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)
The underworld was relatively quiet. The small group of adventurers reached the old throne room without much trouble, and were surprised to see Skoll and Aspete in there. Skoll was seated upon the stone throne, with some sort of rusty crown upon his head. Aspete was stood looking up at the remains of Ganon's Evil Jar; the object he'd used to resurrect his monsters. There was a hole smashed in it now though, and inside were three young moblins. As Link stepped cautiously into the threshold, Skoll noticed him at once. "Enemy!" he shouted loudly, pulling a string next to the throne. An alarm device, consisting of a bone hitting the top of a skull, began to sound.
"Uh-oh," Link said, drawing his sword. Zelda took out a sword too, as did Leigh.
"I thought I killed that thing!" Leigh exclaimed, seeing Aspete. Link shrugged.
"Ganon made them with regeneration skills," he answered. All at once, dozens of monsters arrived in the room, all brandishing weapons. When they spotted Link, some of them tried to slink away.
"Get 'em, ya idiots!" Aspete ordered.
"But, uh boss, it's Link! He'll get us!" one of them whined.
"If any of ya act like cowards, there'll be trouble for ya later!" Skoll said, his red eyes glinting menacingly. Immediately, all the monsters charged towards the hero. Link smiled, and swung the sword around, testing it out. It glowed, and Link shot out a bolt of energy from the tip at some oncoming goriyas. It obliterated them immediately.
By this time, Zelda and Leigh had joined in with the fight. Leigh, with a single swipe of her blade, destroyed a group of moblins. Some darias had surrounded Zelda. The Princess attempted to use Link's old sword, swinging it with one hand, like she'd often seen Link do. A bolt of magic escaped from the blade, and went flying off against the wall. Zelda was pushed backwards by the force, landing on the floor.
"Uh, Linkkkkkk!" she cried, still trying to zap the alligator-like beasts, without much luck. Link turned to see her, looking a little horrified at her technique.
"Two hands Zel! Use two hands! And, aim!" he shouted over.
"But..." Zelda began, landing down on the floor again. Link swiftly aimed with his sword, and zapped a couple of the darias from a distance.
"You're not strong enough to use one hand," he chided. Zelda nodded, then tried to hold the sword like Link had instructed her to. She still missed.
"It's not use," she complained, managing to hit one of the monsters. "I'm no good at close range fighting," she sighed.
"You'll get better," Link promised, turning his attention back to the monsters that were busy surrounding him. Leigh had finished off her attackers with no problems, and immediately began to look around for the ring leaders.
"Was it not enough to hurt you yesterday?" she snarled, lunging towards Aspete with her sword. She noticed that he'd regrown back his arm, and bore no wounds from the previous time.
"You're trespassing!" the moblin replied, swinging his axe clumsily at her. Leigh jumped back quickly, avoiding the deadly weapon.
"All, right, dog beath! Beat it, or we'll do some serious damage to that ugly face of yours!" Link said, suddenly jumping down between Leigh and Aspete.
"Oh, we're not scared of yuh!" Aspete replied, slobbering.
"I should have known you two would still be into causing trouble," Link sighed. He swung his sword forwards, towards the moblin's stomach, but the monster blocked the attack with his axe.
"Ha-ha, too slow!" the moblin chortled. Link just smiled to himself, and executed a spin attack. He swiped the axe out of the moblin's hands. "Oh noo! Mommy!" the moblin yelled, suddenly turning, and running off down a passage.
"Let's nail him once and for all!" Leigh said decisively, ready to go after Aspete. Link shook his head.
"Nah, just leave him. Teasing them provides me with a bit of light relief, after all," he grinned. They suddenly heard a chortle of laughter, and looked to see Skoll, who had managed to disarm Zelda.
"Oh, well done, Zel," Link groaned. Zelda threw him an annoyed look, then chanted a spell to herself. She let a bolt of blue energy course from her fingertips, and it hit the stalfos right in the ribcage. He exploded into a pile of bones. Folding her arms, and looking smug, she sauntered over to where the dropped sword was. She bent down to pick it up, and placed it through her belt. Turning to Link she said,
"No offence, but I'll use magic over weaponry any day."
