian Knights." I stopped there, letting them mull it over for a moment.

"What has that got to do with anything, Joran?" Rilon asked.

"Well, Rilon, it has very much to do with me. Let's just say that the new captain is standing here, in this room, amongst us." I knew that this would give it away, but not directly. They all thought I was referring to myself, but had to ask. "You, father?" Laya asked.

"Indeed, Laya. I'd be privileged to have you all at Hyrule Castle today to witness this event." They all cheered at this news, and I felt proud. Not proud to be the captain. Proud that I was lucky enough to have a family as wonderful as this.




            Dark Link was trying hard to comprehend what he was being told. This put a big obstacle in the way of their plans. "Are you certain?" he asked Jyla, as she finished telling him her news. "Yes, Dark Link. It's just a rumour right now, but Rhan has powerful abilities and is almost completely positive that he saw his name." Dark Link stood up from his chair and walked over to the window. He suddenly threw out his fist, contacting the glass of the window, shattering it into hundreds of little pieces. "Curse the luck! Damn that Orlin!" The broken window had cut his hand in several places, but he did not seem to notice. "This will not do! Jyla, we'll have to find some way of removing him from that position. How, Din only knows!"

"It can't be that bad, Dark Link. If you disguise yourself as the king, he'll not be able to tell the difference."

"You don't understand! Joran has known the king since they were both children! He has known me nearly as long. He would instantly be able to tell the difference and he now holds enough weight that he can veto nearly any questionable decision. He is one who has enough power to even call for their abdication if he were to-" he suddenly stopped. He sat thinking for a moment, and then spoke again. "You know what, Jyla? I've just suddenly been struck with a revelation. I don't know why I didn't see it earlier. If I can somehow pretend to be the king while Joran is away, I can give the order-" Jyla suddenly interrupted.

"What order?"

"Remember the plan we discussed? Remember what I have in mind for the Gerudos?" Jyla nodded. "That order. Anyway, I can give the order and then you will support me as Zelda and we will have to quickly leave. At that point, when Joran hears of this, I'm certain he will demand the abdication of them both, regardless of whether they are friends or not. That will be where his loyalty ends. He will do our work for us. Then, we can step forward and claim the throne, after we eliminate certain people." Jyla seemed satisfied with that reworking of their plan. She opened her mouth to say something, but decided against it. Dark Link wanted her to speak, however. "No, please do share. What's on your mind, Jyla my dear?"

"What about Orlin?" Dark Link had forgotten. If I found out anything about him from Orlin, his plan will be lost. "Well, simple my dear. We destroy him. That will solve our little problem." Jyla was now completely reassured that their plan was safe. "I have more news."


"Rhan told me yesterday that he sees great promise in me, and sees it fit that I act as liaison to the prince for a week as a trial run, and then he will evaluate my performance."

"When is this to take place?" Dark Link asked with a smile.

"Tomorrow evening will be the first. Should we put our plan into action then?"

"There's no time like the present, my dear. Even if we start now, our plan will still take time to come full circle. However, we shall start today. As everyone is celebrating their new Captain, we will be able to remove Orlin from the picture." Dark Link picked up his sword and attached it to his back. He walked over to the door and opened it. He held it there. "After you, my dear" he said. Jyla walked out the door and as she stepped outside, Dark Link closed the door. He then climbed onto his horse and Jyla did the same. "Let's begin" he said to her. They snapped the reins of their respective horses in unison and they both took off toward the castle.





            The masses gathered in the castle courtyard upon hearing of this event. I took a look out the window. I instantly grew nervous. "Link, all of Hyrule must be out there! I can even see some Gorons and Zoras present!" My nerves were definitely showing as I was lamenting having to address the massive crowd. "That's right, Joran. All of them are here to meet the new Captain of the Hylian Knights."

"But Link, you can't expect me to give a speech in front of so many people. You know how I am with crowds!"

"Sorry, Joran. I don't really make many orders as king, but this will be one. I order, no, command you to give a speech to these people. What are they to expect from their captain? That he is too scared to give a measly speech? What will they think about your ability to lead the Hylian Knights into battle? They certainly wouldn't trust their lives to you." Link was correct. I did indeed need to show the people of Hyrule precisely what kind of Captain I would be. "Besides, you have to be the one to appoint your second-in-command. Your Lieutenant." I looked up at him with a look of confusion. "Me? Don't you do that?"

"No, Joran. I appoint the Captain. You appoint your Lieutenant." I paused to think. This was going to be a tough decision. "Well, Link, I suppose I can't appoint you then, can I?" Link just chuckled and shook his head. "I thought not. I'll need several moments to think."

"There's no time for that now, Joran. I'm just about to address the people. I shall be introducing you in mere moments. Whatever thinking you have to do, do it fast." He then stepped out onto the balcony and a massive roar went up amongst the people of Hyrule. Now my nerves grew even more. As I waited, Dark Link and Jyla stood in the courtyard, watching the king step out onto the balcony. A look of pure malice entered Olan's eyes. How much he loathed his brother could be seen in that look. With a sword on his back, Dark Link turned to Jyla and said "It's time. Let us go."

"But Dark Link, how are we to get into the castle."

"With Farore's Wind, my dear."

"How? You have to cast the spell wherever it is you wish to go in order to get there."

"Precisely, my dear." Dark Link raised his hands above his head and a glowing green orb appeared. Then, with Jyla holding his hand, the two vanished into thin air. When they reappeared, they were inside the tallest tower of the castle. Jyla was stunned. "But, how?"

"Simple, Jyla. When the hero defeated me the first time, I left a point here that I could easily access so I could re-enter here at any time I may need to. Now, to Orlin and the dungeon." They made their way to the door and opened it. They descended the spiral staircase until they reached the floor below. Dark Link knew there would be guards there. His brother was not stupid. He knew how to defend his castle. "Now is the time, Jyla. Use your spell." Jyla cast her magic and they both instantly turned to shadows cast against the wall. The guards might think it was something strange, but they would not give shadows any second thoughts. They crept past the guards lining the halls and found their way to another staircase. Here, they reached another level. They then saw straight ahead of them another staircase leading downward with their way barred by iron gates. As shadows, they simply passed through them. They then turned back to their regular selves again. They made their way over to the cell where Orlin was kept. He still had on his Captain's armour and looked as proud as ever. But his eyes told his real story again. He wore a look of remorse and regret. He had found his old self again. Too late. When he saw Dark Link appear in front of him, he stood up and faced him down. "You! Why do you disgrace this castle with your presence? What more do you want of me? Haven't you caused me enough suffering?"

"Orlin, with me, there is never enough suffering. And as for what I want from you, just a talk."

"A talk? With you, it's never just a talk. You're a filthy liar, Dark Link. You've come here to kill me, haven't you? Well get on with it. I don't deserve to live anyway."

"You're good, Orlin. How did you guess? Ah well, that's not the point, now is it? Well, Orlin" he unsheathed the sword at his back and sliced at the lock holding Orlin's cell closed. He then threw open the gate and moved forward into the cell. "Anything left to say for yourself?" Orlin remained silent, but seemed strangely confident at that moment. Dark Link wondered why, but let it pass as he relished taking another life. As he moved forward to cut Orlin down, he suddenly saw three swords surround him. "Stop right there, intruder" said a voice. It was Sir Liam. "What's this?" Dark Link said, incredulous. "Jyla! We have to-"

"Don't bother. We've already taken care of her." As he looked behind him, he saw two guards holding onto each of Jyla's arms. "But how?"

"Joran knew you'd be here to kill Orlin, so he sent us in here to hide and wait for you" said the man standing next to Liam. This was Sir Gral. Sir Ron led them and the men holding onto Jyla were Sir Philip and Sir Verne, one of the men replaced by Liam and Ron the night Orlin attempted his kidnapping of the prince. Dark Link seemed dumbfounded. "Well, it seems you've got me" he said, wryly. "Watch him" said Orlin "he's crafty. He's got something in mind. I know it." Dark Link looked around him, desperately. He suddenly remembered something. He had to try it.  Don't disappoint me he thought to himself. Dark Link suddenly ran over to the two men holding Jyla and knocked them both to the ground. He grabbed Jyla's hand and ran over to the tiny window of the dungeon. The six men facing them advanced on them. As they drew nearer, Dark Link suddenly shouted "Darkness among you all!" At first nothing happened and they all stood there, confused. Suddenly, a dark portal appeared before them all that caused a violent wind to knock them all backward into the wall. Dark Link and Jyla stepped into it and the portal closed quickly and vanished before them. Dark Link and Jyla were nowhere to be seen. "What just happened?" asked Gral.

"I don't know, Gral. Let's get Orlin back into his cell. We shall have to report this incident to Captain Joran and see what he will do to pursue this criminal" answered Ron. They put Orlin back in his cell, replaced the lock and left the dungeon again. Back outside, after a speech from the king, it was time for my introduction. I exhaled deeply a few times before getting myself ready. "And now Hyrule, let me introduce you to our new Captain of the Hylian Knights. Here he is, Captain Joran!" I stepped out onto the balcony, my legs shaking and was surprised by the thunderous cheer that welcomed my arrival. I stood there and took in the sight of the masses of people gathered in the castle courtyard. As I stood there, the cheering began to subside until there was nothing but silence. I hesitated, and then spoke. "People of Hyrule" I called above them. I was surprised at how well my voice carried across the courtyard. "I am the new Captain of the Hylian Knights, as was told to you by the great King Link. I can tell you all that every last one of you has my solemn promise to protect you at all costs and against all odds. Things will be done differently now that I am Captain. We will have the utmost responsibility to you, the people; the citizens of Hyrule. While I stand here today due to unfortunate circumstances, I am still proud and honoured no, privileged to be standing here today as Captain of the Hylian Knights. The Goddesses be with you, Hyrule!" As I finished, the crowd stood silent for a while. I began to feel very nervous again, until they finally cheered thunderously once more. Link tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Don't forget, your Lieutenant. Name your Lieutenant." I had nearly forgotten and still hadn't made up my mind. I had narrowed it down to four individuals, but couldn't decide who should lead with me. And I didn't know how to stop the cheering. Suddenly, Link raised his hand. The entire crowd went dead silent again. "Captain Joran has just one more thing to say." I stepped forward once more and made my mind up while speaking. "Everyone, as you already know, I was the Lieutenant of the Hylian Knights previously. Now that position is left vacant. I must now introduce you to my Lieutenant of the Hylian Knights. He is not up here at the moment but his name is" I paused. I still was having second thoughts. He had been knighted, but wasn't considered official by the others because they felt he had been knighted as a preference of the king and myself. I decided then and there that my mind was made up. He would make a great Lieutenant. "Your Lieutenant is amongst you now. He is a man I have very high praise and respect for. He is also a member of my family. Congratulations Sir Rilon, my brother. Wherever you are in this courtyard today, you are hereby my Lieutenant of the Hylian Knights." I knew this would be a controversial decision amongst some of the other knights, but I could think of no one better. I picked him out from the crowd and acknowledged him with a wave of my hand. He gave me a nod in return, showing me he accepted his new role. Thank you, brother I thought. The crowd cheered once more and I saw several people patting Rilon on the back and I stepped back once more. I suddenly heard a voice behind me. "Captain Joran" it sounded like Ron. "Sir Ron. What's the matter?" I asked, as I turned around. "I have an urgent matter to discuss with you. You were right, Joran." I knew precisely what he meant. "Is Orlin all right?"

"He is fine. We got there before Dark Link could do him any harm. He did manage to escape. He was with some Sheikah woman."

"So the king was right. I shall have to tell Rhan. Did you manage to catch her name?"

"I was distracted, but Liam heard him call her something. Liam!" He called to Liam standing in the opening to the balcony. He had a look of resentment on his face. He heard my announcement I thought to myself. "What was the name of that Sheikah woman?"

"I heard him call her Jyla, if I'm not mistaken" he said, coolly. He then walked over to us and turned to me. "And I pray to Din that I was mistaken about the announcement I just heard."

"No, Liam. You are not. And before you protest, let me tell you that I am not playing favourites here. In spite of what you think, Rilon is an excellent fighter and has a great ability to lead. He takes charge of situations and has the ability to plan and strategize with the best abilities I've ever seen."

"Captain, I must say that I do not like this decision one bit. You make an excellent Captain but, with all due respect, this is an outrage. I thought Ron here deserved it more than him."

"Believe me Liam, Ron was considered. But Rilon has the better qualities to lead. No offense Ron, but you tend to crack a little under pressure." Ron looked at me and did not seem hurt. He then turned to Liam and said "he's right, Liam. I couldn't handle the stresses of such a job. Besides, don't you think someone related to Joran would be strong enough to be our Lieutenant? He's bound to have most of the same qualities."

"I do see your point, Ron" Liam replied "but he's unproven. Until he manages to prove to me that he is worthy of such a position, I will question whether my knighthood is as valuable as it is."

"I'm sorry you feel that way, Liam" I said. "Let's say we head inside and formulate a little plan to find Dark Link. I shall have to get Rilon, and you will respect what he has to say and listen to his ideas. Understood?" That statement was directed more toward Liam.

"Yes, Captain. I understand." With that, we left the cheering crowd behind us. Link walked up next to me and said "Is anything wrong, Joran?"

"Dark Link tried to kill Orlin, Link. We're going to go after him. I'll have to get the details to you later."

"Understood" Link said.




            Out in the middle of Hyrule Field, a dark portal opens and two figures leap from it and land roughly on the ground, breathing heavily from the stresses of their escape. "What will you do now, Dark Link?" asked Jyla. Dark Link got up, but said nothing. He looked in her direction and then turned around and stared up at the sun for a moment. "Dark Link? Did you hear me? What will we do?" Still he said nothing. He suddenly snapped back to reality and turned to face Jyla. "Yes, Jyla. I heard you. I don't know what our next course of action will be, but I'm fairly certain that all is not lost."

"How can you say that? We failed to kill Orlin and that one guard knows my name! He'll expose me to Rhan for sure!"

"Jyla my dear, why must you be so pessimistic? I know Rhan would trust you to the ends of the Earth and Orlin has incorrect memories. Remember what I told him you were called?" Jyla looked at him in surprise. "Oh. So that's why you kept calling me that. You were preparing for this."

