-Scotland, 1376 A.D.
In a small fishing village on the shore Loch Etive in the shadow of Cruachan in the western highlands of Scotland, a man is coming ashore from his raft with the days paltry haul, his bare feet sinking slightly into the soft sand. "Ach, tis getten worse everyday" he said as he looked dejectedly at his nets.
As a horse rides up he looks up from the ground. "Sage, the MacInnes are comin'!!"
As Sage arrived at the battlefield, he saw the rest of his clan and the MacInnes on the hill across the field.
"This donna look good, Sage..." stammered Sage's brother Angus.
"Heh heh, what's the matter little brother, startin' tae get abit scared?" Taunted Sage as he looked at his brother, the dirt and tangled hair gave Sage a haggard look.
"Hm!, If I was sae scared, then why would I be doin' this?" Angus said as a ran down the hill shouting "McIntire!!!!"
As Angus charged down the hill the rest of the clan followed. The next thing he knew, Sage was surrounded on all sides by clan and foe, fighting for their dear lives. As Sage blocked and returned a blow from a bearded MacInnes, he noticed something twisting over his shoulder.
As he continued to watch it, the object started to come closer and closer and before Sage could move, everything went black.
"Nice shot, Perrin" Link said to his shoulder lengthed hair student, holding his longbow. Even though the boy had yet to shave, Perrin's skills were nearly that of Link's himself.
"Anymore practice Perrin, and you'll be even better than Link." Both Link and Perrin turned around to see Zelda smiling as she walked toward the two of them.
With a smirk on his face and a grunt of humor Link answered "Of course," He put his hand on the young Perrin's shoulder "He has the best teacher in Hyrule."
"Ha, ha funny man, laugh it up." Zelda said as she wrapped her arms around Link's waist and smiled mishteviously. Just as Zelda was about to plant a kiss on her husband Link's lips, a soldier came running into the courtyard.
"Excuse me your Highness," his face blushing upon seeing the couple in their embrace, he continued. "Um, yes well a man was just brought into the castle. He's beat up pretty bad. And he has rounded ears. But he is not Gerudo!"
"Not a Gerudo?" Zelda wondered aloud.
"Well, just don't stand there, take us to him!" Perrin shouted.
"Perrin," Link began, "Patients is a virtue of heroes as well, you know. Matrim, take him to us, please"
"Yes, Sire right away."
As the four walked down the castle corridors to where the injured man was, a graying man with close cropped hair and a silver beard stopped them.
"Your Majesty, I must speak to you about Ganon now, the movements of his forces shows that they have gathered in masse and-"
"Gaul'ramm, even though your are the general of Hyrule's army, you can't just demand that Zelda listen to your insane babbling!" Link said as he sneered at the knight.
"Link, please let me handle this." Zelda reassured Link by placing her hand on his arm. "Gaul'ramm. I am busy right now, I'll speak with you later," then adding with a hint of ice in her voice, "When I see fit."
As Gaul'ramm was receiving the brow beating from Zelda, a flash of anger showed in his eyes, but he quickly regained his composure. "As my majesty wishes." Gaul'ramm said making an over done bow and making a wave with his cape as he skulked down the hall.
Watching the general storm off silently, Link caught "....like a bagged cat in a river." Shaking his head, Link commented to Zelda.
"Zel, what is his problem, anyway?"
With a sigh Zelda answered. "He's so full of himself and the position my father gave him before the Imprisoning War, I don't even know why I keep him on in my council. Its gone to his head."
Giving Zelda a toothy grin, Link added. " It wouldn't be because you shot down his advances either, would it?"
Giving Link a jab in his side with her elbow she said. "That's not even funny, you know. Its like he only has two things on his mind; me, and Gannon."
"Zel, he's coming to!"
As Sage opened his eyes he did not see what he expected. Instead of being on the field of battle with his clan, he found himself on a bed in a small, stone room. Sitting up startled and confused he sputtered out something that the three couldn't understand until Zelda cast a spell to make his speach the same as Hylian.
"Wh-where am I, why am I nae on the field? Where is me clan, me brother?"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, slow down there man, what are you talking about?" The man who filled Sage's eyes was about twenty five, his age. He had on a green hat that matched his tunic, light blue eyes, blonde hair that fell around his forehead and pointy ears. Turning his head to the left, Sage noticed another person. She had the same pointy ears as the man did, her long beautiful blonde hair reaching down to the middle of her back, with a jeweled tiara on her forehead. She had on a very fitting powder pink dress on that made her baby blues eyes even more hypnotizing. On her dress was a very strange symbol of three triangles. the same symbol that appeared in her tiara and her ear rings. Turning back to the man he answered.
"I-I was fightin'-th-there was a bright, swirling purple light, it just kept gettin' closer and closer. I blacked out and," he took another look around the room he finished "noo I'm here, but I don' have a clue where 'here' is."
Just as the man in the hat was about to answer the Scotsman's question, Matrim rushed through the door. "Queen Zelda, King Link" He took a few gasps of air. "Ganon's forces are about to attack!"
The couple looked at each other, turning his head to where Sage lied he asked. "Can you handle that thing,? he asked pointing to Sage's claymore that was laying on the floor beside him. "Um, just what is your name anyway?"
"Sage McIntire, and yeah, I'm pretty handy with me blade" Sage said cockily picking up his claymore.
"Okay then, Sage, I am Queen Zelda and my husmband, Link" Zelda said with a nervous smile "Consider yourself the newest soldier in Hyrule's army.
As Link, Zelda, and Perrin left the room hurriedly Sage thought to himself <Hyrule?, Gannon,? ach wha' hae I gotten meself intae?>
"Come on, Sage let's go!" Link said as he popped his head back through the door way.
"Huh, oh yeah, comin'" <Wha' hae I gotten meself intae?> He asked himself once again as he left the room for the oncoming conflict.
As Sage was heading down the castle halls with Zelda and Link, is was in a state of upheaval. The smell of fear and hate tainted the air as servants, nobles, soldiers, and knights rushed around in preparation for the oncoming melee. The sound of metal armor clanking on the cobble stone floor made the corridors sound like a thunderstorm. The tapestries hanging on the walls of past battles didn't seem to be helping anyone's mood either he thought as he rushed toward the front gate.
Link cocked his eyebrow at Sage asking, "Are you sure you can handle this Sage, I mean you've never faced these for lack of a better word, things before."
Starring strait foreword, it seemed to Link that Sage was off in another world, then as he was about to ask again, Sage's lips curled into a rather disturbing smile. "Open this thing and ye'll find out" Sage said pointing to the drawbridge. His answer was a little too calm for Link's taste, however.
"Ha!, just don't let that confidence be the death of you, you will see that Gannon is not to be dealt with lightly, boy."
The two of them turned around to see Gaul'ramm on his dun mare smiling at them down his crooked nose that reminded Sage of an eagle's beak. "Gaul'ramm," Link said with an exasperated sigh, "just give the order to open the gates!"
"As you command, Link" Gaul'ramm smiled oily as he turned his mare around and rode of with a small contingent of soldiers.
"And just who was that?" Sage asked nodding his head at the departing general.
"No one important." Link said with a sneer. <At least, not to me.>
The two fell silent as the caged gates came up and the drawbridge hit the ground with a thunderous thud that flew up dirt as it hit the ground.
As soon as the soldiers of Hyrule castle's city gates, a horrible sound like nails against a chalkboard came from the south. As Sage turned to the sound, he had never seen such a terrifying sight in all his life. The shaggy Wolfos with their gray fur coats, razor sharp teeth and claws, and golden hollow eyes were the first wave to come into Sage's vision. Following them, the stinking, rotting stench from the long dead skeleton soldiers of Gannon's forces: the Stalfos. Their voices sounded live hissing vipers. The swords they held were waved like a snake's body, their armor dull and rusted. Then the dog-like Moblins came into his view. Their mouths foaming for the chance to feast upon the flesh of their enemies once again. The smell from their fat and slovenly bodies reminded Sage of the hogs he had found on the farm that was in his village, five full days after they were butchered. Then, as Sage continued looking, he found the heavily armored Ironknuckles. Their armor gleamed almost to the point of blinding, decorated finely with curves, lines and swirls. In their hands the held huge double sided battle axes, polished as brightly as their armor with jewels on the hilts and caps of the axes.
"By God!" Sage said as he signed the cross on his chest. " I've ne'er seen anythin' sae-"
"Horrible?" Gaul'ramm interrupted with his oily smile on his face again. "Heh, not so confidant anymore, eh boy?"
A grunt was Sage's reply as he stared at the oncoming horde of beasts drawing nearer.
"Very well," Gaul'ramm said snidely. Then turning he yelled "Pikemen, UP!!"
The pikemen barely got to their positions before the bodies of wolfos began to slam into the long, sharpened wooden poles. Any wolfos that was smart enough to jump over the pikers, which were not all that many, were met with swords slashing away at their flesh, splattering the ground with their blood. A gurgled cry came form beside Sage. He turned around to see a soldier getting his throat torn from his body, the wolfos' teeth were stained and drippping with his blood. Seeing Sage, the wolfos started for him. It would have gotten him too, if not for a sword striking through its hide.
"Just don't stand there boy, fight!!" Gaul'ramm said from his steed, his sword red from the blood of the wolfos. Sage was really starting to hate him as he watched Gaul'ramm riding into the frey.
"Hey man, don't let him get to ya," Perrin said. "He's like that to everyone, now come on we got work to do!"
The battle raged on and, at the begging, it seemed as though the soldiers of Hyrule were winning, however the constant barrage of wolfos kept the pikers occupied and already half of them had fallen from the stampede of wolfos. Sage, nearly ready to fall to his knees from exhaustion, fought on. Soon he was surrounded on all sides by a pack of moblins.
"Hahahahaha!, look at the man with the dress on!" One said gutturally.
"Ha ha! Did your mommy make that for you hun?" another joked.
Sage held his ground, his eyes taking in the sight of the pug nosed warriors, his nose was filled with the stench coming form their slovenly bodies. Barely able to hold his blood soaked claymore any longer. "Ye know," he began, "I'd appreciate it if ye widnae talk about me mither, or me kilt like that, ye might na like what happens."
"Oohh, no!" The first moblin said in a false terror, "I'm soooo scarred I think tha-"
The moblin never got to finish his sentence. With Sage's sword through his chest, he fell to the ground. With a scream, two other moblins one from his right another from his left, came rushing at him with spears pointed strait at Sage's heart. "Now you die, Dress-man!!" The one on the left yelled.
"Dress-man?" Sage said insutled. Then as the moblins were about to run him through, Sage leaped into the air, letting the moblins kill each other, then landing on the spears, still in the molbins hands, he jumped again and ran his claymore down into the top of another moblin in front of him. Then Sage started to spin, the moblin's limp body flew off and hit three other moblins, knocking them out cold. Then, he ran as fast as he could toward another moblin. The moblin didn't expect the attack and hastily brought up his spear. Then, as Sage was about to run into him, he slid in between the moblin's legs and before the dog warrior could even start to turn around, Sage sliced him in two from the crotch up.
Looking up from the stalfos he had just killed, Link saw what Sage had done. Seeing Sage's face, he called to Perrin over his shoulder.
"Hey Perrin, come here!"
"Yeah Link?" The tired boy said rushing over to his mentor. "What's wrong?"
"Take a look at our new friend, he's smiling!" Link said amazed. "It looks like he's actually enjoying this!"
"Everyone enjoys slaying the minions of Ganon, Link," Perrin said thoughtfully. "But it seems to me like he's having fun doing it! Like its just a game that he knows that he's going to win."