Link shook his head to himself, then grinned over at Leigh, who was putting her sword away also. She smiled back. "If you're going to laugh at me..." Zelda began, looking offended.
"Oh, we're not laughing at you, Zel," Link said quickly, grinning at her.
"Could have fooled me," the Princess replied tartly.
"You're just too sensitive, that's all. But I'll admit, I'm impressed. You managed to save yourself, for once," Link replied, still laughing.
"Ooh, Link! I swear, once we get back to North Castle, I'll..." Zelda began, looking angry.
"Yes, once we've kicked Ganondorf's ass and gone home, I know exactly what you should do," Link interrupted.
"What?" Zelda said, looking surprised.
"Well, you could kiss me for a start. For being such a hero, of course," he grinned.
"You'd be lucky," Zelda answered, folding her arms and looking impassive to his suggestion.
"I know you better than you think," Link said.
"Hmmph," Zelda retorted.
"Excuse me, but don't we have work to do?" Sprite suddenly interrupted.
"Uh, yeah, of course," Link said nodding.
"Well, let's stop hanging around here, Sprite's right. You two can keep your flirting for later," Leigh added. Zelda shot Leigh a cold look, and began to stomp off towards one of the nearby passages.
"Come on, let's get going like she suggests," she said sulkily.
"Wrong way," Link said, walking up to her, and taking her arm.
"Ganondorf's lair lies, this way," Leigh corrected, walking off to the passage that was on the left hand wall up near the throne.
"Oh, I just hate you all at times!" Zelda fumed.
"This place is so cramped!" whined Zelda as the four crawled through the underground passage. "Well, we'll be out soon so quit complaining," said Link.
"Well, if you ask me, this passage is just the right size. Faerie size," quipped Sprite.
"Shhh, we're nearly there now, we don't want to let our presence known," warned Link. They came to the end of the passage.
"Dead end?" asked Zelda a little puzzled.
"Nope, illusionary wall," answered Link. He stuck his head through the wall and looked around. The room was empty.
"Quickly, all out while the coast is clear!" he instructed to the rest of the group. Soon, they were all out into the open, away from the cramped passage. Link and Leigh both drew their weapons. "Last time we came through, the place was crawling," said Link, taking Zelda's hand.
"Invisibility?" asked Leigh.
"Nah, this time we'll do as much damage as possible," said Link.
"I don't know, it'd be easier to go undercover Link," said Sprite.
"No, it's better this way," insisted Link. They carefully approached the next room. It was empty.
"You noticed how quiet this place is?" asked Zelda quietly. Link nodded.
"You're right. Yesterday the place was jam-packed with hundreds of his minions," he agreed.
"Maybe he's given them a holiday?" suggested Sprite, her voice wavering.
"You don't think he's decided to attack North Castle while you're gone do you?" asked Leigh suddenly. The other three turned and looked at her.
"Oh no!" moaned Zelda.
"Look, how about this? We check to see if anyone's home, and if not, we'll get Sal to take us back to the castle," added Leigh. Link nodded.
"But, what if North castle needs us now?" asked Zelda worriedly.
"What if he isn't attacking North Castle? What if he's hiding?" snapped Link.
"If he knows you have the sword, perhaps he's fled to another country. Until his magic is restored," suggested Leigh.
"That is a possibility," agreed Sprite.
"Yeah, but which country would allow him in?" asked Link, a little puzzled. They had entered the next room, and like it's neighbour, it was also empty.
"Benlucca," whispered Zelda, the colour draining from her face.
"What? I doubt that the Benluccians would take his side," said Link sceptically.
"No, remember when I told you about the Gerudo woman who visited and told us about Ganondorf, she told me that none of her race would wish to follow him, but that they would almost definitely be forced under his reign. They could be part of his army, along with the people of Tanol!" replied Zelda.