"Indeed I was, Jyla. They did hear me call your name, but when they ask Orlin, they'll get conflicted reports from someone on the inside and become totally lost."

"Wait, why did you want to kill Orlin so badly if it wasn't necessary?" Dark Link smiled.

"You know why, my dear Jyla. I simply enjoy the feeling of watching someone die." Jyla felt a shiver down her spine when she heard Dark Link talk of killing someone as if it were something natural. Something that was actually a joy for him. "We'll have to punish that Knight who revealed your name. No doubt Joran has already heard of this. What was his name?"

"I picked up an L-something. Lin? Lial? Liam? Yes, Liam. That was the name."

"Excellent." Jyla looked at Dark Link quizzically, went to speak, but then closed her mouth again. "Come now, Jyla. You know how much I don't like you keeping things from me."

"How did you get us out of there? Your powers have been completely diminished. How is it possible?"

"That was a gift from my master. Ganondorf gave me one specific section of his power designed as an emergency. He said if my plan ever be in jeopardy and capture seemed unavoidable, all I would have to do is say "Darkness among you all" and I would be transported away from that place. However, it was only designed to be used once so we can't let that happen again." He said the last part of his sentence angrily, glaring at Jyla. "I'm sorry, Dark Link. It won't happen again. I swear to you."

"For your sake it better not. Now, we must get back to our hideaway. It's just about time to bring our plan into action. Have you been studying the Queen?"

"I've only been in once, but they want me to visit the prince again tonight. I shall do my very best to-"

"That's not good enough, Jyla!" he shouted. "I need you to promise me that you will study her every move and everything she says! You need to be prepared! Everyone in that castle can read her like a book, so you'd better get it right!" Jyla was always terrified when Dark Link shouted at her like that. She knew how far his evil would go and wouldn't even dare think about what he might do to her. "Yes, Dark Link. I will study her. I promise."

"You'd better! Now, let us head back. Go to the castle as soon as you can. The time for action is now."




            The knights sat around the table, waiting. This would be the first time I would address them as Captain. I opened the door and saw every knight at the table look in my direction. They all stood up and saluted. Walking beside me was Rilon. We both saluted the men back and I said "At ease, men. I have brought you all here to ask for your assistance. Now, Lieutenant Rilon has a plan and he requires your attention."

"But, Captain Joran-" said Sir Jon

"There will be no interruptions. I know many of you may not agree with my choice of Lieutenant, but Rilon truly is a perfect candidate to fill that role. Please, lend him your ears and lend him your faith. You can count on him. Isn't that right, Rilon?"

Rilon shifted uncomfortably. This was not his comfort zone. His comfort zone was a nice quiet place by himself. Not addressing a room full of knights, most of whom resented him. "Indeed, Captain" Rilon said at last. "I'm not very good with words men, but I do have the capabilities to help guide you in battle. I have an idea as to how we will begin our search for Dark Link."

Liam stood up from the table at that point. "Lieutenant Rilon" he said "and the sound of saying your name with that title gives me great shame. I do believe that you have no prior experience handling these types of situations. So what makes you believe that you can come up with a viable plan?"

"Sir Liam!" I said, my anger beginning to rise "I said that there will be no interruptions! You will show the Lieutenant his due respect and you will listen to what he has to say! Don't make me warn you again!"

"Captain, I can no longer hold my tongue. You expect me to listen to this whelp of a Lieutenant?"

"That is it, Liam! You are to report to your barracks! Consider yourself suspended from duty!" Liam stared in my direction and, without another word, turned and left the room, closing the door behind him. I watched him leave and when he was gone, I turned back to the knights sitting at the table. "Now, would anyone like to join Sir Liam?" I looked around the room and got no response from anyone. "Good. Now, for the second time, no interruptions. From anyone. Is that clear?" I heard some groans and growls of disapproval. I then raised my voice "Is that clear?" I then heard several 'Yes sirs' come my way and that was the end of that. Rilon continued. "As I was saying, I have a plan. Sir Ron, you were to take Sir Liam with you to go and interrogate Orlin, but now I shall choose Sir Verne to go with you instead. You shall interrogate Orlin to see if you can get from him precisely where Dark Link's location is. Once that is done, I shall take Jon, Gral and Colin with me to this place so that we may investigate further. "Captain Joran has agreed that he will take Sir Philip and Sir Darren with him to ask the Sheikah leader Rhan about this Jyla we've heard about. After that is done, we shall meet wherever Dark Link's supposed location is and there we shall arrest him." Rilon concluded his plan and the knights seemed rather unimpressed. "That's your plan? I could've thought of that" Sir Colin said.

"Colin" I responded "need I remind you of the respect you are to show to your Lieutenant? You are to go with him or I shall inform the king of your treachery and you will be tried for treason. You do know of the penalty with which that carries?"

"Yes Captain, I am aware. I understand completely."

"Good. Anyone else have any objections?" Again, no response from the knights. "Good. Now, as Rilon said, Philip, Darren, you come with me to the land of the Sheikah. Ron, you may go with Verne to the dungeon now. Rilon, you stay here with Jon, Colin and Gral until Ron and Verne report back to you with their information."

"Yes, Captain Joran" he said with a smirk on his face. He felt strange addressing me as 'Captain' but he had to in order to show the men that he deserved their respect. "Very good, Lieutenant Rilon. Let us be off." Darren and Philip got up and followed me out the door and Ron took Verne and they went the opposite direction toward the dungeon. I started feeling bad about suspending Liam, but knew that I needed to discipline those who broke protocol. I didn't realize, though, that I would be feeling a lot worse about it in the very near future. I also didn't realize that by suspending him, I left him unprotected therefore sealing his fate. Dark Link was on his trail.




            "He's alone" Jyla said to Dark Link. "Joran has suspended him for speaking ill of the Lieutenant."

"Ha. What a fool he is. Joran should know better by now. Does he not know how I deal with those who try to spoil my plans?" Dark Link turned around and looked at Jyla. There he felt that strange confusion within himself again. He did not know how to handle it. He shook off the feeling and spoke again. "I shall return, Jyla. This is something I need to do alone. Also, I need you here to make sure that any Knights who may come by here do not find out that I make my residence here. I have a feeling that they are close to my trail."

"Of course, Dark Link." Jyla then turned and re-entered the small dwelling hidden by the vastness that was the forest. Dark Link turned and made his way in the direction of Hyrule Castle Town. He knew that that was where most of the Hylian Knights made their temporary residence while on duty. Sir Liam would be somewhere within the town. He had guessed right as Liam was there now. He had just entered the house he had been staying in during his time on duty. He threw open the door to the small bedroom within and sat down on the bed. He took off his sword belt and threw it to the ground. "What nonsense" he said. "Total and complete nonsense. Rilon? The Lieutenant? Well, the Captain will be a knight short in a very short time." Liam did not realize just how true his words were. I was indeed going to be a knight short, but not like Liam thought it would happen. He reached down to his chest and pulled out the pendant that was given to Hylian Knights upon receiving their knighthood. He thought about it for a moment. The great King Link had bestowed this honor upon him. Was he about to throw it away? Then he thought about my decision again and threw the pendant to the ground alongside his sword. "I will have to apologize to the king for that. But I cannot tolerate such an outrage." He hung his head and closed his eyes. Liam was giving up his livelihood. Ever since he was a boy, he had dreamed of being a Hylian Knight. Now he had been one for five years. And he was giving it up. Just like that. He once thought that nothing would tear him away from his title as Hylian Knight, but now, he knew that this was indeed a thing of the past. He hung his head once again and closed his eyes. Tears were beginning to form in his eyes as he thought about what he was doing. His dream had just been shattered and it was showing. He suddenly heard a noise behind him and turned quickly to see what it was. He saw nothing there, but bent down to pick up his sword anyway. He pulled it out of its sheath and turned to the doorway. He walked slowly over to it and stopped at its edge. He leaned against the wall and peered outside the room. Nothing was there. He suddenly leapt out of the doorway into the main room of the house and shouted as he did so. Still nothing. He just couldn't shake his sudden feeling of foreboding, so he knew something was not right. He took a few more steps forward before he heard another sound behind him. This time as he turned, he saw standing there a man dressed in black. He looked at this man's eyes and saw how eerily red they were. He also noticed this man's striking resemblance to the king. "Who are you?" he demanded "I order you, as a member of the Hylian Knights, to tell me who you are!" Liam suddenly had a flashback to the incident in the dungeon. "By Farore, it's you! Why have you come here?" Still Dark Link did not speak. "Answer me! Why are you here?" Dark Link drew the sword at his back, still without speaking. It was clear to Liam what his intentions were. "You've come for a fight? Very well. Come at me then!" Liam stood there, awaiting Dark Link's attack, but he just stood still. He held his sword in his left hand and stared coldly at Liam. The Hylian Knight began to grow anxious. "Go on then! Do it! Come at me!" Dark Link suddenly began advancing very slowly. He took one step and then another. He continued like this until he was within arm's reach of Liam. He stopped there. Liam waited but Dark Link still didn't move. He could wait no longer and swung his sword at Dark Link. As he did so, Dark Link jumped quickly backward and swung his sword in the process. It contacted Liam's and knocked it flying toward the door until it stuck into the wooden floor. He then grabbed the shield at his back and quickly rammed into Liam with it, knocking him to the ground. He then threw the shield to the floor and, still not making a sound, moved toward Liam. The shield hit had knocked the wind out of him and he had no energy to fight back. Dark Link raised his sword up, flipped so the tip of the blade pointed at Liam's chest, and then stood there for a moment. He gripped the handle with both hands and raised the sword even higher. He then brought it down with as much force as he could, penetrating Liam's torso and spilling his blood all over the floor. Liam felt the pain, but did not cry out. The wound was so bad that he would be dead in mere seconds. Dark Link then smiled. He smiled as he wiped Liam's blood from his sword. He looked at his hand and saw the blood there. He had a thought. It was something he never tried before but something he knew would be enjoyable. He put his hand to his mouth and let the blood drip down his throat. As he swallowed, a malicious grin crept across his face. What a thrill this was for him. He sheathed his sword again, picked up his shield and left the house to a dying Sir Liam.




            As Rilon, Jon, Colin and Gral remained in the meeting room for the Hylian Knights, Ron and Verne were interrogating Orlin. "Where exactly was his hideout, Orlin?"

"In the forest. Not the Kokiri Forest, even deeper than that. Right in the heart of the Lost Woods."

"In the Lost Woods? Are you lying to me, Orlin? I certainly hope you are." Ron did not like the idea of telling the Lieutenant that they had to venture into the dreaded Lost Woods. "No, Ron. I do not lie. He is in the Lost Woods. Him and that Sheikah woman. What did he call her?"

"Jyla, we already know."

"What? He told me her name was Vera." Ron and Verne looked at each other, and then looked back at Orlin. "Are you certain? Because Liam said he heard Dark Link use the name Jyla."

"Positive, Ron. I am absolutely positive that that is what he called her." They looked at each other again and realized that this new information had brought them almost back to square one. "Well, I suppose we should go and find Liam to see if he can confirm this. He heard Jyla, while you on the inside heard the name Vera. I'll have to somehow relay this information to Captain Joran. As soon as we talk to Sir Liam."

"Tell Joran something else for me" Orlin suddenly said.

"What's that, Orlin?"

"Tell him that... I'm sorry. I'm sorry for trying to do what I was going to do. I'm sorry for attacking him. And that I'm sorry I broke his trust and let him down when he believed in me. Please let the Captain know this."

"I will, Orlin. Let's go find Liam, Verne." With that, they closed Orlin's cell door and ascended the dungeon stairs once more. They made their way to the outside and when they got to the courtyard it was already dark outside. They continued to walk without speaking; their destination was Liam's quarters. They wound their way down to Castle Town and found Liam's room. Verne approached the door and knocked. "Liam?" he called "It's Verne and Ron. We need to ask you about that Sheikah's name." Verne waited a few moments but no response came. Ron then stepped up to the door. "Listen Liam, I know you're upset with the Captain right now, but we need you to come out and talk to us. This is important." They waited again. Still no response. "Something's wrong" Ron said.

"How do you know?"

"Liam would've answered by now. He's not one to just ignore me like that." Ron went to open the door to find it locked. He then took a step back and kicked out at the door. The door broke off its hinges and fell to the ground. As Ron peered into the dimly lit room, he saw a figure lying on the floor. "Liam!" He ran over to his friend's limp body and looked around. He was lying in a large pool of blood and he was not breathing. Ron checked his pulse and felt nothing. "By Din" he said, shocked.

"What's happened, Ron?"

"Someone has murdered Liam. He's dead, Verne. I must tell the Captain." Ron quickly turned around and left for the meeting room again. "I thought we were going to the Captain, Ron."

"We are, Verne. But we have to let the Lieutenant know of our findings so they can search for Dark Link's hideout." They moved at a steady pace until they reached the meeting room. They burst in through the door and startled the four men sitting at the table. Rilon stood up and turned to Ron. "What have you to report, Sir Ron?"

"Many things, Lieutenant Rilon. Orlin tells me that Dark Link's hideout is in the Lost Woods and that the Sheikah working with him is called Vera."

"Vera? But, didn't Liam hear the name Jyla? I think you should ask him to confirm it." Ron bowed his head as Rilon brought up Sir Liam. "That's the next thing I was going to tell you. We tried to ask Sir Liam but when we went to his quarters we found him dead. Someone has murdered him." Rilon kept his cool demeanour but was clearly blown away by this news. "We must inform the Captain immediately."

"I shall go and do that, Lieutenant Rilon. You should take these three with you to the Lost Woods. We can't let Dark Link get away from us now."

"You're right, Ron. I can almost say without a doubt that it was probably Dark Link who killed Liam."

"How do you know that, Lieutenant?" asked Sir Colin.

"I don't for certain, but it seems logical. He created this conflict in our information in order to keep us off his trail. He killed Liam because he was the key to keeping us from getting crossed signals." The men in the room were astounded. Rilon had excellent skills for deduction. "I must say Lieutenant, I'm impressed" said Sir Jon. "You've proven worthy of your title so far. I hope you continue to do so."

"Yes, well. Off we go, men. To the Lost Woods. Ron, take Verne to inform Captain Joran of Liam's demise."

