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)
Link woke up and yawned. The sun's early morning rays were just beginning to filter through into Sal's cave. The hero sat up, and rubbed his eyes. "Good morning," Sal remarked. Link stood up.
"Hey," he said, beginning to walk over to the entrance. Shading his eyes, he looked down into the valley. Nothing but grass, mostly, and chunks of rock, probably ruins of old buildings. "Zel is going to kill me," he said.
"It's your own fault. I did offer to fly you home, but you insisted on looking for your non-existent sword all night..." Sal replied.
"It's not non-existent! And I don't care about what Zel thinks, I'm not going back home until I've found it!" Link vowed.
"Oh, here we go again," Sal said, bored.
"I mean it, Sal. It's gotta be around here someplace," Link answered.
"Well look. We searched all around the bottom, and top of Death Mountain last night, and the plains. Where else can you look?" Sal questioned.
"The forest!" Link suddenly exclaimed.
"I can't fit inside there! You'll be on your own, hero," the dragon replied.
"Fair enough, but I'm sure I remember reading something about it being in the Lost Woods or some place like that. One of the forests around here must be the so-called Lost Woods," Link said.
"It's not on any map I've seen," Sal remarked.
"I didn't know that you looked at maps," Link replied.
"I don't. But I know there's no such place. Your Lost Woods were long gone before either of us were born," Sal answered, sticking her head out of the cave entrance, and looking around at the landscape below with interest.
"Sal, how old are you exactly?" Link enquired, grinning.
"Cheek! Long enough to know a great deal of things though, hero," the dragon said smugly. "Come on, get on my back. I'm taking you down into the valley, and you can get looking for that sword. Be careful though, moblins still infest the trees," she grinned. Link jumped astride the beast, and she flew leisurely down from the mountainside, down onto the ground.
Link brandished his sword, on alert. Sal had been right to warn him about the moblins, and Link knew that the upright standing dog-like beasts could be tracking him silently right that very minute. He paused furtively, listening for the tell-tale snap of a twig, or the sight off beady red eyes in the undergrowth. But he could hear or see nothing, aside from the singing of birds and the green plant life. The forest was like a great maze, and Link had never had the liberty of looking around it before, because it had only finally become safe a few years back when Ganon had gone, even then, he'd never wanted to come and explore. There hadn't seemed any reason to, although he remembered that when he'd been younger, both he and Zelda had often wanted to explore the forgotten realm of Hyrule. But even for great fighters like themselves, the south west island had been a dangerous place, and they'd been forbidden to ever go there. Link had been here other times, but only when fighting Ganon in his underworld home, the caverns of Death Mountain. Winding through the trees was a long forgotten path, only slightly trampled down, indicating that someone had passed this way sometime previously, not long ago. Link wondered whether to follow it; it could simply just be a moblin track, leading to one of their lairs. That, was a place he did not want to end up. They were worse than dragon caves, for things like bones and rotting remains. Moblin lairs always smelled rancid too, and were very dank and gloomy. Pushing the leaves back of a particularly large plant, he found himself in an overgrown clearing. The sun shone down, casting light in the gloominess of the otherwise dark forest. Once again, Link could see the trampled down grass, heading across the centre of the copse, and back into the trees again. He hacked away at some tall grass with his sword, making a larger pathway. The hero followed the pathway right towards the trees, then suddenly, he heard the roar of moblins! All at once, he was surrounded by the monsters, drawing closer, and closer. "Well, if it isn't that stupid hero, Link!" one of them remarked, poking him in the chest with a spear. Link quickly sliced the spear in two with his sword.
"Alright, who's gonna be first?" he questioned, glancing around at the monsters. With another roar, they all leapt forward, and Link began to attempt to fight them off.
"Come on boys, get this little mongrel!" the head moblin shouted. Link grimaced as a spear blade became embedded in his side. He did a swinging attack with his sword, and then quickly pulled the blade out. Another blow sent him flying to the ground, his sword landing a few feet away.
