Disclaimer: I don’t want to get in whatever trouble people can get into when using other people’s characters so - The Legend of Zelda, Link, Zelda, Ganon, Hyrule and other related characters and settings belong to to that wonderous console company, Nintendo. No infringement intended.

The Third Triforce

Juliet A. Singleton (Scullys@bigfoot.com) & Kirsty Singleton (arcadionseye@btopenworld.com)

Chapter 3


Later on in the evening, Link and Zelda were sat together on a couch in the drawing room, quietly studying some old Hylian books they'd found in the library about the Underworld. Link was pretty happy, glad that Zelda had finally stopped being so evasive to his affections. They were all alone too, for the King had taken Fenella to see a play in Mido, and Fayette had gone with them. It was past ten 'o' clock, but neither of them were tired. Zelda was leaning against him slightly, but concentrating hard on the book she was studying. However, a few minutes later she looked up. "Link, I've been thinking..." she murmured, a slight smile on her lips.
    "Uhuh? About what?" Link asked.
    "Well, I think we should..." she began. The King and Fenella suddenly entered the room, talking in low voices.
    "Oh Zelda. Just the person we wanted to see," Fenella remarked, seeing them sat nearby.
    "About what?" Zelda asked, faintly annoyed.
    "Well my dear, I'm slightly concerned over a few things," the King started. Fenella smiled over at Link.
    "We'd prefer it if we could talk to Zelda alone Link," she said.
    "Uh, sure, okay," Link said, standing up.
    "No, you don't have to go," Zelda said, pulling him back down again.
    "It would be better if he did, I'm afraid," the King said.
    "Well we were busy," Zelda retorted, pouting slightly.
    "Doing what?" the King asked.
    "Uh, reading these," Zelda said, gesturing to the books they'd piled onto a table and the ones they were holding.
    "You're always reading. They aren't anything important," the King commented.
    "Yes, and we need to discuss something with you," Fenella said impatiently.
    "Oh look at the time," Zelda said, looking over at the clock. "I think I need to get some rest," she said sweetly.
    "No my dear, you'll stay down here. Link, take those books back to the library or wherever you got them from," the King ordered.
    "Yes, Your Highness," Link answered, picking up all the books and walking outside with them. Fenella closed the door behind him. Zelda remained on the couch, looking sulky. She had a feeling that Fayette had obviously been telling tales.

"Okay, what have I done now?" she asked offhandedly. The King sighed and Fenella looked annoyed at Zelda's manner.
    "My dear," the King began, sitting down on a nearby chair. Zelda didn't say anything, but waited expectantly. Fenella seated herself also. "It came to light today to me, that you and Link rather do spend a lot of time together," the King began. Zelda frowned.
    "So what if we do? You never minded before," she said.
    "Well no, but he is your suitor now, and well, it's rather improper of you to be alone together so much," the King explained.
    "Improper? Oh I see, Fayette's been filling your head with her silly virtues," Zelda snapped.
    "Zelda! Don't you dare speak of my daughter in that way!" Fenella said angrily.
    "Well, how dare you imply that me and Link are doing things we oughtn't to be doing!" Zelda retorted.
    "Zelda, we didn't say that," the King said.
    "Yes, but remember what my Faye told us," Fenella spoke up.
    "Sure, we were kissing each other. Big deal. It's not like it's illegal or anything," Zelda interrupted.
    "It isn't proper behaviour for a young, well-bred lady like you," Fenella replied.
    "Fenella is right my dear. It isn't really the way you should act at all," the King said. Zelda gave the two of them a withering look.
    "Oh how terrible of me. I ought to be ashamed," she said sarcastically.
    "Zelda, don't take that tone of voice with me. Despite the fact you are no longer a child, you are still my daughter and I am your Father. You must treat me with respect," the King said. Zelda sighed loudly.
    "I do. But I think I have a right to decide things for myself," she said huffily.
    "Yes my dear, but unfortunately, you have an astounding capacity for constantly making the wrong decisions," the King replied sadly.
    "I don't see what you mean," Zelda replied, looking puzzled.
    "Zelda, what your Father means is that your decision to act improperly with Link, is not a wise one," Fenella explained.
    "We are not doing anything wrong!" Zelda cried, finally sick of the lecture.
    "Zelda, I feel I have been far too lenient once again. I let you have your own way over who you would marry. Now look how you're behaving!" the King said, starting to get angry himself.
    "What? I don't see the problem," Zelda said, her tone verging on that of disbelief. She stood up. "I simply can't believe you would say these things! Why, only a week ago, you couldn't care or less. But ever since they arrived," she said, glaring at Fenella, "I've been constantly criticised by Fayette, even though she has absolutely no right at all to have a say in my affairs. And now, you and Fenella are doing exactly the same thing! I don't even consider that it's anything to do with you Fenella. I mean, it's not like you're my mother or anything."
    "Zelda! That's enough!" the King said sharply.
    "Yes, you really should be more respectful of your elders," Fenella reprimanded.
    "Well, I've had enough of this pointless conversation," Zelda decided, storming out of the room before either her Father or Fenella could protest.

