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 8


   The next morning, Link and Zelda were severely reprimanded by the King. Zelda had never seen him so angry, indeed, she was unused to being told off. She and Link had galloped their horses all the way to Mido. As they'd walked their horses along the beach there, the castle guards had caught up with them and forced them to go back to the castle. Link meanwhile felt worried. He'd never disobeyed orders before. "Link, you must go now and destroy Ganon," the King finished. He turned to Zelda. "And you my girl will be busy making wedding preparations," he said.

"What? Already?" Zelda cried.

"Yes. You and Kain will be wed soon after Link arrives back victorious," the King said. Zelda and Link looked at each other. "Make me proud of you again, Link," the King said, opening the door. Link bowed.

"Yes, Your Highness," he said, walking outside into the Library. Zelda followed him.

"It gets worse," she complained. They ducked behind a shelf of books. "Good luck," Zelda whispered.

"I think I'll be needing it Princess," Link answered, giving her a brief hug. "Kiss me," Zelda breathed softly. Unable to resist, Link pulled her close once more before leaving to get ready for the journey.

   "Hey Link, wait up," Aaron said, urging his black stallion Jet to catch up with Carefree.

"Oh, hi Aaron," said Link, pulling on Carefree's reins to slow the bay stallion down a little.

"So what happened last night then? There's been lots of rumours flying around North Castle this morning," Aaron ventured.

"I'm not in the mood to discuss it," Link said dejectedly.

"I heard you and the Princess were supposed to be in big trouble after you refused to show up at last night's feast," Aaron said, grinning. Link sighed.

"It's not funny Aaron. Look, to cut a long story short, the King caught me and Zelda having a bit of a romantic interlude, and well, things went from there," Link said. Aaron tried to prevent himself from laughing.

"You and the Princess?" he said incredulously.

"I don't see why you're so surprised. You know we've been on and off about it for years," Link replied, not looking happy.

"Well, yeah I know that. But why last night? Surely you know she's supposed to be engaged to Kain?" Aaron said.

"Of course I knew! It was just she was really upset, and well, a few nights ago she did kiss me, and well I just couldn't resist last night," Link replied.

"I suppose she is pretty," Aaron acknowledged. Link nodded.

"She's beautiful," he sighed. "Well it was just our luck that the King and Kain had been listening to our conversation outside. The King and the Princess had a really big argument about it, and well, he offended me too, so we decided to ride off. But the castle guards brought us back," Link finished. Aaron smiled in amusement.

"So I take it the King isn't happy with you," he said.

"Too right. And now there's no hope for me and the Princess, because she has to marry Kain as soon as we come back," Link said miserably.

"Cheer up. I'm sure there's lots more women out there. Anyway, I thought you had something going on with Selina," Aaron questioned.

"Sure, I like Selina. In fact, she's exactly my type. But there's just something about Zelda…" Link said dreamily.

"You're infatuated. But if I was your age, I'd certainly ask Selina out. She's cute," Aaron said.

"Feel free to," Link said.

"What, are you joking? I'm far too shy, and she's at least five years older than me," Aaron said. Link shrugged.

"Your loss," he said, smiling for the first time that day.

"Hey look!" said Aaron, pointing his sword over in the direction of the River Town of Saria. There was a huge fire!

   They urged their horses on, and soon arrived at the scene. Link's army arrived soon after. All over, people were running about panicking. Fire was everywhere. "What's happening?" Link asked an old man.

"Can't stop!" the man said, running off. Link walked his horse through the town gate, and almost immediately saw the source of the problem. Sitting in the town square was a big, glistening, green dragon. Link drew his sword, ready to attack the beast.

