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  1. BZRich64

    BZRich64 The Mustachiod Machamp

    Late For A Date
    (Bunnelby)
    Level 16
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2017
    Posts:
    2,575
    PokéPoints:
    ₽7,690.8
    Yeah, I need to do a better job of actually proofreading what I write. I just went thought this last chapter and fixed as many mistakes as I could find in it (including the two you mentioned, thanks for pointing those out) and I'll probably go back and fix up the other chapters when I get the chance.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    Rezna likes this.
  2. BZRich64

    BZRich64 The Mustachiod Machamp

    Late For A Date
    (Bunnelby)
    Level 16
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2017
    Posts:
    2,575
    PokéPoints:
    ₽7,690.8
    Warning: Like the previous chapter, this chapter's a bit darker than usual. It isn't too bad, but I still feel like having a warning here.
    The first thing that Link became aware of as he woke up was the overwhelming putrid smell that filled the air and seemed to burn the insides of his nostrils. He slowly opened his eyes and sat up to find himself stuck in a small, dark room. The only apparent way in or out was a small door set into one wall, while he was otherwise surrounded by very solid-looking stone walls. Navi flew out of his hat and wandered around, trying to figure out where they were.

    Link tried to remember how he had even ended up in this strange place. The last thing he could recall was trying to grab Zelda when she had been taken by that… dark cloud thing. Link had tried to hold on tight but his grip loosened every time the thing made a sharp turn. Link must have lost his grip entirely at some point causing him to be thrown into a wall and knocked out. If that was the case then Link was surprised he wasn’t even sorer than he was. Although that wouldn’t actually explain how he ended up in this small room.

    “This place gives me the creeps.” Navi said at last.

    Link nodded in agreement before turning to the door. He walked over to it and, to his relief, found that it wasn’t locked. He opened the door and walked out, only to find himself now in another small room with no way out. This room looked as if it had been carved out of the ground. There was a treasure chest at the other end, between a pair of lit torches that illuminated the room and casting light onto a pair of tall, humanoid figures that were covered head-to-toe in long, thin strips of white cloth. Link thought that they must have been manikins of some kind before he realized that they were moving slightly.

    “Look out!” Navi gave a shrill scream. “Those are Gibdos! Their gaze can paralyze you if you’re not careful!”

    Link took a step back and found himself with his back against the wall. Fortunately, the two undead monsters didn’t seem to notice him there. In fact, they didn’t appear to be aware of their surroundings at all, just standing in place. If he wanted to, he could probably just head back into the other room but then he wouldn’t be able to see if there was anything useful in the treasure chest that could help him find a way out of here. He was going to have to fight them.

    Link wasn’t sure if he could get close enough to strike them down with his sword if they could paralyze him as Navi said. That meant that there was only one thing that he could do to get rid of them. Link concentrated and his left hand began to glow. Navi, realizing what he was doing, quickly darted back into his hat for safety. Link punched the floor with his glowing hand, releasing a powerful blast of Din’s Fire that quickly engulfed the room, burning everything except himself. The two Gibdos burst into flames and quickly burnt away to nothing more than piles of ash. Link hadn’t thought about what the attack might have done to the treasure chest, though fortunately, it was merely a bit scorched by the flames while otherwise being perfectly fine. Whatever was inside would hopefully still be unharmed.

    Link opened up the chest to see what was inside. His heart sank a bit as he initially thought that the chest was empty before he realized that there was a small blue object propped up against the corner. Link picked up the object to find that it was a compass. Link was rather disappointed as he turned the compass around in hand. He pulled out the one he already had out from one of the small satchels hanging off of his belt and held it next to this new one. He was surprised to see that the arrows within them were not pointing in the same direction as each other.

    “Oh, I think that’s a magic compass.” Navi flew back out of Link’s hat and taking a close look at it. “The Great Deku Tree told me about these things one time. Instead of pointing north, they’re supposed to guide you to treasure and stuff like that.”

    Link put his old compass away and held up the new one. It was pointing back to the door leading into the room Link had woken up in. Link decided to walk back into the other room to see if there was anything in there that he had missed. The compass continued to point straight ahead, towards the far wall of the small room. Link walked up to the wall but wasn’t able to see anything there at first. He decided to reach out and touch the wall and, to his surprise, his hand ended up passing right through the stone bricks as if there was nothing there. Confused, Link took a step through the apparently fake wall, walking out into a larger, eight-sided room with a large scorch mark in the center.

    “What is this place?” Navi wondered aloud as she flew this new room.

    The compass now pointed towards a long hallway to Link’s left, so he headed down the passageway, which led up into a much larger chamber. Link and Navi were both surprised to see that half the floor was covered in ice. In fact, upon further inspection there didn’t seem to be any floor under the ice at all. Link and Navi had no idea what to make of it but Link decided to cautiously walk across the frozen ice to get to the solid stone floor on the other side. There was a large statue resembling some kind of horned bird positioned here, surrounded by torches shaped like skulls that burned blue like the fire he had seen in the Ice Cavern. The magic compass now pointed to a section of the wall almost directly across from where Link had entered the room. Link walked up to where there was a large, skull-like pattern engraved into the wall and reached out. As Link expected, his hand went through it like the one before.

    “What do you think this thing is leading us to?” Navi asked Link, who simply shrugged in reply before continuing onward.

    They made their way through another hallway paved with large gray bricks, which lead them into another apparent dead-end. The far wall had a skull set into it, the eyes of which glowed bright green. To say that Link was unsettled by this would be an understatement but the compass still indicated that he needed to go straight ahead, so he took a step forward and passed through the false wall into a twisted corridor lined with skulls. Link hesitantly progressed through what quickly turned into an elaborate labyrinth of some kind. He became increasingly unsure if following the compass was the right thing to do as he walked through the maze of skulls but he wasn’t sure what else to do at this point. It wasn’t like he knew where else he could go at the moment or where anyone else was

    “Shadow Temple…” The words seemed to echo along the maze of skulls, causing Link to stop in his tracks. “Here is gathered Hyrule’s bloody history of greed and hatred…”

    “What was that?” Navi darted around but made sure to keep close to Link.

    Neither the boy nor the fairy could find any sign of where the voice had come from. It was gone as soon as it had come but Link was sure that he could hear low, raspy breathing coming from somewhere around him. He had no idea where.

    “I think we need to get out of here.” Navi practically begged.

    Link agreed with her and turned to run away only to discover that he couldn’t actually remember which way they had come from to get here. They had gone through so many twists, turns and fake walls by that point that he wasn’t sure if he would be able to find his way back out. The only thing he could do at this point was to continue to follow the compass, so that’s what he did.

    “What is hidden in the darkness…”

    Link ran as fast as he could, not wanting to spend even a second more than he had to in this horrible place.

    “Tricks full of ill will…”

    He would have kept his eyes clenched tightly shut if it wouldn’t have made it impossible to see where he was going.

    “You can’t see the way forward…”

    Finally, Link reached an iron door that led out of the labyrinth. Relieved, Link opened the door and ran into the next room before checking what was on the other side. He closed the door quickly and leaned back against it with a sigh before actually looking around to see where he now was. He had apparently just been led into a large cavern of some kind, which would have been a notable improvement over the apparently haunted labyrinth if it were not for the long, pale, arms emerging from the ground. There were at least a dozen of them scattered around the room, at least twice as long as Link was tall and looking like they were made of rotting flesh with red, claw-like fingers. They swayed gently in the air yet still managing to be the most disturbing thing that either Link or Navi had seen that day. Which was definitely saying something, considering all they had been through so far.

    Link checked the magic compass again. It was pointing straight ahead to the far side of the cavern, where Link could just make out a large treasure chest. He was sure that whatever was in it wouldn’t be worth the trip to get here but he had come this far and wasn’t going to leave without whatever was in that treasure chest. He could only hope that it was something useful.

    As Link took a few steps forward the arms closest to him reacting to his presence by reaching down to grab him. Link made a dash towards the other end of the room but wasn’t fast enough. One of the other hands managed to grab him, with its long, pale fingers wrapped around his waist so that he couldn’t move from the spot. Link struggled to break free from the hand’s grasp when a monster suddenly erupted up from beneath the ground a few feet in front of him. The creature was vaguely humanoid, with an elongated neck that held up its large, misshapen head as it shuffled closer to Link. Desperate, the boy tried attacking the monster with Din’s Fire, but the creature didn’t seem to react to the blast at all. Link struggled harder against the rotting hand that held him tightly in its grasp and was finally able to break free. He rolled along the ground away from the monster as it reached where he had been and lowered its head. The monster chomped down on the air where Link had just been with its large, swollen jaws. Link didn’t hesitate to draw his sword and he lunged towards the putrid corpse. Bringing the blade down with as much force as he could muster, Link was able to cleave through the monster’s neck, decapitating the undead creature with a single strike. The severed head rolled onto the ground and let out a grotesque gurgling noise. Its dark, shadowy eyes seemed to stare emotionlessly up at Link before bursting into flames along with its body and the many hands that filled the cave. It didn’t take long before it had all completely burned away, leaving Link and Navi alone.

    “What was that thing?” Navi could barely get the words out.

    Link dropped to his knees. That fight, combined with everything else that had happened to him that day, had taken a lot out of him and he needed to catch his breath. After some of the boy’s strength had finally come back to him, Link got back up and walked over to the treasure chest he had spotted when he had first entered the room. Whatever was in it could not have been worth what he had gone through to get it.

    The chest was locked, although the lock was old and Link was able to break it off without too much effort. He opened it up to find a pair of metal-plated boots that were so old and warn that Link probably couldn’t wear them even if they weren’t clearly too big to fit him. Link tried to pick up the boots anyway but to his dismay what was left of them seemed to dissolve at his touch. The only part of the old boots that remained intact was the metal plating that had covered their toes and heels. They looked to be made of some sort of pale golden metal, with wings sticking out the backs of the heels and two vent-like fixtures sticking out the front of each boot.

    Link picked up the metal sections of the boots, which proved to be much lighter than they looked, and shook out the remaining scraps of leather and cloth that were still in them. He was sure that he wouldn’t be able to do anything with these things but he had gone through so much to get these things that he couldn’t just leave without trying them on. So, he decided to drop the metal boot-coverings onto the ground and step into them. To no surprise, they were far too big for Link.

    “I can’t believe we went through all of that for nothing!” Navi screamed irritably. “What are we even supposed to do with-”

    The blue fairy was cut off as steam rose up from the vents at the front of the metal boot-covers, which began to shrink down until they fit perfectly around Link’s boots. Once the steam had stopped and metal boots remained dormant again, Link started walking around. To his amazement, they now not only fit but seemed to be fairly comfortable as well. The only issue he could find was that they did not seem to offer much in the way of traction, which made it a bit harder to move around but was something he could get used to if he had to.

    “Well, that was unexpected.” Navi flew down to take a closer look at the boots. “Not that anything that’s happened today has been expected. Now if only we knew what these things actually do.”

    Link shrugged as Navi flew back up to eye level.

    “Oh, well. I guess we’ll figure it out while we try to find the others.”

    Link pulled the magic compass back out. Unfortunately, there didn’t seem to be any way out of the cave they were in other than the labyrinth. As much as he didn’t want to go back there, he didn’t have a choice. Fortunately, though, it looked as if the compass was now going to show him the way back. Now he just hoped that it wouldn’t take too long before he could finally be out of there and find the others.
    Interestingly, this entire chapter and everything that happens in it was more-or-less made up on the spot. I was planning on continuing directly off of where the previous chapter had ended but then when I sat down to write, the initial idea for what became this chapter popped into my head instead. I decided I liked where that idea was going and managed to zip through this whole chapter in one day. Although I made sure not to actually post the chapter right away this time, instead waiting a few days before rereading it and making a few changes here and there, mostly to fix grammatical errors that my spellcheck program thing didn't pick up on and to make things flow a bit better than in my initial draft. I'm going to try and do that more often now, so that hopefully the quality of my work will improve a bit.
     
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  3. BZRich64

    BZRich64 The Mustachiod Machamp

    Late For A Date
    (Bunnelby)
    Level 16
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2017
    Posts:
    2,575
    PokéPoints:
    ₽7,690.8
    Link checked the magic compass again and then looked up in the direction that it was pointing. He had just hopped onto a strange boat of some kind, which seemed to be magically floating above a deep stone chasm. The compass pointed directly ahead, in the direction that the strange vessel pointed, indicating that he needed to get the ferry to move down the river of fog leading to whatever the compass was now directing him to. There was one problem, however. He had no idea how to get the ferry to go.

    Navi flew around the boat, looking for any sign of how they could get it to move. Meanwhile, Link decided to try and figure out what his new boots could actually do. He tapped the heel of one boot against the other a couple of times but there was no reaction. Next, he tried jumping to see if that would do anything. To his surprise, it actually did. A small, thin, circular platform that shone with a colorful magic light appeared beneath his feet as he started to descend. He stood on the platform for a bit, looking down at the rainbow disk before it vanished and he fell back onto the ship’s hull. He tried jumping again, with the same result. This time he tried jumping off the magic platform before it disappeared, but he just ended up falling back to the ground again. Next, he decided to try hopping on one foot. A smaller platform appeared under his foot, which he jumped off of and switched to the other foot. Another small platform appeared, which he jumped off of again, landing on a larger platform with both feet. After experimenting around a bit more, Link was confident that he had a fairly good feel for how the magical boots worked and how he could use them to his advantage. Link walked over to the back of the ferry and knelt down facing its front. He placed his hands on the ground and lifted up onto his toes.

    “Okay, I have an idea of what we need to do here.” Navi said as she examined a golden Triforce emblem painted onto the hull of the ship. “I think you need to pull out that ocarina Saria gave you and-”

    Link ran past Navi before she had a chance to finish her sentence. The sudden gust of wind caused Navi to spin around rapidly before slowing back down to a stop.

    “-try to play that song Impa used to get into Zora’s Domain.” It took a moment for the blue fairy to realize what had just happened. “Wait, Link, no!”

    Navi turned around and tried to chase after Link, but he had already jumped off the ship’s bow. She started to panic before the boy in green came back into view, running through the air using the magical platforms that his new boots provided.

    “What?” Navi floated in stunned silence for a moment before racing after him. “Hey, wait up!”

    * * *

    Impa, Ganondorf and Darunia climbed down a rope into the seemingly endless abyss of darkness below. They did not know how deep this pit actually went as there was no sign of a bottom to it. However, if they wanted to save the children that Bongo Bongo had taken, they had no other choice but to go after him. They just had to trust that the rope would be long enough to get them down. But sometimes trust isn’t enough.

    “I’ve just reached the end of the rope!” Ganondorf called up to Impa and Darunia.

    “Can you see the bottom yet?” Impa called back.

    “Sort of.” Ganondorf looked down. “I can kind of see a green glow coming from below but I can’t tell how far down it is. I feel like we could really use a hand here.”

    “You might want to reconsider your wording.” Darunia took one of his hands off the rope to point at a giant gray hand that was flying over to them. “Look out!”

    The hand had reached them before any of the three had a chance to react to it and grabbed onto the rope above them. The shriveled-looking severed hand pulled the rope up, seemingly bring the trio back up to the room above.

    “Well, at least it seems to be helping us.” Ganondorf commented uneasily.

    “I wouldn’t count on that.” Impa replied.

    The hand stopped and hovered in place for a moment. Then it suddenly yanked the rope downward with enough force to snap the rope in two. Ganondorf, Darunia and Impa were sent plummeting down into the darkness below. It seemed like it would be the end for them until they finally reached the bottom of the seemingly endless drop and bounced off of the ground, sore but otherwise unscathed. They found themselves on a moderately sized circular platform that seemed to be made from a material similar to what a drum would be made of. An unidentifiable green liquid surrounded them on all sides and seemed to go on as far as the eye could see. As they got up off the oddly soft ground, they saw the hand from earlier fly down to hover beside its match. The two hands began rhythmically drumming on the platform, sending the trio flying into the air before falling back down again. As the hands continued to drum, it remained almost impossible to stay standing for more than a few seconds at most.

