Book 1: The Usurper

  By: Julietta F.

Chapter 5


I will reward you handsomely....wasn't that what She had said to the guard in the temple? Yes, but hopefully it didn't have the same meaning here. Maarei learned that the Kokiri somehow never grew up. So maybe Saria won't be able to help much after all.

Besides, Saria couldn't leave the forest temple, and Maarei couldn't leave Saria. But crossing the sea to get to Hyrule would take more than two weeks, so Ganondorf wouldn't get here until Link was back. So she was safe. Wasn't she? Was she?

Ganondorf didn't know how she was gone. But she was, and now he had to find her. At first he thought Maarei was somewhere in Melanthos. For a whole week and a half, he had sent his spies to look for her all over the country, with no luck. Then it hit him. She was too smart to hide in her own country.

Maarei hid in Hyrule. Just where he had been planing to go next.

"Carry out with my normal plans," he told his spies, his army, and his followers.

"That's ridiculous! That princess girl could have the whole world against you in days! Get her first!" shouted one of his spies.

Ganondorf killed him on the spot.

"A true servant of mine obeys without question," he said. "See that you all do."

He called eleven of his soldiers to his command.

"You will come with me to Hyrule. We'll look for Link first, he'll probably be in the Kokiri Forest. We'll sack the forest and kill him. And look for Maarei while in the forest. Then we can go to the Lost Woods and capture Saria. With one sage I can easily win over a country. She's only a child. She won't give much trouble. We leave tomorrow. I'll transport us there, so we won't have to use the sea. You are dismissed."

Maarei realized in the last week that she had never named her sword. I shall name it Revenge, and slay Ganondorf with it, she thought. There was nothing to do everyday but practice with Revenge for hours and wait for Link to come back. Maarei was growing very impatient. There wasn't much time.

It was early morning, an hour before the sun rose, when she heard strange noises in the Kokiri Forest. At once she was awake and alert. She ran to the exit of the Lost Woods to see what was going on. At first all Maarei could see was Kokiri running around frantically in fear and confusion, but then she saw the shape from behind one of the houses. Even from far away, she could not mistake Ganondorf.

I keep on underestimating him, Maarei thought. I can never afford to do that. She whirled and ran back into the Lost Woods, all the way to the Forest Temple. I have to get Saria out of the forest before Ganondorf gets here. Maarei had inserted a pulley in the huge tree just before the Forest Temple. She raised herself up in it.

"Saria!" Maarei yelled as she entered the Forest Temple. "Wake up!"

Maarei burst into Saria's bedroom.

"Saria!" she said again, shaking her awake. "You have to wake up!"

Saria blinked drowsily and yawned.

"What?" she asked sleepily.

"Ganondorf is here! With some of his men! We have to leave!"

Saria sat straight up in bed.

"What? Ganondorf? But he's-"

"He's not dead. I don't know how. But you have to leave the forest now! He'll be here soon!"

Maarei took Saria by the hand and started leading her out of the room.

"But I can't!" Saria said.

"You have to! Come on, Saria, hurry!" Maarei said, pulling harder.

"I'll die!" Saria almost yelled. "Stop pulling me!"

Maarei let go.

"Die?" she said slowly.

"Yes! Kokiri can't leave the forest without dying!" said Saria, and burst into tears.

Maarei looked around, helplessly. Then she had an idea.

"Saria, we need to meet with the Sages immediately!" Maarei exclaimed. "They'll know what to do! How do you talk to them?"

Saria picked up her ocarina and played an eerie song. Then she and Maarei were suddenly swept up into a swirling mist.

When the mist cleared, Maarei found herself in a room with six glowing pedestals, one for each Sage. Saria was on the Forest pedestal.

"We'd better call Rauru," Saria said. "He's the oldest."

She played another weird song on her ocarina, and with a swirl of light, Rauru appeared on the Light pedestal.

"Why do you call at such an early hour?" Rauru said sleepily.

"I need to leave the forest," Saria said.

"What? Why?" Rauru said, surprised.

"Ganondorf is attacking it, and he's looking for me," Saria told him.

"Did you say Ganondorf?" Rauru asked, bewildered.

"Yes, he's alive somehow," Maarei cut in. "There isn't time for questions. Saria needs to get out, fast!"

