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.

Triad of Evil

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

Chapter 11

     Zelda wished that she was simply having a nightmare. At least she could have woken up. But this was the harsh reality of things. There they all were, in the Triforce Tower, at the very pinnacle of North Castle. Link was to her left, and on the opposite side of the room stood Robert and Mara. Mara was hold of the three Triforces, a smug smile on her wicked face. Robert however looked weak; he was bleeding from several wounds and leaning upon his sword for support.

"I've summoned you all here for a very special event!" Mara sneered looking round at them all. The room was spinning, Zelda felt so weak... Felicity and Sprite's spell was starting to wear off... Mara stepped forward, laughing loudly. "So pathetic! So puerile! I really expected better from you, Princess!" Zelda took a breath and looked up to face her adversary once more.

"You can't achieve your aims! The Triforce won't work that way!" she finally retorted. A look of fury crossed Mara's face at Zelda's words and she shot a bolt of magic at her in anger. Zelda managed to dodge out of the way, Link immediately taking her place and deflecting the beam with the blade of his sword.

"You want her, you fight me first!" the hero proclaimed.

"You're right, I need the pair of you alive," Mara said, smiling again.

"Face it Mara, your plan won't work. The Triforce will not grant wishes that aren't pure of heart!" Zelda continued. "You cannot control its power, you do not hold any of its virtues!" The witch looked furious at Zelda, her blue eyes narrowing and her blood red lips pursed.

"Foolish Princess, why do you think I have brought you here? I may not be able to control it, but you can!"

"No!!!!" Zelda cried, shaking her head. "I will NEVER do your bidding!"

"You will! The both of you!" Mara said, looking pointedly at Link.

"Count me out, now hand it over unless you want to end up like your traitorous partner there!" Link snarled, leaping forward, sword in hand. Robert gave a low growl, coming forward to defend Mara from Link. Their swords clashed loudly as their blades met. Mara ignored them, instead turning back to face Zelda.

"I know you know how to control this artefact, and if your pitiful life means anything, you will do as I say! The witch ordered. Zelda stepped back, shaking her head again.

"It means nothing now, I would rather die than grant your evil wishes!"

"You will die anyway, but not before I have made use of you!" Mara retorted. Link and Robert's blades hit off each other again in a dull metallic ring. Zelda reached into her pocket, suddenly remembering the boomerang she had put in there before she'd set out to Death Mountain. It wasn't much good against humans, better for dealing with Ganon's cronies, but it would serve as a distraction. Before Mara could react Zelda let go of the magical weapon and it sailed gracefully through the air, hitting the evil sorceress on the wrist. She cried out in surprise, dropping the Triforce prisms to the ground. They hit off the floor scattering, bouncing slightly and Zelda dived towards the Triforce of Wisdom. If she could just reach it before Mara...

All of a sudden there was a tremendous explosion, as if a bomb had been let loose. Purple smoke arose everywhere and neither Link nor Zelda could see what they were doing. An evil laugh echoed off the walls, turning the blood in their veins to ice. The smoke began to clear, and stood in the centre of the tower was a huge, golden griffin. Zelda gasped. So Mara's claims had been true. She turned to look at Link, who was extremely white.

"Looks like I arrived just in time," Enzar remarked coolly, his red eyes flashing evilly.

"I suppose you will come in useful," Mara said, temporarily distracted from the Triforce by the griffin's arrival. Zelda, ignoring them both, edged towards the prism. It was almost within reach.

"Pitiful humans! You think I shall do your commands, Mara?" Enzar continued. "How very, very typical of a human to assume such a thing!" he began to laugh. Mara was looking furious.

"You are tied to me, I resurrected you! You cannot defy me this way!" she screamed. Enzar continued laughing. Zelda reached forward, her eyes closed. Her hand touched the Triforce of Wisdom, and the Princess felt its power ebb into her very soul, soothing some of the pain her body was currently experiencing. Unfortunately Enzar noticed, his sharp eyes noticing the movement and his attention was immediately off Mara and on Zelda. He swiped towards her, knocking her slender frame aside from the Triforce. She screamed in pain, and Link, who had for a moment been frozen in shock, sprang forward, trying to defend her from the griffin. Enzar easily knocked him aside also, sending him crashing to the flagstones and knocking the wind out of him.