"Don't even think about it!" said the dragon in a high pitched voice. "In fact, little man, you'll make the perfect snack for my youngsters," the dragon continued. Link paused, surprised. The dragon was a female one. While dragons were an extremely rare in Hyrule these days, Link had never encountered a female one in the Overworld. The dragon brought her face right up to Carefree, and blew smoke out of her nose. Link nearly choked, and Carefree whinnied nervously, stepping back. "Thanks to the likes of you, my husband has been murdered and I am forced to get food myself!" the dragon complained. Turning her head, she breathed fire onto a thatched roof nearby. Link dismounted, and Drake, Aaron and a few others appeared to come and help him. The dragon watched them in fascination. "My name's Sal," she said, blowing smoke again. "I don't like you. Nasty little vicious creatures!" she added. Her huge head swooped down towards the group and Link got an unpleasant view of the creature's massive maw. She shifted her weight, her huge spiked tail swinging round, nearly hitting Aaron and Damon.

"Come on. We have to drive her away before she causes anymore damage," Damon said.

"I know exactly what to do," said Drake, who had once slain a dragon that lived in a cave in the Tantari desert, when Link was only a young lad.

   Drake hollered up at the dragon. "Alright you big, ugly fiend! Let's see exactly the stuff that you're made of!" Angrily, Sal glanced over at Drake.

"You're calling me ugly? Take a look at yourself, you little pipsqueak!" Sal roared. She bent down, and ate two cows standing in a nearby field. The sound emitted from the cows as they were crunched up was not a pleasant one. Drake spurred his horse into a canter. Clumsily, Sal followed him, her huge feet shaking the ground. The others joined Drake. He rode all the way to Saria River, encouraging the dragon to follow by calling her rude names. Finally, Sal could stand it no longer, and attempted to eat Drake. He stabbed her in the snout with his sword, but nearly passing out from her hot, sulphuric breath. Link and the others began to attack the dragon from behind. One brave soldier stabbed her in the chest, but he wasn't quick enough to get away as she ate him up in a trice. Link grimaced at the sight. He wished Zelda was here. Her skill with the Triforce would have been invaluable. He held up his shield in defence as Sal breathed hot fire in his direction. The last time he'd properly battled against a dragon had been shortly after he'd been appointed as Triforce Protector, and that had only been a young one anyway. Sal was fairly big, but Link was glad she wasn't a male dragon, who were extremely hefty. A whole load of magic arrows suddenly shot by him and hit Sal in the side Link turned to see Damon grinning at him, bow in hand.

"Careful," he said, grinning back.

   "Your Evilness, dere comin' dis way!" Aspete exclaimed.

"What?" Ganon said.

"It's true Master. We seen Link and a whole group of soldiers passing through Ruto!" Skoll said.

"Yeah, but dey've been 'eld up at Saria. Dere's a huge dragon dere," Aspete added.

"Oh really. Perhaps they've gone to destroy the dragon," Ganon said thoughtfully. Then he laughed. "I may not be able to steal the Triforces from Link's magically protected tower, but I can certainly take Princess Zelda!" he cackled. He looked into his globe. Zelda was sitting in her room reading a book. "I shall attack tonight!" Ganon said gleefully. "Aspete! Alert the Moblin Chief immediately and tell him to guard the main entrance of Death Mountain," he ordered.

"Yeah Master. Straight away," Aspete replied, lumbering off. Ganon rubbed his hands together.

"I shall kidnap Princess Zelda tonight by tying her up with my magic rope. Then I shall hold her for ransom of the two Triforces."

"Dat's a brilliant plan, Your Evilness," Skoll said.

"You don't have to tell me that! I already know it is!" Ganon snapped. He looked back into his globe again, searching for Link. The crystal eventually revealed him attempting to fight off a huge dragon. Ganon laughed. "Hopefully, she will eat you up, you little imbecile!" He turned to Skoll. "If Link is heading here, we need to be ready. Go and round up the monsters and get them guarding every entrance to the Underworld in this vicinity!"

