Prelude to Legends: The Hyrule Fantasy

By Christopher Blair

In a time before the Legends...
Before the Epic we know began...

Before a Man became a Monster...
Before a Hero would be born...
Before a Princess would be burdened...

The War had yet to begin...

Chapter 4
Five Years of Darkness

Regalas and Raura could only stare in horror as the Doors of Time slid shut again. Everything they had worked for, all the destruction that had happened, the sacrificed made to get them this far, all was in vain.
He was gone. Harkin Tridelan, the Sword Magnus, savior of Hyrule and the only hope against the power of the TryForce, was gone, just like that. The moment Ganondorf had swat him into the light beyond the Doors, the boy had been sucked into what lay beyond, leaving only the Master Sword, which now lay on the ground, dark and without any light.
Even Ba'al said nothing nor moved to continue his attack as he too stared in utter shock. So easily had Ganondorf beaten the greatest threat to his power, merely swatting him away into the Doors. True, the Magnus was only a child, but if it had been this easy, why had he not been able to kill the boy only minutes before.
It was then that the Gerudo let out a laugh, a terrible, hollow laugh that boomed throughout the temple. He turned to the Hylians and the Drow, his voice echoing in triumph as even then, he realized the ease of his victory. He had won. The Sword Magnus was gone, and now nothing could fight his power. No one now could wield the Master Sword, it was fated to lay at the Doors of Time forever, awaiting a master who would never return.
"Now!" he roared, leaping down from the steps and walking towards the trio. "Now do you see my power, mortals?! I am no longer just the god-blood son of Dragmire, I am a God! I am the Lord of all Darkness, the God of Evil! Your champion fell all too easily, and now I let you live with the knowledge that everything you did, all that you fought for and sacrificed, it was all for nothing!"
As he stepped past them, Regalas found he couldn't move at all. Ganondorf was right, it had all been for nothing. Alahyde's chosen warrior had been beaten so easily, and almost not a drop of blood had been shed. It could have been called the biggest disaster in the history of war, but it was for worse than that. Hyrule's only hope had been destroyed by the mere thrust of the hand.
It was then that he finally turned to see Ba'al leaving. At first, it confused him, but then he realized why. Because they had failed, they were not worth his attention; they had already been broken. He and Raura were beyond what the Drow's sword could ever do to them. Their torment had already begun before they were even dead.
"It's over," Raura finally said after the long silence. "It's all over, Ganondorf has won." He sighed and sat down on the steps looking and the once more sealed Doors of Time. "All the time I have served here," he mused, "I've wondered what lay beyond the Doors. Now...I wish that I hadn't."
Regalas merely fell down to the ground, all semblance of hope gone. With Harkin gone, the Castle would fall, and Darkness would engulf not just Hyrule, but all of Creation. It would all spiral down into a self-destructive cycle until nothing remained. What was the point in even continuing to live? Either by Ganondorf's hands, or by Ba'al's, everyone would be condemned to an eternity of damnation. Even the Sages would not be able to stand against the might of the TryForce.
And then he realized that there was still hope. Certainly not the same hope they had in the Sword Magnus, but there still was a hope. "The Sages," he whispered, now knowing their last chance. "Raura," he began, turning to the Sage of Time. "There are Seven Sages, am I right?"
He nodded, but the old man did not understand what Regalas was meaning. "I'm afraid I don't understand, why are you-"
"What power do the Seven have when united?" the young archer asked quickly, but he already knew the answer. "The power to bend reality. Don't you see, there still is hope! If we can unit the Seven Sages, we could create a gate and seal Ganondorf in the Sacred Realm! True, it won't last forever, but it could buy Hyrule time for another Sword Magnus to be born!"
And then, Raura saw that Regalas was right. As Sage of Time, he has some power to bend the flow of the continuum, but if that power combined with those of the other six Sages, then the gate to the Sacred Realm could be forced open, and Ganondorf could be sealed there. As the young man had said, such a seal could not hold the dark lord forever, but precious time would be bought for another Sword Magnus to be chosen.
There was one problem; the other Sages were scattered about all Hyrule. It would take months, even years to gather them all now. Only two others were even on the continent of Trindon, and both were far away from Tylon. It was the only chance they had though.
"The castle is lost," Regalas stated. "Even Grevian knows that, we all know that's why he agreed to send the princess to the Sheikah with Impa Darkblade. We have to leave now if we're to gather the Sages. I know where to find the Sage of Forest and the Sage of Water, but the other Sages aren't even awakened yet."
"Darunia of the Gorons is the Sage of Fire and awakened," Raura corrected. "But he's all the way on the Teramin continent. It's the Sages of Shadow, Spirit and Light that I do not know the where abouts of. They could be anywhere on the planet."
Regalas nodded, then remembered one detail that Raura had stated before, about his visions. "You said that Hyrule would fall into five years of Darkness even if the Castle was won, right?" He knit his brow when the Sage nodded. "That means we've got five years to make this work, or there's no second chance. We have to leave now. I'll go to Lybranna and get the Sage of Forest, you head to Holodrum and find the Sage of Water." He finally headed for the doors of the Temple, then took one last look back at where the Master Sword lay. If there was another Sword Magnus to be chosen, the Temple of Time had to remain.
"Good luck," Raura called as he took stood. "If indeed we only have five years before Darkness cannot be rebuked, then there is no time to waste."
"May the Gods..." Regalas stopped. The Gods were no more, only one God of Virtue was left. The entire religion and beliefs of Hyrule had forever been changed by what Ganondorf had done. Unless Tridela returned, there was only one God watching over Creation, everything would change in the text of Hyrule's beliefs. It may as well start here.
"God's grace to you," he finally said, then left, racing to escape the castle city. Epona, thankfully, still lived, rested and ready to run. Regalas quickly cut down a pair of beastmen that lunged after him, then leaped up and landed on his horse's back. A soft kick and she raced to leave the city. Regalas quickly readied his bow and fired as undead and beastmen tried to block his path, every shot killing its target. He and Epona burst from the city and raced away, ignored by Ganondorf's armies.
Raura, walking out of the temple, saw the sheer carnage that was Ganondorf's assault on Hyrule Castle. He could not ride out, he had not the skill of battle like Regalas did. Another method was needed, one that he oft not liked to used. He had little choice though.
"Grace of Time," he whispered, a faint ripple forming around him. "Grant me passage through this hardship, grant me protection to seek those needed to protect Creation."
Even as he spoke, a massive gate of light opened before him. Raura smiled and entered the vortex, knowing that indeed he was protected by Alahyde. He sped through the fabric of space, racing to find the Sage he sought before it was too late.