"Foolish children!" Enzar bellowed angrily, snatching up the Triforce pieces. He leered as he turned them over in his hands. "The Power of Gold... for so long I have wanted this moment," he said, speaking more to himself than anyone else.

"Enzar, you shall give it to me, I command you!" Mara cried.

"No!!!!!!" Zelda screamed in horror. Enzar turned to look at her, grinning evilly.

"Too many times you have won, but not this time Princess!" Link had recovered, leaping up with his sword. He shot a beam of magic out of it, trying to hit Enzar's clawed hand. Enzar gave out an annoyed roar, swiping his free hand at the hero. Nimbly, Link leapt aside, swinging his blade against the griffin's side. The wound was merely a scratch but it was enough to incur the monster's wrath. He shot a bolt of magic at Link, who somehow managed to deflect it. Instead it hit off the wall, and the brick crumbled away, leaving smoke in its wake.

"Link! Be careful!" Zelda cried, rushing towards her husband.

"No Zelda, stay back!" Link said, standing in front of her and deflecting another magical bolt.

"I will teach the pair of you a lesson!" Enzar sneered. "You will pay for ever daring to defy me!"

"You're going right back where you belong Enzar, back to the Dark Realm!" Link retorted bravely, dashing forward to strike the monster once again. Mara was still screeching, incanting some form of spell but no-one took any notice. Robert was attempting to slink off towards the door. Enzar let out another roar and there was a blinding light. Link fell backwards, knocking into Zelda and they crashed onto the floor. The griffin then proceeded to grab Mara in his free hand and flung the witch off the wall. She gave a scream before sliding down onto the ground, temporarily stunned. Robert had also collapsed to the floor, holding his head in his hands.

Satisfied with his work, Enzar glared around at the fallen foursome, who all regarded the powerful griffin with immense loathing. The creature merely grinned as only a griffin could, with malevolence.

"You think you are strong. But you are weak," he proclaimed grandly, before letting out a spiteful chuckle. Link, his eyes still on the griffin, reached towards his sword which had fallen from his hand when he had crashed into Zelda, but Enzar, despite his distractions, was no fool. As Link's fingers brushed the hilt of his blade, the griffin made a sweeping movement with his powerful claws and the sword was brushed away as if mere dust on wind.

"Not one of you can comprehend my power," continued the griffin, leaving Link cursing his luck. Silence was the only reply the griffin gained, and his amber eyes glittered in surprise at the lack of challenge to his words.

"You are not even worthy of my time."

"Then why keep us here?" demanded Link agitatedly, throwing a cautious gaze towards Zelda, who was looking increasingly weaker as time drew on. Enzar smiled again, the same malevolent grin, and exhaled noisily through his beak.

"Because, dear boy, as much as I am loathe to admit it, you each have something that I need," he replied before turning his gaze to Mara, "except you witch," he spat vehemently. Mara glared at Enzar, her eyes blazing with hatred, and she tried to stand as if to challenge him but as she did so there was a sickening snap and she fell to her knees with an agonised scream. Zelda saw Enzar wince as the sorceress fell, but it lasted a mere moment, such a short moment in fact that the Princess soon doubted that she had seen it at all. Enzar walked towards Mara and towered over her, a thin snicker escaping his black beak.

"Of course, without Mara, none of us would be here today," he said thoughtfully, "So perhaps we should give her some credit." The griffin snickered again, his voice dripping with sarcasm.

"Without me you would be nothing but mere memory! You owe me allegiance!" hissed Mara weakly, the fire dying in her eyes even as she spoke.

"I owe you nothing human. Except perhaps death!" growled Enzar, lowering his head to hers. Link looked back to Zelda and reached out to her, taking her hand in his.

"Are you okay?" he whispered, concerned for his estranged wife. Zelda looked to Link and managed to muster a weak smile, but it did not last long. Enzar drew away from Mara and turned on Zelda and Link.