    “How are we supposed to fight this thing?” Ganondorf asked while trying to get up onto his knees, only to be knocked back onto his rear.

    Impa didn’t respond. She barely seemed to react to anything, just staring off into the distance as she was tossed around. Darunia, on the other hand, almost seemed to be enjoying himself.

    “Hey, I have an idea!” The Goron chief said, bouncing over to Ganondorf. “Pull out your Stone Smasher!”

    The King of the Gerudo wasn’t sure how his sword would help when he certainly wasn’t going to be able to get close enough to their enemy to attack with it. But he grabbed the weapon, which was almost more of a large club than a greatsword and pulled it out from where it was strapped to his back. It nearly fell out of his hands as he was knocked into the air again and landed on his stomach.

    “Alright! Now you just have to hit me with it as hard as you can!” Darunia called out to him.

    “What?”

    “Trust me! You need to send me flying at that thing so that I can attack it up close.”

    “Alright.” Ganondorf didn’t see how this plan could possibly not fail, but he didn’t have any other ideas, so he did his best to get ready.

    Ganondorf got up and swung the massive sword at Darunia with all of his strength before getting knocked down again. The Goron was sent flying through the air towards Bongo Bongo, drawing his fist back in preparation to punch the monster straight in its giant red eye. However, just as he was about to hit it, Bongo Bongo’s body suddenly vanished, causing Darunia to keep flying through the air until he finally landed in the green ooze that seemed to stretch on forever. The acidic substance instantly started to burn his rocky skin the moment he made contact with it, though fortunately, his extreme durability allowed Darunia to run back to the giant drum and hop back onto it before sustaining any serious damage.

    “Well so much for that idea.” Darunia said as he brushed off the last of the green goop that clung to his skin. “Now, where’d it go?”

    Bongo Bongo had not rematerialized after avoiding Darunia’s attack, leaving only its hands still visible as they continued to drum out a steady rhythm. Ganondorf tried to work his way over to one of the hands to try and attack it. However, the disembodied appendage suddenly reached out and grabbed him, squeezing Ganondorf so hard that he couldn’t even move.

    Darunia rushed over to try and rescue him but was swept up by the other hand. Bongo Bongo reappeared, staring at its two new captives with its giant red eye. Meanwhile, Impa had finally managed to return to her senses and stood up. With both of the monster’s hands now preoccupied, Impa did not have to worry about being knocked over by the constant vibrations through the ground, allowing her to prepare an attack. Hesitating slightly, Impa pulled out a handful of long, sharp needles and charged towards Bongo Bongo. She threw the needles directly at the blood-red eye and, while her aim was a bit off, she was able to hit her target with a few of them. Bongo Bongo twisted back and its severed hands reflexively released their grip on Darunia and Ganondorf, before the shadowy beast vanished into darkness again.

    “Thanks for the save, brother.” Darunia said as he walked over to Impa and gave her a hearty pat on the shoulder. “Glad to see you back to your old self again.”

    “Not completely.” Impa said softly, rubbing her now-sore shoulder.

    Bongo Bongo’s left hand suddenly slammed hard into the ground, knocking everyone off their feet while the other hand drifted over to them menacingly. None of them had a chance to react to whatever it was about to do but as luck would have it, they wouldn’t need to. Something fell down from above in a green blur, landing directly on the back of Bongo Bongo’s hand and pinning it to the ground. Bongo Bongo reappeared, writhing in pain as Link pulled his sword out from the hand.

    “Where did you come from?” Ganondorf asked the boy.

    “That’s a long story.” Navi answered him as she flew out from Link’s hat.

    “Where is Princess Zelda?” Impa asked desperately. “Is she safe?”

    “I don’t know.” Navi shrugged, though no one was able to notice. “We haven’t seen anyone else since we got here, wherever we are.”

    Bongo Bongo wasn’t going to wait around and let everyone talk, clenching its left hand into a fist and trying to punch Link with it. The boy was able to dodge easily, back-flipping out of the way and landing on one of the magical platforms that his new boots created, jumping off the rainbow disk and onto Bongo Bongo’s hand. He then jumped up again and was able to dash over to Bongo Bongo the same way he had crossed the river of fog earlier. Bongo Bongo tried to move out of the way but wasn’t able to do so fast enough. Link was able to slash his sword across Bongo Bongo’s glowing red eye, which seemed to be an obvious weak spot to him.

    The pale gray monster went limp and fell into the sea of miasma with a massive splash that drenched nearly half of the drum-like platform in the sickly green ooze. Link then fell, thrusting his sword downward and landing blade-first on Bongo Bongo’s eye. Bongo Bongo seemed to spasm violently before finally growing stiff. Its hands began to disintegrate away into dust before its body faded to shadow before vanishing away entirely, leaving onto the blood-red eye behind. Link hopped back and forth between one foot and the other to make sure that he didn’t fall into the dangerous green liquid below while the eye seemed to roll slowly through the air over to giant drum that the others stood on. Black vapor poured out from the wounds that had been inflicted upon it by Impa and Link. Bongo Bongo’s eye settled in the air directly above the center of the drum before bursting open. Zelda, Saria and Ruto fell down from it along with a Heart Container, while a column of blue light appeared at one end of the drum-like platform.

    “Ugh, what happened?” Princess Zelda groaned as she stood up. “Where are we?”

    “Thank the Goddesses that you are safe.” Impa stumbled over to her young charge, barely restraining herself from hugging the princess.

    “Ow!” Ruto stepped on part of the drum that was drenched in green ooze, nearly burning off the bottom of her foot in the process.

    “Be careful not to touch that.” Darunia warned too late.

    “And now I believe that it’s time we got out of here.” Ganondorf said.

    “Yes, we should not linger here any longer than we have to.” Impa turned to Link as the boy in green stepped back onto the drum, and gestured towards the Heart Container. “I believe this is yours. You just saved all of us, after all. You have certainly earned it.”

    Link nodded and walked over to the Heart Container. As he reached out and touched it, the large heart-shaped object dissolved into a warm light which was absorbed into Link’s body as he found himself filled with a sense of strength and vigor. With that done, the group proceeded into the pillar of light, which transported them back outside the Shadow Temple, at the entrance to Kakariko Graveyard. They then made their way into the charred remains of Kakariko Village. The fires had been put out but something else seemed off about the small town.

    “Where is everybody?” Zelda asked as she and the others looked around. There were no signs of anyone else in the entire village.

    “Perhaps the villagers have simply left for the time being?” Ganondorf suggested. “It would be dangerous to stay here right after being attacked by that thing, after all.”

    “No, my father wouldn’t have left without me!” Princess Ruto argued. “Something’s wrong.”

    “I fear that you are right.” Impa agreed with Ruto. “There is something not right about this. We must hurry to Hyrule Castle at once!”
    I meant to have this chapter done at least a week ago but I haven't really felt like writing much the past few days. I think this chapter ended up rather underwhelming, especially compared to how I had it in my head, but I'm not great with writing action scenes. I just can't seem to get the cinematic sequences that i come up with to work in writing. It's something I should probably try to work on (along with everything else, really). But hey, now that this is done I can finally move on. And move on I shall, as the next chapter will start building up towards the story's climax! We do still have a ways to go before we actually reach the end of the story. I'm also thinking about having some chapters focus more on exploring the characters rather than just progressing the plot. I feel like I haven't really fleshed any of them out as much as I actually wanted to and now that (most) of the characters have finally joined the main group I think its time to finally focus a bit more on that.
     
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  4. BZRich64

    BZRich64 The Mustachiod Machamp

    Late For A Date
    (Bunnelby)
    Level 16
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2017
    Posts:
    2,575
    PokéPoints:
    ₽7,690.8
    The trek to Hyrule Castle did not take long. However, the feeling of unease that permeated the air made it seem far longer than it was to the small band of assorted rulers and warriors making their way from the mysteriously abandoned Kakariko Village. Not helping matters at all were the large swirling black clouds that seemed to spiral above the entirety of northern Hyrule, centered somewhere between Death Mountain and Hyrule Castle. They blotted out the sun and cast a dark shadow over the land yet there was no sign of rain or a storm.

    Impa stopped as they reached the drawbridge which served as the southern entrance into Castle Town and signaled for the others to stop as well. Not that they could go any further anyway, as the bridge was currently drawn up which meant that there was no way for them to actually enter the town.

    “Something is not right here.” The Sheikah retainer looked around pensively at the wall surrounding the city. “The bridge should not be up at this hour of the day.”

    “Perhaps the guards don’t know what time it is because of the clouds?” Zelda suggested hopefully.

    “No.” Impa shook her head. “There is something else going on here. We should be able to hear the sounds of people on the other side of the wall. Even in bad weather, the streets are normally full of civilians going about their daily routines. Yet the town seems to be completely silent.”

    “I don’t like this.” Ruto shifted around uncomfortably.

    “Neither do I.” Ganondorf looked around contemplatively. “I sense a dark presence in the air, and I can’t help but feel that it's connected to all of this.”

    “You feel it too?” Darunia asked the Gerudo King. “Glad I’m not the only one. I was starting to think that I was imagining it.”

    “Stand back.” Impa pulled out a pair of small knives and walked away from the town wall, then turned back around and crouched down. She took off in a sprint and leapt over the moat surrounding Castle Town. Her knives sunk into the wood of the drawbridge, keeping her from falling into the cold running water of the moat surrounding Castle Town. She then pulled out one of the knives and dug it in higher before doing the same with the other. She repeated the process several times as she steadily climbed up the bridge. With one solid motion, she swung to the side and slipped in through a window leading inside the imposing wall. A few moments later and the bridge began to lower so that the others could cross.

    “That was impressive.” Ganondorf mused as Impa emerged on the other side of the drawbridge.

    Impa didn’t respond to the compliment, instead motioning for them to follow her into town. She had a serious expression on her face that signified that there was something wrong. Though that was already fairly obvious to everyone by this point. As they made their way into the hauntingly quiet city streets it soon became obvious what was wrong.

    “What are all of these statues doing here?” Navi asked, flying around the town’s central square, which has filled with dozens of lifelike stone statues depicting the citizens of Hyrule going about their daily business.

    “I don’t think these are statues.” Zelda muttered as she cautiously approached one to take a closer look. “They’re too… lifelike.”

    “It would appear that everyone in town has been turned to stone.” Impa concluded. “Even the guard who was supposed to be in charge of the gate was like this.”

    “It’s just one thing after another.” Darunia moaned in exasperation, resting his face in one of his large hands.

    “Hey, is it just me or are there only men here?” Ruto’s remark prompted the others to look around at the stone civilians surrounding them. Sure enough, there were only men and boys scattered around the city streets. Not a single female statue to be found.

    “This just keeps getting weirder and weirder with every passing minute.” Ganondorf muttered to himself.

    “Hoo hoot! Everyone… look up here!” Everyone was caught off guard as an unexpected voice echoed through the town. It took a moment for everyone to notice the large brown owl perched atop the roof of a nearby shop.

    “Kaepora Gaebora!” Navi called out to the owl, recognizing him as the one she and Link had first met upon leaving the Kokiri Forest for the first time.

    “You… know that thing?” Ruto asked questioningly.

    “It is good to know that you remember me.” The owl nodded. “But I’m afraid that now is not the time for pleasantries. You’ve obviously already seen the state that this once-lively town is now in.”

    “Do you know what happened here?” Ganondorf demanded to know.

    “I do. In fact, that is what I was just about to explain.” The tone of Kaepora Gaebora’s voice showed how much he did not appreciate the interruption. “You see, a great and terrible evil that plagued the land of Hyrule long, long ago has been reawakened and returned to wreak havoc upon the land once again. A dark curse has spread to turn all the men of Hyrule to stone while the women have been spirited away by that malicious entity.”

    “But what could do such a thing?” Darunia asked.

    The owl clicked his beak in annoyance at the interruption before answering the question. “If you would all just listen quietly then perhaps I would be able to explain. Ahem, anyway, there was a disturbance in Hyrule Castle just last night, when a mysterious shadow was able to sneak into the castle grounds. After causing a small commotion, the shadow was able to abscond with the ancient relic known as the Four Sword. Doing so released the powerful villain once known as Vaati the Wind Sage, who has already cast his darkness upon Hyrule twice before. It was he who has cast this curse upon Hyrule and spirited away the women of this land to his old lair, the Palace of Winds. The only way to break the curse and rescue those he has imprisoned is to go there and put an end to the Wind Sage once and for all. However, doing so will not be without risk, as going in unprepared would merely result in sharing the same fate that has befallen those you see here before you.”

    Silence filled the air once again as the owl finished his explanation. After a moment for things to settle in, numerous questions were suddenly raised at once.

    “Where is the Palace of Winds?”

    “What was the shadow?”

    “How are we supposed to prepare to fight Vaati?”

    “Why weren’t we affected?”

    “Who is responsible for this?”

    Kaepora Gaebora pointed to the center of the mass of swirling clouds above them with one of his wings. “The Palace of Winds is up there, in the center of that dark storm. In order to reach it, you will first have to venture back to the perilous peak of Death Mountain. It is there that you will find the ancient Tower of Hera, which will serve both as your path to the Palace of Winds as well as the place where you will find a way to counter his dark magic. Beyond this information, I am afraid that I can be of no more help to you and can only offer one more piece of advice. If you truly intend to try and save Hyrule from this dark fate that has befallen her, then I would recommend that you all rest here for the night before setting out on your journey. It is clear just from looking at you that you are all tired and ill-prepared for the dangerous trials ahead of you. Get some rest and perhaps stock up on the supplies you will need for the journey. For now, this is the part where we must part ways. Farewell and good luck.”

    With that, the owl took off in flight, leaving the others standing there in the middle of the town square. They all looked around at each other uneasily.

    “It’s just been one thing after another, hasn’t it?” Darunia chuckled lightly in an attempt to try and ease the tension. “It looks like we’ve got one more thing we need to do now.”

    “This will not be an easy task.” Impa commented. “We may not be able to-“

    “No!” Zelda suddenly spoke up, cutting Impa off. “We can’t think that way! All of Hyrule is in trouble and we are the only ones who can save it. We must defeat Vaati and restore things to normal. If we even begin to think like that, then we will have no chance of saving this land and her people. Though I will admit that this will be a challenge. I understand if any of you wish not to risk your lives, especially those of you who have no stake in the safety of Hyrule. But as heir to the throne, it is my duty to defend Hyrule and all those who live within her borders. I may be just a child, but I will go and I will fight for Hyrule!”

    “Well said.” Ganondorf nodded his approval of the young princess’ words. “I may be little more than a stranger to these lands… no, I am even less than that. Until recently my people and I were Hyrule’s greatest enemies. Even so, I will be willing to put my own life on the line to do what must be done to put an end to this. I may not know anything about this ‘Vaati’ character or the circumstances surrounding this strange turn of events, but I do know that what I’ve seen of what we’ve all accomplished these past few days leaves me with no doubt that together we can do anything. I will fight by your side, Princess, and I will do my part to rescue the people of this country.”

    The King of the Gerudo walked over to the young Princess of Hyrule and stood by her side. Without a word, Link also took a place beside them. They were an awkward trio, one large imposing man and two young kids, yet they were an inspiring sight as they faced the others. It was clear by looking at them that they held the power, wisdom and courage necessary to do anything they set their minds to.

    “Well, who could say no to that level of confidence?” Darunia laughed heartily. “Of course I’ll help ya out!”

    “My duty is to aid you in any way possible.” Impa bowed before Zelda. “I will always stand by your side.”

    “And I go where Link goes!” Navi chimed in.

    “I may not be able to do much right now, but I can’t just stand by when people need help.” Saria took a rather clunky step forward. Her arms had turned to wood now just as her legs had and it wouldn’t be long before it spread up to her neck. She could still move her hardened joints but her motions her stiff and she lacked the flexibility and speed that she once had.

    “Are you sure about this?” Navi asked the Kokiri girl. “I think we should really get you back to the forest as soon as possible.”

    “No, I want to help.” Saria insisted. “Besides, we don’t even know if going back will even stop… this. I would rather die helping others than live knowing I could have done more.”

