Disclaimer: I dont want to get in whatever trouble people can get into when using other peoples 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.
Juliet A. Singleton (Scullys@bigfoot.com) & Kirsty Singleton (Space@xs.clara.net)
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Nick smiled wistfully as he said his goodbyes. When he had exchanged good wishes with everyone he finally laid his eyes on Selina, they had not yet said goodbye, he pulled her into a brief hug then stepped away, his eyes meeting hers for a fraction of a second. He smiled at her, and she returned the gesture. He then turned away and boarded his ship. He had considered trying to get to know Selina better during his visit, but he felt he had just confirmed his true feelings for Selina. He waved to his companions as the boat began to drift away, towards his home. He knew he should never have even considered showing his true feelings towards Selina, and was glad he hadn't. He knew that if it turned out she liked him just as much it would never work for either of them. On one hand Nick knew she could never be his wife as he wouldn't bear to take her away from Hyrule, and he knew his father would never approve. His father would also be angry that Nick hadn't asked for Fayette's hand but he knew he couldn't do that. He leaned over the rail of the boat and looked into the depths. A sharp pain suddenly shot through his chest and Nick winced, almost toppling over the side. When he opened his eyes again he gasped as he saw an eerie reflection in the water, it was of Enzar. He stepped back and gulped down some oxygen, leaning against the cabin for support. He heard cries from above and Nick watched in horror as the water around the little boat began to turn blood red. The boat began to rock backwards and forwards uncontrollably, as if caught in a wild storm - but the water was as calm as could be. Nick's chest constricted in pain again and he fell to his hands and knees. He shut his eyes, and another pang of pain crashed between his temples. He heard gasps and screams from below and above, then he heard the splintering of wood nearby. He tried to force his eyes open, but his eyelids felt as though they weighed ten pounds each. He tried to get up, but a pain stabbed through his back, then he heard a shrill scream split through the air, followed by a dull thud. Suddenly, Nick found himself sliding downwards, the ship was capsizing! Nick forced his eyes open and reached out a searching hand, looking for something to grab onto. But it was too late, and Nick crashed into the discoloured water. He panicked for a moment then resurfaced and calmed down. He knew they hadn't gone far, shore must be in sight, but as Nick desperately gazed around a cold realisation hit him - the shore was gone. A deep, booming laughter filled his ear drums, it was Enzar's! Nick felt as though he was being split into four, pain coursed through his entire body. Then Nick realised the ship was gone! He searched around in desperation but he got the feeling he wasn't where he had been a few minutes ago, but he was in an entirely different realm! Then Nick gasped in pain, his lungs felt as though they had been filled with sand, and he began to slowly sink under the surface. The sand in his lungs were quickly replaced with water, and Nick realised he was going to die. He looked upwards, only to see a bleak sky, distorted by the water, and silently prayed.
As Link and his friends watched the boat disappear over the horizon, he felt a sharp pain stab through his chest. Groaning in pain, Link dropped to his knees clutching at his chest. Zelda quickly kneeled down beside him, and placed one hand on his shoulder. "Link, what's the matter?" asked Zelda, a look of concern spread across her pretty features. Link shook his head.
"I don't...know," he managed to say. Suddenly, over the horizon came a bright flash of light, which formed into a huge pillar, spiralling towards the sky..
"What was that?" asked Drake in amazement. Zelda stood back up as she watched the pillar of light slowly revolve, until it began to rise upwards into the sky, then in a blinding flash of light, it was gone.
"Nick! What about Nick?" asked Link suddenly, he managed to stand back up and race towards the shore. He didn't know why but he was sure that his friend was in trouble. "We should follow him, find out if he's okay!" continued Link.
"After that just happened?" asked Drake in surprise.
"That's exactly why we're going to look for him!" said Link, annoyed that no-one seemed to be agreeing with him. Selina nodded her head slowly.
"We should go look," she agreed. Damien agreed also. Link quickly ran back to the dock and had a few words with the shipmaster. He waved over to Selina and Damon who quickly joined him.
"We only need a small rowboat, I think if we can make it to were that light was, we can assume Nick's okay," said Link hurriedly, pointing to a little rowboat that bobbed just of the dock. He jumped into it and grabbed an oar. Damon and Selina joined him and they were soon rowing out to sea. Please Nick, please be alright, silently pleaded Link as the three rowed furiously in the direction Nick's boat had been sailing.
"Oh, no," whispered Selina in horror as they approached what had been Nick's boat. The boat itself had capsized, but there was a huge tear across the hull of the ship. "What did this?" whispered Selina as they circled the boat. Bodies were floating all around the ship, and as they passed each body, Link leaned over the side of the boat to see who they were, and if they were alive. The water around the boat had turned into a murky brownish red, the blood from the dead.
