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.

Shadows of Fate

Juliet A. Singleton (juliet@northcastle.co.uk) & Kirsty Singleton (arcadionseye@btopenworld.com)

Chapter 10

     Nervously, Princess Brianna of Hyrule waited in the Temple of the Four Winds, for her husband to be to arrive. A gerudo priestess stood nearby, lighting incense burners.

"He shall be here soon, do not worry," Leni whispered quietly.

"In my county, it is quite different! The bride keeps the groom waiting!" Brianna replied.

"Our King likes to make his entrance always known," Leni said, glancing over at the temple entrance.

"Well, I'm getting impatient waiting!" Brianna said, folding her arms. Leni shook her head to herself, but the princess didn't notice. She was too busy wondering where Molasar was. Several women began to file into the temple and sit down, and more stood at the back, all desperate to see the ceremony that was about to take place. "Where is he?! Is he having second thoughts, or something?" Brianna said huffily.

"I said not to worry!" Leni reminded.

"He is being terribly..." Brianna started. At that moment, the entire temple went silent, and there, in the doorway, stood Molasar. To Brianna, he looked more handsome than ever. She almost swooned, her heart beating wildly just at the mere sight of him.

"Wow..." Leni breathed, also impressed. It was true that their king certainly was handsome.

"After today, you shall not be able to look upon him in such a way," said Brianna, rather superciliously. Leni hung her head.

"I was not..." she protested weakly.

"He shall be my husband, not yours," Brianna interrupted.

"Yes," Leni agreed. Molasar turned to look in their direction, his eyes meeting firmly with Brianna's. They gazed at each other longingly, then the Gerudo king made his way towards the altar. The priestess sprinkled incense around, a sweet smell permeating the otherwise stuffy air of the darkened place of worship. Brianna exhaled softly, eagerly anticipating the ceremony. Molasar arrived at her side.

"You are so beautiful," he said, his gaze penetrating her very soul. Brianna felt herself quiver slightly in excitement. She gazed back at him, her blue eyes shining. "You are so special, you are a goddess," he continued, taking her hand, and bringing it to his lips.

"Oh Molasar..." she breathed. He tore his eyes away, turning to now face the expectant crowd.

"Let the ceremony begin! I shall wed my beautiful Westlander princess, and together we shall rule as King and Queen!" he announced. He nodded at the priestess, who withdrew a cruel looking dagger from her belt. Brianna flinched a little, upon seeing it.

"What is that?" she whispered to Molasar.

"Do not be frightened, you shall understand soon enough," Molasar replied. The priestess held up a book in the other hand.

"As in the eyes of the Great Goddess, two shall become united in her great house," she announced. Brianna looked directly at Molsar, who smiled at her reassuringly. The ceremony went on...

Timothy, Aden and Rillar rushed across the plaza, weapons in hand. Faykantra ran behind them. "You must hurry, the ceremony is taking place!" she shrieked.

"If you had ensured we weren't captured again..." Timothy started.

"Enough! We waste time with such arguments!" Rillar said sternly.

"But..." Aden started.

"No! What is done is done, and we must finish what we started," Rillar said in a firm tone.

"Jeez, I just hate it when girls get all bossy," Aden complained.

"Well, with an attitude like that, we'll never get anywhere!" said Faykantra in an annoyed tone.

"You keep out of this, you're just a kid," Aden said.

"Ahem! I just rescued you, and I'm helping you out!" Faykanta protested, her golden eyes flashing angrily. "I didn't have to..." she added.

"Rillar is right, lets stop this immature bickering," Timothy said, annoyed.

"Well you did start it..." Faykanta pointed out.

"What did we agree?" Rillar demanded, annoyed. Faykantra pouted, looking equally annoyed, while Timothy and Aden shut up. They ran into the temple, then stopped in horror, as they saw what was taking place inside. The gerudo priestess handed Molasar the dagger, and he slit Brianna's wrist, squeezing a drop of blood out onto the ground below. She let out a small shriek of terror. Timothy remained frozen, seemingly unable to do anything. Then, the next minute, Brianna was doing the same to Molasar, their blood mixing in tradition of the Gerudo.

"I conclude this ceremony complete," said the priestess. "Honour your king, and his wife!"