Link's stomach sank at the thought that had just crossed his mind. <Why hadn't the ironknuckels attacked? Surely they would wipe us out, even though there are only about thirty of them, it doesn't make any sense!>
Then, strangely the brutish armored beings turned around and slowly disappeared behind the hill from which they came. Link was amazed at this as he saw the remaining creatures of Ganon start to turn and run. From her horse Zelda signaled the royal archers to fire. A rain of arrows flew through the skies striking the backs of more of the fleeing monsters. If they were going to run they'd have to pay a price.
Sage staggered over to where Link was, bent down and wiped the blood off his claymore from a fallen moblin's shirt. "I think we won." He said tiredly, pointing with his blade to the fleeing hoards in the distance.
Watching the sight of the monsters fleeing as well, Link's eyebrows furrowed, <But for how long?> He thought. Then, he heard a thump, turning back to his Scottish friend he saw that Sage had fallen to the ground unconscious.
"How is he Deeana?" Zelda asked the old nursemaid worriedly, with Link and Zelda at her side. "Is he going to recover?" It had been two full days since the skirmish that had took place.
"Yes, child, he will," Deeana said with a warm smile. "Whatever it was that sent him here seemed to take more out of him then the battle itself."
"Well," Perrin asked, impatiently. "Can we see him yet?"
"No young one, not yet," The wise woman said. "But he should be all right for the feast tonight."
But he's been in there for two days!" Perrin said, getting hot headed as usual. "What's taking so long!"
Link cleared his throat and shot a glance at Perrin, shutting him up. "Please make sure that he is, we've had to push it back twice already, I don't think that people will want to come if we postpone it again."
"Have I ever been wrong before, Link?" Deeana asked.
"Well, no..." Link stammered.
"All right Deeana," Zelda said, "Make sure that he is cleaned up, he fought very nobly and needs some embellishment for his troubles."
"Yes, Dear" Deeana said walking back into the room where Sage had been recovering.
"Hey!" Link whined, "I fought hard too!" Crossing his arms and pouting at Zelda he asked, "What do I get?"
Rolling her eyes and sighing, Zelda kissed Link. "There, better now?"
"Much," Link smiled as he wrapped his arms around Zelda's waist. "Much better."
"Gag me with a bombchu." Perrin mumbled, loudly than he had intended to.
The couple shot looks at Perrin that could have melted ice. All Perrin could do was laugh nervously and hang his head while his face reddened.
The hall was filled with noise from the massive amount of people present and the playing of the small band in one of the corners. Servants here and there taking away plates of appetizers and putting down others. A huge crystalline chandelier hung above the hall illuminating the whole room. Nobles and knights bragging about the way they had fought in the battle two days ago was the main source of the noise, however.
Of course, that all stopped as soon as Sage walked into the room.
Sage then started toward the chair reserved for him beside Perrin. It was a whole new Sage that the guests and servants saw. His brown hair was tied back almost reaching past his shoulders, instead of the tangled mess that he wore when he first arrived. His face was now clean shaven, save for a goatee. His hazel eyes reflected the shinning of the chandelier hanging above him. He wore a pure white pullover shirt with laces from the middle of his chest to his neck, although the first few holes were not laced up along with the cuffs of his sleeves, revealing the strength that he held in his arms. His kilt, dull from the dirt that had once covered it had been washed and mended by the finest tailors in Hyrule, even the sporran had been cleaned to give the leather pouch a look of newness to it.
All eyes were trained on him, especially the ladies of the room. Even Link had to clear his throat and nudge Zelda to snap out of the trance everyone seemed to be in while gazing at the handsome Scot. When Sage sat down, the murmur of voices started to rise again.
"So, Sage, how are you feeling now?" Zelda asked a little too friendly in Link's opinion.
"Very well, thank ye." Sage said gratefully "I'd like tae thank ye two for all yer hospitality these past couple o' days. I hadnae felt this good in a long time. Deeana certainly knows how to treat wounds."
"You're very welcome, I'll pass on your thanks to Dee-"
"So, Sage," Link cut in. Zelda gave him a look that would have turned Volvagia to ice. "What was it you were trying to say before this little episode took place?" Link seemed to have ignored to look that Zelda had given to him.
"Well," As Sage began the eyes of the guests turned to him again to hear the origins of the strange man. "Ironically," he smiled, "I was fightin' another battle, against me clan's enemies," His smile faded and his voice grew serious. "Then, I got separated from the fighting by chasing after someone. I caught up tae him but before I could do anything a purple swirling light came at me. The coward that I was holding onto escaped me grasp and ran off. The thing hypnotized me, in a way. It kept gettin' closer, then I went blank and woke up here."
"Wow, thats some story!" Perrin remarked, everyone in earshot nodded their heads in agreement. Sage nodded his head as well and began to eat, but more questions came from the nobles. He ignored them however and continued eating until he felt as though his stomach would burst.
As the feast was winding down, the servants started to take away the plates.
"Take your plate, sir?" A feminine voice from behind Sage said.
Sage turned his head and saw the most beautiful woman he had ever laid eyes on. Her long, dark hair was braided and reached down to the small of her back. Her skin was as pure as polished ivory, her green eyes sparkled with a permanent look of suprise in them. Her dress seemed to be painted on her well defined body. It's neckline was nowhere near her neck, revealing some of her well endowed chest. Sage's heart nearly leaped from his chest.
"Ummm, uh..." Sage stammered, trying to find words.
"Yes, please do," Zelda said with a knowing smile looking at Sage's reaction to the woman.
"Yes, your majesty" She said, taking away a very tongue tied Sage's plate. Sage watched her silently, mouth open and eyes wide as she walked away.
Perrin playfully nudged Sage's side and laughed. "I think someone found something they like."
Zelda could barely kept her amusement behind her royal serenity and Link out right snickered as Sage's face turned red as the stripes on his kilt. Sage coughed uncomfortably and fussed with the laces on his sleeves.
"Go on ahead Sage, we'll catch you up later." Link said smiling.
"Yeah Sage, go and work your magic on her, I wanna see if your as good with the ladies as you are on the field of battle." Perrin said, teasing Sage.
"Perrin!" Zelda and Link yelled at the same time. Perrin's smile immediately faded and he looked down at his empty plate.
"Perrin always knows when to stick his foot in his mouth," Zelda said shooting a look at Perrin that was similar to the one she gave Link earlier in the evening. Perrin could not have felt any smaller if he tried. "Please, go ahead."
Rising, Sage thanked Zelda and walked away catching Perrin getting his ears boxed by Zelda, Link and Deeana. Sage couldn't help but letting a smirk cross his lips.
Asking a few of the servant girls where he could find the girl, he was directed to a hallway to the left of where the girls were standing. Thanking the girls, he turned and headed for the hallway, just catching the giggles coming from the servant girls.
As soon as he turned the corner he saw her. His heart did another leap inside his chest again as he walked toward the maiden.
Shyly, Sage introduced himself. "Um, hi..." <What the hell was that?> Sage thought angrily at the pathetic way he was stammering around this woman.
She smiled back politely at him. "Hello my Lord, is there something that I can help you with?"
"I was, um, wondering if we could, that is if ye wanted tae..." <Pull yourself thegither man!> Smoothing his out voice he continued, "Gae somewhere an' talk?"
Her eyes shown even more suprise than before. "I, uh," Glancing down at her feet she continued. "I have many thing to do tonight, I don't think I could."
"Nonsense! You go have a good time." An old woman's voice came from behind them. The old woman was short and her silver hair was tied into a bun on the top of her head. Her brown eyes showed the loving touch of a grandmother. She was a somewhat plump old gal, but it didn't seem to slow down one bit. She came gliding up to the two with the grace of a swan. "You have my permission. I'll have those giggling little gossipers do your chores. Babbling on about this fine young man here, how unlady-like!" The old woman, who appeared to be the head of the servants walked off, shouting orders at the ladies peering around the corner.
"Thank you, Neeti!" She called after the head maid.
Think nothing of it, dear!" Neeti called back. She then started shouting at the girls again to get back to work, startling Sage. <Wow, I'm glad that I'm nae one o' them at this particular moment.> He thought.
"So, shall we?" Sage said a little more confidently, holding out his hand.
Taking Sage's hand, both of them strolled out into the courtyard.
The sky was clear and the moon shone brightly in the sky, accompanied brightly with thousands of stars. The fountain, shooting up water, reflected the moon's rays. The couple, holding each other's hands were the only ones present in the courtyard.
"So," Sage asked, looking down at her. He was taller than her by a head. "What's your name?"
"Emily, Emily al'Miere, but most everyone calls me Em."
Sage thought her voice matched her face with it's beauty. "Mine is Sage, Sage McIntire, and I am most honored to meet you." Sage said, stopping and kissing her hand.
It was then that Sage heard evil laughter behind him. "Mwahahaha, has our dress-man found a pretty?"
Turning, Sage saw ten moblins and a huge example of a man. He stood at least seven feet tall, by Sage's guess. With tan, nearly copper skin and blood red hair that matched his cape hanging from his shoulders. His yellow, evil eyes matched his evil laugh and his shoulders were as wide as an ax's handle. His legs were that of treetrunks and his arms seemed hard as stone.
As Sage shielded Emily behind his right arm, he scowled at the man. "And just wha the hell are ye?"
With a smile that could be only described as pure evil, the man answered. "My name is Ganon, and soon I will be ruling over you."
"Fat chance!" Sage shot back.
With molbins drooling for the possibility of violence, Ganon continued, ignoring Sage's remark. "I have seen your...prowress on the battlefield, and I think you would make an excellent addition to my army. What do you say?" Sage's sneer answered Ganon's question. "Hmmm, very well, if you are not with me, then I'm afraid that I cannot have you gallivanting around." The moblins started getting even more excited, they knew what was coming next.
Sage darted his eyes at each of the moblin's waiting. He then flung his boot knife and struck an ugly moblin right in-between the eyes with it. Before the molbin hit the ground Sage had kicked the teeth in of another one, spattering it's blood on his boot.
Then, as a molbin was about to strike Sage with his club, he heard a feminine voice call out "Balefire!" and the charred corpse of the moblin fell to the ground beside Sage. Sage turned his head, and saw Emily looking at her hands, steam rising from them, with a look of disbelief.
"E-Emily?" Sage asked amazed. "How?"
She started to answer, but never got the chance. Her eyes slammed shut and her body fell in a heap to the gound. A moblin smiling and looking down with a club in his hand, stood behind her unconscious body.
Before he could get to his new found love, Sage felt a pressure to the back of his head and blackness fell upon him. The last thing he heard was a hideous laughing.
"Sage!" Emily screamed as she shot up in the bed, her eyes wide as saucers. Breathing heavily, she glanced out the window, sunlight illuminating her sweat matted hair.
Rushing over to Emily's side, Zelda said with a sigh of relief, "Oh Emily, thank Nayru you're awake!" Then, brushing a bit of hair that had fallen infront of Emily's eye, she asked, "What happened to you two out there last night, one of the guards found you unconscious on the ground near the remains of two moblins."
"W-we were walking, in the courtyard, then Ganon appeared, and, oh Sage!" Emily said burying her face in her hands weeping.
Walking over to Emily and taking her hand, Link said. "Em, I know that you went through a lot last night, but please, you have to tell us."
Choking back a sob, she nodded. Wiping a tear from her left eye, she told them of the incident that occurred and the discovery of her powers. The room was silent while Link and Zelda listened to Emily's story.
The pungent smell of mold brought Sage to his senses. Looking up, pain shot through his body making him involuntarily yelp out in pain.
"Ah, I see you are awake, dress-man," Ganon snickered, "I was begging to think that you wouldn't be waking."
Shaking the cobwebs from his head, Sage became more aware of his surroundings. What he saw, he did not like. His arms were chained to the mold encrusted wall. The faint smell of rotting flesh and dry blood made him want to empty his stomach. The dank, moist interior of the dungeon absorbed the light, what little there was.