"I can't believe this," murmured Link, still in shock. They passed another body, Link turned the body over, but it wasn't Nick. Link recognised the face of one of the crew men.
"Who did this?" asked Damon softly, shaking his head in disbelief.
"I think it has something to do with that pillar of light," said Selina. After they had circled the ship three times, there was no signs of life, or Nick.
"Come on, let's head back to Hyrule," suggested Damon. They all mutely agreed and began to row slowly back to shore, were the rest were waiting.
Link tied the boat to the dock and jumped out. Zelda ran up to him and hugged him. Link pushed her away, but took her by the shoulders and looked her in the eyes. "Zel, Nick's ship," he started.
"What?" asked Zelda, flickers of worry skittering across her face.
"Someone, something attacked it," he said slowly, only just coming to terms with it himself.
"What about Nick?" asked Zelda warily.
"We couldn't find him, but, but everyone else who was onboard was dead," said Link. He watched as Zelda turn away in sock, but he walked over to her and hugged her tightly. Drake and the rest approached, but Selina and Damon ushered them away, leaving Link and Zelda alone. "We need to find out what that light was," said Link carefully as he listened to Zelda's muffled sobs.
"I know what it was Link, it was a link between two realms. If Nick was in that light he could be anywhere," she said, stopping for short breaths of air.
"Is there anyway we can help him," asked Link unsurely - he felt so useless.
"No, unless Nick can escape himself, we may never see him again, and that's if he's still alive. Just as Zelda finished they heard a shrill scream from the shore, Fayette's. "He was so kind, why did it have to get him?" asked Zelda quietly, but she had to raise her voice over Fayette's shrill screams.
"Maybe it didn't," offered Link, stroking the top of Zelda's head carefully.
"We just have to hope, and pray," said Zelda quietly.
Ganon walked towards the river, where, just moments before he had seen a blinding spiral of light. The discoloured water lapped up against the bank and Ganon noticed a dark, unmoving shape lain by the bank. He approached the shape and kneeled down to get a closer look. His cruel lips twisted into an evil smile when he saw the face of the figure. He grabbed it by the cloak and began to drag it back towards that gnarled tree. It looked as though Enzar's death had been better than Ganon had ever dreamed of. Not only had the Griffin turned out to be the carrier of the precious moon pearl, but he had also managed to make sure that those whom had caused his exile had paid dearly. Well one had anyway. Ganon began to cackle, but slowly it began to turn into a deep, booming laughter. Ganon stopped and looked down at his hands- they were no longer gnarled claws, but strong, firm hands. He had legs, feet! Ganon finally ran his hand's over his face, hair ran through his fingers. He began to laugh again, his own laughter music to his ears. It looked as though the moon pearl was working already, it would not be long until he was strong enough to re-enter the light world and this time - nothing would stop him.
Link stared down at the ground, at the small wooden cross that marked Kylara's grave. He knelt down, and placed the small bouquet of wildflowers at its base. The cold November wind whipped around him, and he wrapped his arms around himself in attempt to keep warm. The Gardarika graveyard was a desolate place, devoid of much life, aside from the overgrown grass, and gnarled trees that stood menacingly at one end of the cemetery. Link's own family was buried here, and he felt sad that once he died, he wouldn't be buried with them. Instead, his body would be placed in the Royal Tomb, that stood in the graveyard south of Mido. As for Kylara, he felt like she hadn't deserved to die. The same as his brother Hayden hadn't. Both deaths had been his fault, in a way. As he stood there, a sickening thought passed through his mind. Both of them had died, through Zelda. His beloved wife. Hayden had been murdered by the Carcastans, as Link had rescued Zelda from the same fate. And then Kylara had killed herself, because Link had married Zelda instead of her. He wondered why he'd been forced to choose between his love and his brother. That hadn't been fair, and he had lost the only surviving member of his family. And he hadn't been able to stop Kylara from killing herself, she'd done it all too quickly. But at least it was all over now. Ganon was gone for good, and the Triforce united into one. Hyrule was finally at peace. He didn't know for how long, but hopefully it would last for many centuries. And he'd fulfilled his promise to Zelda. He remembered a few weeks back, when he'd first set out to reclaim the other two Triforces. Alone in Zelda's room, he'd said to her, Zelda, when you take the throne I want to make sure you have nothing to worry about, especially not Ganon. He'd kissed her, and later, left to set out on his quest. He wished she was here with him right now, but he hadn't told her about Kylara's death. Perhaps it was stupid not to tell her, but after what had happened between them over Kylara... he'd nearly lost her for good, when she wouldn't forgive him. Now they were married, and more in love with each other than ever before, he didn't wish to spoil it. Two days ago it had been the Princess's 21st birthday, and two days before that, their Royal wedding. Now, he was here, visiting the grave of the other woman he'd almost married. He stood there for a few moments more, then turned away, and began to walk away. As Zelda had said to him, they shouldn't dwell on the past anymore, but look towards their future together. A warm feeling came over him, as he thought about some of those future things. As he stepped through the iron gates though, a voice made him stop.