"No!" Timothy cried, finally leaping forward. Brianna and Molasar did not notice him, they leaned forward in a passionate embrace instead.

"Tim..." Rillar started, the sympathy evident in her eyes. Timothy ignored her, running towards the newly wed couple, his sword drawn.

"Die, traitor!" Timothy cried angrily. No-one in the temple moved, at once bound by Faykantra's orders. Molasar pulled away from Brianna, looking faintly agitated.

"Ah, so the would-be westlander hero has escaped," he remarked coolly.

"Timothy!" Brianna exclaimed, shocked.

"Brianna! You have to come home, you..." Timothy started.

"I shall not!" she replied, turning to look at Molasar. He too, had drawn his sword. "Do not fight..." she whimpered, looking distraught at the scenario that was unfolding. Timothy charged forward, his sword meeting with Molasar's. Steel on steel, their blades crashed together loudly. "No!" Brianna screamed, clutching hold of Molasar's arm. He pushed her away, and she went stumbling back against the nearby altar.

"You shall die, for the blood you have already spilt, you evil fiend!" Timothy exclaimed, blocking Molasar's attack skilfully.

"No, it is you who shall die, for trying to take away my beloved bride!" Molasar retorted. They resumed battle, parrying fiercely. Brianna began to weep, and suddenly hands were upon her, dragging her away, out of the temple.

"No!" she screamed, "no!".

"It is for the best," said a familiar voice. That was the last thing she heard, as she then blacked out from a blow to her head.

Timothy barely had time to wipe the sweat from his brow as he lunged forward once more, his blade jarring resoundingly against Molasar's. He had been trained well, with only Ewan being able to rival his skill in Hyrule, and of course, Link. Molasar indeed, was good, but the young Triforce Protector knew that he was better. He was far more dextrous, lighter and quicker than the Gerudo, his moves lightening fast. Gritting his teeth, he let his fury fly with a series of vicious parries, which took Molasar by surprise.

"I shall avenge my dear friend, be sure of it!" he exclaimed, his voice vehement. Molasar's eyes flashed with anger and malevolence as he thrust his blade forward heavily, almost throwing Timothy off balance.

"I am avenging my father and no-one, not even you, enervated Westlander, shall stand in the way of my plans!" he exclaimed.

"Think again, for it is you who will not stand in my way, evil murderer!" Timothy retorted, his blade moving quickly through the air and cutting cleanly into Molasar's right arm, clearly drawing blood. The Gerudo recoiled from the blow, shock etched upon his usually smirking face at Timothy's challenge and fury and hatred burned in his eyes as he wiped the blood aside, sending drops smattering to the stone floor of temple.

"Curse you, Westlander!" he exclaimed in a rage, suddenly launching himself forward, his blade aimed squarely at Timothy's chest. Timothy was too fast, rolling neatly out of the way, nicking Molasar across the shins as he did so. Leaping nimbly to his feet before the Gerudo could recover he swung his sword in a sweeping motion, attempting to disarm him. Molasar was screaming in furious Gerudo by now, cursing and spitting, his attacks clumsy and desperate. Timothy shook his head to himself, wondering however the prince had managed to beat Ewan in a fight. He was going to pieces over Timothy's attack, beginning to make mistakes. In another quick motion, the young adventurer tore the cloak from Molasar's back with his sword, the red material floating to the floor in a pure move of contempt. "You will die, you are foolish!" Molasar screamed, flinging his sword down and jumping towards him, punching him squarely in the jaw. Timothy felt red hot pain rushing through his skull at the blow and stumbled backwards, momentarily disorientated. Clearly Molasar did not care for honour, that was obvious.

Everything seemed to happen in a blur. He heard shouting and yelling, and the temple rapidly emptied, leaving only himself, Molasar, Aden, Rillar and Faykantra. Brianna was out cold upon the floor. Molasar threw another heavy-handed punch, knocking him down to the floor, his sword flying out of his hand.

"You cheating fiend!" Aden suddenly yelled, pulling out his own sword and rushing forward to join into the fight.

"You!" Molasar roared, turning his attention to his new attacker. Timothy scrabbled to retrieve his sword, only to meet with Faykantra.

