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)
Leigh glanced behind her shoulder nervously. She's not eaten for hours and her throat was parched. She wasn't used to feeling so weak and vulnerable. True, she had the sword, but her arms were too weak to even hold it steadily. From the thick undergrowth, all sorts of noises emerged. Probably just the harmless rustling of forest animals, or something more sinister. She was surprised to have got this far in the first place, but by now she would've expected to be surrounded on all sides. She understood why Ganondorf didn't kill her. It would cost him too much energy, energy that he was reserving for Link. She hardly knew where she was, what direction she was heading in. It was all so complicated. If she'd had a map, or a companion, anything would be better than how she was now. She looked down at the bejeweled hilt of the black sword. She did have Arcadian at least. Dragging her feet through the churned up earth, she saw light at the end of the tree lined tunnel. Perhaps after hours of wandering this seemingly endless maze, she had found her exit. She speeded up a little, almost tripping over an uncovered tree root. It had sprung out of nowhere, as if it's sole intention was too slow her, cause hazard to her. She shook her head, trying to banish such pessimistic thoughts from her mind. She had to be positive, she had to be. It'd be the only way she'd make it through this alive, emotionally intact. She began to jog again, the light drawing nearer and nearer, beckoning to her. Blinking, trying to clear the fog that had covered her eyes, she stepped out into another clearing. She sighed in disappointment. That's all it was, another clearing. Not her way out, just another branch in this intricate maze, designed exclusively for her torture. Or so it seemed. She let her hazy eyes scan the small clearing, a glimmer of recognition slashing through the mist. Was this the very clearing in which the Master Sword had stood? Yes, it was. The stone pedestal was situated near the back of the clearing, it was now empty. She ran over to the pedestal and placed her hands on it, the base was solid and reassuring. In her mind, she managed to recall the day she had come here, with Link and Zelda. They had only been about two hours walk away from Sal's cave. She turned around and paced towards the other entrance of the clearing, into another gloomy passage.
The walk didn't seem so dank or despairing. Shafts of light cut through the dense greenery of the forest, illuminating the path. Maybe luck was finally coming her way. She dared not hope too much, as if fate would catch a whiff of it and turn cruelly upon her, forcing her back to where she had been. She would never go back there, for anything. There had been something about the dank, stenching passageways that had not seemed quite right. It had not reminded her of anything in Sosaria, but something in her dreams. Dreams sent by the wicked Guardian himself. A chill ran through her spine, causing for her to slow her pace, wrap her arms around herself. After the moment had passed, the quickened her pace, wishing to escape as soon as possible. Of course, who was to say that she wouldn't be any less vulnerable on the way to Saria? She dared not contemplate the thought. All that she wished for now was a safe passage to the dragon's cave. She knew the dragon disliked her, but it was more over pride than hate. That dragon was the nearest thing she had to an ally in these parts, and she wasn't going to ignore it. The pathway became more and more familiar to Leigh as she wove in and out of the foliage, and in very little time, she found herself out in the open. She absorbed the sun's rays gleefully, then set off at a brisk pace. She needed to get out of the open quickly, before she was spotted by returning or leaving troops. Suddenly, up above, she saw a dark shape in the sky, a huge mound cutting through the air. It was Sal. Leigh stopped and waved her hands, beginning to shout. She knew she was attracting attention to herself, but that was the aim. The dragon would surely kill any oncoming enemies. "SAL!" she cried, swaying her arms through the air. The beating wings of the dragon slowed, then it began to descend. Thanking her lucky stars, Leigh rushed over to the dragon, a huge smile spreading across her face. The smile was so wide, it hurt her cheeks.
"Oh it's you again," commented Sal disdainfully.
"Look, you have to help me! I need to get back to North Castle and quick! It's to help Link!" said Leigh, pausing to catch her breath. Sal looked down her snout at Leigh.
"It's always the same with you humans isn't it? You always need help for something or other. And you call yourselves a superior race!" snorted Sal.
"I agree!" chirped Arcadian, speaking for the first time in a long while. Sal stopped mid-sentence and glanced down at Leigh in puzzlement. Leigh managed to pull out the sword and hold it up. Sal backed away.
"Don't point that thing at me miss!" said Sal angrily.
"The voice comes from Arcadian, the spirit within the sword," explained Leigh.