   Link, who wasn't ready, was suddenly sent flying into the water by a blow from Sal's huge tail. He went underneath straight away, and struggled to swim back up from the murky depths. Upon resurfacing, he was suddenly pulled back down by something. Link opened his eyes underwater to discover that he was being attacked by a huge tentacle-like creature. He tried to swing his sword underwater, but it was too sluggish, and he missed hitting the monster. Luckily, he managed to slip out of its hold and he swam up to the surface as fast as he could, gasping for air. As he came up and breathed in the fresh air, one of Sal's legs suddenly stepped in the river, causing the water to rock turbulently. When the waves subsided, Link swam across to the river bank and climbed out, collapsing onto the grass. Sal fell right back into the water, and her weight caused the water to splash out of the banks and Link got another soaking. The Dragon was very wet, and it affected her fire breathing. Nothing but very black smoke and lots of steam was coming out of her mouth now. While Drake, Damon and Nick gave the dragon a last few blows, Link relaxed, watching them. Eventually, he got up, noticing that there was a large gash on his leg. "Oh great. Now I need some new armour leggings," he moaned. "And a healer," he added on afterthought, examining the cut.

   He hurried over to where Selina was busy tending to some injured peasants. "Can you spare a minute Sel?" he asked.

"Wait up Link. Just let me help this old man," Selina said. A few minutes later, she was finished and walked over to check Link over. "That's a nasty cut," she said sympathetically. She cast a healing spell upon Link, and the wound stopped bleeding almost at once. Drake walked over to them.

"I think I need your help," he said, showing Selina where a his arm had been torn. Blood was everywhere. In fact, after everyone had regrouped, it only seemed to be Aaron and a few other soldiers who'd remained unscathed by the dragon's attack.

"I think we ought to stay at Saria tonight," Link announced."Death Mountain and it's surrounding area gets dangerous towards nightfall," he added

"Well, I know an excellent venue where we can regain our strength," said Drake, leading the group towards a large tavern.

   "What am I going to do Impa?" Zelda said to her old nursemaid. Impa smiled kindly.

"I wish I could help Princess, but your Father's mind is certainly made up.

"But I hate Kain," Zelda answered miserably.

"So you keep saying Princess. But I don't think complaining about it is going to get you anywhere," Impa scolded lightly.

"Link will be back in three days or less, and my Father has already had a dress made for me," Zelda replied sulkily. Impa gave the Princess a hug.

"It's certainly too bad that your Father is making you marry that man. Kain is almost certainly up to no good," Impa sympathised.

"I can't go through with it," Zelda answered.

"If you do that Princess, your Father would be very angry at you. But you're right. We have to keep looking for a way to prove that Kain isn't quite as pure as everyone makes out to be." She ruffled Zelda's hair affectionately.

"I'm glad that you're still turning to me. I hate to see you unhappy. Now, you go and get some rest, and I'll have a think over what to do," Impa said.

   Sprite flew backwards violently as her magic was repelled by Kain's. His magical locks were almost impossible to break. That night, Sprite had discovered that Kain was stopping at the Castle, so it was an ideal opportunity to sneak around his house. Well, it would be, if she could undo the magic on the doors first. Concentrating hard, she muttered her 'unlock magic' spell, then fired the bolt of magic towards the lock. There was a bright flash, and when Sprite opened her eyes, the lock had disappeared. "Finally!" she exclaimed, as the spell worked on it's 30th attempt. "He sure doesn't want anyone getting in, if the spell's that strong," she said to herself. She pulled on the door handle with all her strength. After she'd hung there for a while, the latch came up and the door swung open. Sprite flew inside the small house, lighting a candle. The front part of the house served as a living area, with a stove, chairs and a table. Sprite examined the shelves, looking for anything of interest. "Books, food, drinks," she chanted, bored.

