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)

Back to Story Menu

Chapter 9


   Link urged Carefree forward. "Come on boy. We've got Ganon to defeat once and for all! And perhaps a Princess to rescue," he said, patting the stallion. As they reached the summit of the hill, he pulled his mount to a halt, waiting for everyone else to catch up. Death Mountain was in sight, its red pointed peak distinguishing it from the other mountains around it. "Are you all ready?" he called to the group. They agreed. Link drew his sword, and Carefree reared up valiantly. "Let's go!" he shouted, spurring Carefree into a gallop down the hill. As they approached the bottom, Ganon's minions poured out from all sides. There were Darias, Vires, Moblins, Stalfos, Goriyas, Octoroks, Tekites, Darknuts... every one of Ganon's followers seemed to be in the valley. Link took a swing with his sword at an advancing Daria. The alligator screamed in pain as the sword drew blood. Link grinned, then jumped down from his horse. "Wait up for me boy," he said, turning to attack a Goriya. Carefree trotted off towards the hill. All around Link, a huge battle was taking place. Ganon must have known we were coming, he thought, stabbing two Tektites at once. He'd never seen so many of Ganon's monsters all at once, ever. An arrow went whizzing past him, hitting a Moblin square in the face. Selina walked up to towards Link, looking worried.

"What's with all the monsters?" she said breathlessly.

"I think already Ganon knew we were approaching," Link replied, suddenly spinning round to attack a Moblin approaching from the side.

"Nice work," Selina murmured in admiration, before disappearing back into the mob.

   Link worked his way steadily towards Death Mountain. He knew the main entrance would be heavily guarded, so he was planning to reach Ganon's caverns through a small cave on the mountain's western face. Fending off some Octorok's missiles with his shield, Link dove behind some bushes next to the mountain. He climbed up onto a small ledge, avoiding the Moby birds nearby, and walked along it until he came to a small hole. He dropped all his weapons down first, hoping that there would be no monsters in the cave. He crawled through the hole, then dropped down into the cave below and retrieved his weapons. Sprite flew out of his pocket, and cast a light spell on herself, so that Link could see in the darkness. "Okay, let me think. Which is the quickest, least dangerous way through these catacombs to Ganon's caverns?" he said out loud. Sprite shrugged. "Trust your instincts. All these passages lead there eventually anyway." Link brandished his sword, and set off down the largest passage. His progress was good, and whatever monster jumped out on him, Link was quick to dispose of it. Eventually, the passage he'd followed opened out high up in the wall of Ganon's throne room. Link spotted the evil wizard levitating above the floor near his throne, and there was Zelda, tied to one of the pillars. Ganon was laughing, while Zelda was pouting and looking offended. Sprite undid her light spell - torches were burning brightly in the hall. As quietly as possible, Link climbed down the wall and onto a nearby ledge. Regaining his balance he shouted, "Let the Princess go Ganon, or you're going to regret trying to kidnap her!" Zelda smiled in surprise, spotting Link standing on a piece of jutting out rock nearby. Ganon started laughing.

"Regret it? More likely that you're going to regret showing up in my domain!" he cackled, sending a bolt of magic towards the rock Link was standing on. Link leapt out of the way, down onto the ground.

   While Link dealt with Ganon, Sprite flew over to Zelda and used her magic to undo the rope that tied her to the stone column. "Thanks Sprite," Zelda said gratefully.

"Why didn't you use your own magic to escape?" Sprite asked. Zelda sighed.

"Ganon watched me like a hawk all night. He never goes to sleep."

"So you were here all night?" Sprite asked in surprise. Zelda nodded.

"Yes. I was wondering when Link would finally show up." She yawned. "I'm so tired," she added.

"I knew you were here! But would Link believe me?!" Sprite said angrily.

"What?" Zelda asked. "I told him last night. But he said, that if you were in trouble, he'd be able to sense it," Sprite explained. Zelda looked angry by Sprite's information.

"I think Link needs to take a look at his job contract," she said, pouting. "He's supposed to protect me too!"

"Hmmmm... I guess he was too busy having fun with Selina, Aaron and the rest to even think of you," Sprite said sweetly.

"Oh really? Well if he thinks I'm sticking around here to help..." Zelda began. Waiting for when the coast was clear, she stormed off towards one of the passages out.

