Disclaimer: I don’t want to get in whatever trouble people can get into when using other people’s 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.

The Dark Empowerment

Juliet A. Singleton (Scullys@bigfoot.com) and Kirsty Singleton (indigo_spacen@mail.com)

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Chapter 3



   The next morning just before the five left for Tarn, Aramis and Link went to buy some Moruge Bane Essence from the merchant they'd seen the night before. Link pushed open the shop door, this time to be met with a more pleasant smell. He wasn't sure what but it certainly smelt better than the day before. "Ah, I see you have returned, how much do you require?" asked the man smiling at the two.

"Well how much is it?" asked Link.

"It's 60 rupees a vial, too rich for your blood?" the man inquired opening a chest on the counter.

"I'll take three and my friend here Link will take?" replied Aramis.

"Link? Didn't you say it was Leonard?" asked the man suspiciously.

"Yeah, it is Leonard, don't mind Aramis he's just not very good with names; I'll have two vials," said Link quickly drawing 120 rupees from his pouch. After they had exchanged their rupees for the Moruge Bane Essence, they hastily left the shop.

"Well how was I supposed to remember?" asked Aramis defensively.

"Hey I never said anything, it doesn't matter?" replied Link opening one vial of the Moruge Bane Essence. He got a whiff of the stuff. "Hey this doesn't smell that bad considering the smell in the store yesterday," commented Link closing the vial and placing it into his pouch.

"Yeah well he was probably just dealing with the raw plant. You should know that anything from Moruge swamp don't smell to good," explained Aramis. "They've probably added some ingredients to mask the stench. You are gonna be drinking the stuff after all."

   As the two approached the Rusty Pickaxe there seemed to be quite a commotion outside. The two hurried to see what was going on. As they neared the crowd they spotted several burly men attacking two people. Who they were they couldn't quite see but the crowd were whistling and cheering. Link stepped over towards one of the people in the crowd. "What's happening?" asked Link.

"Umm the King has sent some palace guard to arrest some people?"

"Who are they?" asked Aramis trying to see over the crowd to get a better view.

"Oh just two girls, don't know 'em but they're certainly putting up a good fight. I think they're being arrested 'cos they're mad." "Mad? Why, I mean how d'you know?" asked Link.

"One of 'em reckons that she's Princess Zelda, but if she is Princess Zelda, then why is she hanging around with a Communion member?" said the man smiling at his own , at least what he thought, genius.

"Aramis that must be Selina and Zelda, and those aren't guards sent by the king!" exclaimed Link drawing his sword. Link held up his sword and virtually walked his way through the crowd. Aramis followed behind. Once they reached the middle of the crowd sure enough there was Zelda and Selina doing their best to defend themselves from the 'guards'. "Hey you!" yelled Link stabbing his sword into the back of one the guards consequently sending him to the ground.

"Hey Link watch out!" yelled Aramis. Link turned to see one of the guards sword swinging towards his neck! He fell to the ground and then rolled out of the way of another sword blow. He heard a crack from underneath him. "Oh great!" he muttered. It looked like those glass vials had smashed. He leapt up from the ground and tossed his sword in the air, caught it and stabbed it behind him into the stomach of an oncoming guard. There were several cheers and whistles as the guard fell to the ground. Aramis was busying himself with another guard and so were Selina and Zelda. Link spotted one of the guards dragging himself from the ground and approaching Zelda from behind. "Zelda!" yelled Link. Zelda turned from what she was doing and spotted the other guard. Oh great! thought Link. She'd turned from what she was doing and was a sitting duck. Whilst he was thinking this he had quickly armed his bow and took aim at the guard who was now BEHIND Zelda (the one she'd just turned her attention away from). Although Zelda was in the way if he could just aim for the guards head or arm, he could probably take him out for enough time for him to get over there and help her. He aimed and then let go. The arrow sailed right over Zelda and through the guard's armour straight into his skull. The guard fell heavily to the ground, shaking the whole place, yet sending a cheer through the crowd. Link ran over to Zelda.

"Thanks Link," whispered Zelda. Link smiled back at her and then, gripping the hilt of his sword in both hands he moved the sword in a sweeping motion towards the guards legs. The guard screamed and then fell to the ground waving his sword about, his legs nearby.

"He won't be getting up in a hurry," commented Link deciding to put the man or whatever it was out of its misery. He pulled the sword out of the things chest and kicked its body flat to the ground. "C'mon, looks like Aramis and Selina need our help," said Link.

"You take Aramis, I'll take Selina," said Zelda clutching Link's shoulder and kissing his cheek. Smiling to himself, Link rushed over to help Aramis.