"Yes, it's a pleasure to meet you," rasped Arcadian in his sand-papery voice. Sal winced.
"Same here," she said conversationally.
"Look, you two can chat later. I need to leave here pretty sharpish!" said Leigh, rolling her eyes. Sal snorted then lowered her neck, as a means for Leigh to get on.
"You'll pay me for this!" warned Sal as they took off into the air.
"I don't care, as long as you get me away from here, away from them," said Leigh quietly. Sal said nothing, then turned to face the direction of North Castle. "Here we go!" she chirped, as they began the journey towards North Castle, towards safety.
Slowly, Zelda's eyes fluttered open. She sat up, and looked around in surprise. She was lying on some old blankets on a rocky floor. Rock walls surrounded her, the only light coming from two small candles. Where am I? she wondered. She tried to stand up, but felt far too weak. How did I get here? she thought. She tried to think back to what had happened. The last thing she remembered was being on the battle field... she'd argued with Link, and ran off back to the castle. Yes, she'd been heading back to North Castle, when she'd suddenly fainted, for no reason whatsoever. And now... now, she had somehow ended up in this strange cave. She attempted to get up one more time, but it was just like she'd lost all control of her body. Sighing, she slumped back down upon the blankets.
"Ah... so you've woken," a deep voice said. Zelda's eyes widened, and she glanced around the cavern, searching for the owner. Suddenly, a young man with curly brown hair was standing in front of her, holding up a candle. She blinked in surprise.
"Excuse me?" she asked.
"You're even more beautiful awake," the man remarked, staring down at her. "Such pretty green eyes, like the ocean." Zelda frowned. She hated being complimented, except by Link.
"Who are you?" she asked, sitting up.
"My name's John..." he said, still gazing at her. "You have hair as golden as the sun, so long and silky," he added. Zelda placed a hand to her head, and ran it through her hair nervously.
"Where are we?" she questioned.
"You're at home, my home I mean. I saved you from death," John said.
"What?" Zelda asked in surprise.
"Beautiful lady, I have no idea who you are. I live in the Midoro mountains, alone. I have always lived here, for as long as I can remember. I usually hunt for my food in the forest, sometimes I rob passers by. The battle ground has provided me with a wealth of items. I thought you were dead, I was going to take any possessions you might be carrying, but then I realised that you were alive. I brought you back here, to look after you. You're the most beautiful woman I've ever laid eyes on," John explained. Zelda stared in surprise. Then she said,
"you can't have seen many."
"What's your name?" John asked.
"Zelda," she replied, watching to see if he showed any recognition at all by her name. He didn't appear to. "Princess Zelda," she added. "Of Hyrule."
"You're a princess?" he said incredulously.
"You've never ever heard of me? You've got to be lying! Everyone in Hyrule knows who I am," Zelda said. John shook his head.
"I'm afraid I lead an isolated life. It's always been that way. But I believe you. You're certainly beautiful enough." Zelda frowned again.
"You don't have to be beautiful to be a princess," she said. "Help me up," she added, giving him her hand.
"No, no, you're not strong enough yet. I think you've been poisoned, or possibly drugged somehow," John said seriously.
"Oh god... how?" Zelda asked, feeling a little panicky. "Am I going to die?"
"I'll look after you, Zelda," John replied.
"No, no, you must take me back to North Castle! There are people there who can help!" Zelda cried. John shook his head.
"Not yet. Be patient, I shall help you instead." He then disappeared back into the gloomy shadows. Zelda shivered, worried. She hoped that he was right.
"Where's mother?" Ewan asked Impa. He'd wanted to ask her about the dreams he'd been having. He would have asked Impa, but he didn't really know what to say. He loved his nursemaid, and knew she was very wise, but he just had a feeling that telling her about the dreams would trouble her. The old nursemaid hugged him, feeling worried.
"She's... she's gone to help some people. She'll be back soon, I'm sure," she said comfortingly.
"She promised she'd never leave me, not while Dad was gone too," Ewan replied.
"I know dear... but this was something she had to do," Impa replied.
"I don't understand. I want her to come home," Ewan said, looking upset. Impa ruffled his light brown hair.
"So do I dear." She set him down onto the floor. "You go and play with your cousins," she said.