The next morning, Link and Zelda managed to evade attending breakfast. In the early hours of the morning, Link had crept to Zelda's room and woken her. They carefully and quietly had made their way down to the stables were they had mounted up on their steeds, Carefree and Moonmist and headed for Mido where Aramis' funeral was being held. They arrived in Mido mid-morning where they stopped at a tavern which Selina and Drake had recommended to enjoy brunch. As arranged, they met Selina there. Now that the funeral had arrived it made Selina even more grievous and unsettled. To her, the funeral confirmed the death of Aramis even more, at the time it had hardly seemed real.

"It was all Enzar's fault, if only he hadn't ruined the ether I probably would've been able to heal him. But by the time he had restored it, Aramis had already slipped away. I really loved him you know, I admired him as well. I suppose it was more of a platonic love than anything but all the same, who knows what could have happened if he hadn't died," Selina said softly. "If there was one thing in the world that I could wish for it would be to have Aramis back. And not only that but the way he died, those words we heard him say before he died. When he died he wasn't Aramis," Selina explained, choking back the tears. Link wrapped his arms around Selina comfortingly while she let her tears go.
    "Hey now, come on you just let it all out," said Link soothingly. After a few minutes Selina pulled herself away from Link and leaned back against the wall. She hung her head dejectedly but still held back the many tears that, Link and Zelda knew, would follow after Aramis' funeral or even during the sad event. Selina rose to her feet and managed to muster a small smile,
    "I'll just go up to my room that I'm renting. I'd like to be alone for a while to collect my thoughts. I'll come down when it's time to go, and, thanks for coming. I really appreciate it," said Selina smiling again before she walked towards the steps that led to her room. When she was gone, Link and Zelda stayed quiet for a while, just thinking of Selina. They hadn't known her or Aramis for that long but in the time that they had got to know the two they had both really liked them. Although they hadn't exactly seen Aramis' better side, from what Selina and others had told them, Aramis seemed like a really great character. Zelda suddenly stood up.
    "Come on, let's go to the town square for a bit. The stall holders may have some interesting things for sale," she suggested.
    "Okay," Link said, hastily scribbling a note for Selina. He handed it to the tavern keeper, then he and Zelda walked out into the morning sunshine.

Mido town square was always alive, whether there be a play on, or like today, market stalls. Many of the townsfolk greeted the two courteously, smiling and curtseying. While Link checked out some of the weapons, Zelda headed to the book stall. Ragar, the stall holder smiled at Zelda's approach. "Hello fair Princess. Haven't seen you in quite a while," he remarked. Zelda ran a hand through her blonde hair and smiled.
    "I've been a tad busy of late, Ragar," she answered. Zelda had purchased many good books from Ragar in the past, and by now, he knew her tastes well. Every time she came, he nearly always had something for her.
    "Well yes, what with having that Enzar trying to take over," Ragar said nodding.
    "That'd be right. So, you got any good books for me?" Zelda asked. Ragar bent down under the stall and retrieved a heavy, leather bound book.
    "Kept this one back especially for you. It's a Hylian text about the Underworld. Some friends of mine were laying the foundations for a cellar in Kasuto, when they came across some old trunks, full of books," Ragar explained.
    "Really? Can I take a look?" Zelda asked with interest. Ragar handed her the book. Zelda opened it. Its title was unfamiliar and she was pleased to see there were hand drawn maps inside.
    "How much?" she asked.
    "Twenty rupees," Ragar replied.
    "You sell too cheap. This is worth a whole lot more," Zelda said smiling. "If I put my prices up, I doubt anyone but yourself would buy," Ragar replied.
    "I'll give you thirty," Zelda replied, handing Ragar a red rupee and two blue rupees. Rager smiled.
    "So where's young Link then? I thought you two were inseparable," he grinned.
    "He's somewhere about," Zelda replied, looking round for Link.
    "So is it true that you two are gonna tie the knot?" Ragar asked, looking amused.
    "Hey, who told you?" Zelda asked, looking equally amused.
    "Ah, I'm not telling," Ragar grinned. Zelda smiled.
    "I'll leave you to speculate," she said, waving before walking into the crowd.

