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)
It was pitch dark. Zelda ran as fast as she could, the skirts of her silk night-dress trailing in the mud on the ground below. The rain just kept pouring down, the rain water mingling with the tears that ran down her face. Who knew how many days she'd been trapped in that cave, and what might have happened since then. Suddenly, a terrible feeling of déjà vu washed over her, as she stood in the middle of the field, the rain washing down on top of her, making her hair hang down in limp strands and her clothes cling to her body. "This is just like my dream!" she gasped out loud. A flash of lighting ripped the heavens apart viciously. The Princess shivered, and pulled the wet cloak around her shoulders more closely. She felt awfully sick, and was soaked to the skin. "I have to get back to the castle&ldots; before it's too late," she murmured, thinking of her premonition. She ran further ahead, searching for the lights of North Castle in the darkness. Zelda reached the side of a road, the road that she knew led to her home. A flash of lighting lit up the sky once more, and outlined a tall, dark structure. North Castle. She was going the right way. Then, a chill swept through her. She could hear the sound of hooves. Pounding along the paved road, coming straight towards her. From her premonition, she knew exactly who it was, and that she had to get away before he spotted her. Zelda barely had time to escape though, for the rider was upon her as she turned to run back to the field. The horse skidded to a halt, and reared up. Thunder rolled, and lighting flashed once more. The hooded rider turned towards her, his red eyes burning into right into her wide, green ones. Zelda stepped back, shaking violently. "No&ldots;" she murmured, horrified. It was all coming true, just as she'd prophesised. She turned, determined to run, before he revealed his face, and spoke. The rider pulled down his cowl, and Zelda turned back to face him, almost curious, wanting to know exactly what the Prince of Darkness looked like in his true form. When she did, she wished she hadn't. Zelda gasped in horror at what she saw.
His skin was a mouldy, olivine colour, pocked with scars in places. His nose was long, and curved, and his eyes, narrow, but bright red. Same as his hair. A flaming, red mass, that seemed to glow in the darkness A cruel leer was spread across his thin lips. Zelda had never seen such an evil face in her entire life, never. She recoiled in disgust and fear, but he just merely grinned at her, revealing shiny, white teeth. "Ah, Zelda," he sneered.
"Ganondorf!" Zelda replied, her voice dripping with evident hatred. Her eyes narrowed, as she glared up at him. "You think you're so clever, don't you?" she said, in a low, angry tone. The rain continued to pound down upon them, Zelda's hair hung in wet tendrils around her face, and Ganondorf peered down to look at her with amusement.
"Yes, Princess, looks like the tables are turned, aren't they? But this time, I'm the won who's winning, not you. Or your pitiful hero!" he laughed. It lightened again, and Zelda noticed a huge sword in Ganondorf's left hand, dripping with blood. She saw the sack in his right hand, but this time, unlike the dream, she also noticed something else. Another sack, a bulging one, was slung over his shoulder. Her knees began to buckle, and she felt extremely faint, as the realisation hit her. "It's all over&ldots; Zelda," Ganondorf smiled evilly.
"No&ldots;" Zelda replied, horrified. She shivered violently, the rain just kept coming down. But she was shaking more from fear, than cold.
"The power of gold is finally mine&ldots; Hyrule is mine!" Ganondorf cried triumphantly. As it lightened again, he laughed malevolently.
"No, this can't be happening!" Zelda cried, suddenly feeling dizzy again. She swayed a little, but fought to keep her wits about her. Ganondorf grabbed her by the shoulder, his nails digging through the thin silk, and into her skin. She cried out in pain, trying to push his hand away. But he clung onto her, like a vice.
"You will obey me or die!" he shouted, above the roar of thunder overhead.
"Never!" Zelda cried defiantly. She then wrenched her shoulder away violently. She slipped, and fell down into the mud below. Ganondorf laughed, and unsheathed his sword.