   She made her way to the back of the house, into Kain's bedroom. All the walls were lined with books, spell books and ancient Hylian texts, many of which Sprite didn't know existed. Most interesting was the floor. In a cleared out space was a perfectly drawn circle done in chalk. The protective circle needed for the Divilation spell! Sprite thought excitedly. "If I'm right, there should be some bottles of Wryhute Oil somewhere," she spoke out loud, looking around her. A purple glass corked bottle was sitting on the desk. Sprite pulled out the stopper and was immediately engulfed by the sickly sweet smell of the liquid. That's Wryhute Oil alright, she thought. She alighted down on the desk, looking down at a leather bound book. "Mind control – potent potions that can be used," she read out loud. Scanning the book, she discovered that Moruge Bane Essence was a potion that could be used for mind control. "Hmmm… It does seem that many people who've used have tried to attack us," Sprite pondered. She wondered if Kain had been controlling those guards. If that's true then Zelda's and Link's claims about Kain being up to no good are right, Sprite thought. A bin was on the floor near to the desk. She flew down to look inside. There were a few brown coloured feathers and bits of paper in it. Upon closer inspection, Sprite realised they look suspiciously like griffin feathers. What would Kain be doing with these? Some sort of new spell? The faerie picked up one of the feathers and stuffed it into her bag. As she did this, she noticed a brown leather book at the bottom of the bin. Using a levitation spell, she carefully guided the book out onto the bed. She pushed the book open and looked inside. Suddenly, something large and black jumped towards her. Sprite shrieked in horror, then realised that it was only a dog. She flew up into the corner, hiding on a shelf. When it walked back out of the room, Sprite had another look at the book. It looked like some sort of diary – there were dates and hand-written entries inside, but Kain had written the diary in Hylian. Sprite couldn't translate much of it, but she figured it could be important. She used a shrinking spell on the diary and put it in her bag, hoping she'd be able to restore its size later on. She quickly read some of the book titles and examined the various potions stored in the room. This place is full of extremely powerful magic. It's so strange that a human like Kain is so clever. Most of the magic in here is even beyond Ganon's ability, Sprite mused. Well, the best I can do is take this to Zelda. She'll be able to read it, and perhaps Kain's got all his real plans written down here! the faerie thought. She flew outside quickly, stopping only to put a weak magic lock spell back on Kain's door. If he notices, it's just too bad. I'll be long gone by then, Sprite thought smugly, flying off in the direction of North Castle.

   Ganon cackled evilly to himself as he tied Zelda to a pillar in his throne room. She struggled a little, before realising her efforts were pointless. "You'll never get away with this! If you think Link is stupid enough to trade BOTH Triforces in exchange for me…" Zelda began. Ganon laughed.

"I know Link well now, Princess Zelda. He'll do anything if you're somehow involved," the wizard said. Zelda pouted. She'd been stupid enough to leave her tower window open and a hole group of Moby birds had swooped in. As she'd attempted to drive them out, Ganon had appeared and grabbed her from behind. Usually, Ganon did not dare to attempt such a trick if he knew Link was close at hand. Ganon was still laughing to himself. Zelda knew Link was on his way to Death Mountain anyway, but he'd have to get past Ganon to help her. No-one at North Castle knew that she was missing either. Ganon turned back to Zelda. "Of course, you could always undo those protection fields on Link's tower. Then I'd let you go," he croaked.

"Never! Besides Ganon, I know you. Even if I did undo the magic, you wouldn't let me go. You'd torture me or feed me to one of your despicable pets," Zelda answered huffily. Ganon laughed.

"You have an over-reactive mind, Princess. Then again, those are excellent ideas," he cackled. Zelda pretended to look unconcerned. "Yes, that foolish boy will do anything for you, his beloved Princess," Ganon sneered.

"Yes, and I'll tell him not to give you either of them," Zelda retorted smugly.

"Ah, but you will not get to talk to him. I shall simply say that you have agreed with me," Ganon replied.

"Link will never believe you," Zelda answered.

"That's what you think, you silly Princess!" Ganon replied, clicking his fingers and teleporting to his throne. Zelda ignored him. She was used to being dragged down to the Underworld on occasion. Link would help her. As long as he doesn't do anything stupid, she thought.

   "Come on Link, cheer up," Drake said laughing.