A short while later, Zelda and Link made their way back to the tavern. As they walked up the road, they were surprised to see Aaron's horse, Jet, tethered to a nearby post. Even more surprising was the fact that Fayette was standing next to the black stallion. Zelda froze at the scene then frowned at Fayette. "What are you doing here?" she demanded. Fayette smiled smugly.
    "Your Father is pretty angry that you didn't show for breakfast this morning," she said. "We had important things to do," Zelda replied airily, smoothing down the sides of the dark blue dress she'd chosen to wear in attendance to Aramis' funeral.
    "I guess you were right about that 'remarkable ability' for her turning up everywhere," Link whispered. Fayette looked annoyed at being left out of the conversation.
    "You really shouldn't leave without telling somebody though," she said.
    "We told Sprite," Link answered. Fayette folded her arms.
    "I hope Aaron knows you've borrowed his horse," Zelda said.
    "Of course he knows. He offered to let me ride Jet," Fayette replied superciliously.
    "Too bad he doesn't know what a little wretch you are," Zelda answered.
    "Wretch? Just wait until Mother hears that!" Fayette protested.
    "I'm sure she'll be most devastated," Zelda said.
    "Yeah, besides you still didn't tell us why you're here," Link added.
    "Can't a lady go for a quiet ride by herself?" Fayette moaned.
    "You knew we were going to be here, didn't you? I don't know who told you, but you'll have found out somehow!" Zelda accused.
    "I didn't. It's just a coincidence," Fayette replied coolly.
    "Too many of them happen when you're around," Zelda muttered darkly. Selina walked up to the group at that moment.
    "Hi," she said.
    "Finally, we can go," Zelda said, smiling.
    "Go where?" Fayette asked.
    "Nowhere you'd want to come," Link said, taking both Zelda and Selina by the arm and leading them down the street.
    "I hate her so much!" Zelda complained.
    "Who was that?" Selina asked.
    "Lady Fayette of Sosaria," Link said, grinning.
    "Her mother was an old friend of my Mother," Zelda explained.
    "Oh, I see. Well, it's time we went to the church," Selina said. "Okay. Just let me leave this book at the tavern," Zelda said, walking into the building.

There were many people present at the funeral. Link and Zelda stood with Selina, who was holding up remarkably well, considering the situation. Drake was there too, standing nearby. He and Aramis had once been good friends. Aramis' parents were standing towards the front of the group. "I have to go and say something," Selina said. The priest called her over. As Selina talked about Aramis, her voice never wavered once, although you could tell by her face she was hurting deeply. Link and Zelda both felt admiration for the woman. Zelda knew she'd never be able to do something like that herself. She wiped the tears away from her eyes and held onto Link's hand tightly. Selina made her way back over to them as Aramis was finally laid to rest.
    "You were wonderful Selina," Zelda said softly.
    "Yes, you should be proud of yourself," Link said, giving Selina a small hug. Selina looked down.
    "Maybe. But it was still all my fault that he died in the first place," she said quietly.
    "Don't blame yourself. You know it was Enzar's doing," Link said, trying to comfort her.
    "Come back to North Castle with us," Zelda suggested. Selina smiled gratefully.
    "Sure. I'd love too," she murmured.