"Very well. You might as well end up like that wretched hero of yours," he replied. He raised his sword. Zelda screamed in horror. But unlike the dream, it didn't end there. Ganondorf swiped his sword towards her, but she somehow managed to roll out of the way. She heard him curse, and she stood up again, attempting to draw Link's sword. "Foolish Princess!" Ganondorf cried, searching around for her in the darkness. Zelda tried to draw upon the power of the Triforce of Wisdom, but she was simply just too weak. Ganondorf dismounted, and came towards her, brandishing his sword. As the lighting flashed, he spotted her diminutive figure dashing off into the undergrowth. "You can run Zelda, but you can't hide!" he called loudly, smiling evilly to himself. The chase was on.
"I heard something!" Selina whispered to Leigh nervously. They both fell silent, listening intently, their eyes searching the dark undergrowth. Slowly, Leigh drew her weapon, as she heard a twig snap. Selina, hearing it too, rose, and pulled out a small dagger. Suddenly, someone stepped into the clearing. A tall, yet decidedly female figure. She was dressed in the type of apparel that was definitely unsuitable for the current climate. A curved scimitar blade was in her hand. Selina dashed towards her, intent on driving the knife through the Gerudo's heart.
"Wait!" the figure called, holding her sword out in defence. Selina mistook the gesture, thinking the woman was going to attack her, and she ducked down, pushing the Gerudo down as she landed on the floor. They scuffled for a moment, with Selina coming out victorious. She pulled out another dagger from her belt, and prepared to cut the Gerudo's neck. "Wait, please! I'm your friend!" the Gerudo choked nervously. Suddenly, Leigh rushed over.
"Selina! Drop the knife!" she ordered.
"What, you don't believe this lying witch, do you?" Selina said incredulously.
"Look, I know her, she's not one of them! She saved me once before!" Leigh quickly explained. Selina stood up, but still kept hold of her dagger warily.
"Thanks," the Gerudo said, standing up and brushing herself up. She held her hand out in peace to Selina. "My name is Balayna," she introduced, her golden coloured eyes looking nervous.
"Selina," Selina introduced back, before dropping her hand. Balayna turned to Leigh.
"What are you doing here? Ganondorf will be back any moment!" she hissed, glancing around nervously.
"What? Link's in there, and the rest of the guys," Leigh replied. Balayna's face fell.
"I was hoping to catch Link before he went in that place," she said. She looked at Leigh and Selina squarely. "Ganondorf&ldots; he gave these drugs to Link and your Princess&ldots; it will impair their magical and physical abilities, and he believes he may be able to get the Triforce. I wasn't able to stop him, but I do have the antidote. We need to get in into Link as soon as possible!" she declared.
"What if you're lying?" Selina questioned suspiciously.
"I guess you have every right to brand me a liar," Balayna said sadly. She pulled a small silk pouch off her belt. A delicate glass vial was inside, which contained a purple liquid. "To prove it's not poison, I'll take some myself," she said.
"No, don't bother," Leigh said. "Hand it over," she added. Balayna gave it to her. Leigh uncorked it, and sniffed it. Then she dipped a finger in to taste it. "I think it's safe. Besides, she is on our side. Always has been," she said to Selina.
"I hope you're right," Selina replied. Leigh gave the vial back to Balayna.
"We're not going in there, but you should go find Link," she said. Balayna nodded.
"Some of my more faithful followers are stationed nearby," she said. "Hide, else Ganondorf may see you once he returns. I can guarantee that he will come back here, looking for Link. He wants to destroy the Master Sword, and Link himself, once and for all." Leigh and Selina slipped into the trees, and Balayna called to her followers. Silently, the small group made their way inside the Shadow Temple.
Zelda collapsed down onto the ground in exhaustion. Huge sobs wracked her tired body, but the sound of them was drowned out by the violent storm. She was sheltered a little by the trees, and even though she was cold, wet and terrified, she suddenly found herself slipping out of consciousness. No! she cried in her mind, trying to fight the feeling that was overtaking her. The sound of Ganondorf crashing through the undergrowth searching for her, suddenly brought the princess to attention again. She crouched behind the rows of bushes, thanking the goddesses that it was so, so dark.