"Of course, sir" Rilon then turned and, with three men in tow, left the room and walked down to the courtyard. Ron and Verne followed for a while, but the two groups split as soon as they reached Hyrule Field. As I travelled with Darren and Philip, I had no idea just how quickly things were starting to unravel.




            As I spoke to Rhan, I began to feel worried with his expression. He looked highly unimpressed. "Rhan, there is a traitor in your midst."

"I find that hard to believe, Joran. But please continue."

"Very well, Rhan. We heard a name of one of your Sheikah implicated in dealings with Dark Link."

"I am aware of his return, Joran, but I thought it was one of your men who was involved with him. Captain Orlin, wasn't it?"

"Yes, Rhan. But Liam specifically heard the name of a Sheikah being used when Dark Link attempted to murder Orlin. Philip was there. He saw this woman. Didn't you, Philip?"

"Yes sir, Captain Joran. She was definitely a Sheikah. I didn't catch her name though. What did Liam say he heard?" Rhan was already getting angry. "This is not possible."

"It is, Rhan" I said to him. "Liam told me the name of the Sheikah Dark Link used."

"Well? Are you going to tell me already or shall you continue with your jabbering?"

"Jyla was her name."

"Jyla? She is my cousin, Captain. I have entrusted her with the sacred duty of being a liaison to Prince Marcus. She has been caring for him for the last three days. There is no possible way that she has been involved with Dark Link. She is proud, noble, courageous but most of all loyal to her people."

"Unfortunately, Rhan that was the name Liam told me he heard. I trust Sir Liam very much. I will ask him again to confirm this if you wish."

"There is no need to confirm anything, Joran. Jyla is not involved in this, nor are any of the Sheikah. I trust each and every one of them." I was beginning to lose patience. It was clear to me that my men saw a Sheikah woman but Rhan's denial of the situation was just making things unnecessarily difficult. "Why don't you just look into her mind? You have that ability, right?"

"Indeed, Joran but, there is a code amongst us Sheikah. To break the privacy of another Sheikah's mind would be to break our sacred bond. There is no way I would do that to my cousin, Joran." Just then, I heard someone shout my name from behind me. I saw Ron and Verne approaching fast. "Look Captain!" exclaimed Darren. "I see them, Sir Darren." Sir Ron approached me, nearly out of breath."I have very dire news, Captain!" Ron said, in between breaths.

"Take a moment to recover, Ron. Then tell me what it is you have." Ron continued his heavy breathing for several moments before he was finally able to catch his breath. "Captain Joran, Liam has been murdered!" My eyes opened wide and then, after the revelation dawned on me, I hung my head, filled with guilt. "This is my fault. I suspended him. It left him vulnerable."

"Stop it, Captain!" Verne said. "He disobeyed you directly and, while he didn't deserve to die, he certainly did deserve that suspension." I still felt guilty. I had basically sentenced one of the finest Knights of Hyrule to death with that suspension. "I have more news, Captain" said Ron as I continued thinking about Sir Liam. "Yes? What is that?"

"Well, Orlin told us the name of the Sheikah Dark Link introduced him to when they were working together." I was intrigued and my mind stepped away from Liam's death for a moment. "Yes? What did he say?"

"He said her name was Vera." I grew confused, but I heard Rhan growling under his breath behind me. I turned around to face him and his bright red eyes lit like fire and bore into my own. "You dare to implicate another of my people! Vera is Jyla's deceased mother! That is it, Joran! You and your knights are not to set foot on these sacred grounds until I deem it necessary. You will all leave here, now!"

"But Rhan-"

"No, Joran! I may have helped you once, but because of what you have told me, I refuse to help you in this. Get out of here!" I turned around and called to my men. "You heard him, men. Rhan is the leader of this tribe. We certainly don't want to cause any animosity between us and the Sheikah. It's time we left." At first, they didn't move. I then shouted "Get going!" They immediately picked up and made their way back in the direction of the castle as I followed. I could now definitely see the signs. Things were getting out of hand. This situation would only grow worse with time if we didn't soon find answers. All I could hope for was Rilon and the three knights with him were finding something of use to us. I prayed to the goddesses that nothing else would happen. I hoped beyond hope that Rilon and his men could put a stop to this right now.




            Marcus walked silently through the halls of the castle. He had had to try everything to get away from that Sheikah that had been brought on as his caretaker. He didn't like her at all. Something in her eyes unsettled Marcus; he just couldn't tell what it was. She watched him like a hawk and he had hardly any chance at all to relax. He was especially concerned with all the questions she was asking about his mother. He told her the truth because that was his nature, but he began to have suspicions about her intentions. He stopped dead in his tracks as he heard a stern voice call out his name. "Marcus? Marcus, where are you?" The prince ran over to a suit of armour standing in the hallway and quickly hid behind it. He had to find his mother and tell her what this Jyla had been asking him. But she was on his trail and he had to make sure she lost it. She peered across the hall and could see nothing. She moved as silently as Marcus just had moments before. She scoured the hallway, looking desperately for the prince. She knew there would be trouble if she lost him. It would definitely put a hitch in Dark Link's plans if she were to get into any trouble. She needed to find the prince. She crept closer to the armour Marcus was hiding behind but, to his relief, she didn't look behind it. She moved on past the armour and Marcus went to get up as she moved further down the hall. As he moved, he brushed against the armour and, to his horror, it began to sway. It made hardly a sound, but it was just a hair's breadth from crashing to the floor. He then took off at a dead sprint down the hall Jyla had just come from. He heard the armour crash to the floor behind him, but did not stop to look. As he rounded the corner, he ran right into someone who was walking the halls. He looked up to see who it was he had run into and was disappointed to see Jyla standing above him. "Come now, Marcus. There's no need to hide from me. Why would you do that?" Marcus didn't answer. In fact, he didn't even bring his eyes up to meet hers. He just looked at the floor, guiltily. "Never mind that now. Let us find your mother." She held out a hand for Marcus to grab onto, but he refused. "Very well. Just follow me, then. Okay?" As friendly as she sounded at the moment, Marcus' trust in her slipped further away. He could sense something about her. He somehow knew of her intentions. He did as he was told and followed Jyla through the halls of the castle. They stopped until they reached the door of the queen's chamber. Jyla knocked on the door. "Who's there?" called Zelda.

"It is Jyla, Queen Zelda. I am here with the prince."

"Come in, then" replied the queen. Jyla opened the door and there sat the queen at her chair, preparing herself for the night. "Hello, Jyla. Is everything all right?"

"Of course, your highness. The young prince gave me quite a scare, though. He managed to run away and hide from me for quite some time. Crafty little devil."

"Why did you do that, Marcus?" asked Zelda, concerned. Even when his mother asked, he would not answer. Not until the Sheikah was gone, anyway. He looked up at Jyla and noticed how closely she was watching his mother. This concerned him further still. Why does she always look at her like that? he thought. When she didn't get an answer, Zelda looked up at Jyla again. "What happened to him? Why does he not answer me?"

"I don't know your majesty. He hasn't said a word since his little escape attempt."

"Well, thank you for bringing him to me, Jyla. I think it's time you returned to Rhan. I can handle things from here. Thank you."

"It was my pleasure, your majesty. Good night." She then looked directly at Marcus. "Good night, Marcus." Still, he would not speak. She then turned and walked out the door, leaving Marcus alone with his mother. At this point, when he was sure Jyla was gone, he let everything he had bottled up out in one go. "Mother! Don't trust her! She was asking me all these questions about you. How you acted in certain situations, what your reactions would be, how you spoke, everything! And she's always watching you in such a strange way and there's something in her eyes. I don't know what but, she can't be trusted mother! She has evil intentions! She must be working with Dark Link!" Zelda blinked a few times to try and digest everything her son had just told her. It took some time, as she found this all so unbelievable. "Marcus, you're over thinking this. You have a very distrustful nature, I know, but in this case I can assure you. Rhan would not appoint someone to take care of you if he believed there to be any danger. He is wise and he knows who amongst his people can be trusted. She's asking all these questions about me because she's trying to know me better. And, as for her looking at me, I would have noticed that, my dear. Now, off to bed with you. Try not to think about it." Marcus couldn't believe it. His own mother didn't believe him! He looked up at her, then turned and walked out the door. He made his way toward his room, knowing his mother would be listening, and pretended to head off to bed. As he reached his room, he suddenly took off running. Father will believe me he thought. He ran over to the stairs to go and find the Hylian Knights. Link told him of an emergency meeting I had set up to discuss the recent developments with him. There he would tell Link and I of what had been going on with him and Jyla.




            I was quite frustrated with our current situation. Rhan’s outburst had really thrown our plans for a loop. Rilon reported back to us with no news of Dark Link’s location, and we still had no lead as to who his Sheikah ally was. As I waited for Link to arrive, I paced. I could no longer sit still. Only two knights remained in the room with me. Rilon and Sir Ron remained as we relieved the rest of them for the night. We had retrieved Liam and brought him into the castle where Nalquiz was ready to perform his last rites. We would have a funeral for him when there was time, but I feared that things were beginning to get out of hand. We needed all the time we could get to find out precisely what Dark Link was planning. I heard the door open and Hyrule’s king stood in the doorway. He was wet, evidence that it had begun to rain. Joran. What would you discuss?”

“There are many things, Link. You may want to sit for this. It will take a while to explain.”

“Go ahead, Joran.” I had no idea where to begin. I decided to begin telling him the events that were happening in chronological order.

“Well, Ron here spoke to Orlin today about a certain Sheikah that has been working with Dark Link.” Link looked intrigued by this, but he had a look in his eye like he already knew. “Liam had heard him use the name Jyla when he tried to kill Orlin in the dungeon. But Orlin said Dark Link specifically used the name Vera.” Link looked at me, confused.

“Did you speak to Rhan about this?” he said.

“We tried, Link. I’ll get to that later.”

“Pardon me, Captain” said Ron. I looked in his direction. “Orlin wanted me to tell you something else.”

“What is that, Ron?”

Orlin says he wanted to tell you that he is sorry. He is sorry for attacking you and for betraying your faith and trust in him. He’s sorry for letting you down when you believed in him.” I fell silent for a moment. I didn’t know what to say to this. “That almost sounds like the old Orlin” I said, after a long pause. “I certainly hope he’s actually sorry for what he did, and not sorry that he got caught. Well, I shall have to speak to Orlin later to see if he truly is sorry. Thank you for delivering that message, Sir Ron. Now...” I had to continue relaying the news to the king. “There is more news involving Dark Link and Liam.” I stopped there, not really wanting to speak about this again. My guilt continued to rise as I thought about it. Link waited. “Well are you going to tell me, Joran? Liam was the one who heard the name Jyla, right? What else happened with him?” I bowed my head and closed my eyes. I almost couldn’t bear to say it. “Liam and I had a little argument as he was showing disrespect to Rilon. I suspended him and when he was alone in his barracks...” I struggled to finish the sentence. “Ron and Verne found him dead. We believe it was Dark Link who did this. Liam was undoubtedly murdered.” Link looked at me and then looked away again. This was not the type of news he had wanted to hear. He then looked up at me again and said “it’s not your fault, Joran.” I hadn’t expected him to say that. “What?”

“You heard me. You blame yourself for this, don’t you?” I simply nodded as guilt threatened to consume my mind. “Well, it’s not your fault. Joran, you had to suspend him. It’s the rules. He was disrespecting the Lieutenant and you were just keeping him in line with discipline. That’s what you do when someone breaks the rules. Don’t feel guilty about this, Joran.” Link’s words were almost like medicine, but it did little to convince me otherwise. I still blamed myself for Liam’s death. However, Link did help lift my spirits. We sat in silence for a while. No one at the table was making a sound. Link suddenly spoke again. “What happened with Rhan?” I suddenly remembered what we were discussing. “Oh, yes. That is something else I need to tell you. We told Rhan both names we heard used and he refused to believe in either one of them. Saying that Jyla was his trusted cousin and Vera is her deceased mother.”

“Yes, Joran. It’s why he sent Jyla to be Marcus’ caretaker.” I could almost see red flags popping up in my mind’s eye. “What did you say, Link?”

Jyla is the one looking after the prince.” That was something that did not sit well with me. “Link, is she still here? Ron saw her in the dungeon. If he could get another look at her, we may have precisely what we need.”

“I don’t know, Joran. I could ask her to come down here if she still is. She doesn’t seem the type to help Dark Link, though. Are you certain he used the name Jyla?”

“Yes, Link. Liam used precisely that name. I don’t think you should trust her.”

“And I don’t think so either” said a very young voice from the doorway. There stood Prince Marcus. I looked toward him in surprise. “Prince Marcus? What are you doing here?”

“I’ve come to warn you, Joran. And father. Jyla is not to be trusted. I have these strange feelings when she’s around. She keeps asking me questions about mother’s behaviour and keeps staring at her strangely. She’s planning something.” I knew that this would bring Link around. “Is that what she’s been doing, son?” asked Link. Marcus nodded frantically. I was completely convinced of Jyla’s guilt now. “Marcus, you’ve just solved one of our problems. All we need is to talk to Rhan again. Except we can’t. He won’t let any knight into Sheikah territory.”

“Then Zelda and I will speak to him. We will set out and try to convince him of her guilt. He will especially listen to Zelda. Besides, we both need to get away for a while to relax. I have some old friends I would like to see as well.”

“Can I come with you, father?” Link gave a stern look to his son.

“No, Marcus. The last time you and I travelled together, we were both nearly killed in that Forsaken Village. You will stay here. Joran will look after you.”

“Of course I will” I said, proudly. Marcus looked up at me, with a joyous look in his eye. “Does that mean Laya will be staying at the castle?” I hadn’t thought about bringing my family to stay with me, but it would be the best way to ensure their safety. “Well, yes Marcus. I suppose it does.” Marcus cheered excitedly and I smiled. I then looked up at Link. “How long will this trip take?”

“Well, after Zelda and I try to establish things with Rhan, I will leave her there to discuss things further with him and then I will head off alone.”

“Are you sure that’s wise, Link? I mean, Dark Link is sure to come after you if you’re alone.” Link looked at me as if I had just said the most stupid thing he had ever heard. “I can handle myself, Joran. You know that.” I just shrugged slightly in response. “Besides, maybe I can seek some help from an old friend.”