   Zelda casually walked over to were Selina was and stabbed her attacker in the back. She then unceremoniously sliced its head of, it certainly was a crowd pleaser.

"Uggghhh!" said Selina staring at the guards head, lying near her foot. "Did you have to do that?" asked Selina looking disdainfully at Zelda.

"Selina, I had to make sure he never got up again, and that was the easiest way to do it. It's quick and it's far more cleaner than stabbing it several times," explained Zelda sweetly.

"Er, well I know I didn't say this last time, but thanks Zelda, I was having a bit of trouble with that guy," said Selina.

"Oh sure, you may not have noticed but before I came to help you I was having a little trouble myself before Link arrived."

"Yeah, I noticed he's great with a sword and a bow, something I'll never be," laughed Selina.

"Yeah come on, it looks like the guys are about finished up," replied Zelda walking to were the two men stood.

"Nice work Zel," commented Link walking over to one of the lifeless corpses. He lifted up the helmet. "Zelda I think you could come and see this," said Link stepping back. "These are guards from your father."

"What!" said Zelda walking over to the body.

"It's Booth," said Link.

"You're right Link, oh I'm so sorry," comforted Zelda, knowing the two had been good friends. He walked over to another guard.

"It's Ladril, Zelda all of these guards are guards of your father; surely he hasn't sent them because if he has we've just committed about nine felonies." Hardly daring, Zelda walked over to the decapitated head. She carefully lifted the helmet.

"Oh great it's Christopher," she said dropping the helmet back down.

"Hey Zelda, I knew all of these guards and I don't want to take anything away from them but none of them were that good fighters, neither did any of them have that much stamina," said Link. Aramis who'd joined in the identity search lifted the guards helmet who'd got an arrow sticking out of the top of his head.

"Hey, do any of you lot no who this is because I do," said Aramis.

"It's Error of Ruto town, and he's no guard, he's a trainer. He taught me everything I know," said Aramis.

"You're right Aramis these aren't all palace guards. I'm so tempted to say they were clones of Ganon's, but if they were they would've disappeared by now," said Link mournfully.

"Hey I hope you lot are gonna clean away these corpses it ain't good for business, especially if they're the Kings guards. Also I've alerted the town guard because I believe you've broken the Law," cried the owner of the Rusty Pickaxe.

"Oh now what, we can't just leave our friends like this but if we do clear them away then we'll get caught by the town guard," said Link.

"I think we should wait for the town guard you lot, if your father didn't send them Zelda and they attacked you for no reason they'll let us go. We'll only have to spend a little longer here plus these bodies will probably be shipped over to West Hyrule for their families to deal with," said Aramis.

"He's got a point," agreed Selina. Zelda and Link just nodded in agreement.

   "We'll only have to spend a little longer here," mimicked Zelda. She was sitting on a hard wooden bench in a cold dingy cell. "Haven't these people heard of innocent until proved guilty?" asked Zelda loudly, hoping for a guard to hear.

"Probably not, and anyway we did kill those men," said Link lying on a hard wooden bunk.

"Only within good reason," complained Zelda.

"Link, considering I'm to be next ruler of Hyrule, I command that you give me that bunk."

"We can share if you like," replied Link grinning. Zelda groaned.

"No Link, I want that bunk NOW!" yelled Zelda.

"Ooh, I love it when you get angry," joked Link, still not moving from the bunk.

"I didn't want to do this but..." Zelda pushed Link off the bunk and dived onto it. "Ow!" she yelled sitting up. "Link why didn't you tell me how hard this was?" asked Zelda.

"You never asked," said Link slowly getting off the floor. "Try the floor, once you've tried that even that bunk will feel soft," said Link standing up.

"They didn't even give us our packs. I had a bed roll in mine, it would've made life far more comfortable," winged Zelda.

"It's the same for all of us Zelda, I had a bedroll in mine too, but we can't do anything about it," yawned Link. Zelda studied Link carefully.

"Link give me your shirt," she asked sweetly.

"What!? No way, I'll freeze," exclaimed Link. Zelda rolled over to face the wall.

"I only wanted it to rest on," she muttered.

"Use your waist coat," suggested Link.

"Oh Link, you're oh so romantic," said Zelda still facing the wall.

"Romantic?" asked Link.

"Oh never mind," sighed the Princess. Link, somewhat puzzled, leaned on the wooden bench. He could at least attempt some sleep but something told him it was going to be a long night.

   The next morning Link woke up and yawned. The cell door clicked open and a guard walked in. Zelda was already up, she was leaning against the wall on her bunk examining herself in the mirror, she was pouting and she didn't look so happy. "Your Royal Highness," announced the guard. Zelda rolled her eyes and put the mirror away.