Sauntering over to Sage, Ganon got right up to his face. His hot breath flowing over Sage's tired face. "So, are you ready to join me yet, dress-man?"
Looking right into Ganon's evil yellow eyes, Sage rasped. "Me name is Sage, git!"
Then, gathering what little saliva he had left in his mouth, he spat at Ganon. With spit running down his face, Ganon smiled, his teeth glowed eerily in the dim light. He then reared back and hit Sage, over and over again until he coughed up blood.
"I thought that you would come around to help me in my cause," Ganon said. "But," Turning around so that his back was facing Sage, he continued. "I guess I'll just have to use another way."
Snapping his fingers, a figure of a man formed from a black flame. "Take him away."
Putting a closed fist to his heart, the figure said. "Yes, Lord Gannon."
<Why does that voice sound sae familiar?> Sage thought.
The figure stepped closer to Sage. The chained man finally recognized that short cropped hair and silver beard. "Ye! Gaul'ramm, ye, ye traitorous bastard!" Sage said in a rage, trying to pull his hand free if the wall so he could strangle Gaul'ramm. "How could ye dae this tae Zelda and Link?!"
Eyes glowing red, Gaul'ramm cackled. "I came to the realization that Gannon is the true and rightful leader of Hyrule, and soon, you will see that fact as well."
Spitting out blood from his swollen mouth, Sage asked, "But, if ye're helping Ganon, then why help me in the battle, why didnae ye just let me get mauled tae death by that wolfos?"
"Isn't it obvious boy?" Gaul'ramm said laughing, "Its all part of the game, when I told Ganon that you had arrived at the castle, he wanted to see how well you would do." That oily smile appeared on the knight's lips again. "And I must say that I was mildly impressed."
"Well, just don't stand there!" Ganon bellowed, "Take him away!" He gave Sage one last shot to the stomach.
Sage grimaced in pure rage as stalfos surrounded him and took him away, Ganon's insane laughter filling the dungeon.
All that Sage could feel was pain. The place where he had been taken to was nothing more than a living hell. The yellow liquid that came to his waist clung and dripped from him like syrup, and seared his skin. His ears were ringing from the evil spirits screaming at him, drilling their words into his mind for him to submit to the wills of Ganon. Floating above Sage, Gaul'ramm had a long leather whip, at the end it split into three metal points at the ends.
Hanging the points in front of Sage's eyes, Gaul'ramm said. "You know Sage, if you just give into Lord Ganon's wishes your suffering will end."
The spirits, which Sage had never seen anything like, screamed even louder, nearly causing his eardrums to rupture. There faces looked like death, they had eyes that glowed light green. If they even had bodies they were covered by dingy yellow and tattered robes.
"Although I'm almost impressed that you've lasted the last five days down here," Gaul'ramm said holding his arm out to the side. "Ganon is growing impatient, so he sent me to, how should I say it? Speed up the process."
Then Gaul'ramm swung the three pronged whip hard across Sage's chest, cutting away his flesh in three strait lines. Sage, grunting in pain, fell to his knees and landed on his outstretched hand. Gaul'ramm continued to whip him on his back, tearing away more and more of his skin with each of his blows. His body writhing from each of the blows from Gaul'ramm's whip, Sage's body couldn't take it any longer. He fell into the liquid face first.
"Master, it is done." Gaul'ramm said looking down at Sage's body, his eyes glowing red as he communicated to Ganon telepathically.
"Good," Ganon voice rang through his ears, "Proceed with your orders."
"Yes Master, as you command." Gaul'ramm said as he put his fist to his heart.
Buckling and straitening his belt, Link looked into the mirror. His face set in grim determination.
"So your just going to barge right into Ganon's lair and take Sage back, is that it?!" Zelda said crossing her arms beneath her breasts. "Besides, you don't even know if Ganon still has him!" Link straitened out his cap as Zelda continued. "Link, are you even listening to me?" She furrowed her face with impatience. "Well?!"
Link turned around and ran his hand through Zelda's golden hair and kissed her reassuringly. "Zel, I have to." Walking over to his shield Link continued, "Besides, Gaul'ramm's searches have turned up nothing, and its been five days, I doubt that he can survive much longer should Ganon really have him!"
A gentile knocking came from the door and Emily sheepishly came in after Link told her to enter. "Um, Zelda, I'd like to help Link look for Sage," Emily said softly. Her eyes had not seen much sleep these past few days, neither had anyone else's for that matter.
"Emily, I know that you care deeply for Sage, but its too dangerous, especially since you still don't have full control of your powers yet." Zelda said matter-of-factly, remembering the accidents coming from Emily's training to control her channeling abilities. One of the towers still had smoke damage to it.
"Zel's right Em, until you have more control of your powers, you will be more of a danger than a help." Putting his hand on her shoulder he added. "I'm sorry, but you are staying here."
"No Em," Zelda interrupted, "Now, please go and practice, it will help you get your mind off things."
Emily's mouth opened as if to continue the argument but, closed it and turned to leave. Just as Emily got to the door, it flung open nearly hitting her as she jumped back out of the way.
"Your majesty!" Gaul'ramm said hurriedly. "We have found Sage!"
The trio's eyes could not have been any wider in supprise. Emily's eyes brimmed with tears as Link said. "Were was he found?"
"Well Link," Link never did like the way Gaul'ramm said his name, it sounded like a curse from the knight everytime he spoke it. He even mentioned it to Zelda once, but she dismissed it as him being too suspicious. "my men were riding along the edge of the Lost Woods when they saw him leaned up against a tree, he was in pretty bad shape."
Emily was nearly about to jump on Gaul'ramm yelling "Well, just don't stand there, I need to see him, now!" She stamped her foot on the ground for extra emphasis.
"Em, please." Zelda said calmly looking at Emily, she then focused her attention to the bearded general. "Lead the way Gaul'ramm."
Bowing deeply he lead the three to the room where the battered and beaten Sage McIntire was resting.
When the foursome arrived at the room, Emily burst in, Sage laying in the bed and looking out the window. He calmly turned his head, saw her, then looked back to the window.
"Sage-?" Emily stated saying as she started toward him. Sage shrunk away when Emily touched his arm.
Still looking out the window Sage said. "Why didnae ye come for me? At least Gaul'ramm had enough decency tae send out a search party for me." His voice sounded cold as stone to Emily, not the warm, gentle breeze she was used to.
"Um, excuse me Sage," Link lengthed the 'excuse' "But it was Zelda who sent the order to Gaul'ramm, he didn't decide to do it himself."
Sage gave an uncaring "Whatever."
Clearing his throat, Gaul'ramm said "I see that my job here is done. Your majesty, I have many things to attend to.."
"Go ahead, Gaul'ramm." Zelda said halfheartedly, still looking at Sage. <What's wrong with Sage?> She wondered, looking at Sage's blackened eyes and bandaged head. <Well I guess I would be feeling the same way if I had to go through as he apparently did.>
"Very well, your majesty." Gaul'ramm said as he turned on his heels and swaggered out of the room.
After closing the doors, Gaul'ramm's eyes glowed red again. "Master, the plan proceeds perfectly."
Ganon's evil laughter filled his ears. "Well done, my servant, come to me and you will receive your reward."
"Yes, master." Gaul'ramm said as he disappeared in black flames that sprung up from the ground
A few moments later Gaul'ramm was kneeling before Ganon. "You have done well, Gaul'ramm."
"Thank you Lord Ganon, I live to serve you." Gaul'ramm said. "But about the reward that I was promised..."
"Ah, yes, your reward, having Queen Zelda for your own." Ganon snapped his fingers and a moblin came in with a pitcher of wine and two silver goblets. "Care for a drink?" As Gaul'ramm accepted the wine Ganon continued, "It may take some time but she shall be yours."
"Thank you Lord Gannon."
"Oh, and by the way Gaul'ramm your services are no longer needed." Lifting his hand and pointing his finger, Gaul'ramm's body started to stretch and bend.
"Master!" Gaul'ramm strained. "Why?" Ganon's laughter was his response.
"Nayru, please save-" He never got to finish his plea to the Goddess of Wisdom, of course it is rather difficult to do when your body is strewn around a room in a hundred pieces.
Picking up what was left of Gaul'ramm's head by the hair, Ganon said. "Fool, I am the only one who will have Zelda, and Hyrule!" Having said that he flung the commander's head against the wall, leaving a splatter mark of blood and gray matter. "And no one will stop me now." He said in a low, cold voice.
"Sage, what's wrong?" Emily pressed the young Scot. "Please tell me!"
Turning to Emily, Sage said. "Naethin'," he put on a fake smile. "I'm just tired, that's all." Trying to get out of the bed he grimaced in pain and laid back down.
"Good," Link said happily, nodding his head. "Then you will be attending the celebration of your return tonight?" It was more of a statement then a request.
Looking off into space, Sage said. "If I feel the need."
"Sage, what's wrong, really?" Emily said worriedly as she sat down next to Sage on the bed.
"Naethin'," Taking Emily in his arms, he continued. "I just need some time to think, that's all." His body seemed so cold to Emily. "I'll see yeat dinner tonight." He brushed a lock of black hair from Emily's face. "Okay?"
Nodding her head and giving Sage a half smile she, Link, and Zelda left Sage alone with his thoughts.
After a few moments of silence, a deep evil voice came to Sage's ears. "You are doing quite well, keep up the good work."
Looking around the room and under the bed, Sage couldn't find were the voice had come from. Giving up he lied down again and went to sleep.
Waking up with a start, Sage found himself not in his bed, but back in the place were he had been tortured for those five terrible days.
"What, how did I get back here?" Sage heard evil laughter and felt the three pronged whip strike his back over and over again.
"Serve Ganon loyally." A voice said just before Sage sat up in his bed, sweat dripping from his head.
Breathing heavily Sage asked himself out loud. "God, what's happening tae me, am I gaun insane?"
"No, young one, you are quite sane, anytime spent in the presence of Ganon can have anyone question their sanity." Deeana said sitting in the corner. "Come, its time you get ready for the celebration tonight."
Nodding in relief he wiped the sweat from his brow, the voice still ringing in his ears.
Music had filled the hall as Sage arrived. As he sat down beside Emily, there were many glances at his bandaged head and wrapped leg.
"Sage!" Perrin said happily, "Welcome back!"
"Thanks, good tae be back." Sage stated absently.
"You feelin' any better, man?" Link asked, leaning back his chair.
"What's the sudden interest in me all o' a sudden?" Sage said impatiently. "I'm fine, noo, what's tae eat?
Sage crooked his eyebrow. <Great, I'm hearing voices again.>
"Are you sure?" Zelda asked.
Sage ran his hand through his hair, his heart started to beat wildly and sweat started to appear on his brow.
His vision was starting to tunnel and he was getting dizzy.
"Um, Sage?" Perrin asked.
With that, Sage shot up from his chair, turned over the table and leaped toward Zelda. His eyes turned red. "Ye must die!" He screamed in a voice that was not his.
Before Sage could get to Zelda, Link shouldered him out of the way. Looking down at Sage, Link commanded.
"What in Ferore's name has gotten into you Sage?" Guests started fleeing the hall, leaving only Link, Zelda, Perrin, Emily, and Sage. "What was that all about?" Leaping up, Sage knocked him to the ground.
Emily ran up to Sage and started shaking him. "Sage! Sage, why are you going this!?"
Sage slapped her in the face . Emily's eyes started to tear up, but not from the pain from the blow. "Sage, what is wrong?!!" she asked.
Slapping her again Sage answered. "By the will o' Ganon, I must kill ye all!" His eyes once again glowed red.
"You have got to be kidding me!!" Link shouted. "You traitor!"
Still standing infront of Sage, Emily was still yelling at him to listen. Then, he put his hands around her her throat. "Must kill." That was not Sage's voice that came from his mouth.