"I'm coming for you, Zelda!" Ganondorf roared, from somewhere nearby. Zelda couldn't tell exactly where. His heavy footsteps suddenly came within her vicinity, and her heart skipped a beat. She didn't even dare breath. Suddenly, Ganondorf began to wrench up some nearby bushes. Zelda gasped. If he decided to pull up the bushes that were currently shielding her, she'd be as good as dead. Perhaps if she could escape unnoticed, run back to his horse&ldots; she felt that Ganondorf surely had the Triforces, and had left them there. When the Gerudo's back was turned, she stood, and made a run for it. As she dashed behind another tree to catch her breath, she heard Ganondorf curse, and shout her name. Breathing heavily, she decided to keep a move on, back out of the trees, whilst she had the chance. "You'll never escape, Zelda! I can see all!" Ganondorf shouted above the storm. Zelda slid forward on her heels, landing at the bottom of a small hill. As the lightning flashed, she could make out North Castle in the distance. The road must be nearby somewhere, she thought to herself, trying to get her bearings. But her mind was just really a blur, she felt sick and exhausted. All she knew was that she had to get away from Ganondorf, or he would surely kill her. Tears streaming down her face, Zelda stood up again, and kept moving, before her hunter caught up with her.
"Zelda!" Ganondorf's harsh voice called out, making the Princess jump. She span around, to see his tall figure striding towards her quickly.
"You'll never get away with this, Ganon! The Triforce will never work together for you!" she cried out. Ganondorf grabbed her shoulder roughly.
"I've already gotten away with it, Princess. Once again, I have all three pieces, and I'm stronger than ever! You and Link will die, and finally, after all these years&ldots; generations, I will have the power of gold and your generation will no longer bother me. Hyrule will be mine, the entire world of Demiari, all mine!" he exclaimed triumphantly. He began to laugh. Zelda sobbed. Ganondorf led her back over to his black horse. "I'm not going to kill you just yet, Zelda. You might come in&ldots; useful, for me," he sneered. He pulled her up to face him. Her expression was almost submissive, unlike her, but then again, he pondered, she was drugged, and obviously terrified of him. This certainly was a better turnaround than he'd expected. He only hoped that Link would also be the same. Removing the Master Sword from the hero would then be more than easy. Ganondorf liked things easy. He hoisted Zelda up into the saddle. She didn't stop crying, but she didn't try to jump off, either. He climbed up on top of the horse, lifted the sacks containing the unconscious Ewan and the Triforce, and spurred his steed upon its way. His horse travelled faster and faster, and Ganondorf used his magic to make it sprout wings. Using magic, he'd be back home in no time. His destination : The Shadow Temple
Balayna followed the dark, twisting passages quickly, without so much as a light. She knew exactly where she was going. Skull motifs, their ruby red eyes glowing in the dark, sent chills down her spine, but she kept moving. She had to get to Link and the rest before Ganondorf did, else they could be in mortal danger. A few minutes later, she heard voices. She waited for them to approach, hoping that they wouldn't attack. As the first men turned around the corner, Balayna stepped forward. "Link," she called softly. The hero paused in surprise, then upon seeing her stood there, he drew his sword. Even though she was a woman, he'd killed enough of her kind not to mind anymore. Balayna laid her weapon upon the floor. "I'm not here to attack. I'm here to help," she said. Link and the others regarded her suspiciously. Then Link stepped forward, preparing to kill her, even though she was unarmed.
"We know that you're only trying to hinder us!" he spat viciously, looking angry.
"No, Link! Please hear me out!" she pleaded.
"We don't have time for this. Step aside, and we'll spare you," Drake said. The Gerudo queen hung her head, her thick mass of red hair sweeping over her shoulder. She reached into the silk pouch, and pulled out the vial.
"Link, take this. It's the cure to your ailment," she said, handing it over. Link studied it.
"Ailment?" he questioned.
"When Ganondorf was&ldots;" she turned to Nick. "In his body, he drugged you and Zelda. That's why you've probably been feeling a little weak, sickly," she explained. Link looked at her in surprise.
"I did feel like that&ldots; but this faerie here, she healed me," he said. Balayna blinked.