"Well, Hyrule has many allies doesn't she? I mean surely you will have Sosaria and Dalsona on your side, and they are both big countries, both with impeccable war records," said Leigh, trying to calm the two down. Link stepped into Ganondorf's chamber. It was empty. Suddenly, the ground began to tremble. Dirt began to rain down from the ceiling, showering the foursome. Link grabbed Zelda's hand again.
"Come on! It looks like this place is collapsing!" he yelled over the racket. Sprite wailed, trying to avoid the falling debris. Link slipped his sword through his belt and reached up towards Sprite. He grabbed her with his free hand and began to go as fast as he could. As they approached the room where the secret passage was, a huge chunk of debris blocked their way. "Oh no! How will we get out?!" wailed Sprite in distress.
"Perhaps, perhaps we can get out through the crater!" yelled Leigh, her voice almost blocked out by the din.
"Well where is it then?" asked Zelda.
"Leigh, the stone! Cast the spell!" yelled Link, narrowly dodging another piece of rock.
"I can't, in Hyrule it wears off after one spell!" cried Leigh. She quickly made a dash for the only exit out of the room, followed by Link, Zelda and Sprite. "This way!" she called, the room was familiar. There was a spiralling rock slope, and light shone into the room. "Up here!" she instructed, beginning to run up the sloped rock. It spiralled upwards and upwards, until it began to get wider and wider and they actually entered the crater. Leigh paused and waited for them to catch up. Once they had, she began running again. About halfway up, a section of the slope fell away, leaving a huge gap, it would be impossible to jump it.
"What now?" asked Zelda in horror. Leigh quickly snatched some mandrake root and blood moss from her pouch and threw them into the air.
"REL POR!" she cried, and in the blink of an eye, they were teleported away from the hole, a little further up the mountain. Before they could ask, Leigh had already began to run again. A little way up the slope, she paused and waited again. "Come on, you all get past!" she urged, panting. Link paused but then shook his head and helped Zelda up the mountain. She leaned back against the wall, trying to catch her breath, then to her horror, the ground underneath her feet began to fall away. She let out a piercing scream, and managed to grab onto the ledge as the section she was standing on fell away. Link stopped and turned, he then urged Zelda and Sprite to get to the top. They protested but he ignored them as he went to help Leigh. By the time he had arrived, she had thrown away her sword to free her other hand and had managed to climb up.
"I thought you were gone!" said Link, his face full of concern. Leigh patted him on the shoulder.
"I'm the Avatar remember, I can look after myself," she said lightly. "But thanks anyway," she added. Suddenly, a huge creature flew down into the crater.
"Sal!" cried out Link and Leigh in unison. The pink-haired dragon swooped down and grabbed them carefully in her jaw. Zelda was on Sal's back, accompanied by Sprite. Then Sal turned around and flew up and out of the crater, just as a burst of lava flew from the mountain. Sal flew swiftly away, and soon landed a safe distance away from the mountain. She carefully placed down Link and Leigh, and allowed Zelda to get off.
"We thought you were dead!" squeaked Sprite.
"We didn't even see the lava!" said Link, still surprised.
"Well, aren't you going to thank me?!" asked Sal.
"Of course, thanks Sal! You did great!" said Link, patting Sal on the side.
"Uh, thanks too. I think," said Leigh. When Sal had first grabbed them, she'd thought the dragon had intended to make the two her next meal. She was also dripping with the dragon's saliva. "I need a shower," she declared, lifting her hair from her eyes. Link looked down at himself.
"Uh, yeah me too," he added.
"Well it was the quickest way to get you out, so don't complain!" scolded Sal. The five watched Death Mountain for a while, it was still pouring out thick smoke and lava.
"I thought it was extinct," commented Zelda.
"Me too," added Sprite.
"Well, looks like it's not," said Leigh getting up.
"Shouldn't we be getting back to the castle?" she asked. Everyone nodded.