Fayette was annoyed. She wasn't used to being ignored by men, and she couldn't understand why Link insisted on insulting her so. Of course, he was about the only exception, she thought, smiling again. But that wasn't the point of the matter. She was extremely jealous of Zelda and her seemingly perfect relationship with Link. Of course, she herself was engaged to be married, but she wasn't particularly thrilled about it. She'd barely had time to get to know her fiancé, let alone kiss him. As usual, her mother had decided everything for her. And meanwhile, Zelda was allowed to do whatever she wished. Why, she and Link weren't even engaged and yet they indulged in the sort of behaviour that was only proper for married couples. Fayette was envious of that, too. Of course, it had been some consolation that Zelda had finally got reprimanded for it the previous night. Fayette looked out of the window, and spotted Link and Zelda returning to the castle, another rider with them. She smiled to herself. They would be in trouble for going off for most of the day. It was almost 7pm, nearly time for dinner. She decided to get changed.

"My dear, I am not pleased at all about this morning," the King said to Zelda as she walked into the Great Hall, Link and Selina close behind.
    "We had some people to see before Aramis' funeral. After last night, I was so afraid you wouldn't let me go. That's why we sneaked off," Zelda said, pretending to be upset. It worked.
    "Now, I may have been angry last night, but I certainly would not have prevented you from attending such an important event. You only needed to ask," the King said, shaking his head. As Zelda walked away, the King stopped her.
    "One other thing. I really think you should apologise to Fenella," he said. Zelda sighed.
    "Okay. But only if you promise not to interfere into my personal life," she said, keeping her tone polite.
    "Zelda, you are my daughter. I think I have a right to be concerned," the King said.
    "But you don't have to be concerned about anything," Zelda wailed. The King scratched his chin thoughtfully.
    "Okay. Perhaps you're right. I suppose you've always been trustworthy. But do try and be nice to our guests," he decided. Zelda nodded.
    "Yes Father," she promised.

Link carefully guided Carefree along the rocky terrain of the Ruto Mountain pass. According to Zelda's new book, there was supposed to be an entrance to the Underworld, which supposedly gave access to all parts of the Underground Empire. "Up here!" Sprite called, who had accompanied him. Unfortunately, Zelda had had to stop at North Castle and talk to Fayette. Link had felt sorry for her, but she'd insisted that he check the entrance out anyway. Link decided to dismount.
    "Wait here for me boy," he said, patting the stallion. He climbed up the steep pathway to where the faerie was waiting for him.
    "There's a small cave to my left. Looks like it goes deep down," she said. Link walked over to the hole and looked down into it. It was almost pitch black, hardly any daylight penetrating the passage at all. "Going in?" Sprite asked. Link nodded. The faerie cast a light spell over herself and flew down into the hole. Link followed, close behind. The roof was fairly low, but Link had no trouble walking down the roughly hewn passage. He was on the lookout for monsters all the time; they were inevitable in an environment such as this, and the Underworld was Ganon's domain after all. After some time, he and Sprite arrived in a large cavern, with passages twisting off in all directions. "Where to now?" Sprite asked helplessly. Link pulled out the rough map that Zelda had copied from out of the book.
    "Come over here Sprite," he said, holding the map near her so he could read it. "Well, if that's the entrance we came in at," he said, running his finger over the map, "we should roughly be about here."
    "According to the scrolls, the Triforce is housed in a 'temple of rock deep, deep within the great mountains of West Hyrule," Sprite said.
    "Yeah, but no books have mentioned this so-called 'temple of rock' from what we've read. It could be absolutely anywhere. West Hyrule is vast," Link answered.
    "At least we know we have the right part of Hyrule. And aside from Death Mountain and Mount Kasuto, the Ruto Mountains are the highest in the whole of the country," Sprite replied.
    "I suppose it's just a matter of looking everywhere," Link said sighing.
    "Well, the easiest way is to start with one particular passage," Sprite said.
    "I'll take that one over there, and work my way round," Link decided, marking a one on the map over the passage he intended to take.