    “We don’t even know if this will kill her.” Saria’s fairy, Opera, pointed out. “After all, Deku Scrubs are made of wood and they’re perfectly alive.”

    “What’s a Deku Scrub?” Zelda asked.

    “They’re sort of… plant… people… things… that live deep in the Lost Woods.” Navi tried to explain. “The ones we normally see near the Kokiri Forest are usually just wild Mad Scrubs, who tend to attack anything in sight. Though the Deku Tree told me that somewhere there’s an entire Deku Kingdom full of peaceful Deku Scrubs and that a lot of merchants from there tend to travel all over the world to do business.”

    “I’ve traded with a couple of Deku merchants before.” Ganondorf noted. “They’re very shrewd businessmen.”

    “So, you could say they’re… shrewd shrubs?” Darunia elbowed Ganondorf in the ribs, to the Gerudo King’s annoyance.

    “It sounds like we are all in agreement about heading out to the Tower of Hera.” Impa tried to turn the conversation back to the situation at hand.

    “Ahem.” Princess Ruto cleared her throat loudly and crossed her arms. “I don’t believe that I’ve said that I would go with all of you, yet. It sounds like a terrible, not well thought out at all, plan. In fact, I’m not sure I’d call it a plan at all. But… I guess I really have nothing better to do right now and Father must have been affected by this curse thing as well, or else he certainly would have found us by now. So, I suppose I might as well help you out.”

    “Then it is decided.” Impa nodded curtly. “We shall prepare for the journey and rest for tonight, then meet up back here in the morning before we leave for Death Mountain. I believe that most of us are not properly equipped for the tough battles that will lie in our way, so I recommend that we visit the castle armory first.”

    “Sounds good to me.” Darunia smiled. “Although I’m not sure if you’ll have anything big enough for me to use, though.”

    Ganondorf held out the Stone Smasher he had picked up back in the Goron Village. “You could use this. I left my regular sword back in the room I was staying in at the castle because I did not think that I would need it, but I can go get it now.”

    Darunia grunted, his smile disappointing. “You know, where I come from its considered ruse to return a gift.”

    “Don’t get me wrong, I was merely offering to lend this to you. I’ve already grown quite fond of this weapon and of course I would want it back once we are done.”

    “Actually,” Impa interrupted, “we do keep a small selection of non-Hylian weapons in the armory, mostly for our weaponsmiths to study and for the knights to get a feel for how the other races fight. This collection includes several Goron weapons that I am sure will meet your needs. In fact, we should have enough of a variety that everyone here should be able to find something suitable for them.”

    “Actually, I do remember authorizing a weapons shipment to the castle, now that I think about it.” Darunia remembered. “I also seem to recall a particularly well-crafted Magic Hammer being among the weapons we sent you.”

    “Yes.” Impa nodded. “Many of the guards I’ve trained have complained about how it is too heavy for them to actually lift, let alone use.”

    “Sweet!” Darunia smirked. “I know what I’m taking!”
    Whoo, finally back with a new chapter of this story. In addition to having things come up that kept me from writing for a while (writer's block followed by my computer breaking down), I also just had a lot of trouble writing this chapter for some reason. I'm trying to focus more on the characters than I have them and hopefully try to flesh them out a bit more. Also, this is just an important turning point in the story where the characters finally get more of an actual object and work towards saving Hyrule, rather than just having to deal with whatever problem happens to get in their way.
    I also think this is the first time that I've mentioned Saria's fairy by name in the story. You may be wondering why I chose 'Opera' as her name, as it may seem kind of random at first. However, is actually comes from the word operate, just like Navi's name comes from the world navigate.
     
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  5. BZRich64

    BZRich64 The Mustachiod Machamp

    Late For A Date
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    The road leading up to Hyrule Castle was dotted with petrified guards still standing at their posts. Combined with the swirling dark clouds overhead, it made for a very grim walk to the castle. No one was in the mood to dawdle, meaning that the group were able to make their way to the castle quickly.

    Fortunately, entering the castle would be easier than it had been to enter the town, for one simple reason. The drawbridge was down, meaning that they could just walk right in. Although they did have to walk around several stone guards who must have been returning to the castle after finishing their shifts guarding the path when they were petrified. This proved especially difficult for Darunia, who was noticeably bulkier than the others. At one point his shoulder bumped against one of the guards, nearly knocking him into the moat before Darunia was able to grab him and place the guard more securely in the middle of the bridge.

    “Sorry about that.” Darunia apologized to the guard despite not knowing if he could be heard, or if the petrified guard would even be aware of what happened.

    Impa, who was leading the front of their small procession, stopped in the middle of the large antechamber that served as the castle’s entrance and turned around to face the others as they gathered around.

    “This place feels… empty.” Ganondorf noted as he looked around at the castle’s interior. It certainly seemed much less inviting than it had been when he had first stepped foot here just a few days earlier.

    “It’s so dark in here that I can barely see anything!” Princess Ruto complained.

    “I suggest that we all stay close together so that no one gets lost.” Impa said as she started walking towards one of several hallways leading further into the castle. “Come, the armory is this way.”

    “You go on ahead, I’m going to head to my room.” Ganondorf replied. “I can see well in the dark, so I should be fine on my own.”

    Impa nodded curtly to the Gerudo King before turning back to the hall and making her way to their destination. The others followed closely behind as Ganondorf headed in the opposite direction. He still wasn’t very familiar with the castle’s layout but he was confident that he could find his way to the room that had been provided for him when he had first come to the castle, where he would be able to change into his armor and collect his sword.

    Zelda, on the other hand, was very familiar with the castle, having lived there her whole life with very few chances to get out. It was this familiarity that allowed her to realize that Impa was taking an oddly roundabout path if they were actually headed to the armory. She quickly realized that the Sheikah must have been planning on making another stop first, and she had a feeling she knew where exactly where that was. Sure enough, Impa slowed to a stop just outside the room Zelda suspected they were heading towards.

    “This is an armory?” Navi asked, floating around the room as Impa walked into it. “I thought there would be more… weapons.”

    “Looks more like an infirmary.” Ruto observed, straining her eyes to see as she and the others entered the room.

    “Correct.” Impa lit a small lamp sitting on a desk in the side of the room and used its light to look around for something. “I thought it best to stop here first. We will need to stock up on healing potions before heading out, after all.”

    Impa found what she was looking for and tossed a glass bottle filled with red liquid to Link, who caught it and held it up.

    “Drink it.” Impa directed. “It will help heal that gash on your neck.”

    “What are you talking abou-” Navi started to ask before Link lifted up his chin to start chugging down the potion. “SWEET NAYRU! When did that happen?”

    Zelda and Ruto both recoiled as they both noticed the bloody slash across the right side of Link’s neck. Even Darunia was alarmed by the boy’s injury.

    “Why didn’t you tell anyone about that?” Darunia couldn’t help but voice his concern. “Wait, were you fighting in that condition?”

    Link chugged the potion vigorously before taking in a hearty breath of air and wiping his mouth with his arm. The effects were almost immediate as the wound quickly healed, leaving nothing more than some minor bruising.

    “That feels much better.” Link said hoarsely as he rubbed his neck.

    “How long have you had that cut?” Navi yelled furiously. “And why didn’t you say anything about that?”

    “It was like that when I woke up in that dark temple place earlier.” Link shrugged. “I was too focused on finding everyone else to bring it up, plus I haven’t really been able to talk since then.”

    “If anything like this happens again, you should let people know that you’ve been hurt.” Impa said calmly as she placed all the potions she could find on a desk. “Even if you have other priorities, you should never let an injury like that go untreated.”

    Link nodded. “Right.”

    “Now that that’s settled, it would appear that there are enough bottles of red potion here for everyone to take with them.” Impa started handing out the bottles of red liquid to her companions. “Remember that these should be saved for emergencies.”
    * * *​
    Ganondorf opened the door leading into his room and walked in. Everything seemed to have been left exactly as how he had left it, not that he really expected things to have been moved. He now somewhat regretted the decision he had made several days ago to wear his ceremonial robes to the peace treaty negotiations rather than his battle armor. Of course, it was not like he could have known that anything would have turned out like what had happened. Fortunately, he had known that he would be gone for several days for these negotiations and his wardrobe had been packed accordingly. He had already changed into a more travel-friendly outfit before setting out with the princess and her attendants, and if he knew his own attendants, it was likely his armor had been packed anyway against his wishes.

    It didn’t take long for him to find what he was looking for. He changed into the black and brown leather armor quickly before grabbing the large sword he had left propped up against a small desk on the far side of the room. He strapped his old Gerudo Greatsword to his back alongside his new Goron-made Stone Smasher. He checked to make sure that he would be able to draw the two massive blades with relative ease and gave them both a few practice swings to see how well he could wield them together. Ganondorf had been trained from a young age to be able to use a pair of scimitars, as it was one of his people’s traditional fighting styles, so he felt comfortable enough combining those skills with his preferred greatsword fighting style. He noticed immediately that the Stone Smasher was both thicker and heavier than his old greatsword but the lengths were comparatively even. As long as he used the heavier blade with his dominate right hand, he felt that he would be able to use the two swords together.

    Once the Gerudo King was finished, he turned to leave and walked up to the door. However, he froze just before opening it. He could hear footsteps coming from the other side. It was possible that one of the others had come to check on him, but Ganondorf had learned to always veer on the side of caution. He pulled his Gerudo sword back out and gripped it tightly in his off-hand before swinging the door open and taking a quick step out into the hallway, facing the direction the footsteps had been coming from.

    “Your highness!”

    Ganondorf lowered his blade, both confused and relieved to see the familiar face staring back at him.

    “Nabooru?” He addressed his sister and second-in-command. “What are you doing here? How are you here?”
    * * *​
    After their stop at the infirmary, Impa led the others straight to the armory. Darunia was the first to find what he was looking for, immediately walking up a large metal hammer resting against the far wall and effortlessly picking it up as if it didn’t way more than most of his companions.

    “It’s been too long since I’ve used one of these.” Darunia said as he admired the Magic Hammer. “The craftsmanship that went into this baby is incredible, and it’s much lighter than I thought it would be.”

    “Most of our soldiers can not even lift that thing.” Impa pointed out as she opened up a false section of wall that concealed a number of Sheikah-made weapons. She pulled out a slender-looking sword that was smaller and lighter than anything that a Hylian would use, as well as a long pole with a curved blade at one end. The only one there apart from Impa who could recognize these weapons was Princess Zelda, who had watched her attendant train with them before. The young princess had even been allowed to try using the spear-like naginata once before. Though that experience had gone poorly, to say the least, and she hadn’t been allowed anywhere near a Sheikah weapon or allowed to wear anything that left her arms exposed, since then.

    The two princesses were next to select their weapons. Zelda picked up a small bow and a short rapier, both of which she had often practiced with. She wasn’t exactly an expert with either, but she was skilled enough to at least use them without leaving herself with a permanent scar. Ruto, on the other hand, found a Zora fishing trident that she found to be just the right size and familiar enough to handle. This left Link and Saria as the only ones who had not found anything to arm themselves with. Though Link did already have the Kokiri Sword that he had acquired back when his adventure had first begun.

    “Here.” Impa handed Link a small iron shield decorated by vertical blue stripes. “This is probably heavier than you are used to, but it should be about the right size for you.”

    “Thank you.” Link nodded curtly as he accepted the shield and held it up. It didn’t feel any heavier to him than his old Deku Shield had, though that was because of the Goron Bracelet he was wearing which enhanced his physical strength.

    Impa then turned to Saria, sizing the Kokiri up with her gaze. “Do you know what weapon you are most comfortable with?”

    “N-no, not really.” Saria glanced to the side before looking down at her feet. “I haven’t really had to fight before, or anything.”

    “How about this?” Link unbuckled the strap around his torso so that he could take off the scabbard strapped to his back, then held it out to Saria.

    “But… this is yours.” Saria looked down at the sheathed sword.

    “It’s the Kokiri Sword.” Link pointed out. “It belongs with a Kokiri.”

    “But you are-”

    “No, I’m not.” Link shook his head. “You told me yourself that I’m not. I may have been raised with you and the others, but…”

    Link trailed off, not really sure what he was saying. Before he could continue, he found himself pulled into an embrace by his closest friend, tears streaming down her cheeks. It would have been much more comfortable if Link hadn’t still been holding Kokiri Sword in front of him and if Saria’s arms weren’t in the process of turning into wood.

    Zelda and Ruto were uncomfortable with the sudden situation unfolding in front of them, while Impa just stood there stoically. Darunia, who had been too focused on examining his new hammer to pay attention to what the others were doing, chose that moment to finally look up.

    “Hey, we doing a group hug?” He asked as he set down the Magic Hammer and walked up to the others. “Let me in on this!”

    The two children found themselves smothered in the rocky Goron’s powerful grip as he lifted the two of them off the ground. It probably would have hurt a bit if Saria’s partially wood body and Link’s Goron Bracelet. After a moment, he set them back down and the kids stepped away from each other awkwardly. Their faces had both turned red, only partly from having been nearly crushed by an affectionate Goron. Saria was now the one holding the Kokiri Sword, which she clung tightly in her arms as Link headed to a rack full of gray-and-blue hilted Hylian swords. He picked out one of the smaller swords and a matching scabbard, which he strapped firmly to his back.

    “I believe that is all for our preparations tonight.” Impa said now that everyone was properly armed. “For now, we should all get some rest before we head out in the morning. I can show you all to the guest chambers.”
    * * *​
    It did not take long for Impa and the others to reach their destination, but none of them were expecting what they would find there. Ganondorf was waiting for them alongside a Gerudo woman who was noticeably neither missing nor turned to stone.

    “Took you all long enough.” Ganondorf tried to sound angry but was having trouble keeping a straight face and quickly broke into a sly grin.

    “Who’s this?” Darunia asked, gesturing to the woman standing beside Ganondorf.

    “My name is Nabooru, second-in-command of the Gerudo.” The woman introduced herself.

    Impa eyed the Gerudo with caution. “You were one of the Gerudo who came here with King Ganondorf, were you not?”

    “Yep.” Nabooru nodded.

    “Then how and why are you still here?” Impa asked accusatorily.

    Nabooru shrugged. “I don’t know. I decided to take a dip in the moat out back. I dove down when everything started to turn dark and it looked like some kind of shadowy smoke stuff passed by. After it left, I got out and everything was like this.”

    “I was not aware that the Gerudo knew how to swim.” Impa clearly wasn’t buying her story.

    “Most of us don’t.” Ganondorf replied. “But our capital is built around a large oasis deep in the Gerudo desert, which is where both Nabooru and I grew up.”

    “His highness told me you’re all going to go rescue everyone.” Nabooru said, gesturing to Ganondorf with her thumb. “I’d like to come with you to help.”

    “Thank you.” Zelda said graciously with a slight curtsy. “We could use all of the help we can get.”

    “Princess, I would beg you to reconsider. Something about her story does not sit well with me.”

    “Are you saying that you don’t trust my second-in-command?” Ganondorf raised an eyebrow as he spoke.

    “Nah, that’s fine. I wouldn’t trust me either.” Nabooru chuckled. “I don’t know how I managed to avoid whatever happened to everyone else. But I do know that some of my people were taken alongside yours and I will do everything in my power to bring them back, even if I have to do it on my own.”

    “That’s good enough for me.” Zelda said with a smile. “We’re glad to have you with us.”

    “Wait, there are people who don’t know how to swim?” Ruto was astonished by this revelation.

    “Not that unusual.” Darunia pointed out. “Gorons can’t even swim at all. We just sink like, well, like rocks.”

    Ruto’s eyes opened wide as she tried to process that information, the idea of people not being able to swim being completely foreign to the Zora princess.

    “Perhaps we should all go to bed before the fish girl has a heart attack.” Navi said helpfully, or so she thought.

    “Fish girl!” Ruto yelled at the fairy.

    Nabooru leaned over to Ganondorf as the others started to argue. “They always like this?”

    “I sincerely hope not.” The Gerudo King couldn’t help but bury his face in his hand. “But I’m starting to suspect that it may be the case.”