"How touching. The philanderer showing some concern for his dying wife. But consider this hero, if she dies, at least you won't have to go through the messy process of a public divorce," sneered the griffin cruelly. Link leapt to his feet as the griffin spoke and stepped towards the beast, but Enzar simply smiled and raised a claw, muttering a dark utterance under his breath. As Link neared the powerful monster, he felt himself suddenly forced down to his knees. He let out a pained gasp, and looked up at Enzar, his eyes beginning to water.

"Yes, that's right hero, kneel before me. It's about time I was given the respect I am due," cackled the griffin gleefully.

"You are due no respect," grunted Link through gritted teeth, his entire body shaking as he tried to break the control Enzar had cast over him. Enzar smiled down at Link, his eyes glittering.

"No, maybe not. But that soon shall change. Once the Power of Gold is mine, which it very nearly is I might add, you shall all kneel down before me. And you shall do it willingly," promised the griffin. He stepped away from Link and rested the three Triforce prisms onto the pedestal, drinking in its mesmerising radiance for a moment.

"But I digress. I feel that I owe it to both you, Link and Zelda, to inform you that I never intended for it to happen this way. I would have been quite content to wait a while, after all, I have the rest of eternity to do with the Demiari as I wish. I would have gladly waited. But Mara and her cohort have forced me to play my hand early. And now I must act, because if this foul witch were to get her hands on it, I might never get the chance...her greed is ultimately her downfall...and now she will pay for such a mistake," began Enzar, pacing back and forth across the floor of the Triforce Tower, his eyes now intently focused on Mara whose eyes were half shut, her breathing slow and laboured.

"The Power of Gold shall never belong to you or her," spat Zelda, life returning to her for just a moment. Enzar wheeled round and glared at Zelda, before stalking purposefully towards her weakened form. Link could do little but watch - he was still held by the griffin's spell, and his body could nary move an inch.

"Don't you go near her!" shouted Link as loudly as he could, hoping to draw Enzar's attention away from Zelda. Enzar stopped and looked towards Link.

"I'm not going to kill her hero, if that is what you are thinking. After all, I need her alive," he drawled coolly. Link tried desperately to unclench the fists that were by his sides, but Enzar's spell was too strong.

"Alive for what? You can't make the Triforce complete without the three who hold the virtue in their heart, and in case you didn't notice, there are only two of us!" reminded Link, finally able to rise to his feet, breaking Enzar's spell. Enzar looked at Link with mild surprise, and simply turned away looking down at Robert, who had fallen unconscious.

"Don't turn away from me!" growled Link, marching towards the griffin. Enzar turned to face Link and smiled.

"To face me unarmed is either courageous or extremely foolish. I feel it may be the latter," taunted Enzar, shooting a bolt of magic at Link's chest. The hero had no time to move, and it struck him true, causing him to stagger backwards away from the griffin. But he did not fall. Enzar looked uncertain as Link glared back at him and simply cocked his head.

"Your strength is evident, my young friend. It is a shame then, that once I am done with you, you shall have to die. You could prove to be too much of a threat," sighed Enzar, almost reluctantly. "Perhaps Ganon, the poor fool, was right to fear you. But I have an advantage over Ganon. Unlike him, I know you shall not harm me," said Enzar confidently. Link looked across the floor to his sword, and reached out with one hand. The sword flew through the air and into his grasp, and Link turned to face Enzar with a look of grim determination.

"I would strike your black heart with my sword without a second thought. I do not fear you, nor do I owe you any loyalty," swore Link in a steely tone. Enzar began to laugh even as Link spoke, a twisted and callous laughter that rang through the Tower with lingering menace.

"That may well be so. But to do so would kill your son. Who is linked to me by blood. And I know of no father who could kill his own son with such disregard, least of all you, Hero," revealed Enzar wickedly, stepping towards Link. He rose up on his rear legs and bared his feathered chest to Link, inviting him to strike him.