Perrin let out a war cry and charged at Sage and got answered with Sage's fist inbetween the eyes. "Perrin!" Link rushed over to his pupil. "Are you all right?"
Shaking his head clear, Perrin stood up shakely. "We got to stop him, he's going to kill everyone!"
"No, wait!" Zelda said. "Look."
The three stared watching Sage choke Emily. In a strained voice, Emily pleaded. "Sage, its me, Em." His grip didn't loosen. "Sage I know you are in there, somewhere, fight him!" She was starting to black out. "Sage, I...love...you, please...stop."
Sage's face went deadpan, looking into Emily's eyes, he dropped to his knees and started crying into her dress, saying. "I'm sorry." Over and over again. Emily put her arms around him, saying. "Its all right Sage, it wasn't your fault."
This would have been the end of it, but Link noticed something coming from Sage's body. "Um, could someone please tell me what that is?" He said pointing to Sage. Looking over, Zelda and Perrin saw it too.
Coming from Sage's body a black shadow rose up and was about to kill the couple. Running to their aid, Perrin screamed. "Sage, look out!"
Sage tackled Emily as the slash of the shadow creature's sword missed them by centimeters. Turning its head the shadow flung out its arm, hitting Perrin in his chest and flinging him against the wall with a sickening thud, knocking him unconscious.
Finally getting a good look at the shadow creature, Link knew what it was. He had fought a shadow of himself the first time he faced Ganon eight years ago and had nearly lost that battle, if not for the help of his fairy, Navi sacrificing herself by distracting the Dark Link and getting in the way of its thrust at Link.
It looked exactly the same as Sage himself, the Dark Sage did, except the fact that it was all billowing and swirling dark energy, like smoke from a fire with Sage's claymore in his hands. Even the sword seemed to be made by a shadow.
Getting up, Sage told Emily, "Em, gae o'er tae Link and Zelda. I hae tae dae this meself." His voice was as hard as steal.
"I'm not leaving you!"
"I said NOO!!" Sage commanded.
The Dark Sage smiled hungrily as Emily ran over to the couple holding Perrin's unconscious body on the floor. His mouth was nothing more than a hole in its head, glowing a pale purple, the same as his eyes. Sage drew his claymore.
"Watch it Sage," Link warned. "These things shadow your every move! Trust me on this!"
"Thanks fer the warning!" Sage swung his sword and Dark Sage made the exact move as Sage did. <Its like fighting me reflection! Well at least I ken what he can throw at me!>
Rolling out of the way from the shadow blade and watching the overturned table behind him split in two, Sage gulped and put his hand to his throat, making sure it was still there. They were both back at it instantly, matching each other's moves perfectly and both scoring some hits to each other's bodies. Sage's body was starting to tire again. Some of the wounds that he had suffered from Ganon had openend, staining his shirt with blood. Sage put his hand on a particurally nasty wound near his stomach, his left eye closed and breathed heavily.
"Hahahahahhahaha, its too easy! You are weak, boy do you actually think that you can defeat ME??" Dark Sage taunted.
Sage charged and the fighting continued fast and furious, sparks flying as the two claymores struck each other. After swinging his sword one last time, Sage's eyes rolled back into his head and he collapsed onto the floor.
"Aww, too bad," Dark Sage said in a false sympathy. "I was hoping that he could have given me more of a challenge!"
By this point, Emily was furious by the way Ganon had possessed her lover's body by this, this demon. She put two fingers to her head and shouted. "THUNDER LIGHTNING CRASH!"
A huge bolt of lightning came from Emily's outstretched fingers and struck Dark Sage and caused him to hit a wall, caving in around him.
"Alright, Em!" Link shouted celebratory. "Nice job!"
"Thanks, Deena taught me that one." She said confidantly, her hands on her hips.
But the celbration was short lived. Dark Sage bellowed and leaped out from under the rubble and landed on his feet with a loud thud. "Aah," The three groaned at the same time.
Walking slowly over to them, Dark Sage stated calmly. "You will find that I am not so easily bested."
As Dark Sage was about to use his shadow claymore, he heard. "Ye ken, ye shouldnae mess wi' me friends like that."
Turning around, Dark Sage faced the real one. Sage's claymore slashed through its body from shoulder to hip. Slumping down, pale blue smoke seeped from the gaping hole in its chest. Vowing revenge in a hissing voice Dark Sage disappeared.
It was quiet for a minute before Emily rushed over to Sage and was taken into his arms. They held each other tightly, Emily placed her head on Sage's shoulder and Sage kissed the top of her head.
"Couldn't have done it better myself." Link said congratulating Sage, putting his hand on his shoulder.
"Thanks, but if it wasn't for that loud mouth o' Perrin's, me an' Em might nae be here right now." He said jokingly to the now awake Perrin.
"Funny." Perrin frowned as he stood up weakly, his nose swollen.
"NOOOOO!!!! IT CAN'T BE!!" Gannon bellowed as he slammed his fists down on the table, causing the many objects on it to wobble or fall. "My plan, my perfect plan! Very well then," his voice calmed. "I guess I will have to take the matter into my own hands." His laughter was heard by every creature in his domain.
After resting for a few days, things started to get back to normal. Emily started her training again, but still had a few mistakes along the way, shown by the holes in the walls of the castle that were being quickly fixed.
Sage had a fit while Link and Perrin tried to heal him with a fairy, thinking that it was a Will-of-the-Whisp come to take away his soul. They had to hold down his hands and feet while Zelda released the fairy over Sage to heal him. He had spent the last day or so sharpening and practicing with his claymore with renewed vigor.
Zelda, along with Deeana, the potion shop keeper in Kakariko Town, the old hag that ran the shop, and the old scientist from his Lake Zora lab, and the few Zoras that he had brought, read every thing that they could find for the possibility for Sage to go back to his life in Scotland. They had a few leads, but nothing really went anywhere, and Sage was starting to get worried that he would never see his home again. So, to cheer him up, Link and Perrin took him hunting in the Lost Woods.
Bow in hand and riding Epona, Link tried to cheer Sage up. "Come on Sage, we're out here to have some fun, cheer up some man."
Sage sighed as Perrin continued in a reassuring tone. "Yeah, Zelda has the greatest minds and magic workers in Hyrule trying to get you home! I'm sure it won't take them that much longer."
Still looking down, Sage sighed.
"You know Sage," Link said with a slight chuckle. "You're not going to get anything hunting if you don't keep your head up."
Before Sage could respond to Link's obvious bad joke, an arrow hit the ground in front of the three mounted men. Their horses reared back as a group of stalfos fell from the trees above them. Perrin quikly fired an arrow at one of the skeletons, but it went right throught the space inbetween two of it's ribs. A look of confusion apeared on Perrin's face.
"Ganon is not pleased in what happened," The living skeleton's voice sounded like stones being rubbed together. "So, he sent us to take you back." The stalfos pointed his crooked sword at Sage and smiled, or what passed for a smile on a living skeleton. A look of terror came to Sage's face as scenes from the hell that he had suffered at the hands of Ganon played through his mind, but he quickly regained his composure.
"Sorry boys, but this is a private party!" Link said as he spurred Epona forward and drew the master sword, kicking in the skull of a stalfos as he rode by.
Dismounting, Sage drew his claymore, it's newly polished blade reflecting the sun's rays. <I'm really getting sick o' this.> Sage thought to himself as he cut through the spine of a stalfos.
Perrin also has his share of "fun" with the skeleton knights. One charged at him with an outstretched sword. Perrin dropped to his left knee and grabbed its arm as it passed over him. Perrin threw the living skeleton over his head and into a nearby tree, shattering it into a pile of bones. As he was standing up, a stalfos from behind him was bringing his sword down at Perrin's head. Turning around, Perrin thought that this was the last thing he would see, but that was not the case. Sage's blade blocked the sword of the stalfos, inches from Perrin's nose. After Sage gave him a quick look, Perrin nodded his head and swept the skeleton's feet out from under him. After landing on the ground, Sage crushed it's skull with the pommel of his claymore. "Noo we're e'en." Sage said smugly looking over to Perrin. Perrin smiled and nodded appreciative.
"Hey you two," Link yelled, his back against a tree surrounded by five stalfos. "You think I could get some help over here!?"
"Gee Link," Perrin called to Link teasingly. "I thought you could handle something as simple as five stalfos!"
Ducking beneath a sword aimed for his head that embedded itself in the tree behind Link, he yelled. "Damn it you two get your asses over here!"
"What ya say, Sage should we help him?"
"Heh heh, sure why not?"
With the three working together, the stalfos were soon beaten. "Gee, thanks you two." Link said sarcastically after the last of Ganon's little party had been defeated.
Smiling ear to ear, Perrin gloated. "No problem, Link."
The two started laughing, but Sage stood with his lips pursed in deep thought. <The longer I stay aroun', the more chance me friends will get hurt.>
"Come on, let's go back to the castle." Link said, mounting Epona.
Arriving back at the castle, the trio were greeted by Zelda and Emily.
"Hey you guys!" Zelda greeted them joyfully, but when she saw the three men's faces she knew something was wrong. "W-what happened?"
Climbing down from his horse, Sage answered stonefaced. "We were attacked by some stalfos, an' it was all me fault." A look of suprise showed on all the faces that were present.
"Wooh man, what are you talking about?" Link asked.
"Think about it," Sage started. "Ever since I showed up here I've caused naethin' but trouble." A look of confusion was on the faces of Sage's friends.
Sage Continued with his arms crossed. "That huge battle, that fight in the woods," Sage shuddered, "And that shadow creature o' me. Maybe I should just leave."
Putting her arms around Sage's waist and looking into his eyes, Emily argued. "Don't you even think about, Sage McIntire. If you leave you will be even more vulnerable to Ganon's little friends." After she gave him a kiss, she continued. "And besides, you know that we'll just go out looking for you and bring you right back."
"Yeah," Perrin interjected. "Besides, if your here you're protected, not to mention surrounded by your friends."
Looking around at all the smiling faces, he then looked into Emily's eyes. <How could I let those eyes see pain.> "Okay," Sage said hesitantly. "I'll stay, but if something happens again, I'm going tae leave." He added quickly before anyone could say anything back.
Link shrugged off the warning. "Come, let's have a drink."
The five talked long into the night. Mostly about Sage and his homeland of Scotland. About his small village, his family and basically anything else that they could ask him about. He suggested that he cook some haggis, but after the others found out what it consisted of, they changed their minds very fast.
Perrin and Zelda were the first to fall asleep. Then, it was just Link and Sage that were awake. Soon, Sage was the only one left, too deep in thought and full of worry to fall asleep. Looking at Emily, Sage stood up and took her in his arms and carried her to her room. After laying her on the bed, he kissed her forehead. Smiling in her sleep, Emily rolled onto her side.
After watching Emily for a while to make sure she was asleep, Sage walked over to a gilded dresser. Lighting a candle, he sat down and wrote a note. Taking one last look at his love, he walked out the door and closed it softly.
"He did what!?" Link shouted amazed at Zelda.
Sitting down with a sobbing Emily in her arms, she looked up concerned. "I said that he left! Last night while we were all asleep, he sneaked right out of the castle! If you don't believe me, then read this."
Taking the note from Zelda's hand he read it, with Perrin looking over his shoulder:
My dear Emily,
I can no longer stay here and endanger you and our friend's lives. I am going into hiding so that neither you nor Ganon can find me.
Please thank Zelda and Link for helping me. I hope that we may be able to see each other again, someday. I'll never forget you.
"That stubborn Scot," Link growled crumpling the note in his fists, "What does he think he's doing!?"
"He's protecting you." A voice from nowhere said. "Although it will do none of you any good."
Link frowned as he recognized the voice. "Ganon, what do you want now?!"