"I don't want to," Ewan replied. Impa sighed.
"It'll help pass the time away, Your mother will be back soon, I promise, okay?" she said. The little boy nodded.
"Will dad be back soon too?" he questioned.
"I hope so," Impa replied. She walked over to the window, and looked out. Her quarters faced to the south, towards the Midoro Mountains, and beyond. She couldn't see the battleground, because it was further to the north west.
"I miss dad very much... and mother. I wish that they never had to go away," Ewan said. Impa turned back to look at him.
"I know, dear, me too," she said. He smiled a little at her, then ran towards the door, and went through to the nursery. Impa wondered what Zelda was doing, if she'd got to the camp okay. The King and Fenella were both livid that Zelda had left, and the King had almost sent a messenger out to bring his daughter back. Impa had persuaded him against it, sure that Link would make her come home. It was early evening, and she still hadn't returned though.
Leigh watched silently as they passed over the land of Hyrule. They were just passing over the mountain range that lay near Saria town. "Well this is quite a conversation!" remarked Sal loudly over her flapping wings.
"I'll second that!" agreed Arcadian, in his grit-like voice. Leigh sighed.
"Well how about you two converse? A mere mortal like me probably isn't capable of holding what you might call an intellectually stimulating conversation," growled Leigh sarcastically.
"Perfectly charming aren't you?" asked Sal, turning to give Leigh another disdainful stare.
"You haven't known her for as long as I have," grimaced the spirit of the sword.
"Come on you two, give me a break. What have I done to get at you?" pleaded Leigh
. "Well, you caught me in that stupid spirit prison then binded me to this idiotic sword," started Arcadian.
"You summoned me to help you out while I was doing something, no warning or anything!" added Sal. Leigh could tell that the list may end up a lot longer if she didn't stop it.
"Okay, I apologise. Happy?" she snapped.
"Oh my goodness! An apology from the Avatar!" exclaimed Arcadian in mock shock.
"Oh we bow down to you Avatar!" smirked Sal. Leigh sighed but said nothing.
"What!? No sly comeback, no jibe nor remark?" teased Arcadian. Leigh shrugged.
"What can I say? I'm speechless," she admitted.
"Hmmph," growled Sal, for no apparent reason.
"What was that in aid of?" asked Leigh.
"Nothing really, I just hate having to fly about so much. Why a dragon? Why was I not born something else, like, like a...well I can't think of anything suitable, but I am thankful I wasn't born a human," explained Sal.
"Quit complaining, at least you can fly about! At least you have freedom! I'm trapped in this sword for the next twelve centuries until her demise comes about!" screeched Arcadian.
"So-rree," said Leigh, folding her arms. It struck her odd that she was holding a conversation with a dragon and a sword.
"So you should be!" cursed Arcadian. The group passed through a cloud, sending cold chills through Leigh's body.
"Did you have to do that?" she complained.
"Well it didn't effect me, so I don't care what it does to you," replied Sal snidely.
"How long will it take to reach the castle?" Leigh asked the dragon.
"I'm not sure. Not too long hopefully, I don't want to spend to much time with you hanging around," muttered Sal.
"I'm not that bad am I?" asked Leigh hopefully.
"I've seen worse," sniffed Sal.
"Thanks...I think," said Leigh, a little unsure whether to take the comment as a good one, or a bad one.
"The question is, how much worse?" said Arcadian slyly.
"Not much," answered Sal.
"Thanks a lot!" protested Leigh, even if they were trying to get at her, it was nice to talk to someone who wasn't going to try and rip her throat out at the first opportunity. Sal looked down at the distant ground below.
"Hmm, hold on, it's barbecue time!" snorted Sal, plunging towards the earth.
As she neared the ground, Leigh spotted a group of Tanolian and Gerudo troops, marching towards Ruto. They had also spotted Sal, and had taken out their bows and arrows and were beginning to aim for the huge dragon. "Careful Sal!" warned Leigh nervously, she felt like she was about to be thrown off the huge beast. The arrows flew into the air, bouncing harmlessly off Sal's thick skin. She roared then opened her jaw, flame pouring upon the troops. At the same moment, an arrow came whizzing past and stuck into Leigh's chest. She let out a cry in surprise and fell backwards, toppling off the dragon. Sal, who was to busy toasting the enemy, did not notice that Leigh had fallen. Leigh hit the ground, every bone vibrating again and again. She tried to get up, but her arms and legs would not obey her brain. She attempted to get up again, when a Gerudo fighter descended upon her.