"Zelda, wait! We have no weapons!" Sprite cried after her.

"Well it's going to be Link's problem if I get in trouble!" Zelda replied.

   The King was frantic. Where could his daughter be? His first suspicion was that she'd sneaked off the previous night to join Link and the rest against Ganon. But her horse was still in the stables, the Triforce of Wisdom untouched. If she'd planned to go out, she would have told someone surely? "Ganon must have kidnapped her. It's the only explanation," the King said. Kain folded his arms.

"I shall go and rescue Zelda immediately," he announced.

"Are you sure? Link is heading that way anyway," the King answered.

"Well, it shall be a chance for me to impress your daughter with my sword skills. Both she and Link seem to think that I am nothing but a clever magician," Kain explained. The King looked surprised.

"Really?" Kain nodded.

"Yes. Will you allow me to go?" The King smiled.

"Kain, this is most noble of you. Go straight away. I want my daughter back, safe and sound," the King said. Kain bowed.

"Straight away, Your Highness."

   "Link, you underestimate my power!" Ganon laughed. Link wiped his forehead, frowning. Ganon was conjuring his monsters thick and fast, and Link was getting tired. He thought Ganon seemed as powerful as ever, but surely that couldn't be right? Ganon's magic had always been enhanced by the Triforce of Power, but the wizard didn't own the artefact now. So why did it seem like he was even more powerful?

"And you underestimate my skill, Ganon!" Link shouted, rushing towards the wizard. Ganon teleported out of the way. "Coward," Link muttered to himself, spinning round to where Ganon had reappeared.

"Really boy. You're going to have to do better than that!" Ganon laughed. Link suddenly realised that Zelda was no longer in the room. He guessed that Sprite had helped her make a getaway. Well, I was looking forward to rescuing her myself but.... he thought. Ganon began to shoot magic about the room. The bolts bounced off the walls, nearly hitting Link. Although he enjoyed personally beating Ganon, Link was beginning to wish help would show up.

"If you think that you're going to beat me Ganon, you can think again!" he said bravely. Ganon began to laugh again.

"Your efforts Link, are futile. You will never defeat me, ever!" Link took the opportunity to zap Ganon with magic from his sword. Caught off guard, the magic hit Ganon and he shrieked angrily. "Why you little...." Link laughed, dodging out of Ganon's way. Ganon tapped his wand, and a dozen Wizrobes appeared. Link held up his shield for defence against the monsters' magic. Link was glad that Ganon rarely attacked when he had monsters to do his work. Fighting off both Ganon and the Wizrobes could have been tricky. Ganon soon stop laughing to himself however, when he realised that Link was successfully defeating his cohorts. "Time to finish you off for myself, boy," he vowed. He shot a large bolt of magic from his fingertips. Link barely had time to protect himself, and the force of the bolt on his shield sent him flying backwards. Link, although feeling slightly dazed, got up and brushed himself off.

"You know what your problem is Ganon? You're such a coward!" he yelled. Ganon smirked at this comment and shot another bolt of magic towards Link. Link rolled out of the way and pulled himself off the ground. But he was too slow. Ganon shot another blast of magic towards Link, it caught Link in the chest sending him sprawling to the floor. Coughing, Link attempted to get up but was pinned down by some stalfo warriors. Link felt blood crawling up his throat, and a wave of nausea passed over him. He spat the blood from his mouth and dropped his shield to the floor. He grabbed hold of his sword with both hands and swept it in an arc towards the stalfos. When the blade struck the bone of the skeletal warriors it sent several of them crashing to the ground as the blade had cut through them easily. Any remaining scuttled off, despite Ganon's continuous bawling and screeching. While Ganon was distracted, Link got to his feet and threw his sword towards Ganon; using every inch of strength he possessed. Ganon turned to see the sword flying towards him, but his reactions were too slow and he soon found himself pinned to the ground by the sword. Link ran over to Ganon and stood over him. The wizard was firmly held to the floor by Link's blade. The sword was sticking out from Ganon's chest but no blood seeped from the wound. Ganon began to cackle when he saw the look of confusion on Link's face.

"You can't kill me boy! Only if you have all three pieces of the Triforce!!" laughed Ganon.

