Raising The Stakes

by Eon


Chapter Seven: Freddom Recaptured

     

"Sora wake up!" Link said, shaking her.

"No!" Sora snapped, her eyes not even open. She snuggled deeper into the blankets. "I don't want to. Go away."

Link slapped Sora across the face as hard as he could, even though it went against everything his parents had taught him about how to treat girls. Sora's eyes widened and she said up, holding her hand to her flaming cheek. She glared at Link, unable to keep a tear from spilling over, running down her cheek and splashing on the ground.

"Hey!" Frat gave Link a violent shove. "What did you do that for?"

"Shut up!" Sora hissed. "Both of you! Keep it down or they'll know what we're up to!"

Frat and Link stared at her for a moment, then they both shrugged in unison. Sora stood up, shaking off the fur blankets, and walked over to where Poonta and Oliana sat, both of them waiting impatiently for Isannah's return. Sora sat down next to them and rubbed her still stinging cheek gently.

"How much longer do you think this will take?" Sora asked, dropping her hand.

"I'm not sure." Oliana admitted. "Isannah is smart, but she's young. She may have fallen asleep."

"That wouldn't be good." Sora stated dryly.

At that moment they heard scratching outside the cell. A key turned in the lock and the door was pushed open slowly. Isannah poked her head in, glanced around, then motioned for them to follow her. Oliana, Poonta and Sora stood up and followed her out, with Link and Frat on their heels. Link took the lead when Isannah had locked the door and led the small group out into the long hall.

They walked silently down the unguarded hall in a straight line. <I>They must not be too worried about our escape,</I> Sora thought. She was behind Frat, in the very back of the line, looking around warily. Link led them down long, twisting corridors to a wall Tapestry. Sora feel her jaw drop as she looked at the Tapestry. It was big, the edges fringed, with a black unicorn standing across from a white unicorn on it. The Unicorns stood by a waterfall at night, the moon full and silver behind them. They had their sharp horns crossed, but Sora got a feeling of peace from the picture, instead of war.

Link pushed aside the Tapestry, revealing a door, and pushed I open. Behind it was sheer darkness, and Sora shivered as she stepped into it. The stairway was steep, and it was difficult to see where they were going. The companions held onto each other tightly, as the path seemed to never end. Suddenly a dim light shined through, and they were out of a door in the side of the castle, out into the dim midnight air, which was cool on Sora's cheeks.

"The night!" Sora hissed excitedly.

She pushed past Frat and ran out onto the field in front of the castle, her friends following the suit. It felt so good to be out of the cell after so long. Sora and her friends laughed and ran silently passed the sleeping guards. They ran for the castle gate like young, wild colts, just set free from a long night in the stables.

"So, you made it out."

Sora froze in her tracks and turned very slowly, shaking visibly. Behind her, Kyrissam and Faylah stood with Yzane and Mylintha. <I>No, no, no!</I> Sora thought. She backed up a step, reaching for Link's sword, only to find it wasn't there. Sora moved towards her friends slowly, inch by inch, needing their company. Before she could reach them Faylah dashed forward and grabbed her, slapping her across the face.

"Faylah." Kyrissam said in a warning tone.

"I won't hurt herůmuch." Faylah said, looking back at him.

"Let me go, you old hag!" Sora hissed, struggling to pull out of Faylah's grip.

"Old hag?" Faylah shrieked. "You little brat!"

Faylah threw Sora backwards into a tree. She raised her hands, curled like claws, and charged forward, slamming Sora harder into the tree trunk. Faylah grabbed her by the neck and lifted her, cutting off her air. Sora kicked her feet as her air quickly slipped away from her. She became dizzy, disoriented. Everything was going blacků

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Link watched in horror as Sora struggled with Faylah. Faylah was so much stronger, and she had Sora by the throat. Sora was beginning to lose it, Link could see it from here. Frat struggled with Yzane, trying to get away, to help his sister. <I>I've got to do something!</I> Link thought frantically. But what could he do? He had nothing to fight with, and Faylah was stronger than even him.

Suddenly the air in front of Link began to swirl in an array of colors. Link watched, stunned into complete paralysis, as an apparition of his Grandfather appeared. He was holding his sword, the sword he had given Link when he was younger. Link shook his head and stepped forward, hand outstretched. As he did, the apparition disappeared, letting the sword clatter to the ground. Startled, Link reached down and picked it up. He had been certain that Yzane had taken it from Sora, yet here it was.