Somewhere, far from Hyrule Castle, a young brunette girl looked up, feeling something in her hearts. She was in a place she did not live in, and even if she was who she was, she was still only fourteen years old. She suddenly started to cry, then ran to the white haired woman named Impa Darkblade.
"He's dead!" she cried, the pain in her hearts telling her that it had come to pass. "Father's dead!"
Impa bowed her head and whispered a prayer to Alahyde. It was then that she tried to comfort the young Princess Celestia. They were indeed safe from danger here, in the Sheikah city Kira'tha. They had almost gone to Kakariko Village, but a sense of danger had told Impa not to choose that path, and they had learned why when they reached this place; Kakariko was now crawling with undead, and the shadow beast that had been imprisoned deep underground there had been freed.
Impa had no doubt that it was Ganondorf's doing. Only he would have the black heart to unleash the demon her ancestors had sealed under the village. As a result, she had brought Celestia to her own birthplace, indeed warning the Sheikah there of Ganondorf's power, but the warriors were not sent to Hyrule Castle. Impa knew the moment that Raura sent her and Celestia away from the castle that he and Grevian did not expect to win that battle. It was so that an heir would live, in the hope of Ganondorf's defeat and the survival of the Clan Alahyde.
"Impa," Celestia whispered as she looked up to the woman's face. "Do something for me."
"What is it, child?"
In only two words, Celestia sent a shudder down Impa's spine. The intent behind them, the desire, was one that she had hoped the princess would never have, but she had still dreaded it since the day Celestia was born.
"Teach me."