"Do as you will hero. Strike that black heart of mine and end all of this. End all of this, and you never need worry again. But keep in mind that to kill me, means to also kill that dear, precious son of yours...it is your choice. But I already know the decision you will make, because you suffer the fatal human flaw of sentiment, and love." Link raised his sword as Enzar spoke, and closed his eyes. He prepared as if to swing his sword into Enzar's chest, but as Enzar finished, he found that he could not. If Enzar spoke the truth, and his death could also bring about his own son's demise, then he knew he could not do it. His sword fell from his hands, and clattered loudly against the stone floor, and Link hung his head. Enzar got back to his feet and smiled at Link.

"So predictable. And in a way, so very disappointing. But enough of this. I tire of mere words. It is time for me to realise the ambition that so many others have failed to achieve." As the griffin spoke, he leaned down and touched Robert on the forehead, reviving the Kokiri King. And then he did the same to Zelda.

"You are the ones I need," he proclaimed forcing them to stand in a semi-circle. "The power of three, and the legend speaks of blood relations and royal connections. Why how perfect, all of you together like this. I only need you all to touch this Triforce and the Demiari shall be mine!" he proclaimed gleefully.

"It cannot be done! It won't work!! Robert is not related to us!" Zelda bluffed, beginning to tremble with fear.

"Do not lie to me Princess! I know he is your husband's kinsman!" Enzar roared.

"He is no kinsman of mine, the traitor!" Robert cried hoarsely. He's dying, like me, Zelda thought looking across at the kokiri.

"Pathetic fools! Enzar laughed. "I have walked this very castle's ramparts without you knowing. I rescued your precious son, dear Princess! And I stole away your sister's heart!" Zelda and Link stared at each other in sick realisation. "King Nicolas was onto me, you needn't have worried. But you two were so caught up in your own petty problems you couldn't see what was right in front of you," the griffin continued. "I was biding my time, waiting for the precise moment at which to strike. However, this hitch in the works needs to be remedied. Join hands! Now!" Enzar ordered. They refused.

A wicked gleam glittered in the griffin's eyes at the blatant refusal of the three and he let out a dramatic sigh.

"Again, so predictable. I offer you a simple way to do things, and you refuse. Then so be it...if you want to do it the difficult, painful way...then don't let me stop you," purred the Griffin, pacing before the three.

"Wait...what would you do?" asked Robert suddenly, who Link noticed was sweating profusely.

"Patience, young Robert. You will see shortly," promised the Griffin.

"This won't work Enzar," repeated Zelda coldly, her green eyes narrowing in defiance as she spoke. Enzar again smiled that malicious smile.

"No? Well I shall have to start with you then, won't I?" began the Griffin. Link stepped closer to Zelda, raising his left hand.

"Don't touch her!" he commanded in a clear voice, but Enzar merely snickered at Link's attempt to ward him off.

"Oh...I am not required to touch her. Though I can assure you, the process will be quite painful," gloated the beast, before raising a taloned claw. Before Link could even move, a powerful beam of magic shot from the Griffin's claw to Zelda's chest. The princess let out a cry of anguish and wavered on her feet, looking as though she might faint. She remained on her feet, whether through sheer resilience or the Griffin's magic and Link and Robert could only watch wide eyed as the magical connection throbbed and wavered before it slowly became tinted with blue energy, pulling from Zelda to Enzar.

"You see...with my blessed blood, I am able to make your essence my own...quite a useful thing I might add. I am quite sure I do not need to explain what happens next," continued the Griffin. Link shook his head quickly and stepped before Zelda, severing the connection. Zelda fell forward, grabbing Link's injured shoulder causing him to wince in pain, and Enzar let out a roar of anger.

"Foolish boy! I will tolerate your foolishness no longer. Say goodbye to your courage!" screamed the Griffin, raising his claw once more. Link let out a gasp as a wave of magic hit him, and he looked down at his left hand, his eyes widening as he saw the Triforce shaped mark on the back of his hand glow a violent red. This time the beam took on a yellow hue, and Link could do little as he felt a part of him pulled towards the Griffin. He tried to resist the magic, but he could not, and as his courage was drawn into Enzar, the evil Griffin let out a cackle of triumph, leaving Link to collapse onto the floor.