"Yes Ganon, you are quite correct," Link turned to see who had spoken. It was Kain. "But I can banish you," said Kain calmly. Link smiled, and turned towards Ganon.

"I myself might not be able to rid Hyrule of you, but this man can," he told Ganon. "Do your stuff!" he said pulling his sword away from Ganon's chest. Link stepped back and watched as a portal opened. Ganon began to slowly fade away, into the gateway.

"Noooooo! He's not what you thi......" And these were the last words that Ganon managed to utter before he completely disappeared. Link turned towards Kain.

"Where did you banish him to?" he asked turning back to stare at where Ganon had been.

"To another place, where he will be of no trouble to anybody ever again," said Kain looking around the cavern. "Zelda? Where is she?" asked Kain.

"She got out just after I freed her from over there," said Link putting his sword back into his belt and pointing towards where Zelda had been.

   Zelda stepped back, away from the large army of Moblins. Behind her, was a sheer drop down into some hot lava. To her left and right, the beasts were closing in. In front of her stood a heavily armoured Moblin Chief, with rat skulls hanging round his neck, like some sort of trophy. In the darkness, their tiny red eyes gleamed like rubies, mouths panting eagerly, as they moved in for the kill. She heard a tiny shriek, as one of the Moblins made a snatch for Sprite. "Hahaha! Your time is drawin' near," the Chief Moblin laughed. A few stones crumbled away from the ledge. Zelda was dangerously close to it. "Alright lads! Attack!" the Chief Moblin cried. Suddenly, the Moblins were jumping onto the Princess and trying to grab Sprite. In the commotion, Zelda slipped sideways, and fell screaming, over the cliff. Luckily, she managed to grab onto a ledge, and hung there, helpless. One Moblin looked down at her and laughed.

"'Ere look at dis boss!" The Moblin Chief peered down and grinned, his yellow fangs protruding. He kicked some loose stones, and they rained down past Zelda. Then they walked off. Sprite appeared.

"Zelda! Oh no! Hang on! I'll have to get someone to help you!" the faerie cried, flying about frantically.

"Make it quick," Zelda said, feeling her fingers beginning to grow tired. The sulphuric fumes from the lava were rising up and making her feel dizzy too. Keep calm. Don't look down... Zelda told herself. Link and Kain rushed into the cave.

"Princess!" Link yelled.

"She's down there!" Sprite said. As Link turned towards the precipice, the group of Moblins reappeared.

"Oh no!" Link groaned, ready to draw his sword. However, the Moblins ignored Link, and went straight to attack Kain instead. Kain drew his sword.

"Help Zelda. I'll deal with these runts," he said.

"Well, okay," Link answered, unsure. He turned back to the cliff. Zelda was within arms reach.

"Link, hurry up!" she called out.

"I'm trying Princess," he replied. Lying down on his stomach, he reached down as far as he could without falling. "You're just going to have to try and grab my hand," he said, smiling apologetically.

"I don't know if I can reach," Zelda said.

"Try Princess. Else you're going to fall," Link answered seriously. Zelda bit her lip nervously, let one hand go off the ledge, and attempted to take hold of Link's outstretched hand.

"I can't..." she said, feeling dizzy again.

"Link, look out!" Sprite called. A large Moblin had spotted Link in his vulnerable position, and was coming towards the cliff edge. Sprite zapped the Moblin with a bolt of magic, catching him by surprise. The ungainly beast fell forward and down over the edge, barely missing Zelda.

"Please Princess. I'd never forgive myself if I let you fall," Link said, leaning down some more. Zelda reached up as far as she could, the ends of her fingers just touching the end of Link's.

"Link, I can't hold on with one hand much longer," she told him.

"I know. That's why you've got to try as hard as possible," Link said. His hand finally caught hold of hers. "Don't let go yet," he told her, reaching down with his other hand. Zelda felt her fingers beginning to slip out of Link's hand.

"Link, I'm going to fall!" she cried, looking terrified.

"Let go of the ledge - now!" Link said, beginning to feel panicky himself.

   Somehow, Link managed to get hold of her other hand, and pull her back up to safety. Moving away from the edge, he took Zelda into his arms and hugged her. "It's okay, you're going to be fine," he whispered. Zelda began to cry, and Link was surprised at her emotional reaction. He'd rarely seen her cry before. "Everything's going to be alright Zel. Don't cry. I'm here for you," he comforted.