Two years passed since that day. Regalas had found the Sage of Forest as he had planned, but he could not return to Tylon. His worst fear had come to pass; Ganondorf now ruled from a tower where Hyrule Castle had once stood. The Temple was untouched, true. It seemed that though he could set foot inside, Ganondorf could not destroy the sacred monument, no matter what he did. There was something after all that he could not tear down with even the power of the TryForce.
He managed to keep tabs on thing happened in his homeland, but contact with Raura had been lost once the armies of Dragmire took over Tylon. Regalas could only hope that the Sage of Time had been successful. In the meantime, he and Nell, the Forest Sage, had headed off for the Teramin continent in hopes of finding Darunia of the Gorons. It was that journey which cost them another seven months of travel. Hyrule was an immense planet, almost as large as some stars that burned in the cosmos. If not for the fact that it was honeycombed with massive pockets of empty space deep under the surface, it would not have been possible for it to be solid, let alone a planet.
Even as it was, some people found it amazing that the world did not collapse under the force of its own mass. The only answer was that it was by the power of the Gods. Even so, that did not make up for the immense time it took to travel from one end of the world to the other, let alone from one continent to another. Regalas thanked fate that the ship he and Nell had found was a fast one, otherwise it could have been a whole year more before they reached Teramin.
As their voyage across the seas was nearing its end, Regalas sighed deeply while looking out at the faint sign of land in the distance. He had never been to the Teramin continent. In fact, he had never left Trindon at all in his twenty-six years of life. He didn't know what to expect in this land that would be so new to him.
Land was reached that very night, Regalas and Nell finding rooms for the night at the port city's inn. Despite their safety in reaching the continent, Regalas had felt a sense of danger growing in the back of his mind. It wasn't until they were heading to sleep that he discovered why.
Riders cloaked in black had been searching the country for someone. They never revealed their faces, but they had been reported to give of an aura that put fear in any who were near them. Word of a man armored in black with a skull upon his breastplate had also been spreading, that he too was searching. There was no doubt the man in black was Ba'al, but it was these black riders that puzzled Regalas. They were plainly servants of Ganondorf, but no creature save maybe Ba'al had such an aura that had been said of these beings.
Nell looked out the window of their room and narrowed her eyes when she saw the cloaked forms entering the city. Even at this distance, she could feel the utter sense of depression that radiated from them. "Regalas," she called, turning to the archer with concerned eyes. "We have to leave now."
He nodded, readying his bow while she packed up what little they had. As they crept down the stairs to the main hall of the inn, Regalas felt that sense of danger once more, and turned to find one of the black riders sitting at a table as if waiting for them. Arrow aimed towards the man, Regalas knit his brow. "What do you want?"
The cloaked man's voice was cracked and raspy as he stood up. "The will of the Emperor," came the reply. He stepped forward, heavy armored boots thudding against the wood floor. Regalas tried to see through the shadows of the man's hood, but it seemed like they did not wish to reveal the one who wore the cloaks. "You are to be brought back to Tylon and stand trial for your crimes."
"Crimes?" Regalas chuckled. "And what crimes are those?"
"Treason to the ruler of this world."
That was the last straw. "The true ruler of Hyrule is far from your hands," he snapped, readying to fire. "You shall not find the princess, and even if Ganondorf now rules, he is not our king!"
The cloaked form paused, then drew a nasty looking serrated blade sword from his side. "The judgement thus is guilty," he rasped, stepping towards archer and Sage. "The sentence is death!"
Nell let out a gasp as two more black cloaked men burst into the inn. Regalas fired his arrow, then restrung and twisted his body while turning his bow and hand holding the arrow upside down before letting the second shot fly. Both forms stumbled back, but neither fell, an impossibility; both had been struck clean through their heads!
"I don't think these things are mortal," the young forest Sage stated while Regalas folded his bow and stored it on his belt. His sword flashed out while they backed away from the threesome of what they now assumed to be wraiths.
As his eyes glanced about, Regalas smiled and tossed his weapon up to catch it by the blade. "How good is your sorcery?" he asked quickly, aiming for the first of the cloaked wraiths. "Can you put enough of an enchantment on my sword to keep him down for a while?"
"I can try." Nell closed her eyes, whispering in the ancient tongue of the first Hylians. A glow burst out around her while Regalas flung his sword, light blazing around the blade just before it struck the wraith directly in the chest and brought him down.
"Go!" the archer yelled, racing forward with Nell following right behind him. He didn't pause to recover his sword, it would only delay them and give the downed wraith a chance to strike back. He cast his own spell at the wall and blew it open, jumping over the debris and turning back with bow drawn back out and arrowed while Nell reached his side. "Elya mallah nenya thah," he chanted, causing the head of his arrow to flare brightly with a fiery red light. "Things are about to get a little hot."
His aim rang true the moment he let go. Regalas' arrow dug deep into one of the wraiths, lighting him on fire and starting a blaze as he screamed and ran about trying to put out his cloaks. It was then that Regalas saw the face of his enemy, or at least, there should have been a face there. Instead, there was a skull with almost no skin left on it, Glowing yellow dots marked where there should have been eyes. These creatures were indeed wraiths and not living beings, more mind than the naz'gua, but less than living.
"Run," he stated, backing away slowly from the hole. "Run!"
Nell had no arguments as they raced away from the inn. Regalas whistled sharply, causing Epona to kick her way out of the stables and chase them down. The archer took only the time to help Nell on before he too mounted Epona and kicked her side to get her running.
"Get them!" the burning wraith cried, his cloak now on the ground as he abandoned it. It was plain to all what he was now, but being one already dead, he had no need to hide his existence. "Get the Sage, the Emperor wants her alive!"