"You're right, Ganondorf could be approaching North Castle, if not attacking, as we speak," agreed Zelda.
"Well, I suppose I can give you a lift, but it's the last time!" warned Sal rolling her eyes. The three got upon her back, and Sprite decided to sit in Link's pocket. "Well, North Castle, here we come!" declared Sal as she lifted off into the air.
"Link, Zelda! Thank goodness you're back!" the King exclaimed, rushing out to greet them, as Sal dropped them off in the courtyard. Leigh hung back shyly, hoping that she wouldn't be apprehended, or even attacked.
"Dad, you'll never guess what!" Zelda cried excitedly.
"How could you run off like that? When it's so dangerous out there?" the King said, ignoring his daughter's words.
"You knew we'd be just fine! Dad, we have the Master Sword! The sword that will defeat Ganondorf!" Zelda said.
"What?" the King said in surprise. Link held it up for him to see.
"Yeah, we got it alright. But when we went to look for Ganon, he was gone!"
"You went looking for him?! Don't you realise what danger you were putting yourselves in?" the King asked, looking a little angry, but also worried.
"Dad, we wanted to get him whilst he was still weak... but he must have known... about this sword," Zelda explained.
"Obviously. But I know where he'll have gone. To rally up troops for war," the King said. Link and Zelda stared at each other in horror.
"So soon?" Zelda said quietly.
"Preparations have already begun. We can't take any chances," the King said sadly. Zelda nodded, glancing around the castle courtyard. Then the King said, "Is what Sal said true? About Leigh?" Link nodded.
"We think Ganondorf tried to frame her... he was afraid of her magical prowess," he replied. "I see," the King said, looking over at Leigh.
"My dear Fenella wouldn't believe that Leigh would do such terrible things, I suppose she was right," he said.
"So she's pardoned?" Zelda questioned.
"I'll see that she is, right away," the King answered. He drew Zelda into a hug. "Promise me, my daughter, that you won't go anywhere ever again without telling me. That 'false kidnapping' had me very worried. And you too Link. Please don't ever go off alone, or together, for that matter," he said.
"But dad..." Zelda began.
"But nothing. I will not have either of you putting yourselves in such unnecessary danger," the King replied sternly. Link and Zelda looked at each other, then turned back to the King.
"Of course not," they chorused, like little children. Then Zelda began to giggle. Link tried to keep a straight face.
"I'm serious. I love you both very dearly... and you have a child to take care of. This isn't like the days when you were both younger... and Ganondorf is extremely powerful," the King said.
Shaking his head, the ruler of Hyrule turned to walk back into the castle. Link and Zelda burst out laughing. "Jeez, he is so overprotective!" Zelda said.
"You two won't be laughing when Ganondorf and his army arrive. But, well done kids. You did well," said a deep voice. The two turned to see Drake.
"What do you think?" Link aid, holding the sword up for inspection.
"You're a lucky man," Drake replied, smiling a little.
"A great hero, more like!" Sprite said, flying up out of Link's pocket. They all smiled, then turned to see Leigh, standing away from them uncertainly.
"We couldn't have done it without Leigh, of course," Link said, smiling over at the heroine. She smiled back, then turned to walk away. "Her magical powers are amazing!" he added to Drake.
"Yes, and I hear that Ganondorf tried to frame her?" Drake queried.
"So it seems," Zelda remarked dryly, before turning to walk back to the castle.
"Jealous," Drake said, grinning at Link.
"It's not funny. She gets real mad whenever I compliment Leigh," Link said, sticking his hands in his pockets.
"Well, you two did..." Drake began.
"Correction, she kissed me. Not the other way round, or any other way," Link replied.
"Well, couldn't blame you if you did. She's a real charmer," Drake observed, looking over to where Leigh was walking. She was heading towards a side door into the castle.
"Well, sure, but it's not like I fancy her, or anything. Zel's the only girl for me," Link stated truthfully. Drake grinned.
"I know, just teasing," he said good-naturedly. Link nodded.