An image of the evil king appeared before them. "Nothing more that the usual; you dead, me ruling Hyrule, and.." The image turned it's head and looked seductively at Zelda.
Getting the hint from the image's actions, Link threatened, "Don't even think about it, Ganon!"
Evil eyes glowing, 'Ganon' laughed evilly. "Oh, naive little boy, can you not realize that I do as I please?" Looking over at Emily he continued. "Oh yes, I almost forgot." Smiling evily and moving, a scene of terror unfolded out behind Ganon's image.
Sage was once again chained to the wall, bloodied and beaten. "Your love sends his greetings."
"No, it can't be true!" Emily yelled, choked with tears. "Sage can't be captured!" Laughing madly the figure of Ganon disappeared in a black flame.
Crying into Zelda's shoulder, Emily repeated over and over again. "Its not true, its not true." Stroking Emily's hair Zelda looked up worriedly at Link, who was fuming. A flame of hate burned in his eyes.
"Well, that certainly was fun." Ganon stated calmly. Snapping his fingers the illusion of Sage chained to the wall melted away. He smiled calculatingly. "Now the real fun begins."
Leaning against a tree on ground, Sage woke up slowly. He groaned as his outstretched knees cried out in pain from last night's sleep. Walking over to his horse, Sage asked it. "Remind me nae tae sleep like that again." He patted the horses nose. He laughed to himself. "Noo I'm talking tae animals."
A grunting laugh came from behind Sage's back, "You won't have to worry about that again, for you won't be alive by sundown."
Turning around he saw a large pack of wolfos staring hungrily at him. He quickly went for his claymore, but a particularly scraggly woflos blocked that way.
"Aww, what's the matter?" The apparent leader of the woflos pack growled. "Dress-man can't use his sword?"
Cockily, Sage replied. "I dinnae need it tae beat ye fools, I can get the job done wi' me bare hands."
Howling in anger the wolfos charged forward, ready to tear him apart with their claws.
After finishing his breakfast of roast wolfos, Sage cleaned up his campsite so that no one would know that he had been there. Tying up his pack and sheathed claymore, he stroked the horses neck. "So Stardance, ready tae be off?"
Turning her head, Stardance nuzzled Sage's shoulder. Mounting the horse, he pressed the flanks of Stardance and rode off to Death Mountain, his face set in grim vengeance.
"You guys ready?" Link called over his shoulder at Perrin, Zelda and Emily mounted on horses behind him. After they nodded in agreement, Link signaled for the gatekeepers to lower the drawbridge. When it finally hit the ground the four rode off hard to death mountain. Riding to bring their friend back.
"Sire," A moblin came bowing to Ganon. "Link and his comrades are on his way here."
Smiling, Ganon answered. "Good, make sure everything is set according to plan."
"Yes, Sire." The moblin said, bowing from the room.
Sitting down in his throne, Ganon closed his eyes and breathed deeply. Soon, a gray light blinked into existence. Opening his eyes, Ganon looked into the light. "So, Sage, coming back I see." Thinking, Ganon continued, "Hmm, very well."
Waving his hand, three ironknuckles appeared from silver flames. Their armor mirroring the flames from the torches surrounding their leader. "You three will bring him to me, alive." He put extra emphasis on 'alive.' Ganon then snapped his fingers and the ironknuckles disappeared the same way they had came.
The King of Evil then sat back and smiled smugly, "This time, I am going to extract revenge." He vowed. He chuckled evilly, thinking how to kill Link. <Oh, so many ways.>
Looking at the looming mountain trail ahead of him, Sage said, "Well Stardance, I guess this is it." Stardance pawed the ground and nayed in responce.
He then spurred the white horse onward at a slow pace. As he rounded a corner, an ax swung down, nearly decapitating Stardance. The horse, startled from the incident reared up and Sage got thrown from her back. Rolling on the ground, he stopped as another ax blade struck the brown rock of Death Mountain, just inches away from Sage's face. Scrambling to his feet, Sage looked at the suprise Ganon had made for him. "Sae, ye must be the welcoming comity." Sage said.
The three ironknuckles lined up in a row. "Master Ganon would like to have..a word with you." The middle ironknuckle said. It's hollow, metallic voice echoed in it's armor.
"I dinnae think sae," Sage said, drawing his blade from the sheath on Stardance. "If anyone is going tae be doing the 'talking', its me!" Sage said with a tooth filled grin. His grip on the claymore's hilt grew tighter, whitening his knuckles, his eyes darted back and forth at each of the armored monstrosities.
Sage was just about to charge into a fight he knew he could not win when an arrow whizzed by his ear, hitting the right ironknuckle in one of the eye holes. Dropping the ax, and bringing his hand up to it's head where the arrow stuck out, it fell backwards, dieing before it hit the ground.
Spinning around, Sage saw Perrin with his longbow, smiling. "I guess you owe me one again, eh Sage?" Perrin said. Along with him, he saw Emily, Link and Zelda.
Emily's hair started rising and curls of golden energy wove around her body, then they combined and shot up into the air. "THUNDER LIGHTNING CRASH!" The energy slammed into the two remaining ironknuckles, sending up dirt and rocks into the air where lightning struck the ground.
After the carnage and dust had settled, Sage walked over to the four frowning. "I told ye nae tae look for me!"
"Yeah, well what would have happened if we didn't get here when we did?" Perrin said, pointing the tip of his bow at Sages sneering face.
Knocking the bow from his face and crossing his arms, Sage shot back. "I could've took them on." Adding, "AND won!"
"Oh, knock off the "toughest guy in the world" routine, Sage!" Zelda yelled impatiently. "Even Link knows to ask for help when he's out numbered and against the wall!" Link shifted uneasily in his saddle.
"Alright!" The other four looked over at Emily. "If anyone is going to bend Sage's ear," Emily looked mischievously at Sage and wrapped her arms around his neck. "Its me." Looking down at her emerald, Sage kissed her.
"Hmm, if this is me punishment," Sage said coyly. "I'd can't wait tae see the reward." With that, Emily's face darkened about three shades in blushing.
"Mwhahahahaa!" Ganon laughed, his voice booming as he materialized infront of them. "What a touching scene."
Looking up at Ganon, Sage promised. "Ganon, I will hae me revenge on ye." Pointing the end of his blade at Ganon's head when he said 'you'. "And it will be oh, sae fun." He added with a vengeful grin on his face, emphasizing each one of the words.
"Heh, heh, heh. I see that some of my influence is still in you, my specialty is revenge, after all."
"I rid myself of that little inconvenience along time ago."
While Sage and Ganon were arguing, Emily's anger kept rising and rising, remembering how much Ganon had screwed with their lives.
As her anger kept rising, red waves of energy started to dance around her, enveloping her whole body, making the air around her ripple from the heat. Her screeching "BALEFIRE!" drew everyone's attention to her. A wave of fire shot out at Ganon, surrounding him and spinning faster and faster. The walls of the now cylinder of flame kept closing in until the sides slammed together with a deafening roar, blinking out of existance.
Sweat coming from her brow and breating hard, Emily smiled contently and said. "Boom."
"Wow lass, I didnae ken ye had it in ye!" Sage winked.
Emily smiled up at Sage shyly and gave a relieved. "Thanks."
Walking up to the couple, Link said happily, "Well, I see Zelda's and Deeana's training has helped you imensly." He crossed his arms approvingly and gave a tooth filled grin.
"Um, guys," Perrin interupted, "Not to sound like a downer, but I don't think that Ganon could be defeated that easily."
"Perrin's right." Zelda added. "It seemed too easy, not to say that Em's powers aren't strong, but it took Link, Me, and the six sages to take him down last time."
"How nice of you to remember, dear." Gannon's voice echoed on the jagged, rocky cliffs of Death Mountain. "And I must admit that little girl's powers are somewhat impressive, heh heh heh, but no where near mine." Directing his voice to Emily, he continued. "So, little girl, you like to play with fire, eh?" His voice grew dark. "Well like they say, when you play with fire, you're bound to..get...BURNED!!"
The ground underneath them suddenly vanished a black hole appeared. Then the five fell, and fell, and fell.
Emily slowly opened her eyes. "What happened?" She whispered. Shaking her head, she remembered the fall. "Oh yeah, how could I forget that?" It was dark, but she could make out the Sage's body on the ground near her. He was lying on his stomach, face turned away from her. Wincing in pain as she stood up, she walked over to him, moving her arm to make sure it wasn't broken.
When she got near him, Emily asked, shaking him gently. "Sage...Sage, are you all right?"
"Uh, hu...aye, I'm fine." He said placing his hand on his head. After a moment to clear up his thoughts, Sage continued, "C'mon, let's go wake the others."
Nodding her head in agreement, she went over to rouse Zelda, while Sage went over to Link. After staggering a moment, Link went over to wake Perrin up.
"Hey, Perrin, wake up." When Perrin didn't respond, Link placed his foot on Perrin's chest and moved it back and forth. "Helllooooo, Perrin, anybody in there?" When Link shook him, his head swayed back and forth too easily.
Zelda realized what had happened. Poor, poor Perrin, a broken neck had shattered all hopes of a new hero for Hyrule. With tears welling in her pale blue eyes, she tried breaking the news to Link. "L-Link, he's-"
"Don't." Turning his head around, tears streaking down his face, Link choked out. "Just don't even say it!" The two women and Sage looked down sadly with tears in their eyes at Link, crying into Perrin's golden brown locks, rocking back and forth.
After a few minutes, Sage put his hand on Link's slumped shoulder. "I ken how hard it is lad, but we need tae be gaun noo." Link shook his head, not wanting or caring about leaving.
"Link, he's gone. We've got tae leave noo before Gannon's little 'friends' show up." Sage said comfortingly, but firm. While Sage was trying to pull Link up, he swiped away Sage's hand.
"This is all your fault, you stupid Scottish bastard!" Link screamed. "If you hadn't run away, Perrin would still be alive right now! I should kill you where you stand!"
The three were taken aback from Link's sudden outburst. "Link don't blame Sa-" Zelda began.
"No, Zelda its all right." Sage interrupted, "So Link if ye hate me so much, then go ahead." Sage held up his arms at his sides, and looked right into Link's eyes. Link was about to tear into Sage when Zelda shouted.
"Link! Don't you even think about it! Don't you realize what is going on? This is Ganon's fault, not Sage's." Zelda's voice kept a remarkably smooth tone. "Remember, you were the one who wanted to go and free Sage!" Pointing to Sage she continued, "Yes, he did run away, but it was to protect us, not himself."
Sage still had the look of stone on his face, waiting for Link to go off on him. Emily was beside him with worry on her face, her hands clasped at her mouth.
Looking down, Link said. "Alright." After a slight pause, he looked over at the still body of Perrin. "Let's go."
After walking for what seemed like forever, they came to a fork in the path of the dungeon-like caves in Ganon's domain.
Looking at the black dimly lit passageways ahead of him, Sage asked. "So, which way now?"
"Gee, Sage." Link said snidely, looking over at him. "You seem to be the best at everything, why don't you pick?"
"By Nayru's Love Link, would you please stop!" Zelda stomped her foot down on the hard, rocky floor. A tiny tuft of dust stirred by the force. "You're acting like a little child!"
Putting up his hand to silence Zelda Sage closed his eyes and shook his head. "No, Zel, it's all right. I'll choose."
Opening his wide eyes he turned to Emily. "Em, could ye sae kindly shine some light oan the situation." He asked nodding his head once at the left tunnel.
Emily nodded at him with a sure smile, then focusing some energy into a ball, she threw it down the tunnel. After a few seconds, Link broke the questioning silence when he said. "Well Sage, it looks like you can do some things right."
