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  1. BZRich64

    BZRich64 Mustached Moderator

    Golden Lizard
    (Charmander)
    Level 10
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2017
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    PokéPoints:
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    Well, I've decided to put another one of my ongoing stories up here. This one being from The Legend of Zelda series, as the title shows. Like with Super Ridley Bros. I'll add one chapter every 2~3 days until I get caught up, then add new chapters as I finish them.
    The land of Hyrule has always been considered a place of wonder and magic. But it had a dark side as well. In a day long past, before the land was even known as Hyrule, a demon named Demise tried to conquer it. He was stopped by the machinations of the Goddess, Hylia and at the hand of her chosen hero, Link. But in his dying breath, Demise laid a curse on Hyrule that an incarnation of his wrath would always plague the land. This great evil has taken many forms since then, but none more well-known or as feared as Ganondorf.

    Ganondorf was once the King of the Gerudo people, but in his schemes had taken the Triforce of Power and used it to become a being beyond mortality and plague the land with his darkness time after time. But every time darkness rises, two lights rise to strike it down. Hylia’s bloodline, the royal family of Hyrule, will always produce a princess by the name of Zelda to guide her people through even the most troubling of times and lead them against any who would challenge peace. At the same time, a new hero sharing the same heroic spirit as Hylia’s chosen will appear to defend the land against evil and defeat any would try and bring darkness into the land.

    But every time light would destroy darkness, a new darkness would rise to take its place. And this time was no different. Ganondorf and broken free of his imprisonment yet again to conquer Hyrule. He had twisted the land into his own dark image and entrapped Princess Zelda in her own castle, now warped into Ganon’s Tower. The new hero, Link, was working towards defeating Ganondorf and had, at last, gathered the three magical items he needed to perform that daunting task. Armed with the Master Sword, a Hylian Shield, a quiver full of Light Arrows and the Triforce of Courage itself, Link approached Ganon’s Tower on horseback as fast as he could.

    As Link reached the entrance to the black tower, he dismounted his horse and walked up to the gate. A field of darkness prevented anyone from entering the tower without Ganondorf’s permission, but using the three magical trinkets he had gathered, Link was able to dispel the dark barrio and enter Ganon’s Tower.

    The first room of the tower was a large antechamber. Link made his way to the opposite end of the room but as he approached the door, large iron bars slammed shut blocking his way. Link heard a familiar reptilian growl and he turned around to see two Lizalfos crawling down the walls and jumping onto the ground. The lizard monsters charged at Link, who lifted up his shield and blocked their vicious tail swings. He then pulled out the Master Sword and quickly made short work of the Lizalfos. The iron bars blocking the door lifted back up and Link entered the next room.

    Inside the main chamber of the tower’s first floor, two Darknuts were waiting for Link, one in black armor and one in white. As Link approached them, the two lifted up their massive swords and charged at Link. Link quickly pulled out his bow and started firing Light Arrows at the white one. It tried to block the arrows with its shield, but the light magic the arrows were infused with allowed them to pierce right through it and strike the armored warrior down. Unfortunately for Link, the black Darknut was able to close the distance between them in that time and swung his mighty sword down on the hero, who was barely able to deflect the blow with his shield. As the Darknut lifted its sword again, Link was able to strafe the knight and slash at it from behind. The Darknut spun around to hit Link with its sword, but Link was able to backflip out of the way of the blow and pull out his bow again. He fired a Light Arrow at the Darknut’s head, which cracked open its helmet, but only graved its cheek. The Darknut, with its canine face now exposed, tried to strike Link down, but Link was too fast and hit the Darknut with a Light Arrow to the torso. The Darknut collapsed and exploded in a puff of smoke, leaving only a key behind. Link picked up the key and used it to open a door leading the staircase to the next floor.

    At the top of the staircase was a door that Link opened and stepped through into a large, dark room much like the one he had just left. Inside, a group of moblins was waiting for him. Link pulled out a bomb from his pouch and threw it at the moblins as they approached. One of the large boar-men tried to swat the bomb away, but instead the bomb exploded, knocking the moblins back and providing a brief smoke cover for Link to run up and dispatch the enemies.

    Link continued to make his way up the tower, with each floor being home to stronger and stronger enemies until finally, he made his way to the tenth floor. In the room that greeted him, a large armored figure awaited. The design of the armor was similar to that of the Darknuts he had fought earlier, but the size was too great for it to be one of them.

    Both Link and the Mighty Darknut unsheathed their swords and the battle commenced. They both ran in a clockwise circle and Link dropped a bomb from his pouch. The Mighty Darknut sidestepped to dodge the blast and swung down its greatsword above Link, who reacted by holding his Hylian Shield above his head to block the attack, then strafed his opponent and slashed the Might Darknut across its back. The Master Sword sliced through the thick armor like bread.

    The Mighty Darknut gave out a noise that sounded like a howl and quickly turned around, bashing Link with the flat side of its blade and knocking the hero to the ground. The Mighty Darknut raised its sword above Link and plunged it down. Link rolled out of the way of the attack and left behind a bomb that exploded as it was struck by the Mighty Darknut. Link took no time to hesitate as he slashed at the Mighty Darknut’s back again, this time causing the armor to fall off and he stabbed the Mighty Darknut in the back. The armored giant let out another howl as it exploded into a dark cloud, leaving behind a large purple and gold key.

    Link picked up the Boss Key and ascended the final set of stairs. As he reached their top he found a large set of doors. Link used the key to unlock the final doors and walked into Ganon’s throne room. Inside the large chamber, he found Princess Zelda lying on the floor and ran to her, ignoring the doors as they slammed shut behind him.

    Link reached out his hand to touch the princess’ cheek and found it to be cold. He had been too late to save her. Link turned around at the sound of slow clapping as Ganondorf walked up to him. In a blind fury, Link rose and tried to charge the King of Evil, but found that he could not move from the spot. A pair of Floormasters had grabbed him by the ankles and were holding him in place.

    “You’ve done well to make it this far, hero.” Ganondorf mocked as he walked up to Link, just out of the hero’s reach. “But I’m afraid you haven’t done well enough.”

    Two more Floormasters shot up from the stone floor and grabbed Link’s wrists, the shadowy black arms forcing the Master Sword out of his hand in the process.

    “I’m afraid you’ve only walked straight into my trap and that at long last I will gain what I have always sought after.” Ganondorf pulled out his own dark sword and impaled it through the helpless hero’s chest. As the now lifeless Link fell to the ground, the Triforce of Courage within him and Zelda’s Triforce of Wisdom both emerged from their bodies and floated in front of Ganondorf, who released his own Triforce of Power to join them.

    “At long last, the complete Triforce is mine.” He reached out to the sacred golden triangles. To his mild surprise, it was actually quite cool to the touch, despite holding such tremendous power. “And now I may make a wish upon it.”

    The King of Evil looked down upon his fallen enemies with a gloating smile. He remembered the countless other Zeldas and Links that he had faced over the centuries. Eventually, his thoughts came to the first pair he had encountered, back when he was still a mortal, and a stray thought popped into his head.

    “I wonder what it would have been like if we had allied together, rather than be enemies.”

    Ganondorf froze. He had just spoken those words aloud while touching the Triforce. But surely it wouldn’t count as his wish, though. He hadn’t phrased it as a question after all.

    As if to confirm his worries, the Triforce began to glow brightly. Ganondorf had but a moment to curse himself for his mistake before he felt his entire world melt away to nothingness as history was rewritten around him and reality was altered. The king of evil had met his final downfall, not at the hands of an enemy, but by a mere stray thought.
    Feel free to let me know what you think so far.
     
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    Majora's Incarnate likes this.
  2. Majora's Incarnate

    Wash
    (Mareep)
    Level 18
    Joined:
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    Thunder Stone ★★★Water Stone ★★★Dawn Stone ★★★★Cooler Gary Oak ★★★★★Legendary Triforce ★★
    That is instant karma. The second he finally kills both Zelda and Link, originally for good, He accidentally pretty much revives them, erasing all the progress he made. And now, he's working with them. *slow claps* "'You've done well to make it this far, villain.' Majora mocked as he read the first chapter, laughing at Ganondorfs mistake. 'But I'm afraid you haven't done well enough.'"

    In other words, great job! Like with SRB, you had another great plot twist and I can't wait until you update the story!
     
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  3. BZRich64

    BZRich64 Mustached Moderator

    Golden Lizard
    (Charmander)
    Level 10
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2017
    Posts:
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    PokéPoints:
    ₽1,686.2
    Zelda stood at the balcony just outside her room’s window, overlooking Hyrule field below. The wind blew through the land, making it seem as if emerald waves were rippling along the ground. She then looked up to see the radiant golden sunlight spread throughout the azure skies, punctuated only by a few pure white clouds drifting along. Zelda thought that she had never seen Hyrule look so beautiful before. But all that quickly came to a close.

    Massive, black clouds rolled in from all directions, passing along the ground and engulfing Hyrule in darkness. Zelda tried to flee from the clouds, but the reached her in a matter of seconds and everything went black. Zelda was filled with a hopeless despair as she could do nothing but stare into the endless abyss of nothingness. Then suddenly, without warning, the darkness lifted around her, to reveal that she was now standing in the middle of Hyrule Field, where she had been looking down on earlier. She turned to see a boy garbed in green standing behind her and to her left, with a fairy floating above him. On Zelda’s other side stood a large man in dark armor.

    The darkness peeled away a bit further to reveal seven more figures standing around them, who Zelda could not see as clearly as the first two. Together, the seven figures, the man, the boy and Zelda were able to repel the darkness altogether, until Hyrule was filled only with light.
    * * *​
    “Princess, it is time to wake up. You have a big day ahead of you.”

    Zelda opened her eyes as she was awakened by her attendant, Impa. The tall white-haired woman was standing over her, getting ready to push her out of bed.

    “Okay, I’m up, I’m up.” Zelda said as the young princess sat up. “But what’s going on that’s so important?”

    “Today is the first day of the peace talks with the Gerudo. You will be expected when their king arrives.”

    Zelda sighed and climbed out of bed. “Why do I need to be there?” She complained.

    “Because you are the princess and sole heir to the throne of Hyrule. It is your duty and responsibility to attend meetings with formal diplomates and royalty.”

    “But I can’t even attend the actual meetings, so what’s the point?” Zelda threw her discarded nightdress at Impa as she prepared to get dressed. The attendant swiftly caught the white silk gown and tossed it on the princess’ bed.

    “It promotes good relations and will help prepare you for when you will be the one who must perform these kinds of negotiations.”

    After Zelda finished putting on the triple-layered white and pink dress that she considered to be the highlight of her wardrobe, she went through her jewelry collection to find the proper accessories to go with it. She finally settled on a necklace, bracelets and belt that were all a matching gold.

    “How do I look?” She asked Impa as she did a twirl.

    “Beautiful, my lady. But you're forgetting something.”

    “Oh, right, my hat.” She walked back over to her changing area and came back a few minutes later with a headdress that matched the rest of her attire. “It’s so hard getting all of my hair tucked into this thing.”

    “Perhaps if you were to wear your tiara, as would be traditional…” Impa started to say as she walked towards the door to escort Zelda outside.

    “No thank you. That thing’s too tight. It gives me a headache if I wear it too long.”

    “You could get it resized. We have the best blacksmiths available to do so.”

    “Oh, let’s just go already. I’m sure my father is probably waiting impatiently for me already.”
    * * *​
    Ganondorf woke up at the break of dawn, as he did every morning. He lifted himself out of bed and walked over to a counter on the other side of his chambers were a water basin had been placed. He dipped his hands in the cool water and then began to wash his face as an attendant walked in.

    “Sire, everything is packed for your trip to Hyrule today. Would you like me to prepare your armor?”

    “Armor…” Ganondorf grumbled as he turned to the attendant. “No, I don’t think I will be needing my armor.”

    “Sire?” Confusion was evident in the attendant’s voice.

    “This is a diplomatic meeting after all.” Ganondorf explained. “It wouldn’t look good if I were to show up dressed like I was prepared for war. My ceremonial robes should do better.”

    “But Sire, your ceremonial robes are only for the most sacred of traditions.”

    Ganondorf turned to face his attendant. It was a young woman who had only recently entered his servitude and Ganondorf could tell that she was nervous.

    “I know.” The Gerudo king walked up to the attendant, who flinched as he rested his hand gently against her cheek. “My hopes with this meeting are to form a new tradition. A tradition of peace between our people and theirs. And what could possibly be more sacred than peace?”

    “The… the Holy Rain Festival?” The attendant stuttered.

    “It was a rhetorical question.” Ganondorf said as he pulled his hand back. “Now, if you would, go fetch my robes for me.”

    Ganondorf watched as the attendant left in a hurry to follow the king’s orders. If Ganondorf recalled correctly she had come from the Tantari settlement, entering his employ during the previous year’s Summer Solstice Festival. It was during that annual celebration that each of the Gerudo settlements would offer up one of their number to become a servant of the king and that the king would choose a servant to become one of his concubines. Ganondorf did not care for this ritual, but as the sole male member of their race, it was his responsibility to sire the next generation of Gerudo woman, and one day, the next male.

    The attendant returned with the dark black robes that Ganondorf had requested.

    “Here you are, my lord.” She bowed while handing the robes to him.

    “Very good.” Ganondorf said as he took the robes and began to put them on. “Now, send word to my caravan that I will be joining them shortly, so they should get ready to go.”

    “Yes, my lord.” The attendant left again, leaving Ganondorf alone to his thoughts.

    “We’ve been at war with Hyrule for generations.” Ganondorf tightened the light cloth belt around his waist, making sure that the red and green symbols remained clearly visible. “And at long last, that will come to a close.”

    “Greetings, your highness!” A familiar shrill cackle came in through the window as Ganondorf pulled on the outermost layer of his robes, a waist-length black piece with golden trim and large, baggy sleeves.

    “Hello, Mothers.” Ganondorf didn’t need to turn around to know that the Twinrova witches had just flown in on their brooms. “What may I do for you this morning?”

    “For us?” The older witch, Koume, asked in a mock offended tone. “We should be the ones helping you. It is your big day today.”

    “Yes.” Kotake added. “Today is the day that you will finally be able to move forward in our plans.”

    Ganondorf turned to face his surrogate mothers, the two who had raised him since he was but a baby.

    “Yes.” Ganondorf nodded satisfactorily. “Today we shall finally have peace between the kingdoms.”

    “No.” Kotake said. “I meant our other plans.”

    Ganondorf looked at the two in confusion.

    “You know, to take the Triforce and conquer all of Hyrule.”

    “Why would I want to do that? We have worked ages for this. I’m not going to throw everything away so easily. Why would you even suggest that?”

    “It was just a joke, of course.” Koume reached her wrinkled old hand over her sister’s mouth to silence her. “Just a bit of dark humor.”

    Ganondorf eyed the two crones warily before turning back and heading out.

    “What was that?” Kotake shrieked as she managed to wrestle Koume’s hand off of her.

    “Did you not sense it?” Koume asked worriedly. “It was gone. The darkness we’ve been cultivating in him all these years was just gone. Like his connection to the great Demise had been altogether severed.”

    “What?”

    “Something is going on here and we need to figure out what it is and put a stop to it. Ready yourself sister, we need to start our Plan B.”
     
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  4. Majora's Incarnate

    Wash
    (Mareep)
    Level 18
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2017
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    Thunder Stone ★★★Water Stone ★★★Dawn Stone ★★★★Cooler Gary Oak ★★★★★Legendary Triforce ★★
    Ganondorf being diplomatic for once, but not as some front? That's new.
    I still am Mc'Lovin it!
     
  5. BZRich64

    BZRich64 Mustached Moderator

    Golden Lizard
    (Charmander)
    Level 10
    Joined:
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    PokéPoints:
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    Deep in the Lost Woods of eastern Hyrule, there was a hidden village known as the Kokiri Forest that remained almost undisturbed by outsiders for longer than anyone could remember. It was in this village that Navi the fairy was searching for something.

    “Oh, come on. Where is it?” The small blue ball of light flew around the village. She checked the first building that she came across, a small shop carved out of a large tree stump. A girl was sitting on top of the shop who greeted Navi. Navi politely said hello back before flying off again, checking all of the other buildings she passed. Eventually, she reached the other end of the village and sighed in frustration.

    She begrudgingly turned around and saw the house that she had been looking for. Navi made a mad dash towards the object of her search and in the process slammed head first into a fence.

    “Ouch.” She moaned as she took a moment to recompose her senses. After a few seconds, she flew through a hole in the fence and made her way to the entrance of the treehouse. The inside of the treehouse was relatively sparse, with a few shelves and a small desk carved into its interior. On the opposite side from the doorway, a young boy no older than ten wearing a green tunic and laying sprawled out on a bed.

    “Hey!” Navi yelled. “Hey, wake up!”

    The boy stirred slightly in his sleep, but mad no sign that he would wake up. Navi then proceeded to jump up and down on the boy’s stomach, screaming her lungs out until finally the boy was jarred awake and fell off of his bed onto the hard wooden floor.

    “Finally.” Navi said as the boy pulled himself up. “You’re Link, right?”

    The boy nodded as he looked up at her.

    “Great. I’m Navi the fairy. The Great Deku Tree sent me to get you. He wants to talk to you.”

    A still drowsy Link yawned and pulled on his boots. He started to head out the door when he remembered something and turned back. Link grabbed a pointy green cap off of his desk and placed in on his head, the point flopping down behind him. The two then went outside and as Link was about to descend the staircase outside his house to the forest floor below, he saw a green haired girl running up to them.

    “Hey, Link!” She yelled up to Link as he climbed down where she was. “I’m surprised to see you’re already up. Is there something going on?”

    “Link has been summoned by the Great Deku Tree.” Navi stated matter-of-factly.

    “Oh, that’s exciting to here.” The girl, Saria, said. “And it looks like you finally have a fairy of your own, too. Now Mido won’t be able to make fun of you for being the only Kokiri without one. Well, anyway, I’ve got to go.”

    Saria then walked off, leaving Link and Navi to make their way to the sacred grounds outside of town where the Great Deku Tree rested. As they reached the border between the village and where the Great Deku Tree resided, Link was stopped by another boy.

    “Stop! Where do you think you’re going, you no-fairy freak?” The boy asked.

    “Link has been summoned by the Great Deku Tree.” Navi explained. “We’re on our way to answer that summons.”

    “Wait, what? You have a fairy now?” Mido lost himself for a second before reasserting his cocky attitude. “Why would the Great Deku Tree call for a wimp like you anyway, and not I, the Great Mido. I am the Chief of the Kokiri and can do anything you can and more.”

    “Just move aside, already.” Navi ordered.

    “You would presume to boss me around? Just who do you think you are to have that kind of authority?” Mido paused for a moment and then continued with a sly smile. “You know what, I will let you pass, but if you can come back with a sword and shield. Of course, I know a loser like you won’t be able to do it.”

    Link turned around and walked away wordlessly, Navi in tow. They made their way to the shop with a girl sitting on it that Navi had passed by earlier. Once inside of the store, Link reached into a pouch on his belt and pulled out a handful of rupees. He placed the rupees on the shopkeeper’s desk and pointed to something. The shopkeeper took the rupees, went up to the wall and pulled down a wooden shield with the Kokiri emblem painted on in red, handing it to Link. Link and the shopkeeper nodded at each other in satisfaction with the exchange and Link left the store.

    “Okay, that was certainly easier than I thought it would be.” Navi said. “But where are you possibly going to be able to find a sword?”

    Link thought about it for a moment and then headed off back in the direction his house was. The two went past it and up a slope to where the fence Navi slammed into was, which she glared at menacingly as Link approached a wall of dense brush and trees that served as the boundary of the Kokiri Woods. a wall of dense brush that served as the boundary of the Kokiri Woods.

    “What are we doing here?” Navi asked, confused. “This is just a dead end.”

    Link shrugged and pointed to a hollowed out log resting at the bottom of the wall that served as a small tunnel to the other side, then got down onto his hands and knees and crawled through it.