"Yeah, but don't you dare do it in front of Zel. She already refused to let me sleep with her once this week because she thought..."
"She's just over-reactive. That's women for ya, I guess," the knight said, grinning.
"Easy for you to say. But it seems like she's been more that way, of late. I'm worried about her," Link replied.
"Don't be. She's just upset over Ganon coming back. You'll see," the knight grinned.
"Maybe," Link said, looking upwards. It was growing dark.
"Come on, dinner will be ready soon. I'm sure you're hungry, after all that adventuring," Drake said. Link nodded.
"Yeah, come to think of it, I do feel pretty starved," he admitted.
"Come on then," Drake said, putting a hand on Link's back and guiding him inside.
It was late when Link finally retired to bed. Zelda was waiting up for him, sat up in bed reading a book. "Hey Zel," he greeted her. She smiled over at him.
"Impa gave me this book," she said.
"What about?" he questioned.
"Oh... just ancient Hyrulian history," she smiled. "You know," she added, "thousands of years ago, when Ganondorf was first imprisoned, the people who did it had our very same names!"
"No wonder he hates us so much. We must give him bad memories," Link grinned, getting in bed beside her.
"It's very interesting, though. I know that 'Zelda' was a popular name in my family... and now it's traditional... although I'd never name my daughter that, if I had one," Zelda remarked.
"Well, I have no idea why my parents named me 'Link'. I never questioned it either, although maybe it was a traditional name as well," Link replied.
"D'you think everything will be okay?" Zelda said suddenly, putting the book aside onto the nightstand, and leaning over towards him.
"I wish I could tell you yes, but I really don't know. I sure hope so," Link replied.
"Oh well, at least we know we're safe, for tonight at least," Zelda said, cuddling up to him.
"And the Master Sword is right here," Link added.
"I cast an additional protection spell over our tower; just in case," Zelda said.
"That's what I love about you; your great intuition," Link grinned.
"Oh really?" Zelda asked. She smiled back, and they kissed each other.
"This is what I love about you," she murmured, kissing him again.
"I'm glad things are getting back to normal between us. So you're not mad at me anymore?" Link questioned hopefully.
"Of course not. How could I be?" Zelda asked in an incredulous tone. She smiled prettily. Link loved her smile. It made him feel more reassured. Okay, so there was the prospect of war hanging over Hyrule. But maybe just for tonight, they could forget about it.
"You're right," he agreed readily.
"Aren't I always?" she teased.
"Well..." Link began jokingly. The Princess smiled again.
"Well, on most occasions anyway," she finally conceded.
"But I love you all the same," Link replied, leaning forward to kiss her again.
"Me too..." Zelda murmured happily.
Zelda awoke with a start, as she heard the door of her bedroom banging open. Link stirred also. "Mother, daddy!" a little voice cried out pitifully.
"Ewan?" Zelda called out. Link managed to light a candle, and held it up, to see their young son standing in the doorway, clutching a teddy bear. He looked like he'd been crying.
"What's up? Why aren't you in bed?" Link questioned, rubbing his eyes, and sitting up. Zelda got out of bed, and slipped on the warm robe she'd discarded only a few hours beforehand. She rushed over to Ewan's side, and bent down in front of him.
"What's the matter darling?" she questioned worriedly.
"I had a real bad dream," the little boy conceded, still looking upset.
"Don't worry, you're okay. Bad dreams can't hurt you," Zelda said, squeezing his hand.
"But mother," Ewan protested.
"You should have woken Impa. She's there to look after you," Zelda said firmly. Link got up too, hastily dressing.
"Come on, I'll take you back to the nursery," he said, putting his boots on.
"I don't want to. I want to stay here!" Ewan cried.
"No, now you must go back to the nursery," Zelda said. She looked over at Link in concern. Their son wasn't usually ever this awkward.
"No! I'm staying here!" he said, his little voice beginning to rise in protest.