"Ah, a dragon rider is it?" she asked, tilting her head from one side to the other. Leigh watched in horror as the Gerudo lifted the curved sword above her throat. She tried to defend herself with her arms, but they still would not obey her. She was frozen.
"Wait!" commanded a crisp voice. The fighter turned, another Gerudo approaching.
"What is it?" asked the fighter impatiently. The other Gerudo approached Leigh and knelt down beside her.
"I'll deal with this one," she said with a dismissive wave of her hand. Grunting something incomprehensible, the fighter walked off. The Gerudo who now sat beside Leigh pulled away her mask.
"You, weren't you the one Ganondorf tried to kill?" asked Leigh, recognising the face of the woman. The Gerudo nodded and smiled, "A favour for a favour," she said nodding her head.
"How come you are working for Ganondorf then?" asked Leigh, remembering the day when Ganondorf had threatened to kill this woman. It was only when Leigh stepped in that he was distracted, delayed. The Gerudo had used that time to escape, but Leigh had though she would have steered clear of Ganondorf.
"Ganondorf can't keep track of everyone in his army, he'd already forgotten about me as the war began. Me, and my small group are going to ensure that Ganondorf doesn't get his evil way over Hyrule, or over us, the Gerudo," answered the Gerudo. She stood up and looked around to check no-one was watching. "Perhaps our paths will cross again, next time under happier circumstances," said the woman as she bid farewell to Leigh. She looked around again, then hurried off into the trees. Leigh tried to get up again, but still couldn't. She heard the flap of wings and the thud as Sal landed close by. Leigh managed to turn her head to look at the dragon, who had an extremely smug and contented expression spread across its features. Sal padded over to Leigh and looked down at her.
"You'll be needing a healer then," she commented.
"I can't move," stated Leigh, feeling a little embarrassed to appear so helpless in front of the dragon. Sal shook her head.
"You'll have to try, because if you don't, I'll have to leave you here," said Sal, sounding almost ecstatic at the thought. Leigh again tried to get up, but to no avail. Sal shook her head pitifully. "You have to try harder than that!" she ordered. Letting out a small grunt, Leigh once again attempted to move her arms and legs, but she just couldn't. Sal peered down at Leigh. "There's only one thing for it," sighed the dragon. She lowered her neck and scooped Leigh up in her jaw. Sal then took off again, heading for North Castle as fast as she could go. She wouldn't be able to chatter away with the heroine in her mouth, and she hated not to be able to talk for long.
"Look! It's Sal!" cried out Link, grinning. He had seen the dragon in a few weeks at least. It was good to see her again. Drake laughed.
"Best bit of news I've had all week," he said, his grin as wide as Link's. The dragon circled the area for a while until she found a suitable place to land, and land she did. Link jogged over to Sal, noticing that she was holding something in her maw. She dropped it to the ground and let out a deep sigh.
"Ugh, thanks Sal!" moaned a familiar voice. Link walked over to Sal. Sal had been carrying Leigh. Link quickly knelt beside the heroine and looked at her carefully. An arrow protruded from her chest, blood surrounding the wound. Leigh looked up noticing Link. She managed a weak smile. "I think I need some help," she said, looking at the arrow. Link nodded and quickly dashed away, heading for Selina's tent.
Selina hurried over to the spot were Leigh lay, feeling a little worried. The reagents that she'd had were long gone, run out. She was going to have to rely on the more traditional methods of healing, what she had learnt years back. She kneeled down and looked at the arrow, it seemed that Leigh was still breathing, her eyes slightly closed. "Leigh? Can you hear me?" asked Selina, opening her small medical kit. Leigh managed a weak nod. "I'm going to have to pull out this arrow, okay?" started Selina slowly. Leigh said nothing, but instead raised her hand and closed it around the arrow. She then ripped it out of her chest and flung it aside, more blood pouring from the wound. Selina tried to stop her, but it was already too late. Leigh let out a contented sigh.