"Yeah, come and play darts!" Damon suggested.

"I'm sorry guys, but I think I'll just sit it out," Link replied, sloshing his untouched ale around the mug aimlessly.

"I don't think I've ever seen you without a smile on your face before," Drake laughed.

"He can't help it that he has a problematic… love-life," Aaron said cheekily. Link put his mug down on the table.

"Aaron, I told you not to say a word!" he said in mock anger. Drake and Damon laughed.

"Whoever she is, forget about her for the minute and come and join in the match!" Nick suggested.

"Oh, okay," Link sighed, getting up and walking over to where a darts tournament was taking place.

"Hey, Link!" called one of the men.

"Uh oh, we've lost already!" another joked. Link couldn't help smiling.

"It's young Aaron's turn," someone else said. Aaron stepped up to the line, darts in hand.

"Go on Aaron!" Selina shouted in support.

"Yeah, you show this rowdy lot, son!" Drake added. Aaron grinned at them, then threw his first dart. It missed the bulls-eye by a hair.

"Close," someone said. Aaron squinted at the target in concentration. It paid off, and his second dart hit the centre of the target. His final throw equalled a treble twenty. He was cheered off the line, and the tavern owner Bob consulted the sheet.

"Drake's still got the least amount of points to go, but ya did very well son," he congratulated.

"Alright, my turn," Link said, taking the three darts. "What's the starting score?" he asked.

"501 as usual," Bob replied. Everybody went quiet as Link prepared to throw his first dart. He knew he could easily score three bulls-eyes during his turn, and thus beat Drake's score. Concentrating hard, he threw the dart and it landed right in the middle of the dartboard. The crowd clapped and Link grinned. His next two shots were perfect too.

"Hey, that's unfair, playing against Hyrule's greatest hero!" one man shouted, smiling at Link. As he sat back down, he realised that he was actually enjoying himself. Wherever he went in Hyrule, Link knew he would always be readily welcomed, and the admiration and respect that came with the welcome were wonderful to feel. He almost couldn't believe he'd been feeling threatened by Kain of late. Why, his reputation was almost too great to be over-shadowed by that of Kain's. Kain may have got the Triforce of Power away from Ganon, but that doesn't make him better than me! Kain is simply a clever wizard, while I am surely the most skilled fighter in the whole of Hyrule. And my skill with magic is simply a bonus. Besides, none of the people would ever forget about me just like that, he thought, watching Nick preparing his turn.

   As Link stepped up to play for a third time, something small suddenly tugged at him. Turning, he saw Sprite, looking breathless. "Link!" she cried.

"Sprite? What are you doing here?" Link asked in surprise. Seeing that the faerie was extremely tired, he said, "Sprite, sit down a minute and take a rest. I'll just finish my round." Sprite nodded, and went to perch on Aaron's shoulder. After Link had finished, he picked up the faerie and sat down in the corner. "Are you okay?" he said.

"I'm fine. It just took me a long time to get here," Sprite explained.

"So what exactly are you doing here then?" Link asked.

"It's Zelda," she replied.

"What? Is she okay?" Link asked, looking worried.

"That's just it! I wanted to show her something, but I couldn't find her anywhere at North Castle. I thought she might have gone out for a ride, but her horse was in the stables. I tell you, I searched all of North Castle!" Sprite said.

"But if Zelda was in trouble, surely I'd be able to sense it," Link replied thoughtfully. Sprite shrugged.

"Well perhaps she isn't in trouble. But I still couldn't find her." Link looked over at the grandfather clock in the corner. It was almost 11pm.

"She wouldn't be out so late. Well, not alone anyway," he replied.

"I asked the King where she was, and he said she'd gone to bed," Sprite said.

"Ganon," Link guessed. "It's the ideal opportunity, with me being away. I have to rescue her immediately," Link said getting up.

"Wait, we don't know that for sure," Sprite answered.

"But imagine what he could do to her!" Link replied.