"Come on now, you're a big boy now, right? Big boys don't sleep with their parents," Link said quickly. Ewan began to cry loudly. Link knelt down, and scooped the boy up.
"No, no, no!" he screamed.
"Ewan!" Zelda said sharply.
"Please, it's a bad place! I don't like it in the nursery!" Ewan shrieked.
"But Impa's there! She'll look after you! And we don't keep a light on up here, it's more scary in the tower," Link said.
"I want to stay here!" Ewan retorted, red in the face from all his crying.
"What did you dream about, sweetheart?" Zelda suddenly questioned.
"A bad, bad man! With nasty red eyes and red hair! He was trying to kill you!" Ewan replied. "Who, me?" Link asked.
"No, you and mother!" Ewan exclaimed. Zelda bit her lip nervously.
"Alright, you can stay here. But only for tonight! Next time, you tell Impa, okay?" she said. Ewan nodded meekly. Link let him down onto the floor. He bounded over to the large four poster bed, and climbed under the warm blankets. Link hugged Zelda reassuringly.
"He's got your psychic feelings," he murmured.
"I know," Zelda said quietly. She was very worried now. The couple exchanged a small kiss, then climbed into bed together, their son between them. As Zelda tried to get comfortable, she hoped that none of them would experience any more terrible dreams that night...
Ganondorf bent down and snatched a small rock up in his hand. He held it up and inspected it critically, then closed his long, claw-like fingers around it. He crushed the rock, letting the remaining fragments to slip through his fingers. "We shall crush Hyrule and all of it's inhabitants!" he declared loudly. This announcement was followed by a huge cheer from the crowd the surrounded him. No, it had not taken long for him to assemble his army. Lord Canivaris of Tanol had gladly accepted Ganondorf's invitation to attack Hyrule, it had meant breaking a few treaties of course, but that would hardly matter if they conquered the world, would it? He had also forced the Gerudos back under his reign, and it hadn't been to difficult. Those, who had opposed him, soon regretted the notion. As the Gerudos currently had no King, it officially made him ruler, so he could deal with them as he wished. Even if they had had a King, it would not have prevented him from taking over. After all, he was the greatest ever ruler that the Gerudo's had ever had. History spoke for itself, in a way. He had ruled Hyrule for seven years, making the Gerudos the most powerful race. Those seven years, however were lost somehow, but it was all because of Link. The chosen one.
"We will crush all who oppose us, any country that allies itself with Hyrule shall also be crushed!" continued Ganondorf. This was followed by another cheer. As soon as he had realised that Link had retrieved the Master Sword, Ganondorf had fled to Tanol. At the same time, he had sent a messenger to Benlucca which instructed the Gerudo to gather in Tanol's capital city, Canivaris. Not all of them had arrived, yet. But already preparations were being made. Although Hyrule would be expecting them, Ganondorf expected that they would still be preparing when his army arrived, and that they would catch them out. Ganondorf knew that if he was struck down with the Master Sword it would be the end of him, any essence of the Triforce that he had once possessed had long ago disintegrated. That meant that, unless he managed to regain the Triforce, he could not risk a confrontation with the hero. The essence of the Triforce was what had kept him alive, time after time. He did not have that now. This was why an army was necessary. Along with his own dark army, back in Hyrule, he was sure that he could easily defeat the Hyrulians. The Gerudos and the army of Lord Canivaris were excellent in combat, far more experienced than any other country. In the last seven years, the world had been a peaceful place. That was only because Canivaris was secretly building up a huge army which would surpass any other in existence. Ganondorf smiled. The world certainly would not be too peaceful in the coming months or years. The crowd watched him expectantly. "And," added Ganondorf with an evil sneer. "He who can fetch me the Hylian Hero's head will be rewarded most pleasantly!" The crowd roared with approval. Ganondorf sat back in his makeshift throne, forming a triangle with his fingers. He chuckled silently to himself. Yes, it would not be long now...
Be sure to watch out for the next book in the Next Saga trilogy!
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