"Oh. Well, we must keep it for Zelda. It weakened her so much, that Ganondorf was able to break the spell on the tower," she said sadly. The was gasps and horrified murmurs.
"We must get back to North Castle at once!" Link cried.
"No! Ganondorf is on his way here&ldots; with your wife&ldots; We were supposed to kidnap her when she came to the field, but someone else got to her first. That was unfortunate, I was going to administer the antidote when I found her. However, Ganondorf knew you would come here. With both you and Zelda out of the way, he planned to break into the unguarded North Castle and steal your Triforce. Then he would go looking for Zelda&ldots; to bargain with you. Zelda's life&ldots; in exchange for your sword. But he ultimately plans to kill you both," Balayna explained. Link's face turned pale.
"Do you believe her?" Drake whispered.
"You have to&ldots; if there's going to be a happy ending to this. I was the one who warned your wife about my King's return&ldots;" Balayna tried. Suddenly, Link's expression seemed to change. His eyes stared at her with slight recognition.
"Balayna?" he tried, sounding slightly unsure.
"That is I. It means, "she of the sunset", not that it matters, of course," Balayna replied. Link nodded.
"Yes, I know who you are." He turned back to the rest of the group. "I believe her," he said simply.
"There is no time to waste! Come on, we must make haste, and go to the throne room. We will hide in the shadows, my women are already positioned to help out. One of you must go back, and persuade the two ladies to come back in. The blonde one&ldots; she is strong and she has a powerful weapon," Balayna organised.
"I'll go back," Aaron offered bravely. Link smiled at Aaron.
"Thanks," he said.
"No problem," Aaron said, disappearing back into the darkness alone. Balayna took Link's hand. "Follow me, I know the best way to navigate this hellish maze," she whispered.
Link didn't know why, but he instinctively seemed to trust this exotic looking woman. Her golden eyes revealed nothing but sincerity; she didn't look like most of the Gerudos he'd encountered before, and from everything Zelda had told him, Balayna seemed to be a good person. "Why are you helping me?" he questioned.
"I hate him!" she hissed back. "Evil, black hearted fool, that he is, I should like nothing more than to see him die by your hand, courageous hero." Link looked a little despondent.
"But if he has the Triforce&ldots;" he began.
"Never give up! Ganondorf hopes to intimidate you with his so called power, but he lacks courage, unlike yourself, and also wisdom, the virtue of your wife. He will never be as powerful as he hopes, the pathetic dolt. You must turn his own powers against him, Link. Despite how hard it may seem, it is possible. Just never give up," Balayna replied, reassuringly.
"Yes! When I helped your ancestor, he also had all the Triforces. Of course, there was divine intervention back then&ldots; now, it's just you and Zelda&ldots;" Navi piped up.
"Shut up," Sprite said moodily. Link sighed, then looked back at Balayna.
"I hope that you're right. But I'm worried about Zel&ldots; what if&ldots; what if he hurts her somehow?"
"He'll blackmail you with her. But if you distract him, perhaps I can help Zelda," Balayna suggested.
"Okay, thanks. I'd really appreciate that," Link replied. They approached the throne room again.
"Right, he'll be expecting you, so that gives him a slight advantage. But he may not attack straight away, he wants to stay away from that sword of yours, but I'm not sure what he'll do. Just be on your guard. I'll try and help Zelda," Balayna whispered to him. Her bejeweled hand shook his in a gesture of good luck, then she disappeared into the inky darkness.
"I'll try to help you, Link!" Navi exclaimed, fluttering in front of the hero energetically. Sprite scowled over at her rival, then flew over to Link's left ear.
"Don't forget me, I can help you too!" she whispered. Link smiled at both of them.
"Uh, thanks," he managed.
"Get into position, I can sense Ganondorf's dark force drawing nearer," Navi advised. Sprite sighed, as she alighted on Link's shoulder. She couldn't sense anything of the sort; the only feelings she had was the shivers of fear that kept running up and down her delicate spine. Link moved backwards, retreating into the shadows, waiting with abated breath for his nemesis to arrive.
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