    “This doesn’t really seem like a good idea.” Navi said. “Are you sure you know what you’re doing?”

    On the other side of the hollowed-out log tunnel was a small maze filled with giant boulders that seemed to move of their own accord. Link made his way through the maze as if he had done so countless times before. It became clear to Navi that Link had been here enough to memorize the boulders’ patterns and they quickly made their way to the other end, where a large treasure chest waited.

    “What’s this?”

    Link opened up the chest and reached inside, pulling out a small sword with a wooden handle and a small ruby embedded into the hilt. Link held the sword proudly over his head as Navi looked on.

    “Link, are you really sure we should take this? It was probably left here for a reason.”

    Link nodded reassuringly and the two made their way back through the maze and into the Kokiri Forest again and then continued walking until they eventually made their way to where Mido was waiting for them.

    “Hey, I said you can’t go past here unless you have a sword and a shield!” Mido said as he blocked their way again. Link simply held out the items he had collected as Mido looked on in astonishment. “Wait a minute… you have a Deku Shield? And is that… is that the Kokiri Sword? I thought I hid that…” Mido held his hands up in frustration before putting them back down and slumping over slightly. “You know what, never mind, you can go.”

    Mido held his head low as he begrudgingly got out of the way. Link and Navi made their way through a long passage lined with Deku Babas before they finally made their way to where the Great Deku Tree was waiting.

    The Great Deku Tree was a massive tree, hundreds of years old. The wise old tree spirit appeared to have a face, with two big hollowed out eyes above a cluster of leaves that formed a mustache.

    “Great Deku Tree!” Navi shouted as they approached the wise elder tree. “I’m back. And I brought Link like you wanted me to.”

    “Ah, Navi.” The tree spoke. His voice was slow and deep. “And Link. It is good to see you both, but I wish it were under better circumstances. You see, an old witch has placed a curse on me. I’m dying even as we speak.”

    “What?” Navi screamed. “How could this happen?”

    “The witch came and tried to take the Kokiri’s Emerald, a most priceless treasure of great importance that I guard. When I would not let her take it, she summoned a mighty parasite to infect me. Even as we speak, the creature is rotting away at my insides. The only way to stop it is for you, Link, to go in and slay it. Do not fear, though. I know you have it in you to perform this task.”

    Link nodded solemnly as a panicked Navi turned back and forth between them. The Great Deku tree suddenly opened up a large entrance into itself underneath its leafy mustache that made it look like he was opening up his mouth to swallow something.

    “Now go. Please be quick, but remember that your own safety is more important. Be careful.”
     
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  6. BZRich64

    BZRich64 Mustached Moderator

    Golden Lizard
    (Charmander)
    Level 10
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2017
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    "Welcome, King Ganondorf Dragmire of the Gerudo Desert!" The King of Hyrule said as Ganondorf entered the royal throne room.

    "Greetings, King Daltus Harkinian Hyrule V." Ganondorf said in return as he bowed before the other king. "It is a great honor to finally meet you in person."

    "The same." King Daltus stood up from his throne and walked over to the kneeling Ganondorf and motioned for him to stand up. "There is no need for you to bow before me, for today we are equals working towards a common cause: peace."

    Ganondorf rose to his feet. The tall Gerudo King stood almost two feet higher than the relatively stout King of Hyrule. King Daltus was also a fair bit older than Ganondorf was, as evidenced by the fact that his once light brown hair was turning an even lighter gray.

    "Words cannot express how proud I am to be the one to finally lead my people into a peaceful era." Ganondorf said to the shorter king. "War was ravaged through the lands for far too long."

    "That is something I think we can all agree on." King Daltus replied. "But before we get to our negotiations, I'm sure you and your people are all very hungry after your travels to get here."

    Ganondorf's stomach answered for him as the thought of food made the Gerudo realize that he had not eaten anything since that morning.

    "I'll take that as a yes. Fortunately, we prepared a great feast in honor of your arrival."

    King Daltus lead Ganondorf away to the dining hall. As they walked, Ganondorf happened to turn to the throne were Daltus had sat when he entered. Besides the impressive golden throne was a smaller one of the same design, upon which Princess Zelda sat. Ganondorf noted that the princess eyed him with a wary gaze as if she was not sure what to make of him. In fact, he didn't think she had looked away from him at all since he had arrived. Ganondorf was a bit unsettled by this behavior, but his mind was soon pulled away as he and King Daltus left the throne room and the delicious smell of food wafted through the hallways.
    * * *​
    After the banquet, Ganondorf and Daltus retreated to King Daltus' meeting chambers in order to begin work on the new peace treaty, leaving Zelda to her own devices.

    "I know I've seen him somewhere." Zelda muttered to herself. "But where?"

    The princess absently wandered through the royal gardens. The gardens had been commissioned by one of her ancestors long ago and had been maintained and added onto ever since. In addition to containing various flowers and exotic plants from throughout the lands of Hyrule, the royal gardens were also filled with magnificent statues carved by the greatest stoneworkers and craftsmen in the kingdom's long history.

    Three stone statues stood at the entrance of the gardens, each depicting one of the three Golden Goddesses of Hyrule. Din was launching fiery blasts down from her hands to symbolize her creation of the land of Hyrule. Naryu was writing in a book to show her creating the laws by which Hyrule governed. Farore was holding a small bird in one hand while various animals gathered around her to show her creation of all life within Hyrule. Between the Goddesses, the symbols of the Triforce was painted along the ground depicting the Triforce, the embodiment of their power that they left in Hyrule as one final gift before they departed the land. In the center of the Triforce stood a fourth statue, smaller than the other three, which depicted the Hylians' patron deity and the protector of the Triforce, Hylia.

    Zelda walked by the Goddess statues without so much as a glance up at them. She walked right by the busts of the early kings of Hyrule that lined the pathway until she reached a fork in the path. Going right would take her through the rest of the garden while going left led to the entrance of a small pavilion. Zelda took the left path.

    As Zelda stepped up into the pavilion, she headed towards a stone bench and sat down. She looked at the center of the stone structure, at the point where the pavilion, no, the entire garden, had been built around.

    "Is something wrong, your highness?" Zelda did not react as Impa walked out of the shadows and into view. Even when she could not see her attendant anywhere, Zelda knew that she was always there. Watching her and making sure she was safe.

    "No," Zelda said at last. "or yes. I don't know yet."

    "Well, clearly something is troubling you. This is the spot where you always go when you have something important on your mind."

    Zelda looked up at Impa and then back to the silver and gold object sticking out from a pedestal in the center of the area, where it had rested undisturbed for hundreds of years.

    Zelda sighed and spoke her mind. She knew it was pointless to try hiding anything from Impa. The Sheikah always had a way of finding things out one way or another. "I'm not sure that I trust King Ganondorf. Something about him seems off. I fell that I've seen him before. In my nightmares."

    "You mean in your dream." Impa said seriously. "The one where Hyrule is covered in darkness."

    "Yes. I cannot say for sure what this means, but it makes me uneasy."

    "I am sure that you will be able to figure out what is best."

    "I suppose now we just wait for a boy in green accompanied by a fairy." Zelda chuckled.

    "Did someone call for a fairy in green?"

    In a flash, Impa threw a knife up into the air. Zelda heard a loud popping sound and then a thump as a short, portly man in a green and red outfit fill to the ground a little way off. Impa raised her hand and made a motion towards the man, calling two of her Sheikah followers to step out from their hiding places and drag the man away to the dungeons.

    "I do not know how that man is able to so easily make his way through our guards and defenses." Impa mused. "If it were up to me he would have been hanged a long time ago."

    "I think he's kind of funny." Zelda said.

    "He is a crazy man who serves as a danger to himself and those around him. Although this does remind me that I must speak with the captain of the guard. Security has become a little too lax around here for my liking."

    Zelda turned back to the object in the pedestal in front of her and reflected back on what was happening.

    "My dream was different last night." She suddenly recalled.

    "How so?"

    "I… I don't remember." Zelda thought for a moment, trying to force a memory of the dream to return to her, but she had no such luck. "I just remember that it was different."

    "Well, I'm sure it will come back to you in time. Perhaps you will have the dream again tonight and you will be able to recite it to me in the morning when it is still fresh in your mind."

    "Yes. I suppose that's what I'll have to do." Zelda looked back to the object in the pedestal. "Hyrule has been plagued by darkness countless times throughout history, but light has always been able to conquer the darkness. And here before us is the balance between those two sides."

    "What do you mean?" Impa asked the young princess.

    "This is the Four Sword, one of the two Sacred Swords of Hyrule and a tool twice used to save Hyrule from darkness." Zelda explained. "And yet it can not be removed from this pedestal because it now serves as a vessel for the darkness it was used to seal away. In many ways, this sword serves as a metaphor for Hyrule itself."

    "But the sword itself is not of darkness." Impa argued.

    "No, but that does not matter." Zelda continued. "The sword may be of light, but darkness still resides inside of it."

    "I suppose that is true."

    "What do you think ever happened to the other sword?" Zelda asked.

    "Do you mean the Master Sword?"

    "Yes. It is probably the most famous artifact in history, and yet there has been no sign of it countless centuries."

    "I cannot say. The legends do not speak of what happened to it after it was last used to defeat evil."

    The evening sun reflected off of the Four Sword's golden hilt. The emerald jewel encased within its pommel shone brightly. Zelda looked intently at the black engraving on the guard and for a moment it looked like the eye-like emblem was staring back at her.

    "I think it's time we returned to the castle." The princess said warily.
     
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  7. BZRich64

    BZRich64 Mustached Moderator

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    Link sheathed his sword before his fallen foe. The corpse of Queen Gohma shriveled up and burst into dark flames as the parasite burnt away, leaving nothing but a large heart-shaped gemstone laced in gold wire. A blue ring of light appeared on the opposite side of the room.

    “Way to go!” Navi cheered Link on in his victory. “That’s a Heart Container. I’ve heard that anyone who manages to find one will have their life increased if they use it.”

    Link reached out to the Heart Container, which disappeared with his touch. Link held his hand over his chest as he felt the energy of the Heart Container flow into him. It was a warm feeling, one which made him feel stronger and more confident in himself.

    “Now, let’s go check in with the Great Deku Tree.” Navi said as she flew over to the blue ring of light. “This should take us back outside.”

    Link followed the fairy and stepped into the light. A blue crystal of magic formed around him and he felt the whole world spin around him as the inside of the Deku Tree melted away into the grove just outside. The crystal vanished just as quickly as it had appeared, leaving Link and Navi in front of the Great Deku Tree.

    “Very good.” The Great Deku Tree said as he saw Link and Navi. “But I am afraid that you were too late.”

    “What do you mean?” Navi asked frantically.

    “It would appear that my fate had already been sealed the moment that parasite infected me. I am afraid that these are my last moments.”

    “No.” Navi tried hard not to cry. “You can’t go. Not now.”

    “I am afraid I have no choice. But before I pass on from this mortal realm, I have one final request to make of you. I need you to bring this to the Princess of Hyrule, Zelda.”

    A green gem encased in a golden frame that resembled the Kokiri emblem slowly fell from the Great Deku tree’s upper branches into Link’s outstretched hand.

    “What is it?” Navi asked.

    “This is the Kokiri’s Emerald. I do not know for what reason the witch cursed me, but I fear she was after this. It is no longer safe here for it, which is why I must ask this of you. Bring the Emerald to the princess in Hyrule Castle. She is the only one who will be able to protect it now. Will you accept this request?”

    “Of course.” Navi said as Link nodded.

    “Good, thank you. And now I am afraid I must go. Goodbye, Link. Goodbye, Navi. Goodbye, all of my children!”

    With that, the Great Deku Tree seemed to darken and wither. Where once stood the guardian of the forest, was now little more than a dead tree. Link wiped his puffy red eyes with his arm and turned to leave. There was no reason for him to stay any longer and he needed to fulfill the Great Deku Tree’s final request.

    Link walked back through the Kokiri Forest, which lacked the life and luster it normally seamed to hold as all of the Kokiri mourned the loss of their father and mentor. The one who had given them everything.

    Link reached the hollowed out tree trunk that served as the exit of the Kokiri Forest. He held in a deep breath as he left his home for the first time and walked through, reaching a wooden bridge. Link made it halfway along the bridge before he turned around to see Saria walking after him.

    “You’re leaving.” It was a statement, not a question. “The Great Deku Tree just passed away and now you’re leaving too.”

    Saria sniffled as she looked at Link through watery eyes. Navi watched in silence as Link raised his hand as if he were going to say something, but he was cut off by Saria suddenly running up to him and hugging him tightly.

    “I always knew this day would come.” Saria whispered into Link’s pointed ear. “I just never thought it would come so soon. You’ve never really fit in here. You’ve always felt the need to do more, be more than you ever could here. The Great Deku Tree described it to me once as ‘wanderlust’. It was only a matter of time before you had to leave.” She gently released her grip on him and placed something in Link’s hand. “Take this to remember me by. To remember all of us.”

    Link looked down at the Fairy Ocarina he was no holding, identical in every way to the one Saria would always play. He had to wipe the tears from his eyes again as he placed the instrument in his pouch and took a few steps back. The pain of leaving his home and Saria grew too much for the boy and he was forced to turn around and run away. Otherwise, he wasn’t sure he would be able to leave at all now. Navi took one last look back at Saria before flying after Link, and for the first time in either of their lives, they left the Kokiri Forest.

    Link took his first steps into Hyrule Field cautiously. Without the treetops filtering out the sunlight, the open area was both brighter and hotter than Link or Navi were used to, but they were able to adjust relatively quickly. Link looked around at the wide open space before him, suddenly invigorated by the thought of being able to explore what was effectively a whole new world to him.

    “Now where do we go?” Navi wondered aloud.

    “Hoo, hoot! You wouldn’t happen to be looking for the castle, would you?”

    Link and Navi both looked up to see a large, brown owl perched on the top of a dead tree nearby.

    “Who are you?” Navi asked the giant bird.

    “My name is Kaepora Gaebora, hoo. If you’re going to the castle, it’s over in that direction.” The owl spread its left wind out to the northeast. “Here, why don’t you take this map of Hyrule. I know the area well enough that I don’t really need it for myself, hoo hoot.”

    Kaepora Gaebora tossed down a rolled up piece of paper with one of his talons, which Link was able to catch before it hit the ground.

    “Thank you.” Navi said, surprised by the owl’s generosity.

    “It’s no problem at all. As I said, I don’t need a map, so it makes more sense for you to have it. I’m afraid I must take my leave now, so farewell and good luck on your journey. May we meet again, hoot.”

    Kaepora Gaebora spread his wings out far and took off, soaring back over the forest that Link and Navi had just come from.

    “Wow.” Navi said, a little in shock. “Uh, I guess we should get going now too.”

    Link tucked the map into the pouch along his belt like the other items he had been given and set out in the direction the owl had pointed. The boy and fairy traveled through Hyrule Field for about half the day before the finally reached a large settlement.

    “Is this it?” Navi asked. “I’ve never seen a castle before, but I feel like that stone tower over there might be it.”

    Link shrugged his shoulders to show that he didn’t know either and walked past the outer gate surrounding the area. The pair were greeted by a sign overhead between two buildings that said “Lon Lon Ranch in Hylian script. Just outside of one of the buildings was a brown-haired man with a large mustache stacking a pile of hay bales. Link approached the man cautiously.

    “Stupid Talon and his stupid ranch. Why do I, Ingo, have to do all the work around here?” The man muttered to himself before he turned around and noticed Link standing there. “What do you want? Can’t you see I’m busy?”

    “We were trying to get to the castle.” Navi pointed herself towards the stone tower.

    “I don’t… what?” Ingo was flabbergasted when he suddenly noticed the fairy, but then realized what she was saying. “That’s not a castle, you idiot. Now go, the ranch is closed right now anyway.” He motioned for them to leave, which they did.

    “Well, that was rude.” Navi said angrily as they made their way back into the open Hyrule Field. “I suppose we should probably just check the map now, right Link? Link?”

    Navi looked over to where Link was standing and saw that his attention was on something off in the distance. Navi looked over and immediately realized what he was looking at.

    “Hey, there’s something over there!” She said. “Do you think that could be the castle?”

    Navi looked back to where Link had been standing, but he was already running off to see what it was.

    “Hey! Come back here!” Navi shouted after Link as she tried to catch up to him. ”Wait for me!”
     
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  8. BZRich64

    BZRich64 Mustached Moderator

    Golden Lizard
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    “I think that should be enough for tonight.” King Daltus put down his feather quill and looked down at the parchment he had just been writing on. “I must say, we’ve made a lot more progress than I was expecting.”

    “Well, it just goes to show what great minds can do when working towards a noble cause.” Ganondorf stood up and stretched his legs.

    “I couldn’t have said it better myself. In fact, it almost makes me wonder why we were even at war to begin with.” Daltus laughed as he stood up himself.

    “Your ancestor killed my grandfather nearly three hundred years ago.” Ganondorf said seriously.

    “Oh.” King Daltus stopped laughing. “That… isn’t what our history books say.”

    “I’m not surprised.” Ganondorf shrugged, showing a surprising level nonchalance about the situation. “You Hylians have a history of, well, changing history.”

    “I’m terribly sorry.” King Daltus tried his best to come up with a way to salvage the situation while he still could.

    “But we are not out ancestors.” Ganondorf said, to King Daltus’s relief. “Your people may have wronged mine in the past, but we have been no better to your people. We need to learn from the mistakes of the past and work towards a better future.”

    “Those are very wise words indeed.” King Daltus agreed. “I don’t think I could have put it nearly as well.”

    “Gerudo scribes tend to be very…” Ganondorf searched his memory for the proper Hylian word, “poetic, and as king, it is my duty to be well versed in our records and history. Some of their prose may have rubbed off on me, so to speak.”

    “Yes, that would certainly make sense. Our historical texts tend to be rather plain and straight to the point. To be honest, it can be rather hard to read through them sometimes.” Daltus adjusted his robes and walked around his desk to stand by Ganondorf. “Anyway, I think it is time that we part ways for the night and get some rest. The leaders of the other races should arrive tomorrow so that we can all meet together to discuss the future of Hyrule.”

    “Very well then.” Ganondorf bowed slightly and turned towards the door. “I will look forward to it. In the meantime, may the sands of dreams bless you this night.”

    Daltus blinked as Ganondorf headed out. “Is that a Geudo saying?”

    “Yes.” Ganondorf replied. “It means that I hope you have good dreams.”

    “Okay, then. In that case, I wish sands of dreams bless you as well, then. Though normally we just say good night here.”
    * * *​
    Zelda made her way back to her room, with Impa following close behind. She made sure to pass by her father’s council chamber in the hope that she would be able to hear some of what they were talking about, but she was not so lucky.

    “I still don’t trust them.” She muttered once they were safely in her room and she was sure she would not be overheard. “I mean, we’ve been at war forever. Why would they suddenly want to end it now?”

    “Are you saying that we should still be at war?” There was a slight accusatory tone in Impa’s voice.

    “No, that’s not what I meant.” Zelda tried to defend herself. “I meant… I don’t know. I just feel that something is off about this whole situation.”

    “Is this about the change to your dream?” Impa asked.

    “No, it’s not that.” Zelda fell backward onto her bed and stared up at the ceiling. “I don’t really know what it is.”

    “Do you think that Ganondorf may be the one from your dream, who will bring darkness to Hyrule?” Impa suggested.

    “No… yes… maybe...” Zelda sighed. “I don’t know what to think anymore. I still don’t remember what actually happened in my dream last night other than it was different than all of the previous times that I’ve had it. He might have been the darkness from my earlier dreams, but I don’t think it was the same as the darkness from my new one.”

    “Perhaps it would simply be for the best that you simply get ready for bed now. You might be able to get things sorted out after a good night’s rest.”

    “Yes, maybe your right.” Zelda sighed again as she got back up. “Although I have a feeling that I’ll have a hard time getting to sleep tonight.”