“What old friend?” I had to ask.

“I’ll tell you when I get back, Joran. What I will tell you is that she lives in the forest. I almost know for certain that she knows something about Olan. Now, with that, let us get ready. I will have to inform Zelda of our plans.” With our new plan in place, we had to put this long day to rest. This was, without a doubt, the longest day of my life.




            Dark Link and Jyla had met in their hideout once again. Jyla had news for him. She had been looking into the minds of the king and queen and came up with something that would allow them to finally take their plan to the next level. “Jyla” said Dark Link “you reached out to me with your mind. You said you had news for me. Why didn’t you just tell me then?”

“I need to tell you this in person, Dark Link. It will help us prepare.”

“Prepare for what?”

“Our plan, Dark Link. Help us prepare our plan. I looked into the minds of the king and queen and found something very good.”

“Yes? And what is that?”

“They will be leaving the castle for a week. They have left Joran in charge but all we need to do is get him away and we can finally get our plan moving.” When she finished, Dark Link didn’t say anything. He had to think about what Jyla was saying. “Why are they leaving the castle?”

“They are going to speak to Rhan. Your distraction has worked!” Dark Link smiled. Everything was falling into place. “Good. Tomorrow is when we will get Joran away from the castle. I have something cooked up for him too.”


“Let’s just say I’d like to kill two birds with one stone.” Jyla smiled and looked into Dark Link’s eyes for a moment. She looked away again as she found his gaze hard to keep. So much evil did he carry in those eyes. Dark Link noticed this and felt pleased. He always enjoyed it when someone feared him. Even if that person was an ally of his. “You should return to Rhan. He’ll be wondering where you are. I don’t want him catching on.”

“Of course, Dark Link.” She walked over to the door and opened it. She turned back to Dark Link who continued staring at her. “Why do you hesitate to leave?”

“I was just thinking, how will you get Joran away from the castle?”

“You’ll find out soon enough, Jyla. Now go.” She turned and closed the door behind her. Dark Link then walked over to the lantern sitting on the table and blew it out, leaving him in total darkness. He lay down on his bed of straw and tried to sleep. He kept going over in his mind ways of getting me away from the castle. He finally settled on a plan and found himself drifting off to sleep.


            When I awoke, it was still dark outside. Link had asked me to be at the castle as early as possible. Malon was still asleep next to me, but I didn’t wake her yet. I could hear Rilon in the next room getting himself ready. As heavy a sleeper as he was, he wanted to make a good impression on the knights as the new Lieutenant. He knew arriving at the castle early would help him in showing his commitment to the Hylian Knights. I got myself dressed in my Hylian Knights uniform and then woke my wife. “Malon dear, we have to go to the castle. Could you get up please?” Malon awoke at the sound of my voice and looked up at me. “What was that, dear?”

“It’s time to go to the castle, Malon. Link has asked us to be there early.”

“All right, Joran. I’m up.” I smiled at her as she sat up and then went to get Laya. As I entered her room I was surprised to see her up already. “Good morning, my girl. How come you’re up already?”

“I couldn’t sleep, father. I just can’t wait to see Marcus.” I smiled at this. It warmed my heart to see the two of them get along so well. “Is Kila awake?”

“Yes, father. She woke up hours ago. She went over to uncle Rilon’s room. They’ve been talking for a while.” I knew of the bond the two of them were forming so that didn’t surprise me. I was glad that Kila was beginning to feel comfortable in our home. “That’s good, Laya. Get ready because we’re ready to leave.” She nodded and got up and I was surprised to see that she was already dressed. I chuckled when I saw this. She really was eager to go. “Well I suppose all we have to do is wait for your mother.” I took Laya’s hand and we walked into Rilon’s room. There, Rilon and Kila were having a deep conversation. She had wanted to know everything about Rilon’s new job. “What was it like when he named you his Lieutenant.

“To be honest, I didn’t expect it. I know how much respect he has for me, I just didn’t think he would choose me because of the controversy.”

“But you’ll be a great Lieutenant, Rilon.”

“I do hope so. I feel so inadequate though. I’m honoured that Joran picked me but, I don’t feel worthy of the title.” I had heard this part of the conversation and had to step in at this point. “Good morning, brother. Good morning to you as well, Kila. It’s good to see the both of you today.”

“Yes, Joran. Good morning to you and Laya. How are you?”

“I was all right until I overheard your conversation in here. I certainly hope you don’t feel that way about being my Lieutenant.”

“Well, yes Joran. It’s true. I still don’t feel like I’m ready.”

“Then why did you take the job?”

“I didn’t want to let you down, brother. I wish I had as much faith in me as you do.”

Rilon, no matter what your decision, I will support you wholeheartedly. Do you want to remain on as Lieutenant? You’ve been excellent thus far and I truly feel that there is no better second-in-command than you. If it were up to me, you’d be the Captain.” Rilon sat for a moment. He hadn’t thought that I would be this supportive of such a decision. He had underestimated my loyalty to my family.

Joran, I would be honoured to remain your Lieutenant” he said after a long pause. “If you can have that much faith in me, then so can I. I will give you my full commitment as Lieutenant to the Hylian Knights.” I was indeed very pleased to hear him say this.

“Excellent, Rilon. Now let us be off. I do hope Malon is ready.” Just as I said it, I heard her clear her throat from the doorway. She was leaning against the wall, watching us. “I’ve been waiting for you this whole time. Are we ready to go?”

“Yes, Malon. Let’s go.” We all went down the stairs to a cart with four of our horses waiting. My own horse Eldina, Rilon’s horse Titan, Epona and Honor were ready. It had been a long time since Epona and Honor had been out of the stable, but the two old horses were ready for the trip to the castle. Link would be pleased to see Epona again. My family got in the cart and I climbed into the driver’s seat. I took hold of the reins and turned my head to face the cart. “Is everyone ready?” I asked. I heard them all say yes so I snapped the reins and the horses took off out the gate to Lon Lon Ranch.




            Link and Zelda waited in the castle courtyard. Marcus was there with them. Zelda was discussing a strange feeling she had had the day before.

“This has me very concerned. I felt her presence in my mind so Marcus has got to be right about her.”

“Yes, that is what I believe. We must not allow her back into the castle. Rhan is just going to have to accept the fact that Jyla has sided with Dark Link.” Marcus was relieved that his parents finally saw their error in letting her into the castle. He feared, though, that it may be too late. He somehow knew that Jyla was planning something and that it was only a matter of time before they carried it out. Marcus then forgot his woes as he saw a horse cart pull into the castle stables. The sun was just rising as we had arrived at the castle. As I got out of the cart, I began to release the harnesses around the horses. I saw Laya run past me and straight over to Marcus. The rest of my family got out of the cart soon after. “Hi, Marcus!” Laya shouted excitedly as she continued running toward him. He ran toward her and they met in the middle of the courtyard. “Hi, Laya. It’s good to see you.”

“This is going to be the best week ever!” Laya said, enthusiastically. Link and Zelda walked out to the middle of the courtyard to meet the children. I followed my family to meet the Royal Family there as well. I spoke to Link first. “Thank you for doing this, Joran” he said, shaking my hand.

“It is my pleasure, Link. I can assure you that the castle will be well looked after.”

“I think Marcus likes having you here better than Jyla, don’t you Marcus?” Marcus looked up at me and his eyes spoke of the relief he felt now that she was not here. “Very much so, father. I still think we should keep an eye on her.”

“That is what your mother and I are going to discuss with Rhan. Well Joran, I suppose we should be on our way.” Everyone said their goodbyes as Link and Zelda climbed on their horses. I was happy to see Link pull Epona out of the stable to bring her out for one last adventure. He climbed on her back and followed Zelda out of the courtyard. “Let us head into the castle” I said. As we walked, I noticed Kila looking at Marcus with something in her eyes I had never seen before. I knew instantly what it was. “Marcus, have you met Kila?” He turned his attention away from Laya for the moment and looked at Kila walking next to him. “Hello. I’m Prince Marcus. It’s nice to meet you.” Kila looked like she might faint from the mere act of Marcus speaking to her. Her calm exterior revealed no such feelings to Marcus, however. “Hello, Marcus. I’m Kila. It is very nice to meet you, too.” We entered the castle and everyone found their rooms. Malon and I would be staying in one of the many guest rooms of the castle. Kila would share a guest room with Rilon and, with Link’s permission, Laya stayed in Prince Marcus’ room. We put our belongings in our respective rooms and I came out of our room while Malon stayed in. I had decided to head to the knight’s meeting room to see if any of the others were there. I knew Rilon would be heading there too. As I came back out to the courtyard, I was met by Link on my way. “Link? I thought you left. What’s the matter?” When he spoke, he sounded a little different to me. “Joran, I would like you to do me a favour.” His voice sounded deeper than usual to me. “Is something wrong, Link? You sound sick.”

“I’m fine Joran. I’ve got a bit of a dry throat but, I only just noticed that this morning.” I looked at his eyes and they seemed somehow different as well. They were such a bright blue that they were almost unnatural. His eyes always looked natural and pure. I was concerned, but just let it pass. “What would you ask of me, Link?”

“I’ve been talking with Zelda and we’ve decided that we want Marcus to see a little more of the outside world. And to have time to bond with children of his age, like Laya and Kila. We want him to know how it feels to be a child.”

“All right. So, what am I to do?”

“I would like you to take Marcus out with your children on a little camping trip. Maybe three days or something like that. Lake Hylia would be a perfect place right now, too. It’s beautiful there in the summer.” I had thought his request strange, but I thought I should do it. If it was good for the prince, I would do it. “All right, Link. I’ll do it. When would you like me to leave?”

“I’ll leave that up to you, Joran. I would suggest later on today but you can leave tomorrow if you like.”

“No, it’s fine if we leave this evening. I’m sure the children would love to go.”

“Yes. Very good. Thank you, Joran. See you in a week.”

“Yes, Link. I will. Goodbye.” With that I turned and continued down the path to the knight’s meeting room. I couldn’t shake the strange feeling I had, though. Something about Link’s request didn’t seem right. I kept telling myself that it was necessary because it would be good for the children. I would do as Link asked of me. I reached the meeting room and entered. I saw Rilon sitting at the table with Ron and Colin discussing what they would do to find Dark Link. “I know we searched the Lost Woods and turned up nothing but, we have to try again.”

“But Rilon” said Ron “How are we to find him? You know how the Lost Woods are. It’s almost impossible to even find your way out, much less find a hideout. It’s why it’s called the Lost Woods.”

Joran has been through them before. He could lead us there, couldn’t you?” He said to me as I entered. I looked at the three of them who all looked back at me, eagerly. “Unfortunately Rilon, I cannot. I have been through them, yes, but you have too. I think as an explorer you should be able to do it. I, on the other hand, have a special order from the king to take his son and my children to Lake Hylia for a little camping trip. He wants to give the prince a chance to feel like a child.” The men looked dejected but then looked at Rilon with a slight resentment in their eyes. “You never told us that you were an explorer” said Colin.

“Take it easy on him, men. Rilon was, in fact, one of Hyrule’s best explorers. Last night he had a lot of pressure on him. It was his first day. He wants to try it again and that shows commitment. You will find his hideout, Rilon. Just relax and do what you normally do. Explore. Discover. Find yourself again.” Rilon seemed inspired by these words. He looked up at me again and nodded his head. “Good. Lieutenant Rilon, take Ron and Colin to the Lost Woods to search for Dark Link’s hideout. I wish you all luck.”

“Yes sir, Captain Joran” he said. The three of them got up and left the meeting room, leaving me alone. I sat down at the table and tried to shake this feeling. I didn’t like what was happening. Something just didn’t sit right with this whole situation. But, again, I thought of the children and didn’t want to squander this opportunity. I decided that I would sit there awhile. I had to think.




Jyla waited just outside the castle’s drawbridge in Hyrule Field. She was waiting for Dark Link to arrive. He told her what he had gone to do and that he would return to meet her. When she saw the king of Hyrule come into the field, she grew concerned. What happened to Dark Link? Had he already failed? She was startled as Link began calling for her. “Jyla, you can come out now. Everything is finished. Where are you, Jyla?” She continued hiding. She thought the king had figured everything out and was now looking for her to bring her to justice. She hadn’t thought things would go this badly. As she continued her hiding, she was horrified as the king began walking straight toward her. If this was to be her last moment of freedom, she would make it worthwhile. She leapt out at Link as he reached her hiding spot and grabbed him. She wrestled him to the ground but Link used surprising strength and pushed her off. He then grabbed her by the arm and pulled out a dagger and pointed it at her. “What is the meaning of this, Jyla? Why did you attack me?”

“You’ll not take me alive, Link! Dark Link and I will prevail.”

Jyla, what has gotten into you? Calm yourself. It is only me. You’re the one who created this spell for me.” Jyla realized the deep tone with which this man spoke. Deeper than that of the voice of the king. She suddenly realized her error. Dark Link? It’s you?”

“Of course it is! The king has left for your lands. You know that, for Din’s sake! Pull yourself together, sheikah fool!” He shoved her away and put the dagger back in its sheath. As Jyla tried to calm herself, she looked at Dark Link, whose eyes had turned back to that fierce, malevolent red. He was glaring at her. “How in the world could think I was Link?”

“You like just like him. You’re dressed like him and your eyes weren’t red. What was I supposed to think?”

“You’re supposed to be able to tell the difference, Jyla? Now, do have that dress ready?”

“Yes, Dark Link. It looks just like Zelda’s.”

“Good. I’ve convinced Joran to take the children to Lake Hylia this evening. Tomorrow morning while he is still there is when we will bring about our plan.” Jyla was pleased. What a turn of events this was for her. In moments she had gone from the despair of failure back to the thrill of success. “Joran took the bait, did he?”

“Yes. He’s loyal to a fault. I should’ve never doubted this plan. I knew of Joran’s loyalty. I really should’ve known it would be this easy.”
“Is it really that easy, Dark Link? What about all those other times you told me about? The times you failed?” Dark Link grew instantly furious at this and rush over to Jyla and grabbed her by the throat. “Don’t you dare mention my failures again! You do not know the evil I am capable of! Don’t question me, Jyla! I can always carry this out alone!” He released Jyla from his grasp and continued glaring at her. She reached for her throat and tried to catch her breath again. “I am sorry, Dark Link” she said, hoarsely. “I will never say that again.”