    “Well, this should be fun then.”
    I'm back with a new chapter, which took way to long to write. I don't know why I haven't really been in the mood to write lately, but I'm hoping to get back to the habit soon so that I can update more regularly.
    Not to much going on in this chapter. It's mostly just the characters getting prepared for their upcoming quest to save Hyrule. Most of the weapons described are based off of weapons from Hyrule Warriors and Breath of the Wild. I'll go into details on that in the following spoiler tab.
    Ganondorf's Gerudo broadsword is meant to be the sword that he first wielded in the SpaceWorld 2000 tech demo, which is more well known as the sword that he has in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The Stone Smasher that he got back in Death Mountain is obviously meant to be the weapon of the same name from Breath of the Wild. The fact that he's now going to be dual-wielding both mismatched swords is a reference to his Great Swords weapon type from Hyrule Warriors. I should also note that I had completely forgotten that it had been specifically pointed out that Ganondorf had gone to Hyrule Castle in a set of ceremonial robes (meant to be his outfit from The Wind Waker) and had left his armor behind since he didn't think he would need it. That's why I put the comment here that he'd been wearing more casual clothes since leaving the castle with the others, and has now switched to his armor from Ocarina of Time. Or maybe the clothes that he's been wearing are the Ocarina of Time outfit and now he's in his armor from Twilight Princess?

    The Magic Hammer that Darunia gets (already mentioned in the previous chapter) is the same as his default hammer from Hyrule Warriors. It's obviously a much, much larger and heavier weapon than could be wielded in real life, especially since historical war hammers were actually pretty small and don't really weigh more than a few pounds (battle axes are similarly small and light, despite what fantasy stories would have you believe).

    Impa's new sword is meant to be an Eightfold Blade from Breath of the Wild, though the name hasn't been brought up yet and I haven't really described what it looks like yet. Her naginata is specifically meant to be the default Guardian Naginata from Hyrule Warriors, though probably a bit smaller than it is in-game.

    Zelda's rapier is either a child-sized version of the Polished Rapier from Hyrule Warriors, or possibly something more closely resembling Zelda's sword from Twilight Princess. I haven't quite made up my mind on which, but I'm leaning towards the Polished Rapier. Her bow was a late edition and I haven't quite decided which bow from the franchise it's modeled after yet, but I'm leaning towards the Hero's Bow from Twilight Princess (but smaller because she wouldn't be able to use the full-sized one at her age).

    I haven't decided if Ruto's fishing trident is meant to be a smaller version of the Lightscale Trident/Ceremonial Trident from Breath of the Wild, or an original design with ascetics combining the Lightscale Trident with the Coral Earring from Twilight Princess.

    Link's new sword and shield are base off of the default Knight's Sword from Hyrule Warriors, though the sword at least is noticeably smaller than the one in-game since this Link is still a kid. The specific one that he chose was likely either meant for a shorter knight or a young squire still in training.

    Saria was originally going to get a javelin to use as a spear, along with a short bow. However, I decided that Zelda should get the bow instead, and that it would make more sense for Link to give her the Kokiri Sword than to give her a random Hylian weapon.

    Also Nabooru has joined the main group because apparently Vaati couldn't reach her underwater, like how he didn't get any of the other major characters because they were in the Shadow Temple when Vaati was unleashed. Her weapons are going to be the dual scimitars wielded by the Gerudo guards in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask.
    Now hopefully it doesn't take me another two months to finish writing the next chapter.
     
    #25 Dec 7, 2019
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
  6. BZRich64

    BZRich64 The Mustachiod Machamp

    Late For A Date
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    Zelda stared up at the ceiling of her room. It had felt like forever since she had last been in her own bed, despite having only been a few days. But no matter how comfortable it may have been, there were too many thoughts swirling around her head from everything going on that there was no way she would be able to sleep. And even if she was able to, it wouldn’t have been a very restful sleep.

    After lying awake for what must have been at least half-an-hour, Zelda sat up and looked around. If she couldn’t sleep, she might as well try and find something to keep her mind focused. She got up, picked up a small lantern and headed out of her room, not exactly sure where she was going. She felt the familiar presence of Impa following in the shadows as she headed down the hallway. Sometimes the princess wondered if her attendant ever slept.

    The castle grounds seemed ominously cold and empty. Even more so than when she and the others had arrived. The small light produced from her lantern cast shadows across the faces of the many guards and royal attendants that she passed by. It was hard for her to imagine how powerful Vaati must be in order to have turned them all to stone so easily. It was even harder for her to imagine that they would have to fight something so powerful so soon. She had no idea how they would be able to do it but they had to find a way to rescue everyone.

    After a while, Zelda found herself in the castle gardens. She had visited this area so often that it was almost like she had just instinctively made her way there. She walked over to her favorite spot and sat down on one of the benches there. The stone was cold thanks to the night air, particularly since she was wearing nothing for warmth over her old nightgown. She tried not to pay much attention to the cold, however, and focused her attention on the pedestal in front of her. It was weird not seeing the Four Sword there. The legendary blade had been embedded in the stone since long before her time. It was a constant. Always there no matter how much everything else changed in her life. She had taken comfort in the sword’s presence, even if she had never realized it before. But now it was gone and the evil it had sealed away had been unleashed.

    It was strange to think about. She had spent a lot of her time right here. Right next to where the evil monster that was now threatening Hyrule had lain dormant for centuries. Yet in all that time she had never really felt it. Sure, she had known that the Four Sword had been used to seal away a great evil long ago, but it had never felt like there was anything particularly off before. Now that she thought about it, she would have expected that being near such great evil would have filled her with a sense of dread, that she would be able to feel the malice emanating from the blade. But it had never been that way before. If anything, she had always felt a sense of peace being here. Perhaps that was just a testament to the power of the seal.

    Zelda got up again and continued wandering the grounds. There was no sense dwelling on this now. Though a question did pop into her head. Why now? Vaati had been sealed within that blade for generations without any issue, so what had allowed the Wind Sage to escape now? And there were so many other things all happening at once. Vaati, Bongo Bongo, that creature in the Ice Cavern, the Dodongos, whatever had happened to the Kokiri’s guardian before she met Link. And all of this right as they were supposed to be working towards bringing peace to Hyrule. She couldn’t help but think of her dreams. There was the original, where the boy in green stood as a light against the darkness that the man in black armor. And there was the new one, where she stood alongside both the boy in green and the man in black along with seven others against a darkness which surrounded Hyrule from all sides.

    This was it. It must have been. So many evil forces awakening or reawakening at once. All striking separately yet it was almost as if there was something coordinating all of it. It must have been the darkness from her dream, the current one, yet what could have been behind it. Then there were the people in her dream. Link was clearly the boy in green, and Ganondorf the man in black. Impa, Darunia, Saria and Ruto were four of the seven that would stand with them. She supposed Nabooru must have been the fifth, but that still left two more. Who were they? When would they be joining them? The more she thought the more questions she had. She still didn’t even know what had caused her dream to change so dramatically all of a sudden. All of her questions quickly fell to the back of her mind, however, as she turned a corner on the path leading to the royal crypt.

    “Father!”

    The young princess nearly dropped her lantern as she spotted the stone remains of her father and she ran over to him. He was petrified, just like nearly all the men in Hyrule. That was not a surprise. She had fully expected to find him that way and had mentally prepared for it. What did catch her by surprise was the took of pain etched into his face as he clutched a spot on his side and knelt close to the ground. He was injured, badly. The light of her lantern reflected off a small pool of dried blood that had collected under his injury. Unlike everyone else that she had seen so far, who had seemingly been turned to stone before they knew anything was wrong, the king had been attacked first.

    Impa emerged from the shadows to stand by Zelda, fell onto her father’s petrified body and began to cry. The Sheikah placed a comforting hand on the sobbing princesses’ shoulder. They remained like that for a while, before Zelda was finally able to give in to her fatigue from the very stressful day and drifted off to sleep. Impa then picked up the young princess and carried her back to her room. On the way there, she even allowed herself to shed a tear for everything that had happened. Even if they did manage to defeat Vaati and rescue everyone, this would still be remembered as one of the greatest tragedies in Hyrule’s history.

    * * *​

    Everyone gathered in the castle’s entrance hall the next morning. The atmosphere seemed a bit less ominous in the morning light than it had been before though there was still a sense of apprehension in the air as the group of Hyrulians prepared themselves for what was ahead. Once everyone was prepared, they set out with hardly a word uttered between them until they reached Castle Town.

    As they marched through the once-bustling market square, Zelda glanced to a tall brick building to the east of town, which stood out atop the nearby shops. She stopped for a moment, an idea forming in her head as she stared out at the Temple of Time.

    “What is it?” Impa asked the princess.

    “Hm?” Zelda turned back to the others, who were clearly wondering what she was thinking. “Oh, nothing. Well, actually a thought did just occur to me. I think I may know what we could use to defeat Vaati.”

    “That’s great!” Darunia slapped the young princess on the shoulder, almost knocking her over. “What is it?”

    “I was just thinking, if we could gather the three Spiritual Stones, then we could open up the Door of Time where the Master Sword is said to be kept. With the Blade of Evil’s Bane, I’m sure that defeating Vaati would be much easier.”

    “I’m not so sure about that.” Ganondorf couldn’t help but feel a sense of déjà vu.

    “Why not?” Zelda was confused by this reaction.

    “Because if the legends are true, then opening the Door of Time means opening the way to the Sacred Realm, where the Triforce is kept. It’s possible that whoever or whatever is behind everything that’s going on right now has set everything up just to force us to open the Sacred Realm so that they can lay an ambush and take the Triforce for themselves.” Ganondorf explained. “Or at least that’s what I would do if I wanted to take over Hyrule.”

    “He does have a point. This could be a trap.” Impa glanced towards Nabooru quickly before turning her gaze back to Princess Zelda.

    “Alright.” Zelda was a bit disheartened that her idea to try and turn things around for their favor was so quickly shut down, though had to admit to herself that she hadn’t really thought it through before suggesting it. “I guess that we’ll just continue as planned. Um, does anyone actually know how to get to the Tower of Hera, though?”

    “I know the way.” Darunia spoke up. “I don’t think that anyone’s actually gone there in years, at least as far as I know, so I don’t know what state the path will be in. Still, it shouldn’t be very difficult to get there, just long.”

    “Then I suppose it would be best to let you lead the way, then.” Zelda nodded to the Goron chief.

    “Alright! Everyone, follow me!” Darunia ran up to the front of the group and continued running out to the edge of town. The Goron was surprisingly fast for his size and weight, forcing everyone else to run after him in order to keep up.

    “Slow down!” Ganondorf shouted once they had reached the drawbridge leading out to Hyrule Field.

    “What’s wrong?” Darunia slowed to a halt and turned to face his companions.

    “We can’t just run the whole way.” Ganondorf pointed out. “We’ll all be utterly exhausted long before we get there.”

    “Oh, right.” Darunia scratched the back of his head awkwardly. “Sometimes I forget the rest of you don’t have the same level of stamina that we Gorons have. Guess I’ll take it slower from here.”

    With that, Darunia continued at a much slower pace, allowing the others to keep up without any more issues. The rest of the trip East back to Kakariko Village proved uneventful. After taking a moment to rest in the empty village, it was time to head back up to Death Mountain.

    The gate blocking off the mountain pass had been left open and the guard who normally stood guard there was gone, likely having been helping to evacuate the town's residents during the fire before Vaati was unleashed. Even if he was there, however, it wouldn’t have been any better as he would have been nothing more than a petrified statue. Several tektites hopped around the mountain trail on the other side but they were no match for Darunia and Ganondorf’s heavy weapons as they cleared the way for the others.

    Hiking up the side of one of Hyrule’s largest mountains wasn’t easy for the members of the group not used to such a climb, which was nearly all of them. As such, they had to stop and take several breaks as they ascended Death Mountain. By the time they nearly reached the mountain’s peak, over half the day had gone by and it was decided that they should break for lunch before continuing around to the other side of the mountain, where their destination stood waiting for them.

    “How much further is it?” Ruto complained, sitting on a small boulder and rubbing her aching webbed feet.

    “We’re pretty close.” Darunia said, plopping down on the rough ground. “Getting up here was the hard part. The rest of the trip should be easy enough.”

    “It would be easier if it weren’t so dark out.” Zelda said, looking up at the shadowy clouds that continued to ominously swirl about overhead.

    “It’s not that dark out here.” Saria pointed out.

    “That’s because you live in a forest.” Zelda countered. “You’re used to the sun being blocked out by the trees.”

    “True.” Saria pondered that. “I guess I never really thought about that before. Although I think the hardest part of getting up here was those parts we had to actually climb.”

    “Sorry we don’t have a better way up here.” Darunia apologized. “We never really felt there was a need to since normally people don’t come up this far unless they want to climb the mountain. To my knowledge, no one’s even gone to the Tower of Hera itself in a few hundred years.”

    “You have nothing to apologize for.” Zelda replied. “It’s not like anyone ever thought that there would ever be a need to explore the tower so long after it was abandoned.”

    “What exactly is the Tower of Hera, anyway?” Navi asked. “I’ve never heard of it before now.”

    “The Tower of Hera is said to have been an ancient temple built in the early days of Hyrule.” Impa explained. “Most records of it have been lost to history and the structure has become shrouded in myth as a result. However, legends say that the Hylians originally came from a land in the sky and that the tower was built as a way for the ancient Hylians to honor their past. Whether that is actually true or not is a matter of speculation and it is unlikely that we will ever know for sure.”

    “Interesting…” Darunia stroked his beard. “According to Goron legend, the Tower of Hera was supposed to have been made by the Gorons and Hylians together under the direction of the three Goddesses in order to house an ancient relic within its walls. They say that one day when the land of Hyrule is threatened by a darkness, a hero chosen by the Goddess Farore will have to overcome the temple’s trials and claim the ancient treasure in order to use it to save the land from evil.”

    “That is also a possibility.” Impa nodded. “It happens to sound like many Hylian and Sheikah legends, as well.”

    “Hey, maybe one of us is the hero!” Darunia suggested jokingly.

    “Perhaps so.” Impa agreed, to Darunia’s surprise. “We will likely learn more after we reach the tower. For now, we should eat and regain our strength. Whatever lies ahead, we will need to be prepared for anything.”
    I really need to start working on updating my stories more regularly. At least I got this chapter done within a month of my last one (just barely). This is also my first posted chapter of 2020 (even though I wrote about 2/3rds of it in 2019). Other than that I don't think that I really have much to say about this chapter. It's mostly just a transition to the characters reaching the Tower of Hera at the beginning of the next chapter, so that they can begin the next step of their adventure. It also means that I'm one step closer to finally reaching the end of this series. I don't want to share any details about what will happening in order to avoid spoilers, but I will say that there are only two dungeons left before we reach the end of the story. I don't know how many chapters it will end up taking to finish off those last two dungeons, the final boss, and various ending and epilogue stuff, but we're getting close. Probably less than ten chapters left. Then I can finally move onto part two of what's supposed to be an eight-part saga. Hopefully that one doesn't take three years to get through each one, or else I won't finish Part VIII until at least 2041. Though admittedly that would mean the series would take about as many years real-time as the first seven parts are supposed to in-universe, which would be kind of fun. No way I'd be able to keep writing it for that long, though.
     
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  7. BZRich64

    BZRich64 The Mustachiod Machamp

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    Since they had left the Kokiri Forest, Link and Navi had been to many places they could never have dreamed of before. The open fields of Hyrule, the bustling metropolis of Castle Town, the caverns of Mt. Doom, the aquatic Zora’s Domain, the perpetually frozen Ice Cave and the infernal Shadow Temple. As such, the Tower of Hera didn’t have quite the same impact on either of them than it would have just a few days earlier. It was still quite a sight to behold, however.

    “I’ve never seen anything this tall before.” Princess Ruto arched her back as she struggled to find the top of the giant stone tower before them.

    “It looks even bigger than the old mansion behind the Sacred Forest Meadow.” Saria observed in awe.

    “Did that owl ever actually tell us how to get to the Palace of Winds from here?” Ganondorf asked.

    “I did not.”