The hero felt dazed as he lay there, Zelda atop him, and his body was soon overtaken by a series of inadvertent trembles and shivers. He looked up at his wife and let out a shaky breath, bringing up his hand and touching her cheek tenderly.

"I love you," he whispered, before his eyes slid shut and he slipped into unconsciousness.

Zelda watched desperately as her husband closed his eyes and she weakly pounded against his chest with her fists.

"Link, no!" she cried, wet tears clinging to her cheeks. She looked up at Enzar with hatred and glared at him.

"What have you done?" she cried, the words escaping her lips in a sob. Enzar gleamed at her.

"His virtue is now mine. And now for Power," replied the Griffin, switching his attention to Robert. The Kokiri looked up at the Griffin and let out a harsh chuckle.

"I have no virtue. Not the kind that you seek," he spat bitterly. Enzar grinned, revealing rows of shining, razor sharp teeth.

"But you do Robert. You just never knew. Why do you think that Mara bothered with you?" asked Enzar gleefully. Robert took a step back, shaking his head defiantly.

"You are wrong!" he insisted. Enzar raised his claw, and again, a powerful beam of magic shot from him to Robert. Zelda watched him resist, but like Link, he could not. Her eyes widened as she saw the red essence of Power drawn from Robert and into Enzar, and then closed her eyes as she saw Robert slump down in the same way Link had. Enzar's voice caused her to open her eyes once more, and she only just held back a scream of terror when she saw the Griffin looming over her.

"Your turn now, your highness. And I promise you, this time, there is no one to stand in my way..."

Zelda stood, a feeling of calmness suddenly washing over her. She eyed Enzar defiantly.

"Power without wisdom corrupts, as Ganon well knew. It twisted him into something so foul and evil, but you are already so wicked that it could not possibly corrupt you further!" she said. Enzar simply laughed.

"Poor poor Ganon, the wretched fool that he was. For so long he strove for the Power of Gold, even though he could only ever use the one virtue. Much like you, my Princess. But I, I am confident in the knowledge that I can handle all three," he said smugly.

"The goddesses never intended that the remnant of their powers left here in the Demiari to be used for evil," Zelda retorted, folding her arms.

"Yet the bearers of the power virtue are always evil Princess, are they not?" Enzar remarked, glancing casually over at Robert. "Evil, twisted, corrupt, power-hungry... Why Princess, it looks like you do have some intelligence after all! I was beginning to doubt you, after your foolish escapade to Death Mountain," he sneered. He stretched out a clawed hand towards her, once more making a magical connection, pulling the wisdom virtue from the blood in her veins. Zelda shook her head, stepping back, her resistance barely faltering. Through sheer psychic willpower she somehow managed to sever the connection.

"You will not take what is mine Enzar!" she cried, her voice wavering. Suddenly a wave of nausea overcame her, sending her sprawling to the ground.

"Good, but not quite good enough Zelda!" Enzar laughed. He reached down towards her, pulling the magical essence from her into himself. It was the last thing Zelda saw before she too, like Robert and Link, blacked out.

As the power of three enveloped Enzar, he began to laugh maniacally. His very being seemed to pulse with new-found might, and the entire tower hummed with a magical vibe. Electricity crackled between the three Triforce prisms and Enzar stepped up before them.

"The Demiari is mine, all mine!" he laughed, his amber eyes turning a malevolent red. His clawed hands grasped them together, ready to fuse into one. The griffin was so intent on his task that he did not see Mara slipping away, out of the tower. All of a sudden Enzar was surrounded by a crackling magical aura. The light began to burn him, his feathers becoming charred and blackened. "No!!!!!" he exclaimed. "Noooooooo!!!!! This wasn't supposed to happen!!!!!!" Moments later, there was a blinding explosion of light, and Enzar seemed to grow in size, his body becoming stretched and distorted. He howled in pain as the magic suffused into his blood, before finally, seconds later, imploding into a ball of vibrant golden energy. There was a deafening eruption, another blinding flash and then finally, silence. The Triforces dropped back onto their pedestal with a light 'chink'. All that was left of Enzar was a black pile of ashes and a solitary golden feather which floated to the floor.