“If you break that promise, then your life is forfeit! You’ll join Toro, Fandoron and Mardon amongst those who have failed me!”

“Yes, Dark Link. I will not break that promise.” Dark Link stared at her once more then turned to look at the horizon. The sun was growing lower as it set. “Joran should be leaving now. We’d better rest until morning. Then we will act.” Jyla nodded and followed Dark Link back to their temporary camp just outside the castle walls. This camp was hidden by trees and bushes so no one crossing the drawbridge was able to see it. Not even I as I crossed the bridge at that moment. With the cart I had just used with Eldina and Honor pulling us away. This would be a trip to remember for me. However, it would be for all the wrong reasons.




            The air of Lake Hylia smelled sweet. Night was coming fast as the sun began to set. The water of the lake was as still as if it were frozen. Not a sound could be heard. Except for the three children behind me who were all sitting around a fire I had built. I still couldn’t shake this feeling. I thought being here with the children would help dispel it, but it was with me stronger than ever. Something was wrong. This whole thing seemed wrong. I turned around after staring at the sunset awhile and looked back to the three children sitting there. I smiled as the three of them talked. They spoke of nothing in particular. Whatever topic came to their fertile, imaginative minds was what they would discuss. They were talking about some legendary monster that lived at the bottom of the lake right now. It was Marcus who had initiated this. He was doing his best to scare the two girls, but found it extremely difficult. “...and it has three eyes. It swims faster than any horse can run and is bigger than the castle’s tallest tower. It has three hundred teeth as large and sharp as daggers. Nothing can kill it and it won’t stop eating until everything around it is gone!” Laya rolled her eyes. She knew that Marcus was making this up.

“Really, Marcus? Then why hasn’t it eaten us already?”

“It only strikes at night when everyone’s asleep. You know, there used to be a village surrounding the lake. The monster destroyed it in one night! It ate everyone.” Kila looked just as impressed as Laya.

“Marcus, that’s not true. You can’t fool me.”

“It is true, I tell you!” he said, a massive grin on his face. Even he knew he could never fool them, but he loved telling stories so he carried on. Kila then posed a question. “How do you know there was even a village here, Marcus? How do you know this monster attacked it?” she said, with a smile as wide as the prince’s.

“Is there a village here now?” he asked, with a mock evil tone to his voice.

“No” the two girls said in unison.

“Aha! Then there is your proof!” The girls giggled at this as I approached them.

“Prince Marcus, are you spinning tales to these two young ladies?”

“No, Joran. I’m telling them of a very real beast at the bottom of this lake. You should watch yourself too, Joran.” I smiled as he continued his little show.

“I’ll be sure to do that, Marcus. I think now that the sun has gone down, we should go to bed. This morning came quite early and I’m sure you’re all tired.”

“But father, we want stay up and talk some more.” I looked my daughter in the eye and felt warmth within my heart. “Of course, dear. You can come to bed whenever you feel like. Make sure that fire goes out when you do. I’ll be right here.” We had not built any shelter as Marcus insisted we sleep under the stars. It was the height of summer, so it was not necessary to worry about too much cold during the night. I pulled out a bundle from the cart and unrolled the blankets. I laid them out next to the children and laid down on them. I pulled one over me and rolled over and listened to them talk. I made sure I was listening carefully as I did not want any of them to go off on their own. Luckily, all they did was sit and talk. I knew the night would not be a fitful sleep for me. I would constantly monitor what was going on, ready to act at a moment’s notice. After a few hours, the children put out the fire and came to bed. They all lay down next to me and I felt myself drifting off. When I awoke next, it was still dark. I could feel the dawn coming as the sky had begun to grow lighter but only slightly. What woke me was a sound from the trees. We were not far from the edge of the lake and sat close to a small forest next to the lake. This is where I could hear the noise. I got up and went over to the cart. I picked up my sword and unsheathed it. I then started toward the trees. I heard the noise closer this time. There was something in those trees and it was watching me. By the way it moved, it had to be a human. I feared that it may be Dark Link. As I neared the trees, I heard something splash into the water. When I looked in that direction, all I saw was the ripples it had created. The image of the moon had been broken by whatever had landed in the water. I rushed over to investigate. I could see nothing but black as I tried to see what had landed in there. Suddenly I felt someone push me from behind and I landed in the water. My sword fell from my hand and landed in the sand just beneath the water. I got up with water in my eyes and saw a shape moving toward me. I readied myself for him, but he ran straight into me and knocked me over again. We both fell into the water with a loud splash. I managed to wrestle myself away from him and tried to reach my sword. He ran at me and jumped onto my back. I heard him pull a dagger out of a sheath at his side. I pushed back with all my might and threw him off my back and into the water. I made a second attempt to get my sword. I then felt something grab hold of my ankle and I fell into the water again. He dragged me toward him and raised his dagger. He held me under the water so I couldn’t breathe. I saw him with his dagger raised and knew I was done for. I tried fighting back, but felt myself weakening from the lack of air. Just as he brought it down, I saw him flung sideways by a white blur. I had no idea what had saved me, but I managed to get myself up. I saw the mystery figure grappling with whoever had saved me. I ran over and managed to retrieve my sword this time. I could hear the children shouting from shore. I knew the commotion had awoken them. I ran over to the two grappling figures and grabbed hold of the one who had attacked me. I wrestled him away from my saviour and threw him to the ground. My sword almost slipped from my sopping wet hand as I pointed it at him, but I maintained my grip. “Who are you?” I demanded. “Why did you attack me?” He said nothing and tried to get up and attack me again. I swung at him with my sword and caught his left shoulder. He grabbed at it in pain and shouted. He then lunged at me again. This time I stepped aside and thrust my sword toward him. It went straight through his chest and out the other side. He fell back into the water, as we were still near its edge. By this time, the sky had begun turning light and I saw my mystery saviour. I couldn’t believe who it was. I looked at him and the young Zora looked back at me. Rapho?”

“Yes, Joran. It’s me. Are you all right?”

“Yes, I’m fine Rapho. What are you doing here?”

“I live here with my girlfriend, Flora now. Ruto banished me from the domain.” I had almost forgotten about that. “Thank you, Rapho. If not for you, I would be dead, and the children would’ve been in danger. I cannot thank you enough.”

“It was nothing, Joran. Thanks are not important for me. And what is important right now is what I have heard from Dark Link.”

Dark Link was here? That wasn’t him, was it?”

“No it wasn’t. That was an assassin he hired to kill you. I heard the two of them talking yesterday. Dark Link spoke of his evil plan.”

“What plan? What is he doing?”

Dark Link is going to pretend he is the king. It is what he did to get you away from the castle. I don’t know exactly what he is doing but he did mention that within the next few days, Hyrule would be calling for the king’s head.” I was stunned by this. That was why I felt so strange when Link spoke to me. I hadn’t spoken to Link at all. Rapho continued. “He needed you away from the castle for some reason and he wanted you removed from the picture as well. I was ready for this attack. I knew it was coming.”

“I need to get back to the castle. Something terrible is happening! Thank you for saving my life, Rapho. And thank you for everything else you have done.”

“I have simply returned the favour, Joran. Without you, I would’ve died in the Temple of Time. Go now. I fear the situation at the castle grows dire.” I nodded my head and then ran off toward the children. We all immediately climbed into the cart and took off for the castle. I only hoped I could get there in time to stop whatever Dark Link was doing.




            While I was still sleeping, still just before dawn, the men in charge of the drawbridge were having a conversation. “When do you suppose the king and queen will be back?”

“Why would you ask me? How would I know? Nobody even told me why they left. Nobody tells us anything.”

“Did either of us even bother to ask? I’m sure that would’ve helped.”

“Come on, Ervin. We’re castle officials, we should be told these things automatically.” The man called Ervin simply stared at his friend and then turned away again. “It’ll be morning soon. Better get ready to open the bridge.”

“That’s another thing. Why do they make us come here so early? Couldn’t they let us sleep a little longer?” Ervin rolled his eyes.

“What’s happened to you, Tarn? Why do you complain so much all of a sudden?”

“This job is going to drive me mad, I swear to Nayru.” The two of them then stood in silence for a while. All they could do now was wait for the sunrise. Suddenly appearing before them they saw two figures making their way toward the castle. Ervin tapped Tarn on the shoulder and pointed out to them. They seemed to be walking in an odd fashion. “Looks like they’re injured, Ervin.” They continued to approach the castle and the two men were horrified when they saw who it was as they glowed in the torchlight. “Tarn, lower the bridge quickly! We must let them in!” Tarn ran over to the crank and turned it until the bridge hit the ground. The two people ran hobbled quickly across the bridge. Ervin looked at Tarn and said “come on! We have to get down there and help them!” Tarn nodded and they both headed for the ladder leading down to the streets of the town. They both reached the ground and ran over to the two people walking the streets. Ervin got to them first. “Are you all right, majesties?”

“We are fine, but just barely” the king said. “We’ll explain more later. We have to get to the castle. Quickly!” Tarn and Ervin helped Hyrule’s king and queen through the streets of castle town and through the courtyard. The guards there did not even bother to stop them on their way in. They quickly opened the gates and let them through. The four of them continued up the hill and entered the front door of the castle. Nalquiz was there speaking to one of the guards in the hallway. When he saw the king and queen enter the castle injured, he quickly ran over to them. “Your majesties! What has happened?” Link was breathing heavily and Zelda looked like she might faint. When they didn’t speak, Nalquiz ordered two men to bring them chairs. When they got there, the king and queen sat down roughly and tried to catch their breath. As soon as Link did, he began to speak. “Nalquiz, there is trouble. The Gerudos...”

“The Gerudos did this to you? Forgive me for saying this but, I find that hard to believe, my lord.”

“It is what happened! I can’t believe it either, but on our good will trip, they attacked us for no reason at all! They were totally unprovoked. We were lucky to make it out of there alive!” Nalquiz turned to the queen. She looked at him and said “it is true, Nalquiz. The Gerudos have gone rogue again.” Nalquiz didn’t want to believe it but, if Zelda said it did, then he had to believe it. Nalquiz seemed puzzled. “Is that what your trip was for? You never really stated what it was you were doing. You were just making contact with the other races?” Link nodded. “I see. Well, what shall we do?” Zelda spoke this time.

“The Gerudos said they would attack the castle! We have to put a stop to it. Right now! Nalquiz, gather all the mages of the castle and head to Gerudo Valley.”

“What would you have us do?” The king spoke again.

“There is only one thing to do. Cut them off from Hyrule. Eliminate them or at least turn them into beasts.” Nalquiz was stunned. He never knew the king to show such cruelty before. “But, your highness, I cannot do such a thing. It is wrong! I’m certain we can work things out peacefully.” Zelda got up from her chair and looked Nalquiz in the eye. “It is the only way, Nalquiz. We must put a stop to this before they attack Hyrule.” Nalquiz was torn. What they were asking him to do was downright... evil. However, he relented. “Very well, my queen. I will do as you ask. But consider this my resignation as the royal mage.” He waved his one hand in the air and called to the other mages. “Let us be done with it.” They all soon disappeared in a flash. The guards of the hall tried to reason with the king and queen as they stood up. They were in shock of what they had just ordered. “We will not stand for this cruelty!” said one. Rilon had just entered the room as well and he had heard their decree. He walked over to Link and looked him straight in the eye. Something unsettled Rilon about his look, but he looked him in the eye nonetheless. “This is a lie, Link! I know where it was you went! You’ve just sent your mages to attack innocent people! You were travelling to the Sheikah lands to speak to Rhan! Why would you attack them for no reason?”

“They have it coming, Lieutenant. They deserve it for all the things they’ve done to this land.”

“Link, I swear by the golden goddesses, we will have your crown for this! You will rue the day you ever tried this! Your days as king are over!” Rilon was confused as he saw a slight smirk creep across the king’s face. “Come Zelda” he said. “Let us retire to our quarters.” They headed down the hall and turned the corner. Just as they did so, Link turned to Zelda and said. “Perfect. They fell for it wonderfully. Get us out of here, Jyla.” With that, she cast a spell and the two of them were gone.





            The Gerudos were sleeping fitfully just before the dawn. Some were awakening to meet the day others were still dreaming and awaiting their chance to greet the day. This day, however, was not to be a peaceful one. Zarandorf awoke with a start from a terrible dream he was having. He looked across the dimly lit room to where his mother was. She was still asleep. He had to tell her what he saw. It greatly concerned him. He got up out of bed and walked across the room. He shook his mother. “Mother, wake up. I have to tell you something.” Saborna rolled over and looked at her son. “What’s the matter, Zarandorf?”

“I had a dream. It was horrible. The Valley had been turned into a wasteland, filled with beasts and rife with despair. The whole of this strange desert had been cut off from Hyrule. Worse, all of our people were gone! Only beasts riding on boars, barking and howling like dogs!” Saborna was a little surprised at this.

“That’s quite a dream, Zarandorf. Don’t concern yourself too much over it. It was only a dream.”

“But mother, I fear it may come true!”

Zarandorf, it won’t happen. Try to relax, my dear.” Zarandorf knew his mother was wrong. He didn’t know how to convince her that there was a real danger on its way. Unfortunately, even if he did convince her, it was too late. Nalquiz and the mages had arrived. “Everyone” said Nalquiz “follow my lead. In spite of our objections, the queen as verified that the Gerudos may, in fact, attack our fair castle. You all know that I am going to resign with this last act, however, it must be done. I will ready the curse.” He brought out a book and opened it. He began to read it. Then, he began to recite. The words he spoke were of Ancient Hylian origin. He raised his hands into the air and the rest of his crew did the same. They all began to recite Nalquiz’s words. A dark cloud formed above them, and electric sparks began to crackle within this cloud. Some of the Gerudos who were awake looked up to the sky and saw this mighty storm cloud above. Some of them looked to the group of wizards below conjuring it up. Nabooru was among them. She had to warn Saborna. The future king needed to get away from here. She ran off toward their home. Zarandorf and Saborna were lying back down in their beds, trying to relax. Nabooru burst in the front door. Saborna! Zarandorf! Get up now! You must get away from here!” They both sat up quickly and then stood as they saw their tribe’s leader standing in the doorway. “What’s going on, Nabooru?” asked Saborna.