"Link!" someone said sharply. The hero looked around, searching for the owner of the voice. An old man stepped out from the growing shadows. Link recognised him as the Elder of Gardarika, Arcesius. He exhaled nervously, and looked down at his feet. "I see you feeling suitably ashamed by your actions," the elder said. He walked towards Link, and took hold of his hands.
"Not ashamed. Just sad," Link answered. The old man looked down at Link's hands, spying his two rings; the kingdom ring given to him by the King as a sign that he was an official member of the Hyrulian Royal Family, and the wedding ring from Zelda.
"So you married your Princess after all," he said coldly.
"I had to," Link replied shortly.
"My bad guidance has cost us all dearly. It has taken a life," Arcesius said.
"It was what she wanted," Link said, looking down again.
"All she wanted was to fulfil her role in this dark age, and become your rightful wife," Arcesius replied. Link raised his eyebrows.
"Rightful?" he asked. Arcesius walked out of the graveyard. He beckoned for Link to follow. "What in Hyrule are you talking about?" Link asked, walking up alongside the elder.
"You're in Catalia now, boy. Don't use such terms here," Arcesius said sharply. Link folded his arms indignantly, but didn't bother to protest.
"Okay, but I don't understand. How is Kylara my 'rightful' wife? Zelda is," he said. Arcesius leaned on his stick, looking down into the town.
"Come and sit down, boy. There's a few things you need to know," he said, patting a rock nearby. Link hated how the elder kept referring to him as 'boy', but he knew he had to respect the old man. He sat down, and Arcesius began to speak.
"Long, long ago, Hyrule was just a small land. As you well know, its boundaries consisted of the south west island, where Ganon later made his domain. Many races of people used to inhabit Hyrule; sadly all that remain now are the humans, and of course, the native Hylians. A special type of Hylians inhabited the Lost Woods, these were the Kokiri. Your tribe, which originated from the forests of northern Hyrule, was named after these people. Later, they moved onto Catalia, a country which has kept its tribal traditions," Arcesius said. Link nodded.
"Okay, so that's how my tribe name originated. But why keep such traditions? It's so..." Link paused, searching for the right words.
"Young man, these traditions are regarded as important here in Catalia. It's part of our culture," Arcesius said sharply.
"It's restricting," Link said suddenly.
"If you hadn't gone to Hyrule, you would know no better," Arcesius replied.
"But you even said so yourself, the tribe originated there! And I've always known that I have Hylian ancestry," Link answered. Arcesius sighed.
"It's tradition to intermarry in your own tribe. You should have married Kylara. Now you will mix your Kokiri blood with that of a Hylian Princess instead!" Arcesius said.
"It's a bit stupid, if you ask me. If... if everyone intermarries, won't we all be related anyway? In Hyrule, it's simply just not permitted," Link replied.
"Customs are customs, Link. Obviously, you have learnt to respect Hyrulian customs, and I suspect faerie customs too, yet you are disrespectful of your own!" Arcesius said coldly.
"Okay, I'll be straight with you. I don't agree with Catalian customs, and I consider myself a native of Hyrule more. I'm sorry about Kylara; deeply sorry indeed. But she chose to die, and I couldn't stop her. Now, I have even more duties back in Hyrule, and I have a wife there. Nothing will keep me here now," Link said. Arcesius shook his head sadly.
"Fate has been changed, and you shall suffer the consequences eventually." Those words sounded frighteningly familiar to Link... Kylara had said almost the exact same thing before she had killed herself! He swallowed nervously, then stood up. "It looks like you knew that already," Arcesius remarked.
"I'm going back to Hyrule right now. And I'm never coming back here," Link said harshly. Arcesius looked saddened by his words, but the elder knew there was no way he could change Link's mind.
"You will realise your mistake one day... changing destinies and rewriting ancient prophecies will always end in dire circumstances," he called after the hero. Link didn't hear, as he ran to where Carefree was tied up. He was definitely determined to put the past behind him, and look towards the future. And it looked bright...