As soon as Link completed his rude comment, a huge explosion came deep from the tunnel blasting dirt and debris at the remaining heroes. "I guess I spoke to soon!" Link corrected himself, covering Zelda's face as her mid-thigh dress flapped in waves from the shockwaves resulting from the blast. Sage threw himself on Emilt to protect her, knocking to the ground. After the commotion subsided, Sage looked down into Emily's eyes. "Um, hi." He said smiling.
Emily giggled and said, "Over doing it a little, Sage? Not that I didn't enjoy it." She tossed Sage playfully off of her. Sage landed on the ground and gave a fake "Ouch." with a toothy grin.
"If you two are finished," Link said coldly as he stepped over a large boulder in the entrance to the tunnel, "I'd like to get going."
Turning to the now standing couple, Zelda sighed. "He gets like this when Ganon is the cause of his...problems."
"And I take it that it happens often as well?" Sage asked.
"Yes," Zelda said apologetically. "I'm afraid that we all have to put up with it for a while."
Nodding in reseignful agreement, they followed the angry Link down the tunnel.
As they continued down the tunnel, the light started to take on a reddish tinge. The air was getting hotter, as well as the tension between Link and Sage.
"Uh, Link?" Sage asked hesitantly, "Ye hae in been Ganon's realm before, right? I mean, ye dae ken where yer gaun, don't ye?"
Link kept on walking, seemingly ignoring Sage.
"Link?..." Sage began, raising his voice a little.
Link whirled around and shoved Sage onto the rough cavern wall, pinning his shoulders. Emily let out a startled yelp and Zelda held her back from rushing over to get Link off of Sage.
"Now you listen, and you listen good." Link hissed. "I've beaten Ganon more times than I care to remember! Even though I've been down these passage ways numerous times, there are just too many of them to remember exactly which one leads where. So get off my-" Link suddenly tensed up and fell silent. He narrowed his eyes and turning his head, looked down further into the tunnel.
"Link, what's wrong, what do you hear?" Zelda asked nervously. Soft scratches like digging came to his ears.
"Shh, listen..." Link said as he began to finger the master sword's pommel. The soft scratches started getting closer to them.
"I hear it," Emily said uncertainly. "but, what is it?"
A bony hand erupted from the ground as if to answer Emily's question. Then another, and another, and another.
After waiting for a very tense few minutes, bony bodies in armor burst from the ground. When the air cleared of the dust flown up from the surfacing stalfos knights, they found themselves surrounded.
Drawing his claymore, Sage smiled. "Alright, I was wondering when I could hae some fun!"
The stalfos' eyes glowed like red and yellow stars in the night sky. Their red swords gleamed evilly in the dim light. Zelda make a sound of repugnance. "Don't these things ever bathe?" She asked covering her nose and mouth.
"Ganon will not be stopped." A stalfos with an eye patch said, his voice rasped. "He will have his revenge on Link and Zelda and use the dress-man as his second in command!"
"I don't think so! The only one Sage will be serving is me!" Emily said as she hit the eye patched stalfos with a wave of energy shattering him as it slammed into the wall.
"Thanks love." Sage said as he winked at Emily.
Emily blew him a kiss. "Your welcome, now let's kick these bags of bones!"
"I think that Sage is starting to rub off on you." Zelda said teasingly to Emily.
"Aye, ain't it cool?"
Link and Sage jumped into the mass of stalfos slashing and hacking away at them with their blades, while Zelda and Emily stood back to back hitting the living skeletons with their magic.
Link was having the most luck, after all he had the most experience fighting the armored dead. Not to mention he had a sword and shield. Sage had to concentrate more since it took both hands to wield his claymore, but seemed to be doing all right as he slashed a stalfos from shoulder to hip.
"Sage, behind you!" Link yelled.
Sage swung the claymore over his head and stopped the stalfos' blade from decapitating him. Sage brought his sword up and cut it from ribcage to skull.
"Thanks!" Sage said as he slashed at another stalfos.
Link grunted a response. He started concentrating and the master sword started to glow blue and then red. Spinning around, the energy from the sword cut down three stalfos.
The weaves of magic around Zelda and Emily glowed gold. Emily shot out a beam around a small group of the skeletons, surrounding them with it. She closed her fist and shouted at her adversaries. "Let's see how you like this one, boys! Stone Circle Crush!" The golden circle changed into huge rocks and slammed into the stalfos, obliterating them into a thousand little bone fragments.
Zelda was shooting out waves of psychic energy, slamming them in waves against the wall. Her brow gleaming with sweat from the tremendous strain put on her body by the huge amount of energy being used to defend herself from the constant barrage of enemies attacking her.
The fight was taking it toll on all of them, however. The auras of power from the women were starting to fade, and Sage's arms were burning from the extra strain they were forced to endure from the pounding against the stalfos' shields and the prolonged strain of the weight of his claymore. Soon they found themselves back to back with each other, the stalfos moving in on them.
"Any ideas are welcome." Link said gravely, slicing at air to keep a stalfos at bey.
"I do," Emily was breathing heavily and her hair was matted down from sweat. "but I-I've never tried it, and I don't know what will happen if I do."
"We really dinnae hae a choice, Em." Sage said hurriedly. "Dae what ye hae tae dae."
"Okay," Emily said with uncertainly. Her aura turned blue and the floor started to bead with water. "Wave Of Torrent, Smash!" Funnels of water burst from the floor, slamming into the stalfos and sweeping them all away.
"Great idea, Em!" Zelda said holding her hands in hers. "I wonder why I didn't think of it before."
Sage walked up to the upper half of a stalfos and picked it up from the spine. Looking down into it's chest armor, Sage wondered aloud, squinting one eye. "Ye ken, I've always wondered how these things talked." Then moving his arm up and down he made the stalfos' jaw open and close saying in a mocking high pitched voice. "Serve Ganon." Then he tossed it to the side, shattering the brittle bones.
There was applause from Zelda and Emily and Sage made an over done bow. Link almost cracked a smile at Sage's antics but straitened up. "C'mon, we need to keep going."
Turning around to look at Sage, Link asked in a threatening note. "What did you say?"
"I said nae." Sage stated steadily. "We're all tae tired tae gae oan, we need rest. Even ye."
Noticing that he was leaning on the master sword, Link quickly sheathed it, with an awkward huff. "Fine." He sighed walking over to where Zelda had sat down.
Sage and Emily went over to the wall opposite of where Link and Zelda were. Emily put her head on Sage's aching shoulder and quickly fell asleep with Sage's arm around her shoulder.
"They make such a wonderful pair." Zelda said wistfully looking at the sleeping couple and sighing.
"Huh, yeah, nice." Link said, his mind else where.
Looking over at Link, Zelda asked. "Remember when we first met?"
Link's eyes lit up. "Heh, how could I forget! I've loved you since the day I laid eyes on you in the courtyard fifteen years ago." Wiping a bit of hair from Zelda's wide eyes he continued. "And I always will." He then kissed her forehead. "Now, let's get some sleep."
Ganon growled. "So close, grrrr. I hope you enjoy you rest, Link." Ganon smirked. "The fun has just begun."
The yellow syrupy liquid of the pit splashed as he fell face first into it. Sage got up to his knees and was brought down by a kick to his head from an armored foot.
"Master, it is gone."
Chained to a table, Sage looked up to see a grinning Gaul'ramm.
"Ah, I see you are awake, Sage." Sage pulled his chains, his injured joints screamed at the effort. "Don't even try, you can't get out."
Poes flew around the table as Gaul'ramm continued. "You should feel honored by Ganon's request. It is not everyday he chooses someone to assist in his...endevors."
"Tae hell wi' ye!"
Gaul'ramm didn't take offence to Sage's outburst, or at least he didn't show it. "Stubborn to the end I see, very well."
Gaul'ramm signaled and a poe floated up the to knight with a long, thin tube. "This is the last chance you are going to get before things get," he smiled. "messy."
Sage spat at him, but missed.
"You know, a simple 'no' would have sufficed."
"You're nae worth the trouble, ye slimy piece of sh-"
"Alright," Gaul'ramm interrupted. "But, remember, you brought this on yourself."
Gaul'ramm signaled to a different poe. The yellowed eyed ghost floated over with a bottle with a black...liquid? Sage pondered, or at least as much as his pained racked mind allowed him to. It swirled and billowed like from a fire.
"A rather nasty little thing it is." Gaul'ramm said, peering into the bottle.
"You're nae gaen tae get awa' wi' this!" The poe shoved the tube down Sage's throat, gagging him. He could see Gaul'ramm open the bottle and started pouring it down the tube.
<Oh God, it burns! Em! Link! Zelda! pl-please,...save....me>
Sage's eyes flung open. He ran his shaking hand through his messed hair.
<Man, that'll be in there fer a while.> Sage thought, remembering the dream about his possession.
Emily stirred and looked up at him. "You Okay?"
After kissing the top of her head, Sage said. "Aye, I'm fine, just a bad dream that's all. Gae back tae sleep."
Nodding sleepily, Emily closed her eyes, yawned once and fell asleep.
Listening to Emily's peacefull breathing, Sage leaned his head against the cavern wall, waiting for sleep. It did not come easy.
A few hours later, Link roused the group. Everyone was stiff from sleeping on the rocky floor, but sleep was sleep as far as they were concerned. The rest seemed to help Link the most, although his eyes were still red from crying for Perrin's death.
The heat kept growing as they continued down the corridor. Every once in a while they would be confronted by a pack of moblins or a squad of stalfos, but were not that much of a problem.
Soon, the four came to a large room with a circular pillar sticking out of a lava pit.
"Great, dead end." Emily complained.
A shrill roar came from beneath the molten rock.
"Uh, oh..." Link said worriedly.
"Uh, oh? Why Uh oh??" Sage asked unsure.
The high pitched roar came again. "I know that roar," Link said, drawing the master sword. "Its-"
A huge red Asian style dragon flew up from the lava. It's green eyes glowed eerily in the lava colored light. It's orange-yellow shaded hair flowed down from the top of the dragon's head, running the length of it's body.
"Volvagia." Link continued, groaning.
"Link, how!?" Zelda asked amazed at the fire dragon ascending from the lava. "I thought you destroyed it when you-"
"I did!, Ganon must've reincarnated it again!"
As Volvagia hovered above them, Sage leaned over to Link. "How, exactly dae we beat this thing?"
Link opened his mouth, but another voice answered Sage's question.
The four looked over and saw a rotund brown figure that had three spikes of hair coming from his head. He had two streaks of white on each of his cheeks. In his meaty hands he held a huge, shinning hammer.
"Why is there a giant potato running our way?" Sage asked.
"Its not a potato, Sage." Emily stated. "Its a Goron!"
"Darunia!" Link and Zelda called out the same time.
Jumping and rolling from a swipe of Volvagia's hand, he reached the group.
"Darunia, what are you doing here?" Link asked happily.
"This is Death Mountain, is it not Brother? I just happened to be in the neighborhood..."
"So you thought that you'd drop in?" Zelda asked Darunia jokingly.
"You might say that your majesty."
Volvagia's cry brought them back to the danger that faced them.
"Any ideas?" Emily asked looking at the rest.
After all of them dived from a blast of fire from the mouth of Volvagia, Link stood. "Hmm, I think that I do." Link explained quickly. "Sage and I will distract that freak," Sage nodded, "then, Zel and Em will hit it with a blast of ice powers to cool it down, so to speak. That's where you come in." He said pointing to the leader of the Gorons. "When Volvagia is stunned you smash it's brains out with the megaton hammer."
"Everyone know what to do?" Link asked looking at each his companions. After everyone nodded, Link gave the go ahead.
Swords in hand, Sage and Link ran out onto the center of the rock pillar. Link shouted. "Hey, firebug, remember me?"
Seeing Link and Sage, the fire dragon screamed and dove head long at the two spewing fire.
"Yikes! Close one! I'll take that as a yes!" Sage shouted jumping out of the way.