"Leave this to me, Westlander," she smirked, picking up a heavy-looking urn from the altar. "I hate an unfair fight." Aden valiently attempted to rush forward and strike Molasar, but his fighting skills were not as polished as Timothy's and Molasar dealt with him deftly, blocking the blow with his own sword, sending Aden reeling backwards. Suddenly, Faykantra leapt as if from nowhere, sending the urn smashing upon the Gerudo Prince's head and he stumbled down onto the floor, biting his lip as he fell unconscious. Faykantra gave a small shrug.

"One cheap shot for another," she grinned, before sidling up to Timothy and touching him on the arm. "You owe me, Westlander." He stared at her for a few minutes and then grabbed her, pulling her forward for a clumsy, but passionate kiss. Rillar rolled her eyes and Aden looked annoyed but as they stepped apart, Faykantra was grinning from ear to ear.

"Is that enough?" Timothy asked, blushing hotly as he noticed the stares from his friends. Faykantra touched her lips with a finger, looking happy. She nodded.

"Yes. Now go, quickly, before he wakes!"

"We must do as she says!" Rillar said, moving forward. Aden and Timothy nodded, both sheathing their swords and turning to lift the unconscious Brianna. There was no time to wast in leaving this forsaken place.


After Link had managed to secure himself a room for the next two days at the local inn, he met with Sentri, who was taking a walk along the coast.

"So didst thou manage to get a room?" inquired the trainer. Link nodded.

"There's no one else staying there, I had my pick of the rooms," replied the King.

"It hath always been the same. Expect a call from the local constabulary, strangers here are frowned upon. Like I didst say, no one travels through this country anymore, unless it's for a very important reason," said Sentri.

"And all this change, it occurred in the last fifteen years?" asked Link. Sentri nodded again.

"I expect the fifteen years have flown by for thee and thine country. But here in Sosaria, time has worn us all down like an age. We are all twenty years older under this regime, twenty years nearer to our own demise," Sentri murmured.

"And we never even knew, but how could we, with British isolating himself like he has," commented Link. Sentri paused. Link stopped also.

"We should not converse of such things in the open. Come, I know of a place where we shall not be interrupted, or spied upon," said Sentri quietly. Link nodded.

"If you think it's necessary," he agreed. Sentri nodded.

"It certainly is."

A short while later, the two were seated in an old mine cave. It was empty of almost anything, and cold. There were a few wooden crates scattered about, and a half burnt candle, which Sentri had now lit. They seated themselves on the crates, hugging themselves in a bid to keep some warmth.

"When you dispose of the Preceptor, thy wilt be taking his place. I am not sure of the Guardian's plans, but thou mayest be required to travel with them," murmured Sentri. Link looked a little surprised.

"Travel with them? They'll spot me a mile off," he protested.

"Not necessarily. Their vision is not good, they are the eyes of the Guardian, their true sight is impeded by those masks they do wear. If the Guardian is not looking, they do not see. Keep a slight distance and thou shouldst be okay," assured Sentri. He went on. "In any case, thou shouldst know a few words of their black language, just in case. Our Preceptor is a lower Preceptor as this town is a small one. He is not expected to speak much in the other Preceptor's presence, nor the Guardian's. But in case thou art issued an order, it wouldst be wise for thee to carry it out, an thou wilt only be capable of that if thou doth understand what is being said."

"I guess it would be a good idea," conceded Link.

"So, let the lessons begin," said Sentri in a good-natured voice. Link could hardly believe how the man could smile. He himself was already feeling crushed, suffocated by this land's rule, and the presence of evil. He wasn't sure if he could cope a few mere days, never mind the fifteen years Sentri and his fellow country men had had to deal with.


Brianna tried to struggle free from the tired grasp of both Aden and Timothy for the umpteenth time that day. They had fled from the city without a second glance, Rillar leading the way, and Brianna protesting and bawling with all her might. They had stopped for the night, they had run all the way without stopping, and there appeared to be no-one giving chase.

"How can you do this to me?!" demanded Brianna.

"Quieten down girl, do you wish to see us caught?" demanded Rillar impatiently. She could not believe that this was the woman that sweet, kind Timothy had fallen for. But it was always the same. The nice men of this world always had their hearts stolen by some spoilt little princess who had none of the same feelings at all.