Link held the sword, staring at it, knowing it had once been his grandfather's. Link looked up to see Sora out cold; she didn't even look like she was breathing anymore. Infuriated, Link raised the sword and ran forward. A battle cry he didn't know and never remembered hearing escaped his lips, and Faylah turned around, dropping Sora to the ground.

Faylah didn't have a chance to scream, as Link drove the sword through her lower torso. He twisted it and jerked it upward. Faylah's eyes widen and she staggered backwards falling off the sword. Link stared at the blood blade in shock, unable believe that he had just killed someone, something he had never done before in his life. Link jumped when he heard an anguished cry behind him. He turned to see Kyrissam running towards him.

Link dropped his sword in surprise, and stood dumbfounded as Kyrissam pushed him aside and kneeled beside Faylah. Kyrissam cried out and shook his lover, his face very pale. Link backed away from him, bumping into Frat, Oliana and Poonta. Yzane and Mylintha lay on the ground, old cold. Sora, not two feet away from where Kyrissam sat holding Faylah, began to stir. She sat up, blinking and looked around, confused.

"They were in love." Frat murmured.

"I'm going to be sick." Link whimpered, clutching his stomach.

All of the companions were startled to hear Kyrissam crying as he leaned over Faylah, his shirt soaked with her blood. Sora glanced around, still slightly confused, and picked up Link's sword from where he'd dropped it on the ground. Quietly she crept up to the two, watching her friends' faces as she did. Slowly, Sora raised the sword, and brought it down hard into Kyrissam's back.

There was a shriek, cut short, and Kyrissam slumped forward, dead. Sora put down the sword and lifted her face, tears spilling down her cheeks. She stood and walked over to her friends, who all stood looking at the dead couple. Sora rested her head against Link's shoulder, feeling sick herself.

"At least they'll be together." Oliana said, her voice low.

All of the companions nodded in agreement and turned away from the bloody scene. They walked back to the castle, Oliana holding Isannah in her arms, all of them silent. As they approached the drawbridge, Cara and Nicodemus ran up to meet them.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

"Thank you again, your majesty, for rescuing us from their spell." Yzane said, shaking Link's hand. "I feel now that there can be a peace between us."

"Yes, thank you." Mylintha said, hanging on Yzane's arm.

"Your people do not deserve to be treated like that." Link said. "I hope everything works out okay for you, Yzane. You are the first male Gerudo in one hundred years. I hope the same does not happen to you as happened to the previous leader."

Yzane nodded. "My people must go through many changes. I refuse to dispose of our tradition, but we not be corrupted any longer."

Link nodded and dismissed them as his head began to ache. He stood, looking grand in his emerald green tunic, full sleeved white shirt, breeches and leather boots. He felt awful, it being only a week after they had buried the bodies of Kyrissam and Faylah at Lake Hylia, in honor of their love.

Link's friend were waiting for him when he got outside, Frat and Sora holding their horses steady. Oliana, Isannah and Poonta was with them, saying their good-byes. Link walked over to them and hugged them. <I>I'll miss them,</I> Link thought. Sora smiled at him and handed him his sword.

"You keep it." Link told her, pushing it back at her. "I can't fight with it any longer."

Sora grinned. "I'd not use it myself, but I'm so short I'll need it to defend myself."

"Of course." Link chuckled. "Let me help you with that, short stuff."

Sora glared at him but turned around so Link could strap the sword to her back. To her surprise, instead of the bits of cloth she normally used, Link used a leather sword belt, buckled over her shoulder. Sora turned around and Link ruffled her hair, but for once she didn't mind so much. Sora climbed into Robin's saddle, smiling.

"I'm glad you chose to give yourselves some time." Frat said.

Link shrugged. "Why get married if we don't have to? Besides, I need to know Oli better. Right now I still think she's stuck up."

"Hey!" Oliana elbowed him in the ribs.

Link laughed and put an arm around Oliana's shoulder. Isannah began to wave frantically as Frat and Sora turned their horses and began to ride away. Poonta stood behind Link and Oliana watching her friends go. The sun was high in the sky, the air was cool, and the day was bright and full of hope.

The Endůof this adventure.



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