    “Perhaps a lullaby would help you find rest?”

    “Yes, that would be nice. Thank you.”
    * * *​
    Ganondorf walked through the hallways of Hyrule Castle, following the woman that had been tasked with showing him to his room. King Daltus had initially asked a servant boy to show him the way, but Ganondorf had insisted on a girl instead. While he was able to put his feelings aside when meeting with the King of Hyrule, Ganondorf had never really been comfortable with being around other men. He had spent his entire life with only women around him and found that he much preferred their presence.

    “Tell me, what is your name?” Ganondorf asked the servant girl.

    “W-what?” The servant stuttered, her voice practically a squeak.

    “Your name. Certainly you have one. After all, only slaves don’t have names and you’re people don’t practice slavery.”

    “M-my name?” The servant repeated, clearly overwhelmed with nerves and fear. Ganondorf could tell easily that she found his presence offsetting, and he could not blame her. “M-my n-name is L-Laidie, your Highness.”

    “Oh, I did not realize that you were a noblewoman.” Ganondorf said. “Lady what?”

    “N-no, sir.” She shook her head. “I-it’s not a title. My name is just Laidie.”

    “My apologies.” Ganondorf bowed his head slightly in acknowledgment of his mistake. “So, Laidie, how long have you worked here at the castle.”

    “W-why do you w-want to know, sir?”

    “I’m just trying to make conversation.” Ganondorf explained. “This walk would be dreadfully boring if we just walked in silence.”

    “W-well, sir.” Laidie stopped walking and motioned to the door that they had just reached. “Y-you won’t have to worry about that any l-longer. W-we’re here.”

    “Very well then.” Ganondorf opened the door and walked inside his room, then turned and looked back at the girl. “That will be all.”

    Laidie nodded and quickly turned to leave as Ganondorf closed the door. He went over to the bed that he would be using during his stay here at the castle. As he began to pull off his robes, he thought of how nervous Laidie had been acting. Was she always like that or was it his presence that filled her with such unease. Ganondorf assumed that it must be the latter and he couldn’t blame her for it. After all, he was the king of the Gerudo, the people that her’s had been at war with for a very long time until recently. It was even likely that she had lost family in the war or even at the hands of the many Gerudo who had turned to a life of banditry. Even without all of that, Ganondorf was a large, imposing figure who could intimidate many without even trying.

    Ganondorf turned and found a mirror hung on the wall. He walked over to it and stared at his reflection. His large, muscular frame was covered in scars both big and small. In many ways, they served as a reminder of the life he wanted to put behind him, not just for himself, but for everyone. He had gone through a lot in the war. It had shaped him into the man he was. But he did not want those who came after him to have to go through those same trials. He was working towards a better future, one that he sincerely hoped was now in reach.

    After a moment spent lost in thought, Ganondorf suddenly noticed something about his reflection. His complexion seemed to have changed. He looked down at his body to make sure that it wasn’t just a trick of the light. Sure enough, his skin was the same deep tan color as that his many sisters and daughters all shared. But that couldn’t be right. His skin had always had a green tinge to it, the same as the Twinrova sisters, Koume and Kotake, who had raised him.

    “What’s going on?” He wondered aloud as he stepped up closer to the mirror to look at his face in more detail.
     
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  9. BZRich64

    BZRich64 Mustached Moderator

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    Navi flew around Hyrule Castle Town, desperately trying to find any sign of Link. She had never been anywhere like the colorful and extremely busy town, which made her quite disoriented as she made her way around. Eventually, she happened to spot his green hat among the crowd in the central plaza and she swooped down to him.

    “There you are, Link! Don’t run off like that!” She scolded him.

    “Oh, wow! I’ve never seen a fairy before.”

    Navi turned to see a red-headed girl around Link’s age. “Yeah, yeah. That’s nice. Now, Link, I think I can find a way for us to get the castle from here, though it might take a while to get there.”

    “Actually…” the red-haired girl spoke up, “I’ve already agreed to show Link the way to the castle.”

    “What?” Navi uttered in astonishment.

    “My father went to deliver milk to the castle, but never came back. I want to go look for him but the guards won’t let anyone pass. So, Link offered to help me find my father in exchange for showing him the way.”

    “Well, I guess that makes things easier.” Navi felt a little embarrassed by how easily Link was able to find a guide to the castle while she had gotten so easily lost just wandering the town.

    “My name’s Malon, by the way.” The red-headed girl introduced herself.

    “I’m Navi.”

    “Well, we should probably leave now if we want to get to the castle before dark, so let’s go.” Malon turned around and waved for Link and Navi to follow her.

    The trio made their way along a trail leading north out of town. They eventually came across a sharp right turn where they stopped.

    “The first gate is just up ahead.” Malon whispered. “The security on the castle is stricter than usual right now for some reason, so no one is allowed past here without special clearance. Unfortunately, we don’t really have a way of going around the gate unless we can find a way up this cliff. Do you have any ideas?”

    Link looked up at the cliff running along the right side of the path, examining it closely. His gaze eventually fell upon some vines that were growing up the side at one part. He walked over to them and grabbed hold of the largest vine. He tugged on it to test the strength of the vine and nodded satisfactorily when it didn’t budge.

    “I’m not sure that I’d be able to climb up that.” Malon said.

    Link walked up to Malon and turned his back to her, kneeling down slightly.

    “Are you sure?” Malon asked.

    Link nodded to her and Malon hesitantly put her arms over his shoulders and hooked her legs around his torso, which was hard for her to do with the long skirt she was wearing. Link stood back up with a grunt and walked over to the vines. He grabbed hold of the largest vine again and pulled himself up with great effort. He managed to make his way up slowly but surely. At last, they reached the top.

    “Wow, I wasn’t sure that would work.” Malon said in pleasant surprise as she climbed off of Link’s back and Link sat down on the cold, damp grass to catch his breath. “You must be really strong.”

    Link blushed slightly and scratched the back of his head in mild embarrassment.

    “So we made it up here.” Navi said. “Now what?”

    “From this point on it should just be a matter of making our way north to the castle while avoiding the guards patrolling the main path. At least until we get to the gate just outside the castle, anyway. I’m not really sure how we’ll get past that one, but I’m sure we’ll find a way.”

    “Well if it’s as easy as it was getting past the first one, then I’m sure we’ll get to the castle in no time. Right, Link?”

    Link fell back onto the ground and took several deep breaths.

    “Or… maybe not.” Navie sighed.

    Malon went over to sit beside Link as he waited for his strength to return to him.

    “I’ve never been up here before.” She said. “It’s a bit of a different view than from down below. Kind of nice here, actually. I wonder how many people have actually been up here.”

    Link rolled back up onto his feet and Malon stood up as well. They walked to the northeast, staying as far away from the main path as they could to avoid getting caught by any of the guards. The way eventually curved up northward until they reached a fork in the road. The main path went to the left, away from them, but a secondary path going right cut right across the field they were walking across.

    “You know, I’ve never actually been down this way before.” Malon noted. “I’ve been along the main road to help my dad with deliveries before, but this way has always been blocked off. Can we just quickly see where this leads? It might be a secret way into the castle or something.”

    Link nodded and Navi didn’t object, so Malon headed down the right path and the others followed. They quickly came to a dead end, however, as the path led straight into a giant boulder propped up against the side of a cliff.

    “I guess this is why the path is always blocked off.” Malon said. “I wonder if this was an old mine or something that they blocked off for some reason.”

    Link spotted a sign to the side of the path and went over to read it. Malon saw him walking to it and followed him.

    “Great Fairy Fountain.” Navi read aloud from over Link’s shoulder. “Wait, there’s a Great Fairy here?”

    “What’s a Great Fairy?” Malon asked.

    “Great Fairies are the oldest and most powerful fairies in Hyrule.” Navi explained. “They say that anyone who manages to find one will be blessed with an incredible power.”

    “That sounds amazing.” Malon said. “If only we had a way of getting past this rock, though…”

    Link spotted something and ran up to the builder. Malon and Navi followed him, both curious as to what he found. Link walked around of the side of the boulder, where it touched the cliff and bent down. A small hole had formed there that looked just big enough for someone Link’s size. Link waved back at the others and got down on his hands and knees to crawl through the hole. Malon hesitated, but went in after him, followed by Navi. The three were shocked by what they found inside.

    Sparkling lights ran down the black walls of the cave like a waterfall of colorful starts. Ethereal blue flames also lined the walls, shedding light down onto the white tiled floor and illuminating the Triforce emblem etched into the ground in front of a pristine pool of water that seemed to emanate some sort of powerful magic.

    Link and Malon both walked up to the pool and looked down into the water. There didn’t seem to be anything there at first, but suddenly a small ball of light formed at the bottom and rose up past the surface of the water to stop, floating in the air in front of them. The ball erupted into a flash of blinding white light and suddenly the figure of a large woman dressed in leaves sat in the air above the pool. Link and Malon stood in shock as the woman began to laugh loudly.

    “Welcome children!” The strange woman said. “I am the Great Fairy of Magic. It’s been a long time since I’ve had any visitors here.”

    “That’s probably because of the boulder blocking the way.” Malon pointed out.

    “Is that so?” The Great Fairy asked, bemused. “I wonder how long that’s been there.”

    Magic sparks flew from the Great Fairy’s hand as she flicked her wrist and the boulder at the cave entrance suddenly shrunk down into a pebble.

    “Well, now that that’s taken care of, what can I do for you lovely kids?” The Great Fairy leaned forward in the air as if she was lying on top of some invisible platform and folded her arms in front of her.

    “Well, we were looking for a way to get to the castle without getting caught by the guards.” Malon explained. “I’m looking for my father and Link here needs to speak with the Princess.”

    “Is that all?” The Great Fairy acted as if what they were asking was nothing at all. “Very well then, I can help you with that. But before that, I want to thank you for pointing out the blocked entrance way to me. How about I give you this?”

    The Great Fairy snapped her fingers and some sort of red crystal materialized in the air above her hand and floated down to Link. He reached his left hand out to take the crystal, which dissolved at his touch. Link felt a sensation pulse through his body that felt like he was engulfed in flame, though it didn’t hurt at all. A moment later and the feeling was gone.

    “That was Din’s Fire.” The Great Fairy explained. “It’s powerful magic spell that will allow you to create and control fire. It will be a while before you will be able to make use of it, but I’m sure that it will be helpful to you later on in your journeys.”

    Link opened his mouth to thank the Great Fairy, but Navi interrupted.

    “Thank you.” The blue fairy said. “You are too kind.”

    “It’s nothing at all.” The Great Fairy laughed. “Now, let’s get you to the castle. Ta-tah, for now.”

    The Great Fairy reached her hand out and the trio of Link, Malon and Navi were enveloped by an orange light. The next thing they knew, they were standing in a dark, damp corridor. The only source of light they had was the faint blue glow emanating from Navi.

    “Is this the castle?” Navi asked, confused. “It’s a lot… gloomier than I expected.”

    “I think she may have sent us to the old dungeons below the castle.” Malon said as she reached her hand out to feel the cold stone wall.

    “Why would the Great Fairy do that?”

    “Well, we did say that we didn’t want to be caught by the guards and as from what I’ve heard these dungeons have been abandoned for ages. Maybe she thought that the best way for us to sneak in was to make our way up from here? What do you think?”

    Malon turned to Link, who was staring at his left hand, which he held up as if he was holding some invisible object that neither Malon or Navi could see. Navi was just about to ask him what he was going when suddenly a small flame flickered out of his palm for a second.

    “Wow!” Malon said encouragingly. “You really can control fire now!”

    Link tried again and another flame flickered in his hand. This one managed to last several seconds before going out. He tried a third time and the fire stayed, dancing around his palm as he held his hand out to light the way ahead. Now that they had two sources of light, Link, Malon and Navi were able to make their way through the dark corridors as they tried to navigate around the abandoned dungeons. They eventually stopped as they reached a small stream running through some kind of gutter along the side of the hallway.

    Link turned in the direction that the water was flowing from and motioned for Malon and Navi to follow him. They continued to walk for what felt at least half an hour before finally reaching what appeared at first to be a dead end. There was a small opening at the bottom corner of the wall where the water was flowing in from that was blocked off with iron bars. Link lifted his hand to illuminate the rest of the wall, where they found a wooden door.

    “Do you think this could be the way out?” Navi asked the others.

    “There’s only one way to find out.” Malon walked up to the door and tried to open it. The door wouldn’t budge at first, but then Link extinguished the fire in his hand and went to help her push it open. Their combined strength proved to be enough to force the door to swing open.

    The light was blinding at first, but once their eyes adjusted, Link, Malon and Navi found themselves just outside of Hyrule Castle, between the moat and the perimeter fence. Navi flew up and looked around for any guards, but the only person in sight was a plump middle-aged man in a red shirt and blue overalls that was sleeping beside several large crates of milk.

    “Daddy!” Malon ran up to the man and shook his arm until he finally woke up.

    “Huh, what’s that?” Malon’s father mumbled as he got to his feet. “Malon? How did you get here?”

    “This boy helped me find you.” Malon pointed at Link. “You didn’t come back after you went to deliver the milk so I thought you might have gotten in trouble because of the extra security at the castle. But instead, we found you out here taking a nap again.”

    “Oh, right.” Malon’s father blushed and stroked the back of his head. “I, uh, was feeling kind of tired so I stopped to rest my eyes for a moment and I guess I must have dozed off.”

    “I can’t believe you!” Malon screamed furiously.

    “Now, now, there’s no reason to raise your voice. It was just an accident. Now come along. I managed to get the milk here where they’re going to pick up later, so we should be heading back now.”

    Malon’s father grabbed her by the hand and the two started to walk off. Before they left, Malon turned back to Link.

    “Thank you for helping me!” She called out to him. “Good luck with the princess!”

    Link waved goodbye until they went around the corner to the front of the castle and were out of sight, then turned his attention to the castle itself.

    “Well, now that that’s over how are we supposed to actually get in here?” Navi wondered aloud.

    Link looked around and spotted an opening in the wall where water was flowing out that looked like it would be just big enough for him to fit through and one like the one leading into the dungeons there were no bars blocking it off. All Link had to do now was find a way to get to it.
     
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  10. BZRich64

    BZRich64 Mustached Moderator

    Golden Lizard
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    Zelda yawned as she stretched her arms and climbed out of bed with a groan. She hadn’t slept well that night and wanted nothing more than to just go back to bed. But unfortunately, she would be expected to make a token appearance for their guests today as a sign of goodwill, or whatever nonsense had been planned out for her today.

    She took her time getting dressed as she tried to run through the events of her dream in her head. She could remember standing in Hyrule Field as darkness closed in around her, only for it to be expelled by the combined light cast by herself, the boy in green, the man in black and seven obscured figures standing around them. The details her a bit clearer in her mind this time, but she still had no idea why it was different than her old dream or what the changes meant.

    Once she had finished, Zelda walked out from behind the large, exotic folding screen that had been set up in her room so that she could at least feel like she had a bit of privacy while she changed. Though, with the Sheikah guard around it was safe to assume that nothing was truly private. It also had a highly decorative mural painted onto the thin wooden boards depicting some sort of battle between two foreign deities that she wasn’t familiar with, a demon being repelled by some sort of warrior god. She may not have known the significance of the mural but it was certainly a nice change of pace from all of the Triforce imagery present in everything else in the castle. As an added bonus, it was also fun to see the royal priest’s reactions to knowing that she had it. He would rather have it burned and replaced with a replica depicting the Goddesses’ creation of Hyrule but Zelda was insistent on keeping it and if Zelda wanted to keep something like this, then Impa wanted her to have it and no one went against Impa on these matters.

    “I had the dream again.” Zelda announced to the apparently empty room.

    “Do you remember it more clearly this time?” Impa said as she stepped out from the shadows in the far corner of the room.

    “Yes.” Zelda replied with a sense of concern that made Impa warry. “It’s even more vivid in my head than I expected. The darkness… it was even greater than it was in my old dream and seemed to come from… everywhere.

    “That does not bode well.” Impa commented. “It would seem that Hyrule is destined to face an even greater threat than we imagined.”

    “Yes.” Zelda muttered nervously. “But what could it be? When the darkness of my dream came from the man in black I was sure that it was an omen of what would happen when the king of the Gerudo got here. I was so sure that he would be the darkness, but now? Now the man of black stands beside the boy in green and… me.”

    “You?” Impa asked, though it was clear that she wasn’t as surprised by this detail as Zelda herself was.

    “Yes.” Zelda’s sat down on the side of her bed. “I can see it clearly. I was standing in the middle of Hyrule Field as the darkness approached. To my right was the same boy in green from my old dream, with a fairy flying above him. To my left was the man in black. Ganondorf, the man in black was definitely Ganondorf. And standing around us were six, no, seven other people helping us to fend off the darkness. I couldn’t see them as clearly as the boy or Ganondorf, though, but I am sure that one of them was you.”

    “It is certainly interesting that fate would change so much.” Impa mused. “What are you going to do now?”

    “I don’t know.” Zelda leaned back and stared up at the ceiling, painted to look like a cloudy sky with images of the Goddesses in three of the corners and a radiant image of the Triforce in the other. “I think I’ll wait until I can find the boy in green. Maybe he’ll have the answers that I’m looking for.”

    “Well, you won’t have to wait long for that.” Impa said to Zelda’s surprise.

    “What do you mean?” The princess asked.

    “My scouts reported that a young boy around your age dressed in green was spotted in town last night, accompanied by a fairy. He met with the daughter of a local ranch owner and they made their way to towards the castle, managing to sneak past all of the guards on their way. I instructed them to watch the boy but not to make any action against him because I knew that you would want to meet him.”

    “Really?” Zelda jumped up from her bed excitedly. “Where is he now?”

    “They managed to find a way into the old Great Fairy Fountain, where my scouts lost track of them.” Impa replied.

    “Oh…” Zelda hung her head in disappointment.

    “However, this morning they were seen exiting the old dungeons just outside of the castle. The found the girl’s father there taking a nap and after waking him they split up. The girl and her father have left, while the boy and fairy stayed behind to find a way into the castle.”

    “We should let him in!” Zelda said excitedly.

    “He already managed to get in by climbing through the water duct.” Impa replied. “We’re going to have to install some iron bats there so that no one else can get in that way.”

    “So where is he now?” Zelda asked impatiently.

    “He is currently making his way through the castle.” Impa continued. “I have no doubt that he is searching for you and I have instructed my scouts to discretely guide him to the courtyard. I assume that you will want to meet him there.”

    “Of course!” Zelda said louder than she meant to. “Let’s go right now!”
    * * *​
    Ganondorf got up from his bed and walked over to an ornate mirror hanging on the wall. He brushed his hair back with his hands and stared at his reflection for a while. Something seemed off and it took a moment to figure out what it was. He turned his head to see if looking at his face from a different angle, but that didn’t change anything so he raised his hands to see if it was just the mirror distorting things. It wasn’t. Ganondorf’s skin had always had a strong green tint to it like his surrogate mothers, the Twinrova sisters. But now that green was gone. Ganondorf was now the same shade of tan as his many sisters.

    “What’s going on?” Ganondorf muttered to himself as he looked back up at the mirror. He tried to examine himself from every angle he could. He only stopped when a knock at the door startled him.

    “I am sorry to disturb you, sir,” He recognized the voice that came from the other side of the door as the servant who had shown Ganondorf to his room the night before, “but breakfast is ready. I am have been sent to show you to the banquet hall when you are ready.”

    “I’ll be out in a moment.” Ganondorf called back as he hurriedly went over to where he had hung up his robes and put them on as quickly as he could. He wasn’t sure what had exactly had happened to him, but he could hear his stomach growling for food and thought that a full belly might help him think. Plus, it would be rude not to show up and seeming rude was something that Ganondorf could not afford if the peace treaty negotiations were to go well.

    A few minutes later, Ganondorf opened the door to see Laidie standing there waiting for him. She looked nervous but not as much as last night.