Elsewhere, in Kira'tha, Celestia awoke to sounds coming from outside. Her slender ears tilted slightly to garner more, but it was then that Impa moved to see what was going on. What was unnerving was the fact she wore a dark blue jumpsuit, the mark of the Sheikah on the belt buckle while light armor plates were obviously placed underneath the fabric at the chest. A face mask covered the woman's lower face, telling Celestia that trouble was expected.
"What's happening?"
Impa looked back at the princess only briefly. "Ironknuckles," she whispered, drawing out the short single sided sword that was hooked on to the back of her belt. "They're looking for someone, that much is sure. Stay here." And she vanished into the night, not a sound made.
It seemed like forever before she returned, except that there was some kind of fluid stained onto her bodysuit. It couldn't be blood, the color of the stains was a deep purple instead of the blue blood of Hylians.
"Does Ganondorf know I'm here?"
Impa shook her head and pulled off her belt. "No," she replied, but still kept watch at the window. The look in her eyes was frightening, Celestia had never seen it in the woman before. "There is other news we have only now received," Impa continued, looking back to the princess. "The Sword Magnus vanished at the battle of Hyrule Castle."
Celestia's three hearts almost stopped. The only new person to have been at the castle then was that boy who had be with Regalas Veradal. He was the Sword Magnus, that innocent, sweet looking boy? Why had she not heard before?
"News did not reach until now because it was doubted the report was true," Impa stated, knowing exactly what the girl had been thinking. "And yes, it was the child we saw before we fled, his name was Harkin Tridelan."
Tridelan! The Beloved of the Goddess, surely that Clan would be arriving to battle Ganondorf for such a crime. It was then that her soul fell from hope. It had been two and a half years since that terrible day. If the Clan Tridelan had not retaliated then, they would not do so now, not with Ganondorf in such a place of great power.
Impa looked back out the window, then narrowed her eyes. "We must also leave very soon for a new home," came the dreaded words. "If Ganondorf is searching here, he has realized at last that you would be hidden with those of the Shadows. When the sun rises, we leave for Durin."
"Durin?" Celestia gasped. "But that's a Drow city, they're Ganondorf's loyalist allies!"
"Only those in the deep of Kazah'dur," Impa replied with a bit of insulted pride. "If you had been able to study the ancestry of the Sheikah, you would know that we are descended of the Drow who came back to the surface and begged forgiveness for the pride of their forefathers." She sighed, looking back out the window with wary eyes. "The Sheikah are a half-blood race, born from Drow and Hylians, that is why the Shadows aid us if they are not allied to evil." With another glance to the princess, she gave an almost motherly look. "That is your heritage, young one."
Celestia looked down as if shamed. She had been noticing that there were odd similarities between the Drow and the Sheikah, this revelation merely made the connection all the more obvious. It also explained the tendency for the Sheikah to have white hair. Her own hair had been gaining thin streaks of white, possibly from her exposure to the powers that the Sheikah bore.
Evidently, Impa sensed that thought as well. "It is not from your time with us," she whispered. "Here or in Hyrule Castle, those marks would have shown up, and you know very well why."
A nod. "Father never let me talk about it, even in private because of the risk," the princess whispered as she fingered her brown hair. "Never let me talk to anyone about my mother, only that she was to be presumed dead...but I know that was not true." She looked up. "My mother never became queen, so they said she died giving birth to me. I know the truth though, father told me when I was old enough."
"Then you know why you have always been different," Impa said in reply. "And you know where your mother has always been."
"The people would never accept it though," Celestia continued for the Sheikah. "That's why she stepped out and hid herself as someone else, yet still being in a place to raise me."
Impa had to resist giving a smile. Indeed, the princess had learned and had a keen mind for putting things together. She had been taught well. It was that same keen mind that would be Ganondorf' undoing. "Get some sleep," she stated softly. "We leave early, before the sun rises."