"This is no time for that! Moblins are everywhere!" Sprite cried.

"Wait here," Link said, leading Zelda into a corner. "I think Kain might need some help," he said, brandishing his sword. Link rushed towards the nearest moblin and began hacking it to pieces with his sword. Not exactly graceful or pretty but Link just wanted to get it over with as soon as possible. Once he'd finished with the first moblin another charged towards him, brandishing a spear. Link calmly stepped out of the way and watched as the moblin fell to it's death. Without warning, three moblins attacked him from all sides. Link stepped backwards and swung his sword in a wide arc cutting deep into the stomachs of each moblin. They all fell to the ground, groaning and holding their wounds and Link prepared to deal with the next bombardment of creatures. He began to attack the next moblin that approached but noticed out of the corner of his eye that two moblins had grabbed Zelda, and gagged her. Sprite had disappeared but the moblins were beginning to throw Zelda into the pit. They were rocking her backwards and forwards, obviously hoping to gain enough distance on the throw so that she had no hope of grabbing onto the ledge. He pushed past two moblins, one of them catching his left arm with it's spear but Link took no notice. He dived towards one of the moblins pushing it over. The other moblin fell forward as did Zelda, Link and the moblin Link had pushed over. The two moblins fell into the pit, but Link and Zelda fell over the edge. Link managed to grab hold of the edge with one hand, and Zelda grabbed his leg. Link threw his sword up onto the edge and used his free hand to grab the ledge. As Link tried to pull himself and Zelda back up a large moblin loomed over him. Sniggering, the moblin stepped on Link's left hand and dug into it with its heel. When Link didn't let up the moblin looked at Link's sword. It grinned and picked up the sword. Pointing the sword down it drove the sword towards Link's right hand. Link quickly withdrew his hand and watched as the sword struck into the rock, sending sparks flying everywhere.

"Link, please I think I'm going to fall..." whimpered Zelda. As the moblin prepared to strike again a sword tip protruded from its chest. The sword clattered to the ground and the moblin began to fall forward. Link grabbed the ledge with both hand's and quickly slid along the ledge using his hands. The moblin fell past him and Zelda towards the lava just inches away. A hand reached down to help Link and he took it. When Kain had pulled Link and Zelda up onto the edge, Zelda turned to Link and kissed him fully on the lips. Startled by Zelda's sudden outburst, Link paused for a second then pulled himself away from Zelda. Even after he had pulled away from the kiss, Zelda still clung onto him, sobbing. He helped her up and put his arms around her, to comfort her if anything. Link looked at Kain apologetically, who was standing behind Zelda. Kain just nodded and smiled sympathetically.

"I think that your men have dispersed off most of the creatures who inhabit this place. We'll be leaving soon, so I'll leave you two to it. I assume you know how to get out," said Kain turning away.

"We do, thanks. For everything," replied Link clinging onto Zelda even tighter , watching as Kain left. Sprite appeared as soon as Kain had left. "Where were you?" whispered Link.

"I didn't want to be made into a moblin sandwich, that's all," said Sprite.

"Yeah well me and Zel were almost killed back there, if it hadn't been for Kain, well who knows what would've happened," he said.

"Uh, speaking of Kain..." Sprite began, suddenly remembering her discovery the previous night. "Link, let's get out of here! The Moblins will come back," Zelda said.

   Sprite sighed in exasperation, flying as fast as she could to keep up with Link's horse. Zelda was still shaken up, and Link thought that it was more important to get her back to North Castle than to listen to her, Sprite. Also, he suddenly seemed to think that Kain was utterly wonderful. Sprite herself had to admit that he'd been good with a sword. Link was presently busy telling Zelda how the man had banished Ganon somewhere. It's all too weird. No human can do that! Even Link and Zelda found it hard to open the portal when they banished that griffin, Enzar. Yet, for someone who'd just performed a powerful, physically exhausting spell, Kain seemed pretty fresh, fighting against those moblins, Sprite thought. She decided that as soon as Zelda felt better, she would tell the Princess about her visit to Kain's house. Surely Zelda will understand my point. There's no point telling Link; he's obviously impressed with Kain's work. Especially since he barely kissed Zelda. Now that's unlike him, the faerie thought. She felt something was different about Kain. He couldn't be a normal human, yet there was nothing that indicated he might have Hylian connections either. Zelda can't be listening properly to what Link has to say. Surely she'd be the first to find his magical skill suspicious? Sprite decided. Flying fast, she descended down onto Link's shoulder. He and Zelda were sharing the horse, since it would take too long to get back if either of them walked. "Oh, there you are, Sprite," Link said. Sprite frowned at him.