    “Good morning, sir.” Laidie bowed politely.

    “Good morning.” Ganondorf nodded back to her. He noticed that she was stuttering like last night and was glad to see that she didn’t seem to be as uncomfortable with his presence. Though he did wonder why. “So, shall we be going.”

    “Yes, sir.” Laidie bowed again and turned to walk down the hallway.

    Ganondorf followed Laidie as they made their way through the castle. Everything there seemed unfamiliar to him and the layout felt almost like a maze, yet the Hylian woman seemed to know the layout of the place like the back of her own hand. He wondered how long she had worked in the castle but chose not to ask as he didn’t want to accidentally upset her like he had when he tried to have a conversation the night before. Instead, he just looked around at all of the art they passed by on their way.

    He was surprised to see how many statues, paintings, tapestries and other decorations filled Hyrule Castle. It made the Gerudo Fortress seem absolutely barren by comparison. Everywhere he looked there was a bust of some important historical figure, a painting of the Hylian landscape or a suit of armor placed decoratively. Ganondorf had always thought of the Hylians as being a practical people with little knowledge or talents for the arts but clearly he was as mistaken as he could be. It appeared that Hylians painters must have mastered advanced techniques that the Gerudo could only dream of. Though he wouldn’t say that Hylian art was better than Gerudo art so much as it was just different. The Hylians seemed to be more about making things as realistic as they can and featured a lot of imagery rooted in their religious beliefs, while the Gerudo were more about capturing the essence of things and depicting them in a way that could express emotions and feelings that weren’t necessarily rooted in reality. He also noticed a distinct lack in artistic pottery, which was a staple in Gerudo culture. It all helped to illustrate just how different their cultures were.

    Eventually, they reached the banquet hall and Ganondorf walked inside. King Daltus sat at the end of the largest table and motioned for Ganondorf to come take a seat by him. Ganondorf walked over to the Hylian King and sat down on the chair that had been prepared for him.

    “Breakfast should be out here in just a moment.” King Daltus said.

    “You’re generosity is too much.” Ganondorf replied.

    “Is it? Well, I suppose I can be less generous then.” King Daltus started to laugh but stopped when noticed the strange look that Ganondorf was giving him. “That was a joke.”

    “Ah, right.” Ganondorf said, not really sure how that was supposed to be funny.

    “Well, anyway…” King Daltus uncomfortably, deciding to change the subject. “My daughter appears to be running late, so I guess we’ll just begin eating as soon as breakfast is ready. The Goron Chieftan and King of the Zoras were supposed to arrive here this morning but it would appear that they are running late. I don’t think that we can really continue with our negotiations without them, so I was wondering if perhaps I could take you on a tour of the castle grounds in the meantime.”

    “That sounds like a good idea.” Ganondorf said with more enthusiasm than he actually felt. “I suppose that would allow me to gain a greater understanding of your people’s culture and history.”
    * * *​
    Zelda walked up the stone steps in the castle courtyard leading up to a window into the throne room. She tried her best to suppress her anticipation and excitement at finally being able to meet the boy from her dreams but it was hard. After standing at the top of the short staircase for what she could only describe as too long, she heard the soft sound of muffled footsteps on grass signifying that he was there. She tried to wait for him to get a bit closer but couldn’t contain herself any longer and turned around, nearly tripping over her own feat as she did so. The boy stood there looking up at her. In her green tunic and pointy hat, he looked exactly as he had in her dream.

    “You’re finally here!” Zelda silently cursed herself. “Uh, I mean… Who are you? What are you doing here?”

    The boy opened up his mouth to speak when suddenly a blue ball of light flew out from behind his head.

    “This is Link!” The fairy said. “And I’m Navi. We were sent here to give something to Princess Zelda, so if you could tell us where she is, that would be great.”

    “Um…” Zelda stared at the fairy with a baffled look on her face, which she could see mirrored in Link’s expression as he looked up at the fairy. “I’m Princess Zelda.”

    “Wait, really?” Zelda was actually a bit offended by how surprised the fairy was by that. “I mean, of course you are. I knew that. I was just… um… Hey, Link, why don’t you show her the emerald?”

    The boy looked down from the fairy and reached a hand into the pouch hang on the belt around his waist. He pulled out a glittering green gemstone embedded in a golden frame. Zelda knew exactly what it was the moment she saw it.

    “The Kokiri’s Emerald!” She gasped.

    This should have been the final proof that this was, in fact, the boy from her dreams and yet somehow this only made her more confused. In her original dream the boy had the emerald, which she took as a sign that he would present it to her but in her new dream, the Kokiri’s Emerald was nowhere in sight. Did this mean that he wasn’t supposed to have it? Or what if her new dream was wrong? Maybe the Spiritual Stone wasn’t actually important anymore? But if it wasn’t, then why would he still be showing it to her?

    “You already know what this is?” Navi asked, stunned.

    “Y-yes.” Zelda decided to just go along with what was happening and push her doubt aside. “The Kokiri’s Emerald is one of the three Spiritual Stones. They say that if all three, the Kokiri’s Emerald, the Goron’s Ruby and the Zora’s Saphire, are all brought together in the Temple of Time then they can be used to open the way into the Spiritual Realm where the Triforce is held.”

    “Really? Is that what it’s for?” Navi asked then shook her… head? Body? Zelda wasn’t quite sure. “Anyway, the Great Deku Tree sent us to give this to you before he… well. Anyway, he said it was important that we give it to you.”

    “Thank you.” Zelda walked back down the stone steps towards Link and accepted the Kokiri’s Emerald from him. She sighed and decided to just tell them the truth. “To be honest, I knew that you would come here.”

    “You did?” The fairy gasped.

    “Yes. You see, for as long as I can remember I have had dreams, visions of what is to come. They tell of a great darkness that will spread over Hyrule but also of a light that will overcome the darkness. That light, or at least part of it, came from a boy dressed in green. I believe that boy to be you, Link.”

    Navi turned back and forth between the Princess and Link, apparently shocked by what they were hearing. Zelda turned around briefly and looked back through the window leading into the throne room. Perfect timing. She grabbed Link’s hand and led him up to the window.

    “In my dream, we stood together.” She continued. “Along with someone else. That man there in there dressed in black.”

    Zelda pointed through the window at where Ganondorf was being led by her father across the room. The king seemed to be talking to Ganondorf about the history of the castle’s architecture.

    “I wasn’t sure at first, but now that you’re here I’m sure of it. The three of us are supposed to save Hyrule from destruction. And I believe that you bringing me the Kokiri’s Emerald can only mean one thing: we must gather the three Spiritual Stones so that we can use the power of the Triforce to stop whatever darkness is coming.”

    “But what can we do to help? Navi asked, interrupting Link just as he was about to say something.

    “I don’t know.” Zelda pondered over what the next step should be. She had hoped that she would have more of an idea of what they were doing at this point. “I guess we should ask the leaders of the Gorons and the Zoras to lend us the other spiritual stones.”

    “There may be a problem with that.”

    Zelda was used to Impa’s behavior so we barely batted an eye as Impa suddenly appeared standing behind Link. Link and Navi, on the other hand, were not prepared for her sudden appearance. Zelda had no idea that a fairy could jump up in surprise like that.

    “Why is that?” Zelda asked her caretaker calmly.

    “The Goron Chieftain and Zora King were supposed to arrive here earlier this morning to meet with your father and King Ganondorf but they have not arrived. My scouts indicate that there may be some trouble going on both in the Zora’s Domain and on Death Mountain.”

    “Then we should go see what going on.” Zelda said. “Come on, Link. Let’s go!”

    “Okay!” Navi replied before Link could say anything.

    “It’s dangerous to go alone.” Impa interrupted before they could leave. “I’m going with you.”

    “Fine.” Zelda rolled her eyes.

    “Also, you’re forgetting someone.” Impa added.

    “Who?”

    “There were two people standing beside you in your dream, correct. Should you not bring both of them with you on your quest?”

    Zelda looked nervously back through the window, where her father was showing off his thrown to Ganondorf.

    “I guess you’re right.” The Princess said with a less than enthusiastic tone. She wasn’t looking forward to having to talk to the Gerudo king but it didn’t look like she was going to have a choice if she wanted to go.
     
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  11. BZRich64

    BZRich64 Mustached Moderator

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    “And this is the Mystery Hall.” King Daltus said as he led Ganondorf into a hallway that had an intricately detailed mural of a landscape painted onto one wall and a number of portraits hanging on the other.

    “Why is it called that?” Ganondorf asked as he admired the mural.

    “Because no one has any idea what the location depicted here is or who any of the people depicted in these painting are.” King Daltus explained. “In fact, we don’t even know where all of this art came from or why it’s here. It all apparently just showed up one day a long time ago and no one has been able to learn anything about it.”

    “That is odd.” Ganondorf realized that he couldn’t recognize the depicted hillside either. He had never heard of a place full of such oddly squared-off mountains. “Why haven’t you simply taken this stuff down if you don’t know what it actually is?”

    “We’ve tried.” Daltus said. “But none of it will come down.”

    As if to prove this, King Daltus grabbed a painting of some kind of large, turtle-like creature and tried to pull it off the wall, but it wouldn’t budge.

    “We’ve even tried using magic but nothing will work.” King Daltus looked out a window next to the portrait that he had just tried to remove and a concerned look passed over his face.

    “What is it?” Ganondorf asked.

    “Oh, nothing.” Daltus turned back to the Gerudo King. “It’s just that my daughter is usually in the castle’s courtyard around this time.”

    Ganondorf peered out the window himself and looked down at the grassy field below. True enough, there was no one down there at the moment.

    “Well, she is a growing girl.” Ganondorf mused. “You can’t expect her to always stick to the same schedule. I would know, seeing as I grew up with well over a hundred sisters and already have several dozen daughters of my own.”

    King Daltus stared at Ganondorf blankly for a moment, taking in what the other King had just said.

    “I know that probably sounds like a lot to a Hylian.” Ganondorf smiled at Daltus’ reaction. “But when we only have one male born to our entire race every hundred years it is the duty of that male to father as many children as he can.”

    “I suppose that makes sense.” King Daltus still couldn’t quite wrap his head around what Ganondorf was saying. “But, then that would mean…”

    “All of my many wives are also my sisters.” Ganondorf finished King Daltus’ thought. “And one day my future son will marry my daughters and his son will marry his daughters and so on. I know that Hylians have a taboo against close family members getting married and having children, but for us, it is the only way.”

    “I suppose so.” Daltus said a bit uncomfortably, desperately thinking of a way to change the subject. “Oh, Zelda, there you are!”

    The young princess walked up to the two kings, escorted by her bodyguard, Impa. She seemed to have something important on her mind, though Daltus didn’t seem to notice. He was just glad to have a reason not to keep talking about incest.

    “What brings you up here?” The King asked his daughter.

    Princess Zelda looked away from her father nervously and stared at the wall for a moment before turning back to the King.

    “I, uh… well…” Zelda glanced up at Impa, who gave her an encouraging nod. “I’d like to… um… well… the leaders of the other races haven’t shown up yet and I was wondering if I could… you know… lead a small group to go out and see what’s holding them up.”

    “Hmm…” King Daltus considered pondered the idea. “I suppose that we should send someone out to check up on them and as long as you bring Impa along I know that you’ll be safe.”

    “And I was also wondering if, well… King Ganondorf could come along.”

    “What?” Both Kings asked at once.

    “Well, I was thinking…” Zelda tried to come up with an excuse without bringing up her dream. She knew her father didn’t believe in her prophetic dreams and she didn’t think she was ready to tell Ganondorf about them yet.

    “What the Princess is trying to say is that she thinks it will be seen as a sign of good faith among the other races if King Ganondorf were to come along.” Impa said.

    “Um, yeah. It would show them that you are concerned about their well-being.” Zelda added, thankful to her attendant for coming up with a logical reason why Ganondorf should come with them.

    “I’m not really sure about this.” King Daltus said even though he actually did like if the idea, mostly because he was starting to feel a little uncomfortable being alone with the Gerudo King.

    “I think that it sounds like a good idea.” Ganondorf said. “And we can’t continue the peace treaty negotiations without them anyway so I don’t really have a reason not to go.”

    “Alright.” King Daltus said, trying not to sound relieved. “If you want to go then you should. I’ve actually been wondering what’s been taking the Goron and Zora leaders so long to arrive, anyway.”

    “Great!” Zelda said a little more enthusiastically than she meant. “Then let’s get going.”

    “Hold on, now.” Ganondorf shook his head. “I still need to prepare for the trip.”

    “Oh, right.” Zelda’s cheeks flushed lightly from embarrassment.

    “Take as much time as you want.” Impa said. “We will meet up with you at the castle’s entrance once you are ready.”
    * * *​
    Link sat outside the castle, where he had been told to wait. The soles of his boots skimmed the surface of the castle’s moat as he kicked the air out of boredom. Navi hovered around his head, thinking about everything that Princess Zelda had told them.

    “What happened to the Great Deku Tree must be connected to the darkness we’re supposed to vanquish.” She realized. “We’ve got to stop whatever it is and avenge his death.”

    Link looked mournfully down at his own reflection in the crystal clear water running by beneath him as he thought about the Great Deku Tree. The Deku Tree had raised him for as long as he could remember and he was still struggling to deal with the knowledge that the closest thing to a parent he had ever had was now dead despite his best efforts to prevent it. He tried to hold back a tear as he grabbed the Deku Shield strapped to his back and held it out in front of himself. Navi looked down at the wooden slab as well.

    “That was carved from the Great Deku Tree, wasn’t it?” Navi asked.

    Link gave a silent nod in reply.

    “I guess in a way that means that it serves as a reminder of him, doesn’t it?”

    Navi settled down on Link’s shoulder and the two former forest dwellers sat there is silence as they both remembered the Great Deku Tree and everything that he had done for them throughout their lives. This moment was cut short, however, as the castle’s drawbridge started to lower and Link suddenly realized that he was directly in its path. He quickly rolled back away from it and onto his feet before the drawbridge was fully lowered. Princess Zelda and Impa rode white horse adorned with a decorative purple and gold saddle across the lowered drawbridge, coming to a halt directly in front of Link.

    “I’m sorry for making you wait out here.” Zelda said as Impa helped her get down off of the horse. “But we should be able to go soon. We were able to convince Ganondorf, er… King Ganondorf to come with us so now all we need to do is to wait for him to get ready and we can leave as soon as he gets here.”

    “Although there may be a slight problem.” Impa said, looking around.

    “What?” Zelda was startled to hear this. “What is it?”

    “Link does not appear to have a horse of his own and Storm won’t be able to carry all three of us all the way to Kakariko.” Impa pointed out.

    “I didn’t think of that.” Zelda said dejectedly. “I guess we’ll have to get another horse from the stable.”

    “It’s not quite that simple.” Impa shook her head. “I would say that it’s safe to assume that Link does not know how to ride a horse and you are only at a beginner level yourself, Princess.”

    Zelda glared at Impa for a second before conceding that the assessment of her horse riding skills was accurate and turned to Link, who looked as if he had never even seen a horse before.

    “I suppose you’re right.” Zelda sighed. “Does this mean that we’ll have to go on foot?”

    Before Impa could reply, the sound of another horse approaching caused everyone to turn their attention to Ganondorf as he rode up to them on a giant black horse.

    “I am ready to head out.” Ganondorf said, bringing his horse to a halt beside them. “Shall we be off?”

    Zelda suddenly had an idea. “Actually, if it wouldn’t be too much trouble, could you let Link here ride with you? He doesn’t have a horse of his own.”

    Ganondorf turned his attention to the young boy in green that Zelda motioned to. He couldn’t see Navi, who had been startled into hiding inside Link’s hat when she saw Zelda and Impa’s horse. As he stared at Link he couldn’t help but feel that the boy seemed oddly familiar to him, though he had no idea why.

    “I don’t see why not.”
     
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  12. BZRich64

    BZRich64 Mustached Moderator

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    Princess Zelda, Impa, Link and Ganondorf arrived at the gateway leading up to Death Mountain after having passed through Kakariko Village. The mountain road ahead would be too rough on their horses, so Impa had them make a quick detour to her home to leave the horses in the care of an attendant before they proceeded.

    “Halt!” A lone guard standing vigilante held out his hand in a motion for them to stop as he saw them approach. “No one is allowed up Death Mountain Trail without the King’s permission.”

    “We have the King’s permission.” Impa replied in an annoyed tone of voice. “I believe that you may need to get your helmet adjusted.”

    The guard lifted his helmet back slightly so that it didn’t obscure his vision and froze as he realized who was standing in front of him.

    “L-lady Impa!” The guard stood at attention. “And P-princess Zelda?”

    “We have been sent by His Royal Highness to visit the Goron City and investigate why their Chief has not arrived at the castle yet.” Impa explained. “Now, open the gate for us so that we may pass.”

    “Are you sure?” The guard eyed Ganondorf suspiciously.

    “Open the gate or I will personally see to it that you are stripped of your rank and removed from duty.” Princess Zelda demanded haughtily.

    “Y-yes! Of course, your Highness!” The guard nervously tapped the spear he carried on the ground twice and the gate opened up behind him. Link marveled at the gate, which seemed to move under its own power, though the others didn’t seem fazed by it at all.

    “Thank you.” Zelda almost seemed to strut as she walked past the guard, and the other followed her.

    “Be careful!” The guard called after them. “There’s been an unusual amount of Tektite activity lately!”

    “What’s that supposed to mean?” Zelda asked.

    It didn’t take long for the Princess to get her answer, as Impa suddenly sprang into action and, in a single fluid movement, ran up to Princess Zelda and thrust out her dagger forward, almost directly in front of the Princess’ face. The large, orange bug-like creature that had just tried to attack Zelda collapsed onto the ground, dead. Impa pulled her weapon from its eye socket as Zelda recoiled in horror and disgust.

    “You should probably stay behind me.” Impa advised the young Princess.

    Zelda nodded and led Impa led the rest of the way. They encountered several more Tektites along the trail, all of which Impa was able to make short work of. After a little while, they made their way to a sharp bend in the road.

    “That’s odd.” Impa stopped in her tracks and stared at the rock wall in front of them.

    “What?” Zelda asked, sitting down on a large rock to rest her feet.

    “The entrance to Dodongo’s Cavern should be here.” Impa answered as she placed her hand against the cold, hard stone. “But it looks like it has been sealed off.”

    “Perhaps you are mistaken on the cavern’s location?” Ganondorf suggested.

    “That’s not possible.” Impa shook her head. “I used to come here to train when I was young. I know the area well.”

    Zelda suddenly screamed as the rock she was resting on suddenly began to move out from under her, causing Zelda to fall onto the ground.

    “Sorry about that, Brother.” The rock said, standing upright.

    “Hello.” Impa gave the apparently living rock a polite greeting, as Zelda and Link were both freaking out and Ganondorf watched in interest. “Could you please explain what has happened here?”

    “Big Brother had to seal off the entrance to Dodongo’s Cavern because it became infested with Dodongos.” The rock-like creature said mournfully.

    “But a Dodongo has not been seen in this area for decades.” Impa replied in alarm.

    “They just suddenly appeared out of nowhere this morning. Now we don’t have access to our quarry, meaning we can’t access the delicious and nutritious rocks that we can only find in Dodongo’s Cavern! If someone doesn’t take care of this problem, it could be the end of all of us Gorons.”

    “That is very distressing news.” Impa agreed.

    “It’s no wonder that the Goron chieftain hasn’t arrived at the castle if something like this came up.” Ganondorf observed.

    “Goron City is further up the mountain.” Impa turned to go. “We should make haste.”
    * * *​
    The rest of the journey to Goron City was relatively uneventful, with the exception of when a careless Goron had nearly run over everyone on its way to blow up the entrance to Dodongo’s Cavern. Zelda was still a bit shaken up from the unexpected explosion shortly after they had all managed to jump out of its way on time.