"Yes, I would rather that we were caught. That man is my husband, and you can not drag me away from him," cried Brianna angrily.

"That man is a murderer, he is cruel and wicked and lustful, and he is not the kind of man you would wish to name as your husband," said Rillar, glaring at Brianna. Brianna glared back at her.

"You Gerudo, you were just jealous because he picked a Westlander, and not one of his own," spat Brianna. Rillar smiled.

"If you think I am jealous over your marriage to Molasar you could not be more mistaken. I am ashamed to be even the same race as he," sneered Rillar. Brianna scowled at Rillar, looking at Timothy.

"How could you Timothy? You are my friend, why, wait until my brother hears of this!" said Brianna. Timothy looked to the ground. He had not yet had the chance to break the news of her brother's health to Brianna, nor was he looking forward to it.

"I'll be surprised if your brother is around to hear it," said Aden. Brianna stared at Aden.

"Explain your words!" she ordered. Timothy looked to Aden, who stared back. Timothy stood.

"Brianna, come with me, we should talk, alone," he said quietly. Brianna stood with him.

"I hate you for this," she whispered. When she saw the look of hurt across Timothy's soft features, she immediately regretted her words, but that did not stop her from meaning them.

"Please," he said. Brianna nodded, and followed Timothy quietly to a clearing not far from their chosen camp site. Once they were there, Timothy sat down, motioning for Brianna to join him.

"Tim, I love him," said Brianna softly. She looked upset, and Timothy felt terrible for what he had done.

"I am sorry Brianna, but that man, that man you call your husband, he has done something terrible," said Timothy. Brianna stared at Timothy, waiting.

"When you ran off to join him, had you forgotten all about your brother? The brother in which you had sensed something wrong," continued Tim.

"No, but he is 21. He is able to look after himself," said Brianna, feeling a little guilty. It was true that she had forgotten all about Ewan, and the reason why she had been out that morning.

"Your mother is mad with grief over your disappearance. You may love him, but what man takes a mere child from their mother without consent? There is another reason for your mother's grief, it is Ewan. I believe that Molasar tried to kill him. It has been a few days since I last saw your brother. Molasar may have even killed him," said Timothy. Brianna sat there silent. Then she stood.

"I will not listen to your lies. Why do you do this to me? Don't you believe in love? Or me?" asked Brianna, her voice wavering. Timothy stood, taking Brianna's hand. She snatched it away from him.

"Do not touch me Timothy Westley, do not try and soil me with your lies, because Molasar would never harm another man, unless to protect someone he loved!" said Brianna. She stalked past him, But Timothy grabbed her roughly, holding her tight.

"Brianna! What has he done to you? Where is the girl I knew? The girl I..." asked Timothy, his voice trailing off.

"You destroyed her Timothy when you snatched her away from her true love," said Brianna sharply. Timothy gazed into her eyes sadly.

"Your brother could be dead Brianna. Does that not mean a thing to you?" he asked.

"I do not believe you," stated Brianna simply. Tim let her go.

"I saw him with my own eyes Brianna. While I left you alone with Molasar, I saw your brother. In the mud, a blow to the stomach and the skull. He barely had a pulse, and someone had poisoned him with an untreatable poison. I fetched your mother and your father to his side, and I rode after you and Molasar, to the coast where you had left your horses. I swam in after you, calling your name, but my cries fell on deaf ears. I returned to your mother to tell her of my failure, and she told me I had tried my best, but with tears in her eyes. I sat by your brother's bedside and promised to him that who had put him there would pay for it. But first I promised that I would return his sister, safe and sound, but perhaps I have failed that promise already," said Timothy. His voice was even, but inside he was weeping. Brianna looked into his eyes, and she realised it was Timothy, the sweet and kind gentleman who was her brother's brother, and her friend. Her best friend. He would not lie, not to her, never.

"Do you speak the truth?" she asked with a sniff. Timothy nodded.

"I wish it were all I lie. It pleasures me not to tell you any of this," said Tim solemnly. Brianna felt her heart breaking in two. She'd always thought it was just a poetic phrase, but to know that her brother was dying, because of her love, it broke her. She fell into Timothy's arms, burying her face into his chest.

"He would never hurt anyone, I know him," she murmured, tears soaking her face and Tim's shirt.