    The whole group seemed to jump from the unexpected voice of the large talking owl who’s feathers blended in with the stone tower he was perched over the entrance of.

    “Kaepora Gaebora!” Navi shouted.

    “Yes, I am here.” The sagely owl nodded. “And I see that all of you have made it here as well. You’ve even added an extra member to your ranks. That just leaves two more, if I’m not mistaken.

    “How do you know that?” Zelda asked quietly, barely a mumble.

    “The next step of your journey will not be an easy one.” Kaepora Gaebora continued. “Within this hallowed tower, there rests an ancient relic placed there for safekeeping. This powerful item will be the key to being able to vanquish Vaati, though sadly not even I know where in the tower it is kept. You will need to find this relic before ascending to the top of the Tower of Hera, where you will find your way to the Palace of Winds. I wish you luck in your quest.”

    With that, the great owl took off and flew away before anyone could ask him for further details, leaving the group alone in front of the tower.

    “That wasn’t very helpful.” Nabooru said. “Does anyone here know what this ‘relic’ we’re supposed to find is?”

    The Gerudo’s question was met with shrugs.

    “I’m sure we’ll know it when we see it.” Navi said. “Something strong enough to repel Vaati’s curse is bound to give off a strong magical energy. In fact, I think I can kind of feel something from here.”

    “Yeah!” Saria’s fairy agreed. “I feel something, too. There’s definitely some powerful magic in there.”

    “I suppose there’s no point in remaining out here.” Princess Zelda took a deep breath, gripping her rapier tightly. “But we must be careful. There’s no telling what kinds of monsters or traps lay within this tower.”

    Everyone followed the princess as she entered the mighty stone tower. As they looked around inside the surprisingly luxurious interior of the Tower of Hera, it soon became apparent that their task would be harder than expected.

    “What is this, some kind of maze?” Nabooru wondered aloud.

    “It looks like it.” Ganondorf glanced around at higher platforms surrounding them. “Are those moving spike traps?”

    “They are likely preventative measures meant to keep people from looting this sacred site.” Impa explained. “This will present more of a challenge for us but not an unexpected one.”

    “We seem to have hit a dead end.” Zelda called back from the front of the group.

    “Already? But we just got here!” Ruto complained.

    Navi flew over to the bright blue and gold walls that were preventing them from traveling further into the tower. There was something off about them and not just because their bright colors didn’t match the muted browns and grays that made up the rest of what they’d seen of the tower so far. After a moment, she realized what it was.

    “Hey! I think these walls can retract into the floor! I think there should be a switch or something around here we can use to-”

    Before the blue fairy was able to finish her sentence, Link pulled out his sword and struck a large glowing orb set on an ornate golden base which seemed to match the walls blocking their way. The obstructing features then shook violently and slowly slip down into the floor, opening the way forward.

    “Yeah, that.” Navi muttered.

    “We should expect to find obstacles like that throughout the tower.” Impa said to the others. “They will likely get more challenging as we proceed further in.”

    “Speaking of challenges,” Saria spoke up, “I think I found the next one.”

    “What is it?” Ganondorf asked.

    The Kokiri girl pointed to the two sets of stairs that laid before them. “Do we go up or down?”

    “There’s a basement?” Nabooru asked in amazement. “Isn’t this tower tall enough already?”

    “Well, we are supposed to go to the top of the tower.” Ganondorf pointed out. “So, we should probably go up.”

    “But if the thing we’re supposed to find is kept down below, then we’d miss it and have to head back down.” Zelda countered.

    “True.” Ganondorf nodded. “But if it isn’t down there, then we’d only be wasting time searching for it. Time that we can’t afford to waste any more of.”

    “It would appear that our best solution may be to split up.” Impa suggested. “One group could search the basement levels for anything of importance, while the other group searches while climbing the tower. When the lower team has finished, they should be able to catch up to the upper team without much trouble as they shouldn’t have to deal with the obstacles and booby traps that the upper team has already cleared the way through.”

    “I suppose that makes sense.” Ganondorf nodded. “I will lead the team climbing up the tower.”

    “I guess I’ll be going down, then.” Zelda agreed. “But what about everyone else.”

    “I will be going with you, Princess, and I am sure that Nabooru will be sticking with her King.” Impa said. “Link should come with us while Saria goes with King Ganondorf’s team so that their fairy companions can help both teams in the search. If we then have Darunia in our group while Ruto goes with Ganondorf, then that should leave both groups well balanced.”

    “Seems reasonable to me.” Ganondorf agreed. “That’s two adults, two children and a fairy per team.”

    “I’d rather go with Link, but I do understand your reasoning.” Saria relented.

    “Alright, if there are no objections, then let’s head out.” Ganondorf turned to the stairs and motioned for the members of his group to follow. Zelda then led the others down the other way.

    * * *​

    The Tower of Hera’s basement didn’t prove to be quite as challenging to explore as Zelda and the others thought. The only monsters they encountered were an occasional Moldorm, large centipede-like creatures that seemed mostly content to wander around without paying any attention to the group. The main challenge was navigating the labyrinthine structure of the tower itself. The path often branched off, there were countless booby-trapped dead ends and their path was blocked every step of the way by various obstacles and puzzles that they had to solve or find their way past to proceed. Between the five of them, however, they were able to solve all of the puzzles and eventually make their way down to the lowest floor, where a large chest was set on a raised platform as if inviting them to claim its contents.

    “This must be it.” Zelda said excitedly, ready to finally be done with this and head up to join the others.

    “Something feels off, though.” Navi floated up to the chest. “It definitely feels close, but… No, it’s probably nothing.”

    The young princess rushed up to the ornate red and gold chest and placed her hands gently under the edge of its lid. She tried to pull it open, but even with the power of her Goron’s Bracelet, it wouldn’t budge.

    “Locked.” Zelda muttered in disappointment as she took a step back. “Now what?”

    “Just leave it to me!” Darunia walked up to the locked treasure chest and motioned for the others to step back. He then lifted his Magic Hammer high above his head and slammed it down on the chest with all his might. The gold-trimmed wooden chest managed to endure the strike surprisingly well, but it was still enough to create a crack in the wood. Darunia then turned the hammer around and started chipping away at the crack with the narrow end of his tool, breaking open a hole large enough to see inside. “There you go.”

    Navi flew into the newly formed hole and popped out just as quickly. “Hey, there’s nothing in here!”

    “What?” Zelda replied in shock. “But then… where is it?”

    “Perhaps there was nothing down here after all?” Impa suggested. “We should probably head up to join with the others. Perhaps they found whatever it is that we are looking for?”

    “Does anyone else hear that?” Link asked, causing the others to turn to him.

    “Hear what?” Darunia’s question was immediately answered as a loud crash shook the floor underneath them.

    “What was that?” Zelda yelled as she was knocked off her feet and had to pull herself back up.

    “I think there’s something under us!” Navi shouted frantically as another crash sounded and a web-like series of crashes spread along the stone floor. “Run!”

    A section of the floor collapsed as everyone rushed towards the stairs. Rising up from the newly formed hole in the floor, a massive, monstrous Moldorm hissed and clacked its mandibles violently. The giant myriapod gazed down at them with three dark eyes, two a deep red while the third was a glassy blue, before striking. The monster ended up slamming face-first into the wall, stunning it temporarily as the group ran up to the next floor. It didn’t take long, however, for the great beast to regain its senses and the mighty arthropod clambered up after them.

    * * *​

    “I hope the others are having better luck than us.” Saria muttered as she and the others made their way up another flight of stairs. They had nearly reached the top of the tower already, with no sign of whatever it was they were supposed to be looking for.

    “I wonder if they’ve reached the bottom yet.” Ruto added as they walked out into a small chamber with a large doorway on the other side.

    “I’m sure they’ll be fine.” Ganondorf looked ahead into the next room, then signaled for the others to stop.

    “What’s wrong?” Nabooru asked him.

    “I’m not sure, but there’s something off about this chamber.” Ganondorf cautiously stepped into the dimly lit room, only for a heavy stone door to slam shut behind him, blocking him off from the others.

    Ganondorf tried to pry the door back open but it was no use, so he started looking around for a lever or switch of some kind. A quick scan of the chamber proved that it was empty. Ganondorf slowly stepped towards the center of the chamber, swords drawn and at the ready.

    The torches lighting the room dimmed as a cold wind somehow passed through the sealed chamber. Ganondorf watched as a spectral form dropped down from the ceiling and he found himself face to face with what looked like it could be death itself. A large Stalfos cloaked in dark blue robes towered over the Gerudo King, bearing a scythe in one hand that looked like it cut cleanly through him.

    The Blue Stalfos began floating in circles around the edge of the chamber, forming a ball of magical energy above its head with its free hand. Ganondorf did his best to follow the monster’s movements, making sure that it couldn’t circle behind him. He silently cursed the fact that he was only trained in melee combat. Perhaps it was time he finally took to learning magic from his mothers. Although, now that he thought about it, he hadn’t seen either of the Twinrova sisters since this whole thing began. He hoped they were alright.

    However, the battlefield was no place for stray thoughts like that, and Ganondorf had to refocus on the fight as the Blue Stalfos finished charging its attack. The ball of dark magical energy was flying towards the desert king, who didn’t have time to dodge. Instead, he tried swatting the blast aside with the Stone Smasher in his left hand. To his surprise, the blast was sent hurtling back towards its caster, prompting the Blue Stalfos to send it back to him even faster with a strike of its scythe. Ganondorf reacted almost instinctively with a slash of his Gerudo sword. The Blue Stalfos struck it with his scythe again and they ended up sending the blast back and forth several times, picking up speed with each strike. Ganondorf was worried that he would mess up as it got harder and harder to time his blows. To his surprise, however, it was the Blue Stalfos that ended up finally getting struck by the attack. The skeletal foe was stunned by the blast and drooped down to the floor, giving Ganondorf an opening to rush in and start attacking. It didn’t take long for the Blue Stalfos to recompose itself, though, and flew back out of range.

    * * *​

    Nabooru tried to force the door open while the younger girls looked for some other way of getting through. It was no use, however, as the chamber had been magically sealed shut. The second-in-command worried for the safety of her king, even if she knew he was capable of handling himself.

    “What do we do now?” Ruto wondered aloud.

    “Do you hear something?” Saria then asked.

    “No.” Ruto replied. “Wait, yes. What is that?”

    “Screaming?” Nabooru answered uncertainly.

    Zelda, Impa, Darunia, Link and Navi burst up the stairs and into the small room, nearly crashing into the others.

    “Woah, what’s going on?” Nabooru asked them as the ground began to shake.

    “That!” Zelda pointed back to the stairs, just in time for the giant Moldorm chasing them to break through and poke its head up, hissing and clacking its mandibles violently. Saliva frothed and dripped from the monster’s mouth as it stared at them hungrily. “Run!”

    “We can’t, it’s a dead end.” Ruto screamed.

    “Then I guess that means we have to fight.” Darunia turned to the monster and readied his hammer. “Let’s do this!”

    * * *​

    The Blue Stalfos collapsed to the ground after being struck by another one of its own attacks. Ganondorf thought that he was getting the hang of this battle as he went in to finish off the undead creature. Before he reached it, however, there was a large crashing noise as the largest Moldorm he had ever seen broke through the wall and charged into the room, smashing into the Blue Stalfos as something large and brown was thrown into the far wall.

    “Are you alright!” Someone called, though Ganondorf was too stunned to tell who’s voice it was.

    “Did someone get the licensing information for that minecart.” Darunia muttered groggily before passing out.

    The giant Moldorm set out a ferocious hiss as it prepared to finish the Goron off. Before it could do so, however, it was struck in the back of the head by a ball of magical energy. The Blue Stalfos was still alive, or rather, undead, but had now shifted its attention to the Moldorm. Ganondorf was now especially glad that he had avoided being hit by any of the Stalfos’ attacks, as the Moldorm rapidly began to shrink down. Ganondorf was confused as to why this hadn’t happened to the Stalfos itself upon being hit by its own magic before realizing that the Moldorm wasn’t shrinking so much as it was rapidly growing younger. This didn’t stop the Moldorm from lunging at the Blue Stalfos again, crushing the skeletal specter in its jaws. Unfortunately for the Moldorm, this did not stop the de-aging process as it continued to shrink. For some reason, however, the magic spell did not seem to affect its blue third eye, which seemed to remain the same size even as the rest of its body grow smaller. Before long the bug’s skull had grown too small to contain the eye and there was a sickening crunch before it vanished into a puff of smoke as all monsters do when they die. The only evidence left that either the Moldorm or the Stalfos had ever been there were a pair of Heart Containers that floated gently to the ground and the Moldorm’s blue eye, which fell to the ground with a clang.

    “What just happened?” Ganondorf wondered aloud.

    “I don’t know but at least things seemed to have worked out.” Zelda said as she and the others made their way into the room through the hole the Moldorm and made.

    “So, if they killed each other, then who gets these?” Link asked, pointing to the Heart Containers.

    “Well, I was the only one fighting that Stalfos thing, so I think that I should probably get the one from that.” Ganondorf pointed out.

    “I think that the Princess should get it.” Impa stated.

    “Me?” Princess Ruto said questioningly.

    “I think she meant Zelda.” Saria pointed out.

    “Oh, right. That makes more sense.”

    “Are you sure?” Zelda asked.

    “You were the one leading our group.” Impa explained. “It only seems right that you should get it.”

    Zelda seemed unsure about that, but she could see that the others seemed to agree, so she sighed and toughed one of the Heart Containers while Ganondorf took the other. A feeling of warmth passed through them both as they absorbed the hearts’ power. Once that was done, Zelda turned to the eye that had been dropped by the Moldorm.

    “What do you suppose that is?” The Hylian Princess asked.

    Link walked over to it and poked it with his finger, grossing out the other children in the group.

    “Feels like glass.” Link commented, then picked it up. The blue orb was large enough that he had to wrap both of his arms around it to pick it up and heavy enough that the only reason he could pick it up at all was due to the power of his Goron Bracelet. “Yep, definitely glass.”

    “I can feel a strong magical energy coming from it.” Navi said as she took a closer look at the orb. “I think this might be the thing we were supposed to find.”

    “And the door leading outside opened up, too.” Everyone was surprised to see that Darunia was already up again and had rejoined the others. “Which I guess that means we’re done here.”

    “I guess we’re heading out, then.” Zelda said, a bit stunned by how quickly all of that managed to resolve itself.

    * * *​

    As the group walked out onto the roof of the Tower of Hera, they were greeted by a familiar owl.

    “Hoohoo, I see that you managed to find the Moon Pearl.” Kaepora Gaebora observed.

    “Is that what this thing is?” Zelda asked, looking at the large blue orb that Darunia was now carrying.

    “Yes.” The owl nodded. “The Moon Pearl is a powerful magical artifact from the Golden Age of Hyrule, said to be able to reveal the true nature of anything reflected in it. With its power, you should be able to restore those afflicted by Vaati’s curse. Before you proceed, however, I think it's about time that I revealed my true nature to you.”

    Kaepora Gaebora suddenly took off from his perch and dove for the Moon Pearl. Before anyone had a chance to react, there was a blinding flash of light and the owl was gone. In his place stood an elderly Hylian in orange and brown robes, who seemed to be emitting a faint, pale green glow.

    “My true name is Rauru.” The elderly man revealed. “I served the Kingdom of Hyrule long ago as a sage and it was my duty to help protect the land from darkness. I constructed the Temple of Time to protect the Triforce from those who sought its power for their own purposes, and my spirit has remained sealed within the Sacred Realm ever since. I eventually learned to project an aspect of myself into the physical world in the form of the owl Kaepora Gaebora, but I was restricted in how much I was able to do. But now, thanks to the power of the Moon Pearl, I should be able to take a more active part in aiding you in your quest to protect Hyrule.”

    Rauru was surprised that he was able to get through his whole speech without being interrupted, though this was mostly due to everyone else being stunned into silence by the sudden unexpected revelation.

    “Wait, so did you make us go through all of that just so that we could help you turn back into an old man?” Princess Ruto asked.