Daybreak came in Teramin, and Regalas and Nell were still riding fast towards the mountain home of the Gorons in the region. It seemed that the wraiths had broken off their chase once the sun rose, because they had vanished the moment its light crept over the mountains. Regalas was starting to ponder more and more about what those creatures had come from, but for now, he assumed they had been created from Drow.
Epona was still at full gallop, but her riders could tell that she was tiring out. Regalas finally brought her to a stop and let her rest while he and Nell had to eat what little food they had managed to bring from the inn. His sense that danger was near still burned in his mind, but it was not as severe as it had been in the port. It seemed that the closer they came to the Goron home in the mountains, the safer they were.
Nell sat with here eyes close, whispering in a language Regalas knew was that of the forest spirits. He did not know what her words meant though, only assuming that she was asking for the protection of the forest on their journey. It was a good day or more to the Goron city of Dra'gorah where Darunia lived, and they needed all the grace they could get to make it.
"I wonder how the princess is doing in these times," he muttered, casting his gaze to the skies. For once, they were clear, but he knew that back in Tylon, it was perpetually clouded. "Can only hop God's still watching."
Nell perked her ears at that. "The Gods, you mean," she stated, surprised when he shook his head.
"The Gods are no longer the Gods," Regalas explained sadly. "Ganondorf killed Latyra and Harkanian, thus, until the day Tridela returns, we have only One God. It's an oddity, I know, but it's sadly the truth. As such, such terms as 'the Gods' are no longer true, so I just say it in singular. There was a time when we didn't refer to the Gods by Their names, only by title. Perhaps it's time we gave Alahyde a bit more reverence and resumed that practice."
Nell was quiet. She had noticed that Regalas did not call on his own Clan's patron God as she knew the Clans normally did in troubled times, but had assumed it to be he felt that he had to prove himself capable on his own unless truly in need. To now learn that two of the Gods had been dead for over a year, it all made sense now. "It does still sound odd though," she finally said. "To hear only the singular of 'God' rather than the Gods."
He nodded, taking a small bite of an apple as he looked at the sky. "I know, even I've found myself forgetting the state of the Celestial Hierarchy. In the past year though, I've come to be used to it, knowing that so long as Alahyde is still there, we have a chance." He smiled as Epona trotted over and got to his feet. "Well, I think she's ready to keep going. You up to it?"
With a nod, Nell mounted the horse before Regalas climbed on. The man nudged his horse in the side and held their course towards the mountains. If they had any place that was a safe haven for the time being, it was Dra'gorah.