Turning, Volvagia made another attempt to get it's revenge on Link.
"Zel! Em! Now!"
"You ready?" Zelda asked Emily.
Nodding solemnly Emily, along with Zelda started to channel the arctic winds. Their auras turned pure white as they brought up their hands and shouted "Arctic Ice Blast!"
The air directed from the freezing lands of the world of Hyrule blasted Volvagia. Shuddering from the force of the blast it let out an ear piercing yell.. Snow started to swirl around the mystical fire dragon, chilling the air around it. Waving it's claws, Volvagia started to descend from its lofty position in the cavern. The dragon's body finally hit the ground writhing in agony.
Darunia twirled the megaton hammer above his head, and slammed it down on Volvagia's head repeatedly until nothing was left but a mushy pile of blood, bone, and brain. Lifting the hammer from the splattered head, Darunia said. "Nice plan, Brother!" Link beamed triumphantly.
After they congratulated each other on how well they did in their part of the plan, Darunia said. "Well, Brother, it was a wonderful experience helping you defeat that ugly monster again, but I must return to the Chamber of Sages to rest."
"Thank you Darunia, I hope to see you again soon!" Link said waving as Darunia stared to fade from view.
"Good bye Brother! And, try not to let this happen again, Okay?" Darunia answered teasingly, his voice echoing through out the cavern.
Shaking his head with a smile on his face, Link followed the others as they left the cavern.
Eventually, the four came back to where Sage had picked which tunnel to go to.
"Okay, sae I think we should take the right tunnel this time." Sage said jokingly.
"Really, you think?" Link said sarcastically.
"Link, don't start it." Zelda warned him as her aura glowed gold.
"Oh yes Linky, we wouldn't want you fighting now would we?" Ganon's voice came out of no where. "That way I could beat you all the easier! Mwhahahhaha!!"
"Ganon you Gerudo bastard! You are gonna pay for what you did to Perrin!" Link shouted at the top of his lungs at the ceiling.
"Oh, yes poor Perrin. I feel sorry, I really do." Ganon's voice hid laughter that almost made it to his lips. His voice grew dark. "Sorry that I didn't do it with my own hands! "
"Ganon, if there's killin' tae be dane, then I'm the one that's gaun tae be goin' it!"
"Oh, yes, I should be afraid of a man who wares a dress."
Rolling his eyes and shaking his head, Sage sighed. "I give up, I'm nae gaun tae argue about that anymore."
"I will see you all very soon." And with that, the voice of Ganon disappeared.
"Well," Emily said in a false happiness. "Now after that uplifting little talk I say we get some sleep."
They all agreed fully and were soon asleep.
"Stop, thief!" A shopkeeper yelled.
Looking up from the piece of jewelry he was thinking of buying Zelda, Link saw a boy being pursued by a couple of soldiers and a very angry shopkeeper.
<This ought to be fun.> Link mussed as he put down the gold and jade chain.
He was amazed at the boys speed and agility ducking and weaving through the crowded market place. <Hmm, this could be more entertaining than I first thought.>
Running through the crowd, the boy found a horse whose name just happened to be Epona. The boy jumped on the horse and rode off through the market place.
"Link!" A soldier said running up to him, out of breath. "That boy just stole Epona!"
Taking out his ocarina, Link said with a broad smile, "Not to worry." He played Epona's song.
Epona reared up and stopped. She then turned around and trotted back to Link. The boy frantically trying to turn Epona around all the way.
When Epona reached Link, the brown haired boy found spears pointing at his throat. A very nervous smile upon his lips. "Uh, hi." He said as he begun to raise his hands.
A soldier unlocked the rusty cell and Link walked in. The boy looked up from where he was sitting.
"I was quite impressed by your little show back there, too bad you decided to try and steal the wrong horse." Link said smiling.
The boy sat in silence, his head hung. Link frowned thoughtfully. <Hmmm, this could be harder than I thought.> "Can you at least tell me your name, or can't you talk?"
Still looking down the thin boy mumbled. "Perrin."
"Well, Perrin." Link said as he put his hand on the boy's slender shoulder. "You've got two choices. One: you can stay down here for a few years. Or, Two: Be my student so that those skills of yours can benefit Hyrule instead of burden it."
Link started walking out of the cell, saying. "I hope you will make the right choice, Perrin."
Link, with tears in his eyes was looking down at Perrin's body again. "Perrin, I'm sorry I couldn't save you this time." The deceased Perrin's face started to morph and twist. Link's eyes widdened in terror for it was not the youthful Perrin's face that filled his eyes, but that of the sick and twisted face of Ganon.
"You killed him!" the face of Ganon said in Perrin's voice. "Its all your fault!"
"No! No! I-it was you, Ganon, that did it!" Link stammered, backing away from Perrin's body.
"You killed him, you killed him..." Ganon repeated over and over.
Link covered his ears and started rocking back and forth, tears streaming down his face. "No, its wasn't me, it wasn't me." Link said in an almost chanting tone.
"No! It wasn't me!" Link screamed as his eyes popped open. His breathing came in shallow gulps.
Zelda awoke with a start from Link's stomach where her head had been laying. "What wasn't you? Link...?"
The commotion woke Sage and Emily. "What's going on?" Sage said groggily.
Link buried his head in Zelda's shoulder, dampening her dirt faded collar. As Zelda sat stroking Link blonde hair assuring his that everything was alight.
"MWHAHAHAHAHAAA!!, did someone have a magic enduced nightmare?" Ganon's voice echoed on the stone walls. "I do so love to play with your mind Link, not that I have much to work with." After laughing more, Ganon continued. "I can't wait to see you all again. I just hope nothing bad happens to you on the way." His laughter faded away and they all sat quietly.
After checking the equipment and what little rations they had remaining, the four where one there way again. The other tunnel started out the same way the other did, moblins and fireslugs, keeses skydiving from the ceiling, but nothing all too challenging. The tunnel started sloping upwards and the rocky floor was replaced by pale green tiles.
The rough surface of the cave gave way to polished black marble and stained glass windows of the monsters that Link had faced while dealing with Ganon.
"Why dae I hear organ music?" Sage asked to no one in particular.
"It sounds somehow, familiar...but I can't place where I've heard it before." Zelda said thoughtfully.
"I do." Link said coldly, drawing the master sword and mirror shield. "Time to die Ganon." He ran off into the dim light, the others rushing after him.
When the three caught up to Link he was standing in front of a huge green door with a golden sun inlay. Link simply stated 'Open' and the door rose from the ground revealing a huge room. It's walls where nothing but stained glass windows, and along the far wall stood a huge pipe organ. The top had two winged gargoyles with permanent sneers on their faces on each side of the organ. There was a figure of a man playing it.
Ganon stopped playing and stood up. Turning around with an evil smile, he said. "Look familiar, Hero of Time? It should."
"Yeah!" Link shouted smugly. "It looks like the same room where I kicked your sorry ass the first time. And I bet this time too."
"Strong words, boy. Can you back them up?" Ganon asked condescendingly.
"Nae if I get tae him first!" Sage screamed rushing forward, his claymore ready to taste the blood of Ganon.
As Sage was about to bring his claymore down on Ganon, the evil Gerudo swung his fist and connected with Sage's chest. The blow was so strong that it made Sage hit the wall and make a dent. "Ouch." Sage breathed as eyes rolled into the back of his head and his body slumped to the floor.
"SAGE!!" Emily yelled in horror. Looking over at Ganon, she shrieked. "Now you burn! BALEFIRE!!!" Explosions of fire and brimstone erupted beneath Ganon and from Emily's hands, causing the hole room to seem as it was on fire with the intense heat.
After the spell from the fires of hell dissipated, Ganon's body reappeared from the fading smoke. "Ooh, you seemed to almost have singed my hair." Ganon said with venomous laughter.
"N-no way! He just absorbed it! H-how?!" Emily said terrified in amazement.
"Of course I absorbed it foolish girl!" Holding up his right fist, the Triforce of Power glowed. "I have the Triforce of Power!"
"And I will still beat you over and over until death is final!" Link shot back.
Roaring in a rage, Ganon sent out waves of dark energy, making them fly up against a wall, making them to yell out in pain, surrounding them in black lightning.
Walking over slowly to Link, he picked him up by the throat. Squeezing hard his eyes glowed yellow. "Not this time, boy. Not this time." Then he threw Link bodily across the room causing him to hit another wall. Link got to one knee, but passed out from the pain.
Looming over Zelda, Ganon sneered. "Now for the wisdom triforce, I can't wait to take it from y-" Ganon's eyes bulged and he looked down to see Sage's blade covered in his blood sticking from his stomach.
"Rule one, ne'er turn yer back oan yer enemies." A beaten and battered Sage laughed. Looking out from behind Ganon, Sage continued. "Zelda, get Emily out o' here!"
"Sage I'm not going to leave you!"
Ganon reached behind him and started pulling out the blade.
"I said gae! Noo!"
Ganon reached behind him and sent out a energy ball, but it missed Sage and hit a pillar. Chunks of the ceiling started falling all around them.
"I'm buying ye time! Get Link and leave!" Sage pleaded hurriedly.
Ganon finally pulled the blade from his stomach. He turned around and faced Sage, his eyes glowing red with rage.
"So, Sage you've finally come for your revenge on me?" Ganon formed an energy ball and threw it at Sage, hitting the ground in front of him and sending him rolling on the ground.
While Ganon was busy with Sage, Zelda and Emily carried a now unconscious Link from the room. Going through way they came they found a passage that took them to a plateau on death mountain.
"You know if you stay here you will be crushed as well!" Ganon said as a boulder fell from the ceiling in between the two, shaking the floor.
Wiping the blood from the corner of his mouth, Sage said, "I dinnae care! I'm gaun tae stop ye from daen tae other people from wha' ye did tae me!"
"Bold words coming from a dead man!" Ganon threw another ball of energy at the Scot. Sage barely had enough time to jump out of the way before it hit the wall behind him.
"DIE!!" Ganon screamed as he shot out a beam of black energy. Sage held up his sword and blocked Ganon's blow.
The blade of the claymore started to glow in a rainbow of colors running up and down the metal. "Yer own power will be yer doon fall Ganon!" Sage swung his claymore and the swirling rainbow hit Ganon square in the chest, knocking him to the ground hard.
Breathing heavily, blood coming from the many wounds he had suffered, Sage ran over to the fallen man and plunged his claymore into his black heart.
"Sage!" Ganon hissed as his last breath passed his mouth.
After Sage wiped the blood from his claymore on Ganon's cape, he got up and ran for the exit. However, before he could get to it, a pile of rubble fell in front of it, blocking his way. Cursing to himself, he frantically ran about the room trying to find a way of escape, but found none.
"Well, at least Emily will be safe noo." Sage said, sitting down cross-legged and waited to die as the ceiling crashed down around him.
From the outside, all the trio could see was the snow capped peak in front of them implode.
"Sage! Noooo!" Emily screamed with tears in her eyes as she started running toward the rubble. Link grabbed her arm.
With tears welling up in his eyes Link said quietly. "Em, no, he's gone now, you can't help him."
Zelda walked over and hugged Emily, tears streaming down both of the women's faces for the loss of their friend. Link was looking down at the ground as he heard a noise.
"You heard it too?" Zelda asked.
Ganon then burst from the rubble. "Hey Link, remember this?" Ganon asked laughing evilly as his body emitted a blue-white light as the triforce of power glowed on the back of his hand.
"Oh, man, not again!" Link whined as Ganon transformed into the huge pig-like monster once more. "And me without the light arrows."
"Zelda, Emily hit him with a blast of the power of light!" Link shouted while ducking at swipe from one of Ganon's huge swords.
Raising their hands, the two women shot out the pureness of the triforce's power at Ganon. But, Ganon saw it coming and ducked the wide, golden beam.