"Damn," he muttered, picking himself up. He could hear the remaining moblins laughing. "Alright, now you've done it!" he warned. The monsters continued laughing. That's their problem. They floored me and could have killed me right there and then, but they're too stupid, Link thought. He pulled a boomerang from his pocket and through it at the group on moblins, knocking a few out stone cold. Grabbing his sword, he finished the rest off. "Idiots," he spoke out loud to himself, grinning. He looked down at himself, and brushed off the bits of twigs, grass and mud that had got stuck to his clothes when he'd landed on the floor. Looking ahead, he noticed a vine covered hollow at one end of the clearing. He pushed the plants aside with his sword, and stepped though the wooden archway.
Link couldn't believe his eyes. There it stood, right before him. A sword, glistening in a golden shaft of light, which was reaching through the treetops, embedded inside a stone pedestal. Wow, it really is true! he thought, quickly running over towards the ancient artefact. It was a beautiful piece of equipment, even better than Link's own precious magical sword. And that was one possession that he valued highly. The Master Sword though, was almost wondrous. Beautifully crafted, with a blade that shone like silver, untarnished and unchipped. The hilt was made from pure gold, embedded with many jewels. A delicate emblem of the Triforce was embossed at the top of the blade. It seemed to glow with some sort of magical aura, and Link felt drawn to it, like it was meant to be his sword. Eagerly, he climbed up the steps to the top of the marble pedestal, and took the hilt in both hands. Summoning up all his power, he pulled. And pulled. And pulled. Try as he might, he just couldn't seem to pull it out of the stone. "Come on, stop being so pathetic!" he said to himself, still tugging at the blade. After five minutes, he sat down, breathing heavily from all his exertions. Surely that sword should have come straight out! Surely it can't be that much stuck in that rock! he thought to himself, puzzled. He tried again. After 15 minutes of attempting to get the sword, Link knew that it was absolutely no good. Obviously, he wasn't destined to take out such an important piece of equipment. He slumped down in disappointment. How could I have just assumed such at thing? I'm not good enough, not as good as the other heroes who used this, he thought sadly to himself. Disheartened, he walked out of the clearing, head hung, looking dejected. That sword was the only thing that could keep Ganondorf at bay, and he, the country's hero, couldn't even use it! What good was he to Hyrule now?
"Stand back," Zelda ordered, peering through the fringe of trees. She could see a large reptilian form, lying in the middle of the vast grass field.
"What is it? A dragon?" Leigh questioned, moving forward to where Zelda stood.
"I think so..." Zelda said slowly, shading her eyes. "I think it's Sal," she added, sounding slightly relieved.
"Oh her? Your dragons are weird," Leigh remarked. Zelda stared at Leigh.
"What's wrong with our dragons?" she questioned. "Oh nothing much. They're just different to Sosarian ones, that's all," Leigh answered.
"We don't have many dragons in Hyrule these days. They're a dying race. At least Sal is on our side, though," Zelda said, brushing back a loose strand of hair from her face. The wind was picking up again, and the Princess sincerely hoped that the snow wasn't going to return.
"That's another weird thing. I thought all dragons were evil. And how come Hyrulian dragons talk, anyhow? And why does she have bright pink hair too?" Leigh questioned. Zelda shrugged.
"Don't ask me. And as for all dragons being evil, well, it's not that they mean it intentionally, it's just the way they are. I know for a fact that Sal goes around eating cows and sheep, and in the old days, before she became Link's dragon, she ate people as well."
"She's Link's dragon?" Leigh asked, looking incredulous.
"Uhuh. That's why she won't attack us. And she's helped out a few times when Ganon has attacked, well, back in the past," Zelda replied. She walked out onto the field, and called Sal's name. "Hey, Sal!" the Princess shouted. She could tell it was Sal, because of the hair. It stood out a mile. The dragon lifted its head lazily, and slowly turned in Zelda's direction.
"Well, if it isn't Mr Hero's little Miss Princess!" she said, leering a little.
"Shut up Sal. Where's Link?" Zelda asked, walking right up to the beast. Sal yawned, letting a jet of sulphurous fumes and smoke escape. Zelda coughed. "Don't do that!" the Princess said irritably, still coughing.
"Sorry. A complete accident, I assure you, Your Highness," Sal said in a mock regal tone.
"I'll bet. It always seems to happen when I'm around," Zelda said sulkily.