"Link, if Ganon is truly gone, doesn't that leave you out of a job?" she said slyly, hoping he'd come to his senses.

"Not necessarily. Hyrule will never be free of pests. Ganon's monsters will still be about," Link replied, smiling. Sprite sighed. It's hopeless. Why does no-one see the truth but me?

   "This is simply wonderful!" the King proclaimed, hugging both Link and Kain.

"Oh, Kain did most of the work," Link said modestly.

"No Your Highness, it was all Link's doing. And he rescued Zelda just in the nick of time," Kain smiled.

"So Ganon is truly gone for good?" the King questioned.

"We sure hope so," Link said, then he excused himself to go and talk to Zelda who was stood nearby.

"This clinches it. You will marry my daughter this very week!" the King said. Kain looked down.

"Your Highness, as wonderful the prospect of being King seems, and as beautiful your daughter is, I'm afraid I should decline the offer," he said sadly.

"What? No, you will make the perfect King!" the King said. Kain looked over to where Zelda was.

"Well, I feel it isn't fair, that you're forcing the girl to make a decision she obviously doesn't want to make right now," Kain explained.

"If I let her have her own way, she will not make a wise decision Kain. You must understand that I'm doing this for the good of the kingdom," the King replied solemnly.

"But if you force her into this, she will be very unhappy. And an unhappy ruler would not be a good prospect," Kain said wisely. The King nodded.

"A valid point, my dear man. But Zelda will come to terms with this sooner or later. She may be acting stubborn now, but eventually, she will back down." Smiling, he added, "I fear she was rather spoilt as a young child, what with her dear mother passing away at such an early age, and her being the only heir of course." Kain nodded understandingly.

"I respect your wishes, Your Highness, but I do still feel a little bad about the situation," Kain said apologetically.

"Nonsense!" the King answered

   Zelda sat down on a bench, looking upset. "I wish that I had fallen into that pit, after all!" she moaned. "I totally forgot that as soon as we got back, I'd have to marry him," she said distastefully.

"Y'know Princess, if you abdicated, you wouldn't have any of these problems," Link joked. Zelda suddenly smiled.

"Link, that's a perfect idea! Besides, I never wanted to be a Queen anyway. It would be so boring!" she exclaimed.

"Uh Princess, I didn't mean in literally," Link began, looking alarmed.

"But Link, just think, if I don't rule, it means I don't have to marry Kain, and think of all the fun we can have together! We can travel to other places together, we can even get married if you really want to!" Zelda chatted excitedly.

"But Princess, if you don't rule, who will?" Link asked.

"I don't know. I don't even care. I have to tell my Father of this straight away," she said, getting up. Link grabbed hold of her arm.

"Wait right there. Don't you care about your country?" he questioned, beginning to look serious. Zelda suddenly returned to reality.

"Um, well yes, I do... But, can you really see me doing a good job of ruling?" she said, smiling. "Sure Princess. I think you'll do great," Link replied.

"You might, but I don't. Now I'm going to tell my Father," she said, walking off. Link stood there for a moment, feeling slightly stunned. Then he decided he'd better go and stop her from making a big mistake.

   "Father! Just the person I wanted to see!" Zelda said smiling up at the King.

"Ah my dear, I see you're looking better," he said.

"Yes, because Link has just given me the most wonderful idea. Now don't you dare go and blame it all on him because he was...." Zelda started, but her Father interrupted her.

"My dear, why aren't you wearing that engagement ring that Kain gave you tonight?" Zelda stopped. Then she smiled again.

"Well, for one, I don't like it at all. And for another, after I tell you my idea, I won't be needing it anyway," she said.

"Where is it then?" he demanded.