The Kokiri King could not believe that Mara, his lover, his partner, had only used him. If it hadn't been for Enzar's timely intervention, Mara would have betrayed him. She would have left him for dead along with Link and Zelda. He, Robert, had simply been a distraction. A way of weakening Hyrule's greatest defence. Link. A sick feeling was forming in the pit of his stomach as he realised these things. An immense pain was shooting across his skull, his wounds inflicted by Link bleeding and draining him of all strength and will to live. It was all over. He had won neither Hyrule, nor Link. The world around him was becoming hazy, merging with another. Through the swirling mists he could see a light, and a voice called out to him.

"Robert... it is time..." A beautiful woman with long dark hair and blue eyes beckoned to him, the whiteness of her gown almost dazzling. But beyond her the tower walls came once more into focus as Robert wavered on that fine thread between life and death. Catalia... Catalia needed him... "Your life in this world is over my friend," the woman spoke, her aura glowing more brightly than ever. Robert could see his kinsman Link rising slowly to his feet. But he couldn't call out to him.

"Oh goddess, please forgive me," he croaked to himself as he let the spirit world take him to his final resting place.

It was all over. Zelda sank to the floor, sheer exhaustion overcoming her finally. Enzar was gone. Mara was gone. Robert was lying on the flagstones nearby, his wounds too grave to recover from. However the triumph of overcoming the evil trio didn't fill her with relief because there was something that felt to her, far worse than Mara's wicked plans. Link stood alone, leaning upon his sword, not looking at her. This was it, their final parting. Now her husband would leave for good, now that he'd done what had to be done. She dared to glance up at him and for one moment, their eyes met. But in an instant he looked away again, quickly sheathing his sword and turning away, taking small steps to the tower exit. A lone tear rolled down her cheek and Zelda let out a small sob at his departure. He was at the door now, one hand upon the knob, preparing to turn it. Something inside her told her to stop him, and she jumped up quickly. A searing pain cut across her stomach and Zelda let out a cry of anguish, stumbling to the ground in sheer agony.

At her agonised scream, Link suddenly turned towards his wife, his natural protective instinct taking over his bitter pride. Zelda was sprawled upon the floor clutching at her abdomen and for the first time, he noticed that her clothes were soaked with blood. He rushed across, kneeling down beside her, stroking one hand through her long golden hair in comfort.

"Zel, Zel, what's the matter?" he asked frantically, lifting her slender frame into his arms for support.

"Link, I..." Zelda started faintly. The tears were rolling down her cheeks freely, and Link realised that he was crying also. His hand shaking, he ran it down her side to the bottom of her blouse, almost not daring to lift it away from her body.

"How did this... who..." he began, as he gently pushed the fabric aside the examine the wound across her stomach. A knife cut surely, he couldn't tell how deep it was, and although it wasn't bleeding too heavily, from the paleness of Zelda's face and her faintness, she had clearly lost a lot of blood already. How had she managed to hold up through the battle? The Princess didn't answer his questions but rather leaned into his embrace, her head against his chest.

"Link, I love you... I'm so sorry..." she wept. "I'm lost without you... please don't leave me..." Her words stripped away all their past arguments and Link knew all along that he would never stop loving Zelda. Not for anyone or anything. What had happened between them had happened but that time was past. How could he ever have imagined life without her? He cradled her away from him slightly, so he could gaze down into her tear-drenched green eyes.

"Zel... I'd never, ever leave you. Never," he breathed before lowering his lips to hers for a gentle kiss. When they pulled away, Zelda weakly grasped his hand, gazing at him intently.

"I love you forever Link, please remember that always," she whispered. Then, without warning her whole body went limp, her eyes closing.

"No!" Link exclaimed, watching in horror as his wife slipped away before his eyes. Panicking he grasped her wrist, feeling for a pulse. There was one there, but it was weak. Her breathing was uneven and barely there. "Zel, Zel, wake up! You can't leave me now!" he cried, shaking her slightly. But she didn't respond, her life seemingly slipping away with each passing moment.