As it turned out, the Lost Woods were not unique to merely Tylon. Somehow, they had formed here in the Teramin continent, which had led Regalas to trust his instincts and take them into the forest. It had taken longer than when he had Harkin to guide him, but the small voice in the winds led him out of the woods and to the base of the mountains. Regalas was swift to lead then into the road that lead into the side of the mountain, but soon enough, he could not find the way to the Goron city.
"Now how do we find Darunia?" he growled, then heard something draw near. He reached for his side, then remembered that he no longer had his sword. Second instinct taking over, he readied his bow, then sighed in relief when the source of the noise was in fact a Goron approaching them. "Thank God," he said as he dismounted Epona. "I was wondering how we would find our way to the city."
"What business do you have with the Gorons of Dra'gorah?!" the Goron snapped, holding up a spear. Regalas was a bit taken back by the harsh words, he had never been so ill received before. "Speak!"
Nell slid down to the ground and bowed to the guard. "I am Nell, Sage of the Forest," she greeted. The Goron seemed to relax a bit as she showed the mark on the back of her left hand. "We seek to find Darunia, the Sage of Fire, there is great need for his powers."
The Goron eyed Regalas, then finally nodded. "Follow me, I will take you to the city." He turned and stepped right through the stone wall. Regalas and Nell looked at each other, then slowly stepped to the stone, they and Epona passing through to reveal that the rock was nothing more than an illusion.
"Hurry up!" the gruff voice of the Goron guard called. The Hylians and the horse heeded his words and raced to reach him, soon being led to the great underground city that spanned for miles in all directions save the one they came from. Their guide gestured for them to follow still, taking them to a large temple like part of the Goron city and standing there.
The Hylians thanked him for his help, leaving Epona at the entrance, and continued inward to see that it indeed was a shrine temple, decorated all over with the art of the Gorons. A large but chisel built Goron sat in meditation at the end of the room. A huge flock of stone hair adorned the back of his head like a crown, while a large beard of the same consistency grew from his chin. He opened his large eyes to see the two Hylians and slowly rose to his feet.
"To what honor am I graced by your arrival, Sage of Forest?" he greeted, bowing even as Nell did to show the mutual respect between them. "If I had know of your coming, a feast would have been prepare to honor this occasion."
"I'm afraid, Darunia, it would have merely delayed our cause," Nell replied softly, and she turned to Regalas. "This man is Regalas Veradal, from the clan of Latyra. I'm afraid that he must bring you the news that I have only now been given."
Darunia tilted his head to the man and nodded for him to speak. Regalas took a breath before relaying the news of Harkanian and Latyra's deaths at the hands of Ganondorf. The Goron Sage indeed was disturbed by such tidings, but it seemed he had already felt that something had happened, and the news only confirmed what he had feared. It was then that he also learned of the defeat of the Sword Magnus as well, leading him to truly despair.
"Then we have no hope," he mused, resuming his position of sitting on the floor. "Without the Sword Magnus, no power can fight the might of the TryForce and the one who holds it."
"That's why we've come to you," Regalas continued. "It's very possible that with all seven Sages, we can open a gate into the Sacred Realm and seal Ganondorf. I know it cannot hold him forever, but it will buy us the time we need for another Sword Magnus to be chosen."
Darunia glanced to the Hylian man. The plan was indeed a solid one, but there was one major flaw to it all, one that he was sure Regalas was aware of. "Only four Sages are awakened and known," he stated. "Without the other three, we cannot seal this monster away."
Regalas nodded. Indeed, he was aware of that fact, but he was also not about to lose all hope. "That's why Raura is searching as well. We parted ways a year and a half ago, going separate ways in our search. He went to find the Sage of Water when I last spoke to him, but I've not heard from him since."
Darunia could see the worry in Regalas' eyes and smiled. "You need not worry for Raura," he stated kindly. "He lives still, and I feel that he has joined the Sage of Water."
"And what of the remaining Sages?"
Darunia again went into his meditative state. Images flashed in his mind as he sought to find the last three Sages they needed. What he found was that two had indeed Awakened, but the third was near their time. His eyes suddenly snapped open, and he turned to Regalas. "The Shadow has awakened in Tylon," he reported. "The Spirit in the deserts near there."
"That means once we get back to Tylon," Regalas replied in joy, "we can start looking for the other Sages! What of the Sage of Light?"
It was then that the knowing gaze of Darunia seemed to pierce the man's soul. "You yourself will find the Sage of Light," was the response. "Or the Sage of Light will find you. Either way, your fate is bound to the Light." He narrowed his eyes, knowing that he could not tell everything, but what he said was enough. "We must go, the journey to the Trindon continent is long, and that into Tylon longer."