    “Oh, no.” Rauru shook his head. “I tasked you with finding the Moon Pearl and making your way here so that you could use its power to aid you in the coming battle against Vaati, and because this is the only location from which you will be able to reach the Palace of Winds. My regaining a human form was merely a fortunate consequence. If you do not wish for my help, then I will simply open up the way for you and then depart back to the Sacred Realm.”

    “No, that won’t be necessary.” Zelda said hurriedly, surprising the others and herself. “If you are willing to lend us your aide, then we will accept graciously.”

    “Thank you, Your Highness.” Rauru nodded, then gestured his arm out towards the sky. A pillar of light shone down from the center of the dark clouds swirling above and materialized into a shining stairway into the heavens. “Now, unless there is anything else, I believe it is time for us to put an end to this.”
    It's been far too long since I've updated anything, but I'm back and hopefully with a more frequent update schedule. I was surprised how long it took me to get through this chapter considering how long I've had it planned out. And then I ended up writing around half of it this morning just to finally have it done, adding in a second boss battle concurrently with the first one that I didn't even have planned. Though I think it turned out alright and I even manged to work in a title drop. At the very least, the Tower of Hera is finally done which means I can move onto the final stretch of the story. I'm really looking forward to finally being able to wrap up this story and move on to the sequel. I have an eight-story saga (three minimum if I want to stop after just the initial trilogy) planned out which is going to take forever to get through at this rate.
     
    #27 Apr 16, 2020
    Last edited: May 26, 2020
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  8. BZRich64

    BZRich64 The Mustachiod Machamp

    Late For A Date
    (Bunnelby)
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    “Has this place always been here?” Ruto asked as she and the others set foot onto an open stone pathway leading to the Palace of Wind’s main structure, a massive pyramid that seemed to resemble the Tower of Hera in its design.

    “This place was built thousands of years ago by members of the Wind Tribe.” Rauru explained. “When they abandoned Hyrule in ancient times, they cast a spell that renders the palace invisible from the surface.”

    “You seem to know a lot about Hyrule’s past.” Navi noted.

    “Well, I’ve been around long enough to witness most of it firsthand.” Rauru chuckled. “I dare say that only one mortal alive knows more about the history of this land than I, but I digress.”

    “What would happen if we were to… fall off?” Zelda cautiously eyed the edge of the platform they stood on. The only thing between them and the open air was the old railing that had broken away in many places over the centuries and was clearly not safe.

    “With luck, we won’t have to worry about that.” Rauru’s answer wasn’t really much of an answer. “But if it comes down to it, then I should be able to revert back to my owl form if separated from the Moon Pearl, which means that I should be able to catch anyone who does.”

    The uncertainty in his words did not prove reassuring to the younger members of the group. Nevertheless, they made their way carefully towards the main structure.

    “Stay alert, everyone.” Impa advised. “You never know when we could be attacked.”

    Saria clutched the Kokiri Sword tightly. She was mildly surprised that she could even feel it’s grip in her hands at this point. The wood that now made up most of her body mass was now creeping up her neck and she was not sure how much longer it would be before she had entirely transformed. Still, she was determined to do her part no matter what. Her joints were stiff but still moveable but she could still move without to much trouble, which gave her hope that her situation was not as dire as she had quietly feared. She knew of a race of plant people that lived deep in the lost woods known as the Deku Scrubs, and even her friend the Skull Kid had wood-like skin. Perhaps she was simply becoming more like them, rather than slowly turning into a tree, like she had initially thought would happen when it started.

    A chill wind blew past as the group walked along the final stretch towards the large pyramid ahead. Large, fish-like monsters glided through the air all around the palace, though fortunately none seemed to pay the group any mind. Before long they were stepping through the open entrance inside. Zelda noted that the inside of the Palace of Winds felt eerily like her home in Hyrule Castle. She assumed that the castle’s interior must have been modeled after the palace, though whether or not the architects were consciously aware of that fact she could guess.

    “All good so far.” Darunia said with a sigh of relief. “What next?”

    “I guess we just go deeper and see what we find.” Ganondorf looked around. “If we find the women first, then we see if we can rescue them. If we find Vaati first, then we stop him. Once we’ve done one, we can focus on the other. Though I’d prefer that we get everyone to safety before a fight breaks out.”

    “I think we should go this way.” Zelda pointed to a side hallway.

    “What makes you say that way?” Nabooru asked the young princess.

    “Just a hunch.” Zelda shrugged. Her actual reason was that if she was right and the palace’s layout matched Hyrule Castle, then it would be the hallway that would eventually take them to the dungeons, which seemed like the most likely place where the captive women they were looking for would be held.

    “That way seems as good as any.” Ganondorf nodded. “And I would suggest that we not split up this time around. We might be able to explore the place faster than if we all stick together, but it could be dangerous to go alone.”

    With that, everyone followed Zelda as she made her way through the uncannily familiar hallways of the Palace of Winds. Sure enough, they matched the layout of her home with disturbing accuracy and they eventually walked out into a large chamber lined with cells. Unfortunately, they all seemed to be empty and the stairs that would lead deeper into the dungeons of Hyrule Castle didn’t seem to have any counterpart here.

    “Well, I guess it wasn’t this way.” Ganondorf said. “I guess it’s time to head back.”

    “Is someone there?” Everyone turned to one of the cells that they had thought to be empty, where a terrified-looking young girl looked up from where she was huddled in the corner.

    “Malon?” Link recognized the red-head instantly despite having only met her once and rushed to the bars of her cell.

    “Link?” Malon perked up and rose to her feet. “What’s going on?”

    “We’re here to rescue you!” Navi shouted a bit louder than she should have. “Are you alright?”

    “Yeah, I think so.” Malon’s voice was less than confident.

    Stand back!” Darunia drew back his Magic Hammer and slammed it against the rusted old bars, forcing the cell open.

    “Do you know where the others are being held?” Impa asked as Malon climbed out with Link’s assistance.

    “I don’t know.” Malon replied. “I remember the sky going dark and then… everything after that’s a blur.”

    “An evil monster was unleashed and kidnapped you and most of the women and girls in Hyrule.” Zelda places a comforting hand on the girl’s shoulder. “But you’re safe now.”

    “P-princess?” Malon quickly realized who Zelda was and tensed up.

    “Yes.” Zelda nodded, slightly confused. “I’m surprised you recognized me. I’m not exactly dressed to my position right now.”

    “We’ve met before.” Malon revealed. “Well, sort of. I’ve helped my dad deliver milk to the castle before.”

    “Oh, right. I think I remember seeing you before.” Zelda said after thinking about it for a moment. “You’re from the ranch in the middle of Hyrule Field. Romani, was it?”

    “Lon Lon.” Malon corrected her.

    “Right.” Zelda nodded. “Well, we’ll get you back there soon.”

    “You said there were others here, too?” Malon asked after the group started making their way back to the entrance.

    “That’s right.” Impa confirmed.

    “Then I want to help you find them.” Malon surprised the others with her sudden firmness in her voice as she shook herself out from Link and Zelda’s grip.

    “Are you sure?” Link asked her. “The monster that captured you is still here somewhere, and who knows what else.”

    “I’m sure.” Malon nodded, a fierce determination burning behind her eyes.

    “Do you know how to use a bow?” Zelda asked her.

    “Yeah.” Malon answered, confused. “My dad taught me archery when I was little to help fend off the Keese and Stalchildren that sometimes go after our cattle, why?”

    “It’ll be dangerous, so you should take this.” Zelda took off the bow and quiver that were strapped to her back and handed them to Malon.

    “But what about you, Your Highness?” Malon asked as she took the weapon.

    “I’ve still got this.” The princess placed her hand on the hilt of the rapier sheathed at her waist. “There’s no need to address me so formally, given the circumstances. You can just call me Zelda.”

    “Got it, Your High-I mean Zelda.”

    “You should still refer to me by my title, though.” Ruto added.

    “Who’re you?”

    * * *​

    The group continued to search the palace, finding many of the captive women scattered throughout, who they sent back to the entrance to wait until it was over. Eventually they found themselves standing outside a large set of double doors leading to what would be the throne room of Hyrule Palace. Darunia and Ganondorf each took hold of one of the doors and pushed them open. Sure enough, a mighty throne sat at the other end of the large chamber waiting on the other side. Zelda had suspected to find Vaati waiting for them there, though the room seemed to be empty. Then again, she had no idea what Vaati would even look like so she wasn’t sure what to expect.

    “Looks like a dead end.” Ganondorf noted after he and the others had made their way to the other end of the chamber.

    Ruto jumped as the doors slammed shut behind them. “What was that?”

    Darunia rolled back to the room’s entrance and checked the doors. “We appear to be locked in here!”

    “That’s never a good sign.” Nabooru shook her head. “It usually means that there’s a powerful monster lurking nearby.”

    “Could it be Vaati?” Saria asked.

    “Probably.” Impa replied. “But we do not know what else could be lurking here.”

    Everyone gathered in the center of the room, forming a defensive circle with weapons in hand. At first, nothing seemed to happen, but then Zelda caught a glimpse of movement from behind the throne.

    “There!” The princess shouted as a shadowy figure stepped out into the open.

    “What is that?” Ruto asked.

    “I don’t know.” Navi said nervously. “I’ve never seen anything like it before.”

    “It is a Shadow, a demonic shade manifested through dark magic.” Rauru explained. “I know not where it came from but it is the being that released Vaati from his prison within the Four Sword.”

    “Is it just me, or does that thing look kind of like Link?” Malon asked as a sword and shield suddenly appeared in the shadow’s hands.

    “There is a resemblance.” Navi agreed. “Though it’s hard to make out any detail.”

    The shadow suddenly charged at them, aiming its blade at Princess Zelda. Impa swung her naginata towards it but the shadow simply jumped over it and backflipped off of the weapon, vanishing into the floor as it landed.

    “Where’d it go?” Darunia scanned the room, prepared for another attack from any direction.

    The sound of metal striking wood echoed through the chamber, causing everyone to turn and see Link blocking the shadow’s sword with his shield. The boy thrust his shield forward to try and make the shadow lose its balance, to no avail. Malon then sent an arrow flying towards the shadow, which caught the projectile mid-air and dropped it to the floor before charging Ganondorf. The King of the Gerudo deflected the attack easily with his greatsword and Nabooru lunged at it with her scimitars. However, her attack met only air as the shadow seemed to melt away into the floor.

    “How are we supposed to fight this thing if we can’t even hit it?” Ganondorf asked in bewilderment.

    “I have an idea.” Rauru held the Moon Pearl over his head, which flooded the room with light.

    The shadow emerged at the other end of the room and seemed to scream in pain as the light hit it, though it made no noise. The power of the Moon Pearl was not enough to vanquish the shadow but it did weaken it considerably by solidifying its form. A side effect of this was that the shadow’s features fell into focus, allowing Zelda to recognize it as she had seen the face it wore countless times in statues and paintings around the castle.

    “It looks like Link!” The princess blurted out.

    “I thought I already said that.” Malon remarked.

    “No, not that one.” Zelda shook her head. “One of my ancestors.”

    “That Shadow does seem to have taken the form of the Hero of the Four Sword.” Rauru noted. “It is likely that whoever created it did so for the irony of having the one who first sealed Vaati within the Four Sword be the one who would unleash him. Do not be fooled, however, it is in no way the hero of legend but has merely taken on his appearance.”

    The shadow Link regained enough of its strength while the heroes spoke to get back up and resume fighting. It was no longer able to disappear into the shadows and strike as it had before but the shadow still had some tricks up its sleeve. Shadow Link sheathed its sword and pulled something out which it flung to the side. The shadow’s boomerang arced through the air and struck from behind. Shadow Link then started tossing bombs towards its opponents while they were distracted, not giving them enough time to get out of the way before the bombs went off. Fortunately, Link reacted quickly enough and was able to use the power of Farore’s Wind to teleport himself and the others to the other end of the room just in time. Unfortunately, Darunia had been standing too far away and was left behind, being sent flying into the ceiling by the force of the blast.

    “I’m alright.” Darunia muttered groggily as he fell back to the floor from the hole in the ceiling he had just made.

    Shadow Link charged the stunned Goron faster than would have been humanly possible, ready to strike. The attack was interrupted, however, by an arrow fired from Malon’s bow. The shadow turned around to block the arrow with its shield but Link used that opportunity to launch a stream of Din’s Fire at it. Shadow Link recoiled at the flames and was injured by the attack. Link fired another blast of fire at it but this time the shadow was prepared. It pulled out some sort of large jar that sucked up the flames before they could reach Shadow Link. Ganondorf, Nabooru and Impa charged the shadow but had to fall back as the jar opened up again and spat the flames back out at them.

    Rauru lifted the Moon Pearl above his head again to see if he could weaken the shadow further. Shadow Link wasn’t about to let that happen, however, and pulled out a cane which it swung in his direction. A gust of magic swept Rauru’s feet out from under him, causing Rauru to drop the Moon Pearl, which rolled into the corner of the room.

    “It would appear that whoever created this Shadow may have had more than irony on their mind when choosing the model it after the Hero of the Four Sword.” Rauru said as he got back up. “It would appear that it is capable of using all of the weapons and abilities that the hero once wielded.”

    “I think that was obvious by this point.” Navi pointed out.

    Darunia regained his senses and tried to strike Shadow Link from behind. Fortunately for him, Malon happened to have let loose another arrow at the same time, distracting the shadow long enough for Darunia to hit it with enough force to send Shadow Link flying into the side of the room, burying it in a pile of rubble.

    “That was ridiculous.” Ruto said as she and the others regrouped. “Please tell me that Vaati won’t be that strong.”

    “I’m just glad that this fight is finally over.” Zelda sighed.

    However, the fight wasn’t over yet. Shadow Link dug his way out of the rubble fairly quickly with a pair of clawed gloves, heavily injured but still in fighting shape.

    “What will it take to beat this thing?” Nabooru sighed in exasperation.

    Shadow Link pulled out the large jar from earlier and stuck a bomb at it. It then aimed the jar at the heroes, using it to fire the bomb like a cannon. It traveled through the air too fast for anyone to get out of the way, sending everyone flying around the room. Shadow Link then set its sights on the one who landed closest to it, Ruto. The shadow jumped high into the air with the aid of a cape resembling a pair of wings, plunging his sword down to strike the young Zora. Fortunately, Princess Ruto was able to roll out of the way of the attack and strike Shadow Link in the side with her trident before it could attack again. Shadow Link hopped away from her, inadvertently moving too close to a prepared Ganondorf in the process, and Shadow Link found itself caught between the Gerudo king’s swords as they struck it. Shadow Link was sliced in half by the blow, though being a magical construct allowed the shadow to pull itself back together. The strike did weaken the shadow significantly, however, and Shadow Link did not have much energy left to fight. It was losing the battle and was well aware of that fact.

    Ganondorf tried to attack Shadow Link again but the shadow was able to roll out of the way and ran for safety. Dodging another one of Malon’s arrows, Shadow Link pulled out the jar again and started using it to fire bombs everywhere. Rather than trying to attack its enemies directly, however, Shadow Link was now focused on trying to bring down the ceiling to bury them alive. Fortunately, Link was able to use Farore’s Wind to travel around the room quickly and get the others out of harm's way. Shadow Link persisted, however, and continued firing bombs around the room. It was so focused on that, however, that it failed to notice Link teleport directly behind it, stabbing Shadow Link in the back. Shadow Link staggered forward, robbed of the last of its strength and collapsed onto the ground near the throne that had somehow managed to survive everything relatively intact. Shadow Link managed to pull itself up onto the throne and fall onto the seat just in time for a particularly large section of ceiling collapsed, sending a ray of sunshine from above shining directly onto the shadow.

    The light was too much for Shadow Link to withstand and it started burning away. It seemed that Link and the others had finally managed to defeat their strongest opponent yet. But then a writhing black mass shot down into the room like a bolt of lightning, crushing Shadow Link’s remains before it burned away completely. What was left of the shadow seemed to be absorbed by the dark tendril before what was left of the palace ceiling was torn away from above. Link and the others looked up to see a large black mass of tendrils and wings flying high above, a single red eye staring back down at them.