"Maybe I am wrong. But it was also wrong of him to take you away like he did," said Timothy. He did not believe one word of his first sentence.

"He did not take me. I followed him," said Brianna.

"Then he should have not allowed you to join him," said Timothy, leading Brianna back to where Aden and Rillar were encamped.


As Link left the inn that morning, he reflected over what he had done over the past few days. Sentri had tried to teach him the basic language of the Preceptor's, and helped Lin to train. No one had really spoken with Link, but then he had avoided speaing with anyone anyway. Sentri had warned him that there were several loyal followers of British, who were keen to report any odd happenings to the local town guard. Link glanced around, and spotted Sentri walking towards him. The fighter stopped and nodded over to a large crowd gathered around the town hall. He frowned, and pulled out his pocket watch, staring at it critically. He finally snapped shut the case and replaced the watch, his forehead creased.

"Looks like he's started early," murmured Sentri as they drew closer to the crowd.

"Who? The Preceptor?" asked Link in a low voice, halting short of the back of the crowd. Sentri nodded, his face grave.

"Something is happening," he said quietly, his eyes fixed on what the rest of the crowd was watching. Link leaned forward, squinting a little at the figure that seemed to be addressing the crowd.

He was a tall and formidable looking character, and there seemed to be a presence about him, a presence Link knew only to well, a presence of evil. The Preceptor's face could not be seen, for it was hidden behind a twisted mask which hid the upper part of the face, and housed only one sole eye. Link got the feeling that the mask was there for a reason, the bottom half of the Preceptor's face was red and scarred, a thumping knot of veins lacing around the jaw. Cruel and ugly teeth protruded from the gums, sharp like an animals, and not of any human.

"Ark laech fruegkl vremadk!" cried the Preceptor, its tongue being one that Link recognised in the least, despite the fact he was learned in every language in the Demiari. Apparently not, so it now seemed.

"What is he saying?" whispered Link, hardly daring to even speak. Despite Sentri teaching him a few words of the language, he had not been prepared for the manner in which it was spoken, a particularly hideous manner at that. Sentri watched the Preceptor carefully as he paced, his crimson red cloak shrouding round him as a disguise of his true form.

"The opposition is weak, we must strike now, you are all prepared..." translated Sentri even as the Preceptor uttered the foul words from its black mouth. The fighter's expression grew graver as the Preceptor continued to speak, the crowd growing seemingly more restless with each word, every syllable spoken.

"Anghk sfekdk bludk kraken argufuk!!" cried the Preceptor, raising its weapon, a blade of pure obsidian, or a similar material. Link realised as he looked at it he knew what it was.

"The Black Sword!" he gasped, fear tearing at his heart. Sentri pulled Link back, holding his shoulder firmly.

"No, a replica," whispered Sentri harshly. Link paused, looking back to the raised weapon.

"Why?" he asked.

"People knew the sword's power. They also knew who it belonged to," whispered Sentri.

"Who? The Avatar? I thought you said there were many of these Preceptors, won't they all have one?" questioned Link.

"Yes, but not many travel from the borders of their towns, none will know the others secrets," said Sentri. Link nodded, beginning to understand.

"It doesn't have the same powers then? Or Ganondorf?" asked Link, the latter question asked in a lower voice.

"No, or at least I have never seen them displayed. If it did have those powers though, we would have been surely a witness by now," assured Sentri. Link nodded, taking a deep breath.

"Are they human?" he asked as the Preceptor continued to rant in its hideous language, its harsh voice virtually tearing and Link's eardrums. He winced a little when the creature hit a particularly hideous note, as he waited for Sentri to answer.

"No-one knows. They could be gargoyles, the skin, its hue is the same, but I don't know. My guess is that it is some foul creation created by the Guardian while he resided in the other realm," said Sentri, answering whilst the Preceptor was silent, his voice quiet and the words were rushed.

"Argufg Hellska nedrig gardrikal fakakil!" suddenly roared the voice of the Preceptor.

"By the goddesses! What does that mean?" asked Link, the volume of the Preceptor's voice shocking him. Link didn't have to wait for the translation as the rest of the crowd roared in apparent approval, clattering weapons and shields together. Everyone began to mill away from the Preceptor, murmuring amongst the Preceptor's screamed orders.