After several hours of trudging down empty passages and fighting Ganon's cohorts, Link was ready to give up. "This is pointless. Those scrolls are wrong, or we're searching in completely the wrong place," he moaned.
    "This has got to be the place, I'm sure of it. If it was in Death Mountain, surely Ganon would have discovered it by now? And Mount Kasuto is on East Hyrule and the scrolls clearly say 'West' Hyrule," Sprite answered.
    "But we've found absolutely nothing. I vote we give up and go back. Besides, I'm hungry and it must be well into the afternoon by now," Link said.
    "You brought food with you," Sprite said, still not ready to give up.
    "I know. But I ate it already," Link replied gloomily.
    "Stop being so greedy and pathetic. Come on Link, it's unlike you to give up. Besides, you want to cheer Zelda up, don't you?" Sprite said, placing her hands on her hips. She looked at Link expectantly.
    "Oh, okay. We'll explore some more," he sighed, walking forward.
    "That's more like it," Sprite said, grinning. As they walked down the passage, Link noticed a change in the rock. It seemed more carved somehow, not just hewn.
    "Change of scenery," he said, running his hand over the rock. There appeared to be some sort of embossed carvings on the wall. He and Sprite continued to follow the passage round. A few minutes later, it opened out, and there, about sixty feet below them was a huge underground hall, lit with torches.
    "Wow," Sprite murmured.
    "This is like nothing I've seen in Death Mountain," Link said, gazing around the cavern in awe.
    "An underground empire, possibly Hylian, that may have existed for centuries," Sprite breathed.
    "Nobody but Ganon's monsters could possibly live here now," Link said, dismissing Sprite's words. He looked down. They were fairly high up but it looked like it could be possible to climb down the rocky walls to the bottom. To his surprise, a group of shrouded people walked into the hall at that moment, talking in low, thick-sounding voices. Link couldn't see their faces for the cowls they were wearing obscured them, and he couldn't understand what they were saying. Sprite drew back, feeling afraid. Link waited until the figures had walked out again. "Who where they?" he said in surprise.
    "I don't know. But I have a bad feeling. Let's get out of here!" Sprite cried.

Link was annoyed to find that he'd missed dinner, and the King and Fenella, who were sitting in the Great Hall when he walked in, were hardly sympathetic. "You know what time dinner is, my boy," the King said.
    "I was longer than I thought I would be," Link apologised.
    "Perhaps Milona will have some leftovers, or she might make you a meal up if you ask nicely," the King answered, referring to the castle's head cook. Link headed down to the kitchen. He searched for the old, dark-haired Hylian cook.
    "Milona, I'm so sorry but well, I missed dinner," he said. Milona smiled. She was fond of Link.
    "Don't worry dear. I'll fix you up something in a jiffy. Just let me finish up with washing the china," she said kindly.
    "Thanks. Can you send it up to Zelda's room?" he asked. Milona nodded.
    "I'm sure that shouldn't be a problem. Just remember to bring your plates and things back down when you've finished with them," Milona answered.
    "Sure," Link said, grinning. He then made his way to Zelda's tower, eager to tell her about what he and Sprite had discovered. He opened the door quietly, planning to surprise her. However, as he stepped into the room, he realised she was crying. Not loudly, but she definitely sounded upset. She had her back to her and was looking out of the window. "Zel, are you okay?" he said, concerned. Zelda turned towards him, surprised. She wiped some tears from her eyes.
    "Where have you been all day? Surely finding that entrance couldn't take all that long," she said, sniffing. Link offered her a handkerchief.
    "Well, I kinda explored Ruto Underworld area," Link explained. He drew her into a hug. "Now, have I missed something?" he asked.
    "Oh Link, my Father had a reason for keeping me here today," she said, fresh tears brimming in her green eyes. "What? Why?" Link asked. "He and Fenella...." she started. She began to cry again. Swallowing, she continued. "They've decided they want to get married!" she burst out. Link stared in surprise.
    "Your Father and Fenella? Married?" Zelda nodded.
    "They announced it today," she whispered.
    "Oh Zel, I'm so, so sorry. Surely they're not serious," he said.
    "They are very serious about it," Zelda replied, leaning into his arms for comfort. "They said it was for the good of the Kingdom, whatever that means. But it seems to me that they just don't trust either me or you to do a good job of ruling," she sobbed.
    "Zel, I'm sure that's not true. Your Father and Fenella are both probably lonely, it's likely to be just a marriage of companionship," Link rationalised.
    "How can they do this to me?" she wailed.
    "Listen, I'm totally on your side about this, but don't try to make a big deal over this," Link began.
    "But it is a big deal!" Zelda retorted angrily.
    "No, what I mean is, you've already gotten in to enough trouble due to Fayette. If you complain about this, it'll just be another black mark against you," he said quietly. Zelda looked down.
    "I suppose so," she said finally.
    "And we can still do all the things we used to," Link added, smiling at her.
    "Not if Fenella can help it," Zelda answered sulkily.
    "Who cares about her? Or Fayette for that matter?" Link answered.
    "I guess I don't," Zelda replied. She stepped back. "No doubt however, she'll insist on making decisions for me," she said, shutting all the drapes in the room to keep the warmth in. It was getting dark already.
    "She can't. She's not your mother," Link answered, lighting the candles in the room. There was a knock at the door.
    "Come in," Zelda called. Impa walked in, carrying a tray full of food.
    "Milona sends her compliments Link," she smiled, placing the tray down on the table. Link smiled back. Milona had prepared a meal of roasted potatoes covered with melted cheese and a side dish of vegetables. Plus, she had added a huge slab of her famous chocolate cake and a glass of apple cider.
    "Tell her this is much appreciated," he replied, sitting down to eat.