“There’s no time! You must get Zarandorf out of here!” Saborna knew her son had been right about his dream. Nabooru led the two of them outside and they saw the ominous cloud, larger this time. “Quickly Saborna! You must head too...” she didn’t finish her sentence. The cloud suddenly began to emanate a great deal of light and it got brighter as time passed. All the Gerudos were held fast as they stared at the light. Nalquiz and the mages released the energy that was in this cloud, and it spread all over the valley. The destruction it caused was devastating. The Gerudo Fortress crumbled to the ground. All dwellings in the area were turned to dust. The entire path to the valley was raised up and broke away from the land. The bridge that lay there fell down into the ravine. The land began to rise up until a sheer cliff face is what separated the valley and the rest of Hyrule. Except, it was no longer a valley. Powerful winds from the curse churned up great quantities of sand and the entire area was now covered in it. It was now a desert. The Gerudos themselves began to change as well. Their tanned skin began to change colour, to that of a sickly green. Their eyes turned beady and took on a red hue. Their once proud forms were now that of hunched over beasts. They lost the ability to speak, and they all began their ferocious growling and snarling. They barked in anger, but could not speak. The mages looked on in silent horror. What they had done to these people was unspeakable. Nalquiz turned to the rest of them. “This is where my life as a royal mage ends. You may all do what you wish but, I would ask just one thing of you all. Never mention this atrocity again. What has been done here is to remain with us. Do you understand me?” The all nodded their heads. “Let us return to Hyrule.” They all disappeared once more. The guards were all still standing in the castle halls. When Nalquiz returned, they all looked to him for a report on what happened. They saw by the grim look on his face that what had happened was not of a positive nature. He looked up at the soldiers staring at him. Rilon was first to ask him the question they all had in their minds. “What happened, Nalquiz?” He stared at Rilon in silence and hesitated. “The deed has been done, Lieutenant. I am going, now. It was indeed a pleasure to have known you all. Farewell.” Nalquiz walked, hanging his head in shame. What he had done would never leave him. He would never forgive himself or it. Rilon watched him leave and then turned around and headed toward the king’s chamber. He threw open the door and saw no one inside. “Link, where are you?” he asked, angrily. “Come out, Link! Your filthy deed has been done! You’ve destroyed the lives of the Gerudos, Link! You’ve destroyed Nalquiz’s life by causing him to live with endless guilt! I hope you’re pleased!” He received no response and realized that Link was not here. Rilon thought that he must have left again. “Good. When Joran gets back, we’ll have to discuss what will be done.” With fire still in his eyes, Rilon closed the door and left. He walked over to the door he was staying in and opened it. He sat down in his chair and hung his head.




            Verne rushed into Rilon’s room. “Lieutenant, The Captain is back! He looks distraught! I think something else has happened.” Rilon got up immediately as Verne led him outside. In spite of the day’s events, the sun shone brilliantly. Verne and Rilon rushed over to the carriage with I and the three children. I was helping them out of the cart when Rilon and Verne approached me. I knew the look on my face told my story. “What happened, Joran?” Rilon asked me. I didn’t answer his question as I had one of my own. “What’s happened here? Am I too late?”

“Too late for what?”

Dark Link had a plan. He hired someone to kill me! He was going to pretend to be the king. Why, Farore knows.”

“Is that what happened to you, Joran? Why do you want to know what happened here?”

“Just tell me what happened, Rilon!” Rilon knew that I was serious. He knew that what I knew was of dire circumstance. “Link came back here, claiming to have been attacked by the Gerudos. He ordered Nalquiz to attack the Gerudos with some sort of curse. They are all gone. Link destroyed them.”

“That wasn’t Link” I said, immediately.

“What are you talking about, Joran? I saw him give the order right here. He must have left again after he did it.”

Rilon that was Dark Link! Rapho told me everything that he was planning. You saw Zelda too, right?” Rilon nodded. “That was Jyla! She and Dark Link disguised themselves. Right now, they are both still meeting with Rhan!” Rilon realized what I was telling him was true.

Joran, what are we to do? By now, I’m sure the whole kingdom has heard of this! They’ll want his head.”

“We stand by our king and queen, Rilon. It’s all we can do. Dark Link is going to try to claim the throne. The rest of the knights will hate me for it, but we have to defend their innocence. We cannot let Olan take the throne.” Rilon seemed puzzled.

“How could he claim the throne?”

“Are you not familiar with the rules of succession? If the royal family is forced to abdicate, the closest relatives will get the throne. And since Marcus is part of the royal family, he cannot take the throne. Thus, Olan as Link’s brother, would receive it. We must stand by them and proclaim their innocence. Since I am the one who has the final say, I will defend them at all costs to keep them on the throne.” Rilon now fully understood.

“I will stand by you, brother.”

“As will I, Captain” said Verne. I had nearly forgotten he was there. “I doubt the rest of the knights will, though. They were all there this morning and they are all furious with them.”

“That is something we will have to accept. Let us go to the castle.” The three children followed us as we made our way toward the castle. We had to wait until the king and queen arrived. No doubt they had heard of what had happened.




            Zelda emerged from the tent she had been staying in with the Sheikah. She was surprised to see Rhan standing there, waiting for her. “Good morning, Queen Zelda.”

“Good morning, Rhan. Is there anything wrong?”

“Yes, my queen, there is. I don’t see how it is possible, but I have seen it and it is true. It seems that you and the king were at the castle this morning.” Zelda raised her eyebrows. “What? No we weren’t. I was here and Link left for the forest this morning.”

“Yes, I know. But, it seems that the “king” ordered Nalquiz and the castle mages to destroy the Gerudos. I looked into his mind and saw that this was indeed the case. I think I understand now your suspicions of Jyla.” Zelda was shocked. She could not fathom how or why this had happened. “You think she was there?”

“Yes, your highness. I will have to forgive and apologize to Joran. I may have broken our sacred Sheikah bond, but I had to look into her mind, too. She was indeed impersonating you while Dark Link impersonated the king. Word has spread fast and many back at the castle are calling for your abdication.” Zelda was now incredibly alarmed. “What about Joran? Is he calling for it?”

“No, Zelda. He was nearly murdered and was revealed Dark Link’s secrets by Rapho. He knows the truth and will stand by you at all costs.” She was relieved to hear that. As they spoke, Jyla began to approach. She looked at the queen with a look of anger. “You. What are you doing here? You and your corrupt ways should leave these lands and-”

JylaRhan interrupted “stop it. Come with me. I have something to discuss with you.” Jyla followed Rhan as he led her away. When they were a ways away from Zelda, Jyla began to speak. “What would you discuss, cousin?”

“You know very well!” said Rhan, angrily. “You impersonated the queen! I have heard the story that the king and queen were on some good will trip to Gerudo Valley. In fact, they were both here speaking to me, trying to convince me of your part in Dark Link’s plans. You and your lies are to leave this place! You have disgraced your poor mother and betrayed your people! I will tolerate you presence no further! Go!” Jyla stared at Rhan for a moment but knew there was no way to defend herself. She didn’t think it mattered anyway. She thought Dark Link would have his way and he would be the king in no time at all. She quietly turned around and walked away. Rhan then walked back over to Zelda. “My queen, I would suggest going back to the castle. Joran is expecting you, so you will be safe. At least someone will be on your side. Apologize to him for me.”

“I will, Rhan. Thank you for your hospitality.”

“My pleasure, your highness. Go now, quickly. You must proclaim your innocence.” Zelda quickly climbed on the back of her white stallion. She snapped the reins and the horse took off out of the Sheikah lands. She only hoped Link would return soon.




            “I have found something in the Lost Woods. Come with me.” Link followed his friend through the Kokiri Forest and continued on up into the Lost Woods. These woods looked the same as they had when he was a child. Still confusing and full of surprises. She led him through many of the winding paths of the woods until they nearly reached the Sacred Forest Meadow. Suddenly, she made a wrong turn. “Saria, wait!” he said as she went to go down the path. His childhood friend, though much older, looked identical to the time when he was still a child. “That way will lead you back to the entrance. You can’t go that way.”

“That’s not so anymore, Link. I discovered it when I heard voices coming from this way. Somehow, someone has managed to inhabit this part of the woods. Come this way.” She turned and went that way. Link followed suit. He was surprised that he did not return to the woods’ entrance. He had taken this path before, only to wind up back in the Kokiri Forest. This time, an entirely undiscovered part of the woods lay stretched out before him. There, situated in the middle of it all, was a small cabin. “This is what I’m talking about, Link. It’s where I heard the voices coming from. One of them sounded like you except he had a deeper voice.” Link knew instantly whom she was speaking of. “I know who that was. I doubt he’s still here, but I must see was is in here.” He approached the cabin and peered in the window. He could see nothing inside. He then walked around to the front of the dwelling and opened the door. He stepped inside and found nothing strange about the place. He noticed a table and two chairs situated in the middle of the floor. He saw a book sitting atop this table. It looked to be a log of sorts. He approached the table and picked it up. It’s title read “Visions of my Hyrule.” He knew what this book was. As he opened it, he read several passages outlining Dark Link’s plans and what he would create in his kingdom. He opened his eyes wide as he read the final passage in the book. It was a note, addressed to Link. This is what he read: “Link, no doubt you’ve found my hideaway. Well done. You’ve done what all the soldiers of Hyrule couldn’t. No matter now, though. When you return to Hyrule Castle, do not expect many friendly faces. You see, something you have done has caused every person around the castle to call for your family’s abdication. It seems you and Zelda called for the destruction of the Gerudos and it has been done. How could you, Link? What a heartless and cruel thing that was for you to do. But, enough compliments, it’s time to tell you what will happen. When you do return to the castle, you will hear from me. I will come knocking and will claim the throne of Hyrule. It is imminent that I shall get it because even if you have some supporters, there will be turmoil inside your castle and you will have to stop it. It’s a shame you had to keep me a secret from everyone, Link. They would all know who I am, and this plan would never have worked. Since none of your guards really knows what I am, nor will believe any story other than my own, my plan shall succeed. Cheers, Hero. Have fun with this little conundrum. Olan”

Link could not believe it. He hoped Zelda knew. He also hoped Dark Link had not turned me against him. He walked back over to the door and closed it behind him as he exited the cabin. Saria could tell from the look on Link’s face that he had found something serious. “It’s Dark Link, isn’t it?” she asked. Link simply nodded. They stood in silence for awhile before Link finally spoke. “I have to stop this, Saria. I must head back to the castle. I can only hope Joran is still on my side. Thank you for your help, dear friend.”

“Thank you for coming back to visit, Link. I miss you terribly.”

“I know, Saria. I’m sorry for not visiting more often. I promise to make a habit of it in the future. Who knows? In light of recent events, I may come back here to live again.”

“What do you mean, Link?” He didn’t want her to worry, so he didn’t reveal anything about what he had read in the cabin. “Let’s just say that if something happens where I am no longer king, I promise to you that my family will come to live here in the future.” Saria was clearly overjoyed at this news. She had wanted for him to return for so long. “That would be lovely, Link. I do hope you return.”

“I will return to see you again, Saria. One way or another. Goodbye.” With that, Link turned and ran back out of the Lost Woods. Saria made her way to the Sacred Forest Meadow where she would play her ocarina. Link rushed back to Epona just outside the Kokiri Forest. He climbed on her back and snapped her reins. She took off at full gallop toward the castle.




            Within a day, things had gotten worse. My family and I were still staying at the castle, and we were awaiting the arrival of the king. Queen Zelda had returned that day, but King Link had not. When I awoke after a restless night, I heard a knock at my door. I got up and walked over to it. When I opened it, Link was standing there. “Link! Where were you?”

“I was seeking Saria’s help. She showed me where Dark Link’s hideout was. I found out many things from that. Including what he’s done. Have you heard of what he’s done, Joran? I certainly hope you haven’t turned against me.”

“Of course not, Link. Rapho told me everything Dark Link had planned and I found out what he did when I returned. He tried to have me killed.” Link wasn’t surprised that Dark Link would try something like that.

“I’ve found out something else, Joran. My brother is coming here. He is planning on claiming the throne.”

“Then we need to be ready. I will assemble the knights in the meeting room. When you’re ready, meet us there. We must explain things to them.” Link nodded and went off to his room. I dressed and walked across the hall to Rilon’s room. I knocked and he quickly answered. He was already dressed. “Rilon, we must assemble the knights. Come with me.”I turned and walked down the hall and he quickly followed. We went around town and gathered the knights of castle town. We soon made our way back up to the meeting room. We arrived to see Link already there. Some of the men gave Link poisonous glares as they entered. Link stood silently, awaiting the knights to settle down. I then stood before them all with Rilon and Link by my side. ‘Knights, you must listen to me. What happened last night is something that needs clearing up.”

“We all know what happened, Joran” said Jon. “You know what must be done. You hold the final decision, Captain.”

“Jon, let me speak. We are not to take that step until everything is explained.”

“I most certainly agree” said a voice from the doorway. I felt my blood run cold when I heard that voice. I knew whom was speaking. Everyone turned to the doorway and saw a man dressed in a black tunic, with features identical to that of the king. “Everything must be explained before a final decision is made” Olan said.

“You!” said Ron “you’re the one who tried to kill Orlin, aren’t you? You’re Dark Link! You killed Liam too, you....” Olan raised his hand to silence him. “I did try to kill Orlin, yes. But I did not kill anyone else and I have no idea who you mean by this ‘Dark Link’ but I can assure you, I am not him.”

“Why did you try to kill Orlin?” asked Sir Colin.

“Because of what he tried to do to my nephew. That dastardly fiend was going to kidnap the prince.” This brought everyone to his attention now. “The prince is your nephew?” Ron asked.

“Certainly. As much as the king is my twin brother. It’s good to see you again, Link.” I could hold back no longer.

“What are you trying to do, Olan? We all know you’re lying! Stop this right now before I kill you for a final time!”

“Ah, Captain Joran. It’s been too long. I remember you were good friends with Link, no?”

“Olan, you know that very well. What are you doing here?”

“I am here to tell you all my story. Joran, you should know it. As will you, Link.”

“Enough of this nonsense!” Jon raised his hand in the air.