"This isn't good," said Sentri, shaking his head, turning his horse to one side to let people past.

"What?!" asked Link.

"War my Lord, Sosaria is declaring war on thine own country," said Sentri, looking Link in the eye for the first time since they had arrived in Conim.

"War?! But why?" asked Link.

"I'm not sure, but what I do know is that you have to get to Hyrule quickly, It will take but a day for Sosaria to organise its troops, we will be on thy shores by the breaking of the next dawn!" said Sentri.

"You mean you've been preparing?" asked Link.

"Yes, for years. It was waiting for the right moment. I thought something would happen before it got to this. I was apparently wrong. Now go, kill that damned beast and take flight to thy own lands. You are the only one who can save thy land now, or at least warn them from this dreadful attack," said Sentri. Link looked at Sentri, before grasping his hand firmly.

"I wish I could give you more. One day I'll repay you, if I can," said Link. He let go of Sentri's hand, then leapt from his horse.

"Farewell my Lord, and wishing thee power and luck," murmured Sentri, before turning and riding off into the departing crowd. Link turned and saw the shadow of the fleeing Preceptor as he ducked around the corner of the town hall building. Link placed his hand on the hilt of his sword, looking to the skies.

"I don't know if you can hear me Zel, but if something happens to me, I love you and my family," he whispered before quickly dashing after the inhumane beast before it ever got a chance to leave.


Leigh seated herself on the hill which famously overlooked North Castle, laying the great sword across her lap. She leaned back, closing her eyes, a pain in her throbbing relentlessly.

Something was not right, in fact, it was quite incorrect.

"Avatar," whispered a voice, it sounded faint, far away, like the echoes of a long ago conversation. "Avatar," it called again, thin and fragile. Leigh sat up, looking about her. Then she looked to her lap, seeing the great gem of the sword glowing and swirling, crease upon crease of shadows and light. She held the sword aloft, eyeing the gem. "Avatar...'tis good to see thee again," commended the voice. A form filled the gem, a face, burning golden eyes, olive green yet transparent skin.

"Ganondorf," murmured Leigh, a flake of memory revealing itself.

"He will slay you with the sword if you present it to him," said Ganondorf, his voice almost lulling.

"He? He will not receive any blade from me, save in his belly," promised Leigh, speaking of British. The weapon was hers, no-one else's.

"Good," crooned Ganondorf, his thin lips spreading back, revealing a smile.

"But then, why should I listen to thee. The spirit of the sword only speaks when spoken too," murmured Leigh.

"Go to the realm of the underground, beneath the mountain of death. You should rule this place, not the Guardian. Raise my army again, assault this place before the Guardian does. He wants it for himself, you are nothing but a catalyst for his plan of dominance," advised Ganondorf.

"Why dost thou advise me?" questioned Leigh suspiciously.

"I fell that you shall make a far more worthy captain of men than the Guardian could ever claim to be," whispered Ganondorf. Leigh stood, invisible arms guiding her. "Go now, to my former abode and prepare, for he shall soon arrive on these shores once he knows that you are not returning. Meet him upon the coast and accost him, his men shall not claim this land for him, it shall be yours, and yours alone," whispered Ganondorf his voice steadily fading. Leigh replaced the sword to her side, then strode forward, towards the path that would lead her to her new home.

"Is that who I think it is?" asked Felicity as she and Queen Tamara of the Fey flew over the plains to North Castle. They had set off as soon as they had heard that Prince Ewan's health was once again restored.

"It must be, she was the only one who could've healed Ewan," said Sprite. They made their way towards her, hovering before her eyes.

"Leigh! Where are you going?!" exclaimed Sprite as she flew before the heroine. Leigh glanced at her, confused by the faces that knew her name.

"None of thine business," she said, walking forward, attempting to ignore the strange creatures.

"But you healed Ewan didn't you?" asked Sprite.

"I did so. News here spreads faster than fire in the night," commented Leigh, walking alone. Felicity flew behind, noticing the sword across Leigh's back.

"You have the Black Sword?" she asked curiously. Leigh turned to stare at Felicity.

"And what of it?" she demanded. Felicity gazed upon the fair face of Leigh thoughtfully and suddenly noticed a flicker in her eyes; inhuman like. She glanced at Sprite.