"I see," said Rauru, thinking. "Well, she can't stay here, the chamber of Sages is just a meeting place, and we don't know how long she'll have to stay. The easiest way would be to disguise her and have her live in a town." Rauru worked a magic spell, and in a flash, Saria had brown hair. The change was startling.

"Saria, you also have to give up your faerie. They are to obvious. Ganondorf could spot you in a crowd easily."

"My faerie? I've never lived without a faerie!" Saria said fearfully.

"I'm sorry. Desperate times call for desperate measures."

Saria's faerie disappeared.

"Don't worry, she'll be in the forest when you come back. Now, you may leave the forest on one condition; that you do not speak. Not to anyone, for any reason, or you will die. Do you understand?"

Saria nodded fearfully.

"Good. Go now." Rauru vanished from the pedestal. Saria played a different song on her ocarina, and the mist come again, sending them back to the Lost Woods.

"Run. As far as you can. I'll stall him so you can get away." Saria darted through the trees and disappeared.

Maarei watched Saria go, and then looked around, looking for an escape for herself. Screams and cries of death were coming from the Kokiri Forest now. Maarei shuddered. She thought hard. If she went into the Forest Temple, Ganondorf would find her. She couldn't go forward, Ganondorf would be waiting for her. There was no backward. Maarei considered following Saria's path...but that would give away Saria. She decided that the best thing to do would be to act like Saria was still inside the temple, and stall him. Ganondorf was big and strong, but Maarei was light and quick. She could run if she had to.

She could hear Ganondorf and his men enter the Lost Woods. Maarei suddenly had a wild fear that he would recognize her. But my eyes, and my ears! They don't look Hylian! She let her hair fall over her ears, and her eyes...well, she just told herself not to look straight at him.

And her sword, he would recognize that too. Maarei rubbed dirt on the blade, taking away some of it's shine. She blocked out her initials with more dirt. The hilt she could hide with her hand.

Maarei sheathed Revenge and waited. Be air, and slip through anyone's fingers, she thought. Ganondorf and his men rode into the Sacred Forest Meadow. He looked at the Forest Temple, and then at her.

"Get out of my way, boy," Ganondorf said.

Maarei said nothing. Even if he didn't recognize her looks, he would recognize her voice, she was sure of that. She unsheathed Revenge, and stood very still. One of his men started to move toward her, but Ganondorf stopped him, smirking.

"The kid wants to fight!" he said, amused. "I like that attitude. Well, I'll fight him." Ganondorf said. At first she thought he was joking, that he was just going to kill her, but he unsheathed his longsword and stepped forward.

"Come on kid, you want a fight, you have one."

Maarei didn't move. She wasn't sure what to do. She studied him warily.

"Fine, if you don't want to fight, I'll just kill you," Ganondorf said.

He swung his longsword at her indifferently. She met it with a block, but the force of the blow sent a pain up her wrist. She shifted to a two handed grip as he swung again. She blocked. Then she attacked, and he blocked. Faster and faster it went, back and forth, back and forth. Maarei already felt her arm growing numb. Their swords were a silver blur through the air. The clanging rang through the meadow. It seemed like all time had stopped, that there was only this fight, the only thing that mattered in the whole World.

Then, suddenly, she saw an opening. She jumped to the side and swung with all her might. He let out a cry of disbelief as his sword flew from his hands and landed in a nearby tree. the exact same moment, Maarei heard a sickening crack. She looked down at her sword, and saw in horror that it the blade had broken in two, leaving a little of the blade, along with the hilt, in her hand. It had just been a slender fencing sword. Of course it would break with enough blows from a massive longsword.

So now what? she thought. We both lose? Oh no, my hilt, if he sees it he's sure to recognize it. Maarei threw the hilt into a pond. The soldiers paid it no notice.

One of Ganondorf's men fetched his longsword.

"You put up a good fight," he said, sheathing it. "We could make use of a boy like you."

No, Maarei thought. I will never join your side. You'll have to kill me first. Then she was surrounded by his men. She looked for an escape, any escape. The pulley on the huge tree was behind her. She leaped into it and started to raise herself in it, quickly. She got halfway up and they cut it. It fell down, and she fell with it. Her arms were flailing for something to hold on to. Maarei crashed to the ground. Her breath was knocked out of her, and she gasped for air. Then her world faded.


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