“Captain, I wish to hear what this man has to say. He does not sound like this Dark Link at all.”

“Jon, you’re falling right into his trap! He’s lying!”

“He sounds genuine to me, Joran. Let him speak.” I looked around at the rest of the knights. “Does everyone agree with Jon? Raise your hand if you say yes.” Darren, Gral, Philip, Colin and of course Jon all raised their hands while Ron and Verne did not. “It seems we’re at a stalemate of votes, gentlemen. And since the king’s word counts above all-”

“Let him speak, Joran.” I looked to Link, incredulous.

“Link, what are you doing?”

“We know he’s lying, Joran. Let him dig his own hole.” I simply looked at Olan and waved my hand.

“Thank you, Captain. And that’s precisely the amount of kindness I would expect from my brother. Everyone, my name is Olan. My brother and I were separated at birth when our parents were killed. We reunited once again almost thirty years ago, wasn’t it, Link?” The king said nothing. “Well, never mind that now. At first, we got along. So did Joran and me. Then, when Link became king, he chose Joran over me and wanted me out of his life. He had been corrupted with power. He sent me away and I found a home with the Gerudos. I was lucky they took me in, as I was almost killed. That’s what you wanted, wasn’t it, Link?” When he finished, I had heard enough. “Olan, everyone here can see right through your lie.”

“I don’t see it as a lie, Captain” said Jon. “He’s right. The king is corrupt with power. We all saw it when he destroyed the Gerudos. It’s clear why he wanted them gone. He wanted to kill his brother.”

“Listen to yourself, Jon! You believe the words of this murderer?”

“He’s hardly a murderer, Joran. The king, however, is. And since his brother has shown up, it’s time we made a decision. Joran, it’s your call. Link and his family must abdicate the throne so Olan can take it.” Olan’s story seemed to have swayed Ron over to their side as well. Verne remained with us, but I knew that that was not enough. I paused for awhile. I didn’t know what to do. I finally said “never. I will never let Olan take the throne of Hyrule. King Link is the only one who can keep it safe.”

“Captain, he’s corrupt. I know he’s your friend, but sometimes friends can let you down. Look at Orlin.”

Orlin was different! He was turned evil by this madman!” I said, pointing at Olan. “Link is not corrupt. I will stand by him as my king.”

“Then you leave us no choice, Joran. I and the rest of the knights call for your resignation. I shall take over as Captain. We will not listen to anything you order us to do and there will be turmoil. Let it be known that it will be your fault. Resign or see the light, Joran.” I looked at Jon and felt disappointed. How could the Hylian Knights be fooled so easily? “Well Jon, that’s just something I will have to deal with. I refuse to resign.”

“As do I, Jon” said Rilon. “You cannot force this ultimatum upon me, either. So don’t bother.”

“Very well” said Jon. “Let us be done with this meeting. Come men.” Every knight at the table, except for Verne, got up and left the meeting room. The three of us at the front of the room stared on as they left. Olan was still standing in the room as well. He glared at me and then turned and followed the rest of the knights out of the room. “Well Link, now do you wish for him to speak?” The king still had nothing to say. “These will be tumultuous times, Link. We’ve been through tougher things than this, right?”

“There’s nothing to be done, Joran. Olan has won. Even if he doesn’t get the throne, he has upset the balance of everything we had. What will we do?”

“Kill him, Link. That’s what. Then we will sort it out later.” If Link had a weakness, it was his compassion. He hated having to take a life. Even now, he refused. “No, Joran. We can’t kill him. That’s wrong. I don’t know how we will work out of this.”

“Do not fret, Link. We will work through this. Everything will be fine eventually.” But even I doubted my own words. Things looked about as bleak as could be. I feared that Olan truly had won.




            With the Royal Family’s return to the castle, my family had gone back home to the ranch. I, however, stayed in Castle Town and sent Rilon home with them. I needed to remain in the king’s vicinity. It was necessary if he and I were to make this stand against the rest of the knights. I finally found myself drifting and eventually I was asleep. I almost immediately began dreaming. There wasn’t much to this dream. All I saw was the ranch, only I could hear cries of pain from within. I could hear the voice of Rhan. “Go home, Joran. You must protect your family. Dark Link is trying to make you resign. Go!” I awoke quickly and realized that what I had dreamt was not a dream at all. Rhan had showed me a vision of what was to come. I immediately got up and ran to the stables. I got on my horse and we instantly ran off. I could feel a burning hate within me. It was a burning hatred of Olan. What was he doing? I pushed Eldina as hard as I could. Within minutes, I reached the ranch. Everything was silent now. “Oh Farore, let them be all right!”

I ran to the front door and saw Rilon there, struggling to get up. He was badly wounded. Rilon! What happened? Is everyone all right?”

Joran, it was Dark Link. I tried to fight him off. I’m fine, I know the girls are safe but you must check on Malon!” I was torn. I didn’t want to leave Rilon, but he insisted that he was fine so I kicked in the front door and ran into the house. Malon! Where are you Malon?” I heard a faint groan from the floor by the table. I went over there and felt my heart sink. This. I couldn’t handle this. Malon was lying on the floor with a terrible wound on her stomach. Malon, my love. What has he done to you?”

Joran” she said, faintly. “Do not worry about me. I will be with the goddesses soon enough.”

“No, Malon! No, you will survive! I will bring you to Castle Town. There are many good doctors there who can fix such a wound.”

“No, Joran. It won’t do any good. I’m sorry, my love. Please forgive me.”

“Forgive you for what? You’ve done nothing.”

“Forgive me for not being able to grow old with you. Forgive me for the pain I will cause you.”

“No, Malon. No pain will come from this! I will make sure that you will live! Just come with me!”

Joran, I love you.” Her head slumped to the side and I stroked her beautiful face. Malon! Speak to me! Malon!” But she did not speak. She could not. I had no words. No words to describe the myriad emotions that came flooding to me. Anger, sadness, guilt, grief, hatred, and many others that just could not be explained. I felt the tears begin to flow as I kneeled over my love. I suddenly heard shouting coming from upstairs. I knew who that was. Laya! Kila! I’m coming!” I ran up the stairs and tried to open the bedroom door but it was locked. I kicked it open and saw Laya and Kila huddled in the corner of the room. “Are you all right?” They both nodded but the fear they felt was evident. “Come on, girls. We’ll have to return to the castle. It’s the only safe place for us now.”

“You’re right, Joran. He will return to this place.” I heard Rilon from behind me.

“I am sorry, brother” he said as I turned around to face him. “I’m sorry I couldn’t save Malon.”

Rilon, there is nothing to be sorry about. This is solely Dark Link’s fault. Why would he do this?”

“He knows if he goes after your family, you will resign as Captain. He’s trying to break your will again.” Dark Link did not know that his plan had backfired. By killing my wife, he had fanned the flames of hatred within me. He had brought back my old killer instinct. He had taken my kindness and crushed it. All that was left was my old, mean self. Any forgiveness for these actions could never be sought. He had made me very dangerous. “I’ll find him, Rilon. I will. I will never resign and I won’t stop looking for him until he feels the pain he has caused me. He has attacked what is most precious to me, so I will return the favour.” Rilon had no objections, but I heard Laya cry out when I said this. “No, father! That’s wrong! You can’t do that! You would be just like him! You just can’t father!” I was lucky I had her to talk some sense into me. “You’re right, Laya. I’m just in pain is all. We’ll have to deal with that later. Come now. Let us leave for the castle.” I took them out the window onto the roof. We climbed down a ladder Rilon went to get for us. The reason why I did that was to keep them from seeing Malon’s body. Kila had already seen enough of that in her life and I knew what sort of scarring it could do to Laya to see her mother like that. I know what it did to me, and she was far too young to have something like that happen to her. The anger I felt was indescribable. It was at so high a level that I could think of nothing but causing Olan to suffer. We climbed onto our horses and left the ranch behind. We’d have to come back for Malon. I would see to it that her funeral would be one of the finest memorials Hyrule had ever seen. I would ensure that everyone would remember her. I knew Dark Link would try it again. Laya needed to remain at the castle. It was safest for her there. Kila too. I continued to think about Malon and the tears still flowed. What a dreadful thing it was to lose one’s spouse in such a gruesome way. There is no doubt that this event shaped my entire life after that point. I was never the same. Laya always managed to give me my happiness. At least I still had her. That was more than I could ask for. But to lose Malon like that, I was never truly happy again without her.




            The king saw us arriving at the castle and knew instantly that something had gone wrong. He immediately headed out to the courtyard to meet with us as we arrived. He noticed someone missing. “Where is Malon, Joran?” I got off my horse and helped Laya down. Rilon did the same with Kila. I turned around and walked straight over to him. “My family was attacked, Link. It was Dark Link. Malon... did not survive.” To say those words opened yet another wound in my already wrenched heart. Link looked shocked. Malon had been a good friend of Link’s for many years. To lose her so suddenly was terribly tragic. As the rest of my family continued on into the castle, I had to explain to Link what we were doing. “We’ve brought the children here because we know they are best protected when they are here. You should watch out too, Link. Your brother may come after your family too.” Link looked at me and I knew he could tell what Malon’s death had done to me. “You’re almost your old self again, Joran. Your compassion has weakened and any real kindness you had is almost gone. Just do me a favour, Joran. Don’t lose your head. Keep yourself away from those strong emotions. It’s okay to grieve for Malon but you should not become consumed with revenge.”

“I know, Link. But, I will ensure that Dark Link dies for this. It’s all I ask. Let me do this for my wife. Not for my sake but for hers. She deserves such justice.”

“I can’t let you do that, Joran. It’s not the right thing to do.” I knew there was no arguing with him. I decided to comply and we walked into the castle together.

After yet another night of no sleep, I awoke to see my daughter standing next to my bed with the prince. They both stared at me as I stared back. “Father” Laya said finally “Marcus and I are here to ask something of you. Since last night, you’ve been guarding us a lot. I know you’re worried but Marcus and I would like time to talk alone. Can you let us do that?”

“No, Laya. I can’t. Dark Link will try to do you both harm and I must be with you so I can offer my protection. Please stay in the castle. We will leave when it has been declared safe again. I promise.” Laya knew what an argument with me was like, so she decided not to press the issue. “Very well, father.” She then led Marcus out of the room. I got up and stared at the door after they had closed it. It was then I decided to dress. Laya and Marcus made their way through the halls until they entered Marcus’ room. The very room Orlin and I had battled in. Marcus reached under his bed and grabbed a short sword in a sheath. He slung it over his back. He was quite proficient with it as he had the best teacher possible. Laya went over to the corner of the room and grabbed a bow. I had taught her a few fighting skills, including how to use a bow. I wanted her to be able to defend herself. She also picked up a dagger in a sheath. She attached it to the belt at her side. Marcus went over to the window and opened it. They had already planned for this. They were going to sneak out of the castle to get some time alone. They had already tied several bed sheets together and had made it into a sort of rope ladder. Marcus climbed out first then helped Laya out the window and onto the ladder. “Have you got it?” he asked.

“Yes, Marcus. I can take it from here.” They then began their descent to the ground. When Marcus reached the ground he helped Laya off the ladder. He turned to her and spoke. “We need to be careful. Your father was right about Dark Link. I will protect you, Laya.”

“And I will protect you, Marcus. Let’s go.” They both walked off together to have their talk. They wanted to talk about many things. Namely what was happening and how each was dealing with it. How they were feeling and what they would do. After a while walking, they had already reached the courtyard. They were lucky that no one was out there yet. They walked right through Castle Town and out across the bridge to Hyrule Field. Here is where they would talk. They walked in the direction of Kakariko Village and began to converse. “Marcus, how are you feeling? I’d like to know what’s going on with you. I know this whole situation has you worried.”

“I am worried, Laya. I’m worried we’ll have to leave the castle and Dark Link will take over as king. I’m worried what will become of Hyrule if he does. What about you, Laya? I can tell you’re still grieving for your mother. I know you’re worried about your father’s state of mind. Tell me.”

“You’re right, Marcus. I still can’t believe she’s gone” she said, tears starting to form. “And father, I fear he might go mad with hate. I heard his tone of voice last night and it frightened me. I don’t want him to kill anybody, Marcus.” As they walked, two pairs of eyes watched them from a distance. “Well Jyla, look at this. We’ve caught ourselves a break.” The two figures drew their weapons and marched off in the direction of the children. Jyla raised her bow and knocked an arrow. She aimed it squarely at the prince. As they marched she loosed the arrow and it flew straight for him. Marcus continued walking beside Laya when he felt something whiz past his head. He turned around and saw the two figures now running toward them. “Laya, we’re under attack! Get ready!” Marcus drew his sword and Laya brought out her bow. She fired an arrow back in Jyla’s direction and it hit her in the shoulder. Jyla grunted in pain but simply pulled the arrow out and kept running. Laya fired another arrow, but this one missed. She then dropped her bow to the ground and pulled out her dagger. Marcus and Laya looked at each other and both smiled. If they died here, it would be together. As Dark Link reached them, he went after the prince, swinging his sword down at him. Marcus leapt to the side and swung his sword at Dark Link. He blocked this with his shield. At that same moment, I had decided to go and check on the two of them. When I entered Marcus’ room I was shocked when I saw it empty. I noticed the open window and scrambled over to it. I saw their makeshift ladder and knew what they had done. I ran off to tell Link.

Marcus and Laya were faring quite well, in spite of their size and inexperience. Laya and Jyla circled each other as Jyla tried to strike out at Laya with her sword. Laya’s small dagger was blocking each of these strikes. Dark Link could not find an opening in Marcus’ defence. Marcus was far too quick and was adept at blocking Dark Link’s blows. Olan’s age was catching up to him and he was too slow. Laya and Jyla were still engaged, but Laya was hesitant and Jyla took advantage of that. She tackled Laya to the ground and went to cut her down with her sword when she stopped. This was not right. What was she doing attacking a small child? What had become of her? She had decided that she had done enough wrong. She got up off of Laya and sheathed her sword. She helped Laya back to her feet. She turned to Dark Link and Marcus. She thought about helping but decided that the prince was able to take care of himself. “Goodbye, Dark Link. I will help you no further.” The two of them stopped fighting for a moment as Dark Link whirled around and looked at Jyla. “What? You dare to defy me?”