    “Is that…” Navi trailed off nervously.

    “Vaati.” Rauru nodded grimly, confirming everyone’s fears. “It would appear that our final battle is now upon us.”
    We're reaching the endgame here. I'm guessing there will probably be about two chapters left after this one before I finish the story. I'm really looking forward to finally having this done. I started this story years ago and I really thought that I'd be much further than this by now (probably somewhere in book 3). Unfortunately, I've been having a lot of trouble getting back into the habit of writing regularly ever since I stopped writing Four Journeys. Still, I've managed to get this far and it won't be long before I finally get to move on to book 2.
    As for the actual contents of this chapter, we've got two main things happening. The final member of of the group has finally joined them and it already feels like she's contributed more than Ruto has. Also the penultimate battle of the story, which was fun to write. Unfortunately, its getting quite hard to manage having so many characters around at once. I'm going to try and keep that in mind moving forward and have the characters split up more to keep the groups to more manage sizes.
     
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  9. BZRich64

    BZRich64 The Mustachiod Machamp

    Late For A Date
    (Bunnelby)
    Level 16
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    The black, shadowy mass that formed Vaati’s body seemed to pulse and writhe in the air. His large, red eye flickered back and forth across the fractured remains of the palace’s throne room before settling squarely on Princess Zelda. The young princess stared back at the monstrous wind mage. She had seen much since she had set out with the others just a few days earlier, yet nothing had filled her with dread the way Vaati did. Although, she felt as if there were something more there. Something familiar.

    “Look out!” Navi cried as one of Vaati’s tendrils shot down from above, aimed directly at Zelda.

    Ganondorf leaped towards the princess and knocked her out of the way, barely avoiding getting hit himself. It was then that the final battle began in earnest. Vaati closed his eye, then, as soon as he opened it again, there was a flash of light and Link, Ganondorf, Darunia and Rauru were turned to stone, just as all of the other men of Hyrule had. With nearly half the team out of commission, the already difficult battle had just become that much harder for the group to overcome. Fortunately, they still had their key to defeating Vaati, buried somewhere in the rubble.

    “Where’s that Moon Pearl thing?” Nabooru asked as she jumped to the side of avoid being flattened by a tendril.

    “I didn’t see where it went!” Ruto called back, stabbing a tendril with her trident.

    Vaati suddenly fired a green laser of magical energy at Impa, burning a hole through the floor while almost ending the Sheikah woman.

    “I think it was over there somewhere.” Malon gestured towards a corner with her bow before taking aim and firing an arrow at Vaati.

    The arrow managed to pierce Vaati in the eye, causing him to flail about widely for a moment. Piles of stone and debris were sent flying everywhere, one fragment of the ceiling struck Saria in the back of the head. Fortunately, her now-wooden skull allowed her to take the hit much better than if she were still flesh.

    “I think I found it!” Navi tried out, glowing as brightly as she could to draw her attention to where the Moon Pearl had been buried.

    “I’ve got it!” Zelda climbed over to Navi, only to be stopped by another blast of magical directly in front of her, causing the princess to scream.

    While Vaati was focused on attack Zelda, Ruto was able to climb around the side of the room and reach Navi. Using her trident, the Zora princess was able to pry away the larger pieces of stone to dig up the pearl. She was stopped from pulling it out, however, as dark tendril struck her and knocked her into a wall. Malon let another arrow fly, missing Vaati’s eye this time but still distracting him long enough for Princess Ruto to get back up and get the Moon Pearl.

    Ruto held the pearl over her head so that the sunlight filtering in from above Vaati was able to reflect off of its glassy surface. The reflected light burned Vaati everywhere managed to shine on him, as well as reviving the four who had been petrified by his gaze.

    “What happened?” Darunia asked groggily as he looked around.

    “Press the advantage!” Impa shouted to the others. “Everyone who can, aim for Vaati’s eye. That seems to be his week spot!”

    Malon fired another arrow while Link shot a ball of Din’s Fire from his hand and Impa threw a handful of needles. All three projectiles managed to hit their mark, stunning Vaati. This did not work quite as planned, however, as the massive beast feel from the air and crashed into the floor, sending everyone flying back.

    “Is everyone alright?” Navi asked once she had recovered from the shock.

    “I’ve been better.” Ganondorf replied as he dug himself out from the rubble and pulled out a bottle of red healing potion. “Glad we brought these.”

    “Did we win?” Nabooru asked, kicking at one of Vaati’s limp tendrils. “It doesn’t look like it’s moving anymore.”

    Vaati rose from the ground and hovered above the group again, darting its eye between each of them.

    “Of course, right after I said that.” Nabooru muttered.

    “What will it take to beat this thing?” Ruto wondered aloud.

    Vaati somehow let out a mighty roar, despite not having a mouth, which seemed the shake the air around them. Two more cries called back. A moment later, a massive red fish-like monster flew overhead, followed by a smaller blue one. The pair circled through the air above Vaati, apparently joining him for the fight.

    “Gyorgs.” Rauru identified the newly arrived monsters for the rest of the group. “But they went extinct hundreds of years ago.”

    “Could things get any worse?” Ruto asked.

    “Never say that.” Nabooru immediately snapped back.

    The smaller blue gyorg began to fire blasts of magical energy at the group, as Vaati began to flee the temple. The two gyorgs then followed after him.

    “Now what are we supposed to do?” Zelda asked after barely managing to avoid one of the blasts.

    Link looked up at the monsters flying above them, then back down at the people by his side. He had an idea, but it was risky and he didn’t know how well it would work. They didn’t have time to consider alternatives, however, so he decided to go with it. Zelda and Ganondorf were the only two in arm’s reach, so he held out his hands and grabbed the two of them. The trio were engulfed in a ball of green light, which then shot up into the air after the gyorg pair. They then rematerialized above the blue gyorg and fell onto its back.

    “A little warning next time would be nice.” Ganondorf grunted as he pulled himself back onto his feet.

    “Sorry.” Link apologized.

    The trio stood back to back, though standing was hard as the gyorg beneath their feet glided through the air. They found themselves between four red eyes that stared at them from the four corners of the creature’s back. Link had learned from experience that the eyes of a monster were generally its weak spot and stuck the one in front of him. The gyorg cried out but otherwise seemed to be fine.

    “It doesn’t look like that did anything.” Zelda pointed out.

    “Perhaps we should try striking all four at the same time.” Ganondorf held out his two swords. “I think I can get two of them at once.”

    “Right.” Zelda and Link both nodded, and all three readied to strike.

    “Now!”

    As soon as Ganondorf uttered his command, all lunged with their swords. Link slashed one eye with his knight’s sword, while Zelda jabbed another with her rapier and Ganondorf struck the remaining two with his Stone Smasher and broadsword. The smaller blue gyorg revulsed as its four eyes seemed to burst, and quickly took a nosedive, spiraling out of the air. Link, Zelda and Ganondorf jumped off the monster and managed to fall onto its larger red counterpart.

    The red gyorg stared at them with three of the eight eyes lined up in two rows at the front of its body. It let out a cry of fury at the loss of its mate but continued to trail behind Vaati as he made his way south.

    “What now?” Ganondorf asked. “We can’t get to Vaati from here and if we take this one out too, then we’ll be having a quick but brief reunion with the ground.”

    “Hey, what’s that?” Zelda pointed towards something in that air that they were rapidly approaching.

    “It looks like some kind of city, floating in the sky.” Ganondorf replied as they drew closer. “I’d be surprised if we didn’t just come from somewhere similar.”

    “I think I have an idea!” Zelda shouted excitedly. “Link, you can do that thing were you shoot fire from your hands, right?”

    Link nodded.

    “Then do you think you can use that to burn all of this thing’s eyes as we approach that city? If we time it right, we should be able to take this thing down and land safely over there.”

    “That sounds like a terrible idea.” Ganondorf said.

    “Do you have a better suggestion?” Zelda asked.

    “No, but try to think about it for a second. If he tries to burn anything from back here, then the wind will just blow the flames right back at us!”

    “Oh, right.” Zelda muttered. “But I don’t think that we have another way of getting all of those eyes at once.”

    “Maybe we don’t need to.” Link pointed out, then walked up to the eye that was focused on him. He hacked away at the eye a few times, causing the gyorg to scream until the eye burst.

    “Okay, I guess that works.” Zelda noted.

    The trio then began to cut down the eyes, one at a time. The red gyorg began to shake violently but the trio were able to hold there ground. At last, Zelda managed to take down the final eye, causing the Gyorg to spiral out of control and crash into one of the towers that made up the flying city. Link, Zelda and Ganondorf were thrown off the monster’s back in the process. Ganondorf and Zelda both splashed into a large basin of water on the outskirts of the strange city. Princess Zelda was knocked unconscious upon hitting the water but Ganondorf was able to grab her and drag her onto the dry stone pathway leading to the city proper. He pressed hard against her chest to get the water out of her lungs and soon Zelda regained consciousness.

    “Where’s Link?” Zelda asked groggily as she sat up and looked around.

    “I’m not sure.” Ganondorf said as calmly as he could, to avoid upsetting the girl. “But, I don’t think that he…”

    Ganondorf trailed off as a familiar boy in green hopped up over the railing beside them, using the magical boots he had found in the Shadow Temple.

    “I forgot you could do that.” Ganondorf muttered.

    “It looks like we’re all safe.” Zelda said after downing a red potion. “But now we’re stuck here, wherever this is, and Vaati managed to get away.”

    Link shook his head. “I saw where he went. He’s at the other end of the city.”

    “Great, now we have to find a way over there.” Ganondorf muttered. “And just the three of us, now.”

    “I think I can go get the others.” Link said before disappearing into another ball of green light, which flew back the way they had come.

    “How does he do that?” Ganondorf wondered aloud.

    “Apparently he met a Great Fairy, who granted him some of its magic power.” Zelda explained to the best of her ability. “Twice. The first time he got the firepower, the second time was that teleporting thing. I don’t know where he got the power to walk on air.”

    “I think that has something to do with those golden wings on his boots, which he seems to have found when we were in the Shadow Temple.” Ganondorf recalled. “That boy is the epitome of luck.”

    Link returned with Saria, Ruto and the two fairies, then left again just as quickly.

    “Where are we?” Saria asked.

    “It appears to be some kind of city.” Zelda replied. “We don’t know anything other than that, though.”

    Princess Ruto looked down over the edge of the stone path they were on. “We’re directly above Lake Hylia. But I’ve never seen anything like this up here before.”

    “It’s probably invisible from the surface, like the Palace of Winds.” Ganondorf pointed out. “Although, it doesn’t look like it was built by the same people.”

    Link dropped off Impa and Darunia before leaving again.

    “I don’t think that I’ll ever get used to that.” Darunia stumbled a bit before sitting down. “Gorons are meant to be on or in the ground, not up in the air!”

    “I quite like the feeling of the wind on my face as I fly.” Kaepora Gaebora, or rather, Rauru said as he perched on the railing nearby.

    “Do you know what this place is?” Zelda asked the owl.

    “I believe that I do, but I would rather wait until we are all here so that I won’t have to repeat myself.”

    Link then popped in again, with Nabooru and Malon this time, the former of which was holding the Moon Pearl. Rauru hopped next to them, returning to his ghostly Hylian form.

    “I’m going to go… lie down now…” Link slumped onto Malon, who was just barely able to catch him before he hit the ground, completely drained from the repeated long-distance use of Farore’s Wind.

    “Is he alright?” Saria asked a bit louder than she meant.

    “Hey, check his pulse!” Navi suggested.

    “He seems to be fine.” Malon assured the others. “He’s just sleeping.”

    Impa pulled out a bottle of green potion from the satchel at her waist and poured its contents gently down the boy’s throat. Link sputtered and stood up straight, his fatigue fully recovered.

    “So what is this place?” Zelda asked Rauru again.

    “Unless I am mistaken, then I believe that this is the lost city of the Oocca, an ancient race that vanished from Hyrule long before the kingdom was founded.” Rauru explained. “Even I have never laid eyes upon this place before. When I was alive, there were legends that the Oocca had helped to build Hyrule, though before today I had always assumed those tales to be nothing more than rumor.”

    “We will have to be cautious as we search for Vaati.” Impa glanced around at she could see of the city. “There is no telling what could be hiding in a place like this.”

    “All I can sense around here are…” Navi paused for a moment, as if not sure what she was feeling. “Cuccos? Why are there cuccos here?”

    “The people who lived here probably used them for the same reasons that we do.” Ganondorf speculated. “For food.”

    “Or they could have used them as guards.” Malon suggested, causing the others to look at her strangely. “What? Cuccos are terrifying if you get them angry!”

    “Either way, we should get going.” Impa changed the subject back.

    * * *​

    The City in the Sky proved to be deserted and was left in a state of ruin. Countless sections of the floor had fallen away, which made traveling across the city difficult. However, enough of the city’s infrastructure remained intact for the group to make their way without too much trouble. The group never encountered the supposed cuccos that Navi had sensed, though they did see a few small birds nesting throughout what remained of the city. Before long, they walked out onto a large bridge leading out to a large structure separate from the main city, where Vaati’s presents could be felt.

    “Watch your step.” Darunia said, leading the way across what remained of the once-large bridge.

    “Why are we letting the heaviest guy here go in front?” Ruto complained.

    “Because if I can make my way across this thing without it falling away under my weight, the rest of you should be fine.” Darunia explained his rationality.

    “That seems like poor logic.” Nabooru pointed out.

    “Well, it’s too late now.” Darunia laughed. “It’s not like you could safely get around me at this point.”

    Saria caught a glimpse of movement out of the corner of her eye and looked over to see a flock of colorful birds flying around in the distance. She was glad for the distraction to keep her mind off of the potential of falling. Though admittedly, she wasn’t too scared about that risk while Link was around. “I’ve never seen birds like those before. What kind are they?”

    “I can’t tell from here.” Rauru replied. “Although they must be quite large if we can see them from this distance."

    “Hah, done!” Darunia cheered as he stepped off the bridge and into a large doorway that led into the building where Vaati awaited.

    Once the others had finished crossing the remains of the bridge behind him, they made their way inside what turned out to be a massive colosseum of some kind. The walls of the circular structure were lined with seats around a field of grass, above which Vaati hovered weekly in the air. As soon as the shadowy monster spotted them approaching, it let out a roar and the fight begun once more.

    Vaati dark tendrils sprouting around Vaati’s round body began to converge, forming into two large arms, which the bat-like beast began to flail around as it quickly charged its opponents. Nabooru simply held up the Moon Pearl, and the magic-infused light that reflected off of its glassy surface struck Vaati in the eye again. The already weakened monster veered to the side and crashed into the wall instead, completely demolishing that section of the arena. Vaati tried to lift itself back up but no longer had the strength to move.

    “That was easier than I expected.” Ruto said.

    “I guess we already did most of the work.” Ganondorf replied. “We’re essentially just finishing it off at this point.”

    Nabooru handed the Moon Pearl back to Rauru and drew her scimitars as the rest of the group cautiously approached their fallen foe, weapons in hand. Vaati struggled to turn around, staring down its enemies as they prepared to put an end to him. Desperate, Vaati attempted one final move to avoid its fate. Reaching down around the side of the colosseum with one of its newly-formed arms, Vaati fired a blast of magic at a large magical engine underneath the colosseum. The engine exploded, taking the whole structure with it.

    * * *​

    Zelda wasn’t sure how long she had blacked out, but it couldn’t have been more than a moment. The young princess screamed as she realized that she was now falling through the air, surrounded by the wreckage of colosseum. She spotted Link nearby, who seemed to still be unconscious from the explosion, and some of the others were a bit farther off. Lake Hylia was beneath them and seemed to grow larger with each passing second as they drew closer. At this distance, landing on water would be the same as landing on the ground, meaning that they would all be dead in a moment unless a miracle happened. A miracle which Zelda was now fervently praying for.

