Raising The Stakes

by Eon

Chapter Three: The Walking Dead


"This isn't possible!" Kyrissam shouted. "You're dead!"

Sora nodded. "Correct. I'm dead, you killed me, and now I'm back to set right all your wrongs."

"Sora, that isn't going to work." Frat sat, moving up next to her. "They're not as dumb as they look."

"Good point." Sora said, grinning.

"Frat?" Link murmured, staring.

"Link, are you okay?" Sora asked.

Link shook his head dumbly. "You're…alive…"

"Good. Now can you say-"

Frat clamped a hand over Sora's mouth, cutting her off. He grabbed Robin's reins for her while she dismounted. She was nearly a foot shorter than Kyrissam, but she stood, arms crossed, glaring up at him. She's either very brave, Link thought, or very stupid. Sora smiled, glanced at Link, then pulled his sword from her back. She lay it on the ground in front of her and kneeled in a submissive position.

"Very good." Kyrissam laughed. "Give up now, for resistance is futile."

"That's what you think." Sora murmured.

She reached out and grabbed the sword, bringing the hilt up to and slamming it hard into Kyrissam's crotch area. Kyrissam screamed and doubled over; Faylah ran forward and made a grab for Sora, nails curled like claws. Sora dodged, rolling across the ground, and landed up against the wall. The sword slid from her grasp, but she quickly snatched it up again and brought the blade down, slicing through Link's bonds.

"You'll pay for this!" Kyrissam squeaked.

"I'm afraid we're a little short on Rupees." Sora quipped.

Faylah advanced on her, sharp nails raised. Sora brought up her sword, staggering a bit under it's weight. Faylah crashed into her, knocking her to the ground. Faylah clawed at her and Sora dropped her sword again, this time unable to retrieve it. Frat grabbed Faylah and pulled her off Sora. Faylah clawed the air and screamed like a wild animal. At that moment Kyrissam leapt forward and grabbed Frat, slinging him into the wall.

"Frat!" Sora cried. She grabbed the sword and raised it once again.

Kyrissam grabbed her by the shirt collar and lifted her off her feet. The sword dropped from her hand and Sora realized she was in serious trouble. Kyrissam pulled his fist back and Sora closed her eyes tightly. There was a terrible, searing white pain, and the blackness.


Sora woke with a splitting headache sometime later. She reached up to rub her head, only to discover her hands were tied behind her back. Sora frowned and looked around. Link and Frat lie unconscious not far from her, while Poonta was leaning up against a wall looking dazed, and Oliana's screams came from somewhere nearby.

"She's awake, my love." Faylah said.

"Ah good." Kyrissam smiled, walking around until he was in Sora's line of vision. "Did you sleep well, Princess?"

"Why yes, that's the best I've slept in a long time." Sora quipped. "My compliments to your fist."

Kyrissam backhanded her, sending her flying against the wall. "I'm glad you like it so much. With that mouth of yours you may be spending a lot of time meeting up with it…fist to face."

"Ooo…" Sora cooed. "I just hate it when the bad guys out do me."

"Shut up, you impertinent little brat!" Kyrissam hissed. "Or I'll cut out your tongue."

"First tell me what that screaming is all about." Sora said.

Kyrissam grinned. "That would be Yzane, enjoying Lady Oliana's company."

"You…you!" Sora stammered, her eyes flaring up with anger. "You're sick!"

Kyrissam turned his back to her, laughing evilly. Sora struggled with her bonds, looking desperately in the direction of the screaming. She inched over to Link and nudged him with her elbow. Link started and opened his eyes, looking over at her, then nudged Frat awake. Sora made a guesture as if telling them to be silent, and pulled her hands from behind her back. She pressed her shoulder up against Link's and began untying the ropes that held him captive, being as silent as possible. When she was done they moved to Frat and undid his ropes, then they all stood up.

"Hey, Kyrissam!" Sora shouted. Kyrissam spun around. "Yeah that's right! Should have tied the ropes a bit tighter!"

"Why you little brats!" Kyrissam shouted.

"That's getting old." Sora said.

"Hey, if you don't want to see real walking dead," Link chimed in, "Then you might want to go inside before it gets dark."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Kyrissam demanded.

"Well, seeing as it's about to get dark, you'll find out."

Sora looked over to the sun as it began to set. <I>Wow, I had no idea I'd been out so long,</I> Sora thought. <I>You would think after a month of sleep I wouldn't do that</I> Sora watched the sun lower itself behind the hills. She glanced over at Link and noticed even in the dim light that his face was very pale. Sora glanced around for Link's sword and spotted it on the ground near Faylah's feet. Slowly she inched forward, staying as silent as possible. Just as the sun disappeared behind the hills, Faylah spun around and hissed at Sora, her claws raised.

Suddenly the ground beneath their feet trembled and shook violently. Faylah stumbled back and Sora fell to her knees. She reached out and snatched up the sword, holding it close to her protectively. The ground beside her cracked and a dirt covered, skeletal hand reached up. Sora screamed and jumped to her feet, struggling to stay standing as the ground rocked beneath her. Something grabbed her ankle and Sora screamed again.

"Frat! Link!" Sora shrieked. She glanced down to see another skeletal hand grasping her ankle.