"Oh, you just must have that effect on me, Princess," Sal laughed. Then she saw Leigh. "Oh great. If it isn't little Miss Avatar. Honestly, can my day get any worse?" the dragon questioned.
"Shut it, and just tell me where Link is. I know you've seen him," Zelda said.
"Do you?" Sal asked, arching one eyebrow.
"Yes, now stop messing about. It's very important that I see him," Zelda replied, folding her arms.
"Oh, now we're getting desperate, aren't we? Can you not handle even one day without the poor man?" Sal grinned.
"Sal, I'm warning you," Zelda began.
"Oh, calm down, will you? He's in the forest, looking for some non-existent sword, if you must know," Sal interrupted.
"Oh.... I might have guessed," Zelda said slowly.
"Here he is right now!" Leigh suddenly said. Zelda turned to see her husband walking out from a clump of trees. He didn't look at all happy. Suddenly, he noticed Zelda, and Leigh, his woeful expression turning to that of surprise.
Link quickened his pace, and rushed over to where Zelda was. She was stood with her arms folded, looking slightly quizzical. Leigh, much to his surprise, was standing nearby. And of course, Sal was lounging about in the middle of the field, as usual. The dragon had turned to look at him though, obviously wondering if he'd got the sword or not. "Link, why did you go off to do this without telling me!" Zelda cried, as soon as he got near.
"Well, I was in the area, so..." he began.
"I've been so worried! After all those attacks, I can't believe you came out here alone! And, what happened? You look awful!" she exclaimed. Link looked down at himself. There was a little blood and mud on his tunic, but he didn't see why Zelda was getting so stressed out about it.
"Nothing happened. Just had a group of moblins trying to attack me, but it was nothing I couldn't handle," he said, pulling her into a small hug. She stepped back, still looking displeased.
"You weren't meant to look, not yet! Impa said so!"
"Well, I already found it," Link replied.
"You heard me," Link said calmly. Zelda opened her mouth to say something, but then didn't. Sal spoke up.
"If you found it, why haven't you got it?" This was the question that Link had been dreading.
"I, uh..." he began, blushing, and shifting from one foot to the other.
"Link, you need three special pendants before you can take the Master Sword! It says so in the legend!" Zelda said quickly.
"What?" Link said in surprise.
"Take me to it," Zelda said suddenly, not explaining.
"Well, okay," Link replied, turning to go back to the forest.
"Wow..." Zelda breathed in wonder, looking over at the weapon with awe.
"It's magnificent!" Leigh exclaimed. Zelda walked over, and bent down, studying an inscription carved on the pedestal. Link hadn't noticed it before.
"Here, listen," Zelda said softly, quickly reading through the ancient Hylian script to herself, before speaking it out loud to Link and Leigh. "The Hero's triumph on Cataclysm's Eve, wins three symbols of virtue. The Master Sword he will then retrieve, keeping the knights line true," she read.
"Three symbols of virtue?" Link asked, looking puzzled.
"Yes, three special pendants. Impa was right!" Zelda replied.
"But where on earth are we supposed to find three pendants? They could be anywhere, long gone by now!" Link exclaimed.
"Not quite," Zelda said, reaching into her pocket. She took out the necklace that Link had given her a few days earlier. "Coincidence, but Impa says that this happens to be one of them," the Princess smiled.
"Hey look, you're right. There's an emblem of this carved on the pedestal," Link said, suddenly glancing down.
"Yes, it shows the shape of the other two. We need to find the Goron's ruby pendant, that signifies power, and the Kokiri Emerald, which signifies courage," Zelda said.
"Then there really was a race of people called the Kokiri who lived here! My Catalian tribe was named after them. They must have kept this emerald at one time," Link remarked, looking thoughtful.
"At one time, yes. Impa says these just used to be stones, but they were made into pendants at a later date. The other two could be in someone's jewellery collection by now," Zelda said.
"Well, if you ask me, this is a bit stupid. You need that sword like, now. You might never find those rocks, and then it'll be too late," Leigh spoke up. Zelda turned and glared at her.
"Well, not just anyone can use such a special relic, you know," she snapped.
"Oh, obviously not. But it's still stupid. It should just be like Excalibur or something," the Avatar remarked.
"What?!" Link and Zelda said together.