    The city itself was different than anything Zelda, Link or even Ganondorf had ever seen before. It consisted of a central cavern separated into three levels and surrounded by entrances into a complex tunnel system that formed the bulk of the city. A small platform with a pedestal on it was suspended in the air above the center of the main chamber by three very large and very tough ropes.

    “Something is not right here.” Impa pointed to the empty pedestal. “The Goron’s Ruby is supposed to be on display there.”

    “Big Brother Darunia took the stone away.” Said a nearby Goron who happened to overhear her. “Then he locked himself away in his room and won’t come out.”

    “At least we know where to find him.” Ganondorf mused. “Assuming that you know where his room is.”

    “It’s down there.” Impa pointed to a large stone door on the lowest level of the chamber. “Follow me.”

    Impa led the others through a series of tunnels that brought them down to the door she had pointed out. When they finally got there, Impa pounded on the door with her fist. There was no reply.

    “Perhaps if I try it.” Ganondorf said and knocked as loud as he could.

    “Go away!” A muffled shout came from the other side. “I’m busy.”

    “We’ve been sent here by the King of Hyrule!” Impa yelled back.

    “No, you weren’t!” The voice shouted. “Now stop bothering me!”

    “Now what do we do?” Zelda asked as the four backed away from the door. “We came all the way here and he won’t even see us.”

    “I suppose that we’ll just have to prove that we are who we say we are.” Impa said. “Stand back for a moment.”

    Impa stood firmly on the rug in front of Darunia’s room and cleared her throat while the others backed away a few steps. She then raised her hands to her mouth and began to whistle. Neither Link nor Ganondorf recognized the tune. Zelda suddenly started to get very drowsy and after a moment she fell onto Link. This woke Zelda up again and she suddenly jolted upright, leaving a very confused Link and a mildly amused Ganondorf. It didn’t take long after that for the door to slide open and Darunia walked out.

    “I guess you really were sent by the royal family if you know that song.” Darunia said before getting a good look at who his visitors were. “Impa? Princess Zelda? The Gerudo King and… a boy?”

    There was an awkward silence as Darunia stood in shock by the three highly unexpected quests and Link. Finally, Darunia blinked a couple of times and took a step back.

    “Well, whatever it is that you have to say, it must be important for all of you to come here. Come in.”

    Darunia shut the door behind them, then walked over to a large mat on the floor and sat down, motioning for them to do the same.

    “So, what’s so important to bring all of you to my door?” Darunia asked. “Also, who’s this boy and why is he here with you?”

    “This is Link.” Zelda said before Link had a chance to introduce himself. “He’s here… as, uh… my bodyguard!”

    Darunia looked up at Impa in confusion.

    “I’m training him to eventually take over my duties.” Impa had always been better at making Zelda’s lies seem credible than the Princess was at coming up with them.

    “Alright then.” Darunia nodded. “But that doesn’t explain why you’re all here.”

    “We grew concerned when you and the Zora King both failed to arrive for the peace treaty negotiations.” Ganondorf explained. “So we came here to see what was holding you up.”

    “Aw, hellyerite!” Darunia exclaimed loudly. “That was today?”

    “Yes.” Ganondorf replied. “Although it’s perfectly understandable that it would slip your mind given what we’ve heard is going on.”

    “So you heard about the Dodongos? Yeah, it’s a real mess.” Darunia lowered his head. “No idea where they came from, or how to get rid of them. I was just trying to think of a way to clear them out of the mines again. You see, the only way I to get rid of a Dodongo infestation to take out the King Dodongo. Unfortunately, I just sent out all of our warriors on a well-earned vacation, and there’s no way I could take that thing on myself.”

    “We could aid you in defeating the Dodongos.” Ganondorf suggested.

    “Thank you for the offer.” Darunia said gratefully. “But you hardly look prepared for a battle like this right now and it would be disgraceful to let you get hurt while trying to fix our problems.”

    “It would be even more of a disgrace if we were to leave our allies to deal with such a problem on their own when we can do something to help.” Ganondorf countered.

    “And while we may not have come equipped for a fight, your blacksmiths are known as the greatest in all of Hyrule.” Impa added.

    “Fine, then.” Darunia relented. “I guess we’ll stop by Medigoron’s on the way out. We should probably get going now.”

    Darunia stood up and got ready to leave, followed by the others. As they made their way out, Impa turned to Princess Zelda.

    “You should stay here, Princess.” She said.

    “What?” Zelda whined. “But I want to help, too.”

    “It would be far too dangerous for you.” Impa explained. “You are the heir to the throne of Hyrule, after all. Not to mention that you are still just a child and have no experience with combat. Link will stay and watch over you. He is your new bodyguard, is he not?”

    “That’s not fair.” Zelda stomped her foot indignantly.

    “She’s right.” Darunia said, walking up beside Impa. “Besides, someone needs to stay behind if something were to happen while I’m away, right? I feel like you two would be perfect for the job.”

    Zelda knew that he was just saying that to make her feel better and she was a bit ashamed to say that it worked.

    “And why don’t you take these as thanks for helping out?” Darunia grabbed a couple of bracelets sitting on a display shelf and handed them to the two children. “I made these Goron’s Bracelets myself. When you wear one of these, they can make you as strong as an adult.”

    “Thank you.” Zelda said curtly as she accepted one of the bracelets. “But I’m still not really happy about staying behind.”

    “You don’t have to be.” Ganondorf said. “We all do our parts, even if we don’t want to.”

    With that, Ganondorf, Impa and Darunia left on their way to the weapons shop, leaving Zelda and Link behind in Darunia’s chamber. Navi flew out from Link’s hat for the first time since they left Hyrule Castle.

    “Well, that was an unexpected turn of events.” The fairy said in a bemused tone of voice.

    “What do we do now?” Zelda wondered aloud as she slipped her Goron’s Bracelet onto her wrist.

    “I don’t know.” Link shrugged.

    “Wait, what?” Navi was shocked. “Have you been able to talk this entire time?”

    “Of course. You just keep cutting me off when I try to say anything.”
     
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  13. BZRich64

    BZRich64 Mustached Moderator

    Golden Lizard
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    “This was a terrible idea!” Link yelled.

    “The sign said that we’d get a prize!” Zelda shouted back defensively. “How was I supposed to know this would happen?”

    “Shut up and keep running!” Navi screamed as she flew past the two children.

    Link suddenly tackled Zelda into a side tunnel and they both fell into a small side tunnel. They waited for the giant angry Goron that was chasing them rolled past. Once they were sure that the Hot Rodder Goron wasn’t going to turn around and chase after them.

    “Never again!” Navi declared definitively.

    “The sign said that we would get a prize if we stopped him from rolling.” Zelda clarified as she got back up and dusted off her now-dirty dress.

    “And you thought blowing a Bomb Flower up in his face would be the best way to do that?” Link asked sarcastically.

    “It wasn’t in his face.” Zelda pouted. “I don’t think.”

    “Hey! Listen!” Navi cut off the argument.

    “What is it?” Zelda asked.

    “I said listen!” Navi snapped back. “Do you hear that?”

    Zelda closed her eyes and tried to hear whatever Navi was talking about. She had always had a good sense of hearing, even by Hylian standards, and could hear quite a lot going on around them. Coming from the city were the sounds of Gorons rolling and walking around, snippets of conversations, and other miscellaneous sounds that didn’t seem to stand out. From the other end of the tunnel they were in, however, Zelda could faintly hear something else off in the distance.

    “Is that… music?” Zelda wondered aloud. She turned to Link, who seemed to be lost in thought.

    “That song sounds familiar to me.” Navi mused. “But, it couldn’t possibly be…”

    “Well, let’s go check it out.” Zelda started walking down the tunnel, towards the mysterious song.

    “Wait! Shouldn’t we be getting back to where the others will be waiting for us?” Navi argued, but it was too late. Zelda and Link had already left, leaving Navi to try and catch up to them.
    * * *​
    Darunia suplexed a baby Dodongo. Ganondorf then swung at it with his new Stone Smasher, knocking the small dinosaur flying back into a group of three more. The Dodongo then exploded, killing the entire group.

    “How are you liking your new sword?” Darunia asked the Gerudo King.

    “I’m not sure I would really call it a sword.” Ganondorf replied. “It feels more like a club. That being said, I certainly appreciate the results and the craftsmanship is impeccable.”

    “Glad you like it.” Darunia smiled as he punched a Dodongo in the face. “Consider it a gift.”

    “I will.”Ganondorf nodded and bashed a Dodongo’s skull in with a powerful swing.

    “Could you both stop talking about swords and focus on what we are doing.” Impa through a flash bomb into one Dodongo’s mouth. The bomb went off, igniting the gases in its stomach and causing the Dodongo to explode.

    “Fine.” Darunia smashed two baby Dodongos together and tossed them aside before they exploded. “If you want to take the fun out of it.”

    “How much longer should this take?” Ganondorf asked as he killed the last Dodongo in the immediate vicinity.

    “Shouldn’t be too much longer.” Darunia replied. “Unless I’m wrong, the King Dodongo should be just ahead. Once we kill the King, the rest should leave on their own.”
    * * *​
    The tunnel led out into a forest grove that felt almost too familiar for Link and Navi. The sound they had heard before had grown louder and more distinguished.

    “What is this place?” Zelda looked around in astonishment at the particles of light that seemed to float through the air around them.

    “We’re in the Lost Woods.” Navi explained. “But, that’s impossible.”

    “Come on, she’s this way.” Link yelled excitedly as he ran off in the direction that the music was coming from.

    “Who’s that way?” Zelda called out to him, but Link didn’t reply.

    “Be careful!” Navi cried, flying after Link. “If you get lost here you’ll turn into a Skull Kid!”

    “W-what?” Zelda whimpered. The princess heard a branch snap somewhere nearby, causing her to jump up in fright before running after Link and Navi. “Wait for me!”

    Zelda caught up to the others quickly and they made their way through the Lost Woods. The trees seemed to twist and turn around them, almost as if the forest itself was a moving, living being. Fortunately, they were able to navigate by following the sound of the song. Eventually, it led them to a serene meadow. A large, decrepit old mansion stood before them. The stone stairway leading to the entrance had collapsed due to age and disrepair. To one side of that was an old tree that looked like it once formed part of an archway over the stairs but on the other side was nothing more than a stump. A stump upon which a young, green-haired girl was sitting, playing an ocarina that she had made herself.

    “Saria!” Link called out as he ran up to her.

    Saria looked up from her ocarina, confused. “Link?” What are you doing back here? I thought… does this mean that you were able to deliver the Emerald?”

    “Something like that.” Link said awkwardly.

    “So much has happened!” Navi explained. “We went to the castle where we met the princess and then she asked us to help her protect Hyrule from darkness, so we had to go to this big volcano place called Death Mountain to meet with the Gorons but then we heard your song through one of the tunnels there so went decided to check it out and somehow found our way back out here.”

    Saria blinked as she tried to process what the blue fairy had just said.

    “We got lost.” Link translated.

    “Oh, well if that’s all that happened I should be able to help you find your way back.” Saria gave a sad smile, disappointed that Link hadn’t simply returned after finishing his task outside the forest.

    “I’m Zelda, by the way.” The Princess gave an awkward wave as she introduced herself to the Kokiri girl that had, up to this moment, not even noticed her.

    “Oh, hi. I’m Saria.” Saria waved back, confused and possibly slightly jealous of the presence of this other girl that was with Link. “Wait, as in Princess Zelda? The one that Link was supposed to deliver the Kokiri’s Emerald to?”

    “That would be me.” Zelda said. “I’m sorry for taking up your time, but we would really appreciate it if you could show us the way back. We have people waiting for us.”

    “Weren’t we the ones waiting for them?” Navi asked.

    “Not if we don’t get back before they do.” Zelda pointed out. “And you do not want to get on Impa’s bad side. She can get scary.”

    “Of course I can show you the way back.” Saria said. “Didn’t I already say that I would?”

    “You did.” Navi moved in a way that was clearly meant to be a nod, though involved tilting her whole body back and forth.

    “I know you did.” Zelda tried to hide her exasperation. “I was asking if you could show us the way now, because if we wait too long then we might not get back before the others do.”

    “Oh, of course.” Saria said. “Although I suppose I should ask how exactly you got here.”
    * * *​
    “It would appear that we’ve already cleared out all of the Dodongos.” Ganondorf asked as the trio walked into the final chamber of Dodongo’s cavern, which seemed to be nothing more than an empty dead end. “I guess there was no King after all.”

    “Don’t be so sure about that.” Darunia came to a halt in the middle of the chamber and assumed a squatting position, resting his hands on his knees. With a loud grunt, he raised up one of his legs as high as he could, then slammed his foot as hard as he could into the ground. The cavern shook from the force. Darunia then lifted up his other leg and slammed that one down. The cavern shook even harder.

    “Are you trying to cause a cave in?” Ganondorf asked in alarm.

    “Just watch.” Darunia replied.

    “I believe that means yes.” Impa sighed.

    Darunia then suddenly jumped up and flipped upside down in the air, landing fist first on the ground. Another quake rumbled through the cavern before settling down. Everything was quiet for a moment.

    “Hmm, perhaps I was wrong?” Darunia scratched his rocky chin after he stood back up. Then a crack formed in the ground in front of him, followed by another. “Oh, there we go!”

    The ground gave way, causing the three to plummet down into the much larger cave beneath them. It was a rough landing, but Impa and Ganondorf back managed to survive the fall without minimal injuries while Darunia was completely unharmed.
    * * *​
    “You know, I’ve passed by this cave countless times but I’ve never actually gone inside.” Saria as she walked with Link and Zelda into the tunnel that led back to Goron City. “I think I should probably head back now.”

    “Thank you!” Navi said right as Link was about to thank Saria, cutting him off.

    “It was a pleasure to meet you.” Zelda gave a courteous courtesy.

    “Likewise.” Saria smiled. “See you later!”

    Just as Saria turned to leave, a sudden tremor shook the tunnel, knocking the three children onto the ground.

    “What was that?” Saria screamed as she started to get back up.

    “A-an earthquake?” Zelda had heard that earthquakes were a common occurrence around Death Mountain and that the Gorons made sure to fortify their tunnels against them. However, it looked like this particular tunnel hadn’t been properly maintained in a very long time. “We should get out of here!”

    Before they could run back out into the Lost Woods, another quake shook the cave. Several rocks fell from the ceiling around the children. Link was able to roll out of the way of one, but Saria wasn’t so lucky. She let out a scream of pain as a boulder fell on her leg. Link quickly got up and rushed over to her. He tried to lift the rock off of Saria but even with the extra strength of his Goron’s Bracelet he still wasn’t able to lift it. Zelda watched in horror but found herself unable to move.

    Saria screamed again, snapping Zelda out of her shock. The young princess ran up beside Link and together they were able to lift the boulder off of Saria. Her leg was broken, torn up and bleeding profusely. Link lifted his oldest friend off the ground as gently as he could and held her in his arms.

    At that point a third tremor caused the tunnel to cave-in in the direction they had come from, blocking off the way back to the Lost Woods and forcing Link and Zelda to run as fast as they could in the other direction. The tunnel remained calm after that, yet they kept running and didn’t slow down until they had reached Goron City.
    * * *​
    “Why would you do that?” A distressed Ganondorf demanded to know as he climbed out of the rubble.

    “That’s why.” Darunia pointed to the other end of the cavern, where a large, brown monster stood and gave a mighty roar. Spikes lined the four-legged beast’s back and light glimmered off of the massive jade crystals protruding from its shoulders. “May I introduce you to the Dodongo King.”

    “That thing’s huge!” Ganondorf had to muster all of his power not to start panicking.

    “Really? I’m kind of disappointed.” Darunia said. “I was hoping that it would be at least as big as the one my Grandpappy fought back in the day.”

    “How big was that one?” Ganondorf asked.

    “You know that Dodongo skull we passed through to get here?” Darunia smiled.

    “Now’s not the time!” Impa snapped. “It’s coming right for us.”

    Sure enough, the Dodongo King curled up into a massive ball and started rolling around the edge of the room toward them. Ganondorf and Impa started to run away, but they had nowhere to run to. The walls of the cave for too steep for them to climb and the dried lava that filled up most of the cave, while cooled down enough for them to get as close as they were to it, was still way too hot for them to actually approach safely. This meant that all they could do was run around the outer edges of the chamber.

    Darunia, however, did not run. He stood his ground and pounded his chest dramatically. As King Dodongo approached Darunia, he raised his arms up to try and stop the giant fire-breathing Dodongo. It took every ounce of strength he had to divert King Dodongo’s path straight into the lava. King Dodongo roared as it slowly sank into the fiery depths.

    “Well, that was almost disappointingly easy.” Darunia panted and sat down on a rock.

    “Is it over?” Ganondorf asked as he and Impa walked up to Darunia.

    “That ol’ lizard won’t be bothering anyone anymore.” Darunia gave a hearty, though strained, laugh.

    Darunia was quickly proven wrong, however, as the Dodongo King climbed out of the lava. The beast’s leathery hide was blackened and charred, but it otherwise seemed to be perfectly fine. It let out a loud, high pitched squeal.

    “Well, it may not be dead yet, but it’s definitely close.” Ganondorf said. “Just listen to it.”

    “No!” Darunia yelled unexpectedly. “Nononononononono!”

    “What wrong?” Impa asked him.

    “That’s a Dodongo’s mating call!”

    A deeper, even louder Dodongo roar rumbled through the cavern, causing the far wall to crack up and shatter. A golden Dodongo, even larger than the King, strode into the cavern. Its scales were bright gold, with spikey crimson crystals jutting out from the monster’s legs and back. The beast had a pair of demonic-looking red and black horns on its head, rather than the one sharp horn that the King Dodongo had.

    “It’s a Dodongo Queen!” Darunia’s yelled out.

    The Dodongo Queen walked up to its injured mate and the two nuzzled their noses together. It would have almost seemed sweet if the two infernal dinosaurs didn’t then turn toward Darunia and the others, rage evident in their reptilian faces.

    “Now what?” Ganondorf asked, ready to start climbing up the walls to get away from this mess.

    “The only thing we can do it fight.” Impa answered, somehow able to keep calm despite the circumstances. “How do we kill this thing?”

    “No Goron has ever managed to take down a Queen before.” Darunia said. “At least not that I’ve ever heard of.

    “Then we’ll have to think of a way on our own.”

    “No time to think!” Darunia yelled. “They’re coming!”

    The Dodongo King and Queen started slowly crawling up to the trio from opposite sides. With the lava bed in front of them and a wall behind them, Darunia, Ganondorf and Impa had nowhere to run. The only things that they had to defend themselves were Ganondorf’s Stone Smasher sword, Impa’s various weapons that would be no help against creatures of this size and strength, and a patch of bomb flowers growing in the corner behind them.

    “I think I have an idea.” Ganondorf said as the Dodongo’s were almost on them. “Impa, you were able to kill a Dodongo by feeding it a bomb, right? Could we try that?”

    “No offense, but I don’t think my flash bombs are going to do anything against these giants.” Impa responded.

    “I didn’t mean to do it with those bombs.” Ganondorf clarified and pointed to the bomb flowers. “I meant with these ones.”

    “That could work.” Darunia said. “But it probably wouldn’t be enough to finish them off. Not to mention that we’d have a hard time getting them to swallow the stupid things.”

    The two Dodongo stopped a couple of yards away from where the Ganondorf, Darunia and Impa were trapped. They opened their mouths wide and inhaled as they prepared to use their fire breath.

    “Well, that was a freebie.”

    Darunia and Ganondorf each pulled out two bomb flowers and chucked them at the Dodongo King and Queen. The Dodongo’s powerful breathing caused the bombs to be pulled directly into their mouths and up their throats. When they both started to breathe fire, it caused the bomb flowers to detonate inside of them, exploding with such force that it knocked both Dodongo’s out cold for a moment, their massive bodies slumping to the ground.

    “Come on, we won’t have much time!” Impa yelled to the others and together they ran past the Dodongo King.