The hero didn't want to leave her side but there was nothing else for it. Placing a kiss upon her cheek, he laid her gently upon the floor before rushing down the stone steps to the bottom of the tower. Down in the courtyard was chaos as soldiers and courtiers milled about everywhere, surveying the damage of the Catalian army when they had attempted to invade the castle. Link pushed through a group shouting frantically.

"Get me a healer! Someone get me the castle healer now!" Everyone ignored him and he ran back into the castle, which had already taken some damage from Robert's men. The healer's quarters were empty, as were Impa's and Link began to panic. There was only one other person who could help Zelda. Selina. But he had no idea where the Dalsonian Queen would be. If she'd had any sense, she'd have gone from the castle, along with the rest of the court. He didn't have time to ride to Mido to find a qualified healer. By the time they returned, Zelda could already be dead. He grabbed a few supplies from the healer's quarters and walked back out into the gallery. Descending the staircase he spotted a lone guard sprinting along the hall and collared him.

"You there! Where is the Lady Selina?" he demanded. "Or Mistress Impa?" The guard gave him an agitated look.

"Mistress Impa took the Lady Selina to the upper chambers of the castle! I believe her time has come," he finally replied, regarding Link somewhat warily. Link looked taken back by the soldier's words. Selina in childbirth already? It couldn't have come at a worse time, he mused, wondering if Nick knew. He had last seen his friend out on the North Castle plain, several hours ago. But that battle had ended not long ago, where was everybody? He walked back out into the courtyard, his eyes searching for Drake, Aaron, Nick, anyone. But there were so many people it was difficult to spot any of his friends. He would have to try and help Zelda himself.

Link rushed back up to the top of the tower, Zelda still lying upon the ground. She looked so fragile, he scooped her up into his arms, carrying her out and up to their room. It took him some time but he eventually managed it, setting the unconscious Princess down upon their bed.

"Don't leave me Zel, not after all this," he whispered, gently undoing her blouse and tending to the horrific wound on her skin beneath. He washed away the surplus blood then rubbed on some healing cream, before binding it up with a crude bandage. It would not prevent it from bleeding anymore, but at least it was something. He had taken one last item, a revitalising elixir. Taking out the stopper, he poured a little down her throat and waited. Moments later Zelda gave a small cough and her eyes blinked open in surprise. Link's heart surged hopefully; she had responded to the potion. Maybe it would help her long enough for him to get help. He sat down on the bed next to her, taking hold of her hand. "I'm here, it's okay," he murmured.

"Wh.... What happened?" Zelda stammered, looking confused. He brushed her hair away from her face with his free hand, before resting it under her cheek.

"You fainted Zel... you're hurt badly. I've tried to help but..." Link looked down and Zelda followed his gaze to her stomach and the bandage.

"It was Mara. I was fighting her at Death Mountain and..." she stopped, giving a little gasp of pain.

"Zel!" Link cried, panicking again. Zelda let out a long breath.

"It's okay..." she managed, though her tone was growing weak again. She sat up slightly, pulling Link towards her in a fierce embrace. "I love you," she repeated softly, before meeting him in an impassioned kiss. After a few blissful moments they leaned back again, smiling at each other.

"I don't want to lose you Zel..." Link murmured. "You're my everything, I'm so sorry for what I did," he said, before kissing her again.

"It doesn't matter now, it's all over," Zelda replied. Reluctantly Link pulled away from her, his eyes never leaving hers for a moment.

"Darling Zel, I don't want to leave you but... well, I need to get a healer. That wound is serious and you've lost a lot of blood..." he said, his tone becoming serious. Zelda nodded weakly, placing one hand on her stomach.

"You're right... I just hope I can hold out," she murmured. Link leaned over, planting a small kiss on her cheek.

"You will. You have to. Not just for me, but Hyrule Zel," he said, caressing her hand with his own. Then he quickly turned and left the tower, hurrying back down the steps. He hoped Mido would have the person he required because he knew that the potion wouldn't last long. If he lost Zelda now, it would kill him. But pushing those thoughts aside he made his way to the stables, grabbing the first available horse. Every second counted.

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