"What?" she asked in a bored tone.

"We are terribly sorry for any discomfort we have caused you but it has been confirmed that the King did not send those guards and that it must have been an act of rebellion, you are free to go," finished the guard bowing.

"Finally," muttered Zelda getting up and walking out of the cell. Link closely followed behind her. Unsurprisingly, he could tell she was in a ratty mood.


   "Well I say we hire a horse cart, I'm too tired to be concentrating on riding now," whined Zelda who was still in her 'royal bitch' mood.

"Well okay, but it could be hard navigating it through the forest," said Link.

"Oh. Not anymore, they cleared a path right through to Tarn and then right through to Valour Hold," said Aramis.

"Oh right, well a horse cart it is," said Link.

   The party were soon on their way to Tarn. All four of their horses were helping pull the cart. They were all ready behind schedule and this was the perfect way to catch up. Zelda was asleep at the back of the cart with a blanket draped over her. Selina was also asleep but she was leaning against Aramis' shoulder. Link who'd ended up driving the thing, even though it was quite possible that he'd ended up with the most uncomfortable bed and the least sleep. It was only because Zelda had 'commanded' him to. The road was surprisingly smooth so it was an easy ride. They weren't even attacked by any Moblins or Tektites which was unusual going through a forest like that one. Early in the afternoon, the group decided to stop for lunch in a large clearing. "I must say, this new road is a good idea. Much safer," Link commented.

"Oh, it was Kain's idea. Lots of Communion Members helped to clear the path," Selina replied.

"Y'know Princess, I think that Skoll and Aspete were lying after all. Everything else we've heard about Kain's Communion sounds great," Link said. Zelda gave him her 'unimpressed' look.

"Big deal. Besides, the Communion are trying to overthrow the Royal Family!"

"Well, perhaps the people of Hyrule feel its time for a change," Selina remarked.

"You would say that. I don't even see why you should be here! You're probably plotting against me!" Zelda accused.

"Listen Princess, what have you ever done for the people of Hyrule?" Selina questioned.

"I, uh...," Zelda blushed uncomfortably.

"What has your Father ever done? Kain is right. You don't care about your people, you just care about yourselves!" Selina shouted angrily.

"I DO care about my people. Besides, my Father is old. When I ascend to the throne, everything will change," Zelda yelled back.

"Hardly," Selina replied.

"I'm sure the Princess is right," Aramis backed up. Zelda smiled gratefully at Aramis.

"Oh sure. She'll just continue to look down at us from that snobby little nose of hers," Selina answered.

"I am not snobby. And I don't look down on anyone. Do I Link?" Zelda replied, turning to Link for support.

"Well, uh, I hate to admit it Princess, but you do sometimes," Link answered. "But only sometimes," he added quickly, not wanting to come under fire.

   Zelda ran a hand through her hair then pouted. "This trip is turning out to be awful," she wailed.

"Hey Princess, don't worry. Everything's gonna be fine," Link comforted.

"No it isn't!" Zelda paced about the clearing. "First of all, that stupid Communion tries to lead a revolt against my family," she complained.

"Well, I agree, that isn't right," Link replied. Zelda continued.

"Then, those guards lead a revolt! What in Hyrule is going on?"

"I'm with you completely Princess. You know none of the Hylians would ever turn against you," Link consoled. At these words, both Aramis and Selina looked offended.

"Oh Link, you're as bad as her! Just when I thought you might be different too!" Selina cried.

"Yeah, just because I'm human, doesn't mean I'm not planning to stand by the Royal Family," Aramis exclaimed.

"Um, I never meant to imply that," Link replied uneasily.

"Oh, isn't that just like a Hylian? You both think you're so superior to people like me and Aramis," Selina retorted.

"Who's ruled Hyrule for as long as anyone can remember?" Zelda answered smugly.

"That's only because of old traditions, when the Hylian were supposedly the Gods 'Chosen Ones'. But like I said, times are changing. We're all equals now," Selina replied.

"Well, it's true about us being 'Chosen Ones', as you put it. It says so in all the old scrolls and runes. We have the Triforce, and you must admit, our magical power far surpasses that of even the greatest human wizard," Zelda replied.

"Those scrolls were written by Hylians. Everybody knows that," Aramis answered.

"Well, it is true that the Hylians learnt to write long before Humans," Link said quietly.

"Only because we had to work as your slaves and weren't entitled to an education!" Selina replied angrily.

"No, that isn't true! Many Hylians were as poor as most Humans. And like today, I'll have you know, many Humans were trained as Palace Guards. What about the legendary Knights of Hyrule? Some of them were of Human lineage," Zelda argued.