"I can feel my arms again," she whispered, raising her hand and clenching in her fingers. Selina looked on amazed. Leigh seemed totally oblivious to the fact that she had a great big wound in her chest, pouring with blood.
"Um, Leigh?" asked Selina. Leigh turned her attention to the healer. She saw the healer's expression.
"Oh, I guess that'll need fixing up," she said, not sounding too bothered. Selina nodded. She quickly grabbed some thread and a needle and began the job. Leigh didn't wince once.
"Mother, now is the time! Today I shall challenge that oaf who claims to be King!" declared Ganondorf. He looked older now, fifteen perhaps? Madralesse looked at her son uncomfortably. Over the years he had become more and more forceful, demanding. She wasn't sure whether she'd prefer to have him as Gerudo king. She could tell now that her early premonitions of her son had been right. He was evil and nothing but. He would kill her in the days to come and she was sure of it. Ganondorf walked over to her and caught hold of her chin. "Do not frown dear mother, for today you will be the mother of the greatest King the Gerudo, the whole of Hyrule, has ever seen!" promised Ganondorf. Madralesse mustered a weak smile towards her son. He grabbed her hand and pulled her up. "So come and watch me slay that pretender to the throne that should've belonged to me the day that I was born. He has had his time, his chance. That is about to come to an end. Madralesse nodded her head weakly in agreement. "Come then," demanded Ganondorf. They left the tent, Ewan trailing them. They were in a desert. Sand covered the floor, tents were scattered everywhere. Before them stood a huge, stone fortress, cut deep into the rock. Ganondorf led his mother to the fortress and stopped outside. A guard emerged from within and nodded in approval towards Ganondorf.
"Time to claim the throne master?" asked the guard. Ganondorf nodded with a grin.
"I should think so!" he smiled happily. The guard led them into the fortress and led them through many passages before they finally entered a grand looking room which could only be the throne room. In the middle, stood a throne, occupied by an elderly man, who must've been well over one hundred years old. This was going to be easy pickings for Ganondorf.
"So, you finally challenge me? I challenged the last king when I was a mere eight years old. You I see are fourteen," mocked the king. Ganondorf dropped his mothers hand and drew his sword. The king stood and drew his own. Ganondorf stepped froward and glared at the king. The woman in the court watched in apprehension. Ganondorf thrust forward his sword so hard that he knocked the king's sword form his hand. The king gasped and stumbled backwards. Ganondorf dropped his own sword and started towards the king. The old man quaked in fear. Ganondorf grabbed the man by his neck and twisted it, breaking it with ease. The court gasped as the king fell to the ground. Ganondorf brought his foot down upon the skull of the king, flattening it. Most of the women turned away.
"So let it be known," started Ganondorf, turning to the court. "That the old king is dead, and there is a new man on the throne. Ganondorf Dragmire is his name, and he shall lead the Gerudo to a new age of prosperity!" declared Ganondorf. A small cheer rippled through the court.
"But my son," started his mother, stepping towards him. Ganondorf turned and stared at him, his eyes full of pure hatred.
"You dare to interrupt me? And I shall only be referred to as King Ganondorf by everyone, including you Madralesse!" spat Ganondorf. He stepped towards his mother and drew a dagger from his belt. There were gasps of surprise around the court. "I shall make an example of you!" whispered Ganondorf threateningly to his own mother. She tried to back away, but Ganondorf lunged forward and grabbed her arm. He pulled her towards him, and held the dagger to his throat. "I shall be known as no other name than King Ganondorf, and do not forget it!" cried Ganondorf, drawing the dagger across his mother's throat. She gasped and dropped to the floor in a heap. Ganondorf looked down at her, then back to the court. No one uttered a word. They had learnt quicker than he thought they would. He turned to the guard. "Take away the bodies, they are littering my court unnecessarily," ordered Ganondorf. The guard quickly obliged, dragging both bodies away. Ganondorf settled into his throne and glanced around the court with an amused smile. "You may leave," he told them. They all filed out silently. Ganondorf smiled. He was going to enjoy being king of the Gerudo.
Ewan opened his eyes and sat up. That was the end of his dreams, he knew it. He needed his mother to interpret them for him. He didn't understand, not really. But his mother, nor his father were here. He choked back a sob and buried his head into his pillow. Praying to Din, Farore and Nayru that his parents would be okay.
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