“Yes I do, Dark Link. I cannot harm a child. That is far too much. It may be too late for me as a Sheikah, but I can still keep some of my honor and dignity. I am leaving.” She then turned around and began walking away. Dark Link then ran at her as she walked away. Laya stepped in front of her and tripped Dark Link as he ran after Jyla. He forgot about her and now focussed on Laya. “Well, you’ve got quite a lot of courage. Just like your father. Let’s see if you can fight like him!” She rushed Laya and knocked her to the ground he raised his sword and was going to bring it down when he was suddenly knocked backward. Not only had he forgotten about Jyla, but he had forgotten about the prince as well. Marcus had knocked him backward and cut his arm. Dark Link tried to rush forward again, but Laya tripped him once more. He lost his grip on his sword it flew a few feet away. It stuck in the ground and he rolled over. He could not get up as Marcus had his sword pointed at him. Link and I had just crossed the bridge when we saw it. Marcus was standing over Olan and we ran toward them. “Go on and do it. Do what your father never could, you little whelp. If you don’t your little friend here will die.” As soon as he said it, he regretted it. Threatening Laya crossed the line for Marcus. He brought the sword down onto Olan’s chest and it went straight through him. Dark Link was finished. Olan was still alive, but not for long. Link and I reached their side and we saw a dying Olan lying on the ground. “Are you both all right?” we asked them.
“He was going to kill Laya. I had to do it” was all that Marcus said. Olan’s breathing was shallow and pained. He then spoke. “Thank you, Marcus. You have freed me from my evil. I am no longer Dark Link. Just Olan is left. Please forgive me for all I have done.” He turned to Link. “Link, my brother, I would ask your forgiveness as well. If only I had listened to you, it would not be this way. Please forgive me. Ask all of Hyrule for forgiveness. I am sorry for everything I have done.” Olan then laid his head down in the grass as the blood around him began to sink into the ground. His breathing stopped. We all knew he was dead. This time, for good. We stared at him awhile, and then decided to head back to the castle. It was at that point that I had a thought. Marcus had saved this land from years of turmoil. No longer would we have to worry about evil claiming the throne. This was his destiny. He had carried on his father’s legacy. The Hero’s legacy.




            It was with Dark Link’s last breath that our journey was over. But we hadn’t settled everything yet. The turmoil set off by Dark Link’s plan was still prevalent. There were few in the castle that trusted the king and queen. I still refused to call for their abdication. I still believed that they would be the best people to move forward with. But, Link approached me about his after many days of argument with the knights. “Joran, you can’t keep this up forever. I think it’s time for us to move one. Go ahead. Call for it. We know it’ll be for the best.”

“But Link, I can’t. Your family deserves the throne. They have to know that you did not betray their trust.”

“None of them will believe that, Joran. Just call for the abdication and we shall move on. I’m tired of this anyway.” It seemed to me that Link had accepted his fate. He had decided that it was time to move on. “Very well, Link. But, just out of curiosity, who will take over?”

“Well, since I have no immediate family left other than my son, already a member of the family, it would be my highest ranking advisor.”

“And who is that, Link?”

“I never officially appointed one, Joran. Next in line would be the person of highest rank among my soldiers.” I thought about what he was saying for awhile. I then came up with it. “No! That’s not the way it goes, is it? There is no way that could happen.”

“It certainly does, Joran” he said, smiling “I can think of no one better.”

“But, this won’t do. There must be somebody else. There must be!”

“There isn’t anyone who ranks higher among the soldiers than the Captain of the Hylian Knights. So, you’re it.”

“But I can’t do it! I know nothing about being a leader!”

Joran, you’ve been a leader your whole life. You’ve been both Lieutenant and Captain of the Hylian Knights, you’ve commanded an entire infantry into battle, and you guided us through Hyrule as a wolf and led us to the Forsaken Village. “You took charge of the situation when Ingo was bullying Malon, and you took the lead in our search of the Blue Baron. You took charge of everything. You are a natural born leader. You’ll know exactly what to do. You’ll be a fine king.” I was incredibly honoured to hear Link speak so highly of me. I still wanted him to reconsider. “Is there any chance I could change your mind? Come on, Link. Stay on as king.”

“No, Joran. Nobody trusts me or Zelda anymore. I pass the torch to you, my friend. And I wish you luck.” Link extended his hand when he finished his sentence. I reached out and grabbed his hand in a firm handshake. “Thank you, Link. I will need it.” We walked off together one more time before we went back to the meeting room. The knights convened in here daily, calling for my resignation. We both entered and I stood up at the front of the room. “Gentlemen, I have come to s decision. This turmoil must cease and I will end it here. I will not resign as Captain. However, I am going to call for the abdication of the Royal Family.” I could hear the collective sigh of relief as the knights stood there. Jon then addressed me. “Joran, I thank you. Finally, you see the light. Now, Olan can have-”

“Olan is dead, Jon. He died of some sort of illness just a few days ago.”

“Well, then. That means... who was the king’s advisor?”

“Nobody, Jon. The highest ranking soldier shall be the new king.” I let them think it over like I did. They all looked at me in awe. “Then that means...” said Verne, but he trailed off. “Yes, Verne. I know what that means.” Ron stepped forward at this point. “Then let us hail the reign of King Joran!” The men in the room cheered at this, but I raised my hand to silence them. “Cheers are not necessary, men. I will be the new king, but I will follow the example of my predecessor with the exception of all the unpleasantness.” They all seemed to like that and cheered again. I turned to Link. “Well Link, it looks like you’re out. After I am crowned, I would like you and your family to meet with me at Lake Hylia.”

“Yes sir, King Joran.”

“Link, don’t call me that. I’m not king yet.” He smiled at me and I smiled back. Things turned out well after all.

Within a day, the reign of the Royal Family was over. I won’t go into detail about my coronation, but I was glad Laya was there to be crowned princess with me. As I promised, I went to Lake Hylia with Laya, Kila and Rilon. We waited there for the three former members of the Royal Family. I heard a familiar voice approach from behind as I was staring at the lake. “Greetings, King Joran” I heard him say. I turned around and saw Link with Zelda and Marcus walking up to greet us. “Hello, Link. Don’t call me king. You never let me call you that, so you won’t get that privilege either. I have something I would like to discuss with you all.”

“What’s that, Joran?” I had a plan in mind. I wasn’t about to let three of the finest Hylians in the kingdom just walk off into the sunset. “I have some to ask you al to join in the service of my kingdom. I would like you all to be involved with my staff within the castle.”

“But Joran” Zelda said “You know how that would go over. None of us will ever be trusted around there again.”

“You didn’t let me finish. I would like you all to work for me as someone else.” They all look confused. “What do you mean, someone else?” asked Marcus. “ I mean, you must all change your names and appearances to come and work for me. Zelda, you can still use your magic in such a way, right?”

“Of course, Joran. That sounds interesting.”

“Yes. Will you do it?” They all paused to think about it. Link then spoke. “Yes, Joran. I will do it. Marcus, how about you?”

“Yes, father. I will. And mother?”

“Of course, dear. It would be my pleasure to serve you.”

“Excellent. Zelda, you shall act as nursemaid to Laya. How about we call you Sheik? I’m sure Rhan would be happy to accept you as a Sheikah. And this time you don’t have to pretend to be a man.”

“That would be lovely, Joran. I would be happy to do it.” I smiled at her. I then turned to Link. “Link, I would like you to be the Captain of the Hylian Knight. Here, I have the pendent for you to show you that you are knighted. And something else too.” I reached down into my tunic and broke the string holding my shard of the Triforce of Courage. I handed it to him as well. “You should really hold the whole thing. You and Marcus both are destined to carry it.”

“Yes, Joran. Thank you. I will accept your offer. I would like my name as Captain to be the name of my father, Harik.”

“Then it is done, Link. Marcus, I would like to make you a Hylian Knight. The youngest there had ever been. I have a pendent for you, too.” I handed him the pendent and he put it around his neck. “Thank you, Joran. I would love to be a knight. And as for my name, I remember Laya telling me about the man you grew up, Joran. She said she only met him a few times but described him in such a way that I felt he was something special. That is why I would like to be known as Sir Kiel.” I was touched by this. Kiel had always wanted to be a knight, but he hated the glamour of such a title. Now, in a way, he could be. “Very well, Marcus Let it be done. Zelda, please make that spell happen.” She raised her hands in the air and a blue light came from them. It surrounded the family and totally masked them for a moment. When they reappeared, their features had changed. Zelda was dressed as a Sheikah woman. Her hair remained blonde but her eyes had gone red. Not like Dark Link’s deep fiery red but more of a soft red, like that of the Sheikah. Link looked all together different. His hair had turned brown and he had a scruffy beard on his face to match. His eyes, though, were still blue. Marcus looked like he had grown a few inches. His hair was brown as well and his eyes had turned to a green hue, much like Laya’s. Their faces looked similar to that of their old forms, but they all looked like completely different people. “Good work, Sheik. I have one more thing I would like to tell you. I spoke to Orlin a few days ago, and he seems to be back to his old self. I would like you to know that he is a knight again. Captain Harik, I would recommend him as your Lieutenant, but I would suggest your son even more.”

“Well, I would like to choose Marc- I mean, Kiel. But, someone with more experience would be wise. Very well. I shall inform him when the knights convene.”

“Good. Let us head back.”

“Wait Joran” said Sheik. “Yes? What is it?”

“Since you gave Link the remainder of the Triforce of Courage, I would like you and your family to have this.” She brought up her left hand and I saw a Triforce mark appear on it. The top of it glowed and then, floating there just above her hand, sat a golden triangle. “Take the Triforce of Wisdom, Joran. The Royal Family really should have it.” I took it from her and suddenly felt warmth on my hand. I then looked and saw the Triforce symbol on the back of my left hand. “Nayru has accepted you, Joran. I am glad.”

“As am I, Sheik.” Link, or Harik then turned to me with a thought. “Will the knights accept me as Captain? They have no idea I am even a knight.”

“Your father was legendary. I heard Jon and Colin speak of him all the time. Those two are the least cooperative so if you have them on your side, then the rest will soon fall into place. With a name like Harik, they will revere you. They’d be honoured to have a Captain Harik.” He smiled at me once again. We then began our long trek back to the castle. Rilon and Kila separated from us before we got there. “Where are they going?” asked Marcus.

Rilon is taking Kila with her to live back at the Ranch. Those two have a strong bond and besides, people in the castle complain when they’re around. They don’t consider them officially members of the Royal Family.” Then a question formed in my mind. “Where will you all live?”

“Don’t worry, Joran” said Harik “I have made a promise to Saria that we will all go to the Kokiri Forest to live with her. She will finally be happy again.” I smiled again. It was something I couldn’t help doing at this point. The happiness of this ending was too much to resist. This was the end of our long tale. What a strange and remarkable journey it had been. Hyrule really is filled with strange and remarkable tales. This was perhaps the biggest of them all. Our tale had everything. Joy, sorrow, death, life, happiness, sadness, and everything else in between. With the end of our tale, another is beginning. A new chapter. We will soon find out what that new chapter is. And as we wait, we will be happy. The end is here. We have finally made it. This time, peace is here to stay. This is a tale for the ages.



The End



Epilogue: As I finish writing my story now, I am an old man. Thirty years have passed since the end of our journey. I have moved on and I am no longer king. Laya has taken over as Queen and her husband, a former knight named Darik, had become the king. Laya had been interested in Marcus for the longest time but they were destined to remain apart. Of course, Marcus has gone by Kiel since he was a boy so, I really should call him the name he chose. Laya is the only family I have left. My brother Rilon passed away just last winter. Kila fell for Kiel and the two of them became married. Kiel left the Hylian Knights and moved out of the forest. He lives just south of it now. He found his father’s former village of Kiuro. He has established a new village and he has called it Ordon. I’m certain it will do well. Link and Zelda, or Harik and Sheik, are retired now and live in the forest with Saria of the Kokiri. Now that I live at the ranch again, I visit them from time to time. Kila has just had a child in Ordon. They named him Colin. I now have a grandchild as well. Laya named her after her own mother. Her death still pains me to this day but I was extremely pleased when Laya named the new princess Malon. Orlin worked his way back up to Captain, but only lasted a year. He died of a heart attack just before spring. Ron took over as Captain after Orlin, who took over for Harik. He quickly resigned after just a year and handed the reins to young Philip. Well, he’s not young anymore, nearly fifty, but back when I captained him he was but a teenager. The state of affairs at the castle remain unchanged from when I took over as king. Everything is as it should be. This story I have written of my account were from my own experiences and the experiences of many others. Even Jyla told me of her many accounts to assist in my writing of this tale. I have come up with a fitting name for this legendary tale. This story can be passed down through history, but will not serve as much inspiration as the legend of the Hero of Time. I have helped chronicle those events in this story as well. I hope one day that this will be read by many so that they may know of the events that took place in the past. I shall name this legend after the one who charged Link with his quest as the Hero of Time. After the former princess and queen of Hyrule. The greatest Royal in the history of this land. This story shall be called, the Legend of Zelda.



As I look down now, I see many things. Long have I left the living world behind. I know not much of myself, other than that I am awaiting the command of the goddesses to join them in the heavens. The Hero of Legend is here too. He and I remain friends into the afterlife. We are both looking down upon our families now. I see my granddaughter, now the queen of Hyrule, having just gave birth. My daughter, Laya, suggests a name to her. I smile as I hear it. Queen Malon agrees with this and she gives the name to her newborn daughter. Named after another great princess. The new princess Zelda is born. As I look to the hero, he watches as his grandson and his wife have their child. He is saddened to see the boy has no parents left. His mother dying while birthing him while his father was killed in an attack by mysterious creatures called Bulblins. Marcus is there with him now. He is an old man now. He decides that, because of his grandson suffered a similar fate of his father that the name of the Hero should be passed down. This boy’s name is Link. His father, Colin’s best friend, a man called Rusl, takes it upon himself to raise the boy as he sees the boy’s grandfather in poor health, soon to die. This boy would play his own part. In his life, the hero vowed to me that he would help any of his ancestors who chose to take up his mantle by appearing before them from the afterlife. He would do so before joining the goddesses. He knew that that ancestor was this boy. The boy would make his own name. He would create his own history. And the legend continues.          

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