"Oh no!" Zelda said terrified as Ganon turned his attention to the heroens.
Emily's head was filled with the sound of her pounding heart. <This is the last time you will screw with anyone!> Raising her hands into the air, she brought the heavens down upon Ganon with her lightning crash spell.
A huge lightning bolt hit Ganon from above, enveloping him in a blinding white light, it's fingers dancing in and out of Ganon's mouth, ears, and eyes as he dropped to his knee, leaning on one of his swords.
"Link," Emily said with a strangely calm and echoing voice. "Kill him! Run the master sword through his head!"
Doing as Emily said, Link drove the master sword through the skull of Ganon right between his eyes with a forceful grunt. The huge figure of Ganon let out a screech that could be heard through the whole of Hyrule. He tried to stand up once more, but slumped down to the ground and finally died.
The trio backed away from the evil king's dead body waiting for him to stand back up again. After awhile Link put his arm around Zelda and said. "C'mon, let's get out of here."
Turning to leave, Zelda and Link heard sobbing. Looking back they saw Emily on her knees crying by a huge pile of rock and glass. Link started to walk over to her, but Zelda grasped his arm and shook her head. The couple stood in silence with tears in their eyes as Emily cried for the loss of Sage.
After the long silence, Emily weakly stood up, her tears made streaks down her dirt covered face and said good bye one last time. When she caught up to Link and Zelda, they all started walking away.
Link heard rubble shifting and rolling around. <You have got to be kidding me Ganon has to be dead!> He though as he drew the master sword, turning around.
"Link what's wrong?" Zelda asked frightened.
As a hand burst through the rubble, Link's terror turned to joy. Re-sheathing his sword, he rushed laughing over to the out stretched hand, Zelda and Emily following behind with looks of hope on their now smiling faces. Digging frantically away at the rubble, they found Sage's head, smirking up at them.
"Nice tae see ye guys again." Sage said hoarsely.
After pulling out the weakened Sage, he said. "Ach, I thought I knew what pain was before."
Emily threw her arms around Sage's neck and pulled him down and kissed him. "Don't you ever scare me like that again, do you hear me Sage McIntire?" A relieved smile crossed her lips.
"Yes, ma'am." Sage said slyly as her kissed her back.
After a day of descending from the peak of death mountain, Sage peered up at the looming mountain and remarked. "I hope I ne'er have tae gae through that again!"
"Well," Zelda said with a hint of laughter in a voice. "After what Em did to Ganon, I doubt that he'd want to either!"
When they reached their awaiting horses, they mounted up and rode slowly back to Hyrule castle. Zelda and Link rode side by side as Link held the rein's of Perrin's horse, while Sage and Emily rode together on Stardancer.
When they made it back, Deeana greeted them with open arms. "Oh, Zelda, Link you're back! We thought that you didn't make it!! Oh and Sage I have some wonderful news! We have found a way to get you home!"
"Really?!" Sage asked excitedly.
"Oh Sage that's wonderful!" Emily said smiling at Sage.
"Yes, its really quite simple all we have to do is get all the sages together and, um where's Perrin?" Deeana asked.
The four looked down sadly at her question. "Ganon, he opened up a hole in the ground beneath us...Perrin broke his neck when he landed." Sage answered slowly and sadly.
"Oh by Nayru's love! How awful!" Walking up to Link, the old woman continued. "Are you all right, poor boy? I know how that he was like a brother to you."
"Yeah," Link answered distantly. "I'll be fine."
Looking over at her husband with worry, Zelda dismounted. Her hair fluffed as her feet met the ground. Giving her horse to a stableman she led Deeana a little way back from Link so that he couldn't hear them.
"Deeana, please get the funeral preparations ready for Perrin in the Temple of Light, I don't think that Link wants to be bothered with that at this particular point in time."
"Yes dear, I'll get things ready."
A light drizzle marked the day of the funeral for Perrin.
It was a funeral fitting for the hero that Perrin was. Everyone in Hyrule was crowded into the temple. After the ceremony, a carriage drawn by six snow white horses headed the funeral line followed by Link and Zelda side by side, then Sage and Emily beside each other, and finally the nobles of Hyrule all wearing solemn faces as they made their way to the graveyard in Kakariko Village.
Passing the graves of Hyrule's past heroes they stopped at the freshly dug one for the teen. After the graveside prayer service, led by Rauru, the Sage of Light, most of the people left, leaving behind Link, Zelda, Emily, and Sage. Sage and Emily left a short while later, leaving behind Link and Zelda.
"You going to be all right, Link?" Zelda asked.
"Yeah, just give me awhile, go back to the castle."
After she kissed his cheek and said good bye Link was all alone.
The gentle breeze blew Link's blonde hair across his face as tears once again fell from his eyes as he stared at the grave of his prodigy.
"Link." A voice said.
Looking up from the ground, Link saw Perrin sitting relaxed on top of his tombstone, swinging a poe lantern in his hand. A silver light emanated from his body.
"P-Perrin?" Link whispered amazed, not believing his eyes.
Jumping down from his perch, Perrin's spirit walked over to Link.
"But shouldn't you be-?"
"Dead?" Perrin interrupted. That mistevious smile of Perrin's came to his lips. Chuckling warmly, he continued after Link nodded his head confused. "Yes, I am quite dead, but its not your fault or Sage's" He quickly added before Link could blame Sage again for his death.
The wind cut through Link and he pulled his overcoat tightly around his body. "I know, its just that, well...."
"What, that you never got to say goodbye?
Wiping away a tear from his cheek, Link nodded in agreement.
"Trust me, it won't help," Perrin's spirit began. "I don't know how many times I said good bye to my parents as they laid dieing on the ground when Ganon's minions attacked us during the Imprisoning War and I still didn't feel any better, so just forget about it Okay?"
"I guess so." Link sighed.
Nodding once, Perrin responded, "Good, I'm glad I got to see you one last time, but my time here is growing short, I must be leaving now." Perrin started to fade away.
"Farewell Link, thank you for all that you have done for me!" Then the spirit of Perrin was gone, leaving Link once again, alone.
Looking at the grave one more time, he turned around and headed back to the castle, a relieved smile shown on his face.
Arriving back at the castle, Link found Matrim.
"Matrim, where are Zelda, Sage, and Emily?"
"They're in the study, sir." The slim faced retainer said.
"Thank you," Said Link as he turned around and headed to the study.
"Link?" Matrim asked.
Turning his head, Link responded "Yeah?"
"You did a fine job with that boy, you should be proud."
"I am, Mat, I am." Link gave Matrim a half smile and headed off to the library.
When the door opened, Zelda, Sage, Emily and Deeana looked up from their conversation and saw a smiling Link in the doorway.
"Well, lad just dinae stand there!" Sage waved, "Come oan in!"
As Link made his way to the group, Emily complimented, "It looks like something went well while you were at the graveyard, you look so much better now."
Nodding his head in thanks, he sat down beside Zelda. "We were just discussing how to get Sage home." Zelda said.
Deeana then explained the plan. They had to gather the six sages in the Temple of Light where Link first drew the master sword from the pedestal of time.
"Then they will use the pendants that aided you the first time you dealt with Ganon and open up a rift in the air and Sage will step through it and back onto his own soil. It should be fairly simple." Zelda added after Deeana was done.
Nodding in understandment, Link looked over to Sage who smiling happily. "Well Sage, it looks like you're going to be heading home."
All were happy, save Emily, who wore a false smile when Sage looked down at her and hugged her. <My life will never be the same when he's gone.> She thought, her heart sinking.
One week later, having gathered all the sages together, the ceremony was going to begin.
All the sages stood in their corresponding carvings on the marble floor around the Pedestal of Time.
Saria, the green haired, blue eyed Kokiri on Forrest.
Darunia the Goron on Fire.
Princess Ruto, the tall and slender Zora on Water.
Nabooro, the Gerudo thief with long red hair and a jewel in the middle of her tanned forehead on Spirit.
The young Shiekah, Impa her purple eyes deep and mysterious stood on Shadow.
And Rauru, the plump, white-haired and bearded Hyrulian stood on Light.
"Now," Zelda instructed. "Hold the pendants up above your heads."
The sages raised the pendants of power above their heads. Rays of energy corresponding to the sages' pendant color flew up into the air high above them. Combining into one golden beam of energy it shot down as hit the floor. A swirling circle of blue and red formed.
"You ready Sage?" Link asked.
Nodding, Sage stepped forward and walked up to the rift that would lead him back to his simple fishing village in Scotland.
When Sage was about halfway there, Emily ran up to him. "Take me with you!"
Shaking his head, tears came to his eyes. "Nae Em, ye must stay here, were ye belong."
Emily opened her mouth, but Sage stopped her before she could say anything. "I'm sorry Em." He kissed her and held her close, whispering into her ear. "Tha gradh agam ort," He whispered in gaelic "I'll never forget ye me bonnie lass."
"Sage," Zelda pressed. "They can't hold the portal much longer, its now or never."
After nodding to Zelda, Sage kissed Emily one last time and started toward the portal that would send him home.
"Good bye, me friends! Trust me, I'll never forget ye!"
"I don't think you could!" Link shouted back.
They all said goodbye one last time as Sage stepped through. Then the room was quiet.
Looking around, Sage breathed in the familiar air around his village. "I made it. I'm home!"
Sage turned around to see his brother, running over to him.
"Angus!" Sage yelled to his younger brother as he met him half way.
"Were in God's name hae yae been lad? We thought that ye were captured by those MacInnes dogs!"
Walking along with Angus back to the village, Sage replied. "Ye wouldnea believe if I told ye."
Sage looked over to the left and saw his family running over to him and his brother.
"I'll tell ye o'er sup." Sage said as he gleefully rushed over to meet the members of his clan.
The McIntires were in the pub, listening to the pipers play as they ate, drank and talked.
"Sae, brother," Angus began. "Just where were ye?"
Sighing, Sage began his wild story of being in Hyrule, being possessed by the Dark Sage, about Link, Zelda, and Emily, especially Emily. He told them of his struggle with Ganon and the passing of Perrin. After his story was over, the McIntires sat silent, not really knowing what to say. Of course, Angus did.
"Ye'r right, I dinae believe it."
"And why not?" A female voice echoed through the silent pub.
Looking up, they all saw a hooded figure standing in the doorway. Sage's heart leapt in hope. <Oh, God, could it be?>
The figure seemed to read his mind. For as soon as her finished his thought, it pulled down the hood.
"Emily!" Sage shouted joyfully, jumping up out of his chair and running over to his love.
Taking her in his arms, Sage asked. "What are ye daen here, lass?"
"Simple," Emily said with a smile. "I just asked Zelda and the sages to open the rift again."
Sage cocked his eyebrow skeptically.
"Okay, so I did more than just asking." A quick flash of gold enveloped her. "If you know what I mean."
Shaking his head happily, Sage looked over at the members of his clan. "If ye'll exuse us-"
"Go on lad!" One of Sage's uncles yelled. "We'll mak due wi' out ye for a while!" His uncle winked slyly at him.
Sage gave him a look of warning and took Emily by her hand and stepped out side in to the star lit night.
After walking along the shore for a while, Sage stopped and looked over at Emily's beautiful face.
"Um, Em, I-have somethin' te ask o' ye." Sage said nervously.
Crooking her head in question, she looked at Sage.
"Um, yea, well." Sage dropped to one knee with Emily's hand in his. Emily al'Miere, will ye dae the honor o' bein' me wife?"
Emily's eyes teared up happily and gave Sage a wordless nod. Putting his arms around her, he pulled Emily close. Looking deeply into her shinning eyes reflecting the moonlight, Sage kissed his future wife.
High above them, Ganon's face appeared looking down at the scene. It smiled evilly and disappeared.
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