"Erm, well, I gave it to someone. You know Rupert, one of the castle guards?" Zelda explained. "You did what?!" the King said, beginning to look angry.

"Well, he's getting engaged to someone, except he can't afford a ring, so I gave him it," Zelda finished. "Besides, like I said, I won't be needing it," she added.

"And why is that?" the King asked, looking angrier by the minute. Zelda seemed oblivious to her Father's state of mind.

"You see, I've decided that I'm going to resign from being Queen," she said.

"What??! You can't do that!" her Father protested.

"Of course I can! Me and Link are going to go places together instead," Zelda replied.

"Link put these silly ideas in your head?" the King questioned.

"Oh now Father, like I said, you can't blame Link for this. You see, he was just joking," Zelda answered, smiling again.

"Zelda my dear, this is most preposterous! Are you deliberately doing this so I will denounce your engagement to Kain?" the King asked. Zelda grinned.

"I never thought of it that way Father! But you'll have to anyway, since I won't be here," she said amicably. The King stared at his daughter in disbelief.

"All your life Zelda, you have got away with things that you shouldn't have got away with. But I dismissed them all. However my dear, I think this is going a little too far."

"Father, I'm serious," Zelda cried. The King sighed.

"Very well my dear. But if you go ahead with this, I fear that neither you or Link will be welcome back at North Castle ever again."

"Father, threatening me makes no use. And don't include Link in with this," she said, walking off.

   Link caught hold of Zelda's arm as she walked out of the throne room. "You didn't say anything did you?" asked Link pulling Zelda towards him.

"Yes I did. I just told my father that I didn't wish to be the future heir of the kingdom," said Zelda smiling.

"You what!?" asked Link dropping Zelda's arm.

"Look it might seem like a bad idea now, but you'll see that it was a great idea," said Zelda placing her hand on the side of Link's face. She held it there until Link took hold of it and dropped it to her side.

"Princess, this is the worst thing you could ever do. I mean where would you live for starters? It's hard to get a job these days, especially if you're a woman," said Link.

"Where would I live? Don't you mean where we'd live? In any case, by just selling a couple of things that I owned it'd make enough money to by us a large, comfortable house in Mido. And I'm sure I could get a job as something I'd like, and you certainly could get a good, well paying job as a trainer or a town guard, even a captain."

"Look Zel, I really think you should go back in there and apologise to your father. You belong here, Hyrule needs you."

"Apparently all that Hyrule needs is Kain and the Communion," replied Zelda leaning against the wall.

"That's not true Zelda. Hyrule need someone with Hylian heritage and royal lineage. That means someone like you, in fact the only someone is you," pleaded Link.

"Well I'm sick of what Hyrule need! What about what I need?" said Zelda. Link put his hand against the wall, leaning towards Zelda.

"What do you need?" he asked.

   Zelda looked towards Link and just as she was about to speak, two guards came up from behind Link and grabbed him under the arms. "Link, Protector of the Triforce, you are under arrest for treason, for attempting to disrupt the balance between the Royal family. Also you are under arrest for the cold blooded murder of four respected castle guards and the disruption in the town of Darunia," one guard announced whilst the other guard tied Link's hands behind his back. "You are sentenced to three months in the palace dungeons, and then banishment from Hyrule after you have served your sentence." Link stared wide eyed towards Zelda.

"What? Banishment!?" exclaimed Link.

"You heard right sir," said one of the guards.

"For how long?" asked Link turning to one of the guards.

"Until whoever is in power lifts the ban."

"So once Zelda is in power she can lift it?" questioned Link.

"Quite correct sir. Of course she has already told the King that she has resigned from her position of future heir so you'll have to rely on Kain to lift the ban."

"Kain? But he, he can only be in power if he marries Zelda or if.... If the King makes him so." Link hung his head dejectedly. "But what about the Triforces? Who'll protect them?"

"Aaron Westley will take up that position." Zelda, who was still reeling from the sudden announcement stood up straight.

"Look I'm the future heir around here and I command that you release that man now. He'll be going nowhere!" commanded Zelda.

"But you r father has spoken, he is the current ruler and his word will always go over yours." Zelda stared in disbelief as Link was dragged off down the passage way. She turned and walked through the throne room doors.