As Darunia had said, the voyage was long. The unfortunate problem of travel ever since Ganondorf had conquered was that the ability to translocate was very unstable now, meaning that unless one wished to risk ending up in the wrong place, or trapped in limbo, they had to take the long route. That included travel by sea.
Regalas was relieved that they encountered no more wraiths as they had in the port village days after on their arrival into the Teramin continent, but the journey back to Trindon was not as speedy as the one from. The currents seemed against them the whole way, and only the constant winds kept them on course. The crew of the ship knew that Alahyde himself was guiding them to the central continent of Hyrule, but the purpose was unclear save to those three who had a mission there.
It was an entire year more before they finally reached Lybranna. Nell stopped at her Temple to make sure that things were alright, but found that the Forest Temple had become infested with wild creatures. She had almost broken down in tears, but fought past that pain, knowing that even if her home was overrun, she still was empowered and had her duty.
It was the journey back into Tylon that was the most time consuming. Because Regalas was hunted by Ganondorf's armies, they could not just simply walk into the country, they had to delve their way in through stealth. By the time Tylon had been entered and the Gorons of the Carath Mountains met, it had been eight more months. Regalas was always wary that only one year were now left before Raura's vision came true, and before they would either defeat Ganondorf, or fail and witness his reign of all Creation.

Far off in Holodrum, Raura had spent the last few years with Froru the Sage of Water, planning how they would create the seal once all seven Sages were gathered. Both had felt the awakening of the three missing Sages would soon happen, and like Darunia, Raura had seen where the Sages of Shadow and Spirit would awaken. The Sage of Light, however, he could not find, as if Alahyde wished for it to be revealed only when the time came.
It was late into the night as he and Froru traveled back into Tylon. One of Raura's worst fears had come to pass in those four years; Galia, the nation that would not aid in the war against Ganondorf, had pledged loyalty to the Dark King of Evil. Berath had indeed, as feared, taken the side of the TryForce holder and sworn allegiance to the Dark God Dragmire. The Harkanians in Catalia still had not moved in offensive against Ganondorf, but they did still fight against his power as best they could, but their nation still was under his hand.
"I'm afraid," the old Sage said as they passed through the woods leading to Mido Village. "Unless we find where the last Sage will awaken, we will stand no chance. I'm beginning to wonder if these old bones will make it to the end."
Froru smiled kindly to Raura. "We'll find the Sage of Light, I have no doubts on that. We just need get to the Temple of Light, it's the best place to look."
He nodded, then stopped when a rustling of leaves was heard. He tilted his head, ears tuned to the faintest breath. "We're being hunted," he whispered, Froru readying a spell for battle. Raura, conversely, held his staff like a weapon. It was then that he knew what stalked them.
The squat-faced creatures burst out of the trees, all armed with spears and surrounding the two Sages. One of them, his left ear notched, gave a grin and stepped closer. "Our lord, the Emperor Ganondorf, requests your presence," he stated. The tone in his voice indicated that the "request" was indeed a demand. "You will come with us."
"We will do no such thing," Raura spat, poking the moblin in the chest with his staff. "You go back to ul Dragmire and tell him that we Sages do not recognize any such authority from a thief."
The moblin narrowed his eyes and swat the Sage to the ground. Just as Froru moved to unleash her spell, another moblin grabbed her, the magic diffusing back into primal essence. The leader grinned while Raura climbed back to his feet and held his spear at the Sage. "You will obey his command."
A flash and he screamed, backing away. The moblin grabbed his arm and pulled out a thin blade that had been lodged directly in his shoulder joint. Pain shot through the left shoulder when he tried to lift his spear, causing him to release it. "Who would dare?!" the moblin bellowed in rage, looking around as he heard movement in the trees, but he couldn't get a bearing on the source; the sound was coming from all over.
"The Sages will not be harmed by your hands," stated a sharp and young female voice. The moblins all began looking around, but there was no sign of the voice's owner. That's when it spoke again.
"Leave them, or the Shadow will befall you!"
The lead moblin snarled in disgust. How dare someone make threats to them, they were the hand of the Emperor Ganondorf ul Dragmire, lord of all Hyrule, and master of Creation! "Face us, coward!" he bellowed, only for yet another blade to flash down and strike him, then time dead center between his eyes and straight into his brain. The moblin didn't even have time to blink before he fell dead.