"I hear from a certain faerie that you two are in pursuit of the lost Triforce," Impa remarked. Zelda nodded.
    "Yes. But don't tell my Father. Not yet anyway," she said. Impa smiled.
    "Of course not, Princess."
    "Did Felicity show you the scrolls she found?" Link asked, mashing a potato to bits with his fork.
    "Young Sprite did. They were most interesting, to say the least," Impa replied.
    "Well, I might as well tell both of you what me and Sprite saw today," Link began.
    "Yes, you were about to tell me weren't you, but then..." Zelda began. She turned away feeling upset again. Impa gave her a reassuring hug.
    "Everything will work out. You'll see," she said.
    "Anyway, we searched all these passages, and I was about to give up, but Sprite insisted that we keep looking. We came across these carved passages, and eventually, we came across a huge, underground hall!" Link said excitedly.
    "The Temple of Rock?" Zelda asked.
    "I don't know. We were high above it. But it sure looked fancy. That isn't all though," Link replied.
    "Did the architecture look Hylian?" Impa enquired.
    "I couldn't really tell, we were so high up. But yeah, I guess so," Link said. "Anyhow," he continued, "these weird looking people wearing shrouds walked into this hall. I couldn't make out what they looked like, or what they were saying though," he finished. Impa and Zelda both looked surprised.
    "People are living down there? In the Underworld?" Zelda said.
    "That is most surprising. You must be careful Link," Impa warned. Link finished eating the chocolate cake and Impa picked up his empty plates. "If you need anymore help, don't hesitate to see me," she said, walking outside.
    "Imagine if the Triforce of Courage really is down there!" Zelda said. She seemed to have cheered up considerably by Link's news. He smiled to himself.
    "Then we've hit upon a stroke of good luck," he replied.
    "Oh Link," Zelda murmured hugging him tightly. "This is wonderful news, but it still doesn't solve my current problem," she sighed.
    "My advice is - completely forget about it. For now at least," Link replied.
    "Yeah, things can't possibly get any worse," Zelda answered.

Ganon felt puzzled. "Are you sure it was Link?" he screeched at the small group of monsters stood before him. One of the Goriyas nodded.
    "Yes, master, it was Link all right," he said.
    "What was he doing?" Ganon shrieked angrily.
    "We dunno Your Evilness. 'E was just stalking the passages under the Ruto Mountains. We 'ave no idea what 'e was up to," a Moblin answered. Was it possible, just possible, that Link had gone searching for the pieces of the Triforce? And could it be he already had some, Ganon thought. He turned back to the monsters.
    "I want you to scour EVERY passage under those mountains for the Triforce shards!" he demanded. The monsters saluted. Ganon had not suspected for a minute that Link and Zelda had taken it upon themselves to search for the pieces. But why else would Link be descending into the Underworld and searching? Ganon decided that he'd better keep a close eye on what they were up to. He couldn't have anything standing in the way of his quest to recover the Triforces.

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