    The Goddesses were apparently listening, as the answer to her prayer came quickly. Zelda caught a blur of motion before she landed on something soft and blue. It was a bird, the largest that Zelda had ever seen before, with vibrant blue feathers and a long tail that streamed behind it as it flew. Zelda looked around to see several more of the birds catching the others as they fell. The princess let out a sigh of relief. The blue bird flew beside an old-looking red one with a now-conscious Link on its back, while a black one carrying Ganondorf took position on the red bird’s other side. Six more of the great birds flew in formation behind them after rescuing the others, while Rauru had reverted to his owl form once again.

    “What’s going on?” Ruto was still panicking, despite no longer falling. “What are these things?”

    The red bird carrying Link let out a loud caw.

    “He says that they saw the explosion and came to help.” Rauru translated.

    “You speak bird?” Ganondorf questioned.

    “This owl body isn’t just for show, you know.” Rauru said, then hooted something to the red bird, who replied with another caw. “They say that Vaati must have been destroyed in the explosion. It would appear that Hyrule is safe once more.”

    “That ended abruptly.” Nabooru pointed out.

    “Would you have preferred that it last longer?” Ganondorf asked her. “Just be glad that it's finally over. Now we can go back to the Palace of Winds to pick up the women still held there, and then return to the castle to finally finish writing the peace treaty.”
    I just kept escalating this battle as I wrote it, then completely ran our of steam near the end. The result is a somewhat anticlimactic ending which I'm not sure I'm really that happy with. However, I mostly just want to finally have this be over with. The next chapter will also be the last, bringing an end to this story while also setting up the sequel.
     
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  10. BZRich64

    BZRich64 The Mustachiod Machamp

    Late For A Date
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    Link had never had tea before but the taste was certainly familiar. He had been told that it was made by boiling certain leaves in hot water, which would explain why. Having grown up in the forest, his diet had always consisted mainly of berries, nuts and edible leaves. In fact, he was almost surprised that the Kokiri hadn’t discovered tea before. Though that was likely because they had no way of heating the water for it. The Great Deku Tree had forbidden the Kokiri from starting fires, as they are a huge safety concern when you live in wooden houses in the middle of a forest. The fire could spread too easily if anything went wrong and potentially burn down the entire village.

    Once the group had brought the captured women back to Hyrule and returned to the castle, Zelda had immediately run off to find her father. He had been attacked by the Shadow creature that they had fought earlier before Vaati was unleashed, and had been taken back to his room to be treated for his injuries by the time they returned. Fortunately, his injuries were easily treatable with magic and had already mostly healed, but the King was still forced to stay in bed for the time being to rest. Link had been surprised to find that the King’s room was larger than Link’s entire house was back in the Kokiri Forest. It was large enough to comfortably fit nearly everyone that Link had met in his journey. He knew this primarily because that’s where they all still were.

    A small table had been set up in the corner of the ornate chamber, where Link sat alongside Zelda, Malon and Ruto. Navi flew around overhead, while Impa and Nabooru discussed something off to the side. Ganondorf, Darunia and King Zora were gathered around the Hylian King’s bed as they finished writing the peace treaty that all of the adults seemed so focused on. Saria was with them as well, serving as a representative of the Kokiri in the negotiations. It seemed like the only one missing was Rauru, who had split off from they reached town, to go to the Temple of Time.

    “What’s life like in the forest?” Malon asked Link, snapping his attention back to those around him.

    “Um, I don’t know.” Link shrugged. “I guess it’s pretty quiet. I mostly just mess around with Saria. I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere on my own, since I didn’t have a fairy to keep me from getting lost, and Saria was normally the only one willing to go anywhere with me.”

    “What does having a fairy have to do with anything?” Zelda asked.

    “The Kokiri Forest is in the middle of the Lost Woods.” Navi started explaining just as Link opened his mouth to reply. “And anyone who goes into the Lost Woods without a fairy to guide them will end up cursed and turn into monsters. Only fairies and the Deku are immune to the Lost Woods’ magic, with fairies being the only ones able to safely guide people through them. That’s why each member of the Kokiri are partnered with a fairy.”

    “I can’t imagine not being able to go anywhere like that.” Malon said after taking a sip of her tea.

    “I can.” Zelda stared down at her cup. “I’m usually not allowed to step foot outside of the castle grounds.”

    “I suppose now that I think about it, this is the first time that I’ve actually left Zora’s Domain.” Ruto noted. “Apart from the occasional trip down the river to Lake Hylia. I guess it has been kind of fun to go out for once. You know, apart from all the monsters and having to save Hyrule and stuff.”

    “Yes, I certainly wouldn’t mind being able to go with all of you again.” Zelda said enthusiastically. “Under more peaceful circumstances.”

    “That would be fun.” Malon chimed in. “I missed out on most of the adventure this time, but I’d love to tag along for another adventure.”

    “I’d like that, too.” Link added, though he seemed to have something on his mind.

    “What’s wrong?” Zelda asked him.

    “Nothing.” Link sighed. “It’s just… I’ll explain later.”

    * * *​

    “This is bad.”

    “This is bad.”

    “This is really bad.”

    The two old witches known as the Twinrova sisters ran back and forth across a darkly lit room in their hideout back in the Gerudo Desert. A large crystal ball was positioned in the center of the room, which the twins had been using to observe the progress of their plans from a distance.

    “What do we do now?”

    “I don’t know? Move on to Plan C?”

    “Plan C? I still don’t even know what Plan B was!”

    “You don’t?”

    “No, what was it?”

    “I don’t know! I thought you knew!”

    “Wait, if neither of us had a Plan B, then what I have we been doing this whole time?”

    The Twinrova sisters stared at each other in silence for a moment, as they both thought back on their actions the past few days. After discovering that Ganondorf had somehow been severed from his link to the Curse of Demise, they had both agreed to act on the backup plan that neither of them knew but assumed the other did. They had just been reviving and unleashing various monsters across Hyrule at random, in the vain hope that something would happen in their favor.

    “Okay, okay. I suppose we can take our time to think of something.”

    “True. No one should be able to connect anything that happened to us.”

    “Exactly! We can take out time to come up with a solid plan. In fact, I think I already have an idea.”

    * * *​

    “I guess this is goodbye.”

    After negotiations for the peace treaty had concluded and each ruler had been given a copy of the document to take home to their people, it was time for everyone to head home. As everyone gathered at the castle entrance, ready to depart, an aura of sadness seemed to fill the air.

    “I can’t believe that it’s only been a few days since this whole thing started.” Zelda sighed. “It feels like it’s been years.”

    “I think I’m actually going to miss all of you.” Ruto said. “Not the being attacked by monsters, though. I could do without that. I’m almost starting to wish that I could stick around for a little longer, but my dad’s already leaving, so I’ve got to go. Goodbye, everyone!”

    With that, the blue-skinned princess ran off after his father, who was getting ready to ride back to Zora’s Domain on his giant tamed Octorock. Everyone waved as she left, and the young Zora waved back after climbing up next to her father on the monster’s back.

    “I should probably be heading back myself.” Darunia chuckled. “My Goron brothers are probably going to need my help clearing things out after that eruption the other day. I head a few tunnels collapsed, plus there may be a few Dodongos that managed to survive.”

    Darunia smiled and curled up into a ball, before rolling off on his way back to Goron City. Once he was out of view, Ganondorf was the next to speak up.

    “It has been a good experience getting to know you all. My people have not had a good history with Hyrule, but I am now more sure than ever that we will be able to get along. Now if you excuse me, it is a long journey back to the desert and my caravan can not afford to wait any longer if we want to get home before nightfall.” Ganondorf bowed, dropping to one knee. “I hope to see you all again sometime. And remember that if anything comes up, my people and I will be there to support you.”

    Ganondorf and Nabooru left to regroup with the rest of their caravan, leaving Princess Zelda, Link, Navi, Saria and Malon behind.

    “I guess we should be heading home, too.” Saria turned to Link and Navi. “I probably shouldn’t have been gone so long.”

    “Yeah, about that…” Link glanced down at his feet, before looking back up at his best friend’s now-wooden face. “I’m not going back.”

    “What?” Saria and Navi both asked at once.

    “I’ve been thinking about it and… I don’t belong there. I’m not a Kokiri and there’s nothing left more me there. That’s why I’ve decided to stay here.”

    “I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.” Saria said, her expression impossible to read at this point. “I’ve always known you would leave eventually. We already said our goodbyes back on the bridge, didn’t we.”

    Link absently pulled out the Fairy Ocarina she had given him. “I’m going to miss you.”

    Saria walked up to Link and hugged him. She would have started crying if she were still capable of shedding a tear. “Can you please stay with me, at least until we get to the forest?”

    “I will.” Saria may not have been able to cry, but there was nothing stopping Link. “And I can always come back and visit whenever I get the chance. I should be able to come back to the Kokiri Woods whenever I want without having to pass through the Lost Woods, thanks to Farore’s Wind.”

    “I’d like that.” Saria pulled away from Link.

    “Hey, do you mind if I tag along?” Malon asked. “My dad’s ranch is on the way.”

    “I would like to go with you as well, if that is all right.” Zelda looked up at Impa, who nodded.

    “Then I guess we should get going.” Saria tried to smile.

    * * *​

    Dr. Mizumi walked along the shore of Lake Hylia, searching for shed Zora scales. They were said to have the power to allow Hylians to breathe underwater, which would be a great boon to his research into the mysteries of the lake. As he searched, however, he found something else instead. A body had washed up on shore. A child, judging from the size.

    As soon as Dr. Mizumi ran as fast as his feeble legs could carry him and knelt down to check if the child was still alive. To his relief, the boy was still breathing. The boy seemed to be in poor health, though. As his skin was deathly pale. After a moment, the boy opened one of his eyes, revealing that he must have been a Sheikah.

    “Are you alright?” Dr. Mizumi asked the lavender-haired youth. “What happened?”

    “I… don’t remember.” The boy tried to sit up, but his strength failed him.

    “Don’t move, you’re injured.” The doctor told him. “I’m going to run back to my lab and get some medical supplies. What is your name?”

    “My name…” The boy repeated. “I think it was… Vaati…”

    * * *​

    Saria stopped outside the hollowed-out lob that served as the entrance into the Lost Woods and turned to face the others.

    “I’ve had a great time, and I hope to see you all again sometime.” She waved and walked inside, disappearing from view almost immediately.

    “I’m going to miss you all, too.” Navi flew over to the forest entrance. “Especially you, Link. I didn’t think much of you when we first met, which was my own mistake. You’re the best partner that I could have asked for.”

    “And you were everything that I wanted in a Fairy.” Link started to cry again as Navi flew into the forest and out of view.

    “Are you sure that you want to stay in Hyrule?” Zelda asked the boy.

    “Yes.” Link said without hesitation, wiping away the last of his tear with the back of his hand. “I want to learn more about where I come from.”

    “Well, if you ever find yourself needing somewhere to stay, you can come back to the ranch with me.” Malon suggested. “Of course, my dad’ll be putting you to work, but I’m sure you’d make a great cowboy.”

    “Or you could come back to the castle and train to be a knight.” Zelda raised her counterargument. “With your talent, you could easily become one of the greatest knights in Hyrule’s history.”

    “Uh, thank you.” Link wasn’t sure how to respond. “I’m not sure what I want to do, though.”

    “I suppose it wouldn’t be fair to expect you to.” Zelda noted. “You don’t even know much about what Hyrule is like outside of the forest, do you?”

    “Not really.” Link scratched the back of his head uncomfortably. “I’ve been so caught up with everything that’s happened, that I haven’t really had time to learn anything about Hyrule.”

    “Then you should come back to the ranch with me.” Malon insisted. “We can teach you all sorts of stuff.”

    “I guess I can give that a try for now.” Link relented.

    “And my offer will still stand if you ever decide to change your mind and decide to become a knight.” Zelda smiled and turned back towards Hyrule Castle in the north. They had all been through a lot in the past few days, and she was almost sad that it was over. But she could breathe easy now, knowing that Hyrule was safe at last. They had worked together to put an end to the darkness that threatened Hyrule, just as her dream had predicted.

    Or at least, that is how she should have felt. But there was still something bothering her. She couldn’t help but feel that something was missing. Like there was still something out there. She tried to push that doubt to the back of her mind, however. This was the beginning of a new era of peace for Hyrule, after all, and there was nothing that could change that.

    * * *​

    “I think that’s a good place to leave off for tonight.” A woman closed the book she had been reading from and looking down at her daughter.

    “Ah, but I want to hear more.” The young girl whined, trying to sit up in bed.

    Her mother placed a hand gently on the girl’s shoulder to stop her from getting up. “No, it’s time for bed now. I’ll read you another story tomorrow.”

    “But I’m not even,” the girl let out a loud yawn, “tired.”

    The mother let out a small chuckle and waved her hand over her daughter’s face. A trace amount of magic leaked from her fingers, a faint spell that was just strong enough to get her daughter to close her eyes and drift off to sleep.

    “Goodnight, dear.” The mother bent down and kissed her daughter’s cheek before getting up and walking out into the other room.

    She made it as far as the library before opened the book back up. She turned to a page near the beginning the story she had just read her daughter, where there was a detailed image of the boy, Link. She brushed her fingers gently against the image before closing the book again with a sigh and staring down at it.

    An ornate golden seal was engraved into the green cover, depicting a number of holy symbols. Most prominent among them being the symbols of the three Goddesses surrounding an image of the Triforce. Above this seal was the title of the book, written in the original Hylian language. The characters were so ancient that it was likely she was the only person alive who would even recognize what they were, let alone read what they said.

    The woman’s hands began to shake with rage as continued to stare down at the ancient tome. She was tempted to throw the condemnable artifact into a fire, but she couldn’t. It was the second most powerful magical artifact in Hyrule, only surpassed by the Triforce itself, and its power was already unstable due to unexpected alteration to the timeline caused by Ganondorf’s stray thought.

    The ancient tome was known as Hyrule Historia, created by the goddesses themselves along with Triforce. Within its pages, the entire history of Hyrule was recorded, past and future. The woman had been appointed as the Historia’s guardian and forced to live in seclusion, her entire life stripped away from her. The only family she had left was the daughter she hadn’t yet known she was going to have. The only escape she had from this dreaded position would be her own death. But that would only lead to another guardian being appointed in her place, which the book dictated would be her daughter. All hope seemed lost to the woman until a stray thought popped into her head. If Ganondorf had been able to change the timeline by accident, then perhaps she could use it to solve her problems as well. For now, however, she would have to wait and bide her time. Chaos was headed to Hyrule, and with it the opportunity for her to seize her goal.

    To Be Continued in Stray Thoughts II: Curse of Hyrule
    And with this, Stray Thoughts finally reaches its conclusion! Or at least the end of the first book, anyway, which now has the subtitle Whispers of Darkness. Next time will be the start of the second part, Curse of Hyrule.
    This chapter was mostly focused on wrapping things up and setting things up for the CoH. The final scene, however, is actually setup towards what is planned to be part 7 of the series. Who knows if I'll ever even end up getting that far. If anyone's actually still reading this story here, please feel free to post your (stray) thoughts on the story so far or your predictions for what will happen next.
     
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  11. Rezna

    Rezna Every Day's Great at Your Junes!

    Why do eggs break ffree
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    Thunder Stone ★★★Water Stone ★★★Dawn Stone ★★★★Cooler Gary Oak ★★★★★Legendary Triforce ★★
    I hope you never lost motivation. Years ago now when I had stopped reading was not at all lack of interest. I remember being busy a lot and forgetting about LV in general, but I always find my way back here. I hope to see Curse of Hyrule uploaded here soon man!
    And as for my predictions, im going to guess the involvement of Termina, but not Skull Kid.
    The lady probably is the old woman from majoras mask who wants to read stories but you fall asleep iirc. I think you planned on her travelling between Termina and Hyrule causing havoc, introducing a Termina link who is from the original timeline where Ganondorf isnt severed from the Curse of Demise, and other cast Termina counterparts, with Hilda from Lorule being Zelda's.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  12. BZRich64

    BZRich64 The Mustachiod Machamp

    Late For A Date
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    I'm glad to hear you still enjoy the story! I've already finished the first couple of chapters, which you can find over in this thread. I haven't updated the story in a while, though, as I've been busy with other stuff. But I do plan on getting back to it.
     

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