Sora struck at it with her sword, but then she realized that it wasn't pulling her into the ground. Instead it was using her to pull itself up! Sora flailed her arms about wildly, trying to break away. She slid on the slick grass and fell onto her side. Immediately the hand let go and waved around, trying to find something else to get a hold of. Link and Frat rushed forward and dragged Sora away.

Kyrissam and was holding Faylah, who had a one foot caught and Sora could see the top of a skull poking up from underneath the red earth. Other heads and some torsos had lifted themselves out of the ground. Yzane had ran over to them and dropped Oliana at their feet, then took off for the castle. Link helped Oliana up and she clung to him tightly.

"Let's get to the castle!" Link said, tugging Oliana along.

Sora, Frat, Link, Poonta and Oliana held onto each other as they made their way to castle. They could hear Kyrissam and Faylah screaming and cursing behind them. <I>Good,</I> Sora thought. <I>Maybe those things will kill them.</I> Sora held Link's sword at her side and nearly tripped over as they raced across the castle draw bridge.


All five children lay sprawled on the floor in what had been dubbed the family room. It was a small room with a wide brick fireplace and soft, comfortable furniture. Only members of the royal family were allowed in here. It was where they spent their free time, so they could be together. Link limped over to the fire and lit it, using a bit of flint rock and a piece of wood. He tossed a log on it to make it flare up.

Sora crawled over to him and leaned against him, holding her hands over the fire. Link smiled and ruffled her hair like he would his little sister. Sora elbowed him in the ribs, glaring at him. In mock outrage Link grabbed her and began to tickle her. Sora yelped and struggled away.

"You two, get serious." Frat muttered, sitting up. "Now is a really bad time for fun and games."

"Aww, Frat don't be so grouchy." Sora sighed.

Frat rolled his eyes. "I think now is a very good time to be in a bad mood."

"Frat, get Oliana. We need to get out of here." Link said, standing up.

Frat picked up Oliana and followed Link through a small door at one side of the room. Sora strapped Link's sword to her back and followed as well, sneezing as dust and cobwebs went up her nose. The tunnel was dark and not very wide, but it wasn't very long either. As soon as Sora was able to see the light ahead, the small line stopped dead.

"Run for it!" Link shouted.

Sora just ran, not thinking why. When she burst out into the light she was startled to see Kyrissam, Faylah and their small army of Gerudos chasing them. <I>They never quit, do they?</I> Sora thought. She realized that they were driving them toward the front of the castle. They wouldn't be able to leave without heading onto Hyrule Field, and none of them wanted to do that.

Link stopped, putting out his hands to keep his companions from passing him. In front of them were large skeletons, dirt and on some, fleshy tissue, hanging off of them. Sora turned to see Kyrissam and his army advancing on them. She tugged Link's sword off her back and held it out in front of her.

"Between a rock and a hard place." Sora muttered.

"Yeah but which is the rock and which is the hard place?" Link asked.

"Well let's see. They have sword…the skeletons don't." Sora said.

"Ever been touched by the dead? They touch you and you drop dead." Link told her.

"Okay…I'm starting to think this was a bad idea." Sora quipped.

"It wasn't exactly our idea." Link reminded her.

"Stop the chatter!" Kyrissam snapped. "I've had it with you brats! It's time for a little bloodshed."

"Wait!" Sora stepped forward. "Why don't we…um…have a contest! Yeah, that's it! A contest!"

"We don't have time for games!" Kyrissam hissed.

"Well you ought to give us a fair chance." Sora pointed out. "Won't it be more fun if we put up a fight."

"Oh, she's so right Sammi!" Faylah cooed. "Please let's go along with her idea? Please?"

"Okay." Kyrissam consented, sighing.

Faylah clapped her hands gleefully. "Yay! I just love games where someone has to die!"

"So what do you have in mind?" Kyrissam asked, suspicious.

"I series of games." Sora said. "A horse race, a gauntlet and so on."

"What's the prize?" Kyrissam asked.

Sora took a deep breath. "Link. If you win, you get him. If me and Frat win, he belongs to us."

"I love it!" Kyrissam laughed.

"Hey wait!" Link interrupted. "Don't I get a chance to fight for myself?"

"You don't have a teammate." Sora pointed out.

"I'll be his teammate." Poonta said, stepping forward.

"Better watch out boy." Faylah taunted. "She might stab your back while you're not looking."

"I'm not worried." Link said.

"Well, then it's set." Kyrissam said. "Tomorrow we'll start. For now, take them to the dungeon."

Mylintha and Yzane moved forward and grabbed Link and Frat. They were less afraid of Sora, Poonta or Oliana getting away, so they made them move forward with spears. They led them down into the dark, damp dungeon and threw them all in a cell together. Mylintha locked the door and left the key on the wall farthest from the cell. Then they both left, leaving the children in the darkness.

"I don't like this." Link said.

"Nor I." Frat agreed. "But it is our only chance. Good thinking Sora."

Sora shrugged, although it was not visible in the dark. "There is no other choice. I will not let my friends die, for any reason."

"Sora, I'm amazed." Link said. "In the short time we've been together, you've learned to care. And your wonderful at it."

Link reached over and ruffled her hair again. Sora swatted playfully at his hand, then curled up next to Frat on the cold, hard floor. Oliana and Link curled up on the floor near them and Poonta lay down in front of the cell door protectively. <I>Together we can do anything,</I> Sora thought. <I>Together nothing can stop us.</I> Glancing at her friends in the dark, she wondered if they felt the same way.

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