"The Princess is right. Stop belittling yourselves to make our race seem like the bad ones," Link added, starting to feel angry himself.

"Shall I tell you what I think?" shouted a small voice. Sprite flew out of Link's pocket and looked around angrily.

"You're all as bad as each other! The faerie race is much better than either of you lot!" Link had to smile at the little faerie. Even Zelda and the others found themselves amused.

"Come on, this is stupid," Aramis stated.

"Yes, it is. We should have something to eat. It may be quite a time before we arrive at Tarn," Selina agreed.

   When they arrived in Tarn it was nightfall and it was too late to travel to Valor Hold, or even find Aaron. They found the nearest tavern and stabled the horses and put the cart in a place of safe keeping. The tavern was called 'The Dice and the Table' and when the four entered it, it was bustling with activity. People were gambling and others were having a quiet drink and a chat. In the middle of the room there seemed to be a band playing. Over in the corner a man was standing on a small stage made of crates and apparently telling jokes. If he was, he seemed to be amusing all of the people watching him. Over in another corner, a couple of men were standing next to a snooker table watching another man clear the table.

"Hey that's Aaron," said Link pointing over to the guy clearing the snooker table.

"You lot go and get some rooms and get a table, I'll join you later," said Link walking towards the snooker table. "Hey Aaron," yelled Link. Aaron who'd been busy concentrating on a shot, slipped and hit the white ball, which hit the black ball a little harder than he'd hoped. The ball sped towards the edge of the table, hit the cushion and bounced over the edge. Link deftly caught the ball in one hand and tossed it towards Aaron. Aaron caught it grinning.

"Hey everybody this is Link, my mentor!" he said in a mocking tone. Everybody turned and clapped. One man yelled loud enough for everyone in the tavern to hear.

"Hey everyone it's Link!" There was standing ovation for Link's arrival. Link modestly blushed.

"Aww, hey there's no reason for that guys," said Link.

"Yes there is Link, you're a legend round the whole of Hyrule, and from this one town you chose one of us."

"Yeah plus you've saved the whole of Hyrule numerous times," said someone else.

"Link, if this is the first reception like this you've got on your way here then the rest of the towns deserve to be left to Ganon's ways," said another man.

"Yeah, well if I did that then I wouldn't be worthy of this reception," answered Link grinning.

"Say, Link you were supposed to be here yesterday night," said Aaron handing his cue over to one of his friends.

   The two walked over towards where the other three were seated. "Oh, we just got a little held up in Darunia. That's all," said Link taking a seat next to Zelda. Aaron sat next to him and greeted the other three.

"Link? Aren't you going to introduce us to your friend?" asked Selina.

"Oh yeah, sorry. Aaron this is Aramis and Selina. We met them on our way here, they're joining us to Valour Hold," explained Link. "Selina and Aramis, this is Aaron my apprentice. When I met him he was already pretty skilled he just needed the training from yours truly to make him one of the most skilled and advanced warriors. If anything bad should happen to me, then this is the man that'll be looking after the Triforce," said Link grinning.

"Hopefully, that'll never happen," Zelda said. "Not that I wouldn't want you to look after the Triforce though, Aaron," she added, smiling.

"That's okay, Your Highness. I completely understand," Aaron grinned.

"Let's get some drinks," Aramis suggested.

"Okay, you and Selina go get some," said Link. He turned back to Aaron.

"Enjoying your little break from work then?" he asked. Aaron smiled.

"Not quite. An old friend of mine, Damon, got me roped into some work."

"Work? Doing what?" Link inquired. "Well, the Communion are building a meeting hall in Tarn and they wanted some strong men to help," Aaron answered.

"The Communion? Are you a member?" Zelda asked. Aaron shook his head.

"No. I would consider joining, except for the fact that I serve the Royal Family." Zelda smiled.

"How's your family?" she asked.

"Doing okay. My mother loved the bracelet you helped me choose, Link," Aaron replied. Link grinned.

"See, I knew she'd love it. It's just my good taste." Zelda raised her eyebrows.

"You? Good taste?" she laughed.

"Princess!" Link exclaimed, pretending to be hurt.

"Drinks are on us!" Aramis called, carrying two wine bottles. Selina walked behind, carrying a tray full of glasses and a plate of sausage rolls. Link examined one of the bottles.

"Hmmm Aaron, I'm not sure if you should be drinking this," he said, laughing.

"Oh, that's not fair Link! Besides, I'll be 17 soon," Aaron answered, trying to wrestle the bottle from Link.

"Hey you two, I paid good money for that!" Aramis protested lightly.

"Yeah, we'd better not waste it," Selina added, handing everyone a glass.