"Oh sorry. I was just talking about this sword from my homeland. Only the 'chosen one' could take it, if you get my meaning," Leigh quickly explained.
"Well, only certain people can take this sword too. And I for one happen to believe that Link is that person!" Zelda retorted.
"I never said he wasn't! I just said it's rather a stupid concept!" Leigh answered.
"Don't you dare question any Hyrulian concepts!" Zelda cried. Link, spotting the argument, quickly stepped in between the two.
"Alright, that's enough. Shouldn't we be looking for those pendants instead of standing around?" he suggested.
"I suppose so," Zelda said, still scowling over at Leigh.
"I'll help, of course," Leigh immediately offered.
"Well, let's get out of here," Link said.
"Not so fast," a voice remarked. Ganondorf suddenly materialised in the little clearing. Zelda stepped back, fearfully. He looked just as how she'd seen in her dream. Link stood in front of her, facing the man resolutely. Leigh took out her own sword too.
"Your pitiful weapons cannot withstand my powers!" Ganondorf remarked.
"No, but maybe our magic can!" Zelda retorted. Ganondorf seemed to glance nervously over at Leigh for a split second, but then his gaze returned back to Link and Zelda.
"You two are finished, once my powers are completely restored. You'll never get the pendants, and the Triforce will finally become mine once again!" he said.
"Never! It will never be yours!" Zelda replied determinedly.
"Think again, Princess! Soon... soon," Ganondorf remarked.
"You can think again, Ganondorf. I'll finish you off once and for all!" Link proclaimed. Ganondorf laughed evilly. Then he vanished.
"That, was you nemesis?" Leigh asked in disbelief. Link and Zelda didn't answer, just stared over at each other worriedly. Zelda leaned over to Link.
"He has the power pendant," she murmured.
"Are you sure?" Link asked. Zelda nodded.
"Wearing the pendants enhances your corresponding virtue. There must bit a little bit of Triforce essence in each jewel. I'm not surprised that Ganon is wearing the power one, but where did he get it?"
"I don't know, but I'm going to get that pendant!" Link said decisively.
"Link, no, it's far too dangerous! What if he..." Zelda began, looking frightened.
"Zel, it's nothing I can't handle," Link reassured her.
"Perhaps I should go with him," Leigh offered.
"You've got to be joking!" Zelda said.
"Actually, that might be a good idea. Sal said that Ganondorf probably had framed her, and you saw the way he looked at her before," Link replied. Zelda frowned.
"Fine," she said, walking off. Leigh looked over at Link. He just shrugged, then followed Zelda.
The small group walked all the way to Saria to get some lunch, and food supplies for later on. It had been decided that Link and Leigh would journey into Ganon's underworld chambers later that night, hoping that the evil wizard would still be residing there. Zelda had offered to wait with Sal back at her cave. Link had been unsure, in case Ganondorf knew that Zelda had one of the pendants, and tried to attack her, but Zelda thought that Sal would provide sufficient protection. "Besides, he still isn't strong yet. It must have taken a lot of power to break out of the dark realm," she remarked, as the three strolled along the path back towards Death Mountain. "And," she added, "if his spirit was residing in Nick for a brief time, that would have exhausted whatever power he had left. I think we're safe. For a time." Link remained silent. Those words sounded too ominous. But he nodded.
"Okay Zel, but only if you're sure," he said.
"I'm sure. The most important thing is to get that pendant. If you two can get hold of it, that leaves only one more to go. We have to find all of them in whatever little time we have left," Zelda replied.
"I hope I can help you," Leigh said sincerely.
"Let's call a truce," Zelda suddenly decided. Leigh smiled.
"Thank you for believing me," she said.
"We need all the help we can get," Link said, looking serious.
"Well, it's my job to assist," Leigh answered.
"This is suddenly more serious than anything we've encountered before. We never knew that Ganon, well, Ganondorf, was so ancient. And because he's managed to break out of the realm, I feel very worried. I know he wants the Triforce, but I can't use that to destroy him. As the old writings say, only that sword can truly defeat him," Zelda said, looking sad. Leigh nodded.
"Sosaria has had its fair share of enemies, all of which I've stood against. The Guardian was certainly the most powerful. I think Ganondorf saw him in the dark realm... he seemed to allude to certain... events. I sure hope that they haven't been exchanging magic tips," she said.