"I give you your final warnings!" the voice rang out. "Leave them be, or the vengeance of the Shadow will be upon you all!"
The moblins stood their ground, ignoring the demands of the voice. It was only to be expected.
"Very well. Face the hand of the Shadows."
A blinding light flared but a moment, yet that was all which was need. Something, Hylian, or other, Raura and Froru could not tell, slammed into the nearest Moblin, then in a blur cut another down across the throat. In mere seconds, three moblins out of the six there had been were on the ground, dead as stone. The most amazing thing though, was that the force which had done this was a single person.
She stood and turned to face the remaining three moblins. Brown hair came out from under the grey wrapping cap on her head while blazing red eyes glared in anger. In her hands was a short single sided blade, now stained with the brown blood of moblins. Her lower face was hidden by a mask, but her body suit made it clear what she was.
Blue running from her shoulders to her leg joints and down the sides of her legs while light grey made up the rest, blue sections covered her arms from the elbows to her hands. Red boots were on her feet, and the red eye of the Sheikah was on her chest. She took a combative stance while waiting. It was her way of giving the moblins a last chance to flee. They chose to reject it and met their deaths all to quickly.
Raura was left speechless by the scene he had witnessed. This girl was obviously a Sheikah warrior, from her movements if not her attire. It was Froru who save him the trouble of thanking her.
"We are in your debt, miss."
The Sheikah turned to them, then sheathed her weapon in a back mounted holder. "It's not wise to travel these woods at night," she stated with a cold tone. "I'll lead you out."
Froru nodded as she and Raura followed the young Sheikah warrior through the forest. No other creatures dared attack, and it was not long before they exited the forest near what was obviously a Sheikah village. The girl turned and bowed to them, then pulled out a small orb. "I leave you here."
"Wait!" Raura called. The girl paused just as she was about to throw down the ball. "What is your name?" the Sage asked. "So that if we meet again, we'll know what to address you by."
A flash in her eyes. "I am Sheik," she stated, then threw down the ball and vanished in a flash of light. No trace of her save footprints where she had stood remained. Raura narrowed his eyes, sensing there was something familiar about the girl Sheik, but he could not place it.
He nodded to Froru and walked with her into the village. No one kept them from meeting with the village leaders, who recognized Raura and afforded him their respect.
"We know why you have come," the village leader, a Sheikah by the name of Narikah, said before sipping from a cup. Raura knew that the contents were a very strong drink that only the Sheikah made, but accepted it when offered as not to offend the leaders.
"Visions told me that the Sage of Shadow would awaken in Tylon," he stated after sipping down his drink. "Since the Sheikah are those born of the Light and Shadow, I thought that the Sage would be a Sheikah."
Narikah nodded and set his cup down. He glanced to Froru, noting that she was quite young for a Sage. Then again, age meant nothing in the fate of one to be a Sage. The past had well shown that. "None here bear the signs," he finally said, regret in his voice. "However, there are some Sheikah living in the Drow village of Durin not far from here. Durin is only a mile from the Temple of Shadow, it's most likely that it is there the Sage you seek will awaken."
Raura nodded and slowly stood, expressing his thanks to the Sheikah. As he and Froru were departing, the old Sage paused and turned back to the village leader. "A question," he remarked. "We were save from a group of moblins by a young Sheikah woman, she claimed her name was Sheik. Do you know her?"
Narikah seemed to hesitate, then slowly nodded. "We know her," he replied, but then shook his head. "However, we have never seen her face in full, only her eyes and hair."
"She doesn't live in this village?"
Again, Narikah shook his head. "We know not where she is from, only that she appears when she is needed or desires."
Raura again bowed, then led Froru out of the village. It was when they had reached a good distance that she finally spoke. "We're going to the Drow then?" she asked. Raura could sense the doubt in her voice, but still nodded.
"The Drow of Durin are our allies, my young Sage. That village is near them because Durin is where some of the first Sheikah were born as a half-blood race." He smiled faintly as he waved his hands and opened a temporal vortex. "I think we can risk such travel here, it is not far."
Still hesitant, Froru walked into the rift with the Sage vanished just as he when it shut. She could only hope that they indeed came out in the area of Durin. Even with Raura's control of Time, nothing was for certain anymore.

To Be Continued...

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