    Impa, Ganondorf and Darunia made their way towards where the Dodongo Queen had broken in from in the hope that it might lead to an exit. As they got close enough to clearly see what was on the other side, however, they knew that wasn’t the case. Countless baby Dodongos slithered their way in the gaps between hundreds, possibly thousands, of giant eggs spread across the rocky ground.

    “Danalite!” Darunia exclaimed loudly. “It’s a Dodongo’s nest! No one’s ever seen one before and lived to tell the tale.”

    Just then, they could hear the Dodongo King and Dodongo Queen begin to get back up.

    “Then I guess we’ll be the first!” Ganondorf said.

    “Do you have another plan?” Impa asked the Gerudo King.

    “No.” Ganondorf shook his head. “Anyone else?”

    “I think I have one.” Darunia pointed up to the cavern walls above the nest, which were covered in bomb flowers.

    “No.” Impa said flatly.

    “Come on, it’s the only way.” Darunia persisted.

    “The explosion would kill us all!” Ganondorf yelled frantically.

    “Trust me, it’s not as bad as it seems.” Darunia tried to reassure the others. “An explosion caused by that many bomb flowers will trigger an eruption.”

    “That would be worse.” Impa pointed out.

    “It’s also our ticket out of this mess. We just need one thing first.” Darunia turned to Ganondorf. “I need you to use that Stone Smasher to break off one of those crystals growing out of the King Dodongo.”

    “You want me to what?”

    “Trust me. That thing was made for breaking strong rocks, it will work fine. I’ll distract it for you while Impa can keep the Queen’s attention away from us. I’ll explain the rest of the plan once we’ve gotten that far.”

    “This seems like a horrible idea but it doesn’t look like we have any other options.” Ganondorf relented. “I’ll do it.”

    “Alright, let’s do this!” Darunia turned and rushed towards the King Dodongo. “For the Gorons!”

    Ganondorf gripped the heavy sword tightly and took a deep breath to calm his nerves before running after Darunia. Impa sighed and ran towards the Queen Dodongo. She pulled out a pair of smoke bombs and tossed them at the golden beast. Darunia punched the King Dodongo in the snout, stunning it long enough for Ganondorf to hop up onto King Dodongo’s front foot and climb up its leg as quickly as he could. King Dodongo started to turn its head towards Ganondorf but Darunia uppercutted its jaw, forcing the monster to turn its attention back to him as Ganondorf managed to get up onto its back. Ganondorf put all of the strength he could into a mighty downward swing upon the green crystal. King Dodongo let out a roar as its shoulder crystal began to crack.

    Hearing its mate cry out in pain, Queen Dodongo turned to see what was wrong. This gave Impa an opportunity to jump out from the smoke and expertly throw a handful of sharp needles into Queen Dodongo’s eye. Queen Dodongo let out her own pained roar, which blended in with the one King Dodongo gave as Ganondorf struck the crystal again. After a third swing, the crystal finally broke off from King Dodongo’s shoulder.

    “Now what?” Ganondorf called to Darunia while trying not to fall off Kind Dodongo’s back as the infernal dinosaur flailed around wildly.

    “Now we all jump on!” Darunia shouted over the roars of the angry Dodongos and ran up to the fallen crystal.

    Ganondorf slid down King Dodongo’s leg and hopped onto the crystal, while Impa ran towards them. As she approached, she flipped into the air and landed beside Ganondorf. Darunia, rather than climbing on next to them, picked up the crystal with a loud grunt and tossed it onto the lava before jumping onto it.

    “Can I see one of your bombs?” Darunia held his hand out to Impa.

    “If we die because of this I am going to kill you.” Impa pulled out one of her flash bombs and held it out.

    Darunia took the bomb from her and chucked it into the Dodongo nest. A few seconds later it went off, causing a chain reaction of explosions. The entire nest went up in flames as the volcano shook violently from the force. The lava beneath them began to heat up and chunks of volcanic rock started to shoot out around them. The crystal began rocking back and forth before finally being shot up into the air like a cannon. The last thing they saw of the cave was the King and Queen Dodongos crying out as they were engulfed by fire and molten rock before everything became a blur.

    Ganondorf woke up not sure when exactly he had lost consciousness. He groaned and slowly sat up, seeing that he, Darunia and Impa were outside the entrance to Dodongo’s Cavern. The crystal he had broken off of the King Dodongo lay on the ground beside them.

    “Let’s do that again!” Darunia jumped to his feet and pumped both fists up into the air.

    “No thank you.” Ganondorf grumbled, nursing his sore ribs. “I value my life too much for that.”

    “Big Brother Darunia!” A Goron ran up to them, flailing his arms frantically. “Big Brother Darunia!”

    “What is it?” Darunia asked him.

    “There was an accident in the tunnels!” The Goron stopped in front of them. “Someone was hurt!”

    “Oh no!” Darunia’s smile faded instantly. “Who? What happened?”

    “One of the old tunnels caved in while some Hylian children were in it. I girl was injured and has been taken to the medical cave.”

    “Princess Zelda?” Impa stood up almost instantly, terrified that something could have happened to the Princess.
    And with this the story is now caught up. Chapter twelve will be posted after I finish writing it, so stay tuned for what is quickly turning into an obligatory anime hot-springs episode.
     
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  14. BZRich64

    BZRich64 Mustached Moderator

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    As promised: one hot-springs chapter.
    Link and Zelda sat on a long rock that served as a bench. After rushing back to Goron City with the injured Saria, they had been taken to the other side of the mountain where a series of natural hot springs had formed. One of the Gorons who escorted them there explained that the springs were said to have healing properties granted to them by the Great Fairy who lived atop Death Mountain. Saria was no resting on one of the springs while a Goron healer treated her leg. They hadn’t been waiting there long when Impa ran up to them, followed by Darunia and Ganondorf.

    “Princess Zelda!” Impa came to a stop just in front of them and knelt down before the Princess. “Are you alright? We were told there was an accident.”

    “I’m fine.” Zelda’s voice indicated otherwise. “I wasn’t the one who was hurt.”

    “Wait, then who was?” Darunia asked as he and Ganondorf stopped just behind Impa.

    “We found a tunnel leading out into the woods were Link’s from and we ran into an old friend of his.” Zelda explained. “After she showed us the way back there was an earthquake and the tunnel collapsed behind us. A big rock fell on Saria and…”

    The haunting image of Saria pinned under the boulder and the severe injuries it caused filled Zelda’s mind and made her unable to continue. She had never seen anything so horrifying before and prayed to the Goddesses that she would never have to see anything like it again. Impa placed a calming hand on the Princess’ shoulder, which snapped her back to her senses.

    At that moment, the healer who had been tending to Saria walked up to him.

    “She should make a full recovery.” He said with a warm smile. “I’ve never had to work on a Kokiri before and their biology seems to be radically different than anything else I’ve seen before, almost more plant than animal, but the fairies were able to help out and the water does most of the work anyway. Just give her a few hours to rest and recover and she should be good as new by the morning.”

    Link let out a sigh of relief and Zelda looked over to where Saria was lying unconscious in the hot spring, with only her face being above the water. Navi was flying in circles above her along with Saria’s pink fairy companion.

    “In the meantime, I suggest you all relax here at the hot springs yourselves.” The healer continued. “You all look exhausted.”

    “But we need to head to Zora’s Domain to-” Ganondorf started to object.

    “Whatever you need to do can wait until tomorrow, doctor’s orders.” The healer cut him off. “Now if you excuse me, I have other patients to attend to.”

    The Goron healer then turned and walked away before Ganondorf could argue. Darunia laughed and slapped Ganondorf on the back.

    “Well, it looks like you’ll all be staying here as my guests tonight.” Darunia said heartily. “Luckily for you, Goron hospitality is the greatest in Hyrule!”

    “I wouldn’t say we’re particularly lucky considering why we are here.” Impa pointed out.

    “True.” Darunia nodded thoughtfully. “The circumstances may not be the best. But still, you should always try to look on the bright side of things! I’ll have a feast prepared in honor of our defeat of the Dodongos. I’ll even have my chefs make food that you guys will actually be able to eat!”

    “So considerate.” Impa said sarcastically.

    “Plus there’s nothing more relaxing than a stay at these hot springs.” Darunia continued, oblivious to the backhanded comment. “Good for the health, too.”

    “I guess that fight did take a lot out of me.” Ganondorf relented, trying to relax his sore muscles. “Perhaps it would be better to rest here for the night than to heading straight to Zora’s Domain.”

    “Then it’s settled.” Darunia slapped Ganondorf on the back again, nearly knocking the Gerudo King off his feet. “
    * * *​
    Ganondorf closed his eyes as he leaned back against the rock wall behind him. He couldn’t remember the last time he had felt so relaxed and it felt good to have the tension build up in his muscles fade away for the first time in a long time.

    “What did I tell you?” Darunia chuckled heartily.

    “This feels fantastic.” Ganondorf replied. “I had no idea that these things existed.”

    “Yep, these hot springs are the pride and joy of Death Mountain.” Darunia noted. “Long ago the Gorons used to be a nomadic people but when our ancestors found these hot springs and the nutritious mineral reserves under the mountain they finally decided to form a permanent settlement here.”

    “You know, where I come from water is a rare commodity.” Ganondorf said. “It can take days of wandering the desert just to find a single oasis that we can draw our water from, forcing us to build our settlements in those rare spots just so that we can survive.”

    “That’s rough.” Darunia scratched at his shoulder awkwardly. “Life can be pretty unfair sometimes, can’t it? You’re people need water to survive, yet you barely have access to it. My people are perfectly capable of surviving without any water and yet we do have plenty.”

    “That’s true.” Ganondorf nodded. “Of course, by forming this new peace treaty, our people could aid each other. For example, your people could teach my people about how you mine these mountains and we could adapt those techniques to learn how to dig for water buried deep beneath the barren desert. If we could make our own springs and wells, then we could make the Gerudo Desert for more habitable. I’m not sure what we would be able to repay you with, though.”

    “I’m sure we could come to some sort of arrangement.” Darunia smiled.

    “Of course, we still need to check on the Zoras and return to Hyrule Castle before negotiations on the peace treaty can be finalized.” Impa spoke up from the other side of the hot spring.

    Princess Zelda’s head suddenly rose up from under the water and she began to breathe heavily. Link did the same shortly afterward, having just won their contest to see who could hold their breath longer.

    “Oh, come on.” Zelda said, disgruntled. “How can you hold your breath that long?”

    Link shrugged and smiled at her, then leaned back and let himself float on the surface of the water for a while. Zelda went to chase after him, but Impa suddenly grabbed her by the piece of long narrow cloth she had lent the Princess to cover herself.

    “Aagh, what was that for?” Zelda complained.

    “You’re sarashi was coming loose.” Impa explained. “It would be improper to let a princess accidentally expose herself.”

    Zelda’s cheeks turned red and she knelt down so that the hot water went up to just below her nose.

    “Sorry, we couldn’t provide anything more modest to wear.” Darunia apologized. “We Gorons don’t really need to wear anything more than just a loincloth and we don’t get very many visitors up here, so that’s all we have to offer.”

    “That is fine.” Impa replied.

    “Although perhaps we should look into having clothing to offer to guests who visit the hot springs.” Darunia noted. “It could help encourage people to come.”

    “We have many great tailors in the Gerudo Desert.” Ganondorf said. “Perhaps we could make an arrangement to provide bathing garments for guests of the hot springs.”

    “Sounds good.” Darunia smiled. “We’ll talk more about it later, though for now let’s just relax and enjoy the sunset.”

    “I didn’t even realize how late it was.” Ganondorf looked up at the orange sky as the sun fell out of view.

    “Wow!” Princess Zelda seemed awestruck by the sight, as she was not normally allowed to stay up this late.

    “Yep, quite the sight.” Darunia said. “It always is.”
    * * *​
    Zelda was woken up the next morning by the light of the sunrise shining in her eyes. She slowly sat up and rubbed her sore eyes, now understanding why she was not allowed to stay up late. They had all slept outside near the hot springs, under the light of the stars. That night felt magical, but now morning was here and she just felt tired.

    As the princess got up, she saw that Impa was meditating off to the side while everyone else was also just waking up. It didn’t take much longer before everyone was gathered together and they were ready to go. First, however, they needed to check on Saria.

    The group headed over to the shallow hot spring where the unconscious Saria had been laid the night before. To Link and Zelda’s relief, the green haired Kokiri girl was now awake and being examined by the Goron healer, who was hunched over the leg that had been broken in the cave-in.

    “Link!” Saria called out to her old friend as she saw them approaching.

    “Saria!” Link sprinted towards her. “Are you alright?”

    Saria looked at the healer uneasily. The Goron turned to face Link and the others.

    “It’s hard to say.” The healer said.

    “That’s not funny.” Saria glared at him.

    “Right, sorry.” The healer looked oddly bashful. “But bad jokes aside, I have no idea what to make of this.”

    The Goron Healer stepped aside so that Link and the others could see Saria’s leg. It took a moment for them to realize what was wrong, yet once they noticed it became obvious. Saria’s leg had somehow turned to wood.

    “W-what’s that?” Zelda wondered aloud.

    “It would appear that this is what happens to Kokiris when they leave the forest.” Saria’s fairy companion flew out from behind her shoulder. “They revert back into their original form.”

    “Although it looks like it must normally be a slow process since Link hasn’t shown any signs of it yet.” Navi added, flying over to Link. “Saria’s injury must have accelerated the process.”

    “Wait, that means you’re both turning into trees?” Zelda couldn’t believe her ears.

    “Something like that.” Navi replied.

    “You’re a Kokiri?” Ganondorf asked Link, who nodded in reply. “But, Kokiri are supposed to be nothing more than legend.”

    “Surprise.” Saria said halfheartedly. “Although, I think I should probably tell you something, Link.”

    “What?” Link asked.

    “The Great Deku Tree told me something a long time ago. He said that he would tell you when you were ready to hear it, but… obviously he can’t do that anymore and… well, if it isn’t obvious yet it will be soon now. You see, there’s a reason that you didn’t have a fairy like the rest of us and, well, why you never really fit in with most of the Kokiri.” Saria looked like she was about to cry. “Link, you’re… you’re not a Kokiri.”

    “What?” Navi gasped loudly while Link took in this knowledge in stunned silence. He felt like his whole world should feel like it was collapsing around him and yet… it was like he had always known this deep down.

    “Years ago, when war ravaged the land of Hyrule, a woman fled into the forbidden forest with her baby child.” Saria explained. “She managed to find her way to the Great Deku Tree shortly before she passed away from injuries she had sustained when she had run away. With her last breaths, she entrusted the care of her child to him. That child was you.”

    Link didn’t know what to say. What to feel. Everything around him seemed to become a haze as he tried to process it. He was a Hylian. The Great Deku Tree had lied to him his entire life about who and what he was. Saria had known, and possibly others as well. Everything he knew was a lie and yet he himself felt like he already knew the truth.
    When I started this chapter I didn't really have anything in particular in mind after the opening bit. Everything after the first few paragraphs ended up being more or less made up on the spot as I was writing it. I feel like a lot of the dialogue ended up kind of clunky and I ended up going at least half the chapter without any idea of what to actually have the characters do, but I think it turned out okay.

    I'm also going to try adding commentary about the creative process and ideas that go into my writing like this from now on as a regular feature for all of my stories. So, feel free to leave any comments, questions and suggestions you have so that I can get back to you with details/answers/trivia/etc.
     
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  15. BZRich64

    BZRich64 Mustached Moderator

    Golden Lizard
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    When Link regained his senses, he found himself standing in front of a waterfall. Zelda and Saria were each holding one of his hands, while Ganondorf and Darunia stood behind them. Impa was standing on a stone platform depicting the emblem of the Triforce up ahead, whistling the same unfamiliar tune that she had while trying to get Darunia to talk to them.

    Zelda yawned and slowly closed her eyes. She started to lean forward, before almost falling off the edge of the small land bridge they were standing on and into the river below. Fortunately, Link was able to pull her back up again quickly before she fell, waking her up again in the process.

    “Link!” Saria shouted even though she was standing right next to him.

    “What happened?” Zelda asked, suddenly wide awake again. Her heart felt like it was pounding rapidly against the inside of her chest. “Oh, Link? You’re back?”

    Before Link could reply, Impa stopped whistling and the waterfall suddenly began to split into two smaller waterfalls, revealing a hidden tunnel behind it.

    “This way.” Impa turned to the others for a second before facing the waterfall again and jumping across the gap between the stretch of land they were all standing on and where the waterfall had just been, landing on the floor of the tunnel and proceeding through it.

    “Need a lift?” Darunia suddenly pulled all through children into a tight hug with his large arms and jumped into the tunnel while carrying them.

    Ganondorf then jumped after them just before the twin waterfalls rejoined and blocked off the entrance again, leaving them with no way of going back the way they had come. Impa led the others through the tunnel, which led into a large flooded cavern.

    “Welcome to Zora’s Domain.” She said. “King Zora’s chamber is this way.”

    Impa walked along a pathway leading to another tunnel at the other end of the cavern and the others all followed her. Link, Zelda, Ganondorf and Saria all looked around in astonishment at their surroundings. There was another waterfall running down the far wall, which fed into a large pool of water that filled the lowermost section of the cavern. There were several dozen Zora’s populating the area and the white and blue fish-like people were unlike anything Link or Saria had ever seen before.

    The group made their way into the tunnel that Impa led them through, which opened up into another large chamber above the waterfall that had poured down into the one they had just walked through. The water that fed into that waterfall passed down from an elevated ledge, on top of which sat a large, round-looking Zora with rather thin arms and legs that gave him an almost comedic look. He wore a red cloak and a golden crown, unlike the other Zoras they had passed who wore nothing at all. The large Zora had his face buried in his small hands and was crying heavily.

    “Your Highness.” Impa bowed before the Zora’s King, who didn’t look up or even seem to notice her. “Your Highness!”

    “I’m afraid the King isn’t seeing anyone right now.” Another Zora walked up to them.

    “What’s wrong?” Ganondorf asked the Zora.

    “Well you see, the King’s daughter, Princess Ruto, has gone missing. The King has become so distressed by her disappearance that he refuses to move or talk to anybody.”

    “Do you have any idea what happened to her?”

    “If we did then we likely would have found her by now. But it’s been several days and we haven’t found any trace of where she could have gone.”

    “No wonder he didn’t arrive for the peace treaty discussions.” Ganondorf muttered. “But how can we help with this?”

    “Leave it to me.” Darunia walked up to where Impa had knelt down a moment before. “Yo! de Bon! Long time, no see!”

    Hearing Darunia’s shout caused King Zora to sniff and look up for the first time. “D-Darunia? I-is that you? W-what are you doing here?”

    “I heard you daughter’s gone missing and there’s no way I wouldn’t come to help out my old friend with something like that.” Darunia replied heartily.

    “R-really?” King Zora sniffed.

    “Of course!” Darunia smiled and gave a thumbs-up. “Now just tell us what was happened before she disappeared and we’ll all get to work on finding her.”

    “A-alright.” The King said nervously. “W-well, about three days ago she went to Zora’s Fountain to feed Lord Jabu-Jabu his dinner. No one’s seen her since then.”

    “Alright.” Darunia stroked his beard as he went over what the King just said. “If I remember right, the only way in and out of Zora’s Fountain is the tunnel right behind you. That means that if you haven’t seen her pass by this way, then she must still be in Zora’s Fountain somewhere, so that’s where we’ll begin our search. Of course, we’ll need you to let us through.”

    “Oh, of course.”

    King Zora tried shuffling to the side, moving about half an inch out of the way. Then he shuffled again, moving about the same distance. Then he moved over again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, before he had finally moved out of the way of the entrance to Zora’s Fountain far enough to let them pass.

    Now that the way was clear, everyone quickly hurried past King Zora. They made their way through the passage behind him, wading through flowing water that went up to the kid's knees until it led out into an open clearing outside. Steep cliffs surrounded the area, which was filled with water. Several dead trees were scattered about and there was a large altar up ahead. Darunia walked up to the altar and everyone else followed.