"Just wait. Try to communicate with her," Sprite answered, fluttering in front of him.

"I can't. Zelda is more apt than me, and if she isn't attempting to contact me telepathically, then I don't think my ability is strong enough to rouse hers," Link said sadly.

"It is Link, if you'll only try," Sprite said, sighing.

"I think we should wait. If Zelda does need help, I'll know," Link answered.

   Zelda stood wide-eyed, watching in horror as Skoll and Aspete advanced towards her. "Ha, I've always wanted to torture a Princess!" Aspete said slobbering.

"Don't you even touch me! I'm warning you! Link will be here any moment!" Zelda replied, wishing that he really would arrive. Ganon had disappeared somewhere, presumably trying to break the spell on Link's tower. He'd have a hard job though – the spell had been specially created to ward off evil.

"Well 'e's not 'ere now, is 'e?" Skoll leered. Zelda sighed.

"Just what exactly do you mean, when you say that you're going to torture me?" she asked. Aspete laughed.

"Da master 'as a great torture room!" he said.

"Yeah, with dem coffins dat 'ave spikes inside 'em ," Skoll added. Zelda bit her lip nervously.

"I don't think Ganon would be very happy if you killed me," she started. Aspete began to untie her.

"E was gonna kill ya anyway. We'll just do it for 'im," he said. As soon as he finished untying her, Zelda tried to slip away, but she was stopped by Skoll, who clamped his bony fingers around her neck.

"Har! What made ya think ya could get away from us?" he said. At that moment, Ganon reappeared. When he saw Skoll standing there holding Zelda, he looked more angry than ever.

"What are you doing?" he demanded.

"Uh, she escaped," Aspete said lamely. Ganon pushed the Stalfo away from Zelda, then retied her back to the pillar.

"Blasted imbeciles!" he said, shooting the two monsters with bolts of magic.

"Yeow!" Aspete groaned, running off with Skoll. Ganon turned to Zelda.

"Princess, I hear that you're not too happy about your engagement to Kain," he sneered.

"It doesn't mean I like you any better," Zelda answered disdainfully. Ganon laughed.

"I didn't expect you to. In fact, if you did like me, I'd feel very worried."

"So would I," Zelda replied scathingly.

"But, we're getting off the subject here. I know something about Kain, that you would find very interesting indeed, Princess Zelda," Ganon said. Zelda looked unconvinced.

"What?" she asked.

"Ah, wait a moment Princess. I want to make a little trade," Ganon replied.

"Ganon, if you think that I'm going to trade the Triforce for a whole pack of your lies, then you're stupider than you look!" Zelda cried.

"And so are you, if you don't want to know the things I know about En…, uh, Kain," Ganon faltered.

"What was that Ganon?" Zelda asked sweetly.

"I shall give Link the same proposal. He'll be keen to get rid of the competition anyway," Ganon snorted. Zelda frowned.

"Ganon, if you hadn't already realised by now, Link does have a higher than average intelligence. He'll see through your lies the way I do," she said sarcastically.

"We'll see," Ganon replied calmly. Then he burst out into hysterical laughter. Zelda wished she could cover her ears, but unfortunately her hands were tied down, so she had to bear the awful noise. After he had gone quiet again, Zelda asked , "What's so funny Ganon? Have you finally took a look in the mirror to see how ridiculous you are?"

"No, I was just picturing the scene when everyone in Hyrule finally discover what a dreadful mistake they've made," Ganon answered, beginning to laugh again.

"Mistake?" Zelda asked.

"Oh, but since you won't give me back the Triforce, you'll never know," Ganon answered snidely.

"Like I said Ganon, I'm simply not going to hand over MY Triforces to you. Besides, they're my rightful property," Zelda said, looking smug.

"And they will soon be mine!" Ganon laughed. Zelda inhaled deeply, wishing Ganon would leave her alone again. She couldn't decide which was worse; listening to the crazy wizard, or being terrorised by his monsters….