"I hate even to think how many evil beings are trapped in there, and how many he got tips from. I just hope he hasn't learnt from previous mistakes, but who are we to trust such a notion?" Zelda replied.
"Alright, alright. I get your meaning Zel. I have to keep on my toes at all times, and never, ever assume," Link said. Zelda smiled for a moment.
"That's right, hero," she said, regarding him with some amusement.
"Hey, you too, Princess," he joked.
"Don't worry, I'm counting on myself to get us through this," Zelda grinned.
"Hey," Link protested. "Aren't you forgetting something?" he asked.
"Me? Forget something?" Zelda questioned incredulously.
"Alright, you asked for it," Link said, rushing over to her. Zelda just smiled, and ran off along the path. Leigh stood and watched as they chased each other, finally disappearing around a bend in the path. She walked onwards, feeling a little wistful. She missed her own friends back in Sosaria, and even more, having a love of her own. Sighing, she followed the path, trying to catch up with the princess and hero.
Meanwhile, back at North Castle, the King had ordered that defensive preparations should start to be made. He had most of the men from the nearby towns and villages strengthening the castle walls, and the walls around the settlements. Sir Drake and Captain Krin were going over defence and attack strategies together, with the castle's small army. They'd already sent messengers out with instructions to the guards in all the other towns in Hyrule. Sal, at the order of Zelda, had flown by in the afternoon, verifying Leigh's alibi, and claiming that Zelda was in no danger, and that she had staged the kidnapping herself to get Leigh away quickly, because they had 'work' to do. Sal wouldn't say what this was, except that the two women were with Link. Impa knew what they were doing, and had suitably informed the King. He was rather worried about the three of them, but there was nothing he could do about it for the moment. The dragon had then taken off, saying she was going back home to meet up with the trio once more.
After dinner that evening, Selina was sat out in the courtyard with Nick, Aaron, Damon and Dion. Nick had offered to send out reinforcements from Dalsona as soon as they were needed. "It looks like we're preparing for a full out war. But where on earth is Ganon going to get his troops from?" Selina asked.
"I don't know. But the King seems pretty sure that he's going to attack with some sort of army. He'll need one, if he's going to try and get the Triforce," Damon replied.
"Well, he's not going to get it, I'll protect that relic with my life!" Aaron swore.
"Link said that he thinks Ganondorf will pull in troops from Tanol. I'm sure Lord Canivaris and his men would jump at the chance of such an attack, after all, they've been after our blood ever since we killed Chief Trenon and drove out the rest of the Carcastans," he added. Dion nodded.
"That Canivaris, he be an evil swine. I'll finish him myself, if I get such a chance," he stated.
"Too true bro, I think we'd all like to put an end to such a nasty piece of work," Damon agreed.
"Just right for Ganondorf's plans. Pure evil," Nick said sadly. Selina took hold of his hand.
"We mustn't lose hope. Ever," she said quietly. Everyone nodded in agreement. At that moment, Fayette wandered out into courtyard, looking sorrowful. Selina stood up quickly, and walked over to the princess. "Hey Faye, you can come and sit with us if you like," the healer offered kindly. Fayette shook her head.
"Thank you, but no. I just wanted a little... fresh air. Mother can be too much, at times," she said. Selina nodded. It had been proposed by the King and Fenella that Fayette would move back to North Castle immediately, that she couldn't live in Brynnel with her family alone. There was more than enough room for them at North Castle. A royal ship had been sent across to Brynnel already to bring whatever belongings they wanted over to Hyrule.
"If you ever want to talk Faye... well, you can talk to me. I sort of understand... I lost my first love to death too," Selina said, suddenly remembering Aramis. Tears sprang to her eyes, as they did to Fayette's. They hugged each other.
"You're kind to me," Fayette sniffed. "Not like Zelda." Selina sighed. While she didn't really like Fayette much herself, she did think that Zelda's coldness towards her step sister was more than a little over the top.
"Perhaps she will change, maybe one day you will learn to love each other as sisters should," Selina said wisely. Fayette nodded, then turned to walk away. Selina watched after her for a moment. She wondered if what Sal had said was true, about Leigh being innocent. She sincerely hoped that the dragon was right, because Leigh could be a useful ally to them in these suddenly dark times...