    “That’s odd.” Darunia scratched his chin again. “Lord Jabu-Jabu is usually right here.”

    Just then, a massive fish-like creature emerged from the water and rested its head on the altar in front of them.

    “Oh, there he is.” Darunia then turned back to the others. “Alright, gang! I think our best option is to spread out and search for clues. I’ll check under the water!”

    With that, Darunia then ran up to the edge of the altar and jumped into the Fountain, sinking down into the watery depths before anyone else had a chance to react.

    “I guess we could cover more ground if we split up.” Ganondorf shook his head. “But I think that we should investigate here before we do that. If the Zora Princess went to feed Lord Jub-Jub then that means that she would have to have been here when she did so.”

    “Lord Jabu-Jabu.” Impa corrected him.

    “That’s what I said.” Ganondorf knelt down and looked at the floor of the altar. “Hmm… I wonder if it's possible that Lord Gabu-Gabu might have swallowed the Princess.”

    “That seems unlikely.” Impa walked up beside Ganondorf and folded her arms. “Lord Jabu-Jabu is a benevolent spirit. The chances of him having-”

    Before Impa could finish her sentence, Lord Jabu-Jabu suddenly opened his mouth wide and swallowed both Ganondorf and Impa whole. Zelda, Link and Saria all ran away screaming from the giant, apparently man-eating fish creature.

    “It just… it just ate them!” Zelda couldn’t believe it. “It ate them!”

    “Well, they might be fine.” Navi flew out from Link’s hat. “I mean, they might be able to get back out again, right?”

    Lord Jabu-Jabu eyed the three children and the two fairies with them, then flopped up onto the altar in an apparent attempt at chasing them down. Screaming again, they all ran away. Link and Navi ran in one direction while Zelda, Saria and her fairy went the other way. Lord Jabu-Jabu tried to chase after them but was helpless out of the water so he then switched to flopping back into it.

    When Link finally stopped to catch his breath, he found himself on a small beach that was one of the few patches of ground that was above the water level. He thought that he was safe there and turned to call for the others but then Lord Jabu-Jabu hopped onto the shore next to him and tried to bite at him. Link panicked and ran behind a boulder propped up against the base of the cliff wall, where it turned out there was a small cave. Link rushed into the cave to get away from Lord Jabu-Jabu.

    Link fell to his hands and knees, trying his best not to break down. He suddenly found himself enveloped by a comforting warmth and looked up. Sparkling blue lights trickled down the black walls of the strange cave, sparkling like stars in the sky. In front of him was a decorative marble fountain that he had seen once before, on the way to Hyrule Castle.

    “Welcome child, it is good to see you again.” The Great Fairy of Magic emerged from the fountain and floated in the air above the water. “What brings you to my fountain?”

    “What?” Navi asked. “I thought your fountain was on the road to Hyrule Castle?”

    “I get around.” The Great Fairy smiled warmly and brushed back her long magenta hair.

    “O-outside.” Link stammered. “I-it ate them.”

    “S-s-shh.” The Great Fairy of Magic stepped onto the marble floor and walked up to Link, shrinking down to the size of a human adult. She knelt down in front of the boy and pulled him into a comforting loving embrace like a mother caring for her child, inadvertently shoving his face into her large bosoms in the process. “I’m sorry you had to see that. Unfortunately, even the great Lord Jabu-Jabu can get a bit crazy when he hasn’t eaten in several days. But do not worry your friends will be alright.”

    They remained like that before Link finally started to calm down, and also had to pull away from her in order to breathe.

    “I will go find something suitable to give to Lord Jabu-Jabu to satiate his hunger so that he will free your friends. In the meantime, I suggest you go check on your other friends. This should aid you.” The Great Fairy held out her hand and a green crystal materialized in the air, similar to the red one she gave Link the last time they met. Link reached out and touched it, causing the crystal to dissolve. A sensation like a strong gust of wind rushed through Link for a moment. “With the power of Farore’s Wind, you will be able to teleport to anywhere you wish. You have to be able to visualize the place you want to go perfectly in your mind, however, so be very careful with it or you could find yourself in a situation you’d rather not be in.”

    With a snap of her fingers, the Great Fairy of Magic was gone. Link stood up and headed outside. Lord Jabu-Jabu was nowhere to be seen. Link guessed that he was probably going after Darunia somewhere under the water and hoped that the Goron would be able to hold his own against the spirit. Link looked around and managed to find Zelda and Saria. They had somehow climbed up to a large cave set into the wall across from where he was.

    Link decided to try out his new ability. He held his hand out and imagined himself standing next to where the two girls were. A green light emanated from his outstretched hand and spread around him, engulfing Link in a magical wind. The next thing he knew he was standing exactly where he had imagined himself.

    “Ahh!” Zelda screamed as she noticed that Link suddenly standing next to her. “How’d you get there?”

    “The Great Fairy of Magic gave Link the power to teleport.” Navi explained before Link had the chance to.

    “What?” Saria had no idea what the fairy was talking about.

    “There was a Great Fairy Fountain behind the rock back there.” Link pointed back to where he had come from. “She gave me a magic spell and then went off to get something to calm down the fish thing. She also said that the others should be alright.”

    “That’s good to hear. I guess.” Zelda replied. “Although it doesn’t help us find the Zora Princess.”

    “Maybe she’s in here?” Saria peered further into the cave they were standing at the entrance to. “It looks like it goes pretty far. She may have wandered in and gotten lost.”

    “Which would mean that we’d probably get lost if we looked for her in there.” Zelda pointed out. “Besides, we’re soaking wet and this cave is freezing. We could freeze to death in there.”

    “I’m dry.” Link pointed out. “I think it happened when I used Farore’s Wind, which means that I could use it to dry you off as well. At least if I can bring others with me when I do it, but Navi’s came with me when I came up here, which means that it should work. I can also use it to bring us back out here so long as we stick together.”

    “See, we should check it out.” Saria urged.

    “Fine.” Zelda relented. “It’s not like we have anything better to do while we wait.”

    Zelda and Saria both stood next to Link and he placed a hand on each of their shoulders. He then concentrated on a spot just a few feet in front of them and they became enveloped in the same magical green wind that had appeared before. When it cleared they were now standing at that spot, completely dry.

    “Huh, I guess that did work.” Zelda said, checking her sleeves. “I’m still cold, though.”

    “It feels fine to me.” Saria noted.

    “You’re wearing a sweater! Of course you’re not cold!” Zelda pointed out. “All I’m wearing is a water-damaged dress!”

    “I’m also not wearing pants.” Saria countered. “And neither is Link, yet he’s perfectly fine.”

    “Actually, I’m pretty cold too.” Link replied, shivering slightly.

    “And I don’t think it even matters if you’re wearing pants considering, well…” Zelda trailed off.

    “Considering what?” Saria asked, not realizing what the princess was referring to.

    “Your legs.” Zelda points to the legs in question. “They’re well… wood.”

    Saria looked down at her legs, seeing the course, grainy texture of what had been flesh just a day earlier.

    “Oh, right forgot about that.” Saria knocked against her left leg, the one that had been injured the day before. “They don’t really feel any different. Although I guess they are a bit numb, now that I’m paying attention.”

    “I think I have an idea, actually.” Link held his hands up in front of him, concentrating hard. Warm flames erupted from the palms of his hands and tapered down to a manageable size. “This should help keep us warm.”

    “When’d you learn to do that?” Saria stared blankly at the fire.

    “Um…” Link thought back. “A couple days ago, when I was trying to get to the castle. We found a Great Fairy Fountain and the Great Fairy gave me this ability.”

    “Wait, so you’ve met two Great Fairies now?” Zelda couldn’t believe what she was hearing.

    “Actually it was the same Great Fairy.” Navi explained.

    “That seems like an odd coincidence.”

    Link shrugged.
    Back again with another chapter already. I'm not really sure if I have much to saw about this one, other than it came together much faster than usual. I'm pretty sure I managed to get at least 95% done in one day, which is amazingly quick for me. I also had a lot of fun adapting the King Zora cutscene to text.
     
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  16. BZRich64

    BZRich64 Mustached Moderator

    Golden Lizard
    (Charmander)
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    Zelda slipped on the frozen floor and fell onto her rear for the fifth time since they began exploring the cave.

    “Why does the ground have to be so slippery?” She asked demandingly even though she knew she wouldn’t get an answer.

    Link and Saria helped pull the princess back up onto her feet and they proceeded further into the Ice Cavern. They had been searching for a while now but there was still no sign of Princess Ruto.

    “I don’t think she’s here.” Zelda said. “Let’s just leave and wait for the others to be rescued.”

    “I think I’m starting to agree with the princess.” Saria rubbed her hands together to warm them up. “It’s dark in here and even I’m starting to get cold.”

    “Alright.” Link relented. “We’ll just check around this next corner and then I’ll send us back.”

    The trio of children and the two fairies accompanying them walked the rest of the way through the short passageway they were in, which opened up into a large room-like area lined with icy pillars. To their surprise, the chamber was lit by several torches producing mysterious blue flames. In addition, some of the ice seemed to be red.

    “Hey, what’s this?” Navi flew up to a particularly large chunk of red ice sticking out of the ground. “I think there’s something in this!”

    The others all ran after the blue fairy to see what she was referring to. Zelda nearly slipped and fell over again, though Link was able to catch her this time.

    “I-I think that’s a person!” Saria gasped as she made out a humanoid silhouette through the semi-opaque ice.

    “It must be the Princess!” Zelda exclaimed. “She’s been frozen alive!”

    “But how do get her out of there?” Saria asked.

    Link held his hands out towards the red ice and shot out a continuous small stream of Din’s fire. It didn’t seem to have any effect on the ice.

    “Hey! Maybe you should try using blue fire to melt the red ice?” Navi suggested.

    “That might work.” Zelda folded her arms and started shivering. “Hey, is it just me or is it getting even colder in here?”

    “I feel it too.” Saria looked around. “It also seems like it’s starting to get kind of foggy in here. That can’t be good.”

    Link remembered when he had made his way into the lowest level inside the Great Deku Tree just a couple days before, when he ran into an apparently empty room only to end up having to fight the Queen Gohma. He looked up at the cave ceiling and, for the second time that week, found a giant single eye staring back at him.

    “What are you looking at?” Zelda asked as she noticed Link staring at the ceiling. She screamed when she looked up to see what it was. “What is that thing?”

    “Well, it appears to be releasing a lot of frost into the air and it's staring at us.” Navi flew up to the giant eyeball, illuminating it with the faint glow emanating from her body. “I’m going to call it Frostare.”

    Saria’s fairy flew up after Navi. The combined light of the two fairies, along with the torches scattered about the room, made it so that the children could see the creature better. The violet, bloodshot eye was covered in ice-like shards and seemed to be hanging from the ceiling by some kind of root structure.

    The temperature in the room dropped dramatically and it became hard to see through the frosty mist that filled the room. Zelda ran over to Link and grabbed onto him, holding on tightly for warmth. Link concentrated and unleashed as much fire as he could. He was surprised to see just how strong Din’s Fire actually was, as he created a wall of flame that engulfed the room in front of him. Fortunately, Saria wasn’t hurt by the blast. Unfortunately, that was because she had become frozen in a block of red ice.

    “Saria!” Zelda called out and started to run to her, but Link held her back.

    “No, you might get frozen too. Get behind me and stay close.”

    Once the princess had followed his’s instructions, Link held both his arms up towards Frostare. A massive blast of fire shot out of his hands and struck the monster in its eye. Navi and Saria’s fairy were both able to avoid the blast, which unfortunately didn’t seem to do anything to it. Link tried again, this time aiming a bit higher up. The flames burned away at the roots holding Frostare up, catching them on fire.

    When the roots had burned away, Frostare fell from the cave ceiling. Rather than crashing into the ground, however, the shards surrounding its eye opened up into a pair of wings and the monster hovered in circles around the room. Each flap of its wings sent out a powerful gust of frigid mist but Link was able to guard against it by creating a wall of fire around himself and Princess Zelda. Zelda wrapped her arms around Link and began to cry.

    Link closed his eyes and took in a deep breath. He had no idea if the idea that popped into his head would actually work but he didn’t have any other options at the moment. He knelt down and punched the ground as hard as he could. The wall of fire around them turned into a dome that expanded in every direction, filling the entire cavern with a burning inferno before the fire went out. All of the normal ice in the room had melted, creating a deep pool of water that covered the ground, though the red ice remained seemingly untouched. Frostare collapsed onto the ground, creating a large splash and thoroughly drenching Link and Zelda.

    Frostare began to rise up from the ground again but wasn’t fast enough. Link charged forward drawing his sword and plunged the blade into Frostare’s eye with all the force he could put into the strike. Then he pulled it back out and slashed at the swollen eye wildly until Frostare exploded in a puff of black and purple smoke, leaving nothing behind but a large red and silver gemstone of some kind, shaped like a heart.

    “What’s that?” Zelda walked up beside Link and pointed to the heart.

    “That’s a Heart Container.” Navi answered, flying down with Saria’s fairy. “They’re rare items said to be able to increase your lifespan.”

    Link motioned for the Princess to take the Heart Container.

    “What? You want me to have it?” Zelda was shocked. “But you’re the one who defeated that thing! You should get it.”

    “I already got one after defeating the Queen Gohma.” Link said. “Shortly before we met.”

    “Are you sure about this?” Zelda wasn’t quite sure why she was so hesitant.

    Link nodded.

    “Alright.” Zelda inched towards the Heart Container and reached her hand out to touch it. The moment her fingers brushed against its smooth red surface, the Heart Container dissolved into particles of light which flew into Zelda’s chest. She felt warm and empowered somehow. Like she was just a bit stronger than she had been a moment ago.

    “So now we just need to figure out how to get these two unfrozen.” Navi flew around Princess Ruto, while Saria’s fairy flew around her Kokiri companion. “Any ideas?”

    “Well, I think that we might be able to use the blue fire from those torches to melt the red ice.” Zelda said. “We should try and give it a shot, at least, though I’m not sure if we actually have any way of getting the blue fire to the red ice.”

    Link had an idea and pulled out his Deku Shield. He gazed at the red emblem painted onto the wooden shield carved from the Great Deku Tree, before closing his eyes and smashing the Deku Shield over his knee, splitting it in two. He didn’t want to break the only thing he had left of the one who had raised him, but two lives were at stake, including Saria’s. He held one half out for Zelda to take.

    “What are you doing!” Navi shrieked.

    “We should be able to use these as torches.” Link explained as Zelda grabbed the broken shield from him. “And we don’t really have anything else to use.”

    Navi tried to object but found that she couldn’t. Link and Zelda both walked over to one of the torches positioned along the sides of the chamber and lit their halves of the shield on fire. Link then ran over to where Saria was frozen while Zelda hurried to Princess Ruto. Just touching the red ice with blue fire was enough to completely thaw the two girls out.

    “L-let’s n-never d-do t-that a-again.” Saria shivered and rubbed her hands against her arms once she was freed and able to move again.

    “Who are you people?” Ruto looked around. “Where am I? What’s going on?”
    * * *​
    Impa wiped slime off her face and stood up. Darunia and Ganondorf were lying on the ground beside her on the altar to Lord Jabu-Jabu. All three of them were drenched head-to-toe in slime. Lord Jabu-Jabu was poking his head above the water and stared at them blankly as he seemed to be chewing on something. The last thing that Impa could remember was being swallowed by the nature spirit along with Ganondorf and she had no idea what had happened after that.

    “I have such a headache.” Darunia moaned as he sat up. “Are what am I covered in?”

    “I don’t think that I want to know.” Ganondorf replied.

    Impa turned to see Link, Zelda and Saria running up to them with a young Zora girl their age who must have been the Princess they had been looking for.

    “You’re alright!” Zelda shouted excitedly.

    “Of course we are.” Impa brushed some of the slime off her arms.

    “I’m not sure if I would call waking up covered in fish slime to be alright.” Ganondorf muttered.

    “What do you have against fish slime, peasant?” Princess Ruto asked him, seemingly offended.

    “I am not a peasant.” Ganondorf tried to look dignified, though actually doing so was more-or-less impossible at the moment. “I am King Ganondorf of the Gerudo.”

    Ruto looked stunned but tried to hide it. “What are you all doing here, anyway? Zora’s Fountain is supposed to be off-limits to visitors.”

    “Your father let us through so that we could search for you.” Impa explained. “You’ve been missing for several days.”

    “Several days?” Ruto was shocked to hear this. “That can’t be right.”

    “I’m afraid that it is.” Darunia nodded solemnly. “Now we should probably go see old Zora de Bon and let him know you’re safe.”

    After Impa, Ganondorf and Darunia quickly cleaned themselves off in the cold water of Zora’s Fountain, everyone headed back to Zora’s Domain. King Zora was sitting exactly where they had left him, still bawling his eyes out. Princess Ruto ran up to him and tugged on her father’s arm.

    “Ruto!” King Zora exclaimed and hugged his daughter tightly, pulling her off her feet.

    “Too tight, too tight!” The princess gasped.

    “Thank you for finding my daughter.” King Zora released his tight grip on Ruto and turned to the others, who had made their way back to the platform facing across from him. “I am in all of your debt.”

    “Does this mean that you are ready to head to Hyrule Castle for the peace treaty negotiations?” Ganondorf asked.

    “Of course.” King Zora said emphatically. “We will begin preparations to travel at once. It may take some time, though.”

    “That is fine.” Impa bowed. “We shall wait for you to get ready, so that we may all travel back to the castle together.”
    Man, I haven't been very kind to Saria, have I? Broke her leg in a cave in, slowly turning to wood and now being frozen alive. I swear I don't have anything against the character and I'm not intentionally trying to hurt her.
    I was originally planning on having Link, Zelda and Saria all work together to fight this boss, then realized that neither Saria nor Zelda have any combat potential at this point and that there wasn't really a way for them to help, which is why things ended up going the way they did instead.
    In other news, I'm about to get to the point where this story stops being a loose adaptation of Ocarina of Time and completely goes off the rails. Think you know what challenges lie ahead? You don't. Though I would like to hear what you think may be in store for our heroes.
     
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  17. Majora's Incarnate

    Wash
    (Mareep)
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    Thunder Stone ★★★Water Stone ★★★Dawn Stone ★★★★Cooler Gary Oak ★★★★★Legendary Triforce ★★
    I'll read ch 14 soon, I'm going on a riverboat cruise for a few hours. When I get homei'll see this, though.
     
  18. BZRich64

    BZRich64 Mustached Moderator

    Golden Lizard
    (Charmander)
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    It was unusual for King Daltus to find himself without anything to do. However, that was exactly the situation he now found himself in. He had made sure that his schedule would remain free for the week so that he could focus on negotiating the peace treaty with the leaders of the other races. However, there was no way to work on those negotiations until the others actually arrived, leaving the King of Hyrule with nothing to occupy his time.

    The king sat alone in the throne room and sighed. It wasn’t good for a member of the royal family to remain idle like this, let alone the king, so he decided to take a walk around the castle. He stood up and stretched his back with a loud groan before heading towards the main doorway. King Daltus had no particular destination in mind, so he wandered through the castle’s hallways aimlessly.

    The king passed by the royal library, where several scholars were looking through ancient tombs. He thought about asking them what they were studying but decided that it would probably be best not to interrupt them. He instead continued on his way and eventually found himself walking out into the gardens behind the castle.

    King Daltus looked up at the stone statues Din, Nayru and Farore that stood at the gardens’ entrance and admired them for a while before moving on. He remembered the first time that he had set foot in these gardens, many years ago. It was when he had first met the woman who would eventually become his wife. Daltus was just the oldest son of one of Hyrule’s many noble families at the time, accompanying his father on a meeting with the current king and queen of the time. It was while they were taking a tour of the castle grounds that Daltus first laid eyes on the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. He had never been one to believe in love at first sight, but it was certainly as close as could be.