"Come on Sprite, we should go and see Ewan," she said quietly. Sprite gave Leigh one last glance before reluctantly catching up with her friend.


Link stealthily followed the Preceptor as he wound his way through the back streets of Conim. His sword was drawn, and Link had never been happier to possess a blade as fine as the Master Sword - well, perhaps with the exception of whenever Link had had to face Ganondorf. The Preceptor hissed under his breath, his crimson cloak swaying by his sides, rustled gently in the wind. Link began to edge nearer, surprised he had not yet been detected. Link continued to track the monstrosity, until he was close enough to strike the Preceptor from the back when the creature turned, his sword upheld, to face Link. Link stepped back, the Preceptor was even more horrific to view close up.

"So, you, a mere mortal would challenge me?" it questioned, its voice thick and harsh. Link was doubly surprised to hear it speaking his own language, and he took another step back. He quickly braced himself as the Preceptor allowed itself a moment of laughter and then Link leapt forward, aiming for the heart of this evil being, or at least where the heart should be. He was batted aside in one powerful stroke by the Preceptor, and Link fell to the ground, his sword flying from his hand. The Preceptor laughed even more, and went over to retrieve Link's sword.

"What is this little trinket?" it asked, bending over to pick up the sword. Link glared at the Master Sword, and to his relief, it slid into his outstretched hand, upon which he leapt up and plunged the blade deep into the Preceptor's back.

"It's mine," snarled Link viciously. There was a howl of agony, and a bright light split around the blade before the whole body of the Preceptor exploded. Link was showered with wet flesh and blood, among other things, as was the alley around him. He shuddered in disgust, opening his shut eyes and surveying the mess. He noticed among the remains a pair of gauntlets, black studded ones, which Link recognised as belonging to the Preceptor. There also lay the crimson red cloak among the remains, the obsidian sword, as well as the twisted mask that had hidden the Preceptors presumably foul face. Link quickly picked up the four items, despite the gore, then emerged from the alley and out into a main grassland which was headed off by a tall cliff and grass. He was shaking clean the cloak when he noticed a huge presence before him. There, tethered in the middle of all this grass was a huge mount, a great red dragon that made Link suddenly feel very small and insignificant in comparison. Link looked at the gauntlets before slipping them over his own gloved hands. He didn't know, but he had a niggling feeling that within the gauntlets there may be the power to control the huge beast before him. Then Link draped the red cloak about his shoulders, pulling the hood over his face to disguise himself, and walked boldly up to the dragon. At first the huge creature seemed prepared to quite happily toast Link without a second thought, but as it stopped to sniff the air, it caught the scent of the Preceptor on him, and hesitated. Link didn't give it a chance to change its mind, and he quickly leapt atop the saddle and grabbed the reins of the dragon.

"Time to go to Hyrule," he whispered, before pulling the dragon into the air and flying triumphantly over the town of Conim.

As Link soared over the land of Sosaria, he noticed other forms in the sky. Other mounted riders, whose steeds were the same red dragon's as Links. He began to feel a little uneasy at their presence, and faintly recalled Sentri mentioning there being a Preceptor for each time. If his deception was spotted, he would stand no chance against the rest of them. He could hardly fly away from them, but at the same time, joining them would be extremely risky. Link took a deep breath, slipping on the mask that he had taken, and flew towards the group.

"Breadeak!" called one of the Preceptors as Link flew towards them. Link, who Sentri had attempted to teach him a few words of the black tongue spoken by these creatures, recognised the word as a greeting. He kept his head low, the hood of the cloak long over his face. The Preceptor who had greeted him decided to ignore him, flying in a small circle around the group. Link dared a glance up, doing a quick count. There was seven of them, which meant there were three more to arrive. Link guessed after that, they would all head off somewhere together, but where, he did not know. After a short wait, three more flying figures decorated the horizon, and they gradually became closer and closer, before joining the rest of the Preceptors. The Preceptor whom had greeted Link, then began to speak to the group, and was answered with just nods and grunts. Link barely understood a word, despite Sentri's fine tutelage, but it appeared not to matter, because as soon as the seemingly 'head' Preceptor had finished, he swooped down, leading the rest of the Preceptor's towards their next destination.

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