"You're doing what?" Sal questioned.
"We're going to try and steal Ganondorf's pendant," Link explained one more time.
"Whatever for?" the dragon snorted, blowing smoke out of her nostrils.
"To get the Master Sword, of course," Zelda said.
"I still think I could do a better job by just setting him on fire, but if you must..." the dragon sighed. Zelda suddenly looked over at Sal's vast horde of treasure.
"Sal, where did you get all this stuff?" she asked, turning to look at the dragon.
"Hands off Princess, you're rich enough," the dragon warned.
"No, we don't want any of it... but you have one of the largest treasure hauls in Hyrule, and..." Link began.
"Oh I know. I'm very proud of that fact," Sal interrupted, grinning lazily.
"Yes, well anyway, what we want to know is," Zelda started tartly.
"You don't happen to have seen a gold pendant with a large green emerald in it?" Link said quickly, before Sal lost interest. The dragon raised her eyebrows.
"Can't say I have, although, you never know," she remarked.
"Well, you're being helpful," Zelda huffed.
"Don't get stroppy with me, Princess! I've been around a long time, well before you were even thought of, before your parents were thought of. Even before then. So don't expect me to go remembering things like that," the dragon replied. Zelda folded her arms and pouted.
"Sal, can we check through your treasure for this pendant? It's very important," Link said earnestly. Sal tilted her head back thoughtfully.
"Hmmmm... well, okay. Just don't steal anything. Believe me, I'll know," she said menacingly.
"Oh, so you know everything that's in your collection? Well, how come you can't tell us if you have the pendant or not?" Zelda asked slyly. Sal looked annoyed.
"Alright. It probably is in there somewhere, actually. It sounds quite familiar," she admitted.
"Okay, Leigh and I will get Ganondorf's pendant, and you and Sal can check to see if the Kokiri one is in here," Link decided.
"Be careful," Zelda said.
"Don't worry. I'm always careful," Link grinned. He unsheathed his sword. "Come on," he said to Leigh
. "Wait a mo'," said Leigh, stopping Link. She pulled a beautiful blue coloured stone from her pack and began to chant. A few minutes later she pocketed the stone and turned to Link.
"What was that for?" he asked suspiciously. Leigh smiled.
"You'll find out," she teased. Link shrugged and left the cave.
As Link and Leigh went onto their way towards Death Mountain, Link turned to Leigh. "Hey, in North Castle didn't you say something about seeing the Master Sword?" he recollected. Leigh shrugged.
"That's what I thought it was, my feeling is that it was just a fake. He probably thought that I'd tell you where to find it, then when you went to claim it, he'd attack you," explained Leigh. Link nodded and continued walking.
"You said you got in through the top of Death Mountain crater?" asked Link, continuing to walk.
"Yeah, that dragon friend of yours helped me," replied Leigh casually.
"What did you see down there?" asked Link.
"Well, I was knocked out by Ganondorf and the next time I awoke I was in a cell. I think it was next to a torture chamber," answered Leigh, shuddering at the thought of those torture devices.
"I think I've been there before," remarked Link nodding.
"So you mean I didn't have to risk my neck by climbing up that thing? I nearly broke it on the way down after Ganondorf pushed me," exclaimed Leigh.
"It seems so," replied Link. Leigh patted the leather pouch that hung by her belt.
"Well, I can tell you that I certainly feel better now I have some reagents on hand," she said. In Saria, they had found a small shop that had sold vast quantities of every reagent that she had needed. It had even sold worm's heart, a reagent that could only be found in the mysterious Serpent Isle, and was very rare.
"Ganondorf does seem afraid of you, but I can't see why he didn't kill you," said Link quietly.
"You almost sound like you wished he had," accused Leigh.
"It's not that, really, it isn't," said Link, defending himself.
"Well, he put me in Mido to be arrested. He knew I would be, he even gave me a sword. He probably thought I would defend myself against that guard. He didn't talk to Mr. Guardian for long enough," commented Leigh. "And if my theory about the sword I saw was right, then he needed me to be alive to tell you about what I saw," she finished, sounding smug. Link nodded and trudged on.
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