    It wasn’t long before the king found himself entering the royal mausoleum. The stone structure seemed cold and cramped, the walls lined with stone coffins containing former members of the royal family. King Daltus wasn’t sure why he was there and it had been a very long time since he had visited. It had been too long.

    The king walked up to the most recent coffin to have been placed within the old tomb and placed his hand gently on its lid. He held back tears as he looked down and read the name engraved upon it: Queen Zelda XV. Daltus had never been able to find the words to describe the pain he had felt ever since his wife’s passing. It was a dark time for all of Hyrule. Not only were they still in the midst of the war against the Gerudo, but a terrible plague had spread through the land as well. ‘The Red Death’ as it was widely known, had claimed countless victims throughout Hyrule before the nation’s sorcerers and healers had finally managed to find a way to combat the disease. Unfortunately, it had been too late for them to save the queen.

    There was a creaking noise from the other side of the mausoleum. King Daltus turned around to see that one of the coffins had been opened. He walked over to it to see what was going on, but his attention was drawn away by a quick movement outside. He looked around, but there was no one there.

    “Guards!” King Daltus yelled, causing two Sheikah to step into the open. “I think there may be an intruder here. Spread out and search for them.”

    The Sheikah nodded and ran off in separate directions. With luck, this was just his mind playing tricks on him. With Sheikah spies and Hylian guards keeping watch over the castle at all times, there was no way that anyone could sneak into the castle, right? But then again, coffins didn’t just open themselves.

    King Daltus reassured himself that even if there was anyone here, his guards would track them down easily. He had nothing to worry about. In fact, the movement he thought he had seen was likely nothing at all, and the open coffin may have the result of a clumsy caretaker. However, there was no way to explain away how King Daltus suddenly found himself being stabbed in the back. He yelled in pain and collapsed to the ground. The king stared up at his attacker, a shadowy figure resembling a boy, who stared back down at him with two blank red eyes.

    The shadow showed no emotion as it stared down at him. It simply raised the black sword it carried in its left hand, prepared to finish him off. Fortunately for the king, the two Sheikah he had sent away returned to defend him. One through a Deku Nut onto the ground, creating a quick blinding flash of light. The light was meant only to disorient the shadow creature before it could strike the king again but ended up doing much more. The pitch black figure seemed to melt away into nothing more than a black circle on the ground, then suddenly darted off towards the gardens.

    “What was that?” The king wondered aloud, then let out a groan in pain.
    * * *​
    Link, Zelda, Impa, Ganondorf, Darunia and Saria stood around outside the entrance to Zora’s Domain, waiting for King Zora and his procession to arrive so that they could leave. After a while, the waterfall parted behind them. A large figure shuffled along through the temple, which they could not make out clearly at first. As it reached the end of the tunnel and came out into the light, everyone was shocked to see that it was a large Octorock. The red monster used its tentacles to crawl down into the river, carrying King Zora and Princess Ruto on its back.

    “I’m sorry to have kept you waiting.” King Zora said. “We are ready to leave, now.”

    “Then we should head out.” Impa replied, though the others seemed a bit uneasy.

    “Yes, let’s.” King Zora flicked the reins connected to the Octorock’s muzzle and the apparently-tamed creature began to swim down the river.

    The others had to run to try and keep up with the Octorock, which was a surprisingly fast swimmer considering its own bulk and the weight of its riders. They eventually made their way back to Hyrule Field, where a Sheikah boy not much older than Zelda and Link was waiting with the two horses that they had ridden to Kakariko Village the day before. The Sheikah waved at them.

    “Thank you for waiting here.” Impa said as she climbed onto the white royal stallion.

    “Not a problem.” The Sheikah boy nodded.

    Impa pulled Zelda onto the horse with her while Ganondorf climbed onto the back of his own horse. King Zora’s octorock continued swimming along the river, which would eventually lead them all the way back to Hyrule Castle, while everyone else either walked or rode along the river’s edge. The Sheikah boy stayed behind, waving as the group continued on their way.

    “Who was that?” Saria asked about the boy.

    “My nephew.” Impa did not elaborate further.

    The group traveled in silence after that for a while and it started to rain before long. They eventually came to a bend in the river and after passing it Castle Town came into view in the distance. Saria gasped as she saw it, as she had never seen anything like it. The huge stone wall that surrounded the city was the largest structure she had ever seen. Then again, the only thing she really had to compare it to was the Forest Temple. She turned to Link to see his reaction to it but found that he was staring off in the other direction, towards Kakariko Village. She looked over to see what had caught his attention and let out another gasp, though this one was for a very different reason than the first.

    “Is that smoke?”

    The others all turned to see what she was referring to. By this point, the rain had grown into a full-fledged storm and the sky had grown dark from the cloud cover, making it hard to make out the massive plumes of smoke rising up from the village amidst the rain and clouds. However, it did not take long for anyone to realize what it meant once they saw it.

    Without thinking, Impa brought her horse to a gallop, riding off as quickly as she could. Ganondorf sped up as well to follow her, leaving those on foot to run after them. Even King Zora had his Octorock swim faster to hurry to the village.

    There wasn’t a single building in Kakariko Village that wasn’t on fire when they arrived. The entire settlement was burning to the ground and villagers were running away in a panic to get away from the destination. There were several people working on trying to put out the flames, but the well had dried up long ago and there was nothing else they could try to use. Impa got off the horse and rushed in to try and make sure that everyone was safe. Ganondorf and Darunia both ran after her to help, leaving Zelda, Link and Saria waiting just outside of the town, watching in distress. King Zora steered his octorock out onto land and rode into town. Ruto jumped down to wait with the other kids as the octorock suddenly started spraying a powerful jet of water over the village to put out the flames.

    Something rose out of one of the burning houses. It blended in with the smoke at first but moved unnaturally. A mass of darkness seemed to slither through the air chaotically, arching around the edge of the village before suddenly darting straight towards where the children were waiting. The darkness struck them before they had a chance to react. Link managed to grab Zelda by the wrist just as the darkness slammed into her and they were both carried off by it. Saria and Ruto both tried to chase after them but ended up getting swept up by the darkness as well.

    Impa, Ganondorf and Darunia all heard screaming and turned to see the darkness carry the kids away into the graveyard behind the village. They each dropped what they doing and chased after it. The darkness was too fast for any of them, however, and quickly disappeared before any of them even had a chance to catch up to it. The storm seemed to clear up as soon as the darkness was gone.

    “What was that thing?” Darunia wondered aloud, looking around to see any sign of where the darkness had gone.

    “That is impossible.” Impa shuddered and dropped to her knees, digging her hands into the muddy ground. She seemed to be on the verge of a complete breakdown. “We sealed it away. How could it have escaped?”

    “What are you talking about?” Ganondorf knelt down next to her. “Do you know what that thing was?”

    Impa nodded. “That thing was an evil shadow spirit that terrorized the village many years ago. It took all of our strongest warriors to fight the beast off, but… it was too powerful… I was the one who… I was the only one…”

    Impa couldn’t go any further. The memories were too painful. The horrors she had been forced to bear witness to that tragic day were more than she could bear.

    “We’re going to have to go after that thing if we want to save the kids.” Darunia pointed out. “Any idea where it would have run off to?”

    “Yes.” Impa closed her eyes tightly and slowly rose to her feet. “It would have retreated to the Shadow Temple. I do not know what it is planning, but that is the only place it could have gone.”

    “Then that’s where we’re going!” Darunia beat his chest loudly. “Although, you don’t need to come with us if it’ll be too hard for you.”

    “No, I will come.” Impa said determinately. “The Shadow Temple is likely one of the most dangerous places in all of Hyrule, especially if you do not know the layout. You would likely lose your lives if you so much as set foot in there without me to guide you. Besides, it is my duty to protect Princess Zelda and I will do so even if it costs me my own life. Even if it means that I have to face that monster again.”

    “Does that monster have a name?” Ganondorf asked.

    “Yes.” Impa lowered her head solemnly. “Bongo Bongo.”
    Somehow this chapter ended up with two unrelated(?) shadow monster attacks, which is not what I had planned out for it. I was originally going to have the main group hanging around Zora's Domain for most of the chapter before they could finally leave, and the chapter would have ended with them seeing + - Kakariko Village up in smoke.   However, when I started writing it, I felt that I should open with a scene focusing on the King for a bit, showing the lead in to... well, you'll just have to wait and see what happens next with that. Then, when I finished that scene I realized that having the characters wait around in Zora's Domain would just be pointless filler and I didn't really have anything planned for them to do, either. So I just skipped straight to them heading out. However, that meant continuing past where I had originally planned on ending this chapter in order to avoid having the chapter be too short.
     
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  19. BZRich64

    BZRich64 Mustached Moderator

    Golden Lizard
    (Charmander)
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    Warning: This chapter contains dark and potentially disturbing imagery. It should only be about a T or PG-13 level, but its still more than has been in any of the previous chapters.
    “This place feels… um…” Ganondorf searched for the right word to describe how he felt. “Eerie.”

    “I agree.” Darunia looked around uncomfortably.

    “It will only get worse as we go deeper in.” Impa replied solemnly. “Which is why I think it best that we just move on for now.”

    The trio made their way through the torch filled room that marked the entrance into the Shadow Temple, past the stone altar surrounded by ancient ruins and into a dark, narrow hallway. Impa noted that all of the torches had already been lit and that the heavy stone door which sealed off the temple had been left wide open. This did not bode well. Things only seemed even more off when they reached a giant pit meant to keep anyone from making their way into the temple even if they had passed the door. Not the fact that the pit was there, no. Impa knew the temple’s layout well and there were no traps she was not already aware of. It was the fact that the pit had been completely frozen over with a thick layer of ice that disturbed her.

    “Someone is already here.” Impa knelt down and cautiously touched the ice with her fingertips. “Or rather, something.”

    “We already knew that.” Ganondorf pointed out. “We came in here chasing it.”

    “I’m not talking about Bongo Bongo.” Impa shook her head as she stood up again. “It couldn’t have done this.”

    Darunia walked up next to Impa and stomped his foot on the ice a couple of times to check its durability. It was clear that it was more than stable enough for them to cross, so he started marching to the other side. Ganondorf followed behind while Impa ran up ahead. The hallway led out into another room that somehow managed to be both large and claustrophobic. A statue depicting a demonic-looking bird was placed at the center of the room. Normally the statue would have to be turned around to face a specific direction in order to open up the gateway leading further into the temple, but the gate had been blown out of the way, with scorch marks all around where the gate had been and more ice filling up a second chasm that would normally have made progressing any further impossible even for someone who knew to turn the statue properly.

    “Whoever or whatever was already here must have the power to control both fire and ice.” Impa observed as she took a closer look at the scorch marks. “We need to be on guard, as whatever was able to do this would likely make a formidable foe.”

    “Fire and ice.” Ganondorf muttered to himself. A thought popped into his head but he brushed it aside. There was no way.

    Impa led the others through another tunnel, which led out into an empty chamber that was supposed to have had a Beamos sentry standing guard. However, there was nothing but a black mark on the floor where it once stood. To the untrained eye, there did not appear to be any other way in or out of this room than the way they had just come. However, Impa knew that two of the walls were fake. One concealed a door leading to a dead end while the other led to the next room. Impa walked through the one would take them further into the temple while signaling for Ganondorf and Darunia to follow her. They were both surprised to find themselves in a small hallway leading to an iron door and even more surprised to see Impa duck down before opening said door.

    The door opened up into another large room. This one had short wooden walls about waist-height here and there. There was supposed to have been a statue of two hooded figures holding giant scythes which would spin around, cutting down any careless intruders that had somehow made their way this far into the temple. Or anyone trying to make their way out. However, all that remained of the statue were huge chunks of stone scattered around the room. One of the sharp blades lay on the floor at one end of the room, while the other had become embedded in the far wall. Disturbed by the scene, Impa led the others through a side door that was supposed to have been locked but which opened without any resistance.

    Impa walked down a short hallway that appeared to have been a dead end and stopped around halfway through. She knelt down and began feeling the floor in front of her as she slowly made her way forward until she found what she was looking for. She climbed down some grating that was bolted against the wall of the invisible drop-off into the room below. Ganondorf and Darunia followed the Sheikah carefully down into what appeared to be a cell. Through the rusted iron bars they could see some sort of river comprised of fog, with a lone ferry docked near them.

    “What is this place?” Ganondorf wondered aloud.

    “It’s a long story.” Impa sighed. “One which shall have to wait.”

    Impa climbed down a ladder, which was supposed to have been blocked off, down to the pier. She then ran over to another ladder which she climbed up to get to where she could board the ferry. Ganondorf and Darunia were hesitant to follow her but there wasn’t really anything else they could do

    The three of them each jumped onto the old boat but nothing seemed to happen at first. Impa walked over to where a golden Triforce emblem was painted onto the ship’s deck and turned to the others.

    “Before we travel any further, I must warn you. We are about to head to a place were no mortal was ever meant to go. We will encounter things that are not of this world and we may have to face things that we will regret ever laying eyes upon. If you wish to back out, now is your last chance.”

    “Seriously! What is this place?” Ganondorf demanded to know.

    “The Shadow Temple, though that name is misleading.” Impa replied. “My people once used this place as a prison, where enemies of Hyrule were kept and tortured for their crimes. Unspeakable atrocities have taken place here, which have caused it to become warped and twisted to the point where we eventually had to abandon it altogether and do our best to make sure that no one would ever be able to come here again. There is more to the story but we must hurry. I will explain once this ship has set sail.”

    “Are you sure that thing would have come this way?” Darunia asked. “What if it brought the kids to a different part of the temple?”

    “Because I know exactly where Bongo Bongo would have gone.” Impa answered. “If it has returned to this place then there is only one room where it would have gone.”

    “If you’re sure about this, then we have no other choice.” Ganondorf said grimly. “I may not like it but we have to save the kids and that thing needs to be taken down.”

    Darunia nodded in agreement. “We’ve come this far, haven’t we?”

    Impa nodded and began to whistle the song of the Hyrulian Royal Family. The ship creaked and groaned before it lurched forward and began to sail down the river of fog.

    “This ferry will take us into the deepest parts of the temple.” Impa explained. “My people once referred to this place as the underworld. It was here that we kept the worst criminals that Hyrule has ever known. We had sworn never to use this place again but things changed when one of our people went rogue. He claimed to have been visited by being he referred to as a god, who warped his mind and he became obsessed with ‘truth’, or rather, his twisted concept of the term. He began performing twisted experiments using ancient dark magic that had been thought lost when the Dark Interlopers were sealed away in the early days of Hyrule. When we were finally able to capture him, we found him trying to cast some sort of summoning spell. He had painted runes all over the walls and floor in his own blood and… and I still remember the way he looked up at us… at me… with that one, solid red eye. It was like he wasn’t human anymore.”

    Impa shuddered from the memory while Ganondorf and Darunia tried to take in all that she was telling them.

    “Looking back on it, he probably wasn’t by that point.” Impa went on. “Once we had him subdued we took him down here so that we could execute him within the deepest chamber of this accursed place… but he didn’t die. The moment his head was severed from his body, a pillar of darkness erupted from his neck like a geyser. The darkness overwhelmed us and was able to escape back to Kakariko Village. We chased after it and were eventually able to seal the creature away under the old well. But by that point… I was the only one left.”

    “Wait.” Ganondorf couldn’t believe what he had just heard. “You’re saying that Bongo Bongo… was a Sheikah?”

    “Once.” Impa looked down at her feet in shame as the ferry came to a halt. “We need to get off now.”

    Impa jumped off the side of the boat onto a narrow stretch of land just as the ferry began to shake violently. Darunia and Ganondorf had just enough time to leap off of it after her before the whole thing fell away into the fog. Impa pointed to a doorway that had blown off its hinges along the cavern wall across from them. She had to grab her arm with her other hand to keep it steady.

    “That is the entrance to the room where Bongo Bongo was executed.” Impa said. “And where we left his body. It is where that thing would have gone.”

    “But how are we supposed to get over there?” Darunia asked, looking down the wide chasm filled with fog that was blocking their way. “Whoever was here before us didn’t leave a convenient ice bridge this time.”

    “They likely weren’t able to get the ferry to move, which would mean that they weren’t able to get this far.” Impa noted before pointing to a patch of bomb flowers that were growing at the base of a tall stone pillar, upon which stood a bird statue similar to the one they had passed by earlier. “But if we can detonate those, then we should be able to make a bridge.”

    Impa clumsily pulled out one of her flash bombs and threw it, completely missing her target. She tried another one but wasn’t able to get any closer. She had just pulled out a third flash bomb when Ganondorf placed one of his hands on her shoulder and held the other out for her to hand the small explosive to him.

    “Perhaps you should let me try.”

    Impa relented and gave the flash bomb to him. Ganondorf threw it as hard as he could and was able to strike one of the bomb flowers, causing it to detonate. This caused a chain reaction that destroyed the base of the pillar, which fell towards them. It landed so that head of the bird stature fell beside where they were standing while what was left of the base was still on the other side, forming a perfect bridge for them to cross.

    Once on the other side, the trio made their way into the next room. A chill passed through all three of their spines, which had nothing to do with the cold. The stone floor was covered in dark stains while the walls were lined with dozens if not hundreds of skulls. Some were human, some weren’t. A headless skeleton lay on the ground across from them, the remains of deceased Sheikah criminal that now plagued them. In the center of the room, there was a large hole that seemed to lead into oblivion.

    “Where does this go?” Darunia asked, peering down into the dark abyss.

    “I don’t know.” Impa answered honestly. “I’ve never wanted to know. But wherever it goes, it is where Bongo Bongo would have taken the children. We have no choice but to go down there.”
    I can't really talk about this chapter without spoiling what happens in it (and its pretty long), so I'm putting my usual commentary in a Spoiler Tag this time.
    This chapter turned out darker than I was expecting, hence the warning at the top of the post. I ended up including a lot more exposition and background stuff in this chapter than I was expecting, which is the main reason this ended up so dark. My backstory for Bongo Bongo, as detailed in this chapter, is actually something that I started developing years ago, long before I came up with the concept for this story, and is based off of a lot of speculation and theories that I've had put together into a more or less logical narrative. I'm not sure if its really going to come up again in the story, so I might as well explain it a bit more here. Basically my theory is that Bongo Bongo was once a Sheikah who became obsessed with the idea 'seeing the truth', which led him to create the Lens of Truth, the Stone of Agony/Shard of Agony, and the Mask of Truth using ancient dark magic based off that used by the various dark tribes mentioned throughout Zelda lore (the Dark Interlopers were specifically name-dropped in the chapter, but there's also the Dark Tribe from Four Swords Adventures and the unnamed tribe that made Majora's Mask).
    Also of note is that I have this story planned out way to far ahead. I don't want to give away too much about what I have planned but we're currently still in the first 'book' of a trilogy that I have fairly mapped out (but with plenty of room to change things as I go), which will be followed by a second trilogy that I have rough plans for, followed by a 7th book that will finally wrap up the story... which would then be followed by an 8th book that serves as a distant epilogue dealing with the aftermath of everything that happened in the first 7 books. All of this started with just a fun little what-if idea of "What if Ganondorf got the Triforce but then accidentally wished he was a good guy?", but has somehow spiraled into an epic saga in my head (and in my notes) that I can only hope I will be able to pull off properly.
     
    #19 May 16, 2019
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
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  20. Majora's Incarnate

    Wash
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    Thunder Stone ★★★Water Stone ★★★Dawn Stone ★★★★Cooler Gary Oak ★★★★★Legendary Triforce ★★
    The only errors I've noticed the past few chapters is that you leave out or use the wrong words. In this chapter, you forgot to use "a" constantly. One sentence said, "the world criminals Hyrule has ever seen", which I'm assuming is "worst" criminals. And last, there was "I chill ran down their spines, which has nothing to do with the cold." That should've been an "a". But overall, great chapter! This isn't criticism, either, this is just edits I'd like to make lol. I can't wait to see what's next, and I like the idea of Bongo Bongo being a rogue Sheikah.
     

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